Let me begin by telling all the people that are worried about the negative comments............you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Just got back from a great family vacation aboard the beautiful Orchestra and had a wonderful time and have nothing to complaint about.........maybe a couple of suggestions but nothing more.
Embarkation ...not a problem they must have 20 or so people checking you did a web check in, I am not kidding you it takes like 5 to 10 minutes to go in. As soon as you board there are different booths with info on excursion, clubs, etc
A delicious buffet awaits for you on deck 13 great food.
I cannot understand when people say that the food is nasty. we all thought the food was great and plenty I mean plenty there is breakfast in the buffet or dinning room whatever you prefer from 7 - 9:30 am. Lunch in the buffet or restaurant from 12:00 to 3:30 they have a pasta of the day everyday, they serve chicken, turkey, beef, pork, fish, veggies, rice (different kinds everyday)salad bar, trust me lots and lots of food, the rolls are yummy, they serve pineapple and iced tea for free all time along with coffee and tea (like 20 different kinds) I also had conversations with other passengers and I would say 98% of the people I talked to were very happy with everything about the cruise.
Entertainment team is wonderful language barrier???? how about being able to speak 5 languages fluently and back to back they are amazingly entertainers and I have a lot of respect for what they do to try and please all the different nationalities aboard, never a dull moment with them.
Rude staff??? never encounter that on the contrary every body is very nice and always say hi to you and smile. Language barrier???? everyone speaks the language and are very very nice people we had great conversations with many of them and they all understand English perfectly well.
Shows in the theater are great like everybody says on their reviews I don't think people are complaining there.
One of the things we can say we didn't like was the fact that everything happens early on the day or very late at night I am referring to like the daily activities, it seems like nothing happens in the afternoon.
The other thing I didn't like was the teenager's club, well there isn't really one as there are zero activities for them other than the 11 pm meeting on the disco everynight to which my 16 year old daughter did not go at all, actually me and her hang out together at the disco a couple of time, the point is she rather hang out with me than with the kids and I find that kind of odd at 16 they really need to have more activities, games, tournaments or something like that.
The islands were all beautiful, we did the waterfalls in Samana and worth every penny we paid for it, we booked thru the cruise and this is the only way to do it. It is gorgeous.
We did ATV's in St Maarten and they took us thru the town and the beach and went all the way to Orient Beach which was our favorite waters.
Antigua too short but we still manage to go to Dickenson's Bay for $6.00 round trip PP and you pay when they pick you up.
Bahamas is very pretty, waters were rough but still enjoyable we went to Cabbage Beach right next to Atlantis by water taxi for $6.oo PP round trip but it's better if you take a land taxi for 8.00 PP round trip because it leaves you right on the beach and we had a long walk to get to beach.
The best shopping place is St Maarten they have basically the same stuff everywhere and there it's the cheapest.
I bought rum, coffee, vanilla, honey and cigars in Dominican Republic.
Disembarkation was okay it just depends on the color ticket you get but we were the last color and still were out by 9 or 9:30 not too bad at all. We will definitely sail MSC again. Feel free to ask if you need info, prices, etc.