MSC Orchestra Review

4.0 / 5.0
396 reviews

Probably the worst cruise that I've been on!

Review for the Western Mediterranean Cruise on MSC Orchestra
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6-10 Cruises • Age 70s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Jun 2023
Cabin: Premium Balcony

The ship is in need of an update. The cabins were OK but the balconies were uncared for and quite grubby. The glass around our balcony was so dirty that I tried to clean it with some hand soap from the bathroom and the toilet brush but couldn't clean the exterior very far down on the outside this way. The so-called "balcony cleaning" consisted of someone removing the plastic grating along the balcony floor and placing it on top of the chairs and then throwing some water over everything and then replacing the plastic grating incorrectly, making access to the balcony from the cabin, possibly dangerous because the grating was laid out without connecting the pieces together again. During this “cleaning” we were told to keep the black-out curtains of the cabin closed and put the lights on and this could be for a couple of hours as the cleaner walked along from one cabin balcony to the next and the next etc.! Why do the cabins not have net curtains for privacy?? The general lack of signage was bad, especially by the lifts, where only information regarding that floor was shown. The lifts would stick on certain floors and not come when called and then would stop on every floor even when there was nobody there wanting to get in. Once out of the lifts, you never knew if you were going towards the front or the back of the ship. The worst thing though, was the constant interruptions over the tannoy system to the cabins. If the safety demonstrations are obligatory on the day of embarkation, why was this not enforced? Why were really loud announcements sent through to the cabins of the entire ship several times during the day after embarkation, to tell the people who embarked the previous day and hadn't bothered attending the demonstration at the appropriate time that there was going to be another demonstration? This was repeated at least twice in 30 minutes both in the middle of the afternoon as well as really early in the morning of a sea-day, when people might want to have a lay-in in the privacy of their own cabin. Surely the ship has technology modern enough to be able to program the announcements to be sent to the cabins of the people to whom these messages were intended and not to every cabin on the ship? Then we had a staff training exercise that was also announced loudly through the tannoy system INSIDE THE GUEST cabins, which went on for an extended period of time and had nothing to do with the guests at all! Within the space of 7 days, we had 2 other staff training exercises that involved the entire staff being removed from their work stations and which resulted in all the bars and restaurants being closed down and which also blocked all the lifts, so people coming back from excursions had to walk up the stairs to get to their cabins and were unable to get any food or drink until the exercise was over and the next meal service was available. When I questioned this with a senior member of staff, I was told that every time more than 1,000 passengers embarked on the ship, the staff had to repeat this exercise, even though they had just done exactly the same thing three days previously! Surely it's the new passengers that need to know what to do - not the staff members who have recently completed the same exercise? The food was basic, unimaginative, and often inedible and the buffet area on deck 13 was always overcrowded and lacking sufficient staff to clear away the dirty tables. The information claimed that there was a buffet called La Piazzetta, a Pizzeria, a Grill and somewhere called the Four Seasons but the pizzeria and the so-called grill, were just sections of the La Pizzetta buffet and we never found anywhere that was called the Four Seasons. There was no food available around the pool area and it was necessary to come into the buffet and get food from there to go out and eat it at the tables around the pool. The organisation in the buffet seemed non-existent and while there were a lot of men in uniforms wandering around trying to look important, none of the waiting staff seemed to have any direction given to them. The hot dishes served in the dining room at dinner time were rarely hot enough and we often had to send them back to have them replaced with hot food. The staff seemed to be more concerned with running around the restaurant with the "Baked Alaska Show" than they were in bringing out the hot main courses that still hadn't been served. I don't think that we'll be cruising with MSC again!

Cabin Review

Premium Balcony

The cabin was probably the best part of the cruise as it was quite quiet and looked out onto the sea when we were sailing. The beds were narrow but relatively comfortable and it was nice to have a duvet instead of the usual blankets. Even the bed pillows were OK! There was plenty of storage in the several drawer units around the cabin but the wardrobe was quite narrow and the wardrobe doors were separated in the middle by a large pillar that complicated the access to the interior. We had to ask for another 6 hangers and even then, had to hang quite a few items on top of other clothes. The hangers were very wide and took up so much space that everything seemed crammed into the small area. Thinner hangers and better access to the wardrobe would make life a lot easier as the passageway there is extremely narrow.

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