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132 MSC Cruises Marseille Cruise Reviews

Given, that my wife and I have now completed a number of cruises (with both Royal Caribbean and MSC), I think I am finally qualified to write a meaningful review. In 2013 we cruised with MSC Preziosa in the Western Med and the itinerary ... Read More
Given, that my wife and I have now completed a number of cruises (with both Royal Caribbean and MSC), I think I am finally qualified to write a meaningful review. In 2013 we cruised with MSC Preziosa in the Western Med and the itinerary included Barcelona, Naples, Genoa, Messina, Tunis (Tunisia) and Marseille. It was a fantastic experience, which subsequently led to us fast becoming "cruise junkies". Since then we've cruised on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and MSC Divina, on different routes in the Caribbean. Whilst on the Divina last year, we heard from the Captain at the "special" Captain's Cocktail Party (essentially a thank you for passengers who return to cruise with MSC), about MSC's plans to role out new ships over the next few years. So, when MSC invited us to partake in the live streaming of the christening/launching of the Meraviglia earlier this year, it certainly caught our interest. We subsequently browsed Meraviglia's itinerary and noticed that with the exception of Tunis, the route throughout October was the same we have previously done. Due to terror attacks in Tunis, it was replaced by Valetta in Malta. We took the decision to book, based on the ship and not so much the itinerary. And we also decided to "spoil" ourselves by choosing the Yacht Club Experience. The Yacht Club Experience (YCE) is best described as being an exclusive area within the ship, only accessible to those passengers who purchase this (expensive) option. There is a myriad of shows, bands and other forms of entertainment, including the amazing Cirque du Soleil on board, which this this review does not seek to cover. The review does however speak to our personal experience; Embarkation for us was in Marseille. YCE passengers are greeted by butlers (they are available 24hrs on call in the Yacht Club), who basically do the checking in whilst you sip on bubbly. They escort you to your cabin and make sure you feel totally pampered (I warned my wife not to get use to the lifestyle and not to expect the same when we get home!). We had cabin 18016 on deck 18. The cabin was plush, vast and did not disappoint. A chilled bottle of bubbly awaited on the coffee table, along with fresh fruit (which is replenished daily. A mini bar is also available for your use and stocked daily. The bathroom (shower only), is a nice size and packing/closet space is more than ample for the 7 night cruise. There's a Nespresso machine with coffee capsules for your use, but no froth machine. The bed was firm but comfortable and YCE passengers can request varying density of pillows. YCE passengers have access to all public areas and may also choose to dine in the general dining areas. However, the Yacht Club has it's own dining area, lounge and pool area. With 5700 people on board, it was nice to escape the hustle and bustle and retreat to exclusivity on occasion. YCE passengers also have free access to the Thermal area. This has various steam, sauna and other jet baths. We had absolutely no problem with the cleaning services, or that of the butler and dining staff. In general, I think MSC can be proud of the people who tirelessly perform these tough duties. YCE passengers also have the added benefit of being able to book excursions and shows with the YC Concierge. However, let me deal with the irritations; MSC........ when I pay for an all inclusive Yacht Club Experience and you tell me that all drinks in any of the bars and restaurants, excluding only the speciality restaurants (because this is how you advertise it), then expect me to get very irritated when I am told by the Concierge that this is not entirely the case. I then am told that in some restaurants where there are prices on the menu and in some bars where there are 2 asterisk, these are not included in the package. This scenario became the bane of my cruise. MSC...... It's either all inclusive or not. You need to be honest with me from the start! Then there is the Captain. Maybe it's not him personally, but the folk who plans his public itinerary. Passengers make a big deal about meeting the Captain... we even dress up for it. So if you plan a gala event, planned for 7pm sharp, then have the decency of being there on time! MSC.... with the Meraviglia, you have embarked on a similar operating model to Royal Caribbean, with the expansive promenade and varying themes. I accept that you need to be innovative, but you need to get it right or else it's a disaster. We have met and taken pics with the Captain of all our cruises, bar the Meraviglia...... after waiting for nearly an hour, we just gave up and went for dinner. We thought, we'll catch up with him at the special cocktail party (which on other MSC ships, is held in a lounge aft of the ship). Alas, this was also a disaster. Arriving early for the event, we were ushered to seats by the entertainment crew and when the Captain finally made his appearance, it was on a balcony in the promenade, nowhere close to where we were told to sit. I should stop whinging now. Folks, the Meraviglia is stunning and I expect the new MSC Seaside and others that will follow, to be even more spectacular. The Yacht Club Experience is very different from the "normal" exec balcony suites. I nearly forgot to mention...... we did not sample foods in the general dining areas, but in the Yacht Club, the food and wine is excellent!!! Be aware that some parts of the Western Med are already quite cold in October, with temps in the mid teens (Celsius). Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
A group of us, friends, for the past several years enjoyed cruising as a fun alternative to all-inclusive vacations at beach resorts. Our prior experience on another MSC ship, Poesia, a few years ago was very good, and the lingering ... Read More
A group of us, friends, for the past several years enjoyed cruising as a fun alternative to all-inclusive vacations at beach resorts. Our prior experience on another MSC ship, Poesia, a few years ago was very good, and the lingering memories lead us to take a cruise on MSC Meraviglia this year. Besides the behemoth form factor, fancy displays, technological innovations, gleaming stainless steel, and shimmering Swarovski crystal embedded staircases, a cavernous promenade with a long LED roof, with many shops, and restaurants, a water park with water slides and a Himalayan rope course: the ship is attractive in many ways. The top two decks are stacked with play, games, and spa areas. Buffet is nothing spectacular either, just run-of-mill, the usual fare. Buffet restaurants are crowded always due to the volume of passengers. There wasn’t adequate staff in the buffet restaurants to keep the busy place ‘ship-shaped’. Dishes were not picked up properly or the tables were cleaned promptly. Too many people, too less staff especially in buffet restaurants was very noticeable. No water or juice were served at the table, everything was self-serviced. The dinners at the free restaurants were so-so as well, nothing particular about the menu to speak about. No water served at the dinner table in the restaurants, if you want water pay, and buy! It was to a point annoying to see them trying to upsell something or other, from liquor, dinner at upscale restaurants to spa packages always. Talked to many crew members during the cruise and realized that they were all over worked for the same money they got from a smaller ship. Now we know that the first impression may not be the lasting impression. The big, bold, spanking-glittering look impressed us first, but it was different when came to creature comforts, service aspects, food and value for the money. They were sub-par in nature to our expectations.Customer service was extremely poor. No response to enquiries started even months before the actual cruise dates. Few emails to them to rectify certain mistakes/omissions were met with total silence. We asked for certain cabins on specific decks, and the agent agreed during the booking time. However, what we received were different, and tried to correct the error via emails was futile. Dinner seating time was another issue: what was originally asked for and assigned was arbitrarily changed and couldn’t get it changed. Some positives were the crew: they were courteous, and friendly. The restaurant, buffet, and dinner staff went out of their way to serve us. Kudos to all them! Perhaps, next time we may be better off on a small or medium size ship. Overall rating: average, nothing spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Things they don’t tell you: No complimentary tea/coffee after dinner. You will have to pay extra for luxury food (e.g. lobster) on formal nights. You will have to share a table if you go into the Marco Polo Restaurant for ... Read More
Things they don’t tell you: No complimentary tea/coffee after dinner. You will have to pay extra for luxury food (e.g. lobster) on formal nights. You will have to share a table if you go into the Marco Polo Restaurant for breakfast or lunch i.e. no tables for two. No free ice cream in the buffet If you are English on a Mediterranean cruise, it is likely your shore excursion will be cancelled due to lack of English speaking guests No free flavoured waters with meals in the buffet. No decaffeinated coffee in the buffet Overcrowding at breakfast and lunch in the buffet and difficulty finding a table Swivel chairs installed in the theatre due to lack of proper seating. Lack of toilets in public spaces. Go for a suite - great room, cabin stewards wonderful, good view (a nice sanctuary after the push and shove in the public areas and on shore excursions) Be careful that the shore excursion you are given the tickets for on board is the shore excursion you have booked! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
It was our first cruise, we are family of 2 adults and 2 childrens, we decided to take this cruise because it is a new ship and it was look fantastic on the web, when we booked it back in June 2017 there was no reviews yet. We read the ... Read More
It was our first cruise, we are family of 2 adults and 2 childrens, we decided to take this cruise because it is a new ship and it was look fantastic on the web, when we booked it back in June 2017 there was no reviews yet. We read the reviews only a few days before our cruise and saw many bad reviews so we went with very low expectations... On the cruise we found many reviews were really correct. This company has a big problem with customer service as well with food quality, we were expected from an italian company to serve great food, but the food quality and variety was absolutely poor !!! Our first dinner was at Wave Restaurant, we couldn't eat most of the food there. Since that dinner we decided to try the Buffet and found it better, but again, the food quality is poor. We found ourselves eating Pizza and Pasta with Salad every meal, as well there bakery wich was good, we didn't touch the meat or chicken. The buffet area is very noisy and crowded. The front desk customer service didn't do anything with our complaint about it even when we went there twice and they talled us the manager who is in charge of the food on the ship will contact us, so it seems they are very welcoming this poor quality. But this is only a part of there bad service, in general they dont give you as a guest a good welcoming feeling, they welcome your money only !!! There is a long list of other bad things to write... There were also good staff to tell like the cleaning of the rooms and all the areas at the ship but for us it all start and end with customer service and food quality. Therefore this cruise is not worth to going to. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because it visited all but one places we had not been to. Having travelled on the MSC Opera we knew what to expect and then it was a good trip with the only short falls being the way it catered for mainly non-UK ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it visited all but one places we had not been to. Having travelled on the MSC Opera we knew what to expect and then it was a good trip with the only short falls being the way it catered for mainly non-UK guests. Embarkation went reasonably well, very very busy at Valencia, people jostling about and queue jumping, checking in cases then queueing again. Disembarkation very fast and the best we have had. All very efficient considering the 4000 plus passengers involved. We had a deck 10 port side cabin with balcony and enjoyed nearly every port with a city view. The cabin was roomy with very plush fittings maybe due for an update in some areas but had everything you need except drinks hot making facilities, due to kettles being a fire hazard. Our cabin had very noisy neighbours, with children playing football and screeching, fortunately they left a th first port. Not too sure about the constant smoking on other balconies and in various areas including the casino not being a fire hazard. Very bad if you a non smoker. The smoke invades a huge portion of a few bars. This is a beautifully appointed ship with elegance and flair in all areas. Plenty of places to relax. The main dining rooms are cram packed and most have tables for 6 or 8. If you want to dine as a couple you need to either go to the very very busy Bora Bora deck 14 buffet, or pay extra at the other Tex Mex or upgrade to Aurea for my-time dining. Dining times were either 7pm of 9.45pm in either the Reggio or as we had the Villa Verde smaller restaurant. Three course meals in the evening, small portions but a reasonable choice even for vegetarian diners.the gala dinners weren't any different. Forget it if you want pie and chips, this cruise line caters for Mediterranean tastes and has a huge range of food on offer in the Deck 14 buffets. Burgers, pizzas, hotdogs too but plenty of salads and some healthy food choices. The food whilst always plentiful was not the same quality we had a few years ago. I can understand the industry tightening their belts. The last river cruise food quality made this seem like a poor relation in the serviced restaurants. One thing that shines here more than anything is the exceptional quality of service from an incredibly hard working mainly Indonesian staff. The Italian staffed higher ranking positions were occupied by a very hit and miss bunch. You could be lucky and then most times had very brusque service. This service on both levels were the same on both cruises. There were an amazing amount of very young children on board, and the noise levels were exceptionally high if you are used to quiet dining and pub,if areas. The entertainment in the theatre was varied, certainly not to my tastes and last 30 minutes. Not high quality west end stuff as on some other cruise lines. The bars and lounges had good singers and musicians playing middle of the road pleasant listening tunes. Plenty of activities of varying levels We had a drinks package that included non branded drinks in all restaurants and bars and at £20 per person per day prepaid seems expensive but when you add up a few colas and a few coffees and a couple of alcoholic tipples it's easily the cheapest option, we were hugely in profit at the end of our cruise. The policy is to bring no alcohol on board at any time and is heavily policed at each port. Plenty of people having it confiscated to be returned at disembarkation. We had prebooked a couple of excursions mainly due to time. They are always an expensive option on most ships but a good way to get a taster if you can't be bothered. The shuttle buses are a good earner, some are worth saving you a very long walk...some not. You can't always tell where the ship will dock but due to the size of most it will be a good way away from the city, exception being the home port of MSC in Genoa. Would I use MSC again? probably not. My idea of a cruise is of a more leisurely nature and a fine dining experience with excursions included and this was none of them. There are plenty of other cruise lines that for the same money give a far superior experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We expected a better experience having been on other cruises such as Royal Carribean and Celebrity... Entertainment was so so, lots of passengers with nothing to do in the evening except stroll in the main inside concourse... The number of ... Read More
We expected a better experience having been on other cruises such as Royal Carribean and Celebrity... Entertainment was so so, lots of passengers with nothing to do in the evening except stroll in the main inside concourse... The number of seats inside is very limited for the total number of passengers who would be inside when weather is bad. One's only option is to stroll and keep on walking rounds on the 5th, 6th and 7th floors concourses and corridors (partially used for specialty restaurants. On other ships one could find a spot in the evening with music of his choice. Some announced activities never took place. We were debited for a service charge on a daily basis although our cruise ticket was fairly expensive. Breakfast area very noisy and crowded. Menu in the main restaurant was not up to par with what is expected. Something ought to be done to reduce the negative aspects. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I was very apprehensive when reading such bad reviews about this brand new ship - we were pleasantly surprised with nearly everything. Most staff were very helpful & polite, cabin excellent, ship spotlessly clean, entertainment was ... Read More
I was very apprehensive when reading such bad reviews about this brand new ship - we were pleasantly surprised with nearly everything. Most staff were very helpful & polite, cabin excellent, ship spotlessly clean, entertainment was okay, food was good quality, drinks package excellent value. Excursions were very wel organised & excelent value for money. Embarkation also was excellent. My only gripes were that the buffet restaurant was extremely busy for breakfast ( resembled a cattle market at times) but compared to prices of other cruises MSC are very competitive. My biggest gripe being the total lack of respect & utter rudeness of fellow passengers (mainly Italian origin) . Two of them almost started a fight around the pool, all over a sunbed! Other passengers all commented about this being the only thing that spoilt their cruise. Inevitably this can happen on any cruise liner! I would definitely return on a MSC cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It was my 6th Cruise with MSC. Have earlier tried cruising with Orchestra, Poesia, Divina and Preziosa. Was good and value for money. Now should I try the new one. Meraviglia. Balcony cabin was nice. Breakfast and lunch in the Markedplace ... Read More
It was my 6th Cruise with MSC. Have earlier tried cruising with Orchestra, Poesia, Divina and Preziosa. Was good and value for money. Now should I try the new one. Meraviglia. Balcony cabin was nice. Breakfast and lunch in the Markedplace buffet was ok. Could also go to the restaurant in the ship and get it a la carde, but in the evening I was forced to go to the Markedplace restaurant. No carpets on the floor and very noicy up there. The waiters was not good. Forgot several times my orders. Said to the receptionist that I couldn't accept to be placed in this restaurant in the evenings. I would have to be placed in one of the main restaurants in the ship on deck 5 and 6. Here is a nice atmosphere, but it was not possible, because the ship was overbooked they told me. They put me on a waitinglist and then I dit not hear anything from them. The evening at Galla, 3 waiters came during the restaurant with the icecakes. After starter and main course I asked about the ice. There were no ice. Then they gave me a card so I could choose an another dessert. Think that they took the ice to the main restaurants. There were no photographs during the nights in the Markedplace restaurant, but in the gallery we could see all the photos from the main restaurants. Dissapointed. The show in the theater was bad. Not the same quality as on the other ships. Cirque du Soleil did we no see. Then you had to pay at least 15 euro. The bars was ok, especially the pub onboard. Very nice waiters here. Will not recommend this ship. Choose one of the other ships or another company. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is the 9th cruise trip I had so far. First time with MSC. We tooked NCL, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Princess before this on. The MSC Meraviglia is a brand new ship with maiden voyage in early June, 2017. Though we are extremely ... Read More
This is the 9th cruise trip I had so far. First time with MSC. We tooked NCL, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Princess before this on. The MSC Meraviglia is a brand new ship with maiden voyage in early June, 2017. Though we are extremely disappointed, on the service. I will use the word, Horrible, to describe the experience. 1. Cabin is extremely small. Not enough space for storage even just two persons. Our friend with four family members had a same size cabin. Keep in mind, the crew ration of this new ship is 3.8-3.9. While the other cruise lines keeps crew ration around 2.8-3.0. 2. While they provide a new my MSC smart phone app for most of the information for on-boarder, the front desk always have long line even during the night around 11 pm or midnight. Reason for that is the there are so many issues passengers encountered. a) Over charge the drinking package which supposed to be free as part of the deal. b) No clear communication on the VIP photo access cards they offered so the passengers are confused. c) Food provided in the complementary restaurants tastes really bad. Fish, meat are all over-cooked. Much less variety in buffet for breakfast and lunch compare to other cruise lines. Main dining rooms are not enough so formal dinner has to be served in half of the buffet dining hall. d) In order to get a drink of featured coffee or cocktail, you have to wait for 10 to 15 minutes in the bar until to be served. 3. Front desk personnel are rude and not helpful even in the medical office. a) My kid got cut on the side of ankle, when we visit the medical office the male receptionist was really not patient to offer a band-aid. b) While we tried to get to bed around 11:30 pm on the first night we were on the ship, loud music/drum noise can be clearly heard from upper level lounge. When I called the front desk, they said they will call the bar to lower the volume first. We waited for 15 minutes, nothing changed. We called again, they said they would have someone stopping by to check. Waited another 15 minutes, called again, eventually the guy came and confirm the noise after 10 minutes and promised to change. Nothing happened for another 10 minutes. I had to go to the front desk and waiting on the line for another 10 minutes, the receptionist told me to wait until 1 am when lounge close!!! And promised me it was only for that night. Since it was 12:40 am, We waited and finally got sleep after 1 am. Next night, again, same thing happened!! I went to the front desk to complain and was told to stay in the room for someone to come check again, and confirmed, and asked me to wait for the lounge to be closed by 1 am !!!! We requested to see the manager of the front desk, REFUSED. ..... And eventually the lounge closed at 1:30 am. That was the second night. The third day in the morning, we waited on the long line for the front desk manager reported the issue. Eventually, told to stop by in the evening to provided us another room. Which is extremely small. The bed is queen-size and cannot fit a sofa in the room!!! And have to move back to our old room during the last night of the cruise. 4. The steward for the switch room in 8079 is not a honest person. we missing 90 Euros during the evening dinner-show time on the sea-day. The day before my wallet was missing and eventually found it behind the side table. The next day, the money in the inner side pocket of my bag I left in the room but not in the safe disappear... We reported to the front desk during the disembarkation. [The receptionist said why we hadn't report early?!?!?!] Well, so much to talk about disappointment. But have to giving a thumbs up on the shows it provided. High quality of the shows with top performers including the dancers, singers. Though, they are really overloaded. 5 nights a week and 3 shows each night for the same set of the performers. So, our advise - Stay away from MSC if you want to enjoy a cruise trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was my second cruise with MSC (first one was in August 2014 on Fantasia). We travelled with 2 kids (aged 4 and 2) and I missed having a specific pool were families with small children could stay (with deck chairs, bar, etc). The ... Read More
This was my second cruise with MSC (first one was in August 2014 on Fantasia). We travelled with 2 kids (aged 4 and 2) and I missed having a specific pool were families with small children could stay (with deck chairs, bar, etc). The small covered kid's pool in most of the time in the shadow and the water is cold. The opening times of the kids' club for children under 3 is really scarce. The food, on the contrary, was varied and healthy. Service in general terms was much better on my first experience with MSC; this time I have not felt that cruise members were so helpful, gentle and implicated (staff at kid's club, cabin, waiters, etc). The night entertainment can be improved (in particular the Theater spectacles). The itinerary too (many of the destination were not really worth visiting). The cabin, the common areas and the food are really good. The main hall really impressive. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was our first cruise so we have little to compare it with although we'd already seen some of the negative reviews posted. We went with an open mind and not necessarily expecting the best. The ship itself is gorgeous with ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we have little to compare it with although we'd already seen some of the negative reviews posted. We went with an open mind and not necessarily expecting the best. The ship itself is gorgeous with wonderful facilities many of which (from looking at other ships and reading reviews) must be world class at the moment. We had a duplex cabin, with hot tub, and was as such on the Aurea experience. This meant we had an all inclusive drinks package, my choice dining and access to the spa (as well as other bits and pieces). The MDR worked well and we were able to turn up when we wanted for dinner. It appeared that the other MDRs were working well have switched from the new Flexi Dining to classic. We didn't see any evidence of long queues as reported in previous reviews. Selection of food was good and hot. Meals in general were relaxed, European style and typically took just over an hour. Bread was offered regularly (perhaps another lesson learned) and drinks were replenished frequently (wine usually just being topped up). We had a different table each night (our choice) and therefore saw different waiter/server teams in operation. Portion sizes were good from our perspective. They weren't small, but neither were they large. We were always offered the opportunity for more if we wanted it. A childrens menu was available on every night. Overall the MDR was always flexible and if you wanted some different or more of something you just had to ask. The buffet was large and had a large number of stations. The rottiserie and ethnic counters were the ones that changed every day/night but I would have liked to see a little more variety. Pasta, Pizza, Salads and Deserts were always available. Food was hot and generally freshly cooked at the station where possible. The buffet was open a lot but not the 20 hours advertised. They tended to take into account the grab and go bars which are located just outside the buffet as well in these hours. Childrens menu tended to be burgers, hot dogs, pasta, chips and usually one other dish. I would have liked to see a few more options for children other than fast food. Whilst we only ate in the buffet two night we didn't see breaded chicken, breaded fish etc. ever available. Entertainment across the ship was really good. All of the live music was excellent and on through the evening in the various bars. The Meraviglia lounge was generally the focus of entertainment pre 11pm for many people and was always crowded and busy. The only criticism on the entertainment (minor) is that it would have been nice to have some slightly different styles on the ship. The entertainment in the theatre was of a very high quality as was the Cirque du Soleil show. All were suitable for children to attend. There were regular parties on board which tended to happen post 11pm either on deck or on the promenade. The entertainment team were really excellent in getting people involved. Customer service was very good. They have clearly taken on board some of the challenges of managing such a large ship and the customer service questions that can happen. Queues did occur but were not overly long (generally non existent early or late) and they had a couple of people queue busting the easy ones. I had a couple issues on our bill which were dealt with promptly. It sometimes took a couple of tries to get through to customer services on phone but when I did they were dealt with promptly and courtiously. The boat is very large and clearly aimed at families. Some areas could get busy at times but at no time did the ship seem at capacity or over full and there were always areas of the ship that were quiet. The Aurea Sun Deck was never busy. The childrens club seemed to be organised very well and professionally with an extensive programme of activities for children. The aqua park and rope course were big favourites. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We always book a nice veranda room but were lucky to be upgraded to the Yacht Club with a suite.....great room...concierge and staff couldn't have been more helpful...private butlers when ever needed. Fully stocked mini bar topped up ... Read More
We always book a nice veranda room but were lucky to be upgraded to the Yacht Club with a suite.....great room...concierge and staff couldn't have been more helpful...private butlers when ever needed. Fully stocked mini bar topped up every day for free, which along with the endless drinks package is always good......boat was on time to every port with long enough port stays to see the highlights of each town....variety of bars.....with a couple of fairly decent singers...... Yacht club fine dining was exceptional....overall an amazing 7 day cruise and relaxing time as it was after 2 weeks in Netherlands and before 5 weeks we were spending around Italy......was a little apprehensive prior to getting there as we have done 4 cruise but never with MSC..we were told they were "ok"...well id say more than ok....I would cruise with MSC anytime any where, especially on this boat. Regards everyone Westyfrompresty Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had never previously cruised with MSC (had always been with Royal Caribbean), but we were not disappointed. We sailed as part of the Yacht Club and after a busy, very hectic year it was exactly what we needed and wanted. Our check in ... Read More
We had never previously cruised with MSC (had always been with Royal Caribbean), but we were not disappointed. We sailed as part of the Yacht Club and after a busy, very hectic year it was exactly what we needed and wanted. Our check in couldn't have gone any smoother and we were accompanied through the entire process directly to the concierge desk on our floor. The meals the entire week were delicious and our waiter quickly came to know our culinary likes and dislikes. We ate like kings. The pool deck was relaxing, quiet, had spectacular views when we were in port and always had food available when we had the munchies. Rarely was there more than 3-4 people in the pool, in fact, many times were were all alone in the pool. We participated in 3 shore excursions organized by MSC and they were well organized and informative. Our only suggestion would be to extend the excursions a little longer as we were always back to the ship well in advance of our leaving time and it would have been great to spend a little longer in port. We ventured around the entire ship, participating the the 'white (clothes)' night, the Caribbean Party and seeing all the shows in the Broadway Theatre that were offered, they were fantastic. Cirque du Soleil was awesome and we even spent some time in the casino and had a blast. The crew was very accommodating and NEVER did we have any issue with anyone, they couldn't have been more helpful. Our disembarkation was quick and completely painless. We had an amazing vacation and would highly recommend the MSC Meravigila. We have already started recruiting friends to go back with us next time. We can't wait! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The ports are fantastic even though the ship was a huge let down the locations you stop at are perfect. The kids did really enjoy the water park which was a big factor in us choosing this ship. Unlike a lot of reviews about how bad the ... Read More
The ports are fantastic even though the ship was a huge let down the locations you stop at are perfect. The kids did really enjoy the water park which was a big factor in us choosing this ship. Unlike a lot of reviews about how bad the service was, we had great service except at the bars where the bar safe looked like they hated there job. If you like food don't choose the ship I couldn't wait to get off at the ports to eat some good food which ended up costing my vacation so much more, I don't like to be to negative but the food was laughable, the food quality was terrible and temperature was warm at best. I found the shows to be good but was surprised cirque du soleil would put there name on the shows offered on board it was not good compared to the many other shows I has seen, but what made me really angry was when we booked our cruise it said the the cirque du soleil was included this was a lie you had to buy a drink at $15 plus the cruise tipped itself $2.50 so the shows where a minimum of $17.50 each person including kids. That seemed to be the theme of the ship everything was extra. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Armonia. We chose the cruise for the different ports of call and were pleased with all the destinations.Our one excursion to Pompeii was very good. The food on board at the Le ... Read More
Recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise aboard the Armonia. We chose the cruise for the different ports of call and were pleased with all the destinations.Our one excursion to Pompeii was very good. The food on board at the Le Pergola restaurant on the ship was good and the waiters that looked after us were excellent. Our cabin was lovely and clean and well looked after. However, the buffet breakfast in the restaurant was a free for all, lots of waiters but no service to speak of! Self service was the order of the day and also at lunch time. There was no organisation and a poor choice - the same every day. The staff in the Marco Polo and throughout the ship were sullen and unhelpful, we had to go find a waiter to get a drink and they didn't feel it necessary to smile at all. The buffet/restaurant staff were the same and not at all what we are used to. Our airport transfers were inconvenient, expensive and not tailored to us as guests at all, I would not used them again. This was our sixth cruise and the biggest let down. The ship is nice enough but the activities were very limited and the productions in the theatre were dire. We enjoyed our cruise despite the inefficiency and lack of service not because of it!!! The guests were definitely not put first. I will not be MSC cruising in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I am from Maryland, USA and my wife and I wanted to celebrate our 25 year anniversary in style. You definitely want to get the upgraded suite, we were in room 12226 at rear of ship but on right side. Sun rises were excellent. The room ... Read More
I am from Maryland, USA and my wife and I wanted to celebrate our 25 year anniversary in style. You definitely want to get the upgraded suite, we were in room 12226 at rear of ship but on right side. Sun rises were excellent. The room was so large more than 200 SF! With a walk in closet bigger than ours at home. My wife Anita is so jeolous and wants a bigger closet now! LOL. There are people that like to take your spot inline, but in front of you, take your pool chair, etc. But if you stick up, speak up, and tell them no, they will back down. I had a guy butt up to the front of the line to see the host at the registration desk and I told him, that I had been waiting for over 10 minutes and to go to the back of the line. I had a guy steal my pool lounge chair while my wife and I walked around the ship for like 15 minutes. When I got back to my chair I noticed that my towel had been move over to my wife's chair and my chair was slid over to another group. I confronted the gentleman and he said he was sorry and was willing to give me back my chair but I just told him no thank you. Just stick to your guns and you will be fine. We loved the shows, The Vatican, all the churches, I spend $750 upfront on excursions for my wife and me, the first excursion was in Geno and it was the open bus one (it was terrible, the driver flew through the tour, the bus was old, the earpiece plugs into the bus and is not clear to hear, waste of money (But the Aquarium is a must! Unbelievable aquarium, (we have an aquarium in downtown Baltimore but this one has to be four times as large!) etc.. Definitely want to get the drink package, you can not afford not to! And buy it now. Do not wait to get the drink package, on the ship, they hit you up for 15% gratuity and people were trying to fill bottles with water from the dining room. Come on, people it cost money to go on vacation, spent and stop being so cheap!!! The food is not as good as Royal Caribbean. There is no assigned seating but there is assigned dining hall for your cabin and only two seating times available. So I suggest getting the Flex time package where you can go to dinner anytime between 7 PM and 10 PM. Also if you do not feel like eating at the restaurant hall, they only have one other location to eat at and that cost money called Tex Mex restaurant. It costs roughly $20 to $55 euros (for two people total) to get a decent meal there. Oh and the per deim per day per person for gratuity is added automatically to the bill but it is not $7 euros it is now $10 euros! As least for my room! The food was not spectacular. Wife and I got a tour of the spa and fitness center and we both got a free message with our package so I gave my wife both of them. The spa has spectacular views from the front of the ship on 15th floor. We got in the hot tub and it was crouded, the pool temperature on May 23rd 2017 was cool. Felt like 65 degrees. Wife and I do not have kids but the cruise did not have that many kids thank God. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I embarked the MSC Splendida in Marseille on Jan 28, which was also the Chinese New Year’s day and so there was a sizeable contingency of Chinese passengers. It was actually the last night of the itinerary when I embarked, as the ... Read More
I embarked the MSC Splendida in Marseille on Jan 28, which was also the Chinese New Year’s day and so there was a sizeable contingency of Chinese passengers. It was actually the last night of the itinerary when I embarked, as the majority of guests had embarked in Genoa, so on my embarkation day I enjoyed the gala dinner and the show ended with the crew parade chanting ‘time to say goodbye’. Indeed this was the third time I cruised on this ship, similar itinerary, same class of cabin. One main reason was that I think MSC’s Yacht Club is among the best cruise experience I have had, the other was that there was not much of a choice of a European cruise in January, and I needed a cruise (now that I cruise virtually every month). Yacht Club was great because I like big ship facilities and activities, while within this ‘ship within ship’ I also enjoy a high-end service environment. The dinner tonight, the Gala, I had Foie Gras and lobster, and it was good to start the cruise this way if in a somewhat reverse order. Nowadays you can virtually choose to embark on any port of the itinerary. I chose Marseille (in theory the last port), despite inconvenience of the cruise terminal, because I wanted to stay there for a few days pre-cruise. Be aware that the embarkation port affects price due to capacity control, a good tip if you look for as better deal. The Terminal is not in town but a taxi ride from the Vieux Port costs only EUR20. The winter sea was not really rough but the ship rolls a bit the first night, and next morning we were in Genoa on a Sunday. Afterward the sea was smooth. The ports followed were Civitacecchia, Palermo, Valletta, and Barcelona, all popular ports of call. This is probably a very popular itinerary for the general cruiser, but as I have been to all these places several times I took a relaxing holiday. Indeed, the ship is my true destination. It is great that the weather was good almost the whole trip and the seas are not rough. Opinions on MSC cruises differ, particularly for North American guests. I note with interest that while last month on NCL most passengers are American and English, on this ship it is predominantly European but not particularly Italian. Thus English was the first language. But what Americans may dislike the ship for reason that it is not Americanized, this I as well as many Europeans consider it an advantage. For example, the food is very Italian, the true Italian way, not the internationalized or Americanized Italian. Not Hamburger and hotdog. It is strange that the ship’s only alternative paid dining venue is a Tex-Mex restaurant. The food may be good but the name in itself is to me a deterrent so even on a third cruise I have never tried it. I would say that the food is adequate for normal class passengers (I have tried the cuisine on Magnifica and Musica both do not have Yacht Club), and for Yacht Club it is very good. The service and atmosphere in the L’Olivio Restaurant is among the best at sea, of Silversea and Crystal standard if the food quality is less due to still a price difference. The Top Sail Lounge is great, and this is a venue open only to Yacht Club passengers. And on a warmer sunny day the buffet lunch on the 18 level outdoor terraces are memorable. These venues (including a private pool) and drinks and snack consumption there are free to Yacht Club passengers. Yacht Club boasts of butler service and they are true butlers. You have choice of newspaper, and this is not the 4 page A4 version but the photocopy in A3 of the whole of Daily Telegraph on A3 format, bounded and delivered every morning. No other ship, including Silversea and Crystal which are more expensive, delivers such service. The cabin is comfortable, the bath has a good tub and there is a walk-in wardrobe. In my opinion, Yacht Club is great value for what you pay and what you get. For me, a passenger that has cruised nearly 100 times over 30 years, I come for a relaxed holiday and the ports of call are of no importance to me. I had come to enjoy top service but also big ship facilities and spectacular shows, and I am not disappointed. The shows on MSC are among the best, a production show every night. There are, uniquely, semi-classical music performances on this ship and people enjoy it. HAL is the only other cruise line that performs classical music (on Eurodam). MSC is one of my favourite cruise lines if I want a big ship, and at Yacht I enjoyed first class facilities and services. MSC Yacht Club is among the first of ‘a ship within ship’ and other cruise lines are now doing similar. I will return. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Just returned from our 5th MSC cruise yesterday on Splendida and once again great value for money, excellent customer service, very good food and stunning spotless ship. Such contrast to the very disappointing cruise we took with P&O ... Read More
Just returned from our 5th MSC cruise yesterday on Splendida and once again great value for money, excellent customer service, very good food and stunning spotless ship. Such contrast to the very disappointing cruise we took with P&O in November for which I have done a separate review. I have taken 15 cruises overall over 9 years with 6 cruise lines and MSC is my first choice line now for it's overall value for money. The ships are stunning and the service has got better and better over the last few years. The staff are friendly, efficient and hard working. The drinks package is amazing value, best on the market and the food is of a very high standard although I recognise that it's not to everyone's liking but with 6 courses there is always something most would like with options for steak and speciality dining also. The buffet choice is also very good as is the freshly baked pizza and delicious ice cream and coffee's We have done this itinerary twice now so I will be looking to give them a try in the Caribbean or from the UK next. The entertainment isn't always great but that is my only real criticism of this line although there is usually a decent show or two each cruise but its just not that important to me I can't believe how much better this cruise was than the P&O cruise only 2 months earlier. Well done again MSC. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We are just back from our week on MSC Splendida. In spite of being winter, we loved it and had a lovely time. The ship is huge and its beautiful and it shines from its cleanliness, we’ve been already in Poesia and Fantasia. Loving ... Read More
We are just back from our week on MSC Splendida. In spite of being winter, we loved it and had a lovely time. The ship is huge and its beautiful and it shines from its cleanliness, we’ve been already in Poesia and Fantasia. Loving the food, we don’t eat that much and we manage to “stay fit” just walking around the ship. We had our breakfasts on the buffet and went twice to breakfast in the MDR, we prefer the calmer MDR to the bustling buffet, but be aware that you can’t have proper cappuccino in the MDR (!!!) – I know… amazing, right? The truth is we bought online the coffee cuddle coupons and enjoyed our cappuccinos throughout the bars and even on the buffet, but on our first MDR breakfast I thought that the cappuccino alike thing they brought us wasn’t the real thing, on our second one, we made our order and after tasting I manage to ask the waiter about it and he told us that in the MDR they don’t have the proper machine to make them, only at bars and buffet… Ok, I accept, but why not warning us when we make our order and spend our coupons?... Let me tell you that the coffee cuddle package is really worth it if you love your expresso, cappuccino and so on, we can even use the coupons in the coffee frozen delights they serve (this you can’t have with your allegrissimo package), and they are truly worth it. The other package we bought was the wine and water, also worth it and I believe we’ll be getting these two packages every time we cruise with MSC. (Note that the packages bought online don’t pay the 15% service charge.) Our diners in the MDR were very nice and the food was proper, with just one or two “falls”. Our waiters were very nice and our 5 year old was with us all the time (except one diner) and he always ate from our menu, not the kids one – he was a hero for our head waiter. The breakfasts and lunches at the buffet were basically the same with everything that is expectable. Now let me tell you something new, that I don’t know from how long MSC has been doing it, maybe some of you have seen it, but for me it was a first: Breakfast and lunch at the MDR is now complemented with buffet… (!) for us this was not good… I don’t know about you, but if I want buffet I go to the buffet main area on the 14th floor; Here you can also have your breakfast and lunch on the menu like before, but now you get this extra possibility and when you arrive at your table instead of giving you the menu the waiter asks if you want to go to the buffet or order from the menu. Many people might like this little extra, but it is very awkward to see people coming from the buffet with their plates full, like the buffet upstairs and so on… We went one time to lunch and two times to breakfast on the MDR and we always ordered from the menu. I asked our diner waiter about this novelty, and I believe he wasn’t very thrilled about it either. Another thing that is worth to buy on the first day is the €35 package to use non-stop the F1 simulator, the 4d cinema (which is the least appealing of all, it isn’t very worth it…) and the bowling at the sports bar, my son had a blast at the bowling! My son went a few times to the kid’s club, but he’s not very fond of it, because obviously no one speaks his language. But he loves “DoReMi” the MSC child mascot. We used the indoor pool on the sea day. We manage to have some rest, that was our main purpose by doing this winter cruise, and we enjoyed very much, my son is already a cruise fan. Now the ports: Marseille: It was our embarkation port, we arrived two days prior and manage to go to the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, and stroll through the vieux port and the streets with Christmas decorations. We also visited the Marseille Cathedral on Place de la Major and another lovely church that is a little bit of the touristic path, that is the Église Saint Vicent de Paul – amazing stained glass. We also had our anniversary dinner at La Table du Fort restaurant and the food was very good. We have already been to Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, and done a half-day cruise to the Calanques but these places are also worth a visit. (From the airport we used the free shuttle bus from the airport to Vitrolles train station and from there to Saint Charles station, then metro to the vieux port where was our hotel, on embarkation day we used uber to get to port (€21,25), nice and easy) Genoa: We have already been to Genoa city center on a past cruise and decided to go to Portofino: We catch a train on Genoa-Principe station (walkable from port) to Santa Marguerita Ligure, went down by the sea for some pictures and then waited outside the train station we catch the bus (82) straight to Portofino (€5 return), which is very lovely, it was a beautiful sunny day, lots of nice pictures here. Civitavechia: We’ve been to Rome before and didn’t do the trip there. We went to Civitavechia to some souvenir shopping and then back to the ship. Palermo: First time on this port (I wasn’t very excited about this one…). We went walking to the center and see the Cathedral, then we found a free shuttle to the city center and came back using it. Valletta: Very nice, our first time on this one as well. It was a bit rainy, but we went and see the city center and its charming. Barcelona: Sunny day. We’ve been to Barcelona before. We didn’t take the shuttle provided from MSC (€22,50 for the 3 of us) and used the one from Port (€4 round trip - €12 for the 3 of us) This time we went on the Ramblas and saw the Barcelona Cathedral (not the Sagrada Família) and went to La Boqueria market (where my son lost his second tooth – the tooth fairy went that night aboard the ship…) and also went to Barceloneta. Marseille: Disembarkation day. Used uber again (€19,45) to Saint Charles Train Station. We saw lots of people walking on port and then we realized that there were shuttle buses on the end of the port. One odd thing was that we never once saw our cabin steward… we saw his name on the card on our cabin and we realized he went several times a day to our cabin to “work his magic”, and I even let him a note with some things we needed, he provided… but we never saw him… this was a first for us… We loved this 10 days’ vacation and it was a very nice deal we got from MSC, that has always nice prices for traveling with children. The staff on board was the nicest from our 3 times with MSC. Will definitely travel with MSC again! Can’t wait to book another cruise (whatever the company)… I miss my countdown clock… Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We were a party of 10 and we booked 5 staterooms with balcony 1 year in advance for the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents in law .once onboard they told us that my parents in law got another stateroom ,they got an upgrade. We asked of ... Read More
We were a party of 10 and we booked 5 staterooms with balcony 1 year in advance for the 50th wedding anniversary of my parents in law .once onboard they told us that my parents in law got another stateroom ,they got an upgrade. We asked of it was a balcony stateroom, and they said yes but it's on deck 10 instead of deck 9 where we all had our staterooms.they went to there (upgrade)stateroom and it was an ocean view stateroom .we went immediately to guest services and they told us there was a overbooking,and that the ship was fully booked.what was ment to be a week of happiness became a week of stress.we al paid €380 extra for a balcony stateroom.after a few days MSC suggested a refund of €300 and a 20% discount one a following cruise vallid within the year,REALLY?? After two days MSC raised the compensation to €600 with no further discussion.we had to accept this because otherwise we could end up with nothing.we accept but were not agreed with this settlement,we didn't accept the 20% discount. Overall experience of the ship was verry poor. The staff and crew was not friendly, with exception of our stateroom host and our waiters for dinner.the choice and variety off the food was also very poor. We had booked the beverage package Alegrissimo , but it always took a long time to getting our drinks. Every day there were people getting off the ship and others back on, so every day they held a safety drill (OK for me) but during the safety drill all services stopped ,you couldn't order a drink although the bartender was behind his bar . One day we've booked a shore excursion, this was total chaos, we booked a tour 'Rome on our on' but it was already noon as we arrived in Rome and we had to be back at 4 pm at the bus. the entertainment was every day the same ,the shows in the theatre were amateuristic. MSC will never ever see us again. This was our 10th cruise but the first time with MSC. We normally always cruise with Disney Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I choose this cruise at start because of the promise it was a family cruise boat and had a fantastic fun kids club. I was told that the cruise line had partnered with Lego and had refurbished their kids club locations with Lego theme. I ... Read More
I choose this cruise at start because of the promise it was a family cruise boat and had a fantastic fun kids club. I was told that the cruise line had partnered with Lego and had refurbished their kids club locations with Lego theme. I was told by msc representatives that this applied to this cruise ship. I was told the kids club was fantastic and full of fun and plenty for them to do. Kids club was from 9am - 11pm and we could leave them there in good hands with a fantastic team who worked with children and made the club fun fun fun..... More like boring, unhappy and little to do. The staff were never pleasant when we dropped kids off. They had a routine timetable each day which was the same and quite regimented. The staff, especially the girl with blonde hair never smiled and there main language was French or Italian. They did not speak fluent English and I found them rude and never smiled. The kids hated the club. When it was movie time they put in a movie in the language which most children spoke and if that wasn't your own language you still had to sit through it and watch the movie. The kids could not do anything else. The room for the kids was not Lego themed nor big. It was small room and very little for them to do. I only managed to put kids in 2/3 times and that was only a couple of hours cause they complained it was so bad. The staff were not fun nor entertaining. Oh and the Xbox and wifi times - when it specified Lego none of that happened. They played sky-landers and nothing else. No Fifa but another game. The same every day. They had 1 tv, 1 play station console and 1 wii. It was awful. Terrible. So outside of kids club there was 1 small play area with a small pirate ship and slide. And then a water play area. That's it. Nothing else. Oh wait.... I forgot they had a games room which was nothing to bag about and needed money to play. The F1 formula virtual world was a racing car which kept breaking down and the 4 D cinema was a virtual 4 D ride which lasted 5 mins. Imagine that's it for 7 days....7 days!!! Awful!!! Kids had nothing to do . Nothing was fun. Never seen staff so unhappy to be there. Was totally mis-sold. I took 4 kids. Worse decision ever!! The disembarkment was a shambles aswell and I paid for transfers which was cheaper and easier if you take the taxi! All in all not recommended!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I've been advised by friends to consider a cruise for a family holiday. I had a look at the several options for cruises in Mediterranean, and MSC Cruises appeared to be quite international with a bog focus on family and kids ... Read More
I've been advised by friends to consider a cruise for a family holiday. I had a look at the several options for cruises in Mediterranean, and MSC Cruises appeared to be quite international with a bog focus on family and kids entertainement. My son literally fell in love with the lego activities :-) while my husband and I were having time for excursions in each of the stop-overs. Not only this, I have a baby on less than 1-year, with whom I could enjoy some time in a dedicated area with many baby toys and space for her to keep on learning how to walk. When it comes to food, I've been really amazed by the choice, the taste and the presentation. I was expecting a lower level, due to the number of meals and passengers on-board, but I was wrong, and I am afraid I got some extra kilos... Regarding the cabin, even though we were in 4, the housekeeper really assisted us in optimizing the space with a baby bed in the middle. Amenity wise, I think we have everything there and the room service was really helpful if you need anytime assistance for your baby/child. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
While holiday int in Europe for our 30th wedding anniversary, we chose a shorter cruise to gauge how we feel about cruising in general, this being our first one. We also wanted to pack in as many ports as possible and we only spent one ... Read More
While holiday int in Europe for our 30th wedding anniversary, we chose a shorter cruise to gauge how we feel about cruising in general, this being our first one. We also wanted to pack in as many ports as possible and we only spent one full day at sea which bored us. The food, service and cleanliness of the ship was great. We felt cheated being sold a beverage package for only meal times which meant if we wanted to drink at other times, we had to pay. We were sold this at the port before embarking on the ship and later found out that we could have bought separate water, coffee, alcohol or soft drink packages which would have cost us one third of what we paid. Also as I am not a drinker, I had to buy the same package as my husband just to get water and soft drinks! (Obviously they think I would have drunk my husband's alcohol as it was unlimited during meal times) The other major gripe was all the packs of children roaming and running around the ship without parental supervision. These children were allowed into the bars at night and took over all the seating and dance floor so we missed out on dancing as well. Parents were even taking babies around in prams in the bar/lounge areas. It really needed to have some dedicated adult only areas. We both have a European background and are euro citizens as well.. We understand the European attitude to full inclusion of families but this was ridiculous. There was no where to get away from them and I was told by a very smart alec 8 year old that we had taken his and his friends seats while they were dancing! MSC needs to make sure parents monitor and take responsibility for their children and provide adult only relief to its other passengers. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This cruise was for my 30th birthday. We have been on numerous MSC cruises before, on both Fantasia Class (MSC's largest ships) and Lirica Class, to which Armonia belongs. Our previous cruise on Lirica was pre-stretch (MSC's ... Read More
This cruise was for my 30th birthday. We have been on numerous MSC cruises before, on both Fantasia Class (MSC's largest ships) and Lirica Class, to which Armonia belongs. Our previous cruise on Lirica was pre-stretch (MSC's Renaissance Program involved cutting and shutting the ships to add more cabins and public space). Embarkation was fairly quick. MSC have changed their check-in procedure so that at the initial check-in desk you just fill in some forms and they check your passport. You're then ushered towards the ship where security staff then take your photograph. Your cruise card is waiting in your cabin. This seemed a little strange at first, but in hindsight it probably speeds up check-in as there isn't quite so much for the staff to do with each passenger. As always with MSC we found the ship to be spotless, and although Armonia is aging, all the public areas and cabins are kept immaculate. I dare say you wouldn't realise how old she is if it weren't for the styling of things like the atrium and some of the fixtures and fittings which do look a little dated. We had a suite, which we found absolutely lovely. There was a bathroom with glass shower screen over the bath - no annoying curtain! A large walk-in wardrobe offered plenty of storage - both hanging space and drawers. If you were to consider a long cruise with MSC on one of these ships, I'd recommend the suite! The bed was ever-so comfortable, a nice sitting area and what could be described as a sideboard with a couple of cupboards and the mini bar. If you have the premium drinks package the contents of the mini bar are free - we found this very useful for juice in the morning and a night-cap before bed! We normally only have the standard drinks package, but decided to treat ourselves to celebrate! On this class of ship, if you have a balcony cabin or suite dining is 'my choice' in the La Pergola Restaurant which offers some excellent views from the back of the ship. We were lucky to have a table by the windows every day. The menu in this restaurant was also different to the main dining room for other passengers. We had some beautiful meals in the evening; the service was always top-notch. Th extensive wine list included with the drinks package was also an added bonus! In many reviews of MSC people say they didn't enjoy the food. My advice here would be to go with an open-mind. MSC is an Italian line, therefore the food is Italian style. Every dinner menu has a couple of appetizers, salad, soup, risotto / pasta, main courses and desserts (sometimes cheese as well!) If you can't make a meal out of that then I do wonder what people eat at home! In comparison to other lines, there isn't steak every night but the rest of the food in my opinion is lovely. My partner and I tend to use the Main Dining Room for breakfast and lunch. Here is where I think the expansion of Lirica Class ships has not worked. Owing to the increase in passenger numbers breakfast and lunch is a mix of buffet and a la carte. This was a slight disappointment to us as we're not fans of buffets and much prefer the high level of service we are used to. I think the waiting staff were too stretched at these key times and this had an impact on service, which was a shame. The entertainment was up to the usual standards of MSC, with some excellent deck parties during the day and at night! We had a wonderful time! We went to some of the shows, Fantasticats and Dirty Dancing really stood out and were great fun. We didn't take any ship organised excursions as we did some research beforehand so did our own thing. The ports of call were Majorca, Ibiza, Sardinia, Livorno and Genoa. In Livorno we got the train to Pisa - this was a bargain at just a couple of euro for the train tickets. The train station is a long way from the port in Livorno. You can take a bus. We had a taxi back to the ship from the train station which cost 20 euros, which was quite reasonable for the distance. We really enjoyed the cruise and already have two more MSC cruises booked in. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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