MSC Fantasia Cruise Review by Merry5221: Fantastic Fantasia Falls Flat
Overall Member Rating
Fantastic Fantasia Falls Flat
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Was totally impressed with check in process on this ship. This was my eighth cruise and I was pleasantly surprised to find no lines and was checked in and taken to my room by a white gloved bellgirl within 20 minutes. I realized later that this cruise line has passengers checking in and out at every port. It doesn't seem to disrupt any of the other passengers in any way. High marks for this, I have not seen it before.
Loved the fact that they stop every day in a different port, no sea days.
The other impressive feature was that they check everyones temperature, unbeknownst to them, for the reason of the recent H1N1 outbreaks. Evidently no one with a fever is allowed on the ship.
This ship is probably the most beautiful I have ever seen. Room was great and comfortable with a balcony.
My issue with this cruise was the fact I ever felt CROWDED in the public spaces. The breakfast and lunch buffets were ridiculously CROWDED, you could not More find a seat after you struggled to get your food. The food all over was mediocre at best, except the pasta which was great. I was disappointed in the dining room food but the staff were amazing. Another big issue for me is that you cannot get water with lunch or dinner without paying extra. If you do the lunch buffet the water is locked down you have to buy, only available at breakfast along with juice and then handled only by the few staff. This CROWD factor and the food, water and short staff issue would make me NOT select this line again, IT totally spoiled this lovely ship. They need more staff. I think they had 4000 passengers and only 1000 staff. We never even met our cabin steward nor did we get ice unless we made a call. Other passengers told us that room service was extra. We did not use it so you should check before ordering.
We took a "shopping" excursion thru the ship to the Medina. If you're not familiar with a medina my understanding was that it's origin is from the middle ages when a city's first defense was the wall around the town then the streets were purposely made into a maze, laden with secrets, narrow alleyways, small shops, huge mosques, and palaces to further confuse their enemies if they got thru the outside wall. Our guide told us not to leave on our own cause we would never find our way out and he was right.
We were never left to "shop" on our own. First we were taken to a rug shop, led up a small crooked and very old staircase and brought into a small room for the purpose of selling us a Tunisian rug. They served us all a hot tea (it was gross),then proceeded to pressure sell us on their rugs, camel hair to silk. (I never did find out if they had to kill the camel to get the hair, does anyone know). The silk rug were very beautiful but very expensive. The excursion list did not mention this rug sale.
Next we were whisked away to one shop that was just opened to us with many sales men trying to get you to buy something. They all expect you the haggle with them.
Next we went to another village painted all white with blue trim called Sidi Bou Said. We were oriented to the area and shopping. The men (I didn't see any women) really try hard to sell you something whether you want it or not. Well I guess it was a 'shopping' excursion. These areas are miles from the ship and other than pay a taxi, which I hear are very good, this would be difficult to do on your own. The area is very interesting and should not be missed. Less
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Cabin review: 10114
Our cabin, 10114, was lovely with a balcony. Beds were comfortable.
Port and Shore Excursions
We decided to take the ferry to Sorrento. This village is on a cliff so we took the local bus up into the center of town, found the TI and got a map. Most sites are an easy walk. You can walk up to town if you'd like. There appeared to be some beaches by the hotels, I don't know if they are opened to the public but I sure wish that I had taken my swimming suit. We also took the little quirky train tour, it stopped for gas midway through out trip, really, and it has an audio guide in different languages. Make sure you check the ferry times back and be aw tare there is more than one pier. It was raining and we almost missed our ferry.
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