Beautiful ship but watch out for extras!

MSC Bellissima Cruise Review to Europe

Cruises: 2-3 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 9

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
MSC Bellissima

France, Italy, Malta, Spain

Sail date: August 04, 2019

Ship: MSC Bellissima

Cabin type: Inside

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

The ship itself is stunning and has all the mod cons. We got a great price and therefore i really couldn't complain. The comparisons i have done are due to cruising with Royal Caribbean twice before. The main Gallerie space is really the "spend your money gallerie" The shops are too expensive and there were no big sales like Royal Caribbean, probably because this ship was going round the port itinerary in a loop therefore different people were starting at different times. The speciality restaurants are also off this main Gallerie so it felt a bit strange to be hanging around when you weren't buying the £7 waffle or £100+ dining option. The photographers are also annoying. The rates are so high that you just don't want to spend over £100 on a few photos. People have good phone cameras!

Embarkation

4 out of 5
We embarked in Genoa. Very efficient , however we were told that an announcement would be made when our rooms would be ready . We waited and waited but nothing. Eventually just took and chance and went to the room and it was ready. Normally the staterooms attendants are super efficient therefore when you embark then go and check your room first. At least you can put your hand luggage there securely.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The main restaurant was lovely. However after being on Royal Caribbean ships, i did find the menu limited. The buffet was perfect with plenty of choice. However there were not enough inclusive eateries. The icecream at the pool was extra, the very beautiful and expensive chocolate cafe was extra. If you wanted to eat for free then it was only in the main dining ( limited times) and the buffet on the 13th floor. The main hub is floor 6 the Gallerie level but it was all extra. I am glad my children were older and weren't bothered about the waffles/crepes and icecream but i can guarantee that near the pool area there would have been annoyed parents having to spend over £2.50 for a cone. Yes it was good quality ice-cream but sometimes you just need as Royal Caribbean have, a self serve machine. We did go to the Tapas restaurant on the last night as a treat and it was the best meal that we had. We were so full , the food was exceptional.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
There are plenty of things to do. The aqua park, climbing bridge, gym and sports areas are brilliant. The spa is ridiculously expensive. I thought about it a couple of times but couldn't justify the cost! The hairdresser however was reasonable ! I had already had my highlights done otherwise i would have considered it,

Entertainment

3 out of 5
The shows were only 40 minutes whereas Royal Caribbean have shows on for 1 hour. The parties are great but the choice of the Bellisima Lounge is sooo restrictive. Its too small and you don't know if you are part of the show or standing the Gallerie. There weren't enough family or adult game shows in the evening. Royal Caribbean really have perfected this. We were bored a few nights on the Bellisima

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
Generally the staff were great but they weren't as attentive as the Royal Caribbean staff. I just felt they weren't as friendly. Perhaps the americans demand that extra service, therefore it is filtered into the staff

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
beautiful ship , as an architect i looked at everything! The artwork, furniture , sculptures were a thing of beauty. It was also immaculately clean.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
The room was spacious, so well designed, beautiful bathroom, ample storage

Ship tip

This is a beautiful ship that ticks all the boxes. I think MSC need to learn a little from Royal Caribbean who are the top of their game.

Ports of call

Genoa, Italy Did not visit port

We embarked here so didn't really see the city. The plane landing parallel to the sea is an experience!

Naples, Italy

5 out of 5
Lots to choose to do here , visit Pompeii and see Naples city ( we did this - but got ripped off by the taxi/tour driver. You can do this yourself , don't be fooled by these guys saying they will give you a private tour of the city, its not needed) You can easily visit Capri for the day. We did this on a previous cruise

Messina, Sicily

4 out of 5
Do take the little train as it saves walking up the big hill to get the fab views, watch the astronomical clock . The beach is the last tram stop and a good 10 minute walk. The water is clear but the sand a bit rocky. Popular with the locals

La valletta

5 out of 5
Gorgeous city , we walked around Valletta , went to the 5D cinema for the history of Malta film and took a boat to the 3 cities where we got a golf cart and saw that side.

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
We went kayaking and paddle boarding then got the hop on hop off bus. The easiest and best way to see the city in limited time

Marseille (Provence), France

5 out of 5
don't bother with the extortionate cruise bus ticket to the city. Follow the green line and get the free shuttle bus. You can spend the day at the harbour, we went to a big shopping mall and also previously got a 3 wheel car - Masilliacar and toured the city.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Very easy and efficient
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