I have just recently returned from a cruise on board the MSC Splendida. I travelled with my partner and our 2 boys aged 10 and 7.
We did the Mediterranean cruise from Genoa for 7 nights 27th May – 3rd June.
We have cruised with MSC once before, last year on the MSC Preziosa so knew exactly what to expect. The Splendida is practically exactly the same except for some different themed bars etc. The ship looks great, very clean with some lovely areas. We again chose the Aurea experience, we all like the choice of ice creams, drinks (cocktails) and the my choice dining. The included massage is also very welcome, we walked a very long way through the week.
The weather was absolutely fantastic all week. We made use of the main pool area on the top deck and the kids enjoyed the pool and made some friends through the week. They also enjoyed the water slide although on a couple of days it was out of service. We usually had no problems with sun beds. There was often entertainment. A snow\foam party and a dj when leaving Cagliari which we thought was great.
Our cabin was very nice on deck 12 near the front, the sofa always converted to a bed and back again when we were out and kept very clean. The food was also very good in the restaurant with a very good selection. The kids had the choice of the children’s menu or the normal menu or something from both which they often done. We also chose breakfast in bed one morning which was delivered on time and very nice. I did chose cereal for the kids expecting this to come with milk but it didn’t. It seems I should of also ticked the option for milk, the kids wasn’t happy with me! So it was off to the buffet for 2nd breakfast.
The ports of call were all very nice, on some days there was free port shuttle buses and on others it was close enough to walk or a paid service provided by MSC. These are often expensive, with the 4 of us it’s cheaper to get a taxi, and much easier too. For example the bus to Marseille would have cost the best part of 60 euro for 2 adults and 2 kids but a taxi was 20 each way. Another option is to walk to a bus stop and catch a public bus for a few Euros each.
We never done any of the excursions, we chose to do this all on our own. We had fun exploring. We did do a 3-4 seater 3-wheeler thing tour of Palermo for 35 Euros. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea but was great fun. The driver whizzing through the streets and traffic stopping at all the key points of interest for the chance for a photo or to get out and take a look.
There is plenty of entertainment on the ship; we didn’t do any of the shows this year. We just didn’t find the time. The kids only spent an hour or 2 at kids club; they didn’t really go much on it. I think they preferred to be with us and messing around in the pools and slide and making friends.
We purchased the cabin entertainment pass for unlimited use of the F1 sim, 4d simulator and the bowling; this had gone up from last years 55 on the Preziosa to 80 euro. The kids love the bowling and probably between them had about 70 games through the week and at 6 Euros a player offers good value. It was also fun for a couple games with a beer, it’s not a full size alley. They also enjoyed the 4d sim and made use of that. The f1 car is also very good but on a couple of days it wasn’t working and on others had no sound. I think I only went on it once were it was working properly which was a shame. The f1 sim on the Preziosa is better in my opinion. We also were able to borrow a football and have a kick about in the sports area.
The staff were mostly very friendly and polite, remembering our names. The restaurant Maitre d’ only letting the kids eat if they could tell him the cabin number in Italian. They enjoyed this banter. There was one waitress who remembered us from the Preziosa last year.
We had a great week on the Splendida, fantastic weather and some nice places visited. It was certainly good enough to come back home and book up for August 2018 on the MSC Seafront. We all can’t wait.