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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I was very apprehensive about this cruise after reading the reviews, I was totally blown away from start to finish. We are a couple in 50's, who have traveled a lot. We did a cruise 6 years ago with P & O and I cried the first ... Read More
I was very apprehensive about this cruise after reading the reviews, I was totally blown away from start to finish. We are a couple in 50's, who have traveled a lot. We did a cruise 6 years ago with P & O and I cried the first week I hated everything about it ! Embarkation was so smooth and easy it was a joy !!! Friendly staff to greet us, welcome drink on arrival and a real WOW factor - just like a movie set with the glitz and glamour The Cabin was just what i was expecting, clean to a high standard and twice a day, large comfortable bed and the choice of pillows. Mini bar was not included in our room but it made no difference as i just went an got a drink when getting ready. Balcony was a good size 2 chairs and a table, don't need anything else. Food, again i was shocked after reading the reviews on here, we ate at the Red Velvet every night, yes it is small portions but it is ala carte, so i wouldn't expect anything else. The food itself was presented well and tasted great, there is a choice of starters, main and dessert. Even the table wine was good. We didn't try the buffet for dinner, we did pop in there for lunch, but it wasn't our thing. Breakfast again at the Red Velvet was extremely good, you have the option of buffet or table service. The level of service in the Red Velvet was incredible, they could not do enough for you. I ordered 2 desserts every night and extra potatoes, they never questioned it or pulled a face, these guys worked really hard and enhanced our dinning experience. We bought the all inclusive drinks package and it was well worth it, we added up everything at the end and it would have easily been double the amount We didn't do any MSC excursions, we did our own thing, again it was a straight forward process to disembark daily, no long queues. Cannes Don't worry about getting a ticket from level 7, go straight to level 4 and board the tender. There is a petit train if you wanted, but we wandered freely. Palma Straight forward, get of the cruise ship and catch the local bus from outside the port, it takes you straight to town. Barcelona. Again, catch the local bus from outside the port, a few minutes and you are in town. Corsica My favorite place, its just a stroll into the town, great place for wine and food Rome We did this ourselves through a cruise excursions it was half the price of MSC and had a full day here, just wandering around. Pisa We took a taxi from the port the train station 15 euros and had booked train tickets to Pisa before we left, the train was great, i think it cost us around 35 Euros return in first class. Not much there but at least i can say i have been. Genoa This is where we started our cruise, so didn't have any time to look round. Disembarkation, again a doddle, it was really smooth, the suitcases were collected in the evening, we collected from outside the ship went straight onto a coach and then at the airport. Entertainment was ok, better than P & O but bearing in mind they have to cater for at least 6 different languages it must be hard to please everyone. All in all, i am the hardest person to please, i have no complaints about MSC cruise , all i can say is I WILL BE DOING IT AGAIN. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention, least of all the Italians on board. The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, The TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into the area. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Very clean and well appointed. Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt. Vita Brevis. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than a mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours. MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Photos: where to begin; they are all on my Google drive and it will take all winter to go through them! otherwise I'd upload a few here but cannot seem to be able to link to Google photos? Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
I sailed on the MSC Fantasia with my husband and 3 children ages 7, 9, and 10. My daughter ended up breaking her foot a couple of days before our vacation and ended up using a wheelchair and crutches throughout our cruise, in order to get ... Read More
I sailed on the MSC Fantasia with my husband and 3 children ages 7, 9, and 10. My daughter ended up breaking her foot a couple of days before our vacation and ended up using a wheelchair and crutches throughout our cruise, in order to get around. Here is a list of pro and cons PROS: -Kids sail free -Food is very good - especially in dining room for dinner, lots of kids options as well, if you ask they will do it -awesome coffee and great bar service -clean and beautiful ship -staff members work very hard and are very friendly and polite CONS: -not wheelchair friendly at all - perhaps they need one elevator solely for disabled people or have signs up to encourage people to take the stairs, also when disembarking at cruise ports, its a free for all - no separate lines for wheelchairs or strollers. -very rude passengers - could not get over this -wifi is TERRIBLE - paid for a package and never actually got on the internet! Just enjoy an unplugged holiday instead -cruise port itineraries NOT WHAT THEY DESCRIBE - BEWARE! I can't even begin to write all of the info I have about this! Just do your own thing and research ahead of time! -kids club is not like a typical kids club like you would get in a Caribbean resort - its a daycare full of behaviour kids...in saying that, the girls that work there do work long, hard hours to supervise other people's out of control children Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Just got back from a cruise on MSC Fantasia which was a mixed experience. I did not have high expectations after reading a few reviews on this page, but it was not as bad as I expected. I have been on several cruises before, all with RCCL, ... Read More
Just got back from a cruise on MSC Fantasia which was a mixed experience. I did not have high expectations after reading a few reviews on this page, but it was not as bad as I expected. I have been on several cruises before, all with RCCL, but for my partner it was the first time. The ship is good enough, clean enough, exciting enough, but nothing to blow you away. Embarcation and disembarcation in Barcelona was smooth and without problem. The cabin was quite large and had a comfortable bed. It felt like it was badly isolated however as we could clearly hear everythin our neighbours said and did in their cabins. I have read other reviews here about the food and dining experience and sadly I have to agree with them. For me the portions size in the main dining room was ok, but for my partner, a tall and active guy they were too smal. The food was notthing special and could be warmer. I mentioned my alergy to nuts to our waiter several times, and still he brought me dishes containing nuts. Not good. In general I found that information regarding alergy was lacking. In the buffet restaurant a sign just said "assorted muffins" I picked up one that looked like a blueberry muffin, but that had nuts in it. We ended up not eating dinner in the main dining room due to the portion sizes and my alergy problem and favoured the buffet restaurant. The food there was ok, nothing special. The level of service was a bit confusing. Some were very serviceminded and some were just plain rude. Again I am used to RCCL service and it was nothing like that. When a waiter cleared our table in the buffet restaurant I said "thank you so much", he just looked at me like I was crazy. When we passed our cabin atendant in the hall I said "Hello, good morning" and he just looked down. Confusing and not what I am used to. An overal problem for us was noise. The other passangers were really loud and not what we are used to. It might have been a culture problem (we are both Norwegian), but we were not comfortable with that. Language was also a huge problem. Very litle information was in English. All activities were in Italien. I do beieve the activities were fun, but we didn't understand enough to join in. The dance instructors were very good however. They really made an effort and did instructions in English for us. They were the best employees on the ship if you ask us. They tried hard to include us and were very sweet. The ports were the best thing with this cruise. Amazing itinerary! I would specially recomend Genova. A beautiful city to walk around in. A true gem. I would recomend a cruise with MSC Fantasia in the mediterranean, it is not bad, it is just different than other cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine ... Read More
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine that there is no Space for everybody. We asked for a Solution: we are now (Sept 2018) still waiting for a Solution when the Cruise ended 1 Week ago... No Words. - We bought the Package "Beverage All-Included" but what we drink from Cabin Frigo Bar is not included (even if Products are exactly the same) and they charged us on the final Bill. - In our "Auria Experience" Package we had the Breakfast in the Room included. We asked for it for the last Day because we had to leave the Room at 8:00, we booked it for 7:30, at 7:50 no Breakfast was in the Room, we called to ask and the said: "For the last they is not included, sorry". What????? And why no one informed about that??? Why they brought us regularly the Format to ask for it???? Unbelievable, a disgraceful Service. - Last but not least, the last Day we were asked to leave the Cabin at 8:00, but our Meeting Time was at 13:45 (almost 6 hours later in which we were going up and down in the Boat like Gipsy...). At 13:45 we were at the Meeting Point but someone collected us just at 14:30, they brought us under the Sun outside the Boat, but the Bus was not there. It arrives just at 15:00. Net-net = 7 Hours lost for nothing, staying on the Boat without Luggage, without a Room available, under the Sun in the Port, treated like Animals... no Words. All in all, please invest your Money better, and not at all in MSC because even with Aurea Experience, they are not interested in you as a Customer, but just as a stupid Number who pays!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The reason we chose this cruise was the fact that the company we booked through offered a stay and cruise deal for Rome and a 7 day Med cruise to destination sthat were all new to us. It was also very well priced. We hadn't cruised ... Read More
The reason we chose this cruise was the fact that the company we booked through offered a stay and cruise deal for Rome and a 7 day Med cruise to destination sthat were all new to us. It was also very well priced. We hadn't cruised before so did lots of research into costs etc to ensure that we didn't get any nasty shocks. On which point - we would reccommend that you buy a drink deal in advance, to simplify things. It worked well for us - we don't drink much alcohol but did drink a lot of soft drinks and water. Purchasing water in the morning or the night before for the day out, saved us the trouble and money whilst out and about. There was also plenty of choice of drinks on the all inclusive drinks deal - unless you want posh cocktails or expensive wine - which we don't. The ship itself was even nicer than we had anticipated, and was very well fitted out and kept lovely and clean. Loved the statues and sculpture dotted about. It is cleverly separated into separate areas. each had its own unique feel but all felt luxurious in its own way. From the Mediterranean warmth of Contina Costana to the brightness of the Manhattan Bar and the soft suede seats in the coffee bar. There is a bar / restaurant to suit most tastes and plenty to do if you choose to stay on board. We didn't sample much of what was on offer apart from the general entertainment in the bars which was generally of a very high standard. Yes it is getting a little tired in places, but this isn't obvious and in no way detracted from the experience and the ship is due a refit for next year anyway. We didn't particularly like the buffet restaurant - too busy, have to search for seating and too many noisy people and children - though there was nothing wrong with the food. THere was actually a very good choice of foods with specials and the daily dose of pizza and burgers. But were very impressed with our designated restaurant, Red Velvet. I supose our biggest disappointment with the dining was that the dress code was optional. Seeing people in shorts and t-shirts in a nice restaurant just seems wrong. We really felt the dress code should be enforced, with the exception of the buffet restaurant. We only booked two excursions. The first was billed as Monte Carlo and Monaco via Nice. The drive took longer than expected due to heavy rain and a thunder storm., and we literally went via Nice. No stopping. We got a short stop in Monte Carlo and Monaco - time on our own was limited as the guide had to repeat everything in two languages. It was a shame we didn't have more time at each destination but sometimes things just work that way. The second excursion planned for our last day was cancelled. However, we did get plenty of advance notice so were able to make alternative arrangements. Excursions would be better if only one language had to be catered for, but with such an international group of passengers that is easier said than done. In fact the truly diverse group of staff and guests was a big part of what we liked about this trip. We travel to meet new people, experience new place and different cultures. The staff we encountered were all friendly and polite and many were excellent. We would especially like to thank Lizbeth in Contina Costana who was eternally friendly, polite and happy. Entertainment wise everyone was good but (Casey?) the lady in the duo in the Mixology Bar and the Italian chap in Costina Costane get a big thumbs up for their friendliness and passion. She has a great voice and he is so passionate and a fantastic musician. We were fortunate to here them perform ad hoc together. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a ... Read More
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a wheelchair as well. When I got there, there was not chair for me. The women say my orthotic boot and gave me Priority Boarding. The issue it, there was absolutely no crown control. There was ONE line for priority boarding which included both handicap and VIP guests. All the guests, not jus the VIP guests packed all of the lines, and people were even pushing me to get on the boat. I left and told them that I can not get in line and I was told that cannot control what their guests do!!! Get ready to be RUN OVER by wild Europeans on the Fantasia. Do not purchase their excursions. They say that people speak English but in reality, the accents are so thick that you will no understand them anyways. Deborah in Rome spoke very poor English and during the whole tour in Rome the microphones did not work at all. We could never hear her. We took 3 excursions- Rome, Pisa, and Monaco. In all 3, you have very limited time to actually STOP and enjoy a site, or take a picture, or enter a small shoppe. They are so concerned with you being back by 3pm, even if the boat doesnt leave until 5:30pm!!! Its better to take a taxi or do a local tour. MSC excursions are not worth it. Also, only ONE local destination offered free shuttle buses into the city center, I think it was La Spezia, but should be all cities. With dinning, they are far too strict. You have to be seated by 7pm and if you are not you can loose your place in dinning and have to eat at the buffet. The buffet is NOT wheelchair friendly. I was only using a wheelchair temporarily, not permanently, but still, no staff offered to help me. The cruise itself is not very wheelchair friendly, which made me feel very bad for people who are actually permanently disabled. For example, there is no wheelchair only elevators. There were actually not enough elevators. There are also no automatic doors throughout the entire ship so you have to rely on other people to help you through the doors. Also, the counters in the dinning room are far too high for anyone in a wheelchair to take a plate, see the food, and serve themselves. My husband had to help me every day, because the staff never assisted. Once, a kind waitor assisted me when he saw me limping with coffee. Definitely the worst part of our trip and what ruined our whole trip was when our cabin was flooded with water when a pipe burst at 2am. I woke up to water in our room in the middle of the night and had a panic attack. They later told us that we were LUCKY they had an extra room available for us to sleep in that night. They even wanted us to go back to the soiled room the next day. Our items were soiled with dirty pipe water and many of our items were not cleaned for when we were scheduled to disembark 2 days later. They refused to return our money for the price of our cabin for those 2 nights and refused to provide any compensation for our shoes or even let me fill our a complaint form. We have been trying to contact customer service for the pipe even specifcially but no one has returned our contacts. All in all, this cruise line is NOT wheelchair friendly, has no automatic doors or dinning assitance, and did not own up to their responsiblity for our cabin and items. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention? The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, but the TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination. We also had a larger balcony than our fiends next door, that curved a bit towards the front of the ship. The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. There was always a constant stream of snack food available throughout the day and evening. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into that part of the spa. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola, but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon free, which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt behind the high altar. Vita Brevis and all that. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or Hotel/Restaurant. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than ½ mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
It was more than we expected. The ship was nice, clean, comfortable. Cabin with balcony was great, spacious, perfect for 2 people, bed was comfortable. Maid service amazing - nice and clean. The staff so polite, greeting every time ... Read More
It was more than we expected. The ship was nice, clean, comfortable. Cabin with balcony was great, spacious, perfect for 2 people, bed was comfortable. Maid service amazing - nice and clean. The staff so polite, greeting every time we are out or in... nice chat and very good English and other languages. - Dining great - buffet lots of choice of food... very tasty and various options, the restaurant Red Velvet, great meal, decent portions just enough for not over eating... (not sure why other people complaining on food here, but for us it was highlight) - entertainment great - haven't had much time to enjoy due to other activities onshore, but it felt like all-inclusive deals and entertainment in Cuba, Mexico etc... 5* resorts - Service - great - depends what you are expecting - have to adapt to other culture - it helped us having European background and knowing several languages. This is what gives a vibe to this cruise line, temper, life, various cultures.... - great itinerary - loved it all - we booked few excursions thru cruiseline and some on our own - did lots of research and prepared ourselves for every single port and place - 3 days in Rome prior to embarkation - was great idea - booked cute place in Monte area... walked everywhere and had few excursions... - Used train from Termini station to go to the port - so easy and cheap 5 euros vs. 150 euros with taxi - friendly people in Rome everyone speaks English, but it's good to know phrases in Italian, words etc it helps getting around - we had it all handy as there was no WiFi available all the time to search on Internet - La Spezia - took excursion to Cinqa Terre - it was Ok, but not what we expected - ended too early in last village, so we abandon the group and did the rest of exploring by ourselves - took train back to Riomaggore (only 4 stations from last village for 4 euros) stayed there whole afternoon swimming, sightseeing etc.) - returned to the port via train only 1 stop... and managed to be ahead of time on the ship - Genova - no need for excursion - did all walking and exploring ourselves - had book ready and information on the city - French Riviera - great excursion, but surprised as we haven't stopped in Nice just drove through, but Monaco was great.. managed to come on time when guards are changing.. had plenty of time on own... same in Monte Carlo and Cannes too... - Barselona - great excursion - booked on our own - had to find a way to come to Gaudi park... but had no problem - Sagrada de Familija great tour and had still few hours to spend on our own... - Palma de Majorca - great place - used public transportation - spend only 1.5 euros for bus ticket to get you to any beaches on the island.... enjoyed whole day there and returned to the main square had tapas and sangria on special for 24.00 euros for 2 people.. - Ajjacio (Corsica) - what cute place - again spent time on one of the coolest beach, enjoyed the sightseeing later on - easy to get oriented - not so many people speaks English, have some knowledge of French - we were ready for it at any of these places - Disembarkation was so smooth and easy - luggage easy found... returned to Rome same way with train....spent another day... touring Vatican and continue our holiday to Croatia... Fantastic experience with MSC and would recommend to anyone. Thank you to the hard working staff - great job Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We have just completed a 7 day west Mediterranean cruise [August 2018] on board the MSC Fantasia departing from Barcelona. Our party of six passengers included four adults and two kids aged 4 and 11. We had two three birth aft cabins. ... Read More
We have just completed a 7 day west Mediterranean cruise [August 2018] on board the MSC Fantasia departing from Barcelona. Our party of six passengers included four adults and two kids aged 4 and 11. We had two three birth aft cabins. We booked the AUREA experience and had two deck 12 aft S3 category suites. The cruise itinerary included stops at Ajaccio, France; Civitavecchia, Italy; La Spezia, Italy; Genoa, Italy; Cannes, France and Palma de Mallorca, Spain before returning to Barcelona Spain. MSC does offer a cruise of similar duration on the MSC Seaview but the itinerary is not nearly as attractive in my opinion. I summarize the highlights and lowlights of the cruise below. Negatives While the embarkation process in Barcelona was seamless despite the roughly 1000 passengers that embarked at this port once onboard instructions were not as vivid as I’d like. We were first time cruisers so the separate registration for children (safety bracelets, kids clubs registration etc.) was all new to us, ditto confirming meal times, linking credit card to MSC ship card, enabling Wi-Fi, early booking of spa treatments and locating our cabin. Once on-board it took me two hours to sort all this including two trips to customer services were long queues existed with passengers essentially seeking help with the same questions. It is important if you are a new cruiser to have your cruise card checked. All six of our MSC cruise cards had the wrong beverage code. The code printed was 601 and so customer services had to print six new cards with codes 431 and 432 (Adults/Children). Had this not been spotted we would have been charged for all our beverages despite booking the all-inclusive unlimited drinks package. We booked an MSC excursion at each of the port we stopped but were disappointed to be notified on the evening before one excursion (CIV22 – Tuscania & Tarquinia) that is was not available due to insufficient interest. As the alternatives were all visits to Rome which we’d visited on previous travels we requested and promptly received a refund and elected to spend the time on foot experiencing Civitavecchia ourselves. We found all the other excursions most satisfactory apart from AJA08 – Discover the Calanques in Corsica. On this tour a particularly officious tour leader – a rather rotund German woman decided to change the tour from a pleasant planned walk in the Corsican hills to a five hour sightseeing bus ride which bored our kids to death and had all passengers sweating as the buses air conditioning could not keep pace with the 35 degree heat. Upon returning to the bus at one stop the German tour leader told us off for attempting to bring ice cream on the bus and for being 5 minutes late. While it was true we were 5 minutes late back to the bus her officious tone did not go down well. At the later stop the same tour leader left two passengers behind and only after receiving a phone call from the aggrieved passengers turned the bus around to collect them. Note to readers – if booking an MSC excursion make sure you have the ships phone number with you at all times. Other negatives were pretty minor. The main buffet restaurants on level 14 (Zanzibar and L’Africana) were packed at peak hours and most notably breakfast time on the Cannes to Palma De Mallorca sector where all passengers were on board because the 14:00 arrival to port. Further, queues at the Photoshop were consistently heavy. The cruise line should invest in more modern computers so the staff can quickly search and find photos. The current computers have not been changed since the maiden voyage! Finally being novices we were not aware of the additional service charges which are added to the account each day. For the above stated cruise this amounted to 10 euro per adult per cabin per day and 5 euro per child per cabin per day. Over a 7 day cruise for our group of six, these charges add up. Moreover, MSC also auto deducted a donation per passenger toward UNICEF. I don’t recall being asked for permission to deduct service charges or donations. Being labelled a service charge rather than a gratuity I’m not sure that cabin crew are beneficiaries. In any case we directly paid gratuity to our cabin steward who we felt really deserved it. Positives There was much to enjoy about this cruise, starting with our cabin which was suburb. The category S3 cabin offered 27sqM (approx.290 sq. ft., yes, I actually measured it) of interior space which was about 40% more than a standard balcony cabin and about the same size as the much more expensive Yacht Club Deluxe suite – which is not really a suite at all. We (especially the kids) appreciated the full size bath and the walk in wardrobe which provided ample space to store all our bags and belongings and not clutter the cabin. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean by our wonderful Indonesian cabin attendant. Having two cabins 12204 and 12206 side by side meant we enjoyed 9 meters of outside deck length because the divider between the two cabins could be opened up. The cabin came with the Aurea experience which included free unlimited drinks including specialty coffee, wine, beer, cocktails, soft drinks and ice cream around the clock. During the course of the 7 day cruise we consumed 400 Euro of drinks which we didn’t need to pay additional for. Summer in the Mediterranean you will drink a bit and its simply wonderful not having to worry about the bar bill. The Aurea experience also offered my choice dining with a dedicated restaurant and no set time to dine and two free Spa service 60 minute massages per cabin – all of which was great and well worth the small premium over a standard balcony cabin. Further the aft cabin was perfectly located for us – being quiet (far removed from the midship bustle of activities) yet only two floors below the main buffet restaurants which were extremely convenient. Engines were not really audible except when aft thrusters were engaged for docking and motion sickness nonexistent in the smooth waters of the Mediterranean. We understand many cruise lines categorize aft balcony cabins as higher end, thus with higher pricing and we can now understand why. Embarkation and disembarkation where well managed at all ports including Cannes where there is no dock and tenders are required to take you ashore. Our favorite excursion was GOA01T/GOA10T to Portofino. This consisted of a 1hour small boat ride from Genoa to the small village of Portofino which with its colorful idyllic seaside architecture was precisely what we’d came to the Mediterranean to see. Food on broad was better than expected. I’d read all the negative reviews about cold tasteless food being served at the buffet but that wasn’t our experience. Coming from Australasia we enjoyed the European food which was never cold unless it was supposed to be. Food was better at the Red Velvet restaurant than the Zanzibar and L’Africana restaurant’s being tastier and professionally served. Even the cheapest of the sparkling wines – a sweet Cuvee Doice “Borgo Molino” at 5 euro per glass was refreshing and highly palatable. Coffee at the IL Cappuccino coffee bar (Level 7) was just amazing. Italian latte’s and cappuccinos were highly addictive and there was no better way to start a morning. We did not get to see many of the on board evening shows but the Queen tribute entitled “The Show Must Go On” was worthy of a mention. No it was not slick Broadway production with stage props limited to just three staircases but what’s not to like about Queen’s music even if the show was merely 45 minutes long? On balance we were very pleased with the cruise and would not hesitate to sail on Fantasia or with MSC again. Excursions AJA08 – Ajaccio, Discover the Calanques. SPE05 – Visit the leaning tower of Pisa GOA01T / GOA10T – Discover the idyllic village of Portofino CEQ02 – City tour of Cannes and Saint Raphael PMI01 – City tour of Palma De Mallorca. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have just returned from Med Cruise on MSC FANTASIA First time cruisers lol We have arrived to Rome Fiumicino Airport around 11 30 a.m , wasn't impressed at all with the service as we were waiting for our luggage over an ... Read More
We have just returned from Med Cruise on MSC FANTASIA First time cruisers lol We have arrived to Rome Fiumicino Airport around 11 30 a.m , wasn't impressed at all with the service as we were waiting for our luggage over an hour at n 8 carousel but eventually my husband and some more passengers found their luggage on number 11 , it was a bit of a mess. MSc representative wasnt easy to found either , i couldn't find her at the meeting point, but my husband is a smoker so went outside to smoke and notice a lady smoking and holding MSC paper, appeared to be our agent. We had to wait for another hour and a half just standing in the corner , while she was gathering and finding all the passengers cruising with msc fantasia, couldn't send us to our transfer bus, so we could sit there with an air con and wait for the others , didnt give proper explanation why. Finally we got to the cruise , we were only ones at the check in as it was around 4 p.m so this part went smoothly . The only thing , we were promised our luggage would be outside of our cabin in an hour , to our surprise our bags were not there in 3 hours when ship sailed off , so we had to contact reception , they found it and send it to our cabin after all , but we had to go to dinner with our all day clothes on .(( Cabin was nice and clean (they clean it twice a day) our room attendant was Johan , real gentlemen and a nice person (we tipped him at the end) as we were very pleased with his help and service. Excursions on the ship are very expensive for a family (ok for 1 or 2 ppl may be) , so we did our own things : Genoa Aquarium was chipper to just walk 10 min and buy tickets at the entrance (so we did it) Palma De Mallorca: we took a taxi (which is just outside of the port , well organised, you just wait in the ques very fast one too ) to PALMA NOVA BEACH , approx 10 min and cost us 18 euro. (they charged us 3 euro to get to taxi and added another 3 at the end of journey , which was strange but we didnt argue lol) sunbed was 4.50 and umbrella was also 4.50 euro Cannes was our best destination , Amazing French Rivierra ! (tender boats , no need for a tickets just went on the deck 4 and took a boat ) Walked on the right to see Festival des Cannes , took a picture on the red carpet lol, checked palm prints of Angelina Jolie, Stalonne etc lol We took Le Pettit Train to see Cannes, totally worth it !! 10 euro per adult, 5 euro per child! There are private hotel beaches opposite , umbrella and sunbed are 55 euro !!!!!! So look for a public beach further on 12 euro per person . also seen ppl using their towels too. Barcelona:Attendant left some transfer tickets organised by msc from the ship to World trade centre. IGNORED IT!! as it was expensive I went off the ship and on my left found Public bus called Port bus (blue one) 3 euro to Columbus Monument or 4 euro both ways , which i took , 5 min i was at the Columbus Monument which is at the very bottom of LA RAMBLA street , i explored , shopping and Nice Old market is a must!!! Also if you have more time you can take HOP ON HOP OFF bus at the plazza Catalunia (top of la rambla street) 30 euro valid for the whole day. however its a bit of a queue but take you to Sagrada De Famillia too. Corsica Ajjacio! Beautiful island . We walked off the ship and i used my google map to take us to St. Francois beach, 10 min walk, which was very narrow but water was very clean, after we took le pettite train again (7 euro per person) to see ajjacio,Napoleon Bonapart was born there, so went to see his Grotto. Our ship also had mini club and Junior Club where you could leave your child , different activities every day, they even take them to eat (if parents are still off the ship etc ) We had all inclusive drink package , which is ok , WATER wasn't a problem at all. We would take mineral water from any bars and stored in our mini bar and would take with us next day out! miniral water 1l - 2.90 euro miniral water 50cl - 1.70 euro plus 15% service charge (if you dont have all inclusive package) Food in the main restaurant was 3 course menu! Always minim 5 main dishes to choose from and 5 deserts You can order it as many times as you want Kids menu is also provided Lots of see food , meat etc Dress code; we receive daily activity news paper every day . at the bottom left Suggestion dress code for every evening! Elegant (Cannes , Ajjacio stops), casual, informal, themed , but to be honest i saw ppl dressed as they wish! Nobody ever told them anything, even on elegant nights, and one night was a White night , so dont forget your white clothes )) Breakfast and lunches i did at the buffet , which is open all day till late. Pool area is crowded , so when we went to breakfast i would bring my towels and put them on the sun beds, they do not remove them till the end approx 7 p.m Entertainment was great , every day different and at the pool area, reception area, theatre, bars , lounges , couldn't do it all )))) Photo shop : got one picture , paid 19.99 euro! They are everywhere asking you to take picture , even at the dinner time, was a bit annoyed, as i was eating, the girl approached and put camera right into my face , oh well ((( I got some screen shots of bar menu , mini bar price , laundry package etc not sure if i can attach here Pls ask me anything, i will try to help you with!! All in all my impression was good !! Yes i would take msc cruise again! More France shore, thats for sure )))) Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We went on an MSC cruise 4 years ago and decided to try again as the first one was excellent. We embarked in Rome and check in was well organised although once on board it was fairly chaotic and not enough staff to help with initial ... Read More
We went on an MSC cruise 4 years ago and decided to try again as the first one was excellent. We embarked in Rome and check in was well organised although once on board it was fairly chaotic and not enough staff to help with initial requests. Our cabin was perfect, plenty of room and comfy bed. We were unfortunately very disappointed with our dining experience. Last time we cruised there were 5 small courses and a great variety. This time there were 3 courses and sometimes I left still hungry (I am not a big eater at all but the courses were often tiny). Others at our table were also unhappy with the food at the restaurant. (We ate at the Red Velvet). Food at the buffet was adequate but sometimes a little tasteless. The other somewhat annoying change was the removal of the "special coffees" from the inclusive drinks package. When you are paying a considerable amount for drinks per day I think you should be able to get pretty much what you want. The cocktails were also quite lacking in alcohol. We did 2 shore excursions and these were acceptable. The other disappointing thing was lack of modern music that isn't piano/cabaret style. A guy playing covers on guitar would be perfect but unfortunately there was no such thing. We are middle aged but appreciate music from today not just music from the 60's, Generally speaking the staff were lovely. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Just returned from a Med cruise on the MSC Fantasia. We are seasoned cruisers and have never cruised with MSC before . Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised . No problems with this at all . Ship is beautiful, ... Read More
Just returned from a Med cruise on the MSC Fantasia. We are seasoned cruisers and have never cruised with MSC before . Embarkation and disembarkation was very well organised . No problems with this at all . Ship is beautiful, yes, there are a few places that require refurbishment but does not detract from the aesthetics of the ship . (Fantasia being refurbished next year) Balcony room - 10174 The biggest we have had and always kept clean and tidy by cabin attendant Jean Bernard . Restaurant and food was exceptional, much better than RCI and Princess . Bars were excellent and with the Fantasia drinks package made things much easier . It would have cost us £1000 if we had not paid for this . Sandwiches, cakes , ice cream all free . Absolutely fantastic . Itinerary was another plus point except for Genoa which was very dirty and not much to see . We did not have a problem with people getting on and off at different ports and found the ship not as busy . Pool areas and sun beds were never a problem. No fighting for a sun bed even in high season.! Entertainment was disappointing as used to grand theatre shows but they did try ! I cannot say enough about this cruise and can only say you will not be disappointed . We enjoyed ourselves so much that we are looking to book for next year ! Price and standards are superb . Think other cruise lines could learn a thing from MSC . RCI =sky high prices that mere mortals cannot afford !! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
MSC Yacht club makes the cruising much more comfortable but it is still a normal cruise with some upscale features. We did Mediterranean with Fantasia for seven days and then the brand new Seaview seven days also staying ashore in-between ... Read More
MSC Yacht club makes the cruising much more comfortable but it is still a normal cruise with some upscale features. We did Mediterranean with Fantasia for seven days and then the brand new Seaview seven days also staying ashore in-between for 2 days. The embarkation was extremely smooth. In Barcelona there was an YC tent outside the terminal. Inside the YC had a small “lounge” build in the corner of the terminal. A bit strange while everybody could see the guests sipping their sparkling wine just separated by a string line. We could hardly finish our glasses as they wanted to accompany us to the ship. The luggages were delivered extremely quickly to the cabin. The cabin is actually a normal balcony stateroom always it si called a suite. It may have a bit more space and a separate closet space. The minibar is included in the price and it should be filled everyday. We asked only for some light cola but even that seemed to be too difficult for the “butler”. Otherwise we did not notice any special service from our butler. Probably you need to ask for them. The meals are served in the YC restaurant in the back of ship. L´etoile is not situated in the YC but we had no problem with that while we are able to move around the ship on our own and do not need a butler to take us to places. The restaurant is maybe a bit better than a normal main restaurant but it certainly is no gourmet. The food is probably normal Italian restaurant level but they could at least pay a little more attention on presentation as it would make the basic food taste better. Even in the seven days cruise the food started to feel a bit boring. Doing 14 days we had the menu twice with no changes. The waiters do their job but that´s it. The attention the guests get seems to vary a lot depending if the staff consider the guests important enough. Some get an offer of black pepper or parmesan, some not. The One pool buffet is nice for a breakfast or a drink but it is certainly not worth visiting in the lunch time if you do not wish to eat a hamburger every day. Lunch is also served in l´Etoile. The public buffet restaurant is chaotic and the food quality is rather poor. You can order the drinks with a call button but the service is still very slow. The YC pool has a lot of space for the guests and it is always easy to find a chair compared to the other pool areas which seemed to be rather crowded. Top sail lounge is very calm and there is always place to sit down. At least the aperitif buffet was very nice. As YC guest you get also the drinks free in the public area. The drink lists are always the same and asking for something else confuses most of the waiters. Some of them seem even not to be able to tell white from red wine. They still try the best they can and it is not they fault if they apparently do not get the proper education before starting the job. The entertainment was typical MSC: trying to be sophisticated. Shows included Italian songs or opera. The poor cruise director was badly outdated and it was rather painful hearing him trying to go hysterical through 6 languages. MSC really makes the Pas in 6 different languages and towards the end of the cruise it starts to feel a bit boring. The entertainments in the atrium or lounges were too loud considering the level of enjoyment they could provide. Only real advantage for us from the Yacht Club is embarkation and disembarkation and One pool there were is always space and lounge chairs available. Still compared to for example to NCL Haven, YC gives you good value for the price while the prices are still affordable. We might do MSC and YC some time again but would recommend MSC to no-one if not travelling in the YC. The cruise in Fantasia felt a bit tired what it comes to crew or the experience like they have already given up when the newer and bigger ships keeps coming. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Cruised on Msc's Fantasia July 2018. Multiple issues. We found our balcony in cabin 13089 on deck 13 was completely overhung by the aqua deck above and did not receive any sunlight this also made the cabin shadowy. Can't say ... Read More
Cruised on Msc's Fantasia July 2018. Multiple issues. We found our balcony in cabin 13089 on deck 13 was completely overhung by the aqua deck above and did not receive any sunlight this also made the cabin shadowy. Can't say for certain but other cabins on this level and perhaps deck 12 would have the same issue.The safe didn't work and one of the balcony chairs was broken. We reported all of this to the onboard Customer Service asking for a change of cabin. No joy they said ship was full. The rep we spoke with showed no interest in our issues was in fact obnoxious. It was only after a further visit and speaking to another rep that something was done but it still took 3 days to fix the seat. When we got home I raised a complaint with MSC and asked for a refund of the amount we paid for the balcony. They apologised for our 'poor experience' and offered us a discount on a future cruise. It was I think 100 pounds, I declined and they offered 250 pounds. It seemed to me that taking up their offer of the discount would lead to MSC making a profit out our poor experience and that didn't seem right. Also the offer was time constrainted. In a last letter I repeated my request for a refund but MSC didn't reply. Additionally food was mediocre and service in the main restaurant was slow. One evening they didn't finish serving our 9.30 sitting till 20 to midnight. This late sitting might be too late for UK clients, it was for us, but it proved impossible to guarantee a change to the earlier sitting. We did enjoy the various lounges and the service there was excellent. We thought the drinks package was good value But not the internet package which we declined. Surely this should be free. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only ... Read More
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only critique for us was the food, which was just "OK". However the serving staff were great in the Yacht Club restaurant, which made up for the food! All drinks including wine and spirits were also included in the price. We like the low key selling from the shops on board, rather than the U.S. lines that promoted the selling to an intense level. The cabin category provided a butler, who really looked after us well, as the cabin was cleaned throughout the day, with fresh towels, bottled water etc. The only staff that were not good at their job was one of the concierge staff, who seemed to be frustrated whenever a question was asked. Overall, we really enjoyed our week on the ship, and will return. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose as Thomas Cook rep said it was fantastic and that MSC were throwing loads of money into their cruises to try and bring them up to Royal Caribbean standards. Sure the staircase and decor in the public rooms was glitzy but I would have ... Read More
Chose as Thomas Cook rep said it was fantastic and that MSC were throwing loads of money into their cruises to try and bring them up to Royal Caribbean standards. Sure the staircase and decor in the public rooms was glitzy but I would have preferred to be at a tumbledown ranch style bar in order for the money to have been redirected towards better quality food ingredients. A friend told me that it’s a different ball game if you book via their MSCUSA website. Apparently the Americans were not booking because of the food and no free water. If you aren’t bothered about hot tasty food, like both the sit down restaurant and the buffet to consist of the same ingredients but plated differently then it’s a good ship to use as a ferry to see many ports around the Med. Good bits: Balcony cabin cleaned very well. Top marks to Sandra. Ship constantly being painted and public areas well maintained and clean. Tips: If you want to take water ashore in bottles, like a couple of ice creams a day, two bar freshly brewed coffees (nicer) a day and at least 3 drinks each of a night then pay for the drinks package (£26pppd). Just for the sake of seeing what we might have spent otherwise we kept the ‘chittys’ and it was £500s worth of the above. The higher package entitled you to fancier cocktails, bottles of wine rather than the glass they give you (wasn’t too bad, a Cabernet Sauvignon for the red choice) and bottles of lager rather than on tap Heineken. Up to your preference really. Food: fruit is fresh. Salads three quarters fresh and one quarter what seemed like recycled veg from the earlier meal ie cold broccoli. Lots on these reviews about the food. Once we discovered that the food in the restaurant was the same as the ‘daily specials’ in the buffet but that the buffet also had other sections such as the pizza counter, the chips/hot dog/burgers counter, the roast meat counter, the pasta counter, all the desserts from which you could only choose one in the sit down (Red Velvet) restaurant on one counter, we stuck to the buffet. But... boy do those other counters get boring and only once did I see steam rising from a plate to food in there. It was a pasta dish so I walked over and took a spoon of it... unfortunately it may have been hot but the sauce was bland and watery and the meat tough. Ditto the roast beef... could have soled my boots with it! The ham another day was like those old fashioned oblong/triangular cans from the 70s, very rubbery. It’s not as if we didn’t try everything just to check, we did and the fresh fruit was the best bit. Comically on our departure day we sat talking to fellow Brits (only a few of us onboard) and one said it was like a blinged up cross channel ferry. I had to smile as I had said the same thing to my partner earlier that morning. Annoying bits: lifts took too long and the British way of standing back to let others out doesn’t wash on this boat. When in Rome..... If you have a baby buggy, a wheelchair or can’t walk too far this isn’t a good boat to choose. Too many people and long walks to get about. We did 700 steps just going to reception and back one day. Pool area packed from 3pm onwards. So you have to decide shall I miss going ashore to trade for more peace by the pool. Excursions: did our own thing but stayed on boat in Genoa. At La Spezia we got the local train to Vernazza (CinqueTerre) as Google said it was the prettiest of the five villages and it cost €4 each way per person and a doddle to do. Vernazza hoaching with tourists but lovely and still got a table by the harbour for a beer and lovely Italian food! Why can’t the Italian ship do the food as well as the mainland? Needs Gordon Ramsay for menu ideas and more money given to the head chef for ingredients. On this cruise I would suggest if you can to choose a balcony cabin with an even number as those numbers were in the sun more often in port (it travels mainly at night so that didn’t matter so much) and they also faced the town more often. If we had been able to sit in the sun privately on ours maybe the noise and numbers of people might not have been so disappointing. Dress: very relaxed, even saw men in shorts and t-shirts on gala night but a good number had got glammed up. Queuing: lots. Lifts, Cannes launch there and back and for a ticket for it, bars, departure morning, reception. Choose a quiet time if you need to go to either reception desk but as everyday people got off or joined it was busy. All the coming and going made it really feel like a ferry. No hot water all day on day 6 so service charge was taken off the entire extras bill. Others had paid it on the day of their initial holiday purchase (as that got a discount) so maybe hold off in case you have any problems. Internet: slow from 3-11pm in fact often wouldn’t load in those hours. Maybe not worth bothering with unless you haven’t researched your shore trip before leaving home. Cost €60 so too much for little chance to load it. Used 530mb of 2000mb. All in all was expecting much more from the enthusiastic way the travel agent described the ship but it was too noisy, too crowded, the food was luke warm and made from cheap ingredients. Wasn’t relaxing at all. We loved our time off the boat sitting on the beach, sitting at little tables in cafes, exploring Gaudi’s architecture but dreaded meal times and evenings. Music got boring after two nights as same musicians circulate the bars. Good job the World Cup was on as an alternative amusement. Pools shut early. Forgot to say they even managed to ruin the hot dogs and burgers (over heated somehow (was it a microwave or the hot plate, can’t tell) but bun was crunchy and hard on one side and temperature still luke warm!) but the ice cream everywhere and the cake in the piazza courtyard were lovely. Enjoy the fruit, it was good. Beware price of their excursions. Do a comparison before you leave. Poor embarkation score only because the rep in Rome Airport kept us all standing for 80 minutes whilst she waited for two passengers from another flight who turned out to be standing behind her. Coach to ship was excellent. Oh dear, we were so looking forward to a luxurious time with super meals but this experience has put us off cruising. Another couple we met said the same on departure. I thought it was just us. When you read the reviews check you are reading about the European cruises and not the ones leaving from America as the two are different. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Was very impress with MSC Divina and this is how we choose this, big big mistake. Newer saw so bad service and so care less personal and so angree. They just hate all customers and this is what you can read in their faces. Food is bad and ... Read More
Was very impress with MSC Divina and this is how we choose this, big big mistake. Newer saw so bad service and so care less personal and so angree. They just hate all customers and this is what you can read in their faces. Food is bad and no taste at all, portion is small, so after dinner you must go to buffet. Quality of photo is bad, very bad quality photoshop. Show in theatre whole week with same team, they singers and dancer in the same time and nothing good you will find there, lot of noise and no show. In dining we got table for 8 , but our group was 10. Online booking wasn't working and check out was terrible, spent 1:20 and visit reception 6+ times. Every person tell you different story and this story always new, all person is lazy and not friendly at all. Cabin cleaner was good, we never saw him, but he did good job. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Firstly this is going to look like the usual MSC slag off, but prior to this cruise MSC has been one of our favourite cruise lines. The problem seems to be that they have let standards slip well below what you would expect. Following a ... Read More
Firstly this is going to look like the usual MSC slag off, but prior to this cruise MSC has been one of our favourite cruise lines. The problem seems to be that they have let standards slip well below what you would expect. Following a joint transfer from Nice to join the ship, our cases were sent to MSC Seaview and we had to run after them to retrieve them to be sent to Fantasia. We had a very embarrassing situation when ordering a drink at the bar because the wrong beverage code had been put on the card (we had purchased all inclusive) and had to have new cards issued. Not a good start with both these issues on the first day. When we were docked in Corsica we were in our cabin preparing for a shower following a day ashore. I was sat on the balcony chair and my wife was getting undressed, we had the curtains open because we were on deck 12 and there was open water facing the window. I heard a strange sound coming from my right but presumed it was a boat in the water; but was very shocked when showered with water from the balcony jet washing machine. My wife at that time was undressed when the machine with 2 men came to a stop at our balcony and proceeded to look into the cabin at my then naked wife. If this was not bad enough she is still recovering from cancer and radical surgery and had to hide behind the bed. We took the matter to reception because we had not had any prior information that the balcony was to be washed (we did get a note the following day that it was to be done). Because we had some other issues I compiled a list and gave it to the gentleman on reception. He made a copy of the letter and asked if he could speak to me later in 2 days time when he had looked into it. When we returned to the ship from a day in La Spezia there was a note in the cabin asking us to contact reception. The lady on reception said quite aggressively "why have you left it so late" I explained that we had been asked to wait for the matter to be investigated but she just got more and more aggressive and at one point started to discuss us with a colleague in a language I could not decipher; I did say that I found it very rude but her reply was that we don't get many English on here, which I found to be almost a racist remark. She did not resolve any of the issues or comment on the situation I have highlighted. I reported the matter to one of the uniformed officers but never received any further correspondence, but have taken the matter up sinse we came home. Food in the MDR and Buffet was cold on most occasions, but this was never resolved even though we reported the matter to the head waiter on several occasions. people allowed in the MDR wearing shorts t-shirts flip flops and in some cases still wet from the pool; all this on a formal night. We were unable to claim the voyagers club photo's where we had dressed appropriately for a formal night. people were allowed in the MDR and Buffet without using hand gel, when I brought this to the attention of a head waiter he laughed and found it very funny. I would expect when they get an outbreak of "Noro Virus" he may not find it so amusing. When we got our disembarkation information we found that the transfer to the airport had been changed from 11:30 to 8:45 without our prior knowledge. We found this very unacceptable because this meant a 9 hour wait in a very small airport with very limited facilities. But again nothing was resolved. Entertainment in the bars was good, but in the theatre it was quite poor, on one night the main highlight of the show was a pole dancer; not very good for a family show. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, ... Read More
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, hotdogs and hamburgers. You have to be kidding me! For all the money my family spent on prepping and creating our Reunion with you guys, it was a waste of money, time and effort. While docking in the Bahamas, for whatever reason, the ship decided to flood in the elevators and hallway on floors 5, 6 and 7. This caused our last day to be a total disaster. what little activities set for that day was canceled. We spent about a half hour attempting to get food after boarding the ship from our excursion. We had family member who were diabetics, asthmatics and other health issues.It was blatantly obvious, crew members were catering to the Europeans and not to Americans. While at the formal captain's dinner, the head waiter failed to acknowledge my table. It was like I was in the center of a triangle. The three tables around me were greeted and welcomed, but, my table tended to appear invisible. No one cared enough to address our concerns. The head waiter acknowledge all guess and tables arounds us as I witnessed them sliding money in his hand. I was appalled and felt disrespected with all that was going on around us. I guess, if the price was right, you were able to get anything you wanted and if it wasn't you were totally ignored... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Based upon other reviews, I would not have selected this cruise but as it was a family affair booked from points halfway around the world, it was done. Let me first say there were many positives about this cruise - our typical social ... Read More
Based upon other reviews, I would not have selected this cruise but as it was a family affair booked from points halfway around the world, it was done. Let me first say there were many positives about this cruise - our typical social interaction with the servers at bar areas was generally most excellent, our cabin steward provided us with a tidy stateroom with fresh towels at all times, the wait staff in the Red Velvet dining area was good, though understaffed for our evening table of 13. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship as a whole. That waned a bit as the cruise went on, especially after the arrival of passengers (and flies!?!) from Genoa. The main dining was generally bland. There were no excellent proclamations about any of the main courses although I will say a few of the desserts were quite tasty. I think we all expected more from the Italian meals that were served but none were outstanding. We saw one show - the dancing and choreography was very basic but the costumes were quite nice as well as two good singers with one of them being exceptional. It speaks quite a bit that nobody was interested in seeing another show. We were given the run around on a couple of occasions as the where to go, especially trying to go ashore in Cannes via the lifeboats/ferries. We stood in line to get tickets, told to be in the theater at 1140, arrived early and was then told we were late, the tickets didn't matter and it was 1st come, 1st serve to go ashore. We scurried back to the other end of the ship, saw the horrendous line waiting to go ashore and eventually didn't leave until ~1300. It appeared badly mismanaged as if it was everyone's first day on the job. Disembarking on our last day was nearly as bad, so I won't rehash it - going ashore at the other ports was relatively pain free. Several members of our group took shore excursions. All felt they were ripped off, from the exorbitant prices to not being delivered what was promised. Let me reiterate there were many positives about this ship and I would like to name every crew member that provided us with joy and service but unfortunately we did not keep a tally. There were a few crew members that were disinterested but by and large, they were positive interactions throughout. As a whole, I cannot rate this cruise/cruise line favorably with the cruises we have been on with Royal Caribbean other than they don't annoyingly push their products like RCCL seems to do. Take note, RCCL. I would do this again only if, as before, we did not have a choice. Our favorite ports were La Spezia and Palma, with the least enjoyable being Genoa by far. We also liked Barcelona (mainly because we spent a couple days there beforehand), Ajaccio and Civitavecchia. We did not go to Rome, as there is too much time pressure. Forgive my scattered approach to this review, we were up nearly 24 hours and I am feeling a bit tired since coming back to home sweet home! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our ... Read More
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our needs. The itinerary is all-important to me, so we have never used the same cruise line twice. We wanted to add a day in the Cinque Terre, and this was the only line that disembarked in Genoa, near there. The shore excursions were also reasonably priced as compared to most cruise lines. They embark and disembark passengers at every port, so this offers a lot of flexibility. However their ala carte pricing means that you really have to look hard at what you want and what you are willing to pay extra for. It is very confusing, and very easy to be charged for something you didn't need. Everything is extra, including water. The heavy smokers were also a bad experience for Americans and a safety issue. The ship can hold 4,300 passengers, but personally I like a much smaller ship. However there were a lot of activities for children, including their own swim and play area. We had a wonderful balcony cabin on deck 13 with what they call the Aurea experience. This offered us the all-inclusive drinks package that normally cost $55 per person, per day. Also we had two included spa treatments that were worth about $120 each. MSC charges an extra 10 Euro per person, per day service charge. However you can modify this if you want. Except on the gala nights, the food was either overcooked or cold. The buffet meals were quite bad. However if you order off the menu in the Red Velvet Restaurant, the food was somewhat better. We found the service was very good, unlike many other reviews. MSC has a matching rewards program, so even though this was our first trip, we achieved Gold status. However you have to apply for this a couple of weeks before sailing, and the rewards were not that great. It took a lot of work on my part to document our existing rewards with other programs. To me the 5% discount was most beneficial, but that only applies on future cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Cruise chosen due to destination/itinerary which was fabulous. We have cruised many many times but never with MSC and most likely won’t be choosing them again. Our balcony cabin 11148 was standard but we found it quite noisy due to ... Read More
Cruise chosen due to destination/itinerary which was fabulous. We have cruised many many times but never with MSC and most likely won’t be choosing them again. Our balcony cabin 11148 was standard but we found it quite noisy due to other passengers not being respectful when heading back after midnight. Dining this was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise not much choice both in the buffet and the restaurant in fact the restaurant the portions are very small. The food in the buffet was only lukewarm at all times! We always opt for anytime dining but this wasn’t an option on this cruise and had the choice of 6.30pm (too early) or 9pm (too late)! Corsica lovely never been before but thoroughly enjoyed used local yellow 55min bus tour €8 which is available as soon as you disembark the ship. Rome this was our fourth visit second by ship. Shuttle bus drops you at different location to our last visit which is further from the Railway Station although we got on a public bus €2.50pp at the drop off location and it was approx 10min ride to the Railway Station. We purchased a €12pp BIRG ticket which included return tickets to Cituvecchia, metro and bus tickets whilst in Rome and more importantly only had to be validated once! La Spezia having been to Florence and Pisa in the past we decided to visit the Cinque Terre. We walked to the railway station which was approx a 25 min walk from where the ship was docked and purchased the Cinque Terre card €16pp this was recommended by the information person at the station as we wanted to do four of the five villages and this way we only had to validate once! Each journey is €4pp anyway so this ticket made sense especially if we had done all five villages! The reason we didn’t do all five villages was due to a train strike warning between 10am - 2pm therefore didn’t want to risk getting back to the ship! This however didn’t impact our day at all due to numerous other train companies running anyway! Genoa after much research we reluctantly did a ship tour to Portofino as this was one place we really wanted to visit and it seemed pretty complicated to get to being our first visit! Cannes unfortunately we couldn’t get off the ship due to weather as this is tendered! Palma we wanted to go to Soller as we have visited Palma numerous times in the past! We walked to the main road and took the number 1 bus to Plaça Espanya €1.50pp and then the L211 express €2.35pp to Soller. We wanted to take the vintage train €18pp one way, however due to us docking @ 2pm this impacted on our time as it takes 1hr to get to Soller and the timetable is quite limited and we have done it before! Barcelona as our flight wasn’t until late afternoon we left our luggage in a locker which was very very good quite close to Plaça Catalunya and strolled La Rambla before heading up to Rambla Catalunya for a lovely lazy lunch before heading back to the airport. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
There were great ports of call on the short mediteranean cruise. The balcony cabin was great and room attendant did good job. But the "great" stops there!! Two booked shore excursions were cancelled with less than a day notice ... Read More
There were great ports of call on the short mediteranean cruise. The balcony cabin was great and room attendant did good job. But the "great" stops there!! Two booked shore excursions were cancelled with less than a day notice and no attempt was made to try to offer an alternative arrangement for us. Generally the crew were unresponsive to our requests and enquiries and rudely answered back instead of trying to address the issues we had. Overall the level of service on this ship was unacceptable and not what we have enjoyed with many other cruise companies. The "fine dining" meals were mediocre at best and the buffet was not much better for quality and any personal service. Except for the serenity of our cabin, the interesting ports of call and meeting a few nice travellers this cruise (ship) was one to forget! We will not be cruising with any MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We started our cruise in Barselona. Embarkation was fast and comfortable. In fact, embarkations and disemarkations in all ports had been arranged perfect or near to perfect. Our cabin Balcony Fantastica was really fantastic. The cabin ... Read More
We started our cruise in Barselona. Embarkation was fast and comfortable. In fact, embarkations and disemarkations in all ports had been arranged perfect or near to perfect. Our cabin Balcony Fantastica was really fantastic. The cabin had been cleaned 2 times a day, but in a little bit specific way. If we remained some belongings on the bed, after cleaning we found them being scattered even on the floor... My regards to our cabin stewart Sabrina... We always had breakfasts at Red Velvet and dinners at Il Cerchio D’Oro . The breakfasts looked fairly typical for 3 star hotel level, other words, the choice and quality were acceptable for 1 week stay. There was a possibility to order from menu to diversify a choice, but at the first morning our waiter explicitly refused to serve us. This guy was just lazy. Nevertheles, the next mornings we managed to order everything we liked. There was also a problem for tea-lovers to find a hot water at the restaraunt. All waiters after our request to bring some hot water had dissapeared somewhere without any explanations. Meal at Il Cerchio D’Oro was absolutely OK. The portion were small, but one could order 5-6 different dishes, no problem. Service at Cerchio D’Oro was also very good. Again there was only one strange thing about restaraunt service: the waiters never emptied guests' bottles. Something around 100 mg always remained in all bottles and waiters brought them back to the kitchen. I saw the guy bringing 5-7 bottles. Bonus for the staff? Some of the waiters and barmen looked entirely exsausted. Some of them told us that they finished their woking day at 5 a.m. and at 8 a.m. they had to be at working place again. The buffet was really usually crowded, but it was an adequate place for those who needed to bite something being very hungry. Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.5

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