MSC Preziosa is billed as a ‘modern Mediterranean masterpiece‘ that’s been marvelling up to 4,300 guests a time since it’s launch in spring 2013. I’ve yet to cruise with MSC so the opportunity to explore Preziosa in Southampton for #BlogCampOnBoard with Trips 100 was really exciting!
For the first time MSC Cruises have allowed over one hundred bloggers onto one of their ship for a unique event organised with Trips 100 (and sister groups like Tots and Foodies 100) that not only showed off what MSC has to offer, but also give members a chance to learn and collaborate with hands-on workshops from podcasting to food photography.
The morning began inside The Platinum Theatre, a sleek 1600-seat theatre that out styles most on land. Some of the entertainment team welcomed us onboard with a show that summed up the Doremi kids programme and proud partnership with Lego. Following this I headed off on a guided ship tour before getting a chance to explore other areas myself…
Spot lights and mirrors and crystals, oh-my!
First impressions – MSC Preziosa is one glitzy ship, the atrium is where this is most obvious thanks to the dazzling Swarovski crystal staircases – I’m told each step costs around €8-10,000! As on most cruise ships, this central hub is surrounded by bars to kick back and relax with a coffee or cocktail.
Out of the 18 decks onboard, 6 and 7 are public areas where you’ll find most of the twenty bars onboard like The Diamond Bar and The Green Sax Jazz Bar (above), as well as restaurants, duty free shops, a casino and art gallery.
I know first hand how cruising has become much more family orientated, particularly lines like Royal Caribbean and P&O. With some of Britain’s top parent bloggers onboard, MSC were keen to share their own family-friendly facilities and entertainment available. The specially trained crew oversee five separate clubs for under 17’s from 9am to 11pm daily, putting on activities like stage performances and cooking shows.
The ship also has its own Aqua Park and ‘Vertigo’, the award winning waterslide that’s one of the longest at sea!
The Award Winning Aurea Spa
The ship has 4 pool areas dotted around the top decks, one of which sits indoors in a temperature controlled glass house, ideal for the British climate. Even though I didn’t get to see it myself the ship also has a ‘Yacht Club’ for guests looking for a luxury getaway with butler service and access to their own facilities.
The Aurea spa is a labyrinth of rooms to indulge in a little me time, plus a fully kitted out gym, sports shop and salon is located here too.
For lunch we ate in The Golden Lobster, a classy dining room between Deck 5 and 6 with waiter service or a small buffet option. It’s one of nine restaurants onboard, including the larger Maya buffet on Deck 14.
After lunch I watched a Food Demonstration from one of the onboard Eataly Chefs who prepared a classic tomato pasta dish with a volunteer from the audience, Indian cook and food blogger Hari Ghotra.
The day ended in The Safari Lounge where the MSC Staff and the UK’s Managing Director Antonio Paradiso were on hand to answers questions.
Why cruise with MSC?
MSC is rapidly expanding with ten ships on order, including the new Seaside class with an innovative beach hotel design.
- For the first time in 2018 MSC will be home-porting in Southampton with Magnifica
- Classic favourites like Afternoon Tea, British Comedy Acts and Shows will be added for UK market on Magnifica
- Yorkshire Tea is the chosen tea brand (seasoned cruisers may be familiar with the limited tea options on some American ships)
- The family-owned company offers FREE supervised activities and entertainment for children
- Their ships have innovative features like the longest waterslide, award winning spa and 4D Cinema
- MSC’s Loyalty Status Match Programme – if you’re a loyalty member with another cruise line they can match the points and status to an equal or higher level!
‘Blog Camp On Board’ was an ambitious project for MSC to take on, not only were the crew keeping 4,000 holiday-goers happy, they also have the task of entertaining and feeding us hungry bloggers too. Baring this in mind, I had an inkling the schedule may be a little ambitious, so I take my hat off to Trips 100 and MSC for all their hard work.
I had a splendid few hours exploring MSC Preziosa and was overwhelmed by its glamorous style. At the end of my tour I could see there was more to the ship than the attention grabbing crystal staircases and fashionable bars, the only question I was left asking was, “do I have to get off?!”
Disclosure: All opinions shared are my own, my experience was complimentary of Trips 100 and MSC Cruises UK.