Way back in May the www.CRUISE.co.uk team launched a competition to send 14 members of our cruise community on the MSC Splendida. To be chosen to receive a free balcony cabin the applicants had to promise to blog on-board to document their journey and give their honest feedback on the trip.
Now the winners have finished their cruise we thought we’d catch up with them to find out what they thought about their experience! So what did our guests think of the ship? What was the food like? Was the entertainment good? And did the crystal staircase live up to its reputation? Well read on to find out…
The Décor and Atmosphere
Harry was asked to review the décor for us and he thought: “a signature feature of this class of ship is the Swarovski crystal encrusted stairs in the atrium which look stunning. When we did the ship tour they showed us the yacht club and the stairs in there are golden crystal which apparently cost them 25,000 Euros each step!”
“The entertainment on many ships we have been on before fizzle out before 12 o’clock. Not on here, the lively night club was still going strong at 4 am this morning (so I’m told!)”
You can read more about Harry’s time on-board here!
Millzskillz was also impressed: “from the moment I stepped aboard the ship, I was blown away by the décor. From the sparkling Swarovski staircase to the glitzy, glamourous lifts in the sleek and spacious atrium, it is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cruise ships I’ve ever been on.”
Find out what else Millzskillz got up to here!
Unless you’re the kind of guest who spends the whole time in their cabin (and we know there is a few of you!) you’ll always consider the entertainment on-board before you sign up to a cruise. So what was it like?
Carrie tried out lots of the facilities: “Whilst on board we have tried the pools, the arcades, the casino and had a cheeky game of bingo – alas without winning! Typical! Something about each pool which impressed me no end, was that each pool had a dedicated life guard, not just a server who could keep an eye out and help if necessary.”
“The F1 simulator on deck 16 was a majesty to behold, not just a mock up cockpit, but an entire car, with removable steering wheel to get in and out. The car lifts up on hydraulics and shunts you around, not just left and right, but on every axis, arching forward for example when you break and leaning back when you accelerate. However, being more used to Mario Kart than F1, I found that pushing cars aside was a more fruitful way of me advancing through the pack! I however won’t be trying to get my drivers license for a little while yet! The 4D Theatre, which is next to the F1 simulator was fantastic, and offered a choice of 4 films to watch, that was very entertaining and worth the money!”
You can read what Carrie though about other aspects of the ship here.
ToshTosh got to see behind the scenes of the huge theatre which our bloggers later watched a show in: “starting off in the theatre, we had a quick nosy around the artists’ dressing room, saw a fantastic array of costumes and I was amazed at how everyone in the cast manages to keep everything so shipshape. The theatre holds 1604 people, and amazingly is one of the biggest theatres at sea, as the tendency and trend on newer ships tends to be towards smaller theatres.”
Hear more from ToshTosh about his travels here.
Haworth described the ship as: “a spectacular ship with modern décor and many fun features, ten pin bowling anyone?” You can read more about his trip here.
Our blogger Spridgeon1 made full use of the entertainment on-board and played ping pong, table football and also played in the casino! Just have a look at some of her pictures…
One of the biggest things any cruiser worries about is their food because after all, the dining experience is half of the holiday right? So what did our bloggers think of the food?
Tim told us: “the choice in the buffet was varied, from a roast beef joint on the carvery, vegetables, salads, potatoes, burgers and hot dogs, fries, pizza, breads and meat. Andy and I had a couple of slices of pizza, some fries and a salad. The pizzas were lovely and soft, on a thin crust, not overloaded with topping but executed to a high standard, which you’d expect from an Italian cruise line.”
Philip commented: “Probably the highlight of the food has been the great quality of the baking on-board!” You can find out what else Philip thought about the food here.
Haworth revealed: “Lunch on both days in the MDR was excellent, a light pasta appetiser and a choice of speciality sandwich/meat/other pasta course or vegetarian. I enjoy good food and have over the years eaten in many highly respected restaurants. The lunch, especially on Tuesday I scored 9.5 out of 10 and it would grace any cruise line restaurant.”
Read more of what Haworth thought here!
The quality of your cabin can really make a difference to your cruise, because even if you only intend to spend a little time in it, we all like that little bit of luxury! So what did our bloggers think of the cabins?
Pippa told us: “Our ‘Fantastica’ balcony stateroom is light & airy with a large, full length mirror opposite the king size bed which makes it appear even more spacious. The bathroom is clean & white with plenty of storage. In the main room we have a sofa, plus small coffee table opposite the desk with mirror above. There are 2 bedside cabinets with lamps and a phone. The desk has a couple of shallow drawers for bits ‘n’ bobs, one of which contains the hairdryer and there are 4 electrical sockets above (2x 110v USA & 2x 220v European). There are bottles of water on the desk top and a stocked mini bar below, which are at cost. We have a spacious wardrobe with a digital safe. The flat screen TV is on the wall in the corner by the patio doors. Stepping out onto the glass-fronted balcony, we have 2 non-reclining rattan chairs plus a small table and a view of Hamburg. All in all, a very pleasant stateroom indeed.”
You can hear more about Pippa’s adventure here.
We arranged for our bloggers to have a behind the scenes excursion where they could see everything on-board from the Yacht Club to the staff areas. So what did they make of it?
Wansbrough told us: “It was really interesting to see areas normally off limits to the general public. The highlight of the tour for me was the galley and seeing the areas where everything is stored, prepared and cooked. Really fascinating and made all the more fun by having to dress up in protective clothing to make sure we didn’t contaminate anything.”
The Spa & Relaxation Areas
CruiserGrrl had a hard job of investigating the spa and all it had to offer…
“The Aurea Spa, thermal area and gym found on the forward of deck 14 is a peaceful, beautifully designed retreat. As you step in to the spa from the coolness of the minimalist landing you find yourself transported to Indonesia. The key colours are earthy warm browns & golden yellows. This colour scheme is also used in the uniforms of the friendly, smiling ladies who work there – and it is also seen in the Aurea spa cabins on the deck below…”
“Access to the amazingly spacious gym in front of the Spa Bar is free and changing rooms are provided. There is an extensive range of cardio equipment by the forward windows giving you fabulous view to the seas ahead, a selection of machines and free weights, Powerplates, a group of spin bikes and a lot of free floor space for yoga class. At the right side of the Spa Bar, behind the wall, are the beautifully decorated treatment/massage rooms.”
Take a look at CruiserGrrl’s time in the spa and relaxation areas here!
The Yacht Club
The Yacht Club is MSC’s private “ship within a ship” concept that gives a small group of guests an exclusive area to enjoy on-board in peace, quiet and comfort. Philip told us what he made of the area:
“Each step in the glistening staircase, sparkles with gold and crystal and cost 25,000 dollars each. Wow! The public areas are great with lounge, butlers, bar and snacks all available for the sole use of the Yacht Club. The outside space is particularly great with private pool, jacuzzi and plenty of outside loungers and seating. I suspect this experience would be great in hot climates.”
Find out more from Philip here!
The staff on-board any ship can be the difference between a great experience and a really great experience, so what did our guests make of the service?
Millzskillz told us: “The staff have been brilliant. The bar staff, the croupiers, the entertainment team, the excursion representatives; all of them have been so friendly, attentive and have made this experience a truly unforgettable one.” Find out what else she did on-board here!
Carrie told us what she thought of the staff: “The staff are all friendly, and so helpful, we have definitely fallen in love with the MSC way of cruising, with a Mediterranean flair that is unmatched.” Read what else she thought here!
Want to be in with a chance of winning a future competition? Join in the conversation on our forum here!
So there you have it! What do you think of the bloggers thoughts on the MSC Splendida? Would you like to sail on this ship? Have you sailed with MSC before? Do your opinions differ? Let us know in the comments below!