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MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by pollyolley: My first cruise with an European cruise line

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My first cruise with an European cruise line

Sail Date: August 2009
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Copenhagen

My 90 year old mother and I decided to visit Norway by cruise line. We were happy with a balcony cabin, which makes a fijord cruise a wonderful experience. I have cruised on dozens of different lines but never with MSC, which is a very European based cruise line. I have no complaints about the cabin and dinning room staff, who were largely from Indonesia and very helpful. The european staff would probably irritate most Americans, as would some of the company policies regarding charges. No freebies here. Other than continental breakfast, room service had hefty prices, as did costs for sodas, water, etc. Even ice cream on the deck is charged. But the meals were good and varied, and if one isn't interested in the entertainment or amenities it is a good value. If you are mobility challenged this is not the cruise for you. Europeans do not do ADA or disabilty well. We arrived after a 20 hour journey that included a hospital stay in Paris for an accident we were involved in, and More were told to march down a long flight of stairs to register. The Italian officer registering us treated us like we were trying to sneak across Check Point Charlie...full of suspicion and hostility. That was not a good start, but things improved. There were only a handful of Americans among 2500 european passengers, and if anyone has every experienced German tourists they will understand how inconsiderate they can be. An example is that you would be on a full elevator, with everyone going to the same floor, and the Germans would push ahead and step on your toes to get out first. Or if you were serving yourself at the breakfast buffet, they would grab the serving spoon from your hand to dish themselves up first. Or cut in front of you in line. Thankfully, my few words of high school German helped to vent my frustrations.

I don't think I will every cruise with MSC again, but I did enjoy the Fijords and think that this agenda is a good one. Less

Published 09/14/09

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