MSC Preziosa

8 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

September, 2017

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Regular holiday

Review of MSC Preziosa 21 Sept 2017 Northern Europe.
Southampton, Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Le Havre, Southampton
We boarded in Southampton and, after queuing at Security, went straight to the check in desk then onboard. Our cards were in our cabin and, on checking our dining, found we were allocated 2nd seating – this despite checking and double checking we were on 1st sitting. That was a bit annoying considering we booked the cruise over a year ago and were on the Fantastica class but hey ho. We went to the restaurant to see the Maitre’d who said “no problem” and changed it to 1st sitting. We then had lunch in the restaurant. For dinner we were on a table for 4 instead of a large table as requested and it was beside the waiters’ serving station so was a bit noisy.
Our balcony cabin was much bigger than expected with a 3-seater sofa which was obviously a pull-out bed. We received a few Black card perks, fruit bowl (which disappeared after 2 days without any of the fruit being ripe enough to eat), prosecco and chocolate dipped strawberries, two MSC drawstring bags, 2 chocolate ships, a meal at one of the speciality restaurants (we chose Galaxy which was okay but was a set 5 course meal with 3 of the dishes containing cheese so that was a disappointment). The other speciality restaurant, Eataly, didn’t have any atmosphere and felt & looked clinical.

We went to the Black card welcome back party but the captain wasn’t in attendance only the hotel staff. Never saw a glimpse of him the whole cruise. We had a photo taken and found out later that that was your free photo. We thought we could get any photo with our Black card perk but it has to be the one that was taken at the Black card event. We had a free dance lesson invitation but no sign of the free thermal pass nor the milestone reward. We did get the bathrobes & slippers and late cabin checkout though.
Our cabin was at the rear of the ship but must have been above the engine/thrusters because each time we arrived at port the vibrations woke you up and seemed to go on forever. This might be a problem on a longer cruise but we were only on for a week. This was Fantastica class though so next time we’d probably just choose Bella.
Lunch & dinner was 3 courses (cut down from last year’s 7 courses) but my husband (who doesn’t eat cheese, tomato, pasta & pizza) always found something to enjoy and the temperature of the food was also fine. The portion sizes were adequate and the service quick and cheerful with re-filling of glasses without prompting. We couldn’t fault the staff.

Most folks had the drinks package which resulted in the bar staff being run off their feet but again, always polite & helpful.

The first call was Amsterdam and an announcement was made saying we were awaiting clearance. Then we never heard any more. We thought we must have missed the “all clear to go ashore” so made our way to the gangway. The queue was huge. A Disney queue, as it wrapped around seemingly never ending. There was only one gangway open for over 3,000 passengers. It was chaos. One couple we were chatting to in the queue said they had only come on the cruise at short notice as Jetline Cruises had contacted them with an offer of a week’s cruise for £299. No wonder they snapped it up. They had pre-booked a tour independently and thought they wouldn’t make the time slot because of the hold-up but said “Well, if we can’t do it today, we’ll do it tomorrow”. I looked at my husband and he said, “But we leave at 9am”. They thought we left at 9pm because the programme states “2 days in Amsterdam” when in actual fact it is only one day and one night. Just shows you how easy it is to make a simple mistake.

When we did get off we went across the road to the tram stop. We boarded the tram and bought the all-day travel ticket from the conductor who sits in a little booth at the back of the tram which was about 7.5 Euros. This was cheaper than 2.9 Euros each journey. This worked well for us as we went to the Albert Cuyp market, the flower market and also used the tube to get back to the centre.

We’d been to Zeebrugge before and Hamburg also so gave them a miss (at Hamburg the ship is quite a way from the city centre, approx. 9 miles – it was also a Sunday so nothing much would be open). We caught the 4 Euro bus organised by the port into Le Havre and had a wander round the gardens and fountains. We found the Coty shopping centre then went to Les Halles indoor market.

At every port there are passengers disembarking and embarking with Hamburg being classed as the start of the cruise. There was a mix of nationalities onboard which was interesting. Everybody seemed to be out to have a good time. The bars were busy and the karaoke well attended. The shows were the usual mix of singing and visual acts. They only lasted about half an hour but even then some people couldn’t wait till the end to walk out. Especially during the Frank Sinatra tribute. Mind you, it was pretty dire.
The last morning was the first time I’d made breakfast in the dining room (I like a lie in) and had the MSC Express breakfast which was excellent. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were on the road by 8.45am.

We enjoyed the cruise and can’t wait for our next 2 MSC cruises.


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