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559 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

For me and my mother this was our first cruise. We have flown from Riga to Milan and then took a train to Genoa. Unfortunately on our way back we had no information upon disembarkation in Genoa about the trains not operating all over ... Read More
For me and my mother this was our first cruise. We have flown from Riga to Milan and then took a train to Genoa. Unfortunately on our way back we had no information upon disembarkation in Genoa about the trains not operating all over Italy, so we had to take a taxi from Genoa to an airport in Milan, which cost us about 200 Euro. If we had been provided with the information beforehand we could have booked a shuttle with some others passengers (although this could have been easily organised by MSC itself). The embarkation process in Genoa was well organised, there were no queues and our luggage was delivered to the cabin before we ourselves reached it. At the port we bought the smallest wine and water package, which was just perfect for only two of us. The food on the ship wasn't luxurious but still very good. The dinner service was great, although until the second or third day of the cruise we were not informed that we are not supposed to give tips to the staff and are being charged a fixed amount. Our cabin didn't have a window, so we didn't spend much time in there. But it was adequately sized and furnished and was kept clean at all times. We were quite impressed by the hardworking staff actually. We used sauna twice and fitness centre once and were pleased by both of them. Especially we enjoyed the relaxation room and its view. HOWEVER, there was a massive drawback we experienced with this cruise. For our day in Tunis we’ve chosen the Carthage & Medina (TUN05) guided tour. As a part of it we were taken to a carpet demonstration. It so happened that we really liked one of the carpets and agreed to buy it for a price of 300 Euros. The carpet shop didn’t have their own credit card reader and so 100 Euros we paid in cash at the shop, and the remaining 200 Euros were paid by credit card in a totally different shop in the middle of the market (we were accompanied there by one of the sellers and the tour's guide). The merchants, as well as the guide, reassured us that the carpet will be safely delivered to our home in Latvia via courier post in about three weeks. As of March 2015 we have not received anything. We tried to contact the shop, but it turns out the telephone number provided on the receipt is false. We have contacted MSC regarding this situation but unfortunately have not received any support from them. It’s a shame such a company cannot ensure the decency and integrity of its partners and that the customers are not being fooled. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
From arrival at the port of Genoa, when we were greeted and tended by our Butler, we had the most wonderful experience. A lovely cabin with balcony in the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is exclusive, and the beautiful golden staircase has to ... Read More
From arrival at the port of Genoa, when we were greeted and tended by our Butler, we had the most wonderful experience. A lovely cabin with balcony in the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is exclusive, and the beautiful golden staircase has to be seen to be believed. There were refreshments and drinks available all day in the Club. An exclusive dining room with superb cuisine and excellent wines. The only small criticism was that one had to walk from one end of the ship to the other to reach the dining room, but this was outweighed by the excellence of the food and drink. The crew, waiters, stewards and butlers were superb , smiling and attentive. A truly wonderful experience which we are anxious to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Cruise viewed and paid in 1 month. We need to relax and only go out from walk from ship in Marseilles (BUS) to buy some Soaps and in Messina We had been make a similar cruise in our honey moon and we need to appreciate more from the ... Read More
Cruise viewed and paid in 1 month. We need to relax and only go out from walk from ship in Marseilles (BUS) to buy some Soaps and in Messina We had been make a similar cruise in our honey moon and we need to appreciate more from the ship. It was all 5* except the sea but in November in Med hadn't miracles :) One more time Aurea SPA was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My wife and I had sailed with MSC to the Carribean before and enjoyed the experience. That's why we chose to sail with MSC again. Unfortunately, this cruise was not up to our expectations. Our room was great and the maid was top ... Read More
My wife and I had sailed with MSC to the Carribean before and enjoyed the experience. That's why we chose to sail with MSC again. Unfortunately, this cruise was not up to our expectations. Our room was great and the maid was top notch. We could not have asked for better. While we had a great room at the stern of the ship with a balcony, the dining experience was not the greatest. our waiter at dinner was good. We felt the Management was the reason why the breakfast was so disorganized. The food was adequate but we felt the chef was trying to be too fancy. We have been on five cruises with different cruise lines and Fantacia was the worst for food. As far as the excursions were concerned, they took us to where we wanted to go. However, on one of the excursions in Turkey, we were required to go to a high end leather store with a fashion show. Following they tried to sell us very expensive leather jackets. If you go to Turkey you want to see the country, not buy leather goods that you could get at home. We are convinced the tour guide got a free jacket for taking us there. All in all by the time the cruise was finished, we were sick and tired of the food and just wanted to get home. we will go with another cruise line should we sail again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We cruised on Splendida on November 9th round the Med. After having many problems with customer service prior to the cruise I had vowed never to sail with MSC again, but it was all forgotten when we were on board. Firstly we had flown ... Read More
We cruised on Splendida on November 9th round the Med. After having many problems with customer service prior to the cruise I had vowed never to sail with MSC again, but it was all forgotten when we were on board. Firstly we had flown from Gatwick (England) to Genoa, the flight was with BA as part of the package but we were only landing around 4pm so it was cutting it a bit fine. It was a Sunday and we were the only aircraft in the airport, so everything went very quick and we were soon on the transfer bus. Getting through the formalities at the port was also quick and we were on board in minutes. Just as we got to the door of the cabin (12137) the alarm sounded for lifeboat drill, so it was grab the life jackets and back down the stairs. After drill our cases arrived at the cabin so we were able to get changed for dinner at 6.30. The cabin was very clean and larger than most balcony cabins on other lines we have used. The view from the balcony on deck 12 is superb, though looking below at deck 8 and 9 the view would be obstructed with the lifeboats; so if you are booking any of these it may well be worth checking this out. The ship is kept very clean, with cleaners working all day even going round picking up crumbs in the bars; they are by far the cleanest ships we have used. I wish the same could be said of some of the passengers who seemed to use every excuse not to use the hand sanitizer that is provided at all the dining venues and when boarding the ship. I guess these are the same people who blame ships for causing noro virus! The food in the MDR was fine, I have had better on earlier cruises but they are all cutting back to keep prices down. We never went hungry and there was always enough to choose from. The buffet was a bit samey but again there is enough choice. Some people moan about never being enough space, but if you walk to the back of the ship there are always spaces; there is also the option to share a table (OMG). We found that there were enough bars and entertainment to go round for a full ship and always found a nice venue. We particularly enjoyed the Aft Lounge, good live music with dancing, we like latin and ballroom and danced all night. We had pre-booked the Allegrisimo package and just to check how it was I kept the stubs and totted them up at home, I was quite surprised how much we would have spent with drinks coffee and ices. We are not what you would call big drinkers but the final bill if you add on the 15% service charge would have been double. We did have one waitress in the bar who said we couldn't take glasses into the next room I told her we would bring it back but she just grunted, so I didn't bother taking it back. Never had any problems moving from room to room with drinks after. The weather and sea were great during the cruise I think there was only one day we had rain so not too bad for mid November. After seeing babies with nappies on in the pool and Jacuzzi we decided to give them a miss (Yuck). There were not many children on board due to it being just after the holidays, but the ones we met were well behaved and well looked after during the day with the animation team. Bit of a mention to the animation team, they work very hard all day and night and are a great laugh. They keep everyone entertained with games during the day and dancing at night. Some of the productions shows were a bit hit and miss, some a big hit some a big miss. The ports we sailed to were as follows but this is a personal view so other may see them in a different light. Naples was our first port, it is a bit of a Marmite place you either love it or hate it; but it is a non compromising place that is what it is and always will be. I have been there many times and love the place, if you want to venture further you can get the ferry to Capri or Sorrento, or the train to Pompeii or Sorrento. The City and ferry are only a short flat walk from the ship, but the train station is at the far end of the main street; if you want to get there quick take a cab. Next was Messina, again only walking distance but there is not a lot to entertain you for a full day, so in retrospect may have been better getting the train to Taormina. We then sailed to La Goulette, there is not much in the vicinity and it is a long way to Tunis. We took the tour to Medina, It was a good tour though we were soon to find out we should have used a repellent due to the sand flies that are still active at that time of year. You don't feel them and don't see them, but you get an allergic reaction from the saliva; big extremely itchy blobs that were still coming up after we got home. After a day on the very calm sea we sailed into Barcelona, having been before we decided to just have a walk round the city. It is worth getting the shuttle as it is quite a walk to the city though it is possible but why waste your sightseeing time looking at the port for half an hour each way. Next stop was Marseilles, though it is ok round the port in town with bars and restaurants the rest of the town is a bit of a dump. The shuttle drops you off outside of a nice shopping centre so this is good if you want to pick up a few thing. The cruise port is a long way from town, about half an hour drive, so don't even think you can walk it; and there is area on the way so not very safe to walk. They charge an exorbitant 18 euro each for the shuttle, though there is a free one from the port but don't know where it will drop you off. As it was raining we decided to bite the bullet and pay for the ship shuttle. We sailed back to Genoa and the process of disembarkation went quite well we left the ship at the exact time we were given. We were then transferred to the airport, this was not too good as or flight was not until late afternoon. At the airport we were able to leave out cases at the MSC lounge, and 6 of us got a taxi back to Genoa for a nice day out. It was a bit chaotic and busy at the airport but we left on time (well nearly) for a good flight home.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
That was our 3rd cruise with MSC. We experienced Fantasia and Opera prior to this one and I must say this one was the worst one of them all. Where do I begin. Entertainment was 0 to nothing, shows were awful, daytime there was nothing to ... Read More
That was our 3rd cruise with MSC. We experienced Fantasia and Opera prior to this one and I must say this one was the worst one of them all. Where do I begin. Entertainment was 0 to nothing, shows were awful, daytime there was nothing to do, we had one 12 year old that was bored out of his mind. Ricardo that was supposed to be the person to lead the Young club was never there during the day and most of the time never there in the evening. If my husband and I wanted to go to casino we would have to take turns because our son could not come with us. In lounges he was bored because there was nothing but singing going on and that was not something that 12 years old kid would like to do. When Ricardo was actually there for a few hours that we would leave our son there, he would make him watch the movie or play the video game. What is the purpose of that person to be on the ship? Juniors club on the other hand was a joy for our 10 year old daughter and when we asked if our son could join them we were told no. So what preteens and teens are supposed to do on the ship? Most of the crew were catering to Italians, French and Spanish people on board. We did not know our dinner waiter's name until the 5th night when we tried to talk to him which ended up only a few minutes and he was back to the table next to us with French couple having conversation. In a few quiz times that they had during the day, when we were giving the answers unfortunately French, Italians or Spanish people were picked as a winners. Food was exactly the same as on two other cruises. If you plan on taking more than one cruise with MSC be prepared to eat the same food. Every time the band starts playing everybody leaves the room. Wouldn't you think that the sign, doing something wrong? I do have to say that Maximo who was in charge of Entertainment on Fantasia and Opera did an awesome job and we loved every bit of it. May be others need to take a look at how it's done. Everybody had a smile on their faces on Fantasia and Opera unlike Poesia everyone of them looked like their were bothered by us. At least 10 crew people knew our names and talked to us every time they saw us on Fantasia and Opera and on Poesia all the waiters were bunched up in the corners talking to each other.There was no positive what so ever on this ship, sadly to say that. This ship was the biggest turn off for MSC cruise for us, and we have another one booked in July 2015 with Sinfonia if that will be the same we will never ever cruise with MSC again! There are a lot of other things to say that is negative about this ship just can't put it all here. Bottom line is if this will continue they will loose a lot of America family stationed overseas because we do share and it is a small world. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We were looking forward to the inaugural cruise on Armonia in November it promised to be such a great cruise .The moment we embarked we could see a lot of the work was not completed places closed off. In our cabin little things not working ... Read More
We were looking forward to the inaugural cruise on Armonia in November it promised to be such a great cruise .The moment we embarked we could see a lot of the work was not completed places closed off. In our cabin little things not working the soap dispenser the toilet worked sometimes and didnt work other times ,the tv didnt work for 3 days, the partition between the balconys was not fixed properly so it rattled all nigth so annoying . Thats the the little things that really you could live with but every night after 11pm they started to sand deck 11 as our suite was on deck 10 this noise was right over our heads very hard to sleep the smell of paint every where and maintance men every where druning the whole cruise still working on the ship . We had anytime dining and while it was great not to be stuck to a time the food was so dissapointing the meat was brought to the table every night cooked very rare we sent it back but still happened again and again we complained and the matre di and head waiter came to our table in front of all other 6 guests to ask us why we complained they both promised it would never happen again and while they were still at the table the meat arrived as rare as it could possibly be .. The lifts were constantly out of order on deck 6 there is a theatre ,coffee bar ,2 bars and a restuarant and only 1 set of public toilets and they were often closed .The entertainment was very bad nothing happened during sea days all very little at night .We have cruised 6 times with Thomsom ,Royal Carribean and Msc we have always enjoyed cruising this made it so much more dissapointing we feel so let down by Msc some of the staff at reception were very rude others were helpful there was little they could do the ship was just no ready to sail . The day we disembarked was dreadful we were late arriving because of bad weather no problem but in the departure hall the Msc staff did not have clue we asked a girl about our transfare to the airport her answer was roday it is crazy do what you like . I would always recomend Msc to others but i will not recomend them anymore and we will not cruise with them again . Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We did this cruise with the msc Splendida in the autumnholiday (it is a week's holiday in autumn, the week of nov 1, all of germany and belgians have holiday then, I'm not sure of the rest of Europe). So you can imagine it was ... Read More
We did this cruise with the msc Splendida in the autumnholiday (it is a week's holiday in autumn, the week of nov 1, all of germany and belgians have holiday then, I'm not sure of the rest of Europe). So you can imagine it was very, very, very crowdy. Lot's and lot's of children, lot's of german people. The ship was on it's maximum capacity. Even staff mentioned it was way to crowdy. Buffet was hell, no place to sit, waiting in line for fries, waiting for drinks...So we ate a lot in "Villa Verde". You could get breakfast and lunch with table service there. On our last morning, we went to Villa Verde for breakfast. We didn't get a menu, waited a very long time, didn't get to order, waited very long. When the waiter came by, we asked for cappucino's (had the allegrissimo packet) and he refused to get this. Then we asked for regular coffee. He served al people around us but refused to serve us, didn't even look at us. I think the stress and pressure of al the crowds got to him and he looked as if he was on a breakpoint. We left Villa Verde and went to the buffet (it was a horror to get a table or even food there), but we had to go of the ship and wanted to eat at least something before the long trip home. I was so glad we had a balcony cabin. When the ship is so crowded, is it is a blessing you can order breakfast and eat it on your balcony, no crowds there! Pitty this was not possible on the last day. We also took a lot of drinks to our cabin to enjoy them away from the crowds. The cabin has a nice size, we were with our son and he had a double sofa-bed that was made up every night. Cabin was very clean and well kept. All personal on the entire ship was very friendly, everything was very clean, I was amazed to see this. So many peope on this ship and so clean and organized. We had first seating in "La Reggia". Food was good but not refined. Good choice everyday. I did find that the children's menu was not so healthy, not enough veggie's on them and always fries. Did order a lot from adults menu for my 7 year old son. Waiters where very friendly. We took the allegrissimo packet and at the end of our cruise we came to the conclusion we shouldn't have done that. If we counted al our drinks up, we didn't use the complete forfait. We are no heavy drinkers, did drink some cocktails and special coffee's because we had the packet. Glad I could drink other coffee's with the Allegrissimo packet because the coffee at the buffet and at breakfast was undrinkable for me. It was also very difficult to get drinks from the bars. Waiters only serve one order at a time and then stand around "waiting" for the order to be prepared at the bar. This can be more efficient I think. In my opinion it is not impossible to take another order while you wait for the other ones to be prepared. Pools had salt water and where very cold, even the inside pool. My son always got in the whirlpool, that was warmer and no salted water. It was very difficult, even impossible, to find a sunbed on deck. There was not much to do for children. There is a children's club but my son speaks only dutch and he couldn't understand the games and didn't know what he was supposed to do so he gave up. Getting on and of the ship was most of the times very quick. A few times we had to stand in line very long to get of or to get on. Guess we just chose the wrong time to do that (together with groups). We did the most of the excursions ourselves, this went very good. Only excursion we took with MSC was on Sicily, the Etna. The excursion was good organized but not worth the money. A 1,5 hour ride to the Etna, 1 hour free time on one of the craters and then the long ride back. It was in 3 languages so the guide was talking all the time. My son had the be quiet all te time on the bus (3 hours!) because the other passengers had to hear wat the guide said. My son is very carsick and they couldn't promise us a seat in front of the bus. The weather was very bad, couldn't see the Etna, couldn't see anything on top. So I was a little dissapointed. MSC could have canceled this tour or at least suggest another excursion for who wanted. They must have known there was nothing to see with this weather conditions. Overal I enjoyed this cruise, but just because we didn't pay a lot of money, it was a special offer for travel agents (my husband works in a travel agency), I would have been dissapointed if I had payed the full price. Would I do it again? Definitly NOT in a school holiday! Of season, I would try msc again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
If I hadn't already been on a Carnival cruise and the trip on the MSC Poesia had been my first cruise, I wouldn't consider going on another. The embarkation was queue after queue and then put into a holding area for what seemed ... Read More
If I hadn't already been on a Carnival cruise and the trip on the MSC Poesia had been my first cruise, I wouldn't consider going on another. The embarkation was queue after queue and then put into a holding area for what seemed like an eternity. There appeared to be no co-ordination and people were getting restless at the amount of time it was taking to process the passengers. Once aboard ship, we had a surprise in the cabin bathroom, when we found the previous guests soap bar in the shower and the floor had not been cleaned. Throughout the cruise the bathroom floor remained unwashed and don't get me started on the toilet brush!! The bed had holes in the valance, pillows that felt like they contained golf balls and it took two days to receive the requested extra pillows. Being disabled, I was pleased to find a letter asking me whether I required any help in getting to the emergency drill practice, fortunately I didn't. On arrival at the drill, which was held in an entertainment area with hundreds of other passengers, they managed to find me a chair and we were told that my husband could sit on the arm. However, my husband was then shouted at several times by a member of the crew to move to the other side of the room, even though he explained that I needed help in putting the lifejacket on and the fact that we had been told to sit there by one of the supervisors. Eventually he was allowed to help me and at the end of the so called drill and received an apology from the crew member. This was too little too late after suffering humiliation in front of the other passengers. On our Carnival cruise we had met at our designated lifeboat station and everything was thoroughly explained, giving us reassurance in case anything were to go wrong. With MSC it was purely how to put on a lifejacket!! At this point I seriously considered leaving the ship and flying home. When booking the cruise we requested anytime dining, which on our previous cruise meant exactly that. In this instance, It meant they could place us on either the 6.15pm sitting or the 8.45pm sitting. They placed us on the early sitting so we requested a change to the later sitting as we never eat this early at home. The Maitre'd, begrudgingly changed our dinner sitting, but placed us on a table for 8 with Dutch only speakers, which made for a very awkward meal. We went back to the Maitre'd to request a table for 2 and he said he had already changed our time and the only table for 2 was next to the kitchen and no one would want it. It was exactly what we wanted. One evening in the restaurant one of the dessert options was Baked Alaska, which we both chose. 45 minutes after we had eaten our main course, we still hadn't received dessert and were told by the Assistant Maitre'd there was a problem and could we be a little more patient. After a further 15 minutes we decided to give up and forego our dessert. Later that evening we were talking with other passengers who told us that the restaurant had made a big production of presenting the Baked Alaska to all the diners, which was supposed to be the highlight of the dinner. If we had been informed of this we would happily of waited. The entertainment on board was poor with the exception of the piano player who was very good. Most of the entertainment was in Italian, even though there were multiple nationalities on board. All we seemed to hear about was bingo (or bongo,bongo) as they called it and how you could learn the Cha Cha Cha. The TV station options were dreadful, as for English speakers the News channel was the only option and for French and Spanish passengers they only had one channel also. However, the Italian and German passengers had multiple entertainment channels available. This did not prevent us from enjoying ourselves as a band of us from different countries made our own entertainment. This included South Africans, Australians, Irish, Germans and Brits. On the plus side, the pastry chefs were superb and I have to give special mention to 3 members of staff who could not have been more helpful and friendly. They were: Iara Kraemer Kirchner from Brazil, who provided me with wheelchair assistance when required, Jaqueline Alves Mota also from Brazil, our dinner waitress and Joy from Goa, one of the bar staff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I had never wanted to go on a cruise but three weeks before we were departing for 5 weeks to Europe (from Australia), I saw a great deal advertised on MSC Lirica and upgraded to the top deck, balcony suite which was amazing. We loved ... Read More
I had never wanted to go on a cruise but three weeks before we were departing for 5 weeks to Europe (from Australia), I saw a great deal advertised on MSC Lirica and upgraded to the top deck, balcony suite which was amazing. We loved everything about the cruise from the first minute. Embarkation was very quick and easy, the only gripe was waiting over an hour for luggage to the cabin. The animation team lead by Ana, were always smiling and made us laugh so much, as did fellow passengers who took part in the entertainment. The dance instructors, Simon and Giulia were so happy and patient and did a great job. Service everywhere was impeccable from the cabin steward to bar staff. We pre-purchased the alcohol package which was a great deal too. This cruise will stay with us forever, the animation and entertainment teams were so talented and we still laugh about some of the funny things that happen, like Bingo in several languages. The nightly shows in the theatre were also world class. I loved the multi-lingual staff and cannot thank them enough for making my first cruise not my last. cannot wait to travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was my first cruise so I really didn't know what to expect after reading some of the reviews. I was doing back to back cruises with the second week being on the Preziosa out of Venice. I flew into Venice then flew to Genoa and ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I really didn't know what to expect after reading some of the reviews. I was doing back to back cruises with the second week being on the Preziosa out of Venice. I flew into Venice then flew to Genoa and took a taxi to the cruise port after staying a night in a hotel. I was so pleased to find that embarkation was an absolute breeze. There were no queues, no waiting around, it was all so smooth and quick. My cabin was lovely. It was spacious with a couple of armchairs and a table as well as the usual dressing table, cupboards etc. They made the effort to sit people who spoke the same language together for dinner and I sat with a table of fellow Australians. However, I had all my breakfasts and lunches in the restaurant and it was great to sit with other nationalities. Mealtimes became quite international! I only went to the buffet twice. I can go to a buffet anytime at home so why on earth would I want to forego being waited on in a restaurant - and the waiters were so attentive! The service was excellent and I didn't see any crew members who weren't smiling and pleasant. The food was excellent and very well cooked. I can't speak for the buffet because I didn't patronise it. I bought the drinks package, which was well worthwhile as it covered cocktails, coffees and soft drinks (I believe the free coffee in the buffet was terrible!). I was disappointed with the amount of time we had in Rome, but, like many others, I hadn't factored in that it would take three hours out of our shore time to travel to and from the port to the city. I had booked the open top bus and river trip combination but really only had time for the bus in the end. (I booked it through Viator not the ship). I took ship's tours for Palermo and Tunis which were good, although Tunis is one to watch out for as they are out to rip you off - even at the "MSC preferred" shop. Disembarkation was only marred by a large queue to collect our non-EU passports which had been handed in earlier in the week. Once we had those, everything went smoothly. Those of us who were returning to Venice to board the Preziosa were whisked away on a coach and had a pleasant drive through the northern Italian countryside to our next destination. Would I travel with MSC again? Maybe but certainly NOT on the Preziosa - but that's another story! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
After reading all the bad reviews I was dreading going on the MSC Sinfonia and I was actually pleasantly surprised! It was me and my friends first time cruising and we genuinely had a fantastic time! I wasn't sure if it was because ... Read More
After reading all the bad reviews I was dreading going on the MSC Sinfonia and I was actually pleasantly surprised! It was me and my friends first time cruising and we genuinely had a fantastic time! I wasn't sure if it was because I'd never been on a cruise before but I spoke to other passengers and they all agreed they had a great time. Despite what you may have read we found the food to be really nice the pizza was addictive! Also I spoke to one of the managers onboard and he said that English is something they are improving. I didn't find many staff who didn't speak some basic level which was fine. The only thing I would have issue with is the fact that they come on too strong with the selling I found the photographers particularly annoying! Also we tried the spa and the spa manager was quite rude to us, which isn't great when you're on holidays! Apart from that it was brilliant. There was a great mix of ages with lots of people in their late 20's early 30's and the nightclub onboard was amazing! I have really good memories from the cruise and I have to say my friend and I agreed it was great value for money in comparison to the others we checked out previously. Just make sure you buy a drinks package as then you won't have to worry about the rest! It was really lively with deadly pool parties during the day great for the younger cruiser! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was the second of two back-to-back cruises (Fantasia/Splendida) as a solo traveller. The nice surprise at check-in was an upgrade to the Yacht Club. ( since I had paid full double rates for both cruises, it certainly would not have ... Read More
This was the second of two back-to-back cruises (Fantasia/Splendida) as a solo traveller. The nice surprise at check-in was an upgrade to the Yacht Club. ( since I had paid full double rates for both cruises, it certainly would not have cost the company but never the less, it was very nice). The biggest advantage was it was so much less crowded but the service levels, food and wine were also a definite step-up from the week before too. ( Raffaele and Guiseppe in the restaurant were lovely and Willy, the butler, was a consumate professional) My balcony was the same size as on the first cruise and although the room layout and furnishings were different, the total size was no larger than some cabins on the non-Yacht Club decks. The Yacht Club is fairly self-contained, cabins, an inside lounge, dining room and a large outside pool/bar/eating area. An interesting quirk is that while the restaurant is on the same level as the Yacht Club, it is at the opposite end of the ship so involves a walk outside along the entire length of the ship or taking the lift down from level 15 to level 7, walking the length of the ship inside and then going back up to level 15! On the first cruise, luggage had to be outside the cabin on the evening before disembarkation. On the Yacht Club, it was by 7 in the morning which was so much easier. The only problem was the disembarkation transfer. Our bus to Genoa Airport sat for ONE HOUR after everyone else was on board waiting for THREE people. Every other bus left within 15 minutes while we waited for another 45 minutes. It nearly caused me to miss my flight. Who would have accepted responsibility for this? Absolutely unacceptable! So if I was to cruise with MSC again would I choose the Yacht Club? Definitely if it was European school holidays! Definitely if I was travelling with my husband, it's the only possible way he would consider a ship this big.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This cruise was my 10th cruise and the 2nd with MSC, so I thought I knew what to expect and, most of all, I expected relax and entertainment, having already visited the majority of ports of call. Unfortunately this cruise did not live up ... Read More
This cruise was my 10th cruise and the 2nd with MSC, so I thought I knew what to expect and, most of all, I expected relax and entertainment, having already visited the majority of ports of call. Unfortunately this cruise did not live up to my expectations in several ways as the ship was always too crowded and loud so relax was not possible. THE GOOD: - elegant mid-sized ship - staterooms are fairly large: we had a seaview on deck 5, had a wide and well-organised closet, plenty of drawers and even a table and two armchairs - food at main restaurants is excellent (restaurants are open only for dinner) - no days at sea - shore excursions were varied, really well organised and not too pricey - pay per view movies can be rented using the TV THE BAD: - the management of the buffet was the worst ever! Opening hours were not adapted to ship's arrival and departure from ports of call: for instance, during the days when the ship docked in the afternoon, breakfast was served only until 10 a.m., resulting in an overcrowded and messy buffet area around 9.45...isn't it obvious that people are on holiday and want to sleep longer hours if they are not expected to go ashore until the afternoon? The day we docked in Tunisi the ship departed at 13.30: guess what, everyone needed to have lunch at the same time so MSC made several announcements via loudspeakers to invite guests to delay their visit to the buffet "to ensure a better service". The same happend when we docked in Palma, guess what, everyone wanted lunch before going ashore...In my opinion, the mess was generated by the fact that there were not enough waiters to clean tables promptly and the majority of table would accommodate 6 people: as most of parties were not larger than 4, most tables had empty chairs and cruisers were pointlessy walking with dishes in their hands in the hope of finding a free spot. Being understaffed, the waiters could not even help directing people so it was hectic and messy. My daughter and I ended up bringing our dishes to the stateroom and having most breakfasts and lunches there. - entertainment at the theatre was boring: every night the same singers and dancers (MSC onboard cast), only with different costumes. Acrobats did not run a whole show but made some 10 minutes' appearances amid traditional shows. - organised activities were reduced to a minimum and mostly consisted of stupid games at poolside. No lectures, crafts workshops etc. We missed NCL organised activities a lot! THE UGLY: - at the main restaurants you could get only bottled water (one liter bottle costed 3 euros): MSC urges you to buy prepaid water packages. I did not buy it and regret it! - very few waiters at poolside: most times to order a drink you would need to go to the bar yourself. - at poolside there is a lovely kiosk selling crepe with Nutella and ice slush: however there isn't any waiter standing behind the kiosk, so you need to queue at the main poolbar to place your order and then follow one of the waiters to the kiosk to receive your order. This proved to be a particularly inefficient procedure during the "2 for 1" crepe offer! - embarkation is possible at most ports: almost everyday we heard safety drill announcements and most mornings you could see desembaking guest waiting in the common areas, which sort of costantly reminded me that the holiday was about to end...   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We had a fabulous time on msc musica starting from Genoa, travelling on to Rome ,Palermo, Tunis ,Palma, Valencia and marseille . The ship was clean , staff very obliging, shows were excellent. Dining room staff couldn't have been more ... Read More
We had a fabulous time on msc musica starting from Genoa, travelling on to Rome ,Palermo, Tunis ,Palma, Valencia and marseille . The ship was clean , staff very obliging, shows were excellent. Dining room staff couldn't have been more helpful.I really can't fault the cruise despite reading the worrying reviews before I went. The food was very nice. I would go again with msc and can't help wondering why there are so many negative reviews. Agreed, Tunis was a bit hard going with hard sells everywhere, but it all added to the experience and am pleased to have stepped onto north African soil. There were 3 family members travelling together and we all had a fab time! Great value for money. We booked the allegrissimo package which was excellent. The tours we took were good as well.Looking forward to the next cruise. It was very cosmopolitan , enjoyed all the different aspects and languages! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
It was the first time we went for a cruise both me and my wife and a group of friends (8 in total). Here are my bullet comments about the overall experience. As I mentioned in the title this is our first cruise ever, so maybe there are ... Read More
It was the first time we went for a cruise both me and my wife and a group of friends (8 in total). Here are my bullet comments about the overall experience. As I mentioned in the title this is our first cruise ever, so maybe there are things that everybody knows that they are like that on a cruise, and we thought they were not, or we didn't even think about it. - The embarkation process was really confusing. We arrived to the port of Genoa and a lady from MSC was unpolitely shouting everywhere. She pointed us to one direction to deliver the luggage and then it was in another place. Then we had to wait around 30 minutes on one part, when we thought we would be in the boat, we realised we had to wait 45 more minutes on a line to make the Check In. I guess is not easy to check in 2000 guests all together :) - As soon as we did the check in, we started being surrounded by offers of all kinds, spa, pictures package etc. I didn't like this attitude by the cruise company, if someone wants something, offer it inside the cruise with stands, but don't be aggressive trying to get more money from your guests immediately. If you wanted to buy a pictures they charged you 10 Euros!!! It was really a rip off. They could offer them at 5 Euros and a lot of people would buy more from them. - The first night we couldnt get together to eat with our 6 friends because MSC has a terrible reserving system that cannot group people from different countries, so trying to coordinate something for different travellers from different regions was really a mess. The next nights because I made a huge scene about this, we were placed all together for the rest of the dinners fortunately. - A couple from our group wanted to renew their vows on the cruise and they paid an extra USD 800 for it, but when we talked with the event manager as soon as we got into the boat, we really stressed because they had no idea of the paid event. Anyways she really put effort and resolved the issue. - In general the experience of the cruise stopping in each port is nice because you can know different places without carrying luggage, but the stops should be longer in my opinion. For example, stopping from 9 AM to 2 PM in a port is too short, so you have to wake up early to be able to get to breakfast then go down to the city, and come back fast because after mid day the cruise is leaving again. I would have appreciated to have some resting time (I am on holidays, not at work), and not to be rushing all the time. - A good tip, I bought some walkie talkies to be able to coordinate with our friends when to meet and where, it was VERY useful, we even got lost in Mahon (Spain) and thanks to these babies we where able to get together again. The model I bought in case somebody is interested are: Baofeng A0784A and I purchased them from AliExpress, USD 20 each and free shipping from China. - The food of the buffer was the worst food I ever tasted, it was really bad and always the same, no diversity. Some of our friends already went to several cruises and they told us that it was the worst food they ever saw in a cruise. The food of the restaurant in the night was not bad, but it wasn't outstanding. - We were surprised on how bad the waitresses were treated by their managers. I complained about this to the guy managing the restaurants, I hope its worth to improve this. The faces of the guys serving was really in general bad, no humor, no smiling, nothing, and I heard one time one of the "managers" treating one guy very badly when he did nothing wrong, he was just bringing some orange juice on a breakfast. - The rooms in general were ok. At first we were in a standard room with a window to the sea, the main problem of this room was the bathroom curtain which stuck on your body when you were having a shower, really annoying. Fortunately, with my wife we were very lucky and because they had to do some reparations on our room, they upgraded us for free to the best room with balcony and all. This room had a big bath, and was way bigger. Probably its not worth to pay the difference if you are with a group of people in the boat, but if you are alone with your wife, maybe you would take more advantage of the bigger room, balcony and so. - This is probably normal, but one of the days, the cruise moved really really bad, I was ok but most of my friends were very dizzy and my wife had to go to the infirmary who charged 90 Euros just for a shot so she didn't throw up. I found it a little bit too excessive in price. - The drinks in all the bars were really great, we all drink alcohol, so it was a great idea to get the middle all you can drink package. You just get to any bar, you give your card, ask for mostly anything on the menu and you got it included. - The pool area was impossible to use, full of people, each sun bed (I don't know if they are called like this in english, sorry) were just beside the other (I mean really 2 cm away from the other), a lot of them "reserved" with towels so it was impossible to go there. The pools were very small when you think about the amount of people around them. - Before we were upgraded to the best room, I had a very uncomfortable situation with the man in charge of taking care of our room, he knocked the door and immediately tried to enter the room, I had to bang the door back (I was just beside the door) and told him out loud "Never do that again" then I dressed up and talked with him that he cant just knock and enter, he needs to be sure to wait a prudent time for the people inside the room to answer. I think this is part of the people working in the cruise of being all the time in a rush...but well, still not nice attitude from the guy... I think thats all, my wife was not a big fan of the cruise idea...but I would do it again in a better cruise, maybe from another company...for now, I know this experience was not the best or at least what I would have expected from a cruise...   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We were a little apprehensive about booking this cruise because of the mostly negative reviews by English speaking cruisers on this site. However, the timing of the cruise and the itinerary suited us very well and we went ahead and booked. ... Read More
We were a little apprehensive about booking this cruise because of the mostly negative reviews by English speaking cruisers on this site. However, the timing of the cruise and the itinerary suited us very well and we went ahead and booked. We boarded in Genoa and the experience was very encouraging. Boarding arrangements were like a well-oiled machine, no waiting, no fuss, polite and efficient staff. The ship itself is like most other cruise ships of this size, perhaps a little worse for wear but basically clean and well appointed. However, one issue throughout the cruise was that there was an unpleasant sewage-type smell in our cabin and in various other parts of the ship from time to time. I don't know whether there was some problem with the ship's sewage system or what caused the smell but it was the only significant negative aspect of the cruise. Our balcony cabin was pleasant, slightly larger than many that we have had in other cruises and well furnished. Disappointingly, there was no tea or coffee making equipment in the cabin but this seems too be the norm in cruise ships these days. This problem was overcome by having a pot of tea delivered every morning by room service (at no cost) when we woke up. Our experience with food on the ship was very different to the negative experiences of some other reviewers. Breakfast was excellent with a large choose of food from various cuisines and an excellent salad and fruit bar. Crispy bacon was also available and that was very pleasing for me. Lunch too was very good in the buffet with a great range of food options, again, especially the excellent fruit and salad bar. Dinners were of mixed quality but overall the food was good. We were placed at a table with three other English speaking couples - one Australian and two from New Zealand and they were excellent company. Service in the dining room was good although we never seemed to get to know our waiters in the way that we have in other ships. The cruise excursions were mostly good. First stop was Civitavecchia but we have been in rome so often that we chose to stay on board. We had a very interesting excursion around the city Palermo ned then on to Tunis. tunis was a disappointment - we went on the tour of the souks in the Medina and the tour guide steered us into too many shops selling carpets and other businesses where I imagine he gets a kickback on sales and this took up a lot of our time and we found it boring. Palma in Mallorca was next - beautiful city and a good tour guide. Valencia turned out to be an elegant and imposing city and we spent a very pleasant day there. However, because English speakers were minority on this cruise we were put in a bus along with German speakers and the tour guide constantly switched between English and German which we found very tedious. Marseille was next and we had arranged to disembark there to continue our holiday in France. The ship continued on to Genoa. Overall this was a very good cruise and our experience was quite different from the negative experiences of some previous reviewers. I will happily sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We chose MSC Musica as it fitted with our vacation dates and those of friends that we were travelling with and the ports looked nice. Embarkation in Genoa was ok except whilst waiting to get on the ship we were talked into buying a ... Read More
We chose MSC Musica as it fitted with our vacation dates and those of friends that we were travelling with and the ports looked nice. Embarkation in Genoa was ok except whilst waiting to get on the ship we were talked into buying a beverage package - my husband and I drink very little but were talked into it with one of the perks being that it was an all inclusive package with nothing more to pay. We specifically asked about tax and told that it was not added, but guess what was included on our final account for the drinks package??? The accounts staff just laughed in our faces when we questioned the account. The cabin was lovely and clean as were the public areas of the ship. I have to say that the cabin steward was the least visible of any on the many cruises I have been on - no little touches like the towel animals or chocolates on the pillow - didn't matter to me particularly but just noted it was very fifferent to all other cruise lines we have travelled with. I have noted other reviews commenting on the effort to get food at the Lido buffet likening it to a feeding frenzy at the zoo. Never seen anything like it, and the pushiness and rudeness of a certain nationality that was prevalent on the ship was unbelievable. Several days. I did not eat breakfast or lunch on the ship. We ate in the dining room when able, but not much choice and often I had no more than a soup and salad. Entertainment was boring after seeing a night of it - same performances different costumes. Don't bother with excursions - our experience was that we paid 52 euros to be held hostage at a carpet shop, a perfume shop, and a vastly inflated priced souvenir shop which was meant to be a tour of the medina in Tunis. We complained to several people on the tour desk who simply ignored us and said it was not MSCs problem etc etc - finally the manager gave us a photo album in compensation which we returned promptly. I have emailed head office but looking through other postings on hus website, doubt we will get a response. So, prospective MSC oassengers, be warned about excursions. Also note that you only have short times in port so it makes doing your own thing difficult. Finally, e nail in the coffin for me, and I found it on this cruise and one we took wih this line in 2007, was the absolute arrogance and rudeness of the Italian staff on this cruise - we have cruised with Holland America, Celebrity, RCI, Thompson, MyTravel and loved every cruise and the staff whether it has been a big or small ship but MSC Italian staff were diabolical. I really felt so sorry for the Indonesian dining staff as they all looked exhausted, but they all managed to maintain a friendly smile and good service, as did the cabin staff. I have never seen such an unhappy looking crew though.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We just came back from Honeymoon trip on MSC Sinfonia (7days tour Genova-Cannes-Ibiza-Menorca-Sardegna-Salerno). It was a pleasant experience, but i've got both positive and corrective comments: The staff was italian & ... Read More
We just came back from Honeymoon trip on MSC Sinfonia (7days tour Genova-Cannes-Ibiza-Menorca-Sardegna-Salerno). It was a pleasant experience, but i've got both positive and corrective comments: The staff was italian & oriental/asian. From the 5 restaurants (2 a'la'carte, 1 buffet, 2 fast food) i would give: -Pizza Station - 5/5. Amazing italian pizza, prompt, never left without a fresh oven baked pizza. If 1 slice was remaining more than 10mins without being picked, they would through it on the bin. -Fast food & grill station -4/5 Nice waffles % pancakes for breakfast. Average hot-dogs, sandwiches, grill. -Buffet Restaurant - 3/5. Plenty of varieties from everything. Great product quality, but averagely cooked. -La Galeone Restaurant - 3.5/5 The comodity of a restaurant, a long daily menu to choose from, great dish presentation but averagely cooked.The staff was very kind -Il Corvo restauran - didnt try it I have a corrective comment about the company: There was not mentioned when i bought the tickets, about the 150 euros deposit/per person and that you cannot pay on board. The hidden costs are not pleasant to know. Also the accounting staff (italians) were treating the clients as debtors, with poor respect and no privacy on the conversations if you passed your deposit limit. Also you need to pay for the bus transfer from port to city (Ibiza) Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I have been on many cruises over the years with many different cruise lines and never felt the need to review any of them as they all tend to be pretty similar but I really felt I should review MSC as the experience was so different from ... Read More
I have been on many cruises over the years with many different cruise lines and never felt the need to review any of them as they all tend to be pretty similar but I really felt I should review MSC as the experience was so different from anything I have ever experienced. This was our first encounter with MSC and as it was only for 3 nights we thought it would be a good taster of what to expect if we decided to book in future. We flew to Genoa the day before and did an overnight stay in a local hotel, the details we had received from MSC which were very limited stated the check in opened at 11.00 so we arrived at mid day. We were met by what could only be described as chaos, there were 1500 people being herded like cattle in to a tiny dilapidated terminal building with no one from MSC on hand to help. We were issued with a number and told to wait until our number was called, three and a half hours later! yes we stood there for three and a half hours! our number was called so we followed the crowds to an escalator but at the top of the escalator there was another huge queue which was so large it prevented people on the escalator from getting off, people were being crushed at the top and its amazing that no one was seriously hurt. We finally made it on board at 16.00, the time the ship was supposed to sail at. it took a further hour to get everyone on board and we finally set sail at 17.10, there had to be two muster drills as most of the passengers had missed the original one scheduled for 15.45. The second one was done as we sailed out of port. We then had to go to accounts to register a credit card against our cabin as the shore staff didn't have time to do this at check in. The on board experience is pretty similar to most cruise lines with the exception of the dining experience. You are issued with a table number and on arrival at the main dining room you have to go and find it, you are not escorted to your table. The staff are surly and slow and the meals consist of a selection of 7 courses so expect to be sat at your table for well over two hours even if you only order 3 courses. The staff seem to stand around in groups of 5 or 6 chatting and generally having a good time with no regard to passengers. There is no coffee or tea served at the table and you have to pay for the water, if you want tea or coffee you have to go to the buffet after your meal which we found quite bizarre. The buffet itself was awful, the worst we've experienced, the four selections were the same every day in the evening and at breakfast you could not get in, 1500 passengers and 300 seats. People would be five deep at the buffet then they would disperse all over the ship trying to find somewhere to sit and eat. Again the staff stand around in groups doing nothing, the tables get cleared every now and again and they do not serve you drinks at the table, you go and get your own, I am not exactly sure what the staff are there for other than to push past passengers and scowl at them. The food was bland and cold, the only good thing was the pizza station out on deck which again had large queues due to it being under staffed but the pizzas were great. I should also mention MSCs tendering process which was on par with everything else on board. The system is to collect a number from reception which denotes what time your tender leaves. What actually happens in reality is that as soon as the first tender is ready 1500 people do a cavalry charge towards the life boats again with no one from MSC in charge, there are staff around but they're just not interested in anything that is happening around them, it's a theme that is repeated at every level throughout the ship. On the final night our bill was supposed to be delivered to our cabin but it never arrived. We went to accounts the following morning but the queue was so huge we decided to leave it. There were only two staff on the accounts desk on the morning of disembarkation, it's as though they weren't expecting people to pay their bills on departure day! There were however plenty of staff stood around observing the mayhem but doing nothing about it, again quite bizarre. I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't cruise with MSC as a lot of the things they do are good and quite different but I would suggest that if you do decide to book then you should retain a good sense of humor and take it for what it is, its just the way they do it and their passenger levels would suggest it's quite popular. I posted this review just to let people know how very different MSC are as a cruise company, I personally would not book with them again but I am glad I experienced a very different way of cruising. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
In March this year [2014] my husband and I joined a fly, stay, cruise package on the MSC Fantasia which included return flights to Italy, overnight accommodation in Genoa, transfers and a 36 night cruise. We chose MSC because the tour ... Read More
In March this year [2014] my husband and I joined a fly, stay, cruise package on the MSC Fantasia which included return flights to Italy, overnight accommodation in Genoa, transfers and a 36 night cruise. We chose MSC because the tour itinerary sounded great even though we had already visited many of the ports. We upgraded to a category B2, [balcony cabin with guaranteed unobstructed views] which in our cruise brochure appeared to be cabins in the bow of deck 9 plus all of decks 10, 11 and 12. On booking the cruise we made just 2 requests. We were told that we couldn't book a particular cabin or deck so we asked if we could have a cabin on any deck on or above 10 and anywhere mid ship to stern Being 4 back to back cruises and with hundreds of cabins to choose from we didn't see this as an unreasonable request, booked months before sailing. Our second request was for 1st dinner sitting due to a medical condition which made 9pm dining unsuitable. Three weeks before our departure date we received our documentation. We had been allocated a cabin in the bow of deck 9 and second dinner sitting. To cut a long story short neither our travel agent nor their supplier could get any satisfaction from MSC re a cabin change. I dealt directly with MSC in Australia to have the meal sitting changed. Just days before departure MSC went to the ridiculous length of making me complete a 'special needs' form even though I had a letter from my doctor. It wasn't until the day before departure that we received notification that we could go to first dinner sitting. On board the cabin was reasonable but we had no view at all unless standing as there was a metal balcony wall obstructing all views whilst sitting! On viewing the cabin categories in the on-board ship information all of deck 9 was graded the same category and we could get no answers as to why we paid more for our cabin with obstructed views whilst so called B1 [cheaper] cabins on deck 9 had glass balcony walls with unobstructed views! The service was terrible, it took 3 days to have a broken catch on the door to the balcony repaired whilst we endured broken nights sleep with the wind roaring through the door gap. Many of the staff were unfriendly and unhelpful. The food was, at best, average with only 2 main course choices if you didn't eat fish or vegetarian and all serves were very small. If you don't drink alcohol, water had to be paid for, with a 15% service fee in the main dining room. To call it “fine dining” was a joke, we've had better meals served at local hotels and clubs. The bistro food was either floating in gravy or sauce or was typical takeaway greasy fast food, the exception being the cold meat and cheeses, the salad bar and the very nice dessert bar. The only alternative was Tex Mex restaurant where there was an additional charge of 14 Euro, a price you had to pay if you wanted a steak. The staff take no responsibility for any discrepancies. The internet is very expensive and runs at snails pace if at all and you are charged by the minute, not data download. I purchased 100 minutes just to keep up with emails which was wiped off the screen after 30 minutes use. When I questioned the staff at the customer relations desk I was told that there was nothing they could do and would refer the matter to their IT department so I had to purchase another 60 minutes. Three day before the end of our cruise they agreed it was their error but still only credited back 30 minutes which was useless as I still had 30 minutes of the extra time I had to buy. We pre booked many of our shore excursions and when we checked our account we had been overcharged. Nothing they could do about it, we'd have to contact their head office in Italy when we got home. When you board the ship you have to surrender your passport and are given a receipt. They then managed to loose an Australian woman’s passport and refused to accept that they were at fault saying she must still have it even though she still had her receipt. They eventually accepted responsibility and just a couple of days before the end of the cruise took the passenger into the Australian Embassy in the next port of call for a temporary passport and the passport was never found! The on-board entertainment was poor, the same 40 minute show was repeated cruise after cruise, the only English speaking channel on the TV was 24hr news on CNN or the BBC. Any movie cost 17 euro to watch. There was however a great number of bars and a smoke filled casino, neither of which appealed. Children, who travel for free, could spend the entire cruise at the children’s club which stayed open until 11pm for the little ones and midnight for the older children. Then they could then run up and down the corridors calling out and banging doors. To sum up, if you want a relaxing holiday with fine dining, first class shows and cultural activities don't cruise with MSC. However if you're not fussy about what food you're served nor what entertainment is on offer, you enjoy loud conversations and rude staff and want a care free holiday with someone else looking after the children whilst you frequent the many bars or the casino then MSC is the cruise company for you. I did email my concerns about our cabin to the Australian branch of MSC cruises who forwarded it to the head office in Italy. I received an acknowledgement of receipt of the email from head office which stated that it “would be investigated promptly by our dedicated Customer Care Team and a reply will be sent to you shortly”. That email was dated 16/05/14 and still I have heard nothing. Typical of MSC cruises. Other people we spoke to on the cruise said they also would never sail with MSC again, even a couple who had never sailed with MSC previously but who had their ocean view cabin upgraded to a B2 cabin on deck 12 for their 2 back to back cruises. The saddest part was the number of first time cruisers who said they would never cruise again after their experience with MSC. We love cruising and did our best to assure them that MSC was not typical of all cruise lines. The many other cruises we have done, particularly Celebrity and Princess were fantastic, whilst other passengers praised Royal Caribbean and Holland America. I just wish that I had taken notice of the cruise reviews of the MSC Fantasia before we booked our trip. Of the over 200 Australian passengers who were on the cruise, many that we spoke to said they would never cruise MSC again and now I see that MSC is coming to Australia in 2015, good luck to prospective passengers. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We chose MSC because they were the only cruise line we could find sailing on the dates we needed. The balcony cabin was very good but the bathroom tiny and smelt of mould. None of us would chose MSC again. This was our 5th cruise. The ... Read More
We chose MSC because they were the only cruise line we could find sailing on the dates we needed. The balcony cabin was very good but the bathroom tiny and smelt of mould. None of us would chose MSC again. This was our 5th cruise. The ship was amazing on first impressions but you get lost and confused very easily and the crew are not very helpful, (there are exceptions of course). It almost seemed that they were too scared of being told off if they stopped to talk to you which happened to one waiter we were talking to. I found this very rude. The only person to pay you any attention was the photographer and they became annoying very quickly! The red velvet restaurant was very squashed up and it did not make for a nice dinning experience, I constantly had to move my chair so wait staff could get by. The food court area was 10 times worse! I like the larger cruise ships but this one had way too many passengers (3500) and we were constantly avoiding people or waiting for someone to leave a lounge area so we could sit. There were a couple of areas that were always empty because they had a view of the life rafts! There is an amazing area called liquid lounge on deck 16, which has full length windows and is great for watching the world go by. Unfortunately the bar is not open during the day and it is a disco at night. We went there to watch the ship dock and leave and there was rarely any one else there, this was a complete waste of this space. The thing that upset us the most though was having to pay for everything on board including water, unless you want to go up and down to the food court to get water from the machine there. I know drinks are not included in your cruise ticket but water should be! We were also charged a tip of 7 euro per person per cabin each day for tips and an automatic donation to unesco, this was just added to our cruise card. I don't mind tipping for good service, but there were only 2 people I would say gave something near good service on the entire 7 days. Never saw a maître d in the dinning room, even on the 2 formal nights. The lifts are whole other experience and are great if you aren't in a hurry to get anywhere, they should supply chairs to sit in while you watch them pass your floor by in both directions. Bottom line for Aussies is factor in at least an extra $1000.00 for just the basic drinks and tours, if you like to sit by the pool with cocktails or even a decent coffee take more money! Or simply choose another cruise company! you will have a more enjoyable and relaxing time. The old saying that you get what you pay for is so true. It started out good value but sure didn't end that way.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
6th April 2014: Genoa – Naples – La Valetta – Sea Day – Athens – Corfu – Dubrovnik Flights and Transfers : Rating 5/5 I bought my flights and transfers through MSC so thought I would include them in this review as very little ... Read More
6th April 2014: Genoa – Naples – La Valetta – Sea Day – Athens – Corfu – Dubrovnik Flights and Transfers : Rating 5/5 I bought my flights and transfers through MSC so thought I would include them in this review as very little has been said about them on the boards and I was quite nervous about this before I went. Turns out I didn’t need to be worried our flight with BA was on time and when we arrived at Nice there was an MSC representative waiting for us. The long transfer from Nice to Genoa went without a hitch, in fact it had some of the most stunning views of the entire trip as we followed the coastal route. Embarkation: Rating 3/5 When we arrived in Genoa our cases were unloaded off the coach for us and we entered the cruise terminal. The place was packed, they handed us a number and told us to wait for our number to be called before we could go up the mystical elevator to embark. Well this did not work at all, only one poor lady was trying to control the crowds and people were going up to queue for the elevator willy nilly. Eventually we made it up the elevator only to join a queue to register our passport details and cards. This queue luckily moved quite quickly and we were registered and on board within half an hour (which considering the amount of people was impressive). Cabin: Rating 4/5 We had cabin 12135 which is one of the squarer inside cabins. It was the biggest cabin I had ever had (we only ever stay in an inside cabin as we prefer to spend out pennies elsewhere), it was spotlessly clean and both the room and the bathroom had plenty of storage for the two of us. When we arrived the beds were laid out to be a double, we searched for our cabin steward but they were nowhere to be seen so we went down to reception and the beds were separated when they turned down the room during dinner. We never actually met our cabin steward, unlike on other cruises I;ve been on where they were always lurking around they were never there which meant we had to trudge to reception to deal with any issues. Ship: 3/5 The ship was simply stunning. It was clean and well maintained throughout. My annoyance though was with the lifts, there seemed to be an inadequate amount for the number of passengers, I thank god I am young and fit enough to climb lots of stairs and I have some impressively toned legs now. There was also an issue that some floors you couldn’t walk along due to the red velvet restaurant so you found yourself having to go up floors to come back down again, which again I see being a big issue for those who struggle with stairs. Food: Rating 4/5 Previous to the cruise we had requested the first sitting (6:15) but we were allocated second sitting (8:45) but this actually turned out to be a blessing as we would have missed the sail away from most ports with the first sitting. The food in the restaurant was always fantastic (except for the cuttlefish which was just a chunk of rubber), our waiter, Dwi, was very attentive and provided outstanding service. The first night was a bit arduous as due to getting everyone to their correct tables and getting to know new customers dinner took about 3 hours however this got quicker every night and I very much enjoyed a leisurely dinner and chatting to the company we have. It seems that MSC try to not only pair people with the same language but also people with people of similar ages which was nice. The buffet was great always plenty of variety available and even though I’m a picky eater I never failed to find something delicious. I have to thank everyone on the boards for saying to go to the back of the buffet, the views were simply amazing and it was always much quieter down there. We didn’t eat in any of the speciality restaurants so can’t comment there. Bars: 4/5 We had the Allegressimo package and boy was that a deal, we easily got our monies worth by the time both me and my friend had ordered a bottle of wine for dinner. The drinks menu was much bigger than I thought it would be and even the items not on the package were reasonably priced (though I didn’t feel the need to stray from it many times). One of our favourite bars was the wine bar; they had the most amazing range of nibbles available in the evening which was very welcome considering dinner was so late. Another nice little touch that you got all over the ship was if you ordered a drink in the evening they automatically bought round little bowls of bar snacks (pretzels, crisps and the like). On a few occasions service was very slow this is the only reason I rated 4 instead of 5. Service: 4/5 After hearing numerous CC posters complain about service I was on the lookout for grumpy staff but only found smiley and courteous crew. As long as you smiled and said please and thank you the staff seemed willing to go out of their way for you. We had no issues with language, most crew spoke adequate English to deal with any issues and many knew enough to hold a decent conversation, I was expecting there to be a much bigger language barrier but was pleasantly surprised. Entertainment: Rating 3/5 The entertainment was OK. Only a few of the shows interested us and they had some fantastic acrobats however the singing and dancing was rather average. We attended 3 of the international quizzes and won 2 of them so no complaints there. Other than that the entertainment was very limited but then that’s what I had expected being a Brit on an Italian ship. We made our own entertainment and played lots of cards and drank lots of wine. Ports and Excursions: 4/5 The ports are the reason we chose this cruise and they didn’t fail to disappoint each was absolutely stunning. We went on three excursions: Pompeii at Naples, Harbour Cruise and Wine Tasting in La Valetta and Paleokastritsa and Wine Tasting in Corfu. Pompeii and Corfu were excellent, well organised and very entertaining. The harbour cruise though was pretty dire, it dragged on and everyone was freezing cold and bored witless by the end of it, the thought of wine at the end kept us from jumping ship and swimming back to the Fantasia, well the ‘wine tasting’ turned out to be one small glass of wine, very disappointing, we returned to the ship having had a pretty wasted day. Top 18: Rating 5/5 On the day at sea we paid 10 Euros to go to the top 18 solarium and it was worth every penny. While the deck was packed below we relaxed in the space and calm in our little haven never having to fight with kids for the hot tub and enjoying great service. The cherry on top was the misters they bought out in early afternoon so you could mist with water and stay cool, loved it! Other Passengers: 4/5 The ship seemed to me to be mainly full of Germans (50%), which a then equal split of Americans/British (25%)and Italians(25%) but this is purely my perception and it may be that I truly suck at gauging what language people are speaking. Nearly everyone on board was friendly and chatty, I encountered a few rude passengers but hey I can't expect MSC to vet the passengers so it's not their fault. Overall: 4/5 A fantastic holiday!!! I would definitely sail on MSC again though perhaps not on such a big ship as it on occasion felt very crowded. Holidays are what you make them and with the help of fantastic crew, ports and dinner company we had no problem making ours truly amazing.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This was our second cruise with MSC and our third overall (Disney Dream was our first). I had originally booked a Bella Balcony cabin but was upgraded somehow to YC1. We ended up in cabin 16033. The Yacht Club experience was more than we ... Read More
This was our second cruise with MSC and our third overall (Disney Dream was our first). I had originally booked a Bella Balcony cabin but was upgraded somehow to YC1. We ended up in cabin 16033. The Yacht Club experience was more than we had ever hoped for. It was so good, in fact, that we will probably try to go YC again if we can even remotely afford it. If I were to try and find some negatives about the experience on the Splendida and the YC it would have to be the food in l'Olivio. It was OK but aside from some interesting choices it was lacking in overall choice. The service there was excellent, however. Another negative was some timing discrepancies in when food was available in the lounge buffet or the pool deck buffet as well as some report times for various activities. Thats it. The rest of the experience on the ship was top notch. Excusrions were hit or miss. Most of these are of personal taste. Do your research before you commit. Note that the more cruise ships in port the less appealing the excursion experience will be. We had the basic Allegrisimo drink package and used it well outside of the YC area. In our case it was worth the cost. This time it included gellato as (IIRC) last time we cruised on the MSC Fanstasia it was not included. Other advantages to the YC is having the express elevator at the bow of the ship and the ability to cut to the front of the line when embarking. We will sail with MSC again and will book the Yacht Club again, as well, if financially possible. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
First of all I will start by saying a cruise or any holiday is what you make it and before you book any holiday DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!!!! many reviewers it seems just did not research what they were getting on MSC and they should have as ... Read More
First of all I will start by saying a cruise or any holiday is what you make it and before you book any holiday DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!!!!!! many reviewers it seems just did not research what they were getting on MSC and they should have as many gripes and moans could have been avoided . I booked a fly cruise package as a solo passenger and had a fantastic deal of 0% supplement and a free upgrade from outside to Balcony cabin deck 12 ,other cruise lines could not get close to what good value this was. I flew from London Gatwick with British airways to Nice airport where we got a bus transfer to Genoa , when we arrived at Nice airport we could not see any representative from MSC (other reviewers have stated the same) but rather than get annoyed and Irate we just looked for other travelers with cruise luggage tags and stood together to wait and soon enough a Rep arrived to take us to the bus. The only annoying bit was then having to go to terminal 2 and wait another half an hour for the French passengers landing. The bus transfer took 2 and a half hours but was a pleasant coastal journey with some great views . Upon arrival at Genoa an MSC Rep got onboard and spoke in French telling passengers what to do next , then she got off the bus again, rather than be annoyed I just asked on the bus "can anyone tell me what she said" and a kind passenger told me . Once in the terminal it was the same long queues I have experienced with other cruise lines but check in was quick once you got to the desk and there was not reams of form filling as with some other lines , I dodged the photographer and didnt want a complimentary drink that was on offer so we went straight to board the ship. We went straight to the Buffet and just like all other cruise lines I have been on it was noisy busy and tiresome . I do not like buffets on any cruise and MSC are no different I just use the buffet when I need to preferring the main restaurants . My cabin on Deck 12 was great and having a balcony was a bonus it had a plastic wicker look table and 2 chairs which for some reason were changed 2 days in for new furniture which I dint like as much it was a mesh type but had a foot stool no table so I had to put my drinks on the floor . some reviews had stated they didnt get bathrobes and I didnt either so I simply went to reception to ask for one and had one sent that very same day so no problem. I had better sleep than I do at home the bed was comfy but the pillows were not too good a bit soft , I could of asked for new ones but i just used 2 together and that was fine. Our dining room was the Il Cerchio d'oro we had second sitting at 8.15 which was great we had a table for 3 as we were originally 3 friends booked together but only 2 of us went in the end so we asked for a bigger table the next night and we were given a table for 4 . The table was in a quiet area and unlike other reviews we had lots of space around us and was in an ideal position. The waiters we had were fantastic, very chatty and helpful. on day 3 the haed of food and beverages was going around the restaurant seeing if passengers were happy with food and service we happen to mention that the food was a little salty for us , No problem he said , right away he fetched the head of our section who deals with the special dietary requirements we could order our food the night before and it would be cooked salt free for us , So a fantastic outcome. Also as a vegetarian About a week in to the cruise I was getting fed up with the poor choice of vegetarian options and the sameness so once again the head of section asked what I would like instead and different dishes were cooked especially for me I felt this was Amazing service . From research I knew tea and coffee was not served after dinner so we simply went to a bar for this along with a liqueur . We had the standard all inclusive drinks package that I found to be the best I have had with any cruise line so far it had everything I wanted . Only gripe was having to pay over 5 euro for a plastic souvenir glass because this was not included when ordering the cocktail . I though a nice touch was wishing all the English mothers a HAPPY MOTHERS DAY on the cruise news and making a huge cake . We felt the evening shows were great and got better as the week went on each contained amazing dancers acrobats and singers. and even some magic yes some of the story lines and arrangements were strange but the visual display was Fantastic I especially enjoyed the Michael Jackson night and Pirate night . The cruise directer did a great job of speaking in 5 different languages, something I admired rather than found irritating as other reviews had. The activities on offer during the days and evenings I expect some found rather lacking but as I have a very busy and tiring job I was content sitting on a sun lounger reading all day in between going to the bar ad using the hot tubs. My one and only gripe would be that there was not an adult only hot tub in the free to use areas , there were not many children on board so this was not a problem on this cruise but would be during the summer. I did not have any problem finding a sun lounger or table and chairs around the pools inside or out when the weather allowed I enjoyed the Zen area which is a lovely quiet space with pools hot tubs and a bar. The inside pool area was nice and warm on cooler days and again I had no problem finding somewhere to sit and could always get in the hot tubs. Bar service I did not have an issue with having researched MSC I knew they were not 'in your face' like some cruise lines so when seated and wanting a drink just a simple smile and wave of cruise card to the bar staff was all that was needed to be served and on the occasions when bars were very busy and waiting times longer I simply went and sat at the bar and was served quicker . My one gripe here is that upon asking for an English breakfast tea I did not always get the cold milk I had asked for , but having the AI drinks package if the tea had gone cold before milk arrived I just ordered another one. Ports of call were changed because of rough seas and this was disappointing and could have been relayed to us sooner than it was , but we cannot control the weather and you need to be aware of this when cruising . I had already been to the 2 new ports of Lanzarote and Gibralter so even more disappointing but we made the most of these ports and wouldnt let it spoil the holiday. I always research ports before I cruise so the lack of information given by MSC was not an issue I suggest everyone does their own research it is much better. Another reviewer commented about there being not enough toilets on board this is not true perhaps they just did not find them! many are quite hidden and not easy to find but are on each floor near bars and lifts , when having wandered around looking for them I have asked staff who directed me to them so no problems there. I found all staff very chatty and helpful all speaking adequate English I went to reception many a time to ask them questions and for help and they were very helpful and polite always. Only gripe overall was that the use of hand sanitizer was not being monitored and enforced in the food areas . As for smoking again having researched MSC I knew smoking was allowed and where it was allowed , Royal Caribbean in the Mediterranean was the same . I did not like the smoky atmosphere in some bars so just chose not to use them and why anyone would want to gamble in a Casino in the first place is beyond me! I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise it was the best value for money cruise I have had and the most relaxing and comfortable and would not hesitate booking MSC again or Recommending them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
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