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1,068 MSC Cruises Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise at full price over a year ago. We wanted to try MSC, I had read all the reviews and decided to go with an open mind. First off the ship is beautiful and very clean, the only think we didn't care for is the ... Read More
We booked this cruise at full price over a year ago. We wanted to try MSC, I had read all the reviews and decided to go with an open mind. First off the ship is beautiful and very clean, the only think we didn't care for is the chopped up layout. The staff at customer service desk were unfriendly like other reviewers have stated. The lack of communication as to what was going on was unbelievable. No crew had the same story. We couldn't make any of the ports scheduled due to the Corona Virus which I do understand is out of control of MSC. But come on, a little compassion would have been nice. We were so excited to go to Tortola but missed it. We paid top dollar for this itinerary and in return did not get our money's worth. When we mentioned this to the Customer Service desk their attitude was, "what do you want me to do about it". They did not care. They also stated that the contract states that MSC can change ports as their discretion. Nice attitude there. The food started out okay but went downhill. The selection was not great. Pizza was awesome. Oh, who runs out of Bud Light? Oh, MSC does. I wanted to give this cruise line a chance but the fact that they are so unorganized makes me think twice about it. I also had an incident with one of the stores. I bought a bracelet which they sell by the inch. After they measured me they did not have the lobster clasp so they told me to come back later. When we went back they still couldn't find one. So I decided to get the bracelet anyways and would have a jeweler back home fix it for me. The girl then informs us that the sales person made a mistake on the price. I had a receipt. She would not honor that price. We had to get the manager and argue about it. we finally were told we could have this 6.00 item for free. Okay all is well, but guess what, we were charged. I didn't even bother to argue about that little amount. That is just one of the little things that bugged us over the week. Not very customer friendly. We paid $1600.00 for a balcony room which was a great deal but then we hear that people on the ship got the same room category a month before for $700.00. We asked for a credit but got nothing. So we paid full price for one of the cheapest itinerary's. Oh well, live in learn. Will we cruise MSC again? I don't know. But they have a ways to go with customer service. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
It was our first time on MSC. Being that the ship was only half full of passengers and the hole corona virus outbreak made for an uneasy cruise. The food was average witch was disappointing as I was under the impression that their food ... Read More
It was our first time on MSC. Being that the ship was only half full of passengers and the hole corona virus outbreak made for an uneasy cruise. The food was average witch was disappointing as I was under the impression that their food was much better. I will say that they made very good pizza. Not impressed with their steak house, I rarely send food back , but I had to with my first steak (over cooked). The service was great from all the crew members. They too had to be worried about the virus and what was going to happen with them as far as trying to get home are staying on the ship. The ship is beautiful , many places to just sit and relax . Many bars . Cabin was ok , standard size , balcony was nice size. The TV channels where limited ( I know you don’t go on a crusie to watch TV ) I would have liked to have more then CNN for news. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I chose Divina for the classic nature of the ship and it’s original itinerary but that had to change because of the nature of covid-19 and that was completely understandable. The ship was absolutely beautiful, just as I was told it would ... Read More
I chose Divina for the classic nature of the ship and it’s original itinerary but that had to change because of the nature of covid-19 and that was completely understandable. The ship was absolutely beautiful, just as I was told it would be. From the start MSC buffered us from the harsh realities of the outside world and encouraged us to stay informed but to relax and let them handle everything, and that they did! Service was top notch and 5 star with Alvin and Mac as our MDR waiters and Pasquale the maitre D. So wonderful in fact that we were offered an upgrade to the butchers cut and we politely declined because we enjoyed our experience so much with Pasquale, Alvin and Mac and wanted to spend that last night with them and our other table mates. Top officers of the ship were easily available and accessible most times of the day if you needed anything and very ready to answer any questions or concerns from the captain to the cabin attendants. Guest relations was extremely helpful with one exception where I was told some people are offered better services than others in the same cabin class, which was wrong information. Overall my experiences were overwhelmingly pleasant and any hiccup was quickly remedied by leadership on Divina. I was surprised to find that Bella balcony staterooms were larger than fantastica balcony and Bella was less expensive. The room service included with fantastica didn’t make enough of a difference to lose the much needed space and the loss of a sitting area inside the cabin. That needs to be reconsidered. Floor levels aren’t what determines luxury. I’d have gladly paid more more a bigger balcony cabin on a lower floor. You should consider flipping these categories. There were two hiccups, room service and the one issue with an unqualified guest relations female but both were taken care of quickly and I was extremely happy with the results. The last issue I had was with photography which I will avoid at all costs in the future due to its bureaucracy and complicated schemes to get more money out of you by scamming you out of package discounts. I was waiting for a time share pitch or used car extended warranty offer to follow. No one seemed to know why it was so complicated and offered no valid reason for the complicated rules and regulations set forth by who knows who and who knows why clearly designed to gouge people. Management was completely castrated to make any concessions to the inane rules and regulations to make a sale so I had to pass and walk away rather than pay double for one picture while a package deal should have included it for half. Any questions or requests to modify a “policy” was met with attitudes as if I were a criminal for asking. The worst customer service I’ve ever experienced and in sharp contrast to everything else onboard Divina. This is your one area to focus on major improvement. This cruise was filled with twists and turns and changes and surprises every day because of the external virus situation and in all honesty, MSC turned into a mystery tour that anyone would have paid for the experience. They kept us upbeat and confident that everything was handled and for the most part, it certainly was. From surprise destinations to marriage proposals within the cast of the evening theatre show to whatever... Divina was a very pleasant experience and no one I talked to wanted to leave the ship for the harsh reality of the mainland as we returned. Lifelong friends I made on this beautiful ship that week still talk of commandeering the ship away and starting our own colony at sea with the passengers and crew whom we loved. You’re lucky I can’t manage to steer a boat that large or we might have tried... Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We booked this cruise on black friday.Very good price.This ship is beautiful and very clean.The cabins are also quite large and comfortable. THATS THE GOOD.Now the food is very bad.All food was cold.Cold food was warm we were scared we ... Read More
We booked this cruise on black friday.Very good price.This ship is beautiful and very clean.The cabins are also quite large and comfortable. THATS THE GOOD.Now the food is very bad.All food was cold.Cold food was warm we were scared we would become ill.We ate pizza for three days.The service desk is a no go.Most staff have very limited English. We were charged for drinks on Ocean cay even though we had a drink package.We stood in line one hour to get this taken care of.Many people with the same problem. STAY AWAY dont fall for the great price and beautiful pictures.The entertainment was also lacking.We never saw or heard cruise director.Alot of the music is in Spanish we were very board most days.This is not a fun cruise this is a laid back most people sleeping after 10 kind of cruise.Like I said save your money dont go on this cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
To start I need to tell you that the ship was at best at half occupancy. I am sure this had a huge impact on wait times, table availabity in the buffet area and deck chair availablity. The occupancy was heavily affected by the ... Read More
To start I need to tell you that the ship was at best at half occupancy. I am sure this had a huge impact on wait times, table availabity in the buffet area and deck chair availablity. The occupancy was heavily affected by the coronavirus. Embarkation went quickly and easily. We arrived around11:30 am and were on board by about 12:15. There were no lines to check in. We had to wait until noon to start boarding. we were in group 14 and were on board by 12:15. Every few, less than 200 people, waiting to board at this time. Rooms were ready right at 2:00 pm. My luggage arrived just before the safety drill and my daughter's just after the safety drill. The ship is beautiful and well maintained. I had only one issue. the windows in most of the public rooms were very dirty. This made viewing out of them unpleasant. The layout of the ship was awkward in places. A few times we found ourselves in a "you can't get there from here" situation. We would have to go up or down a deck to get through to another area of the ship to return to the deck we had been on. We use the stairs most of the times, but on the occasions we took the elevator, the wait time was minimal and the elevators were rarely full. The food was a hit or miss situation. All three times I at at the buffet, most of the hot food was barely warm to cold. Most appeared to have been out too long and the warmers did not keep the food warm. The meals we had in the MDR were good but nothing to write home about. Our waiter was efficent and made sure our meals were delivered hot. Drinks in the MDR were never correct. I tried to buy a drink from the bar (I only purchased the non-alcholic package) but was told my package did not cover it and could not have it. They could not even get my daughter's soda correct. One person at our table ordered wine each night and only on the first night was it the correct wine. The other nights she recieved the same wine she ordered on the first night despite having ordered a different type of wine. Another person at our table ordered iced tea. She recieved a glass of the ice tea concentrate. Very disappointing. Drinks package was a problem throughout the cruise. I purchased the non-alcoholic package as I will ususally only have one or two drinks a day. Each time I went to the bar to purchase an alcoholic drink, at first I was told no because I did not have the premium drink package. I told time I wanted to buy a drink. It always took two or three attempts before they would fill my drink order. Any drink not on the menu was usually wrong, even something as simple as a whiskey sour. I did like being able to get fruit juice and bottled water on the package I did purchase as I do not like soda. We had a Fantastica level balcony. The room was tight had enough storage. The luggage fit under the bed easily. We had asked for twin beds, but the bed was a queen when we arrived. We asked that it be made into twins and it was done before bedtime the first night. Our room steward was nice and helpful. Only issue was he forgot our beach towels on morning. He brought us the towels as soon as we asked. So no real problems. We did not enjoy the one show we went to. It was difficult to follow, no real continuity between acts. The dancing was more prancing and posing thand dancing. The acrobats were good, did not really seem to belong in the show. Decided not to go to any others. Ocean Cay was beautiful. But the lines for lunch were long. With only one main buffet on the island, I wonder how much worse it would have been if the ship had been at full occupancy. Again, all the food was cold and most was flavorless on the island. The bar staff once agian was difficult. The only drinks that were correct were sodas and bottled water. Not even a simple juice order was correct. The snorkling excursion was fun and well run. Plenty of safety people in the water and a great guide explaining different types of fish. The excursion to swim with the stindrays was cancelled. The explaination was that the ship was not at the island long enough. If that was the case, why was it offered at all. The departure time was known by the cruise line. We tried to book the scuba excursion instead, but was told they were offering those yet. Why were they being offered on the website prior to the cruise if they were not really available. Disembarking and embarking at the ports of call were easy with no long lines. Our temperature was checked each time we re-entered the ship. Final disembarkation went very smoothly. We did express embarkation and took our own suitcases with us. Again there were no lines so we were off the ship in less than 20 minutes. Everyone in our group did make sure to settle our accounts the previous evening. We had a balance due as as we had pre-paid the service fee and excursions. With the one excursion being cancelled we were due a refund. Instead of applying the amount back to my credit card, we had to recieve the amount in cash from the guest services desk. I found this awkward. I am glad I did this the night before disembarkation. This was the only time I had to wait in a long line on the ship. I was very dissappointed in trying to work with MSC prior to my cruise. I was the only one in our group who was able to pre-pay our service fee. The other two pairs in our group tried but was told they could not do it. Trying to get basic question answered always required a long time on hold. The shortest time on hold with MSC was 42 minutes. I was very discouraged by the lack of excursion in Nassau to discover there were a number being offed on the ship. As well as a number being offered online for Ocean Cay were in fact not available because the island is not finished. I also tried to purchase airport transfers and was told they were not available, only to discover onboard they were available. The lack of accurate information before and during the cruise made things difficult. I have cruised a number of other cruise lines. I doubt I will be cruising with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I have cruised MSC before many years ago and had a good experience. I have also cruise with Carnival 6-7 times, Princess, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. I realized very quickly this cruise line was not the experience I was looking ... Read More
I have cruised MSC before many years ago and had a good experience. I have also cruise with Carnival 6-7 times, Princess, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. I realized very quickly this cruise line was not the experience I was looking for as an American. I booked this cruise because the dates worked for my step-daughter's spring break and because the prices were great, and free drinks and wifi package. We tried to cancel our cruise due to the sudden Coronavirus onset just a few days before leaving but we were unable to reach anyone after a long phone wait. When we arrived the port crew was extremely unfriendly and I immediately felt uncomfortable. I felt as though I had just arrive for my prison intake. Again, lots of cruise experiences and never felt this way. The gentleman who checked us in did a good job of making us feel welcome, which helped. However, as we boarded the ship I found the crew to be more like security, very unfriendly feeling and barking orders or demands. I am acclimated to all the smiling faces and helpful souls of the Carnival cruise experience and I will be returning to them as a loyal customer from here forward even if it means paying a little more money. At dinner we sat for typically an hour and a half because the wait staff was handling so many tables. Our waiter was friendly and did his best to accommodate. They would bring rolls, and I asked 3 times for butter while we sat there hungry for 30-40 minutes waiting on the butter. The food served was very small servings, and not up to par for an evening dinner entree experience. Shrimp cocktail contained 2 shrimp, the steak ordered was paper-thin. The second night we decided to upgrade for the rib-eye with bearnaise . When the steak came it had no bearnaise. We asked the waiter who shrugged us off and never returned with the sauce. Twenty minutes later we went to find some sauce from another waiter, but by this time the steak was cold. We asked for the head waiter, who never came. We asked for refund which we were also declined. We were offered a 20% discount, which we also did not receive as per our bill at check out. We asked for the manger on the way out of the dining room and informed him we will not be returning to eat in the dining room, nor will we return to this cruise line in the future. They continued to mix up our orders and bring out wrong dishes we had not ordered. It was clear they did not have the staff needed to get the job done efficiently. The cruise seemed to be half booked which leaves me wondering what would have happened if it had been full. Our room was extremely tidy, and our room staff were friendly. We also found it easy to obtain beverages in the bar areas which we loved as well as the ability to use use the drink package the day we were on the cruise ships owned island. My suggestions to MSC, is to train your staff for customer service, we are your customers not a bother! Add more staff to you dining room and more things to do throughout the day, the choices of entertainment were slim. Leaving us sitting in our staterooms for hours at a time waiting for the evening show. I hope this review helps those who are shopping for a great deal to see what gets cut when prices are so low. Spend the extra $50-$100 a person and enjoy your vacation experience! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this 3 day sailing as an introduction to the Yacht Club. We were markedly impressed with the service. The room was great and the food in the Le Muse restaurant was great. The servers remembered our drink preferences which was ... Read More
We chose this 3 day sailing as an introduction to the Yacht Club. We were markedly impressed with the service. The room was great and the food in the Le Muse restaurant was great. The servers remembered our drink preferences which was awesome. Our Butler and Assistant Butler were awesome. We will definitely be back to the Yacht Club. Areas that MSC could improve on would be some of the entertainment selections. I know that on newer ships the Yacht Club Restaurant and Top Sail Lounge are in the same place but on MSC Divina we found it to be a bit awkward to have to traverse the entire length of the ship to get to the restaurant. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and will do it on every sailing we ever go on. The upselling was slightly annoying as well but they weren't pushy. The Yacht Club area on Ocean Cay was serene and the food delicious. I understand that they are still working on the island so I won't fault them for the port-a-potty trailer as I know they are working on actual restrooms. All-in-all it was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
MSC Divina was more than perfect! After reading reviews, I was hesitant, expecting a bad time and rude employees, as most of the reviews say. Embarking- NO long lines and NO trouble! We expecting to be waiting all day in lines and what ... Read More
MSC Divina was more than perfect! After reading reviews, I was hesitant, expecting a bad time and rude employees, as most of the reviews say. Embarking- NO long lines and NO trouble! We expecting to be waiting all day in lines and what not, but we arrived at our terminal at 11am for check in and was on the boat eating lunch by 11:30! We weren’t expecting to board until 2 or 3pm, I think that’s where most people go wrong. Get there early! Avoid lines! For starters, the buffet was AMAZING! This was actually my favorite part of the cruise overall, as my boyfriend and I are foodies. They have almost anything you can think of. Whether it’s soup, salad, chicken, pasta, beef, eggs, Italian, American, they had it all. There were people at every food station with hand sanitizers. The room was clean. We overall loved the cruise and would love to come back. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The gelato was great! We got it many times. Ocean Cay was stunning and getting on/off the ship was easy and quick. 3 nights wasn’t long enough! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
First and foremost, MSC Grandiosa is absolutely gorgeous and the elevator designed to move people efficiently. The Aurea duplex suite is very unique with 2 full bathrooms, spacious closets, living room, dining room and a private hot tub. ... Read More
First and foremost, MSC Grandiosa is absolutely gorgeous and the elevator designed to move people efficiently. The Aurea duplex suite is very unique with 2 full bathrooms, spacious closets, living room, dining room and a private hot tub. We have been on many cruises in past and since MSC Grandiosa is so new, we expected errors, inexperienced staff, and broken processes. Never did we expect such rude, unprofessional, hostile staff at the reception, excursion desk and cirque du soleil. The incompetent staff all has one thing in common,they all refused to own their own mistakes and blames us. They obviously lacked "Customer Experience" training and basic human decency. This cruise was miserable from day one, the inner glass door (Exclusive to only duplex) had no locking mechanism and it was sliding and banging on the wall all night during rough seas. We did not know where the loud "Banging" sound was coming from the first night needless to say we did not sleep well. In addition, I set the wake up alarm via phone for am but the system called us at midnight. Due to lack of sleep and the bug in the wake up call system, we missed the "Rome" excursion that we pre-paid. When we talked to the guest service about the alarm waking us up at midnight instead of 7AM, she said "Why didn't you set up your cell phone for wake up call." Not only was she rude, she stated that I also should of called the guess service for a "Wake up" call. When we asked for our excursion refund due to this wake up call snafu, the excursion staff was hostile and said "You should of set up wake up call from your cell phone" He claimed we need to use the pre-paid excursion for another excursion because MSC do not refund. It took three days of escalation to get the excursion refunded. To make matters worse, cirque du soleil staff bumped our 7PM show that we pre-paid online and tried to move it at 10 PM. When we explained that we have a seven year old child and we can't attend 10 PM show, staff was very rude. He took no ownership that MSC made a mistake on overbooking 7 PM show. We were forced to change our dates at the last minute. We finally discovered the glass sliding door was the culprit of nightly banging on the wall sound on the second night. We had to place the chair against the door every night to stop the slamming of the door all night. That glass door literally damaged wall. We escalated this issue every night to to the guest service but they were hostile and ignored the issue. The temp fix was not done until the fourth night after the supervisor was escalated. The hot tub broke during third night of the cruise and MSC finally fixed it on the last night of the cruise after daily calls to the guest service. We could not use the hot tub that we paid for 4 nights. On the positive note, our cabin steward the only staff that treated us with respect with outstanding customer service. The wait staff were consistently friendly at IL Campo restaurant. Atelier Bistrot french restaurant was exceptional and as expected the quality of food was much better than the complimentary restaurants. The MSC buffet pizza was very good and always fresh. The overall food quality at the buffet and the complementary restaurants were subpar to poor. MSC Grandiosa is no doubt a beautiful ship but the guest desk staff lack basic hospitality skills. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First time cruising with MSC and we were left with mixed feelings. The ship could not really be faulted, being the first voyage from Southampton to Barcelona the ship and everything on board was brand new! Our cabin was well appointed and ... Read More
First time cruising with MSC and we were left with mixed feelings. The ship could not really be faulted, being the first voyage from Southampton to Barcelona the ship and everything on board was brand new! Our cabin was well appointed and modern with many USB ports and universal power outlets, which you would expect from a new ship. We found the entertainment to be interesting, some nights the shows were good and others not so good. As there are many different nationalities on on board it seemed difficult for them to lay on something to everyone taste. As the majority of the cruise was at sea some days we just wanted to do something simple like watch a movie. Other lines like Princess do movies under the stars played on the sea screens. We were shocked that the sea screen on board was not once used to show Movies, TV, or anything other than a picture of a palm tree in the Caribbean, which for a sailing with 4 sea days in the middle of November was depressing to look at to say the least. It was little things like this that seemed odd and could have greatly improved our experience. The cruise we embarked on was due to be a 5 night voyage from Southampton on 13th November to Barcelona, making just one overnight stop at Lisbon. Due to bad weather on the Iberian Peninsula in Bay of Biscay meant that the ship had to stay in port until Friday 15th at the earliest until the weather passed. This was obviously out of the control of MSC and a decision taken in the interest of safety which we could understand. However, it did mean that our one and only stop (Lisbon) would be missed and we then sailed straight to Barcelona arriving one day later than planned on Tuesday 19th. This meant as we booked our cruise and flights separately, we would have to make the flight changes with BA ourselves. BA charged us the full penalty to change flights to new dates, which was understandable. MSC Cruises made it clear in an email sent the night before we were due to board, that all expenses incurred to change flights or hotels ect. would be reimbursed following proof of receipts being sent to their customer helpline email. I was advised on board by guest services that if I sent this across on boarding day (13th Nov) this would be refunded by the end of the cruise (19th Nov). However, at the time of writing this (13 Jan 2020) I am still awaiting a reimbursement for my expenses; £200 total. I first received an automatic reply saying that it may take up to 28 days to receive a response, so me being patient and calm I waited the 28 days from the point of sending the email and ........... did not receive a response. I gave them the grace of a week before calling to enquire of the status and they said that there was large backlog they were working through due to the high volumes of guests that were affected. Although, I found this odd as the ship did not take on a full load at Southampton. Anyway, after numerous calls and emails I kept being fobbed of with the lines "We have your claim and we are in the process of arranging it with the most sacred OPERATIONS TEAM, who strangely enough your not allowed to talk too, lucky for them because writing this on 13th January 2020 and not having my money back, I do have a lot to say to them and the way they treat customers. I would like to add that throughout the whole cruise and after the cruise I have been calm, patient and courteous in inquiring and making my claim, however this has got me no where and i'm starting to think that only the passengers who shout, kick up a fuss and come across as rude to guest services and call center staff get there money back. This is sad and is not right. I can honestly say that even though our cruise itinerary was massively impacted, we did enjoy the ship and ships crew. However, I have been left with a bad taste in my mouth with how I have been treated and fobbed off. I have been left £200 out of pocket over Christmas and lied to about how long the process should take. I can honestly say that MSC would not be on my list of cruise lines to cruise with in the future and I will stick to the legacy lines like, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean who have been far better in customer service in the past. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Who could not get excited about being one of the first to sail a brand new ship?  The smell of the new carpets and furniture and how everything shined and glimmered was just perfect and it was a pleasure to sail her. However her maiden ... Read More
Who could not get excited about being one of the first to sail a brand new ship?  The smell of the new carpets and furniture and how everything shined and glimmered was just perfect and it was a pleasure to sail her. However her maiden voyage was not plain sailing and we were stuck in Southampton due to bad weather in the Atlantic, thus missing the port of Lisbon and overnight stay.   Yes this was very disappointing but when you saw the forecast you could understand why the captain chose to delay departure.. why take a brand new ship through a huge storm!? The ship itself is simply beautiful.  As soon as you board you are greeted by the stunning Galleria and it took us the whole first day to walk around and discover the ship.   Although I know its big it was bigger than expected  The ship was kept spotless throughout the cruise and it the design throughout is stunning.  From the signature crystal staircase to the impressive Galleria with the LED roof and the lovely pool deck, everything is beautiful.    Food and Drink - Expectations were low as MSC does not get a good rap for food, however the MDR food was well above par.   Food in the Buffet restaurant was also very good.   We found the speciality restaurants a little overpriced and also you could not use your drinks package in any of them (unless you are on premium deluxe package) so adding drinks to the cost would mean around €50-€60 per head which is not worth it given the MDR was very good anyway.   Bars were all very nice.  We loved the British Pub which was very authentic and also the Sky Lounge which was the most relaxing bar on the ship with the best service.   Entertainment seemed always be shoved in the Grandiosa lounge and never anywhere else.   Drinks package was a bit confusing..  so we took the easy package which allows you to have any drink up to €6 value..  easy right?  Wrong..  So in the British Bar you can have a pint of Heineken for €6 but if you want a pint of Heineken Lite for €6 you can't because this is one of many exceptions.   OK so if I want a drink that's €6.50 (like most are) then I just pay the difference, right?  Wrong, you pay the full amount! Fancy a tea in L'Atelier Bistrot lounge, watching the world go by on the Galleria..  this will cost you, even though the very same tea is available for FREE in the buffet area or the same coffee included in your drinks package..  MSC just don't do easy!  Facilities - It was a shame this is a winter cruise as the facilities outside are fantastic.   Thankfully we had great weather when we were in off the coast of Portugal and the ships outside space came alive.  The rope walk is fantastic!!  Very scary at first and a lot harder than I thought but once I conquered it I did it again and again.. and the views are breathtaking!   The aquapark is also really good fun with 3 slides which would wow both adults and kids.   The indoor facilities such as bowling and the virtual race car all acquire an extra fee and a large one at that.   If you want to do them all you need to pay well over €100pp.  Bowling for a family of four is over €60 for one hour with show hire!!    Keeping a family happy on this ship will cost you! In the safari pool there are fusball and ping pong tables which are free however you need to go to the other side of the ship to ask for the equipment..  like a lot of things on MSC this did not make sense! Entertainment - This is a mix of amazing, good and VERY bad.Firstly the amazing -  We went to the Cirque de Soleil show 'Eccentrics' and loved it.   My only complaint is it was too short, under an hour.   However well worth it. All the theatre shows were very good but short (35 mins), from an amazing pianist to the general shows put on by the dancers and singers.    Theatre is a little small though so on busy cruises make sure you book.  (easy to do on the screens around the ship) Now the bad - the entertainment crew were AWFUL!!   They all congregate in the Grandiosa lounge and either shout and dance like drug fuelled teenagers or drag you up to dance and then instantly look uncomfortable and uninterested.  The whole thing was just cringy and uncomfortable to watch.   Activities during the day were either dance classes, which were actually done quite well by two dance teachers, or games put on by the awful entertainment crew.   Quizzes were terrible with the crew (around 10 of them)  screaming down a mic and yelling and dancing at any given moment.  They actually turned an art quiz into a rave!!  This was cruise number 16 for me and by far the worst, most immature and unprofessional entertainment crew experienced.    Cabins  - We were originally in a cabin on the 8th deck with obstructed view.   The view itself was not an issue and its compensated by bigger balconies, however we were above the British pub and my parents were above the TV studio bar and sadly there is NO sound insulation so the music thumos through til 1am.   AVOID these at all cost!!!    Another negative about the cabins (all cabins) is the lack of sotrage.   Cabins seem slightly smaller than the most ships and the storage is tiny!   12 hangers for 2 people on a 7 night cruise!!!   Pack some from home if you don't want to double up.  Beds are very comfy though.  Lastly I cannot write a review without mentioning ZOE, the in room virtual assistant!   MSC, what a huge waste of money!!   Unless they use it to listen in on you I cannot see why they thought this was a good idea.. it was so pathetically bad it was entertaining.   The only thing ZOE can say is ask customer relations or turn on the info on your tv!!    So overall, and despite the delay, we had a fantastic cruise on a beautiful ship.  I loved the ship but am not a fan of MSC.. if this ship was Celebrity or even RCCL it would be the best.  Our sailing was just over 2000 passengers so my experience was quite unique.  I don't think it would be the same at full capacity and I fear it would be awful when full.   Even with 2000 it felt busy at certain times.  Due to lack of entertainment I would say this is more a summer ship than winter ship but that all depends on what you want out of the cruise.    Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Boarding rather good and smooth. First contact with on board photographers: bit agressive and pushy. First vieuw of the ship: bling/bling, modern, cold feeling, huge.... few places to take a drink, to sit down and relax (in case of winter ... Read More
Boarding rather good and smooth. First contact with on board photographers: bit agressive and pushy. First vieuw of the ship: bling/bling, modern, cold feeling, huge.... few places to take a drink, to sit down and relax (in case of winter or bad weather). Cabin (balcony) clean. Size: a little bit small and cramped. TV very good with BVN for the dutch speaking. 'ZOE' is like 'SIRI'... only standard questions you can find on the internet. Balcony nice with 2 chairs and a little stool. Bathroom small with pump showergell and shampoo. No paper tissues. Shower good with nice hot water. Market place very crowdy but with a little effort always a place to sit down. Choice for breakfast good, lunch rather poor. Little bell on the table to call a waiter. Plastic glasses and plates (!!) brrrr. Dining in Cerisier was rather good, not great. Lots of tables close to each other. Very noisy. Real plates and glasses this time. Simple dishes. Had the eays drinks package incluced in our cruise price. What a joke! You get to pick everything below 6Euro: a few cocktails with standard alcohols, alcohol free cocktails, Heineken, 2 white, 1 rosé, 2 prosecco's and 2 red wines. Everything else you must pay! A drink of 6.50Euro: pay the total amount!! So not only the 0.50Euro above your 6Euro limit. RIDICULOUS! And a lots of their drinks are priced.... 6.50Euro. MSC pushes you in the direction of an upgrade... The shopping area is nice to wander around. Lots of speciality restaurants with zero people in them... a waste of nice places to sit and enjoy the cruise. Cirque du soleil is good, not like a big production but it was OK. Drinks were awful. Area with glides and waterfun looks very nice for good weather conditions. Shall we travel with MSC again? In Yacht Club probably, in other cabins... don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As this is a brand new ship i wanted to try this ship out and see if msc is for me? I booked it through an american agent so got free bottled water in dining room. Tap water is free on every other ships except costa and msc. Pre ... Read More
As this is a brand new ship i wanted to try this ship out and see if msc is for me? I booked it through an american agent so got free bottled water in dining room. Tap water is free on every other ships except costa and msc. Pre cruise. As i was just off another cruise i only had a short time to get home and leave to catch flight from stansted airport. There was a suicide at liverpool street and was lucky the trains were running. Security at the airport was the worse have ever seen! Rushed through to just make the flight as they were closing the doors. Not impressed with ryanair saying no luggage with wheels! This is incorrect i ended up paying £12 for nothing! Got to hamburg and train to city and found the hotel or hostel. Very impressed with a room to my self with heating and a tv. Next day i got breakfast and went to the maritime museum shop where i bought a lovely big 2020 calendar picked up mycase and got bus to the ship. Embarkation. Very quick check in almost left the calendar at the check in. Then had a picture taken and boarded the ship. I found my upgraded balcony cabin. Lifeboat drill. In the casino not the best place to have it no lifejacket needed and with many languages it took a while. Departure. It took a while to leave so decided to watch us leave from myn balcony then go to dinner. Restaurant. Lovely restaurant despite not even having a restaurant to dine in. Had lunch alone and service was so qwuick. Dinner with 2 people at my table but i guess they were not happy with seas and had to sit on my own which i am not happy with. Entertainment. No show on the 1st night apart from lights in the promenade. The 2nd was so good. Photography. Too confusing as pics were up plus digital on the panels this was not explained to me properly. Paying the bill. I like the idea of putting your debit card in machine but not if you have ant=y money left getting the money in euros.plus i was charged for mini bar which i never used and took ages to sort out! Disembarkation. No announcements for leaving the ship did not see my cabin steward much either i had some fruit ;left but took the knife away. When i got off the ship no sign to say the main entrance was closed i had to come all the way back. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have previously sailed exclusively with NCL and 1 time with Royal Caribbean. This was our first experience with MSC Cruises and we were pleasantly surprised with our experience onboard. We chose this itinerary because it was the ... Read More
We have previously sailed exclusively with NCL and 1 time with Royal Caribbean. This was our first experience with MSC Cruises and we were pleasantly surprised with our experience onboard. We chose this itinerary because it was the ship's inaugural cruise and the stops were all new locations for us - Hamburg, Southampton, Lisbon, Barcelona, Marseille. After reading many reviews here on Cruise Critic we were very concerned about choosing MSC. Everything from the service, the different languages during announcements, food portions, taste, etc. But from our experience, it was absolutely fantastic. Mind you we did have a very unique experience on a few fronts. Because it was the inaugural cruise, the ship was not full and we were well looked after from the staff onboard. Embarkation was very smooth. Easily the fastest we have ever embarked on any other cruise (that's even sailing in the Haven with it's own private check in desk). Also, unlike in US embarkation ports, the handlers in Europe do not have their hand out asking for tips for taking your luggage onto a trolley. The staff who takes your luggage are MSC staff and take it away for you. The one small little thing was that we downloaded the MSC for Me app so that we can do all the pre-check in ahead of time. Taking our own photos, setting up our credit card information and doing the check in. But when we got to the port they still had to do the photos and check in. Anyone who has sailed with MSC knows that your credit card payment is done at the small kiosks throughout the ship. I was unsure of this idea but it actually works very well. Disembarkation was a breeze. We had some help with guest services because we have two small children a ton of luggage. They were able to assist us getting off the ship. Excellent. The ship because we were the first paying customers was in perfect condition. No complaints whatsoever. And the staff did an amazing job taking care of it while in its infancy. The gym though was quite small. Considering that our ship, from what we were told was only at half capacity was full most days and using the equipment was difficult. I cannot imagine that a full cruise you would be even able to use any equipment. Oh well, use of stairs and walking everywhere became our work out. Because of large swells, our 1 day in Southampton ended up becoming a multi-day stay. You can't control the weather right? So even though we were disappointed to miss our Lisbon stop and lose our full day in Marseille it didn't stop our family from enjoying more time on the ship. Our family doesn't do the shows in the theater on any cruise. We have dinner a bit later so we miss them. So I cannot comment on the quality of the shows. But we were invited to watch 1 show of our choosing since it was the inaugural sailing, EXENTRICKS with dinner and it was amazing! Our children loved it and so did we. But near the end of our cruise, we were invited to watch Cosmos as well. We loved it just as must as the previous show. This time we didn't have dinner, just drinks. I have read that the drinks given aren't very good. But there were 3 choices, a tropical drink, gin and tonic and a non-alcoholic. We had the gin and tonic and we enjoyed them. Our cabin was 10281. Aft facing balcony considered a "suite". We didn't have any extra perks but our room was huge! We have a regular balcony but it was wider by about half. So we had our queen bed, a sofa bed, and a bunk bed built in its wall. We have read that storage is a problem in most rooms, which we have seen with the demo rooms onboard. But our room had 2 large size closets, and the bunk bed area had 2 extra drawers, 2 smaller closets, and a head area in the bunk that could store more items. We had plenty of storage and we needed it since we were on the cruise for 12 days. Our balcony was huge since it was aft facing. Wish it was warmer out so we could use it more frequently, but still amazing. Our cabin attendant kept our in fantastic shape the whole cruise. When passengers mention that they never see their cabin attendant, I never believe it. We would see him multiple times during the day as we were in and out of our room. Zoe in the room unfortunately is not very good. We are very optimistic people, but we tried using it to get some answers and it couldn't answer any of them. Not even basic questions. We just used it as blu tooth speaker which was fine for us. But it needs lots of work still. Dining, what can we say. Probably the best food we have ever had in all honesty. Food portions were totally normal, not small like some people have posted about. And if it was small, just order more! The variety was great and the desserts were fantastic. We dined in Il Campo which is reserved for Suite guests so we had anytime dining. We just showed up and we were seated immediately. We never waited once. Not for 1 second. it was fantastic. Service was impeccable every single night. We did not dine in the specialty restaurants since we felt that the food and service was perfect for us. The buffet was incredible as well. Easily the best pizza we have ever had. Mozzarella made fresh everyday. Choices were plentiful and good variety. Breakfast was pretty much the same, which it is on every ship. Again, because our ship was at half capacity, finding service or a seat was never a problem for us. The children & family buffet seating area was always available for us. We liked it there. Our only comment is that like others have wrote about, MSC does not enforce hand washing or sanitation. We would like for them to be more strict on it to help prevent contamination. Because of the cool weather, we were not able to use the outdoor facilities. Except for 1 day when the weather was warm. Our son and I used the slides, amazing fun! We just wish it was warmer. It will be a great area if the ship is in better temperatures. Our children had never used any kids clubs on any other ship before but absolutely loved and enjoyed the kids club onboard the Grandiosa. The staff there did a wonderful job with the children and they had such a great time. Highly recommended. Service was great! We didn't have the feeling that staff were trying to sell us on everything. They were polite and very nice everywhere we went. High marks to all. Guests services manager and hotel director were fantastic as well. The captain (master) was also incredibly nice. We were able to meet him on 3 occasions and it was an amazing experience. The photography team took excellent photos. We love taking photos on cruises so we don't shy away from taking pictures. But from what we could see, passengers who didn't want them taken were not pestered or bothered further. I know passengers complain about aggressive photographers, but they were not like that at all. Our children can be a handful taking photos and every person worked with them patiently and the photos turned out awesome. For the ports, we didn't use MSC. We roamed around on our own and I had set up tours prior to us boarding. We wish there was comment cards so that we could recognize great service to the staff who deserve it. Again, we don't know what it would be like if the ship was at full capacity. I'm sure there might have been some line ups, waiting for tables in the buffet area, etc. But we cannot comment on that since our ship was half capacity. Our cruise was wonderful and based on our experience we would 100% sail with MSC again. Some people go on cruises just to complain about everything. Others enjoy it to the fullest. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We sailed on this ship on 3 previous occasions and loved it. We liked the itinerary and price. Unfortunately, things have changed and the crew is incompetent. They kept our American passport when we got on. Made it difficult to get it ... Read More
We sailed on this ship on 3 previous occasions and loved it. We liked the itinerary and price. Unfortunately, things have changed and the crew is incompetent. They kept our American passport when we got on. Made it difficult to get it back. Food is now terrible. Little info about ports. Entertainment is repetitive. No television service other than free movies of their choice. Very poor Wifi and no communication with cell phones on the divina. Our last port, San Juan Puerto Rico, they tell us that everyone must get off the ship for the immigration procedure and you cannot get back on until 4:00 pm. We are supposed to get off ship at 10 am but still not off at 12 noon. During this process, they are having a crew drill and making announcements constantly. Also, we asked for a box of tissues and were told that we don’t get them in the Fantasia experience and they just changed that policy during this cruise!!!!!Terrible procedure. Also, minimal concern for hand washing.After this trip, we will not be back on the Divina and most likely will not choose MSC! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We have been cruising with MSC for the last 3 years. This was the 11th cruise with MSC and the 7th on the Divina.This review compares the Transatlantic cruise from the Divina during November 2019 against the previous cruises we did with ... Read More
We have been cruising with MSC for the last 3 years. This was the 11th cruise with MSC and the 7th on the Divina.This review compares the Transatlantic cruise from the Divina during November 2019 against the previous cruises we did with MSC out of Miami on the Divina, Seaside and Armonia.Comments are the differences between this cruise and all other MSC cruises we took. We didn't compare MSC with other cruise lines we have been on 20+ cruises on three other cruise lines). We flew into Rome and took the transfer from the Airport to the cruise port. Finding a meeting point at the airport was problematic. Other cruise lines picked up passenger at baggage claim. After some asking around we found a MSC sign and were hooked up with the driver and the transfer van. Arrived at the port around 9.30 and had to wait until 11.00 Am before embarkation. No computers were available (broke down.....) so only the embarkation ticket and passport let us on the ship. The cruise card was in the cabin. Since our passports we not scanned in, MSC kept our passports. We demanded and got them back the following day. This was not done in other ports as we found out later. The cabin was roomy and clean as was the ship. Had some broken lights replaced in the cabin at our request. Since we are Diamond members (MSC just changed the name from Black Members to Diamond Voyager Members) all the goodies coming with that level were present. Since we where in an Aurea level cabin we had tissues in our bathroom. Fantastica and Bella had no tissues. No tissues were on sale in the shops either. Cost cutting in the cruise industry continues! Ship and cabin throughout the cruise were kept clean to the standards we are use to from MSC. The dining menu has not changed in 3 years. Since this was a crossing some local cuisine was added (Spanish, Portuguese and Caribbean). One problem though, the food was always cold dining room or buffet was no different. Only a few time I had some hot French Fries because I was watching them refilling the bin.This was not a unique experience. Our fellow passengers experienced the same cold food. The steakhouse was a bit better and had good food. The entertainment on the ship was the same as it has been the last three years supplemented with some opera and a few one man shows which were hard to watch since everything was translated in 6 different languages. The stage has not changed since the ship was built and is not current anymore. The 25 year old MSC Armonia is more modern in that regard than the Divina. This ship right now is set up for one time cruisers! May one timers said this will be the first and last MSC cruise. MSC has not figured out what the American market wants. Hope they figure out fast before their large investments into the cruise fleet will not generate any income! Than the activities: There at least 3 dance classes a day, throughout the whole 20 day cruise. The craft projects were the level of kindergarten. Also Calligraphy was taught everyday. What was missing of the activities list was the three times a day Trivia and other activities we have gotten use to on the Divina. The majority of the daily agenda was dance classes and sales in the shops! When Trivia was held a large group participated . The cruise staff was friendly when approached but behaved anemic in presentations and involvement. Only the Dance instructors were busy. This made the cruise very boring (if you are not into Dance and listening to the same three musicians in the bars!). Since we are frequent MSC cruisers we are use to the multiple languages. However the announcements were very long and in all different languages , which made it very annoying. Also very lengthy sales announcement were done in at least 6 languages! The excursions sponsored by MSC were OK. Also here, the multiple languages made it more difficult to follow the tour guide. On previous MSC cruises, leaving out of Miami, only English was the language use. At this time of the year there are very few kids on board and they didn't cause any issues. Since no children in our party so can't judge the children's program but it appeared to have the same problem (didn't see any children groups with MSC staff as on other MSC cruises): lack of activities.. The cherry on the ice cream came in Porto Rico. Since the cruise had a large amount of none Americans the process of going through customs took over 10 hours. MSC had notified us in advantage of the slow process.We had to wait more than an hour in the staircase after we were told to leave the theater. For many elderly and handicapped certainly a problem. We were not able to get back on board until 6 PM. (the night before it was stated that by 4 PM people could go back onto the ship). During this waiting time in the hall no information was provided by MSC concerning the status of the debarkation. Guests were still leaving the ship to go through customs as late as 5.30 PM. In the mean time the crowd got to be very unruly and a mob scene developed. And when finally embarkation started there was a rush onto the entrance (as per good European tradition) with no control of the crowd!. MSC expected the issues and didn't plan for the comfort and safety of the passengers which were waiting to get on board. A few days before the cruise I received an email from Cruise Critic stating a mix and mingle party will be organized on the cruise. Two days before the end I checked with the service desk which had no answer and promised to get back to me. Surprise, surprise, never heard from them and no Cruise Critic party was held.My experience with MSC has mainly been positive (except when unannounced a group of 2500 Vegan passengers took over ship making others second class citizens. MSC has compensated us for the inconvenience of that cruise). This was the first time I took an MSC cruise based out of Europe. Never again. Hopefully they adapted there cruise staff and programs since the Divina now leave from Miami for the next 5 month. Although cruising with MSC is good value for your money, maybe not this time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was a 20 night cruise Genoa/Miami commencing Nov 5., Cruising background. Celebrity x 6, HAL x 4, RCI x 3, Princess x 1, Carnival x 1. Countries cruised, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Caribbean, River ... Read More
This was a 20 night cruise Genoa/Miami commencing Nov 5., Cruising background. Celebrity x 6, HAL x 4, RCI x 3, Princess x 1, Carnival x 1. Countries cruised, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Indonesia, USA, Canada, Caribbean, River cruises; Europe, USA, China, Australia. This was my first cruise as a solo cruiser due to being widowed in 2018 so it was a new experience for me. This cruise was chosen due to its itinerary and reasonable cost, including single supplement. This was a fly/cruise package from Australia which included 2 nights pre cruise in Milan and 2 nights post cruise South Beach Miami. We (me and my fellow Aussies) arrived Genoa mid afternoon after travelling by bus from Milan. Check went reasonably well even with a little confusion over where our passports were passed around but it got sorted soon enough. Immediately on entering Divina I was accosted (politely) by the usual up sellers. My package included the basic drink package and the sales person explained to me why I should upgrade. The basic drink package covered drinks (including, soda, water and coffee) to the value of 6 Euro. On looking at the drinks list there was very limited selection under that amount so I went for a 10 Euro/day upgrade. I'm not a big drinker but I do like a bit more variety 2 reds and 2 whites and 2 beers. The upgrade covered a large wine selection, quite a variety of beers and cocktails etc up to 10 Euros. Initial impressions of Divina were very good, lots of bling but too many mirrors which confused many. Swarovski(?) staicases, A bit OTT..Due to Divina's size it took me a little while to get orientated. First big disappointment was my cabin, more on that below. Next huge disappointment was the Main Dining Room experience. My group had early sitting at a table for 6 with 7 chairs. Our table was squeezed into an alcove in one corner of the dining room. In fact, all table in the dining room seemed to have been squeezed in. There was very little room for waiters to move around when serving or pouring drinks which made their job harder than it needed to be. The room ventilation (it was hard to tell if the aircon was on) was poor and it was very stuffy in our little alcove. A couple dining with us managed to score a move to another not so hot spot. The remainder, myself and two other Aussie blokes, could not get a move. The menu selections looked good on paper but what appeared in front of us was very mediocre. The chefs (?) must be on a tight budget as ingredients were minimal and not of great quality and never served hot. I'm guessing courses were plated well in advance of serving. On one occasion my appetiser of crumbed squid rings, served on a paper napkin on a plate, arrived cold. The cooking oil had been absorbed by the napkin and looked disgusting. I called the head waiter and showed him. He took it away and a few minutes later returned with a serving that was nice and hot, straight from the fryer. This was the only time I got a dish that was hot. Vegetables, was usually boiled to death broccoli or very sorry looking asparagus. Occasionally there some (few) green beans or peas. A few times I ordered some Italian dishes but these were just as disappointing as the rest mostly lacking in any intensity of flavour. If it wasn't for the good company of my dining mates, (one of whom was a retired chef and he was scathing of the food dished up) I would have dined in the buffet. The wait staff were stretched, there weren't enough of them for the number of diners. Serving times, from ordering to serving, were erratic but usually overlong and orders were mixed up. Poor Sweetie, that was our waitress's name. She was a sweetie but under too much pressure - she did her best. One sore point is water. Unless you have a drink package, expect to pay for water when dining. How cheap is MSC? Lunches and breakfast I usually alternated between the MDR and buffet. The MDR because I could sit and chat with other cruisers, and the buffet for its reasonable variety. Never had any problems finding somewhere to sit. There are many bars spread about the ship and the ones I tried had good service, and compared to most other cruises I've been on, reasonable coffee. Entertainment was so-so. No shows as such, more like small concerts usually of a classical nature, violinist, pianist, soprano and tenor. Some dancing. It appears this is the European style of entertainment. Towards the end of the cruise there was great excitement about a Queen tribute. Along with many others, we three made the effort to get a to the theatre on time to ensure we got a good seat, we did.It turned out to be the worst tribute show I have ever experienced. It was excruciating to watch. Canned music for a start (there is no ship band or orchestra). A lead singer who was not a patch on Freddie Mercury. It was hard to recognise some of the Queen hits as they were sung in an "operatic" style which did not work at all. Another song was accompanied by acrobats on ribbons from the ceiling. I don't get that at all. I eventually walked out in disgust. My two mates stayed till the end but said it didn't get any better. Evening entertainment usually lasted about 30 minutes including the six language intro by the cruise director. "That's all folks". Time for a rant. There is smoking in the casino at all times. Not only that, there was an atrium above the casino and smoke wafted up to a bar on the next deck which had a very good guitar playing and singing couple. It was a very popular bar and I would have liked to have spent time there but the smoke was too much for me. There was not much activity during sea days for me. There junior school level craft classes. There was trivia but not as regular as I would like and every question was asked in six languages. I read a few books from the very small library on the 6 sea days across the Atlantic.Dancing classes were popular. I could go on but I've said enough. I wont be cruising MSC again any time soon. Having said that, they do offer affordable cruising but you only get what you pay for, as the saying goes. As for immigration entering US at Puerto Rico, you can read about that in other reviews. It was a shambles. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Review on MSC Divina Cruise November 5 - 25/2019, 20 days Genoa to Miami Arrival: Received no information on how to pick up access card to our cabin Cabins were not ready, they informed us to go and have lunch, followed by an ... Read More
Review on MSC Divina Cruise November 5 - 25/2019, 20 days Genoa to Miami Arrival: Received no information on how to pick up access card to our cabin Cabins were not ready, they informed us to go and have lunch, followed by an announcement. The promised announcement we could not hear, because of the masses of loud guests. Waiting with our carry on, we finally heard from other guests, that the cabins were open and the cards, pre-ordered excursions packages will be on our beds. That is security? Security: Access cards, with either Visa or cash added, also packages loaded for drinks and Spa, had all information on it, like full name, cabin #... We do travel a lot and most 3 to 5 star hotels have blank cards in case guest loose the cards or if they are stolen. We found and returned 2 cards, and an other guest found a card in Bridgetown. Just luck if someone honest finds these cards. Cabin safety box malfunctioned once and could not be opened without assistance and resetting the pin#. The assistant said that this was normal and would happen to everyone eventually. Nobody we talked to encountered this issue. It left us wondering if someone tried different codes and left us locked out? Safety: At MSC restaurants there seems to be no consideration for food allergies. I have a walnut allergy. I talked to chefs, and other staff, they just say ask. Two kind of muffins and in 20 days, not ones they could confirm no walnuts/nuts in their baking/muffins. Instead they covered walnuts over fruits, all cheeses. Even airlines take nut allergies serious. The air in the cabins was extremely try. They were so many guest/staff coughing. No wonder, the hand sanitizers did not work well, people tried, than walked away without. Excursions: We pre booked 6 Excursions, 7 months prior online from MSC, fully paid in US $s. When booking 6 excursions online, twice it said not completed, the 3rd time “Success”. After checking our Visa, we discovered 3 x 6 excursions charges. In our cabin we only found 4 out of 6 excursions vouchers. We expected good quality excursions, as we booked direct from MSC. What a disappointment! 2nd tour in Spain, was the worst tour we ever experienced. The tour guides microphone did not work, two languages, the French group was 75% and loud without consideration for others. For US $120.- left without learning anything, just frustrating. After reporting all to the Excursions desk, we only heard sorry... After our second excursions to Valencia Spain, we decided to cancel all our other 4 tours. Contacting MSC (prior to cruise):impossible! We sure never got through direct. Hours wasted. Staff: The waiters, helpers and room cleaning staff were very efficient, friendly, courteous, and performed their jobs to perfection and interacted with the guests. The reception and excursions personnel were not helpful and rude, not customer friendly. They also showed a lack of experience. Everything went wrong in our Puerto Rico docking. It would have been our longest port stay, but turned into the most frustrating experience on such a lovely island. Only a day prior they informed us that all passengers and crew must go off the ship, and go through USA immigration border control. No one was allowed to go back onto the ship till everyone had USA clearance, planned for 17:00 hrs. The numbers associated with disembarking times were not respected and honoured. Total chaos! On top they ordered that day a huge safety drill on the same deck as embarkation. Passengers were herded like cattle, and 3 hours delayed schedule. On the return to board the ship, passengers got frustrated with the time delay and disorganized crowd control. Even fist fights erupted and wheel chairs were not given a safe entry, again total chaos! The higher up white jacket staff in restaurants, were bullies telling us where to sit at table for 9 with 4 different languages, no choice given. There were not enough tables for 2 or 4. We learned quickly just to ignore them and choose our own table. MSC Photographers were extremely aggressive, and did not respect the word no. They were a total attacking nuisance in the hallway, dinner table, on shore etc. Many glossy photos had to be scrapped, what a waste. Shows: only 3 out of 20 shows were okay, all others boring and repetitive. 4 were one man shows, for this large theatre? Accounts: charity charges were added without our permission after our final bill was settled at 20:00 hrs the day before departure, to our surprise they added a charge from the room fridge, that had been locked 24 hrs prior. We disputed it, since we never consumed any items from the bar fridge. This was not an easy task. It meant a second time standing in line and wasting time. Closure: I don’t use the word never often, but in this case never MSC again! We are not first time cruisers, and thankfully did not have these major issues with other cruise lines. Many of our fellow passengers felt the same. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a ... Read More
We just returned from a transatlantic cruise on the Divina. November 5th 2019 departing from Genoa Italy to Miami Florida. Embarkation was great and handled quite well. Unfortunately the issues began shortly after. Here is a short description of some of the issues:: Cabin Steward--Either hates his job or is just miserable naturally. I do not even know his name because he barely spoke to us. The beds are not made with top sheets--only the duvet-- so when the bottom sheet was changed we had to ask for the duvet to also be changed. There was always an excuse--I am sorry but I did not have time--Serious? Toilet paper was only left if you were totally out......no extra rolls in the room. This required us to call and seek toilet paper on two occasions. How cheap is MSC? Or was this just the cabin steward? Kleenex are not allowed to be given in the cabins??????? Again is this the way MSC wants to present itself to guests? Our Diamond amenities were not left in the cabin and we had to ask two times for them. Overall I have to say that this was the most miserable and one of the worst cabin stewards we have ever had. Food--Most passengers are going to tell you the best food they had was ashore..........true. The internet was barely usable most of the time.......I used data whenever I could instead of the wifi Guest Services--This is where MSC truly lacks--If three people went to customer service with a question there were three different answers. Guest service would rather tell untruths than explain the reality of a situation. We asked why we could not get Kleenex in our cabin and we were told because guests tend to clog the toilet???????? The cabin steward then told us that only certain experience levels are allowed Kleenex. We had another issue and asked to speak with the guest services manager- Fillipe told us that the manager was a very busy man????? Fillipe is also a miserable unhappy person but he did take our information and said he would give it to the manager. This was on day 2--he never ever contacted us. We overheard a meeting or a training session where the staff was being told that "Americans were difficult" Instead of explaining that American's might have a higher level of expectations, staff were told they are difficult which in my opinion creates a pre conceived idea that there will be problems and therefore it is ok to be rude to them. I went to the guest services desk one morning after a crew member burst out of a door on the 13th floor and hit my arm so hard my cell phone flew out of my hand. I simply said that it might be mentioned to the crew to open doors slowly if they open outward into hallways. The guest services person simply said "well maybe he did not see you" then turned and walked away........The correct response should have been--I am so sorry are you alright? Shore Excursions--We had an Excursion for Rome from Civitavecchia. The meeting time was at 7:40 am in the Pantheon Theater deck 6. We arrived in the theatre at 7:25. We received our bus number and waited--and waited--finally we were able to board the bus at 9am. The trip to Rome was 1.5 hours. After all the time waiting once we boarded the bus my husband was struck with a gastric intestinal issue. We knew that he would never make it to Rome and we decided we had to leave the bus. We told the Excursion person our problem and they returned our ticket to us. Once my husband was feeling better we went to the shore excursion desk to ask for a refund. We told them that between the delay and diarrhea we could not do the excursion. We were informed that there would not be a refund and were told that the delay was announced.......it was not. Additionally it would not have been pleasant for anyone if my husband had stayed on the bus. Again a bad choice by MSC. And it was MSC because the people running the excursion returned our ticket so we could take it to MSC for a refund. The biggest and most unforgiving issue was in San Juan. MSC handled the Customs and Immigration procedure so poorly that it put passengers in danger. First the procedure to get off of the ship was poorly handled and took far longer than expected.....this was not so much the problem as the re boarding. No MSC personnel were in the terminal organizing or updating passengers as to the time and procedure for boarding. This lack of information and organization lead to an unsafe uncontrolled crowd. Tempers flared and fights ensued in different areas of the terminal. One female passenger actually hit me from behind because I was in front of her. I could not believe that she did this and turned and told her it was not alright to put your hands on another person. The lady just kept screaming that she was Yacht Club she was Yacht Club. I could not go anywhere because the push of the crowd was so great. MSC finally held this woman back but did not detain her nor did they ask if I was alright. Hitting a person is a crime in the United States and my disappointment with the way MSC handled this is beyond words. I did go to guest services and filed a report and they gave me an email address to communicate this to. During this report they also said that the Guest relations manager had left a message to meet with us in Fort de France.....he did not but she said he would leave us another message after this latest incident......he did not. This all leaves me to question whether MSC even cares about their guests. There were some bright spots during our cruise. MSC did a wonderful job with the Cruise Critic meet and greet. This was one of the best meet and greets we have attended on any ship. Irish is a bar server that is delightful! Irish is always smiling and talks easily to guests. More crew should takes lessons from her. Irish usually works the buffet and the casino. The itinerary was great and we enjoyed most of our stops......of course the exception was Civitavecchia. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was my first cruise on MSC. I was very apprehensive, as all the reviews were negative. Embarkation was find. Our cabin and steward were great. The food in the dining room not so great. Food had no flavor and meat was tough. ... Read More
This was my first cruise on MSC. I was very apprehensive, as all the reviews were negative. Embarkation was find. Our cabin and steward were great. The food in the dining room not so great. Food had no flavor and meat was tough. One night they had crab cakes. I could not find an ounce of crab. Only mashed potato filling. Food in dining room was a step above dining room. Waiter in dining room was a little disorganized. His manager watched him constantly, which made him nervous. Lounge entertainment was lacking and boring. A lot of entertainment started too late at night (disco 11:30 pm). I enjoyed the theatre shows, but they could have been longer than 30 minutes. 1 English channel until crossing the Atlantic. After that we lost it for the rest of the trip. They offered us free movies, which had problems with the pixels halfway through the movie. Others had the same problem. Communication was bad. Usually you have tv channel with cruise director informing you of all activities. Everybody was confused what time the ship was leaving San Juan. The time was not clear. Everybody had to get off ship until immigration was completed. Some were not able to get off before 5pm. Nobody had a clue when we could get back on the ship. No announcements, different answers. Elderly sitting in terminal in wheelchairs waiting to get back on. We finally got back on at 7pm. Left San Juan at 1:30 am. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We were a party of four and we left Barcelona on the 25th Oct & just got back home on the 1st of November. It was our first Cruise and it was fabulous. Our only hiccup was that unfortunately my cabin mate had a bereavement in her ... Read More
We were a party of four and we left Barcelona on the 25th Oct & just got back home on the 1st of November. It was our first Cruise and it was fabulous. Our only hiccup was that unfortunately my cabin mate had a bereavement in her family and had to disembark on Monday. There was NO specific person to deal with us in this situation, to help with disembarking, find flights home etc. we had to deal with staff at reception and they were not very helpful and not sympathetic. We had to buy a 24 hr WiFi package @ €39.90 so that we could look for flights home. Reception did print out the flight tickets on the morning my cabin mate left the ship. The rest of the party could not get flights home & we had no choice but to stay on the ship for the rest of the cruise. We had an excursion booked for four on the Monday my cabin mate left, we cancelled the excursion for two of us but we were still charged 50% of the cost. I was really annoyed about this because we had a genuine excuse to cancel. We decided that two from the party would continue to take the excursion as they could not cancel without being charged. We would have all gone to the airport with our friend otherwise. These would be the only negative comments we would have about the cruise. On our last night we went to reception and met Nirmatee Baungally a guest service agent and she was fabulous and so helpful. Keep an eye out for her! The staff on board were just fabulous. Wellington, Thalita and Tamires Cristina in the Bellissima Bar were just wonderful, so attentive, friendly and so much craic. If you meet them please let them know that the 4 Irish Ladies sang their praises. Arta the waiter in our restaurant who took care of us for 7 nights straight was a pure pleasure to deal with, he made our dinner experience every night very special. We also met Tatiana Franco a Program Publisher who gave us loads of information and was very generous with her time. All the staff were extremely friendly in the bars restaurants, shops and housekeeping. The food was very good, we had a drinks package that catered very well for our needs. The party atmosphere every night in the Bellissima lounge was second to none and we felt were we were definitely on holidays. All in all if you are willing to be friendly and have a good time the MSC Bellissima will not disappoint. We will definitely be booking again. (I told all those staff members that I have mentioned that I would be giving them a good review and I took their names down as we were so impressed with them) Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first ... Read More
We had a great trip but the time on the ship was a total disappointment . The itinerary was what enticed us to book this cruise. It was our first with MSC and we are very unlikely to cruise with them again. If this had been our first cruise it is possible we would have never returned to cruising. First impression - beautiful ship but don’t be taken in by this. It is a beautiful facade to raise your expectations. Don’t be fooled by this. Embarkation sets the standard and tone for the cruise. Embarkation is a mess. You get shunted from one waiting area to another. No information, no one to ask but each time have to produce same documents etc. Took 3 hours from when we were told to arrive to when we set foot on the ship. You wait and wait and wait. Service on board - you wait and wait and wait. I know it is a European line but I was told that English was an official language on board. The staff’s English either poor or non existent. We thought initially that we might be on a staff training ship as no one seemed to know what to do or what was happening. However as things didn’t improve over the 29 days we must have been wrong. They were just not trained at all. It was very noticeable that there was no official cruise director. After the captain was unexpectedly changed one guy was a ‘nominal’ cruise director but all he did was make a show of greeting everyone in many languages at the theatre at night They really pushed the drink packages. If you didn’t have a drink package you couldn‘t even get water with your meals or tea or coffee. Water is essential to life but on this cruise line you have to buy water if you want to drink it with your meal. Tea and coffee were also not available with meals eaten in the restaurant at lunchtime or at dinner. You also had to buy water anywhere else on the ship unless you filled up a bottle in your bathroom or got water from the bistro. Our cabin steward was very good but there was no way all her cabins could be done every morning until well into lunchtime as she had 20 cabins to look after. So very frequently we would come back to a cabin that had not been made up. This is the first time that has happened to us on a cruise. They were also not available to be on call. Guest Services was a mixed bag. They appeared to want to help but if you went to query something, question something or had a complaint they were totally on the defensive and it was never the ship’s fault. I had a question regarding why there were no seats on the promenade deck as I have always enjoyed sitting and reading on this deck. I was told it was OH&S issue and only available for walking. Nobody seemed to know what was going on and never got the same answer twice. The service at breakfast was appalling. We would ask to be seated at a table with others so we would be seated at a table for 6 or 8 on our own. Waiting times for orders to be taken were all over the place. Sometimes it was efficient but more often it was not and you could wait up to 20 minutes to place an order. Then after the order was taken we had to wait up to 25 minutes at times to receive the food whilst those at tables around us who had arrived and ordered after us had nearly finished eating similiar to what we had ordered by the time our food arrived. If you ordered a small starter for breakfast followed by a hot dish it all arrived at the same time. They were also not capable of taking an order correctly. You ask for an omelette with everything but mushrooms so you get a mushroom omelette with nothing else. It was never their fault if there was a problem. The food was very ordinary, servings were small in the restaurants. As an Australian of European background I found the menu’s boring and bland. Whilst each night had a different theme for the menu they really didn’t vary that much. As someone with a food allergy that can be easily managed, that I had notified the company about, I would order what I could eat and the ‘chef’ would decide that I couldn’t have it and substitute something totally not to my taste and mostly very dry and bland. Hardly any vegetables were served with the main meals. Steamed vegetables were available but they did not vary for the 29 days. The meals were usually lukewarm. The deserts were very repetitive and very rarely was a hot desert served. If you enjoy your food lower your expectations on MSC. If you ate at the bistro the food was more like barely lukewarm and the deserts at lunch and dinner were nearly the same for 29 days. They just changed whether they filled the pastry with cream, chocolate cream or custard. We had only MSC channels on the TV after several days as we had no news channels or any other channels available. Internet was extremely slow. The program on sea days was repetitive and hardly anyone participated. It catered only for those that wanted to dance all day in front of the pool and besides the port lecture there was nothing else. As the weather was hot everyone wanted to be on deck but unless you got there very early you had no chance to get a lounge and nothing was done to address this. The evening shows were also repetitive with one group performing at least 5 times. Some of the ship’s dancing shows were good. This ship does not have good ventilation. Most of the passengers got some sort of virus and nothing was done to contain it. There were also various strong chemicals smells coming from multiple areas of the ship and sometimes from your own shower stall. When you drew the crews attention to this they will not listen to you and will treat you as if you are a nuisance. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeates other areas. There is also a very large smoking are on pool deck limiting access to lounges for non smokers. On top of this relaxing on the pool deck or in the various bars was often spoilt by sales staff setting up tables along side the seating, to sell ‘cheap’ stuff, it was like sitting in a Market Place. On the pool deck they always set up on the non smoking side as did the occasional outside buffet. So where are the non smokers supposed to go if they wanted to sit out of the sun? The overall impression is that it is a corner cutting line, poor customer service and inadequate activities to keep passengers engaged.. Overall very disappointing and will not recommend this line or this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this repositioning cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to do more of South Africa. Overall the ship was clean and tidy, the staff must take a lot of credit for this. But we were disappointed over a lot of things such ... Read More
We chose this repositioning cruise because of the itinerary and wanted to do more of South Africa. Overall the ship was clean and tidy, the staff must take a lot of credit for this. But we were disappointed over a lot of things such as the following (some can be attributed to the staff having to say it in several languages and people talking over it). - The mandatory emergency drill briefing was not clear or audible -Deck 7 (promenade deck) wasn’t made use of by the shipping line as they could have put chairs on it to encourage people to use it - slow restaurant and wine service - food served was poor, what highlighted this was the tv kept on showing a 5* meal being created for passengers but it was never served or seen on any menu - Some wines ran out at the beginning of the voyage. Also some bars ran out of a type of wine yet other adjacent bars had it - the savannah bar didn’t have enough staff when busy yet in the adjacent bar they were standing around doing nothing - the staff and management were confused over what you were entitled to re your bar package (why not simplify it?) - a lot of the shows were poor (a lot of people also voiced this), the shows kept on having a circuses act in the middle!,!!! In fact there were a lot of people including us, who had to leave as they were so bad The TV service was almost non existent especially galling when we couldn’t see the rugby. - the ship’s captain was changed during the cruise but the passengers were not told until after the event (not that we needed to be told, they could have announced it during the “meet your (now previous) captain” cocktail party / black tie event. - the ship’s hygiene controls were poor until 1/2 way through the cruise. They didn’t encourage anyone to use the hand sterilisation stations when you went into the restaurant. The passengers and had a bad upper respiratory infection (including us) it was so rife, the small shop ran out of cough treatment and some passengers and staff were going to the medical centre for treatment (during the shows, there was a constant chorus of hacking coughs!,). After it became a real problem, then finally the hygiene controls were improved - we booked a ship’s shore excursion which wasn’t to the standard we were led to believe. During the journey back, the excursion manager was sitting next to us and he also agreed it wasn’t right. We wrote to the excursion desk who didn’t even bother reading it as when I enquired they hadn’t looked at it!! So don’t bother complaining!! - the activities on board were mainly biased to dancing or drinking!! In summary, I believe the management controls and understanding of the market they have sold to needs improving. Will I go on another MSC cruise, probably not unless the venues and costs are something that we cannot refuse. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Told by Iglu that this was a good cruise, .No bus to pick us up at Nice, one arrived 2 hours late. Boat drill held before we had got to our cabin. Internet very slow and news from TV non existent after Suez. Ship had coughs ... Read More
Told by Iglu that this was a good cruise, .No bus to pick us up at Nice, one arrived 2 hours late. Boat drill held before we had got to our cabin. Internet very slow and news from TV non existent after Suez. Ship had coughs which required doctors treatment more than expected. Disembarkation Durban like very stressful like rush hour in London, also at Durban airport long queue to book in for aircraft. The crew had many different nationalities and many of them seemed to be on their first cruise and were undergoing training each day.The Captain was changed part way through the voyage as it was said he had finished his contract ? When you asked questions there were no direct answers as though staff were told not to say anything and there was a feeling among some staff they may not be paid as many of the passengers had stopped their gratuities. This would be against IMO rules. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Good Itinerary. Unfortunately, as usual, many whinging & moaning passengers on this good value for money cruise. Our only complaints were related to the slow embarkation in Genoa and lack of satellite TV reception while cruising ... Read More
Good Itinerary. Unfortunately, as usual, many whinging & moaning passengers on this good value for money cruise. Our only complaints were related to the slow embarkation in Genoa and lack of satellite TV reception while cruising the Indian Ocean. The ships passengers were multi-national with Australians, British, Germans, Swiss, Italians, French, South Africans etc etc. Public announcements and entertainment, were therefore conducted in several languages. The food was acceptable, and we were on the early restaurant sitting in the Borghese Restaurant. We sat on a table for eight, which slowed down our meal times. The entertainment was average but there was a generally a good variety. The crew & service was generally very good. This was our first cruise with MSC and we boarded with an open mind. This cruise was very reasonably priced and we thoroughly enjoyed all our ports of call. The itinerary and price was the main reason for choosing this cruise which lived up to our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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