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594 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

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
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine ... Read More
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine that there is no Space for everybody. We asked for a Solution: we are now (Sept 2018) still waiting for a Solution when the Cruise ended 1 Week ago... No Words. - We bought the Package "Beverage All-Included" but what we drink from Cabin Frigo Bar is not included (even if Products are exactly the same) and they charged us on the final Bill. - In our "Auria Experience" Package we had the Breakfast in the Room included. We asked for it for the last Day because we had to leave the Room at 8:00, we booked it for 7:30, at 7:50 no Breakfast was in the Room, we called to ask and the said: "For the last they is not included, sorry". What????? And why no one informed about that??? Why they brought us regularly the Format to ask for it???? Unbelievable, a disgraceful Service. - Last but not least, the last Day we were asked to leave the Cabin at 8:00, but our Meeting Time was at 13:45 (almost 6 hours later in which we were going up and down in the Boat like Gipsy...). At 13:45 we were at the Meeting Point but someone collected us just at 14:30, they brought us under the Sun outside the Boat, but the Bus was not there. It arrives just at 15:00. Net-net = 7 Hours lost for nothing, staying on the Boat without Luggage, without a Room available, under the Sun in the Port, treated like Animals... no Words. All in all, please invest your Money better, and not at all in MSC because even with Aurea Experience, they are not interested in you as a Customer, but just as a stupid Number who pays!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Had a a fantastic time on MSC Seaview. Embarkation very smooth....no queues or hassles . Cabin very clean, very comfortable beds and nice shower with bath. We had a balcony which gave you extra space and nice to sit in the sun and relax ... Read More
Had a a fantastic time on MSC Seaview. Embarkation very smooth....no queues or hassles . Cabin very clean, very comfortable beds and nice shower with bath. We had a balcony which gave you extra space and nice to sit in the sun and relax for a short time. Found Buffets a bit busy for breakfast and Lunch but the food was varied and nicely presented. Enjoyed our Evening Dinner in the Restaurant as we had lovely people as companions. Theatre shows quite good (tho some not so good ) but only lasted about 45 minutes. Pools and Loungers very busy and had to hunt to get one. Usually found one eventually. Plenty different Bars to explore and some with entertainment. Everything nice and clean and shiny as you would expect with a new Ship... very impressive! Had some nice excursions, especially in Malta and Marseille and would like to return there. Found all staff on the Ship to be friendly, cheerful and hardworking. Enjoyed my very first Cruise and would definitely sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
If you have kids don’t choose this ship, long queues for water slides with no other entertainment for them. I had the wellness experience which entitled me for free sod drinks, water, wine all over my stay with 2 free shore execrusions, ... Read More
If you have kids don’t choose this ship, long queues for water slides with no other entertainment for them. I had the wellness experience which entitled me for free sod drinks, water, wine all over my stay with 2 free shore execrusions, that i had realized later as reception didn’t inform me about it, more over they charged me for bottled water to my room that was included in my package for free. Overall boring, room attendance was only finding execuses for not cleaning our cabin and blame the amount of rooms he has to clean overall very bad experience with lack of entertainment, don’t get excited with photos they publish, the only positive point is that since ship is new there is no problems or faulty yet in room, fast internet is available with a cost ofcourse, I have been to NCL which was 100 times better, welcoming staff and good entertainment for kids and adults Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention? The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, but the TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination. We also had a larger balcony than our fiends next door, that curved a bit towards the front of the ship. The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. There was always a constant stream of snack food available throughout the day and evening. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into that part of the spa. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola, but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon free, which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt behind the high altar. Vita Brevis and all that. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or Hotel/Restaurant. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than ½ mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
this was an OK - average cruise experience, but defiantly could have been better. if you like to have coffee with your breakfast, get ready to wait 30 minute to have it brought to you, or you will have to go to the bar and get it ... Read More
this was an OK - average cruise experience, but defiantly could have been better. if you like to have coffee with your breakfast, get ready to wait 30 minute to have it brought to you, or you will have to go to the bar and get it yourself. many of the staff members do not speak English, making it even harder. the staff needs a bit more training especially in restaurants. get ready to have your orders messed up or wait for ever for your food. if you are very hungry, go to the buffet. the excursions are poorly organized and way overpriced for what they offer. majority of the buses will have dual language tour and one of the guides will take over the microphone and nothing you can do about it. too many kid activities and nothing for "adults only" . the evening shows are like a armature talent show with costumes. food is only available till 10 PM, so if you get hungry you are out of luck. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Despite the reviews to the contrary, we took the MSC Seaview on a Western Mediterranean Cruise. We had no issues whatsoever. We had two balcony staterooms, that were located on floor 11. They were like brand new and totally clean and ... Read More
Despite the reviews to the contrary, we took the MSC Seaview on a Western Mediterranean Cruise. We had no issues whatsoever. We had two balcony staterooms, that were located on floor 11. They were like brand new and totally clean and spacious. We had twice daily maid service, 24 free room service, a drink package that we did not even finish, delicious meals in the dining room, we went to shows, we went on tours (shore excursions) and we did our own tours. They had adequate security, delicious fresh food, all you can eat 24 hours, and we were able to get off the boat one stop prior to the end easily so as to catch a plane. The boat was very clean and new, and I did not meet an employee from MSC that was not willing to help on any issues. It was an awesome experience and I can recommend this to anyone wanting a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
In mid July we made a Western Med cruise on the Seaview. The ship looked beautiful and was brand new. We had a balcony cabin above the smokers deck (deck 8). If you want a non smoking experience you have to avoid the balconies on deck 9! ... Read More
In mid July we made a Western Med cruise on the Seaview. The ship looked beautiful and was brand new. We had a balcony cabin above the smokers deck (deck 8). If you want a non smoking experience you have to avoid the balconies on deck 9! The pools are great, and waterslides were amazing! Our 6 year old daughter was given a wristband wich allowed her to go on all the waterslides! The kidspool is great although there is no sitting space for adults...which is a fault... The restaurants were great. The staff is great! The cabin was well taken care of. We loved the jungle pool. It was the best place were there was a little shade. You need the shade during summer. The ports were all good, although we did not like there were extra costs for getting in to town. A free shuttle should be normal...but...that is what you get for the low pricing! All the food was good, but only the pizzas were great! One thing that annoyed me is that the Yacht club is getting more and more space on the ship....which means normal passengers can not have a complete experience of the ship...the top floors/decks were not allowed to normal passengers....this is getting worse on every new ship... The entertainment was great! We have been on Celebrity, HAL and MSC. Though the first two are better, MSC gives true value for money. They speak a lot of languages but no Dutch at the kids club, which is sad, because there were lots of Dutch children onboard.... Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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