Cruise in the Mediterranean!
During the end of 2016, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a cruise through the Mediterranean with my family, and I wanted to share the experience with you guys. My account will moreso be about each destination than the cruise itself, but regardless, I hope my account of this trip can help you make an informative decision on whether a cruise in the Mediterranean is something you'd want to do. Either way, I hope you find this series of posts entertaining! This trip was pretty eventful, so I'll be splitting my account into a few posts over the course of the next few weeks for ease of reading. This first post will be an introduction and summary of information about the cruise.
My family and I went with MSC Cruises, aboard the MSC Splendida. The cruise was an 8 day, 7 night affair, following the schedule below:
Barcelona, Spain (board the ship, check in, and take off)
Barcelona, Spain: (check out of the ship, end of cruise)
Apparently, this cruise runs a good portion of the year without breaks, so depending on how you reserve spots for the cruise, your starting/ending port could be any of the ones I listed above. Once at port, you can go on tours provided by the cruise (you'll have to pay separately unless it's part of the cruise package you paid for), or you can hop on a tour you find on your own. Every day, you have to get back to the ship by around 3:00 PM or 4:00 PM, since the ship departs not too long after that.
You can also elect not to get off at the ports and stay on board to enjoy the cruise's amenities, of which there are plenty. There are both indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs, a casino, an arcade, plenty of bars and cafes, and even a little shopping area on board. If you feel like getting your workout on, there's a gym and sauna, and you can pay for a massage or spa session if you're in the mood for extra relaxation. There's also always some type of event planned, like a wine tasting.
At night, there are also various shows, including musicals and acrobatics, in the theater, live music at some of the bars and lounges, and a nightclub at the top of the ship. Some nights, the cruise also encourages passengers to dress in themes, like 70's night or black tie affair.
Honestly, I didn't spend too much time on these amenities, since I got off at every port. Most nights my sister and I knocked out until the next morning, so we didn't experience much of the nightlife either. The couple nights we did, it was pretty fun and interesting. Clubs included people of all ages, from kids to grandparents, all dancing together. I even had an uncle approach me to wingman for his eighteen-year-old nephew!
The Yacht Club
There's also a Yacht Club on the ship, and as a Yacht Club member, you're granted access to exclusive amenities. My parents were members during this trip, so my sister and I stuck to them when we could to get to the bougie stuff :) For the most part, the amenities are the same as the rest of the cruise, such as a lounge/cafe, a pool, and a hot tub, but not only were these only available to Yacht Club members and their guests, but they had better views, since the Yacht Club is located at the front of the ship. Yacht Club members also get their own elevator and a concierge desk.
My sister and I shared a Balcony Room, which can probably be considered a middle-tier room due to its size and location, which allows for, as the name states, a balcony. The balcony allowed for amazing views of each port city as we docked each day, and it was nice to have the option to open the balcony door for some fresh air while we were at sea.
My parents stayed in a Deluxe Suite, which is only available in the Yacht Club. It was very spacious, and my parents got free chocolates every day that they'd save for us to eat hehe. One night, they were given a bottle of brut, and if you know me, you know I love some (quality) free alcohol. They weren't charged for room service either, so my sister and I would go and ransack their minibar for water.
There's not much else for me to say about the cruise itself, but I'll give my final thoughts on the overall experience at the end of this series. Next post will be about Marseille - I'll be skipping the first stop at Barcelona, since not much happened there - I got off my flight, took a taxi straight to the port, and boarded the ship.
Stay tuned for more in this series! :)