After the muster we met up with some of our forum friends for a quick drink before dinner in The Master of the Seas pub on deck 7. If it wasn’t for the payment method and the uniforms of the staff you could be in any pub in the UK. However our dining experience left a lot to be desired, it was painfully slow which you could sort of write off because it was the first proper sitting on the ship but you could argue that all the staff should know exactly what they are doing because most have been selected from other ships in this class to open this ship. Also Nicole was very disappointed that the menu only contained one solitary vegan option. MSC seem to be miles behind some of the other cruise lines in this respect. The consequence of this is we may eat in the buffet tonight instead.
After dinner we once again met up with our friends and proceeded to try and find a bar where we could all sit together, this turned out to be a bit of a task, firstly as weren’t able to find enough seats in any of the bar’s we first selected, then we came up against the obstacle of not being able to use the basic drink package in some of the others. The result being we ended up back in The Master of the Seas for the remainder of the evening.
I have no idea what time I retired to bed but I can confirm that I slept like a rock.
The clocks changed this morning and we had an extra hour in bed. For breakfast we decided to brave the buffet and although it was busy there were plenty of seats and it also meant Nicole could pick and choose things she could eat more effectively.
At 9:30 we had to go to the Sportplex for face to face control with the British Immigration Authorities. We were in and out within minutes and then set off to explore the ship some more.
Starting from the top we worked our way down deck by deck, most of the public areas are above deck 15 and between 7 and 5.
At 12:10 we made our way to the Purple Crab dining room for a spot of lunch, again a lengthy process, however it was made much enjoyable by being able to share a table with friends who just happened to arrive at exactly the same time as us.
A good test of a ship is is ability to keep people occupied when the weather isn’t brilliant. During lunch there was an announcement over the PA informing us the the open areas of the ship were being closed off due to the extremely high winds.
Not wishing to part with any more money than really necessary we decided to head back to the cabin for 40 winks. That should answer you about how this ship is when you can’t get outside. As much as I would like, I can’t eat and drink solidly for 24 hours a day.
I am struggling to find the correct way to describe the ship without being too negative, Grandiosa is a very big ship and also very similar in many ways to the Royal Caribbean set up with a central promenade which takes up two decks. This area houses many of the speciality restaurants along with the shops and boutiques. Until you reach the atrium there is nowhere that you can actually see outside through a window, I do find that a very disappointing design feature on a modern ship which is one reason why we would probably never book a cruise on this class of ship. For us the Seaside class is a much more favourable option should we ever decide to book MSC again.
Most of area’s on the two classes are very similar in detail but the actual layout couldn’t be more different. However, the buffet footprint is practically identical and we found it very easy to navigate due to its similarly to the one on Seaview. Also, what has become very evident is the amount of time it takes to get from one end of the ship to the other, especially for us with our cabin right at one end of the ship.
At 6:00 we once again met up for pre dinner drinks but this time in the Sky Lounge. We had also decided to eat in the buffet this evening so Nicole could pick and choose things to eat rather than be subjected to a single course.
I am starting to feel the pace of the last few days tonight and may well turn in early but not before a couple of nightcaps….