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126 MSC Cruises Marseille Cruise Reviews

I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one ... Read More
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one of the top 10 largest ships afloat, very new, and the video was amazing. The reviews however, were anything but amazing. Like lukewarm and even negative reviews about our favorite restaurants, I have learned that most negative reviews are more about missed/too lofty expectations than reality. The biggest gripes about the Meraviglia seemed to be food and staff. Since the boat is so high tech and wondrously equipped, no one really complained about the ship. Sure enough, even our tablemates as well as others on board echoed the Cruise Critic complaints. They ranged from now having butter and iced tea (both free, readily available) to non English speaking staff who were "unfriendly". If your attitude is "I am the guest and I expect to be served", you will be disappointed. If you engage the staff with your own smile and understand they work 11 hours a day, even my first time cruising wife was amazed at how every waiter and staff person smiled back.....even when they had to say "no" (like when we were late for dinner and the gatekeeping waiter apologized saying he was not allowed to let anyone in past 7:45, so I asked him to ask for his captain, which he did, and of course, the captain, his boss, let us in). MSC offers the lowest prices afloat for the most interesting itineraries and the newest boats.....but unless you are traveling Yacht Club, you just cant expect white glove service--but you can expect politeness and cleanliness and entertainment and "service". And we got all of this and more. Dinner. We only ate at the standard Waves Restaurant. Three sittings, We were the second. The appetizers and desserts were great, the entrees, though varied were not as good and need improvement. Not to worry though because the astonishing buffet, open 20 hours a day, had stupendous selections of excellent food from simple salads, to homemade pizza, Halal and ethnic specialties, rotisserie *the roast veal carved to order was smashing), plus an on board mozzarella factory (you could see it being made) that ensured great caprese salads and more. And they changed the offerings every day! Housekeeping. In a word, perfect. No goofy doorknob hangers telling staff to clean up the room. Just press a button. Spotless. The Room. We opted for an admidships deck 12 interior cabin because my wife was worried about seasickness. The cabin was huge, with a queen plus bed, great pillows, lighting, etc And the bathroom has the best shower afloat in my experience with infinite hot water! And a blow dryer!. Staff. What a great group of waiters and support staff rom Central America to Ukraine and Africa. Just knocked themselves out to please! It surely helped that we engaged them instead of treating them like servants. Prices: For 5Euros we got any two items delivered free to our room. Drinks were 6Euros. The best ice cream and chocolate (made on the boat) were $1-3Euros. The coffee, water, tea, ice tea, etc. were all free at the buffet. So no complaints about the "extras" The experience: 32 elevators, four pools, an arcade full of shops, sky bars, full size basketball court, full size bowling alleys and a water slide that went OVER the edge of the ship, outstanding singing and dancing "Broadway" type shows and Swarovski glass staircases made onboard life hugely satisfying. The guests. Where were all the seniors? This was the first cruise I have ever been on where there were so many families, disabled people, young honeymooners, babies, kids, etc. from so many different countries. A true multi-cultural experience. Our table mates were from the Dominican Republic (an MD and his wife), honeymooners from Colombia, and a couple from Florida. A great itinerary and all of the above for $1300 for 7 nights? Yup, and we cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I would like to start off by saying that this cruise was booked whilst on-board a previous MSC cruise in the year (Voyagers Club), therefore understandably chuffed with the already discounted trip/cabin/onboard credit ect. The ... Read More
I would like to start off by saying that this cruise was booked whilst on-board a previous MSC cruise in the year (Voyagers Club), therefore understandably chuffed with the already discounted trip/cabin/onboard credit ect. The Meraviglia is huge, well planned out and therefore should provide any passenger with a pleasant experience, over the duration of the holiday not once did I see an unclean part of the ship nor did I have reason to complain about the facilities. Travelling with my wife it is fair to say that we know what we want from a holiday and can easily compare the Meraviglia to past MSC holidays! DO NOT DO THIS ! this is where we learned very quickly that this trip is going to be different in many ways. If you are willing to sail away and embrace the new you will have an excellent time..... If you natter on to your newly found friends at dinner about your last cruise and think that that the waiters will have time for you then you will probably have a terrible time... > forget that honeymoon cruise in the Caribbean or that time that you took the kids away on a cruise where you found all the fun to be had at sea! It is very hard to repeat the same experiences, my thoughts below are reasons why I state this....... 1. Technology, your granny will hate it but get used to it as the MSC is top class with scrolling information boards at every lift point (much like scrolling on a mobile phone), scan your card or wristband at the terminal to get a map, book dinner of to simply check on tonight's shows. In room TV info is just amazing with on demand movies, news, safety info and future cruising info 2. Cleanliness - Its clean and tidy, almost OCD level so don't mess up the ship or your room for that matter as your cabin man/woman will notice. 3. Entertainment - Excellent but you'll need deep wallets to get rid of the kids for an hr, 100 euros will get a arcade pass to the flight simulator and F1 car simulator and similar, the water park and high ropes are FREE though so just make sure you use this facility. 4. Adult entertainment - Cirque du soleil, I didn't know what this was at the time but just book and see the show before you board to avoid disappointment, most easily the best show that you will witness on water. SONAR was so so cool. 5. Dining, Expect busy waiters and long wait times at the bar the STAFF versus PASSENGERS ration is miss managed, the only way to have a nice little chat to staff would be the Anchor pub, and that'll be because they know that mainly English passengers go there. Strongbow will be part of your drinks package if you have it. 6. Meeting friends - Not likely, If you are really lucky to keep in touch with your allocated dinner guests and make a point of meeting up or suggesting paring up on land to do some shore excursions then maybe you will> my experiences when even trying to strike up a conversation with others are that the ship is so so big why bother as I wont see you again for the rest of the cruise, even at the voyagers exclusive party and meet the captain it was like being in the middle of a busy shopping mall surrounded by (yes like minded) strangers. Summary - I had an excellent time with my wife and can say that the ship itself is amazing and takes all week to discover each and every facility, MSC have some nice touches, ill try not to spoil all of the quirky tricks that make you feel good about being on holiday but here are two (x2) must have experiences.... A. Get up before six (6am) and walk under the dome (dome show) to see the sky and hear the morning birdsong. B. Be up on deck (poolside) when sailing away from ports to experience Andrea Bocelli's TIME TO SAY GOODBYE song (the younger cruisers will be more familiar with the film step brothers - either way its a nice touch) .......If this is your first cruise I would consider starting with other smaller ships within MSC's fleet before you go big time. Whatever you decide or if you have already booked you will have a nice trip so make the most of it and put in a little effort with others- you'll be grateful when staff remember you for the right reasons and not just because you were complaining at reception- have fun guys. Mr Lee Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This brand new ship from MSC certainly has the WOW factor, the decor is stunning and the internal spaces are stylish and well thought out. Embarkation from Barcelona was a breeze, and the welcome on board was warm. We absolutely loved this ... Read More
This brand new ship from MSC certainly has the WOW factor, the decor is stunning and the internal spaces are stylish and well thought out. Embarkation from Barcelona was a breeze, and the welcome on board was warm. We absolutely loved this ship, the cabin was spacious and clean with a lovely decor. Our cabin steward was efficient and friendly again brilliant service. The dining room was just great and the food was fabulous. Cannot fault the waiting staff in the dining rooms. Lovely bars to choose from and the drinks package was reasonable and great value compared with RCCL. We used the gym facilities which were clean and the staff very helpful. The buffet dining was also very good, the late night options were good too. Fresh pizza make throughout the day/night as well as many more fresh food options. We loved the destination on this western Med itinerary, our first time with MSC and our expectations were exceeded. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
UK Booking Office, Website and Tech Support should all be closed - the "service" provided and poor systems just aren't good enough. As MSC is starting to focus on the American market, just move it all there so we can deal ... Read More
UK Booking Office, Website and Tech Support should all be closed - the "service" provided and poor systems just aren't good enough. As MSC is starting to focus on the American market, just move it all there so we can deal with people accustomed to customer service. We booked Yacht Club - the prices are getting too steep for us now, so we had an inside cabin (14005). This is by far the worst cabin we have had in 40 cruises. I will review that separately. Boarding the ship is usually an enjoyable experience for those in Yacht Club. Luggage taken at the roadside and within your cabin in under 30 minutes. A separate check-in area, complete with drinks and snacks and a private butler-led escort to the YC area. Well, the butler obviously had a day off because the pleasant young lad given the job of escorting us to YC was clueless. He couldnt use his YC card to summon the express lifts because he didnt have one. The lifts were extremely crowded so we were led from one side of the deck to the other and back again in search of a lift. When we did get one, he took us to the wrong floor, led us out and had to quickly usher us back in before the lift went - he did that twice. He remained cheery even if the rest of us were a tad fed-up. Everything (well nearly everything) about YC was perfect. Dinner was excellent every night, the private top deck was great and the small food area was great to escape the chaos in the main buffet. Service within the YC lounge was sporadic and not a patch on our previous YC cruise aboard Splendida. The ship itself, once you figured it out, was great. The Italians were Italian, doing Italian things - sometimes annoying but they are Italian after all lol The shows were actually really good - now they have the gimmicky cirque de soleil (extra charge) they have moved the "bendy wendy girls" and other circus style acts into there - leaving the theatre to present theatre style musical shows. OK they may still be short at 45 minutes but they are worth seeing (3 shows a night and need to book as soon as you get aboard). Sadly, the main buffet was a complete shambles. Splendida had an amazing salad bar area; on here it is terrible. Food kept running out, was spread weirdly around the buffet area and never seemed to change from one day to the next. Even the famous Italian pizza was poor. Trying to get a drink in the buffet (using the excellent "bar call" button system) took forever or just didnt happen. Im sure the system is fine but Im not sure any staff actually bother to look at it. Now, Ive read several reviews regarding poor staff service levels and attitude. IF you go looking for those staff, Im sure you will find them. We never did because we greeted every single one of them with a cheery hello, please and thank you and they were just brilliant. It always amazes me how they recognise you from one cruise to the next, often a year apart - give them 20 seconds and most will even remember your name. They are all stars. We are looking forward to our next MSC cruise on Seaside and then the inaugural sailing of Bellissima next March - BUT we are keeping our fingers crossed on the cabin Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as ... Read More
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as the now defunct Transocean Tours' MS Marco Polo and Voyages of Discovery's much missed MV Discovery. I have sailed multiple times in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as the Northwest Passage, Antarctica, South America, Asia, Alaska, Norway and the Baltics. Whenever I do a review, I review the ship against what it A) is pertaining to be, and B) value versus the price paid. In this sense, a Crystal cruise may not receive five stars if the voyage did not meet my high expectations, whilst a 3 night Norwegian Cruise Line voyage may rate higher if my substantially lower expectations were exceeded. In my opinion, the MSC Yacht Club product is the best value in luxury cruising. My wife and I are in our mid 20s, and we appreciated the fact that we had our own enclave aboard, where the crew quickly learnt our names and favourite drinks, but could at will descend into the melee of a mega-ship filled with energy, music, song and dance. The Yacht Club was in essence a haven (pun unintended), a quite, relaxing area, approximately the size of one the older Seabourn triplets, where it was easy to meet passengers and make friends, in a fashion that is usually impossible aboard a ship carrying several thousand passengers. One could then go and enjoy the entertainment and options available on the ship with said friends. The entertainment was of high quality, especially the Cirque de Soleil show. Every night a production show was presented, of which one can get tired of quite quickly, but they were of similar quality to shows I have seen on other mass-market lines. The overall ambiance of the vessel was international, which is something we really enjoyed about MSC, and the Meravilliga's interiors where nothing short of stunning. We did not try any eateries besides the Yacht Club restaurant and the buffet, so cannot comment on the quality of food in the rest of the ship. In the Yacht Club, the pantry always had food available, the drinks where of reasonable quality and weather permitting there was a barbecue or buffet available on the open private decks. The MSC Yacht Club restaurant offered food of a reasonable to high quality, with service that was great if not perfect, missing the finesse of service found on dedicated luxury lines. The butler aboard the Yacht Club was more of a room attendant, although you could always count on the ones serving in the Yacht Club lounge, for all intents a private observation lounge at the forward-most point of the vessel's superstructure. Lines where never a problem as we had dedicated lifts which we could override to give Yacht Club passengers express service, and the butlers where always at hand to walk you out or back on to the ship, skipping the sometimes substantial ques. In a similar fashion, after a very hectic day trying to get to the ship (trains on strike, taking a bus, taxis on strike, having to take several busses, etc.) the glasses of sparkling wine and welcome of the YC crew made our embarkation perfect. I can happily recommend the Meraviglia if you are a guest seeking a large cruise-ship experience in an international environment, with a value-driven luxury product, and for this value are willing to give up the extra refinements and finesse found on 'true' luxury lines. I am sure we will be sailing aboard an MSC vessel in the Yacht Club in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was our third and most likely last cruise on MSC. We have always booked a Yacht Club cabin for the better service, better dining and the exclusieve and tranquil pool area. Food We did enjoy the room service for breakfast, wich ... Read More
This was our third and most likely last cruise on MSC. We have always booked a Yacht Club cabin for the better service, better dining and the exclusieve and tranquil pool area. Food We did enjoy the room service for breakfast, wich was always delivered on time and with everything we ordered. Coffee and hot chocolate was just ok. We always ordered freshly squeezed orange juice and we always got it. There are not egg dishes mentioned on the breakfast order card, but if you write what you want on the card, it will be delivered. We got fried eggs, scrambled eggs and even eggs benedict. For lunch we choose the grill on deck 19 if the weather was good. Not so good unfortunately. Meat or fish were grilled to ordered but always lacked taste. On rainy days we went to the small buffet restaurant on deck 16. The atmosphere is warm and almost cosy, but it is usualy loud and crowded. The food is rather good actualy. On one occasion we ordered pizza from room service. Pizza’s are delivered in a Classic pizza box, wich we found amazing. They tasted ok, but the iItalian restaurant in our small home town has way much better pizza’s. Dining was exclusivly in the Yacht Club restaurant. Here, the food is very good, tasty and well prepared, but the portions are small. Bars The Yacht Club has one bar or lounge with live music. The service here is swift and excellent. The service in the other bars is good but slow. It can take more than 20 minutes before you have your drink. Entertainment Short shows (35 minutes) in a nice theater with a sometimes strange mixture of singing, dancing and acrobatics. The singers were good, but the sound system is awfull. We saw most shows. Wellness A good choice of sauna’s, thalasso pool, steam rooms and a snow room. However it is too small for the +5000 guests on board. We never saw a free place in one of the relaxation rooms. The thalasso was also always crowded. Cabin Our Yacht Club deluxe suite was spacious, with a good bed, large television, and a sitting area with just enough space to eat breakfast in the morning or watch television at night. Mini bar with water, beer, soft drinks, alcohol and snacks, was refilled twice daily. The bathroom had an ok size with a large shower with glass door. Excursions Three of our four pre-booked excursions were cancelled. Two because of bad weather and one because the minimum number of participants was not reached. We were only told once that the excursion was cancelled. The other two times we asked the night before when we would receive our vouchers and were only than told that the excursions was cancelled. Poot communication and customer service! Why this is our last MSC cruise? Although our experience in the Yacht Club is mostly positive, we will not sail with MSC again. These are the main reasons: - the ships are too large, hence too crowded, too loud and too many queues. - there is advertisement everywhere: on large banners in the atrium, the pool areas, the restaurants and the bars, on the large lcd screens every few meters, on the small screens in the elevators, on papers delivered in your cabin, etc... - staff are walking around asking you if you are interested in a speciality restaurant, a drink package - photographers are everywhere on the ship asking you if you want your picture taken All this gave us the impression that we were sailing on a floating busy market or food hall instead of on a relaxing luxury cruise ship. Our next booked cruise vacations are on smaller ships from Viking Ocean. They are more expensive, but everything is included: drinks, gratuities and even (basic) excursions. We will hopefully love to be on a smaller and quieter ship again like we did in the past (Oceania and Ponant). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my first MSC cruise - I just got off the Preziosa this morning. Here are a few thoughts about the experience, coming from an a American 20-something year-old who has been on other cruises. First, know that there is a smoking ... Read More
This was my first MSC cruise - I just got off the Preziosa this morning. Here are a few thoughts about the experience, coming from an a American 20-something year-old who has been on other cruises. First, know that there is a smoking area down by the middle pool - you’ll sometimes walk through a cloud of smoke often on your way to the buffets. The food was a 2.5/5 ... honestly, the dinners weren’t that great and the buffets were...ok? Our food for dinner was sometimes cold or undercooked. Having an assigned dinner time worked ok ... but I prefer the flexible dining options on Norwegian. The hot tubs? We wouldn’t call them “hot” - warm, would suffice. And they often had so many people in them... The announcements are made in multiple languages at times, which can be obnoxious. The WiFi is iffy - not always dependable. The staff members were generally friendly - didn’t encounter too many problems there. The cruise passengers are mostly Europeans. So, hearing English spoken among fellow passengers is a rarity. This ship serves Pepsi products on its European voyages - not Coca Cola. Beware of that if you’re looking for a Coke. If you’re an American or Canadian, you’ll receive a free, large bottle of water at dinner - but you’ll have to show your cruise card and sign a receipt each time you receive it. We didn’t encounter many problems at our port stops or disembarking ... the weather in late October / November was often chilly and rainy - so, don’t expect to work on your tan while onboard. We went to two shows - the first one was fine, but the second one was in Italian - so we walked out. Would I sail with MSC again? Maybe. But I’ll definitely look elsewhere first. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is ... Read More
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is magnificent, the staff were fantastic, the food was good. We took advantage of the all-Inc drinks and enjoyed a 3 dinner package ... Butchers Cut, Eataly and Cirque du Soleil. .. everything was perfect. Our balcony cabin was fantastic ... and yes the bathroom is smaller than on other MSC ships. .. but the shower was actually larger. Disembarkation for ports and day of departure extremely well organised. Much bigger ship than we have been on before and weren't sure if we would like it, we didn't ... We LOVED it. Fabulous entertainment from shows in the theatre to acts in the various bars and especially the animation team staff on the bridge in the Promenade. Only downside is we now need another holiday as we didn't get back to our cabin until the early hours every night! Thanks MSC! See you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Cruised with MSC Divina on 23 day Caribbean cruise. That is how it was sold to us. However, we later found out it was two cruises in one, returning to Miami after the first 10 days. On the second leg, everything was duplicated. The ... Read More
Cruised with MSC Divina on 23 day Caribbean cruise. That is how it was sold to us. However, we later found out it was two cruises in one, returning to Miami after the first 10 days. On the second leg, everything was duplicated. The entertainment, the trivia quiz, the jokes .. simply everything. This severely detracted from the enjoyment of the trip. When highlighting this to the company on our return, they couldn't have cared less. They appear to think it doesn't matter. But it does. It is simply not good enough. We paid top dollar going from New Zealand for this experience but we got a lot less than everyone else. Be careful. It is not all as it seems and complaining or raising issues falls on deaf ears. I don't often complain about things but all travellers should be cautious so you are fully aware of what is going on prior to going on holiday. Our holiday was spoilt unfortunately. Yours doesn't have to be! Food was OK but the buffet is like a trough. Black Crab restaurant was OK though, although sometimes service was poor as there was a mix up in who should serve us. Cabin attendant was a delight. That was the best rating of the tour. Shore excursions were very overpriced for what you received as you could get similar from walking off the ship and talking to the locals. First and last on MSC. Other lines much better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this for our honeymoon. Our group includes our 80 year old mothers. I’m struck by the sheer overcrowded, impersonal, iPad and upsell-driven process we are a part of. Food areas and common areas are ridiculously overcrowded, ... Read More
We chose this for our honeymoon. Our group includes our 80 year old mothers. I’m struck by the sheer overcrowded, impersonal, iPad and upsell-driven process we are a part of. Food areas and common areas are ridiculously overcrowded, no seating available and long queues for lukewarm and very ordinary food-we cruise a lot, this is way below par on many levels. The ship itself is impressive, and I’m sure few would deny this, the experience though is far from relaxing. Cabins small, we have a balcony cabin with the Aurea package, TV impossible to see from the bed, we have no sofa, nor mirror in our cabin (bar the bathroom). I believe we have seen our cabin attendant once. We found that the staff are undertrained in general, they work too many hours and are tired and overstretched as they have traded opulence of ship and taken away any form of personal experience, just doesn’t feel special in any way and it’s a fight to get service-I requested a tray to carry food to my mother who is disabled, and was told to make several trips with plates instead, each time fighting my way back through infeasible crowds. Not a patch on other similar priced cruise experiences I’ve had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It would help if food had s “v” label as very difficult to figure out what was veggie. Very Limited choice. Room service offered garden salad or fruit salad. Veggie main course at dinner was humous and pitta. Really Need to ... Read More
It would help if food had s “v” label as very difficult to figure out what was veggie. Very Limited choice. Room service offered garden salad or fruit salad. Veggie main course at dinner was humous and pitta. Really Need to update menus..., this is the 21st century! Staff who dealt with excursions were very rude, serious lack of customer service. Ship generally looked good. But less deck space compared to other ships. Cabin was a good size and comfortable and entertainment in the theatre was very good too. For such a large ship the general entertainment outside the theatre was very limited. Seemed to be significantly less staff to guest ratio compared to other cruise lines and so less attention to detail e.g. no waiters, and things running out at the buffet and not replenished. Staff seemed disgruntled and unhappy. Not experienced that before on a ctuise ship (usually staff are very professional and do not share any problems with customers). Based on this experience I would not book MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship itself is beautifully designed, with amazing detail in the furnishings. Everything was clean and shiny. The staff that we encountered was helpful, in particular our cabin steward, Jason. The pool areas were never crowded, and it ... Read More
The ship itself is beautifully designed, with amazing detail in the furnishings. Everything was clean and shiny. The staff that we encountered was helpful, in particular our cabin steward, Jason. The pool areas were never crowded, and it never felt as if there were 5000+ passengers sharing the ship with us. We traveled with my 10 year old daughter who loved the pools and the slides. The shows were great entertainment for all ages, with a very talented cast. The food in the buffet was good, although it got very crowded at times. We ate dinner in the Silver Dolphin about 4 times and the service and food was excellent. Embarkation at Marseille was very smooth - we didn't have a very long wait at all. All cities were fairly accessible from the port, except for Barcelona and Marseille, where you have to get a bus/taxi/Uber into the city if you don't feel like walking for miles and miles! We did not do any MSC excursions, but rather chose to walk around and get the feel of each city, or do a hop on/hop off bus tour. Our major complaint about the cruise was the lack of personality. I still have no idea what the Cruise Director's name is, as no-one was ever formally introduced (except for the Captain). They spent so much time on rattling off announcements in 6 or 7 different languages that they didn't actually have time to interact personally with the passengers. We were also disappointed by the lack of a more formal dance floor/area, and the dance teachers were not up to standard. There was also very little onboard entertainment, like fun games, quizzes, etc, even on the sea day. Overall it was a fantastic adventure. We got to see places we have only ever dreamed of, and had a very comfortable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Chose this cruise/ship solely down to availability and price. Overall experience was poor,infact its the worst cruise ive been on and worst is a word one doesnt expect to use for a cruise. Staff were generally poor, activities onboard were ... Read More
Chose this cruise/ship solely down to availability and price. Overall experience was poor,infact its the worst cruise ive been on and worst is a word one doesnt expect to use for a cruise. Staff were generally poor, activities onboard were poor as were facilities. Ship was very unstable, daughter and partner were ill even though it wasnt really rough. If you suffer from any sort of motion sickness this is NOT the ship for you. I am a good traveller so didn't feel sea sick, but after five days of rocking backwards and forwards I was ready to get off ! Deck staff for bar service were few and far between so either had to go to them or the bar yourself which was very slow. Only two jacuzzis which simply isn't enough for the amount of passengers, although there were two attendants with whistles! Anyone doing anything slightly outside the pool rules got the whistle, how childish ! Pool attendants had no sense of humour to the point of being rude. Theatre performances were very amateur. Disembarkation was dreadful, had to be out of room by 0800 which was far too early when your flight isn't until late afternoon, MSC just wanted you out of the way asap. Certainly will not use this ship again, and will think hard about using MSC again. Feels like 4 grand wasted, need a relaxing holiday to get over it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We whose this cruse because of the price...we wanted to se St. Martin, sainjuan and Bahamas...8 days cruse is perfect. Loved MSCSeaside, friendly staff, great food, deep pools specialty like the pool for adults only. The enbarkation was ... Read More
We whose this cruse because of the price...we wanted to se St. Martin, sainjuan and Bahamas...8 days cruse is perfect. Loved MSCSeaside, friendly staff, great food, deep pools specialty like the pool for adults only. The enbarkation was a smooth process I was surprised. Entertainment was excellant, Steve was so friendly and funny he should have his own comedy show. Love my experience in dining, the food was good and just the right amount. Buffett in my opinion was good because it was a lot to choose from. I sow opera first time in my life I was surprised how good it was it touch me I cried , so did my daughter . Every night was something going on in different places of entertainment so much to chose from. One night we even had a dance. This cruse was excelent, specially value for the money. We are planning to go again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just finishing our first cruise on Msc opera around the med. The ship is spotless, they were always cleaning and our cabin was beautiful they changed our towels three times a day and turned drown the bed every night. The staff throughout ... Read More
Just finishing our first cruise on Msc opera around the med. The ship is spotless, they were always cleaning and our cabin was beautiful they changed our towels three times a day and turned drown the bed every night. The staff throughout the ship are very helpful and always smiling we never experienced anyone miserable. The food was excellent and plentiful. A bit of a free for all in the buffet but staff in the restaurants are very nice. The entertainment in the theatre wasn’t as good as I expected. But a wonderful experience for a first cruise. The only niggle is they don’t enforce the dress code for restaurants on gala night so you can feel overdressed that said it is a very relaxed dress code and atmosphere every night so would have been nice to have one night when everyone made an effort. Overall I would recommend MSC Opera for couples and family’s old and young. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our first time on MSC but we've been on multiple cruises with other cruise companies. We chose this ship and itinerary because there was a really good sale on their website. Booking was a little complicated because we were a ... Read More
This was our first time on MSC but we've been on multiple cruises with other cruise companies. We chose this ship and itinerary because there was a really good sale on their website. Booking was a little complicated because we were a large party so we had to email back and forth with the booking agent. We were a party of 9 adults and we booked 5 rooms, all inside cabins. We had read other reviews stating that the food was catered more towards a European crowd and that there wasn't a lot of variety. We are Canadian and we went in knowing that the food might not be like the other cruise ships. Compared to RC, Norwegian, Celebrity and Carnival, there is indeed less variety but we aren't picky so it didn't really bother us. I was satisfied with the food on this cruise. I didn't like that we were restricted to certain times for dining and they literally close the doors after a certain time. We were scheduled to eat at 7:15 and they close the doors at 7:35. If you're not there, then you can't eat in the restaurant. I prefer freestyle dining. Our cabins were clean and tidy. The cabin stewards did not do any towel folding during our stay like the other cruise companies. There is only shampoo and body wash in the shower. The shower is also tiny, but this to be expected for inside cabins. The beds are comfortable and I had a good sleep throughout the cruise. The entertainment was fine and MSC is probably the only company that has opera at sea. They did a condensed version on Madama Butterfly during one of the days at sea. There were three shows most nights and you have to book them through the MSC app (more on that later). The entertainers were talented and it was interesting the first few nights but the shows got very repetitive and by the end of the week, you're thinking "I saw this last night" because they use the same performers but put them in different costumes. Compared to the other cruise lines, I felt the hospitality on the MSC Seaside was terrible. More than once, we were dumbfounded by the responses from the crew. We had someone in our party who just had leg surgery and was not very mobile. We asked for a wheelchair while in Nassau because it was a long walk out of the pier. The crew member told us she could not go get the wheelchair for us even though it was right up the ramp near the exit. Another time, we didn't know where to go and we actually got reprimanded by one of the crew members for not being able to locate the correct line. She was quite rude. Unlike the other cruise lines, none of the crew greeted us when they saw us and in general they did not seem to be happy working there. Sometimes they would simply tell us "no" when we were asking for something instead of offering an alternative solution to the problem. There is an app that you can download to use while onboard. It has the menus for the restaurants, the list of shows in the evening and the schedule of activities for the day. You can use it to add activities to your day. It wasn't exactly user-friendly but it was handy to have the information with us instead of having to refer to the paper schedule. It was lacking a chat feature on the app and it would be nice if it had that. I didn't book any of the excursions through the cruise line. The prices were on par with all the other cruise lines, which is to say: overpriced so I usually book excursions on my own. I found there was enough variety if you were to book with the cruise so if you didn't want to do any planning, you'd find a nice selection offered by MSC. If you are a diver, note that there were no scuba diving excursions offered by MSC. You have to book outside of the cruise line. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and very easy. It was the fastest I've ever embarked or disembarked a vessel and I give MSC kudos for that. Overall, we got a really good price for the cruise so we weren't expecting something amazing. You get what you pay for, after all. What I was disappointed with was the lack of hospitality and warmth from the crew. I would only book with MSC again if the price was right. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
INTRO... Prior to my comprehensive review, i'd like to say that my intention is to produce a well rounded and honest opinion of the cruise line and the ship, not the itinerary or the destinations. I will be documenting our complete ... Read More
INTRO... Prior to my comprehensive review, i'd like to say that my intention is to produce a well rounded and honest opinion of the cruise line and the ship, not the itinerary or the destinations. I will be documenting our complete experience on this ship (in contrast to many of the poor quality reviews already published on this ship which seem to focus on silly individual things like vegan options in the buffet and airport transfers) We chose this cruise over a similar Mediterranean sailing on Celebrity... who I will say we love as a cruise line and naturally Celebrity set a very high benchmark for other 4/5 star lines. We are not of the average age of people who tend to write cruise reviews, but in our mid-twenties I'd like to think we have a fairly rounded experience and look at cruises and the modern cruising experience from a slightly different perspective - one that is very rarely documented on this site. Myself and partner tend to look for a cruise experience that offers quality dining experiences, excellent service (which includes staff with personalities and character) well maintained and modern ships and entertainment which caters for us twenty somethings... as well as everyone else. In choosing the MSC Seaview none of the above was compromised, we were well and truly overwhelmed by the overall experience. I last sailed with MSC as a 15 year old on the Lirica back in 2005, which overall wasn't bad but following this have only ever sailed with Celebrity and Holland America on one occasion. I must say that we chose to sail with MSC over Celebrity because Celebrities prices have continued to rise to the point where we no longer feel value for money. Prior to us embarking I did not believe I would be able to compare our last Celebrity experience on the Reflection in November 2017 with our upcoming MSC cruise in September, but it was evident from our short, 7-night stay on the Seaview that MSC are pulling out all the stops to compete with not just the mid tier 4-star cruise lines, but directly with the well heeled premium lines too. THE SHIP... Embarkation was a breeze, and so this continued at the ports during our itinerary and at disembarkation after our cruise. Within twenty minutes of arriving port side we were in the champagne bar ordering drinks! We stayed in an Aurea Suite Aft cabin (Aurea being the package level - similar to Aqua Class on Celebrity or Haven on Norwegian) Which gave us a private dining area, private sun deck, an inclusive drinks package, access to the spa's thermal areas (snow room, sauna's, steam rooms and thalassotherapy pool) plus a 50 minute complimentary massage from the spa menu... all for £1650! A lot of ground to catch up here Celebrity! Our cabin was very large and offered a queen bed, free mini bar (re-stocked every day) a generous bathroom, 'wrap around' balcony which gave us Starboard and Aft views and plenty of cabin storage. Our cabin was clean and tended to by our attendant three times a day. The ship is beautiful and a lot of attention to detail has been paid to its aesthetics both internally and externally. Adorned with marble, silver, golds and bronzes the interior of the Seaview offers a classy and ultra modern, luxurious environment with no expense spared. The layout brings you different themes and often chunks main attractions together in individual and easy to find areas. Be aware, the Seaview is very large and often quite hard to navigate its 20 decks (not something that caused any real issues) Each deck is named after the world's oceans and seas and apart from the pool decks, floors 4 - 12 from Forward to Aft positions meet in the middle at the ships 'Grande Piazza', a glitzy expanse of different bars and restaurants. We spent most of our time pre and post-dinner around here, it gave us easy access to the casino, theatre and on most nights the ship's entertainment staff hosted various parties and themed events from the Piazza. We were huge fans of the different pool areas, each offering a different experience for adults and children, with the ships Aquaventure waterpark tucked well away of the more serene and relaxing areas. Despite the ship being at it's capacity of 5000 guests, we always managed to find space to sunbath... although we would have liked to have seen pool staff removing towels from 'reserved' beds which weren't occupied for hours (a policy Celebrity adhere to and one I think works well) Our private Aurea sundeck was a quiet place to retreat in the afternoon following a day out at port. However a negative for MSC on this one, they could have utilised the space better rather than simply filling it with sun loungers. The private bar was great, but I would have appreciated cabana's and more comfy seating space... not a massive issue in the grand scheme. THE ENTERTAINMENT... The ships entertainment is fast paced, exciting and offers music to accommodate all taste. Theatre shows offer a variety of performances and experiences and overall I rate good. The ships DJ plays current and previous hits depending on the time of day/ night and theme of the party. THE FOOD... The best we've had at sea. We're used to dining on the best having sailed with Celebrity for so many years, but following our experience on the Seaview, not only are the speciality restaurants superb, but the choice and the quality of the food in the main restaurants is excellent! Twinned with great service from the waiters. When sailing on the Seaview, I highly recommend taking out one of the speciality dining packages. The speciality restaurants we sampled were Asian Market (three asian restaurants) all wonderful and unique in their offering. Butchers Cut (steak house) Delightfully prepared and very tasty but very filling meals. Lastly, Ocean Cay being the stand-out... Created for and in collaboration with 'Michelin Star' chef Ramon Freixa is seafood heaven! I apologise for drawing comparison with Celebrity again but all of the speciality restaurants on the Seaview trump the speciality restaurants on our last Celebrity ship... the Reflection for a fairly comparative additional charge. THE STAFF... Engagement with staff on board was always what I would consider as good. The waiters and bar staff were nearly always excellent, showed a vested interest in their guests and looked to form a bond with us wherever we chose to eat. The sommelier and maitre'd in the speciality restaurants liked us so much he often left bottles of wine with us and offered hefty discounts if we chose to order any additionals! However I would have lied to have seen some 'Flare' bar tendering... again something we're used to on Celebrity. Our room attendant was pleasant and would happily go over and above to ensure we were satisfied with everything. We didn't see much of the officers, who remained fairly elusive along with the ship's Captain Marco Massa who we very rarely heard from or saw... which was a shame, however not really impacting our experience. IN SUMMARY... Would we cruise with MSC again? Absolutely, but I would be hesitant after experiencing one of their newest ships to sail on the older ships in their fleet. The Seaview seemed to deliver what we expect from a cruise and more. I would highly recommend MSC to any of our fellow cruisers who may be thinking about a change from their traditional cruise line or simply want better value for money. If you're British or American and looking to sail with MSC, bare in mind that the general appeal of MSC is to the european market. Many of our fellow guests were Italian, Spanish, French and German and many didn't speak or converse in English... again this didn't bother us because everyone was still very pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It was me and my mom on the Medditarenean cruise, our girls time went really good because of the itinerary, service, and excursions!!! I would highly recommend booking excursions in advance to save your spot and attend on the ship ... Read More
It was me and my mom on the Medditarenean cruise, our girls time went really good because of the itinerary, service, and excursions!!! I would highly recommend booking excursions in advance to save your spot and attend on the ship entertainment which was amazing. We had a small issue with our bill, but the front desk collaborated with food & beverage department and resolved it. Things for improvement 1. L'Aprodo restaurant disappointed us in poor choices and flavors of food. It was bland no flavor, in comparison to amazing delicious and various choices at the buffet on floor 11, Il Patio & Le Vele. Kudos to amazing buffet supervisor Osman Alfaro who always gave us VIP service as well. 2. A bigger swimming pool would be great. 3. Poor quality of toiletries, like shampoo and shower gel in each cabin. So you might want to bring your own. THANK YOU MSC Opera, memories created will last forever! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
MSC cruise was offered in trip package with many lines as options. I thought new ship would be nice change and decided on MSC. This was a big mistake. Had read reviews that was really negative after I had sign up for the cruise. I like ... Read More
MSC cruise was offered in trip package with many lines as options. I thought new ship would be nice change and decided on MSC. This was a big mistake. Had read reviews that was really negative after I had sign up for the cruise. I like sports so I thought I would review my cruise like football game review. Embarkment: A Very easy to get on, but first staff person took my picture and totally missed my head. Registering credit cards: C Machine gave you options for using two cards, which was kind of confusing.. Received memo after two days on boeard that one of the cards never cleared. Why did I need two in the first place. Cabin: C The cabin was nice, but just as I read there was not much room for your clothes and luggage. Had to stick my bags under the desk and under the bed. Bathroom had a tub. Been on several cruises and never had a tub before. Had a balcony and had nice view. My cabin person accused us of taking a bottle of water out of the wet bar that we brought from the bar and tried to charge us $1.75. The wet bar never had that type of water in it. Food: C- First meal in the dining hall was steak and fries. It was like I was eating. Concur steak and McDonald’s fries. After complaining they gave me two plates every night, but it just lack the “boom” you expect on cruise. Packages: F Wanted purchase a liguor package for myself, but was told that every person in the cabin must purchase one too. Cost over $600 and more, so I decided not to buy one. Even if you wanted water the same policy....crazy. Excursions: B+ I never been on a cruise where the excursions was handled perfectly. The process of tags and numbers and transportation they used were great. Entertainment: F- They had shows every night they had four good singers that performed in every show. And the show lasted from 20-35 mins....who does that? Baby Disney production....CHEAP, Pools and after dinner: F The pools were small and was crowded. People was smoking everywhere and the young people was jus standing or holding on the sides. My wife and I never got into pool or hot tub the whole cruise. Nightlife: There was nothing to do at night for anyone over 50.The music was European electronic rock. Being black, by Wednesday I was paid money to stop hearing that hard base music. Overall: C- MSC yo’re the CHEAPEST line we had ever been on. Every aspect other then your excursions were cheap....baby Disney. Was on the ship for a week and never really understood the ship. To many mirrors and no place for your older crowd to go and band in the Haven was poor. RC you have nothing to fear from the cheap organization. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The number of passengers are far too numerous for the cruise. Had to fight over poolside loungers, food and tables from the buffet, and even standing space at some bars. Whatever you wanted you had to pay extra for. Cabin and cabin service ... Read More
The number of passengers are far too numerous for the cruise. Had to fight over poolside loungers, food and tables from the buffet, and even standing space at some bars. Whatever you wanted you had to pay extra for. Cabin and cabin service was excellent. Very little entertainment in the bars and due to the number of passengers battled to get bar waiter service. Also had to wait for hours to get an elevator to different floors. I have travelled on other cruises and got the impression that once MSC had you on board all they would then try and do is fleece you for your money!!! The food in the Silver Dolphin Restaurant was average, some dishes being wonderful and others awful. The excursions were way overpriced and we did our own thing at a fraction of there price. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly without any hassles. Would think twice before going again with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were looking for a cruise that fit our schedule in mid July as we would be in Geneva. We chose MSC cruise out of Marseille as it seemed like a good way to introduce my husband to the cruise experience, with a new city each day. We ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise that fit our schedule in mid July as we would be in Geneva. We chose MSC cruise out of Marseille as it seemed like a good way to introduce my husband to the cruise experience, with a new city each day. We stayed in Marseille for a couple of days prior to embarkation. City is “gritty” and “edgy” as the reviewers have said, but it also made us a little anxious. We did however, visit some museums which were excellent, and also spent a day in Aix en Provence which was brilliant. The trip from Marseille (downtown) to the cruise port was about 25 minutes in taxi and no trouble getting there. The MSC staff was helpful and there were very few people, so boarding was very fast. We boarded and were able to access our room immediately. Let’s start with all the good things we found about this particular MSC cruise: 1. The food was excellent. Wherever we ate - the cafeterias, the dining room, the other eateries on the ship- the food was all top quality. We had absolutely no complaints about the quality of the food. We had bought a drinks package prior to boarding, and this I found reduced the annoyance of having to pay for each drink, or the service charges. You should know that NO beverages other than coffee,tea and plain water (not bottled) are included in the all-inclusive so you should get some sort of package if you want to enjoy your cruise. Our drinks package allowed for glasses of wine almost anywhere except our room, all alcoholic beverages, juice (except freshly squeezed we learned on the first day), and canned drinks and mineral or bottled water. It also included specialty coffees and gelato. For us this was great. 2. The cabin was large, clean, and comfortable. No complaints about the cabin itself. Good choice for us but the aft is noisy with the wake of the ship so if you don’t like that noise than it won’t be for you. 3. Itinerary. This cruise has a great itinerary and is interesting for those who like history. It goes to Genoa, Rome, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma de Mallorca and Valencia. We left from Marseille but you can choose other cities for departure. People seemed to get on and off at different sites. Mostly you are sailing at night - you get wonderful views of the ports as you sail off in the early evenings, and again views when you arrive in the mornings. Quite lovely. We did not book excursions with the cruise line because all of them left too early in the mornings for our taste (9 am or so). We did a little homework and for those cities where the ports were close we just disembarked and made our own arrangements. 4. Entertainment. It was all very good including the shows at night. The piano bar had some wonderful singers and a piano player. Very enjoyable. Some other considerations you might find helpful from our experience. 1. Check with the reception desk at the very beginning of the cruise to determine what is included with your card and to make sure that if you pre-ordered anything, it is included on your card. You need the card for everything, including getting off the ship so keep it safe We found the staff to be relatively nice but not particularly helpful or forthcoming with information. We did a lot of “asking questions” at the reception desk because we just didn’t know about certain things - like at the beginning of the cruise “how does the drinks package work? What is included”? We weren’t provided with much information - we eventually found someone who offered us a map of the ship - on day 5, which would have been most helpful on day 1! 2. The “steward” definition on this cruise seems different from my experience on Carnival, where the Steward helped you figure things out and was there to help. In our case we barely saw the Steward, he didn’t introduce himself and when we did ask questions he was unable to answer them. This could be a cultural thing so I wouldn’t put too much into it as it didn’t ruin the cruise or anything - it would just have been nice. 3. There was no concept of line-ups, for lunch, for disembarkation, for waiting for the elevators. This could be a little annoying when we were trying to get back to our room after an excursion, or when the restaurants were busy, but again, we just assumed it was different customs so we did our best. 4. The night prior to arrival in two of the ports - Valencia and Mallorca - we received a notification in our room that if we wanted to go into the city on our own we had to pay a 12 Euro fee for a shuttle. There was no option. We didn’t know this. Had we known, we might have booked an excursion where we wouldn’t have to pay the 12 Euros (each). This information should have been given to us earlier. 5. This is a big ship. It is complicated to get around and there is not always staff to help you figure things out. A little exploring should help, but it is definitely a challenge! This isn’t good or bad - just something I wanted to share. 6. The seated dining experience was not something I enjoyed. The tables were packed together as close as possible - and I mean just barely enough room between some of them to squeeze by. We were a couple, and were assigned to a table of six. I don’t know if you can ask for your own table but I would have preferred this. Even so, the fact that we were so many people packed in together was not a good experience. The service was not especially great either, and people did not seem to dress up for the occasion. We subsequently chose to only use seated dining three times out of the seven nights. It was also very disagreeable that staff were coming around to your table to “sell” you drink packages, or dinner packages. This is something that should not be done. 7. A few last thoughts - the cabins have both North American and European outlets. There aren’t that many though so an extension or extra outlet comes in handy. The shower has a cord for hanging wet clothes. There is a hair dryer that works well. There is a mini bar/fridge you can use with space for a few things. In the mornings I would go for my coffee (a quick trip with no fighting for elevators) and bring it to the room to sit on the balcony. Very lovely to watch the ship arriving. The decoration of this ship is themed on the Italian movie times of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Interesting posters everywhere to see. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I took the 7/7/18 Eastern Caribbean Cruise Pros: The ship is very cool and mondern looking. -Butchers Cut was a great experience -The mobile app is handy but could use a little tweaking. -Rooms were neat and very clean. ... Read More
I took the 7/7/18 Eastern Caribbean Cruise Pros: The ship is very cool and mondern looking. -Butchers Cut was a great experience -The mobile app is handy but could use a little tweaking. -Rooms were neat and very clean. Cons: Pull up a chair -RUDE people work onboard this ship and they are everywhere. This is my 6th cruise and I’ve never seen anything like it. This was probably the biggest turnoff of the entire experience. -Excursions desk is just a plain hot mess. We didn’t receive our excursion tickets which they blamed on house keeping. Refused to reprint so on excursion days we had to get there extra early so they could “look us up”. If you see Anna(Ukraine) at the excursion desk, get ready for some serious attitude. -Food choices are predictable after day 2. Nothing changes day to day...at all! We looked forward to excursions to get food off the ship. -GERMS!!! The sanitizer machines are almost always out of sanitizer. When you go into the common eating areas there are machines and places to wash your hands but most people walk right by without washing or sanitizing. On RC, there is a person standing guard...no wash no eat! -The Gym, if you like to work out, bring a Zumba video on your smart phone. The gym is tiny and 1/3 of the machines(yes I did the math) are broken. -The beds aren’t comfortable but that is subjective, but for me they were just too hard. -NOISE: This ship is loud...not the engines but every noise can be heard from several deck up or several cabins beside you. There can’t be any sound deadening in the walls whatsoever. So you basically go to sleep when the people within 40 feet of you are quiet and you wake up when they do. -Elevevators take a while to get to you, but you can always walk since the gym is crap! -Their is an automatic gratuity for everything. Maybe I missed this on RC, but they charge you a gratuity as if they were actually delivering great service. I do recommend the Jeep tour in St. Maarten...it was a blast and the tour guides were amazing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Had originally planned to do a Baltic cruise on NCL for a family of 4 in 2 cabins, but prices were high and no deals to be had. Not sure if the fact that the dates coincided with the World Cup in Russia were to blame, but the overall price ... Read More
Had originally planned to do a Baltic cruise on NCL for a family of 4 in 2 cabins, but prices were high and no deals to be had. Not sure if the fact that the dates coincided with the World Cup in Russia were to blame, but the overall price was out of our budget. I find that NCL are very expensive now they only do the Premium all inclusive package, particularly if you are very moderate drinkers. Having a browse around one evening, ended up on the USA Expedia website, although we are UK based. This site has an excellent search facility, and found the MSC Seaview, which at the time was several months away from being finished. This was a western med cruise and is unique in the fact that you can get on at most of the ports of call, getting off a week later at the same port. Prices vary dramatically between embarkation ports, getting on a day earlier or later can save hundreds or even thousands of pounds for a family of 4. Genoa and Barcelona are expensive, we chose Marseille and saved a fortune, although we had to fly from Stanstead rather than Manchester to get decent flight prices. Marseille port is quite a distance from the airport.Taxi was close to 50 Euro. MSC seem to be trying hard to get American cruisers on their European ships at the moment, USA prices are considerably less than the prices on the MSC UK website. Extra benefits were $500 on-board credit if you paid by Mastercard, 14 drinks vouchers per person for the Fantastica package, and free bottled water for all cabin types.We were unsure if Expedia USA would take bookings from the UK, but when we phoned them they said it was not a problem, although that turned out to be not entirely true. We booked 2 cabins, a Fantastica cabin for myself and my wife and a Bella cabin for the 2 girls (15 & 21) paying the 2 deposits in dollars, by a fee free Halifax Mastercard. Within an hour we had had an email saying one of the deposit payments had not gone through and could we contact our cruise consultant again, (Expedia agents do not have international dialing rights as I think many of them are home based). We eventually managed to contact her and she dealt with MSC directly while we waited on the line, although it took her 30 minutes to get through to them. Next day my wife noticed that there were 3 deposit amounts on the credit card statement. we spoke to Expedia and were advised to contact MSC directly as it transpired that Expedia hadn't actually taken the payments at all, but had passed the card details to MSC to take payment directly, this was mirrored on the statement that showed MSC as the merchant. Contacting MSC call centre was a nightmare. Waits on hold of up to an hour before speaking to an agent and finding someone who could resolve it was frustrating. I spent around 3 hours on the phone over a period of a week or so before speaking to someone who resolved it. To be fair to MSC it was a few days after a major hurricane and they were busy trying to recover from the disruption. I had reason to speak the them just prior to the cruise and the call was answered in under 5 minutes. As we had booked via USA, we were associated with the USA MSC website. You cannot put your booking number in the UK website and see your booking. Unlike the Expedia website, the MSC site is a dog. We had constant problems from start to finish. It doesn't always behave as you might expect and things reset to default or just disappear. Online Check In was a nightmare, The UK address not helping, but it mainly just doesn't work. ( Tip: If you can't get your UK address in, complete the field for the second person in the cabin first, then tick the box that says "same address for all passengers"). We uploaded images for our identification picture multiple times, but they disappear if you make any changes to any other fields. When we boarded, they took new pictures any way, which over wrote the ones we had already uploaded. I wouldn't bother with the pictures before boarding again. We'd been watching the GBP USD exchange rates, and decided to pay the final balance a few weeks before we actually needed to, but we hit problems again, Our plan was to pay for one cabin in USD, pay the card off in GBP, then pay the second cabin the week after. Unfortunately the payment was processed twice again by MSC, pushing the card to its limit. It took a further 3 weeks of phone calls and emails to Expedia and MSC to get this resolved. When we eventually came to pay for the 2nd cabin, neither Expedia and MSC were able to process the payment. More phone calls and emails, we were given various reasons including a policy change and technical difficulties. I tried again a week later ready for a bun fight, but it went through in 2 minutes with no issues. we subsequently booked excursions and other add-ons via the website with no issues I probably would book through the USA again, but I'd be more prepared for the problems. I've booked through NCL via their USA call centre in the past and had no issues at all. To the cruise, eventually! Boarding at Marseille was extremely quick. Less than 30 minutes after arriving at the port we were on the ship. We were given our drinks vouchers as we checked in. Both rooms were ready. The fact that people get on and off every day means the numbers at any particular port are much smaller. There is no last night depression either when every one is getting off the next day. I think less than 500 got on that day. Most seem to board at Genoa and Barcelona. The ship is absolutely stunning. Lots of chrome and mirrors, although at times it's a bit difficult to tell where you are. Some parts of some decks can only be reached by certain lifts. Didn't have much trouble getting a lift, although we used the 2 panoramic elevators at the back most of the time as we were towards that end. There is loads of outside space, for eating, drinking and sunbathing. You cannot get to the front of any deck as its reserved for Yacht Club guests. They tend to walk around behind a butler holding a big Yacht Club paddle. Quite funny really, although a bit annoying at times. We were 8PM dining in the Silver Dolphin Restaurant had a table of 4 just for us which is how we like it. I was a bit disappointed in the dining experience overall. Limited choices some nights, Way too many veggie and vegan options unless you're into that sort of thing. We always felt a bit rushed and were out by 9:15 most nights. Portion sizes were very small with hardly any vegetables etc. The food wasn't warm enough for me, although I do like my food very hot. If you had anything other than wine it was impossible to get a 2nd drink as the staff were too busy. We did the Butchers Cut steakhouse one night, That was excellent. The steak was hot and one of the best I've ever had. There are 2 buffets, the largest on deck 8 and a smaller one on deck 16. we never had issues getting a seat at either. We actually ate outside most of the time. Always managed to find plenty to eat. Food temperature was the usual buffet lottery. Lots of sunbeds to be had, but bear in mind they are spread all over the ship on various decks. If you want a prime spot by one of the pools you will need to be up early. Lots of hot tubs around, never had a problem getting into one. There are bars all over the ship, both inside and outside, something for all tastes. Some are smoking bars, so avoid these if you are not a smoker. Seating was never really an issue, if one was full, just head off to another. Service was good, and drinks prices pretty reasonable for a cruise ship. We had paper drinks coupons, some that came as part of the Fantastica package, others we bought online before boarding (Beer, Wine & Water Easy, Soda, coffee) Not really a fan of the paper vouchers, would much rather see them electronically on your account. Had 3 issues using these, where the staff didn't correctly zero them off the hand held terminals they use to take orders. Had to go to Guest Services to get resolved, although they were dealt with quickly and efficiently. Had some great coffees and chocolates in the Venchi Chocolate and coffee bar on deck 5 Was not impressed by the entertainment on the ship at all. The main shows were very short and pretty much the same every night. A random selection of songs and dance routines, with no speech that made no sense whatsoever. Every night there were 2 bendy girls, a rope artist and a roller skating duo who appeared at random points during the show, while the dancers changed into the next costume. Compared against what NCL are doing, it was dire. We gave up after 3 nights and went to the bars instead. Other singers around the ship were very average. The DJ who deafened every one on the Deck 16 outdoor stage had a repertoire consisting of "Oh Yeah" and "One, Two, Three, Four" Did one tour to a village on Sicily by coach, reasonably priced. Otherwise did our own thing. Conclusion: Great value cruise on an awesome ship. It's a bit different to the American companies with a more European feel. Needs some work on the main dining to appeal to the American market. Entertainment needs a total rethink. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
First off, we are tough critics so keep that in mind while reading our review. We chose MSC Seaside for a few reasons. The biggest is that last year we cruised the MSC Divina for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Our ... Read More
First off, we are tough critics so keep that in mind while reading our review. We chose MSC Seaside for a few reasons. The biggest is that last year we cruised the MSC Divina for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. Our party has 3 generations (teenagers, middle-aged/50, and in-laws in their 80s) traveling and without fail all thought the Divina, and its staff, were the best we ever had. This lead us to try the Seaside. This was somewhat of a last-minute trip so we did not have many options room wise. We ended up booking the lowest option (guaranteed cabin x3) at the Bella experience. The Unlimited Drinks special was going on. We ended up getting assigned balconies (woohooo) for staterooms on the 12th floor. Great way to start. Our thoughts are as follows: Cons: – MSC Website is the worst I have ever used. It baffles me as to why they have not fixed it. We struggled with it last year and this year. They almost lost the sale due to it. If you can’t get a website right, how can we trust you to sail a ship? -Timing/logistics seem to need a review or overhaul. For instance, the cruise critic party was at 10:00 AM. We got notice on our door at 9:00 AM. The White Night Party was on an evening before a port, however Italian night was the night before at sea. We were all dragging in port wondering why the 10:30 PM party was held the night before an 8:00 AM port. The Black Party was held at 5:00. Our dinner was 5:15. Just odd timing on things. -Quiet space on the ship is hard to come by. The ship is amazingly beautiful but the thump thump thump music coming from the main lobby permeates most areas that are meant for congregation. This made it tough for us to find space with all three generations to relax and talk. I was somewhat surprised by the music choices on elegant nights as well. I expected something a little more elegant but that did not happen. -Drink package is odd. No real place to find out what is included and most wait staff tell you something different each time. The drinks you are entitled to are free however there is a service charge (tip) for each drink. No one could explain to us what it was (we were told it was tax). HOT TIP – go to the self-service drink station on deck 8 buffet. You card will dispense beer and wine that are included in your package. It is completely at your leisure and no tip is added, -The gym is too small -I only saw the zip line operate once. Not sure why it was closed most of the trip -It can get pretty crowded in the food areas -The “library” is odd. I have never seen a library that has a pool table, checker boards and is a main walkway. I think it was more of an afterthought. -Got zinged by the minibar again. We were charged for something we did not take. HOT TIP-when you check in have the steward inventory the minibar in front of you then ask them to lock it for the duration of the cruise (we forgot this go around) -You can keep Nassua Pros: -Staff was great. Still love Rom (waiter in the for-fee dining area) -Lots to do. There was always something going on. We took many dance lessons and the instructors were fun and patient -Little kiddos seemed to LOVE that water park which was fun to see -Food was good and plentiful. Not “amazing” but good and reasonable. -Rooms were nice. Love the couch. Storage is tight as is the toilet area but something must give. -Getting on and off the ship was the best we have ever experienced. -The ship truly is amazing. You must ride the elevator at the back of the ship while at sea. The views are amazing -The bridge of sighs and infinity bridges were super cool -I was easily able to find deck chairs on the sides of the ship when I wanted a little sun nap. I am not a big at sea pool guy so this option was perfect for me - I thought the MSC for Me app was helpful. If they would add person to person “texting” or adult tracking it would be amazing. The onboard touchscreens throughout the ship are super handy too -The evening shows were really good. We don’t usually go to many shows but found ourselves going to most and were not disappointed. HOT TIP – If you are going to a show use the MSC app or a touch screen to reserve a seat. We were in the 5:15 dining rotation and could make the 6:45 show if we were there promptly at 5:15. The 8:00 show is usually booked solid so book early if you want that time. -I rode the slides with the kids and made the Mrs. try it once too. Lots of fun (I got dizzier on the brown kids slide than the adult blue slides) -Elegant night and Voyagers party served drinks and snacks. The elegant night “Happy Hour” started at about 4:45 but was not very well advertised but is a great way to start out the night -The way they do pictures is great. There are viewing stations where you scan your card and can bring up digitals of all your pix. Much easier than playing where’s waldo and looking at a wall full of other people while looking for yours Overall, we enjoyed the trip and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were ill for several weeks after the cruise. Our stomach problems really stared on the plane after leaving the ship on the last day. We had only eaten on-board while on the cruise. We are convinced that we caught a bug whilst on board. ... Read More
We were ill for several weeks after the cruise. Our stomach problems really stared on the plane after leaving the ship on the last day. We had only eaten on-board while on the cruise. We are convinced that we caught a bug whilst on board. After 3 Visits to the doctors my wife now seems to be a lot better but still has stomach problems. We were contacted by a passenger stayed on the ship for a further week after us. This was her comments:- There were lots of people on the ship (passengers and crew) with low-grade food poisoning but the medical team and ship were misreporting it so they would not be investigated by the port authorities. Whole tables were having problems -7 out of 8 on our table with just my partner being OK. The last 2 days they actually started taking action and cleaning handrails, enforcing the hand gel when going into the restaurants and when getting on the ship. The cruise was bad. The cabin was so narrow that to get into bed we had to bend down and shuffle sideways, it was not comfortable at all. The passengers on board were mainly Italian. We had been on board only an hour when this middle aged Italian ran into my wife almost knocking her over. If you used the lifts you had to fight your way out as the other passengers would rush into the lifts giving you no chance to get out. The quality of the food was very poor. The main restaurant was OK if all you wanted was pizza, pasta or burgers. The formal restaurant was slightly better but the portions were poor and the preparation variable. I asked for a medium steak but it arrived raw inside. After sending it back twice I gave up. The staff were generally polite but I heard reports of someone swearing at a passenger and the waiting staff having a “bun fight” during dinner one night. When we arrived back in the UK we spoke to friends of ours that had been on a different MSC cruise shortly before and they state that they would never go on another. We went to see customer services on the last night. The fist girl I spoke to was very polite and friendly. She told me I would have to speak to a manager who was very impolite and so was his manager, all they did was quote company policy and were not interested in sorting our problem out. The ship was terrible. Passengers were allowed to smoke in the bar area even though there was an enclosed smoking area next to the bar. On arriving back I tried to contact MSC customer services, only to be told that I could not speak to anyone, they only responded to email. I sent an email, which was returned days later because I had not used the correct customer services address. I had to send it again. Why the person could not have forwarded my email I do not know. I received a reply back to say they would contact me within 28 days. I did not receive an email for over a month. I truly believe that any company that only deals with emails for customer services and sets a response date of a month, do not really care about customers. Never again MSC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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