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1,701 Repositioning Cruise Reviews

The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a ... Read More
The Island Princess is a great ship to find your way. we had some rough seas one day but we barely felt it. Embarkation went well and smoothly. we were welcomed on board and went to the atrium until the cabins were ready which was a wait of about 30 minutes. when we got to our cabin we found it spotless and our luggage was outside our door. We had a wonderful lunch in the main dining room. Muster was at 3:30 and I love that we no longer have to lug life vests. One thing I did't like was a lot of deck space was removed as was a show lounge so they could add more cabins to the ship. However, despite the higher number of passengers, the ship rarely felt crowded except during show times and many trivia games. Club class dining had impeccable service. Many of the meals were very good but sometimes they weren't. the quality of meat has gone down. We had the best cabin steward. He was like a ghost but had our cabin refreshed twice a day and happily fulfilled any requests. You have to be careful with the ratings on tours. One "Easy" tour had more walking than I could do and I ended up spending most of it on the bus. The tour desk wasn't very considerate of physically challenged people. Favorite ports included the Panama Canal and Fuerte Amador, Punta Arenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco, and Victoria BC. in Huatulco, there was a horrendous walk from the ship and two three wheel scooters that you could squeeze three people in to get to the shops and tour buses. I think after four times through the canal, it will be a long time before i do this again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first time on Celebrity. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, repositioning cruise up the West Coast. We flew into San Diego and spent a few days there, and then a few days in Vancouver at the end of the cruise. ... Read More
This was our first time on Celebrity. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary, repositioning cruise up the West Coast. We flew into San Diego and spent a few days there, and then a few days in Vancouver at the end of the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine/typical. The ship is beautiful, the clientele a little older. We were among the youngest at 54. We loved the suspended tree, library, Team Earth space. I have to mention (as if Celebrity will see this review), for the muster, people are not interested in watching a cheesy video on how to put on a life vest. What should've taken 5 minutes took more like 20 because of the video, which we didn't even watch (we listened, tho) because the video screen for our section was broken. Skip the gimmicks and let us get back to our cruise! The Cruise Director Alejandro and "Super Captain" Leo were outstanding. When we couldn't drop the tenders for transport into Monterey, "Super Captain" Leo got us a spot in San Francisco, so we could spend two nights in San Fran instead of another sea day. We take the stairs a lot and I found the railings were always gummy/sticky, even though I frequently saw someone cleaning them. I tried not to touch them because I knew I'd find a gummy/sticky spot and it grossed me out. We spent the sea days in the Solarium, which we loved, but I never saw a waiter asking us if we wanted a drink or anything. The Sky Lounge on 14 is a beautiful space but we were kicked out one evening because we weren't in the Captain's Club. It's a huge space and hardly anyone was in there, but out we went. The evening entertainment was good except for one night - I can't remember what the show was called but it was supposed to be a Mozart fusion kind of show. We mostly just looked at each other like "What is going on?" Should've been so much better. But for the most part the entertainment was very entertaining. The show on the last night, Elyria, was absolutely beautiful and mesmerizing. The food was good, but there didn't seem to be much variety and I've seen much better presentation on other cruise lines. Note to Celebrity - scrambled eggs aren't supposed to be soupy... Overall we did have a nice cruise but we'll probably go back to another cruise line instead of Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The embarkation experience in Sydney was probably our worst experience of embarkation on any cruise. There seemed to be no organisation, and the only guidance was by other passengers, as there seemed to be a great lack of staff around. ... Read More
The embarkation experience in Sydney was probably our worst experience of embarkation on any cruise. There seemed to be no organisation, and the only guidance was by other passengers, as there seemed to be a great lack of staff around. When we chose this cruise we knew that there were a lot of sea days ahead of us, so we were prepared to entertain ourselves for long stretches of time. While they had many activities, there could have been more variety. We enjoyed the ports as we had not been to most of them. The shore excursions were way too expensive for us, so we were able to find local providers at almost all ports. Some ports were a little overrated, such as Los Angeles, where the ship docked at San Pedro and with a 3.00pm all aboard deadline, there was not sufficient time to get into LA and see anything and return in time. The dining was very good, accommodating my dietary requirements. There did seem to be less general variety in the buffet compared to other cruises we have been on. The wait staff were to be highly commended, as were all the staff onboard - friendly and helpful and dedicated to ensuring everyone had a great experience. The entertainment was mostly quite good, but not as spectacular as we had experienced on other cruises. The other passengers were respectful and well behaved, with no loud noise to interrupt a peaceful night's sleep. The bed was super comfy - it felt like a cosy nest. It was great to be part of the Cruise Critic Roll Call, so we were able to arrange some activities together to get to know others. All in all it was a great cruise where we met a lot of likeminded people. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. ... Read More
This was our 4th NCL cruise, and 7th overall cruise. It was an enjoyable experience and we saw many Caribbean islands we had never been to before. The ship was clean and had enough public space that passengers could spread out in. It's a nice sized ship (2400 passengers) which is manageable - and our preference over the huge ships. It was easy to find your way around, although the only small challenge is that the 6th deck doesn't run straight through. So if you want to access the Summer Palace main dining on the 6th, you have to go up to 7, to go back down to 6. It's a beautiful dining room, and worth finding! Our balcony cabin was perfect for 2 people - lots of storage, a small couch and decent sized balcony for a cruise ship. We unpacked for our 11-day cruise easily finding space for everything, and stowed our luggage under the bed. The only small issue was that the lighting was not great after the sun goes down, so for women getting ready for dinner, it was a bit of a challenge to see in mirrors. A big thank you to Rommel, our awesome Cabin Steward, for doing an excellent job! We found the main dining rooms (Summer Palace and Indigo), and specialty dining were wonderful - we experienced great service and delicious food! Le Bistro and Teppanyaki were our favourite specialty dining venues, and Cagney's and Moderno were really good as well. The Lotus Garden, which is NOT a specialty dining venue, was great - don't miss out! However, we were less than impressed with the quality of food at the buffet, and at O'Sheehan's Pub...yuck. We ended up going to the main dining rooms for breakfast/lunch instead. We spent some time at the casino and experienced the best service from all staff: special mention - Eka, Carlver and Hong Wang were amazing, we really appreciate their hard work. The casino has a good variety of slots machines and tables, it got busy after the shows finished, but was always well-managed. We never had to wait for drink service, and the staff was always friendly and accommodating. Embarkation was quite easy and much faster than anticipated - the lines were very long, but we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at the port in Tampa. Our rooms were ready by 1:30 or 2pm, and luggage was promptly delivered to the cabin that afternoon. Disembarkation in NYC was not quite as smooth, but overall not bad. We only docked at 10am to even begin the disembarkation process, but had to be out of our cabins by 9am. The only food option available at that time was the buffet - so 2400 people waiting in public spaces for hours to depart, and food/coffee on only one deck. We booked shore excursions only after we got on the ship - and managed to get every excursions we wanted except for one - but there was another decent option available and we took that one instead. I would recommend however that you book excursions (and speciality dining reservations) before getting on the ship to be sure you are not disappointed. The excursions were very well-run and organized, we enjoyed all of them. Overall, this was a very good cruise experience. What made it extra enjoyable were the staff who work on the ship - they all work so hard and such long hours, we truly appreciate them! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We took our first MSC cruise, a 21 day TA from Martinique to Hamburg, many port stops in between which I initially thought might be a negative (we love the sea days, hence the TA's) but it was broken up nicely and we saw a few new ... Read More
We took our first MSC cruise, a 21 day TA from Martinique to Hamburg, many port stops in between which I initially thought might be a negative (we love the sea days, hence the TA's) but it was broken up nicely and we saw a few new ports by sheer number. It was like having three different cruises, the Caribbean followed by the TA followed by a European cruise, very nice. We arrived late with late flights, 7 pm-ish to check in but they had the whole YC experience going strong including drinks upon arrival, easy passport check, etc and then you're guided to the concierge floor to meet the concierge on duty and a few butlers hanging out, likely yours. We had awesome Roberto aided by two junior butlers and all was well. My only negative observation is the whole YC team tries too hard to provide service even when you decline it...an example would be getting a few items of food at the buffet and trying to carry it yourself, they always want to tray it up and take it to your room/table and it took at least two weeks to get them to back off. We are fit mid 50's folk and perfectly capable to carry our glass and a plate and it felt like a negative, the constant spotlight they want to shine on you. I enjoyed the experience but wished often and to their face that they would just back off a bit, we don't need a guide to our seats in the theater and I'm sure folks who DO will let it be known, if someone declines than back off and respect our choice and we found that happened too often, the push for service. Weird complaint, right? I know, it is weird but its how it felt, to always having someone rush to open a door or guide you to a seat or try to grab your food to take it to your table instead of letting us quietly enjoy this wonderful time without the fanfare attached to it. This leads into further service issues upstairs on deck 18, Topsail. AWESOME space with plenty of lounge chairs, oddly not padded chairs but plenty of towels available and when it got cold they brought out the blankets, nice touch. The pool guys were always smiling and nice! They have tables/umbrellas in the bar section where a buffet is set up for breakfast and lunch so probably about 10 tables available...also a smoking section that has three umbrella tables. Weird service in the beverage department up there, hot and cold with sometimes 30 min between a round of servers and then suddenly a barrage. Gelato guy would go by (awesome) but twice we waved to flag him and he just walked by or you'd have to flag a server and then they're quite nice but just not on it the way they want to be or should be, rarely did someone take multiple orders which led to a long time getting drinks brought to you so we embraced the exercise portion of this and just went to the bar...not a big deal but the substance is lacking and my first thought was they're new at this but apparently YC has been kicking for years now so not sure if any of these issues will be fixable. We did see the turnover of one manager to another and the guy that left was so burned out, you rarely saw him vs Allessandro the new guy who was seen multiple times a day, checking on your day, borderline bothersome but I got what he was going for so hello, hello and good luck on changing practices. Food was the major negative, it was truly tasteless and almost funny how every dish (sadly not kidding) was without taste. Upside we actually lost weight on this 21 day cruise and happy for that but wow, a whole of salt used and worse, steak sauce for a filet, that's almost criminal behavior. We only ate at the buffet for salad bar, sad sad salad bar, and some pizza slices and that was just average at best. Wild amount of people but heck, it IS a buffet, and we found seats the three times so thats my only input. Our YC restaurant was just average, there IS an alternate menu available including chicken, a large filet of beef, a large filet of salmon, and perhaps a few other things but its not advertised oddly enough. Our waiters actually brought us the best dish we had, chicken curry, after we laughingly asked if we could eat in the crew dining room, betting they had tasty Indian food available and the next night we were eating the best chicken curry. Why that isn't on the menu is mindblowing and I asked the maitre'd and the hotel director and anyone who inquired but the answer is oddly 'we cater to an international crowd' to which i reply so does every other cruiseline and they manage to have tasty food. Europeans don't like bland, do they? I'm going to assume no because the ongoing theme from the Germans, the Brits, the French and us, the minority Americans, during the cruise was the bad food but whatever, we ate just fine, remembering that upside of weight loss and knowing it was just the way it is. Gelato was good and free for YC, once we found that baby we imbibed often! The best advice I'd give is to reitterate what another post said regarding MSC and that is to not compare it to any other cruise and you'll love it. I reminded myself of that often and I loved it, truly. The quirks were funny including the five and six language announcements, that's just funny and even more fun when the Russians boarded in France, dropping Portuguese in exchange, and the crazy entertainment. Wow to this menage of acts, it was funny and fun and really a wild experience. One night started out with Van Halen 'Jump' and was followed by the ring dropping from the ceiling followed by a dance number, etc etc. Crazy fun and we had a blast! No production shows, good classical voice concerts (two in the afternoon) and also a nice piano concert in the afternoon, nice additions. Their classical voices were excellent, good acts and something you don't see often. Main night acts are short, 30-40 min long which is perfect for the acts and we saw them all minus Abba and a ventriloquist. I would rate them as matinee Vegas quality and again, they were all fun, esp the acrobatic guys. Dancers were good, singers were good, all around pleasing...but remember, don't compare because these aren't Broadway shows brought to the sea or Blue Man, its great for what it is. Ship design is lovely, crazy crystal inlays into the stairs, beautiful but somewhat blinding, pretty and nice layout of ship (a lot of mirrors!) minus the casino. Leaving the theater loads you right into it on deck 6 and its the smokiest casino I've ever seen, so much so that I didn't bother to do any gambling because the odor was so cloying, as if they lacked any smoke eating device at all and it resulted in the smoke drifting directly into the lounge directly above it, the jazz bar, so we also avoided that area. MSC should absolutely install state of the art smoke eaters, we absolutely would have frequented those areas, esp their money making casino so I guess I should thank them for that too, weight loss and more euros in my pocket. :) Would we do this again? Yes but only in the yacht club, it was sheer madness in the 'real' world and not worth my cruising dollars. I'd like to hope the food issue is a one off with the ship. We ate at Eataly once and it was probably a B experience, the food was mostly tasty but all around the worse tiramisu ever eaten, both in this restaurant and La Palmeraie...found that to be quite odd for an Italian ship but ultimately thanks, two lbs of weight gain would have come from all of that tiramisu! We loved the international blend, it was fun to chat world events with world travelers. This particular itinerary hit a lot of ports so we enjoyed all of this exposure to new lands. We would do another TA with MSC but again, only with yacht club, it just looked too crazy. Unfortunately prices have jacked up, we apparently paid 1/3 more than the Brits that asked us (but we are still quite happy with our choice!) so that factors in...food quality has to be considered and after traveling with Azamara (10 lbs gain, food was stupidly great) and Celebrity Blu its hard to spend extra $$ just for the 'experience' but good itinerary and we'd likely be there. Another addition, GREAT gym! They have a variety of machines, probably 25-30, and we found working out at lunch was the time! Worked around people with the machines, empty gym in port days (yay) and would highly recommend this gym to keep your body in shape. Its up there with NCL Epic gym. Oh yeah, one last addition...we didn't feel like MSC was nickeling and diming us at every turn. Minimal announcements, no big push of products despite a nice supply of stores on three levels, not the feeling like someone just had their hand in your pocket. Okay, ONE last also, the nautical information they provided on the daily planner was great, informative in a different way, and we learned stuff. Sadly the captain wasn't chatty (but with the language spread its probably good) so none of the good sea tales that others like to provide but we felt information was dispelled quite well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The Ship: Well maintained and operated. The crew was very helpful and pleasant. After dealing with a nasty private porter in New York (we ignored him, not sure why Oceania allows this) once we got to deal with the Oceania we had nothing ... Read More
The Ship: Well maintained and operated. The crew was very helpful and pleasant. After dealing with a nasty private porter in New York (we ignored him, not sure why Oceania allows this) once we got to deal with the Oceania we had nothing but positive experiences for the rest of our trip. Embarkation was easy. Crossing the Atlantic in the spring can be a little rough. I give great credit to the captain for his wisdom and experience. We bypassed two stops due to bad weather. I appreciated that he put the comfort and the safety of all those on his ship above that of any schedule. Food: The best I have had on any cruise line. One of our party was celiac and gluten free. They handled this very well and they prepared excellent gluten free food that looked and tasted like what everyone else was eating. The bread in particular was great. We tried all of the restaurants – the Italian one stood out with the best food and the best service. I highly recommend the Baristas on the 14th deck. Great coffee (better than most expensive coffee bars), quick and pleasant service and you are right next to the library and computer center. Laundry: A small free laundromat on each floor made laundry a breeze. Everything was clean and worked and there was an ironing board there as well. Being able to have clean clothes was a treat. Entertainment: The ship’s singers and dancers stood out for their enthusiasm and energy. They were also used to help out on the ships functions giving them much more exposure to the passengers than most of the crew. Internet: Satellite sourced, I do not think any ship internet is very good. Oceania Marina was no exception. Getting on the system in the middle of the day is almost impossible. Only at night or very early in the morning is the speed good enough to check emails. Library: I love libraries, lots of books and good comfortable chairs to while away a few hours of reading. Wood trimmed, and located next to the coffee bar, this library was very good. The only problem I had was that a number of passengers seem to feel that it was ok to take over a chair and ottoman and have a long winter’s nap, not the purpose for a small ship board library where room can be tight. The Passengers: The average age of the passengers on this trip seemed to be somewhat older than I would have expected, in their mid 70s and many had mobility and medical issues. There were a few younger passengers but very few. Most of the passengers were professionals – doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. I did hear that the subsequent trip had a younger crowd. Gym and Exercise: Great running/walking track on top of the ship. The gym had good equipment for a smaller ship and it was much appreciated. There is a separate room where there were classes, particularly yoga Medical: There is a full medical center on board with a doctor, nurse and a two bed ward. All seemed very competent. This ship had just experienced an outbreak of Norovirus. They were extremely good at washing everything down and constantly disinfecting. At the buffets, you are served – you do not serve yourself. This really reduces the chance of contamination. Despite this, I picked up a respiratory infection and pink eye which required a hospital visit after the cruise and a course of antibiotics to get me back healthy again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This review is for two adults in an Aurea balcony on MSC Seaview. Salvador , Brazil to Barcelona, 11 nights. Our first on MSC... Boarding in Salvador was very quick, we were in our cabin by 12.45. Most passengers started 4 days before ... Read More
This review is for two adults in an Aurea balcony on MSC Seaview. Salvador , Brazil to Barcelona, 11 nights. Our first on MSC... Boarding in Salvador was very quick, we were in our cabin by 12.45. Most passengers started 4 days before us in Santos and reported 5 hour delays getting onboard. We were told the ship only had 3400 passengers out of a possible 5179. The Cabin was clean, amazing bed and pillows, big interactive TV and we had a large balcony with two sunbeds, 2 chairs and a table. Our room steward was friendly and sorted several things we needed straight away. The bathrooms a good size with a roomy shower with three pressure settings. The decor of the room was an awful green and didn't match up to the rest of the ships glitzy interior. The rest of the ship is very nice, its modern but classy. The Swarovski staircases were stunning. The ship is marketed as bringing you closer to the ocean than ever before but i found the opposite. As deck 8 is open air, the rest of the ships built inwards, therefore restaurants were surrounded by decks and chairs not seaview windows, the side panels were very high along the decks, no venue at the front of the ship to look out from, decks 4/5 had little to no windows at all and at the front there is a massively high side wall blocking deck 9 balcony views. Some days there was very loud and deep bags from the waves hitting the hull, you get it on all ships but this was much worse than we have ever experienced. Another passenger we met actually complained and they were told by an officer its the ships design and the speed we were going at the time... The pools are salt water and were not heated. There was more than enough sun beds across the ships which were very comfy with headrests. We found the food to be very good overall. The main buffet had lots of stations and did vary each day. The buffet stopped dinner at 10pm and then pizza was available until 2am and the Pizza is amazing! We found numerous veggie options in all eateries every day. The smaller buffet on 16 has themes each night including tex-mex, BBQ and Indian. They could get crowded so i dread to think what it would be like with over 5000 onboard. The main dining room had lots of options every night, usually 4/5 main courses plus the "always available" menu giving you another 5+ main course options. The service was mostly very good, just the occasional delay between courses. Every third night was also themed in the main dining room. One afternoon we tried lunch in Golden Sands and was seats in the Bella Fantastica area. Our experience was very different, the service was extremely slow and the mains were cold they took that long to come. The waiters had too many tables to serve and it doesn't help them that everyone gets seated at the same time causing a big rush. The tables for 2 were also extremely close and in long rows, you may as well have been on a table for 8/10. If we would have had this experience the entire cruise we would never consider MSC again. We ate at the French Bistro twice and its great value for money at $15pp. Portion sizes are massive. There is lots of nice bars all over the ship and plenty of seating. Seaview lounge is nice with chilled acoustic music, the Garage club seem to just fill a walkway, shine bar is a good spot for listening to any musicians in the atrium and Sunset beach bar was often lively with an afternoon DJ set. A glass of wine started at $3.40 and cocktails were mostly $7.90 upwards. The coffee onboard is very good and they serve is everywhere. Entertainment was the biggest disappointment, the in house shows were shockingly bad, propped up by the odd quality variety act. The shows became boring and the acts were repeated. All of the musical shows include opera, they even worked it into their dire Tina Turner tribute. The shows were only 35 minutes each as there is three a night, 19.45, 21.00 & 22.15. The theatre is small for the size of the ship, so it will be a struggle to get in when the ships full. There was lots of good bands/ singers on across the ship during the day and evening. Daytime activities were average, most being games or chargeable activities. The slides were great fun, especially the surf board one. The zip line was closed when ever its windy, which is a lot of the time on a moving ship... The party's in the atrium had a great atmosphere and went on until the early hours. The two male cruise directors were almost invisible, the only time we saw them was in the dining room or buffet. Clearly employed for their language skills to quickly open the shows then disappear but not much else. We found the MSC for me app really useful, booking everything on it. The wristbands were much easier than carrying your room card and worked for everything including access to your room. Communication onbaord was very poor, PAs were inaudible most of the time and no announcements from the captain, even after a 3 hour delay leaving Salvador and then arriving into Malaga half a day late. As others report with MSC the Pas are made is multiple languages, we counted 7 one night and i have to agree it does become tedious. The main staff were really very good. They went out of their way to help, they were always polite and happy to chat. Our main waiter was great, very chatty and friendly, he would always give us little appetisers before we even ordered. The service overall was very personal for such a large ship. Aurea Experience- With Aurea we had my choice dining so could turn up when we wanted between 6pm and 10.15pm at Golden Sands and select a table we wanted. As we booked a while ago we had the old "classic drinks package" with upto $8 drinks, coffee and gelato. This included the vast majority of every drinks menu across the ship and was a great saving for us. We really liked the chilled top19 deck, lots of sunbeds, 2 Jacuzzi's and nice sofa seating by the bar. It was very quite compared to the main pools and the server said its always quiet up there even when the ships full. We used our massage that was included which was really nice, however as soon as they finished they were trying to sell you more. The free access to the thermal spa was a really nice bonus too, there were about 8 different rooms and the salt room was so relaxing. There was a few nice touches in the cabin too with slippers, robes and a diffuser. You also have priority disembarkation and your bags were ready first in the terminal. We loved Aurea class and would not sail MSC without it because of the flexibility it gives you. Getting on and off at the ports was easy during the cruise but final disembarkation was painful with ques to get off and ques in the terminal. We did not like MSCs disembarkation procedure, giving us times to meet and get off and also taking our bags away the night before. When we went to the meeting point there was no staff or guidance so we just made our own way off after breakfast. Taxis to the airport from the cruise port are 39 euro fixed price. Few Tips for anyone new to MSC or Seaview- - You only get sunbeds on your balcony if you book Aurea on deck 9. But the very forward ones have obstructed views which they don't tell you when booking. Go 9024 or backwards. - Aurea bookings now only give you easy drinks package which is up to $5 and this really reduces your drinks list. You would have a few wines and Skol beer along with the house vodka and gin with mixers. If you like cocktails, proper coffee, branded spirits and shakes its worth upgrading, i believe you can just pay the difference in the package prices. - Bella and Fantastica have set dining times and your not guaranteed a table size or time. Dinner times were 6pm, 8pm & 10pm in Golden Sands, 7pm & 9pm in Silver dolphin. - Book shows the day before if you want to get in. - If you use the spa they have sales during the cruise. Getting on it was 10% off when you booked 4 treatments but a few days later it was 30% each one. - No kettle/ coffee machine in room, take your own as getting one was not easy. Finally comparing MSC to our favourite cruise line NCL. MSC defiantly felt more upmarket because of the look of the ship and our Aurea experience but it was more restrictive. We had a very nice cruise but because of the lack of good entertainment we would choose NCL hands down. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We travelled as a couple on an 11 night transatlantic from Salvador to Barcelona. We primarily travel on Royal Caribbean and this was our first time on MSC. As such this review will be comparing the two. Good Points - Great Cabin ... Read More
We travelled as a couple on an 11 night transatlantic from Salvador to Barcelona. We primarily travel on Royal Caribbean and this was our first time on MSC. As such this review will be comparing the two. Good Points - Great Cabin Explained in the cabin review - Almost Great Designed Ships The ship was designed beautiful and designed exceptionally with every detail almost thought out. The ship was kept meticulously clean - Great In-house Entertainment The in-house shows were very good although were 35 mins each. Costumes, make up, lighting were superior to RC. - Slightly Cheaper Drinks We don’t drink much so don’t purchase packages. Drinks were about 20% cheaper than RC and tended to be a similar size. Nice touches in the Sports Bar was providing nachos and dips with drinks. The drink alcohol measures also tended to be large. - Always Available Sun Loungers There was sun loungers always available even when very busy - An Affordable Ship Tour At $45 for a three hour tour of behind the scenes of the ship this felt like good value compared to RC price which on Oasis was around $80-90 (which we didn’t take up). Now to the negatives - there is a few: - Some Design Flaws Whilst the ship is beautiful they made some mistakes; The theatre has 934 seats - on a ship with a capacity of 5300. This means that the performers are forced to do 3 x 35 minute performances a night. Whilst these didn’t always sell out (as booking is required) I feel the theatre should have had more capacity to reduce this to two maybe slightly longer performances. The seating is also very tight on leg room. The pools are all 6ft deep with no shallow sections (with the exception of the kids play park) The dinning rooms are too small. This cruise wasn’t full but heard previously of issues with not having enough tables in the restaurant. This results in some very closely configured tables which almost resemble banqueting halls where your almost sharing tables with your neighbour. This didn’t happen to us but it could be pot luck whether you land one of these tables. I’m also not sure if this is down to the table situation but they tend to run 4 dinner sessions 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm - there is also a my choice dining option. If you aren’t in within 15 minutes of that time then the restaurant closes. This policy leads to everyone arriving in a 15 minute window. Servers maybe with 6 tables or more each then need to take orders, serve drinks, bread and food. Not staggering tables affects quality of service and also I’m sure has an effect on the kitchen staff as well. Very open venues. Many of the entertainment areas aren’t intimate or open and have limited seating - so often what happens is a performer is playing to people who are not there to see the act but people who are just there taking a seat. Often the venues are also corridors to other places which then has the effect of major background noise. - The food was very hit or miss The food in the buffet and main dining at breakfast was to a similar standard to RC although with possibly slightly less choice Lunch in the buffet offered less variety than RC and the one time we had lunch in main dining it was ok. Again they seemed to seat people in one waiters section meaning they had immediately 8 tables to serve in quick time. We had dinner in the main dining each night and it was very hit or miss. Some dishes were surprisingly good others were just ok. Portions tended to be smaller than RC - which I think is a good thing - as often RC portions can vary and tend to be large. We developed a system to ensure we got alright food on MSC - we found they tended to be better at seafood and fish dishes than other meat types. For desserts their ice cream and ice cream sundaes were actually very good. They were also very good at pizza and (crisp) fries at the buffet. - Water At dinner service we were entitled to complimentary bottled water - which seemed to be rationed with one bottle coming out at a time. I’m not sure why they don’t just serve water - I actually would prefer a big jug of iced water from the tap than create more plastic to be recycled. - Sanitisation Whilst cleanliness was very good on board hygenie such as hand sanitisation was more an optional occurrence. There was hand sanitiser stations and even hand washing stations in the buffet but many just didn’t bother. By the end of the cruise a large number of people seemed to have a cough. - Disembarkation at some ports was a nightmare We stopped at Tenerife and Malaga on this trip. Tenerife was actually very smooth. However Malaga was slightly dangerous. Due to three medical evacuations by air and bad weather the disembarkation time was understandably changed to 2:30pm. People queued from 2pm with no staff to manage queues these quickly got out of hand with no real queuing system, people joining the lines as they come down the stairs or out of lifts. Some of the queue were then sent to the crew exit to alleviate this. But that was somewhat a bottleneck > with again people coming down stairs and lifts and joining in a mass. - Lack of Activities On board there was somewhat limited daytime activities. On RC we enjoy attending the trivia which is up to seven times a day. It is a great way to meet people as well as break up sea days. On MSC it tended to be dance classes with only three trivia sessions across 12 days. On one day they had 3 activities scheduled at one time and none for three hours. They also had a guest lecturer on board who we attended several talks and was quite interesting. On speaking to her she stated that she only does the transatlantic cruises - what would they have had if she wasn’t on board. There was a lot of entertainment staff even more than on other lines so felt they weren’t utilised as well as they could be. - Languages It became quite monotonous to hear every thing repeated in 6 languages. MSC is European, and I was shocked how seemingly few US customers were on board which make up a large proportion of RC guests regardless where they sail from. Unsurprisingly the majority were Brazilians meaning Portuguese was the main language. Being from the UK and having a little grasp of a few languages I would have struggled without English which was certainly a minority language on board. I’m not sure there is a solution to this problem. Although perhaps they could announce in one language and display subtitles in other languages on screens in places like the theatre. - Not the best imported shows The shows which are imported tend to be languageless or language light. These were a mime act (x2), singing act (x2) and a Ventriloquist using somewhat common words from multiple languages. In fact the best part of these shows was often the audience participation bits which were only a small part. Overall these certainly were not as good as guests performers on RC. - Service was not as friendly as RC I felt the staff were not as friendly as RC. They all did a good job but didn’t really talk. On RC servers of food and drink tend to be really bubbly, restaurant managers visit our table each night and most other staff great you in the corridors of all ranks. I felt this was in a minority on MSC. The staff were still good at their job and some were really friendly. For example a waitress at the chocolate shop remembered us for the rest of the cruise and greeted us each time we walked by, the maitre’d at main dining was very chatty and always acknowledged guests, deck staff cleaning the deck at 5am even gave out a strong good morning in Portuguese. Some other points; We had 3 air medical evacuations during this cruise and these were handled really professionally - it was good to see that if you need specialist medical help even 500km off the coast that attempts will will be made to get you that help. The Spanish Search & Rescue Service Salvamento Maritimo sent a Puma helicopter and an AirbusHeli plane to evacuate a staff member who was in labour with the baby in the breech position. An unusual announcement came over the tannoy in another language first and I picked up the words gynaecologist or obstetrician as they are very similar. The next day whilst at the buffet they made an announcement of “Mike Echo” over the tannoy and the evacuation was in full progress. MSC was the first cruise line to search my bags getting off at a port. As we were on holiday for 17 days we really needed to wash some clothes. I hadn’t preordered a washing package which were reasonable in advance. But per piece priced onboard. As we had washed clothes before off ship on our last transatlantic we thought we would do the same again. Last year on RC we carried off two rather large stuffed full weekender bags no questions asked. Even Spanish police and didn’t even look as we walked through with them. However MSC security were puzzled why I might be taking a weekender bag off the ship and wanted to know what was in it, scanned it and then did a quick visual search. This vigilance I believe is a good thing although what bag size is too big - I was shocked to have not been at least stopped last year with RC. On MSC others got off with backpacks no questions asked. Beware of the shuttle sale at Malaga. This has been mentioned by others before but MSC somewhat tried to sell a $10 shuttle to the city centre from Malaga cruise terminal stating it’s a 20-25 min bus ride away. In reality it’s about 25 minutes leisurely walk by the marina. A taxi would be about €6 each way, and if you wanted to do specific things may just save you a few minutes. Overall we left feeling we enjoyed a relaxing 11 nights on board. We would sail again with MSC possibly on their smaller ships (which we tend prefer) on itinerary rich sailings negating some of the activity issues although we have another two transatlantic sailings booked with RC for early next year so possibly not anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a ... Read More
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a different cruise in as much as we flew to Barbados and then after On our arrival in Bridgetown we had a very pleasant surprise. As we got off the aircraft we found coaches waiting for us at bottom of steps. We were taken directly to the ship and never touched our luggage until it arrived in our cabin. The cabin itself was a balcony cabin and was beautiful in every way. We chose a Fantastica cabin as it came with a drinks package. Our cabin steward, Erith could not have been more helpful and kept cabin spotless. We chose !st sitting dining in Golden Lobster Restaurant. The waiters were great and were very attentive including our waiter James ( name we used for him.) he left ship in Lisbon to fly home to Bali. His assistant waiter was called Abhishek Kumar from India and he went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic holiday. He deserves the highest praise. The food was excellent although not to my taste all the time. The restaurant was spotless and well managed. The entertainment on the ship left a lot to be desired although the the trio with the pianist and 2 violinists we excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The service overall on the ship was first class and could not be faulted in any way. WE did not take any of the excursions and made our own arrangements. We found the islands very commercialized now and have got worse over the past few years. We took a taxi in Guadaloupe and the female taxi driver was the most dangerous taxi drive I have ever used. She was swerving all over road and reading phone texts and making nd taking phone calls. In Barbados was took a trip in a glass bottom boat which was most enjoyable and well worth the money. After leaving Barbados on 9th April we traveled 5 days across the Atlantic and it was a lovely smooth crossing to Tenerife which we enjoyed immensely. WE then visited Madeira which is a lovely island and I would recommend anyone visiting if you get the chance. The 3 visits to Lisbon, Vigo and Le Havre were not as good and as it was bank holiday most of town was closed. The appeared to be a lot of coughing on board which I hasten to add. I do not blame on ship. Our disembarkation in Southampton due to passengers who boarded in Le Havre did not attend the compulsory immigration procedures. This is the one complaint I have about MSC. It is used as a ferry service more that a cruise ship. Overall the ship and staff were perfect in every way and I would not hesitate to use MSC again although I would be more selective. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed from Hawaii to japan 15 days approx. 65 passengers . This Cruise which is about 15th was one of the best . Great Food Great service (with exception to the Butler bad) Fantastic mix of travellers We had 4 days of ... Read More
We sailed from Hawaii to japan 15 days approx. 65 passengers . This Cruise which is about 15th was one of the best . Great Food Great service (with exception to the Butler bad) Fantastic mix of travellers We had 4 days of rough sea's but no one really bothered .I was cruising alone and met a fantastic group of people which we met each day for lunch and Dinner with Cocktails in the Lounge pre dinner .The Crew were fantastic friendly. I had a Butler servicing my suite on Deck 6 he was the only disappointment (you would have thought he had paid to be aboard unfortunately very arrogant.. This was April 2nd.Some of the People I met are all catching up for a Cruise from Boston to Cancun on Le Champlain cant wait ... I highly recommend Ponant from this experience it is a definite cut above large Cruise lines Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The ... Read More
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The assigned seating at dinner was picture perfect. We had a table at the front of the Dining Room with excellent sunset view every evening. Massage experience was divine and the health bar was a plus. The gym is huge with all the newest equipment and you can track your workout progress with an app connected to the equipment. The ship excursion were a bit disorganized and we had some minor issues. The wifi was dependable, just make sure you get the unlimited package as you wont regret it. Our room attendant was unbelievable and the room itself was awesome. Although you will have to pay for all the extras, it was not that bad. We will return Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package ... Read More
Firstly this was our first cruise so we have nothing to completely judge against, however the things I will talk about was our experience. On arrival onto the ship we we’re badgered by staff wanting us to sign up to a drinks package which we had already sorted pre arrival. This also didn’t stop for a couple of days. ( by all means assist customers but make staff be seen but have customers approach staff ) We also were constantly bugged by the staff photographers constantly asking if we wanted our picture taken and even after a polite no they then pleaded ‘it will only take a few minutes ‘ whilst following us. My polite no’s were beginning to wear very thin towards the end. To add insult to injury the one time we gave in, we were then automatically charged £34.99 to our card before even seeing them. From the reception they told me it was down to me to say I didn’t want them to have the charge removed. So I was glad to keep an eye on my account on my tv in my cabin. Otherwise it would have been a shock on leaving. ( may be better for customers to say yes before charging). Each place we docked at we were badgered if we wanted taxi or sight seeing bus. All were stupid prices and you can do so much better sourcing your own public transport at great prices.... it got tiresome as they wouldn’t take no as an answer. I feel msc security/ dock security should monitor this and actively reduce this annoyance. Now the ship is an absolute beautiful design. Really took our breath away. The mid ship sky screen shows and displays were very good. The shows onboard were very very good and thoughly entertaining. And at 30 mins I feel it was too short but understand with time restrictions for the program it has to be that way. I had no issues with my premium drinks package and recommend this is purchased. The staff were all very friendly and pleasant and had no bad experiences in the dining room with food or waiting staff. The cabin ( we had a balcony) was a nice size and I would say it was a slightly smaller than the average Travelodge room but pretty much the same layout. Tv channels were slightly limited ( but who comes on holiday to watch tv ). The safe is quite tiny and we couldn’t put our iPads in it. But it was simple to use. The Bed was very comfortable with two pillows. Balcony size ok. Mini bar idea not so good. .... it is not covered on the drinks package. I think to enjoy the balcony it would be good to use from mini bar to save having to go to the bar for purchasing drinks to carry back. Most drinks in there can be from the bar anyway. ( just saves borrowing and restocking ourselves the next day early). The spa is amazing and well worth the visit. Spent most days in there for a couple of hours recovering from our days walking. However on the sea day it got very busy. Maybe it would be good if msc only allowed the package deal only people to access on sea days and offer no day pass. ( could earn more money for them and balance the numbers out for spa visitors). With the numerous relaxation areas jacuzzis and steam/ sauna rooms and ice room. Not forgetting the emotional showers there are plenty of places to relax and rest. Never gambled before and the casino was an awesome experience. Staff very friendly and when it was quiet we asked how to use tables and all was explained very well. There are serious gamblers there, and people like us who had fun with between 10-30 Euros per visit. We actually visited most nights and actually walked away with more Euro’s than we started with. The water slides were fun to use, and the pools were relaxing. And the external hot tubs on the deck were very nice also. Anyone in two minds about first time cruising, I think the ship will give you the experience that will help decide if it’s for you. And as for us......... we will stick with msc and look out for more locations this ship will visit and try out the other ships in the fleet. We have been converted to a life of cruising for sure. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could ... Read More
Except for the Rosario Strings and the Buenos Aires tango show, the others seemed a bit tired. Jody the piano guy was a disappointment as we normally like to sit and listen and sing along with the piano man. The other area that could be improved was the lack of 24 hour food. The larger ships have a place where you can get some some savory and sweet snacks almost round-the-clock. One thing they added for the lunches in the dining room was some hot buffet and dessert. This combined with the tutti salad bar made the lunchtime much more enjoyable. Whoever thought of that gets a gold star. Otherwise the repeating lunch menu got tired real quick. As this was a repositioning cruise, the enrichment lectures were lacking. Could have done a little more. The port of Ponta Delgada is not as good a stop as Madeira or the Canary Islands. The service was excellent and the ship in good shape. Enjoyed the cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Like the itinerary with lots of Sea days to rest and recharge. Also got to see Darwin Australia, Kaohsiung(Taiwan) besides the usual Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore, Phu My(Vietnam) and Hong Kong. Ship was big, and nice. Room was a mini ... Read More
Like the itinerary with lots of Sea days to rest and recharge. Also got to see Darwin Australia, Kaohsiung(Taiwan) besides the usual Sydney, Brisbane, Singapore, Phu My(Vietnam) and Hong Kong. Ship was big, and nice. Room was a mini suite(upgraded from a premium balcony), very comfortable, Excellent room service. Sea was calm until South China sea. Mostly Australian on the ship with lots of Asian from Australia. US pax are the minority. Lots of Fancy, high end stores, on board. Too expensive! Piazza was large, busy daily with all kinds of activities. Casino was fun on the Penny machines, not much table activities throughout the cruise(except for Black Jack Tournament), feel sorry for the casino attendants standing at their table side all morning, afternoon and waiting for table players to play! Love the Asian exercise equipment at the aft of the ship for stretching and muscle toning, very simple but effective! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was my second repositioning cruise on the Majestc. The first one was from Shanghai to Sydney in Aug/Sep 2018. Cabin: On this current occasion I traveled with friends (a couple). We had adjacent balcony cabins on deck 14. We ... Read More
This was my second repositioning cruise on the Majestc. The first one was from Shanghai to Sydney in Aug/Sep 2018. Cabin: On this current occasion I traveled with friends (a couple). We had adjacent balcony cabins on deck 14. We chose this cruise because we wanted a cruise that terminated in Hong Kong. My cabin was comfortable except for the very soft pillows that Princess now has. Also, there was a strong smell of stale urine in the bathroom. This was also the case on the earlier cruise when I had an inside cabin. Despite several attempts on both occasions by the cabin stewards to remove the smell, it lingered. Dining: The food overall was very good. We had anytime dining, and ate in the dining room sometimes. We also ate at the International Marketplace, Harmony Restaurant, Crown Grill, Alfredo's, La Mer, and the Noodle Bar, and we did the Chef's Table dining. I thought the Crown Grill on this ship was the best of any ship. The food was excellent and cooked to perfection. I didn't care for the food in the Harmony Restaurant. One of the dishes was very nice but the others were rather bland. La Mer was OK. We ate at Alfredo's quite a few times. Like the food there. Had quite a few lunches at the Noodle Bar. The Chef's Table was not as good as some I've had in the past; more emphasis on presentation rather than flavour. And the food in both the dining rooms and the International Marketplace was pretty good. Ship: I don't particularly like its design which I understand was tailored to the Chinese market. The ship lacks the bar/lounge areas which Australians, including me, seem to like, such as Wheelhouse, Explorers, Skywalkers and Crooners. There was a Crooners on the Majestic but it was the casino's high rollers room converted. Not a crowd-friendly space and tucked away in a corner next to the casino. This was also the nightclub but it didn't really work as that either. The ship has a space called Princess Live on Deck 7 midship. It's like a small theatre. It doesn't really work well for most of the events that it's used for. The seating is quite uncomfortable; there is no bar and wait staff from the nearest bar up the passage have difficulty taking orders and delivering drinks. Apart from a bench across the back of the room, there are no tables so activities like trivia and bingo are difficult there. Also, the Promenade deck walking area does not go right around the ship. It does run up both sides of the ship but it's very narrow in parts and walking is very difficult if there's anyone else in the area. The Princess Theatre has 800 seats for 3500 passengers. This meant that you'd need to get there more than half an hour before a show to have any chance of getting a seat. Most of the activities were held in the Piazza as there was really nowhere much else to have them. A couple of times when we were dining at Alfredo's (on Deck 6 in the Piazza), the music in the Piazza was so loud that we couldn't have a conversation. The Majestic has an adults area on Deck 17 called the Hollywood Observatory. It's an indoor area that has a good sized pool, a bar, lots of lounges and other seating, include cabanas which can be closed off for privacy. A lovely area except for two things - some recorded birdsong which is really unnecessary and gets on your nerves after a while; and the fact that the whole area is air conditioned. That's OK if you've gone there just to read or play games, etc, but it makes it very cold when you come out of the pool! Entertainment: The entertainment was very good overall. Some excellent performers, and the production shows were great. Lots of activities. We never had trouble finding something enjoyable to do. Service: The service on the ship, as always, was excellent, although I noticed that there seemed to be less wait staff than usual in some areas. This meant that there were sometimes delays in getting vacated tables cleared, or getting a drink. This was my fourth cruise with Captain Dino Sagani at the helm. While his daily noon navigation reports were always informative, I've never seen him or his officers out and about the ship other than at official functions. Ports: While the number of ports was small (only 6 including Hong Kong), there was plenty to do at each. I found the destination presentation for Kaohsiung to be very helpful in getting a feel for the logistics of the place. The only Princess shore excursion I did was to Long Tan and Nui Dat in Vietnam. So much Australian military history in that part of the world. We were privileged to participate in a short memorial service while at the Long Tan Memorial. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Would I go again on the Majestic? Probably not. I don't care for that class of ship. I much prefer the Grand or Gem class. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was ... Read More
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was great. Service in the main dining room and the food seemed the usual Princes approach. There was concern expressed by someone that since the ship is heading to dry dock in Victoria that there would be less staff and poor food supply but that was certainly not the case. The staff told us that during the 3 weeks in dry dock, their jobs continue, as they must serve the 1000 construction workers who take up residence on the ship and work 24 hrs a day to complete the dry dock tasks. The only difference is that their days are shorter. On another note, Princess has made a decision to remove all the barrel chairs from the balcony and ocean view staterooms. I find this to be a ridiculaous move as do many others. I had disussed my concern with corporate relations and was told that if I ask for chai, I will get it. Many people on Cruise Critic had indicated that they had asked their stateroom steward and had been told that a chair was not available any longer. I did not ask the steward. I went to the Passenger Service desk soon after we boarded and asked for a chair. I happily got one within 1/2 hour of asking. I do have a bit of a caveat, though.This ship is heading to dry dock and maybe the few chairs that they may have available on board right now might disappear once in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
First impression entering the Piazza, was wow. Very impressive. But the biggest thing that lets it down is the layout. The Market place is so confusing, it’s set out in 2 sections a bistro and buffet. To get your food you have to ... Read More
First impression entering the Piazza, was wow. Very impressive. But the biggest thing that lets it down is the layout. The Market place is so confusing, it’s set out in 2 sections a bistro and buffet. To get your food you have to negotiate .different areas. For example I wanted toasted Banana bread, I went to the counter with the Banana bread, then had to take it to another area to get it toasted then again to get butter. The Market place seating is divided by many screens, it feels a bit closed in. The Princess theatre is a good size but entering and exiting is a problem as the aisles are one person wide, which causes big problems with everyone trying to leave. The future cruise desk and captains circle club are in the same very small room, with only one staff member looking after each area. Causes major cuing. For a ship with 3500 passengers you would think they would have more room and more staff to handle the volume. Our cabin was excellent, we had a Club class mini suite, very big, plenty of room to sit, or eat a meal, very good and big balcony with table chairs and sun lounges. Embarkation and disembarkation was very good, very well organised. The entertainment was good with the imported artist, but the Princess entertainment was the same as any other ship. If you been on a few Princess cruises no need to go and see them. The crew where mainly very good, but there was a lot of Chinese crew that did not seem to want to serve anyone except Chinese passengers. I asked to use the Karaoke room and was told it was only for the Asian cruise, by one Chinese crew member, then told to go and see, the Internet cafe person, then told to see Customer services, who are the ones I saw first so I didn’t bother. I would not go on the Majestic Princess if there was an alternative ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Excellent value for a suite - liked the itinerary - wanted to experience a new ship. Good overall but we did not like the mattress in the suite. I suspect it is rubber based as it always seemed to be hot. Club class dining is ... Read More
Excellent value for a suite - liked the itinerary - wanted to experience a new ship. Good overall but we did not like the mattress in the suite. I suspect it is rubber based as it always seemed to be hot. Club class dining is excellent with no waiting during anytime dining. Enrichment Lectures were lacking. Only one American based speaker (most of the PAX were Australian) and he joined part way through the cruise. No others. Captain Dino's announcements were all good but interaction with officers was non-existent - unfortunate - it happens sometimes. Had a look at pricing on a similar cruise (SYD-SIN) next year and note the price has doubled for the same number of days, compared with what we paid. At this price we will probably pass for that itinerary. We enjoyed the cruise and it was great value, an excellent ship. We will sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Price and itinerary.. Its was a destination that we did not do before. Food was good but not exceptional . Food was better on other celebrity crises we have been on . Disembarkation was awful. It appeared very organized with everyone given ... Read More
Price and itinerary.. Its was a destination that we did not do before. Food was good but not exceptional . Food was better on other celebrity crises we have been on . Disembarkation was awful. It appeared very organized with everyone given assigned times for immigration. But then they threw the schedules away huge groups go all at once . This caused long waits , long lines, long waits for elevators and lines jamming the stair cases. The captains club hostess did not seem overly friendly and a bit standoff and did not seem interested in the passengers. The cruise director was excellent. Bar staff / waiters seemed overwhelmed and service was slow. Stateroom attendant was excellent . ports in chile (except for santiago) and peru were poor and we would not do them again. Santiago and surrounding area was good. Would we do this cruise again ... No. shore excursions were expensive and limited. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our friends asked us to join them with other family members. The food was excellent and the cruise staff very friendly and accommodating. The Captain (Tubo) was all over the ship, greeting guests on a daily basis. The entertainment was ... Read More
Our friends asked us to join them with other family members. The food was excellent and the cruise staff very friendly and accommodating. The Captain (Tubo) was all over the ship, greeting guests on a daily basis. The entertainment was wonderful. Only draw back the theater, unfortunately, was not large enough to accommodate all the guests. The tours, both ship sponsored or private arrangements, were wonderful. All in all, Princess Cruise Lines did a great job, including embarkation and disembarkation at both ports. I can't say enough about the dining room staff and food taste and presentation. It was all good! The outdoor Pizza Venue, Ice Cream Corner and Hamburgers and Hot Dogs were also very good and well prepared. The Pools and Jacuzzi were also well maintained and the Bars were always within site and the staff always friendly and available. The Tender Service was well organized as was. Disembarkation at the (6) Ports we arrived at. That's about it. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Staff was marvelous. They were very attentive. We had the drink package. The drinks were excellent especially the martinis at the Champagne bar. The ship was very clean. Food was good in dining room. Buffet was decent. Shore ... Read More
Staff was marvelous. They were very attentive. We had the drink package. The drinks were excellent especially the martinis at the Champagne bar. The ship was very clean. Food was good in dining room. Buffet was decent. Shore excursions were not impressive and they were always late. They would tell you to meet in the theater at 8:45 but you wouldn't get called for your excursion until 9:45. Felt like a lot of time was wasted waiting for the shore excursions. We tried to go to the beach in Ecuador but it took 1.5 hours to get there. We were supposed to have 3 hours at the beach but ended up only getting 1.5 hours. Enjoyed the activities that were provided daily. Went to 3 specialty restaurants. The food was overcooked in the Moderno which is not the usual case for that restaurant. We were a bit disappointed. Shows were pretty good. Loved the quietness in our cabin. It was nice not hearing your neighbor open and close their drawers and flush their toilet. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary, particularly the Suez transit, and the fact nearly all ports were firsts for us, as was MSC. The ship was very clean and extremely smooth, cabins adequate though shower curtain in bathroom was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary, particularly the Suez transit, and the fact nearly all ports were firsts for us, as was MSC. The ship was very clean and extremely smooth, cabins adequate though shower curtain in bathroom was extremely annoying as it sticks to you due to the tiny area! Had two days to explore Dubai before boarding then overnight on board too so crammed in lots of sights, nice to be berthed close to the old Creek, very interesting with the boats busting up and down. Embarkation was smooth and was nice to be moved straight to Black tier due to our status on Royal Caribbean, gaining us some nice benefits including a four course lunch with wine, bottle of fizz in cabin and chocolate covered strawberries to name a few! Surprised to find that fellow passengers who had cruised with them many times got no rewards however, wouldn’t inspire my loyalty! Sadly missed Sir Bani Yas due to weather but Muscat was beautiful, the Grand Mosque was one of the highlights of the trip, luckily we arrived very early when it was quiet. Exciting five days at sea with security guards patrolling due to piracy threat and then into Eilat, the only slightly disappointing port, snorkelling not as good as expected. Petra was fabulous, took the ship trip which we thought was very good value and the lunch was superb. The walk in and out was hard but rewarding and far more to see than expected, we got a good overview in the time we had and scenery was beautiful on the journey too. Suez transit did not disappoint, watched from start, at sunrise, to finish. Wonderful experience and one to tick off the bucket list. Once we were in the Med it was like a second cruise, weather cooler and off every day so a busy last week. We missed Athens due to the weather but I personally preferred the alternative of Corfu, Kotor was amazing and we completed the climb up to the monastery at midday which nearly killed us. Split was interesting, yes they have their own currency but so do we, wasn’t a problem. Concluded the trip with two days in Venice which was lovely, covered most of the city with a 48 hour bus and vaparetto pass, very impressive public transport. The two days in hotels were just right, all done as a package from Cruise 1st. The food.....uninspiring, bland and unimaginative. If, as we were told, the executive chef is Italian then he should be ashamed of himself, never saw a leaf of basil once! I would at least expect my dining room meal to be better than I could cook myself and 60% of the time it wasn’t. As for not providing jugs of water on the dining table I have never heard of such a stupid rule, we just took a bottle of water in every evening but a great way to alienate your customers. The pastries, cakes and puddings were very nice but in general service wasn’t great in the restaurant or buffet. Pizza was excellent but only four types over 20 days... Evening shows with dancers were brilliant, as were musicians round the ship though opera singers a bit screechy. Other entertainment was childish, hysterical and noisy, must be an Italian thing. Very little trivia and the constant six language announcements make you lose the will to live after a while. It was nice to have such a wide variety of nationalities on board though. Onboard speaker Alison Hypher was exceptional, just what you need on a cruise with such a varied itinerary. She struck the perfect balance between historical fact and useful information, could not recommend her highly enough. The coffee shop was nice, reasonably priced with friendly staff, and I did like the outdoor area at the back of the buffet to sit and eat. I got the impression that service in general is take it or leave it, senior staff tend to avoid eye contact rather than say hello and was surprised to see staff smoking or drinking in public areas. Did not like the smoking in the pub which permeates far beyond. For the price we paid this was a fantastic adventure but I feel MSC could improve vastly in the areas mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was smooth. We were allocated a time to embark( 6 pm) which we did. The suitcases didn't arrived till midnight which was a pain. Our cabin was an inner cabin on Bella. Good bed but they were fold up bunk beds close to the sides of the main bed and I had hit my head a few times on that. We did a back to back cruise, so after the 20 days , there was a 4 day cruise and we were given an other cabin just 3 door further up the corridor, that room was bigger and had no fold up beds above the sides. The ship itself I think is beautiful, a nice size, not too big. We had booked all excursions beforehand online with the MSC excursions. This way it was cheaper but also safer to be with an MSC excursion. We loved it and learned so much. The food at the buffet was always plenty and the only thing I didn't like was the masses of people trying to get in and get a table was a nightmare, but once you found a table you need to leave a coat over your chair or it would be gone again. I once was on my own, had got myself a coffee and something else, and I just went to get something else, a quick hot chocolate from the machine and when I came back all the other stuff was taken away by staff, I hadn't even started drinking it, but I had not left my coat on the chair. We always had dinner at Hippocampus restaurant downstairs. The meals were very nice and good portions, not too big and not too small. 3 course meal and you were full. We loved our staff there, Christian from Honduras, and Alex from Kiev. I am concerned , though, that the staff is being overworked and underpaid. They were often very tired. They seem to get only 4 hours of sleep at night and maybe a couple of hours during the day. That's not much rest. Our cabin steward was Argus from Indonesia, a was very friendly and loyal and did his work really well. Always smiling and always asking how we were. We travelled with an other couple, friends from our hometown. I would definitely go again but not take that back to back cruise with the 4 extra days( we did it because it had an excursion to San Marino) but the people were completely different folks. Mainly Europeans that brought their whole family, kids, babies and strollers. They would very loud and often rude, pushing their way to the front of a queue like with the buffet on deck 11, it was a nightmare to try and eat there. I because sick and tired of the throngs of people. During the 20 days sailing from Dubai to Venice, we had a nice mix, quite a few Aussies, UK people, 20 NZ-ders, and some French and Italians and a lot of Germans and a handful of Dutch. It looked more like a cruise designed for your average income type people, definitely not upper class. But to us that was ok, it was a fantastic cruise and you get what you pay for. The critics I have heard review this ship are expecting a highest standard like silverline cruises for the price of a " backpackers" type cruise to put it this way, which is unfair. I think MSC Lirica is fine as long as you know if it was cheap, don't expect too much, but for us it was enough, and fine we saw a good chunk of the world. The shows were great, we went most nights. The other musicians also very good. We didn't buy a drinks package but just went and bought drinks as we had dinner. The laundry personal service for your own laundry is quite outrages expensive. It was 30 euro for a bag with 20 items, if it wasn't 20 items you got it back dirty again, so it HAD TO BE 20 items. Then it would be washed and folded the next day. Why don't they have a laundrette service where you can put in your clothes in a washing machine? My answer is: It is a cheap cruise and they have to make money somehow. Also half of the passengers all got sick with a very bad cough, that was after we had gone through the Suez Canal and came out in the freezing wind of the Mediterranean. A doctors visit on the ship will put you back 100 euros. Luckily my own doctor had give me my own anti biotics and so I was ok. But I had to visit the ship doctor for a skin condition, that was 100 euros. But the doctor was very good. All in all, I would do this again( not the back to back 4 day cruise ) and maybe go on a different route. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've ... Read More
The Divina is a beautiful ship, for sure. Clean, elegant, spacious. Definitely NOT American. And that's not a bad thing. We have plenty of "American style" cruiselines and to have another option is a plus. We've recently returned from a 20 day Transatlantic journey and over the course of the cruise I've formed many opinions of this ship and the cruiseline in general. I'll start from the beginning. Sit back and relax- this may be information overload, but a lot of questions will be answered. Embarkation. Your cruise ticket will have a recommended time for your embarkation. Ignore that and get there when you want to. 11:00 am is fine. They will not turn you away. We did, however, have to wait awhile because as we found out once onboard, two crew members jumped ship in Miami. Defected. Left. So of course, immigration was investigating. We didn't have to wait long, however. We were onboard by 1:00 pm. Once we crossed over the gangway to the ship we noticed a lot of the ship was cordoned off and we had to go up to the Buffet- along with everyone else. So of course, it was crowded. Embarkation day- that's to be expected. No worries. We got our food, found a table and enjoyed our first Divina meal. The buffet is very large and the food is plentiful, varied and good. You do have to look around because there are different options around every corner. Burgers, hot dogs, wraps, pizza, salad and fruit can be found in the center area between Manitou and Calumet buffets. Fruit juices, tea and coffee are available all the time. They tend to run out of creamer a lot, though. Daily specials and desserts will be on either side. Just wander around a bit to get your bearings. Window tables are, of course, the most popular. They do have too many handicap accessible tables- they are usually all empty. Sit at one if you must, but be prepared to move if necessary. After lunch we checked on our cabin, which our amazing cabin steward, Maskur, told us was "almost ready." We were able to drop off our backpacks and go explore a bit. It was when we dropped off our bags that we noticed that our balcony cabin was small and had nothing more than a bed, a desk and two nightstands. No sofa. Quite a shock and disappointment considering they did not show a picture or diagram of our cabin style anywhere on their website. Balcony cabins are shown to have a sofa. This was a major issue for us- especially for a 3 week cruise. We waited a day to address this with guest relations because the we know the first day or two is so hectic for them. When we did go to inquire about the sofa we were told sorry- nothing we can do, the ship was sold out. Not wanting to give up so easily, we went back the next day to talk to a different agent. He seemed more sympathetic and understood that we didn't feel that we got what we paid for and said he'd contact us once we left New York City to see if there was another cabin available and if not he'd see what he could do. He never contacted us so we returned to him. Sorry- there was nothing he could do. We asked for a supervisor and he went behind closed doors to speak to his supervisor. The supervisor told him he had spoken to me at the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and I had told him or cruise was great. Partly true- I had actually said everything was great but we were disappointed in our cabin, which, of course, was brushed off. We were bewildered and disappointed but decided to shake it off and not let it ruin our cruise. So just beware- there is a very large percentage of balcony cabins that have ONLY a bed, two nightstands and a desk. No sofa, as is pictured on their website. Deceptive advertising. Issue number two is do not purchase anything online prior to your cruise. If you do and want to cancel or change your order once onboard- you won't be able to. We purchased a photo package on their website prior to sailing. Once onboard we decided that we did not need 10 photos of ourselves so we asked to cancel. Sorry- you purchased online you have to cancel online. Okay. We paid for 10 minutes of internet service to cancel our package. Since we'd already set sail we could not access our online account! Back to the photo department. Sorry. Nothing they could do. Sigh. Okay... well- we purchased the package, we'll choose some photos in a few days. You have to purchase all 10 at the same time. We went to the photo department to choose some pictures and found 7 that were decent so we asked them to hold those 7 until we posed for more photos on Italian night. When we returned and chose a few more pictures to complete our order- they had lost the original 7!! We had given them our chosen photos and our cabin number. Anyway- long story short- we ended up getting the manager involved. End result- they reprinted some (some were never found on the computer) gave us about 14 pictures instead of 10 and we're supposed to get a full refund because of all the time we had to spend going through all the photos multiple times. Haven't seen the refund come through yet. We did receive an email that it is being processed. Muster drill- a waste of time. You could not hear or understand what they were saying. Had there been an emergency it would have been total chaos. Television- on a 3 week cruise the ONLY channel we could access in English was a British news channel. Can we say "Brexit overload?" One or two days they did offer a few free movies, but the test of the time your choices were to pay for movies, watch British news or turn it off. Okay- enough with the problems we had personally. On with the good. As I said the ship is beautiful. And clean! Our room steward- Maskur- was amazing. Our waiter and his assistant were both wonderful. The staff in the buffet worked very hard. They will interact with you and converse with you if given a chance. They are far from home and missing their families. Ask about their family! They will beam as they tell you about their home. Food- The food in the buffet is plentiful, varied and good. We chose to eat there on several evenings when we didn't want to dress up for dinner. It was always great. The Black Crab is a beautiful restaurant. The variety is somewhat limited in my opinion but there was always something I could find and the portions are big. I never had anything that wasn't hot and good. The best kept secret is the Sports Bar. Hamburgers, Reuben sandwiches, fish and chips, Ceasar Salad, wings- all complimentary and all good! Finding a table is sometimes a challenge though. There are only a few tables and people tend to gather there to play cards or just chat without ordering food. And you have to eat your food there- you can't order and take it anywhere else. The Piazza del Doge has complimentary cookies, cakes and sandwiches throughout the day and night. Gelato is $3.50 for a small cup or $5.50 for a large. They also make Sundaes and shakes for $6.50- $7.50. I can't speak to any drinks packages- we never buy those. Not worth it for us. There are always juices, tea and coffee available in the Buffet. The bed- comfortable enough for me. A bit on the firm side but I slept well. Activities- Dance lessons, origami lessons, craft sessions, trivia games, scavenger hunts, bingo, exercise classes, yoga, etc. are available throughout the day. The entertainment team is busy and energetic all day long. Shows - Mostly music. Singing, dancers, a ventriloquist one night. As with any ship- we enjoyed some shows and didn't care for others. That's up to individual tastes. Ports- we booked the cruise for the ports. This was a 20 day Transatlantic repositioning cruise with incredible destinations. NYC, Bermuda, Azores, Portugal, Malaga and Valencia, Spain, Marseilles and Genoa. Overnight in 4 of the ports, which was amazing! NYC- was way too cold for these Florida people! We stayed onboard on a nearly empty ship, which was nice. Bermuda ended up being canceled due to weather.... from what I heard this was the 3rd time in a row Bermuda has been cancelled- but that could be hearsay. We ended up in Tenerife in the Canary islands. A bit of a RIP off many felt, because we were supposed to have 2 full days in Bermuda, instead we got an extra sea day, and a not so great alternative port- and no refund on lost port taxes for Bermuda. It would have made more sense to give us extra time in one of our shorter ports- as we only had 6- 7 hours in several of our ports. I do understand, though, that there could be scheduling problems. Finally- MSC is a fine cruiseline and the Divina is a beautiful ship. The big area that MSC needs to improve on is communication. Talk to 3 different people about an issue and you will get 3 different answers. They are not consistent. Know this before you sail and you will be fine. Their website..... well- I'll just say it needs work and I'll leave it at that. Will I choose MSC for future cruises? Probably not. Crystal staircases and pretty decor can't make up for poor customer service and lack of communication. MSC is privately owned, answers to no one and simply does not appear to care about their guests. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We did the Sokkie cruise from 08 to 11 March 2019....which was supper...mostly white Afrikaans speaking passengers onboard which all like the Afrikaans Sokkie Music.. so the vibe on the ship was great.. Cruising these days are not cheap ... Read More
We did the Sokkie cruise from 08 to 11 March 2019....which was supper...mostly white Afrikaans speaking passengers onboard which all like the Afrikaans Sokkie Music.. so the vibe on the ship was great.. Cruising these days are not cheap any more and we staying in Pretoria so to travel to Dbn and back is also costing a lot. Therefor to make it worthwhile we decided to do the back to back cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went well. We are pensioners and cruising a lot. The MSC Musica is a beautiful ship but we prefer the outlay of the MSC Sinfonias pool area more. On the day of embarkation the eating arrangements was quite chaotic...you were standing in long ques to get to the food just to find that some of the dishes put out was already finished...and to got a seat to sit down with your plate of food was even worse.During the whole cruise we never had a decend cup of hot coffee from the coffee stations. Hot water was kept in a non electric urn to make your coffee from.. and only cold milk was available...terrible...and most of the times there was no coffee powder available...you have to beg someone to find you a coffee sachet or two...only ready made American coffee...also luke warm ...was most of the times available. The juice at breakfast times is also a problem...either to sweat...or most of the times to watery...The food was good...not a big variety...same food over and over during the cruise..we only had fried fish once during the whole week...fried or grilled fish is much nicer than the steamed fish over and over on the menu during dinner times in the restaurant...give us a choice from the menu.. fried,grilled or steamed fish...What happened to the prawns on this cruise...we only had one prawn one night on a plate with a piece of fish and a calamari steak that nobody ate because the calamari steak was to chewy..you cant prepare calamari steaks in advance...rather make fried calamari rings...much better option for a lot of people...there was calamari rings for a starter but the portion was very small...we never got garlic snails or sushi on the menu for a starter ..may be MSC should put it on their menu....the south africans love it!!!!The sushi in the Kaito Sushi Bar was quite expansive...unaffordable for us.... The entertainment was great...specially the entertainment by the Sokkie team...Chambels en friends..most enjoyable..The Duo Resonance band was also very good..outstanding..most enjoyable..nice music for dancing...the best in a long time...it would have been nice if only they could have played alone in one of the lounges at all times and the Definition Band in another lounge...it gives everybody a choice to enjoy what ever they want to. When the Duo Resonance band was playing the dance floor was permanently full....that say something!!!! Overall the service and the staff onboard was good. I really hope that MSC can try to make things better in the problem areas....as we already booked the South Bound cruise in October on the Orchestra coming to SA as well as 3 cabins for the New Years cruise in December to Mauritius with our married children and grandchildren for my mothers 80th Birthday....as I said ...to cruise these days is costing a lot of money...!!!!so at least give us nice food and great entertainment... Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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