Sail Date: March 18, 2013 Ship: MSC Splendida Cabin Type: Suite Cabin Number:16035 Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 5 years ago
If you are looking for a fabulous vacation traveling in splendor with every amenity - for a steal- try MSC and book through Cheap Cruises. My husband & I are boaters, but living in New England, like to take a winter cruise and usually go on Cunard Lines, although we have also traveled on Princess and others. This year, on the recommendation of a friend, we booked MSC Splendida for the Western Med.
Being a bargain-hunter (aren't we all?) I went to Cheap Cruises. Now, you know cruising is great but MSC? OMG! The ship is beyond immaculate, has an incredibly beautiful decor (i.e. Swarovsky crystal stairs) (!), delicious food (i.e 7-course dinners with lobster and filet mignon), and amazing staff. Our "mini-suite" and balcony (from which we enjoyed sun, stars, and the Mediterranean) were huge. There are several pools, one of which is in a garden dome, which retracts when the weather is fine. The atmosphere is cosmopolitan with passengers from all over Europe and Australia. There are almost no overhead announcements to distract you or disrupt your play and all the staff speak perfect English. It is also totally relaxed, so no need for tux or gown although you might want to bring a sport coat or cocktail dress. Soak in one of the many hot-tubs or visit the spa for a steam and massage, mani and pedi or whatever your heart desires. We don't have kids,but noticed there are programs for both teens and little ones to keep them amused and their parents relaxed.
We booked into the "Yacht Club" which is something like first class, and highly recommend it. It's an excellent value because all your liquor, beer, wine, soda, etc is included in the price. You also have open seating in a "Yacht Club" dining room and a pool and other amenities reserved for Yacht Club passengers.
What about the ports of call? We left from Barcelona (if you haven't seen it, put it on your bucket list!), visited Tunis and went to the souks (amazing shopping for jewelry, spices and rugs), and old Carthage (remember, Hannibal and the Punic Wars?) From there we went to Sicily (sunny and beautiful), Genoa (old city with those amazing arcade-covered sidewalks lined with beautiful shops and restaurants), Rome (a bus-ride from Civitavecchia), likely the most beautiful place in the world, Marseilles (think, Provence and the Riviera) then back to Barcelona.
The staff are superb! We did run into one witchy concierge, but her negativity was so far outweighed by other staff, including the other concierge, our butler who was an Angel, the ship's doctor ( no we didn't get sick, my husband cut himself) , the dining room staff and housekeepers, and our Tour guide in Tunis, Fati, an amazingly knowledgable man with great people-skills
All in all, I can say this was definately a five-star cruise and we highly recommend MSC!!!
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