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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship itself is very nice, with lovely public spaces but rather cramped cabins. The entertainment shows, every night, were really first rate. Some of the service is very poor, those crew members who were very good probably came from ... Read More
The ship itself is very nice, with lovely public spaces but rather cramped cabins. The entertainment shows, every night, were really first rate. Some of the service is very poor, those crew members who were very good probably came from better cruise lines. Food was OK, can't really rate it any higher than that. Excursions were poor value, one in particular we paid around 70 euros for, took over half a day with only 70 minutes spent at the destination, the rest hanging around waiting for things to happen. Despite complaining about it five times on return to the ship no recompense at all was offered, just buck passing and blaming 'external operators'. MSC are happy enough to make money from excursions though. The drinks packages (7 of them!) are very confusing and lead to much embarrassment when you constantly get told you can't have certain drinks in certain bars. Disembarcation was an absolute disgrace, I would even say dangerous, with thousands of people including elderly, disabled and young children were caught up in a chaotic scrum after being ignored at the 'meeting point' by crew for an hour. Unfortunately, many of our fellow cruisers were rough types who appear to have paid very little and don't know how to behave, so don't expect good manners or civilised queues. Of other cruise lines we have used Princess most often. I would rate them 4 star and MSC would be lucky to scrape a 3. We will not be using MSC again, at any price. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention, least of all the Italians on board. The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, The TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into the area. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Very clean and well appointed. Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt. Vita Brevis. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than a mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours. MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Photos: where to begin; they are all on my Google drive and it will take all winter to go through them! otherwise I'd upload a few here but cannot seem to be able to link to Google photos? Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a ... Read More
The disappointment started with the embarkation. The process did not go smoothly at all. I have an injured left leg and should not walk for far lengths. The airport provided a wheelchair and the cruiseline said they would provide a wheelchair as well. When I got there, there was not chair for me. The women say my orthotic boot and gave me Priority Boarding. The issue it, there was absolutely no crown control. There was ONE line for priority boarding which included both handicap and VIP guests. All the guests, not jus the VIP guests packed all of the lines, and people were even pushing me to get on the boat. I left and told them that I can not get in line and I was told that cannot control what their guests do!!! Get ready to be RUN OVER by wild Europeans on the Fantasia. Do not purchase their excursions. They say that people speak English but in reality, the accents are so thick that you will no understand them anyways. Deborah in Rome spoke very poor English and during the whole tour in Rome the microphones did not work at all. We could never hear her. We took 3 excursions- Rome, Pisa, and Monaco. In all 3, you have very limited time to actually STOP and enjoy a site, or take a picture, or enter a small shoppe. They are so concerned with you being back by 3pm, even if the boat doesnt leave until 5:30pm!!! Its better to take a taxi or do a local tour. MSC excursions are not worth it. Also, only ONE local destination offered free shuttle buses into the city center, I think it was La Spezia, but should be all cities. With dinning, they are far too strict. You have to be seated by 7pm and if you are not you can loose your place in dinning and have to eat at the buffet. The buffet is NOT wheelchair friendly. I was only using a wheelchair temporarily, not permanently, but still, no staff offered to help me. The cruise itself is not very wheelchair friendly, which made me feel very bad for people who are actually permanently disabled. For example, there is no wheelchair only elevators. There were actually not enough elevators. There are also no automatic doors throughout the entire ship so you have to rely on other people to help you through the doors. Also, the counters in the dinning room are far too high for anyone in a wheelchair to take a plate, see the food, and serve themselves. My husband had to help me every day, because the staff never assisted. Once, a kind waitor assisted me when he saw me limping with coffee. Definitely the worst part of our trip and what ruined our whole trip was when our cabin was flooded with water when a pipe burst at 2am. I woke up to water in our room in the middle of the night and had a panic attack. They later told us that we were LUCKY they had an extra room available for us to sleep in that night. They even wanted us to go back to the soiled room the next day. Our items were soiled with dirty pipe water and many of our items were not cleaned for when we were scheduled to disembark 2 days later. They refused to return our money for the price of our cabin for those 2 nights and refused to provide any compensation for our shoes or even let me fill our a complaint form. We have been trying to contact customer service for the pipe even specifcially but no one has returned our contacts. All in all, this cruise line is NOT wheelchair friendly, has no automatic doors or dinning assitance, and did not own up to their responsiblity for our cabin and items. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We ... Read More
Mediterranean Cruise Vacation ex Barcelona on MSC Fantasia. We have previously sailed with Celebrity, RCL, and Norwegian in The Caribbean, Alaska and on the Pacific coast, and this was our first European cruise and first with MSC. We are a married couple from Chicago who traveled with two single friends and we had adjoining cabins. We chose the Yacht Club package due to the all-inclusive feel, the price and the itinerary. This was a port-intensive trip with just two mornings at sea. One thing new to us was the idea of people embarking and disembarking at different ports throughout the cruise: on almost every cruise I can think we’ve been, we’ve had a complete passenger turnover on Day 1 of the cruise: not on MSC. Embarkation/ Boarding: Very smooth operation. Yacht Club personnel came to meet us (they must have seen the luggage tags) We were offered canapes and beverages while waiting for check-in. We were escorted in on the same line as everyone else, bypassing them as the butler led us on. No later than 20 minutes after boarding, we had our key cards and were given a tour of the Yacht Club enclave by our butler Germain who also thoroughly explained the workings of items in the cabin. The safety drill was an entire joke; no one was paying attention? The Cabin: 15001 is a large square room with an oversize balcony. The cabin was always perfectly maintained for the duration of the cruise, but the TV screen was way too small for a cabin this size and was so far away from the bed that you could hardly enjoy anything on screen. We first always had to call for ice but after three evenings they got it and the ice bucket was always full when we got back. Europeans don’t use ice nearly as much as Americans; even our drinks had just a couple cubes compared to at home. Our friends next door had a regular size cabin; 15001 is really a nice cabin with extra space if that’s important to you. We had a large walk-in closet which had a lighting system operated by foot movement, so if you were in there not moving around you’d be left in the dark until you moved again! A bit disconcerting I suppose! We found it funny…. The bedding and bed linens/pillows were all amazingly comfortable and of a very high quality. A wide selection of toiletries was provided in the bathroom which had a bathtub/shower combination. We also had a larger balcony than our fiends next door, that curved a bit towards the front of the ship. The Dining: Meals at L’Etoile were good but not stand-out exceptional. We had dinner there every evening, a few lunches, and just one breakfast which was slow but good. Service was attentive but not overbearing. We appreciated having this option as the regular ship buffet was always crowded and loud with people not keeping in lines. We ate there just once to try the pizza which was excellent. As a Yacht Club member you get to enjoy complimentary gelato throughout the ship, health bar shakes at tbe spa and chocolate cocktails at the Venchi bar on 6. On “Elegant” night (MSC doesn’t have “Formal”), we saw only two tuxedoes in Yacht Club, and most people dressed in smart “business casual” attire. Many men wore blazers and khakis, few even wore ties. I have no experience of what it was like in the main dining room but no one seemed to bother much about keeping to any kind of dress code. One nice thing about the Yacht Club was the personalized attention we received at all times on The One Pool deck and at the Top Sail Lounge, including Afternoon Tea service. There was always a constant stream of snack food available throughout the day and evening. The Entertainment: the Italian Operatic evening was enjoyable as was the French evening, but the others were just bad-mix combos of ballroom dancing, skipping-rope and street-dancing routines and I have seen better High School productions in theater. Elsewhere on the ship we had a pianist every evening at the Yacht Club Top Sail Lounge., and there were various bands and musical entertainments elsewhere that we heard about but didn’t experience. One thing I noticed on MSC is that there are many more smoking sections in some of their indoor spaces than seem to be the case of the American cruises we’ve been on. The casino, the indoor lounges all allowed smoking (sections of the lounges were non-smoking but the smell of Febreze next morning—it is used liberally to get rid of cigarette smoke stink--was quite nauseating). Personally, I would prefer a non-smoking cruise option and will look for that on our next cruise vacation. The Spa: Yacht Club guests have access to the sauna and steam room areas at all times; there is a special elevator that takes Yacht Club guests directly into that part of the spa. Otherwise you have to enter the spa through the main doors on floor 14 which is like being attacked by mosquitoes, so aggressive are the spa staff at selling options and offers. A word to the wise: I tipped my service provider at the spa generously but realized after seeing my receipt that a 20% service charge is automatically added, so you do not need to tip unless you think your therapist deserves more than that. My therapist was exceptionally good at her job, professional and obviously well-trained. The ship in general: Shore excursions: Poor offerings from MSC so we did our own thing. Ajaccio: we walked off the ship and explored this French town on our own. Visited Napoleon’s birthplace and an art gallery and artisanal craft store. Typical French south-coast town. Nothing much to note except the main street closest to the harbor is exceptionally touristy and you have to go up the hill to the next level or two to get the real French town feeling. Rome: picked up a rental car in port of Civitavecchia (near train station: took shuttle from ship to port entrance and port entrance to station about 4 Euro round trip) and drove to Odaleschi Castle on the shores of Lake Bracciano. Lovely day, The castle is home to an Italian Princess Orsini, and is famous for its celebrity weddings, such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. I can see why… views are stunning. On the drive back we stopped at an Etruscan Necropolis and overall had a great day and were back on ship in time for a very late lunch at L’Etoile. La Spezia: took the public ferry from the port to Monterosso. We’ve been to the Cinque Terre before, and have actually hiked the trail, from Vernazza to Manarola, but this time around were happy to see it from the water and to see Monterosso which is a lovely village. Took the train back and walked to the ship. We stopped at the hotel we had stayed at two years’ ago and the receptionist recognized us! It was amazing! Another exceptional and memorable day. So enjoyable! Geooa: took a walking tour of the old town with a local guide organized on get your guide dot com. This was a great tour and included entrance to the Palazzo Rosso which is memorable for its rooftop views in addition to its art collection. Also we were back on the ship in time for lunch and then had the afternoon free, which some of us explored on our own and others used the ship as a vacation destination! Cannes. Tendered here. Took a tour to Monaco and Eze with Viator dot com. Also highly recommend this company. Bring your passport: you can get a free souvenir passport stamp in the Monaco Tourist Office in Monte Carlo (opposite the Casino but uphill at other end of the garden). It’s a nice and colorful souvenir. Unlike most things in Monaco, it’s free. Saw the Changing of the Guard at the Grimaldi Palace, visited the small nearby Cathedral where Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier, and visited their crypt behind the high altar. Vita Brevis and all that. Enjoyed delicious ice-cream. The views of Antibes and Cap Ferrat from Eze are truly memorable. Eze is a lovely hillside village and is home to both the Fragonard perfumery and the Chevre D’Or Hotel/Restaurant. Walt Disney once visited here and it is obvious it inspired some of his work. We were lucky to get there early before the hordes of tour busses, and climbed to the sculpture garden at the summit for some of the best photos of our trip. Palma de Mallorca: MSC charging 14 Euro for a round trip bus transfer for what I consider a nice walk. Save money if the weather is not too hot and do it yourself. It’s less than ½ mile each way. We ended up taking the bus due to a travel companion’s foot problem and explored the Cathedral and Old Palma downtown. The ship was late in port this evening but we were back in time for dinner and wanted to enjoy our final evening on board. Excursions: we really saved a lot by going independently and lots of these ports are worth exploration; we had heard poor reports about value of ship excursions but no complaints at all about get your guide dot com or viator dot com, botb of which offered exceptional value and well-organized tours MSC overall: Yes we really enjoyed this cruise but if we were not in Yacht Club we felt the ship had a crowded feel and a loud ambience. Once we entered the Yacht Club enclave everything became very quiet and peaceful and we loved spending time either on our balcony, in the Top Sail Lounge, or on the One Pool Deck. Nice touches included live piano music every evening, the free mini-bar in the suite and the daily newspaper that arrived with the morning coffee. I would choose MSC again but only in the Yacht Club. The wait staff and bartenders remembered our drinks, the concierge was exceptionally helpful and we were well looked-after. Packages: I pre-paid and saved 40% on the basic or standard internet package which lasted for the duration of the cruise. I also pre-paid for one of two massages that I had. We did not bother with photograph packages as we take enough on our phones! Our travel agent provided us a $250 shipboard credit per cabin which we applied towards things like laundry and spa services. Overall this was an excellent vacation and very relaxing. Disembark: we were first off the ship and our luggage was waiting, as was our driver; we had arranged a private full day tour of Barcelona and Montserrat and our luggage was stored securely on vehicle while we did this tour. It was an excellent introduction to our next four days in Barcelona before returning home. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only ... Read More
We had been on an MSC cruise previously, and wanted to try the Yacht Club category. This is really worth the extra cost, as we are an older couple, and do not enjoy all the noise associated with the mainstream cruises. The only critique for us was the food, which was just "OK". However the serving staff were great in the Yacht Club restaurant, which made up for the food! All drinks including wine and spirits were also included in the price. We like the low key selling from the shops on board, rather than the U.S. lines that promoted the selling to an intense level. The cabin category provided a butler, who really looked after us well, as the cabin was cleaned throughout the day, with fresh towels, bottled water etc. The only staff that were not good at their job was one of the concierge staff, who seemed to be frustrated whenever a question was asked. Overall, we really enjoyed our week on the ship, and will return. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Based upon other reviews, I would not have selected this cruise but as it was a family affair booked from points halfway around the world, it was done. Let me first say there were many positives about this cruise - our typical social ... Read More
Based upon other reviews, I would not have selected this cruise but as it was a family affair booked from points halfway around the world, it was done. Let me first say there were many positives about this cruise - our typical social interaction with the servers at bar areas was generally most excellent, our cabin steward provided us with a tidy stateroom with fresh towels at all times, the wait staff in the Red Velvet dining area was good, though understaffed for our evening table of 13. We were very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship as a whole. That waned a bit as the cruise went on, especially after the arrival of passengers (and flies!?!) from Genoa. The main dining was generally bland. There were no excellent proclamations about any of the main courses although I will say a few of the desserts were quite tasty. I think we all expected more from the Italian meals that were served but none were outstanding. We saw one show - the dancing and choreography was very basic but the costumes were quite nice as well as two good singers with one of them being exceptional. It speaks quite a bit that nobody was interested in seeing another show. We were given the run around on a couple of occasions as the where to go, especially trying to go ashore in Cannes via the lifeboats/ferries. We stood in line to get tickets, told to be in the theater at 1140, arrived early and was then told we were late, the tickets didn't matter and it was 1st come, 1st serve to go ashore. We scurried back to the other end of the ship, saw the horrendous line waiting to go ashore and eventually didn't leave until ~1300. It appeared badly mismanaged as if it was everyone's first day on the job. Disembarking on our last day was nearly as bad, so I won't rehash it - going ashore at the other ports was relatively pain free. Several members of our group took shore excursions. All felt they were ripped off, from the exorbitant prices to not being delivered what was promised. Let me reiterate there were many positives about this ship and I would like to name every crew member that provided us with joy and service but unfortunately we did not keep a tally. There were a few crew members that were disinterested but by and large, they were positive interactions throughout. As a whole, I cannot rate this cruise/cruise line favorably with the cruises we have been on with Royal Caribbean other than they don't annoyingly push their products like RCCL seems to do. Take note, RCCL. I would do this again only if, as before, we did not have a choice. Our favorite ports were La Spezia and Palma, with the least enjoyable being Genoa by far. We also liked Barcelona (mainly because we spent a couple days there beforehand), Ajaccio and Civitavecchia. We did not go to Rome, as there is too much time pressure. Forgive my scattered approach to this review, we were up nearly 24 hours and I am feeling a bit tired since coming back to home sweet home! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our ... Read More
We traveled to and from Genoa to the Western Mediterranean. However we flew into and out of Milan as it was cheaper, with more flights, and then we took trains to match our itinerary. The price was reasonable, and the itinerary matched our needs. The itinerary is all-important to me, so we have never used the same cruise line twice. We wanted to add a day in the Cinque Terre, and this was the only line that disembarked in Genoa, near there. The shore excursions were also reasonably priced as compared to most cruise lines. They embark and disembark passengers at every port, so this offers a lot of flexibility. However their ala carte pricing means that you really have to look hard at what you want and what you are willing to pay extra for. It is very confusing, and very easy to be charged for something you didn't need. Everything is extra, including water. The heavy smokers were also a bad experience for Americans and a safety issue. The ship can hold 4,300 passengers, but personally I like a much smaller ship. However there were a lot of activities for children, including their own swim and play area. We had a wonderful balcony cabin on deck 13 with what they call the Aurea experience. This offered us the all-inclusive drinks package that normally cost $55 per person, per day. Also we had two included spa treatments that were worth about $120 each. MSC charges an extra 10 Euro per person, per day service charge. However you can modify this if you want. Except on the gala nights, the food was either overcooked or cold. The buffet meals were quite bad. However if you order off the menu in the Red Velvet Restaurant, the food was somewhat better. We found the service was very good, unlike many other reviews. MSC has a matching rewards program, so even though this was our first trip, we achieved Gold status. However you have to apply for this a couple of weeks before sailing, and the rewards were not that great. It took a lot of work on my part to document our existing rewards with other programs. To me the 5% discount was most beneficial, but that only applies on future cruises. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
My wife and I initially chose this cruise because of the original itinerary. Due to the hurricane damage last year the cruise destinations had to be altered which resulted in a number of islands being visited twice. This was not the fault ... Read More
My wife and I initially chose this cruise because of the original itinerary. Due to the hurricane damage last year the cruise destinations had to be altered which resulted in a number of islands being visited twice. This was not the fault of MSC but if we had cancelled the cruise we would still have had to pay the cost of the return flights from London Gatwick to Barbados. It has to be said straight away that this cruise line places itself in the budget end of the market and from that viewpoint it represents reasonable value for money.However if you are looking for a decent cruise experience avoid this cruise like the plague.Right from the start there were issues with transport from Barbados Airport to the cruise ship and the buses provided were old and small with no external space for hand luggage which resulted in hand luggage being carried on your knees for a 40 minute journey. Not comfortable at all! Cabins are of reasonable size and quality, but provide very little space for clothes and TVs are small and only have two news channels in English. Dinner in the main restaurant is not like other cruise lines.There is little choice with repetitive meals and small portions which vary greatly in quality.Neither is any coffee served with meals. There is one single buffet for a cruise ship with some 4500 passengers and 1500 crew. Table space was a struggle at the best of times but for the single all day at sea there were still long queues to get in,even at 3pm in the afternoon.Observance of hygiene standards was very hit and miss with hygiene point of entry dispensers more often than not,not working at all. Having travelled on ships with other cruise lines it was questionable whether this ship was fully using its stabilisers because at times the rise and fall of the ship was quire noticeable even though the sea was comparitively calm. Evenig shows were timed so for example the early dinner sitting of 6.30pm the show did not start until 9.30pm or later. The shows were repetetive and all in Italian and the majority were different variants of Opera.Don't get me wrong my wife and I enjoy Opera but there was simply too much of it, and virtually nothing of anything else. It should also be commented that drinks cannot be purchased or taken into the theatre. One of the worst aspects of this cruises was that the ship was classified as a Ferry ship and for example berthed in the Ferry terminal of Martinique and not in Simon Pier which is where regular cruise ships dock. As a result the ship was full of Caribbean locals who are able to purchase cheap tickets. Martinique was not alone in this, as this also for example applied to Guardeluope.Why was this so bad? Well, because at every port where passengers embarked time was taken for their safety drill/life jackets etc. This was not carried out in a specific part of the ship or out on deck,as you would normally expect but was carried out through the entire ship in multi languages. For those passengers who were on their cruise and not embarking all social activity was stopped on each occasion and this included all the bars etc.For example, my wife and I together with some friends waited in a bar which was crowded with new people who had embarked where the bar was closed from 8.35pm until 10.15pm.This is a regular occurrence and is not what you expect when you pay a lot of money for a cruise to the Caribbean Islands! My wife and I purchased a number of shore excursions with MSC before we started the cruise and chose to do our own thing at other ports as is the norm. However, there was one port where we had not purchased an excursion so we decided to view the available excursions that were shown on the cabin TV. Imagine our surprise when the TV indicated that excursions were not available or were only available for passengers who were disembarking the ship en route to their airport. It was only a few days later when we encountered an excursion rep were we told that the information on the TV was incorrect and that all excursions were available to purchase! However nothing was changed in this respect by MSC so obviously they were not interested in correcting this misleading information. As a final point it should be noted that on four consecutive nights we received a leaflet in our cabin which said that our balcony was going to be cleaned and to ensure that the balcony doors and curtains were closed for privacy. Fair enough, but it did not happen for three days and then the balcony was drenched in the morning with high power hoses on the fourth day. Well in the afternoon after returning from an excursion whilst we were sitting on the balcony the same thing happened. Balcony cleaning comprised of two high power jets of water being fired across the balcony into the glass balcony doors. As a result the floor of the balcony was like a swimming pool and the balcony furniture was soaked but there was no follow up service to either clean the balcony or remove any of the water. What an experience but never again will be booking a cruise with MSC because of what has been mentioned above in this review. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because thought we'd be going to 10 different islands in fact we went to 8 islands, a day and 2 nights at sea, three of the islands we visited twice the two French islands we visited was to pick up locals on 7day ... Read More
We chose this cruise because thought we'd be going to 10 different islands in fact we went to 8 islands, a day and 2 nights at sea, three of the islands we visited twice the two French islands we visited was to pick up locals on 7day cruises who were only paying €200-300 and kids went free, so not only was we acting like a ferry service, it felt like we were subsidising their cruise and being used by MSC for their own convenience, so after the first week we just did the same one the second week hence " one cruise for two weeks" Other problems was the food in the restaurant, a lot of which was inedible and was sent back the alternative offered was French fries! yet it was supposed to be "Gourmet Food" that was an insult to fine dining, when we spoke to a member of the management she said " they had no control over the kitchen as to the menu as it was a catering company" All the staff were brilliant and overall the ship was nice but MSC need to get their act together This was our first cruise with MSC and I won't be going with them again Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
We choose there Fantasia because of the schedule, 9 islands in 14 days sailing from Barbados. First impressions of the ship were good, huge,glitzy, and full of things to keep us amused. That soon changed. What we didn't know was ... Read More
We choose there Fantasia because of the schedule, 9 islands in 14 days sailing from Barbados. First impressions of the ship were good, huge,glitzy, and full of things to keep us amused. That soon changed. What we didn't know was that the ship would be picking up passengers on route at 5 of the 9 islands we visited which resulted in pandamoniium on those change over days. Firstly we found that new arrivals were held in certain areas of the ship waiting for their cabins, and we were excluded from those areas while they waited. And all new passengers had to do lifeboat drill, OK, but when it's done 5 times and mostly about 6pm when you want to sit and relax with a drink, oh no, sorry we were told can't serve drinks while lifeboat drill was ongoing, not even a tea or coffee!!!!!! If felt more like we were on a huge ferry, food times were manic, if you sit at the 9pm late sitting as we did, we were stil eating at 10.30pm!!!! Also the portions given were meagre. We decided to eat at the Buffet, always plenty of choice, but noisy and crowded. More like eating in a Weatherspoons but you have to get it yourself. We had a cabin with balcony on deck 10, we were happy with our accommodation and the service we received from our cabin boy. But all common areas on the upper decks especially the pool area were far to crowded most days, when there is 4000 people on a boat, you have to be lucky to get the seat or sun lounger you want unless you are the first one up early in the day. Ullimatley, we got to see the islands and that was our main aim, but the whole experience on board the ship was a disapointment. If you want to go to the Carribean, choose a smaller ship not a Ferry. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We booked this cruise over a year ago because of the attractive price but what was a bargain turned out to be the cruise from hell. It all started from the embarkation process on arrival at Bridgetown after a long flight from London and ... Read More
We booked this cruise over a year ago because of the attractive price but what was a bargain turned out to be the cruise from hell. It all started from the embarkation process on arrival at Bridgetown after a long flight from London and having to collect our cases And lug them to a van for delivery to the ship then the awful wait queueing up for outdated buses to take us to the ship was a farce as their was no facility to store hand luggage everything had to be placed on our knee the customer service rep was not sympathetic to this and herded us on like cattle we then left for a 40 minute run to Bridgetown not so we were held up at the jetty in a convoy as only 1 coach could go on the jetty at a time time from landing at 2.45 pm till eventually getting on the ship at 5.45pm was poor we then left the ship was itself was clean as was the cabin however the ship moved around a lot for such a large ship I would question if the full use of the stabilisers were being used as with some cruise companies they are not as it is a cost or fuel saving exercise, I was not impressed with the food It was very repetitive okay if you liked turkey or pork and didn’t cater for the British palette, entertainment what can I say we were not able to see anything in the theatre as with the food it was always in French or Italian, the Manhattan Bar which we liked was the same show every evening and got pretty repetitive we didn’t sit in any of the other lounges as nothing was sung in English the British were not catered for at all and when we spoke to other British passengers they felt the same. Each island the ship visited ther was a disembarkation and a embarkation of passengers from those islands who seemed to be on cheap deals to fill the ship and when this happened we had to listen to the emergency drill through the tannoy system each day also the crew had to go through their own drills these occasions this meant that we were on an oversized ferry rather than a cruise ship most of the British people we spoke with felt the same and had never experienced this on any other cruises they had been on also at each Island the departure was quite early which seemed to be the ship was in a rush to get the people on and off had we known in advance all this information we would never ever booked this cruise and after 1 week all we wanted to do was get back home for our part this was a wast of money and we will never use MSC again if we had never been on an other cruise company we would be put off cruising altogether. We believe we should have been forewarned of all these points before committing to a booking Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We were travelling with parents to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Chosen for the location and itinerary which was excellent with a few new places to discover. The cruise price wasn't cheap but overall not stupid for a two ... Read More
We were travelling with parents to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary. Chosen for the location and itinerary which was excellent with a few new places to discover. The cruise price wasn't cheap but overall not stupid for a two week cruise. We also had the advantage of being able to have balcony rooms next to each other. Embarkation was the best I have ever experienced. The main foyer was beautiful with crystal staircases and lots of marble. The special holiday was one big regret from our first meal. My parents are 80 years young and this could be their last special holiday. My heart sank at the overall disappointment. 1st meal was up in the buffet lounge of which afterwards we avoided at all costs having to suffer the appalling food twice more throughout our stay. They had a hotdog/burger bar which didn't look appealing. If you take children food could be an issue from poor choices. The food was really poor quality, the place scruffy looking not worth the trek up. We usually enjoy going to the buffet for breakfast and lunch or afternoon snack but not on the Fantasia. Dining room experience was average. not enough staff so lacked personality. The exception was Antonio from El Salvador. Great fun and good at his work. Sadly he went home after week 1. The food was good but not typically English for those wishing for a more bland palate. You did have to buy water which you could incorporate with the expensive wine package. No after dinner coffee. I have never been on a ship where you had to buy water at meal times we were pretty much annoyed by that. Not forgetting that 15% We requested a large table a booking and was told we were on a table of 8 before departure. It was just the 4 of us on a table for 4. We requested a change but it didn't occur. Bar experience was lacking. Took ages to get served by some waiter without personality. I don't think they were really trained properly as getting a smile out of some was awkward. We put the slow service down to people buying expensive drinks packages and MSC policy of slowing down the drinking but that is our theory. A shame really as the singers in the main atrium were really good and worth a listen to. It tended to be the same two singers every night which did become tedious. The downside of this ship really was the fact that several times a week people from all over the world were departing and arriving. I believe this had an affect on the atmosphere of the ship as you never got to know anyone unlike others I have been on. You were constantly moved from one area to another as barriers were in place to accommodate the changes and you did have to listen on those days to the loud speaker giving the new boarder drill in several languages. A bit annoying but didn't really ruin the day. 15% on everything did have an effect on our on board spends and on our tips. We always tip but did hardly any this time. Taking it out on the staff but you know. Most didn't work that hard. The only ship I will hopefully avoid in the future. Excursions not used We did use the doctor. He was excellent. No complaints in that department. pros - clean - great itinerary - good drinks once served - nice food in dining room - good breakfast in dining room - good singers in atrium - beautifully decorated - con - expensive packages - no personality - shortage of staff issues - lack of staff training - 15% on everything bought - no water at the dining table - lack of finishing touches in the cabin by cabin staff - lack of customer service overall. Terrible buffet lounge. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of ... Read More
We were talked into going on this cruise by my sister in law as it seemed to be excellent value and a good way to see some great european sights. we are first time cruisers and were a little apprehensive especially after reading some of the reviews.however after a very smooth and easy embarkation we went to our balcony cabin on deck 11 Meraviglia well appointed and clean. We dined in the Red Velvet restaurant most nights where our table server Kowmang from Bali kept us amused and looked after us very well indeed. As some reviews have said portions are not huge but after 3 courses you are full and can always make a trip to the Zanzibar buffet for a pizza and beer supper. As regards the drink packages we just paid as we went and found it reasonable value for money. The entertainment was fun especially the wonderland and queen tribute shows {Freddie Mercury sounded great with an Italian accent} Service overall was good and the shore excursions well organized, the few complaints were mainly passengers who didn't listen to the guides and ran late!! We are beyond the child raising years but from what we saw the kids had a great time especially for halloween. Disembarkation was again slick and easy, If you want to go on a very european cruise I reccomend MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was the best itinerary for the time of the year for us. The best part was unpacking once, and our floating 5 Star Hotel followed us around the Mediterranean as we departed Genoa, and visited the most amazing places, including ... Read More
This was the best itinerary for the time of the year for us. The best part was unpacking once, and our floating 5 Star Hotel followed us around the Mediterranean as we departed Genoa, and visited the most amazing places, including Marseilles. Barcelona, Malta, Crete, Corfu Greece and Rome! The food, was consistently excellent; and I certainly recommend the option of having your breakfast served in your cabin; cant beat having croissants and coffee on your balcony watching a sunrise - an unforgettable experience! The entertainment crew were great, with different shows day and night to thrill us! The waitrons were exceptional, with excellent manner and service! Another 'win' was the fantastic organisation of disembarking at every port; nothing was rushed; little queues, and well synchronised timing. The constant maintenance and 'cleaning' was also nice to see; never did I see idle crew members; everyone had a job and purpose and they just got on with it! This was my second MSC Cruise; and we have already booked for another in March 2018! Well done to everyone involved, both on and off shore for great organisational skills and a passion for duty:) See you soon ! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I made this cruise with MSC and never had such a bad experience. I reported my complaints at MSC and the even refused a compensation!!!!!! The transfer was a mess, the embarkation was very bad. I booked an Aurea Suite(!) no window to ... Read More
I made this cruise with MSC and never had such a bad experience. I reported my complaints at MSC and the even refused a compensation!!!!!! The transfer was a mess, the embarkation was very bad. I booked an Aurea Suite(!) no window to open nor a balcony. I asked for a swap but was told off by the receptionist. In the bars (from an Italian ship) there was no Martini available nor Aperol. Sometimes there was no Prosecco at stock. The restaurant was understaffed, waiter did not have enough time to take the order, tablecloth was dirty, glasses unpolished. The food was bad, the meat was not tender we were not able to consume the rack of lamb, the duck breast or the veal. It could not be chewed! The touring office told me off while taking my ticket, I did not know about the voucher that I was obliged to take the English coach. Very unkind staff....... Eating from the buffet was the alternative but there was no variation, each day the same and sometimes there was no food at all at the opening hours. The entertaiment was very poor, at all pool activities always the same tape with music. There were 8 entertainers for 20 participators. The rest from the guests was complaining because it was to loud. MSC did not understand my complaint but: never again!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I chose this cruise after a short 'taster' cruise last year on Splendida. We were so impressed with the service after years with RCI that we decided to give MSC another try. We were not dissapointed. Boarding in Abhu Dhabi was ... Read More
I chose this cruise after a short 'taster' cruise last year on Splendida. We were so impressed with the service after years with RCI that we decided to give MSC another try. We were not dissapointed. Boarding in Abhu Dhabi was Quick and effortless. The ship was immaculate, easily on a par to RCI. Staff were without exception friendly and helpful. Trip was a little spoilt by unseasonable poor weather in the Gulf, but life onboard was good. Food choices were maybe a little boring, and sometimes not as hot as it could have been, but this is nittpicking, as good as most moderate priced cruise lines, and better than some I have been on. Breakfast in the main Restaurant was very slowly served, but also very tasty. The TexMex restaurant seemed universally unpopular with all the people I spoke to onboard, I think MSC should have a hard look at this as it was always underused. Shows were very good, and the theatre very comfortable, without the obstructive pillars I have seen on other ships. We will travel with MSC again, as we think they give good value for money and excellent service. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise because they offered good value with kids going 'free' (apart from the flights). My wife's parents decided to join us so we ended up with two adjoining cabins with balconies with Fantastica level. I ... Read More
We chose this cruise because they offered good value with kids going 'free' (apart from the flights). My wife's parents decided to join us so we ended up with two adjoining cabins with balconies with Fantastica level. I thought it would be a good chance to see a different place everyday rather than just sitting on a beach. We paid for the drinks package (which cost a lot) and a 100 photo package for 89 Euros, which sounded a lot but turned out to be amazing. I couldn't get the Fun Package which I read about on this forum (unlimited formula 1 simulator and 4D cinema) but got it easily on the ship (35 euros for our cabin for 1 week - also very good value). We had overnight flights from Vienna to Dubai (Emirates airlines so pretty comfortable) so arrived early in the morning. We were picked up and taken to the ship and quickly registered so we could go on the ship. We were told that room weren't ready yet (it was 8am so we weren't expecting them to be ready) but our bags were taken to the rooms and we went for breakfast. The buffet was excellent. It gets busy but we never had problems finding tables and had breakfast at the back looking out of the huge windows down from the 14th floor of the ship. The windows are angled so we were a bit worried when our 2 year old decided to lean on them to look down! After breakfast we went upstairs to sunbathe on the deck and I went to get the room keys. We had been told where to go and go the rooms sooner than expected. The luggage had been delivered to the room. (more in next post) Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to see the Middle East. It was extremely good value for money. The trip allowed us to see Dubai without going there specifically for a holiday. We flew Etihad to Dubai and had 2 days ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to see the Middle East. It was extremely good value for money. The trip allowed us to see Dubai without going there specifically for a holiday. We flew Etihad to Dubai and had 2 days to explore before joining the ship. For me, Dubai was a bit like Vegas, big, brash and soaked in money. What they have raised from the desert is hugely impressive, but not my cup of tea. Glad to have seen it, but wouldn't be rushing back. Although we did all the modern sights, and did enjoy the Burj Khalifa, the creek area and museum were our favourites. A visit to the souks combined with the 1 dirham ferry across the creek was a taste of the old city. Joining the ship was easy - took all of 10 mins to register and be in our cabin!!! The ship is lovely, nothing to complain about at all. Our dinner sitting was fine and we had great company. The buffet was a bit hectic due to the antics of some of our mediterranean guests, but after all this is an Italian ship, so you need to be prepared for this. However, I can't understand how you are supposed to get out of a lift when 10 Italians are trying to push their way in! Still haven't worked out their logic! Staff were all fine, I can't echo some of the complaints of other reviewers. Especially Feby, waitress in some of the bars, who went out of her way to help. Abu Dhabi was our first port of call and we had a half day tour with an independent company. It was fine but not spectacular. This city is much greener than Dubai and with a visit. Great new terminal building with free wifi, important for us as we didn't take up the onboard wifi which apparently was a bit weak. On our sea day, the decks were packed and if you are a sun lover, then be up early to get a lounger. However, this is only to be expected, I suppose. Muscat saw torrential rain, the locals were delighted, and we hired a taxi along with another couple which took us to see the main sights for 25 euro, so not bad value compared to a ship's excursion. Sun came out in the afternoon and back to 27/28 degrees. In Khasab we had again arranged an independent dhow tour, which was a bit choppy on the open water before we reached the fjord where it was very calm and we saw dozens of dolphins. Or maybe the same 2 or 3 several times! It was windy and therefore a bit cool, so I chose not to go swimming or snorkelling but the water was very clear and even from the boat we could see loads of fish. On Sir Bani Yas Island I had booked a ship's mountain bike tour which was a complete waste of time - no scenery, just a flat dusty trek for 1 hour which really wasn't very inspiring. However as a beach day it was just fine, pity I had booked the tour. Great wifi as well. Back in Dubai we had the half day 'new wonders of Dubai' booked through the ship. It didn't stick to the advertise schedule due to roads being closed off for a triathlon, so we ended up back at Dubai Mall which we had already seen, but I suppose this wasn't MSC's fault, but ended up a waste of time for us due to having seen it all the week previously. Leaving the ship was easy. Didn't have to get off until 9.30 which was much more lenient than other cruises where we've had to evacuate at the crack of dawn. Taxi shared with another couple to the airport and home without any problems along the way. Looking at other reviews, I would agree that the buffet did repeat itself, and wouldn't have liked 2 weeks of this food, but, look, you get what you pay for. Some people seem very hard to please. There was nothing wrong with this ship, food or staff and the itinerary was our choice so if we were disappointed in any way that's our own fault. The ship's excursions were a waste of time, but in the context of the whole 9 days, so what? We had a week of sunshine in the middle of our winter, saw a whole new part of the world and met some lovely people. All in all a good result I would say. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
The watered down orange juice at the embarkation terminal set the standard for the whole cruise. Embarkation was disorganized as was just about everything else to do with this cruise. It was our first cruise and mostly certainly our last ... Read More
The watered down orange juice at the embarkation terminal set the standard for the whole cruise. Embarkation was disorganized as was just about everything else to do with this cruise. It was our first cruise and mostly certainly our last with MSC. Everything seemed to be geared towards squeezing every last euro out of passengers. The food in the huge eating area at the stern of the ship was very poor and often barely warm. I have had better in a works canteen.The food in the Red Velvet restaurant was okay. We had paid for a package(Aurea Experience) up front which included drinks amongst other things. The choice, drink wise, was dreadful and you had to sign the waiter/waitresses chitty every time you were served drinks. We checked the chitty each time and it showed 0.00 however on receiving our bill prior to disembarkation we discovered that MSC were charging us 9 euros for every time we were served drinks despite the fact we had already paid a service charge up front. We refused to pay it as did other passengers. "Aurea Experience" !!?? - more of a bad experience. I could go on and on about all the bad points but at 65 years of age I need to use my time wisely. Good points - balcony cabin and pleasant staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
We chose this cruise as a 25th anniversary present. When we got on board we had to wait 3 hours for our cabin. The cabin was lovely ,clean spacious with a/c. The buffet was good at off peak times no order or system at peak times. We were ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a 25th anniversary present. When we got on board we had to wait 3 hours for our cabin. The cabin was lovely ,clean spacious with a/c. The buffet was good at off peak times no order or system at peak times. We were meant to have evening meal in Red Velvet restaurant we tried it once very limited menu , small portions and no coffee at end of meal. We then found the text me restarant which we used most other evenings , staff were great and food was lovely. On board shops were nice and had lovely helpful staff. The staff were always busy cleaning and the ship was immaculeate ,cabin steward arrived twice daily and left everything perfect. We did 3 excursions booked through msc , they were very well organised and impressive, other times we used big bus hop on hop service they are well worth the money (60 euro pp). The ports we visited were Dubai, Abu Dhabi , Muscat , Khasab , Sir Bani Yas lsland ( too windy to disembark ) and then back to Dubai. Overall a lovely trip made very comfortable by the staff of the fantasia. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I chose this cruise because I had previously sailed on the OPERA on her maiden voyage, that was wonderful. I had expected this cruise to match that one. I was wrong. Everything, but everything had to be paid for, right down to water on ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had previously sailed on the OPERA on her maiden voyage, that was wonderful. I had expected this cruise to match that one. I was wrong. Everything, but everything had to be paid for, right down to water on the table for dinner. Every other cruise I have done (19 up to now) had supplied iced water in a jug at dinner. I am not a wine drinker and so opted for water with my evening meal. To my amazement at the end of the meal I was asked for my card so they could charge me for the water. I then said that on the next night I would bring my own and was told that it wasn't allowed. I brought my own anyway and hid the bottle under the table. The staff were excellent, helpful and friendly, it's obviously a company policy. At the end of the dinner we weren't even offered coffee to round the meal off another first. The drinks packages were very, very pricey and not worth the cost. At breakfast, in the "Red Velvet lounge" I opted for the bacon, scrambled eggs and beans for breakfast, all three were cold, and I mean cold, not warm, not cool, COLD. I helped myself to other food, the waiter noticed the first plate and asked what the problem was, I told him and he went away and came back with a supervisor, after relaying the problem to him he apologised, mumbling something about something in the kitchen was not working properly and they were waiting for spare parts. The same thing happened the next day, the supervisor said to see him at lunchtime and he would ensure we got hot food, we weren't on the ship at lunch and so ate ashore. The evening shows were not bad but very short, some shows were only 20 minutes long due to the presenter talking about various members of staff (in six languages). Apart from the evening entertainment we saw very little deck activities. We shared a table at dinner with a British couple and an American couple, they were great, really nice people. The waiters were very friendly, helpful and courteous and could not do too much for us, even though our table was always last to finish. The ship was nice and clean, the cabin was nice and was cleaned each day. The excursions were exorbitantly pricey so we avoided them and made our own way around on shore. Having once been on a cruise that had the Nora Virus on board we were amazed to see the lack of hygiene going into and coming out of the dining room. There were no staff ensuring that passengers used the hand gel and in fact most of the time the hand gel dispensers were empty. I would not cruise on this ship again simply because of the high prices, the bad food and the absence of water at dinner. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
Ship: Very clean throughout, impressive art displays throughout the ship.Embarkation very quick at the time we boarded. Disembarkation very well organised and directed. Food was reasonable given the number of people on board whichever ... Read More
Ship: Very clean throughout, impressive art displays throughout the ship.Embarkation very quick at the time we boarded. Disembarkation very well organised and directed. Food was reasonable given the number of people on board whichever venue you decided to eat in. Complementary continental breakfast in the cabin was good and always on time. The bar and waitress service was always good and cheery. We had an inside cabin, 11052. Plenty of room, a large, comfortable bed with choice of hard, medium or soft pillows. Plenty of hot water, cabin steward did an excellent job keeping the cabin tidy. The evening entertainment was in the main good, restricted to 45 minutes which was about the right length of time given it is mainly visual. The theater is very impressive and comfortable. It was difficult to get a sunbed when the ship was docked for a full morning, worth paying a few Euros to go on deck 18. Shore excursion: My wife having a leg injury at the time we just got off the ship and went on local tour buses. Would not recommend going to Naples. We are English but other nationalities we spent time with spoke English as well as their own native language, and we met some nice people, so no problem. We are an energetic elderly couple, not too many childred early October, I imagine it would be quite hectic in the summer months. We were charged 9 Euros a day service charge. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first ever cruise and I have to say I was very apprehensive but we were very impressed. Everything ran very smoothly. The staff, especially the cabin boy and waiter were excellent. Will definitely consider using MSC again. ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and I have to say I was very apprehensive but we were very impressed. Everything ran very smoothly. The staff, especially the cabin boy and waiter were excellent. Will definitely consider using MSC again. The only slight down side for us was the fact that there were a lot of children and they could be noisy late at night. Our cabin was as good as any quality hotel we have been to. The shower room was a bit small though, our balcony was fabulous too, an added bonus for us. The food in the restaurant was also very good with plenty of choice. We didn't use the 24 restaurant much, only for a late lunch or maybe tea and cakes but we always sat at the far end of the restaurant away from the noise. I think cruising will be our thing from now on. I would definitely recommend to anyone who has never tried it to give it a go. Read Less
45 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Ship layout was excellent with many stylish lounges and bars with live entertainment in many. Cabin was the best we have had by a mile...Spacious and a balcony. Dining room food was good with an interesting menu every day Staff throughout ... Read More
Ship layout was excellent with many stylish lounges and bars with live entertainment in many. Cabin was the best we have had by a mile...Spacious and a balcony. Dining room food was good with an interesting menu every day Staff throughout the ship were very polite and helpful. We had an 'all inclusive' package in our booking which was just as well as the drinks were very expensive. (5 euros for a small whisky). The downside of the trip was the buffet food area which was crawling with young children running around. The trips were also expensive so if you are going on one of their cruises make sure your budget can stand the extras. We visited 6 different ports in 7 days which meant that there were no days at sea. I would suggest that passengers should be made aware before going ashore , especially in Naples, that pick pockets and street muggings are quite common place. My wife got her necklace grabbed by a young man who immediately jumped on to a scooter and disappeared. They are obviously well traind in this art! Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Rates 3.0 3.5

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