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Katgoesonholiday

Kat goes on holiday - MSC Preziosa Eastern Med (5th July 2014)

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In port today...

 

 

 

Its a loooooooong walk in the midday sun!

 

 

 

My poor husband schlepping the cases

 

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Thank you for taking the time to do such a lovely pictorial review. I am really enjoying it.

However there is a free shuttle from the people mover directly to the ship- I took it in May on the Armonia.

This photo even shows the sign.

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SPOILER ALERT: It was AWESOME! We had a fabulous time and loved the ship!

 

A different question for you!

Traveling east as you did, do you now think it might have been a better idea to travel the much shorter distance west to Italy?

I know you stated you wanted to see a few sites in America, but flying east added a lot more flying time/miles to your trip!

Flying that far for us would've exhausted us for several weeks, especially in economy class!:eek:

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A different question for you!

Traveling east as you did, do you now think it might have been a better idea to travel the much shorter distance west to Italy?

I know you stated you wanted to see a few sites in America, but flying east added a lot more flying time/miles to your trip!

Flying that far for us would've exhausted us for several weeks, especially in economy class!:eek:

 

Coming from Nz it made little difference which way we flew - it was still a huge shock to the system as what ever way we went it was still a 12 hour time difference - and that's what was causing my jet lag. I picked to fly the way I did because it got me to London which is where I had to meet my husband.

as it happens, we flew home via the East and were in our plane just prior to turning off our devices when we read breaking news about a plane being just shot down. That made the flight eastwards a little more nerve wracking and I think I'll stick to American routes from now.

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And I've just queried it on Skyscanner and the shorted flight combo I can get going east is 33hours. My trip via LA wasn't much more than that - maybe 35 hours?

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We had signed up for the early dinner seating of 6:30pm figuring that we were going to be pretty tired and not wanting to make a late night of it. So after Venice disappeared into the distance we made our way back to our room and got ready for dinner. I was very excited (in a weary and confused way) to try the famous risottos and I must say that it didn’t disappoint! My husband then had the lamb shanks and I had the fish. I didn’t take many photos as I was in a permanent state of befuddlement due to the time zone changes.

 

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At La Palmeraie, we were seated in the middle of the restaurant at the window so we looked out across the infinity pool and into the sunset. It was beautiful!

 

Though one odd thing about the position of the restaurant is that it is on one of the main pool decks so whilst we were sitting there in elegant surroundings, people were wandering past in speedos and swim suits or lounging in deck chairs right next to our table. They couldn’t see us due to the mirrored windows but we could see them. It made for ideal people watching and we had a lot of fun gawping. One memorable evening, before the sun set, two kids came past and decided to take a peek inside so they cupped their hands round their face and pressed their noses right up to the window - only 30cm from my own face. Naturally I poked out my tongue and waved. It initially gave them quite a shock but they waved back and skipped away again.

 

Once the sun started setting it was a beautiful place to be. By then people had abandoned the pool in favor of the main dining rooms and most evenings we had a glorious view of the sun set. It amazed me how fast the sun seemed to set over the horizon. Literally the sun would be full and hanging just on the sealing and then mere 30 seconds later it was gone. We could literally see it vanishing. This may be a common phenomenon for many but we hadn’t seen it before and were entranced.

 

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I can’t remember what we did next but it was probably a leisurely saunter back along the deck to the Yacht Club then off to bed.

Edited by Katgoesonholiday

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That night I slept well but woke early - 6am. It didn’t help that the infamous lumpy pillows lived up to their reputation. I resolved to make a selection from the pillow menu and leave a note for Suresh, our butler.

 

As my husband had already been in Europe for three weeks prior to our holiday, he wasn’t exhibiting the same time zone confusion that my stupid body was. I would have liked a long leisurely sleep in but I settled for ordering a pot of tea instead and settling down to write up the first part of my trip. The intent was to do this daily but that went out the window very fast - there was too much to see and do so now I will have to rely on my memory.

 

Today was the port of Bari and I really can’t say much about it as we didn’t get off the ship at all. Once my husband woke up we went to La Palmeraie for breakfast. This was fast becoming a favourite place. I had scrambled eggs and he had waffles. Both were delicious! Sadly my husband ate the waffles before I had a chance to photograph them - he reports that they were very tasty. Instead you get a photo of the cute selection of jams and honeys.

 

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Following that we walked through the open decks, checking out the kids aquatic area and deciding our boys would have loved it, and made our way up to the One Pool via the external stairs.

 

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As we walked the staff were just finishing putting out the deck chairs and I was heartily amused to see they were using every available space including two loungers that had a splendid view of….a wall! We immediately decided that this was the naughty corner and you got sent there for chair hogging.

 

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Up in the One Pool I took a quick snap of part of the breakfast buffet in order to chronicle the state of the bacon and then we ordered coffee and mimosas and settled back with our books for a while - BLISS!

 

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Whilst we were there we had a lovely view of the ship sailing along the Italian coast. Bari is a normal Italian city but I enjoyed seeing the blend of older structures with the new. There was a light house that captured my fascination for a while and I was very impressed with the concrete structures that they used for the breakwater. It looked like a child giant had lined up all their jacks then abandoned them. I later also enjoyed watching a ferry being unloaded and then reloaded with a large number of huge trucks - first disgorging an endless stream of them then one by one new ones driving up the ramp and vanishing! I also noted the buses lined up at the port. From what I could see there, there were a huge number of buses put on for tours and it all looked very organised. Later as we sailed away, I was astonished to see how much sediment was churned up as we left the port. It makes you realise how powerful the thrusters on these huge ships must need to be.

 

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I’m a bit fuzzy on what we did that day - definitely the fault of the jet lag not the mimosas for breakfast! But my photos tell me that we took a wander round the ship (I was super impressed at the size of the buffet), had a sunbathe and a swim and a strawberry daiquiri, had lunch at the restaurant, took another snooze, went for high tea in the lounge (the only time we did that) and then went for dinner. I was very tired so we skipped the show - I think it was opera arias so I wasn’t terribly disappointed to miss it - and then to bed ready for our first excursion day!

 

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I loved the staircases but I'm such a klutz that I was sincerely afraid that I would be distracted by all the bling and take a tumble down them!

 

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As we looked round the shops I was astonished and delighted to find an identical stuffed toy to one my youngest son had loved and lost back in New Zealand. Meowey must have got lost and found her way onto our ship! So we rescued (i.e. bought) her so she could come home with us again. :p

 

We also visited the excursions office and found a interesting excursion for our at sea day.

 

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Edited by Katgoesonholiday

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I had the beef and it was amazingly tender and delicious. My mouth is watering again just thinking about it. I also loved the soup but unfortunately my stomach can be a little temperamental and raw onion is one of those things that can set it off. So I could only eat a little of it.

 

Throughout the cruise I caused consternation and dismay for the waiters when every single dish was only partially consumed. After a couple of days one of the senior waiters asked me if I didn't like the food and at that point I explained to him that I had had stomach surgery a few years earlier which was affecting what and how I could eat. They were all a lot happier after that. :D

 

EDIT: Actually I lie! I think I consumed every delicious morsel of that beef dish! Nom! Nom! Nom!

Edited by Katgoesonholiday

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After our lunch we took a walk around the buffet. It was HUGE and very extensive. It was also very busy so I didn't take photos except for this one:

 

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Then it was time to relax at the One Pool

 

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Later we had afternoon tea in the One Lounge - as most of you know, this is a private area set aside just for Yacht Club guests. The ship was huge - 4,500 passengers - but in this private enclave we never felt crowded and never had any trouble finding a prime spot to sit or plenty of attentive service.

 

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To be honest, I have had better high teas. It was nice though not as light as others I have had. Plus I am a huge fan of savouries and this was more sweet focussed so my assessment is probably biased by my personal preferences. They did have genuine clotted cream which was very nice.

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Then it was time to get ready for dinner. I was very very grateful the rest of our itinerary was going to be active because if I continued to eat like this they would have had to have rolled me off the ship! As it happens, both my husband and I ate heartily and walked endless hours and came home lighter than we left.

 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is Lemonchello sponge cake!

 

Best.

 

Desert.

 

Ever.

 

No debate, conversation over!

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is Lemonchello sponge cake!

 

Best.

 

Desert.

 

Ever.

 

No debate, conversation over!

 

Imperative to have a glass of Limoncello to accompany it!

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but that is Lemonchello sponge cake!

 

Best.

 

Desert.

 

Ever.

 

No debate, conversation over!

 

You are most certainly NOT wrong!

 

Nom! Nom! Nom!

Edited by Katgoesonholiday

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What a lovely review and great photos :) very nice to read and see. Very good warm up for our upcoming cruise in YC on the sister ship Divina. It seems like you really enjoyed the YC. Isn't it a great way of cruising? My guess is that you are hooked:D looking forward to see more of your review.

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Kat, I haven't been following your thread as I wanted to read the complete account in its entirety and closer to my upcoming trip to help with my final plans of what to do and see.

 

However, I couldn't resist the urge to take a few sneak peeks - especially the photos of the fab food! Nom, nom, nom is right!

 

Something you referred to caught my eye which begs a question for me - you mentioned something about "early" dining in the restaurant. That's the second time today I've seen a reference to set dining times with regard to the YC. Have MSC introduced 2 set (early & late) seatings? It was freestyle when I was in YC in 2012 and has been marketed as a benefit of cruising in this category.

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Kat, I haven't been following your thread as I wanted to read the complete account in its entirety and closer to my upcoming trip to help with my final plans of what to do and see.

 

However, I couldn't resist the urge to take a few sneak peeks - especially the photos of the fab food! Nom, nom, nom is right!

 

Something you referred to caught my eye which begs a question for me - you mentioned something about "early" dining in the restaurant. That's the second time today I've seen a reference to set dining times with regard to the YC. Have MSC introduced 2 set (early & late) seatings? It was freestyle when I was in YC in 2012 and has been marketed as a benefit of cruising in this category.

On embarkation day, whilst we were waiting for our cabin to be ready, the maître d was at the Concergerie making note of dining time preferences. The Yacht Club was sailing full so I giving they were just wanting to get an indication of peak dining times. They did ask us to specify what time we wanted to dine, which surprised me. And it wasn't a choice between two dining times but just "What time would you like to dine?"

 

But we didn't stick to that time. We followed it the first couple of days then after that we asked the concierge in the afternoon to call ahead if we were going to be more than about 30 mins different from that time. One night we dined quite late and another we joined friends at a larger table. They took all this in their stride and we had no difficulty essentially eating when we wanted. I think the key was just being aware that if they are traveling full then it is considerate and makes their job a little easier if they are aware roughly of what your dining plans are likely to be.

Edited by Katgoesonholiday

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