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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of ... Read More
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of the reviews.however after a very smooth and easy embarkation we went to our balcony cabin on deck 11 Meraviglia well appointed and clean. We dined in the Red Velvet restaurant most nights where our table server Kowmang from Bali kept us amused and looked after us very well indeed. As some reviews have said portions are not huge but after 3 courses you are full and can always make a trip to the Zanzibar buffet for a pizza and beer supper. As regards the drink packages we just paid as we went and found it reasonable value for money. The entertainment was fun especially the wonderland and queen tribute shows {Freddie Mercury sounded great with an Italian accent} Service overall was good and the shore excursions well organized, the few complaints were mainly passengers who didn't listen to the guides and ran late!! We are beyond the child raising years but from what we saw the kids had a great time especially for halloween. Disembarkation was again slick and easy, If you want to go on a very european cruise I reccomend MSC. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our first cruise, so although I have nothing to compare it to, I did expect a bit better. The first problem we encountered was a note in our stateroom saying the excursion we had booked for the following day was cancelled due ... Read More
This was our first cruise, so although I have nothing to compare it to, I did expect a bit better. The first problem we encountered was a note in our stateroom saying the excursion we had booked for the following day was cancelled due to lack of take-up. I had until 23:00 p,m, to book something else. Not very helpful when you don't embark until 23:45 p.m. so to late to re-book. The stateroom (8203) was spacious with a large comfy bed. The bathroom was adequate but the shower curtain was a pain, as it kept sticking to your legs. The maid attended twice a day, making up the room in the morning and preparing the bed in the evening. With fresh towels left on both visits. Our meal time was changed from 20:30 to 21:30 (a bit too late). The restaurant service was very slow. Our waiter seemed to be serving several tables whilst the rest of the waiters swarmed around the Italians seated in the corner. The meals were of average quality, but not very filling. I left the restaurant on the two occasions we used it still feeling hungry. There was quite a variety of food available in the buffet, but most of the "hot" food was barley warm. The hamburger bar and pizzeria were the best places to eat. The crew were all friendly and helpful. This was spoiled by pushy European travellers who thought there needs must be met before anyone else's, I will not let this put me off booking another cruise, but it won't be with MSC next time. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
...no lie, we both caught the cruise bug! This was our first cruise and we're hooked! The whole adventure was memorable and we can't help but tell everyone how extraordinary the experience was. The embarkation process went ... Read More
...no lie, we both caught the cruise bug! This was our first cruise and we're hooked! The whole adventure was memorable and we can't help but tell everyone how extraordinary the experience was. The embarkation process went smoothly especially considering there were 4,000 guests to board.The excited anticipation of the cruisers and the well-executed organization of the MSC staff made for a pleasant and seamless boarding. Entering the ship we were welcomed by the stunning crystal staircase and lovely live piano music. Before searching out our cabin, we wandered around just a bit to get a feel for what we were in for. We were not disappointed. The Davina was clean, maps were abundant, and even with thousands of guests, we were able to move about comfortably and with minimal wait time. The cabin was roomy and spotless and throughout the cruise the wonderfully efficient crew kept it clean, stocked, and orderly. We called them our elves and we joked about how they seemed to know when we were out so they could slip in and clean up multiple times a day. Having a balcony room was a plus as we loved relaxing out there at all hours of day or night. The 24-hour buffet of food... oh my! What a treat. We enjoyed the everyday foods like pizza, hamburgers and salads, but also looked forward to the daily specials where we found interesting items like eggplant lasagna and lemon chicken and a variety of fish plates. We love salad and fruit and found the melons especially to be wonderfully ripe and tasty. And who could deny the many desserts?! We could never choose just one. We especially liked the international crew. These people are hard working, friendly, helpful and pleasant.There wasn't a lazy person seen. What a joy they were to be around! Being our first cruise, we didn't take in any excursions, although we were immediately approached in Nassau and agreed to take a tour. The driver had a lot of great information and stories. We would have never seen nor learned as much on our own. The stop at Half Moon Cay was beautiful and at 57 years old I finally learned how to float! Looks like we'll need to schedule another cruise so I can learn to swim. (Our only disappointment was the internet. My husband was in the midst of online classes for his masters and the connection was incredibly slow making it a bit stressful getting assignments turned in on time.) Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Hubby and I booked Divina as first-timers, and we almost didn't. What a MISTAKE it would have been to miss out on this. First, it is important to read the literature and know your options. The buffet around the pool serves a lot of ... Read More
Hubby and I booked Divina as first-timers, and we almost didn't. What a MISTAKE it would have been to miss out on this. First, it is important to read the literature and know your options. The buffet around the pool serves a lot of pool/grill food on disembarkation day and day two, so if you want primo selection, don't eat there. We ate in the Galaxy Restaurant, the Black Crab, the Eataly Steakhouse and the Sports Bar. In all cases, I was thoroughly satisfied. We reserved the buffet for our last early morning breakfast (6 a.m. on disembarkation day). It wasn't crowded, and the selection was decent. Excursion opportunities abound. We didn't take any because we were thoroughly engaged in activities on the ship, but if you pay ahead you can load your vacation with all kinds of pre-planned trips in your port cities. The Aurea Spa is fabulous. We scheduled a couples' massage and didn't have to suffer long lines or wait times to enjoy an excellent Balinese session (30 minutes) for only $49 each on disembarkation day. It is important to read the daily schedule for daily sales on various amenities. And the gelato... gelato is everywhere. I didn't bother looking in the buffet area for ice cream since there is a gelato bar near the pool on deck 14. It is heavenly. I understand that cruisers who have taken 20 or more cruises will find many faults with this ship: it is smaller, newer and new to the USA. Also, this is not the ship for you if you don't like foreign people; there are 37 nationalities onboard and most print literature is in five or more languages. But, if you are a person of the world who enjoys talking with people from many cultures and engaging in multilingual, cross-ethnic conversation with other cruisers, this is the ship for you. Finally, it will be very hard to beat the price. ;) Right now there is a 7-day going for $429, double occupancy. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one ... Read More
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one day prior to embarkation in venice just to explore this beautiful city we heard that embarkation takes hours but it was not crowded at all i have concluded the following do's and don'ts 1. reach the embarkation city one day prior as it ease out your boarding plans like reaching in time ( in my case four hours from the departure of the ship ) hence you don't have to face crowd 2. choose aurea package ( cabin with balcony ) as it gives you - priority boarding ,unlimited drinks on board , free access to thermal area which is worth going every day , complimentary massage which is average in quality and preferred dining 3. don't take excursions from the ship as they are double the cost of the one sold at the dock and it's the same excursion ( we had the following ports - bari,santorini,katakolom,corfu, piraous and kotor 4. always keep one black and one white formal dress for two formal dinners given at the ship .if possible keep one floral dress as well 5. don't miss the entertainment shows - it is done twice 7;15 pm and 9:15 pm 6. no need to keep snacks etc in you luggage for emergency as they run one restaurant 20 hrs / day with free access to all unlimited times with lot of things on buffet 7. prefer higher decks . ours was 12th deck which i found the best 8. shopping on board - watches , wine and jewellery is worth a buy ,plan it 9. for indians there is nothing much as far as food is concerned but can have it in preferred dining , we personally were not satisfied with the food served to us in the name of veg indian dinner 10. rooms have one big double bed , one bunk bed and one sofa cum bed thus four beds in total , good enough for a family of four 11. the problem comes in disembarkation though its not so for the european guests as they dont have to submit their passports as passports collection takes hell lot of time . 12. plan one small suitcase for last day clothes as your main luggage will be taken on the previous night by the ship authority for scanning and it will be lying at the port when you disembark 13. carry umbrella /raincoat as orchestra doesn't supply the same ( other cruise lines might be doing ) 14. don't take wi fi package ( though its not expensive - 19 euro for basic surfing for the whole duration of cruising ) i will definitely cruise again on some other destination for sure thank you msc orchestra Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This cruise was our first for our 25th wedding anniversary and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. In general I felt it was like a 5 star hotel as the cabin was fantastic and the cabin steward done such a fantastic job of looking after ... Read More
This cruise was our first for our 25th wedding anniversary and I must say we thoroughly enjoyed it. In general I felt it was like a 5 star hotel as the cabin was fantastic and the cabin steward done such a fantastic job of looking after our room, I wanted to take hi home with me! The ship itself is beautiful, my only complaint was I kept getting lost but I have no sense of direction so that's my fault. The food was in general good my only real complaint here was that I felt the buffet food wasn't very warm and maybe once in the Red Velvet restaurant. I would advise to stay clear of the sports bar for food as our experience there was awful and remember even if you are all inclusive you have to pay for food in this bar and honestly it was disgusting it was one of the worst meals I have ever had, so best avoid this place. we only attended one of the shows which had singers on it was ok but didn't tempt me to go back the next night. the come dancing type competition in the Isolito bar on the 7th floor ( I think that's what it was called) was great and we had a fair good many nights in there with the female singer and her band. Embarkation and disembarkation was fine as far as I was concerned but as this was my first time I have nothing to compare with. a few people were moaning a bit about this but I really didn't think it was that bad. All in all I loved it and I will return on another cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise as we were unsure if we would like cruising at all. It was an excellent price. Embarkation couldn't have been easier- even with a wheelchair. Luggage was waiting at our cabin when we arrived. I can't think ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were unsure if we would like cruising at all. It was an excellent price. Embarkation couldn't have been easier- even with a wheelchair. Luggage was waiting at our cabin when we arrived. I can't think of any aspect that we were disappointed with, in fact, we both agreed that we could have gone round again. The cabins were spotless and comfortable. Food was good, especially for the number of people being catered for. We didn't go on any of the organised shore excursions, opting to do our own thing. The ship was as we expected from images on the Internet. The service we received was very good, all the staff we came across were extremely attentive and polite. I couldn't fault the embarkation/disembarkation, as I said, with a wheelchair, the staff took the chair from my husband and either took me onto the ship or dock. This holiday was excellent and suited the needs of my husband and I. We didn't join in all the activities on board but, the entertainment was varied with something to suit all. We would certainly go again and are looking to book another cruise as I write. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my first cruise, I wanted to visit Athens, Istanbul and Dubrovnick. Unfortunately the recent bombings in Turkey caused MSC to drop Istanbul from the itenary. MSC emailed and pledged 100 Euro on to the cabin account as ... Read More
This was my first cruise, I wanted to visit Athens, Istanbul and Dubrovnick. Unfortunately the recent bombings in Turkey caused MSC to drop Istanbul from the itenary. MSC emailed and pledged 100 Euro on to the cabin account as compensation. On the last day of the cruise this turned out to be 50 Euro per person, not what they pledged. Embarkation, disembarkation, was painfully slow, not because of the registration process but there seemed to be long delays waiting to process through security control. On-board was great, the "B2" cabin was definitely worth the upgrade and mostly the service was first class, although certainly fell short especially during my complaint when trying to sort problems. I dined in both Quattro Venti restaurant and oasis buffet and found both excellent dependent on which fitted into my routine. I bought the Allegrissimo drinks package during embarkation which became better value the more drinks, coffee and ice creams you consume. Happily there was so many things happening to keep me choosing entertainment. I did the ship excursion to Olympia which was ok but I felt it was not value for money therefore opted to go it alone from then on. I'm glad I did, there was no hassle and having freedom of choice once off the ship was great. I will definitely not book with MSC again as I did not enjoy the feeling of being a cash cow and do not think my experience was good value. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2016
we went for a cruise with msc orchestra to the French Antiles. We had a great time. The staff was verry friendly, they spoke french/ englisch/ spanisch/italian,.... The cabins were clean the beds confortable and the housekeeper was ... Read More
we went for a cruise with msc orchestra to the French Antiles. We had a great time. The staff was verry friendly, they spoke french/ englisch/ spanisch/italian,.... The cabins were clean the beds confortable and the housekeeper was verry helpfull with all we asked. The food was mostly average to good. we didn't expect more than we got. The shows where verry professional en entertaining. I don't understand what other revieuwers are nagging about! We took the alegrissio pack and I kept the receipts, we did more than a great deal! You can order drinks without thinking of the price Read Less
36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our first cruise, and I have to say that I had some reservations about taking one. I didn’t know if I’d like being “trapped” on a ship, not able to go where I wanted, but after seven days on the MSC Divina, I have to say ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and I have to say that I had some reservations about taking one. I didn’t know if I’d like being “trapped” on a ship, not able to go where I wanted, but after seven days on the MSC Divina, I have to say that I was mostly impressed and had an enjoyable and relaxing vacation. Website / Customer Service (phone) – Our initial impression of MSC was with their website. We wanted to book a trip, but were unable since the website kept crashing. After several attempts, we just booked it through [a travel agency]. After booking the trip, we wanted to book a massage package. The wording on the MSC website was unclear and we had several questions. Calling customer service twice, the phone rang for over 20 minutes, and finally we just left our number for a callback. They did call back a few days later, but once again, a few days later, when we had another question, we did not want to go through this entire process once again. We also had trouble booking the massage package with the website, which kept crashing. Initial Impressions – We arrived an hour and a half before departure, and I’m not sure if we had arrived earlier if we would have received more information, but I found that we had a lot of questions that we just had to figure out ourselves. A simple packet with FAQ’s would have greatly helped answer questions like, “Where do we pick up our drink packages?”, “Where is our restaurant?”, and “How do we book our massages?” Customer Service Desk – Our questions led us to the customer service desk. It was packed and we had to wait in line. When it was finally our turn, the representative who was helping us had a little difficulty understanding our questions since English was not her first language. Eventually we had to find and track down the spa ourselves, and once again, when we arrived, they seemed a little confused about the spa package, which we booked from their website. I have to say, after all of this I began to question what we had gotten ourselves into, but mostly from that point on, things got much better. Food – Dinner was nice at the restaurant (Villa Rossa). It wasn’t five star, but it wasn’t horrible either. I could tell that they really tried to show a touch of elegance, especially for the amount of people they were serving. Fish, lamb, lobster, Italian food…appetizers, soup, entrees, dessert…it all seemed like they were really trying. There were even nights when they had special desserts like tiramisu. Buffets – The food, once again, was decent, especially for a buffet. They had a wide variety and served the main three meals a day. The only downside was the rush of people, who sometimes could be very rude, pushy, or who were sometimes clueless where they were walking or that they were blocking everyone else’s path. The buffets sometimes could be a very stressful experience on a vacation that was supposed to be relaxing. Vegetarian Options – There were several, and this was a pleasant surprise. Room Service – In our room, room service was free before 11:00 PM. Bars / Clubs – There were several options on the ship, and each offered a somewhat intimate feeling. From a sports bar, to a jazz bar, to a cigar bar, it seemed there was something for everyone, and a lot to find and explore on the ship. Sometimes the clubs could be crowded at night, but overall they were comfortable and had good service. Most of the clubs had “safe” entertainment which almost reminded me of a wedding reception. Children ran around and old people tapped their foot and smiled, while standard songs were played. Sometimes crew members would urge people to dance the YMCA and stuff like that. For me, it was nice, safe fun, but not so much my thing. Still, I didn’t find it boring either. I just enjoyed the attempt at keeping everyone entertained on a night at sea. Spa – Although we had a little confusion at first, and had to find the spa ourselves and book our appointments, everything after that was excellent. The crew was very courteous and professional. They handled our every need, and the massages…oh the massages! They were great. So relaxing! Ship Layout – It took us a while to figure out how to navigate the ship, but eventually we figured it out. Staff – The staff were great. They were pleasant and met our every need. The staff should be commended for their excellent service! What a great staff! Ports of Call – We went to Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico (Cozumel), and the Bahamas. I really liked this aspect of cruising. Go out during the day, come back to a dinner and a night out and the next day you are somewhere new. There were a few downsides for me. There were a few moments of anxiety when we didn’t know if we would make our ship (because of local transportation) but this is no fault of the cruise line. I would just suggest giving yourself a two hour cushion for arriving back at the ship. Another thing I didn’t like was how the locals treated the tourists. It seemed like everyone wanted to make a quick buck off of the tourists. In Jamaica, we stopped on a tour to talk to the “spice man” who gave us a five minute talk about various herbs on the island. Afterward he wanted twenty dollars. (yeah right!) Another example was an encounter at a cigar store. I didn’t have internet access, and they guy seemed friendly enough. He told me these cigars were “very nice” at twenty dollars apiece. Taking his word for it, I bought five, only to find out when I arrived at home, that they were five dollar cigars. I seemed to encounter this again and again, from liquor vendors to trinket salesmen. Still, besides some of the vendors, the islands themselves were very beautiful. I would just advise you to be aware of people constantly trying to rip you off. The Room – We had a balcony room, and I thought it was a nice size. It was about the size of some hotels I’ve been in, in New York and New Orleans. The room was nicely laid out and felt roomy for the size. There was even a sitting area, plus we had the balcony. The bathroom was economically laid out, but I felt it was a decent size for what I had to do. There was a TV, which had a few multicultural channels and a few from the United States. It wasn’t much, but who really wants to watch TV on vacation anyway? The Entertainment – There was a live show every night. Once again, I thought it was a “nice” touch, something to do after dinner, because who wants to watch TV on vacation. The shows featured singers and acrobats and had a Vegas / Broadway feel to them. All the singers seemed very well trained. Many of our dining companions really liked the shows, but they were not really our thing. Still, it was a nice option to have if we wanted to something to do, but there were other things to do besides the shows. The Casino – We went one night. The casino is relatively small and has an intimate feel to it. I doubt the slots pay hardly anything back, but the blackjack table had a five dollar minimum, which was nice for some light gambling. Shopping – There are a few duty-free shops and jewelry shops. It was nice to browse, but I think the prices were a little high. Passengers – The passengers are mostly European. For some people, this is a turn-off, but I really liked the variety. It had a nice, international feel, and I think offered a bit more sophistication than an American cruise would offer. Other Amenities – There was so much to discover on this ship. Every corner we turned, there would be a chocolate shop, espresso bar, limoncello bar, pizza place, or something unexpected. I felt that these were nice, little treats and made the experience more enjoyable. The best part is that the little extras were not outrageously priced. On Deck – Travel days (where we were at sea all day) the deck filled up quickly, as people marked their territory early to secure a chair for the day. Some people would be gone for hours at breakfast or wherever leaving the other passengers to constantly walk around looking for chairs. We got our chairs early, but once again, it seemed like a struggle for the others. Tips – I like MSC’s no tipping policy. Tips are included in your bill, so there is no awkward moment trying to figure out who you are supposed to tip and how much you give him. Overall – I really liked my cruise! Of course there were several things which I could criticize, but for me, the amount of luxury and individual attention that they give on the limited space of a ship with thousands of people was truly a feat, and clearly outweighed any negatives I encountered. The staff was great, and my cruise was both exciting and relaxing. MSC is a good cruise line, and I liked the Italian / international feel. If you’re more of an adventurous person, I would say this might be the cruise line for you. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
just got back from this my very first cruise ,the ship was very very clean, the food was ok ,nothing great as such same sort of food just done differently ,we had the drinks package but beware everytime you get a drink they sting you for ... Read More
just got back from this my very first cruise ,the ship was very very clean, the food was ok ,nothing great as such same sort of food just done differently ,we had the drinks package but beware everytime you get a drink they sting you for 8euros service i dont drink only soft drinks my daughter had cocktails but only 2 a day we had a bill at the end of the cruise for 200 euros for service even if you are sitting at the bar they still charge you !!!!! the down side was trying to get on the boat after excurstions ,i understand you have to go through security checks but only have one person doing it and over 1.000 passengers we had to stand outside in the queue for over half an hour it was terrible they have all the staff doing otherthings why cant they get more to help with passengers coming back on the boat ,also our boat was full of school children on a weeks holiday with their schools !!!!! something i wish they had said before booking as i would have changed dates .also the last thing i find very upset about was on the coach to the airport the driver puts the bags in the coach for you under the eyes of the staff from the ship but when you get to the airport he just sat there and didnt help i have a bad back and would have liked a bit of help just getting my bag out of the boot of the coach very disappointed it felt like they have had your money now so sod off ..i wont be going again Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Only booked this for the destination really and to try msc as we have never sailed with them before and after this experience we wont ever again ! Whilst the ship itself was lovely that's the only thing that could be said was good ... Read More
Only booked this for the destination really and to try msc as we have never sailed with them before and after this experience we wont ever again ! Whilst the ship itself was lovely that's the only thing that could be said was good about it, The service was virtually none existence. All the staff ( with the exception of the cabin steward) looked totally miserable and as though they didnt want to be there and were so rude and ignorant. It was like it was in inconvenience for them with guests being there. They would let doors slam in your face and expected you to always move out of the way if you happened to be walking in the same pathway. We only ate in the restaurant the first night. £2.50 for a bottle of water and it was in a warm & in a blue plastic bottle. The food was so little that it would look lost on a saucer. 3 pieces of meat just larger than the size of a 50p piece and about 4 diced sized potatoes does not equate to a main meal. The food in the buffet was exactly the same everyday with what wasn't eaten at lunchtime still there in the evening. The shows if you could call them that were very similar each night with no change in the stage set and mostly acrobatic. There was no seating on the prom deck and most days they put chains on the doors saying it was closed due to high winds, but the sea was like a millpond. We have been on many cruises before and always enjoyed the evening entertainment and the formal nights but this is the first time ever that we never got to wear the tux & evening dress as it would have been wasted. Hardly anyone bothered and lots were still in their shorts. I could go on and on but I think you get the just of it !!!! on a plus note... Abu dhabi & Dubai were fantastic and so we will be looking to re visit there for a holiday in style Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We sailed on the MSC Sinfonia . WOW . It was such an amazing trip. From the moment we step on board until we disembarked . Our cabin attendant Yusif was just amazing. He came to greet us and for the entire trip he remembered our names and ... Read More
We sailed on the MSC Sinfonia . WOW . It was such an amazing trip. From the moment we step on board until we disembarked . Our cabin attendant Yusif was just amazing. He came to greet us and for the entire trip he remembered our names and took such pride in the work he does and nothing was ever to much for him to do, always smiling . The food was great , there was a night where there was mainly fish but there was burgers and pizza to make up for it. The entertainment was so great and i was amazed at how these shows was done. The cruise director Stephen was excellent. What a amazing talented bunch of lady's and gents. We were involved the the fun on board. I have experienced and witness passengers being rude to the staff for no apparent reason and i am a firm believer if you treat other people like that you should expect retaliation . I was amazed in the way that the staff actually took the abuse and just apologized even when they were not at fault. I would gladly sail with them again any time. I read the reviews and was surprised that some people complain about the evacuation drill prior to departure , i mean really our safety is very important and according to rules and regulations this has to be done prior to sailing. I felt safe and cared for and knew if there was an emergency of any sort that we will be taken care of. Thank you to all the staff from the cleaners to the captain for taking care of us Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our first cruise ever, so we went with no preconceived ideas and no expectations. We chose the cruises mainly on price, it was cheap and it went to interesting places in the Middle East that I wanted to go to. We knew we would ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever, so we went with no preconceived ideas and no expectations. We chose the cruises mainly on price, it was cheap and it went to interesting places in the Middle East that I wanted to go to. We knew we would be off the boat most days and to us it was just a floating hotel. Embarkation was good and quick and we arrived on board straight away after arriving at the cruise terminal. However our suitcases took more than 4 hours to arrive at our cabins. We could have gone into Dubai or relaxed by the pool except we had our UK winter clothes on and couldn't change. Now we know to bring a change of clothes or swimsuit in your hand luggage. In general the ship was great, no complaints. We had a cabin without windows which was adequate in size, very comfortable and cheap.We bought an Allegrissimo drinks package before we came, which was cheaper and very good, as you never had to think about the costs of drinks. We found all the staff to be very professional and very helpful. There was a service charge daily but I think the staff deserved this. The main sit down and be served restaurant served excellent food, though portion size was small. The buffets, breakfast, lunch and dinner were excellent in the choices and ranges of food available. They were very busy and sometimes you had to share tables, but this was good for meeting people of other nationalities. I can't comment on entertainment as we never attended any. Excursions were expensive but well organised, though the guides let them down by not being able to offer up information, history or stories. It did say they give basic information only but our guide on the Desert Safari didn't even do that. He only spoke when questioned, didn't say where we were or how long we had at that spot. I booked the Big Bus on line before coming and got a combined ticket for Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat. This was a lot cheaper than individual tickets bought on the ship. Finding free sunbeds or places to sit in the sun outside was also a problem. You could reserve you place with a towel, which people did and then disappeared for the rest of the day. Staff were supposed to remove them after 30 mins but they never did. Lastly and most importantly, my husband contracted some kind of food poisoning on the first evening, maybe after eating mussels. He was sick all night with diarrhea too. This then lasted the whole week and on into the week we got home. He visited the medical centre who examined him, gave him advice and medicines and even 2 drips but nothing worked. Also it cost us 526 euros! even though we are in the process off claiming some of it back through our insurance. It spoilt the cruise for us, especially for me as I was alone for a lot of the time. This year we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and had planned a variety of holidays to celebrate, but this turned out to be a disappointment due to the illness and the ships inability to cure it. Despite this the cruise itself was very good and I would recommend this company. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Booked our trip to begin three days before boarding ship, wanted enough time to get over jet lag. Our trip was to be done in three legs as we started in Az. a long way from Genoa, our final destination to board ship. Arriving early was a ... Read More
Booked our trip to begin three days before boarding ship, wanted enough time to get over jet lag. Our trip was to be done in three legs as we started in Az. a long way from Genoa, our final destination to board ship. Arriving early was a great thought as we had plenty of time to rest up and get our first taste of Italian cuisine and hospitality. Embarkation was probably our worst time as it took about an hour after check in to make it to our room, but compared to the last cruise line we sailed, three hours shorter time frame so we were still thrilled. We were shown to our cabin, amazed at the spacious décor and the great balcony, we were greeted by a lovely bowl of fruit, a very roomy walk in closet, and a spotless, modern bathroom.We boarded around noon and after unpacking, and settling in ,we toured the ship until dinner time, getting our bearings, and discovering all this beautiful ship had to offer which was beyond my imagination, truly a floating city. All our excursions were booked ahead of time as we wanted to make sure we were able to be on the ones we were interested in taking. The only one we were not able to take was Crete, the wind was blowing so hard the Captain couldn't dock, it was disappointing but was glad he choose to put our safety first. The rest were amazing, Olympia, Athens, Rhodes, Jerusalem, and Rome all well worth the money spent, the feelings of walking where the mighty and the truly great, had walked before, can not be put into words. The dining on board, was truly fantastic, five and six course meals, served by a great server, named Anna, from Italy who spoke English amazingly well, had a great memory for what we liked and, helped us step out of our comfort zone to try dishes that proved to be delicious. Can not rate this cruise any higher, all went above and beyond, to make our trip one to remember for a life time, or until our next cruise on MSC as it will be the only cruise line we will be taking. Already planning our next trip!!!! Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Never thought a cruise will be such as awfull as this. 80% Seniors and zero organization: - Not enough shadow for 10% of passangers outside while full sun. - No care for making people follow rules and not take all chairs and ... Read More
Never thought a cruise will be such as awfull as this. 80% Seniors and zero organization: - Not enough shadow for 10% of passangers outside while full sun. - No care for making people follow rules and not take all chairs and tables at shadow while they didnt use it, and while old people had nowhere to seat but "deck sun chairs" under full sun. - Lack in response of stealed stuff while they have cammeras everywhere. - Hyper lack on organizing boat tickets to go to the beaches (four or five bridges long lines of people at 7 am), while they sell you prior expensive bad packages to go offboard on first turn. - Too cold conditioned air inside, at any public space. You could difference such as 20ºC form outside and inside. A lot of people got colds or got sick including me. - Food was good at buffet but mostly fat like: cream, butter, and too much oil and flour. Healty food i found was rare withuout mentioning vegies, fruit and cereal... want low cream milk? then you'll have to pay extra for it. Bufet juices are all artificial. - Ship and boats spread black and brown stains at sea, without mentioning whole black smoke by engines. - Crew... always smiling... but if you stared a little just... watching them, you would see they are all the same doing different things at anytime. Several times i asked some of them, do you ever sleep?! Not all of them anwered, but i know some did just for a couple of hours. - Yes, it is slave work but i have nothing better in my country, if you dont like it they fire you. "Ship rules under who knows what wokr and human rights." - Last night i saw the captain eating a piece of pizza at the bufett... Think if i had known all the things i readed after arriving (didnt have internet because it was a joke the price) mabye i wouldnt be here. - Arriving, all things they said they will do to take care of our lougage like data and unique numbers id and coulours for organize and find your stuff, never happened. Lucky you if you could find your stuff in a mess... and I could have taken anyones stuff without any control. Going off the ship and off the port was all a mess too, no matter if you where a baby, and old woman with walking stick or a guy with wheel chair. Sorry my english. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including ... Read More
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including Grandparents and an 11 year old. For the past 5 year we had enjoyed a 5 star winter break to Sharm but with this not being an option in 2016 we decided to try a cruise over half term. MSC and the Orchestra provided everything that we were looking for. The ship offers something for all the family and is flexible in terms of dress code, so whilst its lovely to dress up a couple of times for Gala night this wasn't required every night which for us was perfect. Everyone on board works really hard and does their best to ensure all the passengers have a great time. Yes Brtis were definitely in the minority but this didn't bother us and we enjoyed the language exchanges in the lift each day. Food was great, yes the self service is busy at breakfast and lunch but eating outside was a preferable option. We enjoyed the pay for restaurant which was reasonable and they supplied a lovely birthday cake and bottle of bubbles. We thought the food in the sit down option was exceptional. We only had inside cabins and yes they were small but had everything we needed and the delivery of a continental breakfast each morning was lovely. We felt at £500 each for a weeks holiday this cruise was an absolute bargain and fitted in with half term dates visiting some of the most beautiful islands on earth and I have travelled extensively. We are already looking forward to our 2017 cruise to Dubai with MSC. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was my first cruise. We arrived at the port at 11:30 using Jiffy Jeff transportation. Well The terminal was packed as it was a partially chartered ship most of the group (claim 800 people) many of which were arriving together on ... Read More
This was my first cruise. We arrived at the port at 11:30 using Jiffy Jeff transportation. Well The terminal was packed as it was a partially chartered ship most of the group (claim 800 people) many of which were arriving together on multiple buses. We went into the terminal an saw a sign "boarding will be delayed". Come to find out the prior cruise was "Holy Ship" a chartered techno dance music cruise an they apparently had too much fun with multiple people being arrested, slight damage to the ships as they said but I didn't see anything wrong other than some TV's an framed pictures weren't level. Also they had to have a crane take down the stage they brought with them from the pool deck. We finally boarded around 1:45 an went straight up to the buffet on deck 14. Food was good the entire trip buffet and MDR. My only issue was portion sizes were smaller than expected. 10 small raviolis does not make an entrée but that's just my opinion. Meats were cooked well as were the fish pasta and PIZZA!!!. We were allowed into our cabins at 3:05 an dropped off our carry on bags then went to explore the rest of the ship. One thing many didn't like was the aft elevators only went to the Villa Rossa Restaurant and not the Black Crab on deck 6 which confused a majority of the older people who got very upset they had gone down then have to go back up an over an down again in another elevator. First two nights at dinner we watched people come in 10-20 min late because of it. Now as for dress code at dinner - Personally I found it a joke that my in-laws who have been on MSC before claimed EVERYONE dresses up. Well that sure was NOT the case for our cruise. many men did wear jackets but I'd say it was only 50-60% majority did like me dress shirt tie wth nice pants. The only people we saw turned away were a family who showed up at 6:55 when 1st dinner was 5:45 an expected to be seated. St. Thomas we docked at Havensight which was nice for shopping and had plenty of taxis available to get into town if you weren't willing to walk. It wasn't very hot maybe 70 at best when we first got off but was mid 70s by the time for all onboard. San Juan was much warmer and before we were let off they announced the pier would be shut down due to another ship coming right across from us at 11:45am so they could do all the ropes without passengers being in the way. Well the ship ended up coming closer to 12 an they shut down the pier for a good 30-45min maybe even an hour as they couldn't seem to get the ropes how they needed to be. If you are going to take the free trolley around town I suggest going to stop #14 across from the CVS right on the main road same side as the pier. Stop 1 was a madhouse but we got seats since we were on early due to boarding at 14. We skipped Great Stirrup Cay due to poor sea conditions the tenders weren't able to handle safely so we ended up with a 3rd sea day an the crew scrambled to get entertainment available. We ended up going extremely slow an sometimes stopped for a while since we couldn't go back to Miami early. As for entertainment the dancers, musicians and acrobats were all very good my only issue was the stage lighting. we usually sat towards the middle/ back (bottom of the steps) and the steps on the stage were too bright yet the rest of the lights on the performers were too dim you couldn't really see the detail in the costumes or their faces. (IMHO). Debarkation was smooth we had to go to the theater at 8:15 but we ended up being allowed off at 8. Inside the terminal it was like the airport with rows of conveyor belts all marked with colors of the tags. Small issue with some of the other passengers we had 2 colors as we were two different cabins yellow an pink. Well we had found the pink bags instantly an dragged them to the yellow area, many people were so rude thinking just because we had pink bags it was the pink section which it wasn't and clearly marked it wasn't. One guy threatened to fight an employee because nobody told them they were waiting in the wrong area. HELLO the big YELLOW board over the conveyor belt kinda gives the answer. We got our bags went down the short hallway quickly went through customs as we didn't purchase anything expensive an were out waiting for Jiffy Jeff within 30miin of getting off the boat. Read Less
36 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
30 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
we went on this cruise thinking it was wheelchair friendly the staff were very rude the only person that helped us was the cleaner I had to get my partner off the ship by myself twice as there was no one to help nearly lost him ... Read More
we went on this cruise thinking it was wheelchair friendly the staff were very rude the only person that helped us was the cleaner I had to get my partner off the ship by myself twice as there was no one to help nearly lost him overboard.the lifejacket drill was a joke,when you hear a certain noise you must go to your cabin an retrieve your life jacket do not use the lift then she spotted my partner an said I surpose you will have to .we couldn't get in the pools as they are 5 foot7 one end and 6 foot the following end an the steps are in the deep end.the disabled cabin was worse the only way you could tell it was disabled there was a seat in the shower it wasn't a none slip floor had we of known this we would of got a balcony cabin.we only paid to go on one excursion due to the fact when we went on the trip we had to get off at deck 4 others got off at deck 5 by time we got off the ship our group had disappeared I had to find someone who then accused us of being late which we wasn't we a just slower cause of the wheelchair no one waited they are more friendly off the ship than on it .if your a wheelchair user I wouldn't recommend this cruise it was an experience like no other.the dinning started off bad as soon as staff noticed the wheelchair they were mortified and our starter was missed the only good thing about the holiday was the places we went to an some of the other English on board . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my first cruise. The ship was three hours late. you cannot fault them as the weather was. However the communication was not extremely good and a few of the people on the ground knew what was happening. They could have also ... Read More
This was my first cruise. The ship was three hours late. you cannot fault them as the weather was. However the communication was not extremely good and a few of the people on the ground knew what was happening. They could have also provided people with water given it was blazing hot in Cape Town. Only hours later did we find out there was a water station and they handed out water as we boarded but it was too late. The check in experience was quick and easy. On entering the ship their was a whoah from all of us. It was beautiful. It brought a smile on all our faces. We were greeted with an overall welcome on-board. The weather was pretty crappy on the first day and the cruiseliner could not leave the Cape Town. The Strong Winds of Cape Town (affectionally known as Die Kaapse Dokter) was causing havoc) MSC cannot be blame for this I understand but communicate effectively and have a Plan B (More indoor intertainment available as people cannot go outdoors.) I presume they also don't have customer service agents or a manager to go around and communicate this message apart from the Captain Message over loudspeakers. Its also nice if they have a senior customer service officer or someone to assist in case help is needed. All the staff tells you is go to reception is which by the way is on the 5th floor and you in the 11th floor needing assistance. They really have to work on this. They also need a Senior Customer Service agent with decision making powers available on each floor or at least One for two/three floors available during the day and on telephone at night. Example: after buying cooldrinks, as I turned around the howling wind blew them out of the hand, the barman saw it and smiled. I told him can't he exchange it for me as he saw what happened. He just smiled and said no, I then had to cough up another $16 for drinks. No one senior there with "powers" to say we saw what happened lets give it to you for free, nothing! This is what makes customers happy, the ability to help them out. There is also no communication between restaurants. The one restaurant was so full with q's around the elevators and back with extremely long lines. As we walked down to our room we noticed the 6th floor restaurant was basically empty. Surely the manager of the 11th floor restaurant or manager of the 6th Floor manager could have called each other and said I am full do you have capacity or visa versa. Again, communication. Surely the Managers of the empty restaurants could have asked themselves, where are the 2000 or so people cause we made breakfast and there is no one here. Their cabins was small but I know one don't book a cabin you book the experience. The main criticism would be the timelines. We basically had one day of Cruise of 3 days. We had to be out by 6:30 of the room which again, long Q's at checkout meant we could enjoy anything on day 3. I would advise on the last day or cruise they give people breakfast snack packs so that people can still enjoy the last day and not stand in loooong q's on checkout, breakfast and again luggage waiting. Our luggage was misplaced with many others. We handed the luggage in as requested but for someone reason it never arrived. The ground crew said it was made "hand luggage" and therefore still on board and we should have brought the suitcases with us. However their were about 200 people with the same issue so we all could not have gotten it wrong. Again no communication between whomever made the decision in the morning mark it "hand luggage" did not communicate this to the ground staff. Communication, a very important thing. The service at the bars, again long q's surely this is not for first cruise. You know you are fully booked, get some extra staff. Its very simple. The quality of the food was indeed very good, thank you, except for the Pizza place where the younger ones got bored of same pizza after two days, imagine a 7 day cruise, I will die if served the same pizza. That is the closest eatery to the pools so of course everyone will go there. its also not a good idea to have one eatery on your deck where 2000 is likely to converge on a hot day. Transfer staff from other eateries there. Get more people to come and clean up. Get more waiters to that area. It will do wonders for the overall experience. Nothing frustrates people more to walk 100 metres for a drink to wait for another half an hour for it. It will give you grey hair. Thanks, the first cruise definitely was nice taste and will definitely look at coming back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
This was my maiden trip on a cruise and was absolutely mind blowing experience. Since I was travelling with my mother, I must say I was bit apprehensive given the health conditions of both of us, but that fear did not deter us from ... Read More
This was my maiden trip on a cruise and was absolutely mind blowing experience. Since I was travelling with my mother, I must say I was bit apprehensive given the health conditions of both of us, but that fear did not deter us from embarking on this wonderful journey. The decor inside the cruise resembled of a 7 star hotel and can give a run for their money on every front. The staff were well trained and were so hospitable that they were just a call away for any help required. The food was another WOW factor and the way the food gets churned on a daily basis is nothing short of a miracle!!! The rooms were well ventilated and had a nice spacious balcony and the housekeeping staff would attend 2 times a day to keep things spic and span In short I would say everyone on the cruise was pampered for choice be it for the food, beverages, entertainment and not to the mention the ambience!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2016
The ship is nice and the balcony cabines are looking good also. The food was low cost quality. The strongest point of this cruise was the staff, with special remarks for Miguel, the waiter in cigar bar. Ship and entertainment ... Read More
The ship is nice and the balcony cabines are looking good also. The food was low cost quality. The strongest point of this cruise was the staff, with special remarks for Miguel, the waiter in cigar bar. Ship and entertainment information are delived on board daily. Trips organized are expensive and is better to do your own programm on each stop, according to your preferences. Dinning in a la carte restaurants is for people having patience to be served with medium quality dishes. Overall it wasn't bed, but didn't meet our expectations. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
So we are a family of 4 and we decided to take our kids of there first new years crews on MSC which is a line that I have never been on. The sailing was from Dec. 26 2015- Jan 3 2016,days 8 nights. when we arrived at the port of Miami, ... Read More
So we are a family of 4 and we decided to take our kids of there first new years crews on MSC which is a line that I have never been on. The sailing was from Dec. 26 2015- Jan 3 2016,days 8 nights. when we arrived at the port of Miami, just looking at the MSC Divina, It looked absolutely amazing, we absolutely could not wait to get on. When in the port there were long lines unless you had Aurea experience or higher which is what we had and got through very quickly eventually getting the ship. So we get on and the lobby Is filled with people trying to get to there cabin in an elevator but who cares we got there very soon. Getting into our balcony cabin, it fit all 4 of us, 2 on the king bed, our kids on the futon which was very comfortable. And keep in mind there are plenty of closet space but your bags go under the bed, there is no where else to put them. The bathroom is tiny. the shower doors are glass and are moved into place by magnets. On to the service. The service on the ship wasn't so hot. We ordered room service because we were very tired and ordered 4 sandwiches, but they brought us only 2 sandwich's, for a first timer I wasn't very satisfied. And later on they would mess up almost every room service order we made. In the restaurants such as black crab (which is the only free restaurant besides the buffet) all the waiters cannot speak English very well, they basically mumble. After reading some questions from people, they want to know if there is good activities for teens on board. The answer is no. My son is 14 and he had 2 family friends on board with him, and almost never gets bored. There is a teen club but it doesn't seem fun, all it is, is dancing to the same songs every day and playing Xbox which doesn't even sound interesting. They were bored mostly during the night. Something that the boys did was bowling basketball watch basketball and swim during the day and maybe the night. On the MSC Divina there are shows every night. And they are SPECTACULAR. The best have ever seen, everyone of us loved it. There was a show where Queen song were sang, acrobatics, dancing, and the best of all the Michael Jackson show. The theater was 100% filled that night, I mean the guy could dance exactly like Michael Jackson and they also have a special surprise at the end of the show for you! About the food, it was not so hot either. We didn't go to any other restaurant besides The black crab, buffet and eataly which was good. In the buffet there are not to many healthy choices for people who hate junk food like me. I'd say its OK. The black crab, some nights it was terrible some nights it was very good. They undercook steak a lot so remember to check before you eat it. The pizza and pasta are amazing in all restaurants since its a Italian ship so try that. We went to Ocho Rios Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Belize city and Freeport. All were very good except for Jamaica, we went to the beach it was just crappy. If you are going to Cozumel go to Playa San Juan, VERY NICE snorkeling! and if you are going Belize make sure to book the Starfish island excursion. Beautiful island! Over all I would come back to MSC as long as they improve!! Read Less
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