Six of us travelled to Dubai for a brief stay before boarding MSC Splendida for a seven night cruise. One of the group chose this trip to celebrate a big birthday. We had three nights pre cruise then made our way to the cruise terminal where embarkation was smooth and quick. But not efficient, we had the all inclusive drinks with our cruise(code 431) already and all had paid 130 to upgrade to the premium (code421). So off we set to be greeted by staff selling upgrades, we showed our cruise cards to be told we had the lower package. Not a great start so off to customer services, paper work in hand, they made the changes, but not impressed. We had a boarding time of 18.30 but no probs boarding at midday, rooms ready. Off to lunch in the restaurant, three lads ordered Peroni, sorry we dont have that. Girls ordered Pinot premuim sorry we dont have that. Alarm bells should have rung. After lunch we went to a bar, again the beers we wanted they had one, another bar they had two. More on this later. Our cabin was fine, balcony on deck 12, Italians either side who decided the smoking rules dont apply to them. We had them surrounded and complained, it didnt stop so we reported them. Muster was a joke, 30 mins just to put life jackets on, no announcements, people arriving as we left, shambles.
Off to dinner, second sitting in Villa Verde restaurant, 21.15 but they let us in every night at 21.00. Nice table and Milton a great waiter. Had chosen our wine already but they didnt sell in the restaurant, it was on the list on the table so maitre de requested. After much discussion a red and white were sourced, not what we wanted and not great. Food arrived lukewarm on cold plates, poor quality. Time to speak to someone in authority, they promised to have the wine we wanted every night and food hot and edible and credit to them they kept to their word but why should we have to fight for what we had paid for, we are on holiday.
Butchers cut for the birthday bash, best wines ordered in advance to save hassle, great manager and staff in their and the food was superb. As Black Mambers on the match scheme it was free apart from a couple of extras.