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680 MSC Cruises Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

Like many people have mentioned about MSC ships - BEAUTIFUL SHIP, POOR EXPERIENCE. Let's start with the Pro: - very clean - excellent gym equipment - great stage/entertainment, top notch. - great design now the ... Read More
Like many people have mentioned about MSC ships - BEAUTIFUL SHIP, POOR EXPERIENCE. Let's start with the Pro: - very clean - excellent gym equipment - great stage/entertainment, top notch. - great design now the Cons: - no one knows the true answer to your questions. Wondering how your meal package works? Well you'll learn it through trial and error, just make sure you ask before they charge you for something without asking. - Daily promotions appearing on the App? Well when you ask the people at the respective department they haven't even heard about it, despite it being printed on all the daily itinerary provided by the ship. -What? Water is not free you say??? Well depending on your package water is free at SOME restaurants, but not others. Again does anyone really know the real answers? no - Review your bill before settling. I have talked to a couple of travelers who found extra charge on their bill to things they did not order. On our bill there were 2 Euros charged for MSC foundation. I donate generously every year to many causes, but applying any amount to my bill without prior consent is theft which I am not happy about at all. - Ironic how Customer Help desk has the WORST customer service. Our housekeeping crew = GREAT. Entertainment staff = funny and helpful!. Reception...cant say the same. Most of the time they seem uninterested and are at times condescending towards your questions. - Info preparing you for embarkment & disembarkment is simply non-existent. So how do I get to the port to board the ship? No info. So what are the disembarking procedures like? You'll find out when it happens. There was a shuttle? well if you're lucky you'll find it. Basically you're left in the dark, so if like me this is your first cruise, I hope you're good at dealing with stress. - onboard services are all pretty expensive. A single picture sets you back 20 euro...pretty steep in my opinion. Drink package...I'll just stick with water. -cirque du soleil at sea, subpar. If you've seen ANY other cirque shows at all...this would not match your expectation. But at 22 euro, it won't piss you off. I can go on, but overall I would expect more from a company that has been providing cruise services for a few decades. Sure it's a new ship, but training should not be new. My impression was, after a 7 day cruise, I am more knowledgeable about the cruise than most of the staff there and helped a couple of travelers answering their questions which they did not get an answer for from the cruise. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy the cruise's many amenities and some part were truly enjoyable. BUT would I sail with MSC again? Probably not...IF MSC choose to address those communication issues then I'll give it another chance. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I would avoid this commercial cruise altogether. Cons: - Over populated ship (over 6000+ people) - Rude front desk & excursion staff that have poor customer service - Overpriced and disappointing excursions you could do ... Read More
I would avoid this commercial cruise altogether. Cons: - Over populated ship (over 6000+ people) - Rude front desk & excursion staff that have poor customer service - Overpriced and disappointing excursions you could do on your own - Docks far, mostly have to shuttle to city centers -They make many charges and mistakes on your bill - Shower water breaks out your skin Pros: -The cabin attendants and cleaning staff are the nicest -The dancers at the shows are very skilled and under appropriated Providing quality customer service, having professional international employees, and creating an option for customers to cancel reservations via. television or smart screens would have been simple solutions that could have prevented an incident we encountered. Customers should not be responsible for looking for assistance from employees during their working hours. We also didn't receive excursion tickets in a respectable amount of time and the excursion staff were all rude. Every single one of them. We are considering filing a lawsuit. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed with MSC once previously which was a really dreadful experience, so much so, we were given a 25% discount on any future cruise. We decided to use the voucher, although not without much resistance from MSC's sales ... Read More
We sailed with MSC once previously which was a really dreadful experience, so much so, we were given a 25% discount on any future cruise. We decided to use the voucher, although not without much resistance from MSC's sales section. The ship we chose Aurea class on the new Grandiosa, it included a drinks package and all gratuities, so seemed a good deal. We found the drinks package was very basic, on the lower grade cabins there they were including the premium package as a promotion, eventually we opted to upgrade the premium plus. We also purchased their top Speciality Dining package, called the Dining Experience, all set we thought. On embarkation, we, along with everyone else, were confronted by a wall of staff trying to sell all the different packages. We had to explain we had them all, one of the staff then informed us, that's a pity as they were cheaper if purchased then, the total opposite of the information MSC put out when booking the cruise. The Grandiosa is without doubt, impressive, a vast floating hotel with something for everyone. Our cabin was very nice and with reasonable balcony, there is a new system, along the lines of Alexis, it is supposed to give you all the information you could ever need whenever you asked, it didn't, it was only any use as a wi-fi speaker. On our first visit to our Speciality restaurant the French, the menu was presented and our waiter then explained, you can only order from the third part of the menu as part of Dining Experience, should we wish to order from the restaurant a 50% charge would be levied, remember you are already paying extra top of your standard dining room entitlement for the Dining Experience package, then you are being asked for extra again should you wish anything off the majority of the menu. This was the case in all four of restaurants, even when in the much over rated Tapas, where one of the few offered wasn't available, we would still have to pay the extra if wishing to substitute from the rest of the menu, this left us totally underwhelmed. MSC really should be more honest and transparent in their sales end not cloaked in such an underhand pitch. Staffing in the restaurants was inadequate, some of the staff were poorly trained and under tremendous pressure. MSC does offer a cheaper option for cruising, my gripe is the dishonest sales methods in use. We weren't fans before this cruise, however it did still surprise us to see how much worse the practises they use had got. The are, without doubt, the Ryan Air of cruising, always looking to squeeze their guests wherever possible. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Great Cruise!Big thanks to Trajce(entrainment) from macedonia and Aleksandar (games area )also from macedonia) they were very polite kinde very well informed about everything on the ship,very helpful for us and they were very positive too! ... Read More
Great Cruise!Big thanks to Trajce(entrainment) from macedonia and Aleksandar (games area )also from macedonia) they were very polite kinde very well informed about everything on the ship,very helpful for us and they were very positive too! 10+for them! i recommended this cruise especially for family with the kids. theater and the shows were good but little boring especially when it’s only one man singing od the stage without dancers,the show for the last night was amazing extraordinary 10+ I didn’t like that the excursion organized by the ship were tree times more expensive then the tour you can find on your own in every port completely the same that the ship is offering and especially i didn’t like PRICE OF THE PHOTOS 150 euros for less than 10 pictures i think it’s even insaine, But other thinks were great,the ship is amazing beautiful design clean and worm ,exelent food too! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
The MSC Grandiosa is a very mixed experience, and whether it makes sense for you depends a lot on what you value and what gets under your skin. I will first describe the things on MSC Grandiosa that are first-rate. Then I will describe ... Read More
The MSC Grandiosa is a very mixed experience, and whether it makes sense for you depends a lot on what you value and what gets under your skin. I will first describe the things on MSC Grandiosa that are first-rate. Then I will describe what I think is poorly done, and will represent deal-breakers for many. After that I will describe the ship's overall philosophy, and the type of person for whom that might work well, and what you'll want to be looking out for. We boarded in Genoa on Saturday January 11. They told us to show up at 3pm, but when we did we were the only ones there; we could have boarded much earlier, and I wish we had. Here's what the MSC Grandiosa is really GOOD at: 1. Beautiful Ship. The only thing about which everyone agrees is that the ship is beautiful. What people are reacting to is largely the lighting, which is carefully attended to everywhere. Also, there are a lot of mirrors, so you frequently find yourself in an infinity tunnel. 2. Solid Shows in the Main Theater. The stage shows were SO much better than on Princess or even Celebrity. The cast gets 35 minutes to perform as many songs as they can within that night's genre (Rock, Swing, Italian Love Songs, ABBA, etc.), so you get about 10-12 great songs well-performed, with no filler. I wish I had seen all six shows. 3. Amazing Bread. Nobody is talking about the bread, which is the same everywhere on the ship. I am expecting stale buns at the buffet, and instead every single type of bread is soft, delicate, fresh, and perfectly created. I can't stop eating those little date rolls. 4. Good Dining Hall Experience. The food is very good, the menu varies, the service is professional, and they have two no-sugar-added desserts every night. Everything we had was good. Our seating was at 6:30pm and we walked in and sat down at the same table-for-three each night without delay. 5. Many Affordable Add-Ons. The Gelato Bar, the Chocolate Shop, the Crepe Stand, the Fish-and-Chips Pub, and the Steak House Brunch are all very high quality, with no crowds, and priced like Starbucks, which is very affordable if you aren't angry about nothing being included. Here is what MSC Grandiosa is really BAD at: 1. Crowds at the Buffet. The buffet area isn't much larger than on the 2,500-passenger Celebrity Summit, but there are twice as many people on board. That means a risk of severe crowding unless MSC does a LOT to spread out the crowds. Instead, MSC does the opposite, forcing people into unnecessarily small time windows. The inevitable result is enough pushing and table panic to really diminish the enjoyment of otherwise perfectly acceptable food (and great bread). 2. Nothing is included. Food stands? extra fee. Beverage package? Doesn't work at specialty restaurants. Juice at the buffet? Only at breakfast. Non-alcoholic beverage package including "hot chocolate concoctions"? The only hot chocolate concoctions on the ship are at the Chocolate Shop, and the Chocolate Shop isn't included. That's just fraud. We missed Princess's International Cafe. 3. Specialty Experiences Prohibitively Expensive. Bowling, Virtual Reality, Steak House Dinner, it's all too expensive, and you're not going to do it unless you're rich. We ate at the steak house. It was great. Brunch there is $5 for blueberry pancakes, $6 for strawberry french toast, and $7 for chicken and biscuit. But come back for dinner, and each entree is $30-$40, $55 for a T-Bone steak. The pre-fixe menu at $39 is better, but four people are going to pay $150+ and beverages when you could just eat for free in the Dining Hall. 4. Little Outdoor Space. If you want some fresh air, you have to go up to Deck 16. There's nothing like a promenade deck. You can't leave the big atrium or the galleria and get a whiff of sea air, or even a glimpse. This ship is largely an indoor experience, unless you go to the top decks. Peculiarities On Board 1. Permanent Culture Clash. Unlike lines that cater more toward a particular nationality (Princess to Americans, P&O to Brits, AIDA to Germans), MSC caters to everyone, so there is a delightful international mix on board. Announcements from the Captain or before stage shows are rendered in English, then Italian, then French, then German, then Spanish, and sometimes Chinese. At first it's impressive, then it gets old. Your excursion will be in multiple languages, too, and you end up spending a lot of time waiting for another language to finish. The biggest downside, though, is that all these cultures have different norms for things like when to eat and how to navigate lines. MSC brings to bear its Italian aesthetic of utter disconcern -- confused signage, for example, and rigid European meal times -- and pretty soon tempers fray. I'm used to Americans being really rude, but on this ship EVERY nationality took a turn demonstrating rudeness. By disconcern, I mean that dinner at the buffet is from 7pm-10pm. The buffet is OPEN from 5pm-7pm, if that's your thing, but they only serve hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza, and salads. The full buffet menu is for people who eat late. Meanwhile, you probably have a stage show reservation at 7:15pm , or Cirque de Soleil at 8pm, or an excursion starting early the next morning, so you REALLY NEED to the flexibility of the buffet. Hamburgers and pizza for you. And because thousands of starved people have just gotten back from their excursions, there is a huge rush at 5pm for those few burgers and pizzas. MSC is capable of handling peak crowds, but they choose not to, and that makes everything unnecessarily difficult and unpleasant on board. Tempers flare, and pretty soon your party is not having a fun time on the ship. 2. Inverted Demand Curves On most ships, people buy a cheap room, but you get quite a bit of value from upgrading to a drink package or a specialty dining package or an entertainment package. So the value shoppers go to the middle of the offering, and the poor values are the high-end experience (which is overpriced) and the bare-bones experience, which could be inexpensively embellished. It's not like that on MSC Grandiosa; it's the opposite. Yacht Club is a great value because they rescue you from the crowds and give you all the best real estate on the ship. The cheap rooms with dining hall food and water-purchased-a-la-carte are also a great value. But in the middle, if you try to buy up to a beverage package, nothing is included. If you try to purchase a specialty dining package it's expensive and inflexible. The other upsell experiences are prohibitive. As a result, the specialty dining venues are mostly empty most of the time. That puts additional pressure on the dining halls and the buffet. The end-result is that the ship has huge amounts of space that are underutilized (e.g., specialty experiences), or off-limits (e.g., Yacht Club), and that means all 6,000 passengers are crammed into what's left. That's a worse experience than you'll find on almost any other ship in the sea. 3. Contagion Incubation Factory I didn't hear much coughing when we boarded in Genoa on January 11, but by the end of the trip the whole ship was a cough chorus. On a normal ship, they flush everybody and chlorox the ship once per week. But on MSC new people join every day. That is SUPER-convenient for planning your trip, but if the ship gets sick then the contagion just keeps getting passed forward week after week as healthy passengers join and sick passengers depart. People have faulted the MSC Grandiosa for not being serious about hand sanitzer, and that is correct. There are a few sanitizer stations, but not enough for 6,000 passengers, and they run out of sanitizer, or they break, and people get frustrated, and illness happens. So Who is MSC Grandiosa For? I would recommend Grandiosa for rich people who can hide in the Yacht Club, and for poor people who can get a really good room rate and just want transport between cities and are content with buffet and dining hall food. Everybody else can probably find a ship that's better imagined than this one. Final Points For the shows on the main stage, make a reservation a couple days in advance, then line up at LEAST a half-hour before the show starts. You'll get to sit in the middle section. Everyone without a reservation will flood in after you, and they sit on the sides. There are multi-language touch-screens throughout the ship which are well-designed and make it easy to reserve shows for your party. You will need your cruise card for everything, so bring your lanyards. Cirque de Soleil gets mixed reviews. That's partly because the two shows are very different. Exentricks is disastrous and offensive -- a surreal freak show, complete with pole dancers. The audience does not clap. Cosmos is merely stupid. Both of them a "spectacle" in the circus sense. You get to see a juggler, acrobat, contortionist, and aerialist, but Cirque surrounds that basic experience with a bunch of gee-whiz-but-meaningless semiotics that will only impress the easily impressed. For example, Cosmos is not a show about "coming of age," and saying it doesn't make it so. If you go to Cirque anyway, you don't get to choose your show time until you are on board. And the seats are assigned automatically. That means when you go on board, all the best seats and even show times are taken for the first few nights. But if you choose shows near the end of your cruise, you will get the best seats and your choice of show times because passengers who would compete with you haven't boarded the ship yet. If you choose a cocktail show, those are at a different time from the dinner show. You get to grab a cocktail from the counter on the way in -- there are a couple to choose from. They are watered down. The cabins are a little tighter than on the Crown Princess or Celebrity Summit, but well-designed, well-appointed, well-lit, and highly functional. Be careful not to accidentally leave the Do Not Disturb light on -- I think that's why people are complaining that their cabin doesn't get made up. The three lights over each door mean [RED] People are in the room; [BLUE] Do not disturb; [WHITE] Please make up the room. The service levels on the ship are high. Electronic buttons on the buffet tables summon staff effectively. The cabin staff do first-rate work, as do the restaurant servers. However, whereas the Celebrity Summit assigns a permanent team of three to each dining room table, and the Crown Princess has a mixed staff, on the MSC Grandiosa it's just one guy handling all aspects of every table in his section, from serving wine to changing utensils, to scraping crumbs. That experience is a little harried, and makes the Dining Hall seem like a place to get into and out of fast. The nice thing about MSC, unlike Princess of Celebrity, is that off-duty crew are allowed anywhere on the ship, they are not confined to the bottom decks, so you get to see them. However, the staff contracts are months-longer, and the ship staff may not have been home recently; they may not have seen their family. Some of this sadness seeps into their work. On the other hand, this is not an American ship, and super-cheerful American service is not what anybody is attempting. Just something to watch for. We used Zoe quite a bit, just for laughs. I even made video of Zoe being stupid. It knows one answer to every question: "Go look it up." The purpose of Zoe, obviously, is to take the pressure off MSC's overburdened customer service personnel. But MSC will have to learn the hard way that it's easier to make the ship less confusing than to try to answer everybody's questions. For example, what are the buffet hours? You might need a few days to figure out what is available when at the buffet. The schedule is inscrutable; the signage is unclear. After a week you've got most of the ship figured out, but mostly what you've got figured out is to get on a different ship without so much unnecessary confusion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose the MSC Grandiosa since we wanted to experience the new ship feel. Getting on the ship in Barcelona was a breeze. It took no more than 20 minutes from arrival in the port to boarding the ship. First impression was a big ... Read More
We choose the MSC Grandiosa since we wanted to experience the new ship feel. Getting on the ship in Barcelona was a breeze. It took no more than 20 minutes from arrival in the port to boarding the ship. First impression was a big WOW. we entered on deck 6 ( the promenade) From that moment one was surrounded by cruise staff trying to sell you pretty much everything. We pre booked the non alcoholic drink package and the 2-1 dining package. Made reservations for the specialty restaurant online and had those confirmed but apparently none of those came through so we had to make new ones once we arrived on the ship Be aware with the drink packages, specialty restaurants are NOT included except for the most expensive drink package. Kind of confusing. we had coffee in the bistro where we had to pay for it, whilst if we were at the table next to us it would be free??? So, when in one of the specialty restaurants all the drinks are extra charge including water. With the easy drink package all beverages up to 6 euro are included anything over will be charged at full price. Overall we had a good cruise, Food was above our expectations. Been on other MSC ships where the food quality was far below this cruise. Main dining in general good with enough choices to please everyone, Service as to be expected. We booked le bistro en butchers cut. Le Bistro was less than we expected, but Butchers cut was far more than we expected and well worth the extra charge. The ship itself, Well laid out. Big minus, no waste bins to be found anywhere, except on the outdoor decks. There is now way to get to the front of the ship unless you book a yacht club cabin. Taking the size of the ship in mind, not enough seating available.Very limited seating in the several bars. The ship itself is more focused on shopping space. Overall entertainment was good. Reservations are needed for all shows since the theatre only had abt 650 seats. Big minus. doors remain open throughout the show causing people to keep on coming in which can be disturbing. MSC does a lot to sell you things. For instance, they place pictures in your cabin as if it is free for you to take. No it is not, there is a small not in the envelope stating that if you keep the pictures, they will be charged to your account. Same goes for excursions, We found a hop on hop off ticket with the daily program with a note, that sais, to make it easy for you, just hop on and give the ticket to our cruise staff on boarding the bus, and again, the small letters saying 20 euros pp will be charged to your account. We had a balcony cabin which was well laid out. Comfortable bed, Very good shower:-) Disembarkation in Barcelona, again , a breeze. We were off the ship and in the taxi in less than 30 minutes, Overall a nice cruise where you get what you pay for. anything possible if you are willing to pay more. That is basically the bottom line if you ask me, but this goes with many cruise lines these days. All in all worth what we paid for it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We were on a MSC cruise on Grandiosa which left from Barcelona January 9 2020. We are Australians with teenage children 15 and 17 and have previously been on a Norwegian cruise out of Venice in 2018 and a Carnival cruise in Australia in ... Read More
We were on a MSC cruise on Grandiosa which left from Barcelona January 9 2020. We are Australians with teenage children 15 and 17 and have previously been on a Norwegian cruise out of Venice in 2018 and a Carnival cruise in Australia in 2017. We booked a Bella balcony cabin very close to front of boat on the left hand side on deck 11. For us, this cruise was intended as one week not-too-expensive, relaxing and ‘warmish for winter’ break within a 6 week busy holiday to Europe which otherwise had us on the move a lot and jumping on and off trains plus this was a chance to visit Sicily and Malta. We already knew the other ports pretty well. Given the time of year and that we needed to leave from Barcelona there were hardly any cruises operating so we had no choice re company or boat but I subsequently read loads of reviews of MSC which set expectations low and I anticipated a few issues. How wrong this turned out to be. Zero issues of any sort and an amazing, luxurious cruise which was totally enjoyable in every way. Only regret: we didn’t bring our swimmers on the holiday and so missed out on using the indoor pool (retractable roof) and spas. Even the outdoor pool saw quite a few swimmers on the warmer days down south and on the one day at sea as it got fairly warm and the pool area was very sheltered. Actually, temperatures were not too bad all week for anyone contemplating winter cruising: good puffer jackets were all we needed for sitting out on the balcony and the cooler ports and in Palermo it was 18 the day we were there. Re criticisms of upselling: we declined the photos on boarding: no problem. Same in the restaurant and same re the offers to upgrade drinks and meals. There was no problem at all with this. We did not feel any pressure and we were not asked again ever. I would rate the upselling efforts of MSC as way less than Norwegian. Re the entertainment: we are not big ones for shows and basically are fairly boring this way and would generally prefer to read on the balcony or cabin or watch BBC news or Earth before an early night. But we went to one musical show with shows from 80’s onwards and thought it was quite good. Other entertainment: ropes course: great. (and free). But other than that, sorry, none of us is interested particularly so didn’t try anything else. Kids not interested in the programmes for them although we saw plenty of other teenagers having fun playing soccer and basketball. Judging from the daily programme, there did seem to be a fair bit on for everyone including late night shows, theme things needing you to bring dress-up clothes (white night, elegant night, tropical night etc) and music so it looks as though people who want to throw themselves into these things should be able to find things. The middle of the boat with the big projection roof and the speciality restaurants btw gets very crowded and noisy (in a good way) in the evenings but is easy to avoid by crossing this area on higher or lower decks. Did not even look at any shops/sales/promotional events so easy to avoid as well. CABIN: as above, Bella balcony at the front. This was amazing: bigger than our mini-suite on Norwegian with plenty of storage for a suitcase and two cabin bags and our day packs and shelves on which to keep all our packing pods. Lots of hangers for jackets. Very tasteful light greys and muted purple and many mirrors. Extremely comfortable queen bed plus good-sized sturdy bunks for the boys. Big balcony and generous functional bathroom. Big tv with English channels including bbc earth, bbc news, Euronews, Bloomberg and CNN. Wonderful, hard-working and unobtrusive cabin steward with twice daily immaculate cleaning. Our balcony had a metal balustrade which we really liked as felt more private. We spent hours out there every day watching the world go by and reading etc. I liked being able to watch distant lights on shore most nights as still scarred by seeing Poseidon Adventure as a kid and prone, on cruises, to frequent waking and fears of icebergs and (after Costa) running onto rocks etc. but probably the other side would be better for port views as I think really only in Genoa did we have the best view. Virtually no movements felt at all even though I thought the front of the boat might be bad for this so however this boat is stabilised: it works and none of us experienced any sea sickness for a change. (Note: very calm seas all voyage). DRINKS: We had an easy drinks package for the adults included as a special in our original bookings and pre-purchased non-alcoholic packages for the kids who especially enjoyed the unlimited soft-serve included from the bar at the outdoor pool. if you are a beer drinker we could only have Heinekens despite searching everywhere including the pub but there were nice wines (liked the rose, shiraz and cab sav) and plenty of cocktails on the package and some good mocktails; the mock pina colada even comes with the pineapple slice and cherry and was good. Soft drinks were available by the glass or can. Bottles of mineral water were freely available at all the bars any time. FOOD: we started the week attending our assigned dining room for meals but then reverted to the buffet towards the end as the dining room timing didn’t suit us after a busy day in port but food was fantastic and plentiful: some portions in the dining room were small and some were large (spanokopita was huge even as a first course) depending on what we ordered. You could order more than one helping of any menu item if you wanted and we were routinely offered double dessert. The staff worked very hard all the time. In contrast to Norwegian and Carnival, the dining room menus changed completely every day. We found everything delicious. It would have been good to be see the menus in advance but no big deal. The buffet was loads better than it looks in the videos on you tube and, as everyone knows: excellent huge slices of pizza (charcoal ones were new to us and fantastic) and also as a recent reviewer has noted: all bread was amazing! Whatever bread or roll we chose was full of favour and perfect texture: I totally got hooked on making sandwiches and rolls just with butter and tomato or cheese practically every meal over the last few days. No dancing or singing food staff in the main dining room (which we loved on Carnival) but truly excellent, friendly, understated and completely professional service from waiters at all times. Also, service for us was really fast: clearly they could tell we were there to eat and not interested in sitting around talking to each other! We were pretty much in and out of the restaurant within 60-75 mins having eaten our 3 courses each. Zero waiting around in contrast to other reports. Did not feel any need to try any specialist restaurants given that the main dining room and the buffet were so good. EXCURSIONS: we did none. Not because of price because MSC was priced reasonably most of the time, I thought, but because mostly we knew the ports and preferred to do our own thing. Marseille was switched to Toulon on our cruise due to the interprofessional strike in France which we already knew about from train travelling there prior to the cruise. Toulon was great: kids enjoyed seeing the French naval vessels and MSC provided free shuttle buses and boats into town and we just explored by foot. Genoa: all in walking distance. Loved wondering this place and followed a few tourist-office suggested walking routes. Some seriously fantastic boats moored here in the opposite part of the harbour and Kids enjoyed admiring them researching online which billionaires/oligarchs/war lords had owned them etc. Rome: we took the free shuttlebus to the smaller city port then walked to the train station but was a fair detour so might have been quicker to just walk to the train station from the start. The city also offered a 2 Eu shuttle from the small port to the station which we caught back on returning to the ship. We caught a train into Rome Termini (36 eu for the four of us return) and then a metro to the Coloseum (we bought individual tickets from machines at the metro station) and then strolled back alongside the forum (not enough time to go in really due to long ticket queues but pre-booking these might help), then meandered back to the Trevi fountain and had some gelato, wondered around a bit then grabbed a taxi back as running short on time to Termini for the train back. If you are interested in the Vatican, the train stopped at St Peter’s on the way in so would have been easy to hop off there. If planning a day in Rome you would be able to do more by getting off the ship earlier as we were a bit slow that morning which cut our time short. Palermo: again close enough to meander into the port. Lots to see including street market with lots of gourmet products including saffron and excellent pistachio cream to bring home. Valletta: lifts up to the high part of the city cost 1 Eu – just walk further around the port until you reach them. Gorgeous town. We also visited Mdina on the public bus – you can take 51, 52 and 53 and probably some others. Tickets available from the bus driver. Malta uses Euros. Summary: honestly: can’t imagine how forking out for Yacht Club could possibly have made us any happier than our Bella balcony and Easy drinks package. Our experience was seriously fantastic. But for us this cruise was not the be-all and end-all of our holiday: it was part of a much longer holiday so we are less concerned about entertainment etc. This was a seriously gorgeous boat. We would not hesitate to book MSC again. This week has turned out to be an absolute highlight of our trip. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment ... Read More
Ship is very much understaffed and absolutely not able to offer good cruise for such big number of passengers onboard. Obviously company is trying to save money on all aspects, including food, number of their employees, entertainment variety, and so on. Dining area on deck 11 is crowded without place to sit, so only way to eat is to take plate outside or in a room. Automatic hand disinfect dispensers do not work in 90% of time which leads to people not being able to clean their hands and stop spreading bacterias inside buffets. This later led to many people getting sick onboard including myself and members of my family. Tables are dirty and sticky, poorly cleaned or not cleaned at which is absolutely unacceptable. Destinations vere quite nice including the weather during our winter cruise. Pizza and coffe in bars was very tasty (italian style) and that's something I would personally recommend on this ship. Generally, even though this cruise was quite cheap I would not recommend it to anyone because they are way better ships on the market. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This was our first cruise and we chosed Grandiosa because we wanted to have first cruise experience on a brend new ship. Before I went reading other reviews and saw rather bed ones giving us thoughts OMG where are we going, why not ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chosed Grandiosa because we wanted to have first cruise experience on a brend new ship. Before I went reading other reviews and saw rather bed ones giving us thoughts OMG where are we going, why not some other ship, other company but one thing I've learned that mostly people which are always complaining for something are writing reviews, and that's why I wanted to write this one to tell point of view from normal, not egocentric people. We embarked in Genova. Came to port on 13.00, on 13.20 were on ship, no problems at all, very smooth and easy. Getting on board we needed to photo again even though we had picture through MSC for me app. But ok, few minutes extra. Coming to main promenade and seing it all in full glory was spectacular especially that 90m LCD dome. Knowing the ship was easy since there are lcd screend everywhere showing all mandatory info. Smart lifts are doing splendid job handling over 7000 people on board and never have problem coming where you want in minutes. We had 2 interior rooms and if you are not some some guy who likes to be with himself and look all day to the harbour from your bed having room with window or balcony is absolute waste of money. There are many beautiful places to watch the see. Rooms are rather spacious, even our with 3 beds (2 from the ceiling). Bathroom is just enough in size and have everything needed. Stewards (especially Fillipines) are fantastic, whenever you leave room they tidy up and leave something new for you. ZOE, oh Zoe, I've read lot's of bed stuff on reviews but now I know that that there is no problems with ZOE but with the people using her hehehe. If you want to chat with someone chat with you wife, or Fillipines crew, ask ZOE what is she designed to do, show you around the cabin, tell you where to eat, where is everything you need, weather, time, to power tv on and off and lots of things which she does great. FOOD - there is much to tell about food too but some say that it's not good to comment tastes so I won't, I will just tell that we were almost always on Marketplace buffet restaurant with enormous choices for everyone. Place is huge (almost all 15th floor) so we could always find place to sit with no problems. We were very satisfied wih variety, quality and taste. There are breakfast, lunch, dinner times but you can always come and find something to eat. Watter, tea and coffee available free whole day, juice just for breakfast. You can fill bottles, no one makes it a problem. Didn't used much other restaurants so cannot comment it. ENTERTAINMENT - there is always something to do on ship, daily program is rather big, if you are with kids there are also whole floor for them. My kid loved adrenaline park and walked on rope for hours around the ship. Also there is watter park working so even January there were kids going through the slides. There are few pools (watter 28 celsius) and jacuzzi's (35 celsius)... Indoor pool is rather small. Arcade games are 1,5-2€ but everything else is extreme expensive (VR, formula, bowling etc). There is Circus and we watched paid show Excentrix. It started awful and was thinking OMG what is this and I why I paid for this but then in 10mins real show started and is something worth seing. On other side of the ship there is Theatre for little under 1000 people, every night other show in 3 times. I suggest everyone to book all shows in front and to go see them all. They are fantastic. We were trilled with all of them. All staff is very friendly and helpful. There is always some stuff that tried to ruin your cruise but the way you handle them counts. First when we came to ship and got lagguage I saw that my bag was completely broken, went to reception to report it and got refunded with no problem. Second is that we all got sick with high fever and used all out tablets and went to medical center, waited for 2 hours to get info that there is no more paracetamol pill on board (which I thing is unacceptable) so take with you everything you might need since that is closed ecosytem and viruses can spread fast. Third is we couldn't go to Marceilles due to strikes so we went to Toulous, MSC organized whole day free ships and buses to center so it was great. Ship is gigantic and the only place where is rather crowded it buffet restaurant and promenade after theater shows. If you don't like crowd take yacht club experience and go to late night theater shows. Every day there are some sales on promenade so maybe you will find some great deals. MSC for me is app with some great potencial but with some major problem. It's great to have free on app chat through the app without having to buy internet packet but it doesn't always work. Also in port you cannot use your mobile data and been connected to ship wifi so you need to shuffle. Yes, remember to turn off mobile data when setting sail. Diembarkation was a charm. Evening before got stickers for lagguage, got time and meeting point and went out in mather of minutes. Having it all summed up it was fantastic experience for all 6 of us with nothing more to wish for. 5/5 stars from us. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Having sailed previously on MSC Divina in Carebbean on two ocasion, thaught a mediterranean cruise with MSC would be a good idea. Wrong. Mediterranean cruises are not like in the caribbean. Not even the water on the dining room is free! ... Read More
Having sailed previously on MSC Divina in Carebbean on two ocasion, thaught a mediterranean cruise with MSC would be a good idea. Wrong. Mediterranean cruises are not like in the caribbean. Not even the water on the dining room is free! Yes you will pay to have your meal with water. Also service is terrible, european restaurant service expecting a service charge? Embarkation: was really well organized and very fast. Shows are average, a couple of strange performers, don't get it. The Circ du Soleil at sea is a ripoff "DONT GO" at the end everybody stays still on their seats thinking; is it over or about to begin. Service at main dining is terrible, the servers don't treat you with respect and is if they don't care your still going to give them the service charge. "CAUTION" not even the water is free. They will not serve you tap water, only plastic bottled. Note: the last day of the cruise they will include in your account a charge for MSC Foundation; yeah right protect the environment as everybody in the main dining room sips from a plastic bottle for MSC' s financial gain. Night activities are always packed lots of party going on. This is a good point in their favor. Cabins and cleaning service are great. Good reviews on this area. Ports and shore excursions: Great itinerary included Marcelles, Genoa, Civitaveccia, Palermo, Malta. Used a shore excursion to tranfer from Port of Civitaveccia to Rome. They did not comply with the stated hours. Shuttle left later and required to return before. Few time to explore city. Notice that some ports are very far from the cities of interest an MSC will upsell you their shuttles. Don't do it. In Marceilles they were charging €13 per adults for shuttle. If you walk 10 minutes from the ship the city provides it free of charge with trips every 30 minutes. Some in my party felt scamed by MSC. In Barcelona a Taxi will cost you €10 for 4 and MSC will charge 12€ per adult. The buffet area in strange. Not the best selection or quality. During thier stated lunch and dinner hours they will start closing section of the buffet restaurant ending in a reduced crowded space where no one will find a table. Don't expect juice, iced tea or lemonade as in caribbean sailings. Only juice available is a watered down during breakfast. If you are a european used to bad service and paying for the basics, this is your cruise. I believe americans will have a hard time with the basics here, not for somebody used to travelling on other cruise lines with american style service you will be disapointed as i am. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
the embarkation and disembarkation where terrible... the staff is rude ando don't help you in any way. The ship is beautiful, the cabins are very confortable. you have to make a line to enter the restaurant every night. The food is ... Read More
the embarkation and disembarkation where terrible... the staff is rude ando don't help you in any way. The ship is beautiful, the cabins are very confortable. you have to make a line to enter the restaurant every night. The food is Ok... small portions and always cold. our waitress was very nice. The shows were bad except for the cirque du Soleil with I truly recommend. The staff has no preparation, the staff doesnt help you in anyway. everything is a problem. the children had fun, but there is no way to know where they are or anyway to have comunication with them, since the app doesn't apply to them for being under age.i had to return twice a bracelet they sell you to know where you children are, the bracelets never worked. you have to pay for everything on orboard, even on New Years eve there was NO hats or anything unless you 70 euros. No I would NOT go again Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first time with MSC. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian and Princess. Also our first European cruise. I was traveling with my wife and two kids (daughter 14 and son 11). Scheduled itinerary was Rome-Sea ... Read More
This was our first time with MSC. Previously we have cruised with Norwegian and Princess. Also our first European cruise. I was traveling with my wife and two kids (daughter 14 and son 11). Scheduled itinerary was Rome-Sea Day-Sicily-Malta-Barcelona-Marseilles-Genoa-Rome. Itinerary changed, actual itinerary was Rome-Rome-Corsica-Majorca-Barcelona-Marseilles-Genoa-Rome. Embarkation: We arrived to embark at the recommended time, and it was chaos. The ship was berthed on the "old" side of the port, access was through an ancient quonset-hut style building. There was virtually no signage, we found our way by following crowds. First building was to check in luggage, no orderly queues, everyone trying to get to one little table to check in luggage. Once we fought through that, we went to a second building next door to actually check in. This was far more orderly and went smoothly. Once past the luggage check in, all went smoothly. Itinerary Change: We got on board, found our room, and set out to see the ship. During our walk around the ship we saw on the many large screens around the public areas that the itinerary had changed. I waited in a line at the concierge desk for about 30 minutes to learn that I should have received notice of the change at embarkation and via a letter in my room (neither happened). This was annoying on several levels. First, we needed to change excursions (we had booked outside of MSC). Secondly, had I been informed about the change prior to embarking, I would have delayed embarkation for a day and spent the extra day in Rome and not on the ship. MSC knew about the change and could have notified me prior to embarkation, and chose not too. This made me unhappy. Wasn't going to ruin our trip though! The Cabin: We had a balcony Fantastica room. It was set up with a queen and bunk beds. The cabin was clean and organized. It was crowded with 4 people, and there was not sufficient room for all of the luggage under the bed, so 1 of the 4 suitcases had to live "in the open." All 4 of us were comfortable for the entire journey, although there wasn't much space to spare! The room was set up with 2 pool towels, and our steward was able to correct that right away. They also notified us one day that our balcony would be cleaned so we needed to ensure our door was closed and locked. The cleaning never took place though. The Ship: Brand new and fancy! The main gallery was pretty cool, with the overhead screens. Getting around was easy, lots of signage. elevators are SLOW. you will wait a long time during busy times, but stairs are plentiful and easily navigated. Shopping was typical of cruises or Duty Free in airports. Lots of bar space. Crew was very attentive. The pools appeared nice, not really pool weather. The inside pool was crowded. There are several "hot" tubs. They were NOT hot. The fitness center was way too small. Over 6,000 guests, and there are about 10 treadmills and 6 bikes. Ridiculous. We were on board for Christmas, and the ship was very nicely decorated for the holiday. Entertainment: The nightly shows were fine. The kids loved them, wife and I thought they were OK. Cirque show was good if a bit short. Lots of bands/singers throughout the ship. Casino was good, lots of slots and a fair amount of table games. Not crowded but not empty, dealers were engaging and made it fun. Dining: We had the early seating (5:30) at the La Loggia restaurant. The service was outstanding, the menu was varied, and the food was good. The Market Place Buffet was not a great experience. The food was bland and uninspired. There was variety, but the crowds were out of control. The beverage service was slow, drinks ordered at the very beginning of the meal arrived after most of the meal was completed. The experience was the same for breakfast, lunch or dinner (we tried the Market Place for one evening meal). We discovered on the third day that the Purple Crab dining room (deck 5) was open for seated/plated breakfast. Learning this improved our journey considerably, because we could avoid the Market Place buffet. The Purple Crab for breakfast was quite nice. WE did not take advantage of the specialty restaurants. Quick note on "formal" nights: They are not formal. We were dressed per the guidelines and felt fine. We saw a few people in tuxedos, but not many. We also saw several people dressed down, some even in t-shirts. I was a bit dissapointed that casual dress was allowed. Also, the early seating might have impacted this, as later seatings might have been more formal. Excursions: We got off of the ship every day. The first day (was supposed to be Sicily but got changed to Rome/Civitivecchia) we booked a last minute excursion through MSC. it was a bus tour to Tuscania and Tarquinia. For a short notice excursion (MSC had a day or two to put it together) it was good. The buses were on time and comfortable and the guides were knowledgeable. The towns themselves were charming, I am glad we visited. We didn't do any other excursions through MSC. In Marseilles we took an e-bike tour to the Parc National des Calanques that was outstanding (booked through Get Your Guide), and in Genoa we booked a walking food tour (also through Get Your Guide) that was really exceptional. In Corsica, Majorca, and Barcelona we did not use an excursion. All cities were easily reachable by walking and/or cab, and are great to explore on your own. MSC did offer bus service into town centers in Majorca, Barcelona and Marseilles, but it was extremely expensive and I would not recommend if you are able to walk. Getting off of the ship was a bit chaotic in some ports, but not a big problem. Getting back on the ship was just fine in every port other than Corsica. in Corsica, I got the impression that the port was not used to a ship of this size on Xmas eve, and wasn't staffed for it. Also, because of the itinerary change they might not have had sufficient time to prepare. One minor complaint: crew had to embark through the same doors that passengers use. The crew was not shy about skipping the queue and voicing complaints about their jobs. Kids: We traveled with a 14 year old daughter and an 11 year old son. They did not participate in the kids club or teenage area. The kids loved the ship, and had a great time. My son did use the ropes course, and it was fun. Overall: Overall, the cruise was good. Very international passenger group. Crew was good. Ship was clean and very nice (also brand new, so expected). Even though the itinerary change was disappointing (as we wanted to go to Malta), net of everything it worked out as we didn't have a Sea Day. We feel we would have been bored if we had a full day on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 11th MSC cruise, our 10th in Yacht Club, our first time on Grandiosa. Our flight was delayed due to wind at Rome Airport. On arrival we were greeted by MSC for our transfer. We waited a while for additional passengers and ... Read More
This was our 11th MSC cruise, our 10th in Yacht Club, our first time on Grandiosa. Our flight was delayed due to wind at Rome Airport. On arrival we were greeted by MSC for our transfer. We waited a while for additional passengers and we eventually left with two others. The driver was safe and drove well. We were late boarding, however, due to bad weather the ship was staying in Rome due to the bad weather, I was particularly pleased about this as they were not taking any chances with the weather and I believe it was the right decision. We went straight through check in and straight to our room. It was a beautiful room, lovely comfortable bed and great bathroom. Our itinerary was changed due to bad weather, but we sailed into sunshine all week. The staff were fabulous and couldn’t have been friendlier. We ate at the Yacht Club restaurant, twice at the Butchers Cut, and twice at the pub. The pub is great for a drink and snack, a good alternative if you don’t fancy a meal. The ship is immaculate and the service was excellent. So good, we are going again! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I had a week to fill in over the Christmas period, and I thought that a week-long cruise would be a good and convenient option. I boarded and disembarked MSC Grandiosa in Genoa, and thought that I would be visiting Civitavecchia, Palermo, ... Read More
I had a week to fill in over the Christmas period, and I thought that a week-long cruise would be a good and convenient option. I boarded and disembarked MSC Grandiosa in Genoa, and thought that I would be visiting Civitavecchia, Palermo, Valletta, Barcelona and Marseille. However, after boarding in Genoa, there was a letter in the cabin advising that the two ports I was most looking forward to visiting were not able to be visited because of sea conditions, and as a result, the itinerary was changed so that there was an extra day spent in Civitavecchia (the port of Rome), and port stops in Ajaccio (Corsica) and Palma de Mallorca were arranged. I arrived in Genoa by train about two hours before the posted time of embarkation but I was able to board the ship and go to my cabin. Both embarkation and disembarkation at Genoa were among the best that I have experienced. The walk between the cruise terminal and railway station is not very long, but can involve some steps and narrow pathways. Compared to other cruises that I have been on, this was the first cruise where the passenger composition changed at each port. This in itself was not a problem, but it meant that each afternoon from about 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm there were 5-6 announcements in multiple languages over the loudspeaker for new passengers to attend the mandatory lifeboat sessions. There must be a better way (perhaps an electronic bracelet) to get passengers to attend the sessions without the constant loud reminders. I was disappointed by the lack of information about the ports that were being visited. The information given was only about MSC shore excursions, and there wasn't anything about public transport, maps or other features that would assist those not who opted not to participate in MSC shore excursions. Prior to sailing I had planned my activities for each port, but when the itinerary changed, it was not so easy to plan for the time in the new ports. I purchased the standard internet package and found that the internet speed met my needs. However, the cost of the internet package is quite expensive and it would be worth investigating other alternative means of accessing the internet. The ship was only a month old and so all the furnishings were in pristine condition. My cabin was an interior studio, the cabin at the lower end of those available. I was travelling alone and the cabin was adequate for my needs. Given the very limited floor space and the fact that one side of the bed was against the wall, I think that it would be unsuitable for more than one person to occupy the cabin. The sailing was over the Christmas period and the ship was completely full with many family groups and numerous nationalities. The buffet was very busy and crowded at breakfast and particularly at lunchtimes. On Christmas Eve, the buffet was not open for dinner as a special meal was arranged for after midnight instead, but this was poorly communicated. I appreciated the presence of a Catholic chaplain being on board during this cruise to lead Mass on Christmas Day and other days. Overall, the size of the ship, the constant change in the composition of the passengers, and the lack of activities such as port venue information sessions and trivia sessions made it feel more like being on a train rather than on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
It's my first time Mediterranean cruise and I choose MSC Grandiosa because the length of its itinerary fits my availability. The ship is new and spacious to house so many passengers. You may need some time to wait for elevators or ... Read More
It's my first time Mediterranean cruise and I choose MSC Grandiosa because the length of its itinerary fits my availability. The ship is new and spacious to house so many passengers. You may need some time to wait for elevators or seat for buffet, but still it's okay with me and my mom. Staff are nice, especially I am very satisfied with the service of my cabin steward, always keep our cabin clean and comfortable. Fine dining with good food quality and our servers treated us very well. The best part is the no sugar dessert and ice-cream which mom loves that very much. Food at buffet is ok although I saw review about quality of MSC food but I think it's not that bad and still a choice if you don't want to fine dining. The gym has a nice view and have adequate equipments so I enjoyed my time of workout on the ship. The theatre show is ok to suit people from different culture but with more variety will make it better. A little bit disappointed with the shows Cirque de Sea. Still a good show but kind of short. Embarkation and disembarkation is very smooth, no need to wait for getting onboard, leaving or my luggage. Overall it's a good experience for me and mom. Probably we will go for another cruise trip not very long later. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are just back from our Xmas Cruise with our two teenagers boys. We all had an absolute blast! The staff and service were excellent. Cleanliness .... excellent Service..... courteous, polite and efficient Exceptional customer ... Read More
We are just back from our Xmas Cruise with our two teenagers boys. We all had an absolute blast! The staff and service were excellent. Cleanliness .... excellent Service..... courteous, polite and efficient Exceptional customer service Great organisation especially at stop over ports. Fantastic evening shows .... with lots of variety. We also went to Cirque du Soleil which was incredible! Plenty of areas to sit especially if you wanted to escape the crowds. Even with the amount of people on board the cruise never felt crowded. Like most we had our favourite areas to sit and soon got to know the staff by first names. Sagar in the coffee bar always remembered our drinks order and prepared it as soon as we walked in the door! Our cabin hsnd Gilbert who did a fantastic job everyday keeping our room. spic and span! I will definitely book another holiday on The Grandiosa it was truly memorable! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The company is not transparent in many ways. Let's start with the cabin, the photo they advertise is completely different than the actual cabin (Bella experience ocean view). They advertise the cabin being more spacious and with a ... Read More
The company is not transparent in many ways. Let's start with the cabin, the photo they advertise is completely different than the actual cabin (Bella experience ocean view). They advertise the cabin being more spacious and with a couch (not a big deal). Paying for a cruise, you expect to be entitled to most of the amenities. However, paying for the cruise seemed to be more of just an entry fee. The food is deplorable. The buffet food is better than the dining food (will just leave it at that). The drink package allots you essentially none of the available drinks. They are not night-owl friendly. If I wanted to play table tennis and go to the jacuzzi at 11 pm, I would not be able to. I just want to have fun, if I wanted to go bowling and play with the VR set it would be like 100 Euros for an hour. Why are they being so cheap? The most disturbing thing about the cruise is the fraudulent charges they perform. Examples are: 35 Euro charge for the embarkation photo that they make you do and do not tell you they will charge you for it, they even claimed they sent the photo to our room which we never received. MSC Foundation, supposedly in the fine print they will charge you a couple of Euros for their "Foundation" more like scamdation. They will charge you for their shuttle services at the ports. They will give you what seems to be a free bus shuttle ticket in your room but in the fine print, they will charge you for it. They have weird rules such as free juice for breakfast but at lunch-time they will charge you for it. How am I supposed to know? They are also really cheap with their water so unless your package covers it, expect to pay for a life necessity. They advertise for cirque du Soleil. It is not a free show. Their sales tactics are that you get a complimentary drink which unbeknownst of their choosing. Also, the same performers as their regular show which makes me think if they are stealing the trademark of Cirque du Soleil. There is no variation in their free shows. It is the same singers and dancers every night with just different songs. What happened to comedy, magic, ect ? The only thing good about the cruise is they give you sufficient time off of the boat which I had a great time. Spanish La empresa no es transparente en muchos sentidos. Comencemos con la cabina, la foto que anuncian es completamente diferente a la cabina real (Bella experimenta la vista al mar). Anuncian que la cabina es más espaciosa y con un sofá (no es gran cosa). Al pagar un crucero, espera tener derecho a la mayoría de las comodidades. Sin embargo, pagar el crucero parecía ser más que una tarifa de entrada. La comida es deplorable. La comida del buffet es mejor que la comida del comedor (solo lo dejaré así). El paquete de bebidas no le asigna esencialmente ninguna de las bebidas disponibles. No son amigables con los noctámbulos. Si quisiera jugar al ping-pong e ir al jacuzzi a las 11 de la noche, no podría hacerlo. Solo quiero divertirme, si quisiera jugar a los bolos y jugar con el set de realidad virtual, sería como 100 euros por una hora. ¿Por qué están siendo tan baratos? Lo más inquietante del crucero son los cargos fraudulentos que realizan. Ejemplos son: 35 euros por la foto de embarque que te hacen hacer y no te dicen que te cobrarán por ello, incluso afirmaron que enviaron la foto a nuestra habitación que nunca recibimos. MSC Foundation, supuestamente en letra pequeña, le cobrarán un par de euros por su "Fundación" más como estafa. Te cobrarán por sus servicios de transporte en los puertos. Le darán lo que parece ser un boleto de autobús gratuito en su habitación, pero en letra pequeña, le cobrarán por ello. Tienen reglas extrañas como jugo gratis para el desayuno, pero a la hora del almuerzo te cobrarán por ello. ¿Cómo se supone que debo saber? También son muy baratos con su agua, así que a menos que su paquete lo cubra, espere pagar por una necesidad de vida. Anuncian para cirque du Soleil. No es un espectáculo gratuito. Sus tácticas de venta son que obtienes una bebida de cortesía que sin el conocimiento de su elección. Además, los mismos artistas que su programa habitual, lo que me hace pensar si están robando la marca registrada de Cirque du Soleil. No hay variación en sus espectáculos gratuitos. Son los mismos cantantes y bailarines todas las noches con solo canciones diferentes. ¿Qué pasó con la comedia, la magia, etc.? Lo único bueno del crucero es que te dan suficiente tiempo fuera del barco, lo cual lo pasé muy bien. Italian La società non è trasparente in molti modi. Cominciamo con la cabina, la foto che pubblicizzano è completamente diversa dalla cabina reale (Bella experience ocean view). Pubblicizzano la cabina più spaziosa e con un divano (non un grosso problema). Pagando per una crociera, ti aspetti di avere diritto alla maggior parte dei servizi. Tuttavia, pagare per la crociera sembrava essere più di una semplice quota di iscrizione. Il cibo è deplorevole. Il cibo a buffet è migliore del cibo da pranzo (lo lascerò solo a quello). Il pacchetto di bevande non ti assegna essenzialmente nessuna delle bevande disponibili. Non sono adatti ai nottambuli. Se avessi voluto giocare a ping-pong e andare nella vasca idromassaggio alle 23:00, non avrei potuto. Voglio solo divertirmi, se volessi andare a giocare a bowling e giocare con il set VR sarebbe come 100 euro per un'ora. Perché sono così economici? La cosa più inquietante della crociera sono le accuse fraudolente che svolgono. Esempi sono: 35 Euro di addebito per la foto di imbarco che ti fanno fare e non ti dicono che ti faranno pagare per questo, hanno anche affermato di aver inviato la foto nella nostra stanza che non abbiamo mai ricevuto. MSC Foundation, presumibilmente in caratteri minuscoli, ti addebiterà un paio di euro per la loro "Fondazione" più come una truffa. Ti addebiteranno i loro servizi di navetta nei porti. Ti daranno quello che sembra essere un biglietto gratuito per la navetta dell'autobus nella tua camera, ma nella stampa fine, ti faranno pagare per questo. Hanno regole strane come succo di frutta gratuito per la colazione ma all'ora di pranzo ti fanno pagare per questo. Come dovrei saperlo? Sono anche molto economici con la loro acqua, quindi a meno che il pacchetto non lo copra, aspettati di pagare per una necessità di vita. Fanno pubblicità per il cirque du Soleil. Non è uno spettacolo gratuito. La loro tattica di vendita è quella di ottenere un drink gratuito che all'insaputa della loro scelta. Inoltre, gli stessi interpreti del loro spettacolo regolare che mi fanno pensare se rubano il marchio del Cirque du Soleil. Non c'è variazione nei loro spettacoli gratuiti. Sono gli stessi cantanti e ballerini ogni sera con solo canzoni diverse. Cosa è successo alla commedia, alla magia, ect? L'unica cosa positiva della crociera è che ti danno abbastanza tempo libero dalla barca che mi sono divertito molto. French L'entreprise n'est pas transparente à bien des égards. Commençons par la cabine, la photo qu'ils annoncent est complètement différente de la cabine réelle (Bella expérience vue sur l'océan). Ils annoncent que la cabine est plus spacieuse et avec un canapé (ce n'est pas grave). Payer pour une croisière, vous vous attendez à avoir droit à la plupart des commodités. Cependant, payer pour la croisière semblait être plus qu'un simple droit d'entrée. La nourriture est déplorable. La nourriture sous forme de buffet est meilleure que la nourriture à manger (je vais en rester là). Le paquet de boissons vous attribue essentiellement aucune des boissons disponibles. Ils ne sont pas amis des oiseaux de nuit. Si je voulais jouer au tennis de table et aller au jacuzzi à 23 heures, je ne pourrais pas. Je veux juste m'amuser, si je voulais jouer au bowling et jouer avec le VR, ce serait comme 100 euros pour une heure. Pourquoi sont-ils si bon marché? La chose la plus inquiétante à propos de la croisière est les frais frauduleux qu'ils effectuent. Voici des exemples: 35 euros pour la photo d'embarquement qu'ils vous font faire et ne vous disent pas qu'ils vont vous facturer, ils ont même prétendu avoir envoyé la photo dans notre chambre que nous n'avons jamais reçue. Fondation MSC, soi-disant en petits caractères, ils vous factureront quelques euros pour leur "Fondation" plus comme une arnaque. Ils vous factureront leurs services de navette dans les ports. Ils vous donneront ce qui semble être un ticket de navette gratuit dans votre chambre, mais en petits caractères, ils vous le feront payer. Ils ont des règles étranges comme le jus gratuit pour le petit déjeuner mais à l'heure du déjeuner, ils vous le feront payer. Comment suis-je censé savoir? Ils sont également très bon marché avec leur eau, donc à moins que votre colis ne le couvre, attendez-vous à payer pour une nécessité vitale. Ils font de la publicité pour le cirque du Soleil. Ce n'est pas un spectacle gratuit. Leurs tactiques de vente sont que vous obtenez une boisson gratuite à l'insu de leur choix. Aussi, les mêmes interprètes que leur spectacle habituel qui me fait penser s'ils volent la marque de fabrique du Cirque du Soleil. Il n'y a aucune variation dans leurs spectacles gratuits. Ce sont les mêmes chanteurs et danseurs tous les soirs avec juste des chansons différentes. Qu'est-il arrivé à la comédie, la magie, etc.? La seule chose positive de la croisière, c'est qu'ils vous donnent suffisamment de temps hors du bateau, ce que j'ai passé un excellent moment. Chinese 该公司在许多方面都不透明。让我们从机舱开始,他们宣传的照片与实际机舱完全不同(贝拉体验海景)。他们在广告中说,机舱更宽敞,配有沙发(没什么大不了的)。支付邮轮费用,您将有望获得大部分便利。但是,支付邮轮费用似乎只是入场费。食物是令人遗憾的。自助餐比饭食好(就这样吧)。饮料包装基本上不会分配任何可用的饮料。他们不喜欢夜猫子。如果我想打乒乓球并在晚上11点去按摩浴缸,那我将无能为力。我只是想找点乐子,如果我想打保龄球和玩虚拟现实设备,一个小时就要花100欧元。他们为什么这么便宜? 关于邮轮最令人不安的是他们执行的欺诈性指控。 例如: 他们为您做的登机照片收费35欧元,但没有告诉您他们会向您收费,他们甚至声称已将照片发送至我们从未收到的房间。 MSC Foundation,据称以精美的字样会向您收取几欧元,因为它们的“基金会”更像是骗局。 他们将向您收取在港口的班车服务费用。他们会给您房间里似乎是免费的公交车票,但会以精美的字样向您收费。 他们有一些奇怪的规定,例如早餐免费果汁,但是在午餐时间他们会向您收费。我应该怎么知道?它们的水真的也很便宜,因此除非您的包裹将其覆盖,否则期望为生活必需的物品付费。 他们为太阳剧团做广告。这不是免费节目。他们的销售策略是为您提供免费饮料,这是他们选择的未知之选。另外,与常规表演相同的表演者,这让我想到他们是否在偷太阳剧团的商标。他们的免费演出没有变化。每晚都是相同的歌手和舞者,只是歌曲不同。喜剧,魔术等发生了什么? 巡航的唯一好处是,它们给您充足的时间,这让我度过了愉快的时光。 I translated in different languages. If you go on the cruise you will get my joke. Traduje en diferentes idiomas. Si vas en el crucero obtendrás mi broma. Ho tradotto in diverse lingue. Se vai in crociera otterrai la mia battuta. J'ai traduit dans différentes langues. Si vous partez en croisière, vous obtiendrez ma blague. 我用不同的語言翻譯。如果你去郵輪,你會得到我的笑話。 Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
As the name basically gives it away, this is a GRAND ship. Super big. Huge. If this is something that you'd like to try then read on. If you're used to ships of a smaller class and prefer them, then this review may make you ... Read More
As the name basically gives it away, this is a GRAND ship. Super big. Huge. If this is something that you'd like to try then read on. If you're used to ships of a smaller class and prefer them, then this review may make you realize what you're *not* missing. First of all, it's only been in the water for a short while so everything is clean and sparkly. It's like a mini Vegas on the water, glitz and glam, but having passengers wearing shorts and t shirts mingling with those in suits and dresses. No real dress code, so everyone is happy and comfy in their sandals or their heels. As other reviewers mentioned there is a seriously obvious and slightly annoying push to up sell for beverages and other items that you would think would be included when you bought your ticket. You'd like wifi, of course not free. Things like water and juice? Sure you can come up to the buffet and fill your bottles. Of course juice is only available in the mornings. Sorry. Note: bring your refillable water bottles so you can at least take the water back to your cabin, as you'll be charged if you swipe it from the minibar. At least 3 euro, plus service charge. You get the picture. Then of course remember you are traveling with 6000 other guests all vying for the same deck space, theater shows, dining times...it's really a small city that you will be sleeping in for the next week. Dining was generally good, although portions small in the main dining rooms. Figured the calibre of food would be a little better than at the buffet but just marginally. The staff though were amazing and were there to assist and fulfill your requests at any time. Thankfully we were on a USA purchased cruise where the water was included at dinner. Not sure how else you'd drink anything if you didn't buy a beverage package. The optional Cirque du Soleil show was OK. Don't expect a Vegas style show here, and really it should've been free. Even paying for a watered down drink was a bit too much. The other nightly shows in the main theater were pretty good and they were free. Just try to book ahead on the MSC app to avoid having to wait until all the booked passengers walk by and get the better seats. Then they open the doors to the masses and everyone floods in for the free for all. The downside here is when the show is over 975 guests are let out at the same time onto the main deck, all vying for the same elevators. Some planner even decided that would be a good time to do a crew parade so it was basically a crowd at a Boxing Day sale trying to get to the other end of the store. Still want to take a big ship? ;) Despite all these items mostly related to just having a lot of people on a ship, the crew were all happy and it was evident that were trying to ensure that everybody was having a good time. Still want to get a big ship cruise out of your system? Sure this one will satisfy that desire. But when you are queuing at the buffet for that piece of beef and four people run right in front of you and snatch it before your hungry eyes you may have a think about sailing on a smaller ship! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
MSC has some grand ships and wonderful dining. And this one was amazing. The weather was colder and rainier so we had a lot more time inside the ship. For the most part, it seems consistently reported that the customer service and ability ... Read More
MSC has some grand ships and wonderful dining. And this one was amazing. The weather was colder and rainier so we had a lot more time inside the ship. For the most part, it seems consistently reported that the customer service and ability to resolve issues seems solidly lacking with regard to the staff. Our group had lots of technical issues before the cruise online etc. On the Grandiosa, the ship had only been in service less than 30 days. Maybe it 2nd or 3rd cruise. I witnessed a few shortcomings but the ship, food, and the service outweighed any problems I had encountered. I have sailed twice on MSC cruises and was blown away by the Grandiosa. I could still smell the new paint and carpeting! She was only in service less than a month. I had never sailed on such a new cruise ship and I have been on plenty of megaships and this one so far is my favorite. The public rooms, promenades, and outdoor deck spaces are "easy on the eyes." The colors decor and placement of walls and seating allows for easy flow for crowds. I encountered lots of huge windows in some common areas with lots of natural light and amazing views of the ocean which is why I was there. Elevators were cutting edge. You select floor where you want to go, and the screen assigns you an elevator! The shipboard App had some great features but locked up often. But it pushed notifications of pertinent info to us like security warnings and changes to itinerary. Main dining room was wonderful. Food and service was European fare and portions, perfect for me! Marketplace Buffet was solid. The variety of global food was amazing. I loved an outdoor open air seating verandah outside Marketplace situated on the stern. A very nice shipboard feature. One experience I discovered was with the fitness center. The windows were facing the jumbotron video above the outdoor central pool area. At dawn the jumbotron aired a slow steady sunrise video which was fully viewable from fitness gurus and anyone else getting outdoor laps in on the track or watching the real sunrise! The deck music was spa-like and relaxing. It seemed that the video sunrise was purposely timed with the actual surnrise! Amazing. The stern Horizon Pool and bar was multi-tierd and was very nice place to gather to watch sunsets and sunrises and a favorite to watch our departure from port, etc. It was well designed, spacious and appealing. Horizon Pool was very well thoughtfully done. Another area we enjoyed was outside deck areas on deck 16 and 17. Perfect place to stroll, watch the ship enter or leave port and catch a glimpse of changing scenery. It provides unobstructed long views from the shipboard side and easy to get too and less visited by others. I noticed these promenades were where a lot of photo buffs set up their tri pods there to film the views. Overall, the public spaces were nicely organized and finished. The use of LED lighting throughout the interior and exterior made the ship look more like the luxurious smaller series of cruise ships. It was easy on the eyes and was adjusted with outdoor lighting creating a wonderful ambience on outdoor decks and inside public spaces. Bravo with that concept. It was well received. The perception of passengers moving from one section or event on the ship to another flowed well it seemed. There were fewer choke points for the masses. The entertainment was very good. The food while European fare, was not as well received by many Americans in my group. But for me it was perfect. For US customers specifically, we had a certain allotment of bottled water at dinner seatings for free. And we were pleased to see it and used it. The staff. Hmm. Maybe because the ship was so new, they were more junior on the job perhaps. Many seemed not certain how to resolve seemingly simple requests outside the norm. One example was that all four of our cabins needed vaccumming when we first arrived. It was a buzz kill to see this on a brand new ship. Maybe the vaccums didnt work? There were no nose tissues on the entire ship either. Maybe the ship was never stocked right. Who knows. Little things, Not a big deal. The Grandiosa is amazing and I cannot wait to sail on her again soon. Thanks to Delpeshe for taking such great care of our group with every need in the dining room. And Rajan for anticipating our needs on the Bistro deck 6. Most employees were amazing and we enjoyed their service on a beautiful ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good ... Read More
I picked this cruise for the price as a solo traveller as I thought the itinerary was good for the time of the year (Dec), overall I got good value for money as the ship was clean and the crew hard working. The food in the buffet was good Italian fare with hotdogs and burgers always a favourite for the kids and grown up's alike. The big let down for me was the standard of food in the restaurants in the evening as I feel the best offerings should be for the evening meals as you look forward to dressing up on formal nights but the food was dressed down. The buffet in the evening always provided choice in a cafeteria atmosphere if you wanted to battle the crowd at main meal times. My outside cabin was very adequate for a solo traveller but space would be limited if I was to share with a friend, you would need to be extremely close to somebody to get on with each other in the area provided in my outside cabin, the cabin itself provided a safe and a mini bar which in my opinion was good although the prices a little high for the drinks and snacks provided in the mini bar, my package included free mineral water but the mineral water provided in my cabin was charged to my final account at 2.95 Euros a bottle... Only free in public areas so soon figured out how to play this one.... As for the entertainment onboard I thought the cruise staff worked hard to entertain the passengers throughout the day and I enjoyed their hard work, as for the cast members they also worked hard but shows and sets were were very limited and short, also noticed that since the ship had been stretched the show lounge still only accommodated a limited amount of people during show times which then led to people sitting on stairways obstructing the exit ways which led to some argy bargy at times ? . Could not comment on shore excursions as I did not book any but pleased to see the ship did offer free buses to the port gates were you could not walk through the port area. As for the overall service I found to be very good with a good mix of crew that could speak English although the ship is geared up to our Italian and European friends onboard which is what you have to expect from an Italian cruise company... also be aware that with all the different European cultures onboard you will not always see the British style of courtesy during busy public times.. you can make your own mind up on this one. Would I go back.... Yes if the price is right and the itinerary was good although, I would prefer a little more quality and therefore pay a little more. Also be aware that if you are not a smoker some public areas inside the ship are set aside for passengers to smoke so you will need to avoid these areas if this would upset you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were a group of friends from Taiwan, and it was our first time cruising on MSC. We want to extend our appreciation to a few onboard staff that had put in extra effort in making our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Our ... Read More
We were a group of friends from Taiwan, and it was our first time cruising on MSC. We want to extend our appreciation to a few onboard staff that had put in extra effort in making our stay an enjoyable and unforgettable experience. Our cabin attendant Samma greeted us whenever we met in the corridor, and he always asked if everything was fine with us. He also checked on our cabins a few times a day to ensure our cabins were tidy and spotlessly clean. We exchanged small talks and got to know that Samma was working on a cruise for 7 years, and he is still enjoying his job and meeting new people around the world. We dined at the Purple Crab Restaurant almost every evening and sat at table 331. Whenever we entered the same group of waiters (Robert, Melvin, etc.) always welcome us with a big smile. They never rush us and were very patient when taking our orders. Especially, Deborah, she was extremely attentive and always knew what we need without being asked. Thank you again to those I've mentioned, and we wouldn't forget your excellent hospitality! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The Grandiosa is certainly an impressive ship - the LED roof is amazing - but, but, but.. The tall silver bar stools on Deck 6 are terribly uncomfortable and I kept sliding off. The first time I sat on the normal size silver chair it ... Read More
The Grandiosa is certainly an impressive ship - the LED roof is amazing - but, but, but.. The tall silver bar stools on Deck 6 are terribly uncomfortable and I kept sliding off. The first time I sat on the normal size silver chair it nearly fell over. The same goes for the chairs in the French buffet - they're terribly uncomfortable. The 'easy' drinks package is essentially useless. We quickly upgraded to the Premium. Our meals in the speciality restaurants were disappointing, except for the Japanese. When we ate at the French buffet my husband's roast chicken was raw in the middle and had to be replaced. When we went to Butcher's Cut, my steak was rare bordering on blue instead of medium rare. We used the buffet for breakfast. We had no trouble getting a table except for disembarkation day. But why do they make it so hard to avoid carbs and sugar? If you have to avoid the fruit, the breads, the pastries, pasta, potato and rice, then there's little left to choose from. And breakfast hardly changed. By the time I got home I was craving vegetables. The disinfectant gel dispensers at the entry to the buffet and occasionally seen elsewhere were not working properly - the sensor was not detecting that people were putting their hands in to get the gel. And hygiene was NOT being enforced. What's the point of having gel, or all those washing stations, if nobody has to actually use them? And when they were used the staff did not tidy them up - whether it be by wiping up water spills or getting rid of carelessly discarded paper. Il Campo Restaurant was nice enough. I just wish it was open for breakfast and/or lunch as well. Cirque de Soleil was a bit meh. Dinner selection was limited, and wasn't all that good, to be honest. The show itself was less than an hour, and you couldn't have wine from your drinks package, not even premium. You had to choose from a limited selection of wines - bottle only, not by the glass. The LED ceiling is certainly impressive... but... every so often it displayed a montage of guest photographs taken from their Instagram accounts. On our last night during our dinner at the Japanese restaurant we noticed that one of the photos chosen, when featured, was cropped and blown up to show just the ladies' breast area. Giant boobies on the ceiling would have been great for the gentlemen, I'm sure, but as an older lady trying to eat her dinner it really wasn't appreciated. Somebody please talk to whoever manages that montage about more appropriate picture selection. When you leave, you walk through the arcade to the sound of "Time to Say Goodbye" (the song used for the Olympics years ago, and the LED roof displays videos of lots of the ship staff waving goodbye. It was quite touching, in a way. Our luggage group was "pink" but that color was nowhere to be found on the TV screens at all the carousels. We had to find a staff member - a challenge on its own - to find out where our luggage was. It turned out pink had been lumped in with "fuchsia". We had quite a wait for our taxi. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
A Review of the Brand New MSC Grandiosa, November 24, 2019 We are experienced cruisers who love Europe and had a wonderful cruise on the MSC Divina in February 2019 in the Caribbean. We assumed things wouldn’t be too much different in ... Read More
A Review of the Brand New MSC Grandiosa, November 24, 2019 We are experienced cruisers who love Europe and had a wonderful cruise on the MSC Divina in February 2019 in the Caribbean. We assumed things wouldn’t be too much different in Europe, so we booked a seven-day Western Mediterranean cruise on the new MSC Grandiosa. This would be its first time on the Grandiosa’s regular sailing stopping in Civitavecchia, Sicily, Malta, Barcelona, Marseilles, and Genoa. Also, it was an add-on to our main cruise to the Holy Land: Greece, Israel, Italy, and Turkey on the NCL Spirit. The Grandiosa’s maiden voyage had problems because of very stormy weather, and many passengers had to cancel so the beginning of our sailing didn’t have a full sailing. More and more passengers filled up the ship as the week progressed. Overall, the ship is quite spectacular, and the crew was wonderful. The Grandiosa shines and sparkles throughout and is very well appointed. The cabin hallways are a real treat as they feature a famous artist’s work on each floor, but every painting has an MSC ship embedded in it. What a hoot to see Raphael’s work with a cruise ship behind Jesus and his apostles on the eighth deck. Embarkation: We stayed at the Hotel Mozart in Rome for three days prior to our cruise and booked a shared Habicab shuttle to the port. Habicab worked very well for our other two times, but this one took almost three hours to get to port as we were the first pickup and had to wait for passengers, get gas, and waited and then transferred to another van at port. Sigh. The embarkation was a breeze because the port area was covered, which was important because of steady rain. We sailed through the embarkation and were quickly on the ship at 12:30. We later discovered we were given the wrong cards as our Black/Diamond status was not reflected on our original cards. We had lunch at the buffet, which was a tad disappointing. There wasn’t a lot of variety and the cuisine tended to cater to the over 2,000 Asian passengers. The buffet was very crowded, despite it being an adventure port for those passengers who came on in the days before us. In case you are unaware, MSC ships are often similar to ferries as they pick up new passengers at almost every port. Our room was available to us right after lunch. The required muster drill was in the Carousel Lounge, and it started twenty minutes after the assigned time. The announcements for each muster drill are given in five to seven languages and can be heard in the cabins and all over the ship. Despite these announcements, often given SEVERAL times in the various languages, some folks ignored them. The drills themselves are given in five languages. Don’t try to nap at 4-4:30 or so on port days as the messages are heard in the cabins. Passengers need to register their credit cards at a kiosk rather than at registration. Dining Passengers are assigned dining based on the requested time and “experience” purchased. We requested and were given early dining, and I went down at about 2:00 to see where our table was. The waiter on duty showed me my table of six at a window. Nice. However, when we arrived for dinner, our table placement had been changed to a table of two right next to the noisy kitchen doors. We then noticed that the entire room was filled with Asian passengers, and they were in their own groups. We wanted to sit with someone who spoke English and only upon our insistence did the staff accommodate this. The maître-de mentioned that the Asians had requested early dining and were given preference. He moved us to a slightly later dining time in a different restaurant which worked out great. Two other couples from Australia were our tablemates, and they were wonderful, as was our waiter. Americans receive “free” still or sparkling water and coffee as an accommodation. The menu in the MDR was fine but did not present a lot of variety. I soon learned a salad meant lettuce and two half slices of a cherry tomato and not much else. The meats were usually tender, but often rather bland. I was surprised there was not better spicing and flavor. Lasagna was just okay, the salmon was dry, and the apple strudel crust soggy. The chefs need some work. Breakfast in the Purple Crab was always quite good. We sat with a couple from Scotland who hated the way they prepared French toast (with a crunchy crust.) I ordered it the next day and love it, so that shows how differently people view dining experiences. We dined at the Butcher’s Cut, and everything was superb. Mozarella is fresh and made onboard. When making reservations, go see the person who is in charge of specialty dining to make your reservation if you didn’t do so previously. We didn’t eat at the other specialty restaurants but observed they had very few customers. It was especially noticeable at the French restaurant where a trio played to no or only one table of customers each night. It was rather sad to walk by on the lovely promenade to observe this. The Marketplace Buffet (our favorite time in the buffet) is just fine and to be commended for offering fresh scrambled eggs at breakfast rather than the type many other cruise lines offer. Don’t expect bagels, English muffins, or American style bacon. Most passengers love their pizza, which is available throughout the day. Obtaining milk was difficult as MSC didn’t offer it in cartons but in large containers. I had no idea if it was skim, 1 or 2%, or whole milk. There are no machines for iced tea or lemonade. The assigned MDRs and the buffet are the only complementary venues for food. Most ships have a café or even a 24-hour restaurant as an alternative, so this aspect had a downside. The buffet also ran out of some items such as herbal and green teas after a few days because of passenger hoarding. Fellow Passengers As I mentioned, we enjoy travel to Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and so are used to people from different countries. The passengers on this sailing were quite unfriendly. We felt as if we were invisible people in Bizzaro World. Most people just walked around and didn’t socialize in any manner. No greetings on elevators or in the hallways, etc. Some nationalities sit in areas only for the handicapped with an attitude that the clearly visible signs were only a suggestion. This situation with fellow passengers may just have been relevant only on this sailing, but was a significant, negative feature of the cruise. We tried to strike up a conversation anytime we heard someone speak English, and they happily reciprocated. One thing that really surprised us was the large number of children of all ages who were aboard. Most were well behaved, but there were toddlers lying on the hallway floors totally ignored by their parents. I never saw so many large strollers and prams in one place- maybe a hundred by the end of the cruise as the number of young families grew. These made it difficult to maneuver through the public areas. MSC allows children to sail for free with their parents. I imagine those family groups had a splendid time as the Grandiosa provided excellent activities and features for children. They have an active children’s program, inside and outside sports activities, lovely pools, and a ropes course. The weather on this November sailing didn’t provide much opportunity for passengers to use the lovely pool areas. The covered pool was minimally used even though it seemed to be warm enough in that room. The hot tubs were enjoyed (read: monopolized) by groups of children who used it as a swimming pool. I can’t say that I blame them as there were not many alternatives. Entertainment Let me start out with the extremely positive. The performances in the main theatre are spectacular. The singers and dancers were top-notch, and the costumes and sets were beyond belief. Well done! We enjoyed every show. The most memorable was a scene from “Dream” featuring dancers transformed into sea creatures: fish, octopus, sharks, jellyfish, etc. Other aerial and gymnastics type of performers that defied definition were featured within some shows. They performed a few amazing acts, such as one who was the master controller of the other three who were able to move and contort their bodies in astonishing ways. One performance was a shadow artists’ act that was original and very well done. It sounds strange, but I believe the audience appreciated the originality and skill. The main theatre shows (usually three each evening) should be reserved ahead of time, but those without reservations can often find seating five minutes before the show. The lounges are another issue that MSC will have to address. The only lounge that was used well was the Grandiosa Lounge on the promenade. The performers were very good, and we enjoyed dancing there. The other lounges were rather empty and sometimes there were no performers there even though they were on the schedule. The English pub, L’Artlier Bistrot (French restaurant), and TV studio tended to be vastly underused and quite a waste of space. The lovely Sky Lounge featured a pianist and sometimes a soloist who provided what I describe as “atmosphere music” even though there is a lovely dance floor. The lounge entertainment needs to be addressed by MSC as they are losing a lot of money and forcing 6,200 people into just one or two entertainment areas in the evening. MSC invested quite a bit of money for the Cirque de Sol theatre. Some people might like that type of show, but I thought the performance was sort of weird and creepy and didn’t display much originality or talent. The aerialists on many other ships are just as good, and the two shows onboard had a cover charge. You could purchase tickets for a show and cocktail or a show and dinner. The main promenade with shops, cafes, and restaurants is charming but, of course, heavily used and crowded, especially at night when the wonderful ceiling displays are illuminated. These are unique and not to be missed. The cruise director’s staff needs more training or perhaps some replacements. I have to agree with another poster that a few are bored and boring and rather immature. They are a weak link. There are not many activities onboard, probably due to the many languages spoken. Cabin We had an inside cabin, and the bed and pillows were very comfortable. As others have noted, the cabins don’t have as much storage as other comparable ships. The cabin was quiet and well-positioned, but a few basics were missing although they were provided when mentioned. We were very pleased with our cabin. Recreation Because of the many languages spoken on the ship, MSC tends to not emphasize many games such as trivia and bingo, nor do they offer lectures. The ship does not have a library or game rooms but there are ample places to sit for reading and board and dice games. We always bring small games such as Farkle, Quiddler, and Wizard with a small, portable dice-rolling board. We took our free bottle of sparkling wine to enjoy while we played and sat in the Sky Lounge on the sea day. Crew The crew was very good, especially the customer service! MSC must hire very pleasant sorts because they always treated us kindly and professionally. Not the stereotypically crabby types sometimes reported by others. The crew was reasonably well trained with just a few glitches that can easily be overlooked since they need time to work out the minor details. I was impressed that they could perform so well with being on the ship for only a few weeks. The crew who interacts with the passengers all speak English with varying degrees of fluency, but we encountered no communication problems. They are instructed to greet ALL passengers in English (I saw that on a sign coming from the crew-only area.) Black or Diamond Status We were very fortunate to make it just under the wire in October 2018 with being granted Black Card Status based on our NCL Platinum Status. That good fortune doesn’t happen anymore except for the highest rankings, and MSC does not offer a table to explain their policy. You just apply using your “best” status from another cruise line. You must cruise every three years to maintain your assigned status. MSC recently changed Black Status to Diamond Status. The main perks are discounted cruises, robes and slippers, a free meal at a specialty restaurant, a bottle of sparkling water, fresh fruit (changed twice in seven days), and chocolate-covered strawberries. You also qualify for a free Italian Cream cake if sailing on your birthday. We were also invited to special Captain’s welcome and cocktail parties, which were very nice. The officers tended not to socialize with the passengers. The captain also had a pre-brunch for the status passengers before he took questions at the Officer’s Question and Answer session. Dress Code (Really?) I encouraged my husband to bring a white shirt and tie and was concerned we would be not meeting the posted dress code for formal nights. Was I wrong! Less than half the men wore a suit while others wore t-shirts, shorts, and even a Harley Davidson t-shirt on formal night. I saw only one tuxedo. So, if men want to wear a golf shirt or something similar, they will fit right in. To be honest, I felt that the dress code throughout the week was about the most “relaxed” I have ever seen on any cruise ship. Dancing While not great dancers, we still enjoy simple ballroom dancing. The only place for this was the Grandiosa Lounge, which was very crowded. The dance instructions by one team tended to be pretty good but with some other times, it was like the cruise director’s staff made up moves or had just learned the basics from a youtube.com video. We learned a few new things, though from the better team! Shore Excursions I will write a fuller review under port reviews, but here is a summary: We embarked in Rome after three days of sightseeing. Palermo, Sicily: this was our only rainy day, and it didn’t help that Palermo is rather “gritty.” We attempted to find our way down the streets of tall, unimpressive buildings as we dodged human or dog waste on the sidewalks. After about thirty minutes, we decided that Palermo wasn’t enjoyable for us, so we went back to the ship attempting to jump back when fast-moving cars and trucks threatened to splash the pools of rainwater on us. Valetta, Malta: What a lovely city! The cathedral and Palace of the Grand Master were splendid as was the atmosphere in town, but this only showed how clueless we were to the “political volcano” that was emerging all around. It was only when we returned to the ship at dinner that we learned why our cell phone service wasn’t working. The government turned off all service to prevent its citizens from rioting! Another clue was the lack of city lighting as we sailed away- the government shut that down too! It appears that the populace was more than furious with its top leaders who had some part in the assassination of a prominent journalist who had been looking into government corruption. Check out the past news about this, but we learned that the president had recently resigned. BTW- our friends who were on a HOHO bus had a problem- the bus wasn’t showing up, and they couldn’t get a call through to the company. They were forced to take a taxi to the port. Barcelona, Spain: We had been to Barcelona in the past so thought a HOHO bus experience would be good to see the features we had missed. The number one thing to experience is the La Sagrada de Familia, the basilica Gaudi designed. Barcelona is wonderful! Marseilles, France: We were originally going to take the train to Aix-en- Provence, but decided to take a DIY ship excursion instead. Passengers going to Marseilles had to purchase a ship shuttle if they were not on a ship excursion, so this ended up working just fine! This town is easy to walk and had a Christmas Market going on. It was quiet and just lovely. There was one disturbing incident onboard this ship excursion bus: a toddler who SCREAMED almost the entire time was obviously sick, but momma just peddled her off on the poor grandma. As we walked around town, we would occasionally hear the baby approaching from a distance. Genoa, Italy: At first, I didn’t think I was going to enjoy Genoa, but it ended up having many lovely churches, museums, and shops as we walked around town. Piazzas, churches, and the Royal Palace were all well worth the easy walk. Disembarkation: The process was very easy! We had booked a Habicab that arrived on time, but we came out too early as we misjudged the timing. It probably took ten minutes with no need to be processed by any governmental agency. The MSC used the Leonardo Terminal, which is very nice. Conclusion The Grandiosa is a spectacular ship that needs some fine tuning on how to best use the lounges and other under-used facilities. The Swarovski staircases are stunning. Americans who aren’t used to European travel or cruising may need to adjust their expectations but will still have a lovely time. I certainly would book another cruise on the Grandiosa but with a different itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and have been to many of the ports and have cruised on many different cruise lines. So, we expect mistakes,errors, and missteps,especially on a new cruise ship. MSC exceeded our expectations in errors,incompetence,and refusal to own their mistakes. Embarkation for YC, is done in a private area. The other classes were in a area were disorganization seemed to reign. We were processed and on ship within 20 minutes of our arrival at Genoa terminal. We were escorted by a butler along with two other families. Upon boarding a female security officer said stop. I asked if there was a problem, she stated there was an issue with my card. The butler who was there to assist, was MIA. When I asked what the problem was, she put her hand in my face and yelled I would have to wait for management to fix the problem. I told our butler who looked nervous,to please help fix this. He then stated I was YC and they would handle it later. No apology for the assault or humiliation. There was no issue for the card and I received an apology from the staff captain five days later after I repeatedly asked to speak to a manager and they reviewed the tape. No further gesture of good will ever came nor would I deign to ask for one. Despite temptation, I kept an open mind about MSC. The positives of YC were they escorted you on and off the boat,avoiding long and often unorganized lines. They also had an awesome lunge where one could have a drink of choice,high tea, or continental breakfast. There were always nibbles or sweets laid out. The YC restaurant,the food was very mixed to poor. Breakfast had nice items,but were often cold or flavorless. This included eggs Benedict that were cold and hard. On formal night, we got escortgoes that had a butter crust and no garlicky soft butter sauce. Steak was often over done despite requests for medium or rare. Most other dishes lacked any form of seasoning. The main buffet had better and more flavorful food. This was despite it being a blood sport to get food with people pushing or cutting the line. The pizza was excellent(even by NYC standards) and it was cool to watch them make fresh mozzarella. Service in the YC was either smothering or poor. If one went to get a cup of coffee in the morning , a staff member would insist to carry it to your room. One day we arrived at 1505, five minutes after lunch finished on the YC outside deck. We were told sorry, it was closed and we were on our own. The rooms were decent and mini bar was fully stocked. However, if a blow dryer was needed it had to be asked for.. The ship had limited trivia games or other non musical activities. This can be attributed to the multiple main languages on the ship,which was a positive and fun thing. We did not take any excursions,from the ship so have no opinion on these. the ship is HUGE,maybe too big. However,they have any awesome beer bar,called Top of the Mast. Great beer selection and very friendly staff. Disembarkation was easy and quick. My only issue was getting a refund from my card in euros instead of the money being put back on the card. MSC has potential but needs to work out some service issues. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was ... Read More
My wife and I took a five night cruise. We stayed in an interior stateroom. TL;DR Overall nice, and with a few tweaks (later activity hours mainly) it would have been great. The Good: -The ship itself is huge and gorgeous. -I was expecting small staterooms, but was pleasantly surprised by the amount of space in our interior stateroom. Another review mentioned there not being a hairdryer, there is one. It isn't in the washroom though, it was in the drawer in front of the mirror in the main room. -Staff were friendly and competent. -Food was overall good (did not try out the specialty restaurants, but they looked good). The buffet was decent overall. The pizza was passable, but not good. I only mention because others have said it was great, those people are crazy. The sit down dinners were pretty good, nothing fantastic but decent for sure. -The shows were overall good to excellent with a good variety. -The two different Cirque du Soleil shows that were both fantastic. We did one with a cocktail and one with dinner. Both were very much worth it. The Bad: -Everything closes early except the bars and the casino. All the pools/hot tubs, including the interior ones, close at 2000 (8 pm) same with the spa. Meaning that if you go off the ship, by the time you get back, and have the early dinner (1830) there is little to no time to enjoy those amenities. Due to this my wife and I booked the thermal spa package, but always had to rush in order to get in 1/2 to 1 hour of time in the spa. Having these open until 2200 (10 pm) would be much better. There is litereally noting to do unless you are going to the shows. -The casino reeks of cigarettes. They have a smoking section in the casino, but it is not physically separated from the rest of the casino, so the whole place smells. -No front view for us mere mortals who are not yacht club level. Literally not a single public space to see out the front of the ship unless you are spending the big bucks. -Could have just been due to it being a bit cooler, but it was a missed opportunity that they did not show movies or anything on the giant screen outside. Would have been a fun activity to lounge around and watch a movie while snuggled under a blanket eating some popcorn. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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