We are relatively new to cruises. Our first one was to Norwegian Fjords last year on NCL in the summer and the weather was more miss than hit so wanted to go somewhere hotter this time around. We found this cruise in the summer and ... Read More
We are relatively new to cruises. Our first one was to Norwegian Fjords last year on NCL in the summer and the weather was more miss than hit so wanted to go somewhere hotter this time around. We found this cruise in the summer and something to look forward to as autumn closed in and was in the half term holidays. The price was also a factor, and we had a balcony, on a Fantastica package at the back of the ship on floor 9.
Before departing I read some of the reviews on here and whilst it may make people a little apprehensive, I’m a person that likes to go with the flow, very laid back and experience things myself before making my mind up.
We had purchased the all inclusive and tried to find out the drinks on offer as part of the all inclusive. I saw the marketing messages about trying to cater more for British guests and there were mentions of strongbow, John Smiths and Guinness on tap but couldn’t confirm if they were part of the package. I can confirm they are!!! They only serve them in the Tiger Bar and the Sports Bar. The tiger bar had issues pouring the Guinness and ended up using cans :-( the sports bar however poured a superb pint! Mario, Elvis and the team were superb and provided amazing service with a smile!!! I made many, many, many visits to the sports bar!!!!
We ate breakfasts and lunches mainly in the buffet when not onshore. The food was very good, plenty of it. For breakfast they put on full English fry ups, herrings, pastries, breads, American pancakes, 5 different eggs & an omelette station, continental style breakfasts with salamis, hams and cheeses as well as cereals, fruit, yoghurt and porridge.
For lunch, they always had one roast meat, burgers, hot dogs, pasta, pizza, cold platters as well as other dishes such as curry, cottage pie, chicken wing etc. I’m quite adventurous and not picky and was able to find something to eat that was enjoyable.
For dinner we were seated in the Quattro Venti restaurant on deck 6. We were in the 6pm sitting, and whilst the time was of our choosing, it did feel a little rushed, especially if we had been onshore. We had Kadek and Hamim as our waiters for the duration of the cruise. They were great to chat to, have a really personal service. They kept my two kids entertained with their napkin folding, kept my wife and I topped up with wine! The food was of an excellent standard, well seasoned and meats were tender. The portions are not massive but kadek and I came to an understanding that i’d Always have a double portion of main. I must have eaten a whole cow and her offspring the amount of red meat I had consumed during the whole cruise :-)
I think MSC miss a trick with the lack of other restaurant choices. They only have an oriental restaurant, but we didn’t try this as being of Chinese origin we cook it better at home.
The room was ample sized for 4 of us. The roll out bed was very tatty and foam protruding out of it, but when the cabin steward put the bedding on it was sleepable. The balcony was great addition. Gave us the ability to get fresh air into the room and nice to sit out and have a cup of coffee or Guinness watching the waves at sea and seeing the city landscapes in port.
As the room was at the back of the ship we did find that you feel the boat move a bit more. On our first morning into Le Havre when the ship was docking at 5am it felt like a full on earthquake as the propellers got us into place. Woke with a start thinking “what the hell is this”. Something dislodged in the bathroom due to the vibrations but was fixed by maintenance the next day.
There were tea making facilities in the room and Yorkshire tea bags, which was the tea of choice across the ship.
The shows were not the greatest, the guys worked hard but sometimes it wasn’t the most engaging. Lots of dancing some singing. The main variety shows were good but other shows.... meh!!!
The entertainment team were good. Always making fun of themselves and others. There wasn’t much to do for the kids other than kids club, which they didn’t want to attend. We did the arts and crafts but this was for really the adults only.
Embarkation was very easy. Whilst the ship didn’t leave Southampton until 8pm, we were able to go on ship at 12.30, have some food in the buffet before our room was available.
Disembarkation was a little chaotic but not too bad.
In summary I was very pleased with the food, drink, facilities. The things brought in to appeal to the British market were very good. The staff were excellent. Read Less