Bling it on: MSC Cruises' billion-dollar Bellissima ship

She's not subtle, but that's just the way fans of MSC Cruises like their ships: big and bold with Italians-do-it-better levels of bling.

The privately-owned Italian line's newest big baby, the 5700-passenger, $US1 billion MSC Bellissima, is now cruising the western Mediterranean, kitted out in dazzling fashion. The sister ship of MSC Meraviglia has 10 restaurants and 20 bars, an Instagram-tastic Swarovski-encrusted staircase, as well as cutting edge tech such as Near Field Communication Technology, that allows passengers to pay, open cabins or locate offspring via smart devices and wristbands. Each cabin has Zoe, an in-room virtual helper of the Alexa or Siri kind.

And speaking of tech, MSC Bellissima may be big but she's flexible and can manoeuvre into most cruise ports on the planet.

Entertainment includes a full-size bowling alley – a cruise ship first – and an outdoor water park, plus indoor theme park. An indoor promenade across two decks is where shops, inlcuding three luxury watch retailers, and specialty restaurants, such as a jumping teppanyaki joint are accessed, all overlooked by the biggest LED display at sea, an 80-metre domed sky screen that projects eye popping art and captures of the natural world.

Bellissima has a whopping 25-metre outdoor pool with special night illuminations plus a 10-metre indoor/outdoor thanks to a retractable dome.

Another of the ship's trump cards is playing host to Cirque du Soleil, performing two different shows six nights a week.

Kids' facilities include a VR maze, basketball court (doing double duty as a night club after hours for the big kids), XD Interactive Cinema, dedicated lounges and age-defined clubs.

See msccruises.com.au

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