1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Splendida Review
  5. MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
So this is only the 2nd time sailing with MSC (First time was on the Magnifica) and we've sailed previously with NCL, RCI, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa and P&O. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! The ports visited were all ... Read More
So this is only the 2nd time sailing with MSC (First time was on the Magnifica) and we've sailed previously with NCL, RCI, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa and P&O. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! The ports visited were all really interesting (See reviews later on..), the food was great and the ship fantastic. Pro's: - Cabin was one of the best we've had. It was an aft facing on deck 12. Quiet and always clean. Our room steward was amazing. It was one of the bigger cabins we've had, and the balcony was huge too. Definitely recommend this cabin - Buffet was huge, varied and we always found a seat! It was comparable to NCL and RCI, not quiet as good as Princess or Celebrity - Embarkation - We were told to arrive at 5.50pm. We flew early so wanted to leave our bags at 10am and come back later. But were told we could check in! By 10.30am we were onboard, luggage in the cabin and having breakfast! I've never had this experience before, fantastic!! - Pools (3) and hot tubs (9!!) were amazing. Rather cold due to it not being so hot, but would be great for a Caribbean cruise - Gym was perfect size, never too busy - The ship seemed to have endless lounges and bars which was fantastic. Always able to find something nice and quiet Con's: - Evening meals were a bit hit and miss. Some were good, others not so good. - That's it. Nothing else that could be classed as a "Con" Overall, for the price and itinerary I would 100% recommend MSC and this ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Ship 10/10 Embarkation 10/10 Main Buffet 8/10 Bars and staff 10/10 Entertainment 7/10 Yacht Club Suite 15022 (not really a suite) 7/10 YC Concierge 2/10 Butler 2/10 Top Sail lounge 9/10 L'Olivo Restaurant ... Read More
Ship 10/10 Embarkation 10/10 Main Buffet 8/10 Bars and staff 10/10 Entertainment 7/10 Yacht Club Suite 15022 (not really a suite) 7/10 YC Concierge 2/10 Butler 2/10 Top Sail lounge 9/10 L'Olivo Restaurant Food 9/10 Service 2/10 The above is an at a glance review of our trip from Abu Dhabi If you care or have time i will give now a detailed review for my above ratings. We have done many cruises on most of the major lines including suites with butler service and also two previous cruises with MSC in a suite with the Aurea package so in real terms i am comparing the excellent value received on MSC previously with the extra£1000 cost to go up to the YC package. Having had such good value previously we were expecting more of the same from the YC package.This was not the case in my opinion. The embarkation was brilliant we arrived very early at the port around 9.30 but were took straight on board by a butler to the YC concierge who gave us a briefing of what we should expect and where things were.Our luggage didnt arrive until the afternoon. We were introduced to out butler Davindra who we saw very little of afterwards.He did change my wifes robe that had a hole and a tare in for another one.We came back to the room to find the new robe rolled in a ball with the belt tied around it on a shelf by the cabin door. Attention to detail dont put a tatty broken robe in any cabin let alone the most expensive one on the ship then dont leave the new one like a ball .Hang it up where it should be.The only other thing we asked him to do was book a table at a different restaurant for one night.We arrived at the restaurant only to find that he had not booked it. Butler service this is not. Our biggest disappointment was the service in the L'Olivo Restaurant where the food was some of the best we have had at sea but the service was diabolical .Dinner took over two hours every night.The second night i spoke to the Maitre D and asked if he could speed things up as we wanted to see the show and he said sure no problem.That was our quickest meal of the week two hours and ten minutes.Our waiter Marc worked really hard with no help although the Maitre d and his assistant who passed by empty plates and dishes as if he was above helping to clear tables plus a sommelier who managed to do next to nothing every night.The waiter could only serve the food once it came up so not his fault that it took so long.There is something seriously wrong with this operation that needs addressing.Several people left the restaurant after just their first course on more than one evening.The management would have to be blind not to see this problem!! This is a real shame as the food when it arrived was very good. It looks to me that the senior management on board are all very cosy with each other and are all enjoying an easy life.Maybe MSC should put a secret shopper on board to see for themselves? My wife took my daughter,sister and granddaughter for a girly day to the spa and were so disappointed as having experienced many good spa treatments this was not one of them.The music was loud and the reason for this became apparent it was to cover over lots of outside noise from people walking up and down the corridor and staff members calling out to each other.does not afford a relaxing experience.When each treatment was finished they were all ushered straight out without any down time. Gratuities at this cabin grade are 10 euros per person per day added automatically .When i requested to remove these from my bill in front of both the Head Butler and food and beverage manager neither of them asked why?.Many other passengers we met also did the same and not one of them was asked why.Maybe management knew why and preferred not to hear it. Whilst dealing with gratuities we are led to believe that by adding them automatically that all members of staff including back room get a share.This was a total shock to the bar staff and others that i spoke to.They were unaware about this and said they did not get any of the money. I am not a mean minded person and i was quite happy to tip good service to my two cabin stewards and Marc the waiter. Over all i would still cruise with MSC again but not in the YC. I would much prefer to travel in a suite with the aurea package that i feel represents real value for money. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We went on this cruise as a family of six and had a throughly good time, embarkation went very smoothly in Dubai and once on the ship we were very impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the ship. We had three rooms all with ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a family of six and had a throughly good time, embarkation went very smoothly in Dubai and once on the ship we were very impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the ship. We had three rooms all with balconies which were a good size and kept very clean, the dining experience in the main dining room was excellent with great food and drink expertly served by Erry Prastiana & Neel Pratap. The breakfast and lunch in the Bora Bora also had plenty of choices to suit all taste with daily specials on offer and great staff. The bars around the ship were numerous and all the staff were very helpful and pleasant and couldn't do enough for you especially i Made Muliana. The checking out on the last evening was a bit of a nightmare with a lot of incorrect billing and an automated credit card system which is difficult to understand. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you ... Read More
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you would expect to pay for the flights. The flight was very good and we were transferred to the ship by about 8:30 in the morning, we expected to have to wait until after lunch to board but were shown through to check in and were on board by 9am and offered breakfast in the dining room. Our luggage arrived quite soon and we were able to get changed and freshen up before lunch. It was nice to see some familiar faces from other ships among the staff, and they went out of there way to make us welcome. We have sailed on Splendida previously so knew what to expect, but there were some changes that had been made presumably to suit Arabic tastes, One change in particular was a bar only playing Arabic type music, the bar seemed quite empty most nights; and this bar had always been full and buzzing on previous cruises. We did find the dinner service to be very slow, we were on first sitting (6:30) and we only just completed our meal by 8:30 when the second sitting were waiting to come in. On one evening we were served our starter and the dirty plates were still on the table half an hour after we had finished. I cleared the table myself and gave the plates to the waiter, as you can imagine that caused quite a fuss and service improved the following night but then slipped again. There was another issue with a sharp foreign body in my wife's soup, we are still waiting for a good explanation why it was there. We used the restaurant for most of our meals though when we did use the buffet it was fine. The cabin was very good and a good size though fittings are looking a bit shabby and a bit more attention need to be taken regarding cleaning in the corners, but with too many cabins to service it must be hard for the staff. Mentioning the staff, everyone we met was always willing to serve you with a smile and a chat, we never had to wait long in the bars, if you just sit there and expect them to find you then you may have a wait. If you see the waiter/waitress then just stand up and wave your cruise card and they will acknowledge you, it always worked for me. Disembarking was a breeze though it was early in the morning (3:30) we were transferred to the airport at Dubai, it's very large and flashy but there was enough going on to keep you amused until the flight. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Travelled as a party of 7 to celebrate a birthday. The Yacht Club is promoted as being special, but the concierge desk really let it down. No assistance at any time, always told to go away and come back later (as excursion desk was not ... Read More
Travelled as a party of 7 to celebrate a birthday. The Yacht Club is promoted as being special, but the concierge desk really let it down. No assistance at any time, always told to go away and come back later (as excursion desk was not open, bar that had made a mistake on on bill wasn't open, surely their purpose is to sort things out and get back to you if there is any issue, not to make you spend your time going backwards and forwards to the desk at a time convenient to them. L'Olivo Restaurant - took well over 2 hours every night to have a 3 course dinner - far too slow, saw other people walk out after only having a starter. Not the fault of our waiter who worked really hard, but the Maitre D seemed to give no support to his team whatsoever. Food, once it arrived was very good. Top sail lounge - possibly due to limited English spoken, one of the waiters often brought completely the wrong drinks, not a major issue, but happened so often that it went beyond the joke. Used one drink only from the mini bar about half way through the week - this was never replaced. We have been cruising for over 30 years and have been with most of the major cruise lines. This was our first MSC Cruise and very probably the last. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Last year I had two cruises with HAL and one with Celebrity. MSC reviews are very controversial and I did not immediately decide on booking. But as a result I liked this ship. What I liked: Thanks to the status match program, I ... Read More
Last year I had two cruises with HAL and one with Celebrity. MSC reviews are very controversial and I did not immediately decide on booking. But as a result I liked this ship. What I liked: Thanks to the status match program, I received status Black based on my status from Celebrity. Food in a paid restaurant. One trip there for free with the status of Black. Cooked delicious, decorated nicely. Entertainment. Good staging of the show in the theater, beautiful costumes. Pleasant live music in the atrium and in bars. Entertainment is understandable to passengers speaking different languages. Daily there were various games by the pool. For participation in the games gave prizes. It was interesting for both children and adults. The company is interested in public from different countries. Information besides Italian dubbed in English, German, French and some others. The staff, having learned from which country the passenger, tried to say a few words in his language. Even in Chinese. Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent, including the tender. Reception Never seen a big queue. Maximum two or three people. Buffet. Maybe it came successfully, but there were no queues for distributions. Design. Nice colors, beautiful decoration of public areas. Cabin. I had a fantasy category. The cabin is internal, but spacious enough. I liked the layout and color scheme. What I did not like: Pool area. Sun beds were very tight. Zone size is not sufficient. No soft lounges, like the companies Celebrity and HAL. The area near the indoor pool. Next to him there were no sun beds, only tables with chairs. Sunbed could be found on the second floor, above the pool. But this is less convenient. The range of food in the main restaurant and in the buffet is not very diverse, compared to HAL and Celebrity. But the cooking quality is good. Value for money I think good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise ... Read More
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise & 1st with MSC & we will be happy to choose MSC again. We chose this one for some winter sun, relaxation and interesting ports & that's what we got at very good value. Check in was smooth and speedy, bags were delivered quickly. The ship is spotlessly clean and we found the staff to be very friendly. Our balcony cabin 100075 was a good size and the sofa bed for my daughter was a double . All was clean and comfortable with enough storage space, although we were glad we brought a lot of our own hangers as not enough provided. Our towels were changed on an alarmingly regular basis!! Food was generally good in the main dining room, sensible sized portions, served hot which didn't leave you feeling bloated. The buffet was quite good too although nothing compares to Celebrity Cruises for food We took a drinks package which worked well for us. The Butchers Cut speciality restaurant was very good but a little expensive meaning it was very quiet.Never got to try the Asian themed one & imagine it would be quiet too as it's hidden away & not easy to get to. There were plenty of bars to choose from, all usually with some form of entertainment. Some were very quiet and lacked atmosphere. The theatre shows were very mediocre although the acrobats were good. We enjoyed all the ports of call, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas cruise beach, Muscat and Khasab. Glad we did the 4 wheel drive adventure in Khasab as there is no real city to visit. Our day at sea did prove deck space is limited if you don't get out early & find a bed that hasn't annoyingly been covered with a towel by someone who then goes off and doesn"t return for hours. And I mean hours, if at all. In the end I removed 2 towels blocking beds & no one ever came for them. This doesn't just happen on MSC though, it's just selfish people. All in all this was a lovely holiday. Yes, there were littlethings we thought may have made things slightly better, but I don't think any cruise line of reasonable price is 100% perfect & sorry; we don't want to be up there on grand ships even if we can afford it. There are always folk who seem to delight in complaining about each and every thing. Unless things are really bad how about just relaxing and being thankful you are able to get away in the first place? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach MSC with an open mind, that it won't be the same as RCCL etc, there will be more of 'Mediterranean' feel to certain things, rather than a US polish / efficiency - I think you'll have a great time. The embarkation in Dubai involved no queue at 4.30pm and our cabin was already available to use. Disembarkation, we walked off with our own bags with ease and straight into a taxi to the airport. Food: We used the dining room for breakfast as one of party is gluten free and there was always a gf menu available. Choice of menu items cooked to order or hot and cold buffet options. Lunch we always used the buffet, where we never had an issue finding a table and enjoyed the freshly made pizza along with wide range of hot and cold food plus deserts. Buffet is open almost all day. Dinner we ate 5 times in the main restaurant (1st sitting at 7pm) and twice in the Butchers Cut, speciality restaurant. We liked the variety in the main restaurant, though portions are not large. Given how much we'd already consumed throughout the day, this was not an issue! Butchers Cut was ok, but not a stand out meal for the additional price paid. Unlimited bottles of mineral water were available at lunch and dinner, which was a nice touch. (Not sure if due to Voyager Club / where we booked cruise or included with Fantastica package). Wine included with drinks package included a nice Puilly Fume in the main restaurant. Ports (we did not book an MSC excursion as I didn't feel they were good value): Abu Dhabi - took a taxi and visited Yas Waterworld. Really enjoyable and I suspect less people and queues than Atlantis in Dubai. Sir Bani Yas - beautiful island, particularly the views to the far side. Kids played on the aquapark, I rented a paddle board for an hour. Buffet served on the island. Tender service worked well. Bahrain - port is 40 mins+ from Manama so chose to stay onboard Doha - Nice, compact city. Walked to Souq Waqif. Well worth a visit, particularly to the Falcon section Dubai - docks for 24 hours before disembarkation. Took a taxi to the Dubai Mall to see the aquarium (impressive) and Burj Khalifi (also impressive). Entertainment: Given the multiple nationalities on board it was mainly dance, acrobatics and signing. We went to a couple of shows, they were fine. Huge theatre with plenty of seating. Outside public areas: There was sports court that the children, and several others had a great time on playing football. We never had an issue finding space to grab a couple of hours in the sun (we always looked away from the main pool area). Even on the day at sea there were sunbeds free at 11am. Staff: Our cabin steward was quite quiet, but the room was cleaned well twice per day. The restaurant staff were all uniformly excellent & friendly. Summary: Given the price paid, versus the price we paid for a similar cruise with RCCL, MSC wins hands down. We all enjoyed the cruise to the extent we booked another one for December. Yes, there is a definite difference between MSC and the major US lines, though I don't see this as a bad thing. You could argue it has its plusses. I'd happily recommend as we all had a really enjoyable week onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Unfortunately we booked this back in June for new years. We also had a cruise booked with MSC seaview in Sept. (New ship) That was awful the staff were rude there was no atmosphere we couldn't wait to get off the food was the ... Read More
Unfortunately we booked this back in June for new years. We also had a cruise booked with MSC seaview in Sept. (New ship) That was awful the staff were rude there was no atmosphere we couldn't wait to get off the food was the same every night. When we got back we tried to cancel our dec new Years cruise on the splendida but we couldn't so we are here. We decided not to let it get to us I must say it's better then the last cruise back in sept some of the staff are lovely. Our waiter Naveen and his friends were fantastic thank you so much to them they were lovely and nothing was too much trouble Food still the same as what we had in September mostly cold. The boat is old now and needs a revamp. The entertainment is boring not like royal. I can't recommend royal Caribbean enough to people if you want fun atmosphere formal nights and too feel like your enjoying yourself. Never ever will I come on a MSC I felt like we were the minority British. With pushy rude passengers. The muster is a joke because people get on and off every stop the musters at night 11pm. Most nights Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We usually go to florida and caribbean during this time of the year, but in 2018 /19 we decided to visit uae and some other gulf countries for change . Msc was the only acceptable for us cruise line in the region so we booked with them ... Read More
We usually go to florida and caribbean during this time of the year, but in 2018 /19 we decided to visit uae and some other gulf countries for change . Msc was the only acceptable for us cruise line in the region so we booked with them (yacht club) on a 7-day cruise started 29 dec 2019. Four years ago we spend three weeks in yacht club of divina (caribbean sea), last year we boarded msc seaside (miami) and the experience we had from those times was not quite good. To be honest, on board the splendida situation was much better, may be because our preliminary expectations were too low due to divina and seaside experience - we were prepared to face unadequate services and a number of unpleasant situations as it often happens on board the msc ships. Surprisingly everything on board was relatively good - well cleaned cabin and bathroom, good (i wouldn't say delicious) food in restaurants, nice coffee(!), well organised shorexcursions etc. Pool area was clean but the water in the pool was like 20-22c and a bit muddy so noone got in. But that's ok - there was not too much time for pool activities. I will probably soon forget about some small confusing situations and disorder that staff on board some times got in - this is italian cruise line aftreall. What really spoiled my good impression of this cruise was final bill. It was an outspoken attempt for froud. We have booked our shore excursions in advance and they were payable on board. All the prices for shore excursions in the bill however were higher than those we had at the time of booking. Luckily we had all the docks available to prove we were right. Our friends of switzerland gave us a warning about this policy of msc cruises - i couldn't believe it was true, but now... The worse thing is that this is not somone's mistake - this is a company’s policy. just imagine how many people travel on the msc ships and what a huge amount of money msc takes on top each week, month and year! And obviously staff on board knows about this policy – they are strictly instructed not to give explanation when passangers ask and to postpone solving the issue as much as possible. I insisted on immedate explanation and it took me nearly half an hour “fighting” with mr.he mingdon – guest service agent at yacht club and mrs. Marina greg, supposed to be a manager of shorex desk , to receive one. The explanation i got was really rediculous (not to say stupid) and i’m not going to describe it. Another small thing that iritated my feelings was a so called uniceff donation. Nobody asked me if i want to donate or not. They simply put it in my bill and charged me without asking me at all! Msc makes a big noise saying "we (msc!!!) help poor people in brasil or africa or elsewhere". They never say "msc passengers help"...! Slight difference, but important, i think. Read Less
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.7

Find a MSC Splendida Cruise