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10 MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Senior Cruise Reviews

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 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
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
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
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
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
Irish Naval Association Dublin 7th May to 15th May 2011 Our group of 49 travelled to Copenhagen on board SAS Airlines. The coach was waiting on our arrival and took us straight to the Cruise Line MSC Orchestra, ... Read More
Irish Naval Association Dublin 7th May to 15th May 2011 Our group of 49 travelled to Copenhagen on board SAS Airlines. The coach was waiting on our arrival and took us straight to the Cruise Line MSC Orchestra, There was no delay and the check-in was very efficient. They take your credit card details and issue you with their own credit card which is your the key to your cabin, boarding and disembarking identity card and the card you use for purchase of drinks and items from duty free and onboard shops. When booking they tell you there is a €7 per person per day gratuity which at your discretion will be added to your bill. This is the first negative comment as it is added daily. We asked that it not be added until the end of the Cruise but they insisted they were adding it and we would have to discuss its removal at the end of the cruise, but to be honest we were very satisfied with the service of all their staff. It would be better they added the gratuity to the overall cost and forget about adding it to the bill. The ship was stunning and top of the range in luxury. We sat for our first evening meal and of course not been used to Italian food we ordered starter, main course and sweet, which when served was very small portions so we actually left the table still Hungry. This was our first mistake. The Menu was a 5 to 6 course menu and we should have ordered all 6 items on the menu Appetizer, Soup, Starter, Main Course, Sweet and finally Cheese Board . (ask for more if you like any of the items) Wine for the table is approx €20 per bottle, however, for €8 you can order a carafe of house wine which is approx 6 glasses, and very good wine. On Deck 13 there is the Buffet Bar opened basically all day until 9pm. Tea and Coffee and drinking water are all free 24 hours. You can help yourself to perhaps every conceivable dish you would want . The usual Fry-Up, Burgers, chips, salads, fish, sweet, cakes, fruit etc.etc. So there is no reason to go hungry on the cruise, and there is plenty of places to sit and eat. You are charged for bottle water at your dinner table which is very silly and at €3 is a stupid addition and takes greatly from the overall impression of the cruise and ship. HOWEVER!!! Your can get drinking water free on Deck 13 24 hours a day so although from a health point they do not allow you fill a bottle. You can of course take as many glasses of the water to you table and fill your water bottle at your table. The shows were short approx 30 minutes, but small is wonderful, and you will really enjoy the wonderful variety of the shows. This leaves you plenty of time to sit in the many bars each with their own evening entertainment and always plenty of room to sit, so no need to rush out after the show to grab a seat. The groups and musicians in the various bars are great. Another nice gesture from the ship was that at approx 11pm every evening waiters came around with trays of sandwiches as much as you wanted. One evening they rolled in the chefs and trolleys and prepared pancakes for anyone that wanted them. On our last night on the Ship they opened the Buffet Restaurant at 10pm and stayed open until 1am for the last night Banquet. Again every type of food you copuld think of was there for you to eat and of course no extra charge. I cannot express the absolute class and quality of MSC Orchestra, but next was the scenery, never in my lifetime and having covered many countries over the years had I been prepared for the stunning scenery up the Norwegian Fjords. It was also a great surprise to find the Ship docked almost in the Town at all places we visited. Only once did we anchor and the Ship used its own Landing craft to take us ashore and back to the ship. There was possibly 20 to 30 of the Ships motor boats holding enough to get everyone ashore and back without any need to queue. The cost of the excursions were expensive which is normal on Cruise Ships, However if you get to know enough people on the Ship you can go the local tourist office ashore and get 15% discount for 10 or more. The 15% is also off a much cheaper price at the Tourist Office than on the ship. This applies to the Hop-on Hop-off services in most cities. So get 10 together when going ashore and save money. Our over-all impressions. The Ship was terrific, Scenery was amazing, Food was great, Shows were great, Thanks to all who helped make this a memorable Cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
My husband and I have been on about 15+ cruises with various cruise lines. We have gone with many couples, by ourselves and with family. Our cruise on the MSC Orchestra was with another couple which are very good friends. I always read ... Read More
My husband and I have been on about 15+ cruises with various cruise lines. We have gone with many couples, by ourselves and with family. Our cruise on the MSC Orchestra was with another couple which are very good friends. I always read reviews before traveling and feel very strong that if they help me....then maybe I can return the favor. We are in our mid-50's, physically fit and enjoy traveling. We like the senior discounts but hate being called senior citizens just quite yet. We all have children who are grown now and a couple grandkids. I mention this for I have found that couples with children tend to appreciate more when they themselves have a chance to be waited on, meals cooked and rooms straighten twice a day. Those that have never had the chance to be second to a child tend to demand more from the staff and complain more.....just my observation after taking many cruises and listening to those that complain about anything and everything. Let me first say that I read the reviews on the MSC Orchestra and had some reservation on some of the comments before taking this cruise. But then again, many said very positive things about this ship so I was anxious to see what it was really like and how we would like it. Having taken 15+ cruises over the years, I have found that many people go on cruises and complain from when their feet hit the deck to when they leave the ship so I always take that into account when I read reviews. And now my review: We arrived about 11:30 handed our bags over and got in line with our friends for our 1st day of cruising. The lines went pretty quickly (15 minutes) and we were up on the ship. We first headed to our rooms to check the location and condition. What we found was a spick and span room, no smoke smell, a little smaller than some ships I have been on, nice balcony but a tad smaller as well, bath about standard, closet space about standard. There was a refrigerator, blow dryer, desk area, small table and chair. The colors were tans and blues and very eye appealing. Off to the buffet or as I refer to it "the feeding frenzy". Once again everything was very clean with a nice selection of food items from fresh fruit, salad bar, roast beef, hot sides, dessert, soup, veggies, breads, hot fresh pizza. If there isn't something you can find to eat in this array of items then you are a very picky eater or not hungry. I made myself a large salad added a piece of fresh hot pizza and I was set. I found everything to be cook correctly and very tasty. The other couple that came with us also found the food to be good for a buffet. Throughout the cruise we visited the buffet just a few times for breakfast or snack and felt it very good. The buffet staff was superb. My husband did enjoy the pizza throughout the cruise!! Off to the spa and gym area to check it out. The spa area was very clean and oh does it smell good!! The gym was used by my husband during our cruise and he said it was very adequate. They have a very nice area available for free that has two dry hot saunas and two large moist saunas with nice changing facilities. Both couples used this area and enjoyed it very much. Later on in the cruise the girls both had a hot stone massage which was wonderful and got a special of $99 for an hour!! I don't normally get massages at home so they are a treat on a cruise. Worth every penny! We snuck down to the dining room to check our table out. We were in the Ibisquis Dining room which is one of two formal dining rooms and they are identical. Our table was for 4 (perfect) and we had ocean view windows. The dining room is decorated with a formal dEcor and is very eye appealing. Seats were comfortable and the area and table never seemed crowded. Our waiter, assistant and head waiter were wonderful. They were always there to greet with a smile and gave us very efficient fast friendly service. There has been some negative discussion of the food in the dining room on the past reviews. I am not sure where these people that write negative reviews eat out, but I am guessing that since they are not going on one of the top expensive cruise lines, they eat at normal for the most part inexpensive average restaurants like most average Americans. With that being said - the food was great and better than most moderately to upper priced restaurants!! There are almost always 3 choices for appetizers, soup, salad, and about 7 choices for the main course and 4 choices for dessert. Now if you can't find something you like with those choices - stay home!! This is not to mention the items always on the menu like steak, chicken, pasta, Caesar salad and ice cream. I love the appetizers! My husband's favorite is chilled fruit soups and this ship did not disappoint!! He said he had the best soups and such a variety from any ship we have been on in the past. We also had some of the best salads we had had on a cruise ship. Some of my favorite main dishes were - rack of lamb, prime rib, veal dishes, penne pasta, mahi mahi. We did try the lobster which hasn't gotten great reviews but we thought it very good. Now we are from Florida so I am sure Maine Lobster can't compare. We ate every meal for dinner in the dining room and most lunches and about half breakfast. Desserts were fabulous with my favorite being panna cotta. Many times at dinner we just ask for one of each and then our table of 4 friends would put in the middle and share. This way we tried everything and never once left hungry!! I LOVE the portions that they give you on this ship. Just enough and not overwhelming and you never leave hungry. I say if you want to not see the edges of your plate....go to the buffet and pile high and often!! At lunch and breakfast you are sat with many people you don't know....my rule at the table I sat at is "this is a no complaining table". The last thing I want to do is sit down to a nice meal and have someone complaining about the ship, food, waiters, spouse, kids, or anything really. Save those times for your husband in private or close friends that are use to you complaining and don't mind the constant whining. Public complaining is in poor taste and rude to those around you!! On a side note: What happens to people as they age.......their world many times turns inward and they concentrate so much on themselves and their wants and demands they forget about those around them. They forget about the people that work to make their life and trip enjoyable, they are so stuck on their wants that they forget to appreciate those around them; they are so busy complaining that they miss the small things in life that make you smile, they concentrate so much on the negative that they can't see the positive......I don't want to be one of them!!!! Unfortunately since cruises are made up of many senior citizens......you find many of the ME people on board. I am 58 and my goal is NOT to be one of them!! Life is way too short to not smell the roses.... So thank your waiter, thank you room staff, thank those that are trying to make your stay with them nice. Will they be perfect....probably not but then again.....life is not perfect and neither are you. You have a choice - you can live with a smile or frown.........people can enjoy being around you or avoid you at all cost. Is your choice to leave this world with a smile or leave it miserable? That is an easy one for me! I want my grandchildren to remember me smiling and with a kind word to say about life and people when I am gone. How will yours remember you?? Our actions speak our life! Now on with the review but I comment about people on board for they are a part of the overall ship review. It will help put into perspective your outlook and others outlook of the ship and staff. Don't be sucked into that dark unhappy hole!! Our room.....we had room 9029 which is a balcony. We loved our room and our room steward was great along with his assistant. How do they know just when to clean it and when you are gone?? It always amazes me and is for sure a talent. The room was a little smaller than some ships but large enough for the two of us. I don't think I would want anymore than two in the room though. We loved our balcony and so did our friends. We were right next to each other so the room steward opened up the partition so we could enjoy each other's company. The views.....I miss them already!! There is more than adequate storage for the two of us. The room also has a small refrigerator. We took the items out of the frig so we could put things we brought in.( By the way...they don't give you the 3rd degree or make you feel like a criminal when entering the ship with liquids like Norwegian did the last cruise we took.) There is a built in blow dryer by the desk which makes it convenient. The lights are tricky. You need to put your room key in the slot to keep them on for an extended period of time. I guess this way energy is not wasted when you are gone. I would say that I have had more comfortable beds before so if they were to improve.....I would say make a softer bed or mattress and pillow. Our room steward kept our room clean and our ice chest full.....what more can I ask for?? He was there when we needed him and gone when we didn't!! The shows........I loved those that we attended. Most cruises have the Vegas style shows but MSC was upscale from that!! They had a small version of Cirques Oley which we enjoyed. The "glow in the dark outfits" was really spectacular along with the aerobatics. But my favorite was the concerts. We attended two of these and loved every minute. The pianist got standing ovations for both performances and the classical music he played along with his history of the musicians were great. The string ensemble was spectacular as well. This group of women also played in the center of the ship many nights!! The four of us are not smokers so we stayed far away from the casino and any lounges that allowed smoke. But our days were pretty full so after dinner we played cards or headed back to the room if we didn't attend a show. There is a jogging track on 7 that we tried to walk daily. Also the stairs seems to be abandon by most so getting up and down floors for the 4 of us was a breeze. We avoid the elevators and choose to get exercise on the stairs working off all those great meals. The extra eats and drinks....We got the wine package online for 7 days. Very reasonable and we had a bottle each night. I did mention to the head waiter that I was hoping for some Italian choices with our wine package since it was an Italian cruise liner but there were just California wines which we found some we liked. We drink red and our friends enjoy white so 14 bottles was more than sufficient!! Drink specials were $5.50 each day and they actually put high quality liquor in the drinks and are very tasty. They also had some tasty coffee drink specials too. I had one of the best Cosmo's on the ship that I have ever ordered anywhere!! Gelatos are very tasty and one of my husbands favorite. They cost $2.00 at the Gelato bar but are well worth it!! Normally we go to the additional pay restaurants when on a cruise but my husband is not a Chinese dinner fan so we passed it this time. But to be honest, the food in the dining room was so tasty we didn't feel we missed out at all!! Normally unless there is an excursion that we can't resist we go on our own when visiting an island. We LOVE Bermuda and have been there 4 times before so no tour needed. We always rent those scooters they tell you to stay away from, and have a great time riding the island from one end to the other. This trip was unique for it left out of Ft. Lauderdale to Bermuda which is very rare. Living in Florida we booked this quickly for most of the time you have to go the NE (Boston, NYC) to cruise to Bermuda. The weather was fabulous when we were there - not to hot....not to cold. Perfect for scootering!! We visited the beaches, shops, and historic sites and loved every minute of it. Our friends had never been to Bermuda and said they would love to go back. The trip there and back was smooth sailing. You arrive when taking a big ship to the Dockyard versus Hamilton which is fine with us for scooters can be rented throughout the island. This is a Very inexpensive way to sightsee for they cost $50 a day.....but I always get the extra cruise insurance "just incase" of a mishap. I don't advise renting scooters in the Caribbean islands though for they drive crazy there and you do put your life in their hands. Tried it but will not do it again We did stop in Nassau for a day. We played golf on our own at Cable Beach Golf Course which is $130 a person. Cab fare there is $20 and about 25 minutes away. I am not a fan of Nassau so golf was perfect for us for the day was beautiful!! The course there is average but who could ask for better weather and more fun with friends!! We did bring a travel bag of clubs and chose to play in Nassau instead of Bermuda just because we had so many other things to do in Bermuda. But the courses are great in Bermuda too!! If we would have had an extra day in Bermuda we would have played both places.Now a few miscellaneous items......The sun deck never seemed crowded to me on the MSC but we always look for an out of the way spot to catch some rays. Front upper is normally my favorite. I loved the deck lounge chairs. They were very comfortable and have a flip top flap that you can put over your face which my husband liked. We were NEVER bothered by "do you want a drink". I hate to be approached continually about drinks so this was perfect. They have a big screen TV outside and night viewing of shows. The pools and spa's were emptied and cleaned nightly which may shorten the swimming time but I would much prefer cleanliness!! The crew was constantly cleaning, polishing, painting and vacuuming this ship. It was spotless in everyway!!! I loved the layout and our room location. The ship was very easy to navigate. I never felt crowded and could always find a spot to enjoy the view if not on our balcony. They do all announcements in many languages - this is an Italian ship that sails mostly ports overseas where people speak many languages. If this bothers you - pick one of the other more American ships like Carnival or the familiar ones you see all the time. I found it fascinating that they could sound so fluent in so many languages. We actually arrived early to all our ports which was great. We were fortunate to have wonderful weather all 7 days. So many times you hear people give reviews of ships based on the bad weather they have and the rocky ride they endured.....reality check - bad weather equals larger waves and usually a rocky ride. The ship and crew have absolutely nothing to do with your weather!! I loved the location of our room but before I book any cruise I check out the location in relationship to other space on the ship. I will gladly pay a little extra to get the room number I want instead of selecting a category and they pick my room. Everyone normally has that same option. Room temp was perfect....safe didn't work but I try not to bring expensive jewelry when I travel. If it was that important I would have called and had it fixed. Smoking is not allowed on the balconies and discouraged in the rooms - Yeah!!!! Announcements seem to be a lot less frequent on this ship so read and keep your daily newsletter. I have a smart phone with Verizon and called and changed my service so that I could get emails when in Bermuda. Only cost me $20 more a month and they prorate it.....great deal in my book!! Something to check on if you are traveling overseas and have Verizon.....just a tip! Would I travel again with MSC cruises.....YOU BET!! From the crew, view, ship, food, entertainment and destination I loved it all!! Feel free to email me with questions or comments at Shopinful2@yahoo.com. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
Booked the trip in april via the internet. As the time got closer i started to check the internet to book our shore excursions. the MSC site wasn't offering me options to book on line. Started reading reviews which were not very good. ... Read More
Booked the trip in april via the internet. As the time got closer i started to check the internet to book our shore excursions. the MSC site wasn't offering me options to book on line. Started reading reviews which were not very good. We left for the cruise expecting the worst. We had asked for a table for 2. If we did not go to the maitre d' after we got on ship we would be sitting with a large group. We went before we even went to our room. That was a busy place. I guess things were alittle mixed up. So go and check your dinner table with the maitre d' before dinner. Our room was with balcony and it was the typical cruise room. Our maid was very good and spoke English. Because this is a European ship (Italian) We had ALOT of Italians on board . They are all hard of hearing or think they are preaching a sermon in church. They also came in large groups.Things got alitle loud in different sections . I have nothing against Europeans , just stating my opinion. Our wait staff was excellent. Food in the dining room needs to be looked into. It was either good or Ok. Nothing special.I read in the reviews that the lobster was great. I ordered 2 lobsters and it wasn't enough to fill. Entertainment was VERY GOOD. i am talking about the show in the Covent Garden Theatre.The rest of the shows we weren't interested in. The ship wasn't in the ports long enough to do anything except your optional tour and then it left. On other cruises you spend more time in the ports. Even though you get a newletter every day I did not feel that many thing were in there to make you aware of things that the ship was offering. I thought that most people did take the time to sanitize there hands so nobody wanted to get sick. The ship is beautiful and I thing they tried to keep things clean. Because the ship allows kids in parents room for free, there are alot of them. Who brings an infant on a cruise? I was not happy with all the kids. They belong on a Disney cruise.But i'm a Senior. I heard alot of complaints. Because they are new in the American market they have Alot to learn. But you get what you pay for. 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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