Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of passengers seemed to not wash their hands. Having said that we didn’t suffer with tummy problems.
Safety Drill- very loud but people spoke over it. I guess that’s the issue with having so many languages onboard. We also found this an issue at the captains cocktail party where he was talking and people chatted to each other making it impossible to hear what he and the senior officers were saying. It seemed quite rude of passengers to do this.
Southampton Face to Face Customs-We were all required to do this by UK government. We didn’t go at our ‘ever so early for us on a sea day’ time slot but wandered in when we chose to. After all it is meant to be a holiday not boot camp!
Food-The food is generally warm or even cold at buffet breakfast- I didn’t have one hot fried egg while there. A shame they don’t have an egg station where you get it made while you wait.
Restaurant/buffet- we were allocated second sitting and we prefer to eat early so only went once. Also, we are a bit picky with food as I don’t eat much meat and husband no fish. On the first night there were no options we would chose so we went to the buffet where we could pick what we liked in the quantity we liked at a time convenient with us. The pizza was delicious and I was particularly stuck with the fantastical crisp charcoal ‘black’ pizza.
At lunch we went to the restaurant when we could and enjoyed the offerings especially the ‘made in front of you’ pasta served to your liking.
Butchers Cut-Service was good to start with but we waited a long time for our ‘bill’ at the end and card back. Obviously, very meat orientated and a special menu to choose from if getting it as part of Black loyalty ‘free speciality restaurant’ perk.
You get one started, a main with 1 side and a dessert.
We weren’t hugely impressed with it as the three sides I ordered were not hot, just warm. I think we would have enjoyed it more if it had been an Italian restaurant, which apparently there was one before. In an Italian ship, it seems they are missing a trick here-one of the reasons we chose MSC is because we enjoy the authentic tasting Italian dishes.
I wonder who will be the first ship to have a vegetarian restaurant onboard
Entertainment- The UK guest comedian/impressionist Andrew Flemming was great fun. He happened to single me out and made quite a lot of jokes with my name in them throughout the gig! I loved it! It was anything but easy for him though as a lot of Italians there didn’t seem to show less engagement. He definitely appealed to the UK audience though and I don’t see why others wouldn’t enjoy his Frank Sinatra and Elvis impression. The second show when he did Impressions of Cliff Richard and David Bowie making up alternative words to their songs was just excellent and hilarious. I hope to see him on future cruises. Well done to MSC for thinking of the UK audience. I think they got the right kind of entertainment and a Dutch couple onboard told us they loved the British sense of humour and enjoyed the show.
Other shows we saw was the Italian night which was not to be missed if you enjoy traditional Italian songs most people know. They were performed well and it was a good show.
There is an issue with timings though as most people don’t get served in Ian restaurant in time to make it to shows. This means the late comers dwindle in throughout the show which rather upsets the flow of the evening.
Maybe the timings need tweaking? The only way to ensure you get to a show is to dine in the buffet as you have control on how quickly you are served!
There was a good piano concert in the afternoon on a sea day. Just half an hour but a relaxing one listening to a hugely talented maestro.
Most evenings we went to see Roberto perform. he is a fantastic vocalist and guitarist with a repertoire from classical operatic numbers, to progressive rock to ballads. We loved it and he is staying on the ship an extra three months so if you are going before end Nov -you are in for a treat!
70s, 80s & 90s night was great fun and had many folk dancing in the reception area....surely there’s a better venue for this? Having said that, it was such fun to go up and down the glass elevators busting some moves! A lot of folk did this while people took pictures and videos to share back home!
There is another couple who sing on the ship and we recognised them from MSC Magnifica. They used to do the fun bits during the show on Magnifica with a really fun Bongi, Bongi song. On this ship they do ABBA evening which again commanded crowds and people dancing in the aisles of a small venue.
Yet another couple sing in the atrium reception area and possibly they have been told to ‘go gentle’ but some of the gutsy songs they sing are not don’t justice by these two as they are not giving them thrust. It appears they are young and nervous and could do with some coaching to get them singing more confidently and stronger. I liked their choice of songs though so we listened to them too.
Spa- there are four comfy loungers and four heated ones and seven basic plastic upright chairs. The latter are handy for people to sit on and scowl at the others who are hogging the more comfortable loungers!
There is a couple of saunas and steam rooms. We had a day’s free spa entry when we bought a massage and also a free hour for having Black status loyalty membership. We chose to use the first on a day when Ship was collecting new passengers from Hamburg and it was less busy, as we had hoped.
We had a couples massage and it were excellent and booked a second when immediately prompted (actually while we were coming around from the first!) It was discounted the first time and further discounted for the second. These were worth it for us as we both needed them with our various aches and pains and felt hugely relaxed afterwards.
One unfortunate issue is, there are a lot of spa workers outside the spa (trying to attract people in). On our arrival, although we politely said hello, a few laughed just after we walked past them. This isn’t the first time we experienced this on a MSC ship and it may just be an unfortunate coincidence but this really shouldn’t happen as we were left feeling we had been a butt of a joke shared in another language. I hope we were wrong but it may be a good idea to train staff to not do this whatever they were finding amusing.
Fellow Passengers- We met some delightful guests onboard but there were also rude complaining ones. After complaining about the ‘useless staff’ a man turned to me and said he was never sailing with MSC again. I felt like answering, “that’s good- it makes me more likely to book again!” I was astounded by people’s urgent need for mid afternoon cakes. It seemed that unless they were served immediately, they went into ‘moaning mode’. People expected the staff to know what they wanted without telling them! It is as well to remember manners and the fact the staff work 12 hour days and do not have days off. I felt embarrassed and appalled by the behaviour of some passengers to staff.
Conclusion-If you have a tendency to find fault and complain, perhaps it would be best for you to spend double on a more expensive cruise. If you want a budget cruise with opportunity to meet other nationalities then this could be the ship for you. I think on the whole the good outweighed the bad for us and we would return as we came home feeling relaxed and had some happy memories of our week onboard the Preziosa.
Stateroom 9106- The cabin was perfect. This is particularly true as we had booked an Outside and the Upgrade Fairy visited us and for the first time in 21 cruises we were allocated a balcony upgrade. We often chose an inside to make it possible to have more affordable breaks during the year so it was a fab reminder of how much more room you get with a balcony cabin. We loved the large comfy settee and the extra space of sitting on the balcony and looked out each evening too. The room is so close to a pair of lifts towards front of ship and this was handy as we could look out for the ‘two lifts together’ and know we were close to home! Just a few steps out of the lift and we were in cabin- a great location.
Room attendant did a good job too.