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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We booked this cruise with MSC Fantastia because we had a wonderful cruise on the sister ship 2 years ago, and thought that this would be the same, how very wrong was we. The embarkation went very smooth, transport was waiting for us they ... Read More
We booked this cruise with MSC Fantastia because we had a wonderful cruise on the sister ship 2 years ago, and thought that this would be the same, how very wrong was we. The embarkation went very smooth, transport was waiting for us they took our luggage and we didn’t see it until we got to our cabin, we were on board ship very quickly. The ship itself was very impressive with crystal stairs and glass lifts as the main feature and was very clean everywhere, plenty of bars, two main restaurants a Mexican steak house which you had to pay extra and the cafeteria, 3 pools, 1 outdoor on deck, 1 indoor and 1 at the back of the ship for smokers, so far so good. THE CABIN.... We had an inside cabin on deck 11, this was the first time we have had a inside cabin as it’s all we could get, never again it was very small, although very clean and our steward was great but I didn’t like not knowing what the weather was like and not knowing what to wear, the bed was a king size and very comfortable, shower very small with a curtain which was ripped at the top. THE DINING.... we were in Cerchio D Oro restaurant on deck 6 at the back of the ship, Restaurant was laid out nicely we were on a table for 6 but only one other couple was on there, now this is a very bad complaint I am a Diabetic and there was not one sugar free desert on the menu, and when I asked they said we have ice cream or fruit, well ice cream has sugar so fruit every evening got boring for me, the only sugar free soft drink on ship was Coke Zero which I do not like the taste so I had only water to drink the whole 2 weeks. The meals were very small ok if you are a child but not an adult so my husband who is a big man had to ask for two mains meals or chips, but most meals were tasty. ENTERTAINMENT..... Not very good the shows were repeated the second week so we had seen them all the first week so only went to the bars the second week as we didn’t want to see them twice, there was no live band and all done by backing cds, dancer were quite good. BARS.... service in bars on average was 10 minutes wait for waiters to get to you to take the order, as I couldn’t get a diet mixer I only had coffee so can’t comment on the alcohol, but my husband said the Red Wine was quite good, waiters not that friendly. POOL and DECKS... plenty of sun loungers when in port and passengers were on shore but you have to be up early when at sea as like anywhere they go quick, decks clean even though we didn’t see any rubbish bins I say clean that’s when children didn’t trough drink cans etc when finished with them and there was a lot of children which I will comment on later who keep running around and jumping in the pool and was very loud. SHORE EXCURSIONS..... not worth the money and very expensive, we went on a trip to a beach in Trinidad what a rip off, when we got there it was a construction site as they were building holiday bungalows on the beach, with heavy machinery going up and down and where it had rained the track marks were nothing but mud which we had to walk on so after half an hour we went back to the mini bus ( we were not the only ones ) and had to wait 2 hours until everybody got back and it cost 85 euros for the 2 of us. FRENCH PASSENGERS.... Now the ship holds over 4,000 passengers on the second day in Port of France 2,000 French people embarked large family’s all with children which they didn’t keep under control were very loud in the cafeteria at breakfast and on deck in fact everywhere, we later found out that they paid very little Money for a week under 250 euro and the children went free, they could only eat in the cafeteria not the Restaurants, now this made me see red as we paid over 3,000 for the 2 weeks and they really took over the whole ship. We also felt that the ship was more like a ferry in the fact that on about 4 islands people got on and off and we had to listen the safety drill each time which was said in 4 different languages which was very annoying. DISEMBARKATION.... Was very good and well organised I’m pleased to say, luggage was collected from cabin and we collected it at the airport TIME TO GO HOME at last, this will be our last MSC cruise never again . Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
MSC Fantasia currently has an itinerary visiting smaller and less visited West Indian islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Kitts and St Vincent. For British guests there are fortnightly cruises starting and ending in Bridgetown, ... Read More
MSC Fantasia currently has an itinerary visiting smaller and less visited West Indian islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Kitts and St Vincent. For British guests there are fortnightly cruises starting and ending in Bridgetown, Barbados. French speaking guests from Europe or the local islands and other European guests mainly undertake weekly cruises starting and ending in Guadeloupe or Martinique. These 2 islands are visited twice each during a fortnightly cruise from Barbados so you can expect 4 disrupted evenings while obtrusive safety drills take place (service in every bar can be suspended) as well as having your own first evening disrupted (my drill took place when I should have been dining). Food is very poor and often tasteless and restaurant service, with a few notable exceptions, is appalling. I gave up and joined many other guests who abandoned the evening meal served in the restaurant, which is normally a cruise highlight, for the buffet offering on the 14th deck. The ship is very badly designed with kitchens between restaurants at the back of the boat and those further forward. You can not walk through the boat at 5th or 6th deck level to reach your restaurant at the rear. Although there are 4 sets of elevators one set serves the atrium area with entertainment, guest relations, excursion desk, etc. as well as embarkation and disembarkation. This set of 4 elevators is hopelessly overloaded. Elevators frequently go past floors for no apparent reason. As a result guests often press up and down buttons just to get an elevator. This results in needless journeys, overcrowding and elevators stopping at floors unnecessarily. I walked up 6 decks with hand luggage on arrival because the situation was so hopeless and it was noticeable how many others gave up on elevators throughout the cruise. The entertainment show on board in the main theatre (and menu) repeats on a weekly cycle so anyone taking a 2 week cruise has seen each show by the end of the first week. There is a classical show in the theatre between the 2 performances of the main show and the pretence is that this offers a new alternative for the 2nd week. The main shows fit with dinner sittings. The classical show does not. The theatre shows are poor. There is no band. With the exception of vocals everything is done to backing tracks. Better dancing can be seen on Strictly Come Dancing. People vote with their feet and the theatre is sparsely attended. There are a number of bars with entertainment, often a singer accompanying themselves on a keyboard or with accompaniment by one musician. Backing tracks are again in evidence. Where does karaoke end and proper musicianship begin? The singers are the same every night and the songs sung often the same as well! The Sports Bar is hopeless. You basically get what is on Eurosport. There were no English football matches and no effort was made for Superbowl. The only advantage of watching in the bar was (a) drinks and (b) a sensibly sized screen. The toilet in my cabin overflowed on 3 separate occasions, once in the middle of the night and took far too long to 'repair'. On the last gala night of the cruise I had to remain in my daytime clothes as showering was not practical. This was my first cruise on MSC. It will be my last. It is by far the worst cruise I have ever been on. There will doubtless be other reviews in a similar vein. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We choose this 'cruise because it was good value. We flew to Barcelona and everything was very organised on board - from the first day to the final day we laughed, had fun, made friends and both my friends and I would love to go on ... Read More
We choose this 'cruise because it was good value. We flew to Barcelona and everything was very organised on board - from the first day to the final day we laughed, had fun, made friends and both my friends and I would love to go on another cruise. Our room on board was lovely - especially our balcony. The offshore places we visited were interesting and we had plenty of time to visit places of interest. We visited Majorca, Marseille, Genoa.. Dining is a problem as I definitely put on half a stone as the food was excellent. If you did not want to eat formally there was a huge buffet upstairs where you could pick and choose what you liked. We lovely the entertainment. I visited the casino which was great fun.so long as you are reasonably sensible. We eventually got back to Barcelona and all three of us said we would go on a Cruise again. It was really enjoyable. The staff were fantastic - I just wish I could remember all the names to say a special thank you to them. Our head waiter was from Bali - he was super.= The ship we sailed on was the PREZIOSA. AND not the Fantasia as indicated above. That name went in by mistake. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Just returned from a 14 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the lovely MSC Fantasia. Firstly the ship far exceeded our expectations regarding the décor and beauty of it, crystal stair cases and glass lifts in the atrium, plush lounges of ... Read More
Just returned from a 14 night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on the lovely MSC Fantasia. Firstly the ship far exceeded our expectations regarding the décor and beauty of it, crystal stair cases and glass lifts in the atrium, plush lounges of which there were plenty added opulence. Beautifully maintained and very very clean...everywhere.. Our balcony cabin was good, although we had one with an adjoining door and that did mean we could hear noise. We were on deck 9 and near to the lifts so pleased overall. Excellent cabin service from our lovely cleaner.. The pool decks were fabulous and because this cruise only meant 1 day at sea, there were always plenty of sunbeds and attention from the waiters. It was nice to enjoy the deck when the majority left for the day. Dining was the only thing that let it down for us. Breakfast in the Red Velvet restaurant was simply a farce, too busy and long, long waits with more waiters trying to sell you freshly squeezed orange juice & offering pastries than were waiting the tables. They offer table service and buffet and they should reconsider just table service and leave the buffet to Zanzibar restaurant. We had our breakfast here after the 1st 2 days, just popped in late morning for a sausage sandwich and took it out to eat. There was always a very good selection of everything for everyone, it is just the whole buffet experience that is not for us...i.e the spoon chase and sugar hunt! The evening meal was not much better, we had a table for 6 with 2 other couples for the 1st dining at 6.30pm seating, and although our food was ordered at the same time it came out in dribs and drabs and dragged on for 2 hours! The 2nd sitting was at 9pm! Food was fine but not that exciting... The Plaza St Georgia was superb, on deck 5 complimentary pastries & sandwiches served with proper pots of tea, never busy and in our opinion Fantasia's best kept secret, also served gelato here all other drinks here too. The shows were excellent but of the same type, singing and dancing with jugglers and acrobats, but the same every evening with a slightly different theme, it would have been good to have had a few variations, ie a comedian or tribute act. The theatre was very big & spacious and well air conditioned. This not a dressy ship, there were only 2 Gala nights, and it was entirely your decision as to wether you dressed for it or not, some were in full ball gowns & dinner jackets and others were in day time shorts and flip flops! We chose to dress up, but I wouldn't advise buying posh frocks especially, a pretty short number would do the job perfectly well... All the bars were excellent with mainly very good service, singers and musicians in all, and of a very good standard. Drinks were all good brands and included in the drinks package. The gelato was simply fabulous, and we visited everyday to sample the varied flavours. Our itinerary had changed owing to the hurricanes on a couple of Islands last year, so we had 3 new islands that we visited twice. We sorted our own tours and found these to be great fun and far cheaper than through the ship. Reception was very efficient. As on many cruises, the safety procedures are mandatory, and whilst we totally appreciate this, because everyday we had new travellers embarking, this had to be done daily, and so the tannoy was very loud, especially after 9pm as it had to be done in 4 languages each time and after completion! The disembarkation was quite simply the best organised we have ever had with a cruise company. Easy smooth transaction. All in all a pleasant holiday, and would go with MSC again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Booked this cruise on an all inclusive package from uk. initial impressions were extremely good, however faded very quickly. transportation and embarkation were well organised and pretty fast. largest ship we have sailed to date and ... Read More
Booked this cruise on an all inclusive package from uk. initial impressions were extremely good, however faded very quickly. transportation and embarkation were well organised and pretty fast. largest ship we have sailed to date and impressively stylish. Cabin was ready by the time we eventually found it. Immaculately clean, spacious and well appointed. My only moan would be the shower curtain, really in this day and age?! helena, kept our cabin spotlessly clean throughout our 2 weeks, was friendly and helpful, could not be faulted! Our 1st visit to guest services was met with a sour faced young women who just rudely pointed at the credit cards machine, when we asked about registering credit card to cabin account. Our 2nd was 24 hours later to remove the daily gratuities, which was met with no opposition or even questions what so ever. Obviously they are aware that they don't provide the level of service that warrants this charge! This is the 1st time i've ever done this and 100% happy i did by the time i disembarked. Within a very short amount of time it became obvious how unfriendly, unhelpful, miserable and blatantly lazy a majority of the bar staff were! its was a whole 3 days before any bar staff asked me if i wanted a or another drink or even passed the time of day. This included the times when they actually cleared my empty glass away! Not sure if this had anything to do with them constantly dealing with ignorantly rude and demanding guests (of which, sadly, made up about 80% of the ship!) over the busy xmas and new year period. morale appeared to be at rock bottom, and a friendly smile in any of the bars was few and far between! actually felt awkward bothering them for a drink!! Our sanctuary was the sports bar, with an always beaming ryan from philippines and andrea swort from south africa, a credit to the hospitality service. Brits beware....all inclusive premium drinks package consisted of only 1 draught beer, 1 bottle beer(heineken) , no cider included. Very limited wine choice and charge for red bull. Plenty of cocktails but all spirits measured! we believe this is sold in good faith (no problems with variety on ncl previously) by cruise agents in uk and exclusions made on board. Food was average at best. The carved meats served on buffets were pretty tasty, although also appeared to be the same served at the il cerchio d'oro restaurant, would expect more from seated fine dining option. the pizza was excellent but that's all you'll find after 10pm!! the 2 advertised buffet restaurants turned out to be one merged into the other, same food repeated. By the time you'd actually got your meal together and back to table it was practically cold! All lacking in variety and imagination, was expecting better from the italian, food loving msc! the seating times in cerchio d'oro restricted us and found uncomfortable, sitting with 4 complete strangers. luckily we all spoke english, unfortunately i was the only one that could make small talk! once was enough and thankfully, we managed to get a few nights with some cruise buddies(who also had the same experience) at the later sitting. Tex mex had great steaks but awful service. My biggest problem with our experience was the lack of general hygiene. the hand sanitizers at the restaurants and buffet perhaps worked 50% of the time, be it broken or run out. i reported to guest services, when the one at the main entrance to the buffet was obviously broken(back hanging off) at 4pm and still out of order at 9pm!!! there were entrances into buffet from outside desks that had no sanitizer machines! i had and officer actually shrug his shoulders at me when i pointed this out to him! On a handful of occasions staff were seen spray passengers from bottles. The more shocking thing was that passengers (about 80%) completed ignored machines and staff and just pushed past those that stopped to disinfect. being a medical professional, i am overly aware of the prevention of cross infection in this sort of environment. however what made me so concerned with the lack of staff interest in hand sanitization, was the amount of times i witnessed passengers leaving the toilets without washing their hands and on more than one occasion straight into restaurant!!! You don't have to have a medical back ground to know that that is just disgusting / repugnant / disgustoso / widerlich !!! Entertainment was poor and repetitive. Only saw one show, freddy mercury tribute, uncomfortably performed in english. Couldn't face any more, all opera themed. Rock / Roll night was my thing, but oh my, never heard such wailings! Band could only play one tempo. pianist i thought was literally dying one night. The same set was performed the last 3 nights on the trot, by the same shrieking duo in manhatten bar, hits i hadn't heard since 1977! seen better acts down local club! We had to endure the muster drill 6 times, in 5 languages during our 2 weeks on board. explain why it is piped into cabins when, if you are doing the drill and following instructions, you should be at the muster points?? waste of time for most passengers, as they took no notice, didn't put on lifebelts, some of those that had, had on wrong way, and staff never corrected! Loved all the islands, apart from martinique. I went to the "caribbean" and the only time i felt i was there was being on shore. Never heard caribbean music on board and sailed away from island to the italian national anthem? sadly a parisian experience rather than a caribbean one. won't be sailing msc again too many dirty and rude passengers, with mostly unwelcoming staff on board . Going back to a cruise line that wont let you pass without a "washy washy" hand practise and a cheeky smile! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We were travelling with parents to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Chosen for the location and itinerary which was excellent with a few new places to discover. The cruise price wasn't cheap but overall not stupid for a two ... Read More
We were travelling with parents to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Chosen for the location and itinerary which was excellent with a few new places to discover. The cruise price wasn't cheap but overall not stupid for a two week cruise. We also had the advantage of being able to have balcony rooms next to each other. Embarkation was the best I have ever experienced. The main foyer was beautiful with crystal staircases and lots of marble. The special holiday was one big regret from our first meal. My parents are 80 years young and this could be their last special holiday. My heart sank at the overall disappointment. 1st meal was up in the buffet lounge of which afterwards we avoided at all costs having to suffer the appalling food twice more throughout our stay. They had a hotdog/burger bar which didn't look appealing. If you take children food could be an issue from poor choices. The food was really poor quality, the place scruffy looking not worth the trek up. We usually enjoy going to the buffet for breakfast and lunch or afternoon snack but not on the Fantasia. Dining room experience was average. not enough staff so lacked personality. The exception was Antonio from El Salvador. Great fun and good at his work. Sadly he went home after week 1. The food was good but not typically English for those wishing for a more bland palate. You did have to buy water which you could incorporate with the expensive wine package. No after dinner coffee. I have never been on a ship where you had to buy water at meal times we were pretty much annoyed by that. Not forgetting that 15% We requested a large table a booking and was told we were on a table of 8 before departure. It was just the 4 of us on a table for 4. We requested a change but it didn't occur. Bar experience was lacking. Took ages to get served by some waiter without personality. I don't think they were really trained properly as getting a smile out of some was awkward. We put the slow service down to people buying expensive drinks packages and MSC policy of slowing down the drinking but that is our theory. A shame really as the singers in the main atrium were really good and worth a listen to. It tended to be the same two singers every night which did become tedious. The downside of this ship really was the fact that several times a week people from all over the world were departing and arriving. I believe this had an affect on the atmosphere of the ship as you never got to know anyone unlike others I have been on. You were constantly moved from one area to another as barriers were in place to accommodate the changes and you did have to listen on those days to the loud speaker giving the new boarder drill in several languages. A bit annoying but didn't really ruin the day. 15% on everything did have an effect on our on board spends and on our tips. We always tip but did hardly any this time. Taking it out on the staff but you know. Most didn't work that hard. The only ship I will hopefully avoid in the future. Excursions not used We did use the doctor. He was excellent. No complaints in that department. pros - clean - great itinerary - good drinks once served - nice food in dining room - good breakfast in dining room - good singers in atrium - beautifully decorated - con - expensive packages - no personality - shortage of staff issues - lack of staff training - 15% on everything bought - no water at the dining table - lack of finishing touches in the cabin by cabin staff - lack of customer service overall. Terrible buffet lounge. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH MSC Our experience with MSC on a Caribbean cruise in Jan 2018 was the worst experience we have ever had. Most of the 14 days was spent having to complain. Not a holiday.Just full of stress. We have enjoyed ... Read More
DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE WITH MSC Our experience with MSC on a Caribbean cruise in Jan 2018 was the worst experience we have ever had. Most of the 14 days was spent having to complain. Not a holiday.Just full of stress. We have enjoyed cruises with most of the other major companies, so have plenty of experience to do this comparison Listed below are the reasons why: It is an Italian company and they do not really cater for the English The staff are not very friendly and can be very rude to you at times You cannot reserve your flight seats together prior to departure There is no guarantee you will be seated together on the flight Beware of being upgraded as it is not always a better cabin The cabin steward: • is not very welcoming or respectful • never remembers your name • no frills like animals made from towels or chocolates on the bed at night The drinks package included is very basic, with only one type of draught lager and local spirits. They try to get you to spend more upgrading to the branded drinks No captain announcements throughout the cruise Only one leaving party from 7 days when leaving port Entertainment • Main theatre shows can be repeated after 7 days. • Very poor entertainment. We had a woman singing Queens songs! • No pub quizzes • Bingo very expensive and in many languages • Opera if you like it Restaurants: • When asked for milk in coffee, he poured in drinking choc • When asked for milk in tea, he poured coffee into it • Not much English choice • Food is not always hot, but luke warm • Only wine and water served at your table Drinks service • There can be a number of ports where passengers embark and disembark. This means there will be a muster drill that night where all the bars are closed for 45 mins, so no drinks available • The bar staff do not like serving you directly and tell you to see the waitress • The waitress takes your order, which can take up to 30 mins to be delivered • Only certain drinks available at certain bars. You have to search as they will not get it for you. One night we had to go searching to get Sprite! • On deck the waitress service is only available in certain areas. They never walk around the ship to get your order. Pool • You are only allowed one pool towel a day. You have to go to reception to beg for a replacement Sanitation • When entering the restaurant, only on occasions do you see a crew member offering you sanitation for your hands • Sometimes the dispensers are empty Excursions • We were sent out in the pouring rain and got soaked. No refund given Complaints • They seem to feel by giving a free limited food voucher, all will be forgiven • If you complain to MSC directly, they will give you all sorts of excuses. Just got back from a Royal Caribbean cruise and our faith in cruising has been fully restored MSC NEVER AGAIN!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise as it was originally a no nights at sea cruise, but because of the hurricanes in itinery changed that was ok but when we boarded the ship in Barbados we knew we had made a big mistake, even though the ship was nice ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was originally a no nights at sea cruise, but because of the hurricanes in itinery changed that was ok but when we boarded the ship in Barbados we knew we had made a big mistake, even though the ship was nice the staff were rude and unhelpful the food was extremely bad in both the buffet and main restaurant I can eat anything but I struggled to find even there coffee palatable let alone what they were serving, the service was also dire and we were kept waiting for drinks and on occasions we were completely ignored plus there was some sort of virus that affected someone in our circle plus other passengers and we had to get medicines from Guadalupe which helped but even after being back 6 weeks she is still receiving medical treatment and the cruises ended as a back to back cruise which was rubbish some of the islands we visited were dreadful and on one island we docked in the worst slum area I'd ever seen in my life and I've seen a few on my travels MSC should be thoroughly ashamed of the treatment of all its British passengers on the worst cruise in history Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I have traveled extensively around the world and spent almost 2 years in Europe in the past. Having always cruised on American ships (Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival), this was definitely different, ... Read More
I have traveled extensively around the world and spent almost 2 years in Europe in the past. Having always cruised on American ships (Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival), this was definitely different, definitely European. Amazingly, I met only one other family who were Americans-everyone else was from Europe or elsewhere, even though we were in the Caribbean! The ship was decorated luxuriously and the design, materials, wall/floor coverings, and furniture were definitely Italian design and a step above other ships that I have sailed on. The size of the cabin was average and any extra storage space was lacking. Of note is that the 13th floor cabins were the same size as the 10th floor cabins. However, the televisions were shockingly small at 18" and you needed binoculars from the bed to read any of the captions. They also lacked free English speaking movies which are standard on other cruise lines and had only 3 English-speaking channels including ESPN. The website to book the cruise was woefully lacking user friendly links and was confusing and ambiguous-this unfortunately put a strain on the toll-free MSC agency, who were quite helpful. They need to revamp their website up to American standards. The food was definitely European. The pasta and bread was excellent. The portions on the menu were small and the meat in the entrees ranged from "ok" to just plain bad. Ordering steak/sirloin resulted in about 3 to 4 ounces of tough meat. In general, the selection of menu entrees was extremely limited. TIP: order 2, or even a sampling of 3 of the main entrees on the menu with your partner if you are not sure about them. Other's reviews that you have read are spot-on: they do not serve plain water in the dining room and you are obligated to order bottled water. MSC has received so much flak for this, it is unbelievable that they would downgrade their reputation based on the few euros they make on this one item! On the other hand, the desserts are generally excellent. Or, forget about the dining room experience altogether and hit the Lido deck for the buffet where the choices are wider and at least as good as the dining room, and there is free tap water. Criticism about receiving misinformation from the staff is understandable-in general, in the US there is much more accountability for giving out wrong information (you will get fired) which is not as prevalent in Europe where people tend to, in there zeal to be helpful or knowledgeable, often answer you with "guesses" which are clearly wrong. Often, you will be receiving different answers to the same question. Strong suggestion: if you need a correct answer to a critical question, ask another employee or two, or ask their boss. But verify, verify, and verify. The excursions were surprisingly organized. We exited the ship quickly, much quicker than on other ships. They were inexpensive and good. However, be prepared and alert for unannounced schedule changes in just about anything-entertainment, port arrivals, open/closing hours of food venues which occur with surprising regularity. The entertainment was on par with other cruises we have been on. We found that almost every staff member at the information desk spoke English acceptably well. The conclusion: If you understand the cultural differences, prepare for the food, and are alert to unannounced/inadequately communicated changes in schedules, you will enjoy this beautifully designed ship and friendly staff. Also understand that MSC is still on the learning curve to be up with the "big boys" but can be a less expensive and attractive alternative to other cruise lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We have been on between 25 and 30 cruises but this was the first with MSC. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and quickly and our luggage arrived quickly at the cabins. The ship's decor and public areas were ... Read More
We have been on between 25 and 30 cruises but this was the first with MSC. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and quickly and our luggage arrived quickly at the cabins. The ship's decor and public areas were impressive and kept immaculate with seemingly never ending use of vacuums! The smaller pool area at the back was popular but the pool itself never seemed to be particularly busy. There were plenty of sun loungers or tables and chairs everywhere. We favoured this smaller area to the large and noisy pool. This was also a good bar and meeting area in the evenings. Most of the staff were very nice and helpful - however the ship's officers seemed to think they were not allowed to look at passengers, let alone speak to them - perhaps they should be reminded no passengers, no jobs. This was a Christmas and New Year back to back cruise which meant at times, when the same islands were visited, passengers were continually changing. No problem there - however this did necessitate yet another fire drill mid-evening for the new passengers with announcements in about six different languages and the noise of suitcases being collected from cabin corridors in the early hours. We were with our son and daughter in law and had arranged to be on second sitting but this was at 9 pm and desserts were being served after 11 pm with no coffee or tea offered as this was available in the buffet. We changed to early sitting which suited us better but in fact we started using the buffet more, except for 'suggested' formal nights, as there was more choice although the standard was still average but it was much quicker than the restaurant. The restaurant left a lot to be desired. Choices were limited and portions were small although some people ordered more than one dish for each course. Certainly not the gourmet standard offered on other cruise lines and Christmas Day was the same as any other. Nothing special food wise and no crackers or poppers and the only hats were worn by some of the waiters who kept them on until the New Year! Formal nights were a joke. There were many people who wanted to participate with these but also many who were in the restaurants in casual clothes. Such a shame, but the people who did dress up showed up those who hadn't bothered! The four of us visited the T-Rex Steak Speciality restaurant twice. We all agreed the meals were great and couldn't be faulted although the service was slow, but the staff was very friendly - and busy. It was certainly worth the extra cost. The Atrium was about the only place for Christmas decorations and looked very pretty with garlands and a ginger bread house but that was it! One real negative was the hygiene, particularly in the buffet . There were very few hand sanitizer machines anywhere and one I did find was empty. There was certainly no one checking they were full or offering a hand held alternative as on other ships. This meant all the buffet serving utensils, drink dispensers for hot and cold water, ice, juices, coffee and milk touched by so many passengers were an obvious magnet for germs. Towards the end of the two week cruise, some people were complaining of chest infections and had harsh dry coughs, initially thought to be from the air conditioning which couldn't be altered or turned off in the cabin, except by leaving the balcony door open at night!. Although I had been extremely careful, I contracted this cough - luckily right at the end of the holiday - and spent three weeks in bed from my first day home with a virus and pneumonia. We were disappointed with the theatre,( which on other ships we go to most nights) as the entertainment seemed to be the same cast alternating shows. The standard was good and the costumes amazing but it would have been nice to see visiting entertainers. Singers and pianists dotted around the ship were very good and most enjoyable. Gratuities were automatically added to bills but a word with the 'front desk' had these removed, with us deciding who and what to pay. We had chosen the itinerary carefully and one place we had not visited before was the Dominican Republic. We took a taxi with other people to a recommended tourist spot but friends who liked to hike miles each day were escorted back to the ship by two police motor cyclists who happened to see them. This was for their safety and it would have been an idea for Fantasia to warn passengers about the area. However it was certainly worth visiting. We rarely book excursions so cannot comment, but there are always plenty of taxis and minibuses at the ports offering a wide range of varied tours. If carefully chosen, we have always found these to be excellent and good value - certainly compared to the ships' excursions - and usually take a minibus with other passengers. We had a great cruise and did enjoy it although any criticism above may make it sound otherwise, but a review needs to be fair and that is what I trust this has been. I suppose we got what we paid for, but in future it is going to have to be back to Princess, Celebrity, Oceania and so on! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Last minute Christmas booking. Wanted Caribbean Christmas cruise. Never again and the worst cruise we have had. Chose a suite and only suite 9003 available. This was located facing forward and had no balcony, which we knew, what we did ... Read More
Last minute Christmas booking. Wanted Caribbean Christmas cruise. Never again and the worst cruise we have had. Chose a suite and only suite 9003 available. This was located facing forward and had no balcony, which we knew, what we did not know was that around 1 hour before we docked, the rattle and bangs and awful noise would start. Also one night we had to call the reception at around 11.30pm because although we were at sea the noise was terrible, including floor vibration and this lasted for over an hour. We were given a bottle of wine and a note apologizing the next day. The itinerary included stops at Martinique and Guadeloupe both were JUST for new passengers boarding and this was repeated on the return journey. During the evening meal we were subjected to "where the life boat station was" and "how to put on a life jacket" in 6 languages. Even though our newly boarded table companions were told not to worry as this would all take place next day. This exercise was repeated 5 times throughout the ship, to the annoyance of all. The meals were terrible, Christmas eve main meal was 3 thin strips of beef put on a bed of lettuce with half a tomato cut in half either side. We paid to eat in Tex Mex. The buffet restaurant was chaos and is best avoided, pushing and shoving was normal. The cabin passage ways were blocked by cleaning trucks and the carpet looked worn and stained. Our cabin steward was excellent and most of the staff were great, the entertainment was varied and OK. New years eve was spoiled by too many people trying to get tables or drinks. "formal dress" was a joke and even "elegant" was optional,.some in short sleeves and some in dinner jackets. NEVER again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
On arrival in Barbados we were rushed to the ship for embarkation no pictures etc as no sooner onboard we sailed. I has preordered 2 Bon voyage packages as we were travelling with another family member for a memorable birthday this went in ... Read More
On arrival in Barbados we were rushed to the ship for embarkation no pictures etc as no sooner onboard we sailed. I has preordered 2 Bon voyage packages as we were travelling with another family member for a memorable birthday this went in the caving on arrival. Requested said packages and we both should have had fresh fruit everyday we didn't get any until I complained then we both received the previous 5 days at once that we missed and I couldn't make anybody understand what was required. Sometimes the restaurant service could be very slow but I think this may have been due to understaffing as pour waiter was very good and always tried his best. The food was lovely and I found if you wanted ends you only had to ask. We had booked numerous excursion online at home before we left as this was the cheaper way of doing it but there always seemed to be a problem and both sets of families spent quite a lot of man hours trying to do it and when we finally had managed one trip on xmas day was sold out leaving us with nowhere to go on xmas day with a 12 year old! The night before we again tried to book our excursion and were told there had been a cancellation and we could go (but as we couldn't book at home we had to pay and extra 15%). On arrival home I complain to MSC about the above points and they were very apologetic and gave me a 10% discount voucher for a future cruise within 15 months! Great you might think but to cruise to the caribbean for 3 is quite expensive and was at xmas so we wouldn't have been able to afford another cruise within this time, nor were we able to take this cruise in peak periods (we only ever cruise in peak periods as we have a child in school!!!) this they can check as we have cruised with MSC before and was also peak. As for the Bon voyage package they apologised and said steps would be taken to rectify this in future (what good is that to me I ask)? I replied to MSC with my feelings on their apology and discount and was told it was all they could do so basically I could like or lump! Well I don't really like so as I have cruised before and will do in the future I will think very carefully about booking with MSC solely for their attitude about my complaints I was never even offered half the money back for 1 package! The actual cruise with the staff as usual couldn't have been better apart form the shows which I have found to be pretty rubbish (I have to put this down to European expectations not being as high as my own). Overall it was a fantastic cruise and we had a great xmas and new year onboard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked this cruise 11 months in advance and we were so excited to spend Christmas in the Caribbean, however from day 1 we were so disappointed. Embarkation We queued for hours in customs in Barbados where we embark the ship. Had ... Read More
We booked this cruise 11 months in advance and we were so excited to spend Christmas in the Caribbean, however from day 1 we were so disappointed. Embarkation We queued for hours in customs in Barbados where we embark the ship. Had to claim our luggage and take it to a truck to be transported to the ship which came as a surprise to us. In Dec-16 we sailed with P&O Britannia and once we checked in our suitcases at London Gatwick, next time we saw these was in our cabin. So overall very poor service from MSC. What I found very annoying was that every 2-3 days there was a safety drill for new passengers. The locals used the ship as "hop in hop off" boat between the islands. Complete disaster! Ship Overall the ship is ok. It need a good refurbishment though as it's quite rusty and squeaky. Cabin We had balcony cabin 10224 (aft) - good size cabin with a sofa but again it needs a refub. The carpet is quite old, some visible signs of tear and wear in the bathroom. The cabin stewart was really nice guy and the service was excellent. Dining The most awful experience we had on a cruise. Nobody has been sanitising their hands upon entering the restaurants. The buffet was always so crowded, full with running kids spilling food and drinks everywhere. The food choices were not that good Dirty mugs/glasses and raw food (pictures enclosed). We went only once to Il Cerchio d'Oro. I was not impressed by the food swerved - cold, small portions and not seasoned at all. So most of the time we ate in the buffet. Entertainment Went once to a show but left after 15 mins as we got bored. Service As I mentioned above, our cabin stewart was great. I cannot say the same for the buffet and restaurant service. The staff in the pool bars were really good but not fast. Sometimes it took ages to get drinks. Ports and shore excursions We didn't book any shore excursions as they were too pricey. 50 euros per person for a beach break isn't worth it - basically to be put in a shared mini bus and taken to the beach and back. Desembarkation Bad experience again! When we were transported to Barbados airport for our return flight to the UK, we found our suitcases "dumped" outside the terminal, left without any security what's so ever. Anyone could walk in and walk out with one of these suitcases. I was not happy at all. We will NEVER sail again with MSC! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
If you want to go away and lose weight then this is the cruise for you. The food is literally no better than 1 star. Staff service is ok but ignore the staff to customer ratio half of them obviously missed the ship, takes ages to get ... Read More
If you want to go away and lose weight then this is the cruise for you. The food is literally no better than 1 star. Staff service is ok but ignore the staff to customer ratio half of them obviously missed the ship, takes ages to get served, a lot quicker getting yourself. We've both had upset stomachs . Ok the cabin not bad, ship tidy, what they don't tell you in the luxury cruise brochure is they let 3rd class citizens on at various ports for a stay at next to nothing to make up the numbers. When you work hard all year and book a luxury cruise one expects to eat well, get top service and relax with like minded people. That not going to happen with this cruise liner company. The worst part is constantly being sniped at with hidden charges, maybe we should have read the small print but when you pay for all inclusive including food and drinks package one doesn't expect to pay for bottled water, orange juice and the like. They also force a daily service charge per person on you. VERY VERY dissapointed. 1 star rating I'm afraid. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We wanted a Christmas/New Year break. I saw this cruise on promotion in a newspapers ad. So we booked. t was some good and some not so good. 1. Flights. Flights were with Virgin. We had a lot of problems trying to get an upgrade to ... Read More
We wanted a Christmas/New Year break. I saw this cruise on promotion in a newspapers ad. So we booked. t was some good and some not so good. 1. Flights. Flights were with Virgin. We had a lot of problems trying to get an upgrade to Premium Economy, but we finally did it. We tried to check in online 24 hours before departure. Not possible. All seat were booked by the company managing the cruise, not our tour operator. We were allocated seats on check in at Gatwick. I was next to the toilet. Very noisy with passenger from economy coming up throughout the flights to use the toilets! Crew unable to do anything. 2. Transfer and embarkation in Barbados. Very good transfer from airport to ship and excellent embarkation. We were Yacht Club(worth every penny of the extra) passengers and were greeted at the ship by a Butler who took us to our designated reception area and then to our suite. 3. Suite & Balcony. Suite well furnished but smaller than expected, with a very small balcony. It just about took 2 chairs and a table, no sun lounger! It appeared all balconies were the same size for all balcony cabins. The suite & whole ship was beautifully clean, I could not fault cleanliness. 4. Food. Yacht Club have their own dining room, Etoile. Its at the other end of the ship, but that was quite good as it gave us exercise to work up an appetite. Food choices OK, small portions, but you could always ask for more. No roast turkey dinner at any time over Christmas! Excellent staff, especially Christina who could not do enough to help.I had a flu bug for several days and stayed in our cabin Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christina sent my choice of menu, full bottle of wine etc with the cabin steward. Our Butler also was very caring and provided hot lemon with honey and ginger. Sadly no kettle etc in sight, (for safety reasons, they said!) so we always had to call and order, which could take 20 minutes. But it always arrived with a smile!! We had our own Yacht Club deck. Plenty of loungers and never crowded. We took breakfast here. Limited choice and the same every day. Sausage, crispy streaky bacon and egg as you wished. Fresh fruits & yoghurts. Smoothies, tea and delicious fresh coffee! A light luncheon was also served here but very limited. We could all go into the main dining rooms if we wished, but a better choice in the Yacht Club would have been appreciated. We also had our own for YC guest forward facing lounge where snacks were available all day. There was no shortage of food, but I would have like a better choice. 5. Entertainment. Very poor. The lovely theatre was hardly ever full. The second weeks' shows were a repeat of the first weeks'. Being an Italian ship, most shows were opera based and limited variety. We only went 3 times! On previous ships we have sailed there has always been interesting guest speakers, talks on the next port of call, etc. This was limited to a talk each week soon after embarkation about 'How to get the best out of the cruise',but this was limited. Little happened during the day time except for Bingo. 6. Spa. Excellent spa with 2 hammers, sauna, gym, pools etc etc. Treatments/massage were expensive compared to what we pay at home. We swan early am as other wise loads of children in pools. 7. Fellow Passengers. We met some lovely people, mostly 50+. There were only 3/4 children in Yacht Club and were very well behaved. But around the ship they were not so and I could not see parents supervising them. They dropped litter around the ship, drinks bottles, sweet papers etc, they were obviously not used to cruising on a nice ship. One BIG problem. At every port we seemed to take on passengers and drop off passengers, bit like a ferry ship. We were told that they all got very good last minute rates! As low as 50$ per night some boasted. I can see MSC's point of view but we and many others had paid good money, it did not seem right and this would deter me from sailing MSC again. 8. Dress code. It did not really exist. There was a suggestion of dress each day in the daily information sheet, but no one really paid much attention. Even on jacket and tie nights/glam. nights in Etoile, men still appeared in jeans. One gentleman wore the same red jeans every night! they probably walked home!! 9. The Yacht Club Experience. I would strongly recommend this. It included all drinks, premium brand and local in all bars on the ship. Our mini bar was stocked up daily. Danny was chief Butler and was in overall charge of all dining and general management. He was superb. When we did have an issue, he quickly sorted it. Would I travel MSC again? Only if Yacht Club and the largest cabin we could get. Ours 16025 was not large for a suite. Also a cruise with fewer stops so that it was not like a ferry ship. The answer is maybe, but we have other cruises booked for this year to compare with. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
A very different experience to all other cruises I have ever been on... Positives? Fantastic cabin steward. Other staff generally very good. Very healthy food. Clean, spacious room. Free upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony. Staff ... Read More
A very different experience to all other cruises I have ever been on... Positives? Fantastic cabin steward. Other staff generally very good. Very healthy food. Clean, spacious room. Free upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony. Staff spoke multiple languages, often up to 6+ (wow!) - this does, however, also mean it takes 10 minutes to introduce evening shows etc, as everything is repeated in each language. There really should be only one language for the cruise. Impressive, if non-sensical evening productions - some members were lip syncing (disappointing), and yet when they actually sang, it was mind-blowing! Costumes were out of this world and certainly rivaled any seen on Broadway. Negatives? Very poor communication between MSC and our cruise agent, which meant we either received conflicting information about the cruise, or no information at all. Our dining reservations were not in the system upon embarkation, which meant we were refused from eating at the restaurant the first two nights. MSC also sent us to the wrong pier (Pointe Simon), and once we arrived and found we were at the wrong port, we had to trek all the way across town with our luggage to the correct terminal. Not impressed. Other issues included inflated excursion prices compared to those listed on-line - though we tried, we were unable to book excursions prior to boarding (MSC website glitch) and the cheaper on-line prices were not honored once we boarded. Difficult to track down staff at breakfast (eg. for help with dietary requirements). Food was the same every single day (very blah, though a lot of fresh fruit) and some items ran out and weren't replaced. We were told on three different days that our balcony would be washed, so we removed everything from the balcony in preparation - it wasn't washed until the third day, which was very frustrating having to bring everything inside each day. A special delivery of champagne and chocolates was ordered for our room and was to be there when we arrived - it wasn't, and we had to call reception three different times until it was finally delivered. Re the restaurant... in the end, I only ended up eating there once, as the experience was very poor. We had 7 people seated at our 6-person table -- we found out at the end of the meal that one of the couples should not have been there, though they had been eating at that time and at that table all week. Food was overcooked and salads were soggy. We arrived at 6.30pm - by the time all meals were served and we were finished, it was 8.15pm. Service not efficient. We were seated with people who did not speak the same language as us. I would recommend MSC try to seat people together who speak the same language, so conversation can flow - otherwise, very awkward. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
I have sailed with this company on three previous occasions and have enjoyed them all. We booked accommodation in Genoa for three nights before cruise and although the weather was cold and showery we had a great time walking all over the ... Read More
I have sailed with this company on three previous occasions and have enjoyed them all. We booked accommodation in Genoa for three nights before cruise and although the weather was cold and showery we had a great time walking all over the city. We arrived at the cruise terminal early but everything went smoothly and after waiting on a seat for 30 minutes we were able to board. Our cabin was ready but not our cruise card, but staff at boarding told us to give our cabin number to dining room staff and we would be able too add our drinks to our package. We then went to the buffet four lunch it was very busy bit this was not a problem as there were staff at the buffet entrance who took you to a seat. Also there was a button on the table to summon a beverage waiter and they were very efficient. The food was hot and there was a good selection. During the whole cruise this was the only dining room we used it was a loot quieter than other ships I had been on also no Queues for food, this was all down to good layout. Also I was please to see when the place was busy it was not below the restaurant managers to help clear tables. The entertainment was OK Some of the stage shows were good Somme not, bands in the bars were varied. I have written this review because of so many negative reviews. I do not want to dress four dinner and be told what to wear, if we were going to the bars etc we changed out of shorts and into casual wear. If you want to dress up youy can but lots of people don't it is all up to you. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2017
we arranged this trip for my husbands birthday and wanted to see the Caribbean we booked early many months before the cruise, then came the hurricans so we were told we were not going to the Islands we had booked ! we asked for a refund ... Read More
we arranged this trip for my husbands birthday and wanted to see the Caribbean we booked early many months before the cruise, then came the hurricans so we were told we were not going to the Islands we had booked ! we asked for a refund or to rebook later was told we could have a voucher for another date but we could not have refund on the airfare so would have to pay for that again , so decided to go anyway .When we finely got to the ship after a long que in customs We went to the cabin and found our cruise cards so far so good added money on it at the machine that was easy! went to the restaurant to find it was shut and only the pizza bar open not happy as we had been traveling since early morning , just as we sat done we got called to the lifeboat drill . when the buffet opened we went to get a meal as we went in we sanitised our hands as is the custom on ships to stop infection we noticed other people were not bothering and there was no one with a spray bottle on the door as on other ships!!!we were NOT happy.As the cruise went on we became more unhappy as the Ship was being used more as a ferry boat than a cruise ship every Island we docked at more passengers got on and others got off, this was not a problem but the life boat drill for new passengers every night was!!! as while this went on all staff disappeared the bars were shut as was the trips desk we just got there to book a trip and the staff just got up and left us! We went to the restaurant we find we only could have bottled water or wine to drink both payable unless you have a drinks package and no coffee after the meal was told this was because the coffee machine was on the 5th floor!!!so as we dont drink wine we had to buy a drink at the bar and take it in every night.no hand cleaning again at the door. if you want more than 3 small courses and you dont eat fish veal or pasta go to the buffet!! no 7 courses here. the dinner time is 6.30 to 6.45 when the doors close but when we were there they were letting late comers in untill 7.30 some nights so we that had got there on time were left so the waiters went to serve the late comers. The Entertainment is opera every night then a show that only lasted about 45 minutes as the entertainment manger had to go through all the langages because of the differant people getting on and off the boat..as all the ship announcements oh and you cant get a drink in the show bar and not allowed to take one in with you,and if you are on the ship for 2 weeks the show is the same in the 2nd week as the Ist .and if you want to go to the music and dance on deck it dont start untll 11.30. The staff was good the waiter in the restaurant and the bar staff we didnt see the cabin boy after the first day when we had to go find him to get more hangers but he cleaned the cabin twice a day and left clean towels the shampoo and shower gell is in the wall of the shower so take your own and conditioner,the cabin was a good size with a window. We found the excursions expensive the cheapest one was almost £50 for 2 just for a bus to the beach 45 minutes away left there for 3 hours no sunbeds or any where to sit on chairs even, but the white sand and blue sea was beautiful The ports only had.the souvenir and maybe a market within walking distance no beaches.some ports took USA Dollars others Euros some both so you need both if you want to shop. Lastly I would say get the drinks package as the drinks are not cheap and its worth it even if you want to only drink wine and water with your meal and go to the Cappuccino bar for a coffee the cocktails are good as is the alcohol free ones. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our third MSC cruise and standards have plummeted. The cruise itinerary was changed due to the hurricanes in the Caribbean so we were offered the option of a cruise credit but not a flight credit (no use to us at all). ... Read More
This was our third MSC cruise and standards have plummeted. The cruise itinerary was changed due to the hurricanes in the Caribbean so we were offered the option of a cruise credit but not a flight credit (no use to us at all). Consequently we opted to continue. It felt like a glorified ferry with a lifeboat drill for some almost every night. This was broadcast in five languages all over the ship (including cabins) When this happened, often at 6pm the bars were shut. The transfer buses to and from the ship were clapped out. There were two options for meals, restaurant or buffet. The buffet had a good selection of food but was manic and the staff didn't have time to clean the tables or the floor in between diners. It was difficult to get a seat or a drink. The restaurant was more calm but the food choice was limited and had been cut from the previous five courses to three, which wasn't a bad thing because it was mostly inedible anyway. Some people opted for two starters rather than the main and then went to the buffet for pizza. Guest hygiene in all areas of the ship was not enforced and so virtually no-one used the hand-sanitising machines. The toilets in the public areas were never clean. Entertainment was generally poor and the second week's shows were identical to the first week. Again all acts were introduced in five languages. The entertainment around the pool was noisy and childish. We tried several times to get table tennis equipment but failed. Tables were at one end of the ship and equipment was at the other end up two flights of stairs. We gave up in disgust. Each port of call, excluding Martinique, is a dump so be prepared to pay for costly excursions or share a taxi. At Martinique there is a 20 min walk to catch a 15min ferry ride (only $7) to an island beach, which is lovely. Walk left from the ship towards Downtown. Don't believe the map given to you on the ship, which showed us in the wrong mooring. This mistake was acknowledged by reception but had not been changed when we revisited. The worst port was La Romana in Dominican Republic. Don't get conned into the 20euro land train which goes nowhere safe or interesting and is soon back at the ship with its armed police outriders. It's dodgy walking out on your own so a taxi or trip would be safest. Best thing is to do your research before you go to find out where the beaches are or you will end up wandering around run down towns in the heat. This was our ninth ocean cruise and will now probably be our last. We will stick to river cruises in future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The worst food ever offered on any Holliday we have been on, very slow service more often forgotten. Staff to client ratio not as advertised. They use every oportunity to throw hidden charges at you. 3.95 plus service charge for water in ... Read More
The worst food ever offered on any Holliday we have been on, very slow service more often forgotten. Staff to client ratio not as advertised. They use every oportunity to throw hidden charges at you. 3.95 plus service charge for water in the room somehow not included in the drinks package! Even orange juice is chargeable on an all inclusive? Watch out for the hidden service charges. Prepare to spend more time on coaches than the actual excursion activities. The actual ship is magnifice but so poorly managed it beggars belief. Comparasons between advertised and reality are miles apart. Everbody, and I mean everybody I spoke to would Never use MSC again. Constantly finding ways to rip you off. When your on board they adopt a like it or lump it attitude. If you go on a cruise with MSC don't expect all inclusive to mean all inclusive. Forget the entertainment, there isn't any, forget the excursions, only there to rip you off not to make you happy. I can't find anything possitive to say about the food or restaurant service, very little choice. No English channels on tv other than 2 repetitive news channels. Charge for films. No tea/ coffee faascilites allowed in the room. What they don't tell you is that they allow local people on at the returning ports at rediculously discounted prices which inevitably means you share an advertised 5 star cruise with ignorant, rude and obnoctious 2 star clients and these account for probably half of the passengers. In summary a beautiful ship, good clean rooms, but this company seems a lot more interested in your money than your satisfaction. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We’re experienced cruisers but this was our first (and most assuredly) our last cruise with MSC. The good: We chose this cruise because it embarked from Barcelona (we’d never been there) as well as the itinerary. We thoroughly ... Read More
We’re experienced cruisers but this was our first (and most assuredly) our last cruise with MSC. The good: We chose this cruise because it embarked from Barcelona (we’d never been there) as well as the itinerary. We thoroughly enjoyed each port and always had plenty of time in each one. The ship itself was nice and despite all the reviews we’d seen about the difficulties in avoiding smokers, we did not find that to be a problem at all. We also had no problems communicating with the staff—everyone spoke at least some English. The bad: 1) While the embarkation process was reasonably smooth and organized, the departure was delayed by at least 5 hours). It would have been nice to have been advised of this delay so we could have spent more time in Barcelona. This was not an unforeseen delay as returning excursion buses kept arriving for hours and hours after the scheduled departure time. 2) The room (supposedly a mid-range balcony) was TINY. We had just completed a 7 day Costa cruise out of Venice (same category cabin) and the Costa cabin was at least 50% larger. There was only one tiny closet, which was particularly problematic as this cruise itinerary and the calendar required both warm and cold weather clothing. And the bathroom....on my!! 3) Unless you are interested in learning dozens of different types of dances in 45 minute JAM PACKED sessions, there is little to do during the day. 4) And here’s what the real issue was....the food. It was, in a word, hideous. The breakfast buffet, while seemingly large, was mostly inedible because EVERYTHING (!!!) was cold. This was a problem with the buffet regardless of the time of day. I seriously wondered about the safety of the food. The dining room was a different story. The food was served at the correct temperature, but it was atrocious. One night I ordered fish and was served a small, hard piece of inedible white stuff about the size of a silver dollar. We are definitely not food snobs! The food was just poor quality and badly prepared. I would have been thrilled with a simple BLT sandwich or a properly cooked omelet, but nothing like that was available. There weren’t many English-speaking passengers, but whenever we met one, the conversation invariably centered on the terrible food. 5) A minor thing, but in reviewing our bill prior to disembarkation, I noticed a small charge (I think it was about $15) for some type of charity. We did not authorize this and when we asked the business office about it they acknowledged that they didn’t ask passengers permission to charge their account, but rather took it off only if/when there was a complaint. Just not appropriate. Here in the US, I see MSC cruises to the Caribbean advertised frequently. I can only assume that they feed the American passengers better than the passengers (virtually all Europeans) on the Mediterranean cruises. I sure hope so or there might just be a mutiny!! But I can assure you I will never ever risk taking an MSC cruise to ascertain if my assumption was correct. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This is not going to be long winded but I feel the need to voice my opinion which is absolutely POSITIVE...not always shared by MSC cruisers on CC. How you rate your cruise often depends on expectations and attitude to dealing with any ... Read More
This is not going to be long winded but I feel the need to voice my opinion which is absolutely POSITIVE...not always shared by MSC cruisers on CC. How you rate your cruise often depends on expectations and attitude to dealing with any shortfall. You choose your cruise, you pay for it, you pack, you go. Remember though to have a good time and this is impossible if you are going to grumble because " on ...... you didn't have to pay for water at dinner " or " on ..... coffee was served after the meal ". Every cruise line does things differently, if you have a 'must have' list check it out with your cruise consultant/cruise line before booking...most questions are answered somewhere online and once onboard focus on the positives as usually there is no turning back once you've sailed! MSC is very affordable as cruises go, the ships are attractive, stylish ( Italian!), cabins are comfortable and the space well organised. On our transatlantic voyage service was very good all over the ship, crew were most pleasant and ready to interact with guests, food was abundant, varied and palatable. The whole ship was spotlessly clean. Although coffee wasn't served in the main dining room after dinner ( we knew beforehand} an excellent Italian coffee can be found in most of the bars. Evening entertainment was also varied and enjoyable and during the sea days we were never bored: stretching, aerobics, tai chi, handicraft classes, dancing classes, quizes, lectures, tennis, squash, cards, library, board games, pools, jacuzzis, table tennis, table football.... There was a dedicated guests relations consultant for English speaking passengers who could be contacted either in person or by phone for any queries ( rather than using the reception desk ). The Master Stefano Aiello would make daily announcements regarding our navigation across the Atlantic and was often to be seen walking through the ship greeting passengers and having a chat. We had a thoroughly good time, feel we got excellent value for money and will definitely be cruising MSC again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of ... Read More
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of the reviews.however after a very smooth and easy embarkation we went to our balcony cabin on deck 11 Meraviglia well appointed and clean. We dined in the Red Velvet restaurant most nights where our table server Kowmang from Bali kept us amused and looked after us very well indeed. As some reviews have said portions are not huge but after 3 courses you are full and can always make a trip to the Zanzibar buffet for a pizza and beer supper. As regards the drink packages we just paid as we went and found it reasonable value for money. The entertainment was fun especially the wonderland and queen tribute shows {Freddie Mercury sounded great with an Italian accent} Service overall was good and the shore excursions well organized, the few complaints were mainly passengers who didn't listen to the guides and ran late!! We are beyond the child raising years but from what we saw the kids had a great time especially for halloween. Disembarkation was again slick and easy, If you want to go on a very european cruise I reccomend MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was the best itinerary for the time of the year for us. The best part was unpacking once, and our floating 5 Star Hotel followed us around the Mediterranean as we departed Genoa, and visited the most amazing places, including ... Read More
This was the best itinerary for the time of the year for us. The best part was unpacking once, and our floating 5 Star Hotel followed us around the Mediterranean as we departed Genoa, and visited the most amazing places, including Marseilles. Barcelona, Malta, Crete, Corfu Greece and Rome! The food, was consistently excellent; and I certainly recommend the option of having your breakfast served in your cabin; cant beat having croissants and coffee on your balcony watching a sunrise - an unforgettable experience! The entertainment crew were great, with different shows day and night to thrill us! The waitrons were exceptional, with excellent manner and service! Another 'win' was the fantastic organisation of disembarking at every port; nothing was rushed; little queues, and well synchronised timing. The constant maintenance and 'cleaning' was also nice to see; never did I see idle crew members; everyone had a job and purpose and they just got on with it! This was my second MSC Cruise; and we have already booked for another in March 2018! Well done to everyone involved, both on and off shore for great organisational skills and a passion for duty:) See you soon ! Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
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Rates 3.0 3.5

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