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476 MSC Cruises Barcelona Cruise Reviews

This was my 10th MSC Cruise and our second time on MSC Seaview. We decided to upgrade to Yacht Club again as this provides many benefits that we enjoy. We are big fans of MSC and l would like to provide a balanced review. With Yacht ... Read More
This was my 10th MSC Cruise and our second time on MSC Seaview. We decided to upgrade to Yacht Club again as this provides many benefits that we enjoy. We are big fans of MSC and l would like to provide a balanced review. With Yacht Club you get priority boarding, so this was a very smooth and quick process. Our balcony room was great and well maintained by Richard and Michelle. We dined at the restaurant and we also went to the speciality restaurants Butcher’s Cut and Ocean Cay. The food and the service was excellent. There was a couple of things that could have been better, and also they used to be better. One of the benefits of MSC Seaview over the Divina class last year was the pads/cushions on the sun loungers and chairs outside. When we asked where they were we were told they had been sent for cleaning, which didn’t seem to be a satisfactory answer. The sun loungers are very uncomfortable to lie on and this was a disappointment to us. Also, in the past there was a section on the menu that was always available, this was good for me as I can be a fussy eater. When we asked they did provide this menu, however, I would have preferred this to be part of the usual menu, so as not to feel different. Other than those couple of details the cleanliness of the ship, the friendliness of the staff are second to none. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I chose this cruise because my best friend wanted to do the European tour and I was in a position to make it happen so why not. I hate when people do a review and it sounds like they are just being petty about every little thing so I will ... Read More
I chose this cruise because my best friend wanted to do the European tour and I was in a position to make it happen so why not. I hate when people do a review and it sounds like they are just being petty about every little thing so I will try not to come off like that even though my experience overall was not as enjoyable as I thought it would be. My passion is cruising and I can honestly say I have never had a really bad cruise because I believe it really is what you make it. However, I felt MSC was very misleading and they tacked on to many extra charges by not even offering coffee in the dining room at dinner unless you paid for it and we got bottle water only because of our silver status. They offered paid for shuttle service from the ports to the city center of each of the ports but there was considerable walking from where the buses left you off to where most of the things to do actually where except for Mallorca and on at least one of the programs they suggested you get he shuttle because it was a 20 minute bus ride to the city center when in fact it was only a 10 minute ride. The food was the worse menu I have ever had and could only chalk this up to maybe it is how the Europeans prefer their food. On captain's night there was no fancy meal and definitely no lobster. I felt the entertainment was exclusive to the latin guest only so I felt really left out as a US passenger of non-latin descent. Getting on and off the ship was really a great experience even considering it was a looped cruise (I believe that is how they termed it) in Genoa and Marseille we had people getting off and people getting on but other than the buffet, this was not an inconvenience as we used different ways of getting on and off the ship so that no one was impacted. Dinner time was 6:30 or 9:30 unless you were Aura status but the Maitre D was so nice and accommodate us by giving us an 8:00 seating each night. I could only find bacon if I set my alarm for 7 and made it to the dining room (yes bacon is important to me so I made the sacrifice - lol), This was my first MSC experience and I will try MSC again but from the US side so that I can get an honest opinion. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Whilst the ship was very clean and nice cabins, other aspects destroyed our experience. The restaurant was appalling on all visits over the 11 days. As eating is a big part of cruising, it ruined our cruise. The restaurant management were ... Read More
Whilst the ship was very clean and nice cabins, other aspects destroyed our experience. The restaurant was appalling on all visits over the 11 days. As eating is a big part of cruising, it ruined our cruise. The restaurant management were unhelpful and we walked out 3 times as totally disappointed. Never again will I board a MSC cruise ship. The music noise on the open decks were too much so could not relax. The bars were always busy so difficult to find any seating at some times. The public interior areas were kept very clean.Toilets sometimes blocked. The "selling" was OTT with shop discount notifications over the PA, bingo ticket sellers going around the many decks. The disembarkation procedure a bit chaotic. As regular cruisers on many other lines, this was our worst experience. We did not go to any shows so cannot comment but other cruisers spoke positively of the shows. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on board from Rome to La Spezia (got off early to meet up with friends and family in Tuscany). The good: - Check in was quick and painless - The cabin (0913) was fantastic, we had a 'restricted view' balcony but ... Read More
We were on board from Rome to La Spezia (got off early to meet up with friends and family in Tuscany). The good: - Check in was quick and painless - The cabin (0913) was fantastic, we had a 'restricted view' balcony but honestly didn't spend much, if any, time on the balcony - Entertainment was great - the theatre shows were just the right amount of time - The €10 drinks package was great - the only thing that wasn't included was the high end champagnes/spirits - Despite being a massive ship, we never felt overly crowded, nor did we ever have a problem finding seats or getting service They could work on: - The seated restaurant. We used it twice, and the buffet every other night. The service was slow, the meals not very interesting, and they never had the wine we wanted - On the €10 drinks package, on more than one occasion a bartender would say they had run out of the €9 drinks, and then try and sell us the €12 option, not covered in our package. Each and every time, we pointed out the bottle of wine or beer we were after - so this was very deceptive and needs to be addressed. - Compulsory charges for transfers off/onto the boat at ports. I reckon this should be included in the cost. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Absolutely fantastic and stunning ship. Embarkation was very efficient, no queuing. Got on board early and had a few drinks at the bar. The ship is Spotless throughout. Our cabin was lovely and cleaned twice a day by the lovely Rai. Great ... Read More
Absolutely fantastic and stunning ship. Embarkation was very efficient, no queuing. Got on board early and had a few drinks at the bar. The ship is Spotless throughout. Our cabin was lovely and cleaned twice a day by the lovely Rai. Great entertainment every day, the entertainment guys really do work hard. The food in the Posidena restaurant was lovely each night and you could have extra servings. The waiters Ruben and Eduardo kept the wine flowing. The breakfast and lunches at Marketplace were fantastic. So much choice and everything you needed. We didn't get off at many ports as we wanted to do this around the ship. We went to the gym which is well equipped..we used the hot tubs and the sun lounger around the pool. It was fantastic. The staff in the Masters of the Sea are great fun (Eduardo, Claudia, Trushant, Candy and Frank) and no shortage of drinks. We visited the casino a couple of nights and won, which was a bonus. We had a lovely massage in the Spa...a little bit pricey but lovely and enjoyable. Would definitely book with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first cruise and having read lots of reviews before travelling, I have to say we were more than a little worried. Luckily, with a few exceptions we were had a really nice time and largely enjoyed our time on Seaview. We were ... Read More
This was our first cruise and having read lots of reviews before travelling, I have to say we were more than a little worried. Luckily, with a few exceptions we were had a really nice time and largely enjoyed our time on Seaview. We were warned by friends and family who had cruised before, that we would have to be patient when getting on and off the ship but we found the process smooth and stress free, even on the day we docked at Cannes where we had to use tenders to get to shore. The best and easiest way for us to review this cruise is to bullet point the good and not so good points. GOOD: 1) The food in our opinion was very good. If anybody could not find something to eat which suited, I would be extremely surprised. Whatever time we ate in both the restaurant and buffet, the food was fresh and plentiful. 2) The staff were pleasant, helpful and friendly and we had no problems despite occasionally having drink orders misinterpreted because of the language differences. This was mostly amusing rather than annoying. One exception was a member of staff who we heard being extremely rude to a fellow passenger. We tackled her on this and she (eventually and reluctantly) apologised. 3) The ship - WOW. Fabulous. 4) The cabin (indoor), we felt was plenty roomy enough. It was very clean and attended by housekeeping more than once a day. 5) We felt the entertainment was very good. The shows were approx. 35-40 mins long which we felt was pitched just right and they were repeated 3 times each night. Plenty of different types of live music in the various bars. 6) We had booked 2 excursions. One was cancelled due to lack of interest but the one we did which was Cannes and St Raphael was very enjoyable. BAD: 1) The most off putting thing for us was we just couldn't get away from smokers. People even smoking around the pools which they shouldn't have been but weren't told by staff to use the correct areas. Passengers were even allowed to smoke inside the casino which being close to the atrium permeated to the bars and shops around the area. We felt this contravened the safety briefing which told people not to throw cigarette butts over the side incase of fire, yet they could smoke inside?? 2) Everywhere we went outside there were overflowing ashtrays and unclean tables. I think the staff tried very hard to keep on top of things but maybe there weren't enough of them. 3) If you want to use the zip wire, 5D cinema, F1 simulator etc, be aware you will be paying extra for them which we thought was a bit of a cheek. 4) Gratuities. We had 70 euros each added to our room bill as a service charge even though gratuities were included in our cruise fare. It was removed when we spoke to Customer Services but again a faff, having to queue up to speak to someone when we could have been relaxing by the pool. 5) Finally. We often found that bars / lounges were closed off for private events which was frustrating. Would we do another cruise? Probably not but we did have a nice time on the whole. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream ... Read More
MSC Seaview 31st August - 7th September 2019, return trip from Barcelona with stops at Cannes, Genoa, La Spezia, Rome, Ajaccio and Palma This was our 23rd cruise, having cruised, as a couple and as a family, with most of the mainstream cruise lines. Our trip with Seaview was our 3rd MSC cruise experience having sailed both Magnifica and Splendida previously. As before, the decision to choose MSC was driven mainly by the itinerary and the perceived value. Our experience of MSC in the past had been mixed at best, however, the draw of a port intensive cruise along the French and Italian rivieras was sufficient to overcome any concerns we may have had. Sailing MSC from a Med port is a different experience to other lines. The ship acts more like a bus, where passengers from across Europe and beyond can start and end their cruise at any of the main ports. For us, provided you arrive early in the day, embarkation was relatively straightforward (we were on within 30 mins). This is possible as only a proportion of the passenger complement is embarking/ disembarking at any given port. Once on Seaview, our initial impressions were that this ship is large, very large and slightly disorientating. You are sharing your cruise holiday with thousands of fellow guests speaking multiple languages from across Europe and Latin America. The ship is ‘busy’ - this is not a ship to choose for peace and tranquility! The design theme of the ship is ‘modern’ - plenty of glass, steel, mirrors, chrome and vinyl in a muted pallette of purples, greys and greens. Whilst we would not describe the ship as dirty, it was the least ‘kept’ ship we have ever been on. This could be to do with the thousands of people in constant movement on the ship, but one of the biggest differences we noticed is the total lack of staffing. We rarely saw anyone cleaning the public areas, and it was common-place to see unvacuumed carpets or handprints across mirrored surfaces. Hygiene did not seem to be enforced on the ship with no one being asked to wash or sanitise their hands before entering the restaurants. Whilst embarkation was straight forward and quick, the rest of our ‘cruise prep’ was nothing short of a mess. We had pre-purchased our drinks package and had paid extra for the ‘Fantastica’ experience to ensure we had our choice of dining time as we enjoy eating later in the evening. This was all confirmed with MSC by our TA and our tickets issued by MSC confirmed the same. Once on board we celebrated the start of our cruise with a sail-away cocktail only to be told by the barman that no drinks package was loaded to our account - at this point we noticed we had been allocated the first sitting (6.15pm) for dinner. A trip to Guest Relations was required. We felt sorry for the staff in the end. There are just too few of them employed by MSC. This means they are overworked and tired and begin to see guests as a problem. We queued for 20 mins to see the agent at Guest Relations. He could not help as his computer just said ‘no’ to finding our drinks package. His colleague was better equipped to help but never once looked us in the eye and continued to tap furiously at the computer trying to find our drinks package. After calling over a third colleague and then reissuing our whole party’s cruise cards we were all set to go. This episode had taken 1 hour. We mentioned the dining time error and were dismissed with the wave of the hand and told to report to the restaurant to request the change. We duly reported to the head waiter at the restaurant and after a further queue we were summoned forward to plead our request to change our dining time. Our request was met with a snort and we were asked if we knew how many children were on board (1500 apparently). We were informed that children like to eat late so we would have to eat early - no ifs or buts. We protested that we had paid the extra to eat at a time of our choosing. His response was, with a wry smile, to read the small print (there is no guarantee that MSC will honour the time of your choice). We continued to protest - clearly the head waiter had heard all of our arguments before - and only gave us the blank stare look. Eventually we must have hit the correct word pattern for him to take out a notepad and write down our request for a table for 5 at a later time with a promise to see why he could do ‘tomorrow’. Unfortunately this start to the cruise was an all too familiar MSC experience for us. We don’t understand why they make such hard work of such basic elements of their service. Clearly the deficiencies are all too evident to their staff but they seem so indifferent to their employers incompetence. Our inside room was well appointed, the beds comfortable and the IT (interactive tv and USB charging ports) were excellent. Whilst most continental channels were provided, English speaking guests have a diet of three news channels or PPV movies at 7 Euros a go. Our room steward made himself known. He was efficient if somewhat aggressive. MSC only allow you one pool towel that you must return to your cabin. Failure to comply will result in a 20 Euros fee. Our towel was taken by ‘persons unknown’ whilst we made use of a jacuzzi. The cabin steward took some convincing that we had not sequestrated an MSC branded towel. Whilst familiarising ourselves with MSC app we discovered the head waiter had managed to change our table reservation for a later evening slot as originally confirmed by MSC. Hooray! Not that this was communicated directly to us, we just noticed the table number had changed on the MSC app. A call to Guest Relations did indeed confirm the change. Dining with MSC can never be described as a culinary experience. There are three set dining times, with just a 15 minute window for you to enter the restaurant at your set time. With up to a third of the ship eating at any one time, it is a miracle what they do achieve. It was staggering sight to see so many people crowed outside the restaurant waiting for the ‘rope drop’ moment when the hoarding mass is let into the room to feast. We ate in the Silver Dolphin restaurant. A dull grey affair with seating that resembles 1970s office furniture. Our ‘new’ table for five was in fact a table for four with the fifth person stuck on the end. This person being just inches away from the adjoining table; they could easily join in with that party. The waiters did well, but they were clearly overworked covering a wide section of tables. We would arrive around 8.15pm and would be asked to select all courses. We would not receive our first course until well after 9pm. The rest of meal being served in quick succession to ensure we were out by 10pm for the next sitting. The food itself is fairly bland and uninspired and was served to us ‘warm’. Most dishes appeared to be a variation of fish and pork. The din in the room was so much it was very difficult for us to conduct a conversation. In a first for us, we ate more frequently in the casual dining option (Deck 16 buffet was a good option) to escape the confines, noise and mediocrity of the main restaurant. It has to be repeated - this ship is large. This wouldn’t normally have fazed us, but this time we travelled with an older family member with limited mobility. We were somewhat reliant to travel by lift when we wished to move between decks. The ships deploys an ‘intelligent’ lift system where you select the floor you wish to travel to prior to entering the designated car. Whilst this may result in a fair distribution of available lift space it can mean lengthy waits in the lobby area. This can become tedious especially at peak times as you can’t just jump in the next available passing lift. Based on our previous MSC cruise experience we knew that a drinks package of some description would be required - the only free options are water, tea and coffee in the buffet areas and ‘juice’ at breakfast. To find someone to order your drinks from is a challenge. Again MSC don’t employ sufficient staff. In the buffet a call bell system is deployed where you press a button on your table that buzzes a nearby waiter’s watch to notify him to coma and take your request. That’s the theory but it rarely worked without prompting. We noticed that several bar staff were manning at least three of these watches. Where were the staff? On the outside deck we never saw a bar service waiter. One of our party needed to make a trip to a bar to get the order. On one occasion the bar man asked a colleague to help take out our drinks to where we were sitting - this was met with a ‘do I have to’ protest. To sum up, we were aware of MSC’s deficiencies before we booked and they did nothing to change our view. The ports of call were excellent and were the focus of the holiday, and therefore we enjoyed our time. MSC seriously understaff their ships and whilst there were a couple of exceptions most staff appeared disinterested in the customer experience. The food remains average. The consequence of a large ship is lots of people, noise and queues at peak times. For us, this will be the last MSC cruise. We will focus on the quality of the experience and steer clear of the larger mega-ships. If MSC spent as much money on their staffing and food offering as they have on their latest ships the overall product would stand better scrutiny. We would rate our overall experience as 3 out of 5. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I am currently on this cruise with my husband, taking a break from the heat in Corsica. I wanted to write a review because I'd seen negative reviews online and I am just baffled as to how people would have any negative comments about ... Read More
I am currently on this cruise with my husband, taking a break from the heat in Corsica. I wanted to write a review because I'd seen negative reviews online and I am just baffled as to how people would have any negative comments about this ship.. it is absolutely stunning to look at, the most beautiful design in all bars and public spaces, plenty of seating areas everywhere, it's spotlessly clean and while we have only eaten in the Marketplace (buffet), and will continue to do so rather than use the dining room, the food is really good. We have been on 2 Royal Caribbean cruises before so were a bit wary about trying MSC after hearing that they weren't quite up to the same standards but we both decided on day 1 of this cruise that we would never bother with RC again. We are Irish so we are European but obviously we have a very different culture from continental Europeans, and essentially, I believe lot of reviewers are finding fault with the different food and the guests (I've read a lot of complaints about people not queuing for food) yes, there is a bit of shuffling around at the buffet and yes, the food is slightly more Italian, with pizza and pasta always available but a) they are really tasty dishes that are eaten all around the world, and b) a buffet is always going to be a bit chaotic so if that's the height of your problems, consider yourself a lucky person!! Our room was ready fairly early and our luggage was there before we even got there, so it was great to shower and unpack so soon. Our room has a shower-over-bath, it's not a great shower: low water pressure and the shower head is fairly low on the wall, so anyone talk might find it very difficult to use! There are a good few families on this cruise, kids tend to be still in the main areas quite late at night but I don't find it a problem. The lifts, as many others have complained about, are a bit annoying, according to my husband who uses them more than I do, but there are lifts close to our room that operate as standard, rather than the unusual ones throughout the ship. Again, I feel that for people to be complaining about such things is just being overly picky. Embarking could have gone a bit smoother, the staff in charge of crowd control didn't do a good job and while people were given a card with a number on it, it wasn't clear that they were supposed to sit and wait for the number to be called, so some people waited longer than others to embark, which isn't a big deal, but obviously many people are tired from travelling to the port so it can be frustrating. Not a major problem though. The overall experience of this ship is phenomenal in our opinion.. lots of really beautiful bars, lots of good food, friendly staff and magnificent surroundings. Surely that's what holidays are all about! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua ... Read More
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua Park was the key deciding factor and not the itinerary). Just to start - the Bellissima is a beautiful and elegant ship, yes we were very impressed by the Swarovski crystal staircase. It is also loud, lively and family friendly. So if you don't appreciate sharing your holiday with lots of children of all ages then this probably isn't the ship for you - particularly during the school holidays. There are plenty of activities on board. The children's clubs seemed to be very good although we did not use them.The sportsplex although almost always busy again was good. We all particularly enjoyed the F1 simulator, bowling, ice hockey and interactive cinema here. The fun pass came in very handy and I would highly recommend purchasing this in advance as it offered excellent value for money compared to on board prices. The swimming pools were lovely, although crowded. As with many holidays, you still have the unfortunate experience of people hogging sun beds with their towels but never really appearing in person! There is absolutely no need for this and this was probably the most irritating thing about the whole cruise. The Aqua Park was very nice but not nearly big enough to entertain my older thrill-seeking teenagers. It is, however, excellent for slightly younger children. The Himalayan walk was fun. The Cirque du Soleil shows were excellent. We saw one as a dinner show and the other as a cocktail show. I would highly recommend the dinner show. The shopping was good but expensive, primarily due to the poor exchange rate for the pound against the Euro. However, there are promotions on everyday with significant discounts. We bought the unlimited internet package in advance. This seemed very expensive at the time but proved essential for my teenagers using social media and keeping in touch with friends. They complained it was a slow internet connection - however it is satellite wifi and so not as fast as home wifi. We did one MSC organised excursion to Gozo by powerboat followed by a jeep safari around the island and time on the beach. The excursion was well organised. It seemed expensive at 115 Euro each, but we all really enjoyed the day so it was worth the cost. The service was excellent from all the staff we met. I appreciate this is contrary to some reviews I read prior to booking but we found that all passenger facing staff spoke very good English and,as a minimum, they were all polite and professional. Our cabin attendant, Jean, was particularly friendly and helpful and went out of his way to make our stay special. The restaurant service was almost always very rapid and always courteous and polite. In the seated restaurant the staff would try to offer something else if you did not like what was offered on that evening's menu. The buffet restaurant had a huge variety of dishes to suit all tastes. We had the premium drinks package included which was very good for us and again I would definitely have this again. The whole ship was spotlessly clean and you could see staff at all times of day cleaning public areas. There was a real focus on hand hygiene at meal times with excellent facilities for hand washing outside the main buffet restaurant - a welcome sight! We did use the Zoe voice activated information system as a bit of a novelty, however the MSC for me app was much more useful. Embarkation and disembarkation were busy but well organised and there were minimal waiting times. Overall, we all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely travel with MSC again. I am confused by some of the negative reviews I have read but I would highly recommend both the company and the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite ... Read More
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately out of the 7 days, we could not use the Jacuzzi on 3 days. 1. Cleaning balcony day. You are adviced to close balcony doors and curtains from a day before. They then open all balconies to form one long corridor. Our balcony was accessed but not cleaned at all. 2. for some odd reason we found our jacuzzi empty on the last evening (possibly for cleaning before the next guests). 3, On our second day, without being advised, the upper decks were being power washed resulting in almost 2 hours of constant water raining on our balcony. Also the water got very smelly from day 3. We informed cabin Stewart who came, saw the clean filter warning and just emptied part of it and refilled. Left same filter and we were left with the clean filter warning for the rest of the Cruise (though the smell was much less). We had a 14 year old with us and we only received a teen programme on the last full day of the Cruise (day at sea). We had no idea what was happening as the on-board daily programme only had one daily entry for teens so we thought it was weak like the rest of the daily programme. Probably the daily onboarding/Disembarkation/Security meetings have a toll on the crew who are unable to plan/organise other activities. Yes MSC on-boards and disembarks passengers daily so every day from 16:00 you start hearing very loud constant reminders in 7 languages asking passengers who just embarked to attend the compulsory security info meeting at 16:30. This lasts around 45 minutes. I had a massage booked at 16:30 and the experience was ruined with 30 mins of loud notices and security info with a speaker directly above my head in the small massage room. The masseuse offered me to change the time but the other available slots were non convenient to me. Casino is nice with some very good machines and bar service but I could not stay more than 15 minutes with all the smoking going on everywhere. There were some no smoking signs but no enforcement at all. Unlike NCL (as an example) there are no light snacks here so if you are up to a light night snack check the time as the buffet place closes at 10 and reopens for 2 hours midnight to 2am with some light snacks and pizza. WIFI was weak. None at all from our bedroom. The 'MSC for me' app is great but requires the free ship WIFI connection which only allows you access to the app unless you pay extra for actual internet data. Zoe, the cabin assistant to the likes of Google Home and Alexa is still a waste of desk space. It answers very few questions and mainly asks you to consult your daily programme, TV channels and the MSC for Me app. Plus if you are used to other voice home assistants, please be patient with this one as it is very slow to get back with an answer. However it has great potential and I can see this as a trend setter for other lines and even hotels. For food we mainly used the Market Place Buffet for the reasons below and food was average except for the day at sea were it was evidently better with more choice and the only time that the buffet had decent deserts of a decent size. We only used the Poseidon for breakfast once. Miserable portions and choice and we got 1 of 3 orders wrong. Also asked for fresh orange juice and the reply was "not included" in our "all inclusive" drink package which should include all drinks upto EUR 6. How expensive could a fresh orange juice be? We used our assigned Dinner restaurant twice (Light House). Again miserable portions. They got the food we ordered but managed to deliver all to the wrong person (just 3 of us). Mistakes were a constant. At least it was funny and we were betting on the next mistake :). Also too many waiters with different responsibilities. One for bread, one for water, one for wine, another for other drinks and one for food. So you ask the water waiter for a soft drink and says "my colleague" will be with you shortly but never comes :). Also Waiters get confused and you get asked your cabin room number over and over. Its a pity as these restaurants are very well staffed (probably too many) whilst the buffet (which gets overcrowded as many prefer it to the restaurants) is very much understaffed and to get a drink you have to wait too long. I usually preferred to go myself to the bar, but just 2 barman (at times 1) dealing with all the clients and the drinks waiters is too much to handle. Under staffing in bars is also very evident and at times it feels like this is on purpose to minimise consumption as many a times one gives up waiting. We loved the evening shows. Great life music, amazing dancers and singers. Great detail to costumes and scenography. There was a shadows performer on one night who is pretty good but so much full of himself :). His show starts with a 2 minute video of his performances around the world to show us long standing ovations, like trying to convince you before the show that he is good :). The Cirque du Soleil shows are good but too short and nothing amazing when compared to other Cirque du Soleil shows I've attended elsewhere. I was also very annoyed about the 'Free 24 hour Room Service' which we should have had with the Aurea experience. We soon discovered that the choice is a shame (One menu page of light snacks and another page for pizza) and to add insult to injury the only free aspect is the delivery but food must be paid for. Can someone explain what this means? So food is free at the restaurants and the only service which I would somehow accept to pay for is the delivery which is free for Aurea. Makes no sense. Clearly a sales gimmick in the wording used. So assume the only way to get it free would be to go to the buffet, fill your plates from the free food then ask a waiter to deliver to your room. Would that be free? ridiculous. Also reception people have no clue. The 'MSC for Me' is advertised to offer family members with a position tracking on the ship and a chat facility between people you share your ID with. The reception said that we need a special arm bend which needs to be purchased for the tracking and chat. We asked 3 people and they all had no clue. However we managed to make the chat work throughout the cruise with some trial and error. I told the reception about this at a next visit and they were surprised. Also I went to the reception 3 times to ask if we could have a late (12:00) disembarkation as we had a late flight. Why 3 times? Because it was evident that they were making up their own rules. We had an Aurea Suite so I was given the impression we had some choice in this. I got 3 Different answers from 3 different reception staff: 1. Sorry latest you can stay in room is 8am and latest on ship is 10am. Not any longer 2. You must vacate room at 8am but I will make a note to give you black tags on last day so you can disembark 11:30 (On the last night we got blue tags with disembarkation at 8:30am) 3. Do not take out your luggage on the last night so you bring them down to the "hand luggage" desk in the morning, by latest 8am. Then you can stay on the ship till latest 12:00 but we cannot help you with the luggage and you cannot reenter the room after 8am. We decided to follow the instruction of number 3 as it was the closest to our wishes. The only thing is that help with the luggage would have been appreciated but I guess its fine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had ... Read More
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had an aqua park , rope climb and small arcade. The ship itself is stunning, everything is well designed and the staff keep it well cleaned at all times, we had housekeeping visit our cabin twice a day. The pool is large and a great place to spend the day. The entertainment staff had daily activities such as dance lessons, aerobics and games to keep passengers occupied, often they would have ‘sail away parties’ when leaving ports and had everyone up dancing. All staff are really nice and helpful, never had a problem and service was excellent, with waiters even taking drinks orders from your sun lounger. The food in the buffet was nice and plentiful, the pizza especially! Food in the main restaurant varied each day and was delicious. We booked a show each night after dinner and enjoyed every one, and then afterwards went to the themed parties hosted in the main gallery or the pool. Our cabin was clean and not too cramped, with our premium plus drinks package we even had access to the mini bar. We didn’t book any excursions with MSC, as when we got off at the ports there were plenty of tourist information staff to help us book a cheaper tour. Enjoyed every moment, and have even booked our next cruise in 2020 with the same itinerary on the MSC Grandiosa - we cant wait!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the ... Read More
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the pizza that is made frah infront of you. Restaurant was good tried something different every night. Shows were good we all enjoyed them and not too long which we prefered. Entertainment staff were great from the pool games, sail away parties, evening parties everybody enjoying themselves. The ports of call were good, we did our own thing at each port and got a taxi to Pompei just outside the port. We were a bit un sure after reading some negative reviews but shouldnt of worried we couldnt think of a single negative the kids didnt want to leave the ship and we are going to book msc grandiosa for next year! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are a family of 4 (kids are 7 and 12) and this is our 3rd cruise. The previous 2 were with Royal Caribbean, albeit on smaller ships (Vision and Rhapsody of the Seas), so this is our basis for comparison. Please read the all the ... Read More
We are a family of 4 (kids are 7 and 12) and this is our 3rd cruise. The previous 2 were with Royal Caribbean, albeit on smaller ships (Vision and Rhapsody of the Seas), so this is our basis for comparison. Please read the all the reviews with an open mind as most seem v critical. Everyone has a different perspective, with some things about the cruise better than others, but we found no one thing spoilt the overall experience. We picked the cruise for the ship, wanting to try a new and larger one. Not disappointed as it is stunning in most aspects. Amazing how quiet and smooth in all seas (at least from deck 10). We thought the buffets were good, better than previous RC ones. No buffets are ever a la carte standard, but good choice each night. Main dining room was poor - rushed, fairly cramped, similar standard to the buffet so we only did it once. Entertainment - shows were very professional, but are generally variations of the same act each night (heavy Greatest Showman influence). Kids clubs- not necessarily a criticism, but my 7 year old seemed less keen on msc than RC. The gps wristband was great for my 12 year old, gave her a lot of freedom and we always knew where she was. This was 15 euros for the week. Drinks - we ŵent for the premium package (one up from easy). About £120 extra for us all, roughly £700 in total -if u r doing a package it’s worth the upgrade as the difference in choice of drinks is huge. Very limited on the easy package. Plenty of drinks waiters around - miles quicker than trying to get served at the bar, which can be frustrating. Top bar overlooking the pool is a great spot for sailaways. Easy to get served and u have a great view of everything. We got off at each port but didn’t do any excursions as we have learnt from experience they are rarely value for money through the cruise operator. Most ports (other than Pisa/Florence and Rome) have shuttle buses or are easily walkable. Cannes is the nicest stop on this itinerary. Service charge/gratuities. Keep an eye on this to avoid double charging. The uk website says that they are already included in the cruise fare and mandatory, but ours were being added on on top of what we already paid. I queried this with customer services and quoted the website - they said this additional amount was not mandatory and could be removed. Overall we had a good experience with MSC. We concluded that Royal Caribbean scores better in most aspects, and if you aren't price-conscious go for that. However, when you look at the difference in price on similar itineraries, MSC arguably offers better value for money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I booked this cruise to be part of the Weight Watcher (WW) Mediterranean Cruise in July. My friend had never been to Europe so we thought this would be a great experience to see several different ports in Spain, France, and Italy and get ... Read More
I booked this cruise to be part of the Weight Watcher (WW) Mediterranean Cruise in July. My friend had never been to Europe so we thought this would be a great experience to see several different ports in Spain, France, and Italy and get to meet WW members from around the world. I have been on several different cruise lines over the past 6 years including: Norwegian, Holland America, and Oceania and the MSC cruise was a huge step down in the areas of Dining and Service. The ship is brand new, launched in 2018, and it's beautiful. It has 20 decks and holds up to 5,200 passengers. It's a floating apartment building, complete with their own app that was used to book theater showings, maps of the different decks, and a daily schedule for events. There were abundant activities for families like 3 pools, a water park, and even a zip line on top. There are several restaurants and a buffet. The theater holds almost a thousand guests per performance and there are three 30-35 minute performances each night. The dining experience was our greatest disappointment. The food that WW had specially prepared for us, was bland and boring. We decided to eat at the ship buffet and it was basic cafeteria food, with a heavy emphasis on pork and fish. The food was fresh, but not exciting at all. I was amazed at how many little extras were not included: such as ice cream and iced tea. The shows were the best part of the cruise and we went to every one of them. Nice scenery, interesting themes, colorful costumes, great singers and acrobatic acts. No stand up comedy, thank goodness. Entertainment in the lounges was fine too. Service was poor. On-boarding was confused at best. We were in a special group and they didn't really seem to know about it when we arrived. We got through the process and our luggage was delivered in a timely fashion. We NEVER met our steward. We never received ice, although we had an ice bucket, and the turn down-service didn't include the little chocolates and fun towel animals found on every other cruise line. Information desk staff were rather curt with people and seemed stressed most of the time. Long lines were found at the different service areas, such as Excursions and Front Desk Assistance. You were pretty much on your own to figure things out on the ship. If you asked a question, you were often referred to their app. Disembarkation was a terrible mess, the ship was late docking and everyone was asked to leave their rooms anyway and we were kept in lounges waiting to leave for almost two hours. We stood in line for almost an hour after we docked before we could leave the ship. By that time people were upset and getting impatient with very little staff helping to ease the situation. We booked tours for almost all of them through the ship. One of our tours was cancelled and no one let us know until the evening before. I happened to see were weren't booked on their app and went to inquire about it. I was told there wasn't enough interest so it was cancelled and thankfully found a different tour that still had space. Ports were as expected. They were ok to good. The half day tours were hurried with no time for shopping or really getting off the bus, except to take a few hasty photos. The day excursions to Florence and Rome were better. We had knowledgeable tour guides and were able to see as much as possible given the time constraints. The prices were average compared to other ships. I usually book my own excursions through Viator and you get more value for your money. I love to cruise, but I would not book with MSC again. They have a lovely ship, but the Service was not good and the Dining experience was just average. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise ... Read More
We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise communication via email from MSC. The MSC app only worked half the time. We all booked a balcony stateroom Aurea Class with Premium Plus drink package. MSC changed the drink package in October, however since we paid the upgrade prior to this date we were to be grandfathered into the maximum drink package available. Which we were not. MSC miscommunicated this info to our travel agent 6 times. We found this out during our first dining experience. Not a great start. Our room was 13119, and although the closet space is very limited, the balcony was huge. Zoe never worked for any of us. There was a smell from the shower drain that at times was unbearable. Our stateroom attendant was amazing however the smell remained. Unacceptable for a new ship. There is no account access on the TV, so if you need to confirm on board charges you must stand in line with everyone else at Guest Services, waste of time. The mini bar was convenient and well stocked daily. The walls seemed very thin, I could hear guest next to us often as well as the room above us. Unfortunately I had to complain, it was 3 am. We were never advised that the ship only holds 250EU on your account for on board expenses. This may be due to the card being in Canadian funds, but no explanation was ever given. This amount was spent quickly at the spa, so when it came time to buy a 7.00 gelato we were refused. Off to Guest Services once again to swipe our card. Food in the dining room was a 2 at best. We witnessed no dress code being enforced even on Gala Nights. We saw passengers with jean shorts, t shirts and ball caps allowed in the Lighthouse dining room. Our table attendants were fantastic, very attentive however the food came out at different times. Not the dining experience you would expect when you read the marketing statements on the MSC web page. We had one specialty dinner at the steakhouse and all but one entrée was perfect. Really enjoyed the food and service. We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room, and service was hit or miss. Food was average. The Market Place Buffett, sub par with a small healthy food selection for such a large space. The Spa is beautiful and worth every penny. The staff were incredible and treatments are priced comparable to most spas at sea. The main pool...well if you like your deck chair to be packed in like sardines, a drink at the only pool bar next to the smoking section, enjoy very loud music and pool games, screaming kids in the pool as well as kids running on deck with no adult supervision, and not being allowed to sit on the pool deck with a drink in your hand and feet in the water then this is the cruise for you. Again reading the description of the pool deck for the Bellissima this is not what we expected. The second pool was the same and the aft pool was so small that again the kids took over, while the parents reserved empty pool chairs. Deck 19 reserved for Aurea Class does not have a pool, only a hot tub , no bar, but deck chair bar service. Great views but anyone can buy a day pass. The main pool is located two decks below. The gym is very small for the amount of passengers on board. We enjoyed the Champagne bar at night, and the staff were excellent. However they only serve Champagne so if you want a mixed cocktail you need to go to an other bar. We all enjoyed the F1 race car experience, 10.00eu p/p per ride well worth it. We did two excursions booked direct with MSC. Portofino and Capri. Both excellent once you get there. However we were sent back to Naples on a local ferry from Capri which was standing room only. Locals and tourists had suitcases that took up seats. I believe when you book a tour with the ship then the transfer back to port should be on a boat for that tour only. Yes the ship is beautiful but for the 5000.00usd price tag for 7 days, it did not meet our expectations based on the information provided on the MSC web. MSC does a great job marketing this ship with no execution. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because the ship was brand new with an amazing itinerary. We went to great ports, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Malta. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Here are some of the positives ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship was brand new with an amazing itinerary. We went to great ports, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Malta. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Here are some of the positives and negatives: Positive Nice clean new boat Buffet food very good quality Excellent pizza Great ports to visit Guest services - spoke English Many handwashing stations around buffet area NEGATIVE REVIEWS: No self service laundry - plan on handwashing or bring plenty of clothes Pool closes 8pm - no time to enjoy the pool after a day in port Complimentary restaurants - seafood and veal and lamb food was terrible Food is not labeled for seafood/nut allergies. I missed seeing Naples due to seafood allergy because MSC does not label their foods. Buffet is like a stampede - rude people; Buffet area not big enough for amount of passengers No communication or announcements about activities and such They keep you guessing about time off and on the boat Not enough public bathrooms Beds are hard as a rock No adult pool/hot tubs Zoe did not work at all They took my plates and cups while I’m eating Safety briefing was not an English Disembarkation meeting Not in English Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the ... Read More
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the difficulty getting near the pool at the end of the afternoon is typical, I could always find a chair somewhere, even if I had to do a lot of searching. Seven hot tubs I believe, and could usually find space in one - I wish they left at least one open later for a little tubbing under the stars. All the waterworks close quite early unfortunately. My cabin was typically sized, but you could tell a lot of thought went into the design with some nice modern amenities, like a USB charge port in the bed lamp, both 110 and 220 plugs so an adapter is not needed, lots of under bed space to hide those suitcases, and a reasonable large (for a cabin) shower. NIce to include a foot bar to assist in the tiny space. Water temp needed regular adjusting depending on time of shower, but I could always get to hot water - unlike some ships during prime time. Embark and disembark easy and uncrowded. Customer service regularly reachable. Very nice that all the bars have espresso machines, instead of a single cafe as some ships. Ya you gotta pay but I like that was included in my drink package - being a caffine-o-holic. I found the service exceptional everywhere, especially the bars, sometimes the cocktail servers are a little grumpy - its a thankless job - but a smile on my part would usually warm em up. I have always liked the free soft serve machine in the buffet on other ships, so paying for ice cream on this shp - spendy I might add - is a no no as far as I'm concerned. i rarely do the buffet, but few times was adequate and never too crowded. Like most ships, getting a table a prime time takes a little work. For a European ship, I would have expected decent brewed coffee, theirs sucked badly. I stuck to espresso. I liked going to the dining room for breakfast, heavily staffed and few people do it - so you get great service. Gotta put up with that coffee, but tons of croissants and baked goods, eggs always cooked correctly, and good juices. A very nice start to the day but you got to get up. So staying up late is nice on this ship, they have the typical and well done pool parties, then a DJ on the back deck till the very wee hours - 3am+ not atypical. Mixed crowd, with younger as it gets later of course but lots of dancing. You learn on this ship not to try to order at the bar, but find a server and place your order with them - much easier and faster then trying to pin down a busy bartender. Great selection of specalty restaurants - always room because they charge a substantial premium to go. Other lines seem to charge a bit more for restaurants (well you did already pay for dinner in the dining room), but these guys charge pretty much full price. Loved the steakhouse and french restaurant, didn't do others. If you want to get away from the masses and feel special come here, or feel like the old cruise days, come here during formal night. I suggest you find out when they do the specialty restaurant tasting night - where you go to each one and taste a bite of their wares. It was not heavily attended, and was fun and tasty. I also did the wine tasting with the sommelier David Campaniello and albeit more expensive than others I have done on other ships (80E) we had 7 great wines, a great education and good pairing appetizers (blueberries, strawberries, ham, foie grois). I learned a lot about great Italian wines, and regions, food pairing and we all had a great time (3 amerians, 5 belgians). That evening I was dining in the Steakhouse, and I saw the Sommelier and I asked if he chose the by the glass wines, because for a red meat location, the wines by the glass were embarrasing. He then made the effort to go the French restaurant where we did the tasting and bring me back a leftover glass of wine from the tasting to have with my steak, now that is exceptional service! and I will tell the story 100 times (I own 3 bars :) I will definitely do MSC again, they have two big new ships starting in 2020, and I will do one if not both depending on where they go. I fell in love with Malta -also first time. I was pleasantly surprised by these guys and the service and the ship - 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for ... Read More
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for a long time, the processes need some time to be ironed out. Some of the crewmembers, especially in service, seem to be new. This translates into reduced service. We´ve been to the Preziosa a few years ago and it was completely different to can only relate it that the crew needs some time to get into the routine. The ship is HUGE! It takes some time to navigate it and but then works very well. I would advise to try it at least once to see if this is something you enjoy. For our tastes it was too big and in the future we´d be looking into the Fantastica Class again. Th shows that we visited were of high quality standards, we really liked them. However, we were underwhelmed by the Cirque du Soleil show. The were only 3 "real cirque" acts and the cocktail was watery and full of sugar. We had the Premium Drinks Package and total got our worth. Would do it anytime again. However, it is sad that the ice cream at the pool is not included in the Premium Package for adults, however it is included in the one for kids. Luckily we had kids with us so could use their cards. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from ... Read More
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from the airport to port in Barcelona. Checking in was fairly quick and we were on the ship at 1pm. Rooms were not ready until 2.30pm to we explored and had some drinks at the bar and some lunch in the buffet, which was quite crowded. We liked the waiter call button on the tables for drinks! We had balcony cabins on the 9th deck, mid ship and near to the lifts. The cabin was fab, plenty of room, great bed and kept very clean by the steward. Zoe still does not work! We were allocated a table in the restaurant on 6th Deck and our waiter was Myra. She was happy and smiling and chatty and could not do enough for us. The food was amazing – how people can complain I don’t know. Wine glasses kept full all the time – it did help perhaps that we tipped her 10 euros each night…..We found the buffet to be bedlam all the time with especially the Italians having no concept of queueing, so chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the restaurant on deck 5. This was a much more civilised affair as you are waited on, recommended! We are early risers so had no problem finding sun loungers. We did have the big padded ones on a couple of occasions but be aware, the ones at the back of the ship get covered in soot from the funnels and it gets all over you too! The day at sea was very very crowded as you would expect, but we picked our spot early and we were fine. As we booked last year, we had the drinks package and paid £168 each. Seems a lot but we more than had our monies worth! The package included branded spirits, Smirnof and Absolute vodka and Baileys but the Easy package as it now is, doesn’t. If you like a drink it is well worth it as they add 15% to each drink. We did the cirque de soleil, the cocktail and show package at 15 euros. The show was fab but the cocktail not so. You have to add 15% to this so we paid 17.50 euros per person! We also saw a theatre show which the girls enjoyed, the boys not so much. The interactive boards throughout the ship make it easy to book any shows. It was my birthday whilst we were there, so we booked the Tapas restaurant at an extra charge. Don’t bother, the food wasn’t all that but the service was good and I got a free bottle of fizz and a birthday cake and the waiters all sung to me. We tried most of the bars. The English pub serves a selection of English draught beers too. These were included on our drinks package and better than the Heiniken the boys said. The highlight of our trip was meeting the TV personality and sports pundit Chris Kamara, he was so personable and the boys loved the banter with him. A lot of the passengers had no clue who he was! We left the ship at all the ports but did our own thing, mostly HOHO buses. Marsaiile, follow the green line to the free shuttle but into town. We couldn’t find the petit train to get on but saw it passing by. We got a taxi back at 15 euros as bus queue too long. Genoa – 12 euros city tour bus outside the terminal. We then walked around the waterfront. Saw a huge rat here calmly eating in the middle of the path, not scared of humans at all! Naples – we got the HOHO bus. Don’t bother with the red route, it is far too congested in the town and we hated it. Traffic terrible. Noisy dirty place, didn’t like it. Do the Blue coastal route instead. Messina – HOHO bus again but this is not open top, so disappointing but the route was coastal and scenic . Valetta – turn right out of the port and make for the Barakka lift – 1 euro for return trip – well worth it as it is so steep. We wandered round and enjoyed the views. Barcelona – disembarkation very slick. we chose to stay over and had a hotel just 10 minutes from La Ramblas. Again got the HOHO bus – we enjoyed this one the most – 30 euros for day pass. We had the gratuities removed from our bills and tipped as we went along. Guest services do not bat an eye lid at this. Just one thing, the steward helped herself to juice in our mini bar. we would not have known only she left the empty. we confronted her and she replaced it.....otherwise we would of had a charge - its the principal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Booked a weeks cruise on the MSC Seaview June 1st -8th around the Mediterranean. We had travelled on MSC as a family of two adults and two children (10, 7) ten years ago and adored it. This time, it was myself and my now 20 year old ... Read More
Booked a weeks cruise on the MSC Seaview June 1st -8th around the Mediterranean. We had travelled on MSC as a family of two adults and two children (10, 7) ten years ago and adored it. This time, it was myself and my now 20 year old daughter as a girls treat. Embarkation - Arrived at the Barcelona cruise terminal late morning, embarkation was extremely quick, efficient and we were on board within around twenty minutes of arrival. We had to run the gauntlet of staff trying hard to sell speciality dining and drinks packages on the way in, did not like this, but not sure if this is the same on every cruise. Cabins were not available until 2:30, but a (very) welcome buffet was ready at 12 noon. We did have an all inclusive drinks package, and made use of this while waiting for the cabin, and also spent some time exploring the ship. Ship- Whatever critics may say about MSC, they all agree that the ships are stunning, and the Seaview is no exception. The crystal staircases are a constant photo opportunity, the huge atrium with multiple stages, the light, seating areas, cafes, pools it is all designed beautifully. Not once did we fail to find a seat where we wanted, even beside the pools. Other than a few very rare occasions, we would never have known just how many thousands of people were on the ship because it rarely felt crowded. Cabin - 13126 mid ship balcony cabin on Ionian Sea deck. My daughter is a bit superstitious but 13 is not considered unlucky in Italy, it is the number 17, so there is no deck 17. The cabin was lovely. Lots of storage, great lighting, USB sockets, and a proper shower cubicle. It felt very spacious for two of us, and had a massive sofa. Dining - This is the only issue we had, and unfortunately it is a big deal. As we often holiday in Italy and love the time spent enjoying lovely food, it was a major disappointment to be rushed through dinner in around 90 minutes as there are now 3 settings as opposed to the previous 2. Its a 2 hour window but by the time you are seated and served then they start clearing up for the next sitting, that cuts back the two hours considerably. Dinner also used to be Italian style with lots of smaller courses, this is now 3 courses of very mediocre food. I never have dessert as am always full by then, but in the MDR I was having pudding and then heading up to the midnight buffet as was always hungry after dinner. We spent some nights at the buffet restaurants which were good, but not brilliant and very repetitive, but at least we never left hungry and could take as long as we liked. Breakfast was excellent however, with a wide choice of food and the coffee was really good. We used one of the speciality restaurants midweek, the Teppanyaki, and it was outstanding, though at a cost of 70 euros extra. Our MDR table companions used the Butchers Cut steakhouse, and also said it was fabulous if expensive. Entertainment - lots of live music in bars, all really good, There were a number of party nights (including a White Party) in the atrium which were great fun, with all ages up dancing til the small hours .The entertainment crew were fantastic, encouraging a great atmosphere whatever they were doing. We attended two of the shows and were absolutely blown away. Both nights the audience were on their feet in appreciation. Spa - I bought a Thermal Area spa pass before cruising, which was £82 as opposed to £140 if I bought in on board. This gave me access to the spa area for the duration of the cruise and I loved it. The spa had various saunas, steam baths, special showers and other facilities, including two hot tubs out on the deck for sole use of spa guests. As we didnt go off the boat every day I was often in when it was really quiet and always had the hot tub to myself! I also booked two massages as another treat which were amazing, though admittedly really expensive, although I had a substantial discount on the second. Service - outstanding. All the staff we came across were very pleasant and helpful, with some going above and beyond to make it a great experience. One bar waitress never smiled, clearly loathed cruise customers, so we made it our mission to get a laugh out of her by the end of the week, and my daughter managed it our last night. There is currently some debate about MSC and service charges. I was told it was mandatory by the TA and this is also on the MSC website. I paid ours on board at the cost of 140 euros for both of us. Others were saying it is not mandatory and I should ask for it back and just tip whoever I wanted. I left it on this occasion as I wasn't sure but will need to investigate further. Ports - really good, straightforward and popular. Liked being in port every day as don't like 'at sea' days. Excursions - I can't really comment as I we didn't take any, other than a shuttle transfer into Palma. This was really well organised and cost 25 euros for both. I hadn't done my research on Palma and we found out later that a taxi would have been 10 euros each way, and the local bus stops right at the port and goes into the town at a cost of 1'50 euros! So as with many excursions it was way overpriced. If you want to play it very safe then maybe the extra cost is worth it. We did our own thing on the other days ashore for a fraction of the MSC price. Bars - we had an all inclusive drinks package and I kept a running total of what we were using to work out if it would be worth it next time. It worked out as good value as we had a lot of cocktails, but that was 3/4 a day plus water, soft drinks and coffee. Any less and it would not have been worthwhile. By all accounts everyone I spoke to thought the drinks package compared really favourably with other cruise lines. Other factors - didn't have small children but they looked really well catered for, including the children's splash pool and adventure course. Internet access was ridiculously expensive (£70 weekly for 2.5 MB), my daughter bought this as clearly a 20 year old would wither and die without access to social media 24 hours a day. As data roaming in Europe is included with most phone agreements and there was no issue connecting anywhere we were moored, I thought this would be enough. Apparently not! Brits were very much a small minority on board, which was not an issue for us, but some of our fellow Brit passengers didn't like this. More than one commented on the number of 'foreigners' on board, which we found bemusing as this was an Italian cruise line with the main embarkation in Barcelona! MSC cruises are not designed for British customers. People don't queue, they come in the lift when you are trying to get out, many of the staff speak a few different languages but have limited English. and the main chatter is Italian and Spanish. Overall, an amazing experience let down by poor dining. Not sure if I would book again unless the dining experience changes because to me that was a deal breaker. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We sailed on the Seaview out of Barcelona on 1 June 2019 for 7 nights. We were a party of 3 - Me, my wife (both 36) and our 4 year old daughter. My wife and I had cruised before (one Princess to Caribbean and one Celebrity to Central ... Read More
We sailed on the Seaview out of Barcelona on 1 June 2019 for 7 nights. We were a party of 3 - Me, my wife (both 36) and our 4 year old daughter. My wife and I had cruised before (one Princess to Caribbean and one Celebrity to Central America) but both were pre-child. Prior to the cruise I read the mixed reviews and was a little apprehensive, but thankfully had a very enjoyable cruise. Embarkation was very smooth. We boarded in Barcelona. Our ticket had an embarkation time if 2.30pm, but we turned up at about 11.30am and it was no bother. We stayed in a Fantastica balcony cabin which had a Queen size bed, and the sofa had been converted into a single bed. I ended up in the single bed due to 4 year old 'sleeping issues' but it was actually very comfortable, as was the Queen sized bed according to my wife! The cabin was well laid out, and still had that 'shiny and new' feel to it. The wardrobe space was a bit limited but we got by. My review is limited to the extent that we were in bed most nights by 10pm due to the little one being an early riser, so I am not able to comment on the 'parties' (flower party, white party, space party etc) as these started at 11.30pm. This is in keeping with being a European cruiseline; most things are done later in the evening. In the evenings, we at in the MDR 4 nights, the Pan Asian specialty dining on 1 night, and the buffet on 2 nights (just due to activities earlier in the day). I found the food on the while to be good. The buffet was varied and plentiful. It was only very busy in Rome at breakfast time, when lots of people were leaving the ship early for an excursion or to disembark. The MDR was better than buffet, and I had no complaints at all. Our waiter Suryer was very friendly, and the area supervisor Alex introduced himself to us, and was happy to discuss any issues we had. The quality of the food was not as good as Celebrity, but we were in Aqua class so no wonder to be honest. In my view, the dining experience in the MDR was perfectly acceptable and we looked forward to heading there each evening. Anytime Dining does exist, but only for Aurea and above grades of experience. If you don't have anytime dining, then the dining times are 6pm, 8pm, or 10pm. I did not experience any surly or rude staff that seems to be a repeating theme on some of the negative reviews. In fact, quite the opposite. Many staff made a fuss of my daughter which was very nice. We did not have a drinks package, and just ordered the drinks we wanted to have here and there. Each day, there was a hour of 2 for 1 cocktails in the Wine and Cocktail lounge (normally 5.30pm to 6.30pm), which was great because our dining time was 6pm. The Pan Asian specialty restaurant was delicious. We had a 'dinner and bubbles' package which included 3 courses for 2 adults, and a bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte Reserve champagne for €115. It was a little overpriced on reflection, and I probably would not do it again (the food alone was €39 a person ordering from a set menu). As for entertainment, the evening shows were amazing! We went to 6 of the shows. It's fair to say that the shows each followed a similar theme of singing, dancing, and circus type acts, but they were all very entertaining and had a large production value. The singers were seriously good too. We only went to one of the kids club acts, which was junior MasterChef. The kids club area was large but we were off the ship every day so didn't use it a great deal. In addition, there was a limited proportion of English speaking children on the cruise, and the staff have to communicate in 5 languages which can be difficult for a 4 year old to follow. This is no criticism, it's just something that has to be done on a European cruise. You get used to all public announcements being made 4/5 times (Italian, English, Spanish, German, Portuguese). I would say that English first-language guests account for about 10% of passengers. Fine for me, but if you are a cruiser that likes to strike up conversation with new people then opportunities will be few and far between (unless you can speak other languages of course). As with anything, there are some things that MSC could/should try and do better. The kids splash park is great fun, but there is nowhere around that pool for adults to sit to observe their children. This means children are either unaccompanied, or the adults have to go in too. This could be better designed. Also, the other pools are all 6 feet deep so children cannot use them unless they have floating aids. For a 'family focussed' cruiseline it is not well designed. There does seem to be a real push for upselling on the cruise, and this can grate at times. There are frequently staff seeking to sell specialty dining, lots of photos (although we still bought 10!) Even a one litre plastic bottle of water in the MDR is €3, which is a con. Drinks are overpriced too. These are relatively minor criticisms but could be addressed by MSC for a better cruise experience. Would I cruise with MSC again? Yes, but I would not sail with my child until they are about 10/11, and can appreciate different languages and follow staff going in and out of English. Without child, I would certainly cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Having read the reviews for this ship we were worried, a lot of negativity, fortunately most of the critics tended to focus on things that went wrong for them and generalised, some of the criticisms we found very harsh. The food was ... Read More
Having read the reviews for this ship we were worried, a lot of negativity, fortunately most of the critics tended to focus on things that went wrong for them and generalised, some of the criticisms we found very harsh. The food was excellent, the performers at times better than you will see at any west end production, the staff always pleasant and willing to help, they all understood English. Fortunately we had purchased the drinks package last year so we were fortunate to have most drinks included,plus ice cream, water, tea and coffee, if you don't have this package then yes the new ones are expensive. The ship is ultra modern, very big so has lots of people on it, so it can get crowded and noisy, so if you don't like that sort of thing this ship is not for you. I would probably call it a party ship. We have been on the Fantasia before and it was better suited to us with more quiet places to retire too if things got a bit hectic. Ports of call: Marseille: We took the ship shuttle, the walk to the free one was a bit long especially in the heat, this shuttle is not too regular so some people ended up getting a taxi back to ship. Geneo: Nice city within walking distance from the ship. Naples: A big city were the traffic was horrendous , take a trip to Pompeii or sorrento and avoid the city Messina: A disappointment , except for main square nothing much else to see, probably would have been better taking a tour to Etna Valletta: A wonderful city and the highlight of the cruise, easy walk from port then lift up to centre, we took the little train tour from front of cathedral. Friends we met took the island tour which misses Valletta and they were disappointed Barcelona : we were supposed to spend the day here before our flight home, but unfortunately our flight was changed and we missed out, but having been ther before,Minos what a beautiful city it is. The day at sea was a waste for us and the next time we cruise we will make sure it has no days at sea. In summary, there is nothing wrong with this ship or MSC, it up to the individual what they want from a cruise, if crowds, noise and partying are not your thing this probably wouldn't be for you. Would I cruise on it again, no I would go for a smaller ship and a better itinerary , with no days at sea. A final point, the excursions are too expensive, there are many companies which will sort these out for you at a more reasonable cost. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise and we weren't sure if it was going to be something that would suit our family. We also worried a little about some of the negative reviews on this site. The outcome was that we loved the experience and will ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we weren't sure if it was going to be something that would suit our family. We also worried a little about some of the negative reviews on this site. The outcome was that we loved the experience and will certainly cruise again, probably with MSC. We have two girls aged 8 and 10 and they really had a ball. The "kids cruise for free" policy of MSC is the reason that we could afford the cruise in the first place. Yes, four in a cabin can be a crowd at times, but when you consider that the girls' cruise cost us only $59 each in government taxes it is a minor factor. Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and straightforward. The food in the buffet was plentiful and excellent quality. We used the lighthouse restaurant every evening and it was from very good to excellent. Our waiter was charming and very nice to our girls. The bed in our cabin was super comfortable and the couch had been converted into two generous sized bunk beds. Zoe is useless but the on-board app is really impressive. The kids club took great care of the girls and we purchased two tracker bracelets for €15 each which allowed us to see where they were on the ship at all times. This was very accurate and gave us the confidence to allow them a lot more independence that we would have been comfortable with otherwise. Our favourite bar was the Sky lounge which is adults only. The ambiance was very nice and they serve gorgeous free snacks with your drinks. Tip : The snacks are displayed in a fridge which is built into the bar counter. You just go up and point out what you want. The ship is beautiful and the crew are friendly and polite. We took one excursion to Pompeii with MSC and it was fine. We did a private street food tour in Genoa which was excellent. We used the free shuttle bus into Marseille which you find by following the green line on the pavement from the cruise terminal for about 800m. This walk will save you the price of the MSC transfer into town. We walked around Messina which has surprisingly good shopping if you walk all the way in to the commercial streets. We visited friends in the Three Cities in Malta after walking around Valletta for a while first. Malta was definitely the highlight of the cruise and we intend to return for a longer visit. We really enjoyed relaxing by the pool on the sea day as it had been quite hectic up to that point. The weather was perfect although breezy but we had a nice sheltered spot. Our oldest girl loved the water slides. I liked the casino and found the croupiers very friendly and helpful. I left some money behind me but that's how it goes. My wife, who had never played table games before, showed me how it was done by managing to win a little playing roulette. The cirque show was excellent but the Rock and Roll show was every bit as good. Really excellent performance when you consider there is no charge. Overall a wonderful family holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ... Read More
I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing... The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ship is clean and beautiful. There are many nice pools and hot tubs, so they were not crowded (yet they close them all down early which is irritating). The bed was comfortable and the room quiet. The food in the buffet was just okay (deserts were good), better than Carnival, but the food in the dining room was much worse than carnival. And now I move on to the bad things... Eating in the dining room on Carnival was a great experience we looked forward to every night, but on MSC it felt like a punishment. Usually the food was not good and the waiters also made us feel uncomfortable and unwanted. They do not have "anytime dining" like other ships, you have to pick 6 PM, 8 PM or 10 PM. They kick you out after an hour or so to get ready for the next crowd. They are always rushing around in a hurry yet take forever to bring the food. We waited an hour for our first course one time, then had 15 minutes to eat the rest and get out. It is loud and there is constant banging from the dumbwaiter bringing down food. We asked to be switched to a different time and got a better waiter and location after the switch. I cannot believe they charge you for water in the dining room! Water was free on Carnival. Which is my next complaint, they are constantly after more money. They pester you all the time to buy the drink and food packages. The drink package would have cost $700 for the two of us ($40 a day). If you're drinking $700 in alcohol in one week you have a problem. We spent $80 on drinks, that's it. The food package would have cost around $260 for 3 meals for the two of us. That's seems high for mediocre food. The worst experience by far were the excursions! DO NOT book a tour. Have them bus you and walk around on your own. The tour company they use in Italy is a nightmare! We were not given all the things promised in Pisa and Rome. In Rome they lost an elderly man and left him there. Don't know if he ever made it back to the ship. I did not listen to the tour guides speak, they are hard to understand. Our English speaking guide hardly said anything anyway. The guides have deals with shops to take you there so you will buy things, like the "Pearl Factory" they said we needed a ticket to get into. It was a jewelry store! Nothing more, and it is free to go in. They wasted my time with this stuff. I felt very ripped off over the excursions. The internet was poor, and we had a router right outside our room. The zip-line cost $12 a person and is boring. It should be free! The constant up-selling is just a nightmare. We have decided not to go on MSC again because of these issues. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have been loyal NCL cruisers for years and decided to try MSC for a 20th anniversary cruise. We had never been in the Med, and booked a Yacht Club balcony cabin. The ship was BEAUTIFUL, the service was excellent. I loved that you ... Read More
We have been loyal NCL cruisers for years and decided to try MSC for a 20th anniversary cruise. We had never been in the Med, and booked a Yacht Club balcony cabin. The ship was BEAUTIFUL, the service was excellent. I loved that you were never presented with a bill or a receipt to sign for drinks etc when we were in the Yacht Club. All of the staff really seemed to go out of their way to make sure we had an amazing experience. Although I wanted to try the main dining rooms, I couldn't break away from the Yacht club and having all the staff know who we were. We ate breakfast a few times in the Yacht Club dining room, but we mostly had continental breakfast in the lounge; the daily snacks there were delightful. I also loved the tranquility of the lounge and pool area. We ate lunch twice at the pool size buffett and the Yacht Club manager--Alex (i.e. like the Hotel Manager but for the Yacht Club) was there and practically waited on us. He was like a dear friend acting as a host! The food on the ship has a heavy European / Continental influence and we are Americans. This was not an issue for us--there was always something we liked--but that may be an issue with some travelers. As an oenophile, the wines by the glass were a bit limited--especially if you prefer California wines, but all the liquor was top shelf, and I enjoyed trying a few new European beers. Honestly, I really liked the vibe of the ship and the travelers we met on board. We booked a Caribbean cruise for the fall of 2020 and will take our kids next time--the family pool, kids club, and zip lining looked awesome!! See you soon, MSC!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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