I was lucky enough to get picked for a work familiarisation trip to sail on the MSC Seaview last weekend for 2 nights from Barcelona to Genoa. I was very excited at the prospect as although I have been on ship visits you really need to sail with a cruise line to get a good idea of what they are all about. I had lots of pre-conceptions about MSC before cruising with them…. So, what did I think?
On arrival we got through check in within about 5 minutes and onto the ship. No queues at all. We arrived on-board and stepped straight into the most amazing atrium I have ever seen. The atrium spans 4 floors and is surrounded by bars and lit up by amazing features like the Swarovski crystal staircases! There was already a fantastic atmosphere at 2pm, there was a DJ playing tunes and people relaxing with a drink at one of the many bars. We were desperate to join them but first needed to off load our luggage and freshen up after a long day travelling.
We were in a Fantastica experience balcony cabin. The room was a good size and had a large sofa, lots of storage space and the balcony was a good size with a table and 2 chairs. There were European plug sockets and USB sockets available to use too. Our bathroom came with a shower, they included basic shower gel and shampoo.
We had a drinks package included which with MSC are very reasonable so a popular addition for a lot of cruisers. This included selected wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and soft drinks. We went up to the bar to grab a cocktail first (well there were lots to try out so best start early!) They were fantastic with my favourite being a BBC. We then went for a bite to eat in the Biscayne bay buffet. This is one of two buffets on-board (and my favourite of the two). It is on deck 16 and aimed more at families but I found it the most bright and comfortable and a better option to the marketplace buffet on deck 8 which seemed busier and darker to me. There was plenty of choice and I enjoyed tucking into some pizza which was yummy!
We got ready for dinner and had some pre-dinner drinks at the Champagne bar in the atrium area. Again, the atmosphere was great, and we enjoyed listening to an amazing acoustic guitarist and singer, followed by a very talented lady singing. It may not be for everyone, but I found the music was fantastic and a pleasant change from the instrumental performers normally situated in an atrium. We were trying out the Butchers Cut speciality restaurant on the first night which is located in a fantastic area on deck 16 where many of the speciality restaurants are and connected by a bar. The décor was stunning! I had a prawn cocktail for starter, followed by a fillet steak. These were very tasty, but I must admit my favourite was pudding. I would strongly recommend the Lava cake. This is just mouth watering and one of the best puddings I have had in any restaurant.
We went down to the Haven lounge after dinner and you could really feel the buzzing atmosphere around the ship by about 10pm in the evening. There was a mixture of nationalities, but I feel if anything this enhanced the atmosphere and found no issues with language barriers. There were many people up on the dance floor already in the Haven lounge, some with the persuasion of the enthusiastic entertainment team dragging them up. I have found on many ships people are more reserved, but this is a ship very suited to those who just want to have fun! We enjoyed the covered area outside the haven Lounge which has a DJ and a real feel of a night club. Then at 11:30 we went to the much-anticipated Mediterranean night Atrium party. Wow! There were hundreds, possibly thousands of people spanning the 4 floors dancing and having an amazing time as the music played, the dancers danced and the man on stage in an afro wig got the crowd going crazy! I have never seen such a party atmosphere on the ship and with music spanning from 60’s to 00’s it was a popular party for younger and older guests who just wanted to have fun!
Well that’s my jam-packed first day! I will blog again in a few weeks about my second day exploring this amazing ship!