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132 MSC Cruises Marseille Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as it went to ports of call that we had not been to previously, but our primary reason was to attend the Monaco Grand Prix which was an add on package to this cruise. The cabin was clean and comfortable and very ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it went to ports of call that we had not been to previously, but our primary reason was to attend the Monaco Grand Prix which was an add on package to this cruise. The cabin was clean and comfortable and very quiet. The cabin was serviced daily to a high standard. The dining room was rather noisy and although the service was good it felt rather rushed and on several nights the lights were dimmed which we took as a signal that we were lingering in the dining room. We are used to having iced tap water at the table and not having to buy bottled water and also to having coffee served at the end of diner, this is the first cruise line we have sailed with were this is not standard. The buffet was difficult at peek times, other guests not waiting and pushing in. the design of the buffet meat that there were some very narrow sections making walking through difficult while people were at a counter serving food. The ice cream kiosk was to small, not adequately staffed and queuing not managed - twice I walked away when other guests were served when I had been waiting much longer. At the very least there should have been two members of staff serving ice creams at busy afternoon periods and a system of forming a queue initiated. We didn't attend any of the entertainment so can't comment (we rarely go to any entertainment while cruising). We noticed that there was not 'piped music' around the pool and enjoyed that (every other cruise line has music constantly - we enjoy peace and quiet so this was a bonus for us. The two pool areas were kept clean and we used the pool and hot tub daily. It is the first cruise we have been on were there are pool attendants, we feel this improved the behavior around the pool as bad behavior resulted in a whistle being blown and the culprit identified. We did have children with us but the children on board were well behaved, one or two teenagers were not considerate of other guests but considering the size of the boat it was quiet and relaxing. We only took three excursions, we enjoyed the places we visited but all were conducted in two languages and it was very difficult to follow one guide as she switched between languages. While on the whole we prefer mid sized cruise ships we were not put off in anyway by the size of this ship. Disembarking was easy in port but sometimes there was a long queue in the full sun to re-embark after going ashore. Because you could start your cruise at several ports during the week there were lots of new people onboard who were still trying to find their way around. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our 30th cruise and 3rd on MSC. We like MSC, but it is definitely a little behind some of its competition. You really need to know what you are getting into the ships are not like travelling on American, British or Scandinavian ... Read More
This was our 30th cruise and 3rd on MSC. We like MSC, but it is definitely a little behind some of its competition. You really need to know what you are getting into the ships are not like travelling on American, British or Scandinavian Lines. But MSC van be a lot of fun due to the chance to meet a lot of non-North Americans, with great itineraries at very reasonable prices, especially if you have kids under 12. We chose this trip because it was a good deal (about $450 for a 6 day cruise inside cabin, about $100/day for a balcony) with an amazing itinerary that included a new interesting (and sometimes unusual) port every day, including Marseille, Genoa, Corsica. Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona. I would say the ships passengers were 40% Italian, 35% French, 15% Spanish, 5% British, 4% other and less than 1% American. This has been pretty much the mix on all the Mediterranean MSC cruises we have been on. The itinerary is unusual in that passengers can embark this 6 day cruise at any of the 5 ports, as long as they stay the whole 5 days. This gives this cruising group more the feel of fairy travelers than co-travelling companions, since people come and go every day. Like all European ships, the crowd is younger (average age 40, though there all ages from 1 to 100 are well represented), so it definitely doesn't feel like a nursing home. We embarked in Marseille and were annoyed to find that, after a grueling 24 -hour flight the boarding would only be after 3 pm. Many ships say this but usually let you board at 11. On MSC, no matter what time you arrive they don't take your luggage till 1pm, then you sit in a big ugly uncomfortable room waiting for several hours to board. This ship is quite plain compared to ships you are used to from Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Princess. The walls are all plain and there are no fancy chandeliers and no art. Some might call it understated elegance, but that would probably be a stretch. Speaking of stretch, the ship was lengthened at its last refurbishment and we were in one of the nice new cabins in the middle section. The cabin was spotlessly clean and cozy, but at 110 square feet, was the smallest cruise ship cabin we have ever been in. The bathroom had the usual tiny shower but with excellent water pressure and very good appliances. No outlet was available in the bathroom. The toilet was quieter than on most ships. The cabin staff often forgot to refill the soap and Kleenex dispensers and the products were of just ok quality. No robes were offered. Although we had a minibar, we were never given a key. An ice bucket was in the room, but no one (including the cabin staff) seemed to know where to get ice. It was nice that they upgraded us for free from an inside to an obstructed view outside cabin but the view (unlike on Princess or HAL ObsView cabins) was 99% lifeboat. Somewhat annoying that the entire middle of the 7th floor is closed off and accessible only to crew due to the Medical Center strangely being place there. Lots of kids present, even though it was not spring break in any of the countries the passengers came from, as MSC offers free fair for kids travelling with parents. When we finally boarded at 4 pm, the only food option available was hamburgers or pizza and we were starving from waiting to board all day. Dozens of "supervisors" stand around while one lone guy tries to make and serve 30 pizzas per hour in the pizza restaurant. Why can't some of the folks standing around be cross-trained to help him out so we don't have to wait 40 minutes for a pizza at 4pm when everything else is closed? We also were told we needed to vacate our room by 7am on disembarkation day, when we were not even allowed to leave the ship until 10:30 pm. Fortunately, since we only had hand luggage, we were able to sneak out. Unlike other Americans, however, we found many of the staff charming, and the entertainment (especially the high quality shows), top notch. They are a cross between Cirque De Soleil and Broadway, and if you like those venues, you will probably love the MSC shows. Nice that the actors come out in costume to mingle with the audience after the show. Since the ship is so multi-lingual, there are almost no adult activities, but it was nice not to be relentlessly hounded to play bingo, etc. The internet was above average and reasonably priced. The Israeli security staff was great. The itinerary was great and we loved being in a new, relatively less-frequented port of call each day. The pier is Marseille is very fair from town and is the only so, so dreary port on this otherwise excellent cruise. Palma, Genoa, Corsica and Barcelona are all wonderful day ports and most had fantastic free walking tours available (not from the Cruise Ship). Skip the cruise ships overpriced shuttle service in each port and take a taxi or the public bus. Read Cruise critic for fun things to do without overpaying for mediocre ship shore excursions, though MSC's trip to the Drach Caves in Palma is highly rated and is hard to do on your own. I will go again with MSC, but it has to be a great itinerary and less than $75 a day, which can be hard to do with other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
msc Fantasia is a beautiful ship ,very classy and modern, my cabin was an inside but well cleaned ,and the staff was vey kind we had a wonderful vacation I also did many excursions but very rushy I would like to have more times like 2 days ... Read More
msc Fantasia is a beautiful ship ,very classy and modern, my cabin was an inside but well cleaned ,and the staff was vey kind we had a wonderful vacation I also did many excursions but very rushy I would like to have more times like 2 days in at least one main port! The food was good I like the variety of food of the buffet and the tex mex is a good option for having an different dinner in a special place! The cruise I would like to choose a yacht club suite! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my 7th cruise and my husband and I knew what we were getting into prior to traveling. We only selected this ship because A) price and B) it was the most convenient way to see the places we wanted to see in Europe without changing ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise and my husband and I knew what we were getting into prior to traveling. We only selected this ship because A) price and B) it was the most convenient way to see the places we wanted to see in Europe without changing hotels every day. From the beginning they try to push the drink package on you. We did not do it because we knew as Americans we would get free bottled water with dinner and chose to drink when we wanted and where we wanted to, and not feel as if we needed to drink the entire time. Rooms are small, is to be expected. I got in a fight with the shower curtain on a daily basis. The food is alright, dinner takes over two hours and most nights we weren't done until 11:30 (23:30) which is WAY too late in my book to finish dinner. Things I cannot look past: - Shore excursion cancellation. 3/4 of our cruise-booked excursions were cancelled. Are you serious? Just no excuse. What do you do if you don't have a back up plan? We are paying a fortune for these excursions and they just get cancelled? Luckily, we printed out maps and other things to do in the area and were able to visit Cinque Terre, Valletta and Taormina on our own. It was probably for the best since we ended up paying 75% less for this than the cruise price. There was a particular woman at the shore excursion desk that added much unnecessary grief to this already bad experience. We knew what we were getting in to being one of the few Americans on this cruise. I just could not believe how many people would cut in front of us and the workers did not think anything of it. By the 7th day I was ready to lose my mind. English was a problem on the ship, and I speak Spanish fluently and know enough Italian and French to get myself in trouble but no one seemed very interested in trying to understand us if it was not French. Overall I can't say I would cruise with MSC again. Everything was just sub-par. They do offer the best ports in the Mediterranean in my opinion though. **TIP: There is a British pub in the back of the ship that has B1G1 drinks. 6 Euro for two grey goose drinks is unbelievable! Drink prices overall on the ship are much more affordable than Caribbean cruises. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Have cruised several times before with RCL, Cunard & P&O and after seeing some negative reviews on here was sceptical, absolutely no idea what they are talking about though! Was by far the best cruise I've taken. ... Read More
Have cruised several times before with RCL, Cunard & P&O and after seeing some negative reviews on here was sceptical, absolutely no idea what they are talking about though! Was by far the best cruise I've taken. Embarkation was probably the quickest I've experienced despite the ship being full. Ship was fantastic - basically new, great facilities, very clean. Plenty of bars & lounges (inside and out), great nightclub open every night, large casino, 3 large outside pools, a big & modern gym, plenty of jacuzzis & an over 18's pool too, big water-slide (used by both adults & children) & a water adventure playground for children - all very well supervised. Spa had good treatments but very expensive - be careful when booking - a treatment you may pay full price for on one day often was discounted to as much as 50% the next day & the sauna & steam room incurred a high additional charge - these were the only downside. However in terms of the ship itself, it was very lively with a great atmosphere & something to do for everyone - a mainly younger clientele compared to other cruises (I'd estimate a mainly 16-50 age group) and also lots of children but this was never an issue. Day time activities were somewhat limited compared to other ships but we visited a new port / town everyday & ship facilities were so good that it was never an issue. Service was excellent & very personal (remembering names despite the number of people on the ship) - could do with more bar staff at times but wasn't really a problem. Dining room waiters were excellent. Shore excursions were varied, good & reasonably priced although the visiting time at each port was sometimes limited - was never a problem for us & to be expected when experiencing a new port / city every day. Travel to embarkation port and the embarkation process itself couldn't have been easier. Cabin & bathroom was a good size, clean, new & very comfortable. Cabin attendant was also excellent. Dining & food was very good. Breakfast was excellent & consisted of both continental and hot options. Lunch time buffet was excellent, huge and very varied - plenty of Mediterranean and local dishes (fresh pastas, pizza) as to be expected as well as a salad section, international section, sandwich & baguette section, hot section with carved meat & a range of vegetables, desserts, kids section, burgers / hot dog section, seafood cheese & cold meats section, desserts - basically everything you can think of & prepared to a very good quality. Dinner was also excellent - well prepared and consisted of 6 courses - appetiser, salad, soup, pasta, main & dessert - wasn't overly extravagant but was still very good & service was excellent. Good selection of predominately Italian wines. Good children's clubs & plenty of activities to do for children. Evening entertainment was by far the best I've seen on a cruise - catered for all nationalities & was excellently put together - every night in different lounges there was a pianist, live band, trio's, singers etc & an exceptional evening show every night. Different themed nights were also planned to keep things interesting. Disembarkation again was very quick and seamless. All in all, a fantastic cruise - don't be put off by negative reviews - things like indoor areas & cabins being smoky are simply not true - the cleanliness of the cabin was outstanding & the casino is the only inside place you can smoke in during the evening. Likewise with screaming kids - there's plenty of strict pool supervision so it's well managed and the food was also great. If you like a lively cruise with plenty to do & a varied demographic, this is definitely for you. But if you prefer a quieter, slower pace cruise then may be better to look elsewhere - we loved it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
It was not our first Cruise, but our first one with the children. However I was expecting more... The Buffet restaurant was nothing special, actually I found it poor. Same items almost every day. The MArco Polo Restaurant was good ... Read More
It was not our first Cruise, but our first one with the children. However I was expecting more... The Buffet restaurant was nothing special, actually I found it poor. Same items almost every day. The MArco Polo Restaurant was good (thank God). I have to say that we had the better employee of the restaurant the brazilian Luana. She was very helpfull and also very friendly with everyone. My children wanted to take her home with us. We had no time to see her on the last day and they were very upset and kept saying that they wanted Luana... The public areas were a bit old. Public WC had some broke things as taps etc. The pool area has very slippery deck. I saw some people slip and fall. Very dangerous. the deck chairs were reserved very early though nobody occupied them for hours. The crew should have that in mind. Some people went on excursions but reserved deck chairs! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have done serveral cruises and this one is definately the worst which is a shame as it is a beautiful ship. General comments are: Staff appeared tired and over worked. A number of them bordered on being rude and disinterested. ... Read More
I have done serveral cruises and this one is definately the worst which is a shame as it is a beautiful ship. General comments are: Staff appeared tired and over worked. A number of them bordered on being rude and disinterested. It really appeared like most people didn't want to be there. In saying that our room attendant and main dining room waiter were very attentive and helpful but again seemed over worked. Also one of the ladies in the Spa area (Lydia) was also very helpful and happy. Staff appear to be more interested in selling you stuff rather than providing good service. This probably comes from the company pushing them to do this. Food in the Main Dining room was terrible. Overcooked, cold and bland. Food in the buffet was much better but lacked variety from day to day. The buffet area is too small with not enough seating. People/passengers generally very rude and every man for himself - not a good experience. Spa specials bordered on being dishonest. A hair wash and dry special for 18 euro's ended up costing 31 euro's once they added on the cost of the shampoo and the conditioner! 15% service charge added to everything as well as $15 for two people automatically taken as service charge - does this money go to the staff providing the service or back to the company... it certainly didn't improve the quality of the service. Challenges with them changing their key card system - didn't advise this was happening so key cards did not work to purchase drinks in the bar.... Entertainment - saw a few shows and they were ok to watch. The quality of the choreography and timing was pretty poor though. I won't be cruising on MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I do have to give myself kudos for my logistical planning as far as arriving at the port and getting back home but our experience on board the Armonia was AWFUL. I read as much info/fine print as I could about the cruise and this ship but ... Read More
I do have to give myself kudos for my logistical planning as far as arriving at the port and getting back home but our experience on board the Armonia was AWFUL. I read as much info/fine print as I could about the cruise and this ship but was sure that the bad reviews weren't accurate; I was wrong and wish I had saved our money to do a Disney cruise instead. Children are free to stay and it certainly shows in the limited choices of children's activities on board. Our tickets were fairly cheap since I booked through a 3rd-person site which gives big/awesome discounts for military families. In all, mine and my husbands tickets were just under $700 which we thought was amazing for a cruise! I did read in the fine print that there were surcharges for services on board but I was NOT expecting to pay around 8euro every time we bought coffee, ice cream or had anyone hand us something that we couldn't get ourselves...on top of the price of whatever we bought. I would highly suggest, if you do decide to use this particular cruise line, to do some research on your destinations and book your own excursions instead of booking through the ship. I researched our destinations (Marseille, Palma de Mallorca, Corsica) and wrote down the addresses and places we were interested in seeing. If you can help it, take a taxi versus using the transportation services provided by the ship. They charged almost 20euro for adults and 12euro for children to use the bus for transportation to and from the dock at every destination but we ended up paying way less by just paying for a taxi ride. Once inside the cities, utilize the hop-on/hop-off buses or the little tourist trains which are minimal in cost and you get to see all of the highlights of the place you're in. If you have business to attend online, the wifi charges are absurd. We bought one hour of time for almost 17euro to check our email periodically since that was the only line of communication with family/work. You can't honestly tell me it costs that much money to have wifi aboard a boat, especially at the prices they charge for everything. Boarding: When we arrived at the port, we registered fairly quickly since we had already checked in online and printed a confirmation. They wouldn't allow us to keep our passports, which made us very uneasy since we are a military family and have always been told to NEVER allow our passports to be out of our possession. They in turn gave us a key-card for our trip which would get us on/off the boat and was linked to my husbands credit card to pay for anything we got on board since NO CASH is taken (which is stupid because we pulled out almost 1,000 euro in cash specifically for this purpose). They wouldn't allow us to take our luggage with us when boarding (which were only small carry-on suitcases since we traveled with Ryanair and didn't want the hassle of checking-in suitcases). We sat in our room waiting for our luggage to be delivered to freshen up after a 6 hour commute (which was just sat outside the cabin doors and several people lost their luggage due to thievery this way). Since we were starving by this time, we just left to get something to eat. Dining/buffets/bars: Our first night of dining was horrendous. After traveling all day, waiting on our luggage to be delivered and searching for the dining room, we were turned away at the door to the Marco Polo dining facility because we were "first seating" and arrived literally 15 mins late even though the itinerary says from 7-9pm. We were starving and our 5y/o child (who almost never eats) was crying he was hungry. No one pointed us in the direction of the buffets upstairs even after we told them that we had traveled all day and hadn't eaten since 11am that morning. We didn't get to eat until almost 10pm that night; that in itself was upsetting. The food was the biggest portion of our trip that I was looking forward to because it was a Mediterranean cruise, I'm expecting fabulous seafood and new dishes that I hadn't tried before! What we got was mostly fish, some extremely chewy sliced leg of lamb and veal. Since the menu is set up to be a 6-course meal, the portion sizes are very small and we figured this out the first night when I left still hungry! The only dessert choices are all COLD and consisted of ice cream (my son had no qualms with this choice), cold chocolate cake which was more of a brownie consistency and a very runny "coconut/pistachio cake" which didn't even hold it's form on the plate. The breakfast choices weren't much better and consisted of cold waffles with NO syrup, "raisin/cinnamon" french toast which had NO raisins or cinnamon and came out burnt with some sort of runny excuse for syrup and literally consisted of one piece of bread with the crust cut off. The juice is so watered down, it tastes like juice-infused water, my son wouldn't even drink it. It's almost as if they water it down just to make it go farther. The coffee is HORRIBLE!!! If you're a coffee connoisseur like I am, you will not appreciate this mud-water. It tastes like coffee flavored water with a slightly burnt aftertaste. I feel like they do this just so you will pay to buy coffee from the coffee bar on board. Oh, don't forget that 15% surcharge for a 4euro cup (literally 1/2 cup) of cappuccino with 2 inches of foam on top, so about 5 drinks of actual coffee...still makes me mad. We didn't find the upstairs buffets (on the 11th floor) until 3 days into our trip. The best food was the freshly made pizza buffet which was open at all hours. The Brassiere was okay, most of the choices were cold meats/cheeses/breads with a few "hot" items like rosemary potatoes, green beans or some sort of sausage/onion mix..we spent most of our meals at the pizza buffet. They have mugs and mud-water (coffee) and hot water with a selection of tea bags. The only FREE water you will get on board is the tap water in the machines at the buffets upstairs. You have to pay for every.single.thing. you drink except in these areas. Activities on board: For adults, if you like to gamble and drink, that's all there is to do. But this, of course, entails spending more money which they highly encourage. The shops (pharmacy, gift shop, clothing store, toy store) is extremely overpriced and has a very small selection of what you need. Almost every bar area allows smoking so the fact that a "cigar room" was in one of these areas was confusing if smoking was allowed in almost all areas of the boat. My husband and I couldn't enjoy our drink while watching the live band one evening because smoke was being blown on us from the casino which opened into the area we were in. Smoking areas are designated but aren't followed or enforced. We signed my son up for the daily activities for his age group but the only things for him to do in this small room was play with Legos, color printed out pictures and watch movies in a language that he doesn't understand. Needless to say, he went twice for about 2 hrs each time, and said he didn't want to go back. It broke my heart because I wanted him to enjoy our vacation but he ended up staying in the room with us, watching cartoons on the laptop and playing on the iPad. The nightly shows were all the same, just different costumes and music. It also would have been nice if the theater played movies during the day since they had the capability to do so. We didn't use the spa services because frankly, we couldn't afford it after discovering all the hidden charges that were forced upon us. The public areas were kept clean but all looked alike. The ship is full of glitz/glam but lacks real substance, in all honesty. Photographers were set up all throughout the 5th and 6th floors in the evenings and harass you as you walk by to take your picture. After the 3rd time, we just flat out refused and walked away, leaving them talking and begging us to take more pictures. Pools: The very small children's water area was extremely slippery, my son fell on one occasion and hit the back of his head. Some of the water toys didn't work and there was no actual kiddie pool for the kids to play in, just water streams to run through. The adult pool was no bigger than a king size bed, and that's no exaggeration! I never saw anyone in it other than a couple of teenagers jump in and climb back out. The two hot tubs were the only points of interest for everyone and with so many ppl getting in and out, I passed. I don't like sitting in other people's urine. The staff we encountered were very nice and all spoke English. Our waiters were always wonderful to us so we have no complaints with those who worked on board. Our biggest complaints would be the poor food served, the many surcharges that we were left with after it was over and being kicked out of our room at 8am and sitting around for almost 3 hours to disembark. Our bill that was left on the door was over 300euro and more than half of those charges were just surcharges, which is absolutely pathetic to me. After being kicked out of our room, we were told to sit in one of the lounge/bar areas until our designated time to meet (according to floor number) to leave the ship. Luckily, we held onto our luggage instead of letting them transport it for us back to shore so as soon as we walked off the ramp (couldn't happen fast enough for me) we grabbed a taxi and went straight to our train station. Overall, our experience was horrendous. The only reason I give this rating a 2/5 is because of the cleanliness of the boat and the friendliness of the staff. Other than that, it was a sorry excuse for a first-time experience in taking a cruise as a family vacation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
I am very impressed with this cruise company. MSC did very well to make our cruise a great and pleasurable experience. The good point: Excellent Food, Excellent Accommodation, Amazing service from all the crew staff. Very friendly and ... Read More
I am very impressed with this cruise company. MSC did very well to make our cruise a great and pleasurable experience. The good point: Excellent Food, Excellent Accommodation, Amazing service from all the crew staff. Very friendly and always making sure we got the best product and service. The punctuality of the actual ship, always sailed at the prescribed time, arriving on time. Allowed us to plan the balance of our trip very well. The excursions we bought were value for money. We saw just enough of each City we choose. I also enjoyed the fact that we were also free to do our own tour and go exploring on our own. The bad points: The reception staff could behave a lot better, they are the first people we meet and they treated us like customers who cant pay. It felt terrible, and this particular lady just started doing her own thing with my Credit Card. I was not impressed and I had to block my card for the balance of the trip. The photos are of good quality but excessively expensive. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
There has been so many negative reports on this cruise line and ship. From boarding to disembarkation all went smoothly and was well enjoyed. We did the Allegresimo Premium package, and wow it was was worth it. Totaling up the ... Read More
There has been so many negative reports on this cruise line and ship. From boarding to disembarkation all went smoothly and was well enjoyed. We did the Allegresimo Premium package, and wow it was was worth it. Totaling up the receipts at the end we had more than doubled what was paid. The food was a bit repetitive but enjoyable and the only problem was the mini bar as only one item of each ie Whiskey, Vodka etc was replaced. No good if both wanted the same. But that was got around with ordering room services which was free on this package, so more work for them. Overall the cabin was great. The house keeper was fantastic and all the staff except the Restaurant managers were all very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
There has been so many negative reports on this cruise line and ship. From boarding to disembarkation all went smoothly and was well enjoyed. We did the Allegresimo Premium package, and wow it was was worth it. Totaling up the ... Read More
There has been so many negative reports on this cruise line and ship. From boarding to disembarkation all went smoothly and was well enjoyed. We did the Allegresimo Premium package, and wow it was was worth it. Totaling up the receipts at the end we had more than doubled what was paid. The food was a bit repetitive but enjoyable and the only problem was the mini bar as only one item of each ie Whiskey, Vodka etc was replaced. No good if both wanted the same. But that was got around with ordering room services which was free on this package, so more work for them. Overall the cabin was great. The house keeper was fantastic and all the staff except the Restaurant managers were all very helpful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first cruise with MSC and sadly will be our last.  Getting on the ship was easy, the room was good a bit small but alright for a week. The food was excellent quality but a bit samey but then they cannot just pop out to the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC and sadly will be our last.  Getting on the ship was easy, the room was good a bit small but alright for a week. The food was excellent quality but a bit samey but then they cannot just pop out to the shops. The waiter in our restaurant was brilliant. The Entertainment was the best we have ever seen on a cruise ship, the bar staff were good but some would rather had not been there. The Reception was a total waste of space, we had our daily programme delivered in French on the first night so we went to them to get an English version and request an English one form then on, quite simple? not a chance everyday it was is in French despite a daily complaint, even on the last day the disembarkation information was given in French i asked for an English one as it was quite important, the Receptionist just said they've all gone and we haven't got any. Getting off the ship at some ports we asked for some basic local information again they just said, without moving their eyes from the computer screen, "outside only" that was the help offered. The room was kept clean but we did have two dirty glasses left for 4 days, on one occasion they were actually moved to another part of the cabin. At 7 am everyday we were woken by the constant loud chatter and shouting from the room cleaners. I gave our waiter an individual tip but for the first time ever we had the gratuities removed from our bill. They were were not geared up for the English and were not worth a tip. Sadly the Reception and some staff let down the rest of the crew. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was a fantastic cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. Our cabin (balcony suite) was really good. Food was excellent. My biggest disappointment was with the staff. Except for Rafael at reception, all the other receptionists were poorly ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. Our cabin (balcony suite) was really good. Food was excellent. My biggest disappointment was with the staff. Except for Rafael at reception, all the other receptionists were poorly trained and could not assist us with most of our queries. Casino staff were rude. Our waitor for our evenings was a Honduran named Carlos who exceeded all our excpectations and provided excellent service in a highly professional manner, a real asset to MSC. On our last day we decided to do the Marseille excursion. At the excursion desk, we asked if it would be possible to do the excursion even though we were going to disembark. We were told that there would be a problem with our luggage as it could not stay on board. I told them we would take our luggage with us on the excursion which they said would be ok. The following morning, we asked for assistance to take our luggage (4 pieces) from our cabin to the bus. The manageress of the excursions started complaining that we would have to take the luggage to the bus. She eventually sent someone to collect our luggage but when we got to the bus, she passed a very nasty comment that it was our duty to take the luggage. I have only one thing to say about this: POOR SERVICE!!! Overall, I would do this cruise again, although I am not so sure that I will be using MSC again due to poor staff. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Is Yacht Club worth the extra money? I would have to say YES. It cost us about $1000 per person above the cost of a normal balcony suite. We arrived early for embarkation and were met by a butler who took us straight up to our room. It ... Read More
Is Yacht Club worth the extra money? I would have to say YES. It cost us about $1000 per person above the cost of a normal balcony suite. We arrived early for embarkation and were met by a butler who took us straight up to our room. It was a bit larger than a normal balcony suite with plenty or storage room. Very well appointed and the bathroom had a bath which was nice. We chose a cabin on the port side as we got better views when we were passing land from that side. Yacht Club entitled us to the free mini bar, room service, daily newspaper, priority embarkation at ports, use of the Top Sail bar, our own pool, bar and spa on the top deck and dining in the L'Olivio restaurant. The service in all of these was impeccable and the food in L'Olivio was outstanding. I saw some people paying for premium wines but there was nothing wrong with the free wines they served. Without exception all the Yacht Club staff were amazing, polite and went out of their way to help with any problem. I can't speak highly enough of them. I don't know what the service was like in the rest of the ship so can't comment on that. The ship is huge but didn't seem too crowded. It was spotless and there were always staff cleaning inside and outside every day. The passengers were mostly European so we didn't get chatting to many of them. Also with people embarking and disembarking at every port there were always new faces on board. It's not the type of cruise where you can get too friendly with people. Be prepared for no lift etiquette - they push onto every lift without allowing people to get out first. All the shows except one were fantastic (one was opera which wasn't our taste). We didn't really frequent the other bars on the ship as we would have had to pay for alcohol there, whereas in the Top Sail bar most of it was free. They had a pretty good selection of wines, cocktails, beers etc all free. The Top Sail bar has a great view as it is right at the top and front of the ship. The only downside was that it was the only bar where we could drink for free and you can't take your drinks out of there. There's also no entertainment to speak of. We did try to go to the gym a couple of times but all the walking machines and bikes were being used. It was disappointing they didn't have more of them. We did shore excursions in Naples (Pompeii which was great) and Tunisia (shopping tour which was okay). At the other ports we just shopped and did our own thing. The shore excursions aren't cheap (ranging from 40 to 80 Euro) and I'm sure if you researched you could organise them yourself and save some money. We just did the ship's tours as they were convenient. A small criticism was that there wasn't much information provided about the ports, and no port talks beforehand. In short, if you want a relatively quiet, peaceful time, aren't a party animal and are prepared to pay extra for luxury, good food and privileges then the Yacht Club is definitely worth it.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Booked a cruise on the Splendida Yacht club with the whole family of 5 persons (all adults). Don't understand in other reviews that people complaining about almost everything, yes even about the Yacht club. Well, we had a FANTASTIC ... Read More
Booked a cruise on the Splendida Yacht club with the whole family of 5 persons (all adults). Don't understand in other reviews that people complaining about almost everything, yes even about the Yacht club. Well, we had a FANTASTIC time on board the Splendida yacht club. It was worth the extra cost. Everything started with the embarkation that went really really smooth. Sata, a butler took us through the embarkation procedure and also offered us something to drink. Then to the boat passing many other passengers waiting in line to enter, Priorty embarkation for yacht club guests. Our butler was Jacques Paulin, a very helpful staffmember. We stayed in the yachtclub executive/family suite 12002 and 12004, it is a pity that these suites aren't really located on the yacht club decks (15 & 16) but hey those are the biggest suites on the whole ship so no complaining at all. In suite 12004 we had a bathroom with double sink, a shower and a full bathtub. The bathroom is bigger than in most apartments on land. Also a huge (on a ship) separate livingroom and a nice bedroom with flatscreen tv that we never used (no time to watch tv). We didn't do any MSC-excursions. Barcelona, Civitavechia, Palermo and Genua we all visited by ourselves for just a couple hours at the most. We preferred staying on the ship. The service in the top sail lounge, the one pool on deck 16 (with bar) and the yacht club restaurant Olivo were beyond our expectations. All the staffmembers serving us, and in the whole yacht club, were all very helpful in making our stay a most memorable one. All the meals were very tasty, have to mention about the dessert, simply excellent!! Only 1 big problem, no single one of us wanted to leave. Disembarkation was also swift. Thank you MSC and all the staffmembers and in particular Sata and Jacques. And yes our next cruise with the family is going to be MSC yacht club again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
So there you have it in a nutshell. We loved our cruise overall but ended up practically bronchial from the vast cloud of cigarette smoke that plumed out of the casino and into much of the surrounding areas. Perhaps you are considering ... Read More
So there you have it in a nutshell. We loved our cruise overall but ended up practically bronchial from the vast cloud of cigarette smoke that plumed out of the casino and into much of the surrounding areas. Perhaps you are considering sailing with MSC and would like more information than that one tagline. Would we sail with MSC again? Absolutely. Why? Our embarkation in beautiful Marseille was a breeze. The meet and greet crew were delightful. The food in Villa Verde was very enjoyable. Our cabin was the most spacious we have had on any cruise line so far. The balcony was worth it. The evening shows were spectacular. Seriously. Spectacular. Some of the dancers were a bit frumpy but the singers, acrobats, costumes, lighting and guest performers were outstanding. The cabin crew, as on every cruise we've taken thus far, were wonderful. The waiters were adorable. The food was plentiful. The cities we visited were gorgeous. The Splendida is eye-poppingly stunning. The Mediterranean is beautiful. The ship is so large that it makes the sea seem very calm. Even in winter we were able to swim in the lovely covered pool area. What would we have liked to be different? Personally I'd like to see the smokers herded off to a tender and trailled half a kilometre behind the ship but before you attack me for being unkind I'd like to inform you that I missed my one and only opportunity to visit the interior of the Louvre on the final day of our trip due to ill-health induced by attempting to extract oxygen from smoke filled air. And I have not had a cold in over 4 years! And I live a very long way away from Europe so it's not like we can just pop back over for a visit. I could go on... Apart from that, I'd have liked to see an occasional movie or something interesting up on that big screen instead of the incessantly repeated shore tour promos. But that was no biggy really. So yes, we would certainly cruise with MSC again. If you have booked this cruise I expect you'll really enjoy it. I hope you do. Take some cough lollies. Happy travels, PS I just put all this info in the deck plan review and thought it might also be useful for people doing actual cruise research so here it is again. This was a fine place. I was surprised that we were not upgraded considering that our "guaranteed cabin" cruise was booked a full year in advance and we paid full fare, when I noticed some really impressive sales as the year progressed. We made friends with a couple who had paid much less than we did and were in a much bigger cabin on deck 12. I'd say this was probably due to the Australian MSC booking office's way of doing things. If you do book through the Aust. office be aware that some of the most important information you need to action prior to your cruise is found only in the small print at the base of some, not all, of your documentation. I gave them feedback to this end suggesting they use at least bold text for this in future. So if you see your online booking form information appearing in bold, you can put it down to that :-) Or use a good travel agent. That should circumvent such issues. However, we were perfectly happy with our cabin.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
splendida 7 nights, western Mediterranean Family of 6, 2 adults and 4 kids 11,12, girls and 15,17 boys embarked in marseille dec 8 th 2013. We had 4 in bunks on the 5 th deck inside and a king opposite on deck 5 with an ocean view. In ... Read More
splendida 7 nights, western Mediterranean Family of 6, 2 adults and 4 kids 11,12, girls and 15,17 boys embarked in marseille dec 8 th 2013. We had 4 in bunks on the 5 th deck inside and a king opposite on deck 5 with an ocean view. In the ocean view room you only heard the air con ( very slightly, like a low hum, nothing to keep you awake) and in the inside cabin you heard low engine noise, I'm so glad the kids were in there and we had upgraded to ocean view for $350 nzd. It was so worth it. The kids use their iPods , so never hear the noise. Also the ocean view room was bigger, one more wardrobe and a lounge chair (kids had one chair, we had 2) and a longer desk, so well worth it for the space and being able to watch docking from bed, seeing what the weather was like, or just watching the stars at night or the coast lines as we passed with their lights. There is a 500 mm shelf In front Of the window so you can lean on that and look out with the cushions they give you for the bed. It was wonderful. We also had a room on the side that the boat followed the coast line so at 5 am when you are awake with excitement you can see the lights of the costa brava etc, better than an ocean/ sea only view only. ( we were going anti clockwise around the Mediterranean so were on the right hand side ) Ask for a cabin to face ' your' coast line. We didn't get a drinks package, as we don't drink alcohol or coffee, but caved on the first night as all thirsty at dinner, so bought 14 mineral bottles of water for 26€ and made the kids drink heaps of water from the bathroom before going so it would last the trip. The bathroom water is the same as the water in the bora bora cafeteria and they have glasses in the bathroom so you have access to water. Some reviews made out there were no drinks anywhere free But buy one filter bottle and if you don't like the taste filter it into your glass that way. Takes that ' chlorine ' taste out of it, If you have kids, get them drink bottles and just use the one filter bottle ( as they are $$) to fill their bottles from the bathroom or from bora bora water. ( which tastes better as it is colder) That water is nice, but I always add ice, so not sure if it is slightly more filtered in the restaurant than the bathrooms, it shouldn't be, it should all be the same. Water, tea and coffee and milk are in bora bora always, juice..if you can call it juice, is breakfast only. We ate breakfast and lunch in bora bora and in villa and reggia. We could sit and dine anytime, during breakfast or lunch, but Dinner we got late seating (8.30pm, early sitting 6pm) in villa which is what I asked for. It was brilliant, food superb. Bora bora plentiful and looked great just sometimes the taste was a little weird, ie the gnocchi , being an Italian ship should be mouth watering. It was rubbery, no flavour to a lot of things, just bland. Bacon seems deep fried and too hard to eat sometimes, but The desserts were always good in bora bora or the 2 restaurants ( there is one paying restaurant...Mexican. It was always empty) But it served it's purpose, there was always something there ( open 6 am till 2 am) teenagers could get full. And enjoyed it. I was spoilt with villa once for breakfast and then didn't go back to bora if I didn't have too ! Once you have fine dining for breakfast and lunch..why eat cool / cold food with the hoards! The food in villa and reggia. Always of a higher quality. Warm plates , hot food. 7 courses order as much as you want.. All 4 mains if you fancy. Sometimes the translation wasn't quite right, ie a vanilla and almond tart was actually just a custard tart... But with no base But usually it was very edible and portions were not small like some have stated. I would say medium size pasta course, normal soup dish size etc if you had all 7 which I did do sometimes, I rolled out. The sizes are fine. If you have one main course, then yes, you will go to bora bora afterwards for a feed like my kids did even after 7 courses. It was nice to have fine dining for free. Kids enjoyed it and our waiter Dominic from India a legend . We would go to the 7pm theatre show ( lasted 45 mins, late show 9pm) and then the sports bar to watch English football ( champions league was on the week we sailed...grrr) or back to cabin to get dressed for dinner. It is Sunday best more than cocktail dresses. And some just casual h&m attire. We tried to look smart at least for gala nights, kids in suits etc The shows, if any songs , were in English which was good. The purple bar had an Italian singer but she sang English songs, the other places had piano men not singing or a string quartet with no singing or if there was it was opera and you don't mind that in Italian! The announcements at the beginning of each show are in 5 languages and also at the end . But that was ok. At genoa they announced the life jacket drill in your room, even though everyone was in the theatre. What the? So much for a quick sleep at 5 pm. Half an hour of different languages,..now tie the vest like this...ay? I'm not even there. We had ours when we got in 6 days ago. They didn't do it for Rome or Barcelona in your cabins just genoa. I rang reception and said..what the!!?? They said 1000 people got on, so....!?? Shut mine off...I've heard it. We had 2600 on board, 1500 less than usual. It was great because of that. I would hate to be in the boat with it full. Italians seem to say 15 words for the 3 we might use ie 'that's great' , turns into 2 mins of yelling with their hands. After a week, I was over it. I missed hearing English and engaging in conversation with people. If you were a single traveller who didn't speak Italian or Russian and weren't seated with other single people at dinner, it would be a lonely cruise. There were no lift problems, no pushing, shoving, a high Chinese contingent, but they smoked themselves in the casino so didn't see them. Couldn't hear anyone in cabins next to us but there may not have been anyone. The restaurants had tables empty, it was just very relaxed. We liked eating in Pago Pago, at the back of the boat. The best views. It is bora bora...but called a new name half way down . When it is really busy they use the back as a ' posh' restaurant Kids had no problems playing table tennis, squash, fusball, basketball, as no teens/ kids on board. Maybe about 25 all up. Our kiwi kids met one family with teen Ozzie girls otherwise the odd French boy playing play station in the evening with my kids. Not much to do really, but the pools weren't full, due to weather..very calm and sunny, ( 12-16 deg) but not many in indoor pool and no one in the outdoor ones. ( there are 2 and one inside) 10 hot tubs around the boat. They were usually full but if you picked a good time you could find at least one empty. 2 on the back deck are good for when you are sailing out if the cities. Internet was 60 mins 16€ ( we didn't use it) movies 7€ on tv which is a ripe off! why not free? There are 2 English news channels...and national geographic sometimes , the rest sport or Russian/ Italian/ German , why not give us some movies to watch as there is nothing to do on board but sit in a hot pool. Some salsa lessons are free, but that's it, even bingo costs. You can't sit on the deck, you have to lie down as only sun loungers there. So if you want to sit and read a book you can't really..unless you lie down. The f1 simulator was 8 € , the 4 d cinema was 6€ there are space invader machines 1€ We gave the 4 kids teen cards with 30€ on each and told them to enjoy. They did... Mostly on space invader / shooting things. Hubby and I had a game of bowling €6 for 10 balls ( or 5 ' plays') And a gelato each for 2.5€ for 3 flavours, and watched the sun set leaving Sicily, and bought a cake from the pizzeria plaza type place, for 1.90€ seemed to cheap not too. They were huge slices so bought 2 different ones and shared it as a family. They were yum, but didn't need to go back once done it. The desserts and afternoon tea eclairs and tarts were ample and very tasty, we never went to the bars and bought anything. Laundry: 20 garments for 25€ We brought a clothes line ( plastic with wire inside it , 1€ on board with us ) and some pegs and washing powder, and we didn't wash jeans etc but underwear and tops and ran the clothes line around the 2 lounge chairs at night and the stuff was dry by morning ( as was your skin, use moisturiser...Central air con!) There is a clothes line in the shower, would fit 2 swimming costumes but if you brought some cheap wire hangars you could wash 5 -10 tops and hang them up to dry that way. Wouldn't fit just on the line as too small even pegged. The hangars in wardrobes are stuck in there, so bring a few of your own, or buy some in a port and throw them later We did it twice in our room and kids run their line around the 2 bunk safety bars between the two beds and their knickers dried. We brought a small torch for next to our bed incase of lights going out and we could get to kids room. Didn't need it, but handy to know it was there. Cruise gets busy after 15 th dec and Christmas and new year..nuts. A guy we met got flights from gatwick to genoa and a balcony cabin for him and the mrs £400 each. Jammy git! I'ld do it again if we could get that type of price!! Cities. Marseille port bus was on strike when we arrived, cab was €20 plus bags. Thanks France. Barcelona 3.50€ return on port bus to city Tunisia ( La Goulette ) we didn't risk scaring our little girls with men groping them so we just had a camel ride at the dock and looked through the souk there. ( use camel in souk, not near the boat. Much better ride..longer) It was perfect. Sicily, you dock right in the city, we just walked up and within 5 mins realised..what a dump and went to mcdonalds for wifi and then back to the boat Rome free msc bus to entrance to port DO NOT WAlK , too far, train station then a 20 min walk, 6€ one way 1.20 hr train ride to Rome, Got off at St. Peter's had a look inside, and then walked to colosseum, took about an hour but was great to see the sites. Then a tram back to one of the train stations on the Pisa line, that stops at the port where the ship is ( Rome is south and inland from the boat) Like a tgv but dirty and seats not as nice, but ok. Would get to 170 km/h Good ride. Genoa walked to aquarium, about 20 mins and went on the cho cho train for 7€ adults €3.5 for kids for 40 mins around the city. Was brilliant. Aquarium 23€ too Exy. Then went for a brilliant hot chocolate for 15 € for 6 of us and free wifi, so much better than on the boat as we spent 2 hrs..6 of us destroying their board band width! Hot chocs in the port of Rome were 20€ -and 26€ for Spain. So 15 € and nice and chocolatey was a good buy. We put a Christmas dec and a Maori art work on the doors so we could easily spot our door out of 100 as we walked along the corridor. Just used some blu tak. Helped us, but especially the kids find their room quickly . No counting of room numbers needed. A great tip we got off cruise critic. Body wash and shampoo in dispense bottles on wall in shower, NO conditioner. Bring your own if you need conditioner. Bring a 4 /6 power board thing, and one travel European plug. Charge everything then We got a 1€ over the door wall hook! with 5 hooks on which we used on a wardrobe door, as couldn't attach to bathroom door as it had a weird door on, but we could hang scarfs, belts, hats, swimmers to dry off it. Worked well. Couldn't find a shoe over the door storage, so grabbed that and it was probably slightly better as took up less space as you walked past. ( we had it facing the bedroom, but could have had it hanging side wardrobe) We also bought for 1.4€ air fresher glad things that sat on the side one in the bathroom ( lavender) and one in our running shoe bag! Lilly of the valley. If you don't and your shoes are smellers, you will regret not spending the money. And bring a large bag to out all running shoes in not just yours, cos hubbies smell worse after 4 days on his feet Throw them all in and food the bag down and put it in the wardrobe and let Lilly do her thing Most of the staff are from Indonesia ( Bali) so make an effort to at least learn thank you before coming aboard. The smile on their faces, makes your slight effort so worth while.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We live near the departure port of Marseille and booked this cruise as a last minute on a whim - we were actually planning on going for a weekend in Nice. As a result, we paid next to nothing for a balcony cabin and had probably the ... Read More
We live near the departure port of Marseille and booked this cruise as a last minute on a whim - we were actually planning on going for a weekend in Nice. As a result, we paid next to nothing for a balcony cabin and had probably the easiest transit to and from the ship off all passengers on board. We've previously cruised and visited most of the stops in the past; so we knew what to expect. Check-in was fast and efficient; the cabin very nice. It's the first time we had a balcony on the aft side of the ship, but I'll really consider getting one again in the future. It offered a great view, especially while sailing. It was also remarkably well noise-isolated. Once, my husband locked himself out of the cabin while I remained inside; even though I heard him knock, I couldn't actually hear him ask to be let back in. Even though we booked last minute, we could choose our own cabin and settled for a balcony on the aft side of the ship. It proved to be a great choice, the balcony was large enough, and the view just wonderful. Slight disadvantage was the increased movement at night - november can be rough on the Mediterranean - which is felt more on the front and end of the ship than in the middle.The curtain is in two parts, one that completely obscures light and a finer one, so it could fit all needs whether you prefer to sleep in a darkened room or be woken by the rising sun.The cabin itself was rather large, with a comfortable bed, the sitting area was larger than in other ships we cruised with. Downside was the blanket rather than fitted sheets on the bed. There's more than enough storage in the cupboards and space under the bed to get the empty luggage out of the way. Safe is easy to use and standard size.The bathroom was as it should be, and the shower perfect; the water was as hot as we wanted and didn't change in temperature wile showering. There was more than enough storage space. While the hair dryer wasn't as good as the one at home, it was certainly sufficient - so don't bother dragging your own across the planet. Also: it's stored in the living room, which makes getting ready for dinner so much more efficient. Our towels are changed twice a day. MSC apparently provides only one roll of toilet paper at a time; as a result, we ran out of it 3 times during our cruise. It wasn't too bad though, since there ware also the normal tissues to use in case of emergency, the cabin was cleaned/restocked twice a day and there was always someone of housekeeping around in the corridor to provide us with an extra roll if needed.The cabin was clean when we arrived and stayed that way during the cruise; house keeping did a fine job and were very friendly and polite - they also addressed us in our own language even though they were more comfortable using English. The shows were of much greater quality than we hoped for. Especially Antonio Versini and his living shadows. Staff was friendly and correct, without the 'pushiness' we experienced on more USA-oriented ships. The Mediterranean can be quite rough in November, so the ship moved a lot, especially during the day at sea. Because of our cabins location, this was worse at night. If you're sensitive to this, make sure you get some medication. Food Food was less in quality than on other cruise lines; but - especially considering what we paid - was satisfying. Note that of the 5 advertised restaurants, there are in reality only 2. The two main restaurants (Vida Verde and La Reggia) serve the same menu, whether you go to one or the other depends entirely on your cabin number). L'Olive, the upscale dining is only accessible for prime members (as is a swimming pool at the front of the ship). The Tex Mex restaurant is not included. Unless you really like this kind of food, go and get an authentic pizza in a cute restaurant in Rome - you'll spend as much and get a lot more authenticity for your money). The last restaurant is the buffet Pago Pago; which is open 20/24h. At times, it can get very busy, resulting in cold food by the time you find a place to sit, or eating in shifts if you leave one person behind to secure a table in advance. Protip: whenever possible; go to your main dining restaurant; they serve breakfast at the table, as well as a good lunch and dinner. The ports are nice and there's enough variation. Though if I had the choice, I'd rather board in Rome and add a few days in a hotel in that city, since 5 hours really isn't enough to visit the Eternal City. Overall, the cruise was a very pleasant experience. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We travelled on MSC Splendida with our daughter and her partner. It was their first cruise and the itinerary was good. We fancied being spoilt for a week without worrying about a large bar bill at the end of the holiday so we chose to ... Read More
We travelled on MSC Splendida with our daughter and her partner. It was their first cruise and the itinerary was good. We fancied being spoilt for a week without worrying about a large bar bill at the end of the holiday so we chose to travel in the Yacht club. The trip to Marseille was good, as was the Holiday Inn Express near the station. The cruise port is a long way from the centre of town so be prepared for a 25 euro taxi ride. Embarkation went smoothly and our butler, Ishmael, escorted us to our cabins. The cabins were lovely with walk in wardrobe and well appointed bathrooms. The balconies are smaller than on other ships we have sailed on. Ishmael took us on a tour of the facilities available within the Yacht Club. Everything was beautiful with a large sun deck/pool and the Top Sail lounge with snacks and drinks always available. We went for lunch in the Olivio restaurant, specifically for Yacht Club and had an excellent lunch with good service. The restaurant is the other end of the ship, still on deck 15 so it either involves a walk along the outside deck or navigating through the maze of bars and restaurants on deck 6. Luckily Ishmael escorted us and explained the priority lift service. We sailed late afternoon in the rain and almost at once hit rough seas, maybe the Yacht Club's location at the front of the ship makes things feel worse than they are but it really was quite uncomfortable - only 2 of us made it to dinner! The centre part of the restaurant suffers from a bad vibration which in addition to a rough sea makes things quite difficult, the food however was very good. Breakfast is available in the Olivio restaurant or in the Yacht Club Top Sail lounge (cold buffet style), both were excellent with freshly squeezed orange juice and a good selection on the menu. Barcelona on Monday was a sad affair in cold monsoon like rain. No information was forthcoming on disembarkation - in fact, no information was forthcoming at all. On other cruise lines, the Captain has always said a few words each day but there were no announcements at all. Perhaps the ship was being sailed by remote control as we did not see one officer for the entire week. Monday night was very rough again and once again only 2 of us went to dinner. The seas got worse during the night and at 5:00 am I gave up and went down to Deck 5 and slept on a sofa for a few hours as it was so uncomfortable on Deck 15 - one of our party fell out of bed due to the rough weather. No information was available about the storm and it later transpired that we were on the edge of Cyclone Cleopatra which did so much damage in Sardinia. The seas did not improve for the entire week which really marred our enjoyment of the Yacht Club facilities. Tunisia was the next port of call where we had arranged a private guide who was fantastic. We didn't get hassled at all and had a great day - our guide's name was Ben Jebar mtbjebara@yahoo.fr Very reasonably priced and really knowledgable without giving too much information. We felt safe and were well looked after. The other ports visited were Palermo, Rome and Genoa before our return to Marseille. At each port, no information was forthcoming about which deck to leave the ship, where the shuttle buses were or even a basic map of the port. On NCL, for example, there is always a talk on the next port of call with a basic map and info on some shops and restaurants - on MSC, nothing! The shows in the theatre were ok but very short but there was little else on offer. We went to one quiz which was pitiful. There was a pianist in Yacht Club a couple of times during the evening but the sound was similar to a child's electronic organ. The violinist in the restaurant played the most depressing selection of music that I have ever heard. The ship boasts a 4D cinema which was also pathetic. The only English speaking tv channels available in the cabins are news - films are charged for. Summing up, the Yacht Club offering is very good but really only worthwhile if the weather is kind to you. MSC has very little else to offer and we would not repeat the experience.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We arrived on this ship in Naples on the 29th July...checking in was quite fast and we were on the ship in about 45 minutes time it was very hot no drinks offered. We were met by a member of crew who told us our room was on a floor one ... Read More
We arrived on this ship in Naples on the 29th July...checking in was quite fast and we were on the ship in about 45 minutes time it was very hot no drinks offered. We were met by a member of crew who told us our room was on a floor one deck higher than we had booked we knew straight way and just made our way down the stairs to out room. No problems with room cleaned twice a day clean towels etc...the guy that cleaned our room was Luis G if you get him your in good hands...nothing a problem!! The buffet restaurant is very busy at lunch time so busy you cannot get a table, but you can eat in the sit down evening restaurant 12 until 2 closes around 1.40 so people turning up at 1.45 will not be seated its closed. They will also at lunch time sit anyone together. Bar staff were on the whole ok...just had one italian whom was rude to me, I was alone at the bar I had ordered 5 drinks 2 coffees and 3 juices which I could not carry to the table for breakfast....he did not get any of the other staff to help. Kids club is a problem I took my ten year old son once for half an hour he refused to go back after this....its an Italian ship I guess more for the Italian kids my child can speak Italian still not much fun but if a child is going for the first time they should be able to enjoy and want to go back. All meals and drinks were lovely. We had late sitting for dinner which was 9.45 pm every late!!...there are two dress up nights one in Messina and one in Barcelona also a mask night but not everyone wore black tie or had mask. Had a couple of shops on board. .One night they have an Italian night this is in Genoa We had the drinks package which was quite good...also had sparkling with with canapies on arrival...once in room you just call room service and they will bring them. You need to get on the bus at Tunisia, Barcelona and Merseille around 12 euros adults 6.50 children. Room 9231 agata Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Sailed on the MSC Splendida in April 13. Went with my wife and 2 kids, 9 & 11. Boarded in Marseilles for 1 week. This was our first cruise. It will most definitely not be our last. I read with interest different good and bad reviews ... Read More
Sailed on the MSC Splendida in April 13. Went with my wife and 2 kids, 9 & 11. Boarded in Marseilles for 1 week. This was our first cruise. It will most definitely not be our last. I read with interest different good and bad reviews of this ship before I booked. I have to say, how anybody could fault it and MSC is beyond me. The ship was simply stunning, the facilities excellent, the food amazing, entertainment brilliant, spotless, and the staff incredibly warm, friendly and supportive. We chose the all-inclusive package through www.cruiseparadise.ie and it was well worth it. We had paid it back after 21/2 days, as it included all drinks, cocktails, spirits, wines and beers. All water, kids ice creams etc. If you decide not for that option, be aware that prices for drinks are slightly more expensive than at home in Ireland. Expect €8 a cocktail, €7.50 for a G&T, €5.50 for a bottle of beer, €5 for an ice cream. The all inc pack was very affordable at €480 for the 4 of us for the week. Well worth it. Why MSC? For me it was because kids under 11 travel free (bar port taxes etc.) This meant it was very accessible and affordable for us for the first cruise. Will we ever travel with them again? Absolutely, can’t wait to go again. The kids loved it, the ship, the pools, the clubs, the friendships made. Boarding and disembarking was seamless and fast. We had absolutely no hidden charges applied. The room (a balcony) was the right size, was really luxurious, and the beds very comfy. The ports were well located. Average age on board was 38, plenty of kids, families, couples and groups. A mixture of Nationalities. If there is a negative it is that some people have no manners and are pushy in lifts etc. That is in no way a bad reflection on MSC, the ship or the holiday, just on them people, so if you can accept that not everybody is as mannerly as us then you will enjoy it. We chose to make our own way there and back, with me taking the ferry over and driving down (meaning we could have a few days afterwards in Paris, and could fill up with wine etc.) - Not everybodys cup of tea, but I love driving in France. Very quickly the ship becomes to feel like home. What more can I say? Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We started our cruise in Marseille and stayed the first night at Mercure Marseille Centre-a very nice hotel. Embarcation was fast, as most people boarded in Genoa or Barcelona. Our cabin was nice-small, of course, but with the balcony ... Read More
We started our cruise in Marseille and stayed the first night at Mercure Marseille Centre-a very nice hotel. Embarcation was fast, as most people boarded in Genoa or Barcelona. Our cabin was nice-small, of course, but with the balcony and mirrors it seemed bigger. We chose this cruise because of the wonderful ports. We first arrived in Barcelona and only had 5 hours there, which was enough for us because we'd already spent several days there. It would be too short for someone who's never been there. Then we had a sea day getting to Casablanca. Since there are so many languages spoken on board, the number of activities is limited. We took a lot of dance lessons given in 4 or 5 different langauges. The shows were quite good, although by the end they repeated the same performers and some of the same acts. Our next port was an entire day in Casablanca. Because we didn't want to be on our own in Morocco, we took the full-day ship's tour to Casablanca and Rabat. We very much liked the Hussein II Mosque in Casablanca. We took a long time getting to Rabat and found it interesting, but maybe not worth the bus trip. Our next port was Cadiz. We took the Seville on your own tour, which was just a bus to Seville. We only had 3 hours in Seville and spent 2 at the Real Alcazar, which was stupendous. We didn't have time to see the cathedral. We talked to people who took the guided tour to Seville, and we actually saw more than they did becuase they took 45 min. to eat. We walked through the Jewish Quarter, and they didn't see it at all. Seville is gorgeous, and we really want to return.We were much too rushed. The bus got us back to Cadiz and hour before we needed to be on the ship, so we walked around the ramparts of the city. Our next port was Lisbon, where we took a 6 person tour with We Hate Tourism Tours. We had a rainy cold day, but we thouroughly enjoyed this tour of Sintra and Belen. At 60 Euros a person, it was cheaper and better than the ship's tour. They fed us pastries in the morning and afternoon, and we had a picnic out of the back of the van with wine and pastries with meat inside. It was raining, so we ate inside the van, but we didn't waste our valuable time on a long meal. I can highly recommend this tour, called Pirates of the Cruise Ships. Finally, we had 2 days at sea and were able to relax. We had one day of decent weather when we could enjoy our balcony. Our last port was Genoa, which we did on our own. We took the Hop On Hop Off bus to see the entire city. It leaves right from where the ship docks. Then we went to a couple of palaces on Via Garibaldi-lovely, and then the Royal Palace, which was very impressive and reminded us of Versailles. We disembarked in Marseille and took a taxi to our hotel, Escale Oceania, which is right on the Vieux Port. We were also very happy with this hotel. We stayed in Marseille for 3 days. The day we arrived we took a public bus to Casis, a lovely fishing village 25 minutes from Marseille. The next two days we took tours with Provence Connection. We ended up being the only ones on both tours. It was wonderful. On the first day we took their Tour 1 to Arles, Pont du Gard, Avignon, and Les Baux. That was out best tour of the entire cruise. The next day we took their Tour 4 to Le Louberon. We went to 5 little villages in the mountains. Our favorites were Rousillon and La Fountaine de Vaucluse. I can highly recommend Provence Connection. They picked us up at our hotel and went out of their way to personalize the tours to our interest. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
The ship itself was nice the evening entertainment was excellent. Cabin was a little small but fine - had fridge wardrobe space adequate shower was small compared to other cruise lines. Lighting was dim and found it difficult to read ... Read More
The ship itself was nice the evening entertainment was excellent. Cabin was a little small but fine - had fridge wardrobe space adequate shower was small compared to other cruise lines. Lighting was dim and found it difficult to read even with all the lights turned on because of where they were placed. Main restaurants were on decks five and six but the tables were too close together making access for serving difficult for the waiters. The Irish bar and the casino were both smoking areas although there was a small section by the bar that was non smoking but you could smell the smoke. The theater was a good size but you had to be there early in order to get a seat. Seating was tiered with 2 rows of seats to each tier the front row of the tier had excellent views but the back row of each tier you were obstructed by the people sitting in front. Our complaints:- If you wanted water with your dinner of an evening or lunch during the day in the restaurant you had to purchase the water by the bottle €2.6 plus a service charge of 15%. The buffet if you choose to eat there of an evening closed at 8.45 pm so after then you could only get tea coffee or water from the machines. We found that there was no English tea of an evening only Calamine and Earl Grey (need to pocket some during the day if you like a cup of tea late at night):-) The food was Italian style lots of small dishes but we did not enjoy the cuisine we found it bland and the meat usually tough. This is our own personal opinion. We have cruised with other companies and would not cruise with these again by choice. This ship is mainly for Italians French and Spanish so there was a language problem when trying to communicate with other passengers. The staff all spoke English. Passengers were taken on at each port except for Tunis which meant the lifeboat drill was repeated each day (you only have to do it once on the port you embarked). The announcements in different languages became tiresome and sometimes they forgot to announce them in English. In the theater all the shows were in English which was to our advantage. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
The cruise aboard MSC Sinfonia was the best holiday we have ever experienced. We usually holiday in Spain and France, but now we have been spoilt by MSC Cruises, we could never go on holiday in France again. The French simply don't ... Read More
The cruise aboard MSC Sinfonia was the best holiday we have ever experienced. We usually holiday in Spain and France, but now we have been spoilt by MSC Cruises, we could never go on holiday in France again. The French simply don't know how to provide a holiday, but they know how to enjoy one, judging by the number of French people aboard. We have two children and they loved the holiday. If you want to, the Sinfonia will look after your children in a very professional, safe and secure manner. We kept our children with us for the first two days but soon gave in to their demands to join the Junior Club. There are four swimming pools, loads of activities throughout the day or you can just veg out with a book or sunbathe. There is a sunbed for everyone aboard. emergency drills for the crew are carried out every day which just goes to show how serious MSC is about their ships. The evening shows are full of energy and spectacular. The food is really healthy and good. Breakfast is a feast and lunch and dinner are 7- course feasts. The service is better than 5 star. Cabins are serviced TWICE per day. The Sinfonia deserves 7 stars for the sheer effort, professionalism, courtesy and service. the staff speak various languages - English mainly, but Italians, French, Spanish, Germans are catered for too. We can't wait to go again soon - very soon. The hotels in the South of France need to check out the cruising scene and take note. No 5-star hotel in France can compete with MSC Cruises. None - especially if you have children. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
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