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41 Barcelona MSC Cruises MSC Bellissima Cruise Reviews

Boarding rather good and smooth. First contact with on board photographers: bit agressive and pushy. First vieuw of the ship: bling/bling, modern, cold feeling, huge.... few places to take a drink, to sit down and relax (in case of winter ... Read More
Boarding rather good and smooth. First contact with on board photographers: bit agressive and pushy. First vieuw of the ship: bling/bling, modern, cold feeling, huge.... few places to take a drink, to sit down and relax (in case of winter or bad weather). Cabin (balcony) clean. Size: a little bit small and cramped. TV very good with BVN for the dutch speaking. 'ZOE' is like 'SIRI'... only standard questions you can find on the internet. Balcony nice with 2 chairs and a little stool. Bathroom small with pump showergell and shampoo. No paper tissues. Shower good with nice hot water. Market place very crowdy but with a little effort always a place to sit down. Choice for breakfast good, lunch rather poor. Little bell on the table to call a waiter. Plastic glasses and plates (!!) brrrr. Dining in Cerisier was rather good, not great. Lots of tables close to each other. Very noisy. Real plates and glasses this time. Simple dishes. Had the eays drinks package incluced in our cruise price. What a joke! You get to pick everything below 6Euro: a few cocktails with standard alcohols, alcohol free cocktails, Heineken, 2 white, 1 rosé, 2 prosecco's and 2 red wines. Everything else you must pay! A drink of 6.50Euro: pay the total amount!! So not only the 0.50Euro above your 6Euro limit. RIDICULOUS! And a lots of their drinks are priced.... 6.50Euro. MSC pushes you in the direction of an upgrade... The shopping area is nice to wander around. Lots of speciality restaurants with zero people in them... a waste of nice places to sit and enjoy the cruise. Cirque du soleil is good, not like a big production but it was OK. Drinks were awful. Area with glides and waterfun looks very nice for good weather conditions. Shall we travel with MSC again? In Yacht Club probably, in other cabins... don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The cruise taken- Genoa to Dubai 16 nights. I was aware from the start when booking this cruise that 9 days would be at sea. Having taken over 80- cruises, that's fine by me. Unfortunately it's a shame MSC didn't ... Read More
The cruise taken- Genoa to Dubai 16 nights. I was aware from the start when booking this cruise that 9 days would be at sea. Having taken over 80- cruises, that's fine by me. Unfortunately it's a shame MSC didn't provide us with much in the way of keeping us occupied! In my opinion the first of what you might call a decent show wasn't provided until the 6th night? Activities during the day were so limited, I became very bored very quickly! I went to every lecture, that on the whole were very good, but come on, you have a captive audience, give us some variety! The ship looks nice, as with all their modern ships I would describe the decor as Italian glitz! Having said this the promenade looked nice, but functionally didn't work? Large area's of space were filled with services that hardly anybody used, e.g, a huge chocolate shop//cafe and over priced shops. Unlike Royal Caribbean, who's Royal Promenade, buzzed with life every evening as they have a pizza and snack bar, the food provided was free and Irish pub that brings people together! I agree with other comments made about the staff also, who didn't seem to work well as a team or make much effort to be chat with passengers. On attending a welcome back party the officers didn't seem to want to mix with passengers and the captain spoke to us from the seventh floor, while we were all the 6th! For a cruise in the med this maybe less noticeable, but MSC, need to work much harder at providing good customer service and not appearing arrogant! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Staff in the Lighthouse restaurant were fabulous and service exceptional, in particular Iveth Valle and Ovilen Pumbien. Our cabin attendant Juli Antara was also amazing. Trushant Ligam from masters of the seas was a very professional ... Read More
Staff in the Lighthouse restaurant were fabulous and service exceptional, in particular Iveth Valle and Ovilen Pumbien. Our cabin attendant Juli Antara was also amazing. Trushant Ligam from masters of the seas was a very professional employee & always remembered our name and our family members. Eka was also very efficient and very new to the ship. These staff were very accommodating and work very hard. The negative experiences for our family was the attitude of majority of passengers, rude and pushy and at times staff just let them push in even when there was a line. Hygiene is important and staff were not able to enforce this in buffet and restaurants, and people would wash there mouth out in the sink where you should be washing your hands!! Disgusting! too much up sell, I felt sorry for the staff who literally stalked you to upgrade or buy something. If people want to buy something extra they will. We had access to the spa as part of our package and were still hounded as we walked out. We had the drinks package and to our shock this was not unlimited as advertised. Of course, again we had to pay extra as the limit was $5 euro for a glass of wine, and of course there were two to choose from (the cheapest and most horrible wines) and all others were at least $5.50 euro. Very strategic tactic to con paying passengers. After a week on board I became very unwell, visited doctor and was diagnosed with chest infection and treated with medication and antibiotics. I also suffered sea sickness and asked to change rooms, to a lower level as we were on 13 and was told that we could not downgrade. Again, how ridiculous when we had already paid and I was not asking for money back. We were very excited when planning this trip and looking forward to cruising on the new ship and it is a shame that we felt so let down. There was no where to sit and enjoy the outdoors, the front of the ship is closed off to those who can afford it and the outside area at the back is way to small for all the passengers on board, and the designated smoking areas were not enforced. I would hate to be be on the ship when all the children would be on, another 1000 people would make it even worse. I understand that the company can not control the behavior of passengers, but the lack of consideration to people when seeking assistance is very unhelpful. The main customer area was staffed with unhappy and unhelpful staff who always appeared that they did not want to be there, again these staff are key to the service and who ever managed this team perhaps needs some help in increasing staff morale. We have cruised on many cruise lines before and I know that it is probably not been worth writing this review. However, I would really hope that the staff I have mentioned above are made aware of what a great a job they are doing and how grateful we were as they made the cruise for us, funny how it only takes a few people. MSC please take more time to care for your staff and for the people on board and not use it as an opportunity to make more money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Itinerary was very good Barcelona to Dubai via Suez Canal. 19 days so plenty of time to check out most things. Embarkation at Barcelona was a nightmare. Three hours to board & no organisation in terminal what-so-ever. Cabin very ... Read More
Itinerary was very good Barcelona to Dubai via Suez Canal. 19 days so plenty of time to check out most things. Embarkation at Barcelona was a nightmare. Three hours to board & no organisation in terminal what-so-ever. Cabin very good. Dining in restaurant & buffet very good. No complaints about the food at all. Entertainment was poor, especially for a 19 day cruise. Same trio or quartet in two of the bars every night. In the Sky Bar it was the same trio every night, singing the same songs every night!!!! I would class a lot of the entertainment as self creating. Watching people dancing or watching people learning to dance. Theatre shows were of mixed quality. Cirque Du Soleil was very good. We went to the 2 different shows they put on. The large screen by the pool showed, for example Duke Ellington in concert, they were all very old videos! We went on 3 excursions from the ship. Two were very good, but one was an absolute nightmare. On this one, at Muscat, the guide was a disgrace! 1) Didn´t know how many people should have been on the tour, so put everyone´s name in his table & then we had a roll call after every stop. Should have known the expected number & then do a headcount! Started off the excursion by asking if everyone was there !! 2) 2.5 hours late getting back to ship, so we went from 9:30 - 16:30. He gave us a bottle of water to keep us going, nothing to eat. Held up by waiting for non-existent people. 3) People at back of coach could not hear him, as we set off from ship. He turned the volume up, but that didn´t help, so he switched the whole thing off & we never heard another word from him on the coach all day. I went to MSC Excursions to let them know what a disaster the excursion had been & took time to write everything down. I wanted them to know so that they did not employ this guy again, as I didn´t want anyone else to waste their money. The lady on the desk did not seem interested, and told me to go to reception to ask for a refund. I told her that I was not doing this to get money back, but for the reason I explained above. Only when I said I wasn´t after a refund did she show any interest. I have not had any response from MSC Excursions. Overall, enjoyed the cruise, but some things need improvement. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
3-day cruise from Barcelona to Marseille and Genoa and back again. We choose this short cruise so we could relax and really enjoyed the ship as we have already visited these ports. Way more of a party vibe on the ship than Divina with ... Read More
3-day cruise from Barcelona to Marseille and Genoa and back again. We choose this short cruise so we could relax and really enjoyed the ship as we have already visited these ports. Way more of a party vibe on the ship than Divina with the long mall I liked this a lot but I also loved how the bars intertwined into one on the Divina. I felt the casino in Divina was a bit more classy? Staff on Divina slightly more friendlier but everybody we encountered on Bellissima was lovely. Great food second portions in the MDR no problem at all. Good cocktails and cabin was really comfortable. Chocolate cafe had the most divine chocolates ever. Anyone know where you can buy a 5 litre of the msc soap addicted to the smell of it!!! F1 simulators were such good fun shame they were only open in the evening time. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Have been on many cruises including msc but The Bellissima is a ship out to bleed cruisers dry every way you turn the are trying to get money from you even when in the dining room which they refer to as the complimentary restaurant they ... Read More
Have been on many cruises including msc but The Bellissima is a ship out to bleed cruisers dry every way you turn the are trying to get money from you even when in the dining room which they refer to as the complimentary restaurant they pester you to buy steaks and to use the gourmet restaurants which are pricey it’s a joke .Another thing most of the bar staff I found where cheeky and ignorant and in the complimentary restaurant as they call it the food was very skimpy and of a poor quality maybe as they wanted you to buy food .I also found the buffet restaurant more akin to a cattle market children running around unsupervised and adults behaving as if they had never been fed pushing and shoving their way in I was so disappointed with this ship if you are going on it don’t pay for the show cirque Soleil we did and walked out after ten minutes it’s a joke don’t be mislead if this is the way ahead for msc I a will not cruise with them again Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were a party of four and we left Barcelona on the 25th Oct & just got back home on the 1st of November. It was our first Cruise and it was fabulous. Our only hiccup was that unfortunately my cabin mate had a bereavement in her ... Read More
We were a party of four and we left Barcelona on the 25th Oct & just got back home on the 1st of November. It was our first Cruise and it was fabulous. Our only hiccup was that unfortunately my cabin mate had a bereavement in her family and had to disembark on Monday. There was NO specific person to deal with us in this situation, to help with disembarking, find flights home etc. we had to deal with staff at reception and they were not very helpful and not sympathetic. We had to buy a 24 hr WiFi package @ €39.90 so that we could look for flights home. Reception did print out the flight tickets on the morning my cabin mate left the ship. The rest of the party could not get flights home & we had no choice but to stay on the ship for the rest of the cruise. We had an excursion booked for four on the Monday my cabin mate left, we cancelled the excursion for two of us but we were still charged 50% of the cost. I was really annoyed about this because we had a genuine excuse to cancel. We decided that two from the party would continue to take the excursion as they could not cancel without being charged. We would have all gone to the airport with our friend otherwise. These would be the only negative comments we would have about the cruise. On our last night we went to reception and met Nirmatee Baungally a guest service agent and she was fabulous and so helpful. Keep an eye out for her! The staff on board were just fabulous. Wellington, Thalita and Tamires Cristina in the Bellissima Bar were just wonderful, so attentive, friendly and so much craic. If you meet them please let them know that the 4 Irish Ladies sang their praises. Arta the waiter in our restaurant who took care of us for 7 nights straight was a pure pleasure to deal with, he made our dinner experience every night very special. We also met Tatiana Franco a Program Publisher who gave us loads of information and was very generous with her time. All the staff were extremely friendly in the bars restaurants, shops and housekeeping. The food was very good, we had a drinks package that catered very well for our needs. The party atmosphere every night in the Bellissima lounge was second to none and we felt were we were definitely on holidays. All in all if you are willing to be friendly and have a good time the MSC Bellissima will not disappoint. We will definitely be booking again. (I told all those staff members that I have mentioned that I would be giving them a good review and I took their names down as we were so impressed with them) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We went 2 adults, 1 child 12yrs, perfect! From stepping on board, the whole experience was brilliant, all staff so helpful, spotless ship, so much going on. We had a cabin on deck 5, so did not got no motion when at sea, the cabin was a ... Read More
We went 2 adults, 1 child 12yrs, perfect! From stepping on board, the whole experience was brilliant, all staff so helpful, spotless ship, so much going on. We had a cabin on deck 5, so did not got no motion when at sea, the cabin was a good size, & kept extremly clean by Romin. We had the drinks package which is well worth doing, so any drink upto 10€ was included, worth it, as most drinks are 7-8€ + 15% service charge. The entertainment was very good, day & night, if you don't like the party atmosphere then there is the sky lounge, or piano bar on deck 5. The restuarant we had 1st sitting btwn 6.30-6.45, but we never went In till 7-7 15, and was never a problem . Food here was excellent, we never paid to go in other restuarants, as our food so nice, the only 1 we did go to was cirque de soliel, which was 35€ p head, we wasn't impressed, choice of 2 starters, raw tuna or tomato & mozerella, and 2 or 3 main choices, 1 dessert, the theatre hardly had anyone in that ate, so very quite, 1 hour later the people that paid 15€ for show & cocktail came in , the show lasts abt 30mins, we felt better off eating in the inclusive restaurants very disappointed with experience of cirque de soliel, only get bottles of wine, no other choice, and not part of package, so really not worth a 30min show! We done all our own excursions, as found the ship ones expensive, but we chose our own things before we went. We went to a beach in malta on a bus 1.50€ e w, had a lovely day! In Genoa we went to the aquarium which was a 10min walk from ship, they charged 54€, which included a ferry to aquarium, which you did not really need! Trips are personal choice. Disembarking we was given 08.50, but we changed our time to 10 20, no problem in changing. The whole holiday on bellissima was fantastic, we shall be cruising with msc agn. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
MSC BELLISSIMIA it’s been amazing . I posted three days into cruise so just to add, and maybe to put some minds at rest Cabin :13205-Stewart-Francisco , the cabin was beautiful with plenty of space and a balcony .Room was made up ... Read More
MSC BELLISSIMIA it’s been amazing . I posted three days into cruise so just to add, and maybe to put some minds at rest Cabin :13205-Stewart-Francisco , the cabin was beautiful with plenty of space and a balcony .Room was made up three times a day towels refreshed as required .we got breakfast to room most mornings (€4.00) delivery charge ....well worth it Shower was powerful and never a problem with hot water Main dinning room- OMG how people say the food is bad is beyond my comprehension , there is something for every taste . We stayed away from the typical English /Irish type of food and had everything else .... loved the wellness station and the ethnic station was to die for, the standard if the food was amazing ...the staff kept everywhere so clean and the food was refreshed continuously The pizzas ....seriously you need to eat them ...only gorgeous The buzzer for drinks was great never had to wait for a drink ... Allocated dinning Le Creisier- deck 6-table 813 I said it already in a previous post ...It was delicious and our waiters Ray and William were just amazing ... Deck 15 -Out door pool and entertainment Guys to many to mention . They were brilliant ....it is loud but so much fun totally entertained all day long Deck 18 - Horizon Bar My favourite place . This area was quieter lovely pool and lots of sun beds The staff up here are also brilliant nothing was a problem and they really interacted with the guests Casino -Deck 7 Great crack on the slots People have said on some posts that sea day can be maniac . Our last day was a sea day and it was the most chilled of the whole week , got up about 11 strolled down to deck 18 got two sun beds no struggle at all ...cocktails were the tipple of the day for me ...pure bliss Bit of a panick around d 14:00 when the news of the disturbances in Barcelona hit the ship ...most of us with pre booked transfers recieved messages to say they were cancelled but MSC got it sorted ...they put on a fleet of busses to collect us at port and transfer us to the airport ...€19 each very good price (in airport now speaking to a man who for some unknown reason to me decided that he wasn’t giving MSC another penny ...he got a taxi €87..)MSC are not a ripoff They did everything they could to help us all today The shows in the London Theatre put on by entertainment staff are as good as any you would see on stage in Ireland ...Sorry but people who have dissed these shows are not fair ...The team put their heart and soul Into each performance .... Cirque De Soleil -Amazing (Maybe give the cocktail a miss though Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was worst cruise we were ever on ..we have been on 6 cruises with other companies . This was not a good one !! Ship lovely . Staff very good .. entertainment very very bad ...Nothing is prob the best description..Too many extra hidden ... Read More
It was worst cruise we were ever on ..we have been on 6 cruises with other companies . This was not a good one !! Ship lovely . Staff very good .. entertainment very very bad ...Nothing is prob the best description..Too many extra hidden expenses...would not recommend msc for any cruise after this experience ...we were not the only ones disappointed .. It's a new ship and I fear it will be very hard yo fill it if what we experienced is the norm ..we had a day and night at sea on way back and this to me tells a story .. Most people stayed in their cabins ...this I never seen happen on all the other cruises as there would be loads of things going on around the ship ..but nothing on this one ...boring !!!! Not a fun ship ..also if u want WiFi it's costs 40 euro a day !!! LOVELY SHIP BUT BAD FOR ANY KIND OF ENTERAINMENT Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Absolutely fantastic and stunning ship. Embarkation was very efficient, no queuing. Got on board early and had a few drinks at the bar. The ship is Spotless throughout. Our cabin was lovely and cleaned twice a day by the lovely Rai. Great ... Read More
Absolutely fantastic and stunning ship. Embarkation was very efficient, no queuing. Got on board early and had a few drinks at the bar. The ship is Spotless throughout. Our cabin was lovely and cleaned twice a day by the lovely Rai. Great entertainment every day, the entertainment guys really do work hard. The food in the Posidena restaurant was lovely each night and you could have extra servings. The waiters Ruben and Eduardo kept the wine flowing. The breakfast and lunches at Marketplace were fantastic. So much choice and everything you needed. We didn't get off at many ports as we wanted to do this around the ship. We went to the gym which is well equipped..we used the hot tubs and the sun lounger around the pool. It was fantastic. The staff in the Masters of the Sea are great fun (Eduardo, Claudia, Trushant, Candy and Frank) and no shortage of drinks. We visited the casino a couple of nights and won, which was a bonus. We had a lovely massage in the Spa...a little bit pricey but lovely and enjoyable. Would definitely book with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our 2nd cruise. Our first was with the American NCL Epic. After much research and logistics-checking, we chose to sail on the MSC Bellissima. Yes, I read all the comments for her sister ship, the MSC Meraviglia and noticed ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise. Our first was with the American NCL Epic. After much research and logistics-checking, we chose to sail on the MSC Bellissima. Yes, I read all the comments for her sister ship, the MSC Meraviglia and noticed something: the Americans disliked MSC, the British tolerated it, the Europeans loved it. Since I am a Canadian-Israeli, I just warned my family to expect the same level of service we received on our last overland trip to Italy but emphasized that the ship would be gorgeous and with lots of things to do. With that in mind, we were not disappointed. MSC is an Italian shipping company and nearly 75 percent of the passengers are Italian. The rest are Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Russian, with some Israelis and Turks. It is a nice, spicy, fun international mix, especially when you factor in the origins of all the onboard staff. It DOES, however, pose a language issue in which ALL announcements are repeated in five languages at length. So yes, the lifejacket drill is a wee bit l-o-n-g. Bellissima is a vibrant and beautiful ship with many amenities for all ages. The water park is compact but super fun, the challenge ropes course overhead kept my teens happy and busy for hours. There are several swimming pools as well as an indoor pool with a retractable roof for inclement weather. I counted at least 5 hot tubs, I may have missed one... The buffet is on the 15th floor, same floor as the pool. Advice to the overly polite: DO NOT wait in line for food, G-d knows the Italians, Israelis, and Turks very proudly don't. They believe that waiting in line is for suckers. You know the adage - When in Rome...Just smile and elbow your way in very sweetly. If you insist on eating near the middle area of the buffet, it will be difficult to find tables and, yes, it will be noisy. If you spread yourself out to the back or sit outside on the pool deck, you will have a much more quiet and intimate experience. And you may see dolphins! My issue with all the food on board is that I am on a Ketogenic diet, which entails less than 30 carbs per day and NO sugar! This was challenging but here are my food conclusions: -Buffet: The buffet is the penultimate celebration of carbohydrates. There are several types of breads, pastas, they make fresh pizzas right in front of you, risottos, rice, noodles, battered foods, cereals, fruits, jams, you name it. The bread display behind the counter was this very cool montage made of bread of all sorts of animals. But the bonus is the Bellisima has her own mozzarella factory on board! Woohoo! I admit, I don’t eat piggy-parts or seafood, so my choices were even narrower than others, but here is a summary of how I ate the whole week: -Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, mozzarella cheese, provolone, edam, gouda cheeses, fresh pesto sauce, cucumbers, lettuce. There were always several forms of lettuce available with each meal. Sometimes I would take natural yogurt with toasted sliced almonds and pumpkin seeds. Sometimes I would add my own dark chocolate that I brought with me from home. -Lunch: This took me a while to figure out: the hot dogs served in the grill section of the buffet are made from pork but the hot dogs served at the pool deck’s grill are turkey/chicken. So I would pop outside to grab one of those, minus the bun. The rest of my plate was any non-sweetened meat I could find: sometimes a hamburger patty, sometimes the roasted meat of the day, roasted chicken, fish – I tried to vary my plate each day. Sides were mostly salad with the pesto sauce or Caesar salad dressing with parmesan on top that you could build yourself, green string beans, I even found cauliflower “mac’n’cheese”! -Dinner: Usually the same fare as lunch, with international specials. By the way, I found that by cruising the whole entire buffet, from port to stern to starboard, I found that there were different items on offer. It also depended on what time you arrived to the buffet. My biggest temptation? Surprisingly, NOT the parade of sandwiches, cakes, and cookies at the midnight buffet. No, I AM a former Canadian: the McCain’s hash browns were just beckoning to me. I’m proud of myself for standing up to them! MSC! The string beans on offer are great for my diet but get boring. Fresh cooked mushrooms or asparagus or creamed spinach would have been equally welcomed. One day they did string beans in shredded toasted coconut - that was fabulous! MSC, another point: your sugar replacement on board contains Sucralose, it is NOT safe for diabetics. Please switch to stevia or monk fruit sweeteners! -Main Dining Room: We only went to the main dining room once, not because we didn’t like it but, simply because it didn’t fit into our nutso schedule. It offered 4 different starters, 6 mains, and a slew of desserts. I took salad and stupidly forgot to tell them not to drizzle the dressing on top. For a main dish, I took the grilled salmon and gave the potato side to one of the kids. My big surprise? I asked the waiter if they had sugar-free ice cream and he said yes! Only vanilla is available but it made my evening! I must point out: I did NOT ask to check food labels on board. I made the best keto-inspired choices that I could, coupled with a 12th floor cabin that entailed walking up and downstairs from the 15th floor buffet / pool deck. We also made sure to get off the ship at every port and walked around and explored a lot. My biggest surprise? I lost 2 kilos on the trip! I officially started Keto on 01 May 2019 and have lost 9.5 kilos and a whole bunch of centimetres from the old muffin top since then. Again, this ship is BEAUTIFUL! The Galleria, with its Fremont Street-reminiscent arched ceiling, on the 6th floor is laid out like a shopping plaza, including a full out chocolate factory. They also run the ice cream parlour across the deck with many a tempting flavours to discover. MSC ! Consider adding more minimum 74 percent dark chocolate options and stevia-sweetened ice cream for us ketogenics! To my kids dismay, unlike onboard the Epic, there are no free soft-serve ice cream machines. If you want ice cream, you will pay for it or will have to go to the MDR to get it with your meal. The Galleria is the place to be in the evening with dance lessons, disco parties with their very energetic entertainment troupe, and fun with their crazy ceiling video imagery. Cirque de Soleil. Oh. My. God. Did I tell you I was Canadian? All my life I heard how fabulous CDS is. Well I finally went and it was terrible! Do NOT waste your money. MSC's own free stage productions were so much better. I was so embarrassed to have spent 15+ Euros per person on this and that I had actually psyched up my kids before: "Oh it'll be great, you'll see!". It wasn't. We didn't see "Syma", we caught "Varelia" and it starts with a be-wigged little girl and her pet Raccoon, who reminded me of the characters from the Sonic video game. They could easily scrap the whole section of the show with the girl and her raccoon, which I found entirely condescending and misogynistic - What? Again the girl needs rescuing? - and instead CDS needs to focus on the dance troupe and their antics, which would greatly improve the show. Stage shows: lots of good fun. Short. To the point. Many different time slots to fit your schedule on board. They even had a staff talent night - the Samoan crew dance troupe was fabulous and infectiously fun. Apropos infectious: MSC! Please put up signs in several languages explaining the virtues OF COVERING ONE'S MOUTH WHEN COUGHING OR SNEEZING! The Epic had at least 4 ladies who would pounce on you with disinfectant at the entrance to the buffet, all the while singing - Happy-happy! Washy-washy! MSC - LEARN FROM THIS! Although the Euro has dropped a little in value, it is still expensive against the Shekel, so we only did one excursion to the castle in Caserta near Napoli, which was great, with a very well-versed tour guide. I think her name was Elizabetta - she was intensely knowledgeable. In most other ports we used public transit if it was available and fared very well with it. La Valletta in Malta is an absolute gem. However, since it is an old fortress city, consider splurging on a taxi to get to the beaches. The number 14 bus gets to several beaches but it takes at least an hour to get to St. George's Bay. If you have difficulties walking, La Valletta is very steep near the port - talk to the excursion staff, they are very knowledgeable and give valuable advice. MSC offers bike tours of the ports they visit. We didn't go on them but noticed the smiles on the passengers who opted for this. We may try this on a future cruise after we practice a while at home! Service onboard is, on the most part, surprisingly good. It is not at the same level as the Epic, but then I was not expecting it to be. Most of the staff are friendly and genuinely helpful. Kudos to Oren and his other Israeli compatriot from Gedera who manned the ship's entrance/gangway - they always made us feel super welcome. The buffet staff are accommodating if you need help with anything and our waiter in the MDR was so patient and funny. Our room cleaner (Hortensia?) was a lovely lady with a great sense of humour and kept our room spotless (though we did our level best to make that easy for her.) Entertainment troupe: They deserve a medal for non-stop energy and action. They managed to get everyone of all ages to get up and dance. HOWEVER!!!! Guys, I love the latin-south American energy as much as anyone but when you play the same song 3 times in one set...that's just supremely annoying. MSC!!! This is a European ship! I'm not saying play every Eurovision song ever written, but you would have had everyone dancing to Mahmud's Italian hit "Soldi" and Neta Barzilai's "Toy". The music needs more variety. "Macarena" is a little old... Kids - teen club: our kids are teens and made use of the teen club to meet other kids and play basketball in the huge sports complex. The club also has table soccer and ping pong. My Israeli kids found themselves playing ping pong with this cute 10 year old from Dubai and another teenager from Germany. Peace on Earth starts on cruise ships.... We did not use the bowling or formula one simulator. We didn't use the GPS wristbands. Why? I'll tell you: 1. When we asked the price of several staff members, we got conflicting price quotes and that was annoying, 2. We trained the kids to phone our cabin at midnight to let us know where they were and when they planned to return. We're old-tech. Summary: know what to expect so you can enjoy yourself. I noticed that a lot of Americans complained that there is no English TV. Uh, guys? It is a cruise ship, go enjoy your time completely disconnected from the world. They also complained about chair hogs - we swim or sit in the hot tub so we just bring a bag for our towels and hook it on a railing. I can suntan at home. We always found lots of available chairs and sunbeds. This was NOT a problem on the huge Bellissima. MSC: please put signs clearly marking where smoking is and isn't allowed. The smoke is very bothersome, especially on a family-oriented cruise. In our opinion, it should not be allowed anywhere on the ship as a safety issue but, as a minimum, it should NOT be allowed in the casino as the whole area stinks of it. Public areas: on At-Sea day, the water was a bit choppy so I went down to the lower levels to regain my sealegs. I found that I had nowhere to sit since the other several thousand other passengers were already crowded there! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua ... Read More
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua Park was the key deciding factor and not the itinerary). Just to start - the Bellissima is a beautiful and elegant ship, yes we were very impressed by the Swarovski crystal staircase. It is also loud, lively and family friendly. So if you don't appreciate sharing your holiday with lots of children of all ages then this probably isn't the ship for you - particularly during the school holidays. There are plenty of activities on board. The children's clubs seemed to be very good although we did not use them.The sportsplex although almost always busy again was good. We all particularly enjoyed the F1 simulator, bowling, ice hockey and interactive cinema here. The fun pass came in very handy and I would highly recommend purchasing this in advance as it offered excellent value for money compared to on board prices. The swimming pools were lovely, although crowded. As with many holidays, you still have the unfortunate experience of people hogging sun beds with their towels but never really appearing in person! There is absolutely no need for this and this was probably the most irritating thing about the whole cruise. The Aqua Park was very nice but not nearly big enough to entertain my older thrill-seeking teenagers. It is, however, excellent for slightly younger children. The Himalayan walk was fun. The Cirque du Soleil shows were excellent. We saw one as a dinner show and the other as a cocktail show. I would highly recommend the dinner show. The shopping was good but expensive, primarily due to the poor exchange rate for the pound against the Euro. However, there are promotions on everyday with significant discounts. We bought the unlimited internet package in advance. This seemed very expensive at the time but proved essential for my teenagers using social media and keeping in touch with friends. They complained it was a slow internet connection - however it is satellite wifi and so not as fast as home wifi. We did one MSC organised excursion to Gozo by powerboat followed by a jeep safari around the island and time on the beach. The excursion was well organised. It seemed expensive at 115 Euro each, but we all really enjoyed the day so it was worth the cost. The service was excellent from all the staff we met. I appreciate this is contrary to some reviews I read prior to booking but we found that all passenger facing staff spoke very good English and,as a minimum, they were all polite and professional. Our cabin attendant, Jean, was particularly friendly and helpful and went out of his way to make our stay special. The restaurant service was almost always very rapid and always courteous and polite. In the seated restaurant the staff would try to offer something else if you did not like what was offered on that evening's menu. The buffet restaurant had a huge variety of dishes to suit all tastes. We had the premium drinks package included which was very good for us and again I would definitely have this again. The whole ship was spotlessly clean and you could see staff at all times of day cleaning public areas. There was a real focus on hand hygiene at meal times with excellent facilities for hand washing outside the main buffet restaurant - a welcome sight! We did use the Zoe voice activated information system as a bit of a novelty, however the MSC for me app was much more useful. Embarkation and disembarkation were busy but well organised and there were minimal waiting times. Overall, we all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely travel with MSC again. I am confused by some of the negative reviews I have read but I would highly recommend both the company and the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite ... Read More
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately out of the 7 days, we could not use the Jacuzzi on 3 days. 1. Cleaning balcony day. You are adviced to close balcony doors and curtains from a day before. They then open all balconies to form one long corridor. Our balcony was accessed but not cleaned at all. 2. for some odd reason we found our jacuzzi empty on the last evening (possibly for cleaning before the next guests). 3, On our second day, without being advised, the upper decks were being power washed resulting in almost 2 hours of constant water raining on our balcony. Also the water got very smelly from day 3. We informed cabin Stewart who came, saw the clean filter warning and just emptied part of it and refilled. Left same filter and we were left with the clean filter warning for the rest of the Cruise (though the smell was much less). We had a 14 year old with us and we only received a teen programme on the last full day of the Cruise (day at sea). We had no idea what was happening as the on-board daily programme only had one daily entry for teens so we thought it was weak like the rest of the daily programme. Probably the daily onboarding/Disembarkation/Security meetings have a toll on the crew who are unable to plan/organise other activities. Yes MSC on-boards and disembarks passengers daily so every day from 16:00 you start hearing very loud constant reminders in 7 languages asking passengers who just embarked to attend the compulsory security info meeting at 16:30. This lasts around 45 minutes. I had a massage booked at 16:30 and the experience was ruined with 30 mins of loud notices and security info with a speaker directly above my head in the small massage room. The masseuse offered me to change the time but the other available slots were non convenient to me. Casino is nice with some very good machines and bar service but I could not stay more than 15 minutes with all the smoking going on everywhere. There were some no smoking signs but no enforcement at all. Unlike NCL (as an example) there are no light snacks here so if you are up to a light night snack check the time as the buffet place closes at 10 and reopens for 2 hours midnight to 2am with some light snacks and pizza. WIFI was weak. None at all from our bedroom. The 'MSC for me' app is great but requires the free ship WIFI connection which only allows you access to the app unless you pay extra for actual internet data. Zoe, the cabin assistant to the likes of Google Home and Alexa is still a waste of desk space. It answers very few questions and mainly asks you to consult your daily programme, TV channels and the MSC for Me app. Plus if you are used to other voice home assistants, please be patient with this one as it is very slow to get back with an answer. However it has great potential and I can see this as a trend setter for other lines and even hotels. For food we mainly used the Market Place Buffet for the reasons below and food was average except for the day at sea were it was evidently better with more choice and the only time that the buffet had decent deserts of a decent size. We only used the Poseidon for breakfast once. Miserable portions and choice and we got 1 of 3 orders wrong. Also asked for fresh orange juice and the reply was "not included" in our "all inclusive" drink package which should include all drinks upto EUR 6. How expensive could a fresh orange juice be? We used our assigned Dinner restaurant twice (Light House). Again miserable portions. They got the food we ordered but managed to deliver all to the wrong person (just 3 of us). Mistakes were a constant. At least it was funny and we were betting on the next mistake :). Also too many waiters with different responsibilities. One for bread, one for water, one for wine, another for other drinks and one for food. So you ask the water waiter for a soft drink and says "my colleague" will be with you shortly but never comes :). Also Waiters get confused and you get asked your cabin room number over and over. Its a pity as these restaurants are very well staffed (probably too many) whilst the buffet (which gets overcrowded as many prefer it to the restaurants) is very much understaffed and to get a drink you have to wait too long. I usually preferred to go myself to the bar, but just 2 barman (at times 1) dealing with all the clients and the drinks waiters is too much to handle. Under staffing in bars is also very evident and at times it feels like this is on purpose to minimise consumption as many a times one gives up waiting. We loved the evening shows. Great life music, amazing dancers and singers. Great detail to costumes and scenography. There was a shadows performer on one night who is pretty good but so much full of himself :). His show starts with a 2 minute video of his performances around the world to show us long standing ovations, like trying to convince you before the show that he is good :). The Cirque du Soleil shows are good but too short and nothing amazing when compared to other Cirque du Soleil shows I've attended elsewhere. I was also very annoyed about the 'Free 24 hour Room Service' which we should have had with the Aurea experience. We soon discovered that the choice is a shame (One menu page of light snacks and another page for pizza) and to add insult to injury the only free aspect is the delivery but food must be paid for. Can someone explain what this means? So food is free at the restaurants and the only service which I would somehow accept to pay for is the delivery which is free for Aurea. Makes no sense. Clearly a sales gimmick in the wording used. So assume the only way to get it free would be to go to the buffet, fill your plates from the free food then ask a waiter to deliver to your room. Would that be free? ridiculous. Also reception people have no clue. The 'MSC for Me' is advertised to offer family members with a position tracking on the ship and a chat facility between people you share your ID with. The reception said that we need a special arm bend which needs to be purchased for the tracking and chat. We asked 3 people and they all had no clue. However we managed to make the chat work throughout the cruise with some trial and error. I told the reception about this at a next visit and they were surprised. Also I went to the reception 3 times to ask if we could have a late (12:00) disembarkation as we had a late flight. Why 3 times? Because it was evident that they were making up their own rules. We had an Aurea Suite so I was given the impression we had some choice in this. I got 3 Different answers from 3 different reception staff: 1. Sorry latest you can stay in room is 8am and latest on ship is 10am. Not any longer 2. You must vacate room at 8am but I will make a note to give you black tags on last day so you can disembark 11:30 (On the last night we got blue tags with disembarkation at 8:30am) 3. Do not take out your luggage on the last night so you bring them down to the "hand luggage" desk in the morning, by latest 8am. Then you can stay on the ship till latest 12:00 but we cannot help you with the luggage and you cannot reenter the room after 8am. We decided to follow the instruction of number 3 as it was the closest to our wishes. The only thing is that help with the luggage would have been appreciated but I guess its fine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the ... Read More
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the pizza that is made frah infront of you. Restaurant was good tried something different every night. Shows were good we all enjoyed them and not too long which we prefered. Entertainment staff were great from the pool games, sail away parties, evening parties everybody enjoying themselves. The ports of call were good, we did our own thing at each port and got a taxi to Pompei just outside the port. We were a bit un sure after reading some negative reviews but shouldnt of worried we couldnt think of a single negative the kids didnt want to leave the ship and we are going to book msc grandiosa for next year! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had ... Read More
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had an aqua park , rope climb and small arcade. The ship itself is stunning, everything is well designed and the staff keep it well cleaned at all times, we had housekeeping visit our cabin twice a day. The pool is large and a great place to spend the day. The entertainment staff had daily activities such as dance lessons, aerobics and games to keep passengers occupied, often they would have ‘sail away parties’ when leaving ports and had everyone up dancing. All staff are really nice and helpful, never had a problem and service was excellent, with waiters even taking drinks orders from your sun lounger. The food in the buffet was nice and plentiful, the pizza especially! Food in the main restaurant varied each day and was delicious. We booked a show each night after dinner and enjoyed every one, and then afterwards went to the themed parties hosted in the main gallery or the pool. Our cabin was clean and not too cramped, with our premium plus drinks package we even had access to the mini bar. We didn’t book any excursions with MSC, as when we got off at the ports there were plenty of tourist information staff to help us book a cheaper tour. Enjoyed every moment, and have even booked our next cruise in 2020 with the same itinerary on the MSC Grandiosa - we cant wait!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise ... Read More
We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise communication via email from MSC. The MSC app only worked half the time. We all booked a balcony stateroom Aurea Class with Premium Plus drink package. MSC changed the drink package in October, however since we paid the upgrade prior to this date we were to be grandfathered into the maximum drink package available. Which we were not. MSC miscommunicated this info to our travel agent 6 times. We found this out during our first dining experience. Not a great start. Our room was 13119, and although the closet space is very limited, the balcony was huge. Zoe never worked for any of us. There was a smell from the shower drain that at times was unbearable. Our stateroom attendant was amazing however the smell remained. Unacceptable for a new ship. There is no account access on the TV, so if you need to confirm on board charges you must stand in line with everyone else at Guest Services, waste of time. The mini bar was convenient and well stocked daily. The walls seemed very thin, I could hear guest next to us often as well as the room above us. Unfortunately I had to complain, it was 3 am. We were never advised that the ship only holds 250EU on your account for on board expenses. This may be due to the card being in Canadian funds, but no explanation was ever given. This amount was spent quickly at the spa, so when it came time to buy a 7.00 gelato we were refused. Off to Guest Services once again to swipe our card. Food in the dining room was a 2 at best. We witnessed no dress code being enforced even on Gala Nights. We saw passengers with jean shorts, t shirts and ball caps allowed in the Lighthouse dining room. Our table attendants were fantastic, very attentive however the food came out at different times. Not the dining experience you would expect when you read the marketing statements on the MSC web page. We had one specialty dinner at the steakhouse and all but one entrée was perfect. Really enjoyed the food and service. We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room, and service was hit or miss. Food was average. The Market Place Buffett, sub par with a small healthy food selection for such a large space. The Spa is beautiful and worth every penny. The staff were incredible and treatments are priced comparable to most spas at sea. The main pool...well if you like your deck chair to be packed in like sardines, a drink at the only pool bar next to the smoking section, enjoy very loud music and pool games, screaming kids in the pool as well as kids running on deck with no adult supervision, and not being allowed to sit on the pool deck with a drink in your hand and feet in the water then this is the cruise for you. Again reading the description of the pool deck for the Bellissima this is not what we expected. The second pool was the same and the aft pool was so small that again the kids took over, while the parents reserved empty pool chairs. Deck 19 reserved for Aurea Class does not have a pool, only a hot tub , no bar, but deck chair bar service. Great views but anyone can buy a day pass. The main pool is located two decks below. The gym is very small for the amount of passengers on board. We enjoyed the Champagne bar at night, and the staff were excellent. However they only serve Champagne so if you want a mixed cocktail you need to go to an other bar. We all enjoyed the F1 race car experience, 10.00eu p/p per ride well worth it. We did two excursions booked direct with MSC. Portofino and Capri. Both excellent once you get there. However we were sent back to Naples on a local ferry from Capri which was standing room only. Locals and tourists had suitcases that took up seats. I believe when you book a tour with the ship then the transfer back to port should be on a boat for that tour only. Yes the ship is beautiful but for the 5000.00usd price tag for 7 days, it did not meet our expectations based on the information provided on the MSC web. MSC does a great job marketing this ship with no execution. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because the ship was brand new with an amazing itinerary. We went to great ports, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Malta. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Here are some of the positives ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship was brand new with an amazing itinerary. We went to great ports, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Malta. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Here are some of the positives and negatives: Positive Nice clean new boat Buffet food very good quality Excellent pizza Great ports to visit Guest services - spoke English Many handwashing stations around buffet area NEGATIVE REVIEWS: No self service laundry - plan on handwashing or bring plenty of clothes Pool closes 8pm - no time to enjoy the pool after a day in port Complimentary restaurants - seafood and veal and lamb food was terrible Food is not labeled for seafood/nut allergies. I missed seeing Naples due to seafood allergy because MSC does not label their foods. Buffet is like a stampede - rude people; Buffet area not big enough for amount of passengers No communication or announcements about activities and such They keep you guessing about time off and on the boat Not enough public bathrooms Beds are hard as a rock No adult pool/hot tubs Zoe did not work at all They took my plates and cups while I’m eating Safety briefing was not an English Disembarkation meeting Not in English Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the ... Read More
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the difficulty getting near the pool at the end of the afternoon is typical, I could always find a chair somewhere, even if I had to do a lot of searching. Seven hot tubs I believe, and could usually find space in one - I wish they left at least one open later for a little tubbing under the stars. All the waterworks close quite early unfortunately. My cabin was typically sized, but you could tell a lot of thought went into the design with some nice modern amenities, like a USB charge port in the bed lamp, both 110 and 220 plugs so an adapter is not needed, lots of under bed space to hide those suitcases, and a reasonable large (for a cabin) shower. NIce to include a foot bar to assist in the tiny space. Water temp needed regular adjusting depending on time of shower, but I could always get to hot water - unlike some ships during prime time. Embark and disembark easy and uncrowded. Customer service regularly reachable. Very nice that all the bars have espresso machines, instead of a single cafe as some ships. Ya you gotta pay but I like that was included in my drink package - being a caffine-o-holic. I found the service exceptional everywhere, especially the bars, sometimes the cocktail servers are a little grumpy - its a thankless job - but a smile on my part would usually warm em up. I have always liked the free soft serve machine in the buffet on other ships, so paying for ice cream on this shp - spendy I might add - is a no no as far as I'm concerned. i rarely do the buffet, but few times was adequate and never too crowded. Like most ships, getting a table a prime time takes a little work. For a European ship, I would have expected decent brewed coffee, theirs sucked badly. I stuck to espresso. I liked going to the dining room for breakfast, heavily staffed and few people do it - so you get great service. Gotta put up with that coffee, but tons of croissants and baked goods, eggs always cooked correctly, and good juices. A very nice start to the day but you got to get up. So staying up late is nice on this ship, they have the typical and well done pool parties, then a DJ on the back deck till the very wee hours - 3am+ not atypical. Mixed crowd, with younger as it gets later of course but lots of dancing. You learn on this ship not to try to order at the bar, but find a server and place your order with them - much easier and faster then trying to pin down a busy bartender. Great selection of specalty restaurants - always room because they charge a substantial premium to go. Other lines seem to charge a bit more for restaurants (well you did already pay for dinner in the dining room), but these guys charge pretty much full price. Loved the steakhouse and french restaurant, didn't do others. If you want to get away from the masses and feel special come here, or feel like the old cruise days, come here during formal night. I suggest you find out when they do the specialty restaurant tasting night - where you go to each one and taste a bite of their wares. It was not heavily attended, and was fun and tasty. I also did the wine tasting with the sommelier David Campaniello and albeit more expensive than others I have done on other ships (80E) we had 7 great wines, a great education and good pairing appetizers (blueberries, strawberries, ham, foie grois). I learned a lot about great Italian wines, and regions, food pairing and we all had a great time (3 amerians, 5 belgians). That evening I was dining in the Steakhouse, and I saw the Sommelier and I asked if he chose the by the glass wines, because for a red meat location, the wines by the glass were embarrasing. He then made the effort to go the French restaurant where we did the tasting and bring me back a leftover glass of wine from the tasting to have with my steak, now that is exceptional service! and I will tell the story 100 times (I own 3 bars :) I will definitely do MSC again, they have two big new ships starting in 2020, and I will do one if not both depending on where they go. I fell in love with Malta -also first time. I was pleasantly surprised by these guys and the service and the ship - 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for ... Read More
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for a long time, the processes need some time to be ironed out. Some of the crewmembers, especially in service, seem to be new. This translates into reduced service. We´ve been to the Preziosa a few years ago and it was completely different to can only relate it that the crew needs some time to get into the routine. The ship is HUGE! It takes some time to navigate it and but then works very well. I would advise to try it at least once to see if this is something you enjoy. For our tastes it was too big and in the future we´d be looking into the Fantastica Class again. Th shows that we visited were of high quality standards, we really liked them. However, we were underwhelmed by the Cirque du Soleil show. The were only 3 "real cirque" acts and the cocktail was watery and full of sugar. We had the Premium Drinks Package and total got our worth. Would do it anytime again. However, it is sad that the ice cream at the pool is not included in the Premium Package for adults, however it is included in the one for kids. Luckily we had kids with us so could use their cards. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from ... Read More
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from the airport to port in Barcelona. Checking in was fairly quick and we were on the ship at 1pm. Rooms were not ready until 2.30pm to we explored and had some drinks at the bar and some lunch in the buffet, which was quite crowded. We liked the waiter call button on the tables for drinks! We had balcony cabins on the 9th deck, mid ship and near to the lifts. The cabin was fab, plenty of room, great bed and kept very clean by the steward. Zoe still does not work! We were allocated a table in the restaurant on 6th Deck and our waiter was Myra. She was happy and smiling and chatty and could not do enough for us. The food was amazing – how people can complain I don’t know. Wine glasses kept full all the time – it did help perhaps that we tipped her 10 euros each night…..We found the buffet to be bedlam all the time with especially the Italians having no concept of queueing, so chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the restaurant on deck 5. This was a much more civilised affair as you are waited on, recommended! We are early risers so had no problem finding sun loungers. We did have the big padded ones on a couple of occasions but be aware, the ones at the back of the ship get covered in soot from the funnels and it gets all over you too! The day at sea was very very crowded as you would expect, but we picked our spot early and we were fine. As we booked last year, we had the drinks package and paid £168 each. Seems a lot but we more than had our monies worth! The package included branded spirits, Smirnof and Absolute vodka and Baileys but the Easy package as it now is, doesn’t. If you like a drink it is well worth it as they add 15% to each drink. We did the cirque de soleil, the cocktail and show package at 15 euros. The show was fab but the cocktail not so. You have to add 15% to this so we paid 17.50 euros per person! We also saw a theatre show which the girls enjoyed, the boys not so much. The interactive boards throughout the ship make it easy to book any shows. It was my birthday whilst we were there, so we booked the Tapas restaurant at an extra charge. Don’t bother, the food wasn’t all that but the service was good and I got a free bottle of fizz and a birthday cake and the waiters all sung to me. We tried most of the bars. The English pub serves a selection of English draught beers too. These were included on our drinks package and better than the Heiniken the boys said. The highlight of our trip was meeting the TV personality and sports pundit Chris Kamara, he was so personable and the boys loved the banter with him. A lot of the passengers had no clue who he was! We left the ship at all the ports but did our own thing, mostly HOHO buses. Marsaiile, follow the green line to the free shuttle but into town. We couldn’t find the petit train to get on but saw it passing by. We got a taxi back at 15 euros as bus queue too long. Genoa – 12 euros city tour bus outside the terminal. We then walked around the waterfront. Saw a huge rat here calmly eating in the middle of the path, not scared of humans at all! Naples – we got the HOHO bus. Don’t bother with the red route, it is far too congested in the town and we hated it. Traffic terrible. Noisy dirty place, didn’t like it. Do the Blue coastal route instead. Messina – HOHO bus again but this is not open top, so disappointing but the route was coastal and scenic . Valetta – turn right out of the port and make for the Barakka lift – 1 euro for return trip – well worth it as it is so steep. We wandered round and enjoyed the views. Barcelona – disembarkation very slick. we chose to stay over and had a hotel just 10 minutes from La Ramblas. Again got the HOHO bus – we enjoyed this one the most – 30 euros for day pass. We had the gratuities removed from our bills and tipped as we went along. Guest services do not bat an eye lid at this. Just one thing, the steward helped herself to juice in our mini bar. we would not have known only she left the empty. we confronted her and she replaced it.....otherwise we would of had a charge - its the principal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise and we weren't sure if it was going to be something that would suit our family. We also worried a little about some of the negative reviews on this site. The outcome was that we loved the experience and will ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we weren't sure if it was going to be something that would suit our family. We also worried a little about some of the negative reviews on this site. The outcome was that we loved the experience and will certainly cruise again, probably with MSC. We have two girls aged 8 and 10 and they really had a ball. The "kids cruise for free" policy of MSC is the reason that we could afford the cruise in the first place. Yes, four in a cabin can be a crowd at times, but when you consider that the girls' cruise cost us only $59 each in government taxes it is a minor factor. Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and straightforward. The food in the buffet was plentiful and excellent quality. We used the lighthouse restaurant every evening and it was from very good to excellent. Our waiter was charming and very nice to our girls. The bed in our cabin was super comfortable and the couch had been converted into two generous sized bunk beds. Zoe is useless but the on-board app is really impressive. The kids club took great care of the girls and we purchased two tracker bracelets for €15 each which allowed us to see where they were on the ship at all times. This was very accurate and gave us the confidence to allow them a lot more independence that we would have been comfortable with otherwise. Our favourite bar was the Sky lounge which is adults only. The ambiance was very nice and they serve gorgeous free snacks with your drinks. Tip : The snacks are displayed in a fridge which is built into the bar counter. You just go up and point out what you want. The ship is beautiful and the crew are friendly and polite. We took one excursion to Pompeii with MSC and it was fine. We did a private street food tour in Genoa which was excellent. We used the free shuttle bus into Marseille which you find by following the green line on the pavement from the cruise terminal for about 800m. This walk will save you the price of the MSC transfer into town. We walked around Messina which has surprisingly good shopping if you walk all the way in to the commercial streets. We visited friends in the Three Cities in Malta after walking around Valletta for a while first. Malta was definitely the highlight of the cruise and we intend to return for a longer visit. We really enjoyed relaxing by the pool on the sea day as it had been quite hectic up to that point. The weather was perfect although breezy but we had a nice sheltered spot. Our oldest girl loved the water slides. I liked the casino and found the croupiers very friendly and helpful. I left some money behind me but that's how it goes. My wife, who had never played table games before, showed me how it was done by managing to win a little playing roulette. The cirque show was excellent but the Rock and Roll show was every bit as good. Really excellent performance when you consider there is no charge. Overall a wonderful family holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Having read the reviews for this ship we were worried, a lot of negativity, fortunately most of the critics tended to focus on things that went wrong for them and generalised, some of the criticisms we found very harsh. The food was ... Read More
Having read the reviews for this ship we were worried, a lot of negativity, fortunately most of the critics tended to focus on things that went wrong for them and generalised, some of the criticisms we found very harsh. The food was excellent, the performers at times better than you will see at any west end production, the staff always pleasant and willing to help, they all understood English. Fortunately we had purchased the drinks package last year so we were fortunate to have most drinks included,plus ice cream, water, tea and coffee, if you don't have this package then yes the new ones are expensive. The ship is ultra modern, very big so has lots of people on it, so it can get crowded and noisy, so if you don't like that sort of thing this ship is not for you. I would probably call it a party ship. We have been on the Fantasia before and it was better suited to us with more quiet places to retire too if things got a bit hectic. Ports of call: Marseille: We took the ship shuttle, the walk to the free one was a bit long especially in the heat, this shuttle is not too regular so some people ended up getting a taxi back to ship. Geneo: Nice city within walking distance from the ship. Naples: A big city were the traffic was horrendous , take a trip to Pompeii or sorrento and avoid the city Messina: A disappointment , except for main square nothing much else to see, probably would have been better taking a tour to Etna Valletta: A wonderful city and the highlight of the cruise, easy walk from port then lift up to centre, we took the little train tour from front of cathedral. Friends we met took the island tour which misses Valletta and they were disappointed Barcelona : we were supposed to spend the day here before our flight home, but unfortunately our flight was changed and we missed out, but having been ther before,Minos what a beautiful city it is. The day at sea was a waste for us and the next time we cruise we will make sure it has no days at sea. In summary, there is nothing wrong with this ship or MSC, it up to the individual what they want from a cruise, if crowds, noise and partying are not your thing this probably wouldn't be for you. Would I cruise on it again, no I would go for a smaller ship and a better itinerary , with no days at sea. A final point, the excursions are too expensive, there are many companies which will sort these out for you at a more reasonable cost. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Background: I’m in my 50s. I live in California and work for a major Wall Street firm. I’ve been cruising for roughly 25 years and have previously cruised MSC, Carnival, Celebrity, Croisieres de France/Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean, ... Read More
Background: I’m in my 50s. I live in California and work for a major Wall Street firm. I’ve been cruising for roughly 25 years and have previously cruised MSC, Carnival, Celebrity, Croisieres de France/Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian. Prior MSC Experience: We did an 11 night on Divina in late 2015 and loved it. I then booked a 4 night out of Barcelona, but MSC changed it to a 20 day out of Brazil. No phone call from MSC, no e-mail, no letter, no notification in any way. They even changed the date of the sailing. Then, they took away my Voyagers Club points because I hadn’t sailed in 3 years, after promising they wouldn’t and even though the reason for this was their fault. I’ve written a post detailing some of my frustrations that can be found by Googling MSC Comedy of Errors. There are things to like a lot about MSC, but some service-related problems that should be improved upon. Pre-Cruise: We embarked out of Barcelona. We booked a lovely and centrally located apartment near Passeig de Gracia which worked out perfectly. Barcelona is a great city, so don’t miss out on spending some time there. It’s now the 3rd most visited city in Europe, after Paris and Rome. We were surprised that MSC did not offer tours in Barcelona, so we booked 2 privately. I think they may have missed some opportunity there. Savvy Tip: If you stay in Barcelona, use taxis rather than the Metro (subway) to get around. We had dinner with a group of 11 and 2 of them were pickpocketed on the Metro. Cabs are cheap, usually quick, and less confusing. Embarkation: In Rome, our prior Embarkation on Divina was so fast and smooth. So we wondered if the experience would be the same on Bellissima out of Barcelona. And it was extremely fast and well-organized. This is an area where MSC seems to excel. The Ship: Beautiful! Obviously, it’s almost new, but there is lot of thought and technology put into this ship. The ultra-high definition screen over the promenade is stunning and MSC integrates it well into their entertainment. We did much prefer the Grand Atrium layout of Divina, however. Divina’s atrium features soaring elevators that gracefully glide up and down and a much more open and dramatic feel to that area. Bellissima has mirrored ceilings to create the illusion of height, but is not as dramatic or engaging. I’d recommend that MSC go back to more of a soaring, dramatic atrium, like Divina. But otherwise, certainly it was nice. Tip: There is a somewhat hidden glass elevator which some might not be aware of. You can access it from the port (left) side of customer service. It rides on the outside of the ship and features nice views during the day. Our Room: We stayed in balcony cabin 13021, which is technically Aurea class. But we didn’t get the extras since we only purchased the Fantastica experience. The room was an upgrade due to a technical problem on their website, which was nice. The room was on the small side, but was always very clean. The bedding, a partnership between MSC and Dorelan, was super comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was extremely friendly, introduced himself and called my girlfriend and me by name during the cruise. He commented that we were always smiling and friendly and never complained when others were grouchy and did little but complain. Well, he didn’t hear me gripe pre-cruise to MSC Customer Service, but it is a good reminder that a smile and a kind word can go a long ways. These folks work hard for little money by our standards. Always do your best to treat them with kindness and respect. We did experience a partial electrical failure that took out our TV, Zoe, some lighting, and the electrical outlets. Maintenance could not repair the issue that day, but they did fix it the following day while we were off the ship. Another Tip: If you press the Do Not Disturb button, the cabin steward’s key will be inactive. So if you forget to turn it off, he/she won’t be able to make up your room. Zoe: Unfortunately, Zoe was nearly useless. I did a YouTube video on this, but I’d say she didn’t understand the request 75%-80% of the time. Nice concept, but needs a lot of work. Food: Generally average to very good. Never great or bad. The food in the buffet during breakfast/lunch/dinner was better than expected, especially after reading some really bad reviews. Everything was very fresh, so our experience was certainly different than others. In the main dining room, meals were acceptable to very good. The best food was on the 2 Gala Nights. One Gala Night was on the last night before disembarkation, which I thought was odd, as most were packing up their clothing. Yes, I know not everyone embarks or disembarks at the same ports, but most seemed to get on and off at Barcelona. Drink Package: We purchased the now discontinued "431" drink package, which covers “house wine” (2 reds, 2 whites, a blush, prosecco dry and prosecco sweet), as well as most “non-premium” specialty drinks. The house wines were mediocre except for the proseccos, which were both pretty good. Their bartenders are uniformly lousy and don’t know how to make a drink. The quality and even character and taste of drinks would vary wildly from one bartender to another. One time, a drink would be terribly sweet, the next time not, but taste like something totally different. They really need to train their bartenders better. We left a number of drinks on the table almost untouched because they were so bad. Entertainment/Animation Crew: Fantastic! Some have complained about the entertainment, but we both thought it was the best we’ve seen on any ship. The entertainers were really good and the crew really got the audience engaged. These folks worked really hard, and it paid off. The lighting and sound system on Bellissima is excellent with one exception. For some reason, the sound system in the Bellissima Bar and Lounge sounded muted and flat. Cirque at Sea: Enjoyable and generally worth the price. However, there was a bit of false advertising involved. The show included a cocktail and the description read, “Choose from our selection of creative cocktails made with or without alcohol to your liking and enjoy it’s surprising freshness…”. However, they had only pre-made and presumably watered down (from melting ice) Gimlets. I told them that I was a type 2 diabetic and that drinking such a sugary drink was not the best option for me. I asked if they could make me something else and was told “no”. The only other option was fruit juice, which is also too sugary for me. Cirque Tip: Reserve the shows online before you board. They were all sold out and if you wait, you might not get to see a Cirque at Sea show. I do feel that they were worthwhile, although not thrilled about the aforementioned drink issue. Tours: We booked 3 MSC tours. We loved the Amfali Coast tour out of Naples and felt it was a good value. It seemed to sell out and disappeared from the onboard list of offerings, so probably a good idea to book online in advance like we did. We also enjoyed the Aix en Provence and Marseille 2 Cities tour. Well worth the money. The Portofino tour was really disappointing. It’s not that Portofino isn’t pretty, quaint and worth visiting. It’s just that you’re only there for roughly 1 hour. And the tour could easily stay there another 2 hours, so I have no idea why they rush you out so quickly. And further, you have to get on the boat to leave Portofino at noon, for no obvious reason. Guess when most restaurants and business in Portofino open? Yes, at noon. It was perplexing and this needs to be improved upon. Give the guests 3 hours in Portofino instead of 1 hour. They’ll easily make it back to the ship well before it departs. The Crew: Room for improvement, but mostly pretty good. Not as friendly as on some cruise lines, but not as grouchy as the funky Eastern European crew that we had on Divina who seemed to hate their jobs and the passengers. Most were very helpful. Not everyone spoke great English, but usually communication was not a major issue. Let me single out one man who had an attitude that I did not enjoy, and that is the restaurant manager. In short, I had booked the later dinner, but our booking got fouled up in several ways. They never did correct my prior efforts to fix my late seating request, so I figured I’d straighten it out onboard. They sent me to the restaurant manager, who looked very, very irritated. And in an irritated voice, he said, “Do you have any idea how many passengers I have to accommodate? 5,600! And you want your seating changed, right?”. I thought he was pretty uncool and unfriendly, but I just bit my tongue and thanked him for his efforts. Shops: Not bad, but can use improvement. Divina had a more interesting and eclectic selection of items that I was actually interested in. The Passengers: Mostly European. Maybe 10% American like me. Nice people. Not as fat as most Americans. Sorry if that’s crass, but it’s true. They seem to stay out late and be kind of fun, party people most of the time. I did not witness any bad behavior during our cruise. Smoking was not an issue either, which was a good thing. Medical Emergency: On the final full day, we had a medical emergency, which required that the Italian Military airlift by helicopter a 55-year old American woman. The airlift was carried out swiftly and with precision. The captain explained very clearly what was occurring and told us that there would be no delay due to this onboard emergency. It was well-executed and communications about the incident was very good. Disembarkation: NO LINE WHATSOEVER! Can you imagine? Not a whiff of a line getting off the ship. I had an early flight and customer service was very accommodating and changed my time to an earlier departure. Again, this seems to be a strong area for MSC. Final Thoughts: While things are never perfect, I think MSC gets a bad rap, often unfairly. They do need to improve their customer service, but I believe that some issues are overblown and overstated. Their new ships are beautiful and can represent a very good value. MSC just needs some tweaks to really step up their game. We have enjoyed our cruises on MSC and we have 2 more booked. If you are patient and focus on the positives and not every little nitpicking thing, I believe you will enjoy cruising on MSC in general and the beautiful new Bellissima in particular. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
MSC Bellissima Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.2
Public Rooms 5.0 3.7
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.5 3.5
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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