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33 MSC Cruises Marseille Cruise Reviews

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 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
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 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
I have always wanted to go cruising, and this was my first time. Overall, it was lovely experience. My only issue were the 15% service charge, and the 7 euros a day per person tip/gratuity. On our arrival on the ship (MSC Lirica) we ... Read More
I have always wanted to go cruising, and this was my first time. Overall, it was lovely experience. My only issue were the 15% service charge, and the 7 euros a day per person tip/gratuity. On our arrival on the ship (MSC Lirica) we headed straight for the Reception, as we were advised by our tour operator that we could query the the tip with the Guest Relation Manager (GRM). We had an appointment 2 days later to see her, and during this time we made a note of the things we were unhappy with. On one occassion, a waitress hadn't asked for our drinks voucher, and refused to void the transaction when we showed them to her, until we asked to see the manager. On the first day, our dinner was cold, and on another a waiter left 2 of our party waiting over 15 minutes to take a drinks order. Generally, we wouldn't have made an issue of this things, but as we had little option in paying the tip, we made sure we scrutinised every aspect of our trip. The GRM listened to our concerns, and in the end the tip charge was halved. I think it's worth buying the vouchers for drinks, as you do make a small saving having only to pay 15% on the whole vouchers, rather than 15% per drink. The food was lovely, nothing spectacular, but as I've put on over half-a-stone, it wasn't all bad! The majority of the staff were pleasant, especially the Housekeepers, who were always ready with a "Good Morning/evening, how was your day, and have a lovely evening" whenever we saw them in the corridors. Most of the staff were very pleasant, and were attentive in clearing tables, and general maintenance of the boat. The entertainment wasn't to my taste, and even though a lot of it was translated into 4 languages, I still wouldn't have enjoyed it, even it were totally in English!! The showers are TINY, and I spent most of my time fighting with the shower curtain! If you do nothing else, please get vouchers for the cocktails. It was nice to relax with a post-dinner cocktail. Please note that 1st sitting for dinner is at 7/7.30pm, and 2nd sitting is 9.30pm/9.45pm. We made the mistake of thinking that dinner sittings would be earlier, and having opted for 2nd sitting, we didn't finish eating until well after 10.30pm. Dinners are usually 5 courses, and we had 2 Gala nights where formal dress was suggested. I would also recommend taking the excursion to Rome offered by MSC. We did out own thing when ashore, but it was a rush getting around Rome in the 3 hours we had allocated, also be aware of the haggling taxi drivers in Tunis! All in all, I very much enjoyed my first ever cruise trip, and I would definitely do it again :-) Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
MSC Fantasia Western Med. week cruise review. Relax and enjoy this wonderful cruise . After reading so many negatives we were a bit nervous about our choice of MSC since we are first time , American English speaking only, cruisers in our ... Read More
MSC Fantasia Western Med. week cruise review. Relax and enjoy this wonderful cruise . After reading so many negatives we were a bit nervous about our choice of MSC since we are first time , American English speaking only, cruisers in our mid sixties. We had a great time. The ship is lovely, the rooms are excellent, large, immaculate, as is the entire ship. The food was abundant, varied, and something for everyone. If you have a special request, such as blue cheese for your cheese platter , it is taken care of quickly and amiably. The crew the room stewards, the waiters, towel guys, deck hands, maitre d, reception , etc. were all very polite, well groomed, and eager to help. When language was a barrier , ( happened very seldom) they were most patient muddling through until we all were clear on the question and the answer. The nightly entertainment in the wonderful theater varied each evening and lasted about 45 minutes , we went to all but one. Go, do not expect Broadway Stars, but very talented , multi cultural , enthusiastic performers. Each presentation was a delight to the eye, extravagant costumes, brilliant lighting, and great musical numbers. All can be enjoyed by any language or age. We changed our dinner seating after two nights , we were assigned a table with French speaking only couples. They were very nice, but we felt sort of awkward doing charades etc. People change every evening for a variety of reasons, often as we did , they meet people they want to eat with . The procedure is easy, just go to the dining room you are assigned between four and six. Speak to the maitre d and they will switch you . We found, that a smile or a laugh , and common courtesy is the best way to get anything , just as anywhere else in the world. We did not encounter any rude Italians, French, stodgy, whiny British, that have been alluded to in other reviews . Everyone was friendly, and in a vacation mood. I wonder, after reading so many negatives reviews , if these people are unpleasant when seeking help etc. , then are met with the same attitude . Just a thought. Coming on board was easy in Marseille, a que of about twenty minutes , baggage checked , and off we went. Our luggage was at our door by the time we had walked around the public spaces . ( There is an orientation meeting held in your native language and you are met by a liaison who speaks your language , but we were not aware of that . It is listed in the daily paper that you will find in your room when you arrive. We just didn't read it right away. So check that as soon as you get to your room . Would have saved us some confusion . ) Disembarkation was easy, there is a meeting the night before ( also listed in your daily paper) and you also get papers on what to do with passports etc. It was fairly simple, only thing I would say is you do not need to be in the lounge at 8 am, but you do need to pick up you passport at reception AFTER 8 am. We didn't leave until around 9:45. We hurried to get there, didn't have time for breakfast , and sat until 9:45. A hint : The ship sells good walking tour maps of each town at Reception for .50. Well worth it so you can plan ahead. You can get free ones in town or of course use the internet. We basically did our own thing in each port except Naples and Barcelona. Naples we did the Pompeii tour, it was good, but would suggest you do the Museum in town instead since most of the artifacts from Pompeii are housed there. Barcelona: we caught a BLUE bus to town, meets at the terminal, 3 Euros round trip compared to the MSC shuttle at 6 euros. Then caught the Hop on and Off bus right at the drop off spot. There are people at the terminal with information and pamphlets, just ask. This was a more reasonably priced way to go than a tour. Some places we loved . Marseille: The Old Port. You need to take a taxi or walk out of the terminal ( about a mile and a half ) to the bus stop at the entrance the terminal or take a Hop on and Off bus which was there at the dock, too far from town to walk . ( We flew out of Marseille the taxi was about 18 Euros. ) Genoa: the port and the back streets. We just walked to town, you can walk to the Aquarium too. There are inexpensive harbor tours , like 10 euros. Palermo: we walked to town , head for the old town and the main shopping streets. We found an old market street that was absolutely glorious in colors and foods along with some old, incredibly beautiful 1600s churches tucked in among the food vendors. Tunis , get a cab right at the dock for about 40 euros for about three hours , the driver will wait for you when you want to get out and walk, shop or eat etc. and tell you about the area . Palma, again we walked to town. The harbor is vibrant, some fun seafood spots, the Cathedral is at the far end of the harbor, a couple of miles. Worth the leisurely walk .The grounds are interesting as are the back streets . Wonderful little shops tucked in the side streets with pastries, and other goodies. Barcelona: ( done on Hop on and Off ) the HUGE food market was immaculate in the old town area, a good place to have paella for lunch. The Olympic Games grounds offers a good view of the city. We were impressed at how clean the city is. We ran out of time, but the tram to the fort was hit with others in our dinner group. The itinerary of cities was excellent. A couple of suggestions. Take some wire hangars and a few clothes pins for use on the clothes line in the shower, ask for a room on the left side of the boat since that is the side that faces the coastline. We took two insulated/covered coffee mugs and instant ice tea and lemonade . Used the ship water and had ice delivered every day ( no charge). The ship's water is fine to drink. We chose the soft drink package for 29 euros. You need to buy the drink, ice cream packages at check in and they don't push it. If you don't you pay more later. Same with tours. If you want to go on an excursion you need to book them within the first day or so to save 5%. They do their darndest to book you on a tour in your language, but sometimes it may be two languages. Big Deal. You are in Europe where many languages are spoken. We thought it was fun hearing all the languages and trying to communicate. Meals: The waiters bend over backwards to make you happy. Get to know them. We had breakfast and lunch ( when on board) in the dining rooms. The Zanzabar Cafeteria on deck 14 is a bit of a mad house. But, the view is wonderful. There are hundreds of choices and a super place for kids with huge appetites. All you can eat.) The dining rooms have a more limited menu , but much quieter and civilized. Breakfast and lunch in there are casual attire, but no short shorts , swim wear etc. Some reviews complain about not having twenty four hour food etc. Well breakfast starts in the cafeteria at 6:30 am and is open until 10. The lunch opens at 12 and closes at 4. Tea is at 4 to 5 at the Zanzabar , first dinner starts at 6:45 , there is a midnight buffet . So there is ample time to eat. PLUS you can buy gelato, pastries, etc. through the day. No one starves. Actually some passengers seemed downright gluttonous.( A reason we chose to skip the cafeteria.) Dress: Again posted in the daily news letter what the dress of the evening is. Sadly, there were some who chose to ignore the dress code and came across as crass . Tuxedos are too formal , but a dark jacket, slacks, shirt and tie for the men works for Formal and Informal evenings. The Causal night is shirt with no tie and jacket. Ladies usually wore cocktail dresses, but basically a snazzy black, wrinkle free dress with a couple of dressy jackets or wraps and you are set. I took one dress and a pair of dressy pants and interchangeable tops. I did see a few people turned away from dinner because of their extremely casual attire. ( flip flops and bermuda shorts ). I felt people were allowed to flaunt the dress code because the crew were too polite to embarrass them. On Deck: We spent quite a bit of time on deck when it was hot. Upper deck in the BACK is the ZEN area , no children allowed. There are deck chairs all over the ship, no need to worry about getting one. The pools were a bit chilly for us, they are emptied each night and didn't seem to warm up much. On deck 15 and 16 there are areas with hot tubs, we were often the only ones there. The main pool areas were busy with families , games, dance classes, and a GIANT screen showing a variety of things going on . The exercise area is in the front of the ship , you have to go through the spa. A wonderful panoramic view, lots of exercise equipment . The Room:Shampoo and soap are included, some reviews have said they aren't. Plug ins are various types , I took a dual curling iron. Blow dryer is in the drawer. Towels are changed almost every time you step out of the room by the wonderful room elves. Pool towels are provided by the pools and hot tubs. Beds are turned down each night , and the steward ( Patricia) made us feel spoiled. We would recommend this line , the price was about $3500 less than friends who are going on a similar cruise on another line with a balcony room. That's another two trips! There were few children , but this time of year that was to be expected. We were in minority as Americans, but we weren't going on the trip to be with Americans. The service was excellent, we were comfortable, the ship is huge and lovely, and we didn't feel like we were being hustled at all. We spent a total of 129 Euros on board for a tour and pop. Plus our tipping fee at the end. So we felt we certainly got our money's worth and had no surprise charges. Bon Voyage ,,, Arrivederci... Ciao... Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
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