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4 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Romantic Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date February 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
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in ... Read More
This was our first and last cruise with MSC! I was travelling with my husband, daughter and her husband. We booked two cabins, both on deck 12. Luckily, we all flew in a day before the cruise was to begin to have time to visit sites in Genoa. However things went from bad to worse. Below is a list of my grievances with MSC: -The cruise was supposed to depart from Genoa (Genova), Italy. However we got a message from our travel agent that our ship would now not be docking in Genoa, but that MSC Orchestra would be picking us up in Marseille, France. (First MSC informed us that we would be picked up by a ferry (where cabins and meals would be provided). However the next morning at 8am MSC issued a notification that we due to report (check-in) between 9-10am we had to hurry and be at the port to catch this ferry. We arrived at the port at 8:50 cancelling all our plans to view Genoa. We were told to wait in a cold room with no food or drink provided (except what was in a vending machine, however 2 of our family have severe medical dietary restrictions. And yes, MSC was made aware of these restrictions well in advance of the cruise.) Then we informed that there would not be a ferry provided, but we were now going to Marseille by bus. However the bus would not leave until all 99 passengers arrived at the port. This took hours! We boarded the bus at 12:15pm. We were then told that they would not be taking us to Marseille, but to Nice to stay in a hotel (no meals or beverages provided except for breakfast in the morning. The only break we had was at a gas station on the side of the hwy. Bus drive took 4 hours mostly because the driver drove slowly and took several suspicious detours. We could see his GPS which he ignored and other passengers had their own GPS monitoring. We had to press the issue with the MSC representative aboard as well as the driver. Still the drive took way too long. By the time we checked into the hotel most businesses were closed and we had to wait until 7pm to eat dinner, UNACCEPTABLE!) Also no time to see Nice. Boarded the bus to Marseille the next morning (different driver same treatment-no food, circulus route with many turnarounds and yes he had a fully functioning GPS!). Still no food, no beverages, no bathroom breaks. Arrived at the MSC port in Marseille at 11:30 am to a cold terminal, no food or beverages provided. Mad rush for the restroom, however there was only 1 stall for women and 1 stall for men. Shameful! Then took up over an hour to board us all. So no time to see Marseille. MSC said they would only give us a one day credit, but we actually lost full use of 2 days of sightseeing and dining. In closing this long review, I should say that I have been on several cruise with 3 different cruise lines, so I know what to expect. That being said, you should never sail with MSC! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
“The ship that will not be named” — that is how my wife and I have agreed to deal with this atrocious memory. Embarkation was sadistic. Pouring rain in Venice, through which you MUST walk for the final 100 m to the shuttle and ... Read More
“The ship that will not be named” — that is how my wife and I have agreed to deal with this atrocious memory. Embarkation was sadistic. Pouring rain in Venice, through which you MUST walk for the final 100 m to the shuttle and check-in location. Then MSC has you wait outside their MSC 5 million square foot terminal (with room for tens of thousands of people inside), in the wind and cold, for an hour just to review our visas. The rest of our boarding process was similarly dysfunctional. Our room was not set up as we requested, Our dining time request not permitted and not changable (though we paid extra for the Fantastica Experience to so choose). We waited at breakfast for 20 minutes for service. After 10 minutes, we started waving our arms. At 15 min, we went to the maitre’d, and at 20 minutes, finally someone showed up to take our order. So we thought. Instead, they said we should go to the buffet. That was our last meal in the “restaurant”. With so few dining options, we were left with no choice but the rugby scrum in the buffet. (We cruise often and have learned to despise cruise buffets.) There were many other problems, too annoying and plentiful to list here. When we took our complaints to the Guest Services desk, we were met with A) “What do you want?”, then B) An impressive list of reasons everything was our fault and nothing was their fault. We have no theory at all how this cruise line survives with such incredibly poor service. We did give them one star because our room was nice, and because there is no zero-star option. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
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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