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6 Southampton to Europe - All MSC Cruises MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews

The majority of the people who have written reviews have all said that the reason they booked was because of the price of the cruises offered by MSC. This is the reason I booked a cruise for myself and my son on the MSC Splendida. ... Read More
The majority of the people who have written reviews have all said that the reason they booked was because of the price of the cruises offered by MSC. This is the reason I booked a cruise for myself and my son on the MSC Splendida. However, be warned - the "hidden" costs make this a cruise which is not as good value as you think. The "hidden costs" include added a daily charge to your cabin for the number of people in it. Every time you use something on board they charge you for it irrespective of whether you have a drinks or game package. This is what they call a "service" charge. I would have no objection to paying such a charge if I felt I received a "service". At the end of a week in which we ate food I could have made myself with a microwave in my cabin, we were charged 161 euros. We paid for a drinks package and although the drinks were not charged, a 15% service charge was added on to our bill which was equivalent to the cost of the drink if you had paid for it. You are also charged 15% for the pleasure of eating in their restaurants - based on the cost of the food if you had paid for it. You pay service charges for everything you eat or drink. If they could find a way of charging you for breathing I have no doubt MSC would do so. The entertainment was so bad we paid for a "games" package which included entrance to the F1 simulator, 4D cinema and bowling (obviously paying a service charge on top). Unfortunately only the 4D cinema was working after day 1. Both the bowling and F1 simulator were out of action. When I complained to MSC on my return they said they apologised but the policy of MSC was that they would put a notice on the machines to say they weren't working. If it wasn't so pathetic an answer it would be laughable. Think very carefully before you book - the food is luke warm and of poor quality, the entertainment is aimed more towards Italians and Germans, there are services charges on everything (obviously), the staff don't have to try at all as they are getting a tip whether they deserve it or not. This is not a cheap cruise. MSC have now offered me a 5% discount on my next cruise as compensation for being charged an additional 161 euros for a week that I would prefer to forget. How kind. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I chose this cruise based on the price and ports of call. The ship is big and beautiful, although the décor is so reflective (shiny/mirrored) that we had a hard time with finding things at first. It has a lot of sparkle everywhere. ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the price and ports of call. The ship is big and beautiful, although the décor is so reflective (shiny/mirrored) that we had a hard time with finding things at first. It has a lot of sparkle everywhere. Balcony rooms were so affordable that we booked one, and the room really was great. The shower was really small, that didn't bother me, but was not easy for my husband. The staff is generally not as friendly as the people on previous cruises. We have always enjoyed meeting the staff and chatting with them, but really didn't have much chance to do that here. Our cabin steward was really great. Our head waiter at dinner warmed up after a few days. The expectations we had were based on experiences with several pervious cruises (on Holland, RCCL, Carnival). On those, we always got announcements and clear notifications of when we could get off the ship. We didn't have that here. We missed some time on land at the first stop because we were waiting for the announcement. What they did do well was use several languages for announcements we did get. The food generally was not good. My best advice is don't take anything that lists 'Meat' as an ingredient, not specifying beef, chicken, or pork. . It's some kind of mystery thing that looks and smells like Armour Potted Meat and is reminiscent of canned dog food. If you're contemplating this cruise, buy a can and open it up to check it out. That will help you remember to not choose the wrong dish. My husband ate something that made him violently ill in the middle of the night. They use this mystery meat as stuffing for cannelloni and some other dishes. The chicken breast (always available) was good; some of the beef at dinner was ok too.They use a heavy hand with salt - their au gratin-type potatoes were so salty we couldn't eat them. You're good to stay with cold cuts, salad, fruit, and vegetables, and bread, and soup (which was almost always very good). We made a lot of sandwiches. Maybe it's just an American taste that we are used to higher quality meat. Just be prepared. There weren't a lot of Americans onboard, so of course they will cater to the tastes of their primary clients. The entertainment was fabulous - classy, well-executed, and entertaining. They put a lot of effort into making it top notch, unlike some of the poorly chosen entertainment we experiences on an RCCL cruise that made harsh fun of larger people and sprinkled everything with lewd jokes during the family hour. (I believe that was because the RCCL Cruise Director was an X-rated comedian.) Since that experience, I had not been too interested in the entertainment, but the Splendida entertainment turned it around. The ports were good. Many choices. Hamburg was not as good as the others, but you could instead take a train to Lubeck. There really isn't that much there, since a lot of the city was leveled in a bombing campaign during WWII. MSC does a lot of ports of call for the price, which is one of their strengths. I must emphasize that you need to research the transportation at these ports yourself; you will not get help from them. In a couple of ports (Zeebruggen and Hamburg) they offered a shuttle to/from town @ 15 Euros pp Round Trip, with runs throughout the day. It's a pretty good deal. You can do Brugge cheaper, but there was a transportation strike the day we were there. We bought the ship excursion for Paris, which included a boat ride. We were supposed to have 3 hours on land but barely had 1.5 hours and had to use that to eat lunch. This was NOT the fault of the driver or guide; it was just traffic. We still enjoyed it a lot and saw so much from the drive into town and boat trip on the Seine. My husband says 'never again' but I'd consider it for the price and value, and because now I have the right expectations and can avoid eating the wrong things. I think there is a lot of potential with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Embarkation was straightforward and the 4 of us were onboard by 2pm. We had 8.45pm seating for dinner and were informed that because we booked the “Bella” experience everybody else on a higher grade took precedence so beware if you ... Read More
Embarkation was straightforward and the 4 of us were onboard by 2pm. We had 8.45pm seating for dinner and were informed that because we booked the “Bella” experience everybody else on a higher grade took precedence so beware if you want to pick your dining time book at least a “Fantastica” grade which is usually about £50 each more expensive. We were in the Villa Verde restaurant and had a table for 8 but 2 people never made an appearance. Food was good and my nephew had at least 5 courses every evening – and even had time for pizza in the buffet later. He said the pizza was excellent. What is wrong with soup spoons? There doesn’t seem to be any onboard the Splendida. When my husband ordered brandy after his meal it came in a champagne glass – what’s that all about. Silly things but annoying. My nephew’s girlfriend was enjoying her salad but gagged when she saw a caterpillar enjoying it as much as she was! The food was varied (see above) but was not always hot. The waiter was run off his feet so there’s no chit chat it’s one course – boom, boom, boom, one after another. They called it “Gourmet dining”, I think not. We had lunch in the dining room which was described as a “lunch bistro”. We were led to a table and handed a menu. We noticed there was food set up in the restaurant buffet style but it wasn’t explained to us that you could either go to the buffet area and help yourself or wait to be served. We waited to be served (big mistake) …. 20 mins before my salad came. I think they were deliberately serving you slowly so you would be encouraged to use the buffet. If I’d wanted a buffet, I would have gone to the buffet. Shockingly bad experience. (It was the same at breakfast). The various bars were lovely – the Purple Bar was my favourite. As a lot of the passengers were German, there was quite a bit of oompa type music and lots of dancing. Fun to watch. Everyone seemed to be having a great time. We had opted for the all-inclusive drinks package which included cocktails, coffees and ice creams. Trust me, it was well used. Excellent prosecco – although allow plenty of time for your order to be taken and drinks to arrive Our itinerary was Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Le Havre. In Zeebrugge the port organised a free shuttle bus which took you to the port gates. MSC organised shuttle buses at approx. 15 Euro return to Blankenburg which was a bit steep. There was no reduction for kids. We got a taxi to Bruges from the port gates for 50 Euros for up to 8 people. It was a lovely warm day so we did a canal boat trip and visited “Chocolate Story”. We found the Bar Wall and had a couple of beers overlooking the canal. The beer had been brewed 2 doors down. A great way to while away an hour or so. You could walk into Amsterdam from the ship. It was 25 mins approx. You could get a tram nearby (2.8 Euros for a 1-hour use or 7.5 Euros for 24 hours). We took the tram to a (world famous, it was said) flea market past the Heineken Experience where we spent a couple of hours looking around. The ship docked 9 miles from Hamburg and MSC organised shuttle buses for around 14E. I don’t know if MSC docked as far away as they could in order to charge for the shuttle buses because other passengers said there were at least 2 docks much closer to Hamburg. Makes you wonder. In Le Havre there was a shuttle bus organised by the port. It was 4E per person all day which was good value but there was a wait of 45 mins. We caught a taxi (4 persons) for 8 Euros and then walked back to the ship which took about 40 mins. The weather was pretty good the whole trip and there were plenty people in the swimming pools. A couple of days though people were using blankets as it was a bit chilly out. Disembarkation went smoothly. We gathered at the Aft Bar and were then taken for a face-to-face with Immigration then disembarked. I asked if this was a new procedure but was told MSC have always done this when arriving at Southampton. Never heard of that before. We were off the ship by 9.40am. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Chose this cruise as it was booked with friends, our first time cruising .As there was a coach full of us we were taken directly to the ship Embarkation was smoother than i imagined .Cannot fault the service the staff are hard ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was booked with friends, our first time cruising .As there was a coach full of us we were taken directly to the ship Embarkation was smoother than i imagined .Cannot fault the service the staff are hard working friendly helpful and dedicated.We mainly chose to do excursions ourselves The choice of food was plentiful freshly prepared and even at busy times we had no problems finding a table or having to queue for more than a min or two .Our Cabin was spacious comfortable and clean - cleaned dailyThe beds were so comfortable fresh towels etc. The entertainment crew were superb i cannot fault any of the staff -always willing to assist if needed with smiles !!! Chose a drinks package which is excellent value when you add up coffees cold drinks wine with dinner and the odd couple of cocktails !! .Didnt use the tv in the cabin as there was plenty to explore and enjoy on the ship .Had excellent treatment from the on board doctor and the best massages from the Spa staff . Dressed up some nights casual others Disembarking was not the best back at Southampton but still only took about as hour just found the queuing a bit troublesome due to disability Tips system - fair as it is shared and they do deserve !!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Embarkation went smoothly and we were soon on board, it was as a first come basis and you did not need to stick to the time stated on your tickets. Luggage soon at the cabin which surpassed all expectations. We never attended any of the ... Read More
Embarkation went smoothly and we were soon on board, it was as a first come basis and you did not need to stick to the time stated on your tickets. Luggage soon at the cabin which surpassed all expectations. We never attended any of the shows in the theatre but the music and entertainment in some of the other bars was good. Service again except for one or two waiters/waitresses was poor never a smile or a word and many spoke hardly any English so could not understand what was being ordered. Although the ship is beautiful the organisation was non-existent, the food was awful never hot even at the start of the service. There was never any information given about anything going on during the day or evening. The excursions were overpriced and very poor and even to get into the places were the ship docked(miles from anywhere) you had to pay for a shuttle bus. One place Hamburg was visited on a SUNDAY and nothing was open what a waste of time. The only plus side to this cruise was Boris the assistant bar manager who sorted out a problem for us on day one and continued to speak to us on a daily basis always smiling and polite an asset to this company. At times felt like we were on a ferry everyday people were getting off and on the ship never before have I experienced anything like it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because it was inexpensive. The ship was beautiful! .........Well, you get what you pay for. The food was disgusting. The staff not all but some where beyond RUDE! I had the opportunity to sit and talk with some of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was inexpensive. The ship was beautiful! .........Well, you get what you pay for. The food was disgusting. The staff not all but some where beyond RUDE! I had the opportunity to sit and talk with some of the staff. They where asking me how other cruise lines where. At one of out ports we missed an opportunity to take a tour because we are English speaking and the tour guide didn't speak English. We would have enjoyed just seeing the sights. We really wanted to see the area. This was the first ship to make you pay for water during meals in the dining room. The activities where null. I think there where about 6 or 7 things to do all day. The entertainment was odd at times. We will never use this cruise line again. Not even if it was a free cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.7

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