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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had a week to spare while on holiday in Europe so picked a 7 day cruise to suit our dates. The MSC Fantasia leaving from Palma de Mallorca was chosen and we flew to the island. On arrival at the cruise terminal at 4pm it was chaos, ... Read More
We had a week to spare while on holiday in Europe so picked a 7 day cruise to suit our dates. The MSC Fantasia leaving from Palma de Mallorca was chosen and we flew to the island. On arrival at the cruise terminal at 4pm it was chaos, passengers waiting to board jamming the main reception area. We were told by the local cruise services operator that he did not know why there was a delay, there when questioned again, Pedro told us there was no check in as there was no Spanish immigration official. As tensions between the waiting passengers and MSC representatives increased there was a general announcement advising that once immigration had finished with the disembarking passengers they would start with embarking passengers. After standing around for an hour a fellow irate passenger told us we should have been given a number by Pedro ( he had forgotten) so that once check in started we would be called in groups. After standing around for 2 hours the numbers started to be called and you had to fight to get through. At 6pm some of the MSC check in staff left for the day. After the MSC staff checked your passport and ticket in the main cruise terminal building you then had a walk of about 800m to the cruise ship where you went through the actual check in process (photo id etc). Once through the security process and into the lower lobby the Drinks Package and Speciality Dining staff were onto you. It was now 6.45pm and after nearly 3 hours of stuffing around they were told where to go. At dinner we found out the truth of the chaos, the ship could not berth at Marseilles the day before due to bad weather so went to Cannes. The passengers due to join in Marseilles were bussed to Cannes causing a delayed departure. The ship arrived late into Mallorca but MSC would not tell the truth. The ship was modern and clean. The food average, the alcohol expensive. MSC like to grab your money whenever possible, shuttle buses at ports are a good example. Walk an extra 150 metres and catch a local cruise terminal bus or local service for free or at about 25% of the MSC cost. Generally, the guest service staff need to be re-educated in customer service. They obviously need to speak many different languages but in speaking English their wording came out as rude/arrogant/offensive. The wait and cabin staff were excellent. Entertainment during the day was minimal and poor. Evening shows were not that good, we only went to see Tin Tin but was confused as it seemed like Pirates of the Caribbean with no story. The disembarkation process was badly organised. Meet in a bar at the back of the ship (nearest the cruise terminal - 800m) then walk through to the front of the ship to get off and be as far away from the cruise terminal as possible- an extra 200+ metres then the 800? So, if you like lots of shoving and pushing by fellow passengers this is the cruise for you. I will not be sailing with MSC again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I am writing to report my experience in the MSC FANTASIA Cruise from Genoa to Santos between November 4th to 24th 2018. This was our third cruise, but the first with MSC. We have never experienced or expected a ship being run so poorly by ... Read More
I am writing to report my experience in the MSC FANTASIA Cruise from Genoa to Santos between November 4th to 24th 2018. This was our third cruise, but the first with MSC. We have never experienced or expected a ship being run so poorly by the Master and his crew. I will provide the details below. The embarkment took place in the port of Genoa on November 4th; from the beginning it was a complete chaos, a process that should take a couple of hours took at least six, they even have started the embarkment two hours earlier to make it easier. Numbers were distributed to the passengers to assist with the registration, but they were not followed; the staff members will jump numbers and then will go back again, a total chaos. Many crew members were rude and have no customer services skills, the majority look very unhappy. There were some crew members very polite and did a good job, but it was the minority. The safety box was not working in the cabin, I called the front desk and they sent a technician to fix it, he replaced the batteries. After about 30 minutes it stopped working, I called again, and they told me they will send a technician within 30 minutes, nothing happens, I reported at least five times in the next few days. Finally they sent a technician, according to him it was the cover of the batteries that was interfering, he removed it, put a piece of paper to make it tight and left, after one hour the safety box stopped working again. I checked myself and to my surprise I found one of the battery contacts sulfated, I scraped it and clean it and never have any problem again. The light in the night table burned out, I told the cabin assistant and he reported at least in two occasions. I started calling the front desk asking them if they could give me a bulb so that I could replace it, they told me they could not, and they will have to send a technician to check it out. I have to wait five days to have the burned-out light replaced. We had a balcony suit, located beside the deck and outside stairs. During the cruise they left a note in my cabin that they will be painting the balcony and to keep the curtains closed. They did paint, but they also spilled paint all over the two chairs, table and floor, they never cleaned it. I never have seen a sloppy job like this. During the cruise they left at least in four occasions notes that they will be doing maintenance in the balcony, in one occasion they flooded the balconies from one extreme to the other and left the water standing until the water evaporated by itself. One of the last evenings, they poured lot of water from the top floor, we could have been totally soaked if we were in the balcony. They cleaned the outside stairs and deck every morning about 4 am, and every time our balcony will be left with water and dirt on it. They never cleaned the balcony, we have to clean the hand rail and chairs our self. It was great to have a balcony, but because of their neglect we could seldom use it. When we cross the ocean, which lasted six days, the satellite services were disconnected, we did not have any news and were totally isolated. The explanation given was the satellite services did not work because we were too far away from land, but this happened even when we were 50 kilometres from the coast of Brazil. This never happened in any other cruise we have taken. They offered 16 free movies that you could watch in your cabin, but the audio of the movies was absolutely terrible, you could not understand anything; when I called the front desk, they said they have problem with the system. The hygiene practices in the cruise was terrible, there were dispensers with sanitizers, but most of them were empty, the crew members never encourage the passengers to use them. Some passengers will pick with their hands bred or other food from the buffet areas and the crew members never told these passengers not to do it, they will not get involved and ignore it. Some passengers will fill their personal bottles in the water or juice machines directly into the faucet touching them and of course contaminating them. Painting was performed in corridors and food dispensing areas; the smell was extremely strong. Painting in areas were food is dispensed and people are walking by is totally unacceptable. All the tours obtained through MSC started late. The crew members in charge in the meeting places were confused and they did not provide proper information. After a week people started to get sick. Many crew members and passengers got sick, sneezing, coughing and with flu symptoms. The situation started to get worse when we start crossing the Atlantic, the ship had to disembark a sick passenger in Cabo Verde in front of Africa because the passenger was too sick. The situation got worse and by the time we reach Brazil most of the passengers were coughing, sneezing and with flu symptoms. We were eight people travelling together and seven got sick. The passport return process was another chaos, two crew members were doing this process, but they have difficulties to find the passports even that they were classified by countries. During the last couple of days, we noticed a change in the attitude of the crew members in relation to hygiene in the food areas, the sanitizer dispensers were filled, the supervisors started to give direct instructions to waitresses to remove dirty dishes and clean the different areas. When we arrive to Santos the Health Authorities were waiting; they recommended to passengers before disembarking to use the disinfectant their hands with the gel provided and see their personal doctors, they also informed us there was a possible case of measles aboard. The disembarkation in Santos was another chaos, they asked the passenger to meet in the theatre and wait for instructions, but the theatre have steps and all passengers have carry-on bags. After a couple of hours, the Health Authorities allowed the disembarkment; the passengers were asked to take shuttle busses to the terminal. The buses had very narrow aisles, and the passengers have to claim with their bags since they did not open the bag carriers on the belly of the buses. The Master of the ship is the person responsible for the well being and health of the crew and passengers and the training of the crew. Therefore, he is responsible for the poor service provided by the crew and the bad hygiene practices on his ship. I saw him only once in the entire trip when he welcomes the passengers assisting a function. He never talked to the passengers on the speakers to provide explanations or information; what a difference with other Captains from other companies that I have had the opportunity to travel with. This was the first time that we travel in a MSC Cruise and possible will be the last. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this re-positioning cruise because of the itinerary which was incredible. The ship was typical MSC glitz which we expected. After may complications (which I will get into later), we got a starboard 11th floor balcony, which was ... Read More
We chose this re-positioning cruise because of the itinerary which was incredible. The ship was typical MSC glitz which we expected. After may complications (which I will get into later), we got a starboard 11th floor balcony, which was awesome. The cabin was spacious and well-appointed with the usual amenities of desk, hanging clothes closet (roomy enough for two 28-inch suitcases) and a closet with 6 drawers, a safe and two shelves. If you are American, and not accustomed to the European culture of customer service, you are in for a shock. Communication regarding important announcements (i.e. when and where to pick up your Passport) are non-existent. The announcements are far and few between, except when to play Bingo or shop for handbags. Even in the Daily pamphlet, the instructions for picking up your Passports (which were collected upon embarkation for Brazil authorities), was in print 1/8th the size of the Bingo and Valentino handbag advertisements. Every announcement (even in the theater) is done in 6 or 7 languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and the shortest announcement time was in English; which was expected as this cruise went through 3 continents and 5 different countries). The food was disappointingly just okay. We expected so much more from an Italian cruise line! Entertainment: the entertainers were great, the shows not-so-much. Many of them were perplexing. For instance, one show was touted as The Totem and depicted a picture of cowboys and Indians, which made us scratch our heads to begin with and didn't get any better during the performance. The Woodstock Revival show had no songs from Woodstock, only one song from the 60s, the rest were more recent. I am beginning to understand why Europeans don't understand Americans after this cruise. Speaking of which, a lot of the patrons of this cruise, were pushy, rude, loud, obnoxious and disrespectful of everyone. The Cruise itself was one giant, "Hop-On/Hop-Off" cruise with new people getting on and off at every port. Apparently, this is what MSC does everywhere but the U.S.A. Our personal experience with MSC Europe was less than stellar from the start, with customer service being ghastly. We booked through MSC directly in Dec. 2017 and was told by their agent that by booking an inside guarantee, you always get upgraded. We followed that advice and in Feb. 2018 were assigned cabin 13200. We were excited as this was a rear-facing Juliette balcony spa cabin (we would not get the spa experience as we booked a Fantastica experience, but that was okay with us). However, in October, 10 days before cruising on a Friday night, we received an email stating that we needed to reprint out tickets. When we went to do so, we found that we were reassigned a new cabin, Inside, which was located (basically) inside the crew staircase and elevators. Anger ensued! We called our MSC agent (who was nowhere to be found), and over the course of a week spoke to three agents, two supervisors and had numerous emails with Miami Customer Service. One agent told us "too bad, so sad" and offered us a balcony for $4,000. This prompted us to cancel our upcoming MSC U.S.A. cruise in January 2019. So, we went to Rome to get on the cruise and found that on the MSC website our reservation was completely gone. We frantically emailed MSC Miami, to find out what was going on, but with the time difference, we didn't hear back from them prior to sailing. (One email from MSC Miami, did offer $50 OBC for each of us as compensation.) Fortunately, our reservation for the inside cabin was still good, and we were able to get on the ship. A trip down to customer service onboard had us so horrified with the attitude of one lady, who yelled at us that we "got what we paid for", that she "was in charge", and that we couldn't speak to her manager as she was "too busy" and had other things to do. After she frantically typed into her computer and hit enter, she informed us that the Customer Service Officer wanted to see us. Giada Mangione, was gracious, understanding, and had already sent a bottle of champagne and a note to our cabin to come and see her. She explained that there were a series of errors, apologized and said that she was unable to give us back the room originally assigned, and that the ship was full for the next two days. However, upon arrival in Genoa, we will be given a balcony cabin, with sincerest apologies for the mix up. Giada Mangione was the nicest customer service person we have ever met or dealt with on MSC (not because she gave us a balcony, but because she took to time to understand our frustration, was kind, and not demeaning), and we thanked her for her gracious offer. From a business standpoint, we fully understand that MSC has the right to change a cabin at any time for any reason; and that the "spa" cabin we were given was far more expensive than the inside cabin we booked. However, we have been upgraded, similarly, on other cruise lines and never had anything like this happen. On a side note, overall the crew were very nice and did try to accommodate whenever possible. Many of them did say that MSC's standard of service has diminished through the years, as their workload had increased leaving them only enough time to tend to their duties and not give the personal service they used to provide. This saddened them greatly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
The employees are overworked, they all seem very tired. The services are overall very good, but they clearly have to hire more resources, everyone was looking exhausted during the entire cruise. The cabins look pretty good, the only ... Read More
The employees are overworked, they all seem very tired. The services are overall very good, but they clearly have to hire more resources, everyone was looking exhausted during the entire cruise. The cabins look pretty good, the only thing that I didn't like was the fact the the most of the tv shows were in Italian. The ship is a little crowded. Other ships with the same size have half of th number of passengers. Also, they don't have a lot of shops and most of the prices exceed the ones from the shore, so they're not real duty free. The games that they have for the kids are not free, which was an unpleasant surprise. The food is pretty good. The entertainment needs an upgrade, they don't have a live band so the experience is not complete. The activities that they have during the day aren't very so much fun and there's not many of them. Even though it was a 5 days cruise, I found myself bored during the day because of the lack of entertaning activities. I filled in a form in order to receive the survey from them, it's been 6 days since the disembarkation and didn't get it yet. The organization is terrible, starting with the checkin and disembarkation. We bought a transfer from them and because of the fact that we bought it on board, out names didn't show up on their lists. Due to this, ourselves and the rest of the passengers that were on the same transfer had to wait for them to clear things up. Some of the passangers lost their train because of this. During the discussions that we had we them they were just asking us to wait and explaining that they're very busy. Some of the guys that were coordinationg this were really rude to us. Even though the services were good, I wouldn't recommend anyone to go on a cruise with them, it's just not worth the stress and to be treated like they're doing us a favor for a service that we paid. 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
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
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
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: March 2018
IMO this cruise was incorrectly marketed by Cruise Club UK as 15 Nights – “Jewels of the Caribbean – Cruise” from Barbados & see a different Island everyday, with whom we booked As already reported, by others, this cruise is ... Read More
IMO this cruise was incorrectly marketed by Cruise Club UK as 15 Nights – “Jewels of the Caribbean – Cruise” from Barbados & see a different Island everyday, with whom we booked As already reported, by others, this cruise is basically 2x7 Nights cruises “back to back” with slight variations bought about by the damage done to certain islands by last year’s hurricanes. This also enables MSC to fill the ship with what appears to be families from Martinique & Guadeloupe, on a 7 day basis and at bargain basement prices & free child places, which completely changes the complexion of the ship from luxury cruising to car ferry or worse status. Our worst experience being the breakfast buffet, which was just as if it had been attacked by a plague of locusts. The difference being that huge amounts of food was wasted and left piled uneaten on plates or on the floor and literally every fruit juice dispenser being drained completely dry. We also found that we were regularly and involuntarily taking part in a competition to see if we could get the elevator overload alarms ringing each time we used them. Additionally, from those we talked to, we seemed the only couple to have paid anything like the full price for the cruise, with even most British couples paying almost 50% of what we paid. As someone else reported, the last thing MSC really seem interested in is keeping their loyal customers happy and satisfied. This was our 5th cruise with MSC, our last being a repositioning cruise from Brazil back to the UK in 2012, where MSC did a similar trick of filling the ship with Brazilian families at much reduced prices, however it was not half as bad as this recent experience, but at the time we did say “never again”. Just a quick note on the ports of call, several of which are quite grim places to explore on foot (Kingstown, St Vincent & The Grenadines immediately comes to mind). Therefore, your only options are to stay on board; take a taxi from the port or pay MSC even more money and take one of their exorbitantly priced excursions. Disappointingly, there was also insufficient time to see any thing of Barbados (except from the transfer bus), as MSC dock in the harbour at the absolute furthest point possible from Bridgetown town centre. A critism we also heard from other guests, possibly less able than ourselves, but related to other ports such as Castries (St Lucia), where we could clearly see a TUI cruise ship, on both our visits, docked adjacent to the town centre. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This cruise was incorrectly marketed as 15 Nights – “Jewels of the Caribbean – Cruise” from Barbados & see a different Island everyday, with whom we booked As already reported, by others, this cruise is basically 2x7 Nights ... Read More
This cruise was incorrectly marketed as 15 Nights – “Jewels of the Caribbean – Cruise” from Barbados & see a different Island everyday, with whom we booked As already reported, by others, this cruise is basically 2x7 Nights cruises “back to back” with slight variations bought about by the damage done to certain islands by last year’s hurricanes. This also enables MSC to fill the ship with what appears to be extended families from Martinique & Guadeloupe, on a 7 day turnaround basis, and at what we heard were bargain basement prices, which completely changes the complexion of the ship from luxury cruising to car ferry or worse status. Our worst experience being the breakfast buffet, which was left just as if it had been attacked by a plague of locusts. The difference being that huge amounts of food was wasted and left piled uneaten on plates, food all over the floor, and literally every fruit juice dispenser being drained completely dry. We also found that we were regularly and involuntarily taking part in a competition to see if we could get the elevator overload alarms ringing each time we used them. Additionally, from those we talked to, we seemed the only couple to have paid anything like the full price for the cruise, with most British couples paying almost 50% of what we had paid. As someone else reported, the last thing MSC really seem interested in is keeping their loyal customers happy and satisfied. This was our 5th cruise with MSC, our last being a repositioning cruise from Brazil back to the UK in 2012, where MSC did a similar trick of filling the ship with Brazilian extended families at much reduced prices, however it was not half as bad as this recent experience, but at the time, we recall we did say “never again”. Just a quick note on the ports of call, several of which are quite grim places to explore on foot (St Vincent & The Grenadines immediately comes to mind), Therefore your only options are to stay on board; take a taxi from the port or pay MSC even more money and take one of their exorbitantly priced & poor VFM excursions. Disappointingly, there is also insufficient time to see any thing of Barbados (except from the transfer bus), as MSC dock in the harbour at the absolute furthest point possible from Bridgetown town centre. A critism we also heard from other guests, possibly less able than ourselves, but related to other ports such as Castries (St Lucia), where we could clearly see a TUI cruise ship, on both our visits, docked across the harbour, adjacent to the town centre. We somehow don't think that we'll be giving them yet another chance!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
After looking forward to this trip for some time, and having the itinerary changed due to the hurricane we decided to go ahead with the trip as to put it off until things had recovered would have been too costly (having to pay the air fare ... Read More
After looking forward to this trip for some time, and having the itinerary changed due to the hurricane we decided to go ahead with the trip as to put it off until things had recovered would have been too costly (having to pay the air fare again). Our flights with Virgin were good apart from not having seats together with my husband. Embarking ok, but as we were late arriving the safety drill was already happening so we went straight to the restaurant for our 6.30pm meal, not very good at all, not much choice the food not really hot, plates cold, we hoped this would improve, in fact it got no better at all. Quite often the meat was tough and undercooked, sent back several meals as they were inedible. When at one point we complained we were told "there are always chips" not what you expect to be told when you are on a cruise ship. Hand sanitisation should be compulsory not just letting people go into the restaurants ignoring the dispensers and walking past the crew who were trying to spray hands. We paid for a 16 night cruise when in fact what we had was a 7 day cruise and a 7 day ferry trip. The passengers embarking at several different ports were very noisy people and came in groups of fourteen and sixteen at times not a lot of fun if you were trying to get out of a lift when they were all piling in. The port at St Vincent was awful, why we stopped there I do not know. The one day at sea seemed a bit of a waste of time to go to Dominican Republic arriving at 7.30am and leaving at 2.30pm. The entertainment team were very talented and put on some good shows but on the second week it was all repeated. Bars Service always good and the staff friendly and polite. The service in the restaurant was fine, but the food was not. Cabins roomy and comfortable. Cabin crew did a brilliant job, always clean towels, they worked really hard. The ship in itself was beautiful, clean and comfortable, but the trip was spoilt by the awful food and the constant safety drills, embarking and disembarking passengers I do think MSC should stop selling this trip as a 16 day cruise for UK passengers as it really was not good. If MSC want to target the British market with ships sailing from Southampton they should really get things sorted, I for one will never go with them again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Just returned from a Caribbean cruise on the MSC Fantasia. Where to start, let's go with the good points:- Nice ship, very smart. Room (we had a balcony), pretty good, clean. Bars, pretty good too, with reasonable entertainment, ... Read More
Just returned from a Caribbean cruise on the MSC Fantasia. Where to start, let's go with the good points:- Nice ship, very smart. Room (we had a balcony), pretty good, clean. Bars, pretty good too, with reasonable entertainment, not fantastic but OK. Ports of call OK, but scruffy, not exactly paradise. Bad points:- THE FOOD (apologies for shouting), but it really was terrible. We cruise for 'fine dining' and this was a million miles from it. Like school dinners, only worse. We expected better from an Italian cruise, you always think Italy is synonymous with good food, apparently not. We had at least 5 lifeboat drills during our 14 day cruise which does not lend itself to a relaxing atmosphere. The crowds in the help yourself buffet were like a Saturday afternoon scrum in an amateur rugby league game, with more pushing and shoving than a January sale. In summary, if you go on the MSC Fantasia, take your own food, a gum shield and hope that the time fly's. Home sweet home. You have been warned. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife and I initially chose this cruise because of the original itinerary. Due to the hurricane damage last year the cruise destinations had to be altered which resulted in a number of islands being visited twice. This was not the fault ... Read More
My wife and I initially chose this cruise because of the original itinerary. Due to the hurricane damage last year the cruise destinations had to be altered which resulted in a number of islands being visited twice. This was not the fault of MSC but if we had cancelled the cruise we would still have had to pay the cost of the return flights from London Gatwick to Barbados. It has to be said straight away that this cruise line places itself in the budget end of the market and from that viewpoint it represents reasonable value for money.However if you are looking for a decent cruise experience avoid this cruise like the plague.Right from the start there were issues with transport from Barbados Airport to the cruise ship and the buses provided were old and small with no external space for hand luggage which resulted in hand luggage being carried on your knees for a 40 minute journey. Not comfortable at all! Cabins are of reasonable size and quality, but provide very little space for clothes and TVs are small and only have two news channels in English. Dinner in the main restaurant is not like other cruise lines.There is little choice with repetitive meals and small portions which vary greatly in quality.Neither is any coffee served with meals. There is one single buffet for a cruise ship with some 4500 passengers and 1500 crew. Table space was a struggle at the best of times but for the single all day at sea there were still long queues to get in,even at 3pm in the afternoon.Observance of hygiene standards was very hit and miss with hygiene point of entry dispensers more often than not,not working at all. Having travelled on ships with other cruise lines it was questionable whether this ship was fully using its stabilisers because at times the rise and fall of the ship was quire noticeable even though the sea was comparitively calm. Evenig shows were timed so for example the early dinner sitting of 6.30pm the show did not start until 9.30pm or later. The shows were repetetive and all in Italian and the majority were different variants of Opera.Don't get me wrong my wife and I enjoy Opera but there was simply too much of it, and virtually nothing of anything else. It should also be commented that drinks cannot be purchased or taken into the theatre. One of the worst aspects of this cruises was that the ship was classified as a Ferry ship and for example berthed in the Ferry terminal of Martinique and not in Simon Pier which is where regular cruise ships dock. As a result the ship was full of Caribbean locals who are able to purchase cheap tickets. Martinique was not alone in this, as this also for example applied to Guardeluope.Why was this so bad? Well, because at every port where passengers embarked time was taken for their safety drill/life jackets etc. This was not carried out in a specific part of the ship or out on deck,as you would normally expect but was carried out through the entire ship in multi languages. For those passengers who were on their cruise and not embarking all social activity was stopped on each occasion and this included all the bars etc.For example, my wife and I together with some friends waited in a bar which was crowded with new people who had embarked where the bar was closed from 8.35pm until 10.15pm.This is a regular occurrence and is not what you expect when you pay a lot of money for a cruise to the Caribbean Islands! My wife and I purchased a number of shore excursions with MSC before we started the cruise and chose to do our own thing at other ports as is the norm. However, there was one port where we had not purchased an excursion so we decided to view the available excursions that were shown on the cabin TV. Imagine our surprise when the TV indicated that excursions were not available or were only available for passengers who were disembarking the ship en route to their airport. It was only a few days later when we encountered an excursion rep were we told that the information on the TV was incorrect and that all excursions were available to purchase! However nothing was changed in this respect by MSC so obviously they were not interested in correcting this misleading information. As a final point it should be noted that on four consecutive nights we received a leaflet in our cabin which said that our balcony was going to be cleaned and to ensure that the balcony doors and curtains were closed for privacy. Fair enough, but it did not happen for three days and then the balcony was drenched in the morning with high power hoses on the fourth day. Well in the afternoon after returning from an excursion whilst we were sitting on the balcony the same thing happened. Balcony cleaning comprised of two high power jets of water being fired across the balcony into the glass balcony doors. As a result the floor of the balcony was like a swimming pool and the balcony furniture was soaked but there was no follow up service to either clean the balcony or remove any of the water. What an experience but never again will be booking a cruise with MSC because of what has been mentioned above in this review. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because thought we'd be going to 10 different islands in fact we went to 8 islands, a day and 2 nights at sea, three of the islands we visited twice the two French islands we visited was to pick up locals on 7day ... Read More
We chose this cruise because thought we'd be going to 10 different islands in fact we went to 8 islands, a day and 2 nights at sea, three of the islands we visited twice the two French islands we visited was to pick up locals on 7day cruises who were only paying €200-300 and kids went free, so not only was we acting like a ferry service, it felt like we were subsidising their cruise and being used by MSC for their own convenience, so after the first week we just did the same one the second week hence " one cruise for two weeks" Other problems was the food in the restaurant, a lot of which was inedible and was sent back the alternative offered was French fries! yet it was supposed to be "Gourmet Food" that was an insult to fine dining, when we spoke to a member of the management she said " they had no control over the kitchen as to the menu as it was a catering company" All the staff were brilliant and overall the ship was nice but MSC need to get their act together This was our first cruise with MSC and I won't be going with them again Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose there Fantasia because of the schedule, 9 islands in 14 days sailing from Barbados. First impressions of the ship were good, huge,glitzy, and full of things to keep us amused. That soon changed. What we didn't know was ... Read More
We choose there Fantasia because of the schedule, 9 islands in 14 days sailing from Barbados. First impressions of the ship were good, huge,glitzy, and full of things to keep us amused. That soon changed. What we didn't know was that the ship would be picking up passengers on route at 5 of the 9 islands we visited which resulted in pandamoniium on those change over days. Firstly we found that new arrivals were held in certain areas of the ship waiting for their cabins, and we were excluded from those areas while they waited. And all new passengers had to do lifeboat drill, OK, but when it's done 5 times and mostly about 6pm when you want to sit and relax with a drink, oh no, sorry we were told can't serve drinks while lifeboat drill was ongoing, not even a tea or coffee!!!!!! If felt more like we were on a huge ferry, food times were manic, if you sit at the 9pm late sitting as we did, we were stil eating at 10.30pm!!!! Also the portions given were meagre. We decided to eat at the Buffet, always plenty of choice, but noisy and crowded. More like eating in a Weatherspoons but you have to get it yourself. We had a cabin with balcony on deck 10, we were happy with our accommodation and the service we received from our cabin boy. But all common areas on the upper decks especially the pool area were far to crowded most days, when there is 4000 people on a boat, you have to be lucky to get the seat or sun lounger you want unless you are the first one up early in the day. Ullimatley, we got to see the islands and that was our main aim, but the whole experience on board the ship was a disapointment. If you want to go to the Carribean, choose a smaller ship not a Ferry. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose the cruise around the Caribbean due to the itinerary and as we had cruised with MSC before, albeit around the Mediterranean about 5 years ago, and had a good cruise. Unfortunately things didn’t start well as we were not given ... Read More
We chose the cruise around the Caribbean due to the itinerary and as we had cruised with MSC before, albeit around the Mediterranean about 5 years ago, and had a good cruise. Unfortunately things didn’t start well as we were not given a booking reference for the Virgin site and couldn’t check in online and were unable to sit together. I can only reiterate what other reviewers have put about this cruise and whilst we don’t try to look for negatives, there was a lot wrong. Having paid full price for the cruise, it was ruined by the large influx of locals who joined for €200-300 for a week with children going free. Unfortunately the majority were rude, pushy, noisy, inconsiderate and at times obnoxious with little supervision of unruly children. On one occasion someone pushing an elderly person in a wheelchair was waiting for a lift to arrive. On the arrival of the lift, we waited for the wheelchair to go in first but a number of locals just marched in front. This typified their behaviour.The situation was exacerbated by a number of drills whenever new arrivals came on board. I realise that a safety drill is a requirement, but our table group was trying to have a peaceful drink in a bar before dinner surrounded by new arrivals in life jackets. This was made worse as the bars then ceased serving for the duration of the drill and our late dining slot became even later. It needs to be sorted out. The food is not fine dining. At dinner quality was hit and miss and some main portions were minuscule. Vegetarian options that my wife occasionally ordered were terrible. Lunch and breakfast in the free for all areas was always a scrum and an increasing number of diners appeared to be moving into the waiter service dining room for a better experience. Sanitisation was poor due to a combination of poor policy and to a certain extent by a number of the passengers. Overall we felt we were on a ferry rather than a top cruise ship and to a certain extent feel the cruise had been missold to us. Cabins and staff were fine, although cabins badly numbered to find initially. On the first night whilst having a drink the waiter got my wife’s order wrong. When advised he told us “you will have to wait” in a rude manner. I then had to chase up the bar supervisor a few minutes later to get her drink. Afterwards, my cruise card was returned to someone else, and I didn’t notice until we were going to dinner. This was sorted nicely by a new card being delivered to our dining table. In fairness, this was a one off, and serving staff were usually excellent in bars and restaurant. However, given the other issues we will not cruise with MSC again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
we chose this cruise for the itinerary; unfortunately some of the islands were damaged by hurricanes and MSC dropped them from the stops. However, they jumped the gun cancelling St Maarten since LOTS of ships have been going there since ... Read More
we chose this cruise for the itinerary; unfortunately some of the islands were damaged by hurricanes and MSC dropped them from the stops. However, they jumped the gun cancelling St Maarten since LOTS of ships have been going there since Nov. or Dec. MSC then gave us a day at sea when we paid for ports every day and ALSO, put stop in at Dominican Republic....that was awful and certainly not comparable to the ports we missed---St Maarten, Tortola and Dominica. The majority of passengers on board were rude, pushy, loud, obnoxious, inconsiderate had no supervision for the children they brought. Trying to get off a packed elevator was impossible, because these people would try to push onto the elevator before we could exit. the ships elevator system was not programmed well, leaving returning passengers stranded on deck 4 for 20 minutes or more. The entire ship seemed mostly disorganized I would not sail with MSC again on any cruise The British and Americans know what lines are for and queue up properly--the French and others push around and butt into the front of the line even when told to get in line like the rest of us. There was no "experience" of sitting with and meeting other people at dinner for Anytime Dining. You were never asked if you wanted to share a table and when we suggested it, we were told, probably not---"these people prefer to keep to themselves". teenage children were obnoxious and RUDE. we could not plan our days because we did not know until AFTER DINNER when our excursions left the next day---all other cruise lines we have used give you the times when you book them or at least the 1st day you are on the ship Read Less
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
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
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
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
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
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
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
Our seven day Norwegian Fjord cruise aboard the MSC Fantasia was “extremely disappointing”! We upgraded to Yacht Club class which has some advantages compared to the standard package but it is not what they advertise and claim it to ... Read More
Our seven day Norwegian Fjord cruise aboard the MSC Fantasia was “extremely disappointing”! We upgraded to Yacht Club class which has some advantages compared to the standard package but it is not what they advertise and claim it to be. We give the highest compliments, praise and thanks to our butlers, the staff in the private lounge and restaurant, [L’Etoile]. They were always happy, friendly and provide great service catering to our needs. They were the best part of the cruise. Private lounge is quiet and spacious; the staff and bar tenders are wonderful plus it is a great place to escape from the 3500 other people on board. However you cannot order any food; your only choice is a minimal selection of appetizers, nothing more. After paying extra to upgrade to all-inclusive you still pay extra for certain items/drinks/booze. Private top deck, bar and restaurant was poor. When at sea it is windy and cold thus you cannot stay up top, the bar and restaurant close; the pool is cold and not usable, the hot tubs are cold and way over chlorinated. The restaurant has a set menu, limited selection of foods which no one seems to eat, poorly prepared, stays in the bins and gets cold. You cannot order anything extra or special; you must go to the buffet which is not what we payed extra for. Private restaurant, [L’Etoile], is at the back of the boat while all other Yacht Club amenities are at the front of the boat, an inconvenience as you must navigate through the throngs of people on your way to the private restaurant. All of the staff in L’Etoile was friendly, helpful and provide exceptional service but the menu has a limited selection for lunch/dinner. Breakfast menu was good; overall the food we enjoyed was good but not fantastic. Boarding with butler service was good. We were greeted, checked in and escorted on board past the long line up to the private lounge. When you go ashore the butler escorts you down and past the crowds to the gangplank, this service is excellent and well worth some extra costs. Getting back on board after a day in port, you are on your own, long line ups, crowds, hurry up and wait. MSC should provide a separate private entrance for Yacht Club members. Long line ups and wait times for the elevators especially getting off or back onboard and at all meal times, it is faster to take the stairs. Room service was good, fast, a nice selection of foods and snacks on the menu and for Yacht Club there was no extra charge. Internet is a satellite system which provides poor and slow internet, not worth purchasing. Our phone/sim card provided us with fair connections in all ports and sometimes at sea. There are free Wi-Fi places in all ports although very busy seem to work well. There are no self-serve laundry services on board; the butler can have your laundry done for $30 euro’s, you need 24 hours to have it done and returned to you.  No items are provided free, such as a carry bag or lanyard for your boarding card; there is nothing for free. The main buffet is divided into stations which have minimal amounts of food and poor selection. Food is European based; pasta, pizza, fish, sliced meats, cheese, breads, fruits, salads and some specialties such as turkey or roast pig. Overall the buffet is mediocre to poor; the bins were mostly empty and are not replenished quickly. Service was almost non-existent as the servers are busy cleaning tables. Sometimes one side of the buffet is closed forcing large numbers of people onto the other side making it even more crowded and less enjoyable. Yacht Club restaurants are limited as mentioned above; you are forced to eat in the buffet, which is not pleasant. You must deal with crowds and noise, not an enjoyable dining experience. We paid for Yacht Club dining and service but in many cases you are forced to the buffet or public restaurants which also have limited menus, not worth the extra money we paid and not what we expected nor were led to believe. Overall we are very disappointed with the Yacht Club amenities. For Yacht Club class in the buffet, other bars or ice cream parlor the servers do not know or understand your purchase/drinks are all included. They try charging you and you must explain and/or argue to have it at no charge, sometimes the supervisor must get involved. If you do not watch this carefully you will be charged extra. There were two specialty restaurants on board, but again at an additional cost even though you are Yacht Club. Shore excursions in all ports were limited. MSC sells tour packages which you can purchase for half the cost once you get off the ship. We suggest getting off the ship early, get your excursion tickets and get on the train, bus or boat before the crowds arrive. Most port side vendors and shops are extremely overpriced. Copenhagen has a hop on-off bus which is reasonable; it is a long way into town. You can tour the city and see the sights; we did the bus and canal cruise which was a fair value but you are with large groups and crowds so you stand in line for everything. There are various options for the hop on bus so check before you agree to purchase or else you will end up buying a larger package than you may need. In Geiranger you dock in town and can walk to the large water fall. There is not much in this small village to see or do. The bus tour to both sides of the valley was reasonably priced with adequate time to get off and take pictures as well as fantastic views. Other than a boat tour there is nothing else to see or do. In Flam you dock downtown, can walk the whole village in ten minutes, there is not much to see and the vendor prices are ridiculous. There was a train/bus tour which is expensive if you purchase it from MSC, the bus part being nothing more than a drive back. We did the train tour up and down the valley; it was spectacular, we purchased our ticket at the train station. If you want to do the “Norway in a Nutshell” tour you needed to have pre-booked it online as the tourist information bureau does not sell it and were not helpful. In Stavanger the ship docks downtown, you can walk everywhere but there is nothing to see. The three hour fjord tour/cruise was nice and reasonably priced. Some shops and vendors but prices are high and unreasonable. Sailing from Kiel to Copenhagen is overnight, [12 hours]. Sailing north from Copenhagen to Geiranger, [38 hours] and returning south from Stavanger to Kiel, [36 hours] is a long time at sea on board the ship with not much to do, very boring. We experienced fair weather but if it was stormy I suspect this would not be pleasant. During this time activities on board are mainly designed to get more money from you with purchases of jewelry, colognes or perfumes, souvenirs, trinkets, in the casino or arcade games and of course photography people constantly taking your picture. Smoking is allowed in the casino and on the lido deck next to the ice cream salon, not a wonderful experience enjoying smoke with your ice cream. Not an environmentally friendly or responsible company/ship. As you go in and out of the fjords with their fragile eco systems the ship pollutes the atmosphere with exhaust fumes which hang in the air / fjords long after the ship has past, truly not environmentally correct. In port there is a constant exhaust from the ship which hangs in the air. Entertainment is fair, the stage shows are good. Individual entertainment at the various bars should be rotated through the various venues giving guests different entertainers rather than the same thing day after day. Public swim pools are very crowded, people have their toddlers in the pools / hot tubs in diapers and you know what’s in a diaper, most unpleasant for sure. There is an extra service charge of $10.00 euro’s per day per person which you do not notice in the fine print. As yacht club class this should not be charged, it is just another money grab. There is a UNICEF donation automatically charged to your account, which you can refuse to pay. Our experience with MSC, the Norwegian ports of call plus the extra costs upgrading to Yacht Club is disappointing; it was surprising how little we actually received. The cruise line has reduced services and amenities to a bare minimum but charge top dollar; you do not get much for what you pay. Thank goodness we upgraded to Yacht Club; at least we got something for our money although it was not much, it did make the cruise experience tolerable compared to being with the masses. We will never do another large cruise ship adventure and certainly not with MSC lines. Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
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Rates 3.0 3.5

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