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

12 MSC Cruises Europe - Black Sea Cruise Reviews

Having read varied reviews we went on MSC with low expectations but hopeful, as my husband understands Italian we may find experience better than others who have reviewed it. In fact the announcements on this trip started in English ... Read More
Having read varied reviews we went on MSC with low expectations but hopeful, as my husband understands Italian we may find experience better than others who have reviewed it. In fact the announcements on this trip started in English followed by German, Italian & more! I guess it depends on which nationalities make up the passenger list. Boarding-Very swift. We waited for 15 mins seated and then queued for 3 mins and then straight on and cabin ready for us. Cabin-14235 large with enough storage. Kept clean by attendant. Good balcony size - great to have breakfast on! Some engine vibration from engine when docking or turning and one night felt movement across English channel but ok. Tip: Take fridge magnets to hold back material shower curtain and put up notices/tickets in your room! Food- all good. I actually preferred the buffet where you could pick what you wanted and in the desired quantity. There was pizza slices there daily and a good fresh fruit & salad choice. Also quite a bit of vegetarian choices. We did go to dining room on a couple of occasions and it was fine but a little chaotic with a mix up of food and drinks orders but acceptable and understandable. We had breakfast in room each morning at no extra charge. This made it pleasant to ease into the day before the time off the ship. It always seemed to arrive early and staff were very good. Ice cream just wonderful at plaza and included in package. Staff- were great. Friendly and eager to serve drinks in all bars regardless whether we had package- which we did. Customer service desk always helpful too. Entertainment- not the best but acceptable. (Similar rating as Thomson but not RC or NCL Epic!) Flamenco was on twice in a week and while I enjoy it didn't want to see it twice! The Saturday show with contortionists and acrobatics was great. Someone told me the guys from 'cirque du soleil' have been training them- it showed! It was brilliant. Music in bars was varied. The best was the classical music but there were never seats so get there early if you like this kind of entertainment. Other singers were just not that great. I couldn't get English Chanel on TV other than news and really missed having music to listen to in the room. It is a shame they don't put on movies in the theatre. Excursions- we did our own thing and having researched well we found some amazing places and all at a fraction of the cost of the ships trips by using public transport. We enjoyed all the ports we visited thanks to my research beforehand. Disembarkation- at Southampton-U.K. Customs insisted on a face to face with all on the ship when we left (even those staying on ship!) This meant we queued for an hour to get off but this was not MSC's doing just UK being cautious I guess. Would I travel on a MSC again? Absolutely! The ship was impressive and food excellent so great value for money and good selection of ports. Next time I will make sure I bring my own music to listen to and perhaps a film or two on my iPad to watch. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
MSC Opera. Experienced cruiser and this was the worst. Service Mgr said that cruise caters to Europeans and not to American standards...what? Expecting decent food, timely beverage and meal service is too much to expect? Lousy ... Read More
MSC Opera. Experienced cruiser and this was the worst. Service Mgr said that cruise caters to Europeans and not to American standards...what? Expecting decent food, timely beverage and meal service is too much to expect? Lousy entertainment is acceptable? Never again. I will stick to Holland, Carnival and Royal Caribbean for top notch food, service and entertainment. Do your own research on port activities, sights and shopping as this ship offers slim & shady for port excursions. Charging 12EU for a 600m bus to town center. Luckily I had already done all t he research so ports were on our own and fabulous, with outstanding meals...what a difference from shipboard. Embarkment and disembarkation was quick and easy. Not many ship workers spoke understandable English so communication was difficult to understand Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I would like to make a complaint of my last cruise with MSC. In October 2013, I made a cruise in the Mediterranean in the ship Lirica. I reserved a balcony and this trip was great. I had a beautiful view from my balcony. I was so ... Read More
I would like to make a complaint of my last cruise with MSC. In October 2013, I made a cruise in the Mediterranean in the ship Lirica. I reserved a balcony and this trip was great. I had a beautiful view from my balcony. I was so pleased with MSC that I decided to make another cruise with the same company. So I reserved the cruise from Hamburg in the ship called Splendida. And I made this trip this September. This time I also reserved a cabin with balcony, but unfortunately they gave me a balcony that had in front a life boat and the mechanism they use to unboard passengers at the ports. The result was that I couldn't see anything at all. I didn't have the beautiful views of the other trip in Lirica. I went immediately to the bureau of Customer Service of the ship and they told me that they were very sorry but that the ship was full and that they couldn't change me to other cabin. So I had to stay the 11 days of the cruise the same way as if I had been in a cabin without balcony. I think that in cases like this you have to compensate the passenger in a cabin with that limitation and not charge the same price as the balconies with a normal view. As i am retired and I am not rich, and you know very well that cruises are expensive, (and cabin with balconies more), I have to save money to afford this cruise. After my first trip I was a great fan of MSC and recommended it, but now I feel betrayed and deceived. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Before MSC Opera I was on MSC Fantasia which is a bigger (and better) ship. Overall impresion is great! Itineraries are great, time spent on shore excellent and everyone are so nice and kind. If this had been my first cruise I would ... Read More
Before MSC Opera I was on MSC Fantasia which is a bigger (and better) ship. Overall impresion is great! Itineraries are great, time spent on shore excellent and everyone are so nice and kind. If this had been my first cruise I would probably be thrilled, but since this is my third cruise I couldn't help myself but to compare it with previous one. We were the first passengers since the ship was renovated last year, and one could say that this was a test cruise. There were a lot oversights: mugs and cups in buffet restaurant were often dirty - every second cup was clean so it became tiresome to check every cup. Juices in the self serving restaurant were available only in the morning not in the evening and hot chocolate wasn't available at all although it was included in the price. Later we found out that staff don't bring out bags of hot chocolate or they rarely do and sometimes they make a hot chocolate in the thermos which is not warm and which has very little cocoa (color was dirty white, not brown!). Food for breakfast was the same every day; muesli was already prepared on the milk-it looked disgusting to me and I would prefer to prepare it by myself in yogurt. I drink a lot of tea (which was available all day) but I could find honey only in the morning and lemon is even harder to find. The food was often greasy (even fish!) and dinner in the restaurant was taking too long, every single day (from 9pm till 11pm!). Although maître d'hôtel came to us one evening asking us how is everything, are we satisfied and promised us faster service, nothing has actually changed. The midnight buffet was very poor: mostly vegetarian sandwiches and dessert from previous days. Air Conditioner made being inside the ship very uncomfortable because it was very cold in bars and lobbies. Inside temperature was around 20 C, which is low considering outside temperature is much higher. I regret not bringing more long sleeve blouses, jackets etc. I had situation by the pool when pool attendant told me I can't eat fruits by the pool (which is OK, because it said on the warning board that it is forbidden). But I was disappointed he didn't say anything to other people eating around or even worse children diving and jumping in the pool (it is clearly stated that it is forbidden to dive and jump in the pool and to run around the pool) ! When I asked him about that his answer was that they are children. I don't care if they are children or not, but because of that children I couldn't swim, or sit by the pool because they splashed water a lot and got me and my expensive camera wet even on the sunbed. Not to mention that children were diving and jumping in the whirlpools! So I didn't use those either. Deck No.11 has 2 pools deep 1.8m and one big part of the deck for children (that is new). But 30% children were in their area, and the rest of them around other 2 pools. It was very noisy on 11th deck. The best part to rest is the back of the ship. Most people have spoken english perfectly, but it happened that woman on reception (from Kyrgyzstan) didn't speak it very well (or almost at all) and we couldn't understand each other which was very frustrating. Except that situation (and situation on the deck by the pool) all stuff was very polite, friendly, helpful... I'm not complaining on staff, I am disappointed with the ship and a lot of oversights which now I can't remember all. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
MSC Magnifica 8th October 2024  Very quick check-in, on board and in cabin by 12.45. S3 family cabin - sitting area next to full length balcony windows, separated from dressing area and bedroom by curtains. King size bed, comfortable, ... Read More
MSC Magnifica 8th October 2024  Very quick check-in, on board and in cabin by 12.45. S3 family cabin - sitting area next to full length balcony windows, separated from dressing area and bedroom by curtains. King size bed, comfortable, lumpy pillows, nice bedding - not duvet but sheet, blanket and cover. Bedside tables each with three drawers. Bedside light and access to main lights. Divider cupboard between bed and dressing tables, three large cupboards, one of which contained the fridge. TV, quite small, on this divider. Interactive menu on the TV, including access to shipboard account and info. At least the account t info was available during the first few days, but it disappeared later in the week and the reception staff said that it was only visible on the last day ?? 4-seated settee, small oval coffee table and small armchair without arms. Bathroom fairly compact. Shower with curtain, which did not attack during a shower. Good pressure and soap and shampoo available in dispensers attached to the shower wall. Early sitting for dinner - 6.00 pm - which I find too early. However late sitting at 8.30 is too late for me as well - need to consider freedom dining in future. Meals at dinner consisted of Appetisers, salads, soups, pasta dish, main meal and sweet. We usually selected 3/4 courses maximum. Alternatives to menu offered daily eg salmon, chicken. There was also one vegetarian main as well. Buffet for lunch, always available are burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, pasta, chips and salad. Always adequate, sometimes really good. Special recommendation here for the freshly-made pizzas - usually about 4 different flavours - each one we tried was delicious. Used for lunch time each day. Breakfast we opted for in-cabin, to avoid the inevitable crush and push when so many cultures are on board. This trip included Russians, French, Spanish, Dutch, German, Japanese, Chinese and possibly Portuguese. Most annoying - lifeboat drill after pickup in Hamburg, which included those passengers who had joined in Amsterdam the day before. Every instruction was repeated throughout all the cabins in six languages. This happened just after I awoke from an afternoon sleep, so at least it didn't wake me up. We believe this was a mistake because the following drill was not transmitted into the cabin, only the initial call for those passengers affected. Evening entertainment - we spent each evening in the Tiger Bar which is not as garish as it appears in the pictures with all the tigerskin carpets and seats. The musicians in here were very good but the Animation team were restricted in their games by the various nationalities attending. It usually consisted of audience guessing names of films or tunes or artists and running to a chair on stage, where the correct answer was rewarded with an MSC bag, or t-shirt etc. The theatre shows were all well attended every evening, because there was the locust swarm of passengers traversing the Tiger Bar on their way to and from wherever. We never did find out where everyone disappeared to, but there were plenty of alternative bars or lounges. We found the daytime in the Tiger Bar was dominated during the sea day by the Entertainment Team creating games and shouting loudly and often for applause, applause - more than a little trying, especially if we were writing or reading (or trying to). We moved into a different bar, but it was still close enough to hear the call for applause. The ship is immaculately clean and like a micro community. The service was either fantastic or very poor, with disaffected staff showing either disinterest or disdain at times. However, we on,y encountered a couple of members of staff who were miserable and the rest were delightful. In fact, our waiter at dinner and a number of bar staff were very pleasant and happy, which is what we expect at all times from customer-facing staff. Our ports of call were Zeebrugge for Brugge, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Le Havre. When we docked at Zeebrugge, due to some pervious research, we were aware that there was a free port shuttle, but this fact was never made known on board. Instead the ship shuttle at €14 was suggested. As I was unwell at the beginning of the trip, we decided to go on the ship shuttle, which took us close to Blankenburg rail station where we boarded the first train for Bruges, at a cost of €12, which is €3 each person, each way. These run from Blankenburg at ten minutes after the hour, each hour and the return from Bruges is at 36 minutes after the hour, and they ran on the dot while we were there. The trains are clean, comfortable and fast, a great way to travel. While in Bruge we had coffee, caught up with mails, FB etc. In Amsterdam we walked along the harbour, passing the river boats along the way, to the Grand Central Station. At this point the HOHO buses can be found, although we didn't use these this time as it was quite recently that we had done both canal and coach trips. We walked through the city, checked out the Sex Museum which ad been recommended to us. Although this may sound seedy, the Museum is very interesting and good value for money at €4 each. We then had our coffee at one of the Hotel coffee shops, where we were disappointed that their WiFi was not working. As we left the coffee shop there was an almighty crash as a motor cyclist was hit by a tram and everything around seemed to just stop. The ambulance was at the scene very quickly and the cyclist was quickly whisked away, hopefully not too badly hurt as he was at was on his feet just after the accident. We then continued our wanderings and were soon in the red light district, where some of the girls were showing their attributes. My Hubby commented that window shopping could sometimes be appealing - this from the man who HATES shopping with a passion back home. By this time we were both tired so we caught the No. 26 tram back to the ship - at a cost of €1.30 each. Although the ship was docked here overnight, we decided to spend the evening on board and enjoyed an excellent meal in the main restaurant. Our third stop was in Hamburg and again we paid the ship's shuttle cost of €13.90 each as we had not been into Hamburg previously. I had researched the alternatives and found that there are water buses available, and there were also plenty of taxis available. I did overhear that these were charging €20 each way, but I can't verify this. We were dropped off at the square where the Town Hall was, a most magnificent building it has to be said. After a quick coffee in Starbucks and a quick email catchup, we decided to get the HOHO tour. I was a little nervous about this because I had read that these HOHOs were more geared to the Europe languages, with English not very much in evidence, but we went on two of these buses and in each case English was available as well as Dutch and German. This was in fact one of the best value HOHOs we have been on and the whole tour lasted just over 2 hours. We both really enjoyed the sights we saw and the information that was also given. Our last call was Le Havre and we were booked on a ship's excursion to Breuille Castle Calvados distillery, with a stop at Breuille en Ange. The guide at the Castle was excellent and able to converse fluently in English and French. The Ship's guide also provided commentary in Italian for a small contingency of our group. Very interesting, very welcoming visit. The trip to the village was super, so reflecting what we expected of a typical French village in the countryside. We treated ourselves to some traditional patisseries and had a good trip back, taking in Honfleur while still in the coach, showing the contrasts of a busy port and the idyllic countryside. A good excursion, although it was certainly a little overpriced. An ambience change certainly appeared to happen for me over the last couple of days on the cruise, following the picking up of large number of Russian passengers and their children. This may just reflect the cultural differences, but the staff around and about certainly seemed to be intimated by the attitude of these passengers and I felt quite upset at times when I observed how the staff were treated as servants, rather than as the hard-working, pleasant individuals that we had encountered. It appears that the Russian culture is just louder and more aggressive than we usually encounter on multi-cultural ships or resorts, so perhaps it is a case of being more tolerant (or avoiding cruises where passengers are picked up like ferry passengers, at each port of call throughout the cruise.) Overall this was a great cruise, we enjoyed the food, the service, the upgrade of cabin, the company we kept and being in a beautiful and immaculate ship, almost all of which was attributable to MSC - the bonus was really good weather in all the ports we visited - and the excellent value for money.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
we booked the cruise as it was a good price and nice itinerary, then I got very concerned by all the bad reviews regarding the food and staff. These concerns was needless. The ship is lovely, the food in both the main dining room and the ... Read More
we booked the cruise as it was a good price and nice itinerary, then I got very concerned by all the bad reviews regarding the food and staff. These concerns was needless. The ship is lovely, the food in both the main dining room and the buffet was always hot, delicious and with plenty of choice. Our main problem was embarkation in venice which was a complete shambles, but once aboard we loved every minute. our cabin on deck nine had ample storage space and was very clean and tidy. Our cabin maid was lovely and very helpful, always had a smile and cheery hello for us. The entertainment was top notch with something for all ages. The ports of call were beautiful but we just walked off and did not book any trips. The only comment I would say is the ship does not give you any information about the port you are visiting. Days at sea did not seem to have have much entertainment apart from on the pool deck which we found disappointing as other cruise lines seem to have daytime entertainment all over the ship. Disembarkation was not too bad apart from you had to leave your cabin by 7.45 am which is a lot earlier than other cruise lines and we were not allowed to disembark till 10.20 am so everyone was just sat around waiting. Overall though a really good cruise which we all enjoyed and we would use MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
MSC has some pretty bad reviews, and I'm pleased to report that we had a very pleasant time on board Opera. However, it was not all plain sailing, if you'll excuse the pun. So let's start with the bad points and if you feel ... Read More
MSC has some pretty bad reviews, and I'm pleased to report that we had a very pleasant time on board Opera. However, it was not all plain sailing, if you'll excuse the pun. So let's start with the bad points and if you feel you can stomach those, I shall move on to the good points. The biggest minus for us was the very poor vegetarian food. Meat and fish eaters are very well catered for, but poor old veggies get a very raw deal - literally! Raw carrots, raw lettuce, raw onion, but often no hot veggie dish at the buffet aside from the side veg. I don't consider a bowl of boiled broccoli to constitute a meal. Often meat was added unnecessarily, reducing the choices even further Eg breakfast omelettes with added ham, breakfast potatoes with added sausage pieces, pasta with added meat or fish. Even at the sit-down restaurant at lunch and dinner time there was not always a veggie option for each course. This was particularly disappointing for the gala dinners. what there was was very samey eg cheese appetizer followed by a cheese salad followed by a cheese main course. Aubergines were presented in various ways day after day. I love aubergines, but was starting to go off them, and my poor old daughter hates them so was left with no alternative. There were no labels to indicate what was veggie and it was not always easy to tell and the staff did not always know. We did say we were veggie at time of booking and were contacted part-way through the cruise to check that all was well, but nothing resulted from our complaint. Deserts in the restaurant and buffet were generally good, the ice-cream was very nice and the pizza parlour was good. The afternoon tea was always very nice and the scones were very tasty. Tea at the tea stations was usually rather too weak and no tea or coffee was served after the meals. The other big bugbear was the tender service, which was necessary twice on this cruise. We have been on many cruises and realise that this can be a bit slow, but we've NEVER encountered anything quite so shambolic and painfully slow. MSC really need to sort this out, as it was causing considerable upset. We were informed that tender tickets would be available at 9am. At 8.30am we passed by and there was already a queue forming so we joined it. At 9am there was virtually no movement and finally at about 9.20am, as the queue was slowly moving, a man came down the line handing out tickets. We were given 'H' tickets, despite being fairly near the front. The first tickets (A and B) were called to disembark at 9.45 and C and D and 10am, then everything stopped. By 11.30 no further tickets had been called but people were leaving the ship. We joined the massive queue and were let off. No one checked what letter we were, but by then it was well after noon and other poor souls were waiting patiently for announcements. The same thing happened the next time. This time we just joined the queue that was forming, even though no tickets had been called. We were let off the ship with no one checking our letter (B this time)! It took an age, and there was much pushing and shoving. It made a mockery of the so-called system. People with J and N were in front of us. This cast an unnecessary shadow and could easily be made slicker and fairer. A surprising problem was the lack of chairs in the buffet. There were not enough to go round. I think this is because the assumption is that the outside seating will be used, but this was a Northern European cruise during a cold spell and it was either too cold, wet or windy to sit out so everyone sat in - if they could a) find a table (always a problem) and b) find a chair to place at the table. There were times when we got a table but could not find sufficient chairs to go round it. Many people brought in chairs from the deck. One final gripe was about smoking, which was allowed in too many places. the smoking lounge and smoking casino are not closed and the smoke permeates other areas and is unpleasant. On the positive side, the ship is very nice and looks well maintained. The theatre is especially good and the shows were also very good. Unfortunately fellow guests often arrived late and everyone had to stand up to let them past, and many talked through shows. The cabin is reasonably roomy as cabins go (we had a standard ocean view) but our steward was not great. Often we returned and the cabin had not been made up, despite being vacated for several hours. He always looked a tad unhappy and I wonder if perhaps he was simply over-worked. No chocs on pillows or towels shaped like elephants and swans unfortunately. There was a nice walking/jogging track, but unfortunately it was over blocked by sun loungers. Drinks are rather pricey - both alcoholic and non-alcoholic ones. However, the bar service is generally quite good and reasonably fast and friendly. The restaurant staff were also very friendly and efficient. Despite some gripes this was a good cruise with some nice ports of call on a pleasant ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just returned home after a Magnificent 11 day cruise. Having never been to Europe and having read the reviews, I had very low expectations. Well, this trip was fantastic. Embarkation was very easy and quick. Our cabin which was a balcony ... Read More
Just returned home after a Magnificent 11 day cruise. Having never been to Europe and having read the reviews, I had very low expectations. Well, this trip was fantastic. Embarkation was very easy and quick. Our cabin which was a balcony on the rear of the ship was spacious and immaculate. We have 9229 which has a little extra hallway attached to the room which made for more storage and very private. Food, PERFECT. I'm not sure what people expect based on reviews I read but our experience in the dining room was nothing less than perfect. There were a couple of meals I didn't care for but that was because I tried something new that didn't appeal to me. Our servers, Hugo and Stephan were on it and had our lemons and beers ready to put on the table every night when we arrived. Food presentation was great and food arrived hot. The buffet had a good variety. Only problem we incurred was pushing and cutting the lines by certain people. Can't expect manners by all and that is not the cruise lines fault. The shows were very good. Being from the US we enjoyed the European feel to some of the shows. This trip was our once in a lifetime trip and we have no regrets. I recommend this ship and this itenary to all. LOVED all the ports and realize that cruising gives you a taste of each place. Although there were only 69 Americans on the ship we were never made to feel shunned. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
I say surprise surprise for two reasons, this was our first cruise with MSC and my husband had been very reluctant to sail with this Italian company but we were very surprised at the high standard of hygiene, food, waiters etc. We ... Read More
I say surprise surprise for two reasons, this was our first cruise with MSC and my husband had been very reluctant to sail with this Italian company but we were very surprised at the high standard of hygiene, food, waiters etc. We don't usually bother with the shows but thoroughly enjoyed the classical evenings on board the Musica and applauded loudly to Strauss marches and Puccini arias. The second surprise is because of such poor reviews, I feel like I was on a different ship. Our first cruise was with Airtours about 15 years ago and this gave us the cruise bug. We have since sailed with Celebrity(still our favourite) Princess and Royal Caribbean and a few other smaller cruise lines. We met lots of lovely people including a big group of Cubans from Miami, a lovely couple from London and two very lively female paramedics from Ireland all of whom we are still in touch with. The waiters in both the restaurants and bars were all really friendly, quick to serve, remembered what drinks we liked and were interested in where we were from, at the same time sharing their backgrounds with us. We had a balcony cabin and it was just perfect. Trips were well organised and no different to any other companies in the somewhat long and drawn out pre-trip procedures. I have to agree that in general, the French are quite rude, very serious, bad mannered and very, very loud but I try to ignore them and focus on the lovely Hispanic people who love their music and dance and always seem happy. There are so many interesting nationalities on cruises be they crew or guests and I just love chatting to as many different people as possible. However, one big issue did sour a very good cruise and it was all due to the reception staff. Part way through the cruise we had an interim statement which included around $560 for a drinks package. We were sure this was just a simple error as we had already paid for this package with Thomas Cook so we spoke with one of the reception staff who was rather unhelpful, she referred us to her superior who was even more unhelpful. We gave them a copy of Cook's invoice clearly stating the payment for the drinks package but they refused to accept this and referred our case to their head office in Naples. The last few days were very upsetting and we had no choice but to pay MSC the $560. As soon as we returned home we informed Cooks about the issue and after about two weeks of to-ing and fro-ing, it turned out that Cooks HADN'T paid MSC in the first place. Even though it wasn't MSC's fault, they definitely could and should have handled it better, never the less, we will definitely be going on another MSC cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
I had read so many negative reviews that I was hesitant to book this cruise line. I truly don't know what they were complaining about! Boarding was so swift and I was in my cabin, with my luggage without any snafus. There were 3,000 ... Read More
I had read so many negative reviews that I was hesitant to book this cruise line. I truly don't know what they were complaining about! Boarding was so swift and I was in my cabin, with my luggage without any snafus. There were 3,000 passengers and only 78 English speakers, but it was never a problem. I was traveling alone and was seated with a delightful mix of dining companions. They had all of the English speaking folks in one corner of the dining room, so we mingled with each other. I have cruised on Celebrity, Holland America, Orient, Norwegian, RCCL, Renaisance, Costa and Carnival and this was probably the most spotless ship I have been on. My cabin was spacious and very comfortable. The ship is beautiful, with lovely pieces of art and sculpture everywhere. There was wonderful music every night, several different musical styles, and lots of people dancing. Yes, the shows must cater to everyone, but they were very good. I took lots of pictures, but I haven't a clue on how to add them to this review. Dining was always a pleasure! Our waiters were wonderful and hard working. This is an Italian ship and the food reflects this. There are more courses than we're usually served. The portion size is geared to the European diner. I do hate the waste I see when portions are too large. I enjoyed the variety of food and the desserts were incredible. I always ate in the dining room, buffets are not for me. I had my coupon booklet for our free water, and we all shared at dinner, so I left the ships with unused coupons. All of the ship staff I encountered were cordial and helpful. I do plan on cruising with MSC again! When you combine the beautiful ship with the considerable cost savings, it's an easy decision. And the Black Sea is a marvelous destination. It is relatively uncrowded, such a change from the Mediterranean ports. I would suggest you take a taxi when you debark as the walk to the bus/train is very long and difficult.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We have cruised on Holland America - can't find any fault there - our friends have cruised with Princess - also could not find any fault. MSC Musica was an experience that we would not want to repeat. The ship was fine, our cabin was ... Read More
We have cruised on Holland America - can't find any fault there - our friends have cruised with Princess - also could not find any fault. MSC Musica was an experience that we would not want to repeat. The ship was fine, our cabin was good and our cabin steward, Ina, and our waiter Sugi were the only crew members who went out of his way to make us feel welcome on the ship. In the 13 night cruise, we only had two meals that were hot. The others were room temperature or less. Out table in the dining room was tucked away in the corner and the waiter could not get around and had to reach across the table to serve us. If one got up the nerve to ask one of the staff a question, you almost felt as if they were sneering at you and would barely acknowledge your question. At one point we observed a senior crew member giving a drinks server a major dressing down. What an uncomfortable feeling that was! That should be done quietly away from the guests as a common courtesy for all. We gave up on the buffet as it was so crowded it was hard to find a place to sit. Ever had cold fried eggs and toast that was prepared hours before breakfast? - that is a treat you certainly want to miss. Even eating breakfast and lunch in the dining room left a lot to be desired. Unless your cabin was on the top three levels, you were barred from dining in Le Maxims, even though we were informed prior to sailing that we could reserve in this specialty restaurant if we desired. The one saving factor were the drinks. Tried every cocktail, except the premium ones, on the list. One thing that was well done was the embarkation. Disembarkation was another story, a real nightmare. Sat in the lounge for over two hours waiting to leave the ship.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
We boarded the Lirica at Civitavecchia to cruise to Istanbul, Yalta, Odessa, Athens, Sorrento (Capri), and Genoa. MSC traces its history to cargo shipping, and care of the ship is tops -- constant cleaning, polishing, painting, crew ... Read More
We boarded the Lirica at Civitavecchia to cruise to Istanbul, Yalta, Odessa, Athens, Sorrento (Capri), and Genoa. MSC traces its history to cargo shipping, and care of the ship is tops -- constant cleaning, polishing, painting, crew training on a regular basis, arrival always on time, and the ship is well and tastefully furnished. The ship was very smooth and quiet. It has good facilities for children, including a popular water shower over one of the pools, a youth club, and video games, such as Wii. The lounges are spacious and attractive as well as comfortable, and the library is popular as a card room, also. Embarkation and disembarkation were fairly quick and the crew was very helpful. The service by the waiters and dining staff is good; we had a sharp-looking, almost-all Indonesian staff who did a good job. The food variety and quality was generally good but not outstanding in the dining room, with two buffets, one near the pools and one fully enclosed. They are somewhat limited and not always supplied with hot food. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available in the dining room, with good service at all three times. Dining room times are rigidly adhered to, with assigned tables for dinner and casual table assignment for other meals. One strange item is that coffee is not available at dinner. Bottled water is available but no tap water is served, and American and Canadian passengers get a free bottle daily. The entertainment was typical cruise material, lots of American music, a bit loud; good dancers and a champion juggler, a couple of opera singers (an excellent tenor and a good soprano), and a Sinatra impersonator with a German accent. The entertainment seemed to be tailored to Americans, although there were large groups of Italians, Germans, and French, plus a group of Norwegians, and all the announcements had to be made in five or six languages. The theater is well designed and decorated. The problems we had with the cruise were mostly with the excursions, which were poorly described in the literature and not always well managed. We took four of their excursions. At Yalta we visited two of the Tsar's palaces, which were described as "sumptuous" and such terms. The first palace was sparsely furnished and had never been lived in - only used for summer picnics, and it was dark and not very attractive. The second, Livadia Palace, was the site of the 1945 meeting at which Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin agreed on how to divide Europe. It was an excellent visit to a very attractive location, so that tour averaged out fairly well. We took the tour of Odessa and its catacombs, and found that good. The first real problem was Athens, where we arrived for an 8-hour visit on the Orthodox Easter Sunday, and EVERYTHING was closed and largely deserted. We had been to Athens for several days on another trip but had not seen the new Acropolis Museum, and wanted to see that, but were disappointed. We were not warned until the morning arrival that we wouldn't see anything except closed buildings, but surely the staff must have known. The next problem was in Sorrento, where we paid about $190 each for a "four-hour" tour to Capri during about a six-hour stopover. The tour description said we would be taken to the center of town, then a minibus tour followed by a walking tour to the Caesar Augustus gardens. Actually, we had a two-hour tour, with no minibus tour, and the walking tour was so rushed that it more resembled a foot race on cobblestones. The rest of the four hours was taken up by a tender ride to Sorrento, a ferry ride to Capri, and a shuttle bus to a parking lot on Capri, then the reverse after the quick foot tour, with quite a bit of waiting between each of the phases. We had no more that 30 minutes to look around in Capri on our own and shop, and we were tired after the foot race. That excursion should not even be offered if the time cannot be increased and the tour properly described. In Genoa, we took the local bus tours rather than the ship tours, and found them very satisfactory -- Genoa is a beautiful city. Overall, it was a pleasant cruise, with a couple of serious problems on the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click