Sister ship to MSC Bellissima – As seen on TV – Channel 5’s “Building The Ultimate Mega Ship”.
John Cooper, from Travel Village TV, had opportunity to explore MSC Cruises‘ brand new ship, MSC Grandiosa, in Southampton. With under 24 hours onboard to experience as much as possible, here are his first impressions.
The sheer size of the ship is breathtaking from the moment you arrive at the cruise terminal, but nothing quite prepares you for the moment you step on board into the Galleria and first see the incredible dome ceiling with it’s moving pictures, it is a wow moment. Then as you walk the central lobby with its staircases made from Swarovski Crystal you just wonder who even thought of building something so spectacular.
As you make your way to your cabin, you start to see the new technology MSC have put place. For instance, when you call the lift, you put in what floor you want to go to, and it directs you to a specific lift, making sure it minimises stops, and you get to the desired floor quicker.
Then when you get to the cabin, you meet ‘Zoe’ for the first time, who is like a ship-focused ‘Alexa’. She knows what time restaurants open, and when the shows and entertainment are on, along with port information, and a whole lot more.
Having been on the MSC Meraviglia & MSC Bellissima, I could see a lot of similarities. The wonderful Sky Lounge is a favourite of mine. And, The Master of the Seas – the most authentic British Pub I have ever seen on a ship – has such a choice of beers, along with nightly entertainment, and of course ‘pub grub’.
If you are taking the children along, prepare never to see them! There is so much from the top deck water park and rope park, to the interactivity of the F1 Simulators, the Virtual Reality Maze, the 5D Experience, Ten Pin Bowling, and a full size indoor 5-a-side football pitch! That’s even before mentioning the children’s clubs aimed at differing age groups! They have everything from more Lego than you have ever seen, to teen discos.
If fitness is your thing, you will not be disappointed with the fully equipped gym with a spectacular view, along with training facilities and instructors available too, there is even a jogging track on the same deck.
When it came to food there was such choice. Obviously there is the MarketPlace Buffet which is open from 6am – 2am every day, and so many options! Choose from pizzas made freshly in front of you, oriental sections, a carvery, sumptuous salads and even a vegetarian & vegan section.
Posted by Phil Nuttall on Tuesday, 12 November 2019
The main dining rooms are large and impressive, and what I liked was the choice was really varied, but if you did not want anything on offer, they would go off menu for you. The speciality restaurants are reasonably priced, and the ones I tried were really on top of their game. The Butchers Cut (the steak house) had mouthwatering cuts, where you choose the meat that gets cooked. I did like the showmanship in the Teppanyaki restaurant, and I had lunch in the ‘Hola Tapas’ restaurant, which took me back to the days when I lived in Spain.
When it comes to entertainment, there is so much choice. There is a show twice a night in the main theatre, plus 2 Cirque du Soleil shows to choose from, and the Galleria comes alive in the evening starting as a bustling marketplace, and ending in some of the best and most fun ‘Street Parties’ I have ever seen, making full use of the incredible LED dome ceiling.
The main swimming pool is a great place to relax and let the cares of the day just vanish. There is a small buffet and ice cream kiosk alongside, and waiters bringing you cocktails, mocktails and more… and if you have taken the great value drinks package, it makes it all even more appealing.
The indoor pool and jacuzzis are the perfect place on cooler days, or to chill out and relax with plenty of seating areas, and once again fabulous views out to sea.
I had a brief visit to the Spa, and if you like being pampered you are in the right place. I had just a hair cut whilst I was there, and I have to be honest, it is one of the best cuts I have ever had, and a similar price to what I pay in my local barber shop.
I only had a short time on the MSC Grandiosa, but I would say it would take you a good week to get to experience everything on the ship. One thing I do know, is that you will be awestruck by how beautiful she is, and the services she has.