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75 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

My husband and I sailed on the MSC ship, Fantasia, for a one-week cruise to the Mediterranean September 7-14, 2019. Here are our experiences: Our experience with the Food/Buffet/Dining Room: Our initial reaction to the buffet was ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on the MSC ship, Fantasia, for a one-week cruise to the Mediterranean September 7-14, 2019. Here are our experiences: Our experience with the Food/Buffet/Dining Room: Our initial reaction to the buffet was that it lacked the WOW factor we had come to expect with other cruise lines in terms of food quality, quantity, and presentation. No ice sculptures, no food carvings, no beautifully decorated cakes or other food items, no sumptuous variety each day, no helpful, friendly, smiling wait staff, etc. Later, we realized that our initial experience with the buffet was “the norm.” The buffet the entire week lacked variety, not to mention a lack of cleanliness and good customer service. The food was ok, but not delicious. My husband actually lost 4 pounds on the cruise and I stayed the exact same. When does that happen?! Meat at the buffet was consistently overcooked and there was not much variety in the food items, regardless of the meal. The meat at the special carving station was often very fatty. And one of the carvers cleaned his knife on the food counter each time he was at the carving station! The food staff didn’t bother draining the grease from the bacon and sausage links at breakfast - instead, they just sat in 1/2 inch of grease each morning. The food offerings at the buffet were much the same for every meal, both lunch and dinner. The bread, fruit, pizza, hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, and salad were IDENTICAL every day. Only about 8 new dishes arrived each day throughout the entire buffet, but even then, several dishes were the same as the prior day with one minor exception. For instance, one night a pasta dish had a tomato sauce and the next night the same pasta dish had a white cream sauce. The buffet was late in opening several nights while people streamed in and were greeted with cellophane still covering the food racks and no food in sight. One night I asked a staff member about the opening time and he said it opened at 7:00. I showed him on the cruise planner where it said 6:45 and that was why people were showing frustration that it wasn’t already open. He replied that it opened at different times every night. I asked him if the cruise planner was wrong. He replied, “OK, maybe it’s 6:45 then” but just shrugged his shoulders and walked away. A few minutes later, one of the dining room supervisors came through, noticed that nothing was open, and started shouting loudly at the staff behind the food counter - “Where’s the food? You’re late!” The buffet opened at 7:05 instead of 6:45 that night. Incidentally, the buffet dinner was NOT scheduled to open at different times each day - it was ALWAYS scheduled to open at 6:45. The desserts were very dry and lacking in variety. They tasted like they were purchased and then brought on the ship rather than made-from-scratch on site like the previous cruise lines do that we’ve used. I didn’t eat dessert the entire cruise as a result of the dryness and pre-fab taste. MSC’s site said they offered complimentary tea during lunch and dinner in the dining room, but they didn’t. It wasn’t even available for purchase. You either drank water in both the buffet and dining room or you had to purchase alcohol or a soft drink. Drinking glasses were extremely short and small. They were the same height as a coffee cup/mug. Thus, it took more trips to refill them, OR you had to fill multiple glasses in the beginning so you didn’t have to return for refills. One ice machine in the buffet was broken the entire week. We had to walk around to the other side each time to get ice. On other cruise lines we’ve been on, an ice cream station was available all day to ALL passengers. On MSC, the ice cream station was only for customers who paid a premium to become Yacht Club members. “Regular” passengers had to purchase ice cream if they wanted it. The pizza bar offered a small variety of very thin, rubbery, meatless pizza. Only one version had meat, and it contained about 8 total slices of pepperoni. So, each slice of pizza had ONE slice of pepperoni on it. The SAME pizza was offered ALL week with no variety. Each time we selected a plate or coffee cup in the buffet, we had to go through several items to find a clean one. Even the “clean” plates had a smudgy film on them indicating hot water had not been used to clean them. This smudgy film could also be felt, not just seen. Many mugs were not only dirty, but they actually had substantial food particles in them as though they hadn’t been through the dishwasher at all or it wasn’t working properly. One morning, I went through 4 extremely dirty mugs before finding a 5th one that was clean. I showed a wait staff the 4 dirty ones. No explanation and no apology. Another time, we sat next to a table in which multiple glasses of wine were purchased. The passengers were aghast at the cloudiness of the wine glasses and talked about how unclean they looked. My husband saw the head food officer one day and spoke with him about the dirtiness of the dishes. The next day the plates looked/felt very clean for the first time! We still had to go through several mugs before finding a clean one, but at least the plates seemed clean after 3 days of dirty ones. One buffet wait staff who was carrying a tray of silverware wrapped in cloth napkins, accidentally dropped a set on the floor. He bent down, picked it up, placed it back on the pile on the tray, and delivered it to the food station for people to use! I unwrapped my silverware napkin at one meal to find fresh food stains all over it. It was completely dirty and unsightly. They had wrapped up silverware in a USED napkin. Picture attached. One hand sanitizing machine at one buffet entrance was out of order the entire week. Both machines were positioned touching the wall (and therefore easy to overlook), rather than out in the open where people could see and use them. Obviously, no one could use the broken one all week. And hardly anyone used the working one that was next to the wall because it was out of the way. Not a good idea for cleanliness standards when you sometimes hear about hundreds of passengers on some cruise ships getting sick because of unsanitary standards. At the buffet, salt and pepper shakers weren’t available on each table. In fact, salt AND pepper were only on about 25% of the tables in the room. We consistently had to borrow them from other tables. We met one wait staff in the buffet who was friendly. When we commented on the lack of cleanliness and hygiene we had experienced, he told us that he was Marriott-trained and that the lack of standards on this ship bothered him immensely. This was his first tour with MSC and he said he wasn’t returning to this cruise line once his current tour was up with this ship. He just couldn’t handle the lower standards he was forced to accept. He said the non-British Europeans rarely complained because they were used to those standards, but the British and other native English speaking passengers DID complain because they were used to much higher food/service/cleanliness standards. But he said not much is done if/when there are complaints because there aren’t enough native English speakers to make a difference. He stated that many English speakers preferred the dining room to the buffet because of cleanliness issues. However, in the dining room, we saw a waiter take unused silverware from 2 tables (after the passengers had left their tables) and load them back into the silverware receptacle for another use! One morning at breakfast in the dining room, I watched a waitress bite and chew her fingernails the ENTIRE time I ate! She wasn’t very busy because apparently her main job was busing the tables. Occasionally however, she took drink orders and brought people their drinks. I don’t know if she washed her hands in the back before filling those drink orders each time, but I know she did NOT wash them before pouring coffee and hot water for several people - because the coffee and hot water pots were at her station which was within my view. She went directly from gnawing her nails to pouring coffee and handling the coffee cups! I finally told a man in a white staff jacket about it (who said he was a manager) and he asked for my room number. We never heard anything about the complaint. This is merely a personal preference rather than a complaint: Coke products were not available for sale on board - only Pepsi products. Our experience with the Excursions: We were EXTREMELY disappointed that the two complimentary city tour excursions that were offered with our cruise did not materialize once we boarded. They were listed on the website as “included excursions” but the excursion staff on board said they had never heard of free excursions. For some reason, they couldn’t pull up their own website for our particular cruise dates in order for us to show them where it said they were complimentary. We initially chose not to pay for internet access because the customer service desk on the ship said texting was NOT included with the $90 price. We thought that was strange but believed the staff person who told us that. Since we didn’t pay for internet access, we couldn’t pull up the site ourselves to prove our case. We didn’t find out until 4 days into the cruise (halfway point) that texting WAS included in the price! We ended up paying FULL PRICE for internet access for only 4 days so we could text. (No discount or pro-rated amount!) We were then able to pull up MSC’s website, but since our cruise was already underway, the site didn’t even list our cruise. Therefore, we had absolutely no proof that the site stated clearly that those two particular excursions were free. We were VERY upset by this bait and switch tactic and ended up PAYING for one of the excursions that was supposed to be free. EXTREMELY frustrating and disappointing. But how do you prove it once that part of the site is taken down? We were verbally told by the excursion staff TWICE that one of the excursions we paid for was canceled because of “weather,” but then the cancellation letter we received in our room the night prior said it was cancelled because of lack of participation. Which reason was true? Some of the staff in the Excursions Department were quite rude. One lady told my husband that they were closed when he arrived to ask a quick question. He said he just had a quick question that couldn’t wait until they reopened. She repeated insistently, rudely, and loudly that they were closed. Another time, we heard the same Excursion lady tell a passenger, “Can’t you see I’m talking?” when the passenger asked her a question. My husband later spoke to some British ladies who had a similar experience. They had asked the same lady in Excursions for a pen to fill out a form and were told they were closed and to come back at 5:00. One of the excursions we paid for was a trip into Marseille, France. The air conditioning on the bus either wasn’t working or the driver just didn’t turn it on. It was MUCH too hot to ride on a bus with 50 people without air conditioning and windows that didn’t open. It was stifling until we reached our destination. Same experience on the return trip. Two excursion buses we were on had signs prominently posted on them that they had WiFi. We were looking forward to free texting on the bus (that was before we paid $90 for the last 4 days!). However, one bus did NOT have it at all. The other one did, but because their certificate had expired, they officially didn’t have it either. Our experience with Customer Service/WOW Factor: A luggage handler on the dock prior to boarding asked for a tip to put our luggage on the ship. There was no WOW factor when we entered the ship or walked into the main atrium. The stairs were glittery and the back wall of the elevator facing the atrium was glass, but that was all. The furniture looked tired, bland, and uninviting. Nothing like the WOW experiences we’ve had before with other cruise lines/ships. The staff were very functional, but not friendly. Many of the ship staff seemed bothered to help guests. They were happy to ask if you wanted to buy any drinks. And they were good about quickly cleaning the tables. But they never smiled, chatted, or seemed welcoming or engaging like they are on other cruise lines. On a scale of 1 to 10, we have rated “hospitality/friendliness” on previous cruise lines as a 10. It was a 3 or 4 on MSC. We met a couple from Istanbul on the ship and chatted with them at length. They were also quite disappointed with this cruise line, having sailed on others. They commented on the poor customer service, the lack of WOW factor, the worn pool towels, the carpet in their room that needed to be replaced, and the unfriendliness of the staff. They agreed that this ship would rate about a 4 overall on a scale of 1 to 10. We met a couple from Canada who had sailed on about 25 cruises. They also agreed with our assessment and commented that the standards on this ship were extremely relaxed. We were all happy with the price we paid, but agreed that the standards were not what other cruise lines offered for a similar price. Another couple we met had paid a premium price to be Yacht Club members. They were very happy with their food, service, amenities, etc. (which were different than what “regular” passengers experienced). When we compared prices though, they realized they had paid OVER DOUBLE what we did for that better experience. We told them we had experienced great food, service, amenities, etc on other cruise lines WITHOUT having to pay OVER DOUBLE for it! The cruise planner mentioned a 4-D cinema. Since we thought we’d like to watch a movie, we asked where the cinema was. No one knew. And they didn’t know which movie was playing, or when. We asked a total of 6 staff members at/around the Customer Service desk. We finally went to Deck 16 to find out ourselves, and it turned out that the “cinema” was a motorcycle arcade game in the children’s play area! There was NO cinema and NO movie. Even the large screen on the pool deck didn’t offer movies each night as other cruise lines often do. It just offered endless commercials to purchase things on the ship and showed food staff cooking. The ship itinerary was confusing. It didn’t have everything listed on one page like we’ve had in the past. Instead, they used multiple pages to tell what was going on all day on the ship. Not only was it confusing to read and sort out, but I prefer to carry just one piece of paper with me rather than multiple sheets. There weren’t as many opportunities for entertainment on board as we’ve enjoyed on previous ships. They used military time for everything, so you had to convert each activity/meal to know what time it was actually scheduled. The suit jackets on many of the staff were ill-fitting and looked like they hadn’t seen a cleaners in a very long time. Therefore, many of them didn’t look professional. There was an inordinate amount of advertising for the Butcher Cut (an onboard steak restaurant at extra cost). It was advertised GALORE - via intercom, room TV, theater screens at the show each night, theater verbal announcements, waiters coming to your table and standing outside the dining room with placards, etc. Too much! We were surprised that we were charged $70 per person ($140 total) mid-cruise for tips. Our entire table in the dining room, consisting of 8 people, talked about this and were all frustrated about it. None of us had noticed any mention of automatic pre-tipping in our paperwork or on the website. None of us minded tipping when we experienced good service, but to automatically include it WITHOUT telling us and BEFORE the service was rendered and when we mainly experienced BAD service was unacceptable. We all chose to have them remove this expense and told them we would rather tip individually instead. My husband was told on two separate occasions by different Customer Service staff that both tip amounts would be removed from our bill AFTER we disembarked. That sounded strange, but we accepted it as truth. Unfortunately, that expense is STILL on our credit card bill 2 weeks later and we’re contesting it. See above as it pertains to the Excursion staff. Our experience with our Room: When we first arrived in our room, we noticed there was a slot in the bathroom counter for facial tissue but none was present. When we mentioned this to our steward, he said the stewards were told to stop putting facial tissue in the bathrooms. We looked at him incredulously. He finally told us he’d find a way to get us some. He did, but that excuse sounded very strange. Just as an example of the missing WOW factor, the stewards didn’t put chocolates on your pillow or create cute animals out of towels and washcloths every night like other cruise lines do. (Petty in comparison, but this is a detailed list.) When we positioned the handle for the shower water on the coldest temperature possible, the water went from scalding hot so bad that we couldn’t stand it . . . to freezing cold. And back again. Over and over. Shower temperature on other cruise lines has fluctuated as well, but not to this extreme. The carpet was very tired looking. So were the pool towels. On about 5 occasions, our room key did not work. We tried both of them over and over and over again before one would finally open the door. The balcony was wonderful and made up for some of our negative experiences! Thank you to our travel agent for accomplishing this! Bottom line, if you’ve NEVER been on a cruise before, this was a halfway decent cruise for the money if you can handle the lower standards for cleanliness and customer service. If you HAVE been on a cruise though, you will probably NOT enjoy this one because you’ve undoubtedly experienced HIGH standards of excellence with cruise lines such as Royal Caribbean and Princess. Stick with them! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we thought MSC will be a good choice. What a disappointment ,so much so that we wanted to get off earlier. There is no service. The staff is unfriendly and not prepared to help. The food is the worst ever. We even lost weight. That was a first! on our previous trips(not MSC)we each gained 6 kilo's. Food choices are very limited and not at all tasty. For my yogurt (thinned) I had to ask for honey, and then got the tiniest amount imaginable. For lunch I took a hamburger. It was a plain dry piece of pattie without anything else. When I said that there's no trimmings on , the server told me: so what? Evenings were even worse! Dirty overlays on the tables small portions, and no cream with our puddings. Pathetic. Our cabin was not serviced every day.We had to ask for it and then,had to commit to a scheduled time on OUR holiday ! Very little is included in the price. Not even tissues. To get from the harbor to town you have to pay.. Also a first. This was a horrible horrible experience and we wouldn't recommend it for anybody . If this was our first cruise, we wouldn't ever have done it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Organization was chaotic, service generally poor! Staff gave misinformation all the time, on one occasion, because of desinformation, we had to go theough multiple queues and run around the ship for 90 mins to rent a stroller! The opening ... Read More
Organization was chaotic, service generally poor! Staff gave misinformation all the time, on one occasion, because of desinformation, we had to go theough multiple queues and run around the ship for 90 mins to rent a stroller! The opening hours of the kids club were nonsense and hectic, not plannable! Weird that parents did not have access and insight to the room where we were supposed to leave our kids. Also it was seriously understaffed, there was mayhem and queing all the time. Consequently staff was overwhealmed and RUDE, exacerbated by poor English skills. The ship is nice but totally not child friedly. The buffet restaurants were way too crowded, understaffed and running under capacity, resulting in extremely bad dining experience. Food in the restaurants was variable quality, so not impressed at all. Wines we ordered were repeatedly and constantly out of stock. Bars were understaffed hence service was extremely slow and cumbersome. Despite we had Aurea and all incusive, we ran around thirsty all the time because of the slow service (had to wait up to 30 mins for a coffee etc) Our whole family was very disappointed and we definitely don't plan to come back to any of the MSC ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Staff rudeness and experience: -Our party of 6 were split to a table of 4 and share a table of 6 with another party of 4. The other party of 4 agreed to switch table so they can have a private table and we 6 can dine together. After ... Read More
Staff rudeness and experience: -Our party of 6 were split to a table of 4 and share a table of 6 with another party of 4. The other party of 4 agreed to switch table so they can have a private table and we 6 can dine together. After making arrangement with the Dining Room host who said it is fine and he will send info to our cabin. The next evening we were asked by 3 different staff, including the dining room host to see our cabin ID and rudely said there was problem with our sitting. - Out waiter NEVER introduce himself nor his assistant. We told him that 1 member of our party is allergic to mushrooms so please warn us when there is any mushroom in the foods. He never ask or forewarn us of any dish that could have mushroom. - For Dessert we ask for the flavors of the ice cream he said he need 15 mins to find out what choice of flavors they are serving. Latter the Vanilla ice cream came almost completely melt. -Another nite a waiter in the Inca buffet tipped a glass of red wine all over me and my sister who wear white pants, light color blouse and white jacket. He was stunned and did not know what to dọ We told him it was just an accident but he should get his manager to a) get laundry done for us and b) refill our glasses. There were a few officers in the vicinity and NONE seems to care. After a more than 15 mins, I went to see the manager of the bar and he asked me to report to buffet officer or manager. 30 mins later the waiter returned with his manager who DID NOT apologize and only offer to take care of the laundry for my sister. We have to asked for a new glass of wine to replace the almost empty spilled glass. - All 6 of us have beverage package, 2 other couples also have wine/beer/coffee package as well as Soda package. The coupons were NOT delivered to 1 couple for 3 days. When asked Guest Services kept saying they will be delivered to their room. For the first 2 dinner the waiter kept saying he has to charge them even after they show receipts that they paid for the 2 packages. BTW, they issue COUPONS for the beverage package instead of electronically recording them on the cabin ID. - For the mineral bottle water package the main dining room staff kept telling us that we can go to the buffer bar to get it BUT the latter kept refusing to provide the bottle and send us back to the main dining room waiters. - On the first nite, one lady order Sex on the Beach drink. She did not get it until almost at the end of dinner, he showed up with the drink and said he thought she was kidding. We later found out that he just got this job 3 weeks earlier!!!! Embarkation/Disembarkation: - At Genoa port we have to stand in line for 1 hour to be able to get out of the ship walkway. We later leaned that they let Genoa disembarking guests in the same line as visiting port guests. - The day before our cruise ends, we attended the Disembarkation orientation and was told that if we pay by credit card, just review the 2-copy statements and if there is no dispute, just sign 1 copy and leave it in the cabin before 10AM of the disembarkation day. at 1:15 PM as we departing the ship we were told that we owed them money and have to go back to deck 5 to see the Guest Services to pay. Since we have arrangement for a van pickup at 2:00 PM and seeing a LONG LINE at the Guest Services we had to pay almost 300 Euro in currency at the Disembarkation table and got NO RECEIPT that we paid. Foods: - We were shocked to learn that they do NOT serve coffee in the main dining room after dinner. The waiter told us to go to the buffet upstairs to get our coffee. - Most dishes served in the main dinning room are similar to what being served in the buffet. Needless to say, after 2 dinners we STOPPED returning to the dining room and ate our dinners in the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Without doubt the very worst holiday (let alone cruise) we have ever been on. Please, please, please do not ignore the negative MSC reviews and part with your hard earned cash or 'Take a punt' like we did. Where to start. ... Read More
Without doubt the very worst holiday (let alone cruise) we have ever been on. Please, please, please do not ignore the negative MSC reviews and part with your hard earned cash or 'Take a punt' like we did. Where to start. 1 - Ship - Lovely modern and clean. They've put a lot of thought in to it. 2 - Customer service - non-existent. Most staff are rude at best, hostile or aggressive at worst. Several times staff members barged their way past either myself or my partner through doorways or corridors. Staff in general looked depressed or bored and seemed to resent passengers. Would desperately love to say there were 1 or 2 notable exceptions however sadly there weren't. 3 - Food - The very worst we've been served anywhere on any holiday. Hard to believe that an Italian company can ruin pasta! Food in general was bland, lukewarm, recycled from one meal to the next and made from very, very cheap ingredients.As one of our fellow English speaking passengers put it 'I wouldn't feed it to my dog'. The buffet was nothing short of an absolute farce. The pizza was popular so if you fancy a slice be prepared to fight for it. I jest not. The only tip we picked up and would recommend is that if you are stupid enough to book a cruise on the Meraviglia and find yourself in the buffet head directly to the back. Do not pass 'Go', become one of them and barge your way straight to the back. End of. 4 - Fellow passengers - The vast majority of our fellow passengers were Italian. Which sort of makes sense considering it was an Italian ship on a Med cruise. However just making a point of saying what follows isn't based on 100% of Italian people, just 100% of the Italian people on our cruise. Now that's that out the way. The behaviour and general conduct of our Italian shipmates was nothing short of utterly disgraceful by anybody's standards. Rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate and loud, boy were they loud. With absolutely no exaggeration whatsoever we were unable to hold a conversation in either of the restaurants were ate in or any of the communal or public areas we were physically co-located with Italian passengers. Physically aggressive barging and hostile to anything resembling a queue whether that be for food, waiting to pay, boarding the ship or a bus/coach or to pass through a doorway. And they make no distinction for male or female, young or old you WILL be pushed and/or elbowed out the way. Sounds like a cliche however the only way to survive is to adopt the 'When in Rome....' approach (scuse the pun). It will inevitably lead to drama however although by that stage you just think 'Bring it on'. Now I have lived and worked abroad all my life so am happy with 'Cultural differences' and can put up with a fair deal without grinding my gears. However, being trapped with no escape from several thousand people who were put on this earth to make me hate them turned my hols in to an utter nightmare. 5 - Cabin - Clean, fresh and presentable however the storage space was minimal so we found ourselves more or less living out of our suitcases. Ultimately speaking though not the end of the world. What was particular horrific however was our cabin experience, which is really our private and intimate space, being utterly ruined by fellow passengers in surrounding cabins out on their balcony's seemingly chain smoking which wafted straight in to our cabin. So we either had to sit out and put up with a face full of smoke or stay inside our cabin with the door shut. The on board briefings clearly state that smoking on cabin balcony's is strictly forbidden and there are clear notices to that effect on the inside of balcony doors but this is simply ignored. My partner made a point of politely asking our neighbours if they'd please not smoke on the balcony however the chap just smiled, shrugged his shoulders and sparked up. Had I been there he'd have been 'Sparked' alright (see what I did there). Took x3 attempts reporting them to reception before MSC did anything about it. We had to physically tell a receptionist to smell a t-shirt I'd put out a dry on the balcony however so they lost any credit for that. It absolutely pinged of stale smoke. Sadly it was just our direct neighbours who were spoken to and not those above and below us so it made very little difference and any further complaints simply fell on deaf ears. I'm more than happy if somebody wants to crack on and have a fag however our cabin absolutely stank and to sit out on the balcony meant passively sharing their woodbines with them. Maybe we were just unlucky, who knows. Take the risk if you like but you have been warned. 6 - Excursions - Having read previous reviews we'd done our homework in advance and planned our own trips ashore at a fraction of the price. It's a good job we did because passengers we spoke to said what MSC had tried to cram in to the short times ashore was ridiculous. They were either rushed to/from/between each thing with little or no time to enjoy or experience anything or excursions were cut short with no refund or recompense of any kind. Expectations may vary however so not necessarily marking MSC down for that, you'll need to make your own mind up. 7 - Entertainment - The entertainment we saw seemed dated and pretty social club in quality (i.e. a tad naff) although some classical performers we saw in open or public areas were brilliant. Some fellow Brits paid for the Cirque du Soleil dining experience which they said was naturally superb however it was marred slightly by the dining part which they said was extremely poor. 8 - Embarkation/Disembarkation - Because passengers join and leave the ship on each stop there was no sense of occasion and one felt very. very much like a passenger as opposed to a guest. It did however make life easier not having to fight an entire ship's worth of people to get on/off. Once we'd boarded and run the carefully choreographed gauntlet of hard sell people it we were just left to crack on and find our cabin before setting sale with absolutely no fanfare. In summary - Should have been significantly more pleasant than it was given the ship however it was simply ruined by the dire service and appalling conduct of our Italian shipmates. One positive I would give MSC above the likes of Royal Caribbean is that whilst you still have the hard up sell, such as drinks packages/Premium dining/Spa treatments etc, they are no where near as persistent and in your face. In every other aspect however Royal Caribbean rather embarrasses MSC without even breaking a sweat. What else would I summarise or flag up from the usual topics or points? Probably that in tune with most airlines nowadays MSC gear 100% of their customer service on the premium 'Yacht Club' (First/Business class) passengers and everybody else down the back end are just the plebs making up the numbers and not worth making the effort on. I personally expect more from a cruise. Would I choose MSC again? Not if you paid me Would I recommend MSC to anybody else? Not a chance in hell Would my MSC experience put me off cruising? Probably not however I will pay more attention to the reviews in future. May give P&O a shot next. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was ... Read More
Food was dreadful and allways delivered to the table luke warm or cold. Restaurant Menu very basic and repetirive Very limited variety Waiters friendly and helpful but maitre de's dusmissive of any complaints Buffet was chaotic and the food wss exactly the same every day for 23 days Bar staff and cabin cleaning staff friendly and polite Drinks included in the package purchased were very limited Reception, excursion and managerial staff wrre rude and unhelpful dealing with any complaints (and the queue of ppl complainting every day at reception was long) Entertainment / animation/ activities were rare and what was provided was poor and shows were mediocre Inteenet package purchased was slow and on several sea days not working at all. In cabin movies (pay per view) did not work and froze Announcements on the ship were overly loud and in multiple languages Shops on bpard very expensive and items for sale never changed in 23 days with no cheaper items or sales Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
1. English Tea the only tea we drink was locked up had to ask a crew member each time we wanted a cup of tea 2. The water was never hot enough to make a decent cup of tea or coffee 3. Kept running out of hot? Water 4. It took 6 ... Read More
1. English Tea the only tea we drink was locked up had to ask a crew member each time we wanted a cup of tea 2. The water was never hot enough to make a decent cup of tea or coffee 3. Kept running out of hot? Water 4. It took 6 Days to have my dead battery’s replaced on my tv remote control, then no tv 5.One week on to our 22 day cruise, we had no tv in the cabin rumor was the company didn’t pay for the last tv service 6. Management argued with me that “No added Sugar is Sugar Free” after 10 days they decided to check with the chef, who advised them No Added Sugar is NOT Sugar Free, Finally management were convinced 7. There Was A charge of $7.00 to watch a movie, $14.00 for a pornographic movie, first time we’ve been on a cruise that show porn movie, do anything for money 8. There is a charge for choice Dinning 9. There is a charge for water in the dining room 10. Live shows were substandard, too many Italian Opera nearly every night 11. No Activities to keep one occupied during the day 12. The toasters in the morning were down a few morning at the buffet management didn’t know about the problem This was one cruise I wanted to end Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. ... Read More
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. Virtually no announcements when the ship is cleared, inconsistent information regarding ports, transportation and shore excursions. This bred a toxic environment among guests. Often shoving, pushing and swearing in multiple languages. A mess!!! Food was inconsistent quality and either overly salted ( Chef smokes???) or completely devoid of flavor. Steaks were tough and grisly and inedible. Servers are rushed and literally grab menus out of your hand when you’ve finished ordering. Be prepared to wait significantly betwee courses especially entrees even when you order immediately after being seated for your seating time. Best food items on the ship were Pastries and desserts in the dining room, fruit plate in the dining room at breakfast. Eat breakfast in the dining room, lunch in the buffet or off the ship and take your chances on dinner in the dining room. Daily program was often incorrect. Library was closed for training staff/ crew as they approached the US market for the season. So a 22 day voyage which had over 5 sea days often we couldn’t access he library! Lounge entertainment was good but theater located entertainment was 35 minutes max and if you like opera you should enjoy this cruise ship. Not the best quality. Dancers might be compared to your local dance classes back home. 22 day transatlantic cruise with many stops in Europe. Once we departed Tenerife satellite TV ended. Daily inquiries netted multiple excuses including we are working on it, we are transitioning to the US version and finally my personal favorite was, madam we can’t posaibly get tv in the Atlantic Ocean. Completely crazy! So NO TV for more than half the cruise including all the sea days making the crossing while Major breaking news was occurring in he US. No news whatsoever onboard and no compensation via complimentary WiFi time was offered. I appreciate that you don’t go on a cruise to watch TV but having access to news is important on a long voyage. They did offer some free in room movies but did not say they were “ free” until about day 5 without Tv so everyone thought they would be charged for the 8 or so movies offered. None of which were first run!! Disembarkation at most ports ( Marseille and Bermuda, NY and Miami) were terrible. Virtually NO announcements made. Ship never arrived in time and left NY nearly two hours later than stated but they DID NOT make an announcement re the delay for 45 minutes and then finally sailed away nearly 2 hours after. In Miami at the end of the cruise guest who were told to depart ship at 8:15 spent ONE HOUR STANDING IN THE TERMINAL WAITING FOR THEIR LUGGAGE. Their timing, organization and communication is VERY POOR. Just remember you get what you pay for and this cruise line that focuses on the European market has much to learn about customer service, communication and hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine ... Read More
All in all a very negative Experience: - Cabin sold for 4 People (2 Adults + 2 Child), but equipped just with a Double Bed + a Sofa that becomes a 1 and half Bed. If the Child are Teenagers (like in our Case), you can easily imagine that there is no Space for everybody. We asked for a Solution: we are now (Sept 2018) still waiting for a Solution when the Cruise ended 1 Week ago... No Words. - We bought the Package "Beverage All-Included" but what we drink from Cabin Frigo Bar is not included (even if Products are exactly the same) and they charged us on the final Bill. - In our "Auria Experience" Package we had the Breakfast in the Room included. We asked for it for the last Day because we had to leave the Room at 8:00, we booked it for 7:30, at 7:50 no Breakfast was in the Room, we called to ask and the said: "For the last they is not included, sorry". What????? And why no one informed about that??? Why they brought us regularly the Format to ask for it???? Unbelievable, a disgraceful Service. - Last but not least, the last Day we were asked to leave the Cabin at 8:00, but our Meeting Time was at 13:45 (almost 6 hours later in which we were going up and down in the Boat like Gipsy...). At 13:45 we were at the Meeting Point but someone collected us just at 14:30, they brought us under the Sun outside the Boat, but the Bus was not there. It arrives just at 15:00. Net-net = 7 Hours lost for nothing, staying on the Boat without Luggage, without a Room available, under the Sun in the Port, treated like Animals... no Words. All in all, please invest your Money better, and not at all in MSC because even with Aurea Experience, they are not interested in you as a Customer, but just as a stupid Number who pays!!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
If you have kids don’t choose this ship, long queues for water slides with no other entertainment for them. I had the wellness experience which entitled me for free sod drinks, water, wine all over my stay with 2 free shore execrusions, ... Read More
If you have kids don’t choose this ship, long queues for water slides with no other entertainment for them. I had the wellness experience which entitled me for free sod drinks, water, wine all over my stay with 2 free shore execrusions, that i had realized later as reception didn’t inform me about it, more over they charged me for bottled water to my room that was included in my package for free. Overall boring, room attendance was only finding execuses for not cleaning our cabin and blame the amount of rooms he has to clean overall very bad experience with lack of entertainment, don’t get excited with photos they publish, the only positive point is that since ship is new there is no problems or faulty yet in room, fast internet is available with a cost ofcourse, I have been to NCL which was 100 times better, welcoming staff and good entertainment for kids and adults Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, ... Read More
I only chose this cruise ship because of the booking agent. This was truly a disappointing and bad experience from day one. The crew was very rude and unprofessional and the food was horrible. The same food for seven days; french fries, hotdogs and hamburgers. You have to be kidding me! For all the money my family spent on prepping and creating our Reunion with you guys, it was a waste of money, time and effort. While docking in the Bahamas, for whatever reason, the ship decided to flood in the elevators and hallway on floors 5, 6 and 7. This caused our last day to be a total disaster. what little activities set for that day was canceled. We spent about a half hour attempting to get food after boarding the ship from our excursion. We had family member who were diabetics, asthmatics and other health issues.It was blatantly obvious, crew members were catering to the Europeans and not to Americans. While at the formal captain's dinner, the head waiter failed to acknowledge my table. It was like I was in the center of a triangle. The three tables around me were greeted and welcomed, but, my table tended to appear invisible. No one cared enough to address our concerns. The head waiter acknowledge all guess and tables arounds us as I witnessed them sliding money in his hand. I was appalled and felt disrespected with all that was going on around us. I guess, if the price was right, you were able to get anything you wanted and if it wasn't you were totally ignored... Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We embarked in the Port of Napoli, Italy. From the minute you enter the port, no one from MSC is visible to assist you. We dragged our luggage for almost a mile with no availability of trolleys. We got inside the terminal and we can ... Read More
We embarked in the Port of Napoli, Italy. From the minute you enter the port, no one from MSC is visible to assist you. We dragged our luggage for almost a mile with no availability of trolleys. We got inside the terminal and we can already see the chaos amongst the staff of the handling agency. It took 3 hours to board, we waited 2 hours downstairs and one hour upstairs by security. When we entered the ship, you dont feel welcome at all, normal scanning of ID and then boom you are inside. We are used to Royal Caribbean and all the information you have upon embarkation from restaurant suggestion to fitness packages to general information on the ship and what is going on. Only 2 staff from the kids club were there. We had the Aurea Experience package, and when I asked several staff about the special area fro Aurea, no one even knew where it was. On the ship itself, the paid restaurant options were good but on the high end as far as price. we ate at the dining room only once and the service was not good. The SPA area was a great one with the steam room, sauna, jaccuzi and snow room. If you are getting a massage be ready to experience a lot of noise while doing the massage, the area is not quiet at all and they keep slamming doors. The shows were great...great performers The pool area was always crowded, but if you have the Aurea you can use a private area with Jaccuzi access and free drinks Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Returned from an MSC Meraviglia cruise yesterday (April Fool’s day, funnily enough) - very disappointed with our trip. If you’re thinking about booking with MSC, and trying to ignore the bad press they get in feedback comments, then ... Read More
Returned from an MSC Meraviglia cruise yesterday (April Fool’s day, funnily enough) - very disappointed with our trip. If you’re thinking about booking with MSC, and trying to ignore the bad press they get in feedback comments, then don’t. They are realistic, warranted and true. Don’t do it – find another cruise line and save yourself a lot of money, grief and stress. MSC seem to be interested only in extracting more and more money from you, at every turn – the profits of the company seem to be far more important to them than the customer experience. After an endless embarkation process (being herded like sheep or goats to the slaughter) we finally made it onto the ship, and we were bombarded with endless staff trying to get us to purchase a drinks, food, beverage, photos or whatever package. Strange that we couldn’t move a step without tripping over one of them when we first embarked, but later when we wanted to ask a question at reception, we had to wait in a queue for almost an hour to get any attention. (More of this later.) Even during meals the poor overworked waiters would shove a notice under our noses, trying to get us to pay an extra 20 euros for a steak, or whatever they were selling that night. Atrocious. On the plus side, we found the food good quality, varied and hot, and the waiters were courteous and attentive. The downside was that despite advertising a dozen restaurants, we were allocated ONE when we got there, at a sitting of 6 people (despite asking for a table for 2) and were expected to sit there every single evening. The only choice we had was to pay extra to upgrade to another one (of 3) restaurants. Other than that, it was the bun-fight in the Market (buffet) area or a burger sitting round the pool. (The Market buffet was extremely varied and quite good quality but the behaviour of the clients – and more particularly their unattended offspring – left a great deal to be desired. More reminiscent of a chimps tea party than a meal, but I digress.) The other problem we had with the ‘fixed’ sitting meant it clashed with the shows, so we were faced with a choice of either gulping down our food to get to the shows on time, or leaving without finishing our meals. On reflection this wasn’t much of a problem because the shows weren’t of a very high quality – either in content or variety, so we didn’t miss much (according to our fellow inmates). Having said that, the Cirque du Soleil show was extremely good, but of course, we had to pay an extra 15 euros for that (that included a cocktail – choice of 2 types) and a chocolate macaroon. Woopee! And woe betide you if you stopped for a chat after your meal – the manager would trot along and throw us out – he was far more interested in getting the tables re-laid for the next sitting to let us stay past our allotted time of an hour and a half for all 3 courses… They had 3 sittings to fit in! Our cabin had a large comfy bed and small but adequate shower room. The balcony, however, came with the added benefits of being covered in crumbs, a toe (or finger?) nail clipping, and filthy windows that you could hardly see through. The cabin attendant was polite and friendly but just managed the basics. No towel animals, chocolates on the pillows or any frills. And despite requesting breakfast in the cabin every morning (except one) they managed to miss us out 2 of the mornings (including disembarkation morning) so we had the added stress of attending the bun-fight on deck 15 and fighting through the marauding chimps to get a coffee and a table. Not a great finale. On 3 occasions we queued at the ‘reception’ area – mostly needing help with our bill, and on each occasion we were queuing for almost an hour. When we finally reached the front of the queue, there was no apology for the wait, contrition from the staff, or even a smile or an acknowledgement that we’d managed to reach the front without expiring from boredom – just a stony stare, a grunt and seemingly incredulity that we should bother them with such trivial matters. Their indifference to our plight (in each case) was spectacular. I wonder if they’re trained to become so obnoxious, or if comes naturally to them? A special breed, perhaps? They offer an alternative method of paying your final bill if you don’t use a credit card (which we didn’t) – a machine. But the machine tries to take another 100 euros credit every time you go near it, is incapable of telling you your final bill amount, or printing you a hand-out of your itemised bill. So you have no choice but to attend the charming staff on the reception desk. (We were told that ONE of the machines will give you a final bill, if not an itemised list, but they don’t tell you which one it is, or where it is, until you visit them behind the desk. Marvellous system, I’m sure you’ll agree…) The kids are very well catered for. Entire floors have been created for them, but unfortunately they seeped into all the other areas too, and the noise level (from shrieking babies to obnoxious teenagers tearing around) was often cacophonous. Add to that the scooters they went around on, buggies they were pushed around in and general level of single minded selfishness they exhibited (around food and drink mostly) I can’t say they added to the experience. The lifts were always full to the brim, often stopping at every single stop on their way up and down (often in the opposite direction to that which we wanted to go in) and took ages to arrive. MSC have invented a clever little app that you can download to your phone to ‘add to your experience’. However, mine didn’t work very well, and didn’t show me my account, or how much I’d spent (although fellow travellers seemed to have got that bit). Waste of time downloading it in the first place. As already mentioned, MSC only seemed to be interested in extracting every last cent from us (as a captured audience). Nothing was free, including water or coffee with meals, ice-cream or anything at all really. They would charge 18 euros for a shuttle bus to get from the ship to the local town, but if you knew what you were doing, you could just walk a few yards and catch the local bus free. At another port they charged us 9 euros for a shuttle bus, but the local one was provided for 4 euros (return). They relied on ignorance and panic which they received in droves. There are far too many passengers (being Easter the boat was at full capacity with over 5,700 guests) but only (up to) 1500 crew – the lowest ratio I’ve ever encountered on a cruise. The public areas (bars, pools, eateries) were way too crowded and it was difficult to find a seat/table – probably because the space they could have allocated to make the passenger experience more pleasurable has been taken up with shops to extract money from them for watches, perfume, chocolates and other stuff that funnily enough seemed empty for the vast majority of the time. Finally, this cruise (that wasn’t cheap) was to celebrate my 60th birthday. A celebration. Sadly it was far from that. And despite MSN being fully aware it was my birthday (the travel agents made it known to them before we departed and one of the bar staff sang a few bars, single-handed, of Happy Birthday to me) they made no effort to make my stay special in any way. No upgrade, no chocolates, no fruit, no bottle of bubbly, nothing! I wrote to them before we left, asking if there was anything they could do to make it more of an occasion. They wrote back and basically said ‘no’. It would be down to the management of the individual ship to do whatever they felt appropriate. Well it appears that apart from leaving a towel rabbit on the bed with a nasty cheap card, nothing else, in their opinion, was appropriate at all. We saw countless other people getting the ‘drum banging procession of half a dozen staff singing and dancing, followed by a birthday cake with a candle’ at different venues (restaurants and theatres) but nothing came my way at all. Not even a muffin and a pair of maracas. So thanks, MSC – you really pulled out all the stops to make my ‘special’ birthday celebration one to remember. But sadly, for all the wrong reasons. I’m sure this ship is ideal if you’ve got kids, like a lot of noise, huge crowds, queuing, and bun-fights and don’t want any courteous treatment from staff (I say this with the exception of our waiter) but for us, it felt like a money grabbing sausage factory where the staff are over-worked, probably under-paid, and frankly don’t give a ****. In a sentence: All glitz but no glamour. Or… all fur coat, and no knickers. We won’t be using MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
39 years of cruising, 30th cruise just completed. This is the 1st time I have ever uttered the words "I can't wait to get off this ship!" Website: Pros: There aren't any. Cons: Buyer Beware. See for ... Read More
39 years of cruising, 30th cruise just completed. This is the 1st time I have ever uttered the words "I can't wait to get off this ship!" Website: Pros: There aren't any. Cons: Buyer Beware. See for yourself, the website is just shades of things to come. Try to navigate the counter-intuitive pages. Good luck getting assistance when you call due to the frustrating website. And once you're locked into the cruise (less than 3 months before sail date), you can't get anything resolved. Pay attention to your invoice, our invoice had to be corrected twice, the price kept increasing. Wanted to bail out at this point, but it was too late. Ship: Pros: Beautiful, brand new ship. Cons: Absolutely no sound-proofing, anywhere. From hearing the shows/disco from 2 floors beneath us, pounding music so loud that you have to leave the cabin, till 23:30-1:30 each and every night .. to hearing the next door cabin's conversations. Many complaints of noise from guests at different parts of the ship. Reception: Pros: We had to go up the chain of command to get any type of empathy or possible solution. Not really a "pro" but at least we got an appointment "4 days later" to discuss problems. Cons: Staff clearly don't understand the words "Reception" or "Guest Services". Not a smile amongst the entire group. We had to spend time in the ever-long line of Reception every single day. Anything that had to do with Reception had to be done twice, no follow-through, and don't expect any apologies from anyone. To quote the Reception Manager, "We have a lot of problems with this ship." Housekeeping: Pros: Well done, exceptionally clean cabins and ship. Cons: None Dining: Pros: Staff Cons: Food is borderline airplane food; served cold, or at best lukewarm. Very limited menu. Waiters are forced to "sell" at your table for better food and wine. Buffet: Pros: Available 20 hours a day. Cons: Everything is cold. Staff unable to replenish choices in a timely manner. Entertainment: Pros: The "only" entertainment that "might be" free on this ship, are some of the shows. Cons: High school talent show at best. Disappointing. Every single entertainment option available on this ship comes at a cost. And since there's nothing free to do, EVERYONE is stuck in the narrow promenade just to "do" something. MSC obviously wants you spending money, not relaxing and enjoying your time on-board. Spa: Pros: You can get a massage. Cons: It's sandwiched in the middle of the ship, not a window in sight. Cramped little areas. Didn't get much use of it since it was so small and always full of guests. Nothing beautiful or relaxing about this spa. Excursions: Pros: The best thing because you can get off this ship. Cons: None. Staff: Pros: There are a few smiling faces. Cons: You get the feeling they're not happy and it filters through to the guests. It seems they are more interested in what's easiest for them .. not you, their guests. Overall: 3 months of "conversations" prior to cruise, correcting errors, struggling with website. 7 nights without sleep once on-board. 7 days of constant aggravation from the staff forced to "sell" you more. At least in Jamaica you can walk away. It seems that MSC has forgotten how to treat their guests. It also seems that they are simply trying to recoup the price of their new ship. It's an experience we will never forget and will never recommend MSC on their new greed driven venture. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this ship because my husband and I liked the ports-which were fine. There were many issues but the top one for my husband is the cheapness of the ship. You have to buy the water you drink in the restaurant. We bought tickets for ... Read More
Chose this ship because my husband and I liked the ports-which were fine. There were many issues but the top one for my husband is the cheapness of the ship. You have to buy the water you drink in the restaurant. We bought tickets for water and soda, but were sold a book of alcohol even though I told staff we don't drink. He told us you can use it for soda and tea, but didn't understand we were paying for alcohol every night. When I discovered the mistake they wouldn't let me exchange the alcohol for tea tickets. I tried talking to a manager and it verified what I noticed again and again with the staff. The manager kept a phone in his face while I spoke and put his finger up when I talked. He was there to talk to me but kept the phone up-I said I'll wait until he's finished with his call, but he continued to wave his finger at me and walked away. The men treat women like second class customers. I felt it when I would stand at the bar to get a Pepsi. Men would come to bar after me and get served. Again and again I noticed this This may come as a surprise to MSC, but women often are the breadwinners and are paying their salaries. That a manager, someone in charge, is able to put his finger in a customer's face up and walk away says a lot about their promotion policy. And for the record, I am not a screamer or can't afford the difference in tea and wine. I was talking calmly-the staff member who was helping and called the manager for me apologized again and again for the manager. I doubt MSC cares whether we use them again, but it's hard not to see they need to do some training in sensitivity towards women. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in ... Read More
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in Genoa. However things went from bad to worse. Below is a list of my grievances with MSC: -The cruise was supposed to depart from Genoa (Genova), Italy. However we got a message from our travel agent that our ship would now not be docking in Genoa, but that MSC Orchestra would be picking us up in Marseille, France. (First MSC informed us that we would be picked up by a ferry (where cabins and meals would be provided). However the next morning at 8am MSC issued a notification that we due to report (check-in) between 9-10am we had to hurry and be at the port to catch this ferry. We arrived at the port at 8:50 cancelling all our plans to view Genoa. We were told to wait in a cold room with no food or drink provided (except what was in a vending machine, however 2 of our family have severe medical dietary restrictions. And yes, MSC was made aware of these restrictions well in advance of the cruise.) Then we informed that there would not be a ferry provided, but we were now going to Marseille by bus. However the bus would not leave until all 99 passengers arrived at the port. This took hours! We boarded the bus at 12:15pm. We were then told that they would not be taking us to Marseille, but to Nice to stay in a hotel (no meals or beverages provided except for breakfast in the morning. The only break we had was at a gas station on the side of the hwy. Bus drive took 4 hours mostly because the driver drove slowly and took several suspicious detours. We could see his GPS which he ignored and other passengers had their own GPS monitoring. We had to press the issue with the MSC representative aboard as well as the driver. Still the drive took way too long. By the time we checked into the hotel most businesses were closed and we had to wait until 7pm to eat dinner, UNACCEPTABLE!) Also no time to see Nice. Boarded the bus to Marseille the next morning (different driver same treatment-no food, circulus route with many turnarounds and yes he had a fully functioning GPS!). Still no food, no beverages, no bathroom breaks. Arrived at the MSC port in Marseille at 11:30 am to a cold terminal, no food or beverages provided. Mad rush for the restroom, however there was only 1 stall for women and 1 stall for men. Shameful! Then took up over an hour to board us all. So no time to see Marseille. MSC said they would only give us a one day credit, but we actually lost full use of 2 days of sightseeing and dining. In closing this long review, I should say that I have been on several cruise with 3 different cruise lines, so I know what to expect. That being said, you should never sail with MSC! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
On arrival onboard there is a huge hard sell line of touts that surround you as you walk through calling out to you to buy all their extra packages and shoving their ads in your hands. Very difficult to ignore or say no which is what they ... Read More
On arrival onboard there is a huge hard sell line of touts that surround you as you walk through calling out to you to buy all their extra packages and shoving their ads in your hands. Very difficult to ignore or say no which is what they want. Market place buffet restaurant is massively overcrowded, noisy, uncivilised and impersonal. Have to push and grab for everything. Should be split into different rooms. No free fruit juice except at breakfast time and extremely sugary! Coffee is terrible. Hard sellers going from table to table touting for their businesses in your face whilst eating your meals. Pushing you to buy extras such as freshly squeezed orange juice which should be free anyway, soft drinks and payable restaurants, etc, etc. They are rude and interrupt you constantly. The alternative free upmarket restaurant also charge you for water plus commission on top! They refuse to offer tap water. Food there is tiny. 3 raviolis for a main meal or a teaspoon size mashed potato as the only veg with a thin piece of meat. Soup size is about 4 tablespoons. No films, documentaries, dramas, tv programmes for English viewers in the cabins. Only payable ones. They only had news channels and CBeebies in English. Cinema is chargeable. Bowling is chargeable. Free show every evening but Cirque du Soleil in another theatre is payable. Buying a wifi package doesn’t even give you access to your emails. You have to upgrade even more to get that. Excursions are much more expensive with MSC. Much much cheaper if you get a taxi or Hop On Hop Off buses. There is always a Tourist Information desk right next to the ship at every port giving you a free map and directions and ways to get about much cheaper than the ship’s. The ship always gives you the impression that their methods are the only ones, such as their own ‘payable’ shuttle bus to city centre a mile away – not true. Money is taken from your account towards UNICEF without your consent during the cruise. Was told this is apparently “in the small print”. The brainteaser quiz session had 90% of questions regarding MSC i.e. “What benefits are there if you book your next cruise now with us”. I think the word ‘benefits’ should be swapped with ‘hidden charges’. And the words of their show one evening was “We work with Love” - or rather “we work with del boys”. Felt like being hauled through a washing machine with the huge push to make you unwittingly spend more and I will never go with MSC again. Sadly, this mindset of hidden charges/hard sell/fees/commission is rife with all cruise companies and is getting worse. Stay away! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
After 30 cruises we decided to try MSC cruise line for our first cruise with MSC and their Flag Ship. This is the first review I have made and feel I must as very disappointed with everything apart from the decor but it is a brand new ... Read More
After 30 cruises we decided to try MSC cruise line for our first cruise with MSC and their Flag Ship. This is the first review I have made and feel I must as very disappointed with everything apart from the decor but it is a brand new ship so it should be. Main points Worst food on a ship, no complimentary water, no tea and coffee after dinner Choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts for dinner, no ice cream unles you paid for it. Breakfast awful and basic basic basic After midday room service you pay for! Entertainment awful and worst theatre sound I have heard Cabin lacking cupboard and shelves, small tv for new ship, smallest balcony I have seen. 5700 passengers and only 1500 crew members which is why the crew were overstretched and rude. Ship so noisey with everyone talking loud resulting in you could not even think. On embarkation day out of your cabin 7am latest. This should give you an idea of our last week and it is the first cruise that hat we eat more of ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
the ports sounded very interesting, and the new ship and our first time on MSC. There were too many children on this line. I felt like I was on a Carnival Cruise x 2. The staff was not trained, and they had sad faces and did not know ... Read More
the ports sounded very interesting, and the new ship and our first time on MSC. There were too many children on this line. I felt like I was on a Carnival Cruise x 2. The staff was not trained, and they had sad faces and did not know much of anything. The buffet was a total disaster with the amount of people. Most were very rude, and a lot of pushing and shoving around. The dinner was ok at best.. And the server thought I was from Mars when I asked for a cup of coffee, or a mixed drink. If you offered me a free MSC cruise I would NOT go. This ship is way too big- and MSC cannot handle it. They are just concerned about the bottom line, and dont care about people. When we returned from a tour, the staff was confused or untrained, and did NOT know how to have the passengers reenter the ship... Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
If you are American, have cruised before, and are considering MSC... DON'T DO IT!!! We had read the bad reviews but decided to give it a try thinking it couldn't be THAT bad. It was. The Meraviglia is new and spotless. So ... Read More
If you are American, have cruised before, and are considering MSC... DON'T DO IT!!! We had read the bad reviews but decided to give it a try thinking it couldn't be THAT bad. It was. The Meraviglia is new and spotless. So there's that. The food was AWFUL! EW, just thinking about it turns my stomach. AND...the buffet was the same food... EVERY DAY. If you have cruised Holland America, Celebrity or Royal Caribbean you will be EXTREMELY disappointed. There was not enough space at the buffet lines so most times it was 5 - 6 people deep with no seating in the restaurant. We had to laugh at the FEEDING FRENZY and tried to stay away. People were pushing and shoving as they filled their plates with the same disgusting food every day. You would have sworn it was the last meal ever to be served due to the intense nature at feeding time. We reserved a suite and based on MSCs website we thought we could at least avoid the morning feeding by ordering room service. Room service is available, but there is no hot food (continental breakfast only and cold sandwiches during the day). We ended up eating on shore most days. We also booked the Tryptic dining experience. The Butcher's Cut was marginal (that was the best of the three specialty restaurants). But, you are only offered a very limited menu and have to pay extra if you order anything different. The food at Eately was unpalatable - it still makes me queezy to think about it. The sushi restaurant was equivalent to the sushi you can buy at your local Publix or Kroger. The clientele on the ship were low rent (worse than Carnival) - I watched a woman lift a baby out of a full hot tub and change it's dirty (feces) diaper on the side of the tub, then put the baby back in the tub. She threw the dirty diaper on the deck below. So many rude people... who pushed their way in front of us for the simplest reasons...and treated the crew like dirt. We were stunned at the absurdity. Our cabin was a suite with a hot tub on the deck. It would have been amazing had there not been a 4 inch brown ring around the top from the previous guests filth. We called our cabin steward and he said they didn't use any chemicals or clean the private hot tubs, they simply drained the tub 1/2 way and refilled it for the next guest. Since the tub didn't heat above 35 C (95 F) it was completely unsanitary and therefore unusable. Our wristbands (for cabin purchases) still showed the previous guests for the entire time we were on the ship and we received a notice daily that there were issues with our credit card. We had to go stand in line at customer service 5 times (for ~45 minutes each time) to provide the exact same credit card, which they used to close our account and then reopen it - each time telling us it 'cleared' the problem. It didn't. There were 5,500 guests and only ~1,700 crew who were overworked and not happy. We asked a bartender how his day was going and he flat out said his day was 'crappy' and he 'hated this place'. We did meet a lovely girl from the Philippines (Delilah) - it was her third week on the ship. She said she liked us because we were nice to her. We asked if other people were not nice and she started to cry. It was heartbreaking. We ended up getting off the ship early, changing our return flight and hanging out in Barcelona for a few days. We had street food that was better than any meal on the ship, enjoyed amazing music and atmosphere (even in a city that just experienced horrible terror), and felt immediate relief to be off of that floating Walmart/Motel 6. Save your money. Do ANYTHING else. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
booked this cruise online with iglu travel looked good liked the itinerary but should have taken more notice of some of the reviews ,booked outside with balcony, shower+wc very small, food very very average but service was ok, ... Read More
booked this cruise online with iglu travel looked good liked the itinerary but should have taken more notice of some of the reviews ,booked outside with balcony, shower+wc very small, food very very average but service was ok, excursions expensive ,found the crew helpful but mostly poor English, theatre entertainment was good but deck entertainment consisted of a deck game and teaching people various dance routines which seemed all the same to me, this ship is not one I would recommend for British cruises,we only met one other British couple on the last day ,if you French ,Italian , Spanish ,that's fine I'm sure you will love it, it was stated that a supplement would be added to your ship bill for tips at the end of your cruise I was not expecting a bill for 167 euros,was not told this was optional until we queried it,and I cancelled it, Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was cruise number 13 for me and number 4 for my partner all with MSC. We thought because it was a new ship it would be great, no such luck. There were not enough crew for the ratio of passengers hence things were not done as ... Read More
This was cruise number 13 for me and number 4 for my partner all with MSC. We thought because it was a new ship it would be great, no such luck. There were not enough crew for the ratio of passengers hence things were not done as they should have been. for example, long waits for drinks, cold meals, queues to get off and on the ship The staff managed as best they could and were very good but all could see it was tough going for them. There are signs at the casino entrances under 18years not allowed but the parents don't give a toss, there were kids in there every night, not good. This ship is lovely but it is too big, too many kids and not enough staff, it would be nice to have a few areas ADULTS only, every 2nd person we spoke to were very unhappy and said the same as us ", we will not be doing any more cruises with MSC." you really don't care about your loyal passengers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our first cruise and unfortunately very disappointing. Fortunately, we traveled with good friends so we could laugh at the countless things that did not work. I will start with the biggest lack and annoyance on the cruise: The ... Read More
This was our first cruise and unfortunately very disappointing. Fortunately, we traveled with good friends so we could laugh at the countless things that did not work. I will start with the biggest lack and annoyance on the cruise: The information desk. Alone the name is a joke - information could not be obtained. Most of the staff spoke very badly and incomprehensibly English and knew absolutely nothing about anything. It reminded most about John Cleese in Fawlty Towers. On board: The service in bars and restaurants were ok and the entertainment in the theater and piano bar were also ok. The photographers were placed around the ship and they were very pushy and persistent. The price was staggering 20 euro for a small photo. On our excursion to Santiago de Compostela they recorded a video film - very annoying - are they allowed to do that without our permission? Dining in L'Edera restaurant: After we the first day discovered how little food we got on our plates we always asked for extra bread, ordered the cheese plate and then dessert otherwise we had to go hungry from the table. The quality of the food was poor. Several times we had to send awful meat back to the kitchen. The only difference between gala evenings and the other evenings was that we had taken our best clothes on. MSC delivered nothing but tried to sell lobster for 21 euros and wrongly got us to buy lemon liqueur. On these gala evenings our dinner was disturbed by annoying photographers, shouting waiters running around with big plastic cakes (????) and on the last evening a long presentation of the staff. On gala evenings the food was the same as other days and these evenings we were unable to order an extra cheese plate as it was one of the desserts. On the website they talk about gourmet restaurants. They must be mistaken. They are not found on this ship. Dining in Sahara Buffet restaurant There is not enough sanitisers and no enforcement to actually use them which many people didn't. Food and selection are very good but eating on worn plastic plates and drinking of disgusting plastic glass is unacceptable. Embarkation: In Marseille we stood for nearly an hour in rain and wind to board after returning from a city tour. We vere many that complained about this at the information desk but they just said that we schould write MSC - No apology or explanation was given. The evening before Copenhagen, we asked where we would dock. Nobody at the information desk knew. Shore excursions: We booked three very expensive tours with english guide in advance and two of them was awful and a waste of money and time. First city tour in Marseille was totaly spoiled because the english guide (he was ok) was poorly tried to be simultaneous interpretered into german by a lady that knew nothing about Marseille and who also spoke very poorly german. We immediately complained to the travel agency as we wanted to make sure that the next tours did not get as bad but without help from here. They could not say anything about coming tours. Next tour to Santiago de Compostela was ok. Third tour to Gouda again problems.Even though we had booked a tour in english the guide only spoke german. At the first stop we emediately contacted the guide and what a surprise he spoke very good english. He was extremely arrogant and very rude but we were given the rest of the tour guided in english. Conclusion: Maybe we were unfortunate, but almost nobody on the ship spoke English. The dominant languages were Russian, German and Italian, which were spoken and sung very loudly. Our friends have traveled with another cruise company who provided far better service and food so maybe we will try that. We will never cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The pick-up from the airport and boarding the ship, went very well. The facilities at the ship is very good, but that is probably all at the positive list. The service in the 2 receptions, were non existing. There were a huge lack of ... Read More
The pick-up from the airport and boarding the ship, went very well. The facilities at the ship is very good, but that is probably all at the positive list. The service in the 2 receptions, were non existing. There were a huge lack of general knowledge and understanding of English language. If we asked about general information about the arriving ports, the answer was pretty much, take a taxi or book an excursion. As an overall opinion, this cruise is focusing on Germans and Italians. The service people in restaurants, bars etc. were helpful and service minded. The theater entertainment was about average, due to too little variation in performance. Dining area at our main restaurant was very nice, but the food was way below our expectations. The amount of food were not sufficient and poor quality. At our table for four persons, we had to let the food go back about 10 times. Steaks were impossible to cut and the same for the duck we got. At most meals the staff was trying to sell extras. MSC Galla nights means that the guest is dressing up, but the food at dinner is below average. But you can buy special food and drinks to extra prices that fits to your galla dress. Upsellin all over all the time. Dinner was a horrible experience. The port information were missing and no help in reception. Easy questions like how to get to city center, prices for taxi and busses, a city map was not possible to get. We had to buy extremely expensive wifi to google the information we needed. We had booked some English tours from home, but the guides did most in German language.Getting back from one excursions, we had to wait outside in heavy rain to get trough security check and back on the ship. Very poor organized, in this case in Marseilles. In overall a very disappointing cruise. The first and last time on MSC operated cruises. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because it covered the ports that we wanted to see around the Med, unfortunately there was too little offshore time in some ports, especially when we cleared immigration later than the published time, and we still ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered the ports that we wanted to see around the Med, unfortunately there was too little offshore time in some ports, especially when we cleared immigration later than the published time, and we still embarked on time thus reducing onshore excursion time. The rest of the cruise was memorable for all the wrong reasons. The attitude of the staff in the dining room and buffet was surly and they obviously wanted to be somewhere else and not serving passengers. At lunch one day in the buffet a lady slipped and dropped her food, the staff looked on as other passengers picked her and her food up, finally a senior person arrived on the scene and got the other staff members to clean up the mess and phone for the ship's doctor. We only ate in the dining room once because of the staff's attitude, and they do not even provide water on the table, you have to buy a bottle. There are plenty of no smoking signs on the back balconies and you can find these easily because the passengers stand right underneath them and smoke, and staff walk by and don't say anything. There are signs in 5 languages on the water dispensers in the buffet saying don't refill bottles because its a health hazard, yet everybody does it and the staff look on and say nothing. We had to complain one day when one of the staff touched the food in the buffet without any gloves on, his supervisor reprimanded him and gloves were put on, but this should never have happened. The desserts in the buffet were repetitive and boring, everyday a cake slice of some sort but with a different flavoured cream filling, and ice cream was never available in the buffet, if you wanted one you had to walk up stairs and buy one in the gelato bar. Bedtime sleep was interrupted on several nights with unsupervised kids running up and down the corridors to midnight. The shows were put on by the staff and were mediocre, too much dancing to piped music because they did not have a band, and there was not enough singing. Only one of the celebrity acts was worth seeing, the remaining ones just filled up time. The only positives were that the cabin was a good size and the cabin boy smiled each day and said hello and did a good job maintaining the cabin, and for the most part the ship was kept clean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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