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5 MSC Cruises MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Middle East

This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more ... Read More
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more friendly this time. Everyone we met were very helpful and positive. Food in the main dinig room was good, but again my travel partner felt the portions were too smal, so we used the buffet most nights. This time the food was actually warm in the buffet so that was good. The shows were ok, the acobatics were very good! Entertainment was good, even fun at times. The ship was a little worn down I felt. Needs to be freshened up a little. Could be cleener at times too. Our cabin was not very cleen, did not look like the night stands had been dusted for weeks. I wanted to complain, but my mother did not want to be a "Bother" so she cleened herself. The cabin which was an interior had a good size and a good layout. The itinerary was great! We did one excursion arranged through msc, this was ok, but not Great. Other than that we explored on our own. It was overall a more calm feeling on the ship this time. Might have something to do with the guests this time, other nationalities on this route I felt. But there is a problem with acustics in the public areas. It gets so loud. My mum use a hearing aid, but was unable to use it because of all the noise made it uncomfortable for her. Which again made me into one of those who contributed to the loudness to make her hear me. Not good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise ... Read More
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise & 1st with MSC & we will be happy to choose MSC again. We chose this one for some winter sun, relaxation and interesting ports & that's what we got at very good value. Check in was smooth and speedy, bags were delivered quickly. The ship is spotlessly clean and we found the staff to be very friendly. Our balcony cabin 100075 was a good size and the sofa bed for my daughter was a double . All was clean and comfortable with enough storage space, although we were glad we brought a lot of our own hangers as not enough provided. Our towels were changed on an alarmingly regular basis!! Food was generally good in the main dining room, sensible sized portions, served hot which didn't leave you feeling bloated. The buffet was quite good too although nothing compares to Celebrity Cruises for food We took a drinks package which worked well for us. The Butchers Cut speciality restaurant was very good but a little expensive meaning it was very quiet.Never got to try the Asian themed one & imagine it would be quiet too as it's hidden away & not easy to get to. There were plenty of bars to choose from, all usually with some form of entertainment. Some were very quiet and lacked atmosphere. The theatre shows were very mediocre although the acrobats were good. We enjoyed all the ports of call, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas cruise beach, Muscat and Khasab. Glad we did the 4 wheel drive adventure in Khasab as there is no real city to visit. Our day at sea did prove deck space is limited if you don't get out early & find a bed that hasn't annoyingly been covered with a towel by someone who then goes off and doesn"t return for hours. And I mean hours, if at all. In the end I removed 2 towels blocking beds & no one ever came for them. This doesn't just happen on MSC though, it's just selfish people. All in all this was a lovely holiday. Yes, there were littlethings we thought may have made things slightly better, but I don't think any cruise line of reasonable price is 100% perfect & sorry; we don't want to be up there on grand ships even if we can afford it. There are always folk who seem to delight in complaining about each and every thing. Unless things are really bad how about just relaxing and being thankful you are able to get away in the first place? Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach MSC with an open mind, that it won't be the same as RCCL etc, there will be more of 'Mediterranean' feel to certain things, rather than a US polish / efficiency - I think you'll have a great time. The embarkation in Dubai involved no queue at 4.30pm and our cabin was already available to use. Disembarkation, we walked off with our own bags with ease and straight into a taxi to the airport. Food: We used the dining room for breakfast as one of party is gluten free and there was always a gf menu available. Choice of menu items cooked to order or hot and cold buffet options. Lunch we always used the buffet, where we never had an issue finding a table and enjoyed the freshly made pizza along with wide range of hot and cold food plus deserts. Buffet is open almost all day. Dinner we ate 5 times in the main restaurant (1st sitting at 7pm) and twice in the Butchers Cut, speciality restaurant. We liked the variety in the main restaurant, though portions are not large. Given how much we'd already consumed throughout the day, this was not an issue! Butchers Cut was ok, but not a stand out meal for the additional price paid. Unlimited bottles of mineral water were available at lunch and dinner, which was a nice touch. (Not sure if due to Voyager Club / where we booked cruise or included with Fantastica package). Wine included with drinks package included a nice Puilly Fume in the main restaurant. Ports (we did not book an MSC excursion as I didn't feel they were good value): Abu Dhabi - took a taxi and visited Yas Waterworld. Really enjoyable and I suspect less people and queues than Atlantis in Dubai. Sir Bani Yas - beautiful island, particularly the views to the far side. Kids played on the aquapark, I rented a paddle board for an hour. Buffet served on the island. Tender service worked well. Bahrain - port is 40 mins+ from Manama so chose to stay onboard Doha - Nice, compact city. Walked to Souq Waqif. Well worth a visit, particularly to the Falcon section Dubai - docks for 24 hours before disembarkation. Took a taxi to the Dubai Mall to see the aquarium (impressive) and Burj Khalifi (also impressive). Entertainment: Given the multiple nationalities on board it was mainly dance, acrobatics and signing. We went to a couple of shows, they were fine. Huge theatre with plenty of seating. Outside public areas: There was sports court that the children, and several others had a great time on playing football. We never had an issue finding space to grab a couple of hours in the sun (we always looked away from the main pool area). Even on the day at sea there were sunbeds free at 11am. Staff: Our cabin steward was quite quiet, but the room was cleaned well twice per day. The restaurant staff were all uniformly excellent & friendly. Summary: Given the price paid, versus the price we paid for a similar cruise with RCCL, MSC wins hands down. We all enjoyed the cruise to the extent we booked another one for December. Yes, there is a definite difference between MSC and the major US lines, though I don't see this as a bad thing. You could argue it has its plusses. I'd happily recommend as we all had a really enjoyable week onboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I choose MSC because of price, itinerary, and service. We always choose the Yacht Club experience and are never disappointed. Though we rarely go to the buffet I noticed the bar service there has greatly improved. As always the ship was ... Read More
I choose MSC because of price, itinerary, and service. We always choose the Yacht Club experience and are never disappointed. Though we rarely go to the buffet I noticed the bar service there has greatly improved. As always the ship was immaculate. We had no problems in any manner on board. The dining experience has changed a bit in the YC but not in a positive or negative way. In comparison, the menus' format has changed and the food selection, if memory serves right, is reduced. Not by much, however. In any case, the quality of food in the YC is as good or better than ever. The embarkation and disembarkation were quick, easy and effortless. I can't say enough how MSC coddles their YC guests. We had an excellent Butler, Nata. He was the kind of Butler I like. Rarely seen but when needed he was right there and helpful. We did travel with my 14-year-old son but he chose not to utilize any youth programs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was our 3rd time on Splendida and as we were in the Yacht Club previously we were a bit anxious. We sailed from Abu Dhabi and purchased the cruise through our local Travel Agent. It was an all inclusive deal with flights, transfers, ... Read More
This was our 3rd time on Splendida and as we were in the Yacht Club previously we were a bit anxious. We sailed from Abu Dhabi and purchased the cruise through our local Travel Agent. It was an all inclusive deal with flights, transfers, cruise and drinks package. Our balcony cabin was a lot smaller than (Y. C.) but still a reasonable size. Cabin 10079. Our Cabin Steward was Antonni and he was pleasant, helpful and kept the room perfect. We had second seating for dinner which we thought was 8.30 but turned out to be 9.15, just a little late for dinner. The food was reasonably good, and our waiters Erfani and assistant waiter Yogi were great. We discover on this cruise that we could have fresh coffee and tea at the little Cafe on deck 6. It also served snacks and small cakes throughout the day. We didn't attend any of the shows so I can't comment on those, The Casino was always quiet. They have a Cigar bar where you can smoke, it seemed to be open all day but the bar itself only in the evenings. There were plenty of Sun loungers except for the day at sea when it was very busy up on deck. We did the Dhow cruise in Khasab, and Dinner in the Dunes in Dubai, both excursions with the ship. On leaving the ship we were able to check in our luggage and get our boarding passes in the port. I thought this was a great feature and wish it was offered in all the ports! Overall we had a great cruise, the drinks differed from bar to bar, so try them all. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.7

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