Went on the Lirica to 6 different ports. The embarkation was excellent, as it only took a few minutes getting there around 12:00(leaving at 7:00 P.M.). We were escorted to our cabin and this was never done before on any of our cruises (this one totals 5) all different cruise lines. It was so nice not having to find our own way to the cabin. We had a wonderful buffet lunch waiting and the selections were great! I have found that many people complained about the Lirica food and I feel this is not right. Yes, some ships have a bigger buffet with more choices, but this was completely satisfying. How much does one person want to choose from? They always had pasta stations set up outside with different ones each day. The pasta was yummy! They also had an outside grill with hamburgers, salad bar, pizza, etc. Never got tired of anything! The dinner selections were wonderful and the cold soups were excellent. My husband and I always tried the pasta, which was different every night More
(we had to share), as it was just to much to eat with all the other food - appetizer, soup, salad, pasta, entree, dessert. The only thing I can say was disappointing was the Lobster. Mine was overcooked and others were fine, but not very tasteful. I could of ordered anything else, but chose not to as I was already stuffed. You could have anything on the menu and as much as you wanted. How could you complain? The service was excellent always filling your water glass and making sure everything was just right. They would not let a dirty plate sit in front of you. How could anybody complain about not getting enough water. Gosh!!!! I usually chose the different fish selections and they were all excellent. You could always have a steak, chicken or salmon dish any night you wanted. I felt everything was great! The deserts were also fantastic. The last night we saw our neighbors at the next table getting a desert that looked wonderful. We asked our server about it and she said it was a banana concoction she made especially for them and asked if we would like the same. It was wonderful! They would always go out of their way to please you. We were able to buy a coupon book for wine and it was a much better deal than buying it at dinner. The ship was so clean! Lots of beautiful brass and the cabin service was excellent. There were always clean towels and a made up bed for our return later that day. After leaving at night we would come back to a clean room, blankets folded back ready to jump into. It was so nice! Always left were new shower caps, shampoo and body wash. Yes, maybe the shower curtain would stick to you once in awhile, but who cares? Petty stuff! Can't believe someone mentioned that in a review. No, we did not have towels made into little animals, but we were always left a bowl full of fresh fruit. Take your pick! The ports were so much fun! We walked 3 to 5 miles each day and truly enjoyed the exercise and the fun things to see along the way. We did do an excursion on St. Lucia and truly loved it.
We also enjoyed most of the entertainment at night, as it was quite different from the Las Vegas type shows we were use to on other ships. I am sure some people would of preferred that. There were ballet type ropewalker singers and dancers. There were two great magicians that put on excellent shows. They had a few piano concerts and an opera singer, but we only saw one and it was wonderful if you like classical concerts. The only thing we didn't care for was the comedy in one of the lounges. It seemed to be more like a highschool program and maybe not even that good. Needs great improvement! The kids probably would like it, but this cruise definitely had a majority of seniors (55 and above), which includes us. We spent three days at sea, and never got tired of the ship. We played miniature golf and always seemed to find something fun to do. They also had Italian lessons each day and I wish I would of been able to do that. This cruise had three gala nights and we dressed as they asked us. Some people didn't, but I am sure they didn't have as much fun. This made for a great atmosphere at dinner and after. We were always treated like King's and Queen's so we got to dress for the part. It was fun as how often do you dress up. I just want everyone to know that we felt this was a wonderful cruise in most ways. I am sure you will always find something you don't like as you know we are all different and like different things. We would definitely go on a MSC cruise again. The value, accommodations, food and service was fantastic!!!! You must try it and you decide? Less
Couldn't find the safe. Look behind the window. Remember this is an Italian ship. Good size room, large picture window. Bathroom bigger than some we have had. Pictures on wall a little strange! Lots of drawers and closet space. Under bed storage we never had on other ships. Overall the room was great!
We didn't feel comfortable walking to far away from the port. We spent sometime walking around different areas and they were pretty run down. We walked about a mile to see an old church that was worth seeing. We also heard about a museum we never made it to, but decided to come back to the port area and enjoy the small shops. We asked a local about a good restaurant to find authentic creole food. She mentioned a place a couple blocks away. We were disappointed as they only served salads and sandwiches. Not the authentic food we had asked for. She probably had a relative that worked there and decided to send us there. Anyway, the food was good, but not what we wanted. I am sure there was more to see if we would of booked a tour. All islands seemed to have the water sports, we just weren't interested.
We loved walking in old San Juan. The streets were a blue gray brick and so beautiful. The Spanish architecture was fantastic. I think we took 100 pictures. We walked up to the old Spanish fort (built in the 1400's). It was such a beautiful walk and the fort was so interesting - old cannons, stairways, outlooks, etc. We actually paid for the two different forts, but did not realize they were about a mile apart from each other. We decided that it was worth the extra money just to see the first one, but along our walk we came across the second fort and decided to visit it also. We were so glad we did, as it had more of a museum that was so interesting. We walked down a beautiful walk way with large picture posters of unique settings from places all over the world. This seemed to go on forever, and it was so much fun reading about and seeing the different places. Truly something to see! A wonderful day!
St. Lucia was a very beautiful island. We had decided to book a tour through an independent company, as I found them to be very reasonably priced and the time to explore seemed more appropriate (8 hours). It was absolutely wonderful. We spent the day driving all through the hills visiting fishing villages (stopping at a bakery for creole bread)an island favorite and wonderful! We then visited a banana plantation and had fresh bananas. We had a wonderful buffet lunch (very authentic creole food) that was to die for and looking over a cliff with a view of the Piton Mountains was like being in Heaven. Wow! We walked to some mineral springs and waded in the mud baths. Made our way to a volcano that you were actually in the middle of and could see the sulfur springs. It smelled terrible, but was interesting and worth the visit. Spent about an hour at a beautiful beach where there were many snorkelers and boats. The water was so green and with such beautiful views. It was the end of the day but decided to see a rum distillery where we tasted 18 different rums. What fun! We couldn't decide on only one to buy so we bought four! Made it back to the ship in great time. Would love to go back and visit again!
We decided that we were going to shop and spend time at the beach. We got off the ship and it took us about 15 minutes to walk to the shopping area and beach in Philipsburg. We actually walked the length of the beautiful beach (crystal blue water) and spent some time shopping. There were outside flea market type shops and the nicer upscale shops farther away. It was fun having lunch at an ouside restuarant and listening to the performers with wonderful voices and unusual dress! Very relazing and fun! There were excursions to pick from, many yacht tours, etc., but we were happy just hanging out. A beautiful island.
Tortola was another neat island that we decided just to explore on foot. We asked about what we could visit and were told a botanical garden wasn't to far away. We walked through town to get there and it was only about a mile. The town was nice and seemed well taken care of in most parts. The botanical garden needed a face lift, but of course it was winter there also and all the plants seemed to have maybe one bloom. We spent the time taking pictures of the flowers on each plant. Great pictures! So many different flowers and palm trees. We had fun watching a rooster and hen with 4 little baby chicks running around the park. Walked back to the ship along another route that passed by a local high school. It was neat to see the high school kids in their own environment (they all wore uniforms) and were eating what looked like some local creole rice, etc.. That area seemed a little bit run down and off the beaten track, so we were happy to make it back to the ship. Just a very relaxing, but fun day. We actually made it back to the ship around 2:00 as the ship was leaving at 2:30. Lunch was waiting. Yeah!