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20 MSC Cruises Italy Cruise Reviews

The MSC Cruise was recomended to us by our friends who travelled last year and enjoyed .their trip. Embarkation was a bit stressfull as it took a long time for people to get sorted too many people in a small space with very little ... Read More
The MSC Cruise was recomended to us by our friends who travelled last year and enjoyed .their trip. Embarkation was a bit stressfull as it took a long time for people to get sorted too many people in a small space with very little refreshments only water and juices. Once we boarded the ship it was great after an early start 5.30 in the morning we got to sit down and relax the food was the usual but very much welcomed . The Cabin was small enough with one double bed and two single bunks that came from the wall with two big teenage boys it was a bit tight but we managed it was very clean and tidy and the service we got was excellent. We have a first seating in the Dining area every night which was very comfortable the staff were so kind and friendly always making sure we were looked after very well thanks to Roberto and milton they were amazing thank you both. The food was average with very small portions. My husband liked to use the Dining area for breakfast as he was always up early. The buffet was great if you wanted a lie on. Some of the entertainment was great but some was boaring same songs every night We enjoyed The Hungarian Lady and her husband they played all the songs we liked in the Topazio Bar deck 6 . The Tiger Bar was brilliant on the MSC Factor night really enjoyed that. The white night was amazing at the pool we had great fun and went to the night club later. The 60s 70s 80s night was my favourite loved all the music and we dressed up great fun. I wasnt well for a few days on the trip and a lovely young lady from Napal made me the most amazing hot brandies with lemon and honey I didnt get her name but a big thank you she also served us our coffee with a great smile she was going home when we left. The Entertainments manager did a fantastic job she was a lovely girl from England she always had time for a chat and always had a great smile on her face loved all the theatre shows. We didnt see our two boys they did their own thing and enjoyed it they only came back for dinner or when we went on the trips.We did all the trips ourselves as we found the excursions from the ship very expensive we loved everyone of them. The boys said the pool was too crowded and there was not enough space fro the amount of people . People still held beds for the day and didnt use them towels should be taken away after a few hours to give others a chance. We paid for wi fi for the boys they say it wasnt very good they had their own cards and had to sign for drinks ect some things were not on beverage packages so the boys ordered without knowing and we got the bill for it. We had the Italian night which was great the information tells you what is included in your cruise its tells you a souvenir gift to recall the special moment of your cruise will be available at the Photo Shop after the Italian night the photos were taken but when I went to get them there was no photo I was very disapointed to cut along story short the manager gave us two photos of the ship and a dvd which i was delighted with untill i went to play the dvd it would not work on any of our players this was very upsetting for me as I love my memories. Apart from that we had a brilliant holiday loved the cities and sights , made lots of new friends. We will Cruise again but I dont think it will be on The MSC Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Arrived on ship and room not ready had to wait. Cases did not arrive at our room till after 8pm No face clothes till we had been on board for 2 days No note paper just envelopes On first dining but the meal was almost thrown at ... Read More
Arrived on ship and room not ready had to wait. Cases did not arrive at our room till after 8pm No face clothes till we had been on board for 2 days No note paper just envelopes On first dining but the meal was almost thrown at us, plates removed from table as you pushed down the last mouthful so they could get ready for the 2nd sitting. None of the food was ever hot either in the dining room or the self service. Cold fried eggs are not good. Plenty of fruit and salad though Self service was always very busy, no seats or tables, walked miles for food in 2 parts of the "canteen" Never long enough on land as unless you wanted to wait for ages in a line to get back on the ship you gaot back early to miss the wait Had taxi booked for disembarkation at 9 am, colour coded labels came for turn at 10am. Went to reception to ask for a change but they said nothing could be done, went to the other half of the reception, explained our problem and he gave us new labels no problem bringing out time forward to 9am. In all not a good holiday and we have come home tired rather than refreashed. Will not go on MSC again Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
I have gone on three cruises but this is for sure the worst of all. when goin out of the ship pictures are not taken unlike other ships. the food is terrible especially the buffet it would take u three whole turns to find a seat were to ... Read More
I have gone on three cruises but this is for sure the worst of all. when goin out of the ship pictures are not taken unlike other ships. the food is terrible especially the buffet it would take u three whole turns to find a seat were to stay and eat and by dat time the food would have become cold and in the main restaurant red velevet i was served almost raw meat. In public areas people could smoke. The sports bar barely showed any channels besides two games of the italian league only. The prices to buy drinks is very expensive and wen i went on board the ship and asked about the wifi the woman told me the wifi was expensive and very slow. The trips were stupid u would arrive in palma de majjorka at night and all the shops would be closed the time taken to go from sicily to malta was 14 hours the excurtions took longer to go to the place than spending the time there. The entertainment in the theatre was bad most of the time and the pools at the top were too small and crowded. I do not reccomend it at all... Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body ... Read More
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body which was very unpleasant. With regard to drinks we purchased the Allegrisimo drinks package which does include water, which isn't stated on the web site. Also you can get water in the buffet restaurant and also at some drink stations so don't buy the separate water package as we did it was a waste of £23. This drinks package is a must as drinks can work out quite expensive and with this you don't have to worry about the bill at the end. Food in the main restaurant in the evenings was ok but nothing special, have had better on other lines. Also don't bother taking loads of evening clothes people are very casual and on one gala night my husband and one other chap were the only people in dinner suites we felt really over dressed. There were also lots of children on this cruise running around the bars well after 10.00 in the evening (mostly Italians on board - it may have been their school holidays). We also felt that some of the public areas were not up to scratch with regard to hygiene, lots of the hand gel stations were empty. I will say that our cabin steward was very good. After the cruise we had 3 nights stay in Mestre, Aaron Hotel, not very good at all not in a very safe area and rooms are very small, although they are clean. We are looking forward to our next cruise but it will not be with this line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were naturally a little apprehensive about how we would cope with such a long time on board. Our fears were allayed considerably by the friendliness, courtesy and efficiency of the staff. The ship was immaculate at all times and the hard work put in by the crew was unobtrusive. The accommodation was most acceptable. The food interesting and tasty as well as being abundant and pleasing to the eye. The quality of the entertainment was outstanding and well orchestrated by the very professional cruise director and his team. It was difficult to make choices about what to participate in from the diverse selection provided. Although embarkation and disembarkation were a little irritating for the long waiting sessions, it is appreciated that a large number of passengers have to be handled and the processes were fairly well handled and organisation evident. All in all, this was a very positive experience and one that we would like to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Good: - The ship itself was lovely. - the staff were very helpful. - cleanliness was great. Poor: - ship has flu on it and they don't do much to contain this or get rid of before next cruise starts. 98% of ... Read More
Good: - The ship itself was lovely. - the staff were very helpful. - cleanliness was great. Poor: - ship has flu on it and they don't do much to contain this or get rid of before next cruise starts. 98% of passengers got sick. - the food was very poor...in buffet, everything was overcooked, bland...even pasta. - in restaurant food sometimes undercooked but mostly overcooked...steak very poor quality. Maitre D listened but chefs did nothing about the food. - food monotonous as well. - Soups were over salted. - internet was appalling...designed to make u use as much time as possible. System not big enough for a ship full...2500 passengers...too expensive since it took so long to get into sights and send anything. - Staff infexible...coffee package means ONLY coffee...no tea or hot choc even though we were told we could have other hot drinks. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Firstly the positives - the restaurant, bar and entertainment staff were fantastic, always smiling and wanting to help. We were a family of 4 with 2 teenage chlldren. We booked 2 years before cruising when the children were smaller (due ... Read More
Firstly the positives - the restaurant, bar and entertainment staff were fantastic, always smiling and wanting to help. We were a family of 4 with 2 teenage chlldren. We booked 2 years before cruising when the children were smaller (due to special nature of the Gallipoli Cruise that we went on). In that 2 years my 2 boys grew into adult sized pubescent smelly 'little adults'. Despite several emails to the organiser of the cruise mentioning the cabin suitability for what is essentially 4 adults - I was reassured that all would be fine. So in the end we paid A LOT of money to have 4 adult sized people crammed into a tiny cabin (with no doors or windows or ventilation) that stank of smelly teenage boys after the second day, so the next 34 days were very uncomfortable. I went to speak to the organisers after 2 days to request to upgrade to a cabin that would actually accommodate us in more humane conditions - to be told they were very busy and would get back to me within 24hours. Despite offering to pay the difference in price to a larger cabin, I never heard from them again. We had 2 other lots of friends who complained on the ship about their cabins (noise from decks above and and odour) and they were upgraded (at no cost), but they didn't even bother to answer our plea for a more humane trip. Needless to say only 10 days into a 36 day trip I got sick with flu like symptoms, fever and cough, and then for the rest of our cabin - all 4 of us were infected and at varying stages of illness and recovery for the rest of the cruise. The medical facilities were seriously inadequate with English language issues (medical staff were Croatian???), the "pharmacy" ran out of Paracetamol in the first week and never restocked??? The medical centre charged a fee of $90 just to see the Doctor to get paracetamol (without even an examination). I am a nurse and my husband is a doctor and we were stunned at the lack of English and poor medical treatment. Combine this with the total lack of supervision of passengers at crucial places like the buffet - where we witnessed sniffling children with their hands in parmesan cheese, adults putting their hands all over the spouts of water dispensers etc etc. with no supervision or guidance by staff. It is NO WONDER over half the ship was sick by halfway through the cruise. So disappointed with the performance of this company and this cruise. The kids activities for children aged 12-14 were much younger than was appropriate for their age, and mine were (understandably) not interested in attending after a couple of sessions. Nothing like previous cruise experiences we have had. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We joined the MSC Orchestra cruise, a 35 day voyage from Fremantle to Rome via Gallipoli for the 100th Gallipoli anniversary. A number of things with the ship and service were good but all up leaves plenty of room for improvement. Three ... Read More
We joined the MSC Orchestra cruise, a 35 day voyage from Fremantle to Rome via Gallipoli for the 100th Gallipoli anniversary. A number of things with the ship and service were good but all up leaves plenty of room for improvement. Three key issues, 1 massive flu on board, which was on board from the prior cruise, 2 very very crowded public spaces, 3 extremely poor bar service Even though the ship was aware of the flu on the cruise from Dubai to Perth, they carried very limited (none after several days) of basic medicines in the pharmacy, ie no cold and flu tablets, no strepsils, no cough mixture, they knew of the problem and did not stock up. Yes you could see the doc on board at Euro 90 a time, but there was always along line. The public areas were crowded, could not get a seat near the pool, unless you were on deck prior to 7 am on warm days, the chairs in the dining room from adjacent tables kept hitting each others, waiters bumped into chairs as they passed as the area was over crowded. The bars were far too crowded, associated with the appalling bar service, it made getting a drink an unpleasant experience. The bar service was appalling, especially was we had paid $150 a day for the two of us to have the premium drinks package. Very early on I learnt not to go to certain bars as you could not get service, ie the pool bar or the Savannah Bar, we were regulars at the wine bar, that was the best of the bad service. On the 4th day, I spoke with the guest relations manager about the shocking service ie 22 and 25 minutes to get two consecutive rounds of drinks. The following few days the service was far better, as they had an officer in the bar as well. The bar service often was embarrassing, it would make you cringe with the incompetence. You would order a drink, which was an endless task, then they would put the drink slip down and the barman would pick up the slips in any order to serve, so a person who ordered 5 or 8 minutes after you may get their drinks first. It was a disaster. The ship ran out of a large number of drinks for a majority of the trip, ie quite a few wines (ie no Sauvignon blank), no baileys, no drambuie, no Tanqueray, no Jack Daniels, even no beer (particular brands) at some times, which made farce of buying a $150/day drink package when you could not get drinks. Generally the bar service in the casino was good. The table service in the dining rooms was very good and quite good in the buffet. The cabin room service was excellent. The ships entertainment was very good, each concert/show was well worth seeing. But they did not allow drinks in the theatre, which I guess is a way of controlling drinks consumption when folks are on a pre-paid ($150/day) drinks package. The part of the cruise that was organised by Gallipoli Cruises was excellent, great organisation, great entertainment, great speakers a real 10/10. We have been on 9 cruises in the past 4 years, including Princess Cruises, Holland America, Star Lines, Uniworld, so I believe that I have a good basis to judge from. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I will cover the good point first. The ship MSC Orchestra was a clean, well maintained ship. That's where the plusses end. The food was appalling, mostly overcooked in the dining rooms. The buffet on the thirteenth deck even ... Read More
I will cover the good point first. The ship MSC Orchestra was a clean, well maintained ship. That's where the plusses end. The food was appalling, mostly overcooked in the dining rooms. The buffet on the thirteenth deck even worse. Breakfast was routinely cold or lukewarm. Lunch was no better. Sandwiches and rolls were left in the self service areas until the bread was curling up and stale. The pre prepared salads served in bowls were terrible, they appeared to be frozen vegetables scattered over lettuce leaves. Staff - Some staff were very good, some arrogant and rude. Health - The ship was ridden with a flu like upper respiratory disease. At least 80 percent of passengers were struck down with this illness and were incapacitated for the entire cruise. The medical staff were inadequate and medicine was virtually non existent with hundreds of passengers having to seek assistance on shore excursions at considerable expense. I am still recovering 5 weeks after leaving the ship. Internet - The internet provided was abysmal and expensive 8 hours cost 69 Euro and rarely worked, you would be lucky to get 15 minutes use out of the 8 hours. The answer to a complaint about the internet re emails, was that it wasn't meant for emails. Service - The service was very disappointing. It did improve in the final few days. Smoking on deck 13 was also a disappointment especially for young children playing and swimming nearby. Deck 7 the deck which was wide and used for walking by many passengers was closed for maintenance for most of the cruise. Summary - I would not recommend this cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We left the ship in Rome after 36 days on a ship riddled with respiratory illness. The ship itself was well maintained and comfortable. That's where the good news ends. Health - A high percentage of the passengers, like ... Read More
We left the ship in Rome after 36 days on a ship riddled with respiratory illness. The ship itself was well maintained and comfortable. That's where the good news ends. Health - A high percentage of the passengers, like ourselves, succumbed to a highly infectious respiratory illness which lasted for the entire cruise. The medical staff were tantamount to useless. The supply of medicine was virtually non existent, to the extent that hundreds of passengers were forced to obtain appropriate medicines at various ports of call. Passengers were charged 80 Euros per visit to the ship's Doctor plus the cost of inadequate medicine by the ship's medical staff. It appeared no attempt had been made to minimise the risk of continuous infection. Food - The food on board was appalling. The meat, poultry and fish all overcooked. The food in the buffet on deck 13 was almost inedible, I have eaten better food from an army field kitchen. Service - The service in the restaurants was average. There were far too many passengers onboard which resulted in tables being that close together you could not move without disturbing someone. Some of the wait staff, who were mostly Indonesian, were polite and capable, others were rude and arrogant. The service in the bar areas was however generally good, although it was obvious there was insufficient staff to cope with the number of people requiring their services. Internet - The internet service was an extremely expensive disgrace. 69 Euros for 8 hours of which perhaps 30 minutes was usable time. A complaint about the internet being so poor emails could not be sent resulted in the response "It's not for emails" from a member of the ship's Italian staff. Drinks packages - These packages were pre purchased. The packages detailed what types of drinks alcoholic and non alcoholic that formed part of the package. A number of different types of spirits and liqueurs that were part of the package ran out half way through the cruise and were not replaced. An enquiry to a crew member relating to when this would be rectified resulted in a shrug of the shoulders. Needless to say they were not replaced. Smoking - Smoking was permitted on deck 13 despite the presence of young children and people eating food. Summary - The 2015 Gallipoli cruise was a major disappointment. It was a very expensive exercise that did not deliver the promises made. The tours of Gallipoli and the dawn service were however very good. The cruise overall was not value for money, it was advertised as a luxury cruise, it was far from luxury. I would not recommend the MSC cruise line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Embarkation at Fremantle was slower than any we have previously experienced with the last of the luggage being delivered around midnight. The first week at sea was very unpleasant for us and for many other passengers, standing around in ... Read More
Embarkation at Fremantle was slower than any we have previously experienced with the last of the luggage being delivered around midnight. The first week at sea was very unpleasant for us and for many other passengers, standing around in queues listening to the multitude of complaints from angry people trying to sort out the multitude of problems with pre ordered merchandise issues. This was not the fault of MSC – the ship was being charted by Travel Superstore who proved to be most inefficient in many areas, leading to much confusion between the two parties. My husband and I have done 23 cruises between us previously in all classes of ships and have a good idea what to expect for the money paid, $20,000 for an aft balcony cabin (not a suite). A similar time in a Queen Mary II balcony cabin costs around half that. Consequently we were entitled to 5 star accommodation and definitely 5 star service, particularly with Travel Superstore’s continuous pre-cruise advertising that this cruise would be the “Trip of a Lifetime!” However for our 6 star prices the eventual outcome was a 3 star ship with a 2 star experience. General feeling of many of the passengers we spoke to during this cruise was that we Australians and New Zealanders were taken considerable advantage of by Travel Superstore, because of our Anzac sentiments on this 100th anniversary. We were dismayed when we first saw our cabin. The room and ensuite were far smaller than any other we have experienced at close to a similar price. The quality of the soft furnishings was a disgraceful standard. For example our sheets were so thin they needed replacing twice because they tore, our threadbare blanket was unusable and was stored under the bed, pillows were appalling – lumpy, matted balls of synthetic substances, the plastic(!) curtains had holes in them, the lounge upholstery was torn and sagged right down in the middle caused by broken slats and should have been replaced long ago. Day 3 in Albany saw us and many passengers purchasing their own pillows, and we even saw one person with a new duvet! We also had to resort to purchasing our own shampoo, conditioner and soap as that supplied was anything but quality. The restaurants and public places were the most crowded we have ever experienced. The overcrowding was explained to us by MSC and Gallipoli staff who told us that the ship had recently been refurbished to increase capacity by 500 passengers. The restaurant staff did their best under the circumstances but were hopelessly understaffed. On this subject, we have never experienced a worse staff to passenger ratio previously. The original ship offered had a standard passenger to staff ratio of 2 to 1 but our ship ended up being less than 3 to 1! This refit, to squeeze in more paying passengers probably also explains the lack of alternative restaurants other than the Asian one. Imagine an Italian ship without an Italian restaurant! (Although the pasta in other venues was below standard so maybe MSC were doing us a favour!) The quality and the presentation of the food was generally anything but 5 star! MSC was most inventive at giving different descriptions and names to salads all consisting almost exclusively of limp Iceberg lettuce. The vegetables, in short supply, were tasteless and overcooked, meat generally tough, with most main courses arriving luke warm. Icecream and sorbets however usually arrived half melted. The many countries from which the menus were supposed to pertain tasted nothing like what they purported to be. Drinks Packages: Drinks were generally dispensed in a miserly fashion, although this can be partly explained by the shortage of staff, particularly in the restaurants. Bar Staff had no such excuse to explain their poor and rude behaviour that we witnessed. The quality of wine provided in our package (Unlimited wine and beer with our meals) was disgraceful. Most passengers on other packages complained about the ship running out of supplies, often early in the cruise. The most reprehensible aspect of the cruise however was the attitude taken to the health of the passengers. There had been an epidemic of flu like symptoms from the departing passengers in Fremantle, which many of us caught in the first few days. Subsequently almost everyone else eventually caught it. The ‘pharmacy’ ran out of supplies within a week and these were never replaced despite many requests and opportunities! The doctors, charging EU$80 per visit for dispensing disprin! and not much else, were often criticised for lack of expertise and dispensing half courses of antibiotics, an extremely dangerous practice, with the advice to get the other half at the next port! And although hand cleansing devices were available around the ship their use was unpoliced. Sadly, once we all departed in Rome, the next unsuspecting embarking passengers no doubt also suffered similarly in all of our germ ridden cabins. Surely it should be a requirement to fumigate or otherwise disinfect ships thoroughly under these circumstances, as should have happened in Fremantle before we embarked. The ship was spotlessly clean which was great, and the cleaning, painting, varnishing and general maintenance was constantly ongoing, very much ‘in your face’ but often to the inconvenience of passengers with stairs blocked off, strong paint smells, balconies constantly cleaned resulting in our cabin being used as the cleaners’ thoroughfare as our balcony door couldn’t lock. The Balinese staff in the dining rooms and cabins were very friendly and efficient. The Italian staff were often rude and surly and never friendly. The entertainment was generally very good, and almost the only thing we can be complimentary about. The entertainers brought from Australia were excellent and the ship board ones were usually more than adequate. The Gallipoli Peninsula and Anzac Day ‘pilgrimage’ aspect was handled very well although we were too ill at the time to appreciate it properly. Cozzi, Travel Superstore's ‘front man’ upset many people with erroneous, poorly timed and often poor taste announcements. Disembarkation: We arrived before the listed time in the listed location, only to find out that our group had already left. After rushing to the gangway, we were refused exit as our account hadn’t been paid, despite us giving you our credit card details. Of course this was another stuff up which nearly caused us to miss our hotel transfer. This may have been noted on our account’s hard copy however no time did we receive one but as we had seen it on the TV we had not been too concerned. The following are some of our observations of services that were either missing completely or were unsatisfactory to a level that we have never experienced previously in our 23 cruises. • Internet. We appreciate that ship internet services are restricted by their dependence on satellites, but this was the worst we have experienced in 10 years, despite being the most expensive. • Room TV service. The first time we have experienced a service lacking in news services such as BBC, CNN, Bloomberg etc. which were only included from the 3rd week of the cruise on. Also the first time we have been asked to pay for movies. Apart from a repeat of the previous day’s history lecture and one very dated movie each day, there was no free entertainment or other documentary channels, only MSC self-promoting recorded channels ad nauseum. • Port Information. The first cruise we have experienced that did not provide comprehensive information both via lectures and newsletter prior to each destination that we visited. This ship had no information available for any of the ports, other than the paid excursions. • Room service. The first cruise we have experienced that did not provide unlimited choices from all menus as part of complimentary room service. All was at an extra charge. • Laundry. The first cruise we have experienced that did not have a guest Laundry on board. • Reception. The first cruise we have experienced where the reception refused to change large currency notes– US & EU. Reception staff were generally unhelpful and often surly. • No deck chairs on the promenade deck, only around the pool, which were all occupied very early in the day, most inadequate for a ship with 3000 passengers. I strongly recommend that everyone steer very clear of both this ship and its chartering company, Travel Superstore. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
OK, 35 nights cruising for one's first cruise could be problematic! NOT loved the cruising, despised the European cruise staff. Best bits: Our dinner table companions (overwhelmingly the best thing about the cruise) ... Read More
OK, 35 nights cruising for one's first cruise could be problematic! NOT loved the cruising, despised the European cruise staff. Best bits: Our dinner table companions (overwhelmingly the best thing about the cruise) Visiting Gallipoli Nice cabin (balcony on deck 12) - clean, adequate storage, comfy bed, good maid. Tour out of Naples to Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Dinner waiters Days at sea (lots) - peaceful etc. History lecture series - unparalleled I'm told by many (I didn't attend) OK bits: Entertainment. Good variety of Australian artists. Impressive cruise staff performances. Theatre was usually full. Coffee (paid for) once you sorted out how you liked your coffee (inevitable differences between countries). Visiting the various countries/sights. Although, be warned - one day stops make it a brief & stressful race to get off, get somewhere & get back on the ship. NOT leisurely, you don't get to see much or experience the ambience. The rest of it: Food was appalling - not even one-star. All tasted pretty much the same & was out of bain-maries - warm & re-heated tasting. Apart from ordering poached eggs etc or smoked salmon in the dining room at breakfast. Of course you could live off the adequate muesli & fruit selection. But that was not the way the ship was advertised. However I did lose weight (7kg) - not a bad thing but unexpected. Italian staff would smile but were inanimate, disinterested & only helpful if really really pushed (politely). Drinks packages were a joke. They saw us coming - premium allegrissimo alcoholic & non-alcoholic. No way we could come close to getting value for money ($4500). Other reviewers have said it all. Running out of drinks, no service etc etc. We even had the bar staff refuse to serve us an icecream in a cone (at the icecream bar with cones in sight). The wretched respiratory bug - nightmare. Duty of care non-existent. One wonders, was the ship working to a budget? The food was so so bad. Where did all our money go? About $50,000. Yes. Plus the pre-paid gratuities. We worked out every staff member could have received approx. 600 Euro - bet they didn't. I don't regret the cruise - Gallipoli etc - but feel a bit foolish & cheated - captive for 5 weeks with crap food on a beautiful looking, clean & glamorous floating hotel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Background We were certainly looking forward to a wonderful adventure. We have previously cruised in Pacific and Inside passage with other cruise lines. Our first time with MSC. Cabin We went for top level 15. Cabin was OK but ... Read More
Background We were certainly looking forward to a wonderful adventure. We have previously cruised in Pacific and Inside passage with other cruise lines. Our first time with MSC. Cabin We went for top level 15. Cabin was OK but smaller than premium cabins on other lines that provide a suite. This cabin was one room with couch and separate toilet. Overall ok. Dining on Board A bit disappointing all round with bland food. Service in restaurants was very good. Casino A highlight. Great staff, great ambience, good selection of games. Gym and Spa A highlight. Great instructors and daily pilates prior to catching the flu was excellent. Staff very friendly. Excursions Logistics were amazing and smooth. Lot of waiting but that's what happens when there are 2500 others to join you. Egypt was particularly well handled given the state the country tourism is in. Sri Lanka golf excursion was overpriced and poorly handled. Entertainment The aussie entertainment were great and a real treat. The European entertainment was ho hum. Illness I caught a flu like respiratory virus causing a rasping cough in the first few days of this cruise. The medical treatment on board medical centre was ineffectual and expensive. After I returned I spent nearly three weeks in bed, and after two more lots of double antibiotics I had tests indicating I had an antibiotic resistant infection known as pseudo mons aeruginosa. Many others had a similar rasping cough and were ill. In reading reviews of passengers on the prior leg from Dubai many of the passengers were ill, so it seems the infection was on the boat prior to our embarkation. I reported my concern to MSC who simply maintain there was no outbreak and they maintain the highest standards. Very frustrating as many other critiques also estimate 80% to 90% of passengers caught the cough. Disembarkation Bit of a long wait but understand there was a medical emergency. Overall was handled OK. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
I just come back with my family from a 7 days Mediterranean Cruise,with MSC Musica, I`ve been around the world taking many Cruises, I have my standards, maybe a little spoiled with the real cruises. The food was school cafeteria style, ... Read More
I just come back with my family from a 7 days Mediterranean Cruise,with MSC Musica, I`ve been around the world taking many Cruises, I have my standards, maybe a little spoiled with the real cruises. The food was school cafeteria style, Not Italian for sure, The service was limited, the service personnel, rude, annoyed, for what understand unhappy to do their job and show. to make things worse my daughter slip and fall in a wet ,unclean floor, went to see the doctor to receive some first aid on her feet, with some bandages, and I WAS BILLED 160 EUROS!! About 200 $ (You can contact me , I`ll show you the bill) .And she was forced to pay it, borrowing money from her mother, because in Marseilles he wallet with her Chase Credit Card and cash mysterious disappear it from her purse. Instead to apologize for the unsafe floor conditions, they take advantage of the " stupid American", that`s ho we are referred. One positive note - they make use the ship phone in the ship to let me know to stop the Credit Card. So that`s my only thank you. To top the disgusting experience the last day in the boat ,today September 15, 2014 somebody stole her iPhone, with all the pictures of our Italian vacation, maybe better off so we don`t think about this disgrace to book this cruise. Take at your own risk. You`ve been warned. Why I don`t read the review?   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I disagree with the previous "terrible" review, because it was simply "Horrible"!!! I regretted so much going on this cruise holiday and vow to never EVER return to MSC. Not to mention the bad, mundane food quality, ... Read More
I disagree with the previous "terrible" review, because it was simply "Horrible"!!! I regretted so much going on this cruise holiday and vow to never EVER return to MSC. Not to mention the bad, mundane food quality, the seemingly different choices of menu from Red Velvet somehow taste the same somehow... I was once seated with an Italian couple during lunch and the gentleman basically took one bite over every dish he ordered and left the rest of the food and kept shaking his head to his wife. He went on complaining to the server, but the server obviously didn't care. I don't blame him, they really do taste bad... Echoing what the previous reviewer, pasta and risotto was uncooked, and also, desserts no matter what restaurants you are in, were total disastrous!! Expect to pay up if you want more decent daily beverages such as juice in the morning and coffee after meal. In the buffet outlet, they do offer free juice in the morning and also black coffee from a machine, but both of them taste like juice-flavored-water and coffee-flavoured-water... Even the hot water has a strange taste! It is very distasteful to FORCE travellers to pay-up by making the free choice so inedible!! Service was also horrific! Everyone one the cruise look like they are all in a bad mood, no simile, either look bored or would not serve you by mingling in their service station speaking their own language and muck around. The only person I love is my room attendant, she really is the only smiling person on the vessel and I wonder what is wrong with the management team to create such a non-motivated bunch of staff! Once classic customer service disaster was from the Front Office staff. Prior to sail date, I booked online to have a steak dinner having the hope that food quality was good. Upon the first night dinning at both the buffet and Red Velvet, I immediately changed my mind as the food quality was so bad. I cancelled 4 days prior and the time the receptionist (whom doesn't really speak English well) said that there will be a cancellation fee of 5Euro (what!?), anyway, I explained to her that that is not accurate as the Daily Program clearly stated that there shall be no penalty for cancellation up to 24 hrs prior. Anyway, she eventually said there shall be no penalty so i hung up. However, thinking that the receptionist English was so bad, my gut feeling tells me just to reconfirm the cancellation, so the next day, I repeat the same ordeal again and guess was, it still was not cancelled!! So do not trust the receptionist over whatever they promise as they are really just lip service! Don't even think this is the end, on the night prior to disembarkment, I decided to check the bill to avoid the crowd the next day. Surprise surprise, the steak dinner was not cancelled, and what is worst, I was charged for the whole meal at 26Euro and not the 5Euro cancellation PER PERSON!!! I explained to that receptionist (Ukrainian male) once again and his respond was "Well, if you were going to cancel the dinner then why did you book it in the first place?!" This is downright rude and such a fine way to wrap my my cruise experience! My regret is not telling him in the face that it was because the food quality was so bad through and through and it scared me to pay for anything to waste money!! Arghh!!! Since me and my wife were seated with other guests during dinner time, they all said that they cruised with RC, Princess, Celebrity and MSC is really the worst amongst them. So we all had a bad time and only i am the motivated one to write this up as I am so agitated by their extremely poor service. So all you potential buyers out there, choose carefully as you have been warned! P.S: Expect very VERY noisy cabin as there are children running around, running around, running around... racing around, marathoning all through the night... even at 01:00 they are still running... so expect a lot of stomping and laughters to disturb your sleep.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
I do not recommend the MSC Fantasia for the following reasons. Firstly, since there is no tap water available, other than in the main buffet area, you are obliged to buy bottles of water, which over 7 days certainly adds up. The drinks ... Read More
I do not recommend the MSC Fantasia for the following reasons. Firstly, since there is no tap water available, other than in the main buffet area, you are obliged to buy bottles of water, which over 7 days certainly adds up. The drinks packages are very expensive too and you have to drink an awful lot in order for it to be cost effective. Secondly, the food was sub standard. Fries, hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza and generally unhealthy food were served every day at lunch time and it didn't even taste nice. To make matters worse, I was made to feel embarrassed when I asked for another portion of turkey! Portions at dinner time were very small too and often the food was inedible. Thirdly, the buffet lunch area was like a circus with everyone pushing and shoving and fighting over the limited seating area. Fourthly, with regards to the first seating allocation, doors were closed at the restaurant shortly after dinner started and if you didn't get there on time, too bad as there was no room in the second sitting. First sitting guests were hurried out in order to accommodate second sitting guests. In general, staff was not friendly and the level of English was very poor, making communication very difficult at times. I found the hairdressers to be rude and they kept me waiting 45 minutes even though I had made an appointment. We will never travel on MSC cruises again.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
This cruise was very disappointing for a number of reasons 1 MSC allow smoking in the casino, in the lounge area above the casino and on all the port side of the pool deck. In fact they have signs stating " MSC welcomes smokers in ... Read More
This cruise was very disappointing for a number of reasons 1 MSC allow smoking in the casino, in the lounge area above the casino and on all the port side of the pool deck. In fact they have signs stating " MSC welcomes smokers in this area ". Although smoking in the cabin and balcony is not permitted, the fact that they have placed an ashtray in every cabin toilet onboard means that they turn a blind eye to this. Our sink and carpet both had cigarette burns although this ship is only 12 months old. MSC say that the ashtray is a soap dish, but it has ridges for the butts and swivels to empty and also all soap in the cabin is liquid. The also sell cartons of cigarettes on deck at cut price, therefore you can smoke all day although you cannot take any drink on board or buy any at duty free for cabin consumption. 2 The Dress Code was not followed, in fact even on a formal gala evening I found myself in dinner jacket seated next to a passenger with Tshirt, shorts and flipflops would you believe ! 3 The Preziosa has a design problem in that midship cabins on deck 13 have a 30 foot overhang from the pool deck. This means that the cabins are dark with a very poor view, although the cabins are one of the most expensive after the Yacht Club. So if you like to enjoy the sun on the balcony be very careful which cabin you choice. The front or the back is OK but deck 13 and 12 midship are a problem. We eventually after five days and numerous visits to reception managed to change our cabin. This cabin was very disappointing due to the 30 foot overhang caused by the pool deck above. This restricts the view and means that the cabin is dark and the lights are required at all times, it was not posible to sit on the balcony and enjoy the sun. We were eventually moved to another cabin 13043 which was at the front and does not have the same problem. Be very careful with cabin selection, on the ship the majority of cabins on the 13th and 12th decks have the overhang although they are the most expensive apart from the Yacht Club. Our cabin had cigarette burns on the sink, although MSC says that there should be no smoking in the cabin and balcony. They have put an ashtray in every toilet which means that they turn a blind eye to smoking ( MSC say it is a soap dish ). Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve ... Read More
Well what can I say other than DON'T GO ON AN MSC CRUISE. Kids running everywhere all day and most of the night, shouting, yelling and totally out of control. Running around the restaurant whilst the waiters were trying to serve food. Buggies and prams cluttering up the aisles when trying to get food in the buffet. One child even rode his bike into a crowded lift!!! We were woken up at 4am one morning with children running and shouting in the corridor outside our cabin. The passengers were extremely rude and pushed and shoved the whole time and whilst waiting for the lifts which were erratic to say the least, the passengers (mostly Italian) barged to the front and would not let people get out of the lift before they got in. The lifts, the kids pressed every button on every floor so it took us half an hour to get from Deck 5 (Restaurant for dinner) to Deck 12 ( our cabin) every evening. These lifts dominated our cruise experience because this was not a small boat and you had to use them. In most situations you would say that this was a major design fault in this boat but this (perhaps) may not be the case if they were not constantly abused. This was the most stressful holiday my husband and I have ever had. The food was not good either, there was far too much salt used in the cooking and the food was very poorly presented, it reminded us both of school dinners. The food was also nearly always cold by the time it was served. My husband bent his metal fork whilst trying to cut a piece of stale bread when eating Eggs Benedict for breakfast. There was no toast supplied at breakfast and the rolls and bread were stale by the end of the week. The juice drinks machines more often that not where out of order or not switched on. Not good when you want a cold drink. Also the juice when you could get it was watered down and had sugar added to it. Also there were no glasses at the juice machines and we had to use warm teacups to get a drink when the machines were working. There was no fruit that was fresh in the buffet either and mmost of the fruit supplied at breakfast was tinned. The departure from the boat at Majorca and Villefranche was totally disorganised to say the least with the usual pushing and shoving from the Italian families. But the worst situation by far was on the Wednesday 10th July. My husband and I went to the pool on the 13th deck, got our towels and found two sun beds. This was at 9.20, we sat down for a while and put on sun cream, at 9.40 my husband said "I think I'll go for a swim now" so I said "OK I'll join you". We went down to the pool and were only gone for 20 minutes, when we decided to go back I went up the steps first whilst my husband had a shower near the pool, when I got to our sun beds there were other people there arranging their towels and belongings and all our belongings had gone. We went down to the attendants who had given the towels out to find all our property including phones, watches, cameras, shoes and our towels had been thrown into a plastic sack. The attendant started being very rude and aggressive and shouting at us and quoting that in the contract you are only allowed to leave the sun bed for 30 minutes, we had been gone for 20 minutes. I spoke to a Security Guard who was standing nearby but he could not help me, the attendant who I originally spoke to stood there watching me and smirking at the fact that I could not get anywhere with any of them. There were other people leaving their beds for 2 hours and more, also children who had beds who were never on them. We could not get anywhere with this rude and aggressive man so we had to go inside down seven decks to the desk, barefoot and dripping water, me in my bikini and my husband in his trunks because everthing had been taken, we did not even have a towel to dry ourselves with. We spoke to someone at the desk who again, was not very helpful but we demanded a meeting with the manager and this was eventually arranged after two put offs for the evening. We finally met Shameem (sp) who I must say, did handle the situation very well as we were both furious at this unfriendly and discourtesious way of being treated. Shemeem said she would report it back to the management, as they did not want passengers to be unhappy. The trouble was the damage had been done and we had to spend the rest of the day in our cabin as there was nothing else to do and all the sun beds had gone by this time. I am sure that we were targeted because we were English, it would not have been done to an Italian family. There were very few English people on this trip, Im not surprised!! We did however go to some lovely places such as Rome, Majorca, Monaco and Palermo and we also met some very nice Australian people who sat on our table at dinner each evening and who incidentally did not like the cruise either and had said they would never travel with MSC again. They were horrified when they heard what had happened to us at the pool on Wednesday and thought it was a disgusting way to treat people. If they are going to take one set of people's belongings because they have been away from their bed for a short while then they must treat everyone else the same and not target individuals. We will never go on another MSC cruise again and shall make sure that everyone we know hears about this.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Let me start by saying that I was part of a large group and had no choice in selecting this ship or cruise line. The port of calls is what held our interest. At our first day get-together (about 3 hours on board) I soon learned how bad ... Read More
Let me start by saying that I was part of a large group and had no choice in selecting this ship or cruise line. The port of calls is what held our interest. At our first day get-together (about 3 hours on board) I soon learned how bad service was going to be. I decided not to have a drink (that was being passed around as part of our org's welcome party) but a simple glass of water. I was told by the bar tender that I would have to buy a ½ or 1 ltr. Bottle of water. From there on, it goes downhill. At dinner the wait staff will only take your order if you order all courses up front. You better know what dessert you want before you have your appetizer as that is what the waiter 'insists' upon. Now, you finish dinner and ask for coffee with that desert; they don't serve it. You are told to go to another deck and buy a cup at the coffee bar! Meanwhile, coffee and water are free and available at the buffet. Oh, and if you want water at dinner, you have to buy it too. I don't suggest the water package as it is too many liter bottles and the savings is insignificant and you won't use it up if you tried! Overall the food in the dining room was awful. One of their 'always available' items is a steak that is on par with the quality of a steak served at a mall food court. When I didn't eat mine past one bite, instead of the waiter asking if he could get me something else, he just took it away and said nothing. The buffet, where we had breakfast and dinner offered the same items every day. Only one very small area labeled as Ethnic changed their lunch offerings. The pastries were okay but nothing exceptional. And, here too you had to eat what they wanted to serve you. For example, my wife wanted tuna salad one day. Well, it was only offered on a roll as a sandwich. The person serving it would not put plain tuna on a plate. So, we ordered the sandwich with the intention of removing the tuna from the bread except the server kept mashing it into the bread. It wasn't a language barrier, he was doing what he was told and that is to do as instructed by management, not the customer! The Divina is a huge ship that is not designed well in my opinion. If you are at the bow on level 6 and need to go to the stern where the dining rooms are, be prepared to go up and down stairs. The Villa Rossa dining room is also on 6 but there is no straight path to it. At mid ship you must go up to 7 and then back down to 6 ridiculous. If you are a jogger, be prepared to push people out of your way as the 'jogging' deck is packed with deck chairs and people milling all around. When taking elevators, be prepared to run. Why? There are usually 4-5 elevators per bank but the door close button works great so most times when a crowded elevator reaches your floor someone on the elevator immediately hits the door close button and you usually miss it unless it opens right in front of you. If you hate cigarette smoke, this cruise line is not for you. It's everywhere. Instead of having totally separate rooms for smokers, they split the rooms but their venting system cannot keep the smoke out of the non-smoker's side. As for bar snacks, potato chips anyone? We pre-booked our excursion on-line while in Dubrovnik to receive the discounted rate. Well, we were informed the night before that it had been cancelled (not the ships fault as there were warnings that this could happen). However, when we went to the ship excursion desk to book a replacement we were told we would have to pay the on-board price which was about 25% more. Housekeeping was terrible. After a few days we realized that our water glasses left on the desk next to the ice bucket were not being replaced. They were just putting paper covers back over the used glasses. The bath robes they give you to use (which are never changed) are removed from your cabin on the last night. This cruise line is in for a rude awakening when they bring the Divina to Miami this fall. Expect to read about coffee riots in the news (oh, by the way, they don't offer decaf). Management runs the ship for the benefit of the cruise line not the cruisers. They have no idea about service. Now, I am only speaking for the regular side of the ship where we booked the top price cabin. I did not book in the Yacht Club level. However, we met someone who booked the YC as we were embarking. We actually met up with her at disembarking. We asked how her side was and all she could say was that she was headed to Barcelona for another cruise with MSC and she dreaded it. We found being on an international ship intriguing with all of the different languages. Europeans can be very pushy and rude. People will cut in front of you and push you out of the way. Don't worry about being an 'ugly American', just push right back and stand your ground while saying 'esscusa'. Thank goodness we ended our vacation back in Venice at a wonderful bed & breakfast where the owners understood service. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
The Grand Voyage concept is a brilliant idea - spending three weeks at sea travelling to numerous countries / destinations unpacking once! Travelling from Cape Town to Venice on the MSC Opera was a lifetime experience. The entertainment on ... Read More
The Grand Voyage concept is a brilliant idea - spending three weeks at sea travelling to numerous countries / destinations unpacking once! Travelling from Cape Town to Venice on the MSC Opera was a lifetime experience. The entertainment on board was absolutely outstanding - catering for a more mature (in years!) audience with basically no children on board. We were basically entertained from 10h00 - 23h00 daily with a variety of activities resulting in 21 days just flying by. A variety of shore excursions served everyone's needs and tastes, very well planned to optimize time, getting so many guests on and off the ship. The MSC has served many people well over many years. This was The Opera's last journey before it's major extension and revamp - thus the cabins were not in optimal condition - but no major issue. Dining was great - food was awesome! - variety - with country themes - made dining a memorable experience. An excellent gym assisted in keeping the weight issue at bay - especially with all the great food. Disembarkation in Venice was a long process - mainly because most didn't want to leave what has become a way of life and home for the past three weeks. Highly recommended and a must on your 'bucket list'! Already planning the next mini - retirement on another MSC Grand Voyage!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
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