MSC Sinfonia Review

4.0 / 5.0
707 reviews

I am no container and don’t want to be treated like one.

Review for Trans-Ocean Cruise on MSC Sinfonia
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At7Seas
10+ Cruises • Age 50s

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Sail Date: Mar 2023
Cabin: Junior Ocean View

I spent six weeks travelling through South Africa and decided to return to Europe by cruise. In spring 2023 there were exactly five ships doing this. Costa, Aida, Phoenix and two MSC vessels. Costa visited on the world cruise and no cabin was available. Aida did a fast track through the Atlantic Ocean and mainly visited ports in Europe, in my opinion no attractive itinerary. Phoenix did extensive visits on the Atlantic coast of Africa, but only had a very high priced gold suite available and besides I would have to disembark far from the final destination. So I took MSC, although I wasn’t impressed by an earlier cruise with that line. Especially taking the route along the islands in the Indian Ocean I liked. Only the stop in Saudi Arabia wasn’t necessary for me.

Through an Austrian travel agency I got a good offer, but they weren’t able to offer anything but cruise only. According to the Austrian website of MSC I could add a beverage package except for very short sailings and those ending in China or South Africa. Also the travel agency told me that I could add after booking. But neither the agency nor me took notice of the continental drift, Venice, where my cruise should end, is obviously no longer in Italy, but in China… Only vouchers were for sale. And with these there happened fraud aboard as well. When I ordered a glass of wine from a grape and vinyard as specified in the list I got a much cheaper one. But I mustn’t complain, a white wine is a white wine according to MSC staff…

Boarding was a combination of fog and the worst organisation thinkable. There was a little fog indeed and the ship arrived about two hours late, just after me. Fog is nothing to blame MSC for. I dropped my bags and was told that I need to wait inside for embarkation. Walking around the terminal I saw by change on the upper floor a table with an MSC sign. There I was told that embarkation would start about an hour later than my papers told me. A lie. An hour later it was postponed with another hour. Another lie. Despite being told not to go to the sitting area I ignored this instruction and sat down. More than an hour later MSC staff came into that room and put things onto desks and decided to have lunch first. When finally a group was sent in and queued I just stood up and queued with them. And indeed, embarkation started. Although vaccination certificate and negative corona test were mandatory these weren’t checked at all. And testing was difficult, because South Africa had dismantled most testing facilities already. A bit more than four hours delayed I was aboard. Zero information if I didn’t go to ask for, I got one small bottle water during waiting, because I insisted in getting one of those the staff used.

Cabin Review

Junior Ocean View

Completely rocked down cabin, view obstructed by blind window (not lifeboat or similar), in the end I repaired the sink myself. Rust in the shower, not cleaned well, door lock wasn‘t serviced properly and I was locked out by lack of maintenance. Positive: enough hangers.

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