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131 Middle East Family Cruise Reviews

From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all ... Read More
From England and booked online via Royal Caribbean. First cruise but the destination was the real seller having nothing to compare to. Emirates flight was great to Dubai. Plenty of security at port but no problems with that. Carry all paperwork and credit card to hand. Pre paid deluxe drinks package and most shore excursions. Ship - previously said nothing to compare to and a little nervous having read bad reviews from others. Spotless and absolutely no concerns on the ship. Scared of deep water and never wanted to cruise - NO safety concerns onboard and have already booked with Marella for new destinations but I am nervous this will not live up to the jewel! My daughter 11 did not want to go to kids clubs but loved her time onboard including mini golf and rock climbing. Enjoyed the fact we had deluxe drinks packages as tried a few cocktails I wouldn’t normally plus I paid for peace of mind. Probably didn’t get my money worth but again knew what i was paying for. Evening entertainment was great. I was tired after that and didn’t stay out till midnight or see any partying. Food was lovely. Staff always friendly! I am a bit of a nuisance and kept an eye on the cabin tv to make sure no charges - We did get a sneaky charge for cocktails the day at Sir Bani Yas however I rang from my room and they were removed immediately. I left with zero charges on my account as I wanted! I took dirham for onshore and dollars. I came home with money as we only had odd coffee and fridge magnet at each destination plus a scarf for the mosque. Shore excursions were great apart from Dubai. We ended up going back into Dubai via free shuttle afterwards. We literally rushed through the mall to Burj Khalifa and drove round the island for hours without food stop! It was super annoying so went back to mall afterwards. Knowing that there are usually free shuttles on my next cruise unless we want to pre book a activity we will make own way/free shuttle into centre, also saves waiting for people that are late getting on the coach..again the Dubai excursion left us 40 minutes late due to waiting for people. Not too long but from 8:30 till 3pm no food stop I was frustrated. UAE is amazing full stop just respect the culture or don’t go simple. You can dress as you would at home but did see a group of girls from ship going to Abu Dhabi mall with swimwear and see through cover ups on- my husband laughed as did others. I only felt the ship move the day at sea and I was probably overthinking it. I did not enjoy the day at sea as much because I like me space. I did sit round the pool for my daughter but not my thing. Day at sea couldn’t get spot around the pool so we sat on chairs on another deck, it was red hot and I actually preferred the spots away from everyone looking out at the sea ( i thought I’d never enjoy looking at the open sea!) overall I loved waking up at a nee destination and getting excited for the day! Ps the coffee shop was lovely. Main restaurant food lovely. Windjammer lovely. NO COMPLAINTS. Just nervous Marella discovery 2 won’t be as good! Considering this was older and smaller than the RC fleet we will try Harmony or another one as the company was so easy and no hassle at all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the gulf area before. We first flew to Delhi to see our family there, then flew to Dubai for 5 days prior to cruising which was an eye opener. We were amazed by the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as we had never been to the gulf area before. We first flew to Delhi to see our family there, then flew to Dubai for 5 days prior to cruising which was an eye opener. We were amazed by the architecture. It’s very modern, clean and stunning. The ship was clean, needed a spot of paint here and there but overall was in good condition. We were with friends and had my time dining and easily got a table for 4 at a set time in the MDR. The food was fine really. We had special requests for Indian food not on the daily menu which they accommodated for that night or the next night. The service in the MDR was awesome. We were treated very well. The service overall was amazing. Our cabin attendant kept our room spotless and promptly answered our calls. Henri in future cruises went out of his way to optimize the future cruise we booked while on board. Embarkation was notable for precautions taken due to the Corona virus outbreak which in retrospect especially given how this has since spread was needed. We self disembarked which was a breeze. My only issue was the loudness of the band in the atrium which made speaking to personnel by the service desk adjacent to that area rather difficult. We did only one ship excursion and that was in Sir Bani Yas. Though I usually say ships excursions are overpriced this one for what we received was reasonable. Unfortunately our stop in Bahrain was canceled due to what I think was security concerns which was too bad as our traveling companions had family there. We ended up staying overnight in Abu Dhabi so we got a chance to see more of this emirate. The production shows put on by the RC entertainers were quite good! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
There was a suggestion to buy this [articular cruise and I liked the list of cities to visit, so I bought it. In overall, I enjoyed the cruise! There was a pleasant surprise - I got a cabin with a window! Cabin was always clean; it was ... Read More
There was a suggestion to buy this [articular cruise and I liked the list of cities to visit, so I bought it. In overall, I enjoyed the cruise! There was a pleasant surprise - I got a cabin with a window! Cabin was always clean; it was tidied up twice a day. I read some complains about embarkation and disembarkation. My experience was different. Logistics was very good. We embarked with no problem (and disembarked), were provided with kind recommendations and attendance. Suitcases were taken directly to the cabin. Cabin was prepared earlier than expected. Yes, it is not big, but enough to have a rest and sleep at night. Even pillows were of different types (soft and "hard") to satisfy different habits. Every day there was a detailed program in English and Russian (may be in other languages too, do not now). All anouncement were in different languages as a sign of respect to passeners from different countries... Every day shows were good and very good (according to taste?). A lot of dancers, some singers and acrobats. Costumes are very bright and attractive. There were two shows a day, which was very convenient as there were two seating (dinner) at 6.30 and I guess at 9 PM. Selection of food was excellent, contained various cheese, sausages, eggs cooked in different ways, bacon, fruits, etc. Coffee and tea – as much as you wish for breakfast. I like fish and seafood and I got it: in the morning and in the evening!! Service (we mainly eat in La Bussola) was very good and pleasant; the atmosphere in La Bussola restaurant was intimate and sophisticated, the service attentive and discreet. Logistics was also excellent. The second place we had snack is on deck 11. There is an open veranda (do not remember the name- sorry for that). More democratic and people felt very relaxed over there. Those, who like desserts – it was just fantastic on the ship! You can have meal and/or snack almost the whole day…. Alcohol, beverages, cocktails. It is very expensive on board. The packages provided were unacceptable for us. “All inclusive” is 29 euro per day and you have to buy it for 11 days, full stop. Other options (beverages) were not exciting either. As for water, coffee and tea you had to pay for it during lunch and dinner. Another option – to go to deck 11 after meal. Public areas were immaculate clean. Pleasant atmosphere. Dimmed light, music…. I enjoyed it. Countries we visited: UAE, Oman, and Qatar. Excursions are quite expensive. Round 70 euro/ person – a city tour. We have taken it only in Abu Dhabi. Not really exciting. However, in Emirates and Qatar there was a choice – to go sightseeing by yourself by taxi, which is also expensive. In Qatar there were free shuttle busses to take passengers from the port to the city. Excellent idea! I Oman I felt very frustrated as we were charged 5 euro per person to get to the centre of the city, round 7-8 min drive. The bus did not even stop at the castle, which is the only one attraction in the capital (apart from the sea)! I considered it to be waist of 10 euro and time. Must be said about security. Well done. Every time you leave and return to the ship you have to go through security and that is makes you feel safe. Security officers were always polite and helpful if you had a question. Entry and exits are marked with red tape, no way to lose yourself….Moreover, every time you leave the ship a special card is given to you with tel numbers. I believe it is a good approach. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The price was good and we thought it would be a good idea to cruise the Middle East with our family. We could have choosen other cruise lines but Costa had the best deal so we boarded on Costa Diadema on our first Costa cruise. We have ... Read More
The price was good and we thought it would be a good idea to cruise the Middle East with our family. We could have choosen other cruise lines but Costa had the best deal so we boarded on Costa Diadema on our first Costa cruise. We have been on other popular cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL, MSC and Celebrity and our expectations were high because it was an italian cruise line! But we were wrong. The ship s decor was really ugly, too many colours and patterns that made no sense at all. Ok, most ships are like that but we always think abut the italians good taste and modern design so it was disappointing. It has pools and jacuzzis and a very small kid s zone but nothing else for teenagers. No mini golf, no water slide, just plain pools. We were lucky with our cabin though. It was an accessible cabin so it was really huge, great bathroom, spacious room and spotless clean. Now what s really important for italians?? Food of course, that s where we got mos disappointed, the menu on Fiorentino restaurant was always very poor. Corona Blu buffet was like being in a war zone, people were fighting for their meals because the area is small and the crew couldn t refil the dishes fast enough. If you were late for the meal you would find out many items were over. What can you say about an italian ship that doesn t serve pizza?? (unless you payed for it at Pummi d`oro!). Entertainement was also one of the poorest we have ever seen. They had an arabian dance show one night that was all but arabian! They have a library onboard that had empty shelves (yes, they had about a dozen books and that was all!) Service was only ok, the crew is, in general, professional but cold. I had a really unpleasant incident at their photo shop as i was looking at my pictures and picked up my phone to answer a message. One of the photografers started shouting at me saying i couldn t take photos of my pictures! It was so embarassing, the thought of taking photos of my photos never ever crossed my mind! Why on Earth would i do that??? If Costa offers me a free cruise vacation I will surely decline. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
* Avoid deck 14 rooms by any means, until they are at the very nose of the ship (see cabin review) * All the packages (drinks, Internet) are hugely overpriced and I see no reason you'd like to use them as no bartender could make ... Read More
* Avoid deck 14 rooms by any means, until they are at the very nose of the ship (see cabin review) * All the packages (drinks, Internet) are hugely overpriced and I see no reason you'd like to use them as no bartender could make proper cocktail there regardless of the price. The only drinkable mix is fruit smoothie so just stick to plain drinks, especially their a la carte price is quite reasonable in compare with other cruises. Also draw attention to the wine prices at main restaurants - you take away bottles to any bar ;) Internet package - if you unlucky to buy it for any reason, draw as much attention as possible to their instruction, on how to connect it in MSC app, and follow exact procedure, shutting off everything they as to shut and disconnect from Internet every time you do not use it. * All the shows are great! Do not miss them. Do not forget to book your group to the every show in MSC app, as they allow people without reservation to enter 5 min before show start only * Dining restaurant menu is good and differs from buffet food at deck 15. Service is great, but do not hesitate kindly remind waiter if he forgot something - they have obviously a lot to do! * Market place food is great and fresh pizza is definitely on the top of the world list! * Cirque Du Soleil shows - Valeria is great! Zyma - money waste. Note that final date and time will be confirmed on board only. They do not let you choose the seats, but instead just give it away in order of booking - those who confirm the date and time earlier get closer sit to the stage. So be sure you go straight to Cirque Du Soleil desk after your embarkation and choose the show, which still has a lot of sits left. * MSC app messaging is huge mess if you have kids as they do not let anyone under 18!!! to use messages. So we had to sign our msc for me accounts on kids phones so we could message to each other. Its still not perfect solution as you can not see messages, which was sent from another device under same account, but it is better than nothing. * They have bracelets, which replicate your cruise card for just 2 Euro at reception, and this is great thing if you'd like to swap cabins with your junior, as bracelets opens the door as well. * Expenses limitation for kids in app does not work and MSC has a lot for kids to spend on. Our kids are reasonable, but there were ones, who spent hundreds and even thousands of Euro for the first day, making it surprise to their parents (of course their cruise card should be connected) * I personally prefer dark chocolate, but their milk chocolate at chocolate fabric is more tasty :). Also they make best coffee on the ship there * two days before the end of the cruise, they will get your embarkation photos delivered to your room and you need to decline buying them by signing attached paper and brining this paper to photo deck! as otherwise you'll find 35Euro for these photos at your final bill and have to spend time, deleting it. In general we had a great cruise and will obviously choose MSC for future cruises as well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & ... Read More
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & Dubai! Took 90 minutes to get off ship and was absolute chaos amongst the passengers, RC need to do something here or change ports as it is a huge negative and you lose too much time hanging around. Ship - Its old but still in fair condition and still a lovely ship, my only criticism is the sofas in schooner bar is like sitting on a park bench and the art work is from the 70's Cabin - Cabin is what you expect on a 10-15 year old ship, little worn and dated but found the bed to be comfortable and decent TV with English channels. Note - take adapters as it only has US / European plugs & hairdryer is terrible. Dining - AMAZING! Much better than Anthem of the Seas. The main dining room was one of our better meals and cant praise waiter - Karandeo & Marie enough! Fantastic work and 10/10 for service. Entertainment - Overall 5/10!! Motown singers however where fantastic and deserve a 10/10, for the rest of the shows it was average if I'm honest. Entertainment leader (Talita?) was very good and put on a fantastic show (Battle of the Sexes & another)! She had us all in stitches. Service - Service around ship was extremely good, with the exception of main customer service desk on level 4!! The manager had a stinking attitude when we complained about our room and requested to move. This did put a huge negative spin on our vacation, and did question my next booking with RC in 2020. Excursions - N/A we did our own so cant comment. Gym - Very good and on par with the larger ships. Overall I liked the ship but I prefer the larger / newer ships if I'm been honest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Ship overall was great, nice kids activities and shops. BUT, the service was really bad all over the ship, food was average at best and constant pushing the extras, for example photo sessions was really annoying. Cabin 14075 with ... Read More
The Ship overall was great, nice kids activities and shops. BUT, the service was really bad all over the ship, food was average at best and constant pushing the extras, for example photo sessions was really annoying. Cabin 14075 with balcony was small but funtional with 2 children, no sun in the balcony though. Service in the cabin was poor as well, towel problems, no hair contioning or other aminities or nice extras - very plain in the Aurea class as well. Spa massage was very professional and nice, hair dresser too. Shore excursion was ok, we did the Abu Dhabi safari tour. Everything nice was with extra cost, like kids VR adventures or Formula 1 and they weren’t worth the money - 10€ per 5 minutes. Pool areas were quite nice, kids playrooms as well, entertainment we didn’t see as we went to bed quite early. We can’t recommend the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We made the Eastern fairy tale cruise on the MSC Bellissima liner from 30.11.2019 to 07.12.2019 on the route United Arab Emirates - Oman in cabin # 12109. First of all, I would like to thank MSC Cruises from the bottom of my heart for ... Read More
We made the Eastern fairy tale cruise on the MSC Bellissima liner from 30.11.2019 to 07.12.2019 on the route United Arab Emirates - Oman in cabin # 12109. First of all, I would like to thank MSC Cruises from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to get an excellent external cabin with a Fantastica balcony under the Fortuna program. The rest of the cruise is thought out perfectly-from the first minute at the entrance to the last when parting with the liner. The entire staff performs their duties flawlessly, with a smile and attention. Thank you to the staff of the Lighthouse restaurant (table 472) for their excellent cuisine, and to the waiters for their prompt and courteous service. The buffet at the Marketplace Buffet restaurant is impeccable in terms of the menu, the quality of the food prepared, the abundance of fruits, pastries, sweets, and drinks. We would like to thank all the animators, especially those who work on the open deck # 15. Evening rest is full of variety. Theatrical shows are staged and performed at a high professional level. I would like to mention the voices of the performers, and especially the dance group for their incendiary skill and artistic choreography of the numbers. When we visited the Bellissima Lounge bar, we were happy to listen and dance to the tunes of the Aquarium Party Band. But I especially want to thank the musicians of the Latin Summer band, who performed every night at TV Studios&Bar. We are fans of Spanish-language music . The Latin Summer ensemble conveys the unique flavor of Latin American performance culture with its compositions. Special thanks to the organizers of the holiday on the Sir Bani Yas island . A big surprise was the perfectly organized food on the island. The Eastern fairy tale cruise with its name perfectly reflects the feeling of uniqueness of fairy-tale emotions from being on the MSC Bellissima liner . Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This cruise was a retirement present to myself. After an awesome 6 days Rome/Venice stay, downer came with the horrible MSC Lirica experience. From the awful, unwelcoming embarking to disembarking this cruise line administration was ... Read More
This cruise was a retirement present to myself. After an awesome 6 days Rome/Venice stay, downer came with the horrible MSC Lirica experience. From the awful, unwelcoming embarking to disembarking this cruise line administration was nothing but a heartache. No proper accommodations were made for unexpected port change: had to maneuver long lines, ordered from room to room before being hoarded on two hours bus ride without even the courtesy of a glass of water. More chaos continued at the Trieste Port. Luggage subsequently misplaced. Eventually located late night after personally making multiple trips/inquiries. Basically, co-passengers and port itinerary were awesome. Food: same old same ole. I was too happy to purchase flavourful meals onshore by week two. Entrainment: elementary. No effort really put into it. My room sometimes smelled like sewer which made me nauseous. To my objection, chemical was used to correct the situation. Hard-working floors staff/stewards awesome, however, getting response from the front desk staff was HORRIBLE; don’t waste your precious time and energy to to take anything to their attention. Administration took NO RESPONSIBILITY/ACCOUNTABLE for anything. They all parroted a million different suggestions accompanied with rude sarcastic flavour with the result always the same in the end; you must be doing something wrong. Get this, I was blocked/denied getting bottle water during dining because they had the nerve to withdraw 200€ service charge from my on-board account with 12 days left to go on my trip because, I assumed they thought my account would run out before they got/grabbed their tip. SHAMEFUL AND HURTFUL INDEED After spending your hard earned money, once MSC gets it, you are chopped liver thereafter. PITY☹️☹️☹️ Read Less
Sail Date November 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
Sail Date March 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
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
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
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
Sail Date February 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
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
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
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
Sail Date January 2019
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
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
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
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
Sail Date December 2018

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