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4 Southampton to Europe - Western Mediterranean MSC Cruises MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews

The price was very good with cruise nation , beautiful ship very relaxing. Easy check in best we've ever had we were on the ship in 5 minutes and were in our cabin within 20 mins . We took out the £20 per person per day drinks ... Read More
The price was very good with cruise nation , beautiful ship very relaxing. Easy check in best we've ever had we were on the ship in 5 minutes and were in our cabin within 20 mins . We took out the £20 per person per day drinks package well worth it as it covered cocktails spirits beer wine coffees water sparkling wine etc Le Coruna , Lisbon, Gibraltar,Barcelona stayed in Genoa for 2 nights caught a train and ferry to portofino all fab lots of classical , opera and cirquedesoleis type shows food good .There were around 7 courses every dinner time Lilia looked after us well we were put on a table with 3 other couples who were brilliant company .I recommend the steak and tiramisu also good seafood., Singers had beautiful voices . One bar was offering free tapas with a drink , service was slow at breakfast time in Mdr so only used it the once. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We sailed 10/5/16 from Southampton. We were on the MSC Preziosa several years back with extended family and were overall disappointed, so we chose to check out the Yacht Club this time around. Although it wasn't cheap (I think it ... Read More
We sailed 10/5/16 from Southampton. We were on the MSC Preziosa several years back with extended family and were overall disappointed, so we chose to check out the Yacht Club this time around. Although it wasn't cheap (I think it doubled the price for 2 of us), I must say that it was an enjoyable experience and I would consider repeating. Most of this review is focused around the Yacht Club experience. Easy, stress-free embarkation, led by a butler to our room even though we arrived 11am. A small 30 minute immigration delay and then we were on board. Cabin-15019, nice layout, spacious (But not really to a suite standard for size on some other mainstream lines), good storage and nice but small bathroom with tub. There was a refrigerator that was restocked daily with water, snacks, alcohol, all complimentary. Ice buckets refilled, fresh fruit, newspaper daily, and slippers/robes in the room. Also of course, the butler, who seemed to have a 6th sense on our whereabouts. We would leave the room for just a minute and magically he would appear to clean, each morning. We had wished there was a quick evening clean up included, as often times our room service trays were still on our table as we arrived back to our cabin each evening. There was also complimentary room service which was quick and tasty, but very limited in selection. We missed ordering full in suite breakfasts like we did in a standard cabin on our last Celebrity cruise. However, we really enjoyed ordering beer/wine from room service as we got ready for dinner each evening. The pool bar area had a wonderful breakfast each morning. We really enjoyed going out for a relaxing, quiet breakfast each morning. Compared to the chaotic buffet, this was a completely different experience. There's a small buffet with some eggs, bacon, and potatoes as well as some pastries and fresh cut fruit. On request, each day I was given toast as well. Service here was quick and efficient. It was never busy. On a port day in La Coruna, my husband and I wanted to just stay behind and relax and we were the only 2 people on this entire deck for about 2 hours which was amazing. There is also a small pool and 2 hot tubs here, and they did get quite busy on the days where the sun decided to make an appearance. The Top Sail lounge was a great place to grab a drink or a quick snack. Probably our greatest disappointment is that this indoor lounge allowed smoking. At times, it got overwhelming and we had to leave. This should not be allowed, it is time for a change here. People can go outside if they really need to smoke, why should the rest of us have to suffer? Anna, who is Ukrainian, was a pleasure to talk with. At times, especially later in the evening, it got very quiet and boring in here, so we would leave to go explore the other lounges on the ship, outside of the yacht club. Unfortunately, drinks were only included in the YC area, so we spent quite a bit of extra money on a drink package that worked throughout the entire ship. We dined at the YC restaurant only twice, but both times were very good. We had alot of family members on board who did not stay in the YC, so we often joined them for dinner in the main dining room. Food and service were fairly average here. In the beginning, the waiter seemed a bit annoyed by our loud and boisterous group. He soon mellowed out and we got along well. We had a birthday for a 10 year old in our group, and he truly went above and beyond to ensure it was special for her, with singing and a cake. And for our experiences on the rest of the ship: We tried the tex mex specialty restaurant once, and it was delicious. It was a little surprising that the chef refused to make a small modification on my entree, but I overlooked it. The ship itself was absolutely breathtaking! It was spotless at all times. I think we went to 3 of the shows. 2 were great, and one wasn't so good. I think Dante's Inferno was enjoyed by all. Casino was fun too, but again, there was a real issue with the smoking indoors. The night club was fun we stayed out way too late on most evenings! I also went to the Spa and had an absolutely amazing massage. I went to the hair salon, and did not have the same experience. I had made a reservation for 2 people and they could only find one of the reservations. It got a bit uncomfortable, but I stood my ground, because I had made the reservations only hours before. The Cuban staff were a bit stand offish, and the styles were average, not great. We left feeling a bit disappointed, rather than excited. It was chaotic at best trying to get off the ship with so many others for our day in Lisbon. It took about an hour and was very frustrating. Another disappointment was all the drink charges on our bill, when we were in the Yacht Club and had bought a drinks package for the rest of the ship. The concierge took care of them, since they were all in error. My biggest concern with the Yacht Club Concierge (and the reason I would second guess another sailing on board) was our disembark experience. I reviewed the bill and again found errors. It appeared that the hair salon had billed me for myself and 2 children although it was just me and one child. I assured her there was not another child and she seemed to not believe me. She called the hair salon, who continued to insist that I had brought 2 children, which was ridiculous and untrue. She called the hair salon again stating that I disagreed. They continued to insist that i wait while they locate the signed receipts for the visit. I wasted about 20 minutes more, until finally they called up and said they made a mistake. The concierge apologized, but it was too late, a very bad taste was left in my mouth. All this over 30 Euros. By this time, it was late in the disembark process, and the butler led us off the ship into another extremely chaotic experience of cutting people in line and getting angry looks and comments from all the people who were patiently waiting. It was actually quite embarrassing. However, it was such a nice touch to find our luggage awaiting us in a small private room away from the crowds of 1000's who were hunting for their luggage. Overall, this was a fun cruise and a great experience and we very much enjoyed the YC. Is it true, 5 star service? No. Was there value for the money? Yes, and I would most likely do it again. MSC needs to implement small changes that will have a huge impact on the service level. Staff training would lead my list. In addition, add some longer sailings and broaden the port times. I think we had a day in Barcelona from 9-3, which isn't enough time to enjoy a city. You need full days in port, not 4 or 5 hours. Add all inclusive throughout the entire ship for YC guests. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our third cruise on MSC Splendida and our seventh MSC cruise in total, having been twice on her sister ship MSC Fantasia and also on the Lirica and Armonia. The cruise departed Southampton on 5 October, heading towards Genoa ... Read More
This was our third cruise on MSC Splendida and our seventh MSC cruise in total, having been twice on her sister ship MSC Fantasia and also on the Lirica and Armonia. The cruise departed Southampton on 5 October, heading towards Genoa via La Coruna, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Barcelona, having set off from Hamburg two days prior. The cruise was booked via the MSC Voyagers Club Selection, which is their reward scheme. We got an incredible deal and packaged the cruise with a stay in Lake Garda and Milan before flying home. Embarkation at Southampton was quick and efficient. Our boarding time was 3pm but we were onboard by about 12:30, despite my other half having put the cruise paperwork in the main luggage and this being sent to the ship before we’d checked in! Splendida is an absolutely beautiful ship, there is no doubt about that. As we boarded the ship we were ushered in to the main atrium area, which is just absolutely stunning. There are bars on three levels, deck 5, where there is a grand piano and seating area, deck 6 where there is the mixology bar, serving all the usual drinks plus expertly crafted cocktails and deck 7 where there is the coffee bar. All of these decks are linked by two sweeping Swarovski crystal staircases, which apparently costs €5000 per step! We headed to our cabin to collect our cruise cards and found a tray of chocolate covered strawberries and a bowl of fruit in the cabin from MSC. Our balcony cabin, on deck 10 (cabin 10114) was of the usual MSC standard, with a large double bed, plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, shower room and sofa. The beds are high enough of the ground to allow you to store your suitcase underneath which is a bonus, we have been on cruises or at hotels where this hasn’t been possible. Having picked up our cruise cards we went to the buffet for a spot of lunch and were immediately greeted by a beaming smile and hello from the waiter who had looked after us at Christmas on MSC Fantasia. When you consider how many guests he must see over the year it’s quite something to be remembered. Following lunch we headed down to the piazza area on deck 6 for a glass of champagne, no surprises that the crew in there recognised us too and made a fuss of us being back. Whenever we step foot on an MSC ship, my partner and I look at each other and think ‘we’re home’. The piazza is a great area for people watching. It’s set out like a small town square with a couple of shops around the outside and iron tables and chairs on a tiled floor, with some tiled benches for extra seating. There are excellent cakes and ice creams available here (at an extra cost, depending on your drinks package) and we often skip dessert at lunch and come here for a cake and a glass of champagne for afternoon tea. Following the muster station drill it was time to change for dinner. We were on the first sitting in the La Reggia restaurant. Although we had requested a table for two we were on a table of eight, six of us English and an Australian couple, they were a great crowd therefore we didn’t look to move to a table of two, had there been one available. Every night we were nearly the last table out of the restaurant as the conversation just kept flowing between us, with plenty of laughs and discussion thrown in. Your dinner guests really can make a holiday in that respect. A lot of people seem to complain about the food on MSC. What I would say to them is don’t go with the expectation that you’re going to have steak and chips every night. MSC is an Italian cruise line, the Italians like to take their time over dinner and have up to seven courses, with an appetizer – perhaps prawn cocktail, smoked salmon or something like that, then a salad course, then soup, then pasta or risotto, an entrée, dessert and cheese. You don’t have to have every course. My advice would be to try a bit of everything though! With so much choice on the menu I do find it hard to believe that people can’t find something they like. Food is very subjective, but my favourite entrées are duck breast with sour cherry sauce or the roast prime rib of beef. Breakfast and lunch in the restaurant has altered since we first started cruising with MSC, there is now a ‘bistro’ concept in the MDR, which consists of a buffet area in addition to the a la carte options. You can order from the menu and help yourself from the buffet selections. The advantage of this is that the deck 14 buffet gets incredibly busy at peak times and it can be difficult to find a seat. In the MDR you are shown to a table and have waiter service, much more civilised. There are also items on the menu that you wouldn’t get in the buffet such as smoked salmon, eggs benedict etc. The evening entertainment was varied, and some of the theatre shows very impressive. On one night the lead singer in the show ‘Amour’ which is an opera gala was ill so this was cancelled and another show put on in it’s place. Amour was then shown in the afternoon of our final day at sea, I’m so glad we made time to go and see it; the show was really good with an amazing sound, backed by a pair of violinists and a pianist. As Splendida has so many bars and defined areas, there are so many different acts you can see. The Purple Bar was a great spot to watch Irena, a European singer who sang both English and German songs. We got to know her over the week and on our final night she actually changed her line up and sang a song from her other set that we’d told her was our favourite! The Inoteca wine bar has another grand piano, the pianist in there played a mix of songs from musicals, classical and old favourites. This is a great spot to sit and they have some wonderful wines available and will bring you some tapas to go with your wine. The service in here was excellent, with the two waiters Ivan and Ivan working well together and always with a smile on their faces. The Aft Lounge is a bit of a party venue, with a dance floor and a proper band playing the usual party type music, and the animation team having fun and encouraging people to party. In terms of the ports visited, they were all very nice with plenty to see and do. La Coruna is a very pretty town, however it turns out we visited on a local holiday day and a lot of the town was shut, with the exception of churches, museums etc. We didn’t go to the Hercules tower, although we sailed out past it and got a few good photographs from the top deck. Sailing in to Lisbon was a wonderful experience, going underneath the bridge – I was on the top deck and wondered whether we would make it underneath, there can’t have been much more than ten feet between the very top of the ship and the bottom of the bridge, or at least it seemed that way! I was sad to leave the ship as we had such a wonderful time, with no problems whatsoever. We did encounter a few English people who had decided it wasn't for them as they were used to Cruise and Maritime - MSC is a world away from CMV's offering, so I can understand why they didn't enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Chose this cruise as from Southampton and reasonable cost. Ship lovely and excellent dining and cafe staff but not so good bar staff. Very good balcony cabin. However this is as far as plus sign goes. Don't be fooled by the ... Read More
Chose this cruise as from Southampton and reasonable cost. Ship lovely and excellent dining and cafe staff but not so good bar staff. Very good balcony cabin. However this is as far as plus sign goes. Don't be fooled by the enticement of low initial cost. Fortunately we bought a drinks package, as the prices on board are extremely high. Courtesy bus charges by MSC is certainly a money maker for them. Organised trips a good 30-40% too high and not good value for money. Entertainment very poor. With 4 stops and change of passengers at each stop, resulting in Emergency drill being done each time, which of cause is essential, causes total disruption for existing passengers. For an Italian ship and the and the high standard expected in cuisine, the food was disapointing. Very little better than canteen food and nothing to look forward to. Restaurants very cramped with tables, of which many were not fully occupied, made difficultly in moving around. Our table for 8 only had 4 persons every day. My wife and I are experience cruisers, having regularly sailed with P & O, and periodically Royal Carribean, Celebrity, and Fred Olson, But MSC was certainly the worst. Would never consider sailing with them again even if it was for free. 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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