MSC Bellissima – Day at Sea

Day on Ship | MSC – Bellissima | Tuesday | At Sea | UAE

#msc #mscbellissima

Dysfunctional Ship Tuesday: still no pool towels in the room. Unsure why the system doesn’t work. Finally got replacements later in the day. Luckily it was raining all day.

Bathroom Facial Tissues: After discussing with guest services, we finally got some tissues. Official line is that they are trying to run an eco-ship and don’t provide the tissues. So instead passengers use toilet paper. A.k.a. same amount of waste. Yes, I was also confused.

Lunch: since this was a day at sea, the upper deck was packed once again. No where to sit or lay out. Luckily it rained most of the day in the afternoon. In the lunch room you could barely find a place to sit down.The huge room was a madhouse, as was the previous day. Luckily there were plates this time. But we all had to grab 4 sets of dinnerware (each) because most of them are dirty. Not only is this a huge waste of resources when people don’t check to see if they’re clean, but just makes no sense. At least they are cloth napkins which can be washed and reused.

Tepanaki Dinner: special dinner which cost about €185 for all six of us was the treat of the trip so far. Food was amazing, presentation was fantastic, and was a lot of fun. Of course your drink card does not apply in any of the specialty restaurants. Another rip-off.

Cirque de Solieil: The show is one of the best I’ve ever seen. The performers were excellent. The lighting, sound, and stage was incredible. Just a superb show. We will pay to go to this again.

Bracelet fixed: we finally had one of the professional IT techs on the ship collect all of our bracelets and pair them so that they actually work. Another Christmas miracle. Guest services told us that around 15 percent have bracelets. So most people don’t use them. Sometimes they work for opening the doors which seems to be their only purpose. They do not work with the POS machines.

Old system meets new system neither works well: The card-based system has been used for the better part of 20 years now. It is antiquated and needs to go. The RFID technology is here to stay and is well proven on princess cruises. MSC should learn from them that it’s a much more effective way of sales, tracking, and marketing.

Free Dining Room Food Options: on request, the day before, you can request other ethnic food or other menu options. You don’t have to stick with the current menu.

Newsletter: for a so-called eco-friendly ship, they push a lot of promotional newsletter junk in your cabinet every day. Unfortunately they don’t put the important things on the first page of the newsletter (dress code for the evening). Just yesterday I had no clue it was formal night. It was somewhere buried towards the end of the newsletter which people probably don’t read, because there’s so much advertising junk in between. The simple things are amateur mistakes. Not sure why they aren’t catching them.

Summary: The bottom line is that while the staff is wonderful, they are understaffed, and are working around a outdated and poorly functioning system. When you sell-out the ship, you’re stressing out every single part (function) of the ship. Clearly the buffet lunch room (market place) was not designed to handle large capacity. These kind of growing pains can easily be avoided by doing studies prior to ship launch. By simulating passenger movement, computational flow is a common engineering tool that can be also applied to passenger movement and experience. All this data is available. Other cruise lines use it (they study passenger flow). Not sure why MSC can’t do the same.

Pro Tips:

Free Dining Room Food Options: on request, the day before, you can request other ethnic food or other menu options. You don’t have to stick with the current menu.

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