Splendida Better Than Expected!: MSC Splendida Cruise Review by HUTCH1113

MSC Splendida 3
Member Since 2010
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Splendida Better Than Expected!

Sail Date: April 2010
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Genoa
We were very uncertain about this cruise even after we booked it. This was our 7th sailing with our other cruises being on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Costa. We are big fans of RC, but Costa was less than spectacular in our eyes, so we were afraid that MSC would be the same value. The other element for us was that we brought our 14 month old daughter on this cruise. We wanted to make sure it was doable for her. Here are our thoughts.

Embarkation: We were at the Port of Genoa around lunchtime and there was hardly any line at all. We breezed right through all of the check points and were in near shock when we were walking on board after less than 45 minutes. On past cruises, this was one of the more painful parts of the cruise.

Ship/Stateroom: These were both outstanding as many on Cruise Critic have already stated. There were very few areas that we could fault but we found ourselves overly impressed with the elegant design of the common areas and the stylish More decorations in our stateroom. With a balcony stateroom, it was slightly difficult to find a place to put the baby crib, so it ended up sitting in the middle of the room between our bed and the balcony. As you can expect, this was not the most convenient place, but the narrow space did not have room for a crib anywhere else. The bed was extremely comfortable and the balcony was a good size. In the rear (aft?) of the ship, we did not feel much motion except for docking at the ports.

Food: We were pleasantly surprised by the breakfast and lunch buffets. I think our expectations were low, but the food quality was good. The dinners were initially stated to be at 7, but almost all of the meals began at 630pm. This was much better for our daughter because she is usually in bed by 730. After the first night, the high chair was ready at our table. The dinner meals were hit and miss, but were never displeased by what was served. Some meals were notably good. Initially, we were not allowed free ice water, but we used a booklet of free bottled water that was in our stateroom. If we didnt have this, I would not have been pleased about having to purchase water every night.

Ports: We were pretty happy with the itinerary that was offered by MSC. The shuttle to Marseille was 15Euro per person for a 10 minute ride and there was no other option to get to the Port Vieux. In my eyes, MSC should have provided this complimentary. This is an example of being nickel and dimed by a 'budget' cruise line. In some cases, the ship should have stayed longer in some ports and less time in others. Barcelona is the one port that we felt especially rushed. I'll write more in the port reviews. Less

Published 07/13/10

Cabin review: 1010218

Conveniently located by a bank of elevators, tastefully decorated, quiet location, nice balcony Not much extra room for a baby crib.

Port and Shore Excursions

We would have loved to spend more time here. It was a 30 minute walk from disembarkation to the main column where we picked up the HOHO bus. We spent most of our day on the bus, but got off to walk over to the Sagrada Familia. The SF was pretty far out of the way and we lost alot of time just to see a church that was covered by scaffolding and cranes. The structure is beautiful, but there was so much more that we would have liked to explore in Barcelona. We didn't even time to walk Las Ramblas!

Read 1730 Barcelona Reviews

After we embarked the Splendida, we got settled in our stateroom and then went back out to see Genoa. It was walking distance from the ship. The highlight was the maze of streets in the old town, said to be one of the largest in Europe. The oceanfront was much more touristy and was filled with African men selling sunglasses, hats, etc. With more time, we would have visited the aquarium.

Read 287 Genoa Reviews

We really enjoyed Malta, but we got stuck on the Malta Sightseeing bus, which took us around the entire Northern part of the island. The bus was slow and cramped and the audio did not work. However, the coast is beautiful and it gave us an incentive to spend a week in St George's Bay recently. Sailing into Valletta was one of the highlights of the cruise. Walking around the town of Valletta was nice, but again not mind-boggling. We enjoyed the Upper Barrack gardens here and looking down to the harbor below.

Disappointing port. Walking around the Vieux Port was nice and we sat down to some good wine and a French dessert, but the city itself is dirty and there is nothing overwhelmingly nice to see.

We stayed on the ship this day and walked around Civitavecchia for an hour or so. It was obviously being spruced up for future cruise passengers. Right now, there isn't much there, but the waterfront will be nice when all the construction is done. We've been to Rome three times and the long train ride was not worth it with an 18 month old.

In Tunis, we walked off the ship, through the terminal area, past the bucketed cab stand and found our own cab driver who we negotiated to spend 3 hours for about 50 euros. He took us to the Old Town where he handed us off to one of his guide buddies for an additional 20 euros. At first, we were not happy about being given to a guide but finding our way around the Medina would have been a major challenge. After the guide showed us around the Medina, the cab took us to Sidi Bou Said. SBS was a zoo of cruise ship passengers and it was difficult to enjoy.

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Member Since 2010
3 Forum Posts
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