This was our second MSC cruise having been on the MSC Opera in 2015.
The transfer from Abu Dhabi airport to the port was extremely disorganised. We couldn't believe how many people were crowding together outside the airport after landing at 6.00am. Nobody seemed to know what was happening. However we did make it to the ship and by 9.00 am were eating breakfast in Zanzibar. No problem in validating our cruise cards after eating but not allowed into the cabin until 12.30.
Once on board we were told of the itinerary changes. Would have been nice to have been advised of this earlier - disappointing when plans had been made.
We had a large cabin with a balcony and it was cleaned very well.
We had requested a late dinner on a table for two. On the first night we were shown to a table of 6 that was staged around a large post. We complained that we were not happy with this table as it must have been one of the worst placed tables in the Red Velvet restaurant. We asked to sit elsewhere on a table for two and was given a table for five. We stayed here but no-one joined us ( it was noticed that the original table never had any diners on it for the whole weeks cruise). We were told that all would be sorted by the next night. In fact a note was delivered to our cabin giving us a new table number but it was for four. On arriving at this table it was for six and there was one other couple there. The four of us stayed on this table for the rest of the cruise and they were extremely good company.
The food was ok but not worth any photos as on other cruises. However we were never without an empty wine glass at dinner, great service!
We didn't really like the way a buffet was being introduced in Red Velvet at breakfast and lunch times. Some waiters tended to push you to that option as if they couldn't be bothered to take your order.
The photographers became a bit of a nuisance. Especially when trying to eat at dinner time.
We would have eaten upstairs in the buffet if we had felt the need but it looked like hell!! People not sanitising their hands but still attacking the food with their hands. We only ate once in the Africana buffet and had an excellent curry.
Another concern was the lack of use of hand sanitizers. As on other cruise lines we have been on there was no encouragement to use them. Moreover, pretty frequently the dispensers were empty. Quite a concern on a ship with well over 4000 passengers onboard, not counting the crew. Especially when you saw how many passengers insisted on pawing and returning things at the buffet.
The ship didn't visit Sir Banis Yas Island. We were disappointed but not surprised as it seems a common occurrence. We wondered why it was even on the itinerary. Instead of staying anchored just off the island to look at the views we soon moved on - at about 10 knots an hour!!
We booked two excursions with MSC. The bus tour in Bahrain was spoilt by not sitting anywhere near to my partner. We expected to be seated next to each other when booked together. The trip in Dubai to the Burj Al Khalifa was excellent.
Our flight boarding cards were left on the bed the evening before our departure - a welcome touch.
However at 11.00pm on the eve of our departure we were advised that due to "high winds" the ship was not going to Abu Dhabi. Instead we were coached to Abu Dhabi airport at 4.30am. Although very inconvenient it was very well organised, especially on arriving at the airport. All stops were pulled out to check us through without any delays. This must have involved about 2,000 passengers.
Overall an enjoyable cruise. We have previously cruised with MSC and will most probably do it again.
Very good trip despite extremely wet weather!!View All 22 Burj Khalifa Reviews
Took MSCs trip. Despite booking together we had to sit at opposite ends of the coach. My partner was sat in the middle of the rear seat in between two couples and I was right at the front. I felt that the guide could have sorted this out as there were places here and there. Al-Fateh Mosque was small but interesting. Despite wearing long trousers, a long sleeved blouse and a pashmina completely covering her head my wife still had to wear a gown. This didn't happen in Abu Dhabi when she wore the same clothing.