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560 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

This was out 9th cruise in the MSC Yacht Club and so far this is the best one, mainly because of the spectacular new ship in the Seaside Class, the MSC Seaview. MSC have put a lot of effort to make the YC enclave better and better and with ... Read More
This was out 9th cruise in the MSC Yacht Club and so far this is the best one, mainly because of the spectacular new ship in the Seaside Class, the MSC Seaview. MSC have put a lot of effort to make the YC enclave better and better and with the Seaside Class they have made the Yacht Club excellent in all aspects. The layout with the YC Restaurant and Top Sail Lounge forward on deck 16 and 18 is spectacular. The outside lounge in front of the Top Sail Lounge is fantastic with great views. Great interiors in the YC as well as in the rest of the ship. The One Pool Deck is now divided into two main parts and the pool area with the bar and buffet/Grill is really a great place. There is plenty of seating in the shade, on section for smokers. And in the front there are two whirlpools and plenty of sun loungers. Despite that the YC have more cabins than on the Fantasia Class there is plenty of space and no problem to find a sun lounger even on busy seadays. The lunch served here is great with many choices. They make you burger, steak, fillets and fish to order, everything of good quality. The same goes with the salads, fruits and desserts. Fast drinkservice too. The food in the restaurant range from good to very good and some dishes where excellent. The portions are on the small side in my opinion but you can order as many dishes as you want. My DH liked the portions sizes so this is very subjective. The service was excellent all the time and you really felt welcome. The homemade bread and pasta was outstanding. Our butler and his assistant was one of the best we ever had. His service was always delivered with a smile and a sense of humor, loved it. We had our breakfast in the cabin and it was promptly delivered every morning. The Yacht Club guests have the premium drink package included and it goes for the whole ship. Excellent. That makes is very convenient when exploring the rest of the ship. Embarkation and especially the disembarkation was a breeze. All in all we had a great cruise and I would not hesitate to recommend MSC and their Yacht Club, it's great value for money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was ... Read More
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was a real cosmopolitan mix on board dominated by Spanish and not many English on board which wasn't a problem for us. We booked a balcony cabin and were allocared a corner berth at the back of the ship on deck 11, which was fabulous with lots of space and the biggest balcony we have ever had (this was our 10th cruise). The service levels were good overall but did vary on a bar by bar basis. The only let down for us was the evening meal, which is a big part of our cruising experience. The restaurants were rammed with lots of young family groups and hence very noisy even on the late sitting, which surprised us given this was at 9.45pm. The menu was ok if a little plain as was the food. The best meal we had was in the Sushi restaurant which was fabulous. The wine choices were also a little limited even with the premium drinks package. That said we would still book another MSC cruise based on the overall experience Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We sailed on MSC Opera, western mediterranean (Genova, Marseille, Palma, Ibiza, Olbia, Livorno) on 30 june 2018. I am Italian, my husband is from US, we sailed before on other cruise lines. We choose MSC to get the "Italian ... Read More
We sailed on MSC Opera, western mediterranean (Genova, Marseille, Palma, Ibiza, Olbia, Livorno) on 30 june 2018. I am Italian, my husband is from US, we sailed before on other cruise lines. We choose MSC to get the "Italian experience". Let's start from the good things: * cabin: a bit worn out, but extremely clean and confortable, good service and luckily we had a cabin with balcony * Embarkation: ok genova is a bit messy, but we survived, everything went well, we had our luggage very quickly. * Entertaiment: the quality of the shows is extremely good and can suit a multicultural audience (a mix of europeans, russians and americans) * The public rooms and the ship is spotless, extremely clean and you can see staff constantly cleaning * The Opera is small and its interior decor is nice, classic (a bit retrò) and elegant. * Ports: there is a MSC shuttle for Palma, Ibiza (13-15 euros), at Marseille, Olbia and Livorno there is a free shuttle that drops you downtown. At Olbia, get the public bus number 40 (5 euros) from the port to go to nice beach Pittolongu. It's worth it! * The service at bars and cafès was weird, sometimes we had the impression that staff were trainees at their first real work experience. We sat and waited, waited, waited... for 2 espresso! *Food is free and ther is plenty at any time. Free water is ok, free coffe is bad (for italian standards). *Dress code: dress as you like, except at dinner time at restaurants where you can't go with a swimming suits and filflops, no particular elegance is required. Now the bad experience * food: you find free food everywhere, unfortunately is pretty awful. Everything was either too salty or overspiced, with strange combinations of flavours. Pasta at the buffet was overcooked and full of stuff than no italian would dare to put in a sauce (pesto with seafood and tomatoes??). Desserts too sugary and sweet. Only meat options, pizzas, bread, salads and fruits were good. The buffet is designed in a irrational way: at peak times you just got stuck in a crowd of people in line (chaotic italian style), staff cleaning dishes and people trying to get out or to find a place to sit. A better choice for lunch is the restaurant la Caravella, less crowded, slightly better food quality. At the Restaurant l'Approdo in the evening the dishes were estremely disappointing. Italian classics like lasagne and cannelloni were chewy, salty and had a bad taste. Risotto with porcini mushrooms had no porcini flavour. The "signature dishes" were mostly pretty inedible, let alone international options (chinese, asian or paella - directly from freezer). The maitre attitude was annoying: we argued on Mychoice option, he didn't let us eat at free dinner time, as stated on the documents, claiming that our travel agency messed up. We discussed quite a lot and in the end we won... no comment.. The waiter's service was slow. Most of the times we arrived at the table and we were left waiting for nearly 30-40 minutes before getting our orders. Sometimes I just wanted to walk out and go to pizza buffet! * On MSC there is a constant aggressive sales attitude: from the first moment you get onboard, staff tries to sell you beverages packages, excursions, photos.. I was really annoyed by that. * Day at sea: the ship was packed, so you had to queue everywhere: at the (small) swimming pools, jacuzzi and gym. If you don't like crowds and children screaming and splashing, get a cabin with a balcony and relax there! Would we go again on a MSC cruise? Only if we get a dirty cheap deal for a balcony cabin (and we bring food from home). Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Firstly this is going to look like the usual MSC slag off, but prior to this cruise MSC has been one of our favourite cruise lines. The problem seems to be that they have let standards slip well below what you would expect. Following a ... Read More
Firstly this is going to look like the usual MSC slag off, but prior to this cruise MSC has been one of our favourite cruise lines. The problem seems to be that they have let standards slip well below what you would expect. Following a joint transfer from Nice to join the ship, our cases were sent to MSC Seaview and we had to run after them to retrieve them to be sent to Fantasia. We had a very embarrassing situation when ordering a drink at the bar because the wrong beverage code had been put on the card (we had purchased all inclusive) and had to have new cards issued. Not a good start with both these issues on the first day. When we were docked in Corsica we were in our cabin preparing for a shower following a day ashore. I was sat on the balcony chair and my wife was getting undressed, we had the curtains open because we were on deck 12 and there was open water facing the window. I heard a strange sound coming from my right but presumed it was a boat in the water; but was very shocked when showered with water from the balcony jet washing machine. My wife at that time was undressed when the machine with 2 men came to a stop at our balcony and proceeded to look into the cabin at my then naked wife. If this was not bad enough she is still recovering from cancer and radical surgery and had to hide behind the bed. We took the matter to reception because we had not had any prior information that the balcony was to be washed (we did get a note the following day that it was to be done). Because we had some other issues I compiled a list and gave it to the gentleman on reception. He made a copy of the letter and asked if he could speak to me later in 2 days time when he had looked into it. When we returned to the ship from a day in La Spezia there was a note in the cabin asking us to contact reception. The lady on reception said quite aggressively "why have you left it so late" I explained that we had been asked to wait for the matter to be investigated but she just got more and more aggressive and at one point started to discuss us with a colleague in a language I could not decipher; I did say that I found it very rude but her reply was that we don't get many English on here, which I found to be almost a racist remark. She did not resolve any of the issues or comment on the situation I have highlighted. I reported the matter to one of the uniformed officers but never received any further correspondence, but have taken the matter up sinse we came home. Food in the MDR and Buffet was cold on most occasions, but this was never resolved even though we reported the matter to the head waiter on several occasions. people allowed in the MDR wearing shorts t-shirts flip flops and in some cases still wet from the pool; all this on a formal night. We were unable to claim the voyagers club photo's where we had dressed appropriately for a formal night. people were allowed in the MDR and Buffet without using hand gel, when I brought this to the attention of a head waiter he laughed and found it very funny. I would expect when they get an outbreak of "Noro Virus" he may not find it so amusing. When we got our disembarkation information we found that the transfer to the airport had been changed from 11:30 to 8:45 without our prior knowledge. We found this very unacceptable because this meant a 9 hour wait in a very small airport with very limited facilities. But again nothing was resolved. Entertainment in the bars was good, but in the theatre it was quite poor, on one night the main highlight of the show was a pole dancer; not very good for a family show. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This is a beautiful brand new ship, with absolutely loads of outdoor space and a fabulous 'boardwalk' outdoor eating area which wraps around the deck 8. Even though the ship was full, we can honestly say we never felt crowded. ... Read More
This is a beautiful brand new ship, with absolutely loads of outdoor space and a fabulous 'boardwalk' outdoor eating area which wraps around the deck 8. Even though the ship was full, we can honestly say we never felt crowded. There were lots of children activities with the slides and bowling alleys and zippiness etc, but quite expensive... you could buy a package but bowling in particular we thought very expensive. The 3d simulator ride was great. They had one art auction in the week which was fun, but I think will be looking to increase those. The shows were of a very high standard, but all a little 'samey' in my opinion with the dance and singing cast doing every night, so there were no surprises. We were extremely disappointed to learn that (despite having clarified this in advance as it was our reason for choosing this ship over another) there is no comedy club / or any type of comedy, an no outdoor movies. There is a big screen but it was used for images only. So I did feel that the entertainment in the evening was somewhat limited to the usual duos etc in the bars if you didn't feel like the shows or casino. The food in the main restaurants was average, but the buffet was way above average and excellent food. Also, all of the specialty restaurants were excellent, and the Tappenyaki one was worth it just for the show! The only downside was with the Atelier Bistro - whilst although the food was lovely, the ambience was hindered by it being next to the atrium and the band / kids disco etc that was playing whilst we were trying to eat... even the staff were complaining about this. Service was on the whole good. I found that alot of the staff spoke very limited english so found it hard to make myself understood sometimes, but generally the staff were pleasant and helpful. The MSC app was an excellent addition.. Overall a lovely cruise on an incredibly beautiful ship, just a few minor issues that need sorting out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, ... Read More
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, hotdogs and hamburgers. You have to be kidding me! For all the money my family spent on prepping and creating our Reunion with you guys, it was a waste of money, time and effort. While docking in the Bahamas, for whatever reason, the ship decided to flood in the elevators and hallway on floors 5, 6 and 7. This caused our last day to be a total disaster. what little activities set for that day was canceled. We spent about a half hour attempting to get food after boarding the ship from our excursion. We had family member who were diabetics, asthmatics and other health issues.It was blatantly obvious, crew members were catering to the Europeans and not to Americans. While at the formal captain's dinner, the head waiter failed to acknowledge my table. It was like I was in the center of a triangle. The three tables around me were greeted and welcomed, but, my table tended to appear invisible. No one cared enough to address our concerns. The head waiter acknowledge all guess and tables arounds us as I witnessed them sliding money in his hand. I was appalled and felt disrespected with all that was going on around us. I guess, if the price was right, you were able to get anything you wanted and if it wasn't you were totally ignored... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The itinerary for this cruise was Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valletta, Sea Day, Barcelona. A very familiar Western-Meditteranean itinerary, but what a perfect way to celebrate the launch of a new ship and our marriage. We’d visited all of ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise was Genoa, Naples, Messina, Valletta, Sea Day, Barcelona. A very familiar Western-Meditteranean itinerary, but what a perfect way to celebrate the launch of a new ship and our marriage. We’d visited all of these ports before, so we knew that for us the ship would be the destination, with the addition of an excursion to the beautiful island of Capri. With that in mind, we found that we didn’t leave the ship in any of the other ports, particularly as our cruise over the Christmas period covers all of these ports with the exception of Malta. To best cover the experience on this ship I’ll cover it in a few areas…. Cabin We stayed in a Fantastic grade balcony cabin, 13236. We found the cabin plenty big enough with a shower room. The shower had a nice glass enclosure (no curtain- yay!) Clothes storage was perhaps at a premium compared to some of the other ships with a lack of drawer space, however as this is ‘The ship that follows the sun” it stands to reason that most cruises will be a week or two at most, therefore there is ample space for that amount of time. Dining As mentioned in my preliminary thoughts, our first table on our first night in the Silver Dolphin restaurant wasn’t too great – the restaurant opened late and the food had by that time dried out and wasn’t appetising – far removed from the MSC we know. the service was slow and wasn’t the most friendly we’ve ever experienced. After the following morning’s breakfast we were assigned to the MyChoice dining section in the Golden Sands restaurant after meeting with Camilla who had been our maitre d’ on the MSC Meraviglia in November. That evening the experience was incredibly different – waiters who really knew their stuff, slick and efficient, friendly service from our waiter Alan from Honduras – again someone we’ve met on previous cruises. The tables in both restaurants were, as is common on large mass-market ships pretty close together but far enough apart to keep conversation to ourselves as a couple. MSC Seaview has a number of dining options, the complimentary options for guests in the main ship – ie not Yacht Club are the Golden Sands formal restaurant from breakfast and lunch, on an open-seating basis, your assigned restaurant for dinner and the two buffets – the main buffet being on deck 8 aft with terraces on both sides of the ship and a smaller buffet on deck 16. Extra-charge speciality restaurants are the L’Atelier Bistrot on Deck 8, surrounding the atrium, and on Deck 16 the Chef’s Court concept with the Asian Fusion restaurant by Roy Yamaguchi offering sushi and teppan yaki, Ocean Cay seafood restaurant by Two Michelin Star chef Ramon Freixa and the Butchers Cut steakhouse. In the middle of this area is a stunning wine and cocktail bar. As black card holders we were able to savour a complimentary meal in one of the speciality restaurants and chose Ocean Cay on the basis the food would be something different to usual – we dined twice in the Teppan Yaki on MSC Meraviglia so were excited to experience something new. We were not disappointed! The taster selection menu available as a loyalty perk offered a choice of three course meal. We opted for oysters, fish and chips and a melon soup. Ramon himself was onboard ensuring the dishes were up to his exacting standards and I have to say this was probably the best food we have eaten whilst at sea. One thing to note about this area is that it can only be accessed from the forward lifts. Not a problem, but don’t go to Deck 16 Aft with the expectation of walking forward to the restaurants! Food and drink highlights So, a key part of any cruise holiday is the food and drink. As seasoned MSC cruisers we are perhaps becoming too familiar with the menus, however this gives us the ability to understand how the food on a particular ship is compared to the other ships in the fleet we have been on. The Elegant Night menus on MSC ships are curated by the two celebrity chefs who work in partnership with MSC – Italian Carlo Cracco – host of MasterChef and Spanish Ramon Freixa. The menus on both of these nights offer, in my opinion, an excellent choice of dishes. Not to be missed are the ‘Chef’s specials’ on the left hand side of the menu under their picture is the details of their dish designed for MSC. Cracco’s braised blade of beef with pomegranate and Freixa’s duck royale (duck with foie gras) were both excellently thought out and well put together dishes, with a balance of flavour and beautiful presentation. We’d not tried either of these before as we’d not properly read that side of the menu! Beverage wise the choice available on the all inclusive drinks packages is extremely varied, with something to suit every taste. We took the All Inclusive Restaurants and Bars Deluxe package and were able to enjoy all of our drinks without the worry of a large bill at the end of the cruise. The Champagne bar on deck 7 serves Laurent Perrier Brut Champagne which is included in the deluxe package – great digestif to enjoy. A selection of oysters and other seafood is also available from this bar – we enjoyed three oysters here on our first evening at a cost of €9 together with a couple of glasses of champagne. Daniel, Anna Maria and Anastasia here work incredibly well as a team – as it’s not too busy they have time for a bit of a chat. It was wonderful to see them again after previously meeting them on other ships. Bars Over our years of cruising we have noticed that when getting onboard a new ship most passengers will find a venue they gravitate to. On MSC Seaview for us it was the Seaside Lounge on Deck 8, with the excellent service of Tayla, Gusti and Pun creating a great atmosphere. This bar offers a wide selection of cocktails and wines, as well as the usual beverages. The entertainment in here in the evening was a jazz singer whose voice was second to none, with almost as much depth as Nina Simone. Over the way from the Seaside Lounge is the Sports Bar, with a number of screens showing various different sports. We were absolutely delighted to see Francisco from MSC Fantasia and MSC Meraviglia in this bar, and he seemed genuinely pleased to see us too. The Sports Bar has a wide selection of beers both on draught and by the bottle, as well as various cocktails and mixed drinks. Both theSports Bar and the Seaside Lounge have access to the outside promenade, with seating readily available. Seaview has a multitude of other bars – we made it our mission to get round them all, and I think we succeeded! It’d take too long to write something about all of them, however I will just mention the area in the Piazza around the Chocolate Factory where the evening’s entertainment is a party band with some great tracks and the Panorama Bar on Deck 16 offering your usual pool-side favourites as well as those ever-so tempting creamy cocktails – Molten Lava anyone?? Overall experience MSC Seaview offered something entirely different from any ship we have ever been on, and what an experience it was. Unlike MSC Meraviglia which was inward focussed on the extravagant central promenade, Seaview is all about connecting you with the outside and the sea. Each bar had plenty of seating, and with the design of the ship the added bonus is that the bar areas all have a different atmosphere and feeling. This ship never felt crowded, even on our day at sea – probably because of the high number of balcony cabins, the promenade and the deck space. There is an abundance of activities, from ten pin bowling, the longest zip-line at sea, an aqua park, rope bridges, the casino (I had an excellent stroke of luck on our final night!) a beautiful theatre, gym, spa, three swimming pools available for the general ship’s population, arcade games, live music… It would be impossible to become bored on this ship. So, I’ve often written of my love affair with the line’s previous flagship MSC Fantasia for its timeless beauty and elegance (hard to believe she is now ten years old!) So, how does MSC Seaview compare? Well, she’s obviously much bigger and newer. Strip that away and what you have is a ship with the undoubted feel of an MSC Ship, public areas that flow from one to another and of course those sparkly stairs. I had previously said that it would be hard to improve on Fantasia, but, with Seaside and Seaview I think MSC have done it! This holiday, despite the small niggles on the first night which should be expected with any new restaurant / hotel / cruise ship, was a great success. We thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you to the wonderful crew for making our honeymoon so special, and I hope we will all meet again soon! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We embarked in the Port of Napoli, Italy. From the minute you enter the port, no one from MSC is visible to assist you. We dragged our luggage for almost a mile with no availability of trolleys. We got inside the terminal and we can ... Read More
We embarked in the Port of Napoli, Italy. From the minute you enter the port, no one from MSC is visible to assist you. We dragged our luggage for almost a mile with no availability of trolleys. We got inside the terminal and we can already see the chaos amongst the staff of the handling agency. It took 3 hours to board, we waited 2 hours downstairs and one hour upstairs by security. When we entered the ship, you dont feel welcome at all, normal scanning of ID and then boom you are inside. We are used to Royal Caribbean and all the information you have upon embarkation from restaurant suggestion to fitness packages to general information on the ship and what is going on. Only 2 staff from the kids club were there. We had the Aurea Experience package, and when I asked several staff about the special area fro Aurea, no one even knew where it was. On the ship itself, the paid restaurant options were good but on the high end as far as price. we ate at the dining room only once and the service was not good. The SPA area was a great one with the steam room, sauna, jaccuzi and snow room. If you are getting a massage be ready to experience a lot of noise while doing the massage, the area is not quiet at all and they keep slamming doors. The shows were great...great performers The pool area was always crowded, but if you have the Aurea you can use a private area with Jaccuzi access and free drinks Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our ... Read More
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our needs. The itinerary is all-important to me, so we have never used the same cruise line twice. We wanted to add a day in the Cinque Terre, and this was the only line that disembarked in Genoa, near there. The shore excursions were also reasonably priced as compared to most cruise lines. They embark and disembark passengers at every port, so this offers a lot of flexibility. However their ala carte pricing means that you really have to look hard at what you want and what you are willing to pay extra for. It is very confusing, and very easy to be charged for something you didn't need. Everything is extra, including water. The heavy smokers were also a bad experience for Americans and a safety issue. The ship can hold 4,300 passengers, but personally I like a much smaller ship. However there were a lot of activities for children, including their own swim and play area. We had a wonderful balcony cabin on deck 13 with what they call the Aurea experience. This offered us the all-inclusive drinks package that normally cost $55 per person, per day. Also we had two included spa treatments that were worth about $120 each. MSC charges an extra 10 Euro per person, per day service charge. However you can modify this if you want. Except on the gala nights, the food was either overcooked or cold. The buffet meals were quite bad. However if you order off the menu in the Red Velvet Restaurant, the food was somewhat better. We found the service was very good, unlike many other reviews. MSC has a matching rewards program, so even though this was our first trip, we achieved Gold status. However you have to apply for this a couple of weeks before sailing, and the rewards were not that great. It took a lot of work on my part to document our existing rewards with other programs. To me the 5% discount was most beneficial, but that only applies on future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because it was a back to back cruise with the Poesia. We were with a group of 6. We were transferred by coach from Venice to Genoa which took about 5 hours. Only about 12 people on the coach. Good trip. Because we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a back to back cruise with the Poesia. We were with a group of 6. We were transferred by coach from Venice to Genoa which took about 5 hours. Only about 12 people on the coach. Good trip. Because we arrived at Genoa at about 15.30 embarkation was easy and fast - straight through, baggage arrived at cabin the same time as we did. Balcony cabin was big and neat and tidy.Much bigger than Poesia. The tiles in the Shower recess floor were loose and water leaked onto floor outside shower. Dining was below average. Wait Staff in dining room were good but it was obvious they were under pressure 'from up above'. Servings in the dining room were small and the menu was exactly the same as the ship which we just came off. No variation at all - very disappointing. Breakfast and lunch in the buffet was total chaos. Too many people pushing and shoving and the noise level was very loud. Menu's were not very appealing at all. Service in the dining room for breakfast was slow. One morning I waited 20 minutes before being served. Most Bar staff were very slow and it appeared that it was a chore to serve you. Prices on drinks menu did not include a service charge of 15%. So when you ordered a beer for EUR4.95 the bill come in at EUR5.69. Some times we would order a drink from the list and after about 20 minutes the waiter returned to say they didn't have it or they ran out. The drinks included red wine Cabernet Sauv, Cognac, Cocktail of the Day, Strongbow Cider etc. You had to keep an eye on your onboard account as I was charged twice for items I did not purchase. The onboard account on the TV screen listed your transactions but did not include the total of the bill - you had to work that out yourself. Entertainment was good but it was mainly performed by the onboard production crew, mainly dancing and singing. The Cruise Director did not appear to get too involved in day to day activities. the only time we saw him was at the evening show where he introduced the show in about five different languages. Imagine if they featured a comedy act, the comedian would have to tell the joke several times in different. How good would that be?? We did not do any Shore excursions from the ship because we thought the cost was excessive. They provided paid shuttles into town, which were also expensive, then we done our own thing. Disembarkation was good and well organised, bit different than the chaotic Poesia. The ship was beautiful, very Italian with plenty of marble and glass, plenty seating in the lounges, but the standard of service and dining experiences really let it down. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have been on several other cruises over the years and this was by far the worst. Passengers made up of mainly Italian and French; not many English on board, so excursions were multi lingual. Passengers were embarking and disembarking at ... Read More
We have been on several other cruises over the years and this was by far the worst. Passengers made up of mainly Italian and French; not many English on board, so excursions were multi lingual. Passengers were embarking and disembarking at each port which caused disruption, something we are not used to, and resulted in lifeboat drill every day and closure of bars whilst the drill was carried out. Le Vele buffet restaurant too small for the level of customers onboard at difficulty finding a table and staff when we needed a drink. No tea coffee facility in the cabins. Smoking on board is allowed in certain indoor areas which then spreads to non smoking areas, which we did not like. Food quality was excellent in all areas. Evening restaurant food and staff were excellent but the two sitting times were 7pm and 9.30pm. We booked a suite, but it was found to be just a large balcony cabin. Entertainment was approximately 30mins per night in the Theatre by the same performers which we found boring on the three nights we went into the theatre. Many children and teenagers on board which we again are not used to. We would not recommend MSC cruises after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have travelled with most cruise lines and expected a mid-range experience with rather good food given that MSC is an Italian company. It turned out that the most disappointing aspect was food and beverage. BREAKFAST Breakfast can ... Read More
We have travelled with most cruise lines and expected a mid-range experience with rather good food given that MSC is an Italian company. It turned out that the most disappointing aspect was food and beverage. BREAKFAST Breakfast can be taken i their cafeteria or in the restaurant Villa Borghese. We visited the cafeteria numerous times but never managed to get a table. In Villa Borghese you can select between a la carte and buffet. All dishes sampled were of poor quality and presentation. I.e. Eggs Benedicts were almost inedible. Room Service breakfast is yoghurt, bread and coffee/tea. Thats it. LUNCH Lunch could be taken in the cafeteria as well as in Villa Borghese. The latter offered a la carte as well as buffet. We only ate when we were at sea and escaped the ship for meals as often as we could. DINNER You are assigned dinners in either Villa Borghese or L'Ibiscus. We were in the latter and the food was mediocre and rather bland. Food was okay but never an experience you would like to remember. ALL-INCLUSIVE CONCEPT We opted for the all-inclusive concept which was promoted to include all beverages at all times. It proved to be far from it. In the restaurants you could only choose wines from a very limited selection and only by the glass (2 whites, 1 rosé and 2 reds) - all La Zolla an almost undrinkable quality. Most cocktails are not included. Water is included but not if you take the water in the mini bar, then it is extra. Beverages from room service are always extra and you pay for the food here too but delivery is included. Rather strange concept and very confusing which seemed deliberate. Although the all-inclusive packages are rather cheap, they are not worth buying. BOARDING Getting onboard took 2,5 hours and we waited in four different queues for different aspects of the registration process. We never understood why it had been made so complicated and everybody complained throughout. SERVICE In general there seems to be an attitude amongst staff of wishing they were somewhere else. They made numerous errors during our cruise and not once were we offered an apology. All (and I mean ALL) announcements are made in six languages (English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Russian) so everything takes forever. Would much rather prefer to have announcements in English and perhaps one other language and them have all written information in as many languages as they wish. We were forced to watch the MSC commercial videos several times in the theatre and people started commenting on the completely different experience they were having compared to the commercials. For example, in the commercials there are flowers everywhere but we didn't see one flower throughout our stay. The meals are served with cloches. We never saw them onboard, and so on, and so on. SAFETY The safety drill was an Italian farce. They started the drill 20 minutes late and then in a way that only a limited number of passengers could see what happened (and again in six languages). Passengers soon started to leave the stations is frustration. Italian organized chaos. ITALIAN ATTITUDE Most senior officers are Italian and they clearly feel superior to the other members of staff. Several times we observed officers go into bars to prepare their own coffees and two times I saw officers take cakes out of the cake displays with their fingers and straight into their mouths. So much for food hygiene. ALL IN ALL All in all it was a very disappointed experience and we will not return to MSC. If you travel on a limited budget there are so many other cruise lines to choose from and we cannot come up with even one, why you should choose MSC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I read horrible reviews prior to my trip, but I still signed on because the ports were enticing and the price was right. To begin, getting any sort of help online prior to travel was impossible. No one responded to emails or chat ... Read More
I read horrible reviews prior to my trip, but I still signed on because the ports were enticing and the price was right. To begin, getting any sort of help online prior to travel was impossible. No one responded to emails or chat requests. Luckily some members of our group were able to take the time to call the MSC help desk. I prefer to do everything online and MSC is not set up to handle that type of business. The transfer from Milan was excellent. Great staff, no issues there! Embarkation was a bit messier. There were multiple stations to hit, but there was no welcome feeling and we didn't really know what was happening from desk to desk. As someone else mentioned, the lifeboat drill was not on time and not organized. I honestly wish I had just signed in and walked away, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to do that. It was a waste of a good hour of ship time. The first night of dinner, in the myChoiceDining area, our server was so horrible, half our group didn't come back to dinner. When our friends inquired about their drink order, he said, "give me a minute!" He handed us our plates instead of setting them down. He told us to "Make Room" for additional plates on the table. He gave us grief for wanting to order additional entrees to share with the table and then delivered them all at once when we clearly didn’t have the space for them. And finally, he wanted us to order our dessert with our entrees, which was very unusual. The second night we requested a new server and told the hostess that our previous waiter was terrible and she just said ok. Our new server was wonderful and we went back to him every night! As someone else mentioned, breakfast in the dining room was buffet or a la carte. Our server didn’t seem to want to take our order or serve anything. As it turns out, we shouldn’t have ordered. The waffles looked to be frozen waffles and the fruit was definitely thawed out. We never went back to breakfast in the dining room. The buffet breakfast wasn’t very enticing either, so we stuck to yogurts, fruit and breads. Others in our party complained about the lines and chaos in the buffet, but I’ve seen that on other large ships as well. Our dinner server would actually help us find our family or find a table if the others hadn’t arrived yet. To me, that’s good service! The ports were all amazing, but I will say, there should be more organization as there was a tremendous line in Barcelona to re-board the ship. With such short port times, it should be assumed everyone will come back at once and staffing should be there to cover the busy times. On Saturday, upon arrival in Cherbourg, there was a line of people waiting to get off the ship, an hour after we were entitled to disembark... when suddenly the staff started moving props to another deck. Had I not asked, I would not have been told that there was a problem with the gangway and we needed to go to another deck. The lack of communication for that was disappointing, along with the loss of an hour in port, with no apology that I’m aware of. On approximately deck 10 rear, we ran into worker smoking in a very small area that isn't a smoking area. Completely inappropriate. Speaking of smoking, half of the pool deck as well as another half of the walking track are smoking areas. I had to do laps on only one side of deck 7 (the walking track). The casino is also a smoking area and completely infected the entrance to the theater. We were told there were 50 nationalities onboard, so yes, the announcements were made in 6 languages, which can be long, but who’s to decide which ones to cut? Not me. In the reception line, one poor employee was unable to help so many guests, so it’s clear not all guests speak English and multiple announcements are needed. I do feel investing in translators for staff would be helpful, at least at the reception desk. In general the service was inconsistent. Some days, you got the nicest bartenders. Other days, they were downright nasty. The cruise staff was awesome! Great group of people in that crew! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
MSC in the Caribbean, as it has several competing companies, focuses on service and care. In Europe, as it has no competition, the mess is general. They exchange Coca Cola for Pepsi, exchange San Pellegrino and Panna water served in ... Read More
MSC in the Caribbean, as it has several competing companies, focuses on service and care. In Europe, as it has no competition, the mess is general. They exchange Coca Cola for Pepsi, exchange San Pellegrino and Panna water served in America by anyone, the attendance worsens noticeably, with bad prominence for the attendants of Venchi and the safety when returning to the ship. Calumet, which is the restaurant that serves 20 hours, falls a lot of quality, nothing resembles the cruises that MSC does in the United States. The buffet worsens and the replenishment is bad. The schedules provided in the booking are different. For example, FP5 should leave Rome, but FP7 left. Should arrive in Mallorca the 3PM but arrived at 1PM and should arrive in Genova at 9AM but arrived at 7,30AM. The ship is great and, at the Yacht Club, better still, but do not just cruise with the ship. The only positive caveat, though somewhat elitist, is that the Yacht Club staff, especially the Top Sail Lounge and the butlers who serve the cabins, are great and try to lessen the effects of the Italian Way. (Google Translator) Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose this cruise again ,first went to try out and found everything so good booked another few weeks later,now going again on the 18th may ,the staff are so friendly and helpful everything was spotlessly clean,food was good catering ... Read More
We chose this cruise again ,first went to try out and found everything so good booked another few weeks later,now going again on the 18th may ,the staff are so friendly and helpful everything was spotlessly clean,food was good catering staff very helpful,all the staff could not do enough to p!ease,the cleaning of our cabin was excellent every day,entertainment was good and varied the entertainment team were excellent trying to make sure everyone had a good time and got involved,pool and hot tubs were glorious .excursions are bit expensive but you can go on your own,embarking and disembarking explained well,good safety procedures,the people pushing you to have your photo done are a bit annoying and expensive but we still got one just as a memory but the photos are excellent,,get a drinks package that way you can experiment with the cocktails,bar staff and waiters waitresses are lovely and very helpful, Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
There were 8 of us going on the Mediterranean cruise, so we were looking for something that was more budget friendly and we chose MSC as it was slightly cheaper than the other cruise lines we have taken in the past. This was our first ... Read More
There were 8 of us going on the Mediterranean cruise, so we were looking for something that was more budget friendly and we chose MSC as it was slightly cheaper than the other cruise lines we have taken in the past. This was our first time going with MSC and I was a bit apprehensive after reading some of the reviews given here on how MSC sucked and how it was the worst cruise they've taken - and I thought perhaps we should've taken Princess or Norwegian or Holland America instead. However, besides a couple of issues I had, we were pleasantly surprised that it wasn't bad as others have described. Perhaps we were just lucky and that we had very low expectations going in, but MSC are better at some things and not as good as other cruise lines, which is probably true with all cruise lines anyway. First of all, most of the critique about MSC Orchestra is about the food. Someone said they were not picky eaters and would eat just about anything and yet still found the food terrible. Well, whoever said the food was terrible in MSC Orchestra are actually picky eaters, or just not into a variety of cuisine. Perhaps they just ate the pasta and the pizza all the time and found them terrible - which I do agree, to my surprise, is really not MSC's best offering especially for an Italian ship. The pizza were average, even pizza I've had from the USA are better, which is probably blasphemous for me to say. But it's the same 3 types of pizza every single day so it got boring. The pastas were also okay, they offer a variety with different sauces but again, it's always the same ones every time. They also had a grill section which offered hamburgers, hotdogs and french fries but the real issue with their buffet is that they have the same food every day - EXCEPT for the Daily Specials and Ethnic Cuisine which is located at the back section of the buffet dining room - which many people miss or by the time they get there, their plates are already full of pizza and pastas. The daily specials/ethnic cuisine section offered dishes from Asia or Eastern Europe or South American and it's different each day. My only comment is that they should hire a real Asian chef if they want to serve Asian dishes - they're not bad, but you can tell the difference if an Asian dish was prepared by a Westerner. What I don't like in their buffet dining is that they don't offer lemonade or ice tea for lunch or dinner, unlike other cruise lines, you have a choice of drink besides water. You have to pay for other beverage which isn't right. The one difference in Main Dining with MSC from other cruise ships I've been on is that you get a table reserved for you and your party for the entire duration of the cruise. Which is great because you can just go directly to the same table every night without waiting for the maître d' to seat you and you don't have to wait for the rest of your group to get started. We got a nice 8-seat table next to a port hole so it was a nice location but I can imagine if you got a bad table next to the galley or something, however you can request to be moved if possible. Again, what surprised me with their main dining is that you have to pay for the water. I suppose being an American, I'm not used to this. In the USA, water is free and expected to be served at any restaurant. At €2.75 per liter, we consumed 5 or more bottles each time and it would have gotten quite expensive if we didn't have the complimentary mineral water package that came with our reservation, so while we didn't pay a single cent for our water, I would've been quite pissed off if I had to shell out an extra €100+ just for water in the dining room. That said, the variety of dishes offered was better than average and as I've said, they should hire an Asian chef if they want to serve oriental fare, and also should stay away from pork dishes, every time they serve pork - it was overcooked and bland, but other than that, I enjoyed majority of the dishes I had. They could also offer a lot more choices for dessert but it's not that big of a deal having only 3-4 choices every night, at least it's different. I was a bit disappointed they only had either vanilla or cookies & cream gelato, I had hoped to have a different flavor of gelato every night. The biggest thing we enjoyed in our cruise was their Entertainment live shows each night. The performers were phenomenal and the variety of shows they put out was awesome - they had jugglers, acrobats, aerial silk artists, opera singers, flamenco and salsa dancers in addition to the usual singers and house dancers every cruise line have, and they include almost everyone on each show so it never got boring. In other cruises we had in the past, they would have something like a 70's disco show and it's a whole hour of singing and dancing 70s disco songs which got boring halfway through the show. Not on this cruise, even if they had the Tribute to 80s Musicals night, they still have performances from the non-singing/dancing artists which made the show more exciting and entertaining. As for the Ports and shore excursions - we had a great time in all of them. They were on time and organized with the separate meeting places and the tour stickers - unlike other cruises where everyone gets off the ship and it's chaos at the port looking for your tour guide. However, I have one huge issue with them - our Marseille excursion in France was cancelled due to a strike. So I had to rebook another excursion and go somewhere else. What annoyed me greatly is that I pre-paid for all our excursions and go the 20% discount, and I thought re-booking another excursion, which is not my fault, we would simply get a replacement. But no... what happened was they refunded my excursion at €44pp and I had to pay full price of €55pp for the replacement tour, and the excursions office would not honor the 20% discount I had in my previous tour. Also, some tour buses are multi-lingual and while I can understand why they had to do that, it did make the tours much longer (and a bit boring) because the tour guides had to say everything twice in different languages. The cabins were ok, it's not the best since it's an old ship, but they were clean. The bathroom was slightly larger than those we've had at Princess and Royal Caribbean but smaller than Norwegian, at least my knees weren't bumping the sink when I sat down. The service was good, especially those from Asia which were always polite and smiling and couple of times they gave us free drinks which was very much appreciated. As mentioned earlier, MSC Orchestra is one of the older ships in the fleet so obviously they' don't have the modern amenities as the newer ones. I did get 4 cruise passes to their Thermal Area which was a couple of steam rooms, a couple of sauna rooms, 3 whirlpool baths but only 6 lounge chairs, which wasn't enough on a busy day, but at least it got us away from the crowds at the pool in Deck 13, and at certain times of the day, we were the only ones there. The gym was also average but it didn't bother us that much because there was only one of us who went there lol. Anyway, for those who read some of the negative reviews about MSC Orchestra, I can only say maybe they did have a terrible time cruising with MSC, and although we've had our issues with some of the way MSC handled things, I would still say we had a fun and memorable experience cruising the Mediterranean with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Friends asked us to join them on this cruise as they had never been on a cruise before. We had travelled on Princess Cruise line before and could not help but compare the two. In fact there is no comparison! Don't get me wrong Divina ... Read More
Friends asked us to join them on this cruise as they had never been on a cruise before. We had travelled on Princess Cruise line before and could not help but compare the two. In fact there is no comparison! Don't get me wrong Divina is a magnificent ship, but I'm afraid thats where it ends! Overcrowded, to many children onboard even making late dining a nightmare (9 o'clock) kids crying & running around. 2 smoke rooms onboard as well as smoking in the Casino....smell permeated through the ship. Food very very average in restaurants, marginally better than buffet (which was full of rude people that piled their plates like there was going to be a famine) the staff are obviously not happy. Entertainment the same every night! English about 4th down on the list spoken onboard. 15% surcharge on everything purchased onboard...coffee, drinks etc. They also tried to charge €10 per person per cabin a day!! When we questioned this we were told it pays the staffs wages...sorry MSC your job to pay wages!!! And we will tip those that deserve it!! Shuttle costs expensive. Would i recommend MSC? No way. To many unruly kids, arrogant travellers, no organisation in buffet as well as theatre...umhappy staff (no wonder with the way they are treated by some onboard) Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our 14th cruise and our first on MSC. As we got closer to our sail date, (April 1), started to get nervous about the poor reviews. Well, those worries left us when we boarded in Genoa. we had a large suite and were in the ... Read More
This was our 14th cruise and our first on MSC. As we got closer to our sail date, (April 1), started to get nervous about the poor reviews. Well, those worries left us when we boarded in Genoa. we had a large suite and were in the Yacht Club, so the service is unbelievable. Food, drink, butler service was out of this world. Yes, we were in the Yacht Club, had our own bar, restaurant and pool area, so this review is skewed as we were on a ship within a ship. That being said, we thought the entire ship was beautiful. Ate at Butchers Cut and the Japanese restaurant and were thoroughly impressed. All staff were courteous and the shows were very good. Now, I can see where some people had issues with this cruise. A few times walking around the ship, I was amazed by the amount of people that we saw. Pools, promenade, Jacuzzis seemed to be packed. others that we would have a drink with stated the same observation. Also, be prepared to hear announcements in numerous languages. It will start to wear on you. Excursions: Had a great time on all. The one to Rome was LONG. I think everyone on bus slept on the way back! Others in all ports were good. Best was a private tour out of Genoa to Portofino. BEAUTIFUL Also, the butler takes you on and off the ship at all ports. You by-pass all lines. This includes lines for all shows. This is a great perk of the Yacht Club. Just be prepared for people staring and mumbling under their breath!!) Overall, we loved MSC and in huge part to the yacht club. we will definitely cruise with them again Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had past experience with msc-positive. this cruise convinced us never to use them again. ship is understaffed and service is poor. Guest services and excursion office were terrible-wrong information many times. in 3 different ... Read More
We had past experience with msc-positive. this cruise convinced us never to use them again. ship is understaffed and service is poor. Guest services and excursion office were terrible-wrong information many times. in 3 different ports there were shuttle charges . ONLY IN THE NIGHTLY NEWSLETTER DID THEY INFORM ABOUT THIS- Prices ranged from 13 euro to 16 euro and because they choose to dock outside the city-there is really no choice. there is afeeling that passengers must conform to convience of the crew. The ship is very clean and weel kept-food is okay-not enough good points to cruise with them again. the entertainment was about the same everynight-same singers and dancers-only the opera evening was worth it. ON THE LAST NIGHT THE NEWSLETTER WAS DELIVERD AT 22:00 To our room-informing us to have luggage outside by 23:00 and to vacate the cabin at 7:00-again no timely notification. the ship is nice but with everyone on board-public spaces are very crowded. some of the crew do their best-but the ship sorely lacks manpower. T Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide ... Read More
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide background/facts as well as the good and bad that we experienced both before and during the cruise. -Why we booked. We booked this cruise and flights in June 2017 as the timing was right. Our flight was into Milan the day before the cruise which left from Genoa. We decided to take this cruise as we have a 3 and 7 year old, this cruise had no days at sea and we would be able to experience Italy, Spain, and France. MSC was also offering a promo of "Kids cruise free" so we got a pretty good deal. We booked an oceanview on the 5th floor with the Fantastica experience. The experience included 12 drink coupons per person, non-alcoholic for the kids. We had some fears that our 3 year old might want to climb so we decided against a balcony. (Observation, it appears oceanviews are only available on floors 5 and 6 and the upper floors are all balconies). -Pre-cruise As it has been mentioned by several people the MSC website and booking information is clunky at best. It depends on the day of the week if the information is available and working. When it does work the information is limited and for any real detailed information you have to call the customer service number which I found on several occasions has at least a 15-20 minute wait to speak with someone. As we were flying into Milan we booked transfers from Milan to Genoa through MSC for $31 per person each way. Information was provided a few days before the trip and we were told the pick up was at gate 8 of the airport terminal 1 at 8 am. This seemed early as the cruise left port at 6 pm and it was only a 2 hour drive but I figured we hopefully would avoid some crowds. I took advantage of the status match program for the Voyager Club and was given Black status, MSC's highest. The "exclusive" benefits to black card members are listed below and I will provide the on board experience later. -Complimentary specialty restaurant "Tasting Menu" dinner for two (no beverages) [One dinner per stateroom] -Complimentary spumante with chocolate-dipped fruit per stateroom, once per cruise -Priority disembarkation at end of cruise -Courtesy towelling bathrobe and slippers available during the cruise -Complimentary dance class -MSC Voyagers Club exclusive Black Card Party -MSC Voyagers Club Chocolate Ship -Late stateroom check-out at disembarkation We reviewed the shore excursions, internet packages, and food/beverage all inclusive options on the website. We discovered that there were no shore excursions that were good for the kids. We decided to buy an internet package and had questions on the beverage package. About a week before the cruise I called customer service to get details on the beverage package. Our 3 year old only likes apple juice **yes, I know but stick with me**. Knowing she had 12 drink coupons I wanted to know if apple juice was readily available on the ship or if we should buy the unlimited non-alcoholic package for her. I was told there is always apple juice in the buffet at breakfast and there were even juice boxes available that we could bring to the room. She even recommended bringing an empty water bottle that could be filled and used through the day. There was no reason to buy the package as if she wanted juice outside of breakfast she still had the 12 coupons. I was thrilled with the response and didn't buy the package. -Arrival and Embarkation We arrived on Friday about 11 am and had a room at the MXP airport as the cruise wasn’t leaving until Saturday and we had booked transfers with MSC. After arriving we checked in to the hotel and took the train into Milan to explore the city. We had a great time but for future reference Milan shut down a bit at 3 pm as it was Good Friday. We enjoyed a nice meal and headed back to the airport on the train. On Saturday morning we had the chaos of getting everyone up at 6:30 to make sure we were ready for the transfer at 8 am. We grabbed a quick on the run breakfast at the hotel and barely made it by 8 am. We arrived at Gate 8 and looked around for anyone with an MSC sign and no-one was there. I went out by the buses to see if we had arrived late and they walked out again to no avail. I tried calling the transfer company a few times with no answer. Finally, at 8:20 someone answered the phone and told us the time had been changed to 9 am and someone would be there with a sign, in the meantime “the airport has places to eat you should get a coffee.” We didn’t get a call or email about this change. At 9:05 someone showed up with a sign and told us we wouldn’t be leaving for a while as we were waiting for more passengers. He also mentioned we should get a coffee. The transfer left at 10 am, needless to say we weren’t thrilled that we rushed around to get there for 8 am and we didn’t leave for 2 hours. The airport isn’t a ton of fun for 2 kids. When we arrived in Genoa we got off the bus and followed the crowd into the embarkation hall. There was a line of about 150 people already, I approached one of the employees and told him I was a black card member. One of those “benefits” was priority embarkation. He handed me a card and sent the family up an elevator to the Yacht Club check in. We made it through the process in about 30 minutes and were getting on the ship. The process was smooth and easy. - On Board Once on board we went to our room and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room. The window was quite large compared to the other cruises we have been on. The cruise cards were in the room and we looked for the drink vouchers to no avail. I was somewhat surprised that my card was silver, but it said that I was a black card member. The biggest surprise was that the “bunk beds” came out of the ceiling above either side of the bed. Be careful if you jump up in the middle of night, you might have headache. We went to the welcome buffet and realized it would take some navigating as the space was huge. It was set up in a mirror pattern where both sides matched. There was also a pizza area and a hot dog/burger area. The quality of the food was good and the selection was adequate. There is a kids section in the back which they liked a lot. There was a selection of deli meats/cheese, an ethnic section, carving/pasta area, healthy section, and a few other areas. I can see how people who didn’t walk the buffet would miss several items. We explored the ship and visited the kids club for registration and met several other families before dinner. Our dining table was set for 7 but no one else came to the dining room. On previous cruises the waiter and assistant were the most outgoing people on the ship. To our surprise this wasn’t the case, our waiter didn’t engage in any conversation other than taking our order. We asked a couple of questions and were told he didn’t know the menu as it was new. - The Good – There were several items that were very good -The housekeeper was very nice and did a great job. She was great with the kids. -The kids club was amazing, the workers did a great job and my 7 year old didn’t want to leave. -The casino staff was great. I played blackjack while there and had a lot of fun. -The quality of the food was very good at the buffet and the selection was enough to keep us happy. -The pool was around 78 degrees each day and was a lot of fun for the kids. They weren’t overcrowded which was nice. -The excursion desk provided honest answers to questions. They admitted there really weren’t any kid friendly excursions which I appreciated. -The shows were hit or miss, the pirate show was good. - The Bad – nothing over the top but a bunch of little to middle type things. -As mentioned earlier my 3 year old only drinks apple juice. The first morning we searched the buffet and didn’t find apple juice we found various different types and figured it was a rotating schedule. The second morning when we didn’t find apple juice we asked and were told there is never apple juice in the machines, you can only buy it from the bar at 3 euros each. I inquired about adding the unlimited package and was told it was too late, you can only buy it on the first day. I complained to the desk and was told it was too bad and I’d need to buy it from the bars. - While there I asked about my card being silver instead of black and was told it wasn’t a big deal but if it was a problem they could change it. I asked about the benefits being a black card member and they told me the cruise consultant would be sending us messages to get the benefits. This never occurred and when we inquired about the free specialty dining it was made to be that we were hassling the staff. We never received any message, they did send the chocolate ship on the second to last night. - The biggest negative was in the dining room, as I mentioned earlier our waiter was very dry to say the least. The first and second night we were told that he didn’t know the menu. My wife ordered a wine the first night and then asked for the same one the next night along with the aforementioned apple juice and it never arrived for over an hour even though we asked 4 times. When the supervisor asked him why we were still waiting he said he didn’t know what wine it was. Our food took an extremely long time to arrive and both nights something was wrong. We asked for a new table as there wasn’t a good fit, they moved us and also moved the waiter to the section next to us which was awkward to say the least for the rest of the cruise. -On all of the other cruises the staff has been friendly and easy going. I found this staff to have very low morale and just plain rude. The best example I can give is when a crew member and a guest would get to a door at the same time, the staff member would push through the door sometimes bumping into the guest. I’ve always seen the crew open the door or step to the side when guests arrived at the same time. This was an overriding theme throughout the ship. Final Thoughts At the end of the day, there weren’t any over the top issues but there were a bunch of small issues. The best way to describe it was this was a cruise that had a very good price and we got what we paid for. I don’t know if I would take a cruise with MSC again. The only thing I can say is that there could be a difference if you are in the Yacht Club level of service for the extra fee. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Returned from an MSC Meraviglia cruise yesterday (April Fool’s day, funnily enough) - very disappointed with our trip. If you’re thinking about booking with MSC, and trying to ignore the bad press they get in feedback comments, then ... Read More
Returned from an MSC Meraviglia cruise yesterday (April Fool’s day, funnily enough) - very disappointed with our trip. If you’re thinking about booking with MSC, and trying to ignore the bad press they get in feedback comments, then don’t. They are realistic, warranted and true. Don’t do it – find another cruise line and save yourself a lot of money, grief and stress. MSC seem to be interested only in extracting more and more money from you, at every turn – the profits of the company seem to be far more important to them than the customer experience. After an endless embarkation process (being herded like sheep or goats to the slaughter) we finally made it onto the ship, and we were bombarded with endless staff trying to get us to purchase a drinks, food, beverage, photos or whatever package. Strange that we couldn’t move a step without tripping over one of them when we first embarked, but later when we wanted to ask a question at reception, we had to wait in a queue for almost an hour to get any attention. (More of this later.) Even during meals the poor overworked waiters would shove a notice under our noses, trying to get us to pay an extra 20 euros for a steak, or whatever they were selling that night. Atrocious. On the plus side, we found the food good quality, varied and hot, and the waiters were courteous and attentive. The downside was that despite advertising a dozen restaurants, we were allocated ONE when we got there, at a sitting of 6 people (despite asking for a table for 2) and were expected to sit there every single evening. The only choice we had was to pay extra to upgrade to another one (of 3) restaurants. Other than that, it was the bun-fight in the Market (buffet) area or a burger sitting round the pool. (The Market buffet was extremely varied and quite good quality but the behaviour of the clients – and more particularly their unattended offspring – left a great deal to be desired. More reminiscent of a chimps tea party than a meal, but I digress.) The other problem we had with the ‘fixed’ sitting meant it clashed with the shows, so we were faced with a choice of either gulping down our food to get to the shows on time, or leaving without finishing our meals. On reflection this wasn’t much of a problem because the shows weren’t of a very high quality – either in content or variety, so we didn’t miss much (according to our fellow inmates). Having said that, the Cirque du Soleil show was extremely good, but of course, we had to pay an extra 15 euros for that (that included a cocktail – choice of 2 types) and a chocolate macaroon. Woopee! And woe betide you if you stopped for a chat after your meal – the manager would trot along and throw us out – he was far more interested in getting the tables re-laid for the next sitting to let us stay past our allotted time of an hour and a half for all 3 courses… They had 3 sittings to fit in! Our cabin had a large comfy bed and small but adequate shower room. The balcony, however, came with the added benefits of being covered in crumbs, a toe (or finger?) nail clipping, and filthy windows that you could hardly see through. The cabin attendant was polite and friendly but just managed the basics. No towel animals, chocolates on the pillows or any frills. And despite requesting breakfast in the cabin every morning (except one) they managed to miss us out 2 of the mornings (including disembarkation morning) so we had the added stress of attending the bun-fight on deck 15 and fighting through the marauding chimps to get a coffee and a table. Not a great finale. On 3 occasions we queued at the ‘reception’ area – mostly needing help with our bill, and on each occasion we were queuing for almost an hour. When we finally reached the front of the queue, there was no apology for the wait, contrition from the staff, or even a smile or an acknowledgement that we’d managed to reach the front without expiring from boredom – just a stony stare, a grunt and seemingly incredulity that we should bother them with such trivial matters. Their indifference to our plight (in each case) was spectacular. I wonder if they’re trained to become so obnoxious, or if comes naturally to them? A special breed, perhaps? They offer an alternative method of paying your final bill if you don’t use a credit card (which we didn’t) – a machine. But the machine tries to take another 100 euros credit every time you go near it, is incapable of telling you your final bill amount, or printing you a hand-out of your itemised bill. So you have no choice but to attend the charming staff on the reception desk. (We were told that ONE of the machines will give you a final bill, if not an itemised list, but they don’t tell you which one it is, or where it is, until you visit them behind the desk. Marvellous system, I’m sure you’ll agree…) The kids are very well catered for. Entire floors have been created for them, but unfortunately they seeped into all the other areas too, and the noise level (from shrieking babies to obnoxious teenagers tearing around) was often cacophonous. Add to that the scooters they went around on, buggies they were pushed around in and general level of single minded selfishness they exhibited (around food and drink mostly) I can’t say they added to the experience. The lifts were always full to the brim, often stopping at every single stop on their way up and down (often in the opposite direction to that which we wanted to go in) and took ages to arrive. MSC have invented a clever little app that you can download to your phone to ‘add to your experience’. However, mine didn’t work very well, and didn’t show me my account, or how much I’d spent (although fellow travellers seemed to have got that bit). Waste of time downloading it in the first place. As already mentioned, MSC only seemed to be interested in extracting every last cent from us (as a captured audience). Nothing was free, including water or coffee with meals, ice-cream or anything at all really. They would charge 18 euros for a shuttle bus to get from the ship to the local town, but if you knew what you were doing, you could just walk a few yards and catch the local bus free. At another port they charged us 9 euros for a shuttle bus, but the local one was provided for 4 euros (return). They relied on ignorance and panic which they received in droves. There are far too many passengers (being Easter the boat was at full capacity with over 5,700 guests) but only (up to) 1500 crew – the lowest ratio I’ve ever encountered on a cruise. The public areas (bars, pools, eateries) were way too crowded and it was difficult to find a seat/table – probably because the space they could have allocated to make the passenger experience more pleasurable has been taken up with shops to extract money from them for watches, perfume, chocolates and other stuff that funnily enough seemed empty for the vast majority of the time. Finally, this cruise (that wasn’t cheap) was to celebrate my 60th birthday. A celebration. Sadly it was far from that. And despite MSN being fully aware it was my birthday (the travel agents made it known to them before we departed and one of the bar staff sang a few bars, single-handed, of Happy Birthday to me) they made no effort to make my stay special in any way. No upgrade, no chocolates, no fruit, no bottle of bubbly, nothing! I wrote to them before we left, asking if there was anything they could do to make it more of an occasion. They wrote back and basically said ‘no’. It would be down to the management of the individual ship to do whatever they felt appropriate. Well it appears that apart from leaving a towel rabbit on the bed with a nasty cheap card, nothing else, in their opinion, was appropriate at all. We saw countless other people getting the ‘drum banging procession of half a dozen staff singing and dancing, followed by a birthday cake with a candle’ at different venues (restaurants and theatres) but nothing came my way at all. Not even a muffin and a pair of maracas. So thanks, MSC – you really pulled out all the stops to make my ‘special’ birthday celebration one to remember. But sadly, for all the wrong reasons. I’m sure this ship is ideal if you’ve got kids, like a lot of noise, huge crowds, queuing, and bun-fights and don’t want any courteous treatment from staff (I say this with the exception of our waiter) but for us, it felt like a money grabbing sausage factory where the staff are over-worked, probably under-paid, and frankly don’t give a ****. In a sentence: All glitz but no glamour. Or… all fur coat, and no knickers. We won’t be using MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Overall we were disappointed with this cruise. A beautiful ship with lots of high value shops. Food in the buffet left a lot to be desired in flavour and quality and also was barely warm. Elegant dining was allocated and we were billed ... Read More
Overall we were disappointed with this cruise. A beautiful ship with lots of high value shops. Food in the buffet left a lot to be desired in flavour and quality and also was barely warm. Elegant dining was allocated and we were billed for it, a big surprise. We were not informed that dining anywhere but the buffet cost extra. We would not have minded but the main meal at the dining room was way below par. Training of the staff at the dining room was lacking. The ship treated all passengers like milk cows, money for ice cream and everything else. This company needs to look at other cruise lines and see the difference. The help desk was always queued up as this ship was acting like a ferry rather than a cruise ship. People getting on and off at every port and spent time querying their bills this caused a lot of frustration. Internet was expensive on board and was unavailable for 70/80 % of the time. Staff told us it was to be updated but on a new ship? as well as being told that the problem was the way we signed on and other excuses. To cap it all my wife was abused by one of the senior staff, Natalia, while we were waiting to disembark The entertainment was first class. Would not recommend this cruise line to anybody. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I was looking forward for this experience with MSC having travelled with other companies in the past. first the sweet: The ship is new and looks very well kept, the cabin was really nice, the staff is trying to help whenever you ... Read More
I was looking forward for this experience with MSC having travelled with other companies in the past. first the sweet: The ship is new and looks very well kept, the cabin was really nice, the staff is trying to help whenever you need any help, the entertainment shows were excellent. Bitter: when you board, the staff is telling you that drinks are not included on board (not true there are dispensers) and if you want to drink you need to buy a package. the packages are not cheap but worse than that we bought an "all inclusive" pack (dont do it!) only to find out that all inclusive means a selection of drinks (not all) was very disappointed. you need to check your daily charges on the app, every evening, new charges appeared even if we didnt order anything, service charge (10 euro per person per day for "tips"), unicef donations, charges for pictures we never bought and so forth. you need to be very careful with this issue. every promotion we had on board had terms and conditions that would negate it... the photo package included photos taken at specific places, the free gifts were out of stock and so forth. the food is a bit above average at best. during the cruise it felt we had to be on the lookout for additional charges rather than just sit back and enjoy... I dont think I will use MSC again and its sad because the ship is really nice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
MSC is one of my favourite cruises lines and I love their ships, particularly the Poesia, Divina, Magnifica and Preziosa. There seems to be a lot of negative comments on many of the reviews of MSC, mostly to do with food, staff and other ... Read More
MSC is one of my favourite cruises lines and I love their ships, particularly the Poesia, Divina, Magnifica and Preziosa. There seems to be a lot of negative comments on many of the reviews of MSC, mostly to do with food, staff and other guests and the different languages - well in all the 25 cruises I have been on (11 of which on MSC) I have always found the MSC food to be good and varied, the staff to be among the best, and enjoyed the company of different nationalities. Furthermore, MSC ships offer the best nightlife and great casinos run by excellent friendly staff! So, we chose this cruise on the Meraviglia because of past experience and it was a new ship which looked awesome in the pictures! Well on that note the ship certainly did deliver. It is indeed a magnificent vessel - it looks awesome and beautiful from land, and on board everything is sparkling, new and spacious. Embarkation was a breeze, and first impressions were good - the ship is without doubt stunning. The main swimming pool (actually 2 connected) looks beautiful - very well designed with fountains and poolside beds. All the public areas seemed spacious, and décor was glitzy but tasteful. We got into our cabin and again all very smart with plenty of space - although storage space for clothes was tight for a 1 week cruise, I would imagine difficult for a 2 week one! The cabin attendant was friendly and kept our room clean and tidy at all times. All good so far! Food in the buffet was plentiful and a there was an adequate choice - the new plates better than we've had on other MSC ships. Found a table without any problem - the ship was full and we never had a problem finding a table - pressed the call button and within minutes waiter was there to take our drinks order. The MSC drinks package is the best value package at sea and includes most cocktails, wine, beer, speciality coffees and still or sparkling water. For the whole trip service was excellent and the servers were all friendly. Breakfasts were great - we especially enjoyed the bacon and the "egg man" always cooked me two perfect over-medium fried eggs! Hand wash basins are present as you go into the buffet, but it seemed we were the only ones using them! MSC need to enforce their use more as it seems most passengers are oblivious to the risks of norovirus and similar bugs on cruise ships! We also enjoyed our experiences in the evening in the Panorama restaurant, one of the main dining rooms. Our waiter, Gede Sujina, was brilliant - a credit to MSC! Food was generally very good. We tried the Butcher's Cut one night and the steak there was excellent! We were realistic about the weather - March in the Mediterranean is often little better than it is in the UK. However we had sunshine in Civitavecchia (apparently it poured with rain in Rome), Malta and Barcelona. We stayed on the ship those days because we wanted to use the pools and benefit from a quiet ship. We enjoyed the sunshine even though it was only 11 -15c and the water temperature was perfect - between 23 and 28c! The casino was awesome - our favourite bar on the ship! Spacious imposing entrance, large circular bar with slots one side and mainly tables the other. Well designed and not smoky! All the staff at the bar and at the tables were brilliant - engaging, friendly yet professional and hard working at all times. We really enjoyed our time at the casino. We were disappointed however with the nightlife - high on our list when cruising and one of the reasons we love MSC so much. The attic disco is way too small for a ship of this size, and is split in 2 with 2 tiny dance areas and lacks any atmosphere! The Carousel lounge would make a fantastic nightclub, but the Cirque du Soleil shows take place there and although they had a few parties there after the shows were finished, the parties were largely the entertainment team dancing whilst facing the passengers and the passengers facing them with a kind of formation / line dance routine. Great to get people moving but not so good for atmosphere or interaction! As I have already mentioned, our favourite bar was the casino bar. I guess I don't enjoy shopping and the central area of the ship resembles a mall (other ships have done this and I just don't get this street / mall concept). Everyone seems to be just milling around, none of the bars had any ambience - other MSC ships have much better bars, lounge areas and nightclubs / discos! The sky lounge was an impressive area with great views but it didn't work for us - again little atmosphere or ambience. I guess though people who just want to enjoy a quiet drink together would love it. We also enjoy eating outside and the Meraviglia only offers an area at the back of the buffet under a rather oppressive canopy. Bye breakfasts and lunches in the sunshine! The gym was excellent and I enjoyed my times in there - good equipment! However in common with a lot of the newer ships in many cruise lines there are no changing or shower facilities so when finished you have to walk through a beautiful ship dripping in sweat! Even the spa is on a different level. First impressions of the spa were good, however we went on a sea day and it is far too small for a ship of this size. There were used towels hanging everywhere and the experience was far from relaxing! When finished, I couldn't even get to my locker because too many people trying to change, and had to wait for a shower cubicle because there were only 2 in the changing room! Poor design. So overall I have rated my cruise experience as very good (4 stars). There is no question that this is a beautiful ship but for me the layout doesn't work. Were it not for the staff, who were amazing and a real credit to MSC, and the casino, I would have only rated it average (3 star). I can understand why some people would love the Meraviglia, however the ship just didn't work for me. MSC is still one of my favourite cruise lines and I look forward to booking more trips with them, just not on the Meraviglia. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Initially I was concerned with some of the reviews that we had read. We decided to continue with the cruise and this was the best decision we could have done. Yes the cruise was different than the US based cruise lines but if you are ... Read More
Initially I was concerned with some of the reviews that we had read. We decided to continue with the cruise and this was the best decision we could have done. Yes the cruise was different than the US based cruise lines but if you are going to sail with a Eupoean ship, keep an open mind...be willing to experience other types of cruises. The ship was clean and the staff was wonderful. We booked the angled balcony suite with the external jacuzzi. This cabin included the Aurea experience which allowed us to do priority boarding, free choice of dining time, unlimited drinks and two massages (one per two adults). There was so much to do on the ship, so even if you with to skip a port of call, you will not regret it. We really could not understand how some passengers had negative experiences. My suggestion to anyone that chooses to read this review is to understand that everyone is different and therefore expectations are also different. For us, we chose to create our own wonderful memories upon this beautiful vessel! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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