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15 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one ... Read More
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one day prior to embarkation in venice just to explore this beautiful city we heard that embarkation takes hours but it was not crowded at all i have concluded the following do's and don'ts 1. reach the embarkation city one day prior as it ease out your boarding plans like reaching in time ( in my case four hours from the departure of the ship ) hence you don't have to face crowd 2. choose aurea package ( cabin with balcony ) as it gives you - priority boarding ,unlimited drinks on board , free access to thermal area which is worth going every day , complimentary massage which is average in quality and preferred dining 3. don't take excursions from the ship as they are double the cost of the one sold at the dock and it's the same excursion ( we had the following ports - bari,santorini,katakolom,corfu, piraous and kotor 4. always keep one black and one white formal dress for two formal dinners given at the ship .if possible keep one floral dress as well 5. don't miss the entertainment shows - it is done twice 7;15 pm and 9:15 pm 6. no need to keep snacks etc in you luggage for emergency as they run one restaurant 20 hrs / day with free access to all unlimited times with lot of things on buffet 7. prefer higher decks . ours was 12th deck which i found the best 8. shopping on board - watches , wine and jewellery is worth a buy ,plan it 9. for indians there is nothing much as far as food is concerned but can have it in preferred dining , we personally were not satisfied with the food served to us in the name of veg indian dinner 10. rooms have one big double bed , one bunk bed and one sofa cum bed thus four beds in total , good enough for a family of four 11. the problem comes in disembarkation though its not so for the european guests as they dont have to submit their passports as passports collection takes hell lot of time . 12. plan one small suitcase for last day clothes as your main luggage will be taken on the previous night by the ship authority for scanning and it will be lying at the port when you disembark 13. carry umbrella /raincoat as orchestra doesn't supply the same ( other cruise lines might be doing ) 14. don't take wi fi package ( though its not expensive - 19 euro for basic surfing for the whole duration of cruising ) i will definitely cruise again on some other destination for sure thank you msc orchestra Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
we went for a cruise with msc orchestra to the French Antiles. We had a great time. The staff was verry friendly, they spoke french/ englisch/ spanisch/italian,.... The cabins were clean the beds confortable and the housekeeper was ... Read More
we went for a cruise with msc orchestra to the French Antiles. We had a great time. The staff was verry friendly, they spoke french/ englisch/ spanisch/italian,.... The cabins were clean the beds confortable and the housekeeper was verry helpfull with all we asked. The food was mostly average to good. we didn't expect more than we got. The shows where verry professional en entertaining. I don't understand what other revieuwers are nagging about! We took the alegrissio pack and I kept the receipts, we did more than a great deal! You can order drinks without thinking of the price Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including ... Read More
So before I start I want to acknowledge all the other reviews for MSC and the Orchestra and appreciate that everyones expectations and experiences are individual and I will just be representing ours as 6 family members including Grandparents and an 11 year old. For the past 5 year we had enjoyed a 5 star winter break to Sharm but with this not being an option in 2016 we decided to try a cruise over half term. MSC and the Orchestra provided everything that we were looking for. The ship offers something for all the family and is flexible in terms of dress code, so whilst its lovely to dress up a couple of times for Gala night this wasn't required every night which for us was perfect. Everyone on board works really hard and does their best to ensure all the passengers have a great time. Yes Brtis were definitely in the minority but this didn't bother us and we enjoyed the language exchanges in the lift each day. Food was great, yes the self service is busy at breakfast and lunch but eating outside was a preferable option. We enjoyed the pay for restaurant which was reasonable and they supplied a lovely birthday cake and bottle of bubbles. We thought the food in the sit down option was exceptional. We only had inside cabins and yes they were small but had everything we needed and the delivery of a continental breakfast each morning was lovely. We felt at £500 each for a weeks holiday this cruise was an absolute bargain and fitted in with half term dates visiting some of the most beautiful islands on earth and I have travelled extensively. We are already looking forward to our 2017 cruise to Dubai with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
we went on this cruise thinking it was wheelchair friendly the staff were very rude the only person that helped us was the cleaner I had to get my partner off the ship by myself twice as there was no one to help nearly lost him ... Read More
we went on this cruise thinking it was wheelchair friendly the staff were very rude the only person that helped us was the cleaner I had to get my partner off the ship by myself twice as there was no one to help nearly lost him overboard.the lifejacket drill was a joke,when you hear a certain noise you must go to your cabin an retrieve your life jacket do not use the lift then she spotted my partner an said I surpose you will have to .we couldn't get in the pools as they are 5 foot7 one end and 6 foot the following end an the steps are in the deep end.the disabled cabin was worse the only way you could tell it was disabled there was a seat in the shower it wasn't a none slip floor had we of known this we would of got a balcony cabin.we only paid to go on one excursion due to the fact when we went on the trip we had to get off at deck 4 others got off at deck 5 by time we got off the ship our group had disappeared I had to find someone who then accused us of being late which we wasn't we a just slower cause of the wheelchair no one waited they are more friendly off the ship than on it .if your a wheelchair user I wouldn't recommend this cruise it was an experience like no other.the dinning started off bad as soon as staff noticed the wheelchair they were mortified and our starter was missed the only good thing about the holiday was the places we went to an some of the other English on board . Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
The ship is nice and the balcony cabines are looking good also. The food was low cost quality. The strongest point of this cruise was the staff, with special remarks for Miguel, the waiter in cigar bar. Ship and entertainment ... Read More
The ship is nice and the balcony cabines are looking good also. The food was low cost quality. The strongest point of this cruise was the staff, with special remarks for Miguel, the waiter in cigar bar. Ship and entertainment information are delived on board daily. Trips organized are expensive and is better to do your own programm on each stop, according to your preferences. Dinning in a la carte restaurants is for people having patience to be served with medium quality dishes. Overall it wasn't bed, but didn't meet our expectations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
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
My wife and I embarked in Fremantle with our young Son in Perth, it was super slow embarkation. We left our bags with MSC staff as requested at 3pm, we did not get our bags again until 10:30pm when they were delivered to our room. We had ... Read More
My wife and I embarked in Fremantle with our young Son in Perth, it was super slow embarkation. We left our bags with MSC staff as requested at 3pm, we did not get our bags again until 10:30pm when they were delivered to our room. We had all the baby things in those bags and all essentials for us. There was no reason given to why it could take 7.5 hours for us to receive these bags. This was the start of a disappointing display by MSC! Service is the slowest, especially at the bars and coffee bars. The food was terrible, the coffee was terrible, the restaurants are cramped, the buffet was slop!! But the worst thing was that the vast majority of passengers were sick, there was no policing of this, including usage of utensils and sanitizer at the entrance to the restaurants. Or sterilization of the ship. The Internet was a huge ripoff, the photos were a massive rip off!! The MSC dvd set was €49 and if I can convince anyone not to buy this then please save your money, it looks like a 5 year old filmed it on a old camera and doesn't represent your actual shore excursions. As ours had a port we attended after receiving the dvd. Save your money and sail with the best reviewed ship on cruise critic is my suggestion!! 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
we cruised Germany, Norway, England, the Mediterranean etc for 41 days last August/September. A very disappointing cruise, the food was ordinary, the beds were like a concrete slab and the pillows should be thrown overboard. The ... Read More
we cruised Germany, Norway, England, the Mediterranean etc for 41 days last August/September. A very disappointing cruise, the food was ordinary, the beds were like a concrete slab and the pillows should be thrown overboard. The saving grace was the entertainment crew, they were excellent, some of the wait staff and our cabin girl were excellent, we found the bosses left a lot to be desired, seem to be full of themselves rather than looking after the customers. We decided that we will not be cruising MSC again because of this experience. The ship was tired, we participated in several activities on board Read Less
Sail Date August 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
I have heard lots of bad reports about cruising but it seems to be such an easy and comfortable way to see lots of places and I was not disappointed. I flew from Heathrow (flights included) to Rome and was met by the tour representative ... Read More
I have heard lots of bad reports about cruising but it seems to be such an easy and comfortable way to see lots of places and I was not disappointed. I flew from Heathrow (flights included) to Rome and was met by the tour representative after customs and told what time the transfer would be and which conveyor my luggage would be on. I was happy to collect my own luggage as then I knew it was safe. I had paid 599 for my cruise and no extra for single supplement so was happy with the price. I arrived at the port and was provided with my credit card room key and opted to have my credit card added to this. I was then able to find my room. I had studied the ships layout on the internet and it was easy to find and already knew where my cabin was. My case arrived within minutes of me finding my cabin. After a rest I was on deck and exploring the ship. The view of the port was amazing from deck 13 and food was available on this deck too - buffet style with pizzas being made for all to see. I was very happy with the choice of food and it could be carried to a nearby table with great floor to ceiling windows or carried to the pool area with many types of tables. The ship didn't seem so crowded but this was the busiest place - the buffet. Coffee, tea and herbal teas with fresh lemon was available at various points around deck 13 and I regularly came for a different flavour of herbal tea. The English Breakfast tea was nice too. I helped myself to fresh fruit which I took to my cabin or ashore and yoghurt, cakes etc. I then decided to go ashore and walk around the immediate port area and saw the ship from the outside. Magnificent - the size and look in great condition. Unfortunately I missed the safety check and later had a letter informing me of this and asking me to attend a second demonstration of life jackets and emergency procedure the following day. I had a programme delivered printed in English and decided to go to the show. The Covent Garden Theatre is beautifully decorated with very comfortable and spaciously laid out seats. The dancers and singers costumes were great and I enjoyed the presentation of the show with some comedy. There were English spoken along with other languages. There were very few English on Board - I only saw one couple on the entire cruise, there were 0.7% from USA and similar from Canada and 3 Australians. I met a family from South Africa too. There were people from all over the world, Russia, Netherlands, German,French and many Italians of course. I didn't miss the English and was amazed how so many different types of people got on so well together with out and noisy arguments or disruption. It was all very pain sailing in my experience. Considering how few English there were aboard the language was well catered for with English programmes, talks, excursions, the staff could all speak adequately too. Many of the rarer language tourist attended the English talks on behind the scenes of the Ship and the construction of the ship and these were presented by the Captain in English. The public areas are very clean and bright, well appointed and laid out. My cabin was a good size with a double bed ( 2 singles tightly fitted together). The heat and air-conditioning was very efficient and easy to operate. A fridge stocked items to buy and 2 bottles of sparking mineral water were on my table. I had adequate space for all my clothes and other belongings with room under the bed to store my case. There was a washing line facility in the shower. The sound proofing was good too and I was able to enjoy peaceful nights sleep. I explored the first port of call by myself and walked to a nature reserve in Palermo. I then decided to buy 5 other excursion and details were available in English of the many excursions on offer. Most were about 54 Euro for a 4.5 hour excursion and the guides generally spoke 2 languages - Spanish and German and French. I went to the restaurant 2 times for a 7 course meal and was allocated a table with English speaking guests from New York and Australia. The waiter had good English and was very polite and provided good service. I enjoyed hot chocolate and a BBC (banana, baileys and coconut)cocktail in a bar overlooking the grand piano and violin music a beautiful area on 2 or 3 levels near the theatre - a good place to watch the other passengers. There were many bars with live music and a disco on the top floor. The casino was popular and smoking was allowed in here and a cigar room. The library had a large selection of English speaking books but only available during opening hours. My ticket included a free massage and I enjoyed a bali massage in the spa and decided to buy a second hot stone massage for my last day. I would recommend a visit to the spa. There are specular views out to see from the high vantage point on deck 13. Disembarkation was very efficient with a talk provided the afternoon prior in the Covent Garden Theatre and the instructions were provided in English in my room. A colour coded ticket fastened to my case and left outside my cabin and this was taken ashore prior to me leaving the ship and I was able to collect from the colour coded area. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Hello all: My girlfriend and I did our 1st ever cruise on the MSC Orchestra from Sept 8-15. Boarded from Genoa and service was bad nealy everywhere, we are from Quebec/Canda I do speak English well but my girl friend speaks only French. ... Read More
Hello all: My girlfriend and I did our 1st ever cruise on the MSC Orchestra from Sept 8-15. Boarded from Genoa and service was bad nealy everywhere, we are from Quebec/Canda I do speak English well but my girl friend speaks only French. We had booked transportation with MSC from airport to port dock, We arrived in Genoa at Noon after a 12 hours flight/plane switching. A girl from MSC welcomed us and had us go to a private waiting room on the 2nd floor of the airport saying we would have to wait about an hour for a flight from Britain to arrive. After 1:15 I ask her if the UK flight had been delayed, she sais no, they are arriving soon and lead us outside to a bus, the driver took our bagages and we were seated in the bus. The girls and the driver went back in the airport and we waited over 1 hour in a overheated bus (motor and A/C were off only door was open!! Finally at 2:30 the Brit passenger came in the bus and we were taken to the dock. We thought our waiting was over but the check-in line-up was so long probably 1000-1500 people (Most Italians, noisy and some try to jump into the line) we finally boarded the ship at 5 PM and sailed at 6PM. So our first impression was bad. The ship was gorgeous and the cabin clean, we had chosen Stateroom with balcony, the balcony was ok but the room was rather small (Had look on the internet and on the picture the rooms were larger? We went for our first dinner, we were assigned a table of 4, and a young couple from Toronto were our dinner partner and they were very nice and friendly, the waiter was also courteous and was always smiling but he spoke only a few words of English (Most of the waiters came from Indonesia?), the food was fairly good with 7 servings, but not much in each plate, the meat was always overcooked, same with the fish. I had received at checkout a booklet of 7 coupons for bottles of water, so a liter of mineral water was free for dinner, our dining partner did not have those coupons so they were charged 2,14 Euros every dinner for a bottle of water which angered them. We had to pay water at lunch you cannot get tea/coffee at the restaurant for lunch or dinner, you have to take it at a bar/lounger and pay 4 Euros for 2 cups, we like to have a hot drink with our dessert, is that a European custom? Most of the staff did not speak much English and even less French, the language on board is Italian and smiles on most onboard personnel is inexistant. We felt we did not belong there. For luch you could go to one of the 2 restaurants, and some shoed you to available place. One day the head waiter seats us at a table of 8 with already 6 Italians seated, I don`t understand the language but a lady was arguying with the head waiter and he politely ask us to move to another table, we were rejected...And we were not the only Canadians to which this hapenned. After a few days sailing except for meals, we stayed on our balcony or cabin, we did not go see any shows entertainment (all was Italian) No American Brodway musicals or French CanCan type shows. The places we visited were nice but on the first stop in Malaga we had chosen to visit the cavern of Nerja (wow!) when I booked at the front desk the day befre was told only Italian or English tours so chose the English. It turned out that excursion was composed of about 75% Italian and it became more a Italian guided tour, the guide spoke 80% of the time in Italian, to pay 44 Euro per person and hear Italian most of the time, I nearly got an Italian lesson ! I could go on and on and my girl friend and I who were thinking of taking a Carribean or Alaska cruise next year are now asking ourselves if cruises are the kind of travel for us. I would not recommend Mediterranan Cruises with MSC at all Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
There was no proper assistance to the boat, all passengers had to haul their cases a long way to board. No information or welcome was given, nor were the general staff helpful - some were downright rude when asked simple questions.The ... Read More
There was no proper assistance to the boat, all passengers had to haul their cases a long way to board. No information or welcome was given, nor were the general staff helpful - some were downright rude when asked simple questions.The cabin was fine, cabin staff and restaurant waiter really pleasant and helpful. However the ship smelt of sewage during the whole voyage, many passengers had blocked basins and loos. The company caters mainly for German passengers, who made up about 70%.A shore excursion paid for at time of booking was not honoured or provided,as they stated they had no English speaking guide.It took weeks for the travel agent to get reimbursement.All the food was bland,and often very badly cooked - we at least expected some decent pasta on an Italian ship! Orange juice machine was permanently out of order at breakfast time and you were forced to pay for juice from the bar. All drinks both in the restaurants and bars were overpriced, as were coffees. Very limited amount or choice of food in any of the buffets half an hour after breakfast or lunch started.Entertainment was half an hour each evening, very substandard - comics repeating each joke in 3 languages, out of tune quartet etc. The best entertainment was the passengers carol service.There was nothing to do on board, even the library had no more than 6 books in English.The spa was a joke, £90 for a brief massage by a Thai girl with a dreadful cold, who passed it on.The coach from Genoa to Nice refused to stop for a toilet break despite several passengers needing one, some were reduced nearly to tears.Rooms on one deck were soaked when the sprinkler system went off in error, the occupants were not happy, and no apology was forthcoming. Italian passengers were embarrassed for the other nationalities on board, and made their feelings clearly known.Complaints from many passengers were refuted by the company on the basis that no one else had complained! No refund was offered in respect of the many valid complaints. Eventually we were offered a 10% discount on the next cruise with them, which we declined.I suggest you avoid MSC. This review is late because 1) I was not aware of this website, and 2) acquaintances travelling recently with similar bad experiences asked why we did not warn them off! Had I known they were going with MSC I would have done. The ship visited Malaga, Civitavecchia, Barcelona, Madeira, Tenerife, and Casablanca. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
MSC Cruise from Hell 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 ... Read More
MSC Cruise from Hell 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 January 2006
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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