MSC Slendidi 11 nights from 13/11/2011-24/11/2011 embarkation port "Genoa"
My wife and I have cruised with MCS in the past 2 years aho on MSC Musica so we both kind of expected what was coming, but had some hope that MSC would have improved their stand on many issues within the 2 years we'd last cruised with them, sadly this was not the case.
We had a balcony room, nice enough room, but the furniture was torn on the edges and threadbare in many places. The bed was very uncomfortable I slept on the couch through most of the cruise as the bed just made my back ache.
Our cabin porter spoke very limited English and communicating with him was difficult to say the least, nice enough guy, but forget understanding a word he said.
My wife and I did not use the dinning rooms as we had booked reserved seating, when we went to go to the dinning room we were told the reserved seating was only for the evenings and that all other times we would be sharing a table, though we did request a table for 2 when we booked our cruise. The food in the Bora bora food hall situated at the back of the ship on deck 14 provided always much the same offering of pizza, burger and chips, though there were other ethnic dishes most days, but on the whole always the same kind of food and deserts.
Initially the cruise was priced very well roughly half the cost of most other cruis lines offered, but what is not mentioned is that you will pay extortionate prices for everything on the ship from drink prices right down to ice cream teas and coffees. If you like a pint of beer be prepared to pay almost Â£9 a pint that of course includes the 15% cabin charge MCS add to all prices on ANYTHING you buy on the ship (Duty free excluded).
Of course we know drinks on board ship are going to be more expensive than on land or in the ports and that all cruise lines charge higher for drinks, but MSC have taken it to a new level
Fortunately we did not have children on the ship, even the ice cremes were between Â£2.50/Â£4.50, a bottle of water Â£2.50.
We did not bother with any of the evening shows as it was mostly acrobatics or mime or some guy with a bird puppet, again little if any English spoken during the shows. DON'T pay the shore excursion prices MSC offer, they are a complete rip off, simply go ashore and do all the same things with local tours, it's often less than half the cost. Our cruise was kind of ruined and we felt very restricted by MCS charging so much for anything and everything on the ship, we had very few drinks on board as we just felt ripped off at the cost of trying to enjoy ourselves while on the ship.
The ports visited were all very nice, good choice of ports. Genoa, Katacolen, Hiraklion, Marmaris, Athens, Izmere and Rome.
All said and done we enjoyed our holiday though more so when we were off the ship as we did not feel ripped of when buying beer or gifts. If MSC were a little more realistic and fair with their on board prices we would have spent more time and spent more money on the ship and enjoyed the whole of our holiday.
I'm hoping sooner or later MSC will realise just how much revenue they are loosing by over pricing everything on board, the money grab does not work, passengers simply spend their money off the ship. Most every passenger we spoke to complained of the same issues regarding pricing of drinks.
Initially a good priced cruise, but being nickel and dimed for everything while on board will more than double the cost of the cruise, so be warned what one dosen't pay on the front end will be added to the back end!
When my bill was slid uder my door at about 3am on the morning we were disenbarking I noticed that a servise charge of 6 Euros for both myself and my wife add been added to my on board account, adding 12 Euros a day to my bill. This was done I was informed for... MY convenience???
As we were paying a 15% cabin charge for anything and everything we purchased on the ship I failed to see how they could then add yet another 12 Euros a day for tips? Why were we paying a 15% cabin charge on everything purchased? If that was not for the crew then who was it for?
As tipping is a person matter and at the descresion of the passenger I was more than annoyed that this charge had been added to my on board account without even asking!.
I spoke to cusomer relations regarding this matter where I was informed it was compulsary, in actual fact it is nothing of the sort and I had it removed from my on board account. I asked the customer relations person, why if I'm paying a 15% cabin charge on everything I purchase, am I being charged an additional 6 Euros a day. No answer was forthcoming.
One more thing, when you book your cruise you'd be well advised to book your own flights as MSC will fly you into Milan airport a good two and a half hour trip by coach to Genoa. Quite why they do this is beyond me, my guess would be that MSC have some kind of conssesion with Milan airport and the coaches and are making yet more money by using Milan airport and Milan based coaches to provide a good two and a half hour trip on a coach with no toiet facilities.
Genoa has a perfectly good airport and only a ten minuet cab ride to the port.
Do as we did and book your own flight into Genoa, it's far cheaper than MSC flights and a 10 minuet drive from the airport to the port. I wish you all luck and a happy holiday.