King sized beds, Cirque du Soleil shows and dozens of staircases lashed in Swarovski crystals. The decision to board the MSC Bellissima should not be taken lightly.
Why? Because the £750million ship, which launched in March this year, will taint almost every other cruising experience in your past, present and future.
Metro.co.uk was invited aboard the luxurious floating hotel to see and explore the liner, which is the newest of MSC’s ships to take to the seas.
And what an experience it was…
Where to sleep
Walking into the promenade is like entering another world. Guided in through two sets of double doors, I went into the lobby with my mum Vicki and nan Gloria. It’s Mother’s Day weekend and the ship is the perfect place to celebrate – from Balinese spa treatments to crab legs and lobster (a personal highlight for my nan).
The entire ship is bedecked with crystals and chandeliers that lead you to the front desk. It’s easy to see why the Bellissima cost such a pretty penny.
After a swift check-in, we were given the keys to our rooms and greeted with one of the welcome packs offered by MSC, loaded with champagne and strawberries.
We were staying in two of the ships balcony rooms, which are housed with everything anyone could ever need.
With a luxurious king-sized bed with pillows to die for, to tiny toiletries and a mirror on every corner, you would expect nothing less on a ship this glamourous.
Each room also comes with its own personal assistant, Zoe – think Amazon Alexa at sea. She can speak seven languages and answers more than 800 questions, including ‘what bars are open?’.
Oh, and the technology is incredible. I was particularly impressed by the touch-sensitive lights and the convenient USB ports – perhaps adapters are a thing of the past.
Where to eat
The outstanding surroundings were so beautiful that it made it difficult to tear ourselves away for dinner, but the ship’s main dining room was no exception.
The stunning modern eatery, Posidonia, makes it no secret that it prides itself on its menu’s choices – with MSC’s latest partnership with chef Raymond Blanc.
Each cruiser is assigned a table and a dining room for their holiday, meaning you get to form brilliant relationships with your servers… but that doesn’t mean to say you have to eat there each evening.
The ship has an impressive 12 dining venues, ranging from The Marketplace – a 24 hour buffet – to its speciality restaurants located in the Galleria, complete with an enormous 80 metre LED sky, the largest dome at sea.
These include L’Atelier Bistrot for French cuisine, Hola! for tapas, Butchers Cut for meat-lovers and Kaito Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar, for those who like something different.
There’s even a classic British pub and Jean Phillipe’s cafe, where staff create handmade chocolate treats. What more could you want?
We tried Butchers Cut towards the end of our trip and the starter sizes alone were enough to call a meal! To say that we inhaled our food would be an understatement, it really is worth the visit.
Where to drink
After a delightful meal, we headed to one of the ships 20 bars. Yes, 20.
Here, it became apparent that even on a ship of this size, the staff made it their job to know your name.
Three glasses of champagne were placed down while the barman, who would have given Tom Cruise a run for his money in 1988 hit Cocktail, showed off his skills gave a whipped us up a couple of drinks. One gin based, one vodka – and a latte for nan.
Around the enormous 1,036ft ship (and all of its 19 decks) are an array of different bars and lounges. A personal favourite was the stylish champagne bar, which offered a vast choice of bubblies from around the world and a selection of caviar, oysters and crab too. Fancy.
Where to be entertained
As my mother, an annual cruiser, said: ‘You really cannot fault the entertainment on this ship’.
Shortly after boarding the Bellissima, we were offered tickets for a performance by Cirque du Soleil, which naturally, we snapped up. The incredible performers really were a highlight for me during our week cruising the Mediterranean.
MSC offers exclusive world-class broadway shows onboard the Bellissima, with performances taking place across all of their innovative venues like the multi-purpose karaoke bar, comedy club, TV studio & Bar.
And for the gamblers on board, the visual delights continue inside the ship’s casino which leads into a Carousel Lounge, a £17million space which offers panoramic views and houses shows at night.
Luckily for those who like a drink and a dance (like me), MSC were kind enough to build the Attic Club, a nightclub that stays open and lively right up until the small hours.
Younger guests can take advantage of the amusement park, water parks and sports centre to play sports and games during the daytime and party and dance in the evening.
We may not be classed as ‘young guests’ but we still made the most of the ship’s bowling alley and F1 simulators – which feature two full sized racing cars that compete in a head-to-head battle. It definitely had our hearts racing.
Where to relax
Taking ourselves on a tour of the entire ship was no easy feat, but we found our way around after a day or two.
However, exhausted, I was seeking some relaxation… and my goodness, I found it onboard this ship.
I decided to whisk down to the Aurea Spa for a Balinese massage. There, I was treated to a 45 minute massage and refreshing glass of icy water in the hotel’s breath-taking zen-themed spa, which also boasts facilities including dry heat saunas, sensory steam rooms and a number of jacuzzis with built in beds.
And if that wasn’t enough to chill me out, the multiple pools were. MSC boast that poolside space on Bellissima is some of the most plentiful to be found at sea, and you can believe me when I say I never struggled to find a sun bed.
Beautiful lighting, a giant television screen and atmospheric design make the main pool area even more enticing after dark. The epitome of relaxation, if I do say so myself.
I was so relaxed in fact, I almost felt heartbroken when my week onboard came to an end.
So strolling off of the ship, nodding goodbye to the staff, that left only one thing left on my mind… where was I going to get the £750million to build my own MSC Bellissima?
Explore itineraries and book your own cruise experience through MSC’s website.
Source: Read Full Article