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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: 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
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
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
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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