MSC Splendida Cruise Ship

Are you considering a Europe Trip sailing onboard the MSC Splendida?

Prior to my time onboard, I had never considered the idea of cruising.

To be fair, I did think cruising only consisted of:

  • Bingo

  • Shuffle Board

  • Eating Cake

Don’t laugh.

So why did I choose to take a cruise?

Well, it actually wasn’t a choice, as such.

Approaching his 80th birthday, my grandfather wanted to take the family (yes…all twenty of us) away on a holiday where he could keep all the family together.

Thus, the idea of a cruise was hatched.

After chatting with a local travel agent, it was suggested he sail onboard the MSC Splendida with MSC Cruises, as an ideal cruise line for families.

MSC Cruises is actually the only remaining family-run cruise line. Coincidentally, specializing in family holidays. The cruise line features many family-orientated facilities and amenities onboard its ships.

Additionally, MSC Cruises also offer extreme value for money. In fact, at the time I believe they actually had a deal running on the MSC Splendida where all kids cruise for free. This meant the cruise holiday cost was essentially cut in half.

The MSC Splendida is a 108-foot floating luxury carnival, with an Italian design running throughout.

MSC Splendida Review

MSC Splendida review

Escaping the hustle and bustle of London, we headed for our MSC Splendida Cruise departing from Genoa in Italy.

The flight duration from London to Genoa is around two hours, or twelve hours traveling from Atlanta.

Genoa is a beautiful picturesque city with many tourist attractions such as the Aquarium of Genoa, funnily enough, situated in a ship-like building.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend much time at the Aquarium of Genoa after my cousin made the mistake of stroking a sniffer dog!

MSC Splendida Reviews: Embarkation

After finally escaping Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport, we were greeted by some MSC staff members at the airport and escorted to a luxury coach for our transfer to the ship.

Just a few minutes later we arrived at the dock to board the MSC Splendida.

The very first few moments onboard are what stay memorable to me, even now, years later.

Gliding into a relaxed drifting atmosphere of complimentary champagne and Kristof crystal staircases. Complimented by a light string quartet in the backdrop.

I was, mind blown.

MSC Splendida Review

MSC Splendida review

MSC Splendida Reviews: Accommodation

After an hour drinking champagne (or mocktails) and socializing, we headed straight to our inside cabin to find our luggage waiting for us, ready to unpack.

Being spoilt by the luxury of the atrium, I had very high expectations for the cabin.

Sadly this wasn’t entirely met.

Primarily, because my bed was a metal framed bunk bed that lowered from the ceiling. Though comfortable, I would have liked having a properly fixed bed.

 MSC Splendida Review

MSC Splendida review

Nonetheless, if we had done some thorough research before our cruise, this certainly could have been possible.

Thus, leading me to my first tip.

Tip #1 If traveling in a group of four (e.g. families), book an adjoining cabin (ocean view minimum). Ensuring both a fixed bed and plenty of space for no tripping over each other’s toes.

Running through the cabin is a chic Italian design, complemented by many amenities such as:

  • Air conditioning

  • A bathroom with shower

  • Interactive TV

  • Telephone

  • Hairdryer

  • WiFi access (extra charge)

  • Minibar

  • Safe

Staying in an inside cabin was a very eye-opening experience for me. Be that as it may, I have chosen not to stay in once since.

For one reason only:

There is no light.

And of course:

With no window, I would never be able to tell what time it was when I woke up. Whether it was 3 am, 1 pm or 11 pm.

Gradually as the cruise progressed; this began to get very frustrating for me.

With constantly changing time zones, I could never trust my clock.

Moan over.

I must say I slept like a baby for the duration of the cruise, absorbing into the comfy beds as we sailed away.

Although we were residing in an inside cabin, there are many other cabin grades onboard the MSC Splendida such as:

  • Oceanview

  • Balcony

  • Suite

  • Deluxe Suite

  • Executive & Family Suite

  • Royal Suite

  • Yacht Club

MSC Splendida Reviews: Restaurants

The cuisine is no laughing matter onboard the MSC Splendida. Being an MSC Mediterranean Cruise, the cuisine matched this in the MSC Splendida restaurants.

There are two main dining rooms and 3 specialty restaurants onboard offering Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, Chinese, Indian and Mexican cuisine.

Despite the multiple choice when it came to food, we ate at the same restaurant every night; La Reggia.

MSC Splendida Review

MSC Splendida review

Situated on deck 5, La Reggia offers menus specialising in different regions of Italy.

At breakfast, the MSC Express Breakfast includes:

  • Scrambled or fried eggs

  • Bacon

  • Hash Browns

  • Toast or Rolls

  • Fruit Juice

Though, if you’re a bit choosy with your eggs a selection of scrambled, fried, poached or hard boiled eggs can be cooked to order.

As well as many omelettes with a wide variety of fillings.

For a lighter more continental option, I enjoyed some days of:

  • Fresh Fruit

  • Yoghurts

  • Cereals

  • Pastries

  • Breads and cheeses

  • Smoked Salmon

Complimented by a range of teas, coffee’s, fruit juices and hot chocolates.

Floating onwards to lunch, a three-course menu is offered with a range of starters such as green pea soup and croutons.

Mains consist of full dishes such as a beef fillet with pecorino cheese and rocket lettuce.

Let’s not forget dessert!

Now, you can choose to take the healthy route on your MSC Mediterranean Cruise. Or, just say stuff it and indulge in some luxury mouth-watering desserts.

So whether that be a selection of fresh fruit, or on the other hand mini chocolate parfait (that sounds more me).

But it doesn’t finish there…

There is also a special dish offered daily, ranging from oven baked pasta with cheddar cheese to Chilli con carne.

What about the best meal of the day, dinner?

 MSC Mediterranean Cruise

MSC Splendida review

What really surprised me was the amount of choice on the dinner menu, I never had the same meal more than once (unless by choice).

Whereas, on other cruises (I shall keep nameless) I have had to have the same meal every night due to a limited amount on offer.

Starters ranged from a refreshing appetizing soup, to a nicoise salad or even a selection of salami and cured meats.

In my choice, I always went with the soups which were bursting with spice and flavour.

As for mains, an example of the choices consist of:

  • Seared fillet of salmon

  • Grilled Tuscan style beef

  • Cannelloni stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach and parmesan cheese

Tip #2 Always try and have a different meal every night. When the cruise comes to an end, you won’t have any regrets that you didn’t try something. Plus, your palate will consist of cuisine from all around the world. Try and be a bit adventurous!

Fondly I remember sipping up the peppery tangy Bolognese, tickling my taste buds.

Of course, there is no better way to cleanse a palate than with a dessert; especially on an MSC Mediterranean Cruise.

A range of desserts were offered every night such as cheesecake with fresh fruit and coconut sauce, tiramisu, fresh fruit and of course…

The ice-cream.

Still to this day I miss the ice cream onboard the MSC Splendida, it was the highlight of my evening meal. Scanning the menu to see what smooth soft ice-cream would be available tonight.

What stays fresh in my memory was the Pistachio Ice Cream.

Nothing has ever glorified my palate so much in my life, than this ultra-creamy specialty onboard the MSC Splendida.

Thinking of my mother, there were plenty of vegetarian and vegan options available onboard such as vegetarian strudel and Boca burger.

Suffice to say, my mum never went hungry or reluctantly indulged in a meal she didn’t really want.

One thing to point out:

Every day, the menu does slightly alter onboard to reflect the port the ship is visiting. However, there are plenty of options that are so called ‘always available’ options.

This includes a range of:

  • Soups

  • Caesar Salad

  • Spaghetti

  • Chicken

  • Steak

  • Salmon

MSC Mediterranean Cruise Facilities & Entertainment

Do you remember earlier when I spoke about my cruise misconceptions?

If not, just to refresh you, I thought onboard cruise ships there was nothing more to do than:

  • Bingo

  • Shuffle Board

  • Eating Cake

I want to demolish this as quickly as physically possible.

Throughout the day, there were a range of activities available onboard. This ranged from swimming (in one of four swimming pools) or spending time in the squash court, volleyball court and gym.

In fact, on an MSC Mediterranean Cruise, there is even a running track for burning off some of those cruise calories.

MSC Mediterranean Cruise

MSC Splendida review

For more down time, you can enjoy one of many treatments offered at the Aurea Spa.

Located on deck 14, the Aurea Spa contains:

  • Saunas

  • Massage rooms

  • Turkish bath

  • Solarium

  • Relaxation room

  • Thalassotherapy baths

  • Heated pool with sliding roof

  • Three whirlpools

Treatments on an MSC Mediterranean Cruise include:

  • Lava stone massages

  • Balinese massages

  • Facials

  • Tanning booths

  • Aromatherapy

  • Chromotherapy

Please note:

Extra charges will apply for treatments, though packages are available.

 MSC Mediterranean Cruise

MSC Splendida review

As you can see there is plenty to fill your days with onboard the MSC Splendida.

Excluding the fact most of your days are in port, where on an MSC Mediterranean Cruise, you will be offshore exploring the port.

On the shortage of days I spent onboard, (when not venturing off into port) I generally filled with days with sun-soaking on a sun bed and drinking mocktails.

Tip #3 Purchase a drinks package on your MSC Mediterranean Cruise. Daily, I must have drunk around 15 mocktails (no exaggeration), making it definitely worth the money.

Being a teenager at the time, I obviously could have spent my time being a socially active teen in the onboard teen’s club.

Fitted with:

  • Latest gaming consoles

  • Sports facilities

  • Tournaments

  • MTV dance classes

  • Live music

  • Teens-only nightclub

Tip #4 If you’re a large family on holiday together, you may consider separating during the day. This is not a bad thing and worked for us (considering there were over 20 family members at sea), where we would reconvene in the evening.

Similar to Vegas, the MSC Splendida truly comes alive at night on an MSC Mediterranean Cruise.

A range of evening activities are available such as:

  • 4D cinema experience

  • F1 simulator

  • Bowling

  • Poker

  • Casino

  • Broadway-style theatre

After a night or two, we found ourselves slipping into a pattern.

MSC Mediterranean Cruise MSC Mediterranean Cruise

MSC Splendida Review

After dinner, the first step would head straight to the theatre, The Strand.

Seating 1600, the theatre spans over two decks featuring a range of shows from classical singers to acrobatic gymnastics.

Following this, we proceeded straight to our regular MSC Mediterranean Cruise night spot, the Sports Bar. Here, we spent hours of Karaoke and drinking cocktails (or mocktails).

Though after around 15 members of the family had given their rendition of their favourite Elvis classic, the staff had to jokingly declare “No more Nunn’s!”

Yet, this didn’t stop our party!

All of us, including my 80-year-old grandad, were required to strut our stuff at the onboard nightclub, Club 33, until dusk.

Normal passengers would then head straight to bed on an MSC Mediterranean Cruise.

Not us.

Taking full advantage of the amenities on offer by MSC Cruises, we had a daily 3 am call at the buffet, Bora Bora, for a ‘midnight’ snack. Consisting of:

  • Burgers

  • Pizza

  • Hot dogs

Just the usual cuisine for 3 o’clock in the morning.

Being somewhat sensible, it was now time to head back for an evening of slumber onboard the MSC Splendida.

Awaiting our next day of adventure on our MSC Mediterranean Cruise.

Thank you for reading my MSC Splendida Review!

MSC Splendida Accessories

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