A Review of the Brand New MSC Grandiosa, November 24, 2019
We are experienced cruisers who love Europe and had a wonderful cruise on the MSC Divina in February 2019 in the Caribbean. We assumed things wouldn’t be too much different in Europe, so we booked a seven-day Western Mediterranean cruise on the new MSC Grandiosa. This would be its first time on the Grandiosa’s regular sailing stopping in Civitavecchia, Sicily, Malta, Barcelona, Marseilles, and Genoa. Also, it was an add-on to our main cruise to the Holy Land: Greece, Israel, Italy, and Turkey on the NCL Spirit.
The Grandiosa’s maiden voyage had problems because of very stormy weather, and many passengers had to cancel so the beginning of our sailing didn’t have a full sailing. More and more passengers filled up the ship as the week progressed.
We had an inside cabin, and the bed and pillows were very comfortable. As others have noted, the cabins don’t have as much storage as other comparable ships. The cabin was quiet and well-positioned, but a few basics were missing although they were provided when requested. We were very pleased with our cabin and our attendant.
It was raining and we had hoped to walk to some churches and a palace but abandoned our plans. In retrospect, I'm not sure a sunny day would have made Palermo very appealing.
What a lovely city! The cathedral and Palace of the Grand Master were splendid as was the atmosphere in town, but this only showed how clueless we were to the “political volcano” that was emerging all around.
It was only when we returned to the ship at dinner that we learned why our cell phone service wasn’t working. The government turned off all service to prevent its citizens from rioting! Another clue was the lack of city lighting as we sailed away- the government shut that down too! It appears that the populace was more than furious with its top leaders who had some part in the assassination of a prominent journalist who had been looking into government corruption. Check out the past news about this, but we learned that the president had recently resigned. BTW- our friends who were on a HOHO bus had a problem- the bus wasn’t showing up, and they couldn’t get a call through to the company. They were forced to take a taxi to the port.
To get to the city, follow the walking path to the lift where you can ascend to the Upper Gardens for One Euro. Easy walk to the main attractions. We walked back to port. Easy peasy!
We took the HOHO bus to see Park Guelle and other sites. Very nice and lovely day.We had been to Barcelona before, so can't comment on much else. We walked down Las Ramblas to enjoy the ambiance.
We walked to the main areas for the churches and palace museums. Visited the Church of Jesus, Saint Lorenzo church and the Royal Palace.Very nice town area.