MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by JBINTOR
- Sail Date: January 2009
- Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarking - this was a breeze and actually much easier than any previous cruises I have been on.
Cabin - we were in cabin 9048. It was a great location. The nearest elevator was perfect for getting to and from the dining room and various lounges. Elevator service is very slow, and we chose to take the stairs in many instances. Balcony cabin was much smaller than on Celebrity.
Food - This is an area where MSC must try to improve on. There was no consistency in quality. Our meals were more than edible, but the food wasn't as good as we have experienced on Celebrity. The presentation of meals is very poor (they just dump it on the plate), so if this is a deal breaker for you, you will be disappointed. Some of the soups were wonderful, while others were terrible. The steak in the dining room was not good. Pasta is very nice. It should be remembered that you get what you pay for and the price point on this ship is lower than most. One of the gals in our group summed it up well when she said, "I didn't think you were supposed to go to bed hungry on a cruise". The grand buffet was the poorest we have seen on a cruise. A huge line up (like there normally is), only to get to the front to see some fruit and cheese. There were no hot dishes on the grand buffet, so if you are looking for your standard beef wellington fix, you will not get it here. The main buffet, while plentiful, was far too busy. When we met as a group at the buffet we referred to it as the "free for all". Note that the bread on this ship is very good.
Service - Most of the crew was pleasant. There are always a few bad apples. The service in the dining room was poor and painfully slow. We had a table for 8 and a table for 4. There were several occasions when someone at our table (8 people) did not receive their main meal until the rest of our table had finished theirs. It's my opinion that they are understaffed in the dining room and that a lot of coaching is needed.
Wine service in the dining room was inconsistent. One night very good; the next night very poor.
Bar service in the lounges is very slow.
Spa services - I had a 1 hour massage and it was good. A manicure and pedicure was far too expensive, so I passed.
Photo shop - without a doubt this was the most disorganized system I have seen on any cruise ship.
Drinks are very affordable. The wine package ($105 for 7 bottles) was fantastic. They need to make a more concerted effort to advise what services are available. 3/4 into the cruise I found out about the cocktail package, but this was from another passenger. There was nothing printed to advise of such a package or I would have purchased it.
Ports of call - You know when you book a cruise what the timing is at your port of call. MSC does not, in my opinion, have the pick of the litter when it comes to port times.
Disembarking - this was a very smooth process.
Overall opinion - we got what we paid for and would never travel MSC again.
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