My husband & I booked a Mediterranean cruise along with my brother, his wife & 2 children the week of April 13, 2014 leaving from Venice. We were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary & 60th birthday and were so looking forward to our first ever cruise. Our experience was not a good one.
Ship was beautiful & the cabins were clean & nicely furnished. However, our experience with the drink plans & meals was very disappointing. The minute you board the ship they come at you from all sides trying to push their "drink packages" before you even get to your cabin. You have to make a quick decision as to what plan you want. After paying for what you think is a deal, you realize after a day or so that the so-called "deal" isn't such a deal. You have to stand in long lineups for drinks & once you order, it takes forever to even get your drink. Everything on the ship is "extra" - ice cream, pop, water. The buffet areas are completely jammed with people pushing & clawing their way to the food that they want. I waited in line for my turn & was always pushed aside by a rude passenger who didn't want to wait his turn! It was a nightmare. We booked into the 2nd seating for the dinner meal & were not served dinner until 10 pm. Seating was supposedly at 8:30 but 8:45 was the actual time & it took at least another 1/2 hour to 3/4 hour to even get a drink of water or glass of wine. After a long day in port we were starving by 10 pm & too tired to go to any nightclub afterwards. The food was nothing like we anticipated, very bland & not much of a selection. Nothing fancy like you would expect on a supposedly 1st class cruise.
The ports that we stopped at were very nice & we enjoyed most of them. One day we chose to stay on the ship because it was raining & the ship's pool & bar area was packed. It was hard to find any chairs or tables.
The last day of our cruise was a NIGHTMARE!!! We were told the day before we disembarked to have our suitcases ready the night before & to leave them outside our cabin door which we did. We only kept a backpack with our overnight supplies & clothes we needed for the next day. We had to leave the ship by 10 am so decided to go for a quick bite for breakfast before we left. We left our backpack on the bed along with my cell phone that I forgot to bring with me. We returned approximately 30 minutes later & the minute I opened the door to my cabin, I saw that the phone was not on the bed where I had left it. We frantically looked through the overnight bag, my purse & backpack. I immediately tracked down our room attendant who helped us look. In the process I cut my hand badly needing emergency treatment. By this time, we missed our disembark time. After finding someone to help me find the medical clinic, I was treated & we hurriedly tried to find out where we were to get off the ship. We immediately reported the loss to the customer service info desk as well as other cruise consultants who were assisting other passengers. The staff wrote done all the information of the theft but I felt they really weren't sympathetic to our situation. They tried brushing us off quickly. One of the customer service reps gave me a number to call that day in case the phone was recovered. After leaving the ship I tried numerous times to call the number she gave me with no success. Two hours after we left the ship my nephew received a call from my iPhone (caller ID was in my name) so he thought it was me. When he answered the phone the person on the other line hung up. I have "find my iPhone on my iPad but it showed that the phone was now shut off. So obviously one of the cabin attendants had taken the phone, since they were the only ones with access to our cabin.
It caused us many inconveniences because we still had another 10 days travelling through Europe & depended on my phone for contact information as well as pertinent insurance information stored on the phone as well as my photos that I took.
I have sent numerous complaints through the MSC website "Post Cruise Customer Service Form" which I filled out & submitted right after we arrived back home to Canada. They asked for at least 28 business days to review & reply back to us. It is now July & I have heard ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! I also tried calling MSC cruises & it is impossible to talk to a live person about a complaint. But they are there immediately if you want to book one of their cruises!
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE - if you are reading this lengthy review - DO NOT BOOK A CRUISE THROUGH MSC!!! You will be very sorry!!!!
Cabin was very nice & clean. Just watch for the thieves that they employ on their ships!