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MSC Orchestra Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
371 reviews

Great Value for Families

Review for MSC Orchestra to the Western Mediterranean
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NavyWife92
First Time Cruiser

Rating by category

Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Cabin

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2008
Cabin:
Traveled with children

EMBARKATION: Embarkation was fairly quick for us. If you pre-register your passport information online and have your printout available at check-in, you will be able to go to the express check-in line. The earlier that you get to the port, the earlier you get on board. MSC issues numbered tickets once you have gone to the terminal registration counter where you provide your credit card and receive your room cards. On our particular cruise, we arrived early enough (around 1100) that we were numbers 160-165. These numbers are called in sequential order when it's time to board. We were then ushered to the waiting room where several tables had been set up to purchase drink or spa packages prior to boarding. Now, by the time that we boarded there were nearly 2,000 people (mostly Italian & German) pushing and shoving to the front of the lines. Having lived in Europe for five years, this wasn't new to me. However, for those Americans that will be boarding in Genoa, be forewarned. Most Europeans do not share our views on personal space nor do they believe in waiting patiently in lines. It is, simply, a survival-of-the-fittest mentality here. The MSC crew and Port Authorities did a terrific job of managing the mob scene and in the blink of an eye, our numbers were being called to board.

THE ROOMS: We had a balcony cabin on the 12th deck. It was quite adequate for our family of four (2 adults & 2 children, ages 5 & 10). There were not any free movies offered nor much in the way of English television shows. They offer a single news channel, a few international channels and a pay-per-view movie channel that is definitely overpriced. We had brought our portable DVD player(and movies)from home which we connected to the TV in the room. FYI, the TV's have easy access RCA plugs to connect your DVD player to but the power outlet is located a good 7 feet away from the TV. I suggest bringing a small extension cord for this purpose. The bed was extremely comfortable and the room attendants did a WONDERFUL job of keeping everything clean & tidy. Our towels, toiletries & fruit were replaced practically every time that we left the room. The attendants even folded our clothes for us and left them on our bed. The sofa bed and murphy bed were turned down every night during dinner and every extra request that we made for ice or extra pillows was met immediately.

THE KIDS CLUB: More than half of the kids in our group (ages 5-13) truly enjoyed the kids club. It is a free service even on port days and the kids participate in many different activities. They took the children to the shows in the theatre every night and had a different themed party (ie..pizza, hot dog, Disney, Carnivale, etc...)every night. The older kids participated in scavenger hunts, arts & crafts and dance lessons while the younger kids colored, played on the play ground & occasionally watched movies. The only downside was that most of the Kids Club Attendants did not speak English and the children that participated in the club were diverse in age and language spoken.

Cabin Review

Cabin 11

Easy to use safe in room. Lots of closet and drawer space. Suitcases fit under the bed. Balcony is WONDERFUL especially pulling into ports on an Eastern Med cruise. Small fridge and fruit in room every day. Shower is a bit awkward especially on rocky days. Bed is so comfortable.

Port Reviews

Barcelona

The taxi's are expensive here. We bartered our way down to 15 Euros for our one-way trip to the Picasso museum and then walked back to the ship. FYI, watch for the seagulls above your head when walking back to the ship ~ they seemed to be target practicing and one person in our party was a victim of a direct hit.

Madeira (Funchal)

LOVED this port. Easy walk, great market, beautiful views.

Tenerife

Took the kids to Loro Parque. It was like a miniature Sea World and by far the best kept public grounds that I've ever seen. We even had time after coming back from this tour to pop across the street to the main shopping district. Don't bother with a taxi or the free shuttle - just follow the blue line painted on the ground from the ship to the stores.

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