Author: Leonard Miron
The arrival and the embarkation had indeed a WOW factor. When the transfer bus stopped a butler was waiting for us already, he took care of our luggage and escort us to the special Yacht Club check-in area. A welcome buffet with some nibbles and Prosecco was waiting for us, the check-in formalities were quick and after that another butler escorted us straight to the ship passing all the lines and queues. We spend around 10 minutes in the Concierge area to have our credit card registered and we were escorted to the room. Our luggage was already there. From our arrival at the airport to entering the room we needed only 1h30minutes. Impressive and well done MSC! She is a beauty in a very Italian, Cinecitta style. If you like glitzy and glam, Preziosa is your perfect match. Of course the ship is new, so everything from the upholstery to the carpets is squeaky clean. Having been on a fair few cruise ships over the past couple of years, we expected garish interiors. But MSC Preziosa’s lounges and bars are different . Sure there is the standard opulent staircase and ornate chandeliers but the lounges and all public areas are decorated tastefully, bedecked with subtle colours and modern furnishings. There are 20 bars, including the new Diamond Bar that's one of the quieter venues and two outside pool bars. Others include the Green Sax jazz bar, chic El Dorado piano bar and the large Safari Lounge that hosts smaller shows with a very annoying animation team and has a dance floor. Our favourite place was with no doubts Green Sax with nice deco and good music (especially the mix duo Romanian-Ukrainian); and of course an amazing Romanian bartender, Vlad, who’s cocktails very close to perfection in mixology. BUT … MSC having a very cosmopolitan crowd on board all the announcements are done in 6 languages. Preziosa has nine dining venues, including a buffet that's open nonstop for 20 hours a day from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. The main restaurants are the two-deck Golden Lobster on Decks 5 and 6, with seating for 1,155, and the panoramic 766-seat L'Arabesque, aft on Deck 6. Both operate two dinner seating and offer identical menus. Breakfast and lunch are served in the ship's main restaurants and self-serve buffet restaurants, the adjoining Inca and Maya on Deck 14, which offer all-day dining and the option of a more casual setting for dinner. BUT…again cutting the costs showing the results. The dining experience is far from a Mediterranean experience and you wonder where the famous fresh, spontaneous, inspirational Italian cuisine disappeared. While adequate, the food was not particularly fancy in terms of presentation. Courses seemed rushed, and the wine service was rather haphazard, with wait staff acknowledging empty glasses but not returning to replenish for some time, if at all. Similarly, in the buffet restaurant, there was a feeling the team hadn't really gelled. Some staff couldn't have been more helpful, while others barely made eye contact, let alone smiled.