Yesterday I was lucky enough to visit the MSC Preziosa as part of #BlogCampOnboard organised by Trips100. It was lovely to get to see the ship, but also to see my cruise blogging buddies Sanna (red hair) from vegancruiser, Katie (blonde hair) from doyoucruise, Marcus (in the back) from sparkx and Jamie (hat) from explorewithed.
My history with MSC
I have cruised with MSC before onboard the Opera, it was quite a few years ago and I don’t really remember all that much about it (long before I considered blogging). We took a ‘northern Europe’ cruise which is basically a cruise up and down the English channel.
I am lucky enough to be cruising this Christmas onboard the Meraviglia, which is MSC’s newest and snazziest ship. I am beyond excited and visiting the Preziosa only increased my excitement! The MSC Meraviglia has the longest LED dome at sea, how incredible does it look!?
This was one of the most interesting ship visits I have ever been on. It wasn’t organised with cruise bloggers in mind and as a result was heavily geared towards parenting bloggers with lots of blogger events going on all day. We started our day in the theatre watching a very strange little song from the kids club… Marcus’s face was priceless. It’s safe to say that the do-re-mi song wasn’t his ‘thing’. We just looked at each other like ‘what on earth….’. (Doesn’t help I can’t speak whatever language it’s singing in).
We had lunch in the main restaurant which was good, more about this below. After lunch we were allowed some free time to explore the ship (yesss!). Being cruise bloggers all we wanted to do from the moment we got onboard was run around and take photos of things. Free time is always my favourite part of any ship visit.
We ended the day with a Q&A with MSC which was largely dominated again by the parenting bloggers (not that that was a bad thing! I’ve never really thought about kids clubs and child related before this ship visit.)
- Cruise friends! Cruise blogging is definitely a niche so it was lovely to meet up with some of my favourite UK cruise bloggers. All of which I have met before at various ship visits. It was great to catch up and hear about the latest cruises/holidays that we have all been on since last meeting.
- Cruise newbies. Seeing the faces of people as they stepped onboard their first ever cruise ship was just so much fun. It was really interesting to speak to people who had never been on a cruise ship before, I don’t think that I heard a single bad thing about the ship from any of the cruise newbies. Many of them said that they would now consider a cruise (yay!).
- New friends. It was lovely to meet a couple of faces that I had only spoken to online previously which was great.
- The atrium. I always say that I love a ship with a good multi-level atrium. The Preziosa definitely had this, everything onboard was SO shiny. It even had a few glass lifts which I always enjoy.
- The theatre. It was HUGE and so modern looking. It is always a let down for me when I visit a theatre on land now as I always compare them to theatres onboard ships (and the ones onboard are usually better than land-based theatres!)
Least favourite bits
- Ship tour. We didn’t really get a guided tour in the way that we are used to. It would have been extremely difficult with such a big group! However, once we were given the chance to have free time we conducted our own tour and saw everything that we wanted to see. Us cruise bloggers are more than capable of finding our way around a cruise ship 😉
- Name tags. We were given the worlds cutest chatty/shy badges and name tags. However, I know NOBODIES names. At all. I am the worst with names. It would have been much more helpful to have blog names. Maybe any idea for next year maybe?
The shiny staircase
There must have been hundreds of photos taken of the shiny staircases during the day. Very well deserved photos though, it is truly gorgeous. The photos just don’t do it justice. It was so shiny I honestly thought it was going to give me a migraine at one point… I really wish I had worn some decent shoes so that I could take a selfie or two of my feet.
We ate in the main restaurant for lunch. It wasn’t my favourite restaurant (decorated in yellow…) but equally wasn’t the worst by a long shot. There was a buffet in the restaurant which I found interesting, I don’t think I have ever experienced that before when cruising. The buffet was serving roast pork, roast potatoes, and sprouts. It all seemed very British for an Italian line, I am aware though that MSC is making an effort to be more ‘British’ when cruising from the UK. See below…
A British Twist on all UK Departures – Tea, Coffee & Kettles in cabins – British & Irish Beer and Cider Available on Draft – Drink supplements apply – Roast Dinner served in the buffet – Tea and Scones alongside pies and pasties available in the afternoon – Curry Corner in the buffet – Sauces and condiments available including HP Sauce, Colman’s Mustard and Marmite – A British Cruise Director and British late night comedian – Premier League and International rugby games available in the sports bar – British TV channels in cabins – British Newspapers available to view on board
MSC in Europe
One of the best things about MSC (in my opinion) is that you can get on and off at any port. Which means that people are constantly getting on and off. This means that it is possible to get on at your closest port which for me is Southampton.
MSC have tons of cruises out of Southampton onboard the Preziosa and Magnifica. Mostly visiting countries such as France, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. I do like a cruise out of Southampton, it means you can pack as much luggage as you want as there are no airports to get through! You can find MSC here: MSC.co.uk
I would be more than happy to cruise onboard the MSC Preziosa. The ship was really sparkly and the staff were really helpful, Sanna actually got too much food! (Being Vegan she sometimes doesn’t end up with a lot, but this time she was given tons!) The visit has made me even more excited for my cruise onboard the Meraviglia. Make sure you stay tuned as I will be bringing you tons of videos/tours/posts about the Meraviglia and Christmas onboard (I wonder what Christmas dinner will be like?)
Vlog to follow! Make sure you have subscribed to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss it: EmmaCruises.
Overall ship ratings
[usrlist “Ship:3” “Food:3” “Staff:4”]