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91 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Family Cruise Reviews

Family friendly and to try a new cruise line . What we got was the rudest most unhelpful staff I have ever seen in the 15+ years of cruising. The dinning was average and again “couldn’t care less type of attitude “ Nobody ... Read More
Family friendly and to try a new cruise line . What we got was the rudest most unhelpful staff I have ever seen in the 15+ years of cruising. The dinning was average and again “couldn’t care less type of attitude “ Nobody seemed to know what was going on and never got the same answer twice. We had a tight connection and wanted to know how long roughly it would take to leave the ship with our own bags and was told the immigration could be slow and on leaving the ship there was no immigration! The cabin was average but what tipped my wife over the edge was no tissues in the bathroom. She was told it was because we didn’t have a higher enough grade balcony!!!! Staff had a poor command of English and didn’t know what was going on . Overall very disappointing and will never travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Before I start my review, I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 21, so I am well familiar with European customs etc. My husband and I enjoy cruising. We have sailed on ... Read More
Before I start my review, I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 21, so I am well familiar with European customs etc. My husband and I enjoy cruising. We have sailed on Royal, Disney, Carnival, Celebrity and Norwegian. We chose the 7-Day Northern European Cruise on MSC Opera because of itinerary and price. Embarkation and Disembarkation Easy, fast and comfortable. We enjoyed having beverages available when getting on the ship. The MSC tents and flags were a cute touch. Cabin Compact and very clean. Our interior cabin was located on the 14th floor. Very convenient to the pool and bar area. Cabin service was done in the mornings and evenings. Our steward did a wonderful job. Storage space was just enough. Luggage could be stored under the bed. The shower is very compact and might not be comfortable for larger guests. Shower gel and Shampoo are available in the shower. In-Room-Dining We opted for the Fantastica Experience, which includes complimentary In-Room-Dining. We ordered coffee, croissants and juice every morning. All was delivered on time and fresh & delicious. Breakfast We truly enjoyed breakfast in the Main Dining Room every day. In addition to a menu, which features the same items daily (eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles etc.) there is also a buffet. The buffet features the best bread selection we have encountered at sea, European breakfast meats and cheeses, fresh fruit etc. On the hot side there is a omelet station, a daily selection of potatoes, sausages and scrambled eggs. Coffee is being served at the table. At times coffee service can be a little slow. In addition to the Main Dining Room, breakfast is also offered at the buffet, plus there is a gluten free option in one of the coffee bars. Nice touch. Lunch For lunch we stuck with the buffet. There was always a wide selection of dishes available catering to the multicultural guests on this sailing. A variety of burgers and pizzas were offered as well. The salad bar was just wonderful and we also enjoyed the pre-made delicious little sandwiches. We found the food to be tasty and fresh. Beverage service was once again a little slow. Dinner We loved our daily dinner experience, which was truly European. Our service team was very friendly and efficient. By dinner night #2 they already had our drinks waiting for us. Water service is included if you booked your cruise through the US. Otherwise you will have to purchase drinks, including water, coffee or tea. The food selection changed daily and was always interesting and delicious. Definitely not what you would find on American lines. Dishes included lamb, veal and of course pasta and risotto. Bread was once again outstanding, so were the desserts. Dinner is a very relaxed affair, so expect to dine for 2+ hours. Families and friends gathered over food, wine and cocktails and truly seemed to enjoy themselves. So did we. Note that beer and wine are available in the dining room. If you prefer a cocktail, make sure to bring it with you. Bar Service Here things get a little interesting. Bar orders need to be placed with the cocktail waiters, not the bartenders. We wish we would have known this from the beginning. The moment we figured this out it was easy. Cocktails were well presented, tasty and appropriately strong. All coffees were wonderful. The wine and beer selection was nice and of great quality and value. We loved the little nibbles, like chips, nuts or olives, which were served alongside our beverages. Very nice, high end touch. Entertainment We were thrilled not to be bombarded with the Electric Slide, Hip Hop etc. on a daily basis. Pool music was more chill. There were daily games in the morning hours. For the rest of the day guests were able to entertain themselves. No hairy chest contests etc. What a relief! Daily shows were Vegas style and consisted of dancers, acrobats and singers. They were very enjoyable and always had one or two breathtaking moments. Think upscale variety show. Live music was offered in all lounges. Genres definitely catered to music popular in the 80s in Europe. It would have been nice if one of the lounges would have offered a little fresher take on music. The disco is a beautiful space, but was visited very little. Spa Only disappointment of the trip. Appointments cannot be made pre-cruise, so we made one the moment we got on the ship. The spa doctor seemed a little flighty and actual made our appointment for the wrong date. When we showed for the appointment we thought we had, we were told it was not available. The staff tried to help and was able to get us in for an hour later. When we showed back up our couples massage room was given away by accident. Again, the staff tried to help and was able to create a make shift space for us. The massages were good and the staff was nice, but after the initial experience it was hard to relax. We will not use MSC Spa services again. Overall We would go back on a MSC Cruise in a heartbeat. (we are actually already booked for one to go to Cuba this December.) If you enjoy a true European experience, with people from all over the world, this might be the right fit for you. If you are expecting to find the same as on Carnival, Royal etc. you will probably be disappointed and frustrated, as food, beverages, entertainment and service are different and you will not be surrounded by English speakers at all times. We found the MSC Orchestra to be in top shape. It was very clean and well maintained. The pool deck, including pools, was deep cleaned almost every night. Hopefully this review is helpful to some. We are looking forward to our next adventure on MSC. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First the toilet was not flushing right , then the bathroom was not clean , it had a bad smell all the time , we had to use air freshener all the time. The carpet in the room had spots on it. Also we had a very rude cabin steward , who ... Read More
First the toilet was not flushing right , then the bathroom was not clean , it had a bad smell all the time , we had to use air freshener all the time. The carpet in the room had spots on it. Also we had a very rude cabin steward , who called us by the phone and told us to leave the room because he need to clean it. We couldn't eat dinner in the restaurant because they alway make us to wait for a long time So we finished up eating in the same place all our meals on the back of the ship. The food was not great and also they needed 2 hours to change from breakfast to lunch and then another 2 hour to put up the dinner. When we got back on the ship after our shore excursion at 5pm everything was closed , no food until 6.30 pm. Also you pay for everything , if you want a better coffee you pay for it and you wait at least 30 minutes to get it and if you try to get a drink from the bar they send you to the table and you wait again 30 minute for someone to get your order.....and other 30 minutes to get your drink..... The room was not clean, the food was not great and the service is awful Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this ship because of the amazing itinerary. The ports were wonderful.. had and a great time visiting Greece, Italy, France, Malta and Barcelona. However let me start off by saying, my entrance into the ship felt like I was at a ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the amazing itinerary. The ports were wonderful.. had and a great time visiting Greece, Italy, France, Malta and Barcelona. However let me start off by saying, my entrance into the ship felt like I was at a timeshare meetjng. They ushered us into the bar/reception area and proceeded to try to sell us a drink package. They were very persistent even when told NO!! The food was another issue, it was plentiful, but boring, the same food every day. It appears they used the leftovers from the night before to make up breakfast and lunch. Then your dinner waiter tried to sell you a prime rib or lobster dinner. There was one specialty Asian restaurant on board. The food was ok.. the room steward barely spoke English, but was very accommodating. The reception/excursion staff was not very friendly. The staff definitely needs customer service training. I'm not sure if it was due to the ship being s older one, but I can't say that I would travel on the MSC orchestra again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife booked MSC in the blink way before the sail date, no research, the price was great and all the ports seemed good. As we get close the sail date, we started to read reviews, a lot of bad reviews, about food, restaurants, ... Read More
My wife booked MSC in the blink way before the sail date, no research, the price was great and all the ports seemed good. As we get close the sail date, we started to read reviews, a lot of bad reviews, about food, restaurants, service, rude fellow passengers, extra charges. We did not pay much, might just well do a diet cruise. Embarkation was a breeze, we got to port by train than bus before 3pm after a morning in Rome. There were only a few people on the bus, and we got on in no time, spending less than 30 second at each staff station, the moment we were done the next staff were smiling and waving at us. The moment we got the ship, a sales girl approached us and explained coffee package, beer package, and other packages. We took her advice only took coffee and beer since my wife can't drink much. Both was reasonably priced, came as ticket book, order one use one fare enough. During the cruise, we ordered wine and Scotch by the glass when we felt like it, not much extra. The girl by the door also advise us to go to the buffet and grab some food since we were on late dinner seating. We went to get some fruit and the buffet looked really good, not as the review said. We had pastry on the train and not hungry at all. The cabin was amazingly big and comfortable, bigger than our hotel room in Rome. Detail see cabin review. The ship was very smooth and stable, our cabin was mid-front, did not feel much rocking. One night we went out on our balcony, the wave were rough and water broke up by the bow of ship got to our face on deck 11, but inside the cabin it felt like smooth water sailing. We thought we might lose some weight after reading all the reviews about the the dining experience. The dinning was fine, it was very good for a cruise ship. Maybe we read all the foodie reviewers. To be reasonable, if you are a foodie, why you choose to board a 3000 guest ship in the first place.The dining room portion was not small, my wife could not finish. Every time I helped her, I was over stuffed. The first night we sat with another American couple from St. Louis that just came off another cruise and doing 2 cruises back to back. They read the same reviews we did, and were planning to lose some weight from their previous cruise. After our meal, the husband said he's a big eater and he was fine, the rest of us couldn't finish even it tasted really good. Our package all include bottled water at dinner room, maybe an American thing. All four of us wanted to swap to early sitting since we all used to eat early and sleep early. We switched to early on the 3rd night, the St. Louis couple met some other people and decided to stay with 2nd seating. My wife ate a bit too much pineapple and all kind of prosciutto at the buffet after got back from shore trip and getting an upset stomach and decided to skip dinner. I went to our first night at the early seating alone, and met a nice and quiet American couple and 2 cheerful ladies from Washington and Oregon. The nice and quiet couple caught a cold next day and still came down to tell us that they would not be eating with us since the husband could calm his cough, what a gentlemen. We sat with the 2 cheerful ladies for the remaining trip, they were a lot of fun. They even gave me advice to get some papaya for my wife to cure her stomach problem, it worked like magic. And our waiter was great and fun, and I liked his recommendations for dinner and dessert choices. We only went saw one show at the theater, it was great. The rest of nights we went to different bars for live music and watch guests dancing with the music, there were some great amazing dancers. We did not experience problem with service, did not need to go to reception. The ports and excursions were great, we choose guided trips if port time is relatively short, otherwise we used Uber/Taxi/cruise transportation, then touring around on our own. Our friend gave us an Europe tour book sometimes ago, it really helped. We were able plan the night before and hit site/museum/landmark from the book, it especially helped in the museums since it listed which room which famous piece was in, so we were able to get to them with limited time. Some pieces did move, but museum staffs were very helpful. Lesson learned, call Uber once outside port gate, since some port won't let them in. Guided tours were fun too, all the local guides we experience were very fun. We choose mostly touring on our own since we were not disciplined, wife would browse Sunday market, eat wherever we felt pleasing, But we did do our homework the night before and planned out must-sees. Honestly everything was pretty good comparing all the cruises we took. Good thing we did buy the alcohol package since it required both of us. I don't like cocktails and wife can't drink much. No IPA on board, but there were a few beer ok to drink and can't complain for the price of the beer tickets. Coffee is good, we used the coffee tickets for cappuccino and double cappuccino, 1 ticket double or regular. Don't wasted on Americano, the buffett free coffee is better. I tried Turkish coffee, not good from the coffee bar. I think it is very reasonable, you buy whatever package you need, pay for Scotch alike whenever you feel like. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We wanted a cruising experience - unlike the Sydney based ones where you have a few days at sea before you see anything - and the Orchestra itinerary was the perfect solution. We embarked in Civitavecchia in a very well run and ... Read More
We wanted a cruising experience - unlike the Sydney based ones where you have a few days at sea before you see anything - and the Orchestra itinerary was the perfect solution. We embarked in Civitavecchia in a very well run and professional process to gather the herd of new passengers. We were very impressed with our cabins for their layout, the space and state of cleanliness. Our first night aboard included the mandatory evacuation procedure, a great dinner in our fine dining restaurant with terrific staff and then a brilliant show to enjoy before retiring early as the following morning we were in Genoa. This routine of port hopping continued around the Mediterranean with wonderful destinations and terrific sailing between them enjoying all the features and comforts of the MSC Orchestra. This included terrific food and service enjoyed at every on-board outlet from fine dining to buffets, bars both topside and internally, a cigar lounge, two heated outdoor pools, 4 hot tubs, a tennis court, mini put-put greens and quoits. All capped off with sensational nightly shows and of course the casino and disco to keep going all night. The staff seemed to be mainly Indonesian (from Bali) and from the Philippines so service was generally impeccable under the guidance and leadership of the Italian crew. Our only complaint being our fellow passengers and the way they treated each other, the staff and the wonderful facilities provided... They had a level of rudeness and no-care that was very disappointing. (smoking within the ship in designated no smoking areas, leaving tons of uneaten food because in a buffet environment they load up without consideration of fellow passengers of staff that have to clean up after them, and general rudeness to everyone around them! Despite this, overall we enjoyed a sensational holiday aboard a marvelous ship with a great crew, a really wonderful itinerary and a truly magnificent experience enjoyed in order to discover the magic of the Mediterranean - thanks MSC Orchestra Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This cruise ship was clean and tidy but the cruise was a disaster hoping to have a lovely Xmas cruise we were very very disappointed .The food was disgusting most of the time it was served after a long wait more often than not it was COLD ... Read More
This cruise ship was clean and tidy but the cruise was a disaster hoping to have a lovely Xmas cruise we were very very disappointed .The food was disgusting most of the time it was served after a long wait more often than not it was COLD and undercooked . The service was pathetic very slow sometimes waiting for up to 45 minutes between courses . The cabin was good and always clean and tidy . The cabin steward was always pleasant and helpful . Entertainment was good and a good choice of entertainment . Reception ok staff helpful and efficient . We missed a couple of ports due to adverse weather conditions and were given a refund of €50 each but were not informed that we had to spend it on board till we were disembarking so lost that . After disembarking we discovered our suitcase had been damaged I would only travel again on MSC when HELL FREEZES OVER . I strongly advise you not to travel with this company . Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We had hoped MSC might be a good alternative cruise line, after dozens of cruise with others. IT IS NOT. The ship was lovely and accommodations fine, but there is simply NO service on the ship. Staff were untrained in basics (like where ... Read More
We had hoped MSC might be a good alternative cruise line, after dozens of cruise with others. IT IS NOT. The ship was lovely and accommodations fine, but there is simply NO service on the ship. Staff were untrained in basics (like where the knife and fork go on the table, for instance). Staff were uninterested in helping passengers in any way. Food was terrible, meager and boring...and they literally make you buy water to drink with your meals. The buffet was repetitive and tasteless, and the environment filthy. Passengers were down right rude, and staff completely unhelpful. We removed all tips from our bill as no one deserved any. (Although the cabin steward was very good overall). There is no comparison to any American cruise lines, except to say that compared to MSC even the worst ones seem elegant. What a disappointment. It is worthless to try to get concerns taken seriously with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We were on the 12 day MSC Orchestra over Christmas. MSC is now marketing itself as a family-friendly line, however, they do not have the ship or the experience to do this well yet. All of the kid venues seemed literally smushed into the ... Read More
We were on the 12 day MSC Orchestra over Christmas. MSC is now marketing itself as a family-friendly line, however, they do not have the ship or the experience to do this well yet. All of the kid venues seemed literally smushed into the boat in odd places (during the last referbishment), and overall the boat felt very cramped and crowded, despite not being booked to capacity. Perhaps the newer class ships are better for this. The kids club is offered almost all day long, though there is a lot of TV watching (the MSC tv show) and other screen activities as they do not have a lot of kids, so they often combine all ages together and I suppose that's an easy way to entertain them? This was disappointing for us, as my daughter loves the organized, structured activities on other lines. So she opted to go for only an hour a day, and many days, she opted to not go at all. The food is really good, although it is European in both style and portion size. Be sure to order multiple dishes. We enjoyed the MDR, though the seating is odd and staff is friendly, but not personable. I loved the food, though it is a bit rich. I did miss the variety of eateries that are offered on other ships. Also, the buffet is really packed during peak times, and during non-peak times, there is limited food available. There is no free ice cream on the ship. The entertainment offered in the daily program is for adults only. My 11 year old was not allowed to particpate with me in the Christmas Crafts activities- even if she used my supplies and sat on my lap! The worker in charge was incredibly rude about it, and it was quite a turn off. Most of the entertainment offered are dance classes. While fun, doing more than 1-2 a day is just overkill. I missed the typical cruise programing on other lines. The evening shows were okay, we went to several, though they were all basically the same thing set to different music (singing, dancing, acrobatics). There is nothing "fresh" about the entertainment. Embarkation and disembarkation is simple, though there is very little information given for each. However, I was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to get on and off the ship. They add a "unicef" charge per day- you can get this taken off the night before you disembark. The ports are the best thing MSC offers- they are port intensive and have a wide range, which was ultimately why we booked them. That being said, it basically felt like we were on a floating hotel and not a cruise. This was our 5th cruise, our first with MSC. Both my daughter and I prefer the other lines and will stick to them. We will not book MSC again. There was nothing "horrible" about the cruise, just nothing "special" about it either. Everything was average or just below average. However, given the huge number of horrible reviews, we were happy as it wasn't as bad as we were expecting. Unfortunately, MSC did not win us over as customers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Our cruise was a 12 night round trip from Barcelona. Stops were Funchal, Malaga, Tenerife, Casablanca, Rome, Genoa, Marsielle. We travelled from November 27th - December 9th. As an avid cruiser I have been on many lines including ... Read More
Our cruise was a 12 night round trip from Barcelona. Stops were Funchal, Malaga, Tenerife, Casablanca, Rome, Genoa, Marsielle. We travelled from November 27th - December 9th. As an avid cruiser I have been on many lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America etc. I was very much looking forward to our MSC Orchestra cruise as the itinerary was very good and much better than other lines. Unfortunately, MSC did not live up to our expectations at all. Below are a few reasons why I would not recommend cruising with MSC, especially if you have experience cruising with other lines. Please note that I am an American cruiser and thus have certain expectations with regard to customer service and overall professionalism of staff. Below may not be important for other travelers (many of our European counterparts did not seem to be frustrated by this cruise experience), but for myself and many American and Canadian passengers I met on board my cruise these were problematic areas. So important to note that there may be some cultural differences and expectations that are important to consider. Embarkation in Barcelona: We were told that we would boarding the ship at 3:00. The ship was late to port and we did not board until around 4:30/5:00. The staff were very disorganized at check in. Most other cruises that I have been on check in provides you with your cabin keys and provides you with an overview of what to expect when checking in, not MSC. We "checked in" with the front desk people at the port and then walked to the ship. Upon entering the ship from the gangway our pictures were taken (which is standard) for disembarkation and embarkation at ports. We then walked through designated areas in the ship and were bombarded by staff trying to sell us alcohol packages, drink packages, shore excursions. Please keep in mind that we have not even seen our room yet or even had a chance to wine down. Really unprofessional and tacky to put guests through this within the first 2 minutes of coming on board. We then finally were out of that zoo and realized we did not have our room keys. We were not told at check in where to get the room keys so we assumed the keys would be at the concierge on floor 5. We go to floor 5 and wait in line just to be told that the keys are in the rooms and the rooms are unlocked. A bit ridiculous to not tell guests at check in before entering the ship that the keys are located in the rooms. We finally get to our rooms and were happy with our cabins. We were located on the 12th floor with balcony rooms. The rooms were well appointed and clean and were as spacious as a cruise ship room could be. Cabin Overview: As mentioned above, the cabins we had were good and we were happy with them. I think MSC did a good job with the layout given that the rooms are only about 180 square feet. The mirrors in front of the bed really help to make the room feel more spacious. Basic amenities, nothing to write home about, but were fine. Good hair dryer, much better than Norwegians. Formal Dining: Perhaps the most disappointing part of the cruise was the formal dining. The formal dining food was truly awful. We were assigned to L Hibiscus and I have no idea how the chef is still employed. Service was great and staff were attentive, but the quality of the food was very poor. Portions were incredibly small and should not be labelled as entrees and are appetizer sized. Please note that I am a petite 5'2 105 pound female and found that the portions were tiny. I also am in now way a monstrous eater. I felt that the portions were too small for an average person. The food was also just bland and had no creativity. I have cruised with Norwegian Spirit and their food was absolutely incredible. I still think about a rack of lamb that I had in that cruise and how wonderful it was. I also generally prefer to do sit down dining in cruises. On MSC Orchestra I did not look forward to the formal dining at all and at times opted for the buffet instead (will speak about buffet in moment). Perhaps the only exception were the desserts. I enjoyed 90% of the desserts that I tried in the formal dining restaurant. Again nothing special, but perhaps because the food was so bad it made the desserts seem great...who knows. Another thing that was incredibly tacky and again perhaps this is cultural was that we had to PAY for our bottled water at the formal dining table. Absolutely ridiculous by American standards, especially since tap water was free in the buffet. I did not understand why they could not just serve tap water in a pitcher in the formal dining (this is what Norwegian does). Finally, another disappointing thing was that in the formal dining, tea and coffee were not served with dessert. This is usually standard on any cruise I have been on. Again you have to PAY for coffee and tea at the formal dining even though it is free in the buffet....again its just an inconsistency that speaks volumes about their priorities and management. I usually take pictures of all of my formal dining meals on cruises. Was so unimpressed that I didn't even bother taking one. Buffet Dining: Saving grace for the dining was the buffet. I was surprised that their lunch buffet was actually quite good, much better than their dinner buffet. Their salad bar was excellent. There were many kinds of lettuce to choose from and toppings. Please note that if you do not eat pork there are not non-pork meat options as salad toppings. Since MSC is Italian owned this is not at all surprising, but that I would include in this review in case some are wondering. Generally, if you are a vegetarian or a vegan it would be difficult to find good items to eat on this ship. They also had a decent fruit station, not much variety usually cantelope, apples, and grapes. Sometimes they had kiwis and other tropical fruit. They also always had whole fruit like apples, kiwis, tangerines (sometimes) which was nice if you wanted to take ashore as a snack. Would have been nice if they had some bananas or berries, but seeing that we were there in the winter these may have been out of season in Europe. Overall, the buffet had a pretty good range of food. Lots of hot dishes (fish, meatballs, chicken, etc). They always usually had burgers, hot dogs, and french fries for the unadventurous types. What was also pretty awesome is they also always had a cheese and cured meat station so you could make your own charcuterie board if you wanted to. The desserts were also generally pretty good, they were my favorite part of the dining experience in general. They are a bit redundant in that they basically do the same kind of dessert over and over again (usually a sponge cake with some kind of filling) but still good. They did have great panna cotta and also had a wonderful coconut dessert when I was on board. Entertainment and Activities: To be honest I usually do not partake on cruise ship activities so I cannot speak to the quality of those or the shows. My mother, however, did attend most of the shows and she said most were excellent. I spent most of my time in the gym and the spa. Gym: Very very small for a ship this size with close to 3,000 passengers. Our cruise was not even at capacity and for those wanting to use machines it was pretty difficult to snag a spot. Not a problem for me as I generally use the aerobics floor and do not utilize machines but if you are hoping to work out everyday at 4:00 be warned that you will need to wait some time for a treadmill. If i recall there were maybe 8 treadmills, 3 elliptical machines, and 2 stationary bikes. They also had some weight machines and free weights (for american travelers please remember they are in Kilos!). The staff the the gym were friendly and I enjoyed seeing them everyday. Best times to work out will either be very early morning or later at night (when dinner and shows are going on). On Orchestra the gym was open from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Also no water cooler in gym....kind of ridiculous. You needed to go to the buffet up one floor and across the ship...not customer friendly (and frankly a bit unsafe). Spa: Please note that in order to utilize the sauna and steam room on this ship you must have purchased the Aurea Spa Pass. it is about $70 for a two week cruise. The spa was OK, again amenities were nothing to rave about, but if you were to come at off times (which I usually did) you could basically have the place to yourself. There are three whirlpools, 2 saunas, and 2 steam rooms. One of the steam rooms was bigger than the other. The saunas were the same, only difference was one was usually much warmer than the other. Please note that it is all Coed. We were told that it was separated by gender, but the travel agent was incorrect about this. Not a very big deal to me, but may be important for others. In the area where the whirlpools are there was a very small sitting area with maybe 4 or 5 chairs where you could lie down and see the ocean. Not very pleasant when it is busy as it was very loud and not relaxing. However, again if you were to come at an off time you could basically have it to yourself. The spa is technically open from 9:00 - 9:00 PM, however, you could come in between 7:00 - 9:00 and use the sauna and steam room so long as you were not wearing a bathing suite (towels only or as they put it highly recommended). Basically you could not utilize the 3 whirlpools from 7:00 - 9:00. Overall the spa was also very very small for the volume of passengers. The women's "locker room" had only one bathroom and two sinks. As a comparison when I cruised with Norwegian they had an entire area dedicated to showers and hairdryers etc. No hairdryers etc. on this MSC ship in the spa. Spas are generally my favorite part of a vacation so I was a bit disappointed that the spa was not a bit more robust, but I did the best with what I could and chose hours where it was not packed. Service: Truly was a mixed bag. There were some staff who were very attentive and very customer service oriented and others who were not. A note to fellow American passengers customer service will not be on par with what you expect and experience in the states or on american operated cruise lines. I am very well traveled and Europe in general is not known for its excellence customer service. For example, my brother had gone to the bar to ask for some water and ice (pretty standard in american bars and actually I think required by law that they serve you water if you ask - I actually thought this was standard in other places too). The bartender put ice and water in the glass and then said to him "oh actually you need to go and get water from the buffet" she then proceed to dump out the ice and water that was already in the glass....she had already done 99% of the work, all that was left was to hand my brother the glass. Things like this would happen often. It is just not something that we are accustomed to. The staff generally don't really go above and beyond (unlike Norwegian) and they basically just do what they need to do. Also the levels of professionalism really varied among the staff, something that I did not experience at all on Norwegian. The staff were also disorganized. For example Day 1 dinner we asked three people what time our second seating for dinner was and we got three different answers....this should not be happening. It became clear that they do not spend a good amount of time on training their staff. Also generally, on Norwegian most of the staff seemed very happy while on MSC the staff were not very engaged. I am not sure if perhaps the pay and benefits are better on Norwegian, but it was a noticeable difference. Some of this may also be due to language barriers. There are many languages spoken on the ship so understandably it may be hard for staff to keep up with all the languages. The primary languages spoken are Italian and Spanish - as an fyi. Very few English speakers on board. If you are looking to travel with fellow English speaking travelers do not cruise with MSC as you will be disappointed. This was not an issue for me, but may be an issue for others. An additional side note - for those with nut allergies/special needs when it comes to food. When I cruised with Norwegian I was incredibly impressed by their dining team. Every night before dinner, my waiter would come to my table and would walk through each menu item with me to ensure that I was not allergic to any items. On MSC, the level of service is absolutely not the same. I was never confident in their ability to keep me from having an allergic reaction. There were 2 or 3 times that I had to send food back because there were nuts in it even through the waiter/ maître d specifically told me that there were not nuts on the menu that day. Again, I do not necessarily think this is the fault of the staff, but rather poor training on the part of upper management. Ports of Call and Excursions: We picked this cruise because of the ports of call and thought that MSC had the best variety as compared to other lines. Malaga was beautiful as was Funchal. We did one shore excursion through MSC in Morocco and were very happy with it. We thought that overall they did a good job of showing us the sights in the limited time that we had. We also had a wonderful lunch at Hotel Farah in Casablanca that was included in the excursion cost. In all honesty, the food we had at Hotel Farah was better than any food that was served on the ship. The guide was very friendly and made us feel welcomed. One major problem however was that again MSC was not good at being organized for disembarkation. Specifically at Malaga they were already late by 1 hour getting to the port and we only had a 6 hour stop. So now it was cut down to 5 hours. On top of that it took them over an hour to disembark us...so now we only had 4 hours. Malaga was very rushed and this made the experience unfortunate. Overall: Overall my biggest issue with MSC was that they are not customer oriented. It is obvious that they are just in it to make money from passengers. This was evident in embarkation where we were being sold packages and even at formal breakfast and dinners the staff would walk around trying to sell you hand squeezed orange juice or shots. just really tacky and unprofessional. These types of behaviors cheapen the experience for passengers and MSC should really discontinue this practice. They are also very disorganized. One prominent example of this was disembarkation and embarkation. which I discussed in detail above. Another example was trying to get coffee or tea in the buffet. It was absolutely ridiculous. The hot water would always be empty, there were never enough mugs, sometimes there was no milk. In short, it was always a crapshoot. As my brother comically put it, everything with MSC is like a scavenger hunt. I once spent 25 minutes just trying to find the hot water, tea, and milk for a glass of tea. These are obvious upper management problems that need to be addressed and they effect the overall operation of the ship. Again, the customer service was mixed, however, one thing that I am glad they did not mess up was that I ordered a cake for my mother's birthday for our last dinner. They did deliver that as promised and it made the trip extra special for her which was nice. While I really wanted to love my experience with MSC, because they do have a wide range of itineraries, unfortunately the general consensus of our 6 person family was that we would not cruise with MSC again. We would opt to cruise again with Norwegian (and wish we did this time) or with a more expensive line (Celebrity, Holland America, Viking). Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of ... Read More
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of hungry pigs doing a hold-up on the buffet! The theme restaurants are better for the service, food is as bad as in the self service. Once I had risotto with St Jacobs scallops , sorry was only 1 slice, about 1/5 of a scallop!! An other day we had Pintade.... the leg who has been warmed up in a microwave, it was hard as a stone!! Also pay attention to your drinks.... not included and very expensive if you want to enjoy cocktais, wine, etc .....I hoped to have a good reposing cruise, but it turned out in a horrible experence. That is why I do not want to let you have the same disillusion Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in ... Read More
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in Genoa. However things went from bad to worse. Below is a list of my grievances with MSC: -The cruise was supposed to depart from Genoa (Genova), Italy. However we got a message from our travel agent that our ship would now not be docking in Genoa, but that MSC Orchestra would be picking us up in Marseille, France. (First MSC informed us that we would be picked up by a ferry (where cabins and meals would be provided). However the next morning at 8am MSC issued a notification that we due to report (check-in) between 9-10am we had to hurry and be at the port to catch this ferry. We arrived at the port at 8:50 cancelling all our plans to view Genoa. We were told to wait in a cold room with no food or drink provided (except what was in a vending machine, however 2 of our family have severe medical dietary restrictions. And yes, MSC was made aware of these restrictions well in advance of the cruise.) Then we informed that there would not be a ferry provided, but we were now going to Marseille by bus. However the bus would not leave until all 99 passengers arrived at the port. This took hours! We boarded the bus at 12:15pm. We were then told that they would not be taking us to Marseille, but to Nice to stay in a hotel (no meals or beverages provided except for breakfast in the morning. The only break we had was at a gas station on the side of the hwy. Bus drive took 4 hours mostly because the driver drove slowly and took several suspicious detours. We could see his GPS which he ignored and other passengers had their own GPS monitoring. We had to press the issue with the MSC representative aboard as well as the driver. Still the drive took way too long. By the time we checked into the hotel most businesses were closed and we had to wait until 7pm to eat dinner, UNACCEPTABLE!) Also no time to see Nice. Boarded the bus to Marseille the next morning (different driver same treatment-no food, circulus route with many turnarounds and yes he had a fully functioning GPS!). Still no food, no beverages, no bathroom breaks. Arrived at the MSC port in Marseille at 11:30 am to a cold terminal, no food or beverages provided. Mad rush for the restroom, however there was only 1 stall for women and 1 stall for men. Shameful! Then took up over an hour to board us all. So no time to see Marseille. MSC said they would only give us a one day credit, but we actually lost full use of 2 days of sightseeing and dining. In closing this long review, I should say that I have been on several cruise with 3 different cruise lines, so I know what to expect. That being said, you should never sail with MSC! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This ship was clean and tidy, the food was average and never hot, just warm if you were lucky. If you had a question regarding anything on the ship, YOU had to go to deck 5 and stand in a queue to speak to one of the 5 persons behind ... Read More
This ship was clean and tidy, the food was average and never hot, just warm if you were lucky. If you had a question regarding anything on the ship, YOU had to go to deck 5 and stand in a queue to speak to one of the 5 persons behind the desk, it was very hard to find any other member of the crew. The personnel behind the bars were very efficient and polite. I had an all inclusive drinks package, HOWEVER I was not told that this only includes the cheapest drinks, IE; Metaxa brandy and 2 other cheap ones, not even a middle class one, the same with all other alcohol beverages and wines. The entertainment was the same approximately 10 persons doing the very similar show with a slightly different theme every night for 30 to 45 minuets. I would not recommend a M S C cruise based on this one. One more complaint, when I tried to speak to a member of M S C I was told I can not, I have to email them and wait up to 28 days for a reply, to me , this means, they have my money and that is the end of any other service. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
with over 100 cruises under my belt and a good knowledge of what should be a good standard of service my family and I returned this week from a week on MSC Orchestra. We booked a balcony cabin with full drinks package, and yes, we have ... Read More
with over 100 cruises under my belt and a good knowledge of what should be a good standard of service my family and I returned this week from a week on MSC Orchestra. We booked a balcony cabin with full drinks package, and yes, we have cruised MSC before Good points 1.spotless ship from end to end 2buffet food service and quality best I have ever seen 3.wine choice very good with a selection of premium wines included not just the gut rot-- bat staff excellent 4.cabin services great with space and again spotless Bad points 5.from the moment we arrived at embarkation the welcome was zero-- no one smiles and the security staff are positively rude to everyone. 6.language problems are common but worst in dining rooms 7.in dining rooms quality was not a problem but food service when you could get it was at best slow but potion sizes are worst I have ever seen--one night a handful of salad i.e. green with 3 grapefruit segments was all we were offered and ask for more took 45 minutes -- more than once a post dinner visit to the buffet was needed-- and it’s not that I am greedy my wife who eats like a bird was also leaving dinner still hungry 8. don’t bother to complain--guest services on pre- departure day one was asked for a service and I had to WRITE a letter to Head of Customer Service to get it sorted and then instead of apology he rand to lecture me on MSC Company policy. 9.I find that staff work a minimum of 11 per day 7 days per week may for up to 8 months-- no wonder they never smile Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Chose this cruse, because want to try different line. Had an experience with Royal and NCL. Pros: Cabin-very spacious , always clean, enough space for storage. Entertainment- very good singers and dancers. Really enjoyed it. ... Read More
Chose this cruse, because want to try different line. Had an experience with Royal and NCL. Pros: Cabin-very spacious , always clean, enough space for storage. Entertainment- very good singers and dancers. Really enjoyed it. Food-delisious pastries spa- underestimated hidden little gem. Spa pass is $50. Obviously its not comparable to NCL, but its a good spot to hide from the croud and enjoy the jacuzzi and a steem room with unlimited access. cons: Food- the most horrible I ever tryed. Horrible taste with very little options. Sometimes not available at all. Why is that happened that people come from excursions at 5-6pm and there is nothing but disgusting pizza? Service in buffet area is so bad: when I asked for a napkins (isn't it supposed to be on the tables or at lest by the plates?) the waiter told me to go and ask people behind the counter. Not a one meal that we enjoyed on this cruise. Excursions was not bad, but our bus had people of 4 languages, and its so annoying to listen all translations all the time. We sign in online for a membership of MSC. Full ignoring. The last: all ads on the loudspeaker you could hear only in hallway. Nothing in the rooms. My advice to people who already booked it : just set up your mind that you are taking ferry from point A to point B. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
It felt like a slave ship once I found out that the "service charge" of €10 per person per day that has been presented as "tips" for the cabin crew was actualy used for their salaries! Those "tips" never ... Read More
It felt like a slave ship once I found out that the "service charge" of €10 per person per day that has been presented as "tips" for the cabin crew was actualy used for their salaries! Those "tips" never meet the staff that costs the company exactly zero €!!! In spite of that and the fact that they had to work hard and long hours, they were very kind. The cabins are very clean. The restaurant and the buffet on the other hand, were chaotic: as for the restaurant, there was shortage of food, waiters, room - the waiting time was the only thing that you could count on. In the buffet, on the other hand, there was more food, that is if you could find a free (and clean) table. And mind you - all the dishes: plates, glasses - everything in the buffet was plastic. So much for the glamorous side of the cruise ship. Since all of the ports were both for embarkation/disembarkation, this cruise ship felt more like a ferry boat. And the stay in the ports , especially the interesting ones, such as Cannes was way too short, while in insignificant ones, such as La Spezia, the ship stayed all day long. Altogether, very disappointing experience. Much overrated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because the Meraviglia was full and we thought that MSC was a quality brand so, any vessel should be good enough. This was our first time and I have to confess that my expectations weren't cover. The cruise was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the Meraviglia was full and we thought that MSC was a quality brand so, any vessel should be good enough. This was our first time and I have to confess that my expectations weren't cover. The cruise was absolutely crowed, it was so hard to find a free table for breakfast or for an early dinner, once we had to sit on the deck to give some food to our child. At dinner, a table for 6 people was occupied with 10 people. I am intolerant to some food and it was too difficult to find right dishes at breakfast or lunch for me(no information about ingredients). In addition, there were some crew members who had an intolerable behavior, waiters who didn't keep right manner when they speak with clients. In the other hand, I want to highlight the exceptional service given by the head waiter who attended us at dinner, Mr. DeLeón. Right now I don't think that I repeat a cruise holiday soon and I am absolutely sure that I will never take a cruise in summer. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Have been on 8+ cruises and travelled on other cruise lines before (NCL, Holland America, Carnival, and Celebrity). Tried MSC based on itinerary and time available. Had read mixed reviews, but thought to give it a try. Cabin: PRO - ... Read More
Have been on 8+ cruises and travelled on other cruise lines before (NCL, Holland America, Carnival, and Celebrity). Tried MSC based on itinerary and time available. Had read mixed reviews, but thought to give it a try. Cabin: PRO - nice, clean, comfortable CON - shower stall was very small, even for a small/regular sized person Entertainment: PRO - great light shows, good singers, good dancers, great customs CON - repetitive (same acts, just songs and customs changed) Shore Excursions: PRO - interesting harbors CON - not enough time on shore; compared to other cruise lines ship seemed to travel slower between ports (might save on fuel), so less time on shore. Food: WORST EVER - half of our party ended up with digestive problems PRO - hard to find any CON - often undercooked, very seldom at correct temperature; often ran out of both food and dishes; worst Italian food ever and we travel a LOT in Italy and Europe both on land and on water; Food staff was poorly trained and had POOR FOOD HYGIENE - would clean up tables and then touch fresh food (breads etc.) without washing hands; picked up food that had fallen of plates/had been touched by other passengers and put it back on the serving trays; and and and - could go on and on with examples. Closed down the food line on one side of the ship (actually pulled food away from passengers who were trying to serve themselves) before opening the food line on the other side. (That always seemed to happen when people arrived from ship sponsored excursions and were hungry.) Medical Staff: PRO - easy to find and experienced - had lots of prepared hand-outs of how to deal with digestive problems (wonder why ???) CON - half of our party ended up "throwing up" and had to be treated AND were told that we had to use better hygiene to avoid being infected by other passengers (funny that none of us had ANY hygiene problems whatsoever on our other cruises with other cruise lines) Fitness: PRO - great stretching classes with great instructor CON - no circuit tracks to walk/jog Passengers: PRO - people from all over Europe/World CON - a lot of what seemed to be first time cruisers and sadly, even though my ancestry is Italian, I have to be honest and say it was mostly the Italians who did not seem to be aware of proper board etiquettes - cleaning hands before entering food serving areas, not touching food with your hands, not putting food back that you have touched, not stopping to talk in areas and block traffic, not cutting in line, etc. MAYBE it would help if cruise lines would give instructions on proper board etiquettes the same way they do safety drills. Complaint Process: PRO - when talking to the right persons they were responsive and tried to remedy the situation CON - finding the right person was not easy, sometime had to talk to 2 or 3 different people before somebody knew what to do AND did something about it. Also never checked back to see if complaint was resolved OVERALL - parts of the ship were well run, but with other parts (especially food services) it seemed as if the staff was stuck in a not very successful training/remediation program Cannot recommend - will never cruise on MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Listen I have cruise MSC plenty of times as I am Black Member status with Msc.. This cruise was part of my b2b Mediterranean cruise. I thought that my cruise with Musica was bad and didn't think it could of got worse, BUT I was ... Read More
Listen I have cruise MSC plenty of times as I am Black Member status with Msc.. This cruise was part of my b2b Mediterranean cruise. I thought that my cruise with Musica was bad and didn't think it could of got worse, BUT I was wrong..... Embarkation in Cannes was the worst EVER. Security had no idea we were getting on the ship, made us wait like fore ever, lol. Finally found our names on a sheet. Good to go, nobody helped with or luggage, as it was a tender to get to the ship.up and down stairs , just to get to the boat... We get to the ship, go to customer service and to my surprise, our Aurea Experience was a no go again, not on our card. Told the customer service girl the code was wrong she said it was ok, NO... So charges got put on our account and took a whole day just to get that fixed(5 times during to the day to get it taken off) Customer Service worse ever, and I have had bad service before..... MDR was AWFUL.. food not appealing at all, again went to buffet and even there was bad, :-( MSC needs to step up or they are going to loose loyal customers.. The wine again in the Aurea Experience , again SO SO BAD, not fit to drink.... On a better note, we had exception service in MDR, buffet areas, and Bars.. Our room attendant, was awful. We asked about our perks for Aurea and he said he had no idea we were booked in the class.. He never went out of his way to make us feel welcome.. We had to ask for everything...,Even the whole 12th floor are Aurea Guest Cabins....... The shows in the theater were the worst we ever seen, so so bad and we LOVE MSC ' s shows.. so sad..... So 2 times booked with MSC for the Mediterranean and both cruise MSC missed the boat. So Caribbean I will stay.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Initially we chose this cruise to fit in with holiday availability of family members - and certainly had some trepidation given some of the reviews. We need not have worried. Simply put this was a great cruise - if you are looking for a ... Read More
Initially we chose this cruise to fit in with holiday availability of family members - and certainly had some trepidation given some of the reviews. We need not have worried. Simply put this was a great cruise - if you are looking for a Mediterranean style cruise in the Med. If you are looking for a British cruise experience in the Med, then you will no doubt be critical, but this is not P&O nor Cunard....it is MSC, and it suited us perfectly. We wanted Mediterranean food on board - and that is what we got - pasta, risotto, pizza and plenty of other choice. We had a Suite Cabin, on Deck 15, top accommodation level, with Aurea experience, providing reserved sun deck area over two decks outside and above the cabin. The Aurea experience meant we ate in the Ibiscus restaurant on anytime dining, where the staff were excellent - Maria and Pante ensuring we were warmly welcomed and looked after. The evening meals might appear to some as being somewhat small in quantity, but it was good and tasty, though not always as hot as we might normally expect (but I always reflect that in Masterchef the food is always served and tasted cold:)) Breakfast was fun.... a bit of a bun fight in terms of finding somewhere to sit in the buffet, but the food was good, varied plentiful. The main sundeck was a family oriented affair, with plenty of loungers, small pools, and Jacuzzis, with entertainment almost non-stop - with music always on... very Mediterranean, it was bustling and noisy - may not be to everyone's taste - but we had the refuge of the Aurea reserved areas so did not avail ourselves of this, seemingly madhouse. Service was always attentive, and polite, more so than I perhaps expected. Good drinks, with our package giving us free non-premium drinks, which were quite plentiful, and varied. Prices for premium was ok. If you are expecting P&O style entertainment then you will be disappointed - but what we say was good - an abridged song & dance version based on Grease. Good fun. All announcements are made in a multitude of languages - and the obligatory safety drill was well done, as was the disembarkation briefing. There were no Captain's updates that we heard, but there were almost daily crew exercises that could be quite noisy in terms of tannoy volume. TV - didn't use it other than checking the bill - but understand it has limited choice if you are expecting British entertainment - but hey we were on holiday and not wanting to watch TV. Food was available in the buffet 20 hours a day - and good it was too - particularly a late night Pizza slice... great pizza with good choice. Evening meals don't start until 7pm in the formal restaurants - reflecting the Mediterranean style of not eating until later than we are used to in the UK. For cabin review see below. Itinerary was great - we board at Rome, and enjoyed all our ports of call - where we had plenty of time. Tender was done well at Cannes. We enjoyed a complimentary Balinese massage as part of the Aurea experience, which was fine, and we also enjoyed the Sauna/Steam Rooms - though the inside Jacuzzi was a bit cool for indoors.... 37C. Note that smoking is permitted in more places than you might normally expect on P&O cruise - part of the Casino, a Cigar Room, and also part of the sun deck - one half of one side. There were plenty of bars, some quite gaudy, which we enjoyed rather than dull greys. If anything I would say that the restaurant choice was somewhat limited compared to other cruise experiences, particularly given the number of passengers - there was one speciality Asian restaurant - which we did not try. Other than that you are in your main restaurant, and the buffet. Formal nights - there were two - were remarkably informal - I think I saw one dinner suit. Certainly most people dressed smarter, but not DJs and tuxes... that suited us.. (excuse the pun...) There was very little hard selling - sure they took your photo, but no hassle. Overall the ship was a very happy ship - with a much broader mix of people - plenty of childen, younger couples, and actually fewer older people than say compared to a P&O cruise. In summary - we would definitely cruise with MSC again - we saw their new ship Megaviglia moored next to us at Genoa - wow it looked fantastic. A happy cruise line, unpretentious, and easy to like, particularly if you are want to relax and not worry about formality. We would look to the Aurea experience as a minimum, just so we could have some quiet/privacy outside of the cabin on the sun decks. We were a family of four - including our two adult children who had an identical cabin three doors away. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My boyfriend and I are 19 and 20. We are both pretty busy people starting careers and completing various qualifications. Last minute (one month before the holiday) we booked to go on the Orchestra end of may to early June for a week. ... Read More
My boyfriend and I are 19 and 20. We are both pretty busy people starting careers and completing various qualifications. Last minute (one month before the holiday) we booked to go on the Orchestra end of may to early June for a week. First of all the cabin was everything and more than what we expected. It was spacious and bright, despite the balcony being directly above the lifeboats the balcony was private and it was big and very clean. The room was large and had a big mirror opposite the bed which meant a lot of reflected light making the room look even larger. Air conditioning was fantastic, was always the temperature we wanted. Secondly the ship was contemporary, perhaps an acquired taste in some bars (animal prints etc.) however the rest of the ship was clean and modern and there were many other bars to chose from obviously! The buffet was unbelievable. I have been on many cruises where the buffet was perhaps average at best, but the Orchestra had fresh pizza every day all day at the buffet with other wonderful Italian food. It was fresh and a lot of the food really clean and healthy. Felt like a cleansing! Was so much better than I expected. The food in the restaurant was of a normal standard, however the waiting staff made up for the average food. They always made the effort to make a conversation, big smiles and very polite. The was one bar that we went to every night before dinner (The Amber Bar), one barman made the effort to get to know us etc. and he bought us snacks with our beers (and refilled them sneakily after we had finished them). I can't give an accurate report on the entertainment because we didn't engage with any of the activities or entertainment as my boyfriend and I spent everyday all day enjoying the port we were at! The ports were perfect (Barcelona, Ajaccio, Rome, La Spezia, Genoa, Cannes and back to Barcelona). Every port was wonderful. I especially rate La Spezia, if you go there buy the ticked for the boat which travels to all the nearby seaside towns, these towns are called the Cinque Terres, if you stay at La Spezia you are missing out on the most breathtaking scenery, we spent all day off the boat and got very burnt! We had an excursion in Rome and it was fantastic, the guide was patient and very knowledgeable. We went on the Vatican tour which was brilliant and so informative. It's the little details she knew which made it all very special. I think this ship is for all ages, from a casino to a wonderful looking children club. However we didn't travel with children, but we felt that the ship was suitable for everybody. Would 100% travel with MSC again, was brilliant and the staff were incredibly kind. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have been on other cruises but not this cruise line. From the beginning it was disorganised in every way, no information was given about anything and we spent most of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have been on other cruises but not this cruise line. From the beginning it was disorganised in every way, no information was given about anything and we spent most of the holiday queuing!! After standing in about 9 queues and finally boarding the ship we were sent to the cafeteria as our cabins were not ready. There was no organisation and there were not enough seats to accommodate all of the passengers who had boarded, people were walking around with plates of food and nowhere to eat. We were asked which sitting we wanted for our evening meal when we booked the cruise and we opted for 2nd which we were told was 8.30 however they changed this to 9.00pm. The dining experience was awful, the food was cold and quite honestly would not feed a budgie!! the only good thing about it was our waitress who tried her best to cater for us. We were charged 9 euros each a day for service, some people refused to pay this as the service was so bad. The cabin was clean and the bed was comfortable but the impression we had was that they had got your money and were not interested in whether or not you got a good service. It was all about getting you to spend more. This has been an expensive mistake and we will certainly research other cruise lines much more thoroughly before booking another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia. We first cruised the West Mediterranean on MSC Fantasia (which was so spectacular) and then we had free transfers from one ship to the next (Genoa to Venice). The ... Read More
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia. We first cruised the West Mediterranean on MSC Fantasia (which was so spectacular) and then we had free transfers from one ship to the next (Genoa to Venice). The transfer was well organised and we got priority boarding on Orchestra being part of the transfer passengers. The ship was very tastefully decorated in comparison to the ships we have been on in Australia (a P&O one and a Carnival - both very gaudy), but not quite as fancy as the MSC Fantasia (larger sized ship). The shows in the evening were brilliant, the costumes were gorgeous!! The itinerary was so good, every morning waking up in a new port is so fun, you never get bored. I recommend looking up private tours for some of the stops (we did an Olympia tour and Athens tour). We did do one cruise tour which was in Santorini. This cruise didn't have as much to entertain us during the days etc but that's because you're in port most of the day so it didn't matter. Be prepared that on some days around 5pm the bars/lounges close down while they do the muster drill for the new cruisers (because not everyone embarks on the same day). We think maybe they could keep one bar open for those that have already done the emergency program. The cocktails were very good value at around 7euro and you could also buy books of vouchers that we found good value too (we bought vouchers for beer, soft drinks, mocktails/milkshakes and coffees, we bought the water package on the first cruise but didn't use it all so didn't buy it on this cruise). The kids loved the cruise also but the kids clubs (they were in the 12-14yo and 15-17yo groups) were pretty much non-existent but not because of the cruise, it's teens and them not giving it the go they should so no-one was ever there. We found they spoke English first over the speakers most of the time so we never felt in the minority group. We had lovely waitresses in the evenings as you are seated at the same table each night. This is great as you get to know them and they get to know your likes and dislikes, they remember what you like to drink, etc. They are also careful with who they seat you with and we couldn't believe they found a family for us to sit with that were exactly the same as us (Aussie family of 4 - 16yo girl and 12yo boy, same as ours!) The embarkation and disembarkation was always very good, occasionally you have to wait in line (obviously when there are over 3000 passengers) but they were very efficient at getting us all onboard as quick as they could. Going on 2 weeks of cruising I cannot believe how much we got to see, this really was the best way to travel some of Europe. We would definitely go on another MSC cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Very average cruise ship in all regards.. with the exception being the shows at night, and the excellent employees. The MSC Orchestra has the feeling of being back in the 80's, with no "wow!" factor at all. There's a ... Read More
Very average cruise ship in all regards.. with the exception being the shows at night, and the excellent employees. The MSC Orchestra has the feeling of being back in the 80's, with no "wow!" factor at all. There's a reason we got 3 persons for the price of 2 in high season out of Venice (Eastern Med cruise). The dancers and performers were amazing and could have easily been in Vegas. The shows were very good. My teenager loved every single one of them! The food is good enough, but not nothing special. The kids liked the pizza and smoothies a LOT. At formal dinners, the portions were ridiculously small. The prime rib was 1cm thick, for example. The pools are quite small and cold. Chairs are occupied by orange towels all day while people leave for hours. Get your chairs blocked early. Drink packages added $400 to our bill. Lots of teens onboard! The disco is at the rear and is outstanding... One major disappointment with MSC is discovering that the 15% gratuities you pay DO NOT go to the workers! That's right, MSC charges you 15% extra everywhere, yet they pocket this themselves. The hairdresser from Serbia cuts hair 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and she receives nothing extra than her base salary. Shame on you, MSC. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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