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116 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

There are many staffs working with attitude. Very lack of passion. They seems like they are doing a job that they hate. Very horrible customer service especially in buffet area. Staffs are not even smiling and serve you without saying a ... Read More
There are many staffs working with attitude. Very lack of passion. They seems like they are doing a job that they hate. Very horrible customer service especially in buffet area. Staffs are not even smiling and serve you without saying a word or response. There are many staffs covering buffet area. Bar service staffs focus on selling drinks than doing other jobs. For e.g. they can't even get you waiter for clean up. When I asked a waiter who is cleaning up to clean up our table, she responded "Not my area". When I complained to supervisor, the response was "very busy time" but I can see many staffs floating around and not doing their job. When I approach the staff, some were quite rude. No eyes contact, tried to ignore, no responses. I've seen a supervisor complain to a staff for bad hygiene, the staff was quite rude and didn't care. MSC Grandiosa seriously need to manage their staffs. It's the worst cruise I have ever been in term of customer service. The worst entertainment I have ever experienced. It's almost like no entertainment and activities for adults. We were pretty much spending time in our room. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in errors,incompetence,and refusal to own their mistakes. Embarkation for YC, is done in a private area. The other classes were in a area were disorganization seemed to reign. We were processed and on ship within 20 minutes of our arrival at Genoa terminal. We were escorted by a butler along with two other families. Upon boarding a female security officer said stop. I asked if there was a problem, she stated there was an issue with my card. The butler who was there to assist, was MIA. When I asked what the problem was, she put her hand in my face and yelled I would have to wait for management to fix the problem. I told our butler who looked nervous,to please help fix this. He then stated I was YC and they would handle it later. No apology for the assault or humiliation. There was no issue for the card and I received an apology from the staff captain five days later after I repeatedly asked to speak to a manager and they reviewed the tape. No further gesture of good will ever came nor would I deign to ask for one. Despite temptation, I kept an open mind about MSC. The positives of YC were they escorted you on and off the boat,avoiding long and often unorganized lines. They also had an awesome lunge where one could have a drink of choice,high tea, or continental breakfast. There were always nibbles or sweets laid out. The YC restaurant,the food was very mixed to poor. Breakfast had nice items,but were often cold or flavorless. This included eggs Benedict that were cold and hard. On formal night, we got escortgoes that had a butter crust and no garlicky soft butter sauce. Steak was often over done despite requests for medium or rare. Most other dishes lacked any form of seasoning. The main buffet had better and more flavorful food. This was despite it being a blood sport to get food with people pushing or cutting the line. The pizza was excellent(even by NYC standards) and it was cool to watch them make fresh mozzarella. Service in the YC was either smothering or poor. If one went to get a cup of coffee in the morning , a staff member would insist to carry it to your room. One day we arrived at 1505, five minutes after lunch finished on the YC outside deck. We were told sorry, it was closed and we were on our own. The rooms were decent and mini bar was fully stocked. However, if a blow dryer was needed it had to be asked for.. The ship had limited trivia games or other non musical activities. This can be attributed to the multiple main languages on the ship,which was a positive and fun thing. We did not take any excursions,from the ship so have no opinion on these. the ship is HUGE,maybe too big. However,they have any awesome beer bar,called Top of the Mast. Great beer selection and very friendly staff. Disembarkation was easy and quick. My only issue was getting a refund from my card in euros instead of the money being put back on the card. MSC has potential but needs to work out some service issues. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We bought this as a package that included flights. We looked forward for over a year to a beautiful new ship and watched the progress of its construction. Sadly the anticipation was the best part. Bellissima is a huge ship that crams in ... Read More
We bought this as a package that included flights. We looked forward for over a year to a beautiful new ship and watched the progress of its construction. Sadly the anticipation was the best part. Bellissima is a huge ship that crams in as many cabins and people at the sacrifice of public areas. There are never enough seats in the public areas although there are tables available, the lack of seats makes it difficult to find a spot. The deck chairs around the main pool are crammed in and always seemed to be reserved even though this is supposed to be a no no. The main pool deck 15 has the smoking area so it stinks of cigarettes. There is always entertainment there, if you call it that, and games with only a dozen or so participants at all times. It’s very loud and in your face, so a quiet time around the pool is not possible. The other very small pool at the rear is better but again lacks seating. The music here is over loud speakers and could be softer. There’s a bar here but again lack of seating and also a smoking area. Bar staff overall on the ship are rude or indifferent, and lack the necessary skills to operate a bar. The bars are also lacking in seating, with so many guests onboard and nowhere to sit. The so called adults only bar was out of order at least twice when we tried that one, and one of the bars only had drinks above our drinks package. Now regarding the drinks package. We bought the easy package a year out from the cruise. We have friends who sailed earlier this year on another MSC ship who were able to have drinks up to €6.50......so they happily had Jameson’s on their cruise with no problem at any bar. MSC are very misleading in their description of the packages and describe a selection of spirits, cocktails and wines. We were aware that the beers included were Heineken and found also Amstel light, which is ok. The selection of spirits however is bottom shelf Bells whisky, Vodka, Gin and bottom shelf Rum. No bourbon, which is my drink. All of the decent drinks were €6.50 but our package was up to €6.00 and no exception. We can only assume that MSC have changed that between the time of our friends cruise and ours. The cocktails aren’t cocktails, they are mixers like G&T and Vodka and orange, but we did find a way around it. If you are stuck on the easy drinks buy your non alcoholic cocktails and a shot of rum etc with the mixer separate and just mix it in! When we questioned the drinks package all they were interested in is upgrading your package for an exorbitant amount of money. We would’ve been better off paying as we go. Bar manager Tafseer Said did his best to rectify our issues with the bar and whenever he saw us he always checked that things were ok. Chocolate bar a huge waste of space that could be better accommodated with, say a lounge area, as lots of chocolate on display but no one in here buying. The massive casino is just another attempt at making money and could’ve been a quarter of the size as hardly anyone using it. Obviously an indoor smoking area which was offensive. Again that would’ve given more nice public area. No library or place to have a quiet read. Cirque Du Soleil was a amateurish performance and the so called cocktails were a choice of non alcoholic mai tai, gin and tonic or rum and something. NOT COCKTAILS as described and they were awful with most people not drinking them. Dining.....we didn’t eat in the animal farm buffet although did a walk through a couple of times. As a Coeliac I needed to eat in the main restaurants. A plus is that this is a Coeliac certified ship with a Gluten Free kitchen. I was served only by the head waiter at all times and every effort was made to accommodate this without exception. Yoseph in the the main dining and Marcelo at breakfast. I usually skipped lunch but on one occasion did use the restaurant for lunch. We found the service slow here and they charged for a bottle of wine rather than a glass on our package. My advice is to keep track of the charges as there were a few mistakes made and other guests had the same issue. The evening meals were nice but towards the latter part of the trip they became mundane. Service however by Greisy Maria in the main dining room was excellent. If you are Coeliac you will have no worries here. My only issue is that the buffet could have some dry pre packaged crackers gluten free so that a light lunch with, say cheese and lettuce could be had. On the Hurtigruten line this was accomodated. I do carry my own rice crackers however and I would recommend doing this. The cabins are a little smaller than the MSC Poesia which we have sailed on before, but quite comfortable. It’s strange but on a new ship things like the lounge looked really old and I can’t help but wonder that it may have been fitted out with things from another ship, maybe having a refurb? Bathroom a little small esp for larger people but quite adequate. Shower was nice and hot with a good amount of pressure, . We are both small so it wasn’t any great issue for us.The cabin boy was warm friendly but needs more training. Lots of dust that wasn’t attended to both in the cabin and bathroom and on a few occasions I had to leave a note to replenish the soap. No big issue though. Beds were always well made and comfortable. We were on deck 11 in a balcony room and had a little verandah with two chairs. One major bone is that they don’t provide Kleenex tissues in the room!!!! Now this may seem mundane but when you have to waste your time in ports looking for a supermarket to buy tissues then it’s an issue. Even a lowly two star hotel motel provides tissues, so a beautiful new ship not providing them is ridiculous. Is this their way of cost cutting? The cabins are built with a slot for them and there were many complaints about it. We had to use toilet paper when we ran out of our own......really poor! The entertainment in the theatre was, for the most part, quite good except for Daniel mime! I’m sorry for the artist but it was terrible. A children’s matinee would’ve been more professional. Lots of people walked out, including us. We gave him a second chance another night but it was equally awful. I felt embarrassed for him. The opera was boring as the songs weren’t known songs as expected. Most of the shows we’re pretty good though. Again the lack of public areas was an issue after the show there was nowhere that you could get a seat for a drink. Very crowded and few seats. This ship is very poorly designed and this view was shared by many guests of more than one nationality. One English lady said “For a beautiful new ship how do they get it so wrong?” That sums it up. There were long queues at guest reception at all times. Unfortunately we had occasion to complain about several issues including returning to our cabin one night to find someone’s luggage in our room. This was met flippantly with a ....it’s not your luggage question..... when my husband went to reception about it there was a very distressed Italian man gesticulating about his lost luggage and when my husband approached, the staff member gave him the hand and said he’s busy, upon which my husband said if this is about luggage, then I have it! The public area toilets weren’t serviced well with a lack of soap and toilet paper. Hand sanitizer wasn’t enforced esp when entering food areas. I remember on the Poesia there were staff at the entries making sure this was done. Had occasion to speak to the Voyagers club woman. What a rude pig of a woman she is. Excursions were disorganised with us finding ourselves on mixed language buses even thought we were at the meeting point well before time. Other English speaking were on English speaking buses so we looked like we were the leftovers. Annoying. Also the timing was ridiculous with our bus always last even though all guests were onboard. In Muscat we were half hour past the time of the Mosque being open because of this. Rome Baroque tour was good with a good guide. We didn’t see Marseille as apparently weather didn’t permit docking although the weather appeared fine and sunny. We docked at Toulon instead which is a little village. Nice enough but not Marseilles. Some people had booked independent tours in Marseilles so they forfeited. Whilst the MSC excursions are more expensive and not always fantastic, we felt that it’s a safer option as if there are any issues like this the MSC are liable. Khasab is a total waste of a day. There is nothing here except a few shops all with the same stuff, and all run by Indians. It’s a grotty little nothing. Don’t know why they even dock here. We had a long stop and yet a port like Heraklion we only had four hours. The queue to re board at Khasab was two hours standing in the sun as they only had three tenders operating for five thousand people. Tempers were frazzled to say the least. Unfortunately for us we are booked on MSC again next year but only seven days. We traveled on MSC Poesia in 2011 and this was a good experience compared to Bellissima. On the basis of this cruise, had we not already booked, we will never use MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise. We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at ... Read More
We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise. We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at that time we paid for the Easy Beverage package (which is the low end Alcohol included up to $6.00) and we pre-paid our Gratuities. When we got on the ship we were approached by a number of people and one was selling the Beverage packages. When we told him we had the Easy package, he proceeded to show us the beverage menu and told us that we could have any beverage up to $10.00. The person I was traveling with drank mostly Chardonnay and after looking at the beverage menu she decided that there was a California wine that she liked and didnt really know the other wines so we both decided since she wanted that one particular wine and I wanted other drinks that were $6.50 and not covered by the Easy package, I would also up grade. We paid $207.00 additional for each of us to have the Premium Beverage package. The first two days of our 21 day cruise went fine as far as all the bars we were in had the Chardonnay she paid for. On the 3rd day of the cruise and forward till the end of the cruise the ship ran out of the one wine on the Premium package that she bought the up graded package to get. As we changed from one brand to the next they continued to run our of mixers and out of the Brand we chose. Time after time we heard "We dont have that any longer we ran out" The other issue with the beverage package is that when we went to the Gym, the bar/counter in there had smoothies. When I asked about the $6.50 fruit smoothies they looked at my card and said nothing in that bar/counter was covered by the Premium Package. So although we were told when he was trying to sell us the upgrade we could have any beverage up to $10.00 that was not true. When I tried to go back to the Desk to tell them in the first 5 days of the trip that since they seldom have the beverage we thought we paid for with the upgrade, so we wanted to revert back to the first Easy package we had bought and we wanted a refund of the $207.00 each we were told we only had 24 hours to cancel. When I explained the issue to the Head Person in charge of Beverage Packages (Pedro I believe his name was) he told me the wine that we bought the up grade for and was on the beverage menu we were shown and that was in all the bars on the menus, the ship had not had that wine on board for the last 4 months. When I explained that was not true that we had the wine the first 3 days of the cruise and it was a hit and miss to get it any place else, he basically called me a lair by saying "You are wrong we have not had it on board in 4 months.". He refused the refund the upgrade difference and left our table. About 15 min later he sent a bottle of the wine we had wanted to the table and said it was the only bottle still on board. Needless to say he never came back to apologize for what he said and never showed his face again. Bottom line before up grading your beverage package be sure you like more than one or two items on the menu because most likely you wont have it after the 3rd or 4th day of your cruise and for sure dont expect that they care or will do anything about it to make it right. In addition to the Beverage package issue, we also had cold food we had to send back and we had raw fish. Both of those things happened within the first week or so of the 21 day trip and did however, start to get better as the days went by. The food is not the best I ever had on a ship. I find Celebrity and even Carnival has better food and better choices for dinners. To top it off when we started our 5 days across the sea towards the Islands and the US we lost all TV Channels. There was no English speaking channels on at all until someone got to the top person and found out the issues with the Satellite and that MSC does not subscribe to channels in the Islands. We were out of our TV for half the trip! There was even a day or two when the TV Channel aimed at the front of the ship was not working either. It was actually a bit scary that there seemed to be no communication to the ship that the passengers could see. I will say on a good note the Service Staff were great. Slivio from the Black Crab Dinning area was very accommodating and did all he could to ensure we had a good experience. All the dinner and bar staff were very nice and were always polite and accommodating as much as they could be. Our Room Stewart (Babu) was great. Our room was always clean and he was always doing things to help (got ice for us, provided tissues as we needed them etc.) Thats another thing dont expect to have tissues in your room becuase MSC has cut those out and in order to get them you have to pay for them or you need to buy your own at a stop over, which is what most people did. If the back office and head people at MSC acted like the Service Staff does, I am sure MSC could be a good company to sail on again. As it is now with all the issues we had and the fact that they did nothing to help with those issues above we will spend our cruise time on other Cruise lines and not go back to MSC. This was our second on MSC and last on MSC. BE AWARE BEFORE YOU GO!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My partner and I spent 20 nights on the south bound transatlantic crossing which sailed from Genoa on 5-11-2019. We (41 and 42) were accompanied by 1 set of parents (64 and 65) and 1 couple who are friends our age. I researched thoroughly ... Read More
My partner and I spent 20 nights on the south bound transatlantic crossing which sailed from Genoa on 5-11-2019. We (41 and 42) were accompanied by 1 set of parents (64 and 65) and 1 couple who are friends our age. I researched thoroughly before choosing this cruise. Our primary reason to select this journey on MSC Divina was the brilliant itinerary. I read the reviews and noted the negative and positive accounts. We have been on Cunard QM2 and Q-Elizabeth, Celebrity Solstice, Golden Princess and Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas since 2015. We enjoyed Celebrity and RCL the most. I took a pragmatic view when reading past reviews as we were primarily motivated by the destinations and itinerary which were fantastic !!!! We were incredibly lucky with weather and the uneventful marine operation of the ship. Our group had a great time all up BUT the MSC experience was unfortunately mediocre at best. If you enjoy Celebrity or RCL you will have a very different experience on MSC. The SHIP. Newish, cleanish, cheaply but tastefully decorated, okay layout, a bit worn – particularly the furnishings. Not much to do. Not much on. Not many crew visible. The ROOM. We had fantastica balcony deck 10. Bigger than average, good bed, great bathroom, small tv, good fridge, just enough storage, well kept by our lovely room steward but VERY dusty as were the hallways. Buy some decent vacuums MSC and maintain them. The FOOD in MDRs. Sorry to say it was well below the standard of all the other ships we’ve experienced. We had to change restaurants because our wait staff were so bad and incorrect meals were delivered 5 days straight. They laughed it off and made no offer or attempt to bring what we actually ordered. It was quite shocking and they had a very blaze attitude amidst disingenuous platitudes. Some of the dishes were ok but it was, mostly, cheap and simple rather than simple and delicious. Even the paid meals in the MDR were of a poor standard at 23 euro for what turned out to be a cold steak - a real disappointment and we were charged for the same steak 3 times instead of a refund. We were so glad to have some amazing meals ashore and absolve ourselves of the ship’s abysmal food whenever possible. Breakfast in the MDR was survivable but the service random. The stories of tough cold steaks and tasteless or just salty food are all credible as that was exactly what we experienced. The FOOD in the buffet. The buffet was pretty busy with our load of 3222pax. It was really the better option for lunch and dinner despite the crowd. A good range of hot dishes and some nice cold options were varied and well replenished. Again an ‘economic’ approach was conspicuous. No smoked salmon or other cold seafood or fancy cheeses and only cheaper fish and cuts of meat. Only 2 DIY toasters in the entire buffet and no staffed toasting available. Daily specials being made to order at pop-up stations like pasta and hot roast rolls were often the best thing going. The Pizza was indeed lovely. My Coeliac (gluten free) father had very limited options and zero G/F labeling in the buffet. The ROOM SERVICE. Is Not Free (except Breakfast) on Fantastica or above. Whilst the spiel suggests it is included the wording just means no delivery or service charge. There is an item charge of 3 / 5 / 8 / 10 euro for 1 / 2 /3 /4 items respectively. The only hot item was soup. We were impressed with the quality of the room service. The breakfast was continental - only the drinks were hot. The ENTERTAINMENT. We went to two shows in 20 nights. The talent was good and gave it 100% but no sets to speak of, just the odd prop and it is aimed at a multilingual crowd so is a bit ‘different’ to what an anglophone audience might expect. Again, it looked cheap. The theatre and lighting were the main visual backdrops which made the entertainers look sparse. Oh and best to avoid the crew/captain introduction presentation unless you have a massive sense of humour and the patience of a saint. The ACTIVITIES. Origami, a bit of ‘visual trivia’ to bridge the language gap. Various fitness and dance activities. We felt like there was very little to do and were consigned to reading in our room on sea days. There was only news in English on the TV and nothing else. We were given 12 FREE movies on the pay per view for the 5 consecutive sea days. Perhaps the channels are reconfigured whilst the ship is sailing from Miami… but it seemed like they wanted to force us to buy movies. The COFFEE. Okay here is my most positive comment. The BEST CRUISE SHIP COFFEE I’VE EVER EXPERIENCED !!!!!! Great self-serve coffee in the buffet when it’s hot. Espresso 9/10 times was strong and pleasant. The DRINKS PACKAGE. We had the ‘Easy’ included and upgraded it to ‘Premium’ for 9 euro a night per person plus 15%. So, 207 euro for 20 nights per person. It covered most drinks at max 10 euro. If it’s 10.50 you pay the whole 10.50 not the difference. They ‘ran out’ of most of the good by-the-glass red wine early on. You can only get large 1 or 1.5 litre water on the premium package. The easy package would have been a problem for us as we like wine and the odd cocktail. The speciality restaurant wine list has only a handful of by the glass wines 10 euro of less. The 6 euro or less options are limited. I believe they were running stocks down prior to arriving in the US where they change all the drink menus as the currency becomes USD. Perhaps a restock of US duty paid liquor has some bearing on the dwindling stocks of various things. Also, there were no prices on most of the items in the various shops. Oh, and in the gym health bar only fresh orange is available on the premium package. No smoothies etc. Also, gelato and ice-cream are NOT INCLUDED despite the connotations of the advertising. Upside was they are in no-way mean with the drinks or pours. Our FELLOW passengers. Older with an obvious sense of entitlement but not particularly decrepit. Now there have been various comments about the social tendencies of particular cultures on MSC and other European cruise lines on Cruise Critic. I think the average Australian, American, Brit, New Zealander, Canadian, German or French guest might have found the manners and approach to interaction somewhat confronting on this particular voyage but not unbearable. There seemed to be a conspicuous lack of enjoyment and conversation amongst our fellow passengers. Barely any children and none of the “noisy Italian families” others mention on MSC cruises. I’d imagine a school holiday Mediterranean summer cruise may be a different story but if you were in a new port every day it would probably be survivable. There were quite a few of the selfish towel pegs on the sun loungers by 8am – a pet hate of mine. The UPSELL. It was everywhere and the prices were a bit silly. A 50% off 50 min massage was 80 euro. The crew weren’t all that pushy though. The SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS. Our best meal of the cruise was at the Butchers Cut. The Sushi place was ok-ish. Again if you buy the 2 dinners package you get a limited menu and have to pay if you want certain items but it was great food. I ordered additional sides which were very good. MSC speciality dining is much more expensive than other lines and nowhere near as good. The STATUS MATCH. One of us got black the other gold. It was as advertised but mostly meaningless and more of a sales tool than a passenger benefit. Loyalty in MSC speak means ‘gotcha’ rather than ‘we got you’ I felt. The CRUISE DIRECTOR. Who ? Made a few announcements. Very multilingual but never saw the guy or any of his staff. The CAPTAIN. Met him for a photo. Clearly an excellent sailor and manager as the ship was spotless on deck and ran like clockwork. Otherwise never heard from him or any of his officers who seemed to avoid passenger areas at all costs. The PORT CALLS. All wonderful except Puerto Rico where the ship was drilled by the US Coast guard with lifeboats down and all manner of alarming announcements that were just for practise. Also EVERYONE had to disembark including all crew via 6 or so border agents which took all day and no one was allowed back on until everyone had come off. It was 8pm before reboarding was allowed. MSC use this day to clear the ship into US waters with a load of paying passengers who are massively inconvenienced in the process. It was nothing short of a disgrace and a shambles. The ship should have been scheduled with a lay day with no guests to go through this process but MSC like to keep the euros flowing. Our HIGHLIGHTS were probably every port other than Barbados. The embarkation port of Genoa is actually worth a day or more of exploring. > Civitavecchia – be wary of delays if using trains to get to Rome. Valencia – the old city on foot is fantastic as are the tapas bars. La Siena was our pick and the food was amazing. > Lisbon was great and a ride on tram 28 to the old cemetery is a must. > The Azores (Ponta Delgada) – a beautiful place with the loveliest people. Our jeep day safari with GREENZONE AZORES (booked directly) was brilliant and our lovely guide Eduardo Miranda made the day so enjoyable! > Martinique - is a lovely island with French finesse and all the bells and whistles. > St Marteen – we spent the whole day at the famous airport beach drinking at the bar which was fun! > Miami – having never visited before, Miami was a pleasant surprise! A cool town where you do need a car but heaps to do, great cuban food and a relaxed fun atmosphere. OVERALL We all enjoyed our journey and loved the places we visited and the people we met. The cruise was unfortunately a big letdown and devoid of those little luxuries and premium experiences we’ve found on other ships. Had we been on an RCL or Celebrity ship it would have been a damn near perfect holiday but unfortunately MSC spoilt it a bit. Now I know they are a cheaper option, but we paid full brochure price of $6980 AUD for the room (2 pax) for this cruise and don’t think it was good value given the truly awful food, mediocre service and cheaply appointed ship. If you’re looking for a mobile 3 star hotel and are happy to eat ashore MSC is ok but it’s not the cruise experience I think most people expect if they’ve been on a few ships. If you get an incredibly cheap deal on a last-minute voyage and go with no expectations then you might rate it but we definitely did not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Cruised for the first time with MSC aboard Fantasia in November 2019, we embarked in Genoa, doing a few places in Europe then went across to Brazil. We have cruised with other companies many times and have never experienced anything as ... Read More
Cruised for the first time with MSC aboard Fantasia in November 2019, we embarked in Genoa, doing a few places in Europe then went across to Brazil. We have cruised with other companies many times and have never experienced anything as bad. At the airport - MSC representative was waiting at the airport for us - but there was no transport for us and had to wait 45 minutes for it arrive. Embarkation - what a total unorganised fiasco. From arriving at the cruise terminal, to actually getting onto the ship took 4 hours! No communication at all, very poor customer service and no where to sit. Not just a handful of people but thousands were in that hall, with nothing to drink. There was no reason, the ship was ready and people were getting on, one at a time - just poor organisation and no one from MSC to help. We found this wasn’t the only time they expect you to queue with no communication. Actually I’ll class this as appalling. Cabin - this was good. Lots of storage space and comfy bed. TV didn’t work, but we weren’t bothered about that. Our cabin boy was lovely and looked after us and the cabin well. Clean towels twice a day and clean bed linen. 5* for him, but he’d be better if with a different company. However, on other ships, a chocolate, and shaped towels appear on the pillow but not with MSC. Dining - evening meal was fixed dining times, with fixed table so you sat with the same people every evening. The restaurant closes the doors 15 minutes after your time! It is classed as fine dining, but let me assure you ( as I love food, cook food and love fine dining restaurants where I am prepared to pay for good fine dining) it was one step up from McDonalds. We only gave it one chance and the food was awful, very very small quantities of poor quality food. I had crumble with cream for desert which was the size of a mince pie. Pastry was dry and hard but the cream was not cream. It was a slither, an inch long, piped onto the plate in a chunk, and it was ‘cream’ from a spray can of cream - absolutely appealing. Oh and the salmon came without vegetables - apparently you have to ask for those. Word of warning also. We had a drinks package but if you haven’t you won’t even get water to drink - not even tap water! We looked at the menu daily but decided we didn’t like the offerings and chose to eat in the buffet restaurants of which there were 2, but they were joined together for some reason! The food in these were equalling disgusting, but at least you could see first what you got. The meat in the stews, dishes was cheap and fatty - even chicken was fatty and not sure how they managed that. Each night they had a roast dish but always beef, veal or pork. Again few vegetables and food was cold. Not much variety for the size of the buffet, and actually very unorganised. Eg bread/rolls was at a few stations, but no butter, you had to walk round this huge buffet to find some. We were told the food served in the buffet was the same as in the restaurant. That shouldn’t matter anyway as the food where ever should have been edible no matter where we chose to eat. No WOW though in the restaurants. On it here ships they have ice sculptures and vegetable sculptures amongst the food - nothing like this here. The was another steak restaurant where you had to pay. Staff walked around all day trying to sell it to you but, alas we NEVER saw anyone eating in it. But why pay at least €30 for food when you’ve already paid once and prolly no one thought to pay extra for poor quality. Hygiene was definitely lacking. The hand sanitizers going into the restaurant and buffet rarely worked. They didn’t seem too bothered either. On other ships it is the norm for a member of staff to be at the door to squirt you or ask you to sanitise - not of his ship. Same in the toilets - no sanitiser! Drinks - we had a package which included, wine, spirits, cocktails, water, soft drinks and ice cream. We didn’t pay for the premium package as it isn’t worth it. The drinks were fine and we certainly made up for the poor service with what we drank. Lounges - there are several lounges and bars so you can choose what you want. The ones we used were fine and the staff were all very friendly and pleasant and looked after us. No problems with them. Entertainment - the theatre is large and there was 2 sittings of a show each night. Very poor though. Most nights it was the same singer who would have been a good karaoke in the local pub, with dancers who were not choreographed well so were all over the place. There were also some acrobats in each show who were actually very good and should have done their own show. Now all these were on most nights, different music, but same routine, same dance and even same costumes on a few nights. Goodness it got boring. On another evening they had a ventriloquist - but doing that for so many languages was a challenge and we walked out. Two comperes came on before the show, who were good at languages but were not funny although they thought they were. They took over the first 10 minutes of each show. Several bar lounges had singers on and these were quite good - initially. But by the end of the cruise you knew their routine and which songs were going to be sung. So very little variety. Activities on the pool decks was very loud, keep fit, dance lessons, run around games and very loud music and shouting. The pool deck and bar at the back of the ship was much better and much quieter. Itinerary - places visited were ok. Only one needed a tender and guess what, we waited over an hour and a half! The theatre was packed with people waiting for tender boats. There were almost riots as again no communication, no reason. People were demanding to see the manager, there was shouting, hand clapping etc. The staff looked terrified. All it needed was an explanation for the delay. As it happened there were only 2 tenders and one broke down they should have lowered more. This is after all our holiday and we want to get off to see these places. Excursions - expensive and the 2 we went on were very poor and definitely not value for money. Much better doing your own thing and getting a tour outside the terminal. Disembarkation - no delay, everything went smoothly but then again all we did was walk off. If you read to the end then well done. Now, we did meet people who had travelled with MSC before and on that occasion had all got together to demand better food! This is a holiday they had paid for by the way - they shouldn’t have needed to do that. Also people who had travelled with them before said that embarkation was always lengthy and unorganised so be aware. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this repositioning cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to do more of South Africa. Overall the ship was clean and tidy, the staff must take a lot of credit for this. But we were disappointed over a lot of things such ... Read More
We chose this repositioning cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to do more of South Africa. Overall the ship was clean and tidy, the staff must take a lot of credit for this. But we were disappointed over a lot of things such as the following (some can be attributed to the staff having to say it in several languages and people talking over it). - The mandatory emergency drill briefing was not clear or audible -Deck 7 (promenade deck) wasn’t made use of by the shipping line as they could have put chairs on it to encourage people to use it - slow restaurant and wine service - food served was poor, what highlighted this was the tv kept on showing a 5* meal being created for passengers but it was never served or seen on any menu - Some wines ran out at the beginning of the voyage. Also some bars ran out of a type of wine yet other adjacent bars had it - the savannah bar didn’t have enough staff when busy yet in the adjacent bar they were standing around doing nothing - the staff and management were confused over what you were entitled to re your bar package (why not simplify it?) - a lot of the shows were poor (a lot of people also voiced this), the shows kept on having a circuses act in the middle!,!!! In fact there were a lot of people including us, who had to leave as they were so bad The TV service was almost non existent especially galling when we couldn’t see the rugby. - the ship’s captain was changed during the cruise but the passengers were not told until after the event (not that we needed to be told, they could have announced it during the “meet your (now previous) captain” cocktail party / black tie event. - the ship’s hygiene controls were poor until 1/2 way through the cruise. They didn’t encourage anyone to use the hand sterilisation stations when you went into the restaurant. The passengers and had a bad upper respiratory infection (including us) it was so rife, the small shop ran out of cough treatment and some passengers and staff were going to the medical centre for treatment (during the shows, there was a constant chorus of hacking coughs!,). After it became a real problem, then finally the hygiene controls were improved - we booked a ship’s shore excursion which wasn’t to the standard we were led to believe. During the journey back, the excursion manager was sitting next to us and he also agreed it wasn’t right. We wrote to the excursion desk who didn’t even bother reading it as when I enquired they hadn’t looked at it!! So don’t bother complaining!! - the activities on board were mainly biased to dancing or drinking!! In summary, I believe the management controls and understanding of the market they have sold to needs improving. Will I go on another MSC cruise, probably not unless the venues and costs are something that we cannot refuse. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Told by Iglu that this was a good cruise, .No bus to pick us up at Nice, one arrived 2 hours late. Boat drill held before we had got to our cabin. Internet very slow and news from TV non existent after Suez. Ship had coughs ... Read More
Told by Iglu that this was a good cruise, .No bus to pick us up at Nice, one arrived 2 hours late. Boat drill held before we had got to our cabin. Internet very slow and news from TV non existent after Suez. Ship had coughs which required doctors treatment more than expected. Disembarkation Durban like very stressful like rush hour in London, also at Durban airport long queue to book in for aircraft. The crew had many different nationalities and many of them seemed to be on their first cruise and were undergoing training each day.The Captain was changed part way through the voyage as it was said he had finished his contract ? When you asked questions there were no direct answers as though staff were told not to say anything and there was a feeling among some staff they may not be paid as many of the passengers had stopped their gratuities. This would be against IMO rules. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
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