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Virtuosa maiden voyage


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15 hours ago, MISSGJ said:

IN RELATION TO THE MANDATORY HEALTH QUESTIONNAIRE THAT MUST BE COMPLETED WITHIN 6 HOURS PRIOR EMBARKATION, HAVE YOU STAYED OR TRAVELLED IN ONE OF THE COUNTRIES LISTED BELOW IN THE LAST 14 DAYS?

Bulgaria, Romania, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay, Armenia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Moldova, Oman, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia, any other state outside the Schengen area, United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, Principality of Monaco, Republic of San Marino, or Vatican City State.

 

 

 

Hi again everyone!

 

The above is a question on the mandatory health questionnaire.


Considering every other answer is no, it will feel weird to tick a “yes” box right at the start when I complete the form within 6 hours of embarkation but considering we are in the U.K. and sailing from the U.K. the answer is obviously yes. 


I left the box blank as I wasn’t sure whether to tick yes or no lol. The port agent said its ‘no’ if you haven’t left the UK in the last 14 days.

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2 minutes ago, CaroleC said:


I left the box blank as I wasn’t sure whether to tick yes or no lol. The port agent said its ‘no’ if you haven’t left the UK in the last 14 days.

Only with MSC .... 🤣 The UK should not be in the list.

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20 hours ago, little britain said:

On another note: is the aft elephant pool for adults only please? 


No it’s not. We were sunbathing by it yesterday and a couple of kids were in it. The pool is quite small, although it’s a really nice area with its own bar. A lot quieter than the main pool area.

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1 hour ago, CaroleC said:


I left the box blank as I wasn’t sure whether to tick yes or no lol. The port agent said its ‘no’ if you haven’t left the UK in the last 14 days.

Thank you!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, caffeine_demon said:

Did anyone else find their wifi had been switched off at midnight even though there was still an evening left?


No, I was too tight to buy a package 😆. I managed to pick up a signal most of the cruise, albeit a bit spotty at times but I managed. Couldn’t get one last night though funnily enough 🤷‍♀️

 

 

Edited by CaroleC
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18 hours ago, MISSGJ said:

Ok that had me completely confused. 
 

Thank you everyone. So the answer is no the same as every question. I thought it odd. I’m glad I posted. Thank you all again for your help. 

Agree ; there isn’t an OR so I would put Yes as the UK is listed..?

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, little britain said:

 

 

32 minutes ago, Couple-Somerset said:

Soooo - how have those who've been on the May 24th cruise got on?

 

Any comments, good, bad or indifferent?

 


We loved the ship, it has certainly has the wow factor on first appearances. The crew seem happy to be on board and all try to be helpful as they can be. 
 

I was very underwhelmed with the solarium area which just doesn’t compare to RCI’s on their big ships. Outside pool areas were nice although I can imagine it may be difficult to find a lounger when pax capacity is increased. 
 

We had a Fantastica balcony cabin which was a decent size with plenty of storage space. It was on deck 12 near the stern (reallocated by MSC a week before sailing as deck 9 wasn’t being used) and a quite a long walk from the nearest lifts midship. Deck plans do show aft lifts, these are not accessible to pax. 
 

Food was ok although not a great deal of choice certainly in the Marketplace buffet restaurant. Whether this will improve as pax numbers increase remains to be seen.

 

Both embarkation and disembarkation was quick and painless. We had a boarding time of 13:40, took approx 45 minutes from entering the terminal building to setting foot on the ship. This morning, we were on our way home in less than 20 minutes after finishing breakfast, however, this may have been down to being one of the last to leave. There were only a dozen suitcases left in collection area, I counted lol.

 

Would I sail on her again? You bet, already have the 3rd July departure booked!

 

 

Edited by CaroleC
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36 minutes ago, little britain said:

Agree ; there isn’t an OR so I would put Yes as the UK is listed..?


Yes, definitely tick ‘no’, this is what we were instructed to do by the port agent.

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49 minutes ago, CaroleC said:

 


We loved the ship, it has certainly has the wow factor on first appearances. The crew seem happy to be on board and all try to be helpful as they can be. 
 

I was very underwhelmed with the solarium area which just doesn’t compare to RCI’s on their big ships. Outside pool areas were nice although I can imagine it may be difficult to find a lounger when pax capacity is increased. 
 

We had a Fantastica balcony cabin which was a decent size with plenty of storage space. It was on deck 12 near the stern (reallocated by MSC a week before sailing as deck 9 wasn’t being used) and a quite a long walk from the nearest lifts midship. Deck plans do show aft lifts, these are not accessible to pax. 
 

Food was ok although not a great deal of choice certainly in the Marketplace buffet restaurant. Whether this will improve as pax numbers increase remains to be seen.

 

Both embarkation and disembarkation was quick and painless. We had a boarding time of 13:40, took approx 45 minutes from entering the terminal building to setting foot on the ship. This morning, we were on our way home in less than 20 minutes after finishing breakfast, however, this may have been down to being one of the last to leave. There were only a dozen suitcases left in collection area, I counted lol.

 

Would I sail on her again? You bet, already have the 3rd July departure booked!

 

 

Glad you enjoyed the cruise and thanks for the update.

Are both decks 8 and 9 not being used? We're on 5th June and had a deck 8 cabin, today that has gone to guarantee and no cabin number. Wondering where we may end up.

 

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1 hour ago, Couple-Somerset said:

Soooo - how have those who've been on the May 24th cruise got on?

 

Any comments, good, bad or indifferent?

 

We're just back from the the 24th May sailing.  Well not just back, we've been shopping and got the washing on😉

 

Embarkation was fine, slightly slower than normal but that was to be expected.  My only comment about the system would be that social distancing in the queues wasn't possible because the 'lines' where you snake around the rows were too close together.

 

After getting over the airbridge to the ship there is a real WOW factor, everything is new and bright and shiny!  The staircases in the main atrium are stunning.  Lifts are very flashy, no buttons inside - everything is pressed before you get in - we never had to wait more than a couple of seconds for one to arrive.

 

We had an inside cabin which is perfectly adequate for a few days, maybe even a week or ten days but anything longer than that would need careful planning and probably the use of suitcases under the bed as chests of drawers.  

 

The drinks prices onboard are eyewatering  Thank heavens for the drinks package!   Everything we could ever want was included, we were even allowed doubles if we asked for them.  Obviously drinks from Rob the Robot bartender aren't included - last night we saw a family of 4 order one each and the cost was £72 - £18 each 😲 

 

We enjoyed EVERY meal we had - all the meals were taken in the main restaurant with the exception of one lunch when we had stuff from the pool grill.  The service wasn't particularly fast but we prefer a leisurely meal anyway so that didn't worry us at all.  Although the choice was not huge I was always spoilt for choice and took an age to decide.  Not once did we have to resort to the 'always available' section of the menu.  We really loved the 'Mediterranean Evening' menu.  Not a huge turn out for black tie night, or elegant night as it is called on MSC, but we really enjoyed getting dressed up for the first time in well over a year.

 

The entertainment has already been well documented by others who travelled on the first cruise and I would agree with most of what has been said.  The main theatre is lovely, by the way you can take a drink in with you but there is no waiter service in there.  The singers and dancers were all really good, the shows were spectacular but sometimes a bit random and we were left wondering what was going on!  We saw the comedian once, and once was enough.  We saw Soul Sisters once and we were disappointed that we didn't manage to get to see them again.  I've just thought of something - 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.

 

I think I've covered everything - just one more thing I would mention.  We travelled with friends and our bookings were linked.  Sometimes they would scan one cruise card/bracelet, sometimes one per couple and sometimes all four.  When we checked on one of the many terminals onboard they had been charging us for drinks.  Reception soon sorted it for us but said we should all scan our cards when ordering food/drinks.  I don't think this would be a problem for those travelling solo or as a couple though.

 

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.

 

Sorry this has been so long, if you are still waiting for your cruise, you will love it.  Promise.

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58 minutes ago, kernow said:

Glad you enjoyed the cruise and thanks for the update.

Are both decks 8 and 9 not being used? We're on 5th June and had a deck 8 cabin, today that has gone to guarantee and no cabin number. Wondering where we may end up.

 

We had a deck 9 cabin booked and when we got to check in they told us we had been moved to deck 11.  Sorry but I don't know if they are just not using decks 8 and 9 - maybe someone will come along and let you know.

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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.

 

Temperature checks too each time we got to the restaurant.

 

 

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1 hour ago, kernow said:

Glad you enjoyed the cruise and thanks for the update.

Are both decks 8 and 9 not being used? We're on 5th June and had a deck 8 cabin, today that has gone to guarantee and no cabin number. Wondering where we may end up.

 


I knew deck 9 wasn’t being used on our sailing as I’d been told this by MSC when I rang to query why they had moved me from my carefully selected midship cabin on that deck to one near the stern on deck 12. It wasn’t until we received the disembarkation info on board which is listed in deck order that I realised that 8 wasn’t being used either.

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Posted (edited)
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
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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! 

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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. 

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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…..)

 

 

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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. 

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Posted (edited)
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
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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.

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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. 

 

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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?

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Posted (edited)
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
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