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42 Cape Town to Africa Cruise Reviews

We were on board for 36 days and had some really great crew members, but serious issues with many the didn’t have a clue what they were doing and some just plain overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess was the worst I have had in 40 YEARS of ... Read More
We were on board for 36 days and had some really great crew members, but serious issues with many the didn’t have a clue what they were doing and some just plain overwhelmed. Our cabin stewardess was the worst I have had in 40 YEARS of cruising...clearly overwhelmed, everyday her service cart was the last to leave the passageway....where are the supervisiors to help with the proper training and make sure her staff have the tools they need to be successful. At one point it was suggested we keep a regular schedule by getting up in the morning at the same time each day!!!! Beverage service was so bad in the Grand Salon about 1/2 into the cruise they decided to go with premade drinks for the shows so the waiter didn’t have to take all those bothersome drink orders...some evening you had to ask several times for a beverage...Had to ask 2-3 times for a glass of ice, and we had to laugh one night in the MDR I asked for a wafer cookie for my ice cream....it arrived with ice cream on the pointy end, clearing taken from some other order....or previous order!!! Noticed little cheap things like no breadsticks on the table at lunch, at breakfast no little jars of jams, had big containers on the buffet to scoops out of...no hor’dourves at the formal night. If you want honey for your tea you have to scoop!!! In the Seabourn Square the honey was put into the cup, as they don’t have any little jars....guess one needs to bring their own from home....not exactly luxury! The food is for the most part quite good. However we were on 2 segments and the menus were the same for both segments. Ordered room service 2 evening when we were “fooded-out”, club sandwich which I have had in the past and was quite good...it use to be 4 sections this time it was only 2! To the good the nibbles up on deck 10 in the evening are excellent....noticed on some occasions the carpets were not cleaned of crumbs from afternoon tea!!! We did really enjoy our CD Ross Roberts, excellent...and the speakers and entertainment staff were good as well... This itinerary was very interesting but we would not go back to any of the ports except Cape Town and Singapore....if you are not a sun person you will find the the Indian Ocean really hot and humid! My only hope is that Seabourn gets it’s act together as this is the 3rd year the service isn’t what we expect....suggest more rigorous interviews and training on land and more extensive....before you subject paying passengers to amateur hour!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having cruised on larger ships (Cunard & Celebrity), we decided to try a luxury, mid-size ship and booked the Seabourn Sojourn for its 20 night cruise from Cape Town to the Maldives. On the plus side: 1) Our embarkation and ... Read More
Having cruised on larger ships (Cunard & Celebrity), we decided to try a luxury, mid-size ship and booked the Seabourn Sojourn for its 20 night cruise from Cape Town to the Maldives. On the plus side: 1) Our embarkation and disembarkation were managed efficiently. 1) The verandah cabin was a pleasant surprise - spacious with heaps of hanging/drawer space and an enormous modern bathroom. 2) The passenger-contact staff are extremely pleasant and helpful, especially our cabin stewardess and the dining room servers. Guest Relations were responsive to my concerns regarding the ship's patchy, frustrating internet access and often re-instated my lost time. The Cruise Director, Ross, was an energetic activities organiser, comedian and great singer - a real asset. Likewise the F&B Manager, Mario, who handled my complaints regarding several disappointing meals. 3) The entertainment and lectures that we attended were mostly of high quality, although the standard dropped off a bit towards the end of the cruise (the final 5 days at sea). 4) The daytime band, the Trio, were bland and uninspiring - they played mostly "elevator music". A pity the full rock band was not used more during the day and early evenings. The downsides generally relate to deficiencies with the swimming pool and gym (both are too small), inconsistent food quality and the poor management of "destination services" ie ship to shore transport and shore excursions. For example, the excursion to Addo Game Park was a debacle as nearly 20 passengers had to be transported around the park in small mini-vans, rather than the large, open 4WD trucks advertised. Plus the ship's transport from the port to the main town (Fort Dauphin) in Madagascar was irregular, resulting in delays, with no-one from the ship present (initially) on site to co-ordinate arrangements and inform passengers. Also, the ship does not adequately handle 1 to 2 metre ocean swell and, unlike our other cruises. I was sea-sick on a couple of bad weather days. Overall, it is doubtful that paying twice the nightly rate for a Seabourn cruise is justifed vs the larger ships, especially as both internet charges and shore excursions (which are expensive and problematic) are not included. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The 2 day delay resulted in a lot of disorganization and a feeling of being rushed, which wasn't relaxing. Embarking took 5 hours, and was very uncomfortable. Service was good by some, but really rude by others. The fruit juice served ... Read More
The 2 day delay resulted in a lot of disorganization and a feeling of being rushed, which wasn't relaxing. Embarking took 5 hours, and was very uncomfortable. Service was good by some, but really rude by others. The fruit juice served with breakfast was terrible. The coffee wasn't much better. Some meals were good, others were very poor. I didn't appreciate having to pay 15% service fee on everything, even when I fetched my own drinks from the bar. The delay in confirming our new arrival time in Durban meant that we incurred costs to change flight times. We tried to claim for the additional costs, but the claim was not accepted. I think this is very unfair. There is very little management of the Jacuzzis, and they were overcrowded and dominated by certain people for the majority of the time. The queues at reception were always long, resulting in holiday time being wasted in order to sort things out e.g. cruise card not working. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Choose this as a first time cruise to explore other cruises. Thought that four days from Cape Town via Port Elizabeth too Durban would be a great test of the waters so to speak. Ended up frustrated at late departure due to high winds ... Read More
Choose this as a first time cruise to explore other cruises. Thought that four days from Cape Town via Port Elizabeth too Durban would be a great test of the waters so to speak. Ended up frustrated at late departure due to high winds preventing scheduled departure. More annoying was the lack of communication from MSC regarding anticipated departure as well as impact delay would make on arrival as we had already booked a return flight to Cape Town. Instead we had to rely on mixed messages from on board passengers on social media. Even the travel agent did not/could not supply updated information. When we eventually did board two days late there was again insufficient information regarding arrival date and time. MSC eventually let us know on the day that we would disembark at lunch time. This lack of communication resulted in our having delayed our flight unnecessarily as well as extra cost including an overnight stay in a hotel. The boat itself was great and the good as good as expected however this was ruined by very poor service from a waiter at breakfast. When we did get some reimbursement from MSC for the loss of two of the four days trip it worked out at about 20% of what the trip cost and nowhere near 50%! All in all very disappointing and definitely not worth recommending to anyone ever. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise as we are regular cruisers and wanted to take my daughters on it for the experience. Food was ample and tasteful. Beautiful ship,comfortable cabins . Clean We were disappointed about the late departure as ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we are regular cruisers and wanted to take my daughters on it for the experience. Food was ample and tasteful. Beautiful ship,comfortable cabins . Clean We were disappointed about the late departure as this was our only holiday for the year as I am a Nurse and my husband Police Officer. This was the only time we could take off for vacation. My 2 daughters were soooo excited, but due to the delay the excited decreased. We did not want to be reimbursed, we were hoping MSC company would suggest to offer us a another 2 day cruise like from Cape Town to Nowhere to Cape Town maybe next year. We would have enjoyed another trip, but we not sure if we will ever be able to afford one in the future. We would definitely want to go again, but I guess another 2 years of saving will do the trick. Thank you to the Captain and the drivers of the cruise for taking us smoothly and safely to Durban. Also thank you to the crew, waiters and the cleaning of our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose the cruise to relax and have fun.The Dream Team were disappointing. None of the usual fun activities I am accustomed to. The cruise director was boring and the shows were not up to the usual standard that I have experienced on ... Read More
Chose the cruise to relax and have fun.The Dream Team were disappointing. None of the usual fun activities I am accustomed to. The cruise director was boring and the shows were not up to the usual standard that I have experienced on previous cruises. He announced on the first night to not miss "Novelty Quest", well it was conspicuous by it's absence. I was not the only one who found the female singer's voice at the theater to be unpleasant to the ears. The South African staff were not very obliging. When I asked for help when registering my credit card at the machine, she was downright rude to me. Francisco, our table waiter was very efficient and friendly, but felt his stress. The wines we requested from the first night on board were not available, ( found out two days later we could purchase the wine we wanted at one of the bars), the wine steward ( female South African) was hopeless. By the time the wine arrived we had almost finished eating. I can only say that that I have had much better experiences with MSC in the past, but have put it down to the fact that it is a bigger ship with less staff. Still deciding whether I want to take my chances on the Orchestra next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise departing on 20th January as it was advertised in the UK and looked interesting visiting different places in South Africa, along with Namibia and Mozambique. Embarking was the worst we have ever experienced, no ... Read More
We chose this cruise departing on 20th January as it was advertised in the UK and looked interesting visiting different places in South Africa, along with Namibia and Mozambique. Embarking was the worst we have ever experienced, no guidance or help. Cabin 11171 was good and roomy, no issues there! Namibia ended up being the only port of call on the 12 day trip that was there on the correct day and for the advertised time, all the rest of the stops were either shortened dramatically or cancelled, with at times not too much explanation. We ended up floating of Cape Town for 2 days, due to wind, sea swell so could not dock, to us British looked like a lovely calm summers days! Apparently the harbour is not well designed in taking a cruise boat in if slight wind/swell. Overall very disappointed with the experience, due to many things, lack of information, repeat menus, repeat entertainment, buffet reminded me of a school canteen so avoided it, having to change cruise card every 4th day and lots of immigration. Being warned of the $50 visa each for Mozambique would have been good, we did know we had to get one btw. This cruise was never designed for the UK market in my belief but for South Africans who wanted a 4 day eating, drinking jolly. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the unique African itinerary. We have done about 20 other cruises. We are used to sailing with "older" cruisers but this was the first time we felt like we were in a retirement home. This was due ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the unique African itinerary. We have done about 20 other cruises. We are used to sailing with "older" cruisers but this was the first time we felt like we were in a retirement home. This was due to the boring "party" band. Almost everyone on board was in bed by 9pm. Maybe 10pm if you count the uninspiring guest performers shows. Luke's show was an exception, very well done. Niko is a great piano entertainer. The crew were excellent. Food in the Terrace Cafe (buffet) was amazing. This and Waves Grill were the only places we ate. The activities staff did a great job with mini golf, shuffle board, ping pong, trivia and other fun games. The itinerary was nice although we couldn't stop at Kenya for safety concerns. The South African stops are mainly safari starting points and don't offer much else to see. Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Malayasia all proved to be excellent ports of call. We can't wait to go back to Seychelles for an extended trip. Singapore is always a great place to start or end a cruise a deserves a few days stay minimum to experience everything they have to offer. Overall we felt this cruise did not offer the value per dollar that other cruise lines offer. We don't see where our extra money was spent. Plus now that the itinerary is changing there are better and more economical options. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The cruise was an amazing adventure - from the cities of Cape Town, Colombo & Singapore to island countries of Seychelles & Maldives, being able to see 4 of the Big 5 (elephant, African buffalo, rhino, lion & leopard - only one ... Read More
The cruise was an amazing adventure - from the cities of Cape Town, Colombo & Singapore to island countries of Seychelles & Maldives, being able to see 4 of the Big 5 (elephant, African buffalo, rhino, lion & leopard - only one we didn't see was the leopard). Some amazing sights in the various ports - giant turtles of the Seychelles, the submarine ride in the Maldives, Freddy Mercury's birthplace in Zanzibar, the beautiful Buddhist temple in Colombo, among others. Singapore is beautiful. But we traveled over 8000 miles on a ship that was 20 years old & had been refurbished (i.e., changed the colors of the interior) 4 times. It was small & cramped. Internet service was terrible (e.g., no internet service in any of the restaurants or the buffet; logging in all the time, as only one device per cabin could be on at one time). Embarkation was a struggle - we had taken the pre-cruise excursion to Victoria Falls & Chobe National Park (highly recommend this excursion!). However, the trip back from this excursion included 2 air flights (Vic Falls --> Johannesburg --> Cape Town) with a 2-hour layover in Johannesburg to pick up luggage. By the time we got to the ship, it was 9 pm & the crew wasn't ready for us! No food (you can order room service), a struggle to get our luggage to our cabins, and a surprised attitude from the crew. To top it off, most of us had an early morning Cape Town excursion. So, between getting settled in our cramped (~215 sq foot) cabin, the long day of travel, and the time it took to be on-boarded, we didn't get to bed until midnight. UGH! Even though it's a 30-day cruise, pack light!!! The closet space is non-existent, very little space. Laundry was on our level but was constantly busy. The machines took tokens, which were sold out (how does that work?), so toward the end of the cruise, it was a crap-shoot as to whether you can launder your clothes. Also, best to use laundry on port days - everybody used the laundry on sea days. Onboard entertainment was OK; the shows in the evening were ehhh. There were enough activities onboard to keep most people busy. I liked the 4 pm tea service - nice selection of pastries to go with the teas. Food was pretty good. We usually ate at the buffet - it had plenty of variety as well a few standards. Loved the bread selection. The specialty restaurants were good, but had a fixed menu that didn't change over the entire cruise. Service was very good - everyone was nice, considerate and willing to assist you. The shore excursions, with a couple of exceptions, were top-notch. Overall, it was an enjoyable voyage, if only because we got to share with my wife's sisters & brothers-in-law. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise as it meant i did not have to fly home after visiting South Africa. Embarkation was very good in Capetown, Cabin seemed a bit smaller than other lines (balcony). Very impressed with all the seating areas that were ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it meant i did not have to fly home after visiting South Africa. Embarkation was very good in Capetown, Cabin seemed a bit smaller than other lines (balcony). Very impressed with all the seating areas that were available and they were not closed for half the day.for art auctions. Did expect a bigger menu range at the dining room, and did find the gravy on what seemed all the food quite annoying. The waiter did sort this out by the 2nd night and from then on all sauces and gravy were served separately on the side.The dining staff were extremely helpful and were definitely above average as was our cabin steward. The entertainment was very mediocre and there were very few lectures that I bothered to go and see, and evening shows I avoided all together, although my partner did say that there were a couple of performers that were outstanding. I did like the kettle in your state room this was so good if you woke up early and did not want to go to the lido for an early cuppa I always carry my own jar of coffee so only had to ensure that I had some milk in the fridge,only tried one cocktail on this cruise mostly due to the high prices of alcohol, but fruit juices available 24 hours a day. Only did one Cunard tour off the ship in Mauritius, the tour itself was good but the guide was a little confused and instructions were not very clear and for what was involved was quite pricey. Visited the gym on two occasions when could not walk the decks like a lot of ships very limited space for the group classes good range of equipment but very crowded. Did find that a lot of the windows were very grubby, I know its a ship but on a different ship everytime we were in port they would be out cleaning the windows. All in all an interesting cruise and a good way to sample the Cunard experience, but for the price was just an average experience, in some respects Holland America, and other cruise lines I have been on match or in some areas were a better experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Having cruised on MSC numerous times, both locally and internationally this cruise was way below the standard i have come to expect. Embarkation was a nightmare, as people queued outside the terminal with no direction from cruise staff ... Read More
Having cruised on MSC numerous times, both locally and internationally this cruise was way below the standard i have come to expect. Embarkation was a nightmare, as people queued outside the terminal with no direction from cruise staff and pushed and forced their way in terminal once the doors opened, which almost resulted in a stampede as well as a few curse words between passengers. We had also requested the first dinner seating which was confirmed on the cruse ticker=t, however on boarding we had been given a second seating, despite having booked over a year ago and being a Gold MSC voyagers member. Pool deck seems really cluttered and the design and bars on the ship are not the most appealing. On the last night of the cruise i awoke early hours in the morning in a wet bed due to the fire sprinkler leaking directly onto the bed. Cruise was mediocre at best... Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
First time coming to Southern African waters - bigger ship, high expectations. Dissappointed with the overall service, maintenance of ship needs attention. Paper placed between cabin walls an ceiling. Some sort of quick solution. Not sure ... Read More
First time coming to Southern African waters - bigger ship, high expectations. Dissappointed with the overall service, maintenance of ship needs attention. Paper placed between cabin walls an ceiling. Some sort of quick solution. Not sure if it was suppose to reduce a rattling noise. Overall impression of the ship - old and used and send down to make the last bit of money from it. Was suppose to be refitted. Not the case, carpets coming loose on stairs, pulling apart from areas around the lifts, balcony had rusted spots, windows were dirty. Strong smell off tabacco smoke, smoking is allowed in certain public areas but there are no extraction systems te get rid of the smell/extract the smoke. Traveled with MSC before and had a much better experience. Let down by the overall experience. The only positive was the friendlyness of certain staff members. Well not travel with the company in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We traveled on this cruise with another couple but also met some delightful passengers during the trip. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our suite was lovely and spacious (Explorer Suite) but not set up according to our pre cruise requests. ... Read More
We traveled on this cruise with another couple but also met some delightful passengers during the trip. Embarkation was quick and easy. Our suite was lovely and spacious (Explorer Suite) but not set up according to our pre cruise requests. The bar and bedding were totally wrong as they must have mixed us up with another passenger’s requests. This was our second cruise on the Explorer having sailed on her two years previously. Throughout the cruise, our cabin stewards kept our suite in immaculate condition. Always friendly and cheerful. Our butler was okay, always very rushed.Except for bringing us room service for breakfast and canapés at 5 pm, we didn’t see or hear from him (nor did we really need him for anything). Unfortunately, our shipped bags didn’t arrive in time to make the ship’s departure. However, Executive Concierge Jeff offered us free laundry, a small OBC and 25% off of Boutique purchases of clothing and sundries. We very much appreciated that gesture on the part of Regent. (Our Luggage arrived one week later when we docked in Port Elizabeth). Overall, the ship is a delight to behold especially over the holidays with gingerbread decorations and Christmas trees everywhere. I was surprised to see so few children on board during this time. Those who were appeared remarkably well behaved. The fitness center and spa are top notch and spacious. No problems with any services received (except for the exorbitant prices). But, hey, it is vacation. We had several ports cancelled due to weather so destination services were quite busy handling the changes. I have to say they did a great job doing so and always with a smile. We weren’t impressed with the cruise director. You rarely saw her in public spaces except when it called for her presence. She didn’t engage passengers unless she was approached. I thought it odd that when she spoke to an audience pre or post show or other venues, she never made eye contact with the audience. She just focused on the microphone. Maybe I am just spoiled by cruise directors like John Baron who is certainly the exact opposite. Some folks don’t care about CD but I am one who believes he/she sets the tone for the entire cruise. Very disappointing.. And, front desk staff, what can I say...some, not all,were.just awful. I can understand the repetitive nature of the job can be stressful but rudeness is not acceptable at any time. Entertainment was good. An entertaining comedian and magician made for enjoyable evenings. We wondered why Regent provides the same shows such as Revolution and Paradis. We saw the same shows two years ago. And, can we get some classical entertainment? Many passengers spoke of their desire to hear classical music. In fact, we were traveling with an internationally known classical pianist who was willing to give an impromptu presentation in the lounge, etc.but were told by the CD that the dreaded “Corporate’” doesn’t allow. Finally, food and beverage. Sommeliers were excellent and always willing to find something you liked if not pleased with the daily offering. But, wait service was a real problem. I could not believe the inconsistency of service between restaurants and within restaurants. For example, Pacific Rim provided outstanding service and food on the 3 times we dined there. So did Chartreuse. However, Prime 7 provided the absolute worst service at both lunch and dinner (5 times). They were the worst when we sailed two years ago. Sad to see it hasn’t changed. Now, Compass Rose, is where we have the problem as it will depends on who you receive as a waiter. As this was a full cruise one couldn’t always sit in the preferred waiter’s station. I suppose the variation can be expected but we are talking about waiters who had trouble using the IPads when taking orders and claiming that certain menu items weren’t available. The biggest issue and most egregious was how they handled a food allergy issue. (I noted food allergies pre cruise) I am deathly allergic to red wine. I ordered a veal dish (no red wine sauce described on the menu) and when brought to me I asked if the sauce contained red wine. The waiter didn’t know but went to the galley to ask. When he came back I was told “ no red wine is in the sauce..” Great, I proceeded to take several bites and about 5 minutes later the waiter came rushing back to say that the sauce DID have red wine in it. Totally unacceptable. Fortunately, I only ate a small amount but it was enough to make me ill for 24 hours. I was assured that they would not make the same mistake again. The food and beverage manager contacted me the next day to apologize but she was so focused on saying that they didn’t have the allergy in their system versus the fact that the waiter made the error as noted previously by telling me there was no red wine in the sauce. (Thanks to the aforementioned, I did get to visit the medical clinic who provided great care. And, finally, remember the gracious offer of the 25% discount in the boutiques due to delayed luggage. It was supposed to be reflected on my final statement, but it wasn’t. No time on the morning on disembarkation to deal with it so will try Regent corporate. So, all in all, although I have 4 cruises booked on Regent over the next two years, I am going to have to think about sailing with them a little bit more once I am able to reflect on my experience as time passes. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have a preference for smaller ships and choose our holidays based on destinations. Because we have travelled to over 150 countries, a priority for us in choosing a cruise is whether there are any new, relatively unknown destinations on ... Read More
We have a preference for smaller ships and choose our holidays based on destinations. Because we have travelled to over 150 countries, a priority for us in choosing a cruise is whether there are any new, relatively unknown destinations on the itinerary. We chose this particular cruise because it was advertised as an expedition cruise with several new destinations for us. However, we got the impression that the Silver Cloud was having an identity crisis as it felt like it wasn't truly an expedition cruise but more like a classic cruise. Yes, there were expedition staff on board giving lectures but many of the staff were junior and relatively inexperienced. Recommendation: senior lecturers should mentor or offer 'dry runs' for the junior staff to help them develop a cadence and polish to their presentations. The size of the cabins were ideal, except that it felt cramped with the sofa and 2 chairs. Although dress code was advertised as casual on most nights, the majority of people dressed for dinner as if it were a classic style cruise. Entertainment was unexpected, but pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It was our second cruise. This time we took the whole family to share in the wonderful experience. The new cruisers enjoyed every moment, except for the day that we went through the storm and almost everyone was sea sick. The kids had an ... Read More
It was our second cruise. This time we took the whole family to share in the wonderful experience. The new cruisers enjoyed every moment, except for the day that we went through the storm and almost everyone was sea sick. The kids had an absolutely great time at the club and also at the spray park and the swimming pools.The embarkation process could be improved though. Maybe allocate a specific time for embarkation for a specific group of cabins.the current process is very delayed and tiring. By the time you get onto the ship, you have no energy to enjoy what the vessel has to offer. The self-help service for disembarkation on the other hand, is and absolute bonus. The process is quick and completely hassle free,especially if your schedules are tight. We are definitely going again.we are considering doing a longer cruise as we have now done the Cape Town to Durban twice. Time for a new adventure with MSC Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Standing in queue for 2 and a half hours at Cape Town totally and utterly ridiculous. Hot sun, weaving here/weaving there - caused headaches - small wee bit of orange juice for, I don't know if it was for welcome or standing in sun ... Read More
Standing in queue for 2 and a half hours at Cape Town totally and utterly ridiculous. Hot sun, weaving here/weaving there - caused headaches - small wee bit of orange juice for, I don't know if it was for welcome or standing in sun all afternoon. System for embarkation disgusting. Durban clued up putting you into colour system. Worked efficiently/quickly. Although we had cabin with partial view with lifeboats in front of you - I suppose you could call it needing a bed to sleep on was important! Toilets on boat always smelly. Some staff don't understand. Captain could have introduced himself on last evening at final show. Captain could have announced 20 minutes before/after time coming/going so people could take sea sickness tablets in case and also for passengers to take in view. Cape Town must have been beautiful, unfortunately two tugs next to us and wolla we were moving out - without Captain announcing we're on our way Was he nervous or something?. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Embarkation chaos. Took more than 4 hours to get on board. When on board, after 2 checkpoints, you were lost. Nobody gave information what to do next. Had to ask random staff working at kiddies check in counter to found out that you ... Read More
Embarkation chaos. Took more than 4 hours to get on board. When on board, after 2 checkpoints, you were lost. Nobody gave information what to do next. Had to ask random staff working at kiddies check in counter to found out that you must go to your cabin, get your cruise card. I cannot imagine how lost a first timer must be or feel. Dining a joke. We were three pax, but were allocated a table for two. They had to shift in an extra chair in a small space. Food is average and not the same as it use to be a few years ago. At the buffet, the serving dishes were not monitor by staff to keep it full. To get a seat was a nightmare. Tables were not cleared and cleaned regularly. People were not directed to a seating, so you find 2 people sitting at a table of 8 pax. People were not leaving after finishing eating and use the buffet area to chill out. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
The embarkment process was a nightmare. There was no information to passengers waiting to embark and then the priority pass people were mixed with the regular pass people - so what was the difference in priority people paying more? Rip ... Read More
The embarkment process was a nightmare. There was no information to passengers waiting to embark and then the priority pass people were mixed with the regular pass people - so what was the difference in priority people paying more? Rip off if you ask me. Besides the delay which was due to the weather and not the fault of MSC, I found the bar attendants and room cleaners to be abrupt (some bartenders were actually very rude) and not as friendly as my previous trip a few years ago. The quality of the cocktails (not all the bartenders knew how to mix cocktail correctly and between four ladies, we had 6 full books of 18 drinks each, which was a waste) were also very poor! The food was cheaply made and of average quality. MSC's Cape Town quality has dropped considerably since my previous trip. I must say that the reception area was quite helpful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose this cruise as my wife and i have never been on a cruise before. It all started going wrong when we arrived for embarkation where we had to wait inline for 3 plus hours. There is no shelter from the sun and for those that cannot ... Read More
I chose this cruise as my wife and i have never been on a cruise before. It all started going wrong when we arrived for embarkation where we had to wait inline for 3 plus hours. There is no shelter from the sun and for those that cannot stand long no chairs or seating. We get to the boarding gate and there we stand waiting to board in a room that has no air-con and it was hot. I am sure that MSC cruises having been doing this for a long time now would have had an action plan in place or something. Having to wait 30 hours before leaving port was a disaster, no blame to MSC. The cruise itself was nice i enjoyed the atmosphere on board,pity my wife was seasick. The cabins are nice except for the shower which was a little bit on the small side. The entertainment was exellent and the service from everybody was really good. Disembarkation was well thought out and very well executed. Yes i would go on another cruise but my wife will not. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
did not wish to be aboard a "Love Jazz Cruise" run by a radio station I do not listen to ever!!!The crowd attracted at discount rates (of which I was not made aware) were rude,crude and not worthy of this beautiful ship -they ... Read More
did not wish to be aboard a "Love Jazz Cruise" run by a radio station I do not listen to ever!!!The crowd attracted at discount rates (of which I was not made aware) were rude,crude and not worthy of this beautiful ship -they simply did not know how to appreciate the offering!! Please avoid using this Radio Station ever - this cruise has made us vow never to return to MSC again, sadly indeed. Only one (1) of the 4 nights was enjoyed in the restaurant. that night the food and service was superb-what we expect from MSC. The other nights are best forgotten.The breakfast offering followed the very same pattern- lovely for one morning,awful for thhe rest. We enjoyed the entertainment in the Pubs and Lounges but not always n the SINFONIA lounge where the last night(Thursday) was loud and raucous-unbecoming of a ship of this class!! Because the ship was crowded, the public restrooms suffered poor hygiene and cleanliness - which was often unpleasant. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I chose this trip primarily for my kids as they have not been on a cruise before. It was a bit disappointing as they didn't enjoy the kids club as much as I'd hope. Whenever we popped in to the respective rooms, it was ... Read More
I chose this trip primarily for my kids as they have not been on a cruise before. It was a bit disappointing as they didn't enjoy the kids club as much as I'd hope. Whenever we popped in to the respective rooms, it was unoccupied and the entertainment areas didn't offer that much. The cabin was comfortable however because there is back to back embarking/disembarkation happening hence, the cabin wasn't cleaned properly. The toilet reeked of urine. Thoroughly enjoyed the adult entertainment/musicians but find that the ship was too full and that became unpleasant in that service was mediocre. The dining was great, really enjoyed the waters from Indonesia, very pleasant.There should be a better way to embark as standing in a long q for hours is most frustrating, especially in the heat. I enjoyed my first MSC Symphony cruise to Portuguese islands so much more than this one. There were too many people and it has kinda lost it's "exclusivity". I would definitely not consider a local cruise, perhaps a further destination sometime .. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, ... Read More
By comparison with 4.5 company such as Oceania and 4 star cruise company such as Princess or Holland, we do not consider silversea as a 5 Star cruising for the following reasons; - at least 50% of the staff are not easy to approach, they are not smiling and it looks like we disturb them - the butler of our room was not proactive and the few request we made got poor reception - a lot of small details were not addressed properly: the public restrooms around the pool were dirty and hand soap as well as hand towels were missing, around 3 o’clock in the afternoon no towels were available around the pool, some of the cushion of chairs around nd the pool were dirty - the quality of food at the restaurant on deck4 was inconsistent at lunch as well as dinner time; it was very far from the quality of the meals served by Oceania and even by Princess - except for the speciality restaurant such as the Italian and the French relais&châteaux restaurant ( but we have to pay an additional 60$us for this one) where the meal were very tasty, the other restaurants meals suffer lack of nice presentation and or lack of flavors especially the fish and sea food plates that tasted barely nothing - unlike all other cruise lines that we experimented, there was no special of the day breakfast offered at breakfast time: the breakfast menu was always the same and was identical at the in room service Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I have cruised often as a solo traveller but this is the first cruise line, in my experience, that completely ignores the needs of those travelling alone. A welcome cocktail party, afternoon tea party or coffee morning to bring solos ... Read More
I have cruised often as a solo traveller but this is the first cruise line, in my experience, that completely ignores the needs of those travelling alone. A welcome cocktail party, afternoon tea party or coffee morning to bring solos together would be so simple to organise but there was nothing. The new open-seating concept in the main dining room works against solo travellers. Finding dining companions is a lottery every night. And crew are impatient. On my first night on board I wanted to dine at 8pm and, upon arrival, asked to be seated at a large table with other solos. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I should have eaten at 6.30pm as a table of singles had been available then. Refusing to be intimidated into eating alone, I told the Maitre d’ I would sit to one side and await the arrival of others and, sure enough, there were soon enough solos to fill a table but we shouldn’t have to battle 'solos discrimination' for that to happen. The speciality restaurants on board offered three evenings when solos could sit on a table together - one at 6.00pm, one at 6.30pm and one at 8.30pm. When I tried to book these a few days into the cruise, the Maitre d’ there told me I could not be fitted in and should have booked immediately upon boarding. So, 190 solo travellers on board (this number told to me by Crystal themselves) for 17 days and the solo speciality dining provision was just 3 tables for eight spread over the whole period. In fairness, I did eventually manage to eat in the speciality restaurants but why does everything have to be a battle? Is Crystal trying to tell us solos something? Another evening a fellow solo braved the Brazilian restaurant on her own and left almost in tears. She was, quite simply, ignored throughout the meal while surrounding tables were well served. She said she had never been made to feel invisible in her life before. Some of the staff and crew are a delight but there is a problem with those who fail to respect single female travellers. We have paid over the top 'single person supplements' yet we receive inferior service that occasionally verges on the offensive. ILLNESS ON BOARD I knew I was going to be ill the first time I walked the promenade deck on Christmas Eve. The air extract for the whole ship is sited on that deck (as told to me by the Front Desk) and, as I passed the outlet vents that first day, I was astounded by the sour stench being emitted. Comparing notes with other walkers later, they also smelled the foul air and told me they'd held their breath at that point on each circuit! Sure enough I picked up something evil confining me to bed with aches, pains and flu like symptoms. Nearly two weeks later I was still feeling drained with a hacking cough and chest and back pain. I tried to report my suspicions of the source of my illness and was told Crystal check the 'air conditioning' daily. Whether that includes the emissions direct to a passenger deck I was not told. I asked to see the results for the days I walked that deck but my request was denied. I was told data is not released. My request for contact details for the shore-based person who is responsible was also denied. One of the staff on the front desk felt obliged to shout over me during a long conversation when she repeated herself endlessly and continually quoted ‘Crystal Policy' as the reason she would give me no means to escalate my complaint. She wanted to keep my complaint ship-based and offered me customer services. Is that Crystal policy so that onboard problems and issues remain 'contained' and shore-based management don't get to see there's been a problem? Is there a duty log? Was my complaint even logged? If I were CEO Tom Wolber I'd put in place a method by which complaints CAN be escalated. How else will he know what is going on if he only ever receives a sanitised/edited version of events? And why is he trying to hide from the day to day reality of passengers' experiences? Incidentally, later in the cruise that foul stench had gone convincing me even more that there had been an emission problem. FOOD SAFETY A minor point but it could bring someone down with food poisoning. I refer to refilling from the front! I noticed that crew were refilling foodstuffs as they were taken so fresh produce was used to fill gaps made by passengers at the front of displays. Products to the rear were left to fester and come up to room temperature (to be taken away and chilled again?). This is poor food hygiene practice and makes one wonder what goes on behind the scenes. CHAMPAGNE This is supposed to be 6-star, all-inclusive cruising but this ship ran out of champagne almost a week before the end of the cruise! And even though we were in port for three consecutive days during that period, none was taken on board. The reason given for them running out? 'New Year's Eve!' Yes, it must have come as a total shock to Crystal that New Year's Eve has occurred during this cruise!!! Occasionally, if I spoke to the right person, a glass of champagne could be found for me but I'd have to try all the bars AND the theatre and it really was a case of pot luck. One day, miraculously, a bottle was found and offered to me to have in my cabin. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, what use is that to a sociable solo who wants to meet others over a glass of champagne at the bar? Am I to carry my own bottle around with me? 6-star? I don't think so! OK, I've got all that off my chest now and I'd hate anyone reading this to assume all was bad. It wasn't. My bed and the quality of pillows and bed linen, the food in general, the entertainment and the majority of warm and wonderful crew are all pluses. Crystal are getting a lot right but where they’re getting it wrong impacts so negatively on the whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This cruise, Symphony/ So Africa was a bucket list add on to a remarkable safari experience..As the title says the jury is still out.. Pros; beautiful ship, great staff, super spa, casino that was fun but only successful for the casino ... Read More
This cruise, Symphony/ So Africa was a bucket list add on to a remarkable safari experience..As the title says the jury is still out.. Pros; beautiful ship, great staff, super spa, casino that was fun but only successful for the casino owners HAHA. Awesome food. awesome venues for food and drink. Clergy aboard (a plus) Great evening enterainment, Good music. Several tours very good ie: 4x4 adventure in Walwis Bay. ***Now the cons--- The first night the toilet in 5024 developed an airlock. Overflowed all night and I stepped into ankle deep cold toilet water (clean???) in the am. Fortunately I was able to grab the counter and stop my fall. This overflow was corrected within the hour BUT no one called, messaged or knocked on my door to show any concern for the inconvenience.. Very poor customer relations! The activities that were available, knitting,, needlepoint, bridge were certainly not exciting Exercises and yoga were too early for me.. Gymn was usually pretty full. . Computer classes were of such a broad spectrum of ability that after feeling out of place for a couple I left. The staterooms at the edge of the Crystal reception area were very noisy, could use a door to separate Concierge desk out of earshot. Running out of champagne was inexcusable especially while So Africa has an acceptable bubbly right there. "Gentlemen Ambassadors" are a great idea but personalities should be vetted a little bit. One dinner at the solo table was enough (good dancers they might be). No solo events were provided not even a meet and greet venue. There were quite a few solos on board (poor cousins?) The ports of call were somewhat lacking in interest unless you were lined up for a tour and even then some complaints were heard. Shuttle services "into town" were disgusting as we were dropped off at substandard malls. Not even interesting malls and who wants to pay $$$ to be on a cruise that thinks a trip to a mall is appropriate.. In all it was a new experience for which I am grateful. I will cruise again and as often as my age (87) and physical condition will let me. Crystal? Maybe another try who knows but the cruise planners should do a little more planning and look a little more into their ports of call in this particular geographic area if the ships go that way again.. I see I am not alone in my comments re: solo travels Pay attention Crystal folks..Your prestigist position may diminish rapidly if cruisers note the negative comments that are on this board.. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I judge this cruise against my previous Crystal Serenity trip, a few years back. The old ship felt old despite the recent expensive makeover/dry dock. At times I thought there was an odd vibration even on deck 8 fwd. For sure when ... Read More
I judge this cruise against my previous Crystal Serenity trip, a few years back. The old ship felt old despite the recent expensive makeover/dry dock. At times I thought there was an odd vibration even on deck 8 fwd. For sure when you eat at the back of the ship on deck 11 you are likely in for movement. Staff seemed spoiled by Crystal but not the passengers. The food spend seemed way down. The Waterside (MDR) is now very attractive and perhaps over staffed, yet in 16 days I never got a decent dessert. Old "A Tour of the Galley" notes tell of 8 pastry cooks, well I never saw a decent bit of cake. Restaurants close earlier than some want so returning to the ship after paying plenty for a tour, all you could do may be join the crowd at the cramped Bistro, (popular with staff meetings from the Captain down) unfortunately this area needs redesign. Uncomfortable chairs, poor snack selection.Prego and Umi Uma also look tired now. As for our little cabin, no flower, fruit, champers, gifts, nor chocolates on boarding. We did get a single bloom twice in 16 days! The very next hotel I visited gave us all that. The tender boat ride was well done, these being large tenders. The entertainment was well put together, the Crystal dancer's and Band being excellent. Some of the bar crooners were not so good. In the bars service was shall we say tired, I tried to explain how a British champagne cocktail would go together but they were not interested. Afternoon tea was poorly served and one common tea bag was out of stock. The ship feels old and the experience has gone backwards. No matter how smart the decor nor how many staff I did not feel value and wont be returning. The new cabin TV's are huge at the foot of the bed. Plenty of movies and lectures can be viewed, but it serves no other purpose, still no menus, bill nor room service ordering. Using the old phone to room service often joined a long cue and delivery and food was poor. Despite a number of LBGT passengers at no time did Crystal welcome us with any get together. Despite the fact the award at the Crystal Society "party" for most cruises with Crystal went to a Gay couple. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017

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