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20 MSC Cruises Rostock (Warnemunde) Cruise Reviews

Our 3-generation family group of 6 enjoyed our weeklong Baltic cruise. We chose this sailing primarily for the combination of itinerary and cost and were not disappointed. We usually travel independently and found embarkation in ... Read More
Our 3-generation family group of 6 enjoyed our weeklong Baltic cruise. We chose this sailing primarily for the combination of itinerary and cost and were not disappointed. We usually travel independently and found embarkation in Warnemunde easy with the local train station a short walk from the modern Port facility. With the exception of St. Petersburg, where a visa is required, we found the ports (Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen) easy to navigate on our own. In St. Petersburg, we booked a small group day tour with TJ Travel and were very pleased by how much we were able to see in a single day. We had no difficulty getting through Passport control with the provided tickets or finding the tour guide once in the port facility. Since only 2 of our group had cruise once 20 years ago, there were not many expectations and no one was disappointed. The balcony cabins were as large as the European hotel room we stayed in before the cruise, was always clean, and the kids found the double trundle sofa comfortable. After spending the day in some of the highest cost cities in Europe we loved coming back to the all you could eat buffet. We saved precious sightseeing time and dollars by only stopping for quick bites while in port. We really enjoyed our main dining room waitstaff (Juan Pablo and John) and looked forward to an enjoyable dinner each evening. We do not have recent comparison with other cruise lines, but everyone including the kids found something they enjoyed every night. After dinner, we attended at least the beginning of the nightly show, and some were better received by our family than others. The special acts (acrobats, contortionists) were big hits but the general dance numbers not as much of an interest. The lack of dialogue was not a concern for us, and we did not mind the variety of languages or being in a minority of Americans. MSC hosted a complimentary Independence Day reception for all American passengers on the evening of July 4th, and it was a nice gesture with free cocktails and entertainment. Our son who is 7 enjoyed the kids club, while our daughter who is 11 fell at the top of the same age group range and usually enjoyed staying with us instead. In general, staff members we encountered spoke English sufficiently to at least communicate basics and many were fluent. Some of the staff were amazing with their ability to switch between 6 languages seamlessly. We were able to feel like we were fully in Europe for the week but had no difficulty communicating. We would not hesitate to cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We (five adults) wanted to go to the Baltics and MSC Poesia was the best option for us since we were to visit 9 ports including a two day stay in St. Petersburg. First time on MSC. We left from Warnemunde, Germany which is not an easy ... Read More
We (five adults) wanted to go to the Baltics and MSC Poesia was the best option for us since we were to visit 9 ports including a two day stay in St. Petersburg. First time on MSC. We left from Warnemunde, Germany which is not an easy port to get to nor leave from Berlin. We could have embarked and disembarked in Copenhagen which after our experience in Warnemunde I would recommend. In Warnemunde the bus leaves you quite away from the ship and traveling with medium size bags to the ship is not easy. On our return we had decided to take the train but that was cancelled without any notification and we ended up taking a train, a crammed bus and then another train lugging our bags up and down various flights of steep stairs. Other than that, the cruise in itself was a great experience. The ship was comfortable and very clean. Cabin service was excellent. The entertainment was among the best I had experienced. The Cruise staff in charge of Adult activities consisted of young people from varios countries ( Spain, Brazil, Panama, Mauritania to name just a few) who entertained us daily with their charm, wit, friendliness and antics throughout the cruise. The nightly shows I considered excellent, very different and entertaining. Our main dining room service ( we had the late seating) was remarkable making up for the not so great food. The food preparation was average. Overall we had fun experience and visited some great places. As a last note May can be quite chilly in the Baltic so pack accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I would like to give my honest review of the Baltic cruise on the MSC Poesia. We started our cruise in Warnemunde. We spent the night before the cruise in Rostock, Germany. It was a nice town with a strip of shops and colorful houses. ... Read More
I would like to give my honest review of the Baltic cruise on the MSC Poesia. We started our cruise in Warnemunde. We spent the night before the cruise in Rostock, Germany. It was a nice town with a strip of shops and colorful houses. In the morning we made the short drive to Warnemunde. I had purchased parking at Easy Parken for 96 euros for the cruise. It was a breeze. The workers were friendly and delivered us to the ship. The embarkment process was easy. We received our cards and went to our room. It looks like most of the rooms have balconies. I would highly recommend having a balcony. We sat out at some of the ports and enjoyed watching the water. Our cabin steward did a great job keeping our room looking good. The ports were all good. I recommend taking Uber to get from Glyndia to Gdansk which is a beautiful city. Klaipeda is a bit small and doesn't offer much. It does have a good market with local crafts and lots of amber for what I believe was a good price. I wish I had bought more. It is within walking distance of the port. Riga was nicer and bigger. We walked from the ship and tours are offered for 12 euros outside of the House of the Black Heads. Tallin was within walking distance of the port and was a lovely medieval city. We enjoyed walking around the town. There are many restaurants to enjoy lunch and many shops and a market. The prices were good for woolen goods and linen things. St. Petersburg was great! Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen needed transportation to the city, but Hop on Hop Buses were waiting at the terminal. The service in the dining rooms was good but we felt the food could be better. The drink prices were reasonable. Overall, we had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We enjoyed the places of Port the cruise took, our cabin had a balcony and it was a very nice room, the food was poor and so was the service very unfriendly staff, made the ship experience very unpleasant. Having been on other cruise lines ... Read More
We enjoyed the places of Port the cruise took, our cabin had a balcony and it was a very nice room, the food was poor and so was the service very unfriendly staff, made the ship experience very unpleasant. Having been on other cruise lines this was the worst experience as it is the service that plays a huge part of the cruising experience. Other than the places of Port i wouldn't taken this line. The only staff members that was pleasant were the cruise director Petra, she is wonderfully talented and the guest entertainer with the magic show was good. Service needs serious improvement especially guest relations they were quick to answer without hearing our questions. On board entertainment was very poor. My partner and i requested a board game and most of the pieces were missing. There is not much to do on a sea day onboard. We had someone do a lecture on upcoming ports it was honestly pathetic!! She showed us pictures and knew nothing about any port, most guests walked out while she spoke, the master chef quiz after her was very nice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Terrible Food, Entertainment, Activities, Staff. The food was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise. Poor selections, seemed like the same food was being recycled every night. Lots of bread and pastas. No steak, Lobster ... Read More
Terrible Food, Entertainment, Activities, Staff. The food was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise. Poor selections, seemed like the same food was being recycled every night. Lots of bread and pastas. No steak, Lobster or regional dishes. After dinner in the dining room we would go up to the buffet because we were still hungry. Usually took food back to room because the buffet was always packed and seating difficult to find due to crowding. Entertainment was boring, student level. No movies or art shows. TV in room didn't work, internet super slow. Shore excursions are expensive and many poorly planned. At one site the guide made us stand in the cold hale (not rain, frozen rain aka hale) for 35 minutes because his schedule said we had to visit that point of interest until 12 noon. He wouldn't let us return to the bus where it was warm. He was very young and wouldn't make changes or allowances for the weather. Photographers were desperate to take and sell photos.They were everywhere, everyday and night. Even in the dining room when you were trying to eat Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have been on several MSC cruises in the past and have enjoyed them very much. But our recent Baltic cruise on the Poesia was disappointing. The food in the Lido was poorly prepared---too salty or dried out in particular--and heavy in ... Read More
We have been on several MSC cruises in the past and have enjoyed them very much. But our recent Baltic cruise on the Poesia was disappointing. The food in the Lido was poorly prepared---too salty or dried out in particular--and heavy in refined carbohydrates; the main dining room was extremely noisy and cramped, so much so that we simply avoided it most nights; and the entertainment was very amateurish. Another annoyance was having to pay for water (bottled only) in the dining room as well as a cup of coffee! On the positive side, the ship was very clean and the room steward was excellent. As well, the ports of call were excellent, although we typically had only 6 hours at each stop, probably to minimize port charges. This made our visits to most of the stops rather superficial and rushed when they didn't need to be, given the proximity of each port of call..And because the Poesia docked at some distance from the center of almost every city or town, we had to pay for an expensive shuttle bus service most days. Although we enjoyed the Poesia's itinerary very much, we will not take another MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary- 9 ports in 11 days including Saint Petersburg. A good sampling of the Baltic’s. The ship is beautiful, the cabin (11006) adequate, the staff mostly good. MSC in general offers poor customer ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary- 9 ports in 11 days including Saint Petersburg. A good sampling of the Baltic’s. The ship is beautiful, the cabin (11006) adequate, the staff mostly good. MSC in general offers poor customer service-no fault of the onboard staff. It started before the cruise with offered then taken away 12 drink vouchers (or use for gelato). It took 3 months and too many calls and emails to receive a first offered $50 on board credit for the cabin for the loss of the vouchers then, finally, $80 credit each for the vouchers ( that had a $120 value each). We decided on their easy drink package which, at one time, offered drinks up to $8 ea. Liquor list included Smirnoff, beefeater, dewars, and such. Also wine under $8 of which there was one each (white, red, rose). When we got onboard the liquor selection changed and brands I’ve never heard of were the only offered. We had to upgrade if we were going to drink and not have huge hangovers in the morning from rot-gut liquor or wine. There was only 1specialty restaurant onboard-sushi- which never had more than 4 tables occupied. The buffet always offered cold food that should have been hot-the last for me was cold sauerkraut with lukewarm sausage, never mind the cold eggs in the morning...the dining room food was better but very limited hours. Morning room service was continental only and not available till 7am. There was NO food available at the buffet on the only sea day from 1500-1600- not even cold pizza. Out of 7-8 bars you could get a Bloody Mary at only one at 1000 on a sea day-even if the bar was open a Bloody Mary wasn’t “an easy” drink so they didn’t serve it! Wine was hit or miss-most bars didn’t carry the better wines and if they did they were out of it. After day 3 a Chablis was not available in the main dining room. Excursions were cancelled and no attempt was made for other accommodations. Shows were ok but opera on a cruise ship for 3-4 nights? The best located venues were either closed for private parties or did not open till 2300. MSC is a totally European line- announcements were in 5 languages. My expectations were based on that. They didn’t meet my minimum standards on food or drink. Not staffs fault! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have just returned from an 11 night port intensive Baltic cruise on Orchestra and I have to admit we went with limited expectations after reading previous reviews. A little background and context first which I think is important when ... Read More
We have just returned from an 11 night port intensive Baltic cruise on Orchestra and I have to admit we went with limited expectations after reading previous reviews. A little background and context first which I think is important when reading these reviews: We are in our early 50’s and have mainly sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Oceania. Our Diamond status on R.C. allowed us to get matching Black status prior to booking. We flew from Edinburgh to Berlin and caught the train to Warnemunde in Northern Germany where we spent an overnight before boarding. Warnemunde is a pleasant seaside resort with upmarket shops and restaurants and a fine sandy beach next to a wide promenade area. The weather was so good we got to paddle in the sea! The hotel we booked was a convenient 10 minute walk to the ship, although they need to do something about the underpass at the train station which has no lift facility for heavy cases. We went to the terminal around 1pm where the embarkation process consisted of leaving your cases with MSC staff at one end of the terminal and proceeding inside for registration and security. The whole process took 15 minutes until we were on the ship. Probably the quickest anywhere so far. We got into our cabin about 1.30pm and our luggage arrived about 3pm. Your cruise card is within your unlocked cabin on arrival which was unusual for us and you then register a credit card at a terminal for all onboard spend. We booked one of the Aurea Suites onboard and were happy with the space provided. They are similar in size to a Junior suite on R.C. or mini suite on Princess with a bath/shower combination and a decent sized balcony on deck 15. There is a large walk in cupboard and a separate unit with shelves. A large safe is provided behind the mirror and a decent sized fridge is located in further cupboard space below the T.V. The décor was bright and colourful and well maintained. The main benefit was that it came with a decent drinks package included and access to the thermal area on deck 13 for the full duration of the cruise which included 2 x steam rooms, 2 x sauna’s and 3 jacuzzi hot tubs. We also each got a 50 minute massage of our choice during the cruise although finding available booking space proved difficult as many had got on the day before in Copenhagen and got there first! Everything was clean and in working order and when we had a problem with a sewage smell in the toilet one day it was fixed by the time we came back onboard and a bottle of wine and chocolate strawberries were waiting with an apology. They also did a follow up visit to ensure all was well. The ship, now 11 years old, looked in great condition. No signs of rust anywhere including the front of the ship near the anchor. The lounges, bars and restaurants were also well maintained. We had anytime dining which allowed us to move the time around depending on the port days and was of benefit. The food, in my opinion, was of a similar standard to R.C. but my wife thought it better as it had a more European flair with lots of fish dishes, and a couple of theme nights. The Lasagne and the Moussaka get special mention! The buffet restaurant was always crowded and again the food was on a par with other mainstream cruise lines. We had a free dinner at the only speciality restaurant onboard, which had a Chinese/Japanese style of food. It was interesting trying new foods but we both agreed we would rather have had a Steakhouse on board! With having so many nationalities onboard the entertainment was mainly variety style shows {songs from the musicals, some cabaret and a Brit night} with a mixture of Opera singing and acrobatics also. The cruise director made announcements in 5 languages each time but kept things brief. On that subject whilst there were a few issues with queue jumping from certain nationalities everyone seemed to get along and have a good time and this was the most varied cruise we have been on for age as there were a good number of children, young families, couples, family groups and seniors all mixed in. The itinerary meant lots of early rises and a few late returns as well as the overnight in St. Petersburg. Our first stop was the town of Visby on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, owned by Sweden. We walked about 20 minutes into town and explored the medieval streets for a few hours. We also found a great coffee shop with excellent cake! The weather threatened rain most of the time and then delivered as we were walking back but nice to have seen the place for a few hours. On to Gdynia in Poland for a full day. We booked in advance with a local guide who picked us up at the port {which was actually a coal terminal!} and drove us to the main sights in Gdynia, Sopot and Gdansk. We enjoyed this trip very much and were surprised by how much effort had gone into rebuilding Gdansk and transforming it into the medieval town once again. Lithuania was next and proved to be a disappointment. The town of Klaipeda held little interest and we wish we had booked an excursion and done something else. Thankfully it was only a half day and the weather was good so we made use of the top 16 sun deck in the afternoon and sampled some of the drinks and cocktails on the drinks package! Next day was one of the highlights- Tallinn in Estonia. Great weather and walked the 15 minutes to the city walls and spent a day exploring the streets within. Amazing architecture and colours along with nice street café’s and quaint little shops in people’s houses. Would go back anytime and recommend doing this on your own if no walking issues as no need for an excursion or guide. Save your money for the next two days! Two days in St. Petersburg. The cherry on the cake for most Baltic cruises. We booked with a private tour, as did many of our fellow cruisers, for 2 full days of covering the main sights. Picked up 830am first day and didn’t get back onto the ship until 8pm. Dinner and bed before 745am start next day and tour finished about 6pm. Highlights for me were Peterhof Palace and Church on spilled blood. My wife loves art so this had been a dream for her to see all the insides of the churches, palaces etc. The city was not as picturesque as I thought it would be but we certainly saw plenty. A half day in Helsinki was a good way of unwinding after some busy days. It was a beautiful day so we walked along the coast through the parks into the main city and spent a few hours exploring before retracing our steps to the ship. Stockholm was next, and we took the shuttle bus into the city and again explored on our own for most of the day. Had been here before many years ago and loved the old part and the parks to enjoy the good weather. Finally a day at sea to rest. Weather not great so no sunbathing but caught up on some spa time! Last stop Copenhagen. Lots of people disembarking but we took the shuttle bus into the city and went to Tivoli Gardens as we had been to Copenhagen a few years ago on a city break in early spring and it had been closed. Nice place but not really impressed at the high cost of entry just to see some gardens. Walked around the main sights after that and returned on the shuttle bus. One of our few complaints about M.S.C. is that they seem to dock the ship in out of the way ports, some distance from the centre of places when there are other alternatives available. They then try and charge you for a shuttle into the centre that should not have been required or should be free. We tried to avoid this but at Stockholm and Copenhagen the walk in was too far with no other alternative. Returned to a wet Warnemunde and disembarked around 9am. We were allowed to stay in the cabin until 2 hours after docking as per black card benefit so could have been there until 10am if required. Taxi to Rostock station and train to Berlin for a couple of days before flying home. M.S.C. proved to be a well run main stream cruise line. The ship was beautiful to look at both inside and outside with the Savannah lounge being a particular highlight. Food was decent to good and when we felt the portions were a bit on the small side we just asked and got more. Aurea package well worth the money and all crew we dealt with were polite and helpful. With so many new ships on order and M.S.C. looking to expand their destinations I will be adding them to the list to look out for in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise for its Baltic itinerary and decided to indulge in the Aurea experience. MSC ships (as seen on AWE Dream Cruises) are beautifully decorated and quite well maintained. Cabins were clean and well attended to. Most of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its Baltic itinerary and decided to indulge in the Aurea experience. MSC ships (as seen on AWE Dream Cruises) are beautifully decorated and quite well maintained. Cabins were clean and well attended to. Most of the nightly shows were entertaining but there are few other interesting activities offered and the handful of movies available in your cabin cost 7e each. If you don't buy a drinking package, your only option is tap water after breakfast. We have been on MANY cruises with Holland America, Princess and NCL and we enjoyed the food offered at the buffets or restaurants until this MSC cruise. The chef should be shot or, better yet, forced to eat the low quality concoctions he prepared 3 meals a day for 11 days. How many folks eat pork necks, ox tails or venison stew? Pasta and pizza on this Italian line were disgraceful. Also, the ship had a very annoying mechanical vibration that traveled all the up to our cabin on deck 15 that we've never before experienced. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Before I start my review, I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 21, so I am well familiar with European customs etc. My husband and I enjoy cruising. We have sailed on ... Read More
Before I start my review, I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 21, so I am well familiar with European customs etc. My husband and I enjoy cruising. We have sailed on Royal, Disney, Carnival, Celebrity and Norwegian. We chose the 7-Day Northern European Cruise on MSC Opera because of itinerary and price. Embarkation and Disembarkation Easy, fast and comfortable. We enjoyed having beverages available when getting on the ship. The MSC tents and flags were a cute touch. Cabin Compact and very clean. Our interior cabin was located on the 14th floor. Very convenient to the pool and bar area. Cabin service was done in the mornings and evenings. Our steward did a wonderful job. Storage space was just enough. Luggage could be stored under the bed. The shower is very compact and might not be comfortable for larger guests. Shower gel and Shampoo are available in the shower. In-Room-Dining We opted for the Fantastica Experience, which includes complimentary In-Room-Dining. We ordered coffee, croissants and juice every morning. All was delivered on time and fresh & delicious. Breakfast We truly enjoyed breakfast in the Main Dining Room every day. In addition to a menu, which features the same items daily (eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles etc.) there is also a buffet. The buffet features the best bread selection we have encountered at sea, European breakfast meats and cheeses, fresh fruit etc. On the hot side there is a omelet station, a daily selection of potatoes, sausages and scrambled eggs. Coffee is being served at the table. At times coffee service can be a little slow. In addition to the Main Dining Room, breakfast is also offered at the buffet, plus there is a gluten free option in one of the coffee bars. Nice touch. Lunch For lunch we stuck with the buffet. There was always a wide selection of dishes available catering to the multicultural guests on this sailing. A variety of burgers and pizzas were offered as well. The salad bar was just wonderful and we also enjoyed the pre-made delicious little sandwiches. We found the food to be tasty and fresh. Beverage service was once again a little slow. Dinner We loved our daily dinner experience, which was truly European. Our service team was very friendly and efficient. By dinner night #2 they already had our drinks waiting for us. Water service is included if you booked your cruise through the US. Otherwise you will have to purchase drinks, including water, coffee or tea. The food selection changed daily and was always interesting and delicious. Definitely not what you would find on American lines. Dishes included lamb, veal and of course pasta and risotto. Bread was once again outstanding, so were the desserts. Dinner is a very relaxed affair, so expect to dine for 2+ hours. Families and friends gathered over food, wine and cocktails and truly seemed to enjoy themselves. So did we. Note that beer and wine are available in the dining room. If you prefer a cocktail, make sure to bring it with you. Bar Service Here things get a little interesting. Bar orders need to be placed with the cocktail waiters, not the bartenders. We wish we would have known this from the beginning. The moment we figured this out it was easy. Cocktails were well presented, tasty and appropriately strong. All coffees were wonderful. The wine and beer selection was nice and of great quality and value. We loved the little nibbles, like chips, nuts or olives, which were served alongside our beverages. Very nice, high end touch. Entertainment We were thrilled not to be bombarded with the Electric Slide, Hip Hop etc. on a daily basis. Pool music was more chill. There were daily games in the morning hours. For the rest of the day guests were able to entertain themselves. No hairy chest contests etc. What a relief! Daily shows were Vegas style and consisted of dancers, acrobats and singers. They were very enjoyable and always had one or two breathtaking moments. Think upscale variety show. Live music was offered in all lounges. Genres definitely catered to music popular in the 80s in Europe. It would have been nice if one of the lounges would have offered a little fresher take on music. The disco is a beautiful space, but was visited very little. Spa Only disappointment of the trip. Appointments cannot be made pre-cruise, so we made one the moment we got on the ship. The spa doctor seemed a little flighty and actual made our appointment for the wrong date. When we showed for the appointment we thought we had, we were told it was not available. The staff tried to help and was able to get us in for an hour later. When we showed back up our couples massage room was given away by accident. Again, the staff tried to help and was able to create a make shift space for us. The massages were good and the staff was nice, but after the initial experience it was hard to relax. We will not use MSC Spa services again. Overall We would go back on a MSC Cruise in a heartbeat. (we are actually already booked for one to go to Cuba this December.) If you enjoy a true European experience, with people from all over the world, this might be the right fit for you. If you are expecting to find the same as on Carnival, Royal etc. you will probably be disappointed and frustrated, as food, beverages, entertainment and service are different and you will not be surrounded by English speakers at all times. We found the MSC Orchestra to be in top shape. It was very clean and well maintained. The pool deck, including pools, was deep cleaned almost every night. Hopefully this review is helpful to some. We are looking forward to our next adventure on MSC. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Overall... we were quite happy with the cruise. Our expectations were low based on the bad reviews. But although u can't compare food wise to other cruises like Carnival (no lobster night!)... it wasn't that bad. Some nights it ... Read More
Overall... we were quite happy with the cruise. Our expectations were low based on the bad reviews. But although u can't compare food wise to other cruises like Carnival (no lobster night!)... it wasn't that bad. Some nights it was even excellent. Cabin and steward quality is about the same. Waiter was good as well... allowed us to order what we wanted... short of lobsters of course. Didn't like that the "always available" back up menu was grill fish of the day (which we had doubts of the freshness) and chicken breast. Boring. Medium steaks came out almost raw on the 2nd night. Other than that... it was fine in the main dining room. Don't get why people feedback that MDR food was bland. It was ok. The whipped potatoes had little taste...but was easily enhanced when we added a small cube of butter. Other than that... salt and pepper is always available. Overall, 9 out of our 11 nights... the food is good to excellent. Buffet was a let down... especially for dinner. I don't mind breakfast serving same items every day... we ate what we liked anyway. Lunch had good indian food selection which added decent variety but dinner was outright pathetic with less than half of what is available for lunch... truly unexpected. Guess they expected everyone to go to MDR for dinner. Pizza and burgers available were not remotely comparable to Carnival's... and nearly inedible for me. There was also much limited variety and quantity of activities available on board... which we did not mind cause it was a port intensive cruise. The main shows in the evenings... when there were the standard singers, all stars dancers and acrobats were very good. However... we hated that 4 of the shows were opera singing based. Gosh... perhaps its just not for us. The older European folks seems to enjoy them though. The ship in general wasn't as well maintained.... in my view. Lifts had flickering lights for days, which was unacceptable, and they had problems with maintaining the temperature in the showers and the Jacuzzi. But overall... if the itinerary and price is right... we won't mind cruising with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise based strictly on itinerary and price. It was our first (and last) cruise with MSC. With many cruises under our belts, this was one of the worst, ranking it slightly below NCL. A few positives: This is a very port ... Read More
We chose this cruise based strictly on itinerary and price. It was our first (and last) cruise with MSC. With many cruises under our belts, this was one of the worst, ranking it slightly below NCL. A few positives: This is a very port intensive cruise, with only 1 sea day and 8 ports (2 days in St. Petersburg) on an 11 day itinerary. Best ports were St. Petersburg, Tallin, and Stockholm, in our opinion, so we were not disappointed with the itinerary. The other thing you could view as positive is that there was horrible noise in the walls from the a/c system that occurred every 60-90 seconds that made it difficult to sleep in the inside cabin we booked (#9088) and when we brought it to the attention of reception, they did relocate us to a balcony cabin. Passengers from North America accustomed to U.S. cruise lines may find the overall experience is much different on MSC, as most of the passengers are European (70% on our cruise were German) so don't expect announcements or lectures in English. Lots of smokers on board, one side of pool deck dedicated to smoking area. People were smoking in their cabins, although this is forbidden. It may have been worth it to them to pay the 70 euro cleaning fee. Most passengers were retirees, typical of European cruises. The negatives: Food: Buffet food - same breakfast every day, very limited desserts offered at lunch and dinner, poor quality meat (stews had meat with bones). The layout of the buffet is inefficient, with narrow spaces and large, useless columns to navigate around. Extra charge for fresh orange juice. Only drinks offered free were water, coffee and tea. At Breakfast, there was juice from the drink machine. The buffet area seemed to be kept pretty clean. Dining Room: Service extremely slow, food mediocre, noisiest dining room on a ship we ever experienced, so much so that it was difficult to carry on a conversation with your table mates. Servers were constantly dropping silverware, and sometimes plates. We went to the dining room once for breakfast, and sat there 10 minutes before we had to go find a waiter to take our order. Port docking: though we have seen it occasionally before, at EVER PORT we went to, you had to pay MSC for a shuttle bus into town at a cost of 9-15 euros pp. We saw other ships in port that had much better docking locations, so perhaps MSC doesn't want to pay for a closer dock and make money on shuttles. The buses provided had no a/c (it was unseasonably warm the entire trip) with temps inside reaching 90 degrees. Guess MSC didn't want to pay for a nicer bus with a/c. Entertainment: Typical production shows at night. Nothing to do during the day onboard except dance lessons. With only 1 sea day, this wasn't much of an issue. Tiny TV's in cabins with no in room movies, which most US cruise lines offer. Embarkation: We got on and off in Warnemunde, pretty painless procedure, however there were long lines getting back on the ship at each port, many times they only had 1 gangway. When we first embarked the ship, our cabin steward was nowhere to be found (usually they are around to great you when you get on) and didn't show up until around 8pm. Reception desk did not answer the phone for the most part. Excursions: we did not book any excursions through MSC, people we spoke to that did had mixed reviews. The glass around the pool deck was FILTHY and not cleaned the entire time. Tiny elevators compared to other ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The cruise was excellent. I must admit I was a little uneasy about the cruise line given some other reviews I had seen, but decided to go ahead as the price was very affordable. We certainly had a great experience. The ship was ... Read More
The cruise was excellent. I must admit I was a little uneasy about the cruise line given some other reviews I had seen, but decided to go ahead as the price was very affordable. We certainly had a great experience. The ship was beautiful; our cabin (ocean view) was spacious compared to some cruise lines and taken care of very well. The shows/ entertainment were also very good; this was unexpected given our prior experience on a different cruise line. Drinks/ bars also very nice. Food good-some meals better than others, but no significant difference in quality from other cruise lines. The main issue prior reviewers raised was regarding drink prices/packages. I was concerned as we were given 1drink coupon a day per person and had read that water and juice needed a coupon ( or else pay for). The fine print however was that for non Caribbean cruises booked via US included bottled water at no charge. Juice at breakfast also was included/free. Given this, we actually had drink coupons left over! Overall everyone was very pleased with the cruise and I would certainly use this line again Can’t comment on shore excursions as we went out on our own, but did use shuttle service which worked out well Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise for the wonderful itinerary and the fact that MSC doesn't charge for infants like other cruise lines do. The itinerary was the Baltic/Northern Europe. The embarkation was amazing - walked right on board and we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the wonderful itinerary and the fact that MSC doesn't charge for infants like other cruise lines do. The itinerary was the Baltic/Northern Europe. The embarkation was amazing - walked right on board and we had showed up early for the embarkation. We did not take any of the ships excursions - booked a Shore Trip excursion for Russia and either did the shuttle or walk offs for the rest of the ports. The ship was lovely however the food was just ok. Much prefer Princess and Royal Carribean - especially the desserts. The announcements were very long as they were done in 6 languages each time - went to only 2 shows at night and the same issue there with announcements etc. I understand that they cater to a large range of nationalities so it is understanding. Missed having comedy shows etc. because of the language issue. The staff were generally very helpful - would do an MSC again if travelling with children only. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I was on the repositioning cruise from Copenhagen to Genoa. Somewhere off the coast of Portugal I slipped and broke my leg. Purely an accident. The problem came, though, when the Dr. insisted it was unnecessary to do an x-ray and said ... Read More
I was on the repositioning cruise from Copenhagen to Genoa. Somewhere off the coast of Portugal I slipped and broke my leg. Purely an accident. The problem came, though, when the Dr. insisted it was unnecessary to do an x-ray and said my ankle was sprained. I said it was more than that. He said it wasn't and sent me to my cabin. I had to step up on my leg to get into the bathroom. I complained to the Dr. about it but was told it was fine and to take an Ibuprofen. The Dr. saw me the next day (he would only see me after we left Barcelona, rather than before or during the day). He reiterated it was just sprained and implied I was being a baby because I complained that it was more than a sprain. During the time I was confined to my cabin my meals were brought to me, at no charge. Each meal (3 times a day) was boiled chicken breast and plain white rice. I asked for water and was told I couldn't use my pre-paid coupons for water and would have to be charged for it, since I wasn't getting it from either a bar or restaurant. I insisted that when we arrived in Genoa I be taken to the hospital. The medical dept. arranged for a taxi to take me. I was taken to a private clinic where an xray showed my leg was broken. I was put back into a taxi and taken to the emergency room of the public hospital. They confirmed that my leg was broken and that I needed surgery. I had surgery, spent a week in an Italian hospital and flew home. Since then I've contacted MSC over a dozen times. Even though I've been promised return calls with an offer of resolution, it has never happened. I've emailed them documentation. No response. I was told they had to talk personally to the Chairman of the Board to resolve the situation. All I was asking for was the reimbursement of the medical fees I was charged onboard the ship. Prior to the incident, the cruise was ok but not great. On a par with Carnival. But their handling of my medical emergency is inexcusable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The ship is very nice. The pools are OK. The team - excellent. No real shows at night. the food is very very bad. the lowest of the lowest quality of ingredients - for instance: the was only rice Pilaf and they try to convince ... Read More
The ship is very nice. The pools are OK. The team - excellent. No real shows at night. the food is very very bad. the lowest of the lowest quality of ingredients - for instance: the was only rice Pilaf and they try to convince us that the RIZZOTO is good. the Chops are only with fat, almost no meat. Also this is a Baltic cruise - they do not serve SALMON !!! the staff is ordered to cheat. I asked for Non paper Salami, the guy looked at the refrigerator below him and said: there is no more left. After I argued loudly, a manager came and told him to put in on the buffet. The guy, that few seconds before, pretended to look for it and said: no more left, simply pulled it out and gave it to me, without even blushing. I assume that this THE policy. and it happened again another day. They Charge a lot for the WIFI - but you hardly get a connection. They urge NOT to leave tip to the staff that you meet, and they collect AUTOMATICALLY 10 Euro per day per person for this purpose - BUT - do not tell you that this is optional and you can ask not to deduct, and from randomly asking staff people if they get TIPS from Management - all of them said NO. which means that the money went to others. I have many more examples. my recommendation - skip MSC. try others - they are much better (from Experience) Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First time with MSC. We found the Baltic itinerary well-balanced with four ports and two sea days. Fellow cruisers for this cruise were overwhelmingly German and Italian, and in the age group 55+. This would seem to have an influence on ... Read More
First time with MSC. We found the Baltic itinerary well-balanced with four ports and two sea days. Fellow cruisers for this cruise were overwhelmingly German and Italian, and in the age group 55+. This would seem to have an influence on the entertainment, for example (see below). We had an Aurea balcony cabin and found it very comfortable and clean. Storage space was ample (with loads of drawers that all needed double-checking when it was time to leave!) but there were relatively few clothes hangers provided, especially for four of us. Would take some extra hangers with us next time. When the sofa is made up into a bed, it is virtually impossible to use the balcony or access the drawers in the desk. The bathroom was adequate, and also had lots of storage space. No towel animals! The kids were disappointed... but were treated to serviette animals practically every evening at dinner. We found staff to be friendly and helpful throughout the ship. Waiting lines at some bars were quite long and bar staff seemed frazzled at times. The pool areas (indoor and out) were well-maintained and had staff on duty to watch over them and eject kids from the whirlpools who were there without parental supervision. True to other reviews here, buffet food was average to below-average. The selection at dinner in particular was poor. Six nights out of seven we ate in the main dining room, where service was good and the food was more than satisfactory. On one night, service was very slow and dinner took almost two hours to get through but that was an exception and staff were generally very attentive. Both kids (5 and 9) were enrolled in kids' club and found it less enticing as the other kids' clubs they've experienced. On the negative side, the range of activities is not as wide, and signing in and out can be very chaotic. On the positive side, the kids' club staff were super friendly, and we were able to leave the kids on board all day free-of-charge while we toured the ports (kids' choice, not ours!). The biggest problem we had with the kids' club was that there is compulsory dinnertime at 8pm for all kids taking part in the evening programme. This is much too late for our starvos, who are used to eating at 6pm or so, and is possibly geared more towards children from southern climes who tend to eat dinner later in the evening. There is no alternative and meant that our kids, who had already eaten with us, were very uninterested in the evening programme. Entertainment in the theatre was, in contrast to other cruise lines we have experienced, a variety show every night rather than a different show every night, i.e. instead of a musical tonight, an acrobatic act tomorrow, and a concert the next, it was a mix of everything each night under a different theme. This had the disadvantage of losing its appeal after the third or fourth night... but the kids enjoyed it and you could see it has having the advantage of being something for everyone night after night. Some of the acts were excellent but it's hard to come up with something new every night of a 7-night cruise. Unfortunately the live music acts, particularly in the Tiger Bar, were well-below par. In the early evenings before the second theatre show, in particular, the Tiger bar is the place to sit, have a drink and pass the time before moving into the adjacent theatre... and the two live music acts were absolutely horrible. Who on earth booked these acts and decided to subject passengers to them for an entire week? Both – one, two old blokes and a female singer, and the other, a female singer with her partner on a keyboard – were not only woefully old-fashioned (think 70s gameshow background music) but also utterly lack both talent and showmanship. Their obvious lack of enthusiasm (no effort with regard to costume, performance or repertoire) was sadly reflected in the audience's muted appreciation and the complete lack of atmosphere in what should be the ship's main lounge. Given our fellow guests relatively high average age and strong German bias on this itinerary (we ourselves are from Germany), one can only assume that this was a play to an older, Germanic audience... but it bombed big-time. The silver-lining: after a few cocktails, it was so bad that it was funny. Hardly used the spa – had just one massage, performed by a bored masseuse with an obvious talent for upselling. Vowed not to go back. Others have commented on the multilingual announcements getting on their nerves. We didn't find this a problem at all and were positively surprised by the lack of "Good morning and welcome to..." ship-wide announcements at 7am as on some other ships we've been on (very unwelcome after a late night). Our experience was generally very positive and we've already booked another cruise on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise due the fact we wished to see Baltic cities we had never visited before. The issues that I wish to address are far too many to enumerate so I will attempt to limit my review to those concerns which prompted us to ... Read More
We chose this cruise due the fact we wished to see Baltic cities we had never visited before. The issues that I wish to address are far too many to enumerate so I will attempt to limit my review to those concerns which prompted us to provide a negative review. CABIN. Our cabin, although comfortable and as described, exhibited several sanitary and material deficiencies. The toilet (near the base and aft corner) had a standing accumulation of "waste water” (color and scent of urine). Our attendant was quick to resolve the issue by sanitizing and absorbing the standing fluids. Although I attempted to reassure my wife that this was an oversight due to short turn-around times in port, the waste water once again began to accumulate around the base of the toilet. I contacted Customer Service (in person) and was told that the problem would be resolved shortly. We were visited by "technicians" to evaluate the problem, however, after assessing the leaks (staring at it for two minutes) indicated that "if it happens again, let us know!" The problem was never resolved throughout the cruise and required continuous attention by our cabin attendant (who was of tremendous help yet unable to correct material deficiencies). We requested (and were denied) another cabin or like accommodations. The ship's captain sent us a bottle of champagne with chocolates regretting this inconvenience (which we later gave to our attendant) but there were no further attempts to mitigate the problem. (I have attached a photo of the "waste" water in our bathroom). Material Conditions (excessive wear) and cleanliness were significant issues. The cabinetry, drawers, dressers, tables, and sofa exhibited extensive areas of distress due to wear and age (photo provided). Some of the drawers (per photo) were so soiled and dirty that chose to leave part of our clothing in our suitcases rather than store it in the drawers. DINING. The quality and service fell short of our expectations. We considered the entrees to be mediocre and were very limited in variety. It's the small things, e.g., three salt shakers before one that is not clogged due to moisture. A few grains of rice would have resolved this issue. Waiters and staff were unable to communicate adequately in English, German or Spanish. It was a challenging scenario in attempting to fulfill our wishes for meals. ENTERTAINMENT. We consider the entertainment to be sub-par compared to other cruises in which we have taken passage. SERVICE was "par excellence"! Our cabin attendants (in particular) were totally responsive and most considerate in meeting our needs. We were well at ease in rewarding them directly for their sterling service. If there was a specific problem area with service on-board it was that we chose a cruise with 3,800 passengers and no matter how many the staff, they were overwhelmed by the demands placed on them. (Lesson learned: our next cruise will be limited to a carrier with passenger of Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise because of its perfect itinerary and our fantastic experiences with MSC. Starting conveniently in Warnemunde, Germany (we're German) we cruised the baltic sea and had stopps in Poland, Latvia, Ltiuania, Estland, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its perfect itinerary and our fantastic experiences with MSC. Starting conveniently in Warnemunde, Germany (we're German) we cruised the baltic sea and had stopps in Poland, Latvia, Ltiuania, Estland, Poland, Finland, Sweden and Denmark plus one sea day. Honestly, we were a bit concerned because of MSC Magnifica's bad ratings for but gladly non of them turned out as true. We had an awesome cabin (balcony fantastica, 12007 thanks to an upgrade) with a super comfy bed. The food in the main dining room was delicious and if portions seem too small (not in my opinion), there was always the possibility to order more than one starter or main course. Food in buffet was not as good as in the MDR though. We also went to the Oriental Plaza, which turned out as a good choice (it is very dark and not very homely there though...). Staff was more than friendly and the ship was always clean. The ship was completely booked, but there was always a quiet space and deck chair available. Gym and Spa was not crowded as well, which we really liked. We booked shore excursions in St. Petersburg (Spilled blood cathedral) and Gdansk (City walk) and they were perfect. We had to tender in Stockholm because there were too many ships in town. It turned out, that we were shipped directly to Gamla Stan (Stockholms old town) though, which was, again, perfect for us. Conclusion: perfect ship when it comes to size, entertainment, food and staff and a destination we would suggest to every cruise lover Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The boarding process was a complete chaos. the photographers want to take photos of everyone who go aboard, and when someone has refused they chased him or her. then there was the counter for the drinks packages. again, a little bit of ... Read More
The boarding process was a complete chaos. the photographers want to take photos of everyone who go aboard, and when someone has refused they chased him or her. then there was the counter for the drinks packages. again, a little bit of explanations that there is nothing free to drink will help passengers decide. the ship is perfectly clean, 24 hours a day the crew are cleaning the ship. however it is very cold as the air-condition is turned on to the max. the food is good. 20 hours a day there is a wide choice of dishes to choose from, but i didn't liked the 13th floor cafeteria, it was very crowded all day and all evening. the food in the cafeteria will reflect the food that will be served in the evening meal. the entertainment programs are fine but very short. they could make them longer. there are no films on the ship, and television broadcasting are poor. the ship photographers are always want to take pictures of the passengers, even when told that i don't want to be photographed they did took a photo, the prices of the pictures are very expensive. there is one sushi restaurant, which serves excellent sushi dishes and Japanese dishes. i very liked it.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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