Cruise: Western Mediterranean
Ship: MSC Orchestra
Dates: 13 - 20 April 2013
Ports: Civitavecchia, Palermo, Tunis, Ibiza, Villefranche sur Mer, Genoa
Age: Mid 70s
Previous Cruises: Princess, RCL, NCL, Celebrity and Carnival
1. Embarkation and debarkation were quick, efficient and considered to be excellent.
2. Visual appearance of the vessel was excellent with no apparent rust.
3. Cleanliness of the common areas, dining rooms, cafeteria, stateroom, etc was excellent.
4. Friendliness, cleanliness and appearance of all ship personnel were excellent.
5. Lounge performers were good.
1. Exercise room was totally unsatisfactory. It was half the size it should have been and had half the equipment required for the size of the ship. There was sufficient room available for additional equipment. If MSC's response is that they needed the vacant area for exercise classes then this shows no forethought on the part of the manager as all morning group exercises could have been held in a lounge area. Also there was no water fountain in the exercise room.
2. Our cabin was given a slip for one liter bottle of water to be supplied in one of the two dining rooms for one meal. If you wanted additional water there was a charge of 1.5 Euros per bottle. In all the cruises I have taken there never has been a charge for drinking water in a dining room. Also no ice was provided.
3. Sufficient food was available; however, the quality and taste of the food was poor in both the dining room and cafeteria. Typical:
a. No steak, prime rib of beef, salmon, swordfish or high quality item offered at evening meal.
b. No hot vegetables provided with evening meal.
c. Many soups lacked taste and flavor.
d. No cold soups provided.
e. Juices (orange, pineapple, etc.) were served only at breakfast and were diluted.
f. No coffee provided at dinner in either restaurant.
g. Desserts were of poor quality and type. No bread or similar puddings, no cheesecake, no cobblers, minimal fresh fruit, cheap cakes, etc.
h. No bagels or English muffins at breakfast .
i. Dry meats.
j. Hamburger tasted like breadburger.
4. Stage productions lacked any scenery, professional lighting, live music.
5. Stage shows were very basic.
6. Same singers, dancers, etc. were used for all seven nightly stage shows. We thought these individuals were overworked. It would have been nice to have two or three nights with guest performers.
7. Shops appeared to be overpriced. This especially true of the photography.
8. Soft ice cream could be purchased but was not available for no cost.
9. Many other negative comments but the concept is provided above.
1. Ports of call were satisfactory but had the wrong schedule and timing.
a. In Tunis the most important site listed in the travel brochures was the tile and mosaic museum. We arrived in Tunis on Monday and the museum is closed on this day.
b. Additional time is required at Tunis as the primary sights are not close to each other and the ship docks in La Goulette which is far from the city of Tunis.
c. In my opinion too much time was allowed for Ibiza.
1. My wife and I were not satisfied with the cruise and will not use MSC Cruise Line again.
2. The MSC Orchestra is rated 3 to 4 star by Cruise Critic. We believe the rating should be