MSC Splendida ? Not so Splendid: MSC Splendida Cruise Review by slipperworld

MSC Splendida 3

Overall Member Rating

MSC Splendida ? Not so Splendid

Sail Date: June 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Genoa
Having cruised with Princess 6 times, my first time adventure with MSC Cruises was an eye opener to say the least. My friend and I went with an open mind, besides we'd "only" paid £749 for our balcony cabin on a Mediterranean cruise ! Flights were excellent, British Airways (for once) excelled theirselves, quick, efficient service on the 1 hour 20 flight to Genoa, we flew over the ship as we landed and Genoa did appear pleasant in the early June sunshine. What a surprise then when we landed, cleared immigration and customs to be met by a pleasant MSC rep who directed us to our bus, all 28 Brits on board the flight eagerly looking forward to joining this new cruise ship. Genoa was awful, vey industrialised, filthy, thank god we were only passing through, I'd hate to spend any time there. Embarkation was smooth and efficient (a big plus there MSC !) As we tried to make our way onboard we were met by a barrage of "flyers" advertising Spa deals, drinks packages, shore excursions etc. More Shoving these aside (shoving would come into play later in the cruise too !) we made our way to our Cabin on Deck 13. The cabin was beautiful, very clean, spacious and modern, much larger than on Princess. Our steward Juni was friendly, ever helpful and always there to assist us (another big plus MSC). The lifeboat drill was atrocious, god only knows how passengers would cope in an emergency, nobody listened to the announcements and the crew seemed hell bent on making as much money as possible by flogging photos of passengers with their lifebelts on, very bad.

The food ? oh the food...Most days was passable, breakfasts were a mission shall we say, if you're not Italian and not used to being pushed around, this morning event will seriously annoy you. Free tea and coffee, if you want a cup after 11am you pay for it (naughty MSC) Lunch was ok, enough choice, again if you pushed your way to the front (something the Brits and Americans on board, refused to do). Dinner was good, our table in the restaurant consisted of two other British couples and we all got along fine, our waiter Guiseppe was efficient, food was ok. We ate a couple of nights in the O'livio Restaurant and Tex Mex restaurants, again, food ok, service especially in the O'Livio, atrocious to say the least, we weren't even offered a drink, all the waiters (5 of them) fussed around a table of 8 Italians, ignoring us and two other couples.

Entertainment we thought was poor, the shows were amateurish in their design, dancers who couldn't keep together and two girl singers who thought shouting throughout the song would keep them in tune, just awful. A couple of nights they had jugglers, acrobats and magicians, very old hat and a little tired.

Overall, the ship was clean, modern and well run, the crew were a little bored by their jobs we found, apathy reigned a lot of the time, but our biggish gripe were the passengers, this is not a cruise for those who don't enjoy other European passengers, having said that, not all French, German and Spanish are bad, the Italians are though, have never come across such rude, ignorant and damn right arrogant people who thought as this was an Italian cruise line, gave them carte blanche to be top dog all the time.

A relief to get back to Genoa on the Saturday morning, bags offloaded quickly, onto the bus to the airport, long wait for the plane to arrive from Gatwick, when we did take off, again, BA excelled theirselves, fast and efficient service, well done BA.

Don't cruise with MSC if you like lots of kids, pushy parents who ignore the signs that say "Adults Area Only" and Italians. Do cruise with MSC if you like to pay for your tea and coffee, like a scrumdown every morning with your fellow passengers and can put up with bolshy crew. Enough said, take me back to Princess. Less

Published 06/29/10

Cabin review: 0613122

Cabin 13122 onboard MSC Splendida Beautiful cabin, roomy, clean and modern. Bathroom was huge, powerful shower, lots of cupboard space too, not enough hangers though. Balcony was large with two comfortable wicker chairs and a table. Bed's very comfortable.

Port and Shore Excursions

Beautiful city, shore excursion was detailed if a little brief and hurried at times only because the ship had to leave at 2pm. Watch your bags in Las Ramblas, pickpockets heaven.

Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

I only gave this a two because the port is close to the airport, there is nothing to attract visitors here, fly in, fly out as quickly as possible.

Read 291 Genoa Reviews

Beautiful island, beautiful capital city in Valletta. What a stunning vista cruising into Valletta, ancient fortifications, old buildings, intertwined with modern amenities, this island doesn't disappoint. The people are friendly and welcoming, the port area stunning with a choice of shops and delicious restaurants. Get to the ancient capital, Medina, this is simply STUNNING.

Messina - Sicily, beautiful, friendly people, stunning scenery.

Civatavecchia - Rome. Rome's gateway, nothing much to write home about in the port city itself, a couple of nice restaurants, but that's it. Try and make the long journey into Rome, hour and half by coach. Rome was dirty, graffitti everywhere, even on churches, is nothing sacred ? Worth it though to experience that "capital city" feeling.

The Tunisians are doing their best to make La Goulette attractive to tourists, building a brand new port entrance with shops, if you can get past the pushy shop owners determined to drag you into their shops to purchase a tatty straw camel. Tunis was hot, if you can get to the Soukh, go, but don't go alone, always go on a guided tour, you WILL get lost otherwise and there are lots of men who push you about.

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