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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Price and itinerary was the drawcard, but the cruise was just awful. Cold food with no flavour. No entertainment except for dancing and pool games. No movies or tv except if you paid for them. Treated like cattle on embarking took 2 hrs. ... Read More
Price and itinerary was the drawcard, but the cruise was just awful. Cold food with no flavour. No entertainment except for dancing and pool games. No movies or tv except if you paid for them. Treated like cattle on embarking took 2 hrs. Bistro closed at 2oc. Didnt get on till then. Room was dirty when we finally got in. Service at night in dining room was terrible took nearly 2 hrs and food was cold. The whole ship got sick with a cold virus. No news from outside world. Only cruise information was at midday from captain that was so quiet you couldnt hear it. Theatre shows were really bad, except for one the Witches show. Three tenors were amazing as well. Crew cast female singer was really bad. Same entertainment in same bars at same times every night. One female singer in piano bar was worse than me and thats bad. Need i go on....if you were to ask anyone who was on this cruise i know they would be of the same opinion not many happy travellers on this cruise. Italians dont have any idea on organisation of any activity. Shower would scald you one minuite then freeze you the next. I had a bad experience with a loose chair seat b4 this cruise only to find more tgan 50% of the chairs in bistro were loose. Upon complaining i was told yes we know madam but if we took them all out to fix them ee wouldn't have any chairs left and our saftey officer is not around. So they were prepared to be sued for an injury. Go figure.... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ship with nearly 4000 passengers, there were few times int he 4 weeks when the public rooms were crowded, and with a slight adjustment in your plans you could easily avoid the crowds. It was easy to get around, with 4 sets of lifts and numerous staircases. The variety of food served, once you realized you could ordered what you wanted - if you liked 4 entrees and only one main course- just order it! The embarkation and disembark was quick and efficient. Within 20 minutes of arriving at embarkation I was in my cabin and bags arrived within 15 minutes. Faster than most business class flights! Good points The service was excellent, and any request was quickly dealt with. Our cruise included extra lectures on art and history which for the age profile of the passengers was well received. Things which needed to change to get 5 stars Strangely for an Italian ship the pasta dishes were poor, sauces were watered down. To counter that the pizzas were excellent and freshly baked. There is a gap between travel agent and MSC with regard to visas to enter the countries visited. It did not affect me (as I searched the internet before boarding) but others were stopped visiting India as a result. Not sure why ice cream was not available in buffet - did not affect my scoring, but this was important to other passengers Suggestions to people thinking about booking Consider which excursion you would like before boarding. This lets you plan your trip more efficiency If you book well in advance you may received the drinks package complimentary - one of my better decisions (says my wife) Pre-book the laundry - at only £1 per item, it is well priced and efficient (and I did not use my full quota up!!) Overall very enjoyable experience which was enhanced by the MSC staff - would definitely re-book Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Routing of the ship seemed attractive : Departing Venice, Greece, Suez canal, Aqaba, Oman to Dubai. Travelled on Deck 12 (Rossini ) in a spacious cabin with balcony and private sundeck on deck 12. So far the good news. Trouble ... Read More
Routing of the ship seemed attractive : Departing Venice, Greece, Suez canal, Aqaba, Oman to Dubai. Travelled on Deck 12 (Rossini ) in a spacious cabin with balcony and private sundeck on deck 12. So far the good news. Trouble started when I tried to find out details on my Aurea drink package, nobody was able to give me correct details on this package, even the bar manager changed his point of view on the matter nearly every day. The breakfast buffet was a disaster and every day it was a struggle to find a vacant seat, apparently Msc managed to add many extra cabins without extra facilities. Quality of the food was poor and most items from the hot buffet were cold. Our “My choice dining” was not exactly what was promissed and every evening we had to stand in line to have a vacant table. Communication with reception was very difficult and nearly all my questions remained unanswered. The mostly indonesian staff of the Aurea spa were not friendly , sometimes even rude. Thinking of cruising on Msc Lirica, please think twice Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We cruised from Venice to Dubai via the Suez Canal for seventeen nights in an inside cabin, mid-ships, on a re-positioning cruise with MSC in November 2018. We have cruised before but this was our first experience of MSC. Facts The ... Read More
We cruised from Venice to Dubai via the Suez Canal for seventeen nights in an inside cabin, mid-ships, on a re-positioning cruise with MSC in November 2018. We have cruised before but this was our first experience of MSC. Facts The passengers were predominantly Italian, German, Spanish, French and Portuguese with a minority of British. There were two European and two US electrical sockets in the cabin. There were lots of drawers, shelves and hanging space for storage. It was easy to obtain extra coat hangers and extra pillows from our cabin steward. There was good storage space under the bed for empty cases. There was a stocked mini-bar in the cabin. There was a wall mounted bottle of body wash and shampoo in the shower which was refilled during the cruise and liquid soap at the basin. No conditioner, body lotion or bars of soap were provided. There was a wall-mounted, hose-type hair dryer in the bathroom. The small TV had a limited number of English speaking channels including BBC News, CNN and Sky news. Some films were played on a loop but most were not in English. The TV had an HDMI socket which you could use to connect your devices with your own cable. There was a large wet play area with padded floor for kids on deck 11, two swimming pools with ladder access, shallow sections for kids and two small Jacuzzi’s. Pools were initially cool but warmed up as we traveled south. There were lots of sun loungers and some high back reclining chairs around the pools and on the 12th deck but often, on a sea days, these were filled. Pros The cabin was compact but clean. The air conditioning was easy to adjust and was effective. The bed was firm and very comfortable. The sound-proofing in the cabins was generally good. Theatre entertainment was generally good with a wide variety of styles ranging from slapstick to high brow classical music. Disembarkation was fast and easy. Cons Embarkation slow and shambolic with unfriendly, unhelpful MSC staff. The shower in the en-suite was extremely compact and had a shower curtain rather than a solid door. This made showering in such a small space without flooding the floor quite challenging. The service in the main restaurant was slow, unfriendly and the food was cold until we complained. Thereafter the service improved and the food was served hot. The food was generally rather bland and uninteresting. Portion sizes were generally small. Our pre-arranged restaurant coffee package was refused on two evenings. Other guests sat in our allocated table one evening early in the cruise and we had to stand around for five minutes while the staff decided what to do. We were then asked to move table for the rest of the cruise. Breakfast food in the main restaurant was never hot and service was unfriendly and slow. The drinks call bells on the buffet restaurant tables were only answered 50% of time. Buffet tables were not wiped effectively. The buffet food choice was poor and food was not hot. Hand sanitizers throughout the ship often did not work and MSC staff did not encourage passengers to use them. Waiting staff and others did not give way to guests when passing in narrow corridors. It felt like some would have knocked you down if you hadn’t stepped aside to allow them to pass. TV reception was poor/non-existent for about seven days in and around the Red Sea. It took a week to resolve an intermittent faulty lock on our cabin door. There was no warning prior to theatre shows regarding the use of strobe lighting. Passports were retained by MSC on embarkation and only returned the night before disembarkation. Passport return arrangements were a shambles with too few MSC staff, leading to huge queues. Poolside entertainment was much too loud for customers not wishing to take part. The sun loungers had very low backs which did not allow for head support. Our MSC loyalty scheme status match to Black status was not initially honoured and it took multiple visits to the loyalty desk over two weeks to resolve. We therefore missed out on some Black benefits. Loyalty staff and reception staff did not seem interested in resolving this. MSC were very poor at communicating port of call arrangements. E.g. at Salalah in Oman, the literature said a shuttle bus would take us from the ship to the "main square". We were actually dropped off at a taxi rank at the exit of the port where there was absolutely nothing to see or do other than take a taxi. There was no signage or crew direction to where we were to collect our luggage after disembarkation. We enjoyed the itinerary and the weather was very good however having previously sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess, P&O and TUI which all offered a far superior experience; this will be our first and last MSC cruise. Many of the other British passengers we spoke to agreed with this sentiment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We were delighted to find that the MSC Musica was relocating from the Med to South Africa, and booked Venice to Durban (24 days) as the conclusion of a long trip away from home in South Africa. By way of summary, our experience ran ... Read More
We were delighted to find that the MSC Musica was relocating from the Med to South Africa, and booked Venice to Durban (24 days) as the conclusion of a long trip away from home in South Africa. By way of summary, our experience ran along these lines: 1 - The web site is a monster and needs some serious attention from someone who understands UX ('User Experience' - the trending approach to web design today?). 2 - The four options (Bella, Fantastica, Aurea and Club) have preset options none of which really suited us. We chose Fantastica because it assured us we would get the best cabin in the category (see 4 below!). That did NOT work! 3 - Embarkation in Venice involved a LONG walk, in the blazing sun, from the Venice 'People Mover' (which links the city to the port) to the ship. Once we were in the shade it took about an hour (long queues) and it would have been smarter to arrive much closer to the deadline, when there were no queues. 4 - The cabin (11195) was a disappointment. We chose inside because we are happy not to have views or balconies, but we got one of the inside cabins with BUNKS. They are turned up to the wall, but there is inadequate space to get into bed standing upright; the solution was to get into bed by crawling up from the bottom. Further, there is NO SEATING - just a padded box that sits under the very small dressing table. I see on the deck plan some of the inside cabins have black blobs - because ours has four I guess that means it sleeps four people? Pity there is no legend to explain that! 5 - Hence, we found that MSC have a problem with information management. I had two reasons to request on board that Reception assist me: first, I was listed as 'Mr' (my correct title is 'Dr' or 'Prof', as indicated at booking time) and it ought to be SO easy to correct these small things; 'they' were simply not interested. The other issue was with the door to the Library, which made a dreadful screeching sound every time it was opened. The library should be a sanctuary of peace and quiet, but it was horrible for that one reason (actually, there were VERY few books, which caused people to come in and noisily discuss how shocking it was to find that there were no books to read - no reference books such as atlases and travel guides, only a selection of fiction, in several languages, that quickly reduced as more than 3000 'guests' helped themselves). 6 - Previously we have cruised with no internet, and as I had work to do I was delighted to see that continuous internet is offered, and although the log on was somewhat convoluted it worked most of the time. But forget the service that you might get at home, this was SLOW and in 24 days I used about 3Gbytes, that cost me 95 Euros. Some people had bought a cheaper package that, astonishingly, did NOT allow access to email services. 7 - There is a 'CyberCafe' but nobody in attendance to assist with problems. The young man sitting there - confusingly - was the Voyager Club representative. His response to any assistance with the cybercafe (that he was sitting right in the middle of) was abrupt almost to the point of rudeness. I guess we all have bad days ... I took my laptop to the cybercafe to try and get faster internet (I think that worked) but there are NO power outlets there, just standardised screens with a keyboard, a mouse and a small USB accessory for your memory stick or whatever you have. 8 - There were some glitches with the excursions. On the catamaran trip (Mauritious) two passengers were sent to the wrong coach, and so the whole remaining party of 23 had to sit or stand on the catamaran for more than an hour, with only partial shade. When the late-comers arrived, one of the sun-drenched (German) passengers asked - rudely and without any evidence - that the late-comers should apologise; well, they were from Australia and the anglo-saxon expletives and tears flowed freely. I mention this because it is the sort of incident that should be managed by the cruise staff, and I would have expected some apology from them. As it was, it took half of the day for the tempers to cool down and it was the fellow-passengers who did more to manage the situation than the 'staff'. Having said all that, what was good? The entertainment was excellent, although it was inevitable that over 24 days the song and dance crew, the acrobats and the classical musicians had to include some repetition. Not really a problem. We enjoyed the Queen (Freddie Mercury) entertainment so much we watched it twice (there are early and late shows, for the later and earlier sittings in the restaurants. The food in the restaurants was a little variable - we had just one main dish that was inedible and had to go back to the kitchen, but the starters and deserts were excellent. Portions were modest, and that suited us perfectly! The cafeteria was, well, rather like a cafeteria. The cabin and restaurant staff were excellent. The deal is that MSC add 10 euros per person every day for service (and that is in addition to the 15% surcharge on drinks from the bar), and so we were wondering how much of our 480 Euros (about one third of our 'ticket' price!!) would go to the front-of-house workers, and how much gets put into the slush fund. At the desk they admitted that the 'standard' 10 euros per day per passenger was actually optional, and I 'renegotiated' it. One of our fellow passengers told us that he went to reception on the FIRST day to tell them that he did not agree, and did not want to pay, and they agreed that it was at his discretion. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose it for the trip to Egypt instead of private tour because MSCUSA call center promised the same sites for less. Instead, MSC Cruise, Musica. 10/4-11/7/18 became the worst cruise ever. 1. Call Center associates stated Egypt ... Read More
We chose it for the trip to Egypt instead of private tour because MSCUSA call center promised the same sites for less. Instead, MSC Cruise, Musica. 10/4-11/7/18 became the worst cruise ever. 1. Call Center associates stated Egypt excursions were available even after change to Suez only 2. Smoking permitted in cabin although several disclosures prohibited smoking; crew unresponsive 3. At sea, engineers release dirty, sludge water in the cabin bathrooms Call center assured us that Egyptian pyramid excursions were available and had emails from 2017-2018 to back up their messages. While the call center admitted the excursions were not available online in 2018, we could make reservations on the ship. We booked in November 2017 when Egypt was part of the itinerary. MSC admitted that it changed; however, we received no notice of change. Cruise line blamed us for accepting cruise that changed after booking. (While on board, MSC cancelled another excursion in Italy for “safety” reasons.) Cabin next to ours had a smoker, and crew may have asked him to quit, but never made him quit nor moved him. Attendant never turned him in. We were sick from the second-hand smoke. In fact, the whole ship reeked of smoke from the casino and cigar room on the seventh floor at atrium where the smell wafted upwards and down. MSC offered no solution. Engineers released sludge in bathrooms while we were at sea both morning and evening. It lasted for an hour or so and was random. Disgusting! The only redemption was the evening meal. Staff were not tidy, and rooms had inches of dust on chairs and curtains. Staff were unresponsive to problems. Excursions did not adhere to schedule, such as four hours more than posted for Jerusalem, which was already 8.5 and 9 hours. Excursions were marked as moderate but more than half of the travelers could not complete the walk (Petra). Travelers were “lost” in bazaars and delayed departures from Jerusalem, which MSC denied but our tour guide remarked as we were the first and only tour out of Jerusalem for a while. Medical help was nonexistent and travelers were released to medical facilities at ports. The beverage package said it was all inclusive, but there were exclusions. While the staff reimbursed for charges on the first day, if not careful, the charges added up quickly as many areas of the ship charged first without considering the beverage package deal. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
After staying 3 months in S. Africa, we chose this 24-day repositioning cruise from Durban to Venice in order to go home to Europe in a relaxed way. This was a first for my wife and me (both seniors) and we enjoyed it tremendously. The ... Read More
After staying 3 months in S. Africa, we chose this 24-day repositioning cruise from Durban to Venice in order to go home to Europe in a relaxed way. This was a first for my wife and me (both seniors) and we enjoyed it tremendously. The service on the whole was very good, cabin and restaurant service outstanding. By and large the food was OK, however several times it was quite disappointing, almost inedible. The layout of the suite on the 10th deck was perfect for our needs, but a small nuisance every morning when the staff (or passengers) would re-install the deckchairs on the pool deck above us in a rather noisy way. Also the service in the Aurea area was very good. We enjoyed the evening entertainment (except the Swiss ventriloquist) and found the performers (especially Ian von Memerty) all of a high level: dancers, singers and musiciens alike. And we loved the staff show: there is some hidden talent there. Some of the cruise staff brought a smile on your face, especially Natasha van Heerden. On the whole, time in the ports was too short. Disembarkation for the excursions was badly handled initially, with long delays. The visit to the Seychelles had to be cut short unfortunately. The absolute highlight was the visit to the spectacular scenery of Petra in Jordan. Also the passage through the Suez Canal was highly interesting. The next highlight was the beauty of the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It would have been helpful to receive more factual information on these sights, as the talks by Allison were not always reliable for facts. The daily newsletter could be used for this information, rather than filling it up with advertising for all the special deals in the shops. We concluded that we had a very pleasant 3½ weeks on the ship and were happy to have met interesting people, some of whom we shall be seeing again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to do a longer cruise. We started in Durban which we knew so only did a half day in Durban. Embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end went smoothly however at the different ports it was a little chaotic. When you ... Read More
We wanted to do a longer cruise. We started in Durban which we knew so only did a half day in Durban. Embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end went smoothly however at the different ports it was a little chaotic. When you have more than 4 buses going perhaps you could call two at a time rather than 4. The ship was lovely and clean. Our room which had a big window was spacious and comfortable. The food was very good and was always available. The restaurants were clean and waiters very friendly. I did feel a little sorry for them when the ship was running out of wine within the first 10 days. The waiters took the brunt of the people anger and when asked for the manager he was never available. However saying that they did supply us with more expensive wine that was available that wasn't for the vouchers that we had pre-booked. Entertainment was good and plenty of activities. Found quite a lot on before 10am - breakfast the talks and gym - so we missed a few of the talks which were extremely interesting. Excellent service in the cabin, at the pool and in general the crew was fun and always polite. The excursions were great and very informative. Pity Montenegro and Split were such short stops as they were really beautiful. I would definitely go again in fact trying to decide on the next route. Thank you for a great experinence!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted a LONG cruise and this was it❣️ The embarkation process went smooth. The fact that we could check in online, made it easy The ship is awesome and has everything you can think of Our cabin was very good and we had ... Read More
We wanted a LONG cruise and this was it❣️ The embarkation process went smooth. The fact that we could check in online, made it easy The ship is awesome and has everything you can think of Our cabin was very good and we had enough space not to feel cramped. All the food was excellent. The food from the dining experience was good - although the service was slow (but it was not the waiter’s fault). Some of the entertainment was excellent, especially Roelof and the lady concert pianist The artists from the Manhatten Lounge was terrible on the other hand. The service from some of the staff from customer care was not very friendly. Sometimes, some of the staff clearly ignored you while standing in the queue. The ports and shores were beautiful but the excursions were extremely expensive. I would LOVE to travel on a long cruise again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We were looking for a one-way travel itinerary and chose a cruise over a one-way air-ticket. It served as a family vacation for 24 days and was worth the experience. The only thing to keep in mind when doing a long crossing is that most of ... Read More
We were looking for a one-way travel itinerary and chose a cruise over a one-way air-ticket. It served as a family vacation for 24 days and was worth the experience. The only thing to keep in mind when doing a long crossing is that most of the passengers are retired and that there are not many children on board, however the team at the Mini-Club are fantastic and have an action packed program for every day. This allowed us to have some "Mommy and Daddy" time which was a treat. Dining was good, with a new dish option every night as well as any-time pizza was always a winner with the children. The photo service is fantastic and well worth buying a photo package. The photographers were professional and friendly and produced some fantastic shots. There was a variety of daily activities and the atmosphere was pleasant. We enjoyed our time on board and will seriously consider doing it again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
MSC SINFONIA CRUISE ITINERARY – DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA TO VENICE – 20 APRIL 2018 – 14 MAY 2018 GOOD COMMENTS 1. The whole of the ship was always clean and tidy 2. Medical Centre – Unfortunately I had ... Read More
MSC SINFONIA CRUISE ITINERARY – DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA TO VENICE – 20 APRIL 2018 – 14 MAY 2018 GOOD COMMENTS 1. The whole of the ship was always clean and tidy 2. Medical Centre – Unfortunately I had to attend the medical centre. The consultation by the doctor was excellent and thorough. The Medical Centre was well organised and very busy. (It was difficult to find as we followed the signs and then suddenly they stopped so it took some time to find which isn’t ideal when feeling ill). 3. Cabin Attendant – I Ketut Suastika did an excellent job. Waiter in the main dining room in the evening – Warnaya looked after us well despite having very little help when his assistant left the ship in Mauritius (our second stop) as he was at the end of his contract. No one replaced him. With having no help to serve the food it was constantly cold including the plates the food was served on. English breakfast in the main dining room was constantly cold every morning. After 6 days we spoke to the Maitre D’ (Luigi),see below. He arranged for the Head Waiter, Adrian, to take my order each morning and ensure it was hot when served. They both did an excellent job following my complaint. 4. A leaky sprinkler in the cabin caused problems for a few days but was dealt with promptly and caused us no hassle as they worked on it when we were out of the cabin. BAD COMMENTS 1. As mentioned above after complaining about the food in the main restaurant being cold Luigi took this complaint over and dealt with it. At the beginning of the cruise I sent 3 evening meals back to the kitchen. Food was placed on cold plates so when served the food was too cold to eat. Our initial complaint was made to Reception on Sunday, 22 April, when we were assured the matter would be dealt with and we would be kept informed. When the situation remained the same and we had had no information, we went back to Reception on Thursday, 26 April. It was then that the receptionist called Luigi and he took our concerns over. 2. Self Service Restaurant – Deck 11 – Awful choice of hot food at lunchtime – mainly stews (these were cold). After 20 plus cruises including MSC, Celebrity, Thomson, Princess, Royal Caribbean, NCL the Sinfonia ship is the worse self-service restaurant for choice and quality of food. The only positive comment I could make is that the cold meat, salad and bread was enjoyable at lunchtime along with the desserts, although again there the choice was very limited. 3. We found the hand sanitiser machines empty regularly. These should be a priority to avoid illness. This was reported to Reception on 22 April, they said they were aware of the situation, but nothing changed during the cruise. 4. Entertainment – The entertainment was no comparison to other ships. Poor male singer. The Cruise Director was conspicuous by his absence – we never saw him around the ship like you do on other cruise lines. The shows seen on other cruise lines are very professional but the shows here (especially the singing and dancing shows) were very poor in comparison. 5. Having mentioned previously we have been on 4 MSC cruises over the years and also with other companies but feel Sinfonia is the worst managed ship out of them all. There was an attitude which was at times all too apparent – we wondered at times if crew were being trained on this long cruise and so were not working towards the level of service we have come to expect on our previous cruises. Quite frankly some staff did not seem interested. For example, newspapers were available on board. We ordered one to be collected from reception at 8-45am. When we went to collect it at 9-30am it had not been printed. We were asked to go back in an hour. It was 2pm when we returned, and it had still not been printed. We eventually got it at 3pm, six and a half hours late after three visits to Reception. 6. People arriving back from the Petra trip which was organised by the ship missed their first-sitting slot in the main restaurant so therefore we had to eat our evening meal in the Self Service Restaurant only to find one half of the self service restaurant had been closed off and not in use. There was nowhere for people to sit to have their meal, this situation should have been anticipated. 7. The last 2 evenings of the cruise the bars had no stock of tonic. The last night of the cruise the bars had no stock of Bitter Lemon, Cider, Coke or Sprite. Obviously not enough had been ordered. 8. The “Daily Program” did not contain enough information compared to other cruise lines. It was virtually the same every day. 9. We had 11 days at sea and were looking forward to having 3 full days in Katakolon, Kotor and Split to find these stops were for half days only. This was very disappointing but no doubt due to half days in port being cheaper as opposed to a full day costing more. The itinerary did specify this but it was still a big disappointment. As previously stated this was our fourth cruise with MSC. Whilst we could not say that it is our favourite cruise line, we have never encountered problems such as these before. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate birthday and anniversary milestones as we had not had a long vacation in years. I cannot recommend MSC to anyone. The actual destinations we visited were amazing but the overcrowding on board, the poor ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate birthday and anniversary milestones as we had not had a long vacation in years. I cannot recommend MSC to anyone. The actual destinations we visited were amazing but the overcrowding on board, the poor quality of food and entertainment spoilt our holiday. The problem seems to be the management have completely lost touch with what is happening around them and have forgotten the nature of their business. The ship was extended to accomodate more guests but restaurants,theatre and swimming pools remain the same therefor overcrowding and especially over 24 days is so unpleasant! The food was so poor and airconditioning so cold in many areas that peoples resistance to infection was lowered and hence so many people fell ill with bronchitis, stomach disorders and flu - even the ships doctor fell ill. Theatres had to be visited at least 30 minutes prior to the show in order to get a seat and excursions took sometimes up to an hour of queuing to finally get going - so unfair on the many senior citizens on board. It was well noted by many guests that the staff are badly treated working long hours with very little time off, All in all I will never do another cruise with MSC! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
By far the worst cruise we have been on.Dubai to Yokohama Have done over 20 .cruises Cabin never cleaned properly.The frill round the bed was all ripped and hanging off.The settee was broken and to be taken away and repaired.This ... Read More
By far the worst cruise we have been on.Dubai to Yokohama Have done over 20 .cruises Cabin never cleaned properly.The frill round the bed was all ripped and hanging off.The settee was broken and to be taken away and repaired.This was before the cruise started The balcony door frame collapsed and had to be repaired on 4 occasions. The last it took 3 days to fix.Had to stuff towels in the gaps to stop the wind coming in. Had to go to reception and request some body in authority come back with us to our cabin and see for them self's how serious our balcony door had become.Eventually the house keeper came.On seeing the door she couldn't believe we had been living like this for 3 days. Took some very good photograths Totally unacceptable to expect guest to have to put up with this. Food in the buffet in the evening was slop.What was left over from lunch was made in to curry or some kind casserole I'm being kind calling it that. Never known beef so tough couldn't even cut it with a knife. Even charged for tea or coffee in the dining rooms Reception over run with complaints Just shows what type of company they are wrote them a letter not even had the courtesy to reply. Entertainment rubbish. Hygiene throughout the ship was hopeless. No point having lifeboat drill because the way the very rude guests barged and shoved there way around the ship it would be free for all. They don't believe in queing straight to the front at all cost. Would not recommend this outfit to my my worst energy. Going ashore when the ship docked was a complete joke can you imagine 3000 people trying to get off at once No organisation at all. Would love somebody from MSC to read this review but alas they won't. Never Never again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
The review made earlier on the exact cruise is spot on, its as if the person has taken the words out of my mouth. We chose the cruise because of a once in a lifetime ports of call. Believe me it was once in a lifetime...…….the ship ... Read More
The review made earlier on the exact cruise is spot on, its as if the person has taken the words out of my mouth. We chose the cruise because of a once in a lifetime ports of call. Believe me it was once in a lifetime...…….the ship itself was lovely and clean, the food was atrocious, cold or tepid, we never saw any chefs using a thermometer to test the so called hot food. A complaint was made to the Matr'e De several times about the food, he was more interested in charming the ladies. The entertainment was non existent. One of the ports (Singapore) there were lots of students types getting on the ship to work, that evening we ordered a tonic water, it must of taken 20 minutes in the end we had to ask another waiter. Since returning I have sent recorded delivery 4 x A4 typed complaint to MSC (2 months ago) I sent 9 copies to each individual person Chief Exec, Managing Directors, Customer Service, Managers and also Cruise 1st who we booked the Cruise with plus 5 more complaint letters to Cruise 1st as they sold us a package to visit various ports (which 2 of them we didnt visit) because the Ships Captain said we couldnt dock as the weather was too bad. I couldn't for one minute write all the complaints we had during the 28 days at sea as it would take me weeks to do. I haven't written a review on here as Ive been waiting on a reply from MSC from my original complaint letters, my follow up emails (4) and several phone calls to their complaint dept, once I was held on the phone for 1 hour 15mins and 47 secs without a reply. Apparently, because of the nature of the complaint its taking longer to investigate (my backside). The ports, well in my time cruising I have never experienced anything like it, docking in a container yard, disgusting, their were workers urinating behind the container, having to get on a bus to take us through the yards for our own safety to get to a taxi rank. We got a taxi from the dock to Kula Lumpa an hour and half taxi ride to get there. We did visit so beautiful places. If and I say If, we do get any compensations for this horrendous cruise, are they going to reimburse the money we spent on taxis etc. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Recent cruise april 2018 from dubai to yokohama saw the reception desk overrun each day with complaints. Poor food adolescent daytime activities.poor nightime shows.bad tv.pool accident resulting in death took medical staff far too long to ... Read More
Recent cruise april 2018 from dubai to yokohama saw the reception desk overrun each day with complaints. Poor food adolescent daytime activities.poor nightime shows.bad tv.pool accident resulting in death took medical staff far too long to attend. Untrained staff. Food in nightime dining hours old. Same 3 films rerun on deck. Bad experience. Never again...stay away from australia..not reccomended..give msc a wide berth. This is an honest review and is backed up by the majority of people onboard. Arrogant staff with an air of superiority made any complaints pointless. This was a cruise of all bling and nosubstance.head of food needs to be replaced as does entertainer director. Entertainment would'nt win talent quest in outer outback towns in oz. Occupational health and safety on board shocking..this boat should not be allowed to sail in australian waters. Poor food bad entertainment.bad tv. Information arrives late.pay for water you must be kidding...never ever again...msc messy!!!!!! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
DUBAI TO YOKOHAMA MSC SPLENDIDA CRUISE SUMMARY AND COMMENTS We recently went on the above cruise during the month of April 2018. I would like to make a few comments about what we found good and what we found not so good on the cruise. ... Read More
DUBAI TO YOKOHAMA MSC SPLENDIDA CRUISE SUMMARY AND COMMENTS We recently went on the above cruise during the month of April 2018. I would like to make a few comments about what we found good and what we found not so good on the cruise. As this was our fourth cruise with MSC we are in a position to compare and comment on what we found. Hopefully my comments will be of some assistance to MSC in organizing future similar cruises. LIKES FOOD The food and service in both the buffet and the restaurants was excellent.There was always a good variety of choice to suit all tastes. Wait staff were always very accommodating and pleasant. ACOMMODATION Our cabin (balcony) was very comfortable and clean. The cabin attendant was friendly and willing to assist whenever necessary. SHIP LAYOUT Easy to navigate from one venue to another even though the lifts were generally very crowded due to the large number of very old or disabled passengers on board. DISLIKES EMBARK AND DISEMBARK Apart from our initial embarking at Dubai (which was efficient and smooth), embarking and disembarking was usually a nightmare. Partly due to the very large number of passengers who wanted to leave or join the ship at any one time, a major problem was the crew who often did not know what to do or what procedure to follow. This led to confusion, long waits and irate passengers making all sorts of threats. IMMIGRATION There were some situations where there appeared to be a conflict of protocol in handling passports and immigration between the ship and the immigration offices at two of the ports. Singapore was bad as there were hold ups in processing passengers which led to arguments between passengers and port staff. On couple was particularly obnoxious and after assaulting of of the staff, was refused entry to the ship to continue their cruise. Hong Kong presented another set of problems with passport control and as a result, we and a large number of passengers lost a whole day waiting for immigration officials to check passports which had already been checked the previous day. Obviously these types of problems should not cause passengers to lose part of their holiday through no fault of their own. It is the ship’s responsibility to make these processes as smooth and trouble free as possible. VISAS We were told, on booking, that we needed visas for entry into Sri Lanka, Vietnam and China. We dutifully applied for the visas as requested and paid the appropriate fees ($320 each in our case) only to find that as we were only transit passengers at the time, we did not require visas. Another expense we did not need. This appears to be gross incompetence on the part of MSC in not being aware of the visa requirements for transit passengers. TOURS We only took a few tours as our experiences with tours in the past were not good.Those we took this time were fair but once again the logistics of moving passengers on and off the ship were terrible, resulting in delays which caused two of our excursions to be cut short. Re-boarding the ship in Singapore was terrible and we waited to pass through customs for more than two hours. This led to many outraged passengers who pushed in lines in order to get to the front of the lines despite the port staff and crew members calling for patience. Our experience in Hong Kong was worse. We went ashore the first day and took a tour to Macau. On re-boarding, we went through customs using our Ship’s card as there were no port officials to check our passports. This angered the port authorities to the extent of their demanding a face-to-face passport check which occurred at 2.30pm on the following day, thus precluding a visit to Hong Kong. Our tour of Tokyo was cut short due to delays in exiting the ship and our luggage being dumped in the car park instead of on it’s allocated space within the terminal. It took us 45 minutes to find our luggage and this resulted in out tour having to be cut short. The tour guide had a very poor grasp of English and made the tour almost useless as we could not understand what was being said. STAFF We found that the majority of staff at the reception desk had very poor language skills and appeared confused as how to answer our questions; when questions were answered we found that we received conflicting answers from different staff members. There were inconsistencies in their responses to the same question. Reception and excursion staff appeared unhappy and were not always willing to help. Our travelling companion went for 12 days without television in her cabin due to a fault. Pool attendants were bored and when one passenger had a heart attack and died at the pool’s edge the staff did not appear to have adequate training in resuscitation. There was no defibrillator handy and it was 30 minutes before medical staff arrived on the scene to assist. ENTERTAINMENT Very poor and amateur performances in the theatre.(unlike that which we found on previous MSC cruises). Singers and bands were terrible in the various bars even to the extent of becoming annoying and causing us to look for other venues to find some peace. Poolside activities were boring and very amateur and appeared to cater for members of a nursing home rather than for the general population. IN CONCLUSION We booked our cruise more than 12 months before sailing and were unable to book the cabins that we wanted as the oceanview bookings were “full”. As a result, we booked a balcony cabin and out friend had to settle for an inside cabin which she found terrible. To add insult to injury there were people aboard who booked only a few months before the cruise and were able to book any cabin they wished. They also had included accommodation and drinks packages in he price of the ticket. We had to pay extra for everything. This appears to discriminate between which country you came from. Overall the cruise was very disappointing and appeared to cater for a particular type of passenger. All in all. Our experience was not good and despite MSC offering 50% discount on our next cruise in compensation for the problems we experienced, it is cold comfort having spent a significant amount of money on this “once only” cruise and it is extremely unlikely that we will ever travel with MSC again. I hope that my comments will be noted in the hope that others will not have the same experience as we did. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Embarking in Dubai took about 10 minutes to get out of the taxi and onto the ship. Destination Japan and the languages announced on board has gone from 6 to 8 and now include Japanese and Chinese (not a problem for me) The ship is lovely ... Read More
Embarking in Dubai took about 10 minutes to get out of the taxi and onto the ship. Destination Japan and the languages announced on board has gone from 6 to 8 and now include Japanese and Chinese (not a problem for me) The ship is lovely with lots of bars and quiet areas to sit. I enjoyed the food and found it better then a Royal Caribbean cruise I did recently, I liked the main dining room as they can be so flexible, we were having up to 4 serves of some meals (chilli mussels) they were so delicious. They cooked us a special curry meal and pasta meal that was not on the menu and also delicious. There was a good variety of food in the buffet and easy to find seating most of the time. The all inclusive drinks package was $29 a day and a bargain and well used, I did not like the Pepsi light they used in the cocktails. The cabin was roomy. The wifi package was excellent value $160 for 10GB, I used about 8GB over the 29 days. and always got good reception. The nightly shows in the theatre were good but I really enjoyed listening to the different music and performers in the many different bars. I don't normally do daytime activities but did the world quiz and a wine tasting session, there were activities available most of the day. I don't like that they dont use the big screen near the pool, I did see two videos on there, Elvis and Led Zepplin which was good, but I love to sit back by the pool watching the big screen with a cocktail and cruising along, especially on sea days. I would not say this was a fantastic cruise, because of bad weather the port in Vietnam was changed at the last moment, we were unable to get off the Ship in Shanghai and we were half a day late getting into Yokohama, we were also delayed about 4 hours getting off ship in Hong Kong. Because of the change of itinerary MSC have compensated us all with 100 euro credit and 50% off next cruise. I booked 5 excursions but only did 3, all these I spent a long time on the bus :( . I purchased a spa package but was not keen on the small Jacuzzi in small room and the massage that was included I did not have time to do in the small time frame they allowed. The laundry package was good to have. I did most of the ports before and been on the ship before and the cancelled and delayed ports made 29 days a bit tedious, no fault of the company, because of this I would rate this cruise 3 out of 5,,,, but 99% of the staff gave 110%, they made a 3 star cruise 4 star. best bar staff ever... Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The only problem was the embarkation in Venice. Waited in a very long queue. No annoucements only heard different rumours. (computers offline, bomb scare etc) Stood in the queue which felt like hours. No seats outside for one to sit on. ... Read More
The only problem was the embarkation in Venice. Waited in a very long queue. No annoucements only heard different rumours. (computers offline, bomb scare etc) Stood in the queue which felt like hours. No seats outside for one to sit on. Eventually, on entering the building there were chairs. Worse chaos inside. One does not know where to proceed. Not enough staff at disembarkation. (discovered broken suitcase wheel and noone to help us.) The immigration took a very long time. Once through the immigration there are no MSC staff only South Africans. Food good. Cabin cleanliness, good. Msc Singers & Entertainment fantastic. The bar entertainment the same as last year. Boring. They have a playlist which is repeated every night. It would be nice if arriving at the ports that MSC could tell us if there was free transport etc. Msc promotes their own transport. The ships one engine broke and no parts were available which caused the port times to be shortened. (Got free champagne for an hour) We got free champagne from 6 to 7pm on the last night as well. Yay! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
MSC offered a fly land cruise deal from Australia. We had 2 nights at a game lodge in Kruger National Park, 2 nights at Victoria Falls and 2 nights in Cape Town before joining the ship. The accommodation was excellent - a higher ... Read More
MSC offered a fly land cruise deal from Australia. We had 2 nights at a game lodge in Kruger National Park, 2 nights at Victoria Falls and 2 nights in Cape Town before joining the ship. The accommodation was excellent - a higher standard than I had expected. We boarded the ship in Cape Town for a 21 night cruise along the west coast of Africa to Venice. We had sailed on the Sinfonia previously - before it was cut in half and more cabins added. There was no corresponding expansion to the buffet area or the theatre and these failed to cope at times, even though we were about 900 passengers below capacity. If the ship was full it wouldn't manage at all well. There is no specialty or alternate dining on this ship - either buffet or hamburger/pizza station and the main dining room - at set times. Anytime dining was only available if you had a more expensive cabin class. I found it very frustrating that more often than not the items on the menu did not correspond to what I received. For example: Black Forrest Cherry cake - no cherries and mock (not fresh) cream; steak with peppercorn sauce - just ordinary gravy; blueberry and almond tart - no blueberries and when I asked for some blueberries, just got a very thick, sweet blueberry topping! So many more but that gives an idea. All the crew - various levels - that we interactedwith were great, and the captain really liked to socialise with the passengers and was seen all over the ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We chose this cruise because we love sailing and it was a 22 day cruise. We have never done a long cruise before. We had a wonderful to I've and the staff were fantastic. The waiter especially Andy (Philippines) table 566 and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love sailing and it was a 22 day cruise. We have never done a long cruise before. We had a wonderful to I've and the staff were fantastic. The waiter especially Andy (Philippines) table 566 and the other two assigned to us were fantastic. The lectures by Alyson were totally useless in terms of transfers for excursions and general information. And her pricing was completely out. And she was really boring. The entertainment on board was excellent. But PLEASE not FOUR nights of Opera. That is a bit heavy and we didn't attend. More of the singing Siblings would have been wonderful. The female singer with the Sinfonia dancers was AWFUL. Everyone thought she sang in a high pitched yowl. Steven Cloete was FANTASTIC. So funny and very good at everything he did. The cabin 8199 was very good and comfortable. For disembarkation in Venice.....once leaving the ship was horrendous. All the r and r we had had on the ship was wiped out. We were NOT told that there were shuttle buses to the people carrier, and when we disembarked there were no busses in sight. So we couldn't even guess that there may be some form of transport. SO along with several hundred people, many elderly, began our hike with suitcases in 34c heat to the people carrier. It was a nightmare. PLEASE INFORM THE PASSENGERS THAT THERE IS A SHUTTLE BUS in Venice. Don't have the airconditoning on FREEZING. (Many got flu from going from hot exterior to freezing interior) It was a pity you ran out of whisky, wines, and tonic, and many food options towards the end of the cruise. Better planning please. Don't want to see another piece of veal!!! The moment we can afford it we will be on another cruise with MSC. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small ... Read More
We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small stuff, things that typically irritate when on a budget type cruise. I had read some pretty poor reviews about the ship before sailing. Our cabin was on 9th deck, ocean view, Fantastica experience (although I honestly couldn't find anything to differentiate it from the Bella experience which is just below on the scale). The cabin was smallish but fine. The bed was comfortable but the bed linen had seen better days, sheets had holes in them, but they were clean. The shower was tiny! And the plastic curtain would cling to you while you showered away. Plenty hot water though. Dubious looking shampoo and shower gel in dispensers in the shower. We opted to use our own products. The cabins and bathrooms were cleaned daily and the cabin assistant was very pleasant and cheerful. (I did lose a pair of diamanté earings that I left on my bedside table but I have no idea who else was in our cabin, i.e.: staff, servicemen or whoever...) basically I blame myself for leaving them out of the safe. My husband became critically ill within the first 3 days on board. We suspected food poisoning, but the MSC doctors would not entertain that diagnosis...the treatment they offered was absolutely useless....at one point I thought I was going to lose my previously perfectly healthy and fit husband! We are both in our mid 50's, healthy and active. Without wanting to bore you with all the details of his illness and misdiagnosis, I will just say that he was critically ill and confined to cabin for 7 days. The doctors had arranged for him to get off the ship at our next port of call which was Senegal, Dakar, to seek treatment there! Fortunately I managed to find a South African medical practioner on board (a passenger) who offered immediate assistance to us on day 6, and we were saved the ordeal of having to go to hospital in Dakar! We are beyond grateful to that kind Doctor and his wife!! Week 2, we began to participate in the cruise and explore all her offerings. Better late then never! the dining room and bar staff offered excellent service, they always managed a smile and were polite and friendly. the food was seriously disappointing...there was lots of it but mostly everything started tasted the same. However, the freshly baked breads in the dining rooms were delicious and we had to ration ourselves to one small slice per meal because it can become very moreish! The dining rooms offered a better quality of food, but that also became very repetitive by week 2. This was not really a big deal for us, we were happy to just have a yogurt and fruit in the mornings, salad and soup for lunch and either having a snack in the buffet or choosing from the set menu in the dining room. There was a pizza station on deck 11 which offered freshly made slices of pizza which was very good. On the same deck, there was a "grill" station, which offered burgers, hotdogs and fries which all tasted like cardboard. The gelato ice cream that one could buy on deck 11 was not worth going back to...once was enough. We had purchased coffee, drinks, water and cocktail vouchers online before we sailed, as well as a wifi and laundry package. These were well worth it. We loved the speciality coffee shop on deck 6 which also served free mini pastries until 11.30am each morning. In fact I mostly skipped breakfast and just visited the coffee shop! We didn't attend a lot of nightly entertainment, but the few classical concerts and operettas we went to were of a very high quality and were excellent. The talks we went to were also excellent and we really enjoyed them. We enjoyed a couple of soaks in the jacuzzi which we always managed to find unoccupied which was great! a few exhilarating swims in the sea water pool when the weather was warm enough and lots of brisk walks around the decks. We visited some picturesque ports, such as Valetta in Malta, Gran Canaria, Dubrovnik and Venice, and some lesser attractive ports aswell, but all our stops where interesting and exciting. We didn't do any ship excursions preferring just to explore on our own by foot, bus or tram. The musicians, solo artists, duos and bands in the pubs and relaxation areas were all very good! Passengers where mostly 55+ age group, I think I only saw about 5 children during my whole time at sea. There was a nice mix of nationalities amongst passengers who as far as I could tell all seemed to be enjoying themselves immensely! It was also very nice to have such a large contingent of South Africans aboard, they really are friendly and relaxed, and so many of the crew that I spoke to, said how much they just love the SA passengers! I met lovely people and made friends from all walks of life. Would we go again? Sure, it's very good value in terms of what it costs. But we would make certain to travel with more emergency medical supplies next time and keep a wide berth from the medical center! I have previously cruised on MSC, Costa and Carnival lines. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the MSC Sinfonia which includes the South Bound, Genoa to Durban, Durban to Mauritius and back, as well as a few local Cruises and the North Bound from Cape Town To Venice. We actually prefer the longer cruises (14 to 24 days), as this is more value for Money especially the Grand Voyages. The ship is a floating Hotel with 5 Star service. The Cabins offers all you need for a holiday including.: A safe, air-conditioning, bathroom with shower, TV and Bar Fridge, as well as Wireless Internet access (for a fee). Dining consist of a Buffet / Self Service restaurant and as well as a main restaurant. We preferred the Self Service Buffet for breakfast and lunch as it is more informal specially during the day when you are most of the time at the pool area. The Main restaurant for Dinner with your friends or the couples that were allocated to your table to recap on the days activities or excursions. Its also nice to dress up for the dinner, specially the Gala Evenings. Our waiter at table 526 by the name of ADI SANTIKA from INDONESIA was very professional and always friendly and helped full and always tried to make us feel at home. The onboard entertainment is of international standard, specially the Sinfonia dancers. Unfortunately we found that the female singer of the group did not fit in. We also enjoyed the activities presented by the entertainment team under the management of the Cruise Staff Manager CSABA PANUCZA at the Pool Deck and various lounges. The presentations by Alyson were at times a bit boring. Her tone of voice is not that of a speaker/presenter and she loses you within 5 Minutes. Steven Cloete and his assistant Alex was FANTASTIC. Zirk and Amanda Lourens Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
I was a solo traveller. This cruise was a great opportunity to explore countries I would never get the opportunity to experience. Levels 5 and 6 need to be redesigned. There is not enough room for passengers to sit and relax. I will ... Read More
I was a solo traveller. This cruise was a great opportunity to explore countries I would never get the opportunity to experience. Levels 5 and 6 need to be redesigned. There is not enough room for passengers to sit and relax. I will not sit on the floor. There was some very popular entertainment evenings where it was standing room only or sitting on the floor. I had a balcony cabin but it was so small there was only room for the bed. A small stool was pushed under the dressing table. With so little room it was not possible to sit on it. The dining room food was a disgrace. For example I had ordered a chicken satay entrée. What came was three small cubes of chicken on a skewer. No satay sauce. Some main meals were only entrée size. The entertainment and activities were excellent. Service was also excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The heading for this cruise was not listed - it was repositioning from Cape Town to Venice. For me this is another way to get from Australia to the UK to visit my father and sister - much better than just sitting on a long haul flight ... Read More
The heading for this cruise was not listed - it was repositioning from Cape Town to Venice. For me this is another way to get from Australia to the UK to visit my father and sister - much better than just sitting on a long haul flight plus added journeys both ends! I have a friend in Johannesburg so also a chance to visit her plus I've always wanted to visit South Africa. I've cruised with MSC as a solo traveller several times, but this time a friend joined me, having our own cabins. I've not sailed on MSC's smaller ships, although I have cruised on many ships the size of Sinfonia, which I really enjoy. The cruise didn't disappoint me - ports of call were all very interesting and the week at sea was a great resting point where I was able to just do as I like and chill out. A larger proportion of travellers were retired people but there certainly was a mix of ages. I always book an inside cabin as having to theoretically pay for a second person in the cabin with the single supplement, I want the best deal. I only use the cabin to sleep in so don't see the point in paying quite a lot more (for a solo traveller) for a balcony. The cabin I had was quite spacious although the shower could have been larger! It took me a while to find the safe - it's behind the mirror! The outdoor Cafe del Mare on deck 11 was the place we spent a lot of time - ideal to sit and chat, meet others, have a snack, coffee or a meal. Theres a snack bar one side that serves fries, hot dogs etc all day and a pizzeria on the opposite side, both very good and always freshly cooked. The weather was quite variable from moderate, to hot to positively chilly and some days it just wasn't possible to sit outdoors at all. Thankfully there are plenty of indoor areas! I think it's a good idea to take a wide selection of clothes particularly a puffer vest or jacket - something I didn't take! Many travellers were buying the MCS hoodies to keep warm. We had first sitting for dinner in the MDR - the menu was varied and very good. We had the drinks package included with our booking so had bottled water and wine with each meal at no extra cost. We normally had breakfast in the MDR and often had lunch there too as there was always a good choice of food plus no difficulty getting a seat as there often was in the buffet. For the theatre there is an electronic booking system set up in several areas of the ship where you can make reservations for the evening show. Not all shows require you to do this but you do need to check the board daily to find out if it's required. You will also be notified if it's required on the daily sheet delivered to your cabin. Ports of call - We didn't really like Walvis Bay, Namibia - the shore excursions were not very good. I don't really think the township is set up for visitors, and there didn't appear to be very much to see there. Dakar in Senegal was amazing. We did the Bandia Reserve safari tour which was about an hour out of the city. We saw a huge amount of animals - very different to the safari in Pilanesburg we did post cruise. The people are so friendly and the countryside extremely interesting. There were markets set up on the quayside so there was the option to do some shopping if you didn't have time to go into the city itself. Las Palmas, Gran Canaria was interesting - we took the Hop on Hop off bus tour and then walked back to the ship from the Old Town, which was much further than we were told it was. It's well worth going to the Old Town and also you can go to the top of the cathedral for an amazing view over the city. The ship docks right in the centre of town, so it's very handy. Unfortunately the weather didn't allow us to go to Tangier which was very disappointing. The ocean had been quite rough several days prior to our proposed arrival and we had all been keeping our fingers crossed we would get into port. We did however manage to get into Gibraltar and the excursion tickets we had for Tangier were refunded and we re-booked to do the tour of the Rock, city, and St. Michaels Cave which was wonderful. Gibraltar really surprised us! Malta was incredible - unfortunately not enough time there though. It's a place you need to have as a destination, not a day visit. We visited Rabat, Mdina where theres a fabulous glass foundry and Mosta to see the dome in the cathedral there. We had a late departure from Valletta where there was quite an amazing light show over the buildings across from the quay we were berthed at. Dubrovnik I have visited twice previously and I love it there. It was the only day it rained during the cruise but it was quite nice to see the medieval city in the rain. If you haven't visited this port, make sure you do as it's wonderful - walking the wall is a must! If you have time take the cable car to the top of the hill to see the entire walled city. Venice has always been my favourite city - it was my 7th visit. However I no longer want to return as the tourist situation there has got totally out of hand. Venetians have a love hate relationship with tourists - they provide added revenue to help save the city but they also destroy it......... Crossing the equator was a fun day with shellbacks and pollywogs resplendent in their "warpaint". I'm not sure they knew what they had got involved in when they signed up with though. It certainly caused a lot of laughs on one of the hottest days of the cruise. Sinfonia has made her last west coast cruise and will be replaced by MSC Musica in October 2018 I understand. I've cruised on Musica and this ship will also be great to cruise on. We were so impressed with the cruise that we've booked on the last voyage Sinfonia will make from Durban to Venice via the Suez Canal in 2018. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
OVERALL - Very good value, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would consider MSC in future. We heard some comments from more experienced MSC cruisers suggesting that the ship was not as good as others in their fleet, but from our ... Read More
OVERALL - Very good value, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would consider MSC in future. We heard some comments from more experienced MSC cruisers suggesting that the ship was not as good as others in their fleet, but from our viewpoint (with experience of numerous other lines) we found little to be unhappy about. MAIN DINING ROOM – meals were mostly good, sometimes excellent and sometimes less so. Food was plentiful, with up to 6 courses plus extra vegetables available. Overall not as good as more expensive lines, which is only to be expected. Very pleasant tablemates added to the enjoyment. BUFFET – Much like other ships; peak times were a bit of a scrum, otherwise no problem getting or sharing a table. Some of the hot lunchtime dishes were the best we have had on any ship. STAFF – Mostly very pleasant and attentive. They responded well to being treated in a friendly way; it seemed that was not their most frequent experience. A very small number were grumpy and would rather have been anywhere else. They all seemed to work very long hours, even by cruise ship standards. Public announcements were handled well in six languages, usually English first. ENTERTAINMENT – The Cruise Director (Jimmy) was excellent. Shows varied from very good (Michael Jackson tribute, and the crew show) to not so good. On several nights there were no theatre shows. STATEROOM – We had an aft balcony room, which was excellent in the Suez Canal, but shuddered and rattled when the ship was at full speed. The balcony itself (deck 10) was enormous. PUBLIC AREAS – Very elegant, generally uncrowded except when the sun deck was unusable in bad weather. There is very little forward viewing space, unless you are in Yacht Club – that could be a disappointment for anyone without a balcony. Sun deck was usually crowded, and the only way to be sure of a sunbed was to bring your own. DRINKS PACKAGE – very convenient and well worthwhile, though as moderate drinkers the cost was not much less than buying drinks individually. OTHER PASSENGERS – a wide mix of mostly European nationals, plus a few Australian and Canadian. Individually, all were pleasant, though in groups some could be loud and volatile. If that is not tolerable, then a British line may be a better choice (though our worst experience of inconsiderate passengers was on Reading railway station on the way home). A FEW GLITCHES – The ship was unable to sail to Abu Dhabi on the first night, which caused problems for some passengers who were due to embark there. Boarding at Iraklion was chaos for passengers not on ship’s tours, because of inadequate staffing at the port entrance; frayed tempers resulted. These issues did not affect us but coloured the views of those involved. The stop at Sir Bani Yas island was missed due to bad weather, which was a disappointment. Read Less
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