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Sail Date: January 2009
We arrived to the Port of Fort Lauderdale at 1 PM, the time they told us we could board the ship. When we got the the terminal there were already approx. 500 people in line waiting to get in. When they finally opened the doors at 2:30 PM ... Read More
We arrived to the Port of Fort Lauderdale at 1 PM, the time they told us we could board the ship. When we got the the terminal there were already approx. 500 people in line waiting to get in. When they finally opened the doors at 2:30 PM there were approx. 1,000 people in the check-in line. All of this time no announcement were made advising passengers as to what the delay was. Another hour wait once inside the terminal building to get to the check-in desk. It was a good thing that it was not too hot or raining. We finally got on board the ship at 4:50 PM. The scheduled 7:00 PM sailing time was delayed until 8:35 PM since it took extra time to process people checking in. People were still checking in at 7:00 PM. They did make up the time lost and arrived in Nassau at the scheduled time. The lifeboat drill was also delayed until 8:30 AM the next morning. Some people managed to escape that since they got off the ship and went shopping. We had the 8:30 PM, Late Seating, for dinner. We arrived at the dining room at 8:50 PM only to find ourselves waiting in another line to get into the dining room. They had not opened it yet for the late seating. First seating passengers were still in the dining room. The second night was not as bad. They opened the dining room doors at 8:45 PM. By the time we finished dinner, with the slow service, it was 10:50 PM. We arrived at the 10:30 PM Late Show at 11:00 PM only to see the remaining 20 minutes of the show when it ended. We were not happy about missing the show. The show was the only thing that actually started on time. We had an Oceanview Cabin with Balcony. It was a spacious cabin with a king size bed and quite nice. A larger bathroom as compared to other ships we have been on. The entire ship was quite elegant with a lot of marble, paintings, sculptures, mirrors, etc. The layout of the ship was very good. It was easy to navigate from one part of the ship to another without getting lost. Not confusing as all. The food was average. No fancy presentations either. Service was slow. No midnight buffet on the first night and when they did have the midnight buffet on the pool deck it was just ordinary items on trays. No fancy displays or ice carvings. The disembarkation procedure was another disaster. We elected for Priority Boarding by taking our own luggage ashore. Passengers were told to gatherer in the lounges at 7:00 AM. They announced for the first Priority Group to disembark around 8:30 AM. They had moved no more than 10 feet when they announced for the second group to disembark and then the 3rd group 10 minutes later. Another 1 hour wait in a hot corridor to disembark. We finally got ashore at 10:00 AM. During the cruise there were no announcement made as to what was going on. No meetings about Customs Regulations, etc. The only good thing about that is you did not have to hear announcement regarding Bingo Games every 15 minutes. The crew was unfamiliar with the layout of the ship. If you asked one of them where the nearest restroom was located, they either did not understand English or did not know. Passengers making complaints at the Reception Desk were just smiled at and told that they did not understand. No compensation was offered for all of this inconvenience. A letter was slipped under our cabin door just stating that they were sorry for any inconveniences. The ship's bulletin said that we were going to be given Comments Cards to fill out, but none were slipped under the cabin doors nor were any to be found on the ship. I guess they did not want comments about this cruise. I do not think any of the passengers will be recommending MSC Cruises to their friends. MSC really has to get their act together. 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
Sail Date: February 2009
my fiance and i have been on several cruises and last year we strayed from our norm and booked a cruise with MSC. their price was very competitive and we would give it a try. were we sorry ! the ship is beautiful and kept up quite well , ... Read More
my fiance and i have been on several cruises and last year we strayed from our norm and booked a cruise with MSC. their price was very competitive and we would give it a try. were we sorry ! the ship is beautiful and kept up quite well , the food was fantastic and the wait staff was great! but that is it, the entertainment lacked from what we were used to and was very dissapointed. and then it gets worse the lay out of such a huge ship is ridiculous, crowded every where, and not much to offer on shore excursions, the next was the wait staff was over worked and pushed to their limits ,one couln't even joke or talk to one at the bars for a supervisor giving them the "stinky" eye! then the worst ! the other passengers! they are mainly italians from chicago and the upper eastern sea board! what a bunch of rude,disrespectfull, smelly, hairy, egotistical charecters you are! WOW i don't wanna be any where near you dudes! let alone trapped on a ship with you! well all in all we made the best of it and did have a good time finding one of the uncrowded public areas and just enjoying each others company.and taking in the beautiful scenery of the eastern carribean. MSC has yet to learn how to cater to Americans and what they want in a cruise vacation. I suggest not letting msc reel you in with a cheaper price because you'll be dissapointed! stick with a US based cruise line. 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: 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: April 2009
Really would have liked to write a positive review of this ship so I will start with the good stuff.  We were upgraded to a suite (Category 14 from a booked Category 13).  This may have been due to the fact that prior to the cruise I ... Read More
Really would have liked to write a positive review of this ship so I will start with the good stuff.  We were upgraded to a suite (Category 14 from a booked Category 13).  This may have been due to the fact that prior to the cruise I complained vehemently to MSC about the price we paid compared what was being advertised online in early Spring.  We booked in January.  Here are the facts:The ship is indeed a beautiful ship in pristine condition.  Brass etc. being polished constantly, smell of paint everywhere-I personally do not like the smell of paint. Guess they have to do it sometime. Majority of Crew really makes a big effort to be accommodating and provide good service.  Some were downright rude. I asked a female directions to the restrooms and she replied "There's a bathroom in your cabin"."Go There" This is not  a good thing.   I should have noted her name and reported her.  This gal should not be in the service industry.   We love having breakfast in our cabin on a cruise but MSC provides only a continental breakfast-not a good thing. The cocktails are reasonable at only $4.00 each.  Tip is included in each drink.  So that's a good thing.There is no wine steward in the dining room.  I love wine with my dinner so quickly realized I had better tell the waiter right away that I wanted wine.  That way I might get it by the time I get my entree. Not a good thing!  No point in ordering cocktails in the dining room-get them before you go to dinner.  They have only bar person-my husband likes a martini while looking over the menu so I guess you can figure this is not a good thing.Now I have to tell you a really bad thing, especially if you are a foodie.  The food is bad.  I lost two pounds so thats a good thing.   My neighbor who is Italian found it hard to believe that an Italian ship could screw up the food but indeed they managed to do a good job of it.  Had veal one night that I think was frozen since 1986.   Had a filet mignon only a dog could enjoy.  NOT A GOOD THING!The ports were both good things.  We loved Bermuda and have been to Nassau many times but it is still an interesting place.  We have fond memories because we honeymooned there.  Please do not take the Atlantis tour.  If you want to see Atlantis just get a taxi for $4.00 outside the ship.  You have to walk miles on the tour to a boat and then more miles to the hotel.  I haven't figured this one out yet.  I cost $50.00 each.  Big waste of time and $$$.  Definitely not a good thing.The entertainment was great.  Innovative shows, great singers and dancers and some influence of cirque de soleil.  This is a very good thing.  Would I take a cruise on MSC again.  I think you know the answer by now and it's not a good thing!NRL 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: September 2010
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: October 2010
Please read all of the reviews about MSC Orchestra very carefully because for the most part they are true as far as: *Great value for an international cruise *Most patrons on the ship do not speak English as a first language ... Read More
Please read all of the reviews about MSC Orchestra very carefully because for the most part they are true as far as: *Great value for an international cruise *Most patrons on the ship do not speak English as a first language (never found it to be a problem) *You do have to pay for water in the dining room and coffee is not included except in the buffet *Dining options are few-buffet and dining room but we did not find the meals bad-always great pasta options and appetizers. *Entertainment is pretty non-existent *The pool area is very crowded and small I would suggest to go on this cruise if you: *Would like to see beautiful ports that no other cruise line seemed to go to (Malaga, Alicante, Gibraltar, Genoa) *Are not expecting/wanting to spend too much time on the ship *Do not mind being one of the only English speakers (although ALL of the staff spoke very well) *Would like a very budget friendly international cruise (our 8night balcony room cruise cost only $899/person) 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2015
The ship itself was gorgeous & kept beautifully. However the variations in levels of service we experienced were just too great for the money paid. We were unfortunate that on our cruise was a group of almost 1000 French accordion ... Read More
The ship itself was gorgeous & kept beautifully. However the variations in levels of service we experienced were just too great for the money paid. We were unfortunate that on our cruise was a group of almost 1000 French accordion aficionados. We were actually told at lunch one day by a waiter that because we were not French our service would not be as good! We were more than a little upset by this so went to the English speaking "point of contact". She took lots of notes & we never heard another thing. We had a tour cancelled which we had previously booked. The reason given was not enough English speakers to warrant the trip. We were led to believe that the ship catered to all languages but alas if you speak English you will not enjoy your cruise! The only great thing about the whole trip was the food. We never had a bad meal. Everything was perfect with the food itself. Again however the service levels were budget to say the least. A quick list of what we experienced: 1. A waiter sneezed into his hand and continued to serve people as he thought no one had seen. 2. Basics of serving, placement etc just not there. Most waiters needed a lot of training. 3. Staff not aware of what order to serve meals in. More than once we received mains before entrée. 4. No idea on basic tea & coffee prep. The saving grace for us were the bars wait staff. All encountered were amazing, knowledgable and very helpful. One even showing a barman how to make a certain cocktail. Again training! The shore excursions were very overpriced and poorly run except for Morocco where it is run by a private company. We were told in one port of a cab strike so we must pay to use specially arranged buses. The line of cabs on arrival was staggering! Organise your own tours or simply jump in a cab. Will work out cheaper in the end! Overall a very disappointing cruise and we will never again sail with or recommend MSC. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
Just back from the 'holiday of a lifetime' what a joke. From the arrival at the ship, until disembarkation, MSC seemed determined to make every step a battle, from herding us on with the people on excursions, to a complete ... Read More
Just back from the 'holiday of a lifetime' what a joke. From the arrival at the ship, until disembarkation, MSC seemed determined to make every step a battle, from herding us on with the people on excursions, to a complete refusal to listen, deal with, or generally assist with any issues. The 2 week cruise turned out to be 2x1 week cruises back to back, with the start being either Martinique or Guadeloupe, when 2000 embarked/disembarked, this meant that on those days you had the incessant safety drills when everything shuts down, bars, lifts and other services, for half an hour. The food was awful, with little Caribbean food. The buffet had only half open for the evening, so the best (of the worst) was served at lunchtime when most people were out. No water with your meal unless you bought it. A constant sales barrage from the staff who were on commission to sell drinks pack, steak pack, beer pack, lobster pack, wine pack etc. We had pre booked/paid for several excursions prior to the trip, to find them cheaper on board, no reason, no apology, no recompense. The same with the Internet, costing us an additional €120. The staff (not the cleaners or bar staff) were rude, surly and unhelpful. This was my 4th (and last) cruise with MSC, and having spoken to many people on board, this was how they all felt. Very very bad Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Imagine heading into your local travel agent and telling them that you are half considering a cruise for your Honeymoon, and then the travel consultant recommends MSC, well if this happens to you, run for the hills!! I was half hearted ... Read More
Imagine heading into your local travel agent and telling them that you are half considering a cruise for your Honeymoon, and then the travel consultant recommends MSC, well if this happens to you, run for the hills!! I was half hearted about a cruise to be honest, I felt it would be very restrictive - I was later proved right, but the travel consultant persuaded myself and my now husband, that this would be a relaxing well earned rest after all the stress of the wedding planning. We could have all the little extras that all honeymooners deserve All inclusive - we left having settled a bill for over €250, this was including the charge for tips - €9 per person per day for all the hard work people are doing in the background or as I like to call it Just doing your job I have never known stress until I set foot on what I now refer to as the Prison Package Holiday. We arrived at the terminal to be greeted by a pleasant young man who told us where to leave our bags,- this was the end of the good customer service. As we checked in we were accosted by two over enthusiastic photographers - yes you will be hounded by these people on the ship, they are nice but relentless, their job is to get you to pose over several nights and hopefully spend an average of €50 for these memories of your time on board. I'm afraid I don't need photos to remind me, its indelibly implanted on my brain, I may need to seek out a therapist in the future We had, on the advice of the travel consultant chosen the Aurea package, which is the two lower packages plus extra benefits such as welcome massage and cocktail (IE the second premium package) , and access to the thermal suite - a child free haven with hot tub - the first time we had a quick look around the hot tub had been taken over by a gentleman and his two small children. We also had the additional benefit of the Allegrisimo drinks package - €26 per person per day, now I don't know about anyone else and I enjoy a drink as much as the next person, but you would be hard pressed to drink this amount every day, but there must be fear on board that you could, so don't worry there are several obstacles in place to ensure you don't!. Oh how delighted my new husband was when he discovered this meant he could have any beer he wanted as long as it was Heiniken, delightful, especially if this is one of the few beers you DONT drink - and it had to be draught! We were told we would have a choice of several places to eat, in reality, its three and two of them do exactly the same food, and look the same, in fact up until day two we thought it was all one restaurant. Our package also entitled us to access to an exclusive deck - for Aurea package patrons only and child free, which is what you want on your honeymoon, lets be honest. It also had a bar so that you can just walk the few steps from the rattan lounger to get your self a drink, great idea except that it was often unmanned. And being above deck 13, it could get a bit windy, not too bad but the very nature of rattan furniture ensures that it moves around the deck and when this happens no matter how early it was, the bar and deck closed Staff were on the whole unfriendly, ; the two pool-side bars were tended by men who seemed to think that when you asked for a coke, it was code for a kidney or you were asking them for several pints of blood and boy did those surly faced gentlemen treat you with great suspicion Our 'my choice' dining meant that we could rock on up to our designated restaurant without a reservation apparently but you might be forgiven for thinking that this means you can eat anytime, well you can as long as its between 7.00 and 9,30 and if you choose to dine early, the big scary maître D, who also happened to bad mouth other customers, will give you the evils (evil death stare) to get you out of your seat should you choose to spend more than the allotted time. Also when we did show up to eat, on two occasions we were asked if we minded having a drink in the bar while the maître D practiced giving more customers the evils as some of them had become immune. My next moan is about queuing, queuing to get on, queuing to get off, its a pain and from talking to other people who have cruised with other lines, not the norm except with MSC apparently. The reason is that you have to present your card which is duly scanned so that your identity can be verified, God forbid you will have passed your card to someone on one of the stops and begged them to take your place. Thanks but I don't dislike anyone that much! Getting back on board, your place your bag on a converyor belt so that it can be scanned, in case your a threat to national security? Alas no, your crime could be that you are smuggling alcohol on board which is a big no no, because unlike us, if you went for a more basic drinks package, there is immense pressure to upgrade, but beware there are obstacles to stop you drinking your allowance everywhere as I have already attested you. Most of the bars are closed when the ship is docked and those that are open, I saw one, was unmanned for 20 minutes. So when you visit MSC's website, please note that it is akin to a fairytale and should be treated as such - as in Grimms Fairytales. . That said if you are the type to eat your bodyweight in Pizza then this is the place for you, its available practically 24/7. the food is good, not overly fantastic, in fact over several days I could have cooked better myself and I am a mediocre cook at best. This may seem a little harsh but just in case you've forgotten, this was my HONEYMOON and I would never recommend MSC in a million years for a honeymoon or to anyone that I remotely like that said I know many a person who sings with gusto the praises of Thompson, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, but I will just have to take their word for it. So was there anything nice about the cruise, hell yes. The places you get to see - however brief - remember the queuing the get off, were lovely, Corfu was my favorite followed by Montenegro. But the best thing about this cruise was docking back in Venice and getting off - the inmate was released! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We only choose to travel with MSC and this is the first time that we would rate it lower than "very good or excellent". The entertainment quality was nowhere near as good as usual this included the nightly show and also at the ... Read More
We only choose to travel with MSC and this is the first time that we would rate it lower than "very good or excellent". The entertainment quality was nowhere near as good as usual this included the nightly show and also at the different venues on the ship. Quality of food was also not up to the usual standard. The other issue was the noise around our cabin, which took them until day 3 to rectify as best they could. I would recommend NOT to stay in cabin 10080 as the plumbing and staff services access were directly behind the cabin. Ports of most interest were Montenegro Kotor and Santorini, Oui - just beautiful! We did not take the tours and explored ourselves. It is always best to research the ports before you travel as it is easy to create your own itinerary at each port. Remember that it is extremely hot during June/July. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this ship on recommendation of travel agent.It all kicked off at Barcelona Airport where the MSC rep could not be found. We looked everywhere and eventually spied him behind a pillar. The embarkation was a pain as there was only ... Read More
We chose this ship on recommendation of travel agent.It all kicked off at Barcelona Airport where the MSC rep could not be found. We looked everywhere and eventually spied him behind a pillar. The embarkation was a pain as there was only one scanner at security check in we were in the queue to board ship for ages. The cabin was very clean and of a good size. The TV had two English channels BBC World and CNN. The cabin was serviced twice daily no problems here. The food was plentiful in the buffet area but in keeping with dining throughout the ship the temperature was tepid to cold totally unacceptable. The fine dining was just that, the portions were very very small. I ordered a cheese platter and there would just about be enough to put on a mousetrap. The waiters and staff were excellent very friendly and obliging. My other gripe were the two Gala nights suggested dress code dress suits. It was totally ignored by many of the other passengers. They came in in leans tee shirts and other rags. They were admitted to the so called Gala night. This should be policed and if not cancel the Gala nights altogether. The entertainment in the lounges was very repetitive so much so you might hear the same songs twice or three times every night. It was all karaoke backing tracks even for the four piece bands. The theater productions were not too bad the worst performance was the opera night were the male singer was totally out of time with the backing tracks and his tuning was suspect as was the female singer. The security people need to smile a bit they were the most sullen I have come across. There is a ten euro service charge per passenger per day. I asked some of the staff if they received this and the response was no. So with a capacity of 3200 passengers MSC are pocketing a further €32000 per day this is €224000 per week and €11,648,000 per year from passengers . 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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Choose it on locations to visit Ship was very good cabins excellent hard working staff were very good in all dept except management who had an air of superiority and indifference to any issues on board particularly non Italians ... Read More
Choose it on locations to visit Ship was very good cabins excellent hard working staff were very good in all dept except management who had an air of superiority and indifference to any issues on board particularly non Italians as the ship had over 2000 on board the large majority were Italian and all they seemed to do was eat and argue with each other no concept of queuing or manners at the buffet which we avoided from day one overloaded plates of food half eaten people jostling for food,we ate all meals in the restaurant breakfast ,lunch and dinner which in general was fine, The trips and shuttle arrangements were expensive and of poor value for example in Corsica we waited two hours on board to get bus to beach 39 euros each once on beach we good see our ship from across the bay and found a boat going back and forward all day 16 euros return,also a local bus to beach for 2 euros each way. Shuttle bus were overpriced ie in Palma 6 euros to go a few yards to dock entrance were a hop on of bus was available to do city tour no one informed of this,Barcelona 15 euros shuttle to get out off dock area again local port bus 3 euros to ship location. Guided tours not great geared for Italians better to do your own homework and not to be scared to go off piste as a lot of time is wasted on board organizing the groups in to various trips again down to late arrivals Italians no concept off time or organization. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2017
Ship: This ship smells of smoke, is dated, with not much to do on board. Pool Area: Was surprised to see that there were only two pools for tons of people. Pools are packed with people- didn't bother to go in. Food: ... Read More
Ship: This ship smells of smoke, is dated, with not much to do on board. Pool Area: Was surprised to see that there were only two pools for tons of people. Pools are packed with people- didn't bother to go in. Food: Food is ok- you will not go hungry as there are lots of options. We had the drink package but was disappointed to see that many drinks were not included despite asking the MSC rep if all drinks on the menu would be included. Service: Service was ok- hit and miss. Sometimes great, other times had to wait a long time for a drink. Overall: This was our first cruise experience and because the itinerary for this ship saw us cruising only at night, we enjoyed waking up in a new port every morning with no days at sea. We would definitely cruise again but not with MSC. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Time and date right for our 3 week Italian holiday. We have been cruising for years on Princess(platinum), H.A., and Celebrity. Ship was extremely clean, food best we have ever had, service very good, balcony cabin spacious with good ... Read More
Time and date right for our 3 week Italian holiday. We have been cruising for years on Princess(platinum), H.A., and Celebrity. Ship was extremely clean, food best we have ever had, service very good, balcony cabin spacious with good service. I would rate this cruise as one of the better ones. Ports and organized tours, excellent. We visited La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Genoa (Portofino), Cannes, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Ajaccio (Corsica. Now the issues, smoking on balconies not regulated butts thrown overboard, no one seemed concerned when reported, passengers rude, could be both a culture and language issue being the ship was full of German, Dutch, Finish, Norwegian, American, Canadian, Italian, and Asian with the majority not bilingual. Being an Italian ship be prepared for a lot of misbehaving children and baby strollers, the ship has a children's program from baby to senior teen which seems to work except for under 3 yrs which go with parents by their choice to the dining room and have meltdowns. Would we go with this line again, maybe if they expanded to North America. Read Less
Sail Date: October 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
We were looking forward to the cruise, however as passengers on this ship we rarely existed to the crew, for example, we had to always go to deck 5 to find someone to find answers regarding anything. The problem was that so did all the ... Read More
We were looking forward to the cruise, however as passengers on this ship we rarely existed to the crew, for example, we had to always go to deck 5 to find someone to find answers regarding anything. The problem was that so did all the other passengers, so, you had to waste time in the que,on 4 occasions the person I spoke to was not very polite, and when I requested to see her superior I was told they were to busy. on other cruises we have been on the staff were available around the ship and you just had to ask your question. The most annoying part of this cruise was that it was very difficult to find HOT food, even in the restaurant we had to send food back to be re-heated or cooked better. The cabin was fine however you had no contact with the young man looking after your cabin, you had to contact deck 5. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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
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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