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MSC Lirica Review

3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
224 reviews
14 Awards

MSC Lirica

Review for MSC Lirica to the Eastern Caribbean
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First Time Cruiser

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Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

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Sail Date: Jan 2008

This cruise was simply the worst cruise that I have ever taken -- travelers beware booking this ship. The main problem is the contemptuous attitude and complete disorganization of the Italian management. Despite the best efforts of the hard-working and desirous to please Indonesian dining room and cabin staff, the management manages to sabotage their efforts. For example, 1000 people were confirmed into the wrong dinner seating on this cruise (January 29, 2008 out of Fort Lauderdale). An angry crowd had to spend two hours sorting out their eating arrangements at the very start of the cruise. One of the Italian officers informed us that it had been 1,500 people the previous week. Further, my roommate and I were confirmed into a certain cabin, transferred to another, and then finally ended up with one that I had specifically NOT requested. It was right under the restaurant/pool deck and the noise in the wee hours of the morning was deafening. Chairs, tables, rolling carts (and, I'm convinced -- elephants) were drug, flung-around, and scraped across the deck resulting in mostly no sleep for ten days. The management did credit us one missed excursion (after only two hours of sleep one night). Repeated calls to the front desk with complaints about the noise did no good -- the late night receptionist seemed unable to understand English. Back to the dining room (which was quite lovely): After the disgruntlement over the extreme mix-up in seating -- people were grumpy for days -- the food was quite literally DREADFUL. Don't let anyone tell you different. It's not pasta, pasta, pasta. The chefs are from the Philippines and their take on Italian cuisine is quite unsuccessful. There is plenty of bread but little else of value. No cookies, no dessert buffet (one type of dessert), ice cream during the day must be paid for, my asparagus soup was so stringy I could not eat it. Steaks were full of gristle and the "giant prawns from La Cote d'Azur" featured as a dinner entry one night were four measly overcooked shrimp. The one night that they advertised lobster, I saw tables of it being sent back. It tasted like it had been cooked in a microwave. My roommate, a frequent cruiser on Holland America, Princess, and Celebrity, was horrified. Many people told me that they were losing weight. The brownies were made of something other than chocolate -- it might have been carob. To order a cocktail was a huge ordeal in the dining room. A special waiter had to be fetched from a nearby bar. To order a bottle of wine in one's cabin was another ordeal. They weren't sure it could be done. This cruise line looses the opportunity to make money on alcohol and makes up for it by serving cuisine that is little better than 1960s frozen dinners. Our cabin decor was nice but needed maintenance (all the caulking around the bathtub was falling off in long strings). Since we were two married ladies we wished to have separate beds -- seems easy enough on any other cruise line. I was told by two separate cabin stewards that this could not be done! I showed them that not only could it be done but that the cabin was designed so that it could be done. I had to move all the furniture myself!! Countless people told me that married couples who wanted to be together had separate beds while singles who wanted to be separated were stuck together. Training is clearly an issue here. The entertainment was good to excellent but very talented people were stuck in idiotic productions. The cruise director screamed everything in 5 different languages. People smoked everywhere even thought there is supposedly a restricted policy. There was a general feeling of unhappiness and discontent aboard this ship -- it spread from the crew to the passengers. By the time we returned many people were desperate to get off the boat -- unlike any other cruise, where people do not want to leave. If you want to be well fed and well treated, never book MSC. Also, one excursion dumped us on an dog excrement covered beach with no shade and filthy chairs. This cruise line is owned by a cargo company and it succeeded in making me feel like an inanimate object.

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