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MSC Virtuosa UK Cruise - Summer 2021

10th August 2021

Tips for your MSC Virtuosa UK Cruise - Summer 2021

We are a family with teenagers (16 and 14) and this was our 3rd cruise. Having cancelled our trip abroad, and after hours of last-minute research on a UK holiday resulting in a poor choice of accommodation, value and facilities, we decided to take the plunge and book a UK cruise onboard MSC Virtuosa.

The attraction of cruising has always been exploring the ports of call and our previous cruises were really rich itineraries, so the idea of a cruise which was mainly 'sea days' was not immediately appealing. However, having decided that this holiday was going to be all about relaxing and spending time together - rather than exploring new places - it fit the bill perfectly.

MSC Virtuosa


1. Upgrade to the Aurea Experience - highly recommend this.

If you are likely to book a massage in the spa anyway, this is a no brainer and even if you are not the other benefits are significant.

Your Aurea upgrade includes:

  • A massage per adult booked, worth £90 + per massage.
  • Access to the exclusive Top 19 Sun deck - a quieter sun deck with a large crescent shaped whirlpool/hot tub, superior loungers and waiter service.
  • Choice of dining time - this was a huge benefit for us. You just turn up to the restaurant when you please, rather than being allocated set dining at 6.30 pm or 8.30 pm.
  • Priority disembarkation
  • Complimentary access to the Thermal Spa - bookable onboard, not everything is open due to Covid restrictions but you can enjoy the saunas, hot/cold shower experiences and lounging areas
  • Free room service including breakfast in your cabin each morning, which we took advantage of as a more relaxing start to the day. (This is also available for the Fantastica experience)


2. Consider upgrading to the Yacht Club

Previously we have always booked 2 balcony cabins, and on this occasion we upgraded to the Aurea experience, however, having experienced the Yacht Club for a day, if we were to book the same holiday again we would go for a balcony and an inside cabin in the Yacht Club. The teenagers would have been fine in the inside cabin, and the overall experience is undoubtedly worth paying more for.

  • The dining experience is superb, table service meals in the restaurant available at every meal time and buffet options on the sun deck.
  • Excellent selection of wine included with meals and all beverages are complimentary.
  • Spacious, private lounge bar with amazing views from the front of the ship with live music in the evening.
  • Superior, more spacious cabins
  • Private sun deck and pool with attentive staff - the main pool deck was lively and busy so this was like an oasis in comparison.
  • Access to the exclusive Top 19 Sundeck with whirlpool as per the Aurea experience.
  • Complimentary access to the Thermal Spa
  • 24 hour concierge butler service.
  • Wi-Fi is included. It cost us £221 for 4 devices pre-booked,costs more when purchased onboard.
  • Access to all the other amenities on the ship.

MSC Virtuosa


3. Pre- Book a Fun Pass (or 3)

If you pre-book a Fun Pass for 7 days it costs £72 online, this gives you £140 credit to spend on the F1 Simulator, bowling, 4D Cinema, VR games and arcade.

A Fun Pass is allocated to one person but can be used for other people. We had 3 between the 4 of us and that was more than enough for 3 games of bowling, lots of F1, a bit of air hockey and some arcade games. 2 would probably have been enough.

If you pre-book the Fun Pass everything is just about half price. The prices are roughly £55 per hour for bowling, £35 per half hour and £12 per go for the F1 simulator, so the Fun Pass makes everything a lot more affordable. Most of the activities are run on a turn up and play basis, apart from the bowling which needs to be pre-booked.

MSC Virtuosa


4. Wi-fi is required

  • Definitely pre-book at the point of booking or pre-travel as you save at least 20%. The cost for us was £221 for 4 devices for a week pre-booked.
  • You will need it, even when sailing in UK waters.
  • Included for Yacht Club bookings.


5. Take your own ping pong bats and balls if you have them

This may change, but while we were onboard, there were set times when the bats and balls were available for guests to use in the morning and afternoon. However, if you take your own you can use the table tennis tables at leisure outside those hours. We had a couple of fun ping-pong evenings together and many sessions in the day too.

MSC Virtuosa


6. Book your speciality dining early in the week

We were a bit slow on this and didn’t get round to it until mid-way through our cruise, so there was a limited selection for evening dining. Lunchtime bookings were still available.


7 Try Hola! Tacos and Cantina

was excellent value and a massive hit with all of us, the staff were super friendly and gave excellent recommendations. Casual, tasty and eat as much as you like for £16 per person. Ideal for hungry teenagers.


8. Try the hot chocolate at Jean Philippe Chocolate and Cafe

This is not included in your All Inclusive package but is absolutely worth paying for - hard to describe how good it is, you will just have to try for yourself!


9. Take your gym kit

The gym is excellent, very spacious and with the latest brand new and equipment. Although there were capacity restrictions due to Covid, there was only 1 occasion where this meant coming back a little later. If you are a runner, it is best to get out before 9.30 am to run around the track if you want a clear run, but people were running throughout the day without too much bother.


10. Find the outside eating area at the back of the ship for the Market Place Buffet

You could easily not find this but tucked away at the back of ship, in an area of the buffet that was not being used, is a sheltered outside deck with quite a few tables and beautiful views out to sea.


Sound like your perfect family getaway this summer?

See more info and itineraries aboard MSC Virtuosa! For more options, see all our other amazing UK Summer 2021 cruises.

MSC Cruises' Top 10 Mediterranean Ports

10th February 2020

A cruise to the Mediterranean will bring you to some of the most iconic destinations in the world, boasting rich culture, unique architecture and plenty of warm, friendly hospitality. MSC Cruises are one of the leading experts in unforgettable Mediterranean itineraries - check out MSC Cruises' top 10 Mediterranean ports! [More]

Simone Clark's MSC Ocean Cay Experience

9th January 2020

After spending a week on MSC Seaside to celebrate the new year, I enjoyed a day on MSC Cruises' newly opened private island, Ocean Cay. Transformed into a flourishing, biodiverse nature reserve with fabulous sandy beaches, this sustainable private paradise is ideal for a day of total relaxation on the beach. [More]

The Royal Wedding and the Couple’s Infatuation with Africa

16th May 2018

Once again the country is buzzing with excitement and curiosity, not only about the Royal Wedding, but also the Royal Honeymoon. As more details are released about the big day itself, so far there is only speculation about the honeymoon destination, but a few African countries sit at the top of the bookie’s favourites. Read on to find out how you can celebrate the Royal Wedding on your cruise, and why you should follow in the couple’s footsteps to Africa.



Celebrating the Royal Wedding on a Cruise

A number of cruise lines are embracing the merriment and thrills of the big day, and will be screening the event onboard. Some will also be celebrating with a few fabulous extras;

Princess Cruises – 17 of the fleet will be showing the wedding on poolside screens, as well as bars and lounges. There will also be some Royal-themed parties, menus, and quizzes to take part in.

Cruise & Maritime – 3 ships will screen the wedding proceedings, and there will also be quintessential British afternoon tea parties, quizzes, a 60s British music dance party, and more.



Cunard - the wedding will be screened across the fleet, and guests can partake in a Royal Wedding afternoon tea, bespoke celebration cocktails and champagne, a themed dinner and keepsake menu, and a slice of cake which has been modelled on Harry and Meghan’s.

P&O Cruises – in addition to screenings of the wedding, all ships will be decorated with flags and official bunting, and guests will have a glass of champagne to toast, as well as extra American and English foods with afternoon tea, and a Meghan Sparkle cocktail.


From the Wedding to the Honeymoon


It is thought that the newlyweds won’t embark on their honeymoon straight after the big day, however as clues come out about where they intend to go, we can’t help but feel inspired. Due to the love that both Harry and Meghan are known to have for Africa, there are several destinations in the continent that are thought to be in the running for the honeymoon, with Namibia taking the top spot.



Why visit Namibia?

The country gets its name from the vast Namib dessert, which is one of the oldest on earth. It stretches inland from the Atlantic coastline along the entire length of the country, and provides some truly incredible scenery. As well as this awe-inspiring attraction, Namibia offers some great wildlife-watching opportunities in the north. Etosha National Park, Damaraland, and the Caprivi Strip are all fantastic regions where visitors can see lions, elephants, and rhinos to name a few. As well as scenery and wildlife, in Namibia you’ll find friendly and welcoming locals, and some incredible new cuisine to try. Take a look at this fantastic chance to see Namibia on a cruise with Voyages to Antiquity.

Where else in Africa could the Royal Couple be honeymooning?

While Namibia is a firm favourite, both Harry and Meghan are known to have a fondness for many African nations. They’re both passionate about charity work, which has taken Meghan to Rwanda in the past, while supporting a clean water campaign, and has taken Harry to countries including Botswana, which is thought to be his home away from home. Here he’s worked with animal protection charities, as well as HIV/Aids projects.



Africa is an incredibly rich continent with so much to offer. See the exciting wildlife on safari in Kruger or the Serengeti, try some delicious bottles in the wine regions of South Africa, and relax in the gorgeous tropical atmosphere of Madagascar. Explore this stunning part of the world on a cruise to Africa with MSC Cruises, or be transported on an African adventure with Princess Cruises.

Exciting New Cruise Ships 2019

21st March 2018

Many exciting new ships are on the horizon in the cruising world, and we can’t wait to get onboard each and every one. Find out about some of the upcoming vessels that will be seen on shores all over the world by reading more about these new cruise ships 2019.

P&O Cruises: P&O Iona


The Nation’s favourite cruise line has released details of their upcoming vessel that is scheduled to grace the seas in 2020. The design has a brilliant focus on the sea, with plenty of opportunities to view the surrounding, gorgeous ocean scenery. Some of the best features onboard will be:

The Dome – an adaptable space that doubles up as a pool and a dining and entertainment venue, thanks to the retractable stage.

The Atrium – a spectacular area with an elegant, grand staircase, and extensive art gallery. This will be a centre of entertainment and socialising for all to enjoy.

The Lanai Deck – at half a mile long, guests can spend time here sunbathing, socialising, dining, and soaking up those beautiful views.

Sign up here to register for more information about P&O Iona.

MSC Cruises: MSC Seaview



June 2018 will see MSC Seaview make her inaugural cruise in the Mediterranean, where she will spend the season before across the Atlantic to South America. The design of the ship seeks to place the sea at the centre of the guests’ attention, with ample chance to admire the view. There are panoramic glass elevators, glass-floored walkways, and the brilliant Bridge of Sighs – a glass-bottomed bridge located at the aft of the ship, at 40 metres above the sea.

Other features onboard include MSC’s well-loved F1 simulators, a full-sized bowling alley, arcade games, a zip line, and 7 original West End style shows. As well as entertainment opportunities, there are a number of great places to dine. Butcher’s Cut for superb steak, Teppanyaki for a range of Asian cuisine, and Ocean Cay for creative seafood dishes are just a few of your choices.

Carnival Cruises: Carnival Panorama


This new Vista-class ship will be a sister to Carnival Vista and Carnival Horizon, and will boast a lot of the same fabulous onboard features;

  • The SkyRide – an elevated pedal-bike that enables riders to see a panoramic ocean view
  • WaterWorks Aqua Park – a family friendly water park with a range of slides and pools
  • Havana Cabana – a Cuban themed bar and pool area glowing with holiday atmosphere
  • Family Harbor – an enclosed area with family suites and a lounge
  • The ship will be able to accommodate up to 3,960 guests, and is due to grace shores in 2019. Carnival Panorama’s home port will be Long Beach, California, from where she will embark on sailings along the beautiful Mexican Riviera.

    Marella Cruises: Marella Explorer 2



    Marella Cruises’ latest addition has been superbly designed for its purpose as an adult-only ship. The prime social spot on Marella ships – The Veranda – is twice the size as on other ships, and will be the place for sunbathing, meeting fellow cruisers, and sipping on cocktails. Marella Explorer 2 will also boast the brilliant Champneys Spa onboard – a perfect venue for cruisers to relax and treat themselves to a little pampering.

    Cruisers can choose from destinations like Venice, Rome, Dubrovnik, Livorno, and Croatia among others; all fabulous places where it’s possible to indulge in delicious local food, learn about history and culture, or simply relax in a café by the water.

    Marella Explorer 2 will accommodate up to 1,814 guests, and 40% of its cabins will have balconies. This all-inclusive ship will surely provide many adults with the ideal holiday to escape and recharge.

    MSC Cruises: MSC Grandiosa



    MSC Grandiosa will debut in November of 2019, with a maiden season in the Mediterranean. Destinations including Valletta, Genoa, Barcelona, Rome, Palermo, and Marseille will all be featured on itineraries.

    Built to accommodate almost 6,300 passengers, it should come as no surprise to learn that MSC Grandiosa will be stock full of exciting and exhilarating things to do onboard. Some of our favourite features include:

  • 2 Exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows
  • A large, Mediterranean style promenade
  • L’Atelier – a new bar/lounge venue complete with dance floor and stage
  • 2 F1 Simulator cars
  • Guests will experience never a dull day on a cruise on this fantastic new ship, with these facilities paired with such memorable destinations.

    AS well as this blog on new cruise ships 2019, you can find more info on all new cruise ships coming out in future by checking out our up-to-date blog!

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