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5 MSC Cruises Taormina (Messina) Cruise Reviews

Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, ... Read More
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, comes as opposite to your logic, the balcony suites!! Shoe boxes, (better) have been reduced in width to accommodate more rooms (boxes)! The design has changed the interior to putting the bed near to the window and the sofa next to the heads. On that front, there has been no shortage of hot water, at night the sound of those rooms above, having a shower or running water, can be loud. Everything is bright and new, yet only weeks old, signs of blistering rust, fester in awkward places. The crew as always, are Great! really helpful and accommodating. Some we have known from previous MSC cruises, don’t like the larger ship. It has lost its personality. For the the girls, women and wives, there are plenty of shops! If your in the market for watches, some extremely expensive(€53k)!! Down to tacky 2x €40! This ship was designed specifically for the Med. and less dangerous seas, not for open seas, ask those who travelled out from Southampton! Not good. The shopping plaza will blow your mind! It’s roof is an LED, picture scope, changing scene every few minutes, similar to that seen on the Dancing on Ice back drops. A wonderfull sight to see! Truly beautiful. From previous cruises, the traditional leaving port to Andrea Botchelli and Sarah Brightman singing ‘time to say goodbye’ has been deleted, no longer to thrill the passengers as this Cruise Director ( probably the worst we have ever witnessed), refused to play it!? Andrew Botchelli was in Southampton for the christening ceremony with Sophia Loren, he will be less than enamerored, when he finds out! He was so pleased to learn of the accolade. Shame really, out loud on the tannoy, it fits well with the MSC image, as the ship leaves the port, the recording blasting away! Other cruise lines now do the same, but MSC was first! The food is Good, really good for bulk cooking. The most picky eater would not go hungry. I have no intention of being rude, but how some of the foreigners stack up their plates,only to ditch it 10 mins later. With such a very large passenger number, queueing for food is a nightmare. This very much is the same for getting on and off the ship! Long waits! Double the passengers, but not the staff or exits and it’s a disaster waiting to happen! As above, there are quite a few other matters that can apply too! The theatre, emergency practice, let alone forbid it should ever happen for real! Hey? Perhaps the captain will get off first! Costa on the rocks sir? With ice? One of the other nigly small items is the changing of the drinks packages. One thing other lines should have followed(Cunard)! Obviously MSC found they could screw you out of more money this new way! and the new fantastica package goes far less further than it did! The once formal evening has gone. Not one evening suit to be seen. Shame! Yes shame, we forget the ladies love to dress up! On the Gala night, shorts and tee shirts were seen on many! Bad news is, the staff did little or nothing to stop it. The ship! Yes too big! Too crowded, too many queues, oh yes! There was enough deck chairs, but no staff to organise how far they could go! Main areas were jammed in 2 cases. The ship? An absolute joy to sail in. Even the most sea sick person could manage! Very little roll or pitch! Well done the designer or ship architect. NOW YOU CAN TAKE YOUR MOTHER! There is some good entertainment on board. The nightly shows are well put together as are specialty shows like ‘Circ Du Soliel’, but the ad says, specify! Gourmet food. It is not! Wet, over cooked veg, hard over-baked specialty Potatoes are part of this act! Now in the bin. I did have cause to complain that one time, as my plate went back with no other replacement in sight. But those artists Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have just returned from a 7 day cruise in the med (Barcelona Marseilles Genova Naples Messina and Valletta) and we were quite disappointed with the MSC Bellissima. It is not as beautiful as the MSC Seaside and there is no ... Read More
We have just returned from a 7 day cruise in the med (Barcelona Marseilles Genova Naples Messina and Valletta) and we were quite disappointed with the MSC Bellissima. It is not as beautiful as the MSC Seaside and there is no 'vibe' . The main attraction is supposed to be the 80-metre-long LED dome which turns out to be an overcrowded shopping mall. The Cirque du Soleil at Sea is supposed to be the other big attraction but there is an extra charge for that. The captain is barely visible or audible (we only saw him at the photo opportunity with captain event). The music is quite dull and depressing and there are very few daytime activities and most are chargeable. I have attended a Zumba session on a previous cruise which was held in one of the big theatres. It was free and great fun. Not on the Belissima! The Zumba started 15 minutes late as the teacher had to collect the fee and it was held in a tiny room that doubled up as the spinning studio in the gym area. Luckily there were only 5 (!) people attending. The gym is far too small for a ship this size and there is no area for floor work or stretching. I ended up stretching on the floor (no mats) in a little corridor outside the toilets with people stepping over me. The other thing that bugs me is that on formal nights people are allowed to attend formal dinner in t shirts. Very few people wear dinner jackets and that is sort of fine. However can people not make a tiny effort and wear a shirt with maybe a tie, instead of a scruffy red tshirt? MSC should enforce a minimum clothing standard in the formal dining rooms on formal nights. The food was fine with plenty of choice at the buffet. I would have liked longer opening hours which would have helped us avoid the 'scrum' that regularly occurs in the buffet area. Also, it would be nice if MSC stopped people from filling bottles from the water machines as this is not hygienic. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The boat is amazing. Brand new. That was our first crew. The client care for “business” things is massively negative : Wi-Fi for such a ridiculous expensive price, no business center. Excursions only here to take money from the ... Read More
The boat is amazing. Brand new. That was our first crew. The client care for “business” things is massively negative : Wi-Fi for such a ridiculous expensive price, no business center. Excursions only here to take money from the clients : we found the same kind of excursion that MSC proposed for half the price (we asked for a private taxi for a trip). We also asked when we booked that we’d like to eat at 8pm. We have to ask every evening for a table as we have been booked at 6pm with 2 different tables !!! As a family this is pretty good. One of our child has been taken her towel at the pool and we have been told that we will have to pay for it. All the “extra” activities on the boat have to be paid. That would be better if they were included in the price. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Cabin was great Ship was clean and beautiful Shows were good Very disappointed that Cirque de Soliel was having tech difficulties and therefore never performing Staff was ok. Some were great (bars), Dinner waiters were not ... Read More
Cabin was great Ship was clean and beautiful Shows were good Very disappointed that Cirque de Soliel was having tech difficulties and therefore never performing Staff was ok. Some were great (bars), Dinner waiters were not attentive. Service was ok, Carnival does a much better job Buffet was good Dinner was not good at all. Pastas were undercooked, everything was bland. Desserts were dull, staff of not attentive, wait staff didn't perform, sing, nothing. Dining room (restaurant was too warm, it felt stuffy). If we hadn't made such good friends at our table, we would have probably never gone to dinner after the first 2 nights) Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. They were too expensive for such small towns with not too much to do. It was easier to do on our own. The wait for elevators was long, it was easier to take the stairs. We didn't like that people embarked and disembarked at all the ports because the same people were not on the whole cruise. Made it difficult to have relationships. The evening themes were not adequately announced so it was hard to know what to wear. They should have been sent prior to trip so we could have packed accordingly. How would we know to pack a "white" outfit? The cost of doing laundry was outrageous (55 Euro for 10 items) embarkation and disembarkation was smooth We were 2 adults in our 50s Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
MSC CRUISE – MERAVALIGIA – SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, MALTA NOTE: I have been on several cruises with a few different cruise lines and I have been to Europe a few times. That being said, my review is based on a comparison with my past ... Read More
MSC CRUISE – MERAVALIGIA – SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, MALTA NOTE: I have been on several cruises with a few different cruise lines and I have been to Europe a few times. That being said, my review is based on a comparison with my past experiences. GOOD 1. New Ship 2. Nice Balcony suites 3. Nice private bathrooms in suites 4. Countries visited BAD 1. The entertainment (shows & lounges). The singing was sub-par at best. Wiggling your fingers, singing from the side of the mouth, & making faces does not camouflage the lack of range, lack of harmony, inability to hit the notes, flatness, and not knowing the words. A couple in front of us was laughing so hard at how bad one show was and finally left. We did too. 2. Lack of insisting people wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to entering restaurants, especially buffet areas. There were multiple sinks available in buffet areas but there may have been an average of less than 1 who we actually observed using these areas. If we ate in the buffet areas, I whipped out my sanitizer before we touched our utensils & food! No interest in Norovirus what-so-ever! 3. Being a new ship, 2 of 4 ice & water dispensers were not working. On 1 machine only the water worked. This was the case from day 1 of our cruise and remained that way the entire 8 day/7 nights. 4. The pools & hot tubs were drained & roped off nightly and the lounge chairs were put away Just as the sun was setting. 5. The entertainment (hype) crew members struggled to get people to participate in activities and were basically begging people to interact. We never knew who the entertainment director was and it was sad to see so-called party activities were empty @ 11 pm and most activities didn’t last past midnight. 6. The level of rudeness from the passengers was just ridiculous. No common courtesy from the young or old. The end of the line was not where they belonged so people would just push their way in front of someone then have the audacity to signal to their travel companions to come which would turn out to be multiple people. There was no regard for the crew who were trying to do their job. 7. BE AWARE OF EXTRA CHARGES ON YOUR BILL. Charges that I specifically declined were added to my bill but were removed immediately when I brought it to customer service’s attention. Examples: service charges, donations to non-profit organization. Example of #6 & #7 above…While standing in line to discuss our bill, the guy behind us started signaling for the reps to take the guy they were assisting aside & deal with his issue. He then went up behind the guy who was being assisted & rudely told him & the reps to move to the side & finish so they could help other people who were waiting (about 10 to 15 minutes) mainly so he & his wife could go party as it was their last night. The guy that was being helped got loud with the rude guy & pushed him telling him to mind his business & wait. True story. WORST 1. I’m sorry but at some point a person’s essence (body odor) is pure FUNK and no amount of cologne/perfume will remedy the stench of onions, feet, and ass like soap & water! a. PASSENGERS – seems they were involved in attempting to outdo each other in a cologne/perfume contest with absolutely no winners! b. CREW – Working on a cruise ship is not easy as many of these ladies & gentlemen have multiple jobs and are not allows treated kindly by passengers. That being said, they should have a few minutes to freshen up between gigs. Personal, cleansing wipes will help with sweatiness & muskiness especially if a server. 2. FOOD – ABSOLUTELY NO FLAVOR, unmemorable, and VERY DISAPPOINTING...simply put it was nourishment. Portions were adequate but who cares when the food is bland. This was the case for breakfast, lunch, & dinner. We ate off the ship a few times. 3. Nothing provided to drink with dinner…must pay for every drink (Water, Soda, Coffee, & Alcohol), tea and juice was not available @ dinner. Juice was only available at breakfast. 4. Expect to pay for nearly EVERYTHING! I understand MSC Cruises is a business, however the boat amenities, other than the lounges, can only be utilized for an additional charge. OBSERVATION At each port there are people just starting their cruise & others are ending their cruise. It makes it hard to connect & interact with other passengers. If you’re at a dinner table with a group who will be disembarking the next day, you tend to get moved to other tables further making it hard to build a rapport with others passengers & the servicing crew. My husband says that MSC stands for “Must Spend Currency” as everything was mainly geared towards spending a lot of it and not really on the passengers having a great experience. FINAL It you are a big drinker, a smoker, are a senior citizen who is laid back and enjoys a slower pace and has dietary restrictions…this cruise is for you. Overall, we enjoyed getting some rest and exploring the different cities/countries. We love to cruise and plan to do other Mediterranean & European cruises…we just won’t do them with MSC Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
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