• Ahoy there! Why not join the UK’s largest cruising forum? The Cruise.co.uk forum is the perfect place to meet and interact with likeminded cruisers to have invaluable conversations. Whether you're a veteran cruiser or looking to set sail on the sea for the first time, everyone is welcome on our forum to participate in the hottest conversations in the cruising world. So, what are you waiting for? Join the forum today by clicking here to register!

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Virtuosa Vacation

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • philhar, wallasey
    started a topic Virtuosa Vacation

    Virtuosa Vacation


    Arrived at Liverpool Convention Centre at 10.50 our allocated check-in was 11.Quite large queue already probably about 100 people, had to queue outside .Started moving bang on 11.
    Took an hour to reach check- in desk, there were only 4 open. They went through insurance cover with fine toothcomb as we warned did see someone being taken off to ring their insurance company as printed information they had provided was not sufficient. Also checked vaccination record or evidence of lateral flow test.
    Taken to test area, about 10-minute wait. Member of staff was very pleasant apart from the fact that the swab up the nose was very uncomfortable. I’ve done plenty of tests myself and it’s pretty clear I’ve not been doing it properly, felt like she was going into my brain!
    We were then steered towards a numbered holding area and waited and waited and waited. We were offered a free bottle of water and told there is an I.T. issue apologies for the delay bear with us, same message repeated, no idea what the issue was or whether it was it was a “stock excuse” but we waited 2 hours, others behind her apparently waited longer.
    We then were bussed a very short journey to the cruise terminal building and embarked.
    Staff very friendly on entering person by lift gave us information overload.
    She wrongly assumed that we would want to go to our cabin first but we wanted to go the buffet.
    Ship is beautiful has new car smell and very bright and shiny.
    Encountered our first experience with lift where you touchscreen the deck you want and it allocates you a lift, we loved this system and rarely waited any time at all but obviously only a 1,000 on board.
    Went to Marketplace buffet aft on deck 15, very standard large buffet area, except absolute insistence that you wash your hands with soap and water at washing stations at the entrance. Excellent range of choice, first station breads pizza, hot dogs, burgers etc cheeses, then hot carvery of the day plus veg, sandwich station, “dishes from the around the world usually stir frys, curries etc with small traditional British section too e.g. cottage pie , bangers and mash etc. Finally, dessert station with cakes, pastries and the sort of jelly- based dessert that looks like you will glow in the dark if you eat it.
    Tables have some seats blocked off , you can find your own or ask to be escorted.
    Quite a few drinks waiters working the buffet area and this is where we first used our wristband which we were given at the cruise terminal in a cardboard box as well as a cruise card. However, part from getting off the ship, you really didn’t need the cruise card. I loved the wristband! It is used for track and trace onboard but you can use it to open the cabin door and pay.
    Ordered a glass of red to go with Vesuvius Pizza, cheese bread and also pork stir fry as seconds as I spotted it too late, that’s my excuse! More adjusted to checking the whole line before deciding later.
    Had fresh strawberry tartlet and custard filled puff pastry for dessert. All were excellent quality.
    20210624_141357.jpg


    We were travelling with my OH’s friend who joined us for the first 2 nights travelling to Southampton. We had upgraded to Premium Plus but MSC’s app and online system would not allow her to upgrade and our agent tried and failed to sort it direct with MSC their phonelines were a nightmare last week. So, we went to Guest Services to sort it out. This took ages despite there being no queue, but we were assured all was done. However, this was not the end of this particular saga…
    This wait coupled with me spotting a small bar and seating arear led to us all having a cocktail...
    20210624_161331.jpg




    Mine was whisky based can’t remember the name, but I can report that the cocktails did not appear weak to me if anything the opposite.
    Went back to the cabin briefly. Fairly standard inside cabin but quite a bit of dead space underneath the quite large TV. Small wardrobe with 1 small rack above, safe below and 2 tiny drawers.
    Underneath the TV was what I can only describe as a magazine rack, a bit like a chocolate teapot. This wall space was crying out for more drawers or storage space.
    Standard vanity area with hairdryer in drawer EU and US plug socket and USB. Also 2 USB points by each side of the bed.
    Bathroom stand was standard hoover toilet and shower with screen not dreaded curtain and shampoo and shower gel dispenser. No tissue dispenser though, only loo roll.
    I went up to main pool area Atmosphere pool which is 2 large pools next to one another. This was a lovely space but can’t begin to imagine how packed it would get with “normal” capacity.
    Arranged to meet for pre- dinner drinks at Champagne bar, Deck seven near atrium. Had a Veuve Clicquot rose. Champagne is a bit wasted on me, but I manged to struggle it down along with a Kur Royale. Bar is open to everyone walking through so not my idea of a bar really but nice enough.

    20210624_191941.jpg

    Was now feeling distinctly peckish so we went to MInuetto dining room one of MDR, having a brief view of the Galleria Virtuosa, the LED ceiling is stunning.
    We were originally told that we were on 2nd sitting but it became open sitting 6.30-8.30.
    Temperature check at dining room entrance, standard one that looks like a Star Trek phaser , also had to gel hands .Greeters very pleasant and welcoming. Allocated randomly to table.
    Had lovely meal Calamari, seafood medley and cheese plate. Service pretty haphazard and quite a long wait. Drink waiter very attentive though and wine flowed. Though the packages only included wine by the glass, the tactic was repeated throughout the cruise. They would open a bottle and leave it nearby and replenish.
    We then went to the TV studio for karaoke and my wife’s friend is a BIG fan of Karaoke. I am not but after a few drinks enjoyed it thoroughly! She was the star of the show and encouraged to perform again and again by the staff and crowd a lively atmosphere.






  • philhar, wallasey
    replied
    Hi Jc thanks better than I could 😀

    Leave a comment:


  • jc, liverpool
    replied
    Hi Phil
    Ive turned them round…..
    3FC01BA3-65EC-4987-BC87-E7CC90F5ACFE.jpeg25061762-2385-4219-9300-06EE84FAF10B.jpeg632B9F98-9A78-49CC-A29A-FB28255343B1.jpeg

    JC

    Leave a comment:


  • philhar, wallasey
    replied
    lunch menu.jpgmenu.jpgmenu 2.jpg Menus!



    butchers cut menu.jpg

    Leave a comment:


  • philhar, wallasey
    replied
    Originally posted by jc, liverpool View Post
    Hi Phil
    Thanks for the review and photos.
    On my Meraviglia cruise I must have spent the whole cruise in the pub,,,there was a bar directly across from the pub called,I think,The Studio,,,,my wife hated it,dark and disco lights,,that was the bar for the Spanish,,the pub was the Brits,,,the bar by reception was the Italians.

    I don’t think it would happen on a UK only passenger cruise.

    ps My daughter,her husband and my 7 yr old granddaughter are on a 5 mile family charity bike ride through the Birkenhead tunnel this morning,,there and back,,,,,,they all managed it but my daughter reported she forgot about the incline at both ends on exit.

    I was going to do the 25 mile section to Chester but my bike got a puncture in the garage!!!

    JC
    Hi JC good luck for the charity bike ride.Thought you would like the photo of the pub with the Jameson sign.OH had a Guiness in there.The studio is still in the same place used largely for karaoke or when the on deck events weren't feasible due to weather

    Leave a comment:


  • jc, liverpool
    replied
    Hi Phil
    Thanks for the review and photos.
    On my Meraviglia cruise I must have spent the whole cruise in the pub,,,there was a bar directly across from the pub called,I think,The Studio,,,,my wife hated it,dark and disco lights,,that was the bar for the Spanish,,the pub was the Brits,,,the bar by reception was the Italians.

    I don’t think it would happen on a UK only passenger cruise.

    ps My daughter,her husband and my 7 yr old granddaughter are on a 5 mile family charity bike ride through the Birkenhead tunnel this morning,,there and back,,,,,,they all managed it but my daughter reported she forgot about the incline at both ends on exit.

    I was going to do the 25 mile section to Chester but my bike got a puncture in the garage!!!

    JC

    Leave a comment:


  • Gill Nickson, Albox
    replied
    So pleased that everything ended on a positive note, Phil. Really enjoyed your informative review and lovely photos, bringing back happy memories of what a cruise is all about.

    Leave a comment:


  • annie, Glasgow
    replied
    Thanks for the review Phil.

    'Curate's egg' - I last heard that phrase used to describe a Celebrity Cruise.

    £43 surcharge per head for speciality dining is too rich for me but again I am no foodie.

    Annie

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparkle, UK
    replied
    Loved reading your review and seeing your photos, thanks for sharing with us.

    Leave a comment:


  • Topdeck, London
    replied
    Enjoyed the review update of an actual sailing.

    with the lifting of the 1k limit it may be rare to see shut a quiet ship.

    Leave a comment:


  • Issyalex, Glasgow
    replied
    Thanks for your photos and review Phil. It’s so nice to read a cruise review after so long without any.

    Leave a comment:


  • philhar, wallasey
    replied
    More photos:
    Carousel Lounge:
    Galeria Virtuosa.jpg
    Masters of the Sea Pub:
    Masters of the Sea.jpg
    Masters of the Sea 2.jpg
    Main pool at night.jpg Main pool at night

    Galeria.jpg Galeria Virtuosa


    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • sandraggg, Newcastle
    replied
    Thank you for taking the time and trouble to post so much information. I have very much enjoyed reading it all.

    I'm glad you enjoyed your holiday and were able to share it with us!

    Leave a comment:


  • philhar, wallasey
    replied
    Day 5 At Sea
    I had booked a romantic sunrise package to be delivered to our cabin for breakfast as a surprise but sadly as it appeared on both our MSC for ME apps my OH knew all about it! Nevertheless, it was lovely and arrived 5 minutes after agreed time. It cost £12 for a carafe of freshly squeezed orange juice fresh fruit platter- grapes, Galia Melon, Honeydew Melon, Watermelon, Pineapple ,Kiwi Fruit and pastries-Almond Croissant ,Plain Croissant, Cinnamon Swirl, Pain Au Chocolat and Lemon Muffin.
    sunrise platter.jpg

    I thought it would be sharing but we had a platter of both each! It was delicious. Also included were 2 MSC champagne flutes to keep as souvenirs. Excellent value we thought ,really good quality and a nice keepsake.
    The weather wasn’t that great so we decided to go to the covered pool. This is a lovely space and as well as a ground floor with bar, seating area, 2 jacuzzis and seating area it has a gallery with 2 jacuzzis that extend over the side of the ship, seating area, changing toilets and table tennis and table football.


    indoor pool.jpgIndoor pool


    indoor pool upper area.jpgJacuzzi.jpgview from jacuzzi.jpg
    Indoor pool upper area Jacuzzi View from Jacuzzi

    We sat and read and had a swim and a jacuzzi and some more freshly squeezed orange juice , which we are really going to miss, it’s fantastic.
    We decided to go to the MDR for a change for lunch and so glad we did. Though it was in the other MDR that was open , the first person we saw was the section head who had been so good last night! She recognised us and did the same great job.
    Practically the first thing we noticed on the menu was that the suggested drink of the day was Asti which we love and enjoyed 2 glasses of.
    I had Cassarecce Pasta with sea Bass and Apple Crumble with ice cream, Cappuccino to finish. Fantastic and I always like to eat at lunchtime at least once in the MDR.


    We went back to the covered pool, lovely and relaxing and did the same things. All pools had a lifeguard and if it was busy they controlled the capacity.
    My OH had a gin cocktail and I had a Strongbow we also had a drink in the cabin getting ready for evening meal.
    Tonight we had booked Butcher’s Cut but did wonder whether we should have cancelled after the MDR experience improving so much .Curiosity got the better of me though.
    The service was attentive, Butcher’s Cut is a small restaurant only about 8 tables with some more outside as there is a gallery above the Galeria Virtuosa where the Teppanyaki and Masters of the Sea pub also have tables outside.
    A Bread sack arrived at first, a bit like a mini Snata sack with bread rolls and bread scones in. Really nice.
    I had Smoked Tomato Soup with grilled cheese (Basically a cheese toastie!)Odd but it worked.
    Then Filet Mignon with 1 side included and extra for others so we shared 1 extra .Had Chunky chips, creamed Soinach and Roasted Cauliflower. The steak was really good , but the sides were disappointing. I had banana ice cream which was nice enough but too much, Oh had Banana date cake which was basically sticky toffee pudding. I pinched a spoonful and it was lovely.
    I’m pleased we tried it , but I’m not sure it’s worth the £43 a head surcharge. I did hear a lot of very positive reports about Indochine but we ran out of nights!
    That’s the trouble about all cruises they have to come to an end.
    We were very full so had a bit of a stroll but then watched the penalty shoot France v Switzerland in the cabin and settled down.
    Next morning!
    Always sad to leave, one last chance to eat way more than is good for me at buffet breakfast.
    We had opted for self disembarkation particularly as it meant avoiding being bussed to the Convention Centre. Disembarkation was quick and smooth off by 9 home at 9.30!
    Overall we had a fantastic time it was great to be on a ship once more. As a one off trip the lack of travel didn’t bother us and I’m sure that won’t last much longer. Other matters like mask wearing really doesn’t bother us that much.
    MSC is a curate’s egg good in parts… I certainly wouldn’t necessarily rule out cruising with them again but I wouldn’t cruise on their big ships at proper capacity.





    Leave a comment:


  • Mrs M
    replied
    Originally posted by philhar, wallasey View Post

    One of our photostops was the Lighthouse so we saw the Lobster Pot but entry was forbidden 🚫
    Not surprised. I suppose you were pretty well marshalled around.
    Sounds a good trip though and you got away to sea, sort of. Fantastic.

    Leave a comment:


We use cookies to give you the
best experience possible.


By continuing to use our website you
agree to our cookie policy

Working...
X