This was our first cruise, and whilst we booked it when we were a little tipsy, so glad we did. This was a holiday to celebrate my 40th...
This was a Barcelona round trip. We stayed in the city the night before and had an extra night once we left the ship. Barcelona is a great city I've been to several times before so would recommend that.
Embarkation was a breeze. As we had Aurea experience, we got priority boarding so sailed straight through checking and embarkation. It was really easy to follow, especially for people who had never done this before.
We boarded the ship around midday, and whilst rooms weren't ready until about 1.30pm, we went to see if we could drop our carry on's off, and we could, which was really handy. Advice: carry on a little as possible... most people need less than they think.
Our experience came with a drinks package, can't remember what it was, but it was the one before they changes to Easy etc. However, pre-boarding, we upgraded over the phone to the Premium Plus.
Found the food in the restaurant and buffet to be really good with lots of variety. I hate over attentive staff so they standard European service was perfect for me. We did speciality restaurant in the Asian Fusion and Tappanyaki, both were really good. As we'd upgraded our drinks package, we were also able to spend lots of time at the champagne bar without fear of the final bill.
Bar service was always pretty fast. Morning coffee from the atrium bar before disembarking, there was a bar just for Aurea experience, and that was good. Ship never felt too full or crazy.
The theatre shows were OK. With it being a multilingual ship, not so easy having the spoken word on stage so much, though i would say they need to drop the Tina Turner show. The internationalism of MSC was one of the things that drew me to it.
Didn't do any ship organised excursions; it was Europe do never really difficult to get around. Being from the UK, I've been to the mainland lots. First port was cancelled due to operational reasons (didn't find out what they were), and went to Toulon. Found this out once we embarked so didn't have much time to do research.
Did the casino, and had fun. Limited myself to 30 Euro and it lasted quite a long time.
The MSC for Me app was really useful; highly recommend people download it. You can use it on the ship ships WiFi without having a WiFi package. The screens around the ship were also very good. As we were Aurea, we also got the wristbands, which were really handy for everything. Just couldn't leave the ship without the card.
Disembarking was easy. Whilst we needed to be out of our cabin early, we were able to stay on board for a few hours before going to check in to our hotel.
We got a WiFi package and didn't use all the date. We also got one of the laundry packages and that was great too.
Loved this so much, we're booked on the MSC Meraviglia for November from Miami. I expect service will be a little different. Looking forward to it.
The cabin was larger than expected; it is essentially the length of two standard cabins.
The bathroom was a good size and was easy to move around with a slightly undersized bath-tub with shower. Noise from the bathroom when it was being used was minimal. Lots of storage space for toiletries etc.
Next to the bathroom was the walk-in wardrobe. This is a great little room that was able to store everything and then some. Loads of handing space and shelves. Wasn't quite enough hangers, but I'm used to that from land holidays so had brought my own spare.
Good sofa space with interactive TV and the bed was really comfortable. Desk was by the angled wall with the sliding doors to get onto the balcony. The balcony was a really good size and we made use of the jacuzzi. It was great to sit in there after a day wondering around and watch the ship depart.
Curtains were great at blocking out all light which is perfect and barely heard anything from outside the room. Our room attendant was fantastic, always said hello and asked how our day was whenever we saw him