1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Splendida Review
  5. MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews

6 MSC Cruises MSC Splendida Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Middle East

My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the ... Read More
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the way. One night was spent at the Dubai Marriott, and the following morning we taxied to the port. And there the problems began! There was a "time to board" listed on your information, but most of the 3500 passengers were already in the very crowded check-in area. Those in Yacht Club were given a place to sit and wait - we commoners just stood in line for nearly two hours. Not a good impression!. Once on board, we found our adjoining balcony cabins to be nicely furnished. I requested my duvet be replaced by a light blanket, and it was quickly done. My "bath tube" as noted on the reservation was a lovely large tub with shower - and all the really hot water one could ask for. Storage space was wonderful, and would have been fine for two guests in the room. The TV was mounted at ceiling height and quite small. We were out of range for English speaking stations much of the time, so it didn't matter too much. We had requested early dining, and found ourselves seated with folks who had limited English. We asked for a change, and were assigned to another dining room where we shared a table for six with an English couple and a couple from Australia. We had a grand time comparing countries and cruises for the entire 28-day cruise. Entertainment was based on opera most evenings. A soloist or duo or quartet sang with piano and flute or violin. There were a few song and dance shows, but due to the passengers' many languages we had no comedians or acts that required a good understanding of English. Food in the dining room tended to be about average rather than great. Always sufficient for any normal appetite, and enough selection to suit almost all passengers. The beverage package that included cocktails, wine, specialty coffee, water and soda in unlimited quantity was a true bargain at $28 per day. We had prepaid for excursions in all ports, and found many were not worth the price paid. Passengers with excursion vouchers had to congregate in the theater, and the staff sent out four or five busses (speaking various languages) at the same time to the same destination. We were late arriving at many sights, and waited in lines for up to an hour to board an elevator in some buildings. There was a library that had about 500 books in German, a hundred or so in French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese, and NONE in English - although there was a shelf with a sign that said English. There was almost no TV, and no daily news sheet was every printed. We had little idea of what was happening in the world during our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you ... Read More
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you would expect to pay for the flights. The flight was very good and we were transferred to the ship by about 8:30 in the morning, we expected to have to wait until after lunch to board but were shown through to check in and were on board by 9am and offered breakfast in the dining room. Our luggage arrived quite soon and we were able to get changed and freshen up before lunch. It was nice to see some familiar faces from other ships among the staff, and they went out of there way to make us welcome. We have sailed on Splendida previously so knew what to expect, but there were some changes that had been made presumably to suit Arabic tastes, One change in particular was a bar only playing Arabic type music, the bar seemed quite empty most nights; and this bar had always been full and buzzing on previous cruises. We did find the dinner service to be very slow, we were on first sitting (6:30) and we only just completed our meal by 8:30 when the second sitting were waiting to come in. On one evening we were served our starter and the dirty plates were still on the table half an hour after we had finished. I cleared the table myself and gave the plates to the waiter, as you can imagine that caused quite a fuss and service improved the following night but then slipped again. There was another issue with a sharp foreign body in my wife's soup, we are still waiting for a good explanation why it was there. We used the restaurant for most of our meals though when we did use the buffet it was fine. The cabin was very good and a good size though fittings are looking a bit shabby and a bit more attention need to be taken regarding cleaning in the corners, but with too many cabins to service it must be hard for the staff. Mentioning the staff, everyone we met was always willing to serve you with a smile and a chat, we never had to wait long in the bars, if you just sit there and expect them to find you then you may have a wait. If you see the waiter/waitress then just stand up and wave your cruise card and they will acknowledge you, it always worked for me. Disembarking was a breeze though it was early in the morning (3:30) we were transferred to the airport at Dubai, it's very large and flashy but there was enough going on to keep you amused until the flight. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We took the cruise from Yokohama to Abu Dhabi, with many interesting ports on the route. The ship itself was nice and well maintained. The entertainment with the shows and in the bars was good. The staff for the dining and for the cabin ... Read More
We took the cruise from Yokohama to Abu Dhabi, with many interesting ports on the route. The ship itself was nice and well maintained. The entertainment with the shows and in the bars was good. The staff for the dining and for the cabin were doing good work. But the food specially at dinner was no good, depending on the chief cook. Normally when the chief cook passes in the dining room he will get applauded,But here it was quite and very guick he passed through the dining room. We together with many other passengers passed on the information to the management for the dining. Another thing was the very long ques at the information desk, which did that many of us had to wait for hours to solve different problems. It was also more or less impossible to call them, as they were probably occupied with the long ques. The long ques and the lack of experience for the people at the excursions desk many of us felt like a big problem. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My girlfriend and I chose this cruise because of the destination. We usually don't cruise large ships, but decided to give it a try. We booked the Fantastica package, which included 12 drink vouchers per person per week. Since ... Read More
My girlfriend and I chose this cruise because of the destination. We usually don't cruise large ships, but decided to give it a try. We booked the Fantastica package, which included 12 drink vouchers per person per week. Since coffee, tea and water are free all day long (juice only in morning), we used them for cocktails, beer and wine in the evening. Embarkation was quick and efficient. We were able to embark three hours before the designated time. Disembarkation was also easy. I asked the Service Desk to check me out early, which was no problem. My flight to Frankfurt left at 1:50 am from Dubai Airport and I left the ship at 10 pm. Was approached by a man trying to sell me a taxi ride to the airport for 125 AED (Dirhams). I rejected his insistent sales pitches and took a taxi parked in front of the cruise terminal for 60 AED. Food: Buffet food was good though not overwhelming. Restaurant food was below average. Especially "Mediterranean Night" was a great disappointment. Paella was a sad risotto, hummus was worst I have ever tasted, Moussaka needed salt and spices, the fish was tough, the shrimp mushy and the stew dreadful. During the week, we had a few dishes that were good, like the octopus carpaccio, the mussels and the prime rib. The wait staff was efficient, friendly and helpful. Actually, most of the staff was great. The Service Desk personnel especially is doing their best, sometimes under stressful circumstances. It never fails to amaze me how rude passengers can be to people who are obviously bending over backwards to help. Sea Day is a zoo. Not enough chairs for all those sun worshipers. One has to get up before 7 am to secure a lounge chair. The daily bulletin notes that if a chair is abandoned for more than 30 minutes, it is up for grabs. I wish they would actually enforce this. Many chairs were claimed early in the morning and than left unused for breakfast, lunch, bar visits, etc. Since there are only a limited amount of chairs available, it would be nice to share. I vacated mine after 4 hours to a very happy young woman. Excursions: We took the "Big Bus" in Abu Dhabi and loved it. A dhow harbour cruise is included. First one is at 10:30 am. Stop #4 is the Ettihad Museum of Antiques. It is adjacent to a modern art gallery and definitely worth visiting. Conveniently, right next door is the "Art World Cafe", a lovely restaurant with a shady courtyard and delicious food. Also not to be missed is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is a stunning building at the outskirts of town. The Jeep Desert Safari and Arabian Nights Dinner Excursion was our favorite. The food was the best we had during the trip and racing up and down dunes was quite an experience. In Khasab, we took the Jeep Safari into the interior and were a bit disappointed. Coming back to port, we had enough time left to hire a private boat. Captain Mohammed showed us the fjords of Oman for 4 hours, made us coffee and offered some very delicious dates. He was friendly, informative, passionate about his country and the ocean environment, and a pleasure to be with. He made this boat tour memorable. We had an engineer from the cruise ship join us for this trip and Mohammed charged us Euro 25 each, which was just over 90 dollars for the three of us. This was much cheaper than an excursion booked through MSC. Because this cruise was not expensive, our expectations were not that high. Considering what we paid, we were satisfied with what we received - except the restaurant food. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Myself and wife booked this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Gulf..this would be our 3rd MSC cruise...but this one was totally insane.As Canadians we behave civilly and show respect to others....unfortunately the passenger make up of ... Read More
Myself and wife booked this cruise because we wanted to cruise the Gulf..this would be our 3rd MSC cruise...but this one was totally insane.As Canadians we behave civilly and show respect to others....unfortunately the passenger make up of this ship are from various countries...and some are just pushy , uncivil rude obnoxiuos and unfriendly ...maybe they are just being gun shy(LOL)..I hope all are not like this...they do not smile and always pushing,speaking loudly,not queing,finger picking foods and the list goes on and on.........when you pay to cruise you expect that fellow passengers to be mannerly....maybe there should be a standard set. MSC did not deliver on this cruise....the food was very substandard..maybe others liked it...the shows were stupid and put you asleep,again catering to a small segment of the passengers,the band music,etc not too good too..oh well. MSC missed out on this cruise and things just did not go right..I will give them another chance but this one left a lot to be desired...The ship itself was nice and clean..and I had no issues with cabin except for the first night. ..They messed up at check in,they did not change the sheets(I had to complain and then they did),I complained to the restaurant manager about the food and suggested that the chefs and all cooks be replaced...lol ha..ha.. The initial life drill was a disaster...no one to show you or guide you to muster station..I have never seen anything like this...this is my 21st cruise..we did eventually find a man dressed in white who indicated that he is safety officer and crews would be coming soon...this man was reeking of liquor..totally wasted ..unbelievable...this was 10.40 pm and drill was for 10.30pm. I cant tell MSC how to run their business but a lot of senior officers need replacing. The cruise itself was not bad... For breakfast one should go to the sit down restaurant where you get real food...lunch and dinner in buffet is the only way to go..you can always find a piece of bread and cheese to eat.The restaurant at dinner is more flair than substance..we went once and ran away. So much dfor the ship....too bad MSC has failed miserably. Now for the cruise... Dubai can be navigated cheaply..there is a shuttle bus that takes you to Dubai mall for free,you can then buy a pss at the metro station and go by bus and trains to your desired choice of visit.. In Abu dhabi the same goes,a shuttle bue takes you to World centre mall,you can then hop a taxi to your destination..very good value...stay with metered taxis that have the cameras..just ask...their are scrupilous people wanting to take you but they are not metered nor part of the taxi system. The island of yas nasir was ok,but very cold the dat we went. In muscat this was dream...just go outside port and ask a taxi driver for private taxi..2or 3 peopl..I dont think 4 people can fit in car...just tell taxi driver you will pay #) Omani Ryals thats about 65Euros for a tour..he will take 3 hour tour. He will take you to Qaboos mosque(a must see),opera house,sultan palace,museum a few other places and drop you back to ship.THe key is to spend no more than 45 minutes at mosque,and other places just spend a few minutes We got our taxi at 8.50 and the man dropped us off at 12 pm...this was a bargain...they are fair people,do not tack on extra time unless you negotiate ahead of time...meaning you can tell taxi driver for every additional hour after 3 you will pay x amount..you can determine that amount but i was told it is less than 10 Omani Ryals...3 hours is alot of time. In all ports there is something called BIG BUs..hop on and Hop off..thats people's choice but you can navigate things on your own. In Kasabh port just walk to the town..its not far,you pass by a fort you pay 1ryal go see it then walk to town another 10 minutes..total walk time 20 minutes...you have all day. And please hold your breath..the italian cxrowds will push and shove ...just shout at them.. Have fun Read Less
Sail Date January 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

Find a MSC Splendida Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click