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

Six months is a lifetime

MSC Sinfonia Cruise Review by Dagenhamboy

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

We chose the Sinfonia for our November cruise as we'd had a brilliant experience on the same ship in May. Unfortunately, six months is a lifetime for this ship.

Departing from Venice, the embarkation was chaotic, unlike the earlier easy and almost seamless experience in Genoa. Not enough staff and a shoving of Italians all trying to push past made the experience one to forget.

The lifeboat drill took 45 minutes to complete, with none of us any the wiser as to what we were supposed to do. No instructions, just bored and confused staff walking around scanning people's room cards. Unprofessional and downright dangerous in the event of anything really happening. Didn't instil any of us with confidence of how a real emergency would be handled.

We had two tender ports on this cruise and the embarkation fiasco was repeated all over again, compounded by choppy waters and a complete lack of information from the staff. No explanations for the long delays or even staff to talk to. When the tendering began, the two staff allocated were literally shoved aside by the Italians, leaving one of the female attendants in tears. Again, the lack of thought and staff led to chaos.

The buffet was a joke. Hardly any choice when compared to other lines and chaos trying to find anywhere to sit. It was obvious they prefer people to use the main dining rooms where they can control portion sizes. Waiter service in the bars started off slow but improved by the third day.

On the plus side, the rooms were clean and to a good standard but the shower curtains really should be replaced with screens. Our steward was friendly, as was the majority of staff, apart from the surly security guards checking you in and out. Miserable lot.

Entertainment was OK, if a bit samey. No waiter service in the theatre but that's hardly the end of the world.

Due to the flooding of Venice, we were redirected to Trieste, where coaches were laid on to take us to the airport. Nice touch. However, this was spoiled by the cack-handed way they dealt with people trying to get on them. Instead of allocating dozens of staff to send groups off to the twenty or so coaches waiting, they insisted on filling each coach, one by one. With lots olf slow, older people, this took ages. Luckily, we were at the front of the queue to get a coach but those behind us must have been spitting feathers with worry at missing their flights.

We have another cruise already booked for next April and if this is just as bad, MSC will lose our custom permanently, although I doubt they will care. Shame, as we had such a good time on the same ship earlier in the year.

Dagenhamboy's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom

Clean, enough storage and a comfy bed. One film channel in English and three English language news channels on TV. Shower curtain instead of screen. Well positioned for lift and not noisy. No issues with room or steward. Creaked a bit in the choppy seas but not a problem.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Great place but not when it is piddling down.


Great view from the clifftop but not if you don't like the cable car ride down after an excursion. Not much to do or see in the main town in November.


Nothing special. The rain didn't help matters.


Stunning. One for GoT fans. Beers are a bit pricey but that's the price you pay for a great place. November means its not as crowded. I'd avoid if more than two cruise ships in port!

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