As with most cruise lines, they all have their statuary trademark - whether its space, décor, luxury, service, gastronomy (this one they all hold up their hands) but the bottom line is what suits you, the paying guest or, as I say, VIP.
With MSC, as most European lines, you get the Mediterranean feel the moment you step on board. On MSC Splendida, as you take your first step into the very bright and shiny atrium, the Swarovski stairs offer you a welcoming embrace as all around the glitzy and spectacular décor captures your eye. The whole area makes you feel like a celebrity and, whilst you are on a cruise, this will be part of your home for the duration of your holiday.
For a regular or serious cruiser, this may be the norm, but to the many “virgin cruisers” out there it’s the first impression that will stick with them for a long time. The ship itself is a real beauty, just as her Godmother Sophia Loren. Launched in July 2009, she still has her charms and quaint areas for all to enjoy. The staterooms are adequate in size and amenities (surprisingly the inside cabins seemed larger than the ocean view staterooms). With her 18 decks of space, you will find peace and serenity in one of the adult-only areas on the top deck. Children’s clubs are a must, as the ship is catered for families and are split into age groups.
With 4 swimming pools, spa, casino, outside deck space with cinema and several restaurants, it can easily accommodate all 3,200 passengers. When it comes to drinks packages, MSC is one of the most economical in the cruise industry and, unlike other promotions, it does include alcoholic cocktails which you can enjoy while the ship glides in her 1,042 foot frame (Titanic was just short of 883 feet) at a top speed of 23 knots.
Packages are very reasonable and, with the right flight connections, you can expect a great price which won’t break the bank. Children are heavily subsidised if sharing with 2 full-paying parents/adults, but these tend to fill out very fast.
Most cruise voyages are 7 days and, unlike other major players, MSC offer two or more embarkation/disembarkation ports on route. Primarily: Genoa, Barcelona or Venice. As more destinations open up, cruise lines have already done the background checks so you don’t have to dive into the realms of the internet world. Cuba is one such destination. This beautiful and peaceful island is the biggest in the Caribbean and with the famous handshake of Obama and Raul Castro, it has opened up the pathway for all to enjoy this cigar loving island.
And yes, MSC will be visiting Cuba together with their very own island “Ocean Cay”. As tradition holds, cruise lines tend to lean on a synonym method when naming their ships. With MSC they all end on the letter A and they are sound very grandiose and full of body (just like a red Cabernet Sauvignon wine from Bordeux) such as Magnifica, Armonia, Fantasia, Preziosa - remembering there are currently 12 ships on MSC’s fleet with a few more on the books.
One such new ship which will throw the rule book out of the window. This particular cruise ship will be so different that others in the industry will follow. With her slick and unusual design and with the new “cleaner” fuel - which is soon to be obligatory - she will turn a few heads as she sails across the emerald waters of the Caribbean. She is to be named “Seaside” breaking MSC tradition of names and she will carry up to 5100 passengers plus crew. But it’s her design that will wow folks who board her, especially her aft, resembling a beach - hence the name of the ship.
MSC are thinking big and they want you to enjoy yourself on their ships. First impressions do count not the ones from some disgruntled blogger or seasonal cruiser who expects the ship is only for them. Enjoy a MSC cruise they are predicting 80,000 passengers to be on their ships each day by 2021.
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