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679 MSC Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

My Wife & I did a 7 night cruise through Croatia & the Greek Islands. The excursions were a good option if you want to see and know the history, some were brief visits , but you will know that when you see the intinery that you ... Read More
My Wife & I did a 7 night cruise through Croatia & the Greek Islands. The excursions were a good option if you want to see and know the history, some were brief visits , but you will know that when you see the intinery that you have booked for the particular Cruise. The entertainment and shows are amazing top[ notch. Staff were helpful and obliging . If you want top class meals they are in the restaurant, you will have a set time sitting for your room, we did not have the same menu at all, it was different night for dinner. If you want to eat in the buffet, the food a similar, but for the moaning people out there, look at you options, the food was 5 star in the restaurants, and some of the buffet lunched in the restaurants was the same. Boarding and disembarking was a breeze. The only moan for me is the bar service is slow. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Apart from Venice & Kotor - all the other ports were a new experience for us. The other attraction was there were no sea days, so every day was an opportunity to explore a new place. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Apart from Venice & Kotor - all the other ports were a new experience for us. The other attraction was there were no sea days, so every day was an opportunity to explore a new place. The Ship was very nice (shame about some of the other passengers) but we found that the main dining room seemed very cramped in comparison to a number of the other ships we have been on. The accessible ocean view cabin was again quite spacious but not as large as similar grade cabins on other ships - because the door did not open automatically, it meant that I had to be there to open the door for my wife's wheelchair. The theatre was very nice, but having all the announcements made in seven languages became quite tedious. The shows were mainly of the dancing and acrobatic type rather than the 'west end' type of show that we have seen on other lines, but we still enjoyed them. The food was excellent but the service seemed to be quite slow - this was because one waiter had to serve the food, serve the wine and also clear the plates from the table so he was kept very busy, but he was very friendly and we had no problems with the way he served us. One 'niggle' was the fact that in most ports, MSC had provided shuttle buses from the port to the city but NONE!! of these were accessible to wheelchairs so in most cases we had to sort ourselves out. Even when a port provided its own internal transport (Corfu) this again was not wheelchair accessible. Our other 'niggle' was some of the other passengers who would push past you when waiting for the lifts. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I am writing this review although our cruise did not go as planned. It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure. That being said, I would like ... Read More
I am writing this review although our cruise did not go as planned. It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure. That being said, I would like to commend MSC and it’s Opera staff for working so hard to assist the passengers and create a positive atmosphere. Laura at reception was instrumental in getting us tickets home with a lovely demeanor despite the vitriol of countless cruisers. The housekeeper, Jane, for 10141 was friendly, helpful and went out of her way to make things pleasant. All the staff extended themselves to make everything as comfortable as possible. Kudos to MSc for covering an cost of and making arrangements if one wished to leave early, as well as reimbursing full cost of cruise for all passengers whether they decided to stay on board or not. Also, free Wi-Fi, drinks,, transport to Venice San Marco throughout the day and night. This shows that it knows how to respond d with excellent customer service. The ship, while older, is immaculate and well run. I will cruise with MSC again, despite the accident. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
From the beginning things were terrible. Our cruise cards were not correct. We had the drink package and they put it on the card wrong. So we had to go the guest services to correct all three cabins cards. Then you have to wait in line to ... Read More
From the beginning things were terrible. Our cruise cards were not correct. We had the drink package and they put it on the card wrong. So we had to go the guest services to correct all three cabins cards. Then you have to wait in line to activate your card with a credit card. Why not do this at embarkation like other cruise lines. Cabin bed was not put together like on reservation. Another needed correction. No Kleenex in rooms under suites. They said no Kleenex on board but met a couple staying in a suite and they said suites got Kleenex. We had no wash clothes. Had to ask for them. Not that towel animals are needed. But they are cute and all other cruises we have been on we had them. Not MSC. Why not?Staff move in slow motion. Bar staff don’t even know what drinks they have. Food was average at best. Not what we are accustomed to on cruises. Very basic and not a good choice or selection for most meals. Our waiter was great. But he did not have a lot to work with. During dinner the staff are constantly walking around with fliers trying to get you to buy a 20 euro steak or lobster. Other cruise lines have lobster night and steak. Buffet was worse than cafeteria food. The staff up there don’t bus the tables quickly. Most days guests needed to bus their own tables. Excursions were so on organized. Getting off the ship was lines of people. Making you late starting your excursions. 2 excursions we returned later than we were supposed to. Luckily we booked with MSC so the ship was still there. The description of excursions is deceiving. We went on one to see the riviera waterfalls and shopping. We took an hour bus ride and saw a waterfall behind a restaurant and then another ride to a town that all the shops were closed for siesta while we were there to shop. Why did we go there? Room was not cleaned like we are used to on cruises. There was dirt on the floor for two days. Someone left a coffee cup by the elevator and it was there for 4 days. In the buffet a person dropped a piece of pizza and I counted 8 staff who either stepped on it or walked over it until someone finally picked it up. There are no little snack shops or restaurants to grab a quick snack during the day. The ports we stopped at were beautiful. But the ship staff and some excursions were sooo disappointing. Entertainment was not up to cruise standards. Every night was basically the same with a different theme. Singers were good. Dancers poor. They used the same set every night. Not broadway caliber. Get good entertainment. Anytime you have an issue they say it is a third party issue and they will email and get back to you. Never MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I am rating this cruise Excellent, basically due to the Itinerary. You are in Venice, Split, Santorini, Mykonos, Dubrovnik, Ancona, and back to Venice. Here are the pluses of the cruise ship. It's a smaller cruise ship compared to the ... Read More
I am rating this cruise Excellent, basically due to the Itinerary. You are in Venice, Split, Santorini, Mykonos, Dubrovnik, Ancona, and back to Venice. Here are the pluses of the cruise ship. It's a smaller cruise ship compared to the "mega ships" out there today, and that's the type of ship I personally like. I do not care for the super large ships. It reminded me of old world cruising. The ship is not new, but it was very clean and well maintained for the most part. The international flavor/mix of the guests on board, we particularly enjoyed. Although language could be an issue at times, but we did find some english speaking folks on board from the UK, Ireland, Australia, etc. Quite nice. At first, once I studied the ports of call, I was concerned there was not enough time in each of them (after all, we always want "more") but to be honest, it all worked out quite fine. Even with the shorter time in Mykonos. The times we had to tender and or dock, were well organized and were very seamless. Embarkation was a little clustered, we got there shortly after 12noon, and apparently so did everyone else :) After about 30 minutes, the lines moved and it was much more organized. We were onboard about 1pm give or take. Our Cabin was just about ready at that time, and we met our Cabin Attendant...he told us to come back in about a 1/2 hour and he'd have our cruise cards for us. Sure enough he did. In the meantime, they had a buffet open up on Deck 11, so we went up there, grabbed a bite and went to the Capri Bar (which turned out to be our favorite bar on the ship). We got to know the Bartenders and Servers right away, and they became best buddies before you knew it. They would see us coming and no matter how busy they were, they would always sneak us our drinks before others.(We did tip them from time to time but we were also very nice to them. As you can imagine, not all guests are pleasant. Anyway, after we got out cruise cards, we went down to the Reception desk and activated our cards with a credit card for any "extras". We did by the Drink Package (we got the middle package, for we didn't need the top shelf) and it turned out to be a wise choice. I strongly suggest if you enjoy your adult beverages. The prices (for those who do not want to buy a package, were averaging 6.50 Euros per drink. With the drink package, all beverages were comped, ie: bottled waters, soft drinks, cappuccinos/espressos, etc. Cabin- We were on Deck 10, cabin 1096, balcony. I strongly suggest Balcony cabins if you can afford them. It adds to the space of your cabin and with such beautiful scenery to take advantage of, we utilized the balcony a lot. The bathroom was a standard cruise ship bathroom. The shower was a little challenging for a 6'2 guy, but I managed. There's plenty of storage space for luggage, drawers, nightstands, etc. The cabin has both 110 volt and 220 volt electric current. The bathrooms have a built in hair dryer. There was a TV in the room, fairly good choice of programs if you wanted to chill in the cabin. Overall, not a bad sized cabin. I would of liked to upgrade to a suite so we could have a sitting area, however, we survived. Dining-Now, we had chosen the "your choice" dining for the dining rooms. We only ended up using it for one night, on "Gala Night". We were using the Buffet up on Deck 11 95% of the time. We went for the Gala night, the dining room was quite nice and that old world style, but the meal was a bit lack-luster. The portions were quite small and the dessert, for a gala dinner lacked imagination. So, after dinner, we went back up to the Buffet! We found that the Buffet had pretty much everything you could want. Somethings better than others, but over all, compared to other cruise lines I have been on, we really liked it. They also have a cafeteria style "Pizza station" and a Hamburger/Hotdog" station. They were quite popular and they worked out great if you wanted a quick snack (god forbid the buffet should be closed, haha). The only days the buffet was really crowded were the 2 At Sea days. Get there when it opens. They also had freshly tossed/prepared pasta stations available for lunch those 2 days at the Capri Bar. They were great! Entertainment- We didn't partake in any of the entertainment ie: theater stuff. We did enjoy the bands that played on deck though. Service- WE were nice to them and they were MORE than nice to us. We did witness some really rude behavior by people to some of the wait staff, just because that's how people are, and we felt bad. Think that's why we were extra nice. Proved to work out in our favor. We ordered room service for coffee/croissants each morning and they were always punctual if not a little early. Loved it. Ports- Shore Excursions. We are very seasoned travelers and like to just do things by ourselves, but the one excursion I wish we DID take advantage of was the tour of the Caves in Ancona. It looked really cool. Ancona (your last port) is a sleeply old shipping port, so there was not much to see in the town, although we found a nice place to enjoy some wine and tapas. In Split, we took advantage of a taxi offering a city tour for 30 euros, and it was all of an hour, we liked that. The other ports, we just walked around and entertained ourselves. Now, one thing I will tell you. The early arrival in Santorini, is a GOOD THING. Reason being, you have to wait in line for the Tram to the top. We were like the first tender off the ship, and we zipped right up to the top (it's 6 Euros) and had a nice late breakfast and had a amazing view overlooking the harbor and the sites of Santorini. There's a myriad of places. Anyway, reason being early was best, all of a sudden, you saw all these cruise ships coming. By the time we came back down from the tram ( we decided to go down around 1230pmish) and the line was insane to get UP the tram. MSC also had a nice touch at the boarding spot for the tender. They offered nice cold towels/waters/juices, while you waited. Lovely. The other ships i didn't see that. Mykonos! Although we arrived at around 7pmish, it was still light out. Plenty of time to walk around, enjoy the little village. We had a bite to eat, a a drink, then found a nightclub and a couple bars on the water front by where we came in. Jackie'O's was our favorite. We say outside and watch the people. It's a gay bar by the way and we are a gay couple...but it's a lovely place and the staff was super nice. We ended up hanging there until about midnight, then tendered back in. Would of been nice to be there a little earlier, but we loved it. Ancona--- Small seaport...not much to do, we noticed folks stayed on board, or did the excursions. It's a quick walk in to the center of town. It was nice. Disembarkation was very well organized. We docked in Venice around 7am. Our cabin group was to meet up in the Sinfonia Lounge and we left around 9:10am, and in to the departure hall to collect our bags. Pretty simple. About the ship- The ship is very clean, and again, reminded me of an old world cruising style. (I sailed on the ORIGINAL LOVE BOAT, The Pacific Princess, so I have been around while:). I would say that the Sinfonia Lounge and the Manhattan Bar on Decks 5 and 6, seemed a little dated. Since the weather was so great, we loved being out at the Capri Bar on Deck 11 the best. We didn't care for the "Irish Pub" so much, but if you are a beer lover, they have a ton of different beers. Shopping- The shops had a lot to offer, but it was in a bit of a funky area. Think they are trying to offer more specialty shops with the limited space. However, we were not there to shop...we wanted the ports. They did have some duty free sales, but again, we were not in the market for anything. There were more Children than I thought there would be, but the Europeans tend to travel with the families. The pool area is QUITE nice and has a water park for kids. We didn't hang out at the pool, but we did up on deck 12 if and when we wanted. We didn't want to be around the little darlings. To sum it up, we really enjoyed it. I ignored the reviews and decided to just see what it's all about, and my partner and I had a fantastic trip. It is what you make of it. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat! Enjoy!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Best prices ever, food was on point ,the neatness of the cabins,dining setup was classy, Oooh the excursions were great. I really, really enjoyed this cruise I will never forget the extra service from the medical staff to the security ... Read More
Best prices ever, food was on point ,the neatness of the cabins,dining setup was classy, Oooh the excursions were great. I really, really enjoyed this cruise I will never forget the extra service from the medical staff to the security .The staff was amazing always go an extra mile. Was happy to see South Africans working on board.. meeting new friends . Will do this again with my crew this year December. MSC keep it up... yhoo I was so scared because of previous reviews people saying bad things about MSC, I almost cancelled the trip yerrr...what I've learn is that you will never satisfy everybody just stick to your thing and do what you you know is best. This was my first time cruising trip. Now looking forward cruising from Rome and Naples as well as the Amalfi coast around December . Safety was the priority with MSC. Well done Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruising experience and definitely our last with MSC. We travelled with another family who have been on quite a few cruises. From the start we were left feeling disappointed with the length of question to board the ... Read More
This was our first cruising experience and definitely our last with MSC. We travelled with another family who have been on quite a few cruises. From the start we were left feeling disappointed with the length of question to board the ship and then being ushered past the welcome drinks because of the que system to get on board. Our room was small but there was no mention in the brochure about the tiny shower in the bathroom. Not fit for purpose. The level of customer service on board varies from rude and not interested to absolutely fantastic. It was after our holiday we found that customers are not a priority for them. The food was hit and miss. Some good some bad. Was expecting a lot more variety. Hand sanitizers aboard the ship were empty a lot of the time. The excursions were fantastic though. Queuing was a major part of this holiday as disembarking and embarking on excursions were very painful. Over 40 mins in the pouring rain in Montenegro queuing to embark. We were aboard the ship that crashed in venice. There was very little information forthcoming as to what had happened. Most people could see from top deck what had happened and from videos already on the net, before an announcement came that we had hit another vessel. We were then late to dock by many hours. Eventually when we reached the port we were held up in our designated area with what seemed like 90 % of the passengers in a room not big enough to seat them. There we waited for over an hour before we were called to get in line to disembark. There we queued for over an hour in the blazing hot sun. No refreshments forthcoming. Obviously we missed our transfers by some time, we tolda senior member of the MSC team of our situation. His response was at the end of the dock (which was some distance away) there are free transfers to the airport. He couldn't get away quick enough. This is when we find out he was lying and just wanted rid of us. We had and elderly lady with bad knees with us. This left us absolutely outraged. If he would have just said " I'm very sorry but there is a river taxi at the docks. Keep your receipts and you can claim them back." We would have been more understanding. We have since discovered that lying must be a MSC policy. When we got home we wrote a letter of complaint. One of the replies was. It was the harbour masters fault we missed our transfers as they would not let msc release the passengers. Another lie. I've got pictures of the crash which was the reason we were delayed for so long and missed our transfer. We told them we may never cruise again but would certainly not use MSC ever again. To which they offered us 15% off our next cruise with MSC restricted dates and packages. To this day they have not apologised for the incident or the pathetic service that followed. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Ship was clean. Pools were fine. Hot tubs were almost always full with a life guard enforcing a time limit and line policy for hot tubs. We upgraded to the fantastica service because we wanted free room service. After we got on board, we ... Read More
Ship was clean. Pools were fine. Hot tubs were almost always full with a life guard enforcing a time limit and line policy for hot tubs. We upgraded to the fantastica service because we wanted free room service. After we got on board, we found out that is not how it works. Normally, they charge for both food and service as separate line items on your bill. If you pay the up front cost, they don't charge for service but they still charge for food. The one upside of upgrading to fantastica service is that they normally charge 2 euro per liter of water in the restaurants. With the upgraded service at least you get free water. All in all, we felt like we were getting nickle and dimed at every turn. We were also frustrated with the culture of line cutting on board. It didn't matter what line we were in, we were constantly frustrated with people pushing ahead of us to get in front of us. We've only been on US ships in the past so perhaps this is common in European (Italian) culture. For us American's, it was maddening. I'm not saying American's never cut but this ship was an all new level. The cutting was constant and aggressive. Often times they would physically push us aside to get in front. One time, we stood side by side, arm to arm, between the stanchions. They kept weaving and pushing trying to sneak past us. After a few minutes of failure, the the failed line cutters finally let loose in a verbal outburst on how entitled Americans are. When we returned to Venice, the MSC ship in front of us collided with a docked boat. Apparently, this type of thing happens much more frequently than one would expect. Regardless, there are no contingency plans. We ended up hovering in the Venice harbor for more than five hours waiting for our ship to move to the dock. The one nice thing about this was that they did let us return to our rooms and they did give away free drinks and ice cream. Still, we ended up missing an activity in Venice that we had prepaid. Most of the employees are not service oriented. For example, when eating breakfast in a sit down restaurant, the server would come to our table to take an order. If we ordered an omelette they would take our order but if we asked for french toast they would tell us to go get it ourselves. Very strange. There were one or two exceptions. Many of the staff were very poorly trained and appeared to neither understand nor speak any English. The food was terrible. It wasn't just the choices on the menu (although, they weren't great) it was also the quality of the cooking. The one bright light was that the pizza was edible. The selection of fruit was pathetic. Embarkation was long and slow. Once we got inside the building, we had to wait in a large uncomfortable room for our number to be called. After waiting for a couple hours our number was called. We passed through one last security screen, got our photos taken and walked onto the ship. I could not understand how it could possibly take two hours to get us through this last step. None of the staff seemed to be in any hurry at any time. There were more smokers on board than I am used to having previously sailed only on ships leaving and returning to the U.S. I did not like this given that I don't like second hand smoke. The evening entertainment was hit and miss (of the five I saw, two were good and three were not good). There was an inside pool and an outside pool. I'm not a big fan of blaring music at the pool and unfortunately, there was almost always blaring music at the outside pool. They would do some sort of activity with "D.J.'s", music and some interaction. I found this to be very annoying and made sitting in a lawn chair on deck miserable. All and all I will say that I will never go on an MSC cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This is our fifth cruise and our first with MSC. We got an excellent price offering about 10 months ago, so decided to give them a try. We certainly got our money’s worth. The ship was well maintained, tastefully decorated (not garish ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise and our first with MSC. We got an excellent price offering about 10 months ago, so decided to give them a try. We certainly got our money’s worth. The ship was well maintained, tastefully decorated (not garish at all), and the crew were pleasant, professional, and polite. Entertainment was surprisingly good, but did get tired before the end of the 8 days, as they have one group of entertainers who were excellent but story lines were wearing thin by the end of the voyage. The entertainment director had a heavy Italian accent and spoke very little English, but to be fair the English were a small minority on board, and everyone from the cabin steward (who was fantastic), the dining room staff (equally so), and the customer service folks were fully fluent. The sailing was very smooth throughout. My pet beef on all cruise ships is the buffet, a crowded mass of humanity trying to shove as much food down their throats as time and stomach size permit. It was no exception here. But staff did close off venues throughout the day to restock and clean the facilities. I was particularly impressed that no one was permitted to touch the food, but had to use tongs to retrieve their particular delight from the table. As a tea drinker, it was my biggest challenge getting a cup, when the buffet room was closed the hamburger and pizza shops were open and had coffee, in one case tea, but no milk or cream to add to the beverage. My work around was to go to the bar around the corner as they always had milk, but a bit of a pain for something so simple. Also many of the hand sanitation stations spread around the ship were inoperable, so I ended up carrying my own to compensate when the machine did not function. I also like that attendants were at each entrance at the buffet and dining room. They were not at all intrusive but people did use the machines more often than I have seen before. Debarkation could get a little frustrating particularly when using tenders. The ship sub contracts out its tenders. The pilots did not speak English and the information on where the tenders actually were and how often they ran was obscure to say the least, but we managed amid some minor frustrations. I will state that at cruise end, (we departed in Bari) there was little guidance once on the dock as to go to marry up with our luggage as there were two lines one for us and another for the folks just getting off to explore Bari. Lastly our cabin. We were assigned cabin 9004, on the 9th deck and at the very front of the ship. We loved it. Tastefully laid out although smallish, our front view was unobstructed and excellent. There was an access door to the outside right beside our cabin and while the ship was not moving, one could go out and take in some fresh air and perhaps some outdoor photography without window glare. Too bad it got discovered about day 3 as at times we would look from our bed through the window only to see fellow passengers and some crew members enjoying the solitude, problem solved by drawing our curtains. All in all a very respectable ship and voyage, and yes I would certainly sail with MSC again. While not top tier, they are certainly a quality service provider. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Used a cruise company to select suitable ship for 70yrs grandmother, daughter and granddaughter 5yrs, our first time on a cruise. The ship was old and tired throughout. Food was awful, commercial plastic produced selection, it was ... Read More
Used a cruise company to select suitable ship for 70yrs grandmother, daughter and granddaughter 5yrs, our first time on a cruise. The ship was old and tired throughout. Food was awful, commercial plastic produced selection, it was interesting to see what arrived on your plate after ordering, I sent many main and dessert plates back and lived on the fish dishes. I do not eat the poor quality of food that was offered, in my own home and expected to be wowed by the quality and presentation, not once did this happen. Theatre shows, pathetic. Crew were in general, miserable, especially Guest Services desk, used once and dreaded the 2nd and final 3rd time to settle my account. Child play areas on deck, boring. No play room for parents to take children to be together if you did not want to leave your child at the club! We played in the ship's library. No ice cream available, on an Italian ship!!!, no fresh strawberries or cherries, come on they were in season aplenty on shore! My overall impression of this once in a lifetime cruise, to make memories, "Benidorm on a Tugboat". I was offered 150 pounds voucher off the price of another cruise, I just laughed. Never ever again will I go on a cruise, even if offered free. It was dreadful and I just want to forget, worst holiday I have ever had in my 70 years. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
[Borrador] Este mensaje no se ha enviado. Guardado: Mié 29/05/2019 18:41 Since we left the airport the entire experience was Incredibly bad. The bus that took us to the port was leaking, the bus was maybe from 1920's old ... Read More
[Borrador] Este mensaje no se ha enviado. Guardado: Mié 29/05/2019 18:41 Since we left the airport the entire experience was Incredibly bad. The bus that took us to the port was leaking, the bus was maybe from 1920's old as my grandma or older but in worst shape. The driver got lost going to the port. The check in to get into the cruise was tedious. They made us wait 45 minutes in some kid of warehouse we showed our passports and tickets 4 times in the space of 10 minutes. It was raining they left our baby stroller out and so i got wet. The welcome reception was shocking. It was all cluttered. The damaged my suitcase and they offered me 40 Euros!! when the suitcase cost me £150 and on top of that I could only spend thos 40Euros on the Cruise. My auntie slipped in one of the restaurants and hurt her knee. I had to call reception twice to get someone to come and help us. It took them 20 -30 minutes. When we arrived to the medical center, the ''Doctor'' was extremely disrespectful and rude. He didn't allowed us to go with her and kept trying to tell her that it was her fault. Getting off the boats was Chaos! the cruise only had 2200 passengers and it took hours to get off to see the destinations. I have been in several cruises and NEVER had such an awful experience. Entertainment. I can't express enough how BAD it was, the singer were out of some kind of nightmare. She can't sign, is like the jokers that go to Britain got talent that you see in the recompilation of Bad acts! the only enjoyable part was the 4 black guys doing acrobats and the asian gymnast. The food was below average and VERY LIMITED. The tap water tasted like toilet water. It is cheap for a reason! you will regret it. The people they employ are very nice, Cubans and Asians for the most part. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Normally I don’t write reviews but I feel the need to write this one due to all the bad comments I have read about the MSC Sinfonia. We flew from London to Venice, the first tips is take a Taxi (Car) from the airport to the ship, it ... Read More
Normally I don’t write reviews but I feel the need to write this one due to all the bad comments I have read about the MSC Sinfonia. We flew from London to Venice, the first tips is take a Taxi (Car) from the airport to the ship, it will drop you in the door of the terminal, if you take a taxi-boat you will need to walk with your bags for a long time depending where your ship is. Embarking was fine different will say since you don’t not get your cruise card until 2pm went your room is ready, at the time of boarding normally you will go directly to eat but since you have no cruise card the waitress are kind of lost if you have a beverage package or not Tip: print all the documentation from your ship and have it on hand with that they will be allow you to serve alcohol and non alcoholic drinks. Cabin: We had room 7030 located in the front of the ship on the 7 floor, it was a in side room with no view to outside, I agree with some of the comments here that the layout of room 7 is odd since the medical centre is the in the center of the ship you can not cross the entire level, but you get use to it not a big deal. Coming back to room, it is actually bigger that what it looks in the pictures and with a lot of storage, a small tv, mini bar, safe etc, the bathroom is small but we had no issue with it. Our room attendant was a Brazilian lady Vanessa she has great very friendly and help us with information went needed. Dining: Normally we have dinner in the buffet restaurant in some opportunities we have dinner a la carta and we have to admit that both were very good (not a Michelin Star Restaurant, but if that is what you are looking this is not your ship) and we didn’t have any issues waiting or delay normally we had Italian food since he was well recommended at lunchtime they were some stations for pizza kebabs pasta al punto. Shows: We attended all the shows, all are really good we liked a lot the MSC Crew Got Talent specially the New Zealand Team. All the Shows are a mix of Dancing, acrobatics and singing. very good 100% recommended. Ports and Excursions: Split - Croacia We didn’t use a tour the city is lovely you can walk it completely and from the port to the city centre is 10 min walking, do a bid of research up front and go for it. Santorini - Greece Again we didn’t use a tour, there is no port in Santorini soo the you need to take a small boat from the ship to the land (this is organised by the ship) the day before wake up early 7:30am and go to collect your ticket we took the boat number 1 to the land and give us some time extra. Once in land take the cable car to go up is only 2 min and the cost is 6€ p/p once on the top take a taxi to Oía is the best of the best and you will have great views of the Caldero (there is nothing to do there except shop, drink something, take an ice cream, and PLAN your next holidays) leave time to go back since you can find long queues on the cable car to back. Taxi cost 50€ return for 2 peoples. Mykonos - Greece The Cruise organise a boat from the new port to the old port the cost is 6,99€ p/p return (Take it) it might sound that this is a stupid stop from 8pm to 3am but actually it is great normally in Mykonos city centre in the morning people is in the beach and the city centre is close or lonely, the shops close around 12 midnight and the party continues in different places recommend to get lost in the streets of the city and find your way to the Little Venice, super romantic place a bit expensive but your are on holiday so you deserve it. Dubrovnik - Croacia The ship offers you a bus for 14€ p/p return to city centre but recommend not to take it, we took a taxi in the port (Taxi Kamidi +38 91 523 4248) he is a local and speaks very good English, we pay 50€ for 1 hour tour to the best places he explain us all the history of the city an was with us all the time, on return I gave him a call back and he picked us at the 5:30 from the old town and give us 50% discount on the standard rate. In the old town you must walk the wall it is expensive 25€ p/p but it a must them get loss in the old town street until you want to go back. Entertaining and Services: The entertainment team was great (this is normally the spirit of the ship) always on top of the situation in some case some of the bar of the ship were lonely due to lack of music groups but that was something solved after Dubrovnik since a new band was brought on board. Price: We pay 840£ for 2 person for the Inside Room (Excluding Tips) + 314£ for 2 person for all drinks until 6€ + 10€ p/p day for tips. With what amount you will not cruise with any other company anywhere in the world. Overall: I have to admit that I was very scare about all the nasty comments I read about MSC Sinfónica before our cruise but now I’m very happy of my 6 days cruise and if this is one of the small and oldest ships of MSC I can’t imagine how it will be The Bellissima that is the biggest. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose because of the low cost. unfortunately I got what I paid for. After more than 10 cruises with other cruise I can't tell how disappointed I was. The issue started before I left home. Calling MSC you have 2 choices 2 for new ... Read More
I chose because of the low cost. unfortunately I got what I paid for. After more than 10 cruises with other cruise I can't tell how disappointed I was. The issue started before I left home. Calling MSC you have 2 choices 2 for new booking or 3 for existing booking. If you choose 2 someone answer within 30 seconds, but if you choose 3 then no one ever answers. I tried several times no luck. Then when arrived at the ship we had to carry our own luggage to our cabin. This has never happened to me before. But this was only the beginning . At every port we had disembark and re board via a very steep ramp. I use a cane and this was very dangerous . At one port we were tendered in the rain but they only used 3 life boats for 4000 people. Coming back we had to wait 1and 30 minutes in the rain, plus when we got to the ship we had to climb a steap stair case on the outside of the ship. The food in the buffet was barely edible and the dining was not much better never more than 3 choices. That started with having to argue for water at our table. We were 6 at our table but never had more than 3 pads of butter. Coffee and tea came very late (I suspect they were hoping we would loose interest and leave . Other than the cabin steward no one was approachable. All the staff did was try to sell us extras. As to special restaurants there were none. I would happily paid for a better meal but that option didn't exist. They did sell a steak in the dining for €23. we took it hoping it would be acceptable and it was. The only good meal in the entire 2 weeks. Apparently sail with MSC a second time. I can't imagine why. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I would try to give an honest review. First of all I would like to start of saying that I read a lot of negative reviews and was a bit upset before going on this cruise, but thankfully I read them after I booked so I could not really ... Read More
I would try to give an honest review. First of all I would like to start of saying that I read a lot of negative reviews and was a bit upset before going on this cruise, but thankfully I read them after I booked so I could not really change anything. At this point I can say that the people who wrote those reviews either had high expectations or very spoiled. Now let me start my review with saying a few words about the food in the restaurants; at the dinner time the food is very good and tasteful, every night there is a different menu. The bread and all bread products are baked fresh every day. Breakfast buffet does not have a lot of variety, but you can always find something to eat, lunch buffet has a bigger variety and to different tastes. If you will be traveling with kids you can always find something to feed them with. The staff on the ship is very friendly and helpful. The entertainment is very good especially the shows. Every night there is a different show, the singers and all the entertainment staff are very talented. The cabin was clean, but small. The shower is small I think it is good enough for a child but not for adult, especially you are not skinny, and not petite. Of course there were some minutes too. For example I was surprised I had to pay for my daughter's ice cream. I didn't know it is equivalent to beverages. The only thing that I personally don't like about cruises not only this one is I think they are overcrowded. Everywhere you go you bump into people. I gave this cruise four stars because it is not perfect but overall is good and I enjoyed being on this cruise and would recommend it to others and would come back but to different itinerary but only because I like to see new places. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We took this cruise because the itinerary was good, the price was right and it dovetailed with the end of a land tour that we took in Croatia. However, we did not anticipate that the ship would be full of Italians on Easter holiday with ... Read More
We took this cruise because the itinerary was good, the price was right and it dovetailed with the end of a land tour that we took in Croatia. However, we did not anticipate that the ship would be full of Italians on Easter holiday with their children, or that some port and shopping activities would be completely closed due to the holiday. The reviews on MSC Opera are not as bad as some people would lead you to believe. I think probably it's a 3 star overall. The Opera is older and smaller than some and doesn't have the staffing (#s and training ) of Holland America (HAL); however, I would compare it's overall service level to Carnival. CAVEAT : We have 175 days on HAL, so that may "color" some of these comments. THE GOOD: Embarkation in Venice went smoothly; however, we were there early and it would not have been as smooth if we arrived with the crowds because they just didn't have the staff to handle a crush of people. Also, the staff's English is often limited. This was true in MANY aspects of the voyage. The rule: Speak slowly, clearly and make sure that you are understood...Don't assume that because they smiled and nodded their head that they completely comprehended what was said. The Lido restaurant's smaller than some but is able to handle the crowds but you have to know when to eat--"earlier is better than later". The fixed seating restaurants are adequate,but there is a limited "as you wish option ". The service people are sometimes overwhelmed because the waiters handle ALL drink orders and virtually everything is a paid item, even water, coffee and tea--except in the Lido.The food is adequate, sometimes very good, sometimes just OK. There is not the selection as on HAL, and the portions are smaller; however, I never saw anyone go hungry and they seem to be happy to give you double appetizers, entrees and/or desserts. The buffet offered in the Caravelle sit-down restaurant for breakfast and lunch seems to be a little more genteel, but here again, "timing is everything" to avoid crowds. We had a balcony, which was a nice room -- bigger than NCL, but not as big as HAL. The one really funny thing is the size of the shower. If you are approaching 200 lb it's tight. Our cabin steward was from Madagascar and he did everything that was required -- promptly, efficiently, cheerfully, with no complaints. Getting back and forth through the ship requires learning which elevators go all the way to the top and which elevators go all the way down and to what facilities --until you learn this you'll have a fair number of missteps . MSC needs an orientation tour presentation for people who have not sailed with them previously. We had a number of dealings with both Recepton and the Voyagers Club. In ALL instances we were very pleased with the help the we received . We only took one excursion, because MSC excursions are expensive, but we had on board credits to use and that was one of the ways we could use them. We found that most ports were doable on our own,especially with the help of the Rick Steve's Mediterranean Cruise Ports book and the wife's able trip planning. ..It certainly wasn't due to any info that MSC provided. I may do a port-by-port review on the individual ports--time permitting... THE BAD: MSC "nickel 'n dimes" ya for everything. Especially annoying is the charges for beverages (at least for Americans)--it's kinda like paying 1 € to go to the bathroom, while ashore--very European, but annoying. Charging for gelato and cappuccino on an Italian ship is just plain WRONG. Some people were pushy and didn't do lines well...We got used to it (:-). Some kids were often out of control and their parents seem clueless or incapable of making them behave. Eating can be a rugby-style event, if you don't adjust to minimize interaction with the crowds. Entertainment is barely OK--amateur hour in some cases. Good seats are gone, unless you arrive 30 mins early. MSC ties, or is slightly below, NCL and Carnival for the lack of information on ports (though the excursions desk did print out some basic Lonely Planet maps). There are NO programs on anything historical or natural. On sea days, if it's not pool, child, silly games/sports or drinking related it doesn't exist. It seems that they only want to sell over-priced excursions. Speaking of excursions, one of the really annoying things was the fact that they charge for transportation from the dock to the town, even though when they are very nearby. They should provide some sort of Transportation or at least info on alternative methods of transportation because paying anywhere between 8 and 10 €/pp to go in from the port is OBSCENE! ! BIG problem is getting on/off ship--their system is old and slow and they don't have enough people manning the stations, even during daily on/offs. THE UGLY: Final disembarkation was an absolute mess, plus their system denied departure for a number of folks right at the last minute because it thought they hadn't settled their accounts (which they had)...TOTALLY unacceptable! ! PROS: Staff is very friendly and helpful, but ensure they understand EXACTLY what you want. Ship is very clean, rooms are nice (but showers are miniscule). Many bars, lounges and common areas are available (most with live music at nite). Room stewards, waiters and staff are friendly and helpful--willing to meet your needs (as long as they clearly understand what you want). Good ports and good weather made this an overall good cruise...So, other than the disembarking problem this maybe approaches a 3.5 star. BUT, with that problem it falls to a 2 5 star I think MSC may adjust some things to cater to American-habits when it does more sailings from the States, esp with their newer ships--who knows?? BOTTOM LINE: Will I cruise MSC again--PROBABLY?? It depends on the itinerary, price and ship--BUT, never on a major holiday, especially in Europe. "Ya get what ya pay for" and in this case It was worth every penny... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because of the great ports and we were not disappointed! We loved every place we went and had beautiful weather. We got to Venice several days in advance and took a Viator tour to the Dolmites the day before the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the great ports and we were not disappointed! We loved every place we went and had beautiful weather. We got to Venice several days in advance and took a Viator tour to the Dolmites the day before the cruise. It was incredible and I'd recommend it to anyone who has extra time in Venice and has been to Venice before. We stayed at the Hotel Papadopoli, which was very close to Piazalle Roma and easy to get to with suitcases from the airport bus. It was also very easy to get to the port using the People Mover from that hotel. The hotel is very nice. The room was a good size for Europe and the service was excellent. We never ate at the hotel because their restaurant is very expensive, but there are cheaper restaurants right across the canal from the hotel. The embarkation was OK. We waited in line for about 40 minutes, which wasn't bad. Our balcony room was nice-small, but you don't notice it with the balcony. The ship is very clean, but it was extremely crowded. The food in the buffet and dining room is not great, but the pizza by the pool was outstanding. The shows were fine-average for this kind of cruise. It was very difficult to get off the ship on the two days we had to tender-Kotor and Santorini. We had to stand in a line half-way around the ship to get off when we went to Kotor (and also Corfu, even though we didn't tender), and we got to our excursion (which we organized through Kotor Tours) half an hour late. We took a tour from Koper to Lake Bled and Lbujina (sp.). This was organized through the roll call. Lake Bled was beautiful. We paid to go up to the castle, with beautiful views over the lake. Then we went to Lbujina, the capital city. It's absolutely beautiful and has a castle above it. There is a large pedestrian area and open markets. We enjoyed it even more than Lake Bled. We hadn't organized a tour in Split. When we got off the ship we negotiated a deal with a taxi driver to go to Trogir, which is a beautiful walled town. We were lucky to be there on Easter Sunday. We were in the square in front of the cathedral with all the people with their Easter baskets. It was so beautiful. After Trogir, the driver took us to some Roman ruins outside of Split and then back to the ship. After lunch we walked to the Diocelian Palace and took a walking tour, which was fascinating. The next place was Kotor, Montenegro. Since we'd been there before and had walked through the city and gone to Perast (beautiful), we had organized a private taxi tour to the Ostrog Monastery, which is built in the side of a clifff. Since we couldn't get off the ship on time, this tour was rather rushed due to long distances. It took us almost 2 and a half hours to get to the monastery. The monastery is different from any place we'd ever been. The black-robed monks were guarding the remains of a saint. The Montenegran people are Orthodox and very religious. Then we drove for over an hour to a huge lake where we had a great lunch (included in tour) and then a quick boat trip on the lake before returning to the ship. Contact Kotour Tours for this and other tours. I can highly recommend them. The next day was on the ship. We needed this day because we'd exhausted ourselves with all the touring the previous days. The following day we got to Mykonos. There we just got off the ship and walked, which you can easily do. It's a very pretty island but very crowded and commercial. We walked to the windmills and did a lot of shopping. The following day was Santorini. After our bad experience tendering to Kotor, we decided to take the ship excursion so we could get off as early as possible and see as much as possible. We were only in port from 8 to 2, which isn't long enough for Santorini. We got to Oia and had about an hour and a half there on our own before being taken to a winery for wine tasting and a great view. Then we were return to Fia and had an hour there to shop before returning to the ship on the cable car.. We had to stand in line at the cable car for almost an hour!) Santorini is beautiful and worthwhile, even though we had been before. The following day was Corfu. We hoped to find a tour when we got off the ship, but it was Good Friday in the Orthodox Church, and tours had been suspended. We took a taxi into town and walked into the old town where we saw a very interesting Good Friday procession with a marching band and singers. The old town is pretty, but the fortresses were closed and it was very crowded! The next day was Bari and we had only 5 hours in port, so we took the MSC exucursion to Alberobello. This is a very pretty town and we found it very interesing with the trullo, ,which you won't find other places. The tour guide was not very good and didn't take us inside one, but we saw the inside of several while shopping. Disembarkation in Venice took forever. We had a transfer to the Venice airport for a late flight. We were supposed to meet at 10::30 to get off the ship, but we didn't get off the ship until 12:30. We got to the airport at around 1, had lunch there and then were able to check into our flight. MSC has its faults. They messed up by cruise card twice and I had to keep replacing it because their printer didn't work well, which held me up when I tried to get off and on the ship. Their food is not the best either. However, we are repeat customers because their ships go to great ports and the price is right. Beware of their shuttle fees. They charge more than they need to to get you from the ship to the city. In Corfu they charged 9 euros a piece when we later found there was a free bus! As I said before, the food was just OK. The service in the dining room was usally good. We were signed up for one table, but when we got to the table the couple there refused to sit with anyone else (they were Chinese), so we ended up getting moved to another table by ourselves that had better service. The buffet was always very crowded and the choice at breakfast was very poor, so we tried to eat breakfasts in the dining room, where it was partially a buffet, but we could get omelets. Most of the people working on MSC were very nice. We just had problems with the administration, as we were supposed to receive some free drinks with the package we booked, and we had to spend the first 2 days going to the reception and proving that we were sent a confirming e mail about the drinks before we finally got the drink vouchers. If I hadn't printed up the confirmation, we wouldn't have gotten anything. Then they made a mistake on my cruise card because their printer wasn't working and I had to go back to the reception 3 times before getting a cruise card that worked. The faulty cruise card delayed my getting on and off the ship. I received 2 massages at the spa which were fine. The spa on Opera doesn't have a nice thermal area (no jacuzzi), so I didn't sign up for that. The shows were OK. There was one comedian who performed twice who was good the first time and OK the second. Most of the shows were the same singers and acrobats. The acrobats were excellent, the female singer was good, but the male singer was just OK, so we skipped several of those shows. We didn't participate in any of the other activities on board because we were very busy at the ports. We will probably go on MSC again because we like their routes. Just don't expect luxury or pampering. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The food was poor, even in the restaurant. We decided to go to the sushi restaurant which was also v. poor. The chicken from the noodle soup was dry and resembled the grilled chicken served as an alternative in the restaurant which make ... Read More
The food was poor, even in the restaurant. We decided to go to the sushi restaurant which was also v. poor. The chicken from the noodle soup was dry and resembled the grilled chicken served as an alternative in the restaurant which make me think this was leftovers (paid 84 Euro's to find this out). The 2 hot tubs didn't work for the first 2 days of the cruise, then when they were repaired they had to be shared by over 2,000 cruisers...this was managed by the staff who allowed you a 5 minute turn...really! Are bags were lost on embarkation and damaged on disembarkation. The QUEUES please be very aware that it takes more than 40 minutes to get on and off the ship with only 2 entry/exit points and security that is severely understaffed. This meant significantly less time at destinations and having to cut short are plans. The entertainment, I have seen much much better amateur productions. Not even good. Will not be cruising with MSC again, Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms (at least our inside cabin), were old. The ship is not that big so there are not that many amenities. Theatre performances are average. Variety of music is OK throughout the cruise ship but the worst feature of MSC Sinfonia is the food: they only have one medium size cafeteria on the top level so you have to wait in line to get a table for breakfast. They will sit you with other people and kids you don't know, so expect no privacy. The buffet is awful. Very low quality of food and always overcooked. No egg making station. They only offer sunny side up eggs covered in grease. Cheeses and cold cuts are bulk from the wholesale market (not from Italy, of course), and they offer the same food every day throughout the whole trip. The only option for breakfast is to go downstairs to the main dining restaurant where you can get a separate table for yourself. There you can find also the same buffet (with the same low quality of food), and a la carte menu. I decided to choose my breakfast from the menu but they could only prepare a plain omelette from it. The rest of the items from the menu (like orange juice, yogurt, bread, butter, fruit, etc), were already placed at the buffet so the waiter just kept pointing his finger for me to get up and get my food from there. So then.. I asked the waiter: what is the point of having a printed menu if the same food is offered at the buffet? He only laughed. Dinner at this same restaurant was also a joke. One night they featured "carpaccio" as an appetizer. We ordered that and they brought just a regular, cheap, cold cut with an artificial red color. Funny thing is that we saw the same fake carpaccio the next morning at the breakfast buffet. The Italian risotto was also another huge disappointment. Overcooked. It really looked like a vomit in a small portion. We have been on other cruise ships with way better food quality. Our favorite always is Celebrity Cruises. Perhaps, they should send the MSC chefs on a fam trip on board a Celebrity cruise. They might learn lots of of new dishes and see how they prepare and present the food. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
As I read through several of these reviews, I'm scratching my head, but okay, I'm going to post MY EXPERIENCE as best I can and hope that folks understand that not only am I a person whose character can be selective (not snobby) ... Read More
As I read through several of these reviews, I'm scratching my head, but okay, I'm going to post MY EXPERIENCE as best I can and hope that folks understand that not only am I a person whose character can be selective (not snobby) and want quality for my hard neared dollar. Also, since there is not a lot on this site about this specific line and this specific ship, not trying to deny other people THEIR experience, I have to share because what I have read is far from and light years away from what we experienced. Let me start by saying that this cruise, taken in 2019, was planned since 2012 because I wanted a high-quality cruise experience for my now deceased mom's landmark 80th birthday. Since I didn't want to cruise Viking (thought it would be too stuffy for my mom's likes), MSC became the choice because their itineraries were exactly what I wanted. I lost my mom in 2015 so my BFF (a gay man..trust me, this will matter in the review) and I decided to celebrate our moms' in spirit since he lost his mom also and make this a couple of days prior to the cruise on land/excursion beginning in Barcelona and after the trip on land as we flew to London at the end of the cruise before coming home to the states. Flew into Barcelona from San Francisco (via Delta Airlines) and stayed a couple of days in Barcelona at a nearby Best Western (a friend works there and we received excellent service from them as well). The port city of Barcelona was PERFECT since disembarking from there helped make what could have been much more difficult, much easier. Barcelona is a busy, well-organized port city, that was the case, but it was a great choice on our end. That's where our trip began. Food: We were initially overwhelmed by all of the options for food and drink, which MSC Sinfonia seemed to dominate like an Italian aunt that wanted you to feel at home in her house. The option we purchased including beverages in our cruise package was smart, since this cost can be quite substantial to your cruise, and while we didn't choose the highest level liquor package, we did pick all you can drink coffee/tea/soft drinks/wine and cocktails (selected with quality liquors but not the Hennessey-level booze...didn't buy it because we don't drink all THAT much and can pay for those beverages as an aside). Great food, including a diversity of tastes and flavors, for all meals and snacks of the day, were fantastic. Not all were with an Italian taste but there was plenty of Italian-based tastings and we were very satisfied; because we are Americans, we also appreciated the pizza/pasta/sandwich bars along with the burger/hot dog and fries bar; they have fresh gelato as well as a Vitamin/Smoothie with fresh fruits bar and when you can get avocado and pineapple in a smoothie in the middle of the Mediterranean, I'm there! There was literally enough good healthy food along with the corrupt stuff you don't want your kids to eat, but being on vacation allowed everyone to be happy. While there is a breakfast buffet with enough options culturally to satisfy pretty much every country on the planet. But my travel companion found that if you get to the areas where you'll typically find pizza and burgers at lunch, you can get your omelette/pancakes. I loved to sleep in so I didn't get much of this but it was nice to know it was an option besides the over abundance of bacon and eggs or oatmeal and yogurt (greek yogurt). And that's another thing...they had delicious oatmeal. I was trying to be good with all the food goodies on board and didn't feel like my doctor would kick my bottom when I see him next visit. The coffee barristers and bartenders made our tasty drinks and pretty much to taste for us. I didn't have to ask for my tequila to be a specific one or have my drinks made in any way. Their bartenders know exactly what to do and how to make drinks. For the dinner/fine dining dinner option, we had My Choice dining as part of our package, allowing us to eat at a time of our choice and since we dine on the later side, we mostly sat without anyone else at our table (you're thoughtfully placed with others but it's not weird like putting a single couple or couple with a large family). We became to know the servers and the Dining manager was a professional maitre'd and could have worked at any of the 5 star restaurants we're used to going to in the US. Excisions: The opportunities and options were fantastic. From the choices of the well-thought out excursions, which were fairly priced and surprisingly well-organized to get folks on and off the ship efficiently, allowed us to make choices on how we wanted to live on the ship on our own. We were on a 12-day/11-night Mediterranean cruise, out of Barcelona, with stops in Malta/Corfu/Katalion/Herkalion/Pireaus/Civitavecchia/Genoa/Marseilles and back to Spain. What a GLORIOUS cruise this was. For myself and my friend to cruise for the first time, we were thoroughly overwhelmed. We experienced every opportunity on this ship that adults without children can experience, and we did visually see families enjoying themselves, so even if we can't speak as a family, as two single adults traveling together, we can both cheer for this cruise and this specific excursion. The Ship: There were lots of things to do, both on and off the ship from shows, to televisions everywhere to watch sports and have a beer or cocktail/coffee/tea or soda...public spaces, a casino (and you do get your winnings); of course traveling in early Spring as we did wasn't a guarantee of great weather but we did fortunately have sunny days and it was amazing. We were all able to sit outside and enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean sunshine. Fresh foods every day (fresh fruit for Americans that live in California is a huge deal and for me, as a New Yorker that lives in California now, as I said earlier, this was supposed to be a mom celebration...and baby, I LOVED my Momma....as did my friend. I even had a bout of bronchitis and he a bout with gout, so we visited the ship's doctor and even that experience was top-notch (needed antibiotics and received in an IV drip so I could fly and ended up continuing my trip without even having felt like I was ill). They had a photo studio where you can purchase pictures and capture everything from wedding to family portraits. In fact there was a wedding/reception/honeymoon on board the boat if I can properly recall. Their Staff/Crew: We were treated with wonderfully, energized joy by the MSC crew. It was like a Welcome Party. The preparation to have you get on-board starts with your obtaining a cruise card, which is basically your on-board, ID card, charge card and access card. Makes keeping your valuables safe painless. My plan was to relax and spa since we took advantage of the Aurea Spa package, which allowed us to obtain massages and add-on other purchased pampering. Again, since this was supposed to be a mother-daughter thing, I was looking forward to a facial and other treatments. These are on the pricier side, but considering their estheticians are the same quality of major spas in international cities, the price point wasn't out of reach or not something worth reviewing. They have a full service hair salon on board as well as treatments from acupuncture to various massage methods. MSC makes sure folks understand that it's not an unlimited financial card because your ability to have fun, responsibility both fiscally and emotionally are always gonna be front of mind. They have all types of shopping and other fun things to do, so even if you're not born rich, they treat you well and with car. We even met a couple from Perth Australia who told us that they've been cruising for years and they love Sinfonia even though MSC has newer ships. They described it as "old-stool' cruising and I understood what they meant. Being American, you can have some Disney-styled cruises (too child-attentive/better for families) or too Viking-esque (potentially too snobby and stuffy even if luxuriously appointed). We wanted to be treated like Viking, with party options that were not too immature). MSC hit the bill OUT OF THE PARK for us. To add to the other points: My friend is a gay man over 50; he was VERY happy and because he also blogs for LGBTQ entertainment, he plans on doing a piece on this experience...which I'm whole-heartedly rooting for because it was more than deserved. Also, I saw lots of disabled people: seniors with canes and wheelchairs in families and couples; a disabled athlete in a wheel chair; a family (it seemed since there were 2 visually impaired people in the group). We saw sign language used and when it came to language barriers, there were none....They have a talented, multi-linguist staff and their tours which were conducted in many cases in multi-languages, were just another impressive action because their folks speak multi-languages. I was impressed. A special shout-out to: Adrian (Dining Services); Shubert (Bar Services); Melray (Buffet Manager); Anthony (Stateroom Attendant), Irina (Spa Services) and all the servers on Sinfonia. You made us never forget you and we WILL BE BACK! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals ... Read More
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals :-) One of the mirrors was making a rattling noise in rough seas when the boat was rocking. Needless to say the noise was keeping us awake at night. Cabin server did not pay attention to details. I had to call Guest services to have hand soap refilled, bath towels and bathroom floor rug delivered. He was not picking up drink glasses that we were bringing from a bar. There were times when the glasses were sitting on the table for two days. Excursions were nice and most of the tour guides were very knowledgeable. We didn’t care for the tour guide in Marseille- Ola or Olga. Her English was not great and she was sometimes out of words. We were surprised she was not better prepared for the excursion. Her English vocabulary was poor. Shows were excellent and I gave MSC a score of 10 for their entertainment. You will enjoy their evening shows! Food - food presentation was 7-8 on the scale. Portions are really small. Breakfast and lunch for suite guests were the weakest areas. We had breakfast 4 times in a private restaurant but gave up after the 4th day because omelettes didn’t have the ingredients that we ordered and light Pepsi and orange juice were not delivered. So we started going to the buffets. Spa - I had 2 massages and a facial. Bali massage was great but the hot stone not so much. There was no music for the first 20 minutes because the system was down. I sent the massage therapist to the front desk twice to ask about it because all I was listening to was the sound of the blinds hitting the window frame. Hot stones were getting cold and the technician was not removing them so I was cold. When I walked in, the room was cold. The technician told me she was cold. So how was I supposed to relax when my feet turned into icicles? The temperature should have been much higher. Facial - they don’t have the arm that releases steam and warms up skin. Basic setup. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times ... Read More
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times instead (our scheduled dinner time). She said they are fully booked. But how can they be fully booked when they are offering discounted massages everyday. The couple we met on this cruise who cruises regularly said to us that it's better not to book it in advance because they will give you a schedule according to your liking if you book it right there and then and they have discounts everyday anyway. Spa is basic, just 3 thermal rooms. No jacuzzi or whatsoever. Food is average. Not too bad. Not that great either. Bathrobes not available unless you pay extra hundred pounds (available for aurea guests only). Do not get the fantasia upgrade, there are travel companies who can give you free water at bella experience. Fantasia is not worth it unless u wanted a Mediterranean breakfast delivered to your room everyday (just croissants, bread, jam, cereals). Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our first cruise. Cabin was comfortable, albeit shower a bit small. Will definitely book a balcony cabin in future, just to have that outside private space for a coffee in the mornings and to relax with a book watching the world sail by. ... Read More
Our first cruise. Cabin was comfortable, albeit shower a bit small. Will definitely book a balcony cabin in future, just to have that outside private space for a coffee in the mornings and to relax with a book watching the world sail by. Mainly used the buffet for meals, as this suited us more due to itinerary and having a teenage son. only ate lunch and evening meal once in the main dining rooms. The meals in both the buffet and main dining room offered plenty of choice, were freshly prepared and were all really edible. Staff were friendly and helpful, although occasionally appeared rushed, especially around the pool bar - this is the only area were we felt the customer service was a little lacking. Saw 2 shows and both were entertaining. Casino was worth the occasional flutter although sadly no wins. Two further cruises booked, one with MSC and the other with Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We took the msc Lirica for 7 nights med. cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and quality Italian and international cuisine. (as the brochure stated). The food was below average to poor. At the dining rooms the ... Read More
We took the msc Lirica for 7 nights med. cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and quality Italian and international cuisine. (as the brochure stated). The food was below average to poor. At the dining rooms the food portions were very small, tasteless bland and luke warm, but often cold. I left most of the meals. We decided to eat at the buffet as was told food better than the dining area, but it was like being in a zoo being pushed and shoved around by people trying to get to the food! It was hectic, fast food, cafeteria, limited choice and poor quality luke warm/cold food. Chicken in parts were pink with some blood, steak was tough, stew grisly and bony, pasta pasta bland and overcooked. Breakfast the scrambled eggs tough and tasteless like cardboard, bacon strands of fat, yoghurt sweet and watery, even the italians moaned bout the food.I left the food, just picked at it to keep me alive! The meal time drink package was limited. The red wine cheap and acidy,I was told they only serve this cheap one with the package. food and wine made me ill all through the cruise. Entertainment poor and boring. Day time was boom boom boom like butlins camp. Staff unfriendly never smiled. Shuttle buses/boats not free, we didnt budget for this. last trip was dubrovnik 14 euros each the local bus was 1 euro!. What a rip off! Never again will we go on an MSC cruise esp. this one. The worst food/cruise ever. Value for money not good.DONT GO unless you want to starve or get ill! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. (Venice, Greece, Dubrovnik) We have qa previously cruised on MSC Splendida and MSC Preziosa and were very impressed with both of them. The Lirica, however, was very disappointing. The ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. (Venice, Greece, Dubrovnik) We have qa previously cruised on MSC Splendida and MSC Preziosa and were very impressed with both of them. The Lirica, however, was very disappointing. The ship itself was beautiful, clean and bright. The food was, at best, lukewarm, but often cold. The only things that were always hot was the coffee and the soup! The buffet was the usual hectic, fast food, cafeteria with limited choice and limited seating. Drinks service in the buffet was almost non existent. It involved ringing a bell on your table and waiting for someone to come and take your order, which often meant a long wait and even finishing your meal without a drink. They ran out of butter before the end of the cruise. Service in the bars and lounges was also very poor, with sometimes a 20 minute wait for drinks to arrive. It felt as if there was a lack of staff, and the staff that were there seemed a bit clueless, as if it was their first cruise. A few of them didn’t even speak or understand English. The daily entertainment was very “Butlins” and loud and annoying. We did enjoy the evening shows in the theatre, but found it very distracting that people were just walking in at any time during the show. Surely the doors should be closed once the show starts and no one else allowed in. All in all, we did enjoy the cruise, but mainly because of the itinerary and the weather. However, we are now not sure whether we would use MSC again. If we did, it would be on one of the larger ships, where the service was much better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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