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28 MSC Cruises MSC Seaview Cruise Reviews

MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream ... Read More
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream cruise lines. Our trip with Seaview was our 3rd MSC cruise experience having sailed both Magnifica and Splendida previously. As before, the decision to choose MSC was driven mainly by the itinerary and the perceived value. Our experience of MSC in the past had been mixed at best, however, the draw of a port intensive cruise along the French and Italian rivieras was sufficient to overcome any concerns we may have had. Sailing MSC from a Med port is a different experience to other lines. The ship acts more like a bus, where passengers from across Europe and beyond can start and end their cruise at any of the main ports. For us, provided you arrive early in the day, embarkation was relatively straightforward (we were on within 30 mins). This is possible as only a proportion of the passenger complement is embarking/ disembarking at any given port. Once on Seaview, our initial impressions were that this ship is large, very large and slightly disorientating. You are sharing your cruise holiday with thousands of fellow guests speaking multiple languages from across Europe and Latin America. The ship is ‘busy’ - this is not a ship to choose for peace and tranquility! The design theme of the ship is ‘modern’ - plenty of glass, steel, mirrors, chrome and vinyl in a muted pallette of purples, greys and greens. Whilst we would not describe the ship as dirty, it was the least ‘kept’ ship we have ever been on. This could be to do with the thousands of people in constant movement on the ship, but one of the biggest differences we noticed is the total lack of staffing. We rarely saw anyone cleaning the public areas, and it was common-place to see unvacuumed carpets or handprints across mirrored surfaces. Hygiene did not seem to be enforced on the ship with no one being asked to wash or sanitise their hands before entering the restaurants. Whilst embarkation was straight forward and quick, the rest of our ‘cruise prep’ was nothing short of a mess. We had pre-purchased our drinks package and had paid extra for the ‘Fantastica’ experience to ensure we had our choice of dining time as we enjoy eating later in the evening. This was all confirmed with MSC by our TA and our tickets issued by MSC confirmed the same. Once on board we celebrated the start of our cruise with a sail-away cocktail only to be told by the barman that no drinks package was loaded to our account - at this point we noticed we had been allocated the first sitting (6.15pm) for dinner. A trip to Guest Relations was required. We felt sorry for the staff in the end. There are just too few of them employed by MSC. This means they are overworked and tired and begin to see guests as a problem. We queued for 20 mins to see the agent at Guest Relations. He could not help as his computer just said ‘no’ to finding our drinks package. His colleague was better equipped to help but never once looked us in the eye and continued to tap furiously at the computer trying to find our drinks package. After calling over a third colleague and then reissuing our whole party’s cruise cards we were all set to go. This episode had taken 1 hour. We mentioned the dining time error and were dismissed with the wave of the hand and told to report to the restaurant to request the change. We duly reported to the head waiter at the restaurant and after a further queue we were summoned forward to plead our request to change our dining time. Our request was met with a snort and we were asked if we knew how many children were on board (1500 apparently). We were informed that children like to eat late so we would have to eat early - no ifs or buts. We protested that we had paid the extra to eat at a time of our choosing. His response was, with a wry smile, to read the small print (there is no guarantee that MSC will honour the time of your choice). We continued to protest - clearly the head waiter had heard all of our arguments before - and only gave us the blank stare look. Eventually we must have hit the correct word pattern for him to take out a notepad and write down our request for a table for 5 at a later time with a promise to see why he could do ‘tomorrow’. Unfortunately this start to the cruise was an all too familiar MSC experience for us. We don’t understand why they make such hard work of such basic elements of their service. Clearly the deficiencies are all too evident to their staff but they seem so indifferent to their employers incompetence. Our inside room was well appointed, the beds comfortable and the IT (interactive tv and USB charging ports) were excellent. Whilst most continental channels were provided, English speaking guests have a diet of three news channels or PPV movies at 7 Euros a go. Our room steward made himself known. He was efficient if somewhat aggressive. MSC only allow you one pool towel that you must return to your cabin. Failure to comply will result in a 20 Euros fee. Our towel was taken by ‘persons unknown’ whilst we made use of a jacuzzi. The cabin steward took some convincing that we had not sequestrated an MSC branded towel. Whilst familiarising ourselves with MSC app we discovered the head waiter had managed to change our table reservation for a later evening slot as originally confirmed by MSC. Hooray! Not that this was communicated directly to us, we just noticed the table number had changed on the MSC app. A call to Guest Relations did indeed confirm the change. Dining with MSC can never be described as a culinary experience. There are three set dining times, with just a 15 minute window for you to enter the restaurant at your set time. With up to a third of the ship eating at any one time, it is a miracle what they do achieve. It was staggering sight to see so many people crowed outside the restaurant waiting for the ‘rope drop’ moment when the hoarding mass is let into the room to feast. We ate in the Silver Dolphin restaurant. A dull grey affair with seating that resembles 1970s office furniture. Our ‘new’ table for five was in fact a table for four with the fifth person stuck on the end. This person being just inches away from the adjoining table; they could easily join in with that party. The waiters did well, but they were clearly overworked covering a wide section of tables. We would arrive around 8.15pm and would be asked to select all courses. We would not receive our first course until well after 9pm. The rest of meal being served in quick succession to ensure we were out by 10pm for the next sitting. The food itself is fairly bland and uninspired and was served to us ‘warm’. Most dishes appeared to be a variation of fish and pork. The din in the room was so much it was very difficult for us to conduct a conversation. In a first for us, we ate more frequently in the casual dining option (Deck 16 buffet was a good option) to escape the confines, noise and mediocrity of the main restaurant. It has to be repeated - this ship is large. This wouldn’t normally have fazed us, but this time we travelled with an older family member with limited mobility. We were somewhat reliant to travel by lift when we wished to move between decks. The ships deploys an ‘intelligent’ lift system where you select the floor you wish to travel to prior to entering the designated car. Whilst this may result in a fair distribution of available lift space it can mean lengthy waits in the lobby area. This can become tedious especially at peak times as you can’t just jump in the next available passing lift. Based on our previous MSC cruise experience we knew that a drinks package of some description would be required - the only free options are water, tea and coffee in the buffet areas and ‘juice’ at breakfast. To find someone to order your drinks from is a challenge. Again MSC don’t employ sufficient staff. In the buffet a call bell system is deployed where you press a button on your table that buzzes a nearby waiter’s watch to notify him to coma and take your request. That’s the theory but it rarely worked without prompting. We noticed that several bar staff were manning at least three of these watches. Where were the staff? On the outside deck we never saw a bar service waiter. One of our party needed to make a trip to a bar to get the order. On one occasion the bar man asked a colleague to help take out our drinks to where we were sitting - this was met with a ‘do I have to’ protest. To sum up, we were aware of MSC’s deficiencies before we booked and they did nothing to change our view. The ports of call were excellent and were the focus of the holiday, and therefore we enjoyed our time. MSC seriously understaff their ships and whilst there were a couple of exceptions most staff appeared disinterested in the customer experience. The food remains average. The consequence of a large ship is lots of people, noise and queues at peak times. For us, this will be the last MSC cruise. We will focus on the quality of the experience and steer clear of the larger mega-ships. If MSC spent as much money on their staffing and food offering as they have on their latest ships the overall product would stand better scrutiny. We would rate our overall experience as 3 out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I’ve cruised with lots of companies before but this is the first time with MSC. We were a large family celebrating a 70th so the price of the cruise was the main attraction - I honestly cannot fault MSC on their child prices as it really ... Read More
I’ve cruised with lots of companies before but this is the first time with MSC. We were a large family celebrating a 70th so the price of the cruise was the main attraction - I honestly cannot fault MSC on their child prices as it really brings the cost down especially when booked early. Also, the ship was new and other members of my family have cruised with MSC before and rated them highly. In the run up to the holiday, perhaps because it was a complicated booking, I had many administration issues with MSC - they kept getting details of our booking wrong - but in all fairness with some persistence from my end MSC did sort everything out and we did get everything we had booked once on board. The systems MSC use for pre-booking activities, etc. just aren’t as slick as other companies but again for the price I could handle this. Check-in was slower than other companies but it was well organised and for the price we paid I certainly wouldn’t moan about it. The ship itself was lovely and I really couldn’t fault it. If I had any gripe it was that there seemed to be a lot of wasted space but really that was such a minor thing compared to how beautiful the ship actually was. I’ve sailed with Cunard, P&O, RCI regularly including Symphony and MSC definitely compete on the standard of their ships. We had pre-booked the all inclusive package and this was also great. Not as good as RCI’s package but then again it was nowhere near the price. The Venchi ice-cream and milkshakes included in our package were out of this world good. Word of warning, we booked early and so still received the old Classic package, which was truly wonderful. If I was to book again with the new drinks packages I honestly wouldn’t bother with the Easy package - looking at the menu it seemed a total and utter waste of money. Pre-booking seemed to be the way to go with MSC, despite the admin. hiccups, and we saved a lot of money. We pre-booked the thermal experience pass for the week and this was well worth it. The spa was lovely and with a quiet area dedicated to spa guests it was a nice place to get away from it all when the kids were off having fun. It was missing a bar if I’m honest but again a minor gripe. We also pre-booked the Trio dining experience and were glad we did. I read a lot of reviews in advance that slated the food so I hedged my bets and booked the speciality dining package, again saving a lot versus on board price. The food in the main dining room was not awful at all - neither was it the best but again for the price we paid I honestly wouldn’t grumble. The meals though did feel either rushed or took far too long - it never seemed quite right in terms of length - but the quality was OK. The buffet restaurants were some of the best I’ve had - a little repetitive but to be honest I think the quality on all of the main cruise lines is dipping now so MSC buffets were not only comparable but better. What I felt was seriously lacking was the range of free dining venues on offer. You could get everything that other lines offer in the buffet or in the MDR but I never thought about how nice it is to have a large choice of where to dine until I was left with pretty much no choice - MDR or buffet. That was why the Trio package was worth it - to add a bit of variety. We couldn’t use our all inclusive package in the speciality dining though because everything was out of the Classic price bracket. I thought this was off-side but again I could handle not drinking for a couple of hours whilst I ate and there was nothing stopping me taking a glass of wine in with me and savouring it during the meal. The cabin was nice too. We booked a Fantastica inside and what I really liked was that we could have a double bed and two bunks - I’ve never been offered that on an inside before, just 4 singles. We used the room service on Fantastica as a wake up call and just got coffee and juice delivered at the time we wanted to wake up. To be honest though, if Bella was significantly cheaper I’d just book that in future. Word of warning, if you are booking an inside for a family of 4 then pack lightly or be prepared to wedge your clothes in to any hole going as storage is limited - adequate for 2 people but not 4. Check-out was a delight. We asked for a late check-out and were able to stay in our cabins til 9am and even after that no-one was herding you off the ship. We had a night in Barcelona booked before our flight home and at 2.30pm we were still on the ship, enjoying our all inclusive and the facilities, with no-one being anything other than nice. We could have stayed on til sail away but wanted to get settled in our hotel. Last year we were literally forced off Symphony and that was at 9.30am - this was far more relaxed. The only thing I found truly shocking and can’t forgive even despite the price is the entertainment. It’s woeful and repetitive and dull and needs a thorough shake-up. There literally was nothing to do - and believe me we did give the meagre offerings a good go. I actually caught myself regretting not bringing some travel games with me, which is appalling. My family assure me that on every other MSC cruise they’ve been on the entertainment was spot on but without having experienced it myself I remain wary. In fact, had we not have pre-bought the Fun Pass I honestly am not sure what as a family we would have done for entertainment. So all in all, would I cruise with MSC again? If the price was right, maybe. If I couldn’t afford the other cruise lines then definitely. In all honesty though, I’d save up a little longer and book RCI because I just couldn’t get over how bored I was. I do feel I’m being unfair here though as, I’ll repeat, my family are adamant that the entertainment on other MSC ships is far superior. Overall, at the right price point MSC are a lovely way to experience cruising without breaking the bank but if they up their prices then I’m not sure what they offer that would tempt me away from the other companies. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Timing and port selection of cities which we had not visited,Last minute booking to fit a time slot which opened up.The food was not up to previous standards and the one hour time slot did not allow time for coffee. Thje buffet food was ... Read More
Timing and port selection of cities which we had not visited,Last minute booking to fit a time slot which opened up.The food was not up to previous standards and the one hour time slot did not allow time for coffee. Thje buffet food was same quality as dining room. Unlike previous cruises there was constant nickle and dining going on. The drink packages and internet charges were high .Expect an additional 150 for a week of internet. A spin class which was included on a previous cruise was an extra.There was tacky sales going on constantly for handbags and watches going on constantly. To my taste the ship was too large with line up to get shuttles back from ports.The library was a tiny room with perhaps 20 books not as advertised. The staff was very pleasant except for an arrogant cruise services representative. I picked the ports not the cruise line , next time the latter will be considered as well Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ship is huge but the pools are few and small and get overcrowded. There is limited shade options when parents need to keep an eye on their bathing children. Buffet is ok, choose the 16th floor for all meals if eating this way. Do not ... Read More
The ship is huge but the pools are few and small and get overcrowded. There is limited shade options when parents need to keep an eye on their bathing children. Buffet is ok, choose the 16th floor for all meals if eating this way. Do not go for early dining option in restaurant - not enough time to make it from excursion/ pool/ lunch. Portion sizes at dinner in restaurants are minute. Excursions: ok but expensive. Avoid shuttle bus to Barcelona center: costs more than taxi to site you wish to visit and takes you on a two minutes ride from the ship. No information about possibility of shade on boat excursions. I took a boat trip on my own without family to Portofino. We returned at midday, the heat was unbearable and no shade. A gentleman fainted and got a sunstroke. An ambulance was waiting upon our arrival. On ship: watch out for soot on floors and balconies. It’s everywhere! By all means take flip flops with you. If you buy all inclusive beverage and food package, remember to read the small print: drinks outside the buffet and allocated restaurant as well as ice creams come at an extra cost. No possibility of shopping on board for groceries/ pharmacy articles/ basics. Use buffet or stock up in big ports. Public spaces: sports bar was nice, so was Seaview lounge. Everywhere else very flashy but so noisy you can’t hear a word of what your companions are saying. Staying on deck would be nice were it not for the soot. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose Seaview on 7/3-11 for ship and ports. We are experienced travelers and were very disappointed. First Cannes was a nightmare to embarbark/disembark from because of the ferries (did not know this until too late). Once on, being ... Read More
We chose Seaview on 7/3-11 for ship and ports. We are experienced travelers and were very disappointed. First Cannes was a nightmare to embarbark/disembark from because of the ferries (did not know this until too late). Once on, being English speaking, we found ourselves among a very few (I am going to guess less than 5%) of passengers we could converse with. Ok, moved past that. We were impressed with the size of our Balcony cabin, but found the closet impossible to get two passenger's clothing out of easily. We searched around for for hours for someone to fill up the shower gel container so we could take a shower (turns out we never met or saw our cabin person, ever). We also were not pleased how cramped two separate beds would make the room (we did not have that problem on other ships. So off we went for our tour and to go to the Buffet for the first night and a few after. We found that the Buffet was seldom open on time, had several of the stations closed or not yet open when they were supposed to, and the food quality was poor at all meals. I know Americans are few and far between on the European cruise, but they could have least attempted to make creamy eggs, cooked and ungreasy bacon and other food items we usually liked in America. The pizza was good down to tolerable but I did not go to Europe to have to eat pizza for most of my meals. Dinner was tolerable and choices dull. So off we went to our assigned seating in Silver Cloud. We came in at 6, and for the next 1-1/2 hours, the place was at least 3/4 empty; I guess Europeans don't eat early. The food was very good here but we n ever went back because of the long wait and terrible atmosphere at the early seating. We did however, purchase and love the Asian Fushion/Sushi package delightful, but again at the 6 pm seating, were were the ONLY people in the Teppanyaki portion of the package. In none of the food venues was using hand sanitizer encouraged, and in fact we found dozens of people walking by without using the sanitizer; it will only be a matter of time before this becomes a problem. The recreation areas were not enjoyable to us. My partner went up to the zip line (after paying) 3 different times and was told it was not available at that time (they were making a promotional movie). We did see 2 shows and loved them. The main outside pool area is really a joke. A 6 ft. small pool, surrounded by at least 20 ft. of 1-1/2" of water (have no idea what this was for). So if an older person wanted to get into the pool, they had only one option - trying to make their way around the people clinging to the sides of the pool and the ladders. Completely wasted space. The drinks were very good but we had to go down and ask that someone come up and unlock the honor bar. Once done on the 2nd day, we reached for some wine bottles (prevalent in other ships), and found nothing but beer and mostly juice drinks, along with three bottles of hard liquor). On the last full day when we walked for miles and wanted to relax in our room before dinner, we couldn't even get in the honor bar to get our purchased wine out because they had closed already. The most annoying part of the cruise was that MSC allows people to embarbark/disembark at many ports, so late in the evening you have all kinds of people close to your cabin, clomping about, packing suitcases, slamming drawers and making lots of noise prior to putting their suitcases outside for the night. I will never go on that type of cruise again. To summarize, MSC builds a gorgeous ship with all the electronic bells and whistles, but it's as though they built the ship and didn't know what to do with it afterwards. Their customer service by most members was smile less and they made us feel like they didn't care whether we were on the ship or not. In the future, we will not be. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We went on a family cruise to celebrate our 48th Anniversary and husband’s 70th birthday. It was a long way to go for an average cruise.The ship was crowded and people pushed and shoved and constantly.We felt crowded and rushed. The ... Read More
We went on a family cruise to celebrate our 48th Anniversary and husband’s 70th birthday. It was a long way to go for an average cruise.The ship was crowded and people pushed and shoved and constantly.We felt crowded and rushed. The best part of the cruise was our steward. He was a lovely young man who was so caring and polite and attentive. Our cabin was very comfortable and very clean. The buffet on Deck 16 was good.It served dinner only.The buffet on Deck 8 was always noisy and overcrowded.We only ate once in the restaurant Silver Sands. The hot food was cold and service very slow.It was also very noisy. The ship lets off passengers and brings on new passengers at each port so muster has to be done everyday for the new passengers so movement is restricted each time that day for the existing passengers.It was kind of like being on a “bus” run, but on a ship! I will stick with Royal Caribbean and Holland America and pass on MRC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked a weeks cruise on the MSC Seaview June 1st -8th around the Mediterranean. We had travelled on MSC as a family of two adults and two children (10, 7) ten years ago and adored it. This time, it was myself and my now 20 year old ... Read More
Booked a weeks cruise on the MSC Seaview June 1st -8th around the Mediterranean. We had travelled on MSC as a family of two adults and two children (10, 7) ten years ago and adored it. This time, it was myself and my now 20 year old daughter as a girls treat. Embarkation - Arrived at the Barcelona cruise terminal late morning, embarkation was extremely quick, efficient and we were on board within around twenty minutes of arrival. We had to run the gauntlet of staff trying hard to sell speciality dining and drinks packages on the way in, did not like this, but not sure if this is the same on every cruise. Cabins were not available until 2:30, but a (very) welcome buffet was ready at 12 noon. We did have an all inclusive drinks package, and made use of this while waiting for the cabin, and also spent some time exploring the ship. Ship- Whatever critics may say about MSC, they all agree that the ships are stunning, and the Seaview is no exception. The crystal staircases are a constant photo opportunity, the huge atrium with multiple stages, the light, seating areas, cafes, pools it is all designed beautifully. Not once did we fail to find a seat where we wanted, even beside the pools. Other than a few very rare occasions, we would never have known just how many thousands of people were on the ship because it rarely felt crowded. Cabin - 13126 mid ship balcony cabin on Ionian Sea deck. My daughter is a bit superstitious but 13 is not considered unlucky in Italy, it is the number 17, so there is no deck 17. The cabin was lovely. Lots of storage, great lighting, USB sockets, and a proper shower cubicle. It felt very spacious for two of us, and had a massive sofa. Dining - This is the only issue we had, and unfortunately it is a big deal. As we often holiday in Italy and love the time spent enjoying lovely food, it was a major disappointment to be rushed through dinner in around 90 minutes as there are now 3 settings as opposed to the previous 2. Its a 2 hour window but by the time you are seated and served then they start clearing up for the next sitting, that cuts back the two hours considerably. Dinner also used to be Italian style with lots of smaller courses, this is now 3 courses of very mediocre food. I never have dessert as am always full by then, but in the MDR I was having pudding and then heading up to the midnight buffet as was always hungry after dinner. We spent some nights at the buffet restaurants which were good, but not brilliant and very repetitive, but at least we never left hungry and could take as long as we liked. Breakfast was excellent however, with a wide choice of food and the coffee was really good. We used one of the speciality restaurants midweek, the Teppanyaki, and it was outstanding, though at a cost of 70 euros extra. Our MDR table companions used the Butchers Cut steakhouse, and also said it was fabulous if expensive. Entertainment - lots of live music in bars, all really good, There were a number of party nights (including a White Party) in the atrium which were great fun, with all ages up dancing til the small hours .The entertainment crew were fantastic, encouraging a great atmosphere whatever they were doing. We attended two of the shows and were absolutely blown away. Both nights the audience were on their feet in appreciation. Spa - I bought a Thermal Area spa pass before cruising, which was £82 as opposed to £140 if I bought in on board. This gave me access to the spa area for the duration of the cruise and I loved it. The spa had various saunas, steam baths, special showers and other facilities, including two hot tubs out on the deck for sole use of spa guests. As we didnt go off the boat every day I was often in when it was really quiet and always had the hot tub to myself! I also booked two massages as another treat which were amazing, though admittedly really expensive, although I had a substantial discount on the second. Service - outstanding. All the staff we came across were very pleasant and helpful, with some going above and beyond to make it a great experience. One bar waitress never smiled, clearly loathed cruise customers, so we made it our mission to get a laugh out of her by the end of the week, and my daughter managed it our last night. There is currently some debate about MSC and service charges. I was told it was mandatory by the TA and this is also on the MSC website. I paid ours on board at the cost of 140 euros for both of us. Others were saying it is not mandatory and I should ask for it back and just tip whoever I wanted. I left it on this occasion as I wasn't sure but will need to investigate further. Ports - really good, straightforward and popular. Liked being in port every day as don't like 'at sea' days. Excursions - I can't really comment as I we didn't take any, other than a shuttle transfer into Palma. This was really well organised and cost 25 euros for both. I hadn't done my research on Palma and we found out later that a taxi would have been 10 euros each way, and the local bus stops right at the port and goes into the town at a cost of 1'50 euros! So as with many excursions it was way overpriced. If you want to play it very safe then maybe the extra cost is worth it. We did our own thing on the other days ashore for a fraction of the MSC price. Bars - we had an all inclusive drinks package and I kept a running total of what we were using to work out if it would be worth it next time. It worked out as good value as we had a lot of cocktails, but that was 3/4 a day plus water, soft drinks and coffee. Any less and it would not have been worthwhile. By all accounts everyone I spoke to thought the drinks package compared really favourably with other cruise lines. Other factors - didn't have small children but they looked really well catered for, including the children's splash pool and adventure course. Internet access was ridiculously expensive (£70 weekly for 2.5 MB), my daughter bought this as clearly a 20 year old would wither and die without access to social media 24 hours a day. As data roaming in Europe is included with most phone agreements and there was no issue connecting anywhere we were moored, I thought this would be enough. Apparently not! Brits were very much a small minority on board, which was not an issue for us, but some of our fellow Brit passengers didn't like this. More than one commented on the number of 'foreigners' on board, which we found bemusing as this was an Italian cruise line with the main embarkation in Barcelona! MSC cruises are not designed for British customers. People don't queue, they come in the lift when you are trying to get out, many of the staff speak a few different languages but have limited English. and the main chatter is Italian and Spanish. Overall, an amazing experience let down by poor dining. Not sure if I would book again unless the dining experience changes because to me that was a deal breaker. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ... Read More
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ship is clean and beautiful. There are many nice pools and hot tubs, so they were not crowded (yet they close them all down early which is irritating). The bed was comfortable and the room quiet. The food in the buffet was just okay (deserts were good), better than Carnival, but the food in the dining room was much worse than carnival. And now I move on to the bad things... Eating in the dining room on Carnival was a great experience we looked forward to every night, but on MSC it felt like a punishment. Usually the food was not good and the waiters also made us feel uncomfortable and unwanted. They do not have "anytime dining" like other ships, you have to pick 6 PM, 8 PM or 10 PM. They kick you out after an hour or so to get ready for the next crowd. They are always rushing around in a hurry yet take forever to bring the food. We waited an hour for our first course one time, then had 15 minutes to eat the rest and get out. It is loud and there is constant banging from the dumbwaiter bringing down food. We asked to be switched to a different time and got a better waiter and location after the switch. I cannot believe they charge you for water in the dining room! Water was free on Carnival. Which is my next complaint, they are constantly after more money. They pester you all the time to buy the drink and food packages. The drink package would have cost $700 for the two of us ($40 a day). If you're drinking $700 in alcohol in one week you have a problem. We spent $80 on drinks, that's it. The food package would have cost around $260 for 3 meals for the two of us. That's seems high for mediocre food. The worst experience by far were the excursions! DO NOT book a tour. Have them bus you and walk around on your own. The tour company they use in Italy is a nightmare! We were not given all the things promised in Pisa and Rome. In Rome they lost an elderly man and left him there. Don't know if he ever made it back to the ship. I did not listen to the tour guides speak, they are hard to understand. Our English speaking guide hardly said anything anyway. The guides have deals with shops to take you there so you will buy things, like the "Pearl Factory" they said we needed a ticket to get into. It was a jewelry store! Nothing more, and it is free to go in. They wasted my time with this stuff. I felt very ripped off over the excursions. The internet was poor, and we had a router right outside our room. The zip-line cost $12 a person and is boring. It should be free! The constant up-selling is just a nightmare. We have decided not to go on MSC again because of these issues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC and we have previously sailed on over 20 cruises with various cruise lines (Princess, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Oceania). We booked 2 Yacht Club deluxe cabins as my ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC and we have previously sailed on over 20 cruises with various cruise lines (Princess, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Oceania). We booked 2 Yacht Club deluxe cabins as my husband and I travelled with his son and daughter (ages 30 and 34). We chose Yacht Club because we wanted to have the privacy and personalized experience of a small ship but still have access to all of the amenities and activities of a larger ship. Pros: Embarkation in Barcelona was smooth. We were escorted by our butler to the Yacht Club lounge. The registration process was very fast and we were escorted to our cabins within 30 minutes. Luggage was delivered immediately. The cabin was beautiful, immaculate, spacious and had plenty of storage. Balcony was large as was the bathroom. Service was very good and staff was friendly but it was not better than what we received on other lines. Yacht Club lounge and dining room are bright with fantastic views as it is located at the front of the ship. The food was average to good but not excellent. I will not compare it to Oceania because they excel in their cuisine however, it was on par with MDR of other lines. If you enjoy fish and seafood, there are plenty of options on the menu daily. We did not try the Yacht Club buffet on deck due to the weather. It was either too cold, windy or raining. The upper deck doesn’t have an enclosed area. We tried the buffets on decks 8 and 16 for a couple of lunches but the food was average to below average in quality. Pizzas are very good. Unfortunately, some passengers aren’t hygienic and were grabbing food with their hands. This is where Holland America and Oceania excel because staff serve the food to passengers at their buffet restaurants to avoid this situation. Entertainment was excellent. We attended all shows and they were of professional quality as well as the entertainers in various lounges. Cons: We purchased 2 shore excursions with MSC in Cinque Terre and in Rome. This is where things didn’t go well. Cinque Terre: We were 45 minutes delayed in leaving for reasons unknown. First stop was a 45 minute stop in Portovenere which was beautiful and then we boarded a ferry to the Cinque Terre. The tour only included a stop in Monterosso however, the ferry service was not direct and therefore, we only had 1 hour to see the town . This was very disappointing because after spending most of the day travelling to get there, we had little time to visit. Rome: The ship was delayed by 2 hours docking in Rome which meant that this impacted the tour. The description of the Grand Tour of Rome is deceptive. Our son and daughter said that they only spent 30 minutes at the Colleseum and didn’t have free time to see St. Peter’s Basilica. They were rushed through most points of interest and were asked to sign a waiver as the tour didn’t have time to go to the Trevi Fountain. Basically, they should have purchased tickets for the hop on hop off bus for a cheaper cost and they may have seen more on their own. The ship stayed in port longer to make up for the delayed arrival therefore, we couldn’t understand why this tour was so rushed. We raised our concerns about both tours with the Yacht Club Concierge and it appeared that they were understanding and stated they would raise the matter with the shore excursions desk. We had asked for a partial credit. The concierge suggested we speak with the shore excursions manager as they were unable to resolve the matter. This is where things declined for us. The assistant manager with shore excursions was very rude and argumentative with us. This resulted in us losing our temper as we were unable to resolve the issue in a calm and respectful manner. In all of our years of cruising, we have never had an employee speak to us in such a rude manner. We walked away and when we walked passed the concierge staff in Yacht Club, everyone avoided eye contact with us. This remained the situation until the last day of our cruise. Bottom Line: in our opinion Yacht Club wasn’t worth the extra cost we paid in comparison to a mid luxury line such as Oceania and we had better food and service on Holland America last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam at an average cost. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I was very disappointed in this cruise. The ship is huge, 14 decks and 4-5,000 people. As a result there was a constant state of noise and crowds. It was Easter week and there were many families. Children were up past when I went to bed. ... Read More
I was very disappointed in this cruise. The ship is huge, 14 decks and 4-5,000 people. As a result there was a constant state of noise and crowds. It was Easter week and there were many families. Children were up past when I went to bed. The good: very little feeling of movement on the ship Ports of call were desirable but also very crowded Balcony cabin was good size for two people though the industrial green was a poor color choice Cabin service was pretty good The shows are short, maybe 35 minutes and the singers and dancers are quite skilled. Good costumes. The bad: The shows were uneven. As the week progressed there were some very strange shows including a pole dancer and a number by a contortionist who looked like he was being tortured with electricity. The food was not good in either the dining room, which took forever and was very noisy, or the buffet, which had many of the same tasteless or overlooked dishes every day If you don’t like being overstimulated visually this ship will not make you happy. The casino feels like a funhouse and the central lobby features floor after floor of lit up stairs and mirrored surfaces. Combined with being knocked around by passengers who don’t seem to even notice( forget Excuse me) it felt like an assault on the senses. Embarkation was three hours of waiting in line Tour gatherings were very disorganized in a bar packed with heavy furniture you couldn’t get around Excursions had great tour guides but you were constantly rushing from place to place. It broke my heart to drive right through Nice and only see it from a bus window Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have sailed mostly with RCL previously and was looking forward to sailing with a different cruise liner. This was our first time sailing with MSC. Embarkation process was alright. We embarked from Salvador (Cruise started in Santos, ... Read More
We have sailed mostly with RCL previously and was looking forward to sailing with a different cruise liner. This was our first time sailing with MSC. Embarkation process was alright. We embarked from Salvador (Cruise started in Santos, Brazil a couple of days before we embarked) and therefore they only had 2 staff at the check in desk which probably took longer than it should have. As soon as we got on the ship, my first impression was what a stunning ship! There is a lot of mirrors which makes the ship look even bigger. It looks very extravagant. It has a water slide, jungle pool, pools, jacuzzis, zipline, bowling alley, arcade, library, theatre, cinema etc. Our rooms were also ready unlike RCL where you have to wait until 2pm (we were in the ship around 12ish). We had a balcony room and it is very spacious and the bed is comfortable. Also the wardrobe space is adequate. They describe the ship as a smart ship. I recommend purchasing the wrist band (about $5) as you don’t have to worry about your cruise card at all. But you will need your cruise card when you get off the ship. You can use the wrist band to purchase things and for reserving theatre shows if you haven’t done it yet on your TV. There’s about 11 free movies and some of them are quite decent. Live TV channels are also available that caters to different language speakers (we’ll come to that in a moment). You can also check menu from the dining room on your TV and book spa/excursions. I would also recommend downloading the MSC for Me App as you can use it onboard to check for activities and book stuff without having to pay for the internet. You can connect to the ship WiFi and then use the Internet ID that you can find in your cruise card and cabin number to log in. This will not work unless you are connected to the ship WiFi, i.e. will not work outside the ship. Now for the not so good reviews. Food - If you are looking to go on a cruise and worried about gaining weight- this is the cruise for you. The food is not great in the dining room - with the exception of desserts, they’re pretty edible. The buffet isn’t great either. No comparison with RCL on this one - RCL’s food is definitely better! Service - In comparison with RCL, I missed the smiley faces of the crew regardless of who you are. In RCL, they greet you in the corridors with a big smile, everywhere in the ship. In MSC, you’ll be lucky to get one. The staff are pleasant but they don’t go that little bit extra which makes your cruise special. Entertainment - In terms of activities throughout the day - you’ll get bored. There’s nothing fun. This is what the ship lacked - a sense of fun! A waste of a beautiful ship! However, the in-house entertainment is definitely better than RCL. In fact RCL can learn from MSC in delivering a great show. Also the staging and costumes are phenomenal. However, the guest performers on some nights are quite so-so. Language issues - It gets a little bit exhausting when they had to repeat the same thing 7 times in different languages. It’s mostly a Brazilian cruise but dear God, apart from Portuguese, it was translated to English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Polish. So an announcement that should last 30 seconds, lasts about 10 minutes. They need to learn from RCL on this one on how they make it work. Disembarkation - the disembarkation is also an issue. We were delayed in our stop in Malaga due to three medical emergencies during the cruise (one was a pregnant woman who had to be taken off the ship using via an air ambulance). So when we disembarked in Malaga, we had to queue for about an hour before we were let out and there was no queuing system so people started overtaking us. It was a shamble! Overall, I think it’s a nice ship and I would go back only if it is destination heavy. Will never go back on a transatlantic cruise, it was a slow death! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Notice that the title is not unexpensive cruise, as this one costed some usd 3500 for a couple and a todler in a balcony. Well, if this is your first cruise, you probably will like it. But when you have a bunch of others as previous ... Read More
Notice that the title is not unexpensive cruise, as this one costed some usd 3500 for a couple and a todler in a balcony. Well, if this is your first cruise, you probably will like it. But when you have a bunch of others as previous experiences, you might get disapointed as we did (and most of the passenger we spoke with who had previous cruise experiences) Let me start with the good points: the ship is new, and beutifully decorated in a modern and posh way. cabins are nice and entertainment is also good, being the slides and waterpart on of the best i´ve seen on cruises. Now the down points: The food is far bellow average. You´ll rarelly see cow meat on the buffet or the menu. Burgers, pizza and sousage are available everyday, alongside with chicken. And most food lack taste or freshness (fish, salmon and chicken always seemed "dry", overcooked or looked like done hours ago and just heated to serve) Remember those nice formal dinners, where they serve lobster at least in one day? Not on this one, lobster is sold at usd 50 at the "speciality seafood restaurant". A nice steak? Not served on the regular restaurants, but rather for 95 usd in the "butchers cut" In fact the formal restaurants do not serve not even water, they charge you usd 2,10 per botle (and its not perrier, or fiji, just regular botled water that they sell for 30 cents on the supermarket) We know that cruise lines always try to find ways to charge you more on additional items, but never expected they to come to your table and offer you a meat plate for next night, to be served on the very same restaurant you have your dinners, but only if you pay an extra of usd 20 per person... this was very sad posture by them. Bear in mind also that this is a 5100 passanger ship, and the crew seems not able to handle so many passengers (I will definintelly not cruise on their 6500 passenger ship expected for 2020). And since you are not allowed to access parts of the ship unless you are a "yacht club member", you have to live on a smaller portion of the ship.(you will not acess the front lounge, one pool, one restaurant and one sundeck, unless you are VIP paying for a suite on the "yacht club" SPA, sauna and steamroom are also not accessible, unless you pay a daily rate to use the spa, or choose the "aurea" experience upon booking, paying a few hundred dollars more. There is also a bowling lane (45usd per hour) a F1 simulator (10 usd per play), a zipline (12usd per use) and a 3d theather (10 dollars per 5 minutes) Other down points were that they seemed to try to save money by contracting some chep tender boats (all our ports of call were tendered) and we`ve seem one of them be at large, without motor for almost an hour.... cruise did not send any of their tenders to save the passengers....they had to wait for another old tender to go there and transfer them in the middle of the ocean, from a boat with a broken engine that was being taken away.... We heard by the passengers that complained that they got a standard letter plus a bottle of proseco (very cheap way again to apologise for putting people´s life in danger....) Well, in general is not a bad cruise, but considering the quality of the food and all the extras they charge, I´d say it´s value should be from 20% to 30% less than a similar lenght cruise in other good cruise lines such as RCCL or Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
i chose this cruise based on it being a short break around the Med and because I wanted to try MSCs new ship. The embarking process was a bit long but relatively well organised and didnt take too long. as they were directing everyone ... Read More
i chose this cruise based on it being a short break around the Med and because I wanted to try MSCs new ship. The embarking process was a bit long but relatively well organised and didnt take too long. as they were directing everyone into the buffet at lunch as you can imagine it was rammed and it took a hile to find a table. The cabin was spotlessly clean but we didnt get the beds separated into 2 individuals until after I had called a few times to guest services ( I was travelling with a friends ). Being an avid traveller of Norwegian and Royal Caribbean I expected to meet the cabin steward on the first day but it took a few days ( of a 4 day cruise ) to figure out who our steward was. We ordered choc covered strawberries which were mushy and not very appetizing. If it is out of season dont offer them. I guess that was my fault though. The ship itself felt like the layout was confusing but every area was spotless and very impressive. The shows in the theatre could have been better and more entertainment could have been offered as I felt like we were only being offered half of what could have been. The food was ok but I was left with an upset stomach after the second night in the MDR so stuck to the buffet. You have to try and avoid peak times at the buffet as otherwise finding a seat is quite some feat. I have had better food on other cruises but it was ok in general. Not impressed that they charge you for everything. Even 7 euros for a film to watch as otherwise you are stuck with news channels and there was a huge queue at Guest services on the last day as they automatically charged 34.99 euros per person to your bill for the welcome photo whether you want it or not so be warned. Disembarkation was an absolute shambles. No organisation whatsoever and there were at least 200 people queuing up in the staff areas of the ship waiting to disembark and people pushing in and arguing etc. Having said all this I would travel with MSC again but be better prepared for what to expect though after my experience on Seaview I think there is a lot to say for smaller ships Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise of the Western/Central Mediterranean because it was convenient to my son’s school schedule, but we were excited about the Itinerary: Napoli, Messina, Malta, Barcelona, and Marseille. In the end, we were disappointed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise of the Western/Central Mediterranean because it was convenient to my son’s school schedule, but we were excited about the Itinerary: Napoli, Messina, Malta, Barcelona, and Marseille. In the end, we were disappointed. We had an Aires suite on deck 11 and the room was very nice. Spacious, modern, proper, BUT WE NEVER SAW A CABIN STEWARD. No one asked about ice in the room or extra towels. We were disappointed here. We were supposed to have a wellness consultant but could not even get a tour of the thermal area of the spa. We were very disappointed with the spa. Meal service started out strong as we had any time service in the Golden Sand Restaurant. Dinner on night 1 was great but the quality did not hold up over the week. Service, however, was good. The shows were terrible. The casino was Smokey. The music was average at best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have sailed on the Seaside two previous times and had very good experiences. This time, things certainly changed ! Dining room dinners were substandard for sure, although our dining room staff were very nice and did a good job, ... Read More
We have sailed on the Seaside two previous times and had very good experiences. This time, things certainly changed ! Dining room dinners were substandard for sure, although our dining room staff were very nice and did a good job, doesn't make up for the food. Terrible selections and poor quality of entrees, the specialty restaurants were nothing short of perfect. We should not have to pay to get a good meal, even their pizza was terrible !at the buffet which we always enjoy. We got better pizza in Ocho Rios ! The bar staff was over burdened and apparently getting an olive for a Martini is a stretch ! They do a great meet and great and have done we enjoyed them on Seaside before. The rooms are small but we knew that from previous cruises on Seaside. Would I be going again on the Seaside, right now I need a rest from MSC !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our third and most likely last cruise on MSC. We have always booked a Yacht Club cabin for the better service, better dining and the exclusieve and tranquil pool area. Food We did enjoy the room service for breakfast, wich ... Read More
This was our third and most likely last cruise on MSC. We have always booked a Yacht Club cabin for the better service, better dining and the exclusieve and tranquil pool area. Food We did enjoy the room service for breakfast, wich was always delivered on time and with everything we ordered. Coffee and hot chocolate was just ok. We always ordered freshly squeezed orange juice and we always got it. There are not egg dishes mentioned on the breakfast order card, but if you write what you want on the card, it will be delivered. We got fried eggs, scrambled eggs and even eggs benedict. For lunch we choose the grill on deck 19 if the weather was good. Not so good unfortunately. Meat or fish were grilled to ordered but always lacked taste. On rainy days we went to the small buffet restaurant on deck 16. The atmosphere is warm and almost cosy, but it is usualy loud and crowded. The food is rather good actualy. On one occasion we ordered pizza from room service. Pizza’s are delivered in a Classic pizza box, wich we found amazing. They tasted ok, but the iItalian restaurant in our small home town has way much better pizza’s. Dining was exclusivly in the Yacht Club restaurant. Here, the food is very good, tasty and well prepared, but the portions are small. Bars The Yacht Club has one bar or lounge with live music. The service here is swift and excellent. The service in the other bars is good but slow. It can take more than 20 minutes before you have your drink. Entertainment Short shows (35 minutes) in a nice theater with a sometimes strange mixture of singing, dancing and acrobatics. The singers were good, but the sound system is awfull. We saw most shows. Wellness A good choice of sauna’s, thalasso pool, steam rooms and a snow room. However it is too small for the +5000 guests on board. We never saw a free place in one of the relaxation rooms. The thalasso was also always crowded. Cabin Our Yacht Club deluxe suite was spacious, with a good bed, large television, and a sitting area with just enough space to eat breakfast in the morning or watch television at night. Mini bar with water, beer, soft drinks, alcohol and snacks, was refilled twice daily. The bathroom had an ok size with a large shower with glass door. Excursions Three of our four pre-booked excursions were cancelled. Two because of bad weather and one because the minimum number of participants was not reached. We were only told once that the excursion was cancelled. The other two times we asked the night before when we would receive our vouchers and were only than told that the excursions was cancelled. Poot communication and customer service! Why this is our last MSC cruise? Although our experience in the Yacht Club is mostly positive, we will not sail with MSC again. These are the main reasons: - the ships are too large, hence too crowded, too loud and too many queues. - there is advertisement everywhere: on large banners in the atrium, the pool areas, the restaurants and the bars, on the large lcd screens every few meters, on the small screens in the elevators, on papers delivered in your cabin, etc... - staff are walking around asking you if you are interested in a speciality restaurant, a drink package - photographers are everywhere on the ship asking you if you want your picture taken All this gave us the impression that we were sailing on a floating busy market or food hall instead of on a relaxing luxury cruise ship. Our next booked cruise vacations are on smaller ships from Viking Ocean. They are more expensive, but everything is included: drinks, gratuities and even (basic) excursions. We will hopefully love to be on a smaller and quieter ship again like we did in the past (Oceania and Ponant). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I'll keep this concise as I don't generally write reviews . The ship is lovely although a bit to much of the same design theme throughout the whole ship .... Sparkly grey and chrome !! The new design and use of outside ... Read More
I'll keep this concise as I don't generally write reviews . The ship is lovely although a bit to much of the same design theme throughout the whole ship .... Sparkly grey and chrome !! The new design and use of outside space is brilliant and class leading . I hope all other cruise lines take note .. A few of the staff are rude and arrogant . Most were lovely of course . The buffet food is nothing short of cheap, nasty, boring, unimaginative, tasteless and repetitive ... worst cruise food I've ever had ever . The speciality restaurants , whilst quite expensive , were all excellent and we ate at them every night . The entertainment was enjoyable if not as elaborate as some other similar lines . My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the kids club and wanted to go back every day . Staff were amazing. I've booked again mainly because it's the only sailing from the port I want on the dates I want .... Going yacht club next time and hope it will enhance my experience and I can give some extra stars !!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It would help if food had s “v” label as very difficult to figure out what was veggie. Very Limited choice. Room service offered garden salad or fruit salad. Veggie main course at dinner was humous and pitta. Really Need to ... Read More
It would help if food had s “v” label as very difficult to figure out what was veggie. Very Limited choice. Room service offered garden salad or fruit salad. Veggie main course at dinner was humous and pitta. Really Need to update menus..., this is the 21st century! Staff who dealt with excursions were very rude, serious lack of customer service. Ship generally looked good. But less deck space compared to other ships. Cabin was a good size and comfortable and entertainment in the theatre was very good too. For such a large ship the general entertainment outside the theatre was very limited. Seemed to be significantly less staff to guest ratio compared to other cruise lines and so less attention to detail e.g. no waiters, and things running out at the buffet and not replenished. Staff seemed disgruntled and unhappy. Not experienced that before on a ctuise ship (usually staff are very professional and do not share any problems with customers). Based on this experience I would not book MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the pricing, because it was a large, new ship, and because of the ports of call. We had never been on a MSC cruise before, but knew from other reviews that the standards might not be up to those of the more ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the pricing, because it was a large, new ship, and because of the ports of call. We had never been on a MSC cruise before, but knew from other reviews that the standards might not be up to those of the more typical cruises that we have been on. We have sailed on 23 cruises (Carnival, Norwegian, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Holland America, Cunard). We went into the cruise with no expectations. Embarkation were very easy. The Seaview embarks and disembarks passengers in every port. The biggest disappointment was the food. We are not fussy eaters. The breakfast buffet and dining room were adequate. There were 2 buffets to choose from. Generally we were able to find a seat. People of other cultures don't always understand how Americans do things and this leads to unhappy people. Generally there were no buffet lines. Everyone just reached in to get what they wanted. We did not eat lunch, but in the evening we were in the main dining room at early seating. Because there were 3 dinner seatings, after 1 and 1/2 hours they would turn the lights on and rush you out. The selection was not very good. There was very little beef and when there was, it was very tough, as was the veal. Appetizers and desserts were fine, but the main courses were poorly prepared and not up to the quality that we have had on every other ship. They wanted you to buy the specialty dining and/ or a steak at the main dining room for 18Euro. There were several odd and unexpected things. Coffee was free at breakfast and dinner in the dining room, but not at lunch (without a fee). There were decaf packets at breakfast, but you could not get decaf at dinner in the main dining room. Juice in the buffet was only served in the morning and evening. It seemed like everything was extra. They did not serve table water-only bottled water and that came free with our Bella booking, but we could only get it in the dining room at lunch and dinner. The wine was very reasonable and there was a very large wine list. The entertainment was an interesting mix. There were three 35 minute stage shows with singers and dancers every night in the theater. They were all strange. I was a dancer, so I enjoy watching stage shows. If you looked at each show as a Variety show with non connecting theme, you might be happier, because some shows made no sense. There were a lot of acrobatic acts thrown into shows. Ex. Chinese acrobats posing in the middle of the Flamenco show. The dancers were Ok, but some of them were not trained well, and there appeared to be not a lot of precision required. The costumes were beautiful. The singers appeared to be Opera trained, however much of the time, the sound was too loud. There was no orchestra to accompany any stage show. My husband and I like to dance. There was only one full band. They were quite good. All of the other music venues had one or 2 musicians that played with recorded music. There was a huge atrium with stage and screens. It was VERY glitzy--mirror and lights. The music there was pretty constant and there were not many places on the ship where you could have quiet space. Every announcement is done in 5 languages, however there were a lot less announcements. They had a recreation staff that I mostly saw in the evenings trying to get people to dance. There were theme nights and these people wore very strange costumes. They had many kinds of dance lessons. Many done in the band break in the evening which was good. There were a lot less sales, no art auction, not many "specials" and constant selling of things. The elevators were slow and often crowded. Many of the things cost extra (bowling, zip line). There were no English books in the library. There were a lot of smoking areas that worked well. The pools were small for the number of people, very little shade, and not much quiet area.The ports were excellent. We didn't go on any excursions. Getting on and off the ship was very easy at each port. It was not a bad cruise, but it definitely had a more worldly feel. I would probably only go on another MSC if the price was exceptional and the ports were spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Having cruised with RCL and NCL this new ship caught my eye, mainly for the route it was taking but also for the spanking new stylish ship which offered much but for me did not deliver. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine we were ... Read More
Having cruised with RCL and NCL this new ship caught my eye, mainly for the route it was taking but also for the spanking new stylish ship which offered much but for me did not deliver. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine we were on board by 12.30 and just as fast getting off,A for this Cabin Balcony, clean. space very tight, Bathroom more like a closet, Balcony tight when 2 sitting!Barely room to move around the cabin..Very disappointed with it. Nicely decorated though. So far not brilliant, and it gets worse. FOOD. The menu in the main dining room was awful. Bland cool unimaginative and so disappointing.Tasteless, just plain cafeteria food. The Buffett did have a small choice but only if you like salads bread, risottos plates of pasta. I feel MSC are not making any effort to include more international dishes anywhere, On many visits, all stations bar one were closed and the one opened had cold burgers, reheated chips and the ever-present pasta dish. Surely one station could serve a roast hot veg pork beef lamb so many options. I know it is an Italien company and I expected a lot of Continental style food. It is the quality I am so upset with. I had a group of 22 and none of them were happy with food anywhere.I resorted to having TBone on a few occasions, We tried the specialty restaurants but the charges are way to high.MSC you have a great ship but unless you up the ante in the catering dept you will not attract the market you are now targeting. Entertainment was wonderful if you were Italien, The shows,all the same just different music.THe production levels, lights, costumes, one of the female lead singers and all the male ones, the dancers were super but if not for production and settings very basic, Congratulations to lighting crew out of this world, Other shows really geared to Continental tastes Music around ship varied from great to just ok.,Pool deck 16 was a no go area if you did not speak a continental European language. I found staff on the ground wonderful. Friendly, helpful and at times full of fun, The ship's management should take a few lessons from them. Staff, once they wore a white suit seemed to be of a different caliber, Rude condescending and just plain uninterested in any issues one might have. Back to Customer service school for them! They were almost invisible around the ship. Thank You for staying with me ....I am almost done,I read the reviews but did not imagine they were all correct re food and officers and I have no gripes just feel silly that I discarded reviews, MSC have IMHO a long long way to go to match other lines currently sailing the Med.MSC for me?No way. back to reliables even if somewhat more expensive. Imust mention,Upselling, everywhere everything, Became so annoyingPositive excursions were well run and great value,Did not like the bus element of ship people getting on/off everywhere is different and not for me.You great finale to weeks cruise and that for me was missing all week, Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first time on MSC but we've been on multiple cruises with other cruise companies. We chose this ship and itinerary because there was a really good sale on their website. Booking was a little complicated because we were a ... Read More
This was our first time on MSC but we've been on multiple cruises with other cruise companies. We chose this ship and itinerary because there was a really good sale on their website. Booking was a little complicated because we were a large party so we had to email back and forth with the booking agent. We were a party of 9 adults and we booked 5 rooms, all inside cabins. We had read other reviews stating that the food was catered more towards a European crowd and that there wasn't a lot of variety. We are Canadian and we went in knowing that the food might not be like the other cruise ships. Compared to RC, Norwegian, Celebrity and Carnival, there is indeed less variety but we aren't picky so it didn't really bother us. I was satisfied with the food on this cruise. I didn't like that we were restricted to certain times for dining and they literally close the doors after a certain time. We were scheduled to eat at 7:15 and they close the doors at 7:35. If you're not there, then you can't eat in the restaurant. I prefer freestyle dining. Our cabins were clean and tidy. The cabin stewards did not do any towel folding during our stay like the other cruise companies. There is only shampoo and body wash in the shower. The shower is also tiny, but this to be expected for inside cabins. The beds are comfortable and I had a good sleep throughout the cruise. The entertainment was fine and MSC is probably the only company that has opera at sea. They did a condensed version on Madama Butterfly during one of the days at sea. There were three shows most nights and you have to book them through the MSC app (more on that later). The entertainers were talented and it was interesting the first few nights but the shows got very repetitive and by the end of the week, you're thinking "I saw this last night" because they use the same performers but put them in different costumes. Compared to the other cruise lines, I felt the hospitality on the MSC Seaside was terrible. More than once, we were dumbfounded by the responses from the crew. We had someone in our party who just had leg surgery and was not very mobile. We asked for a wheelchair while in Nassau because it was a long walk out of the pier. The crew member told us she could not go get the wheelchair for us even though it was right up the ramp near the exit. Another time, we didn't know where to go and we actually got reprimanded by one of the crew members for not being able to locate the correct line. She was quite rude. Unlike the other cruise lines, none of the crew greeted us when they saw us and in general they did not seem to be happy working there. Sometimes they would simply tell us "no" when we were asking for something instead of offering an alternative solution to the problem. There is an app that you can download to use while onboard. It has the menus for the restaurants, the list of shows in the evening and the schedule of activities for the day. You can use it to add activities to your day. It wasn't exactly user-friendly but it was handy to have the information with us instead of having to refer to the paper schedule. It was lacking a chat feature on the app and it would be nice if it had that. I didn't book any of the excursions through the cruise line. The prices were on par with all the other cruise lines, which is to say: overpriced so I usually book excursions on my own. I found there was enough variety if you were to book with the cruise so if you didn't want to do any planning, you'd find a nice selection offered by MSC. If you are a diver, note that there were no scuba diving excursions offered by MSC. You have to book outside of the cruise line. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and very easy. It was the fastest I've ever embarked or disembarked a vessel and I give MSC kudos for that. Overall, we got a really good price for the cruise so we weren't expecting something amazing. You get what you pay for, after all. What I was disappointed with was the lack of hospitality and warmth from the crew. I would only book with MSC again if the price was right. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no ... Read More
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no conversation or interaction waiters took your order in silence and walked away. Food then served in silence. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean and staff are first class, MSC could learn a lot from them. Be wary of tickets coming into cabin for excursions next day, in Malta we did the open top bus ourselves which was on an ancient, dirty, crowded bus, MSC are selling this tour, and by coincidence I overheard several couples on board complaining at reception about the terrible bus, after that I had no faith in MSC regarding these excursions. Overall we had a nice enough time, we are easy going people and don't complain often but for me the 2 main things that let the ship down is the poor dining room and the customer service, next cruise we will go for Royal Caribbean again Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is a brand new ship which only launched in June. The interior was very beautiful, amazing atrium with Swarovski crystals on the main stairs, Cinderella stairs according to my granddaughter. The cabins were in very good condition, of ... Read More
This is a brand new ship which only launched in June. The interior was very beautiful, amazing atrium with Swarovski crystals on the main stairs, Cinderella stairs according to my granddaughter. The cabins were in very good condition, of course, but there was a lack of wardrobe and storage space. Balconies were standard size, but no reclining chairs. Beds comfortable, good bathroom, we had a bath and shower, no awful shower curtain to contend with, nice glass screens. We chose this cruise because we were travelling as a family with young children, we appreciated it would be different to our usual (Princess or Celebrity) cruise. The facilities for kids were good, our 10yr old granddaughter made full use of the water park. However, our grandson is only 4 and found the constant bombardment with water jets in the kids pool too much. There was no calm shallow pool, he used the 3 other pools with a member of the family in the water with him at all times as they were all around 6ft deep. The food was ok-ish, especially if you like veal, which seemed to be the staple. Children's food very much chips, pizza, nuggets, some improvement required here. No steaks offered in the main dining room, you had to pay for speciality dining if you wanted steak. Drinks packages cheaper than some cruise lines, plenty of cocktails available. Overall, not bad, but considering this cruise was aimed at families, which means lots of children, all the stops were city based, we paid a small fortune in Malta to get a taxi to the beach. Requests for a change of dining room sitting time were largely ignored, as was my husband's request to view the Yacht Club area with a view to booking a future cruise. We have already booked again with Celebrity and very much doubt we will cruise with MSC in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Embarkation was very quick and efficient and not overcrowded as people start their cruise at each port the cruise stops at, so 5000 people were not trying to get on the boat all at once, which was great. Welcome was luke warm, from check ... Read More
Embarkation was very quick and efficient and not overcrowded as people start their cruise at each port the cruise stops at, so 5000 people were not trying to get on the boat all at once, which was great. Welcome was luke warm, from check in staff and onboard security staff. If you expect a big smile and a ' Welcome on Board' then this was definitely missing ( was the same everytime we got on and off boat) First impressions....boat is very large, impressive and brand new, extremely clean. Getting to our cabins was easy and we were very happy with them, very well located away from lifts and any noisy bars, restaurants or public areas. We decided to go the deck 8 buffet for lunch. It is extremely busy, chaotic and not the best dining experience although it is good that you can take you food outside to one of the many outdoor areas on this boat. There was a wide variety of food and as with many buffets quality varied....very good freshly made thin pizza, large joints of meat they would cut infront of you, also excellent salad bar. Staff in the buffet , both counter and bar staff were not the smiliest or friendliest encountered onboard but I can sympathise having to deal with the hordes of rude customers. The smaller buffet on the top deck by the pool is mildly better . Best advise go early and stay well clear of the horrible hamburgers Breakfast in the buffets is your standard affair of cooked and continental. If you have a drinks package be sure to order coffee and bottled fruit juice from the bar rather the stuff they have for free which is not nice. A good tip is to go to the Golden Sands restaurant for breakfast where there is table service...much more pleasant. We were booked into the 8pm sitting at the Silver Dolphin restaurant. Staff are welcoming and our 2 waiters were excellent. There is normally a good selection on the menu and food is good but not gourmet. We had several dishes that were excellent and a few that were just okay, you can tell that they are catering to a lot of people, but definitely more pleasant than the buffet Pool areas are impressive but crowded and I do not know why there is absolutely NO SHADE at 2 of the pools if you want to use a sunlounger. The main pool occasionaly had chillout music but was generally very busy and very noisy with extremely high energy loud music and staff trying to get guests to partake in activities holiday camp style, guess I am just turning into a grumpy old man. Icecream parlours at the pools are excellent with good quality icecream. We had a drinks package so sampled just about all of the cocktails that vary slightly from bar to bar. Generally found them to be very sweet. Although good margaritas and coffee martini. Our favourite bars were actually the sports bar which was quieter than expected and the brilliant Seaside Lounge were the staff were brilliant, very comfortable and great music plus no kids !!! PLEASE PLEASE change your tonic water it is horrible Entertainment in the main foyer was good with 2 great singers . The evening entertainment in the main theatre was quite bizzare. They have some very good singers and dancers and especially acrobats but it is just all thrown together in a very 'cruise ship' cheesy mess of show tunes. Moments that were really enjoyable mixed with times you wanted to crawl under your seat. Generally an enjoyable holiday but would probably not go during the summer school holidays and might consider upgrading to their premium experience where you get quieter more exclusive bar and restaurant access Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
this was an OK - average cruise experience, but defiantly could have been better. if you like to have coffee with your breakfast, get ready to wait 30 minute to have it brought to you, or you will have to go to the bar and get it ... Read More
this was an OK - average cruise experience, but defiantly could have been better. if you like to have coffee with your breakfast, get ready to wait 30 minute to have it brought to you, or you will have to go to the bar and get it yourself. many of the staff members do not speak English, making it even harder. the staff needs a bit more training especially in restaurants. get ready to have your orders messed up or wait for ever for your food. if you are very hungry, go to the buffet. the excursions are poorly organized and way overpriced for what they offer. majority of the buses will have dual language tour and one of the guides will take over the microphone and nothing you can do about it. too many kid activities and nothing for "adults only" . the evening shows are like a armature talent show with costumes. food is only available till 10 PM, so if you get hungry you are out of luck. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
MSC Seaview Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.5 3.1
Entertainment 4.5 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.8
Family 5.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.0
Enrichment 3.5 2.9
Service 3.5 3.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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