SQUADRA GRANDIOSA 7 days on the newest MSC ship

A cruise is always exciting…

A last-minute booking is always thrilling…

A week with MSC is (almost) exhilarating…

But a last minute booked cruise on the newest MSC ship is for sure more than that.

Episode 4

MSC won more than once awards for the excellence when addressing family cruises. MSC Grandiosa for children is the “Ship of Music” Working close with the traditional partners Lego and Chiccothe ship has 700m² for children, 60 new costumes for the youth staff, 10 new activities for kids & teenagers, 4 new mascots, 7 rooms (baby club CHICCO, miniclub LEGO, juniors club LEGO, young club, teens club, Webstar room and Doremi lab)and 1 new tech experience. And of course, a lot of happy, stress- free parents!

Features on existing Meraviglia vessels have been given a new look, including the themed Aqua Park with twisting water slides, an 82-metre-long Himalayan suspension bridge, pools and family activities.

In the first day, I board direct on the Galleria Grandiosa so she delivered that big WOW feeling from the first moment onboard. The Galleria Grandiosa is the main feature on this class of ships which begins at a three-deck high Atrium until way up in the front of the ship at the Theatre La Comedie. The ceiling of the Galleria is a virtual dome with different breath-taking projections and many different color schemes operated by led lights. At any time of the day, the Galleria is the perfect place for dining, shopping, socialising or simply taking in the unique atmosphere. And when the sun sets, it takes on another life, with LED dome shows, concerts, discos and parties late into the night.

I can talk for hours about the incredible 7 days experience on board MSC Grandiosa but to cut the story short, I think is time to cook for my readers a “Grandiosa sandwich” with other ups and down of the newest MSC ship

♥ The new elevator system – On board lifts are operated by an exterior screen where passengers select a floor and immediately see which lift will arrive first. So bye-bye annoying children transforming the control panel in a Xmas tree. And of course, a YC card will override the other calls.

♠♠ ZOE – The virtual personal cruise assistant is the most annoying and biggest waste of space&time on-board feature. Maybe she is ultra-conversational and professional, and able to speak an impressive seven languages but when you need her two answers are possible: “Do you want me to turn on the interactive television?” or “Please ask you butler or concierge for advice”. And that’s the lucky situation; most of the time she got quiet or reply dry with the voice of a beloved (not) mother in law “Sorry I don’t know that!”.  Thanks God that Raj and his concierge team didn’t need the password “OK Zoe!” to assist efficiently. I think is time for you to “GO Zoe!”, save some money and use them somewhere else.

♥♥ MSC for Me – The easy-to-use interactive touchscreens around the ship, the interactive cabin TV, and the app are all designed to help guests better relax and enjoy their holiday with family and friends. I had so much fun using the chat option of the app. But, as a suggestion, maybe MSC for Me can be used even if you are on-shore and connected to internet.

♠♠♠ Minibar – MSC promise in YC a exclusive all-inclusive experience and, until now, that included the mini-bar in your cabin. The disappearance of the miniatures is a great idea taking in the account the existence of the those “collecting” the small bottle for future home hosted parties. Cunard, NCL and Royal do the same in their top suites. What I didn’t like is that you must pay for the replacement of everything else from chips and chocolate to spirits and beer. Is a weird cost saving money which dilutes the “luxury all-inclusive” concept of the YC

♥ La Comedie – the theatre is a bit smaller than on other ship but stylish and modern at the same time. You can choose from 3 shows daily due to the fact that they are shorter – max 50-55 minutes which I found it in line with modern cruising when time management is very important for guests. I saw only one production this cruise “Dancing Queens” based on ABBA music and everything was pretty good: the lights, dancers, the live orchestra (love this little touch), singers, costume and special effects. It’s such a pity that the audience didn’t rich the energy level of the performers. A special mention for the cruise director Marco Cimbaro a decent and discreet presence …. Maybe too discreet for a Cruise Director. I was talking with some other guest who confused him with the leader of the annoying animation team. But this is coming next!

♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠♠ (did I put enough tblack hearts?) Animation team – before I wrote this, I check other options on http://www.cruisecritic.com and www.tripadvisor.com and I realised that I am not the only “old grumpy man”. They all congregate in the Grandiosa lounge and either shout and dance like drug fuelled teenagers or drag you up to dance and then instantly look uncomfortable and uninterested.  The whole thing was just cringy and uncomfortable to watch.   Activities during the day were either dance classes, which were done in the mediocre way by two dance teachers, or games put on by the awful entertainment crew.   Quizzes were terrible with the crew (around 10 of them) screaming down a mic and yelling and dancing at any given moment.  They actually turned an art quiz into a rave!!  The dance instructors were always bored having a permanent “I tick the box” attitude. The MC on board was Francesco Pulpo this time with the shiny badge of Cruise Activities Manager(???). Is a fact that too many managers and directors is a receipt for disaster, and Francesco was a very good example. He “listed” all and each party on a new website www.mememe.com/meinthespotlightagain.com. Maybe somebody will explain him that the only role of an MC is to CREATE the party not to BE a reason to party. Was the 3rd occasion when Francesco and his team were hunting our nights on board (with ridiculous dance routines and screams in 5 different languages) and always was something to place him in the centre of attention: on Sea Side was HIS last day of the contract, on Bellissima the first day and now HIS birthday. Nothing wrong to celebrate but please, do it in the crew bar inviting and paying for your guests not vice-versa. This was cruise number 60+ with different cruise companies for me and by far the worst, most immature and unprofessional entertainment crew experienced. At least of old ships you could find refuge in lounges “animation team free”.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ The positive attitude and the impressive dedication of all crew I meet from the master and Hotel Director to assistant butlers and pool attendants. You do have a feeling that you don’t board a cruise ship but come back home to your beloved family. Is a feeling hard to describe and unique even after almost 40 cruises with MSC

Who could not get excited about being one of the first to sail a brand-new ship?  The smell of the new carpets and furniture and how everything shined and glimmered can create a perfect vacation. But MSC Grandiosa, at least with me brought something else.

After the disappointed experience sailing MSC Divina in springtime now I regain trust in MSC, Yacht Club and theirs ships. As a result already booked a back to back 2019-2020 on Bellissima sailing from Dubai and another 4 cruises in the first 5 months of 2020.

And all of this because of SQUADRA GRANDIOSA on board MSC Grandiosa.

Thank you for helping me to find my way back!

13

~ by leonard69 on December 20, 2019.

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