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CruzLover80

MSc Bellissima - Review

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Good evening everyone, it is a beautiful evening here in Madrid, listening to a trumpet player outside of the Airbnb. Your wondering how the cruise got to Madrid... well it didn’t as soon as we disembarked we hopped on the AVE train to Madrid for a couple day exploration before flying back to Florida. So I am still on vacation mode but since the Bellissima is new I wanted to put my review out there. So my husband and I have come up with a overall grade of B-. Yes we would sail MSC again but possibly under different circumstances. So here are some fun info for the upcoming cruisers. So here is some breakdown:

 

Ship

She is a massive beauty, new and shiny. Like really shiny... Mirrors everywhere. You catch a glimpse of the vapid constantly staring at themselves in all the many mirrors (while I watched my waistline and kankles expand). Not cheesy just lots of bells and whistles.  We were pleasantly surprised at the size of the inside cabin sans the couch. I could do a starfish on the floor. The layout is similar to many other large ships, everything in 3 decks plus pool decks etc. MSC has this new Zoe thing (think Alexa) that is nice.... if it worked. We ended up just using the Bluetooth portion of it and it sounded great, otherwise she was useless it “couldn’t find an answer on the server”, oh well. 

 

Food in dining room was always great and service was at a wonderful pace although sometimes the timing was off with my table mates, due to others arriving slightly later than scheduled. To my fellow Americans , no they do not provide free water in MDR. You will have to pay for it. I heard the steak place was phenomenal but didn’t eat there myself. Now for the buffet- I feel like that deserves its own paragraph. 

 

Buffet- Here’s the good: the baked breads and pastries are amazing. As is the coffee. And that’s where I must stop. The buffet never made any sense, there were foods that just didn’t belong together or didn’t compliment one another or they would be completely separated.  Maybe a European style of buffet, but I was usually left puzzled. There was always burgers and fries available, which I admit I ate often. No free ice cream 😪. And good luck getting food, us Americans are used to piling our plates high and other lines always to manage to have it fully stocked, but I found myself often waiting in lines for food to be replenished. I would be okay with that if my fellow cruise mates who were predominantly Europeans adapted to a queing in line mentality, which was no where to be found. Someone took my omelette one day and a tong out of my hand. By the 5th day I had lost my patience with the rudeness of others and felt everyone was behaving as if they had just been released from a refugee camp. Maybe I just needed a snickers by that point but it was terrible (side note: I did not experience that in the many countries we visited).  I will typically eat anything and I am probably the least pickiest person you will ever meet but my recommendation stick to MDR for no fights or burger/fries/pizza. 

 

More to come... but I’m tired. 

 

Ask any any questions you like!!!

 

 

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Thanks for the review. Were excited for the ports, were on in May. Hopefully they iron out the bugs out as I never go to a new restaurant when they first open, I give them a couple months. My first trip overseas. We're flying out of Boston. Questions I have: Dress code for dining room? I really dont want pack a coat and tie if I dont have too. Business casual good for me. Did you purchase any drink packages?

 

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Thanks for the review. We are on her in May. I'm looking forward to reading more of your trip, including the ports. 🙂

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So the festivities of the streets of Madrid settled  down around 3 am (Spaniards can sure party). Anyhoo, where was I? So I am going to back track a smidgen. The boarding process with MSC in Barcelona is horrific. You receive an assigned time, mine was somewhere around 5 and the ship sailed at 8. I had arrived around 330 in hopes I would be let in... nope. I stood in a line that I thought was for embarking.... nope... just standing in line (this will be the only time I see Europeans in a line).  Then I’m told that I need a number.... huh what number.

 

Apparently they were giving numbers to those checking in bags but to no one else (we paid a service to pick up our bags at our AirBnB and deliver directly to our cabin (BagsNgo - booked online best $20 spent). So here I have to go back outside thru security to retrieve a number. Yay a number.... 21, wait did I just hear they are only on 8... it’s 415p. Welp, there goes our tasty lunch on board. There are people EVERWHERE. We finally board around 630 get to our cabin and try to unwind only to read in the daily that we need to go to the drill. No announcement overhead, we just happened to read it. We went to the London theater met with our person then we all had to walk to the casino so we see where we will meet in the event of an emergency. Finally business finished let the fun begin. 

 

We we had put money in our account online so we didn’t have to go anywhere to activate any card. There are these convenient card machines throughout deck 5/6 that you can put cash on your account as well as set up with a credit card. We were able to receive the balance of the cash in our account they those machines last day. Very convenient- point for MSC. Now if you pay with cash be careful, I actually had to pay a little balance for a drink my husband ordered (I will get back to that) and the machine ate €2. The attendant there kept saying “it’s ok, it’s ok “ but never made an attempt to remedy. I opted to pay with my card the second time and chopped it up to lost money that I was just not willing to deal with customer service. 

 

Back to the ship, bar service was decent never waited too long for a drink. I will say I found their liquor to be watered down. My husband had a couple of straight Jim Beams because he started to feel a cold coming on and the coloring was thinner, as was my martini and wine. Best bet order a full closed bottle of wine.  Here’s were it gets a little sticky. So we booked under the Fantastica package that still have you 12 drink vouchers each person. No direction how to receive so I assumed it was “loaded” on the card. Nope we paid our first drinks. That’s ok though. Went down to guest services and they gave me 2 little booklets for drinks. I am sure there is an easier way to do that. I kinda felt like I was using a coupon at a fancy restaurant lol. So 1 of our drink booklets went missing and after many no’s the manager relented and gave me a replacement. Because it was my responsibility, mind you I had placed it IN the safe and we walked around with 1 booklet at all times. But accidents do happen and it may have been thrown out. They were able to tell by our drinks how many we used, so we were not trying to scam them. Word of advise if you are part of the voucher system, if you sign something get a receipt or check your acct daily. We had several drinks charged to our room that we used vouchers for, hence the last €7 charge. We had already had them remove €20 in drinks already and I just wasn’t willing to fight anymore. We used our onboard account to purchase waters and sodas and vouchers for alcoholic beverages to maximize the value. Suggestions: Masters of Pub makes a killer Jameson mule. 

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8 hours ago, SkmGhm said:

Thanks for the review. Were excited for the ports, were on in May. Hopefully they iron out the bugs out as I never go to a new restaurant when they first open, I give them a couple months. My first trip overseas. We're flying out of Boston. Questions I have: Dress code for dining room? I really dont want pack a coat and tie if I dont have too. Business casual good for me. Did you purchase any drink packages?

 

 

It was our first time across the pond so we really maximized our trip. You will absolutely fall in love. I just posted about drinks. 🤗

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So I will write a little diddy about attire. So my husband and I travelled in a carry on for 17 days.  So no, we did not pack for elegant nights, more for comfort and practicality, with pieces that could be dress casual. So we were always dressed appropriately. The Europeans do dress up a lot more but again it was mixed in attire. A little black dress and slacks for my husband was sufficient. Leave the rest at home. Both our AirBnB offered a washing machine and we had laundry service on the ship. Traveling light is the way to go, we have been on 2 planes, many trains, buses, and a lot of walking, so our little bags were perfect for navigating thru the cities. 

5360A8B3-3100-474D-A3A3-0A3C1A185DD7.jpeg

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44 minutes ago, CruzLover80 said:

So I will write a little diddy about attire. So my husband and I travelled in a carry on for 17 days.  So no, we did not pack for elegant nights, more for comfort and practicality, with pieces that could be dress casual. So we were always dressed appropriately. The Europeans do dress up a lot more but again it was mixed in attire. A little black dress and slacks for my husband was sufficient. Leave the rest at home. Both our AirBnB offered a washing machine and we had laundry service on the ship. Traveling light is the way to go, we have been on 2 planes, many trains, buses, and a lot of walking, so our little bags were perfect for navigating thru the cities. 

5360A8B3-3100-474D-A3A3-0A3C1A185DD7.jpeg

I’m sure he looked lovely in it😂😉

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18 hours ago, CruzLover80 said:

To my fellow Americans , no they do not provide free water in MDR. You will have to pay for it.

OMG!!! I don't know about this until last night. We don't have drink packages. Wow !!! My question is can we buy some drink with us onboard from the stop?

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57 minutes ago, CruiseLand said:

OMG!!! I don't know about this until last night. We don't have drink packages. Wow !!! My question is can we buy some drink with us onboard from the stop?

So the easy answer is no. BUT I did see 1 family (just 1) with a case of water. The large bottle of water is roughly €3, which we bought several times. Others while in port and they let us bring it back on. Other times I just filled my bottle from the sink or buffet. At the buffet is only free water, coffee and tea with ( juices only in the AM). 

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1 minute ago, CruzLover80 said:

So the easy answer is no. BUT I did see 1 family (just 1) with a case of water. The large bottle of water is roughly €3, which we bought several times. Others while in port and they let us bring it back on. Other times I just filled my bottle from the sink or buffet. At the buffet is only free water, coffee and tea with ( juices only in the AM). 

Thank you so much for answering my questions. My son only 6 years old and still need milk do that need to pay too?

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1 hour ago, Hearthosesteeldrumsplayin said:

Did you go to the Cirq show?  Looks like there are 2 on Meraviglia, but I only see 1 to book on Bellissima.  Just wondering, as I love Cirque du Soleil  Enjoying your review!

We went to the Varelia show but they do have a second show. It was good given they are on a ship and can only do so much. We loved the opera show L’Amour and I heard the version of Cinderella that was done was phenomenal. Some shows were only shown once the entire cruise so book quickly. 

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4 minutes ago, CruiseLand said:

Thank you so much for answering my questions. My son only 6 years old and still need milk do that need to pay too?

 Hmmmmm. We did get hot milk for our coffee but that was in the morning. I didn’t see cold milk but my husband said he saw some around the cereal selection. 

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3 minutes ago, CruzLover80 said:

 Hmmmmm. We did get hot milk for our coffee but that was in the morning. I didn’t see cold milk but my husband said he saw some around the cereal selection. 

Thank you so much for your answer and review. It helps us a lot and what to expect with MSC Cruise.

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Okay so I failed to tell you a little about my husband and I. We have been married for 5 yrs, together for 10. We are middle age and have adult children. We have sailed mostly in the Caribbean and this is/was our first time crossing the pond. This was also our first on MSC, so a lot of new experiences. 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, CruzLover80 said:

Okay so I failed to tell you a little about my husband and I. We have been married for 5 yrs, together for 10. We are middle age and have adult children. We have sailed mostly in the Caribbean and this is/was our first time crossing the pond. This was also our first on MSC, so a lot of new experiences. 

Same as our family. We sailed with RCI and Celebrity, I think 18 times in the Caribbean and New England & Canada. Will be first time MSC cruisers and across the pond as well

Edited by CruiseLand

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Most American bookings do include bottled water in the MDR, so I wonder what changed?

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45 minutes ago, gkbiiii said:

Most American bookings do include bottled water in the MDR, so I wonder what changed?

That may be specific to US sailings. No free water in the MDR for us and it was a table of all Americans. 

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No, water is provided on American sailings, but comped bottled water is provided on ALL sailings outside USA/Caribbean via vouchers.

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45 minutes ago, gkbiiii said:

No, water is provided on American sailings, but comped bottled water is provided on ALL sailings outside USA/Caribbean via vouchers.

Vouchers are going away this month. 

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