As you may know, I have been invited to go on a cruise recently, which was a bit of a surprise, as I always said that I would never go on one. Never, ever, ever. But I did. Did I like it? Will Mrs. O go cruising again? What did I really think about the experience? Here is my honest opinion.
I was invited by MSC Cruises to go on a bloggers’ trip in early July. The itinerary was quite exciting, and perfect for a weekend. We started in Rome, where I did a bit of shopping, we then stopped in Genoa and managed a little hop to Portofino, and I even learned how to make mojitos on the ship.
I accepted this invite as we were not going on the main part of the ship. These ships are big – we are talking 3,000+. I liked the concept of the Yacht Club which is “a ship within a ship”, or a boutique hotel inside a hotel. With only 70+ suites – 140 people.. I was definitely curious.
Want to know more about it? Well I did, and asked the Yacht Club’s head butler to tell us a bit more about this luxury product. Just click here, or on the image below.
The Yacht Club was lovely – the rooms could have been a big bigger, but to be honest, I didn’t really spend a lot of time in them. Everything worked perfectly, and I loved having a butler. I was an easy passenger as I didn’t ask for much – I never leave for a trip without shiny shoes, so didn’t need that and all my dresses travel well. But of course I can see the appeal of having your ironing done, which I would totally use, if necessary.
I LOVED the pool deck. We had a huge area with a bar, lounging chairs, a pool, 2 jacuzzis and a viewing deck, for exclusive use of the Yacht Club guests. It was super spacious and not crowded at all (my worse nightmare). I loved the fact that there are more sunloungers than guests… so even if at full capacity, it will never look full.
I LOVED the spa – it was one of the best experiences ever, and I have had a few massages and facials around the world. The treatment rooms were amazing, state of the art, and the view.. wow, that will be difficult to replicate anywhere else. Must confess it was a bit strange to undress whilst leaving Genoa – I know that no one could see me, but a very weird feeling indeed.
I LOVED the Yacht Club lounge – just like a hotel lounge – with food, drinks, etc. You could have simple meals throughout the day, drinks, etc. Very nice and the hub of this part of the ship
Food and drink were also excellent. We had access to the fine dining restaurant, and I cannot fault anything.
What I didn’t like? Having to cross the whole ship in order to get to it. It is not for the walk, it is for the sheer contrast of the cruising experience. I am talking thousands of people, being super loud, everywhere. And not wearing trousers after sunset. Or shirts. I am not being snobbish (maybe I am), but there is a time and place for everything. If you wear shorts during the day, make an effort for dinner. I am not suggesting everyone should wear tuxedos and evening gowns (although I would love to have an evening like that!), but trousers, long sleeve shirt and proper shoes is an absolute minimum for men. On the yacht club, there is a requirement for gentlemen to wear jackets and that was absolutely fine. I wore cocktail dresses every night, nothing formal, but as I would do for any dinner.
Would I go again? To the Yacht Club, absolutely – for a long weekend, it would be perfect for me. And with a group of friends – I think cruising is like skiing, more of a group activity. To the other part of the ship? Absolutely not. If we all liked yellow, life would be very boring and I am glad that there are different options at different prices.
So there you have it. I would really like to thank MSC for the great trip they organised for us. One of the best parts of the trip was actually meeting fellow bloggers and the team. We had an amazing weekend, not a lot of sleep, but I got back to Barcelona feeling happy and relaxed.
With enough time before my flight back to London, it would be rude not to enjoy the sun and have my first dip ever in Barcelona, thanks to the W Hotel, who let us use their beach club. And, of course, enough time for some delicious Spanish Tapas.
Who knows if you will find me on a cruise again? 😉