Never again: MSC Sinfonia Cruise Review by Charlie Mitchell
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Middle East
In the MSC brochure it states that for cruises in the Caribbean, North America and South Africa the currency onboard is the US dollar. We were being charged in Euros. One passenger checked his onboard account via a ships computer and found his bill was in dollars. Following his complaint to the head of accounts, these computers were unavailable for some 5 days through "technical problems". When they were activated it was not possible to use them to check accounts. Some 200 passengers were so angry about this that a petition was signed and 2 South Africans represented the group at meetings with the ships management. MSC argued that the cruise was originally due to sail along the East coast to South Africa, where the currency would have been dollars, but because of the possible dangers from Somali pirates it was re-routed along the West coast, where all prices were Euros. As a gesture of good will they promised a 5% discount off our bills, later amended to our bar bills, later amended not to include the very, very rare 2 for one drinks. This offer was derisory. Who said pirates were only in Somalia !
Entertainment in the theatre was good, but elsewhere it was spoilt by the childish loud antics of the ships animation team, who should all have walked the plank and given us all some peace. These people would be better suited to children's parties than their pathetic attempts of trying to entertain adults. Another rip off was the shuttle bus from the dock into Cape Town at 8 Euros each. We were advised to take this as it was "quite a distance" before you got out of the dock to any local transport, so 4 of us paid the 32 euros. The bus was full and we were told the next one was a 45 minute wait. A local dock worker said we could walk it in 10 minutes, which we did. Not having used our tickets we asked for a refund when we returned. The unhelpful and aggressive accounts office onboard refused and said we would have to write to head office in Naples. We later found out that a taxi for 4 would have cost £5. All in all a very disappointing and expensive time. The initials MSC would be better read as Money Syphoning Company. Would I travel with them again? About as much chance of me being elected the next Pope. Less