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420 MSC Cruises Baltic Sea Cruise Reviews

Chose this cruise foe its for its travel itinery. ship far to big , only onboard awe factor is the main auditorium, spectcular light show and there it ends, MSC health and safety to passengers is lacking. Major incident - Meraviglia ... Read More
Chose this cruise foe its for its travel itinery. ship far to big , only onboard awe factor is the main auditorium, spectcular light show and there it ends, MSC health and safety to passengers is lacking. Major incident - Meraviglia Lounge at lunchtime, entertainment crew decided the days lunchtime entertainment would be kicking a football on the dance floor where guests were sitting , drinking ,reading and chatting, so you expect the inevitable to happen and it did, football smashes into the table where we were sitting, cups, glasses sent flying, my wife hit full on with a glass of red wine, fortunatley the glass hit her shoulder another few inches higher and i dread to think of the outcome, my wife is in total shock covered in wine, hair, face and upper body, immediate panic from the staff trying to console her and trying to clean her up. We proceeded to customer reception and made a formal complaint, i womt go into the dran out procedure but it took four days to get to see and speak with the client relations manager who appologised on behalf of MSC, we asked on several occasions to view the video footage and the staff account of what happened, neither was forthcoming. We took the matter up with head office on our return, after several emails the end result was the offer of £180 credit towards a future cruise which we declined, why would i wish to spend several thousnd pounds on another cruise with MSC in the hope it would be any better, They seemed to simply dismiss the incident as a spilt glasss of wine when the outcome could have been life changing for my wife, i am thankfull this was not the case, Speciality dinning ecxperience - we booked a trio dinning package at a cost of 207 euros The Butchers Cut, The Ocean Quay and the Cirque de soliel dinner show, Just one out of three was up to standard. Butchers Cut - superb Ocean Quey - very poor Dinner show- absolute disaster, two 10 minuete stops for technical problems which ruined the performance, the food served was cold, no offer of a repeat show. Port embarcation - this took ages at all ports, customs at New York took nearly three hours, one passenger collapsed and was taken to hosipital, probably lost the will to live waiting around. There were no enrichment or seminars during the cruise considering the climate and much of the time was inside which also led to a lack of comfertable seating during the day, MSC gave the impression of repositioning on a budget at the expense of full paying passengers, they ran out of certain beverages, wines and soft drinks. Considering the mishaps the cabin was very good and housekeepig superb, the food served throughout the ship was good, our waiters at dinner were fantastic a credit to MSC. It just didn't compare to previouse cruises very dissapointed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Kiel to New York Embarkation at Kiel: Complete chaos took us 3 hours to get on the ship. There were no real lines for USA Citizens EU citizens after 2 hours they tried to rearange after thet it was more chaos. Food : ... Read More
Kiel to New York Embarkation at Kiel: Complete chaos took us 3 hours to get on the ship. There were no real lines for USA Citizens EU citizens after 2 hours they tried to rearange after thet it was more chaos. Food : Common this was sad the waves restaurant we eat 10 of the 17 nights i had one good meal that was the ribeye. I had a curry which was no curry. Spinach with some Meat no flavor. Lasagna was cold on the inside, frozen ????? Staff was very polite and was ashamed of the food. Buffet: every night the same and poor quality and very strange organised, i like yoghurt wit food and cerials you have to do 3 dif stations to complete ( breakfast was ok ) Hola Tapas restaurant, You pay a €30 for a standard menu which was very simple, if you do tapas like that in Sevilla you are out of bussiness in a month. The Butchers Cut steakhouse, simple menu for a extra €39,- A big sirlion steak which was very poor quality. My wife had Filet Mignon which was good. For €80 for 2 i have a perfect steak everywere. Dinner at Cirque do soleil was chaos but the fish and the lamb was good. Internet, i understand it can be slow on ships but this had nothing to do with slow it did not work or was very very very slow. Television after Iceland it was gone until New York Our toilet smells terribly, our great room steward masked the odor with coffee smell, thanx he was great. Embarcation after a port was dramatic only one entrance one control 20 30 mins to get back to the ship was no exception. Pasportcontrol New York took 6 hours. Disembarkation New York walk off at 8 was easy. My verdict, msc has nothing with giving people a great time, the greed is everywere money money money. This was our first and last msc cruise. We do Celebrity or RC next time. If you think it will be ok, everybody we spoke on the ship was negative. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Quick caveat that while this was my 25th sailing, this was my first (and will be my only) sailing on an MSC ship. It didn't take long for my group and I to notice that MSC caters to the European market, not the American market. This ... Read More
Quick caveat that while this was my 25th sailing, this was my first (and will be my only) sailing on an MSC ship. It didn't take long for my group and I to notice that MSC caters to the European market, not the American market. This is blatantly apparent when it comes to customer service. MSC has a "it is what is is" mentality when it comes to delivering poor customer experience, which they did quite often during the 18-day transatlantic sailing. FIRST: MSC doesn't keep time well. Disembarkation was later than scheduled on most ports which caused tours to either start hours late or be rushed missing key sights. MSC's response, "you're the first one to complain so..." A refund was denied and I was told that someone will contact me. Nobody did. SECOND: MSC decided it was a good idea to drain all pools in the thermal spa area for several days during their transatlantic tour. I invested $300+ on access specifically for their hot tubs so when I found out that they will be out-of-service for a long period of time I asked for a refund. MSC's response? "take it up with the spa since they are a third-party company." Spa company's response? "take it up with MSC since you bought it online." THIRD: Most employees will not know the answer to your questions and if they don't, they'll guess. If you ask 5 employees the same question you'll get 5 different answers. I was asked to put a card on file when my on-board balance exceeded $300 euros. When I proceeded to put my debit card on file the lowest pre-paid denomination was much higher than I expected to pay. When I asked what will happen with the remaining unused funds I was told that it would get credited back to my debit card. On the last day, as I was disembarking with luggage in hand in NYC the machine made a loud noise and I was told that I owe a balance. When I visited the reception desk I was told that they owed me several hundred dollars and that I'll get it in euros. A refund on my debit card was not feasible despite the information that was provided previously. Now I have hundreds in euros that I'll have to spend 1/3 of it to convert to dollars. I will never sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to Iceland and we thought this would give us an idea of what to see there. The embarkation process was horrible. Long lines and only two windows open when we arrived. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We had never been to Iceland and we thought this would give us an idea of what to see there. The embarkation process was horrible. Long lines and only two windows open when we arrived. We had to drag our luggage with us through the whole line. We were assigned the wrong dining time. It took us three days and a lot of haggling to get it changed. The head maitre d “ Anton” was not helpful or caring. Every employee on the ship seemed as though they had never cruised before. No one knew what they were doing and could not make a decision by themselves. We were offered a “welcome” cocktail party one evening. The waiters were very efficient bringing out dozens of trays of cocktails for the guests. However, not one officer from the ship showed up to “welcome” us on board. When we bought our cruise we were offered an incentive of 12 drink coupons per person. When we arrived on the ship there were no coupons. We asked at reception and were told that the offer had expired so we would not get the coupons. I sent an email to my travel agent. The next day we received a message in our cabin to come to reception. Our coupons were waiting for us. Usually on other cruise lines I have a case of water sent to our cabin. MSC did not offer only water. You have to buy a drink package that includes water. Our interior cabin was adequate. It did have two closets which was nice. No one had tissues in their cabin. We were told it was an environmental reason but if we really wanted them we could call the front desk to request them which we did. If it was environmental there were a lot of other things they do they could change. The food in every venue was horrible. The buffet was so crowded at all times. The food was comparable to a low end restaurant. The dining room was the same with food that could have been prepackaged frozen items. Mushy shrimp cocktails, fishy fish and white rice with everything. Our server Widiana was excellent and the head waiters Mircea Bercaru and Jamal also went out of their way to make our dining the best they could with what they had to work with. We bought a specialty dining package they offered online. When we got on the ship we had so many conflicts with shows we wanted to cancel it. We were told anything we bought online was not eligible to be cancelled. We juggled our schedules in order to fit it in. We were very disappointed in all the specialty restaurants. All the food was no better than the dining rooms. Also, you expect a more upscale dining room. This was not the case. The rooms were just an area stuck in the side of the ship painted a different color. The shows were typical MSC. There was a lot of opera and classical music. The production shows were mediocre. The premise for some of the shows was something you would make for grade school. One of our seatings was cancelled in the middle of the show because the curtain got stuck and the could not open it. However, the dancers were exceptional. They all deserve a better place to work. The Cirque de Soleil show “Sonor” was cancelled for the whole cruise. We did not find out until we arrived for the show after having skipped our dinner because of the time conflict. The other Cirque show “ Viaggio” started on time only to stop three times due to “ technical difficulties “. All the shows such as the ventriloquist had to be translated into five or six different languages which was very annoying. The showroom was beautiful but the stairs had lighting that was very bright and blinding. We saw three people fall at different times. The grand staircase in the atrium was the same but accented with crystals which was supposed to be beautiful but was only blinding. Our room steward Dixon did an excellent job. Most ship employees were good. A lot were unfriendly. The captain interrupted our day every day an noon to tell us the weather and the ships position. Then his announcement had to be translated into six languages again. They did not make any other announcements on the PA system leading to the passengers not having any knowledge about what was going on. The ports were very nice. We only took one excursion with the ship. It ran smoothly. We were told by other passengers that the excursions in Iceland left so late they were touring in the dark and visited the stops in the dark. They went to see the geysers in the dark. The restrooms on the ship were all outfitted with new fixtures that were supposed to be automatic but never worked. You could never get any soap and the water was always running all over the floor. Every charge on the ship was in Euros. Even if you registered your credit card online before you left as you do with every other cruise lines, you had to go to a kiosk on the ship to authorize a minimum $250 (275 euros) before you could buy anything on the ship. One thing we learned that was very upsetting was that even though all their charges were in Euros they pay their employees in American dollars. They lose a lot in the exchange rate. The Meraviglia was the largest cruise ship to ever dock in New York. We were to spend two nights on the ship in New York. We were advised to leave the ship on our full day there and not return for at least 6 hours. This was because customs would be coming on the ship and they were not sure when they would finish. We did this only to return to the ship full of outside people touring the ship. We and many other people on the ship that we spoke with have decided this is the last chance for MSC. We will never travel on one of their ships again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at ... Read More
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at Copenhagen Terminal at 10.30am, they said we could board at 11.30am and a large Group of tourists decided to rush first, not lining up correctly, it was very chaotic, this was sorted out swiftly by the Crew. We boarded and even though our rooms weren't ready till 1.30pm, that didn't stop us exploring the lovely and elegant MSC Poesia and grabbing a bite to eat and drink. The ship is over 11 years old, but you would not know this, as it is kept in pristine condition. (and I have cruised with ships only 5-6 years old and they have had a beating!) Our room was always clean and spotless, cleaned twice daily. Lovely balcony, one floor down to access the Spa and pool deck. The ship is ultra clean, crew spending their days polishing everything and hosing all the pool area down daily. I found all the crew friendly and chatty. With regards to the language barrier and despite other reviews, I understand that as an Australian, English would be the last language spoken, as MSC being an Italian cruise liner, and there were many nationalities on board, Italian, Russian, French, German and Chinese. Not once did I find the language barrier a problem, in fact I praise the crew, most of them could speak three or four languages! We had My time Dining, never an issue granting four of us a table each night, waiting time probably no longer than 5 minutes. I found the food to be exceptional, I have cruised 10 times , RCI, Celebrity, P&O, Princess, NCL and Carnival and the food served was on a par with all cruise ships. All the waiters were extremely friendly and polite, never anything a bother, even when we ordered two or three entrees, mains or desert. The buffet was huge, we ate there for breakfast and lunch. It wrapped around the whole back of the ship and the food was plentiful, enough for anyone to find something to eat every day, vegans, Gluten free etc., Late night snacks, bread, meats, cheeses, cakes and pizza from 11.00pm to 12.00pm, despite another review on here, I found the Pizza to be very edible, dont forget its an Italian ship, so not many toppings! There are 7 Lounge bars and you could always find a nice quiet spot to have a drink. The only downside was the entertainment, night time shows (2) and they were okay, we went to most of them. No day time shows or entertainment. The singers in the lounge were a bit of a let down as well. They need to address this. As the weather wasn't perfect, no outdoor entertainment or activities. Only one Flower 60's70's night and that was the 2nd last night on board. No Italian night, or white night as expected. We did 4 shore excursions with MSC Rotterdam - we chose to do the night time canal tour in Amsterdam, This was such a great experience, going down the canal by boat and seeing all the famous houses etc., free wine and soft drinks and a small antipasto platter to eat. We then had 2 hours to explore by ourselves. Vigo, Spain - was a bit of a let down, the UNESCO Church was under re construction, they should have explained this to us, we could not see much, 1.50 hours travel in a bus, 1/2 hour in the Church, 30 minutes to explore and then back on the bus to the ship, for the price we paid, I was disappointed, it was expensive . Lisbon, Portugal, - what a great excursion with our tour guide Maria, Tram ride through the town, over an hour, custard tarts and port wine for brekky, and then 2 hours for site seeing, including stops to see Palaces, Castles, etc., all the best parts of Lisbon. This was inexpensive and a great way to see Lisbon! Cadiz - Spain, we chose to go to Seville to see the UNESCO Palace, 2 hours in a bus, should have explained that to us, (brochure said, short drive), but it was worth the drive, the Palace was lovely, the exhibition place was as well, then a lovely lunch included at a near by restaurant, with unlimited wine! All other ports, we explored ourselves, Warnemunde, Rotterdam, during the day, just cross the bridge, lots to see, Cartagena, wow, what a fantastic little port, duty and tax free haven, checked out the castles, roman ruins the amphitheatre first, then went on a shopping trip. Overall, despite the weather as it was not favorable for 6 days, it was a fantastic cruise and I would travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First off, we were told we had a free upgrade. I tried to contact the travel agent to no avail. When we got onto the ship, I asked about the upgrade and had a sign literally pushed into my face which said there are no free cabins. We ... Read More
First off, we were told we had a free upgrade. I tried to contact the travel agent to no avail. When we got onto the ship, I asked about the upgrade and had a sign literally pushed into my face which said there are no free cabins. We were told to board the ship at 5.15 pm. We discovered that the ship had been parked at Southampton all day and most people just got on when they felt like it. Like wise disembarkation, we were told 10.15 am. We left at about 10am and discovered that most people had already left. Dining:- The quality of the food was poor, lukewarm at best and it was impossible to get a hot drink. The buffet area was horrendous, doesn't do to be a shy retiring Brit. Survival of the fittest (loud Europeans). Excursions:- Extortionate. Bruges transfer approx. 55 Euros. Lovely lady gave us information (including safety) on the coach into Bruges. Very pretty town. Rotterdam:- Transfer to Amsterdam about 55 Euros. Horrendous. The ship was parked up all night (until 6am next day) and yet we had to be back on the ship by about 4pm. It took 1.5hours to get into Amsterdam and nearly 2 coming back, and so we had about 2.5 hours in Amsterdam, time to do next to nothing. There was a commentary going on all the way to Amsterdam, in German. We asked the German guide where we were when we arrived, he drew a circle on our map, we asked him which direction we should go in and he pointed to a street, which was a very seedy back street selling undesirable items in the shops. Best value was taking a trip round Amsterdam on one of those bikes that holds two passengers. People who had been to Amsterdam before said Rotterdam is much nicer. We complained at Excursion reception and we were told by a very rude lady that there was no guide on the bus. True but there was no safety instructions either on or off the bus. Don't bother complaining about anything, you are wasting your time. Hamburg:- We took the shuttle which was about 15 Euros. Unfortunately it was Sunday so all shops closed. We took a HOHO bus which was good value. Once again we had to be back on the ship way before it left. Le Havre: we just stayed in Le Havre because most of the trips were expensive. E.g. Paris 119.99 Euros. 11 hours but takes a good few hours to get there. Le Havre is a dump. Entertainment:- Most shows were very samey and only lasted for about 30 minutes. Cabin: We had an indoor cabin which we will never do again. Cabin staff were very good though. The ship itself was fantastic, but trying to partake in any activities was difficult due to overcrowding. We will not travel with MSC again and cannot recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I will avoid this line for ALL future cruises. The ship is beautiful and impressive but just too big. They nickel and dime you for EVERYTHING. And everything is expensive! Small bottle of water $2, drinks $7-8, shops at triple land ... Read More
I will avoid this line for ALL future cruises. The ship is beautiful and impressive but just too big. They nickel and dime you for EVERYTHING. And everything is expensive! Small bottle of water $2, drinks $7-8, shops at triple land value prices even while at sea. Shows are slightly above high school performances. Food was pretty good except at the "Market Place" buffet where the lines are l o n g. Rooms were OK, Maid service good, The main corridor is beautiful with a light show often throughout the day. The shops are sometimes opened while at sea and extremely over priced ( you are captive and they know it). I would check into the air exchangers - 85% of the passengers were sick and coughing. "At Sea" days were boring since the waterparks were closed - very cold in the North Atlantic. I will avoid MSC if this is their definition of luxury at sea. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is passengers embark at every port which means constant security processes going on and in so many different languages, suitcases and chaos everywhere almost daily, this gets very tiresome. Whilst check in was ok they don't seem to have the administration sorted as well as other cruise lines. You have to have your photo taken separately and you have to add your credit card separately once on the ship, why? This has all been done at check in before and is much easier. The actual ship and cabin was very nice, a little more room in our cabin than we've had before so this was a bonus. The food though was not good, very poor, I hardly ate anything in the main restaurant, in fact I only ate the rolls and a little breakfast. If you go to the buffet for breakfast by the time you put everything together it's stone cold as the eggs are nowhere near the bacon and it's a big place to walk around! We couldn't get a table in the buffet one morning and had to go to the restaurant which we wanted to avoid as the service was quite poor in the morning, we often asked for milk with the tea but often never got it! Never got our cereals either so when we asked for them they were almost thrown at us! Have to say at this point our waiters in the main restaurant for dinner were very nice and helpful. Some of the staff apologised for the food and said they had to eat it too! Reception staff were also hit and miss, some were helpful and some wouldn't help at any cost! We were late back from Amsterdam and weren't allowed into the main restaurant as you only have about 10 mins from opening to closing! When we asked reception to help they said it wasnt their fault their trip was late back (referring to traffic) but it was their fault as when we booked we were supposed to dock in Amsterdam but we're moved to Rotterdam and this meant a long coach journey which took 2 hours and was not easy with an 18 month old baby let alone not being able to get into the restaurant to feed her! The Europeans on this trip were the rudest I have ever encountered, they never said thank you for letting them through the narrow hallways or when you kept a door open for them. My daughter had to use the lift as she had a pushchair and even if she was the first one there when the lifts arrived the other passengers would just barge in front of her! Most of them were young or middle aged and didnt seem to even need the lift! The trips did not appeal to us at all, very early starts and we're things like cycling tours or they just dropped you off. We have been on some really wonderful trips with the other cruise companies so missed that very much. Didn't like any of the ports on this trip, Hamburg was awful and to have paid the expensive shuttle would have been a waste of time as we were told everything was shut on a Sunday. This was told to us by a local taxi driver not the ship, they didn't tell us anything not even which gangway to get off! The ship did constantly make announcements in your cabin though in loads of different languages that really got on our nerves, this was usually about the muster stations or their team! MSC gave us a letter to say they are welcoming British guests but we did not feel welcome at all. They gave us a kettle in our cabin and a one cup little pot of milk for 2 people so we asked reception for some more and they told us, sometimes it's complimentary and sometimes it's not! What sort of answer is that! They then said they could give us some for 3 euros! We said no thanks and brought milk down from the buffet! We had no in room tv in English apart from one channel which claimed it was a news channel but you only got a couple of lines of news now and again it was mainly history documentaries or about egg donation which was constantly repeated! Thank goodness I had a book! The t.v service is so much better on Princess cruises as you have access to t.v shows, films etc and this was needed on MSC as their theatre entertainment was almost the same every night and did nothing for us! The best thing in the evening was to get an Italian ice cream! Also, please note there are smoking areas on board, like the casinos and by the pool on one side which obviously affects you if walking through these areas. I would sum up by saying I wouldn't go with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as we wanted to revisit some of the destinations again & the value for money Muster what a joke this is how you put your lifejacket on Produce your passports at 7:30 am ??? never went we are on holiday and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to revisit some of the destinations again & the value for money Muster what a joke this is how you put your lifejacket on Produce your passports at 7:30 am ??? never went we are on holiday and when we asked others they did not attend either Register your debit card onboard yourself and if you do not spend minimum then you get back in euros by going to reception night before disembarkation Despite doing this my husband was stopped whilst trying to get off as he was told he had an outstanding bill so had to take all his luggage (self disembark) up or down a floor stand in line to find out what it was & it turned out they had omitted to add 8 euros for a shuttle not our fault but we missed our connection as this took over 1 hour Out of city terminal in to mayflower never advised so people could rearrange pick ups Never advised whilst in port where to get off Food always cold and nothing ever flowed veg never near the main Options never changed exactly the same everyday No afternoon teas to speak of scones the size of a 10p hard no real cream and jam in a sachet Shows not great I have seen more movement in a morgue as the dancers held up a bit of this or that in the background whilst the singers made an attempt at singing and some fella spun around in a large hula hoop and a lady did the splits between two ribbons Nowhere nearly as good as other cruise lines Gala night only one show at 7 nothing else all evening Speciallity dining as we had a drinks package my husband requested a glass of wine with his steak but the steward advised he was unable to provide this but he could have a beer and me my diet coke the same bar that my husband walked ten yards to and got his wine Staff not the happiest and a smile was hard to find Cabin steward couldn't tell you who or she was as never saw all week and towels changed infrequently Gratuities paid on booking but had to have removed as automatically added on to everyone Shuttle buses charged just to get you off the docks 16 euros each for a six minute bus journey As going out of Southampton told it had been anglonised to cater for the british the sample I saw was a couple of union jacks in the atrium Hop on hop off at every port so muster blasted into cabins daily in god knows how many languages Not much washing of hands done by many Non English cruisers very rude pushed and shoved whilst others waited to either get food or off the shuttles Would I cruise MSC again never I shall just be like the Abba tribute that never turned up I could carry on but what is the point would we cruise MSC again a definite no Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC. We chose this cruise because if the itinerary, especially Hamburg and Amsterdam. We really liked the ship its self, which is very grand, and our cabin was quite spacious with a small “Juliet” ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC. We chose this cruise because if the itinerary, especially Hamburg and Amsterdam. We really liked the ship its self, which is very grand, and our cabin was quite spacious with a small “Juliet” balcony. However, we were very disappointed with some aspects of the cruise. Amsterdam The main problem was Amsterdam. When we booked, the ship was going to dock overnight in Amsterdam. This was changed to overnight in Rotterdam and we were given the chance to cancel and have our deposit back, or in compensation we could either book one of two discounted shore excursion to Amsterdam, or use a free shuttle bus to Amsterdam that would be provided. We were quite happy to opt for the free shuttle. Once on board, the itinerary was changed again with departure from Rotterdam at 10pm instead of 6am the following morning. We were still OK with this as we thought we could still get a full day in Amsterdam. On the day it turned out that the free shuttle was in fact a transfer there and one departure back on the “Amsterdam on your own” shore excursion. The return was moved back from 3.15pm to 4pm because of heavy traffic on the outbound trip, but this was still way too early considering that the All Aboard was 9.30pm for a 10pm departure! So our full day in Amsterdam that we had been looking forward to became just four hours! When we tried to complain at reception later, the man we spoke to was quite rude and dismissive, saying that this was the rules and what we had signed for. We also felt that the shuttle buses provided by MSC at the other ports were VERY expensive. We have sailed with P & O before, where port shuttles provided by them were free. The food We found the layout of the buffet at breakfast and lunch quite confusing. For example, toast at one point, butter somewhere else and jam in a third location! As other reviewers have said, a lot of the hot food was only just warm. Trying to get a hot cup of tea was hard as the self service urns were only warm. The Hotel Services Director told us later that he was aware of this problem and was trying to get in sorted. In the meantime he advised us to take our mug and teabag to the bar counter and ask for hot water there. This worked well! A good thing about the buffet was the all day pizza which is delicious! We spoke to the UK Cruise Director and the Hotel Services Director who were both helpful and took our comments on board, but overall we were not impressed by the way the ship was run. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this 14 night cruise because of the itinerary and the experience of a new ship. The ship is beautiful but probably a bit too big for us as there was some very noisy areas due to the number of passengers onboard.The ports were ... Read More
We chose this 14 night cruise because of the itinerary and the experience of a new ship. The ship is beautiful but probably a bit too big for us as there was some very noisy areas due to the number of passengers onboard.The ports were fantastic especially the fjords. The dining room we were assigned to (The Panorama restaurant ) was fantastic as were the staff. So Attentive and friendly and our glass of wine was always filled without having to get anyone's attention.. Food in the dining room was probably some of the best cruise food we have had actually. We enjoyed everything. The buffett was far too noisy and crowded but the food seemed to be good with plenty of variety. We don't do buffets but a couple of early excursion days we had too. A TIP. Take some zip lock bags and make up some rolls and some pastries from the buffett to take on your port days it saved a lot of money off the ship. If you eat always in the buffets and dont try the complimentary dining rooms and you complain about food and service then that is your own fault as it is an entirely different experience and our dining room experience was fantastic. I'm not usually a fan of set tables, set dining times and set dining rooms but it actually worked out really good for us as during our 2 weeks we had some really great company and looked forward to seeing them each night at the same table. We also had the option of breakfast and lunch at the panorama restaurant. which was fantastic also. Why anyone prefers walking around buffets with a plate in their hand as opposed to being waited on with a nice table setting , cutlery, glasses (not plastic cups) and a menu is beyond me. Kids I understand. Our inside cabin was very very roomy and always clean. Except for 2 days I had to ask for it too be made up. We had been forgotten. We actually found very little storage space in the very very large inside cabin. I actually had to work out of my suitcase a bit during the 2 weeks. Maybe a 2 seater sofa with draws at the bottom would be a good addition to the very large empty floor space or even another cupboard. 2 people could actually lay down and do yoga on the floor. I did actually have a lot of trouble sleeping at night but that was really down to rude passengers slamming cabin doors, yelling and laughing as they passed through the corridors. Why aren't people more thoughtful we were always very mindful that others could possibly be sleeping. Lack of manners I guess. Some were even very rude and wouldn't let you out of the lift before getting in themselves. Service at the bars was good but a lot of passengers so what can you expect if you have to wait. ANOTHER TIP. the indoor pools and jacuzzis are always empty on port days so best time for a dip in peace. As for the shows they were ok, but we gave up after the 2nd time as people seemed to keep coming in through out the whole performance and walk in front of you or get you to stand up so they can get past you. Try being on time so everyone can enjoy the shows without disruption. We do. We had an easy drink package with drinks valued up to 6 euro. dont go over as you are charged for the whole drink not just the differance. We were actually quite happy with our package as there were 6 different kinds of wine to choose from mostly Italian house wines (nothing wrong with italian house wine, great in fact) 2 sparkling, 2 whites a rose and a red.. only 1 beer type though. 4 spirit types which you could mix with tonic, sodas etc. bottled water. juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and even cappuccino. ANOTHER GOOD TIP order the non alcoholic cocktails and a spirit on the side and mix them together. My Coco loco zero with a side of rum added turned out to be a nice coco loco cocktail. Alcoholic cocktails were not included in our package. but i still managed to get my fix without paying extra. I do have a few of complaints though. 1.I had to fight to get a box of tissues for the cabin they apparently don't provide these any more. 2.And you could not order an iron and ironing board for an hour or so and a lot of my clothes were wrinkly after such long flights so i didn't get to wear everything and had to recycle and there is only a small clothes line in the shower. I take a mini clothes circle with pegs attached. Laundry prices were outrageous even for just a garment pressed. 3. The speciality dining package is very inflexible as you can't pick the restaurants you want to attend only the ones they pick for you. 4. The easy drink package could not be used in the speciality dining you would of had to upgrade your drink package by 10 euros per person per night. So because of these 2 things we did not eat speciality dining. But I don't think we missed anything as the food in the dining room was great and our easy package was adequate. 5. I also think as on other ships someone on the food areas monitoring hand sanitation would be a good idea. Not everybody is hygenic. Overall we enjoyed our cruise, food was great, staff friendly and the ports were good. A cruise is what you make of it. So don't sweat the little things too much and focus on the great. And there is plenty of that on the ship if you look for it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was a winter break away. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. Inside the ship, you scan your sea pass card at a machine and authorize €250 to b taken as on board credit. The first night, the food was ... Read More
This was a winter break away. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. Inside the ship, you scan your sea pass card at a machine and authorize €250 to b taken as on board credit. The first night, the food was abhorrent. Our waiter James from India was quite quick with service. The dining room is all on one level. The headliner show was a magician who made animal shapes with his hands, he was quite good. The casino is a rip off, it seemed to be a smoking casino as non smoking signs were ignored. The activities were abysmal, €35 for a F1 simulation car for 30 minutes, €25 for 4 people for 10 pin bowling for 30 minutes, €9 for flight simulation. Not a whole lot else. The staff looked uninterested in their work and the cruisers. Cirque du soleil was also on the ship, tickets varied from €15-€45. It was cancelled 3 nights in a row, due to rocky seas. Our cabin was at the opposite end to the market place. The market place was a complete nightmare for finding tables. I had to share with strangers as no table was available for me. I walked round 3 times to find a table. The food doesn’t stay warm very long once it’s on your plate. Restaurant waiters very slow in clearing plates, cups, glasses off tables. The cabin was on the small side for 3 people, no storage space, the wardrobe was fairly small only 2 shelves and 2 drawers. We only saw our room attendant twice during the whole week. Room was left in excellent condition. The solarium was lovely, 2 jacuzzis and 2 cantilevered jacuzzis. No cushions on any of the chairs. Very uncomfortable. The shopping offers were reasonable enough. The price of the excursions were obscene. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This is our fifth cruise. In general we are very satisfied with the cruising experience. We’ve done NCL, Princess Cruise and Celebrity before. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. The check in was straight ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise. In general we are very satisfied with the cruising experience. We’ve done NCL, Princess Cruise and Celebrity before. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. The check in was straight forward. No major problems. To get in and out of the ship, the staff scans your sea pass card at a machine and authorize. Quite simple. They say kind people are the best kind of people. And we couldn’t agree more. The staff on Meraviglia was one of the best we’ve ever come across. Always smiling, always warm, always happy (and eager) to help. From the moment we got down at Kiel station, to the moment we got back there – every member of the staff went out of the way to help us. What we found unique on this ship was the main staffs spoke 6 major languages – French, Italian, English, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese. The first night, the food was acceptable to very good comparing to other cruises that we have taken before. The staffs were warm, quite quick with service. The dining room is all on one level 5 and the cafeteria Market Place is located on 14 th floor. The first show as the world of hand was a magician who made animal shapes with his hands, he was very good. Since this is a European ship and the smoke is allowed in some places dedicated in the ship as the bar and casino. The activities were quite expensive as €35 for a F1 simulation car for 30 minutes, €25 for 4 people for 10 pin bowling for 30 minutes, €9 for flight simulation. Cirque du soleil was also on the ship, tickets varied from €15 with a drink and €45 with a dinner. Our cabin had the balcony. We therefore were so enjoyed watching the sea as the ship was moving. The Market Place/cafeteria was a mesh for finding tables. We had to share with strangers as no table available for us sometime. Our cruise plan also included dinner at the Olivo D’Oro restaurant every night, table 733 near the veranda, where we could peacefully sit around a table, and enjoy a dining experience while having conversations with friends and watching the wave as the ship moving. However we found unreasonable as the soft drink including water were charged to the room when we were in the restaurants. It was free in the Market Place/cafeteria. We saw our room attendant twice every day. Room was left in excellent condition. The shopping offers were reasonable enough with cocktail offerings. The price of the excursions were quite high due the high cost of living in Norway comparing to the North American one. As mentioned before this is our fifth cruise and we came back with a fond memory and grateful. Thank MSC Meraviglia for providing us with memories of a lifetime! Two families Nguyen from Montreal and Toronto September 2019 Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have been on over 60 cruises on at least 8 cruise lines. This is the first time when checking in, you do not produce a credit card for validation. When you get on board there is a machine to validate your Debit/Credit Card. You put ... Read More
We have been on over 60 cruises on at least 8 cruise lines. This is the first time when checking in, you do not produce a credit card for validation. When you get on board there is a machine to validate your Debit/Credit Card. You put in you ships card which was issued when you checked in. You then enter your card. Whichever one you use, they deduct 250Euros from this card. When the cruise ends, and you used a Credit card, They deduct your expenses, and then credit your Credit card. If you use a Debit card, they do not credit the card after expenses have been deducted. You have to go to reception and they give you Euros for your credit balance. Which means you either keep them for future trips to Europe, or cash them in at your bank at a very bad rate. I believe most of the Euroeans on the ship are deaf. Because they all try to outdo them selves to see how loud they can speak. Aside from you cabin there is no place that is quite. The Library is a waste of time of you are English. It had a total of 2 books in it. They never announced where the Gangway was located/ Late dinner was 20:30 to 22:00. The show started at 22:00. Most late shows s on other lines, started at 10:30 or 10:45. This allows you to finish your meal and get to the theatre., which is at the other end of the ship. The first 5/10 minutes of the show the MC's described what was in the show in five languages. The show started and people whee coming into the theatre 10 to 15 minutes after the show had started. The shuttle bus service was big rip off. On most cruises if you pay full fare for the cruise the shuttle was free. If you paid reduced fare, it may cost up to 5gbp per trip.. 4 ports cost 103Euro/93GBP. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
BACKGROUND: seven day cruise out of Southampton, to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Hamburg and LeHavre. Mother, 88yrs, and daughter 50’s, active and love to participate in activities like trivia. Mom uses a scooter on cruises due to severe ... Read More
BACKGROUND: seven day cruise out of Southampton, to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Hamburg and LeHavre. Mother, 88yrs, and daughter 50’s, active and love to participate in activities like trivia. Mom uses a scooter on cruises due to severe arthritis which makes walking long distances challenging. SHIP: I liked the ship. It isn’t particularly easy to navigate as there are multiple bars and rooms but that’s why there is a readily available map and guide. It was very easy to find a hideaway to escape the crowds. The Swarovski Crystal staircase is beautiful. DINING: I found the dining room horrible for me, my mom loved it. I don’t eat meat and the options were abhorrent. Everything was cold and tasteless. The buffet in both our opinions was disgusting although my mother didn’t have to navigate the bun fights as I usually chose for her knowing very well her likes and dislikes. It was truly chaotic. The buffet did not have a natural flow and was always an incredibly unpleasant dining experience. The food was very cold. The only way to get a hot cup of tea for my mom was to go to the barista and get boiling water from the bar. The urns of “hot water” were either cold or empty. I have read that people eat food colder in Europe...ummm not in my experience. This food was inedible except for the wonderful fruit available at breakfast. We tried one specialty restaurant (Butcher’s Cut) as it was gratis having been granted a “Black Card” in MSC’s reciprocity offer as I am Elite Plus with Celebrity and Diamond Plus with RCI. (The other specialty restaurant was was Asian fusion that I could have enjoyed but definitely not mom’s thing). Mom’s veal chops were like hockey pucks and my salmon was again cold and over cooked. It would have been an incredibly expensive meal (+++€120) and I would have had a hard time not seriously challenging paying for a meal as it was THAT bad. One good caveat was that I lost weight...a fairly big feat on a cruise. CABIN: We were in our first accessible cabin. I am a firm believer that accessible cabins should be for wheelchair dependent people, not for someone like us that can manage, albeit sometimes challenging, to be able to fit a scooter inside a cabin. As we only booked two months before the cruise it was actually the only balcony available. I must admit the space was wonderful...the cabin steward...not so much. I actually wrote to no avail IN THE DUST on the table “please clean me.” Mom used the little milk cups for one cup of tea on the first day and despite daily requests, it was never restocked nor was the tissues or tea bags. One morning he told me that “he was too busy to clean our room.” I just chuckled to myself and took fresh towels off his cart. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: The shows were OK, some better than others. What I did find rather amusing was that two of the shows were VERY similar just different music and costumes. The cirque-like performer with a big ring did the same routine. The aerialist..same..different colour silk. Trio of acrobats...exactly the same tumbling etc. It was a really weird dejavu. There are multiple performers in the many bars around the ship that was wonderful. The multicultural influences were also fabulous. As for activities, the staff didn’t show up for one of the trivias...no response when I queried this with guest services. When they did show up it was OK though. The staff were very nice and personable. What was annoying was that as people can embark and disembark at all the ports, Hamburg was considered a big turnaround day and there were no activities at all until 3pm and that was “hair analysis” in the spa. No trivia/nothing. Furthermore, Hamburg was on a Sunday and there is notoriously nothing open except for the Zoo and a “Miniature” Park. PORTS: As my mom wasn’t feeling well at times, we only got off the ship in LeHavre. We used the ship’s shuttle into town for ~ €8 each. We walked around a bit and went to the Mall. I felt that Brugge would be too difficult for her in her scooter with all the cobblestones. It is one of my favourite ports though. BOTTOM LINE... would I go on MSC again? I highly doubt it though never say never. I now know what to expect from MSC which was one of the goals of this trip. Despite all the banter about how the service, activities and food on CELEBRITY and RCI have dropped a bit it’s still FAR superior than MSC...IN MY OPINION. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just returned from cruise through Scandanavia. This cruise only caters for people who are prepared to pay for their overpriced boutiques, restaurants and alcohol. Food, service and entertainment average at best. Groups of people left ... Read More
Just returned from cruise through Scandanavia. This cruise only caters for people who are prepared to pay for their overpriced boutiques, restaurants and alcohol. Food, service and entertainment average at best. Groups of people left mid show on more than 1 occasion Drink package mostly useless as they price their drinks outside the cap they allow on the packagre. Instead of you paying the difference they make you pay the cost of the whole drink despite having paid extra for the package Internet is obscenely expensive but you need it to work their app to manage your accounts. They charge credit card despite being paid and you are expected to wait for them to refund it. Shore excursions terrible quality not worth the cost. Limited staff, wait forever for service at bars Pester you to eat at their expensive private restaurants when you walk past, even waiting outside the dining room to hand you pamphlets despite having just eaten. Felt like you were in Asia with Hawkers. Main lounges have limited seating for 3500 passengers to enjoy onboard entertainment It is unfortunate that cruise experiences like this turn people away from ever cruising again MSC Maraviglia. Too big, impersonal, poor service and onboard experiences. Spend your money elsewhere Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Pros = 1) Service at the dinner - Waiter always friendly 2) Service and cleanliness on our Room 3) Pre paid internet was 4gb for 4 devices and it was cheap comparing with other cruises that I´ve made 4) Pre paid digital ... Read More
Pros = 1) Service at the dinner - Waiter always friendly 2) Service and cleanliness on our Room 3) Pre paid internet was 4gb for 4 devices and it was cheap comparing with other cruises that I´ve made 4) Pre paid digital pictures was very cheap. I got in the end a pen drive with 120 pictures taken during the cruise and it costed 90 euros. During the cruise, they were charging 30 euros for EACH picture 5) Pizza was very good Cons = 1) Overall the bar staff was not trained at all. First night at the Cruise, I ordered a bottle of Champagne, the lady came after 10 minutes with the Bottle saying that it was the first time that she opened a Champagne bottle and tried to close it with the Cork again. 2) The food at the buffet was terrible and always crowded. It was always stressfull getting food, find a table 3) The cruise only offers free Water (when other lines offer Iced Tea, etc). The places to get drinks were dirty and some of them had only Coffe and not hot milk 4) The portion size of the dinner was terrible ... everyone at our table asked always 2-3 main courses because it was impossible to have food enough with only 1 main dish. 5) The shows during the evening at the theater were very poor. Comparing with other cruises that I´ve been, it was by far the worse. I even slept because if was boring. 6) The overall entertainment during the cruise was very bad... other cruises that I´ve been, have a Cruise Director that cheers up the entire ship with lot of enterntainment and parties. At the Preziosa, and I dont even know if we have similar role during the ship. 7) Basic stuff like NUTELLA... it was not offered during the breakfast for my Daugther, but it was available if asked.. so every time i needed to go to the bar and ask for Nutella and the waiter passed me a few nutella hidden like he was giving me drugs. 8) The overall service was so bad that I went to the guest services and asked to remove the service charge. I then paid good service at the dinner and room directly to the waiters. 9) I´ve been in many different Cruise companies before and this was the first that THEY DONT OFFER FREE ICE CREAM. All other have free 24h ice cream. They charge at Preziosa for everything. Worst cruise experience I ever had, and i will never get on a MSC ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
a one week Baltic cruise fit our schedule and we wanted to sail on a newer ship.They did an excellent job handling 4500 guests We are regular cruisers on several US lines. after reading reviews of this ship I was somewhat cautious. It ... Read More
a one week Baltic cruise fit our schedule and we wanted to sail on a newer ship.They did an excellent job handling 4500 guests We are regular cruisers on several US lines. after reading reviews of this ship I was somewhat cautious. It turns out that the experience was great. MSC is extremely organized, both getting on and off the ships as well as their excursions, theater reservations, and meal times. While not our favorite dining experience you can find plenty to satisfy. They have some excellant Gelato, chocolate, and British pub locations we tried, all good. The overall entertainment was the best we have encountered. The Cirque du soleil and theater presentaions were great. Also a very friendly crew. Beautiful newer ship. We met people from all over the world, but they did not overwelm you with foreign language announcements. Would not hesitate to sail with MSC again. This ship is heading to Miami. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cruise began in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the pre boarding process my wife and I were asked where we were from by one of the MSC cruise line staff holding a clip board. We responded, "we are from Texas, USA", the MSC ... Read More
Our cruise began in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the pre boarding process my wife and I were asked where we were from by one of the MSC cruise line staff holding a clip board. We responded, "we are from Texas, USA", the MSC employee then rolled her eyes, and replied "oh no, we already have too many Americans". It was an awkward moment, as we thought she was only kidding, and we were waiting for her to laugh and say "just kidding". Well, that never happened. We had booked our cruise 7 months in advance when well over half of the ships cabins were still available. We chose early dining seating for 18:30. When we got on the ship, we were reassigned to 20:30 dining, and given a table for two in a hallway next to the kitchen entrance for servers. No outside view. We went to the service desk to express our displeasure with our seating arrangement; considering the fact, that we had booked early enough that our choice should have been honored. The MSC employee patronized us with what came off as feigned sincerity to correct the seating situation. The following morning we were advised that our seating arrangement had been adjusted, our hopes were dashed as we found out the tables location. It was a mirror image position except on the other side of the ship. On our 30 year wedding anniversary cruise, we were relegated to second class seating. If that wasn't bad enough, the food onboard was bland, or cold. Even the pizza was terrible. The first port of call Rostock, Germany had a excursion bus ride to Berlin. Here's a heads up, bring along some .50 cent Euro coins for restrooms. No vendors want to offer change either. Bus driver first unexpectedly pulled over, and was replaced by a different driver. No explanation given. The driver took at least 2 wrong turns, and got us back to the ship late. The entertainment, that was bad as well. No variety, same group of gymnasts, and dancers for 7 nights - just changing costumes. Boring.. Ships WIFI was weak. After speaking with 3 other couples on our cruise 2 from the states, and one from Australia, we agreed they didn't treat us fairly. We will not cruise on MSC again, huge mistake. Will stick with Norwegian or Celebrity from now on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My best friend booked us this cruise for a girls trip. We were excited to see different parts of Europe and the ship was gorgeous online. Even better, the price appeared to be really good for the length and destinations of the trip. ... Read More
My best friend booked us this cruise for a girls trip. We were excited to see different parts of Europe and the ship was gorgeous online. Even better, the price appeared to be really good for the length and destinations of the trip. Our first night here, a waiter in the buffet tried to sell us prostitutes and convince us to go into Rotterdam with him that night to go clubbing. We declined. As a matter of fact, the entire cruise experience was male staff making inappropriate comments and hitting on us as a means to what I can only assume were additional uses of our unlimited drink packages at their bars, which we now know cost us per drink. All this did was make us uncomfortable. The food at the buffet wasn’t great— hard to put together a proper meal, all the pasta was over cooked and the pizza was chewy. We figured it was just a buffet thing, and were excited for our unlimited drinks package and the different places on the boat you could get specialty beverages and food included with the cruise. What they DID NOT tell us was that every time we used the package we paid for, they automatically charged us tip for EACH DRINK. That ended up being hundreds of dollars in our final bill. Our cabin attendant was WONDERFUL! His name was Mike and he was incredibly helpful, kind, and polite. We were very grateful for his wonderful service. The amenities on the boat, though beautiful, were almost impossible to enjoy due to crowds and poorly behaved children. We would have loved to do more on the boat, but it was not happening with all the people shoving each other to do the same activities. Each night you have a choice to eat either at the buffet or in the “fancy restaurant,” either the Golden Lobster or the Arabesque. We had Golden Lobster assigned to us and were not allowed in Arabesque. Our waiter Luis and his supervisor, Valentin, were WONDERFUL! So kind and attentive. I just wish we had known that every time we ate at the Golden Lobster, which was included in our cruise, we would be charged $25 in gratuities. There is no internet included on the ship, so we ended up spending almost $300 for internet access on the ship. This cost we at least agreed to and knew would be in our final bill. When you get to your cabin, there are bottles of water and a coffee bar. DON’T use them! They count as part of the mini-bar and you will be charged! At the end of our “all-inclusive” cruise we received an additional bill of $850 for tips, internet, and various other fees that no one at reception could explain to us. This “affordable” cruise ended up costing as much as a much more luxurious voyage on a much nicer ship. We will never choose MSC again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
1st time cruising was so looking forward to it, Ship itself is lovely Balcony cabin very nice Staff very nice goldern lobster restaurant very nice ( but small portions ) DOWNSIDE : No celebration party on leaving Southampton. ... Read More
1st time cruising was so looking forward to it, Ship itself is lovely Balcony cabin very nice Staff very nice goldern lobster restaurant very nice ( but small portions ) DOWNSIDE : No celebration party on leaving Southampton. as its just another pick up port for passengers, felt like we sneaked away from all ports. All Excursions are expensive & totally a waste of time. i.e.: stopping in Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam only gave us 3hrs to meet friends took to long on coach & hit traffic mostly on all the excursions. Entertainment was lousy & short, there is nothing to Do most times You have to go through the casino to get to the theatre which is fine But they allow smoking around the casino so you & the children will stink of smoke ( I'm a smoker & don't like this option. The Buffet is below par, we kept away. the juice machine is closed off morning service why give free when you can pay later & later. every shuttle bus you have to pay other cruise lines provide for free. SUM It Up Felt Like a Posh Ferry. will never ever use MSC For future cruising. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Try a new cruise line and ship, ship was excellent our cabin very good especially the shower food ok ,we are not fussy eaters, now for the very bad , the life boat drill was simply not good enough there was no leadership at all ,a ... Read More
Try a new cruise line and ship, ship was excellent our cabin very good especially the shower food ok ,we are not fussy eaters, now for the very bad , the life boat drill was simply not good enough there was no leadership at all ,a table of four people and a table of three people never even put there life jackets on at all. people where making a mess of putting the life jackets on no one helped I don't think people listened because of all the different languages. Next noise our cabin was not far from a crew only door,when opened it was left to shut on its own results banging door at all hours only got better after two complaints but not stopped totally. Some staff are excellent others very very poor. Also prices a bit high. I recommend listening to the morning show hosted by UK cruise Director Darren and Activities Manager Candice very very good. If you get a chance to talk to them I would do so they are very helpful and great to just have a chat to ask Darren about his teddy bear. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
MSc Preziosa Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of ... Read More
MSc Preziosa Safety- Hygiene unfortunately lower than on NCL although there are hand wash machines available they are not always obvious on entrance to ship after excursions. No washy washy ladies at restaurants here! Lots of passengers seemed to not wash their hands. Having said that we didn’t suffer with tummy problems. Safety Drill- very loud but people spoke over it. I guess that’s the issue with having so many languages onboard. We also found this an issue at the captains cocktail party where he was talking and people chatted to each other making it impossible to hear what he and the senior officers were saying. It seemed quite rude of passengers to do this. Southampton Face to Face Customs-We were all required to do this by UK government. We didn’t go at our ‘ever so early for us on a sea day’ time slot but wandered in when we chose to. After all it is meant to be a holiday not boot camp! Food-The food is generally warm or even cold at buffet breakfast- I didn’t have one hot fried egg while there. A shame they don’t have an egg station where you get it made while you wait. Restaurant/buffet- we were allocated second sitting and we prefer to eat early so only went once. Also, we are a bit picky with food as I don’t eat much meat and husband no fish. On the first night there were no options we would chose so we went to the buffet where we could pick what we liked in the quantity we liked at a time convenient with us. The pizza was delicious and I was particularly stuck with the fantastical crisp charcoal ‘black’ pizza. At lunch we went to the restaurant when we could and enjoyed the offerings especially the ‘made in front of you’ pasta served to your liking. Butchers Cut-Service was good to start with but we waited a long time for our ‘bill’ at the end and card back. Obviously, very meat orientated and a special menu to choose from if getting it as part of Black loyalty ‘free speciality restaurant’ perk. You get one started, a main with 1 side and a dessert. We weren’t hugely impressed with it as the three sides I ordered were not hot, just warm. I think we would have enjoyed it more if it had been an Italian restaurant, which apparently there was one before. In an Italian ship, it seems they are missing a trick here-one of the reasons we chose MSC is because we enjoy the authentic tasting Italian dishes. I wonder who will be the first ship to have a vegetarian restaurant onboard Entertainment- The UK guest comedian/impressionist Andrew Flemming was great fun. He happened to single me out and made quite a lot of jokes with my name in them throughout the gig! I loved it! It was anything but easy for him though as a lot of Italians there didn’t seem to show less engagement. He definitely appealed to the UK audience though and I don’t see why others wouldn’t enjoy his Frank Sinatra and Elvis impression. The second show when he did Impressions of Cliff Richard and David Bowie making up alternative words to their songs was just excellent and hilarious. I hope to see him on future cruises. Well done to MSC for thinking of the UK audience. I think they got the right kind of entertainment and a Dutch couple onboard told us they loved the British sense of humour and enjoyed the show. Other shows we saw was the Italian night which was not to be missed if you enjoy traditional Italian songs most people know. They were performed well and it was a good show. There is an issue with timings though as most people don’t get served in Ian restaurant in time to make it to shows. This means the late comers dwindle in throughout the show which rather upsets the flow of the evening. Maybe the timings need tweaking? The only way to ensure you get to a show is to dine in the buffet as you have control on how quickly you are served! There was a good piano concert in the afternoon on a sea day. Just half an hour but a relaxing one listening to a hugely talented maestro. Most evenings we went to see Roberto perform. he is a fantastic vocalist and guitarist with a repertoire from classical operatic numbers, to progressive rock to ballads. We loved it and he is staying on the ship an extra three months so if you are going before end Nov -you are in for a treat! 70s, 80s & 90s night was great fun and had many folk dancing in the reception area....surely there’s a better venue for this? Having said that, it was such fun to go up and down the glass elevators busting some moves! A lot of folk did this while people took pictures and videos to share back home! There is another couple who sing on the ship and we recognised them from MSC Magnifica. They used to do the fun bits during the show on Magnifica with a really fun Bongi, Bongi song. On this ship they do ABBA evening which again commanded crowds and people dancing in the aisles of a small venue. Yet another couple sing in the atrium reception area and possibly they have been told to ‘go gentle’ but some of the gutsy songs they sing are not don’t justice by these two as they are not giving them thrust. It appears they are young and nervous and could do with some coaching to get them singing more confidently and stronger. I liked their choice of songs though so we listened to them too. Spa- there are four comfy loungers and four heated ones and seven basic plastic upright chairs. The latter are handy for people to sit on and scowl at the others who are hogging the more comfortable loungers! There is a couple of saunas and steam rooms. We had a day’s free spa entry when we bought a massage and also a free hour for having Black status loyalty membership. We chose to use the first on a day when Ship was collecting new passengers from Hamburg and it was less busy, as we had hoped. We had a couples massage and it were excellent and booked a second when immediately prompted (actually while we were coming around from the first!) It was discounted the first time and further discounted for the second. These were worth it for us as we both needed them with our various aches and pains and felt hugely relaxed afterwards. One unfortunate issue is, there are a lot of spa workers outside the spa (trying to attract people in). On our arrival, although we politely said hello, a few laughed just after we walked past them. This isn’t the first time we experienced this on a MSC ship and it may just be an unfortunate coincidence but this really shouldn’t happen as we were left feeling we had been a butt of a joke shared in another language. I hope we were wrong but it may be a good idea to train staff to not do this whatever they were finding amusing. Fellow Passengers- We met some delightful guests onboard but there were also rude complaining ones. After complaining about the ‘useless staff’ a man turned to me and said he was never sailing with MSC again. I felt like answering, “that’s good- it makes me more likely to book again!” I was astounded by people’s urgent need for mid afternoon cakes. It seemed that unless they were served immediately, they went into ‘moaning mode’. People expected the staff to know what they wanted without telling them! It is as well to remember manners and the fact the staff work 12 hour days and do not have days off. I felt embarrassed and appalled by the behaviour of some passengers to staff. Conclusion-If you have a tendency to find fault and complain, perhaps it would be best for you to spend double on a more expensive cruise. If you want a budget cruise with opportunity to meet other nationalities then this could be the ship for you. I think on the whole the good outweighed the bad for us and we would return as we came home feeling relaxed and had some happy memories of our week onboard the Preziosa. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
MSC Preziosa Northern European Cruise 28th August – 4th September 2019 Yacht Club Southampton – Zeebrugge – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Le Harve – Southampton We have previously cruised with Celebrity (Standard balcony, ... Read More
MSC Preziosa Northern European Cruise 28th August – 4th September 2019 Yacht Club Southampton – Zeebrugge – Rotterdam – Hamburg – Le Harve – Southampton We have previously cruised with Celebrity (Standard balcony, Concierge, Sky Suite) and with NCL (Standard balcony) – all out of Southampton. This was our first experience of MSC and, it has to be said after reading plenty of reviews, we were somewhat nervous. There seemed to be a lot of very negative reviews out there. It is therefore with great pleasure that we can report that we had a wonderful cruise! MSC is quite different to Celebrity and NCL. We stayed in a Deluxe Yacht Club suite, which as we expected, was about the same size as a standard balcony on Celebrity/NCL. It differed in that the bed was more comfortable (memory foam mattress), there was a spacious walk-in closet and the bathroom was in marble, with a bath. The minibar is also included, and is regularly restocked. As is standard for these staterooms we were greeted by a bowl of fresh fruit and a chilled bottle of sparkling wine on embarkation day. Embarkation in Southampton was a dream. We deposited our cases with the Yacht Club host, parked the car, and then a butler led us past the queues to security. Once through there, another butler led us to a dedicated Yacht Club area in the terminal where we were offered refreshments whilst they took our passports and tickets and came back with our cruise cards. A group of eight of us were taken on board together (we would become firm friends during the cruise) by the butler and taken to the Yacht Club. There we were given more refreshments and an introduction to the YC by the concierge. We were then shown to our stateroom, and the butler unpacked our suitcases for us. Although our tickets said board at 5.15pm, we pitched up at noon, and were settled on board in less than half an hour. The Yacht Club is delightful – the Top Sail Lounge has plenty of comfortable seating, live music, snacks available throughout the day and butlers on hand providing excellent bar service. On the One Pool Deck, there is again more than ample seating, a hot buffet and, again, attentive butlers. The drinks package included is generous and gave us more than enough choice. Before going we had been disconcerted to see that it doesn't include gelato and milkshakes. On board, we found some gelato available on the One Pool Deck and we didn’t want milkshakes (but we suspect they would make you one if you asked – they were happy to go “off menu”). All of the staff in the Yacht Club are SUPERB – we really could not thank them enough – they were always on hand when needed to help, with a smile. We had seen a lot of negative reviews about the food on board. With the exception of one visit to the Inca Buffet, we ate entirely in the Yacht Club. We are not fussy eaters but we are fussy about standards. The standard of the food was, generally, high. Hot food (including hot food at the buffet in the One Pool Deck) was hot and, in the restaurant, was served on hot plates. We always found at least one thing (usually at least two) for each course that we fancied. Portions are indeed a little small but that worked well for us, because rather than choose between two things that appealed to us we just ordered them both! Staff were happy to oblige. The risottos and the beef Rossini were particularly good. Only one dish wasn’t – the oxtail consommé was so devoid of flavour I wondered if it had been made with the water used to clean the ladles. We were not impressed by the food in the Inca buffet, but with the fare in the Yacht Club so good, we had no need to return to it. Room service is free 24 hours/day in Yacht club – my other half said that the pizzas were good! We intended to have a leisurely and relaxed cruise, so we spent all of our time on board and did not get off in ports. It was just so relaxing we didn’t want to move. We did explore the rest of the ship. Everywhere it was clean and well appointed – and the décor is plush and luxurious throughout. We even had a successful flutter in the casino. Some people fret about announcements in multiple languages. We enjoyed the diverse passenger mix and did not find such multilingual announcements intrusive. We had no problem meeting lots of English speakers, and (as with every cruise we have done) the people we met made our holiday. Yacht club grants access to the thermal area of the Aurea spa and my other half enjoyed that as well (I stayed up on deck with my book.) Shows are not our thing, so we didn’t go to them and cannot comment. Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation. Having been so nervous about this cruise because of the reviews we had seen, I hope it speaks volumes that we really did not want to leave. We had a wonderful cruise. We would certainly cruise with MSC in their Yacht Club again. Yacht Club is at least as good (and, I think in many ways it was better) than Concierge Class on Celebrity and we commend them to you. We thought it was fantastic value for money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After reading the dreadful reviews on here we were dreading this Cruise. Well we had a fantastic time. Food great and I'm a very fussy vegetarian. Ship is beautiful and the staff were fantastic. We didn't even see the whole of ... Read More
After reading the dreadful reviews on here we were dreading this Cruise. Well we had a fantastic time. Food great and I'm a very fussy vegetarian. Ship is beautiful and the staff were fantastic. We didn't even see the whole of the ship there's was so much to do. The ports of call were interesting but it's it's not a sunshine cruise. Easy to make your own way round or use the MSC bus shuttle. There trips were on the expensive side but this wasn't the sort of cruise you really wanted to do big days out. It was just a relaxing time. It was school holidays and the children didn't get on our nerves at all, most of the time the they were kept entertained by the wonderful crew. Yes the shows were a bit samey but still very good. We went for the basic drinks package, there might not be cocktails on it but there is mocktails and we just bought rum etc and poured it in and mixed. We never rushed to get off the ship, we took our time, we had no queuing at all and was very easy to get on and off the ship. We even bought our own booze on board, bags were never checked. It took half an hour at Southampton to check in and get on board and our 1st drink. Cabins were spotless and cleaners very polite and did a brilliant job. Go on this cruise with an open mind, we loved it. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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