We chose this 20 night cruise from Venice to Dubai because of the itinerary-- we had always wanted to go to Venice, and seeing Petra has long been on our bucket list. We booked two balcony rooms through where we were told that if we saw the cruise at a lower price at any time more than 90 days before our cruise, they would match the price. At approx. 93 days out I found the same cruise at a much lower price but more importantly the suite price was now lower than the balcony price we had paid and included the alcohol package, a spa package and a few other perks. One call and we not only were upgraded to the suite category, we received a substantial refund.
We arrived in Venice Nov. 15 to find that there were very few tourists because of all the news about the flooding. Although there were a few puddles around and there were remains of damage done to hotels right on the canals, we did not encounter any problems due to excess water. Instead, we had a wonderful time exploring this amazing city with fabulous shops and restaurants. We stayed 3 days but could have used more time.
Our embarkation on to the Lirica was smooth and easy and our rooms were ready when we arrived with our cards ready for our use. We are seasoned cruisers having been on more than 10 cruises with Carnival, Norwegian and Celebrity cruise lines. This was our first with MSC and I was a bit nervous having read the reviews. We were pleasantly surprised. I think I would best describe the MSC cruise as a "no frills" cruise where all the basics were there but some of the extras were missing. If you are picky picky picky and have to have the very best of everything then MSC might not be for you. We are pretty easy going and as long as the rooms are clean and comfortable and the food and entertainment is adequate we are happy travelers. There were no fancy towel animals on the beds or chocolates on the pillows at night but the rooms were clean and comfortable. Room service was not free-- there was a minimal charge per item ordered and a small delivery charge so we did not use it. The room was somewhat worn with a few cracks in the sink etc. but every thing was fully functional and did not affect our stay at all. The food was very very good, but where you might have 5 appetizer choices and 10 entrée choices on other ships, on the MSC ship you would have 3 appetizer choices and 5 entrée choices. Having said that there was always something appealing and the food and service was excellent--no complaints from us. The price for this cruise was so reasonable that we did not expect the perfection that might come with a very expensive price tag. Where the ship did excel in our opinion was with the entertainment staff-- they were wonderful. We had 4 days on the ship with no ports and were kept busy the whole time with trivia contests, dance lessons, games etc. The shows were OK, but having a ventriloquist having to translate into 7 languages kind of lost the humor by the end. The dance and singing shows were excellent. The activities crew had so much energy-- they were up dancing with everyone, they were so friendly and they made the trip so much fun. We really enjoyed the band that played in the bar at night-- I believe they were called the Midnight Project They were sensational and had everyone either dancing or clapping to the music. We are not young but we stayed up and closed the bar listening to them several nights. I would buy an album featuring them they were that good. The activities and bars were better than any we have experienced on any other ship. Our only complaint was that all announcements had to be made in 6 different languages-- and there were lots of announcements. The shows were usually quite good-- as good as on any ship-- with a few exceptions. One night featured a ventriloquist which sounded good but when everything had to be translated into 6 different languages the jokes fell somewhat flat. It was different though
Although the interior was a bit worn and could do with an updating ( a few cracks in sink etc) the room was clean and comfortable with lots of storage space. We travelled with another couple and they were able to open the divider between our rooms on the balcony so that we had more room outside. The staff looking after our rooms was great.
We walked off the ship and explored the lovely markets.
Amazing Amazing Amazing-- a must do experience.
We just walked off the ship and spent time in the markets.