A cruise is an event doesn’t matter if you are a first timer or a experienced cruiser and all the time the embarkation day can set the mood for the days to come.

In my experience, not all the time the departure date match the best option in travel: price of the tickets, time of arrival in the port or time frame arrival-embarkation-departure. Therefore, couple of times I choose to arrive one day earlier than the embarkation and spend the night in the first port of the cruise. I know that some try to save on spending for a hotel room by flying in the morning of their cruise’s departure, but is it worth the stress of facing a delay should one occur? Padding your cruise with a day or two spent in port not only adds to the overall cruise experience with a land portion, but it takes the painstaking race against time — and potentially missing the ship — out of the vacation equation

That was my situation in January this year when I was sailing on MSC Splendida, from Genova, around Mediterranean Sea. I decided to spend 2 nights in the hub of MSC, the Liguria capital, Genoa. After searching different websites and reading the reviews I decided for Melia Genova, a 5-star hotel, part of the well-known MELIÁ HOTELS INTERNATIONAL.

The chain has a strong reputation, with some “ups and downs” but I can’t recommend the one in Genova highly enough.

MELIA GENOA has a central location ideal for both business and leisure, on Via Corsica, a quiet tree-lined road with magnificent architectural surroundings. Is very near the Palazzo Ducale, Carlo Felice theatre, San Lorenzo Cathedral, and Aquarium. If you take a taxi from the airport the fare will not be more than 35 Euros and to walk in to town will takes no more than 20 minutes. Actually, the location gives you the possibility to discover the charm of old city if you walk from the hotel to the Aquarium for example (leisurely walk approx. 30 minutes)

I decided for my booking a Junior suite on the 6th floor. Sure, it’s not cheap but has the wow factor. My suite at the Meliá Genoa was spacious, around 32 metres squared, providing a relaxing lounge area, comfortable furniture and pleasant lighting from its three windows with panoramic view. It is, with no doubts, the perfect choice for guests seeking greater space for greater comfort and charm. Decorated with a combination of the best of classic and contemporary styles with luxurious details to ensure a wonderful stay, some bits still need some polish (chipped furniture well hidden, Nespresso coffee machine didn’t work, lamps on the terrace didn’t work in the first night). But once again Melia Genoa was an excellent choice.

The terrace was impressive with excellent views of the town, very quiet and HUGE. Perfect place to watch the New Year fireworks over the sea and city.

The bathroom, with separate shower, bathtub and toilet has an interesting and spacious layout. I was very excited to find a TV screen in the bathroom mirror. And to not forget: i was very impressed with the bathroom amenities which are Loewe – a Spanish luxury fashion brand founded in 1846. That is what I call “a little touch of luxury”

The public areas are warm and welcoming due to a very inspired mixture of modern and traditional deco elements. The historical building was designed by Giuseppe Crosa di Vergagni in 1929, a Genoese architect of noble birth who also designed the fountain in the Piazza de Ferrari and other historical palaces in Genoa. It is a beautiful designer hotel, with a fascinating yet warm atmosphere that makes guests feel entirely at home.

The breakfast is served every morning in MAREA RESTAURANT, a cosy place matching the modern line of the rest of the hotel. Breakfast buffet was very good with lots of choices and healthy options but I have to say the service a bit slow and hectic, with the staff coping very well with a high number of guests arriving at the same time.


BLUE LOUNGE BAR, decorated in silver, platinum and titanium tones with an elegant yet informal setting is pleasant at any hour of the day. The lounge has an a la carte menu including innovative and genuine regional and Mediterranean cuisine and a wide selection of Italian wines from the best bodegas. Don’t miss the excellent Mojito and Cosmopolitan and the scrumptious “Tiramisu Meliá”


In the basement, the hotel has a cosy gym and a charming pool. I didn’t mind the size of both and I found a good idea to keep the facilities only for the guests: no risk to share the space with locals doing their training for the next Olympics like in other chain hotels. Perfect place to relax!

On top of the incredible attention to details and the real feel of comfort and luxury, what really made my experience unique, especially for a chain hotel, was Melia Genova staff. Everything became obsolete in front of this incredible totally professional and extremely friendly staff. Beginning from the Bellboy and room stewardess and ending with Reception and Concierge were all very correct, polite, quick to respond to any request and with a permanent genuine smile. And it’s not that there are no criticism points, but they became insignificant compared to the perfect job the that staff has do or has done. Couple of malfunctions in the room were solved in a timely manner, when asked about museums and aquarium opening time we were offered to buy “skip the line” tickets and the restaurant recommendations from the reception were based on real experience and not prices or “copy paste” information. Absolutely incredible customer service!

Bottom line: Melia Genova (  is THE option if you decide to stay the night before your cruise in Genova. At the end of the day even a flight that arrives the morning of could put you in line behind others waiting at the cruise terminal to get on the ship. Arriving at the ship nice and early — harder to guarantee with a flight — can mean making the most of that very first day of your cruise. Take time to orientate yourself with the ship’s layout, drop your bags, start sunning by the pool, grab a bite to eat and take a deep breath as you settle into your holiday bliss. And Melia Genova offers you a perfect start of your cruise in a real charming cosy boutique hotel in the heart of Genoa.


~ by Leonard69 on January 13, 2017.

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