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8 Cape Town to Trans-Ocean MSC Cruises MSC Sinfonia Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we love sailing and it was a 22 day cruise. We have never done a long cruise before. We had a wonderful to I've and the staff were fantastic. The waiter especially Andy (Philippines) table 566 and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love sailing and it was a 22 day cruise. We have never done a long cruise before. We had a wonderful to I've and the staff were fantastic. The waiter especially Andy (Philippines) table 566 and the other two assigned to us were fantastic. The lectures by Alyson were totally useless in terms of transfers for excursions and general information. And her pricing was completely out. And she was really boring. The entertainment on board was excellent. But PLEASE not FOUR nights of Opera. That is a bit heavy and we didn't attend. More of the singing Siblings would have been wonderful. The female singer with the Sinfonia dancers was AWFUL. Everyone thought she sang in a high pitched yowl. Steven Cloete was FANTASTIC. So funny and very good at everything he did. The cabin 8199 was very good and comfortable. For disembarkation in Venice.....once leaving the ship was horrendous. All the r and r we had had on the ship was wiped out. We were NOT told that there were shuttle buses to the people carrier, and when we disembarked there were no busses in sight. So we couldn't even guess that there may be some form of transport. SO along with several hundred people, many elderly, began our hike with suitcases in 34c heat to the people carrier. It was a nightmare. PLEASE INFORM THE PASSENGERS THAT THERE IS A SHUTTLE BUS in Venice. Don't have the airconditoning on FREEZING. (Many got flu from going from hot exterior to freezing interior) It was a pity you ran out of whisky, wines, and tonic, and many food options towards the end of the cruise. Better planning please. Don't want to see another piece of veal!!! The moment we can afford it we will be on another cruise with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
MSC offered a fly land cruise deal from Australia. We had 2 nights at a game lodge in Kruger National Park, 2 nights at Victoria Falls and 2 nights in Cape Town before joining the ship. The accommodation was excellent - a higher ... Read More
MSC offered a fly land cruise deal from Australia. We had 2 nights at a game lodge in Kruger National Park, 2 nights at Victoria Falls and 2 nights in Cape Town before joining the ship. The accommodation was excellent - a higher standard than I had expected. We boarded the ship in Cape Town for a 21 night cruise along the west coast of Africa to Venice. We had sailed on the Sinfonia previously - before it was cut in half and more cabins added. There was no corresponding expansion to the buffet area or the theatre and these failed to cope at times, even though we were about 900 passengers below capacity. If the ship was full it wouldn't manage at all well. There is no specialty or alternate dining on this ship - either buffet or hamburger/pizza station and the main dining room - at set times. Anytime dining was only available if you had a more expensive cabin class. I found it very frustrating that more often than not the items on the menu did not correspond to what I received. For example: Black Forrest Cherry cake - no cherries and mock (not fresh) cream; steak with peppercorn sauce - just ordinary gravy; blueberry and almond tart - no blueberries and when I asked for some blueberries, just got a very thick, sweet blueberry topping! So many more but that gives an idea. All the crew - various levels - that we interactedwith were great, and the captain really liked to socialise with the passengers and was seen all over the ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises (14 to 24 days), as this is more value for Money especially the Grand Voyages. The ship is a floating Hotel with 5 Star service. The Cabins offers all you need for a holiday including.: A safe, air-conditioning, bathroom with shower, TV and Bar Fridge, as well as Wireless Internet access (for a fee). Dining consist of a Buffet / Self Service restaurant and as well as a main restaurant. We preferred the Self Service Buffet for breakfast and lunch as it is more informal specially during the day when you are most of the time at the pool area. The Main restaurant for Dinner with your friends or the couples that were allocated to your table to recap on the days activities or excursions. Its also nice to dress up for the dinner, specially the Gala Evenings. Our waiter at table 526 by the name of ADI SANTIKA from INDONESIA was very professional and always friendly and helped full and always tried to make us feel at home. The onboard entertainment is of international standard, specially the Sinfonia dancers. Unfortunately we found that the female singer of the group did not fit in. We also enjoyed the activities presented by the entertainment team under the management of the Cruise Staff Manager CSABA PANUCZA at the Pool Deck and various lounges. The presentations by Alyson were at times a bit boring. Her tone of voice is not that of a speaker/presenter and she loses you within 5 Minutes. Steven Cloete and his assistant Alex was FANTASTIC. Zirk and Amanda Lourens Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The heading for this cruise was not listed - it was repositioning from Cape Town to Venice. For me this is another way to get from Australia to the UK to visit my father and sister - much better than just sitting on a long haul flight ... Read More
The heading for this cruise was not listed - it was repositioning from Cape Town to Venice. For me this is another way to get from Australia to the UK to visit my father and sister - much better than just sitting on a long haul flight plus added journeys both ends! I have a friend in Johannesburg so also a chance to visit her plus I've always wanted to visit South Africa. I've cruised with MSC as a solo traveller several times, but this time a friend joined me, having our own cabins. I've not sailed on MSC's smaller ships, although I have cruised on many ships the size of Sinfonia, which I really enjoy. The cruise didn't disappoint me - ports of call were all very interesting and the week at sea was a great resting point where I was able to just do as I like and chill out. A larger proportion of travellers were retired people but there certainly was a mix of ages. I always book an inside cabin as having to theoretically pay for a second person in the cabin with the single supplement, I want the best deal. I only use the cabin to sleep in so don't see the point in paying quite a lot more (for a solo traveller) for a balcony. The cabin I had was quite spacious although the shower could have been larger! It took me a while to find the safe - it's behind the mirror! The outdoor Cafe del Mare on deck 11 was the place we spent a lot of time - ideal to sit and chat, meet others, have a snack, coffee or a meal. Theres a snack bar one side that serves fries, hot dogs etc all day and a pizzeria on the opposite side, both very good and always freshly cooked. The weather was quite variable from moderate, to hot to positively chilly and some days it just wasn't possible to sit outdoors at all. Thankfully there are plenty of indoor areas! I think it's a good idea to take a wide selection of clothes particularly a puffer vest or jacket - something I didn't take! Many travellers were buying the MCS hoodies to keep warm. We had first sitting for dinner in the MDR - the menu was varied and very good. We had the drinks package included with our booking so had bottled water and wine with each meal at no extra cost. We normally had breakfast in the MDR and often had lunch there too as there was always a good choice of food plus no difficulty getting a seat as there often was in the buffet. For the theatre there is an electronic booking system set up in several areas of the ship where you can make reservations for the evening show. Not all shows require you to do this but you do need to check the board daily to find out if it's required. You will also be notified if it's required on the daily sheet delivered to your cabin. Ports of call - We didn't really like Walvis Bay, Namibia - the shore excursions were not very good. I don't really think the township is set up for visitors, and there didn't appear to be very much to see there. Dakar in Senegal was amazing. We did the Bandia Reserve safari tour which was about an hour out of the city. We saw a huge amount of animals - very different to the safari in Pilanesburg we did post cruise. The people are so friendly and the countryside extremely interesting. There were markets set up on the quayside so there was the option to do some shopping if you didn't have time to go into the city itself. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria was interesting - we took the Hop on Hop off bus tour and then walked back to the ship from the Old Town, which was much further than we were told it was. It's well worth going to the Old Town and also you can go to the top of the cathedral for an amazing view over the city. The ship docks right in the centre of town, so it's very handy. Unfortunately the weather didn't allow us to go to Tangier which was very disappointing. The ocean had been quite rough several days prior to our proposed arrival and we had all been keeping our fingers crossed we would get into port. We did however manage to get into Gibraltar and the excursion tickets we had for Tangier were refunded and we re-booked to do the tour of the Rock, city, and St. Michaels Cave which was wonderful. Gibraltar really surprised us! Malta was incredible - unfortunately not enough time there though. It's a place you need to have as a destination, not a day visit. We visited Rabat, Mdina where theres a fabulous glass foundry and Mosta to see the dome in the cathedral there. We had a late departure from Valletta where there was quite an amazing light show over the buildings across from the quay we were berthed at. Dubrovnik I have visited twice previously and I love it there. It was the only day it rained during the cruise but it was quite nice to see the medieval city in the rain. If you haven't visited this port, make sure you do as it's wonderful - walking the wall is a must! If you have time take the cable car to the top of the hill to see the entire walled city. Venice has always been my favourite city - it was my 7th visit. However I no longer want to return as the tourist situation there has got totally out of hand. Venetians have a love hate relationship with tourists - they provide added revenue to help save the city but they also destroy it......... Crossing the equator was a fun day with shellbacks and pollywogs resplendent in their "warpaint". I'm not sure they knew what they had got involved in when they signed up with though. It certainly caused a lot of laughs on one of the hottest days of the cruise. Sinfonia has made her last west coast cruise and will be replaced by MSC Musica in October 2018 I understand. I've cruised on Musica and this ship will also be great to cruise on. We were so impressed with the cruise that we've booked on the last voyage Sinfonia will make from Durban to Venice via the Suez Canal in 2018. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small ... Read More
We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small stuff, things that typically irritate when on a budget type cruise. I had read some pretty poor reviews about the ship before sailing. Our cabin was on 9th deck, ocean view, Fantastica experience (although I honestly couldn't find anything to differentiate it from the Bella experience which is just below on the scale). The cabin was smallish but fine. The bed was comfortable but the bed linen had seen better days, sheets had holes in them, but they were clean. The shower was tiny! And the plastic curtain would cling to you while you showered away. Plenty hot water though. Dubious looking shampoo and shower gel in dispensers in the shower. We opted to use our own products. The cabins and bathrooms were cleaned daily and the cabin assistant was very pleasant and cheerful. (I did lose a pair of diamanté earings that I left on my bedside table but I have no idea who else was in our cabin, i.e.: staff, servicemen or whoever...) basically I blame myself for leaving them out of the safe. My husband became critically ill within the first 3 days on board. We suspected food poisoning, but the MSC doctors would not entertain that diagnosis...the treatment they offered was absolutely useless....at one point I thought I was going to lose my previously perfectly healthy and fit husband! We are both in our mid 50's, healthy and active. Without wanting to bore you with all the details of his illness and misdiagnosis, I will just say that he was critically ill and confined to cabin for 7 days. The doctors had arranged for him to get off the ship at our next port of call which was Senegal, Dakar, to seek treatment there! Fortunately I managed to find a South African medical practioner on board (a passenger) who offered immediate assistance to us on day 6, and we were saved the ordeal of having to go to hospital in Dakar! We are beyond grateful to that kind Doctor and his wife!! Week 2, we began to participate in the cruise and explore all her offerings. Better late then never! the dining room and bar staff offered excellent service, they always managed a smile and were polite and friendly. the food was seriously disappointing...there was lots of it but mostly everything started tasted the same. However, the freshly baked breads in the dining rooms were delicious and we had to ration ourselves to one small slice per meal because it can become very moreish! The dining rooms offered a better quality of food, but that also became very repetitive by week 2. This was not really a big deal for us, we were happy to just have a yogurt and fruit in the mornings, salad and soup for lunch and either having a snack in the buffet or choosing from the set menu in the dining room. There was a pizza station on deck 11 which offered freshly made slices of pizza which was very good. On the same deck, there was a "grill" station, which offered burgers, hotdogs and fries which all tasted like cardboard. The gelato ice cream that one could buy on deck 11 was not worth going back to...once was enough. We had purchased coffee, drinks, water and cocktail vouchers online before we sailed, as well as a wifi and laundry package. These were well worth it. We loved the speciality coffee shop on deck 6 which also served free mini pastries until 11.30am each morning. In fact I mostly skipped breakfast and just visited the coffee shop! We didn't attend a lot of nightly entertainment, but the few classical concerts and operettas we went to were of a very high quality and were excellent. The talks we went to were also excellent and we really enjoyed them. We enjoyed a couple of soaks in the jacuzzi which we always managed to find unoccupied which was great! a few exhilarating swims in the sea water pool when the weather was warm enough and lots of brisk walks around the decks. We visited some picturesque ports, such as Valetta in Malta, Gran Canaria, Dubrovnik and Venice, and some lesser attractive ports aswell, but all our stops where interesting and exciting. We didn't do any ship excursions preferring just to explore on our own by foot, bus or tram. The musicians, solo artists, duos and bands in the pubs and relaxation areas were all very good! Passengers where mostly 55+ age group, I think I only saw about 5 children during my whole time at sea. There was a nice mix of nationalities amongst passengers who as far as I could tell all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely! It was also very nice to have such a large contingent of South Africans aboard, they really are friendly and relaxed, and so many of the crew that I spoke to, said how much they just love the SA passengers! I met lovely people and made friends from all walks of life. Would we go again? Sure, it's very good value in terms of what it costs. But we would make certain to travel with more emergency medical supplies next time and keep a wide berth from the medical center! I have previously cruised on MSC, Costa and Carnival lines. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I was a solo traveller. This cruise was a great opportunity to explore countries I would never get the opportunity to experience. Levels 5 and 6 need to be redesigned. There is not enough room for passengers to sit and relax. I will ... Read More
I was a solo traveller. This cruise was a great opportunity to explore countries I would never get the opportunity to experience. Levels 5 and 6 need to be redesigned. There is not enough room for passengers to sit and relax. I will not sit on the floor. There was some very popular entertainment evenings where it was standing room only or sitting on the floor. I had a balcony cabin but it was so small there was only room for the bed. A small stool was pushed under the dressing table. With so little room it was not possible to sit on it. The dining room food was a disgrace. For example I had ordered a chicken satay entrée. What came was three small cubes of chicken on a skewer. No satay sauce. Some main meals were only entrée size. The entertainment and activities were excellent. Service was also excellent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise due to the fact that the departure port was Cape Town, our home. The route was not port intensive as it was up the West Coast of Africa and involved a lot of sea days. Not a bad thing as it was very relaxing. ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the fact that the departure port was Cape Town, our home. The route was not port intensive as it was up the West Coast of Africa and involved a lot of sea days. Not a bad thing as it was very relaxing. Final destination was Venice - a big plus as we had never been there before. The Pro factor - The entertainment was superb each evening. The best any of us had seen on board a ship. Kudos to Steven Cloete, Tour Director, for selecting such a great variety of talent. And on the many days at sea we had some really interesting talks in the theatre. A further lovely touch was young Stuart Lightbody, a master at card tricks. When not formally on stage he took great delight in just mixing with little groups of passengers and blowing us away with his dexterity and sleight of hand. The Cons. We had a balcony cabin and it was pathetically small. Just a bed in the main cabin area and a work surface for make up with a pull out footstool beneath it. No couch or easy chair on which to sit and even less space due to the fold up bunk bolted in closed position on the wall. Every night at around 2 am they would move furniture around on the deck above us. It would then be moved back again a couple of hours later. Complained several times and the best answer was 'You should have booked the 12th deck'. Very helpful - NOT. As mentioned earlier, the entertainment was of the highest order. The seating in the theatre was totally awful however. Due to increasing the size of the ship the theatre seating was inadequate. To solve this In between the normal rows of seats were rows of stand alone chairs which were higher than the seats. Consequently people in the normal seats had obstructed views. This situation resulted in long queues prior to each show so that folk could rush in and grab the higher seats. Bad, bad, bad. My sister and her husband were on the 7th deck - also in the new section. They had a little box of a cabin with a view obstructed by a very large net. Even worse was the fact that to get to the cabin they had to dodge a large number of concealed potholes in the passageway! Very dangerous as they were hidden beneath carpeting. Dining. We requested being seated at a table for 8 so that we could meet other folk. We were put at a table for 4. Getting moved, or requesting a late or early dining option, was monumental. I felt sorry for the staff as it was not of their making but was obviously due to the enlargement of the vessel without consideration for the comfort of the guests. The food for breakfasts and lunches was fine. The dinners left a lot to be desired. In the main we were offered veal, chicken breasts, non identifiable fish, and ... veal! None of which were particularly appetising. Sorry MSC but you could do better if you paid a bit more for your produce. We bought several wine packages in advance. First night we chose a wine that we really liked. Next night it was out of stock. This was one day out of Cape Town! And so it went on for the next 20 days with each wine list displaying cheaper and cheaper options regardless of the fact that we had paid up in advance for good wine. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The cruise left from beautiful Cape Town - but then I'm biased as I live there. The embarkation process was smooth and quick. The ship has recently been refurbished and it was very clean. The staff were very nice - but were not very ... Read More
The cruise left from beautiful Cape Town - but then I'm biased as I live there. The embarkation process was smooth and quick. The ship has recently been refurbished and it was very clean. The staff were very nice - but were not very well informed about the ports and docking info - which I new more about by surfing the internet before leaving port. The cabin crew and the restaurant crew were very nice and I enjoyed them very much. This was actually a repositioning cruise and therefore we got it for a very cheap price. The evening entertainment on board was excellent. We had purchased drinks packages before sailing so got them at a good price, the same goes with the excursion that we wanted to go on in Urbino, Italy. The only real problem was the food. It was mediocre to say the least. Mostly the same stuff with a different name on the menu. Really not what I expected. Also as this was up the coast of Africa there is a real "dead spot" between Cape Town and Las Palmas where there were only two stops - both of which you can miss without a worry - which lasted for about 10 days. During this time things would have been fine if the weather was good but it was not. I went to Italian lessons, dance classes, gym, many talks (some of which were very good others boring) quiz competitions, reading etc and really tried to pass the time between meals if you know what I mean. If you choose this cruise be aware it is rather boring during this time. You had best go with a group of friends to entertain yourselves. To top it off the entire ship managed to catch the flu which circulated around with coughing and sneezing, that was really awful. After we hit Las Palmas and went onto Tangier things started to get more interesting - then it was beautiful Malta, stunning Dubrovnik and Ancona (Urbino) and finally the majestic entry into Venice which is probably the best thing you can do on a cruise liner. We did not have children - very few traveled with them as it was so long a cruise and I would not recommend taking them. Would I do it again? No not this cruise. Maybe I would consider the trip down the East Coast of Africa - but the food is really what would put me off. On a cruise like this it has to be good as it is the highlight of the day for about 14 days of the cruise!!! Oh I forgot the disembarkation in Venice was a disaster, totally unorganized. They had me running from pillar to post to get hold of my passport as my husband and I are different nationalities. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
MSC Sinfonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 3.6

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