Continuing our adventure on board MSC Bellissima, this next blog talks about subjects close to my heart; food, drink, wellness and the service/feel on board.
The beauty of food
There are four main dining rooms on board, the Lighthouse, Posidonia, Il Ciliegio and Le Cerisier. All these venues have a distinctly Mediterranean and European look and feel – as with the rest of the ship. Generally speaking, MSC have two set times for dining for most guests in the evenings. My overall impression of the food was very positive. On the second night, following the naming celebration, we were treated to a gala dinner created by world-renowned chef Raymond Blanc (who is partnering with MSC) featuring tender lobster, fresh pasta, gorgeous steak and the most delicate looking, and tasting chocolate dessert. Fans of bread will also not be disappointed with focaccia and other offerings being served alongside delicious extra virgin olive oil. Yum!
On top of this there is the Marketplace Buffet, with a variety of choices of food. What really wowed me about this space was being able to watch chefs create mozzarella right in front of your eyes – amazing!
On top of this, there are a number of exciting speciality restaurants on board, including some new offerings for the line. These include:
- Hola! Tapas Bar – A brand new offering for MSC by Michelin star chef Ramon Freixa. This fun and social space features a selection of traditional and contemporary tapas dishes. I can just imagine planting myself here one afternoon with some delicious wine and sangria, enjoying gorgeous tapas while watching the world go by.
- L’Atelier Bistrot – Another new concept for the line, this bistro is a celebration of French cuisine, set in the style of a Parisian style restaurant.
- Butcher’s Cut – A staple speciality restaurant on MSC, guests can enjoy this American-style steakhouse serving a selection of prime cuts from around the world, accompanied by bold wines.
- Kaito Teppanyaki and Sushi Bar – A spacious restaurant offering east-west cooking style of Japanese cuisine with four Teppanyaki grills, where chefs entertain guests in preparing mouth-watering food. Fan of sushi? Head next door where you can enjoy a range of the freshest sushi overlooking the bustling Galleria Bellissima.
There’s also plenty of places to grab a snack or quick bite to eat, from crepes and gelato along the Galleria, to more substantial offerings in places like the pub, Master of the Sea, which offers a wide variety of beers and ales to water down your food. Even up in the Sky Lounge you can indulge in morsels and offerings looking out over the Atmosphere Pool and the horizon.
As I explained in my previous blog, there’s plenty of bars to whet you whistle on board depending on what you fancy and to suit every taste. Of these my favourite has to be the glitzy Champagne Bar. Situated at the top of the Infinity Atrium overlooking the Gallery Bellissima, it is the perfect spot to enjoy some bubbles and people watch.
Even though I’ve only spent a relatively small time on board, I can testify that you won’t be bored on board MSC Bellissima. Wherever you go there’s something exciting taking place. In fact, Bellissima offers over 40 hours of live music per day.
Let’s start with the London Theatre. Interestingly, the theatre on board is smaller compared to most, however, with six original West End-style shows (with multiple showings per night), there’s always something to see here.
As I’ve mentioned in the previous blog, to the rear of the ship you will find the Carousel Lounge, home to Cirque du Soleil at Sea. MSC Bellissima will feature two original Cirque shows, Syma and Varelia. The Cirque experience costs €15, or €35 if you want to enjoy dinner as well. Not to be missed!
Heading upstairs to Sportsplex, this is an area perfect for kids and kids at heart. Situated next to the kind’s clubs, here you’ll find a spacious multi-purpose arena, with activities and tournaments organised throughout the day. At night, the area transforms into nightclub with different theme nights.
Situated next to the arena you’ll find the virtual games arcade. Guests can experience a variety of activities here from the F1 racing simulators, an immersive XD interactive cinema (take a look at the video below to see us in action!), bowling and a whole host of arcade games. There’s so much fun to be had. For the first time for MSC, guests can also experience a virtual reality maze. Kit-up and walk through these mazes to a number of 4K HD games including Rabbids and Assassin’s Creed.
Adjacent to the Sportsplex you’ll also find the Grand Canyon Aquapark. Here you’ll find three water slides, including a champagne bowl and two racing tube slides. There’s plenty to do here for all ages, including a large interactive spray area ands pools. Or why not climb up onto the Himalayan bridge ropes course.
Feel beautiful at sea
I don’t know about you, but after all that activity I’m ready to relax and chill. Thankfully Bellissima has you covered here too.
Situated off of the Bellissima Galleria you’ll find the MSC Aurea Spa. The spa offers a number of services, with well over 100 beauty and wellness services from body rituals, to massages, a hair salon, barbers and manicures and pedicures. On top of this there is also the Thermal area with a solarium and thalasso room. I’m feeling more relaxed already.
After all that food I think I may also need to hit the gym. Situated overlooking the Atmosphere Pool, the on-board gym is a dedicated space with top-of-the-line equipment powered by Technogym.
Beauty with a smile
My overall experience of the service on board Bellissima was very positive. Bar staff are extremely attentive, friendly and quick. Similarly, in the restaurants staff are friendly and helpful – We had a couple of vegetarians on our table at dinner and the staff were very helpful in accommodating needs and requirements. You can tell the staff really love their work and it shows in the overall MSC product. Something they should be very proud of.
MSC is also a perfect prospect for the LGBT+ traveller. The overall feel of the ship is very relaxed and very Mediterranean, and I can see how this would appeal to any LGBT+ traveller. While there are things going on all times of day, it’s not shoved in your face – you can choose to do whatever you want to do, when you want to do it. While I didn’t see any adverts for LGBT+ meet-ups, I’ve read that it really depends on the ship, but they do happen on board.
Beauty at Sea
So, what do you make of Bellissima? Would you sail on her? Let me know in the comments below and on social media.
Personally, I really loved my time on board Bellissima with so many amazing and inspirational bloggers. So much so, that since starting this blog series I have gone and booked another cruise on board with friends later this year – Watch this space!
Click below to head back to the beginning of this blog series.