1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Cruises Cruise Reviews

100 MSC Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

MSC ARMONIA 27/09/2013  04/10/2013 Cabin 1070 Being frequent cruisers my wife and I have just returned from a cruise aboard the MSC Armonia with four other members of our family. I am writing this letter of complaint about the ... Read More
MSC ARMONIA 27/09/2013  04/10/2013 Cabin 1070 Being frequent cruisers my wife and I have just returned from a cruise aboard the MSC Armonia with four other members of our family. I am writing this letter of complaint about the appalling food and general service on board. The food choices at breakfast were limited, under cooked and cold. The toast was inedible-one of our party chipped a tooth whilst attempting to eat it. When requesting brown toast we were served with warm bread! At lunch and evening meal times the choices in La Brassiere were limited. The main meals were overcooked and tasteless. The vegetables were lukewarm with only a choice of green beans and potatoes cooked in oil and rosemary, the mash potatoes were soggy, runny, and almost inedible, properly cooked it should be light and fluffy. The salad choices were repetitive as were the cold meats and cheeses. The desserts were the same every day, there were no hot desserts available. (hasn’t the chef heard of custard) no additional cream was available to use with the drier desserts. Food in the Marco Polo restaurant was poorly presented with no garnish or sauces to enhance the dining experience. When requesting meat we were not asked how we wanted it cooked, rare, medium, well done, it was served however the chef decided to cook it. The bar service in La Brassiere and on deck was non-existent if we wanted a drink we had to go to the bar ourselves to get one and you have the nerve to charge a 15% service charge. The waiters in the Marco Polo worked very hard but didn’t have time to serve us any additional drinks after our initial request. Beer was available in the restaurant but we were not served any spirits because you didn’t serve spirits in the restaurant. Water should be free in the restaurant we shouldn’t have to pay for it. We did complain at the time and for the Maitre ‘D’ to bring the waiter to the table whilst we tried to explain was very unprofessional, and embarrassing for the table of ten and the waiter. The Marco Polo restaurant was very under staffed, whilst our waiter did his best and was a very pleasant young man, the work load was far too much, causing our dissatisfaction with the service. The bar service in the other bars was extremely slow (even when there was no one else in the bar), waiting 10 to 15 minutes before being served and a further 10 minutes before the drinks arrived. We took advantage of your drinks package which included draft beers. Murphy’s Red Label which ran out after 3 days and was not replaced, and the Newcastle Brown Ale which ran out 2 days later and this also was not replaced, which only left a limited choice of Lager Heineken and Amstel. If it hadn’t been for the company we were with, we would have disembarked on the second day. We will not be travelling with MSC again and would not recommend MSC to any of our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
I'm on the MSC Divina right now and I must say it's a nightmare. People are rude, and I remain very polite using that term. They push you away to get in a lift (elevator), push you away to get trough a hallway, and never ... Read More
I'm on the MSC Divina right now and I must say it's a nightmare. People are rude, and I remain very polite using that term. They push you away to get in a lift (elevator), push you away to get trough a hallway, and never ever they will say sorry or any form of excuse. Forget about the rule that reserving seats isn't allowed, after 9h it's impossible to find a free seat around the pool and the people watching the pool don't remove the towels thrown there to reserve the seats. The "relax - zen" pool is anything but relax or zen, kids shouting all over the place and jumping in the pool, while it's not allowed. When I made the remark I have been told that I could go to deck 18 where there is a paid relax zone with no kids allowed, so because other don't respect the rules I would have to pay 50€???? Dinner time is like feeding time for pigs, people jump on the food, take all the last pieces away in front of you without even eating them. I have never seen so much food being thrown away. They don't seem to respect the dress policy either, no swimsuits in the restaurants, well .... forget about it, they'll come in with the swimsuits still wet, no t-shirts or anything and hang with their sweaty arms over the food. And it's not only the people in the restaurants, it's also the food. I'm Belgian, so I'm used to a large variety of food styles, and I do like most of them, but here I can't find anything that looks like worth trying, and it's every single day the same food. It became so bad that over the last 2 nights the optional restaurants, for which you have to pay a supplement, have been overly crowed, all people like us that can't stand it anymore and are willing to pay extra to get some decent food in a normal restaurant. On a positive note I do have to say that the Tex-Mex restaurant is really good, the waiters are nice and will do anything they can to serve you, which can't be said of any other waiter in the bars or restaurants. The rooms are also very nice and clean with nice living space and great balconies. I could go on for hours but bottom line is you won't see me on a MSC cruise ever. Although this is my first cruise I will cruise again, I love the concept but I'll probably be using other companies then MSC. So my advice, stay away from this ship !! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
we were looking forward to our cruise with MSC having seen the DIVINA in venice the year before.We have cruised with Carnival on the Dream in the carribean and with RCCL both med and carribean a number of times,so our comparisons are based ... Read More
we were looking forward to our cruise with MSC having seen the DIVINA in venice the year before.We have cruised with Carnival on the Dream in the carribean and with RCCL both med and carribean a number of times,so our comparisons are based on that. Embarkation in venice was busy but you expect that.However we had not been told that we would not sail through the grande canal on the way out as it was the one week of the year that ships are not allowed due to a big boating festival.We should have been told as this happens at the same time each year,so beware if you are thinking of departing around the 20th of July.We have sailed from Venice before so we were ok but had it have been last year when we took a party of 20 on rccl from venice for my husbands 50th birthday we would have been devastated because none of those guests had sailed from Venice,which is why we chose that itinery. Having embarked we wandered the ship which being new was very smart but seemed quite dark in decoration and the ceilings appeared low.In fact my sister is only 4ft 10 and she could touch the ceilings in some parts of the ship. The entertainment was excellent.The cabin was adequate [balcony cabins and 1 inside cabin] although there was not any hidden storage ie. behind mirrors etc like on other ships and wardrobe space was very limited.cabin staff were again adequate but did not bother to get to know our names and simply did their jobs. We had the drinks package and this was excellent value including coffee and ice cream as well as cocktails and liqueurs. Now the reasons we will not travel with Msc again. The pools were actually dangerous with not only riotous children dive bombing but adults finding it hilarious to do the same .We have children and have never minded kids splashing around us but this was intollerable.Pool attendants blew a whistle probably twice during the week and just ignored the problem. The bar service was virtually non existant in fact waiters overted their eyes so as not to see you.When you managed to catch a waiter he would fetch you a drink but only because he had to.Even in the bars at night despite having pre dinner drinks in the same bar every night we were never greeted with a smile or any conversation.Most of the staff spoke very poor English and could not understand to even give you basic directions.Even at the main desk it was very difficult to make ourselves understood.Whist I appreciate that this is an Italian ship for safety reasons surely certain staff should be fluent to assist english speaking guests. The food was awful.Our waiter tried his best and apologised for his service saying that he could not serve us as we had been served on other ships as he had too many tables.He was very good and service was not the real issue. The issue was the food, too many courses of cheap quality food sometimes inedible and usually tastless. The buffet was no better too spread out so that the time you had your food on your plate and were at your table everything was cold.We ended up just having the first thing we saw and giving up on the rest. On our last day we left the pool in utter dismay looking round at 6pm there was a dirty nappy on the floor ,various bottles and cans rolling around in the wind and a deck attendant stacking chairs (rubbish was not his job). Generally the staff are being paid a salary unlike on other ships we have sailed on so service is irrelevant.The tips added to your seapass daily DO NOT go to your cabin or wait staff but are divided between the whole company. our waiter told us he got approx 1% of what was paid.My reccomendation would be to take off the tips and hand over cash to those who have earned it! We had hoped MSC would be perfect as we fancied a 2 week carribean cruise next year and the price was competitive.Unfortuanately we will not put up with bad food or bad service.We,a party of 12,have just booked 2 weeks with RCCL next year,please be aware that you get what you pay for! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Where to start? Our MSC booking included flights from Cyprus to Italy with Aegean Air and we could not fault the flights. However, that is the most positive part of the trip. The transfer by coach from Milan to Genoa was OK except for an ... Read More
Where to start? Our MSC booking included flights from Cyprus to Italy with Aegean Air and we could not fault the flights. However, that is the most positive part of the trip. The transfer by coach from Milan to Genoa was OK except for an extremely miserable and stroppy coach driver! The embarkation process was reasonable and the first impression of the ship was good. Our cabin was fine and very comfortable, and the housekeeping side of things was also good. After that it went downhill. The first shock was the drinks prices, much more expensive than any other cruise we have taken before. On top of the extortionate prices came a compulsory 15% service charge. The cheapest bottle of wine was 18 euros plus 15% which took it to approximately 21 euros - and this was the basic house wine. House wine is usually fine, but it does need to be served at the correct temperature and not be 'off'! By the glass, 150ml, it was 5 euros plus 15%. Whilst there was water and ice in the self service restaurant, other than that water was charged at 2.50 euros for a litre bottle. No free water was available in any of the bars or the a la carte restaurant. We had considered purchasing a drinks package a couple of days before the cruise (the first actual information or confirmation we received from MSC was 4 days before we sailed!!)but we could not find a price without going all the way through the purchase process so we did not do it. We did however purchase a drinks package when on board because we realised it was the only way we could actually afford to have a reasonable holiday. This came at a cost of 267 euros for 5 days for 2 people!! Thank goodness we did do that. The next shock was that on top of the 15% service charge for drinks there was a compulsory 7 euro per day per person charge for 'hotel' services. We and a few other people refused to pay this, as had we known all this before booking we would not have gone ahead. We did not find this information in any of the paperwork we received, nor did we sign to agree to such a condition. From there we come on to the food. It was bland, mostly served lukewarm at best and in the main restaurant you needed binoculars to find it on your plate. The staff were OK but nothing special and if something was not available in one bar, they would not go to another to get it. Most times we had to go to the bar to get service as the staff were conspicuous by their absence. Therefore paying 15% for serving ourselves! We did not go on any of the trips but they appeared expensive for the duration. They also charged 9 euros per person for a shuttle bus at Marmaris as they quoted a 15 minute journey by road into the city centre, when in fact it was a pleasant 10 - 15 minute stroll. For those interested in spa treatments, the cost changed every day so you never knew what you would be charged and everything was 'extra'. they charged 16 euros an hour to use the sauna! It tool 36 hours for us to get an appointment with a guest relations person, they promised an investigation into the things mentioned here and also many other things just too numerous to put in this review. Suffice it to say that we would never use MSC again nor recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
The ship is really nice and the cabin a very good size. The ship is really clean and the staff in the bars are very nice. The staff in the bora bora are only table cleaners. They don't speak to the guest or help anyone. The bora bora ... Read More
The ship is really nice and the cabin a very good size. The ship is really clean and the staff in the bars are very nice. The staff in the bora bora are only table cleaners. They don't speak to the guest or help anyone. The bora bora at breakfast time was like feeding time at the zoo. In the evenings it was a little better but the food was always cold. In 7 days we only got one meal that was any way good. I think the staff even on recepiton have very limited English and because tips are all inclusive they just couldn't be bothered. Entertainment on board only catered for Italian guest. The Aft bar had the same band on for 7 night with the same music and the same couples doing ballroom dancing every night. There was way too many babies and children on board and the bars was full of toddles crawling around the dance floor up to 11.30 at time. Its like a holiday resort on sea for the Italian who can bring there children free. No entertainment at all at the day at sea and the weather was really bad. The dress code on board was very very casual. The lifts were a nightmare. The Italian always barged through everone to get on even before everyone else got on. I heard more argument from other nationalsition on board to say how rude they were. They don't Que and pass everyone else out. The destination of call were good and shuttle bus and excursion done well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
After just completing our first ever cruise starting and finishing in Venice, all I can say is it will be a long time before we do that again. Admittedly, I was a little forewarned about the perils of cruising and I had my concerns about ... Read More
After just completing our first ever cruise starting and finishing in Venice, all I can say is it will be a long time before we do that again. Admittedly, I was a little forewarned about the perils of cruising and I had my concerns about the short shore stops and long time in a confined space but many seem to enjoy them, so I thought it was time to check it out. Here were my observations, not all negative:1. Ship - quiet spectacular interior albeit a little over the top given the clientele.2. Ship crew (captain and underlings) - no comments as I didn't encounter either. Which by the way isn't a criticism, their job is to move the ship to where it needs to go and they did.3. Ship cabin and service crew - lovely, lovely, lovely and as I found out very underpaid and kept captive on the ship for considerable periods of time. This I felt truly sad about and was at times not happy that I had contributed to this injustice. (I wondered why the initial cost of the cruise was cheap and wondered what the hidden catch was. I guess the catch is cheap labour and extensive 'other' charges).4. Clientele in queues - O.M.G no one told me how rude many Europeans are when it comes to queues. They push in, jump the line, NEVER say excuse me! Australians generally have a very strict line rule - first in line goes first. 5. Clientele at the buffet - O.M.G the breakfast buffet (AKA pig trough) was like feral time at a feeding zoo. Plates piled high with so much food of different types. Food that should never be seen on the same plate. All this repeated at dinner time. The flip side is, we've never seem so much food thrown out at clean up time.6. Clientele lift manners- O.M.G the same rude line jumping pushers displayed the same lack of manners when getting on and off the lifts. Generally the rule is you wait until the people exit the lift before getting on. You DON'T under any circumstanced barge in while people are trying to get out. And if you do so my accident, you say 'excuse me'! 7. 12 euro for 10 minutes WiFi - are you kidding me? That's blatant robbery.8. Thank goodness for the restaurant otherwise we wouldn't have eaten after the spectacle at the buffet.9. Be warned, the expensive excursions come with a side of selling. In Istanbul we did our first shore excursion and part of it was a rug demonstrations. While the so called rug demonstration was in progress, six men, who obviously worked at the rug shop started to circle us. They all looked a bit shady and I wondered what was going down. Once the demonstration was over they all descended on the unwary (us) and tried to sell us 12,000 euro rugs. Do people really wake up one day and say "lets go on a shore excursion to buy a 12,000 euro rug?".10. Forget about having a spa. The 6-8 100kg men hogging them may not feel like sharing with you. Besides, the colour of the spa water with all those men made me want to puke.11. We weren't the only Aussies on the ship with the same observations. Maybe go on a pacific cruise and just hope the same rude people don't join you. Better still go to Bali as many of the lovely staff were from Bali and the work dried up for them after the bombings. Some truly sad stories of long times away from family.Maybe I should wait to write a review, the experience is still raw! Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We travel with our youngest son aged 9 and friends with kids, too. We already cruised on a MSC ship years ago and we didn't like therefore no more MSC cruises for us. This year anyway some friends of us asked to join them on MSC ... Read More
We travel with our youngest son aged 9 and friends with kids, too. We already cruised on a MSC ship years ago and we didn't like therefore no more MSC cruises for us. This year anyway some friends of us asked to join them on MSC Divina and we loved the idea of having cruise mates and we booked. As in April 2012 we were on NCL Jade that hasn't an indoor pool (we were lucky and we had good weather) we thought that this time it was better not to rely on weather again and MSC Divina with its huge and wonderful indoor swimming pool was perfect for us. When we arrived in Venice there wasn't any help with luggage and we had to queue a long time with our suitcases before boarding. The ship is new, clean and really very beautiful. Our cabin with balcony was ok but with our great disappointment we found out that the famous indoor pool was closed for complete re tiling... we complained but we had very poor answers, no apologies and ridicoulous stories (as a fat german man fell on the edge of the pool and broke some tiles and that they could not know before of the need for repair...the pool area has been completely tiled again-> it was not a repair but a complete makeover... LIARS!). We told we choose that ship for the indoor pool too and that it was bad anybody informed us before leaving and that a discount or upgrade or credit on board should have offered to us; but no use. The food was ok and the buffet cafeteria was open from morning to late evening. Our waiter at dinner was really kind and the cabin steward was very helpful. At booking we asked a table for the 10 of us and 1st seating for dinner and we got 2nd seating and 2 tables (not close to each other)...we complained(they have admitted that our TA made ??the request) again and then we got what we needed. We had 1 MSC shore excursion only (Ephesus) to please some of our friends but we didn't like it. The guide was polite but anything else and we had a mandatory stop at a ceramic factory and we wasted lot of time. We do love cruises and - as every vacation - there's always something that is not really nice but we know that and we never complain but it's the first time that we find repairings during a cruise and moreover in a brand new ship! And please forget the waiting time before boarding in Venice:standing in a crowd carrying our heavy luggage. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We desided to bring the kids on a early spring cruise in the meditaranien this year. For the first time we desided to take a shance on traveling with a nother company than RCCl, and that was a bigg mistake. Travelig in earli spring this ... Read More
We desided to bring the kids on a early spring cruise in the meditaranien this year. For the first time we desided to take a shance on traveling with a nother company than RCCl, and that was a bigg mistake. Travelig in earli spring this year we vere looking for a ship with indoor pool, so the kids could have a great time wathever the weather. Msc Fantasia have a great pool and sevral jacuzziz but the pool was not heatet. The water in the pool was frezzing cold so non of the kids could use it during the whole cruise. We asked some of the staf members if the pool is not supossed to be heated at this time of the year but they dident know (or dident care). My oldest son spend the whole cruise in the jacuzzi. My youngest son (2 years and 11 months)was realy looking forward to meeting new friends in the kindergarden onboard, but that dident happend. He was to young to join the kindergarden, acording the the rouls you must be 3 years old to join. We asked them to reconsidre and they sad they would but i still havent heard anything from them (so agian i dont think they realy care). The irritating part here is that there is not a single place for a kid to play onbord the whole ship besides in the kindergarden. So my younget spend a "funn" time with mum and dad during the whole cruise. I could go on and on here but lets cut to the shase: The service level is like sero. There is not a singel happy face on the whole ship. The atitude from the staff is descusting. The chef should do everybody a feaver and leav the job. The food is below menimum standard. We dident have a singel good meal during the whole cruise. The last farwel from the ship was sending us all out in the rain to pick up the lougage (soaking wet) As you probably know by now we would not recomend this to enybody. If you are looking for a great time try RCCL Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
I booked this cruise from Bari to Venice (6 nights) as it was a cheap way to find out what this cruising is like. I can't say I liked it. In the end I filled out the questionnaire they give you and found 20 points of complaints. Main ... Read More
I booked this cruise from Bari to Venice (6 nights) as it was a cheap way to find out what this cruising is like. I can't say I liked it. In the end I filled out the questionnaire they give you and found 20 points of complaints. Main complaint is that this ship had deck names of classical music, but no classical music to be heard at all. Not on the TV menu or radio and the 2 violinists play only popular tunes, not classical. So I think the man who gave these names was a fool. I found it an insult to use names that do not at all describe what you get. I wrote them better to call the ship LAS VEGAS, as that is what you get, a Las Vegas casino boat and Disneyland entertainment. I found all to be very unsophisticated. Lots of people with jeans and tattoos. Dress code mentioned in daily info but nobody sticks to that, On Gala Evening pictures that one can buy I saw that most people did not wear a tie or costume, some even just a T-shirt, on Gala Evening !! So that is an insult too, to deceive people with a "dress code" that means nothing. They made lots of mistakes, like not bringing a newspaper I had ordered, not bringing a pizza, a note in Italian on my floor which was not for me, and never any apology. I told the reception desk that I was not happy on this ship and they say nothing and look at you as if you insulted them. Dinners in restaurant was awful as very noisy. Within 10 minutes I got crazy by the noise level. Public rooms very bad style, Las Vegas style, all glitzy, but no beauty at all. Badly behaving, rude and very loud Italians. Expensive excursions, too little time on shore. The list goes on and on. Bed was hard and being in the cabin was not so great either. Noisy and not relaxing. Only good thing are the Indonesian and Brazilian staff. They are doing their best and smile, whereas lots of other staff don't smile. Best thing was massage by Balinese lady, very nice but costly and they always try to sell you things. Only 6 nights but I was counting the days that it would end I would forever be off that boat. For me it was clear that this is travel for people who want very little from their holidays and usually stay in crowded resorts. Food not so bad, but with total lack of atmosphere. Even at night there is music on the corridor and it can be heard in the tiny cabin. Why? Bad TV menu. Poor selection of channels and of movies. 5 Euro per film but bad selection of 20 films. I found just 3 good films in there, but they have 9 filthy porn movies (12 Euro). I think this shows what a horror boat this is for the low classes. If you value dignity, class, style, sophistication, peace and beauty, stay away from this Italian Las Vegas casino boat. Never MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We were on the MSC Musica recently and it was by far the worst cruise ever, and none of the other cruises taken were considered bad. It seems that once we hand over our money, we were ignored. We were provided very little information ... Read More
We were on the MSC Musica recently and it was by far the worst cruise ever, and none of the other cruises taken were considered bad. It seems that once we hand over our money, we were ignored. We were provided very little information and all information pertaining to the cruise magically disappeared from their website a week before the embarkation date. In spite of their "One of the strengths of MSC Cruises is our Customer Care Service. Our staff is at your disposal for any enquiry you may have. Please contact the MSC Club at any time, as our staff will be happy to assist you." We were totally forgotten. However, we managed to get to the ship, and it was a long, long walk from the public transport to the check-in counter. It was chaotic, and the staff did provide disinformation. But it also seems all they want to do is to sell the extras associated with the cruise, and everything else including drinking water was extra. Even the quality of food on board was questionable. Services generally were downright poor, and I never encountered good service from any of the Italian staff. However, our Dining Room attendants were great as was the man who maintained our cabin, they were all non-Italian. We had various former Italian prison guards acting as Maitre-Ds in our Dining Room. You would also think so, by the way they bark at passengers! Scheduling of activities on board was very unsatisfactory, as were the facilities. They were either poorly maintained or inadequate. The table tennis gears were falling apart is an example. The pools were too small. We did experience a couple of good acts in the evening performances, and the billings oftentimes had nothing to do with the content. And the way MSC handled shore excursions were really insulting. All disinformation and making sure their services are the only one used. We were totally discouraged to deal with the local services provided on shore, except of course those arranged by MSC and only after they have had their cut. Disembarkation and embarkation procedure were rudely and inefficiently done. There are many, many other incidents that I didn't describe, but the bottom line is simply AVOID MSC! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
And I had something to compare it to - we just finished cruising on RCI, Mariner of the Seas, Western Carribean, which was amazing (food, staff, ship itself). I only picked this ship because of amazing itinerary - many Greek islands, even ... Read More
And I had something to compare it to - we just finished cruising on RCI, Mariner of the Seas, Western Carribean, which was amazing (food, staff, ship itself). I only picked this ship because of amazing itinerary - many Greek islands, even though the cost on MSC Musica was almost twice as much as on RCI Mariner - but again, wanted to see all those islands! I sailed in July 2012, only getting to review now, in Jan. 2014, very sorry for the delay, but wanted to do it. Just to board the ship was an ordeal, ship was the farthest one away from the monorail in Venice, then the long, long line-up in the heat, people jumping line, it was pure suffering and seemed like chaos. Ship is fairly new, but looked dated, stains on the carpet, worn out look inside, outside the cabin. No welcome, just 'find your own cabin". First thing, I was just famished from not eating all day (last meal breakfast in Rome the morning of, train ride to Venice), then I get to my cabin and go up to find something to eat, it was around 5pm. There was absolutely nothing, buffet restaurant closes something like 4:30pm, reopens at 7pm. I couldn't comprehend that there was NO food on the whole big ship for 2+ hrs? (every other ship I've been to had a pizza place, gourmet sandwich place - awww, dear Mariner of the Seas one week before... yummy). I asked staff, he disappeared in the kitchen, then brought me 2 apples..... Nooooo, I'm thinking. The sailing away from Venice though was amazing - feast for your eyes, sailing into the open sea from beautiful Venice. So I come at 7pm to the buffet restaurant, and again such a disappointment with the choices of food - first what I see is... burgers... hot dogs... fries... 2-3 salads, yes, other stuff, but really poor basic selection - maybe I was spoiled on other ships (cruised on Emerald Princess, RCI - 2x, Carnival - 4x, Norwegian Dawn, Disney Magic - all I was super happy with) - but I thought it was the norm, to have some good food while cruising. Breakfast - lunch, again average-below average, slim choices, crowds, nowhere to sit, it was bad. The set sit down dinner was eventually kind of ok, but they charge you for bottled water (that is sooo CHEAP) - had some coupons, but not for every day, why not put a carafe with ice for the whole table? They charge for everything that is free on other ships, eg, ice cream. Little things, but together the ship comes across as cheap - disappointing. What shocked me most though is how rude (mostly) Italian staff are. Not the little working bees, wait staff, room stewards from Indonesia, Phillipines - they are very polite! I've seen Italian staff - usually in higher up position to be rude to the lower ranked staff (from Asia), very sad. Especially rude was the head waiter named Bruno, he scolded me for not being able to find me seat once, was sarcastic when I didn't want to order anything to drink when no free water provided... Not just Bruno I remember also staff at the Accounting Desk (there is no ATM on the ship, and no banks really at some tiny islands... so go figure), they act like it's your own fault, you dumb passenger, forgot cash? Too bad, so sad. Most of the passengers are Italians - I've never seen so many people jumping line, shoving, some almost got into fist fights - in a simple line up for food... about who was first. I'm not a difficult person to please, I've traveled a LOT, but this was just bad. When you want to cry.. in frustration... on your dream vacation, that's just bad. The day we disembarked in Santorini was a total fiasco - many passengers on the ship complained afterwards... if they only let you know before hand what's to be expected, but of course not... It's a tiny area when the tenders take you - and that day there were other FOUR ships there! So imagine the crowds of people being dropped off at this small place - from where there's nowhere to go. You either have to take cable car (1+ hr wait) or donkey taxi (1+ hr wait in the HEAT), to get up the mountain where you can do something. I had no clue how this worked, so wasn't prepared (if you take expensive tour - they have it arranged - but not if you want to go on your own). Crowds of sweaty angry people from 5 ships, some jumping the long line... (we had only 1/2 day on this island), those who opted to take a donkey up the hill - abandoned the idea after seeing the poor animals (but they're used to it), but mostly you ride a donkey, the one ahead of you starts pooping - you end up with fresh poop on your flip flops... if you want to walk it - again narrow steep steps up big hill, watch out for poop, fast moving donkeys who bump into you... just a nightmare. Total disorganization. It was my first time on MSC - and never ever again. I guess it's OK for people who have never cruised before, because they just don't know any better. But if you can compare - you're just shocked but how different - Princess - RCI - Carnival - you name it... can be. I remember cruising on Costa Atlantica in 2007, Carribean, also Italian ship... but it was nowhere as bad as MSC... That cruise (Costa) was really nice... Sigh... So overall - embarkation - chaos, cabin average to below average, service - depending from whom, bad from Italian staff, good from the little worker bees, lower positioned staff, food - buffet upper deck - bad, evening sit down dinner - OK, entertainment - average. Shore excursions - good.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
We have just returned from 7 nights on the Armonia and the only saving grace was the places visited. Embarkation was smooth and quick and we were on board in less than half an hour, The ship itself is beautiful and very clean everywhere. ... Read More
We have just returned from 7 nights on the Armonia and the only saving grace was the places visited. Embarkation was smooth and quick and we were on board in less than half an hour, The ship itself is beautiful and very clean everywhere. The cabins are ample as cabins go with a good sized window. Nicely decorated and very comfy. Shower a bit on the small size but again adequate. We arrived in Venice and immediately went sightseeing. The ship did not leave until 7 pm. On our return to the ship we looked for the buffet. Here the negative comments begin! Food was 98% Italian. Pasta was everywhere and melon. LOTS of melon! It seems we British eat a staple diet of beefburgers, hot dogs and chips as that was the choice day in and day out. Salads consisted of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, if you were lucky and Brussels sprouts and broccoli!!! 1 serving dish each of cold Italian meats and processed cheese. Portions were absolutely tiny to say the least. As each slice of cake/quiche/dessert was placed on a plate for you, we were inclined to just take 3 or 4 at a time. Any meat dish was served by a server behind the food counter (strange buffet; always thought the point was you served yourself) who gave you 1 of whatever it was. 1 slice of meat, 1 hot dog, 1 beefburger. If you asked for more you did get it but you shouldn't have to ask. The portions really were so tiny a small child would have eaten at least 3. The buffet was NOT open all day as on other ships and between 2 and 4 there was absolutely nothing to eat! At 4 they re-opened for afternoon tea which comprised of sandwiches cut in triangles, rolls about 2 inches long and cakes so small you could fit a whole one in your mouth at one time. This was the only time you got free tea and coffee with a meal. At all other meals you had to pay for drinks, including water, unless you went outside to the Pizza bar and walked back into the buffet with your drinks. During this afternoon tea time not one of the sandwiches were marked up with their ingredients. This could have been very dangerous for anybody with allergies as they were serving egg mayonnaise and fish sandwiches. You could ask the servers but more often than not they did not know themselves.Another problem in the buffet was the number of children running riot. Their parents didn't seem to care what they were doing and allowed them to run around knocking into people. Apparently all under 18 year olds travel free.One thing we found on this ship and no other we have used is that there was no ice cream for anybody in the buffet. Yes you had to pay for it if you wanted it.Every other ship has supplied it at least as a dessert and several have had it on deck as free. The variety of all food was non-existent with the same things night after night. Breakfast again was a joke with barely cooked scrambled eggs, burnt bacon and baked beans which looked as though they had been re-heated more than once and were disgusting. Sausages were frankfurters. Toast didn't exist! There was a variety of cereals but none of it tasted 'right' Tried the restaurant (Marco Polo) just 3 times, once for dinner and twice for breakfast and on all 3 occasions the waiters messed up our orders. Needless to say we did not use the restaurant again after that which was a shame as it was a beautiful restaurant. The entertainment was OK but very amateurish. We have sailed with other cruise lines and they have had excellent West End style shows. 2 main singers every night who were not very good. Dancers seemed to use the same dance steps, just to different music! All the introductions were in Italian, Spanish, German and then finally English. When we booked this cruise I did check out reviews and decided that everyone wants something different and that is exactly what you get with MSC especially if you have cruised with other companies. Sadly we did not find it a pleasure. Staff were without a doubt the rudest, most arrogant people we have ever met and yes they were all Italians. I am sure that all Italians are not like this generally but it seems to be part of the interview process; 'how rude can you be? Very? Great the job is yours!! Those on Reception were definitely the worse. They would not acknowledge you and would carry on chatting to each other. The other main problem was the language barrier. Most of the staff spoke very poor English if they spoke it at all. If you advertise yourself as an International Cruise Line, English should be a basic language.We have never encountered this on previous cruise lines, This lead to several problems like when we ordered 2 large draft ciders and were given 2 small bottled ciders. When I pointed out that was not what we ordered the waitress said 'but I've opened the bottles now' Totally unacceptable. The best piece of advise I can offer is this; On MSC Cruises EACH passenger is charged 7 euros PER day for gratuities.This goes to people like the Head Waiters and Wine Waiters. Go to Reception and tell them you want it lowered (if you feel you have had some sort of service) or removed completely as we did. It is NOT compulsory and you do NOT have to pay it. They won't like it but they will remove it from your end of cruise statement. Just stand firm. We told them we had not received any service worthy of a tip and when we listed our complaints they were not in the least bit interested. STAND FIRM. It works out to just under another £100 a week on top of what you have already paid for the trip. Not to mention the 15% service charge on top of any drinks you order. Disembarkation is a shambles to say the least. By now they have had your money and want nothing more to do with you. Our flight was at 5.35pm and were originally told we would leave the ship at around midday. By 10 am we were on our own. Dumped in the port terminal for the next 4 hours with no information. When we asked what time the transfer coach would arrive to go to the airport we were told 2 pm. The coach arrived at 1 pm so if anybody had decided to go out some where thinking they had 4 hours to spare would have missed the transfer coach. There was an area to leave your luggage which charged 3 euros. Not sure how secure this was as we did not use it. As I said the only saving grace of this cruise was the ports we visited which were all stunning. Venice, Ancona, Corfu, Pireus, Santorini and Kefalonia. Would definitely NOT use MSC ever again. Not even particularly good value in the price. Came home very hungry. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
The Musica is a nice ship, but the experience was awful. Musica's staff have a belief that they are right and the rest of the world are wrong. The onshore time at the ports of call are too short and you are herded like cattle to ... Read More
The Musica is a nice ship, but the experience was awful. Musica's staff have a belief that they are right and the rest of the world are wrong. The onshore time at the ports of call are too short and you are herded like cattle to get off the ship. Then there is only time for a quick look round before returning to the ship. Don't choose MSC's excursions unless you have a desire to lose a lot of money - they are ridiculously expensive. Simply get off and get a taxi. Meal times are like feeding time at the zoo. Big queues and lots of pushing. I like hot food to be hot not lukewarm, and I like it to have some taste. The sweets are allbland and all taste the same no matter what you choose. The entertainment, well, there isn't any. A beautiful theatre where you sit down expectantly. Some dancers and a singer come out, sing a few songs and disappear after 25 minutes. Next night more of the same. The bands in the bars are bored out of their heads, as are the passengers. The TV's in your cabins have nothing on but the news and if you want to watch a film, there is a charge. A service charge of 15% is levied on everything you pay for and whats worse is that you are charged an extra charge on your room account for having your room cleaned. How does that work? I could carry on but enough is enough. Never again MSC. All I can say is Thank God we cruised with Thomsons last year, because I now know what a good cruise should be like. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We just had the same BAD experience with MSC (Musica) 1 week ago. We took a 8 days cruise out of Venice down to Bari, Greek islands and Croacia. They never advised in any of the route advertisement about a 2nd embarkation port (Bari) ... Read More
We just had the same BAD experience with MSC (Musica) 1 week ago. We took a 8 days cruise out of Venice down to Bari, Greek islands and Croacia. They never advised in any of the route advertisement about a 2nd embarkation port (Bari) and due to bad weather we had to wait + than 8 hours till we could dock, what made us to loose the next day port of Katakolon in Greece (Olympia), ended up stuck inside for 3 days ! Besides that, there was a complete lack of organization to get out of the boat on every port, a really stressful & almost dangerous situation with people pushing and shoving...a lot of rude people around. Food was average, no creativity at all, no local typical foods, just a cheap offer of stuff that had the same taste every day. I'm sure any of us can do better at home. Entertainment was terrible, every night it was the same singing & dancing show, with a different figurine, besides the annoying presentations of the entertainment director that had to speak everything in 5 languages, so a big waste of time. Even the employees were unhappy & complaining about how the company was holding food and using low quality ingredients and about the way they are treated overall. MSC, never again ! Even if I have to pay 100% more for another company. We made several other cruises with Princess (scores a 10), Carnival (9), Norwegian (6) and MSC would score no more than a 3 in my 0-10 scale. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We sailed in April 2012 and the 1st thing that greeted us was the STENCH OF STALE Cigarette Smoke,, While the Facilities ARE Fabulous the CREW need Re Training. You were made to feel CREW WERE DOING YOU A FAVOUR NOT The other way round ... Read More
We sailed in April 2012 and the 1st thing that greeted us was the STENCH OF STALE Cigarette Smoke,, While the Facilities ARE Fabulous the CREW need Re Training. You were made to feel CREW WERE DOING YOU A FAVOUR NOT The other way round for Choosing to cruise with MSC in the 1st Place. But why would they EVEN TRY when their Tips have already been Deducted from your account and they know that (This is Normal Practice for MSC) Our Cruise was like a SCHOOL TRIP Hundreds of screaming children ( IT WAS FREE CHILD PLACES THAT WEEK **** NO ONE TOLD US BEFORE WE BOOKED) Children running at all hours in the public areas , i do not know how they came off safe, and in the Cabin hallways CONSTANT NOISE The crew have little or NO English , we have conversational Spanish , French & Italian God HELP those who do not ,because we had an awful time, ANY Q'S we asked was either DONT KNOW Or WAIT I FIND OUT , and no one comes back to you. SMOKING was everywhere even in RESTRICTED AREAS This was not ADDRESSED AT ALL CHILDREN IN THE CASINO Playing Machine's ! Which brings me to SAFETY , ye rite, The LIFEBOAT DRILL was a joke told to go here , then there , no back again , When we did get to the correct Lounge , they delayed IT as they were talking about PORT SHOPPING, the crew JIBBERED their way through 10's of languages n laughing here n there!! We spoke to many English speaking cruisers and all had the same complaint No one spoke it Very well if AT ALL No English programmes in room TV , (UNLESS YOU PAID FOR THEM) Which brings me to DINNING ROOM ,,, NO TEA OR COFFEE OR WATER in the dinning room, NONE (UNLESS YOU PAID FOR IT) The BUFFET AREA was a CATTLE MARKET UNREAL, DISSGRACEFULL NEVER enough SEATS (They Kept areas closed??)Your food was ALWAYS COLD when you got to EVENTUALLY EAT IT,And the GENERAL LAY OUT IS OFF, NEVER ENOUGH SILVER WEAR (CUTLERY) and when you asked a server , they looked at you. So we went to the dinning rooms for All Meals BUT WE HAD TO PAY FOR Coffee!! The DAILY PLANNER had no USEFULL INFORMATION all ADVERTISEMENTS FOR SHOPPING ON BOARD. ie What ID needed at each port , what was the currency, what was the customs n tradition's, where to get Taxi , was there a Bus etc etc And if you went to Front Desk , it was , the usual vacant look and we DONT KNOW We ll get back to you. Allowing for the fact predominately most guest's were ITALIAN SPANISH GERMAN they were larger than Life, loud n mostly Aggressive ,esp in the the Elevators This is not a review OF English V Foreigner's THIS REVIEW IS ABOUT THE ABYSMAL WAY MSC DID NOT , Assist, Help ,Explain or intervene in any way , unless of course you spoke FLUENT ITALIAN that is. We love to Embrace new people , new food's and new cultures not on this Cruise, the atmosphere was AWFULL. RELAXING = NO ENJOYABLE = NO MEMORABLE = YES FOR ALL THE WRONG REASON'S. So OUR ADVICE RESEARCH , RESEARCH , AND RESEARCH SOME MORE WE DEF WILL NOT BE BACK WITH THEM EVER AGAIN P.S ***Not for the unfit people either due to the lay out of the ship and wheelchair users found it very narrow in places and waited ages for a empty elevator, AS did all guests.**** Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Firstly the ship itself is beautiful and spotless. The shows are spectacular but that was the only positives of our cruise. Myself and my husband and daughter were looking forward to our weeks cruise and we had always used P&O but we ... Read More
Firstly the ship itself is beautiful and spotless. The shows are spectacular but that was the only positives of our cruise. Myself and my husband and daughter were looking forward to our weeks cruise and we had always used P&O but we fancied a change so booked on the MSC Splendida as it was advertised as being wonderfull for children. We quickly found out that if you are british and go with children there is nothing for them to do and if they want to have fun you have to pay and pay and pay. There are no children's reps and no one to organise any child activities. My husband and I spent the whole week keeping her occupied which was very difficult. The biggest bug bear was being charged for everything, we stupidly thought all ships were the same but not MSC they charge you for everything. Firstly you are charged 7 euros each per day for tips then on top of that for every drink or anything purchased on board there is an extra charge of 15% gratuity. Everything is astronomical in price before they add 15%, you pay for room service, you pay huge amounts to eat at a different restaurant. In your room you have 3 british news channels and if you want to watch a film that you can watch for free at home it is 5 euros, could not believe this. The food was awful, it is the same food every day and night and if you did not like anything on the menu in the restaurant then you had a choice of a bit of chicken or beef frying steak, talk about being cheap. My husband and I came together with other Brits on board who were finding everything just as bad, we formed a brits against MSC society. If you are British DO NOT go on MSC it is not aimed at brits and the staff have no time for you unless you have paid for the MSC Yacht club. We asked the staff if they recieved all the money that we paid in tips and they said no they never saw any money charged to us, in fact the staff are treated just as badly as guests. We complained and insisted that the 7 euro tips be removed from our account as we wished to tip ourselves. The staff that we tipped for wonderful service were so delighted and they deserved it. Overall you are like a cash machine as soon as you step on board so make sure you have plenty of spends and also as a woman you are leared at constantly which I found very uncomfortable in front of my 11 year old daughter. We are absolutely going back to P&O and will never stray again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Sailed from Barcelona 22nd January 2012. Lovely clean large ship with great balcony cabin 9056. Great cabin boy Mustafa and Waiter Winda, both excellent. Found most of the staff pretty rude, many in the Bora Bora cafe just barge into you, ... Read More
Sailed from Barcelona 22nd January 2012. Lovely clean large ship with great balcony cabin 9056. Great cabin boy Mustafa and Waiter Winda, both excellent. Found most of the staff pretty rude, many in the Bora Bora cafe just barge into you, no communication with you and the Bora Bora food very poor in choice and quality. Decor of Bora Bora very dark walls ,ceiling and dark furniture,dismal!!! Main dining rooms, tables very close to each other, food from 7 course menu poor even rissotto dishes blobs of soggy rice no presentation,Last 2 nights meat dish cold sliced Turkey and Turkey Escalope!!! No tea or coffee served after dinner. Dining hours very restricted on this ship Ship photographer ignorant!!! While eating my soup course leaned across me knocking my spoon as I was eating,then moved wine,water bottles and glasses to get his photo and proceeded to replace every one's drink in the wrong place. He then tried to take my photo which I refused and had to tell him forcibly to go away. A serious concern was every public toilet wash room hot water was always never hot!! I ran the hot taps some times for 2 minutes and never got even warm water. I reported this on my end of cruise report. Entertainment very Italian not at all to our liking. You pay for everything on this ship even a bottle of water in our cabin on boarding. Everything is also top prices plus the usual 15%. The charged tips (billed as service charge 7 euro p p p day) I will never do again, I will only tip the people that deserve it. This charged system could be the cause of poor customer attitude. We have cruised extensively and seek to try different cruise lines this MSC line we could not recommend and we will not use again. Graham Moore   Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
I have only once felt the need to sign up for a " blog " but I feel so strongly about my experience that I would like to add my voice to previous reviews. My daughter a Columbia U. student on winter break and myself chose MSC ... Read More
I have only once felt the need to sign up for a " blog " but I feel so strongly about my experience that I would like to add my voice to previous reviews. My daughter a Columbia U. student on winter break and myself chose MSC thru a local travel agency. Our choice was primarily due to our restrictions on travel dates and our choice on a European cruise. I thought I did my research on the cruise line thru various sites , this one , trip advisor etc. We felt that despite the negative reviews many people described , we would try not to prejudge and make our own opinion. Our cruise was out of Venice, Italy 1/5/12 9 days expected itinerary was Bari, Haifa, Rhodes, Athens . The weather ( not fault of MSC) was very bad and we were unable to make port at Bari and instead docked at Ravenna Italy to pick up passengers that were supposed to have boarded in Bari . First it was not made known to me nor thru the travel agent that this was a scheduled stop to board additional passengers and the expectation was " sightseeing" We instead ended up in Ravena ( only 3 hours to see) then headed off to Haifa ( this was to be a 2-day port stop) allowing the many sights be seen and appreciated ( as many could not be seen in 1 day given the distance between cities ) . Our next stop was Rhodes and we had only 3 hours there also, MSC sighting : Israel authorities for the delay in departure) . We then went to Athens and were unable to dock for a full 2 hours again MSC sighting " maritime traffic " being heavy for the delay . I could go on but space does not allow . The passengers were not assured during the " extreme weather conditions" that the ship experienced the 1 st 2 days that we were " OK" or that the weather would improve or that the mandatory " safety drill" would be scheduled when the conditions improved or in the event that the ship was in danger how to view the TV interactive program on the life vest application, lifeboat location and expectations that were . We were fortunate as we do not suffer from sea sickness but many passengers were very ill and little assurance to alleviate some anxiety would have benefited them The food as described in many reviews was completely inadequate in quality the same dishes were served at dinner both at the buffet and the sit down dinner on many occasions . The alcoholic drinks were poorly made ( I doubt there was a actual person who had bar tending training ) in any of the many bars on board. The variety was also non-existent . The staff housekeeping and wait staff were very tired but very polite and helpful, I have no complaints about them. My complaint does involve the 6.00 euro /person /day that is taken from your bill for " tips" it does not allow nor insure that the hard-working staff are given any tips and my feeling that it goes to the company. I have been on cruises RCCL line in the past and know what expectation for service there is . MSC simply does not meet American standards for service, quality or comfort, We met several British passengers who felt the same and gave very poor reviews at the end of the voyage I will never sail MSC again and advise others to give serious consideration to other cruise lines if you want a vactaion that is stress free I will be wtiting a letter to MSC and my travel agent as well Sorry for the lengthy review but I kept it as brief as I could given my horrible " vacation " experience . Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Positive: The stateroom is nicely decorate and it is quite comfortable. Negative: The service is so bad that I think majority of the crew especially in the dinning room should be retrain. If you don't speak Italian than many ... Read More
Positive: The stateroom is nicely decorate and it is quite comfortable. Negative: The service is so bad that I think majority of the crew especially in the dinning room should be retrain. If you don't speak Italian than many of the entertainment will count you out. The food quality is the worst ever. There are lot of pasta and pizza, but if you are looking for lobster, good steak, good dessert........sorry! They don't have any. Some of the food are worst than college cafeteria. Did you ever see the lettuces at the salad bar have an inch of water sitting in the bottom? The Bora Bora dinning room which serve breakfast are pack with people that you could harpy find a seat. The people on the ship were rude and seems like they have not been feed for days. If you are not European, don't even think about any Italian cruise line. The main dinning room service is a joke. Our waiter don't know anything about the wine and menu. You cannot order any extra dish. We could only pick one on each course. That's something new for me! I thought cruise ships usually spoil you with food and you could order anything you want. Not with this cruise line. They try to sell you different packages. Wine package, water package, cocktail package, coffee package, soda package.......... We purchase a couple of these packages for the convenience but end up ever time you order wine, water, cocktail you need to present the coupon and your room card to charge. It is so stupid and inconvenience. They don't serve water at the dinning room, you have to pay for water. Ther is no anytime dinning unless you go to speciality restaurants and paid extra. The Mexican restaurant food is awful!!!!! The entertainment is just average. It seems like every evening are the same except the costumes. In conclusion, I will not recommend this cruise line to anyone but my enemies. This is really the worst cruise ever and I will not cruise with them even they pay me. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
Embarkation OK no disabled check in though, cabin supposed to be biggest inside on ship so the others must have been very very small. Food in buffet deck 11 is a joke, breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday the same hardly any rotation. ... Read More
Embarkation OK no disabled check in though, cabin supposed to be biggest inside on ship so the others must have been very very small. Food in buffet deck 11 is a joke, breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday the same hardly any rotation. All geared to Italians i had a bowl of cereals in morning, we had to get every lunch off ship in port, and dinner was a cheese roll and fries. Pizzas and fruit at side of pool bar, same everyday and a nice chap did cook different fresh pasta at lunchtimes at side of pizza place, and this wasn't to bad. We do not do main restaurants so cannot comment on those. Drinks are a bit on the expensive side but if you drink water or fizzy drinks, i recommend the restaurant soda package. For 7 euros all cans and bottled water free during mealtime hours on deck 11 and main restaurants, this saved an absolute fortune, and if you have to go with MSC get this! Be warned though you do have to pay for tea and coffee with meals(except breakfast) and the only place you could get them free was a machine on deck 11 near pizza`s, and then you had to carry them to the buffet restaurant. Staff, i would say 10% of them are friendly and helpful, the other 90% rude and not helpful. i was holding the door open 1 evening, stood with a drink and my walking stick keeping the door open for my wife and a manager walked straight through without even a thanks, i could not believe it! Ports of call were very good and we did enjoy those, but watch Santorini, if you want to get off early you need to be on an excursion or get a number. I was pushed into a corner by an Italian member of staff who did not explain this, and when i was told 20 mins later to go to reception i found all numbers had gone and we could only go ashore after 4pm! Entertainment a big let down nothing at all to do if you were sailing, only sit around reading or sunbathing or spend more money on drinks and sit in the empty lounges. And finally the Italian guests, they are the most rude people i have ever met, you press for a lift and stand back to let people off, not the Italians, they barge past you and wont let people get off the lift before they get in!! I did complain about all our problems we had in the week and Marcello the Guest relations manager was very nice about it and did cancel our 7 Euro daily service charge, and i gave 2 tips to the only 2 i thought deserved any. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
With the recent GroupOn 'offers' I felt I needed to submit my review to warn others, so they don't have a disappointing week like we - and seemingly most reviewers - experienced. Firstly, I feel it best to point out that ... Read More
With the recent GroupOn 'offers' I felt I needed to submit my review to warn others, so they don't have a disappointing week like we - and seemingly most reviewers - experienced. Firstly, I feel it best to point out that the 'offer' isn't an offer. It is, at best, a very small saving on the actual price - with the guide price being heavily inflated. Having previously been on 8 cruises, 6 of them with RCI and 2 with Disney, I can only equate the experience we had on MSC as going from riches to rags. The Interior Stateroom - previously more than adequate for us - is like a prison room. It is listed as a meager 12 metres squared, and feels much less. The bed sheets were old, worn and dirty. When we asked if these could be changed, we were told that they would be changed when everybody elses were and no guests would be given special treatment. We knew from that point we were in for a very different cruise experience - in terms of both facilities and the attitude of staff. The sheets being old and worn were symbolic of most things on the ship. Everything is so dated compared to the other cruise lines we experienced. The number of entertainment venues and the number of staff simply aren't equipped for the number of guests. They're trying to do things on a budget and it shows. We queued for 35 minutes on the first night for the cinema, only to be told - along with others - that the auditorium was full. On our second day, we were going to play basketball as a family. We had to wait 6 hours. Yes, 6 hours for a court. When we were allowed on, we had to be off again after 20 minutes. The fitness suite was similarly overcrowded, with a staggeringly small number of machines compared to guests wanting to use them. The food we received on our budget flight to and from Barcelona was comparable to anything we had on board. It was obviously pre-prepared, mass produced and reheated. Unlike anything you'd ever experience with RCI or Disney. Really, I'm depressing myself by thinking about the experience again. I'll end my review there. Needless to say, I wouldn't return, for any price, despite being an avid cruise lover. I just hope that this review and others save some families the disappointment and expense that we had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
As a group of five (including one child) well traveled but first time cruisers, we were very excited about embarking on the spectacular looking MSC Musica. The ship is new and nice. However, there are just so many people! The only ... Read More
As a group of five (including one child) well traveled but first time cruisers, we were very excited about embarking on the spectacular looking MSC Musica. The ship is new and nice. However, there are just so many people! The only personal space you'll get is in your own cabin. Everywhere else, it's pushing and shoving at the buffet, for a pool lounger, to dis/embark, etc. The cabins are pokey and simply finished. Some of the fittings such as the carpet, desk top or bathroom fittings are worn or even falling apart. The balconies are nice and large enough for two people to enjoy a sun downer as the world passes by. We went to two evening theater performances but the quality was 'amateur' at best. The guy is small but sufficient and in a great location just above the bridge. One of my lasting memories was enjoying a treadmill workout as we cruised between the Greek islands. The restaurant dinners were nice and with a reasonable selection although you feel rushed as they push you through the courses to get the next sitting in. The buffets were very bland, even the "Indian" themed one! The focus is defiantly on quantity and not quantity. I know that cruising on big boats is a mass tourism pastime and i didn't expect exceptional personal service on a ship with more than 2,000 passengers. What i didn't expect was to receive such terrible service and rude staff on such a consistent level! We chose not to pay the optional daily service charge but were berated by the guest services officer who firstly told us we couldn't remove the charge, and secondly that the Guest Services Director refused to see us. Sad- it was an opportunity for MSC to receive some genuine feedback but their approach only made us resent their attitude towards their guests more. I took the time to offer some constructive suggestions by completing their Comment Form at the end of the cruise, but the "Guest Services Officer" refused to take it at the "Customer Services Desk", telling me i had to walk to the theater at the other end of the boat to put it in the box there! Wow! The real icing on the cake was when MSC lost one of our bags upon disembarkation. I duly reported the loss (due to MSC incompetence) and caught my flight home. After ignoring my correspondence they informed me after three months that they are also ignoring their Athens Convention obligations and refuse to pay me a bean. No explanation, just a continuation of the terrible experience I have come to expect from MSC. We embarked with open minds but found that the reality missed our expectations on almost every count. The killer was the consistently rude service which I would go so far to say ruined our holiday. I'm glad that we did the cruise, even if to know that big boat cruising with MSC isn't for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
VERY DISAPPOINTED : No tables for two at the restaurants, always seating at tables of 6 - unacceptable! We went for the first night and that was ENOUGH! We ate at the cafeteria for the rest of the trip - ALL MEALS! Food was average at ... Read More
VERY DISAPPOINTED : No tables for two at the restaurants, always seating at tables of 6 - unacceptable! We went for the first night and that was ENOUGH! We ate at the cafeteria for the rest of the trip - ALL MEALS! Food was average at best... Water, softdrinks and coffee were all charged EXTRA and at a VERY HIGH PRICE ! To be exact ; at TWICE the price of the most expensive restaurants on their terrasses in the towns where we got off - TWICE AT LEAST ! That is unreasonable and unacceptable. If their prices had been on par with others, we would have consumed a lot more but out of principal we did not! Bottled water, 1 liter free per day per cabin is far from enough. Water should not be charged; this is an essential thing that IS ALWAYS FREE on any closed resort. If they are concerned with people abusing and leaving half emptied bottles lying everywhere, all they have to do is write the cabin # on all bottles given out and then require an empty bottle with the correct cabin # in order to give out a new one. Ports we stopped at : Ancona = 3/10 Corfu = 3/10 Santorini = 10/10 Athens = 7/10 Argostoli = 5/10 Kotor = 10/10 We felt like we were wasting our time at most places (see ratings) Cruise crew : cafeteria = 8/10 house keeping = 10/10 reception/front desk = 8/10 ***all crew members that WERE NOT Italian were amazing - great service, plenty of smiles. Italian members of the crew were typical; worse at best! Italians simply don't give a crap about tourists and will always be rude and unhelpful as possible if you are non-italian speaking. Ship / cabins = 10/10 very clean soundproofing = 2/10 ***we could hear our neighbors VERY WELL through the walls Boarding / disembarking on a daily basis = 9/10 at beginning/end of trip = 1/10 ***had to leave our cabin before 7am but could not leave ship until 10h30 - waste of 1/2 day! Too many noisy kids aboard this ship! We will NEVER book another cruise if they intend to keep our passports! They took these away from us and we did not feel safe at all when we got off at the different ports. This simply does not make sense and is probably illegal...They could have kept a colour photocopy on file to supposedly show to port authorities. By the way, our passports were not even stamped by ANY port officials...so we think they kept them to make sure we did not get off at any port along the way. We travel 6-8 weeks per year and have been to many places over the last 6 years but this was at the bottom of our list of trips and by a large margin. Overall the boat crew was great, the ship was nice but we definitely don't plan to take another cruise. There are too many things that are simply unacceptable at these prices. We kind of feel like we wasted a week. The time wasted is much worse than the money wasted. If all cruises are like this one...well cruises are not for us! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Do not go on this cruise unless you smoke or don't enjoy good music. When we opened the door to our cabin it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. All week we could not get through to Reception or Housekeeping on the phone, so we waited ... Read More
Do not go on this cruise unless you smoke or don't enjoy good music. When we opened the door to our cabin it reeked of stale cigarette smoke. All week we could not get through to Reception or Housekeeping on the phone, so we waited in line at Reception area for 40 minutes after we boarded to ask for another room. The ship was completely booked so the receptionist said to go to dinner and they would have the room wash downed. After dinner the room was better. I could tell they changed the bedspread because the new one had a big rip in it, but in the morning the smell was as bad as before. Another trek and wait at the Reception area and we were told a room might become available after we left Bari. No such luck so we offered to pay more for an upgrade, but the cruise line wanted over $1,000 for the remaining nights for us to do so. After I said I wanted a complete refund so we could fly home, they offered us a downgraded, very noisy cabin but at least it did not smell of smoke. We had to sign a waiver saying we accepted the downgrade. Of course there was no refund. If you consider one person playing a keyboard with a sound system good music, then you won't have any complaints about the entertainment. The one theatre, called La Scala, offered nearly the same entertainment each night in a different format. Forget the pool. We never found a free deck chair and people were packed in every square inch. The rule that abandoned deck chairs would become available was never enforced. I also saw toilet paper in one of the pools around noon one day. Also, my husband and I like to sit on the promenade deck, but on this ship there were no chairs available and the deck did not even go around the ship. We ate once in the frenzied, crowded, long line buffet and after that chose to eat in the dining room. The food was OK, but we didn't expect to pay for water each meal except for coffee in the morning. You pay for coffee or tea other times of the day. Also, I was never on a ship where you couldn't get something to eat during the day between mealtimes. We came back from an excursion at 4 p.m. and had to wait until 7:30 for dinner to eat. The 1 a.m. midnight buffet was too late for us. It was annoying that everyone receives the same required tip regardless of the service they provide. As a result, there is no motivation for the staff to provide good service and several of them were rude. If I needed anything from housekeeping, like a wash cloth which is not provided without asking, I had to walk around and find someone to help because the phone connection was continually busy. We went without ice all week. The ports of call were fantastic. The excursions were very expensive so we took a chance and easily found alternate trips at 1/3 to 1/2 of the cost after we disembarked. It's too bad we chose this cruise line. It was the most expensive cruise we ever took and by far offered the poorest quality. Needless to say, we will never again choose MSC. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
This review is strictly meant to guide Non-European travellers only. If you are european you may not need to read to this review.Summary: Below par service, poor itinerary, overpriced, definitely not suitable to non-europeans.About us: 30+ ... Read More
This review is strictly meant to guide Non-European travellers only. If you are european you may not need to read to this review.Summary: Below par service, poor itinerary, overpriced, definitely not suitable to non-europeans.About us: 30+ couple residing in the USA. First timers on a cruise.MSC was recommended to us by relatives. We did not do much research and decided to book the cruise (First mistake). Paid $1900 per person for a balcony suite. The package included 14 bottles of water per cabin and 3 shore excursions (Katakolon, Athens and Dubrovnik)Ship: Musica is a beautiful and comfortable ship. Our rooms were spacious and the lounges were good.Itinerary: This is something we did not like. Although you get to visit a number of places, you spend only a small amount of time in each port. A grand total of 45 hours is spent onshore (Very less in our view). Bari, Katakolon and Athens can be removed from the itin.Excursions: These are a joke and MSC is out to fleece you. Very poor guides in English. No assistance provided if you don't take their excursions.Service: Service is definitely below par. Staff appears tired and bored. Definitely not worth the 7EUR they charge as a Service charge per person per day. We recommend not to pay this service charge. Entertainment: Ordinary with a lot of slapstick Italian we did not understand.Crowd: This is what put us off. Ship was full of european elders or families. Seems to be a hit with Italian families since children cruise free. English speaking people were a minority, maximum 50 out of a total of 2000+. Italians were nasty true to reputation. For ex: One day during lunch at the buffet, an Italian grandma occupies a chair at our table next to my wife and refuses to leave in spite of our protests. Staff just turned the other way and just did not care. I even brought this to the manager's attention but he was not interested in resolving. Eventually we had to move to a different table. Lots of Italian families with small kids with no consideration of hygiene, by the end of the cruise almost everyone was sneezing and we fell sick after we came home. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click