Basic cruise prices cover the cabin and meals, although there are upgraded packages such as the Aurea Experience that includes priority boarding, anytime dining, drinks, access to the private sun deck and thermal suite and cabin perks such as a bathrobe and slippers.For those who want to cruise without piling on the pounds, Splendida recently debuted the new Wellness Package, which includes a personalised fitness programme, daily gym class, and dietary advice.

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A 15 per cent bar service charge is automatically added to all purchases.

A 15 per cent service charge is added to all spa and salon services.

That said, Splendida has a really inclusive feel, with a very friendly atmosphere.

Reflecting the typical Mediterranean lifestyle, most young children onboard stay up late and will be out and about with their parents -- attracting none of the stern glares they might get on more traditional ships.

Also, when you're orientating yourself with the ship the penny eventually drops that there is no Deck 17 (this is considered an unlucky number in Italy).

Splendida places an emphasis on being an "eco-ship", with various energy saving, water recycling and waste management systems in place.Notable differences from dedicated English-speaking ships include announcements in multiple languages -- the main five being English, Italian, Spanish, German and French -- and sometimes Russian, Chinese and Japanese, depending on the passenger mix on a particular cruise.All credit to members of the crew in all departments, the majority of whom switch seamlessly from one language to another.MSC also attracts couples, families and groups of friends -- including students on their college holidays -- who are generally younger than cruisers on more traditional ships, which makes for an all-encompassing, and sometimes lively, atmosphere.There are few singles onboard and no special activities for solo travellers.Until the debut of MSC Meraviglia in June 2017, the 3,959-passenger Splendida was one of the biggest in the fleet.