March 14th 2013:   The magnificent MSC Preziosa is officially delivered to MSC Cruises at the STX France Shipyard.  The General Manager of STX France, Laurent Castaing, formally hands the ship over to MSC Cruises’ owner Gianluigi Aponte during the traditional flag ceremony.  The Shipyard pennant and French flag are lowered and both the MSC and Italian flags are raised in place to the sound of the Italian national anthem.


Why are you talking about cruises?

Now you might wonder what that first paragraph was all about and why I’m talking about cruises on a backpacking blog.  Well, this Friday (March 22nd 2013), I shall be jetting off to Genoa in Italy to board my first ever cruise ship and to see if some of the backpacker community like myself might one day become part of the cruising community also.

Reporting on behalf of (no pressure, eek!), I’m lucky enough to be boarding The MSC Preziosa this Friday to witness and experience its christening in Genoa.  Live blogging from the ship, I’ll be tweeting (#mscpreziosa), uploading instagram photos and uploading Vine videos so that you guys can see what I see and experience the MSC Preziosa too.  Whilst you can check all of the different social media channels to see whats happening aboard and what I’m up to over the weekend, it is in fact possible to see it all in one place via the wonders of live blogging.  Click the link starting from Friday and you’ll see what I mean.

Live Blogging

The MSC Preziosa with

MSC Cruises UK TravMonkey Logo


The MSC Preziosa

So I climb aboard on Friday as mentioned, but I’m not sure I’m entirely ready for the scale of this ship.  In just two days I will have to try unearth all the treasures that this 140,000 ton behemoth holds.  At 333 metres longs and 38 metres wide, I might just have to jog around the new MSC flagship just to make sure I see it all.

Facilities on board are obviously second to none.  I’ll be donning my whistle and flute (suit) in the evenings as I sit down at probably some of the nicest restaurants I’m ever likely to eat in.  My cabin is likely to be nicer than the flat I currently live in.  But, amongst all stunning beautiful things that I will be too scared to touch for fear of breaking, there are two specific facilities that have caught my eye.  I think you may understand why …

1.  The Sports & Bowling Diner – I love retro, I love sports and I love diner food.  It my be hard to tear myself away from this place!  Time to put my Wii bowling skills to the test.

2.  The Vertigo Waterslide – 120 metres of twisting and turning waterslide goodness that starts all the way up on the 18th deck.  Part of the slide even goes out over the edge of the ship, allowing for stunning views of the ocean.  My boardies are packed and ready for this monster slide, I cant wait!

From March 24th and once the christening ceremony is complete, the MSC Preziosa will take lucky passengers around the Mediterranean, making port at such incredible cities as Genoa, Naples, Messina, Tunis, Barcelona and Marseilles.  Cruises can ranger from 1 to 7 days.

What I’ll be up to on board

OK so this is a press trip, I’m aboard to do a job, I cant just go swanning off and taking a nap whatever I want.  What am I talking about, with a bowling diner and 120 metre long water slide sleep will be the last thing on my mind.  But (stern face), I’m on a pretty tight schedule so alas the diner and waterslide will have to wait.  I need to be professional about this and represent to the fullest, which I shall.  Here’s a few highlights of my itinerary …

Friday 22nd March

  • Top Sail Lounge International Press Aperitif followed by MSC Yacht Club visit
  • Restaurant Dinner – International guests
  • Disco Music and Open bar
  •  Casino Just for fun Casino


Saturday 23rd March

  • Safari Lounge International press conference
  • Safari Lounge Q & A (Vago, Loren, Morricone, Farinetti)
  • On pier Christening Ceremony


On Saturday morning I’m also signed up for a walking tour of Genoa which sounds brilliant. I’ve never been to Italy before, but I hear Genoa is beautiful.  The medieval quarter sounds particuarly interesting and is somewhere I hope we get the chance to visit.

Follow me on my new adventure

So, this Friday I will be one very lucky lad!  If you’re interested to see how I get on aboard my first cruise ship, or if you’re just interested in the ship itself rather than me (fair enough), you can follow the MSC Preziosa christening via the following channels …


… and find out more about the MSC Preziosa by clicking on the below …


Your questions to the Captain and Head Chef

Now as mentioned this will be the first time I set foot aboard a cruise ship.  I’m not 100% what to expect, but for many of you interested in the MSC Preziosa I imagine you will have been on a cruise before, and I also imagine we would both have very different questions of the owners and staff given the chance to ask them.  Well here’s your chance to ask a few questions.  Amazingly it appears that I shall now also be attending a Q&A session with both Captain  Giuliano Bossi and the head chef.  Is there anything you wish me to ask them?  I have my own questions, but would love to ask some of yours.  Just leave the questions in a comment below and I shall do my best to have the answered for you.