MSC Bellissima Maiden Cruise Diary

Our first post from our MSC Bellissima cruise is our Bellissima Maiden Cruise Dairy. We post these to our Facebook Page (Please visit for more pictures) and share with a select few Facebook groups during the cruise. If you missed them or haven’t seen them yet, they are now all below.



Day 1 Boarding Day

Arriving at City terminal, Southampton you couldn’t miss Bellissima, she was huge and looking whiter than white.

Check-in was very swift, with no queuing or waiting around and we soon on our way to the ship.

You could literally smell the new ship once onboard, everything sparkled. Rooms were not ready yet so we explored – having a look around the pub and the speciality restaurants. We have a dining experience so will be trying these.

We headed down to the spa to take a look around and decided we’d get a Spa pass to use the thermal suite on one of our sea days as this is something we enjoy. This was €60 for two people (discounted).

We had a light lunch in the buffet – there was a great selection and the food was delicious. It was quite busy but there was loads of seating.
We’ve noticed no matter where you are there is always some music playing which really gives a nice atmosphere.

Our experience with the MSCforMe app and tech is a bit disappointing. Even though we registered a card a couple of days ago we had to do it again at one of the machines by reception. We also have the wrist bands but wouldn’t bother in the future as most of the time they ask you for a card, handy to open the door with though.

Our cabin is an inside Bella and feels absolutely huge. A number of sockets can be found on the desk as well as USB sockets next to the bed. Anyone travelling from the UK will need a Euro adapter.

We had a table for 2 in the main dining room, but it’s like a row of 8 but that’s much better than round tables as you can choose to be social or not. The other tables around us were VERY close. The service was good and the starters and mains very tasty. We skipped desert as we wanted to watch the recording of the naming ceremony.

Unfortunately, that was a little underwhelming – we understand they had to cut it short but the second part was mainly the singer they had in the theatre . Can’t remember who it was (Leee John) but we joined the many other people and walked out about half way through.

After the show we went to the Sky Lounge, it’s a great bar and can see this being a favourite of ours!

So, first impression is that this really is a beautiful ship, the staff are all really attentive and we’re looking forward to the next week on board!

 

Day 2 – Sea Day 1

After a great night’s sleep, we woke up to the ship rocking and rolling – love it as always good to be reminded you are at sea and on a ship this size that’s easy to forget

A quick trip was to the buffet was needed before we had a chilled-out afternoon, spending most of it in the Grand Canyon which is a solarium. It was quite busy but due to rough seas and the main pool was closed off.

Being elegant night, tonight was a chance to get dressed up. We had a walk around and had our photo taken with the captain before then heading to dinner. Loads of people were dressed up and there was definitely more of a buzz tonight.

We got chatting to the couple next to us and before we knew it, the time had slipped away and the show was about to start. We headed down there to watch Pink, we are not really show fans but we found this to be good enough to stay and watch the whole thing – which is praise from us!

After the show we went to the sky lounge for some more drinks with our table companions. There we drank in to the early hours and missed the buffet. We then looked at several of the ship models, for each deck name the corresponding ship model can be found in the forward elevator lobby. We made it to bed around 3:30am.

Again, a shout out to the staff, they have been great – always really friendly.

Rough Day at Sea

Day 3 – Sea Day 2

What a super rough day! Much of today has been spent walking around the ship watching people trying to walk straight. We were both feeling a little under the weather, first time we’ve experienced this discomfort – not sure if that’s due to the seas or the drink from last night! It was tough going.

We were supposed to be in La Coruna today but we were advised the port would be cancelled and instead we would arrive in Lisbon a day early. We can see why they did this and as a bonus it now gives us 2 nights in Lisbon.

We have a 3 experiences dining package, so tonight we were in Butchers Cut. The meal was amazing, we can’t stress enough that we really enjoyed it. It was also white night so they had a party on the promenade which looked great fun with lots of people dancing and enjoying themselves.

For our meal we had a table outside Butchers Cut so we got to see the LED show several times. Love how everyone comes to a standstill to watch, it really is an impressive piece of technology!

The weather turned bad again this evening and there were glasses and plates sliding off the tables on the lower decks, we managed to catch ours while at Butchers Cut, but when we went to visit the buffet higher up an hour or so later (not for us, we were still stuffed) – that had obviously been worse hit with plates, cups and a few chairs all over the place.

We popped our head in to the Sky Lounge but they had temporarily closed the bar to clean up. We had a look out to the sea, it didn’t seem as rough as we thought it would be so we are putting it down to the fact the ship was catching the wind due to its sheer side!

As great fun as it was for us we did see one or two take a tumble so hopefully they are ok.

Having an early night (1:30 haha), tomorrow we have the spa booked so will spend a few hours there – we are due to arrive in Lisbon at 2pm so may pop in to explore.

Butchers Cut
Butchers Cut

Day 4 – Arriving in Lisbon at 2pm

After a restless night sleep we were up at 9am.

Our cabin is inside, forward on deck 9 so we do feel the moment and it was annoying to be woken up when the ship rolled. But this morning things were much improved and as we approached Lisbon, we had sunny spells between the showers.

 

There was a bloggers tour of the Yacht club, so we had a look around and happened to be there while we passed under the bridge coming in to Lisbon. We were also fortunate to speak to Antonio, the MD for MSC UK and it was great to see how passionate he was about the ship, actually every member of staff we have interacted with have been really passionate. We spoke with one bar steward who had worked with MSC for 11 years and she really seemed to love her job.

We spent about 2 hours in the Spa, going between steam rooms, saunas, showers and pools – it’s great spa and we came out feeling a bit too relaxed so it was time to grab some gelato to wake us up!

We then made our way to the Grand Canyon where we sunk a few G&T’s ‘chillaxing’ – this is what it’s about!

Lisbon was looking gloomy and wet but was starting to improve – if we’d have thought better, we may have changed our dining plans tonight so that we could eat in port, but we’ll still enjoy ourselves and you never know, we may end up in Lisbon later 😛

Tonight’s dinner was in L’Atelier Bistrot – another good meal with attentive service.

After dinner we headed for a couple of G&Ts in the Infinity Bar before heading to the show to watch the mime act. There were a couple of ‘what am I watching’ moments but overall the crowd enjoyed it and there were a few times we found ourselves laughing out loud.

Wanting to make sure we’d covered all bars we headed to the casino but that was closed as we were in port, so it was off to our ‘go to’ bar – Sky Lounge for a G&T or two (or three) before bed!

Tomorrow we will explore Lisbon!

 

Day 5 – Lisbon

Alarm set for 8:30 as we wanted to get out early – fat chance of that as we’ve burnt the candle at both ends and made it out around 11am.

In the shade and the wind, it was quite cool – slightly deceiving and we both ended up with red faces.

We explored Lisbon on foot, wandering up the narrow streets and finding our way to the castle where we took in some spectacular views. On the way back down, we decided to stop at a bar for some nice refreshing beer!

From there it was a hunt for some Portuguese custard tarts, which went down very nicely with a coffee! Yum.

The small food market we found was great but we’d read about Time Out market so we paid that a visit also. That was super busy, maybe a bit too busy but the choice was amazing and worth a visit if you a feeling hungry as you are guaranteed to find something you like! We did a Port tasting session here, so left feeling a bit tipsy!

By the time we got back to the ship all the pools were shaded and it was getting cold, so we found seats in the Grand Canyon where after a spell in the Jacuzzi it was time to get ready for dinner.

After dinner we had a quick wonder around the port to get some photos as the ‘Folk-law’ show didn’t really appeal to us.

Once back we set ourselves up in the pub for a few drinks before exploring the outer decks near the lifeboats.

Before we knew it, it was 2am and bed was calling! Getting an early night on this ship is impossible – haha!

Day 6… we think?

Half day in Lisbon today before a sea day tomorrow.

We were up about 7 as today we wanted to get our ship tour done. We’d arranged to see kids club so we were there before they opened to the guests so that we could get photos of everything. It looks a super fun place! If your kids are Lego or Duplo fans, you’ll probably not see them for the whole cruise as they will love it there!

After kid’s club, we explored the decks and could tell it was going to be a scorcher.

For sail away we we’re on deck before then hitting the water park and ropes course. It was great fun and will definitely be doing it again before the end of the cruise.

We had managed to get tickets to Cirque Du Soleil cocktail and show! It’s was called Syma and was absolutely brilliant! Highly recommend and such a shame there are only limited showings this cruise.

After Syma we headed to the main dining room for our dinner. Tonight was elegant night, our second on this cruise! Suffering from sun burn so we dressed down a little!

Day 7 – at sea!

 

What a stunning day! After using our free €3 euro casino credit and loosing badly we realised it was the MSC welcome back cocktail party – not sure if champagne at 11am is a good idea so we avoided it but there seemed to be a stampede to get in the closed off area… maybe we’re missing a trick?

Got quite annoyed today as for the 3 days running we’ve had no pool towels left in our room and have either had to find our steward or ring reception so today I made a point of complaining to guest services as this was getting really inconvenient.

Anyhow, who once the towels arrived it was off to the aqua park! Us, along with loads of other adults were just being big kids going down the water slides over and over! If we’re having this much fun, little ones would love it!

Also did the ropes course again and had some beautiful views out to see, was worth the waiting just to look out at the beautiful blue ocean. Decided once wasn’t enough so did three laps of the course – great fun!

The afternoon was spent sitting in the sun and just relaxing, complete bliss!

This evenings meal was in Kaito Sushi bar. Food delicious but the service shocking. Half hour late, staff looking moody and stressed and no offer of a drink of any kind!

Tonight, there was a Maiden Cruise party – the first thing we’ve seen to acknowledge this is a maiden cruise. We watched the dancing and they had some funky visuals on the LED dome before looking around the ships and having an early night.

Tomorrow, Valencia!

 

Day 8 – Valencia

Final day and at the port of Valencia! We met up with our new friends and made our way down to port shuttle which took us to the terminal free of charge. MSC also offer a shuttle in to town for around 12€ per person if you don’t fancy the long walk.

We firstly walked to the the City of Arts and Sciences which is visually impressive before taking a walk through the park and then on in to the city centre.

It was very crowded with the streets packed, it also appeared on that there was going to be an event of some kind as they were closing the roads off.

Our friends continued to explore but we started making our way back to the ship, as it was our last day we wanted to spend a couple of hours in the sun on Bellissima.

The walk back took us about an hour and our feet were hurting but as the area around the arts and sciences part was so nice, we stopped by to take some more photos.

Back on board Bellissima we relaxed on the aft deck until it started to get too cold, so we relocated to the Grand Canyon.

We had an excellent final meal in the MDR and said our goodbyes to our waiter Tony before hitting the shops for some gifts and then on to the bars!

We had some cocktails and oysters in the Champagne bar – we never made it to the buffet as we were enjoying ourselves too much!

By the time we went to bed it was 3am – we really did make the most of the last night.

Alarm set for 7am as we fly home in the morning.

 

Good bye MSC Bellissima

So that concludes our cruise and posts. Thank you if you have been reading them, we will have lots more content coming that will be more informative.

We had a great time and can say Bellissima really is #BeautyAtSea – we can’t wait to come back!

Finally, we just want to thank the admins of the Facebook groups who allowed us to share our posts on their groups, you can visit their websites and Facebook pages below:

Emma: Cruising Isn’t Just for Old People
Webste: https://cruisingisntjustforoldpeople.co.uk/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/273786596385850/

Becky: Cruise Addicts
Webste: https://cruiseaddictsmag.com/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/176262966119470/

Tim and Andy: MSC Cruses UK Passenger Forum
Webste: https://timthorpetravel.com/
Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/MSCUKForum/

Further info:

We like to be open and honest about our cruises (find out more here) and this cruise was completely funded by ourselves. We paid £1662.00 for 2 people travelling on an Inside Bella grade cabin with the guys at Vision Cruise, this included the Flights, Transfers, Booking fee and the Bar and Restaurant drinks package. As previous MSC passengers we were awarded 5% discount on the cruise. We pre booked the Drinks Package and Dining experiences. During the bloggers meet up we requested a look around the Yacht Club and the Kids Club.