Sunday, March 15, 2009

MSC Orchestra, So Accommodating: Staterooms & Suites

At 278 sq ft with a 48 sq ft balcony, MSC Orchestra’s Suite 15012 (pictured here) was our spacious and very comfortable home last week. Cheerful artwork and deep burgundy fabrics set off warm wood paneling and creamy wall coverings. A walk-in closet with a bank of drawers, floor to ceiling shelves behind doors, and a credenza provided plenty of storage. It took a while to discover, but a large mirror mounted over the dressing table/desk concealed even more deep shelves and a personal safe. In addition, a large flat-screen television was mounted on the credenza, which also housed the mini-bar refrigerator.

Although the bathroom wasn’t of suite proportion, it had a tub/shower combination and cabinets beneath the vanity augmented two wall mounted shelves for toiletries. For Mel, its most important component was good water pressure and consistent temperature—no blast of cold water when other passengers turned the water on in their showers.

While there are a dozen categories to choose from on MSC Orchestra, staterooms are laid out in five basic configurations: Suites described above; Superior Balcony and Balcony Staterooms at 191 and 16 sq ft respectively (with 48 sq ft balconies); and Oceanview and Interior Staterooms, both at 150 sq ft. There are also a dozen 226 sq ft wheelchair accessible staterooms in a variety of categories.

One of the suites on deck 15 is designated the “Sophia Loren Suite”—named for MSC Orchestra’s Godmother. In fact, each new ship in MSC Cruises’ fleet has such a suite as Ms. Loren has christened them all. She uses her suite to relax and entertain guests when she is on board and, in the event she wishes to sail, it’s all hers.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at how “entertaining” MSC Orchestra is.

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