Do you have a summer cruise booked upon MSC Virtuosa?
I do, and I am so incredibly excited to say, I am cruising this month! It has been a long time since any of us were able to say that.
MSC Cruises is a new cruise line to me. In the last decade I have cruised with both P&O and Cunard. I had always joked that once I reached the top loyalty tier with P&O I’d book with other cruise lines and it seems that is what has happened! It was always a joke, P&O Cruise itineraries always seemed to fit the best. I will most certainly continue with my P&O Loyalty, I’ve 5 weeks booked before 2022, however life is short, so I will begin to explore the other big cruise companies, beginning with MSC later this month!
MSC Cruises, well technically MSC Crociere a global cruise line, part of the Worlds second largest container Shipping operator, the Mediterranean Shipping Company. MSC Cruises is the fourth largest cruise line in the world, behind Carnival Corp, Royal Caribbean International Group and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.
I have admired MSC’s Seaside class ships, Seaside and Seaview since their retrospective launches. Both look beautiful and I particularly like their unusual aft, I had always assumed by first MSC cruise would be aboard one of them!
When MSC announced its UK Cruises for Summer 2021 following the covid pandemic, a trip had not first crossed my mind. Though seeing how beautiful Virtuosa looks, that they would take unvaccinated passengers ( my husband has not been vaccinated yet) and that they were giving up to a 50% NHS discount I was easily persuaded to consider a cruise aboard!
MSC Virtuosa is a Meraviglia-plus Class Cruise ship, sister ship to the fabulous MSC Grandiosa. She was order back in 2018 and built by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France. She cost €800 million! She was originally due to debut in Nov 2020 but due to the covid pandemic wasn’t delivered to MSC until Feb 2021 and will enter service, taking her cruise from Southampton on 20th May 2021. I will be on her 3rd sailing, on 28th May.
I can not wait to explore aboard, I am so excited! I can not wait to take photographs, videos and to eventually write about my time aboard. I have narrowed down 5 things I am currently most excited about, I do expect once on board I’ll discover so many more areas to explore…and can not wait to share these with you!
1. Rob the Bartender!
If my post is the first time you have read about Virtuosa, then this will probably seem a little weird to you! No I don’t specifically know a bartender called Rob who works on Virtuosa, that would be weird! I do whoever know that MSC have the first ever humanoid robotic bartender at sea, he’s called Rob and he works in the Starship Club! He has access to over 40 ingredients to to create your own personalised recipe, MSC promise infinite personalised cocktail options!
2. Galleria Virtuosa
I’m used to a more traditional Atrium with a few decks of the ship joined towards the centre of the Ship. I am really looking forward to seeing how a different design works. In photographs MSC Ships Galleria’s look spectacular I can not wait to explore Virtuosa’s.
She will house the largest LED Dome at sea, I can not wait to see the different displays shown on it! The indoor promenade will house shops and restaurants, all of which I can not wait to experience! Virtuosa has a whopping 1168m2 of retail space, the largest at sea! Housing 11 state of the art boutiques selling over 250 brands. I am not usually one to shop much on a Ship, but with a few seas days and having not shopped for a long while due to Covid, I don’t think I will resist having a little nose, not sure my husband will be too impressed, but ahh, you only live once!
3. MSC Virtuosa Pools
I love swimming, I am a mad person who tends to enjoy open water swims in colder clims , so there is a high likelihood I will be in the pools aboard Virtuosa. Well hopefully by the end of May the sunshine will be abundant off the British Coast. However I am sat writing this, listening to the storm outside, wind and rain lashing around, so I think I’ll be grateful for no storms by late May!
Back to the Swimming pools! MSC offers five pools aboard Virtuosa! Given that the British government are restricting Ships cruising in British waters to 1000 passengers,( or 50% of usual passenger levels whichever is less) With Virtuosa built for 6334 guests and 1000 guests allowed to cruise, I am hoping the pools will all be quite quiet!
4. Savannah Aquapark
Having previously cruised with P&O and Cunard I have never experienced an aquapark at sea. Years ago when we occasionally did a land based holiday, I would love a visit to an Aquapark, so I feel like sharing two loves of an Aquapark *and* a Cruise Ship, will go down a treat! Fingers crossed for some nice weather!
5. Butchers Cut.
Virtuosa has 10 restaurants on board to ensure that no guest goes hungry!
My husband and I are bit steak fans. Obviously due to covid, there have been more limited opportunities to safely eat out over the last year, so we can not wait to enjoy a fabulous Steak aboard Virtuosa in the Butcher’s Cut, a speciality restaurant on board.
The Butcher’s Cut is described as a traditional American SteakHouse. Food is cooked in an open plan kitchen which promises guests a relaxed and sophisticated time. Sounds perfect to me!
As I write this post, my excitement builds. It is so refreshing and exciting to think that we will be cruising this month! Over the last year the uncertainty of not knowing when we could say that again, was strange!
If you are also cruising this month, have a fabulous time!
I look forward to sharing my MSC Virtuosa experiences later in the month!
Before my next cruise, in June aboard Tradewind Voyages, Golden Horizon, read about that cruise here!