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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I wanted to start and finish my cruise in Dubai as my daughter lives there. It was a bit daunting as I has never cruised before, but everything was made so easy. The organisation of this ship from boarding through to the disembarkation ... Read More
I wanted to start and finish my cruise in Dubai as my daughter lives there. It was a bit daunting as I has never cruised before, but everything was made so easy. The organisation of this ship from boarding through to the disembarkation was done very efficiently. I particularly enjoyed the daily dance lessons of Vivi and Mejia, whose infectious encouragement made each lesson such a pleasure. The staff in the Villa Verde restaurant were very attentive, especially our waiter Pande, who kept our glasses charged at all times. We found the buffet in Pago Pago & Bora Bora rather overwhelming, so decided to breakfast and lunch in La Reggio Restaurant, which was more tranquil, and it was nice to be served at the table, having said that, the buffet in La Reggio was also excellent, and the fresh pasta cooked before your very eyes was just amazing. We took two of the ship excursions, one to Muscat in Oman, which was beautiful, and one to see dolphins whilst on a dhow, in Khasab, Oman. Both of these trips were so well organised and we thought good value. The pool areas on the ship were very clean and well looked after by the staff, all the bar staff were very accommodating and efficient. There was so much choice of entertainment at night that we found it hard to choose where to go. White Night in the Aft Bar was just amazing! I would not hesitate in booking this ship again as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Due to the excellent Status Match offered by MSC, we were tempted to try them as we went straight in at their top Black Card level. Not one to do anything by halves, we booked a week on Splendida and a B2B on Magnifica for 2017 and just ... Read More
Due to the excellent Status Match offered by MSC, we were tempted to try them as we went straight in at their top Black Card level. Not one to do anything by halves, we booked a week on Splendida and a B2B on Magnifica for 2017 and just before our first MSC cruise, we found an amazing £700 per week deal for a balcony Yacht Club on Splendida in January 2018, so we booked a B2B. I have to confess that after our first cruises on Splendida and Magnifica I wasn't too impressed - and would have cancelled these Dubai cruises had they not been in Yacht Club. MSC is a strange cruise line which operates more like a bus, with new passengers joining and others leaving at most ports. It really does mess things up compared to a "standard" cruise; lifeboat drills most nights for new arrivals, one "end of cruise" show which means you may see it half-way through your cruise depending when you joined, no settling down period where guests become familiar with the ship.... The food in the main dining room was a let down on our first cruises, the shows were the same every night; they just changed the costumes and music, the multi-lingual announcements lasted 5 minutes. I just did not like the experience. HOWEVER, that all changed on our Yacht Club sailing this January 2018. The shows were probably just as awful; so we didn't go to any after the first. The main restaurant was probably as bad as before, but we didn't need to go there. The bars around the ship were often overcrowded and it was difficult to get a seat; so we didn't stay if that was the case. The Yacht Club lounge was THE perfect escape for us; never busy, waiters eager to serve, free drinks (which BTW we could get at any bar with our YC card), snacks changed at least four times every day (though could do with some savoury late night snacks and not just cakes), a very nice continental-style breakfast offering and (if we wanted) a pleasant afternoon tea. Our private YC restaurant L'Olivo was perfect in every way (apart from that loud Canadian women you could hear across the room lol). Wine glasses were refilled almost immediately, the service was great but not stuffy and the food was excellent without being too fancy. A special mention to Leo, our waiter, thank you again !! The YC pool area offered a great escape from the crowds - again with attentive waiters and a nice (if limited) lunch. Plenty of shaded sitting areas and room to move around the deck to find sunbeds as the sun/shade moved. Other than the 5 minutes when the shows finish, the YC "priority lift" was superb. Simply insert your card and press the YC button and the lift would bypass other floors and come straight to you. Insert the card inside the lift and it will whisk you off to your chosen floor too. Our cabin (16004) was large, clean and functional but did lack drawer space. The tiny TV in the corner of the room was not good and the balcony was a let down as we were at the front of the ship and could not see much due to the slope of the walls. We've had better cabins. I've read many complaints about the Buffet. When you enter, the seating is always full and the food stations bustling with people. Yet, if you walk farther down, you will find more and more food and ample seating all around. Did those complaining actually bother to walk down there? I would agree that the food needs to be warmer - hot would be nice but I'd happily settle for warm. It seems to be like this on every cruise ship buffet. I have to say that we thought Yacht Club was great; if we wanted the fuss of a butler walking us to dinner or a show we could have it. Had we wanted them at our call throughout the day, Im sure they would have been happy to oblige. We were just content in knowing the service we received was excellent and, had we asked for more, they would have provided it without question. So, do we cruise MSC again? - definitely within Yacht Club but definitely not if we were elsewhere on the ship. BUT you have to remember that for the price you can have 3 MSC cruises compared to just 2 with other cruise lines so consider the cost saving when you set your expectations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We. Wanted to see this part of the world and the price was very reasonable . But as always you get what you pay for. The Bora Bora Buffet was the poorest selection of food we have encountered onboard . The food was Luke warm at ... Read More
We. Wanted to see this part of the world and the price was very reasonable . But as always you get what you pay for. The Bora Bora Buffet was the poorest selection of food we have encountered onboard . The food was Luke warm at best , it reminded me of a school canteen, what they professed to be omelets were cooked en mass and folded into rectangles on display ready to be selected however they must be on display for eons as they were barely warm and very gloopy and tasteless, In a nutshell food is poor . The breakfast juices were squash and not fresh juice . The balcony was so small it contained 2 very small chairs and a wicker table about a foot square and that filled the balcony space . My husband was very impressed with the gym , the bar servers in the Splendida bar were very attentive and cheerful . Although the entertainment in the main area on level 5 varied from an absolutely stupendous opera singer , and very good classical duo , to a mediocre Roberto with his guitar , Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose the cruise because i heard that it would good. To my dismay the service was bad, the staff over worked, food was terrible. The drinks package which we had was not worth it as most of the bars are closed all the time. I strongly ... Read More
I chose the cruise because i heard that it would good. To my dismay the service was bad, the staff over worked, food was terrible. The drinks package which we had was not worth it as most of the bars are closed all the time. I strongly think msc needs to treat their staff better so that would be more productive. The rooms are not properly and hygienically cleaned. There were no themed nights on board and absolutely minimum entertainment compared to other cruise liners and considering it was a christmas cruise one would expect more from this. I will never go again as i was terribly disappointed. I would really appreciate feedback from this experience as there were many people on board from all different countries that had the same view as me. They all were very disappointed with the cruise on a whole and totally expected a better deal. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
the date and itinary we wanted to spend christmas in dubai,you could not fault a single thing the ship is magnificent and the staff wre wonderful, hubert and jean the pool attendants smiling and only to willing to help at 6.30 in the ... Read More
the date and itinary we wanted to spend christmas in dubai,you could not fault a single thing the ship is magnificent and the staff wre wonderful, hubert and jean the pool attendants smiling and only to willing to help at 6.30 in the morning, manuela from rumania in the early breakfast at 6 and surbessa from cape town and all of them on early brekfast smiling happy could not do enough for you,all of reception alice juliio andrea lilly to many to mention osama grm,could not fault givanni the maitre di, we did eat in the main restaurant a few times but 9.pm. is a bit late for us and 6 is to early so ate in the buffet which was incredible, and ate in the butchers cut superb, the animation team were incredible and the dace teachers wonderful dancers i know what i am talking about i was a dancer, there was something for everybody the only drawback ignorant greedy rude passengers of every single nationality, what the crew have to put up with with some of these passengers is disgusting i felt sorry for the crew most people need a lesson in manners will definately cruise with msc again and hope to cross paths with every single member of the crewxx Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Just got back form a 6 night med cruise on this ship, Embarkation and disembarkation went as well as expected. In the main the ship was nice, the public areas are good and clean. Cabins (we were in 11210) was very nice. ... Read More
Just got back form a 6 night med cruise on this ship, Embarkation and disembarkation went as well as expected. In the main the ship was nice, the public areas are good and clean. Cabins (we were in 11210) was very nice. Dinning:- The buffet. This was probably the best food you will find on the ship and the best for selection. If you like your coffee I'd would recommend the coffee package (about £25 for about 20 coffees) as the coffee in the machines is a little cheap, drinkable but not that nice. As someone else has mentioned on the forum you don't get spoons just wooden sticks. Allocated Dinning:- The menu was not that good. Food was never that warm. One example of the main meal. I ordered a lasagna but when it came you go what you ordered lasagna no garnish, nothing just a lump of lasagne in the middle of an empty plate not very imaginative. The service and the staff:- I personally found them very nice, my philosophy is if your pleasant to them your pleasant to you. The cabin stewards was always a pleasure to talk to and he did a great job. Out on board:- all good there clean tidy, one of the main gripes is that you couldn't walk round the whole of the outside (walking deck) of the ship as you can on other cruise liners. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
MSC Splendida We stayed on the MSC Splendida for one week! The experiences was from positive through to negative. The negative feeling after the trip unfortunately prevailed: it was our first and last cruise and we could not wait to ... Read More
MSC Splendida We stayed on the MSC Splendida for one week! The experiences was from positive through to negative. The negative feeling after the trip unfortunately prevailed: it was our first and last cruise and we could not wait to leave the ship at the end. In general: The Splendida is an imposing and beautiful ship, which has a lot to offer. It appears neat and clean. It was also constantly cleaned and small maintenance work was done. From check-in to check-out all the procedures were quite well organized, which is important with thousands of people on board. At the inspection of the hand luggage my small scissors were taken. It was not a big one, but a small one of an "Ikea triopac". I know that safety is paramount, also to my mind. For a flight, taking away scissors would also have some logic. Here, however, this really made absolutely no sense. After the security check we were told to go straight to the cabin, where the checked-in luggage is waiting. In the latter, I could have taken these scissors on board without difficulty, and afterwards also from the cabin. Knives are in every restaurant, easily accessible which could easily be taken with you and were no less dangerous than these little scissors. About the cabin: Our balcony cabin was pleasant and functional. The bathroom was small but had everything you needed. The shower should be equipped with a Plexiglas pane, since it is small and the curtain At night, it was hardly really quiet. In addition to the normal vibrations / noise of the ship (which didn’t really disturb you), it was always loud in the aisles, the people took little consideration, and were loud, laughed, talked, stomped, etc… even after midnight. Our cabin was also close to a freight door, over which baggage was offloaded from guests, who disembarked at the next port. I could only sleep with earplugs. About the entertainment: The entertainment on board was really good. The various bars have a wide range of beverages and with the all-inclusive drinking package you can really enjoy it. This drinking package is only worthwhile from a consumption of 26 euros+ / person. If you only drink non-alcoholic beverages or coffee, leave your fingers away from it. There were daily shows at "The Strand Theater", which were really great and the performers did a good job. Also at the bars and cafés singers, musicians and animators cared for a pleasant atmosphere. It was never boring on board. Excursions and co .: We did not make any excursions - except the bus ride from Civitavecchia to Rome, since Rome is not directly at the port. We also did not use the shuttle buses provided by MSC to the city centers. These cost between 12 and 15 euros / per person. However, there were always public transport and other alternatives for a total of 3-4 euros / person. The staff - the staff: Most are friendly and helpful. I would like to especially mention "Putra and Orland" who were outstandingly professional and friendly and served us at our dinner-restaurant. Also "Jane Rose" has enhanced our stay with her friendly smile and professional manner. Thank you very much at this point for your great work on a very busy ship. You always have a great commitment and professional attitude. We also have a good memory of Sweta, Martin, Vanessa Dsouza, Nadonza Romano, Gomez Erick. Thank you so much for making our stay worthwile. Unfortunately, we also had negative experiences with employees, especially in busy Bora-Bora / Pago-Pago Restaurant. We have always ordered our drinks from the all-inclusive-Bar-Menu. We waited patiently, waved nicely, asked politely and were not impatient. Nevertheless, we got annoyed looks or our ordering was taken without any conversation on their part. Drinks were given, the cruise card was handed back and they turned away without words. These here are little flaws but they add up and immensely disturb a good experience. Also, one of the officers of the Ship-Inlet-Checkpoint was impatient and had a rude tone without reason! Like I said, security is important but doesn’t necessarily exclude friendly treatment of passengers - especially if they behave, are ready and do not cause any disturbances or interruptions. The Bora-Bora self-service restaurant: Good pizzas, good food, large salad buffet, Unfortunately too many negative experiences. This restaurant was so crowded that it was almost quite loud everywhere. To my taste it was too crowded. Opening-times obviously also do count. In the daily program leaflet, the breakfast buffet was announced to be open until 11.30 a.m.. At 10: 30 already the first buffets were cleared. At 10:45 all the salad buffets were gone and empty. When I asked, I was told that it would have to be cleared up earlier, because of early arrival at the port. Given times should also be adhered. I would not have expected all the buffets to be open but something of everything should be available until closing time. One of the waiters asked a "chef" for me for a bit of salad, but he just curtly said "No, there is no more salad". At 11:15 I wanted to order an espresso and I pressed the "Service-Button" at the table. The part of the of the restaurant I sat had already calmed down. I heard the call tone of the waiter's watch but he simply kept on sweeping the floor. After a while I called again and the clock was beeping again, the waiter did not react to it. I then got up, and politely asked for an espresso in person. The answer: "This bar has already closed". He then reluctantly went to the other bar to get one for me. Ultimately, I got everything, but unfortunately only with detours, delays and a bad feeling. But the best surprise came at the end of our cruise: In the last night of our cruise our bill was slipped through under the door with quite a surprise. We knew, that only 90.- euro for the parking had yet to be paid and all drinks were included in the drinking-package. The amount of the bill was 232.- euro. They charged euro 10.- / person for "service fees" and another EUR 2.- for UNICEF. The Unicef ​​donation is no problem. The service fee though - in our case 7 days, each 20 euros - was not obviously stated at the time of booking. It was anything but transparent. It may have been stated in the terms and conditions or in the contract but I find such hidden costs completely out of order! I complained and the fees were cancelled. I was told that this is stated in the contract and only MSC would cancel the charges on request (?!?!?). I am fine with service charges, but then only when stated openly and transparently at the booking and not snuck in via terms and condition or the fine print of a contract. This said: On the day of departure we could hardly wait to leave the ship! MSC Splendida Wir waren für eine Woche auf der MSC Splendida! Die Erfahrungen waren durchzogen von positiv bis negativ. Das negative Gefühl im Anschluss der Reise überwiegt leider: Es war unsere erste und auch letzte Kreuzfahrt und wir konnten es am Ende kaum erwarten, das Schiff zu verlassen. Allgemein: Die Splendida ist ein imposantes und schönes Schiff, welches viel zu bieten hat. Sie erscheint gepflegt und auch sauber. Es wurde auch immer laufend geputzt und gesaugt und auch vereinzelt sind kleinere Wartungsarbeiten durchgeführt worden. Vom Check-In bis zum Check-Out waren alle Abläufe recht gut organisiert. Letzteres ist auch wichtig bei tausenden von Personen an Bord. Beim Check-In habe ich mich geärgert, weil mir bei der Kontrolle des Handgepäcks meine kleine Schere wegenommen wurde. Es war keine Grosse, sondern eine Kleinere eines “Ikea-Triopacks”. Ich weiss, dass Sicherheit an erster Stelle steht und finde das persönlich auch wichtig. In einem Flugzeug hätte dies an jener Stella auch eine gewisse Logik. Hier aber machte dies wirklich absolut keinen Sinn. Nach diesem Sicherheitscheck ging es nämlich schnurstracks in die eigene Kabine, wo das eingecheckte Gepäck auf einem wartet. In diesem hätte ich diese Schere problemlos an Bord nehmen dürfen und danach auch aus der Kabine, z.B. im Rucksack, der Schwimmtasche, der Handtasche,… egal wie… Sie ist ja dann in gewisser Weise auch die ganze Zeit eine “Bedrohung”. Messer liegen ausserdem in jedem Restaurant herum, die man auch problemlos hätte mitnehmen können und nicht weniger gefährlich waren als diese kleine Schere. Zur Kabine: Auch unsere Balkonkabine war angenehm und zweckmässig eingerichtet. Das Badezimmer war klein, hatte aber alles, was man braucht. Die Dusche sollte mit einer Plexiglas-Scheibe ausgestattet werden, da sie klein ist und der Vorhang immer wieder an einem kleben bleibt. In der Nacht war es leider selten wirklich ruhig. Neben den normalen Vibrationen/Geräuschen, die ein Schiff von sich gibt und eigentlich auch wenig störten, war es in den Gängen immer wieder recht laut, die Leute nehmen keine Rücksicht, sind laut, rufen, lachen, auch nach Mitternacht. Unsere Kabine war auch in der Nähe einer Frachttüre, über welche nachts Gepäck abtransportiert wurde von Gästen, die im nächsten Hafen ausschifften. Auch über uns und neben uns polterte es immer wieder. Ich konnte jedenfalls nur mit Ohrenstöpseln schlafen und bin dann noch immer wieder aufgewacht. Zur Unterhaltung: Die Unterhaltung an Bord ist wirklich gut. Die verschiedenen Bars haben ein grosses Angebot an Getränken und mit dem All-Inclusive-Getränkepaket kann man es auch richtig geniessen. Getränkepakete lohnen sich aber erst ab einem Konsum ab 26 Euro/Person. Wer nur alkoholfreie Getränke oder Kaffee trinkt, lässt lieber die Finger davon. Es gab täglich Shows im “The Strand Theater”, welche wirklich schön waren und die Darsteller haben sich bemüht. Auch in den Bars und Kaffees haben Singende, Musizierende und Annimierende für eine angenehme Atmosphäre gesorgt. Langweilig war es zu keiner Zeit an Bord. Ausflüge und Co.: Landausflüge haben wir keine gemacht - ausser die Busfahrt von Civitavecchia nach Rom, da Rom nicht direkt am Hafen liegt. Auch die Shuttle-Busse der MSC in die Stadtzentren haben wir nicht genutzt. Diese kosteten zwischen 12 und 15 Euro/pro Person. Es gab aber eigentlich immer öffentliche Verkehrsmittel und einfache Alternativen für insgesamt 3-4 Euro/Person. The staff - die Angestellten: Die meisten sind freundlich und hilfsbereit. Besonders freundlich waren “Putra und Orland”, die uns bei unserem Abendessen bedienten. Auch “Jane Rose” hat unseren Aufenthalt aufgewertet mit ihrer konstanten aufgestellten und freundlichen Art. Vielen Dank an dieser Stelle für eure tolle Arbeit auf einem sehr betriebsamen Schiff. Ihr habt euch immer sehr toll engagiert und professionell verhalten. Ebenso haben wir Sweta, Martin, Vanessa Dsouza, Nadonza Romano, Gomez Erick in guter Erinnerung. Vielen Dank, dass ihr unseren Aufenthalt versüsst habt. Leider haben wir aber auch negative Erfahrungen gemacht mit Angestellten, vor allem im rege besuchten Bora-Bora/Pago-Pago. Wir haben immer freundlich bestellt und auch nicht ungeduldig gerufen, sondern höflich aufgezeigt. Dennoch ernteten wir teilweise genervte Blicke, Augenrollen, oder die Bestellaufnahme und Auslieferung viel ohne jegliche Konversation ihrerseits von statten. Getränke wurden hingestellt, die Karte ohne Worte überreicht, das wars. Es sind vielleicht Kleinigkeiten - aber diese summieren sich und stören immens das Erlebnis. Auch einer der Herren bei den Einlasskontrollen auf das Schiff (z.B. nach Landausflügen) war grundlos ungeduldig und unhöflich. Das Bora-Bora - Selbstbedienungs-Restaurant: Gute Pizzas, gutes Essen, grosses Salatbuffet, Leider zu viele negative Erlebnisse. Dieses Restaurant war dermassen betriebsam, dass es teilweise überalll regelrecht laut war. Für meinen Geschmack war es zu voll. Man nahm es auch nicht so genau mit den angegebenen Öffnungszeiten. Im Tagesprogramm stand, dass das Frühstücksbuffet bis 11.30 Uhr geöffnet habe. Um 10: 30 Uhr haben schon die ersten Buffets abgeräumt. Um 10:45 Uhr waren alle Salatbuffets verschwunden und leer. Als ich nachfragte, wurde mir gesagt, dass heute früher aberäumt werden müsse, weil man verfrüht im Zielhafen ankomme. Wenn 11.30 angegeben wird, sollte es auch entsprechend gehandhabt werden. Es müssen ja nicht alle Buffets offen bleiben, aber es sollte von allem etwas verfügbar bleiben bis zur Schliessung. Einer der Kellner hat dann noch einen “Chef” gefragt, dieser aber sagte einfach “Nein, es gibt keinen Salat mehr”. Um 11:15 wollte ich einen Espresso bestellen und ich habe beim Tisch auf den “Service-Button” gedrückt. In diesem Teil des Restaurants war es bereits ruhiger geworden. Ich habe den Rufton der Uhr des Kellners gehört, der einfach schön weitergewischt hat. Nach einer Weile habe ich den Ruf anuliert und nochmals ausgeführt. Die Uhr piepste, der Kellner reagierte wieder nicht. Ich bin dann aufgestanden, habe höflich um einen Espresso gebeten. Die Antwort: “Diese Bar habe bereits geschlossen”. Er ging dann aber zur anderen Bar und holte einen. Letztlich bin ich zu allem gekommen, aber leider nur über Umwege, Verspätungen und einem unguten Gefühl. Die Beste Überraschung kam dann aber zum Schluss unserer Schiffsreise: In der letzten Nacht wurde unsere Rechnung unter dem Türschlitz durchgeschoben mit einer bösen Überraschung. Wir haben im Voraus ein All-Inklusive-Paket im Wert von 392.- CHF und den Rom-Ausflug für CHF 118 bezahlt. Wir wussten daher, dass nur noch 90.- Euro für den Parkplatz beglichen werden mussten und alle Getränke waren ja inkludiert. Der Rechnungsbetrag war dann aber bei EURO 232.-. Für jeden Tag wurden noch EUR 10.-/Person “Service-Gebühren” berechnet und noch zweimal 1.- Euro für UNICEF. Die Unicef-Spende ist kein Problem. Die Service-Gebühr - in unserem Falle bei 7 Tage also 140 Euro - war bei der Buchung nicht offensichtlich und in meinen Augen alles andere als transparent ausgewiesen. Es mag in den AGBs oder im Vertrag gestanden haben. Ich persönlich finde solche versteckten Kosten aber völlig daneben. Ich habe mich beschwert und die Gebühren wurden mir erlassen und mir wurde gesagt, dass dies so im Vertrag stehe und nur MSC die Gebühren auf Wunsch erlasse. Service-Gebühren ja, dann aber offen und transparent von Beginn an ausweisen und nicht hinterhältig über AGB und Kleingedrucktem im Vertrag. Am Abreisetag konnte ich es dann kaum erwarten, das Schiff zu verlassen! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Genoa seven day Western Med 23 September 2017 Firstly i was conscious to book outside school holidays to have a more relaxing cruise.Was hesitant to book with this cruise line after reading some reviews and looking at food on You ... Read More
Genoa seven day Western Med 23 September 2017 Firstly i was conscious to book outside school holidays to have a more relaxing cruise.Was hesitant to book with this cruise line after reading some reviews and looking at food on You Tube. How wrong i was. Been on the Celebrity Solstice around NZ. Found the dinning room food to be sub standard. two out of ten and the Celebrity Equinox around the med seven out of ten. Overall the MSC Splendida had better food than the Celebrity cruises. The variety was amazing and the healthy food section was a big bonus. The deserts were superior to Celebrity. Boarding was easy from Genoa one of my favourite cities in Italy however the baggage collection signage was poor at the port. We found it eventually well to the West of the embarkation area. The staff was amazing. Kept to themselves were very courteous unlike the Celebrity staff that seemed to be in your room far too often.. This is a beautiful ship around the same age as the Celebrity Solstice. Rooms and ship in general were very well maintained better than the Solstice. Few areas of worn carpet near busy door ways needed attention. Easy fix. Entertainment excellent. Better than Celebrity Loved all the ports in the Western Med except Valencia being only average. I love Italy, my favourite country and i love Italian people who make up a large portion of the Australian population. Can the MSC management tell all Australians why they don't allow Australians to book on Vacations to Go at a reduced rate while other races can.?????. Horrible. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise because it visited all but one places we had not been to. Having travelled on the MSC Opera we knew what to expect and then it was a good trip with the only short falls being the way it catered for mainly non-UK ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited all but one places we had not been to. Having travelled on the MSC Opera we knew what to expect and then it was a good trip with the only short falls being the way it catered for mainly non-UK guests. Embarkation went reasonably well, very very busy at Valencia, people jostling about and queue jumping, checking in cases then queueing again. Disembarkation very fast and the best we have had. All very efficient considering the 4000 plus passengers involved. We had a deck 10 port side cabin with balcony and enjoyed nearly every port with a city view. The cabin was roomy with very plush fittings maybe due for an update in some areas but had everything you need except drinks hot making facilities, due to kettles being a fire hazard. Our cabin had very noisy neighbours, with children playing football and screeching, fortunately they left a th first port. Not too sure about the constant smoking on other balconies and in various areas including the casino not being a fire hazard. Very bad if you a non smoker. The smoke invades a huge portion of a few bars. This is a beautifully appointed ship with elegance and flair in all areas. Plenty of places to relax. The main dining rooms are cram packed and most have tables for 6 or 8. If you want to dine as a couple you need to either go to the very very busy Bora Bora deck 14 buffet, or pay extra at the other Tex Mex or upgrade to Aurea for my-time dining. Dining times were either 7pm of 9.45pm in either the Reggio or as we had the Villa Verde smaller restaurant. Three course meals in the evening, small portions but a reasonable choice even for vegetarian diners.the gala dinners weren't any different. Forget it if you want pie and chips, this cruise line caters for Mediterranean tastes and has a huge range of food on offer in the Deck 14 buffets. Burgers, pizzas, hotdogs too but plenty of salads and some healthy food choices. The food whilst always plentiful was not the same quality we had a few years ago. I can understand the industry tightening their belts. The last river cruise food quality made this seem like a poor relation in the serviced restaurants. One thing that shines here more than anything is the exceptional quality of service from an incredibly hard working mainly Indonesian staff. The Italian staffed higher ranking positions were occupied by a very hit and miss bunch. You could be lucky and then most times had very brusque service. This service on both levels were the same on both cruises. There were an amazing amount of very young children on board, and the noise levels were exceptionally high if you are used to quiet dining and pub,if areas. The entertainment in the theatre was varied, certainly not to my tastes and last 30 minutes. Not high quality west end stuff as on some other cruise lines. The bars and lounges had good singers and musicians playing middle of the road pleasant listening tunes. Plenty of activities of varying levels We had a drinks package that included non branded drinks in all restaurants and bars and at £20 per person per day prepaid seems expensive but when you add up a few colas and a few coffees and a couple of alcoholic tipples it's easily the cheapest option, we were hugely in profit at the end of our cruise. The policy is to bring no alcohol on board at any time and is heavily policed at each port. Plenty of people having it confiscated to be returned at disembarkation. We had prebooked a couple of excursions mainly due to time. They are always an expensive option on most ships but a good way to get a taster if you can't be bothered. The shuttle buses are a good earner, some are worth saving you a very long walk...some not. You can't always tell where the ship will dock but due to the size of most it will be a good way away from the city, exception being the home port of MSC in Genoa. Would I use MSC again? probably not. My idea of a cruise is of a more leisurely nature and a fine dining experience with excursions included and this was none of them. There are plenty of other cruise lines that for the same money give a far superior experience. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We got the Fantastica experience that included 12 drinks per passenger. Even though it was in MSC's computer system, we did not get the drink vouchers as we embarked. For one reason or another the reception staff couldn't take care of ... Read More
We got the Fantastica experience that included 12 drinks per passenger. Even though it was in MSC's computer system, we did not get the drink vouchers as we embarked. For one reason or another the reception staff couldn't take care of the issue right away and we had to make 3 trips to the reception desk. However, that was the only issue we had. Ship: It was immaculate. Very beautiful. We liked sitting at the lobby as it was the most stunning place. Our cabin was the same as we had in other cruises. Our stewardess was always friendly and asking if we needed anything. There are no urinals in the men's bathrooms. The elevators were also packed in the evenings. We had to take the stairs most of the time, but we welcomed the exercise. Dining: We were assigned to La Reggia. We had Alejandro as a waiter, from Honduras, and he was as good as it gets. The ceviche appetizer was great as well as most meals. Only a couple of times we found some fish dishes not that great. The portions were small, but you can always order more food. We, instead, would go for a nice fresh slice of pizza at the buffet, when necessary. We also used the buffet for breakfast and I found a couple of things that I really liked. The ship was at full capacity, but we always found an empty table. Entertainment: There were 3 or 4 after dinner shows we enjoyed, such as space Odyssey. The shows were 30 minutes long. Most nights, at 11:45PM the entertainment team had funny activities at the Aft lounge. The lounge was always packed for these activities, and hard to see anything if you get there late. Bars: We usually found ourselves having coffee or drinks at La Piazzetta. We also liked the Purple Jazz bar and the sports bar. On the other hand, La Prua piano bar was uncomfortable with all the cigarette smoke coming up from the casino. I found the drink prices standard as most places. Entertainers sang/played mostly popular English songs. Kids Club: My children, 10 and 11, found the kids activities in their group geared toward the younger ones. So they would spend most of the time with us or at the pools. As a parent, I found the kids club staff very nice and accommodating. My kids looked forward to the sail away and foam parties at the water park, animated by the entertainment team. Photos: Buy the $100 package before you sail. They do not have it available during the cruise. We made the mistake of not buying it before hand. Once in the ship, you have to negotiate. I liked how Royal Caribbean had photographers as you exit the ship at each port. MSC did not have them. Wellness: My wife got her hair done and a massage. She was very satisfied and they had decent prices. Ports: We loved all the ports. We were among the first to come out to the port and the last to come back in. In Valencia and Marseille, it was cheaper and more convenient for the 4 of us to take a taxi than to buy the MSC downtown shuttle. We paid 15€ for a taxi each way for 4, instead of 46€ (2 adults and 2 kids) round trip with MSC, and we could get the taxi to go back anywhere, instead of walking back to the rendezvous place. We always went on our own and did not buy any excursions through MSC as we found them expensive. Overall, we had an amazing time. We experienced excellent service all around the ship. We don't speak Italian, but made several Italian friends. Compared to Royal Caribbean, we found some things better at MSC and some better at RC, but that was fine with us. We accepted the differences and got our money's worth. I will sail with MSC again. Read Less
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
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

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