Fabulous ship but oh!..all that smoke!: MSC Fantasia Cruise Review by Chris Wyatt

MSC Fantasia 3
Chris Wyatt

Overall Member Rating

Fabulous ship but oh!..all that smoke!

Sail Date: October 2011
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Barcelona
It was our first cruise, booked on a whim after seeing an advert on the television. I had been encouraged by reading reviews on different websites about other peoples experiences but had really done no homework before booking the cruise so was a little nervous about what to expect. First impressions of the ship were wonderful all the areas were luxurious and spotlessly clean. The cabins were beautifully kept and the cabin stewards attentive, warm and friendly ...nothing was too much trouble. The minuses revealed themselves over the seven days which will ensure I do a lot more research before I book my next cruise. There will be another one because overall we enjoyed our trip but I think we will travel with an English speaking cruise cruise ship next time.

The smoking policy was the biggest problem for us. In the Dance hall area, the casino and indoor pool area smoking was allowed and boy did the passengers smoke...it was choking!. By the time we reached Rome we had one More objective in mind ...to find a good restaurant where we could treat ourselves to a HOT meal. All the food on board was lukewarm...in the AL-la-ca-rte Red Velvet restaurant where the food was served in several courses was nearly always just warm.If you chose to eat a the buffet meals in the Zanzibar canteen where there was a wonderfully varied and plentiful range of food you found it was spread out over such a large area by the time you collected it and found a seat, that too was stone cold.The temperature of the food would never pass health & safety guidelines here in the UK.
The entertainment was excellent and very professional but provided in the theatre for just a half hour show in the evening unless you fancied bingo...each number was read out in five languages...it was the funniest thing I saw all week!The other lounge with a dance floor where I believe there were activities such as line dancing were choked with cigarette smoke so we beat a hasty retreat from there.
The few non smoking lounge areas where music was provided were comfortable but a little boring but we did meet a small group of lovely people on our dining table ( all UK) but the population were mainly non-English speaking so there was little mixing. Drinks were very expensive and there are no tea/coffee facilities in the room so all drinks have to be purchased. here is no coffee served after meals in the restaurants but only in the canteen. There are water taps next to the ice machine and the few people who managed to find these filled up when they can. This report sounds quite negative but we didn`t meet a single English speaking person who didn't have exactly the same moans. My advice is do your homework before you book!!! Less

Published 10/23/11

Cabin review: 1010105

Large room...balcony big enough to sit but not to lie down. Everything spotlessly clean although bedding had a slight stale odour to it. No tea making facilities and water had to be paid for. Staff friendly and warm.

Port and Shore Excursions

Two of the other people on our table were held up by gunpoint in Barcelona by three men who tried to rob them. Fortunately Lou ( the wife) shouted back at the robbers and walked away ...the thieves fled. Instead of filling on the many hours between having to leave the ship at 9am and our 7-30pm flight home we chose to bring the flight forward ( thank-you easyjet) and skip a visit to Barcelona even though the airport was grim.
Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

Took a very pleasant horse and carriage ride up to the village....haggle the price which started at 40 euros but was reduced to 30. He still managed to prise another 7 euros out of me "for the horse". Messina was a run down dump with very little to see.

We took the "Rome on your own" excersion which was quite exhausting although most of the sites to be seen in Rome are all very close to each other. Very like London but obviously for the tourists. The Vatican was disappointing ...I expected more. St Peters square was full of barriers and long queues of people waiting to go into the Vatican itself. The one highlight for me was the trevi Fountain which was beautiful and made the visit worthwhile. The cafe where we had a fabulous lunch of HOT lasagne was excellent and really authentic. Police were every where ..and the army. It was a bit intimidating. It was the day before the riots so they were out in force. Traffic was a nightmare but it was a beautiful city if old buildings and statues are your thing.

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Chris Wyatt
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