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!


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.

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It’s time to say farewell to the Navigator of the Seas 😢 The ship has just been cleared by security and customs in Southampton and I’m trying to will myself out of bed to begin the last minute packing! It’s been an incredible week sailing back to the 80’s with @cyccruises and @royalcaribbeanuk #hosted. All of the 80’s acts have been brilliant, particularly Tony Hadley who is an awesome performer and a genuinely lovely bloke too. He’s been the hero onboard, everyone has tales to tell of him spontaneously singing in the piano bar and enjoying a drink with passengers. What a legend 🙌🕺🏼#royalcaribbean #backtothe80scruise #navigatoroftheseas #80smusic #tonyhadley

A post shared by Travel Loving Family (@travellovinfam) on

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

Lisa developed a love of cruising during her three years working for P&O Cruises.  While it may sound cliché, no two days were ever the same managing the onboard Shore Excursions department.  An average week in the Caribbean involved escorting passengers on snorkeling, scuba diving and deep sea fishing excursions. Her highlights of a three month world cruise included bottle feeding baby elephants in Sri Lanka, climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and searching for the Big Five whilst on safari in South Africa.  

Lisa also writes, Travel Loving Family, a family travel blog sharing travel tips, reviews, holiday giveaways and destination guides from her travels to over 80 countries and is Editor of Trips100, the largest UK travel blogger network.  Lisa has worked with many travel brands and tourist boards including Mark Warner Holidays, Top Villas, Bookings For You and Net Flights.

Lisa has settled down to a life on land with her husband who she met during her first contract at sea.  They have two boys, aged 3 and 6, who also share a love of cruising.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

3 Comments

  1. June 18, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    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. June 18, 2018 / 5:47 pm

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

    • admin
      June 19, 2018 / 12:42 am

      Aw thanks Karen! We are having a blast.

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