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356 MSC Cruises MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews

to go to places i have never been,but this did not happen as the itinary changed frequently and we had to go to places i was not interested in,out of the 28 day cruise we were at sea for fourteen of them as we were not allowed to dock.in ... Read More
to go to places i have never been,but this did not happen as the itinary changed frequently and we had to go to places i was not interested in,out of the 28 day cruise we were at sea for fourteen of them as we were not allowed to dock.in my opinion this cruise should never had taken place and should have been cancelled.ships main staff could not or more to the point would not answer straight forward questions hoping you would not bother to ask again. the ship was clean but there was not a lot else for staff to do as there was only about 1800 guest on a ship that holds about 3500,bar staff and restaurant staff very helpful but food a disappointment.cabin clean and tidy,entertainment non existent as was only on for about 1/2 hour a night and a sports bar that showed no sport,bingo once a week,and on deck all they played was kids games with not many kids onboard,would i sail with this cruise line again NEVER EVER. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
28 days from Dubai to Hamburg visiting places I had never been was the mantra for our cruise. We set sail on March 12th 2020, same day I believe the world Pandemic was officially announced. Should MSC have let the cruise depart Dubai? ... Read More
28 days from Dubai to Hamburg visiting places I had never been was the mantra for our cruise. We set sail on March 12th 2020, same day I believe the world Pandemic was officially announced. Should MSC have let the cruise depart Dubai? - absolutely not. MSC's only objective was to get their vessel back to one of its home ports. There was no regard given as to the well being of its passengers, or the dangers it was potentially going to expose everyone to along the way. In reviewing our cabin and the ship I will take out the emotion and absolute chaos that ensured at the Guest Services Counter and how absolutely ill informed and unhelpful they were on many occasions. Yes, unprecedented times but to be given email addresses to send your query to or told, "you didnt book that onboard so we cannot help you" was in itself frustrating and as unhelpful as you can get. This is when enquiring about laundry and gratuities prepaid - no they could not assist you! Pandemic nightmare aside, we were fortunate enough to have cabin 9010. 9010 is a suite at the front corner, starboard side of the ship. The cabin was large with some of the best views onboard the ship. It consisted of a spacious bedroom, shelving areas, dressing table (with hairdryer in the drawer) a TV, mood lighting and a small extra hanging cupboard. The bedroom has a large panoramic fixed window that looked out over the centre of the bow, plus a sliding glass door to the side out to a narrow balcony. You walked through into a sitting room that again was large with a pullout sofa bed plus two single lounge chairs, coffee table, small fridge and a TV. Off the sitting room was the walk in robe. The walk in closet/dressing room was a treat with lots of hanging space plus drawers and a safe. the bathroom was off the walk in closet. The bathroom was ship standard, small and a bit tight but adequate. Being only two of us, there was ample room to move around. We only got to stop in one port and this is were the cabin can get interesting, depending on your outlook. The following can be either a negative or positives. 1. You hear the anchors chains etc. Yes you hear the thrusters and the anchor chain being deployed and it can be noisy. If you have an excursion you wont be late! If your trying to have a sleep in, you will be woken. 2. Walking is a must. The suite is located at the front of the ship so you are walking long lengths to get places. We were on the 9th floor, walked to mid ship then either up or down the stairs-never used a lift, for the restaurants. Plenty of natural exercise after all the eating, if you have walking difficulties it could be difficult to walk the distances. Overall we enjoyed the ship and its ambiance. We thought MSC Splendida was more tasteful in its decor than gawdy, stylish rather than in-your-face. The theatre shows were appalling to say the least and in saying that, we aren't fussy people. Food was what we expected, small but adequate serves (you could always ask for more) some food was very good, some ok, some not to our taste. When the latter happened we would retreat to the Italian cafe for coffee and some of their lovely lemon slice. Would we go again - yes. Overall the ship on a normal cruise would be fine (albeit floor shows) with a number of bars, coffee areas, pools etc. What it does lack is sea-time entertainment such as bingo and quizes with prizes to get passengers interested. We learned a lot on this journey, ships hierachy let nothing out of the bag and staff are last to know. Had it been normal times we would have made it to Hamburg instead of being offloaded in Marseille. Once the journey began much was outside of the ships control but as I said - they should never have left in the first place and as such creating an unnecessay, unsavoury and costly experience for its passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I booked this cruise 3 days before the virus hysteria started. I chose it because it was very cheap (about 40 euro person/day) with an Ok itinerary. It turned out to be probably the best and definitely the most luxurious cruise in my ... Read More
I booked this cruise 3 days before the virus hysteria started. I chose it because it was very cheap (about 40 euro person/day) with an Ok itinerary. It turned out to be probably the best and definitely the most luxurious cruise in my life. First of all, because of the virus MSC completely remade the first half of the cruise, making the itinerary much better than I initially booked. Instead of the freezing and wet Shanghai, Okinawa and Hong Kong, which were cancelled, MSC moved the embarkation to Singapore and added Langkawi, Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Saigon (that's two more ports than the original route!), and all the itinerary was in the perfect tropical weather! The itinerary became MILES better. They let us embark a day earlier, Feb 13th, with no extra charge. I know the ship came 1 hour later than promised and there was about 2 hour line of people who came by the announced embarkation time, but thankfully I found out about that when still at the airport, walked around the city, came at 10 pm and was onboard in 10 minutes with no hassle. There were just 1300 passengers onboard(the max capacity is 4300!), all the rest got afraid of the virus and (stupidly) cancelled. That turned all the ship into the Yacht club. :) Indeed, the ship felt more like a huge private yacht. I had absolutely no problem finding a sunbed in a shadow, in the sun or whatever at any place of the ship you like, no problem in the buffet, any seat you like in the theater, getting on a tender, whatever. Everything was free and empty. I had an internal guarantee, a free upgrade to a balcony cabin in the perfect location (right near the midship elevators) made it the absolute luxury. The food was so-so for the first few days ( I guess they had groceries problem), but then after Kuala Lumpur it became quite good and was like that till the end of the cruise. Of course the entertainment is a great challenge for a cruise of that length. It was a bit monotonous, most nights were one man shows with 2-3 shows by the same person, but they chose the right people for that and it was definitely not boring. There were also four really beautiful production shows, so I'd say the entertainment was good for this type of a cruise. The animation team probably lacked great ideas a bit (nothing compares to "the Quest" by RCI:) but they tried really hard and were a highlight of the cruise. They were friends to every passenger onboard. The service on the ship was top notch, I felt like I had three personal concierges. :) (probably also because there were so few passengers onboard). I didn't use any ships' shore excursions, they were extremely overpriced as usual and I always found the same in the port at least twice cheaper. (The record was the dhow cruise in Khasab which was 86 euro per person onboard, and I found it for just 25 US dollars on the shore with an almost private dhow, just 10 people onboard! Guys, seriously, revise your excursions prices, that's just ridiculous). The second half of the cruise, as the virus hysteria progressed, was less lucky than the first, we missed two ports, Kochin and Colombo and had a trans-Indian non-stop with 7 days at sea. But Kochin was proactively replaced wirh Khasab, and Colombo was closed on a very short notice, MSC couln't do anything about it. And we still received 100 euro per cabin for the missed Colombo. And I had a wonderful time on the empty ship with a great service and my drink package :) At the end we weren't allowed into Abu Dhabi, arrvied 1 day earlier in Dubai (which they somehow persuaded to let us in, it was officially closed too) and were still able to visit Abu Dhabi by a free bus provided by MSC. Overall I had one MORE port than I booked and a 100 euro compensation. My special praise to the people who managed the routing and port admissions, they did THE IMPOSSIBLE in this situation. For other examples - we were the first and probably the last ship admitted to Saigon, Oman was a serious doubt, etc... These people really deserve a fat bonus in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
we chose this cruise for the itinerary the ship is ok the cabin was fine dining was not good in the bora bora food was cold or luke warm restaurant was better but still on occasions it was only warm entertainment was better when we were at ... Read More
we chose this cruise for the itinerary the ship is ok the cabin was fine dining was not good in the bora bora food was cold or luke warm restaurant was better but still on occasions it was only warm entertainment was better when we were at sea for 12 days not able to dock anywhere we had a great waiter whose name is Dinmark one off the best waiters we have ever had on a cruise embarkation was a joke some people waited from as early as 8am to embark we embarked after 11pm waiting since 5pm we were told we would embark at 6pm disembarkation because of the coronavirus was a shambles too no one checking if anyone had a temperature before they got off the ship now we have had an email from MSC saying some passengers tested positive for the virus all they were concerned about was getting the ship to Genova Italy they left 12.08 the day we disembarked after saying the ship was staying in Marseille for 30 - 45 days not true Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I have over 10 years of cruising history with over 20 cruises on various line. I have seen better and lesser conditions on cruises over that time BUT The cruise that I have just taken on MSC on the Splendida on Feb 14 has been an example ... Read More
I have over 10 years of cruising history with over 20 cruises on various line. I have seen better and lesser conditions on cruises over that time BUT The cruise that I have just taken on MSC on the Splendida on Feb 14 has been an example of the worst that I have ever experienced. PRE Cruise: Information on what visas were required inconsistent to no information. My calls to MSC were met with "we can't advise you" or "we don't know" so I turned to other CC members to see if they got better results or answers. From this I found that the MSC company consistently across the world was unhelpful at best and downright wrong more times than a company dealing in international travel should be. When the original trip was going to start in Shanghai, I debated long and hard about the visa to China. One piece of information said yes the next no. It was ONLY because of fellow cruisers that the course of action I took was decided on. Luckily I did not spend the nearly two hundred to get it. There were several countries on our journey that needed visas (India, Sri lanka, Thailand) with it truly not clear if there were going to be others needed. I personally knew that India would be needed directly from them , but not that if I did not want to go ashore I could "not get it". As I had been on another cruise in this part of the world (not MSC) I knew that the ship would often get the needed visas for all the passengers of that cruise for the day's stop. BUT it would have been nice to know what visa's that MSC Splendida would be getting and the cost would have been nice. One person I talked to had already gotten theirs not knowing. Getting it directly our self would have also saved us extra expense as the ship charged us more than getting it our self. I certainly watched with the rest of the world as the corona virus started to effect China, and everything that touched that country like our trip. This is where I have major heartburn with MSC as they provided Little to no communication about what was going on, what we should be doing, what MSC was doing. At this point since I had used a travel agent to book the cruise, MSC would be the only people at this point to know what they were doing. My calls resulting in "I don't know" and "we're working on it and will let your travel agent know when we know what is happening" SORRY at this point I had Air line ticket purchased when prices were the best because of early purchase, Hotels in Shanghai booked, tours in the city pre cruise, tours along the cruise route, etc. Travel insurance that did not include "cancel for any reason". When MSC finally decided to move the embarkation port to Singapore, I found it out first because our cruise critic network told ME, not MSC it would be days later before the news filtered down to my travel agents then to me. By this time I would imagine that most people had already filled out their cruise documentation and MSC had our emails. Where the F*** was an email directly from MSC letting me know about this change and any options I might have if we now did not want to go? I already knew that the ship was no longer in China. By this time I had into the trip Airfare: $1142 Hotel (non refundable) 2 nights $375 and pre cruise tours $350, Trip insurance (no any reason clause) $125 and India visa $40 plus all the little things that one gets for a month long cruise. Who knows if the better decision at this point should have been to cancel the cruise head the ship to dry dock earlier as that was where it was going, but I assumed that MSC knew the ship even before Corona was not going to be filled and some would drop out, and that some money was better than no money. I only had a small window to travel in and a credit toward another trip was not really a viable option for me. I took the hit for the hotel nights that were not refundable ($375), was able to cancel the pre cruise tours, took it in the shorts for the extra $200 in change fees for the airlines. Now knowing India was no longer an option had no refund of the $40 spent for visa. Needed a new hotel for Singapore. $ 120. Two weeks later and now in Singapore I'm thinking now I can relax as I'm on a cruise, the trip/ line will be like the others I have been on, I will have a great time. Wrong! I should have realized what a Shit show of a line MSC was when I got to the terminal. No obvious curbside taking of bags, personal directing people where to go. I enter the terminal about 630pm on the 12th. I find a room full of milling around people, no MSC personal around to tell me what to do to check in, what was going on. I now had my luggage with me as I didn't think it smart to just assume that it would be taken care of at the curb. I shuffle up to what seemed like a line to nowhere in particular, Foreign languages all around so couldn't even ask them if they knew anything. after about 20 minutes I notice someone randomly handing out some kind of card that said coffee. I didn't know what these were from afar. From the 20 past cruises I have gone on and the many terminals in that time I do know a few things and what should be happening and how to interpret things around me. I noticed lots of people sitting and available seats all over the room. At one point a bunch of people were moved from the lower level to the 2nd floor. No real reason that I could see and I wondered if that was where we were going to check in. Some of the people in the "line" I was in started to leave the line and take seats when they could see one open. I had my luggage to deal with so stayed in the somewhat of a line we had in the aisle. I would shuffle forward as someone left to go elsewhere. I could see what did look like a standard check in area in the corner of the room with a queue system by it but no MSC people at counters or controlling the queue. I have now been in line about 20 minutes and someone is going down the line handing out card that now said blue on them. I took it but was still not told what it all meant. Some more people left the line to find seats and I find myself now near the queue section . Then someone who I assume is someone in the know opens one section of the queue near me and people start to flow into it. Many people now totally pissed at the lack of knowing/ waiting / whatever begin to go under the queue rope to fill the queue. I think why not go with the flow as appose to be pushed by those behind me and entered the queue. Both queues now fill with the flow of people who near them rush to get in. AGAIN no guidance from MSC personal! I think that it is only that at least people were in a recognizable queue system that they settled down to await whatever came next. MSC people finally began to setup stations at the counter. (maybe about 6 stations) There were 2 queue setups. The person at the front of my queue seemed to at least have an idea how run a queue /check in procedure, with placing only one person in front of each check in agent. The person at the other queue had no idea and began to double up people at stations and even began to try and put people at the stations near my queue. The check in people all seemed to be new also in what they were doing and fumbled about trying to get everything done efficiently. Because of the way the other queue master ran their queue, once the person was finally done at the counter they had to fight their way through the lines at all the counters between them and the immigration station because they too often had their luggage with them. Glad I allowed myself to be pushed into the queue when it happened as the people who choose to take seats ended up not getting on board until hours after I did. I messaged my cabin mate who was arriving in Singapore about 2am. She wanted me to check wither she could come down to check in. I called the front desk and was told the terminal would be closed from 1230am to 6am. I relayed info to cabin mate to chill at airport all night because of closure. After getting to the terminal at 630am, she finally was able to board at 10am. When talking to others they were allowed to board from those 2 am flights those that waited could not check in until 9am. This became the first of many "so sorry's" that I, my cabin mate as well as those in the community that formed up from the cruise critic group were to experience. On day two once my cabin mate had settled in we went to the spa to check it out as we purchased the thermal spa package on the MSC website. We had booked the package based on the pictures of the area. Upon finding out that there was no thermal pool, the reason we booked it we told them we wished to cancel the service. We were told that we could by a manager in the spa area and the credit would be put on our account. When we followed through with why we had not received the credit after a week, suddenly we were told that we could not cancel and we would have to go through the agency we booked the package through,(MSC website). We went to the front desk to try and remedy this BS, and told they could do nothing. ("so sorry") Back to the spa to try again and told no, we asked about receiving a letter stating that we did not utilize the service. The spa manager told us that it was "illegal " to do so. He could not clarify why and further questions about this did not resolve the issue.("so sorry") I found out that I could be credited for the India Visa I got when the port was cancelled (from other cc members on board,- not the ship people). I brought my visa to the front desk to do so. The front desk said that it needed to show the amount I paid on it. I replied that I'm sure India wasn't giving out free visas and even though I had gotten the longer visa because it was easier to do and get it off the things to do list before the trip I didn't expect MSC to credit me the higher amount only what they were crediting others. After a trip to the back room the desk guy came back with yet again "so sorry". It was quickly becoming a running joke when I told my table mates at dinner. If it was only these few examples I would say that it was just me experiencing seeing more then my share of things but I was also seeing things I didn't like in general: Kids having to spend all day on the pool deck with their parents because there was no kids club working. This meant more having to share the pool with kids, more kids play on the deck area , doing deck activities with grownup (no parent with them in line) while they have a right to use these things had there been a kids club in force they might have had other options to go play with other kids and parents could have had some time to themselves also. Pool open hours varying between 7am and 12 with no rhyme or reason why the time constantly changed. NO regard for handicap access to pool, the ladder system into and out of the pool meant that it was hard to impossible to get into or out of the pool safely if you had mobility or upper body issues. Pool temperature because the water was changed frequently(good) was all over the place from nicely warm to downright cold. On one of the days that I used the pool the ladder hand grips had a slippery substance on them that made them even harder to use. When I noticed an older man struggling to get out of the pool I told the life guard about the slippery stuff on the ladder grips, he seems to laugh it off and tried to help the man get out of the pool. While the man was finally able to get out it was not without embarrassment over the effort. The daily listing of activities seemed to have a unreasonable amount of shopping events compared to actual events that I might have wanted to go to, I was told by other cruisers that since the ship was less then half full that many of the activities were cancelled. Movie showings were never consistent as to if they would happen. There were no movies on the TV only a couple of English language news shows, I found this pretty surprising since there where so many people of other languages on board. I also experience many days of no TV at all.. Because the spa numbers I'm sure were down the spa personal started coming out further over time into the deck area taking up shaded deck space while they tried to drum up business. Port talks were pretty much useless as to really telling us what to expect at the ports and things that could be done that didn't involve the ship tours. Even the most basic of information on if the port was going to be a tender or dock stop and if a tender how it worked on this ship. (surprisingly there were a number of people who I met that this was their first cruise and didn't know what tendering even meant.) Only show in the evening was at 930. I thought that this was too late(for me) but the only choice. I understand with the change in dinning to open seating (which I like) and the reduced numbers on the ship that 1 show might have made sense to accounting but I didn't like it. Nor the fact that I had no idea what the show was even going to be about each evening there was no description in the daily sheets or marquee . The buffet area was an adventure in of itself. because it was designed for a full ship of people the ship couldn't quite decide what the layout should be for the reduced numbers on board. Some days it was stretched out to the far end of the space other days more concentrated but because we never knew which layout they were using had to walk the entire area to try and see all the items offered. Other notes on buffet: I do a lot of buffets at home, making me somewhat of an expert and I would say that I have never seen such a poor selection of food items. It seemed that the items selected were chosen to feed the most people for the least amount of cost. Over abundance of pasta items, yet you missed the most basic of choice items like spaghetti or mac n cheese. Which leads me to the so called Children's food bar. Did whoever choose what was placed there ever have a child? Other then the French fries that seem to be the saving food choice item for both buffet and dining room meals most of the items on the kids bar went untouched by any child I saw. The morning omelet bar was only started when enough complaints about it not being open were voiced. I wonder what else would have been offered if we only knew what there should have been had the ship been full. No ice cream of any kind in the buffet nor even a simple cookie could be had. As for the Dining room food. As usual a guessing game to try and interpret what the meal would actually be like. I have never seen meat sliced so thin and because it was so thin, it generally came out inedible because of the delay from pan to table. If it was only me that was seeing all these things I'd say it was just me but I did mix with others on the cruise both from the cruise critic group as well as others that I met on board. We spent a great deal of time self entertaining as the ship activities were so poor. Many voiced these same observations and their own "so sorry" experiences with different problems. I was told that unless I could name names of those that had direct control or were directly interacted with MSC would just blow these complaints off , so be it I did try. I am in a customer service business and I can look at other business and their responses to things and see ways to make even the worst into a positive situation. When I look at the cruise I just took with MSC I see so much lost potential to make those of us on board into lifelong loyal fans instead of a "first and last" group. Case in point: one of my dinner mates complained about usually load noises heard from their inside cabin ( turned out to be carts that would hit the wall, during ship movements, and staff going up and down the stairs that could be heard inside their room. After several days of complaints they were finally moved not to one of the 20 empty cabins across the hall, but balcony cabins, but to another floor altogether( but an inside) and made to sign a form saying they wouldn't complain any more. Only because the German contingent on board wanted to start a mutiny did the ship decide to give us some kind of compensation for missed ports. (Thank you German Cruisers)Why did it take this to get anything at all. Oh yes the cheapest free drink night also was seen as an attempt to bribe us but not really address our feelings. The Captain was pretty much a non seen person, I understand that he is only the driver but is the face for the line at sea, to be seen and heard from would have been nice. Every time something went wrong maybe something like 1/2 price drinks would have showed that the line recognized that life has lemons but let's make lemonade. Communication from the bridge about possible problems coming up and what they were doing to address them. In general I think that MSC should have canceled the trip, but choice to continue it. But that said MSC then had the obligation to give us everything we paid for or to compensate us for what we didn't get. I feel that I was short changed in my cruise experience and will not sail MSC again unless a fair compensation was given to me as incentive to give them another chance. Their response was "so Sorry" how about 15% FCC not pp but for the cabin. I looked to see what I might be able to do with my big $255. A shorter but similar cabin for a Caribbean cruse next Feb on one of two ships which both had questionable reviews would mean I would have to shell over at least another 3K to experience another questionable cruise. I responded back that I didn't think this was acceptable but was basically told "so sorry" but shove off.. I think I will go with anyone but MSC for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ship with nearly 4000 passengers, there were few times int he 4 weeks when the public rooms were crowded, and with a slight adjustment in your plans you could easily avoid the crowds. It was easy to get around, with 4 sets of lifts and numerous staircases. The variety of food served, once you realized you could ordered what you wanted - if you liked 4 entrees and only one main course- just order it! The embarkation and disembark was quick and efficient. Within 20 minutes of arriving at embarkation I was in my cabin and bags arrived within 15 minutes. Faster than most business class flights! Good points The service was excellent, and any request was quickly dealt with. Our cruise included extra lectures on art and history which for the age profile of the passengers was well received. Things which needed to change to get 5 stars Strangely for an Italian ship the pasta dishes were poor, sauces were watered down. To counter that the pizzas were excellent and freshly baked. There is a gap between travel agent and MSC with regard to visas to enter the countries visited. It did not affect me (as I searched the internet before boarding) but others were stopped visiting India as a result. Not sure why ice cream was not available in buffet - did not affect my scoring, but this was important to other passengers Suggestions to people thinking about booking Consider which excursion you would like before boarding. This lets you plan your trip more efficiency If you book well in advance you may received the drinks package complimentary - one of my better decisions (says my wife) Pre-book the laundry - at only £1 per item, it is well priced and efficient (and I did not use my full quota up!!) Overall very enjoyable experience which was enhanced by the MSC staff - would definitely re-book Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the ... Read More
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the way. One night was spent at the Dubai Marriott, and the following morning we taxied to the port. And there the problems began! There was a "time to board" listed on your information, but most of the 3500 passengers were already in the very crowded check-in area. Those in Yacht Club were given a place to sit and wait - we commoners just stood in line for nearly two hours. Not a good impression!. Once on board, we found our adjoining balcony cabins to be nicely furnished. I requested my duvet be replaced by a light blanket, and it was quickly done. My "bath tube" as noted on the reservation was a lovely large tub with shower - and all the really hot water one could ask for. Storage space was wonderful, and would have been fine for two guests in the room. The TV was mounted at ceiling height and quite small. We were out of range for English speaking stations much of the time, so it didn't matter too much. We had requested early dining, and found ourselves seated with folks who had limited English. We asked for a change, and were assigned to another dining room where we shared a table for six with an English couple and a couple from Australia. We had a grand time comparing countries and cruises for the entire 28-day cruise. Entertainment was based on opera most evenings. A soloist or duo or quartet sang with piano and flute or violin. There were a few song and dance shows, but due to the passengers' many languages we had no comedians or acts that required a good understanding of English. Food in the dining room tended to be about average rather than great. Always sufficient for any normal appetite, and enough selection to suit almost all passengers. The beverage package that included cocktails, wine, specialty coffee, water and soda in unlimited quantity was a true bargain at $28 per day. We had prepaid for excursions in all ports, and found many were not worth the price paid. Passengers with excursion vouchers had to congregate in the theater, and the staff sent out four or five busses (speaking various languages) at the same time to the same destination. We were late arriving at many sights, and waited in lines for up to an hour to board an elevator in some buildings. There was a library that had about 500 books in German, a hundred or so in French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese, and NONE in English - although there was a shelf with a sign that said English. There was almost no TV, and no daily news sheet was every printed. We had little idea of what was happening in the world during our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Boarded promptly in Dubai. Lovely ship, good sized cabin (upgraded to balcony). Hardworking staff, clean ship, entertainment crew friendly, funny and made great efforts to amuse everyone quizes,poolside dance etc. Theatre: lot opera, ... Read More
Boarded promptly in Dubai. Lovely ship, good sized cabin (upgraded to balcony). Hardworking staff, clean ship, entertainment crew friendly, funny and made great efforts to amuse everyone quizes,poolside dance etc. Theatre: lot opera, ballet, acrobats etc pulled out stops and had wonderful final show. Good to have cinema in theatre after shows!! Cruise director (Masimo) does interesting talks on myths/history/art. Port talks really interesting but do your homework before u come. offer of laundry services last week. Can rinse smalls and hang on line in shower or wash and hang items easy to dry on seadays. Can trot around the deck on Deck 7(either side) or deck16 above Aqua deck. be prepared to climb around the loungers. Gym really busy. Spa expensive as usual. Food hit or miss:usually tepid hard/uncooked as in case of fish,boiled potatoes, meat etc.Soups, salads, fruit, sandwiches, cakes consistently edible/good. Bora Bora Toga Toga back to back bufffets on Deck 14. You will not get any thinner!! Usual cranky customers when delays with embarking. To be expected when large ship, at distant ports. Need to do your homework before u go "whats on in Port". Find out about local transport and shuttles if any. May need to pay for ships shuttle. We would definitely go with MSC again if destinations and price right. Some ports were overnight stops.............excellent. Food and communication!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The ... Read More
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The assigned seating at dinner was picture perfect. We had a table at the front of the Dining Room with excellent sunset view every evening. Massage experience was divine and the health bar was a plus. The gym is huge with all the newest equipment and you can track your workout progress with an app connected to the equipment. The ship excursion were a bit disorganized and we had some minor issues. The wifi was dependable, just make sure you get the unlimited package as you wont regret it. Our room attendant was unbelievable and the room itself was awesome. Although you will have to pay for all the extras, it was not that bad. We will return Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the mini refrigerator was not working they replaced it with a new one. The lighting in the room was inconsistent one very dim and one very bright. The food was always cold, nothing to drink after breakfast unless you bought the drink package. Staff stole water charging it to my drink package. My photos look better on my cell phone than the non lighting pictures I paid for with my photo package. Deck entertainment was very dead and dry. The only 5 star review belongs to our cabin steward (Chitla) and the amazing MSC theatre performances. I wish I could cancel my upcoming cruise with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Let me start by saying i try to find the positive in everything. We chose this cruise (despite some negative reviews) because it had the itinerary we wanted on the dates we needed. That said, here is why I won’t be going on msc ... Read More
Let me start by saying i try to find the positive in everything. We chose this cruise (despite some negative reviews) because it had the itinerary we wanted on the dates we needed. That said, here is why I won’t be going on msc again: First Clue should have been the reservations process. Had to do over the phone because for some reason the new EU privacy laws meant I couldn’t do it online (made no sense to me either). We wanted the package that included drinks but that only came with certain cabins and we needed two adjacent cabins which were no longer available in this category (don’t ask me why they link packages to cabins). Went with two cabins that I was told were connected. They made me reserve with one adult and one teenager in each room but assured me once I got on board this could be fixed. The itinerary was very confusing - it did not include embarkation and disembarkation times. After 3 calls (some of which I had to wait on hold 20 minutes for and don’t even bother clicking that “call me” button on the website) I think I figured out I had to be off the ship by 1 am on the last day (Saturday early am) Time for embarkation - at check in I ask about switching cabins adults in one teenagers in another. Was told just switch room keys. When I asked if I could buy wine using my 14 year olds ID card was told to see the reception on board. 20 minutes in line there - no can’t be done, it is a safety issue (oh and by the way we had visited the cabins which were definitely not connecting). Asked to see a manger, after more wait was told the person on the phone was wrong and it would be investigated (and call recordings listened to) and the hotel manager would get back to me (one guess on if that ever happened). The feeling I got was clearly he could care less about my situation and only cared about if he needed to get a call center operator fired. Now onboard... Water package - don’t actually care about bottled water, am fine with tap but it was what was included in our “package” but only at the main restaurant at dinner not when you pay extra to go to specialty restaurants? Again, I am fine with tap so had them bring me that at our first specialty restaurant (“Hot Pot”) but when we went to Butchers Cut we were told that tap was not available? Seriously? Back to the Hot Pot - it was actually a kind of creepy experience. We were the only ones in the restaurant (9pm - prime eating time on the European ship) and the waiters stood over our shoulder even after we told them we needed some time to look over the menu. Then they brought some of the appetizers and the food that was supposed to be cooked for the main (at the same time) and left with no instructions. Eventually they came back - we asked about the main (and were told to wait) and again about the missing appetizer. Finally it came out that the waiter cooked our food and eventually the missing appetizer was brought. Found it strange no dessert was offered. Teen club - another fail. Except for one day when it had a few extra hours it only opened from 8-12pm and with no programming of any kind. The only thing in the teen club was video games you had to pay extra for and one foosball table you could play with when the counselor was there. No wonder even though many teens were on board it was not a gathering spot. The lack of programming was especially problematic since maybe only 5% of the people on board were native English speakers with numerous other languages on board. Without a dance party or charades game to come to why come hang out with people you can’t easily converse with? Drink packages... we had coupons for alcoholic drinks. I completely get that these are usually restricted to “house “ wines. What I don’t get is why on a European cruise ship there is no training about wine. I would specifically ask for a Chardonnay and can’t count the number of times they pulled out a white blend. Some bars had the “Woodbridge” Chardonnay that was included, most did not. Even more fun were the bars that had it but insisted it was a “premium” wine and so not included. The logic is not based on price either. 8 Euro margarita? Included. 6 Euro glass of wine - not included. Food - not terrible but not good. The only variety on the breakfast buffet was what types of bread and fruit were put out. The lunch buffet area was huge but illogically laid out. If you really wanted to see all the options you had to look at all the stations even though some stations were 90% the same as others. The ship - the spaces were overall nice. The fitness center strangely only had one elliptical machine that always had a wait. There were ~8 treadmills but usually two were out of service so that was challenging durinig busy times. Back to that disembarkation question? The day before what we thought was the last full day of the cruise we get luggage tags that indicate we are supposed to disembark at 9am on Saturday (not 1 am). Of course by this point, hotel arrangements have already been made. When we indicate we intend to disembark at 11:30pm we are told that is not possible and we have to wait until after midnight. Why does the cruise line not know their own cruises?! The pluses? We had a truly wonderful waiter in the main dining room. The parties in the aft lounge were generally entertaining. The itinerary was what we wanted. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I read lots of reviews when deciding on booking this and lots worried me so I was very nervous of how much we would enjoy it...so my review below I hope will help answer the initial questions I had, without duplicating all the other ... Read More
I read lots of reviews when deciding on booking this and lots worried me so I was very nervous of how much we would enjoy it...so my review below I hope will help answer the initial questions I had, without duplicating all the other reviews you will read .....im not a complete novice as have done Cunard Queen Victoria cruises before. Embarkation was excellent...slick, friendly welcoming and efficient....I read lots of reviews about peoples packages not being correct...I didn't hear any guests complain and when we arrived our cruise card was ready at checkin desk, with all trips credited, wifi package code , dining and drinks package all tabled...all worked fine immediately so no arguments on entitlement . The food was excellent....in the self service restaurant there was always plenty of choice and it was hot. It varied a lot in the choices . We had "my choice dining" in main restaurant which was lovely as we were not bound by a set table time..I would recommend this, as you get complete flexibility depending on your days activities.But if not 6.30 or 9pm sitting seemed to be well organised. Food and service were good...if you wanted more they happily offered another course or an extra sweet etc.Breakfast service was good with excellent choices and fruit you could take with you for snacks...there are also areas like an Italian patio area that did wonderfull cake selections in the afternoon..all included. Drinks packages are confusing to understand but staff on first day were helpful in explaining (although they will try and upgrade you..more about this on why I only gave 4 stars further down)...we had the basic package and we had plenty of draft beer, choice of red, white, rose and prossecco, unlimited speciality tea and coffees and even some of the basic milk shakes etc were included ,so for us who had a few pre dinner drinks, wine with dinner most evenings and also had several coffees as well as a beer or two by the pool etc during the day it was well worth it...it also included bottled water...this is a must if you go when its hot or on trips etc as water isn't cheap outside of packages or locally and given if you book before you go you get upto 20% off and don't pay any service charge....we felt it was good value....and you had peace of mind no big bill to challenge at the end. Guest services always had huge queues....ive seen it on all cruises so I especially liked MSC has installed some mini account registration stations...like an iPad where you can register you cruise card, set a limit for any charges on your credit card, link people in your party etc etc...this saved loads of time not queuing after checkin and also made check out easy too. Dress code varies....so simply its seems what you like goes...there are gala dinners so dress up and party away...but if you want to wear smart Casual to dinner that too was acceptable...most ladies wore a cocktail dress and men smart casual and a suit on gala night...this pleased my hubby as he didn't want to wear a shirt and tie every night like on Cunard. Staff I found spoke multiple languages and were always very happy to help ..guests varied from German, American, Italian ,French and English so I found a real cultural mix which I loved...yes announcements on the Tannoy can seem a little long as they do them in several languages but I didn't find it annoying at all....as it only happens once or twice a day. Theatre evening shows are mainly dance routines so that the language barrier doesn't impact enjoyment...its only 30-40 mins and after dinner, with a nice cocktail its a lovley way to unwind...all included. If you prefer to party there are lots of things every night in Jazz Bar, AFT bar etc to suit all tastes from Abba and 70s nights, Jazz to classical singing. Excursions are a personnel choice but we loved the variety..from coach tours sight seeing to mountain bike excursions.....booking via MSC does have advantages as if there are delays due to weather..or in our case a medical emergency meant the ship had to turn around overnight for someone, so that meant we were a few hours late for the next destination...excursions are reorganised and times amended ..if you have booked yourself independently then you will need to reorganise or possibly loose some time...but id say some are over priced so make sure you read the fine detail of what the trips includes...for example we thought we were having afternoon tea in the Ethiad tower.....it turned out to be a 30 min viewing platform with a small slice of cake and small china cup of tea....so expensive for what it was! All the destinations on our trip had "hop on hop of buses" right at the port entrance/docking point easily booked direct and seemed good value, so if your on a budget or want to have more freedom then this is a great way to explore the cities. So overall we loved it and are planning next years trip on the same ship as there was so much to do ,it was very clean as well as noise levels good in the rooms etc...so why 4 stars and not 5......I thought having spent quite a lot on a balcony package, with drinks, spa and excursions etc MSC should not be hard selling...when you arrive to check in you almost have to fend off the mass of sales teams , pitching from the excursion desk, spa treatment, drinks packages etc ....when you are tired after a 10 -12 hour journey then this I felt was unnecessary...then on board for the first 2 days sitting in a bar for instance you were constantly asked if you wanted to upgrade your drinks package or try and sell you a meal deal for the more expensive Butchers cut restaurant...but the final straw for me was the SPA girls....constantly asking if I wanted a massage at "very good price" , and asking why didn't I want to buy products all at discounted prices etc..I had a spa package included for unlimited sauna etc so everyday I had to pass this line of ladies trying to sell me stuff.....after day 3 I did speak to the manager to ask them to stop which they did but to me you should not encounter such hard sales....this I have not experienced on Cunard...hence my 4 star not 5. 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Sail Date March 2019
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We last cruised with MSC in the Med 3 years ago and to be honest I was less than impressed so I was a bit apprehensive about booking this itinerary from Dubai for my wife’s birthday. What a difference - the quality of food in both the ... Read More
We last cruised with MSC in the Med 3 years ago and to be honest I was less than impressed so I was a bit apprehensive about booking this itinerary from Dubai for my wife’s birthday. What a difference - the quality of food in both the main dining room and speciality restaurants were right up there with the very best we’ve had on other cruise lines. I can particularly recommend Butcher’s Cut steak house where you can enjoy a 3 course dinner for an additional €39 - worth every penny! Although we didn’t go to any of the shows in the theatre the entertainment around the ship was also much improved with a number of very good singers performing in different locations. One comment would be that the seats in some of the public rooms, Aft Lounge and Purple Room in particular, were a bit too much about form over function. We also spent a bit extra to book a mini-suite (#11009). The room itself was lovely with sitting area completely separate to the bedroom. Two slightly disappointing items were the bathroom (very small) and the balcony (not glass so restricted view and overhung by bridge). If this is the quality of food and service that MSC are now doing across their fleet we’ll definitely be using them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more ... Read More
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more friendly this time. Everyone we met were very helpful and positive. Food in the main dinig room was good, but again my travel partner felt the portions were too smal, so we used the buffet most nights. This time the food was actually warm in the buffet so that was good. The shows were ok, the acobatics were very good! Entertainment was good, even fun at times. The ship was a little worn down I felt. Needs to be freshened up a little. Could be cleener at times too. Our cabin was not very cleen, did not look like the night stands had been dusted for weeks. I wanted to complain, but my mother did not want to be a "Bother" so she cleened herself. The cabin which was an interior had a good size and a good layout. The itinerary was great! We did one excursion arranged through msc, this was ok, but not Great. Other than that we explored on our own. It was overall a more calm feeling on the ship this time. Might have something to do with the guests this time, other nationalities on this route I felt. But there is a problem with acustics in the public areas. It gets so loud. My mum use a hearing aid, but was unable to use it because of all the noise made it uncomfortable for her. Which again made me into one of those who contributed to the loudness to make her hear me. Not good. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
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
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
Sail Date January 2019
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
Sail Date December 2018
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 5.0 N/A
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 2.0 N/A
Service 5.0 3.8
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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