MSC Splendida Tour Index
MSC Cruises had an option to visit MSC Splendida in 2015.  I chose the 1st September and it turned out to be a wise decision because the British Imperial Military Band would be attempting a Guinness World Record attempt for the fastest mile.  The band, consisting of men and women, were arriving in the terminal at the same time as the visiting parties and once they had checked in, it was our turn.  In the revamped terminal, which reopened in April, the check-in desks form part of the departure lounge and security where they used to be.  I was in group 2 and wasn't given a lanyard.  There was a lot of confusion about going through security because those with lanyards followed those without while those without had been told to go ahead because those with lanyards would be called later.  Once we boarded via the dock up to Deck 5.  The atrium staircase in this class contains Swarovski crystals.  We went up two decks to the Aft Lounge for bubbly or fruit punch and nibbles before the tour began just after 11am.  Groups 1 and 2 were called first and our guide was Liezl Moult, better known as Lee.  We began on that deck.  The decor in the photo gallery is cacti and photos from Westerns due to the Santa Fe Tex Mex being adjacent to it.  As well as the entrance in the photo gallery, there is another in the L'Enoteca Wine Bar.  They had a special promotion of Nachos, a 500g Tuscan-style T-Bone steak and mango cream with wafer for €17 instead of €25.  They also have a special price for children.  La Prua is a piano bar where you can pop down to the casino if you fancy a quick flutter  The Strand Theatre covers three decks and seats 1600 people.  From here we went down a deck.  La Piazzetta by the shops is a beautiful, bright, airy Italian-style piazza featuring a grand piano and a chance to buy snacks and coffee.  There is also a fully working fountain.  Unusually during a transit call, we were able to see two cabins on deck 12.  The balcony cabin was a decent size, as was the inside and both had normal bathrooms.  Being used to inside cabins, I thought it was cosy and would book it without hesitation.  The sockets were European and American.  We didn't get to see much of the spa but I did notice you have to sign a waiver if you want to use the gym.  Photo opportunities on around the Aqua Park were limited due to preparations for the Guinness World Record attempt which was due to take place, but more of that later.  We sped through the buffet but they had a vast selection of food.  I managed to get a quick photo in L'Olivo, the Yacht Club Restaurant, despite the protests of the head waiter that people were eating, so just snapped the empty seats.  As this is the MSC equivalent of Cunard Grills, it would have been nice to see something of the set-up but it is difficult when it's not a turnaround cruise.  It was pretty hot inside the ship so we were all glad to be in the fresh air aft on deck 15.  Lee had said we could watch the record attempt before lunch so we all returned to the Aqua Park to wait.  Most of the group ended up disappearing.  They were still marking out the mile when we got there and finally finished at 12.48pm and then it began!  Originally, it had been scheduled for 11.15am on the jogging track (deck 15).  The British Imperial Military Band had got changed in the terminal before collecting their instruments and boarding the ship.  They had been ready for this moment before we had a look in the buffet.  The passengers really got into the spirit of the occasion, encouraging and clapping to the music.  Unfortunately we had to go to lunch after about 5 laps but were told they DID break the record in 14 minutes and 26 seconds.  Congratulations to everyone!  We went to the La Reggia Restaurant for lunch.  The menu was a maximum of 7 courses so being the cruise connoisseur I am (or greedy pig!), I chose all but the salad.  The food was delicious and you just wanted to curl up on a sofa or bed somewhere to sleep it off.  Back up to the Aft Lounge for coffee before disembarking.  They certainly treat visitors well during these things.  MSC Splendida really is a gorgeous ship and my second favourite MSC I've set foot on after MSC Opera.  In 2016, MSC resume Southampton turnarounds with this beauty and I hope to be able to book something.

Thanks to Lee and everyone at MSC Cruises for their hospitality.  To see photos of Splendida sailing after this visit, click here.  

Arriving
Leonardo Da Vinci Deck (15)
Raffaello Deck (14)
De Chirico Deck (12)
Tiziano Deck (7)
Modigliani Deck (6)
Canaletto Deck (5)
Guinness World Record Attempt
Lunch
Leaving


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© Patricia Dempsey 1st September 2015
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