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14 MSC Cruises Guadeloupe Cruise Reviews

FAB
WE choose this cruise to have a little sun we had a bella balcony we went for christmas and new year 2019 to the caribbean .The ship was beautiful the food was lovely the buffet could be a bit crowded for breakfast but if you look for a ... Read More
WE choose this cruise to have a little sun we had a bella balcony we went for christmas and new year 2019 to the caribbean .The ship was beautiful the food was lovely the buffet could be a bit crowded for breakfast but if you look for a seat before you are ok.I have done 8 cruise PO Royal Caribbean Sunbird Fred olsen and none was better than MSC some was worst.The food in the main restaurant was Fad only 1 night i did not like it and my waiter told me get some thing else. We went to the main restaurant every night.My waiter was lovely.We only had people came on and off twice and you only add to do the drill once so l dont know which cruise these people was on they know why they are complaining and i know why.New years eve was FAB christmas eve was FAB LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. Dont listen to these people book your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (12 different islands, no sea days), The ship was beautiful and both our cabin and all the public places were kept spotless. The servers we had in the dining room were attentive and did what ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (12 different islands, no sea days), The ship was beautiful and both our cabin and all the public places were kept spotless. The servers we had in the dining room were attentive and did what they could to please. The food was good, but little of it was remarkable. We ate breakfast most days at the buffet as we were often preparing to head out on our day's activities. The buffet was a zoo, mostly because of the huge number of families taking advantage of great deals and the March break. The food at the buffet was good also, and the sticky buns were noteable. I was disappointed with the Easy Drink / Drink Voucher arrangement in that there were very few cocktails one could get. Even when I wanted a certain cocktail, but asked for it made with rum instead of vodka the bartender refused. In the dining room, there were only certain wines we could get, but we are easy to please and once we knew the routine, we were happy with what they brought. The musicians, dancers and acrobats in the theatre shows were extremely talented, and even though each show tended to follow a similar format, we enjoyed them. The sax player and pianist in the piano bar were good musicians, but their talents were wasted due to the noise of people's conversations. The other ensembles varied a great deal in ability and presentation, and as they did not appeal to us, we chose to go and watch the theatre shows the second week rather than subject ourselves to performances of songs that we could barely even recognize. We enjoyed our cruise because we had a very clean hotel, excellent island to island transport, good food and many beautiful, warm islands to visit. Knowing what I do about this ship, and assuming other MSC ships are similar, I would probably avoid a cruise with them that involved more time on ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After reading all the reviews I went with an open mind and little expectation Boarding was easy at Southampton and we were onboard by 1 pm Quick lunch in buffet and off we went to explore. Preziosa is a big ship and beautiful.The ... Read More
After reading all the reviews I went with an open mind and little expectation Boarding was easy at Southampton and we were onboard by 1 pm Quick lunch in buffet and off we went to explore. Preziosa is a big ship and beautiful.The bars are big and plush. We had an inside on 11 and it was spacious and clean and kept nice every day. Food.......wasn't very good.Buffet a nightmare for breakfast MDR not much better for breakfast either. Shows were ok but the same every night.Bar entertainment was a pianist or a couple singing.....all very average. Ports were miles out so a shuttle charge of 17 a person was expected on some hardly no walk offs Hamburg was closed on Sunday I wouldn't recommend European cities myself again. Days at sea nothing much was put on for entertainment..no films or activities. Bars are very busy at night and drinks very very dear a beer e8 wine e8 bottle water e4 Drink packages a must if you drink. Staff were nice friendly and helpful. MSC are def a 3 star ship Iv done several lines and I'm easily pleased and let a lot go over my head but MSC need to up thier game. It's the little things IMO We were lucky with weather though. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My husband and I are from the USA, and boarded the Preziosa in Guadelope. Our taxi dropped us off outside the main gate with all our luggage about 12:15pm, and the guard would not let anyone with luggage (new passengers) enter until ... Read More
My husband and I are from the USA, and boarded the Preziosa in Guadelope. Our taxi dropped us off outside the main gate with all our luggage about 12:15pm, and the guard would not let anyone with luggage (new passengers) enter until 2:15pm, even though on many of our cruise documents it said board at 1pm!! It was very hot, with no water or restrooms. This was the worst part of the trip. The rest made up for this slight inconvenience. We were then finally escorted to the Yacht Club check in, where we were greeted by a friendly staff with cold towels and prosecco. The Yacht Club is definitely worth the splurge. The service, location, rooms and food are all excellent. The majority of the guests do not speak English, luckily most of the staff does. The staff was very accommodating to this, for the international guests. All of the announcements, shows and information was broadcast in at least 4 languages. During the shows it became very tiresome. The shows ranged from very good (My Life in Music and the Mask), to what is this (Woodstock) and horrible (the crew talent show, and Ghostbusters). The Yacht Club areas are beautiful and service always was excellent. We had a very attentive butler, Oliver, who would escort us off the ship to get a taxi, even when not booking though a ship sponsored excursion. We had breakfast most mornings in the 18th floor One Deck, where there was a small buffet and also eggs made to order or omelettes. For lunch we were on shore. For dinners we ate at the Yacht Club restaurant on deck 15 aft, a very long walk from the front of the ship. The maitre d' Pepe was fantastic, and ran the room. We never had any wait for anything, and he would notice immediately if something was not to our linking and correct it. The casino is very small compared to the Seaside or the newer NCL ships, but casino staff friendly. There were no blackjack tables or craps, and only penny machines, and the on board currency is Euros. The main public areas were always very clean, and not much of a wait at any bar for a drink. In the evenings, there a several different bars providing live entertainment with lots of variety and drinks for everyone. There is a bar that makes smokey drinks and molecular cocktails that was a show on its own! For excursions, we booked two with the ship, the St Lucia Catamaran to the Pintons, and in Martinique Rum distillery with lunch at La Bambou. Both were excellent and a lot of fun. We will go on MSC again, but would probably choose one of the newer ships, as we enjoyed the technology upgrades on the Seaside, like the wristbands, app, and location of Yacht Club restaurant. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We've cruised on many different lines (Regent, Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and were somewhat leery of MSC due to some of the reviews we had read and reviews we had heard from friends. Despite that we took the ... Read More
We've cruised on many different lines (Regent, Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Cunard and were somewhat leery of MSC due to some of the reviews we had read and reviews we had heard from friends. Despite that we took the advice of a friend and decided to try the MSC for two reasons. One they had a great itinerary....7 islands in 7 days, no days at sea. Two, they had something called Yacht Class which gives you your own personal part of the ship with a private dining room, private pool/hot tub area, private bar/lounge and even a butler. The bulk of this review will concentrate on our experience with the Yacht Class part of the MSC Preziosa. Embarkation - One of only a couple of things that I will complain about on this trip. We arrived around 1pm to coincide with what our instructions were. There were already around 50-75 people waiting to get allowed into the registration area. We were not allowed in until after 2pm, with a crowd of easily 200-250 others who were all made to wait in the hot sun for 1-2 hours. Once we got in to the registration area, our butler met us and the process went quite quickly. We were escorted to our room and everything was rady for us. Ship - This was the largest ship we have been on with approx 4000 guests. Because we stayed in Yacht Class I can't really comment on how crowded or not crowded the ship was. In Yacht Class, there was never any issues with seating in the dining room, around the pool (One Pool) or in the Top Sail lounge. We really felt like we were on our own ship within ship. When we did wander around the rest of the ship it certainly seemed to be nicely laid out, always clean. The main pool area is quite small and during the day, most of the lounge chairs were taken. At night, on the odd occasion that we wandered from bar to bar, they never seemed to be too crowded. It seems the fan favorite was The Green Sax which always had a pretty good crowd.....probably something to do with the live music that was played in that particular bar. One small negative was that all announcements were made in 6 languages, but I guess that's what you get being on a very international cruise. I our itinerary began and ended in Guadeloupe. Along the way we picked up a few hundred Brits in Barbados and around 1800 Europeans in Martinique. I would estimate that probably 60-70% of the passengers were from Europe with a huge French, Italian and British influence. From what we were told, the crew needed to know at least English as one of their languages. So as English speaking Canadians, we never had a problem with language. Cabin - Cabin was very good....see my full review below Dining - As part of Yacht Class we ate in the Palmeraie restaurant, reserved strictly for Yacht Class. I would rate our experience in this restaurant as an 8.5/10. I'd give the food a 7 out of 10 and the service a 10 out of 10. There was plenty of selection, the food always arrived hot. Selection was good and changed every day. We ate all our dinners there and a few of our breakfasts. When we were on the ship we tended to eat our lunches at the Yacht Club pool area. There was a decent selection of sandwiches, pasta, salads and you could always order a burger or pizza if you wanted to. Back to the service...our main server for the week was Joyce Anne from the Phillipines and she was incredible. Always attentive, very engaging and always with a smile. Her assistant, Ric, was also excellent. Both of them spoke were good English, so never a language barrier. After our first night, we were always greeted by the Maitre D', Giuseppe (known as Pepe). He along with the Head Sommelier, Filippo, made our dining experience truly incredible. Pepe and Filippo always had recommendations for food and wine and they always hit the mark. Entertainment - Because we tended to eat dinner each night around 8pm, we rarely were available to see either the early show or the late show. We did get to one show, the "Crew Has Talent", which was ok but not great. A couple of the crew could really sing but the "comedy" act was terrible. We didn't get to any other shows but heard from friends on the ship that they were hit and miss. Casino - As an avid Craps player, I rate the Casino a 0........ie no Craps. Also, there was only one "quasi" BlackJack table. The reason I say quasi is because they used a deck with no 10s and some slight variations to the normal BJ rules. There were a couple of roulette tables which were usually crowded, and one Texas Hold'Em table game. The rest of the rather small casino was made up of slot machines. Also, the casino is very smoky......allowing smoking at all tables and slots. Worst casino I have ever experienced on a cruise. Gym/Spa - We made use of the gym a couple of times. Although we didn't use the weights or attend any classes, I would say the cardio equipment was quite good and there were plenty of machines available. We did not take advantage of any of the spa services although friends of ours did and loved the massages they received. Service - I've pretty well detailed our experience with the service on the ship. Again, commenting as a Yacht Class passenger, I will say that the service we received from our room steward, Butler, Palmeraie dining staff, Concierage were all top notch as I've already commented. I also want to say that the staff that worked in the Top Sail lounge and around the One Pool area were also top notch. I'd like to point out that we had especially excellent service from Anna (from the Ukraine). Always knew what we wanted and when we didn't, she would make some recommendations. Ports/Shore Excursions - We arranged our own Excursions in three ports St. Lucia - arranged through Rainforest Adventures - A Zip line, Aerial tram and a hike. All in all, a very good tour (8/10). Terry and Junior were excellent guides. Barbados - arranged through Viator Tours - A Glass bottom boat, snorkel with the turtles. It was a relatively cheap ($35USD each) tour otherwise we would have been disappointed. The boat literally took us a couple of hundred yards off the shore of Carlisle Beach) for a short swim with the sea turtles and then a short swim to see a sunken shipwreck. Also, there really wasn't any glass bottom to speak of......a very small piece of glass, maybe 3-4 ft in diameter to look through. Once we finished the boat portion of approx 90 minutes, then we got to relax on Carlisle beach with lounge chairs and an umbrella included in the excursion price. Grenada - Again organized through Viator - An ATV excursion on either one person or two person ATVs. In a word, this excursion was fantastic. There were only 4 of us on this tour so our guides, Lyndon and Sasheem (not sure of the spelling) gave us a private off-road tour of a decent chunk of Grenada. We rode for about 2 hours or so, spending 90% of the time off-road. We had a short 20-25 minute break at a beautiful beach so the tour was around 3 hours in length. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes some exhilarating adventure. For the other ports, we just tended to get off the ship and wander around. In Trinidad we hired a cabbie to take us around for about 90 minutes and saw some of the island that way. In St. Vincent we took the ferry (which was right beside where our ship docked) to Bequia, a beautiful, tiny island an hour away. The 1 hour ferry ride tends to be quite rough so if you can't handle rougher seas, don't take the ferry. We only had an hour on Bequia due to the ferry schedule, so it wasn't really worth the 2 total hours of ferry time for the 1 hour of time on Bequia. So to summarize, besides the poor Embarkation experience, the crappy casino and a couple of ports that weren't great, the rest of our experience was amazing and we would definitely consider another MSC tour.....as long as they offered Yacht Class. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Wanted to find an itinerary that suited everyone. We were a group of 6 adults with 3 children and wanted to leave after xmas. We flew with Air Transat (cruise and flight package) embarked in Guadeloupe for a 7 day cruise which included ... Read More
Wanted to find an itinerary that suited everyone. We were a group of 6 adults with 3 children and wanted to leave after xmas. We flew with Air Transat (cruise and flight package) embarked in Guadeloupe for a 7 day cruise which included Tortola, St-Maarten, Dominica, St-Kitts, Antigua and Martinique. We had 3 balcony staterooms on deck 11. The ship is nice, many bars and lounges. Elevators were always slow. Our rooms were clean and our steward was efficient and pleasant. Wide variety of food at buffet, lots of fruit, veggies and salad .It can be hit or miss but it pays to circle the buffet as the dishes are not always replicated on both sides. Dining-room food wasn't too great, plate presentations need to be improved. You must purchase regular water to drink, no water pitchers available. Didn't like the wrapped hamburgers that were available. We didn't purchase any excursions with the ship. We managed visiting each island on our own. Fort de France has a beautiful botanical garden. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We took this cruise from Guadalupe for seven days. Ship is great and very modern. The main issue we had was that everything is so disorganized. You can ask the same question to numerous employees and get a different answer each time. We ... Read More
We took this cruise from Guadalupe for seven days. Ship is great and very modern. The main issue we had was that everything is so disorganized. You can ask the same question to numerous employees and get a different answer each time. We spent a good part of our vacation resolving issues. Another issue was with the restaurants. Very ordinary food and in small quantities. Again, disorganized service with servers that have trouble communicating and who do not know details of the menu. Entertainment was so so. They use their staff for the shows so it becomes very repetitive. No special performers from the outside. We had very good service from our room stewart. Excursions were hit or miss and in certain cases seemed to be over-priced. They changed the base currency from USD to Euro between the time we finalysed our payment and the cruise date which impacted our total cruise cost. They also revamped their drink packages which meant that the wine package was no longer available. Only all inclusive drink packages were available, at ridiculous prices unless you drink full time. MSC is only a good cruise for those who haven’t experienced another cruise line. All and all, I will not cruise with MSC again, it is too frustrating dealing with them and there are too many negatives compared with the positives. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this 2 week cruise at Christmas because of the amazing itinerary. It visited some islands we hadn't visited before, including Guadeloupe, where we wanted to do the "Death in Paradise" tour, going to the locations ... Read More
We chose this 2 week cruise at Christmas because of the amazing itinerary. It visited some islands we hadn't visited before, including Guadeloupe, where we wanted to do the "Death in Paradise" tour, going to the locations used in the TV series. The ship didn't offer this but we booked an excellent tour through Viator. The ship looked clean and the decor was stylish, but our inside cabins 12135 and 12139 smelt strongly of cigarette smoke at some times of the day for the whole cruise. When we complained, reception staff were sympathetic and polite but ultimately ineffectual. They told us to call whenever it smelt bad and they would send someone up. We called but no-one turned up after the first occasion. On this occasion it was implied that the problem was due to the air intake for the air conditioning being on a smoking deck. As a previous reviewer has mentioned there are so many smoking areas, that cigarette smoke has infiltrated the whole air conditioning system, although all of the ship did not smell as bad as our cabins. We may have been unlucky with the air conditioning in these cabins as damp swimsuits took 3 times longer to dry than on other cruise ships. Also we did one previous MSC cruise on a different ship and I don't remember having the same problem. The other problem with this ship was no provision for gluten-free food in the buffet. The celiac in our party was told by a buffet manager he must eat only in the main dining room. This is disappointing as gluten-free pizzas and fries are available on other cruise lines. However the dining room staff were very good and friendly, as were the majority of staff on board. Finally, the embarkation in Pointe a Pitre was appalling. We were made to wait on the street until 14.00, one hour after the time we had been given, before the the port gates were opened, and then there was a stampede! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Myself my husband and my seven year old daughter, recently just got back from a fantastic Caribbean cruise on msc Fantasia!, we have previously cruised on , rc , celebrity, p and o , carnival, princess( so was dubious to try msc ! But was ... Read More
Myself my husband and my seven year old daughter, recently just got back from a fantastic Caribbean cruise on msc Fantasia!, we have previously cruised on , rc , celebrity, p and o , carnival, princess( so was dubious to try msc ! But was plesently surprised . My husband and I are 40 -50 , we found the food great in breakfast and lunch in self service fab, staff couldn’t be more helpful !, love the laid back approach, as the ship is more Italian influence( met lots of different nationality’s which we like , pools elegant , one of the most elegant shops! If you don’t mind a lively ship!, great for kids as kids clubs one of the best this is the ship for you!! Evening restaurant good not quite as good as other company ( but we had no complaints ( msc great price, great for family’s , entertainment ( geared for all different nationalities we liked, but again if your looking for British not for you, for us plenty of choice Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was my second MSC cruise and my seventh overall cruise.  However this was the 1st time that we had booked a 14-day cruise!  Yes, FOURTEEN DAYS!  My mom, my husband, my 7-year-old son, my 3-year-old son, and I sailed together on the ... Read More
This was my second MSC cruise and my seventh overall cruise.  However this was the 1st time that we had booked a 14-day cruise!  Yes, FOURTEEN DAYS!  My mom, my husband, my 7-year-old son, my 3-year-old son, and I sailed together on the MSC Fantasia, from March 18, 2018 to April 1, 2018, roundtrip from Guadeloupe to Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Grenada, with multiple stops in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Kitts & Nevis.  We had two Fantastica balcony staterooms on Deck 10, right next to each other: 10208 and 10210.  We loved our clean and spacious staterooms!  We booked this cruise for the amazing itinerary!  I was a bit disappointed when a portion of the itinerary changed – the initial itinerary included Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Dominica; and St. Maarten/St. Martin.  After the damage caused by the 2017 hurricane season, those three ports were removed from the itinerary, and, instead, an extra stop in St. Kitts was added, as well as a stop in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  We made the best of it!  Truly, the itinerary was still FABULOUS!  We had a wonderful time!  The crew and staff that we dealt with the most, which were our room steward, wait staff and other dining room staff, and the photo team were consistently pleasant and really made this voyage GREAT!  Our stateroom steward, Augustin, was excellent in keeping our rooms clean and in order, and promptly replaced used beach towels with new ones, which was a big deal for us because we made many trips to the beach during this vacation.  Being our second MSC cruise, but my seventh overall cruise, I can honestly say that we looked forward to the spacious, well-kept rooms, and we were not disappointed.  I honestly think that MSC has the best standard rooms in the industry.  I have yet to stay in a suite on any cruise ship, but for the standard rooms that guests can book, MSC’s are top of the line.  The top of the line staterooms are no surprise when you look at the entire ship, which is exquisite!  As with MSC Divina, the MSC Fantasia has lots of glass and sparkle!  My favorite part of both ships are the magnificent Swarovski Crystal staircases!  While the décor on MSC Divina had lots of silver, the MSC Fantasia has more golds and reds.  The crew does an excellent job keeping the ship clean.  The MSC Fantasia is STUNNING!  Astawa and Michael were more than just our waiters at Il Cerchio D’Oro.  Astawa and Michael were warm, kind, attentive, pleasant, efficient, and fun whether we saw them at Il Cerchio D’Oro at night or at the Zanzibar buffet!  They’re wonderful, and we miss them!  Astawa and Michael got to know our children’s favorite menu items really quickly, and although our sons can be difficult to please when it comes to food, they liked the food on the MSC Fantasia.  My mom, my husband, and I also enjoyed our dining experiences on this cruise.  We especially enjoyed the lobster and sparkling wine meal that we ordered for my husband’s birthday which we celebrated onboard!  Thanks to the dining room staff for the “Happy Birthday” serenade, birthday cake delivery, and the fresh fruit platters for us to enjoy!  Also consistently warm and friendly are the dining crew members Mateen and Amira who we saw at various locations throughout our cruise.  We usually saw Mateen in the mornings at the Zanzibar buffet, as he would walk around with the cart with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  His friendly conversation helped to form a quick friendship with our two sons!  About half-way through our cruise, Amira started to spark conversation with our 3-year-old, and he would smile each time he’d see her… it was really cute!  My 7-year-old son attended the children’s club during the only sea day of the cruise, and he said he enjoyed it.  However, while the staff and crew can communicate clearly in English, he could not understand and communicate clearly with many of the children there because the overwhelming majority of the children onboard spoke French, which is reflective of the majority of the guests onboard this particular itinerary, and is to be expected given that the ports of embarkation are Guadeloupe and Martinique.  The children's club had a performance in the theater onboard, so of course, we went to see the performance.  We enjoyed a fun show, performed by the MSC Entertainment Team, and then, the children's club performed as well. The performance included a children's club talent show!  My 7-year-old’s favorite parts of the ship are the waterslide, the arcades, and the 4D theatre – we bought the family pass for $60 and went multiple times thereafter to watch the 4D movie clips, which he enjoyed.  That family pass allows guests in the same stateroom to see the movie clips as many times as they would like, and also, to “drive” the F1 Simulator.  One difference to note here between the MSC Divina and the MSC Fantasia is that there is no miniature bowling alley on the Fantasia, while there is one on the Divina.  We would have loved to have the bowling alley onboard Fantasia, as we enjoyed a couple trips to the Sports Bar during our cruise, and we think that the bowling alley would have been a nice addition.  The Sports Bar is located on Deck 7, and is nice to dine in a few times, especially if you want to have lunch somewhere that’s not as busy as the Zanzibar buffet on Deck 14.  The food and drinks at the Sports Bar are pretty good!  Also located on Deck 7 is the MSC Photo Gallery, which was one area that we frequently visited during our cruise.  Yes, we take many photographs on our own cameras, but we are fans of professional cruise photos, particularly those taken by the MSC Photo Teams.  After having experienced the MSC Divina and Fantasia, I can say that I think MSC’s photographers take the best photographs at sea!  I don’t know what’s better: (1) The spectacular quality of our MSC Fantasia photographs, or (2) The MSC Fantasia Photo Team’s consistent, warm, friendly, and professional service with a smile!  We are especially thankful for the staff mentioned here, and for all the wonderful crew and staff members of the MSC Fantasia!  The only recurring complaint we had was that there were quite a few guests onboard who seemed rude, as they seemed to have no regard for personal space and thought nothing of cutting ahead of others in line. However, that's a reflection on those people, not on MSC. Embarkation in Guadeloupe went smoothly, as we dropped our bags at the designated location with the designated staff members, and we proceeded to check-in and board the MSC Fantasia.  One thing that could have been improved on embarkation day was the sign-up for the children’s club at embarkation.  There was a crowd in the atrium area where the children’s club sign-up was taking place, and it was very difficult to navigate through there.  Disembarkation in the ports-of-call and at the end of the cruise were excellent.  Our disembarkation from MSC Fantasia was the BEST cruise disembarkation experience we have had thus far.  On disembarkation day, we had to be out of our staterooms before 9 AM, and after having breakfast, we disembarked a bit after 10 AM, and we easily found our bags in the terminal.  Our MSC Fantasia cruise was a great experience!  Being from the Caribbean myself, residing in New York City, and having received my undergraduate degree in International Studies, I consider myself very much aware of diverse cultures throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the world.  That being said, I was in awe of the amazing mix of people onboard the MSC Fantasia.  In all honesty, I think I saw more people of color onboard this ship than any ship that I have sailed on from the United States, yet most of the people of color onboard this cruise primarily spoke French.  Given that MSC is an Italian cruise company and the clientele on this particular itinerary were primarily French, I certainly feel as though I need to brush up on the two languages that I studied years ago: French and Italian.  When stepping on and off the elevators or otherwise encountering other guests, I found myself saying “Hello” and “Bonjour,” or “Good Evening” and “Bonsoir.”  I just love it!  I also love that my children can experience more than just waterslides and food on our cruises, but can and do experience different cultures.  So what did we do in each port?  Antigua & Barbuda: We had visited Antigua in 2016, so we had planned an excursion to Montserrat this time, but that didn’t work out due to a misunderstanding and timing.  At that point, we decided to stroll in the port area, and then we went back onto the ship to explore the ship.  St. Vincent & the Grenadines: We booked the Bequia By Sailing Catamaran excursion through MSC, and it was great!  The catamaran ride to Bequia was tranquil and so was the beach.  We appreciated the stop in town to shop a bit.  Lunch on the catamaran ride back to mainland St. Vincent was delicious.  The afternoon catamaran ride was bumpier than in the morning, but thank God, we were kept safe and sound.  Overall, this was a really relaxing excursion.  The Dominican Republic: We booked the Relax on Bayahibe Beach excursion through MSC, and had a great time at Be Live Canoa Resort in Bayahibe!  We lounged on the beach, played in the ocean, danced, and played games led by the resort’s entertainment team.  This was a fun beach day! St. Kitts & Nevis: We booked the Discover Nevis & Beach excursion through MSC, and it was informative and fun!  This was our second visit to St. Kitts, as the 5 of us had visited in 2016, but this March 2018 cruise was our first visit to the actual island of Nevis, which was great!  In Nevis, we visited the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, a lookout area that had stunning views of the country and the ocean, a shopping village, and the beach.  Martinique:  We booked the Authentic Tour of Southern Martinique, through Viator, and the tour was conducted by Beyond the Beach.  This tour was excellent: We explored Southern Martinique, visiting a shopping village, a beach, Le Diamant, a famous slave memorial, a playground, and the Trois Rivieres rum distillery, with lots of beautiful scenery along the way, including driving through the town in which Empress Josephine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, was born.  Yes, all that within a day, and we got back to the ship well before it would set sail.  St. Lucia:  We had visited St. Lucia in 2016, and had experienced an excellent island tour with Serenity Vacations and Tours, so this time, we decided on a laid back day onboard the ship, and strolling in the port area.  Barbados: My husband’s homeland!  Here, we took the Harrison’s Cave Tram Tour, which we booked through Viator, and the tour company was Glory Tours.  The Glory Tours driver and guide throughout the drive in Barbados was very friendly and professional.  Harrison’s Cave is spectacular!  We also met up with my sister-in-law who lives in Barbados, and we all had lunch at Chefette, then took a taxi back to the cruise port.  Trinidad & Tobago: We booked the Maracas Beach Trip through MSC, and I think that Maracas Beach may be my favorite beach of this trip.  I’m not 100% sure because that’s a difficult decision to make, as we visited a number of amazing beaches throughout this cruise, but Maracas Beach is, at least, one of our favorites! Grenada:  We booked the Creole Bus Sensation through MSC, and this tour was really informative and gave us a nice feel for Grenada.  We visited two forts and the beach, all via a Creole Bus.  Grenada is hot hot hot, so the breeze that freely flowed through the Creole Bus was glorious!  We had a great time!  Guadeloupe: Guadeloupe Explor provided our airport-hotel-cruise transfers while in Guadeloupe, and also provided our day tour when the ship had returned to Guadeloupe in the middle of our 14-day Caribbean cruise.  For the day tour, we enjoyed visits to Crayfish Waterfalls, Guadeloupe Zoo, and a beautiful, tranquil beach.  Our tour guide and driver, Tommy, was very attentive, as he provided refreshments which were well received during our tour of the Guadeloupe Zoo and our time at the beach, provided a beach tent for our children, is an all-around efficient driver, and provided interesting details about Guadeloupe as we toured.  We highly recommend Guadeloupe Explor for getting around Guadeloupe.  Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
we chose this cruise for the itinerary; unfortunately some of the islands were damaged by hurricanes and MSC dropped them from the stops. However, they jumped the gun cancelling St Maarten since LOTS of ships have been going there since ... Read More
we chose this cruise for the itinerary; unfortunately some of the islands were damaged by hurricanes and MSC dropped them from the stops. However, they jumped the gun cancelling St Maarten since LOTS of ships have been going there since Nov. or Dec. MSC then gave us a day at sea when we paid for ports every day and ALSO, put stop in at Dominican Republic....that was awful and certainly not comparable to the ports we missed---St Maarten, Tortola and Dominica. The majority of passengers on board were rude, pushy, loud, obnoxious, inconsiderate had no supervision for the children they brought. Trying to get off a packed elevator was impossible, because these people would try to push onto the elevator before we could exit. the ships elevator system was not programmed well, leaving returning passengers stranded on deck 4 for 20 minutes or more. The entire ship seemed mostly disorganized I would not sail with MSC again on any cruise The British and Americans know what lines are for and queue up properly--the French and others push around and butt into the front of the line even when told to get in line like the rest of us. There was no "experience" of sitting with and meeting other people at dinner for Anytime Dining. You were never asked if you wanted to share a table and when we suggested it, we were told, probably not---"these people prefer to keep to themselves". teenage children were obnoxious and RUDE. we could not plan our days because we did not know until AFTER DINNER when our excursions left the next day---all other cruise lines we have used give you the times when you book them or at least the 1st day you are on the ship Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The worst food ever offered on any Holliday we have been on, very slow service more often forgotten. Staff to client ratio not as advertised. They use every oportunity to throw hidden charges at you. 3.95 plus service charge for water in ... Read More
The worst food ever offered on any Holliday we have been on, very slow service more often forgotten. Staff to client ratio not as advertised. They use every oportunity to throw hidden charges at you. 3.95 plus service charge for water in the room somehow not included in the drinks package! Even orange juice is chargeable on an all inclusive? Watch out for the hidden service charges. Prepare to spend more time on coaches than the actual excursion activities. The actual ship is magnifice but so poorly managed it beggars belief. Comparasons between advertised and reality are miles apart. Everbody, and I mean everybody I spoke to would Never use MSC again. Constantly finding ways to rip you off. When your on board they adopt a like it or lump it attitude. If you go on a cruise with MSC don't expect all inclusive to mean all inclusive. Forget the entertainment, there isn't any, forget the excursions, only there to rip you off not to make you happy. I can't find anything possitive to say about the food or restaurant service, very little choice. No English channels on tv other than 2 repetitive news channels. Charge for films. No tea/ coffee faascilites allowed in the room. What they don't tell you is that they allow local people on at the returning ports at rediculously discounted prices which inevitably means you share an advertised 5 star cruise with ignorant, rude and obnoctious 2 star clients and these account for probably half of the passengers. In summary a beautiful ship, good clean rooms, but this company seems a lot more interested in your money than your satisfaction. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including ... Read More
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including Grandparents and an 11 year old. For the past 5 year we had enjoyed a 5 star winter break to Sharm but with this not being an option in 2016 we decided to try a cruise over half term. MSC and the Orchestra provided everything that we were looking for. The ship offers something for all the family and is flexible in terms of dress code, so whilst its lovely to dress up a couple of times for Gala night this wasn't required every night which for us was perfect. Everyone on board works really hard and does their best to ensure all the passengers have a great time. Yes Brtis were definitely in the minority but this didn't bother us and we enjoyed the language exchanges in the lift each day. Food was great, yes the self service is busy at breakfast and lunch but eating outside was a preferable option. We enjoyed the pay for restaurant which was reasonable and they supplied a lovely birthday cake and bottle of bubbles. We thought the food in the sit down option was exceptional. We only had inside cabins and yes they were small but had everything we needed and the delivery of a continental breakfast each morning was lovely. We felt at £500 each for a weeks holiday this cruise was an absolute bargain and fitted in with half term dates visiting some of the most beautiful islands on earth and I have travelled extensively. We are already looking forward to our 2017 cruise to Dubai with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The trip started off poorly when our bags were not immediately delivered at the airport carrousel. we were about 10 people and waited 1.5 hours. We were told by Air France they had been transferred to the ship directly, "like ... Read More
The trip started off poorly when our bags were not immediately delivered at the airport carrousel. we were about 10 people and waited 1.5 hours. We were told by Air France they had been transferred to the ship directly, "like Costa". when we get outside the incompetent Rep from MSC was unable to answer anything. We found out later the bags were actually sitting on the tarmac and got the bags ourselves. Check IN went OK but makes no sense - Example you do not give your credit card at check IN. you need later to one of 8 machines once on board to activate your card The service in general was extremely poor quality. There is no sense of client centricity, courtesy that you find with other cruise lines. This means to me that the Hotel manager is not doing his job, nor is their a corporate culture of client satisfaction The security people I believe are Israeli and very serious from a protection perspective (appreciated) but not at all friendly and only speak English. They made you feel like a criminal every time you got on and off the boat. Literally I was affraid of being thrown up against a wall with the looks they gave. There was only one competent person in the Excursion desk. the others were just helpless. excursion are expensive for what they give. If you wanted to visit the ship 39 euros. on other lines it was free Food was really bad. the only really good meal was the Christmas Eve dinner and the pizza! The wine package publicized as being 215 ended up being billed for 264.50. don't ask me how it got to that price Their Casino allows smoking which is horrible and I found it very dubious personally. In the end it was the lack of client focus, lack of courtesy that has push me to write this negative review. The cruise was a Christmas gift from my in-laws for the whole family. MSC comes off is being money hungry, ill-bred and just bad. I have traveled on Costa, Carnival, Celebrity, Paul Gaugin, Cunard and Pontant – this was my first and last trip with MSC Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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