We like MSC because of the wide range of people from different countries. On our trip to the UAE this December, we would say that this has been one of our best cruises. I had read numerous reviews of MSC Lirica and had low expectations.
Flying with Emirates was exceptional, the service and attitude of staff was excellent.
Arrival into Dubai International airport was quick and efficient , no issues with immigration .
Transport to port no issues.
Embarkation was not as quick as we would have liked, but once onboard had a nice buffet lunch.
Downsize was waiting for our luggage to arrive, thankfully it was an informal night. But it would have been nice to have been able to change out of our travelling clothes.
I had pre booked all our excursions as the info received advised on receiving a 20% discount from onboard pricing. However, all trips were in Euro and seemed cheaper that what I had originally paid and they were offering discounts for booking more than one trip.
However, the excursions out were value for money as we learned about culture and traditions etc.
The ship was the cleanest that we have travelled on. One criticism was the hand cleanliness machines sometimes did not work and no one was really advising customers to use them.
Food and drinks: We had 1st sitting, our table companions were really nice and we all enjoyed each others company. We only ate in the restaurant in the evening. The portions were not oversized and generally of high standard. If we still felt hungry, then we would go to the buffet and / or the pizza on deck 11. And for those still hungry nibbles from midnight to 2 am .
Regarding drinks, I only booked two packages, both per cabin, not per person. Firstly was the coffee package: 15 cups of high quality coffee, and frozen coffee , teas and hot chocolate and secondly the 4 wines and 7 litres of water. I did not realise that we were allocated free water , so that was a bit of a waste. Having the choice again I would not book this package as the wine and choice was limited, the best two wines were an Italian rose and an Italian Merlot )Canti), the French wine was not so good. Other than that there were nightly offers on cocktails which made them good value.
We thought that the entertainment in the Broadway Theatre was to a high standard, each show seemed to get better and better. If one wished to go to other decks to listen to other types of music one had plenty of choices. We did not participate in on the onboard activities as we were out on excursions and chose to relax once back on board.
The waiters and domestic staff were mainly from Indonesia, and India. Their service was exceptional. Nothing to complain about at all.
Our cabin steward was Rias from Indonesia, she was excellent, we had clean towels twice per day. The cabin was bigger than our bedroom at home so for us it was a pleasant luxury.
Ports and Excursions.
This was a first time visit to the Emirates, most of the ports provided a free shuttle bus out of the port as pedestrians were not allowed to walk through.
The alternative was to go on a MSC shuttle for a fee, which took you into the centre of the city. AS previously mention we found the excursion good value. If travelling in a group of 3 or 4 then one could negotiate good deals with the taxi drivers.
Our favorite port of call was Doha in Qatar and would be the one place we would return to. The city is spotless.
There were a few disabled people travelling and their needs were well catered for.
It is noted that people become tired of hearing the seven languages when announcements are being made. However with such a diverse range of people travelling I think MSC should be applauded for this. As they cater for all languages.
Always spotless, our cabin steward Rias was excellen6t. We were on deck seven, which was very quiet. we were above the Broadway Theatre, near the lifts. We had alarge ocean view window with no obstructions at the front of the ship
Good value, but be aware onboard prices seem cheaper than supposedly 20% discount for pre bookingView All 43 City Tour Reviews
Long day, excursion timed at 6.5 hours. Took 10 hours and beware of guide saying not on the agenda but take the golf cart through the oasis gardens. It is a waste of money to see only Palm treesView All 3 Al Ain Reviews
A very pleasant trip, took a mini tour which evolved into a safari trip, as the coach got struck and we had to help to push it to get out of the sand trap
We enjoyed Khasab, but be aware any coach trip involves narrow twisty roads, which if it rains become very slippy