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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
“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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Before our very first cruise I checked out the reviews on this site and became quite apprehensive on what our experience of our first cruise would be. I would like to say we were enthralled, our cruise could not have been any better. From ... Read More
Before our very first cruise I checked out the reviews on this site and became quite apprehensive on what our experience of our first cruise would be. I would like to say we were enthralled, our cruise could not have been any better. From the size of our cabin, size and facilities on the ship to the vast range of food ( the 4 seasons restaurant was a daily treat), we were impressed. The staff were all courteous and helpful, and all worked extremely hard to ensure a quality customer service and experience. The excursions were vast and varied although a bit pricey at times, we often used the local hop on hop off bus or boat trip, which we found cost effective and enjoyable. Sunny afternoons the decks and pool areas could become busy but there is enough space around the decks to find a secluded and relaxing spot. I would book this again in a heartbeat. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: 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
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
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
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
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
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
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: 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
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
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
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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