We took this cruise because it was closest to home,it was our first with MSC, it was 11 nights, and had a minimum of 6 days at sea (this gives us time to explore the vessel and to relax), unlike shorter cruises where daily disembarkation ... Read More
We took this cruise because it was closest to home,it was our first with MSC, it was 11 nights, and had a minimum of 6 days at sea (this gives us time to explore the vessel and to relax), unlike shorter cruises where daily disembarkation is the order of the day.
The embarkation was a total disaster. We never experienced such a long wait on any of our previous cruises with Costa, P&O, and others. There was no proper manning and directives from the MSC personnel to which queue we should go to.In all we waited for 3 hours and 30 minutes before we got to our cabin.Thank God the disembarkation although not the best, went smoother, and got to our taxi on time (10 am) to connect to our flight which was scheduled for 12:40pm.
The overall appearance of the ship was very satisfactory, pleasant, elegant, well appointed and the interior decor, one of the best we have experienced so far. Warm colors, not overpowering, well balanced with intriguing fixtures and fittings.
Disappointed with the size of our balcony cabin (14001), smaller than all our previous cruises for the same category. Although smaller, yet very warm colors, well appointed and very clean. Roni, our cabin attendant provided an excellent service during the whole cruise. I was also disappointed as an Aurea cabin passenger, not to have had access to the Spa facilities free of charge! This is something to be considered.
Although most unhappy about the 1st (too early) and 2nd seating (too late), we had a wonderful dining experience especially on the "elegant" days where we got pampered with crayfish tails and prawns. Overall food experience was OK, but got an amazing service from our waiter SUPERJANA, professionally mannered, who really took care of us and the other three Eskenazi guests at our dinner table 627
We were not overall impressed with the evening shows. Some better than others (the family of 4, and the South African Comedian), being better than the others.
The sports arena was handled by a disorganized team, in that, I had to personally intervene, to enable us, to have a game of Tennis. We were told, that no one is interested in that kind of activity, by which I responded: How can you have anyone interested when you don't publicize on the bulletin, the time for that particular activity, for which He responded and made an effort to have it printed on the next bulletin. And guess what? many came the following day wanting to play the game. On the day of the event, One of the two posts that support the net had only one bolt holding it instead of 4, and could not secure the net because the pole was leaning badly. The event did not took place, and had to report the matter, which was then rectified for the following day.
What is incomprehensible is that when one day we wanted to try our luck to have a game of tennis early in the morning, the tennis posts which holds the net were removed, and again we were inconvenienced once again.
Also, the interruption of the TV broadcasting programs didn't meet our expectations.
Yes, when you are on a cruise, you can attend to the various activities provided on board, but it's always nice to be in touch with world news, or watch a program when you just want to relax and have a peaceful time in your own cabin.
I can go on with more, but, certain things can happen that shouldn't happen.
However, I would like to throw in some recommendations for the betterment of all, being the passenger or MSC personnel.
-At the buffet: I suggest/recommend MSC to put fairly big posters that states as a slogan: EAT AS MUCH AS YOU WANT BUT DO NOT WASTE ( I was appalled to the wastage/left over of food people leave on their plates) hoping this will bring an awareness to the public to respect food when there are so many people dying of hunger.
-I am an Italian, and although the pizza was of a good quality, I feel the base could have been a bit crispier
-The croissants, appealing to the eye, but not for the taste bud, should also be crispier.
The ones I had, tasted like cardboard
-The juices offered (orange, grapefruit...etc) are the worse I have had in any of my cruises. It is poor in quality, pure chemical liquid and undrinkable + they were not cold at all (rather lukewarm)
I cannot found fault to the rest of my breakfasts experience.
As for the lunch, equally, I cannot find fault to the diversity and quality of food provided
At the sports Arena:
-Assign a dedicated person that will "man" the sports activities effectively and professionally, reducing unhappy and unattended passengers, with stipulated times printed in the daily bulletin for each activity.
At the Spa:
-I am the one who recommended to the Spa manager, to lay/place a non slippery mat between the showers in the men's changing rooms and the seating bench (+/- 3 meters long) and 1 meter wide. And equally the same, between the Jacuzzi spa's bath and the entrance doors that leads to it. If by any mistake, one would slip on those floors, it could lead to very grave injuries on behalf of the passenger that could lead to costly lawsuit. By doing what I suggest, it will at least, provide a better walking facility to your passengers preventing them to slip on a wet floor as it is right now.
The Dining seating configuration:
I recommend that one of the venues, be it l'Oleandro or Belle epoque, provide a freedom seating configuration from 6pm till 9pm. In this way, you are providing a choice to your passengers and the freedom to choose when to eat without being pressurized or pushed.
As stated above, the 1st seating starts too early and the second too late. When you complete your lunch at +/- 1.30pm or thereabout, it's too early to go on the 1st seating with only 4 and half hour or so, gap. By waiting now, for the second seating, you are now eating at +/- 8.45pm, getting too late. The above would resolve this issue as in fact they do at the P&O cruises.
The ship excursion:
I have had on other cruises better tour documented statistically, and more in depth, visiting more ship departments than the one we had on MSC Musica.
The participating organisers, did not have the knowledge to present this tour with more statistical informations right across the whole departments we visited, that includes the executive chef from Cape Town. I would recommend that the presenters have a set scripts with statistics for each department to be visited.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
-In order to decrease the cost of printing daily the bulletin and delivered to our cabins couldn't that be done via the TV at our rooms or better, if you provide freely WiFi facility
to send the bulletin directly to our mobile.
-The kids section on MSC Musica on the upper deck was hardly used. We seldom found anyone over there, parents with their children! That space could be used for something else than a dead end space.
-The Specialty Sushi restaurant, on MSC Musica, could have suited better if it wasa good steak house meeting the South African culinary palate, with good steaks(T bones, sirloin, rump, fillet...etc). I believe strongly that this would have been betterpatronized than the sushi restaurant. Whenever we passed by, it was never full, if onlyhalf, most of the time
Finally, we were very impressed by Sergiu responsible for future cruise reservations,who managed to organize for us, 8 people, our next cruise in December from Dubai under booking no. 31886371 for Thony Cesano and Paola Thompson.
He knows his material well, and was very pleasant and a pleasure to deal with him.
Thank you for taking time in reading, this, I believe, with due concern in the hopethat it will be attended or thought off in order to improve the experience of your futurepassengers in any of your cruises.
Thony Cesano Read Less