MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Jinx17: MSC Orchestra Sour note Cruise
Overall Member Rating
MSC Orchestra Sour note Cruise
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We looked forward to trying an Italian cruise line without any preconceptions. We have cruised for many years and have been on most of the cruise lines during our more than 25 trips. We found a company who didn't care what happened to us while on a vacation.
We booked a cabin with a balcony at the very back of the ship. Never did that before. We loved the quiet and the need to walk to our cabin. Gave us some exercise. The cabin was nice with lots of places to store our stuff. The ship is beautiful but it is hard to find the bathrooms which are tucked into corners. There is so much brass that there are several people who only shine the brass all day long. When walking down the staircases you get the polish onto your hands. Not a big deal.
Our itinerary was flawed. We were in Nassau for just a couple of hours. We pulled into Antigua at 5 pm supposedly because there was another MSC cruise ship in that port and we had to wait for them to leave. We were supposed to get into More that port at 2 PM also very late, but 5 PM is ridiculous. The cruise line wouldn't cancel the tours, so our friends had to go, in the night, to tour the rain forest. They returned to the ship to no food unless they wanted to pay for a drink or ice cream. They close the kitchen at 9:00 PM. You cannot even get room service unless you want some chocolate covered strawberries or drinks. (which you have to pay for) They have some midnight buffets, but not all of us stay up that late. We had first seating so after looking for food the first night and being told we couldn't get anything except coffee or tea we started hoarding food in our cabin. Food on board was OK. Very small portions in the dining room but mostly OK. Several meals I had the steak because I didn't like what they had on the menu, which was done properly. I have to say that the two shining lights of the crew were our room steward Ida, and the assistant Maitre D Mario. Both went out of their way to make us happy. We went to their "private island" where we had to pay for everything we ate or drank. It turns out that the island is not private, such as NCLs, but is rented from Dominican Republic and the natives want to make money by charging us for food and drinks. We went back to the ship for lunch.
The shows and music were shaded toward a European audience not an American one. There was one night of Opera, another of concerto and one very good magician. Not usually my taste but he was good. There were lots of places to sit and drink but the lounges had 1940's music with very little to dance to. Also, lots of smoke in the lounges and casino. We were with a group of about 350 people with our own shows and entertainment, thank goodness.
The casino rules are European not American which can be very confusing. There were not enough 1 cent and 5 cent machines so people had to line up to use them. The crew was surly, rude and never smiled. Everyone agreed that they were cold and aloof. When you complained about, even something small, they did not help but gave you a hard time. Nothing was easy everything was your fault. When I had a question about my internet account they never got back to me and eventually I found that the rude, nasty person at reception was ill prepared and gave me a very hard time. The instructions that were given to me about how to use the internet were not complete and they insisted that it was my fault. OK, the $50 won't hurt me but it is just one more reason I would not use this line again.
Finally, when we disembarked no one told us that we were in a different part of the port and couldn't find where our car was located. We finally had to call emergency and they told us we had to take a bus to our car. There is such a lack of communication. Obviously, our expectations were not met and we came away with a very bad taste from the indifference and callousness of this cruise line. Less
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