Experienced cruiser (15+ with CCL, NCL, RCCL, and MSC) This was our first European Cruise Experience. We embarked on this cruise ship mid itinerary (Portugal 7/27/22 and disembarked on 8/10/22) so we were part of 2 different cruises. The beginning portion of our cruise had less passengers (~3000) than the 2nd portion (~5000 pax) so we were able to see a big difference. The Virtuosa was absolutely stunning. The signature crystal staircase was beautiful and the ship was very clean.
Public Spaces: Many of the public spaces on this ship were quite crowded especially when the entertainment staff had activities.
Shows: The MSC theatre shows (both paid and free) were excellent. We did not really enjoy some of the acts that were brought on board.
Inside stateroom. Although we do not spend all that much time in our room, we thought the layout could have been better. We felt the room had plenty of space to add a small couch.
The storage space was also lacking: We only had 2 drawers and 1 shelf and 1 closet to hang our clothes. This was a little difficult for a 14 night cruise.
Although our MSC purchased excursion was cancelled (turn over day), we were able to walk to the Musuem and walk around South Hampton.
Here we rode the Hop-on Hop Off bus to see much of the city. We also went to city square and cathedral. Spectacular achitecture throughtout the city.
Hop on Hop off bus to the Fort on the hill. This had spectacular views of the city. We also enjoyed a great Sangria at one of the restaurants. After our walk we enjoyed a swim at the beach. The beach has lockers and change rooms available in order to keep your valuables safe.
Short walk down the boardwalk to the a tunnel. The tunnel brings you up to Castle Santa Barbara. Most likely a short wait as the elevator line can get backed-up. Once you are at the top you can continue to walk up the Castle and see the different rooms etc... We also enjoyed the beach after this walk. The beach has areas to change into swimwear and lockers to lock up your valuables while in the water.
Hop-on Hop-off city bus! We also went to Cathedral of Mallorca and museum. This is a spectacular cathedral.
Allow for extra time as this is a tender port. We took an excursion to Monaco in order to see the French Riviera and Monte Carlo Cassino. This was an amazing excursion to see the wealth of the area. we also experienced the changing of the guards at Monaco Palace.
Tender port back to the ship was a nightmare. The 2 hour line in the sun weaving around a business at the port was not ideal.
We took an UBER ($16) to the Basilica de la Segrada Familia. Be sure to have tickets before you go. This is a spectacular site to experience. The architecture and stain glass windows is quite impressive. If you are in the area, this is a must!
This was our favorite port of call. Perhaps it is because we embarked and disembarked from this port. The cruiseship stops really close to the city. You are able to walk around and take it all in. They also have hop on hop off bus.