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4 Helpful Votes
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
5 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Background: I’m in my 50s. I live in California and work for a major Wall Street firm. I’ve been cruising for roughly 25 years and have previously cruised MSC, Carnival, Celebrity, Croisieres de France/Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean, ... Read More
Background: I’m in my 50s. I live in California and work for a major Wall Street firm. I’ve been cruising for roughly 25 years and have previously cruised MSC, Carnival, Celebrity, Croisieres de France/Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian. Prior MSC Experience: We did an 11 night on Divina in late 2015 and loved it. I then booked a 4 night out of Barcelona, but MSC changed it to a 20 day out of Brazil. No phone call from MSC, no e-mail, no letter, no notification in any way. They even changed the date of the sailing. Then, they took away my Voyagers Club points because I hadn’t sailed in 3 years, after promising they wouldn’t and even though the reason for this was their fault. I’ve written a post detailing some of my frustrations that can be found by Googling MSC Comedy of Errors. There are things to like a lot about MSC, but some service-related problems that should be improved upon. Pre-Cruise: We embarked out of Barcelona. We booked a lovely and centrally located apartment near Passeig de Gracia which worked out perfectly. Barcelona is a great city, so don’t miss out on spending some time there. It’s now the 3rd most visited city in Europe, after Paris and Rome. We were surprised that MSC did not offer tours in Barcelona, so we booked 2 privately. I think they may have missed some opportunity there. Savvy Tip: If you stay in Barcelona, use taxis rather than the Metro (subway) to get around. We had dinner with a group of 11 and 2 of them were pickpocketed on the Metro. Cabs are cheap, usually quick, and less confusing. Embarkation: In Rome, our prior Embarkation on Divina was so fast and smooth. So we wondered if the experience would be the same on Bellissima out of Barcelona. And it was extremely fast and well-organized. This is an area where MSC seems to excel. The Ship: Beautiful! Obviously, it’s almost new, but there is lot of thought and technology put into this ship. The ultra-high definition screen over the promenade is stunning and MSC integrates it well into their entertainment. We did much prefer the Grand Atrium layout of Divina, however. Divina’s atrium features soaring elevators that gracefully glide up and down and a much more open and dramatic feel to that area. Bellissima has mirrored ceilings to create the illusion of height, but is not as dramatic or engaging. I’d recommend that MSC go back to more of a soaring, dramatic atrium, like Divina. But otherwise, certainly it was nice. Tip: There is a somewhat hidden glass elevator which some might not be aware of. You can access it from the port (left) side of customer service. It rides on the outside of the ship and features nice views during the day. Our Room: We stayed in balcony cabin 13021, which is technically Aurea class. But we didn’t get the extras since we only purchased the Fantastica experience. The room was an upgrade due to a technical problem on their website, which was nice. The room was on the small side, but was always very clean. The bedding, a partnership between MSC and Dorelan, was super comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was extremely friendly, introduced himself and called my girlfriend and me by name during the cruise. He commented that we were always smiling and friendly and never complained when others were grouchy and did little but complain. Well, he didn’t hear me gripe pre-cruise to MSC Customer Service, but it is a good reminder that a smile and a kind word can go a long ways. These folks work hard for little money by our standards. Always do your best to treat them with kindness and respect. We did experience a partial electrical failure that took out our TV, Zoe, some lighting, and the electrical outlets. Maintenance could not repair the issue that day, but they did fix it the following day while we were off the ship. Another Tip: If you press the Do Not Disturb button, the cabin steward’s key will be inactive. So if you forget to turn it off, he/she won’t be able to make up your room. Zoe: Unfortunately, Zoe was nearly useless. I did a YouTube video on this, but I’d say she didn’t understand the request 75%-80% of the time. Nice concept, but needs a lot of work. Food: Generally average to very good. Never great or bad. The food in the buffet during breakfast/lunch/dinner was better than expected, especially after reading some really bad reviews. Everything was very fresh, so our experience was certainly different than others. In the main dining room, meals were acceptable to very good. The best food was on the 2 Gala Nights. One Gala Night was on the last night before disembarkation, which I thought was odd, as most were packing up their clothing. Yes, I know not everyone embarks or disembarks at the same ports, but most seemed to get on and off at Barcelona. Drink Package: We purchased the now discontinued "431" drink package, which covers “house wine” (2 reds, 2 whites, a blush, prosecco dry and prosecco sweet), as well as most “non-premium” specialty drinks. The house wines were mediocre except for the proseccos, which were both pretty good. Their bartenders are uniformly lousy and don’t know how to make a drink. The quality and even character and taste of drinks would vary wildly from one bartender to another. One time, a drink would be terribly sweet, the next time not, but taste like something totally different. They really need to train their bartenders better. We left a number of drinks on the table almost untouched because they were so bad. Entertainment/Animation Crew: Fantastic! Some have complained about the entertainment, but we both thought it was the best we’ve seen on any ship. The entertainers were really good and the crew really got the audience engaged. These folks worked really hard, and it paid off. The lighting and sound system on Bellissima is excellent with one exception. For some reason, the sound system in the Bellissima Bar and Lounge sounded muted and flat. Cirque at Sea: Enjoyable and generally worth the price. However, there was a bit of false advertising involved. The show included a cocktail and the description read, “Choose from our selection of creative cocktails made with or without alcohol to your liking and enjoy it’s surprising freshness…”. However, they had only pre-made and presumably watered down (from melting ice) Gimlets. I told them that I was a type 2 diabetic and that drinking such a sugary drink was not the best option for me. I asked if they could make me something else and was told “no”. The only other option was fruit juice, which is also too sugary for me. Cirque Tip: Reserve the shows online before you board. They were all sold out and if you wait, you might not get to see a Cirque at Sea show. I do feel that they were worthwhile, although not thrilled about the aforementioned drink issue. Tours: We booked 3 MSC tours. We loved the Amfali Coast tour out of Naples and felt it was a good value. It seemed to sell out and disappeared from the onboard list of offerings, so probably a good idea to book online in advance like we did. We also enjoyed the Aix en Provence and Marseille 2 Cities tour. Well worth the money. The Portofino tour was really disappointing. It’s not that Portofino isn’t pretty, quaint and worth visiting. It’s just that you’re only there for roughly 1 hour. And the tour could easily stay there another 2 hours, so I have no idea why they rush you out so quickly. And further, you have to get on the boat to leave Portofino at noon, for no obvious reason. Guess when most restaurants and business in Portofino open? Yes, at noon. It was perplexing and this needs to be improved upon. Give the guests 3 hours in Portofino instead of 1 hour. They’ll easily make it back to the ship well before it departs. The Crew: Room for improvement, but mostly pretty good. Not as friendly as on some cruise lines, but not as grouchy as the funky Eastern European crew that we had on Divina who seemed to hate their jobs and the passengers. Most were very helpful. Not everyone spoke great English, but usually communication was not a major issue. Let me single out one man who had an attitude that I did not enjoy, and that is the restaurant manager. In short, I had booked the later dinner, but our booking got fouled up in several ways. They never did correct my prior efforts to fix my late seating request, so I figured I’d straighten it out onboard. They sent me to the restaurant manager, who looked very, very irritated. And in an irritated voice, he said, “Do you have any idea how many passengers I have to accommodate? 5,600! And you want your seating changed, right?”. I thought he was pretty uncool and unfriendly, but I just bit my tongue and thanked him for his efforts. Shops: Not bad, but can use improvement. Divina had a more interesting and eclectic selection of items that I was actually interested in. The Passengers: Mostly European. Maybe 10% American like me. Nice people. Not as fat as most Americans. Sorry if that’s crass, but it’s true. They seem to stay out late and be kind of fun, party people most of the time. I did not witness any bad behavior during our cruise. Smoking was not an issue either, which was a good thing. Medical Emergency: On the final full day, we had a medical emergency, which required that the Italian Military airlift by helicopter a 55-year old American woman. The airlift was carried out swiftly and with precision. The captain explained very clearly what was occurring and told us that there would be no delay due to this onboard emergency. It was well-executed and communications about the incident was very good. Disembarkation: NO LINE WHATSOEVER! Can you imagine? Not a whiff of a line getting off the ship. I had an early flight and customer service was very accommodating and changed my time to an earlier departure. Again, this seems to be a strong area for MSC. Final Thoughts: While things are never perfect, I think MSC gets a bad rap, often unfairly. They do need to improve their customer service, but I believe that some issues are overblown and overstated. Their new ships are beautiful and can represent a very good value. MSC just needs some tweaks to really step up their game. We have enjoyed our cruises on MSC and we have 2 more booked. If you are patient and focus on the positives and not every little nitpicking thing, I believe you will enjoy cruising on MSC in general and the beautiful new Bellissima in particular. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We (13 people) just come back from the new MSC ship Bellissima, 5/17-5/24, 2019. This was the first and will be the last with MSC cruise line. We are a mix bag of families and friends from Hong Kong and USA, age 20 to about 75. Love ... Read More
We (13 people) just come back from the new MSC ship Bellissima, 5/17-5/24, 2019. This was the first and will be the last with MSC cruise line. We are a mix bag of families and friends from Hong Kong and USA, age 20 to about 75. Love travel, love cruising. Enjoy good food and have good amount of experience with other cruise lines. There are many reasons we do not like this cruise line (see below). We bought the 'Fantastica experience' because the luxury 'yacht club' cabins were sold out. There are so many levels of 'experience'. We choose the middle one. That became the major reason we will not choose this cruise line again: Detail: One of the cabin ran out of facial tissue. Asked the steward and he said only one box of facial tissue was allowed for the whole 7 days trip. There was no wash cloth provided neither. How can we clean and dry our face? Toilet paper? Asked customer service, who asked us back: 'Are you in yacht club cabin?' 'No.' 'Then for environmental reason, we only offer one box of facial tissue for your cabin.' WHAT???? That means the yacht club (people who paid more) did not have to care about the environment and can have more than one box of facial tissue? Is it hypocrite or discrimination? Or both? The rest of the bad experience were: - Pre-trip, we tried to buy restaurant package online, which offered to choose the date and time of dining. We did, but the system gave us different date and time after check out. We wanted to eat together. Called but no help because we bought the cruise via third party. We cancel the purchase and bought again, and again, and again. No luck. Never gave us the date and time we wanted. No help even after many calls. Different agents gave us different answers. Some even lied. At the end we had to rush to check in early onto the ship in order to rush to the restaurants to make sure we got the same date and time. So much anxiety! Really unhappy even before the cruise. - bought premium drink package. Did not worth it. Individual drinks (both alcohol and non alcohol) were reasonable price onboard anyway. If you will be out everyday day for excursion like us, you would not drink that much. Besides, you have to buy the same package for all people in the same cabin even only one person drink. We lost big money out of this policy. - Quality of drink (even the same drink) were different from bar to bar. Some were really awful. Coffee was all bad. Premium coffee even worse. - bought 4 restaurants package. The package menu choices in all 4 restaurants were very limited. (You would not know it until you sit down at the restaurants.) All the really good food were not in the package menu in all 4 restaurants. So we choose to pay more on top of the (already paid) package each time. Still very disappointed with the quality and taste of food. We rated them from B- to C. So disappointed! - The virtual reality race car was terribly designed. You must be physically fit to get in and out of the car. The experience was not 'real' at all anyway. Waste of money. (The rest of the games at the game room are good though, if you are willing to pay the US $12 to US$18 per game plus 15% service charge.) - The free rope walking activity (the one that surround the water park) was fun for some people but not enough warning: there was no 'going back', nor option to come down if you feel incapable after entering. Some of us did that. Some had fun, some was horrified. But it did not looked scary until you got up, when there was no coming down. You had to finish the whole course once you were up. This activity was poorly designed. - Dining room designed was the worst we ever seen, in compare with other cruise line. No grand decoration, no character. Unpleasant. - Cabin theme color was dark and depressing. Color of carpet was horrible and cheap, did not match anything in the room. And makes the small cabin look even smaller. The only good thing about the cabin was the smart utilize of tiny space. - No game room, which was our usual gathering and social place at all our many previous cruising. No. Not in MSC. - Zoe was useless, as noted by many travelers. - Many billing mistakes. Meaning many trips to customer service. Well, we had time to spare, not much to do on the ship anyway. We advice you to watch your bill closely by using the MSC app. The good: - Crews overall were polite and helpful. Some stewards even noted our needs (Jars of hot water, wash cloth etc.) And had them ready in the cabin everyday. - Beautiful LCD dome. - Chocolate shop sold good quality chocolate. (not include in cruise package) - Shows every night were good quality (except the magic show.) We can use the MSC apps to reserve, which was great. They were not Broadway shows but very well done. - Food at complimentary buffet and dining room are overall B+ to A. Hit and miss, which is common in many mid-price cruise. We regret we bought the 4 restaurants package. We should have op to go to dining room and buffet instead. - Check in and check out were smooth, despite the rain. - Live music all day. Like them all. It made the run to customer service a little more bearable. Neutral: - The two Cirque de Soleil shows were $18 each with drink. Yes we watched both. (There was not much to do since we did not dance nor sing) Short and sweet. The same company at Macau and Las Vegas use real water (characters jump in and out of water) and in much larger scale. For people who have already watch them in Macau and Las Vegas, disappointed. But for people who never have the experience, it is good chance to get a taste of it, and with a very good price. Just one thing: there was a night that they only served grapefruit juice as non-alcoholic drink. Big risk. Grapefruit interact with many medications which double or triple the medication effectiveness. In short it causes overdose. Please serve other juice instead. - gym is smaller than average. OK for short cruise. At the end, MSC lost 13 customers by refusing to offer one more box of facial tissue. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We had not sailed with MSC before but 14 cruises with other company’s Excellent service and we had a coeliac in our group could not of been more helpful even packing lunch bag for shore lunch The shows were exceptional with great ... Read More
We had not sailed with MSC before but 14 cruises with other company’s Excellent service and we had a coeliac in our group could not of been more helpful even packing lunch bag for shore lunch The shows were exceptional with great variety and talented entertainers We could not of asked for more from this cruise very enjoyable ports The spa bath often had young children in them This I wonder if hygienic Loved deck 18 adults only bar Overlooking the pool area great spot for a quite moment The internet package was quite expensive didn’t purchase for this reason The ship never felt crowded only place I noticed noisy was the buffet are quite busy after shore excersion because the dining room shut at 1.30 they could possibly extend this until 2 pm to take the pressure if the buffet Over all the cruise was value for money with excellent food and entertainment we will return to MSC cruises again Thankyou Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC and we have previously sailed on over 20 cruises with various cruise lines (Princess, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Oceania). We booked 2 Yacht Club deluxe cabins as my ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC and we have previously sailed on over 20 cruises with various cruise lines (Princess, Carnival, NCL, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Oceania). We booked 2 Yacht Club deluxe cabins as my husband and I travelled with his son and daughter (ages 30 and 34). We chose Yacht Club because we wanted to have the privacy and personalized experience of a small ship but still have access to all of the amenities and activities of a larger ship. Pros: Embarkation in Barcelona was smooth. We were escorted by our butler to the Yacht Club lounge. The registration process was very fast and we were escorted to our cabins within 30 minutes. Luggage was delivered immediately. The cabin was beautiful, immaculate, spacious and had plenty of storage. Balcony was large as was the bathroom. Service was very good and staff was friendly but it was not better than what we received on other lines. Yacht Club lounge and dining room are bright with fantastic views as it is located at the front of the ship. The food was average to good but not excellent. I will not compare it to Oceania because they excel in their cuisine however, it was on par with MDR of other lines. If you enjoy fish and seafood, there are plenty of options on the menu daily. We did not try the Yacht Club buffet on deck due to the weather. It was either too cold, windy or raining. The upper deck doesn’t have an enclosed area. We tried the buffets on decks 8 and 16 for a couple of lunches but the food was average to below average in quality. Pizzas are very good. Unfortunately, some passengers aren’t hygienic and were grabbing food with their hands. This is where Holland America and Oceania excel because staff serve the food to passengers at their buffet restaurants to avoid this situation. Entertainment was excellent. We attended all shows and they were of professional quality as well as the entertainers in various lounges. Cons: We purchased 2 shore excursions with MSC in Cinque Terre and in Rome. This is where things didn’t go well. Cinque Terre: We were 45 minutes delayed in leaving for reasons unknown. First stop was a 45 minute stop in Portovenere which was beautiful and then we boarded a ferry to the Cinque Terre. The tour only included a stop in Monterosso however, the ferry service was not direct and therefore, we only had 1 hour to see the town . This was very disappointing because after spending most of the day travelling to get there, we had little time to visit. Rome: The ship was delayed by 2 hours docking in Rome which meant that this impacted the tour. The description of the Grand Tour of Rome is deceptive. Our son and daughter said that they only spent 30 minutes at the Colleseum and didn’t have free time to see St. Peter’s Basilica. They were rushed through most points of interest and were asked to sign a waiver as the tour didn’t have time to go to the Trevi Fountain. Basically, they should have purchased tickets for the hop on hop off bus for a cheaper cost and they may have seen more on their own. The ship stayed in port longer to make up for the delayed arrival therefore, we couldn’t understand why this tour was so rushed. We raised our concerns about both tours with the Yacht Club Concierge and it appeared that they were understanding and stated they would raise the matter with the shore excursions desk. We had asked for a partial credit. The concierge suggested we speak with the shore excursions manager as they were unable to resolve the matter. This is where things declined for us. The assistant manager with shore excursions was very rude and argumentative with us. This resulted in us losing our temper as we were unable to resolve the issue in a calm and respectful manner. In all of our years of cruising, we have never had an employee speak to us in such a rude manner. We walked away and when we walked passed the concierge staff in Yacht Club, everyone avoided eye contact with us. This remained the situation until the last day of our cruise. Bottom Line: in our opinion Yacht Club wasn’t worth the extra cost we paid in comparison to a mid luxury line such as Oceania and we had better food and service on Holland America last year on the Nieuw Amsterdam at an average cost. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I have never been on MSC but thought we would try the newest ship MSC Bellissima, what a big mistake, money wasted, thrown into the deep sea. I will NEVER EVER CRUISE with MSC again in my life. The staff does not know how to treat the ... Read More
I have never been on MSC but thought we would try the newest ship MSC Bellissima, what a big mistake, money wasted, thrown into the deep sea. I will NEVER EVER CRUISE with MSC again in my life. The staff does not know how to treat the guests, secondly most of them could not understand English (thought it is an International cruise ship but obviously not!) VERY OFTEN there was no sanitizer in the containers at the entrances of the restaurants which is not acceptable. The entertainment is poor except the Cirque du Soleil. We used our swimming towels the 2nd day and it was never replaced. We did not stop in Marseille because of bad weather they say, but did dock to pick passengers up and was not refunded in ANY WAY because of this. I bought an excursion before the cruise and when I went to the Reception desk to ask what refund I will be getting because they did not let us go off the ship in Marseille, they told me in their broken English that it is not possible as I did not book it through MSC. We met up with a young couple that was on their honeymoon, which also had the same feeling as us because he got food poisoning, ended up in the first aid centre and also said NEVER EVER WILL THEY CRUISE ON ANY MSC ship. MSC is not GUEST ORIENTATED BUT MONEY ORIENTATED. You must even buy water if you want water with your evening dinner if it is not in the Market Place. VERY VERY EXPENSIVE SHIP. Oh yes and then please check your cutlery and cups when using it, we had to take a few sets of cutlery to see which are the cleanest. We actually gave one spoon to the "Manager" that was walking around in the MARKET PLACE BUFFET AREA and told him he must take some dessert to the captain and insist he eat it with that dirty spoon. It is ridiculous what you pay and what you get. No Jean Phillipe chocolate fountain! My bed was some nights not even opened. The glass I have used in the cabin was never ever replaced or cleaned in the 7 days we were on that ship. It is disgusting!!!!!!! MSC you have not impressed me and have failed miserably. Get your act together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The normal shows in the LONDON THEATRE must be booked otherwise you are not allowed in, it's a joke!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is the first time my husband and I cruised.so we have little to compare with but these are our thoughts.+embarking and disembraking was easy and smooth.Trips off the boat were ok.we cruised the med but in fairness when you see one ... Read More
This is the first time my husband and I cruised.so we have little to compare with but these are our thoughts.+embarking and disembraking was easy and smooth.Trips off the boat were ok.we cruised the med but in fairness when you see one place you seen them all,none were out of the ordinary and we got off at all ports (except Malta which looked gorg but hubby had vomiting and diahorrea which I took two days later and every other person we spoke to had as well !!! This just confirmed for me that people always get sick on cruise ships).anyway ,the boat itself is huge but full of accommodation and little else.restaurants with special dinning packages that if you already paid for food in the restaurant why would you pay for again! There were few people in them ,I think of you were lucky about 6 at anyone time and they constantly keep pushing the sale of them.well I think if I wanted them you would have booked them before you left.if not then you should feel free to try without pressure.But in all honesty we had the restaurant each evening and the food it it was wonderful.The entertainment was good,and shows excellent.shops if you had plenty of money to spend as they were all designer .plenty of entertainment for kids but at a cost.Everything was extra ,the aquapark,the ropes the amusement arcade and it wasn't cheap,so parents bring plenty of money with you.The buffet always busy ,breakfast choice good.went once when hubby ill for dinner ,not up to much then!a lot of wasted space with unnecessary things ,more seating would have be more appropriate.When you didn't get get off the ship at port ,everything was closed til 6pm when everyone was back on board.slightly boring!! Especially when weather poor.all in all cruising is not for us too regimented. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Mediterranean Itinerary. Was it perfect, no. Did we have a nice time, yes ! First time on MSC and it's definitely different than Celebrity or Royal. Easy check in and disembark. You won't see the cruise director much and the ... Read More
Mediterranean Itinerary. Was it perfect, no. Did we have a nice time, yes ! First time on MSC and it's definitely different than Celebrity or Royal. Easy check in and disembark. You won't see the cruise director much and the engagement activities are very limited. The entertainment for most of the week were the on board singers/dancers. There were "ok". The rock show was very good. The others; not so much. We had superior service and attention in the dining room - the best of any cruise I have been on. The waiter struggled a bit with english and seemed a little less experienced than on other cruises, but his willingness to serve and satifsy was 150%. We had regular visits from managment staff to ensure we were enjoying everything. Food was very good. Desserts were excellent ! The ship was clean and spacious. The chocolate/coffee bar was a bit of a miss for me. The coffee isn't included in any package(disappointing) but coffee is at almost every bar. No take away cups/lids. If you enjoy walking around with a coffee (i think it's an american thing) you could bring an insulated reusable cup with you. We didn't bring kids, but the kids club did look amazing and you could tell the kids loved it. Our balcony cabin was spacious and very comfortable. Lots of elevators and we didn't wait long even on busy times during the day. Americans were only about 10% of the passengers. Overall it was a very good experience. The ports were beautiful and the price with MSC was so reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We had been on MSC Seaview late last year, and while on board we took the opportunity to book this cruise and take the option of trying "Club Class". So we arrive at the port in Barcelona where we are immediately relieved of ... Read More
We had been on MSC Seaview late last year, and while on board we took the opportunity to book this cruise and take the option of trying "Club Class". So we arrive at the port in Barcelona where we are immediately relieved of our cases and escorted to the "Yacht Club" lounge area where our cruise ticket and passport were taken to process our booking. Meanwhile we are offered champagne and canapes which were very nice. Then we are escorted directly through check-in and security check, after which we were escorted directly to the ship and taken to deck 16 which is the entry deck of "Club Class". Then on into the Sky Lounge where we met Raj one of the concierges, he explained all the choices we had in relation to eating and excursions, he also helped us log on to the ships Wi-Fi system. He asked did we want any news papers,so we got the "Irish Independent" delivered to our room every morning. Madie our butler came and took us to our room, where our luggage had been delivered, we were given her phone number for use 24 hours a day. Restaurants we were taken to the "Yacht Club" restaurant where we had lunch served by happy cheerful staff. Unlike most ships restaurants this had many tables for two, and plenty room to move around. We booked dinner for 21:00 that evening. On arriving for dinner we were seated at a table near the window, then offered a drink,which we availed of. Presented with the menu containing quite an extensive choices, the waiter told us about the specials and gave us some suggestions. Given the level of service and extensive menu we decided we would dine in this restaurant for the cruise for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wondering through this vast ship we say the wonderful crystal staircases throughout the ship. The shopping arcade area has the most wonderful lighting system constantly changing views. Plenty shopping opportunities and as always on cruises the constant special offers sales. Numerous bars and coffee shops, large casino for those that fancied a flutter. We were so impressed with the whole "Yacht Club" experience that we went to meet Claudia the "Book Your Next Cruise" Rep and selected another cruise next September, she printed out the details. As i did not take my wallet, she said she would be in the Sky Bar that evening and I would pay the deposit. So as promised Claudia arrived and we went over to see her, she then said she had looked at our booking and had got an even better offer which reduced the cost so we happily paid our deposit and retired to have another G & T Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end, we had our breakfast and then back to the room and a last tidy up. we were then directed by Raj to the bar and we would be called for disembarkation. Madie arrives and takes us down to deck 4 and the gangway and on to baggage reclaim where she gets our cases and takes out to the taxi rank and calls us a taxi and loads in the cases and we say our goodbyes. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
Oh where to start??? I got on this cruise with high expectations as the ship was new and everything about it seemed to be brillant...couldn’t be further from the truth!! The ship itself is lovely and the staff are good but that’s where ... Read More
Oh where to start??? I got on this cruise with high expectations as the ship was new and everything about it seemed to be brillant...couldn’t be further from the truth!! The ship itself is lovely and the staff are good but that’s where it ends!! The entertainment on the ship is laughable,the shows in theater are just repeating themselves,the shows out in the Atrium are the exact same,different costumes but same head melting dance music! The lack of entertainment on the ship is ridiculous,even if you didn’t like the show you still went to it as there was nothing else to do! The food is buffet was okay but the system is ridiculous,no lines or queues and people just barging,hated it! Our room was a suite which was nice but we were at back of the ship and every morning when ship was docking at half 6 the vibration woke us,we were absolutely shattered everyday! So many things on board cost extra aswell! It was just one thing after another and I for one will definitely not cruise with MSC again,Royal Caribbean is 1000 times the better cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
hi myaelf and my husband are just back home today after our cruise with msc seaview we went ok the Mediterranean cruise it was amazing everything from start to finish the staff especially iklanas our cabin guy and thias on deck 7 both were ... Read More
hi myaelf and my husband are just back home today after our cruise with msc seaview we went ok the Mediterranean cruise it was amazing everything from start to finish the staff especially iklanas our cabin guy and thias on deck 7 both were amazing almond with everyone else xx it's was a 5star experience on a 5 star ship I would only have one possible recommendations that would be the swimming pool for myself and my husband were to deep as we can't swim but like to dip in the water there was an alternative of the jacuzzi pool which were amazing but I would have liked maybe to get in the pool but other Dan that I lt was amazing thank you all so much for making our honeymoon and our first but not last cruise the best experience ever I will be seeing you all again at some stage Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
Superb embarkation at Barcelona straight onto the ship, this ship like other newer MSC ships is fantastic it has a great feel to it & instantly relaxing. It started badly though due to rough weather we didn’t sail for Ajaccio and ... Read More
Superb embarkation at Barcelona straight onto the ship, this ship like other newer MSC ships is fantastic it has a great feel to it & instantly relaxing. It started badly though due to rough weather we didn’t sail for Ajaccio and spent the night in Barcelona for me the right decision made However the ship during this weather where everyone had to stop inside was a little bit busy but ok when sunny the ship feels empty with 5000 people on board even late at night there are always seats available somewhere and we usually sat at a bar before moving on to the next etc. The bars were excellent with a couple of standout ones that became favourites snacks were given out and depending on which bar gave different snacks ie nachos & dips in sports bar. The entertainment was usual MSC this time there seamed to be a emphasis on jazz which isn’t my favourite kind of music but hey ho ....... there’s plenty of bars. The shows were again MSC singers, acrobats, dancers making a 1/2 hour show theme being greatest showman to be honest the whole week was brilliant & highly entertaining perhaps I’m getting old, I could have easily watched the shows twice. Food wise it was a step up from the usual fare on MSC fro the other 4 cruises with them it was better in the main dining rooms & the buffets the specialty restaurants we only did the pan Asian was amazing & certainly worth paying for we was going to go to butchers cut but I instead had a huge t bone steak in dining room for €20 with a glass of red!! Our cabin again very clean, tidy & decent size was a Seaview at the front of the ship No5038 it was well looked after by the maid I only seen her in the corridor to say hello but she did say if there was anything let her know and she will get it for us I don’t think you can ask anymore than that! The staff throughout the ship were great and friendly I think if you approach with attitude they reciprocate it I did see it a few times but they were always great with us perhaps a smile Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I booked this cruise as I really liked the look of MSC Bellissima, and the timings worked as part of a 4 week Europe trip. Was a little nervous as I'd never cruised before, and have been a completely independent traveler all ... Read More
I booked this cruise as I really liked the look of MSC Bellissima, and the timings worked as part of a 4 week Europe trip. Was a little nervous as I'd never cruised before, and have been a completely independent traveler all around the world for a decade. However the 16yo I was traveling with loves cruises, and the ports (particularly Messina and Valetta), were very appealing to me. We had a great time, as plenty of Cruise Critic reviews and forum posts had me well prepared for the oddities we found onboard, and we just went with the flow and didn't let those petty things ruin what is overall a very fun and relaxing vacation. The food in the MDR was solid but not spectacular. I'm a pretty fussy foodie and had no problem enjoying what was there. Staff were great too. Had breakfast, lunch and a couple of dinners in the buffet, and also found the food pretty decent with a good variety. The buffet was busy but not overwhelming. It's worth noting the fresh mozzarella and ricotta onboard were absolutely brilliant, and made for really great pizzas available all day and almost all night. We really loved the midnight snacks that were in the buffet for the late night munchies. Most definitely see a Cirque show, my teen wasn't very keen but then found himself really enjoying Syma, absolutely spectacular given the small space. A really intimate and enjoyable show. The itinerary was a highlight, with all the ports being very central and the view from the ship itself was worth the price alone. It was like having a 20 storey viewing platform and looking of the Strait of Messina towards Mt Etna at sunset on sailaway was something divine. The oddities: - drink packages were deceptive. Had a premium plus package stating "the freedom to quench your thirst however, whenever and wherever you like!". This was only partly true, excluding chocolate drinks from Jean Phillipe, despite my package as I purchased it not mentioning this as an exclusion. Staff outright refused despite showing them the printout. Same problem with the kids package "their choice of alcohol-free cocktails, sodas, energy drinks, bottled mineral water, flavoured water, fruit juices, a wide range of premium coffee drinks, hot chocolate delights etc" Tried to get energy drinks from the Sportsplex bar, and they charged him for it. And there were no 'hot chocoate delights' onboard except for the excluded Jean Phillipe. In the end I just gave up arguing, except pointing out that everywhere onboard they spruiked the packages they had the Jean Phillipe menus there. Incredibly deceptive, and in Australia would earn you a fine for misleading advertising. - Teen area was almost permanently closed. It turns into a 'nightclub' at night and in the morning they just don't bother switching it back. We only saw the PS4 consoles and other 'teen' things once on boarding day, and never again. - Getting sports equipment and other things seemed impossible. We got 4 different pieces of advice to get the small ball for table soccer or just soccer balls for sportsplex, and never managed to work it out. - closing the delightful and warm indoor pool at 8pm was absolutely bizarre, and reeked of trying to get people away from free entertainment to spend money somewhere else. This, combined with the staff sometimes taking over the sportsplex, and the teen area being non-existent, meant my teen had little to do some nights. However we refused to let those little things ruin what was generally great fun. I enjoyed the mixed nationalities onboard, watching the Champions League in the bar was great, some great drinks, the Tapas bar has some excellent food (though pricey compared to Spain of course!). And the vibe was generally relaxed and fun. Once I got used to the idea of 'doing nothing', just lazing by the indoor pool with a kindle and a cocktail, enjoying some beautiful views, really can't be beat. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I have always said, if you don’t enjoy a cruise it’s because you are a miserable person. My husband and I love cruising. We have sailed on Disney, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Carnival. In April, we sailed on the MSC ... Read More
I have always said, if you don’t enjoy a cruise it’s because you are a miserable person. My husband and I love cruising. We have sailed on Disney, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess and Carnival. In April, we sailed on the MSC Bellissima for the first time, and they turned us into those miserable people who hate cruises! We boarded the MSC Bellissima in Barcelona Spain on Friday, 26 April for a seven-night cruise throughout the Mediterranean. The problem started as we boarded. Drink package: We were approached by a crew member (doing her job) to purchase a beverage package. We informed her (first time ever) that we wouldn’t need one. This cruise had five stops to incredible ports in France, Italy and Malta. There was only one day at sea and our package included twelve free drinks each per person. Neither I nor my husband drink much so we thought if we drink more than 24 drinks, we will just pay for them. We were politely informed that our package did not indicate any free beverages at all, and she suggested it might be in our best interest to purchase one. ALL beverages, except for “fountain juice” at breakfast in the buffet area and self poured tea and coffee, required purchase. So, we purchased a “premium” package, next best thing to all inclusive. Thinking we can’t go wrong there. It cost $946 Canadian. We soon found out the following: • We went to the chocolate store/ café and asked for a coffee with Baily’s. We were informed our package didn’t cover that. I could go to the bar next door and get it there. • We went to the champagne bar and I asked, “What is a nice champagne?” The bartender suggested a brand. So, I gave him my drink card, he looked at it and passed it back said “Your package only covers drinks up to $10. This champagne is $18 a glass.” So, I said, “Suggest one my package covers.” The bartender gave me the “What the hell do I look like, a servant, look?” That was followed by an eye roll......kid you not. • We dined in the main dining room each night. The water for the table and coffee during meal was charged to our cards. It’s not free as it is on other ships. Imagine, being charged for water! • The drink card can’t be used in the Cirque du Soleil theatre. You have to buy your drinks there. • After supper the waiter came around with shots of Limoncello for $7 each. I gave him my drink card and was told, “It doesn’t cover speciality drinks.” Even though my card covered up to $10 a drink. • The drinks were low on alcohol and high on syrup. Every drink was sugary and thick. Some were undrinkable. • The drink card can’t be used in the theatre. You have to buy your drinks there. Dining: The MSC Bellissima has a choice of 12 dining venues and 20 bars that promise something special for every taste. But only the main dining room and buffet are covered by your fare. We paid $3,691.04 not counting gratuities, drink package and internet charges. We had asked for and received on our booking (confirmed) late dining at a table of six or eight with other couples. We do this as we enjoy meeting others and the late dining gives us more time to enjoy daytime activities/excursions without a rush and no hurry to finish dining as no one coming behind you. The dining was a disaster. • Although we booked for the eight pm setting, we were given the seven pm setting. This wasn’t a problem and we adjusted our day. • We were sat at a table for two. We told the maître d’ that we asked to be seated with other guests. We were instructed to ask people at the next table if they wanted to pull the tables together. While all around us were larger tables with only one or two couple at them. The next evening, we were informed they moved us, without asking. Not expected, but Excellent!! Must be a table with others. No, it was another table for two behind a huge pillar. We told the maître d’ that this was unacceptable, and we were leaving the restaurant. Finally, he put us with a table of three other couples, who turned out to be fabulous people. • This is the first cruise ship where the waiter comes around with a basket of various types of breads. Normally this is laid on the table in fine dining restaurants and cruises. We were told we could pick from the basket and if we wanted more, we had to ask. • Once again, simple things like water and coffee in the dining rooms, are charged to your account. This is normally free on ships. • The menu was unbelievably bad. It looked great on the menu, but the food was substandard. On their web site, they say, “MSC Bellissima's main restaurants serve first-class Mediterranean and international specialities in elegant surroundings. Menus change every day, and exquisite dishes have been created for the Elegant dinners by awarded-winning Spanish Master Chef Ramón Freixa and the Internationally acclaimed German Master Chef Harald Wohlfahrt.” It is the first time I’ve seen a full table send back their food. And we were not the only ones. The food was disgusting. (See the picture of the chicken breast supper). The portions were smaller than a Weight Watchers frozen dinner. Both in the main restaurant and the buffet. The chicken breast was a slice of chicken served with a handful of fries with no vegetables. The beef was served the same way. I would be horrified to serve either to a guest at my house. In each port of call, the restaurants close to the ship’s terminal were full of passengers all with the same complaint of being hungry. I also had two bouts of food poisoning on board. • In the evening we would go to the buffet to see if the food was any better. The buffet closed between 10-midnight. So, we had to wait until midnight for food. The only things served were pizza, fries, fruit (most of it was rotten – see picture) and tiny sandwiches. They had salsa but no chips. • There was no surf and turf night, which is a standard on cruise ships. • The main complaint from everyone we spoke to on the ship was the food and how hungry people were. • It was quite common to find rotten fruit in the buffet. (See picture.) Service: Besides the awful food, the service was just as bad. • On our first excursion day, we had to be at the meeting point by 8 am. We ordered room service. The earliest they will deliver is 7:30 am. I take medication that requires I eat after taking it. The food never turned up. No one called to apologize. It just didn’t happen. When we notified the cabin steward he just shrugged and said, “I don’t know.” • I told the staff that I needed water in my room to take medication. I was charged for the water. (As a point of interest, I made the same request in Las Vegas and they delivered a bar fridge to our room stocked with water free of charge.) • On the first day we boarded we had to go to the buffet until our room was ready. While picking up food two people cut in front of me and pushed me to the side. When I looked, the two were crew members wearing officer’s uniforms. I chalked it up to they were in a rush to get the ship going. But this became the norm. During the ship’s big jewellery sale, I was looking at a watch. Once again, I was pushed to the side by two crew members who were buying up the watches. I have never seen the crew do something like that on any other ship. • The crew are also hard to find and difficult to deal with. If you want one, you’ll find them sitting around the buffet tables talking or on the smoking deck. I have never seen a crew member on another ship smoking with the passengers. • I went to the excursion desk to ask about the excursion we did that day. It was advertised as including lunch and several stops. But that’s not what we got. This was ten pm. The man at the desk said, “We closed five minutes ago, and I can’t deal with you right now. Come back tomorrow.” Then he walked away. There was no more to it than that. Usually on a cruise ship staff will bend over backwards to help you. • In Malta, my back gave out. I have two titanium rods and six screws in my back. After four days of walking I had to return to the ship early to lay down. We approached the first door on the ship and was told by a crew member that that entrance was for ‘elite cruisers’ only. I explained that I was in pain and couldn’t walk. He told me, “Your entrance is down there.” He pointed to the end of the ship. I explained again, thinking maybe he didn’t understand, and explained my medical situation to him. He pulled the rope across the entrance and said, “I told you your entrance is down there.” My husband had to help me walk the length of the ship to get on. • Having said that, not all crew were bad. We had one waiter and one bartender who actually tried their best and did give us good service. • Customer service was non existent. On other cruises, on exiting for an excursion, someone would be on the jetty providing directions to where you needed to go, offering you water or just being available in case you needed to ask a question. None of that existed for MSC. Entertainment: The entertainment was a joke. • There was a piano player and a violinist in the main lobby playing classical music – all week! There was no band to dance to. • The main bar did have a band who were quite good. But they had two singers who had to read the words from sheets on a music stand. They sang the same songs every night but still didn’t know the words. They also couldn’t sing. It became a joke at the bar to see who could identify the song. • Children were also allowed to be in the bars. Which meant half the seating was taken up by bored teenagers and the dance floor had toddlers and young children jumping up and down in between adults who wanted to dance. • The only adults only bar is a jazz piano bar on the top deck (If jazz is your thing). There’s no dance floor. Each night it was full of adults saying, “I’m so bored.” • During one evening the crew were dressed up in these cheap, cheesy costumes like cupid, Popeye the Sailor Man and Jessica Rabbit. I walked by one male crew member who was dressed in a red heart costume with white tights. I honestly though it was a bachelor party and he had lost a bet. It was actually creepy. • The evening shows were excellent and the talent in those shows were amazing, but the shows were only a half hour long. On other ships, the evening show is an hour or more. It’s like you just sit down and you have to get up. And, there is no bar service available at the “normal” shows. Bar service was available at the Cirque shows, but was extra, not covered by a beverage package!! They nickel and dime customers: One of the drawing points for us was the Cirque due Soleil shows. They advertised that twice every night, six nights a week, guests on MSC Bellissima have the unique opportunity to see two original shows by Cirque du Soleil, the world leader in live artistic entertainment, and savour a superb culinary experience in the same glamorous venue. What they don’t tell you is, you have to pay extra for this. • The Cirque shows cost 17.25 euros to see 37.25 if you want dinner with it. You can’t use your drink card in the Cirque theatre. • I believe the food is bad to force you to go to the specialty restaurants on board and spend more money. • They advertise bowling but don’t tell you it costs about 10 euros to play it for 30 minutes. • Everything on board costs extra money. There’s nothing all inclusive about this ship. I estimate it will cost 100 euros a day just to keep your kids entertained. Overall, the ship is absolutely stunning. But the service and food are just not up to par. This is the first time we took a cruise and couldn’t wait to get off. We considered staying at our last port of call and trying to fly back from there. Two other couples warned us about MSC the problems with the food and service. We thought they were just being difficult. Well I can tell you I will never cruise MSC again. We went on this cruise with the intention of booking their Rome to Miami 20 day transatlantic in November. Now I wouldn’t take the cruise for free. I believe you get what you pay for, but we paid more for this cruise than any other cruise we have ever been on. It’s the first time that I felt so hungry on a ship that I was frustrated. It was also quite common to find there is no toilet paper in the public washrooms. The ports of call were fantastic, and we are already planning to go back to explore more of Spain, Italy, France and Portugal, but I will be sticking to Royal Caribbean this time. Out of ten, I give this cruise a three. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Good and Bads: Good: *Ship looks very nice and clean, staffs were friendly *Able to book shows easily, shows are great but some acts are repeated. *Pools and hot tubes are not very crowed especially the kids area. ... Read More
Good and Bads: Good: *Ship looks very nice and clean, staffs were friendly *Able to book shows easily, shows are great but some acts are repeated. *Pools and hot tubes are not very crowed especially the kids area. *Kid's water park is great. Bads: *Buffet is terrible and your only choice if you don't want to sit and wait for your food. Breakfast is nice with the usual everyday (same stuff daily). Bacon, eggs, pastry, fruit, milk, tea, coffee, and juice. Juice is only available for breakfast (should be all day long). Youtube information is not correct. Coffee is diner style, water down and tasteless. *Main dinning food is also not very good. Most of the dishes are just like buffet food. You have to pay for plain water. The only thing good is you can have ice cream for desert. If you have time and wait to be serve, it's okay. For my children, they just want to eat the ice cream and go swimming. *Food is terrible unless you pay for it by going to a paying restaurant or paying for coffee. Free stuff which is included with your stay is below par compare to other ships. They are so cheap that only half a slice of cheese is on a cheese burger. Pizza is good, but full of dough like Papa Johns but with virtually no meat of cheese. Kiwi fruit are small and sour. What's the point of having things that no body will eat. They cut the watermelon and leave it in the fridge and won't put it out until late night with there are less people. Cheap food, no shrimp or steak. Everyday is chicken that's well done and dry. Same food everyday, burger, pizza, fries, pasta, and hot dog that looks like it cost them 10 cents to make. *Children program are terrible too. They advertise many things to do like Lego and video games. However, it's all on a schedule. One hour of Lego, if you miss it, you have to wait for the next Lego time. It's more of babysitting than fun. Don't pay for it, save the money and just buy a set of Lego for them. *Water slide, table tennis, and hockey table are run terribly. You have to ask the staff for everything. There is no sign of what to do and where to go. To do the water slide, you have to sign a wavier at the paying center. To get the ball for the hockey table you have to get it from the water slide registration center. We ask the staff and they either don't know or can't communicate well. *Communication is not done well. Elegant night were not promoted well. You have to read the daily news and states elegant photo with the crew staff. No photo taken at dining room. I guess they knew the food is not that good. Overall, it's a below par ship experience. Many youtuber stated that buffet is terrible and it is with the same cheap food everyday. They don't want to make it good, otherwise the restaurant will be empty. Expect to pay for good food or eat like your in a US public school. Entertainment and children's free Aqua Park is very good. Everything else not so. Definitely won't pick MSC again unless it's hundreds of dollar cheaper. Use the hundreds to buy better food and drink. Maybe the MSC Yacht Club is worth it. Front and top of ship are limited to the Yacht club. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants ... Read More
-For my parents´ wedding anniversary we decided to sail on the Bellisima. After a night spent in Barcelona, visiting the Sagrada Familia, we took a taxi to the cruise terminal, which was quite far away from the city center (and the Sants Train Station). Embarkation was quite smooth and easy. Check-in was really fast, and doing it in the phone App is not really necessary. After 10 minutes of waiting, we could enter our cabin, guided by one of the butlers. -The ship itself is stunning. The Bellisima Promenade is absolutley fantastic. The stores are quite expensive, but worth looking at them, especially the Chocolaterie, with stunning chocolate sulpture. Eventhough a couple of days are needed to adapt yourself to your new home, the MSC for me App and the many screens displayed throughout the ship help a lot. -The Marketplace buffet was quite good. For breakfast there is a huge variety of Continental, English, Mediterranean, or even Oriental breakfast. There is free coffee, infusions and water at all times and free juice at breakfast. Our courtesy restaurant was Posidonia. The waiter was quite slow, and most days we took from 19:45 to 21:30, and we could not go to the 21:15 show. On one hand, the entries and main courses were Ok, not very tasty in most cases. But on the other hand, the desserts were extremely tasty and well made. -The animation crew, especially Borja Vila and Sebastiano Avola, did a fantastic job to organise the thematic parties every night and the rest of activities onboard. Everything was very well organised you could definitly feel a special ambient thanks to them. Live music was excellent too, not just for dancing but to listen to while looking at other things. The band `` Nearly a Band ´´, who plays every night before and after the thematic party, had two singers worth listening to. -The shows were the most special part of the cruise. Everyday, a diferent show performed for three times. All of the singers were spectacualr, especially Lindiwe Bugane, who had an amazing voice, pretty much like Jeniffer Hudson. The generes of the spectacles were very variated, anywhere from Opera, or Rock, to Shadow Puppets. -The WiFi service was quite expensive, so I took it as a chance to disconnect. Be sure to put your phone on airplane mode unless you want exra fees charged from your mobile company. The SPA and Massage services were also very expensive and not worth it. Room service was quite efficient and useful. Cirque de Soleil was totalyy worth the price and It´s a must for those who want to experience such a priviledged way of art. The pools and jacuzzis were climatised and confortable, but a bit overcrowded. Dance classes were very easy and the dance teachers were very nice. Gym was free, very good and equiped, and not very crowded. -The shuttle buses are very expensive, and you can get a shuttle bus and a tour for the same price, if booked with another company. Same with excursions. - Our children made friends in the Teen Club. Attention for them is provided throughout the day; but I must say they charge for many things such as the F1 simulator or the arcade. They also had a Kids menu in the Courtesy Restaurant which was quite an advantage for ``difficult´´ kids when it comes to eating. -I would go again and again. Everything was really special. When put together, everything made a truly unique experience, and I have no doubt that this has been one of the best experiences in my life. Thanks to all the crew for making it so special. MSC stands for its name and without doubt I can affirm that after sailing in the Bellisima. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I have cruised before on Carnival and Costa. I wanted to take my two sons and daughters in law as well as our 4 grandchildren to Europe and a cruise was an option to visit more than one destination. This was to be a trip of ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before on Carnival and Costa. I wanted to take my two sons and daughters in law as well as our 4 grandchildren to Europe and a cruise was an option to visit more than one destination. This was to be a trip of a lifetime. We were 10 people in 3 cabins and had the Aurea package. After booking, I started reading some of the reviews and was worried that our cruise would not be up to our expectations. Well I need not have worried. We got on in Barcelona on Easter weekend and the ship was sold out. Embarkation only took minutes and was flawless. We immediately went to the front desk to ask questions and get the locator bracelets for the little ones. We could not have had a more patient person to answer all our questions. The ship itself is stunning. There are lots of spaces to either be alone and quiet or be with people. This is a cruise line that caters a lot to families. If you don't like kids, then this is probably not for you. it was perfect for us. The MSC app was fantastic for knowing everything that is going on, for booking shows and specialty dining. We did not use Zoe so I can't comment on it. We all loved the spa and having the Aurea package allowed us to use the spa every day. it was wonderful after walking for hours. It was very relaxing and beautiful. There was some confusion over the drink package every so often because there had been changes since we booked but we were usually able to get something we wanted. I see some reviewers complaining about having to pay for water. We had to pay for water on Carnival. Our water was included in our drink package and we had no issues. The food was not extraordinary but it was not awful either. i would not say it was much different than what we had elsewhere. We were always able to get something we liked. I fully expect to pay for things like bowling and the F1 simulators. One would never get access to those activities on a ship with this many people unless you pay. Once you are on the ship, there are packages that you can buy for any of those activities that reduce the cost. The Cirque show is excellent but I would agree to not get the dinner package. Just do the show. The other entertainment on stage is varied to appeal to the mixed population on the ship. The other activities like the white night, or tropical night are fun but you don't have to go if it is not your cup of tea. Comments about the staff being rude totally boggles the mind. Being in the hospitality industry, I know these people work hard. A smile and a kind look usually gets you great service and I would have to say that we never had a rude staff person. Some even called us by name. The cabin is small but still 20 square feet larger than the same grade on some other ships. The bathroom is lovely with lots of storage space and shelves. If you tuck your suitcases under the bed, you have enough space. In any case, most people don't spend a whole lot of time in a cabin. I cannot comment on the tours as we booked private tours for our group. Our group was big enough that we did not want to get in with bigger groups and we wanted some flexibility to shorten tours if need be because of the children. All in all a great experience. I would use MSC again if it was going to destinations I wanted. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was a 7 night cruise and not 5 as stated above. Having been on Royal Caribbean and Princess I was expecting a similar experience on MSC but with more sparkle. The ship was beautifully decorated and very sparkly but I would not choose ... Read More
This was a 7 night cruise and not 5 as stated above. Having been on Royal Caribbean and Princess I was expecting a similar experience on MSC but with more sparkle. The ship was beautifully decorated and very sparkly but I would not choose MSC over other cruise lines again. Embarkation was quite chaotic. It wasn't clear where to drop bags and people were queuing for ages outside in the boiling sun. I was lucky to get in the cruise terminal but had to sit on the floor for 2 hours to await boarding. Our room was a bit smaller than on other cruises we had been on, despite having a balcony, and we were given bunk beds for our children despite stating when we booked these were not suitable. We were told there was nothing that could be done so we made do. Our son was old enough to use the top bunk but to our horror the beds collapsed with him on top and the top bunk fell down. He was very shaken. We were lucky our daughter hadn't climbed in the bottom bunk. We complained but were told there were no other rooms for us. Our only option was for our son to sleep on a mattress on the floor and our daughter slept in our bed. There was no way we were going to use the bunk beds. We discovered later that there was a lock on the side and this had obviously not been put in place. The beds were also left out the whole time so we had no settee to sit on. On other ships the bed settee was always converted back and set up again in the evening. Our room felt very cramped because of this especially for 4 of us. We also had no shower door. Water went everywhere in the bathroom and we had to mop up before our children could go in there every day. We were told it had broken and that a new one would be fitted. This never happened. My brother had no shower door in his room either. On day 3 reception sent for us. We were excited as we thought we would finally get a room with a standard sofa bed. We got to reception only for them to tell us there was nothing they could do. What a waste of our time! We felt that they couldn't have cared less about our grievance. The buffet food was pretty good, if a little repetitive, but the full night buffet didn't open until 7 so before this only pizza, hotdogs, burgers and chips were available. There were often big queues. Afternoon snacks were nice though between 4.30 and 5.30. Cream tea and hot puddings. We only went to the dining room once. The staff were clearly flustered and struggling to cope. I ordered chicken breast. It arrived just stuck on top of some chips. No garnish, sauce or vegetables. For an a la carte restaurant it was a joke. The other dishes weren't great and choice was limited. You couldn't see the menu until you were at your table. We waited ages between courses and despite starting at 6 only just got to the show in time for 8. My daughter's burger arrived with the cheese but without the burger! By this time we were all laughing and thinking of Fawlty Towers. The buffet offers no gluten free options. My brother was told to eat in the restaurant only but obviously this was very inconvenient. My parents complained and the buffet staff miraculously came up with some gluten free rolls. My brother resorted to buying his own food whilst on shore every day as he felt he had no other options. A ridiculous situation when you've paid a lot of money for a cruise. In the buffet you get free water and tea and coffee but not any other squashes like on other cruise lines. In the restaurant you can only buy bottled water. There's no free water. There are also no water machines around the ship other than in the 2 buffet areas. We thought this was very poor. You can have tea and coffee and juice for breakfast but only in the buffet areas. On day 5 after going off the ship for a look around we got back on only to find all our cruise cards had been cancelled so we had to queue at reception for new ones. On day 6 we briefly got stuck in one of the glass lifts at the back of the ship. We also discovered that we were charged €34.99 for our embarkation photo even though we never received it and didn't want it. We had to ask 3 times for it to be taken off our account. Other things we liked on other cruise lines was movies on the big screen at night and free ice cream. None of this with MSC. The basic problem with this ship is that they are just cramming too many people on to cope with. Staff and facilities are stretched. We enjoyed the ports and most of the buffet food. The themed evenings were nice on floor 16 and the entertainment was a better standard than on other ships but our overall impression of MSC is not good. We feel that they only care about how much money they can make from you at every available opportunity and that customer service is very lacking. We are planning on taking the issue of the bunk beds up with MSC as we are very concerned that this can happen so please check that the beds are locked in place if you use them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I was very disappointed in this cruise. The ship is huge, 14 decks and 4-5,000 people. As a result there was a constant state of noise and crowds. It was Easter week and there were many families. Children were up past when I went to bed. ... Read More
I was very disappointed in this cruise. The ship is huge, 14 decks and 4-5,000 people. As a result there was a constant state of noise and crowds. It was Easter week and there were many families. Children were up past when I went to bed. The good: very little feeling of movement on the ship Ports of call were desirable but also very crowded Balcony cabin was good size for two people though the industrial green was a poor color choice Cabin service was pretty good The shows are short, maybe 35 minutes and the singers and dancers are quite skilled. Good costumes. The bad: The shows were uneven. As the week progressed there were some very strange shows including a pole dancer and a number by a contortionist who looked like he was being tortured with electricity. The food was not good in either the dining room, which took forever and was very noisy, or the buffet, which had many of the same tasteless or overlooked dishes every day If you don’t like being overstimulated visually this ship will not make you happy. The casino feels like a funhouse and the central lobby features floor after floor of lit up stairs and mirrored surfaces. Combined with being knocked around by passengers who don’t seem to even notice( forget Excuse me) it felt like an assault on the senses. Embarkation was three hours of waiting in line Tour gatherings were very disorganized in a bar packed with heavy furniture you couldn’t get around Excursions had great tour guides but you were constantly rushing from place to place. It broke my heart to drive right through Nice and only see it from a bus window Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We embarked in Barcelona for the ships first visit round the med after its transatlantic sailing from Brazil. We arrived into Barcelona the day before so had plenty of time to explore and relax before boarding. MSC had allocated us a ... Read More
We embarked in Barcelona for the ships first visit round the med after its transatlantic sailing from Brazil. We arrived into Barcelona the day before so had plenty of time to explore and relax before boarding. MSC had allocated us a 1430-1600 check in time, so we caught the port shuttle to the ship around 1400 and were greeted by 2 of the longest lines. 1st line was for bag drop off, so we were in line around 1415 and we dropped our bag off at around 1510, we were then handed a boarding card and had to join another line to go through security to get into the terminal, once in the terminal luckily our boarding group had already been called, but we saw people hanging around with groups about 10 up from us so that would have been at least another hour. Checked in at 1615 we headed up to the ship for another hour wait to board, eventually on board at around 1730 we dumped our hand baggage and was pleased to see our cases waiting for us outside our cabin. Safety drill was due at around 1700 but as half the ship was yet to board this was delayed we headed to the buffet on deck 8 for some food and grabbed what we could before they pulled the shutters down ready for the drill. It was a long embarkation day, which i guess wouldn't normally be so bad had not the majority of the ship left, and a full ship was trying to board for Easter. The Seaview is an beautiful ship, and being less than a year old everything was still new and worked well. The main stair case is a amazing and great to see. Lifts can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, rather than calling for the lift you select what deck you are heading to and it will allocate you one from the bank. We waited for ages for lifts to come sometimes and when it showed up it was full then you had to go over the process again. We used the interactive screens dotted around the ship to book entertainment which needs to be done a couple of days before. With entertainment the singers/musicians in the main atrium where great to sit and listen to, we then only really bothered with the show in the evening, we booked onto the 2230 show every night and even though this was the 3rd show of the evening it was still full every show. The shows them selves were good mainly singing or variety acts, with little spoken word as would be hard on a ship so multi cultural. Our cabin was good, located on deck 12 mid ship with a balcony, big enough for 2 of us, with a sofa and big wardrobe. Cleanliness wasn't great as we found a bag of rubbish in the wardrobe, hairs on the cushions on the bed and nail clippings on the balcony. Bathroom was nice and modern with no dreaded shower curtain,just nice clean glass. Staff were friendly enough and everyone i spoke with was cheerful and helpful. On other cruises i have been on the cabin attendant will get to know you by name and is good for a chat, on the Seaview i am not sure if it is done differently but i had no idea who was looking after our cabin and saw the odd cleaner down the corridor. As others have said every announcement is done in 5 different languages so can take a while, we didn't hear or see the captain once during the cruise apart from in the theatre on formal night. Food was good majority of the time, we stuck to the main buffets on deck 8 and 16 and could always find something to eat, pizza's are amazing and best on ship pizza's i have had and they bake breakfast goods as needed in a morning which was nice. I did find it weird that the ship would run out of certain items during our cruise and considering we had no days at sea i would have thought it would be easy to source items. But we had no tomatoes on board for the 5 days and they ran out of fanta and sprite by day 2, so were left with non branded versions. We only took one excursion and that was at La Spezia to see the little towns in the hills, which was good value at EUR50 each and was a full day. At the other ports we did our own thing as you could easily pick up an open top bus tour for a fraction of the cost of the ships excursions. Overall i would go back on the Seaview again, we did have a great time and really enjoyed our holiday. Read Less
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