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6 MSC Cruises South America Cruise Reviews

This review is for two adults in an Aurea balcony on MSC Seaview. Salvador , Brazil to Barcelona, 11 nights. Our first on MSC... Boarding in Salvador was very quick, we were in our cabin by 12.45. Most passengers started 4 days before ... Read More
This review is for two adults in an Aurea balcony on MSC Seaview. Salvador , Brazil to Barcelona, 11 nights. Our first on MSC... Boarding in Salvador was very quick, we were in our cabin by 12.45. Most passengers started 4 days before us in Santos and reported 5 hour delays getting onboard. We were told the ship only had 3400 passengers out of a possible 5179. The Cabin was clean, amazing bed and pillows, big interactive TV and we had a large balcony with two sunbeds, 2 chairs and a table. Our room steward was friendly and sorted several things we needed straight away. The bathrooms a good size with a roomy shower with three pressure settings. The decor of the room was an awful green and didn't match up to the rest of the ships glitzy interior. The rest of the ship is very nice, its modern but classy. The Swarovski staircases were stunning. The ship is marketed as bringing you closer to the ocean than ever before but i found the opposite. As deck 8 is open air, the rest of the ships built inwards, therefore restaurants were surrounded by decks and chairs not seaview windows, the side panels were very high along the decks, no venue at the front of the ship to look out from, decks 4/5 had little to no windows at all and at the front there is a massively high side wall blocking deck 9 balcony views. Some days there was very loud and deep bags from the waves hitting the hull, you get it on all ships but this was much worse than we have ever experienced. Another passenger we met actually complained and they were told by an officer its the ships design and the speed we were going at the time... The pools are salt water and were not heated. There was more than enough sun beds across the ships which were very comfy with headrests. We found the food to be very good overall. The main buffet had lots of stations and did vary each day. The buffet stopped dinner at 10pm and then pizza was available until 2am and the Pizza is amazing! We found numerous veggie options in all eateries every day. The smaller buffet on 16 has themes each night including tex-mex, BBQ and Indian. They could get crowded so i dread to think what it would be like with over 5000 onboard. The main dining room had lots of options every night, usually 4/5 main courses plus the "always available" menu giving you another 5+ main course options. The service was mostly very good, just the occasional delay between courses. Every third night was also themed in the main dining room. One afternoon we tried lunch in Golden Sands and was seats in the Bella Fantastica area. Our experience was very different, the service was extremely slow and the mains were cold they took that long to come. The waiters had too many tables to serve and it doesn't help them that everyone gets seated at the same time causing a big rush. The tables for 2 were also extremely close and in long rows, you may as well have been on a table for 8/10. If we would have had this experience the entire cruise we would never consider MSC again. We ate at the French Bistro twice and its great value for money at $15pp. Portion sizes are massive. There is lots of nice bars all over the ship and plenty of seating. Seaview lounge is nice with chilled acoustic music, the Garage club seem to just fill a walkway, shine bar is a good spot for listening to any musicians in the atrium and Sunset beach bar was often lively with an afternoon DJ set. A glass of wine started at $3.40 and cocktails were mostly $7.90 upwards. The coffee onboard is very good and they serve is everywhere. Entertainment was the biggest disappointment, the in house shows were shockingly bad, propped up by the odd quality variety act. The shows became boring and the acts were repeated. All of the musical shows include opera, they even worked it into their dire Tina Turner tribute. The shows were only 35 minutes each as there is three a night, 19.45, 21.00 & 22.15. The theatre is small for the size of the ship, so it will be a struggle to get in when the ships full. There was lots of good bands/ singers on across the ship during the day and evening. Daytime activities were average, most being games or chargeable activities. The slides were great fun, especially the surf board one. The zip line was closed when ever its windy, which is a lot of the time on a moving ship... The party's in the atrium had a great atmosphere and went on until the early hours. The two male cruise directors were almost invisible, the only time we saw them was in the dining room or buffet. Clearly employed for their language skills to quickly open the shows then disappear but not much else. We found the MSC for me app really useful, booking everything on it. The wristbands were much easier than carrying your room card and worked for everything including access to your room. Communication onbaord was very poor, PAs were inaudible most of the time and no announcements from the captain, even after a 3 hour delay leaving Salvador and then arriving into Malaga half a day late. As others report with MSC the Pas are made is multiple languages, we counted 7 one night and i have to agree it does become tedious. The main staff were really very good. They went out of their way to help, they were always polite and happy to chat. Our main waiter was great, very chatty and friendly, he would always give us little appetisers before we even ordered. The service overall was very personal for such a large ship. Aurea Experience- With Aurea we had my choice dining so could turn up when we wanted between 6pm and 10.15pm at Golden Sands and select a table we wanted. As we booked a while ago we had the old "classic drinks package" with upto $8 drinks, coffee and gelato. This included the vast majority of every drinks menu across the ship and was a great saving for us. We really liked the chilled top19 deck, lots of sunbeds, 2 Jacuzzi's and nice sofa seating by the bar. It was very quite compared to the main pools and the server said its always quiet up there even when the ships full. We used our massage that was included which was really nice, however as soon as they finished they were trying to sell you more. The free access to the thermal spa was a really nice bonus too, there were about 8 different rooms and the salt room was so relaxing. There was a few nice touches in the cabin too with slippers, robes and a diffuser. You also have priority disembarkation and your bags were ready first in the terminal. We loved Aurea class and would not sail MSC without it because of the flexibility it gives you. Getting on and off at the ports was easy during the cruise but final disembarkation was painful with ques to get off and ques in the terminal. We did not like MSCs disembarkation procedure, giving us times to meet and get off and also taking our bags away the night before. When we went to the meeting point there was no staff or guidance so we just made our own way off after breakfast. Taxis to the airport from the cruise port are 39 euro fixed price. Few Tips for anyone new to MSC or Seaview- - You only get sunbeds on your balcony if you book Aurea on deck 9. But the very forward ones have obstructed views which they don't tell you when booking. Go 9024 or backwards. - Aurea bookings now only give you easy drinks package which is up to $5 and this really reduces your drinks list. You would have a few wines and Skol beer along with the house vodka and gin with mixers. If you like cocktails, proper coffee, branded spirits and shakes its worth upgrading, i believe you can just pay the difference in the package prices. - Bella and Fantastica have set dining times and your not guaranteed a table size or time. Dinner times were 6pm, 8pm & 10pm in Golden Sands, 7pm & 9pm in Silver dolphin. - Book shows the day before if you want to get in. - If you use the spa they have sales during the cruise. Getting on it was 10% off when you booked 4 treatments but a few days later it was 30% each one. - No kettle/ coffee machine in room, take your own as getting one was not easy. Finally comparing MSC to our favourite cruise line NCL. MSC defiantly felt more upmarket because of the look of the ship and our Aurea experience but it was more restrictive. We had a very nice cruise but because of the lack of good entertainment we would choose NCL hands down. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Modern ship, many open areas from which you can admire the sea. I liked the track with a transparent bottom. The glass was clean and it was clearly visible what was happening below. Lots of fun for kids. There is a water park, rope ... Read More
Modern ship, many open areas from which you can admire the sea. I liked the track with a transparent bottom. The glass was clean and it was clearly visible what was happening below. Lots of fun for kids. There is a water park, rope town, zip-line. There is a pool with a retractable roof, which is very important for me if the trip passes through countries with different climatic conditions. There are soft loungers near the pool. Good organization of stations in the buffet, no queues. Even at peak times it was possible to find a free table. Dirty dishes cleaned quickly. In the restaurant at the beginning the service was very slow. Then it became faster, but the choice of dishes was not very impressive. Desserts were quite good in the buffet and in the restaurant. Loved the assortment of fruit in the buffet. There were mango, papaya, passion fruit, kiwi, pineapple - all I love. Landing in the first port was not organized very well. The exit in the last port was flawless. I really liked the cruise itinerary, the weather was great. Overall, the cruise went well. I can recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Having sailed with various other cruiselines we liked the itinerary (never been to Rio) free drinks package, cabin upgrade and had seen recent reviews. Embarking in Barcelona.............a long process. Difficult to know what was ... Read More
Having sailed with various other cruiselines we liked the itinerary (never been to Rio) free drinks package, cabin upgrade and had seen recent reviews. Embarking in Barcelona.............a long process. Difficult to know what was happening. We all had our numbers for processing. Needed to keep asking what was happening. Not a lot!!! Eventually spotted movement. Need to pay attention as no repeated info over tanoy system. (When ship came in cold drinks trolley came into cruise terminal).You could also buy snacks and beer etc from cafe. ON BOARD SHIP ....................well impressed. Yes new ship, lovely and clean, looks big from outside but didn't feel any bigger than some we have sailed on. Probably deeper with all cabins but easy to navigate your way around. Lots of grays, silver, mirrors (bit disconcerting at first), swarovski stair case (crystals and lights) in Atrium, easy to see stage from three decks, 3 large screens with varying scenes, bars etc on different levels. A busy spot between theatre and eating. CABIN.......... greens and greys, good size, compact storage, with balcony (small but fine), shower OK size, beds comfy, air conditioning easy to use. Hand wash at sink, in shower dispensers of shampoo and shower gel. hairdrier in drawer, under "desk" in cabin. We always bring our own soaps, shampoo and conditioner. No kettle for us.... but accessible most of time from buffet on Deck 8. If drinks package ask for bottled water from bars. DINING.................. headed for MARKETPLACE (buffet on deck 8 /always very noisy) on boarding ship. Long boarding delays, must have caused problems for caterers. Pizza and chps tepid, place mobbed, lucky to find seat. This would be our breakfast, lunch, or mid aft or late snack, post theartre place to munch. If weather good can sit out on deck. Usual salad, fruit,bar, Pizza/pasta, Grilled food, Asian food etc Lots of choices. SILVER DOLPHIN for dinner was allocated to us. Not compelled to dress up but smart!! You can mix n match your menu ie have starter with a main. Always option of steamed fish, veg poatoes/chips you can have instead/with your main. Otherwise might be teeny porttions/strange mains ie hummous and other dip with pitta bread. Waiting staff efficient and helpful. SPECIALITY DINING French/Asian/Steak........we didn't pay extra and dine there. Used GOLDEN SANDS once as friends booked this retaurant but little difference to ours. OCEAN POINT other buffet/just as busy as Marketplace. Maybe not as noisy. Maybe not enough staff :sometimes lack of mugs, food always needing topped up. HAND CLEANING NO PROMPTING IN BUFFET/DINING ROOM .........automatic wash, soap, driers and hand gels available (sometimes empty!!) ENTERTAINMENT.............for kids looks great Forest adventure Park etc For adults Amusement arcade bit Cinema 4D/F! simulator/Bowling. Zipline pay extra. Behind Haven Lounge, towards back of ship, pool table, board games and library. Limited but good books in library but noisy spot to sit. Quiz really good fun but happens near end of cruise. Probably busy entertainment folk. If sunny more activities line dancing music on deck. Can grab an ice cream (on drinks package) or pay for ice lolly delic. WOULD have been good if we had known there were times when we should wear WHITE, MASKS and even FLORAL. Member of entertainment sidled up to us and said you are expected to participate in Beach party, mean't to be in Hawaian gear. We wandered off for a drink. Well all the Brazilian folk new what they were doing!! ODEON THEATRE ..........book from your cabin or on screens around ship/by lifts or queue up just before show then rush in and check for spare seats. Shows overall really good. Lots of usual singing, dancing, lovely costumes, acrobatics, (amazing), magic. Good mix. BRAZILIAN SINGER on stage in Atrium.....................she had an amazing voice/her group played for long spells every night. Guests singing along. She had a good rapport with audience. Another singer Rudy lovely husky voice and smile. Another young man who played guitar did a mix, nice voice but might be better to do songs that people can engage with. Current .and 60's, 70's etc to get them singing. SERVICE is really good overall but probably not enough staff, to cope with everyone/everything. Delays when embarking, delays when disembarking. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS Better doing your homework and seeing what u must visit. We just did our own thing, walked into town most times had shuttle once and one excursion "RIO and shopping" saw main sights. Communication at these times seems to be, "you find out what is going on" not really using mic to communicate. Maybe too many people to stick in the Theatre and put into different groups and advise them over mic what is happening and when to move. Especially as they are already in groups of English or Portuguese or Italian etc speaking groups. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
MSC MUSICA My wife and I , together with my sister and brother-in- law , booked for the Transatlantic cruise during the month of november 2017. We booked the cruise because Kras travels (the Netherlands) offered a special ... Read More
MSC MUSICA My wife and I , together with my sister and brother-in- law , booked for the Transatlantic cruise during the month of november 2017. We booked the cruise because Kras travels (the Netherlands) offered a special promotion. We took our transatlantic cruise from Venice to Rio de Janeiro, 21 nights (12 Nov to 5Dec2017) . We actually have no complaints at all. Everything went like clockwork from embarkation to debarkation. a little late leaving Venice but it actually made for a beautiful departure from port. The MSC MUSICA is a beautiful ship with plenty to keep you busy with so many places to walk around and see and things to do. We arrived at the cruise terminal early but everything went smoothly and after waiting in the cue for 30 minutes we were able to board. Our cabin was ready and also our cruise card so we were able to use our lunch. We then went to the buffet for lunch it was very busy but this was not a problem as there were staff at the buffet entrance who took you to a seat. Also there was a button on the table to summon a beverage waiter and they were very efficient. The food was hot and there was a good selection. I loved the majority of my breakfasts and lunches in the Deck 13 Buffet, unfortunately my dinners in the Restaurant were inconsistent and I did have several sub-par dinners. The buffet on the deck 13 The food and beverage manager Mr. BRUNO , organized his team and equipment as a 5 star hotelrestaurant. The equipments and cutlery always cleaned by his team from 8am to 8am, the wole day long. Food at the cruise was lovely, a lot of choice and variety. There were so many food choices on 6 corners including a bread and pastery, an Italian corner, a fruitcorner and a big buffet. They present several times a week , special items and a tapas- and brasilian event. Service was generally good. To enjoy a long cruise, you must prepare how you wish to spend the many sea days (here included 6 transatlantic sea days). While there was a multitude of activities we participated some activities offered by the Cruise Director. The entertainment was OK. Some of the stage shows were good some not, bands in the bars were varied. We were never bored for we met several travellers with the same age and ideas. We took a few very good shore excursions, but we mainly explored on our own, and took taxis and public transportation. We missed 1 of the 5 Brasilian ports due to storms. Once we sailed out of the Mediterranean, into the transatlantic crossing, it was very smooth sailing, and every day was sunny and warm towards Brasil. The cruise was pristine , immaculate, and the upkeep was spot on. The cruise is quieter this time of the year so we cannot make a review for the summer season. There is still a lot to do, because the animation is working during day-times but also every evening is there something to do. The cabins/bedrooms were fabulous we had a double room which was quite big and they were clean and looked very new. Our room was lovely the bed so comfortable and our housekeeping excellent. Stayed november 2017, traveled as two couples. Arthur and Catharina Jansz. Belgium/SpainMSC MUSICA My wife and I , together with my sister and brother-in- law , booked for the Transatlantic cruise during the month of november 2017. We booked the cruise because Kras travels (the Netherlands) offered a special promotion. We took our transatlantic cruise from Venice to Rio de Janeiro, 21 nights (12 Nov to 5Dec2017) . We actually have no complaints at all. Everything went like clockwork from embarkation to debarkation. a little late leaving Venice but it actually made for a beautiful departure from port. The MSC MUSICA is a beautiful ship with plenty to keep you busy with so many places to walk around and see and things to do. We arrived at the cruise terminal early but everything went smoothly and after waiting in the cue for 30 minutes we were able to board. Our cabin was ready and also our cruise card so we were able to use our lunch. We then went to the buffet for lunch it was very busy but this was not a problem as there were staff at the buffet entrance who took you to a seat. Also there was a button on the table to summon a beverage waiter and they were very efficient. The food was hot and there was a good selection. I loved the majority of my breakfasts and lunches in the Deck 13 Buffet, unfortunately my dinners in the Restaurant were inconsistent and I did have several sub-par dinners. The buffet on the deck 13 The food and beverage manager Mr. BRUNO , organized his team and equipment as a 5 star hotelrestaurant. The equipments and cutlery always cleaned by his team from 8am to 8am, the wole day long. Food at the cruise was lovely, a lot of choice and variety. There were so many food choices on 6 corners including a bread and pastery, an Italian corner, a fruitcorner and a big buffet. They present several times a week , special items and a tapas- and brasilian event. Service was generally good. To enjoy a long cruise, you must prepare how you wish to spend the many sea days (here included 6 transatlantic sea days). While there was a multitude of activities we participated some activities offered by the Cruise Director. The entertainment was OK. Some of the stage shows were good some not, bands in the bars were varied. We were never bored for we met several travellers with the same age and ideas. We took a few very good shore excursions, but we mainly explored on our own, and took taxis and public transportation. We missed 1 of the 5 Brasilian ports due to storms. Once we sailed out of the Mediterranean, into the transatlantic crossing, it was very smooth sailing, and every day was sunny and warm towards Brasil. The cruise was pristine , immaculate, and the upkeep was spot on. The cruise is quieter this time of the year so we cannot make a review for the summer season. There is still a lot to do, because the animation is working during day-times but also every evening is there something to do. The cabins/bedrooms were fabulous we had a double room which was quite big and they were clean and looked very new. Our room was lovely the bed so comfortable and our housekeeping excellent. Stayed november 2017, traveled as two couples. Arthur and Catharina Jansz. Belgium/Spain Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This review is very late in writing!! The reason I am writing it now is as we have just booked a cruise on the MSC seaside for this April and all the negative reviews have been a bit worrying! When I had a look at the preziosa reviews I ... Read More
This review is very late in writing!! The reason I am writing it now is as we have just booked a cruise on the MSC seaside for this April and all the negative reviews have been a bit worrying! When I had a look at the preziosa reviews I saw that many of them were not great either and so different from our experience that I realised I really should have shared my opinions earlier. So we sailed out of venice - was actually back in may 2014- but I CC wouldn't let me review back that far. We were travelling with our 2 daughters ages 9&10 at the time. We had room 11009 a large corner suite- which was amazing - we had a big lounge room with small balcony- actually very small but was off no worry to us we prefer to be at the pool or the bar. The balcony did however extend all the way around the front of the boat- walking space only but was amazing to stand out there when sailing in and out of ports. The girls shared the sofa bed in the lounge which for 2 kids was more than fine - for 2 adults perhaps not. Our bedroom was enormous with a great king bed and large floor to ceiling windows- we were gob smacked!! we had a large walk in wardrobe and an adequate bathroom - small but fine. We found the food to be excellent- service in the MDR was fantastic and we really enjoyed the food. The buffet was huge and the pizza incredible- the one big negative was the amount of people and finding a table at breakfast was a headache- we decided after a few days to eat breakfast in MDR and was much better. We loved the layout of the ship, the service, the food and the pools / waterslide for the kids. Our only true negative was that dining and bars were crowded Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I flew with BA to Milan(mxp),then over 2 hour coach trip to Port.check in was OK apart from MSC "conviscating" 2 cans lager I'd bought to drink on coach(but didn't!) Had nice Balcony Cabin on Deck12 PortForward...good ... Read More
I flew with BA to Milan(mxp),then over 2 hour coach trip to Port.check in was OK apart from MSC "conviscating" 2 cans lager I'd bought to drink on coach(but didn't!) Had nice Balcony Cabin on Deck12 PortForward...good for early morn swim but long hike to Dining Room(Deck6 Aft).Beautiful ship and very clean as was Cabin. Food very good as I had FISH every night for main course..Desserts not MSC strong point! Buffet lunch(Deck13) had fresh Pasta+Pizza(bit cold often) but very "iffy" salads...buffet could be a McDonald's at times, so always had breaklfast in Dining Room(Deck 5)to avoid the scrum!! If U ask for WATER ,they think U're from another planet...so had to go up to buffet to obtain very mini plastic glasses of H2O..I had 8 or 9 to hydrate myself!! Tea and Coffee not available for lunch or dinner but Ok with Afternoon tea!! Buffet does NOT OPEN for dinner. Evening Shows good but only 30 mins Entertainment tried hard but in all honesty failed with silly pathetic deck games.Few Quizzes, although a good Team Quiz for the 5 Sea days crossing Atlantic. Swimming pool is NOT heated, so freezing water in Med but sea water warmed up after we reached Tenerife!!!! Crew 40% Brazil,owing to law,and they speak PORTUGUESE..but some good English. 2200 on board incl 900 Brazilian 400 German 300 Brit 200 French Only did one tour which was to Sao Paulo to avoid 6 hour wait for BA return flight.Pricey @ 57E but included good buffet lunch but we only saw ONE attraction(paid for 5!) To be fair it was FRIDAY RUSH-HOUR!!! My main gripe is the drink prices which are just plain CRAZY..Cheapest wine bottle was E20..beer E5..so went teetotal and felt good for it!! Pity others didn't vote with MOUTH,then prices WOULD go down! With MSC U get what U pay for and for SINGLE's it's the best deal going. The old adage applies,aa Brits EXPECT(but don't get)Roast Beef/Yorkshire +stodgy puds!! ONE MAN'S MEAT IS ANOTHER MAN'S POISON Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
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