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Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise to circumnavigate the British Isles and found nothing but dissapointment. We have recently returned from a cruise around the British Isles on MSC Orchestra (5th June Hamburg). If MSC gave us free tickets to cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise to circumnavigate the British Isles and found nothing but dissapointment. We have recently returned from a cruise around the British Isles on MSC Orchestra (5th June Hamburg). If MSC gave us free tickets to cruise again we wouldn't accept them. Our first encounter was at embarkation with queue after queue checking the same thing over and over followed by sit-down lunch (deck5 ) where we were refused 2 glasses of water and both the waiter and maitre de argued with us over our need to pay around EUR1 per glass to get tap water! This continued at the dinner table also. Secondly, our anticipation of having a great time was greatly diminished when the cabin staff told us we would not be provided with a box of tissues and we had to use toilet paper in their place! Thirdly, we booked a Fantastica Balcony Stateroom at the rear of the ship (smaller than most others) and expected a 5 star room - the bathroom shower has plastic curtains! No facial tissues and one roll of toilet paper - enough said. On review there are more than 21 items (including the cheap rate shows) that are far less quality, service and level of acceptability in comparison to other cruise ships of the same standard. MSC = more sur charges. All up you would be better advised to choose another cruise company and experience a level of professionality you deserve on a cruise. FYI - we have cruised over 15 times with other companies - all balcony suites, no complaints - all inclusive. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife and I, and another couple booked 2 MSC European cruises about a year in advance. The first, on the MSC Orchestra, sailed from Hamburg on June 5th and visited ports in Scotland and Ireland. This was our first experience with MSC. ... Read More
My wife and I, and another couple booked 2 MSC European cruises about a year in advance. The first, on the MSC Orchestra, sailed from Hamburg on June 5th and visited ports in Scotland and Ireland. This was our first experience with MSC. Overall, this was a lower priced cruise, and the lesson learned is you get what you pay for (unless it's on the drink package, then you may not even get that). When we bought the cruise, we also purchased the Deluxe drink package that was supposedly the best and it included the most expensive drinks. Since then, MSC has redefined their drink packages and our Deluxe had been renamed Premium which covers drinks costing up to 10 Euros. They also changed the prices of some of the best spirits to be 11 Euros or more effectively moving the best quality drinks out of our package into the new Premium Plus category - hence my 'Bait & Switch' title. We tried to explain the situation to the bar staff and also complained to customer service, but to no avail. On rum drinks, the best we could get was 8 yr old Bicardi's rather than the Zacappa 23 that we'd paid for. I cannot fault the bar staff, this was a recent corporate/management decision. The honest course of action would have been to honor the original package parameters. My only recourse is to warn other cruisers that if you buy an MSC package ahead of time, don't be surprised if it's downgraded by the time you sail. One of the highlights of the cruise was the excellent staff members who do the actual work on the ships. The bartender in the wine bar, Louis from Peru, was an absolute professional. He is personable, extremely knowledgeable, multilingual, a natural leader for the rest of the staff, and an awesome singer & magician. The rest of the staff Sri, Pascky, Akash and Ace all provided excellent customer service and are valuable assets to MSC. I am unimpressed with the leadership and management on MSC. The officers, while being polite to customers, were aloof and sometimes rude to the workers. In one instance, I watched a group of 4 officers hold an impromptu business discussion that went on for more than 5 minutes about 4 feet in front of the singer who was trying to entertain the people in the wine bar. The dining room staff worked hard to make it a good experience. Olvin, our principal table waiter was great. The food variety and quality was fine, but not up the standards we've seen on other cruise lines. There was no problem getting enough to eat, but the budget aspect of the cruise was evident in the very thin cuts of meat and limited wine selection available in the dining room. There was no sommelier or wine steward. Self disembarkation in Hamburg was a good experience and strongly recommended if available. Some ports don't allow it. We got off before the rush and caught a cab out front to the airport - easy. We would never book another MSC cruise. The price was lower, but the way they cut corners and redefine services erodes the experience. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
It was our first cruise with MSC. We've worked on cruises for quire a few years as entertainers and have also done over 30 cruises in a passenger/tourist capacity, with lots of different cruise companies, from luxury and impressive ... Read More
It was our first cruise with MSC. We've worked on cruises for quire a few years as entertainers and have also done over 30 cruises in a passenger/tourist capacity, with lots of different cruise companies, from luxury and impressive Azamara to basic, but very enjoyable Pullman Tours. THE GOOD: I have to admit that the ship is gorgeous and spotless, our Balcony Cabin on Deck 11 (Flauto) was luxury with loads of storage space and was kept very clean, with towels being constantly changed. Majority of passengers were Italian, but there were lots of different nationalities on board also (English, American, Spanish, Russian, Ukrainian, French, Greek, German, Lebanese), and every effort was made to provide services, information, excursions and entertainment in every possible language, so there were absolutely no issues with any kind of language barrier, also helped by the fact that the crew were from all over the world (50-60 different countries at least). The atmosphere was terrific, Cruise Director Sonya - wonderful! Even though the ship was full (over 2,500 passengers), everything worked like clockwork - Embarkation, Disembarkation, Excursions, Shuttles, Account Queries - no problems whatsoever, nice and smooth. We really enjoyed the shows - sound quality and production, spectacular costumes, young, but truly amazing singers, dancers, gymnasts - compensated for complete lack of props on stage (apart from 3 backlit staircases) and absence of live orchestra/band at the theatre, all backing music was pre-recorded. Very disappointing :((, so maybe I should've mentioned it in THE BAD column below... The string trio, pianist and classical singers were superb!! Most performances drew standing ovations and screaming from adoring fans :)) We took only one Ship's Excursion in Marseille (in English) and were quite happy with it. The pools were lovely, with plenty of sunbeds and towels, so no problems there either. The waiters attentive and friendly. Captain and the officers very friendly and engaged with passengers on numerous occasions. THE BAD: Apart from food and coffee/tea stations provided, you have to pay for EVERYTHING! And the selling of the ridiculously priced drink packages started on Check-In. There was an army of smiling crew members, waiving brochures and flyers in the air, and trying really hard to sell-sell-sell whatever they could to the unsuspecting passengers, some of who have just flown from the other side of ther world, and looked quite weary and confused. No complimentary water was provided even on the first day. You had to pay for everything - soft drinks, juices, ice cream, water, coffee and tea (except hot drinks station at the La Piazzetta Cafeteria). We were lucky enough to have a bonus of 12 cocktails each with our cabin, so it wasn't too bad. If we were to buy this package, the cost would've been 75EU for 1 cocktail package, so we were happy. But, to tell you the truth, we couldn't taste or smell any trace of alcohol in any of them at all, doesn't matter which bar or restaurant we ordered them at. As a joke we have even asked some barmen to make sure they go easy on ice and heavy on other ingredients, so it got a bit better then. They also charged exhorbitant prices for shuttles in every port. In some cases there was public transport available to the town centres, but the passengers weren't informed and wer encouraged to pay for transportation. On most other cruise lines, the shuttles are usually provided free of charge, at leat to the port exit, but not with MSC. The food was quite awful! The smell, the taste, the presentation was very poor at the main restaurant, so we went there only twice. The lunch and dinner buffet at La Piazzetta were the same food every day/night, boring and tasteless. By far the worst food we have ever had on any cruise. A week into our 11 night cruise they ran out of lemons!! Not a single lemon in site - limes everywhere. Explanation was - we get our supplies in Barcelona. But wait, Barcelona is almost at the end?! Never mind, bought my own lemons in Lisbon and carried them with me everywhere lol! There were 3 bands in different venues on the ship at night. The Italian band was 'so-so', a bit more professional than the rest of them, who were absolutely hopeless. The Dominican band had a guitarist/vocalist, who had a pleasant voice, but could hardly play the guitar. The bass player couldn't play his 6 string bass. I'm sure the traditional 4 string bass would've been enough! The keyboard player and the drummer - embarassingly inept and unprofessional. The Duo in another lounge were even worse, just used backing tracks for everything, could hardly even hear the singer's voice at all. Another guitar/singer duo was more professional, but the repertoir very boring and outdated. I understand MSC is cutting corners and trying to save money wherever they can, but c'mon! Food & entertainment shouldn't be so hopeless! Because of all of the above we opted out of paying compulsory gratuities and instead tipped in cash only the people, who really deserved it & provided great professional service to us personally. Will we be going on another MSC cruise? We don't think so. 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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