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78 MSC Cruises Barbados Cruise Reviews

We have cruised the Caribbean several times in the last 10 or so years mainly with P and O, but also with NCL and Thomsons. We were attracted to this cruise as it offered a slightly different itinerary which included Martinique, ... Read More
We have cruised the Caribbean several times in the last 10 or so years mainly with P and O, but also with NCL and Thomsons. We were attracted to this cruise as it offered a slightly different itinerary which included Martinique, Guadeloupe and Trinidad. The overall package which include drinks, tips and Virgin flights seemed attractive. This is what we found: Virgin - twilight check-in at Gatwick painfully slow, took 80 mins to process a short queue by surly staff who laid the blame at MSCs door, not a great start. Flight and return check-in fine. Embarkation - ran smoothly, only negative was running the gauntlet of staff imploring us to upgrade drinks package. Cabin - generous size, clean and comfortable. Only disappointment was the lower half of the balcony was not glass making it feel a little enclosed. Worth avoiding theses which are at each end of the ship. The Ship - very well presented, nice public rooms, plenty of stairs and lifts made moving around this large ship quick and easy (are you listening P and O ?). Theatre very large, but never full. Disappointed that the front of the ship was out-of -bounds, reserved for Yacht Club members, this rankled somewhat. Dining Lobster dining room pleasant but we were tucked away in a dark corner. Self service restaurant a little congested at times, inevitable. Slightly disappointed we couldn't eat outside at the rear of the ship. service in the Lobster dining room excellent. Service for breakfast was not so good. MSC need to decide if this is self service or not, combination caused chaos, avoided after one try. Food Generally ok, but fell short of our expectations and experience. Good variety in the self service restaurant, but need to hunt around to appreciate all that is on offer. Drink Basic drinks package somewhat minimal, no discount if you wanted to select drinks over 6 euros, we made do. Could order non-alcohol cocktail and separate spirit, water bottles from the bar free, but not from mini bar. Service always very good. Itinerary Seemed good on paper, but would have preferred a couple of sea days to chill out. we now realise that MSC operates 7 day cruises out of Martinique and Guadeloupe. This meant calling at these ports twice on saturday and sunday. Nothing much to do on a sunday in Guadeloupe, maybe these were our sea days. Time in port quite adequate. MSC excursions very expensive. Fellow Passengers A lot of French speakers on the cruise, most seemed to be on for 7 days. This did not make for such a sociable cruise due to the language barrier. Lifeboat drills in several languages on several days a pain, you only need to attend once, but they are an unwelcome intrusion, made worse by the 7 day itinerary and multiple boarding ports. Entertainment Enjoyed one of best shows we had ever seen on a cruise when the team of entertainers threw everything at it. Range of shows limited by language issues, one show way to loud and we did something we had never done before and walked out of it. Ridiculous. Music in other public rooms to a good standard and refreshingly different, we liked the Spanish couple. Enjoyed this aspect. Attempts by UK cruise director to customise entertainment with a short daily quiz a little limited. TV a waste of time. Only English channel was CNN International, drove us crazy with endless talk of US primaries. Spent most of the time off. Poor effort by MSC. Disembarkation Fine Overall Not a bad cruise, but others are significantly better, especially for English speakers. Need a good reason to return. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
me and my wife had bean looking at msc cruises for long time and we found a nice one 14 days from barbados 12 ports which wher great lovley ship its self some staff ok food not great self service food was cold but we had sit down 3 corse ... Read More
me and my wife had bean looking at msc cruises for long time and we found a nice one 14 days from barbados 12 ports which wher great lovley ship its self some staff ok food not great self service food was cold but we had sit down 3 corse meals in one of the dinner rooms .entertainment was bad . our inside cabin was nice big room plenty of room plenty of stuf for kids . my wife was using a disabled motablty scooter becase she got some helth problems , and she had loads of problems using the lifts ment wouled push past her to get in first and some wher fiting to get in them. this is really bad msc as to do loads more for disabled pepole .Disembarkation was very long meny long ques and the same getting back on the ship was full 4000 pepole so was too big for us after being on we would never go back with msc very small amount of english was on ship most wher french pepole my wifes scooter broke one day so i ask at frount desk if they couled lend me one for the 2 weeks but they said no we cant have one but they wouled just push her back to the room ,i think we need to find a smaller ships next time , Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We boarded in Barbados having flown from the UK, embarkation was late due to delays with luggage at the airport and there was no welcome when we got on the ship We were on board for 14 nights and found that there was a lot more ... Read More
We boarded in Barbados having flown from the UK, embarkation was late due to delays with luggage at the airport and there was no welcome when we got on the ship We were on board for 14 nights and found that there was a lot more attention given to other groups when they arrived, the focus seemed to be on French guests Our cabin, a balcony on deck 13 with the Aurea experience was good, spacious and comfortable and kept clean All of the staff that we dealt with were helpful, polite and friendly The theatre shows were rather disappointing but there were lots of alternatives, ie. live music in several bars Food in the buffet was of a good quality Food in the main restaurant was, however, disappointing. There was nothing wrong with the food but it lacked any wow factor. When comparing with other cruise lines that we have traveled with (Cunard and Celebrity) the MSC came up very poor The ship itself is beautiful, very glitzy and glamorous I think it is a case of getting what you pay for and over all the cruise was fair value Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I'm not sure what planet these people are who have bitterly complained about a truly magnificent ship. Staff were second to none, polite, courteous and friendly. Our cabin kept very clean, towels flannels, changed twice every day, ... Read More
I'm not sure what planet these people are who have bitterly complained about a truly magnificent ship. Staff were second to none, polite, courteous and friendly. Our cabin kept very clean, towels flannels, changed twice every day, bedding daily, the ship was spotless, never ever found any of the general toilets around the ship dirty. All areas of the ship were kept exceptionally clean. Bar staff were excellent and prompt, always served our drinks with a smile and a chat, food was very good too. If you didn't like what was on the menu, the staff always offered you something different to make sure you were happy. Harbin Bautista and Zakir Ali in the Golden Lobster restaurant were a credit to MSC, nothing but pure professional excellent service. The general resturant on deck 14 was busy, and times and sometimes noisy, I agree with, but the choice of food could not be criticised, there is food for all tastes and always cooked very well. How can people criticise about noise etc at a place to eat which caters for hundreds of people to eat at the same time. Very varied and good daily and evening entertainment throughout the various bars, my only criticism would be regarding the brilliant theatre shows, which we would have liked to have lasted a bit longer, but having said that they needed to put in 2 shows per evening, so this might not be able to happen. So all in all, we, 2 couples, had a great time on our first cruise with MSC and look forward to many more.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this ship because of its value for money and booked eleven months ago travelling with two others who have cruised several times this was our first so had nothing to compare it to. We can honestly say we would never choose MSC ... Read More
We chose this ship because of its value for money and booked eleven months ago travelling with two others who have cruised several times this was our first so had nothing to compare it to. We can honestly say we would never choose MSC again. Reception staff were rude and totally unhelpful and the ship catered mainly for the French! We purchased a premium drinks package which was for any single drink up to $10 most drinks were $8 and the first few days all went well when we were told the $8 drink had "run out" bearing in mind the start of the new cruising season had just begun but the $5 rubbish was available If that had been the case there would be no reason to purchase the premium package. Miraculously after complaining the good wine became available so buyer beware don't accept what they say and complain. Another tip as soon as you register at reception make it CLEAR you do not wish service charge/gratuities put on your daily statement. We did this yet on second day we were charged £170 each on our daily statement along with excursion charges we had not booked and it took days of going back and fo to reception to sort it out which on hols you don't want, once we insisted on speaking to a manager the charges were removed. We would say to anyone read all the reviews and do yr homework whilst the ship was beautiful management was abysmal and staff soooo rude. Wonderful theatre but shows very mediocre, pool area was chaotic along with the restaurant no toast no beans no dishes for cereal without a wait again staff couldn't care less I could go on and on that's why we would never cruise with MSC again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I chose this cruise purely for the itinerary and expected very little after reading numerous reviews. I must commend MSC for obviously listening to the complaints and being in the process of making improvements from what I saw. I had ... Read More
I chose this cruise purely for the itinerary and expected very little after reading numerous reviews. I must commend MSC for obviously listening to the complaints and being in the process of making improvements from what I saw. I had bought extra snacks just incase there was a long wait to get on the ship but refreshments were provided , embarkation was quick and our rooms were ready when we got on-board. The best advice I can give when it comes to the food in the buffet area is find a table first then get your food as it is not as hot as you would have it at home. There are lots of fresh fruit and vegetables ( Fresh mangoes in the afternoons ) In terms of variety there is lots to choose from thats why I ate most of my meals in there. It is a busy area but if you head towards the back there's always tables available that can hold 6 people easily. I didn't do many on-board activities apart from the gym and spa both are outstanding just go as the ship docks or late evening to miss the busy periods.Book in advance to save money. Service was amazing in all areas of the ship even guest services I found pleasant and professional. The ship shore excursions are very expensive but we got off and did minivan tours that went to all the same places and we didn't pay more than $25 each . The drivers know the ship times and ensure your always back way ahead of time. Disembarkation was good and we even had time to have a quick tour around St Lucia before heading to the airport. At the airport everything was disorganized but that was the airport's fault for not having enough staff to manage the amount of people passing through on one of the busiest days of the year. Would I go again ? Try and stop me !! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have pretty much been on all cruise lines and so we were keen to try MSC as they are now using the English ports and are keen to attract the British market. We were excited to try a new cruise line and had high hopes of a great ... Read More
We have pretty much been on all cruise lines and so we were keen to try MSC as they are now using the English ports and are keen to attract the British market. We were excited to try a new cruise line and had high hopes of a great experience. We were disappointed. The ship is very glitzy but has very little comfort. Sun beds were the worst on any ship and a lot of the chairs at the garden bar were not fit for purpose. The food was very poor and not hot in all the restaurants on board. You could not get a hot cup of tea on the ship unless you paid for it. The staff were the most unapproachable staff ever on a ship that we have had in 30 years and over 100 cruises. Cabin was ok but the balcony chairs were not very comfortable. Entertainment was not good. activities were ok but not for the English. service in the cabin was ok. service in the bars was poor. Service in the dining room was good but food was poor. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The ship its self was modern clean with an impressive stairway and delivered what was expected from this class of ship . We purchased the Aurea package which gave you some extras like free drinks, package massage, my choice dining and ... Read More
The ship its self was modern clean with an impressive stairway and delivered what was expected from this class of ship . We purchased the Aurea package which gave you some extras like free drinks, package massage, my choice dining and free access to deck 18 Dining was the first problem, a high standard was expected from the team as the previous two cruises delivered this but , quality of service and food failed to meet the previous experience resulting in a complaint. The buffet area offered at times a better standard. The buffet area also was at times I felt of a disjointed set up the items did not flow i.e meats/ chesses to accompany a salad where miles apart when common sense would of had them close. Entertainment was of a low standard very repetitive and only started to improve last three days of the cruise The Drinks package wow what a mess , previously the Aurea had a generous drinks package but this has been devalued to €6 but and this was changed in November 2018. Their systems don't know who purchased the cruise prior to November so the system was honoring drinks to the value of € 9 but the staff advised you if you asked only €6. In the next action they would still process drinks to the value of €9 at no extra charge to yourself, what was the point of telling you €6 ? I found some of the front line staff wooden especially on the help desk , like the sketch from little Brittan the computer says no !!! If you used a brain cell you could make life so much easier without the customer having to point out some of the MSC policy's just don't make sense! In a nut shell MSC is growing and polices are changing of which I would hazard a guess non of the management who are implementing the changes have actually experienced the impact of such living on board as a guest. Having cruised with MSC twice before we had a level of service expected and unfortunately this cruise fell short of these. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a ... Read More
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a different cruise in as much as we flew to Barbados and then after On our arrival in Bridgetown we had a very pleasant surprise. As we got off the aircraft we found coaches waiting for us at bottom of steps. We were taken directly to the ship and never touched our luggage until it arrived in our cabin. The cabin itself was a balcony cabin and was beautiful in every way. We chose a Fantastica cabin as it came with a drinks package. Our cabin steward, Erith could not have been more helpful and kept cabin spotless. We chose !st sitting dining in Golden Lobster Restaurant. The waiters were great and were very attentive including our waiter James ( name we used for him.) he left ship in Lisbon to fly home to Bali. His assistant waiter was called Abhishek Kumar from India and he went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic holiday. He deserves the highest praise. The food was excellent although not to my taste all the time. The restaurant was spotless and well managed. The entertainment on the ship left a lot to be desired although the the trio with the pianist and 2 violinists we excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The service overall on the ship was first class and could not be faulted in any way. WE did not take any of the excursions and made our own arrangements. We found the islands very commercialized now and have got worse over the past few years. We took a taxi in Guadaloupe and the female taxi driver was the most dangerous taxi drive I have ever used. She was swerving all over road and reading phone texts and making nd taking phone calls. In Barbados was took a trip in a glass bottom boat which was most enjoyable and well worth the money. After leaving Barbados on 9th April we traveled 5 days across the Atlantic and it was a lovely smooth crossing to Tenerife which we enjoyed immensely. WE then visited Madeira which is a lovely island and I would recommend anyone visiting if you get the chance. The 3 visits to Lisbon, Vigo and Le Havre were not as good and as it was bank holiday most of town was closed. The appeared to be a lot of coughing on board which I hasten to add. I do not blame on ship. Our disembarkation in Southampton due to passengers who boarded in Le Havre did not attend the compulsory immigration procedures. This is the one complaint I have about MSC. It is used as a ferry service more that a cruise ship. Overall the ship and staff were perfect in every way and I would not hesitate to use MSC again although I would be more selective. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our thirteenth cruise which was certainly unlucky for some The food and the entertainment were no where near the standard we have come to expect from other companies. The use of hand sanitisers was left to the individual ... Read More
This was our thirteenth cruise which was certainly unlucky for some The food and the entertainment were no where near the standard we have come to expect from other companies. The use of hand sanitisers was left to the individual passengers and needless to say very few used them. .There were no safety stickers on the balcony windows and children and people with poor eyesight could have had a nasty injury. It was our 50th wedding anniversary whilst on the cruise and apart from an anniversary cake, organised by our travel agent there was no input from MSC. We had a drinks package but the only wine we were allowed was a cheap Italian chardonnay andthe only beer was Heineken draught. The ship was a glorified ferry and we will most certainly not sailing with MSC again and especially as we have been ill since our return two weeks ago. . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise to celebrate our retirements. It was our first time cruising and it has certainly NOT given us the “bug”!! The ship was so crowded. The food was awful, particularly not the Golden Lobster ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise to celebrate our retirements. It was our first time cruising and it has certainly NOT given us the “bug”!! The ship was so crowded. The food was awful, particularly not the Golden Lobster restaurant in the evening. On two evenings we were not allowed in the restaurant until 9.30 pm which is far too late. There were passengers embarking and disembarking all the time so safety drills constantly happening causing use of the ship for current passengers to grind to a halt during these times, including lifts, bars etc. The signage on the ship was poor and clearly not enough lifts available. The entertainment poor and shows were repeated for 15 night passengers. One pool was so noisy with all the naff entertainment. The so called “garden pool” was closed for 3 days. On the plus side, the majority of the staff were very friendly, courteous and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Mainly chose this ship as the itinerary suited, no sea days and many islands to visit. its difficult to find something very good about this MSC cruise and unless they have a good rethink about the following would never go on MSC again. We ... Read More
Mainly chose this ship as the itinerary suited, no sea days and many islands to visit. its difficult to find something very good about this MSC cruise and unless they have a good rethink about the following would never go on MSC again. We have been on many cruises over the years. The cabin was very clean although the shower area needs the sealant re-doing as its going black. Food on board was poor in the Golden Lobster, often over cooked or tough meat, we had a main as starter and main meal as potions were so small and had to ask for extra potatoes, etc. The buffet food was very much the same each day, difficult to find somewhere to sit, very busy post any excursions. Entertainment on board was really bad, some of the singers around the bars seemed bored, apart from the thee female vocalist and violin players. One of the bands (Moonlight something) were so bad they could clear a bar quicker than last orders!!! The theater shows were a bit of a joke with the same acts each night to a different theme, and repeated again on the second week, so a bit thumbs down there. The excursions were really sold up as the best thing to do, but apart from the swim with stingrays were over priced and pretty boring. Its best to do you own thing by getting a taxi with some others. Sometimes the lifts were out due to embarking and disembarking passengers, so had to wait an age for a lift, complaints went over the staffs heads. MSC picks up passengers from the islands to fill cabins, this means life boat drills and no bars open. The drinks packages mean that both wife and i would have to have the same package if in the same cabin, she does not drink alcohol and I only drink beer from any package, so we just used pay and go. They do need to sort this out, and fill a beer glass right up, as i got fed up asking them to fill it... The room guy was nick named Mr Happy as he definitely wasn't and could not wait to end his contract, most staff where helpful but they looked tired and fed up. We did fell like MSC did not cater for British, all deck entertainment was in other languages, English was an add-on... Overall, we enjoyed visiting the different islands but not the ship and would not recommend to others. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We cruised on this ship on March 5th to 20th this year we fly to Barbados and got straight onto the ship this part was brilliant such a easy and well organised procedure by MSC, the plane was all Cruise ship passengers and we gave in our ... Read More
We cruised on this ship on March 5th to 20th this year we fly to Barbados and got straight onto the ship this part was brilliant such a easy and well organised procedure by MSC, the plane was all Cruise ship passengers and we gave in our cases at Gatwick airport check in and we did not see them again until they arrived in our cabin on the ship in Barbados (amazing) once we landed in Barbados we were taken straight from the run way onto a coach and taken straight to the port to embark the ship. My only criticism here was that me and my husband were separated on the plane although his seat was only in the row in front of me ( this was only a issue as I am not a very good flyer and was a little nervous about sitting on my own for 8 hours). Once on the ship the décor and cleanliness seemed brilliant and was much the same as the Divina which we have sailed on before. Our cabin which was a inside state room on deck 8 (8171) was a good size, clean and located just 2 doors from the lift which was good until you get a change over day and they start to load peoples case off the ship between the hours of 11 and 3 in the morning and all you can hear is the cases in cages been wheeled and smashed into each over whilst you are trying to sleep. The buffet was generally good had quite a good selection of different foods (my only complaint is that the food was not partially hot everything was just warm) unless you timed it right and manged to get a slice of pizza as it had just come out of the pizza oven. even the tea/coffee water was mostly warm and not hot so your drink was only luke warm. The main dining room the golden lobster was lovely and the staff were very friendly and accommodating. The food was also pretty good but didn't really have that much of a choice, the only annoying part of this is the constant banging of wine bottles and singing when it was someones birthday/anniversary it is ok the first few times but when you are trying to eat and talk to people on your table it can become annoying when they do this 3-4 times (maybe there was just a unusual amount of special occasions over the 2 weeks we were on the ship) the Il Cappuccino coffee bar is lovely and the staff here are also lovely Phoenician Plaza (Ice Cream Bar) - really lovely the snack and ice cream here are amazing Entertainment - this is where it all fell apart, The Theatre performances - the first one we saw we thought was quite good the acrobatics team are all very good it was just the singers which were only ok as they could not really sing with English dictation most of the song you could not understand the words unless you knew what song they were singing. It seem that all the performances where much the same every night just with a different theme and the story lines didn't really make much sense. Singers in the bars/lounges where again ok singers but just hard to understand. All the ports we visited all were lovely, we did one excursion organised through MSC which was the in Dominica and we got on a trolley train which took us around the Island we visiting a old church and we went to a lovely botanical garden. The tour guide was lovely and very informative. We also visiting the Emerald pool waterfall here and this is also worth a visit. My last thing is that I feel they needed enforce the using of the hand sanitisers to people getting on and off the ship and also when entering dining rooms ect. Most people did not use these and this is what I believe caused a lot of passengers to be poorly. The need to look at the sanitisers to also make sure that they are all working correctly as on a few occasions when getting back on the boat we believe they may of run out as they would not dispense any sanitiser. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian\, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would ... Read More
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian\, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would strongly recommend using his services if booking a cruise package. Our second Yacht Club experience having been on board Fantasia last year. We were a party of 6 taking up 3 cabins but this assessment is largely confined to mine, my wife’s and our friend’s experiences. All in all, not as positive on this occasion compared to the near faultless holiday of last year’s transatlantic. FLIGHTS We prefer to travel Premium Economy. This time on Virgin but these were chartered flights by MSC. The experience outbound was very good but inbound less so in a 23 year old jumbo with limited staff to look after 450 passengers. However, since this provision was directly by Virgin, it would be inappropriate to criticise MSC. TRANSFERS Once again, airport to ship was very good but in reverse, the coach arrived earlier than we were advised; was an elderly conveyance with poor (almost non-existent) air conditioning. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION MSC (for Yacht Club) do this better than anyone (we have travelled in Suites with P&O, Celebrity & RCI). Escorted onto and off ship. SUITE No different - perfectly adequate “de-luxe type” cabin - small balcony but the huge “exclusive” top deck area more than compensates. I say “exclusive” but this year it wasn’t. Non Yacht Club passengers accessed this space easily as the two entrance doors were not secure enough. Staff never challenge (not allowed to) and I found myself escorting 5 passengers out of this private area during our 2 week cruise with others unchallenged. Small babies of an age to still be in nappies accessing the jacuzzis with their parents; young teenagers diving in the no diving pool and cigars being smoked in a smoking area next to a sign “no cigars.” TOP SAIL LOUNGE First class facilities & service. BUTLER After the faultless experience courtesy of Putra last year, we struggled with Olivier this year, mainly because of his poor English. La PALMERAIE (Yacht Club Restaurant). One word. PEPÉ There are not enough superlatives to describe this amazing man. The Restaurant Maître Di (officially the Supervisor). He misses nothing. His staff love him. The passengers revere him - in truth, they adore him. Not only is he in complete control of all that happens, he never loses focus on his customers. He is the ultimate professional but is so personable that he is never less than entertaining. The personal service we received was beyond first class as his team aspire to his own very high standards. MSC MUST retain his services because on the strength of this experience, our next cruise would be assured. Thankfully, the Yacht Club Restaurant in the new ships is an integral part of Yacht Club rather than at the opposite end of the ship. YACHT CLUB STAFF It seems unfair to single out anyone but there MUST be special mentions for our lovely waiters, Anna, Nayara (unfortunate to fall sick - hope she is OK), Durian, Zaheem, Luis and Reina (day time concierge). However, I was much less impressed with the night Concierge. very much needs some guidance on the provision and delivery of effective customer service and the avoidance of the attitude he displayed toward me on two occasions. Perhaps he was annoyed I had disturbed his Facebook access. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS Despite a complimentary visit being included for black card guests (4 of us are) we declined offers to the Sushi and Italian eateries. They simply had no appeal since the lay-out was in no way inviting. In any event, why would we miss the chance to be looked after by Pepé and his excellent staff? However, our daughter & son-in-law did pay for a visit to the Galaxy (Sushi Restaurant) and described the food as excellent. LIFTS Strange as it may seem, this was an irritating regular occurrence, even for butlers. Yacht Club cards rarely delivered the exclusive provision to decks 15-18 and we very regularly found ourselves travelling randomly up and down or the cards simply didn’t work. TO SUM UP We do enjoy Yacht Club very much, despite these frustrating instances. However, with us usually travelling as a 4 (we took our daughter & son-in-law with us on this occasion), our deposits for trips on Seaview (Yacht Club) in November 2019 (Barcelona to South America) and on the same ship in December 2020 (Dubai) are now in some doubt. These deposits are, of course, via Cruise Club UK. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Our second Yacht Club Experience Having been on board Fantasia April 2018 Barbados back to Europe. Sadly for us it did not live up to our previous cruise. Yacht Club: One Pool Could not fault the pool boys or waiters but on ... Read More
Our second Yacht Club Experience Having been on board Fantasia April 2018 Barbados back to Europe. Sadly for us it did not live up to our previous cruise. Yacht Club: One Pool Could not fault the pool boys or waiters but on several occasions we believe that there where people in the yacht club that were not members due to the door not locking this was reported by several yacht club members including ourselves,we pay for this privilege also young children in nappies going into the jacuzzi we found the sun lounges very uncomfortable, maybe they should supply cushions. Lifts: Priority for yacht clubs members in one word this does not work even for the Butlers. Cabin: Clean but find the dressing room very small no comparison to the suites on Celebrity Butler: First time we have been disappointed nice polite man kept our cabin clean but his lack of understanding English made it very difficult to have any communication with him. Dining: Well I say one word PEPE what a lovely man misses nothing staff have respect for him and if it had not been for Pepe I would have struggled with the meals he was very attentive as he was with all the guest He is a great asset to MSC. Top Sail lounge: Firstly have to say how amazing the waiters Anna Nayara and Zaheem were they kept us entertained as most often we were the only people in there including our friends after 10.30 We feel that there could be a little more entertainment not just a piano player it lacked atmosphere and very underused. Embarkation: Could not have been better. Disembarkation: Taken off too early bit of a rush, then a long wait at the airport. Summary: We have two more cruises with deposits Seaview Yacht club Nov 19 and on the same ship Dubai Dec 2020 We are having doubts whether we will be going. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I chose this Caribbean cruise because according to all the adverts in the papers I thought it ticked all the boxes, how wrong can you be. Never once did it say that MSC Preziosa was a glorified tramp steamed picking up and dropping off at ... Read More
I chose this Caribbean cruise because according to all the adverts in the papers I thought it ticked all the boxes, how wrong can you be. Never once did it say that MSC Preziosa was a glorified tramp steamed picking up and dropping off at most ports of call, not a problem you might think. People have to be out of the cabins by 10am so that meant cases out almost every night and then sitting in the buffet restaurant with there hand luggage, which meant with new passengers on board and other passengers not off yet getting something to eat in the buffet was a work of art. Out of the four lifts up to our cabin deck 11 three where in regular use just for taking suitcases up or down. The food was ok but nothing special unless you like Pizza, but you had to get your timing right, Our dining time was 9pm but twice they put it back to 9-30 and had just one show on at the theater and if your on a fourteen night cruise you see the same shows on the second week. I was warned Italian ships are noisy they were right, On every cruise I have been on you get hand sanitizer squirted at you from breakfast to bedtime not with MSC you don't, which probably accounts for the fact when we got back to Gatwick out plane was quarantined four four hours. Overall probably the worst cruise I have been on and I think it highly unlikely I will ever cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Returned from a 14 day cruise on March 5th. Chose this cruise because of the ports of call.Flight embarkation and disembarkation to and from Bridgetown very good. We had a two week cruise with no days at sea but visited two ports twice. ... Read More
Returned from a 14 day cruise on March 5th. Chose this cruise because of the ports of call.Flight embarkation and disembarkation to and from Bridgetown very good. We had a two week cruise with no days at sea but visited two ports twice. There was at least three ports where people embarked, this resulted in safety drills at each pick up which was annoying as everything was closed while the drills went on. Many large groups of locals got on at Martinique, we found some of these a little to noisy for us especially around the buffet and pool areas. We found the main show lounge entertainment disappointing and repetitive, although the acrobats were very good. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 which was kept clean and tidy by our friendly steward. The shore excursions which we booked before leaving were very good and well organised, although we had to go to the excursion desk on one occasion the night before a trip as we received no tickets. We did not use any restaurants as I became ill after 3 days, so we just picked our time and went in the buffets. The food in the buffets were very disappointing, the choice was poor, but worse of all many of the meals were only lukewarm or even cold. The drink urns were also awful the coffee was frequently lukewarm, and the hot water was also only lukewarm, no way could you make a cup of tea with this. I did report this to a supervisor but there was no improvement, in fact the only time you could get a hot drink was at breakfast time when hot milk was supplied to top up your coffee. Breakfast was the best meal of the day with plenty of choice. The best place to get a hot tea or coffee was in the coffee bar, or other bars, this we paid for as we had no drinks package included as we only made a late booking. To us the drinks package you could buy were excessive at 29 Euros per person per day for 14 days, there is no way we could get our monies worth at those prices. Although being ill most of the time didn't help as I had to go to the ships doctor twice I don't think we will book with MSC again, four other cruises we have been on with other companies have all been very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary different islands every day we used independent excursions which were much better value for money the msc excursions we went on were rushed with a need to arrive back in port too early the food was so ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary different islands every day we used independent excursions which were much better value for money the msc excursions we went on were rushed with a need to arrive back in port too early the food was so disappointing and mediocre drinks package was good . The public areas were crowded herds of people who don’t understand the concept of a queue would not go again on msc for this reason. The entertainment was the worst have ever experienced shows bad and boring and repeat after first week have seen better shows at Euro amp that cater for multiple languages the performers were mediocre a poor cirque du soleil just boring after 2nd show and we saw them all. The pool areas were overcrowded usual sun bed hogging hoards of kids leaping over you impossible to sit in a jacuzzi. The musical entertainment too was repetitive various choices in bars liked the girl group anime but they didn’t have two weeks material and played for 30 minutes a night. I would not go with msc again expected so much more so glad we explored and saw so many beautiful islands independently local tour operators made us feel welcome and 100 per cent better at coping with more than one European language Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We returned from our first cruise with yourselves on the 6th March after sailing on the MSC Preziosa. We travelled as a party of 2 couples, my husband and I (cabin 10243) and our friends in 10245. Excursions Prior to departure we ... Read More
We returned from our first cruise with yourselves on the 6th March after sailing on the MSC Preziosa. We travelled as a party of 2 couples, my husband and I (cabin 10243) and our friends in 10245. Excursions Prior to departure we pre booked and paid for our excursions 5 months in advance, both couples chose the same excursions on the same dates. However on completion there was a significant price difference between the online quote and actual price charged. I then informed yourselves via several emails. This was rectified by you complimenting us with £50pp on board credit. On arrival onboard the ship, our friends received excursions tickets for 23rd February for the Madina Slaves excursion, however, we did not receive ours. The following day we attended the shore excursion desk on board and were told we were booked onto the following weeks excursion. We cancelled this and rebooked to ensure we were on the same trip as our friends and advised we would receive our tickets prior to the excursion. On 21st we once again attended the shore excursion desk to enquire when we would receive our tickets for the trip on the 23rd. At this stage I must say the staff were not very helpful, unsure whether there was a language barrier or I was not clear. But after much explaining and discussion we were advised that we would receive our tickets prior to trip. On 22nd I once again attended shore excursion desk only to be told the trip had been CANCELLED! I advise the staff member that Our friends who had received tickets for this trip had not been advised it had been cancelled. I was advised they would receive a letter advising them of the cancellation. This never arrived, hopefully they will receive a cancellation letter before Christmas! At this point we were advised our trip would be carried over to the following week when the trip would take place. On this occasion it was cancelled again and after clarification which again was not clear, we were advised a credit to our account would be applied. I would like to say that I did not find the majority of the shore excursion staff helpful, unsure if this, as stated earlier, was a possible language barrier. Our last trip was a trolley train on St Lucia. Once again we had to attend shore excursion desk to advise we had not received our tickets, yes, once again we were assured we would receive them, but if we did not, to go to the theatre at the designated time. As you might guess, we did not receive our tickets and they had to be manually handwritten on departure for the excursion. The remainder of the excursions we pre booked were excellent and we enjoyed them. The problems we encountered took a considerable time to sort out which was time out of our holiday which we had waited and saved for a long time for and should not have been necessary. Drinks On arrival on board ship we decided to take advantage of our drinks package and ordered 4 drinks from the bar. We were charged for the drinks and when challenged we were advised our card did not show the correct coding. We then had to queue at reception desk for 30 minutes to rectify this error. Apparently both parties had the wrong cards as did a number of passengers embarking at the same time. Whilst this was rectified relatively quickly, again it was time spent out of our holidays. Food We ate every evening in the main restaurant and whilst some of the meals were good, some were below par especially the cuts of meat which were not always tender and beef steaks cut very thin. Were it not for Hosoli, Juleo and his team of waiting staff I think our dining experience would not have been so enjoyable, they were perfect hosts. Disembarkation During embarkation/disembarkations in Martinique and Guadalupe, passengers on board were restricted to the bars and lifts that they could use and when the newcomers lifejacket sessions were being held couldn’t get a drink in the bars as all staff were utilised for the safety drills. Original passengers faced long queues getting on off the ship as the majority of the time there was only one gangplank for non yacht club passengers to use so if passengers were coming back onto ship, queues built up whilst waiting for passengers to disembark. Entertainment We felt the entertainment was repetitive on the 2 occasions we ventured into the theatre, there were very few in the audience, it was all just singing and yes whilst they had good voices there was no theme or entertainment value. As passengers for 2 weeks, the 2nd weeks entertainment was the same as the first and very boring. The scenery outshone the performers, and the hosts were less than glamorous in their trouser suits. Venues We felt that each bar venue was not used to its full capability, ie the Sports Bar was empty most of the time except for the Wales/England Rugby match. Our friend requested that British Football or Rugby (Six Nations) games during the weekend be shown, was advised that matches etc were controlled by customer services who, when approached, yet again, advised that the sports shown were governed by head office. The beautiful Safari Lounge had a great dance floor but was never used as the entertainment, as lovely as it was, was not the sort you could dance to. Cabin Entertainment For the whole of our cruise, we were unable to get any English speaking channels on our cabin TVs. Our friend visited customer services and was advised that someone would visit our cabins to tune our TVs. Nobody bothered. Conclusion At the end of the cruise we all congregated in the theatre prior to transfer to the airport. At this stage 3 members of our party had been unwell for the last few days of the holiday with flu like symptoms and persistent cough. It was apparent whilst sitting in the theatre how many passengers were suffering from the same condition. On transfer to our Virgin VS610 flight within 10 minutes of take off all that was heard were passengers coughing. Our plane landed at Gatwick at 5.20 a.m. we were detained on the plane for a further 3 hours whilst paramedics and port health authority assessed the situation. Two further hours in the airport saw 2 members of our party being checked out by paramedics. This was not a good end to a not perfect holiday. Since returning home all of our party had flu virus with a cough lasting 5 weeks, heat infection. Our doctor contacted public health England who co firmed it was an outbreak of the flu virus of which several passengers had contracted and were on board the Gatwick flight. MSC have denied this came from the ship even though on disembarkation all British passengers could be heard continually coughing I the theatre prior to transfer to airport. On writing to MSC on our return of issues raise they offered us £135 off our next cruise. Would I take up their offer - NO!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We have never cruised MSC before but have experience many other cruise lines including a few of the premier lines. Our favourite cruise line has been Celebrity but due to their ever increasing prices have been drawn to MSC. We were offered ... Read More
We have never cruised MSC before but have experience many other cruise lines including a few of the premier lines. Our favourite cruise line has been Celebrity but due to their ever increasing prices have been drawn to MSC. We were offered Black Card membership due to their loyalty match although the only valuable element was the 5% discount, all other perks were meaningless for people in the Yacht Club. We choose a Preziosa Yacht Club cruise - 14 nights in the fabulous Caribbean with no sea days. The cruise included return charter flights from Gatwick operated by Virgin Atlantic which allowed for twilight check in between 5 pm and 9pm the evening prior. Flight seat selection was not available and was pre allocated by MSC and issued at Virgin check-in. Our outgoing flight was delayed by almost 2 hours and the return flight was the notorious VS610 quarantined flight mentioned in the media. Virgin Cabin staff had contracted norovirus prior to boarding the flight and we all suffered massive delays as a consequence. We had good seats in the upper deck of a 747-400 and the next time we saw our luggage was in our cruise cabin. On landing we went straight to awaiting buses direct to the ship without entering Barbados Airport terminal. Being in Yacht Club we were fast tracked aboard with no queuing which the general crowd had to endure. Everyone had the same seats on the return flight. Barbados Immigration was processed onboard at 9.30 on the final day of the cruise without any queing chaperoned by our bulter. The Yacht Club is a select area at the front of the ship with keycard entry comprising of about 70 cabins with a maximum occupancy of 160 people. It has a separate lounge and a sun deck with a small pool, two jacuzzis and a bar which also serve an extremely small buffet. The lounge also has a small area with a few snacks mostly crisps, peanuts, small pastries and fruit. This lounge provides a continental breakfast service whilst the pool deck expands on this with scrambled eggs, bacon and saugages. A full breakfast service was available in the Yacht Club restaurant which was at the opposite end of the ship which we found to be very poorly attended, maybe too far to walk for many. Lunch service was available at the same restaurant, also an extremely poor self service buffet was available at the One Pool deck bar. The accomodation was of a high standard although most YC1 suites were no bigger than a standard balcony cabin on most cruise ships. A big let-down was the shower being over the bath with an inadequate glass screen which resulted in water everywhere unless you reduced the water spray to an unacceptable level. The cabin facilities included a well-stocked free mini-bar and a small screen TV which was never used as channel choice was the worst we ever experienced. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable as was the couch and the balcony although small was adequate for our use. Smoking is a major issue on this ship as the people smoked almost everywhere and compliance with the rules seldom enforced, including on balconies. The Yacht Club sun deck is large with plenty of hard loungers without any cushions which can be uncomfortable. There is a hand full of tables and chairs near the pool bar with most of the tables having a parasol cover but there is little or no shade for the loungers except near to the four shower cubicles on the port side which provides limited shade when the ship’s position allows but this is a no-go area as it is in a smokers paradise with shaded tables and chairs, always full of chain-smokers. During our cruise the sundeck was seldom used by most of the clientele. The Yacht Club ‘One Lounge' is a great space for relaxing, reading the paper with an excellent bar service. The design offers superb panoramic views of the ocean although sitting in the window seats can become very uncomfortable during the day and early evening hours due to the hot sun. A positive change by MSC is that the lounge is now smoke free and a great place to have a pre-dinner drink before the long track to the Yacht Club restaurant (Le Palmarie). There are two primary routes to the restaurant, one via deck 15 on the outside deck which is unappealing due to the wind and sometimes rain. The other is via deck 7 which is like engaging in a maul, fighting your way through the masses of people especially near the popular photo shop/gallery. Deck 7 design is rather poor in that you have to pass across a dance floor and along narrow link corridors between smoke ridden lounges/bars, a nightmare most evenings to get to the restaurant. You also need to get used to the ‘humming' body odour and take long breaths sometimes which we have never experienced to this level before, maybe the shower over the bath has a lot to answer for….! The Le Palmarie restaurant is said to be anytime dinning but in reality you have 2 choices either 6.30/7.00 or 8.30/9.00. We prefer the later time and on many occasions had to wait for table. The table service in the restaurant was of a poor standard due to inexperienced staff forever getting things wrong, sorry was a word often heard echoing around the room. The food in Le Palmarie was good and served at the mostly the correct temperature, sometimes excellent with a great choice of wines and off menu items were always available. The Maitre’D (PePe) is an extrovert with a great personality and always did his utmost to accomodate people’s wishes, he moves to pastures new at the end of the month so this restaurant could fall apart at the seams. Breakfast and dinner met our requirements but lunch at the One Pool was a disgrace and a major letdown. The alternative speciality restaurant onboard (Eataly) was always empty and looked like a cafeteria with uncovered white plastic tables and chairs. It was so uninviting that we never bothered with the complimentary meal offered to us, shame real. The other restaurants and buffets on the ship were so crowded that no way could it be classed as an enjoyable experience. Our 14 night Caribbean itinerary had no sea days which was very appealing, a new island everyday except Saturdays and Sundays. The cruise had three basic home ports where passengers embarked and disembarked, Barbados , Martinique and Guadeloupe. On our cruise the major passenger changes occurred at Martinique where masses of black French people embarked many local residents of Martinique which became a booze cruise, we were glad for the seclusion of the yacht club. We discovered that MSC had put out a promotion on Martinique to fill empty spaces at very discounted rates which obviously encouraged the many. Most of the Islands we had visited many times before and remain enjoyable except for Trinidad and Dominica where we stayed aboard. We really enjoyed the cruise and met great company. Finally, the question ‘Would we cruise MSC again' - Definitely not in the general part of the ship, it is too crowded with a serious clash of cultures with many shortcomings. As for the Yacht Club again probably not, the main negatives for us are MSC’s liberal approach to SMOKING and the lack of shade on the deck which is a major design flaw of this class of ship. Both could be rectified but MSC being an Italian company seams unable to adapt, so default to the status quo which will be their downfall in the British and American markets. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary included three ports of call that we had not previously visited. This factor coupled with no 'days at sea', which we do not particularly enjoy, made this package very interesting ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary included three ports of call that we had not previously visited. This factor coupled with no 'days at sea', which we do not particularly enjoy, made this package very interesting despite some earlier reviews that were not overly positive. The embarkation process was very smooth both at the airport and the port. The last thing anyone needs, after a long flight, are delays and queues, this process was one of the fastest and easiest we have experienced. The ship itself was well maintained, both inside and outside. Staff cleaning and painting the external parts of the ship in port and others, with portable hoovers, cleaning the inside areas. The only disappointing issue was that some passengers found it acceptable to dump rubbish on the floors. We had selected a Fantastica balcony stateroom and were very please with the same. It was not cramped and was well maintained. The room was regularly serviced and cleanliness was excellent. With regard to dining, our overall impression was that the food was generally good although the portions in the restaurants were smaller than we had expected. The menus however lacked the variety of food that we had experienced on other cruises. A special note on the breakfast facility on deck fourteen. This was always overcrowded, despite being a large area, and the available staff struggled to cope although, in fairness, they did their best. Entertainment was very 'hit and miss' and we include both the theatre and the lounge entertainment in this comment. Generally we were able to find some entertainment to which we could relax and enjoy a drink in the evening. We have cruised on a number of occasions and, sadly, we would rate the overall entertainment on this ship as one of the poorest we have experienced. One final point on entertainment. If you do resort to your cabin, and you are English speaking, do not expect too much from the in cabin television service. The vast majority of channels are in a foreign language. I appreciate that all nationalities on board must be catered for, but perhaps a couple of the many French channels, could be substituted with English speaking channels. With regard to service this again varied on the ship. Our cabin steward was excellent. Staff in the bar areas responded well despite heavy demand. The reception staff were helpful if your question / request was straightforward, but struggled when they viewed the issue as difficult. As just one example; the luggage labels for the return flight. As premium economy passengers we were entitled to two suitcases each on this flight. We therefore expected four luggage labels to be delivered to our cabin, we received only two. As we wished to take a third bag, we called reception to request a third label. Thereafter a series of calls and visits to reception followed, in virtually every case we were told something different and it took the best part of two days to secure our third label. We were pleased with the itinerary, but were slightly disappointed that the two visits to Guadalupe were both on a Sunday, when the majority of the island was closed. Shore excursions were extremely expensive and we would not recommend taking the same. If you undertake some research before you go, as to what you wish to do on each of the islands, you will find numerous options for tours / taxis at the port, which will provide the tour / trip you require for half or a third of the on board cost. A small recommendation now; we had previously visited St Kitts and had decided not to undertake a tour on this occasion. When in the port area we met a lady called Beulah Mills (Welcome Tours) who offered a tour for $15 per person. The tour was excellent and is highly recommended. Should anyone wish to take this tour, you will easily locate Ms Mills as she is the lady with the flag, you won't miss her. Other points to note; At most ports, if not all, passengers embarked and disembarked the ship. This clearly resulted in the need for safety / muster briefings. With a single port exception, these were undertaken without disturbance to the other passengers already on board. However, with regard to Martinique, which was the only other island visited twice, both visits being on a Saturday, the process was different. The whole ship 'closed' for approximately an hour, around 8.45 pm while this process took place. This proved to be a major inconvenience for the majority of us who had boarded elsewhere. No food, no drinks, no entertainment and no facilities at that time. MSC you need to rethink this one, particularly as there is only one scheduled show in the theatre that evening which is completed before the briefing starts and is therefore an obvious location for the same. A small issue regarding the flights. MSC chartered Virgin Atlantic flights for the journeys we undertook between Gatwick and Barbados and the return. Therefore every passenger on these flights was an MSC customer. When asked about seating arrangements, we were told by Virgin staff there was nothing they could do as it was MSC's responsibility. When on the ship and raising the same issue, the MSC staff told us it was Virgin's responsibility. Of course, you are never in a position where you can speak to a representative of each company at the same time and, based on what the representatives said, the companies do not seem to liaise with each other in any great detail. The stock response seems to be to blame the other company. We spoke to other passengers, who had raised other issues regarding the flights, and they made the same observation to us. Whilst crowded in many areas, passenger behaviour was generally good. But a couple of observations. Firstly the importance of hygiene. It was sadly noticeable that not all passengers washed their hands when using the toilet. This factor alone made the use of hand wash facilities, when entering a food outlet, of particular importance. It was disappointing that the hand washing facilities were not always manned on the deck 14 outlet, particularly as this facility is self service. We witnessed many guest walking straight past the hand wash. In the restaurants, where the food was served, ironically the hand wash facilities were always manned. Secondly the lifts. At busy times there was a constant problem with some guests charging into already crowded lifts before passengers therein had been allowed to exit. This in the end caused more of a delay whilst those wanting to exit had to fight their way through those who had charged in. In our experience this is a problem on most ships but, sadly, it occurred fairly regularly on the MSC. You can perhaps understand this behaviour with young and excited children but not adults. If you are a person who 'charges in', whether on the MSC or elsewhere, please consider your fellow passengers in the future! Finally the return to Gatwick. We were passengers on the flight that was quarantined at Gatwick by the Health Authority. (It was a news item on the television on that day). Approximately seventy passengers reported some form of illness, largely coughing, sore throats and sickness. Five of the Virgin crew were also effected. During the five hours of quarantine that followed at Gatwick, we spoke to other passengers. Many of whom who had health issues stated they emanated on the ship, although I understand MSC denied this to be the case. It was interesting to note that at least three people mentioned they had intended to visit the Ship's doctor until they were notified of the cost, none mentioned a figure under 100 Euros. My point here is that we have always been fortunate on the health front but not everyone is that lucky. Surely it would be in MSC's interests to make medical assistance, in the case of sickness more accessible financially, to avoid cases sometimes reported, where whole ships are taken out of service to be cleaned. On the issue of the problems created by the five hour quarantine; i.e. missed flight connections, missed taxis pick ups etc., we do believe Virgin Atlantic staff responded well to these problems, despite the difficult circumstances. Would we travel with MSC again? On balance, no. We might be tempted by a superb itinerary providing subsequent feedbacks indicate an improvement upon the issues we have commented negatively on. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise was good because of the itinerary of stopping at Caribbean islands everyday and had a good mix of Europeans and some Americans on board; not just single groups of British like on P&O or loud Americans as on Carnival. The ... Read More
This cruise was good because of the itinerary of stopping at Caribbean islands everyday and had a good mix of Europeans and some Americans on board; not just single groups of British like on P&O or loud Americans as on Carnival. The ship is tastefully finished and kept super clean. The standard of food in the buffet was excellent and well laid out and overall the staff on the ship were courteous and provided very good service. In my opinion there seemed to be a lack of overall activities on the ship as compared to a P&O ship but I would think this is due to the multiple languages on board - English, French, Italian, German, etc - for example it would be difficult to have a comedy act and provide it in 5 languages; so overall understandable why less activities but there are plenty of bars with music to venture into. There was a good choice of shore excursions which I think were much the same price range as provided on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our cruise started at Barbados, we flew on a Virgin charter organised by MSC from Gatwick. Prior to the cruise I was concerned about the lack of information regarding selection of seats on the plane and taking additional luggage - Both MSC ... Read More
Our cruise started at Barbados, we flew on a Virgin charter organised by MSC from Gatwick. Prior to the cruise I was concerned about the lack of information regarding selection of seats on the plane and taking additional luggage - Both MSC and Virgin were unclear, although Virgin said it was available at a cost at Gatwick. We used the twilight check in at Gatwick and slept in the adjoining hotel prior to departure. This was very convenient at MSC had many staff at the airport to assist us. The seating was allocated prior to check by MSC and we had the same upper deck seats out and return. Our luggage was delivered directly to the ship and cabin and all the passenger were transported from the plane steps to the ship by awaiting buses - Superb service - so easy and just a dream to arrive to Yacht Club service with instant boarding. Our butler was assigned and he took us later that evening to the Yacht Club restaurant for dinner. Once introduced to the head waiter we were assigned a table for 2 ( our choice) and each evening he made sure we had a table for 2 if not the same table. Food was excellent and it was possible to have more than one portion of a course you enjoyed, thus substituting the next. Wine again very good. The balcony cabin was well located within an area of the One Bar and One Lounge - very good size with a full bath and seating area. ( MSC do apply a fixed on board gratuity, we asked for this to be removed and tipped our Butler, his assistant, waiters and team members who gave great service) All of your on board spend is detailed on the in-cabin interactive TV. One board there was plenty to do......however the itinerary does involve passengers boarding and leaving at many of the ports - so this means some short stay passengers on lower priced itineraries. They, wanting to make the most of their holiday tended to be more rowdy and use the ships facilities wildly. We chose to stay in the One Bar and pool area. MSC offer some great excursions and a butler is assigned to each yacht club tour group to make sure you leave the ship first and join the tour with ease. One or two of our choices were not the best, but we made the most of our time. Departure was easy - cases out by midnight and we did not see them again until arrival at Gatwick! ( tip - dont worry about being a little over weight with packing on the way home - they dont weight them) Unfortunately our plane was held by port health at Gatwick due to some coughing passengers/crew concerns - Nearly a 5 hour wait - no fault of MSC or Virgin - just precautions. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Thankfully near the End of this cruise. If you only speak English this is not the cruise line for you. Flights sat me and my partner in different rows. On Board food has been the most bland we have had on any cruise. Most of the time cold. ... Read More
Thankfully near the End of this cruise. If you only speak English this is not the cruise line for you. Flights sat me and my partner in different rows. On Board food has been the most bland we have had on any cruise. Most of the time cold. I have being with 5 different cruise lines. Sports bar no English sports. Tv in cabin no English channel. Done a tour ticked the English box whole tour in French. Booked a deluxe drinks package they keep running out of the drinks we ask for. We have booked October cruise to Durban thinking of cancelling it after talking to a staff member as said it maybe worst then this one because it has a lot of sea days so can not get off for decent FOOD. HAVE met people on this cruise who after the first 2 days have ate all their meals off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just returned from an amazing 14 day Caribbean cruise which we selected for the fantastic itinerary. It stopped in a port every day, 12 of which were different, 2 of which were repeated stops. Managed to see and do lots of excursions ... Read More
Just returned from an amazing 14 day Caribbean cruise which we selected for the fantastic itinerary. It stopped in a port every day, 12 of which were different, 2 of which were repeated stops. Managed to see and do lots of excursions some both via MSC and independently. Even though we have done Caribbean cruises before this one had several islands we had never visited including Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Vincent plus some old favourites! Did some great rain forest hikes, visited waterfalls and saw some great scenery and wildlife plus beaches, shopping and of course rum tasting. A really busy schedule but so enjoyable! That’s what cruising is all about. We have cruised with MSC a few times (and many other mid range cruise lines) so we knew to expect an amazing ship and the Preziosa is a great example. This cruise was booked as a package through an agent and included a drinks package, hotel, transfers and flight so was great value for money. I have just read a really odd review suggesting that the service was poor but to be perfectly honest I have no idea what ship this person was on but his/her main concern was clearly food and nothing else. I do believe in general that cruise food standards are not as good as they were 10 years ago but people need to remember that it’s just a package holiday at sea and not a 5* dining experience. Some of the luxury lines still maintain consistently high dining room standards but you just need to pay more to get this and some people just prefer to moan than pay This is my 20th cruise (8 different cruise lines) and I can honestly say the crew on this ship were amazing. They were ALL friendly, hardworking, chatty and efficient, we never had to wait to be served food or drinks I will list my pro’s and con’s and people can make their own minds up but I feel I have enough mid range cruise experience now to give a fair review. I have only really found one cruise line totally unacceptable and that was P&O but it was comparatively cheap. My favourite all rounder in this price bracket is probably Royal Caribbean with MSC, Holland America and Carnival close behind. They all have their good and bad points. Anyway, pro’s were Itinerary, ship itself, amazing staff, fantastic buffet food was always available and always good (salad, fruit, carvery, ethnic choice, pizza and ice cream particularly good) excursions were all of a high standard, balcony cabin was spacious and clean, fellow European guests were all friendly and chatty and flights and transfers all went smoothly we booked extra leg room and sat together. Drinks package was included and suited our needs with a wide choice of cocktails and some decent enough wine. You can upgrade if you need premium brands/ more wine choice but we just bought the odd glass of different wine if we wanted a change. We checked in our luggage at Gatwick and didn’t see it until we arrived in the cabin! 450 Brits on the flight seemed a little daunting but we soon realised it was a good selection of nationalities on board with French, German, Dutch, Russian and Caribbean’s etc which it made it more diverse, a great mix. Nothing worse than a ship full of Brits to make you feel like you are still at home. Three pool area's so could always find somewhere to swim and have a drink. Cons, these are more niggles than major complaints but safety drills at Martinique and Guadeloupe caused a little disruption for about an hour each time as guests had to listen to the announcements early evening in the bars. We headed outside on deck for a stroll around until it was over. A few hours out of two weeks wasn’t a major issue though. The dining room service was good but the food lacked originality some nights and I found the buffet preferable for choice and flexibility. You can however just ask for something else if you don’t like your first choice. Formal evenings don’t bother me and are largely phased out on more upmarket cruise lines like Celebrity but some people had an issue with there being a formal evening on the last night of the cruise which can probably be easily rectified by MSC. Most people dressed smartly but casually on formal nights although there were the usual smattering of Brits in their black tie formal attire which is totally unnecessary but whatever floats your boat. Also hated the constant hard sell of photographs which we stopped buying years ago but this is a common thing on cruise ships but it’s annoying. So to summarize a good all round value for money cruise with a great itinerary and a fantastic friendly and hardworking crew. Just wish people wouldn’t expect 5* food at 3* pricing! Remember it’s a package holiday and is priced as such. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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