We sailed on MSC Grandiosa in April 2021, during the covid-19 pandemic. We want to give you a complete MSC ship tour of the MSC Grandiosa and our review and thought.
The ship is absolutely beautiful! It can accommodate 4842 passengers at double occupancy, and over 6300 passengers at full capacity.
The ship has 1704 cabins divided into suites, balconies, windows, and inside.
MSC Grandiosa is 331 meters long (1085 feet) and it can reach a maximum speed of 22 knots (40km/hour or 25 miles/h)
We’ve never experienced such an abundance of staff to passenger ratio! Speaking of which, check out this article for information about the cruising safety protocols onboard the MSC Grandiosa during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MSC levels of service
Onboard MSC ships there are 4 levels of service, with different cabin locations, and different perks.
The most basic one is called Bella and has cabins on lower decks and practically no perks included.
The second level is called Fantastica that has cabins located in better areas of the ship, the possibility of choosing the dinner time and breakfast in the cabin.
The Aurea has the best cabins, drinking package, access to the thermal suite at the spa, a reserved sun deck, and priority embarkation.
Finally, the Yacht Club is practically a ship in the ship with a special restaurant, butler service, special sundeck, and special lounge. However, we can’t really talk much about the yacht club, because it’s just for those passengers who bought it.
The Atrium and the Galleria
The MSC Grandiosa feels glamorous, bright, spacious and it is very easy to walk around. At the heart of the ship, you’ll find the main atrium. It has Swarovski crystal stairs that are really impressive.
We continue our MSC ship tour of the MSC Grandiosa in the galleria is on decks 6 and 7 where most of the shops, entertainment, and specialty restaurants are. On the ceiling, there is this GIANT screen that displays art like the Sistine chapel or other landscapes. Sometimes they even play video games where they video the passengers so they can take a selfie.
Our MSC ship tour continues in the dining area of the MSC Grandiosa.
There are 4 main dining rooms onboard. Due to the low capacity thanks to covid-19, only 2 restaurants were open. The dining rooms are very spacious and bright with a lot of windows.
The buffet, on the MSC Grandiosa, is located on deck 14. the area is quite big and easy to walk around. It is divided into different areas.
The area of the buffet also has plenty of windows making it very bright. Due to the low capacity on board, the buffet was very limited when we were on board and our impression of it might be quite different from what it looks like normally.
There are 4 specialty restaurants onboard the MSC Grandiosa: Butcher cut that is a North American-style steak house. Hola the tapas bar. Atelier bistro the french-inspired restaurant and finally Kaito sushi bar and Teppanyaki.
On our MSC ship tour of the MSC Grandiosa we were able to try 2 out of four because they opened on day 3 of 7 of our cruise. We tried the Butcher’s cut that we found good, not amazing but good. There were a few items on the menu that were not available and that was a little disappointing.
We also tried the Teppanyaki and we found it very entertaining. The cook was quite skilled and it was really fun to watch the show. The food was again good, but nothing special. The portions are very good, not crazy.
One thing that is worth mentioning is that the Easy drinks package does not cover drinks at specialty restaurants or in some lounges around the ship, (such as the cigar lounge or the Jean Philippe chocolate shop). There is an upgrade available for 10 extra euros per person per day to have all the venues included. (Here is a comparison of the different packages)
Swimming Pools and Sundecks
There are 2 main open deck pools and one enclosed with a retractable roof. The open deck ones are quite nice and big even though we think that when the ship is at full capacity might be a bit of a challenge to find pool beds.
In fact, we think that when the MSC Grandiosa runs at full capacity it would be a good idea to upgrade to the Aura experience that has a private pool deck. One problem we noticed at the covered pool was that there were no pool beds!! Just chairs. It seemed a bit odd not being able to have that by a pool.
We thought, due to the pandemic, MSC didn’t want passengers to be lingering in the covered pool are but we were wrong. The tables and chairs are normal. So, if you are thinking of taking a cruise with MSC, and want to use the indoor pool, don’t expect a sunbed.
There are several jacuzzies on different decks making it very easy to find a spot. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go and take some footage of the yacht club open deck so we can’t give a review of the area.
Behind the scene MSC ship tour
Onboard we did a great behind the scene tour of the ship that was very informative! This was probably one of the highlights of our MSC ship tour of the MSC Grandiosa. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any photos on the tour. In fact, we were followed around by this guy who looked like Rambo and told us any phone would be confiscated if we brought it with us! Seriously, the guy never smiled once!!
First stop of the MSC ship tour, was the laundry room. It featured giant washers and dryers. The washers could handle up to 100kg of laundry, omg. And I thought ours was big at 8kg.
These washers handled the bedsheets, towels, table cloths, etc. But, can you believe, they had a separate washer and dryer for the yacht club! Ha! First-class gets their own washers! Seriously though, these were among the largest we’ve ever seen. And they had some automated folding machines for towels and linens.
Next, we saw the galley. For this stop on the MSC ship tour, The Executive sous chef, Donald showed us the pasta station – did you know that they currently make 70% of the pasta fresh on board? Cool! On this day, they were making gnocchi sardi. These are little shell shaped pasta, and are ideal for tomato sauce-type dishes.
Then we moved on to this other area where they were making pizza for the buffet, and this “secret” area where they couldn’t tell us what they were doing. Well, they were filling these little aluminum containers with food. Strange. Later, we found out these containers were for the new staff, all quarantined on deck 8.
After the galley, we continued our MSC ship tour to the bridge. Again, we were frisked and checked for any meals – like at the airport. Wow! I’ve been on the bridge several times and have never experienced checks like this.
Well, maybe we can say MSC wants to show us, that on this tour, they are the most secure. Anyway, on the bridge, the officer of the watch told us a little about the equipment and what we were doing. Unfortunately, the captain wasn’t present.
On our next stop, on the MSC ship tour, we went to see the theatre, The theatre holds 940 passengers. We think that if there are really 6000 passengers on board, a theatre for 940 is way too little. Perhaps MSC wants the passengers to be elsewhere.
In the theatre, they showed us backstage where we saw all the LED panels, the lighting controls, and the dressing rooms. Very cool. We also noticed an LED panel that was dead. Interesting because we had seen a few shows and didn’t notice. I guess that’s the magic of the theatre.
Engine Control Room
Finally the engine control room. This was probably my least interesting part of the MSC ship tour, because, it was 3 hours in, and I was getting hungry. Anyway, in the engine control room, there are these computer screens that allow controllers to monitor and control different things like temperature, water cleaning, etc.
MSC ship tour of Our Cabin
Let’s talk about our cabin on the MSC Grandiosa. We booked a balcony cabin with the Fantastica experience on deck 12. (If you want to know how to pick the best cabin on a cruise ship, here is a great article for you)
The cabin was well laid out. Spacious and efficient. A few things in the cabin were fantastic. The first one was the shower. I think this was the biggest shower we ever had on a cruise ship. It was as big as a normal hotel shower.
The second great feature of the cabin was the huge amount of USB plugs around the room. There was one by each bedside table, and several by the desk. Most importantly we loved that we were able to charge all our devices at the same time! The third thing we loved in the cabin was the good amount of electrical plugs there were 2 European plugs and 2 North American ones in the cabin.
Now let’s talk about what we thought could have been better in our cabin on the MSC Grandiosa. First, the closet was quite small. Secondly, It was also not really well organized and there was a lack of hangers. Thirdly the doors also didn’t work very well – they were super flimsy. Actually, it didn’t really need a door.
We also found that the huge couch in the room was a bit of a waste of space, it wasn’t really necessary and took a lot of room. Maybe it’s for someone to sleep on but it wasn’t a pullout couch.
Other than those two little problems we loved our cabin on the MSC Grandiosa. Another thing that was just ok in the cabin was ZOE MSC virtual assistant. Let’s say that it is a very good wireless speak but nothing else.
The Casino is large and well laid out, with a good selection of tables and slots. Many of the tables were closed during our cruise due to the fact that the ship was at low capacity. In the center of the casino, there is a big bar area with many big screen tv for sports games.
Beyond the casino a small theatre, that was used for the Cirque de Soleil shows. For our cruise, it was used mostly as a lounge with live performers. In the main theatre, we saw 3 shows.
Interestingly, they were all singing shows – in English. We were not sure what’s up with that, perhaps it’s because many passengers don’t speak English, so the music would be a good way to spend time.
There was distance in the theatre. However actually because every other seat had an X where one couldn’t sit. lastly, it’s strange for us because almost everyone is a couple on board.
Tour of the Family Entertainment
The MSC Grandiosa has an amazing area for family and teens. MSC has a partnership with Lego in the children area with many legos characters. They also have a big indoor basketball court, F1 car simulator, bowling alley, and arcade room.
Outside there is a great complimentary Himalayan Bridge 19 decks above sea level that is quite challenging for kids and adults.
The waterpark on deck 19 is really big with a great variety of waterslides and water features. Unfortunately due to the bad weather conditions we were not able to try it.
Regarding the spa, there was a thermal suite, largely closed, nice change room, and jacuzzi that was of course empty.
Rick booked an 80-minute massage. The massage was quite good. And the thermal area was supposed to be reserved us which was great. But, we weren’t allowed to use the shower before going to the thermal area. Since Rick had all this oil all over himself, he really didn’t want to put on my clothes again. So we decided to skip it.
Overall we think that the MSC Grandiosa is a beautiful ship, with plenty of natural light. It is great fun for families and for people that are looking for a resort-style cruise.
There are plenty of things to do on board, even though we think that when the ship is at full capacity it would be better to upgrade to the Aurea experience to take advantage of the private sun deck.
Restaurants are nice even thought the food is nothing special in the main dining room. The easy drinking package is vey affordable and for most passengers would be enough. Keep in mind that if you want to go to the specialty restaurants drinks are not included in the Easy package.
We really enjoyed our week onboard the MSC Grandiosa and we will sail on it again, however it won’t be our first choice because we prefer smaller ships more focused on the itinerary other than the on board resort amenities.
Rick and Andrea
In March 2017, Rick and Andrea started Travel Addicts Life as a way to share their travel photos and videos with the world. And boy did it ever grow! Today, we are proud to offer content here on Travel Addicts Life, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
Thanks for reading!
Rick & Andrea