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5 MSC Cruises Amsterdam Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise because of the ports and the ability to conveniently fly in and out of Amsterdam. It was a seven day cruise with stops in five portsThe ship itself is lovely. Meal portions in the dining room were perfect and the ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ports and the ability to conveniently fly in and out of Amsterdam. It was a seven day cruise with stops in five portsThe ship itself is lovely. Meal portions in the dining room were perfect and the service wonderful. We looked forward to embarking at our scheduled time of 2pm and having lunch. Apparently weather issues would not allow for the ship to safely enter the port in Amsterdam, so everyone was bused to Zeebrugge; a four hour ride, no food or water, bathrooms that shut down after 50 uses and a trip through the police station in Zeebrugge to present our passports. We finally got dinner at 8pm and our bags at 10:30 pm. Ok, so a rough start. Our first stop was Hamburg, where we waited well over 75 minutes for a shuttle what was supposed to come every 30 minutes. II had not known better I would have thought this was the very first cruise for this ship and it's crew. There were people embarking and disembarking at every port. This created absolute chaos for getting on and off the ship. We were late getting into four out of five ports, which meant that some of our excursions were cut by up to an hour or more. Our Itinerary also changed twice during the cruise. There seemed to be a lot of excuses for what was happening and a tremendous lack of communication to crew members who were bearing the brunt of passengers anger and frustration. Maybe this was just a situation of "anything that could go wrong did," but I will sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The main reason to chose this cruise was the ports of call. And they were the best part of the cruise. Beautiful Bruges, charming Honfleur, impressive Amsterdam, unique island of Guernsey made this tour unforgettable. However avoid on ... Read More
The main reason to chose this cruise was the ports of call. And they were the best part of the cruise. Beautiful Bruges, charming Honfleur, impressive Amsterdam, unique island of Guernsey made this tour unforgettable. However avoid on board excursions since they are highly overpriced. For instance: the night before we reach Bruges we have been informed that ship "kindly" provide us with the convenient shuttle service to nearest city of Blankenberg where we can take the train for Bruges. The cost is 14 euro both ways - no exception for seniors or children. And you have to order it before you go to sleep otherwise they cannot guarantee you seats in the shuttle. We preferred to ignore this offer and saved time and money. When we docked a lot of taxis were available at the gangway, we got one with four other people and it takes us 25 minutes to reach Bruges without any train for 6 euro per person. The same taxi picked up us at the certain points after 5 hours and brought back to gangway. We used the same way to reach Honfleur and Canterbury and it was much cheaper than transfer from the ship (transfer only - not excursion). Three main disappointments was: 1. Stateroom. Although many people gave cabin 5 we cannot do this - unfortunately. Do not get me wrong - we did not expect luxury accommodation for the price we paid. We had the ocean view cabin and expected to find it clean and nice. But from the first step we smelled some unpleasant odor in the bathroom which lasted until the very end despite the very nice Filipino boy tried to eliminate it. In the next port I bought toilet deodorant spray but it helped a little. Cabinet doors as well as the bathroom door have been scratched. The worst part was the linen. The pillows on the bed were the worst I have ever in my life, lumpy mess. The blanket was old and thin. The sheet has been ripped off. However our steward kept our cabin clean when we were out. 2. Food. It was another disappointment. The buffets were almost the same every day and only offered at limited times. Food would be over cooked, undercooked, served cold, be totally bland, and so on. The meats were often all fat and gristle and sometimes simply impossible to chew. I think the MSC tries to save a dime by buying cheap cuts of meat. Coffee and tea were poor quality and the best desert like apple pie came to end after five minutes. 3. Entertainment was very unprofessional and short. Each show lasted 20-25 minutes and 10 minutes entertainment director told us how wonderful it was. 4.The boat does not have a good internet connection. It is hugely expensive and normally does not work. We bought an hour connection for 17 euro and could use it just 10 minutes. 5. Few words about photo service. My husband is a professional photographer, an he believes that quality of photos made on board are unacceptable. 6. We also believe that 6 euro a day per person plus 15% for any drink is too much for very modest service. And we have been charged a donation for UNISEF of one euro per person. I am not against making donations and one euro is not a deal at all but to not have a choice kind of makes it NOT a donation. Have we seen anything positive in that cruise? Yes. The ship itself is great with the nice design, the people are friendly and represent different cultures and styles. The weather was great, ports of call were wonderful... But next time we definitely will choose other cruise company.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I will start by saying that I went on this cruise with my mother, and I chose this sailing because of the itinerary and the price, both of which were very good. I had travelled with MSC a few years ago, and although there were things we ... Read More
I will start by saying that I went on this cruise with my mother, and I chose this sailing because of the itinerary and the price, both of which were very good. I had travelled with MSC a few years ago, and although there were things we did not like about it (no coffee or tea served at dinner in the main restaurant, having to pay for a glass of water, feeling like a fifth class citizen as English speakers), we were willing to go with them again as the price was great. We took the train from our airport hotel to the central station in Amsterdam, then decided to walk to the terminal. That was a bad idea ;) too much construction, too much rain, etc...we arrived at the cruise terminal soaking wet, but were clearly directed to where we could drop our luggage and then to where we needed to go to check in(only 300 people embarking in Amsterdam...should have been a breeze). We started to go to where we were told to go, only to be stopped by an employee telling us to just find a seat and she would call us when she was ready, I asked how she would call us as we had no number or color, and she said I'll just call you. finally called to check in, then people began to cut in front with not staff maintaining order. Finally a Dutch gentleman stepped in and told them they needed to be in the back of the line as we had all waited our turn...yeah! Checked in, went to our room, it was lovely, and clean. We met stateroom attendant immediately, very friendly, I asked for an extra pillow, it arrived before bed time. Stateroom attendants were great. Frist night dinner, we went to dining room and were directed to a booth in the very back corner, and it was very tight. The waiters had to literally work around a big pole in order to serve everyone at the table, as they could not reach otherwise, Very dumb layout. We all felt bad for waiters, as this made a difficult job way harder. The wait staff was excellent and eager to please, we found them to be amazing. There were two other English speaking couples at the table with us, for which we were thankful. Still no coffee or tea served at the table in the dining room, but water packages are now free for North Americans for dinner. The customer service was horrendous!!! I can not tell you stronger that you are on your own if you have any issues...they cannot/will not help you, it is your fault, period. The shore excursion staff was truly disorganised, particularly if you only spoke English. Transfers were poorly organised, lineups barely supervised, lots of pushing and cutting in line...very frustrating. The food in the dining room on the whole, was not great, very little choice, not well seasoned, not well presented, and at times, items looked nothing like described on the menu. We did not take advantage of the shows, so can not speak to that. Overall, I would say that we enjoyed our vacation, but were very disappointed in the cruise, and the total lack of customer service. I will not travel with MSC again, even for a good price   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The pretty ship has two flaws . . . a dull menu and a crew sorely in need of training. The ship is classic italian . . .the drew works hard to serve. But no matter what you call it, pasta in red meat sauce is pasta in red meat sauce. The ... Read More
The pretty ship has two flaws . . . a dull menu and a crew sorely in need of training. The ship is classic italian . . .the drew works hard to serve. But no matter what you call it, pasta in red meat sauce is pasta in red meat sauce. The menu was dull and the food tasteless.MSC also does some other oddball things . . . like shutting everything down for hours a a stretch and charging for room service. They have traditional seating and an extremely crowded buffet, partly becaasue dining hours are short.MSC also seems to believe in a "no information is better" policy . . .basic stuff like the time the ship will sail from a port is either not available or available in several versions. So, for example, the run a shuttle from the pier to the center of town in a part and don't tell anyone!!!We took a shot a MSC after 45 or so cruises looking for alternatives . . . will keep in looking. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
The MSC Opera - a beautiful, well appointed and maintained ship! The service staff was superb - both attentive and friendly. Each port-of-call and tour was outstanding - great sights and tours that were not overly rushed while being ... Read More
The MSC Opera - a beautiful, well appointed and maintained ship! The service staff was superb - both attentive and friendly. Each port-of-call and tour was outstanding - great sights and tours that were not overly rushed while being informative. Unfortunately, the same level of excellence does not pervade the ship. Activities involving process and procedure usually result in organized mayhem. By way of example, I arrived at the embarkation terminal in Amsterdam and was greeted by an MSC Cruises staff member at the main entrance. He directed me to fill out tags for my luggage, to place my luggage in a collection bin and to board the ship directly upon reviewing my Express Check-In paperwork. Taking the escalator to the second floor and following the signage indicating where to go, I was immediately attacked by Attila the Hen for entering the passenger processing area while it was closed. Note I arrived at the terminal at the time specified by the cruise line and no barrier was in place to prevent my entry. Attila, however, quickly located and strung a barrier across the entry way. After waiting for an hour, my wife and I were processed and permitted access to the ship and our cabin. Time passed and I became concerned as every other cabin on my deck had their luggage by their cabin door while mine was nowhere in sight. Despite being assured by the Reception Office that everyone was "working hard" on two occasions, the ship pulled away from the pier and I was still without luggage despite the passage of five hours. Making my third trip to Reception I was asked if I could identify my luggage from a collection of suitcases that all bore the same hand-completed luggage tags. I found my bags; they were eventually delivered to my cabin. Three days later, however, I returned to my cabin to discover a complete ticket package that contained printed luggage tags. I still wonder why I wasn't linked to the ticket package at the terminal, or why the representative was telling passengers to hand-complete luggage tags. I also wonder how long the ship's staff would have left the luggage in the holding area rather than matching a name to the passenger manifest. To be completely candid there are serious security implications within this tale - the ship had departed the pier without verification that corresponding luggage owners were on-board. My next disappointment, unless you cruise with the express intention of loosing weight, was the food. Actually, it was an enormous disappointment. Overall, the food was bland and the portions miniscule. For example, one evening I ordered Chicken Cacciatore. What I got was a baked chicken thigh - no sauce, no flavor - just a baked thigh on a plate. To add insult, the thigh had to have been purchased from a preserve for pygmy chickens. How about the Duck a l'Orange? What I received was a slice of duck skin, but this time with sauce. The Risotto was a pile of starch - being served at every multiple course dinner. Deciding to try the top deck buffet as a means of avoiding the main dining room for breakfast and lunch, I was again disappointed to find similar conditions. The breakfast juices were nothing more than highly sugared powdered drinks. To label them as juice is outright fabrication. The toast could have doubled as roofing tile. Any meats were dry and typically tough as an old buffalo. The lettuce for salads was always deeply submerged in water. The salad dressing was watery and had no flavor. I will stop with the culinary disappointments list to keep this critique from becoming voluminous. Suffice to say I made it a point to find a snack while ashore especially enjoying the tours which crossed meal times without food being provided by the ship. After numerous days of being held prisoner, my last experience aboard was not surprising. According to the ship's bulletin, the breakfast buffet was to start at 6:00 am on the day of disembarkation. Arriving in the hallway to the buffet at approximately 6:15 am, my ears were greeted with loud and very angry voices. A ship's officer was preventing passengers from entering the buffet as, according to him, it was not to open until 6:30 am. Ultimately, the crowd surged past him into the buffet. When I finally turned the corner and entered the buffet - I had absolutely no desire to impede the progress of the crowd which had formed behind me - there stood the same officer with his fists and eyes raised to the ceiling sobbing, "It's not my fault." One would rightly conclude it was highly fortunate that we never encountered a true emergency while at sea. Although I do wonder why anyone was in a hurry to get anything other than some coffee and perhaps some yogurt - the yogurt was terrible even though I digress. I have to suspect that whoever was responsible for buying the ship's food loved cheap without giving any regard to quality. Overall, I would recommend a Northern European/Baltic cruise to anyone interested in experiencing the ports-of- call offered on this cruise. It would be wonderful experience, just do not do it aboard the MSC Opera, otherwise your experience will be tarnished. There are simply too many other ships and cruise lines available Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
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