Southampton, England JUN 3, 2023

After a week in England I was feeling much better. It was Embarkation Day, the beginning of a new cruise on the MSC cruiseline. We took an Uber from our tiny apartment to the Southampton cruise terminal.

This was probably the easiest and faster embarkation we have ever had. With no lines, we quickly went through check-in and security. Even our cabin was ready even though it was still early afternoon. This cruise ship, the Virtuosa, is one of the two largest MSC ships and is relatively new, first launched in November, 2019. It has a maximum capacity of over 6,000 passengers with a crew of 1,700.

We especially like the elevators. You press the button for the deck you want and it tells you which of the six elevators to get on. You do not have to push any buttons inside the elevator. They are fast and more efficient than traditional elevators. We first saw this type of elevator at a hotel in Israel back in March. 

The ship has a robot bartender named Rob who will expertly make you a drink. We haven’t tried him yet.

There is always easy listening live music on Deck 5 in front of Guest Services each afternoon and evening. MSC does a great job of providing service to the cabins twice a day. Our cabin is always clean and well cared for. Some cruise lines, like Royal Caribbean, only provide cabin service once a day now.

Our one complaint is the food is mediocre at best. There are many passengers who agree with us. This has been much harder for me. Bill pretty much eats anything. I am a picky eater who struggles with their menus and food preparation. 

On our last cruise the majority of passengers were Italian with very few Americans. On this voyage, most of the passengers are English, and once again very few Americans. Our dinner companions are a young couple from England and an older couple from Australia. Very congenial but not the instant compatibility of the two couples from our last cruise.

After 2 days at sea, our first port, Glasgow, Scotland is coming up. 

Next up: Glasgow, Scotland

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