13 Perth (Fremantle) Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

My husband and I wanted to try another ship from Fremantle rather than fly over east or to Singapore for a short cruise, as we sail about 6 times a year. This was a one night in port celebration when we booked, but later converted to part ... Read More
My husband and I wanted to try another ship from Fremantle rather than fly over east or to Singapore for a short cruise, as we sail about 6 times a year. This was a one night in port celebration when we booked, but later converted to part of the Perth Fringe festival. We went on the Astor in 2018 for 1 night (which we hated!) but thought the Vasco da Gama might be a better option as it was ex P&O and larger than Astor. We have been on more than 50 cruises, mostly with Royal Caribbean, and knew it would not be of the same standard, given the age and size of the ship, but the online pics looked good. Embarkation was excellent - 10 mins from entering the building to boarding the ship. Many crew welcomed us on-board and the cabin was ready which was great as it meant we could off-load our bags immediately. On entering the room, we were hit by a revolting odour that seemed to be a mix of stale smoke, moldy carpet and god knows what else. The beds had not been put together, as requested, and when we tried to move the side tables ourselves, there were used plasters behind it, making us wonder when the area had last been cleaned... We decided to have some lunch in the Bistro (which was lukewarm and the veg was still semi-frozen) and wanted to get off there and then - smelly room and horrible food in the first half an hour!! We went to the customer service desk to see what could be done. Her attitude was not great and she initially told us the ship was full so we couldn't move. The best they could offer was air freshener. We said this wasn't good enough as the smell was so bad. After waiting for several minutes, we learnt that our room had been visited and suddenly another cabin was available for us to move to. We were told to keep it a secret in case other passengers found out and wanted too move also!! The new room was much better so we went off to explore the ship. The Waterfront Dining Room and bars were well fitted out, but when you look online, these are simply the legacy of the Pacific Eden and have not been changed at all. The mattresses at the adults only pool were filthy and some of the chairs and tables were also badly stained too and didn't leave a good impression. It was such a contrast to the pleasant centre pool and inside areas, and really needs attention. We had drinks in the Oceanic bar and were very pleased with the prices as they are much cheaper than the large american lines. We met a lovely older couple who loved CMV but as they hadn't tried any other lines, their expectation levels were not the same as ours. Only a couple of the bars were open but it looked like they were very short staffed as only 2 people were serving the entire area. Dinner in the Waterfront was much better than we thought it would be and the surroundings are very 'homely' and comfortable. Service was fine. The ship was being used as part of the Perth Fringe Festival and everyone was encouraged to see the headline act, YUCK circus, which had won many awards at the Adelaide fringe. We battled to find a seat where we could see the stage, thanks to a large group of people who decided add a row of chairs in front of us, because, I quote "we are suite guests and someone is sitting in our dedicated row". The show itself was unbearable and in places, quite disgusting. We are not prudes but who wants to hear about menstruation and masturbation in great detail?? Where is the humour in that? We walked out just before the end and the limited applause spoke volumes. Beds were comfortable and it was annoying to be kicked out the room by 7am (8.00-8.30am is the norm on other ships). Breakfast was in the Bistro with long queues for a mediocre cooked breakfast. On departure, other guests were complaining about the YUCK circus and we all felt that CMV had a duty of care to know what they were putting on, especially was it had a PG rating... In sum: - Old and tired but spacious room (avoid 6158) but good to have a bath and shower - Lukewarm and mediocre food in the Bistro - Understaffed - Good furnishings in the main public areas (except the adult pool area) - Limited choice but excellent bar prices - Very expensive for one night at $260 per person - only $3 less than on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth which is in a completely different league - Appear to be operating the cruises on a shoestring budget - less food choice and not enough staff Would we travel with CMV again? After our experiences on the Astor and now Vasco da Gama, no we wouldn't, which is a shame. The larger resort ships are not for everyone, but we will stick with what we know and what we love. We are all different :-) Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Booked this cruise nearly three years ago so, looking forward to Christmas and NY on board ship and especially fireworks in Sydney harbour. The day we boarded in Fremantle, Western Australia the temperature was 41c, like anoven. Great ... Read More
Booked this cruise nearly three years ago so, looking forward to Christmas and NY on board ship and especially fireworks in Sydney harbour. The day we boarded in Fremantle, Western Australia the temperature was 41c, like anoven. Great to get on board, no queuing which was good. Didn’t have to wait long for our luggage to arrive. Then up to get some lunch in Windows Cafe. We booked a Club Balcony, Port side. Having been on Azamara ships before we knew what to expect especially the small bathroom and shower with the plastic curtains!! However, all clean. It was a lovely balmy evening when we sailed out of Fremantle although we did head into rougher seas during the night. Our first port of call was Albany which we had been to many times before as we lived in Perth for a number of years. Albany was much cooler and good to walk around and stretch those legs. Christmas Day was spent cruising the Great Australian Bight. We went for the brunch at around 10am, very busy but some amazing choices of food. The main meal being in the evening which was great. No complaints about food on this cruise what so ever, well, breakfast was pretty much the same each morning but, I did enjoy the black pudding!! We did a ships tour when we docked in Adelaide, which to be honest was not great due to the fact our tour guide could not get the microphone to work. Anyway, we toured around Adelaide,headed for Mt Lofty to get some amazing views over Adelaide and the coast. Then headed to Hansdorff in the hills. A stinking hot day 41c. Hansdorff is a very pretty little town settled a century ago by the Germans and still retains a lot of character. The following day we were docked in Kangaroo Island. Then two days at sea before we sailed into Sydney Harbour. Went shopping as the January sales were on. I must say at this point, we did not do any tours as we live in Australia and have been to all the places on this cruise before. Shuttle buses were provided each day we were in port, on NYE they were dropping guests at Central Station from there you can catch a train to Circular Quay and elsewhere in Sydney. This was because a number of roads were closed due to the fireworks that Evening. Day two we were dropped at Darling Harbour from where you can catch a ferry into Circular Quay. All buses ran smoothly each day. New Years Eve, the ship put on alfresco dining on the main deck but, unfortunately there was a heavy down pour at 8pm which ruined everything. Fortunately, we had decided to eat in the main dining room. At midnight we went up on deck to watch the fireworks and although we were seeing them from the backside of the bridge they were still amazing. I gather people who went to the zoo got drenched due to the earlier downpour. So glad we never paid the extortionate price the ship was asking. Day two in Sydney we met up with a friend for lunch in Darling Harbour. Our last port of call was Hobart, Tasmania. Most unusual for Hobart it was stinking hot, 36c. Walked around the dock and took photos of some of the yaghts that were still in dock after finishing the Sydney to Hobart race. Last stop Melbourne where we disembarked. The disembarkation was very smooth as was the coach trip back to the airport, all handled very well. My main moan, too many days at sea, did we really need to go straight from Adelaide to Sydney. The evening entertainment, well 4 opera singers gets a bit boring. Variety is needed. Too many people going down with coughs which I ended up with. Ships stewards were great, always smiling. They work so hard. Food was good, much better than our last cruise on Azamara Journey in July 18. Overall, a good cruise, met some lovely people. Oh, nearly forgot, we did enjoy the Ships Expo they put on for one of our sea days, excellent, good to see and chat to staff who work in the background keeping everything ticking over Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise for the interest in the WW1 theme and visiting Albany. Embarkation was advertised for 2 pm but many people were already there. The process began just after 2 pm and groups were called depending upon arrival, thus ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the interest in the WW1 theme and visiting Albany. Embarkation was advertised for 2 pm but many people were already there. The process began just after 2 pm and groups were called depending upon arrival, thus leaving us near last, around 3pm. After that, we were checked in and went to our cabin, a Premium suite on Atlantic deck. This was a very spacious cabin, with 2 large floor to ceiling windows, a great amount of cupboards, drawers and surface spaces, a very comfortable bed and probably the best sized bathroom and shower we have experienced on a cruise ship. The decor was nice, navy blue carpet and wood. We were very pleased with this cabin and it was exceptionally clean and well maintained. The food throughout was good. We ate mainly in the buffet and enjoyed all our meals. Each day had different offerings and we had no problem at all finding a table. Service was great and efficient. The main dining room was the same. We have no complaints at all. The entertainment was fantastic. The resident singers, dancers and musicians were all great and were well received. The shows were varied and very suitable to all age groups. The most outstanding part of the cruise was the Dawn Service on board in the bay, visit to the incredible National ANZAC Centre, the dusk service up on the monument overlooking the town and the wonderful show that night, singing songs from the war era and listening to rousing renditions put on by the singers and dancers. Throughout the days we enjoyed outside activities, shows, deck games and organised activities as well as the entertaining presenter telling stories about the two wars. Sitting in the two bars was very pleasant, with both providing varied entertainers at different times. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed this short cruise and would happily cruise with CMV again. With reference to the previous reviewer, you COULD put your suitcases out the night before and you DIDN'T strictly have to be out of your cabin by 7am. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I went with 9 other people for a 50th birthday. There was good food from all the places to eat from, but the Dragon lady restaurant is special , Angelo's was ok and I highly recommend to pay and try the Salt and Grill Restaurant for ... Read More
I went with 9 other people for a 50th birthday. There was good food from all the places to eat from, but the Dragon lady restaurant is special , Angelo's was ok and I highly recommend to pay and try the Salt and Grill Restaurant for the taste experience. The Live entertainment Bands and groups were good value as you could pick the different types of music that you wanted to hear for the night. The other live shows on stage range from excellent to ok. The staff from your room service people to the Bar & food staff were all excellent and always very helpful. I would recommend this cruise for Families and 50 to 60s + age group This is definitely not the Love boat. There was always something to do on board from competitions, quizzes, games and light entertainment through the day. Its not the biggest ship I have been on but you don't feel lost like you can with the larger ships. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Having sailed on the Sapphire and Emerald we dis not think we would be in for such a disappointment . MANY people had their rooms flooded, toilets not flushing, lack of hot water and the list goes on. Many mornings , early hours, there ... Read More
Having sailed on the Sapphire and Emerald we dis not think we would be in for such a disappointment . MANY people had their rooms flooded, toilets not flushing, lack of hot water and the list goes on. Many mornings , early hours, there would be noises like you were in an industrial area. Grinders, chipping hammers,paint odour and voices. I had read this type of complaint by past passengers butt it was too late. We had already paid and the cancel date had passed. The food and service was more than satisfactory. Would recommend but this review is directed at the ship. Incidentally this vessel has been sold to P & O. I heard it goes into dry dock around May 2017 and will be launched under a different name. As a cruise liner in its current condition it would make a great imitation reef. Be aware the photo shown of " your room" may not be accurate. Ours showed one thing and it was considerably smaller to the point one person could go to bed walking alongside the bed. The other side was absolute minimal room , about 200mm with a chair blocking access so you had to climb into bed from the end of the bed. DEFINATELY avoid this vessel for now. Certainly pay attention to passenger reviews. Our room was not as advertised but luckily we didn't have the inconveniences that many passengers encountered. Very disappointing as we have enjoyed previous tours with OTHER princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
After reading lots of not so good reviews about Pacific Eden, was keen to see what she was really like so embarked on a 3 day Comedy Cruise from Fremantle. Embarkation - P&O nailed this. Best boarding ever. Had a set time to ... Read More
After reading lots of not so good reviews about Pacific Eden, was keen to see what she was really like so embarked on a 3 day Comedy Cruise from Fremantle. Embarkation - P&O nailed this. Best boarding ever. Had a set time to board, rather than everyone showing up at the same time, and we got there a little bit earlier and were allowed to board. They had heaps of people on the computers to check people in and give room cards and we had practically no waiting at all. Was fantastic. Room - we had an obscured view cabin on deck 6. The room was spacious. The beds were really comfortable. Had all the amenities that you require. The shower is over the bath, which might be an issue for some. Room had flannels, which a lot of rooms don't, and soap / shampoo dispensers. Our housekeeping staff - Pronoto and Dorah - both introduced themselves, showed us parts of the cabin, were always friendly and remembered our names on every greeting. The room had some minor signs of wear but nothing that I would complain about. Food - The Pantry is the new version of a buffet where food is served to you rather than you serving yourself. As a vegetarian, there were not any specific vegetarian meals on offer, but plenty of vegetables, salads and for lunch, one roll each day was meat free. The food itself was generally okay apart from it being on the cooler side of warm. The Waterfront - ate here for 2 dinners, each course had a vegetarian option and food was nice. Staff were professional and service time was reasonable. We went early but you may be in for a wait if you go at a later time. Angelos - nice décor, professional wait staff who were knowledgeable about the food, and again vegetarian options available. Did not get into Dragon Lady as it was booked out early for the 3 nights. Entertainment - we had a comedy cruise and the comedy acts were really good and we enjoyed them all. They had a sing / dance show on the last night which was good. They had 2 dance classes - one line dancing, which was really popular and enjoyable but ran for only about 15-20 minutes, which was really disappointing that it ended so quickly. Name that tune quiz each night, which was not our cup of tea, but some probably enjoyed it. Some of the trivia was okay - one quiz was hilarious because of the hosts (Cole and Marius ) but a lot of them were a bit long winded. You could help yourself to board games or sports equipment but there was not that much organised activity during the day - although there were activities that you could pay for, such as a lot of the Edge activities. After about 3, there were usually bands playing somewhere. Most were good, but some a bit loud and it killed any conversations. They had a white themed night and a Gatsby themed night, which a lot of people dressed for however the venues for some of the parties were way too small with nowhere near enough room for so many people to gather. On the last night, the 11-30pm after party had not started by 11-50pm, so not sure if that occurred or not. The gym was brilliant - had more equipment than some local gyms! Lots of exercise bikes and lots of treadmills and the like ( although there were lots of 'not working' signs on the day we went in there ) and heaps of individual pieces of equipment. Was really impressed and you would be able to keep fit on this cruise. The layout and décor of the ship was really nice. I liked all the bars and nooks for people to sit in. The atrium was nice and spacious and around the ship lots of seating and lounge chairs ( although get in early as people jump on them first thing and stay there all day ). The pool area under the retractable roof was really nice and there is another pool outside on the rear of the ship which is much quieter. Plenty of outdoor spaces, good wide walk around deck on level 6. Overall, I really liked the layout of the ship and the refurbishment seems to have been worth it. There were some issues that we encountered. There was a really bad smell around the entry to the Pantry, which seemed to permeate through the eating areas at times. It smelt like used socks that had been wet and left. It was really unpleasant and did not go during the cruise, so I assume its there all the time and its really off putting being near the food areas. Something really needs to be done about this. Stabilisers - I don't know if Eden has any or not, but it sure did not feel like it this cruise. The water was not what I would consider that rough, but she rolled and pitched almost from the minute we took off and it did not stop for three days. I am not an extensive cruiser but the previous ships I have been on did not roll and pitch nearly as much in much rougher seas. Staff - I did not find the majority as friendly as on other cruises. Some were really nice but there were a lot that did not seem to want to be there and there was no smiling or interactions with passengers. Am not saying that they were rude, but a bit more smiling and at least pretending to be nice to people would not have gone astray. Perhaps on a longer cruise and getting to know people a bit better may have made a difference. I drank cider, which was reasonably priced, although the wines were rather pricey. No receipts are given to keep track of what you are spending but you can check this on the machines on deck 7 ( and top up your account - if you don't give a credit card on boarding, you will need to top up your account at the start of day 2 as you get up to $100 on the first night then any attempt to buy anything the next day will be declined until you top up your account ). Cocktails - the toblerone was amazing!! Overall, it was a pleasant experience with some really positive things and some areas that could definitely be improved. If you go with a group of people, it would be a fun experience, and for the price we paid could not complain. I'm not sure that I would sail again on Eden but am certainly glad that I tried her and would suggest that if you go with reasonable expectations, you will enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
From the start the on boarding was smooth and due to it being staggered times it was so easy. Our room was wonderful and the beds were comfy, the bars and little nooks for sitting and grabbing a cocktail or to read were well thought out. ... Read More
From the start the on boarding was smooth and due to it being staggered times it was so easy. Our room was wonderful and the beds were comfy, the bars and little nooks for sitting and grabbing a cocktail or to read were well thought out. The food was terrible though I am so sorry to say..it was cold and not really edible, the other restaurants were all fully booked within hours and therefore stuck with the Waterfront and the Pantry and because you are at sea it's a bit hard to go elsewhere. I felt sorry for the waiters as they had to deal with quite a lot of complaints. Please take heed and sort the food and I think you will have a fab cruise liner and a returning customer for sure. Perhaps have a bit more entertainment going on but that's being a little picky. And another plus note the disembarking was smooth too Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Came with great expectations - none were met. The food was shameful - no way there was a chef in the galley, a home cook could put more flavour and could cook more authentic ethnic food than what we received. The Indonesian bar and cabin ... Read More
Came with great expectations - none were met. The food was shameful - no way there was a chef in the galley, a home cook could put more flavour and could cook more authentic ethnic food than what we received. The Indonesian bar and cabin crew were amazing! The European crew were rude, lazy and just didn't care about the passengers concerns. Their infection control was non existent leading to a respiratory virus do the rounds up to three times, the only way to get better was to get off the boat. I felt sorry for Gallipoli cruises who were the meat in the sandwich. They chartered the ship feeling that if there were concerns from the passengers, MSC would address those. That most definately did not happen. What should have been an amazing holiday was marred by these memories of MSC. My recommendation to anyone looking at cruising - NEVER cruise with MSC! Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was the second 3 day comedy cruise I have been on and my 6th cruise all up. This was by far the worst cruising experience I have experienced. While the ship was nice enough and the comedy was fantastic, the service and food was ... Read More
This was the second 3 day comedy cruise I have been on and my 6th cruise all up. This was by far the worst cruising experience I have experienced. While the ship was nice enough and the comedy was fantastic, the service and food was terrible. I put this down to it being a 3 day cruise and the staff don't expect many tips for the 3 days, however, the ship was full of first time cruisers and I feel sorry for them if they think this is normal. We were a group of 43 and had 4 tables booked for two of the 3 nights. The first night 3 tables were onto their desert while our table was just getting our entrée orders, the second night the same thing happened with the same table, thank god we changed tables that night. One of the people on our table that first night ordered Mango Brule. When he got his desert he questioned whether he got the right order, the waiter said "We are out of Mango but it is Rhubarb, same as Mango!" Um, I don't think so. I don't think anyone actually ate their entire meal as the food was not good. You couldn't even send it back because of how long it took to get your original meal. The only place where there were no complaints was at the specialty restaurant, which I did not go to as it was $50 per person. On every other ship I have been on the cost of specialty restaurants is $20. The other frustration for me was that my daughter had just turned 18. She was issued with a blue card (adult) which when inserted into a machine, would bring up her photo and her details. Every time she wanted to attend an 18 plus event she was asked to go back to her room to get her passport for ID. What is the point in having your photo taken and being issued a card if the staff can't be bothered using the ID machine? She should not have had to carry her passport around on her and risk losing it. On every other ship they encourage you to lock your passport in the safe and, on Holland America Line, they even keep your passport as you board and give it to you when needed for excursions. I thought it was entirely inappropriate and told the staff that each time it happened. This was an absolutely ridiculous practice that I totally disagree with. The food and service I could live with, as I think it was a 3 day cruise and think (hope) it would be better on a longer voyage. But the ID situation was inexcusable and the staff should have addressed this immediately on the first night. I would not allow an 18 yo to carry a passport around on her when she is only just legal to drink alcohol. There are much better Lines to cruise with. P&O are not for me. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
As this was a charter cruise we paid above market price for this cruise and knew it. But even so we were expecting a 5 star ship and cruise because of the way MSC Orchestra had been sold to us. Also because of Orchestras own advertising - ... Read More
As this was a charter cruise we paid above market price for this cruise and knew it. But even so we were expecting a 5 star ship and cruise because of the way MSC Orchestra had been sold to us. Also because of Orchestras own advertising - the ship looks much prettier in photos, boasts wonderful food and friendly staff. First - the ship itself was immaculate, it was so clean at times it actually inconvenienced passengers. There were days we couldn't use our balconies when they were being cleaned. This is this first ship we have been on that has no chairs on the promenade deck which was really odd and they were constantly washing it!! This was were the smokers also could linger, not a bad thing as they couldn't congregate, no chairs. Inside was as clean, but most ships are now maintained at this level. First time we were made to feel like we as passengers interfered with the schedules though. Embarkation - was quite fast and fairly smooth considering the fact that MSC had never docked at Fremantle before. It took some time to get our luggage to our rooms but I think most passengers had theirs before midnight. Service - well .... made the mistake (we think) of buying the Alegrissmo package. Service is slow to non existent. This wasn't helped by the fact that the ship was full of Aussies who insisted on fronting up to the bars themselves and insisted on face to face service from the bar staff. Then they remained at the bars!! This ship went through a lot of firsts I think, we drank them out of quite a few beers, wines, spirits etc. But aside from the bad behaviour of some of the passengers ( in the opinions of the staff ) service was the worst we have experienced!! If you got one coffee you were lucky, don't expect two! Though we had the package that included unlimited, silly us!! The staff were there they just ambled around, looked busy, served one of two, disappeared???? Dining - food was adequate. Again had been led to expect 5 star, it was just 3 star. Though there seemed to be plenty, there was no flavour in the meals, desserts were very ordinary, the breads were quite good. Our staff in the main dining room were excellent however as were our dining companions, every evening was a joy. Made the cruise!! The buffet served up a very ordinary, sufficient fare but nothing exciting or over the top. Entertainment - we actually provided a lot of our own Aussie entertainers on this cruise, who were great, but the MSC entertainers also had a night here and there. So, a couple of lovely female singers, a particularly strange Italian male singer who started off the cruise trying to sing like Frank Sinatra - downhill for him from there! They had some great acrobatic performers and dancers, though I found the dancing couple who do the daytime classes rather over rated! No band was also a bit disappointing. Activities - they ran a sort of bingo, but honestly the American cruise lines are so much better at this! I'm sure there were lots of other activities but again because it was a charter cruise, there were so many things that were done by our organisers and some by MSC it is a little hard to comment here. Disembarkation - was very fast and efficient in Rome. They have done this many times. Summary: At Istanbul we noticed a change in staff from predominately Asian to a lot more European. I would say Italian as this was an Italian line but not sure, they were rude, surly, not at all friendly or ready to smile and communicate like the previous staff members had been. Perhaps they didn't like Australians; but how would they know, I didn't see any new staff members in the bars, buffet or around the ship trying? Do I say something about everyone getting sick? This was not MSC's fault, this will happen in any environment were people group together for extended periods of time. We were our own worst enemies when it came to the floating flu!! So, this ship looks like a beautiful ship, acts like a beautiful ship but inside behaves and is a 3 ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Firstly the positives - the restaurant, bar and entertainment staff were fantastic, always smiling and wanting to help. We were a family of 4 with 2 teenage chlldren. We booked 2 years before cruising when the children were smaller (due ... Read More
Firstly the positives - the restaurant, bar and entertainment staff were fantastic, always smiling and wanting to help. We were a family of 4 with 2 teenage chlldren. We booked 2 years before cruising when the children were smaller (due to special nature of the Gallipoli Cruise that we went on). In that 2 years my 2 boys grew into adult sized pubescent smelly 'little adults'. Despite several emails to the organiser of the cruise mentioning the cabin suitability for what is essentially 4 adults - I was reassured that all would be fine. So in the end we paid A LOT of money to have 4 adult sized people crammed into a tiny cabin (with no doors or windows or ventilation) that stank of smelly teenage boys after the second day, so the next 34 days were very uncomfortable. I went to speak to the organisers after 2 days to request to upgrade to a cabin that would actually accommodate us in more humane conditions - to be told they were very busy and would get back to me within 24hours. Despite offering to pay the difference in price to a larger cabin, I never heard from them again. We had 2 other lots of friends who complained on the ship about their cabins (noise from decks above and and odour) and they were upgraded (at no cost), but they didn't even bother to answer our plea for a more humane trip. Needless to say only 10 days into a 36 day trip I got sick with flu like symptoms, fever and cough, and then for the rest of our cabin - all 4 of us were infected and at varying stages of illness and recovery for the rest of the cruise. The medical facilities were seriously inadequate with English language issues (medical staff were Croatian???), the "pharmacy" ran out of Paracetamol in the first week and never restocked??? The medical centre charged a fee of $90 just to see the Doctor to get paracetamol (without even an examination). I am a nurse and my husband is a doctor and we were stunned at the lack of English and poor medical treatment. Combine this with the total lack of supervision of passengers at crucial places like the buffet - where we witnessed sniffling children with their hands in parmesan cheese, adults putting their hands all over the spouts of water dispensers etc etc. with no supervision or guidance by staff. It is NO WONDER over half the ship was sick by halfway through the cruise. So disappointed with the performance of this company and this cruise. The kids activities for children aged 12-14 were much younger than was appropriate for their age, and mine were (understandably) not interested in attending after a couple of sessions. Nothing like previous cruise experiences we have had. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
The Italian staff on this ship were rude, arrogant and often told us lies. They need the sack! The Balinese staff, on the other hand were excellent - friendly, helpful, caring, considerate and could not do enough for you. The food was ... Read More
The Italian staff on this ship were rude, arrogant and often told us lies. They need the sack! The Balinese staff, on the other hand were excellent - friendly, helpful, caring, considerate and could not do enough for you. The food was a disgrace. I got food poisoning 3 times - twice from milk that had gone off and once from apricots that had been dried and then re-hydrated. The chefs tried to make food from different nationalities, but failed miserably. The Australian food night had sushi for an entree, for example. The chef had obviously done no research into what Australians ate. The food on the Thai night was so bland we could not taste any spices at all. There was not a single night where I could say that the food tasted authentic to the particular nationality being claimed to be served. On an Italian ship even the pasta was gluggy. The buffet was badly laid out. The bread and toast were about 30 m away from the margarine and jams, for instance. On such a long cruise they kept running out of more and more foods. These were not replaced / restocked during the cruise. During embarkation we saw frozen meat fall out of its packaging onto the port. It was picked up and pushed back onto the crate, presumably to be served to some unwitting passenger. The meat was definitely not thrown away as it should have been. Many passengers caught the flu from each other. The staff did not put any disinfectant into the air conditioning system (as is done on oil riggs) to try to prevent the spread of the germs. When passengers went to see the doctor they were given only enough medicine to get them to the next port, as the doctor was running out of stock of vital medicines including antibiotics and paracetamol. Passengers were told to buy their own at the next port, as the ship was not restocking on medicines till after the cruise had finished. In my opinion this is pure neglect of the passengers safety. Embarkation and disembarkation were both done poorly. If you did not know better you would have thought that they had never done this before. The staff seemed to have no systems in place. Different passengers were asked for different information on embarkation, which caused embarrassing situations later for those of us that had never been asked for our credit card details, for instance. The entertainment on the ship was quite good, the cabins were clean and well maintained. The captain did seem to know what he was doing and steered the ship well. The shore excursions went well, as they were not organised by MSC. The value for money was definitely not there. Overall, I would not recommend MSC Cruises to my worst enemy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
OK, 35 nights cruising for one's first cruise could be problematic! NOT loved the cruising, despised the European cruise staff. Best bits: Our dinner table companions (overwhelmingly the best thing about the cruise) ... Read More
OK, 35 nights cruising for one's first cruise could be problematic! NOT loved the cruising, despised the European cruise staff. Best bits: Our dinner table companions (overwhelmingly the best thing about the cruise) Visiting Gallipoli Nice cabin (balcony on deck 12) - clean, adequate storage, comfy bed, good maid. Tour out of Naples to Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Dinner waiters Days at sea (lots) - peaceful etc. History lecture series - unparalleled I'm told by many (I didn't attend) OK bits: Entertainment. Good variety of Australian artists. Impressive cruise staff performances. Theatre was usually full. Coffee (paid for) once you sorted out how you liked your coffee (inevitable differences between countries). Visiting the various countries/sights. Although, be warned - one day stops make it a brief & stressful race to get off, get somewhere & get back on the ship. NOT leisurely, you don't get to see much or experience the ambience. The rest of it: Food was appalling - not even one-star. All tasted pretty much the same & was out of bain-maries - warm & re-heated tasting. Apart from ordering poached eggs etc or smoked salmon in the dining room at breakfast. Of course you could live off the adequate muesli & fruit selection. But that was not the way the ship was advertised. However I did lose weight (7kg) - not a bad thing but unexpected. Italian staff would smile but were inanimate, disinterested & only helpful if really really pushed (politely). Drinks packages were a joke. They saw us coming - premium allegrissimo alcoholic & non-alcoholic. No way we could come close to getting value for money ($4500). Other reviewers have said it all. Running out of drinks, no service etc etc. We even had the bar staff refuse to serve us an icecream in a cone (at the icecream bar with cones in sight). The wretched respiratory bug - nightmare. Duty of care non-existent. One wonders, was the ship working to a budget? The food was so so bad. Where did all our money go? About $50,000. Yes. Plus the pre-paid gratuities. We worked out every staff member could have received approx. 600 Euro - bet they didn't. I don't regret the cruise - Gallipoli etc - but feel a bit foolish & cheated - captive for 5 weeks with crap food on a beautiful looking, clean & glamorous floating hotel. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015

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