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We travelled from the UK and joined the ship in Dubai. The flights on Emirates were excellent. There is good service, good entertainment and good legroom on the aircraft. The transfer to the cruise ship was OK on arrival but chaotic on return. There seemed to be insufficient buses to take us from ship to airport and I could see no system of accounting for which passengers have been transferred. The ship itself was comfortable and clean. The standard of catering is reasonable but nothing special and there is much higher quality food to be found on other cruise lines. Having said that, there were plenty of dishes to choose from. Be prepared to share a table in the self-service area, this is unapologetically café-style and often very busy. The waiters in the dinner restaurant were very good and the cabin steward was brilliant, always there to answer questions and very, very helpful. Unfortunately, the safe in our cabin was not working. We reported this and a flickering light bulb on the first day. The light bulb was changed on the day but we never got to use the safe! The cabin steward was not allowed to touch it, so we were let down by the maintenance team which failed to act when notified of the problem. The evening entertainment was acceptable, but not special, and there was some repetition even within one week. Given that there is an audience of mixed nationalities and much translating work for the compere, the entertainment works best when focused more on visual than audio. The entertainers are quite capable but there is just not enough variety. Overall my experience has been that you tend to get what you pay for when cruising. MSC is at the cheaper end. I would travel with them again but I would not pay a premium price for the privilege.

Reasonably-priced cruising but you only get what you pay for.

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by BarnsleyDave

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We travelled from the UK and joined the ship in Dubai. The flights on Emirates were excellent. There is good service, good entertainment and good legroom on the aircraft. The transfer to the cruise ship was OK on arrival but chaotic on return. There seemed to be insufficient buses to take us from ship to airport and I could see no system of accounting for which passengers have been transferred.
The ship itself was comfortable and clean. The standard of catering is reasonable but nothing special and there is much higher quality food to be found on other cruise lines. Having said that, there were plenty of dishes to choose from. Be prepared to share a table in the self-service area, this is unapologetically café-style and often very busy.
The waiters in the dinner restaurant were very good and the cabin steward was brilliant, always there to answer questions and very, very helpful. Unfortunately, the safe in our cabin was not working. We reported this and a flickering light bulb on the first day. The light bulb was changed on the day but we never got to use the safe! The cabin steward was not allowed to touch it, so we were let down by the maintenance team which failed to act when notified of the problem.
The evening entertainment was acceptable, but not special, and there was some repetition even within one week. Given that there is an audience of mixed nationalities and much translating work for the compere, the entertainment works best when focused more on visual than audio. The entertainers are quite capable but there is just not enough variety.
Overall my experience has been that you tend to get what you pay for when cruising. MSC is at the cheaper end. I would travel with them again but I would not pay a premium price for the privilege.
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Clean, comfortable and quiet.
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