My husband and I went on this cruise with our two children, aged 9 and 12. We really enjoyed cabin 9003, which was like a suite at oceanview pricing. We chose this cruise both because of this cabin, and because of the kids sail free ... Read More
My husband and I went on this cruise with our two children, aged 9 and 12. We really enjoyed cabin 9003, which was like a suite at oceanview pricing. We chose this cruise both because of this cabin, and because of the kids sail free pricing, which made it a much better deal for us than a comparable cabin would be on another line. We also liked the itinerary, which took us to Italy, Croatia, and Greece.
My older daughter was the right age for Young Club, age 12-14, but we never could find anything going on with that age group. Our understanding was that they combined this age group with the older teens due to low numbers, but my 12 year old was not at all interested in or comfortable with hanging out with kids that much older. Instead, she preferred to hang out with her sister and the younger kids, which they allowed. Even so, she still felt too old for that group and wasn't particularly happy with the kids club because she is at an awkward in-between age. I think that my youngest would have really enjoyed the kids club more if her sister had been more enthusiastic, but instead they preferred to hang out together on their own. This ship was a good opportunity for them to practice this kind of independence, and we felt comfortable letting them roam around together without us. My youngest really liked the splash pad area, and both kids were crazy for the gelato.
Most nights, we went to the shows without the kids and we did enjoy the interesting acts. We brought the kids to the one with pop music, which they really enjoyed. My daughter asked me, "Is that really Taylor Swift?!" haha. I did feel that the female dancers in the shows were often dressed unnecessarily sexy, and there were times that I felt glad that my kids were not at the shows because of it.
Another activity that my older daughter really liked was Master Chef at Sea. She likes to watch these types of TV shows, and was excited to watch one live.
My husband enjoyed the fitness area and thermal spa every day, so I am glad that I paid for spa access for him even though I only went once, as it is more his thing.
We ate in the MDR each night and our waiter quickly learned our preferences and anticipated our needs. We had drink vouchers due to the Fantastica experience, 12 alcohol ones for each adult, and 12 non-alcohol ones for each kid. Since I do not drink alcohol, my husband used all 24 of the alcohol vouchers, and the kids and I shared 24 the non-alcohol vouchers. This worked out perfectly for our family, and we used most of our non-alcohol vouchers for gelato or virgin daquiris. We also had a bottled water package, which we used to get water to take with us for the excursions. In the end, we had too many of these vouchers though, so I don't think it was really necessary considering that we already got complimentary bottled water at meals with our package.
We went on the ship excursion in Split to Krka for the waterfalls, and this was a great excursion and really beautiful. We brought swim suits and got in the water at the falls, which was cold, but still nice. The bathrooms/ changing area at the top of the hill by the parking are free, but the ones at the bottom by the falls charge to use them, so it may be preferable to change at the top.
For the other ports, we did our own thing. In Santorini, we took a private excursion to Oia that was available right where we got off the tender boat. We took a boat to Oia, then a bus to Oia town, then walked around there. Then we took another bus back to Fira, and then waited in the long line for the cable car back to the tender boat back to the ship. While Oia was worth seeing, most of our day seemed to be spent in some sort of transport. In Mykonos, we took the public bus to town and just walked to the windmills and around town briefly. This port was at night, and since we were with the kids, we didn't stay out late. In Dubrovnik, we took a taxi straight to the cable car first, and then walked around in town. We were going to do the beach excursion in Ancona, but it was cancelled due to weather. We ended up finding our own way to the beach and left when rain started around 2pm.
We really enjoyed this experience and we have decided to rebook with MSC on the Seaside next year. Read Less