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102 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good ... Read More
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good Italian fare with hotdogs and burgers always a favourite for the kids and grown up's alike. The big let down for me was the standard of food in the restaurants in the evening as I feel the best offerings should be for the evening meals as you look forward to dressing up on formal nights but the food was dressed down. The buffet in the evening always provided choice in a cafeteria atmosphere if you wanted to battle the crowd at main meal times. My outside cabin was very adequate for a solo traveller but space would be limited if I was to share with a friend, you would need to be extremely close to somebody to get on with each other in the area provided in my outside cabin, the cabin itself provided a safe and a mini bar which in my opinion was good although the prices a little high for the drinks and snacks provided in the mini bar, my package included free mineral water but the mineral water provided in my cabin was charged to my final account at 2.95 Euros a bottle... Only free in public areas so soon figured out how to play this one.... As for the entertainment onboard I thought the cruise staff worked hard to entertain the passengers throughout the day and I enjoyed their hard work, as for the cast members they also worked hard but shows and sets were were very limited and short, also noticed that since the ship had been stretched the show lounge still only accommodated a limited amount of people during show times which then led to people sitting on stairways obstructing the exit ways which led to some argy bargy at times ? . Could not comment on shore excursions as I did not book any but pleased to see the ship did offer free buses to the port gates were you could not walk through the port area. As for the overall service I found to be very good with a good mix of crew that could speak English although the ship is geared up to our Italian and European friends onboard which is what you have to expect from an Italian cruise company... also be aware that with all the different European cultures onboard you will not always see the British style of courtesy during busy public times.. you can make your own mind up on this one. Would I go back.... Yes if the price is right and the itinerary was good although, I would prefer a little more quality and therefore pay a little more. Also be aware that if you are not a smoker some public areas inside the ship are set aside for passengers to smoke so you will need to avoid these areas if this would upset you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was ... Read More
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was expecting small staterooms, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in our interior stateroom. Another review mentioned there not being a hairdryer, there is one. It isn't in the washroom though, it was in the drawer in front of the mirror in the main room. -Staff were friendly and competent. -Food was overall good (did not try out the specialty restaurants, but they looked good). The buffet was decent overall. The pizza was passable, but not good. I only mention because others have said it was great, those people are crazy. The sit down dinners were pretty good, nothing fantastic but decent for sure. -The shows were overall good to excellent with a good variety. -The two different Cirque du Soleil shows that were both fantastic. We did one with a cocktail and one with dinner. Both were very much worth it. The Bad: -Everything closes early except the bars and the casino. All the pools/hot tubs, including the interior ones, close at 2000 (8 pm) same with the spa. Meaning that if you go off the ship, by the time you get back, and have the early dinner (1830) there is little to no time to enjoy those amenities. Due to this my wife and I booked the thermal spa package, but always had to rush in order to get in 1/2 to 1 hour of time in the spa. Having these open until 2200 (10 pm) would be much better. There is litereally noting to do unless you are going to the shows. -The casino reeks of cigarettes. They have a smoking section in the casino, but it is not physically separated from the rest of the casino, so the whole place smells. -No front view for us mere mortals who are not yacht club level. Literally not a single public space to see out the front of the ship unless you are spending the big bucks. -Could have just been due to it being a bit cooler, but it was a missed opportunity that they did not show movies or anything on the giant screen outside. Would have been a fun activity to lounge around and watch a movie while snuggled under a blanket eating some popcorn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my first cruise on MSC. I was very apprehensive, as all the reviews were negative. Embarkation was find. Our cabin and steward were great. The food in the dining room not so great. Food had no flavor and meat was tough. ... Read More
This was my first cruise on MSC. I was very apprehensive, as all the reviews were negative. Embarkation was find. Our cabin and steward were great. The food in the dining room not so great. Food had no flavor and meat was tough. One night they had crab cakes. I could not find an ounce of crab. Only mashed potato filling. Food in dining room was a step above dining room. Waiter in dining room was a little disorganized. His manager watched him constantly, which made him nervous. Lounge entertainment was lacking and boring. A lot of entertainment started too late at night (disco 11:30 pm). I enjoyed the theatre shows, but they could have been longer than 30 minutes. 1 English channel until crossing the Atlantic. After that we lost it for the rest of the trip. They offered us free movies, which had problems with the pixels halfway through the movie. Others had the same problem. Communication was bad. Usually you have tv channel with cruise director informing you of all activities. Everybody was confused what time the ship was leaving San Juan. The time was not clear. Everybody had to get off ship until immigration was completed. Some were not able to get off before 5pm. Nobody had a clue when we could get back on the ship. No announcements, different answers. Elderly sitting in terminal in wheelchairs waiting to get back on. We finally got back on at 7pm. Left San Juan at 1:30 am. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross ... Read More
Warning signs started when we borded and we couldn't find the life jackets in the wardrobe. Later on our steward found them stuffed way under the bed where you couldn't see them without a flashlight. We had smooth sailing aross the Atlantic. Problem occured upon reaching Puerto Rico. US Customs was understaffed and it took us over 2 hours standing in line to make it to our excursion. Customs wanted everyone including the crew to come off the ship before they would let anyone back on. It was a gong show including fist fights among angry passengers when they opeded the gate at 6 pm to let people back on. Zero organization from the staff to keep it from looking like a cattle drive. Entertainment on the ship was very hit and miss. Fantastic singer in the atrium every night. Shows in the theatre had a bit too much opera content for some tastes but other shows were entertaining. Never got a hot meal in the dining room in the evening. The french onion soup was guaranteed to be hot. Mains were lukewarm at best. Breakfast in the dining room sometimes took well over an hour. We understood this was an international clientele aboard, but the maitre'd would usually seat you with anyone and it usually wound up being with people you had no common language with. Its very awkward to be sitting across from a couple you can't communicate with and doesn't enhance the meal for either pair. One day we went to the specialty pizza joint and ordered a pizza with sausage on it for which we paid around $19. It arrived with cut up hot dog weiners on it! Never seen such a cheap ingredient on a pizza before. Ship is beautiful. Huge amount of wasted spaces devoted to the spa area and then the gym is tiny. Never a bike or treadmill free. Shower with glass doors in the cabin was a nice touch. For a 19 day repositioning cruise we would have expected a couple of trivia quizzes per day but there was never more than one per day. You really had a sense that the entertainment staff would rather be doing anything else than entertaining us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first time with MSC, we've previously sailed with RCI, Princess and P & O. Having read reviews on this site we were really apprehensive. However, we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation and disembarkation were ... Read More
This was our first time with MSC, we've previously sailed with RCI, Princess and P & O. Having read reviews on this site we were really apprehensive. However, we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth. Our cabin was spotless & had everything we needed except tea/coffee making facilities. All of the staff on board were excellent and extremely hard working. The entertainment we saw was good and unlike other ships we've sailed on we never struggled to find a sunbed or somewhere to sit in the evening. The biggest let down for us was the food. There are limited places to eat and the buffet restaurant is very small with not much choice. The a la carte restaurant had very few choices and we often struggled to choose something from the available options. The tender operation in Kotor was very slow and it took forever to get everyone ashore. We wasted most of the day waiting for our tender number to be called so our time in port was very short. Overall we really enjoyed our holiday and would consider another MSC cruise if the price and itinerary were right. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the value for the price and the ports of call. The ship itself was nice although there was extensive leaking on the 9th floor the duration of the cruise. The main areas were well maintained and quite clean. The staff was very nice although it seemed that they could use more wait staff in the various bars. The wait time for pool side drinks was quite long and it appeared that there were only 2 waiters on duty at the pool each afternoon. The food left a lot to be desired. We tried eating in the main dining room once and it was a horrific experience both for service and food quality. The buffet was better although there was not a lot of variety. Also lunches were superior to breakfast and dinner. Often there were wait times to get into the buffet both at breakfast and lunch time. Entertainment was very cheesy including their show which was a tribute to Jim Carey’s “The Mask”. After the first day my 10 year old son refused to go to the kids club due to a lack of fun age appropriate activities. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Booked this cruise nearly 2 years ago. I have sailed with MSC a couple of times beforehand so I had an idea what to expect. We embarked at Genoa, as we had stayed overnight in a local hotel we boarded early so that part was very ... Read More
Booked this cruise nearly 2 years ago. I have sailed with MSC a couple of times beforehand so I had an idea what to expect. We embarked at Genoa, as we had stayed overnight in a local hotel we boarded early so that part was very easy. What we did not like was we were hassled to have our photo taken prior to passport control. We told the photographer the we did not want these as we would not buy them as we were in our travelling clothes (not a good memory) in order to get past them we eventually let them take our photos (more on this later in review) On boarding the ship we were impressed with the interior all nice and sparkling, we took our hand luggage to the cabin. First impressions very fairly positive. We got changed and quickly headed for a hot tub as we thought ship was going to get very busy later on. We headed for the buffet, seemed to be a good selection to choose from. Later on we looked at the daily program, this advised as that our 8.00pm dining time had been put back to 8.30pm, so we decided to watch the show. when the show had finished we made our way to the lighthouse restaurant on Deck 6, we met the lady at the front door and she said that we were late and the restaurant was closed. We told her that the program said dinner was at 830 but she did not know this. She called over the restaurant manager and explained the situation. he eventually let us in together with about 50 of us that had also read the program. Food was OK but portions small, as most days the food was warm but not hot. The menu makes food sound spectacular but it is as most places nice patterns on a plate with a bit of sauce applied with an upside down spoon, We went back to cabin to unpack, by this time the bed located in ceiling void was down, only problem was poor design that the ladder stopped the wardrobe door from opening (if wardrobe had been located 1 foot nearer to door the would not have been this problem) Bathroom is small but adequate, nice shower but not enough room to dry yourself. We could not find the bin at first but we eventually found it under sink by giving a panel quite a tug. As the cruise progressed we wanted to try out some of the things on offer on top deck, I wants to do the Himalayan ropes course so I got up there quite early. when it was my turn the chap said where is my blue wristband (I had no idea what he was talking about) he told me to go to reception on deck 5 to get this. (I was not happy) Later in the day I went to reception to get this wristband, reception did not know what I was talking about. I went back up top and saw a different person and he said I had to go to a little table the was hidden by the top of the slides to sign some for of waiver. (I did a ropes course of the Carnival Horizon and there was no such hassle, they even had little lockers to but your pocket stuff in as you were not allowed it on the course). I said can I leave some stuff here but was told this was at my own risk. It was soon noticed that there is a lot of charging for the extra activities. this annoyed me as I had been on the Splendida a couple of years ago and to do the bowling, racing car and 4d cinema was a fixed price of 35 euros for everyone in cabin for the whole cruise (7 days) no such luck on this, MSC operate a thing called fun pass which I think is the wrong choice of phrase. it is not a pass in any way. It is a scheme where you but so much credit a you are given a little extra for free, only trouble is that the racing car is 10 euros a go and only lasts 5 minutes so entertainment will not last long unless you have very deep pockets. the 4D cinema was excellent but again very expensive as was the 10 pin bowling. Only on the last day did I do any of the activities (my son 1 go on the racing car and each of us 1 go on the 4D cinema and boom 15 minutes later you are 25 euros worse off. A few days into the cruise there was a photo package on our bed, we had a very quick look and realised that these were the photos they had taken when we boarded, they looked awful. We put them in the pocket shelf under the TV. A couple of days later. I noticed there was a charge on our account of 35 euros from the photoshop, we went to reception to complain as we found there was also a little slip of paper in this folder that said I had to tick a box to say If I wanted them or not. The reception said that I should fill this in. I pointed out that this practice is unfair, I told them that if I want something I will go to the place, pick it up myself and go and pay for it in the standard tradition. I did say to them that if a were to leave a dirty sock in my cabin with a note inside asking for 10 euros with a tick box yes/no (same difference). Zoe (the in cabin assistant is a total waste of space, less said the better on this so called technology) Plenty of storage space in a relatively small cabin, 2 large wardrobes and a very small safe. Buffet food during the day times could be a bit hit and miss Breakfast was plentiful but the 2 downsides of the buffet are 1/ People wandering aimlessly about, not realizing that a queue is forming 2/ The button to press when you want a drink you might have to press it at least 6 times. We had the Cirque du Soleil including in our booking. It was Ok but nothing to write home about. The Galleria Bellisima is quite spectacular looking but that is about it, the tiny area where entertainment takes place is too small With such a large ship I think they need to have 3 decks of entertainment as the galleria is a huge void of space covering two floors where on smaller ships the are more bars and areas to watch something a little different. This does not exist on the Bellissima so that is a big no from me. The theatre is Ok, thankfully the shows are only 35 minutes long and too samey too much dancing. When shows finish the galleria gets packed very quickly, I found it easier to go up to deck 7 and walkalong With a ship of this I was surprised that we were bobbing up and down from Malta to Barcelona via a sea day. on board Activities via games and quizzes were virtual non existent We had the Easy package which you are limited to Heineken if you wanted a beer, Bar list state 40cl but when you get your drink you find the glass is only just over 3/4 full. We did order a smoothie but when we saw the banana they put in it, there is no way we were going to drink that. Be careful if you have allergies in the MDR as the waiters seem to be a little vague on what this means. 2 on our table had a nut allergy. so the head waiter had to really look after them as some of the items bought out DID contain nuts. My wife booked a hair appointment, she attended on time but was told she was an hour late. they did realize that they were wrong but did not apologize, to a woman getting your hair done is supposed to be a pleasurable thing, but my wife was not happy with this experience. Disembarkation was very easy. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the ... Read More
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the premium drank package at 39€/day. The cabin: Room was like we knew from previous cruises but this time no curtain at the shower but a shower door. Improvement! The cabin steward who normally is somewhere around, especially on the boarding day, wasn't there. And in the end, we never saw him during the whole cruise. All other cabin stewards we saw daily, but ours...??? although room was kept clean and towels were changed twice a day, but room was never prepared for the night like we were used to have on previous cruises with MSC. (curtains closed/beds opened/towels replaced/last checks/...). And then the last night...nothing at all. Even no fresh towels. It was like if for MSC on the last night you are no longer welcome... Was this a big problem? No, but you except the same level of service for your entire cruise. Dinner: 1st thing to do was to change dinner seating. Dinner booked online on msc page: 2nd seating but cruise card mentioned 1st seating so up to the Maitre D to change into 2nd. Changed with no comment. Then it was time to use the cruise card/drink package. Bars: Premium package entitles you all drinks on the menu up to 10€. So let's start with a Paulaner Hefeweizen. After the first one asked for a second. "Sorry, out of stock". De bar on the other side still had one (or more...) So far no problem. Then ordered a prosecco superiore. This is not the standard prosecco you get with the easy package. "Sorry out of stock". This went on for the entire cruise. Not everything on the menu seems available in the bar...even if you ask for a mixer with a premium brand vodka/gin/whisky/...you should stay close to the bartender to make sure he uses the ordered brand. Is this a big problem? No, but if MSC sells you a package with the promise you can order drinks up to 10€ they should deliver. Otherwise it is wiser to stay with the cheap drink package. The daily shows: 1st I would like fellow passengers to remind that they have 2 x the same show a night in order to offer everybody to join a show before (for the 2nd seating) or after (for the 1st seating) dinner. So please don't join after the show has started and if you come late don't want to grab a chair in the middle of a line so you want people to stand up and let you pass. Thank you :) The show on the first night was a tribute to tina turner. Music and singing was OK. Dancers were doing their thing. The show on the second night were Italian songs. Same dancers. Became already a little annoying. The show on the third night: singing an the same dancers. We left after the third song and didn't return the rest of the cruise since the program mentioned singing and dancing again. Shows on previous cruises were beter: some singing/some dancing/some acrobatics/some magic/some theatre/...but not only singing and dancers. Is this a big problem? No, but variety is more then welcome?!? The dinners: We knew what to expect but this time food was really flavorless. And the problem with the wine was that they give you the wine menu (premium package, remember :)) but it is hard to get the chosen wine... We had the impression that the food at the buffet restaurant was better this time than in the restaurant. But the most inconvenient was the dinner on the night we were at Palma the Mallorca. Since the schip only left at 23:30 they decided for an open seating dinner. Thus: not at your table and maybe even not in your restaurant. The waiters couldn't follow at all since at once all passengers seemed to have decided to dine at around 20:30 or so...what a disaster! My advice to MSC: keep the seatings like they are. If yo are not on board for the time of your seating -> you go to the buffet. Easy no? Is this a big problem? No, but rather inconvenient and stress for as well waiters as for the passengers. All this made it a rather strange cruise. Did we enjoy it? YES, we were on holiday but we had made better experiences with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals ... Read More
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals :-) One of the mirrors was making a rattling noise in rough seas when the boat was rocking. Needless to say the noise was keeping us awake at night. Cabin server did not pay attention to details. I had to call Guest services to have hand soap refilled, bath towels and bathroom floor rug delivered. He was not picking up drink glasses that we were bringing from a bar. There were times when the glasses were sitting on the table for two days. Excursions were nice and most of the tour guides were very knowledgeable. We didn’t care for the tour guide in Marseille- Ola or Olga. Her English was not great and she was sometimes out of words. We were surprised she was not better prepared for the excursion. Her English vocabulary was poor. Shows were excellent and I gave MSC a score of 10 for their entertainment. You will enjoy their evening shows! Food - food presentation was 7-8 on the scale. Portions are really small. Breakfast and lunch for suite guests were the weakest areas. We had breakfast 4 times in a private restaurant but gave up after the 4th day because omelettes didn’t have the ingredients that we ordered and light Pepsi and orange juice were not delivered. So we started going to the buffets. Spa - I had 2 massages and a facial. Bali massage was great but the hot stone not so much. There was no music for the first 20 minutes because the system was down. I sent the massage therapist to the front desk twice to ask about it because all I was listening to was the sound of the blinds hitting the window frame. Hot stones were getting cold and the technician was not removing them so I was cold. When I walked in, the room was cold. The technician told me she was cold. So how was I supposed to relax when my feet turned into icicles? The temperature should have been much higher. Facial - they don’t have the arm that releases steam and warms up skin. Basic setup. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times ... Read More
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times instead (our scheduled dinner time). She said they are fully booked. But how can they be fully booked when they are offering discounted massages everyday. The couple we met on this cruise who cruises regularly said to us that it's better not to book it in advance because they will give you a schedule according to your liking if you book it right there and then and they have discounts everyday anyway. Spa is basic, just 3 thermal rooms. No jacuzzi or whatsoever. Food is average. Not too bad. Not that great either. Bathrobes not available unless you pay extra hundred pounds (available for aurea guests only). Do not get the fantasia upgrade, there are travel companies who can give you free water at bella experience. Fantasia is not worth it unless u wanted a Mediterranean breakfast delivered to your room everyday (just croissants, bread, jam, cereals). Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Summary: Good vs. Bad These are just things to be aware of - some of them aren‘t easily changeable, some are management issues. Good Food quality in the buffet restaurant. Really quite new and showing it. Cirque du Soleil ... Read More
Summary: Good vs. Bad These are just things to be aware of - some of them aren‘t easily changeable, some are management issues. Good Food quality in the buffet restaurant. Really quite new and showing it. Cirque du Soleil on board. Bad Ship design and construction: There are many issues with the way the ship was designed and built that I found to be quite negative as compared to other ships I‘ve been on. Customer-facing personnel: Unfortunately, the few black sheep amongst the crew really pull the average down, though the people we dealt with generally seemed subdued. Ship interior is quite drab. My Take: There are other ships and other companies out there... The Ship The Meraviglia is huge - at the time of our cruise, I believe it was the second biggest cruise ship in the world, taking on up to 5.714 passengers at fully booked (which likely rarely happens, as this means 4 to a cabin for many cabins on the ship). We had a good size comparison to an older MSC ship in La Valletta (the „Sinfonia“) and the difference is just stupendous. With its Christening in June, 2017, it had just over a year and a half of service under its belt when we were on it. The condition of the ship is in line with its age. Our cruise was in the 3rd week of February in the Mediterranean, so likely the ship was not near booked solid. We didn’t get stats like „passengers on board“, unfortunately, and interestingly, people got on and off at nearly every port we stopped at. There are several aspects to this ship that make me subjectively think they have to do with the French manufacturer. I‘m not a great fan of French technology products and this ship makes this feeling all the more assertive. The creaking in the cabin (remember, it‘s a pretty new ship) and the odd, intermittent shuddering or continuous vibration despite absolutely reasonable wave levels gives me the impression that the engineering that went into the ship isn‘t on par with other builders. In fact, it brought back a memory from high school Physics class, where we watched a video of the Tacoma Narrows bridge getting driven into its resonance frequency by a storm and then basically „exploding“. Not a nice thought and certainly not a noise to make you sleep well without ear plugs. While then central Promenade with a projection ceiling is a nice touch, reminding me of some casinos or even the downtown area in Las Vegas. The possibilities of such a projection screen are not utilized fully, in my opinion. Think of the Venetian, where a complete day/night cycle is gone through every half hour or so, it would have been simple and a real added value to make more of this feature here on board. The rest of the ship is rather drab. The staircases (which we used frequently - who needs a stairmaster?) have identical pictures all the way from the bottom to the top and the carpeting is held in the same rust color. I‘m not a fan of overly colorful interiors, but this is boring even for me. You have the occasional piece of art (mostly around the reception area) and one or two other highlights, but really, the ship is poorly decorated. The same goes for many of the bars. A real downer is the „Studio Bar“ - seldom have I seen a place so lacking in luster. On the other side of the promenade, the "pub" tries to add some flair and comes fairly close to looking like a British pub, though it looks like one that was just built and never used before. This is a shame - a touch of relicing would really have gone a long way here. Another negative aspect to the ship‘s construction is the way the movement of groups is restricted. As an example: all the ships we were on before (Celebrity, Norwegian and Costa) have had multiple entrances into resp. out of the main theater. This ship only has a single way out. If you‘re not sitting at the top, don‘t bother getting up until the masses have pushed their way through the catheract of an exit. It really isn‘t a pleasant experience. Lets hope there is never a mass panic in this theater or there will likely be people trampled to death. The same goes for the Carousel Lounge, where they have Cirque du Soleil performances 6 nights a week. The only entrance to the theater is through the casino. This is annyoing for two reasons: for one, the casino is a smoking zone, and while the air is obviously vigurously exchanged you still smell it quite clearly. It is also annoying if you‘re with kids, because you will be told quite rudely that you can‘t be standing near any of the gambling machines even if you‘re behind the cordon that at least optically separates the entrance to the theater from the casino floor. The impression that employees of MSC are less happy about their jobs comes across too often. From people that deal with customers being rude or just unfriendly to being told that „this is the first time working for MSC and hopefully the last“, one gets the impression that MSC is not a company with the best people management, nor one that educates customer-facing employees on the proper way to deal with those that, at the end of the day, pay their wages. The Cabin The cabin (we were in 10212) is modern and - at first glance - spacious for this category. However, that spaciousness comes at a cost: there is very little room to put stuff, especially when the couch is converted to bunk beds. Essentially, you have a double sliding door closet with hangers and a few shelves. The only drawer is in the desk, and a good quarter of it is taken up by the hair dryer. Other ships we‘ve been on provided a whole series of drawers next to the desk and cubbyholes around the TV. The bunk beds that are made out of the two-seater couch are fullsize single beds, the best I‘ve seen in a standard cabin. These come at a price, however - the unneeded upholstery from the couch goes under the bed, which leaves less space for your luggage. In fact, we weren‘t even able to fit two medium-size, upright suitcases under the bed without one of them sticking out about 10cm. Luckily, our kids had cabin-size suitcases with them, otherwise we would have been stumped at a place to put them. The bathroom is the most modern I‘ve seen (then again, the ship is quite new) and quite spacious. The shower is great, with a glass door and large enough to not feel cramped. Two drawbacks: the air is - as is the case in every cruise ship I‘ve been on - sucked out of the cabin here (which makes sense), but apparently the opening is so small that the sucking noise is very loud. It is so loud that inside you can‘t hear that people are conversing in the cabin, much less what they are saying. The other drawback is that there is no built-in nightlight, something we‘ve had in older ships. I can‘t think of any reason not to put a nightlight into a modern bathroom, but it fits with my general opinion of the ship‘s planning and construction. Because we‘ve had ships before without a nightlight in the bathroom (mind you: older ones), I had brought one with me. Unfortunately, the same „reasoning“ used throughout the ship’s design has been applied to the receptacle in the bathroom as to many other aspects of the ship: when you turn the lights off in the bathroom, the power is turned off here, too. How annoying is that? So: no nightlight. Nor can you charge your shaver overnight. Oddly enough, the TV works even without a keycard in the central power switch... There are two European (Schuko) outlets, a USB charging outlet and two US-style outlets at the desk - and the shaver outlet (110/220V) in the bathroom that turns off with the light switch. That‘s it. The cabin door provided absolutely zero sound proofing towards the hallway, which is unfortunate when you have neighbors that find it adequate to have a conversation right in front of your door at nearly midnight. Actually, you get a lot of audio from everywhere around you - subjectively a lot more than on other (older!) ships. Put that on the „bad design“ list. What also surprised me in a negative way is the poor air circulation. When you have a small cabin with four people sleeping in it, continuously getting fresh air into the cabin is absolutely imperative. In spite of the very loud suction noise in the bathroom, either the air fed into the cabin wasn‘t fresh or there simply wasn‘t enough of it, as the air quality in the morning was attrocious. This is an issue I‘ve had on no other cruise ship, not even ones as old as the Norwegian Jade! Poor ship design, once again. Food - Marketplace Buffet As our kids are not old enough to enjoy a sit-down dinner, we mostly ate at the buffet restaurant. While the food quality is really very good (better,subjectively, than on the Costa ships we were on), it is very limited in variability, all stations basically seem to have 90% identical food every day - for both, lunch and dinner - with variance only in things like the rotissary meat or salads. It is perhaps an unfair comparison to make, but if you consider the unbelievable choice in food we found on the Celebrity Constellation, this ship’s buffet restaurant comes across like a food court at a shopping mall. Unfortunately, it is way too busy for making for a pleasant meal: as with many other cruise ship buffet restaurants, the „Marketplace Buffet“ on the Meraviglia is often packed to the hilt. Sometimes, we weren’t even able to find seating anywhere. Especially beverage stations can be annoying, not only because there are obviously too few of them, but also because especially coffee seems to run out frequently. When the coffee isn‘t out, the coffee cups are. One morning, the cups were out at every station I squeezed my way to! Picking up used plates and silverware - or wiping down a table - is also something that can be improved on. It sometimes seems that there are more people walking idly around to provide (paid) bar service than people to do basic restaurant service. Unfortunately, this was also the case when the buffet wasn‘t as busy, which is disappointing. Food - L‘Olivio d‘Oro Restaurant We only visited the assigned restaurant once, without our kids. As we later found it, it was a specialty evening and the food was quite good, albeit not extraordinary. The table we were at was oddly US football-shaped and the two of us found sitting in this configuration to be a strange experience. Unfortunately, the noise level in the restaurant is so high, that aside from the friendly personnel serving your dinner at our table, we didn‘t see much of an advantage over the buffet restaurant, especially since there apparently isn‘t a kids menu (this we heard from other people). The Shows We visited both Cirque du Soleil shows: Viaggio and Sonor in the „Cocktail & Show“ variant. Without knowing the menu, we were glad not to have booked the dinner & show version, as you simply sit at tables around the circular stage and listen to guitar music while eating. Unfortunately, here too we found employees dealing with customers that would better be placed in the kitchen or in the engine room. You are led to your table by a waiter. The table number is on the paper tickets you get the night before in your cabin, and you pass by a table that holds various drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, which are the cocktails for the evening. An older gentleman in group before us was yelled at by the waiter „one drink per person, one drink per person!“ when he picked up the drink for his wife with his other hand (she was right next to him, not carrying a glass). Not a good impression. Both shows were a flurry of impressions and really quite good, though both were completely different. For small children, Viaggio is your better choice - at least our kids liked it better than Sonor (and I did, too), but both are impressive. Beside Cirque du Soleil, we also took in a very good live music and dance show and a magician. Pools + Other Entertainment There are various pools on the 15th and 16th decks, as well as several hot tubs. One pool and one hot tub are in an enclosed area (with a roof that can slide to the side). Due to the air temperature, we really only used the indoor pool, though this only made sense at offpeak times. With just one pool indoors, you can imagine how crowded it got at other times. The ship also has what they call the „Himalayan Bridge“ (a rope walking parcours) and a cool-looking waterslide that takes you over the side of the ship for part of the „ride“. The rope walking parcours is pretty cool - I did it with both kids, though you really have to hang on to your camera up there when the wind blows (and anything else that isn't attached to you)! Unfortunately, it was only available while docked. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked Aurea Suite und as Black Member in the Voyager Club we expected high comfort and attentive service. We wanted to enjoy the five-day-transatlantik and the lovely islands of south carribean as Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts Tortuga ... Read More
We booked Aurea Suite und as Black Member in the Voyager Club we expected high comfort and attentive service. We wanted to enjoy the five-day-transatlantik and the lovely islands of south carribean as Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts Tortuga and so on. But the five sea-days are pure horror. All sunbeds were reserved by towels at 7 a.m. so that a lot of people get no one the whole day. Out of sheer need, they bought a ticket for the private sundeck reserved for Aurea guests. And so this sun-deck likewise was crowded with reserved sundbeds, so that the Aurea-guest didn't find a free one. Same in the Spa, where are not more than ten relaxation beds for all users! It's fact, that there is to less public space on this big ships for all passangers. As Black-Member and Aurea-Guest we had priority embarkation - but we had to stand in the crowd in Genua. The cabin was really fine and clean, because of the tips for the roommate. Therefor the waiters in the buffet-rerstaurants have been very inattentive, so that we get our drinks after our lunch or diner. Neither to the welcome-back nor to the black party, the captain was seen. A huge appreciation for longtime frequent drivers. As a special gift for the Black-Members we get a Pencil! Especially strange is that the Black members are awarded the same pin as deserved crew members !? The Dining, especially the diner, ('impressed by a star-cook') was partially real poor. My wife cuoldn't eat this, so we take Diner in the Eataly. 'We are the Masters of the sea' is the advertising entitlement of the cruise lin. We don't think so! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Started the cruise in Genoa Italy. This was in cruise crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the first few days were spent at different Mediterranean ports then onto the island of Tenerife, now there was five days at sea,this is when the ... Read More
Started the cruise in Genoa Italy. This was in cruise crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the first few days were spent at different Mediterranean ports then onto the island of Tenerife, now there was five days at sea,this is when the problems started, the largest populations on the ship were German,French,Italian with smaller groups of Spanish and British, all sunbeds on the top deck were taken by 6 o'clock in the morning,towels were placed on sunbeds all day with many not being used at all. Complaints were made to the ships staff but nothing was done, then some Italian families actually had fist fights around the pool area because they had taken"there sun lounger area by the pool" staff were called but refused to get involved. Many complained again but nothing done. The theatre shows were Italian in origin rather than international and became monotonous after a few days. We were on an all inclusive drinks package 25 Euros a day, but many of the drinks were not included! Although it says beer is included its not, only Heineken lager is included, all other beers are chargeable, when you order you have always to ask if it's included which is embarrassing as people think you cannot afford it. The bar and cabin staff go out of there way to make your stay enjoyable and always pleasant, on the other hand the security staff on the exit and entrance onto the ship were anything but. They would grunt at you take your hats and glasses off, stand still while we check your card,no smiles no talking to you, just as thought you were entering a country, inside the ship they would walk into you as though you shouldn't be in the way, had no respect for any passengers ( but they would not attend to the fighting by the pool , cowards). Yes people join the ship in most ports but that dosnt cause a problem, although you get a little tired of the safety drill at every port. Be aware that there is no self service laundry facilities on-board, although the ship will do your laundry for a price. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Choose a short cruise as a break between our longer holidays. Overall we had a good time the Preziosa is a nice ship very similar to the Meraviglia that we sailed on in Jan 2018. Our Cabin 11011 was a good cabin, great location with a very ... Read More
Choose a short cruise as a break between our longer holidays. Overall we had a good time the Preziosa is a nice ship very similar to the Meraviglia that we sailed on in Jan 2018. Our Cabin 11011 was a good cabin, great location with a very comfy bed. Nice and spacious and plenty of stowage. Lacked hooks around the cabin having said this I would not let this stop me from booking into this cabin again. Entertainment was limited the theatre show was poor to say the least. Service was better on this ship than the Meraviglia. We upgraded to All Inclusive, great for most drinks but not great for wines or beers. They did not even have a Sav Blanc available & only one larger (Heineken). Food on MSC really is where things go wrong. It is very hard to get a hot meal on MSC be it buffet or table service. Pasta with basic tomatoe sauce and pizza with the same tom sauce is plentiful however try to get fresh veggies, protien choices and you will struggle. Breakfast offering is all Buffet even in the sit down and dine facility they have set up a buffet where you walk up and get your own. MSC really need to address there catering it lets them down everytime. Note also if you are on a longer cruise unless you take the dining options to pay for the upgraded eateries you will only have 2 dining options the one you are assigned too or the buffet... you could become bored very quickly!! It is true MSC have people boarding at most ports for us we did not mind this although the safety briefs do get annoying in the 7 or so languages. MSC are what they say in the name Mediteranian Shipping Company (MSC) therefore expect the Med influences onboard, enjoy the shouting at each other, large families taking up tables, the pool, the hot tubs or at the very least expect this! Do not bother with the SPA facility on this ship we paid extra and well it was certainly not work it. Cold steam rooms, cold sauna's not enough chill out beds (4) for the whole ship overall the poorest SPA we have ever known on any ship. We hope this review is helpful too you, a nice ship, a nice break but not GREAT!! D&J (UK) Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose this cruise of the Western/Central Mediterranean because it was convenient to my son’s school schedule, but we were excited about the Itinerary: Napoli, Messina, Malta, Barcelona, and Marseille. In the end, we were disappointed. ... Read More
We chose this cruise of the Western/Central Mediterranean because it was convenient to my son’s school schedule, but we were excited about the Itinerary: Napoli, Messina, Malta, Barcelona, and Marseille. In the end, we were disappointed. We had an Aires suite on deck 11 and the room was very nice. Spacious, modern, proper, BUT WE NEVER SAW A CABIN STEWARD. No one asked about ice in the room or extra towels. We were disappointed here. We were supposed to have a wellness consultant but could not even get a tour of the thermal area of the spa. We were very disappointed with the spa. Meal service started out strong as we had any time service in the Golden Sand Restaurant. Dinner on night 1 was great but the quality did not hold up over the week. Service, however, was good. The shows were terrible. The casino was Smokey. The music was average at best. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The enticement? Interesting ports in Europe, Africa and South America. Our first cruise experience. We agree it might be the last one. Looking back it was frantic from the moment of embarkation in Genoa. Long line ups, hours of waiting. ... Read More
The enticement? Interesting ports in Europe, Africa and South America. Our first cruise experience. We agree it might be the last one. Looking back it was frantic from the moment of embarkation in Genoa. Long line ups, hours of waiting. It's true that the ship houses over 3000 passengers, but knowing that beforehand, the process should have been smother. The cabin we had , with balcony, was really nice. Crew attendant for the cabin was hard working and really personable as were the people serving in the restaurant. The rest of the staff was silent, in general not very friendly. The food in the buffet wasn't so bad, but very salty and considering that most passengers were seniors, not healthy. Menu in the buffet section was almost the same every day and this was a 20 day cruise. The quality of the water and coffee was bad. However, the most problematic circumstances of all were the contaminated air circulating in the ship, with the result that the majority of people were sick. Another really vexing situation was the total isolation we endured during the crossing of the Atlantic, almost six days. No TV, no internet, no information. Movies offered in the cabin, did not display well. The price of the internet connection offered in fliers to the cabin was misleading as they would charge more if you signed for it. We believe that the economics of scale for such a huge crowd have something to do with this situation. We probably will think twice before signing up for this kind of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many ... Read More
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many other positives things we encounted on our cruise. The majority of the staff were unpleasant, shuffling around, generally miserable and you felt as if you asked for anything it was really putting them out. Whether it’s a lack of training in the customer service department or they are generally overworked and tired I am not sure. For anyone on holiday a cheery atmosphere where you feel special and nothing is too much trouble is what can make the experience a pleasant one, this was not the case here. The food was average, nothing to rave about but was very reasonable. For the size of the ship however pretty much everyone would go to the buffet for lunch as it was the only real food restaurant open so it was chaotic with some very rude people. The level of information was poor, we came to port and there was nothing mentioned about getting off the ship, where to go or the procedure. As I have mentioned we have done it before so knew the score but we spoke to some first time cruisers who were very confused. When you book a cruise with various ports you expect to be taken there. MSC don’t tell you that on some occasions they need to port 20 mins drive from the city. This is fine I understand it’s necessary due to the ships size etc but to then expect the guests to pay €13 each to get on the shuttle bus they provide I believe is wrong. This seriously adds up and I have never been expected to pay that with other companies just to get to the port the cruise said it was going to take me to anyway. One morning we decided to have a lie in, only to be awoke at 8 am by an almighty screeching noise. We thought the ship was scraping along the seabed as we were coming in to port. We phoned the steward who told us it was balcony cleaning. Before we knew it someone was on our balcony whilst we were still in bed, no warning. I had to leave the room after an hour as the noise was so irritating. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to wait a little so those who don’t rise early or maybe had a late night aren’t disturbed. Having a romantic meal was not possible. You are put on a table with a group of random strangers. Luckily they were nice people but we were with 6 others which made having a nice meal together in the restaurant for our honeymoon not something we could do. And lastly I would describe them as a low cost or no frills kind of cruise. You get your bed and food and that’s it. Ice cream, room service even the circus show that was advertised you have to pay for, all things that have been included with other cruise companies. The ship is stunning it’s just got a long way to go in the customer service department and to make guests feel special. Others have described it as feeling like cattle and I think that’s pretty accurate. Will be looking for another company next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The ship The MSC Preziosa is one of 4 “Fantasia” class ships in the MSC Cruise Fleet. It started it’s life as a ship ordered by the Gadaffi Regime in Libya.The original vision for the ship was to include a huge shark aquarium and ... Read More
The ship The MSC Preziosa is one of 4 “Fantasia” class ships in the MSC Cruise Fleet. It started it’s life as a ship ordered by the Gadaffi Regime in Libya.The original vision for the ship was to include a huge shark aquarium and a host of other unusual features. After the revolution the regime defaulted on payments. MSC Cruises bought the hull, as it was similar to their “Fantasia” Design and created the MSC Preziosa. The ship holds 3,500 passengers and around 1,300 crew. It is a modern looking ship that despite its size has a sleek looking style – unlike some modern cruise ships that tend to look like chunky apartment blocks. The ship is aimed at the Italian market, but they also cater for other nationalities too. All of the announcements are in various languages and there will usually be 5 or 6 different ones depending on the nationalities of the passengers on board at the time . Most of the food service in the restaurants on board is of a Mediterranean style with lots of fish and pasta. MSC Yacht Club One key features of the MSC Preziosa, is the Yacht Club. This is called a “ship within a ship”. It is an access controlled area that offers a premium experience. It has about 60 suites, with most being the Deluxe Style. In addition you have a Concierge Service, 24 hour butler service, a huge lounge which serves breakfast and light snacks through the day. On deck 18 forward there is a pool deck with a bar, hot tubs and recliners. It has a dedicated restaurant (La Palmeraie) which is at the rear of the ship. Dining Options on Board The whole ship is very stylish, modern looking and very very clean ( as are all MSC ships), the ship has many dining and entertainment options. The main restaurant (Golden Lobster)which is a 2 seating dining ( early and late) is full of gold and very glitzy, it has a good menu, with most evening meals of 4 / 5 courses. We usually have a drinks package so have never had any problems with getting water or wine at the table. MSC do not serve free water at the dinner table(including tap water) . Many people like to use the buffet for breakfast and lunch, at times is very very busy. You can usually find a seat the further back you go. It is very good, has a lot of fresh fruit, salads, vegetables, fish and very good pizza (made fresh ) It only serves free juice at breakfast, again this seems to be an MSC thing, however it is very good compared to other buffet experiences I have had on other ships. The “Eataly” restaurant, one of the additional charge restaurants is very good and has a more formal menu section, it also has an informal section. The additional charge was about 30 Euros for the set menu, and in the other section around 5 to 7 Euros per item. The Cabins MSC Preziosa has 4 main types of cabin available : inside, ocean view, balcony and the yacht club suites. Most of the cabins on the Preziosa are standard balcony cabins, they do not have tea and coffee making in the rooms, but again this changes with the location of the ships. All of the cabins are well appointed with even the lowest grade having shower gel, soap, towels and pool towels provided. All the cabins have large flat screen TVs and air conditioning some of the high grade balcony’s and all of the suits have a bath and shower. Things to do on Board Entertainment is varied and aimed at a young and family audience. There is the very long “Vertigo” waterslide on the top deck at the rear of the funnel ( the only fantastica class to have it), 4-D Cinema, Formula 1 Racing simulator and even a 2 lane bowling alley in the sports bar. The shows in the theatre are aimed at families with lots of music and acrobatics. There is little speaking as they generally speak Italian. Any announcements are in up to 6 different languages which would make the show too long to have speaking parts. The shows are generally of a good quality. Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 main pool options, a large outdoor pool, a covered pool that can have the roof opened and an “infinity” style pool at the rear of the ship. All get busy on sea days and you quickly realise how many people are on the ship There is a chargeable sun deck on deck 18 mid ships near to the funnel with a hot tub and nice comfy sun loungers. This area doesn’t tend to get to busy due to the extra Charge. There is a large and and well appointed gym, situated at the front of the ship overlooking the bow and above the navigation bridge. It is very popular, depending on the passenger profile, during our trip this was mainly younger persons. The Spa Sauna and steam room area has an additional charge. It is very large compared to other ships and is very popular at times. The use of the area can be pre booked via the MSC Website or booked on the ship for the duration of the voyage. The MSC Aurea Spa area is very well equipped to modern cruise ship standards, it has all the usual spa treatments on offer. One unusual item on offer is 2 stand up sun tan beds with are chargeable in 10min blocks. Would we Recommend MSC We liked the MSC Preziosa. It was stylish and bright. It attracts a young and family crowd, so if you do not like the boisterous nature of multi cultural family resorts then this ship may not be for you using the standard cabins. The Yacht Club may be better as it is a good way to enjoy all the many features of the ship and still be able to find some quiet spaces . While the the MSC brand approach is very Mediterranean, it is not for everyone. If you want value for money on elegant, stylish and modern ships then try MSC and the MSC Preziosa. However MSC customer service is somewhat lacking and they are very difficult to get hold of but this aside the line are reasonably good. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was the worst food we have ever experienced on a cruiseship. We always said “I have never had bad food on a cruise, but now It’s there. This was clearly the most cheap garbage ever served on a ship. Not just once, but every ... Read More
This was the worst food we have ever experienced on a cruiseship. We always said “I have never had bad food on a cruise, but now It’s there. This was clearly the most cheap garbage ever served on a ship. Not just once, but every day. Lunch or dinner, buffet or restaurant. The food budget is obvious shrunk below the limit. This is unacceptable. What are the chefs doing? Taste your own food! Highly unmotivated minimized staff on restaurants and bars, no hospitality at all. A few friendly exceptions. The ship was dirty, tables not cleaned no toilet paper on public toilets for a few times. It’s a miracle the norro virus skips this ship. We couldn’t believe smoking is allowed in public areas like the “sports”bar and large parts of the open decks. At a kids friendly company...!? Not to be all negative; Embarkation is smooth and fast with your seapass in your cabin. But the need to enter your credit card in a atm in the first days is a bit impersonal. The ports of call where nice. Overnight in Ibiza is fun. Beautiful island with nice nightlife. 15 years ago Msc was our first cruise. We loved it. But wow, what are they doing sinking at MSC. This was our 4e but last MSC cruise for sure! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no ... Read More
Beautiful ship, lots to do although a lot at an extra charge ie bowling, buffet restaurants offer lots of choice although not particularly hot, main dining room (golden sands)was terrible both for food and customer service, no conversation or interaction waiters took your order in silence and walked away. Food then served in silence. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean and staff are first class, MSC could learn a lot from them. Be wary of tickets coming into cabin for excursions next day, in Malta we did the open top bus ourselves which was on an ancient, dirty, crowded bus, MSC are selling this tour, and by coincidence I overheard several couples on board complaining at reception about the terrible bus, after that I had no faith in MSC regarding these excursions. Overall we had a nice enough time, we are easy going people and don't complain often but for me the 2 main things that let the ship down is the poor dining room and the customer service, next cruise we will go for Royal Caribbean again Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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
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
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
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