1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Cruises Cruise Reviews

594 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

Cruised for the first time with MSC aboard Fantasia in November 2019, we embarked in Genoa, doing a few places in Europe then went across to Brazil. We have cruised with other companies many times and have never experienced anything as ... Read More
Cruised for the first time with MSC aboard Fantasia in November 2019, we embarked in Genoa, doing a few places in Europe then went across to Brazil. We have cruised with other companies many times and have never experienced anything as bad. At the airport - MSC representative was waiting at the airport for us - but there was no transport for us and had to wait 45 minutes for it arrive. Embarkation - what a total unorganised fiasco. From arriving at the cruise terminal, to actually getting onto the ship took 4 hours! No communication at all, very poor customer service and no where to sit. Not just a handful of people but thousands were in that hall, with nothing to drink. There was no reason, the ship was ready and people were getting on, one at a time - just poor organisation and no one from MSC to help. We found this wasn’t the only time they expect you to queue with no communication. Actually I’ll class this as appalling. Cabin - this was good. Lots of storage space and comfy bed. TV didn’t work, but we weren’t bothered about that. Our cabin boy was lovely and looked after us and the cabin well. Clean towels twice a day and clean bed linen. 5* for him, but he’d be better if with a different company. However, on other ships, a chocolate, and shaped towels appear on the pillow but not with MSC. Dining - evening meal was fixed dining times, with fixed table so you sat with the same people every evening. The restaurant closes the doors 15 minutes after your time! It is classed as fine dining, but let me assure you ( as I love food, cook food and love fine dining restaurants where I am prepared to pay for good fine dining) it was one step up from McDonalds. We only gave it one chance and the food was awful, very very small quantities of poor quality food. I had crumble with cream for desert which was the size of a mince pie. Pastry was dry and hard but the cream was not cream. It was a slither, an inch long, piped onto the plate in a chunk, and it was ‘cream’ from a spray can of cream - absolutely appealing. Oh and the salmon came without vegetables - apparently you have to ask for those. Word of warning also. We had a drinks package but if you haven’t you won’t even get water to drink - not even tap water! We looked at the menu daily but decided we didn’t like the offerings and chose to eat in the buffet restaurants of which there were 2, but they were joined together for some reason! The food in these were equalling disgusting, but at least you could see first what you got. The meat in the stews, dishes was cheap and fatty - even chicken was fatty and not sure how they managed that. Each night they had a roast dish but always beef, veal or pork. Again few vegetables and food was cold. Not much variety for the size of the buffet, and actually very unorganised. Eg bread/rolls was at a few stations, but no butter, you had to walk round this huge buffet to find some. We were told the food served in the buffet was the same as in the restaurant. That shouldn’t matter anyway as the food where ever should have been edible no matter where we chose to eat. No WOW though in the restaurants. On it here ships they have ice sculptures and vegetable sculptures amongst the food - nothing like this here. The was another steak restaurant where you had to pay. Staff walked around all day trying to sell it to you but, alas we NEVER saw anyone eating in it. But why pay at least €30 for food when you’ve already paid once and prolly no one thought to pay extra for poor quality. Hygiene was definitely lacking. The hand sanitizers going into the restaurant and buffet rarely worked. They didn’t seem too bothered either. On other ships it is the norm for a member of staff to be at the door to squirt you or ask you to sanitise - not of his ship. Same in the toilets - no sanitiser! Drinks - we had a package which included, wine, spirits, cocktails, water, soft drinks and ice cream. We didn’t pay for the premium package as it isn’t worth it. The drinks were fine and we certainly made up for the poor service with what we drank. Lounges - there are several lounges and bars so you can choose what you want. The ones we used were fine and the staff were all very friendly and pleasant and looked after us. No problems with them. Entertainment - the theatre is large and there was 2 sittings of a show each night. Very poor though. Most nights it was the same singer who would have been a good karaoke in the local pub, with dancers who were not choreographed well so were all over the place. There were also some acrobats in each show who were actually very good and should have done their own show. Now all these were on most nights, different music, but same routine, same dance and even same costumes on a few nights. Goodness it got boring. On another evening they had a ventriloquist - but doing that for so many languages was a challenge and we walked out. Two comperes came on before the show, who were good at languages but were not funny although they thought they were. They took over the first 10 minutes of each show. Several bar lounges had singers on and these were quite good - initially. But by the end of the cruise you knew their routine and which songs were going to be sung. So very little variety. Activities on the pool decks was very loud, keep fit, dance lessons, run around games and very loud music and shouting. The pool deck and bar at the back of the ship was much better and much quieter. Itinerary - places visited were ok. Only one needed a tender and guess what, we waited over an hour and a half! The theatre was packed with people waiting for tender boats. There were almost riots as again no communication, no reason. People were demanding to see the manager, there was shouting, hand clapping etc. The staff looked terrified. All it needed was an explanation for the delay. As it happened there were only 2 tenders and one broke down they should have lowered more. This is after all our holiday and we want to get off to see these places. Excursions - expensive and the 2 we went on were very poor and definitely not value for money. Much better doing your own thing and getting a tour outside the terminal. Disembarkation - no delay, everything went smoothly but then again all we did was walk off. If you read to the end then well done. Now, we did meet people who had travelled with MSC before and on that occasion had all got together to demand better food! This is a holiday they had paid for by the way - they shouldn’t have needed to do that. Also people who had travelled with them before said that embarkation was always lengthy and unorganised so be aware. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
After reading so many negative reviews of the MSC Preziosa, our entire family felt that we have to share our great onboard experience. We boarded the ship in Genova, a quick and effective process which was started even earlier than ... Read More
After reading so many negative reviews of the MSC Preziosa, our entire family felt that we have to share our great onboard experience. We boarded the ship in Genova, a quick and effective process which was started even earlier than announced. The rooms were also ready early and our cruise cards perfectly prepared in the cabins. The Preziosa is a big ship but well designed and the signage is well done so it's fairly easy to get around. Food is absolutely plentiful on the cruise, it is quite impossible to stay hungry. Meals are offered pretty much all day, 20 hours a day. The sit-down meals may offer only three courses, as some people complained, but if one wishes, you can order several starters, main dishes or desserts, so basically you are almost having a buffet type of meal, only it is served to the table. The waiting staff has been a particular delight on the cruise, both at our designated table and in the bars we visited during the cruise. The gym is well equipped in the front of the ship and although you are asked to spend no more than twenty minutes on a machine, the wait is never too long. The pools and jacuzzis can be busy on beautiful, sunny sea days but there is many of them so no long waits there either. The evening entertainment is varied and especially the gala night performances are quite spectacular. We were a group of adults but children onboard seemed to be enjoying all the animation and entertainment on offer, they were even made part of one of the evening shows in the theater. Yes, the shore excursions and port transfers are quite pricey and we didn't take any of those but that's true of every cruise and every cruise line. The disembarkation was well explained both personally if someone attended the information session but also in the daily programme. The process itself flowed really smoothly. The billing was also transparent and without any issues. All in all, we had a wonderful cruise with MSC Preziosa and would recommend the ship wholeheartedly. Our cruise took us from Genova to Malaga, Casablanca, Lisbon, Barcelona and Marseille and back to Genova with three in-between days on the sea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross ... Read More
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross the Atlantic. Problem occured upon reaching Puerto Rico. US Customs was understaffed and it took us over 2 hours standing in line to make it to our excursion. Customs wanted everyone including the crew to come off the ship before they would let anyone back on. It was a gong show including fist fights among angry passengers when they opeded the gate at 6 pm to let people back on. Zero organization from the staff to keep it from looking like a cattle drive. Entertainment on the ship was very hit and miss. Fantastic singer in the atrium every night. Shows in the theatre had a bit too much opera content for some tastes but other shows were entertaining. Never got a hot meal in the dining room in the evening. The french onion soup was guaranteed to be hot. Mains were lukewarm at best. Breakfast in the dining room sometimes took well over an hour. We understood this was an international clientele aboard, but the maitre'd would usually seat you with anyone and it usually wound up being with people you had no common language with. Its very awkward to be sitting across from a couple you can't communicate with and doesn't enhance the meal for either pair. One day we went to the specialty pizza joint and ordered a pizza with sausage on it for which we paid around $19. It arrived with cut up hot dog weiners on it! Never seen such a cheap ingredient on a pizza before. Ship is beautiful. Huge amount of wasted spaces devoted to the spa area and then the gym is tiny. Never a bike or treadmill free. Shower with glass doors in the cabin was a nice touch. For a 19 day repositioning cruise we would have expected a couple of trivia quizzes per day but there was never more than one per day. You really had a sense that the entertainment staff would rather be doing anything else than entertaining us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
MSC allows kids under 18 to travel free. It also offers military discounts as well as other discounts, just ask. We were 3 people, me- the mom, one daughter in college, and one daughter in high school. We went in October when most ... Read More
MSC allows kids under 18 to travel free. It also offers military discounts as well as other discounts, just ask. We were 3 people, me- the mom, one daughter in college, and one daughter in high school. We went in October when most schools are in session, and passengers their ages, especially the teenager, were few. Someone must have cancelled a vacation because we were able to pick up the cruise in Genoa, Italy with a very nice balcony room on the 9th floor. The balcony made the room feel more spacious. The 9th floor is a great location. 8th floor is decent as well. Lower floors may risk a view of the life boats, so ask before you book. We were a September booking and were thrilled to get any room! Recommendations: Throw out expectations and be happily in the moment when you take this cruise. Also, if male, pack a nice jacket, collared shirt (possibly tie or bow tie),or formal wear; if female, pack a very nice dress, nice slacks or long skirt with a formal blouse, or formal wear for one or two dress-up evenings. Formal wear is not required but if one is more casually dressed, one might opt to have dinner in the cafeteria and try to avoid the busier lounges. No one will say anything if a passenger is not dressed up, but know ahead these evenings do take place, many people put effort into looking particularly nice. I was surprised at the level of formal dress. Highlights - My daughters loved the Day at Sea and just enjoyed being on the Mediterranean, reading books on the balcony. I understood a birthday cake was ordered at the time of booking. I double checked the morning of my daughter's birthday and found the order had not been recorded. Yikes! I ordered a new cake, but alas, at dinner, a nice but different cake arrived. It was of lesser value, so the price was adjusted with apologies for their error. Trust, but verify any special arrangements. Frankly, I was disappointed the previous order was not recorded, glad I checked, and was surprised a same day order was even possible. Yay! Our table mates were wonderfully enthusiastic and cheered with great spirit! My daughter was delighted to have her birthday recognized! Other highlights, we all seemed to enjoy hot chocolate at the coffee bar at night. Loved the company of our dinner table partners, liked the interior design ( esp the sparkling staircase and enclosed swimming pool), the shows in the evening. Dinner and a show, available every night! A fun way to spend an evening. Money - I paid $180 for Internet because my daughter attends an internet based high school. Still, the internet at sea is poor- regardless of the ship or cruise line. It took over 5 hours to watch a one hour academic video. Better off not planning to do school lessons while on the cruise but do consider paying for the internet because without the package, you will have pretty much non-existent connections. On beverages and the beverage package. Upon arrival we were given a one on one presentation. I ended up spending $571 for a discounted $651 drink package that covered the three of us and included alcohol. Mainly because I wanted freedom to order a beverage without penny-pinching or counting up our beverages every night. Compared to other cruise lines, this was a very good deal. This meant we could get chilled water bottles, j fruit juice drinks, coffee at any time; but when I added up all the drinks we had on board and included a mandatory tip ,as it does when purchased per drink, it came to under $180. We just didn't drink as much on ship as I thought we might, but we did have the freedom I sought. The allowable $6 glass of wine with this particular package was okay but not the best.The better drinks started at $7 and up. I would have been better off allowing $350 for a very generous drink budget that would have more than covered the three of us- and getting the drinks I prefer. Then again, that would require paying attention to every purchase and a potential reckoning if one did not agree with MSC's tally. Everyone we met had taken a beverage package. You can fill up water bottles for free at the dining facilities on the 14th floor. Still, because of my daughter's free ticket, I figured the overall cost of travel was still a good deal. Required Service tip was $210 ($70x3 people in the room) this tip is to include behind the scene workers, and I hope it does, but all the crew were working hard so we tipped privately anyway. We went on one MSC excursion for a total of $190. The rest we arranged with private tour guides or we went on our own. Including a few gifts from the gift shop, the money spent on the ship, beyond the price of the cruise, came to $1,600 or $533. per person. Americans, Canadians, and those who have traveled other cruise lines - please note, I understand only 4% of the passengers on this ship in the Mediterranean are English speakers from the USA, Canada, (I am not sure if this percentage includes Great Britain). English will not be the first language with announcements. This is a lovely cruise, not a luxury cruise. Don't look for mints on the pillows, no turn down service, but your room will be clean. You will not be pampered or overly attended to, but if you are willing to walk a bit, you might be also willing to wait in line to find the answers to your questions. You will have questions because communication could use some improvement. This cruise line seems to work well for independent folks who don't expect others to wait on them. Some experience on other cruise lines helps as well. You might want to forgo room service or other fancy separate pay meals ( They promote these expensive meals and I am taking this from other guests who took the plunge) because, while a cooperative good natured crew, and safe and a pleasant trip for all aboard is critically important to MSC; fussiness and a highly discriminating sense of quality is not. Save your funds for a special excursion or desired meal in a port of call. This is a great cruise for many who can truly appreciate and enjoy adequate to nice travel on a modest budget. Meals - In Europe, they dine late - I was told second seating was 7:30 but it was 8:30 . That was too late for us, so we requested and were allowed to change to the first seating at 6:30. This means diners arrive between 6:15-6:30. Diners arriving after 6:30 will need to go to self-serve cafeteria style on the 14th floor. The meals were well presented and were enjoyable in flavor, but I would say the meals were a bit shy of being in the fully delicious category. Then again, mass produced meals, plated and individually served hot, to hundreds of people at the same time, is always an amazing production to me, especially when all the different cultural cuisine preferences are considered! We ate breakfast and dinner on ship. They offer a lunch but we never tried it. Excursions - As noted above, we only went on one with MSC and it was very well done. We had another planned and ticketed, but bad weather forced a port of call change and that excursion was cancelled and promptly refunded. If you go independently and hire your own guides- be aware the ship plans are flexible and you may find your port-of-call changed. You might want to wait until the night before to find a guide or plan to explore on your own, hire taxi's and use guidebooks or the Internet (using the Internet in Europe may require some additional arrangements) If you use an independent guide, you may want to make the return to ship time 2.5 hours before departure from port. This allows some space for travel delays. So your day touring might be from 9:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. for a 5 p.m. departure or be back by 10 p.m. for 12:30 a.m. departure. We looked at excursions as simply a sample of an area. There are several places we would like to visit again! Would we go with MSC again? Yes! We had fun and saw ports of Italy, France, and Spain, met friendly people and managed transportation, meals, lodging, and even gifts, within a moderate budget. Thank you MSC! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was our 12th cruise and the 6th with MSC. We arrived to Genova by train and walked to the cruise terminal (around 10 minutes walk). 15 minutes later, we were in our Cabin. Even though the ship was full and most of the passengers ... Read More
It was our 12th cruise and the 6th with MSC. We arrived to Genova by train and walked to the cruise terminal (around 10 minutes walk). 15 minutes later, we were in our Cabin. Even though the ship was full and most of the passengers embarked in Genova, later afternoon the terminal was almost empty - so everything was smooth and fast. Our cabin was clean and nice, well maintained and cleaned 2 times daily. MSC gets a huge amount of complaints by American and Canadian cruisers. The facts (in my personal perspective) : Food can be more than hamburgers, fries and other fried things. If you cannot recognize anything else as food, stay with carnival cruises. If you interested of the European and Italian cuisine, you will love MSC's kitchen. Onboard expenses : The best option is to book and pay everything in advance on the MSC's website. The best example is the photography. If you buy photos onboard ,the small photo is $20, the large photo is $30 each. If you prepay online, you pay $177 for 100 photos - so it's $1.77 for both sizes. All other expenses, like gratuity, SPA and beauty, excursions - all of them 20-30% cheaper in advance. Our itinerary was changed once. There was a storm in Ibiza, so the ship skipped this port, we were at sea on that day and docked at Palermo, Sicily next day. About other cruisers on board... When Moses wrote about the Tower of Babel, I think he was thinking of the future cruises onboard with MSC. Hundreds of nations speaks hundred different languages. Sooo many Italian cruisers onboard. You should love their vibrant attitude or you will suffer every day on the cruise sip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious influenca. The food was very low mass production and below any cruiseship standard. Fresh fruit excisted of melon green, red or yellow with the ocasionsal appel. Food was tasteless and prepared with no finesd whatsoever. I.e. perri perri praen were served just defrosted with a sprikel of perri perri powder. Beef was uneatable from a cow that must have been 105 years old. Salad came without any dressing. Barservice was slow. The price for drinks was unacceptable. A glad of table wine 6€ a glas of beer 5€ . After 3 weeks they ran out of wine for the prepaid drinks package.. no upgrade of course. The excursions were totally overpriced. In Cania/ Greece they offered a shuttle bus for € 9.90 where as the public bus was € 3.40 without que and waiting time. They keep you uninformed for most of the times and if you tried resception they would give you a very serious look and a stupid answer Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this repositioning cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to do more of South Africa. Overall the ship was clean and tidy, the staff must take a lot of credit for this. But we were disappointed over a lot of things such ... Read More
We chose this repositioning cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to do more of South Africa. Overall the ship was clean and tidy, the staff must take a lot of credit for this. But we were disappointed over a lot of things such as the following (some can be attributed to the staff having to say it in several languages and people talking over it). - The mandatory emergency drill briefing was not clear or audible -Deck 7 (promenade deck) wasn’t made use of by the shipping line as they could have put chairs on it to encourage people to use it - slow restaurant and wine service - food served was poor, what highlighted this was the tv kept on showing a 5* meal being created for passengers but it was never served or seen on any menu - Some wines ran out at the beginning of the voyage. Also some bars ran out of a type of wine yet other adjacent bars had it - the savannah bar didn’t have enough staff when busy yet in the adjacent bar they were standing around doing nothing - the staff and management were confused over what you were entitled to re your bar package (why not simplify it?) - a lot of the shows were poor (a lot of people also voiced this), the shows kept on having a circuses act in the middle!,!!! In fact there were a lot of people including us, who had to leave as they were so bad The TV service was almost non existent especially galling when we couldn’t see the rugby. - the ship’s captain was changed during the cruise but the passengers were not told until after the event (not that we needed to be told, they could have announced it during the “meet your (now previous) captain” cocktail party / black tie event. - the ship’s hygiene controls were poor until 1/2 way through the cruise. They didn’t encourage anyone to use the hand sterilisation stations when you went into the restaurant. The passengers and had a bad upper respiratory infection (including us) it was so rife, the small shop ran out of cough treatment and some passengers and staff were going to the medical centre for treatment (during the shows, there was a constant chorus of hacking coughs!,). After it became a real problem, then finally the hygiene controls were improved - we booked a ship’s shore excursion which wasn’t to the standard we were led to believe. During the journey back, the excursion manager was sitting next to us and he also agreed it wasn’t right. We wrote to the excursion desk who didn’t even bother reading it as when I enquired they hadn’t looked at it!! So don’t bother complaining!! - the activities on board were mainly biased to dancing or drinking!! In summary, I believe the management controls and understanding of the market they have sold to needs improving. Will I go on another MSC cruise, probably not unless the venues and costs are something that we cannot refuse. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Good Itinerary. Unfortunately, as usual, many whinging & moaning passengers on this good value for money cruise. Our only complaints were related to the slow embarkation in Genoa and lack of satellite TV reception while cruising ... Read More
Good Itinerary. Unfortunately, as usual, many whinging & moaning passengers on this good value for money cruise. Our only complaints were related to the slow embarkation in Genoa and lack of satellite TV reception while cruising the Indian Ocean. The ships passengers were multi-national with Australians, British, Germans, Swiss, Italians, French, South Africans etc etc. Public announcements and entertainment, were therefore conducted in several languages. The food was acceptable, and we were on the early restaurant sitting in the Borghese Restaurant. We sat on a table for eight, which slowed down our meal times. The entertainment was average but there was a generally a good variety. The crew & service was generally very good. This was our first cruise with MSC and we boarded with an open mind. This cruise was very reasonably priced and we thoroughly enjoyed all our ports of call. The itinerary and price was the main reason for choosing this cruise which lived up to our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first ... Read More
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first cruise it is possible we would have never returned to cruising. First impression - beautiful ship but don’t be taken in by this. It is a beautiful facade to raise your expectations. Don’t be fooled by this. Embarkation sets the standard and tone for the cruise. Embarkation is a mess. You get shunted from one waiting area to another. No information, no one to ask but each time have to produce same documents etc. Took 3 hours from when we were told to arrive to when we set foot on the ship. You wait and wait and wait. Service on board - you wait and wait and wait. I know it is a European line but I was told that English was an official language on board. The staff’s English either poor or non existent. We thought initially that we might be on a staff training ship as no one seemed to know what to do or what was happening. However as things didn’t improve over the 29 days we must have been wrong. They were just not trained at all. It was very noticeable that there was no official cruise director. After the captain was unexpectedly changed one guy was a ‘nominal’ cruise director but all he did was make a show of greeting everyone in many languages at the theatre at night They really pushed the drink packages. If you didn’t have a drink package you couldn‘t even get water with your meals or tea or coffee. Water is essential to life but on this cruise line you have to buy water if you want to drink it with your meal. Tea and coffee were also not available with meals eaten in the restaurant at lunchtime or at dinner. You also had to buy water anywhere else on the ship unless you filled up a bottle in your bathroom or got water from the bistro. Our cabin steward was very good but there was no way all her cabins could be done every morning until well into lunchtime as she had 20 cabins to look after. So very frequently we would come back to a cabin that had not been made up. This is the first time that has happened to us on a cruise. They were also not available to be on call. Guest Services was a mixed bag. They appeared to want to help but if you went to query something, question something or had a complaint they were totally on the defensive and it was never the ship’s fault. I had a question regarding why there were no seats on the promenade deck as I have always enjoyed sitting and reading on this deck. I was told it was OH&S issue and only available for walking. Nobody seemed to know what was going on and never got the same answer twice. The service at breakfast was appalling. We would ask to be seated at a table with others so we would be seated at a table for 6 or 8 on our own. Waiting times for orders to be taken were all over the place. Sometimes it was efficient but more often it was not and you could wait up to 20 minutes to place an order. Then after the order was taken we had to wait up to 25 minutes at times to receive the food whilst those at tables around us who had arrived and ordered after us had nearly finished eating similiar to what we had ordered by the time our food arrived. If you ordered a small starter for breakfast followed by a hot dish it all arrived at the same time. They were also not capable of taking an order correctly. You ask for an omelette with everything but mushrooms so you get a mushroom omelette with nothing else. It was never their fault if there was a problem. The food was very ordinary, servings were small in the restaurants. As an Australian of European background I found the menu’s boring and bland. Whilst each night had a different theme for the menu they really didn’t vary that much. As someone with a food allergy that can be easily managed, that I had notified the company about, I would order what I could eat and the ‘chef’ would decide that I couldn’t have it and substitute something totally not to my taste and mostly very dry and bland. Hardly any vegetables were served with the main meals. Steamed vegetables were available but they did not vary for the 29 days. The meals were usually lukewarm. The deserts were very repetitive and very rarely was a hot desert served. If you enjoy your food lower your expectations on MSC. If you ate at the bistro the food was more like barely lukewarm and the deserts at lunch and dinner were nearly the same for 29 days. They just changed whether they filled the pastry with cream, chocolate cream or custard. We had only MSC channels on the TV after several days as we had no news channels or any other channels available. Internet was extremely slow. The program on sea days was repetitive and hardly anyone participated. It catered only for those that wanted to dance all day in front of the pool and besides the port lecture there was nothing else. As the weather was hot everyone wanted to be on deck but unless you got there very early you had no chance to get a lounge and nothing was done to address this. The evening shows were also repetitive with one group performing at least 5 times. Some of the ship’s dancing shows were good. This ship does not have good ventilation. Most of the passengers got some sort of virus and nothing was done to contain it. There were also various strong chemicals smells coming from multiple areas of the ship and sometimes from your own shower stall. When you drew the crews attention to this they will not listen to you and will treat you as if you are a nuisance. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeates other areas. There is also a very large smoking are on pool deck limiting access to lounges for non smokers. On top of this relaxing on the pool deck or in the various bars was often spoilt by sales staff setting up tables along side the seating, to sell ‘cheap’ stuff, it was like sitting in a Market Place. On the pool deck they always set up on the non smoking side as did the occasional outside buffet. So where are the non smokers supposed to go if they wanted to sit out of the sun? The overall impression is that it is a corner cutting line, poor customer service and inadequate activities to keep passengers engaged.. Overall very disappointing and will not recommend this line or this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Told by Iglu that this was a good cruise, .No bus to pick us up at Nice, one arrived 2 hours late. Boat drill held before we had got to our cabin. Internet very slow and news from TV non existent after Suez. Ship had coughs ... Read More
Told by Iglu that this was a good cruise, .No bus to pick us up at Nice, one arrived 2 hours late. Boat drill held before we had got to our cabin. Internet very slow and news from TV non existent after Suez. Ship had coughs which required doctors treatment more than expected. Disembarkation Durban like very stressful like rush hour in London, also at Durban airport long queue to book in for aircraft. The crew had many different nationalities and many of them seemed to be on their first cruise and were undergoing training each day.The Captain was changed part way through the voyage as it was said he had finished his contract ? When you asked questions there were no direct answers as though staff were told not to say anything and there was a feeling among some staff they may not be paid as many of the passengers had stopped their gratuities. This would be against IMO rules. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were on MSC Fantasia in Oct 2019 for a 7-nights western Mediterranean cruise. This was our 5th cruise overall and 2nd on MSC. MSC Fantasia, by today's standards, is not a big ship. But make no mistake, it's still about ... Read More
We were on MSC Fantasia in Oct 2019 for a 7-nights western Mediterranean cruise. This was our 5th cruise overall and 2nd on MSC. MSC Fantasia, by today's standards, is not a big ship. But make no mistake, it's still about 130,000 tons. I believe she's about 10 years-old now, but incredibly maintained. You have to be deliberately looking for rust to spot rust. The only 2 rust spots I saw: lower balcony railing on the OUTSIDE of balcony glass. As I said, you have to be actively looking for them. Crews were always doing preventative maintenance when passengers weren't around (late nights & port days). They even re-tiled a hot tub in 2 days during our cruise. I have new found respect for MSC after this cruise, especially after two cruises on older ships on NCL and RCCL. The only way you can tell it's an older ship is the design and decor of public spaces. Fantasia's decor seemed to be stuck in between the late 90's and early 00's, with a mesh up of traditional colors (gold, chocolate/brown, mahogany) and modern (glasses, mirrors & chrome). I'm glad MSC ditched the color scheme on its newer ships. As it stands, it could be off putting to some. Public spaces are pretty scarce if you are not booked in Yacht Club. Pool decks are disjointed and requires traversing different decks to go from bow to stern. Atrium is small for a 130,000-tons ship. Regal Princess has about the same displacement and a much larger atrium. We were booked in a Yacht Club deluxe balcony (YC1). It's slightly larger than most balcony staterooms, but not as large as the same category room we had on MSC Seaside. That said, our stateroom still had a nicely sized bathroom and a full-size shower & tub. Closet space is enough for a 7-nights cruise. For longer cruises it may not be sufficient, especially without utilizing their laundry service. Balcony had 2 regular chair (not large enough for lounge chairs) and a small table. Mattresses were OK. Typical cruise beds with a trench in the middle. Minibar is included with Yacht Club staterooms, and refilled everyday without asking. Talking about Yacht Club (YC), this is also our 2nd time in YC. Yes, both of our MSC cruises were in YC. While we had never been on a true luxury cruise, YC's service has always been several notches above mass-market and "premium" lines' (NCL, RCCL, Princess & Celebrity). Attendants were always around, but not intrusive. They would come by to take your orders then disappear, then they somehow would magically reappears when you need something. I'd say that both DW and I were spoiled by YC and can't imagine what cruising would be like without YC-level of service. Another perk of YC: exclusive spaces. As mentioned earlier, public spaces are pretty scarce on MSC Fantasia. If you are booked in Yacht Club, you have access to exclusive pool deck, lounge, and restaurant. Value for buck, YC right now is in a pretty sweet spot. We only booked one excursion with MSC: a bus from Livorno to Florence. For $45pp I think it was worth the convenience and lower stress compared to finding our own way to Florence, and we had a wonderful time in Florence. At other ports we utilized MSC's port shuttles around $12pp to $14pp, depending on the port. The highlight of this cruise was its itinerary. It was round-trip out of Genoa, stopping at Marseille, Palma de Majorca, Ibiza, Naples, & Livorno. It was our first time in Europe and needless to say all ports were new to us. So much to see, so little time. The only misstep on this cruise was the restaurant. It wasn't bad. It was inconsistent. We had great dinners on 4 out of 7 nights, and the other 3 it was just meh. On the formal night, we both ordered lobsters and DW's was overcooked. On the other hand, they had the most impeccable filet mignon available, on their always available menu! I regretted not having it more often. In summary, an excellent first-time Mediterranean cruise. Book MSC for the total immersion experience (vast majority cruisers don't speak English as primary language) and its itinerary. MSC is becoming our favorite cruise line and we are looking to book more with them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
US: We are a couple in mid-fourties with an 8 year old daughter. First time cruising on a bigger ship, so YC was to us the only way to go... We boarded in Genova, it was the or one of the last Med cruises of the season, but the service ... Read More
US: We are a couple in mid-fourties with an 8 year old daughter. First time cruising on a bigger ship, so YC was to us the only way to go... We boarded in Genova, it was the or one of the last Med cruises of the season, but the service all over was not hurt by the ending contracts. Due to an extremely intense professional time I needed first and most of all relaxation and recuperation. And I got even more than hoped or anticipated. The very check-in experience (11am already!) was flawless from th the valet parking to being taken by our butler into the check-in area and first bubblies... There were apparently only three cabins boarding with us und everything went as smooth as it was possible. No hassle, no sweat (that’s difficult to me) no worries. The cabin was the “square” cabin so we had more than enough space for the following 8 days. I will not go into details about the cabin as this has been described many many times. First we went to explore the ship, while not too crowded yet and made of course the mandatory buffet stop, which was to be our last one as the catering in YC was superb. It also was one of the few strolls outside the enclave as the amount of people in the outside was too much for me; and surprisingly for my wife as well, surprisingly because she is not as quickly overwhelmed by crowds as I am. Our butler was Franco (Tien Wing) and we hit the jackpot as he and his service were impeccable, as was the cabin stewards, Anthony. We only took a short shopping stroll in Palermo, a horrible excursion in Majorca, which was the only negative of the cruise, so i cant really rate the excursions side. What I can talk about though are the fabulous people going over the top to fulfill every wish and craving. ie when the kids wanted pizza and fries, one of the bar people went to fetch it from the buffet, another time in the top sail lounge a butler suggested a chocolate milkshake that he had to go and get at venchi (5 min walk minimum). We were accompanied everywhere, because Franco always insisted on doing so. My daughter “fell in love” with Michelle, working in TSL, she actually became almost her personal assistant for the week, as the love was mutual. Drink service was quick and we even got the best of service when we started “partying” every night until 2-4 am on the one pool deck (5 out of six in our group of fellow travelers were smokers) even though the outside bar closed around 1030pm. I don’t think i ever drank as good a White Russian as I had on the Divina. We never heard a no, we never had to wait for any sitting or order, we never felt that things could get better. Demarcation was a breeze with franco assisting 8pm to the trunk of our car (which was waiting just outside the ship) and so.... ....booked a cruise of 12 days departing Miami on the 28th of February on YC of course....... that should say it all——-144 days more to wait....... Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were to meet 2 couples from another country and have a celebration sail. First the bad... Unhelpful call center Had a complication pre-cruise. 10-15 calls (on hold 30-50 minutes each time) to courteous but unhelpful call ... Read More
We were to meet 2 couples from another country and have a celebration sail. First the bad... Unhelpful call center Had a complication pre-cruise. 10-15 calls (on hold 30-50 minutes each time) to courteous but unhelpful call center. Was told continuously to call back and ask for supervisor. I did to no avail. Dysfunctional website Tried solving via email online. Process online had a dead link. So no go. Tried checking in on website. Link inoperable Now the good... Received an email 2 weeks later resolving the main issue (charged $1900 for change in reservation that never happened). Received an email 2 days prior to sailing saying that we had been upgraded to yacht club status with a suite to die for. When we boarded we were amazed. Priority boarding and elevator usage. A butler met us and escorted us to our private yacht club area room. Concierge was exceptionally available and helpful. Lounge area and bar were convenient. Pool area was lovely. Private dining room was beautiful. Food was exceptional. Wait staff friendly and efficient. Would only recommend this line if you can secure yacht club status. Otherwise, public areas and dining areas were very crowded. Many languages spoken so hard to converse with new acquaintances, etc. Don’t know how we got so lucky, but now we’re spoiled! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Embarkation was an experience departing from Cannes, nearest airport Nice cost 60e taxi to get to the port. Then you are put through security checks lots of times off the ship, no seating (I am registered disabled), no shelter from the ... Read More
Embarkation was an experience departing from Cannes, nearest airport Nice cost 60e taxi to get to the port. Then you are put through security checks lots of times off the ship, no seating (I am registered disabled), no shelter from the sun, the temp was 33c the day we travelled. Then unceremoniously put onto a tender to embark. The ship looked really great. We have sailed with MSC 7 times before and have never been disappointed Yes I have sailed before: RCI, Cunard, NCL etc...So I can say that I am more excited by the design and styling of the MSC fleet. Than any other cruise line we have sailed. Every direction you look, you will see vibrant colour and sweeping curves with very intelligently use of coloured lighting to enhance your visual pleasures. The staircases are bejewelled with glass crystals to all the treads. The design of the performance stages in the concierge areas, are servicing the evening with live soothing music from a pianist or a full band. We arrived in our room (invalid) and as expected it was sumptuous, I was well pleased. It had a well fitted bathroom to service my needs. The food as always is superb with loads of variety of all different cultures. I did not use any speciality restaurants, but we did frequent the main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner, we did do 'tiffin' in mid afternoon for coffee and cake in the buffet! We were never disappointed by the super service we received, we had coffee delivered every morning to the room 0715hrs, they also gave us a warm croissant with it. We never go on the excursions as we have to travel differently so we generally go independently. All the ports in the med are super to visit, there is always something for everyone! Barcelona, Rome, Genoa Cannes....does it come any better? Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Ship: A brand new, gleaming white ship. I was in awe of the size as I walked towards the harbour at how high she sits above the water. The embarkation in Genoa as absolutely seamless. Basically no queues and excellent service. From ... Read More
The Ship: A brand new, gleaming white ship. I was in awe of the size as I walked towards the harbour at how high she sits above the water. The embarkation in Genoa as absolutely seamless. Basically no queues and excellent service. From arrival to boarding it took about 15 minutes. There were plenty of check in staff, so i have no idea why there have been so many people complaining on the forum about embarkation being stressful. Issued with room card and wrist band which we could use to open doors and pay for goods, an excellent idea. Once onboard security was quick and easy to get through. Initially we were asked if we wanted to avail of package upgrades, but because we already had premium plus drinks package all we did was politely decline. I can see why some people think there is a "hard sell", but we didn't experience that. You can choose to just walk on, stop stressing out! In photos and videos I got the impression that the ship looked a bit tacky in places, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It really is very tastefully done and looks beautiful in all areas. The layout of the ship is excellent, easy to navigate and has interactive screen throughout to help you find where you are going, make bookings and see what is happening each night. Plenty of lifts and never waiting more than a minute or two for one to arrive. Deck areas are nicely laid of and plenty of places to lounge in. I tended to find the aft (Horizon Pool area) of the ship a bit quieter and more chilled, especially on a day at the dock. We had access to the aurea package members only 'Top 19 Solarium Deck' which was nice. Its a little quieter and has plenty of loungers if you want to chill out. The only thing I would say is the MSC could make it feel a bit more special. Some plants and greenery wouldn't go astray to give it a more exclusive feel and the service here wasn't always very good to be honest. There is no bar, you have to order from the attendant or go to the "pantry" which looks like a little kitchen and i found this a bit odd. Dining: Ok people, the food on board is incredible. Let's start with the Marketplace Buffet. I really do not understand all the moaning about "lack of choice" and so on. Seriously I never found myself wanting, which begs the question, what do some people want!!?? I found all the found tasty, fresh and plentiful. They put a lot of pride into onboard cooking and food presentation. From the mozzarella factory to the breads, cakes, pizza and beautiful pastries etc. If anything it appears that a lot of people are just downtright greedy and wasteful gluttons. Try a little of everything, but waste less people! Yes, the Marketplace can be busy at peak times, but a top tip is move to the rear of the ship and you'll find lots of space, emptier buffet points and a more calm atmosphere. We ate 50/50 between the assigned restaurant and speciality restaurants. Both were fantastic. The lighthouse restaurant had great set menus and plenty of selection. Service was top notch, we never had to ask for service, they always anticipated our needs. Top tip is to go slightly earlier, about 1900 and you'll find it less busy and bag a seat by the amazing aft full height windows. We tried The Butchers Cut and teppenayki restaurants, both had fantastic service and it was well worth the extra supplement - you're on holidays, spoil yourself! **DRINKS PACKAGE** we took the premium plus package and I have to say it was well worth the money! We had whatever we wanted, when we wanted it. Everything is included on it. Everything. Even if you're not a big drinker I think it's worth it. We had champagne/cocktails in the champagne bar before and after dinner every night. We got to know the champagne bar staff well and they were absolutely incredibly good to us. We tried every cocktail on the menu, Moet and Chandon, Veuve Cliquot etc, I really can't think why you wouldn't get the drinks package!? Entertainment and activities: There is so much to see and do on board, particularly at night that you really do need to be well prepared. I suggest planning your evening carefully around theatre shows, dinner, galleria light shows and Cirque du Solei. The evening along the Galleria were my favourite. It's a real riot of colour and fun. Lots of music and dancing made it a sociable and interactive experience. The entertainment staff were excellent. For those moaning about this being a "party ship", well you need to wise up. If you don't like the music and dancing there are plenty of places for you to go, like the jazz bar (Sky Lounge) or the British Pub. You're on holidays, enjoy yourself and embrace there relaxed European vibes.... or alternatively go on a Cunard cruise if you're worried you might have fun, good forbid! Cirque at sea was a great experience. The purpose built theatre was wonderful and the shows incredible. One of the evenings it was used for the MSC Got Talent show where crew members from around the world sang and danced - Don't miss this!! Honestly it was one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of the cruise, especially the Haka Dancing ships firemen from Maori. The whole crowd was wild for it. The theme nights were fun - White night, 70s night, space night and pool party - the staff put a lot of effort into making sure people have a lot of fun and you can see it when you look around and see guests dancing and smiling. Service: Again I cannot find any reason to complain here as so many feel the need to! Never once did I find myself wanting for anything. All needs anticipated and catered to. Once some of the staff got to know my name they greeted us personally. Plenty of people on deck taking orders for drinks and atttending to all needs. On a side note it's not all about who you see, it's what you see. The ship is spotlessly clean, shining and well maintained. I never once saw a grubby surface or dirty public area. Well done to all behind the scenes staff. Recommendations: book the aurea package if you want access to the spa, it's well worth it! Great facilities and really relaxing. Because I had this package I rarely got off the ship and spent most port days here chilling out. One of the nicest spa areas i have ever used. Ignore the hard sells in the spa and you'll be good. The Sky Lounge seems to be very under used which is a shame. Head there for unique cocktails and great service with special treats! We didn't travel with children, but I think my nieces and nephews would have really enjoyed this ship and I'd love to take them some time. Great places for kids to be entertained all day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My husband and I sailed on the MSC ship, Fantasia, for a one-week cruise to the Mediterranean September 7-14, 2019. Here are our experiences: Our experience with the Food/Buffet/Dining Room: Our initial reaction to the buffet was ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the MSC ship, Fantasia, for a one-week cruise to the Mediterranean September 7-14, 2019. Here are our experiences: Our experience with the Food/Buffet/Dining Room: Our initial reaction to the buffet was that it lacked the WOW factor we had come to expect with other cruise lines in terms of food quality, quantity, and presentation. No ice sculptures, no food carvings, no beautifully decorated cakes or other food items, no sumptuous variety each day, no helpful, friendly, smiling wait staff, etc. Later, we realized that our initial experience with the buffet was “the norm.” The buffet the entire week lacked variety, not to mention a lack of cleanliness and good customer service. The food was ok, but not delicious. My husband actually lost 4 pounds on the cruise and I stayed the exact same. When does that happen?! Meat at the buffet was consistently overcooked and there was not much variety in the food items, regardless of the meal. The meat at the special carving station was often very fatty. And one of the carvers cleaned his knife on the food counter each time he was at the carving station! The food staff didn’t bother draining the grease from the bacon and sausage links at breakfast - instead, they just sat in 1/2 inch of grease each morning. The food offerings at the buffet were much the same for every meal, both lunch and dinner. The bread, fruit, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and salad were IDENTICAL every day. Only about 8 new dishes arrived each day throughout the entire buffet, but even then, several dishes were the same as the prior day with one minor exception. For instance, one night a pasta dish had a tomato sauce and the next night the same pasta dish had a white cream sauce. The buffet was late in opening several nights while people streamed in and were greeted with cellophane still covering the food racks and no food in sight. One night I asked a staff member about the opening time and he said it opened at 7:00. I showed him on the cruise planner where it said 6:45 and that was why people were showing frustration that it wasn’t already open. He replied that it opened at different times every night. I asked him if the cruise planner was wrong. He replied, “OK, maybe it’s 6:45 then” but just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. A few minutes later, one of the dining room supervisors came through, noticed that nothing was open, and started shouting loudly at the staff behind the food counter - “Where’s the food? You’re late!” The buffet opened at 7:05 instead of 6:45 that night. Incidentally, the buffet dinner was NOT scheduled to open at different times each day - it was ALWAYS scheduled to open at 6:45. The desserts were very dry and lacking in variety. They tasted like they were purchased and then brought on the ship rather than made-from-scratch on site like the previous cruise lines do that we’ve used. I didn’t eat dessert the entire cruise as a result of the dryness and pre-fab taste. MSC’s site said they offered complimentary tea during lunch and dinner in the dining room, but they didn’t. It wasn’t even available for purchase. You either drank water in both the buffet and dining room or you had to purchase alcohol or a soft drink. Drinking glasses were extremely short and small. They were the same height as a coffee cup/mug. Thus, it took more trips to refill them, OR you had to fill multiple glasses in the beginning so you didn’t have to return for refills. One ice machine in the buffet was broken the entire week. We had to walk around to the other side each time to get ice. On other cruise lines we’ve been on, an ice cream station was available all day to ALL passengers. On MSC, the ice cream station was only for customers who paid a premium to become Yacht Club members. “Regular” passengers had to purchase ice cream if they wanted it. The pizza bar offered a small variety of very thin, rubbery, meatless pizza. Only one version had meat, and it contained about 8 total slices of pepperoni. So, each slice of pizza had ONE slice of pepperoni on it. The SAME pizza was offered ALL week with no variety. Each time we selected a plate or coffee cup in the buffet, we had to go through several items to find a clean one. Even the “clean” plates had a smudgy film on them indicating hot water had not been used to clean them. This smudgy film could also be felt, not just seen. Many mugs were not only dirty, but they actually had substantial food particles in them as though they hadn’t been through the dishwasher at all or it wasn’t working properly. One morning, I went through 4 extremely dirty mugs before finding a 5th one that was clean. I showed a wait staff the 4 dirty ones. No explanation and no apology. Another time, we sat next to a table in which multiple glasses of wine were purchased. The passengers were aghast at the cloudiness of the wine glasses and talked about how unclean they looked. My husband saw the head food officer one day and spoke with him about the dirtiness of the dishes. The next day the plates looked/felt very clean for the first time! We still had to go through several mugs before finding a clean one, but at least the plates seemed clean after 3 days of dirty ones. One buffet wait staff who was carrying a tray of silverware wrapped in cloth napkins, accidentally dropped a set on the floor. He bent down, picked it up, placed it back on the pile on the tray, and delivered it to the food station for people to use! I unwrapped my silverware napkin at one meal to find fresh food stains all over it. It was completely dirty and unsightly. They had wrapped up silverware in a USED napkin. Picture attached. One hand sanitizing machine at one buffet entrance was out of order the entire week. Both machines were positioned touching the wall (and therefore easy to overlook), rather than out in the open where people could see and use them. Obviously, no one could use the broken one all week. And hardly anyone used the working one that was next to the wall because it was out of the way. Not a good idea for cleanliness standards when you sometimes hear about hundreds of passengers on some cruise ships getting sick because of unsanitary standards. At the buffet, salt and pepper shakers weren’t available on each table. In fact, salt AND pepper were only on about 25% of the tables in the room. We consistently had to borrow them from other tables. We met one wait staff in the buffet who was friendly. When we commented on the lack of cleanliness and hygiene we had experienced, he told us that he was Marriott-trained and that the lack of standards on this ship bothered him immensely. This was his first tour with MSC and he said he wasn’t returning to this cruise line once his current tour was up with this ship. He just couldn’t handle the lower standards he was forced to accept. He said the non-British Europeans rarely complained because they were used to those standards, but the British and other native English speaking passengers DID complain because they were used to much higher food/service/cleanliness standards. But he said not much is done if/when there are complaints because there aren’t enough native English speakers to make a difference. He stated that many English speakers preferred the dining room to the buffet because of cleanliness issues. However, in the dining room, we saw a waiter take unused silverware from 2 tables (after the passengers had left their tables) and load them back into the silverware receptacle for another use! One morning at breakfast in the dining room, I watched a waitress bite and chew her fingernails the ENTIRE time I ate! She wasn’t very busy because apparently her main job was busing the tables. Occasionally however, she took drink orders and brought people their drinks. I don’t know if she washed her hands in the back before filling those drink orders each time, but I know she did NOT wash them before pouring coffee and hot water for several people - because the coffee and hot water pots were at her station which was within my view. She went directly from gnawing her nails to pouring coffee and handling the coffee cups! I finally told a man in a white staff jacket about it (who said he was a manager) and he asked for my room number. We never heard anything about the complaint. This is merely a personal preference rather than a complaint: Coke products were not available for sale on board - only Pepsi products. Our experience with the Excursions: We were EXTREMELY disappointed that the two complimentary city tour excursions that were offered with our cruise did not materialize once we boarded. They were listed on the website as “included excursions” but the excursion staff on board said they had never heard of free excursions. For some reason, they couldn’t pull up their own website for our particular cruise dates in order for us to show them where it said they were complimentary. We initially chose not to pay for internet access because the customer service desk on the ship said texting was NOT included with the $90 price. We thought that was strange but believed the staff person who told us that. Since we didn’t pay for internet access, we couldn’t pull up the site ourselves to prove our case. We didn’t find out until 4 days into the cruise (halfway point) that texting WAS included in the price! We ended up paying FULL PRICE for internet access for only 4 days so we could text. (No discount or pro-rated amount!) We were then able to pull up MSC’s website, but since our cruise was already underway, the site didn’t even list our cruise. Therefore, we had absolutely no proof that the site stated clearly that those two particular excursions were free. We were VERY upset by this bait and switch tactic and ended up PAYING for one of the excursions that was supposed to be free. EXTREMELY frustrating and disappointing. But how do you prove it once that part of the site is taken down? We were verbally told by the excursion staff TWICE that one of the excursions we paid for was canceled because of “weather,” but then the cancellation letter we received in our room the night prior said it was cancelled because of lack of participation. Which reason was true? Some of the staff in the Excursions Department were quite rude. One lady told my husband that they were closed when he arrived to ask a quick question. He said he just had a quick question that couldn’t wait until they reopened. She repeated insistently, rudely, and loudly that they were closed. Another time, we heard the same Excursion lady tell a passenger, “Can’t you see I’m talking?” when the passenger asked her a question. My husband later spoke to some British ladies who had a similar experience. They had asked the same lady in Excursions for a pen to fill out a form and were told they were closed and to come back at 5:00. One of the excursions we paid for was a trip into Marseille, France. The air conditioning on the bus either wasn’t working or the driver just didn’t turn it on. It was MUCH too hot to ride on a bus with 50 people without air conditioning and windows that didn’t open. It was stifling until we reached our destination. Same experience on the return trip. Two excursion buses we were on had signs prominently posted on them that they had WiFi. We were looking forward to free texting on the bus (that was before we paid $90 for the last 4 days!). However, one bus did NOT have it at all. The other one did, but because their certificate had expired, they officially didn’t have it either. Our experience with Customer Service/WOW Factor: A luggage handler on the dock prior to boarding asked for a tip to put our luggage on the ship. There was no WOW factor when we entered the ship or walked into the main atrium. The stairs were glittery and the back wall of the elevator facing the atrium was glass, but that was all. The furniture looked tired, bland, and uninviting. Nothing like the WOW experiences we’ve had before with other cruise lines/ships. The staff were very functional, but not friendly. Many of the ship staff seemed bothered to help guests. They were happy to ask if you wanted to buy any drinks. And they were good about quickly cleaning the tables. But they never smiled, chatted, or seemed welcoming or engaging like they are on other cruise lines. On a scale of 1 to 10, we have rated “hospitality/friendliness” on previous cruise lines as a 10. It was a 3 or 4 on MSC. We met a couple from Istanbul on the ship and chatted with them at length. They were also quite disappointed with this cruise line, having sailed on others. They commented on the poor customer service, the lack of WOW factor, the worn pool towels, the carpet in their room that needed to be replaced, and the unfriendliness of the staff. They agreed that this ship would rate about a 4 overall on a scale of 1 to 10. We met a couple from Canada who had sailed on about 25 cruises. They also agreed with our assessment and commented that the standards on this ship were extremely relaxed. We were all happy with the price we paid, but agreed that the standards were not what other cruise lines offered for a similar price. Another couple we met had paid a premium price to be Yacht Club members. They were very happy with their food, service, amenities, etc. (which were different than what “regular” passengers experienced). When we compared prices though, they realized they had paid OVER DOUBLE what we did for that better experience. We told them we had experienced great food, service, amenities, etc on other cruise lines WITHOUT having to pay OVER DOUBLE for it! The cruise planner mentioned a 4-D cinema. Since we thought we’d like to watch a movie, we asked where the cinema was. No one knew. And they didn’t know which movie was playing, or when. We asked a total of 6 staff members at/around the Customer Service desk. We finally went to Deck 16 to find out ourselves, and it turned out that the “cinema” was a motorcycle arcade game in the children’s play area! There was NO cinema and NO movie. Even the large screen on the pool deck didn’t offer movies each night as other cruise lines often do. It just offered endless commercials to purchase things on the ship and showed food staff cooking. The ship itinerary was confusing. It didn’t have everything listed on one page like we’ve had in the past. Instead, they used multiple pages to tell what was going on all day on the ship. Not only was it confusing to read and sort out, but I prefer to carry just one piece of paper with me rather than multiple sheets. There weren’t as many opportunities for entertainment on board as we’ve enjoyed on previous ships. They used military time for everything, so you had to convert each activity/meal to know what time it was actually scheduled. The suit jackets on many of the staff were ill-fitting and looked like they hadn’t seen a cleaners in a very long time. Therefore, many of them didn’t look professional. There was an inordinate amount of advertising for the Butcher Cut (an onboard steak restaurant at extra cost). It was advertised GALORE - via intercom, room TV, theater screens at the show each night, theater verbal announcements, waiters coming to your table and standing outside the dining room with placards, etc. Too much! We were surprised that we were charged $70 per person ($140 total) mid-cruise for tips. Our entire table in the dining room, consisting of 8 people, talked about this and were all frustrated about it. None of us had noticed any mention of automatic pre-tipping in our paperwork or on the website. None of us minded tipping when we experienced good service, but to automatically include it WITHOUT telling us and BEFORE the service was rendered and when we mainly experienced BAD service was unacceptable. We all chose to have them remove this expense and told them we would rather tip individually instead. My husband was told on two separate occasions by different Customer Service staff that both tip amounts would be removed from our bill AFTER we disembarked. That sounded strange, but we accepted it as truth. Unfortunately, that expense is STILL on our credit card bill 2 weeks later and we’re contesting it. See above as it pertains to the Excursion staff. Our experience with our Room: When we first arrived in our room, we noticed there was a slot in the bathroom counter for facial tissue but none was present. When we mentioned this to our steward, he said the stewards were told to stop putting facial tissue in the bathrooms. We looked at him incredulously. He finally told us he’d find a way to get us some. He did, but that excuse sounded very strange. Just as an example of the missing WOW factor, the stewards didn’t put chocolates on your pillow or create cute animals out of towels and washcloths every night like other cruise lines do. (Petty in comparison, but this is a detailed list.) When we positioned the handle for the shower water on the coldest temperature possible, the water went from scalding hot so bad that we couldn’t stand it . . . to freezing cold. And back again. Over and over. Shower temperature on other cruise lines has fluctuated as well, but not to this extreme. The carpet was very tired looking. So were the pool towels. On about 5 occasions, our room key did not work. We tried both of them over and over and over again before one would finally open the door. The balcony was wonderful and made up for some of our negative experiences! Thank you to our travel agent for accomplishing this! Bottom line, if you’ve NEVER been on a cruise before, this was a halfway decent cruise for the money if you can handle the lower standards for cleanliness and customer service. If you HAVE been on a cruise though, you will probably NOT enjoy this one because you’ve undoubtedly experienced HIGH standards of excellence with cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Princess. Stick with them! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ever. We even lost weight. That was a first! on our previous trips(not MSC)we each gained 6 kilo's. Food choices are very limited and not at all tasty. For my yogurt (thinned) I had to ask for honey, and then got the tiniest amount imaginable. For lunch I took a hamburger. It was a plain dry piece of pattie without anything else. When I said that there's no trimmings on , the server told me: so what? Evenings were even worse! Dirty overlays on the tables small portions, and no cream with our puddings. Pathetic. Our cabin was not serviced every day.We had to ask for it and then,had to commit to a scheduled time on OUR holiday ! Very little is included in the price. Not even tissues. To get from the harbor to town you have to pay.. Also a first. This was a horrible horrible experience and we wouldn't recommend it for anybody . If this was our first cruise, we wouldn't ever have done it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we ... Read More
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we had enough room although we did have a balcony. The beds were so comfy I dreaded leaving it behind. Also the shower room was bigger than any we have had before. Now dining, anyone that says there was not enough to eat must have been on a different ship than we were! The market place was open all of the time serving salads, chips, burgers, pasta, pizza etc etc, I just don't understand the complaints about the food. We ate in the restaurants at breakfast and for our evening meals. No the portions in the restaurants were not American size portions, its an Italian ship so Mediterranean food and portions. In saying that the food in the restaurants was beautiful and changed every evening. We had the Aurea experience and if possible I would go Aurea or Yacht Club. No queuing for embarkation or restaurants as you get anytime dining. Cirq de Soleil meal and show were definitely worth the money although once we went to the normal nightly entertainment I couldn't get my husband and son to go to another one!! Service was fantastic, I read somewhere on here that you don't have to pay the tips at the end, no you can have them removed but why? The staff were happy, attentive, helpful! Why wouldn't you tip? For the 3 of us the tips added were approx £200, I can remember exactly but no way would I have cancelled them, so just DON'T!!! Get off in Marseilles, it was our favourite. Approx £10 each for a transfer into the town, coffee shops, little side streets with wall out, really enjoyed it. Pompeii was worth the money although take plenty of water, 40 degrees when we were there, really interesting. Went to the beach when in Valetta, 19Euros each for the bus. Could have stayed a little longer, you get around 3 hours on the beach after travel. All in all we had a blast, it's what you make of it. I was really apprehensive before w went because of the reviews but I shouldn't have been worried. One thing, the market place is a bit of a cattle market and as one other person mentioned on here, watch out for the rude French. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Positive: Everything was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth. I was expecting crowded places especially in restaurants where you can't find table. But nothing happened, there are always free tables. They always ... Read More
Positive: Everything was perfect. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth. I was expecting crowded places especially in restaurants where you can't find table. But nothing happened, there are always free tables. They always refill the food before finish. You can take the food with you in your cabin.free Drinking water all the time is available. Remember free fruit juices are only available in breakfast . The show in theatre is amazing. You won't miss any show. You will see all people excited with show and no one leaves before the end. The decoration is amazing and modern. The shopping in the ship are not too much expensive. sometimes they make big sales. They clean the cabin twice a day. Nigative: The worst thing in the ship you don't like it is elevators. You will wait longtime. I suggest to use stairs for those they don't have kids. The elevators in the ship have different system. You have to choose which floor you want to go befor coming. It will shows in the screen which elevator you have to take otherwise you don't find any press inside the elevators. Services charge will add during your stay. Sometimes they add something more like photos gallery although you don't ask for it. One thing personally happened to me. I am telling that to warn others Tow sunglasses was disappeared In my cabin. One for me and the other for my wife. I am sure we don't loose them somewhere else. And small amount of local money that I don't put it in safety box. I discovered about my money when I arrived home. I don't expect anyone interested of local money. So be careful with your stuff. I am very sad about my sunglasses. Both of them was a new. One of them worth 400$ (tiffany & co). One of them disappeared the second day of my stay. The other maybe fifth or sixth. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Where do i start lovely shiny new ship comfy cabins and thats where the compliments stop staff no idea what they doing the ship is full of rude passengers who shove and push you in any queue i had one grab the tings for food out my hand ! ... Read More
Where do i start lovely shiny new ship comfy cabins and thats where the compliments stop staff no idea what they doing the ship is full of rude passengers who shove and push you in any queue i had one grab the tings for food out my hand ! These were not British people but other nationals one guy took the whole row of sun-beds with the cushions to reserve them this is at 7am arguing with the pool staff who removed them all inclusive drinks are like acetone and if you upgrade to premium package the run out after 3 drinks of your brand ! the buffet well if u like pizza burgers and hotdogs all day and all night this is the ship for you food repetitive and the deserts tiny and limited total chaos on board then theirs the excursions well they cancelled one of my trips booked by accident i went right down within minutes of booking and when i tried to cancel / transfer to another trip on tuesday for Thursday they told me i had to give 48 hours notice ! Well thats 48 hrs and i had booked it seconds ago but no they wanted 50 percent cancellation charge ! So we went on the trip the entertainment is awful for a new boat compared to other new boats who were out standing always some thing to do the boat rocks from side to side all the time even in calm Waters last night the coat hangers battering in the wardrobe drove us insane we had to take them all out so if you get sea sick take some pills With you the casino tiny compared to others i wont cruise msc again was first and the last ncl and royal Caribbean so much better Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a 7 night cruise and our 8th (7th with MSC, 1 with RCI). We traveled with our cousin and his wife. My husband and I stayed over in Milan the night before boarding - it's a 90 min train trip to Genoa and a 10 min walk to the ... Read More
This was a 7 night cruise and our 8th (7th with MSC, 1 with RCI). We traveled with our cousin and his wife. My husband and I stayed over in Milan the night before boarding - it's a 90 min train trip to Genoa and a 10 min walk to the harbor where we dropped off our suitcases downstairs (everything was clearly marked and staff on hand to help with directions) and boarded quickly and effortlessly. The ship is beautiful and in quiet areas we could still smell the new carpets. We had a balcony cabin (9246), and the bathroom (and especially the shower) is nicer than before - no more shower curtain but a curved door. The hair dryer was fine. I took 2 plastic clothes hangers with for wet clothes to dry with fewer wrinkles. I loved the MSC for Me app - no wifi required, you can check all activities and mark the ones you would like to attend, get reminded about the show, send messages to your friends, it worked great. Table 232 during the early seating (7.30 pm) in the formal dining room was assigned to the 4 of us, and it was perfect - a square table in the back corner with the most amazing waiter - Dede. The service was great, the view perfect, the food was amazing - could not fault anything. The variety was good and portions bigger than before. Every night's menu had healthy options available, but also at least 3 deserts! I took a black cat suit, 1 pair of dressy heels and different jewelry, which was good for 3 dinners, and a LBD for the other 3 and 1 missed dinner when we came back too late in from Barcelona. My husband took a dark suit with white shirt for the 2 formal nights, and dark blue pants with button shirts for the other nights. The pool area was spacious and we received good service from the bars and waiters. We got the drinks package that we could order basically anything up to 10 euros, which was perfect for us. There was a good variety of cocktails, wines, sparkling wines etc. The music at the pools was too loud for my taste, but that's just me. There was also the odd deckchair hog, but most people just took off the stuff and shrugged when confronted when the culprits came back a few hours later. We can learn from the Europeans! The nightly free shows in the theater was very full and quite good. The Cirque du Soleil shows (we saw both!) were amazing! We went for the option of show and cocktail - 15 euro pp and so worth it. Naples - easy walk to the old town with lots of little shops. We took a ferry to Sorrento, walked around (tough walk for good views) and loved it - especially the handmade shoes. Messina, Sicily - we walked to the train station and took a 1 hour train ride to Taormina - spectacular little hilltop town with great views and pretty alleyways. Valletta, Malta - far but easy walk to the old town, which we loved. We got a map that offered 2 walking routes with good descriptions. Felt a little like Dubrovnik. The modern part of town was also beautiful with tree lined streets, clean, with nice green spaces. Barcelona, Spain - got the public bus to La Rambla, walked up to the metro, went to La Sagrada le Familia - we booked tickets in May for 10 am entry. It was amazing. We took the elevator up the one tower and walked down. Stunning. Met up with another cousin and chatted and had tapas and beer until we had to go back to the ship. Amazing day. Marseille, France - The yellow jackets were planning a protest from 2 pm, which we were warned of by a notice placed in our cabins the night before. So we just walked to the old town and took Le Petite Train to the cathedral, which was stunning. It was informative and fun. Back through the old town and back on the ship before anything happened. We received our (correct) bill in our cabin the night before disembarking. As per other reviews, we received an envelope with pictures in our cabin a few days before, which we just returned to our cabin steward, who was amazing, by the way. Back in Genoa, we disembarked with our suitcases at 8.30 am after a breakfast in the fdr and walked 5 mins to the bus station to go to Milan to get a train to Venice. We loved everyday and can absolutely recommend it. The worst of the experience was getting information from the MSC South African staff, which was very frustrating. But the ship and international staff was incredible and restored out faith. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC ... Read More
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC Seaview a try. The price for our family was certainly enticing. In short, here is how we would grade our experience: Price: A Room size and cleanliness: A Food quality: D Entertainment quality: C Itinerary and Time at each port: B If you are looking for a cruise vacation, this is probably not it. If you are looking for a comfortable hotel room and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise would serve you fine. Let be begin with the good. We had a balcony cabin on the 10th floor of the port side. The balcony was great given the weather. We enjoyed sitting on it and watching the sights in and out of the ports. It also gave us extra room which was out of the way while others in our family were getting dressed. The cabin had a queen size bed and a sofa that converted into bunk beds rather than a pull out bed. The bunk beds were a lifesaver with two teenagers and avoided many arguments and complaints. The room was spacious for a cruise ship as was the bathroom and shower. The bathroom had fantastic water pressure which was a great surprise. Our room steward did a great job keeping us supplied with fresh towels and working around our time in the room. The room TV had plenty of stations with maybe 6-7 in each language. However, even the American programming in other languages did not have subtitle capabilities which would have been nice. The English language selections were all 24 hour news stations which included CNN, CNBC and 3-4 European news stations. It is hard to relax and unwind to that before bed. The common area was a bit plain but nice. The elevators utilized a system that directed you to a specific elevator based upon destination. It is meant to speed things up but always resulted in long waits at the elevators. So we ended up going up and down countless flights of stairs each day. The cruise was truly international with what seemed to be a passenger population made up of those speaking Italian, French, Russian, various Asian languages, English, German and Spanish. The staff did a great job being multi lingual, making announcements and communicating fluently in each of those languages. That was impressive. The entertainment encompassed all of those languages which was great. But the shows etc. on board could best be described as “low energy.” If you are doing a Tina Turner tribute show, having dancers and singers dragging through the show with a slow tempo and little smiling just seemed like they were going through the paces. Definitely not Tina Turner like. The other periodic entertainment was excessively campy and seemed like a continual loop of the Gong Show or Sabado Gigante. On our last night, we found a duo playing piano and drums singing in a lounge, and they alternated performance sets with a solo guitarist/vocalist. Both were really good and better than the more featured acts on the ship. I wish we had discovered them earlier... We also walked through a very small casino that was on board. It seemed very sparse and small. It did not have any craps tables which was a first for me in a casino. The cruise itinerary was good and generally allowed sufficient time in each port. There were no dedicated days at sea on this itinerary for which we were grateful. However, at Palma, Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, the cruise ports were outside of the city so you were forced to take a taxi or a ship provided shuttle at an extra cost to go into the city. If the cruise line chooses to utilize these ports outside of the destination city, then they should provide transportation into the port city without nickel and diming their passengers for the costs of transportation on the cruise line’s shuttles into the city. My biggest concern about this cruise was the food quality. It was terrible. I tried to be very open minded given the multinational nature of the cruise but nothing I had of any cuisine was good. All of the food was edible but not good. The food was often cold and bland. We tried both the sit down dining option and the marketplace buffet. Those were the only options at night unless you paid for the three premium restaurant options which we did not. The same food, the same quality and the same temperature seemed to be served at both venues. The only difference is that the sit down dining had more limited options, and we had slow service with a lot of waiting with a waiter who did not even seem to understand her own menu. For those of you that love Pepsi, you are in luck as all of the soft drinks on board are Pepsi products. For those of us that don’t, there was always beer. In the dining room we were charged for still water. In the marketplace buffet, we were not charged for still water but they only had 1 working water dispenser for all of the passengers. The plastic cups for your water were limited to 6 ounce cups. It is hard to stay hydrated at that rate. The coffee on the cruise was generally above average. Most of the time we paid for premium coffee at the bars which was worth it to us coffee drinkers. The best we found was that made by “Don” at the Venchi Chocolate and Coffee Bar. It was great and worth the extra charge. Finally, the dining themes were ridiculous. Each night was a different theme in name only. The actual theme seemed to be “Sunday night clean out the household refrigerator”. The dishes were a hodge-podge of whatever seemed to be laying around. For example, the Bavarian theme night was the everyday items plus the addition of a roast pork loin and a cold potato salad. That made it Bavarian night. Nothing else Bavarian was served. On Mexican night, the usual items were supplemented by some puréed avocado and some very julienned pieces of beef mixed with julienned strips of peppers. They called that beef fajitas. That was the sum total of what made it Mexican night. I will give the ship credit that their breads and croissants were made well and tasty. But unfortunately my scale is going to reflect that I lived on mostly bread and coffee while onboard. The part that I find most interesting is that for an Italian cruise line, based in the Mediterranean with multinational passengers, the Italian dishes were the worst offerings. The pizza was bland, soggy and doughy; the pasta was over cooked and soaked in bland tomato or a watery white sauce; and the deserts were basic, unimaginative and tasteless. We could not wait to get off the ship each day to eat at a street vendor, market or restaurant. We were never disappointed with any of the food we found on land. In summary, if you are looking for a comfortable place to sleep and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise will serve you well. If you are looking for the whole cruise experience to include great food and entertainment, look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Stunning ship. A few minor teething issues but all round excellent. Sky bar was our favourite with stunning views. Card de soleil. Two options .. a meal or cocktail. We took the latter and went to both shows. This is a must do so book ... Read More
Stunning ship. A few minor teething issues but all round excellent. Sky bar was our favourite with stunning views. Card de soleil. Two options .. a meal or cocktail. We took the latter and went to both shows. This is a must do so book as soon as you’re on board. Food really nice although buffet can be busy go to the rear and much calmer. Drinks package. You will get asked multiple times. Basic package covers a few wines , Gordon’s gin and tonic, Heineken or Amstel beer . All coffees and water .so good value. Cabin ,,, balcony on 8 floor. Large balcony so very happy .. only issue with noise coming from party night in floor below. Staff excellent .. friendly and efficient Shore excursions far too expensive. Do it yourself.we boarded I. Barcelona which is a fantastic city. During the cruise we visited Marseiile ... take free shuttle that drops of at dock entrance and walk 20 minutes to old port. From there we took le petit train (8 euro) to Norte dame for fantastic views over city. About 30 minutes to top and 10 minutes Dow. Compulsory to get off train .... about 15 mins in queue. Genoa.... walk out of terminal and pick up map for free from tourism booth. Shows a few nice walks going initially through market then heads into old town. Walk takes a casual two hours taking in all the old buildings and squares of note. Real authentic feel to the town. Naples.. ship right into town where you can get ferry to sorrento, capri etc. We have been here before so took hop on hop of bus tour. 2 routes , B route round coast far nicer and no car congestion. Approx 23 euro. Messina. Not a lot to do in the port but walk round old town. Valletta.. lift from cruise port to town cost one euro. Lovely town to walk around and sip an aperol spritzer. Walked to ferry point for sliema ... approx 3 euro return. Nice shops and a mall if interested. Lastly, In room smart assistant Zoe good for Bluetooth speaker not much more. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had read about MSC's Yacht Club being a less expensive rival of NCL's Haven. We had really enjoyed the Haven, but the prices are getting crazy! So, I called my TA to find a cruise in the Yacht Club. Boy, did she! We were in ... Read More
I had read about MSC's Yacht Club being a less expensive rival of NCL's Haven. We had really enjoyed the Haven, but the prices are getting crazy! So, I called my TA to find a cruise in the Yacht Club. Boy, did she! We were in the Royal Suite on the Bellissima, which wasn't even built when we booked! Also booked a Deluxe Suite for my son and his wife. Our cabin was FABULOUS! The beds were blissful. We had 2 balconies and a hot tub on our deck, which we made use of! The Yacht Club was truly relaxing and enjoyable. Everyone was friendly and wanted to ensure our experience was positive and memorable! We ate in the YC restaurant almost exclusively....we did eat in the steak house 1 night, as we had matching Black status. The bar in YC was pleasant, with hors d-oeures available and often entertainment (piano, violin, etc) playing. We didn't use the pool on top, since we had our own hot tub, but there was a cabana available for us, if we had wanted it. Appreciated the wrist band to open cabin door---I didn't have to carry anything! Food: we kept to the YC dining room. The portions are smaller on MSC, but that is actually a good thing....they are more in line with what a portion SHOULD look like, instead of the huge portions Americans are used to eating. Of course, they will bring additional or even cook up something special! (Yes, we did ask if they were going to have creme brulee, which they were not planning, but made special for us! Bend over backwards service!) AND, there was lobster on the menu one night, which has basically disappeared from other lines! The only disappointing experience we had was in the steak house--and it really wasn't a bad experience. We were full from our dinner and wanted to have our dessert sent to our room. They would not acquiesce, but they would allow us to come back later and have our dessert. I have a suspicion that if I had mentioned it to the YC folks, they would have been aghast and rectified that immediately, but it wasn't a big deal---as I said, we were full! Drinks were included and we never went to any other bar (except for the Cirq shows---we had the drink and show tickets. The drinks were horrible at the show! Just figure the cost of drink/show package as the cost of the show. Learned to take a drink from the YC bar and pass on the show drinks.) We purchased a spa package on-line and enjoyed our experiences. In fact, both of us ended up adding another massage. We did go to the thermal suite, but only once, but it was quite nice. What can I say....when you have your own hot tub on your balcony, where else do you want to be? Getting on and off the ship was a breeze when you are escorted by your butler. In fact, he escorted us to shows (allows you to walk right in and avoid the line), and although the shows only run about 30 minutes, we enjoyed the 3 we attended (and the 2 Cirq shows). The elevators even have a priority call for YC. BIG TIME SPOIL ALERT! We used to always lose weight on a cruise because we took the stairs. Nope, not this one! When the elevator comes direct and takes you direct, it is really hard to walk those stairs. I will say, that if you have someone with limited mobility issues, this is THE WAY to go. This was our first Med cruise. I loved the shore excursions (and the MSC prices if you purchase before boarding were more reasonable than other lines, I thought), but the flights are what keep me from doing overseas more often. I think I will wait a couple of years before doing that again. Or, maybe I'll do a transatlantic on either end of a cruise (guess that will have to wait until I retire!) Until then, I have already booked 2 more MSC YC cruises out of Miami. I am still looking at NCL Haven, but only because it is going somewhere I can't get MSC (or MSC is already sold out!) Thanks CC posters, for cluing me in to the Yacht Club! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click