Truly surprised!: MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by JhQuinn0144

MSC Orchestra 5
Member Since 2009
1 Forum Post

Overall Member Rating

Truly surprised!

Sail Date: March 2009
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Will share some experiences as a traveler, mom, and travel agent. Embarkation and disembarkation a breeze, fasted on/off we have every had (previous 10 cruises). Luggage drop off efficient, National rent-a-car drops you off at the port via a shuttle in the terminal at FLL which was perfect. We rode back with nothing more than our carry ons. Walked off ship at 720am with luggage and at airport by 735 for 1000am flight, a little worried about cutting it close but we had plenty of time. Hotwired a hotel in Plantation received Sheraton Suites for 66 bucks. Used rent-a-car to go on airboat ride at Everglades Holiday Park and are glad we did, it was a nice afternoon.

On board, our room stewart Augustin was awesome, never intrusive, quick. Food at buffet was fresh, hot, and did change frequently. Boys loved the pizza guy in the late afternoon. Breakfast in restaurant was good, lunch just ok the day we went so we ate at buffet and really enjoyed it, with four port days we only ate More at buffet twice. Dinner was really good, our server took care of both tables (adult/kids), was quick, make good recommendations, and brought many dishes for our table to share, never questioned the number of entrees ordered, boys ordered between 4-6 courses per meal, dinner was at 5:30 and we never left past 7-715. Italian dishes are great, lobster was best I've had on a ship. We had Libiscus dining room 6th floor which had comfortable chairs.

The only negative feedback is the lack of water availability on the ship, there is not even a water dispenser in the gym. With that said we went to Key West and bought water, pop, and beer and walked right on with it, there is a CVS near the pick up point (be aware that you go to Key West on Sunday and cannot buy beer before 1200). The last day or two the ship swayed and people were seasick, I did notice a jiggle in our cabin, I would not stay on a top deck again, we were also below pool, and you could hear music the two nights there were deck parties but it did not go on too late. Our boys could have used more structured programming and an earlier start to evening programming. There is no teen day spot (which could easily be resolved if they opened the disco to teens during the day) and most night programming did not start until 1100pm (too late). The basketball court is the tennis court so you do have to volley for time inside the net. Boys missed organized sports and promenade activity and also would have liked the buffet opened during all of their waking hours but believe me they did not go hungry, room service was good and arrived always in less than 10 minutes! Amazing!

Expected a 4-5 experience but experienced an 8-9. We traveled with friends and so did the boys so the company of friends made up for the lack in programming, if they did not have friends I do believe they may have been a bit bored, they just need to assign one of the guys to hook up the teens at the beginning and have a standing time in sports areas for kids to participate. Music by the pool would be nice in the afternoon everyday. The entertainment was the best we have ever seen, different shows every night, first cruise where we made a point not to miss the shows. Less

Published 04/01/09

Cabin review: 312078

Port and Shore Excursions

Great beach day at Channuukaab Park, taxi 10 each way, admission 14 with coupon from internet.
Read 5470 Cozumel Reviews

It did take a long time to get off ship around 900 or so, a bit frustrating to tender to smaller beach (shared with Princess), little cove at beginning of beach with shade and surf, boys loved it, no buffet lunch served, went back to ship for lunch.
Read 669 Dominica Reviews

We booked independently for a stingray city and coral reef two stop tour, off ship at 930, went to beach for couple of hours and they picked us up at beach and took out for shore excursion. We used Kerry at Soto Cruises and are glad we did, the boat holds around 25 people and our guide was awesome, took lots of time with everyone at Stingray City, snorkeling was windy so current was rough, life jackets provided, along with water and punch. Boat was perfect size and staff was great, book ahead of time and pay cash for a discounted price.

Free tram from port to downtown, small enough to walk town, lots of shops. Restaurants may be open but most not until 1200, you have to be back on too early to eat lunch, would have like a little more time in port.
Read 1377 Key West Reviews

Compare Prices on MSC Orchestra Western Caribbean Cruises

Read more MSC Orchestra cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s MSC Orchestra Review >>

Compare Prices on MSC Orchestra Western Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2009
1 Forum Post
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See MSC Orchestra deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
MSC Orchestra 47% Loved It

7 Night Mediterranean Cruise
See all MSC Orchestra Deals >>