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33 Middle East Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We chose the cruise as we were celebrating our birthday. The embarkation process went seamlessly; we were shepherded from airport to ship with no problems. There was some waiting for our rooms to become available once on the ship, however, ... Read More
We chose the cruise as we were celebrating our birthday. The embarkation process went seamlessly; we were shepherded from airport to ship with no problems. There was some waiting for our rooms to become available once on the ship, however, we were roomed before the advertised at 2 pm. Suitcases also arrived in good time. We were kept well-informed re. activities and entertainment onboard through daily newsletters. Many of these, was not to our liking, but that didn't take away from the efforts being made to keep a diverse group of people entertained. I was impressed by the entertainment team's energy throughout the cruise. They made a real effort to put a smile on people's faces. There was a choice of dining style, formal and informal. Must say that I was disappointed to find passengers disregarding the dress code. There were people in hoodies and casual shorts when the night called for more formal attire; this I felt was worn out of a sense of arrogance for the dress code and those who had "made the effort". Hats off to the staff in the formal dining area, they kept their composure in the face of some cringe-worthy attitudes from dinners; e.g complaining about the quality of wine/food. it's my guess that this was just posturing meant to impress onlookers as to their sophistication and expensive taste - it had the opposite effect. The reception staff was super helpful. Even when I was being particularly dim about my wifi login I found them patient and courteous. As to be expected there was a certain amount of onboard sales, we were able to purchase some beet headphones for less than half price tax-free. The nightly theatre shows were a mix, some did not appeal to us but again I did appreciate the effort put into productions especially The Alchemist. The one disappointment for me was the general rudeness of some of the passengers. This happened too often to be a coincidence. In our experience, it was mainly the older Italian passengers who ignored you pushed pass in the corridors and spoke at the top of their voices with no regard for others around them. With regards to the excursions, we used a mixture of the hop on hop off bus and found a brilliant taxi guide in Doha that allowed us to experience memories we will treasure. We would travel with MSC again, next time we would be better prepared for the cruise bores Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
There was a suggestion to buy this [articular cruise and I liked the list of cities to visit, so I bought it. In overall, I enjoyed the cruise! There was a pleasant surprise - I got a cabin with a window! Cabin was always clean; it was ... Read More
There was a suggestion to buy this [articular cruise and I liked the list of cities to visit, so I bought it. In overall, I enjoyed the cruise! There was a pleasant surprise - I got a cabin with a window! Cabin was always clean; it was tidied up twice a day. I read some complains about embarkation and disembarkation. My experience was different. Logistics was very good. We embarked with no problem (and disembarked), were provided with kind recommendations and attendance. Suitcases were taken directly to the cabin. Cabin was prepared earlier than expected. Yes, it is not big, but enough to have a rest and sleep at night. Even pillows were of different types (soft and "hard") to satisfy different habits. Every day there was a detailed program in English and Russian (may be in other languages too, do not now). All anouncement were in different languages as a sign of respect to passeners from different countries... Every day shows were good and very good (according to taste?). A lot of dancers, some singers and acrobats. Costumes are very bright and attractive. There were two shows a day, which was very convenient as there were two seating (dinner) at 6.30 and I guess at 9 PM. Selection of food was excellent, contained various cheese, sausages, eggs cooked in different ways, bacon, fruits, etc. Coffee and tea – as much as you wish for breakfast. I like fish and seafood and I got it: in the morning and in the evening!! Service (we mainly eat in La Bussola) was very good and pleasant; the atmosphere in La Bussola restaurant was intimate and sophisticated, the service attentive and discreet. Logistics was also excellent. The second place we had snack is on deck 11. There is an open veranda (do not remember the name- sorry for that). More democratic and people felt very relaxed over there. Those, who like desserts – it was just fantastic on the ship! You can have meal and/or snack almost the whole day…. Alcohol, beverages, cocktails. It is very expensive on board. The packages provided were unacceptable for us. “All inclusive” is 29 euro per day and you have to buy it for 11 days, full stop. Other options (beverages) were not exciting either. As for water, coffee and tea you had to pay for it during lunch and dinner. Another option – to go to deck 11 after meal. Public areas were immaculate clean. Pleasant atmosphere. Dimmed light, music…. I enjoyed it. Countries we visited: UAE, Oman, and Qatar. Excursions are quite expensive. Round 70 euro/ person – a city tour. We have taken it only in Abu Dhabi. Not really exciting. However, in Emirates and Qatar there was a choice – to go sightseeing by yourself by taxi, which is also expensive. In Qatar there were free shuttle busses to take passengers from the port to the city. Excellent idea! I Oman I felt very frustrated as we were charged 5 euro per person to get to the centre of the city, round 7-8 min drive. The bus did not even stop at the castle, which is the only one attraction in the capital (apart from the sea)! I considered it to be waist of 10 euro and time. Must be said about security. Well done. Every time you leave and return to the ship you have to go through security and that is makes you feel safe. Security officers were always polite and helpful if you had a question. Entry and exits are marked with red tape, no way to lose yourself….Moreover, every time you leave the ship a special card is given to you with tel numbers. I believe it is a good approach. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the mini refrigerator was not working they replaced it with a new one. The lighting in the room was inconsistent one very dim and one very bright. The food was always cold, nothing to drink after breakfast unless you bought the drink package. Staff stole water charging it to my drink package. My photos look better on my cell phone than the non lighting pictures I paid for with my photo package. Deck entertainment was very dead and dry. The only 5 star review belongs to our cabin steward (Chitla) and the amazing MSC theatre performances. I wish I could cancel my upcoming cruise with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We are from the UK, in our 50's and have done over 50 cruises. We usually go with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Cunard. A few with P&O. However we had never tried MSC and so decided to do this. Biggest mistake I have made ... Read More
We are from the UK, in our 50's and have done over 50 cruises. We usually go with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Cunard. A few with P&O. However we had never tried MSC and so decided to do this. Biggest mistake I have made in my life. To anyone who like us are thinking of doing an MSC cruise - don't !. To those who are planning to return, based on our experience I can only wonder why. I only hope that people who have only cruised once on MSC don't think that all cruises are like that. So what was the problem. Well first off we noticed a smell coming from the drains in our stateroom bathroom. Without going into too much detail, you can imagine what the smell was like. We reported it, nothing happened. A few days later we asked guest services if anything had been done. The reply was a blank stare and a comment along the lines of " I think it may have been fixed ". When we said the smell was still there, we still got the blank stare. We asked to be moved to another room. They said no, that wasn't possible. I asked if someone could come to my room and smell it for themselves. No one did. To keep a long story short, the bathroom stank for the whole cruise. No one contacted us to see if it had been fixed. I just don't believe they did anything. That episode alone put me off MSC for life. Entertainment on the ship was woeful. On the night they had shows, it was either listening to Italian classical music or the production shows which had a few so called singers screaming along to backing tapes. I would say it was like Butlins but that would be an insult to Butlins Activities were either dance lessons or Tai Chi classes. We enjoy trivia. However they only did one progressive trivia over 4 sea days with 12 questions each day. That was it. Simply not enough. I was lucky I had a number of books to read otherwise I would have been bored to death. Food in the main dining room arrived late and cold. Complaints were met with a shrug of the shoulder. Also, drinking water in the main restaurant was chargeable, something I found hard to believe. Food in the buffet was practically the same choice every night and was on some occasions, inedible. I witnessed on passenger holding a plate of food up to a chef and asking him if he would dare eat it. Guest service staff were rude and appeared totally disinterested. Any time we walked past, people were complaining about something or other. The swimming pool was too cold and so most people just didn't use it We didn't stop at two ports due to adverse weather . Whilst I understand this does happen, most other cruise lines reimburse the port fees that they no longer incurred. Not this cruise line At the ports we did stop at, MSC provided buses into town costing 9 Euros per person. They failed to mention local bus prices leaving from the exact same spot only cost a sixth of that. Drinks , specialty coffees and ice cream were way overpriced. Anywhere you walked on the ship you were being hassled by shop assistants, spa girls, casino staff to purchase stuff. Very annoying ! In summary, this was a total nightmare. Holidays are meant to be stress free but this was a totally stressful experience. After only a few days I wished I was back home. That's simply not good enough Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an ... Read More
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an hour of landing. Embarkation was quick and efficient and our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. The ship was clean, all the crew we met were polite, and service was excellent. The other travellers were a diverse group from many different countries. Dining : We ate in the main dining room every night, the food was very good ( despite some criticisms I'd read before we travelled ) fresh pasta, wonderful mozzarella - made fresh on the ship - and well cooked and prepared meat dishes. Our server Emmanuel was polite and courteous. We had the Piu Gusto drinks package which included house wine with our meals and this was constantly topped up without us needing to ask, as was water. Entertainment : We did a morning back stage tour of the ship that was very interesting and well worth doing. The shows were of a high standard, and very enjoyable. There was music in every bar - and there were plenty of bars...and dancing, if thats your thing. Excursions : We didnt do any of the official tours so I cant comment, though we had no problem finding our own way round Muscat, and Abu Dhabi, visiting the Grand Mosque and the heritage village using local cabs. We also spent a day at a hotel pool in Abu Dhabi Saadiyat beach which ws good value and lovely. We would definitely travel with Costa again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free ... Read More
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free drinks was a nice touch. The shows were great, everything is done in Spanish and English, majority of crew are Pilipino so no problem, compared to the opposition MSC who I have travelled with out of Durban several times, always a disaster and terrible food, there is no comparison, Pullmantur really goes the extra mile. I thought the food quality was only because of the ship going out of Durban but after hearing the horrendous stories from passengers from two MSC ships in the Arabian Gulf they all complained about the bad food on their MSC ships and this stunned me. Seeing a certain South African travel agency loves to run Pullmantur down and I have now had first class experience to it not being true. I now throw out a challenge to the CEO of MSC if the comments made by several of your passengers is not being true show me that this is not the case. You want a great cruise try Pullmantur you won’t be sorry we met several UK passengers who were on their 3 trip on Pullmantur so that’s good enough to hear the positives, Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The cruise itinerary was great but after that the experience goes downhill, except for our cabin steward who was outstanding. The food was pretty awful, the front desk service worse. The quality of the food was not equal to all other ... Read More
The cruise itinerary was great but after that the experience goes downhill, except for our cabin steward who was outstanding. The food was pretty awful, the front desk service worse. The quality of the food was not equal to all other cruise lines we have sailed on...Holland America, RC, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian. Very few choices, limited fresh greens, veggies cooked in butter and salted, limited fruit. It was very hard to believe there was no decaf coffee and no green tea. The entertainment was good the first couple of nights but then was repeated evernight there after. The singing was good and the costumes were well done. Every evening at dinner and throughout the day there were over head announcements selling services and merchandise in the stores and that was annoying. The hand sanitizer dispensers were frequently empty which was very concerning. Very little education about the ports of call since this would be difficult in 6 different languages. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose.this cruise in hopes of seeing all that Egypt has to offer and its amazing history and culture. We flew from the US thus the flight time and time difference leave you a little out of sync. Getting test is critical and being ... Read More
We choose.this cruise in hopes of seeing all that Egypt has to offer and its amazing history and culture. We flew from the US thus the flight time and time difference leave you a little out of sync. Getting test is critical and being organized is a priority. We felt safe during our travels as many safety features are in place. We were able to visit many ket sites that are simply amazing. The Egyptian people are very friendly and want to see a smile on your face. The River Cruise has and outdated ship but very clean. Our main gaol on the ship was to rest and dine. We did not go to Egypt to party and stay up late. The Kitchen Staff goes out of their way all the time on every meal this was surprising the food was good. My only request was that they would offer a package of beverages for free outside of water, tea, or coffee. All drinks are very expensive a small coke cost over 2 dollars. Forget the minibar just water. The rooms were very clean and the service was great. The Bus Rides to destination only offered water traffic was and issue. The 4 seasons Hotel is amazing great rooms make sure you get a high floor to avoid the street noise the Italian restaurant is the best. Pick up to the airport and back was good except for departure you have to leave 4 hours prior to flight. My concern with this trip is we made 4 stops to visit local stores with 30 people on the bus this was a waste of time as we did not travel this far to go to stores they should make this optional I would have rather been at the hotel resting. My biggest concern was when we had locals attached their boat outside our rooms screaming out our window for 45 minutes to buy stuff which was a little to much and concerning. This was on our first day and it happened twice with 2 different boats. I called the front desk multiple times and they told me both time it would take 5 minutes which was not the case. Being upset and concerned about our safety, privacy, and lack of sleep having someone attached to your boat outside your room I was hoping for a more proactive response. The Hotel Manager spoke to me during dinner but his response left a lot to be desired. I mentioned we had flown over 15 hours and the last thing we need is to have someone screaming outside our room latched on to the boat. The Boat crew was over the top nice we had no issues with any one for lack of service. After the first day we had no more issues with the small boats attaching to our Ship. I tried to share in a diplomatic way that we did not travel this far to go into 4 stores with 30 people having to waste about 4 hours time when there is so much more you can be doing that is much more logical. Most of the folks buying stuff was trinkets for friends or family members that you could buy all over the streets of Egypt. Coming from the states were we could buy almost anything from Amazon delivered to your doorstep this was the opposite experience wait fore ever for people to get in and off a bus to go into a store were you are flooded around not having a clue what you are looking at or what it is worth and why the heck do you need it. Everywhere you go in on the Tour you have people trying to sell you stuff our tour guide even thought it was a good idea to have some of the folks come on some mini cruises with us amazing. As far as Egypt is concerned we felt very safe except for the cruise having the boat attached to us. The People are very nice there is a lot of poverty thus they try there best to make a living selling tourist trinkets, garments, it is a rich culture with and amazing history. The River Cruise is well balanced the meals are amazing and the guest blended in well with the crew. The Guides should probably do powerpoint presentations or have in room videos of your daily events for preparation and learning. Having a lecture outside for 30 minuets in the Egypt heat is not good a couple of people passed out. Some of the tours are challenging the guide does not let you know until the day you are there. I do not know if we are spoiled or just take things for granted but with a little coaching this great group of people can have a much more positive outcome for folks who traveled so far to see there great country. the sites were amazing we were blessed with great guest from all over the US and Australia. I only wish we did not waste so much time doing things like leaving 4 hours early to the Airport at Midnight with no traffic or stopping at stores. I am hoping this review helps the folks at UNIWORLD Develop a better game plan as I thing we wasted 2 days of time which is 20 percent of our vacation doing things that could have been avoided. I also heard other guest mentioned that a uniform tip would be helpful rather than having to make multiple stops at banks to pay the Bus driver, Tour guide, Hotel staff etc. Yes we also spent over 1 hour stoping at banks for people to get off the bus to go to a ATM. In summary Egypt is a great place to visit we felt the people were great we only wish that the organization four this amazing country for a tourist to visit had more detail prior to tours and less shopping. I also thing the guides should be more helpful telling the street vendors to give us some space. Prior to leaving get some rest bring lots of small bills and make sure you make time to rest when you get back home. I hope this was helpful and I want to thank all the great people who made a difference in our trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Cruise on the MSC Splendida From March 3rd to March 11th 2018 Middle East This is our 18th cruise, our 2nd with MSC. We had already done a Dubai cruise and we wanted to come back and the price/itinerary of MSC was great, hence, we ... Read More
Cruise on the MSC Splendida From March 3rd to March 11th 2018 Middle East This is our 18th cruise, our 2nd with MSC. We had already done a Dubai cruise and we wanted to come back and the price/itinerary of MSC was great, hence, we chose to cruise with them again. It is very easy to embark the ship. We were there early in the morning and they took our luggage, made our cards and we were off to visit the city. There are plenty of taxis at the port and if you don't have EAD, ask for meter with credit card. They don't all have it so better to ask before leaving. The Splendida has recently been refurbished in the general areas and it is gorgeous! The Bora Bora buffet is simply beautiful and VERY spacious. The rooms have not been done. Our biggest problem with this cruise was that the walls are paper thin! Seriously!! You can hear people caughing, follow a conversation…So imagine being next to a crying baby! This made our nights a living hell!! Once, our neighbor decided to watch CNN at 4am… Well, we had to knock on the wall for them to shut the TV off… Needless to say we came out of this cruise more tired than we were at the beginning. The itinerary is amazing. Visas are required for this cruise and although I called MSC many MANY times, I never had the same answer regarding visas. Some said I had to get them from a website they gave me, and once, I spoke to a passport/visa specialist who said the ship would charge me on board. Well, thank god I decided to wait there and see since the ship takes care of ALL the details and fees… They simply give you a card when you exit the ship in every port of call. No hassle, no charge. (FYI, we are Canadians). The food was sometimes quite ordinary and sometimes delicious… The morning choices were just ok for us. That was really not our favorite meal. Everything on the ship is in Euros. This, for Canadians, makes everyting crazy expensive. Especially their shore excursions. My advice, take a taxi on your own. When they sell tickets for shuttles ( Eg Bahrain and Doha city center), don’t take it. There is nothing to do in Bahrain city center and a free port shuttle will take you to LULU mall where you will find taxis. Watch out, they want to charge you for the day so insist on meter!!! He wanted to charge us 200Euros for 5 people to do the International Circuit, the Camel farm, see the fort and the mosque. We said no, we wanted meter.. It cost us 100Euros… The people working onboard at the reception are very helpful and nice. Our waiter was average. We had to ask him every night for ice. Our room lady made our room three times… We had first seating dining, it is not really hard to keep track of this fact. We would come back in our room at 8h30/9h00 and our room had not been done, no towels for the morning. We did not go to the shows. We prefered staying on our balcony and listening to the waves.:) Will we cruise with MSC again? For sure. They have great itineraries and great prices. Did we love our cruise, AMAZING!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I wanted to start and finish my cruise in Dubai as my daughter lives there. It was a bit daunting as I has never cruised before, but everything was made so easy. The organisation of this ship from boarding through to the disembarkation ... Read More
I wanted to start and finish my cruise in Dubai as my daughter lives there. It was a bit daunting as I has never cruised before, but everything was made so easy. The organisation of this ship from boarding through to the disembarkation was done very efficiently. I particularly enjoyed the daily dance lessons of Vivi and Mejia, whose infectious encouragement made each lesson such a pleasure. The staff in the Villa Verde restaurant were very attentive, especially our waiter Pande, who kept our glasses charged at all times. We found the buffet in Pago Pago & Bora Bora rather overwhelming, so decided to breakfast and lunch in La Reggio Restaurant, which was more tranquil, and it was nice to be served at the table, having said that, the buffet in La Reggio was also excellent, and the fresh pasta cooked before your very eyes was just amazing. We took two of the ship excursions, one to Muscat in Oman, which was beautiful, and one to see dolphins whilst on a dhow, in Khasab, Oman. Both of these trips were so well organised and we thought good value. The pool areas on the ship were very clean and well looked after by the staff, all the bar staff were very accommodating and efficient. There was so much choice of entertainment at night that we found it hard to choose where to go. White Night in the Aft Bar was just amazing! I would not hesitate in booking this ship again as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions ... Read More
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions were good. Our cabin 1002 was clean, although there was little In the way of toiletries and no sunbed towels in our cabin. From then on things went downhill, firstly Costa will Not allow you to cancel the daily tips, that Cruise Critic States customers can do. The reception staff are rude, patronizing and unhelpful. They charge for every thing. Hot drinks like tea and coffee is only free at breakfast. If you want a Coffee after 9.30 pm on the main pool area, then you will find it unavailable. The food was dreadful, cold and poor quality and choice. They add a 15% surcharge on any drink, on top of the daily gratuity! Food in general is not available after 9.30 pm ( if you want to eat late at night) unless you pay extra for either pizza or burgers. There is no freedom dining in the evenings, we luckily were allocated a 6.30 pm time slot, other passengers sadly could not eat until 9.30 pm and therefore did not leave the restaurant until after 11 pm. The entertainment was very good, and the ship although quite old has some wonderful quirky features. It felt like the British passengers were treated as second class citizens in favour of the Italians on board. Having been on a P and O cruise ship recently I would never again travel with Costa nor recommend it to British passengers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was our first cruise with MSC after 6 with Thomson’s. We cruised from Abu Dhabi on the 19/03/2017 for 7 nights. On arrival at ship we were informed that itinerary had been changed. We had a Balcony cabin and up-graded to a Premium ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC after 6 with Thomson’s. We cruised from Abu Dhabi on the 19/03/2017 for 7 nights. On arrival at ship we were informed that itinerary had been changed. We had a Balcony cabin and up-graded to a Premium drinks package. The ship was full with the majority of the clients not English. Notes are as follows: - 1 - Embarkation = OK. Arrived at Ship at 08:30 and got into cabin at 12:30. 2 - Cabin = OK. On first getting cabin it was adequate and clean. There was an adjoining door to next doors cabin Steward attended every day but carpet was never vacuumed for full week. We did have two occasions where drinking glasses (not ours) appeared in our bathroom and balcony door left open. 3 - Day at sea = Like a zoo. Too many people and too few sunbeds led to physical confrontation that we saw on two occasions. Trying to get served at a bar or obtain a waiter was impossible. Best service we got was when it rained and there was only a few sitting at the outside bar. 4 - Restaurant = Very poor. On late sitting. Only got offered water on first night. Never managed more than two drinks. No topping up of glasses. Took 2 hours from start to finish. Got a bread bun on 3 of the 7 nights. Food when arrived was adequate at best. 5 - Excursion desk = Very poor. Tried to get a bus transfer ticket at Bahrain. Queued for over half an hour before giving up, as hundreds of people (No exaggeration) in queue. 6 - Panoramic Doha - What a waste of 5 hours of our lives. Guide was very poor with no explanation of where we went. Dumped off the coach at three separate occasions and spent over half the time sitting in traffic jams. l has loads of other examples including not getting to sir bani yas island due to adverse weather leading to another zoo-like day at sea, and poor all round service but the main two issues we had were: - 1 - Amount of money went missing from inside safe. Dirhams and Pounds totalling around £290 were discovered to be missing from safe. We reported this confidentiality to reception which resulted in a security guard checking our room to see if we or someone had hidden the money. Eventually after prompting the reception staff on numerous occasions all we got out of them was it has never happened before and that we must have been mistaken on how much we put into the safe. I can assure anyone reading this review that we are careful and honest people and can 100% say that the money was taken from the safe. Please see comments on cabin on door left open etc. 2 - At around 23:00 on the last night there was an announcement that the Ship would not be sailing from Dubai for Abu Dhabi meaning that passengers disembarking would have to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by coach which resulted in having to get off ship earlier than originally required. When we left the Ship, we were put us on a coach that we thought was taking us to Abu Dhabi. No, it took us to the next cruise terminal where we got off. There were no MSC reps there and no-one could speak English. Eventually after around 30 mins and a lot of irate passengers a rickety old bus arrived and took us on a 2-hour drive to Abu Dhabi airport where we were dropped off at the wrong terminal - A total shambles. We are taking forward our complaints with MSC but not expecting much response. It is such a shame as the facilities were superb but let down by customer service from 95% of staff. Give me the Thomson Sprit any time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. ... Read More
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. Once I had a ship sailing from Penang, Malaysia to Madras India in the year 1971 or so by S S Rejula a passenger ship between Madras and Penang. I was lucky enough to sail by this ship's last passenger journey I had been giving some briefing to my wife and children regarding ship sailing etc. But this was something too beyond my thought. Of course I had seen these kind of cruise ship in Dubai, Cochin, Seattle, USA. from outside and far away. What should I say a five star hotel floating on the ocean with all facility a top star hotel can provide without any mistake any way. My profession was in the hospitality Industry and I know well how and what it means to organize and run a star hotel while working as General Manager both in mainland and in beach resorts. Frankly like to say I was looking for some mistakes or to know will it go wrong somewhere. But to my surprise from embarkation till disembarkation so smooth like sailing. Our bags taken care from the beginning as soon as we arrived at the port and the same reached our cabin without any mistake. same thing happened while the end of the cruise. We thought of running away the first day itself by seeing the choice of food on the buffet counter and as well as at the fine dining restaurant. Deck 14 everywhere food, food, food, and food with soup, salad, fruit cut, desert, tea, coffee apart from the main dishes. and the dish served on the restaurant the quantity was too high for we don't take that much. Just because we are Indians love to have spicy food an Indian style but that was lacking. but we can understand Swimming pools everywhere you find unfortunately we don't swim. but enjoyed because others are enjoying a lot in the pool hence we too enjoyed. Spirit Bar here bar, there bar, everywhere bar. Here too we don't drink at all. but still we enjoyed when others are enjoying it a lot. Casino we went through that cabin some were playing may be they were lucky to have some fortune or some may have lost their earning. still this is also a part of the game. Theatre had some marvelous acts and action sound and lighting smart enough and on timing. Well treated for our mind and eye a colorful evenings we enjoyed sitting at the end of the ship where it leaves a spectacles mark on the deep sea where ever MSC Fantasia sails. We also enjoyed sitting and standing at the top of the deck while sailing in the deep sea as well as when it anchors at different harbors. No space is left out without having a touch of their own trade mark of their own style of decorating everywhere with some kind of artistic design and decor on every deck wall roof floor and the same inside the cabin too. Nobody can miss anything all well informed the previous night itself with printed news letter ready for the next day MSC Fantasia you are Fantastic Keep going Thanks Rev. Dr. Antony Walto Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Customer Service: Very Bad Customer Service, if you book Cruise ticket third party, MSC doesn't responding correctly/. Customer service people don't have knowledge regarding third party sellers (ex: Seascanner). They ... Read More
Customer Service: Very Bad Customer Service, if you book Cruise ticket third party, MSC doesn't responding correctly/. Customer service people don't have knowledge regarding third party sellers (ex: Seascanner). They don't accept Third party sellers mail proofs, they say only MSC emails, and don't know third party sellers. but they received the ticket money! Dining: Buffet is very good, the 6-floor setting is not good, very few menu items. Ship: extremely very good, Service: Room Service is Excellent, Room cleaning and change of towels are very timely. Food service: food service is too good, Buffet is many items and service people is very polite, I never feel bad, they provided very good food and hot. Fruits and sweets are excellent. Complimentary food is very good. Entertainment: I never bored, always something special, shows and entertainment programs Port and Shore excursions: parking places at the port are very handy, easily can go to the city. excursions are very expensive, I never used them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
chose for the itinerary. We wanted to see Dubai, and thought this would be a great way to do it. We were not happy that it was on R.C. but did it anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised. We did not find the ship worn out as some other ... Read More
chose for the itinerary. We wanted to see Dubai, and thought this would be a great way to do it. We were not happy that it was on R.C. but did it anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised. We did not find the ship worn out as some other reviews have stated. The public rooms, showroom and lounges were in very good shape. the crew could not have been more friendly and helpful. We had a suite that was very nice with a wonderful balcony. My wife and i are not major cruise takers, but we have been on Princess, Disney, and Crystal. Disney and certainly Crystal are in a very different class than Royal Carib. Princess about a step above. The main negative we had was the food. Breakfast and most lunch items were fine. The pizza was the worst i ever tasted. When it came to dinner is where it got really bad. The selections were not the problem, just the finished product. The kitchen would have been better off opening a jar of Ragu for their pasta dishes than what they served. I am not going to go further with the food review, since it wasn't that important in our overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We wanted to go to the Middle East. Having travelled with MSC before, which was luxurious, this ship felt like we were on a ferry - very tired and not very impressive. The brochure states that there are dancing lessons.....there were ... Read More
We wanted to go to the Middle East. Having travelled with MSC before, which was luxurious, this ship felt like we were on a ferry - very tired and not very impressive. The brochure states that there are dancing lessons.....there were none. There were not enough sun loungers and one day the guests looked like sardines as they were packed together, some having to sit on chairs. The food was so basic that it was shocking. It seemed that some was recycled. The desserts were disappointing - just a few sponges with various flavoured toppings and jelly. The main courses included toad in the hole, which is a nice basic homely food but not what you would expect on a cruise. It seemed that Thomson were really penny pinching trying to charge for everything they could. They were even collecting pens up from quizzes as soon as the quiz was over and sending someone out afterwards to make sure they didn't miss any!! The excursion team were absolutely useless and seemed to enjoy telling untruths even when caught out! The entertainment team were great and two of the groups were good. The cabin crew were great and really worked hard. This appeared to be a very low class cruise and most of the guests looked thoroughly miserable!! It has put us off of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Review MSC Fantasia Dubai/Abu Dhabi etc..... We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 13 and it was one of the better cabins in terms of design compared to P&O, Carnival etc. The bathroom had no shaving mirror but hey! Breakfast ... Read More
Review MSC Fantasia Dubai/Abu Dhabi etc..... We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 13 and it was one of the better cabins in terms of design compared to P&O, Carnival etc. The bathroom had no shaving mirror but hey! Breakfast buffet on deck 14 was the same every day but offered good choices. The only omission was that there was no mushrooms and to make toast you had to queue to use one of those very old and tatty dreadful toast conveyer belts machines (absolutely rubbish). Lunch also offered a wide variety of food and you could have lunch in the Red Velvet restaurant if you so fancied. The buffet on deck 14 could be manic with people of certain nationalities pushing and shoving as if the food was going to run out! There was a distinct lack of patience and manners and it did feel awkward sometimes with passengers reaching over you to scoop up food. On sea days the top sun decks became incredibly overcrowded as everyone was on board at once. It was almost impossible to walk the decks such was the mess of sun loungers with those dreadful orange towels packed tightly together. I'm sure this is a serious health and safety risk because if there was an emergency there would be no escape. The theatre entertainment was the best I have witnessed on any ship and was incredibly varied. All the shows had a bit of risqué which added to the spectacle and each one of the shows was highly entertaining in their own way without dragging on too long. The evening music and entertainment in the lounges was again magnificent and top class. Too often evenings on cruises are a bore fest but not with MSC. The thought that went into each part of entertainment was amazing and there was a wonderful atmosphere around the entire ship up until the early hours. The tours on this particular cruise were good value. The cabin boys and staff in general were graceful and well mannered although the reception staff could be very inpatient and seemed to be set at the default state of "the customer is always wrong" The drinks packages are good value especially if you upgrade your package from say 'Cheers' to the top package on embarkment. The internet is a waste of money and I repeat a waste of money! Even the top plan is very very slow and the data allowance is rigged. Most smartphones have apps running in the background and even if you know this and switch them off you still end up using €35 just loading 2 Google pages. I can not stress how poor the internet is and how quickly you lose the data allowance even if you 'log off'. When your data runs low (which is very often) you are offered a further 'Top-Up' which gets eaten up in 2 emails. The worst thing is when the ship resets its internet and your allowance (which can be €35) is simply wiped off! then you are directed to reception who immediately assume you have used your data up in the way intended and talk to you like you have no knowledge of the internet and how it works. They will never believe you are in fact right EVER and they waffle on about data allowance etc until you get fed up and leave. So you have been warned! Don't be tempted to use the internet allowance plans! All in all a very beautiful ship which comes at a great price with amazing itineraries. Happy sailing!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have just returned from cruise and this was the worst we have ever experienced. We do appreciate the price we paid but there was so many disappointing aspects to this cruise. We booked an outside cabin on to find that our cabin had ... Read More
We have just returned from cruise and this was the worst we have ever experienced. We do appreciate the price we paid but there was so many disappointing aspects to this cruise. We booked an outside cabin on to find that our cabin had 2extremely small port holes. We had to have the lights on whenever we were in cabin. Our first shock was when we left port the whole cabin shook and the vibration was horrendous. This happened every time we entered and left port and it lasted for ages. We complained and was told that they were aware of the problem and that the vibration on decks 2 and 3 but quote "it's old ship and is being sold. They could not offer an alternative cabin as ship is full. The food was poor and this is obviously down to the price of the cruise. They are cutting corners in quality and the cuts of meat were cheap. On one meal is stated that it was a chicken breast but when it turned up it was a small slice of chicken and bore resemblance to the menu. To make matters worse they had a separate menu on the table for lobster fillet steak and chateau breone at a charge of 40 to 45 usd. On the one sea Day you had to be up before 7.00am to stand any chance of getting a sun bed. There was not one spare inch of deck that you could walk on. I know this is a negative review but we to be honest. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
First review and first cruise. We have just returned from the Abu Dhabi cruise 5th – 13th February on the MSC Fantasia. The cruise was not without fault but overall was a fantastic experience. We booked this back in June 2016 and if ... Read More
First review and first cruise. We have just returned from the Abu Dhabi cruise 5th – 13th February on the MSC Fantasia. The cruise was not without fault but overall was a fantastic experience. We booked this back in June 2016 and if we had gone along with all the comments in various forums we would have never set sail what with all the moans and groans you read, so I will take the info in and average out the good and bad points. We were on the upgrade package Fantastica with all-inclusive drinks, I also took the internet package before travelling. The cabin was perfect (Deck 11) which was an inside cabin which I am glad we took. We heard the moans and groans from the balcony occupants about their neighbours. Yes, the buffet dining could be noisy at times especially on sea day, but we just got on with it and met different nationalities as they sat next to us. The Main Dining Room experience was also perfect, we had 1st dining with the same table for the whole cruise and excellent company. We are glad we had the drinks package as we did drink it all and more. We booked all shore excursions online with other providers and they all went well. We had no problems with any of the staff on board and helped us whenever required. Really on the front of house we had a great time and really could not find fault. Our problem was back room staff and information. It was not until we were in our cabin and reading the next day activities did we find we were on a “sea day” to Bahrain. We should have been informed on boarding, I mean what if we had tours organized? They had no answer for that. . Then on our 2 days in Dubai we had organized tours ashore which we did. That night reading the next day activity which included us on the shopping trip we find it was on that first day and we missed it. I booked it online with MSC for the 11th. I tackled them about it and received a refund as it was always going to be on the 10th. That was it really. Complaints we heard from other cruisers which made us laugh, one from a seasoned cruiser to many Italians! Really it is an Italian cruise ship. The pools were cold, what do expect in February? When it’s sea water. But you take it all in for next time. Are we going to cruise again? Try stopping us we are on the MSC Fantasia again 30th January on the Caribbean Cruise and counting the days. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my 3rd MSC cruise after previously sailing on the Armonia and the Divina. We opted for a 2nd sitting for our evening meal as had found previously that the early sitting sometimes gave you lack of time if you had returned to the ... Read More
This was my 3rd MSC cruise after previously sailing on the Armonia and the Divina. We opted for a 2nd sitting for our evening meal as had found previously that the early sitting sometimes gave you lack of time if you had returned to the ship early afternoon hungry following a trip, then you were eating again too soon afterwards. So the brochure said 8.30 for the 2nd sitting.....in fact this turned out to be 9.15 each evening to fit in with the evening show which started at 8pm. By the time we had finished our meal it was 11pm, much too late for everyone on our table, if your not up for staying up beyond midnight, I'm afraid you are going to bed on a full stomach. The evening shows are quite short, very similar in content but with different outfits, and clearly some songs were very much mimed to. There are only so many times you can watch a pole dancer, jugglers, balance acts, dancers etc before you get a bit bored. Investment in these shows would be a massive pull to the audience. I found that there was definitely a change in the quality and variety of food on offer, the buffet was very repetitive, we dined in the Formal dining room, which was very nicely decorated but the food lacked the special touches that we are used to with MSC, in fact you wouldn't think a chef had created some of the dishes. Our waiters were excellent but were really stretched to the limit, it seemed that they had too many tables to deal with. Not their fault but a couple of more bodies would have made a big difference ensuring that drinks were replenished more frequently. The ship itself is beautiful and was spotlessly clean, our cabin maid was fantastic and always there with a friendly smile to help. We visited Dubai, Kor Al Facken, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain and Sir Bani Yas Island over 14 days, they were all lovely and yet again MSC is very organised with trips etc. Embarkation was extremely efficient as always and we loved that each time we left a destination they played 'time to say goodbye' over the tannoy it gave you a real lump in your throat. I would say that the drinks packages are well worth the money, however I did find the internet packages extremely expensive this cruise, and in a world where we are so used to keeping in touch with family members and the news of the day, we felt it could be priced more affordingly. I would have appreciated a little more policing of smoking on balconies, which our neighbour did daily and I understand that babies in diapers should not be in hot tubs, the pool attendant clearly pretended that he didn't see the baby in arms being carried straight past him into the hot tub, he never said a word! Yes a few little niggles, but overall we had a fab time, loved our balcony room and will hope to return to MSC in the future.....just need to decide on a destination. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
There are a lot of negative comments about Vision so we were interested to experience it for ourselves. We have cruised with RC before on a similar sized vessel (Splendour) so we were familiar with the modus operandi. Last time we were a ... Read More
There are a lot of negative comments about Vision so we were interested to experience it for ourselves. We have cruised with RC before on a similar sized vessel (Splendour) so we were familiar with the modus operandi. Last time we were a little disappointed with the service levels and lack of attention to detail but had no real issues this time. We thought the availability of food in the restaurants was good, the cleanliness was good and service generally good apart from one or two occasions. We were slightly disappointed with one or two occasions in the main dining room at night particularly on one occasion where we were seated but waited for service for quite some time and then received patchy attention throughout our meal. The meal was lukewarm and when I asked for blue cheese for dessert we were advised there wasn't any despite the fact we had seen an extremely large portion delivered to another table on request the previous night. I assume the waiter couldn't be bothered. Drinks service good (deluxe package) and we ate in the speciality restaurants 3 times at a reasonable upgrade and good food/service. We were allocated our room (inside) when we booked but no complaints. Very comfortable and a lot of storage. We did make the mistake of drinking the water in our room at an extra mini bar charge despite having the package but although we had seen another couple refunded for this we were denied and the policy seemed unclear. We didn't get involved with the entertainment out of choice but heard that it was average apart from a very popular Beatles show. Although the ship is one of the older ones to say it is tired would be unfair. We thought it was fine. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and are happy to rate as very good Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our daughter chose this cruise as a treat for her 40th Birthday. We spent 2 days in Dubai prior to joining the cruise. We stayed in a beautiful hotel & had an amazing 2 days. Highlight of the holiday. Took a taxi to the Port, ... Read More
Our daughter chose this cruise as a treat for her 40th Birthday. We spent 2 days in Dubai prior to joining the cruise. We stayed in a beautiful hotel & had an amazing 2 days. Highlight of the holiday. Took a taxi to the Port, embarkation process was easy although staff could have been a bit more welcoming. Cases were delivered to our cabin quickly. No problem so far. Went to the buffet restaurant for a snack. Wow - the noise & rude people pushing. You would really think food was in short supply. This happened at every meal which did not make an enjoyable experience. We always tried to go further through to escape the rabble. Food was a huge disappointment- lukewarm at all times. I was shocked at the lack of hygiene. We religiously used the sanitiser but definitely in the minority. On other cruise hips we have been on hand hygiene was paramount. Take note MSC!! Theatre shows were mediocre. Beautiful theatre which was always half full. The 6 languages before commencing the show was a bit monotonous. Some nice bars & lounges round the ship. Fortunately we had the drinks package which was good value. Got a bit bombarded by staff the first 2 days wanting us to upgrade our package. Destination Services staff were not very helpful. Alright if you were going on their trips but not interested or helpful if you wanted to do anything independently. We went to purchase shuttle bus tickets for Kesab & female told us not to bother going as nothing apart from few souvenir shops. We were gobsmacked! Took the tender anyway & fortunately someone was selling bus tickets at quayside. When we berthed in Dubai we took a taxi from the taxi rank which transpired to be a bad experience. We were going to Karama & he turned meter off insisted we go to the wholesale He phoned on ahead & several males were waiting for us. We refused to exit the taxi. Scary. We reported this to taxi rank controller at Port who was not happy at how we were treated. MSC definitely does not geared for British tourists. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Choose this cruise instead of going to the Caribbean as we were worried about zigs virus We had a couple of days in Dubai before the cruise which we would definately recommend The ship was smaller than our usual choice but we liked ... Read More
Choose this cruise instead of going to the Caribbean as we were worried about zigs virus We had a couple of days in Dubai before the cruise which we would definately recommend The ship was smaller than our usual choice but we liked it,we had a balcony cabin 7022 which was nice although we didn't use the balcony very much,our fantastic cabin attendant kept it very clean and comfortable well done Brasil loved the towel animals,we were on my time dining which was good we booked our table for 8.30pm each night and got to meet different people each night,the staff on this cruise were great and could not do enough for us,the shows were a bit limp but ok, and it was very easy to get a drink in the theatre which can be a problem on larger ships the destinations were good and the shore excursions not to expensive and well organised, the food in the buffet was good and plenty of choice and the food in the main restaurant was also good quality and well served,yes the morning buffet is busy but it's the same on all cruises we have done [10+ ] this was our second RC cruise the first was Anthem of seas,which we loved, we like royal Caribbean they seem to put a bit more effort in to entertainment side which we like,we are trying the Oasis of the seas in two weeks and are looking forward to finding out what a large ship is like [ can't wait ] All in All a good cruise for us, sure there's things to complain about if you look hard enough, we go on cruises to enjoy so don't look for negatives and we would go on Vision again,in fact we have just booked its sister ship for January 2018 Caribbean as part of a land tour holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose this cruise to see India. The ship is very tied and rusting , worn carpet , wooden seats in the dinning room with joints coming apart. The crew do try very hard and give u 110% in effort. The entertainment director is getting ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see India. The ship is very tied and rusting , worn carpet , wooden seats in the dinning room with joints coming apart. The crew do try very hard and give u 110% in effort. The entertainment director is getting away with being payed for sitting on his backside all day. the onboard day time entertainment was non exsistant compared to other cruise lines.There was more entertainment to be found in the casino than over the whole of the boat. The nightly shows in the theatre where great if u where in a nursing home and had not seen any entertainment for a while, really who do they think they are giving us a acrobat show which a 11 year old could perform. Every night at dinner it was a toss of a coin to see if ur drink order would arrive in 30 minutes or under or would arrive at all. The cabin steward did a fantastic job and congratulations to him cabin 9131. The food was the same day in and day out, the quality of food okay but not outstanding. When u travel aqua class and have your own designated dinning room u don't expect to have to wait up to 3/4 hour for a table.The cruise would have been excellent if I had traveled in a inside room, but having table for aquas class I was very disappointed and will never cruise with celebrity again. No one even wants to listen on board when u are offering constructive criticism. Felt very let down and ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017

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