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75 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for its Baltic itinerary and decided to indulge in the Aurea experience. MSC ships (as seen on AWE Dream Cruises) are beautifully decorated and quite well maintained. Cabins were clean and well attended to. Most of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its Baltic itinerary and decided to indulge in the Aurea experience. MSC ships (as seen on AWE Dream Cruises) are beautifully decorated and quite well maintained. Cabins were clean and well attended to. Most of the nightly shows were entertaining but there are few other interesting activities offered and the handful of movies available in your cabin cost 7e each. If you don't buy a drinking package, your only option is tap water after breakfast. We have been on MANY cruises with Holland America, Princess and NCL and we enjoyed the food offered at the buffets or restaurants until this MSC cruise. The chef should be shot or, better yet, forced to eat the low quality concoctions he prepared 3 meals a day for 11 days. How many folks eat pork necks, ox tails or venison stew? Pasta and pizza on this Italian line were disgraceful. Also, the ship had a very annoying mechanical vibration that traveled all the up to our cabin on deck 15 that we've never before experienced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise based strictly on itinerary and price. It was our first (and last) cruise with MSC. With many cruises under our belts, this was one of the worst, ranking it slightly below NCL. A few positives: This is a very port ... Read More
We chose this cruise based strictly on itinerary and price. It was our first (and last) cruise with MSC. With many cruises under our belts, this was one of the worst, ranking it slightly below NCL. A few positives: This is a very port intensive cruise, with only 1 sea day and 8 ports (2 days in St. Petersburg) on an 11 day itinerary. Best ports were St. Petersburg, Tallin, and Stockholm, in our opinion, so we were not disappointed with the itinerary. The other thing you could view as positive is that there was horrible noise in the walls from the a/c system that occurred every 60-90 seconds that made it difficult to sleep in the inside cabin we booked (#9088) and when we brought it to the attention of reception, they did relocate us to a balcony cabin. Passengers from North America accustomed to U.S. cruise lines may find the overall experience is much different on MSC, as most of the passengers are European (70% on our cruise were German) so don't expect announcements or lectures in English. Lots of smokers on board, one side of pool deck dedicated to smoking area. People were smoking in their cabins, although this is forbidden. It may have been worth it to them to pay the 70 euro cleaning fee. Most passengers were retirees, typical of European cruises. The negatives: Food: Buffet food - same breakfast every day, very limited desserts offered at lunch and dinner, poor quality meat (stews had meat with bones). The layout of the buffet is inefficient, with narrow spaces and large, useless columns to navigate around. Extra charge for fresh orange juice. Only drinks offered free were water, coffee and tea. At Breakfast, there was juice from the drink machine. The buffet area seemed to be kept pretty clean. Dining Room: Service extremely slow, food mediocre, noisiest dining room on a ship we ever experienced, so much so that it was difficult to carry on a conversation with your table mates. Servers were constantly dropping silverware, and sometimes plates. We went to the dining room once for breakfast, and sat there 10 minutes before we had to go find a waiter to take our order. Port docking: though we have seen it occasionally before, at EVER PORT we went to, you had to pay MSC for a shuttle bus into town at a cost of 9-15 euros pp. We saw other ships in port that had much better docking locations, so perhaps MSC doesn't want to pay for a closer dock and make money on shuttles. The buses provided had no a/c (it was unseasonably warm the entire trip) with temps inside reaching 90 degrees. Guess MSC didn't want to pay for a nicer bus with a/c. Entertainment: Typical production shows at night. Nothing to do during the day onboard except dance lessons. With only 1 sea day, this wasn't much of an issue. Tiny TV's in cabins with no in room movies, which most US cruise lines offer. Embarkation: We got on and off in Warnemunde, pretty painless procedure, however there were long lines getting back on the ship at each port, many times they only had 1 gangway. When we first embarked the ship, our cabin steward was nowhere to be found (usually they are around to great you when you get on) and didn't show up until around 8pm. Reception desk did not answer the phone for the most part. Excursions: we did not book any excursions through MSC, people we spoke to that did had mixed reviews. The glass around the pool deck was FILTHY and not cleaned the entire time. Tiny elevators compared to other ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date April 2018
this was our first cruise.My wife's ambition to cruise the Med. Visions of good food, good service and interesting places to visit, the main reason for chosen this particular cruise was its ports of call. Unfortunately it wasn't ... Read More
this was our first cruise.My wife's ambition to cruise the Med. Visions of good food, good service and interesting places to visit, the main reason for chosen this particular cruise was its ports of call. Unfortunately it wasn't as we had hoped. Dumped at the harbour side with our luggage, ignored by some attendants wearing high vis jackets and expected to fathom out the boarding procedures. when we were acknowledged it was a curt' go over there. ' .having left home at 2.30 am arriving at Barcelona port at 10 and not expected to board ship until 3 it was not a god first impression. Obtaining the cabin key was another farce. it would have made more sense to have explained that the key, along with the luggage would be in the allocated cabin which would be unlocked.The cabin was clean and adequate but the wind noise when at sea and the drone of the engines was nearly un-acceptable. the ship was clean and tidy, well furnished if perhaps a little dated. The staff were friendly and some very helpful. The items to purchase on board, drinks,water and excursions ( if you hadn't purchased in advance) were very expensive. The self service cafeteria was like feeding time on the farm with everyone pushing and shoving and devouring as much as they could get there hands on. not like the vision of civilised dining we had anticipated. the food was bland and tasteless and a bit monotonousness. the allocated evening restaurant served minute portions of similar quality. Not to be recommended is the Chinese, Japanese restaurant that was available for an extra charge, i can say it must rate as one of the worst i have ever eaten in and is an embarrassment to the nations it is meant to represent. avoid at all costs. now the good points. The salad bar and fruit bar were both excellent. the evening entertainment was superb, a pleasure to watch and the fact we had pre-purchased a drinks package allowed us to sample different cocktails.. sorry but that's it . The daily itinerary, along with suggested evening dress code was a good idea, telling us times of various activities and also which musician was in which bar. its a pity that most people chose to ignore it, unless jeans, trainers and open neck shirts are classified as evening dress for men . ! ! ! we were charged a charitable donation to our on-board account, another payment they think there gusts should make . this seems to be an automatic, not notified charge that the inexperienced guest need to be aware of. our overall opinion of this cruise line is, that it wants to extract as much money as possible from its guests and give as little in return as possible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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
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
Sail Date December 2017
Both my sister and I have mobility issues - walking frame and crutches. Port assistance had been requested, none forth-coming, struggled through a flooded approach to embark, still no assistance. Transfer to cabin without any issues. ... Read More
Both my sister and I have mobility issues - walking frame and crutches. Port assistance had been requested, none forth-coming, struggled through a flooded approach to embark, still no assistance. Transfer to cabin without any issues. First night dined in buffet, it was like a free for all cattle market, found food exceptable, but below expectation, always cold. All looked very pretty, Took us a week to find real meat, Carvery well tucked away. It appeared that the staff were uncomfortable at offering assistance out-side their designated duties. Good thing about the dining-room was the people we met. Food again well presented but cold. Guests were ordering extra courses as the 'fine dining was Find Dining' Waiter very pleasant. We are not fussy eaters but had risotto 3 nights followed by ice-cream from the children menu. Late night snacks was filled bread rolls or cold pizza. We spent 3 days eating a niceselection of breads and processed cheese. I need to stop here as I sound like a miserable moaner. We did enjoy the folks we met may of them of the same opinion. I CANCELLED THE GRATUITIES. First time in my life Entertainment was quite good staff worked hard. Stefany from the casino was the only person to give help he would not leave us after the drill until he got someone to assist us back to cabin as we were both in need of physical support by then. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our cruise was a 12 night round trip from Barcelona. Stops were Funchal, Malaga, Tenerife, Casablanca, Rome, Genoa, Marsielle. We travelled from November 27th - December 9th. As an avid cruiser I have been on many lines including ... Read More
Our cruise was a 12 night round trip from Barcelona. Stops were Funchal, Malaga, Tenerife, Casablanca, Rome, Genoa, Marsielle. We travelled from November 27th - December 9th. As an avid cruiser I have been on many lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America etc. I was very much looking forward to our MSC Orchestra cruise as the itinerary was very good and much better than other lines. Unfortunately, MSC did not live up to our expectations at all. Below are a few reasons why I would not recommend cruising with MSC, especially if you have experience cruising with other lines. Please note that I am an American cruiser and thus have certain expectations with regard to customer service and overall professionalism of staff. Below may not be important for other travelers (many of our European counterparts did not seem to be frustrated by this cruise experience), but for myself and many American and Canadian passengers I met on board my cruise these were problematic areas. So important to note that there may be some cultural differences and expectations that are important to consider. Embarkation in Barcelona: We were told that we would boarding the ship at 3:00. The ship was late to port and we did not board until around 4:30/5:00. The staff were very disorganized at check in. Most other cruises that I have been on check in provides you with your cabin keys and provides you with an overview of what to expect when checking in, not MSC. We "checked in" with the front desk people at the port and then walked to the ship. Upon entering the ship from the gangway our pictures were taken (which is standard) for disembarkation and embarkation at ports. We then walked through designated areas in the ship and were bombarded by staff trying to sell us alcohol packages, drink packages, shore excursions. Please keep in mind that we have not even seen our room yet or even had a chance to wine down. Really unprofessional and tacky to put guests through this within the first 2 minutes of coming on board. We then finally were out of that zoo and realized we did not have our room keys. We were not told at check in where to get the room keys so we assumed the keys would be at the concierge on floor 5. We go to floor 5 and wait in line just to be told that the keys are in the rooms and the rooms are unlocked. A bit ridiculous to not tell guests at check in before entering the ship that the keys are located in the rooms. We finally get to our rooms and were happy with our cabins. We were located on the 12th floor with balcony rooms. The rooms were well appointed and clean and were as spacious as a cruise ship room could be. Cabin Overview: As mentioned above, the cabins we had were good and we were happy with them. I think MSC did a good job with the layout given that the rooms are only about 180 square feet. The mirrors in front of the bed really help to make the room feel more spacious. Basic amenities, nothing to write home about, but were fine. Good hair dryer, much better than Norwegians. Formal Dining: Perhaps the most disappointing part of the cruise was the formal dining. The formal dining food was truly awful. We were assigned to L Hibiscus and I have no idea how the chef is still employed. Service was great and staff were attentive, but the quality of the food was very poor. Portions were incredibly small and should not be labelled as entrees and are appetizer sized. Please note that I am a petite 5'2 105 pound female and found that the portions were tiny. I also am in now way a monstrous eater. I felt that the portions were too small for an average person. The food was also just bland and had no creativity. I have cruised with Norwegian Spirit and their food was absolutely incredible. I still think about a rack of lamb that I had in that cruise and how wonderful it was. I also generally prefer to do sit down dining in cruises. On MSC Orchestra I did not look forward to the formal dining at all and at times opted for the buffet instead (will speak about buffet in moment). Perhaps the only exception were the desserts. I enjoyed 90% of the desserts that I tried in the formal dining restaurant. Again nothing special, but perhaps because the food was so bad it made the desserts seem great...who knows. Another thing that was incredibly tacky and again perhaps this is cultural was that we had to PAY for our bottled water at the formal dining table. Absolutely ridiculous by American standards, especially since tap water was free in the buffet. I did not understand why they could not just serve tap water in a pitcher in the formal dining (this is what Norwegian does). Finally, another disappointing thing was that in the formal dining, tea and coffee were not served with dessert. This is usually standard on any cruise I have been on. Again you have to PAY for coffee and tea at the formal dining even though it is free in the buffet....again its just an inconsistency that speaks volumes about their priorities and management. I usually take pictures of all of my formal dining meals on cruises. Was so unimpressed that I didn't even bother taking one. Buffet Dining: Saving grace for the dining was the buffet. I was surprised that their lunch buffet was actually quite good, much better than their dinner buffet. Their salad bar was excellent. There were many kinds of lettuce to choose from and toppings. Please note that if you do not eat pork there are not non-pork meat options as salad toppings. Since MSC is Italian owned this is not at all surprising, but that I would include in this review in case some are wondering. Generally, if you are a vegetarian or a vegan it would be difficult to find good items to eat on this ship. They also had a decent fruit station, not much variety usually cantelope, apples, and grapes. Sometimes they had kiwis and other tropical fruit. They also always had whole fruit like apples, kiwis, tangerines (sometimes) which was nice if you wanted to take ashore as a snack. Would have been nice if they had some bananas or berries, but seeing that we were there in the winter these may have been out of season in Europe. Overall, the buffet had a pretty good range of food. Lots of hot dishes (fish, meatballs, chicken, etc). They always usually had burgers, hot dogs, and french fries for the unadventurous types. What was also pretty awesome is they also always had a cheese and cured meat station so you could make your own charcuterie board if you wanted to. The desserts were also generally pretty good, they were my favorite part of the dining experience in general. They are a bit redundant in that they basically do the same kind of dessert over and over again (usually a sponge cake with some kind of filling) but still good. They did have great panna cotta and also had a wonderful coconut dessert when I was on board. Entertainment and Activities: To be honest I usually do not partake on cruise ship activities so I cannot speak to the quality of those or the shows. My mother, however, did attend most of the shows and she said most were excellent. I spent most of my time in the gym and the spa. Gym: Very very small for a ship this size with close to 3,000 passengers. Our cruise was not even at capacity and for those wanting to use machines it was pretty difficult to snag a spot. Not a problem for me as I generally use the aerobics floor and do not utilize machines but if you are hoping to work out everyday at 4:00 be warned that you will need to wait some time for a treadmill. If i recall there were maybe 8 treadmills, 3 elliptical machines, and 2 stationary bikes. They also had some weight machines and free weights (for american travelers please remember they are in Kilos!). The staff the the gym were friendly and I enjoyed seeing them everyday. Best times to work out will either be very early morning or later at night (when dinner and shows are going on). On Orchestra the gym was open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Also no water cooler in gym....kind of ridiculous. You needed to go to the buffet up one floor and across the ship...not customer friendly (and frankly a bit unsafe). Spa: Please note that in order to utilize the sauna and steam room on this ship you must have purchased the Aurea Spa Pass. it is about $70 for a two week cruise. The spa was OK, again amenities were nothing to rave about, but if you were to come at off times (which I usually did) you could basically have the place to yourself. There are three whirlpools, 2 saunas, and 2 steam rooms. One of the steam rooms was bigger than the other. The saunas were the same, only difference was one was usually much warmer than the other. Please note that it is all Coed. We were told that it was separated by gender, but the travel agent was incorrect about this. Not a very big deal to me, but may be important for others. In the area where the whirlpools are there was a very small sitting area with maybe 4 or 5 chairs where you could lie down and see the ocean. Not very pleasant when it is busy as it was very loud and not relaxing. However, again if you were to come at an off time you could basically have it to yourself. The spa is technically open from 9:00 - 9:00 PM, however, you could come in between 7:00 - 9:00 and use the sauna and steam room so long as you were not wearing a bathing suite (towels only or as they put it highly recommended). Basically you could not utilize the 3 whirlpools from 7:00 - 9:00. Overall the spa was also very very small for the volume of passengers. The women's "locker room" had only one bathroom and two sinks. As a comparison when I cruised with Norwegian they had an entire area dedicated to showers and hairdryers etc. No hairdryers etc. on this MSC ship in the spa. Spas are generally my favorite part of a vacation so I was a bit disappointed that the spa was not a bit more robust, but I did the best with what I could and chose hours where it was not packed. Service: Truly was a mixed bag. There were some staff who were very attentive and very customer service oriented and others who were not. A note to fellow American passengers customer service will not be on par with what you expect and experience in the states or on american operated cruise lines. I am very well traveled and Europe in general is not known for its excellence customer service. For example, my brother had gone to the bar to ask for some water and ice (pretty standard in american bars and actually I think required by law that they serve you water if you ask - I actually thought this was standard in other places too). The bartender put ice and water in the glass and then said to him "oh actually you need to go and get water from the buffet" she then proceed to dump out the ice and water that was already in the glass....she had already done 99% of the work, all that was left was to hand my brother the glass. Things like this would happen often. It is just not something that we are accustomed to. The staff generally don't really go above and beyond (unlike Norwegian) and they basically just do what they need to do. Also the levels of professionalism really varied among the staff, something that I did not experience at all on Norwegian. The staff were also disorganized. For example Day 1 dinner we asked three people what time our second seating for dinner was and we got three different answers....this should not be happening. It became clear that they do not spend a good amount of time on training their staff. Also generally, on Norwegian most of the staff seemed very happy while on MSC the staff were not very engaged. I am not sure if perhaps the pay and benefits are better on Norwegian, but it was a noticeable difference. Some of this may also be due to language barriers. There are many languages spoken on the ship so understandably it may be hard for staff to keep up with all the languages. The primary languages spoken are Italian and Spanish - as an fyi. Very few English speakers on board. If you are looking to travel with fellow English speaking travelers do not cruise with MSC as you will be disappointed. This was not an issue for me, but may be an issue for others. An additional side note - for those with nut allergies/special needs when it comes to food. When I cruised with Norwegian I was incredibly impressed by their dining team. Every night before dinner, my waiter would come to my table and would walk through each menu item with me to ensure that I was not allergic to any items. On MSC, the level of service is absolutely not the same. I was never confident in their ability to keep me from having an allergic reaction. There were 2 or 3 times that I had to send food back because there were nuts in it even through the waiter/ maître d specifically told me that there were not nuts on the menu that day. Again, I do not necessarily think this is the fault of the staff, but rather poor training on the part of upper management. Ports of Call and Excursions: We picked this cruise because of the ports of call and thought that MSC had the best variety as compared to other lines. Malaga was beautiful as was Funchal. We did one shore excursion through MSC in Morocco and were very happy with it. We thought that overall they did a good job of showing us the sights in the limited time that we had. We also had a wonderful lunch at Hotel Farah in Casablanca that was included in the excursion cost. In all honesty, the food we had at Hotel Farah was better than any food that was served on the ship. The guide was very friendly and made us feel welcomed. One major problem however was that again MSC was not good at being organized for disembarkation. Specifically at Malaga they were already late by 1 hour getting to the port and we only had a 6 hour stop. So now it was cut down to 5 hours. On top of that it took them over an hour to disembark us...so now we only had 4 hours. Malaga was very rushed and this made the experience unfortunate. Overall: Overall my biggest issue with MSC was that they are not customer oriented. It is obvious that they are just in it to make money from passengers. This was evident in embarkation where we were being sold packages and even at formal breakfast and dinners the staff would walk around trying to sell you hand squeezed orange juice or shots. just really tacky and unprofessional. These types of behaviors cheapen the experience for passengers and MSC should really discontinue this practice. They are also very disorganized. One prominent example of this was disembarkation and embarkation. which I discussed in detail above. Another example was trying to get coffee or tea in the buffet. It was absolutely ridiculous. The hot water would always be empty, there were never enough mugs, sometimes there was no milk. In short, it was always a crapshoot. As my brother comically put it, everything with MSC is like a scavenger hunt. I once spent 25 minutes just trying to find the hot water, tea, and milk for a glass of tea. These are obvious upper management problems that need to be addressed and they effect the overall operation of the ship. Again, the customer service was mixed, however, one thing that I am glad they did not mess up was that I ordered a cake for my mother's birthday for our last dinner. They did deliver that as promised and it made the trip extra special for her which was nice. While I really wanted to love my experience with MSC, because they do have a wide range of itineraries, unfortunately the general consensus of our 6 person family was that we would not cruise with MSC again. We would opt to cruise again with Norwegian (and wish we did this time) or with a more expensive line (Celebrity, Holland America, Viking). Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I didn't choose this cruise line but decided to go along with a couple of girlfriends for the adventure. In general, room was very clean but extremely small, the staff were mostly friendly (sometimes out and out rude) but the English ... Read More
I didn't choose this cruise line but decided to go along with a couple of girlfriends for the adventure. In general, room was very clean but extremely small, the staff were mostly friendly (sometimes out and out rude) but the English was extremely tough to understand (I was not expecting this as I was told that every employee is required to speak English), and the food was edible, nothing to get too excited about. The dining staff was fantastic and tried their best to accommodate. I bought a coffee card knowing that the coffee served in buffet is always instant. The unfortunate part about this is I was literally in search of a cafe/bar that would serve me at 6 am. I was told they didn't open until at least 6:30 am and to try another bar, only to get the same response. Needless to say, I found this response and lack of service atrocious. The biggest complaint I had was about the 'wellness package' (WP). Knowing I was traveling with friends that were not interested in being active, working out or doing much in the way of walking around new cities, I opted for the wellness package. I was hoping to make friends, get involved in groups (brochure said there would be specific excursions set up just for the wellness package guests--not 1 excursion was planned) and take classes (1 free class a day, HA, great concept if they actually offered any!) I signed up but was told they only offer the class if they have at least 5 passengers sign up. The entire week, they didn't offer one class. With regard to my room, it was located one floor down from the fitness area, which was great. I was told that the entire block of rooms were reserved for WP but I had to complain to my cabin steward about my neighbors smoking on their deck several times. Completely unacceptable. So to summarize, no group excursions, no group classes, no personal training. Only benefit at all was not paying for water the entire cruise, which I added up and it would have cost me approx. $100 for the water. MSC needs to re-evaluate the WP and get it right because the concept is fantastic. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze so they did something right. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Embarking was not a big deal. And the crew (for the most part) are very nice. Notice I didn't say 'helpful'.... just nice. It IS like a ferry experience with so many people getting on and off the ship. Didn't really ... Read More
Embarking was not a big deal. And the crew (for the most part) are very nice. Notice I didn't say 'helpful'.... just nice. It IS like a ferry experience with so many people getting on and off the ship. Didn't really bother me - unless they were rude! Which so many of the people were. I think the fact that I am American, may have a little to do with how I viewed my cruise experience. I have never encountered so many rude, pushy and mannerless people in all my life! I know this is not the cruise lines fault. But it really did affect my voyage! The food in the buffet was so-so, very unorganized, crowded and often times the food trays to chose from were empty. The dining room was also so-so... not enough options for most people. I like most anything but my travelling companions had a difficult time with the menus. Our waiter was very gracious and quick. The head waiter, Valentien was excellent! Very professional and yet ready to help with whatever was needed. I believe he has moved on to greener pastures... good for him! The wine selection was sub par and expensive. I found a few bottles that didn't stink. But I would never drink the wines that were offered in the dining room. Always bought from the list. Our cabin steward was pretty good. Came in a couple of times to find clever shapes done w/ our PJ's. I think that when you spend this type of money on your vacation - you should feel spoiled. I definitely did not. Fortunate to be able to take such a vacation, but not spoiled. MSC needs to bump up the game! There are many cruises to chose from and they need to step it up so that people want to chose theirs. Their people work SO hard!! 11+ hours a day, 7 days a week! that is so unfair. I saw the same wait staff at all 3 meals sometimes. As well as in the clubs later on! Good bye MSC... I'll stick to Princess where that is exactly what they treat you like- ROYALTY! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose this cruse, because want to try different line. Had an experience with Royal and NCL. Pros: Cabin-very spacious , always clean, enough space for storage. Entertainment- very good singers and dancers. Really enjoyed it. ... Read More
Chose this cruse, because want to try different line. Had an experience with Royal and NCL. Pros: Cabin-very spacious , always clean, enough space for storage. Entertainment- very good singers and dancers. Really enjoyed it. Food-delisious pastries spa- underestimated hidden little gem. Spa pass is $50. Obviously its not comparable to NCL, but its a good spot to hide from the croud and enjoy the jacuzzi and a steem room with unlimited access. cons: Food- the most horrible I ever tryed. Horrible taste with very little options. Sometimes not available at all. Why is that happened that people come from excursions at 5-6pm and there is nothing but disgusting pizza? Service in buffet area is so bad: when I asked for a napkins (isn't it supposed to be on the tables or at lest by the plates?) the waiter told me to go and ask people behind the counter. Not a one meal that we enjoyed on this cruise. Excursions was not bad, but our bus had people of 4 languages, and its so annoying to listen all translations all the time. We sign in online for a membership of MSC. Full ignoring. The last: all ads on the loudspeaker you could hear only in hallway. Nothing in the rooms. My advice to people who already booked it : just set up your mind that you are taking ferry from point A to point B. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It felt like a slave ship once I found out that the "service charge" of €10 per person per day that has been presented as "tips" for the cabin crew was actualy used for their salaries! Those "tips" never ... Read More
It felt like a slave ship once I found out that the "service charge" of €10 per person per day that has been presented as "tips" for the cabin crew was actualy used for their salaries! Those "tips" never meet the staff that costs the company exactly zero €!!! In spite of that and the fact that they had to work hard and long hours, they were very kind. The cabins are very clean. The restaurant and the buffet on the other hand, were chaotic: as for the restaurant, there was shortage of food, waiters, room - the waiting time was the only thing that you could count on. In the buffet, on the other hand, there was more food, that is if you could find a free (and clean) table. And mind you - all the dishes: plates, glasses - everything in the buffet was plastic. So much for the glamorous side of the cruise ship. Since all of the ports were both for embarkation/disembarkation, this cruise ship felt more like a ferry boat. And the stay in the ports , especially the interesting ones, such as Cannes was way too short, while in insignificant ones, such as La Spezia, the ship stayed all day long. Altogether, very disappointing experience. Much overrated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because the Meraviglia was full and we thought that MSC was a quality brand so, any vessel should be good enough. This was our first time and I have to confess that my expectations weren't cover. The cruise was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Meraviglia was full and we thought that MSC was a quality brand so, any vessel should be good enough. This was our first time and I have to confess that my expectations weren't cover. The cruise was absolutely crowed, it was so hard to find a free table for breakfast or for an early dinner, once we had to sit on the deck to give some food to our child. At dinner, a table for 6 people was occupied with 10 people. I am intolerant to some food and it was too difficult to find right dishes at breakfast or lunch for me(no information about ingredients). In addition, there were some crew members who had an intolerable behavior, waiters who didn't keep right manner when they speak with clients. In the other hand, I want to highlight the exceptional service given by the head waiter who attended us at dinner, Mr. DeLeón. Right now I don't think that I repeat a cruise holiday soon and I am absolutely sure that I will never take a cruise in summer. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Ship: This ship smells of smoke, is dated, with not much to do on board. Pool Area: Was surprised to see that there were only two pools for tons of people. Pools are packed with people- didn't bother to go in. Food: ... Read More
Ship: This ship smells of smoke, is dated, with not much to do on board. Pool Area: Was surprised to see that there were only two pools for tons of people. Pools are packed with people- didn't bother to go in. Food: Food is ok- you will not go hungry as there are lots of options. We had the drink package but was disappointed to see that many drinks were not included despite asking the MSC rep if all drinks on the menu would be included. Service: Service was ok- hit and miss. Sometimes great, other times had to wait a long time for a drink. Overall: This was our first cruise experience and because the itinerary for this ship saw us cruising only at night, we enjoyed waking up in a new port every morning with no days at sea. We would definitely cruise again but not with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date June 2017
Chose this cruise for the ports of call. Some areas of the overall cruise exceeded my expectations but there were a lot more negatives than positives Embarkation was a total nightmare, no organisation, people pushing in, long queues and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports of call. Some areas of the overall cruise exceeded my expectations but there were a lot more negatives than positives Embarkation was a total nightmare, no organisation, people pushing in, long queues and so may points where you had to show your details. This set alarm bells ringing for the rest of the cruise The room was a good size and clean, although the TV had only CNN for Brits. Our stateroom attendant never came and introduced himself and throughout the cruise and to this day we still don’t know who ours was The lunch was ok, nothing special, just ok and the same food came out every lunchtime, give or take a couple of items. The staff in most areas care about one thing, themselves, and they don’t really smile will cut you up without notice ( they do this when getting back on the ship too and wont queue) Dinner was ok but so slow, not getting our starters anything from 25-40 mins after we had sat down. Our waiter looked after 22 people and had no assistant to help him and also they don’t provide free water. Buffet overall was the worst I have experienced on any cruise company We did one excursion which really wasn’t worth the £62 we paid. MSC have little transfers to locations that they only seem to mention on the daily programme the night before the port, thereby meaning you can cancel an excursion. For example we paid £62 to go to Olympia with a guide, yet the night before we found there was a transfer to the site and back for around £18 There is not much going on in regards on entertainment in the day if you are on the ship unless you want to learn every dance under the sun. Some of the entertainment were so childish and boring. The whole entertainment team love themselves and most have no talent at all. If you go the theatre of an evening you will see them all sat on the stage doing the most ridiculous things. These clowns are led by Nicholas, who is one strange guy who really loves himself and is a bit creepy. If you get the chance have a close look at his shoes. The two pairs I saw him wearing were awful. One was so worn that he had gaffer tape around the heal area and another pair had no tread cracks everywhere. No excuse for still keeping these shoes. The shows had a theme each night with the same people (no guest acts). Basically these people did their same acts each night, just in different costumes. The themes to these shows were confusing and clueless The two main singers and the opera singer were very good but putting a mic on some of the cast and making out they were singing other songs. Conning the audience. Don’t put the mics on them if they aren’t really singing Disembarkation was confusing but a lot easier than getting on. Oh and 9 Euros a day each passenger for ''Service charges'' seemed very excessive, especially as we didn't have an assistant waiter and never saw any of the supervisors in the dining room We wont use MSC again Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Embarked from Venice and I would not recommend leaving from this city for a cruise. We stayed at a hotel some distance from the People Mover, but decided to walk. We hired a porter to take our luggage, and watched him struggle over a ... Read More
Embarked from Venice and I would not recommend leaving from this city for a cruise. We stayed at a hotel some distance from the People Mover, but decided to walk. We hired a porter to take our luggage, and watched him struggle over a bridge with steps. The streets were crowded which made it difficult to manoeuvre. The People Mover (train) is accessible and cheap, and takes you to a drop-off point next to the port. However, if your ship is berthed at a distant dock, then you can wait 45 minutes for a free shuttle bus, or you walk, which can be a kilometre. During embarkation procedures, your sea-card is not provided, nor are your credit card details recorded. The sea-card is put in your cabin later and you have to go to a machine on the ship to register your credit card. My balcony cabin was "basic" category so there were no body products, dressing gowns or slippers and I had to ask for face washers. I had asked for twin beds but arrived to find a double bed, and I had to wait until the evening for it to be changed. The TV had a scratch and other marks, one lamp was broken and the bathroom floor was not cleaned during the trip. There were no movie channels in English, nor any other entertainment programmes. On my second last day, I returned from port to find my balcony had been painted and I was not to use it. The handrail had also been removed. The explanation for this gross inconvenience was, "maintenance". Breakfast and lunch served in one of the main restaurants was a buffet and I was told where to sit. No consideration was made to seat me with other English speaking cruisers. On several occasions I had to waive to a waiter for attention for a coffee. The hours for breakfast changed daily for no apparent reason. Dinner had 2 sittings and we were told that 15 minutes after your allocated seating, the doors would be closed. The dining staff were excellent. Not so the food. The cafeteria and the restaurants only opened for dinner at 7pm. The cafeteria also closed during the day for 4 hours. At lunch in the cafeteria, I had to go to the bar to get a drink as there were so few waiters. Fruit juice at the beverage station was only available at breakfast and then closed off. When the tender boats were used, passengers had to go to a bar at an allocated time to receive their free ticket, but no-one asked me to produce it and I just walked on. During disembarkation at ports, there was often only one security person checking sea-cards, and at all times only one security x-ray machine. At disembarkation, MSC staff told me there was only exit for passengers so I missed my pick-up car. As an emergency, I had to purchase an MSC transportation ticket from the MSC ground staff who wrote me a receipt, but they had no change. Some of the ports were of little interest and could be excluded to provide more time at the more valuable ones. In Greece, we visited 2 ports in one day. A very disappointing cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Arrived on ship and room not ready had to wait. Cases did not arrive at our room till after 8pm No face clothes till we had been on board for 2 days No note paper just envelopes On first dining but the meal was almost thrown at ... Read More
Arrived on ship and room not ready had to wait. Cases did not arrive at our room till after 8pm No face clothes till we had been on board for 2 days No note paper just envelopes On first dining but the meal was almost thrown at us, plates removed from table as you pushed down the last mouthful so they could get ready for the 2nd sitting. None of the food was ever hot either in the dining room or the self service. Cold fried eggs are not good. Plenty of fruit and salad though Self service was always very busy, no seats or tables, walked miles for food in 2 parts of the "canteen" Never long enough on land as unless you wanted to wait for ages in a line to get back on the ship you gaot back early to miss the wait Had taxi booked for disembarkation at 9 am, colour coded labels came for turn at 10am. Went to reception to ask for a change but they said nothing could be done, went to the other half of the reception, explained our problem and he gave us new labels no problem bringing out time forward to 9am. In all not a good holiday and we have come home tired rather than refreashed. Will not go on MSC again Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Friend chose it as it was a cheap offer but I would never go on Orchestra again. On embarkation we had to wait for 2 1/2 hours to board ship. When we got on board our room hadn't been cleaned, that was our first complaint of many. ... Read More
Friend chose it as it was a cheap offer but I would never go on Orchestra again. On embarkation we had to wait for 2 1/2 hours to board ship. When we got on board our room hadn't been cleaned, that was our first complaint of many. The ship itself is nice and clean and beds comfy. The shower in room is very small. Our dining experience on our first day was awful. We had booked a first sitting in the restaurant but when we went to the restaurant we were told it was full and we could have the 9pm sitting or use the buffet restaurant, that was our second complaint. We went to the buffet restaurant as 9pm is to late for us to eat. What an experience the buffet was ! Children running around unsupervised while people had food on their plates, food was only lukewarm and not what I had expected on a cruise as had been told by friends that food on cruise ships is superb, this definitely wasn't in the buffet. The next night we made sure we were booked in on early sitting in the restaurant. The food in the restaurant was very good but no water on the table you had to pay for every drink and no coffee after meal, you had to go to a lounge and pay for your coffee. Entertainment had strobe lighting most nights.bad service in Casino bar. Our steward was excellent, twice our toilet wouldn't flush and he sorted it quickly. We couldn't visit Katakolon as there was a storm so had to stay in Bari overnight so missed seeing there. Internet on ship was useless even when we paid for premium. It was my first cruise so very disappointed but friends have told me not to be put off as other cruise lines are excellent but never got with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
There is a mixed message in the whole experience with MSC. This is also my personal opinion, and based on my expectations. The ship is really nice, and the decor contemporary, as well as the whole web checkin, pre-cruise emails, ... Read More
There is a mixed message in the whole experience with MSC. This is also my personal opinion, and based on my expectations. The ship is really nice, and the decor contemporary, as well as the whole web checkin, pre-cruise emails, notifications were very good. On that note, the drinks package bought earlier, I did not get much details, and was a bit sad to see onboard the same package would come with a complimentary glass, and for a similar (if not cheaper) pricing. Now, there are few constructive feedback to provide about the experience. The staff did not seem much motivated, and they were trying to hard sell drinks packages, upsell dinner, etc. A soft sell is expected, a hard sell (almost a hassle) is not. I saw the same comment by other customers on forums, but did not expect to be true. Unfortunately, it is. The room service and the maitre were very good, but the remaining staff were “ok”. So a bit of attention to the customer service excellence training could make some improvement. Additionally, I felt that the food quality was not the premium, many diverse sourced food, e.g. butter from Germany, margarine from the Nethelands (?).. I was hoping for more Italian produce. The buffet was spread and diverse (which is good), but also not too practical, as you had to walk around the whole buffet to get the whole picture.. For the dinner, the first main I got was the pork Milanese (breaded pork) with chips.. it did look a bit simple and the lack of presentation made the first dinner feel cheap. On the positive note, the bakery were excellent. Really nice and tasty breads, pastries and pizzas. The fresh fruit bar and the sugarfree desserts were a great touch! Overall, if you are not fussed about food, enjoy breads and ‘either buy all the packages possible upfront’ or ‘don’t mind people pushing services that you did not select originally’.. you may love it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We are regular cruisers and MCS Orchestra Caribbean cruise was not a good experience on so many levels. Hassle on embarkation to disembarkation. Lots of in your face high pressure selling from the moment we stepped on board to the end of ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and MCS Orchestra Caribbean cruise was not a good experience on so many levels. Hassle on embarkation to disembarkation. Lots of in your face high pressure selling from the moment we stepped on board to the end of the cruise. As bad as the high pressure that one gets in the street markets of the Dominican Republic. Those who have been there will understand what we mean. Internet so slow that it was very expensive and absolutely useless. Very expensive clock ticks away while you waste time trying to get your web pages with no success at the end. Rating one out of ten. Food was well below standard that we have had from other cruise companies. Rating four out of ten. Entertainment far to repetitive, e.g. For 15 days cruise, Three nights shows of Grease, two of Michael Jackson, etc. no Cabaret on far to many nights . The few shows that were not repeats that we did see were of an excellent standard but because they were far to short and repeated it was disappointing. Because of this we only give an overall rating of four out ten. Other choices of entertainment were also repetitive, boring and just average. As English travellers we were also overburden with large very noisy French. There was no sensitivity in seating couples on large tables with large groups of non-English speaking guests. It was the same for nearly every breakfast and lunch. For dinner, we as a sociable couple were placed alone on a table set for four every evening except one. Dining experience was a poor three out of ten. The cruise consisted of long stays at poor ports and very short repeated stays at the best resorts. We only went on a few excursions because the they were excessively expensive. About twice the amount that we had paid on other cruises. The ones we did take were poor and we found we could do far better making our own way. The amount disembarkation and embarkation of passengers at nearly every port was unbelievable and there whole cruise made it seem like we were on a Caribbean Ferry rather than an enjoyable cruise, especially the last three days of the cruise. Rating for journey and places visited, four out ten. To be quite honest, extraordinary rare we were pleased to be going home and because of our experience on this trip we certainly will not be booking again with MSC. Our overall rating grudgingly is a four out of ten. When we embarked we had to carry our own baggage to our room because we were simply abandoned by a member of staff. It's a shame we feel this way because the ship was very grand, the waiters were very attentive and the cabin was what we expected. Management need to seriously look at why so many people we spoke to on this holiday felt the same level of dissatisfaction. Plenty of negative reviews are posted which shows the poor standards. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
we went on this cruise thinking it was wheelchair friendly the staff were very rude the only person that helped us was the cleaner I had to get my partner off the ship by myself twice as there was no one to help nearly lost him ... Read More
we went on this cruise thinking it was wheelchair friendly the staff were very rude the only person that helped us was the cleaner I had to get my partner off the ship by myself twice as there was no one to help nearly lost him overboard.the lifejacket drill was a joke,when you hear a certain noise you must go to your cabin an retrieve your life jacket do not use the lift then she spotted my partner an said I surpose you will have to .we couldn't get in the pools as they are 5 foot7 one end and 6 foot the following end an the steps are in the deep end.the disabled cabin was worse the only way you could tell it was disabled there was a seat in the shower it wasn't a none slip floor had we of known this we would of got a balcony cabin.we only paid to go on one excursion due to the fact when we went on the trip we had to get off at deck 4 others got off at deck 5 by time we got off the ship our group had disappeared I had to find someone who then accused us of being late which we wasn't we a just slower cause of the wheelchair no one waited they are more friendly off the ship than on it .if your a wheelchair user I wouldn't recommend this cruise it was an experience like no other.the dinning started off bad as soon as staff noticed the wheelchair they were mortified and our starter was missed the only good thing about the holiday was the places we went to an some of the other English on board . Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship itself was gorgeous & kept beautifully. However the variations in levels of service we experienced were just too great for the money paid. We were unfortunate that on our cruise was a group of almost 1000 French accordion ... Read More
The ship itself was gorgeous & kept beautifully. However the variations in levels of service we experienced were just too great for the money paid. We were unfortunate that on our cruise was a group of almost 1000 French accordion aficionados. We were actually told at lunch one day by a waiter that because we were not French our service would not be as good! We were more than a little upset by this so went to the English speaking "point of contact". She took lots of notes & we never heard another thing. We had a tour cancelled which we had previously booked. The reason given was not enough English speakers to warrant the trip. We were led to believe that the ship catered to all languages but alas if you speak English you will not enjoy your cruise! The only great thing about the whole trip was the food. We never had a bad meal. Everything was perfect with the food itself. Again however the service levels were budget to say the least. A quick list of what we experienced: 1. A waiter sneezed into his hand and continued to serve people as he thought no one had seen. 2. Basics of serving, placement etc just not there. Most waiters needed a lot of training. 3. Staff not aware of what order to serve meals in. More than once we received mains before entrée. 4. No idea on basic tea & coffee prep. The saving grace for us were the bars wait staff. All encountered were amazing, knowledgable and very helpful. One even showing a barman how to make a certain cocktail. Again training! The shore excursions were very overpriced and poorly run except for Morocco where it is run by a private company. We were told in one port of a cab strike so we must pay to use specially arranged buses. The line of cabs on arrival was staggering! Organise your own tours or simply jump in a cab. Will work out cheaper in the end! Overall a very disappointing cruise and we will never again sail with or recommend MSC. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My wife and I were among the many who paid 5 star fare for a 2 star trip. I will not rehash what has been said by many others although I feel Porky 55 was a bit unkind to "Frankie Forever". Last Thursday I had a hip replacement ... Read More
My wife and I were among the many who paid 5 star fare for a 2 star trip. I will not rehash what has been said by many others although I feel Porky 55 was a bit unkind to "Frankie Forever". Last Thursday I had a hip replacement and left hospital yesterday. I must say 35 days on Orchestra was a worse experience. Any thought MSC had of getting into the Australian market were certainly dashed by their sub standard 2 cruises from Dubai to Fremantle and Fremantle to Rome. I must say I also witnessed the handling of food by children and this alone could have contributed to the illness on the ship although I do know the coughing was there from the previous cruise. A reputable company would have made arrangements to cleanse the ship prior to our embarkation.(Speaking from experience Celebrity did it and also confined the ill passengers to their cabins). Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Most of the staff were fantastic. Food was below average. Buffet was disgusting. Nearly all passengers got the flu/virus and were very ill. Doctor was poor. No medication. Service was slow. Internet was so expensive and disgusting. Could ... Read More
Most of the staff were fantastic. Food was below average. Buffet was disgusting. Nearly all passengers got the flu/virus and were very ill. Doctor was poor. No medication. Service was slow. Internet was so expensive and disgusting. Could hardly get internet most of the time. Staff at reception were not nice most of the time. Entertainment could have been better. Got repetitive and boring over the 35 days. Casino was very poor. For the amount of Australian passengers there was not enough entertainment. Ran out of lot of alcohol. The gym staff were fantastic. Everything was expensive. Spa was expensive Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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