Having just returned from two weeks in the Southern Caribbean on the MSC Preziosa here are some general comments from the experience.
We chose the January 11th through January 25th cruise so that we could visit several new Caribbean locations. The cruise for us was actually a back-to-back cruise originating in Martinique with no sea-days. Once on the Preziosa we found that many of the passengers were there for one week or two week cruises that originated in Martinique or Guadeloupe but for British passengers, a two-week cruise starting in Barbados. Besides these three major ports there were some passengers transferring at every other port. We only performed the safety drill on the first day but there were other safety drills each day for the new passengers.
The majority of passengers were French, followed by British and German. Most announcements were made in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese! There were a noticeable number of families with small children.
Embarkation was unusual with a crew member taking the passengers photograph with something like a cell phone. Cabin cards were already waiting in the cabin but did not have pictures. They did have the cabin numbers on them making your cabin vulnerable if the card is lost. Security staff insisted on handling each card when exiting or entering the ship. This delayed the process and is a potential source of contamination. They also appeared the least happy of any of the all crew members.
Although our first time with MSC they applied our status from another cruise line and this gave us some perks on the Preziosa. One was free water at lunch and dinner that would have been 2.90 Euros a bottle! There were some other benefits that need to be requested as they are not immediately apparent.
Food in general was good but any risotto would be an exception. Breakfast in the Golden Lobster was chaotic with very close tables, too many white coats and insufficient servers. Clearing used plates was a constant problem.
Our evening dining was competently handled by Eka who, like many of the catering staff, was from Indonesia. The risottos were consistently bad but Eka would happily respond to any special requests. Their was an all-white dinner night that we were not prepared for.
Our Cabin was larger than those that we have been in on other cruise ships. The shower had good doors and was of reasonable size. The hot and cold water response was fast and did not appear to cross contaminate, unlike on most other ships. There were two 220-volt outlets and two 110-volt outlets. Unfortunately they are very close limiting the use of some adapters or chargers at the same time. An electric kettle with coffee and tea were included. The television was rather small for the size of the cabin.
Due to the mix of nationalities and languages the main theatre production each night was extremely similar but with different themes and costumes. The Witches of Paris show was spectacular and by far the best. There were two shows each night each lasting about 40 minutes. Unfortunately they felt a need to shine spotlights from the stage into the audience during some productions. Rather than add to the performance they were detracting by causing temporary blindness. Strobe lights were also a problem in the Safari Lounge. As with many on-board performances the sound level was excessive, even for a mature group that was probably on the deaf side. Quantity is frequently confused with quality!
We specifically wished to visit several of the Caribbean Countries including those as far south as Trinidad. The MSC Preziosa offered the only cruise that met this requirement. The cruise was by no means as bad as many reviews we had read. There was absolutely no need to eat every meal off the ship as a previous reviewer stated. The decision to take another cruise with MSC will probably be driven purely by the itinerary offered.
I have put Enrichment,, Fitness and Shore Excursions as average as we did not use these facilities.
We took a short walk to see the impressive Schoelcher Library
We found another couple and took a Taxi to the Botanical Gardens at Deshaires with a stop to see the Death in Paradise Police Station.
A member of our dinner group booked a vehicle and he took six of us around both the French and Dutch areas finishing up at the Sunset Bar & Grill to watch the planes landing.
We walked to the Botanical Gardens. Not too impressive.
Walked around town.
Walked around town.
Walked around town. At one point a lady approached us and told us that the area in the direction we were heading was not a safe place to be!
We found two other couples and took a taxi to get a general idea of the Island.
We walked around the area close to the ship.
We found a 3 hour tour outside the Port that took us to to the Pirates of the Caribbean filming area and also a one hour stop at a beach. The whole trip took almost 6 hours and was $25 per person for a group of ten.