1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Cruises Cruise Reviews

84 MSC Cruises Genoa Cruise Reviews

The excursions were fairly good and so was the food and servers. Everything else was horrible. The beauty salon was awful, terrible communication skills and high pressure staff, like your money was their personal piggy bank. The cabin ... Read More
The excursions were fairly good and so was the food and servers. Everything else was horrible. The beauty salon was awful, terrible communication skills and high pressure staff, like your money was their personal piggy bank. The cabin steward was obviously so badly trained he put dirty sheets with bedbugs on the bed. The Reception staff customer service skills were horrible, assumptions like offers to clean luggage as though I brought the bedbugs aboard, nasty responses to tired travelers in a bad mood, that you’re a bum if you forgot to register a credit card early on instead of a courteous reminder. There was garbage, water leaks and construction debris in the halls most of the time. At one point at dinner, the air had the smell of Depends undergarments and I had to leave before I puked. On one tour, woman behind me rudely talked on phone making hearing the guide impossible but the guide refused to address it. Found a bug on the table after room service arrived once. If you like nightmares, MSC is your best bet. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment ... Read More
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment variety, and so on. Dining area on deck 11 is crowded without place to sit, so only way to eat is to take plate outside or in a room. Automatic hand disinfect dispensers do not work in 90% of time which leads to people not being able to clean their hands and stop spreading bacterias inside buffets. This later led to many people getting sick onboard including myself and members of my family. Tables are dirty and sticky, poorly cleaned or not cleaned at which is absolutely unacceptable. Destinations vere quite nice including the weather during our winter cruise. Pizza and coffe in bars was very tasty (italian style) and that's something I would personally recommend on this ship. Generally, even though this cruise was quite cheap I would not recommend it to anyone because they are way better ships on the market. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Told 4 crew about the ordeal including reception who told us "Management has been informed". But nobody ever came to see us or even check if we were ok. Sent an email to customer service department highlighting that this was ... Read More
Told 4 crew about the ordeal including reception who told us "Management has been informed". But nobody ever came to see us or even check if we were ok. Sent an email to customer service department highlighting that this was totally appalling, but they didn't see it that way - "I’m sorry to hear that you felt a lack of support from staff on board. Unfortunately, after the local police have been informed of an incident there is not much that can be done from the ship’s side, as the issue is with the local policing authorities." Wow! Not much that can be done? Not sure if that lives up to any basic duty of care standards. Needless to say we have now cancelled our cruise we had booked on the Meraviglia which was to be our honeymoon, having now had some insight into how little MSC actually care about their passengers. Putting that major concern aside - observations below. previous cruises include NCL, Cunard, P&O and MSC Seaside. Cruise was Genoa, Italy to Santos, Brasil - 19 days. Ship itself is nice as we expected having done a 7 night Caribbean on the Seaside previous which we had loved. Ship developed an operational problem early on which meant it would run slower - as a result Malaga was cancelled. 100 Euro ship credit per cabin was offered. This had knock on effects for us however as the port times were also changed for the remaining European stops. We had to cancel most of our excursions (we had organised independently) because of this. Embarkation was extremely smooth (multiple options for joining ports for the cruise helped), but there were a number of times on the trip with big delays getting off at port stops after docking (up to 3 hours). Unsure the background why. Dining was a major letdown compared to previous cruises (even MSC Seaside). Although I actually think the buffet is excellent, and the additional buffet on Deck 16 has themed dinners for a bit of variety. Noticed a huge difference in table accessibility in the buffet though early on in the cruise with less favourable European weather compared to the South America leg. These ships are really designed for good weather and the usable space decreases dramatically if everyone is forced inside. A few times we gave up and just took our plates back to the room. But the biggest food disappointment was the main dining room. Actually stopped eating here half way through the cruise. Just terrible. Twice I had to send my tomato basil penne back (btw not a single hint of basil anywhere?) as it was still crunchy. Likewise even simple things like steamed fish were often under-cooked. Did do the Roy Yamaguchi experience package (prebooked before we sailed) which gave you 3 different nights, Sushi, Teppanyaki and Fusion. Sushi and Fusion were great, Teppanyaki absolutely everything was covered in butter which tasted almost tainted and it went right through the food. Note that even if you have a drinks package (we did) it does not cover any orders in the specialty restaurants - so you will be paying for water and anything else you order. Talking with the wait staff it seems none of the specialty restaurants were getting many bookings, so half their job involved wandering around the ship selling packages (usually when people were trying to eat their food in the buffets etc). Wore a bit thin getting bothered 50 times a day after 2+ weeks of cruising! Prebooked a spa package that included a couple of massages and a day pass to the Thermal Suite area. Massages were fine, awkward after each though with the (almost begging) hard sell to book again on the spot. Thermal suite we really enjoyed. Snow room, a couple of wooden sauna rooms, scented steam rooms with funky lighting, a relax on lounger salt room, a big spa pool, and stone heated loungers (but only 2 of these so you have to be lucky). Also scented showers - the cool temp one particularly refreshing. There was one other room that you were supposed to walk around while jets of water come up from the ground but it was a waste of space. Another bonus is there is an outside deck are you can only access through the thermal suite, with deck loungers and a spa pool looking straight out to sea. Entertainment was a mixed bag. Generally the guest acts were average, and the actual MSC Seaview singer/dancer/acrobat crew were excellent. Only exception to this was a rather lackluster show staged as a Tina Turner tribute. Shows are scheduled 3 times a night and you have to book for the one you want through the app or touch screens around the ship. Pays to check when they open up (sometimes the day before, sometimes 2 days) as slots often booked out. They scan your card when you enter the theatre to make sure you have booked. You can try your luck without a booking however - as they let people in 5-10 mins before the show starts if there are spare seats. Haven lounge (which was our favourite on Seaside) was hurt by having rotating sets of Duos, who while all talented in their own right, were very much similar so became quite boring after the first week. Still we spent a fair amount of time there after establishing that's where the best barista did most of his shifts. Coincidentally the best coffee on the Seaside also was from the same lounge. Another note on the drinks package - you can no longer use it in the Venchi cafe for coffees or hot chocolates (we could on the earlier Seaside cruise). Service itself was patchy. Room steward was quite shy but lovely, the haven lounge staff fantastic and they got to know us. Elsewhere it would depend on the day as to whether you had to go searching for drinks and whether you'd get a smile or a scowl. Port stops we mostly ended up just looking around adhoc due to the schedule changes. Used to onboard credit for the basic shuttle a few times - they were typically 15-19 euros. Tenerife went to La Laguna which was quite good (although devastated we had to cancel our rental car, chairlift and hiking permit for Mt Teide). Note it is very easy to get to La Laguna on public transport taking a tram or bud to the main depot (or 15 mins walk) and then a direct express bus there (40 mins). It cost use less than 5 Euro each vs the ship shuttle at 52 Euro. Ilheus is a nothing stop, Rio had been before and Salvador is where we had the incident so no fond memories there. In short it is sad it worked out like it did. There are a lot of mixed reviews for MSC out there but we did have a good time ourselves on the Seaside and had high hopes we had found a good match in cruise line, liking the design innovation and generally upbeat vibe. It took me a while to write to MSC as it kind of involved reliving some unpleasantness, but then I was as amazed by the response maybe as much as the lack of concern on the ship at the time. They make a big effort positioning themselves in their advertising as the "biggest privately owned" cruise line in the world. I can see now that is just meaningless drivel, because if it is implying that means they somehow care more about their passengers.... they don't. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My husband and I have been travelling for over 30 years and this was the worst holiday we have ever had. The Staff and crew are disorganised and poorly trained in there jobs. They have no customer service skills at all. Most looked ... Read More
My husband and I have been travelling for over 30 years and this was the worst holiday we have ever had. The Staff and crew are disorganised and poorly trained in there jobs. They have no customer service skills at all. Most looked like they didn't want to be in the job and were reluctant to talk or smile and it came across as they were only there to get paid and tour the world. Not at all helpful in any way. From the time we arrived at the port with the embarkation disorganisation we hoped it would improve but sadly it got worse. When we finally got on the ship no one was there to tell us where our cabin was and we had difficulty finding it. When we made it to the room we were impressed by the cabin. It was clean and spacious. We requested early dining and even on our documentation we printed out before we left home it stated early dining at 5.30 pm ...only to find when we arrived we had been allocated 7.45 dining. We went to the restaurant and requested to change and was told there were no vacancies yet other members of our party were given the earlier time..no questioned asked. We were surprised that you had to pay for still water in dining rooms...Never had this before..surely for customer relations MSC could afford a glass of water with meals. On three occasions in the dining room the meal was not edible but if we went to buffet they closed at 8.30 and all that was available was pizza. My husband asked for french fries the second night of the cruise and every night he received fries no other vegetables even though we said no fries. Then they started giving me fries as well which I said no too but received them anyway.. Our cabin was cleaned daily, the bed made and bins emptied but the lid of the bin was dirty with spilt soft drink when we arrived and was still spotty on day 17 so not cleaned at all. Our balcony was only cleaned once during whole ship balcony cleaning. On other occasions the top decks were being cleaned and water was cascading down onto our balcony so we had to close the doors and stay inside. We were charged movie fees for movies which we didn't use and when we went to guest services and said we didn't use this facility and the girl , who was very rude, said we must have. We said we flicked through the titles but she insisted that we had confirmed the movies. WE know we didn't and then after much discussion she said she would delete it but next time we would have to pay no matter what...So we turned the TV off and didn't use it again. As for Zoe that was a complete waste of time. Very limited responses. There were no tissues available in the cabins which surprised us as with the amount of clients that had coughs and colds on board. The buffet was a nightmare there was no hygiene at the doors and people were coming in from toilets etc to food.unacceptable...The Europeans on board were terrible for picking up food with their fingers from the buffet and putting it on their plates then returning it to the buffet if they saw something they liked better further along the line. There was no one available to monitor the buffet lines.The buffet closed at 8-8.30 each night which was crazy considering there were over 4500 passengers on board..Surely it can be left open to say 10.00pm. The entertainment was average and it is the first time we have ever had to book and pay for the entertainment. On sea days there was nothing to do unlike other lines. The pool deck staff spoke in Spanish or Italian all the time and for us english only speaking we had no idea what was going on. MSC Tours...What can we say...very expensive for what was provided. Our introduction to Dubai tour was a shambles. We had a bus trip through some very ordinary streets ,Museum with about 500 people crammed into a confined space, a mosque which we were informed we couldn't go inside as MSC didn't have enough time to organise that component then a quick trip back to the ship. a 4-4.30 hour tour with us leaving the port at 3.30 and returning before 7 pm. We lined up at shore excursions for over 30 mins to complain and didnt get served so cut our losses and left. Others in our group got the hop on hop off bus outside the port and had all day for less cost. So make sure you check costs of outside tours before booking with MSC...most if not all ports had taxis and mini buses etc. Prices for all were about half the cost of MSC. The day before we left the ship I had Euros which I hadn't spent and went to guest services to pay off our account. At NO Time was I told that the account would be closed. The staff on the disembarking station were rude as well every time we left the ship and came back we were met with a very gruff grab of the card (snatching) and he would throw it back at us...it became a joke between the passengers as to how hard he could snatch and throw the cruise card at us......not good.... On leaving the ship on the 30th we got to the exit and my card brought up a RED screen and the person said I couldn't leave the ship until I had paid the Account...I was very embarrassed as he said it so loud and every one in the line heard but he didn't say that only 12.25 Euros that was owed. WE had signed a pre authorization form in our check in and assumed that this covered any balance owing when we left the ship..NO ...So we had to go back to guest services to pay the balance. We waited over 1/2 hour to be served( with all the new passengers the queues were very long)..We were served by a young boy who spoke very little english and had no idea and kept saying as we were new passengers we had to authorise our credit card. After getting very impatient trying to explain we were leaving the ship and had a pre authoration for our credit card to be debited with the balance owing...I asked to speak to someone else and then waited another 17 mins until someone else came. we were told that because we paid some of the balance in cash it had cancelled the pre authorisation. Why bother with pre authorisation if it doesn't work. I was told to pay balance but they wouldn't take Australian or American dollars which was all i had. After waiting more time finally someone in the office saw some sense and pressed a button and reactivated the pre authorisation of my credit card. We were told that we should have been told that this scenario would happen...again lack of staff training and customer service skills.Needless to say we missed our transfer and had extra costs with taxis etc... I am sure that there will be lots of negative feedback from this cruise as every one we spoke to had numerous complaints ..there was no atmosphere on board, the staff unhappy and rude, the MSC line was out to money grab on every opportunity available... All in all a horrible cruise and very disappointing as we were looking forward to it so much.. I would have like and expect MSC to compensate us for having to deal with all the problems we encountered but we will NOT hear from MSC again...They have our money..and don't care As for recommending MSC to our friends NO...we will be telling them the truth....For one bad experience the customer will tell ten people ...I will be telling my network which is extensive...through facebook , trip advisor and cruise critic as well a letter will be forwarded to MSC head office. We will not be cruising with MSC again... MSC NOT FOR ME Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Review on MSC Divina Cruise November 5 - 25/2019, 20 days Genoa to Miami Arrival: Received no information on how to pick up access card to our cabin Cabins were not ready, they informed us to go and have lunch, followed by an ... Read More
Review on MSC Divina Cruise November 5 - 25/2019, 20 days Genoa to Miami Arrival: Received no information on how to pick up access card to our cabin Cabins were not ready, they informed us to go and have lunch, followed by an announcement. The promised announcement we could not hear, because of the masses of loud guests. Waiting with our carry on, we finally heard from other guests, that the cabins were open and the cards, pre-ordered excursions packages will be on our beds. That is security? Security: Access cards, with either Visa or cash added, also packages loaded for drinks and Spa, had all information on it, like full name, cabin #... We do travel a lot and most 3 to 5 star hotels have blank cards in case guest loose the cards or if they are stolen. We found and returned 2 cards, and an other guest found a card in Bridgetown. Just luck if someone honest finds these cards. Cabin safety box malfunctioned once and could not be opened without assistance and resetting the pin#. The assistant said that this was normal and would happen to everyone eventually. Nobody we talked to encountered this issue. It left us wondering if someone tried different codes and left us locked out? Safety: At MSC restaurants there seems to be no consideration for food allergies. I have a walnut allergy. I talked to chefs, and other staff, they just say ask. Two kind of muffins and in 20 days, not ones they could confirm no walnuts/nuts in their baking/muffins. Instead they covered walnuts over fruits, all cheeses. Even airlines take nut allergies serious. The air in the cabins was extremely try. They were so many guest/staff coughing. No wonder, the hand sanitizers did not work well, people tried, than walked away without. Excursions: We pre booked 6 Excursions, 7 months prior online from MSC, fully paid in US $s. When booking 6 excursions online, twice it said not completed, the 3rd time “Success”. After checking our Visa, we discovered 3 x 6 excursions charges. In our cabin we only found 4 out of 6 excursions vouchers. We expected good quality excursions, as we booked direct from MSC. What a disappointment! 2nd tour in Spain, was the worst tour we ever experienced. The tour guides microphone did not work, two languages, the French group was 75% and loud without consideration for others. For US $120.- left without learning anything, just frustrating. After reporting all to the Excursions desk, we only heard sorry... After our second excursions to Valencia Spain, we decided to cancel all our other 4 tours. Contacting MSC (prior to cruise):impossible! We sure never got through direct. Hours wasted. Staff: The waiters, helpers and room cleaning staff were very efficient, friendly, courteous, and performed their jobs to perfection and interacted with the guests. The reception and excursions personnel were not helpful and rude, not customer friendly. They also showed a lack of experience. Everything went wrong in our Puerto Rico docking. It would have been our longest port stay, but turned into the most frustrating experience on such a lovely island. Only a day prior they informed us that all passengers and crew must go off the ship, and go through USA immigration border control. No one was allowed to go back onto the ship till everyone had USA clearance, planned for 17:00 hrs. The numbers associated with disembarking times were not respected and honoured. Total chaos! On top they ordered that day a huge safety drill on the same deck as embarkation. Passengers were herded like cattle, and 3 hours delayed schedule. On the return to board the ship, passengers got frustrated with the time delay and disorganized crowd control. Even fist fights erupted and wheel chairs were not given a safe entry, again total chaos! The higher up white jacket staff in restaurants, were bullies telling us where to sit at table for 9 with 4 different languages, no choice given. There were not enough tables for 2 or 4. We learned quickly just to ignore them and choose our own table. MSC Photographers were extremely aggressive, and did not respect the word no. They were a total attacking nuisance in the hallway, dinner table, on shore etc. Many glossy photos had to be scrapped, what a waste. Shows: only 3 out of 20 shows were okay, all others boring and repetitive. 4 were one man shows, for this large theatre? Accounts: charity charges were added without our permission after our final bill was settled at 20:00 hrs the day before departure, to our surprise they added a charge from the room fridge, that had been locked 24 hrs prior. We disputed it, since we never consumed any items from the bar fridge. This was not an easy task. It meant a second time standing in line and wasting time. Closure: I don’t use the word never often, but in this case never MSC again! We are not first time cruisers, and thankfully did not have these major issues with other cruise lines. Many of our fellow passengers felt the same. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a ... Read More
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a short description of some of the issues:: Cabin Steward--Either hates his job or is just miserable naturally. I do not even know his name because he barely spoke to us. The beds are not made with top sheets--only the duvet-- so when the bottom sheet was changed we had to ask for the duvet to also be changed. There was always an excuse--I am sorry but I did not have time--Serious? Toilet paper was only left if you were totally out......no extra rolls in the room. This required us to call and seek toilet paper on two occasions. How cheap is MSC? Or was this just the cabin steward? Kleenex are not allowed to be given in the cabins??????? Again is this the way MSC wants to present itself to guests? Our Diamond amenities were not left in the cabin and we had to ask two times for them. Overall I have to say that this was the most miserable and one of the worst cabin stewards we have ever had. Food--Most passengers are going to tell you the best food they had was ashore..........true. The internet was barely usable most of the time.......I used data whenever I could instead of the wifi Guest Services--This is where MSC truly lacks--If three people went to customer service with a question there were three different answers. Guest service would rather tell untruths than explain the reality of a situation. We asked why we could not get Kleenex in our cabin and we were told because guests tend to clog the toilet???????? The cabin steward then told us that only certain experience levels are allowed Kleenex. We had another issue and asked to speak with the guest services manager- Fillipe told us that the manager was a very busy man????? Fillipe is also a miserable unhappy person but he did take our information and said he would give it to the manager. This was on day 2--he never ever contacted us. We overheard a meeting or a training session where the staff was being told that "Americans were difficult" Instead of explaining that American's might have a higher level of expectations, staff were told they are difficult which in my opinion creates a pre conceived idea that there will be problems and therefore it is ok to be rude to them. I went to the guest services desk one morning after a crew member burst out of a door on the 13th floor and hit my arm so hard my cell phone flew out of my hand. I simply said that it might be mentioned to the crew to open doors slowly if they open outward into hallways. The guest services person simply said "well maybe he did not see you" then turned and walked away........The correct response should have been--I am so sorry are you alright? Shore Excursions--We had an Excursion for Rome from Civitavecchia. The meeting time was at 7:40 am in the Pantheon Theater deck 6. We arrived in the theatre at 7:25. We received our bus number and waited--and waited--finally we were able to board the bus at 9am. The trip to Rome was 1.5 hours. After all the time waiting once we boarded the bus my husband was struck with a gastric intestinal issue. We knew that he would never make it to Rome and we decided we had to leave the bus. We told the Excursion person our problem and they returned our ticket to us. Once my husband was feeling better we went to the shore excursion desk to ask for a refund. We told them that between the delay and diarrhea we could not do the excursion. We were informed that there would not be a refund and were told that the delay was announced.......it was not. Additionally it would not have been pleasant for anyone if my husband had stayed on the bus. Again a bad choice by MSC. And it was MSC because the people running the excursion returned our ticket so we could take it to MSC for a refund. The biggest and most unforgiving issue was in San Juan. MSC handled the Customs and Immigration procedure so poorly that it put passengers in danger. First the procedure to get off of the ship was poorly handled and took far longer than expected.....this was not so much the problem as the re boarding. No MSC personnel were in the terminal organizing or updating passengers as to the time and procedure for boarding. This lack of information and organization lead to an unsafe uncontrolled crowd. Tempers flared and fights ensued in different areas of the terminal. One female passenger actually hit me from behind because I was in front of her. I could not believe that she did this and turned and told her it was not alright to put your hands on another person. The lady just kept screaming that she was Yacht Club she was Yacht Club. I could not go anywhere because the push of the crowd was so great. MSC finally held this woman back but did not detain her nor did they ask if I was alright. Hitting a person is a crime in the United States and my disappointment with the way MSC handled this is beyond words. I did go to guest services and filed a report and they gave me an email address to communicate this to. During this report they also said that the Guest relations manager had left a message to meet with us in Fort de France.....he did not but she said he would leave us another message after this latest incident......he did not. This all leaves me to question whether MSC even cares about their guests. There were some bright spots during our cruise. MSC did a wonderful job with the Cruise Critic meet and greet. This was one of the best meet and greets we have attended on any ship. Irish is a bar server that is delightful! Irish is always smiling and talks easily to guests. More crew should takes lessons from her. Irish usually works the buffet and the casino. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed most of our stops......of course the exception was Civitavecchia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Subject: Our experience on board the MSC Fantasia cruise ship.   Embarkation in Genoa (Italy) on November 2, 2019, disembarkation November 20   2019 in Santos (Brazil). On November 2, 2019 we flew with the KLM to Milan. That ... Read More
Subject: Our experience on board the MSC Fantasia cruise ship.   Embarkation in Genoa (Italy) on November 2, 2019, disembarkation November 20   2019 in Santos (Brazil). On November 2, 2019 we flew with the KLM to Milan. That went well. Then we drove a shuttle bus to Genoa, a journey of more than 2 hours. We had a cup of coffee on the plane around 10 a.m. and then nothing more. We did not know that the bus ride took so long. There was not a drop of water on the bus to buy or to buy. We arrived at the MSC terminal at 2 p.m. A huge hall where several thousand people were already standing. The whole mass of people stood close together and moved at a speed that can be compared to sliding a mass of glacier ice. But in this hall there was a different temperature through those thousands of people and we started to get thirsty. Furthermore, the noise, the cackling of thousands of people, was of a level where my wife and I could barely understand each other. Because we did not know what to do, there were no indications or announcements, we managed to get through the hustle and bustle at a counter where an MSC employee was standing. We asked him, naturally in English, what we should do. He gave us a map with a number on it and pointed in the direction of the crowd where we were standing before. That was it. The hustle and bustle continued and after about an hour we saw an x ​​number of seats in the back of that hall. They were all occupied, so sitting was not among them. The mass of people steadily moved towards an escalator and about 3 hours later we were also able to take the escalator to the 1st floor. A new surprise awaited us there. Again waiting and waiting. In the meantime it was 5 pm and we could not find or buy water anywhere in that terminal. That enormous hall had absolutely no facilities for the inner person. After the security check we finally arrived at the walkway at 6 p.m. So we had been on our feet for four (4) hours in the middle of a huge crowd without being able to drink anything. The first deception was a fact. When we entered the ship we had to hand over our passport to a female employee of MSC. Issue passport? We never do that. That woman informed us that it was mandatory. Subsequently, a discussion arose in which we made it clear to her several times that we needed our passport as soon as we were to disembark in another country. For us it is the only official document that allows us to identify ourselves abroad. That woman kept hammering at the fact that our on-board pass (the plastic ticket that you can use to buy on the ship and which you use to get into the cabin) was sufficient to identify yourself on land! The mood rose high, we were tired and dehydrated, and behind us stood a long line of people who became cramped because they were being stopped by us. That woman then promised us that we would get our passport back the day before we visited the first port in Brazil. That turned out to be a lie. We handed over our passport because we were more than fed up with that entire circus. On the day before we arrived in Salvador we went to the reception to request our passports. We were told that we could pick up the passports on the day we would arrive in Salvador at 1 pm because the port authorities (customs) first had to check the passports. The other day at 1 p.m. we were back at the reception and asked for our passport. Then an employee said that the port authorities were still working on the passports. Again a lie because we had already seen in the room next to the reception that those formalities had already been completed. Then it was announced at the reception that the police still had to look at it! The police? He never does passport control on board and, moreover, we had not yet seen a police officer. The next announcement from the reception staff was that we only had to come back in an hour. Because we wanted to disembark to visit Salvador, the blood gradually started to boil with us. Another employee at the reception, a man named *****, informed us that we did not get our passport back. That would only happen if we left the ship to go home. We asked him to call the captain because we wanted to talk to the captain, or another officer, to solve this problem. He told us he would not do that. The reception staff looked surly and there was no question of friendliness. They came across us as power-hunters earlier because we were standing there at that counter and after that discussion we were completely ignored by them. As if we didn't exist. A little later we saw two officers in white suits walk by. We asked one of them why we did not get our passport back and briefly explained the whole story to them. That officer informed us that it is MSC's policy to take passports and keep them until you get off the ship to go home. A reason why he did not give. The time passed and we decided to contact Zeetours. We were assisted by a Zeetours employee named ******. We told her the whole story about the passport affair and she too thought it was a strange course of events. She found it very annoying for us but she informed us that there are indeed cruise companies that take the passports. While we were on the line, she contacted MSC Netherlands. From that side she was informed that it was MSC's policy to take passports. MSC Netherlands would send an E-mail to the Fantasia cruise ship to pass on that complaint. We asked ****** if she could also provide us with the telephone number of the embassy in the Netherlands. She did that and we also contacted the embassy by telephone. The employee also told the whole story and there it was confirmed that MSC was not entitled to take the passports. But she could mean nothing to us in the form of any help. We have left it at that. On November 17, 1919, during our last day at sea, all passengers got their passports back. Those were our experiences regarding our passports. We will also discuss a number of experiences that have left a special impression on us. That was certainly not a pleasant impression. When we were on board on November 2, we went straight to our cabin. We immediately drank some glasses of water because we were dehydrated. We packed our life jackets to participate in the evacuation exercise. The ship then left with a delay of more than an hour. The other morning a letter was pushed under our door saying that we had to report to the reception. There, an employee informed us that one of us was not present at the evacuation exercise. Strange, our passes were scanned and I also took a picture of it. That employee informed us that it often happens that things go wrong with scanning. Because there was only 1 chair in our cabin, we asked at the reception if we could get a second chair or a two-seater. One of us had to sit on the bed because sitting on the floor was not an option. We were told by that employee that it would be considered whether it was possible to bring a second seat. We never received that 2nd seat. In the shower of our cabin there was a corner where normally a box of tissues would stand. That corner was empty. The man who would clean our cabin informed us in very poor English that those tissues were scrapped due to spending cuts. The carpeting in our cabin was full of stains that apparently could not be removed. On the second evening aboard the ship, a number of important crew members were introduced to the passengers. That took place in the theater. We also went to have a look. The spokesperson, an Italian, spoke a few sentences in English and then switched to Italian. A number of crew members were then introduced one by one and the captain finally came on stage. His name was Raffaele Laccarino, an Italian. He addressed the audience and he spoke one (1) sentence in English. Then he switched to Italian and it stayed that way. We did not understand a word of it. The official language at sea is English, but this captain clearly preferred to speak to his countrymen in Italian. The other nationalities apparently didn't matter. We wanted to go for a drink that evening in the so-called Crow’s Nest. This is a wonderful and peaceful place with a beautiful view of around 180 degrees. But it was only accessible to yacht club members. We have never heard or read that a distinction is made between yacht club members and non-members. We find that embarrassing and misleading. In Barcelona we wanted to use the MSC shuttle bus to get into the city from the ship. That cost 9 euros per person. Fine. But that bus drove only a very short distance to a square at the end of the harbor head and we had to get out again. We could as well have walked that. Upon inquiry, it turned out that it was still an hour and a half walk to the center of the stand. Then we just took a taxi. The TV in our cabin is also a separate story. We like to follow the daily news in the world. We have made a cruise six times with the Holland America Line (HAL) to many corners of the world and during those cruises we could continue to watch the world new on TV day and night. CNN, BBC, German channels etc. It was all there. We noticed that after passing the Strait of Gibraltar out of the 36 channels, 24 had fallen away. It could be read that the satellite connection was lost. The only thing that was still broadcast were 6 channels with advertising for MSC, the same video film on 4 channels and the other channels were provided with information about an evacuation and other info. We were therefore devoid of news broadcasts. Upon inquiring at the reception we were informed that there were problems with the satellite connection. We found that highly curious. We were unable to follow any news during the rest of the cruise. When we came to Brazil, there was a (1) Brazilian news channel, but we obviously didn't understand that. We have the impression that MSC had no problems with the satellite connection but that it is a cutback in terms of the costs for a signal connection. People who wanted to follow the news (or something else) via the internet had to buy an expensive internet package for an x ​​number of MBs. The buffet restaurant was a restaurant situated at the rear on deck 14, both on the starboard and port side. All food items were displayed in showcases and at first glance there seemed to be sufficient choice. It was strange that plates, cutlery, the fillings, the sandwiches, the butter etc. were far apart. You already had a nice walk before you gathered a meal. The first time we were there we immediately noticed that at the opening of the afternoon buffet at 1 pm (with hot meals) many hundreds of people came in. We estimate that around 80% of the passengers were Italians. Those people threw themselves like hungry hyenas on the food they offered, scooped up their plates as if they hadn't eaten for a week, sat down at the table, and broke out a cacophony in which the decibels increased so much that my wife and I could barely understand each other. We cannot speak sign language. We witnessed that for three days, but we thought it was so embarrassing that we didn't show ourselves in the buffet restaurant between 1 and 5 p.m. We didn't eat hot once in that restaurant. Yes we took part in the evening meal for a few days but everything that was offered was lukewarm. The quality of the food was moderate to poor. It all tasted bland and to name just a few examples: the vegetables were scarce and almost cold, the pizzas were thin, very weak and very thin and not tasty. We call that stomach filling. The hamburgers were already laid out well in advance of opening, and they too were lukewarm and tasteless. The meat products were usually scarce and of a moderate quality. The lettuce didn't always look fresh. I took a picture of it and then you can clearly see that the expiry date of that salad had already expired. Three types of pasta were offered. All three pasta were equally chewy and the taste was the same because all pasta had the same tomato sauce. The sliced ​​fruit such as melon, pineapple etc. looked nice but it was not. It was often hard and not yet ripe. What we noticed during the cruise was that the same thing was offered in that restaurant every day. There was virtually no variation. And that for 18 days. Bar service employees walked around during the opening of the buffet restaurant. Their job was to bring paid drinks on request. There was no question of a friendly look. Rather tingy. We saw that those ladies were dressed in shorts and they were wearing hats. A few of them were very corpulent. When one of these ladies sauntered past our table and she turned a quarter of a turn, I immediately had no appetite anymore. We give all women in the world a job, but this was certainly not representative of MSC. Many dirty dishes remained on the tables for too long. Those ladies walked right past it because apparently it wasn't their job to clean it up. One morning we had breakfast there. We had found a table and when I went to a coffee machine I saw that all the mugs were gone. I walked to another coffee machine, about 40 meters away, but all the mugs were finished too. I walked back again and saw two employees from that restaurant at that machine. One of them filled a thermos with coffee. I spoke to him and told him that the mugs were finished here (and he saw that himself) and at the other vending machine. He pointed he direction of the other side of the ship (port side) and told me that there might still be mugs there. Steam slowly came out of my ears but I could control myself and walked back to our table. The coffee machines there were not adjusted in the same way. One machine poured lukewarm coffee, the other bitter, another poured half a mug and another poured way too much coffee, the coffee flowing well over the edge of the mug. And that for 18 days. So there was no supervision of this. Furthermore, many coffee mugs were not clean and there was still a dirty brown border inside. The cutlery that was wrapped in a napkin was sometimes still left with food scraps. Men in white suits were apparently the "chefs" in that restaurant. We regularly noticed that the bosses visited each other for a friendly chat. Fine, but in our opinion it was far too often lacking supervision of the ups and downs in the buffet restaurant. We also regularly eat in the so-called Dining Room. When booking this cruise, we had indicated that we would like a double table for the session of 7 p.m. because it turned out to be possible. But in that restaurant there were no double tables at all. We sat at a six-person table and that table was reserved for us during the cruise. The food in this restaurant was very variable in quality. What surprised us every day was the fact that you got little or no vegetables at the main menu. To name just a few examples: I ordered souvlaki and it consisted of 2 satay sticks with 3 pieces of meat on each stick. There was no more on the plate. That meat was so chewy that it was impossible to cut and certainly not to eat. Five of the six table companions gave it back to the waiter. Another time I ordered a steak. On my plate lay a steak of 4 mm thin with 5 pieces of fries fries underneath. That was it. That steak was tasteless and as tough as a leather cloth and that is no exaggeration. That too went back to the kitchen. To make it clear, we would like to mention that the portions were very sparse and not very tasty. Water was not served there, you could buy a bottle of water there (of course other drinks). So it certainly wasn't a party to eat in the Dining Room. That was different at HAL. We are happy to use the swimming pools and whirlpools on board a cruise ship. During the first 7 days on board we noticed that the water from the three pools was and remained cold. There was no human in the water. The water from the whirlpools was lukewarm. We noticed that every day, the entire day, a so-called security officer sat by the pool. So an employee at every swimming pool. Those people had to supervise if people were swimming, but there was no one in the water. Strange. After that first week we reported to the reception that the temperature of the pool water was suitable for penguins but not for people and that the water in the whirlpools was very lukewarm. That employee passed the complaint on to the relevant department. Two days later the pools were suddenly busy with people. The temperature of the water was pleasant, including the whirlpools. In our opinion, the temperature of the swimming pool water can still be read in the central control room near the engine room. Where is the initiative to check that out? There were hundreds of sun loungers on the uncovered outside decks. The number of normal seats was limited to around 25. These were with tables near an outdoor bar and that was the smoking corner. We like to sit on a chair in the sun to enjoy the sun, the view and with a good book. That was only possible if two smokers released their seats. We do not smoke and we did not need a smoke smell instead of sea air. You cannot sit on a sun lounger and reading while lying down is not an option. There are two libraries on the ship. We have found one (1) and it was small with only 6 seats. A library with a small selection of books and old newspapers for 3000 passengers. Music came from the speakers in the ceiling. Upon inquiry, the other library appeared to be located in the part of yacht club members, so we could not reach that. During the cruise 4 times the time was changed because we were in a different time zone. On the cruise ship we went looking for a clock with the right ship time. Nowhere could we find a clock and near the reception there was also no clock or a TV screen with ship info and the ship time. There were TV screens here and there but only advertisements from MSC were shown. We inquired at a receptionist where we could find a clock with the correct ship time. She did not know and asked a colleague. He answered that there was a clock on deck 7 near the tenders, so outside.! Doesn't anyone at MSC come up with the idea of ​​hanging a clock at the reception, where many people pass by every day? Every day, at set times, there was the necessary entertainment at the central swimming pool, where a stage was situated with huge speaker boxes. When that party started, the pool water almost became a wave pool due to the huge number of decibels that came out of those speaker boxes. Around that time we went looking for one of the, by the way, very scarce, quiet spots. Halfway through the cruise we again checked our expenses (the bill) on board. We could see that on the TV in our cabin. Well arranged. We then saw that 2x an amount of 180 euros had been credited, being the service charge. In addition, 2x1 euro was credited that would be donated to Unicef. Our surprise was great. Halfway through the cruise, the full amount of the service charge has already been credited. When you enjoy a three-course dinner ashore in any restaurant halfway through your dinner you will not immediately get the bill. We were familiar with the concept of service charge and we normally do not object to that. But now we went to the reception to inquire when we could change the service charge. The employee handed us a blank A4 sheet. We then had to state why we wanted to change the service charge and what we did want to pay. Yes you fall on that ship from one surprise to the other. We informed her that we would send an E-mail to MSC as soon as we were home again. She then changed the service charge on her computer screen to 0 euros. Then we informed her that we think Unicef ​​is an excellent organization but that MSC is not authorized to withhold 2 euros from us without our permission. We donate to many charities, including Unicef, but we do that whenever we want and determine the amount of this donation ourselves. Now MSC donates roughly 3000 x 1 euro (from this cruise) to Unicef, but in fact that money comes from the passengers. We asked that employee to cancel the amount, which she also did. In Iilha Grande (Brazil) we would go ashore with a tender. We had to gather in a very large room and received a card with a number on it. After a while our number and two other numbers were called and we were able to head for the tender. Well that was a complete chaos again. We were immediately stuck in traffic in the corridors and still had a long way to go towards the tender. It took almost half an hour before we could enter the tender. No, on that ship, almost nothing was structured and apparently it also appears to be difficult. We boarded an excursion in Rio de Janeiro. We had to walk a very long way along the quay. The guide preceded us but never looked around to see if anyone could keep up. We arrived in a very large hall where we could finally board the bus. The distance traveled on my GPS was just over 1 km. People who were a little incapacitated were rightly complaining because those buses could easily have picked us up near the ship. After that excursion we had to walk the same way back but then in the rain.   When we wanted to disembark in Santos on November 20 to return home, I was stopped at security. Not my wife. I was summoned by the security guard to report me at the reception, but to the question why he could not answer. My wife was already on the quay then but came back on board. We struggled through the corridors and against the flow of people towards the reception. There, an employee informed us that we still had to pay the board bill. Pay for a board account? We informed her that a long time ago we had provided MSC via the internet with all the information that MSC requested, including the details of our credit card. MSC was therefore able to collect the bill without any problems. But that employee informed us that MSC worked with two separate systems. The credit card details that MSC had asked us for were not meant to collect the bill. We had to do that at a column near the reception. At the pillar stood a staff member who helped many other passengers to make the payment. We thought this was a strange procedure and paid with our debit card because it didn't work with the credit card. When we finally got back on the shore, we were happy and pleased that we were off the ship and returned home. We want to summarize our impression of the MSC Fantasia and its crew as follows. The ship is one big sailing bar, hung with mirrors and lots of bling bling. Everything is based on selling drinks as much as possible and that drink is very expensive. The crew is not friendly, not helpful and sometimes arrogant. You are not a guest for them but a burden. We will NEVER join MSC anymore, not even for free. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first ... Read More
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first cruise it is possible we would have never returned to cruising. First impression - beautiful ship but don’t be taken in by this. It is a beautiful facade to raise your expectations. Don’t be fooled by this. Embarkation sets the standard and tone for the cruise. Embarkation is a mess. You get shunted from one waiting area to another. No information, no one to ask but each time have to produce same documents etc. Took 3 hours from when we were told to arrive to when we set foot on the ship. You wait and wait and wait. Service on board - you wait and wait and wait. I know it is a European line but I was told that English was an official language on board. The staff’s English either poor or non existent. We thought initially that we might be on a staff training ship as no one seemed to know what to do or what was happening. However as things didn’t improve over the 29 days we must have been wrong. They were just not trained at all. It was very noticeable that there was no official cruise director. After the captain was unexpectedly changed one guy was a ‘nominal’ cruise director but all he did was make a show of greeting everyone in many languages at the theatre at night They really pushed the drink packages. If you didn’t have a drink package you couldn‘t even get water with your meals or tea or coffee. Water is essential to life but on this cruise line you have to buy water if you want to drink it with your meal. Tea and coffee were also not available with meals eaten in the restaurant at lunchtime or at dinner. You also had to buy water anywhere else on the ship unless you filled up a bottle in your bathroom or got water from the bistro. Our cabin steward was very good but there was no way all her cabins could be done every morning until well into lunchtime as she had 20 cabins to look after. So very frequently we would come back to a cabin that had not been made up. This is the first time that has happened to us on a cruise. They were also not available to be on call. Guest Services was a mixed bag. They appeared to want to help but if you went to query something, question something or had a complaint they were totally on the defensive and it was never the ship’s fault. I had a question regarding why there were no seats on the promenade deck as I have always enjoyed sitting and reading on this deck. I was told it was OH&S issue and only available for walking. Nobody seemed to know what was going on and never got the same answer twice. The service at breakfast was appalling. We would ask to be seated at a table with others so we would be seated at a table for 6 or 8 on our own. Waiting times for orders to be taken were all over the place. Sometimes it was efficient but more often it was not and you could wait up to 20 minutes to place an order. Then after the order was taken we had to wait up to 25 minutes at times to receive the food whilst those at tables around us who had arrived and ordered after us had nearly finished eating similiar to what we had ordered by the time our food arrived. If you ordered a small starter for breakfast followed by a hot dish it all arrived at the same time. They were also not capable of taking an order correctly. You ask for an omelette with everything but mushrooms so you get a mushroom omelette with nothing else. It was never their fault if there was a problem. The food was very ordinary, servings were small in the restaurants. As an Australian of European background I found the menu’s boring and bland. Whilst each night had a different theme for the menu they really didn’t vary that much. As someone with a food allergy that can be easily managed, that I had notified the company about, I would order what I could eat and the ‘chef’ would decide that I couldn’t have it and substitute something totally not to my taste and mostly very dry and bland. Hardly any vegetables were served with the main meals. Steamed vegetables were available but they did not vary for the 29 days. The meals were usually lukewarm. The deserts were very repetitive and very rarely was a hot desert served. If you enjoy your food lower your expectations on MSC. If you ate at the bistro the food was more like barely lukewarm and the deserts at lunch and dinner were nearly the same for 29 days. They just changed whether they filled the pastry with cream, chocolate cream or custard. We had only MSC channels on the TV after several days as we had no news channels or any other channels available. Internet was extremely slow. The program on sea days was repetitive and hardly anyone participated. It catered only for those that wanted to dance all day in front of the pool and besides the port lecture there was nothing else. As the weather was hot everyone wanted to be on deck but unless you got there very early you had no chance to get a lounge and nothing was done to address this. The evening shows were also repetitive with one group performing at least 5 times. Some of the ship’s dancing shows were good. This ship does not have good ventilation. Most of the passengers got some sort of virus and nothing was done to contain it. There were also various strong chemicals smells coming from multiple areas of the ship and sometimes from your own shower stall. When you drew the crews attention to this they will not listen to you and will treat you as if you are a nuisance. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeates other areas. There is also a very large smoking are on pool deck limiting access to lounges for non smokers. On top of this relaxing on the pool deck or in the various bars was often spoilt by sales staff setting up tables along side the seating, to sell ‘cheap’ stuff, it was like sitting in a Market Place. On the pool deck they always set up on the non smoking side as did the occasional outside buffet. So where are the non smokers supposed to go if they wanted to sit out of the sun? The overall impression is that it is a corner cutting line, poor customer service and inadequate activities to keep passengers engaged.. Overall very disappointing and will not recommend this line or this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious ... Read More
This was the worst cruise we ever had. Embarcation in Genova took almost 5 hours. Disembarkation in Durban took more than 3 hours. Because of the bad airconditioning half the passengers were ill after the first week with serious influenca. The food was very low mass production and below any cruiseship standard. Fresh fruit excisted of melon green, red or yellow with the ocasionsal appel. Food was tasteless and prepared with no finesd whatsoever. I.e. perri perri praen were served just defrosted with a sprikel of perri perri powder. Beef was uneatable from a cow that must have been 105 years old. Salad came without any dressing. Barservice was slow. The price for drinks was unacceptable. A glad of table wine 6€ a glas of beer 5€ . After 3 weeks they ran out of wine for the prepaid drinks package.. no upgrade of course. The excursions were totally overpriced. In Cania/ Greece they offered a shuttle bus for € 9.90 where as the public bus was € 3.40 without que and waiting time. They keep you uninformed for most of the times and if you tried resception they would give you a very serious look and a stupid answer Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click