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Sail Date: September 2019
a one week Baltic cruise fit our schedule and we wanted to sail on a newer ship.They did an excellent job handling 4500 guests We are regular cruisers on several US lines. after reading reviews of this ship I was somewhat cautious. It ... Read More
a one week Baltic cruise fit our schedule and we wanted to sail on a newer ship.They did an excellent job handling 4500 guests We are regular cruisers on several US lines. after reading reviews of this ship I was somewhat cautious. It turns out that the experience was great. MSC is extremely organized, both getting on and off the ships as well as their excursions, theater reservations, and meal times. While not our favorite dining experience you can find plenty to satisfy. They have some excellant Gelato, chocolate, and British pub locations we tried, all good. The overall entertainment was the best we have encountered. The Cirque du soleil and theater presentaions were great. Also a very friendly crew. Beautiful newer ship. We met people from all over the world, but they did not overwelm you with foreign language announcements. Would not hesitate to sail with MSC again. This ship is heading to Miami. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
MSC was by far most reasonable price point. Meraviglia was a best value. Beautiful, Swarovski Crystal-laden vessel. Less than 2 years old with the latest technology on board-MSC For Me, and access to Cirque Show, sailing the MSC ... Read More
MSC was by far most reasonable price point. Meraviglia was a best value. Beautiful, Swarovski Crystal-laden vessel. Less than 2 years old with the latest technology on board-MSC For Me, and access to Cirque Show, sailing the MSC Meraviglia to the Fjords was the right move. Ship large enough to handle all on board without problem. However, as with any large vessel, guests must be smart about how to get from point a to b. Also, when getting on and off the ship, advanced planning is required. Service on ship could not have been better. From guest services to restaurant staff, to disabled assistance, all areas were well handled by crew. In particular, wait staff was so friendly and well coordinated. Also, ship was spotless with all workers doing utmost to keep the vessel sparkly and shiny. Specifically, theatre shows and food could not have been of better quality or variety. Overall, IF guests watch their alcohol consumption and ship specific excursion purchases, one can really gain tremendous value without giving up anything in choosing MSC and the Meraviglia to sail on their next journey. Bon voyage!( Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was ... Read More
We have never cruised before, and chose the specific cruise we went on, due to the availability of kid’s activities for our 10 year old daughter, the destinations throughout the Baltics and a decent price. Getting on board as newbies was a bit stressful, as we did not know the process and there was little information about what to expect. We also was more stressed than was required as we roamed around trying to find out how to register a credit card to our cruise card (which wasn’t obvious on the machines) and find out how the kids club works and how/where to go. As it turned out our daughter never gelled with the kids club, as she was hitting the top end of her age group and felt they were being treated childishly and there were few kids of her age. I did get the feeling a lot of other kids truly enjoyed it, just not ours. The boat was generally fairly busy and the common areas (particularly the buffet and the pool areas) could be very crammed and chaotic. At times the central inside area was blocked by other activities. The dining area was great, with a new menu every day, so there was always lots of choice. We did ultimately enjoy our cruise and had some nice on land days, both self served and on excursion, though it will probably be better if we do another cruise now we know what to expect. The staff was generally attentive, smiley and professional, and the fact that all gratuities were paid centrally was more comfortable, as we come from a culture where wages are fair and tipping is only applicable if the service is exceptional. Disembarkation was brilliant, taking us 10 minutes from we were called till we were in a taxi. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Have done one previous Cruise on Carnival in the Caribbean. My review is thus going to be comparison to that one. Things I liked more about this cruise. They do less announcements as Carnival would be woken up with announcements ... Read More
Have done one previous Cruise on Carnival in the Caribbean. My review is thus going to be comparison to that one. Things I liked more about this cruise. They do less announcements as Carnival would be woken up with announcements about going to shore and things going on that day. This one kept announcements to minimum though did take awhile due to being in 5 languages. This could be plus or minus but there are limited English speakers and fewer Americans. They do sit you with same language speaker I dinner. We had sets since cruise we were in embarked at both Copenhagen and Warnemünde. Found music entertainers better as guitarist at wine bar I found had wider rep than piano bar singer on other cruise. Classical musicians and opera singers at pre dinner area were good. Found steward service top notch as they would get into room quickly to clean during 30 minutes we were at breakfast or lunch. Did excursions through this one as did not through previous cruise as found them more interesting though that might be due to location as company. Things that were worst. Found food subpar. Food was not bad but just did not excel. Only have one specialty restaurant a sushi bar that seemed mostly empty. I live in big city where can get sushi easily. If I was them switch it to a tepanayjki or Brazilian style steakhouse place as those are popular. The entertainment was dancers not comedians which is understandable due to language issues. Went twice and seemed the same except change of costume and music as dance moves very similar. Things that were similar Rooms was nice as standard balcony style room. Had aft on previous cruise so balcony was big enough to stretch out on and this was regular balcony so just chairs. Both were pre 2010 ships so did not have all the specialty dining and freestyle eating that more modern ships do. They also were not the new 4000 plus person mega ships so no water slides etc. Had some issues with internet and room. The room I booked and confirmed on travel sure was not one I got with both sides blaming other party. Will see if get those resolved after cruise so will hold out judgement until then on those issues. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We chose this cruise for the remarkable deal we found to cruise Northern Europe. Embarkation was very smooth, we waited about 30 min or so, but we arrived before our check-in time. The ship is very modern and has a real wow factor! This ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the remarkable deal we found to cruise Northern Europe. Embarkation was very smooth, we waited about 30 min or so, but we arrived before our check-in time. The ship is very modern and has a real wow factor! This was out 13th cruise. We’ve done Disney, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival. MSC is definitely different from the “American” lines. Pool decks are much quieter, no music/games/contests like on the other ships. No sail away party. There was a giant screen; however, it never played any movies or shows, only beach scenery. The pools are salt water and we’re not terribly crowded except on sea days when it was nearly impossible to find a lounger even on the deck above. The thermal suite is lovely and a great place to relax. The kids club was good. Our boys enjoyed their time there. They do close at various points throughout the day in seas days, which was a bit of a pain. The food in the buffet was really just ok as was the main dining room. The speciality restaurants have much better food. The status match program is nice. I have a gold card so there were some perks, but not like ones On other lines. We got a bowl of fruit in our cabin and a string back pack. We were offered a free photo but it had to be from a particular party which was at 11 on the last sea day. Overall, any cruise it what you make of it. We chose MSC for the great itinerary. It can feel like you’re being nickeled and dimed, but we were prepared for that from other reviews. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Theis ship is horrible, the service is so bad there is no excuse for it. It takes ages for a waiter to come to you for drinks in the main buffet even tho you have a bell for colling them, one time the waiter came to the table canceled ... Read More
Theis ship is horrible, the service is so bad there is no excuse for it. It takes ages for a waiter to come to you for drinks in the main buffet even tho you have a bell for colling them, one time the waiter came to the table canceled the call and just walked away without takeing our order, when we asked him why he did that he came with such a dumb excuse, and thats is all the staff have for you is excuses. When you want to go to shore there are harbors with only steps as gang walks so disabled people cant disimbark, on the ports that disabled people can disimbark you will go thru hell when you imbark, first of all they will make sure that you know that they doing the disable people a big favor if they let 1 person to acompany the disable thru security, we had 1 person with an oxigen mask on her and security made her stand in line for 10 mins for security, they made me choose betwin my disabled father and my child ( who didnt speak english) so i had no choice but to wait for my child, so my father had to wait for me and my child and they put him near a trashcan so god forbid he will interfere the other guests, when we whent to complain about it, the costomer service made me feel like I was the one to blame, he didnt wrote my complain right and ofcourse the complaint was nulled with the excuse that you cant expect them to let 3 people cut the securety line (and I remind you 1 person is disabled and one is a child) and leting the other guest wait. The dishes in the buffet was dirty we got glasses with lipstick marks on them, plates with pasta still on it. On other ships at the evenibg of your first imbarkation the person in charge of cleaning your room comes and introduce him/her self to you and tells you that every thing you needs room wise to come to him/her, on this ship we saw him only on the last night of the cruise. The one bright light on the ship is the food, it was tasty and good and you had a large choice of dishes to choose from in the buffet, and every day was diffrent dishes, too bad you couldn't had plates to put those delicious dishes. We took an excurtion in kiel and asked the woman who booked us the excurtion if it takes us to see the city itself including the city center because they had 1 tour only for the harbor and the tour we took, at the end both of the excurtions was only for the harbor and we didnt saw the city at all. Pass these ship there are other ship lines that are much better with the same prices as this one. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I'm a frequent cruiser, as I've been on other cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival, and I have never been on a cruise ship where I was treated with such a low regard in my entire life. ... Read More
I'm a frequent cruiser, as I've been on other cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival, and I have never been on a cruise ship where I was treated with such a low regard in my entire life. Now, this is not my first time with MSC. I have sailed on the MSC Divina and the Seaside out of Miami each twice. However, on the Seaside we booked the Yacht Club, the inclusive ship-within-a-ship service on MSC (similar to Norwegian's Haven), and found the service just as equal to service found on smaller ships of other cruise lines. This trip we decided to book the two-story duplex suite instead of the Yacht Club under the Aurea Experience, thinking that with all the money we were spending, we would get good service and quality. Boy, were we wrong. FOOD: First of all, the main dining room waiters are unfriendly and unaccomodating. They refused to serve us any food that was not listed on the menu. And although we had a beverage package, the waiters refused to fetch us a pina colada from a nearby bar when my father ordered one. One night, my sister wanted an apple juice and the waiters in the dining room claimed there wasn't any juice available, yet when we walked to buffet a few moments later, juice was readily available. It seemed to be that the waiters didn't want to go out of the way to get us anything. Additionally, every time we asked for something in the dining room, like ice for our drinks, it seemed to be almost a bother to them. Also, the selection of food on the menu was awful. There were only like four or five main entrees to choose from, and most of them looked pretty nasty to me. It didn't even look like a cruise ship menu. They had grilled chicken every night, but as soon as it touched my lips, I immediately spit it out as the taste was disgusting and it was incredibly chewy. The buffet is a whole other story. The buffet is huge, with a relatively nice selection of foods, yet that didn't mean the food looked good and tasted good for that matter. I do have to say, the pizza was excellent, with different varieties everyday, and fresh-made mozzarella nearby. But other than that, the food went downhill. I literally ate pizza every single day of the cruise because everything else looked and tasted so bad. Breakfast, I have to say was decent and honestly had a nice variety, but lunch and dinner was worse than college cafeteria food. The ship itself was incredibly overcrowded- you could barely keep yourself from tripping over someone at buffet. And since the ship left out of Copenhagen, the ship was full of Europeans who were rude and would shove right into you. The staff on the ship had such thick accents, it was hard to understand them. So did the tour guides on the excursions. What I found quite annoying was MSC often put English speaking people on the same bus as a non-English group such as German or Italian. So we would hear it in two languages, even though it was still difficult to hear it in English. CABIN: The cabin itself was beautiful, however, upon embarkation our stateroom wasn't cleaned thoroughly enough as there was bugs in our jacuzzi tub and the carpets didn't seem vacuumed. After we got that sorted out, the room honestly saved the trip. From my experience, MSC staterooms are not to small or crowded, and since it's a new ship, your stateroom size shouldn't be much of a problem. ENTERTAINMENT: I do have to say out of all the cruise lines I've been on, the nightly theater shows on MSC Cruises are the best! Their singers are amazing on all the ships I've been on and the dancing is great. Be warned though: there are no comedy shows or shipped entertainment people like on other cruise lines. We also barely saw the cruise director and only realized halfway through the cruise that the lady who came into the theater and spoke in Italian for five minutes was actually the cruise director. She only muttered a few words in English, so I felt that we were being left out with information. Overall, I don't think I will ever travel MSC again without booking Yacht Club. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We boarded in Copenhagen for a 7-night Baltic itinerary that visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Kiel. All four cities were wonderful. The ship was great. It was always clean, didn’t seem overly crowded. I did find ... Read More
We boarded in Copenhagen for a 7-night Baltic itinerary that visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Kiel. All four cities were wonderful. The ship was great. It was always clean, didn’t seem overly crowded. I did find that Europeans were pushy and rude and also had little to no manners at the buffet area and at the elevators. Our room steward Putra was excellent, He always kept the room clean, ice bucket filled, etc. The food was mediocre at best. Dining room food was hit or miss and the Buffett selections were plentiful. Some selections I didn’t care for, and some were bland. Entertainment - The cruise director was non-existent. We saw her one time in he very last night of the cruise at the closing show. The shows were boring, but the Cirque du Soliel show with the French art theme was really good. The Sonor show wasn’t that good. As far as entertainment goes, if people resort to playing board games and cards, it shows that the programming is non-existent. On the sea days, there was no programming, no live music, no fun games on the main deck. The large screen on the deck also had no programming, just looped video of tropical scenes and underwater scenes. Overall, I’d give this cruise a 2.5. This was our 2nd cruise on MSC and I can’t say I would recommend MSC to others. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we ... Read More
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we were not very pleased with a few things, the ship is very new so this itself was fabulous however as the saying goes "you get what you pay for".. We spoke with many others on board from various parts of the world and we all felt that once on board the ship it seemed to be like "we have your money so entertain yourself".. from past experience on RCC and Thompson (TUI) ships there was always music or entertainment by the poolside and especially on the days at sea, on this very large ship there was no music to be heard and no cruise director to be found to participate in games etc. the only time we saw this lady was at the beginning and end of each show in the evening times. The marketplace in particular is a dangerous zone and needs a "huge restructure" as there is no queueing system in place and easily knocked off your feet in a heartbeat. some nationalities in particular have no manners in this area or at the lifts around this area and we saw elderly people almost run-down.... :-( this includes some workers in the marketplace as well as customers. we spoke with some waiters in the Panorama dining area and they agreed about the Buffet area and said that many people had mentioned it but nothing was done.. very sad to see this ongoing problem is not being rectified considering this is an expensive holiday for each family and MSC don't seem to be happy to take on board people's comments. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was part of a package we’d signed up for. 7 nights departing from Copenhagen to see the fjords and return to Copenhagen via Germany. We should still be on board with three nights remaining but we disembarked early. Some ... Read More
This cruise was part of a package we’d signed up for. 7 nights departing from Copenhagen to see the fjords and return to Copenhagen via Germany. We should still be on board with three nights remaining but we disembarked early. Some people obviously love cruises. We didn’t. We found the number of people onboard very overwhelming especially when eating in the Buffett section of the ship. The noise and the feeling of claustrophobia was at times distressing. It was difficult to find quiet spots on the ship to read or reflect. Considering it’s such a huge vessel, this was disappointing. The range, preparation and delivery of food was magnificent in Waves Restaurant, the Buffett and we ate our evening meal in the Panorama Restaurant. Roman our waiter was very charming and super attentive. We could not fault the staff or the food. We purchased a drinks package prior to boarding which we thought to be great value for money. We also bought an internet package for two devices which ran out the night before we disembarked. I think the ‘selling’ side of cruising becomes quite frustrating. On embarkation in Copenhagen we were approached by several staff trying to sell us meal upgrades, excursions or drink packages. We didn’t appreciate this and found it happened throughout the four days on board. Cruising, it’s just not for us. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, ... Read More
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, specially because we had bad weather and everybody was searching inside convenient seating. There are many lifts, maneuvering through the ship is easy and quick. Going ashore quick every time, how ever long waiting times at the security check getting back on board. Food overall pretty good. The easy drinking package gives you cheap drinks of low quality for 30 euros/ day, overpriced!! Staff not more than average, some very rude (you have whole day, one European in a bar told us). Very disappointing, our cabin was again (!!) changed by MSC without informing us. We booked 3 cabins together, they ended up scattered over the ship. We won't book MSC again, they just change your cabin as they like to do.... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other ... Read More
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other half was disgusting. I ate salad and salad the whole cruise. There was lack of diversity in food. No prepared sandwich, no omelet station, the burgers were stale, all the food was so gross, I was popping tums and zantac the whole time. The staff, came out with a roast beef that they couldn’t even cut into with a chef knife. Everyone on the ship was complaining on how hard it was, and then i found the same meat cut up in the dining room. NO one speaks English, no one helps, the shows are laughable and the rooms are tiny. We booked a excursion for handicap and they showed up 1 hour late. One of the ports they didn't put a ramp for wheelchair and it was impossible for handicaps. I would never go on this cruise line again. I cruised on here 8 years ago on a Caribbean itinerary and it was great. I don’t know what happened but it took a turn to the worse. Heed the warnings in this review, this cruise is for EURO traveler, unless you are VERY adventurous traveler and don’t care about customer focus. I have been on over 50 cruises this one ranks number #50 on worse. No sympathy or compassion towards their customer Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This is my 1st true cruise (other than day cruises to the Bahamas). I was with well-seasoned cruisers. My experience was better than theirs beciase I had nothing to compare it to. Here are my pros and cons: Pros: The ship is lovely. ... Read More
This is my 1st true cruise (other than day cruises to the Bahamas). I was with well-seasoned cruisers. My experience was better than theirs beciase I had nothing to compare it to. Here are my pros and cons: Pros: The ship is lovely. It is not a huge ship but large enough. The staff was wonderful. We were especially grateful to our waiters, Wira and Eduardo, our maitre 'd, O'Neill, and our room steward, Marion. I enjoyed my excursions, although the meal on the Flamm trip was fair. The Flamm train excursion was well worth it (although my brother was not impressed). The meals were ok. They were not fabulous. A few were very good however. Food was plentiful and if you are hungry, you are an extremely picky eater. The shows were ok, not great but were definitely something to do. (Last night show was a "con" being at 8 pm when yiu would be in the dining room. Ship was very clean. They were constantly cleaning all over the ship. The room was comfortable and clean. Cons: If you want anything to drink beyond tap water you have to get drink packages and you are nickled and dimed. You can get bottled water and wine at lunch and dinner with one package. If yiu want any sodas, bottled water, drinks, coffee, including espresso and cappuccinos and gelato all day, get another package. Premium drinks are a higher level package. They sold lobater and steak dinners separately. This has nothing to do with the ship, but I'd never met so many rude people in my life. Pushing and shoving to go anywhere. A man actually took me by the waist to push me aside beciase I wasn't moving fast enough for him. There were few English speaking people on the trip and those of us that did, American, New Zealand, and Australia, all thought the people on the trip were quite rude. The lounges were very crowded. I did not use the pools. They were crowded however, especially the indoor pool as it was cool out The people smoked even where they were, even where they are not supposed to - balconies, on non-smoking decks. The smoke in the casino was horrible. Unfortunately you can smell the smoke from the casino area in non-smoking lounges 1 and 2 floors up from the casino. I was 2 floors up and could smell the smoke at the elevator banks. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Was going to Norway with a car tour on my own but did not have time to plan it , so opted for a cruise at the last minute . All in all , a nice experience with good memories , but the organization left much to be happy about . ... Read More
Was going to Norway with a car tour on my own but did not have time to plan it , so opted for a cruise at the last minute . All in all , a nice experience with good memories , but the organization left much to be happy about . Beautiful scenery and good photo experiences IF the weather permits , about 50% of rainy days in Norway . Some points of disappointment . 1) The cabin , Bella with balcony , was a bit claustrophobic for my usual style. Had to hide the baggage under the bed and kept falling over my own shoes , and dried myself out of the bathroom due to lack of space . 2) The Buffet , Breakfast was usually good with a lot of choice of food . The main problem for me was finding a seat to eat my food , within 100 metres of the serving plates . Like eating with 2000 other people in a 1000 seat deck ? 3) The evening meal , Good food , even if on the small portion size , but could order double portions some times . On one night , the food got stuck or was delayed and even if I ordered at 8.30 , at 10.00 I was still waiting for my main dish . The said CHOICE of table is non existent and you have to stick to your table number , if you like it or not . I was in a group and had to lump it . 4) The day tours , I took my camera along to take some photos , but did not get any photos , mainly due to the lack of time that we were allowed off the tour bus , like 15 minutes or you will be left here ? And most times , the place is full of another 7 coachloads of tourists taking the same photo spot. Also booked a train trip , scenic yes , but in a thunderstorm , the window panes where all misted and the views weremainly dark clouds . If a problem delayed the tour , there was no buffer time , so if we delayed 20 minutes as the driver had to go to the restroom , we got 5 minutes chopped off the 15 minute stop , to get off a 50 passenger bus and take a pic and return to a 50 passenger seating . Never again ! 5) The photo booth , you are always asked to take a photo with the captain or the boat backdrop ...but the prices are a ripoff ...you have been warned . All in all , I managed to enjoy my few days , even if ripped off and not 100% satisfied with anything . Do not believe the lovely photos of the ship , most times there are a few hundred people in the picture if you try to take the same . The fjord photos ar taken on a sunny day and photoshopped , a sunny day in 364 rainy days maybe ? I am a 60 year old , grumpy 120 kilo experienced traveller on my first cruise who was disgusted by my tour leader from the local travel agent , as she never translated a word of the MSC tour leader into our language fro those that did not understand English . Not MSCs fault . If I ever take a cruise , I will try to take it in a low season ,so thet the ship is not so crowded that you cannot find a seat to sit down for a drink ! Thank you MSC for a well organized cruise for 3500 travellers of varied nationalities . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
MSC Orchestra – Baltic Cruise Review August 2018 11 Nights – Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark We arrived at the terminal in Copenhagen at approximately 12:45pm, we were the only people ... Read More
MSC Orchestra – Baltic Cruise Review August 2018 11 Nights – Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark We arrived at the terminal in Copenhagen at approximately 12:45pm, we were the only people in the priority embarkation queue and were on board within a couple of minutes. I had completed the on-line check in, complete with pictures but we still had new ones taken. We were advised that our cabin was ready, Aurea Suite 15013, we headed straight to our cabin. Very impressed with the cabin, very spacious and a lot of storage space. We did experience some early morning noise from the Top 16 above, normally we would sleep through but were always up early for excursions. If you are a light sleeper this may impact on you. After dropping off our cabin bags we set off to explore the ship. We had not previously sailed on this class of ship and liked the more intimate feel of some of the areas. All of the ship was very well presented and immaculately clean, as we have found MSC ships to be. We headed to explore the buffet for lunch, a great selection of food, a good variety and delicious pizza as always. It was quite quiet, and we had no issues with seating, later in the cruise we did experience the usual crowds and difficulty obtaining a table a couple of times during the peak lunchtime rush. The weather was warm and pleasant, so we headed to the Top 16 solarium. A very nice space which felt larger than others we’ve used. Although there are no whirlpools on this one. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to use the area as much as we’d hoped due to experiencing some quite windy conditions. Prior to our cruise I’d read a few reviews which were not very positive about the food on board so we headed off to dinner with a degree of trepidation. We had MyChoice dining in L’Ibiscus. I’m pleased to say we were delighted with the food for the duration of the cruise. All of our dishes were well cooked, well presented and most importantly hot. One of the main complaints previously experienced. Food isn’t ever, just out of the oven piping hot but it wasn’t luke warm, and I do personally have an issue with food not being hot enough. The staff were wonderful, very attentive and the service we received was excellent. It did feel the busiest MyChoice dining area we’ve experienced as on 2 evenings we did have to wait outside in the bar (not a great hardship) but there was at least a 15 minute wait, which we’ve never experienced previously. We had the classic drinks package and only had the 2 red wines offered, a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Palatable but not exceptional. We went to the MDR for lunch on only one occasion, we found it odd sharing a table with another group and all ordering at different times. My least favourite meal and the slowest service of the cruise. We always had breakfast in the cabin, the earliest time for delivery is 7.30am but as we had many early starts on this cruise we added a note to ask for an earlier delivery and were very happy to find that our requested was met. I’ll caveat my views on the On- Board entertainment, we aren’t people who need to be entertained and anything interactive and we run for the hills. We know from experience the Aft lounge, the Shaker Lounge on Orchestra, is a livelier more interactive experience and we therefore didn’t venture in. The other lounges had a combination of singers and an instrumental group in the lobby. All of which were pretty good, we decided we liked Pepe in the La Cantinella wine bar best and usually headed there post dinner. The bar staff in there were delightful and added to our experience greatly. We didn’t make it to any of the shows on this trip, we either weren’t ready for the early show or were still at dinner for the late show. From speaking to fellow passengers they sounded pretty standard MSC shows. We had booked our included massages for our last but one day, we were in Stockholm, we’ve visited on land based holiday and decided not to visit on this trip but have a relaxation day. It was a port intensive cruise and thought we’d need time to relax. We had a couples Bali massage, which was nice but not as enjoyable as others I’ve had. Immediately after it was complete the masseuse did try to sell us another massage. Now, I expect this but they do usually wait until after you leave the treatment room and this did detract slightly from the experience. We spent the next few hours in the spa using the steam room, whirlpools and relaxation area. It’s probably the most we’ve used the Spa area, we were the only people in there and it was a very nice environment. We had the misfortune of needing to use the Medical Centre, DH was bitten by something on our first day in St Petersburg, on the second day his hands and arms started to swell badly, turn a very funny colour and were unbearably itchy. It was very unpleasant and quite scary. You could see the poison spreading I’ll spare you the photo’s but it was very bad. In Russia you can’t go anywhere alone so we waited until after our excursion ended and visited the ship Dr. Obviously you’d rather avoid needing the Medical Centre but they were excellent. Sadly, the time came we had to disembark, we were assigned the first disembarkation time of 8.30am, we were a few minutes late arriving and everyone had already left. We just proceeded to the exit, our luggage was waiting and unfortunately our cruise had ended. The itinerary was fantastic, we packed a lot in with excursions and trips so it was a very intensive experience but one we enjoyed. The ship and all of the staff were fabulous, we are looking forward to sailing on her again next year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise because it was going to the places we wanted to visit, The embarkation process was seamless and efficient. the ship itself is a magnificent example of floating grandeur, beautiful furnishings, decor, everywhere ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was going to the places we wanted to visit, The embarkation process was seamless and efficient. the ship itself is a magnificent example of floating grandeur, beautiful furnishings, decor, everywhere spotlessly clean, cannot fault the ship in anyway. The staff for the most part were lovely, helpful, although i did feel sorry for the waiters and especially the 1s in the buffet......bedlam is the only word for the experience there! on embarkation days i.e Kiel, instead of looking after the customers already onboard they seemed more intent on selling drinks packages to the newbys! leaving 1 very stressed guy to look after everybody else's needs at lunch time..... the evening meals were good, although not very big portions! the waiters there work tirelessly and where a credit to themselves, countries and the company. The cruise itself i cannot fault, the fellow passengers on the other hand, mainly Italians, French and Germans,....need i say more! THE MAIN Complaint i have is the organization....or the lack of it on our day in Stockholm we had to wait nearly a hour to get off ship to then face a scrum of people all trying their best to either get a hop on hop off bus or a shuttle into the city......we ended up with NO more buses we were sent to go by boat....free! but when we got to it they stopped us getting on as they knew nothing about it!, Fiasco so we had lost roughly 2 1/2 before we even got into the city. It was my birthday and i had tickets for the Abba museum, which we found no trouble at all via the hop on bus, we duly got back on it to go into the city, but after about a hour we were told that it wasn't going into the city as there were road works so would take us back to the ship, and as we had to be back onboard for 3.30 we decided that was going to be our only option, this part wasn't the ships fault but if it had been better organised in the morning maybe we would of had more time. The other cities we visited were fine as 2 of them we walked into from the ship...not relying on anybody!! The disembarkation process was very good too, again cannot fault that part, but i feel disappointed with the running of the excursions. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our secund cruise with MSC Preziosa. This time we cruised to Baltic. The tour of the cities is magical. My family was most thrilled with St. Petersburg and Tallin. Definitive recommendation for a mandatory visit. You will not ... Read More
This is our secund cruise with MSC Preziosa. This time we cruised to Baltic. The tour of the cities is magical. My family was most thrilled with St. Petersburg and Tallin. Definitive recommendation for a mandatory visit. You will not see this kind of beauty anywhere. Do not forget to book a trip to Petersurg in advance because you do not pay an additional 15%, and you have to consider that many people need a visa to enter the city at all (if you do not have a trip you can not go out of the ship). Do not get caught in Tallinn with transportation - center is very close and you can walk all around. Note to those who come from the Mediterranean. Do not forget the warm clothes !!! There is a big difference in temperatures. We went with 36 degrees of Celzius and landed in Copenhagen at 16 !!! For us the gluten free food was excellent (although last year at Meraviglia much better). They have homemade pasta that is really great. Cakes are not something (just biscuit with cream and always the same. Ice cream perfect ! They have a good gluten free bar with a educated waiter. . For breakfast be careful!!!- you must warn the waiter for contamination (they dont know it). Music was terrible. I did not go to the theater for the first time because they are very similar every year. The kids enjoyed it. If I sumarize: good gluten free food and beauty of the Baltic - I recommend it !!! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose the cruise on the recommendation of a travel agent (who I usually trust). Wanted to see the fjiords. The fjiords were a delight. However, once I entered the ship there is an onslought of people trying to sell you photos and all ... Read More
Chose the cruise on the recommendation of a travel agent (who I usually trust). Wanted to see the fjiords. The fjiords were a delight. However, once I entered the ship there is an onslought of people trying to sell you photos and all sorts of rubbish. This is uncalled for given that the cruise. We is paid for upfront. In addition, its a very tacky operation and you can hardly move with people trying to sell you stuff. The entertainment was absolutely awful. There is no de-caffinated coffee in the buffet and the tea is undrinkable (luke warm water). My biggest problem was that I paid 26 euros for whatsapp coverage as I needed to stay in contact because of a bereavement). It never worked and the reception staff were like Teflon - take no head. I asked could make a free landline call and they allowed me to in front of a row of noisy people - and when I asked to transfer the line to my cabin they said they would have to charge. In addition, we went to the talk on disembarkation - this was very misleading. We were told that we didn't have to go to reception if we were happy with our bills (which we were). In fact we were only given our bills at 2 a.m of the morning we were leaving. Then we were sent back from leaving the ship to reception (and our flight back was within a short while). They also take 70 euros of a service charge off your credit card. This is compulsory and is misleading when they are advertising the cruise. I could go on and on - but overall I don't know why people go there for break. Its the most frustrating and stress inducing experience that anyone could have. There is a lot of time wasted at sea too - just to keep you on the ship (spending). Its was a 7 night cruise - but it could have been done in 5 as they went from Geiranger down to Bergen and then back up to Flam. We could have done without Kiel too - there is nothing there. They probably won't pay the fees for going into Hamburg proper. We didn't go on any excursions organised by the ship - we did them ourselves at half the price and with more freedom. Its like a floating prison - stealing your money. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The Preziosa is not maintained well. All big windows are not clean. The cables of room vacuum cleaners are worn and repaired by insulation tape. The hand disinfection devices very often were empty. In one of the floors the floor number ... Read More
The Preziosa is not maintained well. All big windows are not clean. The cables of room vacuum cleaners are worn and repaired by insulation tape. The hand disinfection devices very often were empty. In one of the floors the floor number peeled and they didn't repair it at least 4 days. The buffet is big but nobody manages it. So couples occupy 4 seats tables and it is very difficult to find a table for the family. One day we tried to have our breakfast in restaurant Gold Lobster. We were disappointed. The choice was poor. Not like in the buffet. But the most awful for me was free smoking in every open deck (including near the swimming pool) and in Casino. The Casino is in big open space .So the smoke smellies far around. The dinner restaurant is very crowded and noisy. The employee in the reception didn't explain what need to do with the tax free for the shopping in the Kiel. It despite the fact that the ship comes there every week. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our 4th MSC cruise, which I think is pretty rare for North Americans. We were early risk takers with MSC Fantasia when it first came out, then Poesia, Splendida and this last time with Preziosa. Although we are Americans, both my ... Read More
This was our 4th MSC cruise, which I think is pretty rare for North Americans. We were early risk takers with MSC Fantasia when it first came out, then Poesia, Splendida and this last time with Preziosa. Although we are Americans, both my wife and I lived in Europe in the past and enjoy the experience of seeing Europe with fellow Europeans rather than exclusively with other Americans. This cruise was no different, although we do think that we ran into a few other American families on the ship which was a pleasant surprise to see how other Americans have discovered this cruise line. Look, it's no Royal Caribbean, nor NCL (although I find it most like NCL), and definitely not Carnival. MSC ships are stunningly beautiful, modern and clean, but the style of cruising is different. Not a ton of activities, but we always pick MSC for the ports and the ability to spend quality extended family time while seeing sights. On this cruise, we were a party of 11, from 7 to 71. We had 4 people in our group who had never traveled with MSC. The good... Again, beautiful ship, great stateroom- we had family connecting rooms, so plenty of space and an oversized balcony. The package with the room also gave us coupon books for included alcoholic beverages as well as bottled water. We weren't expecting the included alcoholic drinks, as we had never seen that in the past. Room was always well maintained (no towel animals until the kids requested them), and something that pleasantly surprised us was how well the wi-fi worked and how reasonable it was for a package lasting the entire cruise. Ports were awesome, especially Tallinn and St. Petersburg. We booked our own shore excursions with a Russian tour group, so they took care of the Visa issue- no worries. Just get off the ship and clear passport control by showing your reservation bookings. On this cruise, we were expected to go to Stockholm, but due to weather, we diverted to Helsinki. Helsinki is not really that interesting of a port (sorry my Finnish friends!), but I'm glad we went there rather than just another sea day. Overall, the ship didn't move at all (like nothing) over the course of the cruise. The shows in the main theater were very good, but a bit redundant as far as the circus acts were concerned. The performers were primarily from Russia, and of really high caliber. They kept trying to repurpose the circus performers into different themed shows. One night they had a "Grease" theme, another "Ghostbusters". It was kind of weird to see (and hear) Russians and Italians playing out American cultural iconic shows, but they did a solid job (despite some phrasing issues when singing). Dancers and costumes were phenomenal. A very personal touch that left an imprint on my three young daughters on this cruise, was how they just happened to run into the Captain as they were practicing their own show, inspired form watching the evening performers. The Captain said he liked their dancing and asked if they would perform for him and the show dancers the following night. Of course they responded yes. The next day, upon returning form port, the girls returned to their stateroom and there was a note on their beds at the request of the Captain that they meet him by the elevators an hour prior to the evening show. Alongside the note were 3 backpacks full of MSC branded goods, such as stuffed animals, keychains, etc. The girls were ecstatic. They met the Captain and he and two crew members escorted the kids to the crew area of the ship and backstage to meet the performers. The girls got autographs and took pictures with the Captain and the performers. Instant brand loyalty! Service is typically noted as a fault on MSC, and yes, we have pretty regularly had issues with our bill prior to leaving the ship, inconvenient (especially late on the last night), but not fatal. Kind if something we just expect now. Food- on our previous MSC cruises meals were longer at 7 courses, but now they have streamlined down to 3- probably for speed, complexity and cost. I had the fish meals every night. Sometimes hit or miss. Still, not a strong point. Also, they don't have free ice cream on the ship anymore, only gelato for sale. Same goes for free beverages in the buffets, not limited to water (which was fine, but a cut back). Again, for the alcoholic drinks, we used the free coupons we received, which included all gratuities as well when buying beverages. I heard that the MSC Yacht Club food is quite delicious from fellow American passengers that we met onboard- the standard fare is passable, but nothing to write home about. The breads though were a highlight, and the breakfast buffet, although pretty much the same daily, had a large variety of items. Smoking- still a European experience here. More smoking on MSC than the American ships for certain, but I think it has gotten better from our previous cruises on MSC. Smoking relegated to only one side of the ship outside. Just hold your breath when walking by. Kids club- this time the kids didn't really take part in the kids club that much. The ship, although quite full, was primarily an older clientele (which we have found pretty much across our MSC cruises, but this one took things a notch higher). Maybe it was because it was the Baltic and not the Caribbean, but there were few children on the ship, so the kids stayed closed to the family. They had a few fun events with the kids club, but nothing too unforgettable. I will add that they have a special kids buffet area in the buffet area that is lower and has kid friendly foods, so that was a nice touch. Embarkation/Disembarkation- Super easy getting both on and off the ship every stop. Because MSC picks up passengers at more than just one port, it divides up the number of new guests boarding every port. Also, we are never rushing to get on the ship so let others get there early and as a family we wait until later in the day to leisurely board without any lines. At the ports, we typically were among the last to board too, so no wait! On the last day, in Copenhagen, we had only a short wait, grabbed breakfast and walked off. Our luggage was ready and we were off. Overall, we had a great time. My wife (who is very picky!) said she wants to cruise no for every vacation, and she wants to do it with MSC. My sister and brother-in-law are already booking the MSC Seaview cruise and this was their first MSC cruise. They had been on other cruise lines, but were so impressed with how clean and modern the ship was. As I said in the beginning, they don't have a ton of activities all the time (although this cruise they added informational sessions about the history and what to see in each port seminars), so it is a little more kick back than other cruise ships we have been on. Next year, to mix things up again, and because we are cruising from New York to Canada, we are going to take Royal Caribbean. But when Europe calls, I would definitely recommend MSC. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose a back to back itinerary with 7 days cruising towards Norway - 3 ports then 7 days in the Baltic. Norway was great and we had excellent weather for most of the 3 weeks. The Baltic itinerary changed such that Stockholm was ... Read More
We chose a back to back itinerary with 7 days cruising towards Norway - 3 ports then 7 days in the Baltic. Norway was great and we had excellent weather for most of the 3 weeks. The Baltic itinerary changed such that Stockholm was cancelled and we would now overnight in St Petersburg. At first glance this seemed really good but as we rarely use expensive ship excursions we were unable to arrange for an evening ashore nor take advantage of the second day. We were meant to be in Port until 2pm on day two but that was changed to "all on board" by 11am. So really the 2nd day became an at sea day effectively. But our one day tour arranged with Alla Tours was worthwhile and they were right on the ball to meet us a day earlier than booked. We really appreciate that we were upgraded to an ocean view cabin as we only booked an interior. The ship was the quietest we have been on and very clean. Buffet. Got tired very quickly. This ship was at full capacity with almost 4500 passengers at at times it seemed they were all in the buffet. Most days there was reasonable varity but it was never hot and flavors bland. Often vegetables and meat very overcooked. We tried the main dining room twice but it was essentially the same food choices s the buffet and still not particularly hot. We tried twice to have breakfast in the dining room but waited 20 and 25 minutes for seating and just gave up. We were never hungry but underwhelmed by taste also the buffet table staff were not coping well with clearing vyables. Each table has a drink service call button. At no time during two weeks did we ever get a response. Others said the same. To get drink service you tried to catch someone's attention or more often went to the bar yourself. That was no big deal for us but quite a few people around us got annoyed. Shows. My wife goes to the shows I am not interested in the musical. The second week was an exact repeat of the first weeks shows. Disappointing. Bars. We found our niche at the Preziosa bar on deck 5. The service and bar staff were amazing and overwhelmed at times but they still performed extremely well. Ebarkation on port days was very slow at times I don't know how they can fix it but I waited dockside for 30 minutes recording in Tallinn. Luckily it was not raining. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
After many ocean cruises (MSC and others) and many river cruises this is the first time I was looking forward to disembarking. It was not a complete disaster, embarking/disembarking was as expected, the ship was nice, cabin was ... Read More
After many ocean cruises (MSC and others) and many river cruises this is the first time I was looking forward to disembarking. It was not a complete disaster, embarking/disembarking was as expected, the ship was nice, cabin was suitable, cabin steward was good and drink waiters were very good. However, the dining and over 8 hours spent with disrespectful customer service during the cruise spoilt it for us. We did back to back 7 day Baltic cruises to different ports on the same ship. On the first 7 days we had the second dinner sitting and the food was often over cooked. The second 7 days we chose the early dinner sitting and on 2 of the shore excursion days we were not back on board until more than 15 minutes after dinner had started. No time for a toilet break or to refresh, just head straight to dinner. Waiter staff were pleasant for both sittings. The waiters at the A La Carte breakfast and lunch venue were completely disinterested. One of our party who preferred to eat breakfast from the buffet in the same venue had normally finished before we could place our order or get a coffee and pastries. The drink waiter at lunch one day could only take 2 orders at a time from a table for 8. We did back to back cruises on the same ship to different destinations but all of the menus and theatre shows were a repeat of the first seven days. We waited for 40 minutes after the appointed time for one of our shore excursions to leave the meeting area and the guide had to cut our free time for lunch to 15 minutes. Due to issues the ship had to skip Stockholm and would arrive in St. Petersburg a day early. There was a brief announcement that this was going to happen but there were no details on what happened to booked excursions for Stockholm or other ports that we were now arriving at on different days and times. The line at the excursions counter was enormous. I have several tales of incompetence from the customer service and excursion staff but I will only list one as an example. At the end of our first leg we signed our account which included a refund for the missed tour in Stockholm and picked up our new room keys (which they forgot to attach our photo to so we could exit at the next port). A few days later we noticed our bank account was charged a much larger amount. After another long wait to see Customer Service the girl told us it was correct and to ring our bank. When we argued the point she asked one of the other staff to tell these people it is correct and to go away. Eventually we saw the Manager who advised "the system" removed the refund for the missed excursion and he had now fixed it. No apology again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Check in was very slow and not enough staff Three counters to cater for many guests Three different processes for checking in and the credit card for a/c payment was not done Self Service with that on a machine near Guest Services desk ... Read More
Check in was very slow and not enough staff Three counters to cater for many guests Three different processes for checking in and the credit card for a/c payment was not done Self Service with that on a machine near Guest Services desk no one to help Security was very poor my wife used my card to disembark without any check and I was rejected with her card so much for a photo I.D. Guest Services need further training with regard to back to back cruises. One staff member told us just click off and click back on Sunday in Copenhagen Not true Next staff member Come to Guest Services WHEN WE DOCK and we will give you new Cruise Cards We did this That evening more Cruise Cards in our cabin My wife used one of these cards and it did not have a photo registered (another mistake) Told by security that this had happened to other people also Go get a new card. I already had the card we received from Guest Services. Disembarking from the ship for an excursion was very disorganised and the annoying part was no communication just run with the number paddle and hope guests will find their way to the tour bus. Our tour 6.5 hrs from Kiel to Hamburg was a nightmare Road works delays and needed money to the truck stop toilet. Very rude guide Take lunch OR come with me No lunch and because we left so late back late and caught up in huge crowds to get back on the ship Again no staff to help Will NEVER use MSC again This will be taken up with our Cruise booking agent. MANY OTHER MISTAKES Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The ship visited countries that we have never been to before and this made us decide to do this cruise. These were countries that we would probably not visited one by one as a dedicated holiday destination. The many passengers on board ... Read More
The ship visited countries that we have never been to before and this made us decide to do this cruise. These were countries that we would probably not visited one by one as a dedicated holiday destination. The many passengers on board made it difficult to visit lounge and entertainment areas as they were usually crowded. The buffet restaurants were a bit of a let down as the food was mostly luke warm or cold. One also had to wait for a table, and then it took a long time to visit all the eating counters before finally sitting down and enjoying your meal. We found the drinks to be very expensive, especially coming from South Africa with our weak currency. The theatre shows were good but the variety was a bit limited and we therefore only attended a few of them. Arrangements for shore excursions were excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation was very good and well planned. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We wished to see the countries offered in the cruise. It was very enjoyable with fantastic insights to that part of the world.. We found the ship too large with too many people. The culinary offerings were excellent and the ... Read More
We wished to see the countries offered in the cruise. It was very enjoyable with fantastic insights to that part of the world.. We found the ship too large with too many people. The culinary offerings were excellent and the Theatre productions were exceptional. To have everything repeated in so many languages was tiresome. Cabin too small. Too many people - ship too large for us. The excursion in Sweden was most informative and our guide Gudren was very proffesional and knowlegable. The excursion in St Petersburg was really worthwhile and we found the freedom of movement to be surprising and unexpected We did our own thing in Copenhagen,Tallin and Kiel all of which have there own special features. The water cruise in Copenhagen was fantastic, the old part of Tallin most interesting with such friendly people whilst Kiel will have great memories of gardens, Church and art gallery - very special. Read Less
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