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I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately out of the 7 days, we could not use the Jacuzzi on 3 days. 1. Cleaning balcony day. You are adviced to close balcony doors and curtains from a day before. They then open all balconies to form one long corridor. Our balcony was accessed but not cleaned at all. 2. for some odd reason we found our jacuzzi empty on the last evening (possibly for cleaning before the next guests). 3, On our second day, without being advised, the upper decks were being power washed resulting in almost 2 hours of constant water raining on our balcony. Also the water got very smelly from day 3. We informed cabin Stewart who came, saw the clean filter warning and just emptied part of it and refilled. Left same filter and we were left with the clean filter warning for the rest of the Cruise (though the smell was much less). We had a 14 year old with us and we only received a teen programme on the last full day of the Cruise (day at sea). We had no idea what was happening as the on-board daily programme only had one daily entry for teens so we thought it was weak like the rest of the daily programme. Probably the daily onboarding/Disembarkation/Security meetings have a toll on the crew who are unable to plan/organise other activities. Yes MSC on-boards and disembarks passengers daily so every day from 16:00 you start hearing very loud constant reminders in 7 languages asking passengers who just embarked to attend the compulsory security info meeting at 16:30. This lasts around 45 minutes. I had a massage booked at 16:30 and the experience was ruined with 30 mins of loud notices and security info with a speaker directly above my head in the small massage room. The masseuse offered me to change the time but the other available slots were non convenient to me. Casino is nice with some very good machines and bar service but I could not stay more than 15 minutes with all the smoking going on everywhere. There were some no smoking signs but no enforcement at all. Unlike NCL (as an example) there are no light snacks here so if you are up to a light night snack check the time as the buffet place closes at 10 and reopens for 2 hours midnight to 2am with some light snacks and pizza. WIFI was weak. None at all from our bedroom. The 'MSC for me' app is great but requires the free ship WIFI connection which only allows you access to the app unless you pay extra for actual internet data. Zoe, the cabin assistant to the likes of Google Home and Alexa is still a waste of desk space. It answers very few questions and mainly asks you to consult your daily programme, TV channels and the MSC for Me app. Plus if you are used to other voice home assistants, please be patient with this one as it is very slow to get back with an answer. However it has great potential and I can see this as a trend setter for other lines and even hotels. For food we mainly used the Market Place Buffet for the reasons below and food was average except for the day at sea were it was evidently better with more choice and the only time that the buffet had decent deserts of a decent size. We only used the Poseidon for breakfast once. Miserable portions and choice and we got 1 of 3 orders wrong. Also asked for fresh orange juice and the reply was "not included" in our "all inclusive" drink package which should include all drinks upto EUR 6. How expensive could a fresh orange juice be? We used our assigned Dinner restaurant twice (Light House). Again miserable portions. They got the food we ordered but managed to deliver all to the wrong person (just 3 of us). Mistakes were a constant. At least it was funny and we were betting on the next mistake :). Also too many waiters with different responsibilities. One for bread, one for water, one for wine, another for other drinks and one for food. So you ask the water waiter for a soft drink and says "my colleague" will be with you shortly but never comes :). Also Waiters get confused and you get asked your cabin room number over and over. Its a pity as these restaurants are very well staffed (probably too many) whilst the buffet (which gets overcrowded as many prefer it to the restaurants) is very much understaffed and to get a drink you have to wait too long. I usually preferred to go myself to the bar, but just 2 barman (at times 1) dealing with all the clients and the drinks waiters is too much to handle. Under staffing in bars is also very evident and at times it feels like this is on purpose to minimise consumption as many a times one gives up waiting. We loved the evening shows. Great life music, amazing dancers and singers. Great detail to costumes and scenography. There was a shadows performer on one night who is pretty good but so much full of himself :). His show starts with a 2 minute video of his performances around the world to show us long standing ovations, like trying to convince you before the show that he is good :). The Cirque du Soleil shows are good but too short and nothing amazing when compared to other Cirque du Soleil shows I've attended elsewhere. I was also very annoyed about the 'Free 24 hour Room Service' which we should have had with the Aurea experience. We soon discovered that the choice is a shame (One menu page of light snacks and another page for pizza) and to add insult to injury the only free aspect is the delivery but food must be paid for. Can someone explain what this means? So food is free at the restaurants and the only service which I would somehow accept to pay for is the delivery which is free for Aurea. Makes no sense. Clearly a sales gimmick in the wording used. So assume the only way to get it free would be to go to the buffet, fill your plates from the free food then ask a waiter to deliver to your room. Would that be free? ridiculous. Also reception people have no clue. The 'MSC for Me' is advertised to offer family members with a position tracking on the ship and a chat facility between people you share your ID with. The reception said that we need a special arm bend which needs to be purchased for the tracking and chat. We asked 3 people and they all had no clue. However we managed to make the chat work throughout the cruise with some trial and error. I told the reception about this at a next visit and they were surprised. Also I went to the reception 3 times to ask if we could have a late (12:00) disembarkation as we had a late flight. Why 3 times? Because it was evident that they were making up their own rules. We had an Aurea Suite so I was given the impression we had some choice in this. I got 3 Different answers from 3 different reception staff: 1. Sorry latest you can stay in room is 8am and latest on ship is 10am. Not any longer 2. You must vacate room at 8am but I will make a note to give you black tags on last day so you can disembark 11:30 (On the last night we got blue tags with disembarkation at 8:30am) 3. Do not take out your luggage on the last night so you bring them down to the "hand luggage" desk in the morning, by latest 8am. Then you can stay on the ship till latest 12:00 but we cannot help you with the luggage and you cannot reenter the room after 8am. We decided to follow the instruction of number 3 as it was the closest to our wishes. The only thing is that help with the luggage would have been appreciated but I guess its fine.

Could have been better with a little attention to detail

MSC Bellissima Cruise Review by Rcmg_Malta

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2019
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Aurea Suite
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once.

We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately out of the 7 days, we could not use the Jacuzzi on 3 days. 1. Cleaning balcony day. You are adviced to close balcony doors and curtains from a day before. They then open all balconies to form one long corridor. Our balcony was accessed but not cleaned at all. 2. for some odd reason we found our jacuzzi empty on the last evening (possibly for cleaning before the next guests). 3, On our second day, without being advised, the upper decks were being power washed resulting in almost 2 hours of constant water raining on our balcony. Also the water got very smelly from day 3. We informed cabin Stewart who came, saw the clean filter warning and just emptied part of it and refilled. Left same filter and we were left with the clean filter warning for the rest of the Cruise (though the smell was much less).

We had a 14 year old with us and we only received a teen programme on the last full day of the Cruise (day at sea). We had no idea what was happening as the on-board daily programme only had one daily entry for teens so we thought it was weak like the rest of the daily programme. Probably the daily onboarding/Disembarkation/Security meetings have a toll on the crew who are unable to plan/organise other activities.

Yes MSC on-boards and disembarks passengers daily so every day from 16:00 you start hearing very loud constant reminders in 7 languages asking passengers who just embarked to attend the compulsory security info meeting at 16:30. This lasts around 45 minutes. I had a massage booked at 16:30 and the experience was ruined with 30 mins of loud notices and security info with a speaker directly above my head in the small massage room. The masseuse offered me to change the time but the other available slots were non convenient to me.

Casino is nice with some very good machines and bar service but I could not stay more than 15 minutes with all the smoking going on everywhere. There were some no smoking signs but no enforcement at all. Unlike NCL (as an example) there are no light snacks here so if you are up to a light night snack check the time as the buffet place closes at 10 and reopens for 2 hours midnight to 2am with some light snacks and pizza.

WIFI was weak. None at all from our bedroom. The 'MSC for me' app is great but requires the free ship WIFI connection which only allows you access to the app unless you pay extra for actual internet data. Zoe, the cabin assistant to the likes of Google Home and Alexa is still a waste of desk space. It answers very few questions and mainly asks you to consult your daily programme, TV channels and the MSC for Me app. Plus if you are used to other voice home assistants, please be patient with this one as it is very slow to get back with an answer. However it has great potential and I can see this as a trend setter for other lines and even hotels.

For food we mainly used the Market Place Buffet for the reasons below and food was average except for the day at sea were it was evidently better with more choice and the only time that the buffet had decent deserts of a decent size.

We only used the Poseidon for breakfast once. Miserable portions and choice and we got 1 of 3 orders wrong. Also asked for fresh orange juice and the reply was "not included" in our "all inclusive" drink package which should include all drinks upto EUR 6. How expensive could a fresh orange juice be?

We used our assigned Dinner restaurant twice (Light House). Again miserable portions. They got the food we ordered but managed to deliver all to the wrong person (just 3 of us). Mistakes were a constant. At least it was funny and we were betting on the next mistake :). Also too many waiters with different responsibilities. One for bread, one for water, one for wine, another for other drinks and one for food. So you ask the water waiter for a soft drink and says "my colleague" will be with you shortly but never comes :). Also Waiters get confused and you get asked your cabin room number over and over.

Its a pity as these restaurants are very well staffed (probably too many) whilst the buffet (which gets overcrowded as many prefer it to the restaurants) is very much understaffed and to get a drink you have to wait too long. I usually preferred to go myself to the bar, but just 2 barman (at times 1) dealing with all the clients and the drinks waiters is too much to handle.

Under staffing in bars is also very evident and at times it feels like this is on purpose to minimise consumption as many a times one gives up waiting.

We loved the evening shows. Great life music, amazing dancers and singers. Great detail to costumes and scenography. There was a shadows performer on one night who is pretty good but so much full of himself :). His show starts with a 2 minute video of his performances around the world to show us long standing ovations, like trying to convince you before the show that he is good :). The Cirque du Soleil shows are good but too short and nothing amazing when compared to other Cirque du Soleil shows I've attended elsewhere.

I was also very annoyed about the 'Free 24 hour Room Service' which we should have had with the Aurea experience. We soon discovered that the choice is a shame (One menu page of light snacks and another page for pizza) and to add insult to injury the only free aspect is the delivery but food must be paid for. Can someone explain what this means? So food is free at the restaurants and the only service which I would somehow accept to pay for is the delivery which is free for Aurea. Makes no sense. Clearly a sales gimmick in the wording used. So assume the only way to get it free would be to go to the buffet, fill your plates from the free food then ask a waiter to deliver to your room. Would that be free? ridiculous.

Also reception people have no clue. The 'MSC for Me' is advertised to offer family members with a position tracking on the ship and a chat facility between people you share your ID with. The reception said that we need a special arm bend which needs to be purchased for the tracking and chat. We asked 3 people and they all had no clue. However we managed to make the chat work throughout the cruise with some trial and error. I told the reception about this at a next visit and they were surprised.

Also I went to the reception 3 times to ask if we could have a late (12:00) disembarkation as we had a late flight. Why 3 times? Because it was evident that they were making up their own rules. We had an Aurea Suite so I was given the impression we had some choice in this. I got 3 Different answers from 3 different reception staff:

1. Sorry latest you can stay in room is 8am and latest on ship is 10am. Not any longer

2. You must vacate room at 8am but I will make a note to give you black tags on last day so you can disembark 11:30 (On the last night we got blue tags with disembarkation at 8:30am)

3. Do not take out your luggage on the last night so you bring them down to the "hand luggage" desk in the morning, by latest 8am. Then you can stay on the ship till latest 12:00 but we cannot help you with the luggage and you cannot reenter the room after 8am.

We decided to follow the instruction of number 3 as it was the closest to our wishes. The only thing is that help with the luggage would have been appreciated but I guess its fine.
Rcmg_Malta’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
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Dining
Entertainment
Cabin
Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Aurea Suite
Cabin S3 9010
Nice comfy cabin. Pity the jacuzzi was not properly cleaned and the sofa bed is very noisy at the slightest move. Also take care on ship cleaning days as it will start raining without any notice on your balcony as upper decks are being power washed.
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