MSC’s Status Match program

By Tony Leisner
This item appears on page 14 of the April 2019 issue.

Most cruise lines and hotels offer loyalty programs, but with MSC Cruises (Fort Lauderdale, FL; 877/665-4655), you can register the status you have with a competitor's loyalty program, and they'll match it with an equivalent of their own. For example, my Holland America Line 4-star status gets me Gold Status with MSC.

If you go to MSC's website ( and provide proof of your status with another loyalty program, they'll match it when you book a cruise with them.

Carnival Cruises, Holland America's parent company, won't even recognize my 4-star status with Holland America (as I found when I called about a 7-day family Mexico cruise we would be taking with Carnival in mid-February 2019)! Carnival has nine different brands, and each stands on its own.

When I'm traveling with kids and grandkids, I only sail on Carnival-branded ships, since Holland America — the brand we usually travel with — has very little for kids to do.

We last traveled with MSC on a Baltic cruise in 2018.

Tarpon Springs, FL