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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This cruise ship was clean and tidy but the cruise was a disaster hoping to have a lovely Xmas cruise we were very very disappointed .The food was disgusting most of the time it was served after a long wait more often than not it was COLD ... Read More
This cruise ship was clean and tidy but the cruise was a disaster hoping to have a lovely Xmas cruise we were very very disappointed .The food was disgusting most of the time it was served after a long wait more often than not it was COLD and undercooked . The service was pathetic very slow sometimes waiting for up to 45 minutes between courses . The cabin was good and always clean and tidy . The cabin steward was always pleasant and helpful . Entertainment was good and a good choice of entertainment . Reception ok staff helpful and efficient . We missed a couple of ports due to adverse weather conditions and were given a refund of €50 each but were not informed that we had to spend it on board till we were disembarking so lost that . After disembarking we discovered our suitcase had been damaged I would only travel again on MSC when HELL FREEZES OVER . I strongly advise you not to travel with this company . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We took this cruise as part of a family vacation. It ended up being a nightmare experience. Less than 24 hours before we departed, MSC notified us that we would not be departing in Genoa, Italy. They gave us no additional information ... Read More
We took this cruise as part of a family vacation. It ended up being a nightmare experience. Less than 24 hours before we departed, MSC notified us that we would not be departing in Genoa, Italy. They gave us no additional information about when to show up or what their plan was to get us to Marseilles. We found out later that MSC knew that there was a problem with the engines 6 weeks before the cruise. They informed us of the plan only on the day of departure. We received a call from our travel agent, who said she got an email in the middle of the night telling us to arrive no later than 10am at Genoa port of call. It was already 9am at this point in Italy. We rushed to the departure point and it was chaos. No food, no water at check in. We were told that we would take a bus for 4 hours to Nice, France and then another 4 hour bus to Marseilles. In reality, these bus rides took closer to 7 hours for each leg, as the bus drivers took us on very long, not direct routes and picked up strangers not affiliated with the cruise along the way. The hotel that they put us in Nice was maybe a 2 star hotel, there was mold and stains all over the carpet. We arrived in Nice so late that nothing was open. They gave us less than $50USD to feed our family for the 2 days. During our bus trip, they would not stop to let us use the bathroom or provide food or water. 2017 was a year of terrorist attacks in almost every port of call on this ship, and they still picked up random non-cruise affiliated strangers, who sat in stairwells on packed buses. Everyone on the bus was terrified. We eventually made it to Marseilles, and boarded the ship, only after experiencing a 4 hour long check in because all the buses showed up at the same time. Again, there was no food or water during this check in. As a result, we missed 2 days on the cruise, it was too late to go to Marseilles since check in took a long time. We also missed the day in Genoa. Since the cruise ship's engine wasn't working, we also missed 2 other ports of call in Greece, and we ended up going to unexpected ports, where MSC raised the prices of excursions so high that it was eye watering. The new ports of call were not interesting and if they were on the original itinerary, I would not have taken this cruise. Food and beverage wise, we paid for the Aurea package, it was so limited on the booze selection that it would have been more affordable to just drink on shore. The selection was laughable. The wine was terrible, a feat in the Mediterranean. The food was lack luster, half the time it was stale or cold. The accommodations are fine, but not extraordinary.The bathrooms in the rooms were a nice size.The cruise lounge areas are tacky and outdated. The service staff were either very nice or terribly rude, one never knew what we were getting into that day. The entertainment was unimpressive, short of this one couple who were quite good dancers. The gym is so small. Everyone had to wait for the equipment.The hot tub was tiny and gross from lack of cleaning. The steamrooms were dated. At the end, they agreed to reimburse my parents for the service tip, and then the day of, they told hundreds of people, including my parents, that they couldn't refund this money to them as they were departing. What a bait and switch! My parents were hoping to use this money to tip the nice servers more. MSC also refused to reimburse us for our 2 missed ports of call on the ship. Our travel agent is now refusing to ever book anyone on an MSC cruise again. She's spent hours trying to get us reimbursed for the ports of call that were missed. Please, don't take MSC. I'd hate to have someone else's once in a lifetime vacation get ruined! There are great cruiselines in the Med, this company is not one of them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
with over 100 cruises under my belt and a good knowledge of what should be a good standard of service my family and I returned this week from a week on MSC Orchestra. We booked a balcony cabin with full drinks package, and yes, we have ... Read More
with over 100 cruises under my belt and a good knowledge of what should be a good standard of service my family and I returned this week from a week on MSC Orchestra. We booked a balcony cabin with full drinks package, and yes, we have cruised MSC before Good points 1.spotless ship from end to end 2buffet food service and quality best I have ever seen 3.wine choice very good with a selection of premium wines included not just the gut rot-- bat staff excellent 4.cabin services great with space and again spotless Bad points 5.from the moment we arrived at embarkation the welcome was zero-- no one smiles and the security staff are positively rude to everyone. 6.language problems are common but worst in dining rooms 7.in dining rooms quality was not a problem but food service when you could get it was at best slow but potion sizes are worst I have ever seen--one night a handful of salad i.e. green with 3 grapefruit segments was all we were offered and ask for more took 45 minutes -- more than once a post dinner visit to the buffet was needed-- and it’s not that I am greedy my wife who eats like a bird was also leaving dinner still hungry 8. don’t bother to complain--guest services on pre- departure day one was asked for a service and I had to WRITE a letter to Head of Customer Service to get it sorted and then instead of apology he rand to lecture me on MSC Company policy. 9.I find that staff work a minimum of 11 per day 7 days per week may for up to 8 months-- no wonder they never smile Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2010
We were totally disapointed by the food! All ads we read said that it was a "Typical Italian food", but that was a complete lie: Most of it was made out of powder and water. Breakfast: The coffee was instant coffee. When ... Read More
We were totally disapointed by the food! All ads we read said that it was a "Typical Italian food", but that was a complete lie: Most of it was made out of powder and water. Breakfast: The coffee was instant coffee. When we asked for som kind of expresso, we got a small bag with powder coffee. The omelete did not taste like eggs, and it was also made out of powder. Yes, the bread was fresh, but I am sure it was also powder and water, but it did not matter. Lunch and dinner: Soup, sauces, desserts and some other things were powder and water. I complained on board, and the waiters told me that thir food was even worst, they had to run to the nearest restaurant whenever the could, in order to eat any thin decent (I forgot to tell you that I speak 9 langages and it was not a problem to talk with the Brasilian, Italian or Spanish crew). In the ads, MSC Cruise brag about som kind of partnership with 2-star chef Mauro Uliassi. When we came bach home, I asked him if he really knows what is going on on board, and if he really had any kind of involvement in the food on the ship. He denied totally, the only thing he did was to cook for 100 VIP´s when the MS Orchestra was finished. He got very angry with MAS Cruises using his name this way, and he would follow up my story. I complained about the food quality to the CIO of MSC Cruises in Stockholm, mr Clas Tamm, and he did not deny anything about the food being made out of powder. MSC Cruises also tell people about their help to UNICEF. When I asked mr Clas Tamm if it is possible to see the figures, how much money they give to UNICEF, he answered that it was not possible, because those were regarded as "sale figures". MSC Cruises also charges 7 euros per person and day, in our situation that made over 100 euros, about 150 dollars, in service fees, that go to the crew. I cannot understand why passengers should pay for the crews sallary, it should come out from the ticket price. And do not forget the 15% service fee (VAT?) for every thing you bye on board. Nope, no more MSC for us. Never ever again, not even for free. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2008
My wife and I have taken four cruises before the one on MSC Orchestra. We disagree on many things, but on this we agree: Our cruise on the Orchestra was our worst. Here are the reasons. From our first night we had a clogged shower drain. ... Read More
My wife and I have taken four cruises before the one on MSC Orchestra. We disagree on many things, but on this we agree: Our cruise on the Orchestra was our worst. Here are the reasons. From our first night we had a clogged shower drain. We were told we had to be present in our room for someone to fix it and someone would come within five minutes of our call and it shouldn't take very long to fix. The next day after lunch we had some time so we called for a plumber to fix the shower drain. Fifteen minutes after our call the room steward showed up with a standard vacuum cleaner to fix it! He did some vacuuming of the dry shower stall and declared the problem was fixed! He then promptly left so we turned on the shower and the water did not drain. We called the information desk again for a plumber. They said one would be right up. Fifteen minutes later someone showed up at our room with a wheelchair they said that we had ordered. We explained that we ordered a plumber and not a wheelchair! Twenty minutes later a plumber finally showed up and in fifteen minutes fixed the problem. Not correcting this problem for us in a timely manner cost us the opportunity to catch the last shuttle into the city for a visit. Our experience with the tour desk also was problematic. First, we were told that the excursion we had most wanted to take from Marseilles, France, the eight and one-half hour Avignon & Marseilles, was canceled. The reason they gave was a lack of participants, but the real reason we think is that the ships time in port would not allow the longer excursions! They should not show these excursions as being offered (on the internet or at the tour desk) if they cannot or will not let you take them. We purchased three other excursions at the tour desk for different ports and were told that the excursions tickets would be delivered to our room the night before the excursion at the same time the steward deliveries the next days ships pamphlet of activities, which was usually by 9 P.M. It happened this way for the first excursion, but on the night before our other two excursions our tickets were not delivered to our room. We went to the information desk and inquired. We were told the tickets were being delivered to our room. We went back to our room. No tickets! We went back to the information desk and they sent us to the tour desk. The tour desk said the tickets would be delivered to our room. When we went back to our room later, there were no tickets. We went back to the tour desk. They told us they would personally deliver the tickets. The tickets never came! The next morning we went to the excursion meeting lounge and with great difficulty were able to get a tour leaders attention about our problem. They checked their list and verified we had paid for the tour and issued us hand written tickets for that days excursion. That night was the same thing all over again with our tickets for the next days excursion. We called the tour desk and complained. Mariam from the tour desk promised to personally hand deliver the tickets to our room. She never did! We went to the excursion meeting lounge the next morning and again after some difficulty were able to extract hand written tickets for the excursion. So, it seems neither the information desk nor the tour desk knows what customer service is. Nor do they know how to apologize. They do know how to tell you what they think you want to hear to get rid of you, but their promises are worthless! They try to pass it off as "you misunderstood me", but my wife and I were both present and we both heard the same thing. They lie! The life jacket demonstration was a joke. The person demonstrating how to put on the life jacket did not speak very good English and she was not familiar with how to explain the process. She had to keep reading and it made for a disjointed demonstration. Also, the music and talking in the adjacent lounge was so loud it was difficult to hear and concentrate on what she was attempting to explain. Thank goodness that putting on a life jacket is much easier than she made it look! The tour desk requested many passengers passports, ours included, two days before we were to disembark with the reason being the Spanish authorities needed to examine them prior to our disembarkation. After the ship left the Spanish island, Palma De Mallorca, we went to the information desk and requested our passports. They said we had to pick them up in the morning prior to disembarking. The next morning we went to get our passports and the information desk said we had to disembark first and the authorities would give them to us once we had left the ship! Fortunately, we saw one our dinner group with his passport which he said he had just picked up from the information desk. We went back to the information desk and demanded our passports and they were finally given to us. What a disservice to us to "misinform" us about when and where we would get our passports back. I hate to think of the problems we would have had if we had left the ship without our passports and went to customs. We would have missed our flight home to the U.S.A. Also, at the end of the cruise, when we went to the information desk to verify and authorize the charges we had made while on board, we discovered many charges that were not ours. We disputed those charges but the person at the information desk insisted that the charges were ours and demanded that we sign for them. We refused and upon further examination of the bill discovered that the disputed charges, which amounted to more that 400 Euros, belonged to passengers staying in the room next door. The person at the information desk then corrected our bill, but did not offer any sort of an apology. We also wish to make it known that the internet information we were given about what dinner attire would be was not entirely accurate. There was supposed to be three classifications: Formal, Semi-casual (no jeans), and casual. It turned out that there was never any dinner occasion that called for semi formal attire so we had packed far more clothes than needed. So the dinner attire is either formal or casual. No in between! Another issue is that on the Tunis, Africa early morning excursion, that leaves at 7:15A.M., they do not serve breakfast any earlier than normal. Breakfast, as usual, 7:00 A.M. so there is no time to eat prior to the excursion! And be careful of the lunch hamburgers from the cafeteria. They are cooked on the outside but are raw inside! Be careful at dinner if you order a glass of wine. You may get a carafe instead! The entertainment was repetitious. Each night's so called "different " entertainment had many elements of the same type in them. And if was laborious to listen to the pre entertainment introduction in four languages. Just start the show! Forget the introduction. The name tags the employees wear have the names in such small print you must ask for their names. So, in summary, we would not recommend this cruise ship to anyone. We all make mistakes, but according to them, they never did. The prevailing arrogant attitude and unapologetic nature of the information and tour desks made for much unnecessary unpleasantness. This vacation cruise was not the fun get away we had hoped it would be. I hate to be so negative but this cruise line deserves it. Read Less
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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