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We have just completed o trip on MSC Orchestra from Dubai U.A.E to Fremantle. Trip was planned for 18 months with great anticipation. For the record we (my wife and I, both Australians) have traveled on a number of cruises with a variety of cruise companies over the years, so have some basic expectations. We are very disappointed with this MSC group. The good points:- - They keep the ship in pristine condition sometimes to the customers detriment The shows are generally very good The Balinese staff are great, friendly and helpful. The not so good, (in fact bad parts) The security staff are quite rude when leaving or returning to the ship. Never a smile, grab your pass, don't assist elderly passengers unless challenged You receive scant information about port facilities as MSC obviously only want you to use their expensive tours. If you ask "is there a shuttle bus to town? Is there a map so we can understand where we will be? They don't know and don't bother to find out. They are simply not interested. For example We are arriving in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) we will apparently anchor a mile out to sea and catch a "Tender" to shore. We asked how far are we from Cairns? "About 18 kilometres and a A$40 taxi fare one way" have shuttle buses been arranged by the Ship? No, was the reply. That's it, no interest at all. Apparently our next port Brisbane is much worse, again we anchor out to sea and is about 35 kilometres from the city. The taxi will cost around A$80.00 round trip! After many requests, buses will be now provided at 29€ each = A$45 return. Water (this is no joke) available in one place for free, although you are not supposed to fill containers. You have to pay for bottled water even in the dining room and the gym! This is simply outrageous. The coffee and tea are undrinkable. We brought our own tea bags but the milk is long life and has a dreadful after taste. I am dying to get off and have a decent cuppa. Not much to ask! No coffee or tea are served at lunch or dinner, unless you pay. Food, bland at best, I've never been on a cruise where I've actually lost weight! There is one open deck (seven) you can use for walking exercises and it's the only ship I've been on where you can't sit on a deck chair because on this so called cruise ship they are not supplied on this deck. Oh you can sit by the pool if you can find space and can put up with the hideous noise they call music and the generous waft of cigarette smoke. So much for fresh sea air. No washing facilities at all, you have to use there overpriced laundry service I could keep going, but you get the idea. We had planned another trip next year with this group but have decided "there's no way" By the way it's not just us complaining a lot of other Aussies on board feel the same way. Rating One to Ten - four (possibly a bit generous)

MSC Orchestra, "what a disappointment"

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Penny96728

Trip Details
We have just completed o trip on MSC Orchestra from Dubai U.A.E to Fremantle. Trip was planned for 18 months with great anticipation. For the record we (my wife and I, both Australians) have traveled on a number of cruises with a variety of cruise companies over the years, so have some basic expectations. We are very disappointed with this MSC group.

The good points:-

- They keep the ship in pristine condition sometimes to the customers detriment

The shows are generally very good

The Balinese staff are great, friendly and helpful.

The not so good, (in fact bad parts)

The security staff are quite rude when leaving or returning to the ship. Never a smile, grab your pass, don't assist elderly passengers unless challenged

You receive scant information about port facilities as MSC obviously only want you to use their expensive tours. If you ask "is there a shuttle bus to town? Is there a map so we can understand where we will be? They don't know and don't bother to find out. They are simply not interested. For example

We are arriving in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) we will apparently anchor a mile out to sea and catch a "Tender" to shore. We asked how far are we from Cairns? "About 18 kilometres and a A$40 taxi fare one way" have shuttle buses been arranged by the Ship? No, was the reply. That's it, no interest at all.

Apparently our next port Brisbane is much worse, again we anchor out to sea and is about 35 kilometres from the city. The taxi will cost around A$80.00 round trip! After many requests, buses will be now provided at 29€ each = A$45 return.

Water (this is no joke) available in one place for free, although you are not supposed to fill containers. You have to pay for bottled water even in the dining room and the gym! This is simply outrageous.

The coffee and tea are undrinkable. We brought our own tea bags but the milk is long life and has a dreadful after taste. I am dying to get off and have a decent cuppa. Not much to ask!

No coffee or tea are served at lunch or dinner, unless you pay.

Food, bland at best, I've never been on a cruise where I've actually lost weight!

There is one open deck (seven) you can use for walking exercises and it's the only ship I've been on where you can't sit on a deck chair because on this so called cruise ship they are not supplied on this deck. Oh you can sit by the pool if you can find space and can put up with the hideous noise they call music and the generous waft of cigarette smoke. So much for fresh sea air.

No washing facilities at all, you have to use there overpriced laundry service

I could keep going, but you get the idea. We had planned another trip next year with this group but have decided "there's no way" By the way it's not just us complaining a lot of other Aussies on board feel the same way.

Rating One to Ten - four (possibly a bit generous)
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