A friend and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary (Eastern Mediterranean) and getting a fairly good deal on a balcony cabin. The Embarkation was very slow as we had to wait in at least 4 lines to get the things done that take only one line on other ships. We were starving after going through this process for almost 4 hours! The ship itself is quite beautiful with a great number of bars and lounges, all with entertainment of various types. The cabin was nicely decorated and served the purpose, although the twin beds were very narrow. There was a nice view off the balcony. The shower facilities could be upgraded with a glass door instead of a plastic curtain. The steward who looked after our cabin was prompt and friendly. We each purchased the Wi-Fi "Social" package to be able to post on Facebook, but it rarely worked in our cabin, and had to return to the service desk on several occasions to get it working. The entertainment was OK, but theatre shows were of a repetitive style with singing, dancing and various acrobatics. We could not understand the entertainment director's English because of his thick Italian accent and his attitude seemed to be that he was "God's gift to women". Yikes! What I did enjoy was the group of Entertainment Animators who motivated us very well to get up and participate. They were very comical and personable. I did not like the fact that the 2 small pools were always very crowded, and getting use of a lounge chair was next to impossible. The rule of not saving chairs with towels was never enforced, as most chairs sat empty of their claimers for LONG periods of time. Drinks were very expensive (about $10 Canadian each) prompting you to purchase a pricey drink package even if you are not a big drinker.
The dining experience was pretty well HORRIBLE as the food was very substandard. For example, I don't believe these Italian chefs ever heard of the term "el dente", as the pasta selections were basically mush. The portions were so tiny, people at our table often ordered 2 entrees. I guess the small portions were a blessing to me, as I did not enjoy much of the food. The titles on the menu sounded elegant, but when the meal was delivered, it was usually a disappointment. The buffet was a disorganized zoo most times, as they kept shutting down parts of the line, and the food was cold and substandard. The service people here did not seem to be enjoying their jobs and often walked in front of me with trays of dishes without so much as an excuse me. Many of the passengers were also rude, barging in front of me on several occasions. Trying to avoid the buffet at breakfast, we often went to the designated restaurant, but the food here was not much better and we felt ignored by many of the service staff just trying to get some coffee! The only thing available for an evening snack was pizza! The rest of the buffet was always shut down and empty. So disappointing. I wasn't even allowed to take a cookie off a tray at 4:50 p.m. because snack time didn't start until 5 p.m.! And this is a vacation?
As for our shore excursions, I very much enjoyed Katakolon, Athens and Dubrovnik. Bari, Italy was nice once we figured out where to go, which was difficult with no city map and no advice offered on board. We took the Olympia and Magna Grecia tour in Katakolon which was a wonderful historical and cultural experience. The Mykonos Excursion was poor as we were brought to the central part of the island and an obscure beach rather than the old part of the city which we could have gone to for free. Chair and umbrella rentals at this beach were expensive, food was very overpriced and washroom facilities were disgusting at the only bar available. On a brighter note, Athens Acropolis and Plaka were not to be missed. Sarande, Albania was pretty but had very little to offer and I felt sorry for the many people begging on the streets. The shuttle to the city of Dubrovnik was a rip off as we could have easily walked to the site instead of paying 13 euros each. The bus took a roundabout 25 min. journey around the city to make it seem like we could not have walked to the walled town. A fortunate thing about this cruise was the luck we had being placed with an awesome group of people for our evening dinners. We often met up with them on excursions and around the ship. This fun group helped us cope with the substandard food offerings! I would not recommend MSC to others unless they have proven to upgrade the food and services offered.
Very informative and interesting.View All 216 Olympia Archeological Tour Reviews
Expensive, out of the way, poor facilitiesView All 28 Kalafatis Beach Reviews
Not to miss.View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
Interesting. Long visit, however, with no lunch information afterwards.View All 65 Archeological Museum Reviews
Wonderful restaurant. Had Greek lunch. Not enough time to walk around afterwards.View All 60 The Plaka Walking Tour Reviews