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