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We joined the MSC Orchestra cruise, a 35 day voyage from Fremantle to Rome via Gallipoli for the 100th Gallipoli anniversary. A number of things with the ship and service were good but all up leaves plenty of room for improvement. Three key issues, 1 massive flu on board, which was on board from the prior cruise, 2 very very crowded public spaces, 3 extremely poor bar service Even though the ship was aware of the flu on the cruise from Dubai to Perth, they carried very limited (none after several days) of basic medicines in the pharmacy, ie no cold and flu tablets, no strepsils, no cough mixture, they knew of the problem and did not stock up. Yes you could see the doc on board at Euro 90 a time, but there was always along line. The public areas were crowded, could not get a seat near the pool, unless you were on deck prior to 7 am on warm days, the chairs in the dining room from adjacent tables kept hitting each others, waiters bumped into chairs as they passed as the area was over crowded. The bars were far too crowded, associated with the appalling bar service, it made getting a drink an unpleasant experience. The bar service was appalling, especially was we had paid $150 a day for the two of us to have the premium drinks package. Very early on I learnt not to go to certain bars as you could not get service, ie the pool bar or the Savannah Bar, we were regulars at the wine bar, that was the best of the bad service. On the 4th day, I spoke with the guest relations manager about the shocking service ie 22 and 25 minutes to get two consecutive rounds of drinks. The following few days the service was far better, as they had an officer in the bar as well. The bar service often was embarrassing, it would make you cringe with the incompetence. You would order a drink, which was an endless task, then they would put the drink slip down and the barman would pick up the slips in any order to serve, so a person who ordered 5 or 8 minutes after you may get their drinks first. It was a disaster. The ship ran out of a large number of drinks for a majority of the trip, ie quite a few wines (ie no Sauvignon blank), no baileys, no drambuie, no Tanqueray, no Jack Daniels, even no beer (particular brands) at some times, which made farce of buying a $150/day drink package when you could not get drinks. Generally the bar service in the casino was good. The table service in the dining rooms was very good and quite good in the buffet. The cabin room service was excellent. The ships entertainment was very good, each concert/show was well worth seeing. But they did not allow drinks in the theatre, which I guess is a way of controlling drinks consumption when folks are on a pre-paid ($150/day) drinks package. The part of the cruise that was organised by Gallipoli Cruises was excellent, great organisation, great entertainment, great speakers a real 10/10. We have been on 9 cruises in the past 4 years, including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Star Lines, Uniworld, so I believe that I have a good basis to judge from.

Plenty of Room for Improvement

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Ivan Perth

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Italy
We joined the MSC Orchestra cruise, a 35 day voyage from Fremantle to Rome via Gallipoli for the 100th Gallipoli anniversary. A number of things with the ship and service were good but all up leaves plenty of room for improvement.

Three key issues,

1 massive flu on board, which was on board from the prior cruise,

2 very very crowded public spaces,

3 extremely poor bar service

Even though the ship was aware of the flu on the cruise from Dubai to Perth, they carried very limited (none after several days) of basic medicines in the pharmacy, ie no cold and flu tablets, no strepsils, no cough mixture, they knew of the problem and did not stock up. Yes you could see the doc on board at Euro 90 a time, but there was always along line.

The public areas were crowded, could not get a seat near the pool, unless you were on deck prior to 7 am on warm days, the chairs in the dining room from adjacent tables kept hitting each others, waiters bumped into chairs as they passed as the area was over crowded. The bars were far too crowded, associated with the appalling bar service, it made getting a drink an unpleasant experience.

The bar service was appalling, especially was we had paid $150 a day for the two of us to have the premium drinks package. Very early on I learnt not to go to certain bars as you could not get service, ie the pool bar or the Savannah Bar, we were regulars at the wine bar, that was the best of the bad service. On the 4th day, I spoke with the guest relations manager about the shocking service ie 22 and 25 minutes to get two consecutive rounds of drinks. The following few days the service was far better, as they had an officer in the bar as well. The bar service often was embarrassing, it would make you cringe with the incompetence. You would order a drink, which was an endless task, then they would put the drink slip down and the barman would pick up the slips in any order to serve, so a person who ordered 5 or 8 minutes after you may get their drinks first. It was a disaster.

The ship ran out of a large number of drinks for a majority of the trip, ie quite a few wines (ie no Sauvignon blank), no baileys, no drambuie, no Tanqueray, no Jack Daniels, even no beer (particular brands) at some times, which made farce of buying a $150/day drink package when you could not get drinks. Generally the bar service in the casino was good.

The table service in the dining rooms was very good and quite good in the buffet. The cabin room service was excellent. The ships entertainment was very good, each concert/show was well worth seeing. But they did not allow drinks in the theatre, which I guess is a way of controlling drinks consumption when folks are on a pre-paid ($150/day) drinks package.

The part of the cruise that was organised by Gallipoli Cruises was excellent, great organisation, great entertainment, great speakers a real 10/10.

We have been on 9 cruises in the past 4 years, including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Star Lines, Uniworld, so I believe that I have a good basis to judge from.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 12137
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