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Sail Date: November 2017
firstly, the cruise to nowhere was nice and relaxing but the time on board was to short, the trip says 3 days and 2 nights but we didn't spend 3 days, on Monday we had to leave the ship at 8. the 11 deck food not so good, the place ... Read More
firstly, the cruise to nowhere was nice and relaxing but the time on board was to short, the trip says 3 days and 2 nights but we didn't spend 3 days, on Monday we had to leave the ship at 8. the 11 deck food not so good, the place smells bad. the crockery was also dirty. the cabins are ok the food on the 5 deck was lovely. the dinner portions are very small the soups was lovely the beef burgers should be reviewed, taste bad. the queues for lunch on the first day is a put off the pizza was good the juice from the machine must be changed the ice cream was lovely the public toilets was dirty the crew on board are very friendly and helpful I travelled with a 5 year old, and she enjoyed it over all the experience was good, I will go again Read Less
35 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was a first cruise and a trial cruise for us and if three days on board MSC Sinfonia is any indication what cruising is really about, we'll never do it again! We can heartily recommend the suite cabins with balconies which are ... Read More
This was a first cruise and a trial cruise for us and if three days on board MSC Sinfonia is any indication what cruising is really about, we'll never do it again! We can heartily recommend the suite cabins with balconies which are quite spacious and comfortable.If you're a light sleeper, be careful of your cabin choice. We were in cabin 1040 which was underneath the entertainment deck and at 2.30am on Sunday morning, the 'entertainment' was still in full swing. The cabin had plenty of two-pin plug sockets so bring your adapters if you're from overseas. The TV selection was good - all the movie channels and news. Premium sports are broadcast in the bar only. Full bath with shower in the bathroom but no amenities apart from a shower cap and two ugly wall dispensers with body wash and shampoo. The staff we dealt with in the cabin and the restaurant were terrific. That's the good news. The embarkation was a three hour-plus ordeal with hundreds of us corralled and shuffling through a sweaty barn on the docks in 30C degrees. We are two healthy adults but it was a terrible experience for elderly people and for parents with young children. Boarding was supposed to start at 10am and we got there at 10.15am. People who got there earlier said they boarded with relative ease. We got on deck at 1.25pm and then were called for the emergency drill on deck and ended up standing around for another 30 minutes. It's not a good way to start any holiday. MSC point the blame at immigration officials for the delay in embarkation but they really need to sort something out because it's a ridiculous situation. The food on board was dreadful. We're used to buffet restaurants in large hotels but I've never seen anything so badly run as the main terrace restaurant on MSC Sinfonia. First of all it's far too small to cater for the thousands on board. As a result mealtimes are a virtual scrum. The variety of food and the standard of food were absolutely dismal. It didn't matter what time of day you tried to eat there - the hot food was always cold and the cold selection was minimal. The salad bar was a dismal joke - limp lettuce, tomato and sweetcorn with salami and 'ham' slivers which appeared to have a white face printed on it. The fruit selection consisted of three different types of melon and a fruit salad consisting of the same three different types of melon with a little pineapple mixed in. The pizza bar and fast food station - burgers and frankfurters - located just outside the buffet served food that was hot at least. The Galleone Restaurant offered a more civilised environment for breakfast and lunch but the food wasn't much better. Dinner seating is allocated and almost all the tables are for four, six or eight passengers so couples will almost always be sharing. Dining times are also strictly allocated - 6pm or 8.30pm. The menu selection is good but the food in our allocated restaurant - think it's called Il Covo - was always served lukewarm to cold. Room service food continues with the same standards - there's a limited menu of mostly stale sandwiches available and pizza is available after 8pm. Everything on board is priced in American dollars which makes it expensive for South Africans. We felt that wine prices were reasonable - ranging from around $12 to $18 per bottle but 15% service charge is added to everything. We bought an internet package before boarding but we were charged for another package on board and it couldn't be refunded before we disembarked because who ever was in charge 'wasn't answering his phone'. Portuguese Island was the only excursion offered on our mini-cruise. It's an uninhabited island. My husband opted for a snorkling trip but there was no visibility in the water so it was pretty uneventful. It's a day at the beach with a barbecue where once again they managed to serve unedibly cold food. Overall we'd give it a big thumbs down. Even the brilliant sunshine and the Indian Ocean and the cabin weren't enough to overcome all the negatives. There's far more enjoyable ways to spend your money! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
If you enjoy bad service, filth and bad food then this trip is for you. My wife, 3 yr old and myself went on the cruise to nowhere ex Durban on 29 Jan 2016. We booked a suite which was the only good part of the trip as it was large and ... Read More
If you enjoy bad service, filth and bad food then this trip is for you. My wife, 3 yr old and myself went on the cruise to nowhere ex Durban on 29 Jan 2016. We booked a suite which was the only good part of the trip as it was large and luxurious with a balcony. However everything else was terrible. The worst was the hygiene. Cups were always stained with "stuff" encrusted at the bottom, on the lip and sides. There was vomit on carpets that were never cleaned the whole 2 days at sea. Linen and towels were terribly stained. Then the food -really awful and bland. It is all you can eat but the food is so terrible that you don't wanna. Also the buffet kept running out of food and you had to wait about an hour before the next batch was prepared. No complimentary juices at lunch or dinner, only at breakfast The fine dining was a bit better but nothing grand as you would expect. And don't bother complaining - it would be a miracle to see any senior personnel at the stations and the others you complain to just shrug their shoulders and do nothing. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2014

This was our first ever cruise and a 2 nigh "taster cruise", this has put us off cruising for ever.

first two and a half hour wait in southampton in a humid marquee, arrived on time at 11am, to be herded into a marquee with no ... Read More

This was our first ever cruise and a 2 nigh "taster cruise", this has put us off cruising for ever.

first two and a half hour wait in southampton in a humid marquee, arrived on time at 11am, to be herded into a marquee with no explanation as to why, then endured 2.5 hours of waiting with insufficient seating.

you could not get served in bars, half an hour wait minimum, with extremely rude staff, telling you to sit down for waiter service, but there were no waiters or waitress, if you went direct to bar to try and get a drink, you were spoken to very rudely and told to sit down.

I dont think I talked to one other passenger who wasnt suffering the same, this continued through out the cruise., with arguments and complaints about lack of service and rude staff all over the place

I will never, never use MSC again and if this was their idea of trying to get me to book a big cruise by "enjoying one of ther taster cruises, then they are living in cloud cuckoo land.

a very disgusted and once only cruise passenger

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Sail Date: May 2014

Although only a 3 day cruise, we lost most of our leisure time to queues.

Good points:

Ship and decor wasn't bad, shows were reasonable.

Bad points:

It took over 3 hours just to get to check-in - we were ... Read More

Although only a 3 day cruise, we lost most of our leisure time to queues.

Good points:

Ship and decor wasn't bad, shows were reasonable.

Bad points:

It took over 3 hours just to get to check-in - we were issued with a waiting number (16) but their numbers only went up to 20, then they reissued 1 onwards. So after waiting 2 1/2 hours for 16 to come up, new passengers arriving were given low numbers and by-passed the queue!

There was a SERIOUS lack of staff in the bars - the main bar held about 120 passengers, but there was only ONE waiter. Average wait for a drink: 45-60 minutes.

When a friend complained to a passing officer, he raised his voice to her and told her to go to another bar if she wasn't happy!

A glass of water with meals had to be paid for.

No tea or coffee after the meal.

Safety drill was a farce. Nobody could see the life jacket demo.

MSC need to check out Royal Caribbean, Celebrity or Princess to see how it should be done.

Staff never smiled, never spoke unless they had to and bar staff avoided eye contact while ignoring you.

Never again!!!

 

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Sail Date: May 2014

Like other passengers on this ship, we too have been on a number of cruises, so know how things work. We arrived early only to be herded In to a marquee where we waited for around 3 hours before boarding. The refreshments were ... Read More

Like other passengers on this ship, we too have been on a number of cruises, so know how things work. We arrived early only to be herded In to a marquee where we waited for around 3 hours before boarding. The refreshments were chargeable, in view of the time waiting, these should have been complimentary. Finally we boarded and decided to purchase the two day drinks package. We were then told we had to queue at reception to get them activated. This took around 20 minutes. We then noticed that, although we and our friends had booked at the same time and asked to be seated together at first dining sitting, we were given second (not a problem) but were seated on totally different tables!! More queuing to get this rectified. Fine we thought, let,s get some lunch and chill with a drink from the bar. Firstly, before we could get any lunch, we had to clean our table, followed by some luke warm food from the buffet. Now to the bar to relax before the safety drill at 3.30. It took around 30 minutes to get a drink and several male passengers complained at reception without success.

Evening meal was awful. This was to be at 8.30 the doors didn't,t open until 8.40 and we did not get a menu until almost 9 pm. There were no rolls or jug of water on the table. We were handed bread, eventually. Four times we asked for water and wine, but we're ignored. The five course meal was terrible. The mozzarella was tasteless, the soup watery, the salad was an iceberg lettuce floating in water and my turkey was rubbery. Our friend asked for the cheese and biscuits, but only received cheese. When he pointed this out, the waiter took the cheese away and then gave him a plate of crackers minus the cheese. What a shambles.

It appeared to us that there were not enough staff, and those that were available were sullen and unhelpful. It seemed that the staff were left to muddle through without any leadership.

The final straw was being told to vacate the cabin at 6.30 am.All the other cruises we have been on are around 8 am.

Many of the passengers we spoke to said it was their first experience at cruising and would be their last. We told them that this was the worst cruise we had been on and would not cruise with MSC again., so not to be put off cruising by this weekend experience. There are much better cruise liners around.

We feel that MSC missed a golden opportunity to showcase themselves, instead the blew it.

 

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014

This was our first cruise on a ship. It was a local promotion which was really great value for money. My review is split between good and bad things:

Good things: what a fantastic way to enjoy the ocean. 3 nights was a good ... Read More

This was our first cruise on a ship. It was a local promotion which was really great value for money. My review is split between good and bad things:

Good things: what a fantastic way to enjoy the ocean. 3 nights was a good trial and for us it was definitely a winner and we loved it. We enjoyed the Turkish baths and the relaxation spa area was a great breakaway from the crowds on deck 11. Food galore - so you defintely won't starve but if you are watching your weight - be warned - temptation is everywhere. The pizza is basic magherita and the other choice was vegetarion - but oh so super delicious. We loved the Buddha Bar - chilled music and some really great artists.

Bad things: Stricter rules on use of the Turkish baths should be implemented. Persons under the age of 18 should not be allowed. There were noisy children running in and out of the showers and the baths which was very disruptive. We had an ocean view cabin on deck 8 - the bed linen really needs an upgrade badly - horrible pillows - you can feel the knobly sponge. The blanket was very worn out and tired and the beds were hard and uncomfortable. My husband and I are not "big" people, yet we found the shower area to be cramped. I don't know how the bigger sized people shower. We never got to enjoy the jaccuzi in the pool area - again - overun by children and certain guests just totally hogged the jacuzzi. The embarkment procedure at Cape Town harbour was totally disorganised and a long wait of 2.5 hours was not pleasant. There needs to be better signage and queue management. Several very confused passengers were trying to fathom out where to go. I did my booking on-line and thought I was specific about my request for restaurant seating but it seems this request was not actioned and then it was frustrating to get this changed once on board. Only the maitre d could change the seating arrangments and it was difficut to get hold of him.

I would definitely upgrade to a suite on our next trip - yes we will defintely go on another cruise.

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Sail Date: November 2013

Ship is just beautiful, huge and sparkling clean

We were on the 3 night "US Inagural"..and enjoyed the fireworks and music as we sailed away

My balcony cabin was spacious and decor was lovely.

Entertainment was ... Read More

Ship is just beautiful, huge and sparkling clean

We were on the 3 night "US Inagural"..and enjoyed the fireworks and music as we sailed away

My balcony cabin was spacious and decor was lovely.

Entertainment was fantastic....the usual huge MSC cast dancing/singing plus Cirque type European acrobats and performers...what a show

Fly in acts Scott Record - comedy and impersonations - fantastic

Abba tribute - fantastic....Michael Jackson tribute fantastic

plus tons of different live duos and groups in the lounges

I loved the food - huge shrimp cocktail at dinner....great new menus...fantastic food

Buffet is so much improved from when I took my first MSC cruise in 2011 - it is open 20 hours a day now

Not just Italian food - go back to the Ethnic Corner...check out the cheeses too..what other ship offers brie cheese and dried apricots?? Love it. They also offer orange, pineapple and cranberry juice plus ice tea from morning till 5 pm...wow :)

I also loved our buffet server Mr Wayne Goode - a new hire who worked for Royal for years....what a nice guy and a real asset to MSC. I found the ship to be more fun and yes...more American :)

The 9 pm dining was a big complaint with my group tho...however they have made it clear this was for this cruise only.....so I don't see the need to keep complaining. Washcloths?? They would give them if asked...I am sure they have other things to tweak. NO more 5 languages at every show...the new cruise director was cool - English ONLY

Food is good ...drinks are cheap compared to other cruise lines....yes the weather was pretty rainy, we missed the private island....but there was lots to do on ship and it was great

I am making plans for my next Divina cruise...thanks MSC

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2012
A short review of our cruise. We take this year a cruise with MSC Opera on 11 July for 9 days and pay the full price. First of all many storm and bad weather, ok that?s the risk if you take a cruise on the Atlantic. But the cruise ... Read More
A short review of our cruise. We take this year a cruise with MSC Opera on 11 July for 9 days and pay the full price. First of all many storm and bad weather, ok that?s the risk if you take a cruise on the Atlantic. But the cruise self on the MSC Opera was a very bad experience. The food was very bad, first day we get coffee in china ware but from the second day only in Tupperware cups. The food self was real rubbish or you eat in the big dining room or buffet it was every day the same trash even crewmembers complain. They have no real kitchen but the most are all microwave pushers. No other restaurants on board so you have no choice. No glas water by diner unless you pay for it, nothing is for free except poor coffee which you have to search all over the place. Many crewmembers if they get on shore the first what they did was searching for decent food for them self and other crewmembers. The theatre was far to small and very limited shows of low quality. In fact it was just a boring ship and not much to do. The crewmembers are very friendly and helpful and service was ok. The staff was a bit chaotic and could not deal with critics. Result, we will never take a cruise again with MSC. Read Less
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