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675 MSC Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

The ship itself is small carrying less than 2000 people the main issues we found is that there is no functional space big enough to accommodate passengers wishing to watch the shows provided by the animation team. This resulted in even if ... Read More
The ship itself is small carrying less than 2000 people the main issues we found is that there is no functional space big enough to accommodate passengers wishing to watch the shows provided by the animation team. This resulted in even if you found a seat, passenger standing in front of you obscuring your view with a result that you too had to stand to watch the show. That said the ship is very clean. The Cabins as you would expect are of a good standard we were in the new section of the ship added in the past few years so ours was not as old some of the others. On the most part I did not hear anything bad about the cabins or the service of the attendants ours seem to speak very little English and did not truly make herself known to us to provide the one on one service that you come to expect when booking a cruise. The ship has good dining rooms and facilities. We only used the buffet restaurant once choosing to have all our meals in the main restaurants this we found to be a great option with a greater array of choice. Without the greater numbers of people the noise and the pushing, barging and lack of tables that we found on our one visit to the buffet restaurants. The restaurant staff were very good always polite happy and willing to serve. The only issue that we found was that they did not seem do you want to serve tea or coffee at the end of the meal the option was never offered. That said they were in no hurry to push you out of the restaurant. The dining overall was fair but it was noted that the same menus were offered this year as were offered last year with no variance so even though we had a choice it did seem a repetition and that you had been there before. Again as with our previous trip. It was noted that the level of competent staff seem to have dropped, this again can be attributed to the launch of the new MSC mega cruise ships. Again a few staff seem to have been moved into positions that they were struggling to provide the level of service required. When spending this kind of money you expect first class service at all times. The ship seems to mainly cater for the Italians who seem to make up the vast majority after passengers. This caused many issues with some passenger who had never sailed with MSC before who thought they were treated as second rate passengers and pushed to the back of the que where service was concerned. There was a great push for you to buy the on-board packages provided this was especially true with the drinks package, a few people who had brought the drink package mentioned and it was indeed the case that the service in the bars was very slow. People that we spoke to were of the opinion that this was so you drink less and therefore could not use the drinks package to its full potential. We did observe servers in the bars ignoring passengers who had recently arrived and were waiting to be served. I myself opted to go to the bar on more than one occasion to get served as this had happened to me. I did find the bar staff in most cases to be helpful but again I did notice passengers orders were being combined by the servers to be taken out at one time instead of being taken out when you order was completed this meant that some servers carrying as many as 10 to 15 drinks on a tray at one time. This resulted in some passengers waiting up to 30 minutes to get their drinks. Where two or three trips could have to have been made to better service the passengers and reduce just waiting time that so annoyed most passengers. I know of at least 4 groups of passengers who refused to pay the service charges mainly due the level of service they received in the bar areas of the ship. This cannot be a great thing for MSC. MSC need to realise that they are judged as a brand on all their fleet. The older and smaller cruise ships with lower standards of service affect how passengers and potential customers perceive the brand. Whilst talking to passengers a number stated that they would never use MSC again based solely on the experience of this Cruise. We have another cruise bookedwith MSC in May next year and I am hoping that there is a vast improvement in the level of service that we receive or that to maybe the last MSC cruise we undertake. The itinerary for the cruise looked wonderful with great destinations what we did find was that on closer investigation some of the stops were only 6 hours this resulted in rushed time ashore with the constant worry and an eye on the time you had to be back on the ship. That said it did not take away from the beautiful locations that were visited Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
we choose this cruise to celebrate our exams ending, and although it started weak, it ended up being amazing. the ship had everything you needed, and you could eat whenever you wanted, and there was food for all tastes, although the ... Read More
we choose this cruise to celebrate our exams ending, and although it started weak, it ended up being amazing. the ship had everything you needed, and you could eat whenever you wanted, and there was food for all tastes, although the buffet was crazy. The dinners were better every day, and all waitress was simply great, i celebrated my birthday there and they made it unforgettable. the entertainment team was super energetic, they always gave the best of themselves, offering and they had always a big smile for you, but with the visits, you didn't have much time to do the activities. The best part of the ship was the lord nelson pub, despite we didn't smoke, the voice of konstantin it's just amazing even being sick, it was crazy the way he played, and all the pub team was just wonderful, we tried to go every night. All the ports was amazing,the only negative point was that you had to take the shuttle bus to the center for most cities, and these should be free. We enjoyed each second inside and outside this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Value for money! very well organised and very good information about the cruise and activities. friendly helpful staff, excellent choice of food at the buffets and very good service at the sit down dinners. We would like to make special ... Read More
Value for money! very well organised and very good information about the cruise and activities. friendly helpful staff, excellent choice of food at the buffets and very good service at the sit down dinners. We would like to make special mention of Rachelle our very friendly and helpful waitress! Very good choice of activities and entertainment. Excellent shows with very good talent. Lovely bars and dancing opportunities even the dance classes were good fun with professional teaching.we particularly enjoyed the piano playing of Roelof in the Le Barougue coffee shop. Although we could only afford an inside cabin it was very nice and comfortable and always clean. We are South Africans and our money dont do well in Europe against the Euro. Very good communication about the next days activities by way of the newsletter. Very good security at embarkation and disembarkation, very well organised and done in a very speedy way. Very friendly staff and we would like to make special mention of Jean Pierre and Frik. We did some of the shore excursions but mostly preferred to do our own thing which was most enjoyable. We chose this cruise for its affordability and itinerary! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Fantastic Mediterranean cruise with the MSC Lirica. Amazing experience. I have seen so many beautiful places in Italy, Greece and Croatia. And that in just 1 week. Beautiful Greek islands. The varied coast of Croatia with Dubrovnik as a ... Read More
Fantastic Mediterranean cruise with the MSC Lirica. Amazing experience. I have seen so many beautiful places in Italy, Greece and Croatia. And that in just 1 week. Beautiful Greek islands. The varied coast of Croatia with Dubrovnik as a highlight. And of course Venice with all its water. Temperature averaged above 30C. Very delicious. The water temperature of the Mediterranean in late August is also excellent. For swimming ideal. To visit Venice with a ship is very special. It is also very nice to enter the center of Venice. Everyone in the center uses a boat. You do not see cars, buses and trains. Everything goes through the water in the center. Public transport is via a bus boat. Very cool. The MSC Lirica is a beautiful ship. A recently renovated boat that looks like new. There were 2.000 passengers on the ship, the maximum. There are ships with 4.500 passengers, but 2.000 I also find a lot. The service is good and very friendly. There is so much to eat and drink. Not normal. On board the ship you will find people from all over the world. Staff and passengers come from everywhere. That's pretty funny. A cruise ship is a small world in itself. Nice to experience. Highlight on board: the Lord Nelson Pub, with his modest singer and super guitarist Nenad Konstatin from the Czech Republic, and the sweet Mary from India, who is always ready to serve you. Finally, I want to thank my new Mexican friends for the Mexican Cuba Libres. My favorite drink from now on. Thanks everyone.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our family's first ever cruise. We choose this particular one because of affordability and itinerary, I particularly wanted to visit Venice, Santorini and Mykonos. We were two parents and two teenage boys. First the pros: all ... Read More
This was our family's first ever cruise. We choose this particular one because of affordability and itinerary, I particularly wanted to visit Venice, Santorini and Mykonos. We were two parents and two teenage boys. First the pros: all the ship personnel was very friendly, nice and helpful. Embarkation in Venice was very smooth. Our luggage arrived later, but in time to change for dinner. We had Fantastica Inside Stateroom package. The cabin was clean, comfortable with enough cabinets, except for the shower in the bathroom, which was awfully small. The dinners at the Il Galeone restaurant were all good, we liked the food and our two servers. We choose second seating, which was fairly late at 21:30 and we had the 8 person table all to ourselves. Disembarkation was also smooth, we were short on time to get to the airport and purchased transfer from the ship, and it went very fast, we got to the airport right on time. The Venice airport is terrible but this is another story. We did not participate in many activities on ship, never went to the shows but watched couple of entertaining mini shows at the Manhattan bar at night and liked them. I purchased a Thermal suite access to the spa package and I went there every day. The thermal area was nice and clean, very few people there and I used a shower there rather than in my stateroom, because it was more spacious. I had two massage sessions at the spa and both were very good.My teenage kids never used teenage club r participated in any kids activities except playing basketball and mini golf. The negatives are pretty much same as everyone else says: ship facilities are not big enough to accomodate all passengers. It's impossible to find a table at the buffet, and all tables are quite dirty despite waiters efforts and sticky. There are no paper napkins to wipe the table! I expected to have a soda machine in the buffet but no, the only drinks available were terrible coffee, such bad coffee you don't find anywhere in Italy btw, and water. The buffet closes practically half hour before closing time and you can’t get anything if you want to wait out the stampede. Pizza was very good at snack bars but it was awfully hot too sit there and not many tables either. The pools on the ship are too small and were always overcrowded. My kids used the pool once, I have not used it at all. There was shortage of launchers as well. The port times are very short and crammed. We did not buy any excursions because we wanted to explore on our own. Santorini visit was awfully short. Ship came in at 7 am but we only got out at quarter past 9. The last tender back was at 2. We barely had time to get cable car up, to find and get on bus to Oia village, spent there maybe 30 minutes and had to rush back. By the time we got to cable car the line to go down was huge, and people from our ship were walking down the donkey path. We did walk too and it was not pleasant. It took 30 minutes to get down in extreme heat, the donkeys were running up and down, and you have to jump of the way. The last tender left at 2:30 instead of 2 fortunately, and we were last people to get on it, so we barely made it. I could not walk for 2 days after this since my leg muscles were aching terribly after the 650 something stairs down. But the worst was that Mykonos port was on the same day! We left Santorini at 3 and we arrived to Mykonos at 8 pm. It got dark and we could not see anything except the shops and restaurants. I was hoping to see windmills and take a ride to Delos but of course could not do it in the dark. So these were two big disappointments. Next time we will look at itinerary closely and make sure we have more time at ports, but it was not possible with MSC. Dubrovnik was interesting city. We did not take ship shuttle because you could take a taxi and pay same e13 for 4 people as for each person on a shuttle. We asked taxi driver to take us around and we had a nice excursion for 4 for e50 instead of paying ship excursion fees. I believe the itinerary was crammed on purpose to make people buy the ship excursions. However I spoke with some passengers who did excursions in Santorini and they complained that they did not have enough time to see anything and take pictures either. Ports of Split and Ancona were nothing special and quite boring. So all in all I gave this cruise 1 star because it was very disappointing and misleading in terms of ports. Next cruise will be with different company for sure. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had never heard of this cruise line but ran the Eastern Italy and Greece and it fit our schedule. We didn’t have a lot of expectations of this cruise but it turned out to be one of the most fun cruises we have ever been on! As ... Read More
We had never heard of this cruise line but ran the Eastern Italy and Greece and it fit our schedule. We didn’t have a lot of expectations of this cruise but it turned out to be one of the most fun cruises we have ever been on! As Americans we were concerned that we would not understand what was going on, but we actually did just fine as they make announcements and daily information letter in English and other languages. There is a wonderful show every night that was highly entertaining! Very talented performers! They also have a entertainment staff that run all the activities throughout they day and into the evening. They were so funny and engaged the guests with so much energy! They put on their own comedy show every night that had very few folks at the first night but by the end of the cruise there was standing room only! You could tell they loved their job! We met several staff members on board that we formed a relationship with which always makes a cruise more enjoyable. Our favorite bar was the Pub. Really have only a few negatives we found on board. Breakfast was not the best meal for sure. We only had lunch on board 3 times and that was good but found we liked eating in the dining room better for lunch. Dinners were fantastic! There was probably on 2 dinners that were not a good as others. We traveled with 4 of us and almost always each of us had something different so got to taste a lot of the food. The elevators are very slow, so we tended to walk up and down instead. Getting off the ship in ports could have been better. People can start this cruise at several ports so there was folks going on shore for the day and some leaving the cruise. For the most part we didn’t notice unless it was a port where there was a lot of guests disembarking like in Venice. They should have had a separate exit off the ship for those going out for the day as you had to wait in line to get off the ship along with everyone else. Takes away from your port times. Some of the ports had such a short time in them that was not fun in some of the ports. Some of them a few hours were enough, others, we would have loved a full day. The buffet area is not good! Way too small and hard to get around with the layout they have. Food was good, but it was really hot in the dinning area and very narrow. Not a good feel up there. Like I said before, we liked eating in the dinningroom for both Breakfast and Lunch better. Just a better feel. You could order off menu or go through the buffet in there. Overall, we had a blast on this cruise. Felt a little “fish out of water”the first day only because we felt like we were the only ones on board that spoke English, but by day 2 we were just fine and met folks from all over Europe, and had a blast trying to communicate with them! Just added so much to our experience! Give them a try, you may be pleasantly surprised! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise itinerary and MSC itself for its affordability (not easy using the South African Rand) and itinerary. Ports of call are interesting, although the Santorini and Mykonos stops are far too brief. Mykonos is just a ... Read More
We chose this cruise itinerary and MSC itself for its affordability (not easy using the South African Rand) and itinerary. Ports of call are interesting, although the Santorini and Mykonos stops are far too brief. Mykonos is just a tease, as you are in port for only a matter of hours. We embarked at Venice, which I recommend, as the one-day stop in Venice (if you were to embark elsewhere) simply is not enough to experience Venice as it should be. The Sinfonia is one of the smallest MSC ships, which to some cruise enthusiasts may be a negative, but for me was a positive, as you feel like you can get to know the ship and some of its crew (as difficult as it is to actually get to know the crew). The trend in cruising seems to be in larger and larger ships, which seems both unsustainable and unappealing to me. However, in this cruise, the combination of excellent service, reasonable ship size, and interesting itinerary made the experience an enjoyable one. I understand that after the summer season in the Adriatic, the Sinfonia will undergo a re-fit. In terms of excursions, we only booked one formal excursion: Oia Village (Santorini). I would recommend this as it enables you to see the iconic views of the island of Thira. We were going to book the evening excursion to Mykonos, but did not. I'm glad we didn't as we simply strolled the city on our own and visited local bars and restaurants. In other ports we ventured out on our own which was a welcome relief from the planned activities of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose Lirica to sail across Italy, Greece and Dubronvik. Was happy with most of the ports, halts, amenities on the cruise and excursions. We took guided excursions at every stop and were satisfied with the trips. There was an excursion ... Read More
We chose Lirica to sail across Italy, Greece and Dubronvik. Was happy with most of the ports, halts, amenities on the cruise and excursions. We took guided excursions at every stop and were satisfied with the trips. There was an excursion of Paradise island, Corfu, that got cancelled due to strong winds n rough sea condition but the cruise refunded the excursion fee in full. We faced some issues using our travelers card as it got blocked due to multiple transactions by the cruise. Its advisable to carry more than one card or have a back plan in case travelers card does not work. Most of the restaurant had set menu, depending on the theme nights, but we were lucky to get an Indian chef, from Pune, who prepared special Indian meals for us. My husband, being a vegetarian, was extremely pleased. My son enjoyed the kids club as he met a few english speaking kids. We booked a full board plan and balcony cabin but took yet another upgrade to include unlimited select beverages at all restaurants / decks, though we ended up using the deck 5 and deck 11 restaurants most of the time. Theater had a different show each night and was a great way to end each night. I wish the cruise is able to add a few diving excursions to its itinerary as we crossed almost 3 - 4 seas / ocean but could not dive anywhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise, because of the path it took and the timing for our travel needed to be in this specific window of time. The trip only included my husband and I. Our trip was Venice>Bari>Delos>Mykonos>Herkalion> ... Read More
We chose this cruise, because of the path it took and the timing for our travel needed to be in this specific window of time. The trip only included my husband and I. Our trip was Venice>Bari>Delos>Mykonos>Herkalion> Corfu>Dubrovnik>Venice. We opted for a room with a balcony, the aurea package which included unlimited*(select) drinks, a couples massage, access to Deck 13, preference seating during dinner with extended menu. We chose the excursions in Delos to explore the ruins, and our favorite excursion was the Dubrovnik cave snorkeling. On our own, we did wake boarding, parasailing and other water sports at a local place in Corfu. The staff was courteous and attentive. We had privacy when we needed but at times, it was difficult to find any seating when it was time to eat in the dining areas. We enjoyed the poolside area of the ship. Usually there was enough seating and Deck 13 was okay but exclusive. The massage at the spa was one of the best Ive ever had. We also had access to the sauna with the aurea package but did not use it as it was not coed and I did not wish to go sit alone and neither did my husband. There was a gym which looked pretty cool, but we did not use it. The entertainment on the ship, a dancey magic show, with singing. It was....sub par. Kind of silly, super cheesy and not really worth the time. Maybe those with children enjoyed it but as a couple of adults, we could take it or leave it. The casino, blah, not interested even with the tiny bit of allotted credits we had. Bingo was offered but seemed too expensive. We did choose to have our picture taken on one of the two formal nights. We really enjoyed getting dressed up and dancing. Our favorite thing to do after dinner was go listen to the lounge singer, who sang some in spanish, maybe they were Puerto Rican? They were fantastic. Also, listening to the piano being played in the other lounge area was nice. We danced and drank as much as we could. Then, we would get a couple of cappucinos or american coffees in the cafe area of the ship. We enjoyed our options at dinner. We were always at at the window area in the restaurant we ate dinner at every night. It was a really cool view but the sun gleaming in the window all day made this particular area very hot. The heat coming in combined with my husbands sea sickness, did not always make for an enjoyable meal. Most of our favorite foods were in the common eating areas where there was all you can eat pizza and sandwiches, and sweet treats. At one point, I had a little hint of a not so good time. I'll explain, I am very petite. I am under 5'0, therefore many times when seated, my feet dangle. Because of this, I often prefer to sit with my legs crossed in my chair, this is a habit and for comfort. I was sitting this way at dinner one night and the waiter told me to put my feet down. I was a little offended and embarrassed. Other than that, everything was WONDERFUL. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I surprised my wife with this cruise for our 10th anniversary after we talked about visiting Greece for this anniversary since last year. I chose this cruise based on the itinerary and the price for these great ports of call. The ports of ... Read More
I surprised my wife with this cruise for our 10th anniversary after we talked about visiting Greece for this anniversary since last year. I chose this cruise based on the itinerary and the price for these great ports of call. The ports of call did not disappoint at all, whether it was Bari (go down to Polignano a Mare for a little bit while at this port), Mykonos (absolutely spectacular), Heraklion, Crete (a solid stop but didn't have enough time there to explore outside the city to see more impressive Cretan sights), Corfu (nearly as spectacular as Mykonos), Dubrovnik (incredibly beautiful as well), and of course Venice (which is amazing)! When my wife and I reviewed the MSC shore excursions after booking the cruise, we were disappointed in their offerings and asked our travel agent for her advice on what else we could do. She recommended Viator and we were very happy with their tours. We planned our own excursions in Bari/Heraklion/Venice, and used Viator for excursions in the other three ports. Viator had more interesting and MUCH less expensive excursions than the cruise ship offered. As an example, we did the Achillieon Palace excursion in Corfu through Viator and it ended up as a private tour (it was supposed to be up to 10-12 people but the tour guide chose not to cancel even though only my wife and I were booked for that day). The similar MSC excursion cost ~$15/person more and was large groups of people crammed on buses. Do a little bit of homework ahead of time and you can have phenomenal experiences for a lot less than you would pay through the cruise ship. The MSC Lirica was "stretched" a few years ago which added additional cabins but, as far as we could tell, no meaningful additional common spaces. This leads to the ship feeling cramped at times, particularly during the one full day at sea. Just temper your expectations with this ship and know that it is an older ship and not laid out to comfortably accommodate all the passengers. The service on the ship was excellent, from our room steward to the servers in the restaurants. They were very attentive and willing to help with anything. Since this ship is more of a value ship, they try to do lots of upsells from the moment you walk onto the ship. Whether it is the all inclusive drink package or a water package or a soda package, be prepared for people plugging these packages throughout the entire cruise. Our stateroom package included 12 vouchers each (total 24) for any drinks throughout the cruise (excluding premium drinks) and we didn't need any additional vouchers or packages. If you like to enjoy multiple drinks a day then you'll probably want to get one of the other packages at some point during your cruise. Up on the pool deck, you'll notice a delicious looking gelato bar, but unless you've purchased at least the all-inclusive standard drink package, you can't get any of that gelato without paying extra. Dining was a bit of a let down on this cruise from our previous experiences (Norwegian & Carnival). The main dining room (we were assigned to L'Ippocampo) was hit or miss, with most meals being misses. Out of the 5 meals we ate in the dining room, only 2 were above average. In order to get a more premium meal, the staff offers a lobster package (€22/meal w/ glass of prosecco) or a T-bone package (€18/meal w/ glass of red wine); we didn't opt to pay for any of these premium meals. The buffet areas in Le Bistrot and La Pergola had okay food most of the time, with occasional above average food. The MSC website shows two specialty restaurants (Kaito Sushi & Jia Yao) on the Lirica but only Kaito exists on the ship. Kaito also becomes a Bar/Dance Club after hours. The Entertainment/Activities on the ship were average to below average. The main ship theatre entertainment each night was well below average. The performers tried their best but the stage is small and not configured well; one night, the gala night (when you would expect the performance to be at its best), my wife and I walked out 15 minutes in because the performance wasn't engaging or interesting at all (several other individuals had been walking out since shortly after the program began). The theatre itself is on the small size for the number of people on the ship and the chairs are old and make it feel as if you're sitting on the ground. They offer some activities throughout the day and night. We didn't participate in most of them, but the dance lessons late at night in the Blue Disco Lounge were fun and the instructors very engaged and lively. Overall my wife and I loved this cruise, not for the ship itself or for MSC, but because of the amazing ports we got to experience. We met people at our dining table that are now wonderful new friends that we look forward to seeing again soon and we had fantastic adventures at each port. If you are looking for a stellar itinerary at a great price, this is the cruise for you. If you look more for the ship experience and its activities, then this may not be the ship/cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We arrived at the port at 11:00. There is a free shuttle at the port entrance to the ship. It is possible to walk, but it takes more than 10 minutes (no shadow on the way). Breakfasts 7 days the same types of dishes. With a ... Read More
We arrived at the port at 11:00. There is a free shuttle at the port entrance to the ship. It is possible to walk, but it takes more than 10 minutes (no shadow on the way). Breakfasts 7 days the same types of dishes. With a small change of taste of sweet yogurt or omelette. We sailed with MSC 4 times and 4 times with ROYAL CARRIBIEN. ROYAL CARRIBIEN has a better selection. At lunch there were 3 or 4 main courses called special dishes of the day. We ate dinner in a restaurant and not in an open buffet. There were small but very tasty portions. It was possible to order 2 entrees, 2 main courses and 2 desserts. But you'd better say it in advance to the waiter, so he'll order it all at once. A bottle of water in the restaurant cost 3.4 euros, a pint of beer for about 6 euros. In the bars of a liqueur about 6 euros. 1/3 beer 5.5 € You can have pizza in the open buffet until 2 am. 4 types of pizzas. Coffee, water and ice tea 24 hours. Juices (4 types) only at breakfast. In the morning there was also chocolate and hot milk. There is no cream cheese. A member benefits of 2 companies: In ROYAL CARRIBIEN after 3 cruises we received 100$ credit on board (for a cabin). And at MSC after 4 cruises are given a $ 50 discount with the next cruise booking. And it's also only special cruises. Cabin number 10030 was small. Entertainment/Activities: There were a lot of dancing lessons, we love to dance so we enjoyed. Shows were also good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Trans Atlantic Inaugural Cruise Some things were good.The worst of many is when we arrived ion Miami and disbarked at our designated time.The luggage was still being taken off the ship.Their was almost a riiot and peolpe had planes to ... Read More
Trans Atlantic Inaugural Cruise Some things were good.The worst of many is when we arrived ion Miami and disbarked at our designated time.The luggage was still being taken off the ship.Their was almost a riiot and peolpe had planes to catch.No officers from the ship from their to tell us how long it would be before we could get our luggage.Never experienced anything like that before and we have been on over 50 cruises The food was bad.The ship is built for 7 day Caribbean sailings as their was not enough draw space for a 20 day cruise where you needed all typesf clothes as the first 11 days weather was cold and the last nine werein very warm climate.The shows were so so.No band,all music piped in.They did a good job with most of the shows and the costumes made the shows.With saying all of the above,sailing in warm climate for which the ship was built combined with the low prices should fill the ship Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We choose this cruise due itinerary and price. I little hesitant in booking with MSC due to mostly bad reviews and decided to try anyway. My rating is based on comparable cruise lines we have been on: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal ... Read More
We choose this cruise due itinerary and price. I little hesitant in booking with MSC due to mostly bad reviews and decided to try anyway. My rating is based on comparable cruise lines we have been on: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Ship is well kept and clean. Most passengers were Europeans with majority from France and Germany. We met people from Canada, Australia, Spain and Norway. Food is comparable with other cruise. Sometime tasty and other time bland. Good variety of food service. Veal and fish seem popular. Meat tends to be tough. Serving are small. A complementary 1 Liter bottle of water was given to us for lunches and dinners at the restaurants. Breakfast has free coffee, tea, water and juice. Buffet lunch and pizza and pasta is service every day in the buffet. Water, coffee and tea are free at the buffet, They will try to match passenger with same language. When we reserve the cruise, we were supposed to have been booked for early dinner and table for 2. That information was not forwarded to the ship by the agent at MSC/USA and were were assigned 2nd seating. We are able to change to 1st seating but share table. Embarkation too a long time, almost 2 hrs. Our information was checked 5 times before getting on board. We then go straight to our room where we picked up our key card. The card can be activated for charging on the ship with credit card in the machines at the reception area. They did try to sell drink packages but was not high pressure. We just told them we already booked drink packages and went on our way. Entertainment are all musical: Famous songs, opera, piano, Alice in wonderland theme and mixed with a little acrobatic. Stage is always the same. Low budget presentation. Shore excursions were well organized. Got our tickets the night before and the daily activity told us were to meet. We are give an assigned number (corresponding to the bus number) and escorted to the bus. There is an indoor pool and outdoor pool and are not crowded. There seemed to have plenty empty lounge chairs. Hot tubs tends to be crowded. There is an attendant who will ask people to leave if they stay too long and there are other people waiting. Water temp is not very hot. Overall, we enjoyed and would book again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I choosed this cruise to discover the greek islands !! Because, last year we visited "Fjords" MSC Música. It was our honey moon, and it was Perfect !!! this time, we decided to visit the coast, and enjoy summer days with ... Read More
I choosed this cruise to discover the greek islands !! Because, last year we visited "Fjords" MSC Música. It was our honey moon, and it was Perfect !!! this time, we decided to visit the coast, and enjoy summer days with our lillte baby 8 mouths. Everything was niced, each port, unless Saranda !!! Not nice at all !!!! poor people who wanted to touch our bags, our children, awful beaches, not kind people and nobody speaks english at all. I dont recomend Saranda, if I have to repeat, if saranda is in the stops, I wont do it. Into the Poesia: Dinners were fantastic The cabin perfect with the little baby the crew very nice and 10 !! to Antonino !!!!!! And B Travel Brand. I will repeat it !!! very nice everybody with my baby !!! Next time, we are thinking to visit Baltic Capitals, so if you have any discount !!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this cruise for the destination. My experience with the services offered on the boat was great. The shows, the restaurants, the excursions, .. were all interesting and the organization excellent. The service in the restaurant in ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the destination. My experience with the services offered on the boat was great. The shows, the restaurants, the excursions, .. were all interesting and the organization excellent. The service in the restaurant in the evenings was great. The waiter who checked us in did it with true professionalism and kindness. I also found the boat entrance and exit very well organized. I thought that with so many passengers everything would be very slow but the fact is that the good organization made everything very fast. The only downside was the time abuse of the hammocks in the pool. Although a maximum time of 30 minutes was established if you left it empty, there were many passengers who unconvinced left her occupied with a towel for hours. I think it would not be very difficult for someone on the staff to deal directly with removing the towels from the empty hammocks after 30 minutes. It made it very uncomfortable to have to wait for quite some time to get a hammock by the pool. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise/ship because of the itinerary and cost. Overall it was fairly good cost wise (you get what you pay for!) but in hindsight I'd save up a bit more money and opt for another cruise line. We have sailed with Cunard ... Read More
We chose this cruise/ship because of the itinerary and cost. Overall it was fairly good cost wise (you get what you pay for!) but in hindsight I'd save up a bit more money and opt for another cruise line. We have sailed with Cunard and NCL previously; MSC was a major disappointment compared to either of those operators. The pros:- The triple room balcony was a good size and the sofa bed comfortable even for my son who is 6'2"! Bathroom fairly good. The ship is clean throughout. On first viewing the public areas as a whole they look quite glamorous. Plenty of bars. Food in the buffet area is plentiful albeit cold and in some cases (pasta) continually overcooked. If you like pizza they serve it 20 hours a day! Pre-booked excursions were quite good value for money. The cons:- Embarkation was chaotic. It took hours and hours we were directed to queue after chaotic queue. Safety drill chaotic and meaningless - they had 2500 passengers fighting to get up and down from floor to floor along the narrow internal corridors to get a life jacket only to descend through the chaotic corridors AGAIN to get to the meeting point. Very few English speaking passengers on board. The ship is definitely not geared to English speaking market. TV is appalling with no English speaking channels except for CNN/BBC. Welcome pack (incl essential safety info, maps etc) never arrived in our room as they hadn't printed any in English. We were offered German ones. We don't speak German! Buffet chaotic sometimes we had to eat breakfast out on the pool deck. Cold or lukewarm food in both the buffet area and the assigned restaurant. Restaurant portions small so you need to order more than one entree. No pool towels left in our cabin. We had to keep asking the cabin steward for essential items as he didn't seem to want to hand over the essentials. Evening entertainment was dreadful at worst and quite funny at best. Pool deck activities were definitely based on Hi-de-hi! Disembarkation was a joke - we were 1.5 hours later disembarking than advised due to the fact that MSC only had two staff checking 2500 passengers off the ship. Subsequently missed our transfer so had to pay out of our own pockets for a taxi. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Santorini was my reason for choosing this specific cruise. It was everything I'd hoped for and more. We had enough time on shore to do a first exploration. The excursions are very expensive so we chose to "do it our own ... Read More
Santorini was my reason for choosing this specific cruise. It was everything I'd hoped for and more. We had enough time on shore to do a first exploration. The excursions are very expensive so we chose to "do it our own way". We took local excursions on arrival in some ports which were very much cheaper and very good. Other ports such as Kotor - one just walks across the road from the ship and enjoys the ancient enclosed city. In Athens we used the hop-on-hop-off bus to go to see the Parthenon and view the city. This was more than adequate. Santorini we took a local Boat/bus (for just 15 Euro each) which took us to Oia (Magically beautiful) where we walked around, shopped, marvelled at the amazing views and scenery. Then back on the bus across to Fira - again for a lovely potter around. Then for just 6 Euro we caught the funicular back down to the harbour to re-join MSC Musica. We did not try the "Donkey ride" as I am against this use of animals and it was SO VERY HOT and friends who have done it say it is quite dangerous. I have been on two cruised with MSC, a 3-day cruise within South Africa and then this cruise for 7 nights Venice - Venice. In future I will not do a cruise shorter than 7 nights and preferable longer. I would most definitely cruise with MSC again. The dinners in the dining room were exceptionally good with a good selection of food dishes. The restaurant staff were the best I have experienced anywhere. We had a full drinks package (this excludes certain top range alcoholic beverages), and the choice of wine was not good. I am a red wine drinker and after tasting the red wine on offer I stuck to prosecco and cocktails for the rest of the trip. We enjoyed our complimentary massages, but not the fact that (up to an hour) was only 40 minutes and were embarrassed by the salon staff trying to push us into buying products and booking more treatments. I had thought we had free access to the gym on the Aurea package, but was stopped and turned away by the salon staff???? The walking track on deck 14 was cluttered with day beds so one could not get exercise out there either. The nightly entertainment of music in a number of bars and the live show every night was absolutely brilliant. I will now be looking for where MSC are cruising next year and will be booking my 2018 cruise soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We booked this because of the itinerary - really wanted to see Dubrovnik, Split, Santorini and Mykonos. Also the Fantastica Balcony room was a good price. I read a lot of mixed reviews the week before leaving, so I was a bit apprehensive. ... Read More
We booked this because of the itinerary - really wanted to see Dubrovnik, Split, Santorini and Mykonos. Also the Fantastica Balcony room was a good price. I read a lot of mixed reviews the week before leaving, so I was a bit apprehensive. After spending a brilliant evening in Venice (which we arranged ourselves) we made our way to the port. It took a long time, so we were glad we left Venice centre when we did. Waterbus, then People Mover, then walk, then long queue, and it was hot, so be prepared for this part. Once embarkation started, I was really impressed by the organisation. Staff were nice and the queues moved quite quickly. Once we were on board, I was so impressed. Maybe because I have nothing to compare it to, but it surpassed my expectations. It looked new and shiny, with plenty of space. Our room was 9190, balcony room with a pull down wall bed for my 8 year old daughter, who loved it. Bigger than King size bed, clean, new, lovely chairs and table on balcony. The bathroom was great, lovely hot shower, hairdryer. The room was serviced well twice a day. We had no problem with controlling the air con either. The food was fantastic - menu service every evening. Brilliant waiters. My daughter spent loads of her time in the Kids Club, which she loved. The only thing I'd say is do your own excursions - you'll save more than 50% of the MSC price, even the shuttle bus in Dubrovnik is way more expensive than a taxi. Also, unless you drink loads, don't buy a drinks package. The whole family has to do it and you're not on the ship a lot of the time, so you'd really need to drink a lot to make it worth it. Other than that, loved it, and I would definitely recommend it as a good family holiday that doesn't cost the earth. Joanna Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We like MSC and we wanted to visit Greek islands with this company.The ship was good but we prefer bigger ones because they have more activities, entertainment and services in general. We did not choose shore excursions because they are ... Read More
We like MSC and we wanted to visit Greek islands with this company.The ship was good but we prefer bigger ones because they have more activities, entertainment and services in general. We did not choose shore excursions because they are very expensive and we prefer to book these activities with other companies (if MSC offered more economic excursions, we would choose MSC). The cabin was ok, it was very clean and we found there what we needed to spend a good time inside. Food was good but timetables were very limitated and sometines you did not find anything to eat (we are Spanish and we undertand that our tiems are a bit different but we would appreciate more possibilities to eat something, not only pizza).The embarkation and disembarkation were the worst points of this cruise, they were too long and we wasted a lot of time doing these processes. In general, the experience was good and people were very nice there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We booked this cruise because we wanted to tour Venice and also see the Greek Isles. For an older ship, it was in really good shape. However, there were many things wrong with the operation of this cruise. Meals: The buffet was ... Read More
We booked this cruise because we wanted to tour Venice and also see the Greek Isles. For an older ship, it was in really good shape. However, there were many things wrong with the operation of this cruise. Meals: The buffet was total CHAOS! There were not nearly enough tables for all the passengers. If you wanted a table you had to stand and wait for someone to finish their meal and then have to search for someone to come and clean the table. Breakfast didn't have any made to order omelets, no egg whites, pancakes in warmers that were ice cold and most of the other hot foods were cold. I requested skim or low fat milk and it took 25 minutes to fill my request. Isn't a cruise supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable? The waiters at dinner were very nice and tried to accommodate as best they could. The food, however, was somewhat of a joke. 3 Raviolis for the main course seems more like an appetizer. One of the casserole dishes was supposed to consist of shrimp? We needed a magnifying glass to find the shrimp. Who ever heard of charging for coffee or tea in the dining room after dinner? I am not referring to specialty coffee - just regular coffee. We requested anchovies for our Caesar salad which the waiter had to get permission from the head waiter. When relaxing on the pool deck, there were no servers taking drink orders. You had to wait on line at the bar for a drink. We have been on 25 cruises and have never complained about them. Unless MSC does some something to change their ways, we would definitely not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. We had wanted to see Venice from the Grand Canal and also visit Santorini Dubrovinik and Mykonos. We visited Split. After a day at sea we had a flying visit to Santorini and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 45th wedding anniversary. We had wanted to see Venice from the Grand Canal and also visit Santorini Dubrovinik and Mykonos. We visited Split. After a day at sea we had a flying visit to Santorini and visited Mykonos at 8pm the same day, the ship then left Mykonos at 2am. It was getting dark when we docked at Mykonos so only saw the town. This was followed by a day at sea to reach Dubrovnik, then next day to Ancona where a lot of Italians disembarked and more passengers got on. The itinerary was misleading only one day at sea was stated whereas we had 2 days at sea This we didn't want! The food in all restaurants was DISGUSTING! Fried eggs at breakfast were slimy and not even half cooked. The bacon was rubbery and inedible even the toast was inedible, in all our lives have we never failed to eat toast but on this ship we could not eat it. Evening meals consisted of only 3 courses, the meat was tough and gristly and again not cooked enough. The first night apple crumble was served for dessert a chisel would have difficulty cutting through it never mind the spoon that was presented to eat it. Everyone sent this back. Nothing else was offered to replace this. The drinks were way overpriced 5.69 euros for a small beer. The both of us lost weight, this has never been known on other cruises we have been on. All excursions were overpriced. We did our own - thing much cheaper! When we disembarked one of our suitcases went missing despite it being clearly labelled it took over 2 hours to find it. Another problem was the connection between leaving the ship and getting the plane. We were in Venice airport 7 hours waiting for our plane home. WE would not recommend MSC or the Sinfonia to anyone. Book another cruise company instead. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Overall,a great experience. We're pleasantly surprised with the good condition of the ship. We have been on the Divina twice, and it was very similar. This cruise had an older, quieter group, which was fine for us. Had the Aurea ... Read More
Overall,a great experience. We're pleasantly surprised with the good condition of the ship. We have been on the Divina twice, and it was very similar. This cruise had an older, quieter group, which was fine for us. Had the Aurea package which allowed for priority boarding, drink package, access to top deck, and my choice dining; definitely worth the upgrade. Only true negative was the food in the buffet was not fit to eat. Breakfast had no variety. Rafael and Juliana in restaurant were exceptional. Katakolon port-walked to beach which can be seen from the port. Fabulous restaurant, Marina. Had freshly grilled octopus and Ouzo which was fabulous and cheap. Corfu-did hidden beach excursion, which included a boat trip to a private beach. Also drove boat in cave. Was beautiful, and enough time. Athens-Didn't leave ship and enjoyed the quiet. We had been to Athens before. Kotor-Beautiful Country, did Kotor/Perast tour. Tour guide was very knowledgeable, and we learned a lot about his Country. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We are just back from our week on MSC Splendida. In spite of being winter, we loved it and had a lovely time. The ship is huge and its beautiful and it shines from its cleanliness, we’ve been already in Poesia and Fantasia. Loving ... Read More
We are just back from our week on MSC Splendida. In spite of being winter, we loved it and had a lovely time. The ship is huge and its beautiful and it shines from its cleanliness, we’ve been already in Poesia and Fantasia. Loving the food, we don’t eat that much and we manage to “stay fit” just walking around the ship. We had our breakfasts on the buffet and went twice to breakfast in the MDR, we prefer the calmer MDR to the bustling buffet, but be aware that you can’t have proper cappuccino in the MDR (!!!) – I know… amazing, right? The truth is we bought online the coffee cuddle coupons and enjoyed our cappuccinos throughout the bars and even on the buffet, but on our first MDR breakfast I thought that the cappuccino alike thing they brought us wasn’t the real thing, on our second one, we made our order and after tasting I manage to ask the waiter about it and he told us that in the MDR they don’t have the proper machine to make them, only at bars and buffet… Ok, I accept, but why not warning us when we make our order and spend our coupons?... Let me tell you that the coffee cuddle package is really worth it if you love your expresso, cappuccino and so on, we can even use the coupons in the coffee frozen delights they serve (this you can’t have with your allegrissimo package), and they are truly worth it. The other package we bought was the wine and water, also worth it and I believe we’ll be getting these two packages every time we cruise with MSC. (Note that the packages bought online don’t pay the 15% service charge.) Our diners in the MDR were very nice and the food was proper, with just one or two “falls”. Our waiters were very nice and our 5 year old was with us all the time (except one diner) and he always ate from our menu, not the kids one – he was a hero for our head waiter. The breakfasts and lunches at the buffet were basically the same with everything that is expectable. Now let me tell you something new, that I don’t know from how long MSC has been doing it, maybe some of you have seen it, but for me it was a first: Breakfast and lunch at the MDR is now complemented with buffet… (!) for us this was not good… I don’t know about you, but if I want buffet I go to the buffet main area on the 14th floor; Here you can also have your breakfast and lunch on the menu like before, but now you get this extra possibility and when you arrive at your table instead of giving you the menu the waiter asks if you want to go to the buffet or order from the menu. Many people might like this little extra, but it is very awkward to see people coming from the buffet with their plates full, like the buffet upstairs and so on… We went one time to lunch and two times to breakfast on the MDR and we always ordered from the menu. I asked our diner waiter about this novelty, and I believe he wasn’t very thrilled about it either. Another thing that is worth to buy on the first day is the €35 package to use non-stop the F1 simulator, the 4d cinema (which is the least appealing of all, it isn’t very worth it…) and the bowling at the sports bar, my son had a blast at the bowling! My son went a few times to the kid’s club, but he’s not very fond of it, because obviously no one speaks his language. But he loves “DoReMi” the MSC child mascot. We used the indoor pool on the sea day. We manage to have some rest, that was our main purpose by doing this winter cruise, and we enjoyed very much, my son is already a cruise fan. Now the ports: Marseille: It was our embarkation port, we arrived two days prior and manage to go to the Notre Dame de la Garde Basilica, and stroll through the vieux port and the streets with Christmas decorations. We also visited the Marseille Cathedral on Place de la Major and another lovely church that is a little bit of the touristic path, that is the Église Saint Vicent de Paul – amazing stained glass. We also had our anniversary dinner at La Table du Fort restaurant and the food was very good. We have already been to Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, and done a half-day cruise to the Calanques but these places are also worth a visit. (From the airport we used the free shuttle bus from the airport to Vitrolles train station and from there to Saint Charles station, then metro to the vieux port where was our hotel, on embarkation day we used uber to get to port (€21,25), nice and easy) Genoa: We have already been to Genoa city center on a past cruise and decided to go to Portofino: We catch a train on Genoa-Principe station (walkable from port) to Santa Marguerita Ligure, went down by the sea for some pictures and then waited outside the train station we catch the bus (82) straight to Portofino (€5 return), which is very lovely, it was a beautiful sunny day, lots of nice pictures here. Civitavechia: We’ve been to Rome before and didn’t do the trip there. We went to Civitavechia to some souvenir shopping and then back to the ship. Palermo: First time on this port (I wasn’t very excited about this one…). We went walking to the center and see the Cathedral, then we found a free shuttle to the city center and came back using it. Valletta: Very nice, our first time on this one as well. It was a bit rainy, but we went and see the city center and its charming. Barcelona: Sunny day. We’ve been to Barcelona before. We didn’t take the shuttle provided from MSC (€22,50 for the 3 of us) and used the one from Port (€4 round trip - €12 for the 3 of us) This time we went on the Ramblas and saw the Barcelona Cathedral (not the Sagrada Família) and went to La Boqueria market (where my son lost his second tooth – the tooth fairy went that night aboard the ship…) and also went to Barceloneta. Marseille: Disembarkation day. Used uber again (€19,45) to Saint Charles Train Station. We saw lots of people walking on port and then we realized that there were shuttle buses on the end of the port. One odd thing was that we never once saw our cabin steward… we saw his name on the card on our cabin and we realized he went several times a day to our cabin to “work his magic”, and I even let him a note with some things we needed, he provided… but we never saw him… this was a first for us… We loved this 10 days’ vacation and it was a very nice deal we got from MSC, that has always nice prices for traveling with children. The staff on board was the nicest from our 3 times with MSC. Will definitely travel with MSC again! Can’t wait to book another cruise (whatever the company)… I miss my countdown clock… Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Worst cruise out of 7 that we have been. We'll start with the food in the restaurant 1/ Black hair in the food on 1st night (for the wife),2/ Black hair in the food again a couple of nights later(for the wife).3/Chicken not cooked ... Read More
Worst cruise out of 7 that we have been. We'll start with the food in the restaurant 1/ Black hair in the food on 1st night (for the wife),2/ Black hair in the food again a couple of nights later(for the wife).3/Chicken not cooked PINK in the middle-No,No!! 4/ food cold a lot of the time had to send it back often. 5/Appetiser-lamb skewer cold-sent it back. 6/Veal shank 2 small pieces of meat in it, rest gristle & bone, would not give it to a dog.7/Eggs not cooked properly in the morning-still clear(white).Waiters & maitre D very helpful not their fault but the kitchens. Buffet -1/ Burgers horrible.2/ Cold fries all the time- had to wait for hot ones.3/ Most food cold & unappetising ok if you like pizza & pasta every day.4/ fried eggs straight from the kitchen cold. Deck 13 - Big screen - NO films at all for 24 days only stupid adverts - why? - was told we would have to buy them EH!! what a waste of money. Deck 14 - No drinks , no waiters 2-3 hundred on deck - was told by waitress they are only 2 of them & they just do the 13 deck. Customers & company missing out. No disembarkation meeting was told by a matter of fact receptionist it was yesterday, was not told about it nor were any other Brits. Management often off hand & could not sort out problems. No taxi to take us to the hotel in Barbados, cost $25 for a private one. And so it goes on & on & on Was offered 10% discount & £50 on another cruise, don't think so!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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