MSC Bellissima Cruise Review by apeman
- Sail Date: April 2019
- Destination: Mediterranean
I have sailed with MSC a couple of times beforehand so I had an idea what to expect.
We embarked at Genoa, as we had stayed overnight in a local hotel we boarded early so that part was very easy.
What we did not like was we were hassled to have our photo taken prior to passport control.
We told the photographer the we did not want these as we would not buy them as we were in our travelling clothes (not a good memory) in order to get past them we eventually let them take our photos (more on this later in review)
On boarding the ship we were impressed with the interior all nice and sparkling, we took our hand luggage to the cabin. First impressions very fairly positive.
We got changed and quickly headed for a hot tub as we thought ship was going to get very busy later on.
We headed for the buffet, seemed to be a good selection to choose from.
Later on we looked at the daily program, this advised as that our 8.00pm dining time had been put back to 8.30pm, so we decided to watch the show. when the show had finished we made our way to the lighthouse restaurant on Deck 6, we met the lady at the front door and she said that we were late and the restaurant was closed. We told her that the program said dinner was at 830 but she did not know this. She called over the restaurant manager and explained the situation. he eventually let us in together with about 50 of us that had also read the program.
Food was OK but portions small, as most days the food was warm but not hot.
The menu makes food sound spectacular but it is as most places nice patterns on a plate with a bit of sauce applied with an upside down spoon,
We went back to cabin to unpack, by this time the bed located in ceiling void was down,
only problem was poor design that the ladder stopped the wardrobe door from opening
(if wardrobe had been located 1 foot nearer to door the would not have been this problem)
Bathroom is small but adequate, nice shower but not enough room to dry yourself.
We could not find the bin at first but we eventually found it under sink by giving a panel quite a tug.
As the cruise progressed we wanted to try out some of the things on offer on top deck, I wants to do the Himalayan ropes course so I got up there quite early. when it was my turn the chap said where is my blue wristband (I had no idea what he was talking about)
he told me to go to reception on deck 5 to get this. (I was not happy)
Later in the day I went to reception to get this wristband, reception did not know what I was talking about. I went back up top and saw a different person and he said I had to go to a little table the was hidden by the top of the slides to sign some for of waiver.
(I did a ropes course of the Carnival Horizon and there was no such hassle, they even had little lockers to but your pocket stuff in as you were not allowed it on the course).
I said can I leave some stuff here but was told this was at my own risk.
It was soon noticed that there is a lot of charging for the extra activities. this annoyed me as I had been on the Splendida a couple of years ago and to do the bowling, racing car and 4d cinema was a fixed price of 35 euros for everyone in cabin for the whole cruise (7 days) no such luck on this, MSC operate a thing called fun pass which I think is the wrong choice of phrase. it is not a pass in any way. It is a scheme where you but so much credit a you are given a little extra for free, only trouble is that the racing car is 10 euros a go and only lasts 5 minutes so entertainment will not last long unless you have very deep pockets. the 4D cinema was excellent but again very expensive as was the 10 pin bowling.
Only on the last day did I do any of the activities (my son 1 go on the racing car and each of us 1 go on the 4D cinema and boom 15 minutes later you are 25 euros worse off.
A few days into the cruise there was a photo package on our bed, we had a very quick look and realised that these were the photos they had taken when we boarded, they looked awful. We put them in the pocket shelf under the TV. A couple of days later. I noticed there was a charge on our account of 35 euros from the photoshop, we went to reception to complain as we found there was also a little slip of paper in this folder that said I had to tick a box to say If I wanted them or not.
The reception said that I should fill this in.
I pointed out that this practice is unfair, I told them that if I want something I will go to the place, pick it up myself and go and pay for it in the standard tradition.
I did say to them that if a were to leave a dirty sock in my cabin with a note inside asking for 10 euros with a tick box yes/no (same difference).
Zoe (the in cabin assistant is a total waste of space, less said the better on this so called technology)
Plenty of storage space in a relatively small cabin, 2 large wardrobes and a very small safe.
Buffet food during the day times could be a bit hit and miss
Breakfast was plentiful
but the 2 downsides of the buffet are
1/ People wandering aimlessly about, not realizing that a queue is forming
2/ The button to press when you want a drink you might have to press it at least 6 times.
We had the Cirque du Soleil including in our booking.
It was Ok but nothing to write home about.
The Galleria Bellisima is quite spectacular looking but that is about it, the tiny area where entertainment takes place is too small
With such a large ship I think they need to have 3 decks of entertainment as the galleria is a huge void of space covering two floors where on smaller ships the are more bars and areas to watch something a little different.
This does not exist on the Bellissima so that is a big no from me.
The theatre is Ok, thankfully the shows are only 35 minutes long and too samey too much dancing.
When shows finish the galleria gets packed very quickly, I found it easier to go up to deck 7 and walkalong
With a ship of this I was surprised that we were bobbing up and down from Malta to Barcelona via a sea day.
on board Activities via games and quizzes were virtual non existent
We had the Easy package which you are limited to Heineken if you wanted a beer, Bar list state 40cl but when you get your drink you find the glass is only just over 3/4 full.
We did order a smoothie but when we saw the banana they put in it, there is no way we were going to drink that.
Be careful if you have allergies in the MDR as the waiters seem to be a little vague on what this means.
2 on our table had a nut allergy. so the head waiter had to really look after them as some of the items bought out DID contain nuts.
My wife booked a hair appointment, she attended on time but was told she was an hour late. they did realize that they were wrong but did not apologize, to a woman getting your hair done is supposed to be a pleasurable thing, but my wife was not happy with this experience.
Disembarkation was very easy.
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