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593 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

There are many staffs working with attitude. Very lack of passion. They seems like they are doing a job that they hate. Very horrible customer service especially in buffet area. Staffs are not even smiling and serve you without saying a ... Read More
There are many staffs working with attitude. Very lack of passion. They seems like they are doing a job that they hate. Very horrible customer service especially in buffet area. Staffs are not even smiling and serve you without saying a word or response. There are many staffs covering buffet area. Bar service staffs focus on selling drinks than doing other jobs. For e.g. they can't even get you waiter for clean up. When I asked a waiter who is cleaning up to clean up our table, she responded "Not my area". When I complained to supervisor, the response was "very busy time" but I can see many staffs floating around and not doing their job. When I approach the staff, some were quite rude. No eyes contact, tried to ignore, no responses. I've seen a supervisor complain to a staff for bad hygiene, the staff was quite rude and didn't care. MSC Grandiosa seriously need to manage their staffs. It's the worst cruise I have ever been in term of customer service. The worst entertainment I have ever experienced. It's almost like no entertainment and activities for adults. We were pretty much spending time in our room. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We read all the reviews. We have a balcony cabin it is great, yes the shower is small but really it is good. The staff have been fantastic The food is good, really good. The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds ... Read More
We read all the reviews. We have a balcony cabin it is great, yes the shower is small but really it is good. The staff have been fantastic The food is good, really good. The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds are comfortable and bangs fit under the beds This is our second msc cruise and it is just plain good Value When we read the reviews we were suspicious, but on board we have been pleasantly surprised We are not looking for a party cruise we are looking for relaxation and good food. We had the fantastica package, this gave us a basic range of drinks, but the wines are good Overall we are very happy. The breads are great as are the snacks, pizza etc The restaurant meals were well presented and there was a range of seating so you could have an intimate meal with your spouse or sit with a group of people The buffets were busy and the normal push and shove by the Italians and the poms but this is normal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Great Cruise!Big thanks to Trajce(entrainment) from macedonia and Aleksandar (games area )also from macedonia) they were very polite kinde very well informed about everything on the ship,very helpful for us and they were very positive too! ... Read More
Great Cruise!Big thanks to Trajce(entrainment) from macedonia and Aleksandar (games area )also from macedonia) they were very polite kinde very well informed about everything on the ship,very helpful for us and they were very positive too! 10+for them! i recommended this cruise especially for family with the kids. theater and the shows were good but little boring especially when it’s only one man singing od the stage without dancers,the show for the last night was amazing extraordinary 10+ I didn’t like that the excursion organized by the ship were tree times more expensive then the tour you can find on your own in every port completely the same that the ship is offering and especially i didn’t like PRICE OF THE PHOTOS 150 euros for less than 10 pictures i think it’s even insaine, But other thinks were great,the ship is amazing beautiful design clean and worm ,exelent food too! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The excursions were fairly good and so was the food and servers. Everything else was horrible. The beauty salon was awful, terrible communication skills and high pressure staff, like your money was their personal piggy bank. The cabin ... Read More
The excursions were fairly good and so was the food and servers. Everything else was horrible. The beauty salon was awful, terrible communication skills and high pressure staff, like your money was their personal piggy bank. The cabin steward was obviously so badly trained he put dirty sheets with bedbugs on the bed. The Reception staff customer service skills were horrible, assumptions like offers to clean luggage as though I brought the bedbugs aboard, nasty responses to tired travelers in a bad mood, that you’re a bum if you forgot to register a credit card early on instead of a courteous reminder. There was garbage, water leaks and construction debris in the halls most of the time. At one point at dinner, the air had the smell of Depends undergarments and I had to leave before I puked. On one tour, woman behind me rudely talked on phone making hearing the guide impossible but the guide refused to address it. Found a bug on the table after room service arrived once. If you like nightmares, MSC is your best bet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The MSC Grandiosa is a very mixed experience, and whether it makes sense for you depends a lot on what you value and what gets under your skin. I will first describe the things on MSC Grandiosa that are first-rate. Then I will describe ... Read More
The MSC Grandiosa is a very mixed experience, and whether it makes sense for you depends a lot on what you value and what gets under your skin. I will first describe the things on MSC Grandiosa that are first-rate. Then I will describe what I think is poorly done, and will represent deal-breakers for many. After that I will describe the ship's overall philosophy, and the type of person for whom that might work well, and what you'll want to be looking out for. We boarded in Genoa on Saturday January 11. They told us to show up at 3pm, but when we did we were the only ones there; we could have boarded much earlier, and I wish we had. Here's what the MSC Grandiosa is really GOOD at: 1. Beautiful Ship. The only thing about which everyone agrees is that the ship is beautiful. What people are reacting to is largely the lighting, which is carefully attended to everywhere. Also, there are a lot of mirrors, so you frequently find yourself in an infinity tunnel. 2. Solid Shows in the Main Theater. The stage shows were SO much better than on Princess or even Celebrity. The cast gets 35 minutes to perform as many songs as they can within that night's genre (Rock, Swing, Italian Love Songs, ABBA, etc.), so you get about 10-12 great songs well-performed, with no filler. I wish I had seen all six shows. 3. Amazing Bread. Nobody is talking about the bread, which is the same everywhere on the ship. I am expecting stale buns at the buffet, and instead every single type of bread is soft, delicate, fresh, and perfectly created. I can't stop eating those little date rolls. 4. Good Dining Hall Experience. The food is very good, the menu varies, the service is professional, and they have two no-sugar-added desserts every night. Everything we had was good. Our seating was at 6:30pm and we walked in and sat down at the same table-for-three each night without delay. 5. Many Affordable Add-Ons. The Gelato Bar, the Chocolate Shop, the Crepe Stand, the Fish-and-Chips Pub, and the Steak House Brunch are all very high quality, with no crowds, and priced like Starbucks, which is very affordable if you aren't angry about nothing being included. Here is what MSC Grandiosa is really BAD at: 1. Crowds at the Buffet. The buffet area isn't much larger than on the 2,500-passenger Celebrity Summit, but there are twice as many people on board. That means a risk of severe crowding unless MSC does a LOT to spread out the crowds. Instead, MSC does the opposite, forcing people into unnecessarily small time windows. The inevitable result is enough pushing and table panic to really diminish the enjoyment of otherwise perfectly acceptable food (and great bread). 2. Nothing is included. Food stands? extra fee. Beverage package? Doesn't work at specialty restaurants. Juice at the buffet? Only at breakfast. Non-alcoholic beverage package including "hot chocolate concoctions"? The only hot chocolate concoctions on the ship are at the Chocolate Shop, and the Chocolate Shop isn't included. That's just fraud. We missed Princess's International Cafe. 3. Specialty Experiences Prohibitively Expensive. Bowling, Virtual Reality, Steak House Dinner, it's all too expensive, and you're not going to do it unless you're rich. We ate at the steak house. It was great. Brunch there is $5 for blueberry pancakes, $6 for strawberry french toast, and $7 for chicken and biscuit. But come back for dinner, and each entree is $30-$40, $55 for a T-Bone steak. The pre-fixe menu at $39 is better, but four people are going to pay $150+ and beverages when you could just eat for free in the Dining Hall. 4. Little Outdoor Space. If you want some fresh air, you have to go up to Deck 16. There's nothing like a promenade deck. You can't leave the big atrium or the galleria and get a whiff of sea air, or even a glimpse. This ship is largely an indoor experience, unless you go to the top decks. Peculiarities On Board 1. Permanent Culture Clash. Unlike lines that cater more toward a particular nationality (Princess to Americans, P&O to Brits, AIDA to Germans), MSC caters to everyone, so there is a delightful international mix on board. Announcements from the Captain or before stage shows are rendered in English, then Italian, then French, then German, then Spanish, and sometimes Chinese. At first it's impressive, then it gets old. Your excursion will be in multiple languages, too, and you end up spending a lot of time waiting for another language to finish. The biggest downside, though, is that all these cultures have different norms for things like when to eat and how to navigate lines. MSC brings to bear its Italian aesthetic of utter disconcern -- confused signage, for example, and rigid European meal times -- and pretty soon tempers fray. I'm used to Americans being really rude, but on this ship EVERY nationality took a turn demonstrating rudeness. By disconcern, I mean that dinner at the buffet is from 7pm-10pm. The buffet is OPEN from 5pm-7pm, if that's your thing, but they only serve hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and salads. The full buffet menu is for people who eat late. Meanwhile, you probably have a stage show reservation at 7:15pm , or Cirque de Soleil at 8pm, or an excursion starting early the next morning, so you REALLY NEED to the flexibility of the buffet. Hamburgers and pizza for you. And because thousands of starved people have just gotten back from their excursions, there is a huge rush at 5pm for those few burgers and pizzas. MSC is capable of handling peak crowds, but they choose not to, and that makes everything unnecessarily difficult and unpleasant on board. Tempers flare, and pretty soon your party is not having a fun time on the ship. 2. Inverted Demand Curves On most ships, people buy a cheap room, but you get quite a bit of value from upgrading to a drink package or a specialty dining package or an entertainment package. So the value shoppers go to the middle of the offering, and the poor values are the high-end experience (which is overpriced) and the bare-bones experience, which could be inexpensively embellished. It's not like that on MSC Grandiosa; it's the opposite. Yacht Club is a great value because they rescue you from the crowds and give you all the best real estate on the ship. The cheap rooms with dining hall food and water-purchased-a-la-carte are also a great value. But in the middle, if you try to buy up to a beverage package, nothing is included. If you try to purchase a specialty dining package it's expensive and inflexible. The other upsell experiences are prohibitive. As a result, the specialty dining venues are mostly empty most of the time. That puts additional pressure on the dining halls and the buffet. The end-result is that the ship has huge amounts of space that are underutilized (e.g., specialty experiences), or off-limits (e.g., Yacht Club), and that means all 6,000 passengers are crammed into what's left. That's a worse experience than you'll find on almost any other ship in the sea. 3. Contagion Incubation Factory I didn't hear much coughing when we boarded in Genoa on January 11, but by the end of the trip the whole ship was a cough chorus. On a normal ship, they flush everybody and chlorox the ship once per week. But on MSC new people join every day. That is SUPER-convenient for planning your trip, but if the ship gets sick then the contagion just keeps getting passed forward week after week as healthy passengers join and sick passengers depart. People have faulted the MSC Grandiosa for not being serious about hand sanitzer, and that is correct. There are a few sanitizer stations, but not enough for 6,000 passengers, and they run out of sanitizer, or they break, and people get frustrated, and illness happens. So Who is MSC Grandiosa For? I would recommend Grandiosa for rich people who can hide in the Yacht Club, and for poor people who can get a really good room rate and just want transport between cities and are content with buffet and dining hall food. Everybody else can probably find a ship that's better imagined than this one. Final Points For the shows on the main stage, make a reservation a couple days in advance, then line up at LEAST a half-hour before the show starts. You'll get to sit in the middle section. Everyone without a reservation will flood in after you, and they sit on the sides. There are multi-language touch-screens throughout the ship which are well-designed and make it easy to reserve shows for your party. You will need your cruise card for everything, so bring your lanyards. Cirque de Soleil gets mixed reviews. That's partly because the two shows are very different. Exentricks is disastrous and offensive -- a surreal freak show, complete with pole dancers. The audience does not clap. Cosmos is merely stupid. Both of them a "spectacle" in the circus sense. You get to see a juggler, acrobat, contortionist, and aerialist, but Cirque surrounds that basic experience with a bunch of gee-whiz-but-meaningless semiotics that will only impress the easily impressed. For example, Cosmos is not a show about "coming of age," and saying it doesn't make it so. If you go to Cirque anyway, you don't get to choose your show time until you are on board. And the seats are assigned automatically. That means when you go on board, all the best seats and even show times are taken for the first few nights. But if you choose shows near the end of your cruise, you will get the best seats and your choice of show times because passengers who would compete with you haven't boarded the ship yet. If you choose a cocktail show, those are at a different time from the dinner show. You get to grab a cocktail from the counter on the way in -- there are a couple to choose from. They are watered down. The cabins are a little tighter than on the Crown Princess or Celebrity Summit, but well-designed, well-appointed, well-lit, and highly functional. Be careful not to accidentally leave the Do Not Disturb light on -- I think that's why people are complaining that their cabin doesn't get made up. The three lights over each door mean [RED] People are in the room; [BLUE] Do not disturb; [WHITE] Please make up the room. The service levels on the ship are high. Electronic buttons on the buffet tables summon staff effectively. The cabin staff do first-rate work, as do the restaurant servers. However, whereas the Celebrity Summit assigns a permanent team of three to each dining room table, and the Crown Princess has a mixed staff, on the MSC Grandiosa it's just one guy handling all aspects of every table in his section, from serving wine to changing utensils, to scraping crumbs. That experience is a little harried, and makes the Dining Hall seem like a place to get into and out of fast. The nice thing about MSC, unlike Princess of Celebrity, is that off-duty crew are allowed anywhere on the ship, they are not confined to the bottom decks, so you get to see them. However, the staff contracts are months-longer, and the ship staff may not have been home recently; they may not have seen their family. Some of this sadness seeps into their work. On the other hand, this is not an American ship, and super-cheerful American service is not what anybody is attempting. Just something to watch for. We used Zoe quite a bit, just for laughs. I even made video of Zoe being stupid. It knows one answer to every question: "Go look it up." The purpose of Zoe, obviously, is to take the pressure off MSC's overburdened customer service personnel. But MSC will have to learn the hard way that it's easier to make the ship less confusing than to try to answer everybody's questions. For example, what are the buffet hours? You might need a few days to figure out what is available when at the buffet. The schedule is inscrutable; the signage is unclear. After a week you've got most of the ship figured out, but mostly what you've got figured out is to get on a different ship without so much unnecessary confusion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment ... Read More
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment variety, and so on. Dining area on deck 11 is crowded without place to sit, so only way to eat is to take plate outside or in a room. Automatic hand disinfect dispensers do not work in 90% of time which leads to people not being able to clean their hands and stop spreading bacterias inside buffets. This later led to many people getting sick onboard including myself and members of my family. Tables are dirty and sticky, poorly cleaned or not cleaned at which is absolutely unacceptable. Destinations vere quite nice including the weather during our winter cruise. Pizza and coffe in bars was very tasty (italian style) and that's something I would personally recommend on this ship. Generally, even though this cruise was quite cheap I would not recommend it to anyone because they are way better ships on the market. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise and we chosed Grandiosa because we wanted to have first cruise experience on a brend new ship. Before I went reading other reviews and saw rather bed ones giving us thoughts OMG where are we going, why not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chosed Grandiosa because we wanted to have first cruise experience on a brend new ship. Before I went reading other reviews and saw rather bed ones giving us thoughts OMG where are we going, why not some other ship, other company but one thing I've learned that mostly people which are always complaining for something are writing reviews, and that's why I wanted to write this one to tell point of view from normal, not egocentric people. We embarked in Genova. Came to port on 13.00, on 13.20 were on ship, no problems at all, very smooth and easy. Getting on board we needed to photo again even though we had picture through MSC for me app. But ok, few minutes extra. Coming to main promenade and seing it all in full glory was spectacular especially that 90m LCD dome. Knowing the ship was easy since there are lcd screend everywhere showing all mandatory info. Smart lifts are doing splendid job handling over 7000 people on board and never have problem coming where you want in minutes. We had 2 interior rooms and if you are not some some guy who likes to be with himself and look all day to the harbour from your bed having room with window or balcony is absolute waste of money. There are many beautiful places to watch the see. Rooms are rather spacious, even our with 3 beds (2 from the ceiling). Bathroom is just enough in size and have everything needed. Stewards (especially Fillipines) are fantastic, whenever you leave room they tidy up and leave something new for you. ZOE, oh Zoe, I've read lot's of bed stuff on reviews but now I know that that there is no problems with ZOE but with the people using her hehehe. If you want to chat with someone chat with you wife, or Fillipines crew, ask ZOE what is she designed to do, show you around the cabin, tell you where to eat, where is everything you need, weather, time, to power tv on and off and lots of things which she does great. FOOD - there is much to tell about food too but some say that it's not good to comment tastes so I won't, I will just tell that we were almost always on Marketplace buffet restaurant with enormous choices for everyone. Place is huge (almost all 15th floor) so we could always find place to sit with no problems. We were very satisfied wih variety, quality and taste. There are breakfast, lunch, dinner times but you can always come and find something to eat. Watter, tea and coffee available free whole day, juice just for breakfast. You can fill bottles, no one makes it a problem. Didn't used much other restaurants so cannot comment it. ENTERTAINMENT - there is always something to do on ship, daily program is rather big, if you are with kids there are also whole floor for them. My kid loved adrenaline park and walked on rope for hours around the ship. Also there is watter park working so even January there were kids going through the slides. There are few pools (watter 28 celsius) and jacuzzi's (35 celsius)... Indoor pool is rather small. Arcade games are 1,5-2€ but everything else is extreme expensive (VR, formula, bowling etc). There is Circus and we watched paid show Excentrix. It started awful and was thinking OMG what is this and I why I paid for this but then in 10mins real show started and is something worth seing. On other side of the ship there is Theatre for little under 1000 people, every night other show in 3 times. I suggest everyone to book all shows in front and to go see them all. They are fantastic. We were trilled with all of them. All staff is very friendly and helpful. There is always some stuff that tried to ruin your cruise but the way you handle them counts. First when we came to ship and got lagguage I saw that my bag was completely broken, went to reception to report it and got refunded with no problem. Second is that we all got sick with high fever and used all out tablets and went to medical center, waited for 2 hours to get info that there is no more paracetamol pill on board (which I thing is unacceptable) so take with you everything you might need since that is closed ecosytem and viruses can spread fast. Third is we couldn't go to Marceilles due to strikes so we went to Toulous, MSC organized whole day free ships and buses to center so it was great. Ship is gigantic and the only place where is rather crowded it buffet restaurant and promenade after theater shows. If you don't like crowd take yacht club experience and go to late night theater shows. Every day there are some sales on promenade so maybe you will find some great deals. MSC for me is app with some great potencial but with some major problem. It's great to have free on app chat through the app without having to buy internet packet but it doesn't always work. Also in port you cannot use your mobile data and been connected to ship wifi so you need to shuffle. Yes, remember to turn off mobile data when setting sail. Diembarkation was a charm. Evening before got stickers for lagguage, got time and meeting point and went out in mather of minutes. Having it all summed up it was fantastic experience for all 6 of us with nothing more to wish for. 5/5 stars from us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I had a week to fill in over the Christmas period, and I thought that a week-long cruise would be a good and convenient option. I boarded and disembarked MSC Grandiosa in Genoa, and thought that I would be visiting Civitavecchia, Palermo, ... Read More
I had a week to fill in over the Christmas period, and I thought that a week-long cruise would be a good and convenient option. I boarded and disembarked MSC Grandiosa in Genoa, and thought that I would be visiting Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille. However, after boarding in Genoa, there was a letter in the cabin advising that the two ports I was most looking forward to visiting were not able to be visited because of sea conditions, and as a result, the itinerary was changed so that there was an extra day spent in Civitavecchia (the port of Rome), and port stops in Ajaccio (Corsica) and Palma de Mallorca were arranged. I arrived in Genoa by train about two hours before the posted time of embarkation but I was able to board the ship and go to my cabin. Both embarkation and disembarkation at Genoa were among the best that I have experienced. The walk between the cruise terminal and railway station is not very long, but can involve some steps and narrow pathways. Compared to other cruises that I have been on, this was the first cruise where the passenger composition changed at each port. This in itself was not a problem, but it meant that each afternoon from about 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm there were 5-6 announcements in multiple languages over the loudspeaker for new passengers to attend the mandatory lifeboat sessions. There must be a better way (perhaps an electronic bracelet) to get passengers to attend the sessions without the constant loud reminders. I was disappointed by the lack of information about the ports that were being visited. The information given was only about MSC shore excursions, and there wasn't anything about public transport, maps or other features that would assist those not who opted not to participate in MSC shore excursions. Prior to sailing I had planned my activities for each port, but when the itinerary changed, it was not so easy to plan for the time in the new ports. I purchased the standard internet package and found that the internet speed met my needs. However, the cost of the internet package is quite expensive and it would be worth investigating other alternative means of accessing the internet. The ship was only a month old and so all the furnishings were in pristine condition. My cabin was an interior studio, the cabin at the lower end of those available. I was travelling alone and the cabin was adequate for my needs. Given the very limited floor space and the fact that one side of the bed was against the wall, I think that it would be unsuitable for more than one person to occupy the cabin. The sailing was over the Christmas period and the ship was completely full with many family groups and numerous nationalities. The buffet was very busy and crowded at breakfast and particularly at lunchtimes. On Christmas Eve, the buffet was not open for dinner as a special meal was arranged for after midnight instead, but this was poorly communicated. I appreciated the presence of a Catholic chaplain being on board during this cruise to lead Mass on Christmas Day and other days. Overall, the size of the ship, the constant change in the composition of the passengers, and the lack of activities such as port venue information sessions and trivia sessions made it feel more like being on a train rather than on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good ... Read More
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good Italian fare with hotdogs and burgers always a favourite for the kids and grown up's alike. The big let down for me was the standard of food in the restaurants in the evening as I feel the best offerings should be for the evening meals as you look forward to dressing up on formal nights but the food was dressed down. The buffet in the evening always provided choice in a cafeteria atmosphere if you wanted to battle the crowd at main meal times. My outside cabin was very adequate for a solo traveller but space would be limited if I was to share with a friend, you would need to be extremely close to somebody to get on with each other in the area provided in my outside cabin, the cabin itself provided a safe and a mini bar which in my opinion was good although the prices a little high for the drinks and snacks provided in the mini bar, my package included free mineral water but the mineral water provided in my cabin was charged to my final account at 2.95 Euros a bottle... Only free in public areas so soon figured out how to play this one.... As for the entertainment onboard I thought the cruise staff worked hard to entertain the passengers throughout the day and I enjoyed their hard work, as for the cast members they also worked hard but shows and sets were were very limited and short, also noticed that since the ship had been stretched the show lounge still only accommodated a limited amount of people during show times which then led to people sitting on stairways obstructing the exit ways which led to some argy bargy at times ? . Could not comment on shore excursions as I did not book any but pleased to see the ship did offer free buses to the port gates were you could not walk through the port area. As for the overall service I found to be very good with a good mix of crew that could speak English although the ship is geared up to our Italian and European friends onboard which is what you have to expect from an Italian cruise company... also be aware that with all the different European cultures onboard you will not always see the British style of courtesy during busy public times.. you can make your own mind up on this one. Would I go back.... Yes if the price is right and the itinerary was good although, I would prefer a little more quality and therefore pay a little more. Also be aware that if you are not a smoker some public areas inside the ship are set aside for passengers to smoke so you will need to avoid these areas if this would upset you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were a group of friends from Taiwan, and it was our first time cruising on MSC. We want to extend our appreciation to a few onboard staff that had put in extra effort in making our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Our ... Read More
We were a group of friends from Taiwan, and it was our first time cruising on MSC. We want to extend our appreciation to a few onboard staff that had put in extra effort in making our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Our cabin attendant Samma greeted us whenever we met in the corridor, and he always asked if everything was fine with us. He also checked on our cabins a few times a day to ensure our cabins were tidy and spotlessly clean. We exchanged small talks and got to know that Samma was working on a cruise for 7 years, and he is still enjoying his job and meeting new people around the world. We dined at the Purple Crab Restaurant almost every evening and sat at table 331. Whenever we entered the same group of waiters (Robert, Melvin, etc.) always welcome us with a big smile. They never rush us and were very patient when taking our orders. Especially, Deborah, she was extremely attentive and always knew what we need without being asked. Thank you again to those I've mentioned, and we wouldn't forget your excellent hospitality! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in errors,incompetence,and refusal to own their mistakes. Embarkation for YC, is done in a private area. The other classes were in a area were disorganization seemed to reign. We were processed and on ship within 20 minutes of our arrival at Genoa terminal. We were escorted by a butler along with two other families. Upon boarding a female security officer said stop. I asked if there was a problem, she stated there was an issue with my card. The butler who was there to assist, was MIA. When I asked what the problem was, she put her hand in my face and yelled I would have to wait for management to fix the problem. I told our butler who looked nervous,to please help fix this. He then stated I was YC and they would handle it later. No apology for the assault or humiliation. There was no issue for the card and I received an apology from the staff captain five days later after I repeatedly asked to speak to a manager and they reviewed the tape. No further gesture of good will ever came nor would I deign to ask for one. Despite temptation, I kept an open mind about MSC. The positives of YC were they escorted you on and off the boat,avoiding long and often unorganized lines. They also had an awesome lunge where one could have a drink of choice,high tea, or continental breakfast. There were always nibbles or sweets laid out. The YC restaurant,the food was very mixed to poor. Breakfast had nice items,but were often cold or flavorless. This included eggs Benedict that were cold and hard. On formal night, we got escortgoes that had a butter crust and no garlicky soft butter sauce. Steak was often over done despite requests for medium or rare. Most other dishes lacked any form of seasoning. The main buffet had better and more flavorful food. This was despite it being a blood sport to get food with people pushing or cutting the line. The pizza was excellent(even by NYC standards) and it was cool to watch them make fresh mozzarella. Service in the YC was either smothering or poor. If one went to get a cup of coffee in the morning , a staff member would insist to carry it to your room. One day we arrived at 1505, five minutes after lunch finished on the YC outside deck. We were told sorry, it was closed and we were on our own. The rooms were decent and mini bar was fully stocked. However, if a blow dryer was needed it had to be asked for.. The ship had limited trivia games or other non musical activities. This can be attributed to the multiple main languages on the ship,which was a positive and fun thing. We did not take any excursions,from the ship so have no opinion on these. the ship is HUGE,maybe too big. However,they have any awesome beer bar,called Top of the Mast. Great beer selection and very friendly staff. Disembarkation was easy and quick. My only issue was getting a refund from my card in euros instead of the money being put back on the card. MSC has potential but needs to work out some service issues. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was ... Read More
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was expecting small staterooms, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in our interior stateroom. Another review mentioned there not being a hairdryer, there is one. It isn't in the washroom though, it was in the drawer in front of the mirror in the main room. -Staff were friendly and competent. -Food was overall good (did not try out the specialty restaurants, but they looked good). The buffet was decent overall. The pizza was passable, but not good. I only mention because others have said it was great, those people are crazy. The sit down dinners were pretty good, nothing fantastic but decent for sure. -The shows were overall good to excellent with a good variety. -The two different Cirque du Soleil shows that were both fantastic. We did one with a cocktail and one with dinner. Both were very much worth it. The Bad: -Everything closes early except the bars and the casino. All the pools/hot tubs, including the interior ones, close at 2000 (8 pm) same with the spa. Meaning that if you go off the ship, by the time you get back, and have the early dinner (1830) there is little to no time to enjoy those amenities. Due to this my wife and I booked the thermal spa package, but always had to rush in order to get in 1/2 to 1 hour of time in the spa. Having these open until 2200 (10 pm) would be much better. There is litereally noting to do unless you are going to the shows. -The casino reeks of cigarettes. They have a smoking section in the casino, but it is not physically separated from the rest of the casino, so the whole place smells. -No front view for us mere mortals who are not yacht club level. Literally not a single public space to see out the front of the ship unless you are spending the big bucks. -Could have just been due to it being a bit cooler, but it was a missed opportunity that they did not show movies or anything on the giant screen outside. Would have been a fun activity to lounge around and watch a movie while snuggled under a blanket eating some popcorn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We board on the brand new MSC Grandiosa on November the 23th. We've been on two more cruises with MSC, both on MSC Preziosa and we loved the experience. I've never thought I'll give a 4star review on a cruise, but there are ... Read More
We board on the brand new MSC Grandiosa on November the 23th. We've been on two more cruises with MSC, both on MSC Preziosa and we loved the experience. I've never thought I'll give a 4star review on a cruise, but there are some things that MSC needs to know, and I hope very much that they read those reviews. First of all, the embarkation and disembarkation was perfect as always, very fast and easy, It took us 20' tops to get in the ship. The cabin (deck 9, fantastica balcony cabin) is great smaller than MSC Preziosa. I guess they got the cabins smaller so they can have more of them. That does not mean that the cabin was not comfortable, but it lacked a bigger closet. Zoe is not working most of the times, it's a pitty to have it there, just remove it and save us from the trouble to speaking in something that always reply ''please can you repeat your question''. The staff is great and always have been. Especially the waitors and the people cleaning our rooms are always smilling and they are so polite that it kills me to see people behaving badly to them. I believe that the company should also protect the ladies workers from creepy old men that trying to make a move. Our waitor, Jean from Madagascar was an excellent example of what a great waitor is: polite, smilling, always remembering what we have ordered. We loved him and we thank him for making this experience great for us. The food is great. It is better that MSC Preziosa. I loved everything in the Purple Crab restaurant and also in the buffet. People saying that the food is no good...I dont know where you got that, but there is something for every taste. Pizza, pasta, burgers, hot dogs, thai food, indian food, chesses and hams, salads, breads, healthy options, options for vegetarian, everything was there! The new system with the elevators turned out to be amazing. We never had to wait for one. We got one shore excursion in Italy and we thought it was great. The leading lady really did her job absolutely amazing. We were in a group of Italian and English speaking. There was a group of French people too, and they keeped pressuring her to speak to them in french. Although she tried to explain a lot of times, they still insisted. She did not gave in, she still answered a few qyestions in french, but not speaking to them and explaining (she knew very well french). This is what a professional looks like. Last year, to a terrible excursion in Malaga, we also picked a German English group and our tour guy decided it was a great idea to speak in German, English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese! He totally ruined our excursions. The design of the ship... Well I know that MSC is very proud of it, and it is a great ship but my dislikes and one of the reasons that I am putting a 4star review were: 1. The buffet. I hated the colors that they picked for the buffet. The buffet seemed very clistophobic and dark. The Aztec in MSC Preziosa is very bright and sunny and we were dissapointed. Especially the part in the back side of the ship is awful, you think you are eating in a factory. 2. What is going all with all the shops?? I know MSC is winning money but really, we dont need 1000 boutiques. You should have more public spaces as bars and lounges. 3. The ''main'' bar. Oh Safari Lounge, how I have missed you.... You can not have a bar named main bar when there are sheats for 50 people there. Cut 2 boutiques and make your main lounge bigger so people can enjoy the entairtaining at the (for which you need a reservation) night. The entertainment. Where do I start...? First of all, the theatre shows . WHO is designing these shows?? Cause they were are medium to horrible. The dancers and singers are absolutely great, the shows themselves were not. Even the italian night....in an italian ship...no! Not good. The entertainers in the rest of the ship...also not great. Most of the times they were talking to themselves and dancing with one another. I dont want them to pressure me, but there were people that wanted to dance and they didnt seem to care. The parties though, were great! Great job, the 80s party was amazing, the entertainers did a great job there, you absolutely killed it MSC. One of the best parties I have ever been. But the biggest problem of all, mine and lots of the other passengers that I ve talked with, were the screaming children and babies everywhere. I get that you dont want to parent in your vacations. So, either leave your kid home, other hire a nanny to take care of it. But when I am trying to eat in the fancy restaurant, and a 3 year old next to me is watching Pepa the Pig, and everybody listens to this songs, I am sorry I have a big problem. In the theaters, babies and small children should not be allowed. It is not a place for a baby! They get bored, they scream and they are ruining everybodys show. Also, in the bars. I cannot tell you how many times I couldnt find a seat because the couches had sleeping babies on them. MSC, you cannot fix the parenting out there, and frankly this is not your job. But put restrictions to where, and what times, babies and kids are allowed. Not in the theatre (from an age down) not in the bars after midnight. You have no idea how many people were having a problem with that, even people with their kids (who they were actually taking care of). Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
From start to finish I can’t fault this ship or MSC as a company, from the staff, cleanliness, food , entertainment staff the list goes on it was 10/10. Room was large, we had a balcony ,sofa lovely comfortable bed seriously was so ... Read More
From start to finish I can’t fault this ship or MSC as a company, from the staff, cleanliness, food , entertainment staff the list goes on it was 10/10. Room was large, we had a balcony ,sofa lovely comfortable bed seriously was so hard coming back home to reality. Can’t wait to book our next cruise with msc, hopefully it’s Grandiosa again.. but I would recommended more options on ports to stop off at, My partner and I both agreed it was the best food we have ever eat in a “hotel” it was great to be able to watch the chefs make so many different dishes from pasta to pizza ! They even made fresh mozzarella daily which was great to watch. Staff entertainment was brillent, they had great dancing classes on daily as well as makeup and skin care advice. Thankyou for the best holiday MSc will be back Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Told 4 crew about the ordeal including reception who told us "Management has been informed". But nobody ever came to see us or even check if we were ok. Sent an email to customer service department highlighting that this was ... Read More
Told 4 crew about the ordeal including reception who told us "Management has been informed". But nobody ever came to see us or even check if we were ok. Sent an email to customer service department highlighting that this was totally appalling, but they didn't see it that way - "I’m sorry to hear that you felt a lack of support from staff on board. Unfortunately, after the local police have been informed of an incident there is not much that can be done from the ship’s side, as the issue is with the local policing authorities." Wow! Not much that can be done? Not sure if that lives up to any basic duty of care standards. Needless to say we have now cancelled our cruise we had booked on the Meraviglia which was to be our honeymoon, having now had some insight into how little MSC actually care about their passengers. Putting that major concern aside - observations below. previous cruises include NCL, Cunard, P&O and MSC Seaside. Cruise was Genoa, Italy to Santos, Brasil - 19 days. Ship itself is nice as we expected having done a 7 night Caribbean on the Seaside previous which we had loved. Ship developed an operational problem early on which meant it would run slower - as a result Malaga was cancelled. 100 Euro ship credit per cabin was offered. This had knock on effects for us however as the port times were also changed for the remaining European stops. We had to cancel most of our excursions (we had organised independently) because of this. Embarkation was extremely smooth (multiple options for joining ports for the cruise helped), but there were a number of times on the trip with big delays getting off at port stops after docking (up to 3 hours). Unsure the background why. Dining was a major letdown compared to previous cruises (even MSC Seaside). Although I actually think the buffet is excellent, and the additional buffet on Deck 16 has themed dinners for a bit of variety. Noticed a huge difference in table accessibility in the buffet though early on in the cruise with less favourable European weather compared to the South America leg. These ships are really designed for good weather and the usable space decreases dramatically if everyone is forced inside. A few times we gave up and just took our plates back to the room. But the biggest food disappointment was the main dining room. Actually stopped eating here half way through the cruise. Just terrible. Twice I had to send my tomato basil penne back (btw not a single hint of basil anywhere?) as it was still crunchy. Likewise even simple things like steamed fish were often under-cooked. Did do the Roy Yamaguchi experience package (prebooked before we sailed) which gave you 3 different nights, Sushi, Teppanyaki and Fusion. Sushi and Fusion were great, Teppanyaki absolutely everything was covered in butter which tasted almost tainted and it went right through the food. Note that even if you have a drinks package (we did) it does not cover any orders in the specialty restaurants - so you will be paying for water and anything else you order. Talking with the wait staff it seems none of the specialty restaurants were getting many bookings, so half their job involved wandering around the ship selling packages (usually when people were trying to eat their food in the buffets etc). Wore a bit thin getting bothered 50 times a day after 2+ weeks of cruising! Prebooked a spa package that included a couple of massages and a day pass to the Thermal Suite area. Massages were fine, awkward after each though with the (almost begging) hard sell to book again on the spot. Thermal suite we really enjoyed. Snow room, a couple of wooden sauna rooms, scented steam rooms with funky lighting, a relax on lounger salt room, a big spa pool, and stone heated loungers (but only 2 of these so you have to be lucky). Also scented showers - the cool temp one particularly refreshing. There was one other room that you were supposed to walk around while jets of water come up from the ground but it was a waste of space. Another bonus is there is an outside deck are you can only access through the thermal suite, with deck loungers and a spa pool looking straight out to sea. Entertainment was a mixed bag. Generally the guest acts were average, and the actual MSC Seaview singer/dancer/acrobat crew were excellent. Only exception to this was a rather lackluster show staged as a Tina Turner tribute. Shows are scheduled 3 times a night and you have to book for the one you want through the app or touch screens around the ship. Pays to check when they open up (sometimes the day before, sometimes 2 days) as slots often booked out. They scan your card when you enter the theatre to make sure you have booked. You can try your luck without a booking however - as they let people in 5-10 mins before the show starts if there are spare seats. Haven lounge (which was our favourite on Seaside) was hurt by having rotating sets of Duos, who while all talented in their own right, were very much similar so became quite boring after the first week. Still we spent a fair amount of time there after establishing that's where the best barista did most of his shifts. Coincidentally the best coffee on the Seaside also was from the same lounge. Another note on the drinks package - you can no longer use it in the Venchi cafe for coffees or hot chocolates (we could on the earlier Seaside cruise). Service itself was patchy. Room steward was quite shy but lovely, the haven lounge staff fantastic and they got to know us. Elsewhere it would depend on the day as to whether you had to go searching for drinks and whether you'd get a smile or a scowl. Port stops we mostly ended up just looking around adhoc due to the schedule changes. Used to onboard credit for the basic shuttle a few times - they were typically 15-19 euros. Tenerife went to La Laguna which was quite good (although devastated we had to cancel our rental car, chairlift and hiking permit for Mt Teide). Note it is very easy to get to La Laguna on public transport taking a tram or bud to the main depot (or 15 mins walk) and then a direct express bus there (40 mins). It cost use less than 5 Euro each vs the ship shuttle at 52 Euro. Ilheus is a nothing stop, Rio had been before and Salvador is where we had the incident so no fond memories there. In short it is sad it worked out like it did. There are a lot of mixed reviews for MSC out there but we did have a good time ourselves on the Seaside and had high hopes we had found a good match in cruise line, liking the design innovation and generally upbeat vibe. It took me a while to write to MSC as it kind of involved reliving some unpleasantness, but then I was as amazed by the response maybe as much as the lack of concern on the ship at the time. They make a big effort positioning themselves in their advertising as the "biggest privately owned" cruise line in the world. I can see now that is just meaningless drivel, because if it is implying that means they somehow care more about their passengers.... they don't. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I have been travelling for over 30 years and this was the worst holiday we have ever had. The Staff and crew are disorganised and poorly trained in there jobs. They have no customer service skills at all. Most looked ... Read More
My husband and I have been travelling for over 30 years and this was the worst holiday we have ever had. The Staff and crew are disorganised and poorly trained in there jobs. They have no customer service skills at all. Most looked like they didn't want to be in the job and were reluctant to talk or smile and it came across as they were only there to get paid and tour the world. Not at all helpful in any way. From the time we arrived at the port with the embarkation disorganisation we hoped it would improve but sadly it got worse. When we finally got on the ship no one was there to tell us where our cabin was and we had difficulty finding it. When we made it to the room we were impressed by the cabin. It was clean and spacious. We requested early dining and even on our documentation we printed out before we left home it stated early dining at 5.30 pm ...only to find when we arrived we had been allocated 7.45 dining. We went to the restaurant and requested to change and was told there were no vacancies yet other members of our party were given the earlier time..no questioned asked. We were surprised that you had to pay for still water in dining rooms...Never had this before..surely for customer relations MSC could afford a glass of water with meals. On three occasions in the dining room the meal was not edible but if we went to buffet they closed at 8.30 and all that was available was pizza. My husband asked for french fries the second night of the cruise and every night he received fries no other vegetables even though we said no fries. Then they started giving me fries as well which I said no too but received them anyway.. Our cabin was cleaned daily, the bed made and bins emptied but the lid of the bin was dirty with spilt soft drink when we arrived and was still spotty on day 17 so not cleaned at all. Our balcony was only cleaned once during whole ship balcony cleaning. On other occasions the top decks were being cleaned and water was cascading down onto our balcony so we had to close the doors and stay inside. We were charged movie fees for movies which we didn't use and when we went to guest services and said we didn't use this facility and the girl , who was very rude, said we must have. We said we flicked through the titles but she insisted that we had confirmed the movies. WE know we didn't and then after much discussion she said she would delete it but next time we would have to pay no matter what...So we turned the TV off and didn't use it again. As for Zoe that was a complete waste of time. Very limited responses. There were no tissues available in the cabins which surprised us as with the amount of clients that had coughs and colds on board. The buffet was a nightmare there was no hygiene at the doors and people were coming in from toilets etc to food.unacceptable...The Europeans on board were terrible for picking up food with their fingers from the buffet and putting it on their plates then returning it to the buffet if they saw something they liked better further along the line. There was no one available to monitor the buffet lines.The buffet closed at 8-8.30 each night which was crazy considering there were over 4500 passengers on board..Surely it can be left open to say 10.00pm. The entertainment was average and it is the first time we have ever had to book and pay for the entertainment. On sea days there was nothing to do unlike other lines. The pool deck staff spoke in Spanish or Italian all the time and for us english only speaking we had no idea what was going on. MSC Tours...What can we say...very expensive for what was provided. Our introduction to Dubai tour was a shambles. We had a bus trip through some very ordinary streets ,Museum with about 500 people crammed into a confined space, a mosque which we were informed we couldn't go inside as MSC didn't have enough time to organise that component then a quick trip back to the ship. a 4-4.30 hour tour with us leaving the port at 3.30 and returning before 7 pm. We lined up at shore excursions for over 30 mins to complain and didnt get served so cut our losses and left. Others in our group got the hop on hop off bus outside the port and had all day for less cost. So make sure you check costs of outside tours before booking with MSC...most if not all ports had taxis and mini buses etc. Prices for all were about half the cost of MSC. The day before we left the ship I had Euros which I hadn't spent and went to guest services to pay off our account. At NO Time was I told that the account would be closed. The staff on the disembarking station were rude as well every time we left the ship and came back we were met with a very gruff grab of the card (snatching) and he would throw it back at us...it became a joke between the passengers as to how hard he could snatch and throw the cruise card at us......not good.... On leaving the ship on the 30th we got to the exit and my card brought up a RED screen and the person said I couldn't leave the ship until I had paid the Account...I was very embarrassed as he said it so loud and every one in the line heard but he didn't say that only 12.25 Euros that was owed. WE had signed a pre authorization form in our check in and assumed that this covered any balance owing when we left the ship..NO ...So we had to go back to guest services to pay the balance. We waited over 1/2 hour to be served( with all the new passengers the queues were very long)..We were served by a young boy who spoke very little english and had no idea and kept saying as we were new passengers we had to authorise our credit card. After getting very impatient trying to explain we were leaving the ship and had a pre authoration for our credit card to be debited with the balance owing...I asked to speak to someone else and then waited another 17 mins until someone else came. we were told that because we paid some of the balance in cash it had cancelled the pre authorisation. Why bother with pre authorisation if it doesn't work. I was told to pay balance but they wouldn't take Australian or American dollars which was all i had. After waiting more time finally someone in the office saw some sense and pressed a button and reactivated the pre authorisation of my credit card. We were told that we should have been told that this scenario would happen...again lack of staff training and customer service skills.Needless to say we missed our transfer and had extra costs with taxis etc... I am sure that there will be lots of negative feedback from this cruise as every one we spoke to had numerous complaints ..there was no atmosphere on board, the staff unhappy and rude, the MSC line was out to money grab on every opportunity available... All in all a horrible cruise and very disappointing as we were looking forward to it so much.. I would have like and expect MSC to compensate us for having to deal with all the problems we encountered but we will NOT hear from MSC again...They have our money..and don't care As for recommending MSC to our friends NO...we will be telling them the truth....For one bad experience the customer will tell ten people ...I will be telling my network which is extensive...through facebook , trip advisor and cruise critic as well a letter will be forwarded to MSC head office. We will not be cruising with MSC again... MSC NOT FOR ME Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Having now completed 7 cruises over 8 years with MSC we continue to enjoy the multi national experience both on board and counties visited. This cruise will rank as one of our favorites great ship great food fantastic crew and many happy ... Read More
Having now completed 7 cruises over 8 years with MSC we continue to enjoy the multi national experience both on board and counties visited. This cruise will rank as one of our favorites great ship great food fantastic crew and many happy memories. Aurea experience anytime dinners great fun with food well presented attentive service by Rico our waiter and personally treated every night by one of the Restaurant managers Antonino from Sorrento. Buffet was good with a variety of foods available to suit all tastes cheeses cold cuts were all high quality with ethnic foods reflecting current port of call Speciality restaurants Butchers Cut magnificent ...went back twice French Restaurant great experience yummo Theatre only small for this size ship so getting to the free shows takes some advance planning Sky lounge after dinner is great as well as the Studio lounge Overall great experience with next MSC cruise booked for 2021 Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We bought this as a package that included flights. We looked forward for over a year to a beautiful new ship and watched the progress of its construction. Sadly the anticipation was the best part. Bellissima is a huge ship that crams in ... Read More
We bought this as a package that included flights. We looked forward for over a year to a beautiful new ship and watched the progress of its construction. Sadly the anticipation was the best part. Bellissima is a huge ship that crams in as many cabins and people at the sacrifice of public areas. There are never enough seats in the public areas although there are tables available, the lack of seats makes it difficult to find a spot. The deck chairs around the main pool are crammed in and always seemed to be reserved even though this is supposed to be a no no. The main pool deck 15 has the smoking area so it stinks of cigarettes. There is always entertainment there, if you call it that, and games with only a dozen or so participants at all times. It’s very loud and in your face, so a quiet time around the pool is not possible. The other very small pool at the rear is better but again lacks seating. The music here is over loud speakers and could be softer. There’s a bar here but again lack of seating and also a smoking area. Bar staff overall on the ship are rude or indifferent, and lack the necessary skills to operate a bar. The bars are also lacking in seating, with so many guests onboard and nowhere to sit. The so called adults only bar was out of order at least twice when we tried that one, and one of the bars only had drinks above our drinks package. Now regarding the drinks package. We bought the easy package a year out from the cruise. We have friends who sailed earlier this year on another MSC ship who were able to have drinks up to €6.50......so they happily had Jameson’s on their cruise with no problem at any bar. MSC are very misleading in their description of the packages and describe a selection of spirits, cocktails and wines. We were aware that the beers included were Heineken and found also Amstel light, which is ok. The selection of spirits however is bottom shelf Bells whisky, Vodka, Gin and bottom shelf Rum. No bourbon, which is my drink. All of the decent drinks were €6.50 but our package was up to €6.00 and no exception. We can only assume that MSC have changed that between the time of our friends cruise and ours. The cocktails aren’t cocktails, they are mixers like G&T and Vodka and orange, but we did find a way around it. If you are stuck on the easy drinks buy your non alcoholic cocktails and a shot of rum etc with the mixer separate and just mix it in! When we questioned the drinks package all they were interested in is upgrading your package for an exorbitant amount of money. We would’ve been better off paying as we go. Bar manager Tafseer Said did his best to rectify our issues with the bar and whenever he saw us he always checked that things were ok. Chocolate bar a huge waste of space that could be better accommodated with, say a lounge area, as lots of chocolate on display but no one in here buying. The massive casino is just another attempt at making money and could’ve been a quarter of the size as hardly anyone using it. Obviously an indoor smoking area which was offensive. Again that would’ve given more nice public area. No library or place to have a quiet read. Cirque Du Soleil was a amateurish performance and the so called cocktails were a choice of non alcoholic mai tai, gin and tonic or rum and something. NOT COCKTAILS as described and they were awful with most people not drinking them. Dining.....we didn’t eat in the animal farm buffet although did a walk through a couple of times. As a Coeliac I needed to eat in the main restaurants. A plus is that this is a Coeliac certified ship with a Gluten Free kitchen. I was served only by the head waiter at all times and every effort was made to accommodate this without exception. Yoseph in the the main dining and Marcelo at breakfast. I usually skipped lunch but on one occasion did use the restaurant for lunch. We found the service slow here and they charged for a bottle of wine rather than a glass on our package. My advice is to keep track of the charges as there were a few mistakes made and other guests had the same issue. The evening meals were nice but towards the latter part of the trip they became mundane. Service however by Greisy Maria in the main dining room was excellent. If you are Coeliac you will have no worries here. My only issue is that the buffet could have some dry pre packaged crackers gluten free so that a light lunch with, say cheese and lettuce could be had. On the Hurtigruten line this was accomodated. I do carry my own rice crackers however and I would recommend doing this. The cabins are a little smaller than the MSC Poesia which we have sailed on before, but quite comfortable. It’s strange but on a new ship things like the lounge looked really old and I can’t help but wonder that it may have been fitted out with things from another ship, maybe having a refurb? Bathroom a little small esp for larger people but quite adequate. Shower was nice and hot with a good amount of pressure, . We are both small so it wasn’t any great issue for us.The cabin boy was warm friendly but needs more training. Lots of dust that wasn’t attended to both in the cabin and bathroom and on a few occasions I had to leave a note to replenish the soap. No big issue though. Beds were always well made and comfortable. We were on deck 11 in a balcony room and had a little verandah with two chairs. One major bone is that they don’t provide Kleenex tissues in the room!!!! Now this may seem mundane but when you have to waste your time in ports looking for a supermarket to buy tissues then it’s an issue. Even a lowly two star hotel motel provides tissues, so a beautiful new ship not providing them is ridiculous. Is this their way of cost cutting? The cabins are built with a slot for them and there were many complaints about it. We had to use toilet paper when we ran out of our own......really poor! The entertainment in the theatre was, for the most part, quite good except for Daniel mime! I’m sorry for the artist but it was terrible. A children’s matinee would’ve been more professional. Lots of people walked out, including us. We gave him a second chance another night but it was equally awful. I felt embarrassed for him. The opera was boring as the songs weren’t known songs as expected. Most of the shows we’re pretty good though. Again the lack of public areas was an issue after the show there was nowhere that you could get a seat for a drink. Very crowded and few seats. This ship is very poorly designed and this view was shared by many guests of more than one nationality. One English lady said “For a beautiful new ship how do they get it so wrong?” That sums it up. There were long queues at guest reception at all times. Unfortunately we had occasion to complain about several issues including returning to our cabin one night to find someone’s luggage in our room. This was met flippantly with a ....it’s not your luggage question..... when my husband went to reception about it there was a very distressed Italian man gesticulating about his lost luggage and when my husband approached, the staff member gave him the hand and said he’s busy, upon which my husband said if this is about luggage, then I have it! The public area toilets weren’t serviced well with a lack of soap and toilet paper. Hand sanitizer wasn’t enforced esp when entering food areas. I remember on the Poesia there were staff at the entries making sure this was done. Had occasion to speak to the Voyagers club woman. What a rude pig of a woman she is. Excursions were disorganised with us finding ourselves on mixed language buses even thought we were at the meeting point well before time. Other English speaking were on English speaking buses so we looked like we were the leftovers. Annoying. Also the timing was ridiculous with our bus always last even though all guests were onboard. In Muscat we were half hour past the time of the Mosque being open because of this. Rome Baroque tour was good with a good guide. We didn’t see Marseille as apparently weather didn’t permit docking although the weather appeared fine and sunny. We docked at Toulon instead which is a little village. Nice enough but not Marseilles. Some people had booked independent tours in Marseilles so they forfeited. Whilst the MSC excursions are more expensive and not always fantastic, we felt that it’s a safer option as if there are any issues like this the MSC are liable. Khasab is a total waste of a day. There is nothing here except a few shops all with the same stuff, and all run by Indians. It’s a grotty little nothing. Don’t know why they even dock here. We had a long stop and yet a port like Heraklion we only had four hours. The queue to re board at Khasab was two hours standing in the sun as they only had three tenders operating for five thousand people. Tempers were frazzled to say the least. Unfortunately for us we are booked on MSC again next year but only seven days. We traveled on MSC Poesia in 2011 and this was a good experience compared to Bellissima. On the basis of this cruise, had we not already booked, we will never use MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise. We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at ... Read More
We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise. We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at that time we paid for the Easy Beverage package (which is the low end Alcohol included up to $6.00) and we pre-paid our Gratuities. When we got on the ship we were approached by a number of people and one was selling the Beverage packages. When we told him we had the Easy package, he proceeded to show us the beverage menu and told us that we could have any beverage up to $10.00. The person I was traveling with drank mostly Chardonnay and after looking at the beverage menu she decided that there was a California wine that she liked and didnt really know the other wines so we both decided since she wanted that one particular wine and I wanted other drinks that were $6.50 and not covered by the Easy package, I would also up grade. We paid $207.00 additional for each of us to have the Premium Beverage package. The first two days of our 21 day cruise went fine as far as all the bars we were in had the Chardonnay she paid for. On the 3rd day of the cruise and forward till the end of the cruise the ship ran out of the one wine on the Premium package that she bought the up graded package to get. As we changed from one brand to the next they continued to run our of mixers and out of the Brand we chose. Time after time we heard "We dont have that any longer we ran out" The other issue with the beverage package is that when we went to the Gym, the bar/counter in there had smoothies. When I asked about the $6.50 fruit smoothies they looked at my card and said nothing in that bar/counter was covered by the Premium Package. So although we were told when he was trying to sell us the upgrade we could have any beverage up to $10.00 that was not true. When I tried to go back to the Desk to tell them in the first 5 days of the trip that since they seldom have the beverage we thought we paid for with the upgrade, so we wanted to revert back to the first Easy package we had bought and we wanted a refund of the $207.00 each we were told we only had 24 hours to cancel. When I explained the issue to the Head Person in charge of Beverage Packages (Pedro I believe his name was) he told me the wine that we bought the up grade for and was on the beverage menu we were shown and that was in all the bars on the menus, the ship had not had that wine on board for the last 4 months. When I explained that was not true that we had the wine the first 3 days of the cruise and it was a hit and miss to get it any place else, he basically called me a lair by saying "You are wrong we have not had it on board in 4 months.". He refused the refund the upgrade difference and left our table. About 15 min later he sent a bottle of the wine we had wanted to the table and said it was the only bottle still on board. Needless to say he never came back to apologize for what he said and never showed his face again. Bottom line before up grading your beverage package be sure you like more than one or two items on the menu because most likely you wont have it after the 3rd or 4th day of your cruise and for sure dont expect that they care or will do anything about it to make it right. In addition to the Beverage package issue, we also had cold food we had to send back and we had raw fish. Both of those things happened within the first week or so of the 21 day trip and did however, start to get better as the days went by. The food is not the best I ever had on a ship. I find Celebrity and even Carnival has better food and better choices for dinners. To top it off when we started our 5 days across the sea towards the Islands and the US we lost all TV Channels. There was no English speaking channels on at all until someone got to the top person and found out the issues with the Satellite and that MSC does not subscribe to channels in the Islands. We were out of our TV for half the trip! There was even a day or two when the TV Channel aimed at the front of the ship was not working either. It was actually a bit scary that there seemed to be no communication to the ship that the passengers could see. I will say on a good note the Service Staff were great. Slivio from the Black Crab Dinning area was very accommodating and did all he could to ensure we had a good experience. All the dinner and bar staff were very nice and were always polite and accommodating as much as they could be. Our Room Stewart (Babu) was great. Our room was always clean and he was always doing things to help (got ice for us, provided tissues as we needed them etc.) Thats another thing dont expect to have tissues in your room becuase MSC has cut those out and in order to get them you have to pay for them or you need to buy your own at a stop over, which is what most people did. If the back office and head people at MSC acted like the Service Staff does, I am sure MSC could be a good company to sail on again. As it is now with all the issues we had and the fact that they did nothing to help with those issues above we will spend our cruise time on other Cruise lines and not go back to MSC. This was our second on MSC and last on MSC. BE AWARE BEFORE YOU GO!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My partner and I spent 20 nights on the south bound transatlantic crossing which sailed from Genoa on 5-11-2019. We (41 and 42) were accompanied by 1 set of parents (64 and 65) and 1 couple who are friends our age. I researched thoroughly ... Read More
My partner and I spent 20 nights on the south bound transatlantic crossing which sailed from Genoa on 5-11-2019. We (41 and 42) were accompanied by 1 set of parents (64 and 65) and 1 couple who are friends our age. I researched thoroughly before choosing this cruise. Our primary reason to select this journey on MSC Divina was the brilliant itinerary. I read the reviews and noted the negative and positive accounts. We have been on Cunard QM2 and Q-Elizabeth, Celebrity Solstice, Golden Princess and Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas since 2015. We enjoyed Celebrity and RCL the most. I took a pragmatic view when reading past reviews as we were primarily motivated by the destinations and itinerary which were fantastic !!!! We were incredibly lucky with weather and the uneventful marine operation of the ship. Our group had a great time all up BUT the MSC experience was unfortunately mediocre at best. If you enjoy Celebrity or RCL you will have a very different experience on MSC. The SHIP. Newish, cleanish, cheaply but tastefully decorated, okay layout, a bit worn – particularly the furnishings. Not much to do. Not much on. Not many crew visible. The ROOM. We had fantastica balcony deck 10. Bigger than average, good bed, great bathroom, small tv, good fridge, just enough storage, well kept by our lovely room steward but VERY dusty as were the hallways. Buy some decent vacuums MSC and maintain them. The FOOD in MDRs. Sorry to say it was well below the standard of all the other ships we’ve experienced. We had to change restaurants because our wait staff were so bad and incorrect meals were delivered 5 days straight. They laughed it off and made no offer or attempt to bring what we actually ordered. It was quite shocking and they had a very blaze attitude amidst disingenuous platitudes. Some of the dishes were ok but it was, mostly, cheap and simple rather than simple and delicious. Even the paid meals in the MDR were of a poor standard at 23 euro for what turned out to be a cold steak - a real disappointment and we were charged for the same steak 3 times instead of a refund. We were so glad to have some amazing meals ashore and absolve ourselves of the ship’s abysmal food whenever possible. Breakfast in the MDR was survivable but the service random. The stories of tough cold steaks and tasteless or just salty food are all credible as that was exactly what we experienced. The FOOD in the buffet. The buffet was pretty busy with our load of 3222pax. It was really the better option for lunch and dinner despite the crowd. A good range of hot dishes and some nice cold options were varied and well replenished. Again an ‘economic’ approach was conspicuous. No smoked salmon or other cold seafood or fancy cheeses and only cheaper fish and cuts of meat. Only 2 DIY toasters in the entire buffet and no staffed toasting available. Daily specials being made to order at pop-up stations like pasta and hot roast rolls were often the best thing going. The Pizza was indeed lovely. My Coeliac (gluten free) father had very limited options and zero G/F labeling in the buffet. The ROOM SERVICE. Is Not Free (except Breakfast) on Fantastica or above. Whilst the spiel suggests it is included the wording just means no delivery or service charge. There is an item charge of 3 / 5 / 8 / 10 euro for 1 / 2 /3 /4 items respectively. The only hot item was soup. We were impressed with the quality of the room service. The breakfast was continental - only the drinks were hot. The ENTERTAINMENT. We went to two shows in 20 nights. The talent was good and gave it 100% but no sets to speak of, just the odd prop and it is aimed at a multilingual crowd so is a bit ‘different’ to what an anglophone audience might expect. Again, it looked cheap. The theatre and lighting were the main visual backdrops which made the entertainers look sparse. Oh and best to avoid the crew/captain introduction presentation unless you have a massive sense of humour and the patience of a saint. The ACTIVITIES. Origami, a bit of ‘visual trivia’ to bridge the language gap. Various fitness and dance activities. We felt like there was very little to do and were consigned to reading in our room on sea days. There was only news in English on the TV and nothing else. We were given 12 FREE movies on the pay per view for the 5 consecutive sea days. Perhaps the channels are reconfigured whilst the ship is sailing from Miami… but it seemed like they wanted to force us to buy movies. The COFFEE. Okay here is my most positive comment. The BEST CRUISE SHIP COFFEE I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED !!!!!! Great self-serve coffee in the buffet when it’s hot. Espresso 9/10 times was strong and pleasant. The DRINKS PACKAGE. We had the ‘Easy’ included and upgraded it to ‘Premium’ for 9 euro a night per person plus 15%. So, 207 euro for 20 nights per person. It covered most drinks at max 10 euro. If it’s 10.50 you pay the whole 10.50 not the difference. They ‘ran out’ of most of the good by-the-glass red wine early on. You can only get large 1 or 1.5 litre water on the premium package. The easy package would have been a problem for us as we like wine and the odd cocktail. The speciality restaurant wine list has only a handful of by the glass wines 10 euro of less. The 6 euro or less options are limited. I believe they were running stocks down prior to arriving in the US where they change all the drink menus as the currency becomes USD. Perhaps a restock of US duty paid liquor has some bearing on the dwindling stocks of various things. Also, there were no prices on most of the items in the various shops. Oh, and in the gym health bar only fresh orange is available on the premium package. No smoothies etc. Also, gelato and ice-cream are NOT INCLUDED despite the connotations of the advertising. Upside was they are in no-way mean with the drinks or pours. Our FELLOW passengers. Older with an obvious sense of entitlement but not particularly decrepit. Now there have been various comments about the social tendencies of particular cultures on MSC and other European cruise lines on Cruise Critic. I think the average Australian, American, Brit, New Zealander, Canadian, German or French guest might have found the manners and approach to interaction somewhat confronting on this particular voyage but not unbearable. There seemed to be a conspicuous lack of enjoyment and conversation amongst our fellow passengers. Barely any children and none of the “noisy Italian families” others mention on MSC cruises. I’d imagine a school holiday Mediterranean summer cruise may be a different story but if you were in a new port every day it would probably be survivable. There were quite a few of the selfish towel pegs on the sun loungers by 8am – a pet hate of mine. The UPSELL. It was everywhere and the prices were a bit silly. A 50% off 50 min massage was 80 euro. The crew weren’t all that pushy though. The SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Our best meal of the cruise was at the Butchers Cut. The Sushi place was ok-ish. Again if you buy the 2 dinners package you get a limited menu and have to pay if you want certain items but it was great food. I ordered additional sides which were very good. MSC speciality dining is much more expensive than other lines and nowhere near as good. The STATUS MATCH. One of us got black the other gold. It was as advertised but mostly meaningless and more of a sales tool than a passenger benefit. Loyalty in MSC speak means ‘gotcha’ rather than ‘we got you’ I felt. The CRUISE DIRECTOR. Who ? Made a few announcements. Very multilingual but never saw the guy or any of his staff. The CAPTAIN. Met him for a photo. Clearly an excellent sailor and manager as the ship was spotless on deck and ran like clockwork. Otherwise never heard from him or any of his officers who seemed to avoid passenger areas at all costs. The PORT CALLS. All wonderful except Puerto Rico where the ship was drilled by the US Coast guard with lifeboats down and all manner of alarming announcements that were just for practise. Also EVERYONE had to disembark including all crew via 6 or so border agents which took all day and no one was allowed back on until everyone had come off. It was 8pm before reboarding was allowed. MSC use this day to clear the ship into US waters with a load of paying passengers who are massively inconvenienced in the process. It was nothing short of a disgrace and a shambles. The ship should have been scheduled with a lay day with no guests to go through this process but MSC like to keep the euros flowing. Our HIGHLIGHTS were probably every port other than Barbados. The embarkation port of Genoa is actually worth a day or more of exploring. > Civitavecchia – be wary of delays if using trains to get to Rome. Valencia – the old city on foot is fantastic as are the tapas bars. La Siena was our pick and the food was amazing. > Lisbon was great and a ride on tram 28 to the old cemetery is a must. > The Azores (Ponta Delgada) – a beautiful place with the loveliest people. Our jeep day safari with GREENZONE AZORES (booked directly) was brilliant and our lovely guide Eduardo Miranda made the day so enjoyable! > Martinique - is a lovely island with French finesse and all the bells and whistles. > St Marteen – we spent the whole day at the famous airport beach drinking at the bar which was fun! > Miami – having never visited before, Miami was a pleasant surprise! A cool town where you do need a car but heaps to do, great cuban food and a relaxed fun atmosphere. OVERALL We all enjoyed our journey and loved the places we visited and the people we met. The cruise was unfortunately a big letdown and devoid of those little luxuries and premium experiences we’ve found on other ships. Had we been on an RCL or Celebrity ship it would have been a damn near perfect holiday but unfortunately MSC spoilt it a bit. Now I know they are a cheaper option, but we paid full brochure price of $6980 AUD for the room (2 pax) for this cruise and don’t think it was good value given the truly awful food, mediocre service and cheaply appointed ship. If you’re looking for a mobile 3 star hotel and are happy to eat ashore MSC is ok but it’s not the cruise experience I think most people expect if they’ve been on a few ships. If you get an incredibly cheap deal on a last-minute voyage and go with no expectations then you might rate it but we definitely did not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We flew to Genoa from Miami, spent the night at the Holiday Inn and taxied to the port in the morning. Embarkation was a breeze. We sailed the Divina 6 times before so we Knew what to expect. Different Captain and different Hotel Director ... Read More
We flew to Genoa from Miami, spent the night at the Holiday Inn and taxied to the port in the morning. Embarkation was a breeze. We sailed the Divina 6 times before so we Knew what to expect. Different Captain and different Hotel Director this time. She is a beautiful Italian design ship. Love the crystal staircase. We had a balcony starboard forward cabin and a great steward (Alphonso). The cabin was adequate. We had first seating table for two and had a fantastic head waiter Silviu who took great care of us. We did buy our own pepper grinder in the Azores and salt grinder in Martinique. Got tired of fighting the shakers. Meals were adequate and the best eggs with bright orange yolks at breakfast. We did go to Butcher's Cut and had a fantastic meal there. So glad they got rid of the plastic chairs in Eataly. We went to few of the shows as we have seen many of them before but the cultural show in the Azores was very nice as was the can can show. There were some great music ensembles on the ship. We did no ship excursions but did do a hop on-hop off bus in LIsbon and went to the Cathedral in Valencia. The disaster was San Juan customs. There were only 8 stations open for over 4000 guests, the power went down for a while , and the ship was not finally cleared until 5:45pm to reboard. This was a Customs and Border Patrol issue not an MSC issue. And, we still had to do customs in Miami. I love the Cafe Italia coffee shop and the Easy drink package was wonderful for a 20 night cruise. We did this back to back with an 11 night cruise and got to be the first ship into Ocean Caye Marine Reserve. Beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Review on MSC Divina Cruise November 5 - 25/2019, 20 days Genoa to Miami Arrival: Received no information on how to pick up access card to our cabin Cabins were not ready, they informed us to go and have lunch, followed by an ... Read More
Review on MSC Divina Cruise November 5 - 25/2019, 20 days Genoa to Miami Arrival: Received no information on how to pick up access card to our cabin Cabins were not ready, they informed us to go and have lunch, followed by an announcement. The promised announcement we could not hear, because of the masses of loud guests. Waiting with our carry on, we finally heard from other guests, that the cabins were open and the cards, pre-ordered excursions packages will be on our beds. That is security? Security: Access cards, with either Visa or cash added, also packages loaded for drinks and Spa, had all information on it, like full name, cabin #... We do travel a lot and most 3 to 5 star hotels have blank cards in case guest loose the cards or if they are stolen. We found and returned 2 cards, and an other guest found a card in Bridgetown. Just luck if someone honest finds these cards. Cabin safety box malfunctioned once and could not be opened without assistance and resetting the pin#. The assistant said that this was normal and would happen to everyone eventually. Nobody we talked to encountered this issue. It left us wondering if someone tried different codes and left us locked out? Safety: At MSC restaurants there seems to be no consideration for food allergies. I have a walnut allergy. I talked to chefs, and other staff, they just say ask. Two kind of muffins and in 20 days, not ones they could confirm no walnuts/nuts in their baking/muffins. Instead they covered walnuts over fruits, all cheeses. Even airlines take nut allergies serious. The air in the cabins was extremely try. They were so many guest/staff coughing. No wonder, the hand sanitizers did not work well, people tried, than walked away without. Excursions: We pre booked 6 Excursions, 7 months prior online from MSC, fully paid in US $s. When booking 6 excursions online, twice it said not completed, the 3rd time “Success”. After checking our Visa, we discovered 3 x 6 excursions charges. In our cabin we only found 4 out of 6 excursions vouchers. We expected good quality excursions, as we booked direct from MSC. What a disappointment! 2nd tour in Spain, was the worst tour we ever experienced. The tour guides microphone did not work, two languages, the French group was 75% and loud without consideration for others. For US $120.- left without learning anything, just frustrating. After reporting all to the Excursions desk, we only heard sorry... After our second excursions to Valencia Spain, we decided to cancel all our other 4 tours. Contacting MSC (prior to cruise):impossible! We sure never got through direct. Hours wasted. Staff: The waiters, helpers and room cleaning staff were very efficient, friendly, courteous, and performed their jobs to perfection and interacted with the guests. The reception and excursions personnel were not helpful and rude, not customer friendly. They also showed a lack of experience. Everything went wrong in our Puerto Rico docking. It would have been our longest port stay, but turned into the most frustrating experience on such a lovely island. Only a day prior they informed us that all passengers and crew must go off the ship, and go through USA immigration border control. No one was allowed to go back onto the ship till everyone had USA clearance, planned for 17:00 hrs. The numbers associated with disembarking times were not respected and honoured. Total chaos! On top they ordered that day a huge safety drill on the same deck as embarkation. Passengers were herded like cattle, and 3 hours delayed schedule. On the return to board the ship, passengers got frustrated with the time delay and disorganized crowd control. Even fist fights erupted and wheel chairs were not given a safe entry, again total chaos! The higher up white jacket staff in restaurants, were bullies telling us where to sit at table for 9 with 4 different languages, no choice given. There were not enough tables for 2 or 4. We learned quickly just to ignore them and choose our own table. MSC Photographers were extremely aggressive, and did not respect the word no. They were a total attacking nuisance in the hallway, dinner table, on shore etc. Many glossy photos had to be scrapped, what a waste. Shows: only 3 out of 20 shows were okay, all others boring and repetitive. 4 were one man shows, for this large theatre? Accounts: charity charges were added without our permission after our final bill was settled at 20:00 hrs the day before departure, to our surprise they added a charge from the room fridge, that had been locked 24 hrs prior. We disputed it, since we never consumed any items from the bar fridge. This was not an easy task. It meant a second time standing in line and wasting time. Closure: I don’t use the word never often, but in this case never MSC again! We are not first time cruisers, and thankfully did not have these major issues with other cruise lines. Many of our fellow passengers felt the same. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a ... Read More
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a short description of some of the issues:: Cabin Steward--Either hates his job or is just miserable naturally. I do not even know his name because he barely spoke to us. The beds are not made with top sheets--only the duvet-- so when the bottom sheet was changed we had to ask for the duvet to also be changed. There was always an excuse--I am sorry but I did not have time--Serious? Toilet paper was only left if you were totally out......no extra rolls in the room. This required us to call and seek toilet paper on two occasions. How cheap is MSC? Or was this just the cabin steward? Kleenex are not allowed to be given in the cabins??????? Again is this the way MSC wants to present itself to guests? Our Diamond amenities were not left in the cabin and we had to ask two times for them. Overall I have to say that this was the most miserable and one of the worst cabin stewards we have ever had. Food--Most passengers are going to tell you the best food they had was ashore..........true. The internet was barely usable most of the time.......I used data whenever I could instead of the wifi Guest Services--This is where MSC truly lacks--If three people went to customer service with a question there were three different answers. Guest service would rather tell untruths than explain the reality of a situation. We asked why we could not get Kleenex in our cabin and we were told because guests tend to clog the toilet???????? The cabin steward then told us that only certain experience levels are allowed Kleenex. We had another issue and asked to speak with the guest services manager- Fillipe told us that the manager was a very busy man????? Fillipe is also a miserable unhappy person but he did take our information and said he would give it to the manager. This was on day 2--he never ever contacted us. We overheard a meeting or a training session where the staff was being told that "Americans were difficult" Instead of explaining that American's might have a higher level of expectations, staff were told they are difficult which in my opinion creates a pre conceived idea that there will be problems and therefore it is ok to be rude to them. I went to the guest services desk one morning after a crew member burst out of a door on the 13th floor and hit my arm so hard my cell phone flew out of my hand. I simply said that it might be mentioned to the crew to open doors slowly if they open outward into hallways. The guest services person simply said "well maybe he did not see you" then turned and walked away........The correct response should have been--I am so sorry are you alright? Shore Excursions--We had an Excursion for Rome from Civitavecchia. The meeting time was at 7:40 am in the Pantheon Theater deck 6. We arrived in the theatre at 7:25. We received our bus number and waited--and waited--finally we were able to board the bus at 9am. The trip to Rome was 1.5 hours. After all the time waiting once we boarded the bus my husband was struck with a gastric intestinal issue. We knew that he would never make it to Rome and we decided we had to leave the bus. We told the Excursion person our problem and they returned our ticket to us. Once my husband was feeling better we went to the shore excursion desk to ask for a refund. We told them that between the delay and diarrhea we could not do the excursion. We were informed that there would not be a refund and were told that the delay was announced.......it was not. Additionally it would not have been pleasant for anyone if my husband had stayed on the bus. Again a bad choice by MSC. And it was MSC because the people running the excursion returned our ticket so we could take it to MSC for a refund. The biggest and most unforgiving issue was in San Juan. MSC handled the Customs and Immigration procedure so poorly that it put passengers in danger. First the procedure to get off of the ship was poorly handled and took far longer than expected.....this was not so much the problem as the re boarding. No MSC personnel were in the terminal organizing or updating passengers as to the time and procedure for boarding. This lack of information and organization lead to an unsafe uncontrolled crowd. Tempers flared and fights ensued in different areas of the terminal. One female passenger actually hit me from behind because I was in front of her. I could not believe that she did this and turned and told her it was not alright to put your hands on another person. The lady just kept screaming that she was Yacht Club she was Yacht Club. I could not go anywhere because the push of the crowd was so great. MSC finally held this woman back but did not detain her nor did they ask if I was alright. Hitting a person is a crime in the United States and my disappointment with the way MSC handled this is beyond words. I did go to guest services and filed a report and they gave me an email address to communicate this to. During this report they also said that the Guest relations manager had left a message to meet with us in Fort de France.....he did not but she said he would leave us another message after this latest incident......he did not. This all leaves me to question whether MSC even cares about their guests. There were some bright spots during our cruise. MSC did a wonderful job with the Cruise Critic meet and greet. This was one of the best meet and greets we have attended on any ship. Irish is a bar server that is delightful! Irish is always smiling and talks easily to guests. More crew should takes lessons from her. Irish usually works the buffet and the casino. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed most of our stops......of course the exception was Civitavecchia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my first cruise on MSC. I was very apprehensive, as all the reviews were negative. Embarkation was find. Our cabin and steward were great. The food in the dining room not so great. Food had no flavor and meat was tough. ... Read More
This was my first cruise on MSC. I was very apprehensive, as all the reviews were negative. Embarkation was find. Our cabin and steward were great. The food in the dining room not so great. Food had no flavor and meat was tough. One night they had crab cakes. I could not find an ounce of crab. Only mashed potato filling. Food in dining room was a step above dining room. Waiter in dining room was a little disorganized. His manager watched him constantly, which made him nervous. Lounge entertainment was lacking and boring. A lot of entertainment started too late at night (disco 11:30 pm). I enjoyed the theatre shows, but they could have been longer than 30 minutes. 1 English channel until crossing the Atlantic. After that we lost it for the rest of the trip. They offered us free movies, which had problems with the pixels halfway through the movie. Others had the same problem. Communication was bad. Usually you have tv channel with cruise director informing you of all activities. Everybody was confused what time the ship was leaving San Juan. The time was not clear. Everybody had to get off ship until immigration was completed. Some were not able to get off before 5pm. Nobody had a clue when we could get back on the ship. No announcements, different answers. Elderly sitting in terminal in wheelchairs waiting to get back on. We finally got back on at 7pm. Left San Juan at 1:30 am. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Subject: Our experience on board the MSC Fantasia cruise ship.   Embarkation in Genoa (Italy) on November 2, 2019, disembarkation November 20   2019 in Santos (Brazil). On November 2, 2019 we flew with the KLM to Milan. That ... Read More
Subject: Our experience on board the MSC Fantasia cruise ship.   Embarkation in Genoa (Italy) on November 2, 2019, disembarkation November 20   2019 in Santos (Brazil). On November 2, 2019 we flew with the KLM to Milan. That went well. Then we drove a shuttle bus to Genoa, a journey of more than 2 hours. We had a cup of coffee on the plane around 10 a.m. and then nothing more. We did not know that the bus ride took so long. There was not a drop of water on the bus to buy or to buy. We arrived at the MSC terminal at 2 p.m. A huge hall where several thousand people were already standing. The whole mass of people stood close together and moved at a speed that can be compared to sliding a mass of glacier ice. But in this hall there was a different temperature through those thousands of people and we started to get thirsty. Furthermore, the noise, the cackling of thousands of people, was of a level where my wife and I could barely understand each other. Because we did not know what to do, there were no indications or announcements, we managed to get through the hustle and bustle at a counter where an MSC employee was standing. We asked him, naturally in English, what we should do. He gave us a map with a number on it and pointed in the direction of the crowd where we were standing before. That was it. The hustle and bustle continued and after about an hour we saw an x ​​number of seats in the back of that hall. They were all occupied, so sitting was not among them. The mass of people steadily moved towards an escalator and about 3 hours later we were also able to take the escalator to the 1st floor. A new surprise awaited us there. Again waiting and waiting. In the meantime it was 5 pm and we could not find or buy water anywhere in that terminal. That enormous hall had absolutely no facilities for the inner person. After the security check we finally arrived at the walkway at 6 p.m. So we had been on our feet for four (4) hours in the middle of a huge crowd without being able to drink anything. The first deception was a fact. When we entered the ship we had to hand over our passport to a female employee of MSC. Issue passport? We never do that. That woman informed us that it was mandatory. Subsequently, a discussion arose in which we made it clear to her several times that we needed our passport as soon as we were to disembark in another country. For us it is the only official document that allows us to identify ourselves abroad. That woman kept hammering at the fact that our on-board pass (the plastic ticket that you can use to buy on the ship and which you use to get into the cabin) was sufficient to identify yourself on land! The mood rose high, we were tired and dehydrated, and behind us stood a long line of people who became cramped because they were being stopped by us. That woman then promised us that we would get our passport back the day before we visited the first port in Brazil. That turned out to be a lie. We handed over our passport because we were more than fed up with that entire circus. On the day before we arrived in Salvador we went to the reception to request our passports. We were told that we could pick up the passports on the day we would arrive in Salvador at 1 pm because the port authorities (customs) first had to check the passports. The other day at 1 p.m. we were back at the reception and asked for our passport. Then an employee said that the port authorities were still working on the passports. Again a lie because we had already seen in the room next to the reception that those formalities had already been completed. Then it was announced at the reception that the police still had to look at it! The police? He never does passport control on board and, moreover, we had not yet seen a police officer. The next announcement from the reception staff was that we only had to come back in an hour. Because we wanted to disembark to visit Salvador, the blood gradually started to boil with us. Another employee at the reception, a man named *****, informed us that we did not get our passport back. That would only happen if we left the ship to go home. We asked him to call the captain because we wanted to talk to the captain, or another officer, to solve this problem. He told us he would not do that. The reception staff looked surly and there was no question of friendliness. They came across us as power-hunters earlier because we were standing there at that counter and after that discussion we were completely ignored by them. As if we didn't exist. A little later we saw two officers in white suits walk by. We asked one of them why we did not get our passport back and briefly explained the whole story to them. That officer informed us that it is MSC's policy to take passports and keep them until you get off the ship to go home. A reason why he did not give. The time passed and we decided to contact Zeetours. We were assisted by a Zeetours employee named ******. We told her the whole story about the passport affair and she too thought it was a strange course of events. She found it very annoying for us but she informed us that there are indeed cruise companies that take the passports. While we were on the line, she contacted MSC Netherlands. From that side she was informed that it was MSC's policy to take passports. MSC Netherlands would send an E-mail to the Fantasia cruise ship to pass on that complaint. We asked ****** if she could also provide us with the telephone number of the embassy in the Netherlands. She did that and we also contacted the embassy by telephone. The employee also told the whole story and there it was confirmed that MSC was not entitled to take the passports. But she could mean nothing to us in the form of any help. We have left it at that. On November 17, 1919, during our last day at sea, all passengers got their passports back. Those were our experiences regarding our passports. We will also discuss a number of experiences that have left a special impression on us. That was certainly not a pleasant impression. When we were on board on November 2, we went straight to our cabin. We immediately drank some glasses of water because we were dehydrated. We packed our life jackets to participate in the evacuation exercise. The ship then left with a delay of more than an hour. The other morning a letter was pushed under our door saying that we had to report to the reception. There, an employee informed us that one of us was not present at the evacuation exercise. Strange, our passes were scanned and I also took a picture of it. That employee informed us that it often happens that things go wrong with scanning. Because there was only 1 chair in our cabin, we asked at the reception if we could get a second chair or a two-seater. One of us had to sit on the bed because sitting on the floor was not an option. We were told by that employee that it would be considered whether it was possible to bring a second seat. We never received that 2nd seat. In the shower of our cabin there was a corner where normally a box of tissues would stand. That corner was empty. The man who would clean our cabin informed us in very poor English that those tissues were scrapped due to spending cuts. The carpeting in our cabin was full of stains that apparently could not be removed. On the second evening aboard the ship, a number of important crew members were introduced to the passengers. That took place in the theater. We also went to have a look. The spokesperson, an Italian, spoke a few sentences in English and then switched to Italian. A number of crew members were then introduced one by one and the captain finally came on stage. His name was Raffaele Laccarino, an Italian. He addressed the audience and he spoke one (1) sentence in English. Then he switched to Italian and it stayed that way. We did not understand a word of it. The official language at sea is English, but this captain clearly preferred to speak to his countrymen in Italian. The other nationalities apparently didn't matter. We wanted to go for a drink that evening in the so-called Crow’s Nest. This is a wonderful and peaceful place with a beautiful view of around 180 degrees. But it was only accessible to yacht club members. We have never heard or read that a distinction is made between yacht club members and non-members. We find that embarrassing and misleading. In Barcelona we wanted to use the MSC shuttle bus to get into the city from the ship. That cost 9 euros per person. Fine. But that bus drove only a very short distance to a square at the end of the harbor head and we had to get out again. We could as well have walked that. Upon inquiry, it turned out that it was still an hour and a half walk to the center of the stand. Then we just took a taxi. The TV in our cabin is also a separate story. We like to follow the daily news in the world. We have made a cruise six times with the Holland America Line (HAL) to many corners of the world and during those cruises we could continue to watch the world new on TV day and night. CNN, BBC, German channels etc. It was all there. We noticed that after passing the Strait of Gibraltar out of the 36 channels, 24 had fallen away. It could be read that the satellite connection was lost. The only thing that was still broadcast were 6 channels with advertising for MSC, the same video film on 4 channels and the other channels were provided with information about an evacuation and other info. We were therefore devoid of news broadcasts. Upon inquiring at the reception we were informed that there were problems with the satellite connection. We found that highly curious. We were unable to follow any news during the rest of the cruise. When we came to Brazil, there was a (1) Brazilian news channel, but we obviously didn't understand that. We have the impression that MSC had no problems with the satellite connection but that it is a cutback in terms of the costs for a signal connection. People who wanted to follow the news (or something else) via the internet had to buy an expensive internet package for an x ​​number of MBs. The buffet restaurant was a restaurant situated at the rear on deck 14, both on the starboard and port side. All food items were displayed in showcases and at first glance there seemed to be sufficient choice. It was strange that plates, cutlery, the fillings, the sandwiches, the butter etc. were far apart. You already had a nice walk before you gathered a meal. The first time we were there we immediately noticed that at the opening of the afternoon buffet at 1 pm (with hot meals) many hundreds of people came in. We estimate that around 80% of the passengers were Italians. Those people threw themselves like hungry hyenas on the food they offered, scooped up their plates as if they hadn't eaten for a week, sat down at the table, and broke out a cacophony in which the decibels increased so much that my wife and I could barely understand each other. We cannot speak sign language. We witnessed that for three days, but we thought it was so embarrassing that we didn't show ourselves in the buffet restaurant between 1 and 5 p.m. We didn't eat hot once in that restaurant. Yes we took part in the evening meal for a few days but everything that was offered was lukewarm. The quality of the food was moderate to poor. It all tasted bland and to name just a few examples: the vegetables were scarce and almost cold, the pizzas were thin, very weak and very thin and not tasty. We call that stomach filling. The hamburgers were already laid out well in advance of opening, and they too were lukewarm and tasteless. The meat products were usually scarce and of a moderate quality. The lettuce didn't always look fresh. I took a picture of it and then you can clearly see that the expiry date of that salad had already expired. Three types of pasta were offered. All three pasta were equally chewy and the taste was the same because all pasta had the same tomato sauce. The sliced ​​fruit such as melon, pineapple etc. looked nice but it was not. It was often hard and not yet ripe. What we noticed during the cruise was that the same thing was offered in that restaurant every day. There was virtually no variation. And that for 18 days. Bar service employees walked around during the opening of the buffet restaurant. Their job was to bring paid drinks on request. There was no question of a friendly look. Rather tingy. We saw that those ladies were dressed in shorts and they were wearing hats. A few of them were very corpulent. When one of these ladies sauntered past our table and she turned a quarter of a turn, I immediately had no appetite anymore. We give all women in the world a job, but this was certainly not representative of MSC. Many dirty dishes remained on the tables for too long. Those ladies walked right past it because apparently it wasn't their job to clean it up. One morning we had breakfast there. We had found a table and when I went to a coffee machine I saw that all the mugs were gone. I walked to another coffee machine, about 40 meters away, but all the mugs were finished too. I walked back again and saw two employees from that restaurant at that machine. One of them filled a thermos with coffee. I spoke to him and told him that the mugs were finished here (and he saw that himself) and at the other vending machine. He pointed he direction of the other side of the ship (port side) and told me that there might still be mugs there. Steam slowly came out of my ears but I could control myself and walked back to our table. The coffee machines there were not adjusted in the same way. One machine poured lukewarm coffee, the other bitter, another poured half a mug and another poured way too much coffee, the coffee flowing well over the edge of the mug. And that for 18 days. So there was no supervision of this. Furthermore, many coffee mugs were not clean and there was still a dirty brown border inside. The cutlery that was wrapped in a napkin was sometimes still left with food scraps. Men in white suits were apparently the "chefs" in that restaurant. We regularly noticed that the bosses visited each other for a friendly chat. Fine, but in our opinion it was far too often lacking supervision of the ups and downs in the buffet restaurant. We also regularly eat in the so-called Dining Room. When booking this cruise, we had indicated that we would like a double table for the session of 7 p.m. because it turned out to be possible. But in that restaurant there were no double tables at all. We sat at a six-person table and that table was reserved for us during the cruise. The food in this restaurant was very variable in quality. What surprised us every day was the fact that you got little or no vegetables at the main menu. To name just a few examples: I ordered souvlaki and it consisted of 2 satay sticks with 3 pieces of meat on each stick. There was no more on the plate. That meat was so chewy that it was impossible to cut and certainly not to eat. Five of the six table companions gave it back to the waiter. Another time I ordered a steak. On my plate lay a steak of 4 mm thin with 5 pieces of fries fries underneath. That was it. That steak was tasteless and as tough as a leather cloth and that is no exaggeration. That too went back to the kitchen. To make it clear, we would like to mention that the portions were very sparse and not very tasty. Water was not served there, you could buy a bottle of water there (of course other drinks). So it certainly wasn't a party to eat in the Dining Room. That was different at HAL. We are happy to use the swimming pools and whirlpools on board a cruise ship. During the first 7 days on board we noticed that the water from the three pools was and remained cold. There was no human in the water. The water from the whirlpools was lukewarm. We noticed that every day, the entire day, a so-called security officer sat by the pool. So an employee at every swimming pool. Those people had to supervise if people were swimming, but there was no one in the water. Strange. After that first week we reported to the reception that the temperature of the pool water was suitable for penguins but not for people and that the water in the whirlpools was very lukewarm. That employee passed the complaint on to the relevant department. Two days later the pools were suddenly busy with people. The temperature of the water was pleasant, including the whirlpools. In our opinion, the temperature of the swimming pool water can still be read in the central control room near the engine room. Where is the initiative to check that out? There were hundreds of sun loungers on the uncovered outside decks. The number of normal seats was limited to around 25. These were with tables near an outdoor bar and that was the smoking corner. We like to sit on a chair in the sun to enjoy the sun, the view and with a good book. That was only possible if two smokers released their seats. We do not smoke and we did not need a smoke smell instead of sea air. You cannot sit on a sun lounger and reading while lying down is not an option. There are two libraries on the ship. We have found one (1) and it was small with only 6 seats. A library with a small selection of books and old newspapers for 3000 passengers. Music came from the speakers in the ceiling. Upon inquiry, the other library appeared to be located in the part of yacht club members, so we could not reach that. During the cruise 4 times the time was changed because we were in a different time zone. On the cruise ship we went looking for a clock with the right ship time. Nowhere could we find a clock and near the reception there was also no clock or a TV screen with ship info and the ship time. There were TV screens here and there but only advertisements from MSC were shown. We inquired at a receptionist where we could find a clock with the correct ship time. She did not know and asked a colleague. He answered that there was a clock on deck 7 near the tenders, so outside.! Doesn't anyone at MSC come up with the idea of ​​hanging a clock at the reception, where many people pass by every day? Every day, at set times, there was the necessary entertainment at the central swimming pool, where a stage was situated with huge speaker boxes. When that party started, the pool water almost became a wave pool due to the huge number of decibels that came out of those speaker boxes. Around that time we went looking for one of the, by the way, very scarce, quiet spots. Halfway through the cruise we again checked our expenses (the bill) on board. We could see that on the TV in our cabin. Well arranged. We then saw that 2x an amount of 180 euros had been credited, being the service charge. In addition, 2x1 euro was credited that would be donated to Unicef. Our surprise was great. Halfway through the cruise, the full amount of the service charge has already been credited. When you enjoy a three-course dinner ashore in any restaurant halfway through your dinner you will not immediately get the bill. We were familiar with the concept of service charge and we normally do not object to that. But now we went to the reception to inquire when we could change the service charge. The employee handed us a blank A4 sheet. We then had to state why we wanted to change the service charge and what we did want to pay. Yes you fall on that ship from one surprise to the other. We informed her that we would send an E-mail to MSC as soon as we were home again. She then changed the service charge on her computer screen to 0 euros. Then we informed her that we think Unicef ​​is an excellent organization but that MSC is not authorized to withhold 2 euros from us without our permission. We donate to many charities, including Unicef, but we do that whenever we want and determine the amount of this donation ourselves. Now MSC donates roughly 3000 x 1 euro (from this cruise) to Unicef, but in fact that money comes from the passengers. We asked that employee to cancel the amount, which she also did. In Iilha Grande (Brazil) we would go ashore with a tender. We had to gather in a very large room and received a card with a number on it. After a while our number and two other numbers were called and we were able to head for the tender. Well that was a complete chaos again. We were immediately stuck in traffic in the corridors and still had a long way to go towards the tender. It took almost half an hour before we could enter the tender. No, on that ship, almost nothing was structured and apparently it also appears to be difficult. We boarded an excursion in Rio de Janeiro. We had to walk a very long way along the quay. The guide preceded us but never looked around to see if anyone could keep up. We arrived in a very large hall where we could finally board the bus. The distance traveled on my GPS was just over 1 km. People who were a little incapacitated were rightly complaining because those buses could easily have picked us up near the ship. After that excursion we had to walk the same way back but then in the rain.   When we wanted to disembark in Santos on November 20 to return home, I was stopped at security. Not my wife. I was summoned by the security guard to report me at the reception, but to the question why he could not answer. My wife was already on the quay then but came back on board. We struggled through the corridors and against the flow of people towards the reception. There, an employee informed us that we still had to pay the board bill. Pay for a board account? We informed her that a long time ago we had provided MSC via the internet with all the information that MSC requested, including the details of our credit card. MSC was therefore able to collect the bill without any problems. But that employee informed us that MSC worked with two separate systems. The credit card details that MSC had asked us for were not meant to collect the bill. We had to do that at a column near the reception. At the pillar stood a staff member who helped many other passengers to make the payment. We thought this was a strange procedure and paid with our debit card because it didn't work with the credit card. When we finally got back on the shore, we were happy and pleased that we were off the ship and returned home. We want to summarize our impression of the MSC Fantasia and its crew as follows. The ship is one big sailing bar, hung with mirrors and lots of bling bling. Everything is based on selling drinks as much as possible and that drink is very expensive. The crew is not friendly, not helpful and sometimes arrogant. You are not a guest for them but a burden. We will NEVER join MSC anymore, not even for free. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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