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27 MSC Cruises Marseille Cruise Reviews

We booked this as a last minute decision and before reading reviews on here, we may not have booked had we read reviews first but we found that MSC were excellent to deal with and had a wonderful time. Embarkation- is very efficient and ... Read More
We booked this as a last minute decision and before reading reviews on here, we may not have booked had we read reviews first but we found that MSC were excellent to deal with and had a wonderful time. Embarkation- is very efficient and as they have no set start port for the Cruise there are people embarking at every port of the Cruise meaning there is far fewer at each port in the queue. Crew/Staff- were top notch, despite the fact that there were very few English speaking passengers on board we never met a crew member that could not speak English, they were super helpful and always courteous. Facilities- there were so many things to do onboard for both adults and kids that there was never a danger of boredom, everything from multiple pools and jacuzzis to a State of the Art gym, video games, football pitch, table tennis, and a squash court. There is also a Hair salon, Spa and other pampering available at an extra cost. There is a Casino, a Sports Bar along with plenty of Cafes, Bars, Restaurants and Ice Cream Counters. Excursions- are available at an extra cost, these can be quite expensive especially if you are booking for four but having done both official and self-organised excursions there is not a huge cost saving in the difference but the self-organised tours allows for flexibility such as choosing the time slot for climbing the Tower of Pisa. NB* please note that tickets to go up the Leaning Tower of Pisa are NOT included in that tour and you NEED to book in advance to ensure you get to go up as it is super busy and limited in numbers allowed. Dining- This was one worry we had but we could not have been more impressed, there was a different and varied dinner menu each night in the Red Velvet Restaurant, you could also go there for breakfast and lunch or you could go to the Zanzibar Buffet on deck 14 which opened 18-20 hours per day. The buffet however didn't have food between 17.00 & 18.30 due to the crew partaking in the daily Emergency Evacuation Exercise for new passengers which we found was a strange time to close the food part? The food was always top quality in the A La Carte Red Velvet and while there was a huge choice in the Zanzibar some of the food was tepid if it had been out for more than a couple of minutes. Passengers- Mainly Italian, French, Spanish & German but with a good sprinkling of other nationalities. One drawback that I must mention as it can colour the judgement / enjoyment of some people is that we found that passengers of certain nationalities appear incredibly rude in terms of an inability to queue in an orderly fashion, an unwillingness to give way while passing in tight spaces and even common courtesy of thanking you for holding a door open for them. I had to ask passengers at one of the shows to be quiet as they insisted on talking their way through the show so loudly that everyone within 30m could hear their conversation and none of the show. The ship despite being 11 years old was in great condition and huge efforts were made to keep it looking well so overall we could not fault MSC in any way, indeed we were so impressed we have booked with MSC on their new ship the MSC Grandiosa for next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We booked this cruise as a short break over Christmas mainly as it was a 5 nighter out of Marseille that suited our dates. Having travelled mostly with celebrity, Rci and princess we were not sure what to expect WE WERE VERY ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a short break over Christmas mainly as it was a 5 nighter out of Marseille that suited our dates. Having travelled mostly with celebrity, Rci and princess we were not sure what to expect WE WERE VERY IMPRESSED Embarkation in Marseilles v swift Luggage arrived quickly. Cabins (Bella class balcony) beautifully decorated- nice balcony with wicker effect furniture. Good air con that didn’t dry your throat out.(no tea coffee but chargeable mini bar) hairdryer good, free safe deposit box in room In shower shampoo and body was dispenser. Very clean and good size bathroom Ship was beautifully decorated all over for Christmas. Even a gingerbread house the size of a garden she’d made of real gingerbread in the atrium- the smell was beautiful. Constant live music in atrium - loads of space to sit.many large lounges- the amethyst lounge was beautiful purple and silver. Theatre was beautiful with some excellent shows. Christmas Eve had a special kids afternoon show with Santa giving out presents. There was lots of atmosphere all over the ship-carol singing with the passengers, crew choir, waiters doing dancing at end of the meal. I had soft drinks package which includes non alcoholic cocktails as well as hot chocolate- lovely to be served English breakfast tea in pot in the atrium listening to opera Christmas Eve there was a surprise midnight buffet- It was incredible the work that had gone into the artistic creations- - th esugar work, ice sculpture, chocolate work , bread in shape of Christmas characters, most appetising plattters of smoked salmon, mousses, cheeses, desserts, Christmas themed cakes, fruit cultures, - massive congratulations to all the chefs . Staff helpful and friendly Smooth disembarkation Trhorougly recommend this ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one ... Read More
I have cruised before, but my wife had not, and she was looking for "an over the top" experience". So I began searching for big ships doing the Mediterranean in November. MSC had a lot of ships and the Meraviglia is one of the top 10 largest ships afloat, very new, and the video was amazing. The reviews however, were anything but amazing. Like lukewarm and even negative reviews about our favorite restaurants, I have learned that most negative reviews are more about missed/too lofty expectations than reality. The biggest gripes about the Meraviglia seemed to be food and staff. Since the boat is so high tech and wondrously equipped, no one really complained about the ship. Sure enough, even our tablemates as well as others on board echoed the Cruise Critic complaints. They ranged from now having butter and iced tea (both free, readily available) to non English speaking staff who were "unfriendly". If your attitude is "I am the guest and I expect to be served", you will be disappointed. If you engage the staff with your own smile and understand they work 11 hours a day, even my first time cruising wife was amazed at how every waiter and staff person smiled back.....even when they had to say "no" (like when we were late for dinner and the gatekeeping waiter apologized saying he was not allowed to let anyone in past 7:45, so I asked him to ask for his captain, which he did, and of course, the captain, his boss, let us in). MSC offers the lowest prices afloat for the most interesting itineraries and the newest boats.....but unless you are traveling Yacht Club, you just cant expect white glove service--but you can expect politeness and cleanliness and entertainment and "service". And we got all of this and more. Dinner. We only ate at the standard Waves Restaurant. Three sittings, We were the second. The appetizers and desserts were great, the entrees, though varied were not as good and need improvement. Not to worry though because the astonishing buffet, open 20 hours a day, had stupendous selections of excellent food from simple salads, to homemade pizza, Halal and ethnic specialties, rotisserie *the roast veal carved to order was smashing), plus an on board mozzarella factory (you could see it being made) that ensured great caprese salads and more. And they changed the offerings every day! Housekeeping. In a word, perfect. No goofy doorknob hangers telling staff to clean up the room. Just press a button. Spotless. The Room. We opted for an admidships deck 12 interior cabin because my wife was worried about seasickness. The cabin was huge, with a queen plus bed, great pillows, lighting, etc And the bathroom has the best shower afloat in my experience with infinite hot water! And a blow dryer!. Staff. What a great group of waiters and support staff rom Central America to Ukraine and Africa. Just knocked themselves out to please! It surely helped that we engaged them instead of treating them like servants. Prices: For 5Euros we got any two items delivered free to our room. Drinks were 6Euros. The best ice cream and chocolate (made on the boat) were $1-3Euros. The coffee, water, tea, ice tea, etc. were all free at the buffet. So no complaints about the "extras" The experience: 32 elevators, four pools, an arcade full of shops, sky bars, full size basketball court, full size bowling alleys and a water slide that went OVER the edge of the ship, outstanding singing and dancing "Broadway" type shows and Swarovski glass staircases made onboard life hugely satisfying. The guests. Where were all the seniors? This was the first cruise I have ever been on where there were so many families, disabled people, young honeymooners, babies, kids, etc. from so many different countries. A true multi-cultural experience. Our table mates were from the Dominican Republic (an MD and his wife), honeymooners from Colombia, and a couple from Florida. A great itinerary and all of the above for $1300 for 7 nights? Yup, and we cant wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This brand new ship from MSC certainly has the WOW factor, the decor is stunning and the internal spaces are stylish and well thought out. Embarkation from Barcelona was a breeze, and the welcome on board was warm. We absolutely loved this ... Read More
This brand new ship from MSC certainly has the WOW factor, the decor is stunning and the internal spaces are stylish and well thought out. Embarkation from Barcelona was a breeze, and the welcome on board was warm. We absolutely loved this ship, the cabin was spacious and clean with a lovely decor. Our cabin steward was efficient and friendly again brilliant service. The dining room was just great and the food was fabulous. Cannot fault the waiting staff in the dining rooms. Lovely bars to choose from and the drinks package was reasonable and great value compared with RCCL. We used the gym facilities which were clean and the staff very helpful. The buffet dining was also very good, the late night options were good too. Fresh pizza make throughout the day/night as well as many more fresh food options. We loved the destination on this western Med itinerary, our first time with MSC and our expectations were exceeded. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as ... Read More
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as the now defunct Transocean Tours' MS Marco Polo and Voyages of Discovery's much missed MV Discovery. I have sailed multiple times in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as the Northwest Passage, Antarctica, South America, Asia, Alaska, Norway and the Baltics. Whenever I do a review, I review the ship against what it A) is pertaining to be, and B) value versus the price paid. In this sense, a Crystal cruise may not receive five stars if the voyage did not meet my high expectations, whilst a 3 night Norwegian Cruise Line voyage may rate higher if my substantially lower expectations were exceeded. In my opinion, the MSC Yacht Club product is the best value in luxury cruising. My wife and I are in our mid 20s, and we appreciated the fact that we had our own enclave aboard, where the crew quickly learnt our names and favourite drinks, but could at will descend into the melee of a mega-ship filled with energy, music, song and dance. The Yacht Club was in essence a haven (pun unintended), a quite, relaxing area, approximately the size of one the older Seabourn triplets, where it was easy to meet passengers and make friends, in a fashion that is usually impossible aboard a ship carrying several thousand passengers. One could then go and enjoy the entertainment and options available on the ship with said friends. The entertainment was of high quality, especially the Cirque de Soleil show. Every night a production show was presented, of which one can get tired of quite quickly, but they were of similar quality to shows I have seen on other mass-market lines. The overall ambiance of the vessel was international, which is something we really enjoyed about MSC, and the Meravilliga's interiors where nothing short of stunning. We did not try any eateries besides the Yacht Club restaurant and the buffet, so cannot comment on the quality of food in the rest of the ship. In the Yacht Club, the pantry always had food available, the drinks where of reasonable quality and weather permitting there was a barbecue or buffet available on the open private decks. The MSC Yacht Club restaurant offered food of a reasonable to high quality, with service that was great if not perfect, missing the finesse of service found on dedicated luxury lines. The butler aboard the Yacht Club was more of a room attendant, although you could always count on the ones serving in the Yacht Club lounge, for all intents a private observation lounge at the forward-most point of the vessel's superstructure. Lines where never a problem as we had dedicated lifts which we could override to give Yacht Club passengers express service, and the butlers where always at hand to walk you out or back on to the ship, skipping the sometimes substantial ques. In a similar fashion, after a very hectic day trying to get to the ship (trains on strike, taking a bus, taxis on strike, having to take several busses, etc.) the glasses of sparkling wine and welcome of the YC crew made our embarkation perfect. I can happily recommend the Meraviglia if you are a guest seeking a large cruise-ship experience in an international environment, with a value-driven luxury product, and for this value are willing to give up the extra refinements and finesse found on 'true' luxury lines. I am sure we will be sailing aboard an MSC vessel in the Yacht Club in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is ... Read More
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is magnificent, the staff were fantastic, the food was good. We took advantage of the all-Inc drinks and enjoyed a 3 dinner package ... Butchers Cut, Eataly and Cirque du Soleil. .. everything was perfect. Our balcony cabin was fantastic ... and yes the bathroom is smaller than on other MSC ships. .. but the shower was actually larger. Disembarkation for ports and day of departure extremely well organised. Much bigger ship than we have been on before and weren't sure if we would like it, we didn't ... We LOVED it. Fabulous entertainment from shows in the theatre to acts in the various bars and especially the animation team staff on the bridge in the Promenade. Only downside is we now need another holiday as we didn't get back to our cabin until the early hours every night! Thanks MSC! See you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We whose this cruse because of the price...we wanted to se St. Martin, sainjuan and Bahamas...8 days cruse is perfect. Loved MSCSeaside, friendly staff, great food, deep pools specialty like the pool for adults only. The enbarkation was ... Read More
We whose this cruse because of the price...we wanted to se St. Martin, sainjuan and Bahamas...8 days cruse is perfect. Loved MSCSeaside, friendly staff, great food, deep pools specialty like the pool for adults only. The enbarkation was a smooth process I was surprised. Entertainment was excellant, Steve was so friendly and funny he should have his own comedy show. Love my experience in dining, the food was good and just the right amount. Buffett in my opinion was good because it was a lot to choose from. I sow opera first time in my life I was surprised how good it was it touch me I cried , so did my daughter . Every night was something going on in different places of entertainment so much to chose from. One night we even had a dance. This cruse was excelent, specially value for the money. We are planning to go again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Just finishing our first cruise on Msc opera around the med. The ship is spotless, they were always cleaning and our cabin was beautiful they changed our towels three times a day and turned drown the bed every night. The staff throughout ... Read More
Just finishing our first cruise on Msc opera around the med. The ship is spotless, they were always cleaning and our cabin was beautiful they changed our towels three times a day and turned drown the bed every night. The staff throughout the ship are very helpful and always smiling we never experienced anyone miserable. The food was excellent and plentiful. A bit of a free for all in the buffet but staff in the restaurants are very nice. The entertainment in the theatre wasn’t as good as I expected. But a wonderful experience for a first cruise. The only niggle is they don’t enforce the dress code for restaurants on gala night so you can feel overdressed that said it is a very relaxed dress code and atmosphere every night so would have been nice to have one night when everyone made an effort. Overall I would recommend MSC Opera for couples and family’s old and young. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
INTRO... Prior to my comprehensive review, i'd like to say that my intention is to produce a well rounded and honest opinion of the cruise line and the ship, not the itinerary or the destinations. I will be documenting our complete ... Read More
INTRO... Prior to my comprehensive review, i'd like to say that my intention is to produce a well rounded and honest opinion of the cruise line and the ship, not the itinerary or the destinations. I will be documenting our complete experience on this ship (in contrast to many of the poor quality reviews already published on this ship which seem to focus on silly individual things like vegan options in the buffet and airport transfers) We chose this cruise over a similar Mediterranean sailing on Celebrity... who I will say we love as a cruise line and naturally Celebrity set a very high benchmark for other 4/5 star lines. We are not of the average age of people who tend to write cruise reviews, but in our mid-twenties I'd like to think we have a fairly rounded experience and look at cruises and the modern cruising experience from a slightly different perspective - one that is very rarely documented on this site. Myself and partner tend to look for a cruise experience that offers quality dining experiences, excellent service (which includes staff with personalities and character) well maintained and modern ships and entertainment which caters for us twenty somethings... as well as everyone else. In choosing the MSC Seaview none of the above was compromised, we were well and truly overwhelmed by the overall experience. I last sailed with MSC as a 15 year old on the Lirica back in 2005, which overall wasn't bad but following this have only ever sailed with Celebrity and Holland America on one occasion. I must say that we chose to sail with MSC over Celebrity because Celebrities prices have continued to rise to the point where we no longer feel value for money. Prior to us embarking I did not believe I would be able to compare our last Celebrity experience on the Reflection in November 2017 with our upcoming MSC cruise in September, but it was evident from our short, 7-night stay on the Seaview that MSC are pulling out all the stops to compete with not just the mid tier 4-star cruise lines, but directly with the well heeled premium lines too. THE SHIP... Embarkation was a breeze, and so this continued at the ports during our itinerary and at disembarkation after our cruise. Within twenty minutes of arriving port side we were in the champagne bar ordering drinks! We stayed in an Aurea Suite Aft cabin (Aurea being the package level - similar to Aqua Class on Celebrity or Haven on Norwegian) Which gave us a private dining area, private sun deck, an inclusive drinks package, access to the spa's thermal areas (snow room, sauna's, steam rooms and thalassotherapy pool) plus a 50 minute complimentary massage from the spa menu... all for £1650! A lot of ground to catch up here Celebrity! Our cabin was very large and offered a queen bed, free mini bar (re-stocked every day) a generous bathroom, 'wrap around' balcony which gave us Starboard and Aft views and plenty of cabin storage. Our cabin was clean and tended to by our attendant three times a day. The ship is beautiful and a lot of attention to detail has been paid to its aesthetics both internally and externally. Adorned with marble, silver, golds and bronzes the interior of the Seaview offers a classy and ultra modern, luxurious environment with no expense spared. The layout brings you different themes and often chunks main attractions together in individual and easy to find areas. Be aware, the Seaview is very large and often quite hard to navigate its 20 decks (not something that caused any real issues) Each deck is named after the world's oceans and seas and apart from the pool decks, floors 4 - 12 from Forward to Aft positions meet in the middle at the ships 'Grande Piazza', a glitzy expanse of different bars and restaurants. We spent most of our time pre and post-dinner around here, it gave us easy access to the casino, theatre and on most nights the ship's entertainment staff hosted various parties and themed events from the Piazza. We were huge fans of the different pool areas, each offering a different experience for adults and children, with the ships Aquaventure waterpark tucked well away of the more serene and relaxing areas. Despite the ship being at it's capacity of 5000 guests, we always managed to find space to sunbath... although we would have liked to have seen pool staff removing towels from 'reserved' beds which weren't occupied for hours (a policy Celebrity adhere to and one I think works well) Our private Aurea sundeck was a quiet place to retreat in the afternoon following a day out at port. However a negative for MSC on this one, they could have utilised the space better rather than simply filling it with sun loungers. The private bar was great, but I would have appreciated cabana's and more comfy seating space... not a massive issue in the grand scheme. THE ENTERTAINMENT... The ships entertainment is fast paced, exciting and offers music to accommodate all taste. Theatre shows offer a variety of performances and experiences and overall I rate good. The ships DJ plays current and previous hits depending on the time of day/ night and theme of the party. THE FOOD... The best we've had at sea. We're used to dining on the best having sailed with Celebrity for so many years, but following our experience on the Seaview, not only are the speciality restaurants superb, but the choice and the quality of the food in the main restaurants is excellent! Twinned with great service from the waiters. When sailing on the Seaview, I highly recommend taking out one of the speciality dining packages. The speciality restaurants we sampled were Asian Market (three asian restaurants) all wonderful and unique in their offering. Butchers Cut (steak house) Delightfully prepared and very tasty but very filling meals. Lastly, Ocean Cay being the stand-out... Created for and in collaboration with 'Michelin Star' chef Ramon Freixa is seafood heaven! I apologise for drawing comparison with Celebrity again but all of the speciality restaurants on the Seaview trump the speciality restaurants on our last Celebrity ship... the Reflection for a fairly comparative additional charge. THE STAFF... Engagement with staff on board was always what I would consider as good. The waiters and bar staff were nearly always excellent, showed a vested interest in their guests and looked to form a bond with us wherever we chose to eat. The sommelier and maitre'd in the speciality restaurants liked us so much he often left bottles of wine with us and offered hefty discounts if we chose to order any additionals! However I would have lied to have seen some 'Flare' bar tendering... again something we're used to on Celebrity. Our room attendant was pleasant and would happily go over and above to ensure we were satisfied with everything. We didn't see much of the officers, who remained fairly elusive along with the ship's Captain Marco Massa who we very rarely heard from or saw... which was a shame, however not really impacting our experience. IN SUMMARY... Would we cruise with MSC again? Absolutely, but I would be hesitant after experiencing one of their newest ships to sail on the older ships in their fleet. The Seaview seemed to deliver what we expect from a cruise and more. I would highly recommend MSC to any of our fellow cruisers who may be thinking about a change from their traditional cruise line or simply want better value for money. If you're British or American and looking to sail with MSC, bare in mind that the general appeal of MSC is to the european market. Many of our fellow guests were Italian, Spanish, French and German and many didn't speak or converse in English... again this didn't bother us because everyone was still very pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
It was me and my mom on the Medditarenean cruise, our girls time went really good because of the itinerary, service, and excursions!!! I would highly recommend booking excursions in advance to save your spot and attend on the ship ... Read More
It was me and my mom on the Medditarenean cruise, our girls time went really good because of the itinerary, service, and excursions!!! I would highly recommend booking excursions in advance to save your spot and attend on the ship entertainment which was amazing. We had a small issue with our bill, but the front desk collaborated with food & beverage department and resolved it. Things for improvement 1. L'Aprodo restaurant disappointed us in poor choices and flavors of food. It was bland no flavor, in comparison to amazing delicious and various choices at the buffet on floor 11, Il Patio & Le Vele. Kudos to amazing buffet supervisor Osman Alfaro who always gave us VIP service as well. 2. A bigger swimming pool would be great. 3. Poor quality of toiletries, like shampoo and shower gel in each cabin. So you might want to bring your own. THANK YOU MSC Opera, memories created will last forever! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who ... Read More
Embarkation in Genoa started off as a nightmare. It was disorganised, none of the staff knew where we had to go and the signage was very confusing. No sign of the Yacht Club tent until we finally got directions from a staff member who actually knew where the Yacht Club check in was. With suitcases, this was very stressful not helped by the fact that 2 ships were in at the same time. Our new butler, Maksim, was amazing. He was there if you needed him but left you alone if you didnt want anything. He was friendly and professional and always had time for a chat. Butlers tend to provide room service but they also serve in the Top Sail lounge and the One Pool Deck this gives a continuity of service as they know how you like drinks, etc. There are 3 places in the Yacht Club where you could get food (apart from room service) the One Pool Deck, the Top Sail lounge and the restaurant. You could also book in to one of the speciality restaurants although we didnt do this as the food was so good in the Yacht Club. Main buffet: We ate in the main buffet twice and we had no problem getting a seat. The button on each table to ask for drinks was a really nice touch and the service was quick and friendly. Food here was nice although there were some strange combinations of food which made it difficult to have a complete meal. However, you could get burgers, hot dogs and pizza here. Yacht Club One Pool Deck: Here you could have casual breakfast, lunch and afternoon snacks. We had roast beef, chicken parmigiana and salmon amongst others and the food was generally good but was sometimes a bit lukewarm. This place is great if the weather was good but you couldnt eat up here if it was cold. You also had a full range of drinks including some very nice wines such as Chablis and Pinot Grigio. Top Sail lounge: There was a small buffet of cold snacks such as sandwiches, cakes and nuts. You could also get sushi here and they had canapes before dinner. You could also take high tea here between 4-5pm where you had a 3 tier cake and sandwich stand with a selection of sandwiches, cakes and scones with jam and real clotted cream. If you wanted any other sandwiches, you only needed to ask and they would get you some. They also had a selection of loose leaf teas which were served from the trolley. A very civilised experience. Yacht Club Restaurant: This was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The first night was really good and Ajay was efficient. However, the second night started out as a disaster, so much so that we tried to walk out. It took an age for the menus to arrive, we didnt get any drinks and the waiter couldnt understand what we wanted. When we walked out, we were stopped by the Restaurant Supervisor Massimo who was very concerned and persuaded us to stay. He seated us in another section of the restaurant and our new waiter, Miljan, was amazing. He served us for the rest of our cruise and we didnt want for anything. He got to know what wines we liked and recommended some new ones which were good to try. He also tailored the dishes and had a really good sense of humour. He knew how to tailor the service based on our personality and attitude. We never had an issue getting a table bar one night (tables were available but not in Miljans section) so we were asked to go to the Top Sail lounge and Massimo came to collect us as soon as a table was ready. He generally got us the same table every night which was nice. Joyce, the Assistant Waiter, was also really good remembering that we liked still water and what type of bread we generally like. Miljan and Massimo really made our cruise special and we were quite emotional when we left the last night. Massimo also organised an anniversary meal for us with a specially cooked dish and a bottle of champagne. The entertainment on board ranged from dire to quite good. It seemed that MSC has spent all the money on Cirque du Soleil on board and not had much left for the other entertainment. We did not go to see Cirque du Soleil as it is not our cup of tea but there were spaces available every night for the shows for both the meal and drink options. Highlights: Yacht Club and the Meraviglia itself is amazing Always loungers available even on the main decks (never busy on the One Deck even on sea days) Service was impeccable Food was of a very good standard with some great wines recommended The butler service was amazing including getting on and off the ship The button on the buffet tables to get a drink worked really well Concierge and room service were excellent Loved the pillow menu. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
After reading some of the reviews we were wondering what we’d let ourselves in for. We needn’t have been concerned, the ship was lovely, spotlessly clean, cabin although a little smaller than most, was very comfortable, the staff ... Read More
After reading some of the reviews we were wondering what we’d let ourselves in for. We needn’t have been concerned, the ship was lovely, spotlessly clean, cabin although a little smaller than most, was very comfortable, the staff friendly and helpful. Plenty of entertainment.The theatre, and the Circe de Soliel were excellent. Although there were many nationalities on board English was the first language.The food was good, all tastes catered for in the buffet diner and specialty restaurants. Maybe a bit on the expensive side, but we were on holiday. The only disappointment was the weather. We enjoyed Rome, and Valletta.Barcelona and Marseilles were the proverbial wash out. We are going to the Caribbean next month so hopefully we shall find the sunshine there, again we go with MSC, although not the same ship. I’m not going to read any reviews before I go, as we had a very good experience last time I shall look forward to the same. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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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