The MSC Musica is a beautiful ship… and so are the sunsets over the Indian Ocean that you can enjoy from the decks – or your balcony cabin

I was a guest of #MSCCruises last week on a media trip to the beautiful Pomene Bay on the Mozambique coast. It was our first cruise on the MSC Musica, a bigger ship than her predecessor MSC Sinfonia – the much-loved cruise liner that has been taking thousands of South Africans on the SA route for a few years.

Demand for cruises on the popular Durban to Mozambique route has been so great over the years, that MSC had to bring a bigger ship to SA last November, to accommodate bookings for the 2018/2019 cruise season.

The MSC Musica not only accommodates 3 223 passengers, it also offers some new experiences for South African cruisers that include a sushi bar, cigar lounge and a wine tasting bar.

With two formal restaurants, a buffet that offers world cuisine (everything from curry to carvery with seafood and pasta too), and a pizzeria that serves pizza all day and night, you can pretty much eat your way around the ship. And with gelato stations on deck, and pastries on offer at tea time, there’s always something to snack on – just make sure you dance it off at night, or hit the gym in the mornings.

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The lounges and bars will ensure that you’re never thirsty – whether it’s an exotic cocktail, really good Italian (of course) coffee, or a glass of wine in a quiet corner while a pianist serenades you, there’s always something to drink to on the Musica.

While on board, you have to try the sushi restaurant: the Japanese chefs are masters of their craft

The sushi is fresh and the menu is fabulous – and authentic. The restaurant is tucked away in a quiet part of the ship and provides a relaxed and tranquil dining experience.

 

For me cruising with MSC is all about a different cultural experience – so I’m always keen to try the Italian fare on offer at dinner, a limoncello with my tiramisu and Italian lessons (that are usually part of the activities on offer).

The chefs love cooking for the appreciative South African market and always provide a selection of Indian dishes on the evening menu and the buffet.

Breakfast tip: Order from the Continental breakfast menu in your cabin – just make sure you hang your order on your door knob by 2am – and wake up to fresh hot coffee and croissants, muesli and yoghurt brought to your door at your requested time. This is a free service (unlike the rest of the room service, which carries a charge) so even if you want bacon and eggs from the buffet, some Italian coffee on your balcony is a wonderful way to start the day!

 

The international shows are spectacular – and not to be missed

We were wowed by a magician who is also a mentalist, dancers from all over the world in incredible costumes, singers, trapeze artistes and acrobats – in a dazzling hour-long show every night in the ship’s magnificent two-story theatre.

And after the show, there’s entertainment in the various lounges to suit everyone. Listen to the pianist at the glass baby grand suspended over water in the foyer, take part in karaoke or a tropical deck party, dance with the officers, gamble in the casino or do some stargazing on deck with someone special.

 

 

By the way, there’s no place more romantic to watch an African sun set over the Indian Ocean than from the deck of a ship, and if you’re lucky, a pod of dolphins might even join you for the experience.

But now for more about Pomene – the Mozambique destination on this cruise

 

Mozambique is my all-time favourite African destination: every visit is a magical experience in this country of friendly, smiling locals, warm, calm waters, colonial cities and hut villages, baobab and mangrove forests, unspoiled islands and some of the most glorious beaches on the African continent.

Pomene offers a blend of the best of Mozambique scenery and famous MSC hospitality – think enchanting mangrove forests, a bay of fine sand, a breathtaking underwater world…

Add a swimming pool, a spa, three beach bars and private cabanas, and you have paradise on earth and an experience to rival most international exotic destinations…

The lagoon that protects this extraordinary bay – set between the blue Indian Ocean and the waters where the mangroves grow like a forest in a fairy tale – is part of the Pomene Nature Reserve, a protected marine area that has managed to preserve an authentic and wild beauty, thanks to its remote location.

For those who just want to relax and soak up the sun, MSC Cruises has added its own beach club, the MSC Pomene Safari Beach Club, exclusively for MSC Cruises guests. The MSC Pomene Safari Beach Club offers a range of facilities, including a stylish club house complete with swimming pool, three beach bars and spa services in two private cabanas.

 

Sold? What are you waiting for…?

Until April 2019, MSC Musica will be setting sail from Durban and Cape Town to various locations around southern Africa, including Mauritius, the Reunion Islands, and Mozambique’s Pomene Bay and Portuguese Island. MSC Orchestra will then launch southern Africa’s 2019/2020 cruise season in November, sailing around the southern tip of our continent until April 2020.

Book your cruise now! Go to https://www.msccruises.co.za

All4Women editor Sasha Wyatt-Minter was a guest of MSC Cruises on this four-night, five-day cruise from Durban to Pomene, Mozambique.

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