If I said I was disappointed I would not be telling the truth. This holiday was a joke from the booking onward. Misinformation from jump is correct, wrong details about flight timings and dates, further deliberate errors about airlines and the ship's route.
I didn't read any of the reviews in respect of MSC on purpose as I wanted to enjoy this experience with my daughter. I was wrong; I should have done so, and will always make a point of reviewing any holiday prior to booking, regardless what offers are presented.
I will bullet point the issues which we faced, as follows:-
- The Lirica which we were supposed to board in Abu Dhabi was not possible due to adverse weather conditions. This I seriously doubt was the case. I feel that Abu Dhabi was never going to be the embarkation point for any passengers, as the Lirica was not going to dock there.
- I was disgusted with the attitudes of many of the staff on board. Some of the dining waiting & administration staff were seriously rude. Not the quality I expect to find on a cruise.
- I thought the quality of the food was extremely poor.
- Being told to hurry up and chose my menu option, was also ill mannered and unnecessary. I don't receive that type of behaviour in MacDonalds, receiving it on a cruise didn't seem appropriate either.
- It appeared as if the Italian passengers were given preferential treatment. Announcements were often only given in Italian. Meetings were called for only the Italian passengers.
- I had to ask about discounts for drinks. I purchased a non alcoholic book of vouchers and a cocktail book of vouchers. Many of the English speaking passengers were not privy to this scheme.
- I found that just about every item purchased on board was liable for an additional 15% charge. Surely, I had already paid for the privilege of travelling on this cruise ship.
- An additional charge of 15% on water & other beverages was ridiculous.
- Alcohol was not permitted to be brought on board.
- I also purchased a couple of 'designer' hand bags on board which have turned out to be 'fake'. I don't usually purchase fake goods, so please find that my disappointment in being fobbed off with such rubbish has been expressed as I have reported that matter, to the correct authorities.
- I illustrated my disappointment with the additional charges and found that my debit card was not usable when leaving the ship.
- I made an expensive call to my bank at the purser's desk when trying to pay my bill. Apparently my card was not usable, although my bank could not see anything going through. An offer was made to transfer funds directly into the ship's account yet the clerk at the desk refused. Instead I was made to appear foolish and attempts were made to embarrass me at the said desk. Please find that my bank also verified that I could easily pay the bill as it was stated. I was requested to hand over my passport which my details were read out and discussed at length. A coach full of passengers were kept waiting whilst this entire debacle was being administered.
- The final port of call was supposed t have been Abu Dhabi. This didn't happen. Our final port of call was Dubai. A lot of time was wasted as we had a 2 hour transfer back to Abu Dabhi Airport.
- To add insult to injury, no apology was given
- Therefore a p take from start to finish
A few of the passengers are in touch with each other and we are all unhappy about the treatment received on the Lirica.