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103 MSC Cruises Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

This was my 50th birthday treat. Unfortunately the embarkation was terrible. We were made to wait 2.5 hours in the terminal (felt like cattle shed) before boarding (no organisation just all gathered like being at a concert) Compared to ... Read More
This was my 50th birthday treat. Unfortunately the embarkation was terrible. We were made to wait 2.5 hours in the terminal (felt like cattle shed) before boarding (no organisation just all gathered like being at a concert) Compared to other cruise liners this was disgraceful. Staff on board were not that friendly to start with and I think they had so many complaints they had to make an effort, especially to the ‘English Speaking ‘ guests. The food was okay but not a great selection that you get on other cruise liners but the boat was clean. Plus you had to pay extra for tenders and surcharges that we were not aware of. MSC did listen to our complaints and issued chocolate covered strawberries with an apology but there are only so many strawberries you can eat! I hope they do listen and take on board where they can improve on their service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Average at best, terrible disembarkation and embarkation processes. Front desk and customer services dont care and on ship and off have done nothing to address my concerns. Cannot gte anyone in customer services to even respond now. Have ... Read More
Average at best, terrible disembarkation and embarkation processes. Front desk and customer services dont care and on ship and off have done nothing to address my concerns. Cannot gte anyone in customer services to even respond now. Have your money, see you later. Ship is clearly old, cramped cabins, shower horrendous. Entertainment and waiter staff only good thing. Told me had to adhere to smart casual dress at dinners, was not enforced as people in shorts. Told to queue and then allow people to just push and shove. Was like boarding an easyjet flight before allocated seating. Just poor and fact nobody cares even worse. I was supposed to have 2 cabins 1 with twin room - that never happened. Had an express massage on deck - guy had no idea. Bathrooms on dismebarkation day were so foul my wife threw up when she walked in. All these complaints have been ignored by MSC customer services. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have chosen the cruise by mistake. If you are interested in the short Mediterranean cruise from Venice select the Norwegian. MSC cruise was very badly scheduled - we had almost no time in Myconas, few hours in Santorini and a lot of time ... Read More
I have chosen the cruise by mistake. If you are interested in the short Mediterranean cruise from Venice select the Norwegian. MSC cruise was very badly scheduled - we had almost no time in Myconas, few hours in Santorini and a lot of time in the least interesting place, Ancona. The service was really bad, I had to ask for several simple thinks, like the safe repair, for days. All simple snacks and mineral water on board are very expensive, not free, like they are on other cruises. I have no complaints about the embarkation/disembarkation. Food, cabin and entertainment were good. If you want to see not the Croatia,s national parks, but the port cities, I would recommend to book the excursions on shore, because the ones from MSC are too expensive. You can easily explore Dubrovnik and Split on your own. The ship is clean, but dull without any beatification. I don’t recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Me and my friends decided to take a Mediterranean cruise, we’ve taken a few Caribbean’s ones, and this cruise was terrible only good thing was the itinerary. I was in a different room and right when I walked in it smelled like fumes, ... Read More
Me and my friends decided to take a Mediterranean cruise, we’ve taken a few Caribbean’s ones, and this cruise was terrible only good thing was the itinerary. I was in a different room and right when I walked in it smelled like fumes, went to my friends room. The floor was filthy, so we went straight to guest services, they did not care at all, throughout the duration we complained multiple times and different people came to our rooms but still both was done. Msc’s Guest service does not care about customer service. They were extremely rude. I had to pay a bit extra for their “Fantastica” option. There was barley any food options. I paid to much money for it to just be a ripoff in the end. Don’t ever take this cruise line. There is no entertainment on board whatsoever, and entertainment on a cruise ship is very important. That was for a disappointment. The gym was very weak, four treadmills, four bikes and four ellipticals, yea because on a big cruise that makes real sense. There was even a wait limit how ridiculous, Food sucks, most of the workers are rude and don’t know a thing. One worker who was on the clock(mind you) in the buffet was very racist to me and my friends for no reason, never experienced so much hatred and rudeness from a cruise in my life. Such a waste of money and such a disappointment. Thank goddess for the ports of call only good thing about the week. I will never cruise with this line ever again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We were guided by our Cruise company to book this one as it fitted the dates and they said it was a good itinerary and lovely ship. The departure city, Venice is breath taking and it is worth spending time having a look around or ... Read More
We were guided by our Cruise company to book this one as it fitted the dates and they said it was a good itinerary and lovely ship. The departure city, Venice is breath taking and it is worth spending time having a look around or booking an extra night before or after, but be careful where you stay as lugging suitcases around Venice over bridges is not easy. The Ship, looked nice until you got closer, there was lots and lost of maintenance going on, frayed and lifting carpets on stairs and busy places, broken chairs, beds etc, dirty windows you could not see out of. The cabin was spacious enough (balcony), we spent a considerable time in here as the ship was full to bursting so space was not something you had in comparision to other cruise lines. Food, there was plenty if you had no allergies, my husband enjoyed the savoury the sweet all looked different but tasted the same something sweet! Ports; there were some we were so excited about, but sadly one we failed to arrive due to the weather, however we were informed by staff this happens regularly for Mykonos, so be warned re MSC cruise lines and this port. Athens was lovely and well worth a visit but it is so so hot, need to go out first thing and be under shade in the cool by midday. Activities; they were all done on the deck in the hot sun, so for those whom needed a little shade they could not take part. The shows were good and had different kinds each night, some were really clever especially having the entertainers who were more acrobatic so it made it more visual. Staff, we had a couple of nice ones, however there were some very rude and unkind and unhelpful which impacted a lot on the cruise. Reports of issues took forever (a whole week) to finally get resolved which is far too long. They are not Deaf Friendly or accessible with no transcripts for a Deaf customer, no subtitles on the TV even though they have the subtitles on the remotes and up to date smart televisions. It does seem unfair that a Deaf customer pays the same as everyone else but they do not think about basics that could make it accessible. Having said that they did have areas for disabled people, but again passengers did not care and used them, even when disabled people came along and wanted to access the area the other passengers refused to move who were NOT disabled, staff asked and senior staff, but they point blank refused, disgusting that the staff cannot force them to move as disabled people have enough to deal with, but to not have seating or places that are set out for a person with a disability is plain wrong. This was the same for the lifts, you had to force yourself in to get on a lift if in a wheelchair or with a mobility aid. The one thing we need to warn you about; EVERYTHING costs more, even a class of tap water from a bar is 75 cents!!!! Extra service charges at every turning, we sadly had a deal where gratuities were included, we so wished they had not been part of the package as the cruise line did NOT DESERVE it! We spent a lot of money on the cruise itself and then far far too much (even with watching what we spent on the cruise) on the cruise, it meant it was not 'a good deal' and the ship was not to the standard of P&O, Holland America or Princess cruises; the staff need a transplant in customer services and being sincere and polite. The passengers on the ship, well a high proportion were rude, pushing in, shouting and screaming, smoking in areas that were clearly labelled non smoking, it resulted in us preferring to be in our cabin, luckily we had a balcony, to be comfortable and not having to endure the horrid people and their rudeness and arrogance. Be warned MSC are out to bleed you dry of every penny you have, have a good level of spending money if you dare to try MSC. Be prepared to shout and scream to get things sorted and to be rude and abrupt too! Not a pleasant cruise in fact we feel we have wasted a years savings and have returned with bills and charges, annoyed and upset. We will NEVER use MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We choose this cruise due to travel dates and destinations. However if I’d known the minimal standard of this ship I would of seemed alternative options. On embarking it was chaos it clearly states on boarding papers that it ... Read More
We choose this cruise due to travel dates and destinations. However if I’d known the minimal standard of this ship I would of seemed alternative options. On embarking it was chaos it clearly states on boarding papers that it commences at 11.30am. However didn’t get on board till 2.30pm. No crew took charge provided any updates. On board it clearly states where smoking is allowed and smoking in cabins or on cabin balconies is not permitted. Leaving Venice everyone was smoking flicking ash etc. contacted reception who advised us to contact them with cabins who were doing it so they could address it. We asked several guests not to flick there ash it was blowing on us but people were rude and aggressive in their response. We contacted reception who said security would speak to guests. However when security turned up they said it was an issue for housekeeping. Our issue with the smoking was that people were flicking aah and not been respectful of others. Mindue has to have a giggle when the ship sells cheap cigarettes onboard. the pool area was overcrowded with on average 40+ adults and minimum 10 children in each of the pools at one time. There is no adult only areas at all. The bars etc has no limitations either. One night we went down for disco at midnight and guests were turning up there with prams with young babies. The music was so loud and young children were grisly. Certainly not a place to take your young children. Excursions. We were meant to go to Mykonos but due to Weather we were diverted twice and arrived at Chania. However customer service could provide no information on the town and there response was they hadn’t been there before. No initiative to seek information for guests. We were then advised that they would discount the bus shuttle for £5. Upon arrival at port it was chaos no crew were there giving directions and the lines trying to get out gates were insane. Finally after people had been in line in the hot sun for over 30minutes the crew went out to assist. It was frustrating as people with young families had stood in line for a long time waiting for shuttles and when you got to gate you could get local bus following the same route for £3.40 and taxi one way was £10. To give them credit we enjoyed the excursions to Olympia, acropolis. However each one costs average of £60 Disembarking: Each person was allocated tags/colours along with times. Initially they were announcing groups then this ceased along with the updates on the screen s. It wasn’t until we approached crew that they advised we could disembark. Upon leaving ship there was one free shuttle to transport all passengers to the main terminal. Again no communication from crew. Terribly unorganised ship Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Disappointed with MSC and state of cabin. Asked steward to bleach shower floor as covered in mould but he said it was a problem with the grout. Looked and smelled like mould and needed a good scrub. They also definitely need more staff ... Read More
Disappointed with MSC and state of cabin. Asked steward to bleach shower floor as covered in mould but he said it was a problem with the grout. Looked and smelled like mould and needed a good scrub. They also definitely need more staff to serve in bars and to clear tables. Tables are always left with plates and food and you have to call the staff over to clean your table. Was told in one bar that I needed to buy drinks to get food. Aren't they supposed to feed us whilst onboard? Drink prices are way too high. My gold card got me no benefits when disembarking and had to wait for all the lower cabins to disembark first. Was told if I booked Aurea class I would have been given priority. So the number of cruises you have done does not matter. Would prefer other cruise lines next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
- Embarkation and disembarkation were normally late and very bad organised creating chaotic moments. Nobody gave us proper information or answers to our demands. - Food on the buffet were always the same, not very good quality. The bar ... Read More
- Embarkation and disembarkation were normally late and very bad organised creating chaotic moments. Nobody gave us proper information or answers to our demands. - Food on the buffet were always the same, not very good quality. The bar service took a very long time to serve drinks when you tried so. You'd rather go to take it yourselve if you want to have something to drink while eating... However dinners were better. - Staff (unless few people) was quite impolite. However it is quite understandable having seen their shifts of work... 7 days a week, morning, evening and night... - Time for excursion is not enough - Pools were very small for the amount of people "staying" at the boat and it was quite difficult to take a free hammock In general, the experience was quite disappointing, they sell a "Magnificent" cruise but it is far away from that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise for a family reunion, with 14 people coming in from 4 different countries across 3 continents. The embarkation process was smooth and we were able to go to the buffet and seat ourselves right away. However, within ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family reunion, with 14 people coming in from 4 different countries across 3 continents. The embarkation process was smooth and we were able to go to the buffet and seat ourselves right away. However, within the first day, the bathroom in one of our staterooms was clogged right away, and did not get fixed for over 48 hours. Even worse, this was grandma's room - so everyone was upset over this. The pool was rather small and definitely not swimmable -- too many people on the boat overall, so all you could do was really just stand in the water. The buffet was always crowded for all meals, and you had to circle a few times to get any kind of seating, even for 4 people. The pizza place was good and served really good pizza, so we often just went there instead. For dinner, the restaurants had nice wait staff and servers. The food was good, but we have had better on other cruises. The staff on the ship were very nice, but everytime we had issues with room keys, the bathroom repair, the internet, it was obvious that they are severely hampered by management and their policies - with apparently no one on board who could just make an executive decision. The disembarkation process everytime we went to shore and especially on the last day was a mess -- very crowded, unorganized, with everyone lined up for a long time just sweating it out -- they literally turned off the AC on the last day so there was no circulation as we waited over 2 hours to get off the ship. This was our first experience with MSC and sad to say, we will think long and hard before ever going on one of their cruises again. Our family has been on many cruises with different companies in the past - Holland America, Royal Carribean, and Disney -- all of those cruises were by far superior to what we experienced on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Have you ever been to a buffet where the labels are in place, promising tasty treats and then you find that all the food is already gone? That is how this MSC cruise felt in most respects. There is definitely potential and in better hands ... Read More
Have you ever been to a buffet where the labels are in place, promising tasty treats and then you find that all the food is already gone? That is how this MSC cruise felt in most respects. There is definitely potential and in better hands this could be a great cruise, but MSC and its employees just turns this into a bad experience. Embarkation in Venice was slow. There is a shuttle bus from port entrance to boat, but apparently the one bus they have suffered a breakdown so everybody was lugging luggage through 100 degree weather. Meanwhile an entire fleet of Royal Caribbean busses was standing by for their guests. Disembarking was even worse - they have staggered departure times, but everybody has to leave their cabins at the same time, 8 am. So you have thousands of people descending on the breakfast buffet which can accommodate only a quarter of the guests at any given time, everybody fighting over table space. 40 minutes after the posted departure time we were able to leave for the transfer busses. We did all our own excursions, except for Dubrovnik where we wanted to use MSC’s offering. It took the excursion desk a few attempts, but eventually we got the correct tickets. The excursion got cancelled the day before arrival because MSC did not have as many participants as they had hoped for. I have had many jaw-dropping experiences during the cruise where the crew does the absolute minimum amount of work, but I am just going to leave you with the first such encounter: shortly after check-in I found that somebody else’s luggage had been delivered to our door instead of their cabin which was on a different floor. There was an MSC crew member with a radio posted on nearby stairs in anticipation of the safety drill later that day. I let him know that I found some suitcases that people are waiting for on a different floor. His reply: that is not my responsibility - please go down to the front desk and let them know. The one great thing about this cruise was their main band which plays ballroom music. There were surprisingly few dancers on this ship, so they kept asking us for our song requests and made recommendations. Having a private band is awesome! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
From the beginning things were terrible. Our cruise cards were not correct. We had the drink package and they put it on the card wrong. So we had to go the guest services to correct all three cabins cards. Then you have to wait in line to ... Read More
From the beginning things were terrible. Our cruise cards were not correct. We had the drink package and they put it on the card wrong. So we had to go the guest services to correct all three cabins cards. Then you have to wait in line to activate your card with a credit card. Why not do this at embarkation like other cruise lines. Cabin bed was not put together like on reservation. Another needed correction. No Kleenex in rooms under suites. They said no Kleenex on board but met a couple staying in a suite and they said suites got Kleenex. We had no wash clothes. Had to ask for them. Not that towel animals are needed. But they are cute and all other cruises we have been on we had them. Not MSC. Why not?Staff move in slow motion. Bar staff don’t even know what drinks they have. Food was average at best. Not what we are accustomed to on cruises. Very basic and not a good choice or selection for most meals. Our waiter was great. But he did not have a lot to work with. During dinner the staff are constantly walking around with fliers trying to get you to buy a 20 euro steak or lobster. Other cruise lines have lobster night and steak. Buffet was worse than cafeteria food. The staff up there don’t bus the tables quickly. Most days guests needed to bus their own tables. Excursions were so on organized. Getting off the ship was lines of people. Making you late starting your excursions. 2 excursions we returned later than we were supposed to. Luckily we booked with MSC so the ship was still there. The description of excursions is deceiving. We went on one to see the riviera waterfalls and shopping. We took an hour bus ride and saw a waterfall behind a restaurant and then another ride to a town that all the shops were closed for siesta while we were there to shop. Why did we go there? Room was not cleaned like we are used to on cruises. There was dirt on the floor for two days. Someone left a coffee cup by the elevator and it was there for 4 days. In the buffet a person dropped a piece of pizza and I counted 8 staff who either stepped on it or walked over it until someone finally picked it up. There are no little snack shops or restaurants to grab a quick snack during the day. The ports we stopped at were beautiful. But the ship staff and some excursions were sooo disappointing. Entertainment was not up to cruise standards. Every night was basically the same with a different theme. Singers were good. Dancers poor. They used the same set every night. Not broadway caliber. Get good entertainment. Anytime you have an issue they say it is a third party issue and they will email and get back to you. Never MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Ship was clean. Pools were fine. Hot tubs were almost always full with a life guard enforcing a time limit and line policy for hot tubs. We upgraded to the fantastica service because we wanted free room service. After we got on board, we ... Read More
Ship was clean. Pools were fine. Hot tubs were almost always full with a life guard enforcing a time limit and line policy for hot tubs. We upgraded to the fantastica service because we wanted free room service. After we got on board, we found out that is not how it works. Normally, they charge for both food and service as separate line items on your bill. If you pay the up front cost, they don't charge for service but they still charge for food. The one upside of upgrading to fantastica service is that they normally charge 2 euro per liter of water in the restaurants. With the upgraded service at least you get free water. All in all, we felt like we were getting nickle and dimed at every turn. We were also frustrated with the culture of line cutting on board. It didn't matter what line we were in, we were constantly frustrated with people pushing ahead of us to get in front of us. We've only been on US ships in the past so perhaps this is common in European (Italian) culture. For us American's, it was maddening. I'm not saying American's never cut but this ship was an all new level. The cutting was constant and aggressive. Often times they would physically push us aside to get in front. One time, we stood side by side, arm to arm, between the stanchions. They kept weaving and pushing trying to sneak past us. After a few minutes of failure, the the failed line cutters finally let loose in a verbal outburst on how entitled Americans are. When we returned to Venice, the MSC ship in front of us collided with a docked boat. Apparently, this type of thing happens much more frequently than one would expect. Regardless, there are no contingency plans. We ended up hovering in the Venice harbor for more than five hours waiting for our ship to move to the dock. The one nice thing about this was that they did let us return to our rooms and they did give away free drinks and ice cream. Still, we ended up missing an activity in Venice that we had prepaid. Most of the employees are not service oriented. For example, when eating breakfast in a sit down restaurant, the server would come to our table to take an order. If we ordered an omelette they would take our order but if we asked for french toast they would tell us to go get it ourselves. Very strange. There were one or two exceptions. Many of the staff were very poorly trained and appeared to neither understand nor speak any English. The food was terrible. It wasn't just the choices on the menu (although, they weren't great) it was also the quality of the cooking. The one bright light was that the pizza was edible. The selection of fruit was pathetic. Embarkation was long and slow. Once we got inside the building, we had to wait in a large uncomfortable room for our number to be called. After waiting for a couple hours our number was called. We passed through one last security screen, got our photos taken and walked onto the ship. I could not understand how it could possibly take two hours to get us through this last step. None of the staff seemed to be in any hurry at any time. There were more smokers on board than I am used to having previously sailed only on ships leaving and returning to the U.S. I did not like this given that I don't like second hand smoke. The evening entertainment was hit and miss (of the five I saw, two were good and three were not good). There was an inside pool and an outside pool. I'm not a big fan of blaring music at the pool and unfortunately, there was almost always blaring music at the outside pool. They would do some sort of activity with "D.J.'s", music and some interaction. I found this to be very annoying and made sitting in a lawn chair on deck miserable. All and all I will say that I will never go on an MSC cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms (at least our inside cabin), were old. The ship is not that big so there are not that many amenities. Theatre performances are average. Variety of music is OK throughout the cruise ship but the worst feature of MSC Sinfonia is the food: they only have one medium size cafeteria on the top level so you have to wait in line to get a table for breakfast. They will sit you with other people and kids you don't know, so expect no privacy. The buffet is awful. Very low quality of food and always overcooked. No egg making station. They only offer sunny side up eggs covered in grease. Cheeses and cold cuts are bulk from the wholesale market (not from Italy, of course), and they offer the same food every day throughout the whole trip. The only option for breakfast is to go downstairs to the main dining restaurant where you can get a separate table for yourself. There you can find also the same buffet (with the same low quality of food), and a la carte menu. I decided to choose my breakfast from the menu but they could only prepare a plain omelette from it. The rest of the items from the menu (like orange juice, yogurt, bread, butter, fruit, etc), were already placed at the buffet so the waiter just kept pointing his finger for me to get up and get my food from there. So then.. I asked the waiter: what is the point of having a printed menu if the same food is offered at the buffet? He only laughed. Dinner at this same restaurant was also a joke. One night they featured "carpaccio" as an appetizer. We ordered that and they brought just a regular, cheap, cold cut with an artificial red color. Funny thing is that we saw the same fake carpaccio the next morning at the breakfast buffet. The Italian risotto was also another huge disappointment. Overcooked. It really looked like a vomit in a small portion. We have been on other cruise ships with way better food quality. Our favorite always is Celebrity Cruises. Perhaps, they should send the MSC chefs on a fam trip on board a Celebrity cruise. They might learn lots of of new dishes and see how they prepare and present the food. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. (Venice, Greece, Dubrovnik) We have qa previously cruised on MSC Splendida and MSC Preziosa and were very impressed with both of them. The Lirica, however, was very disappointing. The ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. (Venice, Greece, Dubrovnik) We have qa previously cruised on MSC Splendida and MSC Preziosa and were very impressed with both of them. The Lirica, however, was very disappointing. The ship itself was beautiful, clean and bright. The food was, at best, lukewarm, but often cold. The only things that were always hot was the coffee and the soup! The buffet was the usual hectic, fast food, cafeteria with limited choice and limited seating. Drinks service in the buffet was almost non existent. It involved ringing a bell on your table and waiting for someone to come and take your order, which often meant a long wait and even finishing your meal without a drink. They ran out of butter before the end of the cruise. Service in the bars and lounges was also very poor, with sometimes a 20 minute wait for drinks to arrive. It felt as if there was a lack of staff, and the staff that were there seemed a bit clueless, as if it was their first cruise. A few of them didn’t even speak or understand English. The daily entertainment was very “Butlins” and loud and annoying. We did enjoy the evening shows in the theatre, but found it very distracting that people were just walking in at any time during the show. Surely the doors should be closed once the show starts and no one else allowed in. All in all, we did enjoy the cruise, but mainly because of the itinerary and the weather. However, we are now not sure whether we would use MSC again. If we did, it would be on one of the larger ships, where the service was much better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
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
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 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
Chose this cruise for the ports of call. Some areas of the overall cruise exceeded my expectations but there were a lot more negatives than positives Embarkation was a total nightmare, no organisation, people pushing in, long queues and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports of call. Some areas of the overall cruise exceeded my expectations but there were a lot more negatives than positives Embarkation was a total nightmare, no organisation, people pushing in, long queues and so may points where you had to show your details. This set alarm bells ringing for the rest of the cruise The room was a good size and clean, although the TV had only CNN for Brits. Our stateroom attendant never came and introduced himself and throughout the cruise and to this day we still don’t know who ours was The lunch was ok, nothing special, just ok and the same food came out every lunchtime, give or take a couple of items. The staff in most areas care about one thing, themselves, and they don’t really smile will cut you up without notice ( they do this when getting back on the ship too and wont queue) Dinner was ok but so slow, not getting our starters anything from 25-40 mins after we had sat down. Our waiter looked after 22 people and had no assistant to help him and also they don’t provide free water. Buffet overall was the worst I have experienced on any cruise company We did one excursion which really wasn’t worth the £62 we paid. MSC have little transfers to locations that they only seem to mention on the daily programme the night before the port, thereby meaning you can cancel an excursion. For example we paid £62 to go to Olympia with a guide, yet the night before we found there was a transfer to the site and back for around £18 There is not much going on in regards on entertainment in the day if you are on the ship unless you want to learn every dance under the sun. Some of the entertainment were so childish and boring. The whole entertainment team love themselves and most have no talent at all. If you go the theatre of an evening you will see them all sat on the stage doing the most ridiculous things. These clowns are led by Nicholas, who is one strange guy who really loves himself and is a bit creepy. If you get the chance have a close look at his shoes. The two pairs I saw him wearing were awful. One was so worn that he had gaffer tape around the heal area and another pair had no tread cracks everywhere. No excuse for still keeping these shoes. The shows had a theme each night with the same people (no guest acts). Basically these people did their same acts each night, just in different costumes. The themes to these shows were confusing and clueless The two main singers and the opera singer were very good but putting a mic on some of the cast and making out they were singing other songs. Conning the audience. Don’t put the mics on them if they aren’t really singing Disembarkation was confusing but a lot easier than getting on. Oh and 9 Euros a day each passenger for ''Service charges'' seemed very excessive, especially as we didn't have an assistant waiter and never saw any of the supervisors in the dining room We wont use MSC again Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The ship is kept spotlessly clean, but the italians smoked everywhere . Even under the no smoking here signs.The sotto vento pub was always in a haze of smoke and impossible to inhabit if you dont smoke.The guest relations area always ... Read More
The ship is kept spotlessly clean, but the italians smoked everywhere . Even under the no smoking here signs.The sotto vento pub was always in a haze of smoke and impossible to inhabit if you dont smoke.The guest relations area always smelled of smoke. The restaurant was nice but if you werent Italian you received second class service . We were next to a table of italians who were out of the restaurant before wehad the main course. We complained to the restaurant manager and the service improved tremendously ,but it shouldnt be necessary. The cabins are kept very clean which was good and the entertainment was good. For English speakers you had to listen to Italian,french,german Spanish then English so every announcement was long winded,but this is to be expected on a multinational ship. Some of the entertainment staff couldnt pronounce English very well ,so when they switched from Spanish it was very difficult to understand them but they were speaking five languages so hats off to them. The food was OK but geared to the Italian palate but maybe 70 % of the cliente were Italian so once again its understandable. I would not use MSC again on a Mediterranean cruise but would consider a Caribbean as they will cater for the american market and would suit me better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
7 days cruise MSC (Sinfonia), Venice-Split-Santorini-Mykonos-Dubrovnik-Ancona. Departure 2016/07/23 and arrival 2016/07/30. Previous cruise experience with RCCL, 7 days in Caribbean 2008 (Freedom of the seas) and 7 days in Mediterranean ... Read More
7 days cruise MSC (Sinfonia), Venice-Split-Santorini-Mykonos-Dubrovnik-Ancona. Departure 2016/07/23 and arrival 2016/07/30. Previous cruise experience with RCCL, 7 days in Caribbean 2008 (Freedom of the seas) and 7 days in Mediterranean Sea 2012 (Visions of the seas). Service…staff at pool deck and buffet restaurant were very unhelpful, 8 of 10 in the staff didn’t speak English. Rules were not policed on board by staff that patrolled their designated areas (pool area and area for embarking and disembarking). Ship...loud propeller noise, comparable to a treadmill with a speed of 6.21 mph (cabin 7157 in the stern). Food…breakfast with no variation, the same all 7 days. Identical lunch in the restaurant and buffet restaurant with a lack of quality. Excursions and transfer…cost for excursions in general 2/3 of what MSC charges you in all ports. Shuttlebus in Dubrovnik rented for MSC, from port to old town of Dubrovnik with return ticket. For 2 adults and 1 child MSC charges 38 euro. Local taxi drivers charges 26 euro. We refused paying service fee (9 euro/day/adult) and only tipped our fantastic housekeeper individually. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose this cruise because it matched up with a stay in the South of France. It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. The ship itself was beautiful, but it's a pity MSC don't match this with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it matched up with a stay in the South of France. It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. The ship itself was beautiful, but it's a pity MSC don't match this with service! We were so disappointed! We have never been on a cruise where it is hard sell from the time you board until you get off. Everything is an excuse to try to get more money out of you. We don't expect to pay extra for facilities like :- the cinema, films on your cabin tv, water tea & coffee at lunch and dinner!!! The only thing you could watch in your cabin was news channels , all other channels were not in English. The only place you could get complimentary water, tea & coffee was on deck 14 at the buffet. We only ate here once as it was so crowded and vast that it was like a fight every time you went up there. Some staff were very rude and in general they did not display the same courtesy as what we are used to. One afternoon we went for tea and cake and were so shocked when a member of serving staff was trying to remove food as we tried to pick it up. When we complained to the catering manager he was also rude and totally disinterested.If catering staff were walking towards you pushing a trolley or carrying trays they didn't stop but expected you to move out of their way even though you may be carrying your food. Even Reception staff were not bothered or apologetic when we opted out of their compulsory gratuities because of the poor service. Some staff were exceptional and these we tipped but in general there was an attitude of indifference. We have never experienced this with any other cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Preziosa was only launched in 2013, so very sparkly shiny and new, huge ship and lots of facilities, most areas kept clean and up dated, sadly from the moment you board you are bombarded with multiple offers of purchasing drinks/tour ... Read More
Preziosa was only launched in 2013, so very sparkly shiny and new, huge ship and lots of facilities, most areas kept clean and up dated, sadly from the moment you board you are bombarded with multiple offers of purchasing drinks/tour packages, the crew are very obviously pressured to sell up at all times.... clearly differentiated prejudiced treatment toward the European crew and all others. The Inca-Maya buffet on deck 14 was terrible; dirty floors and seating areas were not very clean or well maintained, cleaned quickly with a wet dirty cloth whilst you waited to sit anywhere... at peak times (breakfast/lunch) there was not enough space available to sit everyone and certainly not enough staff to clear away, at five of the meal times we had to clear tables ourselves to be able to secure a seat; it is an ok venue if you are happy at a 2* Hotel and if you like using plastic and melamine bowls and plates to eat from, these were mostly piping hot straight from the dishwasher and many of them were discoloured and chipped from over use, whilst there was no coffee available as it kept running out.... we were offered fresh orange juice for 3.90 euros a glass! The dessert selection at this venue was pretty mediocre, shave foam mousses and semi defrosted pastries and jelly was staple every day. The state rooms were on the small size, mercifully we had two with connecting doors on Deck 11 we are two adults two children and one infant, the pillows were small and lumpy and needed replacing, the babies cot was not changed all week, there was nothing in the way of additional luxuries or niceties, pump shampoo and shower creme in the shower cubicle and a sewing kit was all.... not even on Valentine's night was there a small chocolate on the pillow at turn down time. L'Arabesque Deck 6 was a busy and noisy restaurant; mercifully our two servers Jaya/Julio were professional, polite and courteous, fast and efficient but over worked and rushed! The Italian officers and crew were very sullen, unfriendly unless you were Italian, The Platinum Theatre was great and comfortable on deck 6/7 the shows were good but less than 45 minutes, sadly the rear part of this theatre stunk of smoke coming from the casino next door. A great big ship with lots of facilities, well maintained, overcrowded, spoiled by the sour faced unfriendly crew always trying to sell drinks packages and over priced excursions. The security officers manning the access gangways to embark and disembark were unfriendly grumpy and homophobic. *** baby club only available till 11:00 a.m. teen club from 16:00 onwards only, kiddies club mainly watched TV and shared an X Box. *** Shore excursions; i.e. GENOA Open top bus plus aquarium three hours 42-90 Euro for adult 39-50 Euro per child take the trip independently doing exactly the same thing saved 101-00 Euros. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
As an American I thought going on a European cruise would be a good change of pace, didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I expected this cruise to be more subdued than others I have been on such as the Mexican Riviera for ... Read More
As an American I thought going on a European cruise would be a good change of pace, didn't realize what I was getting myself into. I expected this cruise to be more subdued than others I have been on such as the Mexican Riviera for the Caribbean. There was no exciting vibe on the ship whatsoever, rarely did any of the staff greet us or say hello as we walked by. The hot tubs were more like warm tubs and one of them was even cold. Since every public announcement on the ship was in five different languages I figured the customer service desk experience was going to be interesting--and it was. Communication was difficult and I was never satisfied when I walked away, just more frustrated actually. As an example one of our stops was in Israel and when I went to the help desk to change dollars into shekels the young lady didn't know if that was even possible. After 15 minutes I came to find out that the ship does not exchange any money for shekles. I mean really? And we stay in this port for two days! While I loved our state room, as it was very spacious, I thought the ship in general was just mediocre. The food was horrible, we ate better off the ship than on it. In fact the food was so bad that over an 11 day cruise I gained 0 pounds. The main attractions at our first two stops were closed, and the ship refused to refund the excursion fees. In Rome the excursion bus didn't get us to the city until 11 AM which left us only 4 to 5 hours to see the city. It seems many other people we met on the ship have the same experience with the same opinions as we had. I realize that you get out of something what you put in to something, but in my opinion this cruise line was pretty bad. There were some things we enjoyed however, getting on and off the ship was relatively easy, we really enjoyed all the ports and the destinations. How are state room was always made up properly and timely and our dinner waiter was fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We just got back this evening, and I wanted to be so much more positive. We're Americans living in the UK, and we've cruised once, in the Caribbean, with RC, and maybe we were just spoiled, but... The layout of the ship ... Read More
We just got back this evening, and I wanted to be so much more positive. We're Americans living in the UK, and we've cruised once, in the Caribbean, with RC, and maybe we were just spoiled, but... The layout of the ship isn't too bad, although the closing (and locking) of certain restaurants for most of the day means you'll have to go up and over quite a few sections of the ship if you go from back to front. And the cabins fill decks in between the top decks and lower decks (with most of the restaurants and bars and shops, etc) so you'll find yourself taking the (usually quite crowded, and our cruise was not that full) elevators to cover the gaps from decks 13-16 to decks 5-7. 8-12 are all cabins, which were quite nice. Balconies on most of them (including ours) and there were small but laid out quite nice. The TV was worthless, but we didn't come on a cruise to watch TV anyway. It would have been nice if the frequently changing TIME shown on the TV was correct for the ship. It was never even close. The food is my biggest complaint. For starters, I got food poisoning on day 2. I had nothing on shore, so I know it was from ship food. Fairly certain it was roast beef on the deck 13 buffet. But, hey, nobody's perfect, but it did not make for a good start. On top of that, then menu - What is labeled on the buffet, or what your options are in your designated "fine dining" restaurant. We had about a 1/3 chance of getting what we ordered, getting something that was on the menu or just getting...something. My son ordered from the kids menu (in the "fancy" dining restaurant) a ham and cheese sandwich. It's on the menu. "Hot ham and cheese." They first brought him an appetizer plate of cold cuts and then brought him 3 cheese pizzas. In the buffet, what's labeled is NEVER what you're getting. Fish sticks? Nope, rice croquettes - shaped like fish sticks. Roast pork - naw, that's a chicken breast. Beef - there's your pork. Also, they must have been rationing ketchup, salt & pepper, and spoons, because good luck finding them. The quality of the food was pretty good, and the variety was ok. The pizza, while lacking the American quantities of cheese, was also consistently good and always available. Very good, thin crust and well done but never burnt. There is tap water always available at the buffet, in little cups, juice only for breakfast, all other drinks are extra. The "fancy" dinner provides ONE 1L bottle of water per party, anything else is extra. Drinks. I like drinking! Should have gotten the all-inclusive drinks package and spent the cruise smashed. Drinks are predictably expensive, and had we known the cabin tap water was potable, would NOT have gotten the bottled water package. All-inclusive is pricey, but would have covered cola for the kids, fruity drinks for my wife and beer and cocktails, even milkshakes and ice cream. Wine for fancy dinners, too. As it was, I stuck to the "14 beer coupons" package (I got a second one later) and drank only beer (and 2 ciders) from a limited selection. If you drink, get the all-inclusive package, even with kids (you have to get one for every person in your party) it's worth it. If you don't drink, you'll pay individually and the rest is tap water all week. Activities and entertainment. I need to draw a line between what was simply BAD and what was BAD FOR US. Bad for us is the song-and-dance show in the theater every night. It was good, but the same thing each night, just with different costumes and sets. With 5 languages (Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, mostly, English/Italian were usually first) it's hard to cater to all that AND maintain variety. But the activities... Ugh. They had an "arts and crafts" that we wanted to check out on our day at sea (no port stops) and they were using markers to color T-shirts. Ok, not super crafty, but it has a simple and broad appeal. My 8 year old son couldn't do it because it was "for adults." Coloring. For adults only. Not welding or woodshop or even using scissors. COLORING. I also went to a "music quiz." I like trivia. It was "Michael Jackson or Queen." No other bands. I chock that one up to the five languages. Most of the activities that were available (but did not interest us) were dance lessons, or a few early morning exercise pool games. And most activities were distinctly Italian-language first. Also, I know this is typical in most of Europe, but many activities or events start quite late, as in the ship really comes alive at about 11:30 pm. This isn't a bad thing, just be aware of it. Oh, our kids (6 and 8) were in the "Kids Club." Great idea, childcare for excursions and dinnertime and other things. The kids generally had a good time, but the HOURS. They would open and close at seemingly random times. We'd always know when to get the kids, but sometimes we'd drop them off only to have to get them 45 minutes later, to open back up an hour after that. It was bizarre and not as useful as it could have been, and you need to make sure they know if you're going on an early excursion without the kids, because most excursions leave at 7:30 and the kids club doesn't open until 9, although IF you book an excursion WITH THE SHIP, you can drop them off if you show the Kid's Club folks your excursion ticket. Non-cruise line activities and you're on your own, or taking the kids. Getting on and off the boat wasn't bad. Be aware you need to settle your balance with ALL cards on your account, they can bill your room in a linked fashion, but cannot accept payment the same. Other than that, it was simple and painless. As I said, the cabin and facilities themselves were all quite nice, although the layout was a bit odd of the ship as a whole. I "blame" the tradeoff on so many external cabins with balconies. The shore excursions weren't bad, but overpriced. And do not buy things where the excursions take you, go off on your own. I would book the activities outside of the cruise line. Getting BACK on the boat will often take nearly forever, they need more security checkpoints (or less actual security requirements) so head back to the port early. Also, we lost our Croatia stop because of bad weather the night before, but I can't blame them for that. All in all, be prepared for lackluster food choices, and don't trust what you read to be what you end up eating. Just bite the drinking bullet and go all out. Childcare is effective, but unpredictable, although they were VERY good with the kids. Activities - bring your own entertainment or learn Italian. I don't think we'll be cruising with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
If you are looking for the comfort and cuisine associated with cruises please look elsewhere. Although a large ship it offers only one small speciality restaurant (sushi), a chaotic buffet where even the hot dishes are at best tepid, ... Read More
If you are looking for the comfort and cuisine associated with cruises please look elsewhere. Although a large ship it offers only one small speciality restaurant (sushi), a chaotic buffet where even the hot dishes are at best tepid, and two formal dining rooms. MSC has a policy of allowing children under 18 who share their parents' cabin to travel free. Thus there are a lot of children on board even in term time. Despite this there was little entertainment provided for them so quite soon the ship was full of bored children and fraught parents. For adults there was no daytime entertainment apart from some puerile deck games provided by the half hearted animation crew. It was a shame that more use was not made of the superb theatre, other than the rather odd evening shows: perhaps MSC should try and employ a choreographer who can deal with the prospect of dancers turning left as well as right. Shakespeare would have been intrigued by the alternative ending to Romeo & Juliet. Embarkation in Venice for passengers was quick, but delivery of baggage was slow and chaotic. some passengers did not get their luggage until well into the evening. The cabin was a good size and we'll furnished, and the bed was comfortable. Avoid cabins on deck 8 as these are above the music bars, disco, etc. The cabins on deck 12 are below the cafeteria pool decks and are prone to noise almost 24 hours a day. The cabin stewards, and ding room waiters were couteous and hard working. The recption staff seemed untrained and at times were rude, and dissmissive. We had occasion to make a formal complaint about a member of the bar staff. If you have the freedom to book at short notice you can pick up these cruises at prices more commensurate with their quality. Just pick your itinerary and be sure to eat as many meals as possible off the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
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