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108 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

Where do i start lovely shiny new ship comfy cabins and thats where the compliments stop staff no idea what they doing the ship is full of rude passengers who shove and push you in any queue i had one grab the tings for food out my hand ! ... Read More
Where do i start lovely shiny new ship comfy cabins and thats where the compliments stop staff no idea what they doing the ship is full of rude passengers who shove and push you in any queue i had one grab the tings for food out my hand ! These were not British people but other nationals one guy took the whole row of sun-beds with the cushions to reserve them this is at 7am arguing with the pool staff who removed them all inclusive drinks are like acetone and if you upgrade to premium package the run out after 3 drinks of your brand ! the buffet well if u like pizza burgers and hotdogs all day and all night this is the ship for you food repetitive and the deserts tiny and limited total chaos on board then theirs the excursions well they cancelled one of my trips booked by accident i went right down within minutes of booking and when i tried to cancel / transfer to another trip on tuesday for Thursday they told me i had to give 48 hours notice ! Well thats 48 hrs and i had booked it seconds ago but no they wanted 50 percent cancellation charge ! So we went on the trip the entertainment is awful for a new boat compared to other new boats who were out standing always some thing to do the boat rocks from side to side all the time even in calm Waters last night the coat hangers battering in the wardrobe drove us insane we had to take them all out so if you get sea sick take some pills With you the casino tiny compared to others i wont cruise msc again was first and the last ncl and royal Caribbean so much better Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC ... Read More
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC Seaview a try. The price for our family was certainly enticing. In short, here is how we would grade our experience: Price: A Room size and cleanliness: A Food quality: D Entertainment quality: C Itinerary and Time at each port: B If you are looking for a cruise vacation, this is probably not it. If you are looking for a comfortable hotel room and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise would serve you fine. Let be begin with the good. We had a balcony cabin on the 10th floor of the port side. The balcony was great given the weather. We enjoyed sitting on it and watching the sights in and out of the ports. It also gave us extra room which was out of the way while others in our family were getting dressed. The cabin had a queen size bed and a sofa that converted into bunk beds rather than a pull out bed. The bunk beds were a lifesaver with two teenagers and avoided many arguments and complaints. The room was spacious for a cruise ship as was the bathroom and shower. The bathroom had fantastic water pressure which was a great surprise. Our room steward did a great job keeping us supplied with fresh towels and working around our time in the room. The room TV had plenty of stations with maybe 6-7 in each language. However, even the American programming in other languages did not have subtitle capabilities which would have been nice. The English language selections were all 24 hour news stations which included CNN, CNBC and 3-4 European news stations. It is hard to relax and unwind to that before bed. The common area was a bit plain but nice. The elevators utilized a system that directed you to a specific elevator based upon destination. It is meant to speed things up but always resulted in long waits at the elevators. So we ended up going up and down countless flights of stairs each day. The cruise was truly international with what seemed to be a passenger population made up of those speaking Italian, French, Russian, various Asian languages, English, German and Spanish. The staff did a great job being multi lingual, making announcements and communicating fluently in each of those languages. That was impressive. The entertainment encompassed all of those languages which was great. But the shows etc. on board could best be described as “low energy.” If you are doing a Tina Turner tribute show, having dancers and singers dragging through the show with a slow tempo and little smiling just seemed like they were going through the paces. Definitely not Tina Turner like. The other periodic entertainment was excessively campy and seemed like a continual loop of the Gong Show or Sabado Gigante. On our last night, we found a duo playing piano and drums singing in a lounge, and they alternated performance sets with a solo guitarist/vocalist. Both were really good and better than the more featured acts on the ship. I wish we had discovered them earlier... We also walked through a very small casino that was on board. It seemed very sparse and small. It did not have any craps tables which was a first for me in a casino. The cruise itinerary was good and generally allowed sufficient time in each port. There were no dedicated days at sea on this itinerary for which we were grateful. However, at Palma, Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, the cruise ports were outside of the city so you were forced to take a taxi or a ship provided shuttle at an extra cost to go into the city. If the cruise line chooses to utilize these ports outside of the destination city, then they should provide transportation into the port city without nickel and diming their passengers for the costs of transportation on the cruise line’s shuttles into the city. My biggest concern about this cruise was the food quality. It was terrible. I tried to be very open minded given the multinational nature of the cruise but nothing I had of any cuisine was good. All of the food was edible but not good. The food was often cold and bland. We tried both the sit down dining option and the marketplace buffet. Those were the only options at night unless you paid for the three premium restaurant options which we did not. The same food, the same quality and the same temperature seemed to be served at both venues. The only difference is that the sit down dining had more limited options, and we had slow service with a lot of waiting with a waiter who did not even seem to understand her own menu. For those of you that love Pepsi, you are in luck as all of the soft drinks on board are Pepsi products. For those of us that don’t, there was always beer. In the dining room we were charged for still water. In the marketplace buffet, we were not charged for still water but they only had 1 working water dispenser for all of the passengers. The plastic cups for your water were limited to 6 ounce cups. It is hard to stay hydrated at that rate. The coffee on the cruise was generally above average. Most of the time we paid for premium coffee at the bars which was worth it to us coffee drinkers. The best we found was that made by “Don” at the Venchi Chocolate and Coffee Bar. It was great and worth the extra charge. Finally, the dining themes were ridiculous. Each night was a different theme in name only. The actual theme seemed to be “Sunday night clean out the household refrigerator”. The dishes were a hodge-podge of whatever seemed to be laying around. For example, the Bavarian theme night was the everyday items plus the addition of a roast pork loin and a cold potato salad. That made it Bavarian night. Nothing else Bavarian was served. On Mexican night, the usual items were supplemented by some puréed avocado and some very julienned pieces of beef mixed with julienned strips of peppers. They called that beef fajitas. That was the sum total of what made it Mexican night. I will give the ship credit that their breads and croissants were made well and tasty. But unfortunately my scale is going to reflect that I lived on mostly bread and coffee while onboard. The part that I find most interesting is that for an Italian cruise line, based in the Mediterranean with multinational passengers, the Italian dishes were the worst offerings. The pizza was bland, soggy and doughy; the pasta was over cooked and soaked in bland tomato or a watery white sauce; and the deserts were basic, unimaginative and tasteless. We could not wait to get off the ship each day to eat at a street vendor, market or restaurant. We were never disappointed with any of the food we found on land. In summary, if you are looking for a comfortable place to sleep and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise will serve you well. If you are looking for the whole cruise experience to include great food and entertainment, look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that ... Read More
This is our 4-th cruise and we chose it mostly because of the ship, since the itinerary is not the best. Palma de Majorca and Valencia are nice, but the other places are not worth the trip. They offered shuttle buses for the city that were more expensive than travelling with taxi. We wanted a new ship, that offers better comfort and instead we ended up in a crowded, smelly, full of leaks and unsanitary place. The worst thing was that they gave us spoiled food for dinner and my daughter got seek. When we tried to see the ship's doctor they wanted to charge us 100 Euro. They refused to give us any medication, or even a thermometer and the farmacy on bord had nothing helpful. The service was terrible. We waited a long time for our food at dinner, hence the ice cream was always brought melted. The food was terrible and always the same. All the areas of the ship are very crowded, we felt like sardines. None of our request were answerd, although they were simple ones, for example we asked for the children's bed to be folded during the day, since we couldn't move around it in the room. The ship has a systemic liking problem in the hallways and that also made the water pressure very low. The water in the public restrooms is only dropping. I found that very unsanitary. The only good thing was the evening shows. The artists put a lot of work into them and we enjoyed them. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our experience on MSC Sinfonia first departure Genoa Dec 27 2018 and stayed on for the next cruise total 21 days I have done over 7 cruises now on Holland America, Princess, and Celestial. Asia, Panama, Europe, Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico ... Read More
Our experience on MSC Sinfonia first departure Genoa Dec 27 2018 and stayed on for the next cruise total 21 days I have done over 7 cruises now on Holland America, Princess, and Celestial. Asia, Panama, Europe, Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico Riveria. The boarding process seemed to be a shamble, we had to stop at at-least 5 different locations We were told the cabin card would be awaiting us in our cabin after 2.00pm, we found the cabin card in the unlocked cabin, we then had to load credit on the card at a special re charge station. We were surprised at the lack of personal security as our cabin number was on the card, if we lost the card anyone finding it would know which cabin, they could access. Unfortunately, we boarded in Genoa Italy, while we expected a lot of Italians, we were not prepared for the culture shock associated with Italian people, their rudeness and loudness. We realised that there would be a lot of children and teenagers on board, but they seem to be out of control with no parental checks and no staff monitoring their behavior. Playing in elevators and running around in the late-night disco is common. We observed 1 group of teenagers at breakfast that appeared as if they had not been to bed and their behavior was that akin to addicts coming off a high. Smoking and non-smoking areas do not seem to matter, people were allowed to smoke where they wanted to. Possibly as much as 15% of the passengers were English speaking, most signage is in English only, but the majority of guests do not speak English, while we were prepared for every announcement to be in several languages, we found many non-critical announcements and social activities to be only in Italian, even the call for excursions were mostly in Italian, leaving us confused on where to go. This appeared to improve on the second cruise. The in cabin TV only had 3 or 4 English speaking channels BBC world news, Hong Kong TV news, an American news and a movie channel, showing the same 5 movies over and over with the words demonstration?? Going across the screen. The behind bar staff, restaurant staff and cabin staff were excellent, however as on many cruises the table waiting female staff (in bar areas) fall well short of expectation. The Cruise line wants to align itself with the TV series Masterchef, well they really need to look at this alignment, the buffet food fell well short of expectation of any cruise we have done, at breakfast the bacon was always overcooked, the fried eggs were always under cooked and the omelets were unrecognisable. At the lunch buffet asking for carved beef or ham made me feel like Oliver twist “please sir can I have some more” butter was never put out at lunch time we always had to ask for it. The general seated dining food in the evenings was only just acceptable with some ingredients (mainly the meats) were of low quality. Free cordial soft drinks from the buffet area were only available at breakfast, the all-day hamburgers and fries were disgusting, they clearly tried to unsuccessfully imitate a major leading burger chain. The ice cream booth service is very poor at 1.00 pm, 1 day I waited over 20 minutes for someone to arrive to serve, I asked a passing officer he said wait, about 15 minutes later someone finally arrived, in the mean time about 10 guests gave up waiting. A few of the shows were not of the standard we have experienced on other cruises but others were very good, the Cruise director? compare was very hard to understand. The ship itself leaves a lot to be desired, the ship has been extended by several meters in length. 1 corridor on deck 7 is split. To access part of the corridor one has to go up to deck 8 walk along to the next stairs or elevator then go back down to deck 7. The elevator in 1 place only goes from deck 5 to deck 9 so to get to deck 11 (pools and buffet) so to get to deck 11 you get out expecting to get the stairs to deck 11 but no--- the stairs only go to deck 10, then you have to go along a corridor to another stairwell. Once in a corridor there was no indication which was forward or aft, port or starboard. If you want to go to deck 5, (dancing reception etc.) 1 elevator that you take to deck 5 finishes up between 2 restaurants in order to go forward or aft (dancing, reception etc.) you have to walk through the restaurants, they may be full or closed with the doors closed. On at least 5 occasions the toilets would not flush, every time we rang reception, we were told they were aware of a general problem. Often there was a strong sewage smell in part of our corridor. I assume the ship was extended to accommodate more passengers, the issue here is the buffet and the theatre weren’t altered to handle the additional capacity. The trip was like a hop on hop off bus journey with passengers getting on and off an most ports of call, this became a huge issue when due to bad weather we had to divert to another port, luggage and people had to go ashore and board in tender boats. This caused people to need transport back to their assigned port and the ship to wait for passengers, to be bussed in from other ports. All this while shore excursions were trying to leave; the whole thing was a total disaster as the buses couldn’t turn because people waiting for transfers wouldn’t move out of the way of buses trying to turn around. Tempers became very high. We were given a 100 euro on board credit. I believe we were told a lie regarding weather issues, I checked internet for the actual weather for that day and it was not that bad, a day later we had to miss a port due to technical non-safety issues. I heard people that were checking out after the first cruise say to reception stating to reception in loud voices “the worst holiday ever”. The bar staff were the only saving grace for the whole cruise, I think if we didn’t enjoy a drink, we would have been very unhappy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Embarkation: As this was a repositioning cruise, passengers embarked at multiple locations during the cruise: Marseille, Genoa, Valencia and possibly other ports. We embarked at Genoa and, in part due to not being a full ship ... Read More
Embarkation: As this was a repositioning cruise, passengers embarked at multiple locations during the cruise: Marseille, Genoa, Valencia and possibly other ports. We embarked at Genoa and, in part due to not being a full ship changeover, it was a quick process. Ship: MSC Poesia was a nice ship. Built in 2008, it does not have a Yacht Club section. Two main Dining Rooms and one Speciality Sushi Restaurant, along with the usual Deck 13 Buffet. Two swimming pools, two pairs of outside jacuzzis. The ship did not appear full and this seemed to be confirmed by the number of cabin upgrades people had received, us included. Cleaning took place frequently, staff seen with vacuum cleaners on their backs and brass work being cleaned. Unfortunately, this was offset by food and beverage staff not checking for glasses and plates of food left around the decks and the ship generally… Cabin: We had received a double upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony. We were pleasantly surprised to find our Balcony was pretty much midship on Deck 9. Compact balcony with two chairs and a footstool, comfortable main cabin area and usual, compact shower room. Soap dispenser by the sink, shampoo and shower gel dispenser in the shower. Cruise Card validation: One of the reasons for the speedy embarkation is that you are expected to register your credit card at an automated machine (there were a few around reception and shore excursions etc). There were instructions in each cabin about how to do this. One the first evening, we made three attempts to register our preferred credit card at one of these machines. These were all unsuccessful, without clear messages as to why. So I felt that I had to register a debit card, not my preference, as MSC operate this strange system of taking a fixed amount from a debit card and then you, the guest, having to collect any outstanding credit from them in the ship’s currency on the last day – more on this later… The debit card did register successfully and I also followed the process to say it was to be used for both cabins in our party. Lifeboat Drill: Disorganised summed this up. We collected our life jackets and attended our muster stations. We both had our cruise cards scanned by personnel at our muster station. So it was puzzling when my partner received a letter to our cabin next day, stating that he must attend another drill as he had not attended the initial mandatory drill. When he called Guest Services and pointed out that he had attended and his card had been scanned, this was accepted at face value. But if they are saying people who have taken part did not attend, how likely that they have identified passengers who did not attend? Food: I was very disappointed with the food on board. Portions were very small and the food quality very low. Steak did not make an appearance once during a 19 might voyage – except with food and beverage staff touting for guests to pay Euro 18 for a steak main course. I think there may also have been a similar offer for lobster. Generally, I mix and match between buffet and restaurant for breakfast and lunch, depending on how much time I wish to allocate to that particular meal. So, on day 2, I decided to try out the restaurant breakfast. What a strange thing that was. I went to the restaurant and asked for the menu - no menu. MSC Poesia do this hybrid thing of serving teas and coffees and fruit juice drink (not 100% juice, the cheap, watered down version laden with sugar) and then expect you, the guest, to visit the buffet area within the restaurant. I don’t regard this as a restaurant breakfast and the tables in the Fontane restaurant are set quite close together, making it a challenge to manoeuvre around other guests between your table and the buffet area. I decided not to waste my time with this version of buffet breakfast. So off to the zoo of deck 13 buffet. One of my guilty pleasures on a cruise is Bircher Muesli. MSC’s version was laughable. It appeared to consist of any cereal (but generally not muesli), with some diced fresh fruit (not the iconic grated apple) in a thin yoghurt. Such a disappointment. I tried the restaurant version of lunch, again MSC’s version was a rather strange combination. You go in to the restaurant to be seated. As MSC’s passengers are a wider mix of nationalities and languages than many other cruise lines, I politely asked to be seated with English speakers. The waiters blithely asserted that ‘all’ passengers can speak English. So not the case. Time and again tables of 8 guests sitting in stony silence, as they had no common languages between them. This is such a shame and MSC appear in total denial about this issue. One of the pleasures of a cruise is meeting new people and having enjoyable discussions about ports of call etc. This is such a missed opportunity on MSC. Yes, I appreciate it might require a little more thought in terms of seating people, but I am sure it could be done. So, having got to your table (and woe betide that you ask for a table of two to avoid that language issue – even in the first 5 minutes of service we only managed a table on our own twice in the whole cruise) I found the waiters seemed to hold back from providing menus. Why? Because once again, this was a mix and match seated restaurant buffet hybrid and it seemed that the waiters hoped you would just go and avail yourself of the buffet rather than them having to serve you. As at breakfast, the same issue of the tables in the Fontane restaurant being set quite close together, making it a challenge to manoeuvre around other guests between your table and the buffet area. Dinner was one of two sittings, 6.30pm or 9pm, at allocated tables in one of the two main dining rooms. The five people who had booked via the same Travel Agent were all seated together – this did resolve the language issue as we were all from the UK. A couple of days later a Canadian lady asked if she could join us, having first been sat with Spanish speakers, who quite forcibly told the waiter they would only accept Spanish speakers at their table. The wait staff then sat her on a table of Russian speakers, so she was very isolated. It seemed a common theme during the cruise was it being run for the ease of MSC and the staff, not for the benefit of the paying guests. MSC is the only cruise line I have travelled with, where chilled water is not provided in the seated Dining Rooms. I can only guess that this was done to maximise Bar revenue. As UK guests, we found that we had an inclusive drinks package of mineral water, American (filter) coffee and tea at Lunch and Dinner. This package stated it was for UK and Irish guests. Australians on the next table were most put out at having to pay for mineral water. I was also astounded to read claims in the Daily Programme about how MSC Cruises were the only line to have received a top environmental award. How can that be when they are massively overusing single use plastic bottles for mineral water – due to this refusal to provide chilled water for Restaurant Lunch and Dinners? Another issue there seemed to be problems with was language. Our waiter was from Spanish speaking Honduras. Whereas on most cruise ships he would only have needed to learn English, on MSC he needs a good understanding of six main languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. It soon became clear that his English was not as good as you would have hoped, with incorrect starters arriving etc. This, despite all of us guests trying to help by pointing out the specific item in the menu. To be honest, it would probably have helped to have all menu items numbered and order just like a Chinese or Indian takeaway… You remember I mentioned that all UK and Irish guests had an inclusive drinks package for American (filter) coffee and tea at Lunch and Dinner? So, we get to the end of the first Dinner and ask for American coffee. Instead, our Waiter tries to upsell us to the chargeable Cappuccino and Lattes… Why, because it turns out that there are NO facilities for coffee or tea in the Main Dining rooms on Decks 5 and 6. For him to provide the included coffee and tea the Waiter had to go to the Buffet on Deck 13 and get it, just as any guest would. How ludicrous. Unsurprisingly, the hot drinks were often lukewarm due to the journey involved. So now on to the zoo of the buffet on deck 13. It took a few days to discover that actually, this was a very large buffet. This was because often they closed the back half of the buffet and thus reduced the choice. So, we tended to go early in the opening hours when all sections were open and sit right at the very back of the ship, where the buffet area was noticeably quieter. Getting hot food was a challenge. It was displayed on the buffet in huge containers and just did not seem to keep warm for any length of time. It was very much a case of seeing that something was almost finished and watching for the fresh version to be bought out to ensure hot food. Then, whether you could find accompaniments that were also hot was somewhat of a gamble. Sometimes you could wait 10 minutes at an empty food station, to see if they had run out of that item or it was being replenished. Also, the food was not displayed in an appealing fashion. I have eaten in nicer works canteens. Guest Services / Reception: We needed to visit Guest Services on a number of occasions. Generally, we found they seemed to have been more trained in conflict resolution than customer service. Better customer service in the first place would have significantly reduced the need for conflict resolutions skills later. Having ended up registering a debit card initially (against both our cruise cards), due to problems with registering my credit card (I later concluded this may have been due to the debit card entry showing it was taken by MSC Marseille – my credit card company were instructed to expect transactions from Genoa onwards – not from Marseille which was a previous port) my partner then received a letter calling him to Reception. It seems the automated system had not registered that the debit card credit was against both cards – so this had to be adjusted manually. At the end of the cruise there was a credit and due to this one small initial debit card registration (a day later my credit card did accept), on the last evening we had to queue for one and a half hours to receive our credit back in Euros – the on board currency. During this time, we both saw a white uniformed officer come and view the lengthening queue on a number of occasions, and just go away with no obvious action being taken. Shore Excursions / Chargeable Port Shuttles: The presentations about Shore Excursions were not very informative. It was easier to just go to the Shore Excursions desk and collect the brochure with more detail. We did not do any of the Shore Excursions – they seemed lacklustre and expensive. We were quite happy to do our own exploring in port. It did seem that MSC used more commercial ports than some other lines. This meant you were sometimes some distance from where the ship docked to getting into the local town. This was an excuse to sell over-priced Port Shuttles. Malta was for the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus - Euro 20.00 Palma – Euro 12.99 Valencia – Euro 12.99 Casablanca - Euro 19.99 Ilheus - Euro 10.99 Despite the assertion in the Daily Programme that some of these Shuttles would involve a 20 minute drive, we always managed to walk into town in around 30 minutes. Sometimes (Valencia), the Port provided a free Shuttle bus to the edge of the port (quite a distance in itself) – this was conveniently not advertised. Entertainment: I have already mentioned the issues caused by being having multiple language guests on board. In the theatre every evening, all announcements in six languages became very tedious. Some quizzes and both the questions and the multiple choice (usually three) answers all shown on screen in the six main languages. So why did the Cruise Director feel it necessary to delay the process by reading out questions and possible answers in full in each of the six languages… It was painful and caused events to endlessly over run. It seemed the on board performers only had two main singers and the dancers were different – it seemed more strutting and striking a pose than the sort of high quality shows I have seen on other cruise lines. Many of the production shows had the most un-flattering outfits. There were also a couple of aerialists, some acrobats and a duo of contortionists (so old fashioned). It was also the peculiar way these alternative performers were somehow shoe horned into production shows in the most inappropriate ways. I also found the music for the production shows strangely discordant. For a repositioning itinerary such as this was, with 10 sea days (five single sea days and the five days to cross the Atlantic) – I thought the entertainment low key and very basic. On other lines, I may have been running from one event to another. On this ship, thank goodness for Kindles… The Library was such a disappointment. Very small, obviously needing to cater to the different languages on board. Hardly any non-fiction books, mostly extremely well worn books that look to have been left by previous guests. I did not take a single book out of the library, most unusual for me. Spa area: We were disappointed to find that we need to pay an eye watering Euro 310 (including the 15% service charge) for the two of us to access the sauna and steam room for the whole trip. We have always found at least one no charge sauna or steam room on every previous cruise, but on Poesia they were set up and carefully guarded. For that significant cost, you had access to three inside jacuzzis with five loungers (the ‘relaxation’ area), two large steam rooms (one of which never got above 30 C so was barely warm enough to sit it) versus the other steam room which was consistently at 44 C and two small saunas. By comparison, friends have recently returned from a P & O cruise told us they paid around £100 for more facilities for both of them for a two week cruise. At least having access to this grandly titled Spa Thermal Area helped us occupy our time, especially on sea days. There was an ongoing issue with the jacuzzis and one of the steam room the whole voyage. Eventually we were compensated fairly, but it required persistence and I would have much rather all facilities were working as they should have been. Conclusion: On day two or three, there was almost a mutiny in the theatre when the staff ran a promo video about MSC’s Masterchef at Sea TEN times on a loop while we were waiting for the show to start. Then, just before the show there was a glossy MSC promotional video all about MSC’s 300 years of experience (but much of that was with freight, not cruise passengers). It showed numerous officers in their white uniforms picking up towels and putting them back on passenger’s loungers etc. This was so far from reality – we saw very few officers. In fact, all that video did was make me frustrated – MSC management are in denial if they honestly think that the contents of that video reflected the experience of the average guest on board. For me, it was all the missing things. I go on a cruise to be made to feel special. MSC did NOT make me feel special at all, on the contrary, it seemed that many things were being done for the convenience of the ship’s operations, not for the best guest experience. What was missing, some very strange things: Hardly any clocks on board – we only found two in public areas. Very basic telephones in the cabin – no means to leave a voicemail when trying to contact someone in another cabin. A much lower number of rest rooms (toilets) than I have ever found on a ship – it could take many minutes to get to one. Captain’s daily announcement – nothing for the first week, then taken up by the Cruise Director for a while, then suddenly stopped. No omelette station in the buffet. No standard coffee and tea in the Dining Rooms (despite providing it within inclusive packages for Lunch and Dinner). No list of TV channels in the cabin – when I requested one and asked also about what channels were available in English – I was told it was against procedures to provide this information to guests! Displayed navigation map did not appear until a good week into the voyage. Lack of information about points of interest – nothing about passing the Cape Verde islands during our 5 day transatlantic crossing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We chose the Cruise as it fitted in with the UK school 1/2 term and was going to some interesting ports. We booked over a year in advance, big mistake, the flights got altered leaving us with a 2.5 hour transfer by coach each way. No ... Read More
We chose the Cruise as it fitted in with the UK school 1/2 term and was going to some interesting ports. We booked over a year in advance, big mistake, the flights got altered leaving us with a 2.5 hour transfer by coach each way. No negotiation, no alternative except to lose our deposit and rebook doing our own flights. By the time they announced the flight details the cost of flights had risen and little was available, leaving us with no option but to continue. Not a good start, a delayed flight and by the time we arrived to check in after a 2 1/2hr transfer and a less than smooth airport transfer to the coach even the photographer had gone home. Which was just as well as we where wet and bedraggled having had to paddle from the bus to the embarkation desks, we were nearly 3 hours late. Next they some how managed to transfer our 2 bags to the other MSC ship departing that day. We did alert them as to not having our bags before we left port and by 10.30pm it was apparent they had no idea where they where. Next morning we where told they were not on board either ship and were searching the port(we had had a MSC transfer from Nice to Genoa). Nothing offered apart from emergency wash bag, male briefs and socks. There was nothing in the onboard shop of any use, so we headed to the nearest shopping mall at the first port of call for basic essentials for our party of 3. On arrival back on board the HRO had us escorted to her office and told us the bags were on the other ship and we would get our bags in 2 days. No apology, and she would not sanction our meagre purchases of 3 t shirts a pack of ladies pants, 2 bra's, swim shorts, costume, 1 pair of activity sandals and 2 pairs of trainers, 2 pairs of chino for my husband and son plus a European usb charger so we could charge a phone and a stick deodorant to share. I could not find a change of trousers so was left with little choice but to continue to wear my jeans. The bags turned up late morning of our 4th day. Some of the clothes stained from being left wet from the rain at the port. The ship rolled quite badly even though the sea was not that bad. It was made worse by the cabin ceiling creaking and groaning with each roll. The extra equipment for the table tennis, table football and crazy golf on decks 11 and 12 was held on deck 5. It would be so much more user friendly to have it at a nearby bar. There was only 1 set for the crazy golf too. Our Excursions; 1st trip was cancelled no explanation and was refunded to our account not to the credit card it was booked with, the second trip itinerary was changed but we where not told until the coach had set off. We only got to the 1992 lava flow site rather than much further up Etna which was hugely disappointing. We had only booked 2 trips as we felt the quality on offer was not that good, very limited. We arranged our own trip to Herculaneum while in Naples, a car transfer that went very smoothly and despite the rain was a good trip. The timings of the arrival in Valletta was very poor. We arrived at 3pm, the Cathedral and other attractions all closed 4.30-5pm. No thought had gone into the excursions, which we had not booked in any case. Sightseeing in the dark and it was pouring with rain again. We did see the evening Gun Salute from the battery which was good. Food; not great, cool to luke warm in both restaurant and buffet. Dinner, a strange variety of menu combinations, mostly was fairly tasteless with small portions in the restaurant and a distinct lack of vegetables or a salad course. Lunch was mostly the same fare every day. The only exception was roasted veal one lunchtime in the buffet which made a good hot sandwich.The Pizza was also OK but very busy and if you wanted salad with it you had to brave the main buffet or paddle to the burger bar on the opposite side of the ship. The buffet was manic, no table space at meal times and often only 1 side open towards the end of service. We ended up getting room service breakfast as it was the only way to be able to eat without a struggle, the 'hot' breakfast options just were not worth the fight. Even in the dining room getting tea was not easy and cold milk for it even harder. the food was buffet but the hot drinks waiter service. The only cold milk was on the buffet but no spare cup or glass to be had to help yourself. With room service we had to ask twice for cold milk even when cereal was on the order. The main buffet coffee was either stewed or cold/empty. The hot water dispenser max temp 79C, not hot enough for a tea and the orange juice was just horrible, decent juice is not hard to do. A fresh squeezed one I saw at the juice bar was 5euro. The water dispensers were luke warm and at least 1 ice dispenser not working. There were often no cups/mugs to be had either. We were on Aurora package that was an all inclusive drinks package but we only saw 1 red, drinkable, 1 white, not great and 1 rose served with meals. Only 1 bar open in the day, we never saw the crepe station open. They ran out of English tea on day 4 in the buffet. Big complaint to customer services, by the next evening they had restocked. Very few people were using the hand sanitizers and it was not being enforced. The lift buttons and stair hand rails were all sticky and grubby. The pizza area and bar on deck 11 flooded and was covered in water most days. The only way to get to the buffet without wet feet was to walk down to the rear most lift/stairwell inside the ship before going up. Our teenager never found the relevant program of kids entertainment. We culminated our holiday by being first off the ship at 9 am, another 2.5 hours by coach back to Nice airport for a 6 hour wait for a 6pm flight back to London Heathrow. All in all an experience not to be repeated. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This is the firsts time I’ve felt the need to review a cruise ship after almost 10 years, and 20+ cruises. Firstly, the ship is new, massive and very impressive. Well thought out, cabins are a good size (stayed in Aurea Suite 14001) ... Read More
This is the firsts time I’ve felt the need to review a cruise ship after almost 10 years, and 20+ cruises. Firstly, the ship is new, massive and very impressive. Well thought out, cabins are a good size (stayed in Aurea Suite 14001) and the onboard app leaves every other cruise lines attempt at such, sorely lacking. Unfortunately, that’s about it in terms of positives. This was our first time with MSC, and unfortunately, I think it will be our last. I understand that every line does things differently, but our experience of RCCL, NCL and Celebrity just makes them more attractive, if somewhat more expensive too. I dislike very long, wordy reviews, so I’ll just bullet point the issues we had below: - as other reviews have stated, almost to a man, the staff were surly, unfriendly and either unwilling or unable to help. A couple were really nice, but a couple were actually very rude. - the Aurea drinks package isn’t worth having. I’ve attached to this review a photo of the drinks menu available on the ship. The items with a star next to them are what is NOT included in the package. Laughable really, and was in fact the first instance of what quickly became apparent as a ‘penny pinching’ culture on the ship - children’s menus are appalling. The main menus offer pretty much the same stuff for kids every night and crazily, the buffets are all closed between 5pm and 7pm every day, which is when most kids would want to eat. The only food available at this time is burgers and pizza. - when we boarded, we had a letter in our suite saying that one of our pre-booked tours had changed and that it would now feature travel on a small boat instead of a coach. We are unable to do this as my youngest son gets really ill on small boats (we know this from bitter experience). When we went to the shore excursions on desk to sort it out, we were told that we couldn’t cancel but could swap to another tour, all of which were more expensive, and we would need to pay the difference. I couldn’t really care less about the extra €50 but I think this is bad form. I asked to speak to the Excursions Manager and was told that she was too busy to see me, so I asked for the Hotel Director and was told that he would not see me, but I could speak to the Guest Services Manager, who essentially did nothing. He sent me a bottle of sparkling wine as an apology, but didn’t correct the issue I had. - prior to sailing we pre-booked a speciality dining package. A bit of advice...don’t! The speciality restaurants are worth doing, but if you book the package in advance, you have to eat from a set menu, which I didn’t see. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough when booking. In any event, you can eat from the a la carte options in the restaurants but they don’t credit your allowance and make you pay the extra, they just discount any a la carte dishes by 50%. This seems a crazy way to do things to me, but hey ho. - big issue for us was the TV in the suite. It has a really extensive list of films available and they are fairly reasonably priced. However, the entire menu, including some very niche titles (if you know what I mean) is available on the home screen, so your kids can navigate the entire menu. With titles including the word MILF available, I was not impressed that my kids could see the titles, and the accompanying artwork!! - the biggest issue by far however was the entertainment for us. I know this is a truly international cruise line and there were lots of Italians, Germans, Spanish and French amongst our fellow passengers, but the entertainment was very heavy in Italian music, Flamenco dancing and opera. There was one night when a Tina Turner tribute was on, but other than that, we were really let down by the entertainment across the ship. Unfortunately, an amazing ship was not the foundation for an amazing holiday on this occasion. We had actually booked 5 balcony cabins for the same week next year on this ship, to celebrate a 40th birthday in the family, but we have since contacted our travel agent to cancel it. It has cost me a fair bit in cancellation charges, but it’s better than wasting another week. I hope that the above comes across as even handed, and I am sure this ship and experience will suit some people, but as a well travelled family and veterans of the larger ‘American’ lines, it’s not for us. To finish, one of the big pluses people think of with MSC is that it’s relatively cheap compared to Royal Caribbean, NCL and Celebrity, but by the time you upgrade the drinks package, account for all of the extras you have to pay for (bowling, zip line etc) and take into account the really very poor service levels, I’d say it’s actually a lot worse value. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ... Read More
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ship, and we liked the itinerary (Genoa, Italy to Miami, FL, via Civitavecchia, Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Azores, Bermuda, and New York City). Unusually for a trans-atlantic repositioning cruise, we had three overnight stays (Tenerife, Bermuda, and New York City. A hurricane over the Azores caused a diversion to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands.) The Divina has a capacity of 4,345 passengers, but we were 3,335 upon arriving in Tenerife. Even with the ship only 77% full, it always felt extremely crowded in the public areas, and especially on the sun decks, the restaurants, the bars and lounges, and the theatre. One problem with bigger and bigger ships is the fact that more and more people still have to leave and enter the ship via a couple of gangways. This can lead to long waits in the ship and/or on the quay. The food was average or below average (my wife's evaluation) to good (my own evaluation). We succeeded in obtaining freshly made, consistently hot dishes at breakfast and lunch in the Black Crab restaurant by insisting (we were frequently told that he was not on duty, but this was true on only one occasion) on being seated with a particularly attentive waiter, Mr. Arturo de Leon, from the Philippines. His consistently excellent service to us, and to some other passengers who sought him out, seemed to provoke jealousy, rather than emulation, on the part of several of his colleagues. Our evening dining in Villa Rosa was also enjoyable, as we shared a table for 8 with two other Canadian couples, and were served by a trio of excellent waiters: Rusdi (Indonesia); Rohan (India); and Gabriel (Romania). My favourite meals were the fish dishes and the desserts. Our cabin steward (Ronald, from the Philippines) was also very efficient, and almost always managed to service our room while we were away at breakfast or dinner. The fuse for the thermostat burned out, and it took several days to get it repaired. The fitness centre had only two elliptical machines, was crammed full of people, and had the music cranked up to the maximum. Apart from the (mostly initial) entertainers (a living shadow artist; a mime; a ventriloquist; and four superb flamenco dancers), we found the dancing and singing acts to be excruciatingly loud, and gave them a pass, after several tries. The very, very worst "entertainment" were the Bermudan drummers and dancers: unbearably loud and incredibly repetitious. Several guests (usually, the same ones) disregarded the order to refrain from recording the shows on phones and laptops. The prohibition was never enforced by staff. There was only ONE solo recital of classical music, by the accomplished pianist on board. MSC's idea of classical singing is to have a third-rate tenor screaming "O Sole Mio" as if he was being burnt alive. Alma Duo gave two great tribute concerts to ABBA and the Beatles. The fashionista and his towering model were good. The "library" is the worst on the high seas: frequently closed (without warning) because of "staff training," it had the smallest selection of books in any of the five languages used during the cruise (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German), and not a single reference book (atlas, travel books, almanacs, etc.). The trivia quizmaster was by far the most obnoxious staff member I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. He treated contestants as if we were half-witted kindergarteners. Many staff appeared to be poorly trained, and some were observed smoking and drinking on the non-smoking 7th deck (port side), and tossing their butt ends and empty cans overboard. I mentioned this on my feedback sheet, halfway through the 23-day cruise, but received no followup. The future cruise consultant offered limited office hours, and NO cruise brochures were freely available. I asked for a loan of a brochure in English; was promised one "in your cabin, in a few days," but was never sent one. One good aspect of MSC cruises is their willingness to match one's status on competing cruise lines or hotels. Even though this was our first (and might be be our last) cruise with MSC, our 4-star Mariner status with Holland America got us Black-card Voyagers Club status (the highest of 5 levels) on MSC. This enabled us to receive various perks throughout the cruise, which made up for some of its less pleasurable aspects. Our favourite meal on board was the sushi tasting menu on deck 15, which was most enjoyable, and one of the aforementioned Black-card perks. Lastly, it was wonderful to meet a large group of Cruise Critics on board, visit their cabins, and socialize. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose the cruise because of itinerary---which didn't happen. To be positive, the highlights: Cabin was nice and larger than most ships on which I've sailed. Young man taking care of cabin was great!!! That's ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of itinerary---which didn't happen. To be positive, the highlights: Cabin was nice and larger than most ships on which I've sailed. Young man taking care of cabin was great!!! That's it!!!!!!!!! The cons: Were lied to many times by ship's officers. These included, but were not limited to: a. Being told that there was no TV because they couldn't get signal. They didn't pay for American set-up. So, no TV for twelve days. Catching up on news now...... While in NYC there were no spirits. They put out signs stating that this was because of New York port regs. Not true, ship messing officer told me that they had forgotten to get liquor license. So much for buying the drink package. As it turned out, blaming the Americans was often the answer to problems. Backfired once though as the PA announced that we were late leaving the ship in Bermuda because of the Americans----I guess that someone never learned that Bermuda was a British territory. Changed itinerary and skipped the Azores. Were told that this was due to a hurricane that was going to hit there----it had already passed. And there were more lies. Secondly, the food was awful. We also had opted for dinner in the dining room, but the service was so bad that we began using the buffet after four nights. There were times that it would take over an hour to get the main course. Food in any venue was never hot. Eggs were always cold. On two days we started the day without coffee. This would occur frequently during the day. To top that off, there were also two days that they ran out of coffee mugs. Food varieties were slim. Ran out of hand sanitizer for five days. Getting on and off the ship was an ordeal. As opposed to other ships that I've been on, this had no food around the pool area and you were required to pay for ice cream. Library was closed the first four days for staff training. Was told that this was to teach employees on methods of interacting with Americans. I think that some flunked the course. When library did open, it contained two books, one on cats and the other The Book of Mormons. No decent quiet lounges to just sit and read or play games. Excursions generally started late and many didn't cover advertised venues. I could go on but won't. My advice would be to avoid this company at all costs. They will certainly never see me or many of my fellow cruisers again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise since we were going with a group of 22 people. Now the issues started since half the group was booked in Aurea and the other half in Yacht club. We booked far in advance so the difference in price was nominal but ... Read More
We chose this cruise since we were going with a group of 22 people. Now the issues started since half the group was booked in Aurea and the other half in Yacht club. We booked far in advance so the difference in price was nominal but knowing what we know now, it would have been worth the upgrade to Yacht club. The biggest differences we noted was the priority elevator on the ship for Yacht club guests. Of course this is not all elevators but it helps when you are on a ship as frequent cruisers know on busy evenings. Priority exit and entry off the ship at most ports and when you exit your butler brings you down via a separate exit so you do not have to be jammed in line with everyone else. Slides are included in Yacht club not in Aurea. A larger selection of alcoholic beverages. The list just goes on and on. It would be nice if MSC would give travel agents all these details when they book the trip to avoid negative reviews OR at least post it on your website. We did check the online difference and all we saw was frivolous differences that were noted such as the quality of the pillows which for us was not important since we did not plan on spending our holiday sleeping. Now this is definitely not a cruise for kids. We had kids on the cruise ranging from ages 10-16. All of them agreed that this cruise does not stand up to Norwegian or Royal Caribbean standards. Every time they went to join an activity such as basketball. The ball was never there and nobody was there to help them get a ball. Activities in teen/kids club were minimal and were not always done since staff would always have a poor excuse. Plus customer service is definitely not a high priority throughout the ship. We had 2 occasions where we ending up having to yell at onboard staff just to get issues they caused addressed. For example, our prepaid tour tickets were missing from our cabin the night before so we went down to retrieve them ourselves from the ticket counter. However, we pulled up to the counter at 11:00pm on the nose and the lady behind the counter did not even ask what our issue was. Immediately she said we are closed!! My husband said no you are not since we are missing tickets for our offshore excursion tomorrow morning. After a lot of back and forth someone finally took ownership of the situation and wrote us tickets for the next morning! We are so glad we insisted because of course every where we went the next morning they asked us for the tickets! Issue number 2, on our one sea day I was too ill in the morning to leave the cabin so we left late in the afternoon. We were going to enjoy some sun in the Aurea Lounge. However, little did we know the sun loungers in the Aurea section can be sold until they are full. This means if you prepaid for Aurea do not count on a seat unless you get out there early in the morning. Yacht club members access can also be bought same day but it is done so in smaller numbers. Any way once this happened to us in Aurea the guest services manager could not apologize enough. Really she was the only person onboard who cared about what image we would be left with. However, really it should not come down to this. You only get one chance to make a first impression and MSC failed us!! MSC ships sparkle but customer service is horrible in all areas. "All that glitters isn't gold!" Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This is a VERY kid unfriendly ship. Of the 3 pools we had access to we could only go in 1 which was typically freezing. We also saw a midfle school aged kid get kicked out of the gym when he was running next to his dad on s treadmill, ... Read More
This is a VERY kid unfriendly ship. Of the 3 pools we had access to we could only go in 1 which was typically freezing. We also saw a midfle school aged kid get kicked out of the gym when he was running next to his dad on s treadmill, causing no trouble. We paid extra for the Yacht club, which is a must with this line otherwise you will be waiting awhile just for the buffet. With this "exclusive club" you also got 24 h access to a butler. However literally every time we ordered room service it was wrong. It was fantastic service in the dinning room and club. We asked for milk in the room several times before they then stocked out mini fridge with a card board box that you need heavy scissors to open, which we didn't have. We also requested a crib. I called and contacted MSC numerous times prior to the cruise and I was assured it would be there, it wasn't. Contacting MSC was also a mess. We booked 11 people through Tim Bronson, the agent from MSC. He was not only not helpful, but impossible to reach. Our 4 rooms were all over the ship and not even on the same floor together. 2 of our reservations got cancelled a few weeks before the trip. Luckily no one booked those rooms in the mean time. We have cruised multiple times and this was the worst food I have had on a ship. We did multiple excursions which were not organized well and the guides were lackluster at best. The one guide refused to use the headset pieces in Rome because he "has been doing this since 1975 and didn't need it". Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise so that we could see parts of Italy. It was not cheap for the all inclusive package that was included when we booked with travel agent. I have never been made to feel like a second class citizen on any other cruise as ... Read More
We chose this cruise so that we could see parts of Italy. It was not cheap for the all inclusive package that was included when we booked with travel agent. I have never been made to feel like a second class citizen on any other cruise as I was on this one. Drinks options were very limited, trying to get a glass of wine with dinner was a nightmare. There are only two options available for all inclusive package, but waiting staff only went round with one bottle to top up your glass. They did not like it when asked for the other one, when it was finally produced the meal was almost over. Cabins are very basic, don’t expect any little luxuries as there are none. Pump dispensers provide body wash, shampoo and soap. Never once saw cabin steward, on three consecutive nights had to actually make my own bed as duvet had only been spread over. Again for our package drinks at the bars are very limited. If you drink bottled beer you can only have Heineken, with spirits you can have Gordon’s gin, Smirnoff vodka. Anything else you need to pay for. The whole cruise involved them trying to get more money out of you. We had an additional £600 bill at the end of our cruise. This was we chose to dine in speciality restaurants with wine in a more relaxed environment. Please check your account daily, if you do not spend, they will add money on saying you made a donation to charity even if you didn’t. I’m sorry to say there are very little positives. The transfers, embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. Overall, this cruise had far to many passengers on board resulting in the personal touch in making every passenger feel special was sadly missing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
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
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
We chose this cruise because it was a back to back cruise with the Poesia. We were with a group of 6. We were transferred by coach from Venice to Genoa which took about 5 hours. Only about 12 people on the coach. Good trip. Because we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a back to back cruise with the Poesia. We were with a group of 6. We were transferred by coach from Venice to Genoa which took about 5 hours. Only about 12 people on the coach. Good trip. Because we arrived at Genoa at about 15.30 embarkation was easy and fast - straight through, baggage arrived at cabin the same time as we did. Balcony cabin was big and neat and tidy.Much bigger than Poesia. The tiles in the Shower recess floor were loose and water leaked onto floor outside shower. Dining was below average. Wait Staff in dining room were good but it was obvious they were under pressure 'from up above'. Servings in the dining room were small and the menu was exactly the same as the ship which we just came off. No variation at all - very disappointing. Breakfast and lunch in the buffet was total chaos. Too many people pushing and shoving and the noise level was very loud. Menu's were not very appealing at all. Service in the dining room for breakfast was slow. One morning I waited 20 minutes before being served. Most Bar staff were very slow and it appeared that it was a chore to serve you. Prices on drinks menu did not include a service charge of 15%. So when you ordered a beer for EUR4.95 the bill come in at EUR5.69. Some times we would order a drink from the list and after about 20 minutes the waiter returned to say they didn't have it or they ran out. The drinks included red wine Cabernet Sauv, Cognac, Cocktail of the Day, Strongbow Cider etc. You had to keep an eye on your onboard account as I was charged twice for items I did not purchase. The onboard account on the TV screen listed your transactions but did not include the total of the bill - you had to work that out yourself. Entertainment was good but it was mainly performed by the onboard production crew, mainly dancing and singing. The Cruise Director did not appear to get too involved in day to day activities. the only time we saw him was at the evening show where he introduced the show in about five different languages. Imagine if they featured a comedy act, the comedian would have to tell the joke several times in different. How good would that be?? We did not do any Shore excursions from the ship because we thought the cost was excessive. They provided paid shuttles into town, which were also expensive, then we done our own thing. Disembarkation was good and well organised, bit different than the chaotic Poesia. The ship was beautiful, very Italian with plenty of marble and glass, plenty seating in the lounges, but the standard of service and dining experiences really let it down. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have been on several other cruises over the years and this was by far the worst. Passengers made up of mainly Italian and French; not many English on board, so excursions were multi lingual. Passengers were embarking and disembarking at ... Read More
We have been on several other cruises over the years and this was by far the worst. Passengers made up of mainly Italian and French; not many English on board, so excursions were multi lingual. Passengers were embarking and disembarking at each port which caused disruption, something we are not used to, and resulted in lifeboat drill every day and closure of bars whilst the drill was carried out. Le Vele buffet restaurant too small for the level of customers onboard at difficulty finding a table and staff when we needed a drink. No tea coffee facility in the cabins. Smoking on board is allowed in certain indoor areas which then spreads to non smoking areas, which we did not like. Food quality was excellent in all areas. Evening restaurant food and staff were excellent but the two sitting times were 7pm and 9.30pm. We booked a suite, but it was found to be just a large balcony cabin. Entertainment was approximately 30mins per night in the Theatre by the same performers which we found boring on the three nights we went into the theatre. Many children and teenagers on board which we again are not used to. We would not recommend MSC cruises after this experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have travelled with most cruise lines and expected a mid-range experience with rather good food given that MSC is an Italian company. It turned out that the most disappointing aspect was food and beverage. BREAKFAST Breakfast can ... Read More
We have travelled with most cruise lines and expected a mid-range experience with rather good food given that MSC is an Italian company. It turned out that the most disappointing aspect was food and beverage. BREAKFAST Breakfast can be taken i their cafeteria or in the restaurant Villa Borghese. We visited the cafeteria numerous times but never managed to get a table. In Villa Borghese you can select between a la carte and buffet. All dishes sampled were of poor quality and presentation. I.e. Eggs Benedicts were almost inedible. Room Service breakfast is yoghurt, bread and coffee/tea. Thats it. LUNCH Lunch could be taken in the cafeteria as well as in Villa Borghese. The latter offered a la carte as well as buffet. We only ate when we were at sea and escaped the ship for meals as often as we could. DINNER You are assigned dinners in either Villa Borghese or L'Ibiscus. We were in the latter and the food was mediocre and rather bland. Food was okay but never an experience you would like to remember. ALL-INCLUSIVE CONCEPT We opted for the all-inclusive concept which was promoted to include all beverages at all times. It proved to be far from it. In the restaurants you could only choose wines from a very limited selection and only by the glass (2 whites, 1 rosé and 2 reds) - all La Zolla an almost undrinkable quality. Most cocktails are not included. Water is included but not if you take the water in the mini bar, then it is extra. Beverages from room service are always extra and you pay for the food here too but delivery is included. Rather strange concept and very confusing which seemed deliberate. Although the all-inclusive packages are rather cheap, they are not worth buying. BOARDING Getting onboard took 2,5 hours and we waited in four different queues for different aspects of the registration process. We never understood why it had been made so complicated and everybody complained throughout. SERVICE In general there seems to be an attitude amongst staff of wishing they were somewhere else. They made numerous errors during our cruise and not once were we offered an apology. All (and I mean ALL) announcements are made in six languages (English, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Russian) so everything takes forever. Would much rather prefer to have announcements in English and perhaps one other language and them have all written information in as many languages as they wish. We were forced to watch the MSC commercial videos several times in the theatre and people started commenting on the completely different experience they were having compared to the commercials. For example, in the commercials there are flowers everywhere but we didn't see one flower throughout our stay. The meals are served with cloches. We never saw them onboard, and so on, and so on. SAFETY The safety drill was an Italian farce. They started the drill 20 minutes late and then in a way that only a limited number of passengers could see what happened (and again in six languages). Passengers soon started to leave the stations is frustration. Italian organized chaos. ITALIAN ATTITUDE Most senior officers are Italian and they clearly feel superior to the other members of staff. Several times we observed officers go into bars to prepare their own coffees and two times I saw officers take cakes out of the cake displays with their fingers and straight into their mouths. So much for food hygiene. ALL IN ALL All in all it was a very disappointed experience and we will not return to MSC. If you travel on a limited budget there are so many other cruise lines to choose from and we cannot come up with even one, why you should choose MSC. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Friends asked us to join them on this cruise as they had never been on a cruise before. We had travelled on Princess Cruise line before and could not help but compare the two. In fact there is no comparison! Don't get me wrong Divina ... Read More
Friends asked us to join them on this cruise as they had never been on a cruise before. We had travelled on Princess Cruise line before and could not help but compare the two. In fact there is no comparison! Don't get me wrong Divina is a magnificent ship, but I'm afraid thats where it ends! Overcrowded, to many children onboard even making late dining a nightmare (9 o'clock) kids crying & running around. 2 smoke rooms onboard as well as smoking in the Casino....smell permeated through the ship. Food very very average in restaurants, marginally better than buffet (which was full of rude people that piled their plates like there was going to be a famine) the staff are obviously not happy. Entertainment the same every night! English about 4th down on the list spoken onboard. 15% surcharge on everything purchased onboard...coffee, drinks etc. They also tried to charge €10 per person per cabin a day!! When we questioned this we were told it pays the staffs wages...sorry MSC your job to pay wages!!! And we will tip those that deserve it!! Shuttle costs expensive. Would i recommend MSC? No way. To many unruly kids, arrogant travellers, no organisation in buffet as well as theatre...umhappy staff (no wonder with the way they are treated by some onboard) Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had past experience with msc-positive. this cruise convinced us never to use them again. ship is understaffed and service is poor. Guest services and excursion office were terrible-wrong information many times. in 3 different ... Read More
We had past experience with msc-positive. this cruise convinced us never to use them again. ship is understaffed and service is poor. Guest services and excursion office were terrible-wrong information many times. in 3 different ports there were shuttle charges . ONLY IN THE NIGHTLY NEWSLETTER DID THEY INFORM ABOUT THIS- Prices ranged from 13 euro to 16 euro and because they choose to dock outside the city-there is really no choice. there is afeeling that passengers must conform to convience of the crew. The ship is very clean and weel kept-food is okay-not enough good points to cruise with them again. the entertainment was about the same everynight-same singers and dancers-only the opera evening was worth it. ON THE LAST NIGHT THE NEWSLETTER WAS DELIVERD AT 22:00 To our room-informing us to have luggage outside by 23:00 and to vacate the cabin at 7:00-again no timely notification. the ship is nice but with everyone on board-public spaces are very crowded. some of the crew do their best-but the ship sorely lacks manpower. T Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Overall we were disappointed with this cruise. A beautiful ship with lots of high value shops. Food in the buffet left a lot to be desired in flavour and quality and also was barely warm. Elegant dining was allocated and we were billed ... Read More
Overall we were disappointed with this cruise. A beautiful ship with lots of high value shops. Food in the buffet left a lot to be desired in flavour and quality and also was barely warm. Elegant dining was allocated and we were billed for it, a big surprise. We were not informed that dining anywhere but the buffet cost extra. We would not have minded but the main meal at the dining room was way below par. Training of the staff at the dining room was lacking. The ship treated all passengers like milk cows, money for ice cream and everything else. This company needs to look at other cruise lines and see the difference. The help desk was always queued up as this ship was acting like a ferry rather than a cruise ship. People getting on and off at every port and spent time querying their bills this caused a lot of frustration. Internet was expensive on board and was unavailable for 70/80 % of the time. Staff told us it was to be updated but on a new ship? as well as being told that the problem was the way we signed on and other excuses. To cap it all my wife was abused by one of the senior staff, Natalia, while we were waiting to disembark The entertainment was first class. Would not recommend this cruise line to anybody. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were on the Meraviglia March 11-18. We booked the cruise about 5 weeks before departure because we had the opportunity to travel to Europe for work during March. With the tight timeline and last minute wedding items to attend to (our ... Read More
We were on the Meraviglia March 11-18. We booked the cruise about 5 weeks before departure because we had the opportunity to travel to Europe for work during March. With the tight timeline and last minute wedding items to attend to (our wedding was March 3) we thought a cruise would be a great option. We were not able to relax during our honeymoon because of serval inaccuracies between the American booking site and the Italian services offered on board. We spent a week arguing with your staff about packages and experiences we had prepaid! Upon talking with other couples from the US and Europe we found they all had similar issues. Drink Package Upon arriving at dining we were told that we could choose from house wines only. The American site clearly listed several wines to pick from (I believe they are the ones listed "by the glass" on the dining room menu) including sweet wines. We were not in the mood to argue with our waiter so went to guest services after dinner. We were told the American site is wrong, that they could not give us a refund and they offered us a draft beer package. Why weren't they able to at least give us an onboard credit? We made due with these tickets, but on top of the 24 other drink tickets we had with our cruise package we were not able to use all of them. Every time we tried to use the water bottle coupons from the beer package the waiters questioned us, told us the coupons were old and asked if we got them from another ship. It is a horrible feeling to be accused of stealing for a $2.75 bottle of water! Our last issue came the last night of the cruise. We used several drink tickets at the bar on the 6th floor. The bar charged us for 2 bottles of wine (we ordered wine by the glass) and several other drinks, instead of applying our drink tickets. This caused us to have to go to guest services once again and wait in the never ending line. Cirque show We prepaid for both shows, one for dinner and one for drinks. It is truly ridiculous that you can not pick your show day and time online when you prepay for this experience. We went to the lounge to book and were helped by an employee. We were told to come back the next day at 5 pm to pick up the tickets. When we arrived the next day, our reservation had not been made and we did not have seats for the show that night. After a stern conversation, the manager was able to rearrange and get us in to that showing. An experience we were most looking forward to, overshadowed by the lack of attention to detail and customer service. Excursions One of the main reasons we choose the cruise as our honeymoon was because of the excursions offered. The following pre-booked excursions were canceled during our trip: Cycling in Palermo and Surrounds Flavors of Barcelona Marseille e-bike discovery tour We did not enjoy our replacement excursions in Palermo and Marseille. Upon speaking with the excursion manager, we learned that the bike rides in Palermo and Marseille aren't offered on the ship because the ship does not have bikes to loan out. Why then, was I able to book and prepay for these excursions? We also learned, several of the tours never happen, for example the jogging tour. One of the other issues we experienced was the excursions sale staff. We were told a minimum number of people were required for a tour to take place, but the sales staff was not allowing people to sign up for them. How can you ever meet your minimum capacity if your staff is steering people in the opposite direction? After talking to the manager for several minutes we asked for confirmation that the Barcelona e-bike tour could depart the next day (this tour was not listed online but was in the printed excursion information). She made it work, and it was our favorite day on the cruise. Departure off ship/ tour groups Our final frustration happened when we were trying to get off the boat one final time. The disembarking was 2.5 hours behind, and the first time they made an announcement about the delay was at the 2 hour mark. All the people who were following instructions about their colors were on deck 5,6,7 with no where to move. The large tour groups were huddled together taking up so much space. At one point we asked employees to help control the crowd because the tour groups were blocking the front desk as we were standing in line to get the alcohol charges removed. Tour groups really should have a private meeting space and be escorted by cruise staff when there are hundreds of them gathering at once. On a positive note, the Meraviglia was a beautiful ship our room was spacious for an inside cabin. Our room steward took excellent care of us while we were onboard. We also had a wonderful last night onboard at the hibachi restaurant. This however, does not make up for all the problems we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were on the 12 day MSC Orchestra over Christmas. MSC is now marketing itself as a family-friendly line, however, they do not have the ship or the experience to do this well yet. All of the kid venues seemed literally smushed into the ... Read More
We were on the 12 day MSC Orchestra over Christmas. MSC is now marketing itself as a family-friendly line, however, they do not have the ship or the experience to do this well yet. All of the kid venues seemed literally smushed into the boat in odd places (during the last referbishment), and overall the boat felt very cramped and crowded, despite not being booked to capacity. Perhaps the newer class ships are better for this. The kids club is offered almost all day long, though there is a lot of TV watching (the MSC tv show) and other screen activities as they do not have a lot of kids, so they often combine all ages together and I suppose that's an easy way to entertain them? This was disappointing for us, as my daughter loves the organized, structured activities on other lines. So she opted to go for only an hour a day, and many days, she opted to not go at all. The food is really good, although it is European in both style and portion size. Be sure to order multiple dishes. We enjoyed the MDR, though the seating is odd and staff is friendly, but not personable. I loved the food, though it is a bit rich. I did miss the variety of eateries that are offered on other ships. Also, the buffet is really packed during peak times, and during non-peak times, there is limited food available. There is no free ice cream on the ship. The entertainment offered in the daily program is for adults only. My 11 year old was not allowed to particpate with me in the Christmas Crafts activities- even if she used my supplies and sat on my lap! The worker in charge was incredibly rude about it, and it was quite a turn off. Most of the entertainment offered are dance classes. While fun, doing more than 1-2 a day is just overkill. I missed the typical cruise programing on other lines. The evening shows were okay, we went to several, though they were all basically the same thing set to different music (singing, dancing, acrobatics). There is nothing "fresh" about the entertainment. Embarkation and disembarkation is simple, though there is very little information given for each. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get on and off the ship. They add a "unicef" charge per day- you can get this taken off the night before you disembark. The ports are the best thing MSC offers- they are port intensive and have a wide range, which was ultimately why we booked them. That being said, it basically felt like we were on a floating hotel and not a cruise. This was our 5th cruise, our first with MSC. Both my daughter and I prefer the other lines and will stick to them. We will not book MSC again. There was nothing "horrible" about the cruise, just nothing "special" about it either. Everything was average or just below average. However, given the huge number of horrible reviews, we were happy as it wasn't as bad as we were expecting. Unfortunately, MSC did not win us over as customers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Found cabin not very clean.Meals very bland and staff not well trained Disembarkation was chaos.Day trips were also poorly organised for disembarkation.Entertainment on board appeared to be more for the Gala evenings etc and day ... Read More
Found cabin not very clean.Meals very bland and staff not well trained Disembarkation was chaos.Day trips were also poorly organised for disembarkation.Entertainment on board appeared to be more for the Gala evenings etc and day activities were not adequate.This was our first time cruising and would never take another.We have travelled to Italy about 4 times over the past 17years to family and thought a cruise for Christmas 2017 would be wonderful but we wish we had chosen another land tour through Europe.We spent 3 days in Genoa before the cruise as it was a city in Italy we had not yet explored.We would never take another MSC cruise and would certainly not recommend to family and friends.The buffet was poorly organised and we could not believe the bad manners and pushing and shoving of the majority of the passengers at this service.Should we return to visit family in Italy again we will travel independently by land which is more enjoyable and is value for money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
When we booked the cruise (family of 2 adults and 2 Young kids) there were no reviews, since it was a brand-new ship. A month before our trip we read reviews from all over the web and we got concerned. The following is our point of ... Read More
When we booked the cruise (family of 2 adults and 2 Young kids) there were no reviews, since it was a brand-new ship. A month before our trip we read reviews from all over the web and we got concerned. The following is our point of view all though we came with very low expectation: The good: It is a new ship which most of the ship is beautiful and clean ! Security is good and firm. Some of the shows were lovely. There are two shops that needed to pay (chocolate and ice cream) that were excellent. Restaurants the service was good. The bad: Food- is horrible !!!!!! all restaurants have poor base ingredients, when we complained we noticed that no one really cared, so we only eaten salads and pizza at the buffet restaurant. Service was not good when we needed any type of service from reception including not answering to the phone, it seems they are totally apathetic to their customers. There is no public children playground and the only playground they have is a place that they allowed no parents to stay so you need to leave the children with their own staff. (and even that place was not adequate for such big ship) Overcrowded !!! the entire ship in all public places including restaurants, pools, bars, main avenue is so overcrowded that it gave us a poor experience. It seems that MSC is trying to squeeze money in every different way from their captive market costumers. In total please try to avoid MSC, by doing that may by they will start respecting their customers. Thank you, Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
After reading all those bad reviews i was pretty worried. It was our first cruise and we went with a 2,5 year old son.We chose this ship, because they claim to by family friendly and they have designated areas for kids to play. After the ... Read More
After reading all those bad reviews i was pretty worried. It was our first cruise and we went with a 2,5 year old son.We chose this ship, because they claim to by family friendly and they have designated areas for kids to play. After the cruise I have to say that this cruise has a great potential but our vacation did not fulfill our expectations. The problem of the ship is the staff and the management. The ship: I have to say that the ship is beautiful. We had a room with a balcony and it was great. It is smaller but the space is limited so I cannot complain about that. I have to give credit for the mattresses and pillows. I usually have trouble sleeping in a hotel room because the beds and pillows are not comfortable but it is not a case here. Food: Breakfast and lunch in the buffet (the marketplace) was good. The breakfast was everyday the same, for lunch they did some change every day. You have plenty to choose from and it was not cold as many of the complaints said. Dinner in the restaurant was very good, always something interesting to choose from the menu. The problem at dinner was time. We were there with a little boy and it was really difficult to keep him busy till the food came. I always got there at 18.30 to order from the menu for all of us and my husband came with my son at 18.55. Sometimes the waiter kept me waiting for 20 minutes till I could order the food. Then it took a long time for the food to come. I understand that they needed time to cook the main meal, but i don´t understand why we had to wait 20minutes for desserts! I also understand that couples there did not need to rush and could stay there for two hours. But families with kids don´t have that much time and as a family friendly ship they should understand that. Other families with kids had the same problem, their kids falling asleep while waiting for food. But the biggest problem is, if you have any food allergies or intolerance. Recently we have discovered that our son has a milk allergy. So when we got onboard, i went to the reception to find out what can be done. I waited for 15 minutes at the reception in line. Then i told the man at the reception about the allergy and asked if they can arrange that the restaurant knows about it for dinner. For 15 minutes he was doing something on the computer, typing, did not say a word. Then he said "you are all set". I was like okay, thank you. At our first dinner in the restaurant i asked the waiter about the allergies. on the menu they did not write the allergy information. After his confused look i knew that it will be a problem. His boss came, but he did not know about milk allergy anything. he asked about lactose but it is not the same. For breakfast and lunch it was a problem too. Every food has a label and you can read the title in 6 different languages, but you will never find out, if there is milk /gluten/ or anything else. If you cannot risk it, you can have something from the fruit and salad bar, but that´s it. Fortunately I brought some snacks for my son onboard but it is really sad that you have to bring your own food. Kids areas: The ship has good facilities for kids and claims that they are available 9.00 till 23.00. But it is not true. The facilities were opened only during baby time and baby care time. Baby time meant that you can be there with your child, baby care meant that you could leave your child there with staff. But the hours were horrible. Baby time was during the time when we were on land or during the time when the baby was asleep, or during our dinner time. I could not be there with my child during baby care and i did not want to leave my child with a stranger without proper qualifications. I saw that the girls were just standing there and let the kids watch tv. We wanted to play in the sports arena, but they would not borrow us a ball to play with. So we bought a ball the next day on land, but they kicked us from the sports arena because that time was reserved for soccer, but noone showed up for soccer!!! This “family friendly” claim looks good on a paper, but the reality is different. Staff: The biggest problem of the ship is the staff. We have travelled around the world, stayed in 4*/5* resorts, but we have never seen this kind of attitude. During the whole stay, i haven´t seen our waiter smile or make a small talk. People at the excursion desk or kids clubs behaved like you were bothering them. Once I stopped at the excursion desk to ask about excursions at barcelona. First I asked if she could tell me at what time we should be in barcelona. She said "check the screens". I mean, after 3months doing the same route every week, you know these things, and it is part of your job to know these things, but i don´t understand why she could not tell me, or be at least nicer. So we visited barcelona on our own. I ordered a coffee at the bar, waited for it for 20 minutes. If I haven´t already paid for it 5 euros I would have left. The waiter that took my order saw me waiting, but every 5 minutes he just said reminded the other waiter the make that coffee and that was it. The only nice person was the man that cleaned our room. He was always smiling, asked if we needed anything, or joked with our son. Out of these people he had the worst job, it was not part of his job to deal with people, but he was the best. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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