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33 Africa Family Cruise Reviews

I rarely take the time to write reviews, but I think that cruises are something that a lot of people depend on reviews to help them in their choice. I am the same way, and I should have paid closer attention I guess. We sailed very ... Read More
I rarely take the time to write reviews, but I think that cruises are something that a lot of people depend on reviews to help them in their choice. I am the same way, and I should have paid closer attention I guess. We sailed very recently on at the end of August 2019. So to start off, Carnival Valor is an older ship built in 2004 I believe, and it does show outside and inside of the cruise liner. On the outside appearance there is quite a bit of rust showing on the hull and a lot of over painting of rust areas. The deck areas seem in decent shape, and they work hard to keep the surfaces clean. The inside stateroom, we had a balcony stateroom, there are several issues. There are light switches missing, or pushed into the receptacles, lights not working, lights blinking, receptacles not working, and very few of them, stains on carpet, and I think every glass on the outside of ship had not been cleaned in quite some time. The main attraction decks, 3,4, and 5 were actually pretty nice, but there was always elevators out of service, so wait times were sometimes up to 10 minutes, so be prepared for stair usage. The dining areas just seemed dated, almost a 1950's maybe 60's look to them, and just did not give you that wow feeling around the buffet areas, but the main dining room, Lincoln, was in nice shape, and had a comfortable feeling to it. There is a lot of 4 person booths, so do not expect to be sitting with a large group of people, and meeting over dinner. I am going to do my best and be nice about the food, cause hey, that's why we do cruises right. Well, to be honest the main dining food was just, NOT GOOD! Appetizers, yeah very, very small portions, you will need to order more than 1, like the shrimp cocktail comes with 5 very small shrimp, fried calamari you will get 3 as well.. The main courses, are always a treat, if they are tasty, but sadly not so. The taste of most items were bland, or just not worth eating, and most of the time we left over half of it on the plate, and left the dining hall before dessert. The salads were OK, but it seemed they used store bought type dressings, and sometimes they would have a smell as if they had been left out too long, my wife even felt a little sick after eating a Cesar salad one evening. We tried the buffet a few times because of our dining hall experiences, and it was worse off that the main dining. I cannot recommend eating the buffet unless it's for the breakfast which was actually good. We basically survived for 5 days by eating Guy's Burger shack ( Delicious by the way ), and the pizza shack. I know it's sad, but actually enjoyed the room service sandwiches more than the main dinning. We will move into the entertainment portion, and i only have a few words on it. The shows we watched were enjoyable, fun, and well entertaining, so I can't knock them on that. I think the entertainment is what saved the trip overall. The services by the employees were top notch as expected, and our stateroom was always taken care of by our room steward Putrauwn. He provided excellent service, and knew our names every time we met in the hall. Ports and Shore excursions. Whew, were to start.. Cozumel, beautiful water, nice people, and very enjoyable. We went on the Passion Isles excursion, but I cannot recommend this experience for the price point. There is boat ride to the isle, and that will use up 45 minutes of your time if your lucky, then a couple meetings later, a hour and a half has gone my of your time, and your finally able to go get a place on the beach. This is an all inclusive excursion, well somewhat.. The free drinks are out of coolers that are just awful, if you want any frozen drink, it's 8 bucks a pop, want some goggles for a little snorkeling in the small swimming are, 10 bucks. Oh, don't forget about the 4 photo ops you must make before you get your seats, they come round for 12 bucks a photo. Then you get the massage ladies that will what feels like hound you , us 7 times, for a 30 minute massage for 50 bucks. I cannot say to eat the buffet food, birds everywhere and flies. We saw a bird dive right into one of the buffet trays, and take food, and nothing was done. The food was also not very good for what we tried. There is a nice little shopping area the locals have setup on the isle for some souvenirs, but if you get close, they come at you like street vendors. So, we made it through a couple hours of beach time, and now we have to make the 45 minute ride back to the port area. Yes, that is deducted from your 5 hours total time for the excursion. Lets move on, to Progresso!! Progresso, very nice people, and you can get your start right off the bat. We did another excursion, The all inclusive beach, and it's all inclusive... There is a 30 minute bus ride to the location, which is deducted from total time but hey the pier is 6 miles long as well, so at least no walking. You get to the beach house, with 2 pools, 2 bars, lots of space and fantastic food. You do not need to walk to any bar, the workers take such good care of you, and oh yeah, all your frozen drinks are free as well.I forgot to mention, it's a FULL OPEN BAR, not just some lousy whiskey or no name drinks... You can go here without a single dime in your pocket, cause you don't need it, unless you want to tip or get a massage, 30 bucks 30 minutes, which we were never asked to get. I will definitely go back to this location. I really wish I could rate this higher, but due to the extra cost of everything, and the Poor, Poor food quality, and the state of the staterooms, I just can't. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are frequent MSC cruisers This was our 10th MSC cruise And was the worst Bar service was short staffed and very hard to get a drink We waited to long Guest service was rude and non helping Just the general overall ... Read More
We are frequent MSC cruisers This was our 10th MSC cruise And was the worst Bar service was short staffed and very hard to get a drink We waited to long Guest service was rude and non helping Just the general overall service was terrible Could not get off at Pamome island and has always been like that for the past 10 cruisers Only the northern parts Have never seen or been to Barro lodge Bazzaruto and now pamome Weather was bad do we didn’t get off the boat to Portuguese island but yet they still charged us for or luxury beach loungers When I complained I was told tough luck There has always been entertainment on the deck, but on this cruise there was not such entertainment In the past they kept the people pumped up and dancing but nothing excursion desk never open Staff looked like that they had no interest of being on the boat Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We wanted to go to Pomene so we booked on this cruise for that reason, only to be told during dinner that the Pomene stop is cancelled due to increment weather and for passengers safety. The next day the sea was so clam and the weather ... Read More
We wanted to go to Pomene so we booked on this cruise for that reason, only to be told during dinner that the Pomene stop is cancelled due to increment weather and for passengers safety. The next day the sea was so clam and the weather forecast showed that the weather in Pomene was near perfect, i queried this at the transfers desk where a senior lady advised that they struggle to go there due to the following reasons: Sailing too close to the coast and the potential harm to the coral reefs, the boat trip top the island is a bit rough and they find it hard to navigate there. The Cruise Director at the Q& A also then confirmed that in the last 18 months of sailing they only managed to dock there 3 or 4 times! Ridiculous. Why then do you advertise it if it is near impossible? The food was not as good as expected from previous experiences: The eggs were all pre-fried and cold. The cream for flapjacks and waffles was hidden under he counter every morning and you had to ask for it? The hot chocolate was so bad it was like gross milky water...and i can go on, but we also pre-bought 2 x non alcoholic packages and a coffee package. The sad thing is: we could not use it at breakfast even at formal dining - you had to go to a specific bar to get speciality coffee/hot chocolate or an espresso after dinner, then they ran out of stock of chocolate cappuccino and white chocolate (coincidentally the more expensive items) so the pre-packages are worked out on the most expensive drink and those you cannot get...so when you work out what you pre-paid vs what you get; you actually pay more!!) Then we ended up having to buy a soda package on board as you can't get non-alcoholic drinks like mocktails, milkshakes and smoothies - you must go to deck 13 to get it at a specific bar, not to mention that the smoothies is one fruit juice mix and not the freshly squeezed ones that they make...so its all really false advertising. It was the worst cruise ever. The entertainment was not too bad but the 2 lead singers were painful to listen to. Brayn Miles as excellent and the gymnasts were amazing... Some staff were great - in the general buffet and public areas, there were 2 that stood out Jorgi from Cuba and Eduardo from Mexico that were fantastic. I am also very disappointed with MSC's response and handling of their customers. I will not book an MSC again Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
average quality cruise, poor food quality. excursions was very nice. too much money making activities involved in musica then sinfonia. Deck was no clean, poor arrangements, dirty and sticky floors. drunk people at night bumping ... Read More
average quality cruise, poor food quality. excursions was very nice. too much money making activities involved in musica then sinfonia. Deck was no clean, poor arrangements, dirty and sticky floors. drunk people at night bumping everywhere. no enough space on deck for any activities. very less area for kids activities on the deck. poor management on kids club as every 2 or three hours have to fetch and drop which is more time consuming then anything. monotonous breakfast, not much choice. piza was good. waiter was not good enough to give us information regarding food. received wrong dishes. Maria, the receptionist was excellent in her service. She was very friendly and always smiley. good excursion at inhaca island. enjoyed 4x4 ride. Tea and coffee were poor standard. Burnt coffee and no good tea made it worst in morning. the standard for the shows was not that good as sinfonia. Average cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The first time with Sinfonia was excellent. Everything were more than expected. A dream come true. That is why my husband desided to surprise me with early birthday gift... A cruise on Musica.. We were so disappointed with Musica. Paying ... Read More
The first time with Sinfonia was excellent. Everything were more than expected. A dream come true. That is why my husband desided to surprise me with early birthday gift... A cruise on Musica.. We were so disappointed with Musica. Paying for balcony view but could not use it because both sides and all over no smoking area people were smoking. We had to close balcony all the time due to smoke. On deck there were on both sides people smoking . We complained about the rooms and balcony that our neighbors smoke, and no one did anything. Most food dishes had curry therefore we ate hotdogs or humburgers most of the time . We did ask about food they reply there is Indians on board but 95 % were South Africans. And coffee terrible. No decent coffee. Had to ask for nescafe. Waiters hide it because guests steal the coffee. The entertainment team on deck were good but not so interactive with guests. The entertainment shows inside were very good. The overall neatness is very good. But for children sitting between people smoking and not catering for all guests made me give a poor rating. We paid for experience of a lifetime not running from here to there just to search for spot to breathe fresh air or to look for something to help with heartburn.... Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
1st time on MSC and was disappointed, it was a cheesy experience. Things I liked: I liked my cabin it was spacious but you could have had a kettle with Tea/Coffee available. If I didn't book a balcony cabin I would have been ... Read More
1st time on MSC and was disappointed, it was a cheesy experience. Things I liked: I liked my cabin it was spacious but you could have had a kettle with Tea/Coffee available. If I didn't book a balcony cabin I would have been really stuffed up. I enjoyed the island Things I disliked: Food was terrible, no taste mass production, the pizza was the worst The plates & cups were filthy. Free coffee at Buffet very bad It's Cheaper to buy Water & Coffee cash if you a none drinker than buying vouchers, vouchers are a rip-off. Toilets onboard were pathetic Onboard entertainment pathetic, Only two shows 7 pm & 9 pm nothing else to do during the day. The pools are a disgrace, very small & deep The games room pathetic hardly any games All in all, I tried it and I disliked the experience, I won't cruise local again maybe I would consider a much larger ship with better water activities This cruise is for old people and people just looking to get drunk and party. Not suitable for families. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my 8th cruise and defenitley the worst cruise! 1. Very poor Safety drill, was done in 2 minutes. Crew only showed how to fasten lifejackets. 2. When we asked for help from cabin steward at 16H00 after bording he said that he ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise and defenitley the worst cruise! 1. Very poor Safety drill, was done in 2 minutes. Crew only showed how to fasten lifejackets. 2. When we asked for help from cabin steward at 16H00 after bording he said that he cant help till after 6 as he is bussy with lugage. 3. We tried to phone help desk but the phone was not working. I eventualy found out the 9 button on phone had to be pressed verry hard and to hold it in for a few seconds til it dail. We reported it but as per technision this was acceptable an didnt do anything to fix the problem. 4. When we went to eat the problems realy started. I had to firstly at every meal clean old food from my wet plate! And still after complaining about it nothing was done! 5. At every meal we had to ask for butter and the response was that there was not butter as there was delivery issues! They eventualy bring butter to our table after our food was cold or finnished. 6. This was the dirtiest cruise ship of all your MSC ships that I cruised on. Lounge Chairs with very old stains and arm rests with old brown fatty marks only clean where the previos passangers hands pressed to stand up. 7. Entertainment at shows after evening meals was repettitve, the same 4 entertainers with the same preformence only different theme... 8. No smoking areas on deck was a big dissipointment. We had to ask several people to not smoke and had to show them the no smoking signs. This caused very tense moments. Please make it clear to all passangers and ask crew to when they walk pass pasanges that is smoking in no smoke areas to address them. So that we dont have to! 9. Our nice view from our balcony was ruined as the lifeboat below my cabin was used as an ashtray. And the stompies was roling around on the roof of the lifeboat. Must be up to a 100 stompies seems like an astray was emptied from a balcony. We also reported this several times on our 5 day stay. Nothing was done! Very dissipointed in MSC as I realy looked forward to cruise with you but this standard of cruise will ensure that I never recomend MSC as a fantastic holiday cruise to all my family and friends. And the photos of a very dirty ship can not be placed on my sosial media as I am to ashamed to show that I cruised on a very dirty MSC Musica! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We were very disappointed in our latest cruise with MSC South Africa (this is our 4th cruise with them). 1) We had a delay in embarking. 2) Procedure to embark was a nighmare - standing in a long queue outside in the elements and ... Read More
We were very disappointed in our latest cruise with MSC South Africa (this is our 4th cruise with them). 1) We had a delay in embarking. 2) Procedure to embark was a nighmare - standing in a long queue outside in the elements and no seating for hours on end to only get inside the building to join another long standing queue. 3) Our departure from Durban Harbour was originally scheduled for 15h00 but we only left at 21h30!! 4) We booked this cruise to also enjoy the stop over on Pomene only to find out, only once we had departed, that this leg was cancelled due to the late departure. Not once was this announced to everyone on board. 5) Whole cruise was rushed and we felt ripped off, as it was cut short. 6) Settling the account prior disembarkation was a nightmare - more queing and mistakes on their side so we had to queue again next morning! 7) The interactive tv's in our rooms did not working the entire trip, 8) We felt too much time was spent standing in queues where we should have been relaxing and enjoying our cruise. 8) No apology or explanation (as yet) from MSC with regards to our shortened cruise and change in itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
The food was poor compared to previous cruises. The bar service was slow and the quality of the cocktails was inconsistent. The cabins were very comfortable and clean. The embarkation process was a circus. Having been told to get to the ... Read More
The food was poor compared to previous cruises. The bar service was slow and the quality of the cocktails was inconsistent. The cabins were very comfortable and clean. The embarkation process was a circus. Having been told to get to the terminal early, we were then told to sit and wait. No refreshments were offered and the shore based personnel became fractious and rude. While the delay in the ship arriving was not MSC's fault, I believe they should have been far more forthcoming with apologies, gestures and financial compensation. People were just dumped at hotels and had to fend for themselves. The insurance cover was not explained clearly and I know there are going to be some very angry guests who ended spending way more than R1250 per person in accommodation, meals, transport and drinks. The 50% refund on the cruise and 20% discount on a future cruise just doesn't go far enough. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We love cruising and have done many cruises on various ships but this experience was the worst by far.We sailed up to Walvis on the 20th January. The embarkation procedure was a complete disaster- we had two small children with us and we ... Read More
We love cruising and have done many cruises on various ships but this experience was the worst by far.We sailed up to Walvis on the 20th January. The embarkation procedure was a complete disaster- we had two small children with us and we stood in line for 4 and a half hours. We noticed many elderly people and even a lady in a wheelchair having to go through this horrendous experience.The ship was forced to stay out at sea due to high winds which we know is beyond the control of MSC but we heard sooooooo many complaints from fellow customers about the way in which the delay was managed.We eventually got off this morning and thankfully that didn't take as long as we had expected. Even though we were told to leave our cabins at 06h00 and only left the ship at about 08h00 and that was only due to the fact that we elected to drag our own cases off the ship. The ship was at full capacity and that was clearly evident- the buffets were completely overcrowded and the queues endless- people were eating at the tables by the swimming pool as there were no tables available inside.We went down to lunch one day in the restaurant and there too the queue was out the door. The food was the worst that we have ever had on any prior cruise.Numerous guests were commenting on the standard of the food. Photographs excessively priced and in fact when we looked yesterday there must have been thousands of unsold photographs. The excursions in walvis were expensive and guests that went to the flamingos didn't get to see flamingo's. The entertainment was good- could have had more happening around the pool though. The staff in the baby club and kids club were phenomenal- our kids loved playing there.Also they stay open late so gives the adults time to eat dinner in peace and go to a show. Our cabin was fine and was always nicely cleaned- no complaints there. The ship was at capacity and still the one pool was drained and worked on- why not do this when the ship is emptier? The Jacuzzi's were always busy and often had children sitting in them. The loungers were always difficult to get as there are not enough in the shaded areas. We often landed up sitting at one of the tables. WE often found that there was no toilet paper in the toilets and the floors very wet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my 3rd cruise with MSC. The Ship is well Maintained. Very neat and clean and well looked after. The entertainment crew were friendly and good. The barmen in the Cigar Lounge were very friendly and helpful. The crew at the Spa ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise with MSC. The Ship is well Maintained. Very neat and clean and well looked after. The entertainment crew were friendly and good. The barmen in the Cigar Lounge were very friendly and helpful. The crew at the Spa were friendly and very good. I was lucky to meet the Manager and I could congrats him with his staff. The crew at the outside bar, reception and restaurants were unfriendly. The willing to help were not there. They looked like they hate there jobs. My suitcase was damaged. The team that take in the suitcases at night don't keep people that was sleeping in mind. The also not friendly at all and throw the luggage. When I reported my damaged suitcase, there were more people with the same complain. We book for the 1st seating in restaurant, but on our cards we were booked for second seating. They just told us they cannot change that. On deck 13 there were "Call for bar service buttons". Nothing happens when pressing it. (I tried more than once) Don't know why they put it on the tables. We had an bad incident at the entertainment area and need security, but they were not in site. Maybe they must be more visible on all decks. People from other tables saw what happened and helped me. The food was great and the variety more than enough. Thanks to all the hardworking guys in the kitchen! We wait very long for the food in the evening, but is was worthwhile! The rows to embarkation were not flow for a very long time. People wait to long in rows and in the sun. Disembarkation and embarkation in Walvisbay went very smooth and quick. The Disembarkation in Cape Town also go very quick and smooth. I would like to book again for the 2020 cruise with the hope that I experience the same hospitality that I experience on the Rapsody and the Melody and not the unfriendly hospitality that we received on the Musica. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as we had gotten married in August and this was our honeymoon/ family cruise with our parents. The restaurant was great, Prisco Fernandes and Thobeka Shangase really made our dining experience great, we can not wait ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had gotten married in August and this was our honeymoon/ family cruise with our parents. The restaurant was great, Prisco Fernandes and Thobeka Shangase really made our dining experience great, we can not wait to see them again when we cruise in March. We had a few hiccups like the inch by gold lady who is only available the first two days of the cruise, and they didn’t tell us that so the last evening of the cruise was disappointing. We really wanted to buy from her. That was really terrible as this was suppose to be a gift for my mother in law. The shows weren’t as great as it always was. Rather disappointing. And the disemabarkation was terrible, we were suppose to get of first and no one told us when to leave we were sitting there like idiots the staff walked past us and didn’t even ask us which tickets we have. After more than an hour we only left the ship. You guys should really look at announcing it on the speakers which color tickets get off what time. Would make it better Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The 5day December cruise on the Musica was a fantastic family holiday with fair value for money. The whole experience of the MSC starts when you book, and you can imagine my frustration when booking the room, they say that they only ... Read More
The 5day December cruise on the Musica was a fantastic family holiday with fair value for money. The whole experience of the MSC starts when you book, and you can imagine my frustration when booking the room, they say that they only have 2 sleeper cabin and having to take 2 rooms only to find out once in the rooms that both rooms which they said was 2 sleepers was actually 4 sleeper and MSC SA denying it. I must wonder if this was a scam my MSC to fill up the rooms and why MSC SA is avoiding the issue and not providing feedback. The onboarding process is long and tedious with no changes been made to cater for a third more passengers than the Sinfonia. Be prepared to wait as it can take over 3 hours to get onboard the ship on from the time you leave your bags. Once onboard the immense size of the Musica becomes a reality with stunning lounges, bars and overall facilities, though cleaning up of the ship was still taking place at 1pm from the previous cruise. What made the Christmas cruise special was the ginger bread house, the shows including the kids and Christmas into it, the food carvings, the midnight layout of cakes and food, and the carol singing. The service was exceptional all round except for the doctor, from the waiters to reception to the cleaners of the room. I would like to commend the staff for the great care and service they provided, always accommodating and willing to assist. The food in the restaurants was fabulous, well presented catering to a variety of needs. The food in the buffer could be improved for breakfast. With the Musica been an Italian ship I expected more Italian variety and better pizzas instead of plain dull pizzas. I had the unfortunate experience of having to use the doctor on board the ship. The experience was unfortunate as the doctor though been South African was totally incompetent, having ready the report by the night shift doctor 3 time could not recall what he read, his speech was incoherent, and everything was maybe we should do this and was not sure if it was the right approach. He could not even work out the right dosage of antibiotics to prescribe. He should not be on board the ship let alone treat anyone. The process for the photos is chaotic with passenger frustration running high due to difficulty finding photos, getting clarity on the packages. MSC can greatly improve the service by implementing a tracking using the room card to tag each photo against similar to what Disney does in their parks. Also enable the viewing of the photos online avoiding the wastage of printing phots only to be destroyed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We have always wanted to experience a cruise and planned for it for 2 year. My son was on two cruises. We spoke many people who have been on cruises and questioned them about their experience and the do and the don'ts etc. I ... Read More
We have always wanted to experience a cruise and planned for it for 2 year. My son was on two cruises. We spoke many people who have been on cruises and questioned them about their experience and the do and the don'ts etc. I honestly expected a lot more and was sadly disappointed and would not do it again. Frankly I found it very boring. I covered the ship and explored what was available from entertainment to shopping in a few hours. The cabins are fine. Dinning was fine. Entertainment and Activities limited. Service fine. Port and shore excursion apart from swimming fine. We traveled with two kids aged 11 and 14. They enjoyed themselves as children always do. But even they complained about the activities. They played fuss ball most of the time. If drinking all day long is your idea of fun then I will never go on another cruise again. The buffet food was pathetic to say the least. White dry hot dogs and soya bugers and chips all day every day. None of the food is freshly prepared. Everything prepared in bulk for the three days reheated and served. They ran out of tea and coffee all the time. The coffee tastes like mud. Everything is of poor quality and the trip is so expensive. The coffee was really bad and weak. The ques for breakfast was the worst. We struggled to get seating yes and the bad coffeee. Dinner is much better organised. I think the same should done for breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We discovered the MSC cruise through a friend ,she gave us a news letter from MSC and after reading we develop interest and started inquirering and we end up booking and paying deposit to a friendly staff. Embarkation date arrived and ... Read More
We discovered the MSC cruise through a friend ,she gave us a news letter from MSC and after reading we develop interest and started inquirering and we end up booking and paying deposit to a friendly staff. Embarkation date arrived and it was our first time to cruise,we were welcome by friendly staff,the ship was big. We were booked in 5 star balcony cabin a full house.We were dinning like kings and queens.Entertainment was gallo we were treated equally as humanbeings .Service was excellent and not forgetting the tasty food. We had a three course meal every day.I am busy recruiting my friends to join in april so that they can experience this wonderful cruise on their own. We have being travelling all over africa but this was the best. The port officials treated us with respect. We are pensioners we did not travel with kids We planning to go again on the 5th April2019. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise was booked cause my mom always wanted to do it so for her 50th birthday present we did the cruise. First it was not organized you stand in a 2.5 hour que just to get into the ship, crew members are rude and had no respect ... Read More
The cruise was booked cause my mom always wanted to do it so for her 50th birthday present we did the cruise. First it was not organized you stand in a 2.5 hour que just to get into the ship, crew members are rude and had no respect for the passengers especially the first day when you lost. The food is amazing. Shops were also way over priced. They take photos all the time but way over priced to actually but the photos especially if you would like multiple photos.... Cabins are also exteamely small can hardly move in them. Entertainment crew outside were really good and interactive. Theaters were also very good. The fitness center was extremely nice had everything you needed for the time that you were there. Snorkeling in Pomene was a waste they send you to an edge that the water is all green and cant see anything. Overall would not recommend the cruise though thought it was very over rated Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Joined the cruise as a group booking for a friend's birthday celebration. Off the bat we were all excited and mostly on the same floor, not next to each other, but that was fine. Accommodation: Rooms and cleaning staff were ... Read More
Joined the cruise as a group booking for a friend's birthday celebration. Off the bat we were all excited and mostly on the same floor, not next to each other, but that was fine. Accommodation: Rooms and cleaning staff were probably the best part of the trip, neat, friendly staff here too! Dining: Halal: The concept of halal is very confusing on this cruise, we are told meats are halal, but there's ham, bacon, etc. which I fully understand, but one would assume the "Halal corner" would have said halal meats right? No, here we get vegetarian omelettes. Also, having sliced ham next to sliced 'halal' meats is not halal friendly, diners not Muslim easily use utensils across various products. So I stayed away. The real issue came when I experienced these 2 scenarios: Scenario 1: Seated dining, noting 'meats are halal sign at restaurant', where at least 3 of the meals are cooked in wine! This is not on and not acceptable! Scenario 2: At the destination there was a BBQ, whilst dishing at the buffet I asked the server which are halal to which he says 'everything' so I asked, "even the stuff labelled pork?" to which he chuckled and told his colleagues as if it was a fat joke. I am not a religious fanatic, but some mutual respect and common decency is expected when working in a service industry. Buffet (Breakfast & Lunch): let's just say we eventually called the buffet "fight for food" because that is what it felt like. Never mind the queues, the way people over dished and wasted was uncanny. The ship was ill-prepared for the rushes and ran out of food at the one destination too. Seated Dinner: Dining experience was terrible as we weren't all seated near each other, but a few tables away spread across 3 tables. In an effort to maximize mingling we would shuffle ourselves so we all could chat, the waitrons complained about this for each meal and were just uncouth.one even made fun of the way someone pronounced some wine! Unnecessary and disrespectful. Considering the seated dining is considered "fine dining" the way the waiter would ask for the beverage coupons mid meal was rude. Vouchers: MSC we are in the 21st Century, surely the idea of little vouchers (very barter system like) that could get wet on a boat is a bit outdated - unless that is the plan? How about pre-loading this and all other packages onto the cruise card and giving us lanyards so we don't a)stand in queues upon arrival b) lose vouchers c) don't have to constantly carry books around whilst trying to swim! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First time cruiser never again Very poor staff comunication about booking of excursion, confirmation of booked restuarant seating , availabilty of barf bags Very poor quality of food. Watered down reycled baked beans and beef mince ... Read More
First time cruiser never again Very poor staff comunication about booking of excursion, confirmation of booked restuarant seating , availabilty of barf bags Very poor quality of food. Watered down reycled baked beans and beef mince into pasta Lamb mince saturday looked like beef mince from friday Limited decaf coffee and free juice that was closed entire saturday Limited options for hindu meals as beef and pork readily available Midnight snacks terrible Free water tasted awful on saturday Smoking was permitted in public area like the pools unacceptable and unlawful especially area used by kids Limited entertainment for older kids Major communication barrier as staff was difficult to understand Lifts didnt work well some didnt stop on 8th floor Reception didnt direct queries appropiately if they didt know the information Staff didnt knock to enter cabin with master key this is inappropriate Was an awful experience will not be returning or recommending this cruise to anyone Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chosen: short trip, able to fit into a tight schedule. Was it worth it though? Hell freaking No! The food was sub par and often leftovers were recycled. I have no issue with leftovers, wastage is awful. But honestly too water down baked ... Read More
Chosen: short trip, able to fit into a tight schedule. Was it worth it though? Hell freaking No! The food was sub par and often leftovers were recycled. I have no issue with leftovers, wastage is awful. But honestly too water down baked beans 3meals in a row was crazy and disrespectful to baked beans and paying customers. The apparently free water and juices were closed most all of the time. Beware of the restaurant bookings! You may book 1st sitting and end up with 2nd. Which too people with kids is very annoying. They do not provide you with sufficient information and are quite irritable and no patience when you ask your Q. If your diet is varied then you're okay. But if you are hindu or vegan, theres not many options. The only truly edible item was the 3cheese pizza. They do have a variety of tea flavours, however no herbal teas or hot chocolates, and very limited amount of decaf coffee, that was not replenished. Overall quality of food was very poor. Will not recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We went into this cruise with memories about the great food and entertainment on a 3-night cruise (same ship) many years ago and wanted our children to also experience it. We were disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation: Not ... Read More
We went into this cruise with memories about the great food and entertainment on a 3-night cruise (same ship) many years ago and wanted our children to also experience it. We were disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation: Not much to say. Very smooth, no complaints here. Just listen to instructions and make sure you have papers/documents required. Dining: Ah, here it falls completely flat compared to our previous memories. Example, Spaggetti-bolognaise as main option. really? I make that at home regularly. ie. none of the dining experiences really stood out. The type, and order of food almost gave the impression that what was left from one day was re-used as left overs for the next day's course. The pizza cafeteria could also do with some more pizza options. Service: Very long waiting times at pool bar, but even more annoying was that the bars (in general) seemed to not have enough glasses, sometimes serving cocktails in smaller plain glasses. At some point even the coffee bar gave me coffee in glasses which I had to wrap serviettes around just to be able to carry the hot drinks without burning my hands. In terms of dining service our main dining waiters Alit and Cesar were helpful and courteous though, so shout out to them. Excursions: We only went to the islands. The excursion planning especially on the second outing to the island left a bit to be desired and caused many passengers frustration. The second island also had the facilities quite far removed from the beach which is not good when your daughter gets stung by a blue-bottle and you have to get a crying, in-pain child across hot sand to the medical facility at what felt like furthest end from beach. Entertainment: The kids "entertainment" only opened late at night, and did not really feel as entertainment to them, either being way to busy, or felt not really appropriate as per age groups. The variety of entertainment compared to our previous memories was not nearly what we expected. One or two of the performers in the lounges we enjoyed, but overall none of the "shows" really peaked our interest. It could do with a bit more variety. In short, it felt underwhelming and we will probably not consider it again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I have just come off an MSC Cruise in South Africa (26th February - 2nd March 2018). We boarded the Sinfonia at 12 o'clock and were due to depart at 2 p.m. The ship left at 3 p.m. and prior to our departure, it was announced whilst we ... Read More
I have just come off an MSC Cruise in South Africa (26th February - 2nd March 2018). We boarded the Sinfonia at 12 o'clock and were due to depart at 2 p.m. The ship left at 3 p.m. and prior to our departure, it was announced whilst we were still docked in Durban, that due to strong winds and bad weather we would be changing our itinerary. Instead of going to the Portuguese Island on Tuesday, 27th Feb, we would be going to Maputo. And instead of being at Pomene on Wednesday, 28th Feb, we would be going to the Portuguese Island. We experienced magnificent weather on our cruise (no strong winds) and very calm seas. However, I do know that some 200 passengers from a Church Group headed by Prophet Bushiri, missed the ship in Durban and were boarded in Maputo the next day. This cruise had not been advertised as an event cruise. We had more than 1000 Prophet Shepherd Bushiri followers on board who were made to believe that it was their cruise and almost asked "What we were doing there?" I was asked by crew staff to leave various areas of the ship as they had been booked for events. This cruise was not advertised on the MSC website as an ''Event Cruise". I had confirmed when I did the booking that it was not an event cruise. There were many unhappy passengers on the cruise - who had not been told that this was a Prophetic Cruise with planned events in various areas of the ship. I saw a passenger being pushed out of the elevator. One of their staff members was highly traumatised by the events that occurred during our cruise. We couldn't use the pool on one of the days as they were baptising people in the ship's swimming pool. The San Carlo Theatre was used for their events as well as the Pasha Disco on various occasions. We felt as we were being diverted permanently due to their functions. I feel that the "guests who did not form part of the event" were being unfairly treated because many areas of the ship were out of bounds. The juice machines were often not replenished with more juice, coffee often ran out, the buffet restaurant was very dirty at times. And the food on the buffet of very poor quality! I have been on 4 international cruises and 4 South African Cruises with MSC and I have never, never experienced such a bad cruise before. Some staff on the ship were not responsive to guests complaints and told everyone to complaint to MSC once they were on land. I am a Gold Member. Bottom line, MSC was not transparent with its guests!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We celebrated my brother-in-law's 50th. It was a family occasion. It was my first cruise and yes on my vision board. The overall experience was a good first. Albeit, the experience was shattered when I woke up one morning with bed ... Read More
We celebrated my brother-in-law's 50th. It was a family occasion. It was my first cruise and yes on my vision board. The overall experience was a good first. Albeit, the experience was shattered when I woke up one morning with bed bugs crawling over me. On day two, I got a rash, and thought it was a heat rash. On the second last day, it had spread and I was feeling miserable, and stayed in the cabin most of the morning, on medication for the itching. I caught one of the bed bugs in a glass and took it to the GSL. I was taken to the Medical Centre. There I was interrogated about why "I only found the bed bugs then". Unacceptable!!! Bed bugs truly were the last thing I expected. I was given an injection and some cream. The stop over in Pomene was cancelled - this was a disappointment! We did not go on the Portuguese Island trip that day, and decided to do activities on the boat. However, there were not many activities presented as a back-up. We had our dinner at Il Galeone Restaurant. The two waiters that took care of us - Bobby and Anush - were really great. The food however was a let-down. We paid for easy embarkation. This turned out to be another mess-up, as we were told by one of the assistance to go back to the back of the queue. I laid a formal complaint against this assistant named, Joshua. My wife and I looked forward to this experience. We have both travelled extensively, and this was our first 'long-haul' with our kids. We have spoken about the experience much, and we are both in agreement that we will not travel on MSC Symphonia again. We look forward to another cruise, with a company that will satisfy. The best experience was the travellers on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
destination good but wouldn't recommend this as ship needs to be replaced by o old. The whole experience of this cruise was as if I had been in an old people's home. The entertainment was geared for this and so we're the ... Read More
destination good but wouldn't recommend this as ship needs to be replaced by o old. The whole experience of this cruise was as if I had been in an old people's home. The entertainment was geared for this and so we're the activities. The destination was appealing but to be given a port that was a coal mining destination Port Richard and get covered in dust isn't my idea of interesting port even captain agreed and told us he had notified the company of this. Must have been a cheap port to go to. The overall staff really very good and helpful, food good, cabins not up to today standards. Entertainment needs to be updated though an older crowd they need to realise we are not one foot in the grave. Lovely table but also of the same opinion. Perference given to people who book Fred Olsen direct. Independence passages required to desembark no later than 10.00 a.m. But Fred Olsen passengers were allowed to stay on board as long as necessary before their flight departure. I hope Fred Olsen take note of these comments Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
This was the first time I opted to cruise with my family. We were extremely excited and thought that this trip was a going to be like the stuff you see on television. We loved the New Year celebration with everyone and enjoyed the ... Read More
This was the first time I opted to cruise with my family. We were extremely excited and thought that this trip was a going to be like the stuff you see on television. We loved the New Year celebration with everyone and enjoyed the travel. However I was very disappointed mostly with the entertainment and food. Being an offshore cruise, the entertainment was very South African-ish with medicore performances. Food was extremely poor tasting. This trip lacked global standards and did not cater for all ethnic groups. I could have easily experienced all these things in South Africa in my home. I did enjoy the Island trips which offered some welcome relief which I had funded incrementally. I was disappointed with the greed, selfishness on the trip by the adults. People were stuffing their faces like there was no tomorrow; not even going to talk about the jacuzzi. Adults would rather put their feet on chairs than opt to give the chair to standing people to sit on. Overall a below average trip. If I had to do this again, I would opt for the European cruises where I understand the experience is less of a South African standard but of European high quality. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
When we traveled with MSC in 2006 we already realized they are not at par with other international cruise lines, but we wanted to treat my mother with a cruise for her 80th birthday and booked a 5 night cruise with them. MSC deteriorated a ... Read More
When we traveled with MSC in 2006 we already realized they are not at par with other international cruise lines, but we wanted to treat my mother with a cruise for her 80th birthday and booked a 5 night cruise with them. MSC deteriorated a lot since then and the embarkation and disembarkation was a nightmare for my elderly (80 and 85) parents. MSC seems unable to handle the crowd and there were no staff checking that thing went orderly. My parent had to stand in line for hours with nowhere to sit and people pushing in all the time. The queue for embarkation at Maputo was longer than Election Day, but with no staff to tend to the elderly and disabled. The number system for disembarkation at Portuguese Island and Pomene helped, but was no use in Durban, because nobody was checking. We were in the first group (we booked shuttle transfer), but people from later groups pushed in. On the morning of the 3rd day our toilet stopped flushing, but it was only fixed on the afternoon of the 4th day after our 5th complaint. No tea or coffee (or even a glass of water) is available in the dining room and the waiter told us to go and get it at the buffet. He only serves drinks that you pay for. My daughter and her husband were thinking of doing a MSC cruise in March, but I will recommend them to reconsider. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017

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