Our first impression of this huge ship was favourable. We booked late September to avoid children as we are a mature couple and didn't want the hassle. There were however a number of children of school age who you would have thought should not have been there. However most seemed very well behaved.
Our cabin was excellent and had an outside balcony where we spent many evenings with cocktails. We were not really up for the disco/theatre entertainment but there were plenty of relaxed areas to enjoy where you could experience the excellent service of MSC staff.
We also enjoyed the spa and gym which was well equipped and fortunately under-used by most passengers ensuring you could generally use the equipment when you wanted.
The food was a mixed bag. We did not know what to expect being first time cruisers but our overall impression was that the food was below par. Many people we met commented that other cruise lines provide better quality fare. The food was abundant but being an Italian cruise line they could not prepare pasta at all. It was floury mushy and generally inedible. There were however excellent salad and fruit bars in the "canteen" servery area and the bread was of a reasonable standard. We did not have a drinks package but generally got coffee and squeezed orange juice from the bar areas which we paid extra for, as the restaurant/canteen area fare was undrinkable.
To sum up we enjoyed the cruise and the visits we made but would prefer to pay more for much better quality food. We also felt they could benefit from an al-a-carte reataurant where you could really indulge yourself occasionally. The sushi restaurant on board sounded very basic and not very special as experienced by other passengers who used it. We decided not to bother.
Cabin was excellent, spacious and soundproofed. we slept very well in the comfortable beds. Towels were changed as you used them (once three times in one day). We ordered breakfast in our cabin which was a treat which we had on the balcony every morning. No complaints what so ever.
Our guide was very knowledgeable and provided a very interesting and informative visit which brought the site to lifeView All 216 Olympia Archeological Tour Reviews
The trip to Ephesus was fantastic although the tour guide was not brilliant and hustled us through the site which really required much more time to get the complete experience.
The reason for the quick visit became apparent when the guide announced we would be visiting a leather factory, This was not a factory visit we were shown into a show room and given a short talk about the leather from a spivvy manager who then hustled us into a dark room which suddenly burst into music and flashing lights and models began to parade along a catwalk. The clothes were aimed at bright young things and the average age of our party was around 70, Very inappropriate. We were then ushered back into the showroom where the manager clapped his hands and we were set upon buy a dozen male shop assistants urging us to try on and buy the merchandise. The prices were astronomic (starting at £1200 for a jacket up to several thousand pounds). We all beat a hasty retreat back to the bus without buying anything and were not pleased with the guide. This is what you call being bushwhacked!!View All 52 Archaeological Site of Ephesus Reviews
We hired a taxi with another couple. The driver took as all over to the various sites for less than half the cost of the organised tours. Much better way to get around.
There was a festival on the day we docked and hence most of the sites were close apart from the Blue Mosque which was understandably packed.
We were delivered by shuttle boat to the pier and got on with it ourselves. This is the best way to experience the visits plus you save a lot of money!!!
We spent two days in Venice before and after the cruise. The money we saved on flights doing this virtually paid for our accomodation. First time in Venice but it wont be our last we loved it but avoided St Marks Square which was overpriced and Heaving with people not very pleasant. Get lost in the many other areas and you will experience the real Venice which is also much easier on your pocket.