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8 MSC Cruises MSC Fantasia Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Middle East

This was our first cruise with MSC after 6 with Thomson’s. We cruised from Abu Dhabi on the 19/03/2017 for 7 nights. On arrival at ship we were informed that itinerary had been changed. We had a Balcony cabin and up-graded to a Premium ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC after 6 with Thomson’s. We cruised from Abu Dhabi on the 19/03/2017 for 7 nights. On arrival at ship we were informed that itinerary had been changed. We had a Balcony cabin and up-graded to a Premium drinks package. The ship was full with the majority of the clients not English. Notes are as follows: - 1 - Embarkation = OK. Arrived at Ship at 08:30 and got into cabin at 12:30. 2 - Cabin = OK. On first getting cabin it was adequate and clean. There was an adjoining door to next doors cabin Steward attended every day but carpet was never vacuumed for full week. We did have two occasions where drinking glasses (not ours) appeared in our bathroom and balcony door left open. 3 - Day at sea = Like a zoo. Too many people and too few sunbeds led to physical confrontation that we saw on two occasions. Trying to get served at a bar or obtain a waiter was impossible. Best service we got was when it rained and there was only a few sitting at the outside bar. 4 - Restaurant = Very poor. On late sitting. Only got offered water on first night. Never managed more than two drinks. No topping up of glasses. Took 2 hours from start to finish. Got a bread bun on 3 of the 7 nights. Food when arrived was adequate at best. 5 - Excursion desk = Very poor. Tried to get a bus transfer ticket at Bahrain. Queued for over half an hour before giving up, as hundreds of people (No exaggeration) in queue. 6 - Panoramic Doha - What a waste of 5 hours of our lives. Guide was very poor with no explanation of where we went. Dumped off the coach at three separate occasions and spent over half the time sitting in traffic jams. l has loads of other examples including not getting to sir bani yas island due to adverse weather leading to another zoo-like day at sea, and poor all round service but the main two issues we had were: - 1 - Amount of money went missing from inside safe. Dirhams and Pounds totalling around £290 were discovered to be missing from safe. We reported this confidentiality to reception which resulted in a security guard checking our room to see if we or someone had hidden the money. Eventually after prompting the reception staff on numerous occasions all we got out of them was it has never happened before and that we must have been mistaken on how much we put into the safe. I can assure anyone reading this review that we are careful and honest people and can 100% say that the money was taken from the safe. Please see comments on cabin on door left open etc. 2 - At around 23:00 on the last night there was an announcement that the Ship would not be sailing from Dubai for Abu Dhabi meaning that passengers disembarking would have to travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi by coach which resulted in having to get off ship earlier than originally required. When we left the Ship, we were put us on a coach that we thought was taking us to Abu Dhabi. No, it took us to the next cruise terminal where we got off. There were no MSC reps there and no-one could speak English. Eventually after around 30 mins and a lot of irate passengers a rickety old bus arrived and took us on a 2-hour drive to Abu Dhabi airport where we were dropped off at the wrong terminal - A total shambles. We are taking forward our complaints with MSC but not expecting much response. It is such a shame as the facilities were superb but let down by customer service from 95% of staff. Give me the Thomson Sprit any time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Customer Service: Very Bad Customer Service, if you book Cruise ticket third party, MSC doesn't responding correctly/. Customer service people don't have knowledge regarding third party sellers (ex: Seascanner). They ... Read More
Customer Service: Very Bad Customer Service, if you book Cruise ticket third party, MSC doesn't responding correctly/. Customer service people don't have knowledge regarding third party sellers (ex: Seascanner). They don't accept Third party sellers mail proofs, they say only MSC emails, and don't know third party sellers. but they received the ticket money! Dining: Buffet is very good, the 6-floor setting is not good, very few menu items. Ship: extremely very good, Service: Room Service is Excellent, Room cleaning and change of towels are very timely. Food service: food service is too good, Buffet is many items and service people is very polite, I never feel bad, they provided very good food and hot. Fruits and sweets are excellent. Complimentary food is very good. Entertainment: I never bored, always something special, shows and entertainment programs Port and Shore excursions: parking places at the port are very handy, easily can go to the city. excursions are very expensive, I never used them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. ... Read More
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. Once I had a ship sailing from Penang, Malaysia to Madras India in the year 1971 or so by S S Rejula a passenger ship between Madras and Penang. I was lucky enough to sail by this ship's last passenger journey I had been giving some briefing to my wife and children regarding ship sailing etc. But this was something too beyond my thought. Of course I had seen these kind of cruise ship in Dubai, Cochin, Seattle, USA. from outside and far away. What should I say a five star hotel floating on the ocean with all facility a top star hotel can provide without any mistake any way. My profession was in the hospitality Industry and I know well how and what it means to organize and run a star hotel while working as General Manager both in mainland and in beach resorts. Frankly like to say I was looking for some mistakes or to know will it go wrong somewhere. But to my surprise from embarkation till disembarkation so smooth like sailing. Our bags taken care from the beginning as soon as we arrived at the port and the same reached our cabin without any mistake. same thing happened while the end of the cruise. We thought of running away the first day itself by seeing the choice of food on the buffet counter and as well as at the fine dining restaurant. Deck 14 everywhere food, food, food, and food with soup, salad, fruit cut, desert, tea, coffee apart from the main dishes. and the dish served on the restaurant the quantity was too high for we don't take that much. Just because we are Indians love to have spicy food an Indian style but that was lacking. but we can understand Swimming pools everywhere you find unfortunately we don't swim. but enjoyed because others are enjoying a lot in the pool hence we too enjoyed. Spirit Bar here bar, there bar, everywhere bar. Here too we don't drink at all. but still we enjoyed when others are enjoying it a lot. Casino we went through that cabin some were playing may be they were lucky to have some fortune or some may have lost their earning. still this is also a part of the game. Theatre had some marvelous acts and action sound and lighting smart enough and on timing. Well treated for our mind and eye a colorful evenings we enjoyed sitting at the end of the ship where it leaves a spectacles mark on the deep sea where ever MSC Fantasia sails. We also enjoyed sitting and standing at the top of the deck while sailing in the deep sea as well as when it anchors at different harbors. No space is left out without having a touch of their own trade mark of their own style of decorating everywhere with some kind of artistic design and decor on every deck wall roof floor and the same inside the cabin too. Nobody can miss anything all well informed the previous night itself with printed news letter ready for the next day MSC Fantasia you are Fantastic Keep going Thanks Rev. Dr. Antony Walto Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Review MSC Fantasia Dubai/Abu Dhabi etc..... We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 13 and it was one of the better cabins in terms of design compared to P&O, Carnival etc. The bathroom had no shaving mirror but hey! Breakfast ... Read More
Review MSC Fantasia Dubai/Abu Dhabi etc..... We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 13 and it was one of the better cabins in terms of design compared to P&O, Carnival etc. The bathroom had no shaving mirror but hey! Breakfast buffet on deck 14 was the same every day but offered good choices. The only omission was that there was no mushrooms and to make toast you had to queue to use one of those very old and tatty dreadful toast conveyer belts machines (absolutely rubbish). Lunch also offered a wide variety of food and you could have lunch in the Red Velvet restaurant if you so fancied. The buffet on deck 14 could be manic with people of certain nationalities pushing and shoving as if the food was going to run out! There was a distinct lack of patience and manners and it did feel awkward sometimes with passengers reaching over you to scoop up food. On sea days the top sun decks became incredibly overcrowded as everyone was on board at once. It was almost impossible to walk the decks such was the mess of sun loungers with those dreadful orange towels packed tightly together. I'm sure this is a serious health and safety risk because if there was an emergency there would be no escape. The theatre entertainment was the best I have witnessed on any ship and was incredibly varied. All the shows had a bit of risqué which added to the spectacle and each one of the shows was highly entertaining in their own way without dragging on too long. The evening music and entertainment in the lounges was again magnificent and top class. Too often evenings on cruises are a bore fest but not with MSC. The thought that went into each part of entertainment was amazing and there was a wonderful atmosphere around the entire ship up until the early hours. The tours on this particular cruise were good value. The cabin boys and staff in general were graceful and well mannered although the reception staff could be very inpatient and seemed to be set at the default state of "the customer is always wrong" The drinks packages are good value especially if you upgrade your package from say 'Cheers' to the top package on embarkment. The internet is a waste of money and I repeat a waste of money! Even the top plan is very very slow and the data allowance is rigged. Most smartphones have apps running in the background and even if you know this and switch them off you still end up using €35 just loading 2 Google pages. I can not stress how poor the internet is and how quickly you lose the data allowance even if you 'log off'. When your data runs low (which is very often) you are offered a further 'Top-Up' which gets eaten up in 2 emails. The worst thing is when the ship resets its internet and your allowance (which can be €35) is simply wiped off! then you are directed to reception who immediately assume you have used your data up in the way intended and talk to you like you have no knowledge of the internet and how it works. They will never believe you are in fact right EVER and they waffle on about data allowance etc until you get fed up and leave. So you have been warned! Don't be tempted to use the internet allowance plans! All in all a very beautiful ship which comes at a great price with amazing itineraries. Happy sailing!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
First review and first cruise. We have just returned from the Abu Dhabi cruise 5th – 13th February on the MSC Fantasia. The cruise was not without fault but overall was a fantastic experience. We booked this back in June 2016 and if ... Read More
First review and first cruise. We have just returned from the Abu Dhabi cruise 5th – 13th February on the MSC Fantasia. The cruise was not without fault but overall was a fantastic experience. We booked this back in June 2016 and if we had gone along with all the comments in various forums we would have never set sail what with all the moans and groans you read, so I will take the info in and average out the good and bad points. We were on the upgrade package Fantastica with all-inclusive drinks, I also took the internet package before travelling. The cabin was perfect (Deck 11) which was an inside cabin which I am glad we took. We heard the moans and groans from the balcony occupants about their neighbours. Yes, the buffet dining could be noisy at times especially on sea day, but we just got on with it and met different nationalities as they sat next to us. The Main Dining Room experience was also perfect, we had 1st dining with the same table for the whole cruise and excellent company. We are glad we had the drinks package as we did drink it all and more. We booked all shore excursions online with other providers and they all went well. We had no problems with any of the staff on board and helped us whenever required. Really on the front of house we had a great time and really could not find fault. Our problem was back room staff and information. It was not until we were in our cabin and reading the next day activities did we find we were on a “sea day” to Bahrain. We should have been informed on boarding, I mean what if we had tours organized? They had no answer for that. . Then on our 2 days in Dubai we had organized tours ashore which we did. That night reading the next day activity which included us on the shopping trip we find it was on that first day and we missed it. I booked it online with MSC for the 11th. I tackled them about it and received a refund as it was always going to be on the 10th. That was it really. Complaints we heard from other cruisers which made us laugh, one from a seasoned cruiser to many Italians! Really it is an Italian cruise ship. The pools were cold, what do expect in February? When it’s sea water. But you take it all in for next time. Are we going to cruise again? Try stopping us we are on the MSC Fantasia again 30th January on the Caribbean Cruise and counting the days. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was my 3rd MSC cruise after previously sailing on the Armonia and the Divina. We opted for a 2nd sitting for our evening meal as had found previously that the early sitting sometimes gave you lack of time if you had returned to the ... Read More
This was my 3rd MSC cruise after previously sailing on the Armonia and the Divina. We opted for a 2nd sitting for our evening meal as had found previously that the early sitting sometimes gave you lack of time if you had returned to the ship early afternoon hungry following a trip, then you were eating again too soon afterwards. So the brochure said 8.30 for the 2nd sitting.....in fact this turned out to be 9.15 each evening to fit in with the evening show which started at 8pm. By the time we had finished our meal it was 11pm, much too late for everyone on our table, if your not up for staying up beyond midnight, I'm afraid you are going to bed on a full stomach. The evening shows are quite short, very similar in content but with different outfits, and clearly some songs were very much mimed to. There are only so many times you can watch a pole dancer, jugglers, balance acts, dancers etc before you get a bit bored. Investment in these shows would be a massive pull to the audience. I found that there was definitely a change in the quality and variety of food on offer, the buffet was very repetitive, we dined in the Formal dining room, which was very nicely decorated but the food lacked the special touches that we are used to with MSC, in fact you wouldn't think a chef had created some of the dishes. Our waiters were excellent but were really stretched to the limit, it seemed that they had too many tables to deal with. Not their fault but a couple of more bodies would have made a big difference ensuring that drinks were replenished more frequently. The ship itself is beautiful and was spotlessly clean, our cabin maid was fantastic and always there with a friendly smile to help. We visited Dubai, Kor Al Facken, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain and Sir Bani Yas Island over 14 days, they were all lovely and yet again MSC is very organised with trips etc. Embarkation was extremely efficient as always and we loved that each time we left a destination they played 'time to say goodbye' over the tannoy it gave you a real lump in your throat. I would say that the drinks packages are well worth the money, however I did find the internet packages extremely expensive this cruise, and in a world where we are so used to keeping in touch with family members and the news of the day, we felt it could be priced more affordingly. I would have appreciated a little more policing of smoking on balconies, which our neighbour did daily and I understand that babies in diapers should not be in hot tubs, the pool attendant clearly pretended that he didn't see the baby in arms being carried straight past him into the hot tub, he never said a word! Yes a few little niggles, but overall we had a fab time, loved our balcony room and will hope to return to MSC in the future.....just need to decide on a destination. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our daughter chose this cruise as a treat for her 40th Birthday. We spent 2 days in Dubai prior to joining the cruise. We stayed in a beautiful hotel & had an amazing 2 days. Highlight of the holiday. Took a taxi to the Port, ... Read More
Our daughter chose this cruise as a treat for her 40th Birthday. We spent 2 days in Dubai prior to joining the cruise. We stayed in a beautiful hotel & had an amazing 2 days. Highlight of the holiday. Took a taxi to the Port, embarkation process was easy although staff could have been a bit more welcoming. Cases were delivered to our cabin quickly. No problem so far. Went to the buffet restaurant for a snack. Wow - the noise & rude people pushing. You would really think food was in short supply. This happened at every meal which did not make an enjoyable experience. We always tried to go further through to escape the rabble. Food was a huge disappointment- lukewarm at all times. I was shocked at the lack of hygiene. We religiously used the sanitiser but definitely in the minority. On other cruise hips we have been on hand hygiene was paramount. Take note MSC!! Theatre shows were mediocre. Beautiful theatre which was always half full. The 6 languages before commencing the show was a bit monotonous. Some nice bars & lounges round the ship. Fortunately we had the drinks package which was good value. Got a bit bombarded by staff the first 2 days wanting us to upgrade our package. Destination Services staff were not very helpful. Alright if you were going on their trips but not interested or helpful if you wanted to do anything independently. We went to purchase shuttle bus tickets for Kesab & female told us not to bother going as nothing apart from few souvenir shops. We were gobsmacked! Took the tender anyway & fortunately someone was selling bus tickets at quayside. When we berthed in Dubai we took a taxi from the taxi rank which transpired to be a bad experience. We were going to Karama & he turned meter off insisted we go to the wholesale He phoned on ahead & several males were waiting for us. We refused to exit the taxi. Scary. We reported this to taxi rank controller at Port who was not happy at how we were treated. MSC definitely does not geared for British tourists. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This cruise was chosen for the destination and the cost however we didn't realise at the time of booking that this cost would come at a heavy price on quality. so to the details, Embarcation went very smoothly and quickly as ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for the destination and the cost however we didn't realise at the time of booking that this cost would come at a heavy price on quality. so to the details, Embarcation went very smoothly and quickly as they've changed the system since the last time we cruised with them (2012) The Cabin was good and clean (8125) but it was not the cabin we booked this was changed by MSC at the last minute as we had booked the Bella experience this meant that they could change it at thier own leasure( not explained in the booking process but was hidden in the small print) This unfortunately meant that we were now on a different level to the rest of our party including our Children who were sharing with their grandmother and nothing we said would change their minds. the ship itself wwas very clean and spacious and didn't seem packed at at except on the at sea day when we couldn't find a sun lounger free at all however as a british citzen I could not believe how rude the other guests were they were contantly pushing in front of you at the elevators and at the Buffet no please or thank you at all except when on the rare occation that we met another english family. The pools were salt water pools and very deep not suitable for non or weak smimmers with no shallow end on any of them and the jacuzzi's were packed all the time so we had to queue for ages. The entertainment on board we found was of a poor level except the Micheal Jackson tribute which was good.most of the entertainment was multi language and had to be announced several times and around 5 or 6 different languages which became tedious after a while. as were the pool side activities. the service in the main dining room was generally good however the language barrier did hinder it a lot, HOWEVER the food in the MDR was never hot only lukewarm and was absolutely terrible tyhe grilled chicken is to be avoided at all costs as it reminded me of a bit of leather that you use to resole your shoe and beared no reemblance to chicken at all .It looked like a flat fish such as sole!. The buffet wasn't much better don't get me wrong there was planty of choice but none of it was what I would describe as suitable for a british Pallet. I have come to the conclusion that the Italians don't ever eat a hot meal and have no idea what a steak is as there wasn't any served in either the MDR or the buffet at all the entire cruise. The meal served on Christmas eve was the WORST christmas dinner I have ever been served some cheap form of turkey roll with polastic stuffing inside, served with powdered mash potato and a single soft chestnut.all luke warm!!. The Ports of call themselves were good but the one tendered port was a bit of a wait watching some ten year old silent humour film in the theatre. The children ( 14 and 17) eventually found some friends in the Teen club which was a bonus however the so called smart card whicxh enabled them to have their own budget wasn't explained to us at the start and turned out to be NON refundable at the end of the cruise any money not spent on it would be lost so they ended up buying a load of old tat they they really didn't want just to use it up. I have stated to all my friends and family that I would never cruise with MSC again Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
MSC Fantasia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.5

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