A memorable experience: MSC Fantasia Cruise Review by scrotpot

MSC Fantasia 5
Member Since 2012
12 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

A memorable experience

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Genoa
Beautifully designed inside, with great attention to detail & lots of comfortable & interesting places to relax, the ship is also very clean. A variety of live music is a feature of the cruise, so most people should find a bar to suit their taste. Two or three of the lounges, particularly L'Insolito, encourage dancing, & it's not too difficult, even at Easter, to avoid children.

The ship is huge. It's an excursion just to walk from the theatre in the bow, to L'Insolito lounge at the stern... Going up & down stairs it was usually quicker to walk than wait for the lifts, which, though very shiny and quiet, have been programmed by Dr Random.

Food & service in the restaurants were excellent; at dinner you could have six courses, if you wanted. The portions were well judged & well presented, & there is plenty of variety. During the day the Zanzibar buffet on Deck 14 was open most of the time, & coffee of good quality was available 24/7. However, if you don't like the sight More of diners - of all nationalities - scrambling to pile pyramids of hot dogs, burgers, fries, waffles, chips & pizza on their plates as if they might not see another meal for a fortnight, then just give Zanzibar a body-swerve & use one of the restaurants instead. Healthy options (fruit, salads) were always in plentiful supply at the buffet, & these areas were, predictably, quieter.

The theatre is very big & comfortable, & we enjoyed the shows. There's an element of the circus about some of them, with tumblers and remarkable acrobats, while in all the shows - especially the opera-themed evening - the quality of singing was superb. The stage could have been better lit, but that's a minor point.

We can't comment directly on the excursions; they seemed dear so we did our own thing & never felt we had missed anything that mattered.

The worst aspect - & almost the only negative aspect of the cruise - was the unholy rush to get rid of you at the end. We had to have our cases outside the cabin by midnight (surely it could have been a bit later to give us time for a proper last evening) & had to vacate it by 7am, although our flight was not till after 2pm, & the airport is only 15 minutes away. That meant we had to trundle our hand baggage down to breakfast. These arrangements could have been handled with more sensitivity.

Would we cruise again with MSC? Yes. Less

Published 04/11/12

Cabin review: 11

Deck 13 (Arcobaleno) is beneath a huge overhang from Deck 14 which prevents the sun from reaching the balcony of all rooms which are set back from the side of the ship. It also prevents you from seeing the sky. The cabin itself is very roomy - a big double bed, settee & dressing table left a good amount of floor space.

Port and Shore Excursions

It was mostly shut on Good Friday, so we didn't see it to advantage. We walked up La Rambla, which is really just a big market, & turned back when we reached Sagrada Familia, where the queue was round the block. In a back street we had a beautiful glass of wine at a bodega where we were not made to feel especially welcome. Despite that, we'd go back to Barcelona because there's a lot left to see. The city centre is about a mile from the ship.
Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

The most pleasant surprise of the cruise, for us. We expected an industrial city, but at the pretty Vieux Port there are a string of pavement restaurants where you can watch the world. They don't want you just to sip a drink, though. The tourist road train (7 euros) is well worth taking, going along the coast & up to the basilica, which is beautiful inside, & offers panoramic views of the city & the sea. The road train lets you off there, so can take some time to appreciate it. The coach from ship to town was 15 euros each, but if you walked about a mile you could get a local bus for under 2 euros. It would not be sensible to try & walk all the way in.

Naples offers a great choice of excursions: history, culture, scenery. That's why it scores highly. As for the city itself, it's busy & noisy, as you might expect, although we took no risks & felt safe enough. We strolled from the ship to the national museum, a very easy 30 minutes. This is well worth it, but is not available on any excursion. We came back via the square where the old Royal Palace is, which is wide, & well supplied with itinerant African traders offering several varieties of junk on their rapidly portable stalls & blankets. There are a number of attractive buildings near the dock.
Read 1171 Naples Reviews

Not much to see here. Busier & dirtier than Naples. We took the little road train for 8 euros each, but the way it's designed means that you don't really get to see much above first floor level. There was nothing that we whizzed past during the 50 minute ride that we felt deserved a second look, anyway. The city didn't tempt us to walk around.
Read 217 Palermo Reviews

Nobody we spoke to who had gone off the ship had enjoyed themselves much. Carthage offers little that's memorable, & in the souk you get harrassed to buy stuff that won't enhance your life.

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Member Since 2012
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