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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: June 2018
We sailed on MSC Opera, western mediterranean (Genova, Marseille, Palma, Ibiza, Olbia, Livorno) on 30 june 2018. I am Italian, my husband is from US, we sailed before on other cruise lines. We choose MSC to get the "Italian ... Read More
We sailed on MSC Opera, western mediterranean (Genova, Marseille, Palma, Ibiza, Olbia, Livorno) on 30 june 2018. I am Italian, my husband is from US, we sailed before on other cruise lines. We choose MSC to get the "Italian experience". Let's start from the good things: * cabin: a bit worn out, but extremely clean and confortable, good service and luckily we had a cabin with balcony * Embarkation: ok genova is a bit messy, but we survived, everything went well, we had our luggage very quickly. * Entertaiment: the quality of the shows is extremely good and can suit a multicultural audience (a mix of europeans, russians and americans) * The public rooms and the ship is spotless, extremely clean and you can see staff constantly cleaning * The Opera is small and its interior decor is nice, classic (a bit retrò) and elegant. * Ports: there is a MSC shuttle for Palma, Ibiza (13-15 euros), at Marseille, Olbia and Livorno there is a free shuttle that drops you downtown. At Olbia, get the public bus number 40 (5 euros) from the port to go to nice beach Pittolongu. It's worth it! * The service at bars and cafès was weird, sometimes we had the impression that staff were trainees at their first real work experience. We sat and waited, waited, waited... for 2 espresso! *Food is free and ther is plenty at any time. Free water is ok, free coffe is bad (for italian standards). *Dress code: dress as you like, except at dinner time at restaurants where you can't go with a swimming suits and filflops, no particular elegance is required. Now the bad experience * food: you find free food everywhere, unfortunately is pretty awful. Everything was either too salty or overspiced, with strange combinations of flavours. Pasta at the buffet was overcooked and full of stuff than no italian would dare to put in a sauce (pesto with seafood and tomatoes??). Desserts too sugary and sweet. Only meat options, pizzas, bread, salads and fruits were good. The buffet is designed in a irrational way: at peak times you just got stuck in a crowd of people in line (chaotic italian style), staff cleaning dishes and people trying to get out or to find a place to sit. A better choice for lunch is the restaurant la Caravella, less crowded, slightly better food quality. At the Restaurant l'Approdo in the evening the dishes were estremely disappointing. Italian classics like lasagne and cannelloni were chewy, salty and had a bad taste. Risotto with porcini mushrooms had no porcini flavour. The "signature dishes" were mostly pretty inedible, let alone international options (chinese, asian or paella - directly from freezer). The maitre attitude was annoying: we argued on Mychoice option, he didn't let us eat at free dinner time, as stated on the documents, claiming that our travel agency messed up. We discussed quite a lot and in the end we won... no comment.. The waiter's service was slow. Most of the times we arrived at the table and we were left waiting for nearly 30-40 minutes before getting our orders. Sometimes I just wanted to walk out and go to pizza buffet! * On MSC there is a constant aggressive sales attitude: from the first moment you get onboard, staff tries to sell you beverages packages, excursions, photos.. I was really annoyed by that. * Day at sea: the ship was packed, so you had to queue everywhere: at the (small) swimming pools, jacuzzi and gym. If you don't like crowds and children screaming and splashing, get a cabin with a balcony and relax there! Would we go again on a MSC cruise? Only if we get a dirty cheap deal for a balcony cabin (and we bring food from home). Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
As a couple we have been on MSC Divina and Preziosa on Western Mediterranean. We expected similar experience on Sinfonia; however, it was not the case at all. 1) Embarkation was extremely tiring in Venice. Very slow check in the heat ... Read More
As a couple we have been on MSC Divina and Preziosa on Western Mediterranean. We expected similar experience on Sinfonia; however, it was not the case at all. 1) Embarkation was extremely tiring in Venice. Very slow check in the heat resulted in one passenger to be taken to hospital. We checked in at 12:30; our bags showed up at 18:40 after complaining. Most bars on board were closed even though there were no place passengers could go for a while. Those that were open were under-staffed. 2) Bar staff were overall under staffed and rude when you wanted to get drinks. Mixed drinks like Mojito were terrible. 3) Servers at the restaurant were kind and respectful. We’ve had Edi and Allan serving us and they were excellent. Food was also generally tasty. 4) Maitre D’ (marianna?) was very good. However her helper Spartana was rude and he flat out lied to us one night when we were late for dinner due to an excursion being late. He said our table was given away and we had to dine elsewhere. Maitre D’ fixed the situation and she sat us to our table. She than sat other people even 30 mins after we sat down. This Was for us unacceptable and we won’t be returning to MSC because of him. 5) We have done excursions in 4 ports and nearly all of them were waste of money. I highly recommend avoiding any excursion; especially those who offer food or drinks. Free drinks usually meant non alcoholic “flat” soda. The Beach excursion in Dubrovnik was especially bad, we could not get back to the ship sooner.From rude staff to prostitutes on the beach, we felt very uncomfortable. 6) Finally, the rooms were good except for the 15 inch computer monitors as Tvs. The gentleman who was taking care of the rooms was very nice and he lept the room in tip top shape all the time. 7) Entertainment was sub par to our previous MSC cruises. The dance group which seemed to fill in between good acts were over used. Voice of the female singer was good. The juggling and strength acts and the latin dancers were great! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We were a party of 6, 5 adults, 1 kid. The experience was beyond great, the cabins were very modern and clean, the beds really comfy. The shows were amazing, all of them left us speechless, fun parties every single night, good music, ... Read More
We were a party of 6, 5 adults, 1 kid. The experience was beyond great, the cabins were very modern and clean, the beds really comfy. The shows were amazing, all of them left us speechless, fun parties every single night, good music, friendly staff, there were many different activities according to your group age. The ship was brand new so everything looks very polish, and the common areas had many seat, live music (salsa, jazz, country, DJs) near by bars, and delicious drinks. Also the buffet food was delicious, lots of variety, and it was available for any time, if you wanted something fancier there were other formal restaurants. Also we took 3 excursions and they were a really good price compared to the ones you find at the port, and also very organized. There are so many things to do that we didn't even have enough time to see everything. We had a experience of a life time Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I'll begin by listing the cruise ships I've sailed on so far: Celebrity Equinox P&O Ventura Carnival Vista Royal Princess and now... MSC Divina. Overview: This cruise line is quite different from most others in ... Read More
I'll begin by listing the cruise ships I've sailed on so far: Celebrity Equinox P&O Ventura Carnival Vista Royal Princess and now... MSC Divina. Overview: This cruise line is quite different from most others in that it's very European, with a minority English-speaking clientele. Approx 10% of our fellow passengers were English, around the same again were American. The majority were Spanish, Italian and various others, making for a unique ambience. To cope with the many languages, the entire cruise is designed around multilingualism. Everything from the menus in the main dining rooms to the Cruise Director's opening speech every night before the show involved five or more languages. It's the only way they can offer a cruise to so many nationalities but for me it absolutely doesn't work. Having to wait for your language and listen to many you can't understand is just a waste of time, and it happened again and again, from ship announcements to even excursions. Oh, and get ready to leave your room at 7am on the last day (more about that later). Staff: Anther big difference for me was the staff. Firstly, for a ship of this size, there just didn't seem to be enough crew to cope. Bar queues took over five minutes on a regular basis, and drinks orders would be delivered in 10-20 mins. Customer Service queues regularly exceeded 15 people, queues for the ice cream took as long as ten minutes. These don't sound like catastrophic waits, but when you add this up each day, it somewhat spoils the cruise. And perhaps because they were overworked, they just can across rude in general. We had some exceptions (some friendly, jokey evening waiters made a much better impressions), but in general, staff rarely smiled and quite often made you move out of the way for them. Several times in fact we were told by staff in buffet when we ordered hot drinks that we could make them ourselves. And the cruise director was the worst I've ever seen. He was barely present, merely an announcer at evening shows, rattling off five or six language spiels and promoting the latest drinks offer etc. They should take a leaf from Carnival here, where the cruise directors are bright and omnipresent characters, welding the cruise experience together into a complete package. The Ship: The ship was a nice vessel in all fairness. It's large but not overwhelmingly so, and has some very attractive spaces including the Art Deco bar, the indoor pool area and a rather lovely Swarovski-enhanced atrium. But for the size of the vessel there just wasn't enough leisure space. Compared to the Carnival Vista and the Royal Princess (both almost equal in length and passenger numbers) the ship felt crowded. There wasn't much to do on days at rest, with all deck games requiring you to ask for equipment. The sunbeds went fast, and you'd regularly see crowds traipsing around, looking in vain for a sunbed or two. The pools suffered most, with fifty-five people counted in the rear pool area at one time. It just felt like there wasn't enough space to stretch out. The Carnival Vista made great use of the level 7 Promenade Decks, with loungers and bars - something this ship could dearly do with. I also felt there could have been more going on - there wasn't much live music, and we rarely saw pool activities except for a morning fitness class. Dining: Everyone's biggest worry turned out to be a non-event. Food was fine. It wasn't excellent, and at time was just plain average, but it certainly wasn't bad. The buffet was hue and had fair choice, although later diners would have to face a fifty-person queue to get in. The MDR offered a three-course evening meal, with smallish portions but some nice variation (eg Mediterranean night). We had an All-Inclusive drinks package included and I will say it was pretty good - we could enjoy cocktails, spirits, coffees, ice cream, beer, sparkling wine and much more. Excursions: Excursions were noticeably cheaper than other cruise lines, and generally were quite good. We did have a few small issues such as non-English excursions staff but in general trips flowed well. The Cabin Our balcony room was actually very nice. The nicest cabin I've yet experienced at sea in all honesty. It was modern and felt spacious, with a seating area and a bathroom with a plastic shower door rather than a flimsy curtain. Charging ports were few and far between though and the TV rather small. Summary: 5/10 In all, it was a decent cruise. If I hadn't experienced other cruise lines, I'd probably be giving it an 8/10. But seeing how things are done elsewhere, it just makes me realise that MSC cuts corners and just isn't the same polished product I'm used to. It wasn't bad by a long stretch, but I don't think I would sail with MSC again. The end of our cruise was a good summary of the experience. After an evening in Palma (ship departed at 12 midnight from the port) we discovered that we had to vacate our cabin at 7am - information that was only given to us that evening, hence we returned to find the info sheet on our beds and couldn't believe what we saw. After speaking to customer services, we were told by one staff member that the rooms took three hours to clean - a complete and utter lie. There was no budging, so the alarms were set for 6:30 on our final day. Not the best way to end a cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only ... Read More
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only critique for us was the food, which was just "OK". However the serving staff were great in the Yacht Club restaurant, which made up for the food! All drinks including wine and spirits were also included in the price. We like the low key selling from the shops on board, rather than the U.S. lines that promoted the selling to an intense level. The cabin category provided a butler, who really looked after us well, as the cabin was cleaned throughout the day, with fresh towels, bottled water etc. The only staff that were not good at their job was one of the concierge staff, who seemed to be frustrated whenever a question was asked. Overall, we really enjoyed our week on the ship, and will return. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We choose this cruise because of its length (7 nights), the itinerary Civitavecchia, Palermo, Caglari, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, and the cost. Overall, we found it excellent value for money. Before ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of its length (7 nights), the itinerary Civitavecchia, Palermo, Caglari, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, and the cost. Overall, we found it excellent value for money. Before getting into the cruise itself, I found the MSC website quite poorly designed - it was not smooth to use and required multiple visits. It also failed to answer some of the issues I address below. MSC needs to get some smart software developers to rework the site. Now, ......., on to the cruise itself. While this was our first ever cruise, I think we are reasonably discerning travelers. The MSC Divina is lovely modern ship that had very good facilities. We were in cabin 11115 which completely met our needs. It was sufficiently spacious and well presented. Our steward, Roberto, was great. A really nice, helpful person (and, no, he didn't pay me to say this!!). Incidentally, while there were plenty of children on the ship, we didn't have any noise problems. We used the gymnasium regularly and found it quite well appointed. I have a comprehensive gymnasium membership in New Zealand and found this facility more than adequate for what I wanted, albeit a little crowded at certain times. Its location on an upper deck, forward in the ship gives a great view as you approach port. I think our three negatives, all of which are rather minor, would be firstly, the WiFi - we paid for the comprehensive package and found it expensive but poor. I'm sure MSC could do much better. Our smart phone (European) SIM card helped when we were in or near to port. Secondly, before we embarked we really had no idea if the water package would be necessary - after all, everyone at least provides water (gratis) with a meal, don't they! No they don't. Fortunately, we had decided to take the package for daytime use. This was a good decision - water is not provided at restaurant meals, it needs to purchased. The administrative hassle in doing this seemed needless, why not up the price a few $/person and save everyone time and effort. Having said this, MSC is a European cruise line and purchasing water in Europe is the norm not the exception. It was these little things that left us with the sense that MSC cuts their front-end price, but tries to recover from this by their rather expensive on-board packages. [Note: Free water is available, as is coffee and tea, in the buffet area]. Our third minor irritation was the buffet - it is typically something of a zoo. However, we had read earlier reviews before embarking and were not surprised. That said, apart from one very average restaurant meal (the Mediterranean night from memory), the food was just fine, at least as we experienced it. In general, we didn't book shore excursions but rather chose our own on shore itinerary. A smart phone helped with navigation problems in some of the cities! The one excursion we did take was the Segway tour of Genoa. For us non-experienced Segway riders it was fun! No problems at all for us 60+ year-olds in learning how to ride and then do the tour. What a blast! Great tour guide. My wife (the speeding menace) now says we need a Segway at home! We chose Marseilles as the place to rest rather than go for a formal shore excursion. However, I went for a 6 km run into the suburbs to get some exercise. I noticed that while MSC was charging 15 Euros to get a bus from the ship into the city there seemed to be a free bus about 500 metres away down the wharf. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were smooth and straightforward. Indeed, the staff were very helpful in allowing us priority disembarkation to catch a 9:32 am train out of Civitavecchia. We left the ship about 7:50 am, picked up our luggage, caught the bus to the railway station and were on the platform by 8:30 am. Plenty of time! One other out of the ordinary thing to report. We needed to make use of the hospital facility - my wife had taken a fall at Rome Airport on our way to embark and had done some damage to her hand. The question was, "How much damage? The doctor and staff were great. Good, basic, first principles (correct) medical diagnosis and treatment. I think, all up, it cost us about 120 Euros. One interesting thing we noted was the predominance of European travelers on the cruise. We certainly didn't hear many people speaking in English as their native tongue. Certainly not a problem - just an observation. Incidentally, all the staff we met not only spoke English but were multilingual. In reality, we were the ones who lacked language skills. Pulling everything together, we were pleased with our choice of cruise ship and with the itinerary. We had a lovely time and would regard any hassles as being very minor in the broad scheme of things. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Southampton. The only good thing was ship was clean and nicely decorated. We went to resturant first evening my husband order sirloin steak which was like shoe leather! I had chicken breast which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Southampton. The only good thing was ship was clean and nicely decorated. We went to resturant first evening my husband order sirloin steak which was like shoe leather! I had chicken breast which was ploncked on chips no sides! So wr then ate in buffet for rest of cruise food was dreadful the only good thing was pizza. Our cabin on deck 10 wasn't the one we booked. It was at front 10001. Terrible movement and wind howling through patio doors! We would never sail with this company again. All they seemed to bother about was catering for Germans. We thought cruise left from southampton first but gound ou it left from Hamburg first. The entertainment was very poor. Took a long time to be served in all the bars. Not enough staff . The ones that were in attendance were friendly not their fault Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
The Preziosa is not maintained well. All big windows are not clean. The cables of room vacuum cleaners are worn and repaired by insulation tape. The hand disinfection devices very often were empty. In one of the floors the floor number ... Read More
The Preziosa is not maintained well. All big windows are not clean. The cables of room vacuum cleaners are worn and repaired by insulation tape. The hand disinfection devices very often were empty. In one of the floors the floor number peeled and they didn't repair it at least 4 days. The buffet is big but nobody manages it. So couples occupy 4 seats tables and it is very difficult to find a table for the family. One day we tried to have our breakfast in restaurant Gold Lobster. We were disappointed. The choice was poor. Not like in the buffet. But the most awful for me was free smoking in every open deck (including near the swimming pool) and in Casino. The Casino is in big open space .So the smoke smellies far around. The dinner restaurant is very crowded and noisy. The employee in the reception didn't explain what need to do with the tax free for the shopping in the Kiel. It despite the fact that the ship comes there every week. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise itinerary and MSC itself for its affordability (not easy using the South African Rand) and itinerary. Ports of call are interesting, although the Santorini and Mykonos stops are far too brief. Mykonos is just a ... Read More
We chose this cruise itinerary and MSC itself for its affordability (not easy using the South African Rand) and itinerary. Ports of call are interesting, although the Santorini and Mykonos stops are far too brief. Mykonos is just a tease, as you are in port for only a matter of hours. We embarked at Venice, which I recommend, as the one-day stop in Venice (if you were to embark elsewhere) simply is not enough to experience Venice as it should be. The Sinfonia is one of the smallest MSC ships, which to some cruise enthusiasts may be a negative, but for me was a positive, as you feel like you can get to know the ship and some of its crew (as difficult as it is to actually get to know the crew). The trend in cruising seems to be in larger and larger ships, which seems both unsustainable and unappealing to me. However, in this cruise, the combination of excellent service, reasonable ship size, and interesting itinerary made the experience an enjoyable one. I understand that after the summer season in the Adriatic, the Sinfonia will undergo a re-fit. In terms of excursions, we only booked one formal excursion: Oia Village (Santorini). I would recommend this as it enables you to see the iconic views of the island of Thira. We were going to book the evening excursion to Mykonos, but did not. I'm glad we didn't as we simply strolled the city on our own and visited local bars and restaurants. In other ports we ventured out on our own which was a welcome relief from the planned activities of the ship. Read Less
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