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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise, despite all the bad reviews, because the price and the itinerary were good. We figured "how bad can it be". Well the reviews were right. The ship is beautiful. Everything else was not. I don't even know ... Read More
We chose this cruise, despite all the bad reviews, because the price and the itinerary were good. We figured "how bad can it be". Well the reviews were right. The ship is beautiful. Everything else was not. I don't even know where to start. From the minute we set foot on the ship everything was about up selling you. Even at dinner in the main dining room the waiters were trying to sell you dining packages to the paid restaurants. In the dining rooms the food was barely edible, almost laughable, and forget about a glass of water or a cup of coffee with your meal. All extra! That's right. if you wanted a glass of water you had to buy a bottle. If you wanted coffee or tea you had to pay for it. Wine and soda I understand but water? a cup of coffee?. So the alternative to dining is to pay extra to go to one of the restaurants or go to the buffet. Let me tell you; the buffet was even worse. 6,000 people fighting for access to the most poorly laid out buffet I've ever seen. We tried it once for breakfast and once more for lunch. The food was no better. After that We would not set foot near the buffet except in the evening when I needed a cup of hot water to mix some Theraflu for a head cold before bed. Even that was an excruciating experience. Most times there was no hot water available or the urn was empty. There was no flow control at all in the buffet so it was chaos at all times and the staff did nothing to ease the situation. We saw our room steward on the first day..that was it. when you bought anything you signed an electronic pad and never got a physical receipt. forget about trying to reconcile your bill at the end of the cruise. The ship was always noisy. There was not a quiet place anywhere on the ship that you could go to relax or read except the sky lounge up top, but every time we tried to get up there for some quiet conversation or relaxation it was "closed for private event". I could go on and on but there is just too much to say; such as if you wanted to go to a show in the theater you had to make a reservation ahead of time. What ever happened to " I think I'll go and see what the show is after dinner". At the end of the cruise our group of 12 friends could not wait to get off that ship. Up until now our worst cruise experience had been on Carnival. Not anymore! MSC is now #1 for NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I was concerned about the reviews about this cruise before departure. But the cruise was fine. There are niggles - the food isn't as good as we've had on other cruises, less choice, I think poorer quality. One of the worst things was ... Read More
I was concerned about the reviews about this cruise before departure. But the cruise was fine. There are niggles - the food isn't as good as we've had on other cruises, less choice, I think poorer quality. One of the worst things was the lack of hand gel dispensers in the buffet. There were sinks, but no-one used them! We took the all inclusive package, booked before departure which was worth while. Drinks are expensive, and you even need to buy water with dinner. Its a beautiful ship. Huge, but nice. Its quite noisy with all the nationalities, but you can always find a space. The theatre was a bug-bear, with people coming and going right through the performances. Very annoying. There was a lovely indoor pool with warm water! There was some great entertainment. We never got to see Cirque du Soleil as one of the performers was injured. I was disappointed by this. In the ports, it was expensive to get into Marseille - I think around 17 euros each, as it was a long way from the dock. They also charged around 8 euros to get to Barcelona - whereas there was a port shuttle for 4 euros return. The staff were great, especially in the bars. We worked our way through the cocktail list! The cabin was lovely and the cabin steward excellent - although there's not much drawer space and the wardrobe could be bigger with more hangers. Toiletries are basic, shower gel and shampoo only - no conditioner, or body lotion. We were disappointed to find that the nicest bar - which was child free was never open, even though you could sit in the lounge. On our cruise there seemed to be huge groups of travel agents being shown around which was disruptive. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Embarkation was terrible - we waited for the passengers to go ashore before staff arrived and opened the desks - 1 yacht club, 2 Priority Boarding and 2 desks for the remainder (majority) of passengers. No announcements. People began to ... Read More
Embarkation was terrible - we waited for the passengers to go ashore before staff arrived and opened the desks - 1 yacht club, 2 Priority Boarding and 2 desks for the remainder (majority) of passengers. No announcements. People began to queue, the queues were long and people began to get irate, shoving to the front of the queue. MSC need to organise this better and have more staff on hand. Once on ship quickly directed to our room, luggage had arrived and cards were on the bed, the card was not showing our all inclusive package, so down to reception and into another long queue. The card was quickly changed, why MSC are so bad on admin. I don't know. No time no for anything to eat or drink as the announcement goes out for safety drill. After the first day we had a fantastic cruise. Ship is very classy and roomy and kept immaculately clean. There are plenty of bars each with it's own character. There are 3 pools and 8 hot tubs. There was always plenty of sunbeds if you moved away from the main pool areas. Cabin - our inside cabin was very spacious with a comfortable large double bed, chair and coffee table, dressing table with large mirror above it, 2 electric sockets, hairdryer in drawer, large double wardrobe, one side hanging space the other half shelves and half small drawers, 2 drawers in the dressing table and 2 drawers in each bedside cabinet (take extra hangers for long cruises). The bathroom was a good size with shower with glass doors, shower gel and shampoo provided. Food and drink - Breakfast could be taken in Buffet or MDR. MDR also had a buffet section. Breakfast selection was excellent. We could always find a seat quickly in the buffet. Only tried MDR once for breakfast but didn't like waiting for the service when there is so much to do in the day. Lunch in the Buffet was equally good selection wise and seating, we generally only ate salads and sometimes the fresh roasts so can't say what the remainder of the meals were like. I especially like the system in buffet for drinks, there is a call button on each table which links to wristbands worn by drink servers, so no trying to catch someones attention. Lunch in MDR was a mix of buffet or menu service by waiter. Dinner - on our cruise was still the 7 courses. Appetizer, Salad, Pasta or Risotto (terrible risotto - like rice pudding), Main 3 choices, dessert, cheeseboard. You could mix and match this as you liked - sometimes I had the appetiser the fish from the main and then a meat main. Steamed vegetables and chips were always an option as was an "always available" selection of dishes. Overall the quality and variety of the food was very good, sometimes excellent and sometimes not so good - but you could always send back and change with no problem. Getting drinks in the dining room was never a problem, my husband always had beer and the waiter was more than happy to keep him supplied as his glass emptied. Theatre seating is excellent but the shows are a bit repetative, same people in different costumes. They only last 30 mins. We were selective and didn't go to everything on offer. Plenty of activities during the day if you like that sort of thing. Staff Service - We received excellent service throughout our cruise. All crew members we passed or came into contact with were friendly and chatty, bar staff quickly became familiar with your drinks. Disembarkation was very well organised and we were quickly onshore locating our luggage. I wouldn't hesitate to cruise with MSC again Arrived at Ports either on time or early but due to bad weather could not stop at Buzios (tender port). Only used one excursion (Rio) which turned out to be good value for money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first MSC Cruise, booked over a year ago as MSC advertisement said it had the latest technology in wrist bands, circus du solei, mirror that allows one to see without putting the clothes on, ten pin bowling, good food ... Read More
This was our first MSC Cruise, booked over a year ago as MSC advertisement said it had the latest technology in wrist bands, circus du solei, mirror that allows one to see without putting the clothes on, ten pin bowling, good food restaurants.... So after boarding we found out there were no wrist bands, there were no circus shows (technical issues with both and the show was an extra fee which weren't advertised), bowling was just a 2 lane for a short time/high fee. All 3 meals were jam packed into the buffet restaurant as there were no other places to eat unless one pays - for dinner the fixed dining venues offered small serving, basic food and we met people who didn't like the food or had to fill up in the buffet afterwards. The fixed dining wait staff worked like robots, no personal service really until we tipped them - a test we did on the 4th night (seriously why would someone tip for disinterested service!). Other company cruise ships SMALLER than this ship's size have more inclusive dining venues! On this ship they used the space to sell chocolates etc. We called this the money hungry, dieters' cruise ship. In a snap shot food options and quality are the poorest in comparison to RCI, Princess, Celebrity etc.. Oh almost forgot to add dinner buffet only starts at 7pm (counters are all empty before 7pm). They also closed the doors at 6:00pm at the level 5 restaurant and won't let diners with a 5:30pm seating in. Do not book the cruise terminal to airport transfer with MSC, it was badly organised. There were no directions and when we finally found the lady holding a folder deemed 'transfer crew' the 4 of us were separated and squeezed into small taxis and so were our luggage! We asked and they said it was a bus transfer when we booked. Gym equipment was just basic to say the least for a large, new ship (advertised to be a high tech ship). Movies on demand on the tv ALL require a fee (unlike other cruise companies). So it was just repetitive news on the whole cruise. Port daily reading material had no maps or any useful info for self navigation - again this cruise company wants all to pay and use their shore excursions. A nice ship, being new. That said we would choose to cruise with others before MSC for the reasons above. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
The ship is enormous and so noisy the public areas are like being at a football match The design on the restaurants is so poor you could scream and still not hear yourself The is not enough room for all guests in the bar areas, but ... Read More
The ship is enormous and so noisy the public areas are like being at a football match The design on the restaurants is so poor you could scream and still not hear yourself The is not enough room for all guests in the bar areas, but they have managed to make a chocolate shop on the main floor that is huge and expensive and empty I suppose it looks good in their promotional videos The food is very very poor quality and quantity, everyone we spoke to complained I have had better school diners and the potions were tiny, most men on board must have been hungry after diner. Our waiter bought round the bread basket three times every night and put extra potions in the middle of the table for people to help themselves. There were eight people on our table. Breakfast was very low quality and lunch was so poor we eat out when on dry land Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I read all the reviews prior to taking this cruise. I am sorry to say most were right on target. The ship is beautiful. We were on the Aurea deck along with our son and daughter in law/ Cabins 14081 and 14083. We had a tub in our ... Read More
I read all the reviews prior to taking this cruise. I am sorry to say most were right on target. The ship is beautiful. We were on the Aurea deck along with our son and daughter in law/ Cabins 14081 and 14083. We had a tub in our cabin which was very dangerous. Very narrow and is rounded on the sides. There was absolutely no closet space in either cabins and only 2 small drawers. We both had a small balcony which was fine. We had the 3 restaurant dining package and the two shows of Cirque de Soleil. The only decent restaurant is Butchers Cut. We had a very nice meal there and we found out that they serve brunch there on certain days and we paid to eat brunch which was very nice. The ship has to many people and they just cannot accommodate everyone. There were long lines wherever we went. If we had a question we would be in line about an hour before we reached the counter. The food is horrible. The buffet is a nightmare, too many people, pushing and grabbing food. The food was uninteresting and just no taste. We did the buffet for a couple of lunches and two breakfasts. The waves restaurant was not any better, rude staff and food with no taste. We did go to Panorama Restaurant for dinner and it was just ok, staff very nice. The elegant night offered Filet of Beef, which we thought was Filet, ended up being Roast Beef. We had tickets to see both Cirque shows and they were cancelled due to "technical difficulties". You could not get a seat in the bar lounges due to people playing cards and not ordering cocktails. There just were no seats to accommodate all the people on board. My son had to tip the bartenders because if not you would stand there for about 15 minutes and no one would take your order. Once he tipped, we had no problem. I would never cruise this line again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have just come back from a cruise on this ship. To give you context, we've cruised four times before - once on Princess, once on Celebrity and twice on P&O. This was by far our worst experience. I would not recommend it for people ... Read More
We have just come back from a cruise on this ship. To give you context, we've cruised four times before - once on Princess, once on Celebrity and twice on P&O. This was by far our worst experience. I would not recommend it for people who like a traditional cruise. The evening dining was by far the worst thing about it. The food was so awful it is hard to imagine. As an example one main course was a cold lump of moussaka. No veg, salad or garnish. It was basically all like that. Truly awful. I did complain to reception and the maître d but neither was interested. The physical environment is very good. The cabins were nice. Everything was kept clean. The central atrium or boulevard looks fantastic. The shows on board are very good - however the Italians seem to think it is fine to let their children run around in the show at 22:30 at night. It is a cultural thing and this just wasn't the relaxing grown up cruising experience we were expecting. My husband used the F1 and Moto GP simulators and enjoyed those (but you have to pay). Which leads me on to my final complaint. You don't even get water at dinner unless you pay for it. You don't get coffee after dinner either. Thank goodness the food in the buffet was pretty good. We had to eat in there instead. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Looked forward to this cruise and ship, this was the second of the year with MSC after the fabulous Divina in February 17 & Splendida Sept 16, I knew exactly what I was going into. This ship is a fantastic modern marvel of ships ... Read More
Looked forward to this cruise and ship, this was the second of the year with MSC after the fabulous Divina in February 17 & Splendida Sept 16, I knew exactly what I was going into. This ship is a fantastic modern marvel of ships & pride of the fleet but thats where it ends, in my mind there is something missing and I couldn't put my finger on it, yes you get the usual europeans in the buffet, lifts and anywear they think they have to be first in/out without queuing/waiting but it's not that. For me it was the bars /lounges a strange set up - Edge bar (best bar) few seats & tables that soon filled up with people not drinking, reading or playing cards (their prerogative). Champagne bar with no-one in, which is bigger more seats tables than the edge bar that only sells champagne and prosecco! I don't do champs or prosecco more of a G&T man so that bar was out for us. Sky lounge - biggest lounge plenty of tables & chairs, Jazz singer and band all night one drink and your out of there but it was never full or busy. Tv lounge quite entertaining if you like European tv comedy think Eurotrash, the English pub was ok in the afternoon food was good but you had to pay for it, felt different in the evening with not many people in. The sports bar was a joke compared to the Divina/Splendida and reminded me of a sports centre reception we had one drink in there and didn't go back no TVs to watch sports!! The Galleria Meraviglia bit like the trafford centre but I get it and enjoyed it best part of the ship. Food - Main restaurant small portions, bland food plenty of sea food if you like it, I don't pay for restaurants we had a package steakhouse, Eataly & Kaito sushi & Teppanyaki which is only the sushi part (we did pay for teppanyaki) now this package is good value but be warned the menus are very short if you don't do seafood be warned, in my opinion the food in eataly was crap after eating in the Divina eataly I expected something of the same it didn't by a long stretch after a complaint to the MaitreD' he organised food I can eat in Kaito Sushi so thanks for sorting that. Steak house excellent apart from the fillet the wife got 8oz on the plate looked lost it had shrunk so much was cooked med, my 14oz sirloin looked like a 14oz sirloin on the plate cooked the same med' starter of goats cheese tart with blueberries was excellent. Buffet was the usual MSC joke they have this down to a fine art but we are use to it and except it for what it is. Room interior deck 13 very small but comfy I lived out of suitcase wife filled the small wardrobe. I could go on about all parts of the ship but I won't. To credit MSC Boarding/Disembarking is the best I've had (all 3 cruises) the staff Waiters, bar service, room services are excellent and work hard while keeping happy. Reception you only speak to them when you have a monetary/billing issue and you are on first name terms by the end of the week but they sort everything out!! Will I go on Meraviglia again......... Maybe.. ish! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Introduction As background, we are experienced cruisers who typically sail in suites, predominantly on NCL and MSC. This is our third cruise on MSC and our third cruise in the Yacht Club. We booked this cruise about a year ago, before ... Read More
Introduction As background, we are experienced cruisers who typically sail in suites, predominantly on NCL and MSC. This is our third cruise on MSC and our third cruise in the Yacht Club. We booked this cruise about a year ago, before the ship launched. We previously booked a YC2 on the Divina and a YC1 on the Splendida. Both cruises were excellent. With a brand new ship and an expanded Yacht Club, the trip looked promising when booked. The pre-booking optimism faded quickly once on board. We were escorted to the concierge desk and given our key cards upon arrival. However, the concierge failed to ask for a credit card to activate the entry and exit cards. We realized the cards had not been activated when we were locked out of the Yacht Club. The reception desk was packed. We had to search around the ship and finally found a spot to activate the card. Unfortunately, this was a foreshadowing of concierge blunders. On the first day, I was told that I could not book the Cirque show I purchased before the cruise on the ship’s on- line booking system, but could only book through the concierge. On day 2, I go to the concierge and ask for a reservation on Tuesday the 31st. She insists that October has only 30 days and therefore I could not book the 31st. I mention I know there is a 31st because it is Halloween. She does not seem to know much about Halloween and at this point it feels like a metaphysical discussion of time and space. Finally, she looks at her calendar and voila the mystery is solved. The 31st does exist and I can have my reservation. There was more lapses at the concierge desk. As black card members we got two free dinners at specialty restaurants. I read pre-cruise that Butchers Cut is very popular, hence my reason to book early. On the first day, I do not see any vouchers in the cabin. I ask the concierge. No worries they will deliver them. Day 2 still no vouchers. I ask the butler. Same response. I ask a different concierge. Same response. Day 3 still no vouchers. I ask the head concierge. He indicates you do not need vouchers. He just has to call the restaurant. He calls. No times available for dinner, only lunch. I tell him I will discuss with my wife and get back to him. I call the restaurant myself after seeing many times available on line. No problem. They book us for dinner at 7 pm on Monday and Thursday. Why the concierge would mislead me on this issue and then intentional misrepresent dinner status is a mystery. I was cordial in all my requests. Fortunately, I pre-planned and already purchased our excursions. We presumed this was our last contact with the concierge. We were sadly wrong. We arrive back at the room, and find a note that our excursion to Arles, France is cancelled due to weather. It was supposed to be 70, calm and sunny the next day. We do not think it was weather, but lack of interest that cancelled the trip. At this point, going to the concierge for more information is futile after the Halloween and Black Card incidents. Our excursion receipts say we should get all our excursion tickets on the first day. However, we are only giving one ticket at a time the night before.Therefore, we do not know when the excursion will leave until 12 hours before some of the excursions. Hard to plan a good time to get back to the room when you do not know when you will need to get up in the morning. We have never experienced such lack of service on a cruise. After the second day, we concluded that we would ignore the butler and concierge and do everything on our own. This works well for the rest of the cruise, but should be unnecessary in the Yacht Club, or anywhere else on the ship for that matter. Entertainment We have seen a few lax safety issues on various ships, but nothing compared to what we encountered in the main theater of this ship. All shows require a reservation. The theater holds approximately 700 folks. In theory, the reservation process should prevent any possibility of over-crowding. However, in practice MSC kept letting folks into the theater even after it was full, We attended all five shows and in all shows folks were sitting on the stairs next to me blocking the stairs and exits. The last night was the worse with about 20 rows of blocked stairs. An elderly gentlemen with a cane tried to leave early. He had to navigate a maze of mostly children seated on the stairs. It is amazing he did not fall and injure himself and one or more kids. In addition to the fall hazard, if the theater ever needed evacuation it would be chaos. At no time did we see MSC staff attempt to clear the stairs or make a pre-show announcement not to block aisle. Besides the safety issue, the evening shows were mediocre at best. The singers and dancers were talented, but the shows tried to be all things to all people. Show attempts to incorporate something for every nationality into every show ended up in a choreographic hodgepodge. For example, one show’s theme was Italian Amore. However, half way through the show the cast was singing an American soul song in Italian that had nothing to do with love while dancers in pirate customs jumped around on stage. After exiting the show I said to my wife:“What the hell was that?” This was a recurring question after most shows. We also attended the Cirque show. The show was good. However, it was equivalent to some of the free acrobatic entertainment we encountered on past cruises. However, it offered a midweek reprieve from the tortured choreography in the main theater. That was welcomed. We also notice a recurring theme for events on this ship. Some shows were scheduled at 8:30 and some at 8:45, but they all start at 8:50 pm. There are two dress up nights, but neither was listed in the dailies. There are no announcements on the ship. Basically, you guess what will happen and when it will happen. At various points in the cruise it felt like we had a part in a Twilight Zone episode. Dining Dinners, even in the Yacht Club, were fair. This is the first time in either the Yacht Club or Haven that we encountered what best can be described as bland offerings. The wait staff tried hard, but the system worked against the wait staff. Often our meal orders were shared between two waiters. This resulted in missed or wrong items being served. By day four, we began to play guess what the wait staff will miss today. The best dinners were in Butcher’s Cut. It also had the best service. The servers actually appeared happy to be there. We had a discussion with one of the servers who also worked the Yacht Club. He confirmed that Butcher’s Cut had a much better Vibe for the staff than the Yacht Club. Excursions We pre-purchased four excursions through MSC, and did the hoho with an independent vendor in Genoa. After Arles was cancelled, we were down to 3 MSC excursions. The excursion process was chaos. The staff would typically show up well after many guests arrived. Then they would try to make up time by rushing through the confirmation process. Our first excursion to Pompei, illustrated what happens when you take this approach. We retrieved our excursion number, and were told to wait in the upper balcony until called. About a dozen of us sat together until we noticed many people exiting the theater. One of our group went down to check status and was told our number was called for boarding. Absolutely no one heard this call. We rushed to the bus and made it just in time. The excursion guides were very good. Fortunately, they were independent contractors not affiliated with MSC. We believe that made the difference. Room This was our first time in an interior stateroom on any ship. We found on our last European cruise we were rarely in the room. Therefore, an interior seemed fine. When we booked, the diagram showed two chairs in the room. This was well before the ship launched. Somewhere along the way, the chairs were eliminated. Our room steward, who was excellent, brought us a wicker chair. We also noticed that lighting in this room was rather sparse for a cabin with no external light. The room is small as expected. It works for two people if you are efficient in your space requirements. Not much closet space and the bathroom is very small. If you plan on spending significant time in your room, I would not recommend this room. However, if you plan on being out and about the ship, the room works. We spent considerable time at the Top Sail lounge and pool deck as the weather was nice most days. Final thoughts This is a beautiful ship. The LCD ceiling is amazing and the promenade on 6 and 7 is fashionable and well designed. That is what makes our experience on this ship so disappointing. With all the promise of the ships infrastructure, the poor service on this ship trumps the considerable money spent on the ship. The ship lacks attention to detail. The safety issue mentioned in my comments on the ships theater is inexcusable. It is an accident waiting to happen. It exemplifies the ship major weakness, lack of supervision. On most ships you see ship officers actively walking the ship and checking staff under their command. On this ship, I only saw the officers at the Black Card reception and on stage at the send off show the night before Genoa. Perhaps they manage things behind the scenes, but management by walking around is still an effective tool, especially on a new ship. It would be easy to attribute these short comings to the newness of the ship. However, the ship has been sailing four months. The service honeymoon period is over. MSC plans on bringing this ship to the U.S. in the future. They should probably hire someone from RCL or NCL that knows how to manage large ships before bringing this ship stateside. We plan on taking a hiatus from MSC after this experience. We had a great experience on the Divina and Splendida, but this ship was so off the mark, it appears MSC is trending in the wrong direction. We hope to sail MSC somewhere down the road, but for now it is back to their main rival NCL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to go on a brand new ship but they had crammed so many people on it. Mostly Italian and Easter Europeans customer base but this was during school holidays, so there were 5700 people on it. The buffet was horrendously busy as ... Read More
We wanted to go on a brand new ship but they had crammed so many people on it. Mostly Italian and Easter Europeans customer base but this was during school holidays, so there were 5700 people on it. The buffet was horrendously busy as were most public areas. The beautiful promenade walk was always crowded. I am at a loss to understand Why MSC have given space to the chocolate cafe shop which was always quiet, Bar Merviglia next door was always too busy to get a seat, so it would make more sense to double the size of the Meraviglia Bar. As was the champagne bar, quite a large area but always empty, so why they never made this another bar selling drinks like Bar Zero, I don’t know. customer reception desk, was always busy with large queues. The cruise was like a hop-on-hop-off bus with four embarkation and disembarkation ports Read Less
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