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MSC Sinfonia Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
705 Reviews

Disappointing first cruise experience

MSC Sinfonia Cruise Review by alpaine

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2018
  • Destination: the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

This was our family's first ever cruise. We choose this particular one because of affordability and itinerary, I particularly wanted to visit Venice, Santorini and Mykonos. We were two parents and two teenage boys. First the pros: all the ship personnel was very friendly, nice and helpful. Embarkation in Venice was very smooth. Our luggage arrived later, but in time to change for dinner. We had Fantastica Inside Stateroom package. The cabin was clean, comfortable with enough cabinets, except for the shower in the bathroom, which was awfully small. The dinners at the Il Galeone restaurant were all good, we liked the food and our two servers. We choose second seating, which was fairly late at 21:30 and we had the 8 person table all to ourselves. Disembarkation was also smooth, we were short on time to get to the airport and purchased transfer from the ship, and it went very fast, we got to the airport right on time. The Venice airport is terrible but this is another story. We did not participate in many activities on ship, never went to the shows but watched couple of entertaining mini shows at the Manhattan bar at night and liked them. I purchased a Thermal suite access to the spa package and I went there every day. The thermal area was nice and clean, very few people there and I used a shower there rather than in my stateroom, because it was more spacious. I had two massage sessions at the spa and both were very good.My teenage kids never used teenage club r participated in any kids activities except playing basketball and mini golf.

The negatives are pretty much same as everyone else says: ship facilities are not big enough to accomodate all passengers. It's impossible to find a table at the buffet, and all tables are quite dirty despite waiters efforts and sticky. There are no paper napkins to wipe the table! I expected to have a soda machine in the buffet but no, the only drinks available were terrible coffee, such bad coffee you don't find anywhere in Italy btw, and water. The buffet closes practically half hour before closing time and you can’t get anything if you want to wait out the stampede. Pizza was very good at snack bars but it was awfully hot too sit there and not many tables either. The pools on the ship are too small and were always overcrowded. My kids used the pool once, I have not used it at all. There was shortage of launchers as well.

The port times are very short and crammed. We did not buy any excursions because we wanted to explore on our own. Santorini visit was awfully short. Ship came in at 7 am but we only got out at quarter past 9. The last tender back was at 2. We barely had time to get cable car up, to find and get on bus to Oia village, spent there maybe 30 minutes and had to rush back. By the time we got to cable car the line to go down was huge, and people from our ship were walking down the donkey path. We did walk too and it was not pleasant. It took 30 minutes to get down in extreme heat, the donkeys were running up and down, and you have to jump of the way. The last tender left at 2:30 instead of 2 fortunately, and we were last people to get on it, so we barely made it. I could not walk for 2 days after this since my leg muscles were aching terribly after the 650 something stairs down. But the worst was that Mykonos port was on the same day! We left Santorini at 3 and we arrived to Mykonos at 8 pm. It got dark and we could not see anything except the shops and restaurants. I was hoping to see windmills and take a ride to Delos but of course could not do it in the dark. So these were two big disappointments. Next time we will look at itinerary closely and make sure we have more time at ports, but it was not possible with MSC. Dubrovnik was interesting city. We did not take ship shuttle because you could take a taxi and pay same e13 for 4 people as for each person on a shuttle. We asked taxi driver to take us around and we had a nice excursion for 4 for e50 instead of paying ship excursion fees. I believe the itinerary was crammed on purpose to make people buy the ship excursions. However I spoke with some passengers who did excursions in Santorini and they complained that they did not have enough time to see anything and take pictures either.

Ports of Split and Ancona were nothing special and quite boring. So all in all I gave this cruise 1 star because it was very disappointing and misleading in terms of ports. Next cruise will be with different company for sure.

alpaine's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin I2 9091

Small but well organized cabin except for shower - way too small for large and tall people like me and husband.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Took Hop On, hop off bus right outside of port terminal. Was much cheaper and included a guided walk through Diocletian palace. City is very average, nothing special.


Not enough time to do anything!!! Very stressful and disappointing. Read full review for more details.


Came on the same day as Santorini after dark. We were exhausted and could not see anything in the dark except for shops. This stop is for people who loves shopping and dining not for those who wants to see the island and learn anything interesting.


Recommend to take taxi on terminal, they do excursion for e50 for your whole party. Taken us around the city, on top of the hill, explained a bit about history, war, local legends. Dropped us in old town so we could walk but it was overrun with tourist and extremely hot. Hence average rating.


There is practically nothing to see there. Old part of town is small and boring because it was empty of people. Not many cafes or shops or anything. All churches were closed too.

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