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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I read horrible reviews prior to my trip, but I still signed on because the ports were enticing and the price was right. To begin, getting any sort of help online prior to travel was impossible. No one responded to emails or chat ... Read More
I read horrible reviews prior to my trip, but I still signed on because the ports were enticing and the price was right. To begin, getting any sort of help online prior to travel was impossible. No one responded to emails or chat requests. Luckily some members of our group were able to take the time to call the MSC help desk. I prefer to do everything online and MSC is not set up to handle that type of business. The transfer from Milan was excellent. Great staff, no issues there! Embarkation was a bit messier. There were multiple stations to hit, but there was no welcome feeling and we didn't really know what was happening from desk to desk. As someone else mentioned, the lifeboat drill was not on time and not organized. I honestly wish I had just signed in and walked away, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to do that. It was a waste of a good hour of ship time. The first night of dinner, in the myChoiceDining area, our server was so horrible, half our group didn't come back to dinner. When our friends inquired about their drink order, he said, "give me a minute!" He handed us our plates instead of setting them down. He told us to "Make Room" for additional plates on the table. He gave us grief for wanting to order additional entrees to share with the table and then delivered them all at once when we clearly didn’t have the space for them. And finally, he wanted us to order our dessert with our entrees, which was very unusual. The second night we requested a new server and told the hostess that our previous waiter was terrible and she just said ok. Our new server was wonderful and we went back to him every night! As someone else mentioned, breakfast in the dining room was buffet or a la carte. Our server didn’t seem to want to take our order or serve anything. As it turns out, we shouldn’t have ordered. The waffles looked to be frozen waffles and the fruit was definitely thawed out. We never went back to breakfast in the dining room. The buffet breakfast wasn’t very enticing either, so we stuck to yogurts, fruit and breads. Others in our party complained about the lines and chaos in the buffet, but I’ve seen that on other large ships as well. Our dinner server would actually help us find our family or find a table if the others hadn’t arrived yet. To me, that’s good service! The ports were all amazing, but I will say, there should be more organization as there was a tremendous line in Barcelona to re-board the ship. With such short port times, it should be assumed everyone will come back at once and staffing should be there to cover the busy times. On Saturday, upon arrival in Cherbourg, there was a line of people waiting to get off the ship, an hour after we were entitled to disembark... when suddenly the staff started moving props to another deck. Had I not asked, I would not have been told that there was a problem with the gangway and we needed to go to another deck. The lack of communication for that was disappointing, along with the loss of an hour in port, with no apology that I’m aware of. On approximately deck 10 rear, we ran into worker smoking in a very small area that isn't a smoking area. Completely inappropriate. Speaking of smoking, half of the pool deck as well as another half of the walking track are smoking areas. I had to do laps on only one side of deck 7 (the walking track). The casino is also a smoking area and completely infected the entrance to the theater. We were told there were 50 nationalities onboard, so yes, the announcements were made in 6 languages, which can be long, but who’s to decide which ones to cut? Not me. In the reception line, one poor employee was unable to help so many guests, so it’s clear not all guests speak English and multiple announcements are needed. I do feel investing in translators for staff would be helpful, at least at the reception desk. In general the service was inconsistent. Some days, you got the nicest bartenders. Other days, they were downright nasty. The cruise staff was awesome! Great group of people in that crew! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We have travelled with most cruise lines and expected a mid-range experience with rather good food given that MSC is an Italian company. It turned out that the most disappointing aspect was food and beverage. BREAKFAST Breakfast can ... Read More
We have travelled with most cruise lines and expected a mid-range experience with rather good food given that MSC is an Italian company. It turned out that the most disappointing aspect was food and beverage. BREAKFAST Breakfast can be taken i their cafeteria or in the restaurant Villa Borghese. We visited the cafeteria numerous times but never managed to get a table. In Villa Borghese you can select between a la carte and buffet. All dishes sampled were of poor quality and presentation. I.e. Eggs Benedicts were almost inedible. Room Service breakfast is yoghurt, bread and coffee/tea. Thats it. LUNCH Lunch could be taken in the cafeteria as well as in Villa Borghese. The latter offered a la carte as well as buffet. We only ate when we were at sea and escaped the ship for meals as often as we could. DINNER You are assigned dinners in either Villa Borghese or L'Ibiscus. We were in the latter and the food was mediocre and rather bland. Food was okay but never an experience you would like to remember. ALL-INCLUSIVE CONCEPT We opted for the all-inclusive concept which was promoted to include all beverages at all times. It proved to be far from it. In the restaurants you could only choose wines from a very limited selection and only by the glass (2 whites, 1 rosé and 2 reds) - all La Zolla an almost undrinkable quality. Most cocktails are not included. Water is included but not if you take the water in the mini bar, then it is extra. Beverages from room service are always extra and you pay for the food here too but delivery is included. Rather strange concept and very confusing which seemed deliberate. Although the all-inclusive packages are rather cheap, they are not worth buying. BOARDING Getting onboard took 2,5 hours and we waited in four different queues for different aspects of the registration process. We never understood why it had been made so complicated and everybody complained throughout. SERVICE In general there seems to be an attitude amongst staff of wishing they were somewhere else. They made numerous errors during our cruise and not once were we offered an apology. All (and I mean ALL) announcements are made in six languages (English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Russian) so everything takes forever. Would much rather prefer to have announcements in English and perhaps one other language and them have all written information in as many languages as they wish. We were forced to watch the MSC commercial videos several times in the theatre and people started commenting on the completely different experience they were having compared to the commercials. For example, in the commercials there are flowers everywhere but we didn't see one flower throughout our stay. The meals are served with cloches. We never saw them onboard, and so on, and so on. SAFETY The safety drill was an Italian farce. They started the drill 20 minutes late and then in a way that only a limited number of passengers could see what happened (and again in six languages). Passengers soon started to leave the stations is frustration. Italian organized chaos. ITALIAN ATTITUDE Most senior officers are Italian and they clearly feel superior to the other members of staff. Several times we observed officers go into bars to prepare their own coffees and two times I saw officers take cakes out of the cake displays with their fingers and straight into their mouths. So much for food hygiene. ALL IN ALL All in all it was a very disappointed experience and we will not return to MSC. If you travel on a limited budget there are so many other cruise lines to choose from and we cannot come up with even one, why you should choose MSC. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
There were 8 of us going on the Mediterranean cruise, so we were looking for something that was more budget friendly and we chose MSC as it was slightly cheaper than the other cruise lines we have taken in the past. This was our first ... Read More
There were 8 of us going on the Mediterranean cruise, so we were looking for something that was more budget friendly and we chose MSC as it was slightly cheaper than the other cruise lines we have taken in the past. This was our first time going with MSC and I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the reviews given here on how MSC sucked and how it was the worst cruise they've taken - and I thought perhaps we should've taken Princess or Norwegian or Holland America instead. However, besides a couple of issues I had, we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn't bad as others have described. Perhaps we were just lucky and that we had very low expectations going in, but MSC are better at some things and not as good as other cruise lines, which is probably true with all cruise lines anyway. First of all, most of the critique about MSC Orchestra is about the food. Someone said they were not picky eaters and would eat just about anything and yet still found the food terrible. Well, whoever said the food was terrible in MSC Orchestra are actually picky eaters, or just not into a variety of cuisine. Perhaps they just ate the pasta and the pizza all the time and found them terrible - which I do agree, to my surprise, is really not MSC's best offering especially for an Italian ship. The pizza were average, even pizza I've had from the USA are better, which is probably blasphemous for me to say. But it's the same 3 types of pizza every single day so it got boring. The pastas were also okay, they offer a variety with different sauces but again, it's always the same ones every time. They also had a grill section which offered hamburgers, hotdogs and french fries but the real issue with their buffet is that they have the same food every day - EXCEPT for the Daily Specials and Ethnic Cuisine which is located at the back section of the buffet dining room - which many people miss or by the time they get there, their plates are already full of pizza and pastas. The daily specials/ethnic cuisine section offered dishes from Asia or Eastern Europe or South American and it's different each day. My only comment is that they should hire a real Asian chef if they want to serve Asian dishes - they're not bad, but you can tell the difference if an Asian dish was prepared by a Westerner. What I don't like in their buffet dining is that they don't offer lemonade or ice tea for lunch or dinner, unlike other cruise lines, you have a choice of drink besides water. You have to pay for other beverage which isn't right. The one difference in Main Dining with MSC from other cruise ships I've been on is that you get a table reserved for you and your party for the entire duration of the cruise. Which is great because you can just go directly to the same table every night without waiting for the maître d' to seat you and you don't have to wait for the rest of your group to get started. We got a nice 8-seat table next to a port hole so it was a nice location but I can imagine if you got a bad table next to the galley or something, however you can request to be moved if possible. Again, what surprised me with their main dining is that you have to pay for the water. I suppose being an American, I'm not used to this. In the USA, water is free and expected to be served at any restaurant. At €2.75 per liter, we consumed 5 or more bottles each time and it would have gotten quite expensive if we didn't have the complimentary mineral water package that came with our reservation, so while we didn't pay a single cent for our water, I would've been quite pissed off if I had to shell out an extra €100+ just for water in the dining room. That said, the variety of dishes offered was better than average and as I've said, they should hire an Asian chef if they want to serve oriental fare, and also should stay away from pork dishes, every time they serve pork - it was overcooked and bland, but other than that, I enjoyed majority of the dishes I had. They could also offer a lot more choices for dessert but it's not that big of a deal having only 3-4 choices every night, at least it's different. I was a bit disappointed they only had either vanilla or cookies & cream gelato, I had hoped to have a different flavor of gelato every night. The biggest thing we enjoyed in our cruise was their Entertainment live shows each night. The performers were phenomenal and the variety of shows they put out was awesome - they had jugglers, acrobats, aerial silk artists, opera singers, flamenco and salsa dancers in addition to the usual singers and house dancers every cruise line have, and they include almost everyone on each show so it never got boring. In other cruises we had in the past, they would have something like a 70's disco show and it's a whole hour of singing and dancing 70s disco songs which got boring halfway through the show. Not on this cruise, even if they had the Tribute to 80s Musicals night, they still have performances from the non-singing/dancing artists which made the show more exciting and entertaining. As for the Ports and shore excursions - we had a great time in all of them. They were on time and organized with the separate meeting places and the tour stickers - unlike other cruises where everyone gets off the ship and it's chaos at the port looking for your tour guide. However, I have one huge issue with them - our Marseille excursion in France was cancelled due to a strike. So I had to rebook another excursion and go somewhere else. What annoyed me greatly is that I pre-paid for all our excursions and go the 20% discount, and I thought re-booking another excursion, which is not my fault, we would simply get a replacement. But no... what happened was they refunded my excursion at €44pp and I had to pay full price of €55pp for the replacement tour, and the excursions office would not honor the 20% discount I had in my previous tour. Also, some tour buses are multi-lingual and while I can understand why they had to do that, it did make the tours much longer (and a bit boring) because the tour guides had to say everything twice in different languages. The cabins were ok, it's not the best since it's an old ship, but they were clean. The bathroom was slightly larger than those we've had at Princess and Royal Caribbean but smaller than Norwegian, at least my knees weren't bumping the sink when I sat down. The service was good, especially those from Asia which were always polite and smiling and couple of times they gave us free drinks which was very much appreciated. As mentioned earlier, MSC Orchestra is one of the older ships in the fleet so obviously they' don't have the modern amenities as the newer ones. I did get 4 cruise passes to their Thermal Area which was a couple of steam rooms, a couple of sauna rooms, 3 whirlpool baths but only 6 lounge chairs, which wasn't enough on a busy day, but at least it got us away from the crowds at the pool in Deck 13, and at certain times of the day, we were the only ones there. The gym was also average but it didn't bother us that much because there was only one of us who went there lol. Anyway, for those who read some of the negative reviews about MSC Orchestra, I can only say maybe they did have a terrible time cruising with MSC, and although we've had our issues with some of the way MSC handled things, I would still say we had a fun and memorable experience cruising the Mediterranean with MSC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise again ,first went to try out and found everything so good booked another few weeks later,now going again on the 18th may ,the staff are so friendly and helpful everything was spotlessly clean,food was good catering ... Read More
We chose this cruise again ,first went to try out and found everything so good booked another few weeks later,now going again on the 18th may ,the staff are so friendly and helpful everything was spotlessly clean,food was good catering staff very helpful,all the staff could not do enough to p!ease,the cleaning of our cabin was excellent every day,entertainment was good and varied the entertainment team were excellent trying to make sure everyone had a good time and got involved,pool and hot tubs were glorious .excursions are bit expensive but you can go on your own,embarking and disembarking explained well,good safety procedures,the people pushing you to have your photo done are a bit annoying and expensive but we still got one just as a memory but the photos are excellent,,get a drinks package that way you can experiment with the cocktails,bar staff and waiters waitresses are lovely and very helpful, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This is a longish review as I had read some very negative MSC reviews prior to leaving Australia for this cruise on MSC Orchestra. However, we still went with open minds and open hearts. Travelling is also an often emotive topic- as ... Read More
This is a longish review as I had read some very negative MSC reviews prior to leaving Australia for this cruise on MSC Orchestra. However, we still went with open minds and open hearts. Travelling is also an often emotive topic- as people may not have much precious vacation time, may have had better experiences on other holidays and so it becomes quite comparative at times. We have cruised from Australia previously - so this was our first European Cruise. We had been to Europe previously but always driven cars and caught planes. We chose this cruise because it represented great value for money. The opportunity to visit France, Spain, Malta and Italy from the cruise ship, seemed too good to be true and our Cabin 8199 cost us just $2800 AUD. Our cabin was right at the end of the ship, with a balcony. We also pre purchased 2 x 2 Excursions, in Florence and Rome. So with the excursions, the service charges and drinks that we paid for (as we went) and some MSC organised buses into towns on top we added around an extra $800 AUD, giving us an all up a spend of $3,600 AUD for us both! The very best part of cabin 8199 was being on the balcony - the view leaving ports like Genoa, Valletta where the views where just stunning, the balcony was also very spacious and quite wide. We did have a little bit of muffled doof, doof but not too bad and not too late, as we were over one of the discos, but nothing that kept us awake. Actually, the cabin itself was absolutely wonderful, with plenty of space, lots of hanging in wardrobes, drawers, safe and coat hangers etc. The bathroom was quite large and even though we did have a couple of issues with the toilet flush mechanism - they were responded too and fixed very, very quickly. The cleaning of the cabin we only wanted 2nd daily and we where happy with that. The meals in the Restaurant were mostly very good, we had a few outstanding meals and a couple of not so good, but overall similar to a wedding reception menu/style. We quite enjoyed the buffet for breakfast and sometimes dinner, as the choices were greater, you could go when you were ready, go back for seconds if you found something you really enjoyed, plus there was cold water, tea and coffee and always nice pastries to enjoy. People formed queues and we didn't see any pushing or shoving, as others have suggested. The embarkation procedure was great, we also had no issues for any excursion times and each time left port without any delays. The entertainment - which we went to 3 nights, was good to excellent! the young performers were energetic and the shows were fun. A couple of opera singers in one of the lounges were fabulous. We are not big drinkers so didn't stay out late, plus we were so tired from the early starts and all the walking in the cities. The Itinerary was excellent, the 3 stops in Spain were outstanding and Valletta was just amazing. We also loved Genoa as well. The amount of time to get into Rome and Florence via the buses, means that the actual time spent in those cities very rushed. The beds are just blissful, OMGoodness did we sleep well, such excellent beds!! We wish we could have brought them home with us. A majority of the people on the cruise were from Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Spain. English speaking people are a minority, but we loved trying to guess who was from what country! Despite my planning to use some learnt Italiano most staff and people took one look at me and just said English? haha and most guessed we where from England, I was even asked was I Danish? So, the language issue wasn't problematic. Many couples with limited English made attempts to be friendly over meals. The passengers like us, were mostly older, with a third of the boat probably under 50. Families with little ones as well. My only improvements which I have also suggested in feedback to MSC 1. was it would be nice to have an English speaking TV show or two on, as we didn't have anything in English apart from CNN NEWS channel. 2. we hadn't realised that we would be charged 16Euro each for the buses into quite a few cities, not a big issue, but good to know, budget wise 3. the amount of times you are asked if you want a photo, became quite annoying 4. people on our dining table went on different excursions and we were puzzled as to why they paid a considerable cost to not even have the option to go into main attractions, such as the Cathedral in Mallorca. The excursions were only 4 hours long, giving them another 4 hours on the boat. Sure this is good for some very old people, but not giving folks the option seems a little underwhelming. Overall, we loved the cruise the boat was quiet, smooth and we would certainly go again with MSC. As a Footnote - Since arriving back home, I had an email regarding a Viking Cruise, Barcelona to Copenhagen - it sounds amazing! No children under 18 (but we like kids), no charges for internet, drinks, one excursion in every port etc etc............. BUT the price for this 15 days cruise is just on $7,000AUD per person. It is true you get what you pay for and many people will think that to be easily affordable, but to us it is not. Our 21 day holiday (we stayed in Italy and went to Venice and Lake Como - Varenna was the best for 5 days to unwind) all up costs - so including, air fares, trains, food, etc - was just on $11,000AUD, so we would recommend MSC highly, to people who want to make their options, money and the amount of times they travel stretch!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted a cruising experience - unlike the Sydney based ones where you have a few days at sea before you see anything - and the Orchestra itinerary was the perfect solution. We embarked in Civitavecchia in a very well run and ... Read More
We wanted a cruising experience - unlike the Sydney based ones where you have a few days at sea before you see anything - and the Orchestra itinerary was the perfect solution. We embarked in Civitavecchia in a very well run and professional process to gather the herd of new passengers. We were very impressed with our cabins for their layout, the space and state of cleanliness. Our first night aboard included the mandatory evacuation procedure, a great dinner in our fine dining restaurant with terrific staff and then a brilliant show to enjoy before retiring early as the following morning we were in Genoa. This routine of port hopping continued around the Mediterranean with wonderful destinations and terrific sailing between them enjoying all the features and comforts of the MSC Orchestra. This included terrific food and service enjoyed at every on-board outlet from fine dining to buffets, bars both topside and internally, a cigar lounge, two heated outdoor pools, 4 hot tubs, a tennis court, mini put-put greens and quoits. All capped off with sensational nightly shows and of course the casino and disco to keep going all night. The staff seemed to be mainly Indonesian (from Bali) and from the Philippines so service was generally impeccable under the guidance and leadership of the Italian crew. Our only complaint being our fellow passengers and the way they treated each other, the staff and the wonderful facilities provided... They had a level of rudeness and no-care that was very disappointing. (smoking within the ship in designated no smoking areas, leaving tons of uneaten food because in a buffet environment they load up without consideration of fellow passengers of staff that have to clean up after them, and general rudeness to everyone around them! Despite this, overall we enjoyed a sensational holiday aboard a marvelous ship with a great crew, a really wonderful itinerary and a truly magnificent experience enjoyed in order to discover the magic of the Mediterranean - thanks MSC Orchestra Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Found cabin not very clean.Meals very bland and staff not well trained Disembarkation was chaos.Day trips were also poorly organised for disembarkation.Entertainment on board appeared to be more for the Gala evenings etc and day ... Read More
Found cabin not very clean.Meals very bland and staff not well trained Disembarkation was chaos.Day trips were also poorly organised for disembarkation.Entertainment on board appeared to be more for the Gala evenings etc and day activities were not adequate.This was our first time cruising and would never take another.We have travelled to Italy about 4 times over the past 17years to family and thought a cruise for Christmas 2017 would be wonderful but we wish we had chosen another land tour through Europe.We spent 3 days in Genoa before the cruise as it was a city in Italy we had not yet explored.We would never take another MSC cruise and would certainly not recommend to family and friends.The buffet was poorly organised and we could not believe the bad manners and pushing and shoving of the majority of the passengers at this service.Should we return to visit family in Italy again we will travel independently by land which is more enjoyable and is value for money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose this ship because my husband and I liked the ports-which were fine. There were many issues but the top one for my husband is the cheapness of the ship. You have to buy the water you drink in the restaurant. We bought tickets for ... Read More
Chose this ship because my husband and I liked the ports-which were fine. There were many issues but the top one for my husband is the cheapness of the ship. You have to buy the water you drink in the restaurant. We bought tickets for water and soda, but were sold a book of alcohol even though I told staff we don't drink. He told us you can use it for soda and tea, but didn't understand we were paying for alcohol every night. When I discovered the mistake they wouldn't let me exchange the alcohol for tea tickets. I tried talking to a manager and it verified what I noticed again and again with the staff. The manager kept a phone in his face while I spoke and put his finger up when I talked. He was there to talk to me but kept the phone up-I said I'll wait until he's finished with his call, but he continued to wave his finger at me and walked away. The men treat women like second class customers. I felt it when I would stand at the bar to get a Pepsi. Men would come to bar after me and get served. Again and again I noticed this This may come as a surprise to MSC, but women often are the breadwinners and are paying their salaries. That a manager, someone in charge, is able to put his finger in a customer's face up and walk away says a lot about their promotion policy. And for the record, I am not a screamer or can't afford the difference in tea and wine. I was talking calmly-the staff member who was helping and called the manager for me apologized again and again for the manager. I doubt MSC cares whether we use them again, but it's hard not to see they need to do some training in sensitivity towards women. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We were on the 12 day MSC Orchestra over Christmas. MSC is now marketing itself as a family-friendly line, however, they do not have the ship or the experience to do this well yet. All of the kid venues seemed literally smushed into the ... Read More
We were on the 12 day MSC Orchestra over Christmas. MSC is now marketing itself as a family-friendly line, however, they do not have the ship or the experience to do this well yet. All of the kid venues seemed literally smushed into the boat in odd places (during the last referbishment), and overall the boat felt very cramped and crowded, despite not being booked to capacity. Perhaps the newer class ships are better for this. The kids club is offered almost all day long, though there is a lot of TV watching (the MSC tv show) and other screen activities as they do not have a lot of kids, so they often combine all ages together and I suppose that's an easy way to entertain them? This was disappointing for us, as my daughter loves the organized, structured activities on other lines. So she opted to go for only an hour a day, and many days, she opted to not go at all. The food is really good, although it is European in both style and portion size. Be sure to order multiple dishes. We enjoyed the MDR, though the seating is odd and staff is friendly, but not personable. I loved the food, though it is a bit rich. I did miss the variety of eateries that are offered on other ships. Also, the buffet is really packed during peak times, and during non-peak times, there is limited food available. There is no free ice cream on the ship. The entertainment offered in the daily program is for adults only. My 11 year old was not allowed to particpate with me in the Christmas Crafts activities- even if she used my supplies and sat on my lap! The worker in charge was incredibly rude about it, and it was quite a turn off. Most of the entertainment offered are dance classes. While fun, doing more than 1-2 a day is just overkill. I missed the typical cruise programing on other lines. The evening shows were okay, we went to several, though they were all basically the same thing set to different music (singing, dancing, acrobatics). There is nothing "fresh" about the entertainment. Embarkation and disembarkation is simple, though there is very little information given for each. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get on and off the ship. They add a "unicef" charge per day- you can get this taken off the night before you disembark. The ports are the best thing MSC offers- they are port intensive and have a wide range, which was ultimately why we booked them. That being said, it basically felt like we were on a floating hotel and not a cruise. This was our 5th cruise, our first with MSC. Both my daughter and I prefer the other lines and will stick to them. We will not book MSC again. There was nothing "horrible" about the cruise, just nothing "special" about it either. Everything was average or just below average. However, given the huge number of horrible reviews, we were happy as it wasn't as bad as we were expecting. Unfortunately, MSC did not win us over as customers. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in ... Read More
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in Genoa. However things went from bad to worse. Below is a list of my grievances with MSC: -The cruise was supposed to depart from Genoa (Genova), Italy. However we got a message from our travel agent that our ship would now not be docking in Genoa, but that MSC Orchestra would be picking us up in Marseille, France. (First MSC informed us that we would be picked up by a ferry (where cabins and meals would be provided). However the next morning at 8am MSC issued a notification that we due to report (check-in) between 9-10am we had to hurry and be at the port to catch this ferry. We arrived at the port at 8:50 cancelling all our plans to view Genoa. We were told to wait in a cold room with no food or drink provided (except what was in a vending machine, however 2 of our family have severe medical dietary restrictions. And yes, MSC was made aware of these restrictions well in advance of the cruise.) Then we informed that there would not be a ferry provided, but we were now going to Marseille by bus. However the bus would not leave until all 99 passengers arrived at the port. This took hours! We boarded the bus at 12:15pm. We were then told that they would not be taking us to Marseille, but to Nice to stay in a hotel (no meals or beverages provided except for breakfast in the morning. The only break we had was at a gas station on the side of the hwy. Bus drive took 4 hours mostly because the driver drove slowly and took several suspicious detours. We could see his GPS which he ignored and other passengers had their own GPS monitoring. We had to press the issue with the MSC representative aboard as well as the driver. Still the drive took way too long. By the time we checked into the hotel most businesses were closed and we had to wait until 7pm to eat dinner, UNACCEPTABLE!) Also no time to see Nice. Boarded the bus to Marseille the next morning (different driver same treatment-no food, circulus route with many turnarounds and yes he had a fully functioning GPS!). Still no food, no beverages, no bathroom breaks. Arrived at the MSC port in Marseille at 11:30 am to a cold terminal, no food or beverages provided. Mad rush for the restroom, however there was only 1 stall for women and 1 stall for men. Shameful! Then took up over an hour to board us all. So no time to see Marseille. MSC said they would only give us a one day credit, but we actually lost full use of 2 days of sightseeing and dining. In closing this long review, I should say that I have been on several cruise with 3 different cruise lines, so I know what to expect. That being said, you should never sail with MSC! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having cruised with MSC 3 years ago for our 30th wedding anniversary we decided to book again for our 33rd. When we booked, the suites were the same price as the balcony rooms and I think this is were the problems started. When onboard ... Read More
Having cruised with MSC 3 years ago for our 30th wedding anniversary we decided to book again for our 33rd. When we booked, the suites were the same price as the balcony rooms and I think this is were the problems started. When onboard we entered our room to collect the key, I realized the info on the card was wrong, no drinks package, no spa etc. Off to customer services we went, explained we had booked the Aurea package they advised us this did not show on their system they would look into it and come back to us. Some 4 hours later we had not heard so we went back to reception with our paperwork, they advised us just because it was on our paperwork, it was what is on the system. They advised us that they had checked what we had paid and we had not paid for the Aurea package just the Aurea room. They said they could sell us a drinks package and a spa package but we would have to pay. Not happy we went back to the room, trying to prove that we had paid. 2 hours later a call from reception advised us that they had made a mistake and we did have the package and to pop down to reception to have new cards printed. On the way to dinner we collected the new cards and went to the Aurea anytime dinning restaurant, handed over the new card and was advised we where not entitled to use the restaurant, on looking at the new card they had printed exactly the same cards as before, back to reception we went, only to be told "just tell them to check the system" no just print us the new bloody cards, which they did. Although we had new cards it did not show on the system. We had spent our 1st day at reception than the bar. All week when we went to the spa, upper deck, we had to explain EVERY time about the glitch in the system, we felt we were asking for something we had not paid for. Even on the last day our luggage labels were delivered to the cabin but where wrong as we had priority disembarkation. I just could not be bothered to go back down and explain about the glitch in the system. All we kept hearing was about this glitch in the system that some how this was our fault. We tried not to let this spoil our holiday but it was hard every time we tried to use the Aurea experience we had to explain. I don't feel they dealt with it at all. But I don't think we where the only ones. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Have been on 8+ cruises and travelled on other cruise lines before (NCL, Holland America, Carnival, and Celebrity). Tried MSC based on itinerary and time available. Had read mixed reviews, but thought to give it a try. Cabin: PRO - ... Read More
Have been on 8+ cruises and travelled on other cruise lines before (NCL, Holland America, Carnival, and Celebrity). Tried MSC based on itinerary and time available. Had read mixed reviews, but thought to give it a try. Cabin: PRO - nice, clean, comfortable CON - shower stall was very small, even for a small/regular sized person Entertainment: PRO - great light shows, good singers, good dancers, great customs CON - repetitive (same acts, just songs and customs changed) Shore Excursions: PRO - interesting harbors CON - not enough time on shore; compared to other cruise lines ship seemed to travel slower between ports (might save on fuel), so less time on shore. Food: WORST EVER - half of our party ended up with digestive problems PRO - hard to find any CON - often undercooked, very seldom at correct temperature; often ran out of both food and dishes; worst Italian food ever and we travel a LOT in Italy and Europe both on land and on water; Food staff was poorly trained and had POOR FOOD HYGIENE - would clean up tables and then touch fresh food (breads etc.) without washing hands; picked up food that had fallen of plates/had been touched by other passengers and put it back on the serving trays; and and and - could go on and on with examples. Closed down the food line on one side of the ship (actually pulled food away from passengers who were trying to serve themselves) before opening the food line on the other side. (That always seemed to happen when people arrived from ship sponsored excursions and were hungry.) Medical Staff: PRO - easy to find and experienced - had lots of prepared hand-outs of how to deal with digestive problems (wonder why ???) CON - half of our party ended up "throwing up" and had to be treated AND were told that we had to use better hygiene to avoid being infected by other passengers (funny that none of us had ANY hygiene problems whatsoever on our other cruises with other cruise lines) Fitness: PRO - great stretching classes with great instructor CON - no circuit tracks to walk/jog Passengers: PRO - people from all over Europe/World CON - a lot of what seemed to be first time cruisers and sadly, even though my ancestry is Italian, I have to be honest and say it was mostly the Italians who did not seem to be aware of proper board etiquettes - cleaning hands before entering food serving areas, not touching food with your hands, not putting food back that you have touched, not stopping to talk in areas and block traffic, not cutting in line, etc. MAYBE it would help if cruise lines would give instructions on proper board etiquettes the same way they do safety drills. Complaint Process: PRO - when talking to the right persons they were responsive and tried to remedy the situation CON - finding the right person was not easy, sometime had to talk to 2 or 3 different people before somebody knew what to do AND did something about it. Also never checked back to see if complaint was resolved OVERALL - parts of the ship were well run, but with other parts (especially food services) it seemed as if the staff was stuck in a not very successful training/remediation program Cannot recommend - will never cruise on MSC again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
My boyfriend and I are 19 and 20. We are both pretty busy people starting careers and completing various qualifications. Last minute (one month before the holiday) we booked to go on the Orchestra end of may to early June for a week. ... Read More
My boyfriend and I are 19 and 20. We are both pretty busy people starting careers and completing various qualifications. Last minute (one month before the holiday) we booked to go on the Orchestra end of may to early June for a week. First of all the cabin was everything and more than what we expected. It was spacious and bright, despite the balcony being directly above the lifeboats the balcony was private and it was big and very clean. The room was large and had a big mirror opposite the bed which meant a lot of reflected light making the room look even larger. Air conditioning was fantastic, was always the temperature we wanted. Secondly the ship was contemporary, perhaps an acquired taste in some bars (animal prints etc.) however the rest of the ship was clean and modern and there were many other bars to chose from obviously! The buffet was unbelievable. I have been on many cruises where the buffet was perhaps average at best, but the Orchestra had fresh pizza every day all day at the buffet with other wonderful Italian food. It was fresh and a lot of the food really clean and healthy. Felt like a cleansing! Was so much better than I expected. The food in the restaurant was of a normal standard, however the waiting staff made up for the average food. They always made the effort to make a conversation, big smiles and very polite. The was one bar that we went to every night before dinner (The Amber Bar), one barman made the effort to get to know us etc. and he bought us snacks with our beers (and refilled them sneakily after we had finished them). I can't give an accurate report on the entertainment because we didn't engage with any of the activities or entertainment as my boyfriend and I spent everyday all day enjoying the port we were at! The ports were perfect (Barcelona, Ajaccio, Rome, La Spezia, Genoa, Cannes and back to Barcelona). Every port was wonderful. I especially rate La Spezia, if you go there buy the ticked for the boat which travels to all the nearby seaside towns, these towns are called the Cinque Terres, if you stay at La Spezia you are missing out on the most breathtaking scenery, we spent all day off the boat and got very burnt! We had an excursion in Rome and it was fantastic, the guide was patient and very knowledgeable. We went on the Vatican tour which was brilliant and so informative. It's the little details she knew which made it all very special. I think this ship is for all ages, from a casino to a wonderful looking children club. However we didn't travel with children, but we felt that the ship was suitable for everybody. Would 100% travel with MSC again, was brilliant and the staff were incredibly kind. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Food, cleanliness, service all really good, always found something nice to eat, staff amazing. Aurea package good with massage, priority embarkation,dressing gown and slippers, access to jacuzzi etc, my-time dining and (adults ... Read More
Food, cleanliness, service all really good, always found something nice to eat, staff amazing. Aurea package good with massage, priority embarkation,dressing gown and slippers, access to jacuzzi etc, my-time dining and (adults only)top sail 16. Entertainment good especially Tai Chi classes and Spanish mother & son duo opera. Only slight complaint, top sail 16 needs to be monitored to prevent passengers who had not upgraded to the Aurea package climbing over the rope with their drinks taking up sun beds and one occasion, children charging around with their toys. Otherwise no complaints Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
Outstanding combination of European and Brazilian ports punctuated by a five day calm Transatlantic crossing was the initial attraction - the value for money pricing was a further benefit. Organisation from embarkation to disembarkation, ... Read More
Outstanding combination of European and Brazilian ports punctuated by a five day calm Transatlantic crossing was the initial attraction - the value for money pricing was a further benefit. Organisation from embarkation to disembarkation, tendering and service throughout the ship exceeded expectations. Food in the dinning rooms was average but the self serve offering were wide ranging, innovative, fresh and tasty. The coffee served at the bars ( modest charge) was made by well trained baristas who delivered a high quality product. The wide range of nationalities amongst both the crew and passenger list was a positive. Public announcements were made in six languages and were kept to a minimum. Whilst the large capacity of the ship meant the inevitable crowding in some instances there was plenty of opportunity to find a quiet corner to read or relax in peace. Having cruised on a variety of ships in the past this experience was thoroughly positive and superb value for money. Very comfortable mid ships balcony cabin with good storage and all facilities in working order. Comfortable bed, constant water temp. in shower without the annoying fluctuations experienced on many other ships. Air conditioning controls operated effectively even after long periods of the balcony door being open. Quality towels changed daily. Position convenient for mid ships pool and self serve dinning up one set of stairs - excellent for uncrowded early morning swim and breakfast on deck. I have no hesitation in recommending to people who want a comfortable and interesting voyage and who understand that big ships can have drawbacks but these can be overcome with ingenuity and a positive frame of mind. A well fitted out and maintained balcony cabin makes a big difference in this regard. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
I was astounded to read that MSC have only a 54% passenger satisfaction rating, so was apprehensive when I booked an outside balcony cabin for a 17 night Transatlantic cruise for the bargain price of just £770. My wife and I have cruised ... Read More
I was astounded to read that MSC have only a 54% passenger satisfaction rating, so was apprehensive when I booked an outside balcony cabin for a 17 night Transatlantic cruise for the bargain price of just £770. My wife and I have cruised twice with P&O who set the bar very high, but we were not disappointed. On the contrary, the MSC experience was better in almost every way. We bought a cruise-only package and flew to the embarkation port of Genoa a few days early in order to enjoy exploring the ancient Ligurian port. Our balcony cabin was a pleasant surprise and with room for a sofa it was only slightly smaller than a P&O Superior Deluxe cabin, tastefully decorated with 2 mirrors and 2 cheerfully bright, colourful prints. There was ample storage space and a decent-sized fridge but no kettle or tea/coffee making facilities. Fortunately, thanks to a review on this site we knew this so packed our old kettle. The flatscreen TV had no reception while crossing the Atlantic (unlike P&O), but a free film was available daily, or alternatively films could be viewed ‘on demand’ for € 7. I would like to see free Wi-Fi being offered aboard. However a daily newspaper could be delivered freshly printed for just €2.50 a day. We enjoyed the privacy of not having cabins overlooking our pleasant balcony, with its table and 2 chairs. Unfortunately no utility room was available with machine machines and an ironing board, and laundry cost a whopping €25 for 20 items. Almost half of the passengers were Brasilian, and 11% came from Argentina. Other nationalities included French and Germans (8% each), Swiss and Dutch 5% each, and British 4%. Tannoy announcements were kept to an absolute minimum, with the Italian captain keeping a refreshingly low profile. Two entertainment officers kept us up to speed before shows, each making announcements about upcoming events in 3 languages. No smoking is allowed on board, so smokers made a bee line for one side of the pool deck where it is permitted. There are disinfectant dispensers outside the restaurants and a very grown up attitude prevailed, with no one forcing you to use them. There is no ‘Freedom Dining’, and mercifully no so-called ‘Celebrity Chef’ restaurants. You choose whether to have dinner at 18.30 or 20.30 and are allocated a table with compatriots, in our case a table of 4. The menu was a revelation, with a wide choice of mouth-watering European fare such as outstanding risottos and a large variety of fish. Popular choices such as spaghetti with garlic and pepper were always available. The wine menu was biased towards Italy, with 11 of its 20 regions represented. We particularly enjoyed our waiter’s recommendation of white Falanghina Campi Flegrei DOC ‘Cantine Farro’ from Campania (€23). Italy does not have a tradition of serving pitchers of tap water, and the Orchestra reflected that, serving good quality San Benedetto still and sparkling mineral water. Coffee and petit fours are not included. There are a couple of pay-extra speciality restaurants aboard but we enjoyed the included restaurants so much that we never tried them. The dress code was very relaxed. British males generally lack dress sense so enjoy P&O formal nights where a dinner suit is like a universal uniform. Many passengers aboard the Orchestra did not bring a dinner suit, yet everybody looked stylish and smart on the few formal nights. The buffet restaurant was exceptional. Breakfast choices always included both oat porridge and semolina and fresh fruit such as pears and mandarins. Inexplicably bananas only appeared once, as fortunately did a batch of rotten peaches. There are no trays. You grab a large plate and help yourself. There is a good selection of teas and good Magforte Segafreddo coffee. The salad bar had an extensive selection of leaf salads and vegetables, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar a most welcome alternative to the likes of blue cheese sauce. There were slices of proper pizza, served straight from an electric oven and delicious ‘gelato’ (ice cream). Cakes were OK, but P&O wine hands down in the bakery department. In the Savannah bar seat fabric is imitation leopard skin and nouveau-riche lamps grow out of baby leopards. Yet the ship is furnished in the best possible taste, with one bar bleeding seaslessly into the next on Deck 6. Three drinks packages were offered: ‘Cheers!’ for drinks with meals (£32 for 2, including obligatory 15% service); ‘Alegrissimo’- drinks and ice creams (£45) or, for serious drinkers and alcoholics, an ‘Allegrissimo Premium’ package of drinks including champagne cocktails, whisky, brandy. Ice creams and room service. Moreover with this last £81.50 a day package you are entitled to clean out the entire contents of your cabin mini-bar every day! Yet amazingly we never saw anybody rolling around drunk and disorderly. Mercifully there were no Art sales aboard ship so no ‘limited edition’ Rolf Harris prints to peruse. Passengers enjoyed shopping for perfumes and watches from tables set up right by the pools, and here you could also watch cookery demonstrations or participate in aerobics. Alternatively you could attend a dance class downstairs. Service was universally first class, even when judged against the excellent largely Indian P&O crew. A gratuity of €12 per day was automatically added to our onboard account. MSC discourage tipping individual crew members, however we wanted to show our appreciation to our cabin steward and waiters. As soon as we boarded we bought a £205 pass entitling us both to use the saunas, steam rooms and 3 indoor jacuzzis in the Spa. The sauna was heated to only 70°C and the 2 steam rooms were on rare occasions cool and a bit draughty however the facilities were never crowded. On one occasion we enjoyed a massage in the Spa by one of the Thai masseuses. From the spa we took dips in one of the on-deck pools and we really enjoyed that they filled with sea water, with all its therapeutic benefits. There was always an animated holiday atmosphere on the pool deck, and no fights over the plentiful sunbeds. Drinks are not allowed in the magnificent large theatre and there was rarely a scramble for seats; MSC shows are short, just 35 minutes, and mostly feature lip syncing, yet the dancing was divine. However we yearned for the superb live musicians on P&O Ventura! Shows featuring acrobats and strongmen were impressive. By contrast P&O's ‘Headliners’ troupe of dancers impressed us by their sheer hard work, the variety of different hour long shows they stage and live singing, but the downside is simplified, angular movements. Overall we preferred MSC's entertainment programme. Our cruise had an impressive roll call of port calls: Marseilles, Barcelona, Lisbon, Las Palmas, Recife, Maceio, Salvador de Bahia, Ihla Grande and finally Santos. Yet having 6 official languages made it impossible to hold the port talks at which P&O excel. The greatest fault was the lack of port maps showing where the ship docked. P&O distribute maps to cabins the evening before arrival together with basic sightseeing and transportation information. With MSC you either sign up for a shore excursion or you are on your own, so make sure that you do your research before you leave home if you intend to be independent. Moreover MSC gave no information about free shuttles to city centres. Fortunately I had my binoculars to view the free port shuttle, so saved €32, the cost for the two of us to ride the MSC-chartered bus to Marseilles centre. (The cost of an MSC shuttle, where required, was usually around €6 per person). Disembarkation went very smoothly, and was more comfortable than embarkation, when we had to stand in line for an hour or so in a cramped departure lounge, albeit in a pleasant mood of anticipation. (Anyone with special needs was fast-tracked). Overall this cruise was a fabulous, relaxing experience. We loved our cabin, the delicious food & wine wine, great entertainment, fine facilities of the spa area and the invigorating sea water in the on-deck pools. We enjoyed the multi-national atmosphere which made a welcome change to the largely Daily Mail-reading passengers of Middle England with whom we cruised with P&O. And it was outstanding value for money!   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
My wife had been on a near identical cruise with the ship back in May with her friend only this time it went to Ibiza and not Tunis. We got a 5% discount on the booking as she had joined the MSC Club. The ship was very clean and with the ... Read More
My wife had been on a near identical cruise with the ship back in May with her friend only this time it went to Ibiza and not Tunis. We got a 5% discount on the booking as she had joined the MSC Club. The ship was very clean and with the exception of a DJ the staff were very good. The food in the l'Ibuscus restaurant was very nice and great service, my wife felt it was far better than in the Villa Borghese restaurant where she ate on the previous cruise Their cabin was a cheaper one on deck 5). The design of the ship means that without the large open foyer that we found on the Adventure of the Seas there was more space for public areas and there was plenty of room in all of the 13 bars on board. The excursions were well organised and cheaper than on RCI, you have to use the tender to get to Villefranche, I went on the Monte Carlo tour which was good but you could have saved money just going to Villefranche and getting a public bus to Nice. You would be daft not to take a drinks package, we got the basic Allegrisimo package at 20 euros a day and that more than catered for us, as we prepaid it with MSC there was no service charge and the three of us got through 1300 euros of coffee bottled water, ice cream (they make there own for the ice cream bar on deck and it is excellent) milk shakes, beers, cocktails, wine and liquors. There is a premium package at 42 euros and the main difference seemed to be that you had a wider range of drinks and could have bottled beers rather than just draft Heineken. On the negative side the large numbers of Italian and Russian guests are not great at queuing up for anything, the entertainment is fairly average, we had to transfer back to Nice from Genoa as they could not provide flights home from genoa which meant we saw nothing of Genoa and lots of the inside of Nice airport which has the worlds most expensive duty free! and DO NOT HAVE A CABIN ON DECK 12 ANYWHERE NEAR THE POOL AREA. on the Ibiza stop they held a deck party till 3am at which point I nearly came to blows with the DJ and the staff in general ignored our complaints and even after the music finishes you are kept awake by staff putting the tables and chairs away and then laying out deck chairs. When we go again we will make sure that we don't have any public areas above our cabin.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2013
What can I say, other than what a waste and what a terrible company to holiday with. My wife and I are very experienced travellers, having travelled extensively on our own and through agencies, including a number of cruise holidays with ... Read More
What can I say, other than what a waste and what a terrible company to holiday with. My wife and I are very experienced travellers, having travelled extensively on our own and through agencies, including a number of cruise holidays with Royal Carribean, Celebrity and Thomson. Excuse me being blunt, but MSC are by far the worst company I have dealt with in our many years of travel. 1) We choose to join a cruise at Ibiza, as we're already planning to be on the Island prior to the departure. Just as well as we were notified 2 weeks before departure that they were bringing the embarkation date forward by 1 day and changing one of the stops from Tunissia to Majorca. Had we been planning to fly into Ibiza to meet the original date, we would have been up a creek without a paddle, as there is no way we could have changed flights, never mind the additional costs, in the time given. As it was, we had paid our hotel accommodation and had to leave a day early. Loosing the cost of that night. As a consequence we then had to book another hotel on the way back to fill in the early return until our flights back home. Any explanation or apology for the inconvenience from MSC.. None! As above, Tunisia was dropped from the iitnieri with no explanation. Palma was added but the arrival at 20:30 and embarkation at around 21:00 made it a bit of a pointless excercise. Quick stroll along the promenade in the dark and back on board. Not exactly a port experience to remember. 2) embarkation information - Chronic! Whilst we are familiar with Ibiza and aware of the terminal at Bottafoche marina, at no point did MSC make it clear that this would indeed be the location to join the ship. We wrote to their service desk whilst thare and requested confirmation, just to make sure that we would embark at this location... Still waiting for a reply! 3) On a positive note, our cabin was fine and on a par with other Cruise Lines.. Also, to be fair, the theatre entertainment was decent, but did get repetitive after the 4th night with the same routines in different costumes. 4) the deck and pool staff are by far the worst that we have ever experienced. Day 1 whilst cruising, we witnessed as per other reviews, very aggressive pool staff clearing decks very early , throwing people's belongings around the deck and then being aggressive with passengers who returned to their sun loungers and questioned why they had been removed. Also, the pool area was an absolute free for all with absolutely no control over children bombing the pool and using the life saving equipment as play things every day. 5) the food in the restaurant was the most bland and un imaginative that we have experienced, so much s that we chose to eat in the cafeteria from day 3. I don't know why we did,as the service was nothing short of disgusting 24 hrs /day. Again as per earlier reviews, no glasses available to hold drinks during breakfast or water during the day, with passengers using hot cups instead, no breakfast bowls or spoons and ice machines constantly not working Itt was hard enough in the morning and afternoon to get a table, without being compounded by the majority of the staffs refusal to actually clean the tables for you to eat from. At best you had a cursory swipe with an old napkin, but never once did we see any form of effective cleansing with disinfectant. I would not be surprised at all to see an outbreak at some time of severe food poisoning on this ship. 6) Disco Party time!! Be aware this ship has DJ Bob on board and expect to have your ears blasted once or twice a day for a couple of hours with high Octane Club music blasted around the decks. OK if you are club 18 / 20 but not if your a bit past that or family with young kids. Never again..... PS excuse my spelling. Typing to quickly!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve ... Read More
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve food. Buggies and prams cluttering up the aisles when trying to get food in the buffet. One child even rode his bike into a crowded lift!!! We were woken up at 4am one morning with children running and shouting in the corridor outside our cabin. The passengers were extremely rude and pushed and shoved the whole time and whilst waiting for the lifts which were erratic to say the least, the passengers (mostly Italian) barged to the front and would not let people get out of the lift before they got in. The lifts, the kids pressed every button on every floor so it took us half an hour to get from Deck 5 (Restaurant for dinner) to Deck 12 ( our cabin) every evening. These lifts dominated our cruise experience because this was not a small boat and you had to use them. In most situations you would say that this was a major design fault in this boat but this (perhaps) may not be the case if they were not constantly abused. This was the most stressful holiday my husband and I have ever had. The food was not good either, there was far too much salt used in the cooking and the food was very poorly presented, it reminded us both of school dinners. The food was also nearly always cold by the time it was served. My husband bent his metal fork whilst trying to cut a piece of stale bread when eating Eggs Benedict for breakfast. There was no toast supplied at breakfast and the rolls and bread were stale by the end of the week. The juice drinks machines more often that not where out of order or not switched on. Not good when you want a cold drink. Also the juice when you could get it was watered down and had sugar added to it. Also there were no glasses at the juice machines and we had to use warm teacups to get a drink when the machines were working. There was no fruit that was fresh in the buffet either and mmost of the fruit supplied at breakfast was tinned. The departure from the boat at Majorca and Villefranche was totally disorganised to say the least with the usual pushing and shoving from the Italian families. But the worst situation by far was on the Wednesday 10th July. My husband and I went to the pool on the 13th deck, got our towels and found two sun beds. This was at 9.20, we sat down for a while and put on sun cream, at 9.40 my husband said "I think I'll go for a swim now" so I said "OK I'll join you". We went down to the pool and were only gone for 20 minutes, when we decided to go back I went up the steps first whilst my husband had a shower near the pool, when I got to our sun beds there were other people there arranging their towels and belongings and all our belongings had gone. We went down to the attendants who had given the towels out to find all our property including phones, watches, cameras, shoes and our towels had been thrown into a plastic sack. The attendant started being very rude and aggressive and shouting at us and quoting that in the contract you are only allowed to leave the sun bed for 30 minutes, we had been gone for 20 minutes. I spoke to a Security Guard who was standing nearby but he could not help me, the attendant who I originally spoke to stood there watching me and smirking at the fact that I could not get anywhere with any of them. There were other people leaving their beds for 2 hours and more, also children who had beds who were never on them. We could not get anywhere with this rude and aggressive man so we had to go inside down seven decks to the desk, barefoot and dripping water, me in my bikini and my husband in his trunks because everthing had been taken, we did not even have a towel to dry ourselves with. We spoke to someone at the desk who again, was not very helpful but we demanded a meeting with the manager and this was eventually arranged after two put offs for the evening. We finally met Shameem (sp) who I must say, did handle the situation very well as we were both furious at this unfriendly and discourtesious way of being treated. Shemeem said she would report it back to the management, as they did not want passengers to be unhappy. The trouble was the damage had been done and we had to spend the rest of the day in our cabin as there was nothing else to do and all the sun beds had gone by this time. I am sure that we were targeted because we were English, it would not have been done to an Italian family. There were very few English people on this trip, Im not surprised!! We did however go to some lovely places such as Rome, Majorca, Monaco and Palermo and we also met some very nice Australian people who sat on our table at dinner each evening and who incidentally did not like the cruise either and had said they would never travel with MSC again. They were horrified when they heard what had happened to us at the pool on Wednesday and thought it was a disgusting way to treat people. If they are going to take one set of people's belongings because they have been away from their bed for a short while then they must treat everyone else the same and not target individuals. We will never go on another MSC cruise again and shall make sure that everyone we know hears about this.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
We have just returned from a double cruise promotion in the Mediterranean and Black Sea -- 11 nights on the MSC Opera 21 October, two nights' stay in Mestre (Venice) and 11 nights on the MSC Orchestra 3 November. Whilst the food ... Read More
We have just returned from a double cruise promotion in the Mediterranean and Black Sea -- 11 nights on the MSC Opera 21 October, two nights' stay in Mestre (Venice) and 11 nights on the MSC Orchestra 3 November. Whilst the food quality and temperature issues are the same for both vessels, these comments refer to our experience in the MSC Orchestra. This was our 4th cruise with MSC and having cruised with ten major cruise lines and four short river cruises (China, Vietnam and Egypt) I feel that I am quite qualified to make these comments, based on past cruising experience. Talking to other Australians and New Zealanders (English speaking people) the general impression was that as a group we were left lacking and the question was raised quite a few times: Why bother to market MSC Cruises in Australia and New Zealand when we felt ignored compared to the Italians and Germans on board? For the price we paid it was a good deal, but for MSC to successfully compete in Australia and New Zealand, more consideration needs to be given so that English speaking passengers feel equal. Overall we enjoyed the cruises, the transfers were smooth and the Hotel Tritone in Mestre, Venice excellent and well located. Ship overall: spotlessly clean, staff were continually cleaning the brass on the handrails and outside deck. The layout was good, with plenty of lounges to relax in, and the areas for smokers did not interfere with non-smokers. Passageways and staircases vacuumed at least twice a day, spills in buffet area cleaned up promptly. Cabin: We were on Deck 8 and had upgraded to a balcony cabin -- we would have preferred an "ocean-view" cabin as it offered a lot more storage space, however there are only 8 cabins on Deck 8 that are not "obstructed" by the life boats -- some are so bad that the view is just of the (red painted) side of the lifeboat. Lighting was excellent, with good overhead downlights as well as bedside lights. There were four powerpoints -- two 220w with European/Asian two pin (round) plugs and two US 110w for two (flat) pin plugs. The shower had more room than that on the MSC Opera; liquid soap and shampoo were supplied but no body lotion. The beds were very comfortable, extra pillows supplied on request. The three drawers in the bedside cabinet were very shallow - only deep enough to take a medium sized paperback novel. Our cabin attendant Ayu Ari was the best that I have come across when cruising -- nothing was too much trouble and if she could supply/fix what we wanted it was attended to immediately. Food: Hot food never hot -- breakfast cooked eggs often placed on cold ceramic dishes with the hot plate underneath not turned on. Grilled tomatoes, bacon, baked beans luke warm to cold. Twice I bought this to the buffet supervisor's notice, but nothing was ever changed. I was told that serving so many people it was impossible to keep food hot!!! The food served in the buffet -- with the exception of the soup (hot) and desserts (cold) would not pass Australian food standards. MSC states that they "have achieved ISO 9001 (Creation of an efficient, effective operation, increasing customer satisfaction) and ISO 22000 (hazard analysis) certification for the quality and food safety of our catering". Breakfast usually available until 11.30am, lunch until 3pm, dinner from 7pm. No afternoon teas catered for -- only pizza available 3pm -- 7pm. Tea and coffee (free) always available in the buffet, however if you wanted tea or coffee by the pool, you either had to pay for it, or get dressed and get it from the buffet area -- no outside tea/coffee/water stations. Dinner times -- First seating 6.45pm and second seating 9pm. We ate dinner in L'Ibiscus Dining Room on deck 6. The room was so crowded it was hard to move through to our table. Heavy high backed chairs in a light mustard yellow did not give an elegant dining atmosphere. Quality of the food fluctuated greatly, mostly not hot -- except for soup. Green vegetables were lacking, but supplied on request. One night in the dining room I had mussels in a marinara sauce -- supposedly a hot entree, but the mussels were straight from the refrigerator and cold. After this the Matre 'D, Gusti (Indonesia) always checked to see if we were satisfied with the temperature and quality of our food. Drinking water not supplied in the dining room -- it had to be purchased in not so eco friendly P.E.T. bottles. Wine was available by bottle, glass or in 500ml carafe (for E7.00). The menu for this cruise was exactly the same as we had on the 11 night cruise on the MSC Opera. Extra cost dining. We only used the Asia fusion "Shanghai" Restaurant -- the food was an excellent mix of Japanese, Chinese, Indonesian and Thai, and very well priced. The Italian specialty restaurant was set price E24.00 TV and Communication: English channels on TV not available at all for 8 days -- all German programs were clearly coming through. Movies available in cabin -- at a price -- E5.00!!!! In the "Daily Program" the English description for the "Nautical Information" was atrocious -- obviously there are no native English speakers in the Administration section and no grammatical concept checks were done. Itinerary excellent - a change had to be made due to a 48 hour strike in Greece and we were unable to go to Herakilon, Crete or Piraeus, Athens. Santorini (Greece) and Izmir (Turkey) were substituted and a great many people took the opportunity to visit the fantastic Greek ruins at Ephasus. Shore Excursions: No shore or port talks given. No port maps available on board (common on other cruise lines). No information other than briefly described on printed excursion tour listing that accompanied the booking sheet. No pricing of tours available on internet prior to boarding. Entertainment and Information: No native English speakers at Reception. No ship navigation chart displayed in public area. Entertainment - very limited choices due to multi language problems. "Puzzles of paper" (their terms) Sudoko, general quiz, crosswords etc. not available. The Library had no reference books -- not even an Atlas and no "book swap" section. However, the range and variety available was quite good due to people leaving their own books behind. The concerts were at 7.30pm for those at Second seating dinner and 9.30pm for those at First seating dinner. From what I heard all were very short -- the one we saw started late and only went for 20 minutes. The quality and length of time certainly did not compare with those of other shipping lines. Internet: The "internet cafe" was always unsupervised. For those with their own computers etc., there was WiFi hotspots on decks 5, 6 and 7; or broadband via cable in the cabin. I was unable to log-on to the internet with user name and password given at the desk (both on the Oopera and on the Orchestra) and had to use my husband's details. To use cable in balcony cabin required an extension lead (fortunately we had one!) as the power point was diagonally as far away from the cable connect as was possible and still be in the main cabin area. I was unable to log out of cable connection, and therefore lost 57 minutes of 100 minutes paid for. I received a printout from the IT Department showing the lost time. I was offered 2 hours free in the Internet Cafe, but as I had all the information I wanted to send on my Netbook, this was of no value. Question -- why give 2 hours instead of 57 minutes -- it didn't make any sense to me. I wrote a letter of complaint, but had to do it on small "telephone" note paper as there was no A4 paper available. I was not the only person who lost time -- I have spoken to others who had similar problems with the WiFi Hotspots, with complaints unresolved. As a repeat cruiser with Princess Cruises I receive 250 minutes of free internet time. MSC Club and Future Cruises: The representative was not really interested in the fact that our MSC Club points were not credited correctly. She did not listen to what I was saying. After I sent an e-mail to Head Office, this was adjusted within 24 hours. She was also the Future Cruise Representative (we were unlucky again). No information on future cruises available in English -- only German and Italian. Would I sail with MSC again? Maybe, but perhaps not on the MSC Orchestra. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2012
On Friday afternoon we (family of four, two kids, 7 and 5) left home to drive from Germany through Switzerland to Milan. As this was the first day of fall break in our state and as there was a lot construction, we didn't make it to ... Read More
On Friday afternoon we (family of four, two kids, 7 and 5) left home to drive from Germany through Switzerland to Milan. As this was the first day of fall break in our state and as there was a lot construction, we didn't make it to Milan before midnight. Stayed at the IdeaHotel Milan San Siro, which is easily reachable from the interstate and can be recommended for a quick stop. Originally, we had wanted to spend Saturday in Cinque Terre, but since it was rainy and foggy, we decided to go straight to our hotel near Livorno, the Regina del Mare Resort. By the time we had checked in and claimed our duplex apartment, the weather improved and we were able to quickly hit the resort beach before driving to Pisa. Check-in On Sunday morning, when we woke up, we had a nice view over the beach of the Orchestra. After having breakfast along the way, we arrived at the port about two hours before our check-in time. We claimed our pre-reserved parking space next to the cruise terminal with no problems and proceeded into the terminal, where we received a little card for priority boarding (a perk of checking in via the Web and of arriving early) and a booklet with our tickets, additional information and pre-printed luggage tags. Our luggage was taken and we were told that our check-in would be 30 minutes before the official check-in time. After the start of check-in, we were on the ship in 15 minutes, where we were greeted by a steward, who took us to a station where we claimed our pre-ordered drink packages and then to a station where the kids got their bracelets with their cabin and muster station number as well as a copy of the kids program. He then took us to our cabin and explained how to turn on the light, etc. Cabin Our cabin was a little larger than what we had on the Opera. It was equipped with a porthole, the double bed, two additional beds that were folded out of the wall at night, a little seating area with a table, a desk, a mini bar and a large closet with a safe. The room was very clean, but our steward was not as reliable as the ones we had on the Opera. The room was cleaned twice a day and towels were also replace twice daily, on this cruise not necessarily during meal times. Often times the room was not finished yet when we got back from breakfast or dinner. Restaurants Dinner in the MDR was tasty and offered enough variety. There were seven courses on the menu each night, with two or three options for each of them. The seafood and homemade ice creams were especially good, but also the beef fillet was great this time. Our two Brazilian waiters, Philipe and Camila were fantastic, with just the right balance of warmth and professionalism. The buffet was sometimes crowded, but we always found seating in the back of the restaurant. Breakfast had lots of choices, lunch was was certainly ok, but not spectacular. We liked some of the choices of the ethnic corner. Drinks We had pre-booked a draft beer package and a water package, which we thought were good value. With dinner, we usually ordered a carafe of the house wine and thought it was quite good. Ship The ship was well laid-out with a modern, clean design. It was well maintained and constantly cleaned. The Orchestra is wider than the Opera, which gave her a more spacious feel. At times it was crowded on the pool deck, but it was always possible to find a quieter space on some of the upper sun decks. Language / Service / Fellow Passengers 90 % of the passengers were Italian, which means that the service was geared towards Italians. Some of the crew members had problems communicating in English, especially at the reception and in the kids club. They all were trying to help, but sometimes it was necessary to explain to them in very basic words what we wanted. Some were more fluent in German than in English, so we spoke German with some of them. We thought the fellow passengers were fun and had a lot of style. Of course the Italian concept of queuing is more dynamic. People will bypass someone who doesn't have the cruise card ready at the exit or will go past people who are waiting at a station at the buffet that they are not interested in. In general, this kept the lines much shorter than what we had experienced on the Opera after taking on passengers in Southampton. Nevertheless, we missed the more international passenger mix we had found on the Opera in summer. Entertainment The activities of the entertainment team on this particular cruise were very much geared towards the Italian passengers, so we did not participate in any of them. As this was a very port intensive cruise without any sea days, it was not much of a loss. We thought the shows were very entertaining, especially the acrobatic acts. The cruise director talked three minutes in Italian, before summarizing what she had said in 30 seconds in English and 15 seconds in other languages. Ports We did not participate in any of the organized excursions but instead planned our own activities for each of the ports. We hit Livorno, Villefranche, Valencia, Ibiza, La Goulette, Catania, Naples and Livorno. Our favorite ports were Ibiza, where we walked along the port into town where we spent a nice morning looking at old town as well as at some of the modern and stylish shopping streets as well as Naples, where we took the train to Herculaneum and then walked through Naples and had a very good pizza for lunch. Meningitis Outbreak There was an outbreak of bacterial meningitis affecting four crew members (no one else--to our knowledge--ever fell ill), of which we were informed by e-mail the day after we disembarked. The initial communication was sent out just 30 minutes before the German MSC office closed for the day and neither contained any of the specifics our doctor needed nor a phone number where we could still reach someone after 6 p.m. CET. We had to turn to this board to collect the necessary details. MSC USA was available on the forum to answer questions that people had, so this at least was good. Conclusion This was an enjoyable and relaxing cruise on a stylish and sparkling clean ship. The food and service in the MDR were really good. An unfortunate aspect were the language issues of the kids club and reception employees. We'll definitely cruise with MSC again, but may pick a route with a more international passenger mix. I'll post a link to this review on the MSC board. Please let us know there in case you have any questions or feed-back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
Our embarkation at Livorno (which isn't available in the drop-down menu above!) was perfect. We arrived at 2 pm for a 7 pm departure and were on the ship in 10 minutes. Then a white gloved attendant took us to our upgraded cabin, ... Read More
Our embarkation at Livorno (which isn't available in the drop-down menu above!) was perfect. We arrived at 2 pm for a 7 pm departure and were on the ship in 10 minutes. Then a white gloved attendant took us to our upgraded cabin, 10164. Everyone we dealt with that day and every day on the ship spoke very good English and I never had a problem communicating. Our balcony cabin was lovely, every bit of nice as our Celebrity Equinox cabin two years before. Our steward was a young woman who took exquisite care of us. When we were getting our 30 pieces for 25 euros laundry ready mid-cruise, we mentioned it to her and she patiently waited for us, helped us fill out the form, and then took it right to the laundry. It was waiting for us in our cabin the next day, in great condition. Although our waiter and our dinner were always good to very good, the buffet food was almost always cold, and only the salads and pastas were good. Even if we arrived at the buffet line the second it opened, the other things were cold. However, the attendants at the huffet were helpful and dirty tables were cleaned immediately. I especially enjoyed breakfast on the aft part of the buffet. Breakfast in the dining room was much better but we also enjoyed going to L'Incontro Bar on deck 5, ordering capuccino (about 2 euros each) and helping ourselves to the fresh pastry there. My only other complaint was the port call schedule. You can't do much with a five-hour port call, and you can't do much in Valencia, Spain at 1 pm when everything closes for the afternoon siesta! This was by far the biggest problem of the cruise. Although I will say we never arrived to a port later than scheduled, nor left later than scheduled. All schedules were met. They were just terrible times! We could not have enjoyed Taormina and Castelmolo out of Catania if we hadn't pre-arranged a private tour. I highly recommend Sicily with Mario! There were some problems with Italians who didn't know the meaning of a line. However, since we have spent plenty of time in Italy, including 18 days before this cruise, we were used to this. We either relaxed and let it go or did ot allow anyone in front of us, whichever mood we were in. We became friends with the diners at the tables on either side of us (we were at a table for four that we shared with family) and were very comfortable among the other passengers. There was some language difficulty with other passengers, but for the most part, everyone spoke some English, and my daughter speaks Italian. The entertainment was very good and the lounges were very pleasant. Drinks were priced reasonably and our first formal night, they were all free. Our Cheers beverage package kept us overflowing in water, beer and wine at dinner and in the buffet. In summary, I would judge the port times carefully before choosing an MSC cruise again, but I would gladly cruise on MSC Orchestra again! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Hi there, got back on Sunday and had a really good time until our last day. Disembarkation was a nightmare. It appeared to us that once you had settled your bill and been given your embarkation instructions you were of no consequence. ... Read More
Hi there, got back on Sunday and had a really good time until our last day. Disembarkation was a nightmare. It appeared to us that once you had settled your bill and been given your embarkation instructions you were of no consequence. The procedure is that you are given a colour and time to be at a certain place. We were warned that there would be no tanoy announcements so were prepared. We decided to wait on the pool deck for our time of 11am in the Shaker bar and made a move at just before 10.30am. We got to the bar and it was totally empty. There was a cleaner there and she told us that everyone had gone. Oh dear, panic. There were two other couples with us who had transfers to Milan the same as us. We were making our way quickly to the exit when an announcement was made that any remaining passengers should quickly disembark as the ship was about to leave. More panic!! By that time we were worried about the bus we were supposed to be catching. When we got off the ship our luggage was not where it was supposed to be and had been moved. Eventually we found our cases and were directed to where the buses were. We were put on a very small bus as obviously the main transport had already left without us through no fault of ours. We still don't know how this happened. Gripe No. 2 -â€" I seemed to spend our first couple of hours on the ship phoning and running backwards and forwards to reception. I had ordered a bottle of wine and canapes to be in our cabin on arrival and had to ask Reception where they were. They were eventually delivered at about 7.00pm when we were already supposed to be at dinner. Anyway, we enjoyed them as we had altered our sitting to 2nd which is the time we had originally ordered. I also had to go to Reception three times to ask for our drinks vouchers which I had ordered only to be told each time to come back later. Gripe No. 3 - My Sister's suitcase was delivered shortly after we embarked but mine did not arrive until about 7.00pm. Gripe No. 4 - We really could have done without the two and a half hour journey from Milan to Genoa, especially on the homeward trip. When we originally booked the cruise we were supposed to be flying to Genoa which would have been much better but some time after booking were told that it had been changed to Milan. Our departure airport was altered too from Gatwick to Heathrow?? On the whole we enjoyed our time on the ship. We found the staff very helpful and polite, especially our two cabin boys. We got used to the scrum for food at lunchtimes. In fact, we enjoyed this food much more than in the evening. We felt that if folk couldn't find anything to eat then there must be something wrong with them. The excursions were good; expensive but our guides were excellent. Not sure whether we will do another MSC cruise -We got on well with the germans, spanish, portuguese but found the Italian passengers to be very rude and unfriendly. We did try to be friendly with them but to no avail. Ah well, we tried! Another point I'd like to make is that some of the staff were asked if they received any of the service charge we were all paying each day and they told us that they did not???? Hmm! I wonder. Anyway, on the whole we enjoyed it and I would definitely like to take another cruise some time. I think I am hooked. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2011
Just returned from the MSC Orchestra 8 day cruise from Genoa to Lisbon and back. We picked the cruise re the cost and itinerary. The ship was really nice, clean, cabin was quite spacious and again very clean. The cruise was well timed ... Read More
Just returned from the MSC Orchestra 8 day cruise from Genoa to Lisbon and back. We picked the cruise re the cost and itinerary. The ship was really nice, clean, cabin was quite spacious and again very clean. The cruise was well timed arriving and departing of ports. The embarkation at Genoa was relatively quick but then staff pounced trying to sell this package and that package which we felt was too much as like many others had been up early and just wanted to get on the ship and to the cabin or get a drink and a bite to eat. Once onboard the ship we did not find staff who could point us in the right direction. Alot of the staff lacked friendliness, no smiles, lack of understanding when asked for things in dining room or bars and had to explain. The Brazilian staff were very friendly happy people, although there were with some a language barrier and unable to understand or had only basic knowledge of English. Found alot of the Indonesian staff and european staff to be quite frosty and at times asked a few if they knew what a smile was. Food was well OK, however in the evening dining rooms, felt it was very poor not to have jugs of water on the table and that water was only available at a cost of 2 euros a litre bottle. Also very disappointed at not been offered coffee at the table unless it was purchased. English people like vegetables and potatoes with their food and these were found to be lacking unless asked for extras. The organisation for breakfast and lunch was a shambles, trying to find tables, walking round with food and nowhere to sit, if only a staff member could show people to a table and stopped people from reserving tables for groups. Breakfast in the restaurant was fun, been shown to tables where other people were halfway through their meal, instead of tables been filled at the same time so they could eat together. The shows most were ok but they only lasted 30 mins or so and that was after the cruise director had explained in 5 languages what they were all about. Gym well equipped, but was most disappointed that was unable to take a sauna or steam unless I paid 16 euros, this was extortianate by any means. So would I use MSC again, well I would have to think twice, but the cost was good, itinerary good, food was ok but have had better choices on other ships. Please go back to jugs of water on the table and coffee. The cost of alcoholic drink was above average prices plus 15% tax. A number of ports required shuttle bus into the centre, these are not cheap to use and we found it was easier to walk or jump on the service bus which ran from the ports to the centre for half the price of the ships shuttle bus. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
Hello all: My girlfriend and I did our 1st ever cruise on the MSC Orchestra from Sept 8-15. Boarded from Genoa and service was bad nealy everywhere, we are from Quebec/Canda I do speak English well but my girl friend speaks only French. ... Read More
Hello all: My girlfriend and I did our 1st ever cruise on the MSC Orchestra from Sept 8-15. Boarded from Genoa and service was bad nealy everywhere, we are from Quebec/Canda I do speak English well but my girl friend speaks only French. We had booked transportation with MSC from airport to port dock, We arrived in Genoa at Noon after a 12 hours flight/plane switching. A girl from MSC welcomed us and had us go to a private waiting room on the 2nd floor of the airport saying we would have to wait about an hour for a flight from Britain to arrive. After 1:15 I ask her if the UK flight had been delayed, she sais no, they are arriving soon and lead us outside to a bus, the driver took our bagages and we were seated in the bus. The girls and the driver went back in the airport and we waited over 1 hour in a overheated bus (motor and A/C were off only door was open!! Finally at 2:30 the Brit passenger came in the bus and we were taken to the dock. We thought our waiting was over but the check-in line-up was so long probably 1000-1500 people (Most Italians, noisy and some try to jump into the line) we finally boarded the ship at 5 PM and sailed at 6PM. So our first impression was bad. The ship was gorgeous and the cabin clean, we had chosen Stateroom with balcony, the balcony was ok but the room was rather small (Had look on the internet and on the picture the rooms were larger? We went for our first dinner, we were assigned a table of 4, and a young couple from Toronto were our dinner partner and they were very nice and friendly, the waiter was also courteous and was always smiling but he spoke only a few words of English (Most of the waiters came from Indonesia?), the food was fairly good with 7 servings, but not much in each plate, the meat was always overcooked, same with the fish. I had received at checkout a booklet of 7 coupons for bottles of water, so a liter of mineral water was free for dinner, our dining partner did not have those coupons so they were charged 2,14 Euros every dinner for a bottle of water which angered them. We had to pay water at lunch you cannot get tea/coffee at the restaurant for lunch or dinner, you have to take it at a bar/lounger and pay 4 Euros for 2 cups, we like to have a hot drink with our dessert, is that a European custom? Most of the staff did not speak much English and even less French, the language on board is Italian and smiles on most onboard personnel is inexistant. We felt we did not belong there. For luch you could go to one of the 2 restaurants, and some shoed you to available place. One day the head waiter seats us at a table of 8 with already 6 Italians seated, I don`t understand the language but a lady was arguying with the head waiter and he politely ask us to move to another table, we were rejected...And we were not the only Canadians to which this hapenned. After a few days sailing except for meals, we stayed on our balcony or cabin, we did not go see any shows entertainment (all was Italian) No American Brodway musicals or French CanCan type shows. The places we visited were nice but on the first stop in Malaga we had chosen to visit the cavern of Nerja (wow!) when I booked at the front desk the day befre was told only Italian or English tours so chose the English. It turned out that excursion was composed of about 75% Italian and it became more a Italian guided tour, the guide spoke 80% of the time in Italian, to pay 44 Euro per person and hear Italian most of the time, I nearly got an Italian lesson ! I could go on and on and my girl friend and I who were thinking of taking a Carribean or Alaska cruise next year are now asking ourselves if cruises are the kind of travel for us. I would not recommend Mediterranan Cruises with MSC at all Read Less
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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