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Sail Date: September 2017
This looked like a perfect way to celebrate a birthday especially as it was an all inclusive offer. First time MSC but have done numerous cruises with other companies. Longwinded boarding we put down to weather problems delaying the ... Read More
This looked like a perfect way to celebrate a birthday especially as it was an all inclusive offer. First time MSC but have done numerous cruises with other companies. Longwinded boarding we put down to weather problems delaying the previous leg. The ship is magnificent and all public areas very glam. Most of the staff were helpful and friendly but the organisation was totally lacking. Departing for our first excursion was chaotic although when the tour actually got started it was very good. At times it felt more like a ferry than a cruise which was due to new passengers at each port. Every day someone was being called to safety briefing which disrupted staff in their usual roles and made services a little disjointed. This must have been frustrating for the staff too. Excursion prices once on board seemed to change every day which meant that people like us who want to choose excursions only one day ahead to take account of weather etc.,had to pay much more than was advertised in the brochure. To add insult to injury we discovered that the card registered was charged almost double what we signed for. This we are now having to take up with MSC via our travel agent. On the whole we feel disappointed and a little diddled. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
Embarkation was quick and efficient in Hamburg, but once you got on the ship, you had to run a college hazing type gauntlet through 15 people trying to sell you drink packages before you even got your cabin card. If I had known that ... Read More
Embarkation was quick and efficient in Hamburg, but once you got on the ship, you had to run a college hazing type gauntlet through 15 people trying to sell you drink packages before you even got your cabin card. If I had known that literally everything was a la carte on the line, I would have been much better prepared. Water and coffee with dinner had to be purchased. It would've been nice also, if more of the employees smiled once in a while. Most of them just looked bored. The ship was beautiful and very clean, and our cabin was kept spotless by our cabin steward. Entertainment was just okay. I'm certain that has a lot to do with trying to accommodate so many different ethnic backgrounds and languages, but even the dancers looked disjointed and bored. We had a good laugh that the "normal" 30 minute trivia took about an hour after 4 or 5 language translations for each question. Still, it was fun. The buffet was a chaotic nightmare. Limited stations open during peak times created a Hunger Games quality to what should have been a leisurely buffet meal. The pushing and shoving that occurred on a regular basis was rude, no matter what country you're from or what language you speak. I'm a patient and tolerant traveller realizing not everyone has the same social customs, but the insanity that was the buffet, was completely out of hand. Dinner in the dining room was quite good and our waiter, assistant and maitre d were very friendly and attentive. Very good service. Still, water and coffee, only for a fee at dinner, was still a bit much. Our excursions were wonderful in each port. We enjoyed them very much. Each city was very beautiful, and very different and we'll carry beautiful memories from each one. Self disembarkation was VERY early, but very easy. All in all, a decent cruise, but from a service aspect, not at the top of my list. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We cruised on MSC Preziosa from Sept 10 – 17, 2017. We’ve cruised 5 times with Royal Caribbean International (“RCI”) and absolutely loved every one. While we were hesitant to try another cruise line, we decided to ... Read More
We cruised on MSC Preziosa from Sept 10 – 17, 2017. We’ve cruised 5 times with Royal Caribbean International (“RCI”) and absolutely loved every one. While we were hesitant to try another cruise line, we decided to try MSC as they had a two for one sale and appeared to be more economical. Let me start with the positives. The ship was elegant, the state rooms were great (we had a balcony), our room steward was attentive and friendly (not that we asked for much) but he was there if we needed him. The entertainment staff in the Safari Lounge and Green Sax Lounge were awesome as they would pull people up on the dance floor and ensure you were having a good time. We met some amazing people (other guests) and one I can tell will be a lasting friendship I’m sure. This is where any positives end. The excursions were run by privately owned companies and were top notch and our experiences there could not have been better – except, many were cut short because MSC could not maintain their schedules and this of course reduced our expected excursion times; there was no rebate or apology from MSC as we missed some of what was promised. We were a party of 5 and had the 8:30 pm sitting in one of the dining rooms. Our waiter and assistant waiter were not friendly at all; they didn’t even seem to like each other and were noticeably impatient if we took time deciding what we wanted. Menu selections were ordinary, uninspired and the food portions were meager The first night we all ended up going to the buffet afterwards as we were still hungry. We all started ordering two entrees the rest of the cruise and our waiter did not hide the fact that he was displeased with this. As noted, the food was OK, but nothing to rave about. They do not serve water, tea or coffee in the dining room. If you want water you must buy a 1 litre bottle of room-temperature mineral water. If we wanted coffee or tea, we had to go to the buffet or the coffee bar after supper. Three of us went in on a wine package, one ordered wine by the glass and the 5th person drank beer. Wine was served no problem. Beer was a different story. We were told it was ‘too far’ [to get it] by the waiter. So, one of our guests had to go to a lounge every night and bring back a beer so he could have it with his meal. A maître d never once visited our table. MSC automatically adds a tipping charge to your bill. The problem with this is that staff do not have to work for the tips and just don’t bother giving good service. Two days before the end of our cruise we had the tipping charges removed from our bill. Obviously, they are accustomed to passengers not getting good service as they did not ask why. We did give a very generous tip directly to our room steward as he deserved it. It did seem as if our waiter had gotten wind of the tip cancellation as the last night in the dining room he was attentive, friendly and delivered beer! The 24-hour Reception Desk was not opened 24 hours and was often closed. There were very few activities on board, so our first two days at sea were quiet. Everything was so disorganized. The ship was late coming into all but one port and this affected the length of our excursions. The first port was supposed to be Le Havre, France. But we never got there. We were advised the day before that due to a strike we would not be able to go to the port. It was rescheduled for the 3rd day in port. That didn’t happen either. While terribly disappointed, as this was one of the reasons we chose this itinerary, we understood these things were out of the ship’s control. Since our trip; however, we have heard comments by other cruisers that sailed different dates with MSC that they never got to La Havre either. Seems strange that this would happen on different cruises. Perhaps a lure for a visit to Paris which never materializes. Beware! It ws difficult to find your way around the ship; plenty of elevators (many that go nowhere you need them to – e.g., the dining room floor you had to access from the deck below – not friendly at all for mobility impaired). The decorators really overdid the black marble theme with black, grey and chrome predominant, so the overall effect is not colorful or vacation-friendly inspirational. The ship’s engines were loud and the entire ship vibrated every time coming into and out of port. On MSC Preziosa, a non-smoking lounge is open to the casino deck below which renders non-smoking status completely pointless. Custom officials from Zeebrugge came onboard to meet with all non-Europeans. We had to see them before leaving the ship. MSC staff had no idea what they were doing. Those in our excursion group were to follow a guide who would take us to custom officials. He brought us to 3 different locations, going up and downstairs, as each spot he was told we had to go somewhere else. After we finally got to see customs officers we were brought out and told to stand off to the side in the hallway. The hallway was jammed with hundreds of passengers. Two women asked our guide where they could go for customs as they were just going off ship on their own. After he told them where he thought they should go one woman totally lost it. She said she was told 4 different places to go and he just told her one of the places that she had already been turned away from. She started yelling that this was a terrible cruise line, terrible ship, terrible staff, terrible everything. At this point the many of the hundreds standing in the hallways erupted into yelling as they were also fed up with the disorganization, and whole experience as well. Crew members really did not seem to know the ropes; it was like this was either their first time doing this, or, MSC just did not care. It would do MSC well to send themselves and their crews on a competing cruise line’s vacation to see how it really should be done. Announcements were often not broadcast in the cabins, so you had to open the door to hear them and sometimes they could be missed. There was a time change for one port that was noted in our daily newsletter but no announcements were made regarding this. We read the newsletters but not everyone does. I did hear that some excursions were missed due to people not aware of the time change. This was our first AND LAST cruise with MSC. We now say MSC stands for 'Many Scheduling Changes' or 'My Sucky Cruise'. We’ve had 5 phenomenal cruises with RCI who recommend, but does not automatically charge you for tips. You decide what you pay each person either using RCI’s tipping guidelines or paying what you feel the person deserves. You can pre-pay these or pay at the end. We usually pre-pay based on their tipping guidelines and then give additional tips to those who deserve it. Everyone deserves their tips on RCI; a well-trained, entertaining, and engaging crew. Quite the opposite on MSC. RCI dining room staff have always been nothing short of amazing. You have a lead waiter, waiter, maître d and bar staff that you see every day. The maître d ensures that your service has been good. The bar staff will deliver any beverage you want. All dining room staff are friendly, get to know you, advise you of special notices you should be aware of for the next day (e.g. time changes, weather, different currency, etc.). Water, tea, and coffee are standard fare in the dining rooms, as we North Americans would expect. We always pay RCI dining room staff above the minimum tipping suggested as they truly deserve it. The food in the dining room is phenomenal and the portions are great and you are not hungry afterwards. It is not merely re-plated items that can be found on the buffet, as were the MSC desserts. We all accept that weather conditions dictate cruise itineraries once you set out. Not once in our 5 cruises with RCI were we ever late arriving into port. The ships have sometimes been delayed in leaving the port due to weather, etc, but always made up the time while the guests slept. The engines are quiet, the ship does not vibrate and you could be at dinner and suddenly realize we had left port. Important announcements are always broadcast in the cabins so you are aware of any events, time changes activities, etc. There are so many activities on RCI that it is hard to decide which one you want to do as they all sound great. RCI will certainly continue to have my loyalty. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
I always read user reviews before planning a trip. Since I was with a group who wanted to take the MSC Preziosa tour to Northern Europe. I tried to ignore the negative comments that I saw concerning this ship. How sorry I am that I did ... Read More
I always read user reviews before planning a trip. Since I was with a group who wanted to take the MSC Preziosa tour to Northern Europe. I tried to ignore the negative comments that I saw concerning this ship. How sorry I am that I did this! Here are some of my many complaints: (1)Overcrowded ship and poor crowd control . We often stood for hours in lines among rude cruisers who pushed and shoved and yet received no reprimands for their behavior. (2) Mediocre food .There was little variety and uncomfortable seating, since the number of diners that crowded the buffet left no open tables. (3) Boring entertainment (4) Smoky casino (5) Long waits at the elevators (6) Costly entertainment charges. The "two for one" option was a nice perk, but the hidden costs without using "special ship tickets" quickly added up (7) Delays at EVERY port. This cut the time we had on all excursions. I enjoy writing positive reviews for travel experiences I have had, but this time, I unfortunately cannot find any reasons to do that. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We choose this cruise because of the ports and the ability to conveniently fly in and out of Amsterdam. It was a seven day cruise with stops in five portsThe ship itself is lovely. Meal portions in the dining room were perfect and the ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the ports and the ability to conveniently fly in and out of Amsterdam. It was a seven day cruise with stops in five portsThe ship itself is lovely. Meal portions in the dining room were perfect and the service wonderful. We looked forward to embarking at our scheduled time of 2pm and having lunch. Apparently weather issues would not allow for the ship to safely enter the port in Amsterdam, so everyone was bused to Zeebrugge; a four hour ride, no food or water, bathrooms that shut down after 50 uses and a trip through the police station in Zeebrugge to present our passports. We finally got dinner at 8pm and our bags at 10:30 pm. Ok, so a rough start. Our first stop was Hamburg, where we waited well over 75 minutes for a shuttle what was supposed to come every 30 minutes. II had not known better I would have thought this was the very first cruise for this ship and it's crew. There were people embarking and disembarking at every port. This created absolute chaos for getting on and off the ship. We were late getting into four out of five ports, which meant that some of our excursions were cut by up to an hour or more. Our Itinerary also changed twice during the cruise. There seemed to be a lot of excuses for what was happening and a tremendous lack of communication to crew members who were bearing the brunt of passengers anger and frustration. Maybe this was just a situation of "anything that could go wrong did," but I will sail with MSC again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
The ship sailed on the first day, seven hours late, and as a result the first destination was changed and we arrived late at the port that was not in the plan. We arrived at the next port at noon instead of in the morning and we had to ... Read More
The ship sailed on the first day, seven hours late, and as a result the first destination was changed and we arrived late at the port that was not in the plan. We arrived at the next port at noon instead of in the morning and we had to change the plan for the beach tours we ordered .. The next port was canceled and again the plan was changed and we arrived at the port where we were supposed to be on the second day Again five hours late and eighty percent of the passengers did not go ashore. The food and service levels in the dining room were the worst I've ever encountered. The performances were mediocre and repeated every night with slight changes. I would like to point out that I am a Gold Club member at MSC and behind more than 20 cruises in various companies Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
MSC for the first time and last. This was a weeks cruise from Southampton, taking in Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Le Havre, only we did not do this. On the first day we were notified that Amsterdam was cancelled due to weather ... Read More
MSC for the first time and last. This was a weeks cruise from Southampton, taking in Zeebrugge, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Le Havre, only we did not do this. On the first day we were notified that Amsterdam was cancelled due to weather conditions, though no one could understand this. This meant staying in Zeebrugge for two days, one wasted. We went to Bruges and used the local coaches which were very reliable and cost effective. The Hamburg overnight stay was ruined as MSC decided to place the ship in a parade. which meant that no one could leave the ship on the first day (saturday). The next day was a sunday and whilst we could leave the ship everything in Hamburg was closed. We then instead of cruising to Le Havre detoured to Rotterdam as Le Havre was cancelled.Three out of four ports cancelled or changed which left us cold towards MSC. It did not end there as we were provide with three different times for arriving at Southampton the scheduled docking was 07:00, we eventually left the ship at 11:30. Apparantly the ship was late because of the weather. As we were leaving the pa sustem announced that Le Havre was cancelled for the next cruise. Onl advising on this as we have never experienced a cruise so bad. If that had been it, we may have had a rethink and tred another cruise, however the food in the Golden Lobster resaruant in the evening was extremely poor, selection was poor and the portion sizes extremely small as per other guests reports. To add that you have to pay for water with your meal, and then it is served up in a plastic bottle is poor. Coffee is not offered and if you require a cup you have to again pay. In the Maya / Inca buffet the food choice is again poor, the quality of the produce not very good and the service the worst we have ever experienced. No idea among the staff on clearing and cleaning tables. No idea of maintaining food trays at a resonable level. Instead food was congealed and cold. Coffee urns are well laid out but again the coffee was usually cold and staff had to be asked to replenish the urns with hot coffee. In general the staff and officers were not very helpful, no smiles, no hellos an no help when required. On several days guests asked questions only for officers and staff to turn around and walk away basically ignoring you. Probably been spoilt by other cruise lines which operate their ships with pride and their customers as friends. All of the above is a fair reflection of what we experienced and would never wish to relive in the future which is sad, as MSC Preziosa is a large ship with plenty of lounges and bars, though other than that not much else to do. There is a casino and shops though the mini mall was closed throughout our cruise. The theatre has evening shows which we initially liked, but after the third we realised it was all much the same and no guest artists to break up the same sort of dance, jugglin and acrobatic routines. Some singing appeared to be live, but others mimed. This as stated was our first MSC cruise and we have had 14 cruises with othr companies over the last 7 years. If MSC are serious about providing an excellent cruise / holiday they will have to do a lot better to entice us back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were a party of Four, two disabled wheelchair users and two carers. The Good points 1. Large Accessible cabin and balcony with a good wet room 2. Four reserved tables for the disabled in the buffet area. ( but often full of ... Read More
We were a party of Four, two disabled wheelchair users and two carers. The Good points 1. Large Accessible cabin and balcony with a good wet room 2. Four reserved tables for the disabled in the buffet area. ( but often full of abled bodied guests who could not find a table) they ignored the large international disabled badge 3 Helpful restaurant staff finding a table which a wheelchair can fit at. The BAD points 1. Took 11 months to arrange getting mobility equipment approved to be put in cabin. Mobility at Sea excellent but MSC hopeless. Did not know if we could travel until 2 days before we sailed. 2 Lifts small and doors open and close to fast not allowing easy access, also due to large number of passengers nearly always full and rude guests pushing in and closing doors to disallow entry to lifts. 3 NO trips or tours arranged for wheelchair users at any ports and no transfers to local city centre only for the abled body guests hence treated like second class citizens. 4 MSC staff not at all knowledgeable on disability issues and not able to assist , did not offer any support. 5 At one port three staff stood and argued who would assist us on board as they all claimed they had bad backs.!!! great service. 6 We had a itinerary of Brugge, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Le Halve. however we could not go to Amsterdam due to weather and Le Halve due to a strike, so went to Rotterdam and two nights in Brugge. Staff on board said they often don't get to Amsterdam they think its because the Captain doesn't like the Canal, I think its because they save a lot of money as its very expensive to use the Canal and moor in Amsterdam. Not going to Le Have saved fuel, only saying. I would NOT recommend MSC for Disabled travellers and we will not use them again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2017
We went with friends as a surprise for a 50th Birthday. 3 of The itineries were changed which we weren’t told about until the last minute. FOOD Very bad!! Okay if you like pizza or food which is only lukewarm. We did not ... Read More
We went with friends as a surprise for a 50th Birthday. 3 of The itineries were changed which we weren’t told about until the last minute. FOOD Very bad!! Okay if you like pizza or food which is only lukewarm. We did not eat in the formal restaurant once in the evening as there was nothing that took our fancy. We did however have one lunch and one breakfast in the restaurant which made a change from the buffet. One day we even gave up trying to find a seat for breakfast in the self service restaurant and went without. The ship is absolutely beautiful but that does not make up for lack of things to do, lukewarm food, time keeping was abysmal, when we took part in the Blue lights procession only the balconies on the side facing the shore were given a blue light (apparently a couple of years ago, every cabin on the ship got a blue light), the duty-free shop was closed for the whole 8 days We will not be cruising with MSC again Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Gave Msc a try despite recent negative reviews from fellow British travellers but sadly most we're correct-I'll start with the positives:-the ship is elegant and very clean everywhere on board,cabins are very spacious(we had a balcony and ... Read More
Gave Msc a try despite recent negative reviews from fellow British travellers but sadly most we're correct-I'll start with the positives:-the ship is elegant and very clean everywhere on board,cabins are very spacious(we had a balcony and couldn't fault it in anyway),cabin steward was brilliant and kept the cabin spotless,main dinning room:- not the best we've had at sea but acceptable and the waiter service again faultless,bars:- hit and miss,some staff happy and quick to serve whilst others the staff not very friendly and getting served difficult.The negatives:-entertainment onboard was the worst we've experienced on a cruise,truly woeful,excursions:-overpriced,chaotic/organisation non existant at times but the biggest moan for me was the fact that msc doesn't let you know before you cruise that this is more of a ferry service than a cruise,over the last week during our cruise we departed and left ports by 2 hours or more everytime without explanation and passengers disembarked and boarded everytime we docked even at ports that had been changed the previous day due to bad weather we we're told!.Disembarkation was a farce today,due in at 8am but arived at 10:15,zero information on where or when to disembark and all staff dissapeared when passengers started to loose patience and ask questions,all in all our first and last cruise with Msc. Read Less
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