MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by bagwell: Good for the price.
Overall Member Rating
Good for the price.
Destination: Baltic Sea
Went on a 1 week cruise from Kiel in the baltic sea. Our second with MSC – we tried the Poesia 2 years ago.
Booked this 2 weeks in advance as MSC lowered their price to fill up the ship. Got a fantastica Baclony cabin for EUR 700,- Per person Which is a fair price in the peak season.
80% of Passengers were German or Italian. Rest was from different European countries. Only very few Americans were onboard.
We knew about the announcement in 6 different languages, but they still got a bit boring after a few days.
Overall we were pleased with the cruise – We cant expect more for the price we paid. Had we paid full price I think we would have been a bit disappointed. But we would certainly go with MSC again.
Is clean, and in good condition. Only the carpeting in the staircases seemed to be a little tired. Otherwise the ship was spotless at all times, and well maintained. But she is schedueled to be refurbushed in More november so maybe that carpet will change.
The Buffet was a chaos at peak hours during breakfast and to some degree also lunch and dinner. As 2500 people go in to a food frenzy in a 500 seat resturant. In the mornings we often found ourselves eating in our cabin or the MDR.
To ease up the problem MSC has shut down the adjacent 4 seasons restaurant and permanently made it a part of the buffet. Atleast we never saw it opened as a separate restaurant.
Food is pretty good and several items is rotated every 2-3 days so the buffet never got as plain as you could fear when you eat there 1-3 times a day.
In the MDR. Food was ok – Nothing was bas but only few things was great.
Tried the Asian restaurant once. ( paid extra) food was ok, but nothing fantastic. Especially the sushi selection was very limited.
Juice in the buffet tasted horrible. I recommend buying real juice from the waiters.
Now I have read that several people feel that Italian customers got better service than others. I never felt that was the case. I found waiters to be attentive and polite. Only at the morning chaos we found ourselves waiting for a waiter to order drinks.
We also never encountered any major language barriers. Most staff are from asia or eastern Europe. But all spoke some degree of English. Waiters in the MDR were fantastic.
As the ship was full the pool deck got crowed real fast. Tables and sun loungers were hard to come by only on port days you has a chance of finding a spot.
The saltwater pools were advertised as being 26 degrees (Celsius) but my watch thermometer never got above 17. The water pumped in from Poland and St. Petersburg was not very pleasant to look at. And not many people ventured in the pools at all.
Overall they were pretty good. combining singers/dancing and acrobatics With the exception of 1 shows consisting of Italian folk music. Guess you have to be Italian to appreciate that. By far the best show was the Gotham/batman inspired show.
This was a bit odd as there were 3 theme nights 1 Casual , 1 informal and 2 formal nights.
The 3 theme nights( 70´s night/ white night/ Red, white green night - all ended in casual nights as no one seemed prepared for them. We certainly weren’t.
So in reality it ended up in being 5 casual and 2 formal night.
On formal nights about half the ship dressed up. For the Russian family seated at the table next to us in the MDR, every day was sneaker and tank top day.
The Spa always had 10-50% off depending on if it was a sea day or a port day. Booked a bali massage on the 50% off day and it was very good.
The photo shop has incredibly expensive rates. But you could haggle about prices to some degree. But that was the case in most the shops. We didn’t buy anything. As prices were still much higher than on shore.
We found the live music in the bars to be quite loud. And sometimes struggled to make a conversation. Some of the loudest bars were empty.But at no time did any bars feel crowded at night. We always found a spot and never waited long to get a drink. Less
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