Just returned from the MSC Orchestra 8 day cruise from Genoa to Lisbon and back. We picked the cruise re the cost and itinerary. The ship was really nice, clean, cabin was quite spacious and again very clean.
The cruise was well timed arriving and departing of ports. The embarkation at Genoa was relatively quick but then staff pounced trying to sell this package and that package which we felt was too much as like many others had been up early and just wanted to get on the ship and to the cabin or get a drink and a bite to eat. Once onboard the ship we did not find staff who could point us in the right direction.
Alot of the staff lacked friendliness, no smiles, lack of understanding when asked for things in dining room or bars and had to explain. The Brazilian staff were very friendly happy people, although there were with some a language barrier and unable to understand or had only basic knowledge of English. Found alot of the Indonesian staff and european staff to be quite frosty and at times asked a few if they knew what a smile was.
Food was well OK, however in the evening dining rooms, felt it was very poor not to have jugs of water on the table and that water was only available at a cost of 2 euros a litre bottle. Also very disappointed at not been offered coffee at the table unless it was purchased. English people like vegetables and potatoes with their food and these were found to be lacking unless asked for extras.
The organisation for breakfast and lunch was a shambles, trying to find tables, walking round with food and nowhere to sit, if only a staff member could show people to a table and stopped people from reserving tables for groups. Breakfast in the restaurant was fun, been shown to tables where other people were halfway through their meal, instead of tables been filled at the same time so they could eat together.
The shows most were ok but they only lasted 30 mins or so and that was after the cruise director had explained in 5 languages what they were all about.
Gym well equipped, but was most disappointed that was unable to take a sauna or steam unless I paid 16 euros, this was extortianate by any means.
So would I use MSC again, well I would have to think twice, but the cost was good, itinerary good, food was ok but have had better choices on other ships. Please go back to jugs of water on the table and coffee.
The cost of alcoholic drink was above average prices plus 15% tax.
A number of ports required shuttle bus into the centre, these are not cheap to use and we found it was easier to walk or jump on the service bus which ran from the ports to the centre for half the price of the ships shuttle bus.