Rock N Roll saved the cruise: MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by szdiver

MSC Orchestra 2
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Rock N Roll saved the cruise

Sail Date: January 2009
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We booked this cruise because of the Concerts at Sea concerts on board. Last year it was on Costa. My review on that one is already posted. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale and stayed at the Atlantic Resort - an upscale resort we found through the internet. We were very pleased.

Saturday, the 17th, we left for the port hoping for a good week, in spite of the bad reviews of the Orchestra. We arrived around 12:10 and had a line to wait in, but it went fairly fast. We went to our room and checked it out. Not much space, but of course we knew that already. Lunch was to be served in the buffet from 12:00 to 3:00. We were still waiting for the lines to open up at 1:30, when they finally did. We had a very large crowd by then wanting to eat. Seats were very hard to find by that time. They changed our dinner seating to 5:30 but kept the late seating at 8:30. Don't know the reason for this, but it caused many inconveniences with port calls being AFTER 5PM. The dinner was not very hot and More the waiters mixed up things a lot. We objected to the couches we were told to sit in, and were told to "Get here earlier tomorrow". Did not appreciate that attitude as we hadn't been rude when we objected. The couches are rounded and hard to get into. The first night's entertainment was Midnight in Paris. It was a line of ladies in skimpy outfits walking around (not dancing) the stage. At the end they did a can can dance with "canned" music. No orchestra, and no singing. A man dressed in drag took the stage while the ladies pranced around and had body parts that sprouted out from his "body". It seemed in poor taste to me, but then I like dancing and singing. Our concert at sea group had a welcome aboard and singing by the Chancellor's & Stacy Wayne (Elvis) who did a wonderful job. We went to bed early tonight, because we were tired.

Sunday was a sea day. We We ate in the buffet, but again, the food was cold and had been sitting on a hot plate for a while, which made it hard in spots, especially the waffles and breads. We had a concert at 1:30 for Paul Revere and the Raiders. They were even more wonderful than last year and the "baby raider" Darren was great. A few of the entertainers had brought family and it was fun to meet up with them around the ship. Tonight was gala night with the Captain. We had a few drinks and went to dinner. Not much to brag about again. Most of the wait staff were from Indonesia and did not speak much English. The theater had Circusland tonight. If you have seen Circusolay (?) before, you know what it was. I left before it was over. Again, went to bed early.

Monday was Cayo Levantado. We went to the beach and had a nice day. The food was overly priced. A hot dog, hamburger and 2 soda pops was $15.00. The buffet was $15 pp and did not seem worth it. They had drinks in coconuts and pineapples for $8 each. We tendered into the island. We were #1 but it took us about an hour to get off the ship as Nos. up to 5 & 6 were crowding into the hallways and no one was doing anything about it. No organization. Dinner was again nothing special. I must however comment that we had ideal tablemates who took turns taking the couch seats. Very delightful people to converse with as well. The entertainment tonight from MSC was Concerto - again all Italian. We went to Bobby Vee and the Vee's. Wonderful entertainment from C@S. Then dance lessons at 9PM. An early night once again.

Tuesday we arrived at St. Maarten. 1-8PM. We met up with a group of friends we made aboard with C@S and went to Orient Beach. Had a relaxing day until around 3:30 when we returned to the ship. We did not get there until 1PM though, so we did not get as much sun as we would have liked. C@S had a cocktail party tonight. Nice party! Lots of drinks! FREE! Then we had a Dance Party which we did not leave until Midnight. MSC had a magic act, but we did not attend. I should tell you that two nights MSC had a midnight buffet of different items. Tonight they had Mexican buffet. We all would eat and sit around talking until very early in the morning after dancing all night.

Wednesday was Antigua, St. John. Wasn't much shopping there and we only walked into town and back to the ship. A 2-hour tour was running for $100. We had from 7AM till 2PM on this island. Dean Torrence from Jan & Dean fame was on tonight at 7:30 and I waited through Dinner to get a good seat for this one. Loved Jan & Dean. The band was wonderful as well. MSC had opera tonight. Maybe I am just not worldly enough, but there sure was a lot of Italian going on. Most cruise ships try to do a variety. We danced again till Midnight and had a super sandwich buffet.

Thursday was a Sea day. We had an early concert with the Guess Who - great again! Although they are a little more 70's than 60's for me. Just lazed the day away and got to dinner tonight. I was ordering off the "always available" menu a lot this week. The spaghetti was great and HOT! The MSC show tonight was Celtic Spirit, so at 8PM we went to an autograph session with all the groups and had a great time talking with them and their bands and family. It did not end until 11PM, so I went to bed tonight.

Friday, we had a C@S concert with Bill Haley's original Comets. They were terrific. We arrived in Nassau around 3PM and were finally off the ship around 3:20. Since dinner was 5:15, we skipped it on the ship and had dinner at Atlantis, where we showed our new friends all the sights. Of course the casino took their interests mostly. I must say that the hamburger at Atlantis was the best meal all week. The MSC entertainment for tonight was Singing under the Moon, but no one really sang, they just panomined. We went to the dance again where we had our final dance and said our sad good-byes to all the friends we made this week. If it hadn't been for Concerts at Sea, we would not have anything really good to say about this cruise. On the last night they locked up the mini bar at 6PM but we hadn't used it anyway. The next morning when we got our bill, there was a $19.20 charge for mini bar. The room stewart had neglected to refill it from last cruise. It was a lot a little things like this that messed with your good nature. There are real attitudes among the staff, seemingly against Americans. Don't know why, but there it is. Not trying to discourage anyone, but I would not go back for a while, if ever. Less

Published 01/27/09

Cabin review: 12

We had the highest catagory cabin. We did have a little more space in the closet and could move around the bed more easily than others. The balcony had room for a recliner and chair which my husband liked to use. There was always fruit in the basket.

Port and Shore Excursions

Not much shopping here, but various places to sun and swim. Not enough time on this cruise to do much of anything.
Read 1192 Antigua Reviews

This port is getting a little too commercial for my liking, but Atlantis saves it from being boring.

Read 5044 Nassau Reviews

St. Maarten is a wonderful place to go, whether you are into shopping for water sports or just sunning. Orient Beach has both clothing optional and regular beaches and you can choose which you prefer. They also have many places to sit and eat. Enjoyable.

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