Jump to content

Virtuosa maiden voyage


Stu UK
 Share

Recommended Posts

47 minutes ago, Waju said:

we had stuff from the pool grill


When was that? We never saw it open 🤷‍♀️

 

Quote

 

the venue (can't remember the name) where the comedian and Souls Sisters performed  reminded us of a warehouse - not our favourite place at all.

 

Carousel Lounge

 

Quote

This was our first MSC cruise - would we go on Virtuosa again?  ABSOLUTELY we would BUT only if we went before it was allowed to travel with a full compliment of passengers.  With only the 900 or so on board it was perfect, had there been 6,000 I think I would have hated it.


Definitely agree. I imagine it will be difficult to find a seat in the evening venues, some of which are quite small, also a sun lounger by the pool once she starts sailing at increased capacity.

 

 

Edited by CaroleC
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We are on deck 8 so waiting to see where they put us!  Despite the obstruction from lifeboats I was looking forward to the deeper balcony.

Jusy hope we aren’t high up under the underhang with all this glorious sunshine 😎.

 

Round III is about to start... let’s see how that goes! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For CaroleC - sorry I don't know how to reply to only part of your post!  We had lunch at the pool grill yesterday.  It was really good - lovely pizza - shame the tables were in he shade though as it was such a glorious day.  I didn't even consider packing sun cream and we are really suffering now!

 

We liked the little pool at the back too, as you said it has its own bar and although there was music playing it was fairly quiet as it was mainly adults around it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hiya folks…. We got back after the 325 mile drive and fur kids pick up late afternoon. We loved the cruise (but to be fair it was as largely as expected given we’ve done Grandiosa and Meraviglia before).
 

And finally after forced retirement from sailing since Allure TA last March it was a cruise!!!!!! And they made it genuinely feel like a true cruise rather than an elongated visit or sampler session. (Which was our worry beforehand).
 

personal big thoughts…

 

embarkation and disembark were excellent.

 

Ship is lovely and size of ship will accommodate the intended capacity but the processes will creak like mad…. The staff are great and very willing but put 5,000 on board and it will feel very different.

 

found the food very good and it did feel like they were ‘trying’ to anglicise things for the UK guest a bit more than in med… ironically I absolutely hated the ‘cottage pie’ after looking forward to it for lunch! Just fat and gristle and not sure it was really beef!  And the chicken in the Indian butter chicken was not my liking! (Greasy thigh) But both is just being picky… breakfasts were great and the wines pretty decent….

 

re the shows - we enjoyed them as ‘entertainment’ as that’s what they were - good singers, dancers etc and a nice way to spend 35 mins… ‘we will rock you’, ‘mamma Mia’ (rc) or ‘Rock of Ages’ or ‘burn the floor’ (Ncl) it certainly was not. Our view on MSC shows is always the same…. It’s all a little frantic and frenetic - they try to have too many performers, doing too much for every possible second of the 35 mins…. It feels to us that someone should calm it all down just a touch! 

 

only stumbles for us were:

 

1. we had done ultra cheapo tight fist fantastica interior cabins at not much more than £300 per person for 4 nights all inclusive(!) but the ‘fantastica’ aspect never happened at all…. No room service menus and when we ‘had a discussion’ with guest services about it we were told ‘well your cabin is too small to have any room service breakfast…’ errrrr ok

 

2. totally love the sky lounge as always but there seems to be an issue about getting drinks out to guests very quickly (we sometimes waited 25 mins after ordering!)…. And then the waitresses brought out many tables of drinks at the same time… but given the waiting lots of other guests in the same general location had then finished their rounds and immediately ordered more… meaning the feel of the circulating service didn’t happen a lot of the time

 

3. slightly naughty bartender in sky lounge too… my tipple is Bombay sapphire…. He didn’t say they had run out and couldn’t seemingly get a new bottle…. So instead of offering an alternative he just poured in tanquery and Hendricks into 2 we had…. Working on the basis that with the drinks package in excessive operation we couldn’t taste or tell….we did and they had to admit they didn’t have any!

 

4. we also experienced 2 bars running out of grey goose vodka and even baileys! suspect that they only provisioned once for the first two sailings and underestimated!!!!!!


would we go again…. Definitely Yep we too are on on 3rd July but this time we are going to try the yacht club as we’ve never done that before… will we go to the shows this time…. Mmmm probably not….


And no comment re the comedian…. As my wife’s dad said to the comedian to his face after his show in trying to be constructive… ‘well, I’ve heard worse…’ (I wanted the ground to open up and for us to call for life vests…..)

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Waju said:

For CaroleC - sorry I don't know how to reply to only part of your post!  We had lunch at the pool grill yesterday.  It was really good - lovely pizza - shame the tables were in he shade though as it was such a glorious day.  I didn't even consider packing sun cream and we are really suffering now!

 

We liked the little pool at the back too, as you said it has its own bar and although there was music playing it was fairly quiet as it was mainly adults around it. 


Oh missed the pool grill open yesterday 🙄. We were sunbathing at the Horizon pool, managed to snag one of those double wicker beds right at the stern, sooo comfy and the view of the wake is fabulous. We got burnt too despite using lotion,  we kept saying “it’s like being abroad” 😎.

 

A tip for anyone who uses that area, the outside stairs in both corners of the deck lead directly to the rear of the Marketplace buffet restaurant on deck 15. Saves walking all the way through to the lift area where the inside stairs are. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, BigRoger said:

embarkation and disembark were excellent.

 

Totally agree

 

Quote

 

Ship is lovely and size of ship will accommodate the intended capacity but the processes will creak like mad…. The staff are great and very willing but put 5,000 on board and it will feel very different.

 

Yep, agree again

 

Quote

totally love the sky lounge as always but there seems to be an issue about getting drinks out to guests very quickly (we sometimes waited 25 mins after ordering!)…. And then the waitresses brought out many tables of drinks at the same time… but given the waiting lots of other guests in the same general location had then finished their rounds and immediately ordered more… meaning the feel of the circulating service didn’t happen a lot of the time

 

We experienced the same

 

Quote

we also experienced 2 bars running out of grey goose vodka and even baileys! suspect that they only provisioned once for the first two sailings and underestimated!!!!!!

 

I ordered a Baileys in the Carousel Lounge last night only to be told they had ran out. I wouldn’t have minded so much if it weren’t for the pax on the next table who were served cocktails not 15 minutes later that contained Baileys. Perhaps they’d found a bottle that had been missed earlier 🙄

 

Quote


we too are on on 3rd July but this time we are going to try the yacht club as we’ve never done that before

 

Nice!! I’m jealous 😁

 

Quote


And no comment re the comedian…. As my wife’s dad said to the comedian to his face after his show in trying to be constructive… ‘well, I’ve heard worse…’ (I wanted the ground to open up and for us to call for life vests…..)


🤣🤣🤣

 

 

Edited by CaroleC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Waju said:

Just remembered - the staff were all really, really friendly.  I think we had to say 'good morning/evening' or 'thank you' at least 10 times before we even got to our table.

 

 

 

 

This reinforces my theory on comments in the past that MSC staff were "cold" and "unfriendly".  I believe that is because on European and US cruises earlier, there were so many nationalities aboard that staff have no way of knowing who speaks what language.  I tried to be the first to say "good morning" or "thank you", to let buffet servers, etc. know how to address me.

Your cruise had all English-speaking passengers, so staff knew what to expect, and got to practice a lot!  Good for them.  Thank you for mentioning that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've gone for the premier plus drinks package. Does that include the Atelier bar menu? - The Cognac Delamain Millésime 1976 comes out as 56 quid a glass - that can't be included is it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, LdnJon said:

I've gone for the premier plus drinks package. Does that include the Atelier bar menu? - The Cognac Delamain Millésime 1976 comes out as 56 quid a glass - that can't be included is it?


Yes it does . The only place on the ship you cannot use your drinks package for drinks is Rob the robot and the Jeanne Phillipe chocolate cafe .We remember the days when you could also your package for the gelato ice cream , sadly no longer allowed . 
Enjoy your Cognac ,I am still sitting on the fence whether to upgrade or not.

Edited by heatherb1958
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, LdnJon said:

I've gone for the premier plus drinks package. Does that include the Atelier bar menu? - The Cognac Delamain Millésime 1976 comes out as 56 quid a glass - that can't be included is it?

 

Nice find! A good £30 a glass Champagne in that bar too. I hadn't noticed these. I know where I am going on boarding on Tue. I think you board right next to that bar.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

52 minutes ago, pmd98052 said:

 

Nice find! A good £30 a glass Champagne in that bar too. I hadn't noticed these. I know where I am going on boarding on Tue. I think you board right next to that bar.


Yes, it’s the first bar you pass after boarding. Or not go past but sit down if you’re anything like hubby and I! 😂😂

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Couple-Somerset said:

MSC has a history of employing Eastern European crew. 

 

Did you know that to get a job they must speak at least 3 different languages fluently? 

 

Im sure some will disagree but Ive always found crew from Indonesia etc and the Caribbean to be the friendliest and most outgoing. 

 

Eastern Europeans less so. 

 

Yeah, back in the day they used to employ lots of Eastern Europeans on their ships... But Eastern Europe is now quickly growing and most of them are finding good employment opportunities there, so on my last 2 or 3 cruises most of the contingent was made among the usual Indonesian/Caribbean/south american sort of individuals similar to the other lines with a growing crowd of Africans at the housekeeping/cabin steward department!...

 

While I have never had such an unpleasant MSC employee, I believe that by default MSC requires what I can call as "reserved professionalism" on their employees, the similar way you'd find on pretty much any other 4*/5* continental European land hotel or restaurant, so, it is not that they aren't nice and friendly, simply they're required to do their job the best they can while remaining somewhat "behind the scenes". That's what is usual here in continental Europe, and that is how I like things to go. I want a bartender to pick my orders and serve me my drinks, not for the occasional add-on conversation about my day... Meanwhile, every time I approached one of them, they tended to be responsive as far as they can go, despite the language barrier. Most will at least to speak bearable English at least!...

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nunagoras, I agree!  On our first Cunard cruise, I was baffled by the fact that our MDR waiter was invisible, and yet everything was served, refilled, etc. exactly as it should be.  I do prefer that to waiters who think they have to tell jokes, do magic tricks, and so on.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

45 minutes ago, shipgeeks said:

Nunagoras, I agree!  On our first Cunard cruise, I was baffled by the fact that our MDR waiter was invisible, and yet everything was served, refilled, etc. exactly as it should be.  I do prefer that to waiters who think they have to tell jokes, do magic tricks, and so on.

 

I know we are getting way off theme now but it brought back memories of a clearly insane section head waiter we had once on RC. He was called ‘Hans’ from Germany… he did magic tricks, told jokes, everything except his core job…. Oh and he had a habit of waving his arms about to such an extent that he totally smashed a whole tables dinner all over the carpet…. He just ordered his team to clear it up as if it was nothing to do with him! It was different and a version of entertaining…. Well way more than the Virtuosa comedian anyway

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BigRoger said:

I know we are getting way off theme now but it brought back memories of a clearly insane section head waiter we had once on RC. He was called ‘Hans’ from Germany… he did magic tricks, told jokes, everything except his core job…. Oh and he had a habit of waving his arms about to such an extent that he totally smashed a whole tables dinner all over the carpet…. He just ordered his team to clear it up as if it was nothing to do with him! It was different and a version of entertaining…. Well way more than the Virtuosa comedian anyway

I loved Hans, we had him on Splendour around 2005 when our son was young and then just before Splendour left the fleet in 2015 when he was restaurant manager but still did some tricks at Chefs Table. Have to say we've always found the staff on MSC pretty good though, I think they are taught to take their cue from the passengers they are serving.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, kernow said:

I loved Hans, we had him on Splendour around 2005 when our son was young and then just before Splendour left the fleet in 2015 when he was restaurant manager but still did some tricks at Chefs Table. Have to say we've always found the staff on MSC pretty good though, I think they are taught to take their cue from the passengers they are serving.

If we're talking about the same German guy, he might have been promoted to general restaurant manager on the Allure. When the Allure first came to Europe, some 6 years ago, on my sailing there was a very big family group they made to have dinner at a far big table with unusual big chairs they had at the MDR's upper deck lobby. The guy might have realized that 2 girls on that big family group were acrobat or rhythmic gymnastics, so, after dinner, on the last day of the cruise they were both 3 doing some comical tricks, based on both his usual cruise restaurant tricks and the girls artistic ones while guests were leaving the place... Not my cup of tea, but that's it!... Oh, well, let the thread to resume its usual, forget the off-topic!...

 

And, yeah, that's it. MSC requires that employees do take their cue from their guests. That's it, exactly!...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, kernow said:

I loved Hans, we had him on Splendour around 2005 when our son was young and then just before Splendour left the fleet in 2015 when he was restaurant manager but still did some tricks at Chefs Table. Have to say we've always found the staff on MSC pretty good though, I think they are taught to take their cue from the passengers they are serving.


We met a young girl from Zimbabwe who served us our first drinks on Preziosa , think her name was Brenda , she had her interview for MSC in South Africa , such a delightful girl . Her first time away from home I think ,  we made sure we took time to chat with her anytime she served us and on the last night she cried when we said our goodbyes . OMG tugs at your heart strings . 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Diamond Status Loyality

Was  Diamond Status applicable whilst checking in at Southampton and did anyone use it  ?

I must admit I had forgotten to mention it as its not unusual to have to mention it to the Terminal employee's at Southampton when using other companies. It had been such a long time being at the cruise terminal I must have wanted to linger their longer . 😀. I did use it for disembarkation. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, LifeonMars said:

Diamond Status Loyality

Was  Diamond Status applicable whilst checking in at Southampton and did anyone use it  ?

I must admit I had forgotten to mention it as its not unusual to have to mention it to the Terminal employee's at Southampton when using other companies. It had been such a long time being at the cruise terminal I must have wanted to linger their longer . 😀. I did use it for disembarkation. 

(On 24th cruise) Initially on embarkation there was nothing for diamond members… eg no specific Black Sea pass card etc… nothing at all to distinguish…. We ‘had a quick word’ with guest services who reprinted cards and arranged the free bottle of Prosecco etc… their explanation was (true or otherwise) that the loyalty manager on board had walked off the ship after first maiden voyage cruise, never to return! Could be completely untrue but it came directly first hand from guest services!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Couple-Somerset said:

Anyone on the current May 28th sailing? due to get off on Tuesday 1st

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Maybe the most anxious CCers have already had their cruise fix for now on. At an average 1000 pax per sailing it will be quite difficult to see some more reviews for now... Nice Youtube videos on the ship are flowing by the minute, though!...

 

PS: Regarding the videos on the ship to date, I must admit MSC has done mostly a great job. At least, while on one hand, like on the other Meras, there is that cavernous promenade (with an MSC's twist plus the nice LED ceiling) and that sports bar and fun activities areas that are pretty much a white branded variant of an RCI Oasis Class ship; on the other hand pretty much all the other areas had a slight redesign and color adjustment from the other Meras that make them more in line with what has been the usual "Affordable Elegant Environment" living aboard pretty much every other Lirica, Musica, Fantasia and to an extent Seaside classes of ship! This ship, at least, became notoriously an MSC ship which I can likely to book come the right opportunity... There is currently a quite nice deal for the 4 nigther repo cruise from Lisbon to Genoa... Sadly I have no one to go with me, so I can't go on for now...

 

PS1: Surprisingly they're retaining Casablanca in Morocco at the usual 10 nighter fall series. If here in the EU the vaccination thread seems not to be so great, imagine how it could to be on Morocco where health care in general is also far worse than here. Hope they rethink this on due time and add one more day at see or a Funchal (Portugal) visit that seems to be at bearable distances for that itinerary to reach.

 

Have a nice day!...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Nunagoras said:

Surprisingly they're retaining Casablanca in Morocco at the usual 10 nighter fall series. If here in the EU the vaccination thread seems not to be so great, imagine how it could to be on Morocco where health care in general is also far worse than here. Hope they rethink this on due time and add one more day at see or a Funchal (Portugal) visit that seems to be at bearable distances for that itinerary to reach.


We called at Casablanca on a cruise several years ago. I was really looking forward to it, unfortunately, it turned out to be the dirtiest, most unpleasant port we have ever visited and we’ve been to a lot over the years. I wouldn’t set foot in the place again if you paid me!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, CaroleC said:


We called at Casablanca on a cruise several years ago. I was really looking forward to it, unfortunately, it turned out to be the dirtiest, most unpleasant port we have ever visited and we’ve been to a lot over the years. I wouldn’t set foot in the place again if you paid me!

 

We stayed there on a Morocco tour several years ago and I have to agree it was a filthy, dirty port town and nothing like I anticipated.
It was also the only place in Morocco we we advised not to venture out after dark!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 minutes ago, CaroleC said:


We called at Casablanca on a cruise several years ago. I was really looking forward to it, unfortunately, it turned out to be the dirtiest, most unpleasant port we have ever visited and we’ve been to a lot over the years. I wouldn’t set foot in the place again if you paid me!

Apart Hassan II grand mosque and a little very beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral there is really nothing to write home about there really... It's dirty and unsafe... Oh, and the way they drive their cars...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Nunagoras said:

Apart Hassan II grand mosque and a little very beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral there is really nothing to write home about there really... It's dirty and unsafe... Oh, and the way they drive their cars...

We stopped there on the Poesia November 2012 on the T.A to Fort Lauderdale, we found it ok apart from the taxi driver who tried to rip us off until we shouted over a police officer, he quickly relented. We wandered around the souk and then headed back to the ship which was moored in an Industrial port surrounded by Containers.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, sidari said:

We stopped there on the Poesia November 2012 on the T.A to Fort Lauderdale, we found it ok apart from the taxi driver who tried to rip us off until we shouted over a police officer, he quickly relented. We wandered around the souk and then headed back to the ship which was moored in an Industrial port surrounded by Containers.

Yeah, it was indeed an industrial port. Been there 2014 or 2015, don't remember exactly when doing the southern med 10 nighter from Lisbon, on the Magnifica!... TBHH, I may have had larger expectations, but again. Once on a lifetime is enough!... The next time there I'll make it just like another sea day!... Actually our MSC sponsored shore excursion bus escaped 2 consecutive huge car crashes near the Catholic Cathedral that might have had its consequences by just a little nothing!... Sadly with only those 2 wonderful buildings alongside the British Church that was closed for repairs they'd to have wonderful conditions to be a very interesting touristic place. Happens though that they're not ready for the prime time. And even less so they might to be in this post Covid era...

 

Have a nice day!...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com Jan '22
      • ANNOUNCEMENT: AmaWaterways - Journey Through Europe
      • ICYMI Cruise Critic Live Special Event: Q&A with Silversea Cruises
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...