Before I start on my photos today I just have to say that my thoughts are with all those in South Queensland. Especially the Toowoomba area that has suffered horrific flash flooding. Click here for info.
Well this is the ship with joined for our 11 night Xmas Cruise. MSC Splendida. More like a floating town. Apparently, there were about 3500 passengers on board and I am sure as many staff as they were everywhere. Our first ever cruise experience....although hubby has been on some big ships in his time...none this big. :-) Christened 12 July 2009....it is a lovely new ship. Apparently, she can carry 3900 passengers and 1313 crew. Has 15 elevators......which were majority of the time going somewhere so we used the steps lots. Yep, a fitness cruise. Helped work off what we ate. :-)
Formula 1 race car simulator.....I think hubby was too busy as he had been keen to try this out but just didn't get there.
Swarovski, Swarovski, Swarovski! Yes, I love telling you about these staircases on here at blog as I can say Swarovski very easily when I have to type it. You should hear me in real life talking about this amazing staircase. Each step has $40 000 worth of Swarovski crystals......so 72 steps means $2.8 million. Yes, it is a beautiful, beautiful sight and I don't think there was a second that went by on that cruise that someone was not posing somewhere on the staircase. At the bottom area is a beautiful piano lounge, the staircase takes you up to shops, reception and the accounts area.
Our home for 11nights....little squishy for four but hey...when the kids are travelling free we are not complaining. :-) Actually, there was plenty of room as were really on in the cabin to change for a meal or to sleep. Where the boys are sitting pulls out to another bed.
The bathroom. Now this sometimes got a little tricky. Directly opposite the bathroom doors are the wardrobes. So when these doors open they do a little banging and if you are standing there you end up in a little hole behind them. While you are standing there you are hoping no-one wants to come in our cabin door as it is just behind you. Just squishy....but hey, we were on a ship.
This inside heated pool. No, didn't get in as there were way too many people for me. There are four spas around the edge that were constantly packed with people sitting side by side. That is just too cosy for me. Those swimming however were having a wonderful time.
The outside pool. Now only the brave and the ??? got in here. Remember we are travelling in winter and majority of the time it is around 4 - 6C if not lower outside. Funny sight for us on the two days that we had at sea the banana lounges were full of people rugged up in jumpers, jeans, scarves but laying out as if to prove a point. 'I am on a cruise I will sunbake even if it is my face'. lol
Basketball court and tennis court. Nope....didn't use this. Figured running up and down the steps a couple of times each day was enough for me. Not for hubby though as he loved the on board gym and was up there most days.
Just thought this was a great shot that hubby has taken.
These chandeliers were in the Purple Bar or Jazz Bar. Lots of stripes of colour and lots of purple. A very fun room.
This is just some of the food we had to endure each night on the cruise. It was all so very yummy and I don't think there was a meal I didn't like. Each night we were given a food from a region of Italy. Such a lovely way to try Italian food. Lots of pasta but no pizza. Now before the cruise we had read reviews on the portions of food. Thank god, they are small as so much is offered. If you had something on offer from every course you would roll out. I would normally have a Appetiser or entree depending on which one I liked. Then a pasta or a main course again depending on my favourite. There was also a salad course and a soup course. We all managed to fit in a dessert each night which were very delicious. We sat the same table each night with our lovely friends from Cairns. Our waiter for the entire cruise was the wonderful Wirra. He was such a happy guy from Bali...married with two kids who spends 9 months at sea and three at home. Breakfast and Lunch we normally ended up at the Bora Bora or Pago Pago which are buffet style. Huge choices. Fruit, pastries, eggs, roasts, hotdogs, chips, salads..more and more. Yes, we had to pay for a wine package, soft drink packages and water package. Yes, we had to pay for our water but we knew this before joining the cruise and so budgeted for it. Tea and coffee were served at breakfast time but no other time. If we wanted one any other time we would spoil ourselves and buy one with a dessert at any of the lovely cafes on board.
This is Christmas eve in our restaurant. All the waiters and chefs came out carrying Bombe Alsaka's. Christmas music blaring....it was wonderful sight.
The Bombe Alaska....yum!
Every night after tea/dinner we would find a cosy bar for about 45mins and sip on something and chat. Then head to the theatre for the evening show. We loved all of them but weren't rushing back for the Soprano and Tenor. Just not our thing. There was magic, singing, dancers in tiny tiny g'strings, strong men, and amazing gymnast that would be thrown into the air by her two strongmen. While in the air she somersaults and then lands back on to a 20cm bar (approx). This is while the ship moves. Amazing. Many more shows. The only disappointment was the Carols which we thought would be a sing-a-long as it involved some of the passengers kids and older passengers. No...it started with the Soprano and then followed by the passenger choir and only lasted four songs. However, there was light entertainment amongst the choir. As a lovely younger sister tried to climb on one of her older brothers feet which he tolerated for a while. But then he cracked and turned around and gave her foot and almighty stomp. They were front row. Can imagine parents sinking into their seats. Of course then she stomps him and this continues for a bit. Then he decides to start flicking her hair and she same back. I was in stitches....just wish I got it on video. Poor parents....I bet they were on the floor by the end.
The restaurant La Reggia where we spent our nights.
This is the view from a piano bar down into the Casino. Yes, people would sit in there and just put money into those machines. Can you tell I am a huge fan of casinos.
Well that is the ship we lived on for 11 nights. I totally loved it and would do it again. Just the fact that you don't have to worry about a thing. During the day you are out visiting a different town, at night food is fed to you, then you are entertained, then your bed is turned down waiting for you and fresh towels in the bathroom. You wake in the morning and have the hard decision of what to put on your plate for breakfast. I must say the crew are all very lovely people and always smiling. Lots of english spoken. In fact I was glad we had done a few days in Italy before joining the cruise otherwise I would not have gotten to use even my most basic Italian.
Edited: I have to add....this cruise line is apparently very different to the P&O or many other style of American style cruise ships. Just listening to some peoples comments on the ship and reading reviews before we left. I loved it and would definitely join this cruise line again.