MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Leo Price
- Sail Date: April 2013
- Destination: Western Mediterranean
Ship: MSC Orchestra
Dates: 13 - 20 April 2013
Ports: Civitavecchia, Palermo, Tunis, Ibiza, Villefranche sur Mer, Genoa
Age: Mid 70s
Previous Cruises: Princess, RCL, NCL, Celebrity and Carnival
1. Embarkation and debarkation were quick, efficient and considered to be excellent.
2. Visual appearance of the vessel was excellent with no apparent rust.
3. Cleanliness of the common areas, dining rooms, cafeteria, stateroom, etc was excellent.
4. Friendliness, cleanliness and appearance of all ship personnel were excellent.
5. Lounge performers were good.
1. Exercise room was totally unsatisfactory. It was half the size it should have been and had half the equipment required for the size of the ship. There was sufficient room available for additional equipment. If MSC's response is that they needed the vacant area for exercise classes then this shows no forethought on the part of the manager as all morning group exercises could have been held in a lounge area. Also there was no water fountain in the exercise room.
2. Our cabin was given a slip for one liter bottle of water to be supplied in one of the two dining rooms for one meal. If you wanted additional water there was a charge of 1.5 Euros per bottle. In all the cruises I have taken there never has been a charge for drinking water in a dining room. Also no ice was provided.
3. Sufficient food was available; however, the quality and taste of the food was poor in both the dining room and cafeteria. Typical:
a. No steak, prime rib of beef, salmon, swordfish or high quality item offered at evening meal.
b. No hot vegetables provided with evening meal.
c. Many soups lacked taste and flavor.
d. No cold soups provided.
e. Juices (orange, pineapple, etc.) were served only at breakfast and were diluted.
f. No coffee provided at dinner in either restaurant.
g. Desserts were of poor quality and type. No bread or similar puddings, no cheesecake, no cobblers, minimal fresh fruit, cheap cakes, etc.
h. No bagels or English muffins at breakfast .
i. Dry meats.
j. Hamburger tasted like breadburger.
4. Stage productions lacked any scenery, professional lighting, live music.
5. Stage shows were very basic.
6. Same singers, dancers, etc. were used for all seven nightly stage shows. We thought these individuals were overworked. It would have been nice to have two or three nights with guest performers.
7. Shops appeared to be overpriced. This especially true of the photography.
8. Soft ice cream could be purchased but was not available for no cost.
9. Many other negative comments but the concept is provided above.
1. Ports of call were satisfactory but had the wrong schedule and timing.
a. In Tunis the most important site listed in the travel brochures was the tile and mosaic museum. We arrived in Tunis on Monday and the museum is closed on this day.
b. Additional time is required at Tunis as the primary sights are not close to each other and the ship docks in La Goulette which is far from the city of Tunis.
c. In my opinion too much time was allowed for Ibiza.
1. My wife and I were not satisfied with the cruise and will not use MSC Cruise Line again.
2. The MSC Orchestra is rated 3 to 4 star by Cruise Critic. We believe the rating should be
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
GenoaGreat place to visit. We took the city bus tour and it was excellent. Also used local bus transportation which was easy. City was clean and information booths were plentiful and helpful. A lot to see and we used most of the alloted time visiting wonderful sights.View All 307 Genoa Cruise Port Reviews
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IbizaPort was a waste of time as there is nothing there to see. We spent a night there which was not needed.View All 117 Ibiza Cruise Port Reviews
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PalermoPalermo was an excellent port. Plenty to do. We used the red bus for a hop on hop off tour and it was excellent. Only problem item was the city was dirty and it appeared the garbage had not been picked up for a couple of weeks.View All 226 Palermo Cruise Port Reviews
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Rome (Civitavecchia)Super place to visit. Taking the train to Rome and bus to airport is inexpensive and frequent. Been to Rome before so we just saw a few out of the way sights and did window shopping. Used local bus transportation which is excellent. Stored suitcases it Termini Railroad Station. Safe, inexpensive and convenient.View All 1,881 Rome (Civitavecchia) Cruise Port Reviews
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Tunis (La Goulette)Tunis was a superb port to visit. Very safe. Problem was the time there was too short and the cruise visited this port on Monday which is the day the top ranked place to visit, Tile and mosaic museum, is closed. Due to short time there and distance between sights could only visit one of the three recommended sights.View All 92 Tunis (La Goulette) Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Tunis (La Goulette) Cruise Port Review
VillefrancheNice place but nothing unusual. Easy to take the train to Nice or Monaco. Very clean good place to just relax and have a beer while watching the people and harbor.View All 288 Villefranche Cruise Port Reviews
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