Thursday, 26 October 2017

Southampton: A Day on a Big Ship - the MSC Preziosa

A Day on a Big Ship, the MSC Preziosa, with a lot of fellow bloggers. Every year Flea Enterprises invites bloggers registered on Foodies100/Tots100/HIBS100/Trips100 to BlogCamp - a gathering of bloggers from all walks of blogs along with great workshop sessions, networking, learning and cake; oh yes there is usually cake!

This year we were invited to attend BlogCamp which would be held on board the cruise ship MSC Preziosa, scheduled to be docked at Southampton for the day.  There was a flurry of excitement on social media and we all gathered in Southampton with some arriving the night before and others on the day itself.

As we arrived by taxi this super large vision appeared ahead and we realised it was the MSC Preziosa, our host for the day! I have been on a similar sized cruise ship once before with a blogging group however I have not been on a modern day cruise.  The sheer size of this ship dwarfed all around it eliciting gasps from all as we approached.
Fellow blogger Manjiri aka Travels for Taste and wearing her nautical striped top was rather excited to step on board her first cruise ship.
We had an introduction to MSC Cruise Lines meeting the mascots with a short presentation of the activities available for children from infants to teenagers.  The children can join the DoReMi Club on board.  The parents receive a newsletter each evening with the following day's activities for adults as well as children.  Do your kids want to disco dance, play computer games, swim, make a digital movie, sing or just colour and relax - there will be something for every child or of course they can spend the day with their parents!  On thing is sure boredom is not allowed on board!

If you don't have children try to borrow some just to see the delights on their faces as they have so many new adventures!
Even babies are catered for with fully trained staff with their own colourful room.
One of the places that really took my attention was the indoor pool area.  There is a choice of pools both indoor and outdoor and the size of all of them really is larger than life.
Don't want to swim? That's OK you can just sit in the jacuzzi and meditate.
The roof can roll back when in good weather - instant outdoor pool!
Or spend time outside at one of the outside pools (there is a huge water tunnel on the other pool).
When the sun comes out there are vast lines of deck chairs to rest, drink cocktails, read your kindle or just plan your next cruise!
Manjiri was only too happy to take the weight off her feet and try to catch a few rays of sunshine that kept peeking out!
Making time for yourself is no problem on board with spas offering some special time with a long list of treatments - why not book yourself some 'me time' while the spouse or family do their own thing!
Feeling a bit flabby after all the food or just want to keep up your normal fitness routine there will be no problem with all of the state of the art fitness machines available on board.
Whether your favourite is Blackjack or Roulette you can feel like 007 and make the evening special in the on board casino.
And you have never seen so many staircases, sweeping staircases, glittering staircases, opulent and outrageous staircases!
The staircases that lead down to the Golden Lobster restaurant where there is table service or a huge buffet. You can have one or the other or both - whatever you fancy eating it is there for  you. And if you fancy something different there are a number of other restaurants on board to choose from (some require reservations).
The buffet is stocked with huge platters of food that are topped up regularly as needed.
I had the seafood salad from the daily menu - a sort of deconstructed seafood salad with a twist and a delicious 'Marie Rose' sauce.
Main course I had spinach and ricotta ravioli with a brown sage butter.
For dessert I picked from the pudding buffet.  That chocolate tart at the back was my favourite!
We ended the afternoon with some workshops, fizz and tea&coffee, disembarking with a taste for the cruise life!
And now for some fun facts!
MSC Cruise Lines is the No 1 cruise line in Europe, South America and South Africa .......
over 170 nationalities have sailed with MSC ..........
17,778 employees on board and on shore work for MSC .........
50,541,060 + meals have been served on board MSC fleet of cruise liners ..............
with over 199 ports of call ..........
over 1,8 million guests have been welcomed on board MSC ships ..........

From 2018 Southampton will be the home hub for the MSC Magnifica which will have a few extra things to make you feel more at home like kettles in every cabin and Yorkshire tea will be available on board.  One of the perks of sailing from Southampton is that you can take loads of luggage to have the perfect outfit for every occasion without having to keep to airline strict luggage regulations.  Car parking is free at Southampton which makes quite a saving.

It has been a long time since I took a cruise and I know cruise liners have changed so much since then so maybe it is time for this 'Reluctant Cruiser' to give it another chance!

I was a guest of MSC Cruise Lines aboard the MSC Presiosa.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All photos are my own and may not be reproduced in any form without my written permission.


  1. Loving the photo of Manjiri - hilarious! So pleased you could join us Heidi, it was lovely to see you again.