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567 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise of the Western/Central Mediterranean because it was convenient to my son’s school schedule, but we were excited about the Itinerary: Napoli, Messina, Malta, Barcelona, and Marseille. In the end, we were disappointed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise of the Western/Central Mediterranean because it was convenient to my son’s school schedule, but we were excited about the Itinerary: Napoli, Messina, Malta, Barcelona, and Marseille. In the end, we were disappointed. We had an Aires suite on deck 11 and the room was very nice. Spacious, modern, proper, BUT WE NEVER SAW A CABIN STEWARD. No one asked about ice in the room or extra towels. We were disappointed here. We were supposed to have a wellness consultant but could not even get a tour of the thermal area of the spa. We were very disappointed with the spa. Meal service started out strong as we had any time service in the Golden Sand Restaurant. Dinner on night 1 was great but the quality did not hold up over the week. Service, however, was good. The shows were terrible. The casino was Smokey. The music was average at best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The enticement? Interesting ports in Europe, Africa and South America. Our first cruise experience. We agree it might be the last one. Looking back it was frantic from the moment of embarkation in Genoa. Long line ups, hours of waiting. ... Read More
The enticement? Interesting ports in Europe, Africa and South America. Our first cruise experience. We agree it might be the last one. Looking back it was frantic from the moment of embarkation in Genoa. Long line ups, hours of waiting. It's true that the ship houses over 3000 passengers, but knowing that beforehand, the process should have been smother. The cabin we had , with balcony, was really nice. Crew attendant for the cabin was hard working and really personable as were the people serving in the restaurant. The rest of the staff was silent, in general not very friendly. The food in the buffet wasn't so bad, but very salty and considering that most passengers were seniors, not healthy. Menu in the buffet section was almost the same every day and this was a 20 day cruise. The quality of the water and coffee was bad. However, the most problematic circumstances of all were the contaminated air circulating in the ship, with the result that the majority of people were sick. Another really vexing situation was the total isolation we endured during the crossing of the Atlantic, almost six days. No TV, no internet, no information. Movies offered in the cabin, did not display well. The price of the internet connection offered in fliers to the cabin was misleading as they would charge more if you signed for it. We believe that the economics of scale for such a huge crowd have something to do with this situation. We probably will think twice before signing up for this kind of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose the Cruise as it fitted in with the UK school 1/2 term and was going to some interesting ports. We booked over a year in advance, big mistake, the flights got altered leaving us with a 2.5 hour transfer by coach each way. No ... Read More
We chose the Cruise as it fitted in with the UK school 1/2 term and was going to some interesting ports. We booked over a year in advance, big mistake, the flights got altered leaving us with a 2.5 hour transfer by coach each way. No negotiation, no alternative except to lose our deposit and rebook doing our own flights. By the time they announced the flight details the cost of flights had risen and little was available, leaving us with no option but to continue. Not a good start, a delayed flight and by the time we arrived to check in after a 2 1/2hr transfer and a less than smooth airport transfer to the coach even the photographer had gone home. Which was just as well as we where wet and bedraggled having had to paddle from the bus to the embarkation desks, we were nearly 3 hours late. Next they some how managed to transfer our 2 bags to the other MSC ship departing that day. We did alert them as to not having our bags before we left port and by 10.30pm it was apparent they had no idea where they where. Next morning we where told they were not on board either ship and were searching the port(we had had a MSC transfer from Nice to Genoa). Nothing offered apart from emergency wash bag, male briefs and socks. There was nothing in the onboard shop of any use, so we headed to the nearest shopping mall at the first port of call for basic essentials for our party of 3. On arrival back on board the HRO had us escorted to her office and told us the bags were on the other ship and we would get our bags in 2 days. No apology, and she would not sanction our meagre purchases of 3 t shirts a pack of ladies pants, 2 bra's, swim shorts, costume, 1 pair of activity sandals and 2 pairs of trainers, 2 pairs of chino for my husband and son plus a European usb charger so we could charge a phone and a stick deodorant to share. I could not find a change of trousers so was left with little choice but to continue to wear my jeans. The bags turned up late morning of our 4th day. Some of the clothes stained from being left wet from the rain at the port. The ship rolled quite badly even though the sea was not that bad. It was made worse by the cabin ceiling creaking and groaning with each roll. The extra equipment for the table tennis, table football and crazy golf on decks 11 and 12 was held on deck 5. It would be so much more user friendly to have it at a nearby bar. There was only 1 set for the crazy golf too. Our Excursions; 1st trip was cancelled no explanation and was refunded to our account not to the credit card it was booked with, the second trip itinerary was changed but we where not told until the coach had set off. We only got to the 1992 lava flow site rather than much further up Etna which was hugely disappointing. We had only booked 2 trips as we felt the quality on offer was not that good, very limited. We arranged our own trip to Herculaneum while in Naples, a car transfer that went very smoothly and despite the rain was a good trip. The timings of the arrival in Valletta was very poor. We arrived at 3pm, the Cathedral and other attractions all closed 4.30-5pm. No thought had gone into the excursions, which we had not booked in any case. Sightseeing in the dark and it was pouring with rain again. We did see the evening Gun Salute from the battery which was good. Food; not great, cool to luke warm in both restaurant and buffet. Dinner, a strange variety of menu combinations, mostly was fairly tasteless with small portions in the restaurant and a distinct lack of vegetables or a salad course. Lunch was mostly the same fare every day. The only exception was roasted veal one lunchtime in the buffet which made a good hot sandwich.The Pizza was also OK but very busy and if you wanted salad with it you had to brave the main buffet or paddle to the burger bar on the opposite side of the ship. The buffet was manic, no table space at meal times and often only 1 side open towards the end of service. We ended up getting room service breakfast as it was the only way to be able to eat without a struggle, the 'hot' breakfast options just were not worth the fight. Even in the dining room getting tea was not easy and cold milk for it even harder. the food was buffet but the hot drinks waiter service. The only cold milk was on the buffet but no spare cup or glass to be had to help yourself. With room service we had to ask twice for cold milk even when cereal was on the order. The main buffet coffee was either stewed or cold/empty. The hot water dispenser max temp 79C, not hot enough for a tea and the orange juice was just horrible, decent juice is not hard to do. A fresh squeezed one I saw at the juice bar was 5euro. The water dispensers were luke warm and at least 1 ice dispenser not working. There were often no cups/mugs to be had either. We were on Aurora package that was an all inclusive drinks package but we only saw 1 red, drinkable, 1 white, not great and 1 rose served with meals. Only 1 bar open in the day, we never saw the crepe station open. They ran out of English tea on day 4 in the buffet. Big complaint to customer services, by the next evening they had restocked. Very few people were using the hand sanitizers and it was not being enforced. The lift buttons and stair hand rails were all sticky and grubby. The pizza area and bar on deck 11 flooded and was covered in water most days. The only way to get to the buffet without wet feet was to walk down to the rear most lift/stairwell inside the ship before going up. Our teenager never found the relevant program of kids entertainment. We culminated our holiday by being first off the ship at 9 am, another 2.5 hours by coach back to Nice airport for a 6 hour wait for a 6pm flight back to London Heathrow. All in all an experience not to be repeated. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the firsts time I’ve felt the need to review a cruise ship after almost 10 years, and 20+ cruises. Firstly, the ship is new, massive and very impressive. Well thought out, cabins are a good size (stayed in Aurea Suite 14001) ... Read More
This is the firsts time I’ve felt the need to review a cruise ship after almost 10 years, and 20+ cruises. Firstly, the ship is new, massive and very impressive. Well thought out, cabins are a good size (stayed in Aurea Suite 14001) and the onboard app leaves every other cruise lines attempt at such, sorely lacking. Unfortunately, that’s about it in terms of positives. This was our first time with MSC, and unfortunately, I think it will be our last. I understand that every line does things differently, but our experience of RCCL, NCL and Celebrity just makes them more attractive, if somewhat more expensive too. I dislike very long, wordy reviews, so I’ll just bullet point the issues we had below: - as other reviews have stated, almost to a man, the staff were surly, unfriendly and either unwilling or unable to help. A couple were really nice, but a couple were actually very rude. - the Aurea drinks package isn’t worth having. I’ve attached to this review a photo of the drinks menu available on the ship. The items with a star next to them are what is NOT included in the package. Laughable really, and was in fact the first instance of what quickly became apparent as a ‘penny pinching’ culture on the ship - children’s menus are appalling. The main menus offer pretty much the same stuff for kids every night and crazily, the buffets are all closed between 5pm and 7pm every day, which is when most kids would want to eat. The only food available at this time is burgers and pizza. - when we boarded, we had a letter in our suite saying that one of our pre-booked tours had changed and that it would now feature travel on a small boat instead of a coach. We are unable to do this as my youngest son gets really ill on small boats (we know this from bitter experience). When we went to the shore excursions on desk to sort it out, we were told that we couldn’t cancel but could swap to another tour, all of which were more expensive, and we would need to pay the difference. I couldn’t really care less about the extra €50 but I think this is bad form. I asked to speak to the Excursions Manager and was told that she was too busy to see me, so I asked for the Hotel Director and was told that he would not see me, but I could speak to the Guest Services Manager, who essentially did nothing. He sent me a bottle of sparkling wine as an apology, but didn’t correct the issue I had. - prior to sailing we pre-booked a speciality dining package. A bit of advice...don’t! The speciality restaurants are worth doing, but if you book the package in advance, you have to eat from a set menu, which I didn’t see. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough when booking. In any event, you can eat from the a la carte options in the restaurants but they don’t credit your allowance and make you pay the extra, they just discount any a la carte dishes by 50%. This seems a crazy way to do things to me, but hey ho. - big issue for us was the TV in the suite. It has a really extensive list of films available and they are fairly reasonably priced. However, the entire menu, including some very niche titles (if you know what I mean) is available on the home screen, so your kids can navigate the entire menu. With titles including the word MILF available, I was not impressed that my kids could see the titles, and the accompanying artwork!! - the biggest issue by far however was the entertainment for us. I know this is a truly international cruise line and there were lots of Italians, Germans, Spanish and French amongst our fellow passengers, but the entertainment was very heavy in Italian music, Flamenco dancing and opera. There was one night when a Tina Turner tribute was on, but other than that, we were really let down by the entertainment across the ship. Unfortunately, an amazing ship was not the foundation for an amazing holiday on this occasion. We had actually booked 5 balcony cabins for the same week next year on this ship, to celebrate a 40th birthday in the family, but we have since contacted our travel agent to cancel it. It has cost me a fair bit in cancellation charges, but it’s better than wasting another week. I hope that the above comes across as even handed, and I am sure this ship and experience will suit some people, but as a well travelled family and veterans of the larger ‘American’ lines, it’s not for us. To finish, one of the big pluses people think of with MSC is that it’s relatively cheap compared to Royal Caribbean, NCL and Celebrity, but by the time you upgrade the drinks package, account for all of the extras you have to pay for (bowling, zip line etc) and take into account the really very poor service levels, I’d say it’s actually a lot worse value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our first cruise. And first time taking my step sons abroad (age 8 and 10) We all loved it! For me and my husband we like to relax but not sit around to long. So this was perfect. Loved waking to a different destination every ... Read More
This was our first cruise. And first time taking my step sons abroad (age 8 and 10) We all loved it! For me and my husband we like to relax but not sit around to long. So this was perfect. Loved waking to a different destination every morning. Embarking was lovely and easy. Lovely welcome buffet. Bags were at the door of our cabin which was a welcome sight and before the 2.30 time. Cabin was more spacious then I’d imagined. Our cabin assistant was Rammel. He was lovely. They all were. Every cabin assistant said hello when we walked past. We found prices of drinks very reasonable as we didn’t do a drinks package ( we did have the cans package which was handy) Loved the decor of everything. It was all clean, and sparkly! Shows were awesome! Very talented. As each day went on, we were more relaxed about letting the kids out of sight. They went to kids club a couple of times, they loved it and the swimming pools and water slides. Both we felt happy leaving them as were well manned and we felt they were very safe. Especially with the wrist bands Every night we went to the buffet where it was a different theme. Different countries. It was lush. Only complaints, we were told that some fizzy drinks were available at buffet, but it was very rarely accessible. It would of been handy to have the juices available all day not just breakfast. Excursions we did 2. Pompaii and mount etna. Brilliant apart from the headsets on the pompii tour were bad quality and lost connection a couple of times. Thank you Msc. We have literally booked for another one for next year. Can’t wait Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Staff rudeness and experience: -Our party of 6 were split to a table of 4 and share a table of 6 with another party of 4. The other party of 4 agreed to switch table so they can have a private table and we 6 can dine together. After ... Read More
Staff rudeness and experience: -Our party of 6 were split to a table of 4 and share a table of 6 with another party of 4. The other party of 4 agreed to switch table so they can have a private table and we 6 can dine together. After making arrangement with the Dining Room host who said it is fine and he will send info to our cabin. The next evening we were asked by 3 different staff, including the dining room host to see our cabin ID and rudely said there was problem with our sitting. - Out waiter NEVER introduce himself nor his assistant. We told him that 1 member of our party is allergic to mushrooms so please warn us when there is any mushroom in the foods. He never ask or forewarn us of any dish that could have mushroom. - For Dessert we ask for the flavors of the ice cream he said he need 15 mins to find out what choice of flavors they are serving. Latter the Vanilla ice cream came almost completely melt. -Another nite a waiter in the Inca buffet tipped a glass of red wine all over me and my sister who wear white pants, light color blouse and white jacket. He was stunned and did not know what to dọ We told him it was just an accident but he should get his manager to a) get laundry done for us and b) refill our glasses. There were a few officers in the vicinity and NONE seems to care. After a more than 15 mins, I went to see the manager of the bar and he asked me to report to buffet officer or manager. 30 mins later the waiter returned with his manager who DID NOT apologize and only offer to take care of the laundry for my sister. We have to asked for a new glass of wine to replace the almost empty spilled glass. - All 6 of us have beverage package, 2 other couples also have wine/beer/coffee package as well as Soda package. The coupons were NOT delivered to 1 couple for 3 days. When asked Guest Services kept saying they will be delivered to their room. For the first 2 dinner the waiter kept saying he has to charge them even after they show receipts that they paid for the 2 packages. BTW, they issue COUPONS for the beverage package instead of electronically recording them on the cabin ID. - For the mineral bottle water package the main dining room staff kept telling us that we can go to the buffer bar to get it BUT the latter kept refusing to provide the bottle and send us back to the main dining room waiters. - On the first nite, one lady order Sex on the Beach drink. She did not get it until almost at the end of dinner, he showed up with the drink and said he thought she was kidding. We later found out that he just got this job 3 weeks earlier!!!! Embarkation/Disembarkation: - At Genoa port we have to stand in line for 1 hour to be able to get out of the ship walkway. We later leaned that they let Genoa disembarking guests in the same line as visiting port guests. - The day before our cruise ends, we attended the Disembarkation orientation and was told that if we pay by credit card, just review the 2-copy statements and if there is no dispute, just sign 1 copy and leave it in the cabin before 10AM of the disembarkation day. at 1:15 PM as we departing the ship we were told that we owed them money and have to go back to deck 5 to see the Guest Services to pay. Since we have arrangement for a van pickup at 2:00 PM and seeing a LONG LINE at the Guest Services we had to pay almost 300 Euro in currency at the Disembarkation table and got NO RECEIPT that we paid. Foods: - We were shocked to learn that they do NOT serve coffee in the main dining room after dinner. The waiter told us to go to the buffet upstairs to get our coffee. - Most dishes served in the main dinning room are similar to what being served in the buffet. Needless to say, after 2 dinners we STOPPED returning to the dining room and ate our dinners in the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Without doubt the very worst holiday (let alone cruise) we have ever been on. Please, please, please do not ignore the negative MSC reviews and part with your hard earned cash or 'Take a punt' like we did. Where to start. ... Read More
Without doubt the very worst holiday (let alone cruise) we have ever been on. Please, please, please do not ignore the negative MSC reviews and part with your hard earned cash or 'Take a punt' like we did. Where to start. 1 - Ship - Lovely modern and clean. They've put a lot of thought in to it. 2 - Customer service - non-existent. Most staff are rude at best, hostile or aggressive at worst. Several times staff members barged their way past either myself or my partner through doorways or corridors. Staff in general looked depressed or bored and seemed to resent passengers. Would desperately love to say there were 1 or 2 notable exceptions however sadly there weren't. 3 - Food - The very worst we've been served anywhere on any holiday. Hard to believe that an Italian company can ruin pasta! Food in general was bland, lukewarm, recycled from one meal to the next and made from very, very cheap ingredients.As one of our fellow English speaking passengers put it 'I wouldn't feed it to my dog'. The buffet was nothing short of an absolute farce. The pizza was popular so if you fancy a slice be prepared to fight for it. I jest not. The only tip we picked up and would recommend is that if you are stupid enough to book a cruise on the Meraviglia and find yourself in the buffet head directly to the back. Do not pass 'Go', become one of them and barge your way straight to the back. End of. 4 - Fellow passengers - The vast majority of our fellow passengers were Italian. Which sort of makes sense considering it was an Italian ship on a Med cruise. However just making a point of saying what follows isn't based on 100% of Italian people, just 100% of the Italian people on our cruise. Now that's that out the way. The behaviour and general conduct of our Italian shipmates was nothing short of utterly disgraceful by anybody's standards. Rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate and loud, boy were they loud. With absolutely no exaggeration whatsoever we were unable to hold a conversation in either of the restaurants were ate in or any of the communal or public areas we were physically co-located with Italian passengers. Physically aggressive barging and hostile to anything resembling a queue whether that be for food, waiting to pay, boarding the ship or a bus/coach or to pass through a doorway. And they make no distinction for male or female, young or old you WILL be pushed and/or elbowed out the way. Sounds like a cliche however the only way to survive is to adopt the 'When in Rome....' approach (scuse the pun). It will inevitably lead to drama however although by that stage you just think 'Bring it on'. Now I have lived and worked abroad all my life so am happy with 'Cultural differences' and can put up with a fair deal without grinding my gears. However, being trapped with no escape from several thousand people who were put on this earth to make me hate them turned my hols in to an utter nightmare. 5 - Cabin - Clean, fresh and presentable however the storage space was minimal so we found ourselves more or less living out of our suitcases. Ultimately speaking though not the end of the world. What was particular horrific however was our cabin experience, which is really our private and intimate space, being utterly ruined by fellow passengers in surrounding cabins out on their balcony's seemingly chain smoking which wafted straight in to our cabin. So we either had to sit out and put up with a face full of smoke or stay inside our cabin with the door shut. The on board briefings clearly state that smoking on cabin balcony's is strictly forbidden and there are clear notices to that effect on the inside of balcony doors but this is simply ignored. My partner made a point of politely asking our neighbours if they'd please not smoke on the balcony however the chap just smiled, shrugged his shoulders and sparked up. Had I been there he'd have been 'Sparked' alright (see what I did there). Took x3 attempts reporting them to reception before MSC did anything about it. We had to physically tell a receptionist to smell a t-shirt I'd put out a dry on the balcony however so they lost any credit for that. It absolutely pinged of stale smoke. Sadly it was just our direct neighbours who were spoken to and not those above and below us so it made very little difference and any further complaints simply fell on deaf ears. I'm more than happy if somebody wants to crack on and have a fag however our cabin absolutely stank and to sit out on the balcony meant passively sharing their woodbines with them. Maybe we were just unlucky, who knows. Take the risk if you like but you have been warned. 6 - Excursions - Having read previous reviews we'd done our homework in advance and planned our own trips ashore at a fraction of the price. It's a good job we did because passengers we spoke to said what MSC had tried to cram in to the short times ashore was ridiculous. They were either rushed to/from/between each thing with little or no time to enjoy or experience anything or excursions were cut short with no refund or recompense of any kind. Expectations may vary however so not necessarily marking MSC down for that, you'll need to make your own mind up. 7 - Entertainment - The entertainment we saw seemed dated and pretty social club in quality (i.e. a tad naff) although some classical performers we saw in open or public areas were brilliant. Some fellow Brits paid for the Cirque du Soleil dining experience which they said was naturally superb however it was marred slightly by the dining part which they said was extremely poor. 8 - Embarkation/Disembarkation - Because passengers join and leave the ship on each stop there was no sense of occasion and one felt very. very much like a passenger as opposed to a guest. It did however make life easier not having to fight an entire ship's worth of people to get on/off. Once we'd boarded and run the carefully choreographed gauntlet of hard sell people it we were just left to crack on and find our cabin before setting sale with absolutely no fanfare. In summary - Should have been significantly more pleasant than it was given the ship however it was simply ruined by the dire service and appalling conduct of our Italian shipmates. One positive I would give MSC above the likes of Royal Caribbean is that whilst you still have the hard up sell, such as drinks packages/Premium dining/Spa treatments etc, they are no where near as persistent and in your face. In every other aspect however Royal Caribbean rather embarrasses MSC without even breaking a sweat. What else would I summarise or flag up from the usual topics or points? Probably that in tune with most airlines nowadays MSC gear 100% of their customer service on the premium 'Yacht Club' (First/Business class) passengers and everybody else down the back end are just the plebs making up the numbers and not worth making the effort on. I personally expect more from a cruise. Would I choose MSC again? Not if you paid me Would I recommend MSC to anybody else? Not a chance in hell Would my MSC experience put me off cruising? Probably not however I will pay more attention to the reviews in future. May give P&O a shot next. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Having sailed with Princess, Celebrity and P and O, i am aware of how different cruise lines approach excursions and port transfers for wheelchair users. MSC rank in that respect amongst the worst. It is so disappointing as so far only P ... Read More
Having sailed with Princess, Celebrity and P and O, i am aware of how different cruise lines approach excursions and port transfers for wheelchair users. MSC rank in that respect amongst the worst. It is so disappointing as so far only P and O have taken this seriously. I knew that none of the excursions were wheelchair accessible before we went, but was very annoyed to find that none of the port transfers had accessible vehicles. I was able to find local transport that was accessible and fortunately with a powered chair I was able to get to bus stops a distance away. Some of the much vaunted activities such as the zip line and waterslides were also up steps and therefore not possible, i had so been looking forward to them. I did use the F1 simulator which was great fun although difficult to get in and out. The bowling lanes were not accessible either when they could so easily have been. One pool was very well done with ramps and hoist and the pool staff were brilliant, no tiresone booking or paperwork as some other cruise lines. I did not try the theatre as you had to book and i never know if i will be ok. I also could not access enough information about the acts to decide if i could cope with noise and lights. All activities were fitness or dance based therefore not suitable. Bands and singers were indifferent or poor. I found the lighting and glitzy surfaces difficult to cope with, and often entertainment in the public areas just too loud. Some plus points The accessible cabin was large as was the very easy to access balcony. The bathroom was a wheel in shower room with drop down seat. The wardrobes had rails that lowered. However there was very limited drawer and wardrobe space. The bed was hard which may suit those with bad backs but for many like me just cause pain. However our delightful cabin steward got me several more duvets and we made a mattress topper for me. The table assigned in the dining room was great and whenever I used a different one staff always without fail offered me a suitable table. I tried using the buffet restaurants but these were a nightmare. Other passengers were dreadful, many even climbing over me to get to food. Other lines had much better systems of assistance and access. From my chair i could not see what the food was. We stuck to our assigned restaurant. Our staff were fabulous, i cannot rate Kevin and his team too highly. They wre brilliant. And another team manager quickly grasped my need for soft food and every morning at breakfast had specific items ready. Over all we really liked the relaxed atmosphere, the food and the very good staff. This coupled with the good cost neans we have booked to go with MSC again. We will however arrange our own excursions. I just wish the cruise lines would do it for us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ... Read More
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ship, and we liked the itinerary (Genoa, Italy to Miami, FL, via Civitavecchia, Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Azores, Bermuda, and New York City). Unusually for a trans-atlantic repositioning cruise, we had three overnight stays (Tenerife, Bermuda, and New York City. A hurricane over the Azores caused a diversion to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands.) The Divina has a capacity of 4,345 passengers, but we were 3,335 upon arriving in Tenerife. Even with the ship only 77% full, it always felt extremely crowded in the public areas, and especially on the sun decks, the restaurants, the bars and lounges, and the theatre. One problem with bigger and bigger ships is the fact that more and more people still have to leave and enter the ship via a couple of gangways. This can lead to long waits in the ship and/or on the quay. The food was average or below average (my wife's evaluation) to good (my own evaluation). We succeeded in obtaining freshly made, consistently hot dishes at breakfast and lunch in the Black Crab restaurant by insisting (we were frequently told that he was not on duty, but this was true on only one occasion) on being seated with a particularly attentive waiter, Mr. Arturo de Leon, from the Philippines. His consistently excellent service to us, and to some other passengers who sought him out, seemed to provoke jealousy, rather than emulation, on the part of several of his colleagues. Our evening dining in Villa Rosa was also enjoyable, as we shared a table for 8 with two other Canadian couples, and were served by a trio of excellent waiters: Rusdi (Indonesia); Rohan (India); and Gabriel (Romania). My favourite meals were the fish dishes and the desserts. Our cabin steward (Ronald, from the Philippines) was also very efficient, and almost always managed to service our room while we were away at breakfast or dinner. The fuse for the thermostat burned out, and it took several days to get it repaired. The fitness centre had only two elliptical machines, was crammed full of people, and had the music cranked up to the maximum. Apart from the (mostly initial) entertainers (a living shadow artist; a mime; a ventriloquist; and four superb flamenco dancers), we found the dancing and singing acts to be excruciatingly loud, and gave them a pass, after several tries. The very, very worst "entertainment" were the Bermudan drummers and dancers: unbearably loud and incredibly repetitious. Several guests (usually, the same ones) disregarded the order to refrain from recording the shows on phones and laptops. The prohibition was never enforced by staff. There was only ONE solo recital of classical music, by the accomplished pianist on board. MSC's idea of classical singing is to have a third-rate tenor screaming "O Sole Mio" as if he was being burnt alive. Alma Duo gave two great tribute concerts to ABBA and the Beatles. The fashionista and his towering model were good. The "library" is the worst on the high seas: frequently closed (without warning) because of "staff training," it had the smallest selection of books in any of the five languages used during the cruise (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German), and not a single reference book (atlas, travel books, almanacs, etc.). The trivia quizmaster was by far the most obnoxious staff member I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. He treated contestants as if we were half-witted kindergarteners. Many staff appeared to be poorly trained, and some were observed smoking and drinking on the non-smoking 7th deck (port side), and tossing their butt ends and empty cans overboard. I mentioned this on my feedback sheet, halfway through the 23-day cruise, but received no followup. The future cruise consultant offered limited office hours, and NO cruise brochures were freely available. I asked for a loan of a brochure in English; was promised one "in your cabin, in a few days," but was never sent one. One good aspect of MSC cruises is their willingness to match one's status on competing cruise lines or hotels. Even though this was our first (and might be be our last) cruise with MSC, our 4-star Mariner status with Holland America got us Black-card Voyagers Club status (the highest of 5 levels) on MSC. This enabled us to receive various perks throughout the cruise, which made up for some of its less pleasurable aspects. Our favourite meal on board was the sushi tasting menu on deck 15, which was most enjoyable, and one of the aforementioned Black-card perks. Lastly, it was wonderful to meet a large group of Cruise Critics on board, visit their cabins, and socialize. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was ... Read More
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was chaotic and the food wss exactly the same every day for 23 days Bar staff and cabin cleaning staff friendly and polite Drinks included in the package purchased were very limited Reception, excursion and managerial staff wrre rude and unhelpful dealing with any complaints (and the queue of ppl complainting every day at reception was long) Entertainment / animation/ activities were rare and what was provided was poor and shows were mediocre Inteenet package purchased was slow and on several sea days not working at all. In cabin movies (pay per view) did not work and froze Announcements on the ship were overly loud and in multiple languages Shops on bpard very expensive and items for sale never changed in 23 days with no cheaper items or sales Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
1. English Tea the only tea we drink was locked up had to ask a crew member each time we wanted a cup of tea 2. The water was never hot enough to make a decent cup of tea or coffee 3. Kept running out of hot? Water 4. It took 6 ... Read More
1. English Tea the only tea we drink was locked up had to ask a crew member each time we wanted a cup of tea 2. The water was never hot enough to make a decent cup of tea or coffee 3. Kept running out of hot? Water 4. It took 6 Days to have my dead battery’s replaced on my tv remote control, then no tv 5.One week on to our 22 day cruise, we had no tv in the cabin rumor was the company didn’t pay for the last tv service 6. Management argued with me that “No added Sugar is Sugar Free” after 10 days they decided to check with the chef, who advised them No Added Sugar is NOT Sugar Free, Finally management were convinced 7. There Was A charge of $7.00 to watch a movie, $14.00 for a pornographic movie, first time we’ve been on a cruise that show porn movie, do anything for money 8. There is a charge for choice Dinning 9. There is a charge for water in the dining room 10. Live shows were substandard, too many Italian Opera nearly every night 11. No Activities to keep one occupied during the day 12. The toasters in the morning were down a few morning at the buffet management didn’t know about the problem This was one cruise I wanted to end Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose the cruise because of itinerary---which didn't happen. To be positive, the highlights: Cabin was nice and larger than most ships on which I've sailed. Young man taking care of cabin was great!!! That's ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of itinerary---which didn't happen. To be positive, the highlights: Cabin was nice and larger than most ships on which I've sailed. Young man taking care of cabin was great!!! That's it!!!!!!!!! The cons: Were lied to many times by ship's officers. These included, but were not limited to: a. Being told that there was no TV because they couldn't get signal. They didn't pay for American set-up. So, no TV for twelve days. Catching up on news now...... While in NYC there were no spirits. They put out signs stating that this was because of New York port regs. Not true, ship messing officer told me that they had forgotten to get liquor license. So much for buying the drink package. As it turned out, blaming the Americans was often the answer to problems. Backfired once though as the PA announced that we were late leaving the ship in Bermuda because of the Americans----I guess that someone never learned that Bermuda was a British territory. Changed itinerary and skipped the Azores. Were told that this was due to a hurricane that was going to hit there----it had already passed. And there were more lies. Secondly, the food was awful. We also had opted for dinner in the dining room, but the service was so bad that we began using the buffet after four nights. There were times that it would take over an hour to get the main course. Food in any venue was never hot. Eggs were always cold. On two days we started the day without coffee. This would occur frequently during the day. To top that off, there were also two days that they ran out of coffee mugs. Food varieties were slim. Ran out of hand sanitizer for five days. Getting on and off the ship was an ordeal. As opposed to other ships that I've been on, this had no food around the pool area and you were required to pay for ice cream. Library was closed the first four days for staff training. Was told that this was to teach employees on methods of interacting with Americans. I think that some flunked the course. When library did open, it contained two books, one on cats and the other The Book of Mormons. No decent quiet lounges to just sit and read or play games. Excursions generally started late and many didn't cover advertised venues. I could go on but won't. My advice would be to avoid this company at all costs. They will certainly never see me or many of my fellow cruisers again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many ... Read More
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many other positives things we encounted on our cruise. The majority of the staff were unpleasant, shuffling around, generally miserable and you felt as if you asked for anything it was really putting them out. Whether it’s a lack of training in the customer service department or they are generally overworked and tired I am not sure. For anyone on holiday a cheery atmosphere where you feel special and nothing is too much trouble is what can make the experience a pleasant one, this was not the case here. The food was average, nothing to rave about but was very reasonable. For the size of the ship however pretty much everyone would go to the buffet for lunch as it was the only real food restaurant open so it was chaotic with some very rude people. The level of information was poor, we came to port and there was nothing mentioned about getting off the ship, where to go or the procedure. As I have mentioned we have done it before so knew the score but we spoke to some first time cruisers who were very confused. When you book a cruise with various ports you expect to be taken there. MSC don’t tell you that on some occasions they need to port 20 mins drive from the city. This is fine I understand it’s necessary due to the ships size etc but to then expect the guests to pay €13 each to get on the shuttle bus they provide I believe is wrong. This seriously adds up and I have never been expected to pay that with other companies just to get to the port the cruise said it was going to take me to anyway. One morning we decided to have a lie in, only to be awoke at 8 am by an almighty screeching noise. We thought the ship was scraping along the seabed as we were coming in to port. We phoned the steward who told us it was balcony cleaning. Before we knew it someone was on our balcony whilst we were still in bed, no warning. I had to leave the room after an hour as the noise was so irritating. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to wait a little so those who don’t rise early or maybe had a late night aren’t disturbed. Having a romantic meal was not possible. You are put on a table with a group of random strangers. Luckily they were nice people but we were with 6 others which made having a nice meal together in the restaurant for our honeymoon not something we could do. And lastly I would describe them as a low cost or no frills kind of cruise. You get your bed and food and that’s it. Ice cream, room service even the circus show that was advertised you have to pay for, all things that have been included with other cruise companies. The ship is stunning it’s just got a long way to go in the customer service department and to make guests feel special. Others have described it as feeling like cattle and I think that’s pretty accurate. Will be looking for another company next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
What an experience! First ever cruise and what better way to experience cruising than with MSC Meraviglia. This is a trip I will not be forgetting! I want this to be an honest review, so below I’ve listed the positives along with the ... Read More
What an experience! First ever cruise and what better way to experience cruising than with MSC Meraviglia. This is a trip I will not be forgetting! I want this to be an honest review, so below I’ve listed the positives along with the negatives and also given (I hope) some sound advice if you are thinking of sailing on MSC Meraviglia. The positives:- - The staff! They couldn’t do enough for us. So friendly and approachable. A special thank you to Halik (Waves Restaurant) you were amazing and so attentive. He quickly mastered what our favourite drink was and ensured our glasses were always full! Also to the guys who looked after and cleaned our room and changed the beds everyday. Amazing job! Thank you so much for everything! The standard was impeccable and they work so damn hard. You are all a credit to MSC! - This ship is spotless! Absolutely emaculate. Granted the ship is just over 1 years old but taking into account the shear size of her as well as the amount of passengers on board the ship is ridiculously clean! - The food/drink - Such a vast variety of food and drink on offer. In the evening we ate at our dedicated restaurant (Waves) where we were served a 3 course meal every evening with the night’s menu offering a range of dishes to choose from. Meanwhile, The Market Buffet which serves food (I believe) until 2am always had fresh, delicious food with a big range to choose from. At peak times it gets very busy yet the food just keeps coming out fresh! - You will never get bored whilst on board there is so much to do and places to explore! Now for the negatives (or things to look out for!) - I’m not saying us Brits are perfect, but goodness me some of our European neighbours were incredibly rude! We witnessed people clicking their fingers at staff and speaking to waiters/waitresses in the most patronising of ways. Never saying please or thank you. Absolutely horrific to see! Also, it would appear that certain nationalities do not know basic manners such as knowing how to queue and not push in (so frustrating!!) people would literally push you out of the way, tread on your feet to get to where they want (this 99% of the time happened in The Market Place Buffet where food is available (almost) 24/7. We even witnessed one family take two trays of burgers/hot dogs, leaving none left for anyone else queuing. Disgusting. Learn some damn manners. Excursions: What a rip off. Save your money!! I believe at least 5/7 places we visited during our 7 day cruise had shuttle buses on from the port at the cost of €12.99. They do not tell you this in advance! Allowing passengers to pay €50+ for excursions so they can access / get to the city centre which is completely unnecessary when the shuttle bus serves the exact same purpose! This being said there were of course some excursions which were more than just a coach trip to get you from A to B. But if you are booking trips through MSC just so you can get to the city centre etc do not bother. You’ll get a shuttle bus ticket on your door the night before you arrive at your next destination. (You are welcome!) Embarkation: What a long, long drawn out process. Be prepared for a very long wait!! We flew to Genoa, Italy. I do wonder if other destinations experienced as long a wait. Definitely would recommend avoiding Genoa if and when possible! After a short 1hr 30min flight we were taken straight to the port. The process up until this point was so smooth & fast! We arrive at the port in Genoa and there we waited for HOURS. The process wasn’t explained to us upon our arrival, we literally had to figure it out for ourselves. We were given a number, we soon figured we had to wait for our number to come up on a board. After waiting 2+ hours our number was finally called!! Up the escalator we went only to be met by another queue!!! This came with another 1 hour wait to get checked in. We then had to queue again to go through security when we were finally let on board. A very long process but totally worth it once you are on board the ship. Thankfully disembarkation is a lot quicker! Word of warning: You have to leave your suitcases outside your room the night before you leave. MSC did an amazing job ensuring our luggage was looked after and got to where it needed to be, we experienced no issues. But please know, you will need another form of bag for anything you need that night / the following morning before you fly home. We thankfully had a small case we used as hand luggage which were managed to throw everything into, avoiding any dramas. Additional/hidden charges: Check your bill before you leave!! We experienced double charges (which were later removed) and also a friend was charged €30.00 for a photo he never received! The queues to settle your bill at reception get exceptionally long! So word of warning, allow yourself plenty of time and check your invoice before you leave otherwise you may be in for a shock! There is a daily charity charge of €1 which goes to UNICEF (I believe) which we didn’t mind. However we did mind the daily €10 (per person!) service charge which gets added to your account automatically. (That’s €210 in service charge for us for the week) We decided to have this charge removed and paid out tips to our waiter/room attendants the night before we left, that way we know they’ve got the money. €10 a day per person soon adds up as you can imagine and not know where or who that money goes to concerned us. Other points to mention: Do not pack a hairdryer. It’ll be confiscated / kept away for safe keeping. A hair dryer is provided in the room & works absolutely fine and did the job. No tea/coffee facilities in the room which was a shame, but we understand why. If you buy a drinks package like we did you cannot use it on your day of departure! Also we couldn’t use ours on the day we arrived as it hadn’t been uploaded onto our access cards. All in all, we really enjoyed cruising with MSC. The ship is stunning, the staff are wonderful the inside of the ship is beautifully kept and so spacious. What a beautiful way to see Europe! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. ... Read More
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. Virtually no announcements when the ship is cleared, inconsistent information regarding ports, transportation and shore excursions. This bred a toxic environment among guests. Often shoving, pushing and swearing in multiple languages. A mess!!! Food was inconsistent quality and either overly salted ( Chef smokes???) or completely devoid of flavor. Steaks were tough and grisly and inedible. Servers are rushed and literally grab menus out of your hand when you’ve finished ordering. Be prepared to wait significantly betwee courses especially entrees even when you order immediately after being seated for your seating time. Best food items on the ship were Pastries and desserts in the dining room, fruit plate in the dining room at breakfast. Eat breakfast in the dining room, lunch in the buffet or off the ship and take your chances on dinner in the dining room. Daily program was often incorrect. Library was closed for training staff/ crew as they approached the US market for the season. So a 22 day voyage which had over 5 sea days often we couldn’t access he library! Lounge entertainment was good but theater located entertainment was 35 minutes max and if you like opera you should enjoy this cruise ship. Not the best quality. Dancers might be compared to your local dance classes back home. 22 day transatlantic cruise with many stops in Europe. Once we departed Tenerife satellite TV ended. Daily inquiries netted multiple excuses including we are working on it, we are transitioning to the US version and finally my personal favorite was, madam we can’t posaibly get tv in the Atlantic Ocean. Completely crazy! So NO TV for more than half the cruise including all the sea days making the crossing while Major breaking news was occurring in he US. No news whatsoever onboard and no compensation via complimentary WiFi time was offered. I appreciate that you don’t go on a cruise to watch TV but having access to news is important on a long voyage. They did offer some free in room movies but did not say they were “ free” until about day 5 without Tv so everyone thought they would be charged for the 8 or so movies offered. None of which were first run!! Disembarkation at most ports ( Marseille and Bermuda, NY and Miami) were terrible. Virtually NO announcements made. Ship never arrived in time and left NY nearly two hours later than stated but they DID NOT make an announcement re the delay for 45 minutes and then finally sailed away nearly 2 hours after. In Miami at the end of the cruise guest who were told to depart ship at 8:15 spent ONE HOUR STANDING IN THE TERMINAL WAITING FOR THEIR LUGGAGE. Their timing, organization and communication is VERY POOR. Just remember you get what you pay for and this cruise line that focuses on the European market has much to learn about customer service, communication and hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise since we were going with a group of 22 people. Now the issues started since half the group was booked in Aurea and the other half in Yacht club. We booked far in advance so the difference in price was nominal but ... Read More
We chose this cruise since we were going with a group of 22 people. Now the issues started since half the group was booked in Aurea and the other half in Yacht club. We booked far in advance so the difference in price was nominal but knowing what we know now, it would have been worth the upgrade to Yacht club. The biggest differences we noted was the priority elevator on the ship for Yacht club guests. Of course this is not all elevators but it helps when you are on a ship as frequent cruisers know on busy evenings. Priority exit and entry off the ship at most ports and when you exit your butler brings you down via a separate exit so you do not have to be jammed in line with everyone else. Slides are included in Yacht club not in Aurea. A larger selection of alcoholic beverages. The list just goes on and on. It would be nice if MSC would give travel agents all these details when they book the trip to avoid negative reviews OR at least post it on your website. We did check the online difference and all we saw was frivolous differences that were noted such as the quality of the pillows which for us was not important since we did not plan on spending our holiday sleeping. Now this is definitely not a cruise for kids. We had kids on the cruise ranging from ages 10-16. All of them agreed that this cruise does not stand up to Norwegian or Royal Caribbean standards. Every time they went to join an activity such as basketball. The ball was never there and nobody was there to help them get a ball. Activities in teen/kids club were minimal and were not always done since staff would always have a poor excuse. Plus customer service is definitely not a high priority throughout the ship. We had 2 occasions where we ending up having to yell at onboard staff just to get issues they caused addressed. For example, our prepaid tour tickets were missing from our cabin the night before so we went down to retrieve them ourselves from the ticket counter. However, we pulled up to the counter at 11:00pm on the nose and the lady behind the counter did not even ask what our issue was. Immediately she said we are closed!! My husband said no you are not since we are missing tickets for our offshore excursion tomorrow morning. After a lot of back and forth someone finally took ownership of the situation and wrote us tickets for the next morning! We are so glad we insisted because of course every where we went the next morning they asked us for the tickets! Issue number 2, on our one sea day I was too ill in the morning to leave the cabin so we left late in the afternoon. We were going to enjoy some sun in the Aurea Lounge. However, little did we know the sun loungers in the Aurea section can be sold until they are full. This means if you prepaid for Aurea do not count on a seat unless you get out there early in the morning. Yacht club members access can also be bought same day but it is done so in smaller numbers. Any way once this happened to us in Aurea the guest services manager could not apologize enough. Really she was the only person onboard who cared about what image we would be left with. However, really it should not come down to this. You only get one chance to make a first impression and MSC failed us!! MSC ships sparkle but customer service is horrible in all areas. "All that glitters isn't gold!" Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is a VERY kid unfriendly ship. Of the 3 pools we had access to we could only go in 1 which was typically freezing. We also saw a midfle school aged kid get kicked out of the gym when he was running next to his dad on s treadmill, ... Read More
This is a VERY kid unfriendly ship. Of the 3 pools we had access to we could only go in 1 which was typically freezing. We also saw a midfle school aged kid get kicked out of the gym when he was running next to his dad on s treadmill, causing no trouble. We paid extra for the Yacht club, which is a must with this line otherwise you will be waiting awhile just for the buffet. With this "exclusive club" you also got 24 h access to a butler. However literally every time we ordered room service it was wrong. It was fantastic service in the dinning room and club. We asked for milk in the room several times before they then stocked out mini fridge with a card board box that you need heavy scissors to open, which we didn't have. We also requested a crib. I called and contacted MSC numerous times prior to the cruise and I was assured it would be there, it wasn't. Contacting MSC was also a mess. We booked 11 people through Tim Bronson, the agent from MSC. He was not only not helpful, but impossible to reach. Our 4 rooms were all over the ship and not even on the same floor together. 2 of our reservations got cancelled a few weeks before the trip. Luckily no one booked those rooms in the mean time. We have cruised multiple times and this was the worst food I have had on a ship. We did multiple excursions which were not organized well and the guides were lackluster at best. The one guide refused to use the headset pieces in Rome because he "has been doing this since 1975 and didn't need it". Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship The MSC Preziosa is one of 4 “Fantasia” class ships in the MSC Cruise Fleet. It started it’s life as a ship ordered by the Gadaffi Regime in Libya.The original vision for the ship was to include a huge shark aquarium and ... Read More
The ship The MSC Preziosa is one of 4 “Fantasia” class ships in the MSC Cruise Fleet. It started it’s life as a ship ordered by the Gadaffi Regime in Libya.The original vision for the ship was to include a huge shark aquarium and a host of other unusual features. After the revolution the regime defaulted on payments. MSC Cruises bought the hull, as it was similar to their “Fantasia” Design and created the MSC Preziosa. The ship holds 3,500 passengers and around 1,300 crew. It is a modern looking ship that despite its size has a sleek looking style – unlike some modern cruise ships that tend to look like chunky apartment blocks. The ship is aimed at the Italian market, but they also cater for other nationalities too. All of the announcements are in various languages and there will usually be 5 or 6 different ones depending on the nationalities of the passengers on board at the time . Most of the food service in the restaurants on board is of a Mediterranean style with lots of fish and pasta. MSC Yacht Club One key features of the MSC Preziosa, is the Yacht Club. This is called a “ship within a ship”. It is an access controlled area that offers a premium experience. It has about 60 suites, with most being the Deluxe Style. In addition you have a Concierge Service, 24 hour butler service, a huge lounge which serves breakfast and light snacks through the day. On deck 18 forward there is a pool deck with a bar, hot tubs and recliners. It has a dedicated restaurant (La Palmeraie) which is at the rear of the ship. Dining Options on Board The whole ship is very stylish, modern looking and very very clean ( as are all MSC ships), the ship has many dining and entertainment options. The main restaurant (Golden Lobster)which is a 2 seating dining ( early and late) is full of gold and very glitzy, it has a good menu, with most evening meals of 4 / 5 courses. We usually have a drinks package so have never had any problems with getting water or wine at the table. MSC do not serve free water at the dinner table(including tap water) . Many people like to use the buffet for breakfast and lunch, at times is very very busy. You can usually find a seat the further back you go. It is very good, has a lot of fresh fruit, salads, vegetables, fish and very good pizza (made fresh ) It only serves free juice at breakfast, again this seems to be an MSC thing, however it is very good compared to other buffet experiences I have had on other ships. The “Eataly” restaurant, one of the additional charge restaurants is very good and has a more formal menu section, it also has an informal section. The additional charge was about 30 Euros for the set menu, and in the other section around 5 to 7 Euros per item. The Cabins MSC Preziosa has 4 main types of cabin available : inside, ocean view, balcony and the yacht club suites. Most of the cabins on the Preziosa are standard balcony cabins, they do not have tea and coffee making in the rooms, but again this changes with the location of the ships. All of the cabins are well appointed with even the lowest grade having shower gel, soap, towels and pool towels provided. All the cabins have large flat screen TVs and air conditioning some of the high grade balcony’s and all of the suits have a bath and shower. Things to do on Board Entertainment is varied and aimed at a young and family audience. There is the very long “Vertigo” waterslide on the top deck at the rear of the funnel ( the only fantastica class to have it), 4-D Cinema, Formula 1 Racing simulator and even a 2 lane bowling alley in the sports bar. The shows in the theatre are aimed at families with lots of music and acrobatics. There is little speaking as they generally speak Italian. Any announcements are in up to 6 different languages which would make the show too long to have speaking parts. The shows are generally of a good quality. Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 main pool options, a large outdoor pool, a covered pool that can have the roof opened and an “infinity” style pool at the rear of the ship. All get busy on sea days and you quickly realise how many people are on the ship There is a chargeable sun deck on deck 18 mid ships near to the funnel with a hot tub and nice comfy sun loungers. This area doesn’t tend to get to busy due to the extra Charge. There is a large and and well appointed gym, situated at the front of the ship overlooking the bow and above the navigation bridge. It is very popular, depending on the passenger profile, during our trip this was mainly younger persons. The Spa Sauna and steam room area has an additional charge. It is very large compared to other ships and is very popular at times. The use of the area can be pre booked via the MSC Website or booked on the ship for the duration of the voyage. The MSC Aurea Spa area is very well equipped to modern cruise ship standards, it has all the usual spa treatments on offer. One unusual item on offer is 2 stand up sun tan beds with are chargeable in 10min blocks. Would we Recommend MSC We liked the MSC Preziosa. It was stylish and bright. It attracts a young and family crowd, so if you do not like the boisterous nature of multi cultural family resorts then this ship may not be for you using the standard cabins. The Yacht Club may be better as it is a good way to enjoy all the many features of the ship and still be able to find some quiet spaces . While the the MSC brand approach is very Mediterranean, it is not for everyone. If you want value for money on elegant, stylish and modern ships then try MSC and the MSC Preziosa. However MSC customer service is somewhat lacking and they are very difficult to get hold of but this aside the line are reasonably good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Although I cruise more than 15 times a year, it is unusual that I took 3 cruises in Europe within the span of 30 days! The reason? I suddenly had some spare time and it is better -valued and trouble-free cruising than travelling on land. ... Read More
Although I cruise more than 15 times a year, it is unusual that I took 3 cruises in Europe within the span of 30 days! The reason? I suddenly had some spare time and it is better -valued and trouble-free cruising than travelling on land. The first was a Mediterranean cruise on MSC Fantasia, from Genoa, on 16 September. I did not pay the cheapest but was glad to find a Yacht Club cabin at a good last-minute bargain price. MSC’s Yacht Club, on which I made quite a few trips, is one of my favourites, as it offers first class service at a reasonable price. This cruise does not disappoint. From check-in in Genoa to disembarking with my good butler taking me to a taxi, and impeccable service all the time during sailing days, I was all VIP (that I am actually not, I am afraid). Have done various MSC ship many times (Gold member). Membership does not give more useful benefits such as free internet on Cunard and Princess at similar level, but ticket price is discounted as well as some onboard service. The food is good at the special YC restaurant, and service is first class like on luxury ships. Yacht Club cabins are not much larger, but it is the food and other services, such as special YC deck area on ship and lounge, inclusive wine, and most important the good butler service, that count to make YC an even better valued proposal than an ordinary cabin for me. The itinerary is well-travelled, only one port, Ajaccio, was my first call. Genoa is an excellent starting port, easy embarkation, and much to see, so I had a pre-cruise stay of 3 nights before sailing. Cannes was next and we had a long whole day to explore the city. Palma de Mallorca came next, then Barcelona, both I had too many visits and so it was relaxing for me. The ship is my destination, that’s why I booked Yacht Club. Often a little stroll on familiar streets, then home for a fine dinner. MSC offers good entertainment with production-type shows every night. Then Ajaccio, my first visit although I have called on Bonafacio and Calvi on previous cruises. It was still too much sun and too hot on Sept 20 to have an otherwise most pleasant stroll of this town. For me ports like this of compact size are most desirable for cruise ships. Then Civitavecchia, and I didn’t bother to add one more of many revisits to Rome. Civitavecchia has become a permanent bore to frequent cruisers like me who do not bother to take 3 hours in train travel to Rome. Last call was La Spezia. An excursion port to see Firenze, Pisa, or Cinque Terre. It was bad that as I landed late I miss the few transportation to the latter, which I have visited of course but want to see again one of the most picturesque places of the world. It was an all-port day busy itinerary, great for first time cruisers of the Med. MSC has many ships doing similar itinerary. The spectacular new vessel Seaview was next to us in Genoa for departure same time but I have chosen Fantasia for Ajaccio to have at least one port of touristic interest to me. Paying a good last minute fare for Yacht Club, it was always a good idea if you have time to spare And alas, I still had time, so I embarked Costa Fascinosa the day I disembarked.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I was very apprehensive about this cruise after reading the reviews, I was totally blown away from start to finish. We are a couple in 50's, who have traveled a lot. We did a cruise 6 years ago with P & O and I cried the first ... Read More
I was very apprehensive about this cruise after reading the reviews, I was totally blown away from start to finish. We are a couple in 50's, who have traveled a lot. We did a cruise 6 years ago with P & O and I cried the first week I hated everything about it ! Embarkation was so smooth and easy it was a joy !!! Friendly staff to greet us, welcome drink on arrival and a real WOW factor - just like a movie set with the glitz and glamour The Cabin was just what i was expecting, clean to a high standard and twice a day, large comfortable bed and the choice of pillows. Mini bar was not included in our room but it made no difference as i just went an got a drink when getting ready. Balcony was a good size 2 chairs and a table, don't need anything else. Food, again i was shocked after reading the reviews on here, we ate at the Red Velvet every night, yes it is small portions but it is ala carte, so i wouldn't expect anything else. The food itself was presented well and tasted great, there is a choice of starters, main and dessert. Even the table wine was good. We didn't try the buffet for dinner, we did pop in there for lunch, but it wasn't our thing. Breakfast again at the Red Velvet was extremely good, you have the option of buffet or table service. The level of service in the Red Velvet was incredible, they could not do enough for you. I ordered 2 desserts every night and extra potatoes, they never questioned it or pulled a face, these guys worked really hard and enhanced our dinning experience. We bought the all inclusive drinks package and it was well worth it, we added up everything at the end and it would have easily been double the amount We didn't do any MSC excursions, we did our own thing, again it was a straight forward process to disembark daily, no long queues. Cannes Don't worry about getting a ticket from level 7, go straight to level 4 and board the tender. There is a petit train if you wanted, but we wandered freely. Palma Straight forward, get of the cruise ship and catch the local bus from outside the port, it takes you straight to town. Barcelona. Again, catch the local bus from outside the port, a few minutes and you are in town. Corsica My favorite place, its just a stroll into the town, great place for wine and food Rome We did this ourselves through a cruise excursions it was half the price of MSC and had a full day here, just wandering around. Pisa We took a taxi from the port the train station 15 euros and had booked train tickets to Pisa before we left, the train was great, i think it cost us around 35 Euros return in first class. Not much there but at least i can say i have been. Genoa This is where we started our cruise, so didn't have any time to look round. Disembarkation, again a doddle, it was really smooth, the suitcases were collected in the evening, we collected from outside the ship went straight onto a coach and then at the airport. Entertainment was ok, better than P & O but bearing in mind they have to cater for at least 6 different languages it must be hard to please everyone. All in all, i am the hardest person to please, i have no complaints about MSC cruise , all i can say is I WILL BE DOING IT AGAIN. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was the worst food we have ever experienced on a cruiseship. We always said “I have never had bad food on a cruise, but now It’s there. This was clearly the most cheap garbage ever served on a ship. Not just once, but every ... Read More
This was the worst food we have ever experienced on a cruiseship. We always said “I have never had bad food on a cruise, but now It’s there. This was clearly the most cheap garbage ever served on a ship. Not just once, but every day. Lunch or dinner, buffet or restaurant. The food budget is obvious shrunk below the limit. This is unacceptable. What are the chefs doing? Taste your own food! Highly unmotivated minimized staff on restaurants and bars, no hospitality at all. A few friendly exceptions. The ship was dirty, tables not cleaned no toilet paper on public toilets for a few times. It’s a miracle the norro virus skips this ship. We couldn’t believe smoking is allowed in public areas like the “sports”bar and large parts of the open decks. At a kids friendly company...!? Not to be all negative; Embarkation is smooth and fast with your seapass in your cabin. But the need to enter your credit card in a atm in the first days is a bit impersonal. The ports of call where nice. Overnight in Ibiza is fun. Beautiful island with nice nightlife. 15 years ago Msc was our first cruise. We loved it. But wow, what are they doing sinking at MSC. This was our 4e but last MSC cruise for sure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no ... Read More
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no conversation or interaction waiters took your order in silence and walked away. Food then served in silence. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean and staff are first class, MSC could learn a lot from them. Be wary of tickets coming into cabin for excursions next day, in Malta we did the open top bus ourselves which was on an ancient, dirty, crowded bus, MSC are selling this tour, and by coincidence I overheard several couples on board complaining at reception about the terrible bus, after that I had no faith in MSC regarding these excursions. Overall we had a nice enough time, we are easy going people and don't complain often but for me the 2 main things that let the ship down is the poor dining room and the customer service, next cruise we will go for Royal Caribbean again Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise so that we could see parts of Italy. It was not cheap for the all inclusive package that was included when we booked with travel agent. I have never been made to feel like a second class citizen on any other cruise as ... Read More
We chose this cruise so that we could see parts of Italy. It was not cheap for the all inclusive package that was included when we booked with travel agent. I have never been made to feel like a second class citizen on any other cruise as I was on this one. Drinks options were very limited, trying to get a glass of wine with dinner was a nightmare. There are only two options available for all inclusive package, but waiting staff only went round with one bottle to top up your glass. They did not like it when asked for the other one, when it was finally produced the meal was almost over. Cabins are very basic, don’t expect any little luxuries as there are none. Pump dispensers provide body wash, shampoo and soap. Never once saw cabin steward, on three consecutive nights had to actually make my own bed as duvet had only been spread over. Again for our package drinks at the bars are very limited. If you drink bottled beer you can only have Heineken, with spirits you can have Gordon’s gin, Smirnoff vodka. Anything else you need to pay for. The whole cruise involved them trying to get more money out of you. We had an additional £600 bill at the end of our cruise. This was we chose to dine in speciality restaurants with wine in a more relaxed environment. Please check your account daily, if you do not spend, they will add money on saying you made a donation to charity even if you didn’t. I’m sorry to say there are very little positives. The transfers, embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Overall, this cruise had far to many passengers on board resulting in the personal touch in making every passenger feel special was sadly missing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
For personal reasons we were forced to travel during the main holiday season this time. This resulted in some negative experiences, as the ship was fully booked as well as full with many families and children. Unfortunately today's ... Read More
For personal reasons we were forced to travel during the main holiday season this time. This resulted in some negative experiences, as the ship was fully booked as well as full with many families and children. Unfortunately today's parents seem to neglect the education and good behaviour very much. But to the journey. We chose this route because we did not know of any other port except Genoa. Ship: We already knew in advance that the MSC Opera is an older ship in the fleet and was extended in 2015. Unfortunately, the public areas seem to have been disregarded during the extension. After several voyages on other MSC ships we were disappointed by the public areas. Cabin: The cabin was MSC standard and thus perfectly in order. Criticism points were however the connecting door, which did not dampen the noise of the neighbouring cabin enough, and the built-in furniture. The hinges of the cabinets were protruding or torn out. Dinner in the restaurant: our expectations were fulfilled. The choices were known from other travels and even as a non-fish-eater one has more than sufficient possibilities. The staff was very busy, although the language skills could always be improved. Food and meals in the self-service restaurant: the self-service restaurant was very small compared to other MSC ships and definitely undersized due to the number of passengers. The possibility of evading into the covered outdoor area is certainly unique and makes sense in warm outside temperatures. Service on board: we always had the impression that the staff had either been on board for too long (i.e. towards the end of the current contract) or were only on the first route. In any case, the waiting times were unusually long and in many areas there was no service at all. That was unfortunately very disappointing. Staff on board: even if personnel costs are saved everywhere (in all economic sectors), the friendliness and the service philosophy should always be emphasized. Our impression has been confirmed that the quality of the staff deteriorates from year to year. Itinerary: This time Genoa was only the start and end port. In Marseille, one should definitely book the offered shuttle, as here one saves a lot of walking and time. The old harbour with the exhibition buildings as well as the church Notre Dame de la Garde are absolutely recommendable. On Mallorca, one can do without the shuttle, as directly from the harbour building, a public bus drives away (on arrival as an express line) and stops in the middle of the city. Small tip: book the visit of the terraces of the cathedral in advance (an insider tip at the moment, but definitely very worthwhile). Ibiza: Party highlight of the whole route - individually spend the whole day with a rented scooter or car (choose car rental with office at the Estacion Maritima!) and in the evening to the old town of the island capital Eivissa. Olbia - Panoramatour with Costa Smerald - Porto Cervo - San Pantaleo ... who has luck to have a bus with only one language, can enjoy the journey surely still better Livorno - Cinque Terre by bus, boat and train... dreamlike... recommendable in Monterosso: the self-righteous cakes in the Pasticceria Laura... Shows in the theatre: dreamlike illusions and great shows... so far also the best cruise director... the singers have great voices, but could add a little more emotion to the songs; acrobats: the power and air acrobats are excellent, the snakewomen unfortunately only show standard and you could certainly leave them out. Bands / singers in the bars: oh dear, what can you say about that without having to reach into the bottom drawer? Unfortunately even the most famous songs, which everyone in the audience can sing along to, are performed as if by laymen at a karaoke show. In addition the volume was very high, so that one had to evade very far for conversations. To sum it up, we can recommend a trip with MSC at any time, but you should be aware of what you expect and take a close look at the plans of the ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The cabin was nice and clean but the buffet was extremely crowded and dirty. Very difficult to find a place near the pool. The shore excursions were the worst, we were running to check the points of interest with guides telling a story ... Read More
The cabin was nice and clean but the buffet was extremely crowded and dirty. Very difficult to find a place near the pool. The shore excursions were the worst, we were running to check the points of interest with guides telling a story on fast forward. The “culinary tour” in Palermo means 2 rice balls on a plastic plate in a dirty crowded market and 2 small cannolis( worst we ever had) on the run. Going to Portofino means waiting to disembark for 1/2 hour, waiting to embark another ship 1/2 hour, 1 1/2 on the way and 1 hour in Portofino, exhausting and worthless. The winery tour in Sardegna was filled with wrong information and just some marketing for the factory. At the embarkation their only concern was to sell us drink packages so we got lost on the ship trying to find our cabin. That was our first and last cruise, we spent a lot of money and waste our time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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