Yesterday I was in London (Southampton) to visit MSC Orchestra, If you have been reading this blog for a while you may remember I visited MSC Opera earlier this year. I was given the chance to visit the MSC Orchestra while docked in London (Southampton) as it repositioned from Northern Europe.
MSC Orchestra is one of the four Musica Class cruise ships, the Muscia class is MSC’s middle-sized ship, the larger being the Fantasia Class, and the smaller being the Lirica Class (Which Opera was part of). The picture below should be to scale. The pictures are from the excellent www.nauticalcities.com.
MSC Orchestra entered service in 2007, she was built in STX France, and was named as always with MSC ships by Sophia Lauren.
As always with ship visits it was in Southampton so I took the train down arriving at Southampton Ibis at 23.40 the night before, however unusually for this time the room wasn’t ready so I was offered free drinks from the bar untill it had been cleaned. I finally got into the room around 0.20, although I was happy to wait longer with free drinks. The Ibis, Etap and Novotel are all directly over the road from the station, so great if you just need an easy hotel room.
The following day I met with @Linerlovers and @BenMontgomeryCD, before going on board. It was nice to meet and have a quick chat without it fitting in twitters character requirements. Upon making our way to City Cruise Terminal it appeared that MSC Orchestra would be late due to bad weather, however MSC laid on snacks and drinks in the cruise terminal and we got a great view of the ship approaching the cruise terminal. It was nice to see some familiar faces from the MSC Opera visit (Yes, Black Card holders).
Once onboard we were led to the buffet area and fed. The plates are huge, so you can really just keep piling up, after all one of the most important things on a cruise is food! It was great to experience this restaurant as we had been to one of the main restaurants on MSC Opera, and it was nice to see what else was available.
Inside the ship has numerous bars and restaurants, as well as a larger casino. The main facilities are also spread across three main decks. The theatre onboard is of double height, with no posts blocking views, and the ship has a great waterfall in the Atrium and a cool glass piano. I really enjoyed the Casino, now I’m not a gambling man (Unless its thousands of pounds and a Mersey Ferry) and the Disco on the back of the ship has a great view and a cool feel. There was lots of open deck space around the pool, with an outdoor TV and a performance area, where you can take dances under the stars.
The tour was finished with drinks and a presentation about MSC Cruises and the other ships in the MSC fleet, This was great as we got to see more of what MSC provides on its Fantasia class ships – MSC Fantasia, MSC Spendidia and soon to be joined by MSC Divina. (Although we believe another Fantasia class ship will be joining soon more on that in our next blog) All the MSC Staff also took part in a question and answer session, as well as advising us of some upcoming offers such as All-Inclusive for £1, Which sounds like a great way of promoting the All-Inclusive packages.
It was a great day and you can notice the difference in size from MSC Opera, with more bars and facilities on board, hopefully the UK will get a Musica class sister soon (and maybe Liverpool as a departure point for some cruises…maybe…hopefully). So well done MSC staff for putting on a great day.