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1fifthavenue and andyjbrum on Splendida...

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    1fifthavenue and andyjbrum on Splendida...

    Hi fellow forum folks! Tim and Andy here, blogging live from the beautiful MSC Splendida. We were on a coach down to Heathrow at 1am this morning. We managed to get some sleep on the coach to set us up for the day ahead, and what a wonderful day we have had so far!


    The flight to Hamburg with BA was very comfortable. After landing and baggage reclaim we were soon on our way to the port. As the coach drew near to the ship, a huge smile came across our faces. There’s no mistaking the beauty of an MSC ship when you get near her. Even at her impressive and perhaps daunting size of 137,936GT and with berths for 3274 passengers she maintains the beauty of a well-designed ship.


    Check-in at Hamburg was quick. We were soon onboard after going through security and the usual check-in. The cabins on MSC are, in my experience, always spotlessly clean. Our balcony cabin was as we’d expected from previous experience on MSC. You wouldn’t believe this ship has now been in service for seven years.


    At check-in with MSC, you don’t give your credit card. You need to take your cruise card to an ‘activation point’ which are dotted around the atrium. This has undoubtedly speeded up the check-in process since our first cruise with MSC in April 2014.


    Next on our agenda was a well-earned glass of bubbly, to well and truly get our holiday off to a fabulous start. The ‘Allegrisimo’ drinks package which costs just £20 per passenger per day offers a huge list of drinks, with cocktails, branded spirits, draught beer and a choice of two white, two red, one rosé and two types of fizz (a semi dry and an extra dry). As an extra special treat, and based on the generosity of cruise.co.uk we upgraded our package to the premium all inclusive, the champagne has been flowing!!


    As it’s still quite early, there hasn’t yet been a great deal of activities going on, but we have had a go in the Formula 1 simulator, which was an amazing experience. I’m not so sure my little Seat Ibiza will agree when I get home if I drive like I did on there!!


    At the stern of deck 15 there is the Movida Bar and the Playa Del Sol pool area with two hot tubs - this is a bit of a hidden gem and somewhat of a retreat from the main goings on of the deck 14 pool deck. The service up there is brilliant as there are about ten tables and a couple of waiting staff. It’s a shame it’s been raining today as this is a truly great place to sit.


    On that note, it’s time to grab another glass of fizz and listen to the wonderful music in this gorgeous atrium! Tonight we’re dined in the Tex Mex speciality restaurant. It made a nice meal and we had a great laugh with Connie and Jodie from cruise…


    One thing we feel MSC really ticks the boxes for us is that there aren’t lots of different restaurants which all attract a cover charge. It’s nice to have a change from the MDR, but it’s also great to not have to think where to dine, make reservations and be stuck in never-ending queues to get a meal.


    Cheers! Or as the Italians say, Saluti!

    #2
    Tex Mex on an Italian cruise line ship - I must say I am disappointed. How many were in the restaurant??

    How many bars does the Splendida have?? you have sailed the ship before??

    Annie

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      #3
      Good morning Annie!


      The TexMex made a nice change, I'm not sure I would book it again as I do prefer the food in the MDR. There were about 20 of us in there. The food itself was nice - we all shared our starters which were burritos, quesedillas, nachos etc. In my opinion it was well cooked and nicely presented. My main course of chicken and beef fajita was also good, with a generous portion of meat and vegetables, it wasn't too spicy, I struggled to get anywhere near to finishing it as it was such a big portion! The speciality package includes a choice of starter, main and dessert with about four or five options for each course. I wonder whether it's more of a novelty factor for the Italians as the style of dining and food is so different from what would normally be expected.

      In terms of bars, let's think.... 3 around the atrium, casino, piazza, aft lounge, sports bar... May have to go on a mission later to try them and count them up!

      Getting onboard yesterday was almost like coming back home. So many of the crew recognise us from previous cruises on other ships in the MSC fleet.

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        #4
        You appear to be having a great time.Champagne flowing seems my sort of day.Enjoy.

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          #5
          well what a wonderful day it has been so far! We had a bit of a lay in tis morning until 7:45, quick shower, dressed then down for a cappuccino before meeting the rest of the guys for the behind the scenes tour, which is something that I have quite often wanted to do. Many years ago I began training as a chef so have a liking for seeing the behind the scenes parts of hotels and restaurants.

          The tour normally costs about 30Euro but we were lucky enough to be given this as a perk. We started in the theatre and saw both backstage and the sound and light room, learning more about the dancers as we went along. Next was down to the laundry before up to the yacht club and then down to the kitchens.

          Everywhere was completely spotless. The systems in the kitchen mean that there is very little chance of any cross-contamination, with the raw meat and fish being prepared in what resembles a prison cell, with ultraviolet beams to kill the germs on knives and chopping boards after they've been washed. There's little wonder that MSC have won an award for the most hygienic ship.

          We took lunch in the MDR and enjoyed a delicious smoked marlin starter, followed by a caprese salad and the the best burger I have ever had!! The waiter from our Christmas cruise on Fantasia spotted us and made a complete bee-line to come and assist us with anything we needed. That to me is great customer service.

          After lunch we sat in the wine bar and had a couple of glasses of wine, a beautiful Provence rosé before listening to a talk on the ports of call from a lovely German lady called Hilda. She gave an informative and balanced view of where we were going and didn't focus just on the tours offered by MSC, making suggestions of what you can do under your own steam.

          Following Hilda's talk we were going to come back to the cabin but heard a lot of noise from the music. Wondering what was happening we proceeded to the atrium to find a couple getting married! The ground floor of the atrium was scattered with confetti, a red carpet led up to the piano, surrounded by flowers. People lined every floor of the atrium to watch the couple tie the knot and give a HUGE round of applause to congratulate the newlyweds.

          We then met up with a couple of our fellow cruisers in the piazza to enjoy a glass of champagne and a wonderful slice of cake... I wonder if it was the same one I saw being made earlier???

          Having a bit of difficulty getting photographs to upload at the minute, but I have plenty to add when I get home!

          Tim n Andy x

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by annie, Glasgow View Post
            Tex Mex on an Italian cruise line ship - I must say I am disappointed. How many were in the restaurant??

            How many bars does the Splendida have?? you have sailed the ship before??

            Annie
            According to my old deck plan there are 9 bars/lounges not including the YC bars
            Pete




            sigpic
            If I can't be SKIING then CRUISING is the next best thing

            Comment


              #7
              Nice start! Can't wait to read more, as well as see the photos.

              All these blogs are like heaven to me; especially as we're counting down the days until we board the ship ourselves!

              Comment


                #8
                Good morning!! or should that be good night? We should go to bed so that we can get a taxi to Honfleur but we have had such a lovely time with the cruise. staff and Steve from MSC! Tonight was gala and I am still stuffed from dinner.... ooops! Dinner really was the best of MSC.

                John and Marion were great company for dinner; happy anniversary!!!

                I'd like to say a special thanks to Steve, the sales manager for MSC; as part of the voyager's club I should have had a lapel pin on my last cruise but for whatever reason it didn't arrive. I'm so grateful that Steve gave me his, at no point did I suggest that was a solution, I merely wanted to say that an important thing to me in great service is following your promises - what a lovely gesture, thank you Steve!

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                  #9
                  You can sleep when you get home, enjoy the company and the ship..

                  I hope you get to Honfleur such a pretty port, lets us know how you get on...Carol

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                    #10
                    Morning Carol.... it's raining at the minute and we didn't bring a coat.... will see how it goes!
                    Tim

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by 1fifthavenue, birmingham View Post
                      Morning Carol.... it's raining at the minute and we didn't bring a coat.... will see how it goes!
                      Tim
                      You didn't bring a coat for a Euopean cruise in September? Are you mad??

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                        #12
                        Haha we checked the weather before we left and it all looked good! Never mind, had a nice walk around le havre and back to the ship for lunch in the MDR and a snooze

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Sounds good! I don't rate Le Havre very highly anyway. I suspect we'll stay on the ship later this month.

                          Looking forward to your next instalment and the photos once your internet improves :D

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The church was very impressive on the inside, the colours of the stained glass were great.... It's 4euro for a day pass on all the transport (port shuttle, trams, buses) so lots of options - in good weather the beach could be an option with the tram stopping just by the seafront.

                            Lunch today was really lovely - we had a table for two and four courses (I'm dreading Slimming World next week!!)

                            We both had a starter of a rustic salad which didn't have too much dressing, half an egg and some tomato with the usual leaves and beans - really enjoyed this course as it was nicely presented.

                            The next course was pasta (I'm not big on soups) which was almost like a crepe (but made of pasta) stuffed with a mushroom pate and with some cheese on top. The portion was large so couldn't finish it, but the pasta was cooked excellently (as you'd expect from MSC).

                            For main course I had devilled chicken and Andy had a sandwich which had pork, ham, emmental, gherkins and mustard on a baguette with a small portion of fries. He really enjoyed it but the portion again was so large he had no chance of finishing it haha

                            We shared a plate of cheese afterwards and washed it down with a couple of glasses of chablis followed by brandy for andy and amaretto for me before heading back up to the cabin for the aforementioned snooze. Going to pack away suits etc now, one less thing to do in the morning!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Hi,
                              Im here with Tim but he's hogging the Macbook, having a great time, our fellow guests are lovely and im really enjoying the cruise. Thank you cruise.co.uk and MSC... its been a lovely reminder of why we will always book MSC. Amazing food and drink, and the ship is wonderful cant wait to be back in 4 weeks time :-)

                              Comment


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