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Sail Date: February 2015
This was the third time that we have sailed with MSC, each time on a different ship and each time with the same verdict. Great. Quite why British reviewers generally slate MSC is beyond me. This is not Royal Caribbean, it is not Cunard, it ... Read More
This was the third time that we have sailed with MSC, each time on a different ship and each time with the same verdict. Great. Quite why British reviewers generally slate MSC is beyond me. This is not Royal Caribbean, it is not Cunard, it is not P and O, it is MSC, it is an Italian Line, it has Italians on it. They are not British, they are Italian, they do not eat a full English. They do not queue. They are loud. They do not drink to excess. They push and shove a bit. BUT they do not wear football strips to dinner or breakfast or in fact at any time unless they are under 10. The Brits manage it though, grown men in football strips and shorts for dinner, classy. They eat good food and they like a few glasses of nice wine and they know how to behave. Enough of the slagging off. To the nitty gritty. After an overnight flight to Dubai on Emirates we were met a DBX by an MSC rep and taken straight to the ship. Arriving at around 1030 we were on board by 1115. People are right when they say you are not shown to your cabin but what is difficult about finding your cabin. First two numbers are the deck and last three are the cabin so 11187 is on deck 11 between 11185 and 11189 simple. Luggage is as per every other line delivered to your cabin, in our case within an hour of boarding. The cabins are perhaps on the small side but are absolutely immaculate and perfectly adequate for two people. Straight to the buffet for some lunch and no real pushing and shoving. It is a line system so is not really ideal when large numbers are there but it works OK. The food is good quality, piping hot and plentiful. If you cannot find something to your taste then you must be the fussiest eater alive. There are even chips all the time at the kids section if you need chips with everything, oh and beans and HP Sauce at breakfast if you can't live without them either. The buffet is now available for all meals and is open from 0630 until 0200, a change brought about by people moaning that you had to use the main restaurants in the evening. That meant you had to be sociable and talk to fellow cruisers and didn't suit some people. We always went to the main dining room for our evening meal. We were allocated first sitting which was at 1830, some days it was a bit of a rush but the other option is 2100 and with meals generally taking a leisurely 2 hours it would mean some bad dreams if you had cheese. We were at a table for 6 and shared with more English speakers, a couple from Scotland, like us, and two ladies from South Africa, although one originally from Scotland as well. We mixed well and had some good laughs and good chat. The food was generally good to better than good. Two gala dinners where they went the extra mile. The Tiramisu gets a better welcome than the Baked Alaska but it's an Italian line so to be expected. There are loads of bars on the ship but as usual we gravitated to the same one every night where we were well looked after by Andrii from The Ukraine. We never had to wait long for a drink and he quickly learnt our favourites. We had paid in the UK for the premium drinks package, about £200 each, but this included everything in the mini bar, everything from room service and everything from the fantastic ice cream parlour. We got our money's worth. We only went on two excursions. One to Yas Marina F1 circuit and one to the Fjords in Oman. I had been to Yas before when the F1 was in town but this trip promised "behind the scenes" and true to their word we got in to race control and on the podium, to an F1 buff like me that was worth the 70 euro cost on its own. The Omani Fjords were simply stunning, we got a 20 euro voucher left in the cabin one night, so the trip cost 55 euros each and was well worth it. We were late in booking and the English speaking trip was full so we went with the Italians and it was good fun, especially watching them freeze in the 80 degree heat and put on jumpers and wooly hats. All in all this was once again a great trip to foreign countries with a foreign ship with predominantly foreign people with foreign food. Just what I want from a foreign holiday. Well Done MSC. 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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