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All aboard: a tour of the MSC Fantasia Cruise Ship

All aboard: a tour of the MSC Fantasia Cruise Ship

Like everything else Italian, MSC Fantasia is sophisticated with tasteful beauty woven in. With staircases encrusted with Swarovski crystals and an Italian-style espresso bar looking onto a genuine stone piazza in the heart of the ship, MSC Fantasia is classic luxury personified.

Able to hold 3,274 passengers it is one of the biggest cruise liners within the MSC line-up. Popular with European travellers, she can be found cruising in Mediterranean waters throughout the year. For 2016 she also has a brand new route, with a new introductory price - which we've got a little bit of information on at the end.

What makes MSC Fantasia unique :

The MSC Fantasia has luxury features that you would think were only part of cruising dreams. There's plenty of activities to keep passengers entertained and relaxed, however we've pulled together four features that makes this ship just that little bit special:

4D Cinema What is a 4D cinema I hear you ask? It's where you totally immerse yourself in the film – experience everything as it happens to the characters. From tilts in the chair to a wind machine making you feel truly part of the action.

F1 Simulator A must for formula racing fans, step into the onboard racing Ferrari and hit the tracks.

Transparent ceiling With no city lights to distract while out at sea, you can look up and admire the sparkling night sky.

Yacht club The MSC Yacht club experience is the grand-prize in luxury cruising. Designed for travellers who adore the exclusivity of a yacht but want the amenities of a cruise ship, this cornered off section of the ship offers just that. Decked out with its own Top Sail lounge, private swimming pool, 24-hour butler, a private spa room, tailor made excursions, out-of-hours shopping and high-end bedroom suites with Egyptian cotton, complimentary mini-bar and memory foam mattress.

Eating, drinking, and relaxing

As beautiful as this ship is, there's only so many times you can admire the crystal staircase. That's why the Fantasia is not just pleasing to the eye, but also pleasing to the cruiser after an exciting at-sea experience. For the gastronomically-curious cruiser there is a choice of six restaurants: whether it's Mexican, French, Italian or fast food, your stomach will find what it's craving. There's two main dining halls - Red Velvet and Il Cerchio d'Oro – and the four additional restaurants: L'Etoile (a French restaurant); the lively Sombrero (for Tex-Mex); an evening-only pizzeria; fast food at the Sports Bar; and La Cantina Toscana (serving Italian wines and tapas).

Entertainment wise, the Fantasia also doesn't fail to disappoint. With all the regular entertainment features you'd expect onboard a cruise ship such as a casino, pool area and theatre, the MSC ship has a few special extras thrown in. We've already mentioned the 4D cinema and F1 Simulator, but there's also a sports centre with tennis, mini-golf and basketball, as well as a video games arcade and art gallery. For the kids, there's Il Polo Nord – an Arctic themed play area with pool and slide.

For those who like to unwind there's a relaxing Aurea Spa onboard. An authentic Balinese spa where passengers can let everything go with a hot stone and deep tissue massage, aromatherapy and acupuncture, then pamper themselves with the range of beauty treatments including facials, manicures, pedicures, and special treatments for teenagers.

Resting your head

The Fantasia has one of the highest percentage of cabins with balconies compared to the rest of the MSC fleet. The standard balcony suite clocks in at 17 square meters (42 square metres for guests with disabilities or mobility issues) with the balcony as extra space. The room itself contains a double bed (can be made into two single beds on request) and includes air conditioning, a wardrobe, mini bar, bathroom with shower or tub, TV, telephone, wireless internet access (for a fee), and a safe.

There's however eleven cabin types onboard the Fantasia: some with balconies, some with sealed panoramic windows and some inside cabins. All cabin types come with the option to add-on a MSC experience: either Bella, Fantastica or Aurea.

The Bella experience is the basic package that allows passengers to request their preferred dinner settings and earn MSC Voyager Points. Then the Fantastica experience gives passengers the flexibility to change booking details if required, priority choice of dining times, and the option to take-part in multi-lingual organised activities. The Aurea experience, however, includes all the great features of Bella and Fantastica, but throws into the booking priority boarding, free wellbeing products in your cabin, dining in a reserved area, enjoying 24-drinks and indulging in an exclusive spa package: including a massage, a spa welcome cocktail and unlimited use of the Thermal Area throughout the cruise.

Where in the world does it cruise to?

The luxury Fantasia ship calls the Italian city of Genoa its home and many of her voyages start here. You'll regularly find her cruising the waters of the Mediterranean stopping in ports such as Athens, Jerusalem, Barcelona, Malta and Marseilles.

The Fantasia also has a new route – exclusive to CRUISE DIRECT – for 2016 that starts in Genoa and cruises through Cannes, Palma, Barcelona, Corsica, Naples, Florence & Pisa.

Special offer on the new 2016 route

If you have been well and truly sold by the luxury on-board spa and 4D cinema, then be one of the first to travel on the new Fantasia route in 2016. This is a CRUISE DIRECT exclusive and is available at a super-saver price starting at £860 per person. This includes flights from Glasgow, a luxury inside cabin, and all-inclusive board. The all-inclusive rate includes spirits, beers & lagers, wines & prosecco, selected cocktails, soft drinks, speciality coffees & Italian ice creams. For £99 per person, you can also upgrade to a balcony cabin so you can overlook the Mediterranean as you take to the sea as one of the first people on this exclusive voyage.

  • 5th February 2016
  • Chris Leviston