Firstly, let me start of by saying that a MSc cruise is something that everyone or every family should go on at least once in their life. As a first time cruiser I did not know what to expect. Let me just say "I had a Mind-blowing experience". Departure time was 15:00pm on Friday March 29th. We arrived at the N-Shed passenger terminal at approximately 8:00am to a small queue of people. On the side of the queue were 2 shops selling coffee, tea, cooldrinks, pizza, burgers, boerewors, rolls, chips, sweets, chocolates, etc. The crew opened the boarding process at 10:00am. Once the line started moving we were greeted by MSc baggage handlers that took our luggage & other MSc staff that told us what documents to have on hand. From here we want to the MSc checkin desk, and thereafter to the Immigration/Home affairs officials who checked & stamped our passports. Quick & effecient. Thereafter MSc photographers took photos of all guests. Passports were taken once on board so they could be presented to the Mozambiqcan Immigration officials. The first thing we did was go the the activities desk to get an armband for my son so he could be identified if he got lost. Thereafter we were directed to the buffet area to have lunch. After we were done with lunch we were free to explore the ship in all its glory. And my word this ship is "Glorious" and of gigantic proportions. The attention to detail is second to none, well designed in every aspect. Opulence, Luxuriousness, Magnificence & Grandeur is the only words I can use to describe the beauty of this work of Art! There is a whole floor of duty free shops selling everything from Liquor, clothing, toys, jewellery, watches & Msc memorabilia. We then proceeded to the top deck whilst we waited for our cabins to be prepared where there were 4 jacuzzis, a kids pool & 2 adult pools. The top floor boasted 4 bars situated on each side of the deck as well as the centre. There is also a whole day buffet inside the top deck. Pool loungers & tables on either side of the ship for guests to relax and take in the ocean breeze. And intercom announcement stated that all cabins were ready for occupation at approximately 13:15pm. Once we had found our cabin low & behold our luggage was outside our cabin doors. The room & the view is stunning for its size. Neat & fresh. Everything smelt clean, considering that people had just departed the very same morning prior to our occupation. It can't be an easy task maintaining a ship of that size that thoroughly with such efficiency. Every day you receive an itinerary that tells you stuff about the island, the ship, shows, entertainment & where its happening as well as specials available at the duty fee shops. Cruise cards which is your personal ship everything card was left on the beds. You use this card to do everything - buy stuff, excursions, bar purchases, etc. The cruise card also states which dining area you go to for supper as well as your table & seat number. You use the same table every evening & you have the same waiter. Prior to supper there was a compulsory drill where all passengers & crew were asked to go to the cabin and fetch our life jackets from the cabin & the proceed to the 7th floor which is deck 7. Just so you know the lifeboats are on deck 7 and no; the ship wasn't about to sink. It was a drill to show all passengers what to do in case of an emergency. Staff were well prepared and on point. We opted for the 18:00pm sitting with a different menu every evening. 3 course meal consisting of a starter, main & desert. Meals were well prepared by master chefs from around the world. Kids also have the option of choosing from their own menu or the main menu. Some always available option are also on the menu. Service is top notch, as waiters are constantly checking on you. You can purchase drinks or cooldrinks at the restaurant. The waiters simply charge it to your cruise card or use your vouchers. Whilst dining were we greeted by waiters selling bottles of alcohol like Jameson & Klipdrift which if purchased came with 3 cans of cooldrink. Being a brandy connoisseur I opted for a bottle of Klipdrift for $37,99 which at the current rate used by MSc for the cruise was R15,14 which worked out to R575. Which is not bad considering I was told that drinks are very expensive on board. And people saying that you must buy vouchers because it works out cheaper. Let me explain - MSc has a drinks voucher for R858 which gives you 18 drinks of your choice like cocktails, whiskey and coke, etc. For me, I drink brandy which made more sense to buy a bottle, actually I ended up buying 2 bottles which when compared to buying a drinks voucher was a waste of time for me. For other cocktail and Pina colada lovers the drinks voucher would have made sense because it works out to about R50 a drink. Which is what you would pay in a nightclub or bar. And the price I paid for the bottle is what you would pay for a bottle of liquor at a restaurant or nightclub. Saturday morning breakfast was the usual variety of bacon, toasts, salads, eggs, juices, fresh fruits & the list goes on & on! One thing food & the variety of it is never short. There's too much. The 13th floor were the top deck is has a buffet area that is operational almost the whole day until midnight. You can have burgers, pasta, hot dogs, pizza, carvery, etc. In fact I cant even remember all the food to mention because there was too many options. After breakfast we went down to visit the Portuguese Island. Once you receive your number you relax in the lounge or explore the shops whilst waiting for your number to be called. Once called you follow a queue to get onto the speedboat after being scanned off. Once on the island there were various market stalls selling everything from alcohol to gifts. The island is uninhabited and only has MSc lounges and buffet areas as well as bars. Food was already ready once we arrived with everything from burgers, chicken wings, cold meats, calamari, fresh fruit, etc. The water was so clear you could actually see the fish. The water was warm and calm. The way back was also efficient. You are scanned back in & given an ice cold hand towel, a relief after being in the blistering sun. You are not allowed to bring any wooden items on board due to contamination. The on board entertainment is great, MSc really has great staff from around the world and there is always something happening somewhere. We attended a theatre show as well as a comedy act. The night prior to disembarkation you are given labels to attach to your luggage. You also receive a disembarkation form that tells you based on the colour of your luggage label which lounge to wait in & what time to depart. The whole process for disembarkation is efficient. All I can say is that from the time I boarded the ship to the time I left "Everything works like Clockwork".
Hats of to MSc, from the call centre staff to the crew both on board & off. You guys rock, every interaction with any of you was a pleasant experience. Staff were well dressed and extremely well mannered.
Nice neat & clean cabin. King size bed, shower, mini bar, Tv with selected dstv channels. built in hairdryer. 2 seater couch which converts into bed. Balcony has 2 chairs & a table
Pleasant & efficient
Beautful. Lovely clear & warm water. Msc lounges were fantastic. Variety of buffet style cuisine