European Travel and the Coronavirus
MSC Preziosa Cruise Photos
Day 1: Departure, Sea Day
BELOW: Our scheduled departure time from Rotterdam was 7:00 a.m., and we woke to the sound of the ship's engines.
By the time Durant had thrown on a bathrobe and stepped onto our balcony to take pictures, MSC Preziosa was already chugging past two of the harbor's landmarks, theand the skyscraper.
BELOW: MSC Preziosa continued up the, passing freighters, ferries, and other commercial vessels. (Rotterdam is Europe's largest port, so there was plenty of activity to see.)
BELOW: Port facilities of every kind dotted the banks of the River Nieuwe Maas. Here, you can see container-handling systems (on the far left), a drilling platform, and a Port of Rotterdam tugboat.
BELOW: By 8:10 a.m., we were approaching the. Wind farms lined the river on both sides.
BELOW: Soon, we had a bridgecam view of the North Sea from our cabin's TV.
BELOW: Because our itinerary allowed passengers to embark or disembark at every port, the ship had dailyfor new arrivals. We were required to attend a drill in the Platinum Theater at 8:30 a.m., before we'd had breakfast.
BELOW: After the drill, we headed for a late breakfast in the, which is open 20 hours a day.
BELOW: The Inca Buffet (and the, just behind it) offered plenty of food choices. We would have been delighted with our breakfast if it hadn't been so hard to find a table.
BELOW: With breakfast out of the way, we went onto the open deck to enjoy views of the North Sea--including containerships and oil platforms.
BELOW: We passed one small ship, Unifeeder's Spica J, at a close distance. Overtaking the vessel took more than half an hour.
BELOW: It was a chilly day on the North Sea (despite being early in September), so we saw relatively few passengers as we wandered around the upper decks. The enormous water slide was shut down, presumably because of the cool weather.
BELOW: A few brave souls attended an outdoor exercise class in the Acqua Park on Deck 14.
BELOW: A short distance away, the ship's indoor pool and hot tubs were busy. The atrium-like setting has a tropical theme and is named "."
BELOW: When we walked down to Deck 7, a.k.a. "" or the , we encountered closed doors and a "wind warning" sign. (We were able to get onto the exposed deck via another set of doors.)
BELOW: The open-air Boat Deck was practically empty, except for the occasional smoker or lifeboat aficionado.
BELOW: We were pleased to see that life preservers were dotted along the spotlessly clean deck.
BELOW: It's worth noting that, although part of Deck 7 is designated the "MS Rotterdam, which we'd cruised on a number of years earlier.)" on the ship's official deck plan, it isn't a full oval like the promenade decks of traditional ocean liners (or even traditional cruise ships such as Holland America Line's
If you want to walk around in ovals without cutting through the ship's interior spaces, you can go up to the "Power Walking Track" on Deck 15.
BELOW: While walking on Deck 7, we could look up and see the stacked cabin balconies of Decks 8 through 12.
BELOW: Our vews from Deck 7 were somewhat limited by lifeboats and tenders, but there were plenty of gaps.
BELOW: Some of the best views were aft, away from the boats.
BELOW: If we'd been disoriented in a crisis, we could have followed this sign to the water.
BELOW: Would you want to be assigned to Lifeboat 13?
BELOW: Feeling unlucky (after seeing the Lifeboat 13 sign), we went back inside and walked through thewithout stopping.
BELOW: We didn't even ask to join the DIY low-stakes game that we saw a couple playing in an otherwise empty lounge.
BELOW: Nor did we pause in the, where the walls were lined with pictures of happy couples and families.
BELOW: Instead, we headed for the, which proved to be just that: a corner. (The days of the traditional ship's library appeared to be numbered, at least on MSC's megaships.)
BELOW: In contrast to the Library Corner and the Casino, thewas doing a decent business.
BELOW: The shops weren't too crowded, so we browsed the selection of Lego and logo toys (including a Barbie-inspired "MSC Captain Doll" with uniform and accessories).
BELOW: At suppertime, we dined at our assigned table in the.
MSC Preziosa has open seating in the dining rooms at breakfast and lunch, but tables are assigned at the 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. dinner sittings. Since we were American, we were assigned to a table with two English-speaking couples.
BELOW: After dinner, we attended the presentation of the crew in the.
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