The absolute worst vacation you could inflict upon yourself.
It all began when they charged multiple of my credit cards 6 times for the trip and told me each time it didn't go through, although all of my banks confirmed it ... Read More
The absolute worst vacation you could inflict upon yourself.
It all began when they charged multiple of my credit cards 6 times for the trip and told me each time it didn't go through, although all of my banks confirmed it cleared. It took a literal fight to the death to get any of my money back. I should have known then to cancel the entire thing.
Their website is atrocious - couldn't book any excursions on their site and when I called for help they said to wait until the site was back up. It never was.
My partner tried to purchase a bottle of champagne for our arrival and the website wouldn't process the order. When he called, they said they would tell the ship ahead of time to help accommodate us. There was no champagne and no one knew a thing about it.
MSC had a special way of making you feel invisible and insignificant during the one time of the year that you are spending your hard earned savings to enjoy yourself. We actually anticipated taking our bags with us on one of the islands and letting the cruise leave without us while we enjoyed freedom and good food before flying directly home.
The Drink Packages
So you've prepaid for a drink package and feel excited to enjoy.
Don't try to get someone's attention for a drink, as they drop eye contact and walk away to avoid you... over and over again.
Like their commercials where they show you drinks being brought to you poolside? Good luck with that! You have to order at the bar and it takes at least 25 minutes to get someone to cash you out, if they let you have the drink you want. Bye bye sunshine time.
What they don't explain well is that you will have to pay 15% of every drink you order from your package on top of that. If you order a Jack Daniels and coke, they will calculate them separately and you will pay 15% of a can of coke, plus another 15% for the Jack Daniels.
Don't try to order a cocktail - unless you want to order gin, champagne, lemon juice, and ginger beer all separate. They would not mix it for me and told me I couldn't have it. They did however bring me all 4 glasses separate for myself to mix and charged me 15% of a markup price for each individual ingredient.
Every bar sets a different price of each drink so you never know if you'll be able to have what is offered or what your 15% service charge will be.
One evening, we ordered a Jim Beam and coke, which was clearly outlined as part of our package. The bartender said we couldn't have it and we showed him the pamphlet. He stamped away to show another worker and then begrudgingly made it.
We ordered an Irish coffee and the same bartender ran coffee through the old unchanged coffee grinds on the barista machine and gave me what tasted like liquid cigarettes. When I told him I couldn't drink it, he stormed out and literally disappeared for the rest of the night into the back room.
We paid extra to have a better dining time, yet we were placed in the early dining time with no one that would allow us to change it. Imagine this - you are out on an island in the sun and sand, then must be back on the ship by 6pm. But the issue is that dinner is right at 6pm. So you have to leave the island early to get showered and dressed before they serve you awful food.
We opted to skip this dinner when we could to enjoy the islands as the food was unworthy of a cafeteria.
I was served the same "dessert of the day" for the entire 10 days. I asked every day if there was a new dessert and he said no. It was literally the same cake, as it got harder and harder as the trip went on. I asked for some raspberry sauce to help make it easier to eat, but the waiter told me there was none, even though raspberry sauce was on my partner's dessert.
The same food you are served in the dining room is the same food in the buffet, one day later from leftovers.
There is no 24 hour food or drink.
During Christmas, the waiter poured our table champagne. One woman barely got a swig and asked if he could please pour a bit more in. He said no and that is was complimentary and walked away.
During Christmas dinner, our server gave us turkey dinner which was from a turkey crown and the slices were small and almost see through. One member at our table only got 1 slice instead of two. I had one piece that was so yucky it wasn't even edible.
I ordered chips and salsa in the Sports Bar and only received 8 chips total to accompany the salsa. (Photo evidence)
We only had 3 food options - 1 buffet, 1 Sports Bar (filled with children) and The Black Crab Dining Room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We tried to go in the Villa Rosa for any other meal and they said we were assigned to the one dining room for all meals.
You will pay extra to have any gelato and many places will charge you for a regular coffee also.
Our waiter Ryan did not smile one time during the entire vacation.
I was given a gluten free lunch box to help me when on island to have food options. I was excited to receive a sandwich and maybe some fruit or chips. The lunch box was plain crackers, a plain muffin, and tea cookies. Who eats that for lunch?
The head chef should be insulted by what he serves. He is unfit to feed low income inner city hospital food.
I requested room service breakfast for the following morning for 9 am. At 10am, I called to check on it and they told me I already received it, which I had not. They told me I must not have been in my room, which I was. They then delivered it to me 30 minutes later after slamming on my door out of anger, and the woman admittedly told me that they delivered it to another room.
The cleaner in our room accused me of throwing facial tissues in the toilet, which I had not. Said he inspected the toilet and that if I continued this that he would report me and charge me $300. I again said I had not even used the tissues, but he was adamant.
The cleaner will disturb every attempted sleep in and nap you get a chance to take by slamming on the door at random times. When you don't answer, he keeps at it. When I did answer he simply said, "Do you want anything?" Yes - a nap.
We arrived at the port to check in and the agent told us that they gave our room away to someone else. Then she gave us tickets to the correct room and said nothing further about it. She then gave us check in documents in Spanish and said thats all she has left. We told her we don't speak Spanish and she said there was nothing she could do.
Our tickets told us to board no earlier than 4:15 pm. When we arrived, we had a sheet on our bed explaining how the ship cabin was open and ready for 1pm and that there was a poolside welcome bbq and live entertainment. We were not even allowed on the ship for this time so this was infuriating as we spent the day at a restaurant nearby to kill time and spending money on food and drink.
They make a mandatory meeting occur as soon as you settle on board where they force everyone into a room to try on life jackets. Then you leave in long lines and backed up elevators. They never tell you any safety info or where the life boats are.
The elevators are so fast that if you are any older than 18 years old you will not make the doors before it is off to the next floor.
The customer service people are the most vial folk on the planet. When you ask a question, they say "I don't know." and then expect you to walk away. The night before we left the ship we asked for times for disembarkment so we could plan ground transport. We were told "I don't know..." and then she went on to insult my partner's ethnicity. Only one hour later, documents were passed out on each door with this timing, so she must have had this and known.
They charge you $12.50 per person per day for this undeniably awful customer service.
We were unable to secure a spot on a sunbed near a pool area during the entire 10 days on the ship due to others putting towels down at 5 or 6 am, and then sometimes never showing to use those sun beds. We had so lay in various creative spots.
The hot tubs towards the back of the ship were so cold my teeth chattered.
The Garden Bar and Pool which are adult only have a constant waft of sewage from the ship.
The design of the ship is so poor that you have to take multiple elevators at different sections of the ship to move from floor to floor.
Balconies get no sun as there is a roof over each balcony.
Went to play bowling in the Sports Bar and card what charged twice for a broken machine. Had to call 3 times to get a refund. Each time they said they would and they did not. It's like a job keeping on them to do their job.
I received a slip in the room for a massage promotion of 50% off. I called to book it and they would not let me book it and tried to up-sell me to another day when the promotion wasn't running so I would pay 100%. I said no, I want to book the promotion, and they proceeded to try to put me down for the day it was not available. I had to literally hang up.
Any yoga or health classes are for a fee.
The entertainment on the ship is so bad that you actually feel insulted and cheated after every performance. The director of entertainment should be left on a faraway island.
There are NO PROPS - much less props than an elementary school play.
There is no live band.
There is no use of the lighting packages on stage, only a spot light and lighted stairways that change colors.
There are barely any costumes let alone costume changes. They rewore Halloween costumes as witches for the Christmas show.
The lead singer Roberto Cavallaro should not have been permitted into a high school musical, let alone lead every production. He has an unmistakable lisp that comes through in his songs. His tribute to Queen and Frank Sinatra made them turn in their graves. A fellow audience member sang over him the entire Frank tribute in order to drown him out in the theatre. During a pirate fight scene, he ruins the entire show flow when breaking into "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Grobin. He is an insult to the arts community. He too should be left on a faraway island.
Mediterranean Shipping Company's Cruise lines are just as bad as their shipping service which was in the news this week for dropping 270 containers of valuables, vehicles, antiques, and hazardous materials into the ocean during transport.
Steer clear. Read Less