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1 Barcelona to South America Cruise Reviews

I have just read reviews of Splendida in November 2015 - very similar reviews. I do agree, however, that the embarkation in Barcelona left a lot to be desired. It was not organised at all and, unfortunately, no one person appeared to ... Read More
I have just read reviews of Splendida in November 2015 - very similar reviews. I do agree, however, that the embarkation in Barcelona left a lot to be desired. It was not organised at all and, unfortunately, no one person appeared to be in control and knew what was happening. I understand there was a problem with check-in computers and shortage of staff - no excuse MSC MUST get this sorted out. However, our embark time was stated as 3 pm and we were in our cabin at 2.30 pm and the luggage arrived at approx 4pm. Re disembarkation in Rio - everyone was off the ship according to their allotted time - if not before. It is not MSC's fault that Rio are holding the Games this year and have decided to build a railway where the dual-carriageway was once sited. It was hot (Rio does tend to be hot in December!) there were more than enough Porters to assist with baggage handling and the baggage-hall was well organised. Unfortunately, it was chaotic with 2 ships but this is the Port Authorities responsibility and not MSC's fault. We were at our hotel on Copacabana beach at 10.20 am which I think was pretty good! Lack of hygiene - what! The ship was spotless everywhere! Colds - you cannot blame MSC! Babies in nappies - I only saw about 5 children (2 babies) out of 3,500 passengers and I certainly did not see any sitting on tables in 'diapers' in the self service restaurant. Staff rude and arrogant, argumentative - we found them all to be extremely helpful, pleasant, courteous, efficient - as good as any other 4* cruise line. Service - our cabin steward and waiters in the MDR were excellent - nothing was too much trouble - they even arranged a curry meal for us! Bar staff were, again, excellent, efficient, friendly with, perhaps, one exception! Buffet (Bora Bora) did get busy, particularly when we had picked up an additional 600 pax in Salvador. However, we NEVER had a problem finding a table at breakfast or lunch (we headed for the aft and it was never 'crowded or chaotic') and the bar service was not a problem - ever! 1 o'clock for lunch could be busy, however, and occasionally there was a wait of, oh, at least 2/3 minutes when trays of food were replenished. Hot piazza's were flowing all the time however. They certainly did not run out of food! The one side of the buffet did close about 2.45 pm to get ready for tea but certainly not before. Plastic cups and plates - have you been on P&O or Cunard lately? Aggressimo drinks package expensive - GREAT VALUE FOR MONEY! I don't know where you normally drink and what price you pay at home but you cannot say this is expensive. Perhaps you only have 1 or 2 drinks a day in which case don't buy the drinks package. I'm afraid MSC didn't make a profit out of us! Entertainment team worked tirelessly and very hard - not always to everyone's taste but if you don't like, don't go to that event. The entertainment in the bars was excellent, particularly, the 2 Brazilian female singers in the Atrium - brilliant! Did get a bit loud around the pool, but this is typical Italian entertainment - so move to the other quiet pool or another deck. King Neptune's party was brilliant - think that might have put a bit of smile on your face maybe? Theatre shows were not 'London shows' but were still varied and suited most tastes. The dancers were excellent - the one male singer not so good! Flamengo, Paris, Tribute, Italian Shows and the Opera singers were all very enjoyable as was the White Deck Party. By the way, you weren't dragged to the Aft Lounge or Disco if you didn't want to go! Shop stalls - yes outside the shopping arcade - again if you don't want to shop don't go there. As for the dangerous ports - you are visiting Brazil this is a 3rd World country which has many well publicised problems - murders, drugs cartels, theft, muggings - have you read about the Favelas in Brazil - did you do any research before you booked? I don't think so. Have you read about the problems in Europe lately - Paris, Athens, Barcelona, London and anywhere else for that matter. We had a fantastic cruise and this is our third from Europe to South America with MSC and would certainly go again. If you are going on a Mediterranean cruise line you are, strangely enough, going to get 'foreign' food, different culture and sense of humour and entertainment and they are going to talk in a funny language. However, all the crew speak English as their second (if not first language) and English is second on all announcements. The Theatre (or emergencies) are the only occasions when 5 languages are used for announcements. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015

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