Category: travel

MSC Seaside Review: Something for Everyone, but Especially for Spa Lovers

You can do everything - or nothing at all - on the #MSCSeaside #cruise with @MSCCruisesUSA. #ThePlaceToBe #vacation #relaxation #travel Click To Tweet

My husband and I used to be avid cruisers – we love the value, the nonstop dining options, and the luxury of unplugging with the excuse of “my cell gets no service on the ocean.”  It had been a couple of years since we indulged in the cruise lifestyle, so by the time we were lucky enough to win an 8-day Caribbean cruise for two on MSC Seaside ship by MSC Cruises, we were ready to go!

On board the MSC Seaside cruise ship

On board the MSC Seaside cruise ship, on the balcony of our room

According to the company, “MSC Seaside rewrites the rule book of cruise ship design, blending indoor and outdoor areas to connect you with the sea like never before.” I was particularly enthusiastic about this ship, as it is brand-new and had been receiving so much attention from the press. It’s also described as “the ship that follows the sun,” and it’s the company’s first purpose-built ship for the North American market. Watching the MSC Cruises’ YouTube video about the MSC Seaside had whet my appetite, because the ship’s amenities looked spectacular. I can personally testify they’re even more appealing in person!

MSC Seaside cruise ship

MSC Seaside cruise ship

We enjoyed so many aspects of this spectacular ship, from the astounding high-caliber entertainment to the friendly staff members. I do want to comment on how SMOOTH and FAST the embarkation process was. Other cruise lines felt like a huge headache just to get on the ship, but with this cruise, it felt like no time at all passed between parking our car and being in our balcony room.

Our MSC Seaside balcony room

Our MSC Seaside balcony room

It’s always overwhelming to board a ship and see numerous activities. We were impressed by a full-replica Formula One race car simulator, the longest zip line at sea, multiple water slides and a two-lane bowling alley. So many fun things to do!

Click here to watch a passenger enjoying the MSC Seaside Formula One racing car simulator

Click here to watch passengers enjoying the MSC Seaside Aqua Park – the most interactive water park at sea

Don’t get me started on the Venchi Chocolate Bar! I sniffed the air every time I walked through that part of the ship. I finally caved in and bought some chocolate indulgences (all delicious and rich).

Venchi Chocolate Bar goodies on the MSC Seaside

Venchi Chocolate Bar goodies

This retro car is actually a DJ booth

This retro car is actually a DJ booth

The blogger in me also loved the Swarovski crystal staircases in the atrium! So many posing options, but I’m simply going to post my photo of one of the staircases. It was so beautiful, all my pitiful attempts at posing on it probably would just ruin the aesthetic, LOL!

One of four Swarovski staircases in the atrium

Multi-story atrium

Multi-story atrium

I tremendously enjoyed the MSC Aurea Spa. It’s the largest Balinese spa at sea, and the staff members were so friendly and welcoming. The decor was chic, described as “exotic designer interiors combining natural stone, wood and rich mosaics with superb sea views.”

MSC Aurea Spa lobby - outside the doors, there is a private area with hot tubs and relaxation lounge chairs

MSC Aurea Spa lobby – outside the doors, there is a private area with hot tubs and relaxation lounge chairs

We particularly enjoyed the Thermal Spa! That was actually my favorite thing from our entire indulgent spa experience.

MSC Aurea Spa jacuzzi tub

MSC Aurea Spa jacuzzi tub

If you’re a spa-lover like I am, you can splurge on the week-long Thermal Spa access pass, which is $190 per person. At the very least, I highly recommend planning to do at least one day of it! The day pass is $60 per person, and I believe it’s well worth the price for the unique experience.

You’re given a bracelet, which has icons that are actually a suggested series of steps to take. Some of the individual rooms were familiar, such as a sauna, but others were entirely new – for example, there’s a SNOW ROOM! I started laughing when my husband and I were shivering together in it, and he started singing a hymn to himself for comfort. We only remained in that room for a couple of minutes.

Thermal Spa salt room filled with Himalayan salt

Thermal Spa salt room filled with Himalayan salt

The suggested series of steps takes you through a sequence, reminding me of the Asian-style hot-and-cold therapies. We both felt so invigorated afterwards! My favorite room was truly the Himalayan salt room. So relaxing and good for respiratory therapy!

Couples massage room in the MSC Aurea Spa

Couples massage room in the MSC Aurea Spa

Nathan and I enjoyed a Couples Massage, which is a full body massage for 50 minutes in one room with two beds. The rooms were attractive — note the swan-styled towel art — and the atmosphere was relaxing. If you are going to indulge in a treatment, my recommendation would be to do it during a “Sea Day” (a day on the cruise itinerary in which you remain at sea and do not stop at a port). It gives you something to look forward to! That’s what we did.

Overall, we absolutely LOVED our time on MSC Seaside. I hope you get to experience it for yourself some day! Comment below and let me know what you think of this magnificent ship.

Thanks for reading!

XO,

~Angela~

MSC Cruises provided this complimentary cruise as a result of our winning a contest. As always, opinions are my own.

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Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag – Best purse EVER for travel!

Purses are not typically a big splurge item for me. I’ve gone years between buying purses, especially since I tend to receive beautiful hand-me-down bags from my mom or other relatives. But when I saw an amazing purse from Lo & Sons, I freaked out — and HAD to have it! Meet my new baby, the Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag! It stands for “Overnight & Medium Gym bag,” not “oh my gosh what a beautiful bag,” haha. I cannot say enough about how pleased I am with my purchase. If you want a bag that does it all, this is IT.

Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag

Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag

There are two main reasons why I purchased this bag:
1. It has a convenient zipper side that opens on the top and bottom, allowing it to slide over your luggage carryon’s handle. Now that my husband is a flight attendant for Delta Airlines, I’ve been on 16 flights in three months. I’m actually typing this blog on my phone as I wait in a plane to NYC, with a final destination of Amsterdam!
So I really hate it when I’m running through an airport, and my purse is falling off the top of my rolling luggage. This eliminates that problem. This purse is SO coming with me to Europe! Look at my bag, all cute and travel-friendly in the Palm Beach International Airport this morning. It’s secured on the handle, so it won’t fall off!!
Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag

My Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag balanced perfectly on lower bag, because of the Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag’s convenient external zipper that allows you to slide it over the handle of your rolling luggage

2.  It has a padded laptop compartment! So convenient for travel. It fits up to a 13-inch computer.
Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag
Some bonus features– it has a detachable strap that makes it great for wearing it as a messenger bag, and a side-pocket internal key strap that secures your keys. I also like that the nylon material is water-resistant, and I feel super-organized with a spot for everything inside this bag!
Lo and Sons O.M.G. bag
Have you ever purchased a purse that you loved this much? What made it so unique? Comment below!
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New CruzTube beauty video: Mai Couture papiers review/demo/first impressions

Check out my demo of the Mai Couture papiers by clicking HERE! These little pieces of paper are like a kit of makeup in just your wallet– just add eye makeup and lip gloss. I review the foundation powder, highlighter, blush, 2-1 oil blotting/bronzer, and I show the lavender oil-blotting papiers, although I didn’t use them in this video.

They are now part of my to-go travel makeup kit, which I have tried to make minimalistic… goodness knows I’m always traveling, and I need toiletries to be convenient and take up very little room.

LOVE:
*Portability
*Sanitary
*Ease of application
*They are paper from pulp, therefore it’s RECYCLABLE! Eco-friendly beauty! #GoGreen
*I got lucky and bought all of them half-off! (Dillard’s “Edge” cosmetics)

DON’T LOVE:
*I got mega-oily, although I did use an ELF mineral primer. I had to use blotting papers three or four times today, versus once or twice during a typical day.

I’ll try them next time with a Rimmel Stay Matte primer, and see if that helps. I’ll also try to do a layer of MAC powder on top to see if that cuts down on the shine… but the whole reason I purchased them is to reduce the amount of products I have to bring when I’m traveling.

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