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Where to start.. We booked this ship with our friends for a 50th birthday celebration, and as we'd never been on cruise before we didn't really know what to expect. A painfully slow check in, people barging, elbowing and queue jumping, being herded against a photo display and forced to have your picture taken, should have told us about what we were about to let ourselves in for.. First, the good points. The ship itself, which was actually pretty good. Clean cabin (we had a balcony room with a pull out bed for our young daughter) and well maintained communal areas, good bars and a good casino. That's really all the good points that I can think of, as the rest of the following are all bad.. We gave up trying to eat in the buffet restaurant after two days, as you could never get a seat, there was never any cups or hot water for tea and coffee, and to be honest I've seen better behaviour at a chimps tea party when it came to our fellow passengers eating there.. The deck area was spacious, although you had to fight (literally) to get a sun lounger. Two tiny pools, one for children, although this quickly became the equivalent of kiddy soup, you just could not move in the pool. Not helped by more kids jumping in and on top of each other either. And don't try to relax on deck, as invariably after 30 mins you are treated to some pounding Italian techno, pumped at full blast through the speaker system, usually to accompany some sort of competition. I would have expected all of the above if I'd decided to spend a holiday in Benidorm or Magaluf, but not on a cruise ship! I found most of the service staff, with the exception of our waiter and cabin boy, either rude, argumentative or completely indifferent. Casino seemed to be the only exception, but I expect they get more tips there, so they try harder. After being presented with my service charge at the end of my trip, I kicked up at reception and refused to pay it. After a good ten minutes arguing they waived the charge, and I paid my waiter and cabin boy a cash tip instead, because as far as I was concerned they were the only staff members who had earned it. Food very average, certainly not what I expected, although there was good choice. Not enough waiting staff, who seemed utterly overwhelmed with the amount of covers they had to look after. Being constantly bothered by photographers whilst trying to eat didn't really make for great dining experience as well. Entertainment was superb on the first night, with a couple of OK baritones and sopranos, who bellowed out a few opera classics. After that it went way downhill, seeing the same act just in different costumes. We never saw the opera part again, which was a shame. Only took one excursion, a beach trip which was very good, as my nine year old daughter didn't really want to wander round some ruins with two thousand other people.. So, when we got off ship (finally, after more queue jumping, pushing and elbowing) we did the following.. Bari - got a cab to a beach a few miles up the coast and spent a few hours snorkelling. Couldn't get a cab back and nearly missed the ship. No passports, phone or credit cards with us. Lesson learned, oops.. Olympia - didn't fancy wandering round a dust track in 35 degree heat so opted for the beach excursion. Athens - got a cab to the Acropolis, then popped in to see an old buddy who owns a hotel behind the Acropolis, then had a rather nice lunch. 20 euros each way in a taxi. Santorini - got a water taxi to a village called Ia, then walked into town. Stunning views, but heaving with people. Found a bar with a pool, so spent the day there instead. Hour and a half wait for chair lift back down the tenders, so walked down the steps instead. Had to push a woman out of the way of a herd of manic donkeys on the way down, just made the last tender. Corfu - difficult one this, and maybe worth booking a beach excursion on board ship, as cheapest taxi to Barbati beach (16km away) was 100 euros. Taxi drivers at the port, no haggling. Stunning beach though, white pebbles, great beach bar and amazing snorkelling. Montenegro - bit of a let down as we'd booked the speedboat ride to the blue pool. This was cancelled without us being informed, and by then every other excursion was fully booked. After then queuing for an hour we got the tender to shore, the highlight of which was the cat museum that my daughter loved. That killed an hour, so we went back to the boat where we spent the rest of the day. Venice - utterly beautiful. We were lucky enough to spend two days there before we embarked. Very expensive in the main tourist areas, but go back a few streets and its normal prices, a very nice lunch for two with prosecco came in at around 35 euros. Disembarkation was about the only time when leaving the ship was actually properly organised, and we were off the boat within half an hour. So that's about it. We did have a great time, but the combination of poor service, poor organisation, endless queueing and utterly dreadful fellow passengers mean we will never even consider a cruise again!

First and Last Cruise!

MSC Musica Cruise Review by Russbooger

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Where to start.. We booked this ship with our friends for a 50th birthday celebration, and as we'd never been on cruise before we didn't really know what to expect.

A painfully slow check in, people barging, elbowing and queue jumping, being herded against a photo display and forced to have your picture taken, should have told us about what we were about to let ourselves in for..

First, the good points. The ship itself, which was actually pretty good. Clean cabin (we had a balcony room with a pull out bed for our young daughter) and well maintained communal areas, good bars and a good casino.

That's really all the good points that I can think of, as the rest of the following are all bad..

We gave up trying to eat in the buffet restaurant after two days, as you could never get a seat, there was never any cups or hot water for tea and coffee, and to be honest I've seen better behaviour at a chimps tea party when it came to our fellow passengers eating there..

The deck area was spacious, although you had to fight (literally) to get a sun lounger. Two tiny pools, one for children, although this quickly became the equivalent of kiddy soup, you just could not move in the pool. Not helped by more kids jumping in and on top of each other either. And don't try to relax on deck, as invariably after 30 mins you are treated to some pounding Italian techno, pumped at full blast through the speaker system, usually to accompany some sort of competition. I would have expected all of the above if I'd decided to spend a holiday in Benidorm or Magaluf, but not on a cruise ship!

I found most of the service staff, with the exception of our waiter and cabin boy, either rude, argumentative or completely indifferent. Casino seemed to be the only exception, but I expect they get more tips there, so they try harder. After being presented with my service charge at the end of my trip, I kicked up at reception and refused to pay it. After a good ten minutes arguing they waived the charge, and I paid my waiter and cabin boy a cash tip instead, because as far as I was concerned they were the only staff members who had earned it.

Food very average, certainly not what I expected, although there was good choice. Not enough waiting staff, who seemed utterly overwhelmed with the amount of covers they had to look after. Being constantly bothered by photographers whilst trying to eat didn't really make for great dining experience as well.

Entertainment was superb on the first night, with a couple of OK baritones and sopranos, who bellowed out a few opera classics. After that it went way downhill, seeing the same act just in different costumes. We never saw the opera part again, which was a shame.

Only took one excursion, a beach trip which was very good, as my nine year old daughter didn't really want to wander round some ruins with two thousand other people..

So, when we got off ship (finally, after more queue jumping, pushing and elbowing) we did the following..

Bari - got a cab to a beach a few miles up the coast and spent a few hours snorkelling. Couldn't get a cab back and nearly missed the ship. No passports, phone or credit cards with us. Lesson learned, oops..

Olympia - didn't fancy wandering round a dust track in 35 degree heat so opted for the beach excursion.

Athens - got a cab to the Acropolis, then popped in to see an old buddy who owns a hotel behind the Acropolis, then had a rather nice lunch. 20 euros each way in a taxi.

Santorini - got a water taxi to a village called Ia, then walked into town. Stunning views, but heaving with people. Found a bar with a pool, so spent the day there instead. Hour and a half wait for chair lift back down the tenders, so walked down the steps instead. Had to push a woman out of the way of a herd of manic donkeys on the way down, just made the last tender.

Corfu - difficult one this, and maybe worth booking a beach excursion on board ship, as cheapest taxi to Barbati beach (16km away) was 100 euros. Taxi drivers at the port, no haggling. Stunning beach though, white pebbles, great beach bar and amazing snorkelling.

Montenegro - bit of a let down as we'd booked the speedboat ride to the blue pool. This was cancelled without us being informed, and by then every other excursion was fully booked. After then queuing for an hour we got the tender to shore, the highlight of which was the cat museum that my daughter loved. That killed an hour, so we went back to the boat where we spent the rest of the day.

Venice - utterly beautiful. We were lucky enough to spend two days there before we embarked. Very expensive in the main tourist areas, but go back a few streets and its normal prices, a very nice lunch for two with prosecco came in at around 35 euros.

Disembarkation was about the only time when leaving the ship was actually properly organised, and we were off the boat within half an hour.

So that's about it. We did have a great time, but the combination of poor service, poor organisation, endless queueing and utterly dreadful fellow passengers mean we will never even consider a cruise again!
Russbooger’s Full Rating Summary
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