On the 4th October myself and 120 other bloggers had an amazing opportunity to visit MSC Preziosa. I grew up in Hampshire and with Southampton being the biggest cruise city in the region I’m a little ashamed to say I’ve never been on a cruise ship before
Most of us spent several days beforehand registering our attendance and details and constantly apologising to the ever so patient Sally, who was organising all of our details and the conference itself (she must have been fed up by the end as several of us -me included! – forgot our actual names and so on, but she had some serious organisation skills!)
We entered the Platinum Theatre and the day started with a huge welcome from Sally and the cruise activities manager, Doremi mascot and team. As a mum of a 4 year old I was interested to see how children would be catered for and like many other parents I had thought against taking my daughter on a cruise ship, thinking it probably wouldn’t be suitable – how wrong I was!
He explained with a lot of enthusiasm about the activities the kids clubs offer and that it was optional for them to stay part of a day or for a full day, with it open from 9am-11pm. He also informed us that they look after up to 35 different nationalities of children and that there are 5 different clubs on board the cruise ship to cater for all ages – baby club (ages 0-3) mini club (ages 3-6) junior club (ages 7-11) young club (ages 12-14) and teens club which ran for ages of 15-17
There were some interactive games which some brave bloggers played (I have an irrational fear of popping balloons so thankfully wasn’t picked!) and the team performed a song and dance for us. It’s safe to say they love their jobs!
They were also proud to announce they partner with Lego and Chicco, which has led to some brilliant children’s facilities on board
We then went for a tour around the ship to get an understanding of what was present and available to guests. The entire ship was beautifully designed with attention to detail throughout and also had the most amazing Swarovski staircase wich we were told had €8,000-€10,000 value in each step!
I’m pretty certain everyone who attended has a similar photo of the staircase of dreams and if I could afford it (and the hubster would let me!) I’d have one in my house, or maybe just a step – either way it gave the wow factor!
We also sat in a beauty demonstration whereby a model had her hair and makeup done while we sat and observed, overlooking the pool and Southampton water. I felt quite at home on board and could have easily spent much more time there
The tour was by far my most favourite part of the day, although lunch came a close second! We had lunch in the Golden Lobster, a buffet meal with desserts and drinks on tap. It was delicious and I couldn’t help but send a photo of my desserts to the hubster and some friends. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see any cabins on the day but the group were informed they’re able to cater for large families and those with additional needs
The afternoon was spent in a Podcasting session with Alison Perry and then a statistics and information quiz based on everyone’s groups – Tots100, HIBS100, Trips100 and Foodies100, before rounding off with cocktails and a Q&A session with the MSC team
The Q&A had some brilliant information for us, including some insight on how they’re accommodating the British guests on board (kettles in cabins and afternoon scones and cream!) to more serious points, such as childcare and emergency response for children with medical needs, including epipens
Even though I didn’t see the kids areas through the information I’d been given I finished the day satisfied that I would take my family on a cruise, it’s just a matter of when. The hubster’s been asking for years to go on one and I’ve been the reluctant one of the two of us, so now I’m on board (excuse the pun) I think he’ll be looking to book one! It’s nice to know MSC cruises will be sailing from Southampton with MSC Magnifica. Here are some photos and a little video of the tour
I was invited to visit and tour MSCPreziosa as part of BlogCampOnBoard, all words and opinions are my own