Cruise review round up and a very exciting trip to tour MSC Bellissima!


It has been a CRAZY busy here at Cruising with Kids.  Between the four of us we have reviewed five ships over the past few months and three ferries.  Here’s a little round up of the last couple of months and some very exciting news regarding a trip to Nantes in France to meet the MSC Bellissima this week!

MSC Bellissima tour
The MSC Bellissima is set to be the largest ship in the company’s fleet when she launches in March 2019, hosting more than 5,700 passengers. Keep reading to find out about her float out this week in Nantes and one of a kind christening in Southampton!

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Sarah launched the start of our busy period by flying to Barcelona to review the new NCL ship at the end of April, the Norwegian Bliss.  Check out her rave review and Guide to the Norwegian Bliss for Teens.

She also shared a tour of her cabin and a mini tour of the pools, children’s water parks, slides, laser tag and race track here…

Aren’t those slides incredible!  

Next up was Donna who sailed onboard the new Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas with her husband and boys.  She shares her thoughts on the largest cruise ship ever built here – The Ultimate Guide on Symphony of the Seas for Teenagers.

Symphony of The Seas teens guide , Huge abyss slide

And her more comprehensive review of the ship here – A review of the largest ship in the world! 

I love this quote from Donna – “From the moment we stepped on board the buzz was obvious, the excitement the glitz and the glamour. We were all grinning from ear to ear. We walked straight up the ramp after a breeze-full check-in to a glittery promenade. Everywhere you looked was a member of Royal Caribbean’s staff with a tray of sparking champagne or buck fizz waiting for you”.  Doesn’t it sound amazing?

As Donna disembarked the Symphony of the Seas, Claire and I (Lisa) embarked an older Royal Caribbean International ship, the Navigator of the Seas with our kids for a themed 80’s music cruise!

Ship berthed in VigoYou can see read our experience of meeting and watching performances by some of the biggest 80’s stars in our daily postcards, all linked to this one – Navigator of the Seas Daily Diary &; Day 1 Embarkation Day.

One of our favourite moments was meeting Tony Hadley.  What a guy!  He is truly as nice in person as he is on stage.

Our reviews of the facilities, service, kids club and onboard entertainment can be found here – Navigator of the Seas with Kids: Everything you need to know and How family-friendly are Royal Caribbean’s older ships? 

Claire also shared a video tour of her outside cabin and a short summary video of a family holiday onboard the Navigator of the Seas…

Just one week after Claire and I disembarked the 80’s themed music cruise in Southampton, Sarah was sailing away from the same port with her family onboard the Celebrity Silhouette.  Onboard the ship were some of the biggest classical music performers of our time including Alfie Boe and Katherine Jenkins.

You can read all about Sarah’s week onboard via her daily postcards, starting with this one – Bravo Cruise OnBoard Celebrity Silhouette, Daily Diary Day 1.  Sarah has shared a cabin video tour and highlights of her ‘week immersed in all things performing arts’ in these two posts Highlights from the Bravo Cruise onboard Celebrity Silhouette Part 1 and Part 2.

Cakes on the Celebrity Silhouette

And check out her highlights from the bravo cruise vlog.


Two weeks ago, Donna cruised onboard the newly refurbished Independence of the Seas and was very impressed with the changes including new seating areas, bars and entertainment.  She goes into lots of detail in this post – What’s new on the Independence of the Seas?

Kids Splashaway Bay on Independence of the Seas.

My family and I have just returned from a week in Brittany and a few days in the Isles of Scilly.  For both holidays we experienced a different type of cruising… by ferry!  It was my first time travelling on a ferry for 20 years and I have to say I was genuinely surprised and delighted as a parent to find a pool, hot tub, cinema screens, arcades and even a kids magic show onboard Brittany Ferries.  I’ll be sharing my review very soon.

Our ferry to the Isles of Scilly was also very pleasant.  It was a much smaller ferry with less facilities onboard but perfect for our 2 hour 45 minutes sailing from Penzance to St Mary’s where we were greeted by these spectacular views of the harbour…

Whilst we were in the Isles of Scilly I saw a couple of cruise ships at tender.  If the Isles of Scilly have not been on your cruise wish list they really should be, it is an absolutely stunning part of England as you will see here – Isles of Scilly first & lasting impressions. And just in case you are still not convinced…

And finally, yep there’s one more cruise ship visit to shout out about!  Last week Claire enjoyed a media lunch onboard the Royal Princess. How perfect does this water sprinkler area look for cooling down in the sunshine? Check out nine other photos to make you want to book a Royal Princess cruise!

Phew I’m exhausted just thinking about all of the packing and unpacking the four of us have done over the past few months.  Things are not due to be any less busy just yet though…

MSC Bellissima 

On Wednesday I’m heading off to Nantes in France to visit the STX ship yard.  The highlight of the press trip will be the float out of the MSC Bellissima, which as any cruise buffs will know, is a huge construction period milestone.

MSC have just announced that the Bellissima will be christened in Southampton in March 2019, she will be the largest cruise ship in the company’s fleet and the largest to ever be christened in the port.  All of us here at Cruising with Kids are delighted to be invited to follow her journey from ship yard to first cruise and of course look forward to sharing videos and updates with you soon.

In the meantime you can check out this fabulous video which will give you a taste of the christening and welcome she will receive in March…

Are you counting down for your next cruise?  We would love to know where you are cruising to and what ship you will be cruising on!  

Lisa Jane, Travel loving Family


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    Donna and Sarah ( Cruising For All ) Sarah Christie and Donna Vallance are experienced travel writers and cruise enthusiasts specializing in cruising. They are passionate about exploring new destinations and have dedicated themselves to sharing their knowledge and insights with fellow travellers. They provide valuable information, tips, and recommendations for all cruisers. They strive to make cruising accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their interests, budgets, or accessibility needs. Their articles and reviews are well-researched, comprehensive, and written to help readers make informed decisions and have unforgettable cruise adventures.

3 thoughts on “Cruise review round up and a very exciting trip to tour MSC Bellissima!”

  1. Sounds like a busy time for everyone! Lots of fantastic ships and we’re due to have a look around one next week in Southampton x The MSC Cruises have a great fleet and it’s sure going to get bigger and better! Enjoy x #MondayEscapes

  2. You’ve all had the most exciting few months I’m so impressed ladies, you’ve really developed this!

    • Aw thanks Karen! We are having a blast.


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