1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. MSC Orchestra
We are a family of four on a tight budget, looking for a good value for vacation during President's Week... well we found it. We paid $1425.00 for two adults and two children in an inside cabin, and it was worth so much more. My husband and I have enjoyed cruising as couple and then we went on a couple of cruises when my oldest was a baby, but this is the first time that the four of us have been on a cruise together. We had a great time. Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale has horrible traffic issues, we were stuck in a lot of traffic upon arriving to board the Orchestra. Checking in did not present any hassle, and in no time we were on board at the buffet. The ship is immaculate. We were very impressed by the cleanliness and the good hygiene. There are Purell hand sanitizer dispensers all over the ship, which we were thrilled about, as we encourage our children to wash their hands often. The Orchestra is a beautiful, elegant ship. We loved the Italian flair that the Orchestra offered us. Announcements are made first in English, followed by Italian, French, and Spanish. It was such a great experience for my children to hear the different languages, it was kind of like bringing them on a European vacation without ever leaving the US. The activities offered on board were good, ranging from aerobics, ping pong, minigolf, darts, tennis, basketball, and I'm sure a lot more that we didn't participate in. There were also dance lessons, wine lectures, bingo, Italian lessons, and ongoing activities by the pool. We went to an art auction, which was a great experience for my children. We wound up purchasing a Cinderella cell for my daughter. I never went to the Body & Mind Spa, the prices were too high for me. There is an Internet Cafe which costs 5.00 for 10 minutes, but the connection was temporarily slow when I was there. The daily program was chock full of information, sometimes it even got confusing. I like the way NCL organizes the program, by the time. MSC organizes the program to sort of resemble a newspaper with advertisements. It's easy to miss stuff. For example, we didn't realize one evening that it was a formal night, and I missed one of the port talks that I wanted to attend. After a few days, I got used to it. We booked two excursions, and one wound up being cancelled because of lack of participation. The first was Whale Watching in Cayo Levantado. This was absolutely spectacular. Humpback whales come into this bay for a few weeks in February to give birth. My son, who is 9, was thrilled and loved every minute of the experience. He counted a total of 17 whales. My daughter who is 5 got bored after an hour. But if you are prone to sea sickness, this tour night not be for you. You are out in the bay bouncing around in a small boat for about 2 1/2 hours. For me, the first hour was fine, and then I was miserable. The second excursion, which I booked for husband and son was the "Antigua Eco Hike," which consisted of a six-hour hike through the rainforest. They love doing stuff like that together, but nobody else signed up for that, and it got cancelled. By the time they were notified, it was too late to choose a different tour and were disappointed. The stateroom was tiny as expected, but impeccable. Florence and Bruce, (on deck 10) our cabin stewards, were phenomenal. Returning to a tidy, clean smelling cabin everytime was such a pleasure. As a family of four with young children, we really appreciated all their hard work. Dining was a lot of fun. Our waiter, Gede, in the Villa Borghese dining room was great. He taught our children tricks with drinking glasses and how to make funny things out of cloth napkins. On the last night our children made him a thank you card. His assistant Eko, was also so nice with the kids. The food ranged from good to excellent. All of their pasta dishes were absolutely delectable, having a real home cooked taste. There are some dishes that are always available, such as spaghetti bolognese, which was the best I've ever tasted, and the salmon, which was always very good. They even had pastina, which my kids love. The steak was okay. I ordered my steak medium, and it came out well done, and my husband ordered his rare, and he said his came out fine. My children only went to the children's club once, and it seemed fine. The point of this vacation was for us to spend family time together. Entertainment was the best that I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The magician was unbelievable, and kind of had a supernatural air about him. The dancers, singers, and musicians were all tops. Besides offering entertainment which appealed to the mainstream, I loved the way they tried to infuse Italian culture into the cruise, by also exposing passengers to opera and classical music. They gave passengers the opportunity to see some very high caliber performers. In one of the dance numbers, there was also the Venetian "Carnivale" theme. We loved that! Disembarkation was not too lengthy. The big problem was getting a taxi once you got off the ship. Port Everglades was a total zoo upon disembarking, the whole taxi situation is a disorganized nightmare. If you need to catch a flight back home and have little time to spare, you're better off arranging for some kind of shuttle. The big problem we had with this cruise was the smoking!! Smoking was very open and was not confined to areas which non smokers could avoid. There was smoking all around the pool area and in all the lounges, it really could not be avoided. My kids hated it, and this would be the only reason why I might not sail with MSC again. Other than that, it was a great experience.

Great Experience!

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Charlie233

Trip Details
We are a family of four on a tight budget, looking for a good value for vacation during President's Week... well we found it. We paid $1425.00 for two adults and two children in an inside cabin, and it was worth so much more. My husband and I have enjoyed cruising as couple and then we went on a couple of cruises when my oldest was a baby, but this is the first time that the four of us have been on a cruise together. We had a great time.
Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale has horrible traffic issues, we were stuck in a lot of traffic upon arriving to board the Orchestra. Checking in did not present any hassle, and in no time we were on board at the buffet. The ship is immaculate. We were very impressed by the cleanliness and the good hygiene. There are Purell hand sanitizer dispensers all over the ship, which we were thrilled about, as we encourage our children to wash their hands often. The Orchestra is a beautiful, elegant ship. We loved the Italian flair that the Orchestra offered us. Announcements are made first in English, followed by Italian, French, and Spanish. It was such a great experience for my children to hear the different languages, it was kind of like bringing them on a European vacation without ever leaving the US.
The activities offered on board were good, ranging from aerobics, ping pong, minigolf, darts, tennis, basketball, and I'm sure a lot more that we didn't participate in. There were also dance lessons, wine lectures, bingo, Italian lessons, and ongoing activities by the pool. We went to an art auction, which was a great experience for my children. We wound up purchasing a Cinderella cell for my daughter. I never went to the Body & Mind Spa, the prices were too high for me. There is an Internet Cafe which costs 5.00 for 10 minutes, but the connection was temporarily slow when I was there. The daily program was chock full of information, sometimes it even got confusing. I like the way NCL organizes the program, by the time. MSC organizes the program to sort of resemble a newspaper with advertisements. It's easy to miss stuff. For example, we didn't realize one evening that it was a formal night, and I missed one of the port talks that I wanted to attend. After a few days, I got used to it.
We booked two excursions, and one wound up being cancelled because of lack of participation. The first was Whale Watching in Cayo Levantado. This was absolutely spectacular. Humpback whales come into this bay for a few weeks in February to give birth. My son, who is 9, was thrilled and loved every minute of the experience. He counted a total of 17 whales. My daughter who is 5 got bored after an hour. But if you are prone to sea sickness, this tour night not be for you. You are out in the bay bouncing around in a small boat for about 2 1/2 hours. For me, the first hour was fine, and then I was miserable. The second excursion, which I booked for husband and son was the "Antigua Eco Hike," which consisted of a six-hour hike through the rainforest. They love doing stuff like that together, but nobody else signed up for that, and it got cancelled. By the time they were notified, it was too late to choose a different tour and were disappointed.
The stateroom was tiny as expected, but impeccable. Florence and Bruce, (on deck 10) our cabin stewards, were phenomenal. Returning to a tidy, clean smelling cabin everytime was such a pleasure. As a family of four with young children, we really appreciated all their hard work.
Dining was a lot of fun. Our waiter, Gede, in the Villa Borghese dining room was great. He taught our children tricks with drinking glasses and how to make funny things out of cloth napkins. On the last night our children made him a thank you card. His assistant Eko, was also so nice with the kids. The food ranged from good to excellent. All of their pasta dishes were absolutely delectable, having a real home cooked taste. There are some dishes that are always available, such as spaghetti bolognese, which was the best I've ever tasted, and the salmon, which was always very good. They even had pastina, which my kids love. The steak was okay. I ordered my steak medium, and it came out well done, and my husband ordered his rare, and he said his came out fine.
My children only went to the children's club once, and it seemed fine. The point of this vacation was for us to spend family time together.
Entertainment was the best that I have ever seen on a cruise ship. The magician was unbelievable, and kind of had a supernatural air about him. The dancers, singers, and musicians were all tops. Besides offering entertainment which appealed to the mainstream, I loved the way they tried to infuse Italian culture into the cruise, by also exposing passengers to opera and classical music. They gave passengers the opportunity to see some very high caliber performers. In one of the dance numbers, there was also the Venetian "Carnivale" theme. We loved that!
Disembarkation was not too lengthy. The big problem was getting a taxi once you got off the ship. Port Everglades was a total zoo upon disembarking, the whole taxi situation is a disorganized nightmare. If you need to catch a flight back home and have little time to spare, you're better off arranging for some kind of shuttle.
The big problem we had with this cruise was the smoking!! Smoking was very open and was not confined to areas which non smokers could avoid. There was smoking all around the pool area and in all the lounges, it really could not be avoided. My kids hated it, and this would be the only reason why I might not sail with MSC again. Other than that, it was a great experience.
Charlie233’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Ages 3 to 6
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get MSC Orchestra price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email