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We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia and we all absolutely loved MSC Fantasia! We have been on a P&O cruise before and my husband and I went on a Carnival cruise ship too so we have a little experience on cruising now. I must the MSC Fantasia differs dramatically from our Australian cruises. The positives are that the cruise ship itself was absolutely stunning, it even has Swarovski crystal staircases which were stunning! We found other cruise ships were a bit gaudy but not this ship, everywhere onboard was impeccably designed. The shows in the evening were brilliant, the costumes were gorgeous and the Michael Jackson show was so amazing I would have believed it was MJ onstage if he was still alive!! The itinerary was so good, every morning waking up in a new port is so good, you never get bored. I recommend looking up private tours for some of the stops (we did a Barcelona tour and Pompeii tour). We did do one cruise tour which was a 1/2 day Leaning Tower of Pisa tour and that was good but you have to wait around sometimes as there are a lot of people on the coach. This cruise didn't have as much to entertain us during the days etc but that's because you're in port most of the day so it didn't matter. There were 2 downsides and not the fault of the cruise line really as 1) is most days around 5pm the bars/lounges close down while they do the emergency program for the new cruisers (because not everyone embarks on the same day). We think maybe they could keep one bar open for those that have already done the emergency program. The other down side was many European people don't queue, they push in or blatantly walk in front of you while you're patiently waiting, it is really frustrating and we overheard many English speaking people complaining of the same problem. In saying this though, we also went on the MSC Orchestra straight after this cruise and found the other passengers much more polite. The cocktails were very good value at around 7euro and you could also buy books of vouchers that we found good value too (we bought vouchers for beer, soft drinks, mocktails/milkshakes and coffees, we bought the water package on the first cruise but didn't use it all so didn't buy it on the next cruise). The kids loved the cruise also but the kids clubs (they were in the 12-14yo and 15-17yo groups) were pretty much non-existent but not because of the cruise, it's teens and them not giving it the go they should. We found they spoke English first over the speakers most of the time so we never felt in the minority group. We had lovely waitresses in the evenings as you are seated at the same table each night. This is great as you get to know them and they get to know your likes and dislikes, they remember what you like to drink, etc. They are also careful with who they seat you with and we were happy to sit with 2 Aussie ladies (sisters) for the journey. We went to the Mexican/Steakhouse one night, although the staff were lovely and so friendly, we didn't enjoy the meal that much. The embarkation and disembarkation was always very good, occasionally you have to wait in line (obviously when there are over 4000 passengers) but they were very efficient at getting us all onboard as quick as they could. The cabin was great, the sofa turned into a double bed at night for the kids, the cabin crew did this each night and morning. There's not a lot of space for 4 though, it would be perfect for 2 people.

This Aussie family of 4 loved it!!!

MSC Fantasia Cruise Review by lucypatrick

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia and we all absolutely loved MSC Fantasia! We have been on a P&O cruise before and my husband and I went on a Carnival cruise ship too so we have a little experience on cruising now. I must the MSC Fantasia differs dramatically from our Australian cruises. The positives are that the cruise ship itself was absolutely stunning, it even has Swarovski crystal staircases which were stunning! We found other cruise ships were a bit gaudy but not this ship, everywhere onboard was impeccably designed. The shows in the evening were brilliant, the costumes were gorgeous and the Michael Jackson show was so amazing I would have believed it was MJ onstage if he was still alive!! The itinerary was so good, every morning waking up in a new port is so good, you never get bored. I recommend looking up private tours for some of the stops (we did a Barcelona tour and Pompeii tour). We did do one cruise tour which was a 1/2 day Leaning Tower of Pisa tour and that was good but you have to wait around sometimes as there are a lot of people on the coach. This cruise didn't have as much to entertain us during the days etc but that's because you're in port most of the day so it didn't matter. There were 2 downsides and not the fault of the cruise line really as 1) is most days around 5pm the bars/lounges close down while they do the emergency program for the new cruisers (because not everyone embarks on the same day). We think maybe they could keep one bar open for those that have already done the emergency program. The other down side was many European people don't queue, they push in or blatantly walk in front of you while you're patiently waiting, it is really frustrating and we overheard many English speaking people complaining of the same problem. In saying this though, we also went on the MSC Orchestra straight after this cruise and found the other passengers much more polite. The cocktails were very good value at around 7euro and you could also buy books of vouchers that we found good value too (we bought vouchers for beer, soft drinks, mocktails/milkshakes and coffees, we bought the water package on the first cruise but didn't use it all so didn't buy it on the next cruise). The kids loved the cruise also but the kids clubs (they were in the 12-14yo and 15-17yo groups) were pretty much non-existent but not because of the cruise, it's teens and them not giving it the go they should. We found they spoke English first over the speakers most of the time so we never felt in the minority group. We had lovely waitresses in the evenings as you are seated at the same table each night. This is great as you get to know them and they get to know your likes and dislikes, they remember what you like to drink, etc. They are also careful with who they seat you with and we were happy to sit with 2 Aussie ladies (sisters) for the journey. We went to the Mexican/Steakhouse one night, although the staff were lovely and so friendly, we didn't enjoy the meal that much. The embarkation and disembarkation was always very good, occasionally you have to wait in line (obviously when there are over 4000 passengers) but they were very efficient at getting us all onboard as quick as they could. The cabin was great, the sofa turned into a double bed at night for the kids, the cabin crew did this each night and morning. There's not a lot of space for 4 though, it would be perfect for 2 people.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Private Tour
    We organised our own private tour beforehand with Barcelona Day Tours and they were brilliant. We thought Park Guell was a definite "must see" and of course seeing Sagrada la Familia cathedral is also great to see.
    View All 49 Private Tour Reviews
  • Cannes
    This was lovely, we walked along the promenade and then headed for the beach across the road.
    View All 453 Cannes Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Corsica (Ajaccio)
    My husband wasn't sure whether to get off the ship here but he was so glad we did. We all thought it was a beautiful town to take a stroll through and then enjoyed lunch and a drink (with free wifi) in one of the restaurants. Lovely and relaxing port.
    View All 339 Corsica (Ajaccio) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Genoa
    We arrived in Genoa just over 24 hours before we were to board the cruise. We wandered around on the Saturday afternoon and evening and absolutely loved Genoa, every corner we turned we loved! The Sunday morning we went by train to Santa Margherita for a couple of hours - the plan was to see this town and catch a taxi to Portofino which was only about 10 mins taxi away (according to my research beforehand). Santa Margherita was gorgeous but when we went to catch a taxi to Portofino prices were about 70 euro or something ridiculous so we decided against it. The thing to be mindful of is when we decided to catch the train back to Genoa we were told it was an hour's wait as the next train was reserved seating only and it was already full! An hour is a long time to wait for a train so I recommend checking times when you arrive at the station so you don't make the mistake we did.
    View All 360 Genoa Cruise Port Reviews
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  • La Spezia (Cinque Terre)
    We did the Leaning of Tower half day tour with MSC and it was a great day. The tour guide was good, we had earphones so we could all here her. She took us into (cathedral?) next to the leaning tower and it was beautiful in there. We also followed her for a walk through the town which was nice.
    View All 248 La Spezia (Cinque Terre) Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Private Tour
    We took a taxi to Pompeii to meet our pre-organised tour guide. Go to the taxi rank rather than any of the drivers that approach you as they are cheaper (our taxi driver charged us 80euro return trip - he came back at allocated time to drive us back and he didn't require payment until we returned to the ship so we knew he would return for us). Naples looked quite ordinary and run down, we were happy we weren't staying there.
    View All 80 Private Tour Reviews
  • Palma de Mallorca
    We caught a taxi into town and afterwards another taxi to the beach and another to the port, all was quite inexpensive really (I think it was about 30-40euro all up in taxis), We went to Cala Major, there were sun loungers and umbrellas there (free of charge as far as I know). I sat with our bags while my hubby and the kids had a ball jumping waves, great beach for teens, probably a little rough for littlies.
    View All 767 Palma de Mallorca Cruise Port Reviews
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