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Sail Date: March 2015
We have just completed o trip on MSC Orchestra from Dubai U.A.E to Fremantle. Trip was planned for 18 months with great anticipation. For the record we (my wife and I, both Australians) have traveled on a number of cruises with a variety ... Read More
We have just completed o trip on MSC Orchestra from Dubai U.A.E to Fremantle. Trip was planned for 18 months with great anticipation. For the record we (my wife and I, both Australians) have traveled on a number of cruises with a variety of cruise companies over the years, so have some basic expectations. We are very disappointed with this MSC group. The good points:- - They keep the ship in pristine condition sometimes to the customers detriment The shows are generally very good The Balinese staff are great, friendly and helpful. The not so good, (in fact bad parts) The security staff are quite rude when leaving or returning to the ship. Never a smile, grab your pass, don't assist elderly passengers unless challenged You receive scant information about port facilities as MSC obviously only want you to use their expensive tours. If you ask "is there a shuttle bus to town? Is there a map so we can understand where we will be? They don't know and don't bother to find out. They are simply not interested. For example We are arriving in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) we will apparently anchor a mile out to sea and catch a "Tender" to shore. We asked how far are we from Cairns? "About 18 kilometres and a A$40 taxi fare one way" have shuttle buses been arranged by the Ship? No, was the reply. That's it, no interest at all. Apparently our next port Brisbane is much worse, again we anchor out to sea and is about 35 kilometres from the city. The taxi will cost around A$80.00 round trip! After many requests, buses will be now provided at 29€ each = A$45 return. Water (this is no joke) available in one place for free, although you are not supposed to fill containers. You have to pay for bottled water even in the dining room and the gym! This is simply outrageous. The coffee and tea are undrinkable. We brought our own tea bags but the milk is long life and has a dreadful after taste. I am dying to get off and have a decent cuppa. Not much to ask! No coffee or tea are served at lunch or dinner, unless you pay. Food, bland at best, I've never been on a cruise where I've actually lost weight! There is one open deck (seven) you can use for walking exercises and it's the only ship I've been on where you can't sit on a deck chair because on this so called cruise ship they are not supplied on this deck. Oh you can sit by the pool if you can find space and can put up with the hideous noise they call music and the generous waft of cigarette smoke. So much for fresh sea air. No washing facilities at all, you have to use there overpriced laundry service I could keep going, but you get the idea. We had planned another trip next year with this group but have decided "there's no way" By the way it's not just us complaining a lot of other Aussies on board feel the same way. Rating One to Ten - four (possibly a bit generous) Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
My wife and I were extremely disappointed with this cruise. Whilst the staff were excellent in most departments the same can't be said about the Chef's in the main dining area. The food was a disgrace,raw chicken,fish full of ... Read More
My wife and I were extremely disappointed with this cruise. Whilst the staff were excellent in most departments the same can't be said about the Chef's in the main dining area. The food was a disgrace,raw chicken,fish full of bones,raw sausages,foreign body in food etc. Our complaints fell on deaf ears.There were 126 complaints at the 1st sitting one evening,our table walked out and ate at the buffet for the rest of the cruise. water was not provided at dinner and had to be purchased. hand sanitation was not policed and it was not a surprise that most of the passengers and staff were ill by the time we reached fremantle. The entertainment staff worked tirelessly but was very disappointing to hear that the gratuities paid by the passengers was NOT shared amongst the staff.The activities were varied and enjoyable,the service was good, but lack of information and highly inflated prices for shore excursions was disappointing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Dubai to Fremantle, VIA Asia and Australia east and southern coast. Total mess up from day 1 every day came new challenge, dining rooms like local food hall, noisy crowded, no organisation or class at all, eventually settled for buffet ... Read More
Dubai to Fremantle, VIA Asia and Australia east and southern coast. Total mess up from day 1 every day came new challenge, dining rooms like local food hall, noisy crowded, no organisation or class at all, eventually settled for buffet upstairs where chef and staff were a vast improvement. Nightly shows, all intros in 6 languages, the boring all the same no variety, people standing in from filming and videoing , passengers seated all through theatre taking photos or videoing with phones and ipads held high, all after announcements the no photographs or filming allowed, just a joke. Embarking for daily outings at ports was worst seen in 7 cruises, just organised chaos with huge long lines, same deal with lining up to have passport checked for one country, some passengers lined up for 3 hours, others left and came back 4 - 5 hours later and still waited Management staff were nigh on useless and astounding to be holding these positions, desk staff not a lot more helpful. Even planned a special Australian concert on board when docked in Sydney, advertised widely throughout the ship only to find out when attending all main areas cordoned off for visitors, no passengers allowed, visitors were all travel agents, continuously served food and drinks, passengers were served nothing The ship itself was really great layout etc, just senior crew were worst ever come across. Cabin staff and waiters excellent but had no influence to make anything better. Never heard from senior staff unless performing on stage, not even sure if captain on board, only heard excuses, the most common was "we have not been to Australian waters before and are learning" This voyage was planned for several years and was connected to a return to Europe for the Australian Anzacs, my thoughts are they had several years to learn and did nothing. Think long and hard before booking MSC Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
What a disappointment. My partner and I had been looking forward to this trip with great anticipation for over a year, leaving from Dubai to Fremantle. Food was mediocre and never hot, especially in the cafeteria. The layout of the ... Read More
What a disappointment. My partner and I had been looking forward to this trip with great anticipation for over a year, leaving from Dubai to Fremantle. Food was mediocre and never hot, especially in the cafeteria. The layout of the cafeteria was not well planned. In the dining room the staff were great but the food again was mediocre. Even a simple dish like a Nasi Goreng was a disaster. Steaks were like shoe leather. Entertainment was very limited and most things were done around the pool after 10.30 at night. Nothing much to do during the day except read a book or go to a quiz which was run by youngsters and only good for teenagers. Water had to be bought at the table unless you wanted to leave the 5th deck and go to the 13th deck in the middle of your dinner to get a drink of water. The shop charged exorbitant prices for simple things like a pack of cards for around $10. A lot of passengers were sick with a flu like symptoms and the doctor charged 80 euros for a visit, plus medication. We have cruised 10 times and I have never met such rude people in the Customer Service. Never a smile. The ship is kept in pristine conditions, the staff are working day and night to clean, even vacuuming at 10 o'clock at night. Never saw the Captain once. Every announcement made in 4 languages which was very irritating. Embarkation/disembarkation was very efficient. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
My wife and I have just returned from our first cruise with MSC,please do not listen to all the complaints that are listed.Go with an open mind you will be pleasantly surprised. We arrived early morning in Dubai 7-30 ,usual queues taking ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from our first cruise with MSC,please do not listen to all the complaints that are listed.Go with an open mind you will be pleasantly surprised. We arrived early morning in Dubai 7-30 ,usual queues taking you through.once you get past this its plain sailing,until you get to the port the queue again.Boarded ship about 10 -45 thought we would check to see if our cabin was ready ,it was we changed, went to Buffett for lunch ,returned to cabin and luggage sitting at the door no problems.Some people complain no one shows you to your cabin it's not rocket science we were in room 10011 deck 10 room 011. We used Buffett for breakfast and lunch Borghese for evening meal table service could not complain about food .four starters ,five main.four sweet,if you can't find anything what do you eat at home.Some people like to complain. Staff can not do enough for you,I always find if you are pleasant to people they are pleasant to you Entertainment was excellent bit different to what we are used to but give it a go. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Well.......where do I start? Let me start with the positives..... The chamber maid was a delight, my room was always immaculate and I was greeted with a smile and a hello... always. The gym, good equipment and I enjoyed my daily ... Read More
Well.......where do I start? Let me start with the positives..... The chamber maid was a delight, my room was always immaculate and I was greeted with a smile and a hello... always. The gym, good equipment and I enjoyed my daily workouts. The food.... simple but a good choice and healthy options were available most of the time, but I was sick of the majority if tasty looking food containing pork. If you are muslim and only eat halal this is not the cruise for you and the drinks were very over priced! Service.... the waiters were miserable, in fact on one occasion we were made to feel soo unwelcome that we almost left the restaurant. the people working in the shops were lovely and very friendly. The waiters and head waiter mostly the italians need customer service skill training and desperately!!!! One of the ports we visited was a waste of time such as Khor Fakkan and at one of the others you need to book an excursion otherwise there is nothing to do. Muscat, dubai, and abu dabi... brilliant! I always recommend cruises but unfortunately I can not recommend this one, I was very disappointed and to date can only recommend P&O princess cruises. Do NOT waste your money just pay a little more and go with a more reputable company. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
Didnt get off to a great start at Dubai Airport. Total lack of organisation. Had to wait for ages for coaches to arrive and then mad panic. People ramming each other with cases . No allocated coaches just a mad dash. Worst thing about MSC ... Read More
Didnt get off to a great start at Dubai Airport. Total lack of organisation. Had to wait for ages for coaches to arrive and then mad panic. People ramming each other with cases . No allocated coaches just a mad dash. Worst thing about MSC Orchestra is the food. I have been on several cruise lines and I can say that most of the time you wouldnt feed it to your dog. Odd occasion we had a reasonable meal but mostly sub-standard Best thing : Embarkation and disembarkation. Probably the best Ive been on. So easy and hassle free Cabins ok but a bit small Staff: Mostly friendly apart from the Italian women who works as a Cashier in the Casino. It was if I was doing her a favour. Entertainment. Pretty much non existent. Decor - Quite nice and clean. Summary: For me to go on MSC again there would have to be an exceptional cheap deal and I would take some bag of crisps / chips with me.   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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