This morning we experienced the Aurea Spa massage & welcome tea On MSC Magnifica.
Day 395 – April 1st, 2015. Cruise Day 11 – MSC Magnifica at Sea. – sunny with clouds
I woke to the beep of the alarm just before room service came with croissants tea and juice.
Then it was time for our Aurea Spa massage & welcome tea at 9am. The spa has a reception area where you can book treatments and where you are given locker keys to change and keep your stuff.
As we walked in our masseurs were ready waiting for us and took us directly to our rooms. Here I got undressed and up onto the massage table. The package deal included a 30 minute Bali massage and full access to the thermal area including whirlpools and sauna and turkish baths for the entire cruise.
The massage was very nice and over in a flash, I was out just before Moni and when she joined me I went to the spa bar and presented our spa pass for a complimentary welcome tea, the guy behind the bar just pointed over to the reception area opposite, said nothing. He shouted something across in a foreign language and the lady shouted something back. She then ticked off the square box and he made a cup of tea… wow the romance of the Aurea Spa, not.
The tea was served with the bags already in, it was nice and we could have done with a refill to make use of the strength of the bag really need a nice pot of hot water to brew the tea more. Anyway… You have the feeling that the staff only just do enough, nothing more, exactly 3o minutes for the massage, not a minute more, even though our masseuse stood around after until we left doing nothing.
Not once did anyone make an effort to talk with us, to engage a smile with us to offer a refill with hot water… A man enquired where the hair salon was and the lady at the desk pointed and said it’s back down there… even though three others just stood around. Very disappointing really.
Is the Aurea Spa package value for money?
I’d have to say that it was especially as this cruise is for 21 days and even though we have ten port days, it’s still good value at US$85 per person especially if you use the thermal area lots. A daily pass to the thermal pools and steam rooms is US$29 or US$39 for a couple. You could also get a 30 minute massage of your choice on board for US$32 instead of $40 which was one of the offers.
Aurea Spa bar menu on MSC Magnifica
Looking outside the weather was cloudy with the sun trying to break through. The ship has a brown coating on the outside on port side, which we could see on our balcony wall and all along that side. The ship looks very dirty and I think it might be some sort of sand storm coming from Africa as we sail up towards Tenerife. Of course there is nothing to see apart from water all around, but the distance is all one big haze.
Today we have plenty of white caps on the water, yet the ship is very smooth indeed, hardly know we are moving. During the night we were racing along, well that’s how it seemed when I took a look outside probably the normal 21 knots.
At night we keep the balcony door slightly open and place a pool towel in front of the cabin door to stop the howl caused by the draught. We also put the clocks forward yet another hour last night.
I returned my book to the Library lucky only a few people were in line, and then we went for a coffee. A bit of reading and a chat with some fellow Aussies before having lunch.
Duck terrine – with green sweet peppers (M)
Tortiglioni con ragü alla bolognese – with Bolognese sauce (J)
Cordon Bleu – turkey breast filled with ham and Emmental cheese, accompanied by thyme-roasted potato wedges and a grilled tomato (J&M)
Picture sequence from top left to bottom right.
Todays MSC daily program…
At 4pm it was quiz time and todays trivia was all about world maps.
A visit to the La Barchetta Bar
Around 6.30pm we had ice cream from the La Barchetta bar. Moni chose Stratachela and Vanilla while I had Mocha and Hazelnut, they were nice and our voucher book covered ice cream as well. We ticked it off as done, no need to return and sample some more.
The popcorn machine and nutella station to the right of the bar stands alone with no activity around it, in fact we haven’t seen anyone there at all, maybe just our timing. This popcorn is what some of the bars offer with your evening drinks.
Back to the cabin to get ready for dinner.
Portuguese themed dinner…
Bolinhos de bacalhau – salt cod potato croquettes on a bed of tender lettuce leaves (J)
Salad de gråo-de-bico – julienne lettuce, chickpeas, onion, black olives and tomatoes (M)
Creme de ervihas á lusitana – cream of pea soup with diced crispy bacon (J)
Pasta and Risotto
None tonight folks
Costeletas de porco a salsicheiro – grilled pork chop accompanied by potatoes au gratin and gravy with capers and gerkins (J)
A plate of vegetables (M)
Arroz doce – rice pudding with caramel sauce (J)
Picture sequence from top left to bottom right.
Our meals were fine yet lacked that something special. We had good conversations with Chris & Shirley again and Marlon gave us great service as usual.
After dinner we walked through the very busy bars towards the front of the ship. Outside of the theatre stuck to the wall was the world champion quiz leader board with team New Zealand in third place with 280 points, second have 290 and the leaders, team Spain have 320 points. Looks like we have to make no mistakes and hope the others do…
21 cabins to clean for our steward
Arriving back at our cabin, we got talking to Suerta our steward. She has 21 cabins to service daily and begins at 7am each day. Working until all are done around 4pm before starting back at 6pm till around 10pm. She explained that she is doing more than normal right now as she must get the cabins all immaculate to her standard and then can work in a system daily keeping on top of the cleaning.
On nearly all other ships that we’ve been on as far as I can remember, we have had a main cabin steward who has a helper, especially with so many cabins, some that have only 12-16 cabins have been alone.
After our chat I got a tea from the buffet and retired back to the cabin.