My husband and I were on the MSC Sinfonia in October 2013 from Genoa to Cape Town (West Coast of Africa) and decided it would be fun to go from Venice to Durban through the Suez Canal (East Coast of Africa) in October 2017. We booked through the Johannesburg MSC office in July 2016 for October 2017 and got an excellent price. We loved our previous cruise. We have only ever cruised with MSC and being South African with our weaker currency, we don't have the luxury of doing regular cruises through the Mediterranean or Caribbean. As a result we can't compare ships. Our only comparison would be between the Sinfonia Oct 2013 and this one. Due to some of the less favourable reviews, we went arrived in Venice with low expectations.
Boarding was a bit of a fiasco, but not due to the fault of MSC. The Italian port authority's system went down and there was a lengthy delay. That over, we got on board and quickly found our spotless, spacious cabin on 10th deck. We were very happy with it and quickly settled in. Knowing the ship, we were easily able to find all our old favourite haunts.
From then on, our cruise was absolutely stunning. The weather was great. Of the 23 nights, one was rough. The entertainment was much better than 2103. The service at dinner was so much slicker and quicker than 2013. It was pleasure to have Umah and Matthew as our waiters. Our cabin steward Iriki was perfect - unobtrusive, polite and always there. Every single day of our 23 nights on board, Iriki sorted our cabin twice a day. MSC, he's a keeper.
The food was fantastic. Some of the highlights included the Hungarian Goulash which was delicious; the pasta cooked by the Italian chef was really good. The lamb stew, curries, roast pork and beef were all good. The variety of vegetables, vegetarian options, loads of fruit, bread and desserts all added to the 2-3kg weight gain I came home with. One of my absolute favourites were the muffins at breakfast. They tasted exactly as my late Mom-in-law used to make. I had one almost every morning for the entire cruise!
The activities were varied and fun. You could get involved or not - it was your choice. We went to one of the dancing lessons (the jive) and still try and do it from time to time, laughing our heads off as we go! We went to most of the evening performances and some of the day lectures. We went on three excursions which were busy but served their purpose. If you don't like crowds, then it may be better to arrange your own excursion, but we pretty much knew what we were in for, so were ready for the whole experience. The route through the Suez Canal was fascinating. It was such a look into a different world. Coming down through the tropics and over the equator was such a treat.
The days at sea were restful and invigorating. We slept, we read, we just relaxed and because we ate more than usual, we went to the gym for an hour every day. The gym is fantastic. I loved it. After gym we would swim and then shower and relax.
After a hectic year of work, this holiday ensured we were completely rested. Would I do it again? In a heartbeat!
The cabin was spacious with more storage than we needed. The walk in closet was fabulous. We loved the balcony and the lounge area. They were not wasted on us. The bathroom had a shower and water temperature unit, both of which I want in my home. They were fantastic. The bed was soooo comfortable. The cabin creaked when there was a bit of swell, but that's part of the experience.
Fascinating walk back in time.View All 216 Olympia Archeological Tour Reviews