Author: Rosalina Adraneda
My husband and I boarded the ship in Barcelona. The embarkation procedures are not that clear, there are no signs telling us what to do. We just asked American looking tourists if we are on the same boat and just stayed close to each other. Finally the check in lines opened and after checking our passports and reservations we were ushered into the green canvas for our first photo. We haven't slept since we left Chicago the previous day so we def looked like zombies lol(but the pics def looked refreshed, maybe it's the lighting technique, I don't know lol). We finally went up a long escalator leading to the ship where at the entrance they took our pics again for ID purposes(whenever we got out and got back into the ship they verify our cruise card and our is pics on the computer)the cabin was spacious, we got our own little balcony, a mini bar, TV (CNBC news & a lot of Italian shows), shower, hair dryer and I was so glad they gave a 110 electric outlet! Unfortunately there's only shampoo and body wash provided. I brought toothpaste, soap and conditioner. We were able to drink the tap water and no harm came to us but I still bought with me me a Britta bottle with purifier for our shore excursions. There was a fire drill the first night which we didn't make it to cuz we just slept the whole night and missed the gala night too. The Bora Bora buffet is open as early as 6:30 am for breakfast. There are scheduled times for lunches and dinner but pizza, bread, fruits, tea and water are always available 24/7. There's a set schedule for fine dining at the La Reggie and Valle Verde restaurants. We just tried it once and just went back to the buffet for the rest of the cruise cuz it's easier for us that way. My husband firmly believes that it's the same stuff served in the buffet anyways lol. We went for the shore excursions which I booked when I was still in the States. The excursions were done in an orderly fashion, the tour guides in Marseilles, Genoa and Palermo spoke Italian first then English. We had English guides in Rome and Malta, separate from the Italian group. We had the most interesting group in Rome where most of the tourists in our group were Korean, oh me oh my! Talk about things getting lost in translation lol! Of all the places we visited we think Malta is the best because the city was very clean and there are no vendors harassing us to buy selfie sticks and overpriced scarves which were all made in China anyway lol! Overall our MSC Splendida cruise was really splendid and entertaining. There's always some activities in some part of the ship. We never got lost for there's always crew and staff you could ask for directions and stairs and elevators are accessible everywhere. The crew and staff are very pleasant,courteous and friendly. At the buffet they're very quick to remove your plate lol. Some guests just don't know minimal manners like falling in line, not elbowing their way to the food, not saying excuse me or please and, get this: using their spoon in getting the food! The food tongs are so huge and visible I don't know how they missed it. A lot of people sneeze, cough, clear their throats of sputum without covering their mouths! So gross! Aside from these hiccups I could say that the trip was enjoyable and memorable. It was a good experience, shopping was heavenly, very, very easy to spend money on shopping! My husband almost got a heart attack when we settled our bill lol. But it was worth it. Good job MSC Splendida!