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  5. MSC Fantasia Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: July 2014
As we embarked from Piraeus and we were only about 50 persons, the embarkation procedures were straight forward and quick. Our cabin was on the 11th level with a good sized balcony. Its size was ok and we unpacked all our clothes and ... Read More
As we embarked from Piraeus and we were only about 50 persons, the embarkation procedures were straight forward and quick. Our cabin was on the 11th level with a good sized balcony. Its size was ok and we unpacked all our clothes and stored the suitcases in the corner, leaving enough room to move around. The room deco was, I would say, cozy and pleasant. The TV could have been larger. The bathroom was reasonable but the shower curtain made it look cheap. The could easily have accommodated a class door instead. The bed was comfortable but the pillows were small, lumpy and terrible. The rooms were done up two - three times a day with clean, absorbing towels every time, but the bed sheets were not changed every day. However, we did not manage to meet the so called "personal butler". The food: There was plentiful quantity and wide variety of food with fair quality in the self service restaurant on the 14th floor. I believe that if somebody wants to see everything would have to walk at least half a kilometer. The restaurant, one of two, was spacious and beautifully decorated. The lunch and dinner menus were acceptable both quality and quantity wise. The service leaves a lot to be desired: Slow, unorganized and difficult to communicate - Asian and Latin waiters only - . Entertainment: As a whole it was very good to excellent. Many bars with live music and comfortable seating, a huge theatre with excellent shows every night and quiet sitting areas and decks to enjoy your drinks. The casino space was generous and beautifully arranged. The swimming pool and surrounding area, I found it inadequate. Only quiet time very early in the morning. Afterwards, it was always crowded with lots of children running around. The organized excursions and un-organized visits were always badly handled. As an example it was the fiasco to disembark in Santorine. We had to wait for 40-45 minutes to get tickets which nobody bothered to check - they are still in my pocket. In our group of 5 we had minor problems with the bills - one overcharge and one 'unable to trace payment!" Final disembarkation was fine. Overall it is a good cruise ship with lots of things to do, but be patient and be prepared for overcrowding. I would not recommend it to those wishing relax or have a quiet time. If you have children go for it! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
Wasn't sure what to expect but turning up at the port with one suitcase lost in transit wasnt the best way to start...... The queue to just get upstairs to booking in were very long and it was very hot but once upstairs they seamed ... Read More
Wasn't sure what to expect but turning up at the port with one suitcase lost in transit wasnt the best way to start...... The queue to just get upstairs to booking in were very long and it was very hot but once upstairs they seamed to move things along and then we were onboard. The ship was amazing and we were upgraded to a balcony cabin which pleased us both very much. Everything was very clean and tidy and all the staff were very hard working and nothing was too much trouble for them. Having to go for towels each day with your card was a bit of a pain and the rule that you cant reserve sunbeds or staff will remove just DID NOT HAPPEN... Lots of kids on board which is ok but then late at night when you go into the disco's or to karaoke you don't want the kids there so we didn't bother. We were on second sitting for dinner which at 9pm was too late as we weren't finishing till 11.30pm. The buffet on deck 14 was a bit like a bun fight at all times and to see so much wasted food by people pileing their plates high then leaving it was not good to see. The most annoying thing were the excursions but i will write about those later but dont use the shuttle buses especially in dubrovnik and corfu. Dubrovnik share a cab 10 euro into town and walk back where they charge 8 Euro each return. and Corfu walk to dock entrance and catch local bus 1.50 each instead of 8 euro return Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2014
We had only cruised once before and it was awful it put us off doing another one. We saw this all inclusive cruise with a balcony at a good price and to destinations that we had not been to and we are so glad we went, it was fab. ... Read More
We had only cruised once before and it was awful it put us off doing another one. We saw this all inclusive cruise with a balcony at a good price and to destinations that we had not been to and we are so glad we went, it was fab. The ship is huge but we never felt that there were 3500 + people on the ship there was always places that were not crowded. It's really a beautiful ship with fantastic décor. The food was excellent always plenty of it at any time of the day and in very nice restaurants. Top deck for adults only, was worth paying for, very peaceful with a nice jacquzi and plenty of free sunbeds. Sailing from and back to Venice with a birds eye view is a wonderful experience. We cruised to Bari, Katacolon, Santorini, Pireaus for Athens, Corfu town and Dubrovnik. All fabulous places with plenty to see and do. We loved our cruise and would be happy to do another one. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
As a couple living in America, I am married to a German. We decided on a family vacation to cruise the Greek Islands with my husbands family (all German). MSC surpassed our expectations. We have cruised several times before (Alaska, ... Read More
As a couple living in America, I am married to a German. We decided on a family vacation to cruise the Greek Islands with my husbands family (all German). MSC surpassed our expectations. We have cruised several times before (Alaska, Hawaii, Bahamas, and sailing cruises) MSC was the largest ship and the fastest disembarkation of all the cruises! The staff for the most was friendly and accommodating, a few not so friendly staff but they didn't deter from our experience. State room attendant was fantastic and remembered our preferences. Positives: fast disembarkation, land excursion offerings, wardrobe flexibility for dinner (either dress according to theme or not), dinning room waiter spoke little English and no German, we had no issues with our meals or special requests during our meal time. Our waiter was gracious and we found an easy way to communicate. Food at dinner was delicious. Note to Americans they are smaller portions however, you have options for soup, salad, main entree, second entree, and dessert plus bread. If this is not enough for you simply tell your waiter and you can have another main entree. Several times I was torn between two appetizers and he brought me both. You will not go hungry. Easy to side step & avoid all the photography opportunities. Nightly entertainment in the theater: we saw 2 shows. Michael Jackson tribute was fair to good. You know the songs and will sing along. Variety of on-shore tours provided in various languages, even one that was offered in both English & German which meant neither my husband nor I had to be a translator. AWESOME! Tour desk staff very knowledgable of tours and if not taking tours advice on getting around town on your own or little known beaches. Breakfast buffet (can be crowded) just keep moving there is more than one egg and sausage station than the first one. We found it best to go all the way to the back where there were less people. Cons: no adult only time at the pools. I knew that families would be on the cruise and I would encounter children at all venues, except if you pay for the adult only pool (yacht club) which is a daily fee. It would have been nice if one pool for a few hours each day was adult only. Not every parent monitors their children for splashing, if you want to relax in the water either pay for the yacht club or do it during a land excursion. Also, the room service while timely I had breakfast delivered (as I have done on previous cruises. I work out in the morning in the gym, shower and then come back to my cabin. I find it easier to eat in the room and then disembark) however the I checked off yogurt, and toast. And that is all I got: yogurt and toast. No jam or butter. Breakfast buffet is good, I mistakenly thought I would get some accouterments along side the yogurt and toast. Photographers everywhere, a few were strong attempting to get us to take family photographs, we knew we wouldn't purchase so we only did once. But they were at some point aggressive to take your picture. Slippery walkways (to be fair the staff was constantly wiping up around the pools but it was a never ending loop, just be careful, we saw several people slip). Elevators near reentry doors would have lines, after time spent in port of call, if you simply walk to next set no waiting. Other passengers are loud when traversing the hallways at all hours, as a guest think of it like a home when walking past cabin doors the people attempting to sleep inside will hear if you speak in above average voice. (Our bad for putting birthday signs on our cabin doors as everyone made a comment, especially the kids in loud voices at all hours). The gym: some of the equipment was out of order (several treadmills) plus the air conditioner didn't work as efficiently making the workouts more challenging. People did go over the posted time limits, but they do that at every gym I have ever been to, a gentle reminder or 'are you almost finished I am waiting thank you' worked great. Breakfast buffet is crowded, but there is plenty of food and they refill constantly. Only issue if you do not drink coffee (as I don't, I am the only one in my family that doesn't) getting a soda in the morning was challenging to find a wait staff or wait in long lines (breakfast & lunch time) to get one. Last con limited movies / tv programs offered in English, nor could I find English subtitles. If you wake up in the middle of the night and want to watch a movie you'll find one you know just not in a language you know. Understand we are all adults over the age of 40 a few over 60 and perhaps some of my comments will make us sound older or that we are curmudgeons. However, I think all travelers just need to remember manners when while on vacation. And remember it is vacation, you are outside your culture and to see the situation from another point of view. It was not a problem to mingle with all the cultures and people on board. Most of our experiences were positive. Just because it is different doesn't mean it is wrong. My American sized appetite was surpassed and my husbands German appetite is even larger and he was satiated. A fun experience we were on board during World Cup when Germany played America, I was definitely outnumbered onboard by crew and passengers, We had a blast in our respective country colors. We mingled with many people poolside, during excursions, people at neighboring tables during meals; they were all pleasant. We all concur we would absolutely cruise again on MSC, we had a great time and even though there were some cons they didn't deter from our overall fun. The biggest challenge honestly was the adult only pool time which we found at 6 am. However we also wanted it after being in port during the day. That was my biggest criticism to MSC that one pool to have at the top of each hour 30 minutes for adults only would be great. There are plenty of pools on board that designating one for adults only is a feasible option. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I have wondered why there are such varying reviews for MSC and I think I have established largely why. More on that as a summary.I have 20 cruises under my belt and this was the worst ever. The only exception being the fantastic itinerary. ... Read More
I have wondered why there are such varying reviews for MSC and I think I have established largely why. More on that as a summary.I have 20 cruises under my belt and this was the worst ever. The only exception being the fantastic itinerary. Port of call every day and this was the reason I decided to try MSC. Embarkation at Venice was relatively smooth. It took about 70 minutes from arriving at the Venice cruise terminal to get on board. First impressions were that this was a very long ship. It is almost as long as the Queen Mary 2 Ports of call all went relatively smoothly with exception of a disaster in Dubrovnik. The ship was unable to dock and 4000 passengers had to be tendered in 4 boats. Over 2 hours late I missed my excursion. They put me on a German speaking bus as the English bus had left. On return it was another 1.5 hour wait to get back on the ship. This was a total disaster. In the very hot sun MSC couldn't even be bothered to offer their self loading cargo water. So what is wrong with MSC and Fantasia - *At 138,000 tonnes this ship carries more passengers than any other ship based on size. An officer told me that will all berths full she carries 4500 passengers and during European school vacation times up to 1500 children. *Totally inadequate elevators. Smaller Carnival ships for example have 18 elevators. Fantasia has 14. *Small cheap looking public areas with a couple of exceptions *Narrow public passage ways in public areas *Very cramped dining rooms with tables so close together it was claustrophobic *Small food portions in dining room of varying quality food *Paying for drinking water *Buffet food was consistently cold and of very average quality. Much of the selections left too long *Ships WIFI worst ever experienced. Poor connections and very very slow that it was almost unusable. *Slow debarkation at ports of call *Cheap decor in may areas. NO public art - just slabs of brown in some areas *Starting to show heavy wear for age in some areas *Constant selling got tiring. Other cruise lines tend to be more controlled *Very average entertainment. Micheal Jackson would have rolled in his grave *There was a foul sewage smell at the aft areas of the ship the first half of the cruise. the crew denied being able to smell it although many other passengers noticed it. On day 3-4 there was a sewage pump truck pumping all day. The smell went. Their denial of this problem was a major trust/faith issue. We understand ships have problems. Be honest *Very little honesty about issues on board. For example, they never told anybody about the non docking in Dubrovnik *Excursions were very expensive and some 3 times the cost of buying at port What was good *Cabins seemed to be a good standard. No fellow passengers had complaints in this regard *Pool Areas were nice although with the large number of passengers consistently crowded *It didnt sink *Italian ship officers were very friendly and committed to passengers. *Indonesian Cabin attendant So what is wrong with the MSC culture. MSC seems to treat passengers like cargo. Get as many on as you can and once they have paid screw them as hard as you can for more money. The ship is designed to get as many passengers on board as possible at the cost of space and comfort. When passengers complained about issues it was generally never taken as important or acted upon. So who are the people that like MSC - *Mainly Europeans as they do not have the mainline cruise experience to compare to *First time or inexperienced cruisers who do not know any better Who should avoid MSC - *English speaking passengers who do not know a second language *Passengers who want to be treated as passengers *Passengers who want a cruise not a journey on a ferry like voyage between ports *Passengers who have cruised on the likes of Princess, P&O, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity etc   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I was a first time cruiser from the USA that lives in Spain. I will start off by stating that overall, this cruise and MSC exceeded my expectations. However, I did a lot of research before I booked, as I do with anything. Now, it is ... Read More
I was a first time cruiser from the USA that lives in Spain. I will start off by stating that overall, this cruise and MSC exceeded my expectations. However, I did a lot of research before I booked, as I do with anything. Now, it is importantly to realize that everyone is different, and with a ship this size that is catering to 3900+ passengers, you can’t realistically expect that you won’t find yourself in a situation where you get a little miffed at something or someone. I read reviews about how the food was awful and cold, and that service was horrible, and that there are kids running amuck everywhere. I have come to the conclusion that those people are blockheads. There are people who walk amongst others, that don’t take the time beforehand to figure out what it is they are getting into, much less know how to work around an unpleasant situation to make the best of it. They are probably also people who don’t like being out of their comfort zone or have never experienced different cultures. You need to know that many different cultures of people cruise this route. You will find very polite and queue (line) respecting Australians and British. And you will also find all for one, cut in front, didn’t see you there or care much less Spanish and Italians. These are cultures and ways of life. So this is what you will run in to. I have lived in southern Spain for over a year now, after having been raised in the Midwest of the USA, where being helpful, polite and respectful is a way of life. I had already been conditioned to the stepping in front of you thing from Spain, and therefore it didn’t bother me. However, if you find extremely large crowds, quarters full of people moving about, and line cutting or going in front of you to catch the elevator might ruin your day, then don’t take this cruise. Just find something else with much less people that will agree with you. Restaurants. The food in the dining rooms (table service) for breakfast and lunch are very good. The speed of service is reasonably timed; however it’s a little overkill on the offering of bread. Most people would prefer to be offered beverage service 5 times per meal instead of breads and croissants. But eventually you will be able to make your beverage order. Again, the food is very good, but the comfort of seating isn’t very relaxing. The food in the dining room for dinner is fantastic. The service is very slow and it is very loud in the dining room. However, if you take a look at the number of people being served, and the number of service personnel that are using the system MSC wants them to use, it is quite acceptable. I read reviews that stated the food was horrible and cold. The food just isn’t going to arrive piping hot when they are trying to serve a thousand. And I think people who haven’t experienced many different cultures will be turned off by unfamiliar tastes. You get about 6 courses for dinner at the restaurant and the seating is comfortable. The buffet on deck 14 is a bit of a madhouse free-for-all. If you do go to the buffet, take the time to walk the entire oval shape of serving lines first. This will let you know where there are plenty of seats, and what you will find at the ethnic food corner. I read reviews where there wasn’t a place to sit. Again, pure numbskulls who don’t take the time to explore their options. They think they should be able to walk into very good quality for the masses cruise line, and have everything fall into their lap. Most of the time there are plenty of open seats at the back of the buffet restaurant, where it is much quieter. Allegrissimo Premium Package. I saved about 60 euro ($82). Both my wife and I would have some of the 4 euro coffees a few times a day, and my daughter would have the milkshakes as well. I also enjoy Scottish Whisky, so at 7-10 euro per shot, that adds up considerably. Even the 21 year portwood Balvenie was included. When you add in the tropical drinks during the day if you’re at the pools, the wine per glass for lunch or dinner, sodas and other beverages, then it starts to become of value. But that was buying for us only since we didn’t go with any friends or buy any drinks for other people. If you feel the urge to buy other people drinks, then you will definitely save a lot of money with the premium package. Plus, I took advantage of room service, the coffee/cappuccino bar, the dessert bar, the spa bar, the mini bar, and beverages at meals. It’s a pretty weak mini bar of about 6 different sodas, 3 cheap liquors, 2 fruit drinks, and some peanuts and Pringles for snacks. The room service food was pretty good, but the amount available on the menu was lacking. Also, the dessert station is very good. There are about 12-16 flavors of gelato and some very good cakes, pralines, macaroons, and other tiny sweets at the dessert bar. Just as advertised in the package, it included all items here, so I literally took home a bunch of pralines. The smoothie concoctions at the Spa bar are pretty good. They are available with or without the sugary syrup that enhances the flavor. Without it, the drinks literally taste like liquefied fruits and vegetables. The coffee bar has 4 interesting coffee concoctions (with or without liqueurs), along with regular coffee and cappuccino. And there is a gelato station on the pool deck with the 12 or so flavors. Bars. When it’s busy, the service is very slow, except in the cigar bar where most people won’t go due to smokers. There just aren’t enough service personnel to match the number of passengers in both the bars and the restaurants. However, if you do it right, then you can stay satisfied. You can order a drink and take it anywhere except to the theater. So, if you’re going to have an alcoholic beverage, go get one at the bar and then take it back to your room while you are getting ready. That way when you show up to slow service, at least you’ve already started. Most of the cocktails I ordered were pretty good. Also, there are entertainers throughout the ship and in most large bars and lounges. Some are not very good, and some are okay. They do help a little with the ambiance, especially around the main lounge. Back to the cigar bar; they have some Domincan, some Cuban, and some Italian cigars to choose from. I was surprised that the Italian cigars were that good and they were the cheapest. Pools and hot tubs. There are plenty of children on this ship, and they are in full force at the pools. If you were a kid, isn’t this where you’d be? So if you are thinking you are going to soak up the sun in peace and quite, take a dip in a hot tub solo, and have a drink delivered to your lounger, then this isn’t the place. Find an all inclusive resort somewhere else that has a reputation for no children. There is an adult’s only deck, but it is located very close to the kid’s water slide. No Einstein award for that one. Evening shows. They are very good, but also a bit random. From acrobatic maneuvers, to singing to dancing all mixed into a show. My opinions consider the fact that it is part of the cruise package, and not a high priced ticket I paid for independently. So, the talent for this value was better than I expected. Although we only went to 4 of the 7 shows, I only felt that 1of them was not worth sitting through. The Pirate show was best, followed by the Michael Jackson tribute because I am an American. I noticed the older Europeans were none too impressed with that show. The Michael impersonator didn’t have the flair that Michael did, but my wife explained to me that if he tried to do that with the wig he was wearing, it wouldn’t stay on very long. Also, Michael grabs his crotch a lot, much like the original Michael, so if you don’t want your kids to see that, then don’t take them. Ports and excursions. I didn’t get off the ship for Bari or Dubrovnik. We were pier side for all ports except Santorini and Dubrovnik. I had excursions booked for English, which meant English along with another language such as Italian or Spanish, or both. Meaning the guide would talk in one language and then the other, much like the announcements on the ship. I like excursions because all I have to do is show up on time and they take me where I want to go on an air conditioned bus, and they get me back to ship. The ship won’t leave while an excursion is still out. Yes, you might experience a crying and bored 3 year old on the coach. For the people that just want to set foot on the soil to say they have been there, then there are usually the little portside shops and restaurants. For me, that is no way to experience a city. You would only be experiencing a port. And when the ship is at anchor, rather than pier side, a tender boat fare to get you ashore will cost you around 10-12 euro roundtrip. If you take a cab then you won’t have a great view as you are driven around, and there won’t be any explanation of the history or culture. And then you’ll also wind up paying close to what an excursion would have cost anyways. You are only in port for 4-7 hours depending on where you stop. Problems and customer service. I experienced a carpet soaked cabin room upon my return from before dinner drinks on the second evening. This was due to driving the ship into a heavy storm and a balcony drain that was blocked from being painted over. The storm was severe enough that the water level rose so high so quickly, that it seeped in through the door jam at the bottom. The customer service I received to mitigate the problem was satisfactory. The Chief Housekeeper visited my room and asked me if I wanted a different room. I would have accepted, however they didn’t have another cabin like 11010 that was available. Having personally dealt with situations like this, I mentioned it should be fine if they use a wetvac to suck up the water and then leave the doors open to help ventilate. So we left for dinner and didn’t return for 6 hours or so. Unfortunately they didn’t have a wetvac, but rather a carpet steam cleaner on wheels that couldn’t suck up the water like a wetvac would have. Over the next few days the odor became close to unbearable. However, they were already booked full, so we had no choice but to stay in our room. By the last 2 days, the odor was gone, and the carpet was dry. Also, the reviews that mentioned trouble having charges removed at customer service are true. I spoke to someone about removing a few charges that shouldn’t have been on my bill and they said they would speak to the person who can remove it and then it would be taken care of. But my last night’s bill included those extra charges, so the next morning before leaving the ship I had to go down to customer service and speak to them again. They were eventually removed, but the conditioned attitude from the personnel at the customer service desk is to say why they can’t until you keep pressing for your request. However, anywhere else you go on the ship, they do not like to say no to your requests and will do their best to accommodate you!! Cabins. I am very particular, so I knew that if I didn’t have a room with plenty of space and a fantastic view, then I wouldn’t have been comfortable. So I chose cabin 11010 (Aurea Balcony Suite) and would recommend if you are booking for that class of cabin, choose a cruise date where you will get either 11010 or 11009. I could literally lie on my bed, and look out 2 huge panoramic windows and see wherever we were. It was more relaxing to look at the views of a port with my head on my pillow, than from the pool deck. Also, the balcony for this cabin wraps around to the end of the first panoramic window to where there is an access door for the rest of the balcony. It was left open when I arrived and I didn’t want to upset the folks with the panoramic view windows without balcony access, so I didn’t walk in from of their windows. I would have guessed the cabin suite to be about 450 square feet with 100 square feet of accessible curved balcony. I could see from the back of my side of the ship to about the 10 o’clock position when walking the entire balcony, so about a 240 degree view. However, it is very windy when sailing above 10 or so knots. Plus the location of the cabin is far away from where you would find kids doing any nighttime tomfoolery, and there is no one above your bed. The bath room had a tub with a shower nozzle. I am 5’11 and I had to duck a good bit to wet my hair. Your cabin steward will visit you twice each day, and will restock all towels, clean the entire cabin, make up the bed, and restock the mini bar on each visit. Spa!!! If you pre-booked massages online, hopefully you can cancel before your cruise so you can save 30% on 6 massages plus cruise access to the spa or 20% on 4 massages with 4 spa visits. A spa visit could also be a visit to the adult only solarium on deck 18 rather than a visit to the saunas or steam rooms. That is the offer as you are checking in pier side at their building and the next day. And if you wait until the Athens port day, then the reflexology massage will be 50% off. On the last day, all massages are 50% off. And there are plenty of appointments available. Now, the massages themselves are not that great. I have enjoyed massages for over 20 years, and so I think I have had enough to provide an accurate rating. I give them a 5 out of a 10. Oh, and if you have seen a picture of a hot tub in the Spa, then that is on some other ship. The Spa manager confirmed this when I asked where it was. The FANTASIA only has 2 steam baths (Turkish baths), 5 or so saunas, a yoga room, and a relaxation room where you might get some sun through the glass windows if the ship is sailing in the right direction. The gym is really nice. The weights and equipment are Technogym. If I were to ever buy weight equipment again, it would be Technogym. And you can run or walk on the treadmills and have a fantastic view beyond the front of the ship. Photographers. There are several photographers trying to earn a living onboard, so they are a bit aggressive. I’m sure they have to be to make a decent living. They will be all over deck 7 around 6-10pm, and they will visit you at your dinner table for gala night. Also, it is quite entertaining to watch the photographer who cuckoos at people to get their attention so that they won’t photo bomb his shots of other people. Then he will also do a hedgehog noise as he is shooting the photo. Just find a spot where the crystal staircases are and sit down to enjoy a few drinks and you might see him. Other. I didn’t buy the wifi service, but my daughter used the internet café for 10 minutes of internet time for 26 euro. She was not impressed with the value. The whole thing where people put their bags in the passage way the last night did lead to seeing some people in their underwear. But if you are going to see people in their swimwear, what’s the difference? Smoking is allowed in the Casino and the Cigar bar and you can smell it if you walk through the casino or get near the doors of the cigar bar. People will also smoke on their balcony on the last morning as they are less worried about being kicked off of the ship since it is arriving for their disembarkation. It was so strong it woke me up before my alarm did. Places I didn’t visit: Sport’s Bar, El sombrero TexMex Restaurant, Le Etoille French Restaurant, the 4D cinema, the Virtual World, the Cyber library, Toscana Wine Bar. Embarkation. You will get in line outside of the building adjacent to the ship and turnover any baggage you would like delivered to your room. After that they direct you up to the next level for check-in. This is the only point where I was a bit of a jerk. When you’re dealing with masses of people together in groups, it’s hard to determine what is going on, and sometimes it’s just the group trying to figure out what they need to do. So I literally walked around the line where everyone was forming to have their picture taken. MSC is directing everyone to a line for that picture so they can sell it to them later. I went to the priority check-in line because I booked what used to be known as the Aurea Balcony Suite, and they had signs that still stated Aurea Suite. I don’t think MSC has updated their signs to reflect the new deck plan. There I was given my cruise card, which is the room key, charge card, and boarding pass all in one that you will use throughout the ship, anywhere you go. Then I was directed to another line that was forming, and saw another sign that had priority boarding on it with no one standing in line there. So I walked up to the entry point and a representative asked me for my priority boarding pass. I told him the lady at the Aurea Suite desk didn’t give me one. He gave the look that I should have had one, but then he let me pass. Again, they don’t like to say no on this ship. After that you just walk through the gangway (jet bridge) to the brow, and walk on board. You can then go wherever you want where most things are open. The buffet will be open, and even the dining room will be open until 2pm. Some bars are open at that time, and you room will be ready too. The time for boarding on my ticket voucher stated 13:00 (1 pm). However, they were boarding as early as 10:30am, but just didn’t send me an email to inform me. The German couple I spoke with in Venice as we were headed to the port told me there was early boarding for their cruise as well. Disembarkation. If you have an early flight, then show the personnel at the customer service desk your booking to verify your flight time, and they will give you the bag tags for an early departure (08:35 walking off the ship). Finding my bag was very easy since they group all luggage according to the bag tag color and place it in a building just off of the gangway. Just outside the building are taxis. A taxi fare to Marco Polo Airport is a flat 45 euro ($61) and is a 25 minute ride. Warning: the departure procedure at Marco Polo airport is ridiculous. They will check in 2-3 airlines with the same departing flight time at counters that are 3-4 side by side. There is no counter for Iberia only or counter for American Airlines only. They combine the airliners for check-in at several counters which you will stand in one line to approach. Then you will go through the security check point, which took 20 minutes. Then at the gate, they will board 2 planes at the same time. Another 15 minutes of standing in line. Summary. If you are taking this cruise, you are signing up for maximum value and service for the money spent. The FANTASIA is beautiful, and even though it is starting to show very subtle signs of wear, most people won’t recognize it. I found this cruise to be well worth the money we spent. I would choose MSC again, but only after I experience another cruise liner before doing so.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
My husband and I, along with another couple, have just returned from an 8 day Mediterranean cruise with MSC. We have cruised, both ocean and river, on a number of occasions so thought this would be the perfect, relaxing end to our European ... Read More
My husband and I, along with another couple, have just returned from an 8 day Mediterranean cruise with MSC. We have cruised, both ocean and river, on a number of occasions so thought this would be the perfect, relaxing end to our European holiday. We were wrong. 'Fantasia' is a very attractive, glitzy ship and our stateroom was roomy and well appointed. Our cabin was kept clean and tidy at all times and our cabin attendant was unobtrusive, which we appreciated. The public areas, toilets etc on the ship were always clean. Housekeeping staff did a good job. Towards the end of the trip we took advantage of the laundry special package- 20 items of clothing for 20 Euros- and they were laundered beautifully. Compared to other cruise lines, the rest of the crew on this trip left a lot to be desired. The attitude of the majority ranged from indifferent to surly. Some reception staff were most unhelpful. The shore excursion staff and security staff when getting on and off in ports were downright rude. They spoke to passengers in an offensive and discourteous manner. There was definitely a language barrier for us as most of the crew seemed to speak little or no English. The ship was overcrowded. The majority of passengers were Italian, French, a small mix from other countries and a smattering from English speaking countries. They were loud, rude and pushy and didn't seem to have grasped the concept of queuing and waiting your turn. Mealtimes were a nightmare. We tried breakfast in the restaurant once, but simply placing the order with a non- English speaking waiter was difficult, so we then opted to breakfast in the 'Zanzibar' buffet. That was an experience in itself. No matter what time we arrived, and we tried staggering the times, it was jam-packed with loud, yelling, pushing people. There were only two toasting machines to cater for about 1000 people. It was almost impossible to find a table to sit at in the buffet area so we often had to take meals out to the sundeck. There was a variety of good food although it was usually luke warm. Dinner in the restaurant wasn't a particularly pleasant experience either. Although the food was good and varied, the tables were crammed in close together and the room crowded. On one occasion, MSC changed the time for an onshore excursion so, through no fault of our own, we arrived back on board at 2 pm. we went to the restaurant for lunch we were simply greeted with 'restaurant closed'. We pre-paid for a drinks package, which also included gelato, coffee & bottled water, and seemed worthwhile. Getting served with drinks on the sundeck often meant a lengthy wait though. It was usually quicker to front the bar yourself rather than wait for table service. Apart from our cabin, there was nowhere remotely quiet to escape the crowds and the constant blaring of incomprehensible messages on the PA system. On four mornings out of eight, we were awakened between 4 and 5 am by loud banging and crew yelling out to each other on what we assumed was the sundeck. So much for our quiet, relaxing holiday! We took two of the on-shore excursions offered, one to Bari in Italy and one to Katakolon in Greece and we enjoyed the experience. The tour guide taking the Katakolon trip was particularly good and was very interesting and informative. The rest of the time we went ashore in our own time and did our own thing. Disembarkation when we returned to Venice was horrendous. Colour coded baggage tags were allocated to each passenger, based on the required departure time to meet on-going travel. We had an 11 am train to get, so were allocated white baggage tags, which we were assured meant we would disembark at 9.30 am. At 10 am, waiting in the lounge as directed, with seven other 'colour-codes' in front of us, we realised we would miss our train, so joined the queue to get off. OMG! With about 3000 passengers on board, they opened ONE gangway and closed one side of double doors leading on to the deck. People were squashed in like sardines, pushing and jostling for position to get out. It was a disgrace! Frankly, I am at a loss to understand why MSC advertises so heavily in Australian newspapers, because in my opinion they are not geared to cater for Australian passengers at all.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
First and last cruise with MSC, thought price was to good to be true when booking and it was! From nightmare in Vience boarding would have faired better at the Harrolds sale. On first impressions the ships decor was opulant and luxurious ... Read More
First and last cruise with MSC, thought price was to good to be true when booking and it was! From nightmare in Vience boarding would have faired better at the Harrolds sale. On first impressions the ships decor was opulant and luxurious there ends the positive feed back. We booked a balcony for us and 2 ocean view cabins for friends, they got an automatic upgrade to a suite with bath shower large balcony, they were delighted of course as they only paid for an ocean view, us however paid more and had a small balcony room. No reason was given to us by MSC. Food in the buffet resturant was not good quality, with cheap cuts of meat. I never at home eat pizza, but had it every day on the ship with salad as it was the only quality food served. Had a drinks package! joke getting served, I am sure that once they know you have a drinks package they hold back on the service. Evening resturant had friendly staff but food was of very bad qualtiy, makes me feel ill just thinking about some of the food that was served. Also after desert you had to go to the bar for coffee as they didnt serve any drinks at the end of the meal. Entertainment was deffinatley not for the English. The swmmining pools all catered for kids (no pool for just adults unless you wanted to pay more money) No sunbeds available , in fact i never had one swim or one lay on a sunbed in the 7 days. Last but not least we had one trip orgainised by MSC to Athens, I cannot go into details but can say it was a disaster as our credit card company are currently in dispute with MSC over this trip. But i must WARN you that MSC have confirmed in writing that they take no responsibility for the trips they sell and do not guarantee the quality, basically you go on the trip and come back to the ship that is all they will guarantee . We all came back from the cruise needing a holiday.   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
Although I had read some very bad reviews we decided to give MSC a chance. What a mistake! If you do not speak the language you are in for a hard time. Culture clash of note! Have to say the embarkation and disembarkation were fantastic ... Read More
Although I had read some very bad reviews we decided to give MSC a chance. What a mistake! If you do not speak the language you are in for a hard time. Culture clash of note! Have to say the embarkation and disembarkation were fantastic but this is where it stops. The actual pricing of the cruise was acceptable but once you get onboard you are stung for everything. Whoever heard of having to pay for water at dinner and then to have to pay tax on top of that. The food in the dining rooms was edible and adequate but we did find the food on deck 14 a bit of a trial. Also this eaterie does not get cleaned as often as it should be - floors were sticky. Cabin steward was amazing but then it felt more like he was fearing he would lose his job if any little issue was raised regarding the cleaning. Our concern started with the lifeboat safety drill - staff could not be more unenthusiastic and in fact I felt that in a crisis I would feel compromised. Entertainment - no cannot really call it entertainment as it is rubbish. My biggest gripe was the inefficiency of the reception staff. Their English is not great so there should be at least one very good English speaker at each desk. But the body language was appalling. We complained that our newspapers were not being delivered and my husband got told a different story to what I was told. I feel robbed of a holiday as we found this cruise so stressful and unenjoyable. Could be a bit of culture clash but this does not explain the inefficiency. If you are thinking of MSC think again! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2014
I too have a number of cruises under my belt and I'm wondering if I ve been on the same ship as some of these reviewers, This is a great looking ship that is very well maintained, with some great public areas. The cabins are very ... Read More
I too have a number of cruises under my belt and I'm wondering if I ve been on the same ship as some of these reviewers, This is a great looking ship that is very well maintained, with some great public areas. The cabins are very roomy, clean and of a high stndard, bathrooms in particular, the balconies are very private (earlier this year I was on a Princess ship where this was not the case) The food is fine, no worse or better than other cruise Ive been on. Staff were vey attentive in the dinning room and noticed if a plate of food was being left and very, very quickly offered to bring something else. The dinning rooms are cramped and the buffet is indeed a bun fight; however, in my experience all buffets' are some what of a nightmare. The expereince in the buffet can be minimised by taking breakfast in the dinning room I ve never been on a cruise where the staff had Engish as a first language; on the whole staff we're pleasent; some more than others. I too chose this cruise for the itinerary, and luckily we had no problems with any of the ports. Didn't notice any more selling than any other cruise. Pool areas are disappointing too small for the number of passengers and here's the rub there are too many passengers, however, if you move away from the pool areas you will find sun beds free and it didnt spoil the cruise for us. If you've booked this ship please don't worry you will have a great time. Travelled with husband and our two daughters in their early twnties. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
I am now back from my Msc Fantasia cruise to the Eastern Med in May & am happy to file this review.. Would I book with MSC again - yes. I did have some initial concerns before booking after reading several reviews but these were ... Read More
I am now back from my Msc Fantasia cruise to the Eastern Med in May & am happy to file this review.. Would I book with MSC again - yes. I did have some initial concerns before booking after reading several reviews but these were unfounded. I can confess I am not a cruise snob & I'm not the sort to look for things to complain about.. My only real negative is the smoking in the casino filtered up to the bar above. I felt sorry for the girl trying to sing as she was struggling & had to stop & have water. It's designed also so you pretty much need to walk through the casino to get to the show lounge. - I just held my breath as I walked through. The ship is very beautiful & clean & the bed was super comfy( important to me!!) yes it's a big ship & the pool areas & sunlounges do get busy which is where I was glad to have a balcony in our cabin on occasions. But having said that there were times where you woud think ... Where is everybody. Again, I was worried I would have a neighbour smoking in the cabin next door but we were lucky. They say no smoking on the balcony but not in the room. So it's the luck of the drawer if the person in the cabin before you has been smoking. The shows had good singers although the sets didn't vary & it was here that we noticed the language differences as the announcements had to be done in lots of languages. & also because of the different languages the show variety was a bit limited ie no comedians or anything that required dialogue, although the songs are in English. We enjoyed our dining on the ship, mainly having a buffet for lunch if we were on the ship & dinner in the main sit down dining room. I would advise though that late sitting is exactly that... Late! It was 9pm sitting so made for quite a late meal every night. We had been told by msc to our travel agent that it was going to be 8.30 pm which would have been much better. We were sat with other Aussies & enjoyed their company for the week but there is no swapping around times or tables in the main dining room if you had met other people you wished to join. The food was always very nice & a pretty good variety in both the buffet & the main dining. The staff of course are excellent. Very obliging & friendly. A couple of mornings we chose the option of having complimentary continental room service for breakfast which was basic but nice to sit on the balcony & eat before rushing off for a busy day of sightseeing. The drinks package we had decided to take (agrissimo ? Package ) ended up good value for us. It included cocktails, a couple of different wines, beer, spirits incl sambuca that we had each night after dinner, coffee & gelato. So, if you like a cocktail or 2 each day, some wine with dinner, a spirit maybe after & coffee it is worthwhile. If you only like 1 glass wine with dinner & a coffee or 2 through the day - I wouldn't bother. You do pay Tax on your drinks on board though & by pre booking the package before leaving Sydney, we didn't have tax added onto this package when we paid the bill on the ship at the end. Shore excursions- booked through the ship. Very well organised & I consider reasonable value for the ones we did.- Bari- Alberobello to see the trulli houses & charming village ( too far to travel independently & to risk not getting back in time) Santorini- the variety of places visited & quick to get off the ship on a tender made this worthwhile ( for a 1st visit here I think this is a good way to go. Next time I know what's what & may do own thing) it's devine!!! Corfu - Panoramic sights across to Palaiokastritsa bay where we had the opportunity for about 10 euro extra to go with a local in his boat for a ride around the bay & visit to little grottos- oh the colour of the water!! Again too far to go independently & a real highlight!! The other ports... Katakolon, Athens & Dubrovnik we did separately. Embarkation was slightly delayed due to the ship arriving back later, disembarkation was very quick. Our allocated time was an issue initially due to connecting flights but we were quickly down to the pursers desk to explain & this was rectified. Overall the staff were obliging especially the wonderful cabin attendants. Probably my only real negative other than a couple little things mentioned above was the short time in port at Dubrovnik. We were aware of this when we booked & it was the reason we were considering other cruise companies, however, none fitted into our schedule. I truly would have preferred to pay an extra $100 head to have a full day here in port. I'm sure it's kept to a minimum time due to port costs but it is so so beautiful it just wasn't enough time. It's about a 15min cab ride to near the old walls from where the ship docks & so by time you get there then get back its even shorter. We then cruised back to Venice at a snails pace. So if its a destination that you really want to see well - it really is just a taste ... I know I want to go back!!!! Oh by the way our cabin no we had was 11201 which I would recommend. No noises, no tender boats blocking the view, good location to get to things & it was about 3 back from where the ship comes out on the side so it seemed a bit protected from the wind on our balcony( like it had a wind barrier) - this did impede the view to look forward towards the front of the ship but I don't think this was a problem. The balcony door can be pushed across wide to stay open which was pleasant & the seas for us were so calm that you forgot you were on a ship. I would do another MSC cruise without hesitation & the eastern Med is gorgeous!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
The embarkation procedure was much quicker on this trip (although the time spent waiting for the transfer coaches from Marco Polo airport to the ship was quite lengthy) from the port side. The staff were mostly friendly, especially Eric ... Read More
The embarkation procedure was much quicker on this trip (although the time spent waiting for the transfer coaches from Marco Polo airport to the ship was quite lengthy) from the port side. The staff were mostly friendly, especially Eric (our table waiter in the Il Cerchio d'Oro Restaurant) who was always smiling, friendly and attentive to our requirements.He kindly arranged for a cake and champagne to be presented to us as an anniversary gift (my husband had arranged this) which was a lovely gesture at our dining table. We were seated with 2 other couples of a similar age in the restaurant and we got on very well! One criticism I have regarding the excursions which we had pre-booked; on the first trip of the cruise we had pre-booked to visit Alberobello (near Bari) but the tickets were booked incorrectly, although my husband has booked for 'English' speaking tour. His ticket was booked for 'Italian' and mine 'English', so we had to get these changed which meant queueing once again even though the error was not our doing! There is an administrative hitch in that trips are booked automatically in your 'mother tongue-according to your passport, rather than your place of home. The trips we participated on were very good, especially the Olympia trip. Our guide Eugennie was briliant and so knowledgeable on ancient Greece. She was warm, friendly and welcoming. The buffet area on the ship was often crowded but you can't expect anything less when the ship carries over 3000 passengers on board! There was a wide variety of food choices available, including fresh fruit and salad. The sun decks can get a little crowded but there is always somewhere to sit down. I felt there was a lack of drinks waiters on this trip compared to those previously (this was our 3rd cruise with MSC) and if often took a while before you could track a waiter down to order drinks. I would recommend that you opt for the 'Allegrissimo' package for drinks for the week before hand as this includes soft drinks, teas, coffees, bottles of water, ice cream and cocktails. The entertainment was extremely good this time, especially the 'Tribute' to Michael Jackson. The performer who played MJ was excellent and the dancers were great. I would recommend this ship and the Greek Isles trip during May/June.   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Beautiful room, but when you ask for a balcony room and they charge you for a balcony room, they should also include the fact that you may NOT have access to the balcony. We were assigned a room in the very front of the ship that had a ... Read More
Beautiful room, but when you ask for a balcony room and they charge you for a balcony room, they should also include the fact that you may NOT have access to the balcony. We were assigned a room in the very front of the ship that had a solid glass window overlooking a beautiful balcony. Needless to say, we were very disappointed not having access AFTER requesting a balcony room. First ship I've ever been on that had a walk-in closet. Easy access to the safe. Lot's of storage. First ship that I've been on with a TUB!! Good size bathroom. Dining Room: Beautiful but not much for quality of food. Small portions that I don't mind if it had quality. Had one meal in the Sombrero Lounge that will cost extra. Sadly enough, the food was just as bad for an additional $16 per meal. Ordered a Margarita on the rocks and it came with NO ice at the cost of $8 e. Not much ambience in this restaurant and was pretty empty for needing to make reservations that will cost you $5 Euro's if you cancel for any reason. This ship offers ONLY bottled water that will cost you. When you get your dessert, don't ask for a regular cup of coffee as it too will cost an additional fee. Two offerings of an appetizer, soup and salad. Again only two offerings of a main course. Not much of a variety. The Pizzeria was good but don't order Pizza on room service as this will cost you. The Buffet was good with lots of variety. If you require breakfast or lunch, get it from the Buffet as the dining room serves the exact same food with conservative portions. Side Note: Our luggage didn't make it to the ship on the day of arrival, (Airline error). MSC offered to give us complimentary laundry services which we appreciated. Our luggage arrived 4 days later at a port which we were thankful for. My final billed indicated several charges for very expensive laundry services that we took advantage of on the second and third day of our cruise. After filing my complaint with the service desk, they indicated that the housekeeping department may have made the error but NOTHING could be done until all guests were attended to. (Thanks for NOTHING and paid the bill). Great entertainment every evening. Appreciated not having waitresses bothering you in the theater to purchase drinks. The staff was courteous and pleasant to work with. Don't bother adding a tip for any service as a 15% charge has already been added. They also add a $7 euro daily charge per person per day for all other gratuities. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014
Last year we cruised with friends in the Western Med with MSC and had a wonderful holiday. This year, we decided to go it alone and I must admit we read some of the reviews before leaving and felt worried that we had made a mistake. How ... Read More
Last year we cruised with friends in the Western Med with MSC and had a wonderful holiday. This year, we decided to go it alone and I must admit we read some of the reviews before leaving and felt worried that we had made a mistake. How wrong can you be! We had a fantastic week and since returning have been looking at our next cruise with MSC. We booked the fly cruise deal and were a bit disappointed that the flights were from Gatwick. This means a 4-5 hr drive to get to the airport, but we booked ourselves and the car in at the Premier Inn for the night (would recommend this hotel). A quick hop over to the terminal in the morning and we were off. We arrived in Venice and were immediately instructed to go to the MSC desk. We checked in and waited for about 10 minutes or so before taking their bus to the port. On arrival at the port, there was a lot of activity but we were moved swiftly from place to place (bag drop, check in etc). We received our cabin cards and were on the ship at 13.00. We had arrived in Venice at 11.30 and were in our cabins at 13.30, which we thought was an acceptable time. As others have said in previous reports, the ship is beautiful and spotlessly clean. The cabins are surprisingly spacious and comfortable. We drank in many of the bars and sometimes had to wait for service because they were so busy, but mostly we chose quiet areas and were served without a problem. Our only gripe is that smoking was allowed in the casino and one of the bars and we feel that smoking should not be allowed anywhere inside the ship, but this did not mar the holiday at all as we just avoided those areas. We had a table for 6, but only 2 other people were sat with us and we got on with them really well. In fact, I looked forward to seeing them each evening to find out what they had done during the day. The food in the restaurant was superb and we met some interesting people during breakfast and lunch. We paid for Allegrissimo and totaling up our bills when we returned home showed this to be exceptional value as coffee, water, smoothies are all included. Yes, the buffet is busy but you can usually find somewhere to sit (I appreciate that this is easier for a couple than a family.) We didn't have any problems with the food as there is such a wide choice. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful and didn't have any language problems. We decided to pay the extra for the spa and wellbeing package. This gave us unlimited use of the spa every day of our cruise and a 30 min Bali massage. Again, we thought it was well worth the extra money. The spa was a fantastic place of tranquility and we would use the sauna and Turkish bath before taking our books to the relaxation area for total peace and quiet. Fab! We did excursions in Athens and in Dubrovnik and the were very interesting, but mostly we found our own way around. There is not always a lot of time on shore and this sometimes has an impact on what you do but we are happy strolling around new places and soaking up the atmosphere. On our last day we booked a shuttle to Venice for the day. On our return we were transported to the airport for our flight. We were there about 3 hours before our flight and as our flight was delayed we did have quite a long time in the airport. On reflection, I would book our own flights next time and might even stay overnight in the disembarkation port. There are a lot of people on the cruise and if that is going to be a problem for you, then don't book this enormous ship. Mostly there are Europeans on the ship with Brits being very much in the minority. It's not little Britain, it's very much Italian and you have to embrace that if you cruise with these.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2014
I wanted to start this review by saying that my first experience of cruising (this trip) reminded me of an overpriced Butlins on the sea - but then I thought this wasn't particularly constructive & also very deterimental to many ... Read More
I wanted to start this review by saying that my first experience of cruising (this trip) reminded me of an overpriced Butlins on the sea - but then I thought this wasn't particularly constructive & also very deterimental to many of the staff working on this ship, who are very smiley & helpful. So I'll break it down. Check in/Embarkation was a bit of a bunfight & takes place in a large warehouse type of building - ship side, with people pointing you in a variety of directions, no one giving you any useful information, but lots of vouchers being shoved at you for different restaurants & services. NOTE to MSC - if you've never been on a cruise before this is disorientating, overwhelming & not particularly helpful (& we're people who DON'T need our hands holding), but a bit of useful information prior to getting on board would have been helpful. Cabin - I cannot fault the cabin (we were on floor 10), our bed was a large Queen size, with room to move around in, bathroom was adequate & the balcony really lovely. My only gripe would be not enough hangers. However, we had a wonderful man who looked after our cabin, & supplied us with more hangers & pillows upon request. The room was kept clean throughout the cruise. NB: Although we embarked at about 13:30 & could get into our cabins from 14:00 - our luggage unfortunately didn't arrive until about 17:30 - which meant we had to stay in our travelling clothes & inappropriate footwear for touring round a large ship (next time I'd pack or wear trainers & swimmers in my hand luggage). Cards - your card gives you access to everything - including your cabin. Unfortunately I had to get mine replaced 5 times! during our 7 day cruise, as it stopped working on various occasions (no fun when you've walked the entire length of the boat to reach your cabin, just to then turn around and go to Reception to get another card). So Ladies take notes (as we don't always tend to have clothing with pockets), I was informed on the FIFTH occasion - that this might have happened if the card was in proximity to any other credit cards, camera's, phone's etc. I had a small bag with various sections, so nothing else was touching the card, but obviously close enough. Extras - as this trip was to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary (on 24th May), at the time of booking we were allocated vouchers for a couple of extras - a plate of cakes & chocolate strawberries & a bottle of Prosecco - all very nice. Unfortunately these were waiting for us in our cabin on our first night (18th May) & had obviously been put there fairly late at night whilst we were having dinner. Therefore whilst it was a really nice gesture, it was unfortunately at the wrong time to enjoy these fresh, (& ultimately on the wrong day). Ship - The ship itself looks great, and all of the areas where kept clean & tidy. I totally agree with a previous review that we too had too many VERY rude & badly behaved French children, who's parents seemed to think it was up to the staff & other passengers to discipline their children - & nothing to do with them, so long as they could carry on doing what they wanted on another part of the ship - e.g. 3 pairs of french parents clearly wanted to sit in the so called 'Zen area' - which I gathered was supposed to be a quieter area away from the main pool & jacuzzis, however so many kids, dive bombing the pool (even though the pool man was very good at telling them not to), just kids climbing around everywhere, squealing (as they do), & music playing in the bar - didn't really make this a 'ZEN area'. Ban the kids from this area please! They have the use of the bigger pool anyway, so I think parents with kids under 15 need to use the larger pool & leave the Zen area - for exactly that. Also a lot of the ship seemed to be dedicated to kids (pity they preferred to use the more adult areas), so this seemed like wasted space. & also, not good that you would have to pay extra if you wanted to get up onto the top deck (Top 18) where I imagine it would've been much quieter - as hardly anyone seemed to use it. Getting sunbeds was difficult - there just wasn't enough for the number of people on board. Food - the buffet option in the mornings whilst there was a reasonable choice - this didn't change from day to day & the food was frankly barely warm. Also, Breakfast was a bunfight every morning, lot's of people, very hard to find a seat - walking around for ages to try and get one plate of food. Too many people (this really WAS like Butlins of yesteryear). The standard of food in the other 2 restaurants was marginally better, and you are served, but frankly not up to the standard I expected (still had that feeling of production line e.g. I ordered a prawn cocktail & it arrived without any sauce - the others had sauce, so mine must've been on the end of the line?) - & everything was luke warm! without exception! Dining - I have a further issue with the dining set up, & that's shared tables - I appreciate it appears to be a 'cruise' thing - but when I'm spending that much on a holiday of which dining out in the evening with my Husband should be a pleasure - I object to having to sit on tables of 6-8 with total strangers & make small talk. I have nothing against the other people (as I'm sure they'd rather not be sitting with us either), but COME ON - the price of this holiday should mean you can allow couples to have a table to themselves. I appreciate there are lot's of family groups etc. - but please cater for couples too. Staff - the majority of staff were lovely. Overworked & run ragged, especially by having to 'parent' rude children basically 'abusing' them by shoving their service cards under their noses & pushing infront of adults waiting patiently. But on the whole they were lovely. A few problems with language barriers etc., but to be expected. However, there was one chap who appeared to be the main barman for the Gaudi bar in the Zen area (he wore the black suit), who remained grumpy, non communicative & downright arrogant for the whole cruise. Culminating in our penultimate day of my husband being the second up to the bar to order 2 drinks & then being systematically overlooked whilst this barman served a further 6 people who came up after my husband (my husband is 6ft 4" - so overlooking him is difficult). We were left with a really sour taste - after that we avoided the Zen bar. This particular member of staff appeared jaded & disinterested & if he was my member of staff, he'd have a warning to shape up or ship out. Entertainment - The theatre is huge & we did see one fantastic acrobatic show, but then nothing else really appealed, apart from the Michael Jackson show - which we annoyingly managed to miss. There seem to be a lot of duo's - entertaining at the various bars, some very good, others lacking personality - but the sound systems in all were dreadful, & made everything sound like it was coming through some 'Ronco' christmas gift. A real shame as there was clearly a lot of talent on the boat, but execution wasn't great. Bars - Transatlantic was really nice - However underneath it is the Casino which allows smoking & which drifts up a large open staircase - hence by day 3 we stopped using this bar, as it just smelt of stale smoke. The Manhatten bar sounded & looked like it should be a bit edgy, New Yorky - maybe even with some jazz ??- but everytime we visited they were playing 'e viva espania' or some such & so we kept walking. Overall suggestion - more diversity please - allow the acts to bring forward their own personalities & make it slightly less mainstream - you might be surprised with the results. Liquid disco - empty most of the time - look at the average age of most people on the ship & aim it accordingly & maybe calling it 'Club' might make it more inviting for the majority of people aged 25 plus (disco went out a long time ago). Kids again - I can't believe they run kids clubs until 2.00 a.m!!!! - no wonder some of the kids appeared to be so badly behaved. There were some absolutely lovely kids too, but again - does everywhere need to be a kids zone - all day, every day? Excursions - Expensive - Bari was pleasant but not worth the price. Corfu - had a lovely guide & the Island was lovely, BUT one glass of wine handed out with a small plate of Greek titbits - doesn't warrant the title of 'wine tasting' - so the title is misleading. WIFI - ridiculously expensive. The last night - bags to be left outside your room - no problem, apart from the fact that our toweling robes had already been removed - so we passed several people trying to manoevre their cases out whilst wrapping a towel round them (as your evening wear needs to go in your case unless you want to carry it with you). Again, just left you feeling that the ship either feels you are going to 'steal' their robes (believe me, they're not worth stealing), or they need to wash them all before the next travellers - either was it was strange. In Summary - A great ship, with some fantastic staff & the rest of the staff mostly genial & pleasant, but overall just poor execution of just about everything. It felt more like we needed to fit in with the boat, than the other way around. What have I learnt:- 1. I would not go on an MSC cruise again. 2. I would choose an Adult Only cruise next time. 3. I would only choose a cruise where they can accommodate dining tables for 2 (sorry, but this is important to me), maybe not even every night, but certainly with the flexibility to sit on your own if you want to.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2014
Having read the reviews about this company and ship myself and my wife were worried, but from the embarkation our fears were unfounded. I really do not understand what some people are saying about the cruise, I even read one from a person ... Read More
Having read the reviews about this company and ship myself and my wife were worried, but from the embarkation our fears were unfounded. I really do not understand what some people are saying about the cruise, I even read one from a person who was on the same cruise and they have complained about the children running around, there were very few children on this cruise, you could have counted them with little trouble. The staff were amazing, the food incredible, the ship out of this world anyone who chooses to sail with this ship will have a brilliant time so don't believe the reviews. So why the poor reviews, well I took note of them before I went and can only come to these conclusions, some people want a home from home experience, Blackpool with sun, they don't want to experience different food, different cultures, different languages or a different way of life. You will get all this on the fantasia, I do not understand why people arrive in Greece and expect everyone to speak English, does everyone in England speak Greek? Getting off and on the boat was never a problem, maybe because we waited until all the tours had left then walked off at our leisure, finding a seat in the buffet was simple, either just walk to the back of the buffet, which had a beautiful view or be prepared to seat beside someone, you didn't have to talk to them if you didn't want too! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
6th April 2014: Genoa – Naples – La Valetta – Sea Day – Athens – Corfu – Dubrovnik Flights and Transfers : Rating 5/5 I bought my flights and transfers through MSC so thought I would include them in this review as very little ... Read More
6th April 2014: Genoa – Naples – La Valetta – Sea Day – Athens – Corfu – Dubrovnik Flights and Transfers : Rating 5/5 I bought my flights and transfers through MSC so thought I would include them in this review as very little has been said about them on the boards and I was quite nervous about this before I went. Turns out I didn’t need to be worried our flight with BA was on time and when we arrived at Nice there was an MSC representative waiting for us. The long transfer from Nice to Genoa went without a hitch, in fact it had some of the most stunning views of the entire trip as we followed the coastal route. Embarkation: Rating 3/5 When we arrived in Genoa our cases were unloaded off the coach for us and we entered the cruise terminal. The place was packed, they handed us a number and told us to wait for our number to be called before we could go up the mystical elevator to embark. Well this did not work at all, only one poor lady was trying to control the crowds and people were going up to queue for the elevator willy nilly. Eventually we made it up the elevator only to join a queue to register our passport details and cards. This queue luckily moved quite quickly and we were registered and on board within half an hour (which considering the amount of people was impressive). Cabin: Rating 4/5 We had cabin 12135 which is one of the squarer inside cabins. It was the biggest cabin I had ever had (we only ever stay in an inside cabin as we prefer to spend out pennies elsewhere), it was spotlessly clean and both the room and the bathroom had plenty of storage for the two of us. When we arrived the beds were laid out to be a double, we searched for our cabin steward but they were nowhere to be seen so we went down to reception and the beds were separated when they turned down the room during dinner. We never actually met our cabin steward, unlike on other cruises I;ve been on where they were always lurking around they were never there which meant we had to trudge to reception to deal with any issues. Ship: 3/5 The ship was simply stunning. It was clean and well maintained throughout. My annoyance though was with the lifts, there seemed to be an inadequate amount for the number of passengers, I thank god I am young and fit enough to climb lots of stairs and I have some impressively toned legs now. There was also an issue that some floors you couldn’t walk along due to the red velvet restaurant so you found yourself having to go up floors to come back down again, which again I see being a big issue for those who struggle with stairs. Food: Rating 4/5 Previous to the cruise we had requested the first sitting (6:15) but we were allocated second sitting (8:45) but this actually turned out to be a blessing as we would have missed the sail away from most ports with the first sitting. The food in the restaurant was always fantastic (except for the cuttlefish which was just a chunk of rubber), our waiter, Dwi, was very attentive and provided outstanding service. The first night was a bit arduous as due to getting everyone to their correct tables and getting to know new customers dinner took about 3 hours however this got quicker every night and I very much enjoyed a leisurely dinner and chatting to the company we have. It seems that MSC try to not only pair people with the same language but also people with people of similar ages which was nice. The buffet was great always plenty of variety available and even though I’m a picky eater I never failed to find something delicious. I have to thank everyone on the boards for saying to go to the back of the buffet, the views were simply amazing and it was always much quieter down there. We didn’t eat in any of the speciality restaurants so can’t comment there. Bars: 4/5 We had the Allegressimo package and boy was that a deal, we easily got our monies worth by the time both me and my friend had ordered a bottle of wine for dinner. The drinks menu was much bigger than I thought it would be and even the items not on the package were reasonably priced (though I didn’t feel the need to stray from it many times). One of our favourite bars was the wine bar; they had the most amazing range of nibbles available in the evening which was very welcome considering dinner was so late. Another nice little touch that you got all over the ship was if you ordered a drink in the evening they automatically bought round little bowls of bar snacks (pretzels, crisps and the like). On a few occasions service was very slow this is the only reason I rated 4 instead of 5. Service: 4/5 After hearing numerous CC posters complain about service I was on the lookout for grumpy staff but only found smiley and courteous crew. As long as you smiled and said please and thank you the staff seemed willing to go out of their way for you. We had no issues with language, most crew spoke adequate English to deal with any issues and many knew enough to hold a decent conversation, I was expecting there to be a much bigger language barrier but was pleasantly surprised. Entertainment: Rating 3/5 The entertainment was OK. Only a few of the shows interested us and they had some fantastic acrobats however the singing and dancing was rather average. We attended 3 of the international quizzes and won 2 of them so no complaints there. Other than that the entertainment was very limited but then that’s what I had expected being a Brit on an Italian ship. We made our own entertainment and played lots of cards and drank lots of wine. Ports and Excursions: 4/5 The ports are the reason we chose this cruise and they didn’t fail to disappoint each was absolutely stunning. We went on three excursions: Pompeii at Naples, Harbour Cruise and Wine Tasting in La Valetta and Paleokastritsa and Wine Tasting in Corfu. Pompeii and Corfu were excellent, well organised and very entertaining. The harbour cruise though was pretty dire, it dragged on and everyone was freezing cold and bored witless by the end of it, the thought of wine at the end kept us from jumping ship and swimming back to the Fantasia, well the ‘wine tasting’ turned out to be one small glass of wine, very disappointing, we returned to the ship having had a pretty wasted day. Top 18: Rating 5/5 On the day at sea we paid 10 Euros to go to the top 18 solarium and it was worth every penny. While the deck was packed below we relaxed in the space and calm in our little haven never having to fight with kids for the hot tub and enjoying great service. The cherry on top was the misters they bought out in early afternoon so you could mist with water and stay cool, loved it! Other Passengers: 4/5 The ship seemed to me to be mainly full of Germans (50%), which a then equal split of Americans/British (25%)and Italians(25%) but this is purely my perception and it may be that I truly suck at gauging what language people are speaking. Nearly everyone on board was friendly and chatty, I encountered a few rude passengers but hey I can't expect MSC to vet the passengers so it's not their fault. Overall: 4/5 A fantastic holiday!!! I would definitely sail on MSC again though perhaps not on such a big ship as it on occasion felt very crowded. Holidays are what you make them and with the help of fantastic crew, ports and dinner company we had no problem making ours truly amazing.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
My wife and I spent 10 weeks in Europe and did 4 cruises, the MSC Fantasia out of Venice on the 27th April was the first. The destinations were good, but we should have heeded the term "clash of cultures". We were joined by many ... Read More
My wife and I spent 10 weeks in Europe and did 4 cruises, the MSC Fantasia out of Venice on the 27th April was the first. The destinations were good, but we should have heeded the term "clash of cultures". We were joined by many school children who were given the run of the ship and had little respect for anyone or anything. We watched as children as young as 4 or 5 climbed onto food counters, walked along and grabbed some food, in view of parents and crew. We saw food being handled and then put back. Bit off putting. Cleaning was just acceptable, embarking and disembarking was a disaster. Our cabin was ok, the kids left alone went quiet at about 1130pm until 6.30am. No one wanted to know about it. Our mistake, but overall we got the "budget" cruise we paid for. I will review MSC Opera, we will not travel with this company again, we have filled in the cruise sheet and have written to MSC. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
We chose MSC because they were the only cruise line we could find sailing on the dates we needed. The balcony cabin was very good but the bathroom tiny and smelt of mould. None of us would chose MSC again. This was our 5th cruise. The ... Read More
We chose MSC because they were the only cruise line we could find sailing on the dates we needed. The balcony cabin was very good but the bathroom tiny and smelt of mould. None of us would chose MSC again. This was our 5th cruise. The ship was amazing on first impressions but you get lost and confused very easily and the crew are not very helpful, (there are exceptions of course). It almost seemed that they were too scared of being told off if they stopped to talk to you which happened to one waiter we were talking to. I found this very rude. The only person to pay you any attention was the photographer and they became annoying very quickly! The red velvet restaurant was very squashed up and it did not make for a nice dinning experience, I constantly had to move my chair so wait staff could get by. The food court area was 10 times worse! I like the larger cruise ships but this one had way too many passengers (3500) and we were constantly avoiding people or waiting for someone to leave a lounge area so we could sit. There were a couple of areas that were always empty because they had a view of the life rafts! There is an amazing area called liquid lounge on deck 16, which has full length windows and is great for watching the world go by. Unfortunately the bar is not open during the day and it is a disco at night. We went there to watch the ship dock and leave and there was rarely any one else there, this was a complete waste of this space. The thing that upset us the most though was having to pay for everything on board including water, unless you want to go up and down to the food court to get water from the machine there. I know drinks are not included in your cruise ticket but water should be! We were also charged a tip of 7 euro per person per cabin each day for tips and an automatic donation to unesco, this was just added to our cruise card. I don't mind tipping for good service, but there were only 2 people I would say gave something near good service on the entire 7 days. Never saw a maître d in the dinning room, even on the 2 formal nights. The lifts are whole other experience and are great if you aren't in a hurry to get anywhere, they should supply chairs to sit in while you watch them pass your floor by in both directions. Bottom line for Aussies is factor in at least an extra $1000.00 for just the basic drinks and tours, if you like to sit by the pool with cocktails or even a decent coffee take more money! Or simply choose another cruise company! you will have a more enjoyable and relaxing time. The old saying that you get what you pay for is so true. It started out good value but sure didn't end that way.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
I returned from a week long Mediterranean cruise on The MSC Fantasia two days ago and have never been so pleased to disembark a cruise ship in all my times afloat, having already sailed on most of the current cruise lines in the past six ... Read More
I returned from a week long Mediterranean cruise on The MSC Fantasia two days ago and have never been so pleased to disembark a cruise ship in all my times afloat, having already sailed on most of the current cruise lines in the past six years. The ship itself is beautiful, with plenty of swimming pools, bars, dance areas and open spaces and it is kept spotlessly clean, but that is where it all ends. The ship was extremely overcrowded with a large percentage being rowdy badly behaved Italian and French children, running riot through the ship until all hours. OK perhaps we chose bad dates to travel as it coincided with their school holidays but never did we expect to encounter such bedlam. There was nowhere on the ship that adults we able to escape to without paying an extra premium fee for entry. Even after eleven o'clock at night they were still running riot in the lounges , pushchairs parked on the dance floor while the parents looked on. In the buffet you were lucky to find a table to sit at, we often took the food to our cabin to eat, where at least we could sit down and it was quiet. Meal times in the dining room were equally chaotic because the tables were far too close together and although very friendly and helpful the waiters were so understaffed that they could not cope with demand. Going ashore meant long lines of pushing and shoving passengers with tempers fraying. Swimming in the pools was impossible with children screaming and playing in every one. On top of all this the food quality left a lot to be desired, and was usually cold in the buffet, if not to start with, it was by the time you found somewhere to eat it! Whilst the theatre looked fantastic the entertainment certainly wasn't, unless you wanted to see acrobatics every night performed against deafening music and a squawking compere. All the time we were pestered by photographers none too pleased by our refusal to pose for the camera. About the only thing that MSC managed to show enthusiasm for was their constant merchandising of expensive excursions, otherwise life on board was chaotic and everything poorly organised. So if you are considering the Fantasia for your next cruise my advice would be 'Dont'   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
In March this year [2014] my husband and I joined a fly, stay, cruise package on the MSC Fantasia which included return flights to Italy, overnight accommodation in Genoa, transfers and a 36 night cruise. We chose MSC because the tour ... Read More
In March this year [2014] my husband and I joined a fly, stay, cruise package on the MSC Fantasia which included return flights to Italy, overnight accommodation in Genoa, transfers and a 36 night cruise. We chose MSC because the tour itinerary sounded great even though we had already visited many of the ports. We upgraded to a category B2, [balcony cabin with guaranteed unobstructed views] which in our cruise brochure appeared to be cabins in the bow of deck 9 plus all of decks 10, 11 and 12. On booking the cruise we made just 2 requests. We were told that we couldn't book a particular cabin or deck so we asked if we could have a cabin on any deck on or above 10 and anywhere mid ship to stern Being 4 back to back cruises and with hundreds of cabins to choose from we didn't see this as an unreasonable request, booked months before sailing. Our second request was for 1st dinner sitting due to a medical condition which made 9pm dining unsuitable. Three weeks before our departure date we received our documentation. We had been allocated a cabin in the bow of deck 9 and second dinner sitting. To cut a long story short neither our travel agent nor their supplier could get any satisfaction from MSC re a cabin change. I dealt directly with MSC in Australia to have the meal sitting changed. Just days before departure MSC went to the ridiculous length of making me complete a 'special needs' form even though I had a letter from my doctor. It wasn't until the day before departure that we received notification that we could go to first dinner sitting. On board the cabin was reasonable but we had no view at all unless standing as there was a metal balcony wall obstructing all views whilst sitting! On viewing the cabin categories in the on-board ship information all of deck 9 was graded the same category and we could get no answers as to why we paid more for our cabin with obstructed views whilst so called B1 [cheaper] cabins on deck 9 had glass balcony walls with unobstructed views! The service was terrible, it took 3 days to have a broken catch on the door to the balcony repaired whilst we endured broken nights sleep with the wind roaring through the door gap. Many of the staff were unfriendly and unhelpful. The food was, at best, average with only 2 main course choices if you didn't eat fish or vegetarian and all serves were very small. If you don't drink alcohol, water had to be paid for, with a 15% service fee in the main dining room. To call it “fine dining” was a joke, we've had better meals served at local hotels and clubs. The bistro food was either floating in gravy or sauce or was typical takeaway greasy fast food, the exception being the cold meat and cheeses, the salad bar and the very nice dessert bar. The only alternative was Tex Mex restaurant where there was an additional charge of 14 Euro, a price you had to pay if you wanted a steak. The staff take no responsibility for any discrepancies. The internet is very expensive and runs at snails pace if at all and you are charged by the minute, not data download. I purchased 100 minutes just to keep up with emails which was wiped off the screen after 30 minutes use. When I questioned the staff at the customer relations desk I was told that there was nothing they could do and would refer the matter to their IT department so I had to purchase another 60 minutes. Three day before the end of our cruise they agreed it was their error but still only credited back 30 minutes which was useless as I still had 30 minutes of the extra time I had to buy. We pre booked many of our shore excursions and when we checked our account we had been overcharged. Nothing they could do about it, we'd have to contact their head office in Italy when we got home. When you board the ship you have to surrender your passport and are given a receipt. They then managed to loose an Australian woman’s passport and refused to accept that they were at fault saying she must still have it even though she still had her receipt. They eventually accepted responsibility and just a couple of days before the end of the cruise took the passenger into the Australian Embassy in the next port of call for a temporary passport and the passport was never found! The on-board entertainment was poor, the same 40 minute show was repeated cruise after cruise, the only English speaking channel on the TV was 24hr news on CNN or the BBC. Any movie cost 17 euro to watch. There was however a great number of bars and a smoke filled casino, neither of which appealed. Children, who travel for free, could spend the entire cruise at the children’s club which stayed open until 11pm for the little ones and midnight for the older children. Then they could then run up and down the corridors calling out and banging doors. To sum up, if you want a relaxing holiday with fine dining, first class shows and cultural activities don't cruise with MSC. However if you're not fussy about what food you're served nor what entertainment is on offer, you enjoy loud conversations and rude staff and want a care free holiday with someone else looking after the children whilst you frequent the many bars or the casino then MSC is the cruise company for you. I did email my concerns about our cabin to the Australian branch of MSC cruises who forwarded it to the head office in Italy. I received an acknowledgement of receipt of the email from head office which stated that it “would be investigated promptly by our dedicated Customer Care Team and a reply will be sent to you shortly”. That email was dated 16/05/14 and still I have heard nothing. Typical of MSC cruises. Other people we spoke to on the cruise said they also would never sail with MSC again, even a couple who had never sailed with MSC previously but who had their ocean view cabin upgraded to a B2 cabin on deck 12 for their 2 back to back cruises. The saddest part was the number of first time cruisers who said they would never cruise again after their experience with MSC. We love cruising and did our best to assure them that MSC was not typical of all cruise lines. The many other cruises we have done, particularly Celebrity and Princess were fantastic, whilst other passengers praised Royal Caribbean and Holland America. I just wish that I had taken notice of the cruise reviews of the MSC Fantasia before we booked our trip. Of the over 200 Australian passengers who were on the cruise, many that we spoke to said they would never cruise MSC again and now I see that MSC is coming to Australia in 2015, good luck to prospective passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2014
Like previous reviews ship very beautiful but caters for too many passengers. Transfer to the ship from the airport took 2 hours (booked with Liverpool Cruise Club). Embarkation port just like a cattle market. Cabin very spacious and ... Read More
Like previous reviews ship very beautiful but caters for too many passengers. Transfer to the ship from the airport took 2 hours (booked with Liverpool Cruise Club). Embarkation port just like a cattle market. Cabin very spacious and clean - balcony fine. A big money making machine - constantly trying to get you to buy their allegrisimo drinks package (140 euros per person for the week) includes drinks/water/coffee/pop. No movie station on the TV (all in Italian I think) - want to charge you 7 euros to watch a film. Something like 14 euros to use their wireless connection for kindles/computers. Food - in the 24 hour Zanaibar restraunt - always luke warm. :Poor choice of dishes - pizza station wonderful. Beware at peaktimes i.e. when getting ready to board the ship for an excurion so busy that you get swept away with the crowds. Trying to find a table - very difficult. Main dining room - took 2 hours to have a meal which was poor quality Quite boring on an evening. Shows very good but then nothing else to do but walk around - look in the same shops - have a drink. Spent time in the casino watching people playing black jack. THEY DO NOT SELL DUTY FREE ALCHOHOL OR TOBACCO ON THIS SHIP though on their advertising blub they do. There is no promenade deck on this ship so you can't complete a full circuit of the ship (there are also no sunloungers/chairs on this deck as restriction is blurred by the lifeboats and tender boats). Ports of call - fantastic Athens/Olympia/Corfu/Santorini (fantastic)/Dubrovnik!!! Don't plan to use this line again (it wouldn't be high up on my list of choices).   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I had a family trip to east Mediterranean on end of Apr- beginning of May. I think it was the best timing to travel Mediterranean. Not too hot, not too cold. Ports we visited are all beautiful. Venice, Corfu, Bari, Santorini, Dubrovnik, ... Read More
I had a family trip to east Mediterranean on end of Apr- beginning of May. I think it was the best timing to travel Mediterranean. Not too hot, not too cold. Ports we visited are all beautiful. Venice, Corfu, Bari, Santorini, Dubrovnik, Katakolon, Piraeus. The course was just good. I specially love the beautiful scenery of Corfu and castle of Dubrovnik. Santorini was also good as my family (specially women) expected. Foods in Fantasia was bit salty, but still ok. I was bit worried about foods for parents, because they are old over 70 and never been out from Asia. But they all enjoyed foods during the cruise period. The only point I don't like on Fantasia was entertainments/shows. It was bit boring. It should be improved a lot.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Understand that I have been on over 35 cruises on multiple lines (first and last time on MSC) so maybe a first time cruiser would not recognize all the shortcomings. I’m not sure where to start with all the complaints however; I will ... Read More
Understand that I have been on over 35 cruises on multiple lines (first and last time on MSC) so maybe a first time cruiser would not recognize all the shortcomings. I’m not sure where to start with all the complaints however; I will give you the positive first: Embarkation in Venice was crowded but your normal wait times if you’ve ever cruised before disembarkation was the same. Food in the dining room was average and the wait staff was friendly and accommodating. The ports were beautiful but that is about as positive as it gets. Some negatives (I can’t list them all would lose interest); • The food in the buffet was cold and repetitive. Lunch was leftovers from the previous night’s dinner service • Getting a drink at any of the pool bars was an adventure either they ran out of glasses or completely ignored you • Room was never cleaned thoroughly, stains on the rug, and smelt like it was cleaned with a dirty rag • The majority of the staff was rude, unprofessional, and uncaring MSC is a budget cruise line and it shows. Most employees I encountered think they are the customers and we should be honored we are on their boat. This was the first time I was happy to leave a vacation One last note; All the other reviews’ regarding the American’s being treated poorly by the crew is true (not all but most), I experienced it firsthand.   Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
I do not recommend the MSC Fantasia for the following reasons. Firstly, since there is no tap water available, other than in the main buffet area, you are obliged to buy bottles of water, which over 7 days certainly adds up. The drinks ... Read More
I do not recommend the MSC Fantasia for the following reasons. Firstly, since there is no tap water available, other than in the main buffet area, you are obliged to buy bottles of water, which over 7 days certainly adds up. The drinks packages are very expensive too and you have to drink an awful lot in order for it to be cost effective. Secondly, the food was sub standard. Fries, hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza and generally unhealthy food were served every day at lunch time and it didn't even taste nice. To make matters worse, I was made to feel embarrassed when I asked for another portion of turkey! Portions at dinner time were very small too and often the food was inedible. Thirdly, the buffet lunch area was like a circus with everyone pushing and shoving and fighting over the limited seating area. Fourthly, with regards to the first seating allocation, doors were closed at the restaurant shortly after dinner started and if you didn't get there on time, too bad as there was no room in the second sitting. First sitting guests were hurried out in order to accommodate second sitting guests. In general, staff was not friendly and the level of English was very poor, making communication very difficult at times. I found the hairdressers to be rude and they kept me waiting 45 minutes even though I had made an appointment. We will never travel on MSC cruises again.   Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.5

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