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I booked this cruise as I really liked the look of MSC Bellissima, and the timings worked as part of a 4 week Europe trip. Was a little nervous as I'd never cruised before, and have been a completely independent traveler all around the world for a decade. However the 16yo I was traveling with loves cruises, and the ports (particularly Messina and Valetta), were very appealing to me. We had a great time, as plenty of Cruise Critic reviews and forum posts had me well prepared for the oddities we found onboard, and we just went with the flow and didn't let those petty things ruin what is overall a very fun and relaxing vacation. The food in the MDR was solid but not spectacular. I'm a pretty fussy foodie and had no problem enjoying what was there. Staff were great too. Had breakfast, lunch and a couple of dinners in the buffet, and also found the food pretty decent with a good variety. The buffet was busy but not overwhelming. It's worth noting the fresh mozzarella and ricotta onboard were absolutely brilliant, and made for really great pizzas available all day and almost all night. We really loved the midnight snacks that were in the buffet for the late night munchies. Most definitely see a Cirque show, my teen wasn't very keen but then found himself really enjoying Syma, absolutely spectacular given the small space. A really intimate and enjoyable show. The itinerary was a highlight, with all the ports being very central and the view from the ship itself was worth the price alone. It was like having a 20 storey viewing platform and looking of the Strait of Messina towards Mt Etna at sunset on sailaway was something divine. The oddities: - drink packages were deceptive. Had a premium plus package stating "the freedom to quench your thirst however, whenever and wherever you like!". This was only partly true, excluding chocolate drinks from Jean Phillipe, despite my package as I purchased it not mentioning this as an exclusion. Staff outright refused despite showing them the printout. Same problem with the kids package "their choice of alcohol-free cocktails, sodas, energy drinks, bottled mineral water, flavoured water, fruit juices, a wide range of premium coffee drinks, hot chocolate delights etc" Tried to get energy drinks from the Sportsplex bar, and they charged him for it. And there were no 'hot chocoate delights' onboard except for the excluded Jean Phillipe. In the end I just gave up arguing, except pointing out that everywhere onboard they spruiked the packages they had the Jean Phillipe menus there. Incredibly deceptive, and in Australia would earn you a fine for misleading advertising. - Teen area was almost permanently closed. It turns into a 'nightclub' at night and in the morning they just don't bother switching it back. We only saw the PS4 consoles and other 'teen' things once on boarding day, and never again. - Getting sports equipment and other things seemed impossible. We got 4 different pieces of advice to get the small ball for table soccer or just soccer balls for sportsplex, and never managed to work it out. - closing the delightful and warm indoor pool at 8pm was absolutely bizarre, and reeked of trying to get people away from free entertainment to spend money somewhere else. This, combined with the staff sometimes taking over the sportsplex, and the teen area being non-existent, meant my teen had little to do some nights. However we refused to let those little things ruin what was generally great fun. I enjoyed the mixed nationalities onboard, watching the Champions League in the bar was great, some great drinks, the Tapas bar has some excellent food (though pricey compared to Spain of course!). And the vibe was generally relaxed and fun. Once I got used to the idea of 'doing nothing', just lazing by the indoor pool with a kindle and a cocktail, enjoying some beautiful views, really can't be beat.

Lovely ship, lovely staff and an enjoyable cruise if you go with the flow

MSC Bellissima Cruise Review by adelaidefc

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
I booked this cruise as I really liked the look of MSC Bellissima, and the timings worked as part of a 4 week Europe trip.

Was a little nervous as I'd never cruised before, and have been a completely independent traveler all around the world for a decade. However the 16yo I was traveling with loves cruises, and the ports (particularly Messina and Valetta), were very appealing to me.

We had a great time, as plenty of Cruise Critic reviews and forum posts had me well prepared for the oddities we found onboard, and we just went with the flow and didn't let those petty things ruin what is overall a very fun and relaxing vacation.

The food in the MDR was solid but not spectacular. I'm a pretty fussy foodie and had no problem enjoying what was there. Staff were great too. Had breakfast, lunch and a couple of dinners in the buffet, and also found the food pretty decent with a good variety. The buffet was busy but not overwhelming. It's worth noting the fresh mozzarella and ricotta onboard were absolutely brilliant, and made for really great pizzas available all day and almost all night. We really loved the midnight snacks that were in the buffet for the late night munchies.

Most definitely see a Cirque show, my teen wasn't very keen but then found himself really enjoying Syma, absolutely spectacular given the small space. A really intimate and enjoyable show.

The itinerary was a highlight, with all the ports being very central and the view from the ship itself was worth the price alone. It was like having a 20 storey viewing platform and looking of the Strait of Messina towards Mt Etna at sunset on sailaway was something divine.

The oddities:

- drink packages were deceptive. Had a premium plus package stating "the freedom to quench your thirst however, whenever and wherever you like!". This was only partly true, excluding chocolate drinks from Jean Phillipe, despite my package as I purchased it not mentioning this as an exclusion. Staff outright refused despite showing them the printout. Same problem with the kids package "their choice of alcohol-free cocktails, sodas, energy drinks, bottled mineral water, flavoured water, fruit juices, a wide range of premium coffee drinks, hot chocolate delights etc" Tried to get energy drinks from the Sportsplex bar, and they charged him for it. And there were no 'hot chocoate delights' onboard except for the excluded Jean Phillipe. In the end I just gave up arguing, except pointing out that everywhere onboard they spruiked the packages they had the Jean Phillipe menus there. Incredibly deceptive, and in Australia would earn you a fine for misleading advertising.

- Teen area was almost permanently closed. It turns into a 'nightclub' at night and in the morning they just don't bother switching it back. We only saw the PS4 consoles and other 'teen' things once on boarding day, and never again.

- Getting sports equipment and other things seemed impossible. We got 4 different pieces of advice to get the small ball for table soccer or just soccer balls for sportsplex, and never managed to work it out.

- closing the delightful and warm indoor pool at 8pm was absolutely bizarre, and reeked of trying to get people away from free entertainment to spend money somewhere else. This, combined with the staff sometimes taking over the sportsplex, and the teen area being non-existent, meant my teen had little to do some nights.

However we refused to let those little things ruin what was generally great fun. I enjoyed the mixed nationalities onboard, watching the Champions League in the bar was great, some great drinks, the Tapas bar has some excellent food (though pricey compared to Spain of course!). And the vibe was generally relaxed and fun. Once I got used to the idea of 'doing nothing', just lazing by the indoor pool with a kindle and a cocktail, enjoying some beautiful views, really can't be beat.
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B2 13220
Really lovely, modern and comfortable cabin. Bed was a little firm for my taste, but cabin steward put a duvet under the sheets no problem at all. Great view, and a good floor to be on - just 2 from the buffet and close to elevators (but not too close).
Divina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins