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32 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Senior Cruise Reviews

This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
It was our second time with MSC. The first one was with MSC Fantasy and was very good. To start, embarkation lasted three hours, very stressful. We had to buy soap at the first port we arrived because the soap dispenser did not work. ... Read More
It was our second time with MSC. The first one was with MSC Fantasy and was very good. To start, embarkation lasted three hours, very stressful. We had to buy soap at the first port we arrived because the soap dispenser did not work. The menu at buffet and restaurants did not have many options, specially if you do not want to eat meat. They take a lot of time to refill food and coffee, when they do. Napkins at the buffet were dark blue fabric, dirty and smelly as well as the plastic glasses to drink water. Dining tables at the buffet were usually dirty, they did not remove the dirty dishes and stuff very fast. No enough tables at the buffet, it takes some time to find a place to seat. No shows at the theater for several days, even at sea days. However, one night there was the best show we ever enjoyed at cruises, with an Argentinian singer, Guillermo Guido. Great show. Instructions to connect to the Internet were not given to the rooms. After some time, we finally found the instructions on a blackboard near the Reception office. We wasted a lot of time with long lines everywhere because there were just a few officers to help you. It seems that they did not have bilingual crew. The library was very limited, not only the quantity of books available but also its schedule. The person in charge of the library did not speak or understand basic Spanish, in spite of most of the passengers were Argentinian. The crew looked very tense and did not smile at any moment, they just did the minimum required with a tired face. Finally, they charged for water and everything, even for the only scale they had at the gym, $9!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
this was our first cruise.My wife's ambition to cruise the Med. Visions of good food, good service and interesting places to visit, the main reason for chosen this particular cruise was its ports of call. Unfortunately it wasn't ... Read More
this was our first cruise.My wife's ambition to cruise the Med. Visions of good food, good service and interesting places to visit, the main reason for chosen this particular cruise was its ports of call. Unfortunately it wasn't as we had hoped. Dumped at the harbour side with our luggage, ignored by some attendants wearing high vis jackets and expected to fathom out the boarding procedures. when we were acknowledged it was a curt' go over there. ' .having left home at 2.30 am arriving at Barcelona port at 10 and not expected to board ship until 3 it was not a god first impression. Obtaining the cabin key was another farce. it would have made more sense to have explained that the key, along with the luggage would be in the allocated cabin which would be unlocked.The cabin was clean and adequate but the wind noise when at sea and the drone of the engines was nearly un-acceptable. the ship was clean and tidy, well furnished if perhaps a little dated. The staff were friendly and some very helpful. The items to purchase on board, drinks,water and excursions ( if you hadn't purchased in advance) were very expensive. The self service cafeteria was like feeding time on the farm with everyone pushing and shoving and devouring as much as they could get there hands on. not like the vision of civilised dining we had anticipated. the food was bland and tasteless and a bit monotonousness. the allocated evening restaurant served minute portions of similar quality. Not to be recommended is the Chinese, Japanese restaurant that was available for an extra charge, i can say it must rate as one of the worst i have ever eaten in and is an embarrassment to the nations it is meant to represent. avoid at all costs. now the good points. The salad bar and fruit bar were both excellent. the evening entertainment was superb, a pleasure to watch and the fact we had pre-purchased a drinks package allowed us to sample different cocktails.. sorry but that's it . The daily itinerary, along with suggested evening dress code was a good idea, telling us times of various activities and also which musician was in which bar. its a pity that most people chose to ignore it, unless jeans, trainers and open neck shirts are classified as evening dress for men . ! ! ! we were charged a charitable donation to our on-board account, another payment they think there gusts should make . this seems to be an automatic, not notified charge that the inexperienced guest need to be aware of. our overall opinion of this cruise line is, that it wants to extract as much money as possible from its guests and give as little in return as possible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This cruise ship was clean and tidy but the cruise was a disaster hoping to have a lovely Xmas cruise we were very very disappointed .The food was disgusting most of the time it was served after a long wait more often than not it was COLD ... Read More
This cruise ship was clean and tidy but the cruise was a disaster hoping to have a lovely Xmas cruise we were very very disappointed .The food was disgusting most of the time it was served after a long wait more often than not it was COLD and undercooked . The service was pathetic very slow sometimes waiting for up to 45 minutes between courses . The cabin was good and always clean and tidy . The cabin steward was always pleasant and helpful . Entertainment was good and a good choice of entertainment . Reception ok staff helpful and efficient . We missed a couple of ports due to adverse weather conditions and were given a refund of €50 each but were not informed that we had to spend it on board till we were disembarking so lost that . After disembarking we discovered our suitcase had been damaged I would only travel again on MSC when HELL FREEZES OVER . I strongly advise you not to travel with this company . Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Both my sister and I have mobility issues - walking frame and crutches. Port assistance had been requested, none forth-coming, struggled through a flooded approach to embark, still no assistance. Transfer to cabin without any issues. ... Read More
Both my sister and I have mobility issues - walking frame and crutches. Port assistance had been requested, none forth-coming, struggled through a flooded approach to embark, still no assistance. Transfer to cabin without any issues. First night dined in buffet, it was like a free for all cattle market, found food exceptable, but below expectation, always cold. All looked very pretty, Took us a week to find real meat, Carvery well tucked away. It appeared that the staff were uncomfortable at offering assistance out-side their designated duties. Good thing about the dining-room was the people we met. Food again well presented but cold. Guests were ordering extra courses as the 'fine dining was Find Dining' Waiter very pleasant. We are not fussy eaters but had risotto 3 nights followed by ice-cream from the children menu. Late night snacks was filled bread rolls or cold pizza. We spent 3 days eating a niceselection of breads and processed cheese. I need to stop here as I sound like a miserable moaner. We did enjoy the folks we met may of them of the same opinion. I CANCELLED THE GRATUITIES. First time in my life Entertainment was quite good staff worked hard. Stefany from the casino was the only person to give help he would not leave us after the drill until he got someone to assist us back to cabin as we were both in need of physical support by then. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of ... Read More
Ship is old but OK, Service is very good, polite, helpfull... Cabin could be better. Excursions are very expensive and not good organised, to get on and off the boat it is a war, a fight to be the first ! Dining is like a hundreds of hungry pigs doing a hold-up on the buffet! The theme restaurants are better for the service, food is as bad as in the self service. Once I had risotto with St Jacobs scallops , sorry was only 1 slice, about 1/5 of a scallop!! An other day we had Pintade.... the leg who has been warmed up in a microwave, it was hard as a stone!! Also pay attention to your drinks.... not included and very expensive if you want to enjoy cocktais, wine, etc .....I hoped to have a good reposing cruise, but it turned out in a horrible experence. That is why I do not want to let you have the same disillusion Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
Sail Date July 2017
I have got a very good information about MSC trips from Italian friends as we are leaving in Slovenia, we, my friends and us, decided to join this cruise for celebrating the 60th anniversary for my husband and our friend . We were ... Read More
I have got a very good information about MSC trips from Italian friends as we are leaving in Slovenia, we, my friends and us, decided to join this cruise for celebrating the 60th anniversary for my husband and our friend . We were enjoying our trip together and we were all exited. Unfortunately, our friends found their theft on 3rd day from inside the cabin and could not find their money. For us we found the theft of our camera and wallet upon arriving home taking into consideration that our home keys and cupboards were inside the wallet (Belle red wallet) - This happened when we put our bags and handbags (myself and husband) outside the cabin the night before we left, following cruise instructions . I have already sent my complain to my travel agency in Cairo and didn't get any feedback. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth , Dining service staff were very friendly, accurate and perfect. Overall comment, I am warning everyone about their money and their stuff during any trip on MSC cruises . Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This is my first cruise and i really loved it. We embarked at Barcelona and it was very easy and no hiccups, arrived on board at noon and rooms were ready at 1.30pm. Our room was 8012 no balcony but a large porthole view. Room was a ... Read More
This is my first cruise and i really loved it. We embarked at Barcelona and it was very easy and no hiccups, arrived on board at noon and rooms were ready at 1.30pm. Our room was 8012 no balcony but a large porthole view. Room was a reasonable size and very clean and a nice bathroom, and a bar fridge, fresh towels every day also. Ship was about 3/4 full so not too crowded and we could always get a chair or sun lounge next to pool. We had the first seating for dinner and our meals were always lovely, not huge portions but you could always ask for more, and there was 3 courses and a selection of hot rolls. The buffet was great at breakfast and lunch with many things to pick from, however we quite often went to the dining room for lunch as it was more relaxed and not as noisy. Loads of entertainment during the day and a show every night. A new port every morning and i booked excursions and was not disappointed, tickets arrived in my cabin every evening with the time and location i had to be next morning. very professionally carried out. Only thing i thought was a bit expensive was the photos taken on board 25 Euros for one pic was a bit much in my opinion. We took the 26Euro a day drink package and found it to work out really good value as you could have almost anything you wanted. I was worried about being sea sick but there was hardly a ripple around the Mediterrian. I would love to go again and next time do the Greek islands. We had nothing to complain about loved it all and the staff were fantastic. Read Less
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
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
Sail Date May 2017
We normally go with NCL and the cruise we were planning to do on the Norwegian Epic was full and our travel agent suggested giving MSC a go. We were very apprehensive about this due to reviews we have seen about food etc. However, it was ... Read More
We normally go with NCL and the cruise we were planning to do on the Norwegian Epic was full and our travel agent suggested giving MSC a go. We were very apprehensive about this due to reviews we have seen about food etc. However, it was one of the best cruise holidays we have had. Embarkation was brilliant. Our flight was extremely early and the ship was not in port when we got there in our taxi from the airport. The porters were so helpful took our luggage away and told us to come back after 1 pm when the ship docked. When we came back to the ship we were given priority boarding because of our early arrival. Our ship card was waiting for us in the cabin and we changed our first sitting to second sitting dining with no problem at all. Within in 20 minutes of getting in the cabin our luggage arrived. Food on board was superb although we avoided the Pizza buffet as it was always crowded and busy. This is the case on all ships we have found. The restaurant waiters and food was excellent. We were on the all inclusive drinks package and were amazed that bottled water and speciality coffees were included. Not the case on many other ships we have been on!!! Entertainment was very laid back and we did not see any shows although the theatre was amazing. We did not do any shore excursions. What was absolutely noticeable in a good way was that there was not constant tannoy announcements from cruise directors letting you know about entertainment etc. We did not do any shore excursions we preferred to do our own thing. Every member of staff treated us with courtesy and they were always more than helpful. Disembarking the ship and collecting our luggage was the most organised I have ever seen. Marvellous. I would highly recommend MSC and will most definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Sailed with MSC...gold card holders...so very disappointed. Venice embarkation shambles to say the least. After flight from Dublin and long track across Venice airport coach park with luggage in the rain we had to stand 2+ hrs to ... Read More
Sailed with MSC...gold card holders...so very disappointed. Venice embarkation shambles to say the least. After flight from Dublin and long track across Venice airport coach park with luggage in the rain we had to stand 2+ hrs to hand over luggage in PRIORITY BOARDING lane at cruise terminal. Fellow passengers the noisiest, hardly any English announcements/entertainment etc clear enough to hear. We so fed up with tango demos, entertainment after THREE WEEKS we cancelled show here in Buenos Aires. LITINERARY was awful.......half days in Recefi, Sansalvedor and Rio (tour guide there useless and slept or smoked so v disappointing) destinations we went for. No TV available... almost all of cruise....all retuned after Med. They kept promising us "after Sansalvedor" or "after Rio" so unprofessional when they knew it wasn't going on again. Disembark in Buenos Aires another nightmare in tropical temps. It was not the Bucket List cruise I had envisioned or hoped for yet I love usually love and recommend MSC? If you not Spanish or Italian speaker would suggest give Grand Voyages with MSC a wide berth. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It was the worst cruise I’ve ever joined and will never ever set foot on MSC again….a total write-off. It was a disappointment, an awful experience and an embarrassment for me because I got a friend and family to come along for what ... Read More
It was the worst cruise I’ve ever joined and will never ever set foot on MSC again….a total write-off. It was a disappointment, an awful experience and an embarrassment for me because I got a friend and family to come along for what is supposed to be a relaxing/enjoyable holiday. They were just as disappointed and agree to never again get on board an MSC cruise. The itinerary/port of calls (western Europe) were good and the primary reason for going on the cruise. - Shore excursions catered mainly for non-English speaking passengers. On-shore tours with English-speaking guides are non-existent or very limited. Most of the time it’s cancelled to accommodate an overflow of non-English speaking passengers wanting to join a specific tour. Coordination and organisation of tours are disorganised. Ship disembarkation directions for tours is incorrect or confusing. Staffers were stressful and unhelpful. - Food variety was almost non-existent in Deck13 buffet La Piezetta. Breakfast menu is the same day in and day out; hardly any good serving of . The fruit juice dispenser is only available at breakfast. For lunch, menu is the same with an addition of at least 4 different hot variety the quality of which is unpalatable. The vegies are overcooked and mushy. They’re always running out of tables for diners and use the disco for overflows during lunch hours. This Deck13 café is too small to accommodate the passengers during peak dining hours such as breakfast or lunch. - Menu in the main dining restaurant is a little improvement but still leaves a lot to be desired for what is supposed to be fine dining. Bread is cold. I had to ask for a serving of warm bread rolls which took awhile for them to serve. And the clincher…the waiting staff had no idea what soy sauce is when we asked for it because the noodle they served was tasteless, too bland. Someone (waiting staff team lead) had to go to one of their restaurants on another deck, got the bottle of soy sauce, plonked it on our table and walked off in a huff. - The theatre shows were pathetic with same entertainers doing all the shows and packaged differently . Their shows are nowhere near the shows I’ve seen in other cruises I’ve travelled on. - Basically everything had to be paid for , such as soft drinks, games. There was a constant offer of drinks package which was rather annoying on Deck13. - Port arrivals and disembarkation could be as late as 10-12N with departure times between 5-7pm. This was not enough time for any on-shore walkabout on your own and allowing for timely re-embarkation. Shuttle bus fares from ship to city centre was highway robbery. Cab was cheaper. Re-boarding the ship again was uncoordinated. Ground staff do not make an effort to direct passengers to entry points where there was more than one available, therefore, a long queue develops and frustrated everyone. Most of the time there was only 1 scanner and nobody attempted to be of assistance to passengers. It is beyond me how these staffers were trained for their duties. - The main dining restaurant staff are pleasant, always smiling but rather slow with the service - The Deck13 waiters can be indifferent and unhelpful or not focussed on what they’re doing but overall, generally ok. - Staff at reception or the shore excursion desk were unhelpful and can be rude. They do not make any effort to provide a solution to any issue raised. One has to raise your voice to get any attention and assistance. How pathetic can that be. This cruise company has a total disregard for good customer service. The front line staff are poorly trained and lacks the right attitude in discharging their duties and responsibilities. The lack of procedural arrangement overall only indicates total disregard for customer care and bad management, which is unthinkable in all the other cruises I’ve been on with family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
In April 2015 our friends and us booked two adjoining balcony rooms on the MSC Orchestra leaving from Kiel, Germany on Sept. 19, 2015 for a 9 day cruise. We had previously sailed on MSC Musica and MSC Splendida in addition to other cruise ... Read More
In April 2015 our friends and us booked two adjoining balcony rooms on the MSC Orchestra leaving from Kiel, Germany on Sept. 19, 2015 for a 9 day cruise. We had previously sailed on MSC Musica and MSC Splendida in addition to other cruise lines. On our previous MSC cruises we had good experiences and had even recommended MSC cruises but not this time. Our room descriptions stated that we would have sofas in our room, which we have always had in the past. All documentation up until departure verified our room numbers consistent to the rooms we had picked. However, at the time of embarkation we were told that they had moved our rooms. We were no longer on the same floor nor were we anywhere close to our friends. When we complained we were told they were allowed to move our rooms any time up until boarding and we had no recourse. We asked to be moved by our friends as we had booked months in advcen. We were told the ship was full and they could do nothing. Additionally our rooms did not have sofas, instead they had one very narrow armless chair. The rooms were much smaller than the pictures shown or description given in advance. We were never given any apologies, the staff seemed shocked that we were upset. Their attitude was we had rooms, we should be happy. Their customer service was the worst I have ever seen. I would not recommend MSC cruises. Our trip began by flying into Frankfurt, Germany renting a car and driving to Hamburg for a couple days. We loved Hamburg, what a beautiful city. From Hamburg we took the train to Kiel where we boarded the ship. Embarkation was fairly quick and easy. Our first stop was in Copenhagen where we took a 2 hour Segway tour. It was rainy and cold in Copenhagen, however, we enjoyed the segways thoroughly. We booked that tour in advance with Segway Tours Copenhagen and I would highly recommend it. Our next stop was Cherbourg, France where we took a private tour with Bayeux Shuttle to tour Normandy beaches and American cemetary. Would highly recommend it. We would have loved to have more time there. Our next stop was Vigo, Spain. We took the ships excursion to Santiago de Compostela. The tour guide did a good job of explaining and touring this famous pilgrimage site in north-west Spain. Would recommend that excursion to anyone. From there we sailed to Lisbon, Portugal. What a beautiful city. We toured it using one of the local taxi drivers. He gave us a good overview of the city and took us to Pastels de Belem for their famous desserts. What a treat! Gibraltar was our next port of call. It was very crowded. We hired a local taxi to give us a tour and it was so worth it. There are lots of steps and people, so having a taxi take you makes it much easier. Enjoyed our time in the caves and on the lookout points with the Barbary Apes. Also did some shopping there. Our last port of call was Barcelona, where we departed. As the ship was going on to more ports few people departed with us making the debarkation very easy. We found the food on the ship to be good. We ate all meals in the dining rooms. Our evening servers were great. The dining room tables are close together making it congested but otherwise enjoyed the meals. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment. We thought the shows were some of the best we have seen on all of our cruises. In spite of the poor customer service by MSC, we enjoyed our trip. What beautiful places. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Round trip cruise Kiel/Baltic/Kiel/Norway/Kiel. Booked the Aurea package which included priority boarding which was a slow process as rude and impolite fellow passengers wouldn't give the staff a moments peace interrupting them ... Read More
Round trip cruise Kiel/Baltic/Kiel/Norway/Kiel. Booked the Aurea package which included priority boarding which was a slow process as rude and impolite fellow passengers wouldn't give the staff a moments peace interrupting them consistently asking questions and not having the good manners to wait, in line, to be attended to next. Shore excursions lacked co ordination in leaving the ship, as there were few fellow English speaking people, several tours were with guides who would speak in German and then English which made it difficult for them, more difficult for us as others would talk loudly amongst themselves when English was being spoken and remained quiet when their language was being spoken! Our excursions were pre paid (in Australia) and were considerable more expensive than if they were purchased onboard. Cabin on Deck 15 was great, excellent service from the housekeeping staff, no request was too much of an effort, always smiling and obliging. Dining in main restaurant was excellent, good menus but only on a seven day turnaround so there was no changes in the menu for the second week. Breakfast and lunch fare never changed and it is nigh on impossible to keep food hot for 2600 guests which was not often enjoyable. Entertainment had it's difficulties for those who didn't speak another language and the shows we saw really only filled in time prior to dinner. Disembarkation was an absolute shambles! 150 plus people, all arriving at the meeting place (theatre) at the one time, sitting around for over an hour waiting, so they screened a Mr.Bean show, I suppose to try and amuse us, that didn't happen. When given the word to disembark, it became a stampede as everyone, many with their baggage in tow (having chosen not to place their luggage outside the cabin evening prior as recommended,(imagine looking for a fast getaway) all tried to get off the ship at the one time. Finding your luggage in the terminal was a bonus, then you had to stow it yourself onto one of three Hamburg airport transfer coaches and then try and find a seat on the coach. Some people who had stowed their luggage and couldn't find a seat, then had to locate their luggage and try another coach. Plenty of staff standing around smiling and wishing you a safe onward journey but no one available to help the elderly with their luggage. Having cruised several times with other companies, the only way I would chose MSC again would be for the itinerary alone and very little else. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Everything was as expected.We had a fabulous time,made new friends,enjoyed the shows etc etc. Met some negative people complaining mainly about the food. They shut up when I asked them if they had smoked salmon for breakfast which is on ... Read More
Everything was as expected.We had a fabulous time,made new friends,enjoyed the shows etc etc. Met some negative people complaining mainly about the food. They shut up when I asked them if they had smoked salmon for breakfast which is on the on the menu as much as you like. Admittedly have had only a short cruise with a Greek ship the Sea Diamond so no real basis for comparison but we will cruise again with MSC. One negative remark. One New Zealander was told the as he did not have an Aussie visa he would not be allowed to board sorted out in the end but people should know that New Zealanders do not need visas for Australia and the same for the other way around. We have cruised on a sister ship so no problem finding our way about Plenty of activities bur apart from an hour walk every morning at 7am on deck 7 we were happy to relax,read (good library) or simply talk to people.Plenty of English speakers on the boat as well we are fluent in Dutch and speak some German. We had a number of excursions in Asia well organised and conducted as well as Brisbane and Adelaide.In the other ports we met up with family and friends. We organised our own transfer from the hotel to the port and in Fremantle were met by a former work colleague of mine.Dining was enjoyable with other Kiwis on our table and the food was excellent.Many evening meals were theme or country based. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
What a disappointment. My partner and I had been looking forward to this trip with great anticipation for over a year, leaving from Dubai to Fremantle. Food was mediocre and never hot, especially in the cafeteria. The layout of the ... Read More
What a disappointment. My partner and I had been looking forward to this trip with great anticipation for over a year, leaving from Dubai to Fremantle. Food was mediocre and never hot, especially in the cafeteria. The layout of the cafeteria was not well planned. In the dining room the staff were great but the food again was mediocre. Even a simple dish like a Nasi Goreng was a disaster. Steaks were like shoe leather. Entertainment was very limited and most things were done around the pool after 10.30 at night. Nothing much to do during the day except read a book or go to a quiz which was run by youngsters and only good for teenagers. Water had to be bought at the table unless you wanted to leave the 5th deck and go to the 13th deck in the middle of your dinner to get a drink of water. The shop charged exorbitant prices for simple things like a pack of cards for around $10. A lot of passengers were sick with a flu like symptoms and the doctor charged 80 euros for a visit, plus medication. We have cruised 10 times and I have never met such rude people in the Customer Service. Never a smile. The ship is kept in pristine conditions, the staff are working day and night to clean, even vacuuming at 10 o'clock at night. Never saw the Captain once. Every announcement made in 4 languages which was very irritating. Embarkation/disembarkation was very efficient. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
My wife and I have just completed the 14 day cruise from Rio to Genoa. Having cruised with MSC before our expectations were reasonable and they were met. The staff on the ship range from speaking English but not understanding English ... Read More
My wife and I have just completed the 14 day cruise from Rio to Genoa. Having cruised with MSC before our expectations were reasonable and they were met. The staff on the ship range from speaking English but not understanding English through to a good comprehension of English. If you are expecting a cruise with normal English standards you will probably be disappointed. if you want a cruise that will enable you to mix with people from a range of nationalities, you are prepared to accept the quirks and behaviour of those nationalities, you accept the pushing and shoving that is normal for them and are prepared to accept what you consider rudeness and bad manners but to them is normal behaviour then you will have a good time. If you are not prepared to accept the above then do not cruise with MSC as you will be disappointed. If you have not travelled with MSC before then research them well so that you will not be disillusioned. Their meaning of customer service is different to ours. Our interactive TV did not work in our cabin for the first 10 days. Finally after 3 requests and a written notice it worked. However at no time were we informed what was happening or advised that it was fixed. You need to persevere and keep checking every day until something happens. Their tours are are usually overpriced by our standards and what is written in English is not exactly what happens on occasion. You need to understand that to us what appears to be organised chaos to them is normal. They make very few if any allowances for people with disabilities. One very big negative is the embarkation procedures in Rio. My wife requires assistance and despite 3 hours of waiting and several requests no assistance was forthcoming. My wife finally had to hobble through and literally be carried by myself to the ship. The girls in their white uniforms were pathetic as well as being rude, arrogant and ignorant. Believing that corporate behaviour stems from the top I can only say that the girls in Rio need to be reprimanded and then retrained. Their superior needs to be either reprimanded and retrained or sacked and replaced by a person who understands what customer service actually means. In all, if you wish to experience a very interesting experience with lots of diversity you will enjoy MSC. My wife and I certainly did. One big note to MSC. MSC Orchestra is cruising to Australia next year. I tell you now that you need to vastly improve your definition of customer standards, initiate feedback procedures to your passengers and revise your handling procedures of clients with special needs. If you do not then your foray into the Australian market will be disappointing.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We have taken a lot of cruises. One was on a sailing yacht, and the others were larger ships. MSC is not a good choice for Americans. You will feel less welcome and the food is nnot to our taste. This ship was like a cattle car, very ... Read More
We have taken a lot of cruises. One was on a sailing yacht, and the others were larger ships. MSC is not a good choice for Americans. You will feel less welcome and the food is nnot to our taste. This ship was like a cattle car, very overcrowded. It was difficult disembarking for excursions because of the crowd which was largely European. In general, we often felt that we were being shoved a lot more than on other ships (not because of being American, but because that is evidently how they interact on elevators and other tight spaces.) Because of my ethnicity, I was typically mistaken for being either Norwegian or German. The cabin was not much different than the others that we have experienced. When we attempted to sleep in at the port where our excursion was cancelled, we were bombarded with constant loud announcements of various excusions needing to gather. The common areas of the ship were disappointing. There was nowhere to enjoy dancing, unlike our favorites of the larger ships-Carnival and Royal Caribbean. Fitness areas were restricted to people who got some kind of medical clearance. We did not bother to try to get that, not wanting to fill out lots of personal information without even being able to see the fitness room. The pool was outdoors, and the weather was quite chilly. No one used it. We only found one place to take a cutesy photo of the interior-the lounge which had a leopard or ocelot theme. Otherwise it was quite a plain ship. The casino was too smoky to enjoy. Many smokers were sitting on the seats by machines, smoking and not gambling. About half of the computers actually worked. We only had dinner twice in the formal dining room because the offerings were so limited. As it is, we were not assigned a table even though we had given our preferences months earlier. We had to see the wait staff to be assigned a table. It was only for 2 people, and it was off in a far end. Our formal dining photos were not purchased because the photographers could only take individual photos of us at the table. We are not much into seafood, especially sushi or octopus. Steak was only on the menu once. We paid a lot to end up in the cafeteria, eating their limited fare of cold burgers or cold pizza. And sometimes we did not eat because the cafeteria had very limited hours. And no midnight buffets on this ship! Water was an extra charge at meal time! Coffee was not available at lunch. The towels in the cabin were folded in the shape of an animal only one time. There were no chocolates on the pillows, and no welcome aboard drink. (There was no pampering.)The main performances were hard to find on the daily newsletter, causing us to miss 2 performances because they were not listed under "entertainment." They were stuck somewhere in the advertisement area. We saw contortionists, opera, and a Michael Jackson impersonator. (The Europeans were quite thrilled with him and their incessant loud clapping throughout the performance was hard on the ears.)Embarkation was too easy because it was insufficient. We were not given our excursion tickets which had been prepaid. The shops were not what I expected. There was no Loreal shop despite what I had read. And the gift shops were featuring Russian goods from a cruise prior to ours. The ship was using well-stabilized but on the 2 days where it got a bit rough, there were barf bags everywhere (as if they were decorative.) Any photo of the interior on those evenings would have been hilarious. This cruise line charges a set amount for tips, and they will NOT alter it upon request. This was a huge gyp since we hardly ate in the dining room; never ordered an alcoholic beverage; & the customer relations staff were most unhelpful. (The cabin steward was ok.) Kiel, Germany- Why would a cruise stop there on a Sunday? Everything was closed of course. We walked around but it was pretty boring. MSC had some excursions which would take cruisers to other nearby locations, BUT they cancelled ours because there were not enough English speaking cruisers!! AND they didn't care that I can also speak German & French. I was given no alternative options for my choice. Also, no refund yet. Geiranger, Norway- We had fun because we had arranged to meet friends there. We did not take an organized excursion. It has nice shops and a lovely setting. We toured the area by private car. Stavanger, Norway - We took a motor coach tour of the area & went to some shops. The dessert turned out to be pancakes which was disappointing since it mimicked my breakfast. Nice scenery. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
After reading the poor reviews of the MSC cruise line ships, we embarked with a considerable amount of trepidation on the MSC Orchestra for a combined 3 cruise, 25 day trip around Northen Europe, the Baltic and down to Italy. Boarding ... Read More
After reading the poor reviews of the MSC cruise line ships, we embarked with a considerable amount of trepidation on the MSC Orchestra for a combined 3 cruise, 25 day trip around Northen Europe, the Baltic and down to Italy. Boarding The ship itself was magnificent and when we (my wife and I) first saw it in Copenhagen we were impressed. Despite all the previous criticism we were dropped off by our taxi, had our luggage taken and tagged, showed the path to take to registration, received our information pack and cruise cards and on the ship within 15 - 20 minutes. Cabin We had a balcony cabin on deck 11 and it was very nice indeed - we actually had room to move in the bathroom!! Throughout the cruise we were looked after by 2 great cabin attendants and nothing was too much for them. I think the secret is common good manners, a good morning and good evening and a thank you - goes a long way. Yes they were not particularly good at English but it is amazing how patience, manners and a smile goes a long way. They spoke 3 languages - I only spoke English. I wonder who was the one who was really disadvantaged. Food and Food Service The food was one of my main concerns after reading the very poor comments. Perhaps we were on a different cruise line witha similar name because both my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the food and generally the food service particularly from our 2 dinner waitesr who made our dinner time such enjoyable occcassions. Yes it was 3 back to back cruises so the menu was repeated on a number of occassions but regardless it was good with a good selection. We took the second 8.30 pm sitting and the menus were well presented and the food was good quality servewd by very nice staff. The maite'd came over to our table (and others) almost every evening to see how we were were going. We know for a fact that he replaced the waiter at the table next to us as they had concerns with him. The food in the buffet on the 13th floor was also very acceptable with a wide choice including Regional and a buffet of salads. One of the most memorable aspects of the buffet was the magnificent midnight buffets with bautifully presented ice carvings, butter carvings and well presented food and deserts. It was delicious. Land Tours We went on at least one land tour in each port and were mainly impressed with the quality of the guides and the locations. The Norway stops were absolutely breathtaking and there was so much to take in. ST Petersburg was memorable as was many of the other land tours. Cant fault MSC on these. The Ship We simply enjoyed coming back onto the ship and sitting for a while over one of their great cocktails in on of the numerous bars. We attended a variety of activities including cooking demonstrations, quizzes, wine tasting and a fashion parade. The ship was spotless and I was generally satisfied with the prices on the ship. Most of the crew were very pleasant and efficient but we did have run ins with some very rude security staff who thought it was their job to grunt as you went through with your cruise card. Fellow Passengers Generally we had no problems with the passengers and met some lovely people on the cruise. We only had real problems with one very large group of about 1,000 people from a particular country which borders the southern Baltic near Denmark. Talk about a complete lack of manners and so rude - we weren't the only ones who had problems with them. Improvement One area with we we really had problems was with the Accounting Dept and the main desk. They were unbelievable. You would get one answer from one person, then go back later to check and get a different answer. Incompetence seemed to be the rule of the day with them. We only found 1 person from each area that really knew what they were talking about. They didn't have movies during the day and they need to sort out their smoking policy. Having one side of a bar smoking and the other non-smoking does not work out. Overall We enjoyed our time on the cruse and actually I said to my wife I would be quite happy to stay on board and continue to cruise. Yes, you can find fault in even the best place but we did not take a cruise to find fault - we came to enjoy the cruise which we did. And by the way we have nothing with MSC other than being satisfied cruisers. Yes, we would do another MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We chose our trip based on 2 back-to back 7 day cruises; travelling from Australia is not cheap and is arduous. The web sites gave MSC a pretty good rating and the extra charges were obvious in all the blurb. Everything was in English and ... Read More
We chose our trip based on 2 back-to back 7 day cruises; travelling from Australia is not cheap and is arduous. The web sites gave MSC a pretty good rating and the extra charges were obvious in all the blurb. Everything was in English and the itinerary was our dream, the price was good so 5 months ahead we planned and paid for our trip. The good things; #The ship was well equipped but not perfect. # The ship sailed safely and comfortably and met times prescribed. Then the pain of 1+ days hit us when trying to embark. We are 63+ and looking for comfort and smooth sailing. The economic, english speaking, caring service , non-smoking , fine dining cruise turned into; penny-pinching, multi-lingual, non-caring, smoke as you like and reasonable-food-but-served-cold. ECONOMICS; No complaint over the cabin price, but when everything is hit with a 15% "service cahrge" and then the daily "service charge". Double dipping? Cruises were sold Copenhagen - baltic/Norway - retuen but were multiple pick-up cruises - much like a hop=hop=off. ENGLISH: This was the minority language use don board and the announcements(which did not get to cabins) began in english bit bu the time our door was opened they had switched to Italian/German etc.. In 14 days we met only 20 'english speaking cruisers" - fortunately the cabin attendants and wait-staff had a reasonable grasp of english. Manners were definitely sub-european. CARING: I cared about safety - no response. I cared about comfort on in-port dining - no response, not billed as an ITALIAN cruise but an Italian night on both legs? See attach. SMOKE & FOOD> Both were opposite to expectation from internet advertising. The poll forms are far too limiting and give MSC very limited feedback + client is cheated. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having subscribed to MSC newsletters for some time, we were keen to try one of their cruises. When this great deal of 3 b2b cruises came up, we were eager to sign up and with CC reviews in hand, went with an open mind to experience the ... Read More
Having subscribed to MSC newsletters for some time, we were keen to try one of their cruises. When this great deal of 3 b2b cruises came up, we were eager to sign up and with CC reviews in hand, went with an open mind to experience the good and bad. After the first 7 days, I was still keeping an open mind and focussing on the good. By the second 7 days, some things had begun to be quite irritating and when entering the last leg of 11 days, we now saying, "never again MSC"! EMBARKATION - quick, once it all started but waiting for a few hours in an unlit temporary terminal on a thuddery day was not much fun. We did have drinks available! This was our first encounter with MSC's unusual admin ways. Although we were booked on 3 cruises our cards showed the dates for only 2 cruises. When questioned about this the answer was so absurd that I knew we would experience some unusual ways! THE SHIP: Really lovely - quality, relaxing decor and furnishings in public rooms,easy to navigate, good pool deck. Cabins were clean, a little smaller than other cruise lines with less drawers but bathroom ok. The things that annoyed us were that every bar had loud music playing constantly, so that it was difficult to find a quiet area to sit and read when blustery conditions prevented sitting on the balcony. Smoking was alowed inside certain bars and therefore again restricted our presence. THE STAFF - Our cabin steward was delightful,speaking good English and always attentive to any needs. The restaurant staff were fine but not outstanding. Fortunately we drank little. With only adequate bar staff, it sometimes took a while to order a drink. We had no real administration problems but those who did had a dreadful time at Reception. Some staff spoke good English but others were very poor in their communication skills and we heard some appalling tales that other passengers encountered. THE FOOD - OMG where do you start - maybe with the water that you had to purchase for 2 euro each time, whether in the restaurant or buffet. The food was continuously inconsistent! We dined in the L'Isbiscus restaurant every night and found the food boring and overcooked. On many occasions certain ingredients described in the menu were either in the Chefs dreams or so disguised that were unrecognisable. We discovered after the first 7 days that the menu was recycled every 7 days and even thouh the last sector of the cruise was advertised daily as a food and wine cruise, there were only 3 days of a new menu. By the last night, i was ready to throw the Darn of Salmon at the waiter!It was yet again dry and if you are thinking why didnt I order something different, well on several occasions, i rejected my first order for something else, only to find it was also either overcooked or salty. Then, every now and again a dish would surprise us, The rack of lamb, which was actually only 2 cutlets, was beautifully cooked and tasty!! At least the L'Isbiscus restaurant had a reasonable amount of space - even though we were squashed in a corner and never saw the sea at nights- the Borghese restaurant was ridiculously sqashy for lunch, hence we went to the buffet for lunch. Again, the food was consistly bad - inedible bad- and good -great indian curries and roasts on some days. Breakfast was GOOD - great German style rye breads, great tasting bacon, good eggs, yoghurt, heavenly waffles and despite the fact that they did not replace my cereal when it ran out, good variety of cereals. However, if you wanted fresh orange juice that had to be paid for! We tried the Oriental specialty restaurant for lunch- I think the only ones to do so as we saw no other people there day or night. The quality was acceptable but I could not label it good. We did not go to the 4 Seasons restaurant as it had no extra decor than the buffet and those who did use it said that the food was not much different to the usual. We do not know why they have specialty restaurants - they were a BIG dissapontment SHORE EXCURSIONS - good, very happy with the content and value of the excursions. Getting your bus number was typically chaotic as was much of the administration. ENTERTAINMENT - hmmm interesting! The night time entertainment in the theatre was excellent - just as well, as it recycled every 7 days also. We therefore saw all the shows 3 times and 1 for the fourth time. MSC's 'production shows' are different from all others. While only 30 mins, the shows had the usual dancers and singers and in addition, incorportaed contortionists and acrobats of very high quality. The theatre was beautiful but each night the CD introduced each show in 5 different languages which took 10 mins. During the first 7 days, I laughed at his amazing abikity to go so fluidly from 1 language to the other. By the second week, it began to be irritating and by the third week, it was more than annoying!! The ships activities - those things you participate or watch on sea days or in between times were carried out by 6 or 8 young enthusiastic guys and gals who again were fluent in several languages. In addition to ball games, we had cooking demonstrations, napkin folding and flower arranging. Needless to say, sea days were ultra boring - I am so glad I took my e-reader, otherwise there was not much to do - a complaint by many!! DISEMBARKATION - Hmmm again - words cannot adequately describe the chaos. Since our passports had to be handed in from Portugal onwards, we were told to retrieve them at 9 am onwards on day of embarkation. While that sounded strange, it was nothing compared to the debarcle that occured. Humongous lines- I am not exagerating - of 3000 passengers all trying to retieve their passports caused some passengers to resort to barging and near fisticuffs. I wish I had taken photos!! Having had to be out of our cabins at 7 am, we had to wait till nearly 10 am to get off and we were some of the early ones. This was far from MSC's finest hour!! In summary It seems to us that MSC supplies cheap cruise by undercutting all else - staff, food, entertainment and whatever else they can. Maybe if you only want a 7 day port intensive cruise and can put up with the announcement in 5 languages continuously and the lack of manners by some passengers, then by all means try MSC but for us, we would rather pay a little more and know that we will dine well, not have to sit in tobacco scented public areas and be entertained with slightly more sophistication. Not much to ask for in old age!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Let me start with my conclusion. If you understand that Baltic Cruises on MSC will be largely Europeans and are comfortable with that, you can enjoy an excellent trip and a good value. Embarkation. ... Read More
Let me start with my conclusion. If you understand that Baltic Cruises on MSC will be largely Europeans and are comfortable with that, you can enjoy an excellent trip and a good value. Embarkation. We embarked at the port of Copenhagen. One of the unusual aspects of this cruise is that the Orchestra takes on passengers (and discharges them) at several ports, not just one. The number getting on in Copenhagen was smaller than at Kiel. The port at Copenhagen has no facilities so all paperwork is handled either in a tent alongside the ship or on board. We were in our cabin (12041, balcony cabin, port) within ten minutes of arrival. The only down side was that when our luggage had not arrived at our cabin 6 hours later we had to make numerous trips to the main desk and finally, by chance, I actually saw one of our pieces of luggage sitting in locked area behind the main desk! It had no cabin identification on it so it was not surprising it had not been delivered. After more haggling and my wife's insistence, a staff member led her to the luggage area and my wife was able to identify the missing luggage within seconds. So, make sure you see the crew place the tag on the bag if you do not do it yourself. Leave nothing to chance. No doubt always good advise when traveling Cabin. Our cabin was typical. Small (166 sq feet) and comfortable. The ship is quite new and has both 110 and 220 volt electricity available. You will not need a converter. The balcony is quite small and, in the Baltic, a bit too cold most of the time to be really useful but the sunlight is a pleasure. Ship Design. The Orchestra features large open decks. Its fine when the weather is good, but be prepared for the usual stress of finding deck chairs. If the weather is poor, passengers tend to congregate (i.e., sit) in the buffet area. It's the only indoor area of the ship with clear, open views. Below the ship is tastefully decorated and features an assortment of lounges, two main restaurants and two specialty (i.e., extra cost) restaurants. The theater, forward, is quite comfortable, and unlike American based ships, they don't push drinks at all. Dining. We prefer the dining room to the buffet. It's the same food, but you can enjoy the services of a wait staff and always find a seat. If you don't know about MSC's drinking water system by now its time to learn. In Europe, MSC does NOT serve any free beverage in the dining room at lunch or dinner. That is correct. Nothing. You want water you buy a bottle. Water is available at the buffet on the upper deck. Coffee and juices are served at breakfast but beware, the orange juice is more like kool aid then juice. If you want real orange juice you should be prepared to pay for it. As of spring 2011, MSC made an exception to this policy. Americans and Canadians receive vouchers for 7 bottles of water at no charge. We found all the meals to be satisfactory and nicely presented. The pasta and the baked goods were the best choices. Service can be a bit slow at time but the wait staff is determined to please and tipping is automatically added to your bill. My waiter bought me a beer on the last night! That's a first. Entertainment. On sea days the basic entertainment is the endless, mindless games played pool-side. If you enjoy this type of thing, you will be fine. Otherwise bring a book or an ipad. In the evening, we found the main shows to be excellent. Since so many languages are in use and every announcement is in five or six languages, the shows are primarily dance, and musically themed. We found each night to be like a performance of the Cirque de Sole. Ports. Kiel, Germany. The main reason MSC calls here is to board or discharge German passengers. We arrived on a Sunday and thankfully there was a flea market within a short walk from the pier. The main attraction in Kiel is the eastern end of the very busy Kiel Canal and the submarine monument and museum. Both were easily visible from the ship as we left port. We did not participate in any ship excursions. Stockholm. We spent the day on the Hop On- Hop Off boat that calls at the pier and arrives in downtown about 15 minutes later. Tickets were available as soon as we got off the ship. Tallinn, Estonia. Tallinn's old city is a charm. We opted to walk on our own and arrived within twenty minutes. St. Petersburg. In Russia, we opted for the ship's excursion to the Peterhoff Castle and the Hermitage. If you do not use the ship's excursion a visa is required and frankly, you are better off with the ship in this port. The lines at both places in August were enormous and without the benefits of a guide, you probably would not even get into the museums. Currency. Each country on the cruise has its own currency. We opted to stick with Euros and had no real problems since credit cards are widely accepted. At the tourist shopping in Russia they take anything! Americans. If you need the company of other Americans you will not be happy on MSC. We were only a handful, but soon we became "The American couple," and fielded questions on "Obamacare" and the stock market. The Danes, the Dutch, the Germans all spoke English and we enjoyed this aspect of the cruise. Disembarkation. Since the Copenhagen group was smaller then the Kiel group, we were off the ship in less than an hour. We stayed in Copenhagen overnight so had only to grab a cab and head back to our hotel. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
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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