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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
The food was so salty i was swollen the entire trip and thats with a special no salt diet! Food in specialty restaurant was amazing.Had to change our table after 3rd nite due to view of waiters stationNew table was amazing rt at the ... Read More
The food was so salty i was swollen the entire trip and thats with a special no salt diet! Food in specialty restaurant was amazing.Had to change our table after 3rd nite due to view of waiters stationNew table was amazing rt at the botton of staircase. Svc was slow for us never figure out how everyone got there after us but somehow left dinning room before us and we had put our dinner selection in the nite before.. for the no salt which was loaded with msg anyhow which was worse. Overall the entertainment was totally amazing and got to meet the cast at white nite which made my nite cuz they were great.. the male singers especially. Had a great time!!! Would do it again! Devina is warm ship Seaside a lil cold. I prefer the Devina but most likely will do both again lol live in florida its easy to jump on Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Trying to find the perfect gift is always daunting, luckily i decided to gift my husband a cruise with the Msc Musica, Upon Arrival at the harbour, There was a que to get into check in and to leave your luggage, each step was even more ... Read More
Trying to find the perfect gift is always daunting, luckily i decided to gift my husband a cruise with the Msc Musica, Upon Arrival at the harbour, There was a que to get into check in and to leave your luggage, each step was even more exciting as its just one step closer to boarding, When we reached check in and all was in order my two kids, husband and i literally ran to the boarding area, We stopped quickly at the refreshments area to grab a drink and off we were ( this was so though full after waiting in the ques, a thirst quench was just what we needed) The music and the friendly staff outside just set the mood, Finally we arrived inside the ship, our passports was taken and immediately we were sent upstairs to get a wrisk band for my 7 year old, so basically this as to be worn by the child throughout the cruise, as it makes it easy to locate which cabin the child is,incase they get lost. As we explored we bought our drinks package and went on the 13th deck for our buffet lunch, this was my favourite spot throughout the cruise haha hence the weight gain, everything was perfectly set up, different types of food, bread rolls, salads, dessert, tea coffee and water is always served. We sat at a table and indulged in our scrumptious lunch btw the buffet is open 20 hours, breakfast lunch and supper, And the pizzas is thee best tasting pizzas ever, Everything is always in order as soon as u done eating theres always someone to clear up ur table. Making it easier for the next person to come in, After eating we went to our cabin to change up and went on deck to do the drill, Finally we set sail, the experience of just leaving was absolutely amazing. Everyone was filled with excitement. We had abit of a confusion with our cabin and illena from reception was the absolutely best, so friendly and she even sent up a bottle of champagne and some yummy snacks for my husband on his birthday. Theres so much to do on the ship but we mainly hung out on the deck as the kids wanted to be in the pool, there is a kiddies and teens club aswell, my 7 year old loved it and still talks about his teachers, they provide activities the entire day for the kids and believe me its so safe. They even take the kids for dinner and it's so exciting for the kiddies, Again the level of quality and security is absolutely amazing these ladies and gents are so patient and caring with the kids, Everything is always in a order, at 8pm every night we were allocated a restaurant which we could dine in, the food is absolutely amazing and our waiter was so friendly and welcoming, the manager if this restaurant was extremely rude and to be honest he was the only bad experience throughout our cruise, The shopping is a must, my husband bought me the most beautiful jewellery and the 4.5 liter drinks is absolutely well worth it, Island day: Day of island was amazing such beautiful experience, u have to get a ticket on board which will tell u what boat number u are, u go to the 4th floor and a boat awaits u, nothing to be scared about again everything is always in order and safe, when we arrived at the island the blue waters and music and views was just breathtaking. There's alot of locals selling stuff so carry some cash, it was extremely hot so we went straight to the buffet, freshly caught grilled fish and the delicious water melons and mangoes was my favourite, A dj and also a live band makes u feel so blessed just to experience this.We spent the day in the water and then finally decided to leave early as we didn't want to wait long with the kids, The boats started loading up and we finally entered the ship again, As we entered there was a gentleman handing us an ice face clothe again very well thought of as coming out from the heat, this ice cloth was a bit of heaven for us, Back to sail and after refreshing up we went on board for some activities. What amazed me was everything was always in order, the staff are all very hard working, A few are abit rude but majority are so welcoming, oh please be careful when buying drinks on the deck, if u not using ur drinks package, we paid 45 dollars for two jack Daniels and two cans of coke, yet at the bar across is was 5 dollars. So always ask the price before you purchase. The theater the night before we left was absolutely amazing we got to see the captain break some moves, so friendly so creative and overall it was definitely the best experience ooooh i forgot to mention i felt sea sick for two nights so make sure u take something and they also provide some tabs at the reception area. Would i recommended this cruise? I will be off my head not too, A lifetime experience, My Kids are still talking about it and my husband says he doesn't no how to top this for my birthday hahahah. Overall I'll be back again Read Less
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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll ... Read More
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll start by saying the ship was at least clean.After that the positives end unfortunately. It’s a very basic ship with extremely limited options in regards to food,drink and entertainment.So if you one of these people that enjoy poor food poor entertainment and very poor service you will love this ship. The buffet is way too small for the size of the ship and most days there are que outside at peak times.They have tried to increase the size of the seating area by offering seats on the deck in a patio heater style seating area.This is ok in summer but not in winter and eating food off plastic plates under patio heaters isn’t my idea of fun.The choice of food at The buffet was “same old” most days and again very basic. The restaurant was a slightly better environment but being forced to sit with people even after asking to be moved three times again isn’t my idea of fun.Food was again poor. Moving onto entertainment (or lack of). There are 5 bars in total with only the Irish pub offering anything in the way of entertainment before 11pm.This consists of an Italian guitar player playing a very limited song book in very limited English.He also has to stop playing every half hour or so because they could “hear him in the theatre “ even though we could never hear the theatre. It all got very frustrating leaving people sat there with no music and zero entertainment. As for the other bars,well the Budda bar was shut most times when we walked through although we did get a drink there one night and they had a guy playing piano for a while. The main bar (Manhattan) is a strange concept. Yoga and stretch classes are the main entertainment every night before dinner. Yes you did read that right!!! The musical duo who were supposed to start at 6pm usually rolled up bout 6.15 and played a couple of iffy Spanish/Italian/French songs.The “main” entertainment then began around 11pm in this bar. Ranging from a few game show things to some music. Our main highlights consisted of seeing how long it took to get served every night in each bar. This ranged from a few mins to 39 mins which was the longest it took.We ended up changing their tile from waiters to sales prevention staff because they would do everything they could NOT to serve you. This leads me onto their “all inclusive” drinks packages. If you buy one before getting on board you are offered to “upgrade” which sounded great because we only had draught beer and wine package we took up their offer.103 euros per person for the ten days.Me being a Strongbow drinker I was happy with that. Unfortunately after day 3 they ran out of Strongbow and by day 5 still had none ( even though we had stops every day bar one) So when I decided to complain feeling I had been short changed the bar manager informed me the ship was at full capacity with Strongbow (all very confusing) still the sales prevention staff kept telling me they had none.Then to my delight I was informed they had draught Strongbow in one bar.What a blatant lie,it was some sort of cider in a box but most certainly NOT Strongbow!!!! I could go on about various other faults and cost cutting areas but I think you get the picture. My advice is avoid this ship even if the price seems quite good ( we made that mistake) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarksion was the fastest/ smoothest ever! We loved the navigation screen around the ship which explained everything. Bars, restaurants, shows and daily programs. You can make reservations here by swiping your card. The elevators ... Read More
Embarksion was the fastest/ smoothest ever! We loved the navigation screen around the ship which explained everything. Bars, restaurants, shows and daily programs. You can make reservations here by swiping your card. The elevators displays where things were , events, ports and all aboard time. Kids club was amazing! The staff was friendly/ fun. Kids could wait to go! Main dining room had different choices every evening including dessert. We were given 9:15 time which doesn't work with children but was told to come at 530 every night and was seated then. The pools/ water slides were so much fun! Our kids favorite part. We would have liked to have live music by the pool. The cruise critic party was fabulous! We enjoy the drinks, chocolate covered strawberries and cake. Meeting the crew was fantastic. We loved the perks of being a black card member and will sail MSC again! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Started the cruise in Genoa Italy. This was in cruise crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the first few days were spent at different Mediterranean ports then onto the island of Tenerife, now there was five days at sea,this is when the ... Read More
Started the cruise in Genoa Italy. This was in cruise crossing the Atlantic to the Caribbean, the first few days were spent at different Mediterranean ports then onto the island of Tenerife, now there was five days at sea,this is when the problems started, the largest populations on the ship were German,French,Italian with smaller groups of Spanish and British, all sunbeds on the top deck were taken by 6 o'clock in the morning,towels were placed on sunbeds all day with many not being used at all. Complaints were made to the ships staff but nothing was done, then some Italian families actually had fist fights around the pool area because they had taken"there sun lounger area by the pool" staff were called but refused to get involved. Many complained again but nothing done. The theatre shows were Italian in origin rather than international and became monotonous after a few days. We were on an all inclusive drinks package 25 Euros a day, but many of the drinks were not included! Although it says beer is included its not, only Heineken lager is included, all other beers are chargeable, when you order you have always to ask if it's included which is embarrassing as people think you cannot afford it. The bar and cabin staff go out of there way to make your stay enjoyable and always pleasant, on the other hand the security staff on the exit and entrance onto the ship were anything but. They would grunt at you take your hats and glasses off, stand still while we check your card,no smiles no talking to you, just as thought you were entering a country, inside the ship they would walk into you as though you shouldn't be in the way, had no respect for any passengers ( but they would not attend to the fighting by the pool , cowards). Yes people join the ship in most ports but that dosnt cause a problem, although you get a little tired of the safety drill at every port. Be aware that there is no self service laundry facilities on-board, although the ship will do your laundry for a price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are a couple in our early 60s and experienced cruisers. We chose this cruise based on ports of call and price. This was our 4 th cruise on Msc. We did not realize then there are some distinct differences when sailing in Europe. There ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60s and experienced cruisers. We chose this cruise based on ports of call and price. This was our 4 th cruise on Msc. We did not realize then there are some distinct differences when sailing in Europe. There was no tap water, iced tea or coffee offered in the dining room. You can purchase wine or mineral water. The stateroom we chose included free mineral water and 24 drink coupons which lasted us the 17 days. We did purchase the coffee package but that had to be used in the lounges. We did miss coffee with dessert. The ship was disappointing. It was beautiful and clean but very crowded. The buffet was always jammed, and a lounge by the pool an impossible dream. On formal nights, it was impossible to find seats in the public areas. The cabin was small and the shower tiny with the clinging plastic curtain. The food was good and occasionally great but the beef was always tough. The vegetarian entrees were surprisingly good. Portions were small but we often ordered 3 entrees plus salad and soup and felt well fed. On the plus side, service in the dining room was excellent and our waiter readily offered alternate choices if the entree proved unsatisfactory. Robes were only provided in the premium cabins and our steward could not be bribed into finding one. Over all, the cruise was very good and an excellent value. The ports were fascinating and just mingling with the European passengers was very interesting. We would definitely chose MSC again but perhaps not that ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We cruised from Venice to Dubai via the Suez Canal for seventeen nights in an inside cabin, mid-ships, on a re-positioning cruise with MSC in November 2018. We have cruised before but this was our first experience of MSC. Facts The ... Read More
We cruised from Venice to Dubai via the Suez Canal for seventeen nights in an inside cabin, mid-ships, on a re-positioning cruise with MSC in November 2018. We have cruised before but this was our first experience of MSC. Facts The passengers were predominantly Italian, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese with a minority of British. There were two European and two US electrical sockets in the cabin. There were lots of drawers, shelves and hanging space for storage. It was easy to obtain extra coat hangers and extra pillows from our cabin steward. There was good storage space under the bed for empty cases. There was a stocked mini-bar in the cabin. There was a wall mounted bottle of body wash and shampoo in the shower which was refilled during the cruise and liquid soap at the basin. No conditioner, body lotion or bars of soap were provided. There was a wall-mounted, hose-type hair dryer in the bathroom. The small TV had a limited number of English speaking channels including BBC News, CNN and Sky news. Some films were played on a loop but most were not in English. The TV had an HDMI socket which you could use to connect your devices with your own cable. There was a large wet play area with padded floor for kids on deck 11, two swimming pools with ladder access, shallow sections for kids and two small Jacuzzi’s. Pools were initially cool but warmed up as we traveled south. There were lots of sun loungers and some high back reclining chairs around the pools and on the 12th deck but often, on a sea days, these were filled. Pros The cabin was compact but clean. The air conditioning was easy to adjust and was effective. The bed was firm and very comfortable. The sound-proofing in the cabins was generally good. Theatre entertainment was generally good with a wide variety of styles ranging from slapstick to high brow classical music. Disembarkation was fast and easy. Cons Embarkation slow and shambolic with unfriendly, unhelpful MSC staff. The shower in the en-suite was extremely compact and had a shower curtain rather than a solid door. This made showering in such a small space without flooding the floor quite challenging. The service in the main restaurant was slow, unfriendly and the food was cold until we complained. Thereafter the service improved and the food was served hot. The food was generally rather bland and uninteresting. Portion sizes were generally small. Our pre-arranged restaurant coffee package was refused on two evenings. Other guests sat in our allocated table one evening early in the cruise and we had to stand around for five minutes while the staff decided what to do. We were then asked to move table for the rest of the cruise. Breakfast food in the main restaurant was never hot and service was unfriendly and slow. The drinks call bells on the buffet restaurant tables were only answered 50% of time. Buffet tables were not wiped effectively. The buffet food choice was poor and food was not hot. Hand sanitizers throughout the ship often did not work and MSC staff did not encourage passengers to use them. Waiting staff and others did not give way to guests when passing in narrow corridors. It felt like some would have knocked you down if you hadn’t stepped aside to allow them to pass. TV reception was poor/non-existent for about seven days in and around the Red Sea. It took a week to resolve an intermittent faulty lock on our cabin door. There was no warning prior to theatre shows regarding the use of strobe lighting. Passports were retained by MSC on embarkation and only returned the night before disembarkation. Passport return arrangements were a shambles with too few MSC staff, leading to huge queues. Poolside entertainment was much too loud for customers not wishing to take part. The sun loungers had very low backs which did not allow for head support. Our MSC loyalty scheme status match to Black status was not initially honoured and it took multiple visits to the loyalty desk over two weeks to resolve. We therefore missed out on some Black benefits. Loyalty staff and reception staff did not seem interested in resolving this. MSC were very poor at communicating port of call arrangements. E.g. at Salalah in Oman, the literature said a shuttle bus would take us from the ship to the "main square". We were actually dropped off at a taxi rank at the exit of the port where there was absolutely nothing to see or do other than take a taxi. There was no signage or crew direction to where we were to collect our luggage after disembarkation. We enjoyed the itinerary and the weather was very good however having previously sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess, P&O and TUI which all offered a far superior experience; this will be our first and last MSC cruise. Many of the other British passengers we spoke to agreed with this sentiment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this re-positioning cruise because of the itinerary which was incredible. The ship was typical MSC glitz which we expected. After may complications (which I will get into later), we got a starboard 11th floor balcony, which was ... Read More
We chose this re-positioning cruise because of the itinerary which was incredible. The ship was typical MSC glitz which we expected. After may complications (which I will get into later), we got a starboard 11th floor balcony, which was awesome. The cabin was spacious and well-appointed with the usual amenities of desk, hanging clothes closet (roomy enough for two 28-inch suitcases) and a closet with 6 drawers, a safe and two shelves. If you are American, and not accustomed to the European culture of customer service, you are in for a shock. Communication regarding important announcements (i.e. when and where to pick up your Passport) are non-existent. The announcements are far and few between, except when to play Bingo or shop for handbags. Even in the Daily pamphlet, the instructions for picking up your Passports (which were collected upon embarkation for Brazil authorities), was in print 1/8th the size of the Bingo and Valentino handbag advertisements. Every announcement (even in the theater) is done in 6 or 7 languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and the shortest announcement time was in English; which was expected as this cruise went through 3 continents and 5 different countries). The food was disappointingly just okay. We expected so much more from an Italian cruise line! Entertainment: the entertainers were great, the shows not-so-much. Many of them were perplexing. For instance, one show was touted as The Totem and depicted a picture of cowboys and Indians, which made us scratch our heads to begin with and didn't get any better during the performance. The Woodstock Revival show had no songs from Woodstock, only one song from the 60s, the rest were more recent. I am beginning to understand why Europeans don't understand Americans after this cruise. Speaking of which, a lot of the patrons of this cruise, were pushy, rude, loud, obnoxious and disrespectful of everyone. The Cruise itself was one giant, "Hop-On/Hop-Off" cruise with new people getting on and off at every port. Apparently, this is what MSC does everywhere but the U.S.A. Our personal experience with MSC Europe was less than stellar from the start, with customer service being ghastly. We booked through MSC directly in Dec. 2017 and was told by their agent that by booking an inside guarantee, you always get upgraded. We followed that advice and in Feb. 2018 were assigned cabin 13200. We were excited as this was a rear-facing Juliette balcony spa cabin (we would not get the spa experience as we booked a Fantastica experience, but that was okay with us). However, in October, 10 days before cruising on a Friday night, we received an email stating that we needed to reprint out tickets. When we went to do so, we found that we were reassigned a new cabin, Inside, which was located (basically) inside the crew staircase and elevators. Anger ensued! We called our MSC agent (who was nowhere to be found), and over the course of a week spoke to three agents, two supervisors and had numerous emails with Miami Customer Service. One agent told us "too bad, so sad" and offered us a balcony for $4,000. This prompted us to cancel our upcoming MSC U.S.A. cruise in January 2019. So, we went to Rome to get on the cruise and found that on the MSC website our reservation was completely gone. We frantically emailed MSC Miami, to find out what was going on, but with the time difference, we didn't hear back from them prior to sailing. (One email from MSC Miami, did offer $50 OBC for each of us as compensation.) Fortunately, our reservation for the inside cabin was still good, and we were able to get on the ship. A trip down to customer service onboard had us so horrified with the attitude of one lady, who yelled at us that we "got what we paid for", that she "was in charge", and that we couldn't speak to her manager as she was "too busy" and had other things to do. After she frantically typed into her computer and hit enter, she informed us that the Customer Service Officer wanted to see us. Giada Mangione, was gracious, understanding, and had already sent a bottle of champagne and a note to our cabin to come and see her. She explained that there were a series of errors, apologized and said that she was unable to give us back the room originally assigned, and that the ship was full for the next two days. However, upon arrival in Genoa, we will be given a balcony cabin, with sincerest apologies for the mix up. Giada Mangione was the nicest customer service person we have ever met or dealt with on MSC (not because she gave us a balcony, but because she took to time to understand our frustration, was kind, and not demeaning), and we thanked her for her gracious offer. From a business standpoint, we fully understand that MSC has the right to change a cabin at any time for any reason; and that the "spa" cabin we were given was far more expensive than the inside cabin we booked. However, we have been upgraded, similarly, on other cruise lines and never had anything like this happen. On a side note, overall the crew were very nice and did try to accommodate whenever possible. Many of them did say that MSC's standard of service has diminished through the years, as their workload had increased leaving them only enough time to tend to their duties and not give the personal service they used to provide. This saddened them greatly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I am writing to report my experience in the MSC FANTASIA Cruise from Genoa to Santos between November 4th to 24th 2018. This was our third cruise, but the first with MSC. We have never experienced or expected a ship being run so poorly by ... Read More
I am writing to report my experience in the MSC FANTASIA Cruise from Genoa to Santos between November 4th to 24th 2018. This was our third cruise, but the first with MSC. We have never experienced or expected a ship being run so poorly by the Master and his crew. I will provide the details below. The embarkment took place in the port of Genoa on November 4th; from the beginning it was a complete chaos, a process that should take a couple of hours took at least six, they even have started the embarkment two hours earlier to make it easier. Numbers were distributed to the passengers to assist with the registration, but they were not followed; the staff members will jump numbers and then will go back again, a total chaos. Many crew members were rude and have no customer services skills, the majority look very unhappy. There were some crew members very polite and did a good job, but it was the minority. The safety box was not working in the cabin, I called the front desk and they sent a technician to fix it, he replaced the batteries. After about 30 minutes it stopped working, I called again, and they told me they will send a technician within 30 minutes, nothing happens, I reported at least five times in the next few days. Finally they sent a technician, according to him it was the cover of the batteries that was interfering, he removed it, put a piece of paper to make it tight and left, after one hour the safety box stopped working again. I checked myself and to my surprise I found one of the battery contacts sulfated, I scraped it and clean it and never have any problem again. The light in the night table burned out, I told the cabin assistant and he reported at least in two occasions. I started calling the front desk asking them if they could give me a bulb so that I could replace it, they told me they could not, and they will have to send a technician to check it out. I have to wait five days to have the burned-out light replaced. We had a balcony suit, located beside the deck and outside stairs. During the cruise they left a note in my cabin that they will be painting the balcony and to keep the curtains closed. They did paint, but they also spilled paint all over the two chairs, table and floor, they never cleaned it. I never have seen a sloppy job like this. During the cruise they left at least in four occasions notes that they will be doing maintenance in the balcony, in one occasion they flooded the balconies from one extreme to the other and left the water standing until the water evaporated by itself. One of the last evenings, they poured lot of water from the top floor, we could have been totally soaked if we were in the balcony. They cleaned the outside stairs and deck every morning about 4 am, and every time our balcony will be left with water and dirt on it. They never cleaned the balcony, we have to clean the hand rail and chairs our self. It was great to have a balcony, but because of their neglect we could seldom use it. When we cross the ocean, which lasted six days, the satellite services were disconnected, we did not have any news and were totally isolated. The explanation given was the satellite services did not work because we were too far away from land, but this happened even when we were 50 kilometres from the coast of Brazil. This never happened in any other cruise we have taken. They offered 16 free movies that you could watch in your cabin, but the audio of the movies was absolutely terrible, you could not understand anything; when I called the front desk, they said they have problem with the system. The hygiene practices in the cruise was terrible, there were dispensers with sanitizers, but most of them were empty, the crew members never encourage the passengers to use them. Some passengers will pick with their hands bred or other food from the buffet areas and the crew members never told these passengers not to do it, they will not get involved and ignore it. Some passengers will fill their personal bottles in the water or juice machines directly into the faucet touching them and of course contaminating them. Painting was performed in corridors and food dispensing areas; the smell was extremely strong. Painting in areas were food is dispensed and people are walking by is totally unacceptable. All the tours obtained through MSC started late. The crew members in charge in the meeting places were confused and they did not provide proper information. After a week people started to get sick. Many crew members and passengers got sick, sneezing, coughing and with flu symptoms. The situation started to get worse when we start crossing the Atlantic, the ship had to disembark a sick passenger in Cabo Verde in front of Africa because the passenger was too sick. The situation got worse and by the time we reach Brazil most of the passengers were coughing, sneezing and with flu symptoms. We were eight people travelling together and seven got sick. The passport return process was another chaos, two crew members were doing this process, but they have difficulties to find the passports even that they were classified by countries. During the last couple of days, we noticed a change in the attitude of the crew members in relation to hygiene in the food areas, the sanitizer dispensers were filled, the supervisors started to give direct instructions to waitresses to remove dirty dishes and clean the different areas. When we arrive to Santos the Health Authorities were waiting; they recommended to passengers before disembarking to use the disinfectant their hands with the gel provided and see their personal doctors, they also informed us there was a possible case of measles aboard. The disembarkation in Santos was another chaos, they asked the passenger to meet in the theatre and wait for instructions, but the theatre have steps and all passengers have carry-on bags. After a couple of hours, the Health Authorities allowed the disembarkment; the passengers were asked to take shuttle busses to the terminal. The buses had very narrow aisles, and the passengers have to claim with their bags since they did not open the bag carriers on the belly of the buses. The Master of the ship is the person responsible for the well being and health of the crew and passengers and the training of the crew. Therefore, he is responsible for the poor service provided by the crew and the bad hygiene practices on his ship. I saw him only once in the entire trip when he welcomes the passengers assisting a function. He never talked to the passengers on the speakers to provide explanations or information; what a difference with other Captains from other companies that I have had the opportunity to travel with. This was the first time that we travel in a MSC Cruise and possible will be the last. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We were delighted to find that the MSC Musica was relocating from the Med to South Africa, and booked Venice to Durban (24 days) as the conclusion of a long trip away from home in South Africa. By way of summary, our experience ran ... Read More
We were delighted to find that the MSC Musica was relocating from the Med to South Africa, and booked Venice to Durban (24 days) as the conclusion of a long trip away from home in South Africa. By way of summary, our experience ran along these lines: 1 - The web site is a monster and needs some serious attention from someone who understands UX ('User Experience' - the trending approach to web design today?). 2 - The four options (Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and Club) have preset options none of which really suited us. We chose Fantastica because it assured us we would get the best cabin in the category (see 4 below!). That did NOT work! 3 - Embarkation in Venice involved a LONG walk, in the blazing sun, from the Venice 'People Mover' (which links the city to the port) to the ship. Once we were in the shade it took about an hour (long queues) and it would have been smarter to arrive much closer to the deadline, when there were no queues. 4 - The cabin (11195) was a disappointment. We chose inside because we are happy not to have views or balconies, but we got one of the inside cabins with BUNKS. They are turned up to the wall, but there is inadequate space to get into bed standing upright; the solution was to get into bed by crawling up from the bottom. Further, there is NO SEATING - just a padded box that sits under the very small dressing table. I see on the deck plan some of the inside cabins have black blobs - because ours has four I guess that means it sleeps four people? Pity there is no legend to explain that! 5 - Hence, we found that MSC have a problem with information management. I had two reasons to request on board that Reception assist me: first, I was listed as 'Mr' (my correct title is 'Dr' or 'Prof', as indicated at booking time) and it ought to be SO easy to correct these small things; 'they' were simply not interested. The other issue was with the door to the Library, which made a dreadful screeching sound every time it was opened. The library should be a sanctuary of peace and quiet, but it was horrible for that one reason (actually, there were VERY few books, which caused people to come in and noisily discuss how shocking it was to find that there were no books to read - no reference books such as atlases and travel guides, only a selection of fiction, in several languages, that quickly reduced as more than 3000 'guests' helped themselves). 6 - Previously we have cruised with no internet, and as I had work to do I was delighted to see that continuous internet is offered, and although the log on was somewhat convoluted it worked most of the time. But forget the service that you might get at home, this was SLOW and in 24 days I used about 3Gbytes, that cost me 95 Euros. Some people had bought a cheaper package that, astonishingly, did NOT allow access to email services. 7 - There is a 'CyberCafe' but nobody in attendance to assist with problems. The young man sitting there - confusingly - was the Voyager Club representative. His response to any assistance with the cybercafe (that he was sitting right in the middle of) was abrupt almost to the point of rudeness. I guess we all have bad days ... I took my laptop to the cybercafe to try and get faster internet (I think that worked) but there are NO power outlets there, just standardised screens with a keyboard, a mouse and a small USB accessory for your memory stick or whatever you have. 8 - There were some glitches with the excursions. On the catamaran trip (Mauritious) two passengers were sent to the wrong coach, and so the whole remaining party of 23 had to sit or stand on the catamaran for more than an hour, with only partial shade. When the late-comers arrived, one of the sun-drenched (German) passengers asked - rudely and without any evidence - that the late-comers should apologise; well, they were from Australia and the anglo-saxon expletives and tears flowed freely. I mention this because it is the sort of incident that should be managed by the cruise staff, and I would have expected some apology from them. As it was, it took half of the day for the tempers to cool down and it was the fellow-passengers who did more to manage the situation than the 'staff'. Having said all that, what was good? The entertainment was excellent, although it was inevitable that over 24 days the song and dance crew, the acrobats and the classical musicians had to include some repetition. Not really a problem. We enjoyed the Queen (Freddie Mercury) entertainment so much we watched it twice (there are early and late shows, for the later and earlier sittings in the restaurants. The food in the restaurants was a little variable - we had just one main dish that was inedible and had to go back to the kitchen, but the starters and deserts were excellent. Portions were modest, and that suited us perfectly! The cafeteria was, well, rather like a cafeteria. The cabin and restaurant staff were excellent. The deal is that MSC add 10 euros per person every day for service (and that is in addition to the 15% surcharge on drinks from the bar), and so we were wondering how much of our 480 Euros (about one third of our 'ticket' price!!) would go to the front-of-house workers, and how much gets put into the slush fund. At the desk they admitted that the 'standard' 10 euros per day per passenger was actually optional, and I 'renegotiated' it. One of our fellow passengers told us that he went to reception on the FIRST day to tell them that he did not agree, and did not want to pay, and they agreed that it was at his discretion. Read Less
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