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MSC Splendida Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
350 Reviews

7 Night Middle East Cruise

MSC Splendida Cruise Review by GeoffWCollins

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2019
  • Destination: the Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom

Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?.

Reasonable food.

Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable!

Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone.

Ship docks at Port Rashid.

Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening.

Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum.

Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24).

At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid.

QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid.

Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online.

Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined.

Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship.

No charge for the beach visit.

Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony.

UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News.

Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner.

Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early.

Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best.

Staff very friendly and helpful.

Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware!

Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists.

In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise.

GeoffWCollins's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B3 10092

Clean, tidy and balcony was in great condition. Aircon worked fine.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Grand Mosque

Grand Mosque is now very commercial with an airport type security check before going in. Once in, the tour is now limited to walkways bordered by ropes.

View All 15 Grand Mosque Reviews

A very impressive building with a clean tidy layout for a museum.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Sir Bani Yas Island

Didn't go on an excursion but took one of the 6 ship's tenders.

Food and drinks available from MSC on the beach. Wooden sunbeds provided.


Visit to another mosque, camel farm & Manama souq. Worth doing, but only average.

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