MSC Splendida Cruise Review by 270748
- Sail Date: March 2018
- Destination: Trans-Ocean
- Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom – Bella
We recently went on the above cruise during the month of April 2018. I would like to make a few comments about what we found good and what we found not so good on the cruise.
As this was our fourth cruise with MSC we are in a position to compare and comment on what we found.
Hopefully my comments will be of some assistance to MSC in organizing future similar cruises.
The food and service in both the buffet and the restaurants was excellent.There was always a good variety of choice to suit all tastes. Wait staff were always very accommodating and pleasant.
Our cabin (balcony) was very comfortable and clean. The cabin attendant was friendly and willing to assist whenever necessary.
Easy to navigate from one venue to another even though the lifts were generally very crowded due to the large number of very old or disabled passengers on board.
EMBARK AND DISEMBARK
Apart from our initial embarking at Dubai (which was efficient and smooth), embarking and disembarking was usually a nightmare. Partly due to the very large number of passengers who wanted to leave or join the ship at any one time, a major problem was the crew who often did not know what to do or what procedure to follow. This led to confusion, long waits and irate passengers making all sorts of threats.
There were some situations where there appeared to be a conflict of protocol in handling passports and immigration between the ship and the immigration offices at two of the ports. Singapore was bad as there were hold ups in processing passengers which led to arguments between passengers and port staff. On couple was particularly obnoxious and after assaulting of of the staff, was refused entry to the ship to continue their cruise. Hong Kong presented another set of problems with passport control and as a result, we and a large number of passengers lost a whole day waiting for immigration officials to check passports which had already been checked the previous day. Obviously these types of problems should not cause passengers to lose part of their holiday through no fault of their own. It is the ship’s responsibility to make these processes as smooth and trouble free as possible.
We were told, on booking, that we needed visas for entry into Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China. We dutifully applied for the visas as requested and paid the appropriate fees ($320 each in our case) only to find that as we were only transit passengers at the time, we did not require visas. Another expense we did not need. This appears to be gross incompetence on the part of MSC in not being aware of the visa requirements for transit passengers.
We only took a few tours as our experiences with tours in the past were not good.Those we took this time were fair but once again the logistics of moving passengers on and off the ship were terrible, resulting in delays which caused two of our excursions to be cut short. Re-boarding the ship in Singapore was terrible and we waited to pass through customs for more than two hours. This led to many outraged passengers who pushed in lines in order to get to the front of the lines despite the port staff and crew members calling for patience.
Our experience in Hong Kong was worse. We went ashore the first day and took a tour to Macau. On re-boarding, we went through customs using our Ship’s card as there were no port officials to check our passports. This angered the port authorities to the extent of their demanding a face-to-face passport check which occurred at 2.30pm on the following day, thus precluding a visit to Hong Kong.
Our tour of Tokyo was cut short due to delays in exiting the ship and our luggage being dumped in the car park instead of on it’s allocated space within the terminal. It took us 45 minutes to find our luggage and this resulted in out tour having to be cut short. The tour guide had a very poor grasp of English and made the tour almost useless as we could not understand what was being said.
We found that the majority of staff at the reception desk had very poor language skills and appeared confused as how to answer our questions; when questions were answered we found that we received conflicting answers from different staff members. There were inconsistencies in their responses to the same question. Reception and excursion staff appeared unhappy and were not always willing to help. Our travelling companion went for 12 days without television in her cabin due to a fault.
Pool attendants were bored and when one passenger had a heart attack and died at the pool’s edge the staff did not appear to have adequate training in resuscitation. There was no defibrillator handy and it was 30 minutes before medical staff arrived on the scene to assist.
Very poor and amateur performances in the theatre.(unlike that which we found on previous MSC cruises). Singers and bands were terrible in the various bars even to the extent of becoming annoying and causing us to look for other venues to find some peace. Poolside activities were boring and very amateur and appeared to cater for members of a nursing home rather than for the general population.
IN CONCLUSION We booked our cruise more than 12 months before sailing and were unable to book the cabins that we wanted as the oceanview bookings were “full”. As a result, we booked a balcony cabin and out friend had to settle for an inside cabin which she found terrible. To add insult to injury there were people aboard who booked only a few months before the cruise and were able to book any cabin they wished. They also had included accommodation and drinks packages in he price of the ticket. We had to pay extra for everything. This appears to discriminate between which country you came from. Overall the cruise was very disappointing and appeared to cater for a particular type of passenger.
All in all. Our experience was not good and despite MSC offering 50% discount on our next cruise in compensation for the problems we experienced, it is cold comfort having spent a significant amount of money on this “once only” cruise and it is extremely unlikely that we will ever travel with MSC again.
I hope that my comments will be noted in the hope that others will not have the same experience as we did.
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