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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I have been on many cruises but this is the first with MSC. For me the benchmark for this review sits against Celebrity cruises. Embarkation and disembarkation are unnoteworthy, smooth and functional with no hitches, what I would ... Read More
I have been on many cruises but this is the first with MSC. For me the benchmark for this review sits against Celebrity cruises. Embarkation and disembarkation are unnoteworthy, smooth and functional with no hitches, what I would expect. The ship is large and well laid out and immaculately presented but again nothing remarkable for a ship this size and class. Cabins (outside with balcony) are a reasonable size and functional, not entirely sure on the choice of decor as it made the room appear very dark and our room had a particularly large balcony under an overhang which severely limited any natural light. Cleanliness of the room was good but could have been better. fridge vent at floor level was clogged with dust and the corner shelf unit top shelf was thick with dust and had clearly not been cleaned in some time. Beds were comfortable, although pillows were not my personal choice and caused an allergic reaction to my chronic rhinosinusitis, sufferers beware! Dining, unfortunately this is where MSC are far and away from the mark and lets the experience down very badly. We ate in the restaurant from the a la carte menu on the first night, having to wait 2 hours for the three courses which were generally cold, at best luke warm and such poor quality. We only ate once more in the restaurant and that was only as a result of complaining about a caterpillar in the salad from the buffet restaurant (we named the caterpillar Colin, signed autographs available). The second visit to the restaurant as a result of our complaint resulted in a further complaint about the generally poor standard of the food served to us, the crowning glory of which was a Baked Alaska of which there was nothing cold and nothing hot, just a pool of cream in the middle of a plate with some soft stuff floating around the edge of it. The buffet restaurant was repetitive and comprised of pizza, pizza or if you were hungry, pizza....... a slight exaggeration but again the food was just poor poor quality all round. There was never any chance I was going to starve to death, but as stated from the outset against the benchmark of Celebrity cruises, MSC didn't even register. Entertainment and activities along with general service was just good but again nothing exceptional. I appreciate that we chose to travel with MSC on this particular cruise, but with the benefit of hindsight we should have paid more attention to the itinerary, a lesson to be learnt. We generally were arriving in port anywhere between mid-morning and mid-afternoon with limited time to go shore, for instance we arrived in Gibraltar at after 4pm and left at 10pm, not great for sightseeing and that is just one example. The gym facilities were limited and poorly maintained, for instance there were two elipitical cross trainer machines for a ship of thousands, four recumbent cycles, two of which were broken and so the gym story goes on, really a very poor effort. In summary, the ship is large and beautiful but I cannot find anything exceptional to say about it as most things were as I would expect, however, the food experience was of such poor quality that it plummets the whole experience down the ratings. With so much more competition out there at the moment it simply means that I won't be going back to MSC and would struggle to recommend them to anyone. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Second cruise with MSC but previously on Splendida a couple of years ago. Decided to try a cruise sailing from Southampton and arrived a few hours before our check in time. Good organisation at the port and on boarding was very smooth. Had ... Read More
Second cruise with MSC but previously on Splendida a couple of years ago. Decided to try a cruise sailing from Southampton and arrived a few hours before our check in time. Good organisation at the port and on boarding was very smooth. Had already booked the drinks package but found out when we looked at the menu that it had changed and many drinks were now excluded included beers and cocktails we had last time. This was disappointing more for my husband but I was ok with those available. To upgrade the package was nearly twice as much and not worth it. Note you pay for water in your cabin but you can get bottles at any of the bars. We had a balcony cabin on the 11th deck and it was spacious with a large balcony due to its location. Kept clean and tidy by our cabin steward who always said hello but no other interaction. We were allocated the 2nd sitting at 8.30pm but the table for 4 was basically next to the walkway the waiters used and placed so close to the next table you could touch them. The waiter asked us 4 times for our drinks order and it’s clear they are not that happy to go to the bars if you want something other than wine or water. Service very slow and food disappointing. Previously we had 5 courses on the Splendida, but this was now only 3 but they did have a vegetarian option. We were able to move tables and sat with another 2 English couples and the service by our waiter Artha was much better. Food was only tepid at times and although you won’t starve, it could have been better. Ate in the restaurant at breakfast and again service very slow and most waiters failing to smile and look happy. Had to chase things like fruit juice and breads, etc. Buffet on the upper deck was like a cattle market with some areas closed when it was busy which seemed strange. Area quite large and often have to walk to the far end to get a table especially on sea days. Organisation for disembarking and embarking at ports seemed like organised chaos. Spent most of the time in large queues. Watched a couple of the shows and they were good but only last around 40 minutes. Not much to do during the day or night unless you want to learn the many dances on offer. Noticed the prices in the onboard shop had increased dramatically as previously bought a watch and handbag on the Splendida. Very smokey in the Casino despite the area to smoke been on one side, the smell drifted to the other side and up to the bar area above it. Good duo singers in this bar though. Itinerary didn’t give enough time in the ports we visited but we knew that. Crossing was ok through the Bay of Biscay which I had been apprehensive about. Unable to sunbathe until we reached Barcelona and not much to do during the 2 sea days 3xcept read or play cards. Overall we enjoyed the cruise but this was due to the company and the friends we made whilst on it. I would think twice about another MSC cruise due to the lack of friendly customer service and mediocre food Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a 7 night cruise from Southampton to Genoa on the MSC Preziosa in Yacht club (YC1). It was our second MSC cruise after we experienced an Aurea balcony cruise on MSC Fantasia. That first cruise was a mixed experience, but we ... Read More
This was a 7 night cruise from Southampton to Genoa on the MSC Preziosa in Yacht club (YC1). It was our second MSC cruise after we experienced an Aurea balcony cruise on MSC Fantasia. That first cruise was a mixed experience, but we decided to try Yacht Club to see whether the hype matched the reality. Embarkation - This was at Southampton and the experience was very good. Our cruise e-ticket told us that check in was 3pm, but too be honest we wanted to get on for lunch (why not !), so turned up at 12:30pm. We were ushered through to a separate area where we were served prosecco and nibbles. We waited until there was a few of us and then were ushered (that word again) onto the ship. Very nice and it did make you feel special and in fact set the tone for the rest of the cruise. Cabin - We were in a standard YC1 balcony cabin. In terms of size, it is around the same size as a standard balcony, but you do have a different colour scheme. You also have a marble bathroom and just nicer touches. You also get an all-free mini bar that is topped up daily and a free bottle of presecco. You also get a walk in wardrobe. Yacht Club Area - ahhh, this is the best bit. You get private access to the top sail lounge and the One Pool area. The sheer elegance of the lounge (where there is always plenty of room), the wonderful service and feel good factor just gives you that special holiday vibe. Most of the weaknesses of our first MSC cruise were addressed in YC. In the lounge, you had food and free drinks all the time with speciality coffees and nothing was too much trouble. I can witter on and on, but in a nutshell, YC has changed us from MSC never-agains to MSC yes-definitely. Dining - YC comes with it's own restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. We never did make breakfast, but both lunch and dinner were three course affairs with cheese as an option. You also had a choice of two reds, two whites and a rose which changed daily. In my review of the first MCS cruise, the food came out as the big weakness. In YC, the food was much better, although perhaps still sometimes a bit odd. You generally had a choice of soup/salads for starter and risotto/pasta/fish/meat for mains. You learn that you can order any main as a starter so all good. Sometimes meat just came with grilled vegetables (no potatoes), so you have to be on the ball and ask for them specially. Again the service is what makes this place special and matches some of the top end cruise lines. Entertainment - In my first review, this was another MCS weakness and unfortunately things haven't improved. The issue is that because MSC sell themselves as multi-language, the shows don't contain any actual talking which leaves singing and dancing. This is fine for the first few shows but soon gets a bit samey. The other weakness is the daily activities which are very few in number, again maybe because of the language issues. So in conclusion, I think for us YC has kept MSC on our list of possible future cruises whereas it was in danger of getting crossed off after the first cruise. The difference between YC and anything else on MSC is chalk and cheese. If you've tried MSC and didn't like it, give it another go in YC. We did and didn't regret it. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
So we had booked an AI deal on Preziosa from Soton to Genoa and here is my review. I'll just say here that we have sailed on NCL, RCI and P&O before so I will try to not compare with those. Checking in and getting on was very ... Read More
So we had booked an AI deal on Preziosa from Soton to Genoa and here is my review. I'll just say here that we have sailed on NCL, RCI and P&O before so I will try to not compare with those. Checking in and getting on was very quick (less then 40 mins from arrival at the port). First of all we went to cabin to collect our cruise cards that were waiting for us on the bed. Perfect. Then to meet up with our friends and begin to explore the ship. We were on deck 12 and here is what we thought of the room. Standard balcony room however with the wardrobe being by the front door it can be very tight to move around by the bathroom/wardrobe and cabin door. Enough hanging space for 2 people for one week I would say. About 7 small drawers in location too. Large double bed which I found very comfortable tbh. Phone, Hairdryer, large mirrors, dressing table, fridge, small TV all in place. Aircon but didnt get that cool. Bathroom was standard with a walk in shower and seemed bigger than other ones we have stayed in. Service was perfect for us by Dadi. No turn down service though? I'll talk about the food next. We were given 2nd sitting in the Golden Lobster for a table of 6 (just our party). Our waiter looked glum! And he was glum, at times service seemed to be a chore and quite slow. In fact I have never had to order my desert at the same time as my starter and main meal. Not good. Our wine waiter looked sad all the time too but he was much better and so he got a large tip from us all after the cruise. I was worried about the food as I had read so many different things about it. The portions were small! And I mean small...... The cheese plate was awful, elements were missing from the description from the menu. Like a crumble with no crumble? It got to a point where we ordered chips with every meal and 2 main meals each. The saving grace was the AI drinks that made the whole experience funny. Keep the wine flowing please!! Food in the buffet was good in comparison although don't be late for a sitting as it will be gone. Everyday there are burgers, chips and strange sausage. Pizza galore and salads. Always a carvery on too. Plastic plates dont keep food warm for long though. Tip, Get a table before food! Entertainment is really lacking on board. The theatre shows are lame and difficult to understand... They last about 35 mins only. The animation team are worse. Stay away from them shouting and singing at every opportunity. Awful... As for the ship, it feels cramped and almost claustrophobic in some places. It lacks finesse all over. Some staff are great and we have commended them on this. What MSC need to get right is the ports and the timings.. In most ports we only had up to 5 hours. We heard the excursions were rushed also. Value for money then Yes Finesse and fine dining or being spoilt its a no! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We've done about 20 cruises with 8 different cruise lines and have often been moored next to MSC ships and thought how lovely they looked so we thought we would try them. We picked the Preziosa sailing from Southampton on October 4th with ... Read More
We've done about 20 cruises with 8 different cruise lines and have often been moored next to MSC ships and thought how lovely they looked so we thought we would try them. We picked the Preziosa sailing from Southampton on October 4th with scheduled stops Zeebrugge, Amstersam (overnight), Hamburg, Le Havre, Southampton. Total 7 days. Reading previous good reviews you can only imagine that these people have never cruised with other cruise lines so have nothing to compare them with! Brief Outline :_ Ship - lovely, Cabin - good, Food - poor to mediocre, Service - mediocre to atrocious, Organisation - abysmal. In More Detail :- Our cabin steward was good, our table serving staff was friendly and acceptable but all the rest (with perhaps a couple of minor exceptions) had awful attitudes.They were downright unfriendly and long waits to be served in the bars were common either by wait staff or at the bars. For example in the coffee bar we heard one waitress reply to a customer telling her that her cappuccino was almost cold by telling her that it should be served that way! On the few times you saw an officer about the ship they never even looked at you, never mind a smile or greeting.We never saw or heard from the Captain except once near the end of our cruise on stage to say goodbye. The Cruise Director was awful - never ever saw him except on stage at the shows screaming at us to keep clapping. Reception staff were unhelpful and often rude to the many people who had to have their cruise cards replaced due to having the wrong drinks package, and also other queries. MSC should certainly embark on a serious course of staff training to teach their staff what it means to be in the service industry. As the ship embarks and disembarks passengers at every port they have a lifeboat drill every time which means hundreds of passengers are wandering about with lifejackets on which adds to the congestion and also means that staff are taken from bars etc reducing the already poor service considerably. First major problem was when they announced with only an hour to go, in every language except English, we would not be docking in Amsterdam "due to weather conditions" and we would sail on to the industrial port of Rotterdam instead.I understand they have pulled this trick several times before and for many people this was going to be the high light of the cruise.It was a bit windy but no communication or explanation was offered of course.Then later in the cruise we were informed (by a paper slipped under our cabin door) that we would not be docking in Le Havre either due to a strike. Again no explanation. So we ended up with 3 sea days out of a 6 day cruise. There were very few activities organised on board the ship even on the extra sea days. The theatre was lovely but the shows poor and only lasted a maximum of 30mins (one was 25mins). The performers were dancers, singers, juggler and acrobats who looked quite impressive the first time, but every show was the same but they wore different costumes. No ascertainable theme that I could follow. We tried the buffet once - what a nightmare! Not enough space, too few seats and fellow passengers grabbing, pushing and very rude.Also too many people on board with no concept of queuing and trying to get in the lifts before people had exited - you couldn't make it up! EVERY fellow Brit that I spoke to couldn't wait to get off and all had removed the E10 per day service charge - what service we all thought? What was enlightening was that when we went to remove ours towards the end of the voyage the reception staff didn't even ask us why. They must be so used to doing this. We tipped generously the very few staff members who gave us good service. This was the worst cruise we have every been on and when on arrival back in Southampton they announced our disembarkation every one cheered - honestly!! Never again for us. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
I picked this cruise because we wanted to try MSC and it seemed good value for money.Well it didn,t start to well with a 2 hour embarkation process,but we could live with that.What i could not live with was the miserable staff lousy food ... Read More
I picked this cruise because we wanted to try MSC and it seemed good value for money.Well it didn,t start to well with a 2 hour embarkation process,but we could live with that.What i could not live with was the miserable staff lousy food and lousy entertainment.Then it went from bad to worse with the ports of call.First stop was Zeebrugge which was ok.Then Amsterdam which was one of the main reasons we chose this cruise,well that never happened as we were diverted to Rotterdam.Then came Hamburg,which by the way is closed on a Sunday,so please make a note of that..Then to top it all Le Harve which should have been the last port of call went on strike and we ended up back in Zeebrugge.When you book your cruise with MSC out of Southampton they will give you the impression that it will be Southampton to Southampton,so you will expect it to be mostly British.Well think again,its like a bus service at every port of call the are passengers leaving the ship and new passengers getting on.Then every night there would be another safety drill what a nightmare.Then on top of all the rubbish food,service and entertainment,they had the nerve to put 20 euros a day on the bill.I went to customer services and had that removed,i do not pay for something I do not receive.As a regular cruiser I have to rate this as the worst cruise we have ever been on in over 20 years of cruising,and would not recommend MSC to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
I chose this cruise as it was our 49th wedding anniversary and it left Southampton on our anniversary and it was a good price for a weeks cruise to Belgium.Amsterdam, Germany and France. The ship is very good and pristine .The staff are ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it was our 49th wedding anniversary and it left Southampton on our anniversary and it was a good price for a weeks cruise to Belgium.Amsterdam, Germany and France. The ship is very good and pristine .The staff are brilliant(with exception of reception)and our cabin very spacious and well looked after by our steward. The food was poor and never hot even hot soup was cold very disappointing but the biggest problem was we never got anywhere. First stop was Zeebrugger and we arrived 3 hours late and to get off the ship it took another 2 hours in a queue.Horrendous so by time we got to Brugge it was 5pm and our evening keel was at 6pm so missed that and had to eat in the buffet(not good)we also had to queue to get back on the ship were left hanging on a gang plank for about ten minutes then made to go through a scanner removing our coats outside in the freezing cold Just bad management and only one scanner again. Next stop Amsterdam well we were meant to arrive at 9 am but at 3 pm we pulled into Rotterdam and the queues to get busses we we just stayed on the ship as did many others. two days at sea to Hambugh but it was sunday and everything was closed so total waste of a destination. another day at sea and then it was Le Havre but we were told due to a strike by the French we were going back to Zeebrugger MSC did put on a bus to Blankenburg as the buses and trams were also on strike in Zeebrugger Final straw was I went to reception to ask if I could leave with our cases on return to Southampton like other passengers had done on the trip as it picked up and dropped off at all the stops I was told NO and that I was a security risk The only thing I purchased on the whole trip were chocolates on the first Brugges visit I was incensed MSC did refund everyone 50 euros who joined in Suthampton but a week was enough for me We had done two previous MSC cruises but this will be our last. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Got to be the worse cruise I have been on,the ship was clean and tidy but going to Hamburg when shops are closed was waste of time was looking forward to Amsterdam but the weather put a stop to that,the food on board was it or missing ... Read More
Got to be the worse cruise I have been on,the ship was clean and tidy but going to Hamburg when shops are closed was waste of time was looking forward to Amsterdam but the weather put a stop to that,the food on board was it or missing because we did not go to leave we was reimbursed one hundred euro .it did not help that my fell down two steps and damaged her shoulder we was only on the boat for five minutes,the doctorate first was more concerned about that it was not the ships fault it cost us 355euros,but I found out someone had fallen in the same place he showed me where he bruised is hip so it was not the best cruise for us no swimming no steambaths no dancing it spoilt my cruise MSc could have said we sorry about what happend we upgrade on next cruise or something like that,when I was royal Caribbean the time of the volcano royal Caribbean gave us two pounds towards our next cruise with them Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Ship looked beautiful & was impressive but was a big disappointment.The food was not very hot in the buffet restaurant,there was not enough variety,my husband & I had the drinks package so whenever we ordered a coffee or a drink in ... Read More
Ship looked beautiful & was impressive but was a big disappointment.The food was not very hot in the buffet restaurant,there was not enough variety,my husband & I had the drinks package so whenever we ordered a coffee or a drink in general by the time it was brought to our table we had already finished our meal which is ridiculous,there was a language barrier with staff.The meals in the fine dining was appalling & again service was very slow we could not get staff to understand that there should be an alternative choice if someone could not eat what was offered on the menu,starter was served at approximately within 20 minutes of sitting for your meal but then we would still be waiting for our main meal at 10'oclock there was no tea or coffee offered afterwards.Getting a drink in the bar was a joke because you could be waiting up to 10-15minutes before a staff member served you ,my husband went to the bar a few times his self but was told a member of staff will come to our table .There simply was'nt enough staff ,the prices on the shuttle buses was too pricey 15:90 euros each person every time we docked I'm sure this could have been cheaper,there was not enough for passengers to do on board.I heard so many people complaining about things they were not happy with & said they would not go on MSC again , a lot of things needs to be addressed & not just ignored because when the company are willing to take your money for the holiday then they should deliver a better service than what we had.I feel sorry for people who may have been put off cruising if this was there 1st one ,lucky enough we have been with another cruise company & know there are some good ones out there.We were disappointed that we did'nt get to see Amsterdam because this was the main reason we booked the cruise, we ended up in Rotterdam & there was nothing there that was of great interest & that was a overnight stay . Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
3 hours waiting to board at Southampton despite getting there for our allotted time. P&O and Royal Caribbean less than 10 mins. Organised chaos on a Beautiful Ship, due to a lack of staff. Reception had 2 people and the ques were ... Read More
3 hours waiting to board at Southampton despite getting there for our allotted time. P&O and Royal Caribbean less than 10 mins. Organised chaos on a Beautiful Ship, due to a lack of staff. Reception had 2 people and the ques were long and people getting frustrated. Buffett restaurant poor, lacking quality. or one side closed. food stations were spread out and either empty or limited and not enough waiters Main restaurants excellent ( stick to these for all meals) Entertainment on the first night in the theatre was great, but then every night after the same thing, to the point on days 4 onwards people were walking out. Suggest they bring on guest entertainers. Safety briefing at every port would be disruptive for everyone, then a total lack of staff to tender to those already done Excursions can be very expensive as in due to fog went to Rotterdam instead of Amsterdam and then charged 85 Euros to go back on a coach into Amsterdam for just over 2 hrs. Paris trip booked on line slightly cheaper than on board, 10 hr day. 6 hours travelling , but worth it. Zebrugge Port once outside turn right and pay 20 euros to Brugge, its beautiful Hamburg lovely place to look around shops. All Inclusive package was well worth it, paid for photo package on line £85 worth it in the end. Over- all 6/10 :( Read Less
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