Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 420 out of 500
Accommodation: 162 out of 200
Food: 276 out of 400
Service: 308 out of 400
Entertainment: 78 out of 100
Cruise: 308 out of 400
Overall Score: 1552 out of 2000
MSC Preziosa Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Tonnage: 140,000 tons
Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9595321
Builder: STX France
Original Cost: $760 million
Entered Service: Mar 2013
Length (ft/m): 1,093.5/333.3
Beam (ft/m): 124.6/38.0
Draft (ft/m): 27.72/8.4
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (40,000kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 13
Total Crew: 1,390
Passengers (lower beds): 3,502/ 4,345
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 39.9
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5
Cabins (total): 1,751
Size Range (sq ft/m): 148.5-568.3/13.8-52.8
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 1,125
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 45
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 3 (1 w/sliding glass dome)
Hot Tubs (on deck): 13
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Euros
A fine family-friendly large ship designed for Europeans
Overview. This large resort ship, a close sister to MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida, will appeal to young-at-heart adult couples, singles, and families with children and teens enjoying an urban lifestyle, with a mix of mostly European nationalities and style.
The Ship. MSC Preziosa was originally ordered by the Libyan government-owned shipping company GNMTC (the contract was signed by Captain Hannibal Muammar Gaddafi - fifth eldest son of Muammar Gaddafi) before Europe-based cruise line MSC Cruises acquired the hull and configured the ship as the fourth in its Fantasia-class. It has the very latest in green-technology engines.
Outside on the expansive main pool deck, there is a main swimming pool, together with a whole Aqua Park with raised sections, hot tubs, and numerous water features. Slightly forward of the pool deck is a family swimming pool; it’s open well into the late evening, and can be covered by a sliding glass dome in case of inclement weather.
Facilities for all passengers include a large three-deck-high theater-style showlounge, a nightclub/discotheque, library, card room, an Internet center, a 4D virtual reality center, multi-deck shopping gallery, a large Millennium Star Casino with gaming tables and an array of slot machines and a nicely-shaped stairway, and, in the aft section, an ‘infinity’ pool that overlooks the stern, and ‘beach club’ area. Drinking places include numerous lounges and bars (including a trendy ‘Green Sax’ jazz lounge/bar), most with live music. One lounge in the aft section of the ship is for adults only.
An area called the MSC Yacht Club - an exclusive community ‘suite-grade’ accommodation, includes a Top-Sail Lounge - an observation/lifestyle lounge and social meeting place, private sunbathing with integral dip pool, hot tubs, and concierge services for making dining reservations, booking excursions and spa treatments, and arranging private parties. A marble floor leads to a shiny Swarovski glass staircase that connects the concierge facilities between Decks 15 and 16 under a glass-domed ceiling.
Families. The ship is designed to cater well for families with children, who sail free and have their own extensive collection of play centers, including a children’s club and jungle adventure playground, plus two water slides in an area called the Doremi Castle Aqua Park, youth counselors, and activity programs tailored to specific age groups. One coveted feature is a 394ft (120m) -long Vertigo water slide, with twists and turns and a 30ft (9m) transparent section that shoots off the side of the ship. Riders travel at an average speed of six metres per second (note that only children over 120 cm - about 47.2ins - tall are allowed on the slide).
Accommodation. It’s worth paying extra to stay in one of the ‘suites’ in the Yacht Club accommodation. You’ll get silver-tray room service by a team of well-trained butlers, who are good. The suites have a minibar, interactive TV, personal safe, hairdryer, and satellite-link telephone.
Dining. There are two main restaurants - Golden Lobster, on Deck 5 - and l’Arabesque, on Deck 6. There are two seatings for dinner, and open seating for breakfast and lunch. Tables are for two, four, six, or eight, and include some cozy alcove banquette seating (although it’s challenging for waiters to serve these alcove tables properly). Both restaurants feature Mediterranean cuisine.
Occupants of Yacht Club-grade accommodation have their own intimate La Palmeraie Restaurant, with rather Moorish decor, Moroccan-style arches, and hanging brass lamps. Dining is in an open-seating arrangement.
Other dining options. A 115-seat Eataly Restaurant - a specialty dining spot (together with a 30-seat Ristorante Italia), provides tastes of Italy (the ‘slow food’ way, with a choice of 18 items). The chairs in the Ristorante Italia section of the Eataly Restaurant, however, are see-through plastic, and grossly uncomfortable. MSC Cruises, in partnership with Eataly, the popular Turin-based chain founded in 2007 by Oscar Farinetti, places its major emphasis on local artisanal producers, food education, accessibility and affordability, and sustainable sourcing and production.
The Galaxy Restaurant is an extra-charge venue that sits high above the main pool - and has great views. It has a trendy vibe (it forms part of the discotheque), and the food - with Mediterranean fusion food - including steaks and seafood items - is good.
Casual serve-yourself buffet-style meals can be taken in the huge Inca and Maya buffet venue (it’s open 20 hours daily) for breakfasts and lunches, and waiter-served dinners in a relaxed, but always busy, setting. A bakery corner provides freshly baked breads and rolls throughout the day.
A Sports and Bowling Diner features a classic American food experience (including sandwiches and burgers).
Entertainment. The 1,600-seat Platinum Theater is the ship’s vast showlounge - it’s really more like a concert theatre and auditorium. It is spread over three decks, and there are good sight lines from almost all seats except for a few rows at the back on port and starboard sides. It is a well-designed room, except for the fact that no space is allocated for a live showband.
Because passengers are multinational, the shows concentrate more on visual entertainment such as mime, magic, dancing, and acrobatics, and are performed with recorded music (known as a ‘click-track’). Introductions are done at breakneck speed by the multilingual cruise director.
There is live music in almost all the other lounge/bar venues - one of the most popular of which is the Golden Jazz Bar.
Spa/Fitness. The Aurea Wellbeing Center is large and houses a beauty salon, body treatment rooms, and a gymnasium with great ocean views. A thermal suite contains different kinds of steam rooms combined with herbal aromatherapy infusions, in a calming Asia-themed environment. Features include a Shu Uemura Art of Hair cabin, a vintage barbershop, and a Himalayan salt crystal ‘bed.’ The spa is operated by OceanView, a specialist spa provider, and most of the therapists are from the island of Bali.
Sports facilities include deck quoits, shuffleboard courts, large tennis/basketball court, mini-golf, and a jogging track.