1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Orchestra Review
  5. MSC Orchestra Cruise Reviews
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
MSC Orchestra – Baltic Cruise Review August 2018 11 Nights – Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark We arrived at the terminal in Copenhagen at approximately 12:45pm, we were the only people ... Read More
MSC Orchestra – Baltic Cruise Review August 2018 11 Nights – Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark We arrived at the terminal in Copenhagen at approximately 12:45pm, we were the only people in the priority embarkation queue and were on board within a couple of minutes. I had completed the on-line check in, complete with pictures but we still had new ones taken. We were advised that our cabin was ready, Aurea Suite 15013, we headed straight to our cabin. Very impressed with the cabin, very spacious and a lot of storage space. We did experience some early morning noise from the Top 16 above, normally we would sleep through but were always up early for excursions. If you are a light sleeper this may impact on you. After dropping off our cabin bags we set off to explore the ship. We had not previously sailed on this class of ship and liked the more intimate feel of some of the areas. All of the ship was very well presented and immaculately clean, as we have found MSC ships to be. We headed to explore the buffet for lunch, a great selection of food, a good variety and delicious pizza as always. It was quite quiet, and we had no issues with seating, later in the cruise we did experience the usual crowds and difficulty obtaining a table a couple of times during the peak lunchtime rush. The weather was warm and pleasant, so we headed to the Top 16 solarium. A very nice space which felt larger than others we’ve used. Although there are no whirlpools on this one. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to use the area as much as we’d hoped due to experiencing some quite windy conditions. Prior to our cruise I’d read a few reviews which were not very positive about the food on board so we headed off to dinner with a degree of trepidation. We had MyChoice dining in L’Ibiscus. I’m pleased to say we were delighted with the food for the duration of the cruise. All of our dishes were well cooked, well presented and most importantly hot. One of the main complaints previously experienced. Food isn’t ever, just out of the oven piping hot but it wasn’t luke warm, and I do personally have an issue with food not being hot enough. The staff were wonderful, very attentive and the service we received was excellent. It did feel the busiest MyChoice dining area we’ve experienced as on 2 evenings we did have to wait outside in the bar (not a great hardship) but there was at least a 15 minute wait, which we’ve never experienced previously. We had the classic drinks package and only had the 2 red wines offered, a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Palatable but not exceptional. We went to the MDR for lunch on only one occasion, we found it odd sharing a table with another group and all ordering at different times. My least favourite meal and the slowest service of the cruise. We always had breakfast in the cabin, the earliest time for delivery is 7.30am but as we had many early starts on this cruise we added a note to ask for an earlier delivery and were very happy to find that our requested was met. I’ll caveat my views on the On- Board entertainment, we aren’t people who need to be entertained and anything interactive and we run for the hills. We know from experience the Aft lounge, the Shaker Lounge on Orchestra, is a livelier more interactive experience and we therefore didn’t venture in. The other lounges had a combination of singers and an instrumental group in the lobby. All of which were pretty good, we decided we liked Pepe in the La Cantinella wine bar best and usually headed there post dinner. The bar staff in there were delightful and added to our experience greatly. We didn’t make it to any of the shows on this trip, we either weren’t ready for the early show or were still at dinner for the late show. From speaking to fellow passengers they sounded pretty standard MSC shows. We had booked our included massages for our last but one day, we were in Stockholm, we’ve visited on land based holiday and decided not to visit on this trip but have a relaxation day. It was a port intensive cruise and thought we’d need time to relax. We had a couples Bali massage, which was nice but not as enjoyable as others I’ve had. Immediately after it was complete the masseuse did try to sell us another massage. Now, I expect this but they do usually wait until after you leave the treatment room and this did detract slightly from the experience. We spent the next few hours in the spa using the steam room, whirlpools and relaxation area. It’s probably the most we’ve used the Spa area, we were the only people in there and it was a very nice environment. We had the misfortune of needing to use the Medical Centre, DH was bitten by something on our first day in St Petersburg, on the second day his hands and arms started to swell badly, turn a very funny colour and were unbearably itchy. It was very unpleasant and quite scary. You could see the poison spreading I’ll spare you the photo’s but it was very bad. In Russia you can’t go anywhere alone so we waited until after our excursion ended and visited the ship Dr. Obviously you’d rather avoid needing the Medical Centre but they were excellent. Sadly, the time came we had to disembark, we were assigned the first disembarkation time of 8.30am, we were a few minutes late arriving and everyone had already left. We just proceeded to the exit, our luggage was waiting and unfortunately our cruise had ended. The itinerary was fantastic, we packed a lot in with excursions and trips so it was a very intensive experience but one we enjoyed. The ship and all of the staff were fabulous, we are looking forward to sailing on her again next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Before our very first cruise I checked out the reviews on this site and became quite apprehensive on what our experience of our first cruise would be. I would like to say we were enthralled, our cruise could not have been any better. From ... Read More
Before our very first cruise I checked out the reviews on this site and became quite apprehensive on what our experience of our first cruise would be. I would like to say we were enthralled, our cruise could not have been any better. From the size of our cabin, size and facilities on the ship to the vast range of food ( the 4 seasons restaurant was a daily treat), we were impressed. The staff were all courteous and helpful, and all worked extremely hard to ensure a quality customer service and experience. The excursions were vast and varied although a bit pricey at times, we often used the local hop on hop off bus or boat trip, which we found cost effective and enjoyable. Sunny afternoons the decks and pool areas could become busy but there is enough space around the decks to find a secluded and relaxing spot. I would book this again in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 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: August 2014
We just returned from a Baltic cruise on MSC Orchestra sailing from Kiel, Germany. The cruise surpassed our expectations. We have been on over 70 cruises and found the cabin to be spacious, well decorated and had the most storage of any I ... Read More
We just returned from a Baltic cruise on MSC Orchestra sailing from Kiel, Germany. The cruise surpassed our expectations. We have been on over 70 cruises and found the cabin to be spacious, well decorated and had the most storage of any I can remember. The passengers were mostly German, French, Italian and Russian so the show introductions and announcements were in five languages but no problem with that. The food was excellent, well prepared and more imaginative preparations than we normally see. The entertainment was nothing short of spectacular-full production shows every night with extremely talented singers and dancers,with the most gorgeous and expensive costumes we have ever seen.Service everywhere was personable and friendly. The ship was immaculate and elegantly furnished. All in all it was an extremely enjoyable cruise and we would not hesitate to sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
OK... first of all I booked this cruise because of the price, I got a great deal. it was like 1k for 2 of us for 7 days. I booked the interior room because it was the cheapest. I also booked this cruise because my husband is from Italy and ... Read More
OK... first of all I booked this cruise because of the price, I got a great deal. it was like 1k for 2 of us for 7 days. I booked the interior room because it was the cheapest. I also booked this cruise because my husband is from Italy and he didn't really want to go on a cruise so i thought this would make it a little more comfortable for him. The embarkation was actually pretty smooth except I think we showed up when everyone else did so there was a huge line! We were surprised to find out that we were upgraded for free to a balcony room, which was great! Yes the rooms are small, but what do you expect on a ship that's supposed to have enough rooms and space for all their passengers? We didn't have fresh fruit like promised when we arrived but it was there when we returned from dinner. But honestly we could care less, we didn't even eat it. Our room attendant introduced himself when we got there, but after that we never saw him again. He did keep our room clean ALL the time though! You have a card you have to put in a slot that lets them know you are in your room or not. Food- Im kind of picky, but not too bad, and I personally thought that the sit down food was great! the buffet food was OK -some good- some weird- some bad haha. We never got to try the pizzeria, but the pizza at the buffet was awful. The gelato, for $2 was amazing! You must try it!! Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner you could do either sit down, or buffet. We mostly did sit down. You have so many different choices that are better that way. You could always get juice, coffee, tea or water free with every meal. Soda and alcohol cost extra. Alcohol was about 7$ a drink. i dont remember how much beer was. The Pool Deck- we only laid out 1 time, mostly because of the people. Which had NOTHING to do with the cruise. People on this trip for some reason were SO RUDE!!! Not the employees, THE GUESTS! If you want a spot anywhere, with a chair you better be out there at 8am! what really pissed me off was people come and "claim" a chair then leave and dont come back for hours, so the people looking for chairs cant sit down! We never got in the pools they were always too crowded.. They always had some kind of skit or game or srt project going on outside. Theres ping pong as well. The Ports- They were always ON TIME and were there as long as they claimed they would be. The only place that was kind of bad on time was Antigua- 7am to 1pm. CAYO LAVENTADO- basically all it is, is a beach. You have to try the pina coladas and lobster tho, they were AMAZING!!! The beach was pretty, water clear, but really small. St. JOHN- we went snorkeling on the catamaran which was booked by MSC. It was ok, we didn't see anything, the only good thing about it was all the free alcohol!! So i cant tell you much about the island itself. ANTIGUA- we did a taxi tour which was interesting..the water there is absolutely gorgeous! NASSAU- this is where we did all of our shopping, you must get the rum cake from tortuga, it is so good. All in all the ports were good, we only were on the beach once and that was in cayo. I wish we would have laid out more. NIGHTLY SHOWS- THey were great! some didn't make sense, haha but they were entertaining. They had magic, singers, ballet, dancing, circus acts, all in all it was fun. My opinion on the whole trip (summed up) I think the people on here that complain about everything should shut the hell up!! Sorry for the language, but unless they do something seriously wrong like loose your luggage, or dont have a room for you, or i dont know, spit on you or something, then you dont have a reason to be mad! Not just because you didn't like the food and they didn't leave towel animals on your bed! SO WHAT!!! You get what you pay for. Obviously you get all that stuff on other cruises which are 3x more expensive! If you care that much about all that stuff then book a different cruise!! You get pretty decent food, shows, nightlife, ocean, sun, shopping, sightseeing, and VACATION! I do agree it probably is geared more for older people, but i saw plenty of kids running around. They are free after all. They do all the announcements in like 4 different languages which does get old but also they have so many different cultures on the boat i think its pretty polite of them. Not to assume everyone understands English. I thought the staff was super nice! They were always helpful and attentive. And they worked their butts off too. They work 9 months back to back, give them a break! I think if you cant really afford the top dog cruises, definitely take this cruise! It was well worth the money. Hopefully it goes as smooth as mine did, and hopefully you have an open mind, unlike others. AND PLEASE DONT BE RUDE TO OTHER PEOPLE ON THE BOAT!!!!! I hope it helps. If you have any questions I would be more then happy to answer them. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2009
Having sailed on the MSC Poesia out of Venice in October 2008, we were so impressed by the ship and her crew that only a week after we got home, we booked her sister ship, MSC Orchestra, out of Fort Lauderdale for April 4th, 2009. ... Read More
Having sailed on the MSC Poesia out of Venice in October 2008, we were so impressed by the ship and her crew that only a week after we got home, we booked her sister ship, MSC Orchestra, out of Fort Lauderdale for April 4th, 2009. Arriving to Port Everglades at 11:45 am, we embarked almost immediately and were enjoying the buffet at 12:30 pm. Talk about efficient! Our cabin was ready at 1:30 pm, our luggage arrived at 3:30 pm and we unpacked into our well appointed home for the next week. Lots of storage in these rooms and our mid-ship location on deck 10 was super - you gotta love that balcony view. Every day we had fresh towels, a bucket of ice, a bowl of fruit and a nicely cleaned cabin (twice a day). Our cabin steward Andre and his assistant took great care of us. Anyone who complains about the quantity and quality of the food on this ship needs to give their head a shake. The buffet was fabulous any time of day, lot of choices for adults and children. In the L'Ibiscus dining room we were treated like royalty by the trio of Suda, Hamid and of course Filipe! The wine list was extensive with very reasonable prices. The menu and presentation of the food was that of a five star restaurant. We loved every minute of the evening dining experience. As repeat MSC cruisers, we also enjoyed extra amenities such as priority tender designation, discounted purchases on board, a bottle of champagne in our room, an MSC souvenir and other little niceties. Other reviews have criticized the European flavor of MSC Cruises, but we found it very refreshing. It must be difficult for the crew, most of whom are Italian or Indonesian, to deal with the "how much more can I pile on my plate and NOT eat" or "give me another %#@$ beer, I've only had ten tonight" or "I can smoke wherever I want to" mentality that we witnessed on several occasions. But they do deal with it - and a lot more politely than I would. The loud and rude behavior of some of the guests was down right embarrassing but the crew just took it in stride. We echo the positive comments of others regarding the beauty of Orchestra's lounges, bars, staircases, restaurants, etc. She, like her sister the Poesia, is truly a work of art. The crew work round the clock to keep her shiny and clean and we know that most people noticed and appreciated that. We enjoyed all of the shore excursions, two of which required tendering and were handled very well by the crew. Chankanaab Park in Cozumel, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, and the beach at Cayo Levantado are all available without booking an excursion. One word of advice - go ashore early to secure the best seating locations. The disembarkation also went smoothly and the welcoming committee at the port was one of the friendliest bunch of people we've seen in a while. If we could have stayed on for another week, we would have, but the ship was fully booked - no doubt because of the ridiculously low rates MSC has been offering. We are already planning our Northern Europe MSC cruise for the end of the year. We can't wait! We are 'hooked' on MSC Crociere! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2009
First let me say that the cabins are well appointed with storage galore! 12 drawers (6 in nightstands and 6 in desk), shelves in closet and plenty of hanging space along with sufficient amount of hangers. Flat screen TV with remote (though ... Read More
First let me say that the cabins are well appointed with storage galore! 12 drawers (6 in nightstands and 6 in desk), shelves in closet and plenty of hanging space along with sufficient amount of hangers. Flat screen TV with remote (though got rather tired of CNN and Shipboard hype) - movie of the day was free, but if you wanted another one it cost almost 11.00. Did have one cartoon channel (though not my thing). Good supply of water and cabin service staff kept everything immaculate. Food was very good and waiter had good command of English language. The dining manager came around daily to check on how they were doing as opposed to other lines we've been on when the only time you see them is the day of tipping. Nice merchandise from ships stores and at fairly reasonable prices. Staff in on-board jewelry store helpful with hints on silver shopping in Cozumel. What would I change on this ship? First, make a designated "adult only" pool and enforce it like Princess does. Couldn't get in the pool except for days in port when almost everyone was off ship. Second, when you have rules (no one under 18 in casino and no one under 18 drinking) enforce them!!! Casino was not smoke free and would really have hesitated to park strollers while Mom's gambled - overlooked by casino staff. 6 Penny machines which were a challenge to get to - machines paid the first 2 nights - then someone turned the switch and little to nothing coming out until the last night. Midnight buffets were excellent (although it appeared that no one had eaten on the ship for days the way the passengers acted.-almost a feeding frenzy). They did offer Kids go Free and Kids programs, but I question at 1130 at night why the 6 year olds were at the passenger talent show (along with their counselors). Met one woman travelling with her teenager and she was even taken aback by things she observed as well. She was a frequent passenger on Carnival, but the "price on MSC was right". We had sailed on the Melody back in 2002 and had incorrectly assumed that this would be a newer version but with the same high standards - I personally question if I would have brought twins 7 weeks old on a cruise. but that's me. Had to dodge strollers and children everywhere one went - deck 15 (solarium) offered about the only quiet place other than the cabin to sit in and sun oneself or to read. Shore excursions pricey, but no more so than on any other ship - usually do it on our own depending on port. The menu and shows remained the same for the entire two weeks (a plus for a traditional 14 day sailing versus the back to back, but thought there could have been some variety). Confusion when asking staff questions - could ask the same question of three people and get three different answers. Be aware that everything is done in multi-languages - all announcements etc. English, Dutch, French, Spanish and from the appearance of the second weeks cruisers - perhaps will be also in Japanese. Would I sail again on MSC? Seriously doubt it as will return to Celebrity, Holland America and the likes. Hope this helps folks in what to expect - always try to mix the good with the not so good. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
We just returned from the 2/21 Western Caribbean ORCHESTRA cruise. We had a great time! This is my review and my opinion. We are a married couple 38 and 41 years old. We have been on 40 cruises. We have been on every cruise major ... Read More
We just returned from the 2/21 Western Caribbean ORCHESTRA cruise. We had a great time! This is my review and my opinion. We are a married couple 38 and 41 years old. We have been on 40 cruises. We have been on every cruise major cruise line with the majority being Celebrity. The majority of the cruises have been to the Caribbean and Europe. I am also a travel agent and the main reason we tried MSC is to be more knowledgeable on the brand. We love Europe and Italy and their culture. Here is what is important to us: Warm weather, good pool area, good drinks, good entertainment, good service, a clean ship with modern amenities. We enjoy good food but we feel getting a tan and enjoying the outside deck is more important than gorging at a buffet, we could all use to lose a few pounds. We also like to disconnect from the real world, no emails, no blackberry, and no phone. We don't sweat the small stuff and we don't let little things or other's attitude ruin the fun of our cruise. We are also NON-smokers and cigarette smoke bothers me. To be honest, I failed above and I let the prior reviews get to me and was insecure about our upcoming vacation. I was VERY nervous. We enjoy talking to the staff and getting to know them. While onboard I brought up the bad reviews and the management knew exactly what I was talking about. They said they printed out all of the emails and made copies for the staff to read. The first 4 cruises were "misses", they understand that and it was EXTREMELY unfortunate. It was a domino effect of many problems. I am happy to say that we had no issues and had a great cruise. My review may be long but I wanted to answer as many questions up front as possible. Here is the review of ship and day to day account of our cruise..... Weather - SUNNY and 80 Degrees each day. 2/21 - Embarkation We arrived at FLL airport at 11 am. We had nothing to do so we went to the ship hoping to get on prior to the 4pm boarding time. We arrived at the Terminal 4 at 11:45 and were on board and in our room by 12:30pm. 2/22 - Key West We arrived at 7 am and left at 2 pm. We had been to Key West 5 times so we decided to sleep in and hang by the pool. It was great; we had the ship all to ourselves. 2/23- Cozumel We arrived at 9 am in DOWNTOWN. The pier is VERY long but they now have "rickshaw" (sp?) for $3 they will take you from the gangway to the pier exit. We have been to Cozumel 12 times so we slept in then went to town for an authentic lunch at PANCHOS BACKYARD 2/24 - Grand Cayman We arrived at 10 am. We had to get tender tickets at 8:30. We were ticket number 2 and were on land by 10:15. We wanted a lazy day at 7 Mile Beach so we found a shuttle for $5 person to the Royal Palms Beach. Great Beach! Clean and cute beachside cafe. AWESOME Grilled Mahi Mahi Sandwiches and believe it or not, the best pepperoni pizza in the Caribbean. We came back to the ship at 3 pm. 2/25 - At sea 2/26 - Cayo Levantado We arrived at 8 am and they changed departure to 2 pm. We don't know why but we didn't care either. We had to get up at 6:30 am to get tender tickets. We were ashore at 8:30 and a tropical storm came and washed the island away. We sat at a bar and drank Pina Coladas and by 11 am the storm was gone and it was a perfect beach day. Everything is extra at Cayo. Beach Chairs are $3, Drinks are $5 - Lobster Lunch is $20. The Scenery is gorgeous but you share the beach with NCL and PRINCESS and it was very crowded. 2/27 - At sea 2/28 - Disembarkation We decided to try self assist exit. WOW! That is fast! We were off the ship by 7 am and in cab for a 9 am flight. So convenient! They DO NOT HELP WITH LUGGAGE so be prepared to carry your own bags. Room - Category 7 - AFT BALCONY CABIN - FLAUTO DECK The room is VERY small. In Europe the hotel rooms are even smaller so we knew what to expect. The room was very tastefully decorated, modern and clean. We had 4 pillows on our bed and we always had wash cloths and towels. It was an AFT balcony. YES the back of the ship VIBRATES! WOW! Once again, I am on a ship and I did not design it, I chose to travel this way and I wasn't going to complain about it. If you are a light sleeper, try to change your cabin prior as our ship was 100% full. The TV has 3 English channels, TNT, CNN and a pay movie station. That's it. I didn't come on the ship to watch TV so I could care less. Yes, we could access our onboard account and it was always correct. Another nice feature is that you can book your Shore Excursions via the television as well. But, I would recommend that you book them prior to the cruise because the good ones sell out very quickly. Yes, there was Room Service; the menu is in the Blue Guestbook in desk drawer. The Room Service extension is 2871 and someone always answered and our food was delivered in 10 minutes or less and for free. Limited menu. When you walk into the room on the wall is slot for your key, it works the electricity and air-conditioning in the room. It also activates a light for your steward to know if you are in the room. It is wonderful, our steward was a mystery to us, she was so cute when we met her on the first day and we saw her on the last day. She was great and elusive. They also delivered a fresh fruit basket each day. We were off to explore the rest of the ship. WOW! It is gorgeous, by far the most beautifully decorated ship. It was also SPOTLESS. It was the cleanest ship we have ever been on. They take pride in their ship and it shows. We are still talking about how clean it was. Yes, there are hand sanitizers everywhere. One side of the ship is smoking but we were shocked by how little we noticed. We even laughed about always sitting in the smoking section and not noticing the smoke, great ventilation. Public Rooms: All of the bars are huge and have plenty of seating. Each day we found a new bar to explore and people watch. The Savannah Bar was our favorite with great flow and lighting. The disco is so futuristic but it was never used until 12 am each night. The disco hosts the teen group prior to midnight. Spa: The Body and Mind Spa is huge! We did use the gym daily and you did not have to make a reservation. You do have to sign a waiver to use the equipment. The spa prices are VERY expensive with limited specials. A 60 minute massage is $140. The indoor Jacuzzis are peaceful and quiet and the steam is like a Turkish bath. The staff is from BALI. The Pool. The pool area is gorgeous but tight. It is more appropriate for a ship of 2000. At sea days it can be VERY crowed and cramped but at 10 am, we always found 2 chairs in a prime location. I love the sun chairs, each has a mini-awning to block the sun from your head if needed. For a very special place to relax and break from the crowds, find the disco and go out the back door there is a secluded deck that nobody goes to and you sleep and relax like never before under the warm sun. The Dining Room We were assigned to a table for 2, late seating (8pm) in Villa Borgese. It was very loud, but in Europe, dining is a social hour. Every table was laughing and having a good time. L'Ibiscus is a much more gorgeous dining room. Most of the tables are booths and very tight. The Atrium is beautiful and stands 3 floors. It has a gorgeous lighted wall, spiral staircases and center stage for rotating entertainment.The shops are great with great selection of goods. Their prices were pretty competitive and very reasonable. There are 7 shops. The internet cafe has 16 computers and I never saw anyone use it. It was $5 per 10 minutes. The Gelato Bar - it was like a cute sidewalk cafe in Italy. They had special menus and the quality of gelato was fabulous. It was only $2. Some people think this should be included, but I disagree. This is homemade gelato, not frozen powdered soft serve. It is hand crafted with unusual flavors. Worth every penny of the $2! The Buffet area - The area is beautiful with gorgeous floor to ceiling glass windows the views of the ocean are breathtaking. The sunsets are unreal from this area. It is VERY confusing in design. There 6 different buffets / Salad Bars and each have different food. 4 buffets are very European and the food selections resemble a sidewalk deli in Italy or Croatia. The other buffets are more American with standard American fare. Keep walking around, I bet you find things you can eat. For good seating, go ALL the way in the back, as far as you can go, there was always a table for us. The Entertainment / Theater - The MSC Orchestra has by far the BEST shows at sea. Each night was dazzling and sometimes sexy. Don't miss...A Night in Paris, Circusland, and Singing under the Moon. The costumes, sound and lighting were incredible. The Theater is gorgeous too. We also LOVED the " EXCELLENT ENTERTAINMENT" TEAM. They always scream that! There were 8 of them and they were in charge of all the daily activities. They were always funny, always on time and always a riot. They are very funny so make sure you see them in action by the pool or in the lounges. We miss them already. We love them hiding in the trees or behind lamps and scaring passengers as they walk by. I laughed so hard I was crying! The ship had great energy and each bar had different entertainment. Each bar had a different vibe. There was ALWAYS something going on. Service - We read stories that the staff was rude or "stared". We found them very unobtrusive. We found them always happy and willing to do whatever. They don't push drinks in your face, they don't stand around and do nothing. They are always cleaning or organizing. The staff is 60% Indonesian and 30% Bulgarian and 10% Italian. The Indonesians are cute and sweet. They always asked how we were and if we were having a good day. I find Bulgarians to be very formal. They don't speak unless spoken to and very robotic. I think it is a cultural thing, but when I smiled and asked how they were doing they were very nice and shocked that I cared. I loved the Italian staff and their style. They are very professional, and look good doing it. Most staff can speak more than one language. I never encountered any staff member that did not know what I was talking about. MSC does not do things in excess. If you don't see something or need something, ASK. They always got what we needed with pleasure. The Food - We were never hungry! It appears people that complained are ones that don't like try new things or are stuck in their ways. We saw one passenger complaining they had no chicken fingers. Embarrassing! MSC is Italian so order what they are known for..Pastas, Rissottos. We were always satisfied. For Example...you don't order a Hot Dog in a Sushi restaurant. Breakfast - Food was always hot, we loved the sliced ham. Breakfast in the dining room was super fast and always hot. Hours 7 am - 11 am. Lunch - Great salad bar with fresh items, Great hamburgers, skip the pizza (advice for later) 12 pm - 3 pm Iced Tea - It was fabulous and FREE. It was available from 7 am - 9 pm. The glasses are also huge at 10 oz. LOVED IT! Yes, they had Sweet n' Low, Equal and Splenda. PIZZERIA - 5 pm to 9pm each night - this is not the same pizza at lunch time. There is an older Italian male making pizza pies from scratch and singing opera music. We loved it so much we skipped dinner in the restaurant 2 nights. What other ship can you eat amazing pizza from scratch with views of Cuba out the window while the chef is singing opera music. It was awesome and there was NO CHARGE Dinner - Service was a little slow. Our food was always hot and salads were always crisp but our poor waiter had 6 tables. Dinners took 90 -120 minutes. We enjoyed each others company and were not in a rush to go anywhere so we could care less. The Wine Bar - this bar is beautiful and they serve you Italian antipasto appetizers while sipping wine. Coffee - the coffee was great in all bars, cappuccinos and espressos were fabulous as well. Shanghai - We ate here 2 times. The food was amazing. Service was very formal and the vibe of the room is very quiet. We did Stir Fry dishes one night and we did Dim Sum with 8 different items another day. Our bill was $35 for both of us, both times. In the end, we were sad to leave the Orchestra. We had a great time! We feel that the passengers that complain should direct it to their Travel Agent and not MSC. Travel Agents should educate their customers on the product. MSC should not change. Some passengers who book online with no agent advice and have no clue what type of ship they are going on and do no research. We already have a Carnival, and a Princess and Celebrity, etc. I appreciated almost every aspect of our cruise and I enjoyed the customer base. The passengers were 50 % Italian, 20 % French, 10% German, 10% Spanish and 10% American. We enjoyed meeting people from around the world, seeing their fashion style, hearing their languages and embracing their culture if it was only for a week but would have loved it forever. UGGH..my hand is asleep. Did I miss anything? LOL! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2009
We arrived at the Port about 10:45 AM on the 10th. We were sent upstairs with the number 6 boarding number. We waited maybe 15 minutes before boarding the ship. We were shown the way to our cabin(we were not escorted there by someone ... Read More
We arrived at the Port about 10:45 AM on the 10th. We were sent upstairs with the number 6 boarding number. We waited maybe 15 minutes before boarding the ship. We were shown the way to our cabin(we were not escorted there by someone wearing white gloves like we were on the Lirica 2 years before). The trip to the cabin was all the way thru the ship,which we enjoyed as it is a beautiful ship and it help those of us like me that are directionally challenged and can get lost in a paper bag as my husband always says. Our cabin was on the 15th deck #15024. The room was cleaned and ready for us to enter. Shortly after we entered our Steward knocked on the door and asked if we needed ice or anything and we said that ice would be nice. Which he kept full everyday of the cruise. We then proceeded to the Buffet for lunch. There was no line at the buffet so we got right in and out. The food was very good and there was a large selection of cold cuts and 3 different cheeses with many hot items. The salad bar was scarce to our standards but I am a big salad and veggie eater so I noticed that more. My husband liked the hot foods that were there more. Dinner was at 5:45 and we were in the Villa Borghese for dinner. The food was excellent but the service was very slow. We had 2 table mates that were totally horrible tho. Everytime the gentlemen would speak he would yell at the top of his lungs and was very rude (downright mean) to his wife and very disrespectful to women in general. So much so that the 3 tables around us kept looking over and shooting him a dirty look. We stayed at that table 2 nights and on the second night my husband talked to the head Maitre'd and we were given a different table, #583, with Buda and his backup as our waitstaff. The service from then on was absolutely excellent at night. We did eat breakfast and lunch in the dining room most of the time but service was pretty much hit and miss on those meals, but the food was absolutely excellent at all times. The night they offered Filet Mignon I was very surprised. I ordered it very rare and they asked if I wanted it tar-tar and I said no only cooked for a couple of min. on each side. It came to me perfect. Mind you we had other people at our table with well done steaks and all of the food came at the same time and all was hot and perfectly cooked.. The filet didn't even need to be chewed it MELTED in your mouth it was so good. Their cheesecakes are as the saying goes "To die for" they are so decadent and delicious. Our dealings with the reception center and the accounting center were simple questions and were answered with a smile and very courteous. The only problem we had with getting off the ship was the day we were tendered into Cozumel. We had tender ticket #1 and we were at breakfast when they called #1 so we missed our tender time. We thought we would just go off with the rest of the people when we could so we got stuck in a long line but were off the ship within 20 min. There was a lot of complaining by several people and 1 man in particular who had 4 kids with him. He was ramming people with his stroller and trying to get everyone out of his way and yelling the whole time. But in all honesty when we say him in Cozumel he was acting the same way, so maybe that is just how he is. The disembarkment at Grand Cayman was very easy as there was no line and we went right off the ship. Our favorite port was Cayo Laventado as the beach was absolutely beautiful and very easy access from the dock to the beach. We didn't use any of the excursions offered by the ship as we like to explore on our own a lot. The 3 night shows that we attended were fabulous. The pianist was absolutely the best i have ever seen. We are not smokers so we did notice that in the public areas there was no smoke smell except in the casino and a couple of areas on the pool deck. Our disembarkment from the ship was a breeze, we had Lilac #2 tags and we waited in the Amber lounge till they called us. We pretty much just walked right off, got our luggage and went thru customs. From the time they called our tag color to the time we were at the curb waiting on the car rental bus was about 15 min. Our longest wait was for the car rental bus. When it comes to our cruise we totally enjoyed it and would recommend it highly to others and already have and yes we will cruise with MSC again. Read Less
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a MSC Orchestra Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise