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62 MSC Cruises MSC Fantasia Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise due itinerary and price. I little hesitant in booking with MSC due to mostly bad reviews and decided to try anyway. My rating is based on comparable cruise lines we have been on: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal ... Read More
We choose this cruise due itinerary and price. I little hesitant in booking with MSC due to mostly bad reviews and decided to try anyway. My rating is based on comparable cruise lines we have been on: Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Ship is well kept and clean. Most passengers were Europeans with majority from France and Germany. We met people from Canada, Australia, Spain and Norway. Food is comparable with other cruise. Sometime tasty and other time bland. Good variety of food service. Veal and fish seem popular. Meat tends to be tough. Serving are small. A complementary 1 Liter bottle of water was given to us for lunches and dinners at the restaurants. Breakfast has free coffee, tea, water and juice. Buffet lunch and pizza and pasta is service every day in the buffet. Water, coffee and tea are free at the buffet, They will try to match passenger with same language. When we reserve the cruise, we were supposed to have been booked for early dinner and table for 2. That information was not forwarded to the ship by the agent at MSC/USA and were were assigned 2nd seating. We are able to change to 1st seating but share table. Embarkation too a long time, almost 2 hrs. Our information was checked 5 times before getting on board. We then go straight to our room where we picked up our key card. The card can be activated for charging on the ship with credit card in the machines at the reception area. They did try to sell drink packages but was not high pressure. We just told them we already booked drink packages and went on our way. Entertainment are all musical: Famous songs, opera, piano, Alice in wonderland theme and mixed with a little acrobatic. Stage is always the same. Low budget presentation. Shore excursions were well organized. Got our tickets the night before and the daily activity told us were to meet. We are give an assigned number (corresponding to the bus number) and escorted to the bus. There is an indoor pool and outdoor pool and are not crowded. There seemed to have plenty empty lounge chairs. Hot tubs tends to be crowded. There is an attendant who will ask people to leave if they stay too long and there are other people waiting. Water temp is not very hot. Overall, we enjoyed and would book again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First cruise and just wanted to experience it. The ship is spotless and beautiful we had a midship cabin on deck 10 with a balcony, it was to a very high standard. What let it down for us was first the dining experience, we where 2nd ... Read More
First cruise and just wanted to experience it. The ship is spotless and beautiful we had a midship cabin on deck 10 with a balcony, it was to a very high standard. What let it down for us was first the dining experience, we where 2nd sitting in the red velvet changed tables 3 times but was still a shambles.very very noisy seeing food being scraped off plates is very off putting. There is way too many people in its like a giant cafeteria, the buffet is no better another noisy giant area. I never had to renew my pool towels as I never was in a swimming pool the main one was just ridiculous the noise was unbearable and very difficult to get a sunbed even in the quieter areas so very dissapointed. Getting off the ship at the different ports was also a hassle we did not find this to be a relaxing holiday at all, and would not consider going on another cruise. The shows were great but very short, the bar areas were lovley and most of the staff really nice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We thought the price was exceptional and we were very interested in all the ports that we got to stop at. I had read a lot of negative reviews before our cruise and if I had read them before booking I definitely would not have chosen to ... Read More
We thought the price was exceptional and we were very interested in all the ports that we got to stop at. I had read a lot of negative reviews before our cruise and if I had read them before booking I definitely would not have chosen to sail on the MSC Fantasia. I am happy to report though, that I loved the cruise and feel that staff did their best to accomodate our needs and at all times we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. Food was great despite the numerous negative reviews that I had read. I did not find the food to be lukewarm as reported. There was lots of variety and we found that the food that we personally liked the best was towards the back of the ship where different varieties of ethnic food could be found. We also noticed that sitting at the back of the restaurant to be a lot quieter than up the front where everyone congregated. The only annoying experience we had was when we went to the theatre each night to watch the live performance we had to sit through a rather long introduction to each show, which was then related back in another six languages to accomodate all the guests. We would have loved to have not had to been put through the agony of listening to the host chattering on, but the only way to ensure that we had good seating for the show was to arrive early. We found the days at sea could be a bit boring due to the lack of entertainment other than dancing lessons or specially selected singers entertaining on the top deck in the pool area. It was often cool up on deck and not very inviting to sit out exposed to the cool winds. Due to the language barriers between passengers it was understandable that it would be difficult to arrange a lot of entertainment or educational demonstrations that we're going to suit everyone. We found that all staff we approached could understand English and this made our cruising experience much more enjoyable. There was definitely a language barrier between us and other passengers but this did not pose a problem. We were a group of six travelling together and this helped us to not feel out of place amongst so many different cultures. I would definitely sail with MSC again. I could not fault them and can appreciate the enormous effort that they put in to making passengers experience on MSC a pleasurable one. It can not be easy when having such a broad cultural difference between passengers and I feel they do the best job possible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, ... Read More
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, except for some of the deckhands. Many staff are from Indonesia, so have English as their first “foreign language”. Most passengers were, in order, Italian, French, German, Central European, Chinese, USA, with very few British indeed. We did this cruise for the itinerary; 11 nights from Genoa, going for 2 nights in Haifa and the rest around the Eastern Med stopping at Katakolon (for Olympia) Pireus (for Athens) Rhodes (Half day really, leaving at 2pm) Haifa (two nights), Iraklion/Heraklion, Civitavecchia, Genoa. Ship is huge at c 133,000 tons with a combined staff/guest number of c 5,600. Quite a lot of vibration at c 20kts, especially at the stern where I presume one is above the props and the shafts. On level 7 in the lounge it was very intrusive. Our cabin was nearer the bow, on deck 11, and we were glad of that. Being Italian, smoking is a little more prevalent than on P&O. With the latter IIRC there were just three open deck areas where it was allowed. On this ship there are probably four, but also a dedicated “cigar room”; moreover smoking is allowed in the casino, which means it drifts upstairs to be noticeable in a couple of the other public areas. Not a big issue for me, but some might find it annoying. Food: disappointing. OK, it's more to the Italian taste, with Pizza and Pasta available every day, but the layout of the Zanzibar Cafeteria area is a bit haphazard and at times quite unhelpful. e.g. Why not have spoons placed by the cereal area, where you need them, rather than elsewhere, and why have prunes/peaches/pears just available in one tiny un-indicated area, whereas bread is available in about six. In my experience food was rarely more than warm. Coffee from the dispensers was horrible; utterly tasteless. You can get decent coffee but you either pay for it, or get it via the drinks package. No tea/coffee facility in room. We took our own small kettle to make tea in the cabin despite MSC's risible claim that it is “dangerous”. Restaurant food was OK, but no more than that. Having said that, we would normally prefer the Cafeteria as I feel it is almost impossible to bring hot food to about 1000 people in a restaurant. Restaurant service was fine. We were lucky to be on a table with six Kiwis, so no language problem. If we had been with six French people, conversation would have been more limited. The average drinks package looks good but probably is borderline. We paid for the “allegrissimo”, but this only allows you Heineken Draft beer, two red wines, two white and one rosé, none of which were that nice. There is a good selection of cocktails, coffees, soft drinks and some spirits on the package though, and remember without it 15% is added to all drink bills. The juices available at breakfast without the package are truly insipid. You can get reasonable orange or cranberry on the drinks package, so we did this every morning along with Lattes or Cappuccinos. Essentially no daytime activities, not that there are many on P&O or RC nowadays. No deck quoits etc. (Hooray!) No long prom deck, but on deck 15 there was a reasonable area for walking. We reckoned 10 laps were just over 2 miles. Evening shows seemed good to us, though we only really saw one, but you can't get drinks in the theatre. Shows last c 45mins. No inane and intrusive announcements during the day, asking you to join the sailaway party or the bingo. No report from the bridge. Ship seemed unaware of its own TIME at one point! We woke up having left Haifa for the TV channel to say ship's time was 0700, but no announcement in the daily bulletin of a time change. So we asked reception who, presumably thinking me mad, confirmed it was 0800. No wonder ships sometimes end up on rocks if their own clocks are wrong! Just two English Language news channels on the TV. We have never tried ship internet as it is universally reported as poor. But with a new phone, using “3” one can use data in most (not all) European countries and Israel, so not worth the trouble for checking a few emails. Cabin good. For the grade a little bigger than P&O with a bigger and nicer shower with moveable head. Balcony small, but adequate. Almost all cabins have the same size balcony. Service generally good though in the “speciality” restaurant, “Tex Mex” they forgot the sauce for my steak and forgot our bottled water. (You pay a bit extra too.) Got told off by one deckhand, in barely intelligible English, for daring to put out sunbeds on an area on deck 16 where they were piled up but no one had put them out. (Actually, the only part sheltered from the gale blowing across the other decks!) Who cares? One big plus: dress code is VOLUNTARY, so if you don't want to wear black tie, and hardly anyone did, it is OK to turn up still in jeans and a t-shirt, as some did, on the formal nights, without being refused admission. If I am doing a fly-cruise I don't want to waste my baggage allowance on something that allows me to look like a penguin for three nights. Like Royal Caribbean: no guest laundry, but for 12 days, not really an issue I'd say. You can get laundry done, at some expense, via the cabin steward. We just wear most things for 2 days when on hols, and sometimes at home too now we're not working. Excursions, as always, a bit expensive. We paid for the ones in Israel, but in Katacolon, by doing some advance research, we found out about the small train which ran to Olympia from the port for Eu10 return each! With admission to the site, c Eu16 each for the trip as opposed to c £50 each via the ship! Likewise, in Athens we walked 3km to the metro station and then got to Monastiraki station (at the base of the Acropolis) for Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
It was for my friends and me the second cruise with MSC ships and as we had high expectations, somehow were afraid that something or anything might went wrong. But it was again very pleasant experience, in spite of the early winter time. ... Read More
It was for my friends and me the second cruise with MSC ships and as we had high expectations, somehow were afraid that something or anything might went wrong. But it was again very pleasant experience, in spite of the early winter time. The weather was great and sunny, time on the ship passed by quickly and with many opportunities for entertainment, bars and restaurants very efficient and comfortable, and time for the excursions quite suitable. We loved the possibility of being included in aerobic and stretching (having had not enough time for all these activities at home), but also enjoying sunbathing (in January it would have seemed almost impossible). Restaurants provided good food and our waiter did his best to make us comfortable, remembering our names and even trying to greet us in our own language. My greatest concern had been short time available for the Israel (we were staying in Haifa) and long distance between Haifa and Jerusalem/Bethlehem). But at the end we managed to see (at least to see) Jordan river, Galilee see, Nazareth, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, so were not at all dissapointed. The excursions were not part of the ship's offering, but through web (highly recommend GuidedToursIsrael). All staff (cabin, restaurant, open areas, bars etc. were highly professional, polite and very efficient. The only remark was very long waiting time for embarkation - after arriving at the spot we had to wait almost two hours to get on the ship. But in total, we loved it so much that already began o make plans for the next trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
As an Australian traveling to Europe, it is a long and expensive holiday to take. I was so excited to be visiting the Mediterranean with my family for 4 weeks; but the dreams of having a restful, stress free holiday was not meant to happen ... Read More
As an Australian traveling to Europe, it is a long and expensive holiday to take. I was so excited to be visiting the Mediterranean with my family for 4 weeks; but the dreams of having a restful, stress free holiday was not meant to happen on board MSC’s Fantasia. My cruise dates and destinations 17-27 December 2015 (Italy/Greece/Greek Islands/Israel) 27 December-07 January 2016 (Italy/Spain/Portugal/Canary Islands) PASSPORTS - Passages of Non-European passports holders (Australians/NZ/Americans/Japanese etc) BEWARE MSC retains your passport for the duration of the cruise. You are not entitled to have your passport. When I questioned it on the embarkation day, the staff could not tell me why they needed to retain them. But I could not board unless I handed it over to them. This meant that when I was at port off board, I did not have a passport with me. My question is How is this safe for non-European travellers when off board the ship? What happens if you fail to make it back in time to re-embark on the ship and you are stranded without a passport???? - The immigration process for Israel- this was a joke! It took 80mins to wait in a ridiculously long line of unhappy people. It was hot and very uncomfortable for all passengers. Then to find only 3 MSC staff handing passports out to passengers, while there were numerous Israeli officials siting waiting for passengers to have their passports checked. What is the logic behind that management when you have 4000+ passports to process? FOOD & DRINKS - The dining experience is poorly coordinated and service is slow and usually plate placement is incorrect. - No matter if you ate in the restaurant, café or buffet the food always was served warm or cold (when it should be hot – I am actually surprised I did not get food poisoning). - Day two on the first cruise my sisters cocktail package coupons were stolen. When we asked reception to follow up, they said there was nothing they could do. MSC showed no accountability to track the coupons. They said it was impossible to do (even though each coupon package had their own unique code, that should be easily traced to the person who stole them). - Furthermore, what is with the paper coupons for packages???? For a so called state of the art ship, you would think they would have ventured into the 21st century world of utilising technology to deliver packages to passengers. Paper seems to be their go to solution for all services on board. DISEMBARKING - Health and safety is not paramount when disembarking at each of the ports. It was a danger battle ground of push and shove. An elderly lady had fallen in stampeded at the Israel port. No one (not even staff) apart from my family went to her rescue. - The day of our departure disembarking, there was no signage to direct you how to get transport out of the terminal. We waited 1 hour to just get a shuttle bus out to the entrance of the port. Again no one from MSC were managing the crowd of hundreds of passages. It was absolute mayhem. We had to give up waiting cause passengers were unfairly pushing in and fighting to get onto the buses. And they were not allowed to call taxis into the terminal area. So we had to walk 20 minutes with our suitcases to the entrance of the port. Disgraceful! CUSTOMER SERVICE Due to the lack of problem solving, concern or consideration at reception desk for issues that we was faced with on board the MSC Fantasia; I ended up having to contact the complaints department back in Australia on day 4 of our holiday. Day 6, the Guest Relations Manager requested to see me to discuss my complaints. I felt like I was sent to principal’s office for doing something inappropriate. The manager did not have resolutions for me, just EXCUSES! Then my waiter and cabin attendant told me they got into trouble, which was never my intention. The issues I addressed in my email to the complaints department was directed at the management team about their poor administration and communication with their passengers and ground staff. A Few Positives…(but not enough to counteract significant issues that I had to endure for 21 days) - Port days at the islands and cities (was the best part, cause I was not on the ship) - Friendly ground staff (bar/restaurant/cabin attendants). - Delicious cocktails (as it helped to ease my experience while at sea) - Public areas are impeccably clean and tidy (mainly because those poor staff were slave laboring 12-16hour days) Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We embarked the 11 night cruise from Genoa on December 17th, and what an amazing time we had! My partner and I have cruised with MSC before - firstly on Fantasia and then Lirica. More recently (October 2015) we had a terrible ... Read More
We embarked the 11 night cruise from Genoa on December 17th, and what an amazing time we had! My partner and I have cruised with MSC before - firstly on Fantasia and then Lirica. More recently (October 2015) we had a terrible experience with Norwegian on Epic. The experience with Norwegian got us thinking as to whether cruising was still for us - we had apprehensions that perhaps MSC had changed and wouldn't be as we remembered it. How wrong we were! Embarking at Genoa was slick and quick, we were shown pretty much straight through check-in and onboard the ship. Our cabin wasn't ready (it was only about 11:30) so we went up to the top deck aft (Gaudi Bar) for a strawberry daiquiri and sat in the sun. Later on we were able to get in to the cabin - we had 11084, which is on the corner towards the front of the ship. The cabin was spotlessly clean and extremely spacious with plenty of wardrobe space and a comfortable sofa before a HUGE balcony. The only draw back to this cabin was that with it being on the corner there were two sides facing on to the internal corridors which could be noisy at times. We dined in the Red Velvet Main Dining Room on the early sitting (6:15pm) and had a table for two overlooking the internal restaurant stairs and the area below, which was great. Our waiter, Sandiana, was fast, efficient and kept the wine flowing, as did his assistant Putra. The food was as we expected, and dinner would consist of an appetiser such as antipasti, followed by a salad, then soup, then a pasta or risotto dish before finally reaching the entrées, which was then followed by dessert! The portions aren't huge but the quality is great, and I would say as long as you're expecting true Italian food rather than a honking great steak that may be served on other lines then you will not be disappointed! Christmas Eve offered a spectacular menu, and for main course I had lobster, which would normally attract a supplement (NB MSC don't constantly try and upsell 'speciality' dining although there is the option of the TexMex restaurant if you so wish. Christmas lunch was also spectacular and curated by the same celebrity Italian chef as the Christmas Eve menu. Entertainment wise, don't expect glitzy West End style shows on MSC. Due to the multi-national nature of MSC passengers, most shows tend to be more focussed around music and dance. As we enjoy classical music, we spent most nights sitting in the main atrium listening to the trio which consisted of two violinists and a pianist.They were magnificent. The Allegrisimo drinks package was included with our booking, which saved us 26Euro each per day, however it is well worth having this package if you like even just a few drinks every day - the range of drinks included isn't massive, however there are some great cocktails available and unlike ships with exhaustive drinks lists MSC don't tend to run out of anything! In terms of excursions, the only one we booked with the ship was to see Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which was well worth the 110Euro we paid for it. It was a full day including lunch and we saw some amazing things, including the church of the Nativity and the spot where they believe Jesus was crucified and then buried before the resurrection. This truly has been a memorable cruise for all the right reasons. We had the most fantastic time and would like to thank MSC for a brilliant Christmas. Whilst waiting to board the flight home, there were people from the ship who were complaining there was no turkey for Christmas dinner (there was at lunch, just not as we know it), that all of the food was horrible and the entertainment was rubbish. My advice to them was to read the reviews of any cruise line before booking and therefore understand what to expect Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have just returned from our first cruise with MSC on the Fantasia and although we enjoyed our 11 day excursion, it just didn't come up to the standards we had experienced on Carnival Cruise Ships. Ticketing and Flight ... Read More
We have just returned from our first cruise with MSC on the Fantasia and although we enjoyed our 11 day excursion, it just didn't come up to the standards we had experienced on Carnival Cruise Ships. Ticketing and Flight connections from Gatwick to Nice with BA were very good although it wasn't possible to check in on line and seats were available on first come first served basis. The connection transfer to Genoa was excellent with well organised and efficient staff on hand at the airport. Disembarkation, return transfers/flights equally as good. Arrival at the port however was somewhat hectic as we joined other passengers in departures to go through the usual embarkation routines. Didn't feel things were as well organised as they could have been due to lack of communication/directives from greeting staff. Once on board welcome drinks and buffet lunch was provided. Although a beautiful ship with excellent cabin facilities, we were disappointed with the standard of food in the main formal dining room at night. Portions were small and the presentation poor. The overall menu was no different to that available in the self service buffet restaurant. There was an opportunity to go Mexican in a speciality restaurant or to up grade to a steak but both at an additional and expensive charge. There was a lack of finesse generally and we felt that those little extras we have experienced on other cruise ships was missing. We were very disappointed with the poor English communication throughout the cruise. The level of spoken English on board was poor from Guest Services/Deck Officers and "management" generally. The waiters, cabin boy and bar staff were far more fluent. Evening shows we went to were very good and Children's clubs seemed well attended and popular. We had decided to pre-book our excursions on line and although we got most of our initial preferences, we were advised that some were already fully booked some 3 weeks before the cruise. We choose alternatives only to find that our original excursion choices were still available once we were on board. However, once we had finalised our itinery everything went well without a hitch, buses always of a high quality. The English speaking guides were excellent and tours we choose full of the cultural information we had hoped for. We would not recommend much of this cruise's excursion itinery for disabled people due to the terrain encountered and not really suitable for children due to the cultural nature. Many of those children (under 12's) on our trips appeared bored and disinterested and indeed were often annoying. When at sea, we took advantage of the Spa facilities and signed up for a package of massage and spa treatments. Facilities and staff were excellent! Overall we enjoyed our first cruise around the Med and on reflection found it value for money. We still feel that MSC didn't quite come up to our expectations on this occasion but maybe we have been somewhat spoilt on previous ventures around the Caribbean with Carnival. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We found the service comparable to our last cruise with carnival. The decor had more bling, nobody can top that fabulous stairway. We did find it challenging adjusting to continental meals, although Western tastes were catered for it ... Read More
We found the service comparable to our last cruise with carnival. The decor had more bling, nobody can top that fabulous stairway. We did find it challenging adjusting to continental meals, although Western tastes were catered for it wasn’t up to par. Restaurant meals better than the crowded buffet. A regular comment from passengers was that the meals were not hot enough. The reason we wouldn’t choose an MSC cruise again is the embarkation and disembarkation process. On our last cruise we were directed to the on board processing area and were quickly taken to our cabin without being mugged by staff signing us up to extras, the last thing you need after a long journey. Disembarking was also swift and we were left to make our own way off by the given time and were given clear instructions on the disembarking process. The MSC method was more regimental, especially the disembarkation. A lot of passengers were angry at having to assemble at the theatre in designated areas, waiting an eternity to be called to travel the full length of the ship for disembarkation. We had no idea what the process involved when we assembled and were not told where to collect our cases or where the transfer buses were located. Even the staff herding us were unable to give adequate information. It was very disorganised and distressing. It made my wife unwell and was a horrible way to end the cruise. There were many good points about the cruise. Cabin staff always willing to ensure a high standard of cleanliness. Restaurant waiters obliging, but it was the disembarkation that will stick in our minds. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
This was our 3rd cruise with MSC, our first on the Fantasia. We had a wonderful time. We originally booked this cruise because of the ports we were going to be stopping in, with Israel being one of them. Because of the unrest in Israel, ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with MSC, our first on the Fantasia. We had a wonderful time. We originally booked this cruise because of the ports we were going to be stopping in, with Israel being one of them. Because of the unrest in Israel, MSC took that stop off the itinerary and replaced it with Malta, Izmir, and Sicily I believe. While we were disappointed that Israel had been taken off, we had a fabulous time none the less. The ship was beautifully decorated for the Christmas holiday. On Christmas Eve everyone gathered in the lobby on Deck 5 and sang Christmas carols, starting in English and then continuing on to other languages. It was a great event. The staff, especially in the Red Velvet Restaurant was top notch. We had great service every night. After the 1st night the host and hostess at the door knew who we were and never asked for our table number again. Our cabin was always clean and ready for our return at the end of the day. The staff on the entire ship was always friendly and helpful. Because this was our 3rd cruise with MSC we knew to stay clear of the buffet for breakfast and after excursions because it is next to impossible to find a place to sit and eat. We utilized the restaurant for breakfast each morning and had good service. Only one morning when we were pressed for time, they seemed to be very slow and we had to rush to eat our meal. The shows at night were just OK. They were not anything spectacular for sure. The one thing that we were really disappointed with is, on our 2nd cruise, we purchased a voucher for 10 euro to use on our next cruise. Basically for the 10 euro, you would save money on your next booking. The amount that you would save depended on the cabin type. We booked a balcony cabin so we should have gotten 200 euro/$200 on board credit. Well based on our booking we didn't qualify because we booked under one of their other "deals". Luckily we were only out the 10 euro and overall we ended up saving more than the 200 the voucher was good for. The reason for the disappointment was because the girl who is selling these vouchers had no idea how it worked. She had to contact MSC head quarters to get an answer on whether or not we qualified. Overall we had a great time and we would cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
My wife and I had sailed with MSC to the Carribean before and enjoyed the experience. That's why we chose to sail with MSC again. Unfortunately, this cruise was not up to our expectations. Our room was great and the maid was top ... Read More
My wife and I had sailed with MSC to the Carribean before and enjoyed the experience. That's why we chose to sail with MSC again. Unfortunately, this cruise was not up to our expectations. Our room was great and the maid was top notch. We could not have asked for better. While we had a great room at the stern of the ship with a balcony, the dining experience was not the greatest. our waiter at dinner was good. We felt the Management was the reason why the breakfast was so disorganized. The food was adequate but we felt the chef was trying to be too fancy. We have been on five cruises with different cruise lines and Fantacia was the worst for food. As far as the excursions were concerned, they took us to where we wanted to go. However, on one of the excursions in Turkey, we were required to go to a high end leather store with a fashion show. Following they tried to sell us very expensive leather jackets. If you go to Turkey you want to see the country, not buy leather goods that you could get at home. We are convinced the tour guide got a free jacket for taking us there. All in all by the time the cruise was finished, we were sick and tired of the food and just wanted to get home. we will go with another cruise line should we sail again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We were a party of five / 2 balcony cabins. This was our first time and we were very impressed by the ship, the crew simply everything was perfect. The highest standards are evident on this ship. Everything is so clean especially the ... Read More
We were a party of five / 2 balcony cabins. This was our first time and we were very impressed by the ship, the crew simply everything was perfect. The highest standards are evident on this ship. Everything is so clean especially the public areas. Housekeeping in the cabins was peerless. The menus at dinner had a good choice and non repetitive. If we had a quibble, it was that the food could be a little hotter. Portion size was perfect. Lunch we took in Zanzibar on Deck 14. There was plenty to choose from, Entertainment was excellent, especially in the Avantguard Theatre. In the Fabtasia lounge, some nights there was a World class soprano, accompanied by two violins and piano. Shore excursions are well thought out. We went went on one to the Acropolis and our Tour Guide on the coach was so knowledgeable, she really enhanced the experience of Athens for us. All in all a fantastic experience. It represented excellent value and the MSC Fantasia is to be highly recommended. Travellers Tip: If you can, present yourself for check in before the speciified time and beat the long queue, which is moved along by the very efficient check in crew.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We were a party of 8 (4 adults and 4 children, aged 9 -16). 6 of us were first time crusiers, and 2 have been on numerous cruises, including the Queen Mary, Royal Caribbean, and P&O. From their experience this cruise was as good as ... Read More
We were a party of 8 (4 adults and 4 children, aged 9 -16). 6 of us were first time crusiers, and 2 have been on numerous cruises, including the Queen Mary, Royal Caribbean, and P&O. From their experience this cruise was as good as their other cruises and even surpassed them in certain areas. We made our own travel arrangements so arrived at the ship earlier than the scheduled boarding time of 1200 hrs. This was not a problem as we joined the queue of fellow early arrivals to board. You leave suitcases to be checked in then proceed to check yourself in. Once cruise card is issued you're free to board ship. There are plenty of staff on hand to help, all simple and straightforward. If you arrive at the same time as 500 other people obviously you will have to queue longer. The buffet is open so a much welcome meal and a drink after a long journey is to be enjoyed. The ship itself is nothing short of beautiful, everywhere is spotlessly clean and gleaming. Our cablin was a balcony cabin on deck 10, once again spotless and kept that way throughout by the housekeeping staff. Cabin is spacious, even when the fold-up bed was down as there were 4 of us sharing. The food in the buffet and in your allocated restaurant for the evening meal was of a high standard. The buffet is huge with everything you could think of. At times it was very busy and difficult to find a seat, other times it was easy to find a seat. This was due to the time the ship was calling at port. The meal in the allocated restaurant provided 7 courses to choose from, your choice as to how many you wanted. Again plenty of choice, and always of a high standard. The service from our dedicated waiters for the week was impeccable. There are numerous bars on board all offering a variety of cocktails from the bar list and numerous beers, and spirits, with bars offering ice-creams and coffess also. Service in the bars on the whole was good and quick. Obviously, when it's busy service is slower, this is logical as the staff work longer hours and are always on the go. It is well worth purchasing the Allegrissmo Drinks Packages as these are excellent value. The shows in the theatre were of a good standard, and well worth going to see. The pools are amazing and spotless, with plenty of sunbeds to go round. Don't expect to get a jaccuzzi though, as people seem to spend their entire holiday in them. There are plenty of sports available to keep kids and adults busy, as well as the well equipped gym. Can't comment on the excursions offered, as we preferred to make our own way around when in port, this is easy to do. Don't be put off by the negative reviews, this is a superb cruise ship in every respect from the moment you board until the moment you disembark. Give it a try you will not be disappointed.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
For background information: we travelled as a family of four with teenage children, we are at heart P&O fans but have now also experienced nine other cruise lines in total. We found this MSC cruise to be great value for money; we chose ... Read More
For background information: we travelled as a family of four with teenage children, we are at heart P&O fans but have now also experienced nine other cruise lines in total. We found this MSC cruise to be great value for money; we chose it for the fantastic itinerary and the dates (October half term). The Fantasia is a superb modern ship and we had a lovely spacious balcony cabin on deck ten just forward of midships. The children did have to share the large and comfortable sofa bed but managed OK. The seas were very calm throughout and we had generally good weather given the time of year. Itinerary: To and from Venice. Bari Italy, Katakolon for Olympia Greece, Santorini, Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik. We booked our own flights with Jet2 and pre-booked a taxi transfer via ‘Resorthoppa’. We did our own thing in each port and never needed to use the ‘expensive’ MSC port shuttles. For us the highlight was Athens and we booked a private tour with PK Travel which we can all highly recommend. The ‘Velo’ bike tour in Bari was fun as well as good value. There are loads of transfers to Olympia being offered in Katakolon for 10euro return. Boarding in Venice was civilised and no worse than P&O at Southampton. We self disembarked at Venice. We hadn’t pre-booked this; we just decided that we were going to do it. We kept our cases and walked off after breakfast it was very fast and simple. At each port we found disembarkation and boarding to be fine, no real queues. The tendering was efficient at Santorini as they use large tenders provided by the island. The Ship It is big but we found it fine to navigate our way around. We didn’t use the lifts at all and the cabin position made this easy. There are lots of nice bars/venues. The ‘promenade deck’ is not as bad as we had expected and you could get some nice views from there between the life boats. The covered swimming pool was nice but the water was not really warm enough in our view. This was the biggest area for improvement from our children’s perspective. The aft pool and deck area was a great spot which became increasingly popular as the cruise went on. The Gym was good and often busy, most classes were charged for which is the norm these days. Entertainment Theatre shows each evening were excellent with brilliant acrobats and 3 lead singers who could really sing. They were a bit bizarre at times but at 45mins max they were something entertaining that was worth experiencing. There was a wide range of musical offering around the ship and on a port extensive cruise you don’t have time to be bored. Food: I thought fine, my wife was less pleased and said “Satisfactory for a week only”. At dinner in MDR you will always find something to eat. The pasta and risotto were always good; other choices a bit hit and miss. One white fish dish served with no veg just looked ultra bland and un-appetising served on a white plate. Colourful vegetables add colour as well as the nutriconal benefits of course! The puddings aren’t great, the tiramisu being inexcusably poor, the best choice was the gelato. We had two really nice MDR lunches that took no more than an hour and had a good quality menu choice Buffett: From my experience they are always packed at peak times on most mainstream cruise lines. We did not find our fellow passengers particularly bad mannered in the buffet, there are plenty who wander around like lost souls getting in the way on P&O. On the Fantasia the buffet is vast and you will find a table but might have to do at least a full circuit to find seating for more than two people. The choice is extensive; the carvery seemed popular with many. Pizza is great; children really loved this, fresh, thin base etc. A lot of the dishes are just luke-warm, this is a consistent complaint and MSC should address as it spoils a generally good wide-ranging buffet offer. Overall I would rate the food as 3 stars only on a four star ship. Drinks: MSC do it their way. In the MDR you do need to pay for water. The pre ordered 14 x 1 litre of water package at 26Euro will not break the bank. Drinks overall were UK hotel prices but a range of packages were available. We pre-ordered soft drink and beer packages online and using these vouchers proved good VFM. The bar menu is extensive and the ‘Allegrisomo’ packages are very popular. Service: George our cabin steward greeted us soon after embarkation and checked all was satisfactory with the cabin. He was hardworking efficient and friendly a great ambassador for MSC. We found the reception desk staff to polite and effective; we had no complaint to sort out though. In general you need to remember the number of languages of the passenger manifest. In our experience we found the staff try their best, nearly always with a good attitude, you might just have to point to your drink on the menu occasionally if they can’t understand your request. In the MDR we had a good team of waiters at dinner; they soon got used to our drink requests and had these waiting for us when we arrived. We had one bizarre experience at the ‘Express Lunch’ in the MDR. The waiter clearly didn’t have a clue what we wanted and had to get someone else to take our order. We then didn’t get the meal as described on the menu although others on a nearby table did. Overall it was just a funny experience and did not ‘ruin our cruise’! Conclusion: You need to accept that MSC is a bit different; no it’s not P&O and is not trying to be. The Fantasia is a large ship but is stylish, well equipped and very clean. Do your research before you go, don’t be surprised that you pay for water in the dining room, if it will spoil your cruise don’t go. We had a really good cruise, with an excellent itinerary and are happy to recommend MSC and will return if the itinerary and price suits. Life at sea/MSC is great, enjoy!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
From start to finish this cruise ran like a well oiled machine. Yes you have to queue to get on and off the ship, the buffet can be very busy and sometimes you have to wait a little while for a drink. Dining in the restaurants is a whole ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise ran like a well oiled machine. Yes you have to queue to get on and off the ship, the buffet can be very busy and sometimes you have to wait a little while for a drink. Dining in the restaurants is a whole different experience. The waiters are very friendly and attentive as they serve their tables. The entertainment is good or bad depending upon your personal taste. Lots of singing and dancing and lovely costumes, what more do you want to while away an hour in the evening? In my opinion the drinks package is a must as a bottle of water and a bottle of wine for two at dinner quickly soaked up half of what we had both paid for the package for the day. Cocktails at €6.90 each used up the rest! Go ahead and book, forget about the less than cheery reviews and remember, you can never please all of the people all of the time. :-) Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We booked with MSC Cruises and particularly the fantasia as it had an excellent itinerary and had no days at sea. We booked directly with MSC and had the allegrissimo drinks package. We booked a mid ship balcony cabin on the 10th floor. I ... Read More
We booked with MSC Cruises and particularly the fantasia as it had an excellent itinerary and had no days at sea. We booked directly with MSC and had the allegrissimo drinks package. We booked a mid ship balcony cabin on the 10th floor. I had to stop reading the reviews on Cruise Critic as they we're making me want to cancel the cruise altogether. After spending a week on the ship I honestly couldn't understand what people moan for considering this was nearly £1500 less than the equivalent Royal Caribbean cruise including the drinks package! We flew into Venice Marco Polo airport with British Airways and on arrival at the airport we had no transfers organised. Its extremely easy to get into Venice from the airport, hop on the ATVO coach to Piazzale Roma,across the street to the people mover which drops you right into the port. All for the princely sum of 11 euros return, so much cheaper than a water taxi! Embarkation was efficient but slow. We queued outside to have our luggage taken off us, we we're then sent to the check in area upstairs to receive our cruise cards. You are then given an embarkation card and have to wait for your number to be called before getting on the ship. They do sell drinks packages at check in, cheaper than buying it from the UK but you are whacked with a 15% service charge on every drink so it does work out cheaper buying it in the UK overall. The cabin was excellent, extremely clean and spacious with great furnishings. The bed was extremely comfortable but it was two large singles zipped together which is a little annoying. Huge wardrobe with plenty of storage space, free safe and a great shower. Loved having a balcony as well! Our cabin attendant was excellent, extra pillows and sheets we're brought when requested. We could hear the muffled sound of people upstairs and walking past the room but it didn't disturb our sleep. The ship was beautiful, amazing public areas and spotlessly clean. The ship is massive, we we're finding places we'd never been before 3 days into the cruise. Ask for a map of the ship from reception it came in very handy. Pool areas are amazing both indoors and outdoors. We never had any problems in getting sunbeds or space in the hot tubs. Everything was well maintained, they we're even repainting walls whilst we we're there. Announcements on the ship are kept to an absolute minimum, when they do play its barely audible from your cabin anyway so you don't get disturbed. Food was good in the main dining room, I could never not find anything to eat off the menu. Alot of previous reviews have said the pasta was underdone, you are on an Italian cruise line, its al dente! Waiter had our drinks ready on the table before we sat down, food was hot and served quickly. The buffet could be a bit of a scrum at times but there was plentiful choice, how you can't find something to eat would be beyond me with the vast expanse of buffet available. Food was reasonable quality, lots of cold meats/salads/burgers/curry etc. The freshly made pizza was excellent, one to try! The free juice drinks are just about palatable, they are like squash. If we wanted a seat we just walked to the very back where it was quieter. Entertainment was a little sparse during the day but most people get off the ship including us, we usually just sat around the pool having cocktails and reading a book. The shows on this ship are vegas quality, loads of acrobats, dancers, magic and singers. Some of the stunts that we're performed we're seriously impressive. There was always something going on at night, we usually found ourselves at the l'insolito lounge at the back of the ship as the band was very good. Service was sketchy, at the pool there is no point waiting for a waiter to come to you, we just went to the bar and got drinks from there, it didn't bother us as we are used to going to the bars to pick up our own drinks anyway and gave us an excuse to move from the sunbed. The bars I found to be better, we would often sit in the fantasia lounge before dinner and someone always came over straight away to take our drink orders so there was no need to get up, this was the case in many of the bars. I think the way some people talked to the service staff its no wonder why they wouldn't want to serve you again. We we're always extremely friendly and polite with the waiting staff and many would remember our drink orders. Passengers on the ship are from all over Europe, unfortunately many of them do not have any manners, they will cut in line etc. A few people tried to shove in front of me but a gentle prod and a few kind words usually gets them out of my way. Some of them can be LOUD but as we've travelled Europe extensively it doesn't bother us. There we're many Americans, Australians and British on the ship but we're in the minority. We did not book any excursions with MSC, they seemed very overpriced for what they offered. We visited Olympia and Athens using a separate tour company and its very easy to get around other ports using local transport. At Santorini you need to get a tender off the ship, if your not getting off in the first hour its docked you don't need a tender ticket, so we had a relaxing morning and avoided the scrum of passengers getting off. Maps of the area are provided at reception and every day you had a programme to let you know what was available at each port. Disembarkation was superb, cases we're collected in the night from outside the room and we we're given a coloured disembarkation card. We had breakfast, went to the theater once they called our colour and then we we're off the ship and cases collected within 10 minutes. Overall we had a brilliant holiday, we went on board with open minds after reading some of these horrendous reviews of the ship. Many of the unfavorable reviews are from people comparing Cunard to MSC, they are not exactly in the same price point are they? I think if you do the same you'd enjoy yourself. This is an italian cruise line with European passengers. If you don't like italian food being served and a diverse culture on board MSC is not for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I'll start by saying that the itinerary was great and was why I booked this cruise. We booked an MSC excursion from Bari to see the trullo houses in Alberobello and that was very enjoyable. I booked another company to take us to ... Read More
I'll start by saying that the itinerary was great and was why I booked this cruise. We booked an MSC excursion from Bari to see the trullo houses in Alberobello and that was very enjoyable. I booked another company to take us to Olympia from Katakolon which was cheaper and also provided a guide for the site. The other ports we did on our own using either local tours or public transport which worked out fine. No sea days was fine with us also. Embarkation was quite fast considering the amount of people boarding. Guests were supposed to vacate the cabins at 8 AM but since the ship was late in docking, 9PM, this meant many people had to hang around for a long time to leave the ship. We disembarked ourselves so had no problem getting off when we wanted to. Our cabin was large enough for the 2 of us, pleasingly decorated and comfortable. We had a larger than usual, odd shaped balcony as it was at the point were the ship widened out at the back. It was rather enclosed by a over hang from the deck above but since we were off the ship every day we didn't use it much anyway. Our big problem was with the food. As we are vegetarian the choices were very very limited but even for non vegetarians there was not much choice. We have sailed on other lines and they have far greater and more appetizing choices. The quality of the meals was so very poor and never arrived at the table hot. We gave up on the dining room as the options were limited for non meat eaters but the buffet was not much better. We wound up eating salad most nights from a very uninspiring salad bar. The few non meat options (vegetable lasagne etc.) looked like they had been sitting there for hours and were barely warm. Mushroom pizza were you were lucky to find more than 2 mushrooms on a slice. We met 2 other couples who were equally disappointed with the food. It surprises me that a great food loving nation can produce such disappointing cuisine. The shows were glitzy and sparkly and mostly worth watching. I just wish they had put that much effort into their dining experiences. Our cabin steward seemed very stressed and got quite upset when we dialled the housekeeping number to ask for the beds to be split or request a guest feedback form that hadn't been delivered to our room (which other guests had told us they had received it the night before). He wasn't always around so how else were we to organize these things? He did keep the room clean and tidy enough. For me it was all style over substance and I wouldn't sail MSC again.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Booking  I am gold member with MSC cruises. We decided to book a cruise in the mediterranean leaving from Venice and which would include some Greek ports. We found such a cruise with the MSC Fantasia. At the moment MSC was selling the ... Read More
Booking  I am gold member with MSC cruises. We decided to book a cruise in the mediterranean leaving from Venice and which would include some Greek ports. We found such a cruise with the MSC Fantasia. At the moment MSC was selling the cruise under a so called "48 hours special". The price was about US 150 per night per person without gratuities in the cheapest category that MSC has under its new system. This means Inside category Bella. To tell you the truth, we did not find this price to be a great deal, but since this was the time we had for cruising, and this was the price offered at the moment, we took it. The surprise came when we tried to have our Gold member discount taken into account. MSC refused to honor the 10% discount because apparently it did not apply to "special prices". This is the second time that we book a cruise with MSC in which they refuse to honour the loyalty discount for the same reason. We find this situation particularly strange since the prices we were paying were not really cheap, and since, it is only MSC that does not honour our loyalty benefits in a cruise line. With other cruise lines, it is not relevant at which price you book in order to receive your membership benefits. Since the membership discount is the most important benefit, and the coupons for next cruises are also not honoured for "special prices", this means that being loyal to MSC does not mean very much. This contradicts the creation of a membership club. MSC, what is the point to have a membership club if you are going to have such a restrictive policy on your most important perk? I am rating this as "poor" with one star. Embarcation in Venice There were no shuttle buses to transport passengers from the Port entrance to the ship. This was a long walk under the sun. Once at the ship, embarcation did not take long. Our luggage was delivered before the drill. A couple of days later we felt relieved that our luggage was delivered to us without a problem, because there was a print out circulating in which they were looking for missing lugage from other passengers. We consider that there are two areas of improvement for MSC concerning embarcation in Venice: one to provide a free shuttle bus service and another to have a better control of luggage being delivered to porters and further distribution, so that luggage does not go missing. My rate for embarkation is three stars. Ship The really value added from MSC are the beautiful ships. The MSC Fantasia is a very nice, well kept ship. The public areas are beautiful and it was a delight to be onboard this lovely ship. The ship receives from me five stars. Cabin We had cabin 9083. As I have mentioned before, this was an Inside Bella. The cabin was near to the elevators and next to a storage room, so it was not very quiet. We did not consider this cabin to be a good value for price. However it was very clean and well kept by our friendly and efficient cabin attendant from Bali. I would rate this aspect with three stars. Food We have enjoyed the food at the MSC Fantasia. This was the typical Italian style with some international options specially at the buffet at lunch time. We like very much Italian food and we have enjoyed mainly the fish and pastas. The desserts were, with the exception of the ice cream, not really to our taste. There was a shop where you could buy better quality Italian desserts an another one for real gelatto, but we did not use them. We bouth the classic wine package. It was fine for us, although the wines were not particularly something to remember. Overall, I would rate the food with four stars. Entertainment Entertainment was sometimes good and sometimes not. We have enjoyed the classical concerts. There were a trio of ladies, who have performed very well in the main lobby despite the indifference of many fellow passengers, who did not care to listen or to respect to others, who did want to listen. What we did not find very attractive is the role of the " activities team ". Sometimes we wondered if this group is really necessary on a ship. Nothing personally against the particular group at the Fantasia, who seemed to try to do the best they can. It is just, if you have cruised many times with MSC you know more or less their jokes and it becomes kind of boring. I guess animateurs are needed specially during the day because of the children on board, but we wonder if they are necessary on the evenings at the main theater. I would rate the entertainment with four stars. Itinerary The itinerary was very good: Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Pireus, Korfu, Santorini, Dubrovnik and back to Venice. We have enjoyed all ports of call. Each one of them so different and we are grateful, that we had the opportunity to get to know this diversity. We did our own sightseeing in most of the ports. Only in Pireus, we too a ship a excursion. The itinerary receives five stars. Service on Board Every body on board made a friendly and professional impression. We were very satisfied with our cabin attendant and with our waiters. Receptionists and excursion personnel were also friendly. There was very limited information on ports of call though. We can not comment on officers because we did not see them interacting with passengers. At this cruise I have realised for the first time, how important it is that MSC provides information in several languages. My travel companion only spoke Spanish. It was very good that she could receive information on that language and was able to communicate with the front desk whenever it was needed. No need for me to translate. I would rate the whole service on board with four stars. Experience on board There was a mixture of passengers at this itinerary. Many Asians, but mainly Europeans. As it is characteristic from MSC cruises, with its policy of "children travel for free", the ship was full of children. All running around and jumping on the pool without control. Even my travel companion, who lives in a society friendly to children and families, was annoyed by the lack of control of the children on the ship. It gabe the impression that nobody was in charge, no parents, no crew members calling the attention, no special areas only for children. Actually, apparently there is an area only for adults, but if you want to go there you have to pay extra. So it is the adults looking for peace and tranquility, the ones who are discriminated, because they are charged extra for something, which should be available free of charge with just some respect for others. So be aware, if you wish to have a relaxed vacation this is not the one for you. However the parents of those children seemed to have been enjoying it very much. We wonder if it should be this way. it is not possible to have a "family friendly" experience in which every body feels comfortable? Could the cruise line not exercise more supervision for the well being of all passengers? I would rate this with two stars. Post cruise At the moment I am writing this review, our cruise was almost three months ago. Despite my efforts, my points for this cruise have not been credited yet. I have contacted my travel agent a couple of times and she has passed my requests to MSC cruises. My travel agent tells me to be patient. I wonder how long is this patience necessary. Who is in charge? Why it is so difficult to credit the points after a cruise? Why does the Royal family is more efficient than MSC on this area? Summary In summary, altough the ship, the attentivenes of the crew, the itinerary and the food were for us enjoyable, there were other areas who have dimished our whole cruise experience. Do we like MSC? We do. Do we see areas of improvement? We do. Overall rate for this particular cruise experience is 3 stars.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Reviews seem all over the place on this one so I will do my best to alleviate some concern. You are on a ship with European passengers not American ones. You will hear Italian, German, French, and finally English. We met very few Americans ... Read More
Reviews seem all over the place on this one so I will do my best to alleviate some concern. You are on a ship with European passengers not American ones. You will hear Italian, German, French, and finally English. We met very few Americans so some of the bad review I think are cultural clashes. If you are some snobby American that only wants to be with Americans and don't realize that there are other cultures out there that does things differently then this is not the cruise for you. Now on to the review. We had a great time. Let's start with the good. Our cabin was spacious and well kept. Our housekeeper would make the bed in the morning and then make it again and turn it down in the afternoon. The room was kept spotless. She was available 24 hours a day by a simple phone call. She spoke English well enough for her to understand us in all of our exchanges. Toward our last day we opted for the 20 items for 20 euro laundry package and our closed came back cleaned and pressed. The service in the dining room was spectacular. Dinner was a 7 course meal and you would get to choose between two items for each course and three for the entree. Also there were items they always had like a cheese plate or fish for dinner. The waiters hustle. The 7 courses is very much a European thing but everything here is flexible. Want 5 courses then just pick those. One complaint I read was that the entree is small. By American standards it is. You need to get to know your server and start conversing with him. Call him by name. OMG this takes effort for the Americans. Your server needs to converse in about 4 languages so he might not be that great in English so work with him. After a short time for the entree I was having him bring double portions on the entree, or I would have him bring two entrees on the same plate. On night we had baked Alaska so I had him bring a second one because the first one was so good. I thought the waiters were amazing. The menus also have items marked "Chef's Choice" - I never had a bad meal if I picked that. There were clunkers - about 3 in 49 courses - if it is bad just don't eat it - you won't run out of food. On person complained that all the food was cold - not true - never had a cold meal it just didn't happen. If the person got a cold meal in the dinning room why didn't he send it back and get a hot one? Breakfast in the dinning room was the same - hot - high quality and you get as much as you want. Finally - MSC has heard you Americans - you get a liter of water for every dinner free. I thought the entertainment was very good. Maddy is the cruise director and has to repeat the intro in Italian, German, French, and English. The English part was superb. She is high energy and does a fantastic job. The acts were entertaining. They have to appeal to a wide range of audiences and they do. Most nights you have to get there early to get a seat. There was good acrobatics and singing. Most were in English. One was a little too loud (Tenor night). Some pretty cool - the tribute to Michael Jackson ended with the entire audience sing (in English no less) 'We Are The World". There was an acrobatic duo that balanced on top of the other head to head. Never saw that before. We arrived at the ports on time and disembarkation was fairly quick. We used the shuttle MSC provided to get into town. It was fast and efficient. In the two places that didn't have shuttles, Athens and Santoriti, there was public transportation. The shuttles are extra but are worth the price. We did not do any excursions and didn't feel cheated. You have to be quick about it but there is time to see quite a bit while in each port but you won't be able to see it all. We had a good time in each port of call. We thought Bari would be boring but even there we could find something interesting to do. The rest of the ports were fantastic. Now the bad. The buffet is almost always a madhouse. Sometimes it is difficult to find a seat. There is a wide selection of food. The food there is all over the map and that is why we preferred the dining rooms when possible. The fruit is excellent and fresh, there are usually carving stations which was usually pretty good, there is a limited supply of vegetables but usually always potatoes somewhere, the pastries were almost always dry, there is free coffee, fruit juices, water and milk for breakfast. For lunch the fruit juices are shut off. Most food though was generally hot. Most tables are in groups of 6 so you generally will have to join with someone. People don't know the meaning of a line and will sometime just cut in front of you - I think it is cultural. People will also not ask if they can sit at your table and just sit down - again I think it is cultural. It is best to avoid the buffet as much as possible. Eat breakfast and dinner in the dining hall and eat a late lunch snack when you get back from you port - this seemed to work best for us. This is not an all inclusive cruise where they have drink packages and such. But if you just drink water for dinner you can avoid all that. And of course there are other options in the buffet and at breakfast in the dining room. Eating in the dining room you will sit six to a table. Some might be uncomfortable but we sat with two New Zealanders and two Austrailians so had a jolly good time and even went with the New Zealanders to the shows at night. Also there is too much marketing going on which can get a little annoying. If you are American I can see where some of this might be out of your comfort zone. I thought we got a great value for our dollars and was able to interact with different cultures to boot. It was fun, interesting, and I gained four pounds.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Wasn't sure what to expect but turning up at the port with one suitcase lost in transit wasnt the best way to start...... The queue to just get upstairs to booking in were very long and it was very hot but once upstairs they seamed ... Read More
Wasn't sure what to expect but turning up at the port with one suitcase lost in transit wasnt the best way to start...... The queue to just get upstairs to booking in were very long and it was very hot but once upstairs they seamed to move things along and then we were onboard. The ship was amazing and we were upgraded to a balcony cabin which pleased us both very much. Everything was very clean and tidy and all the staff were very hard working and nothing was too much trouble for them. Having to go for towels each day with your card was a bit of a pain and the rule that you cant reserve sunbeds or staff will remove just DID NOT HAPPEN... Lots of kids on board which is ok but then late at night when you go into the disco's or to karaoke you don't want the kids there so we didn't bother. We were on second sitting for dinner which at 9pm was too late as we weren't finishing till 11.30pm. The buffet on deck 14 was a bit like a bun fight at all times and to see so much wasted food by people pileing their plates high then leaving it was not good to see. The most annoying thing were the excursions but i will write about those later but dont use the shuttle buses especially in dubrovnik and corfu. Dubrovnik share a cab 10 euro into town and walk back where they charge 8 Euro each return. and Corfu walk to dock entrance and catch local bus 1.50 each instead of 8 euro return Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We had only cruised once before and it was awful it put us off doing another one. We saw this all inclusive cruise with a balcony at a good price and to destinations that we had not been to and we are so glad we went, it was fab. ... Read More
We had only cruised once before and it was awful it put us off doing another one. We saw this all inclusive cruise with a balcony at a good price and to destinations that we had not been to and we are so glad we went, it was fab. The ship is huge but we never felt that there were 3500 + people on the ship there was always places that were not crowded. It's really a beautiful ship with fantastic décor. The food was excellent always plenty of it at any time of the day and in very nice restaurants. Top deck for adults only, was worth paying for, very peaceful with a nice jacquzi and plenty of free sunbeds. Sailing from and back to Venice with a birds eye view is a wonderful experience. We cruised to Bari, Katacolon, Santorini, Pireaus for Athens, Corfu town and Dubrovnik. All fabulous places with plenty to see and do. We loved our cruise and would be happy to do another one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I was a first time cruiser from the USA that lives in Spain. I will start off by stating that overall, this cruise and MSC exceeded my expectations. However, I did a lot of research before I booked, as I do with anything. Now, it is ... Read More
I was a first time cruiser from the USA that lives in Spain. I will start off by stating that overall, this cruise and MSC exceeded my expectations. However, I did a lot of research before I booked, as I do with anything. Now, it is importantly to realize that everyone is different, and with a ship this size that is catering to 3900+ passengers, you can’t realistically expect that you won’t find yourself in a situation where you get a little miffed at something or someone. I read reviews about how the food was awful and cold, and that service was horrible, and that there are kids running amuck everywhere. I have come to the conclusion that those people are blockheads. There are people who walk amongst others, that don’t take the time beforehand to figure out what it is they are getting into, much less know how to work around an unpleasant situation to make the best of it. They are probably also people who don’t like being out of their comfort zone or have never experienced different cultures. You need to know that many different cultures of people cruise this route. You will find very polite and queue (line) respecting Australians and British. And you will also find all for one, cut in front, didn’t see you there or care much less Spanish and Italians. These are cultures and ways of life. So this is what you will run in to. I have lived in southern Spain for over a year now, after having been raised in the Midwest of the USA, where being helpful, polite and respectful is a way of life. I had already been conditioned to the stepping in front of you thing from Spain, and therefore it didn’t bother me. However, if you find extremely large crowds, quarters full of people moving about, and line cutting or going in front of you to catch the elevator might ruin your day, then don’t take this cruise. Just find something else with much less people that will agree with you. Restaurants. The food in the dining rooms (table service) for breakfast and lunch are very good. The speed of service is reasonably timed; however it’s a little overkill on the offering of bread. Most people would prefer to be offered beverage service 5 times per meal instead of breads and croissants. But eventually you will be able to make your beverage order. Again, the food is very good, but the comfort of seating isn’t very relaxing. The food in the dining room for dinner is fantastic. The service is very slow and it is very loud in the dining room. However, if you take a look at the number of people being served, and the number of service personnel that are using the system MSC wants them to use, it is quite acceptable. I read reviews that stated the food was horrible and cold. The food just isn’t going to arrive piping hot when they are trying to serve a thousand. And I think people who haven’t experienced many different cultures will be turned off by unfamiliar tastes. You get about 6 courses for dinner at the restaurant and the seating is comfortable. The buffet on deck 14 is a bit of a madhouse free-for-all. If you do go to the buffet, take the time to walk the entire oval shape of serving lines first. This will let you know where there are plenty of seats, and what you will find at the ethnic food corner. I read reviews where there wasn’t a place to sit. Again, pure numbskulls who don’t take the time to explore their options. They think they should be able to walk into very good quality for the masses cruise line, and have everything fall into their lap. Most of the time there are plenty of open seats at the back of the buffet restaurant, where it is much quieter. Allegrissimo Premium Package. I saved about 60 euro ($82). Both my wife and I would have some of the 4 euro coffees a few times a day, and my daughter would have the milkshakes as well. I also enjoy Scottish Whisky, so at 7-10 euro per shot, that adds up considerably. Even the 21 year portwood Balvenie was included. When you add in the tropical drinks during the day if you’re at the pools, the wine per glass for lunch or dinner, sodas and other beverages, then it starts to become of value. But that was buying for us only since we didn’t go with any friends or buy any drinks for other people. If you feel the urge to buy other people drinks, then you will definitely save a lot of money with the premium package. Plus, I took advantage of room service, the coffee/cappuccino bar, the dessert bar, the spa bar, the mini bar, and beverages at meals. It’s a pretty weak mini bar of about 6 different sodas, 3 cheap liquors, 2 fruit drinks, and some peanuts and Pringles for snacks. The room service food was pretty good, but the amount available on the menu was lacking. Also, the dessert station is very good. There are about 12-16 flavors of gelato and some very good cakes, pralines, macaroons, and other tiny sweets at the dessert bar. Just as advertised in the package, it included all items here, so I literally took home a bunch of pralines. The smoothie concoctions at the Spa bar are pretty good. They are available with or without the sugary syrup that enhances the flavor. Without it, the drinks literally taste like liquefied fruits and vegetables. The coffee bar has 4 interesting coffee concoctions (with or without liqueurs), along with regular coffee and cappuccino. And there is a gelato station on the pool deck with the 12 or so flavors. Bars. When it’s busy, the service is very slow, except in the cigar bar where most people won’t go due to smokers. There just aren’t enough service personnel to match the number of passengers in both the bars and the restaurants. However, if you do it right, then you can stay satisfied. You can order a drink and take it anywhere except to the theater. So, if you’re going to have an alcoholic beverage, go get one at the bar and then take it back to your room while you are getting ready. That way when you show up to slow service, at least you’ve already started. Most of the cocktails I ordered were pretty good. Also, there are entertainers throughout the ship and in most large bars and lounges. Some are not very good, and some are okay. They do help a little with the ambiance, especially around the main lounge. Back to the cigar bar; they have some Domincan, some Cuban, and some Italian cigars to choose from. I was surprised that the Italian cigars were that good and they were the cheapest. Pools and hot tubs. There are plenty of children on this ship, and they are in full force at the pools. If you were a kid, isn’t this where you’d be? So if you are thinking you are going to soak up the sun in peace and quite, take a dip in a hot tub solo, and have a drink delivered to your lounger, then this isn’t the place. Find an all inclusive resort somewhere else that has a reputation for no children. There is an adult’s only deck, but it is located very close to the kid’s water slide. No Einstein award for that one. Evening shows. They are very good, but also a bit random. From acrobatic maneuvers, to singing to dancing all mixed into a show. My opinions consider the fact that it is part of the cruise package, and not a high priced ticket I paid for independently. So, the talent for this value was better than I expected. Although we only went to 4 of the 7 shows, I only felt that 1of them was not worth sitting through. The Pirate show was best, followed by the Michael Jackson tribute because I am an American. I noticed the older Europeans were none too impressed with that show. The Michael impersonator didn’t have the flair that Michael did, but my wife explained to me that if he tried to do that with the wig he was wearing, it wouldn’t stay on very long. Also, Michael grabs his crotch a lot, much like the original Michael, so if you don’t want your kids to see that, then don’t take them. Ports and excursions. I didn’t get off the ship for Bari or Dubrovnik. We were pier side for all ports except Santorini and Dubrovnik. I had excursions booked for English, which meant English along with another language such as Italian or Spanish, or both. Meaning the guide would talk in one language and then the other, much like the announcements on the ship. I like excursions because all I have to do is show up on time and they take me where I want to go on an air conditioned bus, and they get me back to ship. The ship won’t leave while an excursion is still out. Yes, you might experience a crying and bored 3 year old on the coach. For the people that just want to set foot on the soil to say they have been there, then there are usually the little portside shops and restaurants. For me, that is no way to experience a city. You would only be experiencing a port. And when the ship is at anchor, rather than pier side, a tender boat fare to get you ashore will cost you around 10-12 euro roundtrip. If you take a cab then you won’t have a great view as you are driven around, and there won’t be any explanation of the history or culture. And then you’ll also wind up paying close to what an excursion would have cost anyways. You are only in port for 4-7 hours depending on where you stop. Problems and customer service. I experienced a carpet soaked cabin room upon my return from before dinner drinks on the second evening. This was due to driving the ship into a heavy storm and a balcony drain that was blocked from being painted over. The storm was severe enough that the water level rose so high so quickly, that it seeped in through the door jam at the bottom. The customer service I received to mitigate the problem was satisfactory. The Chief Housekeeper visited my room and asked me if I wanted a different room. I would have accepted, however they didn’t have another cabin like 11010 that was available. Having personally dealt with situations like this, I mentioned it should be fine if they use a wetvac to suck up the water and then leave the doors open to help ventilate. So we left for dinner and didn’t return for 6 hours or so. Unfortunately they didn’t have a wetvac, but rather a carpet steam cleaner on wheels that couldn’t suck up the water like a wetvac would have. Over the next few days the odor became close to unbearable. However, they were already booked full, so we had no choice but to stay in our room. By the last 2 days, the odor was gone, and the carpet was dry. Also, the reviews that mentioned trouble having charges removed at customer service are true. I spoke to someone about removing a few charges that shouldn’t have been on my bill and they said they would speak to the person who can remove it and then it would be taken care of. But my last night’s bill included those extra charges, so the next morning before leaving the ship I had to go down to customer service and speak to them again. They were eventually removed, but the conditioned attitude from the personnel at the customer service desk is to say why they can’t until you keep pressing for your request. However, anywhere else you go on the ship, they do not like to say no to your requests and will do their best to accommodate you!! Cabins. I am very particular, so I knew that if I didn’t have a room with plenty of space and a fantastic view, then I wouldn’t have been comfortable. So I chose cabin 11010 (Aurea Balcony Suite) and would recommend if you are booking for that class of cabin, choose a cruise date where you will get either 11010 or 11009. I could literally lie on my bed, and look out 2 huge panoramic windows and see wherever we were. It was more relaxing to look at the views of a port with my head on my pillow, than from the pool deck. Also, the balcony for this cabin wraps around to the end of the first panoramic window to where there is an access door for the rest of the balcony. It was left open when I arrived and I didn’t want to upset the folks with the panoramic view windows without balcony access, so I didn’t walk in from of their windows. I would have guessed the cabin suite to be about 450 square feet with 100 square feet of accessible curved balcony. I could see from the back of my side of the ship to about the 10 o’clock position when walking the entire balcony, so about a 240 degree view. However, it is very windy when sailing above 10 or so knots. Plus the location of the cabin is far away from where you would find kids doing any nighttime tomfoolery, and there is no one above your bed. The bath room had a tub with a shower nozzle. I am 5’11 and I had to duck a good bit to wet my hair. Your cabin steward will visit you twice each day, and will restock all towels, clean the entire cabin, make up the bed, and restock the mini bar on each visit. Spa!!! If you pre-booked massages online, hopefully you can cancel before your cruise so you can save 30% on 6 massages plus cruise access to the spa or 20% on 4 massages with 4 spa visits. A spa visit could also be a visit to the adult only solarium on deck 18 rather than a visit to the saunas or steam rooms. That is the offer as you are checking in pier side at their building and the next day. And if you wait until the Athens port day, then the reflexology massage will be 50% off. On the last day, all massages are 50% off. And there are plenty of appointments available. Now, the massages themselves are not that great. I have enjoyed massages for over 20 years, and so I think I have had enough to provide an accurate rating. I give them a 5 out of a 10. Oh, and if you have seen a picture of a hot tub in the Spa, then that is on some other ship. The Spa manager confirmed this when I asked where it was. The FANTASIA only has 2 steam baths (Turkish baths), 5 or so saunas, a yoga room, and a relaxation room where you might get some sun through the glass windows if the ship is sailing in the right direction. The gym is really nice. The weights and equipment are Technogym. If I were to ever buy weight equipment again, it would be Technogym. And you can run or walk on the treadmills and have a fantastic view beyond the front of the ship. Photographers. There are several photographers trying to earn a living onboard, so they are a bit aggressive. I’m sure they have to be to make a decent living. They will be all over deck 7 around 6-10pm, and they will visit you at your dinner table for gala night. Also, it is quite entertaining to watch the photographer who cuckoos at people to get their attention so that they won’t photo bomb his shots of other people. Then he will also do a hedgehog noise as he is shooting the photo. Just find a spot where the crystal staircases are and sit down to enjoy a few drinks and you might see him. Other. I didn’t buy the wifi service, but my daughter used the internet café for 10 minutes of internet time for 26 euro. She was not impressed with the value. The whole thing where people put their bags in the passage way the last night did lead to seeing some people in their underwear. But if you are going to see people in their swimwear, what’s the difference? Smoking is allowed in the Casino and the Cigar bar and you can smell it if you walk through the casino or get near the doors of the cigar bar. People will also smoke on their balcony on the last morning as they are less worried about being kicked off of the ship since it is arriving for their disembarkation. It was so strong it woke me up before my alarm did. Places I didn’t visit: Sport’s Bar, El sombrero TexMex Restaurant, Le Etoille French Restaurant, the 4D cinema, the Virtual World, the Cyber library, Toscana Wine Bar. Embarkation. You will get in line outside of the building adjacent to the ship and turnover any baggage you would like delivered to your room. After that they direct you up to the next level for check-in. This is the only point where I was a bit of a jerk. When you’re dealing with masses of people together in groups, it’s hard to determine what is going on, and sometimes it’s just the group trying to figure out what they need to do. So I literally walked around the line where everyone was forming to have their picture taken. MSC is directing everyone to a line for that picture so they can sell it to them later. I went to the priority check-in line because I booked what used to be known as the Aurea Balcony Suite, and they had signs that still stated Aurea Suite. I don’t think MSC has updated their signs to reflect the new deck plan. There I was given my cruise card, which is the room key, charge card, and boarding pass all in one that you will use throughout the ship, anywhere you go. Then I was directed to another line that was forming, and saw another sign that had priority boarding on it with no one standing in line there. So I walked up to the entry point and a representative asked me for my priority boarding pass. I told him the lady at the Aurea Suite desk didn’t give me one. He gave the look that I should have had one, but then he let me pass. Again, they don’t like to say no on this ship. After that you just walk through the gangway (jet bridge) to the brow, and walk on board. You can then go wherever you want where most things are open. The buffet will be open, and even the dining room will be open until 2pm. Some bars are open at that time, and you room will be ready too. The time for boarding on my ticket voucher stated 13:00 (1 pm). However, they were boarding as early as 10:30am, but just didn’t send me an email to inform me. The German couple I spoke with in Venice as we were headed to the port told me there was early boarding for their cruise as well. Disembarkation. If you have an early flight, then show the personnel at the customer service desk your booking to verify your flight time, and they will give you the bag tags for an early departure (08:35 walking off the ship). Finding my bag was very easy since they group all luggage according to the bag tag color and place it in a building just off of the gangway. Just outside the building are taxis. A taxi fare to Marco Polo Airport is a flat 45 euro ($61) and is a 25 minute ride. Warning: the departure procedure at Marco Polo airport is ridiculous. They will check in 2-3 airlines with the same departing flight time at counters that are 3-4 side by side. There is no counter for Iberia only or counter for American Airlines only. They combine the airliners for check-in at several counters which you will stand in one line to approach. Then you will go through the security check point, which took 20 minutes. Then at the gate, they will board 2 planes at the same time. Another 15 minutes of standing in line. Summary. If you are taking this cruise, you are signing up for maximum value and service for the money spent. The FANTASIA is beautiful, and even though it is starting to show very subtle signs of wear, most people won’t recognize it. I found this cruise to be well worth the money we spent. I would choose MSC again, but only after I experience another cruise liner before doing so.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I too have a number of cruises under my belt and I'm wondering if I ve been on the same ship as some of these reviewers, This is a great looking ship that is very well maintained, with some great public areas. The cabins are very ... Read More
I too have a number of cruises under my belt and I'm wondering if I ve been on the same ship as some of these reviewers, This is a great looking ship that is very well maintained, with some great public areas. The cabins are very roomy, clean and of a high stndard, bathrooms in particular, the balconies are very private (earlier this year I was on a Princess ship where this was not the case) The food is fine, no worse or better than other cruise Ive been on. Staff were vey attentive in the dinning room and noticed if a plate of food was being left and very, very quickly offered to bring something else. The dinning rooms are cramped and the buffet is indeed a bun fight; however, in my experience all buffets' are some what of a nightmare. The expereince in the buffet can be minimised by taking breakfast in the dinning room I ve never been on a cruise where the staff had Engish as a first language; on the whole staff we're pleasent; some more than others. I too chose this cruise for the itinerary, and luckily we had no problems with any of the ports. Didn't notice any more selling than any other cruise. Pool areas are disappointing too small for the number of passengers and here's the rub there are too many passengers, however, if you move away from the pool areas you will find sun beds free and it didnt spoil the cruise for us. If you've booked this ship please don't worry you will have a great time. Travelled with husband and our two daughters in their early twnties. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I am now back from my Msc Fantasia cruise to the Eastern Med in May & am happy to file this review.. Would I book with MSC again - yes. I did have some initial concerns before booking after reading several reviews but these were ... Read More
I am now back from my Msc Fantasia cruise to the Eastern Med in May & am happy to file this review.. Would I book with MSC again - yes. I did have some initial concerns before booking after reading several reviews but these were unfounded. I can confess I am not a cruise snob & I'm not the sort to look for things to complain about.. My only real negative is the smoking in the casino filtered up to the bar above. I felt sorry for the girl trying to sing as she was struggling & had to stop & have water. It's designed also so you pretty much need to walk through the casino to get to the show lounge. - I just held my breath as I walked through. The ship is very beautiful & clean & the bed was super comfy( important to me!!) yes it's a big ship & the pool areas & sunlounges do get busy which is where I was glad to have a balcony in our cabin on occasions. But having said that there were times where you woud think ... Where is everybody. Again, I was worried I would have a neighbour smoking in the cabin next door but we were lucky. They say no smoking on the balcony but not in the room. So it's the luck of the drawer if the person in the cabin before you has been smoking. The shows had good singers although the sets didn't vary & it was here that we noticed the language differences as the announcements had to be done in lots of languages. & also because of the different languages the show variety was a bit limited ie no comedians or anything that required dialogue, although the songs are in English. We enjoyed our dining on the ship, mainly having a buffet for lunch if we were on the ship & dinner in the main sit down dining room. I would advise though that late sitting is exactly that... Late! It was 9pm sitting so made for quite a late meal every night. We had been told by msc to our travel agent that it was going to be 8.30 pm which would have been much better. We were sat with other Aussies & enjoyed their company for the week but there is no swapping around times or tables in the main dining room if you had met other people you wished to join. The food was always very nice & a pretty good variety in both the buffet & the main dining. The staff of course are excellent. Very obliging & friendly. A couple of mornings we chose the option of having complimentary continental room service for breakfast which was basic but nice to sit on the balcony & eat before rushing off for a busy day of sightseeing. The drinks package we had decided to take (agrissimo ? Package ) ended up good value for us. It included cocktails, a couple of different wines, beer, spirits incl sambuca that we had each night after dinner, coffee & gelato. So, if you like a cocktail or 2 each day, some wine with dinner, a spirit maybe after & coffee it is worthwhile. If you only like 1 glass wine with dinner & a coffee or 2 through the day - I wouldn't bother. You do pay Tax on your drinks on board though & by pre booking the package before leaving Sydney, we didn't have tax added onto this package when we paid the bill on the ship at the end. Shore excursions- booked through the ship. Very well organised & I consider reasonable value for the ones we did.- Bari- Alberobello to see the trulli houses & charming village ( too far to travel independently & to risk not getting back in time) Santorini- the variety of places visited & quick to get off the ship on a tender made this worthwhile ( for a 1st visit here I think this is a good way to go. Next time I know what's what & may do own thing) it's devine!!! Corfu - Panoramic sights across to Palaiokastritsa bay where we had the opportunity for about 10 euro extra to go with a local in his boat for a ride around the bay & visit to little grottos- oh the colour of the water!! Again too far to go independently & a real highlight!! The other ports... Katakolon, Athens & Dubrovnik we did separately. Embarkation was slightly delayed due to the ship arriving back later, disembarkation was very quick. Our allocated time was an issue initially due to connecting flights but we were quickly down to the pursers desk to explain & this was rectified. Overall the staff were obliging especially the wonderful cabin attendants. Probably my only real negative other than a couple little things mentioned above was the short time in port at Dubrovnik. We were aware of this when we booked & it was the reason we were considering other cruise companies, however, none fitted into our schedule. I truly would have preferred to pay an extra $100 head to have a full day here in port. I'm sure it's kept to a minimum time due to port costs but it is so so beautiful it just wasn't enough time. It's about a 15min cab ride to near the old walls from where the ship docks & so by time you get there then get back its even shorter. We then cruised back to Venice at a snails pace. So if its a destination that you really want to see well - it really is just a taste ... I know I want to go back!!!! Oh by the way our cabin no we had was 11201 which I would recommend. No noises, no tender boats blocking the view, good location to get to things & it was about 3 back from where the ship comes out on the side so it seemed a bit protected from the wind on our balcony( like it had a wind barrier) - this did impede the view to look forward towards the front of the ship but I don't think this was a problem. The balcony door can be pushed across wide to stay open which was pleasant & the seas for us were so calm that you forgot you were on a ship. I would do another MSC cruise without hesitation & the eastern Med is gorgeous!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
MSC Fantasia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.5

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