As you walked from the cabaret show to the casino, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in New York City rather than a luxury cruise ship en route to the Bahamas.
Inspired by the 24/7 vibe of the Big Apple, the dazzling MSC Seashore – with a capacity of almost 6,000 guests – firmly shines the light on the idea that cruises are purely for PAOs.
ANCHORING AWAY: My Caribbean journey begins in the beautiful city of Miami as we step aboard for the 65-mile cruise to the Bahamas, where we will dock.
The vastness of the boat is almost overwhelming, but you’ll quickly notice the incredible level of detail, with beautiful artwork adorning the walls, luxurious living room furniture, and even a sparkling staircase inlaid with Swarovski.
Exploring is like walking through an entire city – there are tennis, volleyball, and basketball courts, a five-person court, and six pools (not to mention 15 small hot tubs!).
My cabin is spacious, with a plush double bed, sofa, large TV, and private balcony – the perfect place to enjoy the sunrise in the warm sea breeze.
THE SHIP THAT NEVER SLEEPS: MSC Seashore offers 16 hours of daily entertainment, with something for all ages, from live music and cabaret shows to a huge game room (VR simulators are a must) and casino.
There are five clubs for kids up to 17 – older ones will love to try their hand at the simulated TV studio – as well as the Aquapark to help them burn off some energy.
To refuel, there are 16 cafes, five restaurants, and a main dining room serving the biggest breakfast buffet you’ve ever seen.
Don’t miss the melt-in-your-mouth filet mignon at Butcher’s Cut, followed by a dreamy chocolate lava cake, three course for £ 43.
Get your Mexican fix with tacos at Hola !, and sample each of the five flavored frozen margaritas (rub!).
At Kaito Teppanyaki Asian Restaurant, you’ll see talented chefs preparing your dinner in front of you, or take your pick on the conveyor belt at Kaito Sushi Bar.
After dinner, stop at one of the many bars – our favorite was the lively Live On Air – for a nightcap.
SPA-VELLOUS! There is nothing better to immerse yourself in the relaxed Caribbean lifestyle than a visit to the ship’s spa.
As you might expect, everything from reiki to deep tissue is on the menu. The Balinese full body massage, £ 95 for an hour, makes you feel so peaceful that you might forget your own name.
There are four dedicated steam room and sauna rooms, as well as hot tubs and exfoliation rooms.
But the big draws are the Himalayan Salt Room, for breathing relaxation, or if you feel like chilling out, literally try the Snow Room, where you can test your endurance in cold weather.
On the lower deck, indulge in some free time in the hair salon, nail bar, and large, airy gym, with daily yoga, spin, and HIIT classes.
THE WHITE ISLAND: In the Bahamas, we dock on the private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Located 191 km from the capital Nassau, this disused mining site has been transformed into a sustainable slice of paradise where single-use plastics are banned and nature comes first. It’s a world away from the high octane hustle and bustle of the ship.
Over 75,000 species of greenery have been planted and there are eight pristine white sand beaches, with pioneering initiatives to protect and restore coral reefs to increase biodiversity on the island.
Swim in the clear turquoise waters or book one of the cruise tours, which include a guided kayak or catamaran excursion.
There are 88 types of fish to look out for, including stingrays, as well as a thriving population of loggerhead turtles.
Back on dry land, climb the lighthouse for a breathtaking 360-degree view. Or if it all sounds a bit energetic, relax on a day bed and enjoy the many delicious food huts dotted along the beach.
CITY SLICK: When it’s time to say goodbye to life on the ocean wave, rock out any post-Bahamian blues by continuing to have fun in Miami.
Stay at glamorous Moxy South Beach, designed with a nod to the city’s Cuban heritage – think geometric terrazzo floors flanked by lush palm trees.
After a day on the magnificent Grand Beach, relax in the hotel’s beating heart, Bar Moxy, which plays must-have dance music to start your evening off right.
You can’t go wrong with the bars in Little Havana or Wynwood Walls. And be sure to book dinner at the buzz
Meet Dalia, where the Jumbo Shrimp Skewer with Rice and Spiced Yogurt, £ 23, is a must (Meetdaliamiami.com).
To end your journey, pass by the iconic Kill Your Idol bar to feel like you’re in a live version of RuPaul’s Drag Race with amazing lip-syncing drag numbers.
Seven-night cruise package costs from £ 519 per person, visiting Ocean Cay
MSC Marine Reserve, Ocho Rios in Jamaica and George Town in the Cayman Islands, before returning to Miami (Msccruises.co.uk).
Double rooms at Moxy South Beach start at £ 115 per night (Marriott.com). Fly from London to Miami from £ 299 return (Britishairways.com).
WIN A CRUISE worth £ 2,500!
We’ve got an incredible seven-night MSC Caribbean cruise for two up for grabs, including round-trip flights to Miami, buffet food and main dining, plus £ 200 to spend on board.
To enter, follow @fabulousmag and @msccruisesofficial on Instagram, like the contest and tag a friend before 11:59 p.m. on January 15, 2022. *
* General conditions apply