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101 Genoa to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times ... Read More
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times instead (our scheduled dinner time). She said they are fully booked. But how can they be fully booked when they are offering discounted massages everyday. The couple we met on this cruise who cruises regularly said to us that it's better not to book it in advance because they will give you a schedule according to your liking if you book it right there and then and they have discounts everyday anyway. Spa is basic, just 3 thermal rooms. No jacuzzi or whatsoever. Food is average. Not too bad. Not that great either. Bathrobes not available unless you pay extra hundred pounds (available for aurea guests only). Do not get the fantasia upgrade, there are travel companies who can give you free water at bella experience. Fantasia is not worth it unless u wanted a Mediterranean breakfast delivered to your room everyday (just croissants, bread, jam, cereals). Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals ... Read More
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals :-) One of the mirrors was making a rattling noise in rough seas when the boat was rocking. Needless to say the noise was keeping us awake at night. Cabin server did not pay attention to details. I had to call Guest services to have hand soap refilled, bath towels and bathroom floor rug delivered. He was not picking up drink glasses that we were bringing from a bar. There were times when the glasses were sitting on the table for two days. Excursions were nice and most of the tour guides were very knowledgeable. We didn’t care for the tour guide in Marseille- Ola or Olga. Her English was not great and she was sometimes out of words. We were surprised she was not better prepared for the excursion. Her English vocabulary was poor. Shows were excellent and I gave MSC a score of 10 for their entertainment. You will enjoy their evening shows! Food - food presentation was 7-8 on the scale. Portions are really small. Breakfast and lunch for suite guests were the weakest areas. We had breakfast 4 times in a private restaurant but gave up after the 4th day because omelettes didn’t have the ingredients that we ordered and light Pepsi and orange juice were not delivered. So we started going to the buffets. Spa - I had 2 massages and a facial. Bali massage was great but the hot stone not so much. There was no music for the first 20 minutes because the system was down. I sent the massage therapist to the front desk twice to ask about it because all I was listening to was the sound of the blinds hitting the window frame. Hot stones were getting cold and the technician was not removing them so I was cold. When I walked in, the room was cold. The technician told me she was cold. So how was I supposed to relax when my feet turned into icicles? The temperature should have been much higher. Facial - they don’t have the arm that releases steam and warms up skin. Basic setup. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We choose this cruise due itinerary and price. I little hesitant in booking with MSC due to mostly bad reviews and decided to try anyway. My rating is based on comparable cruise lines we have been on: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal ... Read More
We choose this cruise due itinerary and price. I little hesitant in booking with MSC due to mostly bad reviews and decided to try anyway. My rating is based on comparable cruise lines we have been on: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Ship is well kept and clean. Most passengers were Europeans with majority from France and Germany. We met people from Canada, Australia, Spain and Norway. Food is comparable with other cruise. Sometime tasty and other time bland. Good variety of food service. Veal and fish seem popular. Meat tends to be tough. Serving are small. A complementary 1 Liter bottle of water was given to us for lunches and dinners at the restaurants. Breakfast has free coffee, tea, water and juice. Buffet lunch and pizza and pasta is service every day in the buffet. Water, coffee and tea are free at the buffet, They will try to match passenger with same language. When we reserve the cruise, we were supposed to have been booked for early dinner and table for 2. That information was not forwarded to the ship by the agent at MSC/USA and were were assigned 2nd seating. We are able to change to 1st seating but share table. Embarkation too a long time, almost 2 hrs. Our information was checked 5 times before getting on board. We then go straight to our room where we picked up our key card. The card can be activated for charging on the ship with credit card in the machines at the reception area. They did try to sell drink packages but was not high pressure. We just told them we already booked drink packages and went on our way. Entertainment are all musical: Famous songs, opera, piano, Alice in wonderland theme and mixed with a little acrobatic. Stage is always the same. Low budget presentation. Shore excursions were well organized. Got our tickets the night before and the daily activity told us were to meet. We are give an assigned number (corresponding to the bus number) and escorted to the bus. There is an indoor pool and outdoor pool and are not crowded. There seemed to have plenty empty lounge chairs. Hot tubs tends to be crowded. There is an attendant who will ask people to leave if they stay too long and there are other people waiting. Water temp is not very hot. Overall, we enjoyed and would book again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Worst cruise out of 7 that we have been. We'll start with the food in the restaurant 1/ Black hair in the food on 1st night (for the wife),2/ Black hair in the food again a couple of nights later(for the wife).3/Chicken not cooked ... Read More
Worst cruise out of 7 that we have been. We'll start with the food in the restaurant 1/ Black hair in the food on 1st night (for the wife),2/ Black hair in the food again a couple of nights later(for the wife).3/Chicken not cooked PINK in the middle-No,No!! 4/ food cold a lot of the time had to send it back often. 5/Appetiser-lamb skewer cold-sent it back. 6/Veal shank 2 small pieces of meat in it, rest gristle & bone, would not give it to a dog.7/Eggs not cooked properly in the morning-still clear(white).Waiters & maitre D very helpful not their fault but the kitchens. Buffet -1/ Burgers horrible.2/ Cold fries all the time- had to wait for hot ones.3/ Most food cold & unappetising ok if you like pizza & pasta every day.4/ fried eggs straight from the kitchen cold. Deck 13 - Big screen - NO films at all for 24 days only stupid adverts - why? - was told we would have to buy them EH!! what a waste of money. Deck 14 - No drinks , no waiters 2-3 hundred on deck - was told by waitress they are only 2 of them & they just do the 13 deck. Customers & company missing out. No disembarkation meeting was told by a matter of fact receptionist it was yesterday, was not told about it nor were any other Brits. Management often off hand & could not sort out problems. No taxi to take us to the hotel in Barbados, cost $25 for a private one. And so it goes on & on & on Was offered 10% discount & £50 on another cruise, don't think so!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The ship is kept spotlessly clean, but the italians smoked everywhere . Even under the no smoking here signs.The sotto vento pub was always in a haze of smoke and impossible to inhabit if you dont smoke.The guest relations area always ... Read More
The ship is kept spotlessly clean, but the italians smoked everywhere . Even under the no smoking here signs.The sotto vento pub was always in a haze of smoke and impossible to inhabit if you dont smoke.The guest relations area always smelled of smoke. The restaurant was nice but if you werent Italian you received second class service . We were next to a table of italians who were out of the restaurant before wehad the main course. We complained to the restaurant manager and the service improved tremendously ,but it shouldnt be necessary. The cabins are kept very clean which was good and the entertainment was good. For English speakers you had to listen to Italian,french,german Spanish then English so every announcement was long winded,but this is to be expected on a multinational ship. Some of the entertainment staff couldnt pronounce English very well ,so when they switched from Spanish it was very difficult to understand them but they were speaking five languages so hats off to them. The food was OK but geared to the Italian palate but maybe 70 % of the cliente were Italian so once again its understandable. I would not use MSC again on a Mediterranean cruise but would consider a Caribbean as they will cater for the american market and would suit me better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
As a first time cruiser we chose a one week fly cruise which took in four off our top 100 places to visit. On arrival at Genoa airport we were met by the P&O team who guided us to our coaches. On arrival at the port we went through ... Read More
As a first time cruiser we chose a one week fly cruise which took in four off our top 100 places to visit. On arrival at Genoa airport we were met by the P&O team who guided us to our coaches. On arrival at the port we went through a quick & smoothly operated embarkation & then onto the ship. I couldn't believe that it was only 10am and we were directed to the ships buffet restaurant for breakfast. I have read several other reviews about The Oceana and found that some of them were wide of the mark. We had an indoor cabin. It was the cheapest that they sold but then we didn't spend much time in there. But it was exceptional clean and excellently stewarded. We'd opted for the fixed dining (next time we'll go freedom). Again the service was excellent. However we found the menu a bit samey. For a change we tried the Cafe Jardin restaurant and although the choice of food was better the restaurant lacked atmosphere. Many of the dinners made the decision to use the self service option of The Plaza buffet. This was our choice for breakfast and light lunches, and is mostly responsible for my gain in weight. We awarded top marks for the ships entertainment. Whilst we were on board we say great singers, an extremely funny comedian and a top talented magician / ventriliquist. And there were numerious to top review shows by The Oceana's own Headliners performers. There were other adequate performances by groups and duets. There was even a pianist who must have been trained by Les Dawson as he was an expert at hit at least a dozen bum notes per record. The only disappointment was that there was a charge to use the Wifi. So to sum up the holiday, we had a great time, lots of fun and made many friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
First cruise and just wanted to experience it. The ship is spotless and beautiful we had a midship cabin on deck 10 with a balcony, it was to a very high standard. What let it down for us was first the dining experience, we where 2nd ... Read More
First cruise and just wanted to experience it. The ship is spotless and beautiful we had a midship cabin on deck 10 with a balcony, it was to a very high standard. What let it down for us was first the dining experience, we where 2nd sitting in the red velvet changed tables 3 times but was still a shambles.very very noisy seeing food being scraped off plates is very off putting. There is way too many people in its like a giant cafeteria, the buffet is no better another noisy giant area. I never had to renew my pool towels as I never was in a swimming pool the main one was just ridiculous the noise was unbearable and very difficult to get a sunbed even in the quieter areas so very dissapointed. Getting off the ship at the different ports was also a hassle we did not find this to be a relaxing holiday at all, and would not consider going on another cruise. The shows were great but very short, the bar areas were lovley and most of the staff really nice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
First time with p&o having cruised twice before. We chose the cruise for the itenary and the price point. Well we were extremely satisfied with all aspects of the cruise, quality of the food the staff and the price of the drinks. The ... Read More
First time with p&o having cruised twice before. We chose the cruise for the itenary and the price point. Well we were extremely satisfied with all aspects of the cruise, quality of the food the staff and the price of the drinks. The ship was really clean and tidy and we found it very easy to navigate round as it was just the right size. We only used the p&o organised excursions once, as we do prefer to do our own thing, however I don't think they were to expensive and I wouldn't put anyone off if they chose pre organised trips. We cruised the eastern med and adriatic, stopping at 10 ports in all, I won't bore you with all, needless to say that they were all fantastic. We had an inside cabin which was on deck 12, nice size comfortable and met all our needs, we have had balconies previously but we're not disappointed with our room. Entertainment was varied and suitable for all, we did find the pool in the middle of the ship to be very loud and busy so opted for the back of the boat in the adult section. In all we only had a couple of gripes. Lack of sunbeds, which was particularly apparent on sea days, get a bed by 0930. Water taxi's organised by p&o in Venice, only 4 boats so expect to wait up to an hour at least. Get the private water taxi's that go from the same point and at the same price. All in all I would definitely cruise with p&o again Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Nothing but praise for P&O from start to finish. I've read some negative reviews and I started to wonder if these people are on the same planet as me??? I guess some people have a downer on life and look for someone or something ... Read More
Nothing but praise for P&O from start to finish. I've read some negative reviews and I started to wonder if these people are on the same planet as me??? I guess some people have a downer on life and look for someone or something to lift them and if it doesn't happen they criticise. Cabin, Staff, Food and prices on board all excellent and will definitely be booking again. We booked Freedom Dining because it does exactly that - give you freedom to dine. All of the eating places are superb. Even the Buffet Bar has an excellent selection of hot and cold food. Loved it during the day when we needed a snack of wonderful cream assortments. TRIPS:- Yes you can book them all direct yourself with firms outside of P&O but don't think you will save a fortune. Yes you can do it for less but you have to ask yourself if the £20 you save is worth the hassle. That is up to you... but if you do go on the Oceana and there is something you are not happy about see somebody - because I am certain they will sort it. Bon voyage. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Had a great time, was abit nervous after a few reviews but the ship was great. The food was good, our cabin was clean. The ship was similar to the Royal Caribbean we sailed on. Parts of the ship were been restored but it never ... Read More
Had a great time, was abit nervous after a few reviews but the ship was great. The food was good, our cabin was clean. The ship was similar to the Royal Caribbean we sailed on. Parts of the ship were been restored but it never affected us or anyone else and was just painting etc... The excursions were well organised and entertainment was really good, including elektra, a theatre company, wine tasting and sports shown on tv screens. The food was good and cafe jardin worth a visit!!! All staff that we met were very polite. Cons were the windows could have been cleaner in the plaza and on sailing days there should be more sunbeds. These are not needed everyday, when in port it was often easy to find one. When we arrived there was a delay before our cabins were ready, but there was a bbq on and entertainment which was nice. We then went straight to our cabin. It was a decent size. We will sail again, oceana was nice with a relaxed atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise because it had a newcastle upon Tyne departure not a common occurrence. Flight was fine with jet2 but the mini suite was a disappointment - Very strange configuration - bathroom (Bath and shower in one room with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had a newcastle upon Tyne departure not a common occurrence. Flight was fine with jet2 but the mini suite was a disappointment - Very strange configuration - bathroom (Bath and shower in one room with a connecting door into the toilet and washbasin room (that's if you could squeeze in and both my husband and I are very slim and not very tall). The alternative was to walk round in a semi circle past the very small wardrobe room to get from one part of the bathroom to another. There was no shelf space in the toilet washbasin room so all toiletries had to be kept in the bath shower room (sounds weird but that's how it was. The toilet needed a deep clean, i.e under the rim was disgusting. The guy cleaning the room was hardworking but had far too much to do in the allotted time. The balcony was a sight to behold paintwork again was disgusting and a substance like putty had been used to seal up gaps,holes etc A 5 year old child could have done a better job. Wouldn't even sit out there. The linden on the bed was 2 shades of white or should I say the pillowcases seemed fairly new and we're white whereas the duvet cover had been washed and used so many times it was dirty white or cream (for want of a better description)! Some of the food in the restaurant was quite good but some was so mundane it was Untrue! The public spaces appeared to be well maintained and clean but for us this ship is a no Go! Incidentally we paid 3k for this week - was it value for money - certainly Not. Come on p & o you surely can do better than this or you should be able to. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose the cruise for the destination itinerary, but was recommended P&O by a family member. The destinations did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each day on land. Our biggest cruise disappointment was the lack of any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destination itinerary, but was recommended P&O by a family member. The destinations did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each day on land. Our biggest cruise disappointment was the lack of any form of imagination in the menu and the poor food quality. It was bland, overcooked and invariably small portions. It felt that P&O were definitely counting the pennies and giving as little variety and keeping costs down. The dining staff worked very hard and no fault could be levelled on them. The Plaza buffet did offer a good selection at breakfast, but the dining room served scrambled eggs with an ice cream scoop to ensure exact portions. The best thing was the fact we had tea making facilities in the cabin. The cabins were a little tired, plenty of rust patches on the balcony, with numerous problems with their sewage system. Beds very comfortable though and the cabin staff were excellent. The entertainment was generally good, variety of events through the night, with some activities during the day. The "British" sail away was like a "holiday camp" event and, for us, embarrassing, which we apologised to friends who came from South Africa and Australia. The entertainment staff worked very hard to drum up support. The entertainment manager criticised other cruise lines which was uncalled for. We had repeats of the same films on the TV for the two weeks, with very limited other channels. More of the problem as we had two days at sea, with rain and heavy winds. The ship rolled even in light swells, so with strong winds and seas of two metres, we had an interesting dance class ! We have been on other cruises with other companies, with similar size ships, with nothing like this ship's lack of stability. Perhaps next refit they need to look seriously at their stabilisers. The ship's information newsletter gave much information about activities, which was good, but their weather forecast was always optimistic ! There were no port tours at all, even though we had four days at sea and so you had to do your own homework about future ports. We did much before we embarked. All cruises overcharge for shore excursions, so too any alcohol, the same here. But you were allowed to bring on some drinks for your room consumption. A good point. One of our main reasons for cruising is to sample excellent culinary fare each evening, with a flare of international cuisine. This was really absent and an anti-climax each night, but, if you like "canteen style" British food, then this cruise could be for you. It was aimed for the British cruise patron and not an international market. Overall a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because it matched up with a stay in the South of France. It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. The ship itself was beautiful, but it's a pity MSC don't match this with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it matched up with a stay in the South of France. It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. The ship itself was beautiful, but it's a pity MSC don't match this with service! We were so disappointed! We have never been on a cruise where it is hard sell from the time you board until you get off. Everything is an excuse to try to get more money out of you. We don't expect to pay extra for facilities like :- the cinema, films on your cabin tv, water tea & coffee at lunch and dinner!!! The only thing you could watch in your cabin was news channels , all other channels were not in English. The only place you could get complimentary water, tea & coffee was on deck 14 at the buffet. We only ate here once as it was so crowded and vast that it was like a fight every time you went up there. Some staff were very rude and in general they did not display the same courtesy as what we are used to. One afternoon we went for tea and cake and were so shocked when a member of serving staff was trying to remove food as we tried to pick it up. When we complained to the catering manager he was also rude and totally disinterested.If catering staff were walking towards you pushing a trolley or carrying trays they didn't stop but expected you to move out of their way even though you may be carrying your food. Even Reception staff were not bothered or apologetic when we opted out of their compulsory gratuities because of the poor service. Some staff were exceptional and these we tipped but in general there was an attitude of indifference. We have never experienced this with any other cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, ... Read More
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, except for some of the deckhands. Many staff are from Indonesia, so have English as their first “foreign language”. Most passengers were, in order, Italian, French, German, Central European, Chinese, USA, with very few British indeed. We did this cruise for the itinerary; 11 nights from Genoa, going for 2 nights in Haifa and the rest around the Eastern Med stopping at Katakolon (for Olympia) Pireus (for Athens) Rhodes (Half day really, leaving at 2pm) Haifa (two nights), Iraklion/Heraklion, Civitavecchia, Genoa. Ship is huge at c 133,000 tons with a combined staff/guest number of c 5,600. Quite a lot of vibration at c 20kts, especially at the stern where I presume one is above the props and the shafts. On level 7 in the lounge it was very intrusive. Our cabin was nearer the bow, on deck 11, and we were glad of that. Being Italian, smoking is a little more prevalent than on P&O. With the latter IIRC there were just three open deck areas where it was allowed. On this ship there are probably four, but also a dedicated “cigar room”; moreover smoking is allowed in the casino, which means it drifts upstairs to be noticeable in a couple of the other public areas. Not a big issue for me, but some might find it annoying. Food: disappointing. OK, it's more to the Italian taste, with Pizza and Pasta available every day, but the layout of the Zanzibar Cafeteria area is a bit haphazard and at times quite unhelpful. e.g. Why not have spoons placed by the cereal area, where you need them, rather than elsewhere, and why have prunes/peaches/pears just available in one tiny un-indicated area, whereas bread is available in about six. In my experience food was rarely more than warm. Coffee from the dispensers was horrible; utterly tasteless. You can get decent coffee but you either pay for it, or get it via the drinks package. No tea/coffee facility in room. We took our own small kettle to make tea in the cabin despite MSC's risible claim that it is “dangerous”. Restaurant food was OK, but no more than that. Having said that, we would normally prefer the Cafeteria as I feel it is almost impossible to bring hot food to about 1000 people in a restaurant. Restaurant service was fine. We were lucky to be on a table with six Kiwis, so no language problem. If we had been with six French people, conversation would have been more limited. The average drinks package looks good but probably is borderline. We paid for the “allegrissimo”, but this only allows you Heineken Draft beer, two red wines, two white and one rosé, none of which were that nice. There is a good selection of cocktails, coffees, soft drinks and some spirits on the package though, and remember without it 15% is added to all drink bills. The juices available at breakfast without the package are truly insipid. You can get reasonable orange or cranberry on the drinks package, so we did this every morning along with Lattes or Cappuccinos. Essentially no daytime activities, not that there are many on P&O or RC nowadays. No deck quoits etc. (Hooray!) No long prom deck, but on deck 15 there was a reasonable area for walking. We reckoned 10 laps were just over 2 miles. Evening shows seemed good to us, though we only really saw one, but you can't get drinks in the theatre. Shows last c 45mins. No inane and intrusive announcements during the day, asking you to join the sailaway party or the bingo. No report from the bridge. Ship seemed unaware of its own TIME at one point! We woke up having left Haifa for the TV channel to say ship's time was 0700, but no announcement in the daily bulletin of a time change. So we asked reception who, presumably thinking me mad, confirmed it was 0800. No wonder ships sometimes end up on rocks if their own clocks are wrong! Just two English Language news channels on the TV. We have never tried ship internet as it is universally reported as poor. But with a new phone, using “3” one can use data in most (not all) European countries and Israel, so not worth the trouble for checking a few emails. Cabin good. For the grade a little bigger than P&O with a bigger and nicer shower with moveable head. Balcony small, but adequate. Almost all cabins have the same size balcony. Service generally good though in the “speciality” restaurant, “Tex Mex” they forgot the sauce for my steak and forgot our bottled water. (You pay a bit extra too.) Got told off by one deckhand, in barely intelligible English, for daring to put out sunbeds on an area on deck 16 where they were piled up but no one had put them out. (Actually, the only part sheltered from the gale blowing across the other decks!) Who cares? One big plus: dress code is VOLUNTARY, so if you don't want to wear black tie, and hardly anyone did, it is OK to turn up still in jeans and a t-shirt, as some did, on the formal nights, without being refused admission. If I am doing a fly-cruise I don't want to waste my baggage allowance on something that allows me to look like a penguin for three nights. Like Royal Caribbean: no guest laundry, but for 12 days, not really an issue I'd say. You can get laundry done, at some expense, via the cabin steward. We just wear most things for 2 days when on hols, and sometimes at home too now we're not working. Excursions, as always, a bit expensive. We paid for the ones in Israel, but in Katacolon, by doing some advance research, we found out about the small train which ran to Olympia from the port for Eu10 return each! With admission to the site, c Eu16 each for the trip as opposed to c £50 each via the ship! Likewise, in Athens we walked 3km to the metro station and then got to Monastiraki station (at the base of the Acropolis) for Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
It was for my friends and me the second cruise with MSC ships and as we had high expectations, somehow were afraid that something or anything might went wrong. But it was again very pleasant experience, in spite of the early winter time. ... Read More
It was for my friends and me the second cruise with MSC ships and as we had high expectations, somehow were afraid that something or anything might went wrong. But it was again very pleasant experience, in spite of the early winter time. The weather was great and sunny, time on the ship passed by quickly and with many opportunities for entertainment, bars and restaurants very efficient and comfortable, and time for the excursions quite suitable. We loved the possibility of being included in aerobic and stretching (having had not enough time for all these activities at home), but also enjoying sunbathing (in January it would have seemed almost impossible). Restaurants provided good food and our waiter did his best to make us comfortable, remembering our names and even trying to greet us in our own language. My greatest concern had been short time available for the Israel (we were staying in Haifa) and long distance between Haifa and Jerusalem/Bethlehem). But at the end we managed to see (at least to see) Jordan river, Galilee see, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, so were not at all dissapointed. The excursions were not part of the ship's offering, but through web (highly recommend GuidedToursIsrael). All staff (cabin, restaurant, open areas, bars etc. were highly professional, polite and very efficient. The only remark was very long waiting time for embarkation - after arriving at the spot we had to wait almost two hours to get on the ship. But in total, we loved it so much that already began o make plans for the next trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As an American I thought going on a European cruise would be a good change of pace, didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I expected this cruise to be more subdued than others I have been on such as the Mexican Riviera for ... Read More
As an American I thought going on a European cruise would be a good change of pace, didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I expected this cruise to be more subdued than others I have been on such as the Mexican Riviera for the Caribbean. There was no exciting vibe on the ship whatsoever, rarely did any of the staff greet us or say hello as we walked by. The hot tubs were more like warm tubs and one of them was even cold. Since every public announcement on the ship was in five different languages I figured the customer service desk experience was going to be interesting--and it was. Communication was difficult and I was never satisfied when I walked away, just more frustrated actually. As an example one of our stops was in Israel and when I went to the help desk to change dollars into shekels the young lady didn't know if that was even possible. After 15 minutes I came to find out that the ship does not exchange any money for shekles. I mean really? And we stay in this port for two days! While I loved our state room, as it was very spacious, I thought the ship in general was just mediocre. The food was horrible, we ate better off the ship than on it. In fact the food was so bad that over an 11 day cruise I gained 0 pounds. The main attractions at our first two stops were closed, and the ship refused to refund the excursion fees. In Rome the excursion bus didn't get us to the city until 11 AM which left us only 4 to 5 hours to see the city. It seems many other people we met on the ship have the same experience with the same opinions as we had. I realize that you get out of something what you put in to something, but in my opinion this cruise line was pretty bad. There were some things we enjoyed however, getting on and off the ship was relatively easy, we really enjoyed all the ports and the destinations. How are state room was always made up properly and timely and our dinner waiter was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We embarked the 11 night cruise from Genoa on December 17th, and what an amazing time we had! My partner and I have cruised with MSC before - firstly on Fantasia and then Lirica. More recently (October 2015) we had a terrible ... Read More
We embarked the 11 night cruise from Genoa on December 17th, and what an amazing time we had! My partner and I have cruised with MSC before - firstly on Fantasia and then Lirica. More recently (October 2015) we had a terrible experience with Norwegian on Epic. The experience with Norwegian got us thinking as to whether cruising was still for us - we had apprehensions that perhaps MSC had changed and wouldn't be as we remembered it. How wrong we were! Embarking at Genoa was slick and quick, we were shown pretty much straight through check-in and onboard the ship. Our cabin wasn't ready (it was only about 11:30) so we went up to the top deck aft (Gaudi Bar) for a strawberry daiquiri and sat in the sun. Later on we were able to get in to the cabin - we had 11084, which is on the corner towards the front of the ship. The cabin was spotlessly clean and extremely spacious with plenty of wardrobe space and a comfortable sofa before a HUGE balcony. The only draw back to this cabin was that with it being on the corner there were two sides facing on to the internal corridors which could be noisy at times. We dined in the Red Velvet Main Dining Room on the early sitting (6:15pm) and had a table for two overlooking the internal restaurant stairs and the area below, which was great. Our waiter, Sandiana, was fast, efficient and kept the wine flowing, as did his assistant Putra. The food was as we expected, and dinner would consist of an appetiser such as antipasti, followed by a salad, then soup, then a pasta or risotto dish before finally reaching the entrées, which was then followed by dessert! The portions aren't huge but the quality is great, and I would say as long as you're expecting true Italian food rather than a honking great steak that may be served on other lines then you will not be disappointed! Christmas Eve offered a spectacular menu, and for main course I had lobster, which would normally attract a supplement (NB MSC don't constantly try and upsell 'speciality' dining although there is the option of the TexMex restaurant if you so wish. Christmas lunch was also spectacular and curated by the same celebrity Italian chef as the Christmas Eve menu. Entertainment wise, don't expect glitzy West End style shows on MSC. Due to the multi-national nature of MSC passengers, most shows tend to be more focussed around music and dance. As we enjoy classical music, we spent most nights sitting in the main atrium listening to the trio which consisted of two violinists and a pianist.They were magnificent. The Allegrisimo drinks package was included with our booking, which saved us 26Euro each per day, however it is well worth having this package if you like even just a few drinks every day - the range of drinks included isn't massive, however there are some great cocktails available and unlike ships with exhaustive drinks lists MSC don't tend to run out of anything! In terms of excursions, the only one we booked with the ship was to see Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which was well worth the 110Euro we paid for it. It was a full day including lunch and we saw some amazing things, including the church of the Nativity and the spot where they believe Jesus was crucified and then buried before the resurrection. This truly has been a memorable cruise for all the right reasons. We had the most fantastic time and would like to thank MSC for a brilliant Christmas. Whilst waiting to board the flight home, there were people from the ship who were complaining there was no turkey for Christmas dinner (there was at lunch, just not as we know it), that all of the food was horrible and the entertainment was rubbish. My advice to them was to read the reviews of any cruise line before booking and therefore understand what to expect Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
After years of hearing about them, we decided on a short 7-day fly-cruise from Genoa to Venice. Very early Thomson charter flight from Gatwick (06:40) was a shock to the system but all went well and our bags were delivered from check-in to ... Read More
After years of hearing about them, we decided on a short 7-day fly-cruise from Genoa to Venice. Very early Thomson charter flight from Gatwick (06:40) was a shock to the system but all went well and our bags were delivered from check-in to our cabin as promised. First impressions of the ship: amazing - like a 5-star floating hotel. Staff everywhere and always helpful, and smiling. Our balcony cabin was just big enough and the very large bed was perfect. Although snug, the loo/shower room was adequate. It was lovely to sit on the comfy recliners and gaze at the ocean and (as we were deck 10) a great viewing point for the arrival/departure days into Naples and Venice. Those in inside cabins had to go on deck to witness the same. Dining: We opted for freedom dining and most nights ate with fellow passengers in the Ligurian Restaurant. My wife is veggy and always found plenty of choice. We both thought that the food and service were excellent. The black-tie events were worth the effort and most people did make it. Ents: After-dinner shows in the 2 main theatres were brilliant; the singer/dance troupe were terrific, comedian was very funny and the Sinatra tribute singer was outstanding. Lots of other things to do, places to sit etc to chill and relax. The seating/décor around the ship was superb. There were bars everywhere and most had some kind of music. With a cash-less system it was easy to run-up a big drinks bill, and the drinks were typical pub prices. Trips: Bad weather meant Livorno was subbed by La Spezia which was no problem. Naples and Dubrovnik were fascinating stops and the sail into Venice unforgettable. We avoided the costly ship excursions throughout and managed easily. Sea days: There was a post-breakfast scrum for the best pool-side sunbeds on the sea days, and this could be better managed by staff. We seem to have picked up the German habit of hogging beds for the entire day - whether there or not ! Otherwise there's lots to do and places to relax. We liked the atrium and the Costa coffee areas. Service: The hundreds of cabin staff, waiters, cleaners, barmen etc were truly outstanding and nothing to too much trouble for them. Return Trip: We had a morning flight from Venice so bags had to be packed and collected by 11pm the previous night. Departure was well organized and went smoothly. Again, we didn't see our bags until the Gatwick baggage claim. Minor Grumbles: Gratuities system; it would be nice to know that we would be charged £70 at the end of the cruise and that you can opt out if you let the staff know on day one ! The cabin TV is a low-definition variety and it was impossible to decipher the ship's location maps. The toast was rock-hard every morning !! Other issues: Once we had booked on-line we received lots of emails from "Holiday Extras" offering car parking, hire cars and hotels at Gatwick. We decided to drive up the day before departure and stay of the Britannia Lodge hotel (big mistake!!) It was cold, full of immigrants/families, the lobby furniture was a disgrace and the food truly awful. The room was barely OK but we were pleased to "escape" early the next morning and will never return. On the plus side the Sunshine Special long stay car park was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
First time with P&O and sadly the last. Been on Celebrity many times but agent suggested this cruise, seen the adverts and it looked good so gave it a go. We paid over five thousand for the rust bucket we sailed on Oceana. First ... Read More
First time with P&O and sadly the last. Been on Celebrity many times but agent suggested this cruise, seen the adverts and it looked good so gave it a go. We paid over five thousand for the rust bucket we sailed on Oceana. First arrived no problem straight on to ship waited a few hours for luggage but that was fine. Very dated and once we started to really look around noticed how dirty it was, our stewardess was Zenda and she was great. Second day noticed the smell of sewage and this continued for the rest of cruise. The food was not hot just tepid this continued throughout cruise. Second day we hit bad weather this is when we found out our door to the balcony leaked and the carpet was wet it also didn't seal properly and the wind howled all night. Shortage of sun loungers caused plenty of arguments on deck. Plenty of waiters but only one person doing drinks in costa so waited ages for drinks shortage of seats there as well. It took us on a table of eight over two hours for dinner good job everyone on the table got on, waiters had to many tables to serve and looked stressed all the time but we're very polite they did a good job considering the work load. Buckets in the corridors due to leaks many times. We did not book excursions with P&O just to expensive went with another company but found the crew were very unhelpful to passengers also on trips to the point people missed trips due to lack of information on how to get out of port to meet buses. Entertainment was poor if you could get a seat. We had a guest speaker to talk about your trip onto the afterlife very apt on this cruise. First day in Venice was woken up at 7.50am to the sound of workmen in next cabin hammering rust off pipe work no notice this was going to happen and had towels on chairs which where covered in paint chipping balcony was a mess and had a pot of paint left the smell was awful this took till the day before end of cruise to be cleaned up. The places we visited were great thankfully. Don't bother even looking at this ship for a holiday unless you have a strong stomach to deal with the smell and the cold and some times uncooked food stick to the fruit we did only good thing was we didn't put on any weight which is usually the case. NEVER AGAIN NEVER!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
every cruise line has a care of duty to their staff and their guests, they must never put you in danger, they must be helpful, have patience, be understanding, use common sense, have the time to talk to the guests, have the decency to say ... Read More
every cruise line has a care of duty to their staff and their guests, they must never put you in danger, they must be helpful, have patience, be understanding, use common sense, have the time to talk to the guests, have the decency to say good morning, and above all, make you feel welcome. MSC does none of this, in fact, they do the absolute opposite, let me explain. 1, msc arranged our transfer from genoa airport to the ship by coach, after 45 mins the coach was filled with smoke, and we were stranded for 90 mins on the dual carriageway, putting the passengers in danger. 2, there was no msc rep on the bus, the driver could only speak Italian, not very helpful. 3, on reaching the ship, we had to unload our own luggage while the porters watched, we were then hurried onto the ship, only to be met by security, meanwhile on the port, suitcases were being dropped. 4, after 7 hours of having no food or drink, were offered a glass of water, really? 5, customer services did not want to know about our problems, they had enough of their own, like trying to work out how they managed to put two sisters on the wrong coach, the wrong ship, and have nowhere for them to sleep, you couldn't make this up. 6, trying to get a smile out of the security staff, or the bar staff in the starlight disco, was like pulling teeth. 7, my wife and I were on the ship for 7 days, and we only got to know 5 members of staff who took the time to make us feel welcome, joceline, Ismael, rantiasa, med;e, and maria. 8, the ship is quite small compared to others we have been on, theres not really a lot of activities to do, unless you like dance lessons, the restaurant service is quite quick, and the food is good, there was a minimal selection of excursions, our ocean view cabin was quite pleasing and very clean, entertainment was nothing to write home about, and getting off the ship was a chore in its self, I was looking forward to a nice relaxing week off work, didn't happen, my summary of the msc armonia is this, regimental, and unhappy staff, I wont be going again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Travelled from Edinburgh to Genoa with Titan airways. Once we checked in our cases we never saw them until they were outside our cabin. Both embarkation and Disembarkation were very efficient and quick. We had an outside cabin on deck ... Read More
Travelled from Edinburgh to Genoa with Titan airways. Once we checked in our cases we never saw them until they were outside our cabin. Both embarkation and Disembarkation were very efficient and quick. We had an outside cabin on deck 9, with a large window. The cabin was kept very clean by Fidelis, the bathroom sufficient and we even had tea and coffee facilities. We had freedom dining, we usually ate early in the Ligurian restaurant. The service and food were good. We used the buffet restaurant mostly for breakfast and for a snack at lunchtime, although the food was ok it was not as good as buffets we have previously been on Royal Caribbean and Carnival. It was very crowded and hard to get a seat at times. We also dined at Marco Pierre's restaurant for a supplement of £5.25 per head, this was excellent, well worth the money. He was even in the restaurant and didn't mind getting a picture taken with us. The Beech house, was the other speciality restaurant we tried. Although the steak on the lava board was nice the other meals were disappointing and they couldn't serve a coffee. The entertainment on board I thought was excellent, I like music and all the shows were good. I also enjoyed the sail away parties. Service at all the bars was very good, lots of attentive staff wanting to get you a drink. I didn't buy anything in the shops, as I thought they were expensive and had a 20%tax added as you weren't leaving the EU. One bonus when you went off the boat you were allowed to buy alcohol and bring it back onto the ship to consume in your cabin Great ports to visit, went to Pisa, Capri, Dubrovnik and the sail into Venice was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our first cruise so I did a lot of research before travelling. We decided to book with MSC as the route appealed to us and they were offering free flights with our package. Having now completed the cruise I am amazed at the ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I did a lot of research before travelling. We decided to book with MSC as the route appealed to us and they were offering free flights with our package. Having now completed the cruise I am amazed at the petty things that people critise MSC for as our experience was so positive. We had one set back before we traveled. We requested 1st dining but were assigned 2nd and on a waiting list for 1st. Our travel agent emailed MSC and this was sorted out by the time we arrived in Genoa. Transfer from the airport was smooth and embarkation quick and friendly. Our cases were outside our cabin within the hour. The MSC Prezosia is an absolutely stunning ship. I cannot stress how clean it is inside and out. The company go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that hygiene levels are maintained at the highest level. Now for the food. The food in the buffet was excellent. The food offered varied considerably and was updated more than once a day. There was a large selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, pizza, breads plus a carvery meat each day. English breakfast is served until 10.30am each morning. There was an amazing selection of pastries and cakes on offer which changed each daily. Everything was cooked to perfection. This area was one of things we were most impressed about. The buffet is large and very busy at times however we found (after a few days) the quieter spots at the back of the ship. We dinned in L'Arabseque. The dinning room was very glamours. There are 5 courses offered with dinner. The food was good but not as good as the buffet. Service in every area was great. Everyone from the bar staff to guest services were friendly and helpful and very engaging with the children. UK travelers are in the minority on this cruise which we actually enjoyed. There is a good mix of German, French, Italian and Spanish which gave the cruise a real European feel. The entertainment geared up to appeal to the majority though. There were very few announcements over the loud speakers. MSC manage to take new arrivals through the safety drill each day without having to involve the whole ship. Subtle but cleaver. The pool areas were clean and well equipped with numerous bar areas. EXCURSIONS: ROME - We did Rome on Your Own with CIVITA Tours. The free shuttle bus drops you are the port entrance where you meet the CIVITA rep. It takes just over an hour to reach Rome. We were met at 3.00pm for the return journey. We made it back just before the deadline. PALERMO - This is the most unregulated port we visited. You are hassled by the local cab drivers as soon as you get of the ship who do not take no for an answer. We eventually agreed to pay 80 Euro for a return trip to Monreale. CALAGRI - Not much to see here unless you go further afield and visit a beach. We did the small train tour but they stuggled to pick out points of interest. It was only 8 Euro each. PALMA - Amazing and a real stand out. We know Mallorca well but was still impressed as the boat sailed towards Palma. We traveled by taxi up to Valdemossa in the mountains. It cost 29 Euro each way. VALENCIA - Busy Spanish town. Hop on bus was not worth the money. We waited half an hour for one to come along and then spent an hour and a half being bused around the outskirts of town. Tip - walk into the centre of Valencia to see the historic buildings and don't bother with the tourist bus. MARSEILLE - Marseille is lovely. Very pretty and had a lovely feel to it. We got the panoramic bus up to Notre Damm. Will definitely visit again. GENOA - We didn't get to experience Genoa was we boarded here. We disembarked smoothly but had a 5 hour wait at Genoa for our flight home. I guess this could not have been helped. We will definitely be cruising again with MSC. A great professionally company in every way. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We recently went on our first and last Costa Cruise, everything was good, until the evening before disembarking, they had added 15% to a prepaid drinks package, we bought the 20 beers and 20 soft drinks packages on board as we were told we ... Read More
We recently went on our first and last Costa Cruise, everything was good, until the evening before disembarking, they had added 15% to a prepaid drinks package, we bought the 20 beers and 20 soft drinks packages on board as we were told we couldn't buy it before boarding the ship but there wouldn't be any added costs because it was a package. Then we were told we would have to get off the ship at 8a.m on Friday morning for our transfer to Nice from Savona, our transfer was arranged for 10.30 a.m through Costa and the Cruise Company we booked with. There were at least 100 passengers this happened to, most of them booking through the same company as ourselves, amongst the passengers were disabled people, myself and my husband included. it seemed to be the British passengers this was happening to, or at the very least, people flying into the UK. This earlier transfer meant that many of us would have a 12 hour wait at Nice Airport. The Captain put it a short appearance and then disappeared, the Reception staff didn't really want to know what was going on, and weren't very helpful anyway, then when some passengers started to get really angry, they offered them an extra hour before they caught their transfer but would have to wait on the quayside. We found it all totally unacceptable as this had been known to the staff onboard at least two days earlier but passengers had not been informed. I can't understand why people with an evening flight were put off the ship first and others with an earlier afternoon flight were allowed to stay onboard longer, this, to me seems ridiculous, also, one of the ports we should have stopped at, Tunis had understandably been cancelled so they took us to Sicily which was closed because of a Bank Holiday, when questioned about this we were told "You can go on one of our trips which is will cost you €50-€69." This was not ideal, I don't know why we were taken somewhere where there was very little to do, it all seemed to be about making extra money. I have told all my friends about this, many of whom cruise a couple of times a year and none of them will sail with Costa. The staff and food were lovely though, this was the only good thing. We cruise a couple of times a year, but will definitely not cruise with Costa again Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We have just returned from our first cruise with MSC on the Fantasia and although we enjoyed our 11 day excursion, it just didn't come up to the standards we had experienced on Carnival Cruise Ships. Ticketing and Flight ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise with MSC on the Fantasia and although we enjoyed our 11 day excursion, it just didn't come up to the standards we had experienced on Carnival Cruise Ships. Ticketing and Flight connections from Gatwick to Nice with BA were very good although it wasn't possible to check in on line and seats were available on first come first served basis. The connection transfer to Genoa was excellent with well organised and efficient staff on hand at the airport. Disembarkation, return transfers/flights equally as good. Arrival at the port however was somewhat hectic as we joined other passengers in departures to go through the usual embarkation routines. Didn't feel things were as well organised as they could have been due to lack of communication/directives from greeting staff. Once on board welcome drinks and buffet lunch was provided. Although a beautiful ship with excellent cabin facilities, we were disappointed with the standard of food in the main formal dining room at night. Portions were small and the presentation poor. The overall menu was no different to that available in the self service buffet restaurant. There was an opportunity to go Mexican in a speciality restaurant or to up grade to a steak but both at an additional and expensive charge. There was a lack of finesse generally and we felt that those little extras we have experienced on other cruise ships was missing. We were very disappointed with the poor English communication throughout the cruise. The level of spoken English on board was poor from Guest Services/Deck Officers and "management" generally. The waiters, cabin boy and bar staff were far more fluent. Evening shows we went to were very good and Children's clubs seemed well attended and popular. We had decided to pre-book our excursions on line and although we got most of our initial preferences, we were advised that some were already fully booked some 3 weeks before the cruise. We choose alternatives only to find that our original excursion choices were still available once we were on board. However, once we had finalised our itinery everything went well without a hitch, buses always of a high quality. The English speaking guides were excellent and tours we choose full of the cultural information we had hoped for. We would not recommend much of this cruise's excursion itinery for disabled people due to the terrain encountered and not really suitable for children due to the cultural nature. Many of those children (under 12's) on our trips appeared bored and disinterested and indeed were often annoying. When at sea, we took advantage of the Spa facilities and signed up for a package of massage and spa treatments. Facilities and staff were excellent! Overall we enjoyed our first cruise around the Med and on reflection found it value for money. We still feel that MSC didn't quite come up to our expectations on this occasion but maybe we have been somewhat spoilt on previous ventures around the Caribbean with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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