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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: April 2018
This cruise itinerary covered an island a day. The twin hurricanes of 2017 put paid to that sadly and meant more duplication of visits. Still one island is much like another. You go for the sun. For me inclusion of Guadalupe and At Lucia ... Read More
This cruise itinerary covered an island a day. The twin hurricanes of 2017 put paid to that sadly and meant more duplication of visits. Still one island is much like another. You go for the sun. For me inclusion of Guadalupe and At Lucia were the highlights, the best by far and we've seen many. The ship is a beauty. Glitz galore. Great staff and good if not great food. Many other lines go for presentation and other MSC ships - Armonia for instance - do. Fantasia is good food presented more as you would at home. Both main restaurants are very good. Unfortunately the TexMex is uninspiring. Bars offer a good range of decor and entertainment. Drinks package is great value even for the normal drinker! But it needs more outside and preferably non smoking seated bar area Shows were good especially the Queen tribute. Cabin good standard sufficient hanging space etc. Transfers efficient and we'll managed. So overall a good cruise and good value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my second MSC cruise and my seventh overall cruise.  However this was the 1st time that we had booked a 14-day cruise!  Yes, FOURTEEN DAYS!  My mom, my husband, my 7-year-old son, my 3-year-old son, and I sailed together on the ... Read More
This was my second MSC cruise and my seventh overall cruise.  However this was the 1st time that we had booked a 14-day cruise!  Yes, FOURTEEN DAYS!  My mom, my husband, my 7-year-old son, my 3-year-old son, and I sailed together on the MSC Fantasia, from March 18, 2018 to April 1, 2018, roundtrip from Guadeloupe to Antigua & Barbuda, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic, St. Kitts & Nevis, Martinique, St. Lucia, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Grenada, with multiple stops in Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Kitts & Nevis.  We had two Fantastica balcony staterooms on Deck 10, right next to each other: 10208 and 10210.  We loved our clean and spacious staterooms!  We booked this cruise for the amazing itinerary!  I was a bit disappointed when a portion of the itinerary changed – the initial itinerary included Tortola, British Virgin Islands; Dominica; and St. Maarten/St. Martin.  After the damage caused by the 2017 hurricane season, those three ports were removed from the itinerary, and, instead, an extra stop in St. Kitts was added, as well as a stop in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  We made the best of it!  Truly, the itinerary was still FABULOUS!  We had a wonderful time!  The crew and staff that we dealt with the most, which were our room steward, wait staff and other dining room staff, and the photo team were consistently pleasant and really made this voyage GREAT!  Our stateroom steward, Augustin, was excellent in keeping our rooms clean and in order, and promptly replaced used beach towels with new ones, which was a big deal for us because we made many trips to the beach during this vacation.  Being our second MSC cruise, but my seventh overall cruise, I can honestly say that we looked forward to the spacious, well-kept rooms, and we were not disappointed.  I honestly think that MSC has the best standard rooms in the industry.  I have yet to stay in a suite on any cruise ship, but for the standard rooms that guests can book, MSC’s are top of the line.  The top of the line staterooms are no surprise when you look at the entire ship, which is exquisite!  As with MSC Divina, the MSC Fantasia has lots of glass and sparkle!  My favorite part of both ships are the magnificent Swarovski Crystal staircases!  While the décor on MSC Divina had lots of silver, the MSC Fantasia has more golds and reds.  The crew does an excellent job keeping the ship clean.  The MSC Fantasia is STUNNING!  Astawa and Michael were more than just our waiters at Il Cerchio D’Oro.  Astawa and Michael were warm, kind, attentive, pleasant, efficient, and fun whether we saw them at Il Cerchio D’Oro at night or at the Zanzibar buffet!  They’re wonderful, and we miss them!  Astawa and Michael got to know our children’s favorite menu items really quickly, and although our sons can be difficult to please when it comes to food, they liked the food on the MSC Fantasia.  My mom, my husband, and I also enjoyed our dining experiences on this cruise.  We especially enjoyed the lobster and sparkling wine meal that we ordered for my husband’s birthday which we celebrated onboard!  Thanks to the dining room staff for the “Happy Birthday” serenade, birthday cake delivery, and the fresh fruit platters for us to enjoy!  Also consistently warm and friendly are the dining crew members Mateen and Amira who we saw at various locations throughout our cruise.  We usually saw Mateen in the mornings at the Zanzibar buffet, as he would walk around with the cart with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.  His friendly conversation helped to form a quick friendship with our two sons!  About half-way through our cruise, Amira started to spark conversation with our 3-year-old, and he would smile each time he’d see her… it was really cute!  My 7-year-old son attended the children’s club during the only sea day of the cruise, and he said he enjoyed it.  However, while the staff and crew can communicate clearly in English, he could not understand and communicate clearly with many of the children there because the overwhelming majority of the children onboard spoke French, which is reflective of the majority of the guests onboard this particular itinerary, and is to be expected given that the ports of embarkation are Guadeloupe and Martinique.  The children's club had a performance in the theater onboard, so of course, we went to see the performance.  We enjoyed a fun show, performed by the MSC Entertainment Team, and then, the children's club performed as well. The performance included a children's club talent show!  My 7-year-old’s favorite parts of the ship are the waterslide, the arcades, and the 4D theatre – we bought the family pass for $60 and went multiple times thereafter to watch the 4D movie clips, which he enjoyed.  That family pass allows guests in the same stateroom to see the movie clips as many times as they would like, and also, to “drive” the F1 Simulator.  One difference to note here between the MSC Divina and the MSC Fantasia is that there is no miniature bowling alley on the Fantasia, while there is one on the Divina.  We would have loved to have the bowling alley onboard Fantasia, as we enjoyed a couple trips to the Sports Bar during our cruise, and we think that the bowling alley would have been a nice addition.  The Sports Bar is located on Deck 7, and is nice to dine in a few times, especially if you want to have lunch somewhere that’s not as busy as the Zanzibar buffet on Deck 14.  The food and drinks at the Sports Bar are pretty good!  Also located on Deck 7 is the MSC Photo Gallery, which was one area that we frequently visited during our cruise.  Yes, we take many photographs on our own cameras, but we are fans of professional cruise photos, particularly those taken by the MSC Photo Teams.  After having experienced the MSC Divina and Fantasia, I can say that I think MSC’s photographers take the best photographs at sea!  I don’t know what’s better: (1) The spectacular quality of our MSC Fantasia photographs, or (2) The MSC Fantasia Photo Team’s consistent, warm, friendly, and professional service with a smile!  We are especially thankful for the staff mentioned here, and for all the wonderful crew and staff members of the MSC Fantasia!  The only recurring complaint we had was that there were quite a few guests onboard who seemed rude, as they seemed to have no regard for personal space and thought nothing of cutting ahead of others in line. However, that's a reflection on those people, not on MSC. Embarkation in Guadeloupe went smoothly, as we dropped our bags at the designated location with the designated staff members, and we proceeded to check-in and board the MSC Fantasia.  One thing that could have been improved on embarkation day was the sign-up for the children’s club at embarkation.  There was a crowd in the atrium area where the children’s club sign-up was taking place, and it was very difficult to navigate through there.  Disembarkation in the ports-of-call and at the end of the cruise were excellent.  Our disembarkation from MSC Fantasia was the BEST cruise disembarkation experience we have had thus far.  On disembarkation day, we had to be out of our staterooms before 9 AM, and after having breakfast, we disembarked a bit after 10 AM, and we easily found our bags in the terminal.  Our MSC Fantasia cruise was a great experience!  Being from the Caribbean myself, residing in New York City, and having received my undergraduate degree in International Studies, I consider myself very much aware of diverse cultures throughout the Caribbean and the rest of the world.  That being said, I was in awe of the amazing mix of people onboard the MSC Fantasia.  In all honesty, I think I saw more people of color onboard this ship than any ship that I have sailed on from the United States, yet most of the people of color onboard this cruise primarily spoke French.  Given that MSC is an Italian cruise company and the clientele on this particular itinerary were primarily French, I certainly feel as though I need to brush up on the two languages that I studied years ago: French and Italian.  When stepping on and off the elevators or otherwise encountering other guests, I found myself saying “Hello” and “Bonjour,” or “Good Evening” and “Bonsoir.”  I just love it!  I also love that my children can experience more than just waterslides and food on our cruises, but can and do experience different cultures.  So what did we do in each port?  Antigua & Barbuda: We had visited Antigua in 2016, so we had planned an excursion to Montserrat this time, but that didn’t work out due to a misunderstanding and timing.  At that point, we decided to stroll in the port area, and then we went back onto the ship to explore the ship.  St. Vincent & the Grenadines: We booked the Bequia By Sailing Catamaran excursion through MSC, and it was great!  The catamaran ride to Bequia was tranquil and so was the beach.  We appreciated the stop in town to shop a bit.  Lunch on the catamaran ride back to mainland St. Vincent was delicious.  The afternoon catamaran ride was bumpier than in the morning, but thank God, we were kept safe and sound.  Overall, this was a really relaxing excursion.  The Dominican Republic: We booked the Relax on Bayahibe Beach excursion through MSC, and had a great time at Be Live Canoa Resort in Bayahibe!  We lounged on the beach, played in the ocean, danced, and played games led by the resort’s entertainment team.  This was a fun beach day! St. Kitts & Nevis: We booked the Discover Nevis & Beach excursion through MSC, and it was informative and fun!  This was our second visit to St. Kitts, as the 5 of us had visited in 2016, but this March 2018 cruise was our first visit to the actual island of Nevis, which was great!  In Nevis, we visited the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, a lookout area that had stunning views of the country and the ocean, a shopping village, and the beach.  Martinique:  We booked the Authentic Tour of Southern Martinique, through Viator, and the tour was conducted by Beyond the Beach.  This tour was excellent: We explored Southern Martinique, visiting a shopping village, a beach, Le Diamant, a famous slave memorial, a playground, and the Trois Rivieres rum distillery, with lots of beautiful scenery along the way, including driving through the town in which Empress Josephine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, was born.  Yes, all that within a day, and we got back to the ship well before it would set sail.  St. Lucia:  We had visited St. Lucia in 2016, and had experienced an excellent island tour with Serenity Vacations and Tours, so this time, we decided on a laid back day onboard the ship, and strolling in the port area.  Barbados: My husband’s homeland!  Here, we took the Harrison’s Cave Tram Tour, which we booked through Viator, and the tour company was Glory Tours.  The Glory Tours driver and guide throughout the drive in Barbados was very friendly and professional.  Harrison’s Cave is spectacular!  We also met up with my sister-in-law who lives in Barbados, and we all had lunch at Chefette, then took a taxi back to the cruise port.  Trinidad & Tobago: We booked the Maracas Beach Trip through MSC, and I think that Maracas Beach may be my favorite beach of this trip.  I’m not 100% sure because that’s a difficult decision to make, as we visited a number of amazing beaches throughout this cruise, but Maracas Beach is, at least, one of our favorites! Grenada:  We booked the Creole Bus Sensation through MSC, and this tour was really informative and gave us a nice feel for Grenada.  We visited two forts and the beach, all via a Creole Bus.  Grenada is hot hot hot, so the breeze that freely flowed through the Creole Bus was glorious!  We had a great time!  Guadeloupe: Guadeloupe Explor provided our airport-hotel-cruise transfers while in Guadeloupe, and also provided our day tour when the ship had returned to Guadeloupe in the middle of our 14-day Caribbean cruise.  For the day tour, we enjoyed visits to Crayfish Waterfalls, Guadeloupe Zoo, and a beautiful, tranquil beach.  Our tour guide and driver, Tommy, was very attentive, as he provided refreshments which were well received during our tour of the Guadeloupe Zoo and our time at the beach, provided a beach tent for our children, is an all-around efficient driver, and provided interesting details about Guadeloupe as we toured.  We highly recommend Guadeloupe Explor for getting around Guadeloupe.  Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Seemed a good deal now I know why ,couldn't prebook flight seats,late arriving on board had to do safety drill the next day,food in the main dining room was terrible,on a good note crew were excellent ,cabin was always made up well ... Read More
Seemed a good deal now I know why ,couldn't prebook flight seats,late arriving on board had to do safety drill the next day,food in the main dining room was terrible,on a good note crew were excellent ,cabin was always made up well .The reason why we revisited some islands was for more passengers to board then to return them back the following week.To finish off my cruise of a life time I came down with a terrible cough 3 days before leaving the ship to return home 16 days later I'm still suffering not a good experience .The buffet was very good also good service from the crew all over the ship,I think passengers should not get a option in sanitising their hands it should be done every time when entering the restaurants.The shows in the evening were good but were repeated the second week so didn't attend the second week. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
MSC Fantasia currently has an itinerary visiting smaller and less visited West Indian islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Kitts and St Vincent. For British guests there are fortnightly cruises starting and ending in Bridgetown, ... Read More
MSC Fantasia currently has an itinerary visiting smaller and less visited West Indian islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Kitts and St Vincent. For British guests there are fortnightly cruises starting and ending in Bridgetown, Barbados. French speaking guests from Europe or the local islands and other European guests mainly undertake weekly cruises starting and ending in Guadeloupe or Martinique. These 2 islands are visited twice each during a fortnightly cruise from Barbados so you can expect 4 disrupted evenings while obtrusive safety drills take place (service in every bar can be suspended) as well as having your own first evening disrupted (my drill took place when I should have been dining). Food is very poor and often tasteless and restaurant service, with a few notable exceptions, is appalling. I gave up and joined many other guests who abandoned the evening meal served in the restaurant, which is normally a cruise highlight, for the buffet offering on the 14th deck. The ship is very badly designed with kitchens between restaurants at the back of the boat and those further forward. You can not walk through the boat at 5th or 6th deck level to reach your restaurant at the rear. Although there are 4 sets of elevators one set serves the atrium area with entertainment, guest relations, excursion desk, etc. as well as embarkation and disembarkation. This set of 4 elevators is hopelessly overloaded. Elevators frequently go past floors for no apparent reason. As a result guests often press up and down buttons just to get an elevator. This results in needless journeys, overcrowding and elevators stopping at floors unnecessarily. I walked up 6 decks with hand luggage on arrival because the situation was so hopeless and it was noticeable how many others gave up on elevators throughout the cruise. The entertainment show on board in the main theatre (and menu) repeats on a weekly cycle so anyone taking a 2 week cruise has seen each show by the end of the first week. There is a classical show in the theatre between the 2 performances of the main show and the pretence is that this offers a new alternative for the 2nd week. The main shows fit with dinner sittings. The classical show does not. The theatre shows are poor. There is no band. With the exception of vocals everything is done to backing tracks. Better dancing can be seen on Strictly Come Dancing. People vote with their feet and the theatre is sparsely attended. There are a number of bars with entertainment, often a singer accompanying themselves on a keyboard or with accompaniment by one musician. Backing tracks are again in evidence. Where does karaoke end and proper musicianship begin? The singers are the same every night and the songs sung often the same as well! The Sports Bar is hopeless. You basically get what is on Eurosport. There were no English football matches and no effort was made for Superbowl. The only advantage of watching in the bar was (a) drinks and (b) a sensibly sized screen. The toilet in my cabin overflowed on 3 separate occasions, once in the middle of the night and took far too long to 'repair'. On the last gala night of the cruise I had to remain in my daytime clothes as showering was not practical. This was my first cruise on MSC. It will be my last. It is by far the worst cruise I have ever been on. There will doubtless be other reviews in a similar vein. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
The cruise was an RACQ promo, the ports were fine and most of the stall helpfull, Boarding the high pressure selling package began- water , coffee, wine, meal upgrades. This was a combined cruise - 28 days, but dishing up the same menu and ... Read More
The cruise was an RACQ promo, the ports were fine and most of the stall helpfull, Boarding the high pressure selling package began- water , coffee, wine, meal upgrades. This was a combined cruise - 28 days, but dishing up the same menu and show(which , was not high class, only lasted about an hour) every week -NOT GOOD. (my wife is gluten free, but getting chicken every meal gets boreing)The little things where missing- a drink when waiting for tenders(another company had them), crew knowing where towels are, announce when you can retrive passports, and what deck to leave ship.Dinning with same couple(we got on well) for the whole cruise.Mixups with bookings for excursions, desimbarking, connecting transfers.Selling old movies for $7, Sometimes you like a quite space, this was hard to find, Catching a lift, you give up and walk most tmes. MSC is good at moveing containers, BUT has a lot to learn about moveing people.... Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked this mini cruise as an alternative to a break in Barcelona over Easter. AT the time of booking we had to fly from Dublin (Aer Lingus) as flights from Northern Ireland were not available on the websites and as there were 6 adults ... Read More
We booked this mini cruise as an alternative to a break in Barcelona over Easter. AT the time of booking we had to fly from Dublin (Aer Lingus) as flights from Northern Ireland were not available on the websites and as there were 6 adults and 2 children it was best to secure our seats. We pre-booked parking at Clayton Hotel near Dublin Airport who have a shuttle bus which runs every 20 minutes. this was very efficient on departure and return.On arrival a Barcelona we made our way to the port by 2 Taxis 39euro each. The ship was not docking until 1300hrs so we left our luggage with the porters and went into Barcelona for some lunch. We returned after 1500 hoping to embark however we had to wait until 1600 before this commenced. Embarkation was speedy and before long we were at our cabins, luggage was already there. We had 3 inside cabins which were roomier than RCI rooms. The ship is a nice size and has the same wow as RCI, in my opinion MSC ships are much more ornate. We tended to eat in the buffet mainly because of the 2 under 3's in our group, the choice was plentiful and the food warm and being replenished frequently, you just had to gauge the timing as it could fill up rapidly. The shows were excellent and enthralled the children keeping them quiet, and open mouthed for 40 minutes or so, every bit as good as anything I have seen on any other cruise line. The music in the lounges as you passed through the ship was of a great variety to suit all tastes, we preferred la Insolito lounge which had a good dance floor and a great band. Staff onboard were very friendly and particularly good with the children. Staterooms were very comfy and as already stated slightly larger than RCI insides. Stops at Marseilles and Genoa were on this trip, we stayed aboard at Marseilles and got off in Genoa, Chlidren and parents went to the Aquarium by themselves, while we did the hop on / off bus and shopping. I found the signage through Genoa terminal poor for passengers going sightseeing and worse when returning to the ship. I would have no hesitation in returning to MSC for another cruise in the future. 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Itinerary was key to a revisit to the middle east, celebrating 50th year and wanted something that would be memorable to my family and myself We were not cruise newbies having travelled on RC and Celebrity Cruises in the past, this was ... Read More
Itinerary was key to a revisit to the middle east, celebrating 50th year and wanted something that would be memorable to my family and myself We were not cruise newbies having travelled on RC and Celebrity Cruises in the past, this was our first suite experience and we were very pleased with the facilities and the aurea package which is well worthwhile Excursions and team were varied and very good, additionally the ship facilities were very good value and on par with previous experiences. The food was top notch and we had my choice dining which was excellent Regrettably the balance of the really good experiences can be tainted by seemingly small experience. MSC have a policy of taking a service charge for each day for each member of the family unit which is fine if you receive the service element accordingly. Unfortunately whilst we had a excellent service from our cabin steward and waiters and waitresses at dinner and around the ship this didn't seem to extend to the bar staff who seemed generally quite rude. Additionally a change of schedule due to poor weather caused significant disembarkation mayhem in Qatar, regrettably which led to an hour plus wait for transfer buses from ship to outer port (we gave up in the end and the queues still extended for another hour, very poorly executed) Final disembarkation was also a little disjointed ( I am being kind in my comments) guidance and management was poor and I had mistakenly assumed that all MSC staff were there to assist and help, unfortunately I was wrong in my assumption, in that we were left floundering to understand which coach to board for transit to airport I approached the only MSC staff member available who happened to be a Yacht Club concierge, where he just simply ignored me. Another staff member from MSC apologized for his behaviour, highlighting he only dained to speak to Yacht club members, mistakenly I thought we were all customers of MSC, this is duly noted for any future cruises I undertake In summary, nice ship and facilities, but as you would expect of any ship in this class, itinerary was great, excursions varied and good. Staff in the main good, but overall experience could have been excellent without these niggles Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Imagine nights on board with demolition drilling, metal hammers on metal surfaces, metal pipe cutting and jagged grinding sounds from various heavy duty demolition and construction tools from the decks below sea. Being metal a liner like ... Read More
Imagine nights on board with demolition drilling, metal hammers on metal surfaces, metal pipe cutting and jagged grinding sounds from various heavy duty demolition and construction tools from the decks below sea. Being metal a liner like Fantasia transmits noise very well, especially after dark. I am not exaggerating when I say that the first three nights of our cruise were sleepless nights. MSC's cool, un-smiling reception P.R. suits told us emergency works were needed and nothing could be done except to offer us a bottle of Prosecco (€5). We did not drink it. The emergency was obviously only a nightly emergency as the sleep-loss noise stopped at dawn and resumed after dusk. A one-stripe steward at reception (our third visit there, after many phone calls) told us the work could not be done in port, nor in the daytime. We still cannot understand this. More usefully an exasperated member of staff, herself a steward on board, but not on the reception leash, confided in us and in our neighbours (from cabins, starboard midships, between 11158 and 11198) that she herself had not slept well on-board for some time due to these nightly cacophonies. She told us the same happened weekly. What on earth are they doing then, working all night, out of port, for such time? Are they re-fitting an entire deck? Having much building renovation experience (over 10 houses re-fitted) I would say they are re-fitting an entire section of pipework but no one would confirm what the work was, so we must guess. The result was that after 3 nights we had to threaten legal action and my partner had to give the staff a clue to who she was - a tax auditor for firms including ... [best not say here] Wow, that worked well. It's useful to be with someone like that when the need arises. You should have seen the faces at reception when she mentioned it. The other poor souls who had been complaining since the week before were also thankful to us for somehow getting the noises stopped and thus, from Thursday 2nd June 2016 we were able to sleep - the work commenced during the day and finished at the end of the day, or early in the night when we went to bed, courtesy of a nightly phone call from my auditor, tax-chief partner. So, why could the work not have been done during the day before we had to threaten legal action and other pressures? It went well during the days thereafter. Normally daytime hammering and metal-cutting works on board would be annoying but after 3 sleepless nights it was a pleasure to listen from the sunny balcony, knowing the noise would stop at night. We missed out on breakfasts - we'd ordered and paid for the deluxe in cabin - due to being sleepless and having to stay in bed in the mornings to catch-up with rest but apart from that we survived this cruise from hell. The best things about the cruise were the Eastern staff, who always smiled (unlike their western counterparts), the pianists and chanteuse in the reception bar, and some of the excursions like the amazing electric trikes tour of Palma (a must do!) and the electric bicycle tour of Barcelona (fantastic!) which we loved. Having not slept it was good the bikes and trikes were electric! No pedal power needed. Better food this time too - MSC Lirica 4 years ago was awful for dining, so this time, in Red velvet, we were well looked after. I wanted to give 1 star due to the hell of the first three days, and the insult of being offered a bottle of prosecco for 3 sleepless nights but I want to try to be fair, there were some good memories too and we will be taking further steps to get recompense so all should be well in the end, much though we paid for it in stress and lack of sleep, and anxiety - not what you expect on a thousands of Pounds cruise hol. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, ... Read More
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, except for some of the deckhands. Many staff are from Indonesia, so have English as their first “foreign language”. Most passengers were, in order, Italian, French, German, Central European, Chinese, USA, with very few British indeed. We did this cruise for the itinerary; 11 nights from Genoa, going for 2 nights in Haifa and the rest around the Eastern Med stopping at Katakolon (for Olympia) Pireus (for Athens) Rhodes (Half day really, leaving at 2pm) Haifa (two nights), Iraklion/Heraklion, Civitavecchia, Genoa. Ship is huge at c 133,000 tons with a combined staff/guest number of c 5,600. Quite a lot of vibration at c 20kts, especially at the stern where I presume one is above the props and the shafts. On level 7 in the lounge it was very intrusive. Our cabin was nearer the bow, on deck 11, and we were glad of that. Being Italian, smoking is a little more prevalent than on P&O. With the latter IIRC there were just three open deck areas where it was allowed. On this ship there are probably four, but also a dedicated “cigar room”; moreover smoking is allowed in the casino, which means it drifts upstairs to be noticeable in a couple of the other public areas. Not a big issue for me, but some might find it annoying. Food: disappointing. OK, it's more to the Italian taste, with Pizza and Pasta available every day, but the layout of the Zanzibar Cafeteria area is a bit haphazard and at times quite unhelpful. e.g. Why not have spoons placed by the cereal area, where you need them, rather than elsewhere, and why have prunes/peaches/pears just available in one tiny un-indicated area, whereas bread is available in about six. In my experience food was rarely more than warm. Coffee from the dispensers was horrible; utterly tasteless. You can get decent coffee but you either pay for it, or get it via the drinks package. No tea/coffee facility in room. We took our own small kettle to make tea in the cabin despite MSC's risible claim that it is “dangerous”. Restaurant food was OK, but no more than that. Having said that, we would normally prefer the Cafeteria as I feel it is almost impossible to bring hot food to about 1000 people in a restaurant. Restaurant service was fine. We were lucky to be on a table with six Kiwis, so no language problem. If we had been with six French people, conversation would have been more limited. The average drinks package looks good but probably is borderline. We paid for the “allegrissimo”, but this only allows you Heineken Draft beer, two red wines, two white and one rosé, none of which were that nice. There is a good selection of cocktails, coffees, soft drinks and some spirits on the package though, and remember without it 15% is added to all drink bills. The juices available at breakfast without the package are truly insipid. You can get reasonable orange or cranberry on the drinks package, so we did this every morning along with Lattes or Cappuccinos. Essentially no daytime activities, not that there are many on P&O or RC nowadays. No deck quoits etc. (Hooray!) No long prom deck, but on deck 15 there was a reasonable area for walking. We reckoned 10 laps were just over 2 miles. Evening shows seemed good to us, though we only really saw one, but you can't get drinks in the theatre. Shows last c 45mins. No inane and intrusive announcements during the day, asking you to join the sailaway party or the bingo. No report from the bridge. Ship seemed unaware of its own TIME at one point! We woke up having left Haifa for the TV channel to say ship's time was 0700, but no announcement in the daily bulletin of a time change. So we asked reception who, presumably thinking me mad, confirmed it was 0800. No wonder ships sometimes end up on rocks if their own clocks are wrong! Just two English Language news channels on the TV. We have never tried ship internet as it is universally reported as poor. But with a new phone, using “3” one can use data in most (not all) European countries and Israel, so not worth the trouble for checking a few emails. Cabin good. For the grade a little bigger than P&O with a bigger and nicer shower with moveable head. Balcony small, but adequate. Almost all cabins have the same size balcony. Service generally good though in the “speciality” restaurant, “Tex Mex” they forgot the sauce for my steak and forgot our bottled water. (You pay a bit extra too.) Got told off by one deckhand, in barely intelligible English, for daring to put out sunbeds on an area on deck 16 where they were piled up but no one had put them out. (Actually, the only part sheltered from the gale blowing across the other decks!) Who cares? One big plus: dress code is VOLUNTARY, so if you don't want to wear black tie, and hardly anyone did, it is OK to turn up still in jeans and a t-shirt, as some did, on the formal nights, without being refused admission. If I am doing a fly-cruise I don't want to waste my baggage allowance on something that allows me to look like a penguin for three nights. Like Royal Caribbean: no guest laundry, but for 12 days, not really an issue I'd say. You can get laundry done, at some expense, via the cabin steward. We just wear most things for 2 days when on hols, and sometimes at home too now we're not working. Excursions, as always, a bit expensive. We paid for the ones in Israel, but in Katacolon, by doing some advance research, we found out about the small train which ran to Olympia from the port for Eu10 return each! With admission to the site, c Eu16 each for the trip as opposed to c £50 each via the ship! Likewise, in Athens we walked 3km to the metro station and then got to Monastiraki station (at the base of the Acropolis) for Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second MSC cruise and value for money you can't beat it. We really enjoy our cruise with MSC small little things to be aware off but don't let it put you off. Meal time in the buffet were very busy with no order ... Read More
This was our second MSC cruise and value for money you can't beat it. We really enjoy our cruise with MSC small little things to be aware off but don't let it put you off. Meal time in the buffet were very busy with no order for queuing for food lots of people walking around with trays looking for tables so avoid the busy times. . Food in the buffet was excellent with plenty of choice great pasta and pizza Fine dining in the restaurant well you could take or leave it , very disappointing, tiny portions long delays between courses very slow to get top ups on drinks, drinks package a must if you like a glass or two great saving were had, Excursions very expensive when you are a family of four, we did our own open bus tour when in port and this was a great to get a taste of each country and excellent value. I was very surprised at how reasonable items were in the shops on board there was great deals to be had. Never saw so many people cleaning must have been the cleanist ship on the sea, staff were exceptional frendly especially the lounge staff and photo staff. we travelled with a 12 year old and a 14 year old maybe not enough for this age group to do, and they were not encouraged to partake in any teen activities, internet was very expensive so they had to manage to servive with out it. I would have liked to have seen a organised programme for the kids in this age group as it was midterm, plenty for the little ones to do though. We didn't hear many other English speaking people on board but that was not a problem. one thing I didn't like was the way very small toddlers and young children were allowed in the bars late a night, they did a lot of running around and jumping on tables and chairs which I feel was not very appropriate for this age group and some times the bars felt like a playroom WHERE were the parents I ask myself. Shows very good most nights had a fantastic group of Russian children on board from a preforming arts school who put on a display most evening and a show one afternoon while we were at sea they were the best behave kids I have ever come across and their performances were amazing . Over all we had a a really fantastic holiday with many happy memories Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We have been on a number of cruises with different companies, and this was the second time on MSC. We travelled as a party of 7 (3 generations) in two Aurea grade balcony cabins over Easter 2015. We flew UK to/from Nice, France by EasyJet ... Read More
We have been on a number of cruises with different companies, and this was the second time on MSC. We travelled as a party of 7 (3 generations) in two Aurea grade balcony cabins over Easter 2015. We flew UK to/from Nice, France by EasyJet and then took the included MSC transfer to the ship in Genoa about 90 minutes down the motorway. I once read a review that described MSC as a 'Marmite' line... you love them or hate them. I fall into the former camp and I will gladly tell you why but the first thing to remember is that this is an Italian line not a German, American or British one. As a rule, Italians are stylish, sociable, relaxed and family friendly folk and MSC is no different. Most German, UK or US lines cater primarily for a single nationality whereas MSC cruisers tend to be more cosmopolitan drawing from most of Europe, Australians, Brits and Russians. As a ship she has Italian elegance in spades from the Swarovski crystal staircase and other public spaces to the well designed cabins. There are formal nights and theme nights but if that is not your thing then they are happy for you to go your own way. Equally deck activities are entirely optional and go with the flow. This could upset those who like the formal style of the likes of P&O or Cunard or party, party, party style of other lines. There are shopping stalls and shopping mall offering all the usual jewellery, clothes, perfumes and branded goods and a photographer around every evening before dinner as is the norm for cruise lines. No is considered an acceptable answer! What there is not however, is the would you like to buy an overpriced glass of bubbly for the sail away party etc. Part of this is that MSC allow people to join the ship at most ports of call (we joined in Genoa whilst others did so at Rome and unusually these were the only two). This is great if you want to add a cruise to another holiday. In fact we started by looking for a MSC cruise from Barcelona to combine with a holiday in Southern Spain but could not pass up this special cruise offer. Many people take advantage of MSC's wide range of drinks packages which mean that you know how much the dreaded bar bill will be before you leave. The Aurea grade cabins include the main package which covers soft drinks, mineral water proper coffees and tea, most cocktails, ice creams and other alcoholic drinks. If you are a wine buff, you may wish to invest in some different wines (this is the only Achilles heel in this package). As a family, being able to say 'yes you can have another X,Y,Z' without needing to add up the cost makes things so more relaxing. This deal (called the Allegrissimo package) is one of MSC's real selling points as I can budget in advance (and yet I saw no-one drunk on either of our MSC trips so there is a typically European outlook to alcohol consumption). Some have criticised MSC for the staff not always having excellent English. What they forget is Brits are the minority on this line and the staff all speak 2-3 other languages as well their native tongue. All spoke enough English to get the job done and be polite. The food on MSC is good but not going to set the world alight. There are two main options included in the fare. One of the main restaurants or the buffet. The buffet is huge, open 20 hours a day and has fantastic pizza as well as a dizzying array of tasty main and snack meals. The main dining rooms run with two sittings except for the top two cabin grades which are flexi dining. Brits tend to eat earlier than many Europeans so the first sitting is less popular. We were 3 generations from 75 years to 4 years of age. The children's menu changed daily and had a theme. There were the usual X with chips meals as well as cut down versions of the adult dishes. The menu was extensive and changed daily. There were themes around Italian regions and the wider Med. The food was sometimes a little cool but a quick request to our superb waiting staff sorted that out on the first night. If you didn't like a particular dish another soon appeared in its place. Since the menu has six courses choice was not an issue. After a few days the team got to know our preferences and were able to recommend dishes we might like (without fault and two of the party were fussy eaters). The children's clubs open from first thing until the late evening and include a primary school age section and teens club. This teens section seemed both popular and well designed with a mix of 'hanging out' and organised activities. Unlike many lines, if you are on an MSC excursion the children can stay in the club whilst you go and see the sights. This brings me neatly to excursions. Shore excursions were generally about the same content and price as those on offer from independent companies with the insurance that if delayed (and we were by traffic on one) the ship will wait. We did a mixture of finding our own way (Rhodes, Valletta, Katakolon and Heraklion) and excursions aimed at the different walking abilities in our group in Athens, Ismir (to Ephesus), Messina (to Etna) and Rome. The excursions were all good (although the guide on one was not great) but in common with most organised tours you often felt that another 30 minutes would have been great. If we went again, we would have done Athens ourselves as the public transport has improved no end since the Olympics. Etna was best done by tour and was fabulous and worth the long drive and the walking tour of Rome was spot on. The Ephesus trip would have been better without the trip to the leather shop but this was a minor niggle. The cabins are stylish without being stupidly opulent and even with 3rd/4th passengers did not feel too cramped. There is a shower only in most cabins. We opted for two Aurea balcony cabins that were next door to each other. This meant that the cabin steward was able to unlock a door normally used to clean the balconies from one end of the deck to the other so in effect we had connecting cabins. The ship does have a few proper connecting cabins but they book quickly. The cabin steward was always on hand when needed and was not 'in your face'. They do turn down beds and convert sofas to beds and back but don't expect a chocolate on the pillow or useless towel origami. It is worth mentioning a bit about the MSC grading system. There are the usual inside, a few outside and a lot of balconies and a reasonable number of suites. There are however also what they call experiences from Bella to Fantastica, Aurea and Yacht Club. Bella is your basic package of cruise and food without any bells and whistles. Fantastic has a bit more but frankly is neither fish nor fowl. Aurea has the drinks package, priority boarding and flexi-dining as already mentioned but also includes free access to the spa, one spa treatment, one free photo (on Italian night) and access to the adults only sun deck at the top of the ship. Yacht Club takes this even further with its own restaurant, sun decks, butler service and butler boarding so you only need to carry your passport and so on. We originally were looking to book a Fantastica balcony with a bolt on drinks package. This was a fairly last minute booking and we could not get two together (for the balcony trick). Our travel agent worked out that the cost of the upgrade to Aurea was virtually nil. To be honest if I were to go MSC again (and I probably will) then it is Aurea for me (YC is too isolationist for my taste as I like to be more in the throng and a serious price hike). There are not many educational enrichment activities as there are so many languages on board and the shows in the spectacular theatre are a nice change from the West End/Broadway show fare of many lines. Think more Cirque du Soleil and magic tricks on a theme. The pirate based show is NOT to be missed. Many of the bars have bands, quartets and other musicians. For those wanting to do a bit of Dad Dancing there is also a disco. Embarkation for us as Aurea grade was pretty painless as you get fast track embarkation but the queues for the Bella and Fantastica grades were long (she is a huge ship) but moving quickly. The best bet if you don't like queues is to join at a non-home port (ie not Genoa, Livorno or Civitavecchia). Disembarkation is fast and well organised but the loading of the transfer coaches could have been better. We boarded one of the last just as the first of twenty which loaded over 45 minutes before was just getting ready to leave. Tips on some lines are the bane of many travellers lives as there always seems to be a hand out. MSC have a no tipping policy. There is a small flat rate daily service charge plus about 8% on all drinks unless you have a drinks package where it is on the value of the package (less than 30 Euro per day). MSC instead operate a performance related pay structure so the comments you make in the surveys really do matter! What it does mean is that the staff treat everyone in the same polite, unobtrusive and helpful and you know that your wallet is not going to be emptied into the tip pot. In short... Beautiful ship Great staff Great value (effectively an AI cruise in a balcony cabin including flights and transfers for 12 days for £1400 per person or about £1600 including excursions) Approach MSC with an open mind. As the line allow boarding and disembarkation at multiple ports there are often great deals for short trips and re-positioning. This cruise on Fantasia was a late addition to the cruises on offer I presume due to a charter falling through or a faster than expected re-fit. Our last MSC cruise was October 2014 Southampton to Hamburg one way in a balcony cabin (upgraded by MSC to a suite in the days before the experience grades) for £149 each cruise and Hamburg transfers only for 4 nights. Magnifica was going in for a re-fit. I couldn't stay DBB in a cheap motel for that money here in the UK. Give them a try and see if you love them or hate them! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2013
I had been on Msc fantasy April, 2011 with my wife and two children and we had a great time on the ship as well as on the excursions. The following year we made a family group of 19 to repeat the same ship and same route to celebrate my ... Read More
I had been on Msc fantasy April, 2011 with my wife and two children and we had a great time on the ship as well as on the excursions. The following year we made a family group of 19 to repeat the same ship and same route to celebrate my mother´s Birthday. I appreciate the excellent hospatilaty of the Msc staff especially the dining services. They provided us with our favorite Indian as well as international cusine. The cabins cleaned up every time you left them. Entertainment, information, shore excursiones all excellent. And the most pleasing incident, we forgot to order a cake for one of the members who was celebrating a birthday one of the crusing days, worried we visited the dining room kitchen at 7pm ...........yes sir 9:30 pm a beautiful freshly made cake on the dining table. My kids would love to repeat the experience once again. Unfact I am planning to go Msc again next easter holidays. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
I had read some dubious reviews about this ship and MSC prior to the trip, but overall, we were very pleased. We did select this sailing largely for the itinerary, so we spent much of our time in the various ports of call while docked ... Read More
I had read some dubious reviews about this ship and MSC prior to the trip, but overall, we were very pleased. We did select this sailing largely for the itinerary, so we spent much of our time in the various ports of call while docked (though we did not book any excursions with MSC and found that we could DIY very comfortably). That is to say, we didn't spend much time during the day on board--so we can't really comment on things like the pools, sundeck, etc. I suspect they would've been more occupied with kids than we'd like, but again, we weren't on this trip to sit in the hot tub. I did use the reasonably well-equipped gym every day, and my husband made good (or poor, depending on your perspective) use of the casino at night. Our room (cabin 10089) was well-maintained and comfortable. I wish we'd had more opportunity to enjoy our balcony as it was in a nice location on the ship. I also would've enjoyed bathrobes & slippers, but they're obviously not a deal-breaker. Internet service was not good, but I did not expect it to be. I think MSC could probably do more to improve the quality and speed of wireless internet on the ship. Despite the fun we had watching some of our favorite movies in French and German, we may not have felt that way if we had access to more English-language news and TV channels for when we were in our room. The food in the dining room wasn't particularly impressive, but there were certainly other options, and I didn't exactly expect dinner to blow me away when the kitchen is trying to serve 2000 people (literally) at the same time! The Allegrissimo Primo package definitely made things easier in terms of ordering drinks and snacks. I would recommend it for anyone who plans to consume 3-4 alcoholic beverages and a soda or coffee per day. (The gelato was a big perk as well.) Pizza in the buffet was quite good. The ship itself was lovely and all the staff we encountered were courteous and friendly. To be honest, so were most of the other passengers! We had a great trip and would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
Well, after reading many damning reviews about MSC Fantasia, my husband & I approached this cruise with a little trepidation. No need though - the whole experience was great! On arrival at the cruise terminal in Barcelona, & having ... Read More
Well, after reading many damning reviews about MSC Fantasia, my husband & I approached this cruise with a little trepidation. No need though - the whole experience was great! On arrival at the cruise terminal in Barcelona, & having registered online, we were ushered to the desks, where we waited for maybe ten minutes before being attended to. All passengers who had not registered online were given a coloured ticket & told to wait to be called to the desks. Within half an hour of arrival at the terminal we were in our cabin (a delight), where our bags were already waiting for us. After reading reviews regarding hefty drinks prices on board, we had pre-booked a drinks package, which gave us unlimited beer, wine, water & soft drinks at lunch & dinner. These various packages are not widely broadcast by MSC, & you also need to book your package ideally when you book your cruise, as they are not available to purchase on board. We also purchased a bottle of duty free tipple in the terminal, having already had our hand baggage go through the scanners, & they were not scanned again, nor were we asked if we were carrying alcohol as we boarded the ship. Result! Any duty free alcohol purchased on board is held & delivered to your cabin the night before disembarkation. First impressions on boarding: - fantastic ship, fabulous cabin, and very helpful staff. We had only been in our cabin (with a bathtub!) for about ten minutes when our cabin girl knocked to introduce herself. My husband asked her if it was possible to have some ice for our ice bucket, & she fetched it, saying that anything was possible. It was then supplied automatically every evening thereafter. We had also requested a table for two at dinner when we booked, but on checking at the registration desk, we were told that we were on a table for six in the Cerchio D Oro, & we were advised to go to the Red Velvet restaurant & speak to the Maitre d'Hotel to see if we could swap. This we did without delay, & the very helpful & accommodating manager had no problem changing our table to a double.Another nice touch was being able to order your usual newspaper from reception to be delivered to your cabin for a very reasonable price of 2 Euros. The food was very good, with a wide variety of dishes, none of which were on the menu twice in our eleven days. Breakfast has all you could imagine on offer, & more! Again, better in the restaurants, but if you fancy a less formal affair, the buffet is still good, & you can walk it off finding a table! You could also order a continental breakfast to be delivered to your cabin (no charge), which we did many times, sometimes just ordering coffee & juice, & it was always delivered bang on time! Lunch & dinner - yes obviously there was an Italian influence to the menus (very delicious too!!), but dishes from all over the world appear as well, such as curry, chinese, terayaki, mousaka & even roast lamb & fish & chips! If you still don't fancy anything on the menu you can always order burgers, hot dogs & pasta at lunchtime, & chicken, steak, salmon & pasta in the evening. We ate all our lunches & dinners in the restaurants, as the buffet can be a bit of a nightmare - full of people piling up huge plates & then leaving them. If you prefer to eat a peaceful lunch on a table for two, you have more of a chance in the Cerchio D Oro, as they just lump you all together in the Red Velvet, rather like on a production line. It also seems more laid back & relaxed (in the Cerchio D Oro), & all the staff are great. Our waiter had our drinks order waiting for us on our table every evening, & bent over backwards to make sure we had everything we could possibly need. There were several other restaurants around the ship, but there was an extra charge for these. Also, no menus were displayed there to give an idea of cost etc. There were always menus on display outside the main restaurants.The ship had many bars to choose from, & yes there was smoking in several, but it was not really intrusive. My only real criticism was that although there were loads of places to sit, the chairs & sofas whilst very stylish, weren't what I would call 'cosy'. The best seating was in the library, or unfortunately in the cigar lounge... Also you very rarely saw people sat with drinks, no doubt due to the high prices - around 16-17 Euros for two gin & tonics, once you add on the 15% service charge.We only went to one show in the theatre, as we don't need to be entertained constantly, & although we were battling force 9 gales, it was very professional & watchable. Also the language used in the show was English.There were three formal evenings during our eleven nights, & my husband felt comfortable in his dark suit, rather than trussed up in his DJ. There were some tuxedos about, but most men wore a step down from this.There was a comprehensive selection of shore excursions available, but we always prefer to do our own thing - which was just as well because the weather at several of the ports was evil, so we stayed on & enjoyed the ship.Being a Mediterranean cruise, & with passengers embarking & disembarking at every port, I was surprised to hear most announcements were made in English first, or second at the very least, so there was no need to listen through the other 4 or 5 languages. Disembarkation was smooth, if a little delayed, due to a violent storm before we arrived in Barcelona. On the whole, we had a really great, relaxing holiday with Fantasia, & would have no hesitation booking with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
Arrival at Genoa - to find chaos in the hall to book onboard. Arrived on board - beautiful - cabin spotless. Super balcony. The ship is fantastic - glittering from top to bottom with shimmering lights. With so many floors the lifts just ... Read More
Arrival at Genoa - to find chaos in the hall to book onboard. Arrived on board - beautiful - cabin spotless. Super balcony. The ship is fantastic - glittering from top to bottom with shimmering lights. With so many floors the lifts just cannot cope - they often do not stop on your floor. The areas permitted to smoke are far too many - even one huge lounge with dancing was used for several meetings etc but as the smoke smell was so bad we did not attend. The areas running down the side of the ship by the side of the swimming pool (part enclosed) was smoking permitted. The entire indoor pool area full of children - smoking permitted). The restaurant service was poor to start - no time for coffee we were originally told at dinner the first night - every night after coffee was served as the order for sweet was taken. Lights go up after one and a half hours to tell you to leave!! A glass of water was served HOT. Many meals for the table of 6 were completely missed - forgotten or brought out of sync with the other meals. We had ordered the wine in the UK - they knew nothing about it on board. Had to find our documentation to convince them - and they worked out what it involved. They used a book of vouchers to tear out a bottle each night. They originally had no person responsible for the wine. Water had to be purchased at almost £2 per bottle. Tonic £2.80 - (Beer 2 bottles) £9. It cost 6 Euros per person one day & 5 Euros other days, to get out of the port on the local coaches. The hazards within the port made the coach essential. The gym was part closed to the public because of poor conditions at sea and the spa sauna was closed because a VIP had wanted it to himself. VIP passengers are the elite with their own facilities - but it did not stop them using the midnight feast to gorge themselves silly with the rest of the passengers. The daily newsletters were repetitive and the information for the Germans had included film shows etc that the other nationalities did not get. The dress code of formal when at Sea - informal in-port did not apply. Smart jackets was the order every day, apart from two Gala nights - one night informal. The shows started as rubbish but gradually improved - and the quality of performers became outstanding. Poor stage lighting was a major factor and my comments on board were noted and acted upon. Overall the ship was excellent, the friendliness usually associated with a cruise was totally missing. Meet one of the few English speakers - standby for a criticism and a moan. Stella looked after the cabin really well - Ice each night!! Overall - just about value for money - but would never set out to choose a large ship again. Read Less
MSC Fantasia Ratings
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Rates 3.0 3.5

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