MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by deadslow
- Sail Date: January 2015
- Destination: Middle East
To start with we had faultless flight with Emirates from Gatwick.
On arrival the free transfer to the port fast and faultless
Embarkation was quick and faultless.
The cabin was acceptable (clean) storage was again adequate for two passengers over eight nights, the bathroom about the same as others but no soap and all the touches you would get from Cunard/P&O but you get what you pay for + I was warned about this before the cruise, however there was two weird full soap dispensers in the shower cubical.
The balcony a little small but adequate two chairs and a table.
There was lots of public space on board that was clean and fresh,
There is the opportunity to opt out of the gratuities, which I did saving €119.00 for two passengers.
Food was of a good standard and plenty of choice, at the buffet could not fault it
However the food was a little sparse at Dinner in the evening but of good quality,
Service a little slow but when you look at the two waiters (no wine waiter) they had to serve 28 covers so what do you expect its not there fault (I did speak to the matire-d about this.) Other lines I have cruised with have no more than 15 covers max.
At no time did I encounter any language barriers; all crew was very well conversed in English.
Beware of the service charge of 15% think about paying for the all inclusive £22.00 a day PP if you like a drink, as a bottle of not very good wine costs €25.00 including the 15%. We made one bottle last two nights in the restaurant as you do not get free water or coffee after or during the meal, however free tea and coffee is available in the buffet. If you like good English breakfast tea take your own tea bags.
Beware of the excursions they are pricey as is the hop on hop off bus at 45 euro each. Think about a taxi if you’re up to bartering. From the port to the mall then to Atlantis hotel, back to the mall (more shopping.) then back to the port £52.60 (290 Dirham) for 2 passengers. The Mall has to be worth it as its right next to the tallest building in the world Buri khalifa @ 828 mt.
Would I cruise with MSC again? Yes
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