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49 MSC Cruises MSC Preziosa Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

I chose because of the low cost. unfortunately I got what I paid for. After more than 10 cruises with other cruise I can't tell how disappointed I was. The issue started before I left home. Calling MSC you have 2 choices 2 for new ... Read More
I chose because of the low cost. unfortunately I got what I paid for. After more than 10 cruises with other cruise I can't tell how disappointed I was. The issue started before I left home. Calling MSC you have 2 choices 2 for new booking or 3 for existing booking. If you choose 2 someone answer within 30 seconds, but if you choose 3 then no one ever answers. I tried several times no luck. Then when arrived at the ship we had to carry our own luggage to our cabin. This has never happened to me before. But this was only the beginning . At every port we had disembark and re board via a very steep ramp. I use a cane and this was very dangerous . At one port we were tendered in the rain but they only used 3 life boats for 4000 people. Coming back we had to wait 1and 30 minutes in the rain, plus when we got to the ship we had to climb a steap stair case on the outside of the ship. The food in the buffet was barely edible and the dining was not much better never more than 3 choices. That started with having to argue for water at our table. We were 6 at our table but never had more than 3 pads of butter. Coffee and tea came very late (I suspect they were hoping we would loose interest and leave . Other than the cabin steward no one was approachable. All the staff did was try to sell us extras. As to special restaurants there were none. I would happily paid for a better meal but that option didn't exist. They did sell a steak in the dining for €23. we took it hoping it would be acceptable and it was. The only good meal in the entire 2 weeks. Apparently sail with MSC a second time. I can't imagine why. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because it matched up with a stay in the South of France. It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. The ship itself was beautiful, but it's a pity MSC don't match this with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it matched up with a stay in the South of France. It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate our Silver Wedding. The ship itself was beautiful, but it's a pity MSC don't match this with service! We were so disappointed! We have never been on a cruise where it is hard sell from the time you board until you get off. Everything is an excuse to try to get more money out of you. We don't expect to pay extra for facilities like :- the cinema, films on your cabin tv, water tea & coffee at lunch and dinner!!! The only thing you could watch in your cabin was news channels , all other channels were not in English. The only place you could get complimentary water, tea & coffee was on deck 14 at the buffet. We only ate here once as it was so crowded and vast that it was like a fight every time you went up there. Some staff were very rude and in general they did not display the same courtesy as what we are used to. One afternoon we went for tea and cake and were so shocked when a member of serving staff was trying to remove food as we tried to pick it up. When we complained to the catering manager he was also rude and totally disinterested.If catering staff were walking towards you pushing a trolley or carrying trays they didn't stop but expected you to move out of their way even though you may be carrying your food. Even Reception staff were not bothered or apologetic when we opted out of their compulsory gratuities because of the poor service. Some staff were exceptional and these we tipped but in general there was an attitude of indifference. We have never experienced this with any other cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
From start to finish the staff of MSC were very friendly and helpful. The food was excellent in the L' arabeque restaurant as were the waiters. The variety of food in the buffet was excellent especially at breakfast. The ... Read More
From start to finish the staff of MSC were very friendly and helpful. The food was excellent in the L' arabeque restaurant as were the waiters. The variety of food in the buffet was excellent especially at breakfast. The children's club, 7-11 yrs were wonderful with our granddaughter, she loved every minute that she spent with the staff and her new friends. The entertainment in the theatre was excellent as were the various quizzes in the different lounges. Overall, the ship was very clean and comfortable. We would recommend MSC to our friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Preziosa was only launched in 2013, so very sparkly shiny and new, huge ship and lots of facilities, most areas kept clean and up dated, sadly from the moment you board you are bombarded with multiple offers of purchasing drinks/tour ... Read More
Preziosa was only launched in 2013, so very sparkly shiny and new, huge ship and lots of facilities, most areas kept clean and up dated, sadly from the moment you board you are bombarded with multiple offers of purchasing drinks/tour packages, the crew are very obviously pressured to sell up at all times.... clearly differentiated prejudiced treatment toward the European crew and all others. The Inca-Maya buffet on deck 14 was terrible; dirty floors and seating areas were not very clean or well maintained, cleaned quickly with a wet dirty cloth whilst you waited to sit anywhere... at peak times (breakfast/lunch) there was not enough space available to sit everyone and certainly not enough staff to clear away, at five of the meal times we had to clear tables ourselves to be able to secure a seat; it is an ok venue if you are happy at a 2* Hotel and if you like using plastic and melamine bowls and plates to eat from, these were mostly piping hot straight from the dishwasher and many of them were discoloured and chipped from over use, whilst there was no coffee available as it kept running out.... we were offered fresh orange juice for 3.90 euros a glass! The dessert selection at this venue was pretty mediocre, shave foam mousses and semi defrosted pastries and jelly was staple every day. The state rooms were on the small size, mercifully we had two with connecting doors on Deck 11 we are two adults two children and one infant, the pillows were small and lumpy and needed replacing, the babies cot was not changed all week, there was nothing in the way of additional luxuries or niceties, pump shampoo and shower creme in the shower cubicle and a sewing kit was all.... not even on Valentine's night was there a small chocolate on the pillow at turn down time. L'Arabesque Deck 6 was a busy and noisy restaurant; mercifully our two servers Jaya/Julio were professional, polite and courteous, fast and efficient but over worked and rushed! The Italian officers and crew were very sullen, unfriendly unless you were Italian, The Platinum Theatre was great and comfortable on deck 6/7 the shows were good but less than 45 minutes, sadly the rear part of this theatre stunk of smoke coming from the casino next door. A great big ship with lots of facilities, well maintained, overcrowded, spoiled by the sour faced unfriendly crew always trying to sell drinks packages and over priced excursions. The security officers manning the access gangways to embark and disembark were unfriendly grumpy and homophobic. *** baby club only available till 11:00 a.m. teen club from 16:00 onwards only, kiddies club mainly watched TV and shared an X Box. *** Shore excursions; i.e. GENOA Open top bus plus aquarium three hours 42-90 Euro for adult 39-50 Euro per child take the trip independently doing exactly the same thing saved 101-00 Euros. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was my first cruise with MSC although I have cruised before with P&O. Had a great time - the ship is lovely, the ports visited were interesting, the service and entertainment were great. My biggest gripe was that there were a lot ... Read More
This was my first cruise with MSC although I have cruised before with P&O. Had a great time - the ship is lovely, the ports visited were interesting, the service and entertainment were great. My biggest gripe was that there were a lot of out of pocket expenses we hadn't been made aware of. MSC's upfront costs are low ($660pp twinshare) which is very economical when you consider that a P&O cruise we did the year before was $945pp quadshare. However, when we arrived at Civitavecchia very jetlagged, having flown from Australia, we were told that if we wanted to buy drinks it was most economical to buy a drinks package. One of these was a water package. Water! I asked if they didn't offer water for free in the restaurant and was told no, so, concerned about dehydration, we bought a water package 15x1 litre bottles for about €30. When we boarded we discovered that water was indeed offered for free in the buffet! Thanks for the heads-up! We didn't use all the vouchers, so not actually a saving. When we got our bill we were further shocked to find that a service charge of €8.50 each per day had been added as gratuities for the staff. While i do not begrudge the very hard working staff this extra, I take exception with MSC adding this after the event. The extra €119 was something that we hadn't budgeted for. Personally I would rather MSC added this to the upfront cost to the consumer so that we AREN'T counting on having it so we can eat on the rest of our trip. Finally, if you are a non-smoker or asthmatic, watch out. Smoking is permitted inside the Casino, but it drifts out into other areas of the boat including cabins. Having said all that, it was a nice week. Just budget for a lot extra than the initial cost. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Preziosa..Rome to Rome.. I was abit nervous after reading such poor reviews here, so was prepared for the horrors, only to be pleasantly surprised. I was travelling with my daughter ( her ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Preziosa..Rome to Rome.. I was abit nervous after reading such poor reviews here, so was prepared for the horrors, only to be pleasantly surprised. I was travelling with my daughter ( her first cruise) and this was my second time with MSC. Embarkation was seamless. No great lines at Reception to fix up prepayments, and our luggage was there waiting at our room after about 1/2 hour. Our balcony room 8121 was great ..we had asked for twin beds but had the one big bed , but that was OK. A big bonus was that we had a bath which was great for relaxing in , and also for keeping up with the washing.. The ship is beautiful inside and out and the staff make a real effort to keep it so. One good thing was that the reception area never really had those long lines that I have experienced on other boats. So it was easy to make enquiries or fix problems.. We saw 2 shows only as we tend to crash early. we enjoyed both. We enjoyed that Gelato Bar a few times...yum We especially enjoyed the special invite to the captains drinks for repeat travellers.. It was better that I had expected and quite fun. Our meals at both the buffet and Restaurant were of a high quality and we never really suffered the cold meals that others have mentioned.. We booked the early seating with a table of 8 but only one other person turned up..still it was always nice..Had breaky in the restaurant a few times and that was great.. I found that the buffet had a LARGE variety and really can't understand previous complaints..could be that our cruise wasn't fully booked..That could make a difference.. I never had trouble finding seats. The Spa.. I had pre-booked a package.. This included a massage, facial, scrub, drink, private consultation, 7 day access to the spa area which they advertise includes, sauna's, relaxation area, fridge room and whirlpool. THIS IS WHAT I WAS LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST... I was planning to spread the treatments out and visit the other area regularly especially the whirlpool.. Firstly, the treatments were all done together by the lovely Yogi ( I think) All great, but that was me done by the second day..I got my voucher for the herbal tea ( I thought it might be a fruit smoothy as pictured) ...no consultation though..? Then found out that our spa did not have whirlpools.. So that huge charge that we paid for access was to sit in a sauna then a lounge chair ..This wasn't a large area and there were only about 8 chairs.. I went once then didn't bother again..I asked about the whirlpool ...all negative...So I asked why they were still advertising this facility in the daily newsletter..false advertising.. They changed that after 2 days.. Apart from that, we enjoyed our time on the ship just pottering around and spending huge amounts of money in their shops..( my daughter spent a lot of money on a Pandora bracelet and beads only for it to fall off after one week ,never to be seen again, so its just not a quality product in my view, considering it cost hundreds of euros..clasp just strong enough). For that money, you shouldn't have to pay for the security chain that I saw later at other shops..highway robbery! Disembarkation would have been smooth if they had not stuffed up the return of my excess (credit) money on my account..They were given all the correct information but as I was leaving the ship was told to go to reception to collect this money in cash.. Long story short, I missed my car that was to pick me up ( and paid a lot of money for) ..3x bus trips and 1 x train to finally get to the airport..not a good way to finish a cruise. But would I recommend it, YES. rooms, ship ,food, staff wonderful. I would really try to find out more about the excursions..they are expensive and just not worth the cost in some cases.. The Jeep trip on Malta was great but be aware that you sit out the back of an open jeep so rug up..And they are old , not at all luxurious..lol The Avignon trip from Marseille was cancelled that morning , which was a disappointment..and the replacement one ( xmas markets ) a waste..Should have just got the shuttle to town. Hop ON HOp OFF bus at Barcelona was a good cheaper idea. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first cruise so I did a lot of research before travelling. We decided to book with MSC as the route appealed to us and they were offering free flights with our package. Having now completed the cruise I am amazed at the ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I did a lot of research before travelling. We decided to book with MSC as the route appealed to us and they were offering free flights with our package. Having now completed the cruise I am amazed at the petty things that people critise MSC for as our experience was so positive. We had one set back before we traveled. We requested 1st dining but were assigned 2nd and on a waiting list for 1st. Our travel agent emailed MSC and this was sorted out by the time we arrived in Genoa. Transfer from the airport was smooth and embarkation quick and friendly. Our cases were outside our cabin within the hour. The MSC Prezosia is an absolutely stunning ship. I cannot stress how clean it is inside and out. The company go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that hygiene levels are maintained at the highest level. Now for the food. The food in the buffet was excellent. The food offered varied considerably and was updated more than once a day. There was a large selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, pasta, pizza, breads plus a carvery meat each day. English breakfast is served until 10.30am each morning. There was an amazing selection of pastries and cakes on offer which changed each daily. Everything was cooked to perfection. This area was one of things we were most impressed about. The buffet is large and very busy at times however we found (after a few days) the quieter spots at the back of the ship. We dinned in L'Arabseque. The dinning room was very glamours. There are 5 courses offered with dinner. The food was good but not as good as the buffet. Service in every area was great. Everyone from the bar staff to guest services were friendly and helpful and very engaging with the children. UK travelers are in the minority on this cruise which we actually enjoyed. There is a good mix of German, French, Italian and Spanish which gave the cruise a real European feel. The entertainment geared up to appeal to the majority though. There were very few announcements over the loud speakers. MSC manage to take new arrivals through the safety drill each day without having to involve the whole ship. Subtle but cleaver. The pool areas were clean and well equipped with numerous bar areas. EXCURSIONS: ROME - We did Rome on Your Own with CIVITA Tours. The free shuttle bus drops you are the port entrance where you meet the CIVITA rep. It takes just over an hour to reach Rome. We were met at 3.00pm for the return journey. We made it back just before the deadline. PALERMO - This is the most unregulated port we visited. You are hassled by the local cab drivers as soon as you get of the ship who do not take no for an answer. We eventually agreed to pay 80 Euro for a return trip to Monreale. CALAGRI - Not much to see here unless you go further afield and visit a beach. We did the small train tour but they stuggled to pick out points of interest. It was only 8 Euro each. PALMA - Amazing and a real stand out. We know Mallorca well but was still impressed as the boat sailed towards Palma. We traveled by taxi up to Valdemossa in the mountains. It cost 29 Euro each way. VALENCIA - Busy Spanish town. Hop on bus was not worth the money. We waited half an hour for one to come along and then spent an hour and a half being bused around the outskirts of town. Tip - walk into the centre of Valencia to see the historic buildings and don't bother with the tourist bus. MARSEILLE - Marseille is lovely. Very pretty and had a lovely feel to it. We got the panoramic bus up to Notre Damm. Will definitely visit again. GENOA - We didn't get to experience Genoa was we boarded here. We disembarked smoothly but had a 5 hour wait at Genoa for our flight home. I guess this could not have been helped. We will definitely be cruising again with MSC. A great professionally company in every way. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Our cruise started terribly from the embarkation. we were given the first priority because I have a child in a stroller, but we were the last to embark. 1.5 hours waiting at the counter, with an MSC employee that had to ask a colleague a ... Read More
Our cruise started terribly from the embarkation. we were given the first priority because I have a child in a stroller, but we were the last to embark. 1.5 hours waiting at the counter, with an MSC employee that had to ask a colleague a question every time she typed one letter on her keyboard. It was dreadful, we called the manager that apologized but did not make the process any faster. My children were tired, hungry and crying!! After finishing, we were met with the crew trying to sell us the drinks package, we just wanted to arrive to our cabins!! I think I shouted many times during that time so that they would let us in!!! The cabins were great but the luggage took forever to get to us. We received them one at a time and to our luck we found 2 bags near cabin 10146 (we had 2 cabins 10070 and 10046), so we took them to the kids cabins, and when I called to tell the reception, they were not apologetic at all, all they said was, no problem, they will not be lost, you will receive them anyway!!!! The other very bad thing is the buffet!!! OH MY!!! A very big crowd that pushes and shoves its way to food that is tasteless, salty, cold and barely edible. My kids did not eat anything. Even the kids corner was full of adults shoving kids to take their food!!! Now for the positives: the ship is just perfect, the decors, the restaurants, the theater, the pools, the gym... The seated restaurant (the golden lobster) was perfect, the food was great and our waiters were just so nice and professional. Would I take another cruise, since my first was so bad, i don't know... Maybe not an MSC! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We just came back from a cruise Venice-Bari-Katakolon-Izmir-Istanbul-Dubrovnik-Venice. We arrived at the checkin in Venice at 11u30, it took about 75' minutes in total before we drank our firts cocktail. You have to stand right about ... Read More
We just came back from a cruise Venice-Bari-Katakolon-Izmir-Istanbul-Dubrovnik-Venice. We arrived at the checkin in Venice at 11u30, it took about 75' minutes in total before we drank our firts cocktail. You have to stand right about an hour, it would have to be possible to fix this so the people don't have to wait in a line, but with a ticket system. Once we get on board of the ship, and after our cocktail, we went to explore the ship and it was amazing. The ship is really beautiful and there is so much to see. The bars were very nice with live music in every bar. Because of the beautiful weather we did sit a lot in the pool bar at the back of the ship (a beautiful swimming pool and a lot of different cocktails). The food was great (buffet : lots of variety for everone something different, but you had to walk around the whole buffet because it was not everywhere the same menu, dining room : fantastic food with service, a lot of choice and a lot of fish/pasta/meat : if you didn't like something, you could take 2 starters or 2 headmeals). We had the drinkpackage and i should suggest it to everyone. The staff was very nice (always friendly) and our waiter Suasnawa was a proffesional. The room (inside room) was bigger than expected and the bathroom was ok. We did all the excursions ourselves. Bari on foot : 10 minutes Katakolon on foot : 10 minutes Izmir by local bus : for free (don't know why we didn't had to pay) Istanbul : by tram (pick it in the road paralel to the embarkation of the ship (4 turkish lira) get of on sultahanmet, we did visit the blue moskee (free), aya sofia (30 lire/p), cysterne (20 lira) and fantastic, on foot to the bazar 20' and than went down direction galata bridge into the egyptian bazar (also amazing). Dubrovnik : shared a taxi with another couple (10 euro/taxi harbour -->,historic center) msc asks 12,9€ per person for the bus so that makes almost 26€, we paid 10 for us 2, gone and back. There were almost no children on board so I think that can make a difference. The shows were beautiful We liked it a lot and would take msc again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
I am reviewing on behalf of two couples that sailed on the MSC Preziosa in the final week of October in 2014. We all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise-liner experience, are hooked and looking forward to further cruises. As you will see ... Read More
I am reviewing on behalf of two couples that sailed on the MSC Preziosa in the final week of October in 2014. We all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise-liner experience, are hooked and looking forward to further cruises. As you will see from our ratings, there were only two components to the cruise that we found could do with improvement; the embarkation process was poorly organised, slow, mentally and physically draining at the end of a long day; and, the excursion package we purchased to Ephesus during our Izmir stopover seemed designed to hurry us through the site visit in order to get us to a leather factory outlet store. We spent an equal amount of time between the site and this factory, which we believe devalued our experience and detracted from the purpose of the excursion. MSC state that these excursions are not owned or run by their company, which is fair enough, although I believe they should survey users to provide feedback to these third parties and even move to different suppliers should the feedback prove consistently poor. We found our own way around Bari, Katakolon, Istanbul and Dubrovnik without issue and would encourage people to read port reviews and plan your own excursions. Apart from these two things we had an extremely enjoyable trip. The food in the Inca and Maya buffet was of a very good standard. We always found a table within a few minutes of arriving and we never experienced piles of used plates (mentioned elsewhere) even though the cruise occurred over a midterm break and was completely sold out. There is daily variation in speciality and ethnic serving areas that we would recommend you search out should you bore of pizza, hot-dogs, burgers, pasta's and the like. We were lucky enough to enjoy the second dinner seating (8.45pm) and found the food of a very good quality served attentively and professionally by (Francis) Joel and Surrag. The evening entertainment in the enormous theatre was cleverly choreographed and professionally delivered. We purchased the Allegrissimo food and drinks package, which was excellent value for money, and if you are partial to a few drinks, highly recommended. We spent a lot of evenings in La Cafeteria (Chocolate and Coffee) bar as it was close to our cabin and because of the delightful service provided by Prati. We found all the crew and staff to be very approachable, happy, attentive and totally professional. Joel, Surrag and Prati, however, were wonderful and added a very welcome personal touch to our experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Oh my goodness, we have just returned from a fantastic holiday with MSC on the Preziosa and I would certainly cruise with them again, I can’t understand why there are so many bad reviews on here? The ship was immaculate, it gleamed ... Read More
Oh my goodness, we have just returned from a fantastic holiday with MSC on the Preziosa and I would certainly cruise with them again, I can’t understand why there are so many bad reviews on here? The ship was immaculate, it gleamed everywhere. The staff were friendly and ready to help whenever they could, yes sometimes there was a wait for bar service, but we were on holiday and in no rush, so we would just sit back, people watch and wait for a staff member to get around to us. English was spoken by all of the staff so there was never a language barrier and the majority of the passengers were from foreign shores so it was like a proper foreign holiday not a butlins holiday camp! We boarded the ship in venice and were told we could book in from 12.00. As it happens we arrived at the port at 11am but we just followed the queues and were on board early with very little delay. We caught the Alilaguna boat from St.Marks to the cruise terminal which was great, 8E plus 3E for a suitcase, although on the return journey the lady in the kiosk told us we didn’t need to pay extra for the luggage. We ate in the L’Arabesque dining room every night and were sat with a lovely South African couple who became good friends with us. The waiter service in there was exceptional; it was great getting all dressed up and being treated like royalty. The menu was varied and with 7 courses to choose from there was always something nice to enjoy, and if a dish wasn’t to your taste they quickly whisked it away and brought you something else. We regularly had 5 courses and were never over faced. We had the drinks package which meant the bottles of wine were ready and waiting for us at the table when we arrived, our waiter always remembered what we drank! There was also bottled water and an amazing selection of fresh bread rolls brought to the table. We had breakfast in the buffet which was chaotic, but we would just find a table, either alone or sharing with another couple and then cruise around the wonderful selection of food filling our plates with far too much food! Breakfast can also be ordered directly to your cabin using the complementary breakfast room service so we always had a drink in the cabin whist getting ready for the day, and we had the full continental breakfast delivered on the morning where we were off the ship for 8am. At lunchtime we would just cruise through the buffet picking up a salad or a wrap etc.....but be fair, the pizza always won us over and ended up being the snack of choice for us both! You can eat at the tables on the deck outside the buffet area which was always a preferred choice for us....and a cheeky cocktail was always nice to finish the meal off with. The ice cream on board was also fantastic, I’m a bit of an ice cream snob, but that stuff was awesome and included in the drinks package! The cabin was fantastic, we had opted for a balcony one and I’m so glad we did. It was a real treat being able to sit out there before the evening meal...a quiet haven of peace with a perfect view. It was nice to be able to get fresh air into the cabin too, the Aircon was great but nothing beats fresh air. The bathroom was fine too, our friends had an inside cabin and they struggled with a small shower, but ours was fine so again worth the extra we paid for the balcony. The cabin steward was in there twice a day making the bed up and turning it down again at night, we never saw her but she did a great job. The mini bar was a bit of a waste of time, although we did keep a couple of cans in there to cool. You are charged if you drink from it, including the bottled water, however both cans and bottles are available from the bars around the ship so a bit of forward planning was all that was required to have drinks in the cabin. We also regularly took coffees, cocktails and snacks to the cabin and there was no issue with this. The 30 mins shows in the evening were “entertaining” ! We regularly had a chuckle at their productions, but maybe not for the right reasons sometimes. It’s only half an hour so give them a go, but don’t forget to take a drink along with you! We didn’t take any of the MSC excursions; in fact we only did the one private excursion to Olympia with a company booked through ShoreBee who were waiting just outside the port gates, Katakolon is only a small town but you could pass an hour around the small shops and in the seafront cafes. At Bari we just strolled into the town as it’s only about a ten min walk, not too much to see but a nice seafront with lots of fishermen preparing squid which was a sight to see. Izmir was a bit of a nightmare as the taxi dropped us just outside the bazaar, even though I’d asked for Konak square, and a “friendly” shop keeper met us from the car and wanted us to check out his shop. But we just declined and headed off on our own; make sure you have a map of the area as the signs aren’t too good. Inside the bazaar it was fine, the shop keepers just allowed you to browse at your own leisure and it’s just a nice size to pass an hour. At Istanbul we walked about five mins from the port towards the bridge to pick up the tram, make sure you have Turkish lira to pay for the tokens. It’s cheap and a fast way to get around the city. We did the blue mosque, which had a huge queue although we did wonder if we could have bypassed it and gone through the entrance for prayers that was in the courtyard but this would only work if you were properly attired as the loan headscarf’s and trousers are only available as you approach the main entrance. The Hagia Sophia was well worth the entrance fee, although buying a ticket was a nightmare as there was little direction as to where to go for a single ticket, the museum passes seemed to be the preferred ticket choice but they are of course more expensive. Make sure you go up to the gallery as it’s even more spectacular from up there. The basilica cistern was also worth the visit, it’s an unusual place and if the photo booth inside hasn’t a big queue when you go in treat yourselves to a silly photo! We never got to the bazaar as we ran out of time but I heard it was huge compared to Izmir. Dubrovnik has to be one of the best ports, we taxied to the old town, about 30min drive because of traffic, and then walked around the walls. The view is fabulous from up there, the town looks beautiful. But make sure you take a drink and visit the loo before you set off! We stopped at the Buza bar, the bar on the rocks but this can’t be accessed from the walls, you have to get down from the wall and then try and find it! But the view was lovely and the cider well worth the trip. A little haven of peace. The harbour area is worth a visit, the waves were crashing on the rocks when we went. I was gutted we didn’t get up the cable car, I had planned for us to do that first, but the taxi took us straight to the old town and it was then a climb up to the cable car station we decided to give it a miss. If you are taxiing back to the ship leave plenty of time, there was a huge queue when we went about 45mins before the ship was due to leave. My only complaint with MSC was the lack of information we got from them prior to the holiday and about the ports during the holiday. There were 2 gala/formal nights and 3 theme nights (white/Italian/60’s,70’s & 80’s) in the main dining room however this was not communicated to us until the night before. We knew of passengers who then had to go out the following day and buy a shirt for a formal evening. MSC are very focused on selling their excursions so they do not produce any information about the port and sights that are worth travelling to, so the best information I could give anyone would be to do the research before, google is a valuable tool! So as you can see we loved this holiday and would definitely book with MSC again   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Four of us went on a cruise from Venice through the Adriatic and Agean sea's on the Preziosa. After having been on the Armonia previously we thought why not try MSC again. There are good points to mention about this ship such as the ... Read More
Four of us went on a cruise from Venice through the Adriatic and Agean sea's on the Preziosa. After having been on the Armonia previously we thought why not try MSC again. There are good points to mention about this ship such as the cleanliness and the cabins being well presented and clean. The itinerary was also very good and if you wanted there was plenty of time ashore to explore the various areas we visited. However, I have to say that the overall experience did not come up to the expectations we had set ourselves at the outset. The embarkation was a disaster, two and a half hours waiting to register/board the ship was not what we expected and had this been our first experience of this, it would have been our last. The bar staff especially in the garden pool bar and sports bar were so slow it was unreal. 20 minutes regularly waiting for service was not unusual. The free for all at breakfast in the buffet restaurant was something to behold. The food, while good, in La Arabesque, was not varied enough, there was not enough of it and again, waiting was the name of the game. We thought the entertainment was good but to have a "best of" show on the final night was less than imaginative. We know that casinos may be smokey in the USA but little did we know that the casino would be a smoking allowed area on the Preziosa, absolutely the wrong thing to have on a ship. The sports bar where the food is not on the all inclusive package is shocking. Not only is it, in some cases, inedible, but for 4 people to order 4 mains only, and have them delivered separately over a period of 30 minutes was a complete shambles. If I had thought on it on the last morning no service charge would have been paid. Overall, we are disappointed, having been with MSC before. We will explore other companies for the next time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our 8th cruise, having previously cruised with rccl and ncl. The prezosia is a stunning ship. Lounges, bars, pool areas cabins all fabulous. We purchased the drinks packages which was exceptional value. Premium branded drinks and ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise, having previously cruised with rccl and ncl. The prezosia is a stunning ship. Lounges, bars, pool areas cabins all fabulous. We purchased the drinks packages which was exceptional value. Premium branded drinks and excellent cocktails all included. The biggest disappointment to us was the food in the mdr. It was totally unacceptable. Either tasteless or very salty?85% of the food we had was barely warm. Service hit and miss and very rushed. There was very little meat on offer and what we did have was very poor quality. The buffet area was chaos at best. Food poor and badly presented. Entertainment was very amateurish. Shows and musicians were very poor. The staff were on the whole fairly pleasent but a few were either rude or totally uninterested. The itinery was good, especially Istanbul, Dubrovnik and Venice. We have always enjoy the whole cruise experience particularly our meals and entertainment. We failed to get either with msc. We would never choose msc ever again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I cruised with my 80 year old mother - so mixed generations. The ship is stunning -possibly slightly large for us but still possible to escape the crowds. We did not really use the sundeck and pool area as it was pretty crowded and noisy ... Read More
I cruised with my 80 year old mother - so mixed generations. The ship is stunning -possibly slightly large for us but still possible to escape the crowds. We did not really use the sundeck and pool area as it was pretty crowded and noisy throughout the cruise as the ship seemed to be full. Did swim in the "indoor" pool which was quieter and lovely. Cabins are spacious and very well appointed - plenty of storage and the showers are super. Balconies have chairs and table - great for sunning and generally relaxing. The cruise experience is very European - most of the passengers were from southern europe - Spain and Italy and they do tend to be exuberant and noisier than we are used to as well has having low tolerance for queuing - they just don't! Once you get used to the culture differences (we all have them!) it was a great experience. Food was good - not fine dining but always plenty to eat and could always find something to like. The buffet had massive variety of dishes at breakfast and lunch. We ate in the Arabesque restaurant - early sitting is quite early (6.45pm) and late is quite late for Northern Europeans (9.15) - but we had the early and worked OK. For the size of the vessel the administration worked OK - took us about an hour to check in and board - not a pleasant location in Venice though for the boarding procedures - very basic. Took us only 25 mins to disembark so that worked fine. We did not take any excursions - seemed quite expensive so we made our own arrangements - walked or took local transport/taxis in all the ports - was easy to do. Entertainment was just OK - half an hour show in theatre each evening - varied themes to appeal to many languages - the repetition of everything in 6 languages at the start of the show did get a bit irritating but is necessary as there is such a range of nationalities. Also the last night was a bit of a cheat as it was a repeat of everything earlier in the week! All the bars and other venues we visited were lovely - drinks prices were reasonable - we just had the wine package which was great for us but most people went for the fully inclusive which they were happy with. We were seated with other British people at dinner but at breakfast and lunch the tables in the restaurants are mixed which we enjoyed as we met many nationalities that way.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
After an uneventful flight, we arrived in Venice and sought our MSC sign in the Arrivals Hall. There was every other cruise line and other companies but no sign of MSC. Eventually, we found our contact and she was behind the others but the ... Read More
After an uneventful flight, we arrived in Venice and sought our MSC sign in the Arrivals Hall. There was every other cruise line and other companies but no sign of MSC. Eventually, we found our contact and she was behind the others but the sign was down as she was checking names off her list. We were directed down the hall, past the coffee stand and out to the MSC office outside. After checking in there, we waited 20 minutes or so before we were led to the bus in the car park, not an easy trek with a trolley. The coach had no room for hand luggage overhead larger than a handbag. The trip to the port was quick and we were dropped at the end of a queue for bag drop. This was a long queue but in 20 minutes or so we dropped our bags at the door and proceeded upstairs to check in area. This was crowded and the first thing was to get our silly cruise photo taken. This was humorous and kept us smiling while waiting to check in. Check in was smooth enough and then we had to wait for number 15 to be called. This entailed a long wait and there was juice and water available. We had arrived at about 12.30 and we boarded at 2.15pm. We were told our staterooms would not be ready until 2.30 but we sneaked up and it was ready so we dropped off our bags. First Impressions Ship is beautiful and shiny. A lot of reflective surfaces, mirrored elevators and, of course, the famous Swarovski stairs. This was a favourite area for photographs all week. Our stateroom was a balcony, B2, port side, quite forward. There is an overhang from the top deck but it only causes shadow from about noon to 2.00pm on the sea day. The view down was towards deck 7 and lifeboats. View forward was restricted by the hump. Stateroom was very comfortable and spacious enough. Plenty of room under the bed for cases. Hairdryer in drawer was surprising good, I am told. Ice bucket provided but never filled, nor did we seek it to be filled. Met steward a couple of times, by accident. The room was kept very well. One towel animal and a note wishing us an enjoyable cruise. The balcony door slid open and stayed open as it is heavy. The aircon seemed to stay on even when the balcony door was open. The lock for the door is a button which was quite stiff so we did not bother locking it. Food This is the most contentious issue regarding MSC as far as I can see from other reports. Overall, we found it almost as good as NCL or RCCI. The buffet was chaotic at times. It seemed that food stations, although supposed to be replicated around the buffet, actually had different offerings. Many people recommend the ‘Ethnic corner’ at the rear of the buffet but we never found anything appealing there and we love Indian food. Buffet was good enough for breakfast and lunch but lacked choices and replenishment of meat in the evenings. I did not find bacon until day 3. It was crisp and streaky, very tasty. Perhaps I was late to breakfast as they cleared up quite early and from 10.00 it becomes continental. Pork sausages were plentiful and nice. Omlettes were folded without fillings and there was plenty of fried/boiled or scrambled eggs too. We ate breakfast in the MDR one morning and the omlettes there are really good. We had Egg Benedict in the MDR and it was not good, served on toast with a thick slice of fried ham. There was a vinegary taste which I believe is used to help poach the eggs. We ate most evenings in the MDR, early sitting at 6.30pm at a 6 person table. Our tablemates were very pleasant company. Our servers were very efficient and we were always out by 8.10pm, much of any delay caused by us chatting and so on. Wine was replenished reasonably often though we had to ask most nights. Wine was served by the glass. If someone was late to dinner, they were served in their own time and we often had different courses on the table at the same time, without problem. The menu was a 6 course affair, staring with a meat or fish course, e.g. smoked salmon and shrimp, followed by a salad, depending on the port of call perhaps Greek, with Feta cheese or Italian, Mozzarrella etc. Next was soup. Choice of consommé or ‘cream’ which was not very creamy. Soups were nice though. Next was pasta course, very filling, too much food really. The main course was meat, twice filet of beef. However, the beef was very small and sliced like roast beef. It was very tasty though. Dessert was good, Tiramisu, Baked Alaska etc. No coffee or tea at dinner. Allegrissimo Package Allegrissimo package was well worth the money, €23 per person per day. The price of drink on MSC was high, as the price number was similar to NCL/RCCI except it was in Euro. So it was easy to reach or exceed the package price, which included bottled water and coffee. The included wines were good enough. The bottle read ‘La Zolla’ and this was the only label offered despite the drinks menu claiming that there was a choice of 2 whites, 2 reds and a rose. Most cocktails were included. The wait staff were generally very good. The staff overall were very polite and helpful. There was one staff member that I found rude, a pool towel attendant. My tablemates found one of the security staff at the gangway to be rude. Overall, though, very polite staff. Photographs It has been said that MSC photographers are not as ‘in your face’ as other lines’ snappers, but we found we could not walk through the public areas without being offered photo opportunities, on the sparkly stairs or wherever. Even the life jacket drill was a major photo op, more so than a safety drill, I suspect! Entertainment The shows were spectacular and very well choreographed, with acrobats and trapeze artists but, after a few days, they became repetitive. Only on the first night was there an act which had been brought on board, a tenor and pianist, very good. Every night had a theme i.e. Pandora, Wonderland, Queen, Italian songs, and Witches of Paris, and the final night, which we did not attend, was a ‘Best of’ night. The Cruise Director made his announcements in 6 or 7 languages before each show, which kicked off promptly at 9.30pm, for 1st seating diners. Each show only lasted 35 minutes and there is no bar service in the theatre although you can bring in your drink. There was entertainment at most bars throughout the evening. we found the El Dorado Piano bar most comfortable and the music was of mainly Turkish influence and very pleasant. Most nights, some patrons would do a belly dance or arabic dance of sorts. The Green Sax bar had easy listening with some dancing. Safari bar had most action with the entertainment crew arrivingf there at 11pm to organise games etc. This was also a smoking venue along one side. The Galaxy Bar on 15 had disco music late at night. TV There are 3 stations in English, apart from the safety channel; Sky News, Euronews and CNBC. Interactive TV service is clunky but I could see our onboard account on the last night. €2 was added to our account as a UNICEF donation which we had not consented to. We left it, as it is a good cause. Pool Areas There are 3 public (non Yacht Club) pool areas, the Solarium which was a covered area with no loungers, just chairs, a Aqua Park with a large pool, surrounded by loungers and a few hot tubs. At the rear of the ship is the Garden Pool, also referred to as the Infinity Pool. This pool was filled to the edge on some days but not on others. Nice area with plenty of loungers, if you get there early. This is not an ‘Adults Only’ area. Bar service at all pools. Above the Garden Pool is another sun deck with a children’s water park area and the steps to the water slide which I didn’t try. Ports of Call The ship called at Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul and Dubrovnik with one day at sea. Excursions are heavily promoted on the TV and around the ship. We did not use any ship excursions, preferring to DIY at Istanbul and Dubrovnik. Port stops are short except for Istanbul. Disembarkation We left bags out before 1.00am last night. Our assembly colour was light blue. This is indicated on the tags left in your room last evening. Gathered at the appointed time and were led off promptly to waiting luggage and queued for coach to airport. Only a 15 minute drive to Marco Polo and there in plenty of time for check in. Overall Impressions We were pleasantly surprised with MSC and the Allegrissimo package made it a worry free trip. With our only reservations being some aspects of the food, I would have no hesitation in sailing MSC again, based on price and itinerary. All things being equal, I would choose NCL, RCCI and MSC in that order, but I enjoyed them all.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have just returned from our cruise on the Preziosa. I would like to thank Cruise Critic members who helped me plan the trip with a special thanks to Kat who has written extensively on the forum she shared so much of her trip with ... Read More
We have just returned from our cruise on the Preziosa. I would like to thank Cruise Critic members who helped me plan the trip with a special thanks to Kat who has written extensively on the forum she shared so much of her trip with everyone. So here is our account of our cruise. We flew to Marco Polo then caught the Alilaguna Blue line to San Zaccaria, the details of which are to found at "Venice for Visitors" a link from Cruise Critic, they tell you where to buy you tickets (you don't need to decipher the machines in the baggage hall) there is a desk in the arrivals hall, they even have pictures to show you where to go. This was a flat fare of 15€. We decided on this route because of the position of our hotel, "The Bisanzio" there was only one bridge to cross, limiting the number of bridges, a tip given by many Cruise Critic members and probably one of the best pieces of advice I gleaned. We stayed two nights then retuned to San Zaccaria and caught the Alilaguna Blue line again to the cruise terminal 8€. The Alilaguna docks closer to the terminal building than the People Mover station and no escalator to negotiate. Outside the terminal building we stood in a queue for about half a hour but we were in the shade. Our cases were put on the luggage belt then we went upstairs we were given a number and told to sit down. The hall was jam packed full and so it was difficult to see what was going on. We waited for our number but then realised we should have been in another queue first. This is only our second cruise which was four years ago, so we are not too familiar with check in procedures, that cruise took about five mins. Eventually all was sorted, it took about two hours, a half hour longer that fellow cruisers, not a good experience. However all was forgotten when a few minutes later we were tucking into lunch overlooking the magnificent city of Venice, probably no better view, provided by the height of the ship, it was like a film set. Now to the ship, it is absolutely stunning, full of Italian style and quality. The buffet where we had breakfast and lunch was beautifully furnished. We had no problem with the buffet, it was huge and even though the food was similar every day you were able to choose different things because there was so much choice. It was busy but all you needed to do was go the back of the ship where there were always seats, we always managed to find table on our own, many times next to the window. Going to the back of the ship, also rewarded you with views of wherever you happened to be, from the beautiful picture window the full width of the ship. Next, the cabin, we had a small balcony cabin which was absolutely fine, I was concerned at first about the size of the balcony but it had two chairs and stool and was ample big enough. The cabin was beautifully furnished and had a lovely bathroom with very clever shower doors that folded in when not in use and made the bathroom seem bigger. My one small negative here is there was nowhere to sit in the cabin, the larger balcony cabins have a sofa. Because we were only on the ship for a week with only one sea day it wasn't too much of problem. When I booked the cabin the info given by MSC was the same for all balcony cabins, it is only on the deck plan that you can see that cabin and balcony are smaller. Our cabin was billed as a free balcony upgrade but in fact was a smaller cabin. Again Cruise Critic members came to rescue and provided me with the information I needed, a huge thanks to you once again. We decided that because of the savings offered it was worth trying the smaller cabin. Onto the food, the food was fine nothing outstanding but nothing inedible either. The big disappointment here was the pasta, for an Italian ship it was poor quality and overcooked. The service was quick maybe a little too quick we did feel sometimes that we were being rushed out for the next sitting. Next the itinerary, this was excellent, a lot of interesting ports, we never had a problem getting off the ship and most ports we found we had long enough with the exception of Katakolon. We hired a car and drove to Olympia so we were ahead of the ship busses and had a little longer but would have like longer still. This was a very short stop, but very pretty. We used Rick Steevs guide book which was very good, another recommendation from CC. Disembarking was not a problem, quick and easy. We had another night in Venice before our flight home. We decided to stay on the other side of Venice this time to make transfers quicker. We caught the People Mover and stayed at the Arlecchino Hotel a recommendation from Kat who I mentioned earlier. A good choice as there was only one bridge to cross. We caught the airport ATVO bus which was fast and efficient and departs from Piazzale Roma.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
As my husband was on his first ever cruise, I decided to ruin him forever by booking us into the Yacht Club. I know this is going to come back and haunt me on our annual sailing on the Oscar Wilde from Rosslare to Roscoff! Flights and ... Read More
As my husband was on his first ever cruise, I decided to ruin him forever by booking us into the Yacht Club. I know this is going to come back and haunt me on our annual sailing on the Oscar Wilde from Rosslare to Roscoff! Flights and transfers were included in our package but one thing that bugged me was the inability to check ourselves in online and select our seats with Aer Lingus (this is because MSC book a block of seats under a single reference number) but we were exceedingly lucky to get a pair of emergency exit seats and buy breakfast onboard. At least 30 of our fellow passengers were cruising and had already affixed their MSC luggage labels to their bags. Me, I brought a roll of sellotape and slapped them on when we landed in Venice. The MSC staff met passengers at the arrivals hall, brought us over to a marquee where we were checked in and assigned our coach number. 10 minutes later and we boarded the coach. Put everything but your handbag in the luggage area underneath, there isn't room to swing a cat in the overhead bins. Arrived at the port about 25 minutes later to see a huge line of passengers waiting to check in and board. Not for us - off we toddled to the Yacht Club entrance where we met one of the first of many butlers for a speedy check of our passports before being escorted to the YC check in area. Prosecco awaited. The perfect start. About 10 minutes after having our (very unflattering, can we do that again please) photos taken and our ID cards issued, we were welcomed onboard into the YC reception. More prosecco. Finally, another lovely butler escorted us to our suite 16027 and showed us around. We explored the ship thoroughly. Not impressed by the stink of cigarettes in the vicinity of the Casino -reminded me of Las Vegas, but not in a good way. The Inca and Maya buffet were chaotic and the food was ok, but not fantastic. All of the bars were great with friendly staff, a good selection of drinks (book the Allegrissimo package in advance to save a lot of money) and the evening shows in the Safari lounge were good fun. Bingo in the Platinum Theatre (3 books for €20, play for a full house only) was as camp as a row of tents and utterly hysterical - have never laughed as much in my life! Shows in the theatre had a tough job trying to keep every nationality entertained. It wasn't for us, but fellow passengers loved them. Now for the good stuff. The Yacht Club is exceedingly lovely indeed. The pool area is exceptionally spacious, with lots of loungers and side tables, poolside drinks and snacks, two jacuzzis and a swimming pool. We had a few breakfasts and most of our lunches at the pool bar. With beer and martini Royales. Sure, you're on your holidays, what's not to love? After an initial rocky start, La Palmeraie turned into a lovely restaurant for formal dinners and breakfasts. Giorgio, the maitre d' and Leonardo the sommelier were charm personified, even offering to deliver dinner to our cabin when they heard I was sick. Didn't have the heart to tell them we got superb pizzas from Eataly delivered to the suite instead. The Top Sail lounge is a beautiful space to have a few drinks in, before and after dinner. It also had a lovely continental buffet breakfast. The cons : the wifi isn't free and it's bloody expensive. We didn't bother buying a package and I waited for free wifi at shore stops to catch up. Speaking of Eataly, we had a delicious dinner at Italia by Eataly to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. It's a small space so you must book in advance and the menu is very small. Notwithstanding that, the food is exceptional. i would happily eat the tortello with liquid pesto every day for the rest of my life. We weren't drinking much as I was in the throes of a vicious fluey virus so our bill came to the princely sum of €57. As for excursions, we did our own thing in Bari and paid €10 each for a place on Bari City Tours (the blue noddy train) and it was extremely good value as our guide really showed us around this beautiful town. For the other ports, we booked a package with Cruising Excursions. Katakolon was a disappointment - I think our guide and his utter uselessness had a lot to do with this. Olympia wasn't a patch on Ephesus which was the highlight of the cruise for us. On our final night, we were issued with colour coded luggage tags to make sure we were off the ship in time for our flight. Our butler escorted us dockside and to the baggage hall where we collected our luggage and hauled it to our coach. The Yacht Club experience was over and we were back to normality... Departing from Venice was a stressful pain in the rear - UK & Irish flights seem to check in at Desks 80-90 which, oddly enough, aren't located in the departures hall. No, they're in the basement beside arrivals. We suffered so you don't have to. You're welcome... The security lines were long and hellish but nothing compared to the utter chaos at the departure gates. We went down to our gate, took one look at the heaving mess and sprinted back up the stairs to daylight, seats and wifi. The panino at the Airest shop (pay at the cash desk in advance, again you're welcome) aren't cheap at €6.90 for two fillings, but are amazing quality. A litre bottle of San Benedetto still water is €2.50. So, would we do it all again? Absolutely. But only in Yacht Club, so I'd better start saving again... Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have cruised on numerous occasions with various cruise companies so this time we thought that we would try MSC. The ship was very elegant, by far the nicest vessel we have ever cruised on. However, the amazing experience stopped there, ... Read More
We have cruised on numerous occasions with various cruise companies so this time we thought that we would try MSC. The ship was very elegant, by far the nicest vessel we have ever cruised on. However, the amazing experience stopped there, the food was absolutely dreadful !. It was either over salted or had the life cooked out of it. Any meat served were pitiful and baked or fried beyond recognition . The entertainment was extremely Amateur at times to an embarrassing Stannard. Combined with the food this made the evenings drag. The limited dining times made the ship feel like it had 2 "rush hours" with lots of people and congestion in the main areas. Fortunately the rooms were lovely as there was nothing to stay up for. We found ourselves convincing disappointed first cruisers to continue the cruising experience with other companies as this one was as bad as it gets. MSC never again !. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
The ship is beautiful. The staff were kind and very professional. There were a few exceptions but that is normal when there are over 1000 crew members. The cabin atributed to my self and my wife was superb. With a varanda and all. Does ... Read More
The ship is beautiful. The staff were kind and very professional. There were a few exceptions but that is normal when there are over 1000 crew members. The cabin atributed to my self and my wife was superb. With a varanda and all. Does it all look too good? yes, but it was not all too good. The ship is too small for the amount of persons it carries. The breakfast restaurant situated on the 14th floor is similar to a batlle ground. Its is a very large area, surely, but too small for everybody. People push you, bump on to you, they make a mess, saw real pig behavior especialy from adults. Very difficult to get a table and when you do, then you get a completly strange family of loud mouths that came to ocupy the vacant seats, on your table. Talking about loud mouths, the entertainment at the centre pool... Jesus !!! if the idea was to rest while at the pool side... then you´de be in the wrong place. The entertainers speak very loud on their microphones which are planted all over the pool area and behond that. Some of them arrass you to go dancing and go perform all sort of monkey like dancing for all by standers. My wife and I had to caution a few entertainers more that once to leave us in peace. That day we were very lucky. We managed to get 2 sun beds at the pool side. We were not that lucky for the remainder of the cruise. More than 50% of the sun beds were reserved permanently with a towel or all sort of other objects. Most of the time no one ever claimed those sun beds. There should be a hourly charge of €20 for the use of those items. Surely there would be sun beds for every one, at all times. The acess and exit to the ship is caotic. Stress begins at the door, any door. In conclusion, would I ever travel on that ship again? definetly not. I pretended to go on holliday. That did not happen due to the constant stress of rigid time tables for dinner, excursions and everything else in the ship. I am the type of person that apreciates a relaxing holliday and I am sorry I made the mistake of taking a ship to do that. Never again.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We just came back from our cruise with MSC Preziosa. It was our second cruise with MSC and also our second cruise all together. We selected this cruise mainly for the nice itinerary and for the competitive price compared to other cruise ... Read More
We just came back from our cruise with MSC Preziosa. It was our second cruise with MSC and also our second cruise all together. We selected this cruise mainly for the nice itinerary and for the competitive price compared to other cruise ships/companies. The travelling company consisted of me, my girlfriend and another couple, in other words no children. First of all I like to say that the ship is beautiful and absolutely spotless both on the inside and on the outside. The cabins are spacious and clean. Nothing to complain about here. The food in the buffet is nothing that you would write home about but it is at least of a decent standard. The buffet is however badly overcrowded and you will sometimes struggle with finding a table. After a couple of days we found out that you could eat both breakfast and lunch in the main dining restaurants with table service. This was a much nicer and quieter experience that we certainly would recommend. The food in the main dining restaurants during the evenings is ok but not more. Also the portions are quite small so do not except to get full on just one or two dishes. The service throughout the ship varies a lot depending on type of service and crew member. Generally the service at the bars where quite slow and some of the bartenders would sometimes just ignore you. The waiters in the dining areas where generally quick and efficient although perhaps not overfriendly. However I think this was mainly due the high workload. We are a bit disappointed with the housekeeping. Perhaps we are biased by our last cruise with MSC where the housekeeping was something out of this world. This time all they did was making up our bed and changing our towels. However the other couple we were travelling with had I much higher level of housekeeping, so it obviously depends on the person doing the housekeeping. The itineraries where great with Istanbul and Dubrovnik being the absolute highlights. We only did one excursion with MCS as they were quite expensive and we felt that we could do the same thing by our self. We are however satisfied with the excursion we took (to Olympia) with MSC. Both the guide and the transfer were good. The entertainment in the main theater was good although it was pretty much the same each night, but with a different theme. One or two shows are enough I think. We did not listen or take part in any other entertainment activities so I cannot say anything about that. Although there are many nationalities cruising with this ship, by far the most dominate nationality on the ship is Italian. This means, good or bad, that the atmosphere will be noisy to say the least. As a Northern European I am not use to this and personally I find it quite annoying when I can’t even hear myself think. There are quieter places on board but expect the pool areas and some of the bars to be really noisy. The embarkation procedure was long, confusing and inefficient but not as terrible as previous reviews hints about. The disembarkation procedure however was really, really smooth. After reading a couple of other reviews we were a bit worried about missing our flight home. We ended up waiting at the airport for more than three hours.  Judging from the above one might think that our cruising experience was a bad one. This is not true and we generally liked it. I think MSC offers a good but not great cruising experience for a really great price. If you like an even better service you will simply and as always have to pay more.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary with a kids-free cruise through the Eastern Mediterranean on the beautiful MSC Preziosa. We had initially booked an aft cabin (with a juliet balcony) but decided to upgrade to Yacht Club ... Read More
My husband and I celebrated our 15th anniversary with a kids-free cruise through the Eastern Mediterranean on the beautiful MSC Preziosa. We had initially booked an aft cabin (with a juliet balcony) but decided to upgrade to Yacht Club some seven months before the cruise. We are glad we did as it booked out shortly after and we thoroughly enjoyed the additional space and luxury of the Yacht Club. Neither of us enjoy crowds and the ship can be very busy in the peak summer months! This was our first cruise and was pretty much absolutely wonderful. We enjoyed the eclectic mix of passengers, language and cultures. The ship was beautiful and absolutely pristine. We didn't participate in any on-board activities and I am not aware of what was available. Our time was filled up with the ports, relaxing and enjoying this time away together without kids. Yacht Club: - our butler Suresh was amazing and I wanted to bring him home at the end! - we loved the escorted service when embarking and disembarking. It made getting through the crowds painless. - the facilities were top notch - the staff in the Yacht Club venues all had a wicked sense of humour which we very much enjoyed and appreciated. - the food was divine with the only exception being the Eggs Benedict which had cold sauce not warmed. The coffee was amazing and when we commented on this to Ivan, our waiter, he said "But of course. I am Italian!" LOL! - the deck 18 sun loungers could have benefited from offering some shade options - that sun was VERY hot in July) and the deck heated up to the point of making it unpleasant to walk barefoot. That said, the facilities up there were amazing and there were always plenty of loungers available. Shows: These were inconsistent. They had to cater to a multi-lingual audience but whilst some acts were excellent (particularly the male acrobatic trio) there also seemed to be something lost in translation at times. The Avatar show was just incomprehensible. It didn't help that they started it with the theme from Star Trek. I've watched the Avatar movie several times and I couldn't make head nor tail of the show. Excursions: We didn't take any shore excursions through MSC. We really enjoyed the choice of ports and for the most part felt that we had sufficient time in port. Embarking and disembarking was not onerous though being in the Yacht Club made a significant difference. We did the Behind the Scenes tour on our sea day and found it to be really well run and fascinating. It was well worth doing. Cabin: The cabin was spacious and well appointed. I very much enjoyed the full bath and the separate walk in wardrobe. We found that there was plenty of storage space and the bed was high enough to slide suitcases under. We particularly liked the position of our cabin (16029) as it was only a few metres from the stairs leading down to the Concierge and Top Sail Lounge on Deck 15 and a few steps from the stairs leading up to the pool and bar on Dec 18 (there is no deck 17). It was super convenient and I loved swooshing up the golden staircase anytime i needed to go to our cabin. The only drawback was being woken early when they put the deck chairs out above us. I am a very light sleeper. My husband didn't hear anything. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
As the title says the ship is beautiful and amazing in its features and presentation. Underneath the woodwork though there were cracks. Negatives first as there aren't many, the buffet is like a rugby pitch at peak times, try and get ... Read More
As the title says the ship is beautiful and amazing in its features and presentation. Underneath the woodwork though there were cracks. Negatives first as there aren't many, the buffet is like a rugby pitch at peak times, try and get there early if you can as people will just walk into you and knock your plate out of your hands! There is a big choice of food in the buffet but it's nothing special, pizza, burger and chips, some roast meats at dinner time. As I mentioned above, some of the staff were so rude I was gobsmacked, the bar staff and the waitresses do not like serving you, because you pay your service charge on your bill they do not have to earn them so therefore they feel they don't have to put any effort in. Moan over, the rest of the ship and staff were brilliant! Especially in the restaurants the staff are very friendly and chatty, all staff wear name badges with their name and which country they're from, which is a good conversation starter. We were served all week by Alex in the L'arabesque restaurant, he was great, nothing was too much. He was from Honduras. The food in the restaurant is some of the best I have ever tasted, also our table was by the window which looked out of the rear of the ship. We had an inside cabin 10257, on deck 10 near the back of the ship. It was kept very clean and tidy by Antonio. The room was big enough for 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 teenage children. 2 single beds were pushed together to make a double and 2 bunk beds were pulled down from the ceiling for the kids. There was a TV that showed various programs in all languages and also shows cctv of the pools and the bridge cam so you can see where you're heading. There was a shower, wash basin and toilet in a good size space. No tea/coffee making facilities though. The bars and lounges had a very relaxed atmosphere, there were a few singers and dancers, including dance lessons in the safari lounge, but it wasn't what I expected, apart from the shows in the platinum theatre there wasn't much for us really. There were 4 pools, 1 was yacht club only so we didn't see that one, 2 outdoor pools and one with a retractable roof, the best is the garden pool at the back of the ship. Lots of fuss about disembarkation on here, we didn't have a problem, we were given colour coded luggage tags which gave you a time and a place to meet so not everyone got off at the same time and place. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
This was was my fourth cruise, the first in Europe. I have cruised with RCCL on Enchantment and Freedom of the Seas and Celebrity Century before. Here are my impressions of this cruise. Interior decor - too many mirrors which I found ... Read More
This was was my fourth cruise, the first in Europe. I have cruised with RCCL on Enchantment and Freedom of the Seas and Celebrity Century before. Here are my impressions of this cruise. Interior decor - too many mirrors which I found confusing to deal with until I got used to them, which took me a couple of days. The cabin - just as I expected on a cruise ship, except that the interactive services on the TV were not working. Crowds - The ship was chaotic compared to RCCL and This gave me a claustrophbic feeling, with long waits for the elevators and crowded pool area. Restaurants - the food on the main restaurant, the Inca diner on deck 14, was very inferior to RCCL. It was almost impossible to find a vacant table in rush hours. Although the choice was wide, it was not varied day to day. The food was very oily, even supposedly grilled food was drowned in oil. I never experienced gastro problems on a cruise before. I did on this one. Also I found that you have to pay for a capuccino and pastry in all the restaurants and bars as well as for ice cream in the pool area, unlike RCCL, where everything was included at no additional charge. Crew - although not unfriendly, I felt they just had a job to do and that they did. The WoW factor was missing. There were no announcements from the captain at any time during my seven days in board, not even a welcome announcement. Kids club - too many restrictions on who is eligible to use the kids' games rooms. We were actually denied to use this in several occasions for reasons I did not understand. Pools - i was pleasantly surprised that pools were open even when the ship was docked in the ports, as opposed to RCCL Enchantment. The pool area was often very crowded compared to RCCL and it was hard to find deck chairs on sea days. Theatre entertainment - I'd give the shows an OK but far below the RCCL standard. Excursions - this was the first time I made use of the ship's excursions. On this cruise, the port stays were very short, by comparison, and excursions were very hurried as a consequence. Overall - i would give a 10/10 to RCCL but a 6/10 to MSC.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I was a little concerned reading these reviews before our holiday but having now returned from our trip there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Our group consisted of 3 couples (30/40 year olds). This was our third cruise having ... Read More
I was a little concerned reading these reviews before our holiday but having now returned from our trip there was absolutely nothing to worry about. Our group consisted of 3 couples (30/40 year olds). This was our third cruise having sailed with Carnival and Royal Caribbean in the past and this was definitely the youngest cruise we have been on and the busiest night club at sea we have ever seen. There was a good mixture of nationalities on board, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, German, English, French. Embarkation didn’t go as smoothly as on previous cruises, no fault of MSC though, this was due to a festival in Venice and not allowing cruise ships into the terminal. We arrived for check in at around 10.30am and were given a check in number. As the ship wasn’t docked at this port we had to wait to be transferred to the ship via water taxis so the terminal got quite busy and crowded. We didn’t get to the ship as early as we had hoped but it seemed to be quite organised and got there in the end. Once on the ship we set about exploring ……….... What a beautiful ship !! Bars, lounges, Atrium and Swarovski staircase were very impressive. Our cabin was on deck 10 near the back of the ship. The room was lovely with lots of space for everything and a large bathroom and shower and more than ample sized balcony. We didn’t meet our cabin steward throughout any part of the cruise which was quite unusual compared to the other cruises where you are constantly chatting to and seeing the stewards day and night but that was fine and our room was always clean, tidy and towels changed twice a day. The buffet can get very crowded but we always managed to get a table. Food sometimes ran low but replaced quite quickly and the pizzas constantly being made in front of you were the best yet. I think eating in the main restaurants occasionally for breakfast and lunch would have been a calmer experience and more civilised. For our evening meal we were on the late sitting in the L’Arabesque Restaurant and the food was always fantastic. The portion sizes are smaller and we found that 4 courses were ample but you can order as many as you wish. After a couple of days our preferred drinks would be waiting for us at the table when we arrived, white wine, red wine, sparkling wine etc. The only downside is that if you are on the Allegrissimo drinks package then there is a limited selection in the main dining room but not so in all the other bars and lounges. The Allegrissimo drinks package was well worth the money and would highly recommend this. The staff were not quite as friendly as we have previously experienced on Carnival and Royal Caribbean but they got the job done efficiently and sometimes I think it was possibly due to a language barrier (English) but other times, yes, they may possibly have been rude ! We didn’t dine at any of the speciality restaurants so cannot comment on these. We did the majority of excursions on our own which we have always done on previous cruises as it is not necessary to pay the high price of cruise excursions. Bari, Italy Walked into the old town of Bari which was lovely Italian cobbled streets with a castle and sat with a coffee and ice cream and watched the world go by. Olympia, Greece We paid for a coach transfer to Olympia (20 Euro) and then paid at the gate for entrance to the site and museum (8 Euro). Ephesus, Turkey Paid for an excursion with MSC as the site is about a 1 hour coach journey away and we had a limited time at this port. The tour was amazing with a very knowledgeable guide – a must ! Istanbul, Turkey Walked off the ship and jumped onto a hop on hop off bus ( Big Bus Tour-Istanbul) 25euro. Thought this was the best way to see all the sites of Istanbul and hop on and off throughout the journey. The Blue Mosque is very impressive. Day at sea The pool area gets very crowded on days at sea and you have to be up early to get a sunbed. The area around the main pool can get quite loud and lively but was a good atmosphere, the only downside is that the bar service can be quite slow. Dubrovnik There is a coach transfer into the walled town (12 Euro) which is beautiful and walking the walls of Dubrovnik is a must. Disembarkation was quite an ordeal as on previous cruises we have been able to take our own luggage off the ship but were not allowed to do this with MSC. It was very busy and we were delayed due to bad weather conditions in Venice. Once we were off the ship the queues were horrendous to get the MSC transfer coaches to the airport but as we were making our own way there we managed to collect our luggage, struggle past the crowds and jump into a mini bus to the airport ahead of most others. All in all we had a fabulous holiday, as did our friends and would definitely cruise again with MSC.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I just read inner peace review, and I basically endorse all of their comments. We are a family from Mexico. Two adults and three kids (18, 15 and 8). We have cruised many times before.(Royal Caribean and Norwegian). We really enjoyed past ... Read More
I just read inner peace review, and I basically endorse all of their comments. We are a family from Mexico. Two adults and three kids (18, 15 and 8). We have cruised many times before.(Royal Caribean and Norwegian). We really enjoyed past cruises, but this experience at the Preziosa was by far the better! The Euopean flavour of the ship, the crew the guests and the ports of call are hard to imitate. I don't think people is rude. Service is very profesional and usually they give an extra effort. Embarkation was a problem, but for for reasons no imputable to MSC. something happened in the Terminarl Cruise of Venice that no Cruise Ship was authorized to be inside the terminal that Saturday. All of the big ships were somewhere else in the lagoon. MSC did a great job making tender embarcation with hired small boats. by 1:30, we were having lunch. Our luggage was in the room by 2:15. The ship is wonderful. Elegant, clean and very enjoyable. We had two balcony rooms (13046 and 13052). both were great in terms of space, cleanliness and service. The views fantastic! especially, the balcony is HUGE.Our attendants were great and everything worked perfectly. The pool areas (3) are arguably the best we have seen in any ship. Bars everywere! Allegrisimo Package is a must. Entertainment team is great all day long. Yes, the say everythin in 5 languages, but who cares? in my opinion is part of the service. There were people from Italy, UK, Germany, Holland, Croatia, France, Mexico, Spain....a very international and cosmopolitan group.everybody needs to understand. Kudos to those young guys enterteining alll of the guests with so many different customes and languages!!!! Food. Food is everywhere and everytime. I love high quality food. we found some. If you expect a 3 Michelin stars food, go to a diferent establishment, no to a Cruise Ship. In our opinión, quality and quantity of food was adequate. Particularly at dinner time, food was well presented varied and consistenly good. Our attendants, Martam and Valerie were great! At the begining of the cruise, we were planning to have dinner at Eataly or Italia restaurants. It was not necessary. Shows. good enough to spend a nice time. Casino was very good. Ports of call. With the exception of Bari, we booked a "Combo" package with Cruising Excursions. great quality, service and Value. Bari was a very enjoyable experience. We took a bike tour (Velo service). Very convenient, good and authentic Katakolon/Olimpya. Not the best of the stops. Izmir. Ephesus is marvelous. Virgin Mary House was a nice surprise. Istambul. The Mesquites are fabulous. I personally didn´t like the Gran Bazar. it would be nice to have more time in the city. Dubrovnik. Beautiful! the best stop!! Venice....well, is Venice.... Thanks to MSC and the Preziosa Crew. You gave us a great time. We will definitively go back to cruise with you again. And to all those negative reviewers, with all my respect, don´t make confusinfg postings in this type of forums.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
MSC Preziosa Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.2
Entertainment 4.0 3.1
Public Rooms 5.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Service 4.0 3.5
Value For Money 5.0 3.4
Rates 5.0 4.1

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