My First Cruise Ever : I am now spoilt for ever" My partner and I travel a lot, we are from Sydney Australia, we are in our late 40,s and we love staying in 5 star hotel's and flying business class whenever we travel. This cruise on the Splendida Cabin No: 1627 in the Yacht Club was like flying business class or staying in a 5 Star hotel for 8 days. The Yacht club was everything we expected and more.
We caught a taxi from our hotel in Barcelona at 2.45 PM and we were in our Cabin at 3.15 pm, the taxi pulled up right next to the Yacht Club VIP Check in Tent, from there we were introduced to our butler who escorted us straight through the standard check in, it was amazing we were in our cabin before we knew it. Our Cabin was on the port side of the ship deck 16, which was wonderful to watch the sun sets + the ship always seemed to dock on this side, which was great to watch if you were still in your cabin some mornings when the ship docked at ports early.
The Cabin was everything we expected, just as you see it on the web site, perfect, the only change I would suggest is try for cabin 1630 or 1631 as they are a little wider but a little shorter. The bed" was the only problem, I never wanted to get out of it, it was one of the most comfortable beds I have slept on, and pillows just choose the type you like and as many as you want just ask the butler, there was a bar fridge full of snacks, sprits, beer, chocolate and this was re-stocked every day or whenever you needed something. If you needed a shirt ironed or some washing done just ask your butler, ironing will take about 1 hour so plan ahead, washing" there is a small charge and takes about 12 hrs. but not a problem. The Cabin was very quiet; I never heard a sound, TV only watched the English news to keep up with things, the bath room very nice great shower very hot water and great pressure. From our cabin door you could either go straight up the stairs to the VIP Pool deck or straight into the private lift which went to the gym and spa ( a must to visit) incredible, or down the beautiful stair case, to reception or into the Top Sail Lounge, which was just a spectacular room right at the front of the ship with the most incredible view, here you can relax, drink, have b-fast, or different types of snacks which change depending on the time of day, pre-dinner drinks, night caps or a nice quite place to read that book.
The Pool deck, wonderful" plenty of room, lots of sun lounges and a great place for Breakfast, Lunch ( had some very nice meals here) along with drink service to your sun lounge all included.
Olivia's Restaurant is the dining room for yacht club members, we had dinner here every night, and we made daily booking changing the time we went to suit each day. The service was fantastic and the food was good, not fantastic but ok, we eat out a lot so expectations can sometimes be too high, so remember it's an Italian ship not a French Restaurant, if this had been a restaurant in Rome it would have been very good food, so along with the atmosphere and the service I have no real complaints you never go hungry you can have up to 6 courses and finish with some exceptional quality of cheese and fruit, plus as much beer, wine, soft drink and sparkling water as you want. It is also good that the restaurant is at the back of the ship, you get to have a bit of a walk around the ship after dinner. But you will need to pay for drinks if you stop at other bars along the way which is fair enough" And if you think you will get lost finding the restaurant your butler will escort you.
The rest of the ship: the ship was huge, very modern, maintained and cleaned first-rate". We only went to 1 show which was fabulous, and really did not find time or need to use any other parts of the ship apart from a walk around going to B-Fast or dinner.
I think apart from the all-inclusive package you get as part of the Yacht Club the greatest part was the uncrowded and very spacious areas only the members have access to, as I said at the beginning it was like the difference between flying Business and economy, you pay for space and good service and that is what you get. The rest of the ship was very crowded during days at sea, the pool area and the buffet dining areas were like a theme park on a public holiday, I also noticed the two main dining rooms had huge queues at dinner time and thought how lucky we were to be able to walk in to the Olivio restaurant and be seated. The Splendida is a huge ship and I am sure is fantastic for families, large party groups on a budget but I would Not have enjoyed the cruise if I was not in the Yacht Club.
I guess" for a lot of people on the cruise, the ports are the main attraction, for us we wanted a relaxing week. We got off the ship at every port except for Rome, we did our own sightseeing at most ports of call except for Tunis where did a tour that we booked on board, everyone that went to Rome said it was a rush and a very long day.
Would I go on another MSC Cruise? Yes but only in the Yacht Club, it scares me to think what other cruise ships are like that don't have a similar yacht club section. I don't know if I could enjoy a cruise with so many people on board (3,50 people) if they are like the Splendida without a Yacht Club.