Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Blog Camp on Board - An Introduction to Cruising (Part 2)

Thank you to those of that read part 1 and that have come back for more. Ok, so when I left you last time we had just finished lunch and were moving on (very slowly after lots of dessert and wine). As it was blog camp we had the choice of a podcast session, a food photography session or a wander around on our own. After much debating and drinking water I asked a couple of other bloggers if I could tag along with them and get a proper look at this gorgeous ship especially the pools and hot tubs which are always going to be a winner for a water baby like me:

This is one of the main outside pools and one of four. A feature that I thought was really cool was pool number two next to the spa area:

What was so cool about it was the it has a retractable roof so no matter what the weather you can still swim!! Amazing! However as an outdoor swimmer the infinity pool at the rear of the ship was definitely my favourite and was by far the most secluded. I cannot tell you how tempted I was to get in and have a quick swim:

Plus more hot tubs than you can shake a stick at:

In part one, I spoke a little bit about the facilities that were on board for children. Well let's start with the Vertigo water slide:

I'm not entirely sure how long it was but it wound around both sides of at least half of the ship! For younger kids, there's also the Doremi Castle kids aqua park:

There are several different clubs for kids which are sorted into age ranges although these are a guide not a strict instruction, from babies to 17 year olds. They are all under the Doremi logo and the staff are super enthusiastic:

Children are given a security band when they board so that you're able to keep track of them and need to be signed in and out of clubs. When the clubs are at the pool above adults are not allowed in as it's for kids only.

 They have 4D cinemas, gaming consoles, kids menus and even lego rooms. What a brilliant idea for a European cruise ship where they may be language barriers where you have 35 nationalities of children. Who doesn't love Lego?? Also, a bowling alley:

The clubs have a schedule for the day and if the kids aren't interested in shore excursions then you can leave them on board with the Doremi staff. It all seems to be quite flexible so I imagine for our family that would work quite well as they could all dip in and out as they choose as clubs are open from 9am - 11pm. I'm not sure that we would want to be without the kids all day or that I would want to leave them on board whilst we were off on shore excursions but I guess whatever works for each family.

The schedule sounds amazzing and includes things like workshops on 3D printing, Dj-ing, STEm subjects, video making including starring in their Kelly and Khloe series, cookery lesson and hair and beauty treatments. Not sure we'd ever see Chick if she wanted to come on board with us!! Unfortunately I didn't get to see any of the kids areas but the other bloggers assured me they looked fab! However, all facilities aside, one of the things that I was most impressed with is the work that MSC do with Unicef so all kids can become a Junior Ambassador for Unicef and they teach the kids about social responsibility, what Unicef does and each Junior Ambassador gets  a certificate. What a brilliant idea!!

There is also plenty of style to be had if you are child free including private spa decks. The ships decor was as opulent and fab as you would imagine:

The Safari Lounge was my favourite bar as it reminded me of the Jungle Room at Graceland. It was also the scene of a brilliant metrics session with Sally and where we had cocktails and champagne. Some other highlights for me:

I hope that I've given you a good flavour of what life looks like aboard the MSC Preziosa. It was a really interesting visit and if I'm honest the only thing that has put me off previously is the cost. There appear to be some costs that I had assumed were included that are actually added on as extras including gratuities, drinks and having to pay extra to eat at a couple of the restaurants. However, if you factor these in then there are some great prices to be had. 

I was however really impressed with the family orientated nature of MSC and the passion of their staff and if ever I got the chance to spend longer on board then I would jump at it. They have a range of other ships including the Seaside which is a new ship launching in December.  The fleet also houses the MSC Magnificia which from March 2018 will be based out of Southampton and kids prices start from only £99 and free upgrades. Wondering if I could persuade hubby..........

Are you a cruiser? If you are, what do you love about it If not currently then what is it that puts you off?

Blog camp on board was hosted by Trips 100 and the lovely guys at MSC Cruises. I have not been paid or recompensed for this review in any way other than wine, lots of free wine with lunch ;)

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