Where to start? My wife and I have done 15 cruises with many cruise lines over the last 10 years, 2 star to 6 star. Without a doubt MSC Fantasia has been the worst cruise we have ever done. We left Brisbane and arrived in Genoa at the Best Western Hotel with 2 bus loads of Australians all at the same time in a very compact and cheap hotel. Breakfast was provided and was done well. Genoa was great fantastic architecture and food.
Next day we were bused to the port in Genoa for checkin which was chaos till we went through the process and went to our cabin which was a balcony cabin on deck 9. Ok but a bit on the small side compared to other ships we have been on. Bed was Hard and lumpy. Bags turned up ok, no problems. No cabin steward to be seen, he avoided us as much as possible, don’t know his name as he didn’t introduce himself. Our room was not serviced so we complained to the reception but our cabin steward blamed us as he said we had a “don’t disturb” sign out. We don’t know where that sign is?
As this was a new ship overall in fair condition apart from the broken, warn balcony furniture and the stained hard couch. No wash cloths, or robes and no bottled water which had to be bought from the mini bar or on shore. Will be interesting to see this ship in a few years as it is already showing signs of ware and poor maintenance.
Other passengers were mostly Germans, Italians, French, Chinese, Japanese and English who were usually difficult, pushy, rude, bad mannered and bad natured people. Not warm and polite but hostile and demanding. They don’t line up and wait their turn. Mostly retired couples with a small number of young families.
We decided to go to the Zanzibar Buffet for lunch. Good luck finding a seat as its was a free for all. Getting around the ship was not easy as there were no maps to follow and it was hard to find your way. around. The food was a shock as it was very poor quality, Pizza, pasta and salad. I thought Italians could cook but not on this ship. Everything on this ship was at a price. Water, coffee, ice cream, movies, saunas you name it everything was about money. The quality of food and service was awful, same everyday . The first night we were dined in the Il Cerchio D’oro Restaurant which was situated behind the Red Velvet Restaurant, so you had to go over the Red Velvet Restaurant to get to Il Cerchio D’oro Restaurant. Our waiter did not introduce himself which is the unusual thing to do. The food was mostly inedible.It was the worst food we have ever had anywhere on land or at sea. This was the case everyday, everywhere we ate and I think this was the only cruise I have actually lost weight. The menu was the same everyday in the buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Usually served cold and very poor standard.
We tried the Tex Mex specialty Restaurant which specialised in Mexican and steaks which we found quite good quality food and the prices were 14 euro for a steak and average of 4 to 8 euro for a course of Mexican.
The crew is mostly Indonesian and doesn’t it show with their attitude for passengers.
Hostile would describe their attitude. waiters are hopeless as they often get orders wrong even though they understood English, They were passive aggressive and usually unpleasant.
There was little of entertainment available other than a piano player and a singer in the bars, there were big shows but short. Alcohol prices were not cheap as they want you to buy their Wine packages which were per couple, per cabin which worked out at 40 Euro a day. You have to drink a lot to get your monies worth so beware.
Hard to find a toilet as there are very few, usually dirty and few people wash their hands or uses the hand sanitiser before meals and they love to handle the food at the buffet rather than the tongs supplied. Hard to use the spas and pools as the Germans seem to live in them. The Gym was the smallest one I have ever seen on any ship.
Excursions were also expensive and not good value. Again in many languages which can become tedious. We booked an excursion in Haifa to the Bahai Temple which was closed due to a Holy Day, so was the Mt Carmel Church, but the excursion went ahead anyway. The tour guide spent most of his time talking about the “Holocost” and rambled a lot about himself. We bought a Shuttle bus ticket in Barcelona from the port to the centre of town for 8.50 Euro which was a 4 minute ride to the edge of the port not to the centre of town.
Internet costs compared to other ships we have been on, so you have to be prepared before you log on, write your emails before hand. There was WiFi available in the cabin but it was very slow and will cost you money if you don,t go to the wifi stations in the public areas with a WiFi station sign. The more time you buy there is a discount available.
Read the reviews as MSC rates badly, I wouldn’t go on this cruise if it was for free. Never again MSC.
Great city to explore on your own close to the port and a fantastic city for food and architecture. Went there twice as the ships home port. enjoyed it more the second time we visited lots to see and do.
Great to see the city and the history of the Knights Templer.
Was closed due to a holy day. Tour went a head any way waste of money.
Did several tours with mixed results some good some not so good. The Baha'i Temple and the Mt Carmal chuch was closed although the tour went a head any way. Some guides were good others talked about themselves.
Fantastic lesson in Jewish History a real eye opener. Great experience.
Interesting visit as part of the Masada Tour went for a swim and a mud bath. Fun experience.