1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. MSC Orchestra
Initially we chose this cruise to fit in with holiday availability of family members - and certainly had some trepidation given some of the reviews. We need not have worried. Simply put this was a great cruise - if you are looking for a Mediterranean style cruise in the Med. If you are looking for a British cruise experience in the Med, then you will no doubt be critical, but this is not P&O nor Cunard....it is MSC, and it suited us perfectly. We wanted Mediterranean food on board - and that is what we got - pasta, risotto, pizza and plenty of other choice. We had a Suite Cabin, on Deck 15, top accommodation level, with Aurea experience, providing reserved sun deck area over two decks outside and above the cabin. The Aurea experience meant we ate in the Ibiscus restaurant on anytime dining, where the staff were excellent - Maria and Pante ensuring we were warmly welcomed and looked after. The evening meals might appear to some as being somewhat small in quantity, but it was good and tasty, though not always as hot as we might normally expect (but I always reflect that in Masterchef the food is always served and tasted cold:)) Breakfast was fun.... a bit of a bun fight in terms of finding somewhere to sit in the buffet, but the food was good, varied plentiful. The main sundeck was a family oriented affair, with plenty of loungers, small pools, and Jacuzzis, with entertainment almost non-stop - with music always on... very Mediterranean, it was bustling and noisy - may not be to everyone's taste - but we had the refuge of the Aurea reserved areas so did not avail ourselves of this, seemingly madhouse. Service was always attentive, and polite, more so than I perhaps expected. Good drinks, with our package giving us free non-premium drinks, which were quite plentiful, and varied. Prices for premium was ok. If you are expecting P&O style entertainment then you will be disappointed - but what we say was good - an abridged song & dance version based on Grease. Good fun. All announcements are made in a multitude of languages - and the obligatory safety drill was well done, as was the disembarkation briefing. There were no Captain's updates that we heard, but there were almost daily crew exercises that could be quite noisy in terms of tannoy volume. TV - didn't use it other than checking the bill - but understand it has limited choice if you are expecting British entertainment - but hey we were on holiday and not wanting to watch TV. Food was available in the buffet 20 hours a day - and good it was too - particularly a late night Pizza slice... great pizza with good choice. Evening meals don't start until 7pm in the formal restaurants - reflecting the Mediterranean style of not eating until later than we are used to in the UK. For cabin review see below. Itinerary was great - we board at Rome, and enjoyed all our ports of call - where we had plenty of time. Tender was done well at Cannes. We enjoyed a complimentary Balinese massage as part of the Aurea experience, which was fine, and we also enjoyed the Sauna/Steam Rooms - though the inside Jacuzzi was a bit cool for indoors.... 37C. Note that smoking is permitted in more places than you might normally expect on P&O cruise - part of the Casino, a Cigar Room, and also part of the sun deck - one half of one side. There were plenty of bars, some quite gaudy, which we enjoyed rather than dull greys. If anything I would say that the restaurant choice was somewhat limited compared to other cruise experiences, particularly given the number of passengers - there was one speciality Asian restaurant - which we did not try. Other than that you are in your main restaurant, and the buffet. Formal nights - there were two - were remarkably informal - I think I saw one dinner suit. Certainly most people dressed smarter, but not DJs and tuxes... that suited us.. (excuse the pun...) There was very little hard selling - sure they took your photo, but no hassle. Overall the ship was a very happy ship - with a much broader mix of people - plenty of childen, younger couples, and actually fewer older people than say compared to a P&O cruise. In summary - we would definitely cruise with MSC again - we saw their new ship Megaviglia moored next to us at Genoa - wow it looked fantastic. A happy cruise line, unpretentious, and easy to like, particularly if you are want to relax and not worry about formality. We would look to the Aurea experience as a minimum, just so we could have some quiet/privacy outside of the cabin on the sun decks. We were a family of four - including our two adult children who had an identical cabin three doors away.

A Med style cruise in the Med!

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by Smaragd Flyer

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2017
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Suite – Aurea
Initially we chose this cruise to fit in with holiday availability of family members - and certainly had some trepidation given some of the reviews. We need not have worried.

Simply put this was a great cruise - if you are looking for a Mediterranean style cruise in the Med. If you are looking for a British cruise experience in the Med, then you will no doubt be critical, but this is not P&O nor Cunard....it is MSC, and it suited us perfectly.

We wanted Mediterranean food on board - and that is what we got - pasta, risotto, pizza and plenty of other choice.

We had a Suite Cabin, on Deck 15, top accommodation level, with Aurea experience, providing reserved sun deck area over two decks outside and above the cabin.

The Aurea experience meant we ate in the Ibiscus restaurant on anytime dining, where the staff were excellent - Maria and Pante ensuring we were warmly welcomed and looked after. The evening meals might appear to some as being somewhat small in quantity, but it was good and tasty, though not always as hot as we might normally expect (but I always reflect that in Masterchef the food is always served and tasted cold:))

Breakfast was fun.... a bit of a bun fight in terms of finding somewhere to sit in the buffet, but the food was good, varied plentiful.

The main sundeck was a family oriented affair, with plenty of loungers, small pools, and Jacuzzis, with entertainment almost non-stop - with music always on... very Mediterranean, it was bustling and noisy - may not be to everyone's taste - but we had the refuge of the Aurea reserved areas so did not avail ourselves of this, seemingly madhouse.

Service was always attentive, and polite, more so than I perhaps expected. Good drinks, with our package giving us free non-premium drinks, which were quite plentiful, and varied. Prices for premium was ok.

If you are expecting P&O style entertainment then you will be disappointed - but what we say was good - an abridged song & dance version based on Grease. Good fun.

All announcements are made in a multitude of languages - and the obligatory safety drill was well done, as was the disembarkation briefing.

There were no Captain's updates that we heard, but there were almost daily crew exercises that could be quite noisy in terms of tannoy volume.

TV - didn't use it other than checking the bill - but understand it has limited choice if you are expecting British entertainment - but hey we were on holiday and not wanting to watch TV.

Food was available in the buffet 20 hours a day - and good it was too - particularly a late night Pizza slice... great pizza with good choice.

Evening meals don't start until 7pm in the formal restaurants - reflecting the Mediterranean style of not eating until later than we are used to in the UK.

For cabin review see below.

Itinerary was great - we board at Rome, and enjoyed all our ports of call - where we had plenty of time. Tender was done well at Cannes.

We enjoyed a complimentary Balinese massage as part of the Aurea experience, which was fine, and we also enjoyed the Sauna/Steam Rooms - though the inside Jacuzzi was a bit cool for indoors.... 37C.

Note that smoking is permitted in more places than you might normally expect on P&O cruise - part of the Casino, a Cigar Room, and also part of the sun deck - one half of one side.

There were plenty of bars, some quite gaudy, which we enjoyed rather than dull greys.

If anything I would say that the restaurant choice was somewhat limited compared to other cruise experiences, particularly given the number of passengers - there was one speciality Asian restaurant - which we did not try. Other than that you are in your main restaurant, and the buffet.

Formal nights - there were two - were remarkably informal - I think I saw one dinner suit. Certainly most people dressed smarter, but not DJs and tuxes... that suited us.. (excuse the pun...)

There was very little hard selling - sure they took your photo, but no hassle.

Overall the ship was a very happy ship - with a much broader mix of people - plenty of childen, younger couples, and actually fewer older people than say compared to a P&O cruise.

In summary - we would definitely cruise with MSC again - we saw their new ship Megaviglia moored next to us at Genoa - wow it looked fantastic. A happy cruise line, unpretentious, and easy to like, particularly if you are want to relax and not worry about formality. We would look to the Aurea experience as a minimum, just so we could have some quiet/privacy outside of the cabin on the sun decks.

We were a family of four - including our two adult children who had an identical cabin three doors away.
Smaragd Flyer’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get MSC Orchestra price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Suite – Aurea
Cabin S3 15011
A very quiet location on deck 15, at the front, port side. Large, with a large balcony (easily able to have 4 people sit on it, though only two rather low backed chairs provided).
Shower was over the bath - with shower curtain - and worked well.
Plenty of storage space, and comfortable bed.
Sofa was rather inadequate - it was a sofabed - and the bottom cushions keep slipping out making it rather ridiculous.
No tea making facilities.
Have to pay for water - unless on a drinks package which we were.
Xilofono Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews