Monday, March 16, 2009

MSC Orchestra: Entertaining Through & Through

With a name like MSC Orchestra, you’d naturally expect to find music on board—and we did. From a raised platform in the atrium lobby, where the musicians varied every evening from the Latin sounds of Los Paraguayos (pictured here) to classical presentations by the Moonlight Quartet, to the late night R32 Disco, the music seldom stopped.

Most daytime activities were scheduled poolside with early morning aerobics, mid-day trivia, dance lessons, and crafts classes, and late afternoon yoga. Mixed in were silly pool games, mini-golf, shuffleboard, and ping pong tournaments.

Bingo is, of course, a cruise staple, as are art auctions, and gaming in the casino. A lecture was scheduled on “Life Enhancement” and a “Technical Ship Presentation” offered an inside look at the workings of MSC Orchestra. Italian language lessons proved to be as popular as the midnight buffets.

As the sun began to set and everyone headed indoors, the activities and entertainment didn’t stop. The Savannah Bar was the nightly setting for dancing and themed parties where Mr. and Miss Orchestra were chosen on consecutive evenings and the 50s & 60s were celebrated with a “Grease” party. Other lounges featured a piano bar, dance and easy listening music, and karaoke. For passengers who’d rather go to a movie, they were shown under the stars on the big screen over the pool deck.

By far, the highlight of every evening was a show in MSC Orchestra’s Covent Garden Theater. Extremely talented dancers, singers, an acrobatic group, and an illusionist performed nightly in Vegas-style, operatic, circus, magic, and Broadway-themed production extravaganzas. When the entire cast took to the stage and sang “Time To Say Goodbye” on the last night of our cruise, they were rewarded with a standing ovation.

We really hated to say goodbye.

Tomorrow: dining on MSC Orchestra.

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