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This is our fifth cruise and our first with MSC. We got an excellent price offering about 10 months ago, so decided to give them a try. We certainly got our money’s worth. The ship was well maintained, tastefully decorated (not garish at all), and the crew were pleasant, professional, and polite. Entertainment was surprisingly good, but did get tired before the end of the 8 days, as they have one group of entertainers who were excellent but story lines were wearing thin by the end of the voyage. The entertainment director had a heavy Italian accent and spoke very little English, but to be fair the English were a small minority on board, and everyone from the cabin steward (who was fantastic), the dining room staff (equally so), and the customer service folks were fully fluent. The sailing was very smooth throughout. My pet beef on all cruise ships is the buffet, a crowded mass of humanity trying to shove as much food down their throats as time and stomach size permit. It was no exception here. But staff did close off venues throughout the day to restock and clean the facilities. I was particularly impressed that no one was permitted to touch the food, but had to use tongs to retrieve their particular delight from the table. As a tea drinker, it was my biggest challenge getting a cup, when the buffet room was closed the hamburger and pizza shops were open and had coffee, in one case tea, but no milk or cream to add to the beverage. My work around was to go to the bar around the corner as they always had milk, but a bit of a pain for something so simple. Also many of the hand sanitation stations spread around the ship were inoperable, so I ended up carrying my own to compensate when the machine did not function. I also like that attendants were at each entrance at the buffet and dining room. They were not at all intrusive but people did use the machines more often than I have seen before. Debarkation could get a little frustrating particularly when using tenders. The ship sub contracts out its tenders. The pilots did not speak English and the information on where the tenders actually were and how often they ran was obscure to say the least, but we managed amid some minor frustrations. I will state that at cruise end, (we departed in Bari) there was little guidance once on the dock as to go to marry up with our luggage as there were two lines one for us and another for the folks just getting off to explore Bari. Lastly our cabin. We were assigned cabin 9004, on the 9th deck and at the very front of the ship. We loved it. Tastefully laid out although smallish, our front view was unobstructed and excellent. There was an access door to the outside right beside our cabin and while the ship was not moving, one could go out and take in some fresh air and perhaps some outdoor photography without window glare. Too bad it got discovered about day 3 as at times we would look from our bed through the window only to see fellow passengers and some crew members enjoying the solitude, problem solved by drawing our curtains. All in all a very respectable ship and voyage, and yes I would certainly sail with MSC again. While not top tier, they are certainly a quality service provider.

A Good Ship and Crew

MSC Lirica Cruise Review by Old Army Guy

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This is our fifth cruise and our first with MSC. We got an excellent price offering about 10 months ago, so decided to give them a try. We certainly got our money’s worth. The ship was well maintained, tastefully decorated (not garish at all), and the crew were pleasant, professional, and polite. Entertainment was surprisingly good, but did get tired before the end of the 8 days, as they have one group of entertainers who were excellent but story lines were wearing thin by the end of the voyage. The entertainment director had a heavy Italian accent and spoke very little English, but to be fair the English were a small minority on board, and everyone from the cabin steward (who was fantastic), the dining room staff (equally so), and the customer service folks were fully fluent. The sailing was very smooth throughout. My pet beef on all cruise ships is the buffet, a crowded mass of humanity trying to shove as much food down their throats as time and stomach size permit. It was no exception here. But staff did close off venues throughout the day to restock and clean the facilities. I was particularly impressed that no one was permitted to touch the food, but had to use tongs to retrieve their particular delight from the table. As a tea drinker, it was my biggest challenge getting a cup, when the buffet room was closed the hamburger and pizza shops were open and had coffee, in one case tea, but no milk or cream to add to the beverage. My work around was to go to the bar around the corner as they always had milk, but a bit of a pain for something so simple. Also many of the hand sanitation stations spread around the ship were inoperable, so I ended up carrying my own to compensate when the machine did not function. I also like that attendants were at each entrance at the buffet and dining room. They were not at all intrusive but people did use the machines more often than I have seen before. Debarkation could get a little frustrating particularly when using tenders. The ship sub contracts out its tenders. The pilots did not speak English and the information on where the tenders actually were and how often they ran was obscure to say the least, but we managed amid some minor frustrations. I will state that at cruise end, (we departed in Bari) there was little guidance once on the dock as to go to marry up with our luggage as there were two lines one for us and another for the folks just getting off to explore Bari.

Lastly our cabin. We were assigned cabin 9004, on the 9th deck and at the very front of the ship. We loved it. Tastefully laid out although smallish, our front view was unobstructed and excellent. There was an access door to the outside right beside our cabin and while the ship was not moving, one could go out and take in some fresh air and perhaps some outdoor photography without window glare. Too bad it got discovered about day 3 as at times we would look from our bed through the window only to see fellow passengers and some crew members enjoying the solitude, problem solved by drawing our curtains. All in all a very respectable ship and voyage, and yes I would certainly sail with MSC again. While not top tier, they are certainly a quality service provider.
Old Army Guy’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Oceanview Stateroom
Cabin O2 9004
We were assigned cabin 9004, on the 9th deck and at the very front of the ship. We loved it. Tastefully laid out although smallish, our front view was unobstructed and excellent. There was an access door to the outside right beside our cabin and while the ship was not moving, one could go out and take in some fresh air and perhaps some outdoor photography without window glare. Too bad it got discovered about day 3 as at times we would look from our bed through the window only to see fellow passengers and some crew members enjoying the solitude, problem solved by drawing our curtains
Bellini Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins