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

17 MSC Cruises Palma de Mallorca (Majorca) Cruise Reviews

We had sailed on Magnifica previously and really enjoyed the cruise, so we tried sea view. The positives were the Cabin and restaurant staff, really friendly and helpful. However on the Magnifica the atmosphere was different, it seemed to ... Read More
We had sailed on Magnifica previously and really enjoyed the cruise, so we tried sea view. The positives were the Cabin and restaurant staff, really friendly and helpful. However on the Magnifica the atmosphere was different, it seemed to have a more personal touch. The entertainment team on the Magnifica were really friendly and I didn’t feel the same on the sea view, I don’t know if it is because it is a large ship, or just because of personalities but the ship just felt sterile in the entertainment department. The team weren’t as lively in that department, so it just wasn’t as much fun, however they do work really hard. I just felt the entertainment did start later, also which did make a difference, but there were more games played on Magnifica which really got everyone mingling together which was fun at an earlier hour. Some staff outside the ship didn’t even say hello, when I greeted them so ....... it was just so strange and just not what I had previously experienced at all. The ship passengers were rude also which really doesn’t help, queuing doesn’t exist in the buffet area at all, it really is just dive in. Otherwise I did find the cruise good but there were some niggles, new ship perhaps still but overall it is a good cruise at a good price. The shows are really good, with singing, dancing and acrobatics and the talent is absolutely amazing. On the Magnifica the shows weren’t as good, the singing was good but really the shows aren’t as good, however the entertainment team really covered this area and ensured we all had a great experience. The main restaurant was good and their food was superb in my opinion, nothing was to much trouble. I hope this gives an idea of positive and negatives. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After deciding that we would cruise this year for our summer holiday it became apparent that there were only two options and we went for MSC Fantasia based on the itinerary, dates and price (for the price of a balcony on NCL we got a suite ... Read More
After deciding that we would cruise this year for our summer holiday it became apparent that there were only two options and we went for MSC Fantasia based on the itinerary, dates and price (for the price of a balcony on NCL we got a suite on MSC - the space was really important as we were travelling with our 16 year old daughter). We flew to Majorca with Ryanair getting into Palma for lunch on the ship by 1.30pm. Embarkation was easy and even though we were supposed to have priority this didn’t appear to be available - although there was only two families in front of us so it wasn’t a big issue. This is where the loss of the star lies too, passing on information is not a priority of MSC, we only knew that our cruise cards would be in our rooms as we overheard somebody else’s conversation with a member of staff, we weren’t told that we had to authorise our card (however I had found this out before hand after researching on here), we had AnyTime dinning but this really isn’t anytime you still need to decide wether you will use the early or later time slot - it’s anytime within your chosen time slot, not anytime the restaurant is open. There was also a lack of information about the spa and the included massage. It would also have been nice to have a map of the ship in the room. I honestly think a welcome pack is in order - it wouldn’t take much. Our room was just about ready when we got onboard - our room attendant was just finishing it off so we had a walk round and found a quiet little area at the back of the ship that became our go to place for port photos. Once in the room it was clear that it was immaculate, with a lot of storage space (including a hidden cupboard behind the mirror on the dressing table), the room had everything we needed including a walk-in wardrobe, hairdryer, robes and slippers. The bed was enormous and the sofa bed was very comfortable. The only complaint about the room and it will be the same for all the rooms in the vicinity is that it is very noisy when docking - sometimes this is as early as 6am so these no need for an early alarm! The food served onboard is lovely both in the Red Velvet restaurant and the buffet, the latter can get really busy but it is always possible to find a table if you do a bit of looking. There is a good variety of food in the buffet. Service in the Red Velvet was lovely just about right not over the top but attentive enough to notice if you didn’t like something they would offer alternatives. There were a lot of activities onboard but we are much more of a keeping ourselves to ourselves type of family and having access to Top 18 was great. We always found a sunbed and the waiter running the bar was lovely remembering our room number and the drinks we enjoyed. We did three MSC excursions, two were really great value the other not so much (aquarium visit with ferry transfer in Genoa). NAPLES: we did a walking tour of vasuvios organised by MSC. The guide was very good and kept a good pace with information in three languages. In the description it did say that it was a moderately hard excursion but I would say anybody with walking difficulties wouldn’t manage it the path is quite steep and even though we were before 9am it was still very warm. The views from the top were amazing and worth the walk. MARSEILLE: another MSC tour with was really well organised and interesting, the guide again did the whole thing in three languages. Following the tour we were able to make use of any of the shuttles returning to the ship. This made it really great value as the shuttle on its own was around €15 each. GENOA: we bought, on board, the excursion to the aquarium on a ferry. In my opinion it really wasn’t worth the price paid. The aquarium is lovely and worth visiting but the tickets for the aquarium can be purchased for €18 and MSC charged around €40 each for the use of the ferry. This literally takes five minuets and is packed full, there were two MSC ships docked and the ferry had a mixture of passengers off both ships. We actually walked back to the ship it was that close. Overall the cruise was lovely but had a very European feel, English speakers are defiantly in the minority but we never felt left out. The staff are great and the ship is beautiful. Having the Premium drinks package meant we could virtually drink what we liked, it was very good value. We would sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
On the boat they are constantly trying to sell you addition services. For example, when we were dining someone came up to use trying to sell a steak plate for an additional 25 euro. This was insulting as we were dining in the restaurant. ... Read More
On the boat they are constantly trying to sell you addition services. For example, when we were dining someone came up to use trying to sell a steak plate for an additional 25 euro. This was insulting as we were dining in the restaurant. On check-out we had to contribute 70 Euro per person as a service charge (for what we do not know) and they automatically put in our contribution to Unicef. I do not need a third party to force me to contribute to charity. The staff were friendly but at one point they said we had ordered too many drinks on our package. We had the unlimited drinks package and this is what you get. This company is very tricky and once on the boat expect to be a victim to their attempts to extract money from you. For example, the photographer will come up to your group take photos and later you may purchase these for 35 Euro each. We were so tired of being asked all the time. We will not travel with MSC ever again Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We live mainland Spain and wanted to escape our town's 10 days fiesta, so booked from Palma where we flew to, had 4 days there first. Left hotel 1pm on Monday 29 July, and were onboard by 2.30pm, great. Suitcases arrived soon ... Read More
We live mainland Spain and wanted to escape our town's 10 days fiesta, so booked from Palma where we flew to, had 4 days there first. Left hotel 1pm on Monday 29 July, and were onboard by 2.30pm, great. Suitcases arrived soon afterwards. Took ages to find cabin though. Unpacked, spent the afternoon exploring and missed dinner so we ate in the buffet. It was OK, heaving, and found a nice chicken curry. Went there for breakfast every day but wouldn't eat main meals there. We were booked into the C.D'Oro, and shared with 2 very nice couples, one couple were Gold card members. The other couple had only cruised once before, so nice not to have to talk about cruising all the time. The food was superb, and all cooked to perfection, and our drinks package included a nice bottle (not glass!!) of wine every night, and water. Pool a bit small and because of the time we travelled, full of children but heyho. We always got a sunbed, lazed about, enjoyed the ship, and took no excursions at all. It was too hot to trawl around dusty cities plus we had visited some on previous land-holidays. The full day at sea was manic and the pool entertainment really juvenile - but at least the shops were open. They are not allowed to open in ports. However, said shops were very disappointing. Mainly over-priced but out of date designer gear. Nowhere to buy say, a tube of toothpaste if you forgot to pack it!! so much for shops where you could get all your holiday essentials. also the shops at sea when open had constant sales, outside, on tables, making everything very cheap and nasty. If you smoke and run out of fags, you can only buy them, one pack per card, behind a bar and ONLY when at sea. The spa, well, my fault. I booked a Bali massage, it was an offer haha, same offered every day, but was lied to as the very miserable chap said the offer was just for the day I'd booked it. Anyway, it was nice, so agreed to pay another 15€ for a facial. Then I was "sold" a jar of face cream (sucker me). 90€ and back in the cabin I opened the 6 inch square box to find a 3 inch square jar of cream, inside which was a hole for about 2 teaspoons!! My fault....haven't used it yet, probably come out in a rash!! The 2 men at the spa reception were without doubt, the most miserable condescending people I have ever encountered. Need sacking. We didn't bother going to a show, went to the Casino one night for fun, but got into a nice routine of pre and after dinner drinks in the Cigar Lounge (as we smoke)...then up to the buffett to fill up the flask I had taken, with boiling hot water. This stayed hot enough to make a cuppa every morning. I also managed to get a half litre of milk on board bought in Palma...and, my travel hairdryer. Huge relief!! We normally like a good quality hotel, with pool maybe beach, as our idea is to relax on holiday, and do cities as short breaks. Well we did manage to do that every day mostly, and loved sitting on our balcony while we were at sea. The boat was SO smooth, and always on-time. I would have liked to get off at Marseilles but that was the hottest day, so glad we didn't. The Gold card members had done every excursion, but always on their own, which they recommended rather than pay the high prices and be herded around like cattle. Or miss the boat as someone did in Livorno!! Since we booked the trip, which was a long time ago, we did read a lot of reviews. Every one to their own but some are quite misleading, and some quite wrong! Think it's best next time we do a cruise, not to read anything, and just make the most of it. We wouldn't do it again in the high season though. We knew there would be a lot of children, but there were also a lot of groups of student ages teenagers, mostly Italians. We did like that though....not too many Brits....made it all a bit more continental. All in all, a very enjoyable holiday, as I said we will cruise again, liked MSC, thought the organisation was great considering we booked independently and through the Spanish site. Oh....one thing, had several photos taken but could only find one taken on the Gala night whilst in the photo shop. Talk about photo-shopped, cost 40€ for one large and one small copy! Wifi worked not too bad on laptop but the smartphone wasn't brilliant considering we paid for the wifi package. Apart from that and the drinks package (well worth it) we also paid up front for service, so no need to tip anyone. Customer service desk always busy bout plenty of staff, we used to get our account updated and everything was always correct. We also found that the whole ship had more than enough staff, always helpful, except those 2 in the Aurora spa!! On our first night we had to go to the theatre for the drill with our lifejackets. Took about half an hour, glad we didn't need them as I couldn't get mine on! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted a quick 7 day cruise around this part of the Mediterranean and the MSC Seaview fit the bill, date-wise and timewise. Wish I had read the reviews first. It was only a short cruise so we shouted ourselves a suite but a suite on MSC ... Read More
We wanted a quick 7 day cruise around this part of the Mediterranean and the MSC Seaview fit the bill, date-wise and timewise. Wish I had read the reviews first. It was only a short cruise so we shouted ourselves a suite but a suite on MSC is basically a family cabin with zero amenities. We didn't even get a bathrobe. The cabin was dirty and smelled (due mostly to the water in the bathroom), the room attendant refused to make the beds up during the day "as there is no room" but we had been travelling for 24 hours and needed a nap. When we made up the beds ourselves, we realised it was because the sheets were all torn. The drinks package had changed since we booked it and we were now entitled to 2 drinks from the low range of the menu, instead of the full-range we had expected. The food was okay but the temperature in the buffet was predominantly cold - except for the hash-browns - they were always hot and delicious. The staff seemed unhappy and it was a remarkably poor cruise experience to what I have had in the past with other companies. I would not use them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We went on a family cruise to celebrate our 48th Anniversary and husband’s 70th birthday. It was a long way to go for an average cruise.The ship was crowded and people pushed and shoved and constantly.We felt crowded and rushed. The ... Read More
We went on a family cruise to celebrate our 48th Anniversary and husband’s 70th birthday. It was a long way to go for an average cruise.The ship was crowded and people pushed and shoved and constantly.We felt crowded and rushed. The best part of the cruise was our steward. He was a lovely young man who was so caring and polite and attentive. Our cabin was very comfortable and very clean. The buffet on Deck 16 was good.It served dinner only.The buffet on Deck 8 was always noisy and overcrowded.We only ate once in the restaurant Silver Sands. The hot food was cold and service very slow.It was also very noisy. The ship lets off passengers and brings on new passengers at each port so muster has to be done everyday for the new passengers so movement is restricted each time that day for the existing passengers.It was kind of like being on a “bus” run, but on a ship! I will stick with Royal Caribbean and Holland America and pass on MRC. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Firs the positive, the embarkation was smooth. But the company lacks in communications with the guests. It has no processes to keep the guests engaged after they book the cruise. They live in an old world where communications with your ... Read More
Firs the positive, the embarkation was smooth. But the company lacks in communications with the guests. It has no processes to keep the guests engaged after they book the cruise. They live in an old world where communications with your customers was nil. But the most important point is they bring in your luggage in batches. So you will get some pieces first and for the rest you will have to wait till the ship sets sailing. My bag which contained toiletries and shoes etc did not arrive even after we checked in at 12.30 am, the earliest time one could check in. I complained, but the cruise officials were not helpful. They said it would take time and they cant help. Second, if you have purchased internet, good luck to you. The speed sucks. They cant do anything about the speed. Third, there is iron for basic pressing in the room. If your clothes have wrinkles, there is nothing you can do but give them to the laundry for ironing. It will cost your a princely 4.90 euros for a dress. Overall, not so good experience on day one. I will do a full review after the cruise. This is just the initial impressions. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was my 20th cruise across many lines and my wife's 12th. With us was our 9-year-old daughter on her 3rd cruise. We booked in a balcony (non-Yacht Club) and had a rate I would call exceptional (helped out by the fact that our ... Read More
This was my 20th cruise across many lines and my wife's 12th. With us was our 9-year-old daughter on her 3rd cruise. We booked in a balcony (non-Yacht Club) and had a rate I would call exceptional (helped out by the fact that our daughter sailed for free). Overall Review: Our cruise on MSC Fantasia was a great vacation but mainly due to the itinerary. The ship is fine, seemingly heavy on bars and lounges with (as expected) a heavily-European crowd, mainly French and Italian with some from the UK and a limited few from the US. The cabin was in great condition and looked identical to those we've had on Celebrity and other lines (minus the TV which as other reviewers have noted was comically small but we only turned it on once). Should be noted that Fantasia is due to have a refit sometime in 2019-20. The crew as good overall... top-tier managers and supervisors really get customer service and there are some at the rank-and-file level that do as well but generally service is average at best and can have issues. Our dining room service experience, though, was exceptional and one of the absolute best we've had on any line in a main dining room. Food, as noted in other reviews, was average at best and could be below average in areas. Pastas and pizzas were good as expected but cost-control methods elsewhere take their toll on the overall quality. The upside was really the itinerary which was amazing but the downside was the constant feeling of being upsold, even more so than on other lines. From the drink package being pushed at the beginning to the specialty dining to - and this was a surprise to me - a €24 upgrade to add a lobster tail to your entree on Gala Night. The increases, in my mind, were extreme on some notes (such as the lobster or a €68 per person Chef's-Table tasting menu in the specialty) but some things were surprisingly low. While a can of soda (Pepsi by the way) was €3.50, a glass of wine was only €5 and bottles of wine were from €25 to €50 with a strong list of decent Italian wines. In short it was a great value and itinerary. We would consider sailing MSC again on an itinerary that gave us in-port dining options but would avoid the line for itineraries like the Caribbean where in-port dining is more difficult and/or expensive. Dining: Putting this first because, frankly, this is the one with the most ups and downs and as a self-confessed "foodie" it's an important part of my vacation experience. Food in the dining room for dinner was good to very good - the pastas were the natural highlight for an italian cruise line. Cooked to perfection with delicious sauces... if you see a pasta dish you might like, order. Portions could be small (one dish had three medium-sized ravioli) but waiters understand and are ready with backups. Meat dishes are hit-and-miss... all are sliced, mostly very thinly, with good to very good sauces. Give up the concept of ordering your steak to temp (unless you opt for the €24 T-bone upsell) - you're getting a slice. If you skip the sauce be prepared for dry meat... not the best. Seafood is good but they're obviously cost-conscious with their portion sizes - a seafood risotto featured one langostine, two shrimp and about 5 small bay scallops. Desserts were OK - but there are always free pastries next to the gelato bar (delicious and priced the same you'll see in port). In an odd twist though – there was a stunning lack of chicken dishes on any menu. Not a downside, just an interesting note. Now... beyond the dining room.... essentially, you're going to have the buffet. This is an insane zoo of a place with a feel that’s straight out of Lord of the Flies. The crowds are everywhere even at non-peak times and the flow is poorly laid out. Essentially there are 6-7 areas (pizza, hot items, bakery, salad, desserts, vegetarian/healthy) that are repeated throughout the expanse of the space. The food there is average to below-average with the exception of the pizza which is quite good (skip the charcoal though - bad attempt IMO). Breakfast is repeated daily so if you don't like it on day one you're gonna be in for a long week. Juice is offered at breakfast… should be “juice” as the orange juice tasted suspiciously like Tang. But the big fun was to happen on the at-sea day – which was chaos from about 7am until 3pm. The food was average as noted but what was insane was the pushing, shoving, shouting and lack of order of the other guests. All three of us – including my daughter – were shoved or pushed or had people cut in front of us in buffet lines as we waited patiently for our turn in a station. There was neither a right-to-left nor a left-to-right flow of the pax in each section but rather an olly-olly-oxenfree cacophonous scrum. Beverages at lunch were limited to water or the bar – unless there was some leftover “juice” from breakfast. However, service in the buffet though is good - lots of waiters around ready to take your money for a beverage. We attempted lunch in the dining room on the at-sea day (our 2nd day) but based on the choices and quality we opted to eat in port on the rest of the days and that - not shockingly - turned out to be the absolute highlight of the food on our trip. We did not attempt dinner in the buffet but a walk thru there showed some of the entrees in the dining room available with some other regular choices - and the aforementioned pizza available from 11am until Midnight so if you're in a pinch grab a slice. Lastly, one of our group needs a gluten-free diet. We had selected MSC in part knowing that they dedicated themselves to a quality GF diet and options. While generally true in the dining room there were elements that were phoned in… for example the same exact “dessert of the day” was served three days in a row. It was a simple sponge cake with chocolate cream (days 2-4 after the first day being the same cake with a strawberry cream) which was fine but by the third day it was redundant. It wouldn’t have been hard for the staff to swap chocolate for other flavors daily at a minimum. GF options were present but limited in the buffet and we didn’t note any GF pizza options. GF bread was always available in the dining room and some wasn’t bad. Cabin: Shortest section... it's a fine cabin. We had a balcony on deck 11 and found it to be just like any other standard balcony. No complaints on the cabin. However, our service in the cabin was a low point. Staff on the cruise, much like many of the guests, rotate on and off at each port meaning sometimes your waiter or room steward will leave mid-cruise which happened to us. Our attendant got off mid-cruise and was replaced with someone who actually smiled and was accessible. However before that we had a request for an extra blanket for the pull-out bed my daughter was in... which took four calls and over an hour to happen when we were initially promised 15 minutes. In typical fashion on the 4th call we were told a supervisor was notified and we had the blanket within 2 minutes (see below). Embarkation/Disembarkation: Really one of the hidden highlights of the cruise. Since the ship has a rolling embarkation/disembarkation as it sails there wasn’t a huge crush. We arrived in the terminal in Mallorca about 11:30am and were on the ship by about 12:30pm. One nice touch – you just turn in your paperwork and have your ID checked and then walk on the ship. Keys are waiting in your room and you simply visit a self-service kiosk to activate payment on your cruise card. Very efficient. One note – when you get to the terminal make SURE to get a check-in number. Find an MSC rep and get one – some people snuck past only to get to the embarkation area and find themselves without a number and pushed to the back of the queue. Disembarkation was by deck and was equally fast…. At least we think it was. We had an issue with formal photos not being ready (see below) that held us up. But we walked off the ship, found our luggage in the terminal and went on our way in about 5 mins from the time the photos were sorted. Ports/Itinerary: This is why we loved the cruise. The itinerary was amazing. We left from Mallorca then to Ibiza, at sea, Naples, Livorno, Genoa and finally to Marseille. We flew into Mallorca the night before and overnighted there before checking into the ship on Monday. After Embarkation we decided to go into town. In a silly move we opted for the MSC shuttle to the town – WOW, what a ripoff. We paid nearly €50 for the three of us to ride in and out – that’s more than a round-trip to the AIRPORT would have been in a taxi. Lesson learned. Palma was amazing, great to walk thru the city and shops and stopped at a little café for some great tapas. The next day was Ibiza… we planned on doing very little and decided to go into town. This time we skipped the shuttle and instead of spending €48 for the three of us we spent €12 on a local bus that was a 2-minute walk past the MSC shuttle. This was a pattern we saw in every port – a VERY expensive MSC option that should be avoided at all cost. We expected very little and had a great visit to the cathedral/fort on the top of the hill and lunched at a café in the old section of town. If you have kids there’s a nice little playground right along the main street by the bus drop off – great to let them burn off some energy! Then we had our at-sea day. This is where the other passengers really “shined.” The day started in the gym which opens at 6am. There’s a limited number of cardio (6 treadmills, 4 bikes, 2 elliptical and 2 arm bikes) and a decent set of weight machines and dumbbells. I never saw a wait for devices but each has a computer-enforced 20 minute time limit. Once that was over at 6:45 the crew was setting out chairs for the day and just about as fast as they were being sat down people were reserving with towels. We were ready for this but it was a near feeding frenzy. It should note that the starboard side of the pool deck is smoker-friendly so if you’re bothered by smoke it can be troublesome. The bigger problem on the deck was the music. Starting about 7:30 with “stretching” and then going well into the morning the crew was BLASTING music at concert-level volumes. If you’re looking for a quiet day poolside look elsewhere. We actually moved from the outdoor pool to the quieter indoor pool to avoid the deafening roar. Formal night was this night and there was a wide variety of attire. A few men were in black tie and some women were in gowns but they were the exception. I wore a black suit and tie, my wife was in a lovely dress and our daughter had a very cute semi-formal gown and we were at- or slightly over-dressed. Despite the “no shorts” rule in the dining room we even saw people in shorts in the dining room on formal night. Most guests were wearing jackets or dresses but there outliers on all ends of the spectrum. Photographers were set up around the ship and were very available. The photos they took were good to very good and prices were reasonable for cruise photos – they have a €30 option to add on to any package that gives you digital copies of any photos you buy which is a nice option. In Naples we had opted for a Family tour of Pompeii. When we got back from the pool on the at-sea day a note in our room informed us that our tour had been cancelled. A visit to the shore excursion desk later it was determined that there weren’t enough people who were interested in that tour so it was cancelled. We were “offered” to join the more expensive standard Pompeii tour without any discount or apology. So we took the larger tour. Note on tours on MSC – they are LARGE. Typically 45-60 people per group with a single leader. Guests are given headsets so they can hear the guides (par for the course really) and the guides are informative. However. We quickly learned the difference in the “regular” and “family” tour when 1/3 of the 2 hour tour in Pompeii focused on the brothels and prostitution in the city. Fun explaining that one to a 9-year-old. More on that later. After the Pompeii visit we had time to wander into Naples and visit the oldest pizza restaurant – dating back to 1738 – for a delicious lunch, opting to skip past the more tourist-oriented places in the city square. We did wander past the beautiful castle in the city center through the square for an amazing Italian coffee and gelato before returning to the ship. Next was Livorno and we had opted for a Florence & Pisa combination tour. Again, 50 of us were loaded on a coach and herded into Florence. Given that both the tower and the museums in Florence have timed tickets and the tour couldn’t tell us if we were going to Pisa and then Florence or the reverse we were unable to visit the museums or walk up in the tower on this tour. Not the end of the world but if I had known that right in the cruise terminal there were several car rental companies I would have rented a car and done a self-tour. The tour was informative but S L O W. Once we did get to Florence it took 5 minutes to get the group to cross the street given the number of people, their lack of speed and the shortness of traffic lights. Sensing this we left the group opting to meet back at the meeting spot later in the day… which was a wonderful choice. Our daughter wanted to see some specific sites (she’s a science fan so seeing Galileo’s grave and other sites were a must) including the Duomo exterior and the copy of David in the city square. After Florence it was back into the bus for the ride to Pisa – after we lost 30 mins waiting on several couples to get to the bus. Our guide simply extended the overall time of the tour which gave us more time in Pisa but necessitated us going from the bus directly to dinner. After Livorno it was on to Genoa. We opted to take the train to Portofino on our own which was wonderful. A quick walk to the train station about 5 mins from the ship and we hopped a train to Santa Margharita where you take a bus to Portofino. The train was about €12 per person round trip and the bus was another €4 per person each way. Portofino was insanely crowded and expensive but having checked that off our bucket list we came back to Santa Margharita and had a fantastic seaside lunch before taking the train back. One note – if you do take the train you MUST validate your ticket on wall-mounted time punch machines BEFORE boarding the train. They are not well marked and you need to seek them out or face a €50 per ticket fine on board. The last stop was Marseilles. Another booked tour, another cancelled tour, this time the Avignon/Aix-en-Provence duo tour. This was cancelled for a lack of English-language participation. So, again, we went on our own to Avignon which was WELL worth the visit. The tour at the Palais du Papes was the best self-guided tour we’ve ever done anywhere with an amazing virtual-reality-type tablet experience that gave the history and perspective of the amazing palace. The second formal night was on the Marseille night – slightly inconvenient as we were disembarking in Mallorca the next morning but still nice. Service: As noted we had an issue with the shore excursions with two cancelled and the non-family tour of Pompeii not preparing us nor noting the content. I discussed this with the Shore Excursions staff and was initially told that nothing could be done. When I escalated this to a manager my issue was quickly and efficiently handled and a reasonable credit was posted to our account. This was a trend we saw throughout the ship. One night at dinner we were approached by a photographer who instructed us to cluster for a photo – which we politely declined saying “No thank you” to which he audibly scoffed and uttered a curse word under his breath as he turned and left. When I raised this to the photo manager as a point of information he was appalled and pledged to make sure the employee was instructed differently. Lastly, we had photos made on the 2nd formal night and ended up picking a package of photos from both nights. Since we were early seating they had proofs done by 10pm and promised to have final prints ready in the morning at reception. In the morning we found that one of the three pictures we needed to get was of us but the other two most clearly were not of our family. When I raised this with the agent at the reception desk it was met with a “I’m sorry” and nothing much else. However, when I raised this to a manager she worked diligently to find someone from the photo team to finally answer the phone (took 30 minutes just to find someone with the keys) who then re-printed the photos including a couple of “extras” slipped in for goodwill. It seems clear that MSC is working hard to establish a culture of service at the top levels and has trained senior staff to embody this culture. However, it’s not made it all the way down to the full crew. Some are amazing (like our dining room staff) while others are uncaring. As a passenger know that when you escalate politely and professionally things will be handled quickly and effectively. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had a week to spare while on holiday in Europe so picked a 7 day cruise to suit our dates. The MSC Fantasia leaving from Palma de Mallorca was chosen and we flew to the island. On arrival at the cruise terminal at 4pm it was chaos, ... Read More
We had a week to spare while on holiday in Europe so picked a 7 day cruise to suit our dates. The MSC Fantasia leaving from Palma de Mallorca was chosen and we flew to the island. On arrival at the cruise terminal at 4pm it was chaos, passengers waiting to board jamming the main reception area. We were told by the local cruise services operator that he did not know why there was a delay, there when questioned again, Pedro told us there was no check in as there was no Spanish immigration official. As tensions between the waiting passengers and MSC representatives increased there was a general announcement advising that once immigration had finished with the disembarking passengers they would start with embarking passengers. After standing around for an hour a fellow irate passenger told us we should have been given a number by Pedro ( he had forgotten) so that once check in started we would be called in groups. After standing around for 2 hours the numbers started to be called and you had to fight to get through. At 6pm some of the MSC check in staff left for the day. After the MSC staff checked your passport and ticket in the main cruise terminal building you then had a walk of about 800m to the cruise ship where you went through the actual check in process (photo id etc). Once through the security process and into the lower lobby the Drinks Package and Speciality Dining staff were onto you. It was now 6.45pm and after nearly 3 hours of stuffing around they were told where to go. At dinner we found out the truth of the chaos, the ship could not berth at Marseilles the day before due to bad weather so went to Cannes. The passengers due to join in Marseilles were bussed to Cannes causing a delayed departure. The ship arrived late into Mallorca but MSC would not tell the truth. The ship was modern and clean. The food average, the alcohol expensive. MSC like to grab your money whenever possible, shuttle buses at ports are a good example. Walk an extra 150 metres and catch a local cruise terminal bus or local service for free or at about 25% of the MSC cost. Generally, the guest service staff need to be re-educated in customer service. They obviously need to speak many different languages but in speaking English their wording came out as rude/arrogant/offensive. The wait and cabin staff were excellent. Entertainment during the day was minimal and poor. Evening shows were not that good, we only went to see Tin Tin but was confused as it seemed like Pirates of the Caribbean with no story. The disembarkation process was badly organised. Meet in a bar at the back of the ship (nearest the cruise terminal - 800m) then walk through to the front of the ship to get off and be as far away from the cruise terminal as possible- an extra 200+ metres then the 800? So, if you like lots of shoving and pushing by fellow passengers this is the cruise for you. I will not be sailing with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The ship itself is very nice, with lovely public spaces but rather cramped cabins. The entertainment shows, every night, were really first rate. Some of the service is very poor, those crew members who were very good probably came from ... Read More
The ship itself is very nice, with lovely public spaces but rather cramped cabins. The entertainment shows, every night, were really first rate. Some of the service is very poor, those crew members who were very good probably came from better cruise lines. Food was OK, can't really rate it any higher than that. Excursions were poor value, one in particular we paid around 70 euros for, took over half a day with only 70 minutes spent at the destination, the rest hanging around waiting for things to happen. Despite complaining about it five times on return to the ship no recompense at all was offered, just buck passing and blaming 'external operators'. MSC are happy enough to make money from excursions though. The drinks packages (7 of them!) are very confusing and lead to much embarrassment when you constantly get told you can't have certain drinks in certain bars. Disembarcation was an absolute disgrace, I would even say dangerous, with thousands of people including elderly, disabled and young children were caught up in a chaotic scrum after being ignored at the 'meeting point' by crew for an hour. Unfortunately, many of our fellow cruisers were rough types who appear to have paid very little and don't know how to behave, so don't expect good manners or civilised queues. Of other cruise lines we have used Princess most often. I would rate them 4 star and MSC would be lucky to scrape a 3. We will not be using MSC again, at any price. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Hi everybody, First, sorry for my english. I hope it'll be understandable. To make it easy i will highlight some importants points. Embarkation was good, faster than on my first MSC Poesia cruise. Ship is new but its ... Read More
Hi everybody, First, sorry for my english. I hope it'll be understandable. To make it easy i will highlight some importants points. Embarkation was good, faster than on my first MSC Poesia cruise. Ship is new but its qualities are like "Made in China" ship. The cabin was good, but always cold. I put the hot air at maximum with very poor results, but that was the same thing in all the ship emplacements. You have to wear a jacket or a sweater everywhere in the ship to keep your body temperature. The food was always the same, and the quality is average-low. There is only free water in the buffet restaurants, and you have to pay a 15% tax in all drinks apart from the tips of 70€ per adult and 35€ for kids. If you choose the restaurant included diner there's no free water and you have to pay for all drinks. They charged us 34.95€ for the welcome photo and we never received it and never claimed neither. We have to go to the photo shop to cancel the charge. Spectacles in the theater were awful and usually amateur singers, but that's my personal opinion. Captain invited us to a cocktail for the clients of two or more MSC cruises that consisted in a bunch of chips and nuts and a cup of extra sugary fruit juice (same that in breakfast) and a cup of cheap cider. No animation, no special show, only captain toasting for 1 minute and ciao bambino. The service was poor in general. They forget to clean our room one day, and we called several times to reception with no answer, and so on. Finally i do not recommend this cruise, but is my opinion and my experience. Next year we will travel with Royal Caribbean. Thanks for your time. manuel. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose it because the date and itinerary suited our needs. It was our third cruise and the first with MSC. The greatest impact was the volume level of the other passengers. My goodness, the Italians are LOUD!!!! They came mob-handed ... Read More
We chose it because the date and itinerary suited our needs. It was our third cruise and the first with MSC. The greatest impact was the volume level of the other passengers. My goodness, the Italians are LOUD!!!! They came mob-handed in big family groups (too many pushchairs) and they have no volume control. They screech at each other at the top of their voices. They also have no concept of queueing, constantly squeezing round you to the front and barging ahead with no manners. This cruise was unusual that a number passengers embarked and disembarked at each of the seven ports, so there was no 'start' or 'finish' to the cruise. It was like a holiday camp on a ferry. After the initial shock we got used to the ship and enjoyed the cruise because the destinations were fun. However the ship is pretty chaotic and disorganised. There is a great lack of information, particularly about the ports of call - no maps or information available as you leave the ship at each port. There are few onboard activities organised for the evenings. We took the Portofino excursion at Genoa - absolute waste of money! The boat ride 'along the coast' was a mile out to sea so you couldn't see anything and it was dreadfully choppy despite being a pleasant day. It took a boring hour and a half to reach Portofino, where we were told there was just one hour before we needed to be back on the boat! We had thought the return journey was by coach but instead had to rush around Portofino and then spend another dreary 90 minutes aboard back to Genoa. Portofino was quite pretty but not worth the journey. The restaurant food was good and the service excellent. The buffet was very spread out and very repetitive, but perfectly okay for lunch. We enjoyed having a drink in the Eataly bar which offered complimentary canapes with the drinks. We were appalled that you have to pay for water on board! MSC is very strict about taking no drinks on board. We enjoyed the theatre shows. The resident main singers and dance pair were first class. The ship was clean and attractive but the cruise lacked the little extras and frills that we expect so we wouldn't travel with them again. P&O has been our favourite line so far. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We choose this cruise because of its length (7 nights), the itinerary Civitavecchia, Palermo, Caglari, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, and the cost. Overall, we found it excellent value for money. Before ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of its length (7 nights), the itinerary Civitavecchia, Palermo, Caglari, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, and the cost. Overall, we found it excellent value for money. Before getting into the cruise itself, I found the MSC website quite poorly designed - it was not smooth to use and required multiple visits. It also failed to answer some of the issues I address below. MSC needs to get some smart software developers to rework the site. Now, ......., on to the cruise itself. While this was our first ever cruise, I think we are reasonably discerning travelers. The MSC Divina is lovely modern ship that had very good facilities. We were in cabin 11115 which completely met our needs. It was sufficiently spacious and well presented. Our steward, Roberto, was great. A really nice, helpful person (and, no, he didn't pay me to say this!!). Incidentally, while there were plenty of children on the ship, we didn't have any noise problems. We used the gymnasium regularly and found it quite well appointed. I have a comprehensive gymnasium membership in New Zealand and found this facility more than adequate for what I wanted, albeit a little crowded at certain times. Its location on an upper deck, forward in the ship gives a great view as you approach port. I think our three negatives, all of which are rather minor, would be firstly, the WiFi - we paid for the comprehensive package and found it expensive but poor. I'm sure MSC could do much better. Our smart phone (European) SIM card helped when we were in or near to port. Secondly, before we embarked we really had no idea if the water package would be necessary - after all, everyone at least provides water (gratis) with a meal, don't they! No they don't. Fortunately, we had decided to take the package for daytime use. This was a good decision - water is not provided at restaurant meals, it needs to purchased. The administrative hassle in doing this seemed needless, why not up the price a few $/person and save everyone time and effort. Having said this, MSC is a European cruise line and purchasing water in Europe is the norm not the exception. It was these little things that left us with the sense that MSC cuts their front-end price, but tries to recover from this by their rather expensive on-board packages. [Note: Free water is available, as is coffee and tea, in the buffet area]. Our third minor irritation was the buffet - it is typically something of a zoo. However, we had read earlier reviews before embarking and were not surprised. That said, apart from one very average restaurant meal (the Mediterranean night from memory), the food was just fine, at least as we experienced it. In general, we didn't book shore excursions but rather chose our own on shore itinerary. A smart phone helped with navigation problems in some of the cities! The one excursion we did take was the Segway tour of Genoa. For us non-experienced Segway riders it was fun! No problems at all for us 60+ year-olds in learning how to ride and then do the tour. What a blast! Great tour guide. My wife (the speeding menace) now says we need a Segway at home! We chose Marseilles as the place to rest rather than go for a formal shore excursion. However, I went for a 6 km run into the suburbs to get some exercise. I noticed that while MSC was charging 15 Euros to get a bus from the ship into the city there seemed to be a free bus about 500 metres away down the wharf. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were smooth and straightforward. Indeed, the staff were very helpful in allowing us priority disembarkation to catch a 9:32 am train out of Civitavecchia. We left the ship about 7:50 am, picked up our luggage, caught the bus to the railway station and were on the platform by 8:30 am. Plenty of time! One other out of the ordinary thing to report. We needed to make use of the hospital facility - my wife had taken a fall at Rome Airport on our way to embark and had done some damage to her hand. The question was, "How much damage? The doctor and staff were great. Good, basic, first principles (correct) medical diagnosis and treatment. I think, all up, it cost us about 120 Euros. One interesting thing we noted was the predominance of European travelers on the cruise. We certainly didn't hear many people speaking in English as their native tongue. Certainly not a problem - just an observation. Incidentally, all the staff we met not only spoke English but were multilingual. In reality, we were the ones who lacked language skills. Pulling everything together, we were pleased with our choice of cruise ship and with the itinerary. We had a lovely time and would regard any hassles as being very minor in the broad scheme of things. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and its accessibility for us from Palma. It was our 3rd cruise with MSC. Standards of cleanliness in the cabins and main areas was immaculate However, the food on board was Ok but not up to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary and its accessibility for us from Palma. It was our 3rd cruise with MSC. Standards of cleanliness in the cabins and main areas was immaculate However, the food on board was Ok but not up to the standards of other companies we have cruised with. The main dining room food was usually served lukewarm at best and was never properly hot though the staff did respond to our requests for additiona vegetable with our main meals. In the buffet restaurant the outdoor tables were not cleared or cleaned efficiently enough to cope with demands of passengers especially over the lunchtime period. The choice of tea, an unknown brand "Sir Winston", was very poor quality and a minimum of 2 tea bags were required to make 1 cup. These are, we understand, very minor points but the cruise market is very competitive and small issues such as these may well affect out decision of who to cruise with in future. The shore excursions were all very expensive and the information about leaving the ship independently was at times misleading. For example the shuttle bus to Ibiza town was priced at E12.90pp and passengers were told it was a 20 minute drive to the town. In reality an alternative open topped town service bus was available just 250m away for E4.50pp return and the transit time was 10 minutes. In Marseilles the shuttle bus cost E15.90pp and again by walking 15 minutes through the port a Free city shuttle was available and was running to the city centre all day. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
WE booked this cruise as a package. After booking I read some negative reviews and was feeling apprehensive. I would say to people do not let the negative reviews put you off sailing with MSC. Not up there with the greats but great ... Read More
WE booked this cruise as a package. After booking I read some negative reviews and was feeling apprehensive. I would say to people do not let the negative reviews put you off sailing with MSC. Not up there with the greats but great prices, food is good and. The drinks package was really good. We had dinner and breakfast in the buffet bar and our evening meal in the Marco Polo restaurant which was nice. Shows are good although not really long, maybe 40 minutes or so. Bars are good and some good entertainment. The cabins were larger than some we have been on and kept really clean. Not a lot of English on board, but this did not bother us. The embarking and disembarking at each port meant there was no large influx of passengers all boarding at once. And some great ports of call. We would cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This is our 5th time on Armonia, and we never chose it because of the ship or the cruise line. The first time was because it sailed from and back to Las Palmas which is 20 minutes from our home so it was very handy. Prior to sailing MSC we ... Read More
This is our 5th time on Armonia, and we never chose it because of the ship or the cruise line. The first time was because it sailed from and back to Las Palmas which is 20 minutes from our home so it was very handy. Prior to sailing MSC we have been with Royal Caribbean, P&O and Celebrity so we were comparing to these lines. We thought after the first time we would never do it again but we did the same cruise the following year. I wrote a scathing review about it after our second time and it was mainly based on the cold food and the lack of bar staff interaction and downright rudeness of the reception staff. We had a week 13th June this year and Armonia was the only cruise that fitted in with flights etc so we decided to go back and I suppose knew what to expect. But what a difference this time I am pleased to say. The waiting staff on deck were all smiles and even came to the table to ask if we wanted a drink. Two of them actually engaged in conversation. There was one continual grumpy git behind the deck bar. I was very pleasant to him saying good morning, how are you etc but he just ignored me. After a couple of days I lost it and asked him what his problem was and told him if his attitude didn't change I would be reporting him. I didn't and wouldn't have, but instantly he perked up and next time at the bar he said "beer sir?" Overall the crew seemed to be much more interactive and pleasant and we won`t hesitate going back if the right cruise at the right price comes up. The food however isnt much to write home about, you won`t go hungry as there is something for everyone but it is generally luke warm. The guy who slices the meat joint must be shit scared to give anyone more than a slither...he is another one with a face like thunder, and when you ask for a bit more you'd think he was cutting a pound of his flesh! This cruise we were very laid back, if not lazy, and because we had been on it for 4 nights in April we didn`t go to any of the shows nor did we make the Pergola restaurant, we found that it was basically the same menu as was in the buffet so couldnt be bothered to dress up for the same fayre! We were in what MSC call a suite, nothing wrong with the actual cabin, bigger bathroom with bath and shower over, but as others have said there is noise from above, we noticed it around 5am each day. We were just under the door leading from deck to the restaurant so we were also quite prone to hearing banging. This didn't spoil the cruise but we wont book one of these cabins again. Lots of kids this time and it was busy, a mix of Italian, Spanish, French with just a handful of English and a few Germans. We stopped comparing MSC to other cruise lines we have been on because it is just a different kind of cruise clientelle and service and we know now what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise as we were unsure if we would like cruising at all. It was an excellent price. Embarkation couldn't have been easier- even with a wheelchair. Luggage was waiting at our cabin when we arrived. I can't think ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were unsure if we would like cruising at all. It was an excellent price. Embarkation couldn't have been easier- even with a wheelchair. Luggage was waiting at our cabin when we arrived. I can't think of any aspect that we were disappointed with, in fact, we both agreed that we could have gone round again. The cabins were spotless and comfortable. Food was good, especially for the number of people being catered for. We didn't go on any of the organised shore excursions, opting to do our own thing. The ship was as we expected from images on the Internet. The service we received was very good, all the staff we came across were extremely attentive and polite. I couldn't fault the embarkation/disembarkation, as I said, with a wheelchair, the staff took the chair from my husband and either took me onto the ship or dock. This holiday was excellent and suited the needs of my husband and I. We didn't join in all the activities on board but, the entertainment was varied with something to suit all. We would certainly go again and are looking to book another cruise as I write. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click