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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
MSC Fantasia is a great ship, well maintained, with an average staff. We had a good room steward, but he was just too busy with too much rooms. MSC has not enough staff, and that is why the service is below average, and too slow. That ... Read More
MSC Fantasia is a great ship, well maintained, with an average staff. We had a good room steward, but he was just too busy with too much rooms. MSC has not enough staff, and that is why the service is below average, and too slow. That is also why there is a constant line at customer service. The first night there was a huge toilet problem for about 40% of the ship. From 23.00 to 07.00 all toilets at the back of the ship (cabins, staff and public) did not flush! That night we also had a bumpy sea, so you can imagine the poor cleaning party that morning..... This flushing problem was never completely gone, but it lasted never over an hour.... The new drink packages were just okay. Luckily we still had some drink coupons from previous cruises, and the bar staff did not know what to do about it...so we could drink almost anything with the combination of the Easy package and the drink coupons. Although they are fased out, on this ship they had still value. The ports were all so so...but that was because of the weather. Normally in this period of the year (April/May) the weather is much better (Where is Global Warming when you need it?) but that did not spoil our cruise. This Spring the whole of Europe has a very bad climate...so it is better to stay at a cruiseship (with a covered pool) than in a hotel..... We had a great cruise fare. We never payed less for a cruise than this one, and for this price I am not going to get very critical...you just have to be happy with what you get...and we were.... It was not our best cruise, but we still loved it...in comparison with the camping in Tuscany the week after the cruise, it was heaven! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The enticement? Interesting ports in Europe, Africa and South America. Our first cruise experience. We agree it might be the last one. Looking back it was frantic from the moment of embarkation in Genoa. Long line ups, hours of waiting. ... Read More
The enticement? Interesting ports in Europe, Africa and South America. Our first cruise experience. We agree it might be the last one. Looking back it was frantic from the moment of embarkation in Genoa. Long line ups, hours of waiting. It's true that the ship houses over 3000 passengers, but knowing that beforehand, the process should have been smother. The cabin we had , with balcony, was really nice. Crew attendant for the cabin was hard working and really personable as were the people serving in the restaurant. The rest of the staff was silent, in general not very friendly. The food in the buffet wasn't so bad, but very salty and considering that most passengers were seniors, not healthy. Menu in the buffet section was almost the same every day and this was a 20 day cruise. The quality of the water and coffee was bad. However, the most problematic circumstances of all were the contaminated air circulating in the ship, with the result that the majority of people were sick. Another really vexing situation was the total isolation we endured during the crossing of the Atlantic, almost six days. No TV, no internet, no information. Movies offered in the cabin, did not display well. The price of the internet connection offered in fliers to the cabin was misleading as they would charge more if you signed for it. We believe that the economics of scale for such a huge crowd have something to do with this situation. We probably will think twice before signing up for this kind of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Although I cruise more than 15 times a year, it is unusual that I took 3 cruises in Europe within the span of 30 days! The reason? I suddenly had some spare time and it is better -valued and trouble-free cruising than travelling on land. ... Read More
Although I cruise more than 15 times a year, it is unusual that I took 3 cruises in Europe within the span of 30 days! The reason? I suddenly had some spare time and it is better -valued and trouble-free cruising than travelling on land. The first was a Mediterranean cruise on MSC Fantasia, from Genoa, on 16 September. I did not pay the cheapest but was glad to find a Yacht Club cabin at a good last-minute bargain price. MSC’s Yacht Club, on which I made quite a few trips, is one of my favourites, as it offers first class service at a reasonable price. This cruise does not disappoint. From check-in in Genoa to disembarking with my good butler taking me to a taxi, and impeccable service all the time during sailing days, I was all VIP (that I am actually not, I am afraid). Have done various MSC ship many times (Gold member). Membership does not give more useful benefits such as free internet on Cunard and Princess at similar level, but ticket price is discounted as well as some onboard service. The food is good at the special YC restaurant, and service is first class like on luxury ships. Yacht Club cabins are not much larger, but it is the food and other services, such as special YC deck area on ship and lounge, inclusive wine, and most important the good butler service, that count to make YC an even better valued proposal than an ordinary cabin for me. The itinerary is well-travelled, only one port, Ajaccio, was my first call. Genoa is an excellent starting port, easy embarkation, and much to see, so I had a pre-cruise stay of 3 nights before sailing. Cannes was next and we had a long whole day to explore the city. Palma de Mallorca came next, then Barcelona, both I had too many visits and so it was relaxing for me. The ship is my destination, that’s why I booked Yacht Club. Often a little stroll on familiar streets, then home for a fine dinner. MSC offers good entertainment with production-type shows every night. Then Ajaccio, my first visit although I have called on Bonafacio and Calvi on previous cruises. It was still too much sun and too hot on Sept 20 to have an otherwise most pleasant stroll of this town. For me ports like this of compact size are most desirable for cruise ships. Then Civitavecchia, and I didn’t bother to add one more of many revisits to Rome. Civitavecchia has become a permanent bore to frequent cruisers like me who do not bother to take 3 hours in train travel to Rome. Last call was La Spezia. An excursion port to see Firenze, Pisa, or Cinque Terre. It was bad that as I landed late I miss the few transportation to the latter, which I have visited of course but want to see again one of the most picturesque places of the world. It was an all-port day busy itinerary, great for first time cruisers of the Med. MSC has many ships doing similar itinerary. The spectacular new vessel Seaview was next to us in Genoa for departure same time but I have chosen Fantasia for Ajaccio to have at least one port of touristic interest to me. Paying a good last minute fare for Yacht Club, it was always a good idea if you have time to spare And alas, I still had time, so I embarked Costa Fascinosa the day I disembarked.. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I was very apprehensive about this cruise after reading the reviews, I was totally blown away from start to finish. We are a couple in 50's, who have traveled a lot. We did a cruise 6 years ago with P & O and I cried the first ... Read More
I was very apprehensive about this cruise after reading the reviews, I was totally blown away from start to finish. We are a couple in 50's, who have traveled a lot. We did a cruise 6 years ago with P & O and I cried the first week I hated everything about it ! Embarkation was so smooth and easy it was a joy !!! Friendly staff to greet us, welcome drink on arrival and a real WOW factor - just like a movie set with the glitz and glamour The Cabin was just what i was expecting, clean to a high standard and twice a day, large comfortable bed and the choice of pillows. Mini bar was not included in our room but it made no difference as i just went an got a drink when getting ready. Balcony was a good size 2 chairs and a table, don't need anything else. Food, again i was shocked after reading the reviews on here, we ate at the Red Velvet every night, yes it is small portions but it is ala carte, so i wouldn't expect anything else. The food itself was presented well and tasted great, there is a choice of starters, main and dessert. Even the table wine was good. We didn't try the buffet for dinner, we did pop in there for lunch, but it wasn't our thing. Breakfast again at the Red Velvet was extremely good, you have the option of buffet or table service. The level of service in the Red Velvet was incredible, they could not do enough for you. I ordered 2 desserts every night and extra potatoes, they never questioned it or pulled a face, these guys worked really hard and enhanced our dinning experience. We bought the all inclusive drinks package and it was well worth it, we added up everything at the end and it would have easily been double the amount We didn't do any MSC excursions, we did our own thing, again it was a straight forward process to disembark daily, no long queues. Cannes Don't worry about getting a ticket from level 7, go straight to level 4 and board the tender. There is a petit train if you wanted, but we wandered freely. Palma Straight forward, get of the cruise ship and catch the local bus from outside the port, it takes you straight to town. Barcelona. Again, catch the local bus from outside the port, a few minutes and you are in town. Corsica My favorite place, its just a stroll into the town, great place for wine and food Rome We did this ourselves through a cruise excursions it was half the price of MSC and had a full day here, just wandering around. Pisa We took a taxi from the port the train station 15 euros and had booked train tickets to Pisa before we left, the train was great, i think it cost us around 35 Euros return in first class. Not much there but at least i can say i have been. Genoa This is where we started our cruise, so didn't have any time to look round. Disembarkation, again a doddle, it was really smooth, the suitcases were collected in the evening, we collected from outside the ship went straight onto a coach and then at the airport. Entertainment was ok, better than P & O but bearing in mind they have to cater for at least 6 different languages it must be hard to please everyone. All in all, i am the hardest person to please, i have no complaints about MSC cruise , all i can say is I WILL BE DOING IT AGAIN. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine ... Read More
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine that there is no Space for everybody. We asked for a Solution: we are now (Sept 2018) still waiting for a Solution when the Cruise ended 1 Week ago... No Words. - We bought the Package "Beverage All-Included" but what we drink from Cabin Frigo Bar is not included (even if Products are exactly the same) and they charged us on the final Bill. - In our "Auria Experience" Package we had the Breakfast in the Room included. We asked for it for the last Day because we had to leave the Room at 8:00, we booked it for 7:30, at 7:50 no Breakfast was in the Room, we called to ask and the said: "For the last they is not included, sorry". What????? And why no one informed about that??? Why they brought us regularly the Format to ask for it???? Unbelievable, a disgraceful Service. - Last but not least, the last Day we were asked to leave the Cabin at 8:00, but our Meeting Time was at 13:45 (almost 6 hours later in which we were going up and down in the Boat like Gipsy...). At 13:45 we were at the Meeting Point but someone collected us just at 14:30, they brought us under the Sun outside the Boat, but the Bus was not there. It arrives just at 15:00. Net-net = 7 Hours lost for nothing, staying on the Boat without Luggage, without a Room available, under the Sun in the Port, treated like Animals... no Words. All in all, please invest your Money better, and not at all in MSC because even with Aurea Experience, they are not interested in you as a Customer, but just as a stupid Number who pays!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention? The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, but the TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination. We also had a larger balcony than our fiends next door, that curved a bit towards the front of the ship. The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. There was always a constant stream of snack food available throughout the day and evening. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into that part of the spa. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola, but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon free, which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt behind the high altar. Vita Brevis and all that. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or Hotel/Restaurant. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than ½ mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Firstly this is going to look like the usual MSC slag off, but prior to this cruise MSC has been one of our favourite cruise lines. The problem seems to be that they have let standards slip well below what you would expect. Following a ... Read More
Firstly this is going to look like the usual MSC slag off, but prior to this cruise MSC has been one of our favourite cruise lines. The problem seems to be that they have let standards slip well below what you would expect. Following a joint transfer from Nice to join the ship, our cases were sent to MSC Seaview and we had to run after them to retrieve them to be sent to Fantasia. We had a very embarrassing situation when ordering a drink at the bar because the wrong beverage code had been put on the card (we had purchased all inclusive) and had to have new cards issued. Not a good start with both these issues on the first day. When we were docked in Corsica we were in our cabin preparing for a shower following a day ashore. I was sat on the balcony chair and my wife was getting undressed, we had the curtains open because we were on deck 12 and there was open water facing the window. I heard a strange sound coming from my right but presumed it was a boat in the water; but was very shocked when showered with water from the balcony jet washing machine. My wife at that time was undressed when the machine with 2 men came to a stop at our balcony and proceeded to look into the cabin at my then naked wife. If this was not bad enough she is still recovering from cancer and radical surgery and had to hide behind the bed. We took the matter to reception because we had not had any prior information that the balcony was to be washed (we did get a note the following day that it was to be done). Because we had some other issues I compiled a list and gave it to the gentleman on reception. He made a copy of the letter and asked if he could speak to me later in 2 days time when he had looked into it. When we returned to the ship from a day in La Spezia there was a note in the cabin asking us to contact reception. The lady on reception said quite aggressively "why have you left it so late" I explained that we had been asked to wait for the matter to be investigated but she just got more and more aggressive and at one point started to discuss us with a colleague in a language I could not decipher; I did say that I found it very rude but her reply was that we don't get many English on here, which I found to be almost a racist remark. She did not resolve any of the issues or comment on the situation I have highlighted. I reported the matter to one of the uniformed officers but never received any further correspondence, but have taken the matter up sinse we came home. Food in the MDR and Buffet was cold on most occasions, but this was never resolved even though we reported the matter to the head waiter on several occasions. people allowed in the MDR wearing shorts t-shirts flip flops and in some cases still wet from the pool; all this on a formal night. We were unable to claim the voyagers club photo's where we had dressed appropriately for a formal night. people were allowed in the MDR and Buffet without using hand gel, when I brought this to the attention of a head waiter he laughed and found it very funny. I would expect when they get an outbreak of "Noro Virus" he may not find it so amusing. When we got our disembarkation information we found that the transfer to the airport had been changed from 11:30 to 8:45 without our prior knowledge. We found this very unacceptable because this meant a 9 hour wait in a very small airport with very limited facilities. But again nothing was resolved. Entertainment in the bars was good, but in the theatre it was quite poor, on one night the main highlight of the show was a pole dancer; not very good for a family show. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, ... Read More
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, hotdogs and hamburgers. You have to be kidding me! For all the money my family spent on prepping and creating our Reunion with you guys, it was a waste of money, time and effort. While docking in the Bahamas, for whatever reason, the ship decided to flood in the elevators and hallway on floors 5, 6 and 7. This caused our last day to be a total disaster. what little activities set for that day was canceled. We spent about a half hour attempting to get food after boarding the ship from our excursion. We had family member who were diabetics, asthmatics and other health issues.It was blatantly obvious, crew members were catering to the Europeans and not to Americans. While at the formal captain's dinner, the head waiter failed to acknowledge my table. It was like I was in the center of a triangle. The three tables around me were greeted and welcomed, but, my table tended to appear invisible. No one cared enough to address our concerns. The head waiter acknowledge all guess and tables arounds us as I witnessed them sliding money in his hand. I was appalled and felt disrespected with all that was going on around us. I guess, if the price was right, you were able to get anything you wanted and if it wasn't you were totally ignored... Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our ... Read More
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our needs. The itinerary is all-important to me, so we have never used the same cruise line twice. We wanted to add a day in the Cinque Terre, and this was the only line that disembarked in Genoa, near there. The shore excursions were also reasonably priced as compared to most cruise lines. They embark and disembark passengers at every port, so this offers a lot of flexibility. However their ala carte pricing means that you really have to look hard at what you want and what you are willing to pay extra for. It is very confusing, and very easy to be charged for something you didn't need. Everything is extra, including water. The heavy smokers were also a bad experience for Americans and a safety issue. The ship can hold 4,300 passengers, but personally I like a much smaller ship. However there were a lot of activities for children, including their own swim and play area. We had a wonderful balcony cabin on deck 13 with what they call the Aurea experience. This offered us the all-inclusive drinks package that normally cost $55 per person, per day. Also we had two included spa treatments that were worth about $120 each. MSC charges an extra 10 Euro per person, per day service charge. However you can modify this if you want. Except on the gala nights, the food was either overcooked or cold. The buffet meals were quite bad. However if you order off the menu in the Red Velvet Restaurant, the food was somewhat better. We found the service was very good, unlike many other reviews. MSC has a matching rewards program, so even though this was our first trip, we achieved Gold status. However you have to apply for this a couple of weeks before sailing, and the rewards were not that great. It took a lot of work on my part to document our existing rewards with other programs. To me the 5% discount was most beneficial, but that only applies on future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I have sailed with this company on three previous occasions and have enjoyed them all. We booked accommodation in Genoa for three nights before cruise and although the weather was cold and showery we had a great time walking all over the ... Read More
I have sailed with this company on three previous occasions and have enjoyed them all. We booked accommodation in Genoa for three nights before cruise and although the weather was cold and showery we had a great time walking all over the city. We arrived at the cruise terminal early but everything went smoothly and after waiting on a seat for 30 minutes we were able to board. Our cabin was ready but not our cruise card, but staff at boarding told us to give our cabin number to dining room staff and we would be able too add our drinks to our package. We then went to the buffet four lunch it was very busy bit this was not a problem as there were staff at the buffet entrance who took you to a seat. Also there was a button on the table to summon a beverage waiter and they were very efficient. The food was hot and there was a good selection. During the whole cruise this was the only dining room we used it was a loot quieter than other ships I had been on also no Queues for food, this was all down to good layout. Also I was please to see when the place was busy it was not below the restaurant managers to help clear tables. The entertainment was OK Some of the stage shows were good Somme not, bands in the bars were varied. I have written this review because of so many negative reviews. I do not want to dress four dinner and be told what to wear, if we were going to the bars etc we changed out of shorts and into casual wear. If you want to dress up youy can but lots of people don't it is all up to you. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This is not going to be long winded but I feel the need to voice my opinion which is absolutely POSITIVE...not always shared by MSC cruisers on CC. How you rate your cruise often depends on expectations and attitude to dealing with any ... Read More
This is not going to be long winded but I feel the need to voice my opinion which is absolutely POSITIVE...not always shared by MSC cruisers on CC. How you rate your cruise often depends on expectations and attitude to dealing with any shortfall. You choose your cruise, you pay for it, you pack, you go. Remember though to have a good time and this is impossible if you are going to grumble because " on ...... you didn't have to pay for water at dinner " or " on ..... coffee was served after the meal ". Every cruise line does things differently, if you have a 'must have' list check it out with your cruise consultant/cruise line before booking...most questions are answered somewhere online and once onboard focus on the positives as usually there is no turning back once you've sailed! MSC is very affordable as cruises go, the ships are attractive, stylish ( Italian!), cabins are comfortable and the space well organised. On our transatlantic voyage service was very good all over the ship, crew were most pleasant and ready to interact with guests, food was abundant, varied and palatable. The whole ship was spotlessly clean. Although coffee wasn't served in the main dining room after dinner ( we knew beforehand} an excellent Italian coffee can be found in most of the bars. Evening entertainment was also varied and enjoyable and during the sea days we were never bored: stretching, aerobics, tai chi, handicraft classes, dancing classes, quizes, lectures, tennis, squash, cards, library, board games, pools, jacuzzis, table tennis, table football.... There was a dedicated guests relations consultant for English speaking passengers who could be contacted either in person or by phone for any queries ( rather than using the reception desk ). The Master Stefano Aiello would make daily announcements regarding our navigation across the Atlantic and was often to be seen walking through the ship greeting passengers and having a chat. We had a thoroughly good time, feel we got excellent value for money and will definitely be cruising MSC again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of ... Read More
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of the reviews.however after a very smooth and easy embarkation we went to our balcony cabin on deck 11 Meraviglia well appointed and clean. We dined in the Red Velvet restaurant most nights where our table server Kowmang from Bali kept us amused and looked after us very well indeed. As some reviews have said portions are not huge but after 3 courses you are full and can always make a trip to the Zanzibar buffet for a pizza and beer supper. As regards the drink packages we just paid as we went and found it reasonable value for money. The entertainment was fun especially the wonderland and queen tribute shows {Freddie Mercury sounded great with an Italian accent} Service overall was good and the shore excursions well organized, the few complaints were mainly passengers who didn't listen to the guides and ran late!! We are beyond the child raising years but from what we saw the kids had a great time especially for halloween. Disembarkation was again slick and easy, If you want to go on a very european cruise I reccomend MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was the best itinerary for the time of the year for us. The best part was unpacking once, and our floating 5 Star Hotel followed us around the Mediterranean as we departed Genoa, and visited the most amazing places, including ... Read More
This was the best itinerary for the time of the year for us. The best part was unpacking once, and our floating 5 Star Hotel followed us around the Mediterranean as we departed Genoa, and visited the most amazing places, including Marseilles. Barcelona, Malta, Crete, Corfu Greece and Rome! The food, was consistently excellent; and I certainly recommend the option of having your breakfast served in your cabin; cant beat having croissants and coffee on your balcony watching a sunrise - an unforgettable experience! The entertainment crew were great, with different shows day and night to thrill us! The waitrons were exceptional, with excellent manner and service! Another 'win' was the fantastic organisation of disembarking at every port; nothing was rushed; little queues, and well synchronised timing. The constant maintenance and 'cleaning' was also nice to see; never did I see idle crew members; everyone had a job and purpose and they just got on with it! This was my second MSC Cruise; and we have already booked for another in March 2018! Well done to everyone involved, both on and off shore for great organisational skills and a passion for duty:) See you soon ! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this particular cruise as it was the one that best suited our time frame. Not too short but just long enough to get what was needed. We planned a two day hotel stay beforehand in Barcelona (this turned out to be one day due to ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise as it was the one that best suited our time frame. Not too short but just long enough to get what was needed. We planned a two day hotel stay beforehand in Barcelona (this turned out to be one day due to flight cancellation). That being said we found a little gem of a hotel (Wilson's boutique hotel). The hotel was great, shaped like the Flatiron building in NYC. We had a family room at the tip of the building and it was really excellent and very comfortable. I have read reviews about embarkation being like cattle at the sales ring, but we kept to our allotted check in time and everything was perfect. We had the Aurea package booked so we had priority boarding and luggage was priority as well. Even though we had this it didn't really matter as there was so few people around when we arrived, the staff gave us super attention. I'd say from the taxi to the cabin took twenty minutes. That's impressive no matter what you a trying to achieve as a company. The ship came into service in 2008 and I've read reviews about the ship being tired looking and so on. I'm biased as this was our first time but we found the ship to be excellent. The ship was being painted when we boarded and on the inside there were people replacing carpets and soft furnishings, so maybe it is a little tired around the edges but that doesn't stop the ship presenting itself to an impeccable standard. The ship is SPOTLESS from the public areas, cabins, food areas, shops, bars, outside decks, spa, everywhere is spotless and I've had this confirmed by my wife who is a fully certified clean freak. The ship is very well laid out and has the right mixture of old and new charms to cater for all tastes and styles of all the different cultures that were onboard. Our cabin was excellent and more spacious that we would have thought before hand. The cabin attendant serviced the room twice a day and if we needed extra towels etc. there was no problems with anything we needed. Our cabin was slightly bigger than most of the balcony cabins onboard this was due to the Aurea package that I mentioned earlier. The cabin was on deck 12 an toward the bow of the ship. We had excellent views from our balcony and the balcony was washed down at least twice during the cruise. There was more than enough wardrobe space and the bathroom was very good, clean and spacious. Dining overall was very good. We spent most of our dining time in the buffet. The variety there better suited our tastes. We did however get all dressed up one evening and went to the main restaurant. The food was very good but there was not a lot of it which isn't a bad thing in our book. The atmosphere was nice and relaxed and we enjoyed the experience. Like I said the buffet more that met our requirements. A golf buddy of mine had been on an MSC cruise a couple of months before us and commented that he didn't enjoy the cruise because the food was always the same. I found this to be both true and a little misleading. To be fair how many way can you present potatoes differently. Four to five different ways I would have said. Our cruise lasted 13 days so yes you would see the same items coming up with a couple of days of a gap before their reappearance. The funny thing about that was that when this stuff came up again it seemed to be the most popular items that day. Is it the same yes is it the same every day, certinaly not and like I said when it reappears it's popular. Again spotless is an understatement for the buffet area, and the consistent cleaning was unbelievable by the staff. The entertainment was very good. A good variety of bars both inside and outside. The shows in the theatre were good but not great. That's probably a bit biased as we don't really go for shows of that kind but the couple we did see were quite good. The main bar areas all had singers, djs, pianist, harp and so on. There was no shortage of entertainers all over the ship. We would like to mention the Aurea Spa as we spent some time in there. The place again is spotless. The staff are excellent and the variety of what available is out of this world. The thermal area had 3 different saunas with different aromas as did the 3 Turkish baths. The relaxation area has floor to ceiling widows out to sea and is an amazing place to chill out. We had a couples massage and jacuzzi which again was in a dedicated room with sea views through the floor to ceiling windows. The spa as a whole is a really nice place to be but the one caviate is the prices are well up there on the expenses that are not included in the cruise fare. The service on board was brilliant, we couldn't fault the staff at all. Again I read before we cruised that some staff were abrupt and rude etc. We did see staff being treated poorly by guests so who knows maybe that is why some of the staff get abrupt or rude. There was absolutely nothing that I can remember that would make us think anything other than how good the staff were. The ports and shore excursions for us were very good. Barcelona, day at sea, Casablanca, day at sea, Tenerife, Madeira, day at sea, Rome, Genoa, Marseille and back to Barcelona. The excursions are expensive but you get what you pay for. The guides spoke clear English and were detailed in the guidance. I'm not sure how going it alone would be any better from an expierence point of view but it would probably be cheaper. That being said if you go it alone how many sites would you get to see and how would you deal with the "interpretive" aspect of going it alone. I spoke to some people who booked their own guided tours, but by my reckoning this didn't end up any cheaper. Overall this was an excellent holiday. We intend on cruising again in 2020. It was a great experience for us including my seven year old daughter. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Embarkation: A brief summary, the most chaotic, disorganised shambles of an embarkation process we’ve ever encountered. After much queuing, observing lots of gesticulation, lots of shouting and tempers getting frayed we eventually made ... Read More
Embarkation: A brief summary, the most chaotic, disorganised shambles of an embarkation process we’ve ever encountered. After much queuing, observing lots of gesticulation, lots of shouting and tempers getting frayed we eventually made it on board. The Ship: The ship is very impressive from the outside and that impression continues inside. We had a balcony cabin which was spacious, very clean and comfortable. There are loads of bars and the ship has the most swimming pools we’ve seen on a cruise ship. All of the public areas are beautifully presented. All of the staff we encountered were very friendly, helpful and efficient. The Food: Having read the Boards regarding food on MSC cruises this appears to be a very divisive subject with some people expressing strong opinions for and against. In our opinion the food on board was very disappointing. The food in the Buffet was never warmer than lukewarm, morning, noon and night. The Buffet also has a serious issue in that it’s not big enough. Everyday people were doing laps of the area looking for somewhere to sit. Part of the problem appears to be people sitting having a drink from the bar in the buffet, playing cards, etc and not leaving to free up tables for people trying to eat. At night time only half of the buffet area is open for those who don’t want to go to one of the restaurants. The quality and variety of the food isn’t great either and that includes the Red Velvet restaurant. We have become more accustomed to flexible dining times so it was a bit different to be on a ship with two fixed dinner sittings. The time between sittings is 2.5 hours, why? Each time we were in the Red Velvet all three courses were served in about 45 minutes. Another surprise is they charge for water in the dining room…well that’s a first for us. Another first was charging for ice-cream, all other ships we’ve been on supply it free and leave it as self-serve…what is this, the Ryanair of cruising? There is only one additional fee restaurant on board and it’s rubbish. An additional fee restaurant should feel special and provide a special meal. The one on board Fantasia is a Tex Mex and it doesn’t feel special or provide a decent meal. Tex Mex is food you eat without utensils from a taco or fajita, absolutely rubbish idea for a fee restaurant. The night we went there was only one other table occupied, the chairs are uncomfortable, the decoration is a plastic cactus on each table and a couple painted on the walls, there was no atmosphere and as there are doors at either end people are using it as a corridor. The food was poor quality and we left feeling it was a total waste of money. Worst fee restaurant we’ve ever been in. We ordered food one night in the Sports Bar and that was another mess. Table of four we ordered a sharing platter to start and then four main meals. 50 minutes later the first two meals arrived, not as described on the menu. A couple of minutes later the starters arrived and the fries for the third main. Ten minutes later we had to ask for the rest of the third main and all of the fourth. When it did arrive it was wrong and burnt to a crisp. Shambles!! Now to be fair to MSC when we complained how they dealt with it was exemplary. Entertainment: The entertainment troupe in the theatre are the most talented group we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. The shows were great, we especially enjoyed a show called Wonderland, based on Alice in Wonderland, which was brilliantly bonkers. However the entertainers are worthy of much better staging for the shows. It never changed, the backdrop was a red velvet curtain, the lighting was basic and they kept three sets of stairs on stage for every show. We’ve seen much better and more effort put in by the local AmDram company. As to the rest of the entertainment on board it was poor. The two couples performing in a couple of the bars were atrocious, we initially thought it was very bad karaoke, but no they were ship entertainers. There were also a couple of piano players every night in some of the bars. It’s not exactly a lively vibe at night, we would describe it as sedate. Conclusion: Beautiful ship but just too many flaws. There are other cruise lines who’s product suits our tastes better, we won’t be booking MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I spent 3 nights on MSC Fantasia, sailing from Genoa to Barcelona, Marseille and then back to Genoa. It was short but absolutely wonderful, mediterranean winter sailing at his best on the finest of all ships. I stayed in the Yacht ... Read More
I spent 3 nights on MSC Fantasia, sailing from Genoa to Barcelona, Marseille and then back to Genoa. It was short but absolutely wonderful, mediterranean winter sailing at his best on the finest of all ships. I stayed in the Yacht Club, which is to say MSC cruises luxurz experience: larger cabins, a dedicated lounge, restaurant, a personal buttler to accomodate any of my needs right there and then. Food was delicious as always on MSC cruises, across all restaurant and buffets. The dedicated YC restaurant being the pinnacle of the experience, equivalent to a Michelin-star restaurant I went to the gym every day at differnet timings. Staff was friendly and forthcoming and there were always plenty of space and free cardio machines. No lines, no queues like on other ships with smaller gyms. All machines were Technogym top of the range, in excellent conditions. Plenty of free weights, space for yoga, equipment of all sorts. Friendly and efficient Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Just back from our first msc cruise having been on at least 6 other cruises, it was our first and certainly our last. This was awful, firstly with the exception of the cabin staff and waiters the staff were rude and unhelpful. You would ... Read More
Just back from our first msc cruise having been on at least 6 other cruises, it was our first and certainly our last. This was awful, firstly with the exception of the cabin staff and waiters the staff were rude and unhelpful. You would ask for help and be told to go find someone else. Entertainment staff were seen drinking and security staff smoking in the smoking lounge. Not a professional set up. Only two sittings for dinner and if your late you can forget it, the doors are locked. When you consider that this ship takes 4000 guests, you can imagine the shoving and pushing there is at dinner time to get to the restaurant. Even though we were all inclusive (drinks package as well) you are consistently harassed to purchase premium wines and lobster. There was the buffet option, tried once and never to be repeated. Again pushing and even worse cold food and the staff unhelpful. Due to so many people lifts were a nightmare, with people pushing and forcing there way in to such a level that we witnessed one lady who was carrying a baby being knocked completely of her feet, luckily neither her or the baby were hurt. The entertainment shows were put on at the second meal sitting, so take your choice eat or see a show but you can't do both. Pool side entertainment was childish and lounge entertainment was third or fourth class singers. Shore excursions were expensive although there was a reasonable range however anyone paying 50 euros for an escorted tour of the ship must be mad. The ship and the cabins were clean however I never seen a public toilet in any area. We booked this trip through Barrhead travel as did another couple of hundred people and I did not meet one person who enjoyed the boat. At the disembarkation meeting we were asked if we had enjoyed our holiday, the shouts of no should have been such an embarrassment to the ship and its staff. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia and we all absolutely loved MSC Fantasia! We have been on a P&O cruise before and my husband and I went on a Carnival cruise ship too so we have a little ... Read More
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia and we all absolutely loved MSC Fantasia! We have been on a P&O cruise before and my husband and I went on a Carnival cruise ship too so we have a little experience on cruising now. I must the MSC Fantasia differs dramatically from our Australian cruises. The positives are that the cruise ship itself was absolutely stunning, it even has Swarovski crystal staircases which were stunning! We found other cruise ships were a bit gaudy but not this ship, everywhere onboard was impeccably designed. The shows in the evening were brilliant, the costumes were gorgeous and the Michael Jackson show was so amazing I would have believed it was MJ onstage if he was still alive!! The itinerary was so good, every morning waking up in a new port is so good, you never get bored. I recommend looking up private tours for some of the stops (we did a Barcelona tour and Pompeii tour). We did do one cruise tour which was a 1/2 day Leaning Tower of Pisa tour and that was good but you have to wait around sometimes as there are a lot of people on the coach. This cruise didn't have as much to entertain us during the days etc but that's because you're in port most of the day so it didn't matter. There were 2 downsides and not the fault of the cruise line really as 1) is most days around 5pm the bars/lounges close down while they do the emergency program for the new cruisers (because not everyone embarks on the same day). We think maybe they could keep one bar open for those that have already done the emergency program. The other down side was many European people don't queue, they push in or blatantly walk in front of you while you're patiently waiting, it is really frustrating and we overheard many English speaking people complaining of the same problem. In saying this though, we also went on the MSC Orchestra straight after this cruise and found the other passengers much more polite. The cocktails were very good value at around 7euro and you could also buy books of vouchers that we found good value too (we bought vouchers for beer, soft drinks, mocktails/milkshakes and coffees, we bought the water package on the first cruise but didn't use it all so didn't buy it on the next cruise). The kids loved the cruise also but the kids clubs (they were in the 12-14yo and 15-17yo groups) were pretty much non-existent but not because of the cruise, it's teens and them not giving it the go they should. We found they spoke English first over the speakers most of the time so we never felt in the minority group. We had lovely waitresses in the evenings as you are seated at the same table each night. This is great as you get to know them and they get to know your likes and dislikes, they remember what you like to drink, etc. They are also careful with who they seat you with and we were happy to sit with 2 Aussie ladies (sisters) for the journey. We went to the Mexican/Steakhouse one night, although the staff were lovely and so friendly, we didn't enjoy the meal that much. The embarkation and disembarkation was always very good, occasionally you have to wait in line (obviously when there are over 4000 passengers) but they were very efficient at getting us all onboard as quick as they could. The cabin was great, the sofa turned into a double bed at night for the kids, the cabin crew did this each night and morning. There's not a lot of space for 4 though, it would be perfect for 2 people. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2016
This cruise was recommended by Barrhead travel. I read loads of reviews before I left and I was a bit worried as they weren't all positive. We really enjoyed the cruise,staff were excellent, drinks package great choices and the ... Read More
This cruise was recommended by Barrhead travel. I read loads of reviews before I left and I was a bit worried as they weren't all positive. We really enjoyed the cruise,staff were excellent, drinks package great choices and the food in red velvet room was excellent. The language barrier that people complained about wasn't a problem for us. We found that if someone didn't speak English then they got someone who did to help you. The buffet place is a nightmare but you don't have to use it. My only complaint is the hand sanitizer outside the restaurants this is not compulsory. People walk past and also we saw a lot of people leaving the toilets without washing. Thomson cruises make sure everyone uses this before entering the restaurant. This prevents spreading viruses. I would go back on this cruise again but different places. The staff work really hard to make sure you have a good time and we found nothing was a problem for anyone. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
The ship is just amazing, beautiful, clean and well maintained. We had a balcony cabin and it was surprisingly roomy and very nicely decorated. I would rate the cabins and the steward service the same as 4star hotel at least. The ... Read More
The ship is just amazing, beautiful, clean and well maintained. We had a balcony cabin and it was surprisingly roomy and very nicely decorated. I would rate the cabins and the steward service the same as 4star hotel at least. The service on-board is excellent, all staff were friendly and helpful. The spa was great and there were lots of different pool areas and you were always able to get a sunbed. The only problem with the pool area was that the adults only Zen pool was full of kids. The various bars on board were great, our favourite was the Gaudi bar on deck 15, was lovely having a cocktail or two when the sun went down. Overall the food was great, but the only disappointment was the quality and choice of the food during the 'sit down' dinner as this was a bit hit and miss. The food at dinner was better at the buffet restaurant. The buffet restaurant did tend to get very busy at peak times, but you were always able to find a table especially away from the food stations. Despite the niggles I would definitely cruise with MSC again. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first ever cruise and I have to say I was very apprehensive but we were very impressed. Everything ran very smoothly. The staff, especially the cabin boy and waiter were excellent. Will definitely consider using MSC again. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and I have to say I was very apprehensive but we were very impressed. Everything ran very smoothly. The staff, especially the cabin boy and waiter were excellent. Will definitely consider using MSC again. The only slight down side for us was the fact that there were a lot of children and they could be noisy late at night. Our cabin was as good as any quality hotel we have been to. The shower room was a bit small though, our balcony was fabulous too, an added bonus for us. The food in the restaurant was also very good with plenty of choice. We didn't use the 24 restaurant much, only for a late lunch or maybe tea and cakes but we always sat at the far end of the restaurant away from the noise. I think cruising will be our thing from now on. I would definitely recommend to anyone who has never tried it to give it a go. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Ship layout was excellent with many stylish lounges and bars with live entertainment in many. Cabin was the best we have had by a mile...Spacious and a balcony. Dining room food was good with an interesting menu every day Staff throughout ... Read More
Ship layout was excellent with many stylish lounges and bars with live entertainment in many. Cabin was the best we have had by a mile...Spacious and a balcony. Dining room food was good with an interesting menu every day Staff throughout the ship were very polite and helpful. We had an 'all inclusive' package in our booking which was just as well as the drinks were very expensive. (5 euros for a small whisky). The downside of the trip was the buffet food area which was crawling with young children running around. The trips were also expensive so if you are going on one of their cruises make sure your budget can stand the extras. We visited 6 different ports in 7 days which meant that there were no days at sea. I would suggest that passengers should be made aware before going ashore , especially in Naples, that pick pockets and street muggings are quite common place. My wife got her necklace grabbed by a young man who immediately jumped on to a scooter and disappeared. They are obviously well traind in this art! Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We are what you might call experienced cruisers..cruising since 1994 with many different cruise lines. We will normally seek out a good itinerary and then worry about the cruise line or ship,so have been on both high end and low end ships. ... Read More
We are what you might call experienced cruisers..cruising since 1994 with many different cruise lines. We will normally seek out a good itinerary and then worry about the cruise line or ship,so have been on both high end and low end ships. We had a weeks holiday to use and wanted a cheap cruise, a local travel agent came up with this deal they have with MSC. Attractions were British Airways charter flight direct from Glasgow to Genoa, drinks package,balcony cabin and nice looking ship,we had never been with MSC before,but have been with Costa and in earlier days Festival Line so we should have known better! Flight was really good,we expected the embarkation to be a trial but it was remarkably smooth,we were on an early flight but MSC let us board and we had our cabin 11086 by 1300 hours. The ship and public areas were generally tidy and clean. The decor varies from garish to dark and subdued. Dining was our biggest disappointment and you can see this again and again in the reviews. We are either open dining or buffet fans so it seemed like old school to go back to first/second sitting. So,apart from a Gala night we did not eat in our allocated Red Velvet restaurant,although the food there seemed to be better than the buffet. We can safely say this is the worst buffet food we have come across so far. The buffet restaurant can be a frenetic experience especially at breakfast,although we did find the further away you moved from the main entrances the quieter it became. Cant fault the salads,fruit or bread but hot food was at best lukewarm and of limited choice,probably lunch was the best of the bunch. The Allegrisimo drinks package looks good on paper but if you want real drink you will have to upgrade! It does entitle you to some nice coffees though. The serving staff in general were efficient and friendly. We are not fans of big shows so did not attend any especially as 1st sitting people had to wait until 2200. However talking to others they did seem to be very visual and colourful shows. We will seek out the best band on a ship and settle in to whatever lounge they are in. There was no decent band or lounge entertainer on the ship in our opinion! The only port of call we had not visited before was Cannes and as it was a tender port we did not get as long there as we would have liked..the achilles heel of all big ships is the amount of time it takes to tender everybody off. We had been to Naples a couple of times however this time we took the Sorrento excursion which was acceptable. from La Spezia we took the Cinque Terre excursion which was a bit of an adventure! To sum up..we should have known better..wrong time of year for an Italian Cruise line..weather too hot and most Italians on holiday! This was a great cruise for young families with lots of kids and lots of noise. As oldies we were in a minority but we would consider MSC again but would be very careful with the itinerary and time of year and hopefully the food will have improved! We have put value for money as very good but this is for our overall experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Brilliant cruise. I have been on a number of cruises and this by far was the best. The staff were excellent, the food was superb the room was good and clean absolutely no problems. Getting on and off the ship was easy and the excursion ... Read More
Brilliant cruise. I have been on a number of cruises and this by far was the best. The staff were excellent, the food was superb the room was good and clean absolutely no problems. Getting on and off the ship was easy and the excursion were very good as well. The ship, the Fantasis, was a first class choice and one I will repeat no problem. All in all excellent 7 nights. The entertainment was ok. did not see to much of that but speaking to others on board they liked it. The service in the restaurant was very good. The waiters took time to find out what you liked, where you sat and catered accordingly. If there is a complaint, its probably a good complaint in as much as the ship was huge and you could quite easily get lost trying to find your room, which I did a couple of times. I was pointed in the right direction on both occasions by the cabin attendants. Really really enjoyed the whole experience.. Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
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Rates 3.0 3.5

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