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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out ... Read More
Upon boarding there was no one available to greet our group, no greeter to welcome us (that was probably our first clue to disaster). I got to my room, it’s clean but had a very musty smell so I needed to open the balcony to air it out as it had a strong stench. Beds hard as hell and unable to control the temperature in the room. There were no English channels on the television only AL-jerze new, no CSI, Barnaby Jones, Murder she wrote or Matlock. There were no activites for people who spoke English. I have never been in a room which did not have a clock, therefore I constantly had to call the front desk for the time or go to the hall by the steps, just so not to be late for my excursions. Speaking of the Excursions I selected easy tours but there was a lot more walking which did not allow me to take in the views. I take cruises to determine which places I liked the most and would revisit by land but I was not able to make a decision being on the Costa Mediterranean cruise. Announcements were all in Italian which made me make several calls to the operator, as I did not know if the message pertained to me as something I should know. Customer Service Personnel was outrageously, rude and rather disrespectful. Here are two examples: I was standing in line at the customer service desk waiting for help, the lady overlooked me and addressed a man behind me like I was not there, so yes, I spoke up and in Italian she asked the guy to wait. She never said sorry. Another, example again I went to customer service for so clarification about my bill, the young guy was not clear and very impatience, so I said to him I am not following what you’re saying as your explanation does not make sense. I said I didn’t feel like I was getting good customer service. He said he's giving excellent customer service and he don't understand. I said it is your job to ensure I understand he said oh well and went on to the next person. So, I waited for morning. Food: The food on the buffet was cold, under cooked, no flavoring or seasoning. The food in the Dining room was not much better. The waiters were very slow at serving dinner then wanted you to hurry up because you are now interfering with the next service. REALLY. You’re slow so I got to hurry. REALLY. Then there was no food available after 9 pm, this is the first cruise that food was not available during the evening and early morning hours unless it was purchased (hamburgers and pizza) which should have been available as part of the price of the cruise. I would understand aa separate price if it was a specialty restaurant but not for something that should be available. SO, since I’m diabetic I had to ensure I brought some snacks on board, so my when my sugars drop, I had something available to bring my sugars up (this is a real issue for people with Diabetes). Drink Package: my understanding was it unlimited bottle water, can soda and selected alcoholic beverage including mix drinks but the bar personnel said they could not give me a bottle of water but could pour the contents in a glass (therefore, I was getting 8 ounces instead of a whole bottle or 6 ounces instead of a can. So, I had to drink it then order another. I was told if I wanted a can or bottle, that I would have to pay for them. WHY? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We arrived in Dubai after an overnight flight. transfers were smooth and arrived at cruise port by 10.30am Cabins were ready by 11.15am- Great start to the holiday. Day 1 First port of call was Bahrain - a very enjoyable excursion to ... Read More
We arrived in Dubai after an overnight flight. transfers were smooth and arrived at cruise port by 10.30am Cabins were ready by 11.15am- Great start to the holiday. Day 1 First port of call was Bahrain - a very enjoyable excursion to the F1 Track. Second Stop was 2 days in Abu Dhabi - first day Shuttle bus took us to a newly finished Mall on the outskirts of town, quite disappointing as there was no way of walking to the main part of town, bit of a wasted day really. Second day we went on a cruise excursion to Grand Mosque- a visit to a traditional handmadecrafts village, great opportunity to buy local crafts - trade in Diram, Euro's and Dollars. Very friendly and look out for the man that does weaving really worth a visit.A drive around the sites of Abu Dhabi and then a final visit was to a Fort .. this was a superb tour and I would really recommend it as we saw lots and it was good value at £40 each. A day at sea followed . Our next visit was to Muscat , here the shuttle bus took us to a market and we explored the town and the harbour. It was a little confusing at the port we had to get off the bus and go through a security check before re-boarding the bus to get to the town. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous there is a beautiful beach a short taxi ride from the port. We then visited Kushab, a lovely little town where goats roamed the streets and there was a wealth of electronic shops selling allsorts... My daughters bought a pair of airpods that work great for £20, from a shop in the square where the shuttle bus dropped us off. We also found a beautiful beach just next to the port and the sea was really warm, there is no pavement to get there so you need to bear right out of the port and follow the track ..walk behind the crash barrier to the beach , it's less than 1/2 a mile walk. We then enjoyed a fun day on the beach at Sir Ban Yas Island- The ship provided a great packed lunch and drinks on the beach. Our final stop was a return to Dubai, where we arranged our own excursion through Arabian Nights Tours, we had a great great time our guide was called Ramzan and he took us camel riding ( just a quick walk around a pen but good photo opportunities), Sand boarding and Dune Bashing these were both brilliant. He also told us loads about Dubai and its culture. We then took a taxi to the Miracle Gardens, this is a must see for anyone visiting Dubai. The shuttle bus took us to the Dubai Mall where we walked to the burj khalifa and the dancing fountains - we also saw the amazing huge fish tank in the Mall with sharks, stingrays and dozens of amazing fish. Our final day a thick cloud descended on the whole area so it scuppered our plans to visit the palm as we would not have been able to see anything- but we feel this is a good excuse to visit again. Great holiday, excellent value with P&O , having sailed with Princess, Celebrity, Cunard and Royal Caribbean in the past, I would have no hesitation in sailing with P&O again , the Oceana was very friendly and offered really good food. We traveled as a family of 6 with 2 teenage girls, we felt extremely safe throughout our holiday and everyone was very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Wanted to give P&O another try after a really bad experience on Britannia. Oceana used to be Ocean Princess so, as our first ever cruise was on her sister, Sea Princess, we were familiar with the ship, layout and facilities. ... Read More
Wanted to give P&O another try after a really bad experience on Britannia. Oceana used to be Ocean Princess so, as our first ever cruise was on her sister, Sea Princess, we were familiar with the ship, layout and facilities. Embarkation in Dubai was simple and stress free with the usual pre authoristation on my credit card (more of that later). Yet again we found the food to be very average and actually quite boring; perks of being aimed at the older British market I suppose but I don't go to hot parts of the world to have things like shepherds pie for lunch! The staff were okay but again, being predominantly from the Indian sub continent, they tend to be very straight laced to the point of appearing uninterested. We only used the main restaurant twice as the meals did not excite us, thankfully the themed buffets were generally very good. The entertainment was, on the whole pretty good with guest entertainers of a Gary Barlow tribute and a Soul / Mowtown act that was that good we saw on all of their shows. The house entertainment was okay, the Killer Queen theatre show was entertaining without being spectacular. House bands / musicians kept people entertained around the ship The UAE is a strange place to visit, blatant oppulance tempered by a very low paid workforce, a wide chasm of have and have nots which makes for a fascinating visit. Sir Bin Yassi Island was the only place we were disappointed with as there is nothing there so why bother. You take your chances with all ships excursions and these were no different really, not exactly exciting but something different to do. Post cruise is where it all went wrong and highlighted the poor service from the company. On every other cruise I have done, I have received my post cruise email with questionnaire before I have got to the airport or home, here I am three weeks later still waiting for it! Also, the pre authorisation of my credit card is still showing on my account and all I get from them is a standard reply, it's as if they don't even read the original message properly. Can't say I'll be rushing back to P&O Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more ... Read More
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more friendly this time. Everyone we met were very helpful and positive. Food in the main dinig room was good, but again my travel partner felt the portions were too smal, so we used the buffet most nights. This time the food was actually warm in the buffet so that was good. The shows were ok, the acobatics were very good! Entertainment was good, even fun at times. The ship was a little worn down I felt. Needs to be freshened up a little. Could be cleener at times too. Our cabin was not very cleen, did not look like the night stands had been dusted for weeks. I wanted to complain, but my mother did not want to be a "Bother" so she cleened herself. The cabin which was an interior had a good size and a good layout. The itinerary was great! We did one excursion arranged through msc, this was ok, but not Great. Other than that we explored on our own. It was overall a more calm feeling on the ship this time. Might have something to do with the guests this time, other nationalities on this route I felt. But there is a problem with acustics in the public areas. It gets so loud. My mum use a hearing aid, but was unable to use it because of all the noise made it uncomfortable for her. Which again made me into one of those who contributed to the loudness to make her hear me. Not good. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I had looked at a few reviews prior to our middle east cruise which looked a bit negative. However I shouldn't have worried as we enjoyed a really good 10 day cruise. Boarding was straightforward and quick and we were on the ship ... Read More
I had looked at a few reviews prior to our middle east cruise which looked a bit negative. However I shouldn't have worried as we enjoyed a really good 10 day cruise. Boarding was straightforward and quick and we were on the ship by 11am having had an overnight flight from Glasgow and the cabins were released at 12pm. Our cabin was L343 on deck 12. The cabin was a wee bit dated but clean and tidy and always tidied up very quickly in the morning. Because we had a corner cabin the shower was quite big, i was initially a bit concerned when i noticed that we had a service corridor backing on to our cabin but you only heard a bit of noise just after 8am apart from that it was great. We ate in the main dining room the food was excellent and always piping hot, I found the buffet for breakfast and lunch very good and had no problem getting a table at any time. Ports were good and trips from the ship were of a reasonable price and standard, the free shuttle buses at the ports were a real plus. Found that if you were going to the starlights theatre you had to get there really early to get a seat as people were reluctant to move along the rows which was quite annoying. The comedians were good as were the musicians and dancers although i felt that some of the singers voices werent strong enough for some of the songs that they sung. All in all a first cruise with P+O and found it really good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free ... Read More
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free drinks was a nice touch. The shows were great, everything is done in Spanish and English, majority of crew are Pilipino so no problem, compared to the opposition MSC who I have travelled with out of Durban several times, always a disaster and terrible food, there is no comparison, Pullmantur really goes the extra mile. I thought the food quality was only because of the ship going out of Durban but after hearing the horrendous stories from passengers from two MSC ships in the Arabian Gulf they all complained about the bad food on their MSC ships and this stunned me. Seeing a certain South African travel agency loves to run Pullmantur down and I have now had first class experience to it not being true. I now throw out a challenge to the CEO of MSC if the comments made by several of your passengers is not being true show me that this is not the case. You want a great cruise try Pullmantur you won’t be sorry we met several UK passengers who were on their 3 trip on Pullmantur so that’s good enough to hear the positives, Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
So this is only the 2nd time sailing with MSC (First time was on the Magnifica) and we've sailed previously with NCL, RCI, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa and P&O. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! The ports visited were all ... Read More
So this is only the 2nd time sailing with MSC (First time was on the Magnifica) and we've sailed previously with NCL, RCI, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa and P&O. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! The ports visited were all really interesting (See reviews later on..), the food was great and the ship fantastic. Pro's: - Cabin was one of the best we've had. It was an aft facing on deck 12. Quiet and always clean. Our room steward was amazing. It was one of the bigger cabins we've had, and the balcony was huge too. Definitely recommend this cabin - Buffet was huge, varied and we always found a seat! It was comparable to NCL and RCI, not quiet as good as Princess or Celebrity - Embarkation - We were told to arrive at 5.50pm. We flew early so wanted to leave our bags at 10am and come back later. But were told we could check in! By 10.30am we were onboard, luggage in the cabin and having breakfast! I've never had this experience before, fantastic!! - Pools (3) and hot tubs (9!!) were amazing. Rather cold due to it not being so hot, but would be great for a Caribbean cruise - Gym was perfect size, never too busy - The ship seemed to have endless lounges and bars which was fantastic. Always able to find something nice and quiet Con's: - Evening meals were a bit hit and miss. Some were good, others not so good. - That's it. Nothing else that could be classed as a "Con" Overall, for the price and itinerary I would 100% recommend MSC and this ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We went on this cruise as a family of six and had a throughly good time, embarkation went very smoothly in Dubai and once on the ship we were very impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the ship. We had three rooms all with ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a family of six and had a throughly good time, embarkation went very smoothly in Dubai and once on the ship we were very impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the ship. We had three rooms all with balconies which were a good size and kept very clean, the dining experience in the main dining room was excellent with great food and drink expertly served by Erry Prastiana & Neel Pratap. The breakfast and lunch in the Bora Bora also had plenty of choices to suit all taste with daily specials on offer and great staff. The bars around the ship were numerous and all the staff were very helpful and pleasant and couldn't do enough for you especially i Made Muliana. The checking out on the last evening was a bit of a nightmare with a lot of incorrect billing and an automated credit card system which is difficult to understand. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Travelled as a party of 7 to celebrate a birthday. The Yacht Club is promoted as being special, but the concierge desk really let it down. No assistance at any time, always told to go away and come back later (as excursion desk was not ... Read More
Travelled as a party of 7 to celebrate a birthday. The Yacht Club is promoted as being special, but the concierge desk really let it down. No assistance at any time, always told to go away and come back later (as excursion desk was not open, bar that had made a mistake on on bill wasn't open, surely their purpose is to sort things out and get back to you if there is any issue, not to make you spend your time going backwards and forwards to the desk at a time convenient to them. L'Olivo Restaurant - took well over 2 hours every night to have a 3 course dinner - far too slow, saw other people walk out after only having a starter. Not the fault of our waiter who worked really hard, but the Maitre D seemed to give no support to his team whatsoever. Food, once it arrived was very good. Top sail lounge - possibly due to limited English spoken, one of the waiters often brought completely the wrong drinks, not a major issue, but happened so often that it went beyond the joke. Used one drink only from the mini bar about half way through the week - this was never replaced. We have been cruising for over 30 years and have been with most of the major cruise lines. This was our first MSC Cruise and very probably the last. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise ... Read More
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise & 1st with MSC & we will be happy to choose MSC again. We chose this one for some winter sun, relaxation and interesting ports & that's what we got at very good value. Check in was smooth and speedy, bags were delivered quickly. The ship is spotlessly clean and we found the staff to be very friendly. Our balcony cabin 100075 was a good size and the sofa bed for my daughter was a double . All was clean and comfortable with enough storage space, although we were glad we brought a lot of our own hangers as not enough provided. Our towels were changed on an alarmingly regular basis!! Food was generally good in the main dining room, sensible sized portions, served hot which didn't leave you feeling bloated. The buffet was quite good too although nothing compares to Celebrity Cruises for food We took a drinks package which worked well for us. The Butchers Cut speciality restaurant was very good but a little expensive meaning it was very quiet.Never got to try the Asian themed one & imagine it would be quiet too as it's hidden away & not easy to get to. There were plenty of bars to choose from, all usually with some form of entertainment. Some were very quiet and lacked atmosphere. The theatre shows were very mediocre although the acrobats were good. We enjoyed all the ports of call, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas cruise beach, Muscat and Khasab. Glad we did the 4 wheel drive adventure in Khasab as there is no real city to visit. Our day at sea did prove deck space is limited if you don't get out early & find a bed that hasn't annoyingly been covered with a towel by someone who then goes off and doesn"t return for hours. And I mean hours, if at all. In the end I removed 2 towels blocking beds & no one ever came for them. This doesn't just happen on MSC though, it's just selfish people. All in all this was a lovely holiday. Yes, there were littlethings we thought may have made things slightly better, but I don't think any cruise line of reasonable price is 100% perfect & sorry; we don't want to be up there on grand ships even if we can afford it. There are always folk who seem to delight in complaining about each and every thing. Unless things are really bad how about just relaxing and being thankful you are able to get away in the first place? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach MSC with an open mind, that it won't be the same as RCCL etc, there will be more of 'Mediterranean' feel to certain things, rather than a US polish / efficiency - I think you'll have a great time. The embarkation in Dubai involved no queue at 4.30pm and our cabin was already available to use. Disembarkation, we walked off with our own bags with ease and straight into a taxi to the airport. Food: We used the dining room for breakfast as one of party is gluten free and there was always a gf menu available. Choice of menu items cooked to order or hot and cold buffet options. Lunch we always used the buffet, where we never had an issue finding a table and enjoyed the freshly made pizza along with wide range of hot and cold food plus deserts. Buffet is open almost all day. Dinner we ate 5 times in the main restaurant (1st sitting at 7pm) and twice in the Butchers Cut, speciality restaurant. We liked the variety in the main restaurant, though portions are not large. Given how much we'd already consumed throughout the day, this was not an issue! Butchers Cut was ok, but not a stand out meal for the additional price paid. Unlimited bottles of mineral water were available at lunch and dinner, which was a nice touch. (Not sure if due to Voyager Club / where we booked cruise or included with Fantastica package). Wine included with drinks package included a nice Puilly Fume in the main restaurant. Ports (we did not book an MSC excursion as I didn't feel they were good value): Abu Dhabi - took a taxi and visited Yas Waterworld. Really enjoyable and I suspect less people and queues than Atlantis in Dubai. Sir Bani Yas - beautiful island, particularly the views to the far side. Kids played on the aquapark, I rented a paddle board for an hour. Buffet served on the island. Tender service worked well. Bahrain - port is 40 mins+ from Manama so chose to stay onboard Doha - Nice, compact city. Walked to Souq Waqif. Well worth a visit, particularly to the Falcon section Dubai - docks for 24 hours before disembarkation. Took a taxi to the Dubai Mall to see the aquarium (impressive) and Burj Khalifi (also impressive). Entertainment: Given the multiple nationalities on board it was mainly dance, acrobatics and signing. We went to a couple of shows, they were fine. Huge theatre with plenty of seating. Outside public areas: There was sports court that the children, and several others had a great time on playing football. We never had an issue finding space to grab a couple of hours in the sun (we always looked away from the main pool area). Even on the day at sea there were sunbeds free at 11am. Staff: Our cabin steward was quite quiet, but the room was cleaned well twice per day. The restaurant staff were all uniformly excellent & friendly. Summary: Given the price paid, versus the price we paid for a similar cruise with RCCL, MSC wins hands down. We all enjoyed the cruise to the extent we booked another one for December. Yes, there is a definite difference between MSC and the major US lines, though I don't see this as a bad thing. You could argue it has its plusses. I'd happily recommend as we all had a really enjoyable week onboard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The worst cruise line ever! Rude and unprofessional staff in every department.The self serve Restaurant was always packed and we often had to wait for a table and the counters were also so busy that we had to wait in long lines for the ... Read More
The worst cruise line ever! Rude and unprofessional staff in every department.The self serve Restaurant was always packed and we often had to wait for a table and the counters were also so busy that we had to wait in long lines for the most unappetising food I have ever had the misfortune to eat !! The desserts were the same every day, both at lunch and dinner. In the main restaurant it was awful service and disgusting food at breakfast. The hot plated breakfast looked over cooked or reheated and most of the staff were clueless when we asked for anything. No waiters or Maitre ‘d introduced themselves or explained the menu items at dinner time as was done on all other cruise lines I’ve been on. The cabin was a disgrace, it looked like a cheap motel room from 1980. The balcony was unusable as it smelled of paint and cigarette smoke. To sum up, if you’re looking for a decent cruise with good standards, pleasant staff, good food and a nice cabin, don’t even contemplate Costa. It was awful! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Unfortunately we booked this back in June for new years. We also had a cruise booked with MSC seaview in Sept. (New ship) That was awful the staff were rude there was no atmosphere we couldn't wait to get off the food was the ... Read More
Unfortunately we booked this back in June for new years. We also had a cruise booked with MSC seaview in Sept. (New ship) That was awful the staff were rude there was no atmosphere we couldn't wait to get off the food was the same every night. When we got back we tried to cancel our dec new Years cruise on the splendida but we couldn't so we are here. We decided not to let it get to us I must say it's better then the last cruise back in sept some of the staff are lovely. Our waiter Naveen and his friends were fantastic thank you so much to them they were lovely and nothing was too much trouble Food still the same as what we had in September mostly cold. The boat is old now and needs a revamp. The entertainment is boring not like royal. I can't recommend royal Caribbean enough to people if you want fun atmosphere formal nights and too feel like your enjoying yourself. Never ever will I come on a MSC I felt like we were the minority British. With pushy rude passengers. The muster is a joke because people get on and off every stop the musters at night 11pm. Most nights Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The staff made it awesome! Special Thanks to Alberto, Marco (Restaurant) & Carlos (bicycle) who Made our holiday GREAT! The All inclusive drinks were more than enough, with Good coffee & Nice cocktails :) Rooms are okay, ... Read More
The staff made it awesome! Special Thanks to Alberto, Marco (Restaurant) & Carlos (bicycle) who Made our holiday GREAT! The All inclusive drinks were more than enough, with Good coffee & Nice cocktails :) Rooms are okay, big enough but a little old fashioned. Food is better than expected, extensive and Good quality at the buffet. The choices at the a la carte restaurant are Good! Even for a vegetarian! But again, the staff Made the experience awesome!! We embarked at Kashab, fujara and muskat. Cute villages, were you have to do an excursion, otherwise you”ll wonder around with not much to do. So! Go cycling!!! Carlos and Joel do great tours, with a lot of fun and sightseeing :)) In Abu Dhabi and Dubai is So much to do! Just take a cab and drive around these imposant cities! In forehand we did not expect much (went cruising before on Costas and H-A-line) but this cruise with pullman, was Really Nice! But again: you’ve Gotta love the staff!! :) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I choose MSC because of price, itinerary, and service. We always choose the Yacht Club experience and are never disappointed. Though we rarely go to the buffet I noticed the bar service there has greatly improved. As always the ship was ... Read More
I choose MSC because of price, itinerary, and service. We always choose the Yacht Club experience and are never disappointed. Though we rarely go to the buffet I noticed the bar service there has greatly improved. As always the ship was immaculate. We had no problems in any manner on board. The dining experience has changed a bit in the YC but not in a positive or negative way. In comparison, the menus' format has changed and the food selection, if memory serves right, is reduced. Not by much, however. In any case, the quality of food in the YC is as good or better than ever. The embarkation and disembarkation were quick, easy and effortless. I can't say enough how MSC coddles their YC guests. We had an excellent Butler, Nata. He was the kind of Butler I like. Rarely seen but when needed he was right there and helpful. We did travel with my 14-year-old son but he chose not to utilize any youth programs. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I have never ever experienced something so bad. MSC has so much to learn. You pay all this money and get nothing but bad, rude staff. Asked to pay extra for ALL activities. Hardly nothing to do - especially for teenagers. Everything is ... Read More
I have never ever experienced something so bad. MSC has so much to learn. You pay all this money and get nothing but bad, rude staff. Asked to pay extra for ALL activities. Hardly nothing to do - especially for teenagers. Everything is closed all the time. If you ask staff to do anything or help you they hardly understand their job and do absolutely nothing about it. The atmosphere is dead. Truly the worst experience of my life. The cabins are small with only one plug in them. Paid extra for the Fantasia - don’t know why because there was nothing better about it. Staff was all rude and useless Food very moderate with very little selection So many Of the activities not even working Advertise all these things to do yet they don’t have the activities in working order - like no balls or racquets . Hated every minute Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if ... Read More
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if you are looking for the ultimate cruise ship experience. One of the topics that united everyone I spoke to on the ship was that the ship was, "adequate/competent" at best and to be honest, I heard a few "utilitarian" comments, It is not an over the top ship experience by any means and if that is your expectation take another ship. What makes this trip really nice however is the ports and the travelers who are attracted to this trip. The vast majority of people on the ship were confident, experienced travelers who knew how to, "Roll with the punches". You could always find a group of people who had decided to walk around the port rather than take the scheduled tour. Many of the passengers were familiar with the area and contributed information that made the trip memorable. You could typically find a group of people who had identified a museum that they really wanted to go to. People had done their research and came prepared knowing what was here to see. This is very much a "learning" cruise. There is only 1 day at sea and with the exception of Dubai and Muscat, each day is a different port. If you tire easily, take this into consideration. I like a smaller ship so the size and "vintage" experience didn't bother me. There were 3 formal nights although often people just came as they chose. The dining room seems confused in some ways. I couldn't understand some the choices that were made. For example, the after dinner coffee was eliminated from the MDR and put as part of a drink package. Why would one do this in a European market? Additionally, the traditional "Surf and turf" was cut out and made available only for an additional charge, as was a, "Steak and a glass of Barolo". Again, I wondered why? Additionally, I was kind of disappointed at the limited offering of Italian wine on a ship with Italian heritage. I was looking forward to a wider selection. Overall, I found the food to be simple, straight-forward and satisfying. I was pretty surprised at the lackadaisical attitude towards to hand sanitizers. On other ships I can remember being forbidden to enter the buffet unless I used the sanitizers. On this ship the sanitizer machines were there, but no one enforced their usage. I saw a lot of bad behavior at the buffet during breakfast, people cutting in front of the queue, it wasn't really necessary, in my opinion. Embarkation/Disembarkation was really smooth, when I arrived there was no one there and I just walked on. One thing that really bothered me was the mis-information I received about the visas. My travel agent very clearly stated that I needed visas as an american citizen and it was my responsibility to acquire them. Additionally, she indicated that the potential to be denied boarding existed if I did not have them. When I arrived at the check in desk, they just started laughing and assured me that I needed NO visas to take the cruise. I received additional confirmation of this from the Immigration officer once I got on board. This needs to be clarified. Towards the end, I became somewhat annoyed at the daily "shuttle fee" for what was a short walk. It just seemed to be necessary nickel and dimeing of the passengers. The ship spends time in Dubai. There is a free shuttle from the cruise port to the Dubai Mall in the center of the city. It stops right in front of the ship and is usually right next to the big bus location. It is marked. It is supposed to come every hour on the hour but sometimes that does not happen. The alternative is the big bus hop on hop off, but that is not free. It is very comprehensive however and you can get a nice overview of the city in the first pass. You can then hop on and hop off on the second pass. You can purchase multiple cities, (I purchased hop on/hop off for Dubai, Muscat, and Abu Dhabi together). Multiple cities will give you a discounted fare. If you are OK with the subway, I would strongly suggest using the subway instead of the big bus. If walking is not an issue the subway is cheap, fast and will give you a truly birds eye view of the city and its residents. The Dubai subway is new, clean and fast. You can get everywhere the big bus takes you on the subway; you just have to walk more. There is flea market in El-Zabeel Park on the first Saturday of every month. If you can make it, go. Dubai residents are big shoppers and the prices can get out of hand. The flea market brings you back to reality. It costs 5 dirhams to enter; either cash or you can use your subway card. If you plan to travel to the Burg Khalifa observation Deck, know that there is a sunrise viewing that includes breakfast on the weekend for the same amount of money that just the observation deck costs. You can reserve online in advance. The ship spends an overnight in Muscat. Its a good choice, although I found prices in Oman to be higher than in any other port for the same merchandise. Do not miss the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. It is a gem and has its own library dedicated to the museum which should not be missed. The one thing that became arduous is that you navigate 3 different currencies. Make sure that you know what $20.00 equals in the currency that you are dealing with before you leave the ship. Additionally, if you plan to buy silver/gold, stop at the reception desk and find out the price of the day. Everything is weighed. I would take this cruise again. Even with the warts, it was an amazing, relaxing time at a reasonable price. We were welcomed everywhere we went. I learned a great deal about a different part of the world. I met like-minded travelers who don't get ruffled at the least little thing not going as planned. I met confident travelers who have seen a lot of the world and gave really interesting perspectives. It’s not for everyone, but it’s my type of travel and I enjoyed it. Pros • small ship • experienced travelers • easy embarkation • relaxed attitude • enthusiastic crew • interesting view of a different part of the world Cons • Unanticipated shuttle expenses towards the end of the trip • Mis-information regarding visas • Confusing choices in the Main Dining room • Lack of variety of Italian wine on ship Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
First, the good: the staff are outstanding. They bend over backwards for your every need because they are so grateful to be back at work since the 2011 revolution. The locals are friendly and also appreciate that tourists are starting to ... Read More
First, the good: the staff are outstanding. They bend over backwards for your every need because they are so grateful to be back at work since the 2011 revolution. The locals are friendly and also appreciate that tourists are starting to slowly return to Egypt. The food on the ship is fabulous. We miss the daily fresh mango, the delicious hummus and the lamb. The onboard activities were fun, especially the Egyptian evening. The rooms are very pretty although the shower is cramped. There's not much of a spa, although my massage was lovely. Make sure to get a room towards the front as engine noise is loud. The ship is supposed to be non smoking. However, when the staff smoke out back, the smoke gets sucked in through the ventilation system so you can often smell it. But after all, you're in Egypt and EVERYONE smokes! Even the nicer hotels have locals smoking in elevators and in doorways. It's so gross. The worst part of this trip (that we are still recovering from a week later!) is the ridiculously early mornings for tour start times. One day we had to get up at 2:00 am!! When you're already struggling with jet lag, it was too much to ask to get up that early. The pace of the cruise is definitely not one to promote relaxation either. You're constantly on the go which gets stressful after about the fourth day. People on our tour, including us, skipped a tour just to catch up on sleep. That's unfortunate since we paid to see all these cool places but were too damn tired to enjoy them to the fullest. In a way, it's unfair to guests. We're in our 50's and fit, so you can imagine what a toll this took on those who were older. My suggestion would be to go to Cairo at least three days prior to the trip so you can climatize and check out some of the temples on your own before embarkation. We did and it helped a little. However, I still say this tour needs some serious revamping to allow passengers more free time on the ship to let all of Egypt's splendor to sink in. The general consensus in our group of 55 was that all the temples and sites we visited blurred together after a while and without down time to process, we all felt we had been deprived of a lot of true enjoyment. By the end, we were all exhausted and anxious to get home. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
The boat, CONCERTO, was excellent- the rooms were large and spacious; the bathroom was clean. The food was nothing special however. The staff were very nice.There were smaller issues and I’ve reviewed the same in another post on the ... Read More
The boat, CONCERTO, was excellent- the rooms were large and spacious; the bathroom was clean. The food was nothing special however. The staff were very nice.There were smaller issues and I’ve reviewed the same in another post on the Nile Cruise. Hady, our guide, was excellent- he’s a formal Egyptologist and knew the nitty gritty of Egyptian history- and answered our questions easily. He’s been doing this for the last 15 years. Hady, gave us excellent tips and other general information on each port of call; how much we should be tipping different people; taking us to the correct shops; etc. It was an excellent four days- and the five of us (including Hady) became very friendly and easy to be with each other. The one-day difference between a 4 day-3 night (Aswan to Luxor) and 5 day-4 night (Luxor to Aswan) cruises is due to the fact that with the former you are traveling WITH the current so you get to Luxor faster; and with the latter, you are brunting the current so your travel increases by one day. The sights are exactly the same but it only takes longer due to the time of travel up river. Ports of call were: Aswan (departure)-Kom Ombo-Edfu-Luxor. Hady accompanied us through the trip, from day 1; and attended to all our queries, needs, etc. He was extremely professional, a very knowledgeable person and a very nice person to be with. During my communication with Hany, I also set up with him for the Pyramids, Sphinx & Egyptian Museum tour in Cairo. As mentioned above, the food was nice- but nothing special. It was a buffet set up for all meals and the timings were set- so you either ate in those times or you missed the meals. The staff were very courteous and the cooks made my omelette very well. You should not tip individually- the Cruise requests that at the end of the cruise to put in whatever gratuity amount you want into an envelope and with your room number deposit it into the box at the reception. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our 3rd time on Splendida and as we were in the Yacht Club previously we were a bit anxious. We sailed from Abu Dhabi and purchased the cruise through our local Travel Agent. It was an all inclusive deal with flights, transfers, ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on Splendida and as we were in the Yacht Club previously we were a bit anxious. We sailed from Abu Dhabi and purchased the cruise through our local Travel Agent. It was an all inclusive deal with flights, transfers, cruise and drinks package. Our balcony cabin was a lot smaller than (Y. C.) but still a reasonable size. Cabin 10079. Our Cabin Steward was Antonni and he was pleasant, helpful and kept the room perfect. We had second seating for dinner which we thought was 8.30 but turned out to be 9.15, just a little late for dinner. The food was reasonably good, and our waiters Erfani and assistant waiter Yogi were great. We discover on this cruise that we could have fresh coffee and tea at the little Cafe on deck 6. It also served snacks and small cakes throughout the day. We didn't attend any of the shows so I can't comment on those, The Casino was always quiet. They have a Cigar bar where you can smoke, it seemed to be open all day but the bar itself only in the evenings. There were plenty of Sun loungers except for the day at sea when it was very busy up on deck. We did the Dhow cruise in Khasab, and Dinner in the Dunes in Dubai, both excursions with the ship. On leaving the ship we were able to check in our luggage and get our boarding passes in the port. I thought this was a great feature and wish it was offered in all the ports! Overall we had a great cruise, the drinks differed from bar to bar, so try them all. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this because of the date and the weather at this times of year. My dh and I had cruised with costa before, my daughter and her son had not and never will again. We stayed in Abu Dhabi in the beautiful Marriott Al Forsan which I ... Read More
We chose this because of the date and the weather at this times of year. My dh and I had cruised with costa before, my daughter and her son had not and never will again. We stayed in Abu Dhabi in the beautiful Marriott Al Forsan which I would recommend. Embarkation was only allowed after 7pm and not one person greeted us with a welcome and the same when we were leaving when we left not one person even spoke to us. The ship is very dated but clean. The cabin for 4 had no room to sit anywhere at any time, the steward never made this possible, perhaps we should have asked him. He kept the room clean and we rarely saw him. Food in the buffet looked like something from a school canteen but tasted ok. Food in the mdr was grand, we were not allowed a glass/jug of water, it had to be paid for. There were no water, tea/coffee supplied at any time during the day except breakfast. Breakfast was awful, a poor selection and dreadfully displayed. Entertainment was enjoyable. Ports were good, Dubai was interesting, Oman also, Siri Ban Yas was beautiful. Staff was rude and I complained and a Director approached me one evening to say she received it and I never heard another word; on the day we left I saw her and told her how disappointed we were, we had little reaction. You cannot remove gratuities and in my opinion no staff has to work to peasr the guests and consequently do not. I cruise a lot with Celebrity, Princess, RCI, Hal and I was just disgusted. I saw a well priced cruise to the Indian Ocean on Costa and my family have said 'not if we get if for free'. Writing this review brings it all back to me and it doesn't feel good. To sum it up a 2 star cruise at best, redeemed by nothing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose the cruise because i heard that it would good. To my dismay the service was bad, the staff over worked, food was terrible. The drinks package which we had was not worth it as most of the bars are closed all the time. I strongly ... Read More
I chose the cruise because i heard that it would good. To my dismay the service was bad, the staff over worked, food was terrible. The drinks package which we had was not worth it as most of the bars are closed all the time. I strongly think msc needs to treat their staff better so that would be more productive. The rooms are not properly and hygienically cleaned. There were no themed nights on board and absolutely minimum entertainment compared to other cruise liners and considering it was a christmas cruise one would expect more from this. I will never go again as i was terribly disappointed. I would really appreciate feedback from this experience as there were many people on board from all different countries that had the same view as me. They all were very disappointed with the cruise on a whole and totally expected a better deal. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I guess we went with an open mind. As they say..." when in Rome - do as the Romans do" so we adjusted our expectations but ended up enjoying the experience of an Italian themed ship - from the over the top Italian decor to pasta ... Read More
I guess we went with an open mind. As they say..." when in Rome - do as the Romans do" so we adjusted our expectations but ended up enjoying the experience of an Italian themed ship - from the over the top Italian decor to pasta everyday with our meals. We were worried after reading the reviews but I realized that North Americans just cruise differently from Europeans...no bottomless ice teas and lemonades, coffees and teas limited to breakfasts and merendas, lots of pasta, but we got to enjoy Osso Buco, gnocchis, bombolones for breakfast, olive oil and balsamic with your bread instead of butter and many more...Honestly - I enjoyed the food more than the other cruise lines that we've been on. Service was up to par in the restaurants and cabin but they can do a better job communicating with the English speaking passengers. First night apparently was an All-White party and we obviously did not get the memo as we showed up dressed in black...hahaha. Enjoyed the dance lessons and live entertainment was available in many of the bars and clubs. Overall - it was a pleasant experience. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
This was our first cruise with MSC after 6 with Thomson’s. We cruised from Abu Dhabi on the 19/03/2017 for 7 nights. On arrival at ship we were informed that itinerary had been changed. We had a Balcony cabin and up-graded to a Premium ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC after 6 with Thomson’s. We cruised from Abu Dhabi on the 19/03/2017 for 7 nights. On arrival at ship we were informed that itinerary had been changed. We had a Balcony cabin and up-graded to a Premium drinks package. The ship was full with the majority of the clients not English. Notes are as follows: - 1 - Embarkation = OK. Arrived at Ship at 08:30 and got into cabin at 12:30. 2 - Cabin = OK. On first getting cabin it was adequate and clean. There was an adjoining door to next doors cabin Steward attended every day but carpet was never vacuumed for full week. We did have two occasions where drinking glasses (not ours) appeared in our bathroom and balcony door left open. 3 - Day at sea = Like a zoo. Too many people and too few sunbeds led to physical confrontation that we saw on two occasions. Trying to get served at a bar or obtain a waiter was impossible. Best service we got was when it rained and there was only a few sitting at the outside bar. 4 - Restaurant = Very poor. On late sitting. Only got offered water on first night. Never managed more than two drinks. No topping up of glasses. Took 2 hours from start to finish. Got a bread bun on 3 of the 7 nights. Food when arrived was adequate at best. 5 - Excursion desk = Very poor. Tried to get a bus transfer ticket at Bahrain. Queued for over half an hour before giving up, as hundreds of people (No exaggeration) in queue. 6 - Panoramic Doha - What a waste of 5 hours of our lives. Guide was very poor with no explanation of where we went. Dumped off the coach at three separate occasions and spent over half the time sitting in traffic jams. l has loads of other examples including not getting to sir bani yas island due to adverse weather leading to another zoo-like day at sea, and poor all round service but the main two issues we had were: - 1 - Amount of money went missing from inside safe. Dirhams and Pounds totalling around £290 were discovered to be missing from safe. We reported this confidentiality to reception which resulted in a security guard checking our room to see if we or someone had hidden the money. Eventually after prompting the reception staff on numerous occasions all we got out of them was it has never happened before and that we must have been mistaken on how much we put into the safe. I can assure anyone reading this review that we are careful and honest people and can 100% say that the money was taken from the safe. Please see comments on cabin on door left open etc. 2 - At around 23:00 on the last night there was an announcement that the Ship would not be sailing from Dubai for Abu Dhabi meaning that passengers disembarking would have to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by coach which resulted in having to get off ship earlier than originally required. When we left the Ship, we were put us on a coach that we thought was taking us to Abu Dhabi. No, it took us to the next cruise terminal where we got off. There were no MSC reps there and no-one could speak English. Eventually after around 30 mins and a lot of irate passengers a rickety old bus arrived and took us on a 2-hour drive to Abu Dhabi airport where we were dropped off at the wrong terminal - A total shambles. We are taking forward our complaints with MSC but not expecting much response. It is such a shame as the facilities were superb but let down by customer service from 95% of staff. Give me the Thomson Sprit any time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. ... Read More
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. Once I had a ship sailing from Penang, Malaysia to Madras India in the year 1971 or so by S S Rejula a passenger ship between Madras and Penang. I was lucky enough to sail by this ship's last passenger journey I had been giving some briefing to my wife and children regarding ship sailing etc. But this was something too beyond my thought. Of course I had seen these kind of cruise ship in Dubai, Cochin, Seattle, USA. from outside and far away. What should I say a five star hotel floating on the ocean with all facility a top star hotel can provide without any mistake any way. My profession was in the hospitality Industry and I know well how and what it means to organize and run a star hotel while working as General Manager both in mainland and in beach resorts. Frankly like to say I was looking for some mistakes or to know will it go wrong somewhere. But to my surprise from embarkation till disembarkation so smooth like sailing. Our bags taken care from the beginning as soon as we arrived at the port and the same reached our cabin without any mistake. same thing happened while the end of the cruise. We thought of running away the first day itself by seeing the choice of food on the buffet counter and as well as at the fine dining restaurant. Deck 14 everywhere food, food, food, and food with soup, salad, fruit cut, desert, tea, coffee apart from the main dishes. and the dish served on the restaurant the quantity was too high for we don't take that much. Just because we are Indians love to have spicy food an Indian style but that was lacking. but we can understand Swimming pools everywhere you find unfortunately we don't swim. but enjoyed because others are enjoying a lot in the pool hence we too enjoyed. Spirit Bar here bar, there bar, everywhere bar. Here too we don't drink at all. but still we enjoyed when others are enjoying it a lot. Casino we went through that cabin some were playing may be they were lucky to have some fortune or some may have lost their earning. still this is also a part of the game. Theatre had some marvelous acts and action sound and lighting smart enough and on timing. Well treated for our mind and eye a colorful evenings we enjoyed sitting at the end of the ship where it leaves a spectacles mark on the deep sea where ever MSC Fantasia sails. We also enjoyed sitting and standing at the top of the deck while sailing in the deep sea as well as when it anchors at different harbors. No space is left out without having a touch of their own trade mark of their own style of decorating everywhere with some kind of artistic design and decor on every deck wall roof floor and the same inside the cabin too. Nobody can miss anything all well informed the previous night itself with printed news letter ready for the next day MSC Fantasia you are Fantastic Keep going Thanks Rev. Dr. Antony Walto Read Less

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