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1,038 MSC Cruises Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Family friendly and to try a new cruise line . What we got was the rudest most unhelpful staff I have ever seen in the 15+ years of cruising. The dinning was average and again “couldn’t care less type of attitude “ Nobody ... Read More
Family friendly and to try a new cruise line . What we got was the rudest most unhelpful staff I have ever seen in the 15+ years of cruising. The dinning was average and again “couldn’t care less type of attitude “ Nobody seemed to know what was going on and never got the same answer twice. We had a tight connection and wanted to know how long roughly it would take to leave the ship with our own bags and was told the immigration could be slow and on leaving the ship there was no immigration! The cabin was average but what tipped my wife over the edge was no tissues in the bathroom. She was told it was because we didn’t have a higher enough grade balcony!!!! Staff had a poor command of English and didn’t know what was going on . Overall very disappointing and will never travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Absolutely fantastic and stunning ship. Embarkation was very efficient, no queuing. Got on board early and had a few drinks at the bar. The ship is Spotless throughout. Our cabin was lovely and cleaned twice a day by the lovely Rai. Great ... Read More
Absolutely fantastic and stunning ship. Embarkation was very efficient, no queuing. Got on board early and had a few drinks at the bar. The ship is Spotless throughout. Our cabin was lovely and cleaned twice a day by the lovely Rai. Great entertainment every day, the entertainment guys really do work hard. The food in the Posidena restaurant was lovely each night and you could have extra servings. The waiters Ruben and Eduardo kept the wine flowing. The breakfast and lunches at Marketplace were fantastic. So much choice and everything you needed. We didn't get off at many ports as we wanted to do this around the ship. We went to the gym which is well equipped..we used the hot tubs and the sun lounger around the pool. It was fantastic. The staff in the Masters of the Sea are great fun (Eduardo, Claudia, Trushant, Candy and Frank) and no shortage of drinks. We visited the casino a couple of nights and won, which was a bonus. We had a lovely massage in the Spa...a little bit pricey but lovely and enjoyable. Would definitely book with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Me and wife wanted to try out this new 2019 ship and love watching Cirque de Soleil. Got a great price on an inside cabin but had to many customer service problems. This is our 1st and will be our last cruise with MSC. Our our ship ... Read More
Me and wife wanted to try out this new 2019 ship and love watching Cirque de Soleil. Got a great price on an inside cabin but had to many customer service problems. This is our 1st and will be our last cruise with MSC. Our our ship excursion we were given a sticker with our group number and were told to wait to be called. After 3 time that I ask another agent and he told us that the bus had already left 20 minutes ago. I explained to him that we were told to sit and wait untill called. He responded "NO he did not tell you that". Luckily another group of 2 and 3 passengers were also told the same thing. Manager appologized and told us to pay taxi for the 7 of us to try to catch the tour bus at the first stop. She left but we then realized that 7 adults couldnt fit in one small 3 row taxi cab so we had to make arrangement to get a van and pay more. The MSC manager should have stayed until we left to make sure we were taken care of. There was alot of little problems with the customer service that we will never travel with MSC. On one reentry we had to wait in line 30 minutes in the 95 hot room. They only had 1 security agent and 1 xray machine to check people in. The room had no air or fans. Absolutely NO excuse to go through these conditions on a VACATION. Overall alot of the staff does not know what or where things are on the boat. The buffet has alot of dead times where very little food is available Not one time did any employee mention washing your hands or sanitizer before people are entering food area. It was rare to see anyone use sanitizer or wash there hands before the buffet lines. This seems like a serious health safety problem on this boat. Cirque shows were good. The other shows were average. Cant believe that one of there shows is a hand shadow show. Every port has new passengers embarking and disembarking so you have to listen to the safety announcements every day in 7 languages. I could go on and on but this cruise line is a JOKE. I have traveled with Carnival, Holland, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian and have never written a bad review of there ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Pros: Cleanliness and space of cabin was good. Equipment at the gym is good. Cons: Food: The (paid for in advance but constantly stated as ‘complimentary’) restaurants and buffet all served low quality food. After a ... Read More
Pros: Cleanliness and space of cabin was good. Equipment at the gym is good. Cons: Food: The (paid for in advance but constantly stated as ‘complimentary’) restaurants and buffet all served low quality food. After a few days the limited variety became very boring. The restaurants had the appearance of quality but really it was the same low quality food from the buffet but done with a table cloth. Busyness vs Service: Breakfast in the Poseidna restaurant was an endurance test. Too many waiters each with one task who kept forgetting where they had been which meant that we were asked over and over if we wanted pastries, juice or coffee (even though we had asked for tea). Everyone is so keen to be doing something that every mouthful we took was being watched. Not a relaxing experience at all. Disembarkation and embarkation: Getting on and off the ship was slow and painful. While the restaurant had an overflow of staff, security was ridiculously understaffed. In particular getting back onto the ship was frustrating with service from security being slow, inconsistent in approach and generally very unhelpful. Up selling: staff I presume are on commission to get guests to eat at the pay extra restaurants. Most of this occurred outside of the paid in advance restaurants where they must have realised that the food was so average that people were likely to upgrade to eat some decent food. In room entertainment: although a tv in th room the selections is very limited. At the very least we expected access to Netflix or another subscription service even if it was a paid for view service. Zoe: Msc’s version of Alexa provided details of the paid for restaurants regardless of the question we asked. Guest services: I called guest services on a couple of occasions and each time was provided with incorrect information. The people answering the phone seem to give their best guess to an answer rather than saying they don’t know and will find out. Ship Maintenance: on the third day of the cruise we were advised that the balcony area would be cleaned. What they really meant was that for hours we would have a high pitch whining noise from a high pressure hose cleaning all the balconies. Gym very small: for the amount of people on board the gym was very small and, even with air conditioning, it was stuffy and hot particularly at peak periods. Anything to do with food or the pool area was beyond chaotic and yet there were other large areas which seemed to be constantly vacant and could have been put to better use (eg large smoking room and basketball court). Forced togetherness: as an introvert this cruise realised my worst fears .. the food halls were crushed and beyond chaotic, restaurants with tables where you were forced to sit with other guests, and pool and deck areas where the concept of personal space was completely unknown. This was our first cruise and will definitely be our last ... certainly with msc. The ship is new but the experience in the marketing material does not reflect the reality. In summary ..think 1970s holiday camp crossed with being at the Boxing Day sales (only with no bargains). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
First impression on entering the ship and speaking to customer service we didn't think we would enjoy, as we had booked a drink package and disappointingly they had no southern comfort. This is our 8th cruise and first ship not to ... Read More
First impression on entering the ship and speaking to customer service we didn't think we would enjoy, as we had booked a drink package and disappointingly they had no southern comfort. This is our 8th cruise and first ship not to supply this. That being said if customer service would have apologised and at least tried to find an alternative we would have been a tad happier. Customer service didn't engage very well and also informed us that they don't hold LGBT meetings. This is the first ship we have been on that don't hold this. That would definitely be a recommendation for MSC to take on board. Positives: rooms are excellent. Lots of hidden space for clothes, which is excellent. Have to say probably one of the best ships for room interia design. Room steward was very good and cleaned room twice a day and nothing was too much trouble. Thank you Danilo Santos The entertained team were excellent and always very engaging and encouraging customers to be involved. The nightclub was fabulous and the DJ was great. The mixes he did were excellent, especially like the remixes of Freddy Murcury and Queen. Best bar member of staff was Mishal Dsouza. Mishal, was a very hardworking young lady who always was happy to service us all with our drinks and went the extra mile. Mishal, worked at a variety of bars and as soon as any of our group of friends required a drink she would happily fetch them to our table. Very delightful, helpful and pleasant in her duties. Big thank you Mishal for looking after us and MSC should be very proud to have you on board. Little gem you are and I wish you good health and it was a pleasure to meet you. The food was excellent and none of my friends could fault this in anyway. The dining at 7.15pm was suppurb and our waiters Were both excellent yan and Elizabeth made our dining experience amazing. Nothing was too much trouble. The matradee was very attentive and he too was excellent in fact best matradee we have ever had on any cruise Negative; no bar waiter service on the decks, first time on any cruise we have not had this. No staff ever entered the sunbathing area to see if customers required drinks, so we had to bring drinks up and down stairs and wait in long lines, if we couldn't find Staff around. This ship seemed to be very under-staffed with regard to drinks. Had a fabulous time with my friends and the 70's night was amazing. Evening entertainment is brilliant. Lots of variety and plenty of entertainment. I would return to MSC, but only if they purchase southern comfort and hold LGBT meet at certain bars so you can meet other LGBT people. Clean ship and all staff work extremely hard. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The Ship: A brand new, gleaming white ship. I was in awe of the size as I walked towards the harbour at how high she sits above the water. The embarkation in Genoa as absolutely seamless. Basically no queues and excellent service. From ... Read More
The Ship: A brand new, gleaming white ship. I was in awe of the size as I walked towards the harbour at how high she sits above the water. The embarkation in Genoa as absolutely seamless. Basically no queues and excellent service. From arrival to boarding it took about 15 minutes. There were plenty of check in staff, so i have no idea why there have been so many people complaining on the forum about embarkation being stressful. Issued with room card and wrist band which we could use to open doors and pay for goods, an excellent idea. Once onboard security was quick and easy to get through. Initially we were asked if we wanted to avail of package upgrades, but because we already had premium plus drinks package all we did was politely decline. I can see why some people think there is a "hard sell", but we didn't experience that. You can choose to just walk on, stop stressing out! In photos and videos I got the impression that the ship looked a bit tacky in places, but I couldn't have been more wrong. It really is very tastefully done and looks beautiful in all areas. The layout of the ship is excellent, easy to navigate and has interactive screen throughout to help you find where you are going, make bookings and see what is happening each night. Plenty of lifts and never waiting more than a minute or two for one to arrive. Deck areas are nicely laid of and plenty of places to lounge in. I tended to find the aft (Horizon Pool area) of the ship a bit quieter and more chilled, especially on a day at the dock. We had access to the aurea package members only 'Top 19 Solarium Deck' which was nice. Its a little quieter and has plenty of loungers if you want to chill out. The only thing I would say is the MSC could make it feel a bit more special. Some plants and greenery wouldn't go astray to give it a more exclusive feel and the service here wasn't always very good to be honest. There is no bar, you have to order from the attendant or go to the "pantry" which looks like a little kitchen and i found this a bit odd. Dining: Ok people, the food on board is incredible. Let's start with the Marketplace Buffet. I really do not understand all the moaning about "lack of choice" and so on. Seriously I never found myself wanting, which begs the question, what do some people want!!?? I found all the found tasty, fresh and plentiful. They put a lot of pride into onboard cooking and food presentation. From the mozzarella factory to the breads, cakes, pizza and beautiful pastries etc. If anything it appears that a lot of people are just downtright greedy and wasteful gluttons. Try a little of everything, but waste less people! Yes, the Marketplace can be busy at peak times, but a top tip is move to the rear of the ship and you'll find lots of space, emptier buffet points and a more calm atmosphere. We ate 50/50 between the assigned restaurant and speciality restaurants. Both were fantastic. The lighthouse restaurant had great set menus and plenty of selection. Service was top notch, we never had to ask for service, they always anticipated our needs. Top tip is to go slightly earlier, about 1900 and you'll find it less busy and bag a seat by the amazing aft full height windows. We tried The Butchers Cut and teppenayki restaurants, both had fantastic service and it was well worth the extra supplement - you're on holidays, spoil yourself! **DRINKS PACKAGE** we took the premium plus package and I have to say it was well worth the money! We had whatever we wanted, when we wanted it. Everything is included on it. Everything. Even if you're not a big drinker I think it's worth it. We had champagne/cocktails in the champagne bar before and after dinner every night. We got to know the champagne bar staff well and they were absolutely incredibly good to us. We tried every cocktail on the menu, Moet and Chandon, Veuve Cliquot etc, I really can't think why you wouldn't get the drinks package!? Entertainment and activities: There is so much to see and do on board, particularly at night that you really do need to be well prepared. I suggest planning your evening carefully around theatre shows, dinner, galleria light shows and Cirque du Solei. The evening along the Galleria were my favourite. It's a real riot of colour and fun. Lots of music and dancing made it a sociable and interactive experience. The entertainment staff were excellent. For those moaning about this being a "party ship", well you need to wise up. If you don't like the music and dancing there are plenty of places for you to go, like the jazz bar (Sky Lounge) or the British Pub. You're on holidays, enjoy yourself and embrace there relaxed European vibes.... or alternatively go on a Cunard cruise if you're worried you might have fun, good forbid! Cirque at sea was a great experience. The purpose built theatre was wonderful and the shows incredible. One of the evenings it was used for the MSC Got Talent show where crew members from around the world sang and danced - Don't miss this!! Honestly it was one of the most fun and enjoyable parts of the cruise, especially the Haka Dancing ships firemen from Maori. The whole crowd was wild for it. The theme nights were fun - White night, 70s night, space night and pool party - the staff put a lot of effort into making sure people have a lot of fun and you can see it when you look around and see guests dancing and smiling. Service: Again I cannot find any reason to complain here as so many feel the need to! Never once did I find myself wanting for anything. All needs anticipated and catered to. Once some of the staff got to know my name they greeted us personally. Plenty of people on deck taking orders for drinks and atttending to all needs. On a side note it's not all about who you see, it's what you see. The ship is spotlessly clean, shining and well maintained. I never once saw a grubby surface or dirty public area. Well done to all behind the scenes staff. Recommendations: book the aurea package if you want access to the spa, it's well worth it! Great facilities and really relaxing. Because I had this package I rarely got off the ship and spent most port days here chilling out. One of the nicest spa areas i have ever used. Ignore the hard sells in the spa and you'll be good. The Sky Lounge seems to be very under used which is a shame. Head there for unique cocktails and great service with special treats! We didn't travel with children, but I think my nieces and nephews would have really enjoyed this ship and I'd love to take them some time. Great places for kids to be entertained all day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, some good quality service, friendly staff, great entertainment and decent value for money, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. The entertainment is a bunch of people singing, changing outfits and dancing, ... Read More
If you’re looking for a bit of luxury, some good quality service, friendly staff, great entertainment and decent value for money, THIS IS NOT FOR YOU. The entertainment is a bunch of people singing, changing outfits and dancing, EVERY NIGHT. The Market Place cafe is chaos 20 hours per day. Absolute mayhem. The staff and cruisers have very little to non existent manors. Pushing, ignorance, shouting and being generally rude is commonplace. MSC over charge on everything. 8euros for a beer.... PLUS 15% service charge on top. Buses at ports are all 4x the price they are when you actually leave the ship. One thing we didn’t think of was the fact people leave and start their holidays at almost every port. Imagine all of those safety drills, suitcases and so on all over the place, every day! If you’re in you’re room you have a ten minute lecture in every language about the safety procedure, almost every day. The food.... is ok. That’s it. Lack of imagination and small portion sizes but in the lighthouse during the evening it’s pretty good. They will try and get you to pay for speciality restaurants and drinks packages at every opportunity. The room we had, 12261 with a balcony was great however. Very large and much better than other ships we had been on. Our cabin steward was nice. Room always tidy. The boat is pretty nice. The layout isn’t great though and means you’re up and down stairs a lot, the lifts are always full. It’s designed and fit out a bit cheesy rather than luxury but I guess people like that. The best area of the ship by far is the Masters of The Sea. The staff are funny, friendly and personal. They remember your name, your drink and are super efficient. The live music is good and the pub has the best vibe of anywhere on the ship. One thing we should say is we are British. We’ve sailed from Southampton a number of times with different companies but this cruise fell far short and we certainly wouldn’t be booking with MSC again. Today is the last day of our cruise, looking forward to getting home. MSC if you’re reading | Areas to improve Adult only areas - quiet areas (no party music blasting) Some manors. Some organisation to the Marketplace. Restocking of minibar as standard. Entertainment - A new manager. The entertainment is simply awful. The same thing every night and every day. Very poor and a very basic standard. Try a different cruise liner and see what they do. Food leftovers left down the hallways on the floor. Pretty disgusting and often left for hours. The safety procedure. He has been talking for ten minutes In every language whilst we are trying to relax in our room. We’ve heard it 5 times. Make him stop, please. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I am currently on this cruise with my husband, taking a break from the heat in Corsica. I wanted to write a review because I'd seen negative reviews online and I am just baffled as to how people would have any negative comments about ... Read More
I am currently on this cruise with my husband, taking a break from the heat in Corsica. I wanted to write a review because I'd seen negative reviews online and I am just baffled as to how people would have any negative comments about this ship.. it is absolutely stunning to look at, the most beautiful design in all bars and public spaces, plenty of seating areas everywhere, it's spotlessly clean and while we have only eaten in the Marketplace (buffet), and will continue to do so rather than use the dining room, the food is really good. We have been on 2 Royal Caribbean cruises before so were a bit wary about trying MSC after hearing that they weren't quite up to the same standards but we both decided on day 1 of this cruise that we would never bother with RC again. We are Irish so we are European but obviously we have a very different culture from continental Europeans, and essentially, I believe lot of reviewers are finding fault with the different food and the guests (I've read a lot of complaints about people not queuing for food) yes, there is a bit of shuffling around at the buffet and yes, the food is slightly more Italian, with pizza and pasta always available but a) they are really tasty dishes that are eaten all around the world, and b) a buffet is always going to be a bit chaotic so if that's the height of your problems, consider yourself a lucky person!! Our room was ready fairly early and our luggage was there before we even got there, so it was great to shower and unpack so soon. Our room has a shower-over-bath, it's not a great shower: low water pressure and the shower head is fairly low on the wall, so anyone talk might find it very difficult to use! There are a good few families on this cruise, kids tend to be still in the main areas quite late at night but I don't find it a problem. The lifts, as many others have complained about, are a bit annoying, according to my husband who uses them more than I do, but there are lifts close to our room that operate as standard, rather than the unusual ones throughout the ship. Again, I feel that for people to be complaining about such things is just being overly picky. Embarking could have gone a bit smoother, the staff in charge of crowd control didn't do a good job and while people were given a card with a number on it, it wasn't clear that they were supposed to sit and wait for the number to be called, so some people waited longer than others to embark, which isn't a big deal, but obviously many people are tired from travelling to the port so it can be frustrating. Not a major problem though. The overall experience of this ship is phenomenal in our opinion.. lots of really beautiful bars, lots of good food, friendly staff and magnificent surroundings. Surely that's what holidays are all about! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise as the ship was new and looked beautiful...and MSC is one of a few cruise lines we haven't experienced. The ship was beautiful, especially the galleria area, but: - the beauty of the ship could have been ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the ship was new and looked beautiful...and MSC is one of a few cruise lines we haven't experienced. The ship was beautiful, especially the galleria area, but: - the beauty of the ship could have been enhanced with art work - the cruise experience could have been enhanced with more activities on offer - the library was a couple of shelves with a hand full of books - the food in the buffet was boring after a few days and (surprising given the ship's Italian pedigree) not of a good quality - it felt like it was all about selling and getting more money from the cruise passengers - the promo video gives the impression of a sophisticated cruise experience .....the reality was most of the time it felt like hell on earth...noisy rude passengers All in all one of the worst cruises we have been on! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite ... Read More
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately out of the 7 days, we could not use the Jacuzzi on 3 days. 1. Cleaning balcony day. You are adviced to close balcony doors and curtains from a day before. They then open all balconies to form one long corridor. Our balcony was accessed but not cleaned at all. 2. for some odd reason we found our jacuzzi empty on the last evening (possibly for cleaning before the next guests). 3, On our second day, without being advised, the upper decks were being power washed resulting in almost 2 hours of constant water raining on our balcony. Also the water got very smelly from day 3. We informed cabin Stewart who came, saw the clean filter warning and just emptied part of it and refilled. Left same filter and we were left with the clean filter warning for the rest of the Cruise (though the smell was much less). We had a 14 year old with us and we only received a teen programme on the last full day of the Cruise (day at sea). We had no idea what was happening as the on-board daily programme only had one daily entry for teens so we thought it was weak like the rest of the daily programme. Probably the daily onboarding/Disembarkation/Security meetings have a toll on the crew who are unable to plan/organise other activities. Yes MSC on-boards and disembarks passengers daily so every day from 16:00 you start hearing very loud constant reminders in 7 languages asking passengers who just embarked to attend the compulsory security info meeting at 16:30. This lasts around 45 minutes. I had a massage booked at 16:30 and the experience was ruined with 30 mins of loud notices and security info with a speaker directly above my head in the small massage room. The masseuse offered me to change the time but the other available slots were non convenient to me. Casino is nice with some very good machines and bar service but I could not stay more than 15 minutes with all the smoking going on everywhere. There were some no smoking signs but no enforcement at all. Unlike NCL (as an example) there are no light snacks here so if you are up to a light night snack check the time as the buffet place closes at 10 and reopens for 2 hours midnight to 2am with some light snacks and pizza. WIFI was weak. None at all from our bedroom. The 'MSC for me' app is great but requires the free ship WIFI connection which only allows you access to the app unless you pay extra for actual internet data. Zoe, the cabin assistant to the likes of Google Home and Alexa is still a waste of desk space. It answers very few questions and mainly asks you to consult your daily programme, TV channels and the MSC for Me app. Plus if you are used to other voice home assistants, please be patient with this one as it is very slow to get back with an answer. However it has great potential and I can see this as a trend setter for other lines and even hotels. For food we mainly used the Market Place Buffet for the reasons below and food was average except for the day at sea were it was evidently better with more choice and the only time that the buffet had decent deserts of a decent size. We only used the Poseidon for breakfast once. Miserable portions and choice and we got 1 of 3 orders wrong. Also asked for fresh orange juice and the reply was "not included" in our "all inclusive" drink package which should include all drinks upto EUR 6. How expensive could a fresh orange juice be? We used our assigned Dinner restaurant twice (Light House). Again miserable portions. They got the food we ordered but managed to deliver all to the wrong person (just 3 of us). Mistakes were a constant. At least it was funny and we were betting on the next mistake :). Also too many waiters with different responsibilities. One for bread, one for water, one for wine, another for other drinks and one for food. So you ask the water waiter for a soft drink and says "my colleague" will be with you shortly but never comes :). Also Waiters get confused and you get asked your cabin room number over and over. Its a pity as these restaurants are very well staffed (probably too many) whilst the buffet (which gets overcrowded as many prefer it to the restaurants) is very much understaffed and to get a drink you have to wait too long. I usually preferred to go myself to the bar, but just 2 barman (at times 1) dealing with all the clients and the drinks waiters is too much to handle. Under staffing in bars is also very evident and at times it feels like this is on purpose to minimise consumption as many a times one gives up waiting. We loved the evening shows. Great life music, amazing dancers and singers. Great detail to costumes and scenography. There was a shadows performer on one night who is pretty good but so much full of himself :). His show starts with a 2 minute video of his performances around the world to show us long standing ovations, like trying to convince you before the show that he is good :). The Cirque du Soleil shows are good but too short and nothing amazing when compared to other Cirque du Soleil shows I've attended elsewhere. I was also very annoyed about the 'Free 24 hour Room Service' which we should have had with the Aurea experience. We soon discovered that the choice is a shame (One menu page of light snacks and another page for pizza) and to add insult to injury the only free aspect is the delivery but food must be paid for. Can someone explain what this means? So food is free at the restaurants and the only service which I would somehow accept to pay for is the delivery which is free for Aurea. Makes no sense. Clearly a sales gimmick in the wording used. So assume the only way to get it free would be to go to the buffet, fill your plates from the free food then ask a waiter to deliver to your room. Would that be free? ridiculous. Also reception people have no clue. The 'MSC for Me' is advertised to offer family members with a position tracking on the ship and a chat facility between people you share your ID with. The reception said that we need a special arm bend which needs to be purchased for the tracking and chat. We asked 3 people and they all had no clue. However we managed to make the chat work throughout the cruise with some trial and error. I told the reception about this at a next visit and they were surprised. Also I went to the reception 3 times to ask if we could have a late (12:00) disembarkation as we had a late flight. Why 3 times? Because it was evident that they were making up their own rules. We had an Aurea Suite so I was given the impression we had some choice in this. I got 3 Different answers from 3 different reception staff: 1. Sorry latest you can stay in room is 8am and latest on ship is 10am. Not any longer 2. You must vacate room at 8am but I will make a note to give you black tags on last day so you can disembark 11:30 (On the last night we got blue tags with disembarkation at 8:30am) 3. Do not take out your luggage on the last night so you bring them down to the "hand luggage" desk in the morning, by latest 8am. Then you can stay on the ship till latest 12:00 but we cannot help you with the luggage and you cannot reenter the room after 8am. We decided to follow the instruction of number 3 as it was the closest to our wishes. The only thing is that help with the luggage would have been appreciated but I guess its fine. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had ... Read More
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had an aqua park , rope climb and small arcade. The ship itself is stunning, everything is well designed and the staff keep it well cleaned at all times, we had housekeeping visit our cabin twice a day. The pool is large and a great place to spend the day. The entertainment staff had daily activities such as dance lessons, aerobics and games to keep passengers occupied, often they would have ‘sail away parties’ when leaving ports and had everyone up dancing. All staff are really nice and helpful, never had a problem and service was excellent, with waiters even taking drinks orders from your sun lounger. The food in the buffet was nice and plentiful, the pizza especially! Food in the main restaurant varied each day and was delicious. We booked a show each night after dinner and enjoyed every one, and then afterwards went to the themed parties hosted in the main gallery or the pool. Our cabin was clean and not too cramped, with our premium plus drinks package we even had access to the mini bar. We didn’t book any excursions with MSC, as when we got off at the ports there were plenty of tourist information staff to help us book a cheaper tour. Enjoyed every moment, and have even booked our next cruise in 2020 with the same itinerary on the MSC Grandiosa - we cant wait!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the ... Read More
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the pizza that is made frah infront of you. Restaurant was good tried something different every night. Shows were good we all enjoyed them and not too long which we prefered. Entertainment staff were great from the pool games, sail away parties, evening parties everybody enjoying themselves. The ports of call were good, we did our own thing at each port and got a taxi to Pompei just outside the port. We were a bit un sure after reading some negative reviews but shouldnt of worried we couldnt think of a single negative the kids didnt want to leave the ship and we are going to book msc grandiosa for next year! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
PROS: 1) Everything you had to pay for, Champagne Bar, Butcher’s Cut, Sushi resto, French Bistrot, 10/10, excellent food! Excellent service! 2) Brand New ship, quite modern. 3) Excellent itinerary, Malta, Messina, Marseille, you ... Read More
PROS: 1) Everything you had to pay for, Champagne Bar, Butcher’s Cut, Sushi resto, French Bistrot, 10/10, excellent food! Excellent service! 2) Brand New ship, quite modern. 3) Excellent itinerary, Malta, Messina, Marseille, you don’t stop there quite often. 4) Crowd of all ages, very sophisticated people to be around and make acquittances. 5) Easy registration at Marseille terminal. 6) Cirque du Soleil with the dinner, excellent! Magnifique! CONS: 1) Food very average, think Carnival. 2) Not very personalized approach, never heard the captain, never saw him, no chocolate on your pillow, even your excursion tickets weren’t delivered to the room. 3) Very crowded, and full of kids, a lot more than anticipated. No reserved adult pool, or reserved exterior smoking area. Very crowded buffet. 4) Cabin Stewart, very nice, but working alone. No ice in ice bucket, mini bar not automatically refilled, unless you requested it. No bathrobe. 5) NOISY, Many kids, many door slamming, no butlers around, no discipline. 6) Overall expansive. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Just back from a week on the Bellissima. It was amazing! 9 previous cruises with RC, first time with MSC and think we're converted. Positives: We were mainly converted thanks to the food, RC is very American, and as MSC is ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Bellissima. It was amazing! 9 previous cruises with RC, first time with MSC and think we're converted. Positives: We were mainly converted thanks to the food, RC is very American, and as MSC is Italian it's obvious via the food which was just amazing! Even the buffet was 10/10. The homemade piazzas 24hrs a day are AMAZING, compared to Sorrentos in RC. Yes the portions are smaller than RC in the main dining room but I like that, your're not too full and also means you can try more than one main if you want and not be too full. The entertainment was amazing, no comedians or magician due to so many languages, all musical but they're very good! There are entertainment staff that hang around with the passengers which are brilliant at getting people up dancing and enjoying themselves. We're a young couple and always disappointed in RC that the bars and nightclub don't really stay open past 1am, this cruise the music was going until 4am and always full of people dancing. The ports of call were all amazing, except Marseilles we weren't too impressed with. (Naples, Sicily, Malta, Genoa, Barcelona, Marseilles, day at sea, Naples, not in the correct order). Disembarking was so much better than RC, we didn't get off the ship until 2pm after lunch. Embarking was also so much faster and easier, as unlike RC where everyone gets on and off the same day, there are different people every day so its much faster. Negatives: Too crowded everywhere esp the pools and Jacuzzi, you need to queue for the Jacuzzi. The worst thing was the cirque du soleil (shows were amazing) but that you have to pay. I have never experienced on a cruise where you have to pay for a show, I though this was bad. Options are "Dinner & Show €35" or "Cocktail & Show €15". I said "neither please as I have the drinks package, so just the show please", replied "no problem you're booked in" Then to my surprise we paid for the show unknowingly. I think I should have been told ok well it's still going to be €15 just so you know. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we ... Read More
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we had enough room although we did have a balcony. The beds were so comfy I dreaded leaving it behind. Also the shower room was bigger than any we have had before. Now dining, anyone that says there was not enough to eat must have been on a different ship than we were! The market place was open all of the time serving salads, chips, burgers, pasta, pizza etc etc, I just don't understand the complaints about the food. We ate in the restaurants at breakfast and for our evening meals. No the portions in the restaurants were not American size portions, its an Italian ship so Mediterranean food and portions. In saying that the food in the restaurants was beautiful and changed every evening. We had the Aurea experience and if possible I would go Aurea or Yacht Club. No queuing for embarkation or restaurants as you get anytime dining. Cirq de Soleil meal and show were definitely worth the money although once we went to the normal nightly entertainment I couldn't get my husband and son to go to another one!! Service was fantastic, I read somewhere on here that you don't have to pay the tips at the end, no you can have them removed but why? The staff were happy, attentive, helpful! Why wouldn't you tip? For the 3 of us the tips added were approx £200, I can remember exactly but no way would I have cancelled them, so just DON'T!!! Get off in Marseilles, it was our favourite. Approx £10 each for a transfer into the town, coffee shops, little side streets with wall out, really enjoyed it. Pompeii was worth the money although take plenty of water, 40 degrees when we were there, really interesting. Went to the beach when in Valetta, 19Euros each for the bus. Could have stayed a little longer, you get around 3 hours on the beach after travel. All in all we had a blast, it's what you make of it. I was really apprehensive before w went because of the reviews but I shouldn't have been worried. One thing, the market place is a bit of a cattle market and as one other person mentioned on here, watch out for the rude French. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The ONLY reason we chose this cruise was because it was going to Mykonos and Santorini. Mykonos got cancelled with very short notice because of high winds ( there was barely a zephyr! ) I am thinking it was because of high docking costs, ... Read More
The ONLY reason we chose this cruise was because it was going to Mykonos and Santorini. Mykonos got cancelled with very short notice because of high winds ( there was barely a zephyr! ) I am thinking it was because of high docking costs, now saved by MSC but not refunded to the passengers. The only shore excursion I booked was cancelled less than 24 hours because of lack of numbers, then the one I wanted to swap to was full and I had to pay extra for the the one we finally did. So disappointed. Bar staff work their butts off, but the bars are so understaffed you have to wait ages to get served. And unless you are pushy , others who arrived at the bar will get served before you. So frustrating watching barmen re stock fridges and clean glasses and MAKE COFFEE! There should be other staff paid to do that. Buffet food selection was extremely limited compared to other cruise lines I've been on and the one night I did the formal dinner I was so underwhelmed by the food service and quality and quantity I settled for the mediocre buffet every night after that. MSC you have a long way to go to even get close to the quality I have experienced on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise ... Read More
We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise communication via email from MSC. The MSC app only worked half the time. We all booked a balcony stateroom Aurea Class with Premium Plus drink package. MSC changed the drink package in October, however since we paid the upgrade prior to this date we were to be grandfathered into the maximum drink package available. Which we were not. MSC miscommunicated this info to our travel agent 6 times. We found this out during our first dining experience. Not a great start. Our room was 13119, and although the closet space is very limited, the balcony was huge. Zoe never worked for any of us. There was a smell from the shower drain that at times was unbearable. Our stateroom attendant was amazing however the smell remained. Unacceptable for a new ship. There is no account access on the TV, so if you need to confirm on board charges you must stand in line with everyone else at Guest Services, waste of time. The mini bar was convenient and well stocked daily. The walls seemed very thin, I could hear guest next to us often as well as the room above us. Unfortunately I had to complain, it was 3 am. We were never advised that the ship only holds 250EU on your account for on board expenses. This may be due to the card being in Canadian funds, but no explanation was ever given. This amount was spent quickly at the spa, so when it came time to buy a 7.00 gelato we were refused. Off to Guest Services once again to swipe our card. Food in the dining room was a 2 at best. We witnessed no dress code being enforced even on Gala Nights. We saw passengers with jean shorts, t shirts and ball caps allowed in the Lighthouse dining room. Our table attendants were fantastic, very attentive however the food came out at different times. Not the dining experience you would expect when you read the marketing statements on the MSC web page. We had one specialty dinner at the steakhouse and all but one entrée was perfect. Really enjoyed the food and service. We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room, and service was hit or miss. Food was average. The Market Place Buffett, sub par with a small healthy food selection for such a large space. The Spa is beautiful and worth every penny. The staff were incredible and treatments are priced comparable to most spas at sea. The main pool...well if you like your deck chair to be packed in like sardines, a drink at the only pool bar next to the smoking section, enjoy very loud music and pool games, screaming kids in the pool as well as kids running on deck with no adult supervision, and not being allowed to sit on the pool deck with a drink in your hand and feet in the water then this is the cruise for you. Again reading the description of the pool deck for the Bellissima this is not what we expected. The second pool was the same and the aft pool was so small that again the kids took over, while the parents reserved empty pool chairs. Deck 19 reserved for Aurea Class does not have a pool, only a hot tub , no bar, but deck chair bar service. Great views but anyone can buy a day pass. The main pool is located two decks below. The gym is very small for the amount of passengers on board. We enjoyed the Champagne bar at night, and the staff were excellent. However they only serve Champagne so if you want a mixed cocktail you need to go to an other bar. We all enjoyed the F1 race car experience, 10.00eu p/p per ride well worth it. We did two excursions booked direct with MSC. Portofino and Capri. Both excellent once you get there. However we were sent back to Naples on a local ferry from Capri which was standing room only. Locals and tourists had suitcases that took up seats. I believe when you book a tour with the ship then the transfer back to port should be on a boat for that tour only. Yes the ship is beautiful but for the 5000.00usd price tag for 7 days, it did not meet our expectations based on the information provided on the MSC web. MSC does a great job marketing this ship with no execution. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My family of four sailed in July out of Genoa. Embarking was easy and fast. Ship was beautiful, Immaculate , and easy to navigate. The staff were very friendly and courteous, the waiters were fantastic, our room steward was awesome , ... Read More
My family of four sailed in July out of Genoa. Embarking was easy and fast. Ship was beautiful, Immaculate , and easy to navigate. The staff were very friendly and courteous, the waiters were fantastic, our room steward was awesome , every employee on this ship was great . The food was good , there are more restaurants that you pay extra for than are included . I didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t get ice cream anywhere unless you paid extra . I think MSC nickel and dimes too much, too many fees for anything extra . There was enough food where you didn’t have to buy anything extra . The ship was crowded but we always found a table for breakfast and lunch at the buffet . We ate dinner In the dining room every night and the food was very good and had enough variety. We booked the fun pass for the kids online before we left and it was a good deal for $120 you were able to spend 180 euros on games in the game room , the card lasted for both kids for the entire cruise , they also had basketball and soccer but the basketball hoop was broken the first 5 days of our cruise so it was mostly soccer . I also booked the laundry package for $48 they washed 40 items of clothing and if you booked online you can give them a few pieces a day until you added up to the 40 items I didn’t have to have it done all together which was nice because I was able to bring less clothes . The WiFi package was good too I had no issues the speed was fine and it worked well I purchased the unlimited plan and my family toggled back and forth using it and it worked well. I also purchased the cirque show which I really think should have been Included in the cruise fare , very cheesy to charge for a show , the show wasn’t that good it was just ok , my 14 year old fell asleep during it and my 16 year old was bored . The drinks that were included in the ticket were awful you don’t get to choose your drink they had two choices of drinks that were sitting on a bar when you walked In and they were not good , they didn’t even have soda for the kids they were given virgin mojitos. The other shows on board that were included were good and you can book them on the screens around the ship with your room key , very easy and all the shows were available and we booked them the same day . We booked a family room which was two rooms that connected and our balconies connected too , this was a great choice as we had lots of room and having two bathrooms were convenient. We booked shore excursions with the ship and they were good , I was very happy with them . I’ve cruised RCL, NCL, Disney and MSC Fantasia in the past , I do like MSC they do Nickel and dime you with all the extra charges I feel they should include more with the cruise fare but overall I would recommend the Bellisima, the pools were nice crowded especially on sea day but that is expected . The staff were wonderful , they work very hard and have to serve thousands of people with a smile every day I give them a lot of credit . The ports were amazing , I chose this ship because of the ports . We flew into Milan and took the FlixBus to Genoa the bus station is 2 blocks from the port which made the return very convenient. I would definitely book MSC again . Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I originally heard about MSC from a work colleague and this is now our 3rd time with them. I cannot recommend them more highly. I had read one or two negative comments before booking the Sinfonia trip but I honestly think it is ... Read More
I originally heard about MSC from a work colleague and this is now our 3rd time with them. I cannot recommend them more highly. I had read one or two negative comments before booking the Sinfonia trip but I honestly think it is wonderful. On all accounts our trip could not have been better. Everything was done to perfection. The customers were from many different parts of the world and were friendly, family people of all ages. The cabin was excellent. It was well equipped with an en suite, fridge, hairdryer and security box and the bed was really comfy. The room was attended to not once, but twice every day. It was spotlessly clean. All staff were polite and cheerful, even if they passed in the corridor. They held doors open, smiled, said hello and attended immediately to any requests. Food was in great, free flowing supply and to suit all tastes. We especially liked the t bone steaks one evening. All facilities were excellent and well planned and the evening shows were splendid. What talent! Live music in lots of bars and public spaces every evening was also really enjoyable. Every day we were given a newsletter to tell us about what was on the following day and to arrange times and places for all events. We went on a trip to Santorini which could not have been better organised or more enjoyable. We also got off the ship at all the ports and felt that the security arrangements were very good but not intrusive. MSC cruises are not the dearest or most upmarket but they are fantastic and great value for money. Well done! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our first ever cruise with the family on MSC Bellissima. All 4 of us (two teen boys) gave it 10/10. We could not fault anything. We had a balcony room and it was spotless, as was the entire ship. Food was really good and the staff are ... Read More
Our first ever cruise with the family on MSC Bellissima. All 4 of us (two teen boys) gave it 10/10. We could not fault anything. We had a balcony room and it was spotless, as was the entire ship. Food was really good and the staff are really amazing, despite working long hours, etc. Always a smile on their faces. Malta was the highlight of the cruise, we will definitely return there. Francesco & Leonalla in The Masters of the Sea bar were very attentive and deserve a special mention, they go out of their way to bring a smile to your face and entertain you, as was Gabriella and the Cuban guy in restaurant Posidena. Even though there was probably 4-5K passengers on board, it never felt over crowded and disembarking was smooth and efficient. We had a week in Sorrento afterwards but i think in future, i will stay first and cruise second, as you have far more choice of food on the ship. We ate in one of the speciality restaurants The Butchers Cut and the steaks and desserts did not disappoint, food and wine really good. The gym was a good size and boys also liked the indoor airconditioned multi sports hall. Really enjoyed the whole experience, MSC provided a superior service and will cruise again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise because the ship was brand new with an amazing itinerary. We went to great ports, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Malta. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Here are some of the positives ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship was brand new with an amazing itinerary. We went to great ports, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Malta. Embarkation and disembarkation were super easy. Here are some of the positives and negatives: Positive Nice clean new boat Buffet food very good quality Excellent pizza Great ports to visit Guest services - spoke English Many handwashing stations around buffet area NEGATIVE REVIEWS: No self service laundry - plan on handwashing or bring plenty of clothes Pool closes 8pm - no time to enjoy the pool after a day in port Complimentary restaurants - seafood and veal and lamb food was terrible Food is not labeled for seafood/nut allergies. I missed seeing Naples due to seafood allergy because MSC does not label their foods. Buffet is like a stampede - rude people; Buffet area not big enough for amount of passengers No communication or announcements about activities and such They keep you guessing about time off and on the boat Not enough public bathrooms Beds are hard as a rock No adult pool/hot tubs Zoe did not work at all They took my plates and cups while I’m eating Safety briefing was not an English Disembarkation meeting Not in English Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We sailed with MSC Lirica last month on a short 4 night itinerary We have never sailed with MSC before, so decided on a short trip to try it out We boarded at Venice, and it was a relatively smooth process. On previous cruises, ... Read More
We sailed with MSC Lirica last month on a short 4 night itinerary We have never sailed with MSC before, so decided on a short trip to try it out We boarded at Venice, and it was a relatively smooth process. On previous cruises, you queue once, and get everything done at the same time. Here, we had the initial queue to have passports and boarding passes checked, then again to hand over luggage, then to get through security scanners, then as we boarded the ship, our passports and boarding passes were checked again, another queue for photos to be taken for sea pass cards, then a walk through what seemed like hundreds of staff touting drinks packages. However, all queues, except the initial one in the port, were very fast moving so we didn’t hang around long each time. Also, the staff trying to sell the drinks packages were not too pushy. We really liked this ship. I was slightly apprehensive before boarding after reading reviews on here, but we found the ship to be clean and comfortable. There was plenty space for everyone. On previous cruises - particularly Navigator ots, public spaces (bars, cafes, lounges) were always packed and it was difficult to find a seat. Not on this ship. There are numerous lounges and bars. Even in the buffet restaurant on the final morning, it wasn’t too hard to find a table. The safety drill was totally chaotic, with passengers wandering in halfway through, and talking loudly all the way through, making it impossible to hear what was being said. You also have to take the life jackets from your cabin, which we have never done before, but it was good to know how to put them on if the need arose (not that it’s difficult) Obviously there was a different clientele on MSC than our previous cruise experiences. Fewer British passengers, more Italian (obviously), German and a very large group of Chinese passengers. There was also a slightly different culture. The biggest difference was that the MDR and the buffet restaurant did not open until 7pm. There are a couple of places to eat before then, a grill serving burgers and chips etc, and a pizza station. When the buffet restaurant opened at 7, it was very quiet until around 8.30-9.pm The staff was very efficient in keeping tables cleared. They seem to be under less pressure than RCI staff, which was nice. They had a little time to chat as they were serving you. We found the food in the buffet restaurant was of decent quality. There were fewer choices available, but they were presented better, refilled promptly and mostly well cooked. The selection of fresh fruit was also much better than on our previous cruises. We didn’t eat in the MDR, or any of the specialty restaurants We had non alcoholic drinks packages, which was good value. It included soft drinks, bottled water, mocktails, specialty coffees and soft serve ice cream. The price was less than half of what Royal Caribbean charge for the same thing. We didn’t go to any of the entertainment. There was very little in the way of activities on board during the day, but I suppose it would be very difficult to do quizzes etc when you’re to ask the questions in 5 languages! English was always the first when announcements were made. We spent a fair amount of time in the coffee lounge. Staff were very friendly, and it was a lovely spot for people watching. The ship was well presented and clean. We really liked it. The only downside was that there is no deck on which you can walk round the whole ship. You can’t get to the front of the ship at all, other than on deck 13, which has big sun screens, so you can’t stand there and look at where the ship is going. This certainly wouldn’t put me off booking on this ship again, but we missed a wander round the ship in the evenings. We left from Venice and our first stop was Split, in Croatia. A lovely old town within easy walking distance of the port. Narrow little streets and an ancient old palace to explore..... along with plenty of little bars and cafes to stop and rehydrate. Next stop was Sarande, Albania. I was a bit nervous about this port after reading the reviews. We were tendered in, which was the easiest tender we have ever had, although we waited til the main rush was past. When you get off the tender, you are met by numerous taxi drivers advertising their trips to the blue eye national park etc. Walking towards the beach is quite depressing. It’s really run down. There are lots of beggars, but they don’t pester you. Many have babies or very young children. Once you get down to the beach, it’s a fairly standard beach front, with stalls selling tat, and restaurants, cafes and bars. It’s very cheap for food and drink. You can’t buy Albanian currency outside of Albania, but they accept euros too. Unless you’ve organised an excursion, there’s not much to do other than the beach. The beach is very stoney, but apparently there are sandy beaches in neighbouring villages. This would be a great beach stop for children though, there are inflatables and diving platforms which looked like great fun! Messina was our next port. Again an easy walk in from the ship. The main attraction is Taormina, but we decided to stay in Messina and explore. There’s not much to see to be honest. The cathedral is beautiful, and at 12 o’clock the bell tower comes to life.... statues move, and the sound of Ave Maria rings out across the square. Unfortunately, that’s the highlight of Messina. Otherwise it’s quite a dirty, dreary town. My advice would be to do the tour to Taormina. Final port was Naples, but we didn’t have time to explore, we just made our way to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport for our flight home. Traffic is horrific in Naples. Very scary. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the ... Read More
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the difficulty getting near the pool at the end of the afternoon is typical, I could always find a chair somewhere, even if I had to do a lot of searching. Seven hot tubs I believe, and could usually find space in one - I wish they left at least one open later for a little tubbing under the stars. All the waterworks close quite early unfortunately. My cabin was typically sized, but you could tell a lot of thought went into the design with some nice modern amenities, like a USB charge port in the bed lamp, both 110 and 220 plugs so an adapter is not needed, lots of under bed space to hide those suitcases, and a reasonable large (for a cabin) shower. NIce to include a foot bar to assist in the tiny space. Water temp needed regular adjusting depending on time of shower, but I could always get to hot water - unlike some ships during prime time. Embark and disembark easy and uncrowded. Customer service regularly reachable. Very nice that all the bars have espresso machines, instead of a single cafe as some ships. Ya you gotta pay but I like that was included in my drink package - being a caffine-o-holic. I found the service exceptional everywhere, especially the bars, sometimes the cocktail servers are a little grumpy - its a thankless job - but a smile on my part would usually warm em up. I have always liked the free soft serve machine in the buffet on other ships, so paying for ice cream on this shp - spendy I might add - is a no no as far as I'm concerned. i rarely do the buffet, but few times was adequate and never too crowded. Like most ships, getting a table a prime time takes a little work. For a European ship, I would have expected decent brewed coffee, theirs sucked badly. I stuck to espresso. I liked going to the dining room for breakfast, heavily staffed and few people do it - so you get great service. Gotta put up with that coffee, but tons of croissants and baked goods, eggs always cooked correctly, and good juices. A very nice start to the day but you got to get up. So staying up late is nice on this ship, they have the typical and well done pool parties, then a DJ on the back deck till the very wee hours - 3am+ not atypical. Mixed crowd, with younger as it gets later of course but lots of dancing. You learn on this ship not to try to order at the bar, but find a server and place your order with them - much easier and faster then trying to pin down a busy bartender. Great selection of specalty restaurants - always room because they charge a substantial premium to go. Other lines seem to charge a bit more for restaurants (well you did already pay for dinner in the dining room), but these guys charge pretty much full price. Loved the steakhouse and french restaurant, didn't do others. If you want to get away from the masses and feel special come here, or feel like the old cruise days, come here during formal night. I suggest you find out when they do the specialty restaurant tasting night - where you go to each one and taste a bite of their wares. It was not heavily attended, and was fun and tasty. I also did the wine tasting with the sommelier David Campaniello and albeit more expensive than others I have done on other ships (80E) we had 7 great wines, a great education and good pairing appetizers (blueberries, strawberries, ham, foie grois). I learned a lot about great Italian wines, and regions, food pairing and we all had a great time (3 amerians, 5 belgians). That evening I was dining in the Steakhouse, and I saw the Sommelier and I asked if he chose the by the glass wines, because for a red meat location, the wines by the glass were embarrasing. He then made the effort to go the French restaurant where we did the tasting and bring me back a leftover glass of wine from the tasting to have with my steak, now that is exceptional service! and I will tell the story 100 times (I own 3 bars :) I will definitely do MSC again, they have two big new ships starting in 2020, and I will do one if not both depending on where they go. I fell in love with Malta -also first time. I was pleasantly surprised by these guys and the service and the ship - 5 stars. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for ... Read More
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for a long time, the processes need some time to be ironed out. Some of the crewmembers, especially in service, seem to be new. This translates into reduced service. We´ve been to the Preziosa a few years ago and it was completely different to can only relate it that the crew needs some time to get into the routine. The ship is HUGE! It takes some time to navigate it and but then works very well. I would advise to try it at least once to see if this is something you enjoy. For our tastes it was too big and in the future we´d be looking into the Fantastica Class again. Th shows that we visited were of high quality standards, we really liked them. However, we were underwhelmed by the Cirque du Soleil show. The were only 3 "real cirque" acts and the cocktail was watery and full of sugar. We had the Premium Drinks Package and total got our worth. Would do it anytime again. However, it is sad that the ice cream at the pool is not included in the Premium Package for adults, however it is included in the one for kids. Luckily we had kids with us so could use their cards. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from ... Read More
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from the airport to port in Barcelona. Checking in was fairly quick and we were on the ship at 1pm. Rooms were not ready until 2.30pm to we explored and had some drinks at the bar and some lunch in the buffet, which was quite crowded. We liked the waiter call button on the tables for drinks! We had balcony cabins on the 9th deck, mid ship and near to the lifts. The cabin was fab, plenty of room, great bed and kept very clean by the steward. Zoe still does not work! We were allocated a table in the restaurant on 6th Deck and our waiter was Myra. She was happy and smiling and chatty and could not do enough for us. The food was amazing – how people can complain I don’t know. Wine glasses kept full all the time – it did help perhaps that we tipped her 10 euros each night…..We found the buffet to be bedlam all the time with especially the Italians having no concept of queueing, so chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the restaurant on deck 5. This was a much more civilised affair as you are waited on, recommended! We are early risers so had no problem finding sun loungers. We did have the big padded ones on a couple of occasions but be aware, the ones at the back of the ship get covered in soot from the funnels and it gets all over you too! The day at sea was very very crowded as you would expect, but we picked our spot early and we were fine. As we booked last year, we had the drinks package and paid £168 each. Seems a lot but we more than had our monies worth! The package included branded spirits, Smirnof and Absolute vodka and Baileys but the Easy package as it now is, doesn’t. If you like a drink it is well worth it as they add 15% to each drink. We did the cirque de soleil, the cocktail and show package at 15 euros. The show was fab but the cocktail not so. You have to add 15% to this so we paid 17.50 euros per person! We also saw a theatre show which the girls enjoyed, the boys not so much. The interactive boards throughout the ship make it easy to book any shows. It was my birthday whilst we were there, so we booked the Tapas restaurant at an extra charge. Don’t bother, the food wasn’t all that but the service was good and I got a free bottle of fizz and a birthday cake and the waiters all sung to me. We tried most of the bars. The English pub serves a selection of English draught beers too. These were included on our drinks package and better than the Heiniken the boys said. The highlight of our trip was meeting the TV personality and sports pundit Chris Kamara, he was so personable and the boys loved the banter with him. A lot of the passengers had no clue who he was! We left the ship at all the ports but did our own thing, mostly HOHO buses. Marsaiile, follow the green line to the free shuttle but into town. We couldn’t find the petit train to get on but saw it passing by. We got a taxi back at 15 euros as bus queue too long. Genoa – 12 euros city tour bus outside the terminal. We then walked around the waterfront. Saw a huge rat here calmly eating in the middle of the path, not scared of humans at all! Naples – we got the HOHO bus. Don’t bother with the red route, it is far too congested in the town and we hated it. Traffic terrible. Noisy dirty place, didn’t like it. Do the Blue coastal route instead. Messina – HOHO bus again but this is not open top, so disappointing but the route was coastal and scenic . Valetta – turn right out of the port and make for the Barakka lift – 1 euro for return trip – well worth it as it is so steep. We wandered round and enjoyed the views. Barcelona – disembarkation very slick. we chose to stay over and had a hotel just 10 minutes from La Ramblas. Again got the HOHO bus – we enjoyed this one the most – 30 euros for day pass. We had the gratuities removed from our bills and tipped as we went along. Guest services do not bat an eye lid at this. Just one thing, the steward helped herself to juice in our mini bar. we would not have known only she left the empty. we confronted her and she replaced it.....otherwise we would of had a charge - its the principal. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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