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MSC Fantasia Cruise Review
0.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
468 Reviews

1st time with MSC but not our first cruise experience

MSC Fantasia Cruise Review by Neal Dunn

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2015
  • Destination: the Eastern Mediterranean

We have just returned from our first cruise with MSC on the Fantasia and although we enjoyed our 11 day excursion, it just didn't come up to the standards we had experienced on Carnival Cruise Ships.

Ticketing and Flight connections from Gatwick to Nice with BA were very good although it wasn't possible to check in on line and seats were available on first come first served basis. The connection transfer to Genoa was excellent with well organised and efficient staff on hand at the airport. Disembarkation, return transfers/flights equally as good.

Arrival at the port however was somewhat hectic as we joined other passengers in departures to go through the usual embarkation routines. Didn't feel things were as well organised as they could have been due to lack of communication/directives from greeting staff. Once on board welcome drinks and buffet lunch was provided.

Although a beautiful ship with excellent cabin facilities, we were disappointed with the standard of food in the main formal dining room at night. Portions were small and the presentation poor. The overall menu was no different to that available in the self service buffet restaurant. There was an opportunity to go Mexican in a speciality restaurant or to up grade to a steak but both at an additional and expensive charge.

There was a lack of finesse generally and we felt that those little extras we have experienced on other cruise ships was missing.

We were very disappointed with the poor English communication throughout the cruise. The level of spoken English on board was poor from Guest Services/Deck Officers and "management" generally. The waiters, cabin boy and bar staff were far more fluent.

Evening shows we went to were very good and Children's clubs seemed well attended and popular.

We had decided to pre-book our excursions on line and although we got most of our initial preferences, we were advised that some were already fully booked some 3 weeks before the cruise. We choose alternatives only to find that our original excursion choices were still available once we were on board. However, once we had finalised our itinery everything went well without a hitch, buses always of a high quality. The English speaking guides were excellent and tours we choose full of the cultural information we had hoped for. We would not recommend much of this cruise's excursion itinery for disabled people due to the terrain encountered and not really suitable for children due to the cultural nature. Many of those children (under 12's) on our trips appeared bored and disinterested and indeed were often annoying.

When at sea, we took advantage of the Spa facilities and signed up for a package of massage and spa treatments. Facilities and staff were excellent!

Overall we enjoyed our first cruise around the Med and on reflection found it value for money. We still feel that MSC didn't quite come up to our expectations on this occasion but maybe we have been somewhat spoilt on previous ventures around the Caribbean with Carnival.


Neal Dunn's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6 8107

Beautiful and well presented balcony room (even though we overlooked the lifeboats) - well proportioned and with adequate storage cupboards. Mini bar available but expensive. Bathroom just about big enough but ample hot water and regular towel exchanges. Cabin boy very obliging and discreet at all times.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Olympia Archeological Tour

Excellent Tour Guide who got to know the group well. Very good knowledge and very informative. Additional visit to the Grecia Farm and Winery rounded off a great day.

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Apokoronas Villages

Good informative tour from guide. Spoilt by rain unfortunately. Visit to local restaurant was average - food not to everyone's liking. Winery could have been more informative.

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Grand Master Palace

An excellent tour, very informative and visit to a local monastery included with it's many peacocks was great. Walk and shopping around local Rhodes Old Town was a great finish to a good day out.

View All 24 Grand Master Palace Reviews

Visits to all the main sights included in the comprehensive tour. Acropolis, Old Olympic Stadium, Plaka. Very informative and great photo opportunities.

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Very informative cultural visit to museum and surrounding areas. Shopping opportunity included. Very good English speaking guide who took us to parts of Izmir not normally included in tourist bus trips.

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An informative cultural visit started in Mosta to see the church and surrounding area before driving to Dingli cliffs for a panoramic view of the north coast. The bus then moved onto Rabat for a walking tour which included a visit to the church. Continuing the walk into Mdina for a comprehensive tour of the city to take in the varying architectural designs and finally the Cathedral. A final visit included the Mdina Glass Works for souvenirs!

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Mount Etna

A long bus journey along the coast taking in the scenery before heading inland through narrow streets of the villages at the foot of Mount Etna. The bus took us up to the visitors centre on Mt Etna where it was possible to walk up onto the side of a crater. Snow drifts still visible and a cold wind to boot. Nice hot drinks and food available before souvenir hunting in the shop. A wonderful experience.

View All 91 Mount Etna Reviews
City Tour

A full city tour taking in all the sights associated with Rome including the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, St Peter's Basilica and others. A visit to a local Italian restaurant for lunch was included. A brilliant day out even though it was expensive!

View All 349 City Tour Reviews
Genoa

This was our embarkation and disembarkation port and there was no opportunity to do any excursions. A number of excursions were available however for those who joined the ship at other ports.


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Neal Dunn
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