A VERY EXPENSIVE CATTLE BOAT: MSC Musica Cruise Review by dennis smalley
Overall Member Rating
A VERY EXPENSIVE CATTLE BOAT
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
The ship itself is well appointed. Nice lounges, public rooms and cabins. The problems simply begin and end with one thing. The way the ship is managed or should I say mismanaged. This was supposed to be a memorable trip. Now we will remember it for all the wrong reasons. We paid 1500 euros each for 1 week, so we had expectations. As you can imagine we had to deal with reception staff a lot due to our lost luggage problem. Reception on this ship is an utter shambles. Upon approach you will be confronted, at any time with More between 30-50 people who have no conception of the words queue or manners. Free for all pushing shoving and shouting is the order of the day and your heart just sinks at the prospect of achieving anything at all. Don't bother calling 99 for reception from your cabin. You will grow a beard waiting for them to answer. We had an engineer out 4 times in 3 days to repair our cabin safe which would simply not open It would seem the electronic number pads have worn out already. Staff, in general are unhelpful, sometimes rude and could not care for your well paid for needs. A lot of them have language difficulties which is very convenient for them if you have a problem.
Now, the really good part: To quote an American passenger who I was comparing complaints with, "this company will nickel and dime you in every way possible for everything possible, they are interested in nothing but making money at your expense and their greed, knows no bounds". You will be charged 49 euros per person per week service charge over and above the15% charge on every single shipboard transaction you make. We were unaware of this at time of booking. A high percentage of staff are from either third world or poor countries and I suspect are not well paid. So you are, in fact, subsidising staff wages. This little operation nets 125,000 euros per cruise equating to supposedly 127 euros in tips per crew member. Draw your own conclusions. Do you think all of this booty is passed on to staff? In my book tipping is discretionary, based on good service received. You must challenge this charge. At a meeting with the ship's only guest relations manager for 2550 people, we had our charge reduced to 60 euros for our whole party, so fight your corner.
MSC organised shore excursions are amongst the most expensive ever encountered, e.g. Athens, around 70 euros per person. Most trips can be arranged locally at a fraction of the cost. It was my under standing that it was MSC's responsibility to transport you to your ports of call, as listed, as part of the cost you have already paid. On 3 separate occasions we were charged a total 75 euros for very short bus journeys from ship to port of call. Prices ranged from 7-10 euros per person. This is an absolute disgrace.
On board, food is of very average standard. The buffet restaurant is a school canteen type nightmare. Crowded, very long queues, which people constantly try every dodge to bypass. Burgers, Hot dogs, bad pizza little invention or variety. Food on Tui cruise last year superior in every way. Last year, we had tea, coffee and essential water on tap 24/7.On this ship, you had to pay at all times even for a drink of water. Breakfast and afternoon snacks are the only times tea and water is available. Juices at breakfast time, I suspect, are watered down to within an inch of their lives. Nothing lived up to the expected standards for the sizeable amount of money paid.
This company will even stoop to charging you large amounts of money, if you are crazy enough, for photographs taken of you in your life jacket during lifeboat drill. We will never use MSC again. This ship is badly managed. It should be run by the Italians for Italians only, where they can push, shove, shout and bawl at each other to their hearts content as seems to be their modern cultural pastime.
THINK HARD BEFORE YOU BOOK. You will be stressed out for a week if you don't Thank you MSC for completely ruining my 35th wedding anniversary celebration cruise. The 3rd member in my party had never cruised before and after this dreadful experience will probably never cruise again. Most people have to save very hard for a trip like this. The disappointment of all aspects of this cruise will stay with me for a long time. All simply unacceptable but to whom can you appeal to do anything on your behalf. As usual no-one. Less