May 8, 2014

MSC Sinfonia cruise to nowhere

The MSC Sinfonia is a ship well known to the South African traveller.  She enjoyed highly successful cruising seasons in our local waters before sadly saying farewell to our shores this year. Nawaal from Sure Online was lucky enough to be on board for her very last cruise of the season, Cape Town to nowhere…

When I found out I was going on the cruise, I was so excited I immediately called my husband to relay the great news. He raised his concerns about being sea sick, but I eventually got him on board as this was an opportunity I was not going to miss.

When we arrived at the check in point at the harbour, we were offered juice and other refreshments. There was a bit of a queue but once you got in, the process of getting your ID cruise card went quite quickly. The ID cruise card contains all your important information - which restaurant you will be dining at, your table number, which life boat you have been assigned to, etc. You also load your spending money onto it - all purchases on board are made using this card.

When we boarded it felt as if we were going abroad on this beautiful cruise liner. Everyone was so friendly and we were amazed at the size of the ship. The cabins weren’t ready yet, so we took the time to explore the ship. We went to the 11th deck which is the pool deck; there we had the most amazing view of Table Mountain. At 11:30-12:00 lunch was served at Caffe del Mare and Buffet La Terrazza. We had the options of either pizza or hamburgers and chips – you could eat as much as you wanted. At Caffe del Mare there was also a selection of other foods to choose from.

At 1pm the crew announced that we could check into our cabins. We had an ocean view room which had a porthole above the bed. The room was quite spacious as it could take up to 4 people.  The room had a tv with selected dstv channels and a mini bar fridge stocked with various cooldrinks and other luxuries. These however were not free and were quite expensive.

Once we were settled the crew announced that there would be a compulsory emergency drill at 15:00 for all the guests. At 15:00 we all had to assemble at our designated areas with our life jackets from our cabin. Once there we were placed in a line and shown how to put on our life jackets. This only took about 10-15 minutes and once done we were allowed to enjoy the entertainment on board.

Just before 16:00 everyone went to the pool deck to see the ship leave. And what an exciting feeling it was. As we were leaving a school of dolphins swam next to the ship, and a little tug boat ensured that we left safely.

As we were going out to sea the vibe on the ship got even better. People were in the jacuzzis and pools and the deck was filled with people. We explored every floor as we wanted to know where everything was. The ship was just so huge we sometimes kept on ending up in the same place. But after a while we knew the ship like the back of our hands.

There was so much to do and they served food all day. Whenever we would pass the buffet station we would grab a slice of pizza or see what desserts they had. I don’t think I have ever eaten so much food in one weekend! There was also a self service station where you could help yourself to tea and coffee all day, so it was nice to go there at night and just grab something warm to drink.

We were never bored. In the theatre they had a show every night, there was bingo, a casino and they had salsa dance classes on the pool deck every day. There was a mini & juniors club, a young club and a teen’s club. So there was something for all ages.

Needless to say we were exhausted at night!

At dinner time we could choose to have dinner at the Galeone Restaurant or grab something at the buffet area. We decided to dress up and head off to the Galeone Restaurant. After dinner we went to the 11th deck to get something warm to drink before calling it a night.

The following morning we had breakfast and enjoyed the on board activities. Late afternoon we decided to try out the sauna as this was free. We were in the saunas a bit too long and ended being a few minutes late for OZ that was showing at the theatre. It was a full house so we ended up sitting on the staircase. The show was great and even though we never had a seat, it never spoilt the show as the acts were amazing.

After the show we had our last dinner on board.  The weekend had gone by so fast. When we woke the following day we had already docked in Cape Town. We enjoyed our last breakfast before we had to disembark the ship. It was an amazing 2 days and I just wish we could have stayed a day or two longer. MSC has certainly not seen the last of us; we will definitely be doing another cruise in the future.

Read another MSC cruise review here - a family holiday from Cape Town to Walvis Bay.

Want to book a MSC cruise? Visit the Sure Travel website here.

Nawaal loves adventure and the outdoors and is always up for trying new things. Anything that can get her adrenalin going gets a big thumbs up! She would love to visit the Far East and explore countries like Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia one day.


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