MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by JhQuinn0144: Truly surprised!
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Will share some experiences as a traveler, mom, and travel agent. Embarkation and disembarkation a breeze, fasted on/off we have every had (previous 10 cruises). Luggage drop off efficient, National rent-a-car drops you off at the port via a shuttle in the terminal at FLL which was perfect. We rode back with nothing more than our carry ons. Walked off ship at 720am with luggage and at airport by 735 for 1000am flight, a little worried about cutting it close but we had plenty of time. Hotwired a hotel in Plantation received Sheraton Suites for 66 bucks. Used rent-a-car to go on airboat ride at Everglades Holiday Park and are glad we did, it was a nice afternoon.
On board, our room stewart Augustin was awesome, never intrusive, quick. Food at buffet was fresh, hot, and did change frequently. Boys loved the pizza guy in the late afternoon. Breakfast in restaurant was good, lunch just ok the day we went so we ate at buffet and really enjoyed it, with four port days we only ate More at buffet twice. Dinner was really good, our server took care of both tables (adult/kids), was quick, make good recommendations, and brought many dishes for our table to share, never questioned the number of entrees ordered, boys ordered between 4-6 courses per meal, dinner was at 5:30 and we never left past 7-715. Italian dishes are great, lobster was best I've had on a ship. We had Libiscus dining room 6th floor which had comfortable chairs.
The only negative feedback is the lack of water availability on the ship, there is not even a water dispenser in the gym. With that said we went to Key West and bought water, pop, and beer and walked right on with it, there is a CVS near the pick up point (be aware that you go to Key West on Sunday and cannot buy beer before 1200). The last day or two the ship swayed and people were seasick, I did notice a jiggle in our cabin, I would not stay on a top deck again, we were also below pool, and you could hear music the two nights there were deck parties but it did not go on too late. Our boys could have used more structured programming and an earlier start to evening programming. There is no teen day spot (which could easily be resolved if they opened the disco to teens during the day) and most night programming did not start until 1100pm (too late). The basketball court is the tennis court so you do have to volley for time inside the net. Boys missed organized sports and promenade activity and also would have liked the buffet opened during all of their waking hours but believe me they did not go hungry, room service was good and arrived always in less than 10 minutes! Amazing!
Expected a 4-5 experience but experienced an 8-9. We traveled with friends and so did the boys so the company of friends made up for the lack in programming, if they did not have friends I do believe they may have been a bit bored, they just need to assign one of the guys to hook up the teens at the beginning and have a standing time in sports areas for kids to participate. Music by the pool would be nice in the afternoon everyday. The entertainment was the best we have ever seen, different shows every night, first cruise where we made a point not to miss the shows. Less
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