MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Lyn M
- Sail Date: March 2015
- Destination: Trans-Ocean
The food was a disgrace. I got food poisoning 3 times - twice from milk that had gone off and once from apricots that had been dried and then re-hydrated. The chefs tried to make food from different nationalities, but failed miserably. The Australian food night had sushi for an entree, for example. The chef had obviously done no research into what Australians ate. The food on the Thai night was so bland we could not taste any spices at all. There was not a single night where I could say that the food tasted authentic to the particular nationality being claimed to be served. On an Italian ship even the pasta was gluggy. The buffet was badly laid out. The bread and toast were about 30 m away from the margarine and jams, for instance. On such a long cruise they kept running out of more and more foods. These were not replaced / restocked during the cruise.
During embarkation we saw frozen meat fall out of its packaging onto the port. It was picked up and pushed back onto the crate, presumably to be served to some unwitting passenger. The meat was definitely not thrown away as it should have been.
Many passengers caught the flu from each other. The staff did not put any disinfectant into the air conditioning system (as is done on oil riggs) to try to prevent the spread of the germs. When passengers went to see the doctor they were given only enough medicine to get them to the next port, as the doctor was running out of stock of vital medicines including antibiotics and paracetamol. Passengers were told to buy their own at the next port, as the ship was not restocking on medicines till after the cruise had finished. In my opinion this is pure neglect of the passengers safety.
Embarkation and disembarkation were both done poorly. If you did not know better you would have thought that they had never done this before. The staff seemed to have no systems in place. Different passengers were asked for different information on embarkation, which caused embarrassing situations later for those of us that had never been asked for our credit card details, for instance.
The entertainment on the ship was quite good, the cabins were clean and well maintained. The captain did seem to know what he was doing and steered the ship well. The shore excursions went well, as they were not organised by MSC. The value for money was definitely not there.
Overall, I would not recommend MSC Cruises to my worst enemy.
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