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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2007
I have just come back from the MSC Orchestra departing 23th June and arriving back in Venice on 30th June! It was the most unbelievable experience you could ever imagine! It was my parents 50th birthdays and we had the whole family of 32 ... Read More
I have just come back from the MSC Orchestra departing 23th June and arriving back in Venice on 30th June! It was the most unbelievable experience you could ever imagine! It was my parents 50th birthdays and we had the whole family of 32 people. The service is unforgettable, as it is extremely organized and very fast. The staff are exceptionally friendly and do there upmost best! . The entertainment is amazing especially the R32 Disco! It is lively and has 67 plasma screens 35 of which you are dancing on! They have also huge carnivals on the top open deck with live music and amazing buffets with huge statues made out of different types of fruit, vegetables and bread etc. There is a miniclub for all the children and the ship is great and outstanding fun for all ages. The ship is very classy for all the adults as it has stunning wine bars, a casino, and modern and traditional lounges! It is a mega-huge ship you may think 90,000 gross tons is not that large! But just wait till you enter! as the reception hall even has its own waterfall within it! The restaurants are really well designed. The food is to a good presentational skill and a good tasting standard. As i am a male teenager myself, the Italian girls were stunning especially the girl that was sitting opposite me for dinner every night on table 655 in the restaurant hibiscus, and the stunning one in room 11178!, as i was in room 11172! The outside cabin with balcony are very well designed but however do not contain to much space but then again you can always upgrade to the ships 18 suites. The Price is magnificent for what you get out of the tour! The embarkation trips and excursions are very well organized with refreshments etc. I spent most of my time in the R32 disco until 3 am. Sometimes even 5:30 am. It was a fantastic experience with the whole family from Denmark. The ship is well organized to the upmost best and keeps its grand reputation. A definite cruise to try! You will want to go back time and time again! I have been on many cruises with my parents including Disney and Royal Caribbean, but this makes what i call a 'Difference'. And that difference is worth every penny and should definitely be an one experience within your life time! Long live MSC ORCHESTRA SIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2007
We just returned from a one-week cruise on the Orchestra. Let me start by saying we had a FANTASTIC time and were very impressed. Background - This was the 7th cruise for my husband and me and the 4th cruise that our 12yr old son has ... Read More
We just returned from a one-week cruise on the Orchestra. Let me start by saying we had a FANTASTIC time and were very impressed. Background - This was the 7th cruise for my husband and me and the 4th cruise that our 12yr old son has been on. We were also on the Costa Fortuna last year. Although, we have considerable cruising experience; we have intentionally never been on a cruise with any of the top companies (aka Carnival, RC, Norwegian, etc) nor do we intend to. Let me clarify; we take one to two major vacations each year and expect value for our money. We have never stayed at a "Sandals" resort because we know that by doing so we would set the bar too high and would expect that level for all further trips. Instead, we select a 4+ or 5 star hotel when booking Caribbean vacations. The price we pay is considerably less than we would pay at Sandals (or similar). We can, thus, afford several holidays for the price of one superior one. I feel this is the same with cruising. We paid $1,400 each Cdn including airfare for our MSC cruise. My travel agent was quoting us over $3,500 each for a similar cruise on Royal Caribbean. In my opinion, I would not get $2,100 extra value so we booked MSC. The WOW - The Orchestra is a beautiful ship and especially impressive because of its "newness". The staff were ALL friendly and helpful. All crew members could speak English (this was better than we found last year on Costa). The crew did everything they could to make your holiday enjoyable (our cabin stewart figured out after the first night that we wanted ice in our cabin at 4pm and it was there without asking from that point onward). The food was outstanding - lots of variety and none of use was served a single dish that we didn't enjoy. I HATE buffets but the breakfast and lunch buffets were very well done and served great choices. The Chinese restaurant (extra charge) was fantastic. The pools were warm and well designed (bigger than we have seen on previous cruises). The shows were excellent. Even our 12 year old wanted to go to every show. We have normally gone to the first one or two shows and then decided not to bother and to catch up on our lost sleep. Not so on the Orchestra - our son would go 1/2 hr early to make sure we got the "best" seats. Also, the shows were short (45 minutes) which suited us well. We had the "cheapest" inside cabin (again, I don't spend extra $$$ on cabins but prefer to use the savings on excursions). The cabin was well set up and the beds were very comfortable. The embarkation was smooth. We have never had such an easy time getting on and off a ship each day to explore. The Ports: Venice - we looked around on our own when we arrived. Took the free shuttle from the port to Venice as you have a few hours before sailing time. We added an extra night on to the end of our trip to spend in Venice so this "preview" was very worthwhile. Bari - You MUST take the Sassi excursion. This was one of the highlights of our vacation. It was the most interesting and beautiful site. As it is quite a distance (1.25 hrs) it isn't something you could arrange on your own as you have only 4.5 hrs in port. Our guide was excellent and I would love to return some day to see more. Katakolon - We did the Olympia excursion and enjoyed it. If you are interested in history; this is certainly a good trip. Shopping in Olympia at the end of the tour was also great. Our guide was good but a little "long-winded". Izmir - We didn't do a tour here. We got a taxi to take us to the Bazaar and had a blast. The locals are helpful and very friendly. We had shop keepers serve us tea and a merchant go off to exchange one 20 Euro bill for two $10's. Bought a huge bag of saffron for 2 Euro. This was a fantastic cultural experience for our 12 year old. Istanbul - Again we ventured off on our own after doing a lot of research on the internet before our vacation. We felt the tour was too expensive and thought we could manage well on our own. We took a taxi to the Hagia Sophia (10 Euro) and walked to the other sites from there. Hagia was amazing as was the Blue Mosque. Sea day - fine but we are not big on sea-days. The decks on the ship were quite crowded but it was nice to relax for a few hours. Dubrovnik - WOW, what a place. The ship offered a shuttle (8 Euro) to the main part of town where we walked the ancient wall). Fantastic views and very interesting. If you do your research ahead of time and know what to look for; a tour here isn't really required. Be sure to take comfortable shoes as there are a lot of stairs to climb but a must-see town. Venice - we booked an additional night in Venice and stayed at the Hotel Gabrielle Sandwirth right on the canal. This worked out very well as we had a chance to really explore Venice and, other than the hotel charge, didn't cost extra. As I sit here preparing this review, I feel readers will be looking for negative aspects as all of the above are positives. This is extremely hard to do as we were very happy with the Orchestra. The only thing I can come up with is a warning about the other passengers on-board. On our trip there were only 300 English speaking guests. Most of the others were Italian with a few French and German speaking passengers. We learned last year that the Italians have a much different perspective on personal space and line-ups than we do in North America. So, be prepared for butting in line and pushing; it isn't meant in an offensive way at all. This is just how the culture (seems) to work. You will likely not hear an "excuse me" or a "thank you" but will learn quickly that you just have to lightly push back or hold your place in line. We saw the same thing last year on our Costa cruise and just accepted that this is how things are and as the saying goes, "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" I hope this provides a general overview of our trip and experience with MSC. We could not have been happier with our cruise and would recommend the Orchestra to friends and family. We would not hesitate to take another MSC cruise in the future. We heard other passengers complain because they "didn't get a chocolate on their pillow each night which they got on their last RC cruise" and that "you don't have to book a dinner time on the Norwegian ships and can eat at any restaurant free". Remember, you likely saved thousands of dollars so take your own chocolates for your pillow and enjoy a great meal where you get to know your waiter and see him for dinner each night. Bon voyage!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2006
MSC Cruise from Hell 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 ... Read More
MSC Cruise from Hell 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
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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