WANDERING from the cabaret show to the casino, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in New York rather than a luxury cruise ship on course for the Bahamas.
Inspired by the 24/7 vibe of the Big Apple, the dazzling MSC Seashore – with capacity for almost 6,000 guests – firmly puts paid to the notion that cruises are purely for OAPs.
ANCHORS AWAY: My Caribbean voyage begins in beautiful Miami as we climb aboard for the 65-mile sail to the Bahamas, where we’ll dock.
The boat’s vastness is almost overwhelming, but you swiftly notice the incredible level of detail, with beautiful artwork adorning the walls, luxurious lounge furniture and even a sparkling Swarovski-encrusted staircase.
Exploring feels like navigating an entire city – there are courts for tennis, volleyball and basketball, a five-a-side pitch and six swimming pools (not forgetting 15 smaller whirlpools!).
My cabin is spacious, with a cloud-soft double bed, sofa, large TV and private balcony – the ideal spot to enjoy the sunrise in the warm sea breeze.
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THE SHIP THAT NEVER SLEEPS: The MSC Seashore boasts 16 hours of daily entertainment, with something for all ages, from live music and cabaret performances to an enormous games floor (the VR simulators are a must) and a casino.
There are five kids’ clubs for children up to age 17 – older ones will love trying their hand in the mock TV studio – as well as the Aquapark to help them burn off energy.
To refuel, there are 16 cafes, five restaurants and a main dining space serving up the biggest breakfast buffet you’ve ever laid eyes on.
Don’t miss the melt-in-the-mouth filet mignon at Butcher’s Cut, followed by dreamy chocolate lava cake, three courses for £43.
Get your Mexican fix with tacos at Hola!, and sample each of the five flavoured frozen margaritas (hic!).
At Asian restaurant Kaito Teppanyaki you’ll watch talented chefs make your dinner in front of you, or take your pick from the conveyor belt at Kaito Sushi Bar.
After dinner, stop by one of the many bars – our favourite was buzzy Live On Air – for a nightcap.
SPA-VELLOUS! There’s nothing better to get you into the relaxed Caribbean way of life than a visit to the ship’s spa.
As you’d expect, everything from reiki to deep tissue is on the menu. The Balinese full-body massage, £95 for one hour, makes you feel so tranquil you’re at risk of forgetting your own name.
There are four rooms dedicated to steam and sauna, as well as whirlpools and scrub rooms.
But the big draws are the Himalayan salt room, for respiratory relaxation, or if you fancy chilling out, literally, try the snow room, where you can test your endurance for cold temps.
On the lower deck, indulge in some me-time at the hair salon, nail bar and large, airy gym, with daily yoga, spin and HIIT classes.
THE WHITE ISLE: In the Bahamas, we dock at private island Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Located 191km from 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 bustle of the ship.
More than 75,000 species of greenery have been planted and there are eight pristine white-sand beaches, with pioneering initiatives to protect and restore the coral reefs to increase biodiversity on the island.
Swim in the clear turquoise waters, or book on to one of the cruise’s excursions, which include guided kayaking or a catamaran tour.
There are 88 types of fish to spot, including stingrays, plus a thriving population of loggerhead turtles.
Back on dry land, climb the lighthouse for awesome 360-degree views. Or if that all sounds a little energetic, kick back on a day bed and enjoy the many yummy food shacks dotted along the beach.
CITY SLICK: When it’s time to say goodbye to life on the ocean wave, shake off any post-Bahamas blues by continuing the fun in Miami.
Stay at the 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 at the stunning wide beach, hang out in the hotel’s beating heart, Bar Moxy, which pumps out must-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 buzzing
Meet Dalia, where the jumbo shrimp skewer with rice and spice yoghurt, £23, is a must (Meetdaliamiami.com).
To end your trip, swing 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 acts.
A seven-night cruise-only 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 cost from £115 a night (Marriott.com). Fly from London to Miami from £299 return (Britishairways.com).
WIN A CRUISE worth £2,500!
We have an amazing seven-night MSC Cruise to the Caribbean for two up for grabs, including return flights to Miami, food in the buffet and main dining room, plus £200 to spend on board.
To enter, follow @fabulousmag and @msccruisesofficial on Instagram, give the competition post a like and tag a friend by 11:59pm, January 15, 2022.*
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