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We chose a cruise on the MSC Orchestra after Norwegian Cruise Lines decided to change the dates of the cruise on which we had made a confirmed deposit (without notifying us, I might add). Since we already had flights to Barcelona paid for, we looked for alternatives and found an MSC cruise, out of Barcelona with interesting destinations ( Marseille, Genoa, Malaga, Casablanca and Lisbon) on the MSC Orchestra. Not knowing anything about MSC we researched it on line and found that half the people liked it, and the other half were extremely disappointed with it. The complaints ranged from the lack of adequate pillows on the bed, poor attitude of the crew, and the quality of the food. Since my wife and I are the adventurous types, we decided to take a chance and reserved the trip. As it happens, the cruise actually “starts” in Genoa, but they allow people to embark and disembark at the other ports, at least the European stops. Our initial reaction was that either someone at the home office had been reading the online posts, or we were on the wrong ship . The boarding process in Barcelona was quick and efficient. Our room was ready for us and our luggage was delivered quickly ( probably due to the fact that there were not too many people boarding in Barcelona). Having packed a pillow for each of us, thanks to the online reports, we were surprised to find 4 large pillows on the bed for us. Our cabin attendant, Mark, made a point of meeting us and welcoming us on board. He, as well as all of the other crew members we had contact with were extremely pleasant and helpful. Then there’s the food. My daughter, who cruised on MSC in the Caribbean described the food as “beige”, and I have to agree with her. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t really good. The ship only has one specialty restaurant, serving Asian food, which was really good, but a 2nd specialty restaurant would be an improvement. We had a couple of problems on the trip. One was finding a dinner table at the first seating. Out of about 2500 guests on board, there were on 89 people who listed English as their main language. The head waiter, Alphonso, couldn’t find an English speaking table with room for us and went out of his way to accommodate us, arranging for a table for 2, for my wife and I. Like most cruisers, we reserved excursions for the ports we visited, but 2 of them were canceled for lack of participation. We went on alternative excursions, but these were not the ones we wanted. The excursion from Casablanca to Marrakesh was long, with a 3 ½ hour bus trip each way, and a lot of walking through the Souk, but disappointing as we only had a 30 minute window to go shopping in the main square, which was not nearly enough time. All in all, I would have to give the cruise a 3 out of 5.

Happily Surprised

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by iturner4527

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom – Fantastica
We chose a cruise on the MSC Orchestra after Norwegian Cruise Lines decided to change the dates of the cruise on which we had made a confirmed deposit (without notifying us, I might add).

Since we already had flights to Barcelona paid for, we looked for alternatives and found an MSC cruise, out of Barcelona with interesting destinations ( Marseille, Genoa, Malaga, Casablanca and Lisbon) on the MSC Orchestra.

Not knowing anything about MSC we researched it on line and found that half the people liked it, and the other half were extremely disappointed with it. The complaints ranged from the lack of adequate pillows on the bed, poor attitude of the crew, and the quality of the food. Since my wife and I are the adventurous types, we decided to take a chance and reserved the trip.

As it happens, the cruise actually “starts” in Genoa, but they allow people to embark and disembark at the other ports, at least the European stops.

Our initial reaction was that either someone at the home office had been reading the online posts, or we were on the wrong ship .

The boarding process in Barcelona was quick and efficient. Our room was ready for us and our luggage was delivered quickly ( probably due to the fact that there were not too many people boarding in Barcelona).

Having packed a pillow for each of us, thanks to the online reports, we were surprised to find 4 large pillows on the bed for us. Our cabin attendant, Mark, made a point of meeting us and welcoming us on board. He, as well as all of the other crew members we had contact with were extremely pleasant and helpful.

Then there’s the food.

My daughter, who cruised on MSC in the Caribbean described the food as “beige”, and I have to agree with her. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t really good.

The ship only has one specialty restaurant, serving Asian food, which was really good, but a 2nd specialty restaurant would be an improvement.

We had a couple of problems on the trip. One was finding a dinner table at the first seating. Out of about 2500 guests on board, there were on 89 people who listed English as their main language. The head waiter, Alphonso, couldn’t find an English speaking table with room for us and went out of his way to accommodate us, arranging for a table for 2, for my wife and I.

Like most cruisers, we reserved excursions for the ports we visited, but 2 of them were canceled for lack of participation. We went on alternative excursions, but these were not the ones we wanted.

The excursion from Casablanca to Marrakesh was long, with a 3 ½ hour bus trip each way, and a lot of walking through the Souk, but disappointing as we only had a 30 minute window to go shopping in the main square, which was not nearly enough time.

All in all, I would have to give the cruise a 3 out of 5.
iturner4527’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom – Fantastica
Cabin B2 10149
The cabin was very nice, comfortable bed, nice pillows and adequate balcony
Clarinetto Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins