MSC Splendida

MSC Splendida

MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia alongside. Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

MSC Splendida Overview

Launched in 2009 as the second in a class of four 137,936-ton, 3,274-guest vessels (along with older sister ship Fantasia and upcoming sisters Divina and Preziosa), Splendida is both one of the largest ships MSC has built to date and also one of the loveliest, designed with a fantastic sense of space, real glamour, and a truly individual design sense — inside, she and her sisters look like no other cruise ships at sea.

The MSC Yacht Club

The MSC Yacht Club is designed to compete direcly with NCL’s premium “Haven” product. Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

Like Fantasia, Splendida offers a mix of features developed for MSC’s Musica-class vessels plus a number of new elements that are all their own. Among the latter, the most significant is the MSC Yacht Club, essentially a first-class section (a la Cunard’s Grill-class and NCL’s Haven accommodations) that provides its well-paying guests with a high-end luxury cruise experience just for them, while also giving them the option of journeying out into the general, democratic areas of Splendida to mingle with the plebes.

Located primarily in the bow on Decks 15, 16, and 18, the Yacht Club offers suites with butler service plus a private concierge lounge; the elegant Top Sail Lounge, with wide windows facing the horizon; a private outdoor area with a pool, two whirlpools, a sundeck, and a bar; and L’Etoile restaurant, serving French cuisine. All in all, the Yacht Club is one of the most luxurious experiences at sea.

MSC Splendida Public Rooms

Every area of MSC Splendida is designed to be more dazzling than the last; pictured here is the Shore Excursion desk. Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

Back in the world of mere mortals, Splendida splits her public rooms between low-down decks 5 and 6 and high-up decks 14, 15, and 16. Spanning Decks 5 through 9 and giving hints of what’s to come is the ship’s gorgeous atrium, which gleams like a jewel box.

On its various levels you’ll find the ship’s reception desk and shore excursions desk; the large Splendida Bar, a great, social meeting spot; the L’Aperitivo Bar, designed with a modern, angular feel; several shops, including the cute La Caramella candy shop, selling sweets by the gram; the L’Espresso Coffee Bar, always a busy spot on these Italian ships; L’Enoteca, serving Italian wines and tapas; and the Santa FeTex-Mex Restaurant, with an open kitchen.

In the bow on Deck 6 (and spreading as well to Decks 5 and 7 as well), the 1,600-seat Strand Theatre looks like no other theater at sea, with its modern, almost Frank Gehry–esque design. Moving sternward, the deck offers the large Royal Palm Casino, a Belle Epoque–inspired cigar lounge, a poker room, several shops, and La Piazetta, a rotunda-style cafe serving pastries, sweets, and gelato.

On Deck 7, you’ll find the stylish La Prua piano bar with its ocean liner imagery, the gloriously colorful and modern Purple Jazz Bar, the large Sports Bar with big-screen TVs and a two-lane bowling alley, and, in the stern, the Aft Lounge, a fantastic space for music and dancing or just lounging on the free-form furniture.

These decks also hold Splendida’s two main restaurants: the two-level La Reggia, which serves Italian cuisine and operates on a walk-in basis for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the lovely Villa Verde, which offers views from three sides (including the stern) and focuses daily on dishes from a different region of Italy.

The clubby Cigar Lounge aboard MSC Splendida. Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

MSC Splendida Spa & Pools

Moving up to Deck 14, the bow is dominated by the enormous Aurea Spa and Fitness Center, which includes a tiled Turkish bath, a stylish pre- or post-treatment relaxation room, a spa bar for juices etc., a yoga studio, a gym, a hair salon, and more than a dozen rooms for massages, mud packs, and other treatments.

Aft of here, the ship’s midsection is taken up with several pools: the L’Equatore, which offers a glass roof for inclement weather as well as several whirlpools and a bar, and the open-air Aqua Park, a multi-level grouping of pools, wading pools, whirlpools, and 150 illuminated musical fountains.

The remainder of Deck 14 is taken up by Bora Bora and Pago Pago, two interconnected casual restaurants that between them serve all three meals.

Up on Deck 15, the Playa del Sol Zen Area is Splendida’s third major pool area, a traditional stern pool with two whirlpools and a limited amount of seating. Reserved for adults only, it’s the most low-key pool area on board.

Farther forward is a jogging track, a pair of whirlpools, and the ship’s children’s facilities, which comprise the North Pole–themed Il Polo Nord kids center, the Il Graffiti teen hangout room, and separate outdoor areas for kids and teens.

One more deck up, you’ll find the ship’s disco, a sports court, a video game room, and a couple of techie wow attractions: a Formula One racing simulator and a 4D cinema that simulates the motions and atmosphere on screen.

Staterooms On MSC Splendida

Exclusive Luxury: suites in the private MSC Yacht Club area have a lot going for them. Photo courtesy of MSC Cruises

Like her MSC fleetmates, Splendida offers a fairly small selection of stateroom categories. Fully 70% of the accommodations aboard are 194-square-foot balcony staterooms, which come with a sitting area, good storage, TV, wifi (for a charge), a vanity, a minibar, a bathroom with shower or tub, and a 42-square-foot balcony. Their design is attractively modern and uncluttered, with lovely wooden headboards and huge mirrors that do much to amplify the size of the room.

The 185- to 218-square-foot oceanview staterooms (with portholes) and 172-square-foot interior staterooms are not quite as upscale looking, but are still nicely designed, with modern art accenting their plain-vanilla beige walls.

At the higher end, Splendida offers a handful of balcony suites with more or less the same features as the balcony staterooms but considerably more room: 285 square feet inside, plus a 61-square-foot balcony.

There are also Aurea Suites that come with a package of spa perks, plus three accommodations that are part of the ship’s MSC Yacht Club upper-crust: the 206- to 315-square-foot Deluxe Suites, 216-square-foot Royal Suites, and 474- to 571-square-foot Executive and Family Suites. All come with a sitting area, gleaming wood-veneer wall paneling, and a lot of little luxe perks.

Royal Suites include huge 177-square-foot balconies; Executive and Family Suites have no balconies but a lot of interior space.

MSC Cruises Reviews

To read a review of a particular ship, click the link under "Read the Review." If applicable, our Live Voyage Reports offer a day-by-day overview of an actual cruise onboard. In some cases, there may be more than one report, to be sure to see if your favorite destination is represented.
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