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125 MSC Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

The ship was due to sail from Venice and we were advised that due to the weather, it was now leaving from Trieste but we needed to check in at Venice at usual from 11am. Of course, the weather is not their fault. We arrived early at ... Read More
The ship was due to sail from Venice and we were advised that due to the weather, it was now leaving from Trieste but we needed to check in at Venice at usual from 11am. Of course, the weather is not their fault. We arrived early at 10:30 and proceeded to check in, it was fairly fast, we had done it online and the staff were fast to label our cases and clear us to the departure lounge, at this time we notices three empty buses outside the door and a couple more in the car park, all good, they told us it was 90 minutes to Trieste and we would be on our way at noon, maybe 12:30. At this time there was nowhere to get a drink and even though it was still not 11am, there were about 100-150 people in the lounge. We were given ticket number 12. For the best part of an hour no-one seemed to leave and when I asked, I was told we were on bus number 12, first in line were priority passengers, then number 10, 11 and then us. The buses were still there, empty, they were making everyone wait until the priority passengers were on the way, except... they hadn't arrived yet. When there were no announcements that you could hear and by the time we got on a bus for the 120km (at 57kph) journey at 13:50, no one was checking tickets and clearly we could have just got on the bus. Upon arrival at port, they take your boarding documents and say welcome aboard, your cabin is ready... erm, I've just given you the only thing with my cabin number on it... Grumpy passengers were everywhere but hey, we're on vacation and, this was SO cheap! From the moment you set foot on board, the staff are hassling you to take out the drink packages, we booked ours before departure but then they hassle you to upgrade it for another 10 euro per person per day. The ship is either garish or stunning depending on your frame of mind, we loved it, it shouted VACATION! Loads of places to sit and lots of comfort. The easy drinks package pays for itself at about 6 alcoholic drinks per day, or 11 coffees, we broke even on it but it is a tiny bit limited, of course, the staff are all top notch professionals and although, for example, a pina colada is not part of the deal, a virgin pina colada is, and so is white rum, they even give you a stirrer. The cabin, is what it is, we went inside, 9th floor, fore and it was really well sound insulated, the climate control is just about ok but as soon as you take your card out of the slot, it all goes off apart from the bathroom. Charge your stuff in there if you need to (shhh) You need a long lead though, the socket in in the roof. The 3rd bed is always a pain in these, you always bang your head on it. Like everything on the ship, it was spotless and given that the day after we left, it was going into dry dock for a deep clean, everything was in great order. Entertainment, it's a bit "MEH" lots of duos and shouty cruise staff better suited to a kids club. Theres a 4d cinema, never saw it used. Short ten pin bowling, a pool table, a tennis court, ping pong. Pools - the indoor pool was 77degrees and the outdoor pool was drained (it IS december) the hot tubs seat 6, but have a capacity of 4! There was 4 of them in use and 2 on the upper open deck roped off. The itinerary was superb, but that changes week to week The food. Oh dear. If you like bland, you'll love it as long as you don't also like variety. 4 pizzas every day seemingly from a selection of 6 in total. Filleted fish every day, with bones in. usually one roast meat, mostly pork, occasionally beef. Vegan? don't bother. Desserts - lots of little cakes, the same fruit all week fro breakfast lunch and dinner Late night sandwiches were nice, but no variety Best thing on the menu? 4-5pm burgers, bland and tasteless but with enough jalapenos, pretty good. Restaurant service was "ok" Menu was better but again lacking in imagination. We tried it once and gave up on it. Possibly more of a statement on our relaxed dining style. Only one "special restaurant" they really hate food don't they! The shops on board were brilliant, always a sale on though, but always still overpriced but a good range and actually, some of the MSC branded stuff was excellent value The casino has happy hours (NCL take note) with $3 blackjack and it's SO popular. Karaoke set up was superb (no I didn't) One other tiny but annoying thing, in the corridors around the cabins, it's easy to forget which way you are going, NCL have the fish carpets so you always know where front is, maybe a few arrows... just saying. I walked the entire length of the ship on day one, about 6 times before I realised where things were. The staff seem to be mainly filipino and all of them speak a number of languages, they are all so lovely and helpful, Beth and Amanda in the Sports bar get a special mention, but in truth every single member of staff we met was a joy to talk to. Would we book again? At this price yes, absolutely, about £55 a night, at "normal prices" no. Disembarkation was easy enough, followed by a 2 hour bus trip back to Venice. They tell you that you MUST put your cases out and you CANNOT carry them off yourself. Load of rot, we watched a number of passenger doing just that and no-one even commented on it. It's next trip is a 4 month world cruise, I rather suspect that I'd be looking for food ashore after 3 weeks of that. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the Sinfonia for our November cruise as we'd had a brilliant experience on the same ship in May. Unfortunately, six months is a lifetime for this ship. Departing from Venice, the embarkation was chaotic, unlike the earlier ... Read More
We chose the Sinfonia for our November cruise as we'd had a brilliant experience on the same ship in May. Unfortunately, six months is a lifetime for this ship. Departing from Venice, the embarkation was chaotic, unlike the earlier easy and almost seamless experience in Genoa. Not enough staff and a shoving of Italians all trying to push past made the experience one to forget. The lifeboat drill took 45 minutes to complete, with none of us any the wiser as to what we were supposed to do. No instructions, just bored and confused staff walking around scanning people's room cards. Unprofessional and downright dangerous in the event of anything really happening. Didn't instil any of us with confidence of how a real emergency would be handled. We had two tender ports on this cruise and the embarkation fiasco was repeated all over again, compounded by choppy waters and a complete lack of information from the staff. No explanations for the long delays or even staff to talk to. When the tendering began, the two staff allocated were literally shoved aside by the Italians, leaving one of the female attendants in tears. Again, the lack of thought and staff led to chaos. The buffet was a joke. Hardly any choice when compared to other lines and chaos trying to find anywhere to sit. It was obvious they prefer people to use the main dining rooms where they can control portion sizes. Waiter service in the bars started off slow but improved by the third day. On the plus side, the rooms were clean and to a good standard but the shower curtains really should be replaced with screens. Our steward was friendly, as was the majority of staff, apart from the surly security guards checking you in and out. Miserable lot. Entertainment was OK, if a bit samey. No waiter service in the theatre but that's hardly the end of the world. Due to the flooding of Venice, we were redirected to Trieste, where coaches were laid on to take us to the airport. Nice touch. However, this was spoiled by the cack-handed way they dealt with people trying to get on them. Instead of allocating dozens of staff to send groups off to the twenty or so coaches waiting, they insisted on filling each coach, one by one. With lots olf slow, older people, this took ages. Luckily, we were at the front of the queue to get a coach but those behind us must have been spitting feathers with worry at missing their flights. We have another cruise already booked for next April and if this is just as bad, MSC will lose our custom permanently, although I doubt they will care. Shame, as we had such a good time on the same ship earlier in the year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I tend to write long reviews, so here it goes! My husband and I cruised on MSC on a 12 day itinerary RT Venice and the Mediterranean. We are seasoned cruisers, having cruised on Holland America, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and ... Read More
I tend to write long reviews, so here it goes! My husband and I cruised on MSC on a 12 day itinerary RT Venice and the Mediterranean. We are seasoned cruisers, having cruised on Holland America, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Princess, but we had not cruised with MSC before. We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary which included an overnight in Haifa, Israel and departure from Venice. We flew into Venice early to spend a few days before the cruise. Embarkation -- We took the vaparetto (water bus) in Venice to Piazza Roma and then took the "people mover" to the Venice Port. It was a LONG walk to the farthest pier where the Lirica was docked. If I did it again, I think I would take a taxi from Piazza Roma or take a vaparetto to a stop nearer the cruise dock. We noticed people still leaving the ship when we arrived around 12:30 pm. Turns out the ship had gotten into Venice late, so boarding was delayed. I must say that I had never seen such a chaotic boarding process. Signage was minimal, There were two security checks as well as the actual check-in with the ship personnel and then another long line once on the ship to turn in passports. (We later found out this was because of the stop in Israel, but there was no explanation at the time). There was minimal seating in the terminal and the entrance to the line to get onboard was in the midst of the seats, so you had to maneuver between people to get into the queue. There were announcements, but they were impossible to hear (and, of course, in several languages). Some simple TV monitors with instructions in several languages would have improved matters tremendously. Crew and personnel seemed harrassed and not very welcoming. We tried to ask about our cruise cards which we had never received during the check-in process, but no one seemed to know how that was handled. The first crew person we encountered out of the passport process tried to sell us a drink package and we had a definite sense of being herded to the buffet to await the announcement of the cabins being ready. Knowing that the buffet would be a nightmare of people, we decided to see if our cabin was ready -- we thought also that our cruise cards might be in the cabin. Our cabin was ready and our cards were on the bed, so that was good. We also met our room steward who was a wonderful guy! We booked an inside cabin -- it was like all inside cabins and was clean and nice. I will say that the shower was the tiniest shower I've ever seen! It was impossible to shower without the curtain clinging to one. There were dispensers with body wash and shampoo in the shower and another with hand soap by the sink. Towels were nice, the bed was pretty firm, and storage was about what one would expect for an inside room. We travel light and carried on our own bags, so we unpacked and then went up to the Lido (La Pergola). It was still terribly crowded up there. Food was decent -- we did like the much less crowded pizza station on one side nearer the pool deck and the hamburger station with hot fresh french fries on the other. The beverage stations with water and coffee (and juice at breakfast) were in the corners right by the doors going out to the open back deck -- very poor traffic pattern there and always snarled up. Beverage stations by the pizza and burgers were much easier to navigate. The lifeboat drill was one of the best managed drills I have seen. Very organized and the cruise card was scanned as you first arrived and it went quickly and smoothly. We LOVED the sailaway at sunset through the Venetian lagoon. The ship went by the most beautiful parts of Venice when the lighting was just lovely. If you go on Deck 9 to the very front of the ship, you can get out onto an outdoor deck right under the bridge. Hardly anyone knew the doors were there, so there was hardly anyone ever out there. There was also a staircase there to go to a similar area on Deck 8. The ship itself was nice -- nothing flashy, but comfortable. It did have some weird traffic patterns -- in some places, you could only go through on one side of the ship and you had to walk through the dining room. Other places, you had to go up or down a floor to go all the way through. A little confusing at first, but we got used to it. One thing I do like on the older ships are the open back decks. On many of the newer ships, these are taken up by aft balcony cabins, but on the Lirica they were all open and had lounge chairs. We spent alot of time on the back decks and also used the stairs there for quicker access to the Lido buffet area. We had early dining at 6:00 pm and a table for four with a Canadian couple. We got along very well with them and they were excellent table mates. They told us about a bar on Deck 12 on the back deck which we hadn't discovered yet. We loved this area as it had great views. I'm still puzzled why this area (it was the disco in the late evenings) was mostly underutilized. We played cards in there several evenings and it was virtually deserted despite having the best views on the ship. The bar was unattended and there was no music. I was really surprised, since the "crow's nest" areas are usually amongst the most crowded areas on the ships that I've been on. They did have a couple "private events" up there in the evenings that were closed to other guests. We poked our heads into a couple of the entertainments in the main theatre, but were underwhelmed. There were broadway production shows almost every night -- not our favorite, but we know that some like them. There were three bars with musicians and they seemed to draw some people into dancing. All in all, though, much less in the way of entertainment from other ships I have been on. The library and internet center is simply not worth mentioning. It was a sad little corner in Lord Nelson's pub -- a pub in which people could smoke. We knew that there would be much more smoking since it was a European cruise, but we've gotten pretty spoiled by not having to deal with indoor smoking. The smell in the pub was too thick to deal with. The smoking was also bad on the one side of the pool deck that allowed it. We had purchased a laundry package online before arriving in Venice -- there was no information in our room about it, so we went to the front desk to ask. They checked and told us to use the bag that our steward would give us and send out our 40 items at any time throughout the cruise. This worked out really well for us since we had packed light. The food in the dining room in the evenings was excellent. We were pleasantly surprised. The selection was good, portions were reasonable and our two waiters were excellent. Water is not provided in the dining room unless you have a drink package. Apparently, though, they have had enough North Americans complain about this that a dining room "water" package was automatically included in our cruise fair. We asked our waiter about it on the first night, since our paperwork indicated "water drink package" and he said, "Oh yes, that's the American thing." So we got a big bottle of water at the table each night -- and we could get more if we drank that one. We had to sign for it like a bar drink but then it was automatically subtracted from our bill. It worked out well. We specifically booked this cruise for the itinerary, especially Venice, Italy, and Haifa Israel. When we boarded the ship, we found out that they had engine troubles, so the itinerary times were changed slightly. No big deal. We had booked one independent shore excursion in Rhodes, Greece and ship excursions in Haifa (Israel), Limassol (Cyprus), Iraklion (Greece) and Bari (Italy). Unfortunately, a couple days into the cruise we found out that there was a spate of rocket fire and violence in Israel, so the ship made the decision not to dock in Haifa, Israel. This meant that 1.The other ports would occur in a different order and 2.The port of Istanbul (overnight) was substituted for Haifa. We were vastly disappointed, but understood how safety must come first. One incidence of violence affecting passengers would be a nightmare for the cruise company. This also meant, however, that our independent excursion in Rhodes (booked through Viator) was now supposed to be a different day and our stop in Rhodes would be both immediate (the next day) and also several hours shorter. We contacted the company as soon as we arrived in Rhodes and were able to cancel the excursion and get our money back. We were glad the Israel excursions were through the ship since they automatically refunded our account for those. The ship excursions were OK -- the places were interesting, but it's really frustrating to be on a huge tour bus trying to keep everyone relatively on task and on schedule. The shore excursion staff was VERY good -- they had the process very smooth, spoke several languages fluently and divided up the participants by language. There were relatively few English speakers, so most of the time we were paired up with another language and had a guide that spoke both languages. The multiple translations do take up a good deal of time, though. I appreciated the tour company that had the headsets for everyone -- much easier to hear and to gather people together without shouting. We liked all the ports and were pleasantly surprised by Istanbul since it was a last-minute overnight addition. Our weather was good, for the most part except for driving rain in Dubrovnik, Croatia. There was also historic flooding in Venice two days after the ship departed, so we could not return to Venice and instead docked in Trieste and were bussed to either Venice port or Venice airport. That had to be a major undertaking for the ship company to organize at the last minute! The seas were smooth -- except for the day we saw the waterspouts at sea! I've never seen that before! All in all, we really enjoyed a little taste of the Mediterranean and are looking forward to going back to spend a longer time in some of the places. I would be hesitant to sail with MSC again -- just not our style of cruising -- but if the itinerary and price were right.....maybe. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our first cruise with M.S.C. cruises and we chose this cruise for the itinerary not the ship. Before we booked our cruise we looked on various websites for reviews on the Opera but there was not many, and what there was were not ... Read More
This was our first cruise with M.S.C. cruises and we chose this cruise for the itinerary not the ship. Before we booked our cruise we looked on various websites for reviews on the Opera but there was not many, and what there was were not very good. The majority of the passengers were from Italy as you would expect as this cruise line is Italian and sailing from Venice. If anyone is looking for a sedate cruise then give this ship a wide berth. Italians like to party and constantly clap. They clapped at anything that moved, they have no concept of queuing for anything or anyone. Because there was about 95% Italians on board they just took over the ship. If you are thinking of dressing up for both the Captain Night or the Gala Night don't bother as M.S.C. do not stick to the dress code for their formal nights as more or less anything goes. The cleaning staff were busy all the time keeping the ship clean and shining. All of the crew members we met were very polite and wanted to make sure passengers have a good time. We chose the All Inclusive Drinks Package which worked well but don't expect top of the range drinks and be prepared for a long wait in the bars Embarkation/Disembarkation: was very good. Smooth with no hitches. Cabin: Outside cabin number 8143 was a little on the small size but kept very clean by our cabin steward Mr. Escobar. He made sure we didn't want for anything. He was very chatty and gave us some good advise to make sure we had a good experience. Bathroom was very small but as we were only on the ship for 7 nights it was fine. Dining: Buffet Restaurant was more like a works canteen. We had to eat there on two occasions as we had early stars for an excursion. La Caravella Restaurant was nice. You could choose to eat from the buffet or from the menu. This went for the lunch meal as well. Not sure about the dinner menu as I think this was open seating and we did not dine there in the evening. L'Approdo Restaurant only open in the evening where you had your own table. The food was excellent and our two waiters Siswahyudi and Artha Kory looked after us very well. Nothing was to much trouble and they constantly smiling. The Aroma Coffee Bar was a nice place to relax and they served excellent coffee. Both Apple and Rij Kumar were lovely and looked after us very well. Bars: There are numerous bars dotted around the ship but we found there was never enough bar staff and you had to wait sometime to get a drink There is a so called English type pub near the library and this was a smoker paradise. This was as far as I know was the only place inside the ship for smokers. being non smokers we gave this a very wide berth. The Teatro Del Opera: We watched some very good entertainment here, perhaps some of the best acts we have seen on cruises. Excursions: A little over priced. Don't bother going on an excursion on an excursion in Bari. This was the worst place the ship docked at. M.S.C. use this port to take on passengers other than that there was nothing much to see here. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary as places we hadn't been before . Have cruised with other companies , Royal Caribbean, Celebrity , P & O previously. Lovely start to the holiday with 3 days in lake Garda prior to picking up the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary as places we hadn't been before . Have cruised with other companies , Royal Caribbean, Celebrity , P & O previously. Lovely start to the holiday with 3 days in lake Garda prior to picking up the ship in Venice. Boarding at Venice a nightmare took over 2 1/2 hours all down to only having 3 security scanners working for over 3200 people , come on MSC sort yourselves out this is not rocket science open more scanners ! Cabin OK very clean and lovely balcony, the ship is very clean except if you eat in the buffet restaurant which is little better than a poor cafeteria , plates not cleaned away and food left everywhere , get more staff, I have never experienced this on other ships very off putting when you are trying to eat . Also food Luke warm never had a hot meal in there. Main restaurant good food but lacking in service we waited 45 minutes between starter and main course and the waiter only had 4 tables to take care off !! Why is that ? Had the full drinks package which was great , especially the Aperol Spritz ! Now we come to the last day on ship due back into Venice ! We were cursed with thick fog which no one can help its how the communication was handled that I have an issue with . We were told initially that the dock time of 10am had moved to 12pm fair enough . At 2.20pm still no news and then we were told that we would dock at 3.45pm . People had flights that they had missed etc and with no information this made a bad situation worse its all about communicating with your customers guys, people were fuming. We were lucky and had a late flight so all OK for us. When they eventually docked no announcements about getting off the ship so a bun fight ensued and it was pretty much a free for all , I feared someone would get trampled on ! In summary MSC are not of the same quality as the premium brands , granted they are cheaper but have cut corners in the wrong places eg no tissues in the tissue dispenser in the bathroom when asked told ' we don't provide these anymore' really !!! Sorry to rant on but its important people know what to expect Personally MSC not for us prefer better quality and service at a higher cost Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Have been on many cruises and tried this line for the first time. Wasn't impressed. Also have been dealing with customer service for a finance issue. They've been terrible. These guys are as disorganized as could be. I would not ... Read More
Have been on many cruises and tried this line for the first time. Wasn't impressed. Also have been dealing with customer service for a finance issue. They've been terrible. These guys are as disorganized as could be. I would not cruise with MSC again because I wasn't impressed with the cruise. But I definitely wouldn't take a chance with them after what we've been through with customer service. However, our room attendant was great. Our dining attendants were great. The food was pretty good in the dining rooms, but nothing off the charts. The variety and accessibility of food otherwise wasn't very good. The gym was the smallest I've experienced on a cruise. Pools weren't great. Amenities weren't anything special. Disorganized disembarkation at ports. Long lines that didn't make sense. Overall, average cruise but seems to have poor corporate organization and management. I'd rather pay more money and cruise with a better cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise started from Venice and started out badly - the embarkation process was a nightmare. It took us just over 2 and a half hours of standing around with little assistance from MSC personnel. The food was not great either in our ... Read More
This cruise started from Venice and started out badly - the embarkation process was a nightmare. It took us just over 2 and a half hours of standing around with little assistance from MSC personnel. The food was not great either in our view - certainly in the main evening dining. It could have been better prepared, more spices and attention to the taste. I know the kitchens cook for 2000+ people ad it is not easy but that is their job and supposed expertise. I think certain extras were unfair such s paying for tenders at two of the ports. Plus silly things like ice cream - we hade a fantastica package with drinks but had to pay 3 Euros extra to get an ice cream cone One major concern for me was the way the itinerary was described. We were said to have one day at sea - between Split ad Santorini. And so we did. But the visit to Mykonos arrived at 8:00pm at night and left the immediate following morning a 3:00am - thereafter we sailed the whole day and the entire next morning before we got to Dubrovnik. I class this as two whole days at sea and I believe the itinerary description was carefully positioned as to not make this aspect evident. Some passengers had not appreciated this. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Food in the main dinning room was good some nights and bad others, lobster was available one night for an addition $24 and was very small. And salads are not offered as one of the courses. Drink packages are very expensive, you need at ... Read More
Food in the main dinning room was good some nights and bad others, lobster was available one night for an addition $24 and was very small. And salads are not offered as one of the courses. Drink packages are very expensive, you need at least 19 drinks to break even. Buffet for breakfast was limited, no omelets. Nightly shows were only 1/2 hour long and limited to mostly the same acrobatics and singing. No live musicians , and the limitation of translating up to 5 or 6 languages probably has something to do with why their show were so limited (no Magicians, or comics or broadway style productions) Their were live musicians in some of the nightclubs. The ship doc’d late so some people missed their flight, we had arranged priority departure and found that since we did not book our flights through MSC that we had to wait until those folks got off, and we also found out that we couldn’t walk off with our luggage at Venice. The only reason we did not miss our flight was because we hire private vans for our group. If you need to cancel an excursion be prepared for an argument and escalation to the manager. The positive is that the dinning and room staff were good. And their pricing is attractive but we quickly found that you get what you pay for Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We felt there was a lot of waiting in lines. But the guests were very rude, arrogant & pushy. And people invade your space. Waiting for a shuttle bus, for approx 200 people and only one arrived a fight broke out. There needs to be ... Read More
We felt there was a lot of waiting in lines. But the guests were very rude, arrogant & pushy. And people invade your space. Waiting for a shuttle bus, for approx 200 people and only one arrived a fight broke out. There needs to be more organisation. There is hardly any waiting staff around the pool & go to the bar you would die of thirst waiting to be served. The ship is clean, but in parts smells of an old working mans club due to smoke and stale beer .our room was clean , but it wasn’t very big & the shower was very small. The Buffett is the same every day. And you wait to be seated more waiting in line !! There is pizza & burgers too everyday . Our evening meal was very nice & the staff were so friendly. There are 3 main restaurants to dine at in the evening. You can only get to go to one. I found the reception staff rather in friendly and in dealing with an issue no apology given to me. The day you leave you can only eat until 9, we had a 5.30pm flight but taken off the ship at 10am & then told to take the shuttle to the airport as Venice was too far away to be able to visit! We spent 7 hours at the airport. Once the day arrived for you to leave they just want you off the ship. Oh we were shocked by how many people smoked on the ship & threw their butts overboard. A fire in the making !there is designated areas but it seems they ignore these. We reported one person as he was smoking off his balcony which is forbidden! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
MSC were well priced and fitted in with the area we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to visit. The destinations were all fantastic and, without young children, this cruise would have been good... Problem is.....the kids club ... Read More
MSC were well priced and fitted in with the area we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to visit. The destinations were all fantastic and, without young children, this cruise would have been good... Problem is.....the kids club timetables aren't really co-operative with the already limited time on the destinations... IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, AND WANT TO USE THE KIDS CLUB, ENSURE YOU BOOK MSC'S OWN EXCURSIONS TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF KIDS CLUB they refused to let us pay extra to drop our children in early :-( we've two young children and were quite stressed when we discovered that kids club, most days won't take kids to lunch, most days start an hour or two AFTER the boat hits a destination most days finish a good time BEFORE the boat leaves a destination this hit us particularly hard at Dubrovnik and santorini where we only had 4-5 hours on-site, santorini in particular where we had to cut a private tour short Overall, the staff really were amazing, our cabin guy was superb, friendly, attentive and the children loved him. the downstairs 'my choice' restaurant was great. the buffet, not really that good we felt a little dissapointed overall, unloading of over 2000 passengers was quite a slow process there aren't any laundries on-board - though they do offer a 30 euro for 20 garments about halfway into the cruise... Lifts were 'naff' - extremely slow, or buttons missing / not working Boat is old, but well maintained top deck is very good, lots of pool space, great kids splash park but get up early to reserve a sun-lounger, and be prepared to fight to get your 'stolen' space back, they really should have a 'kids only' side to the pools as both shallow parts were jam packed with adults grumbling at kids having splashy fun! boat felt very crowded....it's a small-mid sized boat of 2,100 guests, but queue times for a table at brekky were 30min+ at peak.....the staff were fairly attentive though, just a shame to see so many people pushing in Part of the dissapointment was culture I guess, we certainly won't be using Italy as a starting point again, as there's minimal respect for personal space or queues, often resulting in a squashed child Would I use MSC Again - after hearing a few stories about their other larger boats, sure, they do sound great, would I go on a small boat like this again?, nope, too many people, too short a time at the destinations and too long to get on/off the boat Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our cruise on MSC’s Sinfonia was our 5th cruise. We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC. Our cruise last summer on MSC’s Musica was the reason we booked with MSC again. We are not picky and we had a ... Read More
Our cruise on MSC’s Sinfonia was our 5th cruise. We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC. Our cruise last summer on MSC’s Musica was the reason we booked with MSC again. We are not picky and we had a great vacation on Sinfonia but it is definitely our least favorite of the cruises we have been on. The main reason was the food. The quality of the food was very good, but the selection was limited. I need to clarify that you will not go hungry and there is plenty to eat but in comparison to other cruises there are not near as many options. The food on the Musica last summer was excellent with many choices. It was the best food we had on a cruise and we had no idea if would differ so greatly on another of their ships. Embarkation was excellent and I think MSC does the best job of this. Getting off was another story. We were not let off until an hour later than the designated time with no explanation or any staff around to answer questions. Getting off at the ports also seemed to take longer than was anticipated. The shows were very good but not too much else for entertainment. The bar service was painfully slow. We did not get the drink package and everyday there was an advertised drink special but none of the bar staff seemed to be aware of it and we had to bring the flyer with us for them to honor it. One of the things we really enjoyed doing was sitting in the lounge chairs at the back of the boat reading in the evenings. But every evening around 7:30-8 they would come and make everyone get up so they could stack the chairs up. It was way before dark and would have been nice to sit and watch the sun set. We have never experienced this on another cruise before. The amount of chairs on the pool decks is the best of all the cruise lines we’ve been on. The cabin shower was the smallest we’ve encountered and there was no way to shower without the curtain sticking to your body. The shower curtain also had mold at the bottom of it. Other than that no complaints with the room. All in all we had a great vacation. Out of our five cruises this was the most expensive and we did not see the value in it. We may cruise with MSC again if the price is right, but definitely not on the Sinfonia. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My two sisters and I (22, 28 and 32 yo) spent our last week of vacations in Europe on MSC Sinfonia. What was great? -Service in some areas (Dinner room and casino): Waiters went the extra mile to make sure we had what we needed. ... Read More
My two sisters and I (22, 28 and 32 yo) spent our last week of vacations in Europe on MSC Sinfonia. What was great? -Service in some areas (Dinner room and casino): Waiters went the extra mile to make sure we had what we needed. -Night shows: Dancers and performers are professionals and at times it felt like watching a circus show in Montreal. What was average? -Food overall: Not very tasty, not varied. Pizza was fresh, but it was barely decent. What sucked? -Embarkation/disembarkation + poor destination planning: We ended up spending less than 3 hours in Santorini due to the waiting times. This was also true (in different magnitudes) for many of the destinations in the cruise. For final disembarkation we ended up spending extra money on transportation to the airport because of these delays. -Insufficient spaces: Getting a table at the buffet (in different hours) or a spot to sunbath at any deck was very difficult. -Service in some areas (Pool and disco). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
For some background, my dad took me (19 years old) and my brother (27 years old) on our first cruise. Since this was my brother and I’s first cruise our expectations were not high. We saw a lot of bad reviews before coming but we decided ... Read More
For some background, my dad took me (19 years old) and my brother (27 years old) on our first cruise. Since this was my brother and I’s first cruise our expectations were not high. We saw a lot of bad reviews before coming but we decided to give the cruise line a shot. All of the ports on this cruise were gorgeous and we had a good time other than the ship being delayed causing us to get off early to make our flight back to Toronto. This is a long review but I hope it helps. Pros / SERVICE: Sheldon Dsouza the bartender and his girlfriend Maria are great! They were the best thing about the cruise! Sheldon is usually in the blue velvet lounge at night. They were also the best service we got on the ship. The ports were also beautiful. Time of ship / Communication of workers: I have heard cruises are usually on time but this one would arrive and leave late from the ports. Two days before the cruise ended, they notified us we would get into our last port late causing us to miss our flight. There was not much help from reception at all to help us figure something out and what we should do. We ended up getting off a day early, in Croatia. We dropped about $1400 on plane tickets to Venice so we could catch our flight from Venice to Toronto. Reception told us all we had to do was go to deck 4 and ask where immigration was. But nobody knew and was just sending us to different people. We were supposed to get off in Venice at 9 am, so the travel person with Expedia that we were organizing the trip with told us just not to book our flight before 12. We booked it for 12:30 and she said we would be fine. Now that we were getting in 2 hours late, we would miss our flight. (Note: Our friends we met told us they did not get to the airport till 1pm. Lesson learned to book a late flight or book one for the next day!) Boarding/First day: The day the cruise started, everyone seemed to get boarding passes/luggage tags in the mail but we got nothing. Disembarking at the ports were not organized at all unless you had an excursion it was pretty organized. Boarding in Brindisi took a long time to board, I guess since everyone got back at like the same time on the shuttles. For the restaurant seating arrangements; we did not have any arrangements till the day of. Unlike others had it done before they got there. Apparently, they have difficulties with the Canadian website so that may have been the problem. Kids/Activities: there were a lot of kids on the cruise and all were around the pool area so could not really “relax”. There was an adult’s only area on the top deck for an extra fee but it is not worth it. It is just a bar and some chairs. I also found there were not a lot of activities during the day which was fine since we would just spend the day at the port. Money: We choose MSC due to the fact it was cheaper. But a lot of added stuff just boosted up the price, like the fact water or soft drinks were not included so you had to buy the drink package. Free water in the caf, but buying water bottles at dinner was 2.90 euros for the big one. Not a big deal but even though we said no they added a unisef donation (1 euro/ person). Security: there was a lot of security to get off / on the boat. Which I think caused most of the delay to get onto to the boat. We had to keep retaking our picture since they did not like it and thought it was too blurry. Theme nights: the cruise line did not let us know the theme nights beforehand (formal, white, causal). So, we packed nice clothes for dinner of course, but my brother and my dad did not pack white. There was then a white party at night so they did not want to go and be the only ones not wearing white. So, would have been nice to know beforehand. Entertainment: Did not go to any during the day since we were enjoying ourselves at the ports. At night, we went to the shows. They were good. Some nights they had a party after but we did not attend any. We would just go hang out in the blue velvet lounge with our favourite bartender (Sheldon). I did not go to the disco but I heard from someone else they did dance lessons in there one night lol. Wi-fi: wi-fi sucked and gets used up very quickly. You can track the usage online though and see which person uses the most Wi-Fi. You can all use it at the same time but it does make it run a little slower. Food: food at dinner was very good. Breakfast and lunch were not as good. During breakfast once, there is a sit down one and there was a hair in my pineapple. They asked if I wanted anything but all I wanted was a fruit tray..without hair lol. They got my room number so we thought maybe they would do something but they did not, which is fine. It is also a mess trying to get around the buffet area since it is so busy. There was a snack bar open at night but it was very upsetting since there was barely any food (if you want pizza after 10:30 you have to pay for room service). Cabins: We had an oceanview balcony. It was small for three people but the balcony helped with getting air into the room. Our fridge did not work though; we let them know and they came two days later. We just wanted the fridge to keep our own water cooler but keeping it out in the room kept it colder than the fridge. Fitness & Rec: Gym was small. They also said there was a ‘golf practice’ on the ship but there was none. When I asked where it was they pointed me to the mini-golf even though on the signs on the ship it showed golf practice on deck 13 and mini gold on deck 15. Also said there was a ‘power walking track’ but there was no track either. Excursions: The most organized thing about the cruise. We did a “bus transfer to Olympia” in Katakolon and just bought our tickets to inside there. We saved about half the price without doing the tour and we loved it. They had signs explaining what everything was, so if you can read. I suggest doing this instead of the tour. In Athens, we did “Athens and the Acropolis”. Very busy but the tour guide was good. There was not much free time in Athens to eat so make sure you eat before or bring food. Then in Dubrovnik, we did the Kayak tour and it was beautiful. It is a lot of work but loads of fun. Lunch is included in the tour which is nice. Would I take this cruise line again or recommend it? Nope. WE ALL LOVED THE PORTS THOUGH! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was a good price, but it seems that’s because everything was a la cart. We didn’t even get tissues in our stateroom and couldn’t find a place aboard to buy them. If you had the sautés package, you received tissues - but ... Read More
This cruise was a good price, but it seems that’s because everything was a la cart. We didn’t even get tissues in our stateroom and couldn’t find a place aboard to buy them. If you had the sautés package, you received tissues - but this was not something MSC listed when we booked. Entertainment was opera/ballet type - not our cup of tea and as it was a cruise that left out of Venice was more geared for Europeans. Some rude people on the ship - pushed to the front of the line. Not enough common area on the ship so it gets very crowded especially by pool area. Some passengers moved loungers into space that blocked the entrance of the pool and could care less about inconveniencing others. Poolside entertainers fun and nice and some of the servers very nice and helpful. But overall we did not find the cabin stewards or reception to be easily accessible or helpful. They were not knowledgeable or helpful about ports unless you were taking one of their excursions. They seemed annoyed at Reception when you asked a question. Good luck if you have dietary restrictions - no ingredients listed at buffet and no brewed decaf coffee/non dairy milk. Getting on/off ship fine. Make sure cruise cards for everyone in your cabin are linked so when you pay your bill at the end you pay for all. We didn’t realize that and had to step out of line disembarking to pay for the other cruise card’s bill. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Embarkation was a hot and long experience, trying to get on the overcrowded people mover and the long walk to the boat where we had a long wait to be checked in. I was not very happy that I was unable to get even a drink of water with ... Read More
Embarkation was a hot and long experience, trying to get on the overcrowded people mover and the long walk to the boat where we had a long wait to be checked in. I was not very happy that I was unable to get even a drink of water with lunch on that first day because I didn't have the correct document on my person. The boat was several hours late leaving making it almost dark sailing past Venice. The room was not ready at the stated time and the carpet hadn't been vacuumed. The sofa bed was not made up for my children and we were unable to get a blanket for them until after 10pm (despite several attempts) when they had already been asleep for hours. I get the feeling that MSC are having difficulties with getting in and out of port in Venice, causing issues for the room attendants. The boat itself was nice. The buffet food was always decent and service was good. The main dining room was hit and miss with service however, getting our order wrong several times. The food selection in the dining room left a bit to be desired also. Nearly everything was seafood related, so if you didn't like seafood the choices were slim. We ate dinner in the buffet for 3 nights because there wasn't anything on the dining room menu that we liked. Our cruise did not go to Mykynos, supposedly due to bad weather. Sailing past however, the sea and wind were as calm as could be which was disappointing. Communication was somewhat lacking with the daily brochure not arriving until the next morning on some occasions when you were trying to plan for an early start, and loud speaker announcements waking you up at 11pm at night and going on for ages in every language. We did the ship shore excursion to Oia and was quite disappointed that there was no actual tour - they just drop you off then pick up again after waiting an hour in the carpark. Disembarkation was a mess with the ship arriving 4 hours late and everyone trying desperately to get off and ignoring their allocated times. We had to literally run across Venice with our luggage to make our 12:30pm train. The only compensation offered for this inconvenience was free internet access to make alternative arrangements. We had a reasonable time on the cruise, but it certainly wasn't up to the standard that we have experienced on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have been with msc before but this cruise from Venice was full of very noisy children and Italians. It was extremely noisy and we were on second sitting and could not hear yourself think. The food was reasonable and the service ok . The ... Read More
We have been with msc before but this cruise from Venice was full of very noisy children and Italians. It was extremely noisy and we were on second sitting and could not hear yourself think. The food was reasonable and the service ok . The balcony cabin was very good as was the service from the steward. The boat was also noisy with strong vibrations , we were on deck 10 middle ship and it was difficult to get a good night sleep. They charge for every extra you could think of and for shuttles to the ports.The ports were good and Albania was a highlight The evening shows were first class the best we have seen and included magic , acrobats and comedy . We really enjoyed them. The reason for the average mark was mainly because of the noise and number of children on the cruise, this spoilt it for us as we are 70 years old and it was just too much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I have cruised 6 times before but never with MSC. I was impressed with the embarkation process but it went downhill from there. The first thing I needed to do when I got to my cabin was use the bathroom. The previous passenger had used ... Read More
I have cruised 6 times before but never with MSC. I was impressed with the embarkation process but it went downhill from there. The first thing I needed to do when I got to my cabin was use the bathroom. The previous passenger had used the toilet and it had not been cleaned. I tried to flush the toilet but it didn't work. We had on going problems with the toilet for 3 days. The ship was full so they couldn't change our cabin. On day 6 our toilet problems returned. I went to reception to advise them and they said they will send someone straight away as he could see on the computer that we had previous problems. We waited for an hour and a half and phoned reception to let them know that we were still waiting. They sent housekeeping to our cabin. She asked to see our toilet, lifted the lid and made a phone call to say Yes, it was true, the toilet was blocked. I said " Don't they believe us" and she said "No, they think you are lying". I have no idea why anyone would want to lie about a toilet that wouldn't flush! This is the first cruise line that I have sailed with who charges for water in the dining room at dinner time. 2 euro 90 for a bottle of water. There was no other water on offer. Activities were limited unless you wanted to learn to dance. An extensive selection of books in the library was mentioned in the daily newsletter but there were only 4 books for English passengers. The ports of call were good but we didn't get to go to Mykonos as it was too windy for the tender boats. The bar service was really slow We were meant to arrive back in Venice at 8am but didn't dock until 10.30 and as disembarkation was via colour coding we didn't disembark until 12.45 which meant we missed our train to Genoa. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
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 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
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
Chose the cruise because we liked the itinerary and had heard good things about MSC. On arrival at Venice we were kept waiting for ages at the terminal waiting for our transfer. We were given no information but found out later that ... Read More
Chose the cruise because we liked the itinerary and had heard good things about MSC. On arrival at Venice we were kept waiting for ages at the terminal waiting for our transfer. We were given no information but found out later that there were problems due to the fog. Check in procedure could have been better, another long wait. Cabin was excellent, very spacious, fantastica suite. The ship was lovely and the bars were nice. The shows were entertaining. The service at some of the bars was very slow. The food in the most was in my opinion very disappointing. Very small portions and on the whole tasteless and uninspiring. It did get slightly better towards the end of the cruise. The service in the mdr was very good. The drinks package is excellent value. The buffet was not very good not enough choice. They also ran out of butter. We could have done with extra time in Dubrovnik and Heraklion. Not enough time to enjoy these places. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
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
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
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