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237 MSC Cruises Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

I am a marine engineer, worked on ships and tugs my whole life, for once I wanted to be a passenger. As I have spent my life in small cabins the size of the cabins on board did not bother me. The company that I work for have had new tugs ... Read More
I am a marine engineer, worked on ships and tugs my whole life, for once I wanted to be a passenger. As I have spent my life in small cabins the size of the cabins on board did not bother me. The company that I work for have had new tugs built, which also use passenger ship shower/ toilets and on these the shower curtain does not hug you as you turn. The ship was excellent, cabins I suppose, were normal size.Dining was as you wanted, dress up or not. Always something going on, entertainment laid on was pretty good, info at talks on ports of call were informative. Service, both in cabin and in the restaurants was excellent. The only complaint I had was with the vouchers purchased. Looking back,I will not buy them again, as each voucher was worth more than the item purchased. Would I travel by ship again, sure, but not on such a long voyage again. Seven to ten day maximum trips. It does not bother me, but then I have a wife who did not enjoy it, as for her the trip was definitely too long. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The main reason for myself and My husband making this wonderful cruise was that we did the reverse trip from fabulous Venice to our home city Cape Town five years previously on the marvelous MSC Opera and had enjoyed it immensely. So when ... Read More
The main reason for myself and My husband making this wonderful cruise was that we did the reverse trip from fabulous Venice to our home city Cape Town five years previously on the marvelous MSC Opera and had enjoyed it immensely. So when the opportunity presented it itself to once again cruise with the same company but in the opposite direction we were very quick to reserve our berths on board. It was also also interesting to meet all the different nationalities of people on board especially when using the breakfast and lunch buffet with the table sharing procedure, another very interesting part of the cruise Was the many and varied shows and talks that were given which were always of a very high standard. We particularly enjoyed the Old trial murder trials that were given and also the talks by Stephen Cloete. The various ports of call were most intereting, and from the very start of the cruise to the final disembarkation we were extremely impressed and even at the very end having the captain saying goodbye with a handshake and a smile made a lasting impression we shall never forget! We would certainly recommend it to anybody who was interested in doing it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We are retired and live in a small town (Montagu) some 180 km from Cape Town and chose the cruise for its length of 21 days as well as for the countries visited culminating in Venice. The embarkation/disembarkation processes were well ... Read More
We are retired and live in a small town (Montagu) some 180 km from Cape Town and chose the cruise for its length of 21 days as well as for the countries visited culminating in Venice. The embarkation/disembarkation processes were well organized and stress-free. the dining facilities and food were tops as were the entertainment programmes. The staff in all sections of the ship were great and gave great service, especially our watrons/stewards on table 587 in the Il Galleone Restaurant.Of the ports visited we decided not to go ashore in Dakar as our travel agent advised us that no inoculations were required for any of the countries visited. We therefore had no protection against Yellow fever and were not prepared to take the chance of going ashore there.We loved all the other excursions with the harbours of Malta and Dubrovnic being spectacular and with the awe-inspiring entrance to Venice being the cream on the cake! I would recommend this cruise to anyone who loves cruising. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
REVIEW Know Cape Town very well, studied other Cities on internet. Always loved Venice. 1. Embarkation and disembarkation very well organised and uncomplicated. 2. Cabin excellent, clean, neat and comfortable, bathroom great ... Read More
REVIEW Know Cape Town very well, studied other Cities on internet. Always loved Venice. 1. Embarkation and disembarkation very well organised and uncomplicated. 2. Cabin excellent, clean, neat and comfortable, bathroom great except for cramped shower. It is the first time that salt spray on cabin windows was bad. I could not even take photographs as I have done in the past. Windows not cleaned once during entire trip. (especially on a Grand Cruise, this should not happen) 3. Air conditioner did not work to well. We both developed colds and noticed that many other passengers also had coughs and colds, definitely due to faulty or contaminated air conditioners. 4 Dining in buffet area excellent, wide variety of foods available. Dining in Galeone good, but plates for salads and entrees oversized. My wife developed food poisoning from the boiled tasteless prawns. She took 2 weeks to recover. 5 Entertainment was excellent, we enjoyed all the shows (especially the singing Siblings and Danny Fischer). All performances were very enjoyable. A great variety of other activities all very enjoyable. Never at a loss to find something to do. I just think that the Theatre seating arrangements should be upgraded to match that of the MSC Opera, the tables between the rows of seats created problems, twice people knocked over drinks while trying to get to seats. Many more people can be seated if the tables are removed and replaced with full rows of seats. 6 The service all round was excellent. Sometimes difficult to find a table in the buffet area, but that to us is part of the fun of cruising, always meeting new people. The high teas were excellent full of variety. 7 Ports were excellent, enjoyed them all, the highlight being, coming into Venice. Malta was beautiful especially the colourful lights the evening when leaving. Shore excursions are very good, educational and exciting, except that they are very expensive. 8 We love cruising with MSC as it is excellent value for money. We definitely will be cruising again. Hope fully getting a free upgrade to a balcony cabin, as this will be our 9th cruise. Hoping to do the return cruise from Italy to Durban. The staff at Reception, MSC Club Members and especially at the Excursions Counter were all extremely helpful (A special thanks to Joline Coertzen ,whom we met on previous cruises as well) 9 a special thanks to the Captain, Officers and all the staff who do such great work behind the scenes Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The return trip from Cape Town is a long cruise, but allows you to settle into cruise life and really relax, as opposed to the short cruises, where its go, go, go. One gets to know the crew a little better and also to meet and mix with ... Read More
The return trip from Cape Town is a long cruise, but allows you to settle into cruise life and really relax, as opposed to the short cruises, where its go, go, go. One gets to know the crew a little better and also to meet and mix with the other passengers, which greatly contributes to the experience. MSC shipboard life is extremely well organised, the ship is well maintained and expertly run. Add the excellent catering, professional shows and interesting excursions, which all add up to a very relaxing holiday. The excursion details were not clearly indicated by the travel agent before the cruise, as some options were termed "sold out" and yet were available on-board. The on-board excursion team were absolutely excellent, however our bookings were already made before the cruise. The Visa requirements were also not clearly indicated with some confusion regarding Dakar, when the Ship's card was acceptable and yet we were required to obtain visas. We are committed MSC cruisers and are thinking of the next one. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Now don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed this cruise and for the money we paid it was a bargain. However not having cruised with MSC before there were a few unexpected omissions compared to other lines we've used. Embarkation ... Read More
Now don't get me wrong, we really enjoyed this cruise and for the money we paid it was a bargain. However not having cruised with MSC before there were a few unexpected omissions compared to other lines we've used. Embarkation was swift as we were one of the last to board due to a prior trip to the Iguazu Falls, then it was straight into the lifeboat drill, where you not only had to take your life jackets, but wear them. When we got chance to settle in the cabin, it was quite spacious with lots of drawers and wardrobe space. The shower had a plastic curtain but it wasn't as clingy as most and I had to unblock the showerhead before it would work on our first night. The cabin steward was friendly and not too intrusive. There was only fixed dining times available unless you were in a certain class and we were assigned a table for the cruise. The waiter was very efficient and friendly, though his English wasn't the best. His assistant got the drinks and the appetisers but then left him to it most nights. The food was generally very good but the portion sizes are getting smaller (not just on MSC) but there was no problem with ordering more than one item on each course. There was no free water on the table, you had to buy bottles or use your drinks package. Neither was there coffee served at the table afterwards. You couldn't even buy it as they needed people to move on ready for the second sitting. The buffet was laid out with the kitchens and food down the centre of the deck, with tables along the windows on either side. Most items were duplicated on each side, but there was the odd thing e.g. pizza that was only available in one spot. This lead at times to it being awkward to carry plates and drinks whilst weaving in and out of folk looking for what they wanted. There was also a tendency for two people to occupy a table for 6 by placing bags and coats everywhere. There were only a few seats outside at the stern but you could take the food onto the main deck though it wasn't easy to achieve. It wasn't until halfway through the cruise that empty plates got quickly removed and tables cleaned for some reason. At lunchtimes there were specials based on a country of the day (not necessarily a country from our cruise). The lounges were large but two of them were adjacent to each other, and music from one could often be heard in the other. Over half of the passengers were from Argentina with the majority of the others from Italy and Germany, consequently the music in the lounges were suited to them most of the time. There was no 'live' music anywhere on the ship until the evening and between 12.30 and 4pm all the animation ceased. Maybe this was siesta time for most. Siesta probably accounted for the fact that all the big events in the evening didn't start until after 11pm. When the animation team got going, they were very good and always had lots of participants. They even entertained the audience prior to the evening shows in the theatre. The theatre shows again had to cater for different languages, so there were plenty of musical acts. The ships dancers and singers were in the main excellent, however they are from a separate company rather than MSC itself. There was an act in the form of 'Mr Bean' and he had the audience in stiches. There were a few classical shows which we gave a miss, though from the applause we could hear in the lounge, they went down well. Service in the lounges was very good and the servers would have a chat when it wasn't busy. The drinks were not cheap, and all the good stuff was just that bit more expensive than the drinks packages allowed. I ended up buying drinks vouchers because my wife does not drink that much and a drinks package for her would have been uneconomic. The ship was very clean but there was no emphasis on hand washing or other hygiene matters. The bannisters were constantly being polished which left a metallic smell on your hands. In fact the wife's hands turned black as the polish reacted with her hand cream. This was the first ship I've been on where access to certain parts of the deck were restricted to certain classes, you couldn't even walk through them! The sunbeds were odd as they would go completely flat or be reclined, but could not be put in a position were you could sit up and read. Maybe these are peculiar to MSC, though they did have a section that could shade your head from the sun. The excursions we took were ok but due to the small numbers of English speakers they were almost all mixed with a second language. Some of the guides struggled with one language or the other and as a consequence would spend more time speaking their best one. A couple of the tours we had pre-booked were cancelled due to the lack of English speaking numbers, but that did us a favour as we spent more time exploring the ports ourselves. Finally disembarkation in Rome was a complete shambles. Once we were off the gangplank there were no MSC crew to be seen when collecting the luggage and then when trying to get on the correct buses to the port gates. The resultant chaos meant several people missed their trains to Rome itself, and being Easter Monday there was a long wait for the next train. As I said at the start overall we enjoyed the cruise, and for the duration, the ports of call and the price we paid, it was good value for money. There are certain differences on MSC than we have had before, including holding on to your passport for the whole cruise. However I've booked another Grand Voyage with them in 2018 so I'll be more prepared next time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I made this cruise with MSC and never had such a bad experience. I reported my complaints at MSC and the even refused a compensation!!!!!! The transfer was a mess, the embarkation was very bad. I booked an Aurea Suite(!) no window to ... Read More
I made this cruise with MSC and never had such a bad experience. I reported my complaints at MSC and the even refused a compensation!!!!!! The transfer was a mess, the embarkation was very bad. I booked an Aurea Suite(!) no window to open nor a balcony. I asked for a swap but was told off by the receptionist. In the bars (from an Italian ship) there was no Martini available nor Aperol. Sometimes there was no Prosecco at stock. The restaurant was understaffed, waiter did not have enough time to take the order, tablecloth was dirty, glasses unpolished. The food was bad, the meat was not tender we were not able to consume the rack of lamb, the duck breast or the veal. It could not be chewed! The touring office told me off while taking my ticket, I did not know about the voucher that I was obliged to take the English coach. Very unkind staff....... Eating from the buffet was the alternative but there was no variation, each day the same and sometimes there was no food at all at the opening hours. The entertaiment was very poor, at all pool activities always the same tape with music. There were 8 entertainers for 20 participators. The rest from the guests was complaining because it was to loud. MSC did not understand my complaint but: never again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
First dinner night was stunned to find that you had to pay for water and tea or coffee. It is impossible to get a place around the pools. People were getting up at 04:30 to put their stuff on chairs. Continuous selling on board of drink ... Read More
First dinner night was stunned to find that you had to pay for water and tea or coffee. It is impossible to get a place around the pools. People were getting up at 04:30 to put their stuff on chairs. Continuous selling on board of drink packages etc. Unable to cancel an excursion without going to ships doctor (we were told that it would cost 70 to 80 Euros) this when we were not feeling well. tour costs 110 Euros for both of us thus we would have to spend 150 Euros to recoup 110 Euros. Dining was about a 3 out of 10. with 2 meals totally unedible. 4300 passengers just not confortable, The dining at the buffet on the 14 floor was always a pushy disaster. Saw an Italian man finger every piece of bread in the row when there were tongs for picking bread up with right there. We were absolutely stunned by how pushy some of the Europeans were (Italian mainly but others too). WILL WE EVER TAKE AN MSC CRUISE AGAIN -NO-NO-NO- P.S. They now have a ship with 5700 passengers. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I'm sorry I don't have time to write a lengthy detailed review of our cruise in the Fantasia's Yacht Club. Actually we were on board for a total of 25 days in that we had a one week Persian Gulf cruise Dubai-Dubai before ... Read More
I'm sorry I don't have time to write a lengthy detailed review of our cruise in the Fantasia's Yacht Club. Actually we were on board for a total of 25 days in that we had a one week Persian Gulf cruise Dubai-Dubai before embarking on the Dubai-Civitavecchia repositioning cruise. Yacht club is a fantastic experience and I'd be hard pressed to find anything negative to report. Our cabin (15002) was wonderful as was our butler Zakia and cabin steward Gusti. Meals were divine whether in the L'Etoile restaurant where our waiter Giuseppe and Maitre Giovanni treated us like royalty. The daily lunch buffet up at the One Pool was great as were the snacks served throughout the day in the Top Sail Lounge. The management by the Chief Butler Vinod and his staff assured pure excellence. The weather did not cooperate for several days during the first part of the cruise, causing us to miss Sir Bani Yas island. Weather and rough seas can upset any cruise so there's no sense complaining about something that the captain and ship have no control over. In this short review I'll say that the Fantasia is a wonderful ship which I've sailed on several times now and am looking forward to a two week Caribbean cruise on it in November. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our 4th MSC cruise and 12th cruise in total, so whilst not cruise experts we are able to compare our experience with previous trips. Although this ship is almost 10 years old, she is in pretty good shape and certainly provides ... Read More
This was our 4th MSC cruise and 12th cruise in total, so whilst not cruise experts we are able to compare our experience with previous trips. Although this ship is almost 10 years old, she is in pretty good shape and certainly provides a luxurious environment. We had a balcony and our cabin was in pristine condition and cleaned efficiently and effectively on a daily basis. The bathroom was a slight let down as it shows signs of wear and tear and we did have an issue or two with the plumbing, which was quickly rectified. We had arranged first sitting for dinner and had the services of two very welcoming and friendly waiters. Unfortunately we had an issue with one of table guests (we weren't alone!) and asked to change to the later sitting. Happily we had the same waiters and our dining experience was not effected and in fact, the attention of our waiters was probably better than on previous cruises. The menu was variable and of sufficient portions that we often felt we had over-eaten. Any suggestion that the food was cold and bland doesn't resonate with our experience. The entertainment attracted a mixed reaction from us. Some of the theatre shows were not for us, but that is to be expected when the ship is catering for an international audience. We felt that there was an leaning towards the tastes of the Italians (I accept this is an Italian ship) and the French. On one occasion the artist spend a considerable time conversing in Italian and French during her show and left those not fluent in those languages feeling rather disengaged. Other shows were better, although oddly enough the most enjoyable was an "X Factor" style show performed by the crew and not the professional dancers/ singers. On previous ships there has been a wide variety of entertainment in the bars and lounges, catering for all musical tastes. We found this sadly lacking on this ship and never really found a venue that appealed to us. We recalled an excellent singer and guitarist on two previous cruises who played 60's, 70's and 80's music which had the audience "rocking", alas a mild foot-tapping was the best we could muster on this occasion. Another disappointment was the bar service, which we have always found to be highly efficient. We usually found that by the second night the staff were familiar with the order and addressed you by name, not so with this trip. Whilst one particular waitress seemed to enjoy organising photo shoots for guests, she overlooked the fact that other guests were sitting awaiting her attention for drinks orders. A smile and a wave to try to encourage to do her job was met with a glare that suggested she has more important tasks to deal with. On one occasion we sat for 20 minutes before anyone approached our table for an order and often patience led to us adopting the "British way" and approaching the bar ourselves. Whilst this seemed to bring disapproving looks from the waiting staff, it did ensure that we got our drinks. The trip from Barbados to Tenerife meant we were at sea for 5 days and fortunately the weather was excellent which allowed us to lie on deck and enjoy the sunshine. However, you had to have your wits about you to secure and retain a sunbed as the usual practice of reserving beds with towels form early morning was clearly in evidence. Happily the deck staff seemed wise to this and did remove towels from those beds where it was clear that they were not being used, but really have a thought for your fellow passengers and don't be so selfish. You can't blame MSC for the weather and on our final full day we called in at Marseille where the heavens proceeded to open and we got drenched. However, at that port MSC will sell you a ticket for the shuttle bus from port to town and it costs about 15 euros per person for a return. If you walk about 400 yards up the road there is a free shuttle into town, which does still operate contrary to information online. I have no doubt that we will choose MSC for future cruises as they generally provide a good service and whilst not everyone can be satisfied all of the time, the trips are interesting and usually very reasonably priced. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This is the second time that my partner and I have bought Fly-Cruise packages for Transatlantic cruise from MSC - But never again. MSC does not allow any flexibility on your flight arrangements and therefore you have no personal time to ... Read More
This is the second time that my partner and I have bought Fly-Cruise packages for Transatlantic cruise from MSC - But never again. MSC does not allow any flexibility on your flight arrangements and therefore you have no personal time to enjoy the destination prior to boarding the cruise. Our experience of Miami a couple of years back was simply a bus ride from airport to seaport, and even that was through the haze of tiredness following a long flight. This cruise included an overnight onboard the ship in Havana. Day 1 was completely occupied by our flight from Spain which landed very late at night and suffered very poor immigration/customs/transfer arrangements so it was the wee hours of the morning when we finally reached our cabin. We set a wake-up alarm for a few hours later and were able to explore the city for most of day 2, luckily. MSC Armonia was not a bad ship but it was certainly past its prime. The bugbear for us was the extremely poor layout/schedule/selection/quality of the buffet restaurant. After sailing for a day and a half across the open Atlantic we turned round and headed back to perform a med-evac. This event was totally blamed for the subsequent itinerary changes though passenger scuttlebutt identified an out-of-action engine as the principal culprit. Another quibble we have with MSC is their habit of charging a supplement to the cruise fare to passengers in Spain described as Port Taxes (UK and US webpages for MSC include them in the cruise fare advertised) - Whenever itinerary adjustments skip a port of call, however, there is no refund of the corresponding Port Taxes. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Out of 21 days on the cruise I had to stay in my room for 18 days because of an injury, After 10 letters, different calls to main office, they were willing to give me a discount of 20% on a next cruise. They said that I refused at first ... Read More
Out of 21 days on the cruise I had to stay in my room for 18 days because of an injury, After 10 letters, different calls to main office, they were willing to give me a discount of 20% on a next cruise. They said that I refused at first to see a Dr. When you fall in front of everybody, the first thing you say is I am ok and do not touch me, I did not even know my name after the fall, so even if after 1 hour I decided to go and see the Dr. It was to late for them. So If I go back and see someone get injured, will tell them, see the Dr and decide afterward. It did cost me $400 in Dr's fee on that ship. Do not know if that is worth it Will be sailing on Jan 8th with Celebrity Being Elite on that ship I know their ships and safety measures. On the Divina, the Cafeteria is really dangerous, I was told that 1 person falls every trip Half of the staff did not speak English Embarkation in Barcelona took 4 hours, nobody knew what to do and we could not hear them Italian ship but their pasta was the worst To go for dining you had to take 2 different elevators, located in a space not easy to find Waiters at the dining were beginners and only one out of 10 understood some English, so we often did get surprises in our choosing. At least they were nice enough to go back if you did not like what you had. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I chose this cruise for its destination and because the previous MSC experience a year before was excellent on MSC Opera. In comparison with, this one was worse. Too much Brazilian oriented music and activities. I missed more latin ... Read More
I chose this cruise for its destination and because the previous MSC experience a year before was excellent on MSC Opera. In comparison with, this one was worse. Too much Brazilian oriented music and activities. I missed more latin dàncing songs played by the bands onboard and more animated music. Dancing teachers excellent. Special thanks to the Brazilian group Danilo, Vinicius, Aline and Karen. They really made me feel a bit more at home. I missed sense of a United group within passengers, maybe because the most of them were Brazilian and rested together. Service staff very correct, except one or two, but not very much interested in creating a family and close relationship with passengers. Decoration was excellent, specially swaroski steps. Luckily I found an animation person who I met on my previous MSC Opera cruise. She is great in her job and very friendly. Her name Sara, from Morocco. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise due interesting itinerary, but foods, wines, front recepcion atention, were very low quality and manufacturing. For example, we complain about the wines, as others passangers did. About the food, poor quality of ... Read More
We chose this cruise due interesting itinerary, but foods, wines, front recepcion atention, were very low quality and manufacturing. For example, we complain about the wines, as others passangers did. About the food, poor quality of meat, fish, and others. A dish of lamb, were 8 small pieces sizes 1 cm x 1cm, 4 of them inedible. A course of " "cocido a española", was a stew , a steak was a piece of mm of thick, overcooked and inedible. Fish was returned due bad smell. We do not understand why you desing a lot of balcony, and the clean of this area is not in the routine. The balcony were in poor condition, the windows of the door were dirty, the chairs were so dirty, so we cared with our clothes. We clean ourselves, in other to enjoy it. You do not wait, that we must do the job of your personell. We do not like to complain, on aboard. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The cabin,waiters and bar staff are excellent...............they do their utmost to make you happy.However after experiencing the food in both the formal and buffet restaurants with unappealing food and complaining to both reception and ... Read More
The cabin,waiters and bar staff are excellent...............they do their utmost to make you happy.However after experiencing the food in both the formal and buffet restaurants with unappealing food and complaining to both reception and officers of the ship not one of the management acknolowged or responded to our complaints..........in other words your complaints fall on deaf ears.!!!!!!! Also when we arrived at Genoa airport speaking to other passengers found out that 4 weeks after we had booked direct with MSC they had purchased better grade cabins at 50% lower rates than ourselves direct with MSC.As a Silver Voyagers Club Member I find this dis-respectful and very annoying. Will have to re-think any future cruises with MSC as food on MSC Preziosa was very good. Next cruise in February is with NCL in South America so it will be interesting to compare. MSC are a difficult firm to deal with and once you have booked it is very difficult to make changes Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Just completed a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean to South America. The ship's staff were great. Very helpfull, polite and happy. Perhaps as many of them were heading to their home country. Lots of good humour ... Read More
Just completed a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean to South America. The ship's staff were great. Very helpfull, polite and happy. Perhaps as many of them were heading to their home country. Lots of good humour and they seemed to be interested in you. Lots of information provided by them on the areas of our onward journey. The ship was very clean and facilities were good. The food was perhaps the weakest point. Sometimes a little bland, dry or overcooked. However, very easy to change your choice or request more very good atmophere in the dining room. Did not personally use much of the onboard entertainment but was confirmed by others it was quite good. However, the dance team were great even for me with two left feet. Disembarkation at Santos was rather chaotic, however, passenger facilities at this mainly cargo port were not good. Would recommend adopting a drinks package ascthis saves a lit compared to onboard prices. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was a repositioning cruise that was excellent value for money. The staff were wonderful, especially our waiter Daniel Berg Cavalcante. He remembered all of our wine choices and preferences and was professional, polite and always made ... Read More
This was a repositioning cruise that was excellent value for money. The staff were wonderful, especially our waiter Daniel Berg Cavalcante. He remembered all of our wine choices and preferences and was professional, polite and always made us feel welcome at the table, taking a genuine interest in our days activities. The entertainment staff were also great fun, ensuring that we didn't get bored on our long sea days. The ship had several bars and coffee shops to choose from and didn't feel overcrowded. I didn't find the food amazing but it was adequate and there was enough to choose from. It would have been nice for the coffee shop to offer cookies or biscuits to go with the coffee throughout the day, once the breakfast option finished. When using the gym you are directed to the toilets outside of the spa and across the pool area, this seems a little strange when there are toilet facilities within the spa (I think these must only be available if you pay for the spa package). Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We took (and reviewed) a similar repositioning cruise from Genoa to Brazil aboard the MSC Orchestra 2 years ago. At a cost of just £50 per person per day we think MSC offer exceptional value for money. The balcony cabin was just great. ... Read More
We took (and reviewed) a similar repositioning cruise from Genoa to Brazil aboard the MSC Orchestra 2 years ago. At a cost of just £50 per person per day we think MSC offer exceptional value for money. The balcony cabin was just great. We provided our own kettle to brew a cuppa whenever we felt like one. The €287.50 that we paid to access the spa was money well spent. The saunas were even better than in 2014, heated to 80°C rather than just 70°C, and the steam rooms were also hotter and not draughty. The payment also included access to 3 indoor Jacuzzis that were rarely crowded. We thoroughly enjoyed the 5 classical concerts by the 6 talented members of Musica in Maschera in the ship’s main theatre. The in-house entertainment team were good too, although their talents were repackaged again and again, as the same jugglers, acrobats, dancers and strongmen performed in Batman outfits for Gothem, in Asterix & Cleopatra outfits and finally for one last ‘Best Of’ show. High-margin items like perfumes, beauty products and handbags were always for sale from stalls set up in public areas around meal times. I was concerned by the very high suggested manufacturer’s retail prices quoted for a brand of watches, Invicta that are sold exclusively on TV shopping channels, cruise ships and over the internet. They claimed a €1499 price tag for the Invictca 2928B, and left leaflets in our cabin announcing discounts of up to 75%. MSC’s selling price of this watch is €549. I bought one over the internet after the cruise for £70. Beware of inflated sea prices as you have limited consumer protection! MSC Shore excursions were popular but we plumed for our own independent activities except in Rio. We paid $70 for a full day tour in a minivan, for a similar tour priced €140 on board (which included a light lunch delivered to your cabin beforehand). It’s worth noting that MSC provide no maps or practical information about shore stop destinations so do your homework beforehand. (Exceptionally, at Mindelo the local Cape Verde authorities had no information booth nor were there exchange facilities. Banks need to see your passport or a copy of it, but you can pay in most places using euros (preferred) or US dollars). We ate mostly at the buffet, enjoying real mozzarella cheese, fresh fruits & salads penne with tomato sauce, baked whole fish with tomato sauce and jellies amongst the culinary highlights. Dining in the restaurants is the only area I would rate as fair to poor. Breakfast and lunch are now both semi-self-service/semi-served, which is awkward if you have circular bench seats on a table for 8. Dinner is fully waiter served by friendly Indonesians, but the food was served lukewarm rather than piping hot, and most main course choices were either over- or undercooked. Soups were poor, desserts including a sugar-free version, quite good. Overall I stress that MSC offer tremendous value for money. The main reasons we go are to relax, read, sunbathe, enjoy undemanding entertainment. We ate perfectly adequately in the buffet and even managed not to gain weight. However I think next time we shall try another (more expensive!) repositioning cruise… Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We did back to back cruises and did Greece and Montenegro the week before on the same ship. Awesome itineraries, we were scheduled to stop at Malta but due to rough seas detoured to Majorca which was amazing beautiful place to visit, no ... Read More
We did back to back cruises and did Greece and Montenegro the week before on the same ship. Awesome itineraries, we were scheduled to stop at Malta but due to rough seas detoured to Majorca which was amazing beautiful place to visit, no biggy cause I already been to Malta before, some passengers were upset about not getting to Malta, but good that we had another port to visit as plan B as I believe some cruise lines don't always do this if a port is cancelled. The ship was nice cabins big enough and very quiet. We requested and paid for and upgrade from inside to balcony, but they refunded the money and said it was a free upgrade, WOW!!!... Food was OK in buffet, they do delicious curries and pizzas but don't serve enough curries in the buffet or restaurants. An indian couple on the table behind us asked if they would prepare their table a special Indian meal, request granted, not many aussies on ship (about 40) and we asked if they could organise a quiz for us,,, request granted, also excellent service with captain and ambassador frequently walking round ship asking if everyone happy and anything extra they could do, we asked for a table change and well no request seemed to be to difficult. Probs nearly 3000 passengers on this ship but staff so nice and professional they make you feel your the only one... Didn't like disembarking at Buenos Aries, small terminal busy and hot, took 2 hours to get out, but I think that's the ports problem, not MSC. Most ports easy to get on/off ship. The tours were reasonably priced, same price as private tours. I booked and paid for the thermal spa but didn't use it, only went to gym to weigh myself but then they said scales broke (I'm not that big) so upset that all I wanted to use in the thermal spa area were scales and same not available. I have booked again to go on another cruise with MSC next year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Sailed with MSC...gold card holders...so very disappointed. Venice embarkation shambles to say the least. After flight from Dublin and long track across Venice airport coach park with luggage in the rain we had to stand 2+ hrs to ... Read More
Sailed with MSC...gold card holders...so very disappointed. Venice embarkation shambles to say the least. After flight from Dublin and long track across Venice airport coach park with luggage in the rain we had to stand 2+ hrs to hand over luggage in PRIORITY BOARDING lane at cruise terminal. Fellow passengers the noisiest, hardly any English announcements/entertainment etc clear enough to hear. We so fed up with tango demos, entertainment after THREE WEEKS we cancelled show here in Buenos Aires. LITINERARY was awful.......half days in Recefi, Sansalvedor and Rio (tour guide there useless and slept or smoked so v disappointing) destinations we went for. No TV available... almost all of cruise....all retuned after Med. They kept promising us "after Sansalvedor" or "after Rio" so unprofessional when they knew it wasn't going on again. Disembark in Buenos Aires another nightmare in tropical temps. It was not the Bucket List cruise I had envisioned or hoped for yet I love usually love and recommend MSC? If you not Spanish or Italian speaker would suggest give Grand Voyages with MSC a wide berth. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It is an excellent company where I have been able to travel 3 times, one north of Europe MSc OPERA, and the other 2 with the MSC ARMONIA to Brazil in 2015 and CUBA in 2016. I love the animation of the boat as well as the layout of it ... Read More
It is an excellent company where I have been able to travel 3 times, one north of Europe MSc OPERA, and the other 2 with the MSC ARMONIA to Brazil in 2015 and CUBA in 2016. I love the animation of the boat as well as the layout of it and the food and service that are excellent. The shows are different every day and that makes every day a new day. Also I really liked the parties that are done in the pool as they are thematic and very fun. The routes and stops are also quite good as it goes on stopping every day and very varied. In conclusion I love the company and will surely repeat with it that the quality and service are good and the prices very affordable. Is very Nice the company. MSC is a very good company and I'm sure I'll recommend to my friends. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was my second cruise on Opera. I last travelled on her to the Black Sea thee years ago. On my last cruise I would have rated the ship four or five but this voyage had some major problems. Firstly the good points: The ship has ... Read More
This was my second cruise on Opera. I last travelled on her to the Black Sea thee years ago. On my last cruise I would have rated the ship four or five but this voyage had some major problems. Firstly the good points: The ship has medium sized, modern and comfortable cabins. These cabins are well maintained and the cabin stewards are first rate. The ship has a good layout and all the public areas are cleaned and well maintained. The Allegrissimo drinks package was good value and the overall standard of the drinks were very good. A minor point, a larger beer selection and diet tonic would be nice. The food overall was good. However this times we did have a few poor meals. Last time on the Opera all meals were good. Service in the restaurants and bars was excellent. And now for the not so good: Tiny gym for a large ship. Always impossible to get a machine. This voyage was an Atlantic crossing. When my wife and I went to breakfast at eight AM, most of the pool sunbeds were reserved. By the time we went out at nine all beds were reserved. there wer plenty of beds on deck 12, but that had no shade and was pretty windswept. From our lofty perch on deck twelve we noted that a fair proportion of the beds were still unused at eleven. Even more galling was we noticed some groups had reserved two beds, one in shade and one in sun. Since the Company has a policy of no reservation we tried to raise the issue with reception. I will come back to this point at the end of my review? Excursions. The ship advertised a large selection of of excursions in the English language. We booked three and two of them were cancelled. One of our excurions booked was to the Normandy landing sites. Many of the English speakers were from Australia and New Zealand. Some had come specifically for the D Day sites. MSC showed no interst in helping them, although internet research showed local guides were available. I tried to talk to the Excursions Manager? Major Complaint. I thought the sundeck and excursion problems were worth complaining about. It took half a dozen visits to reception to get anyone of authority to listen. The excursions manager saw me after we had left Cherbourg a full thirty hours after my original complaint. Would I use MSC again? On an ocean transit, NEVER. The excursion and the sundeck problems would put an end to that. Also on a British / AMerican ship there are far more activities in the event of a crowded deck / inclement weather. MSC did try, but when at the multinational quiz you hear the same question in five languages and lose the will to live. Entertainment also was less to my liking, but the classical concerts were excellent. On a Med or short cruise. PERHAPS. Given a good itinerary, comfortable cabin, good drinks and reasonable food I might be tempted. But I would be careful to sort out my own excursions before I left home Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
After you have cruised many times with different cruise lines, I think you start asking yourself why you choose a particular cruise line instead of the others. In our case a very important role is the itinerary and the price-value ... Read More
After you have cruised many times with different cruise lines, I think you start asking yourself why you choose a particular cruise line instead of the others. In our case a very important role is the itinerary and the price-value relationship. Nowadays many cruise lines travel the itinerary that we want to travel to very reasonable prices. We do choose however MSC cruises over other cruise lines for the transatlantic crossings because of some reasons: 1) we like those long journeys from Europe to South America and vice versa on well appointed and modern ships like the MSC Splendida, 2) we enjoy the Italian way of cruising with Italian music and Italian food, 3) we like very much the activities on board, specially Tai Chi with well qualified instructors, which makes a crossing very pleasant and contributes to our well being, 4) we enjoy the shows and the entertainment and 5) we look forward for the changing regional food offerings. Our crossing with the MSC Splendida from Genoa to Santos met those criteria. We have enjoyed the crossing. Our cabin 11132 was a good midship cabin. We have appreciated the effort of the cabin attendant, of the waiters, of the crew members and of the officers. We have not missed one Tai Chi lesson. We have enjoyed the Brazilian singers at the main lobby every evening and we have loved the elegance of the ship. We do find however, that there is room for improvement in some areas. For example the dancing music was according to our opinion, way to slow and repetitive. There was a duo in one small venue, which was also kind of a walking path, which alternated the music with a solo singer every evening. This place was actually the only place to dance before 22.00 pm and unfortunately, during the whole transatlantic, every evening the music was the same, slow and boring. What a pity... We felt like zombies moving at the rhythm of a music played without much enthusiasm as if the players would have been instructed to play music to listen but not to dance. Unfortunately in the after lounge the band there, according to our opinion, did not really manage to motivate public to dance. There were dance lessons at 20.30 pm more or less. What an odd time for dance lessons...at that time people should be able to dance, not to wait for some dance lessons to end. Once the dance lessons finished, and the band took over, again many people left, because the music was not very conducive. Now we are talking about a public in which the majority were Brazilians, who dance well and happily. Where were they? Listening to very good Brazilian music at the lobby. The two duos were excelent. Why were the two duos always in the lobby and did not change place to another venue, in which people could dance? I am sure the lovely bosa nova, which they were playing would have brought many people, including us, to the dance floor. Another thing that we have missed was the classic music at the lobby. This is also from our perspective another value added from MSC Cruises in their journeys (we consider Tai Chi another main value added). No one used that grand piano at the lobby, although there were a pianist and a violin player, which could have provided for good entertainment. Another area of improvement lies on the wines offered as part of the inclusive package. Without being exceptionally good, they are Ok for no more than one week, but if you are doing a crossing of at least 18 nights, it is extremely boring to always be offered the same wine. Is it really so difficult to offer other wines for a similar price as part of the inclusive package? Other cruise lines change the wines after a couple of days, so I guess it might be possible. Another small issue, is that in our previous cruises with the Splendida, we remember hearing the lovely Italian song "Com te partiro" when the ship was leaving a port. This was nice and became something to look forward to it. Other cruise lines, play other songs, for example Crystal Cruises always plays "What a wonderful world". Unfortunately on the crossing in November with the Splendida, there was no song played in every port. I think only once was played "Com te partiro" in Brazilian waters. It is a pity because hearing to a particular song, makes leaving the port so much nicer and every time that song plays outside a cruise ship, we evoke the sailings... Despite the points listed as having room for improvement, we have enjoyed our crossing. We wish to thank those hard working crew members, members of the entertainment team and officers, who always make a cruise, a special one for us. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My wife and I chose MSCs 20 day 'Grand Voyage' from Genoa to Rio de Janeiro, leaving 04/11. We prefer sea-time over port-time and this had an exotic itinerary. This was the ship's first voyage after it's 27m ... Read More
My wife and I chose MSCs 20 day 'Grand Voyage' from Genoa to Rio de Janeiro, leaving 04/11. We prefer sea-time over port-time and this had an exotic itinerary. This was the ship's first voyage after it's 27m 'stretch' and much refurbishing of public areas. We understood this was a 40 day operation which is an outstanding achievement. Our impressions were fully positive about the results of this 'renaissance' programme. A few comments would summarise the contrast between our excellent experiences and our poor experiences. The ship was extremely clean and well maintained. All our experiences of Housekeeping, Food and Beverage and Entertainments staff were completely positive. We, along with other guests, feel that it was Guest Services who were the weak link. I am sure it must require powers of resilience to remain cheerful in the face of constant guest enquiries/niggles/complaints. In my experience it was the style of their responses that was of concern. Some examples: >>The ship was delayed 2+ hrs entering Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It had to be tugged in fore and aft eventually. The PA system apologised for this 'technical problem'. With previous marine experience I enquired with some concern about this 'problem'. From 3 different Guest Service personnel I was told it was not a 'problem' but was due to 'communications', then 'weather', then 'busy port traffic'. All patently untrue. Then it was announced that our departure was delayed until midnight 'because of late flight arrival'. There were no public flight arrival delays at Tenerife North or South that afternoon or evening. Still tied up at 0100, an honest Guest Services agent confirmed the continued delay was because of the ongoing 'technical problem'. >>All TV reception was unavailable from Canaries to the Brazil coast when all TV channels became totally Brazilian emphasis. Many people enquired about the possibility of at least 1 English language news channel given the tragic events in Paris. All fervently promised deadlines passed without action. The Guest Services Manager gave me his absolute promise on consecutive days that it would be resolved. Without action or results. >>After a 20 day cruise our arrival into iconic Rio, passing Sugar Loaf mountain as we enter the harbour was eagerly anticipated to end the 'Grand Voyage'. Unfortunately the previous evening's published navigation plan appeared to have been revised during the night by bridge officers so that we were tied up inside the harbour at 0700. The implication of this was that all passengers missed the much-anticipated arrival to Rio after our 20 days cruise. I quote the above examples to indicate the indifference shown to fare-paying passengers by certain crucial aspects of the cruise organisation. At times I was being given ridiculous responses to valid enquiries much as might be given to a troublesome child ! As an adult I much prefer to receive honest replies. Certainly I will not be availing myself of such indifference again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
The first voyage of the stretched Lirica (251 to 275 m), Genoa to Rio. The ship wasn't full, but busy nonetheless, and dread the feeding arrangements if it was full. Overall the ship was clean and well-maintained, the food good ... Read More
The first voyage of the stretched Lirica (251 to 275 m), Genoa to Rio. The ship wasn't full, but busy nonetheless, and dread the feeding arrangements if it was full. Overall the ship was clean and well-maintained, the food good although some economies were evident (compared to previous MSC cruises). The buffet was best avoided (crowded during meal times); we used the waiter served restaurants below deck. Lunch was the best meal of the day. The usual MSC Italian food (pizzas and pasta) was good. Sadly MSC cannot do scones, although their bread was tasty. As usual the entertainment staff work their socks off (their dance classes were particularly good, notably the Brazilian folklore dancers). Our cabin was in the stretched portion of the ship so a brand new cabin which was well designed and worked well (although we did have occasional problems with hot water) - well sound proofed and no creaking. The cabin attendants worked harder than ever - I supect they have more rooms to look after than on previous cruises, but have no evidence for this view. And MSC have stopped the excellent free early morning stretch classes in the gym organised by gym staff (now run by entertainments staff next to the pool and less professional). One other serious point is that smoking was allowed adjacent to the exercise area by the pool - as one stretched/danced one inhaled great gusts of second hand cigar and cigarette smoke. What were the areas that need some improvements? Its the little things like the webcam/Lirica position not working most of the time. The absence of English language stations on the TV (outwith the Mediterranean) and English movies. The casual approach of passengers to the alcohol hand washes- staff did not enforce. There was the usual bug circulating (cough/ upper respiratory tract infection) but I figure these are unavoidable with close contact with passengers in the theatre, restaurants/bars etc. De-caffeinated coffee and tea disappeared early during the cruise ( I blame light fingered passengers hoovering up the sachets), one had to ask the attendant for a de-caffeinated portion. Evening theatre performances a mixed bag (we had seen 80% before) but with so many nationalities on board they have to be non-speaking; the classical concerts were excellent (an MSC strength). Library poor, and they do not have a book-swap arrangement (in fact I suspect previous passengers' books comprise the MSC library). It was a good trip for dancing, despite the minute dancing areas and the fact that many singers/performers seemed to avoid good dancing tunes. We will take this cruise again (Brazil quite safe if one is careful) - we enjoy the MSC product and the Rio trip in November is a welcome change from autumnal Britain. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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