Bussola Restaurant, The Beverley Hills Bar, Rodeo Drive Shopping
Arcade, Main Foyer -Reception - Shore Ex, Lord Nelson Pub, Broadway Theatre.
Restaurant, Photo Gallery, Cyber Café, Las Vegas Casino -
Slot Machines, Card Room & Library, Le Cabaret, The Coffee Corner
[around Atrium], Broadway Theatre.
Lirica Lounge, Hospital.
Bistrot Cafeteria, La Pergola Restaurant [Al Fresco, Pizza &
Grill], Le Piscine [Pool Area, Hot Tubs, Stage, Table Tennis], La
Canzone Del Mare [Pool Bar], I Pirati - Children's Room, The Lirica
Health Centre - Steam & Sauna, Relaxation Area, Gym, Beauty Parlour.
Blue Club [Disco], Games Arcade, Jogging Track, Shuffleboard.
Golf, Solarium [Sun Terrace], Table Football.
My Photos of MSC Lirica
was completed in March 2003. Built at Chantiers de L'Atlantique
in St Nazaire, France, her keel was laid in December 2001, floated
out on 10 Aug 2002 and delivered on 25 Mar 2003. Her
Maiden Voyage was on 13 Apr 2003. At 59,058 grt, max 21.6 knots,
253.25m long, 28.8m wide, and with a draft
of 6.8m, she is not amongst the largest of today's cruise ships.
is beautifully decorated and very elegant inside & out. Nothing
overly bright, no clashing drapes & carpets, no glitz and a 2
storey Atrium. Schemes flow from one area to the next. Some may say
'bland', but not me. She rode the waves well, including the
"rough" 12ft seas we encountered between Palma & Barcelona.
Lirica carries 1,590 passengers [double] with a maximum
occupancy of 2,200 and 760 multinational crew members. The Officers,
Hotel Department Team & Entertainment Staff were all Italian. The
Hotel Manager was Antonio Cuccaro, a very pleasant chap, and the
English/International Hostess was Alessia Di Ruvo, a very nice lady
too, especially when trying to cope with teaching us some Italian.
cruise was chosen as it slotted in nicely with the Autumn mid term
break in the UK. After an uneventful [omitting the chaos of check-in
& Beverley fainting from the heat at LHR T2] 6.40am Alitalia
flight, we arrived at Milan, Linate Airport on time. The MSC Rep was
there to meet 176 passengers for MSC Lirica all on various flights.
As each coach was full, they set off for Genoa. After a 2 hour scenic
drive, most of which was by motorway, arrival at Ponte dei Mille,
Genoa's new Cruise Terminal, was welcome. It was busy, with Costa
Mediterranea also in port. But with refreshments available &
entertainers, a clown & chap on stilts, keeping people amused in
the queue, time passed quickly. As it was pouring with rain, boarding
was by small groups at a time, so no-one was left standing on the
Captain Silvio Cappuccio. I
never got a chance to talk to him apart from the niceties at the
"Welcome Cocktail" Party for all guests on Gala Night,
after departing Palermo, and at the "Repeaters Cocktail"
Party on the Gala/Formal Night after our day in Barcelona. Drinks and
nibbles were aplenty on both occasions and a large cake cut and
distributed at the Repeaters Party. Repeat Cruisers have a gift
placed in their cabin during the cruise. A better one for those with
the most MSC cruises under their belt, and prizes are given during
the party. We received a rather nice, heavy, pewter, MSC Lirica, 2003
inaugural, paperweight. One for each cabin, not just the family as a
whole. "The guest is a jewel placed on the pillow of hospitality".
Silvio Cappuccio with Myself, Howard,
& friend Katy
Night" is the more formal of the 2 formal nights on a 7
night cruise. Italians Dress very well, so do not leave your Tux at
home. The other 5 nights were classed as "casual", with one
designated "60's Era", but by far the majority of
passengers dressed smartly every night. I did see a couple of
teenagers in cords in the dining room one evening on formal night,
but the next night, a casual one, they were dressed up to the nine's.
They had been too late back to change the previous evening, so were
making up for it.
Bridge Tour can
be requested at reception, and at some point an 'invitation' to
visit the Bridge will be placed in your cabin. This will usually be
for some time when the ship is at sea. All same language speaking
guests are grouped together to make life easier for the person doing
the explanation of the various pieces of equipment and the procedures
followed. Alessia, the English host took our tour. See the Bridge
Tour Handout, outlining the equipment and technical
specifications of MSC Lirica. See more Photos
on the Bridge.
Piscine & Jogging Track
Piscine, Pool Area, is very sheltered from the wind. The two pools
are identical, surrounded by teak decking with a beige rubberised
walk through path each side. There is a Stage Area where various
poolside competitions and dancing were held, at the aft end, and the
Pool Bar - La Canzone Del Mare - fwd. Two hot tubs are on a raised
section between the pools. Both pools are filled with heated sea
water and divided in two; one section being 1.8m - 1.95m deep [6ft -
6.5ft] and the other for toddlers just 0.25m [10inches]. The shallow
area near the stage has a small fountain, not always in use. The
loungers were stacked up and pools closed at 5pm. On our cruise it
was too chilly to have used the pools after this time, but might be a
bit too early in hot weather. See more Pool
on Ponte Puccini
MSC Lirica is no beautiful classic liner of bygone days, but
is pleasing to the eye with a sharp bow and stepped stern decks from
which you can sit and "wake watch" from decks 7 to 12.
There are no aft balcony cabins in the way. She has 795 cabins, of
which only 132 have a balcony, so does not have the apartment block
appearance. The ship was sailing full, but never appeared crowded
anywhere. Many of the lounges were empty during the day, until they
took on their individual evening entertainment. Around the pools
there was always plenty of space and free loungers, but the weather,
apart from a couple of half-days, was not that warm and only the
hardy "sunbathed" or swam. The loungers on the Solarium
[fwd Sun Deck 13] were never put out, as not required. See more External
is plenty of open deck area to wonder about, but no wrap around
Prom. The Promenade on Ponte Puccini , with rubberised decking,
only extends along the sides and there are no chairs or loungers, but
nice to stand under the lifeboats and watch the sea or port goings
on. The jogging track on Ponte Rossini , with rubberised decking,
goes all the way around midships above the Pool Areas, but one has to
cross on a bridge back over the Stage, or go up to the Mini Golf and
around the funnel to come back. See
on Panganini Deck 9
on Panganini & Albinoni Decks [8&9], are open deck viewing
areas. It can be very windy out here, hard to open the doors, even
the "sheltered" one, and whilst at sea they were often
locked & tied up to prevent access. Not many people came out
here, so a peaceful viewing area in good weather and in port. Dark at night.
is no confiscating of alcohol taken aboard from ports of call. All
bags are subject to security searches, x-ray, & a walk through
metal detector for the humans. All baggage coming aboard is screened
on embarkation on the ship, asides from any security procedures
already carried out in the cruise terminals. There are two security
personnel who constantly roam the ship together, in contact by radio
with each other and their base. Nicknamed [by us] "The
Goons", as they always wore suits, with tie, and stuck out like
a sore thumb, akin to Italian gangsters in the movies.
Atrium is 2 storey, from the Reception Area
below on Deck 5 and surrounded above by the Coffee Corner on
Deck 6. It has an elegant staircase and a lovely patterned marble
floor. MSC Lirica has 9 elevators in 4 banks. These are super speedy
& the fastest I've come across afloat. More than once I missed
the right floor as, well, "We couldn't have got there yet, or
could we?" I wasn't alone. They are completely mirrored on all
sides; one gets used to seeing thousands of one's self. See more Atrium
Staircase & Patterned Marble Flooring
Cybercafé on deck 6 is open 24 hours a day. One of
only two very brightly decorated areas. There are a number of flat
screen monitor workstations. It costs e4.90 for the first 10 minutes
and e0.49 per minute thereafter. To use, one just inserts one's MSC
Cruise Card, and a receipt is printed out when you've finished. I
only used it a couple of times, but found it hassle free with a
speedy connection. This may differ depending on what part of the
world one is sailing in.
We were assigned 1st sitting, 7pm, in La
Ponte Verdi  aft. In my opinion, although the largest of the two
main restaurants, this is by far the nicest. We had a table for 4,
towards the stern, port. Raffaello was our waiter. L'Ippocampo Restaurant,
Ponte Puccini  is two narrow uncarpeted 'legs' with the main
seating area at the stern. The main area is on 2 levels, higher in
the middle section and lower around the windows. That bit is carpeted
and rather nice. However I did not take to the mirrors on the
ceiling. Weird I thought for a restaurant? Perhaps to make the
ceiling seem higher? It is still however a very nice room, especially
if you have one of the tables by the stern windows. There are only
side windows in La Bussola.
appears La Bussola is filled first and the rest of the passengers
are assigned to L'Ippocampo, so La Bussola is always full. This I
found detracted from the service. It was slooow.. well in our
section. The waiter seemed to keep all his particular tables at the
same stage. Now whether that was just our waiter, or how the PTB have
decreed it should be done I don't know. It certainly wasn't that way
on MSC Melody. It was a bit irritating for us, as we only ever have
either an Appetiser or Soup or Pasta before the main course,
occasionally 2 but rarely, which meant we were sitting with nothing
at times while other tables ate all 3 courses. I could probably have
said something, but didn't as the waiter was so nice and didn't want
to upset him, but did make a note on the comment card about the system.
we made who were assigned to late seating, 9pm, in L'Ippocampo said
it was quite empty in there [even though this was a fully booked
cruise] and their service was top notch and at their rate. The
difference in timing could have contributed to this, as with it being
mid term break in most of Europe there were many children aboard and
a wait list for 1st seating. 9pm is really too late for youngsters,
so 1st seating was full, probably also in L'Ippocampo. I didn't meet
anyone on first seating in there. See more Dining
waiter was Italian, and not as good with English as some, but never
got anything messed up, and knew what we meant [apart from the water!
see below]. He was superb with French at the table next to us. Puts
us lot to shame with the number of languages some people speak. The
first evening I asked for regular water, tap water, ordinary water,
and got shown a bottle. I do not like most bottled waters, but drank
it, then noticed the table next door had water in a jug. So I pointed
to it, and asked for water, ah he says, "Jug of water". So
thereafter I asked for a "Jug of water", no problem!:) Most
people in the Med region of Europe do drink bottled water. On land
you wouldn't drink anything else, unless a local. On a ship of course
it's different and you can trust the water. So ask for a 'Jug of water'.
was from Sorrento and had worked on the other MSC ships. Making
conversation I asked if he knew Guiseppe from Melody [our waiter on
her & a fantastic one]. "Oh yes" he says, "Biiig
Guiseppe [he is:)], his brother Luciano is on Lirica over there.
Come". So off we were all waltzed over to the otherside of La
Bussola and introduced to Luciano like long lost friends!
forgot to collect the week's menus from Raffaello on our last night,
but they are very similar, if not identical, to those on our MSC
Melody trip in Aug 2003, which can be viewed here.
There is usually a choice of 3 Appetisers, 2 Soups, 2 Rice or Pasta
Dishes, 4 or 5 Main Courses [inc. a Vegetarian Choice], Cheeseboard,
Fresh Fruit & 2 Desserts. There is no emphasis on desserts and
the choice will be either a 'cake' or ice cream. No big deal is made
of gooey chocolate puddings etc and one will be asked for one's
selection of dessert when choosing the main course. Besides the Main
Course choices, every night there is also available, Broiled Salmon,
Grilled Turkey Paillard & Grilled Beef Steak all served with
Fries. There was a good selection of wine, but not being with Dave
and in charge of 3 youngsters I did not examine it closely.
found the food to be delicious, but then I am adventurous trying
everything I've never had/tried before, especially the seafood
including the Baby Octopus which caused many "ughs" from
the children. They however tended to have the pasta followed by
turkey or steak, and found the turkey great, but the beef steak would
be slightly overdone, so order rare for medium done. On gala night
Bomba Vesuviana, Baked Alaska in the shape of a volcano with
different flavours of ice cream within. If you are lucky you will get
Halloween, the children were all served a small portion of blue
mashed potato in a swirl with carrot 'eyes', for fun. "Yuk"
they said, but had a taste:) With such a port intensive itinerary and
never a full day at sea, we rarely had lunch. If we did, it was a
quick salad in Le Bistrot [there was also a large range of salads,
all very fresh, hot food, veal, sausage, pork, steak strips and lots
of very gooey covered in icing [frosting] cakes with hundreds of
hundreds & thousands over them] or for the children, the Burgers,
Hot-Dogs, Fries or Pizza served at La Pergola on deck. I do not eat
Pizza, but was advised it was tasty, although only a couple of
different toppings served on any particular day.
were served in the Coffee Corner mid morning and Afternoon
Tea & Cakes in Le Bistrot and/or La Pergola between
4 & 5pm. The cakes & pastries are Italian style. No choc chip
cookies or muffins, but the Rum Baba type traditional Babà
Napoletano [cake with rum, one could call 'soggy'] and from Naples
the Pastiera with ricotta and canned fruit. Shortbread and macaroon
type biscuits too. There was no ice cream bar in the afternoons,
though one could purchase a lolly, choc ice, cone in La Pergola.
Pergola - Few People up Early
was served from 6am at La Pergola, with breakfast in Le Bistrot
from 6.30am [officially, but it was often open beforehand]. Breakfast
[and lunch] is "Open Seating" in the main restaurants and
begins at 7am. As always in a rush we ate in Le Bistrot and had Room
Service one morning. The breakfast choices in the buffet are the
usual cereals, fruit, rolls, toast, cakes. cheeses and cold meats.
Hot food however is bacon [European style, not US streaky], baked
beans, boiled eggs, hash browns, sausages, cooked tomatoes, and a
range of Italian items I do not know the name of - bird's nests &
solid egg squares, I refer to them as - tasty despite my description.
hot food choices varied daily. I have never come across a
buffet/cafeteria area so promptly cleared once you get up to leave.
Never a problem finding a table either, as there is such a large
outdoor covered seating area [La Pergola]. The Port side of La
Pergola is designated "Smoking" with ash trays on the
tables, but I only ever saw a handful of people smoking there. It
certainly did not waft across to starboard. Smoking was not permitted
in any restaurants, theatre and other areas, and I can't say I
noticed much at all, except on the stern deck areas, where there were
specially marked receptacles for cigarettes, so perhaps people took
the hint and only smoked where these had been placed - the smoke then
just disappears away over the stern.
& tea are free all day, from Le Bistrot, La Pergola [inc Hot
Chocolate] & Room Service,
and in the main restaurants. Speciality coffee is served and charged
for in the various Bars & Coffee Corner. Juices are free at
breakfast, but chargeable at any other time and also sodas, cokes etc
are chargeable. You do not help yourself at the machines, but your
choice will be poured for you.
Menu / Price List
Service is 24hr, BUT only free for
Breakfast and the choice for that is limited to rolls, croissants,
bread, jams, juice, coffee/tea/choc etc, no cereal. See the Continental
Breakfast Door Hanger.
Beverages [tea,coffee] throughout the day are free too. At all other
times room service is limited to club sandwiches and salads, all
Cabin Mini Bar
service is available to the cabin, at bar list prices, no delivery
charge*, and all cabins have a mini bar stocked with sodas, alcohol
miniatures etc with a separate price list.
a tip is not expected, or even thought about. Italians do not tip as
in the US. I did however tip the waiter when he brought breakfast, as
it wasn't our room steward, and he did seem a bit taken off guard.
There is no additional service charge added to the price of the
drinks on the menus, what you see is what you pay.
was a Midnight Buffet every night in either Le Bistrot or La Pergola
along different themes. Neopolitan, Fruit & Crèpes,
Pastry, Country Style, Spanish with Paella, and the "Buffet
Magnifique". Unfortunately I didn't get to any of these to
comment. The Buffet Magnifique was in La Pergola on Halloween Night
and I did see the display being set up, with carved pumpkins and
other 'Halloween' decorations it was looking good. A few of the
children did a bit of trick & treating along our corridor; I
didn't open the door to see who it was, but in the morning it was
evident they had sprayed small amounts of 'silly string' on some of
the doors. The stewards were cleaning it off, but took it in their
stride smiling and commented that it was a bit of fun once a year.
Review Part II
My Photos of MSC Lirica