1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Cruises Cruise Reviews

13 MSC Cruises Martinique Cruise Reviews

We took our first MSC cruise, a 21 day TA from Martinique to Hamburg, many port stops in between which I initially thought might be a negative (we love the sea days, hence the TA's) but it was broken up nicely and we saw a few new ... Read More
We took our first MSC cruise, a 21 day TA from Martinique to Hamburg, many port stops in between which I initially thought might be a negative (we love the sea days, hence the TA's) but it was broken up nicely and we saw a few new ports by sheer number. It was like having three different cruises, the Caribbean followed by the TA followed by a European cruise, very nice. We arrived late with late flights, 7 pm-ish to check in but they had the whole YC experience going strong including drinks upon arrival, easy passport check, etc and then you're guided to the concierge floor to meet the concierge on duty and a few butlers hanging out, likely yours. We had awesome Roberto aided by two junior butlers and all was well. My only negative observation is the whole YC team tries too hard to provide service even when you decline it...an example would be getting a few items of food at the buffet and trying to carry it yourself, they always want to tray it up and take it to your room/table and it took at least two weeks to get them to back off. We are fit mid 50's folk and perfectly capable to carry our glass and a plate and it felt like a negative, the constant spotlight they want to shine on you. I enjoyed the experience but wished often and to their face that they would just back off a bit, we don't need a guide to our seats in the theater and I'm sure folks who DO will let it be known, if someone declines than back off and respect our choice and we found that happened too often, the push for service. Weird complaint, right? I know, it is weird but its how it felt, to always having someone rush to open a door or guide you to a seat or try to grab your food to take it to your table instead of letting us quietly enjoy this wonderful time without the fanfare attached to it. This leads into further service issues upstairs on deck 18, Topsail. AWESOME space with plenty of lounge chairs, oddly not padded chairs but plenty of towels available and when it got cold they brought out the blankets, nice touch. The pool guys were always smiling and nice! They have tables/umbrellas in the bar section where a buffet is set up for breakfast and lunch so probably about 10 tables available...also a smoking section that has three umbrella tables. Weird service in the beverage department up there, hot and cold with sometimes 30 min between a round of servers and then suddenly a barrage. Gelato guy would go by (awesome) but twice we waved to flag him and he just walked by or you'd have to flag a server and then they're quite nice but just not on it the way they want to be or should be, rarely did someone take multiple orders which led to a long time getting drinks brought to you so we embraced the exercise portion of this and just went to the bar...not a big deal but the substance is lacking and my first thought was they're new at this but apparently YC has been kicking for years now so not sure if any of these issues will be fixable. We did see the turnover of one manager to another and the guy that left was so burned out, you rarely saw him vs Allessandro the new guy who was seen multiple times a day, checking on your day, borderline bothersome but I got what he was going for so hello, hello and good luck on changing practices. Food was the major negative, it was truly tasteless and almost funny how every dish (sadly not kidding) was without taste. Upside we actually lost weight on this 21 day cruise and happy for that but wow, a whole of salt used and worse, steak sauce for a filet, that's almost criminal behavior. We only ate at the buffet for salad bar, sad sad salad bar, and some pizza slices and that was just average at best. Wild amount of people but heck, it IS a buffet, and we found seats the three times so thats my only input. Our YC restaurant was just average, there IS an alternate menu available including chicken, a large filet of beef, a large filet of salmon, and perhaps a few other things but its not advertised oddly enough. Our waiters actually brought us the best dish we had, chicken curry, after we laughingly asked if we could eat in the crew dining room, betting they had tasty Indian food available and the next night we were eating the best chicken curry. Why that isn't on the menu is mindblowing and I asked the maitre'd and the hotel director and anyone who inquired but the answer is oddly 'we cater to an international crowd' to which i reply so does every other cruiseline and they manage to have tasty food. Europeans don't like bland, do they? I'm going to assume no because the ongoing theme from the Germans, the Brits, the French and us, the minority Americans, during the cruise was the bad food but whatever, we ate just fine, remembering that upside of weight loss and knowing it was just the way it is. Gelato was good and free for YC, once we found that baby we imbibed often! The best advice I'd give is to reitterate what another post said regarding MSC and that is to not compare it to any other cruise and you'll love it. I reminded myself of that often and I loved it, truly. The quirks were funny including the five and six language announcements, that's just funny and even more fun when the Russians boarded in France, dropping Portuguese in exchange, and the crazy entertainment. Wow to this menage of acts, it was funny and fun and really a wild experience. One night started out with Van Halen 'Jump' and was followed by the ring dropping from the ceiling followed by a dance number, etc etc. Crazy fun and we had a blast! No production shows, good classical voice concerts (two in the afternoon) and also a nice piano concert in the afternoon, nice additions. Their classical voices were excellent, good acts and something you don't see often. Main night acts are short, 30-40 min long which is perfect for the acts and we saw them all minus Abba and a ventriloquist. I would rate them as matinee Vegas quality and again, they were all fun, esp the acrobatic guys. Dancers were good, singers were good, all around pleasing...but remember, don't compare because these aren't Broadway shows brought to the sea or Blue Man, its great for what it is. Ship design is lovely, crazy crystal inlays into the stairs, beautiful but somewhat blinding, pretty and nice layout of ship (a lot of mirrors!) minus the casino. Leaving the theater loads you right into it on deck 6 and its the smokiest casino I've ever seen, so much so that I didn't bother to do any gambling because the odor was so cloying, as if they lacked any smoke eating device at all and it resulted in the smoke drifting directly into the lounge directly above it, the jazz bar, so we also avoided that area. MSC should absolutely install state of the art smoke eaters, we absolutely would have frequented those areas, esp their money making casino so I guess I should thank them for that too, weight loss and more euros in my pocket. :) Would we do this again? Yes but only in the yacht club, it was sheer madness in the 'real' world and not worth my cruising dollars. I'd like to hope the food issue is a one off with the ship. We ate at Eataly once and it was probably a B experience, the food was mostly tasty but all around the worse tiramisu ever eaten, both in this restaurant and La Palmeraie...found that to be quite odd for an Italian ship but ultimately thanks, two lbs of weight gain would have come from all of that tiramisu! We loved the international blend, it was fun to chat world events with world travelers. This particular itinerary hit a lot of ports so we enjoyed all of this exposure to new lands. We would do another TA with MSC but again, only with yacht club, it just looked too crazy. Unfortunately prices have jacked up, we apparently paid 1/3 more than the Brits that asked us (but we are still quite happy with our choice!) so that factors in...food quality has to be considered and after traveling with Azamara (10 lbs gain, food was stupidly great) and Celebrity Blu its hard to spend extra $$ just for the 'experience' but good itinerary and we'd likely be there. Another addition, GREAT gym! They have a variety of machines, probably 25-30, and we found working out at lunch was the time! Worked around people with the machines, empty gym in port days (yay) and would highly recommend this gym to keep your body in shape. Its up there with NCL Epic gym. Oh yeah, one last addition...we didn't feel like MSC was nickeling and diming us at every turn. Minimal announcements, no big push of products despite a nice supply of stores on three levels, not the feeling like someone just had their hand in your pocket. Okay, ONE last also, the nautical information they provided on the daily planner was great, informative in a different way, and we learned stuff. Sadly the captain wasn't chatty (but with the language spread its probably good) so none of the good sea tales that others like to provide but we felt information was dispelled quite well. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
From the first there were high hopes that this would be the ideal cruise. We carefully selected our cabin, paid for an upgrade from the Bella Class and were told we would have drink tickets available. Our luggage was tagged for our ... Read More
From the first there were high hopes that this would be the ideal cruise. We carefully selected our cabin, paid for an upgrade from the Bella Class and were told we would have drink tickets available. Our luggage was tagged for our room and we were at the ship early. Happy to be allowed boarding somewhat earlier than the listed time our passports were scanned and the luggage scanned and sent to our room. We went through the next phase of having our photo taken for the ID (again matching our passports and clearly assigned our cabin.) When we reached the registration area, amidst the chaos of what felt to be pushy sales for drinks packages and upgrades we already paid for we were soon told "we have no record of you." We pointed out the impossibility of this - having our luggage already aboard and heading to our selected room. This had to be mentioned twice to be clear: we had a room, and clearly the computers would have indicated a problem during the early phases of ship access. Fix It Note: Your computer systems should be integrated. This is a clear failure to enter consistent data or a failure in the database. The second case is quite rare. Imagine how we felt to be offered an "upgrade" to a different room for our troubles. That would be so helpful. Oddly the "upgrade" did not seem to consider the following items: A) Our carefully chosen room that was not directly under dance or performance deck. Our "upgrade" had us under an activity deck so that we would hear people running along the deck, amplified it sounded "like a heard of wildebeest." B) We checked our access cards - which were in the new suite - and as surprising as this was since we were "not in the system" we also found that our access status was "Bella" class. One might be shocked that this "sudden" upgrade seems to have been a shift of our cabin denying the upgrade we paid for. Obviously our expectations of having the 12 drink tickets evaporated. I am left to ponder if the offered tickets were placed in the original cabin. C) Assured our luggage was to be forwarded, and feeling the need for my medication (asthma inhalers) I went in search of our luggage after a few hours. There was no effort to reroute our luggage to the new location. If I were to guess why - "we weren't in the system" so they didn't know where to look for it. It didn't make it easier for me to manhandle our luggage to the elevator when I found it only to find two elevators on service and two elevators consistently packed with people. This effort made me unhappy. That failure was not welcome - but at least I could take my medication. The dinner service was scheduled for 9:30 in the evening. It seemed light fare and we were hungry, and I was disappointed to have the sales pitch for drink services and alternate food offerings during dinner. Due to a change in our plans, since I was already ill with a cold, we requested an earlier dinner seating the next evening. Summary: at the end of Day 1 things felt like this was a shakedown cruise and people didn't really know how things were scheduled. It may be possible that the drink tickets were not delivered by the agency we booked with but the "not in the system" and room upgrade that wasn't an upgrade were not hopeful. My thoughts - "It can only get better." For the cruise: The cabin and the ship were clean, though I felt perhaps the ships stabilizers could be better. Aside from the pitter-patter of small feet in combat boots overhead some of the ceiling tiles creaked and any loose hangers in the closet would rattle. The buffet was not up to my expectations. Perhaps I expect too much but the offerings of pizza and burgers were not to my taste or to my body's acceptance. This persisted with other offerings I sampled over the cruise. I like food, and having to resort to salads (the salad bar was good) for my lunch left my wife bemused. Over the course of the week we also sampled the breakfast buffet. The comments as follows: Bell Pepper Omlette - "where is the Bell Pepper?" This was the same for the cheese omlette to the point that I went to another region of the buffet to find cheese to put on my cheese omlette. The "custom omlette" station had too long a line to sample the custom made omlettes but my experience with the others was not leaving me inspired. Some of the fresh plates from the rack were not clean. I know that is a difficult element to master when people grab ten plates at a time. We did get an earlier seating for dinner by the next day. (Yay!) We also had excellent company at the table and Jayland was eager to please. We learned then that we could order more than one appetiser, entree and dessert. That information would have been useful the first night and I don't understand why we were not told. The portions were still a small so we took to multiple orders. There were some disappointments and the meals were hit and miss. This included a shrimp bisque a couple of days in where my wife found one shrimp that would fit on my baby finger-nail. While I liked the onion soup the cheese on some form of plaster-hardened bread was hard to cut through. The other couple at our table agreed. We were again offered to buy steak and lobster. It felt like this was being used to leverage sales of the T-Bone steak and lobster. We were offered to purchase a wine for the New Years Eve dinner. Oddly, even though this was the first time we were offered we were told all but two sparkling wines were sold out. We noticed those wines were readily available at the bar on other evenings. This is at odds with logic - why were we not offered the new years selections earlier, and how can you be sold out of something you still had a supply of? Inquiring minds want to know. The room service was good, the shower clean, the water hot, with enough storage for our goods. In St. Kitts the room program did mention in the fine print that photo ID would be needed. After a number of stops where it was not needed this change caught me by surprise since I was not reading the fine print in detail. While there may have been an announcement it did not come across the speaker in our cabin and by the time I opened the door to hear what was being said in the hallway the message was in German. My German is way too rusty. We got off without photo-ID and had trouble getting back on. What would have been good? Having a SIGN by the exits saying "for this port you need photo-ID to get back" and maybe a person to check before they get off the ship. What else left me disappointed? Oh, one or two more things: I went to Medical - and staff were trying to stop me from going there. All I wanted was a blood pressure check (give me the cuff/stethyscope and I would do it myself) and the nurse practitioner didn't inspire confidence in that she didn't know how to find "blood pressure" in the menus and had to be shown. My wife went to the spa for a full package (massage, manicure, pedicure, facial) and she came back with a wound on her nose. The facial should not take off the face. "You can cover that up with makeup" doesn't cut it - the charge was for a first class service, there is no room for error on that. Yes, it healed by the end of the trip but it never should have happened or the charge should have been withdrawn. I was not impressed by the entertainment, either. Perhaps we were picky but we had been on another cruiseline and found there that the instruments were played on key, the singers had a greater dynamic range for vocals in pitch and rhythm and the dancers could dance in sync. I feel the decor of the Safari Lounge needs a revamp on top of that. Smoke - open casino smoke would bleed into other areas of the ship, making it hard to move to the other end of the ship without changing floors. The open smoking on the upper deck did on occasion waft to our balcony, and I did see someone toss a cigarette butt overboard - regardless of the rules it was disconcerting to witness. The Final Costs, on the last day I was surprised by the automatic tipping built in (10e/day/person) and thought this was included in the package price. Maybe I was wrong, but I felt I needed a drink. Waiting fifteen minutes to not have anyone take an order we changed bars. At the next bar I ordered a 6e gin and tonic from a menu and was presented with wonderful gin and tonic with a bill for a 7.50e ... and while this was corrected I could only ponder through the trip how many times this had been done to me, recalling that we were supposed to have drink tickets. Have I missed any details? Probably a few. Little things, like the MSC special access ramp that I couldn't use one morning at 9am scooting back to the ship with some cough medicine for my wife. There was nobody on the ramp coming off or going on, but it was for the yacht club members... so I got to wander the distance to the next ramp in the morning shower that happened overhead. A crisis it was not, but the ramp was idle. All in all, no single thing is worth crying about. Even all the things summed up are not a crying shame. However, it all adds up to an experience that does not match the effort to deliver a prime service. The restaurant food should be five star, room assignments should not be lost, the buffet should have a higher quality of food, the entertainment needs a boost, the Safari Lounge needs a makeover and the Nurse Practitioner needs better human relations training as well as practice record keeping on the computer Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This cruise was chosen purely because of the itinerary. POSITIVES: - The ship was lovely. - The cabin was lovely. - Food was great. - Drinks package was great value. - ALL of the wait staff and bar staff were soooooo ... Read More
This cruise was chosen purely because of the itinerary. POSITIVES: - The ship was lovely. - The cabin was lovely. - Food was great. - Drinks package was great value. - ALL of the wait staff and bar staff were soooooo lovely and friendly. They were also very attentive and professional. NEGATIVES: - Do not get a photo package unless you like fully staged studio shots (with fake Greek columns in the background) - Do not go on a shore tour. It is so easy to arrange your own little trips with the many people selling their services when you get of the boat. - The music on the ship is all very beige....like elevator music. There is good music available, but you have to look for it. - Communication with staff from the photo place, the Customer service and the Shore tours were incompetent and could not answer questions in a logical way. You have to be prepared to argue about EVERYTHING because the customer service motto is to blame the customer for anything that is wrong,rather than try to help them. - If you get injured on a shore tour (as my husband did) and have to get rushed to hospital, do not expect ANY support from MSC. They are useless....all of them. - The "desk" staff are rude. They do not know how to ask if you are ok after having a head injury. Of course all the lovely waiters and bar staff had perfect skills at doing this. If everything goes ok, MSC are fine. But the minute you have a problem, like being hit in the head by a mast off a boat, their complete lack of procedures, consistent stories about payment of hospital bills and just a simple check-in process after returning to the boat from hospital are inadequate. MSC "desk" staff seem to have a policy....it is not my department, it is not my responsibility, I do not know how to do that, my supervisor can help with that. We had several problems on the cruise with photos, shore tours and head injury and we did not come into contact with ANY staff that seemed to have a clue how to deal with people. LOVED all the destinations. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this Christmas and new year cruise 22-Dec -9th Jan-2019 as the itinerary offered places we had not been before, having travelled previously with MSC we were looking forward to this trip. The ship sailed from Guadalupe and MSC ... Read More
We booked this Christmas and new year cruise 22-Dec -9th Jan-2019 as the itinerary offered places we had not been before, having travelled previously with MSC we were looking forward to this trip. The ship sailed from Guadalupe and MSC chartered a Virgin Atlantic flight from Gatwick to Guadalupe, we were unable to book in for the flight and were advised the seats were allocated by MSC, to my horror I was not seated next to my husband and was very upset, we were unable to change seats as we were told flight was full not a good start to the holiday, and we also had the same seats on the return journey! We booked a balcony cabin on deck 10, it was fine, well appointed, well laid out and everything in good condition. The cabin steward was very attentive. TV in cabin had no English stations other than CNN or euro news, these just repeated the same news all day. You could however purchase a film in english available at €7 each, some films were over three years old! I did query this with the reception staff who were very rude, when advising the cruise was a sold as a French Caribbean cruise the TVs catered for this! Pools were good, however, the Jacuzzi was not monitored and very young children played in them freely even when the sign stated no young children, it was very difficult to find a bar person on deck. Lots of cans, glasses and bottles just left next to sun beds and you had to go to the bar to order a drink on most occasions. The pool towel was in your cabin and you had to bring this back each day to get a clean one, if lost threatened with a fine. Lots of towels left on sun beds for the day when people got off the ship! Sports bar – bar didn’t open until 5pm, no English premier football showed the whole holiday, American football and basketball on a wrap around all day (very few Americans on board) don’t get me wrong we didn’t want to sit and watch football all day but an option would have been good my husband asked if they could change the channel one evening to find out the results and they advised no as the TV was set by the I.T. department. Shows – all shows were performed by the MSC staff which were okay, and watchable, however they did become very repetitive with some of the same shows being performed the following week. The compare announced everything in about 7 languages so this was very frustrating and took forever. The wine bar La Locanda had a resident singer who was very good. It also had a great selection of draught and bottled beers. This was a relaxing area to sit and enjoy a quiet drink. Our favourite place was the Pheonician Plaza area next to the casino where you could get afternoon snacks/ sandwiches and a drink. Lovely cakes/pastries were also on offer. We found out it was open until 1am so used to swing by on the way back from the casino. The gelato ice creams are included on certain packages and are extremely nice , you can also purchase (not sure how much) Restaurant – the first night was disorganised no waiter to take you to your table, you were left to navigate the restaurant we therefore spent 10 minutes trying to find our allocated table. Food – this was okay there was always something we liked, the evening meals portions were very small you never came away feeling full (which could be good) although our waiter was very good and he always offered to bring extra if someone didn’t like what they originally got or the miniscule portion didn’t fill them. The main buffet could be chaotic in the morning, the restaurant was a better choice for breakfast and more civilized, it was very hard to find a seat/ table in the buffet no matter what time we arrived. Restaurant also had a buffet option and sometimes it was easier and quicker to utilise that rather than wait for waiter service. There appeared to be little coordination in relation to which waiters were responsible for which tables. All running around busy but achieving little (or so it seemed) Drinks – we opted for the all inclusive which was good and we pre-booked this before the cruise making a further saving, however, MSC had recently changed the packages so this caused a bit of confusion, drinks we had on previously cruises were now not included in this package, but we managed. Tea – sometimes hard to get an English teabag and often had to wait until staff got one from another bar etc. The good thing was you could order tea and coffee at all the bars. Speciality restaurants – paid for these however, Eatily was a disaster and I personally would not recommend, other people we spoke to enjoyed it, did not feel the service or food was any different from the main restaurant, items on menu not available, starter came and was cold, waiter not interested, we did complain nothing came of this, galaxy was good. Casino – good, be aware smoking is allowed in the casino! Gym was well equipped all machines in working order, sadly instructors disinterested in helping anyone other than paying guests. Muster – as this was classed as a back to back cruise, with new cruisers getting on after one week we found the bars closed for over 40 minutes and our evening meal was put back by half an hour to 9.30pm!! to accommodate the muster for the new arrivals, as all staff had to attend muster, this happened on two occasions which was ridiculous and something we have never encountered before. Ports of call – we called at Trinidad which we did not find friendly in fact while walking down the main street a person jumped out at us and shouted we were not welcome and to go home, we then did a u-turn and went back to the ship, would not recommend. All other ports were fine, we only booked one tour with MSC which was Christmas day in Barbados, which was a good job as everything was closed. Very easy to get taxi /tours when getting off the ship at half the price of MSC. Disembarkation process was good, as our flight was not until late in the afternoon we were allowed to stay on board with full use of all the facilities including our drinks package, we also did not need to be out of the cabin until 10 am which was a bonus. We eventually left the ship at 1.30pm and were taken to the airport by coach. A new luggage process has been introduced whereby the luggage was taken the night before disembarkation, and we did not see it again until Gatwick, which was great, sadly Gatwick let them down it was chaos. This may sound quite negative but the ship itself is beautiful and really MSC just need to apply their energies equally to simple things other cruise lines have mastered. Very few things happen when they are supposed to and when scheduling of shows and other entertainment are so close things need to happen when they are supposed to. Reception staff have extremely poor customer relations skills and it is not a language barrier. I witnessed other nationalities being brushed off with curt answers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our first cruise on the MSC cruise line. The MSC Preziosa is a lovely looking ship. Our cabin was not what we expected. We were on deck 12 in one of the fantastica cabins, we expected to have a sofa in our cabin, the ... Read More
This was our first cruise on the MSC cruise line. The MSC Preziosa is a lovely looking ship. Our cabin was not what we expected. We were on deck 12 in one of the fantastica cabins, we expected to have a sofa in our cabin, the couple in the next cabin to us were also disappointed as we both expected the same. We cannot fault our room steward, she was lovely and very attentive to detail, nothing was too much trouble for her. The majority of our meals were in the dining room. The food was very basic, not what we expected for a ship restaurant. At the end of the cruise we got to the stage where we just didn't know what to eat as it just wasn't appealing. This was the first cruise we have been on (out of many) that we weren't offered coffee at the end of our meal. We were very happy with our waiter and staff who were lovely and very attentive. We only went to one show so cannot really make comment on that other than to say that you had to hear the introduction in several languages. We would have liked to have stayed a couple of times in the El Dorado Piano Bar but were put off by the smell of smoke that came up from the casino on the level below. The smell of smoke was also a problem when you went through the casino to go to the theatre. We do like a little flutter now and again but couldn't cope with the constant stale smoke that radiated around that area of the ship. I paid for an internet package so that I could keep in touch with family at home but had various problems, it took a number of attempts from different staff to get it sorted. We also had to request twice for money to be taken off our account as it hadn't been done on the first occasion. We purchased tours for most days from MSC before going on the cruise. We complained about tour TRT16 Island Secrets in Tortola (sticker 13). It was a 3.5 hour trip advertised as visiting several places including a fishing village and a craft market. We only had 1 stop on the tour for a complimentary drink / toilet stop, the rest of the time we were stuck in a minibus, there was no opportunity to take photo's other than taking them through the glass windows. Another problem with the tours was that we weren't informed until the night before what time and where to meet. On one occasion we didn't get that information until 11.45 at night, this can cause a problem if you have an early start the next morning. On most cruise lines we've been on before we are given information on the port on a sheet along with the ships daily ie: a port map and currency. Going back to the Tortola stop - most people were unaware that they needed to take photographic id ashore, it was printed on the daily but printed so small that a number of people missed it. Some passengers who hadn't taken id were asked to pay money to get back onboard by the authorities. The dis-embarkation was a joke. There were over 400 people on a charter back to the UK. This had been split into 3 transit times. We just weren't given enough time to get through, this caused a 2 hour delay on the plane taking off. This itinerary was more like a ferry service between the islands with people getting on and off most days. We consider ourselves to be well experienced cruisers and have travelled to most parts of the world. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this 'cruise because it was good value. We flew to Barcelona and everything was very organised on board - from the first day to the final day we laughed, had fun, made friends and both my friends and I would love to go on ... Read More
We choose this 'cruise because it was good value. We flew to Barcelona and everything was very organised on board - from the first day to the final day we laughed, had fun, made friends and both my friends and I would love to go on another cruise. Our room on board was lovely - especially our balcony. The offshore places we visited were interesting and we had plenty of time to visit places of interest. We visited Majorca, Marseille, Genoa.. Dining is a problem as I definitely put on half a stone as the food was excellent. If you did not want to eat formally there was a huge buffet upstairs where you could pick and choose what you liked. We lovely the entertainment. I visited the casino which was great fun.so long as you are reasonably sensible. We eventually got back to Barcelona and all three of us said we would go on a Cruise again. It was really enjoyable. The staff were fantastic - I just wish I could remember all the names to say a special thank you to them. Our head waiter was from Bali - he was super.= The ship we sailed on was the PREZIOSA. AND not the Fantasia as indicated above. That name went in by mistake. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I have traveled extensively around the world and spent almost 2 years in Europe in the past. Having always cruised on American ships (Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival), this was definitely different, ... Read More
I have traveled extensively around the world and spent almost 2 years in Europe in the past. Having always cruised on American ships (Holland America, Princess, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Carnival), this was definitely different, definitely European. Amazingly, I met only one other family who were Americans-everyone else was from Europe or elsewhere, even though we were in the Caribbean! The ship was decorated luxuriously and the design, materials, wall/floor coverings, and furniture were definitely Italian design and a step above other ships that I have sailed on. The size of the cabin was average and any extra storage space was lacking. Of note is that the 13th floor cabins were the same size as the 10th floor cabins. However, the televisions were shockingly small at 18" and you needed binoculars from the bed to read any of the captions. They also lacked free English speaking movies which are standard on other cruise lines and had only 3 English-speaking channels including ESPN. The website to book the cruise was woefully lacking user friendly links and was confusing and ambiguous-this unfortunately put a strain on the toll-free MSC agency, who were quite helpful. They need to revamp their website up to American standards. The food was definitely European. The pasta and bread was excellent. The portions on the menu were small and the meat in the entrees ranged from "ok" to just plain bad. Ordering steak/sirloin resulted in about 3 to 4 ounces of tough meat. In general, the selection of menu entrees was extremely limited. TIP: order 2, or even a sampling of 3 of the main entrees on the menu with your partner if you are not sure about them. Other's reviews that you have read are spot-on: they do not serve plain water in the dining room and you are obligated to order bottled water. MSC has received so much flak for this, it is unbelievable that they would downgrade their reputation based on the few euros they make on this one item! On the other hand, the desserts are generally excellent. Or, forget about the dining room experience altogether and hit the Lido deck for the buffet where the choices are wider and at least as good as the dining room, and there is free tap water. Criticism about receiving misinformation from the staff is understandable-in general, in the US there is much more accountability for giving out wrong information (you will get fired) which is not as prevalent in Europe where people tend to, in there zeal to be helpful or knowledgeable, often answer you with "guesses" which are clearly wrong. Often, you will be receiving different answers to the same question. Strong suggestion: if you need a correct answer to a critical question, ask another employee or two, or ask their boss. But verify, verify, and verify. The excursions were surprisingly organized. We exited the ship quickly, much quicker than on other ships. They were inexpensive and good. However, be prepared and alert for unannounced schedule changes in just about anything-entertainment, port arrivals, open/closing hours of food venues which occur with surprising regularity. The entertainment was on par with other cruises we have been on. We found that almost every staff member at the information desk spoke English acceptably well. The conclusion: If you understand the cultural differences, prepare for the food, and are alert to unannounced/inadequately communicated changes in schedules, you will enjoy this beautifully designed ship and friendly staff. Also understand that MSC is still on the learning curve to be up with the "big boys" but can be a less expensive and attractive alternative to other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
A very different experience to all other cruises I have ever been on... Positives? Fantastic cabin steward. Other staff generally very good. Very healthy food. Clean, spacious room. Free upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony. Staff ... Read More
A very different experience to all other cruises I have ever been on... Positives? Fantastic cabin steward. Other staff generally very good. Very healthy food. Clean, spacious room. Free upgrade from an inside cabin to a balcony. Staff spoke multiple languages, often up to 6+ (wow!) - this does, however, also mean it takes 10 minutes to introduce evening shows etc, as everything is repeated in each language. There really should be only one language for the cruise. Impressive, if non-sensical evening productions - some members were lip syncing (disappointing), and yet when they actually sang, it was mind-blowing! Costumes were out of this world and certainly rivaled any seen on Broadway. Negatives? Very poor communication between MSC and our cruise agent, which meant we either received conflicting information about the cruise, or no information at all. Our dining reservations were not in the system upon embarkation, which meant we were refused from eating at the restaurant the first two nights. MSC also sent us to the wrong pier (Pointe Simon), and once we arrived and found we were at the wrong port, we had to trek all the way across town with our luggage to the correct terminal. Not impressed. Other issues included inflated excursion prices compared to those listed on-line - though we tried, we were unable to book excursions prior to boarding (MSC website glitch) and the cheaper on-line prices were not honored once we boarded. Difficult to track down staff at breakfast (eg. for help with dietary requirements). Food was the same every single day (very blah, though a lot of fresh fruit) and some items ran out and weren't replaced. We were told on three different days that our balcony would be washed, so we removed everything from the balcony in preparation - it wasn't washed until the third day, which was very frustrating having to bring everything inside each day. A special delivery of champagne and chocolates was ordered for our room and was to be there when we arrived - it wasn't, and we had to call reception three different times until it was finally delivered. Re the restaurant... in the end, I only ended up eating there once, as the experience was very poor. We had 7 people seated at our 6-person table -- we found out at the end of the meal that one of the couples should not have been there, though they had been eating at that time and at that table all week. Food was overcooked and salads were soggy. We arrived at 6.30pm - by the time all meals were served and we were finished, it was 8.15pm. Service not efficient. We were seated with people who did not speak the same language as us. I would recommend MSC try to seat people together who speak the same language, so conversation can flow - otherwise, very awkward. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
For our eighth cruise, my husband and I decided to try MSC for the first time because of the itinerary, which included two islands we had not visited before (Guadeloupe and Dominican Republic). We have sailed with Royal Caribbean and ... Read More
For our eighth cruise, my husband and I decided to try MSC for the first time because of the itinerary, which included two islands we had not visited before (Guadeloupe and Dominican Republic). We have sailed with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity in the past. On this cruise we were traveling with a toddler and my husband’s elderly parents. Honestly, I was a bit apprehensive considering all the poor reviews I read on here about Poesia. Following the cruise, I’m not certain where most of the complaints are coming from; some others I can understand to a certain extent. First off, more than half the passengers on this ship were from French-speaking countries, notably France and Martinique, and most of the others were European as well (German, British, and Italian). The announcements were made in several languages. As Canadians, we were definitely in the minority. I wouldn’t refer to a culture shock per say; perhaps a slight cultural adjustment. I am fluent in French so there were no problems on the linguistic side. Maybe some unilingual English speakers don't like being in the minority, which would explain some of the bad reviews? What we had to get used to was all the passengers from the Caribbean countries who weren’t there to visit the other islands, but rather to eat lots of food and use the pool. There were a lot of kids running in the corridors that had obviously not seen elevators very often in their lives. The staff varied. For us, our room attendant and dining room service were great. My experience as not as good when dealing with the customer service/reception crew and some others onboard the ship. The spa was nice but I got the impression those girls work very long hours and don't get out much. But overall, I believe things went better than expected. I would say this ship is way better organized and managed than on our previous cruise last year (RC Anthem of the Seas). Embarkation and disembarkation on Poesia were a breeze. We were given a late evening embarkation time so did not have dinner onboard; on that front I have the impression we were a bit cheated since others had been on earlier. We must have been among the last to get on that evening. I learned that there were consecutive days of people embarking and disembarking at various ports (Barbados, Guadeloupe as well). It doesn't seem like a bad idea. Our stateroom was more than adequate and well laid out. Our room attendant Jun was efficient, friendly, and easily reachable. Dining: Great service. Our waiter De Leon was very attentive to the needs of our toddler. Service was quick, friendly and efficient. The food was generally pretty good – excellent pasta in particular - although there were some misses there (some beef and poultry dishes were not appreciated by the in-laws). The desserts were among the best I’ve had on any cruise. As for the buffet, it was a zoo most of the time. I believe it was due to the high number of families with younger children. I think Poesia should rethink its layout considering it was hard to move around sometimes. Pizza and fries were really good. The rest didn't particularly stand out. We only did one shore excursion, colonial Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. My husband and I had to opt for the combined English and German one. I guess there weren't enough passengers to justify English only.Had I known the tour guide would speak more German than English, I would have gone with the French tour. I found there were less sales pitches than on Royal Caribbean. Maybe I didn't get around that much. The photographers weren't trying to take our picture at every single meal or at each port. That was appreciated! I will admit the ship is starting to show its age (used furniture, plates for the buffet need replacing, for instance) However, despite Poesia's flaws, we had a good experience. I would sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Plus: - very convenient fly&cruise package: MSC took care of our suitcase which was delivered straight to our cabin without the need to pick it up from the belt at the airport and carry it on the bus. This is the main reason we keep ... Read More
Plus: - very convenient fly&cruise package: MSC took care of our suitcase which was delivered straight to our cabin without the need to pick it up from the belt at the airport and carry it on the bus. This is the main reason we keep cruising MSC. - great itinerary with long port days abd extensive excursion programme - large pools Minus: - poor service, deteriorating as years go by. We were on board of MSC Poesia in 2012: coming back after 4 years, we noticed that MSC is under a cost cutting programme, whereby service is reduced to a minimum. For instance, beach towels cannot be exchanged at the pool desk any longer. We were given a beach towel each and had to return it at night in the cabin to get clean ones - not very convenient if you go to the beach in the morning and want to stay at the poolside once back onboard. Cleaning is also kept to a minimum, especially at the poolside. - food is average: do not expect real Italian food throughout your cruise. Cuisine is international, with average quality and variety. Service at main restaurants is also slow, it took us at least 20 minutes to have our orders taken and we were able to finish to dine at 10.30 pm only once in a week - all the other nights, we finished well after 11.00, due to the slow service. - animation: the animation team offered very basic and at times gross entertainment and was not proactively involving guests to join the activities. My daughter went to the Teen Club only one and she found Matteo, the Youth host, playing with his own mobile phone. She staye there for a few minutes, nobody greeted her or explained the activity going on, so she left and never wanted to return there. Shows at night were average. The cruise director Maddy was more an interpreter than a show person: all that she did was translating the same messages into several languages (Italian, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese) but never added anything personal or made a show/joke herself. - no enrichment conferences or port talks Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Upon arrival, after travelling more than 15 hours, we were constantly harassed by employees from MSC to sell beverage and other packages before allowing us to check-in. The check-in was very brief and we were given almost no information ... Read More
Upon arrival, after travelling more than 15 hours, we were constantly harassed by employees from MSC to sell beverage and other packages before allowing us to check-in. The check-in was very brief and we were given almost no information at all. Therefore we did not realy feel welcome, only a number. Travelling with our parents we found a note in the cabin that there was a problem with the luggage of our parents and had to report at the guest services desk. At the desk we were told they would send somebody straight away. Unfortunately that did not happen. After reporting a second time at the desk, we were told that an employee from the security department would come and escort us to the luggage. That took ages before he finally arrived. In the meantime we lost more than one hour, being hungry, tired and only wanted to unpack and go to bed. Apparently they claimed to see something suspicious in the luggage, but after searching the luggage found nothing. The telephone, the safe deposit box and remote control of the TV did not work in the cabin. After reporting several times at the desk, it was finally fixes after 3 days!!! Our excursions were booked several weeks in advance and payed for. MSC choose to cancel some excursions because there were not enough english speaking guests that wanted to do the tour. We received a letter explaining that the tour was cancelled. However received the vouchers for the tour in our cabin some hours later. Very confusing. Had to report to the excursion desk and lost more of our precious time. The English excursion that did go through, we were put in a bus with several other guests but with a Spanish speaking guide. After complaining at the excursion desk, we finally got hold of the supervisor after one hour. Again more of our precious time lost. Apparently with MSC they cancel English speaking tours whenever they do not have sufficient guests attending. Even when the tour is confirmed in writing before the actual cruise. MSC puts Spanish speaking guides on busses with English tours. The staff of the excursion desk did not even offer an apology and was very unfriendly. Having travelled with Norwegian Cruise lines, Princess Cruises and Carnival we found MSC staff very unfriendly. Not even saying goodmorning, ... after seeing some guest on the way. The excursion desk forgot to take the excursions from the invoice even after they were cancelled!!! For future guests: check your invoice twice! After our excursions were booked before the cruise and payed for, they changed the price and we had to pay the difference. They were not able to provide the tour at the same price as on our confirmation letter. The food is bad, bad, bad. Comparing to other Cruise lines, the food lacks presentation, taste, finesse ... We usually eat out in the main dining room in the evening enjoying being served. But we were forced to eat in the buffet restaurant, because the food in the restaurant was appalling. In the buffet restaurant you could at least see what you can get. So if you want to be treated like durt, feel free to book with MSC. Otherwise stay away! Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is nice and the balcony cabines are looking good also. The food was low cost quality. The strongest point of this cruise was the staff, with special remarks for Miguel, the waiter in cigar bar. Ship and entertainment ... Read More
The ship is nice and the balcony cabines are looking good also. The food was low cost quality. The strongest point of this cruise was the staff, with special remarks for Miguel, the waiter in cigar bar. Ship and entertainment information are delived on board daily. Trips organized are expensive and is better to do your own programm on each stop, according to your preferences. Dinning in a la carte restaurants is for people having patience to be served with medium quality dishes. Overall it wasn't bed, but didn't meet our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
First of all ,I have to say that the stuff was so kind and friendly..I became a friend with some of them :) The cruise was amazing,my cabinn had a balcon with the magic view..but i spend a little time in it because you have so much ... Read More
First of all ,I have to say that the stuff was so kind and friendly..I became a friend with some of them :) The cruise was amazing,my cabinn had a balcon with the magic view..but i spend a little time in it because you have so much things to do such as drinking coctails,sunbathing,swimming,going in the theatre,eating,going in gym,disco.. I fell in love with the guy from my group and that's one thing that made everything better :) I sleep maybe for 3 h every night because I used to stay so late at night because I wanted to enjoy every minute. When I came back home I dreamed about cruise and moments spent on it every night! That's the real proof that I had a wonderful time because it had a influence on my mind:) It's like a fairy tale :)))) Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click