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9 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Romantic Cruise Reviews

As a Diamond Club Card Holder and recently invited to the Launch Party for the MSC Orchestra on the 16th November 2019 and then Booked for the First 4 night cruise, commencing on the 17th November to say I was a Happy passenger would be ... Read More
As a Diamond Club Card Holder and recently invited to the Launch Party for the MSC Orchestra on the 16th November 2019 and then Booked for the First 4 night cruise, commencing on the 17th November to say I was a Happy passenger would be nothing but further than the truth. We were so looking forward to this cruise, as we were going to celebrate our 55th Wedding Anniversary on Board this 4 day cruise. Initially I informed MSC that as I had already booked on the cruise immediately following the Launch Party, could they please link my Launch Party cabin to my Cruise cabin. (My cabin number was supplied to them) I received a email back to inform me that this was not at all possible. On the Saturday 16th November '19 I arrival at N shed my wife and were ushered into a marquee to wait boarding. Due to certain "circumstances" the Boarding time was delayed by almost an hour and a half. Diamond Card holders and other VIP Guest's were then herded into N Shed and joined a queue for Boarding. While waiting to board a chance chat to a MSC employer in the shed about the fact that when I asked to have my Launch cabin linked to my cruise cabin been denied, he promptly took our Cruise Booking letter plus those of at least 3 other passengers with the same problem and returned with our Cabin Cards all linked to our Cruise Cabins. Done in 5 minutes. The Launch Party went ahead with no major problems. In fact it was the highlight of our Holiday. However, the next morning the 20 or So Diamond Club Card holders, "Cruise Passengers" were informed that we had to disembark and re-board once we passed through Passport control. In the morning then 20 of us were formed up and were escorted off the the ship with a MSC Staff member. However once we were in the Terminal we were left to fend for ourselves. We had to join the queue for the "Fast Trackers" of the new Cruise passengers embarking, which took for ever to get through to Passport Control. Surely MSC could have arranged with Home Affairs before hand to process the 20+ cruise passengers on the Saturday and thus saved the hassle and inconvenience of seasoned Cruise travelers having to Disembark and back on again standing in long hot queue's?? Some I may add with chronic back problems. Once on Board our "Usual" well organised Gold Card / Diamond Card experience fell terribly short. There was No welcome back party for Gold Card/ Diamond card holders. No Chocolate Ship in Cabin. No Gowns in room, only slippers. No Dance Lessons, No free Sauna /Spar Invitation, No notification of a "Free" meal at the Specialty Restaurant. No Photo taken with the Captain. When I inquired at the Voyager Club Office and spoke to a Mary Ann as to why all the above had not been given as per previous cruises, she informed me that a lot of it was all explained in the letter sent out on the First day. I informed her that we did NOT receive such letter, but she promptly shifted the blame to Housekeeping department. While I was at the counter I was joined by no less than at least 5 other disgruntled passengers with similar "concerns". Mary Ann did however offer to give us each a MSC Backpack that evening. However when it didn't arrive at the given time, again she Blamed Housekeeping. For Dinner we were Booked for 2nd sitting with 5 other Diamond Card holders. Two of them I believe are pretty active on Social Media in South African circles under "Friends of MSC". All were very unhappy on how Diamond Card Holders were treated. Now are also questioning whether it is any incentive to cruise, in order for all passengers to up their status on the MSC Voyager Club Card incentive Rewards System. Of all the many times we've cruised this Dinner time experience in the L'ibiscus Restaurant must rate as the worst my wife and I have ever experienced on board any MSC Cruise liner. During the 4 nights we dinned there, we experienced the following: No Castle Larger Beer. (Hello, this is a South African Cruise season AND it is on the Wines List) The Liner docked Saturday so there was ample time to stock up on all the Required South African drinks and Food lines. Our waiter's English was poor and therefore service was lacking. At times we waited over 30 minutes just to get ice cubes. The delay between courses was far too long. On one occasion a fellow passenger at my table asked for the Indian/ Asian menu. Well it never arrived. ( NB! The Asian Menu was posted in a Glass cabinet at the entrance to the Dinning Room) Food presentation also fell short as we were not offered anything else when ordering Mutton Curry and Rice. That's all one got. No accompanying Sambal's or condiments were on offer. We were also highly disappointed that on "Italian Night" there was NO Usual singing and waving of serviettes as the Kitchen Staff raced through the Dinning Rooms as we all waived our Serviettes singing " Volare". As for our Cabin. Our room was only finished been cleaned at lunchtime on day 2. Plus the bed covers were not put on the bed until our last day. There were no tissues paper in the bathroom. Of the 2 dispensers in the shower, one was completely empty and the 2nd one wouldn't dispense. When I asked the gentleman to bring me his supervisor, he never complied. Besides the Tea/Coffee/Water stations positioned in the wrong areas, one could never find Hot water for tea or coffee, let alone find coffee sachets. One would have to wait until the gentleman taking care of these stations happened to pass by to get a coffee sachet from his pocket. As for the Duty Free shops, VERY few items were priced. When I asked the assistant as to why there were no prices? A very rude man replied that he was on his own and hadn't had time to put up the prices from Euro to Dollars. Every night I went back to check and by the last and 4th night there were STILL no prices up. I finalized my account the morning of departure and proceeded to breakfast. When I tried to disembark the Security Officer informed me that I had to report back to Reception as there was a problem with my account. When I joined the queue at reception I had to wait at least 25 minutes before I was served only to be told that it was a "misunderstanding" and I could continue to Disembark. In the meantime my wife who was in front of me was left standing at the bottom of the gangway on the dock waiting for me and not knowing what had gone wrong with me. So in closing. To say was this one of the worst cruises we've been on, I have to say, YES. Will I cruise again with MSC? Yes of course. But NEVER again on the first cruise. It was so sad, as this was not the way we wanted to remember our 55th Wedding Anniversary, but alas it will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. May I also add, that as I am on Social Media I see a lot of of other passengers gripes and complaints and the replies they in turn receive back from MSC Customer-care and it seems their replies tend to be a lot of "Cut & Paste" replies. Hopefully my concerns are forwarded to the MSC South Africa Director as well as the team in Naples, and the reply sent to me is not the usual, "Cut & Paste one?? Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
Sail Date March 2018
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
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
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
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date May 2017
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
Sail Date June 2016
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
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
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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