• Help Ukrainian Families in Need: World Central Kitchen Donation Match
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

MSC Virtuosa Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
84 reviews
1 Award

5 star ship 2 star service

Review for MSC Virtuosa to the Baltic Sea
User Avatar
2-5 Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Aug 2021

We chose to do a last minute U.K. cruise this summer rather than risk travelling abroad during covid. And MSc were offering a great deal for nhs workers. Ship was beautiful and cabins spacious. However major teething problems (I hope they are only teething problems and will be rectified, and hard to know how much is due to covid and how much is typically MSC).

We are a family of 5 (2 adults 3 kids) and booked 2 cabins linked on a single booking yet we were given cabins on different decks and different ends Of the ship and this couldn’t be changed. There were queues for everything which were badly organised - eg for the water slides it was a single queue No matter whether you were lining up to complete the waiver form, trying to book a time slot to slide (you have to book a half hour slot to use the slide and the slots are issued at 10am for that day) or queue to actually enter your allotted time slot. The same for the amusement arcade - single queue to book bowling, check the balance of your kids fun passes, get on the F1 simulator or the cinema etc etc. Never known such organised chaos. We have done 2 previous royal Caribbean cruises and they have it working like clockwork. MSc need to take a lesson and have a separate waiver signing desk - that would be the one obvious quick easy fix. The amusement fun passes cost £75 and give £120 credit but are difficult to spend due to the queuing. Your kids have no way of knowing what they’ve spent as there are no machines they can put their card into which would tell them a running balance - the only way is to keep going to guest services to ask for a print out or queue at the amusement park desk in the single long queue which has multiple purposes! The arcade games are £2 a go and the kids accumulate tickets which they can then exchange for small gifts like key rings (from a vending machine). My daughter spent all week collecting her tickets only to find on the last day the vending machine was empty. So we had lots of tears. Luckily the machine was filled half hour before we had to disembark so that problem was eventually rectified. Food and entertainment not a patch on RC cruise line. Considering it was a cruise around U.K. and everyone knows you can’t rely on the weather they could have put on more activities and entertainment during the day. There was supposed to be a half hour rule about towels on sun beds but people didn’t pay any attention and the cruise staff didn’t enforce. Drinks menu limited compared to RC. Cabins were only visited once in the morning not in the evening - that’s a minor issue, and didn’t personally bother me too much - it’s the kids that actually noticed that the cabin steward hadn’t made them a towel animal in the evening (small things that amused them on previous cruises) but just highlights the standard compared to RC.

The main issue for me was the temperature on the ship in the first few days was so cold. I was wearing several layers including jumper and jacket and the staff didn’t seem to acknowledge the problem when I raised the fact it was cold. The guests on the dining table next to us also complained tk the waiter about the temperature of the air conditioning. The only place to get warm in the first half of the cruise was inside the cabin as you can control that temperature yourself! All in all it was nice to get away on holiday finally after over a year of covid, and possibly if we had cruised on MSc Virtuosa around the Mediterranean in nice weather and been able to do excursions or get off the ship ourselves then we would have had an entirely different experience. However the service we experienced was definitely 2-3 star compared to the ship being 5 star is the bottom line. Sadly won’t be doing MSc again

Cabin Review

Lovely balcony cabin. Spacious. Comfortable beds

9 Helpful Votes
previous reviewnext review

Find an MSC Virtuosa Cruise from $209

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.