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msc splendida cruise ship photos
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MSC Splendida Facts & Figures
Owner/Operator:MSC Cruises
Year built:2009
Builder:STX Europe, St. Nazaire, France
Former names:-
Gross Tonnage:137,936
Length:333.3 m (1,092.2 ft)
Beam:37.9 m (124.6 ft)
Passengers (normal):3,300
Passengers (maximum):3,887
Crew:1,325
Service speed:21.0 kn
Sister Ships:MSC Fantasia, MSC Divina, MSC Preziosa
About MSC Splendida

MSC Cruises is becoming a major player in the cruise industry. In December, 2008, their first 100,000+ vessel entered service. At 138,000 tons, MSC Fantasia made quite an impression. Sister ship MSC Splendida appeared on the horizon in July, 2009 and was named by Sophia Loren in the port of Barcelona. With a capacity of 3,300 guests and 1,325 crew, MSC Splendida is a mega ship. Her interiors have been designed by Italian firm Studio de Jorio and are quite distinctive. Scroll down to check out our interior photos!

MSC Splendida Photo Gallery
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msc splendida cruise ship photos msc splendida cruise ship photos msc splendida cruise ship photos msc splendida cruise ship photos
MSC Splendida Interior Photos

In the past ten years or so, the Europeans have finally embraced cruising and the best proof of this is MSC Splendida, the latest and largest in a long line of new buildings for MSC Cruises. Built by STX Europe at St. Nazaire, France, the 138,000 ton giant calls Barcelona, Spain home on all-European, all-year cruises in the Mediterranean. Catering almost exclusively to Europeans, MSC Splendida is all you would expect from a floating Mediterranean resort. In true MSC fashion, Sophia Loren was asked to perform the role of god mother and it was on July 12, 2009 that the ship was officially named in a star-studded ceremony in Barcelona.

Every weekend in summer, the Port of Barcelona looks like the new Miami. Rows of gleaming white cruise ships gobble up thousands of passengers for a weeklong roundtrip in the Western Mediterranean. The youngest (and largest) girl visiting the Spanish port is the brand new MSC Splendida. Delivered on time by her French builders in July, 2009, this ship is another proof of the expertise of European shipbuilding. With a cheerful "buon giorno" we are welcomed on board for a two-night stay which will culminate in a sensational quayside naming ceremony.

On Sunday evening, in the light of the setting sun, MSC Cruises show they know how to throw a party. After many speeches from all sorts of important people, there is a standing ovation as Italian movie star Sophia Loren, godmother for all new built MSC ships, takes to the stage. At age 74, she is as glamorous as ever. After Sophia, it's time for world famous tenor José Carreras to mesmerize the crowd with his fabulous voice. Just before Midnight, the bottle breaks on MSC Splendida's hull and a gigantic firework display lights up the skies over Barcelona.

Once again, MSC Cruises turned to Italian Studio de Jorio for MSC Splendida's interior design. The result is nothing short of stunning and the unique use of colors and materials make the interiors of this (and any other MSC) ship instantly recognizable. MSC Splendida is another fine example of Italian design and the well thought out use of space make this ship feel less gigantic than it actually is. Most guests will enter the ship in the Splendida Atrium, the social, 5 deck high heart of the ship. Focal point here are the two see-through sweeping staircases covered in Swarovski stones - making guests stop for photos from day 1.

MSC Splendida boasts 14 passenger decks, with 1,637 cabins. A whopping 80% of all staterooms have private balconies. All staterooms are very tastefully decorated in deep reds, greens and yellows, giving them an intimate but still modern, fresh feeling. The bathrooms are plain white but well laid out with a good shower. The balconies are on the small side though. On MSC Splendida and older sister MSC Fantasia the cruise line is premiering a concierge class level called Yacht Club. Up on decks 15 and 16 you will find 99 larger staterooms and a private lounge and restaurant. Butler service is available in all Yacht Club staterooms.

On deck 7 aft, the appropriately named "Aft Lounge" serves as MSC Splendida's secondary show lounge and ballroom. The decor is whimsical, with faux stone walls and trendy lounge sets. Further forward is the innovative Photo Gallery and the Santa Fe Restaurant, one of Splendida's specialty restaurants serving Tex Mex favorites. Reservations are recommended here and there is a cover fee. In L'Enoteca Wine Bar you can enjoy wines and tapas in a very welcoming setting. Everything here breathes "wine" so even the chairs are made out of wine casks!

   

The hugely popular L'Espresso Coffee Bar is located on the third level of the atrium. Try a cappuccino or espresso here! Further forward are two smaller public rooms. On port side you'll find the Sports Bar featuring MSC's first ever bowling alley. With its almost sparse decor, the Sports Bar greatly offsets the rich, bold Purple Jazz Bar on starboard side. This is arguably one of the most attractive night spots on board, home to a resident jazz band. Should you look for something more sedate, the La Prua Piano Bar is only steps away. This room has a distinct nautical flavor with its teak floor and portholes.

   

Nightly entertainment is featured in the enormous Strand Theatre, spanning three decks. Sightlines are excellent and seating is nothing short of superb - this is a proper showroom that would not look out of place in any mid-sized town. Directly aft of the theater on deck 6 is the Royal Palm Casino, which is quite large for a ship catering exclusively to Europeans. You will also find a separate Poker Room on starboard side.

The design team has worked hard to make La Piazzetta look like a genuine Italian village square. Somehow or other, the room doesn't work for me. Blame it on the blaring music or the overkill in shiny surfaces! Still La Piazzetta proved quite popular during my time on board, probably because of the delicious Italian ice creams, cakes and coffees that are served here. For me, L'Aperitivo which overlooks the atrium, proved a much better venue. By using very dark colors, the brightly lit atrium attracts all the attention here and Studio de Jorio should be commended for creating a warm and intimate atmosphere in what basically is an atrium bar.

MSC Cruises are in the process of upgrading their food offerings and during our stay on board I noticed that the quality of the food has already improved. Breakfast, lunch and dinner (in two fixed seatings) are served in two main restaurants. The corn colored La Reggia is the largest of the two, spanning two decks. The beautiful Villa Verde Restaurant aft on deck 6 is arguably more elegant. But the most exclusive dining experience can be found in the L'Olivio Restaurant, reserved for guests of the vessel's Yacht Club suites. Open most of the day is MSC Splendida's huge casual eatery on deck 14 aft. The Pago Pago Cafetaria and Bora Bora Cafetaria are sporting the same interesting South Pacific look, with lots of dark wood paneling. MSC Cruises have learned from the awkward design of the buffet restaurants on their Musica class ships and have now chosen for a free flow concept on their Fantasia class ships. The ingenious (and very attractive!) design of the room on MSC Splendida make the buffet restaurant a winner!

MSC Cruises have always made their pool deck feel like the ones found at land based resorts and the Aqua Park on MSC Splendida is no different. Its terraced pools, fountains and Jacuzzis provide fun in the sun for the whole family. More peace and quiet can be found in the delightful L'Equatore Pool which can be covered by a glass roof in inclement weather. When open, the roof is completely invisible - a great feature. Last but not least, the Playa del Sol pool aft is reserved for adults, so you won't find any kids running around here. Overlooking the Aqua Park is the Club 33 Disco, done in a bright orange bubble gum style. And what would a modern cruise ship be without a spa? For passengers looking for complete wellness, the MSC Aurea Spa is huge and features treatment rooms, a gym, hairdresser and all the usual features.

MSC Splendida is a stunning ship. Or better, a stunning resort catering to European vacationers of all ages that would otherwise head for the Spanish costa's or the Turkish beaches. While not overly luxurious, this ship will dazzle first time cruisers and aims at pleasing a huge audience from all over Europe. MSC Splendida's interiors are modern, fresh and easygoing, just like the overall MSC Cruises experience.
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