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11 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Mediterranean MSC Cruises MSC Orchestra Cruise Reviews

First the toilet was not flushing right , then the bathroom was not clean , it had a bad smell all the time , we had to use air freshener all the time. The carpet in the room had spots on it. Also we had a very rude cabin steward , who ... Read More
First the toilet was not flushing right , then the bathroom was not clean , it had a bad smell all the time , we had to use air freshener all the time. The carpet in the room had spots on it. Also we had a very rude cabin steward , who called us by the phone and told us to leave the room because he need to clean it. We couldn't eat dinner in the restaurant because they alway make us to wait for a long time So we finished up eating in the same place all our meals on the back of the ship. The food was not great and also they needed 2 hours to change from breakfast to lunch and then another 2 hour to put up the dinner. When we got back on the ship after our shore excursion at 5pm everything was closed , no food until 6.30 pm. Also you pay for everything , if you want a better coffee you pay for it and you wait at least 30 minutes to get it and if you try to get a drink from the bar they send you to the table and you wait again 30 minute for someone to get your order.....and other 30 minutes to get your drink..... The room was not clean, the food was not great and the service is awful Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Terrible food and mediocre customer service. I would never recommend MSC as a result. The food was tasteless meaning little to no spices, herbs or sauces. The dining room and buffet menus were repetitive meaning the same items daily at ... Read More
Terrible food and mediocre customer service. I would never recommend MSC as a result. The food was tasteless meaning little to no spices, herbs or sauces. The dining room and buffet menus were repetitive meaning the same items daily at lunch and dinner. Their customer service approach is reactive instead of proactive. The "Italian style cruise line" also had some of the rudest guests we have ever interacted with. Many would rather trample you that wait in a queue to board a bus or get on/off the ship. MSC does nothing to create a positive customer service experience. The crew were mostly confrontational instead of helpful. Dishes, glassware and cutlery in the restaurants and buffet was either not sprayed off after washing so the items were covered in soap residue or they simply were not cleaned (food residue) or they were chipped or cracked. We have sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Holland America. MSC and specifically the MSC ORCHESTRA is at best, a motor-inn at sea. MSC needs to replace the chef, hotel management and customer service director. If it wasn't for the ports the cruise would have been a total disappointment. My suggestion is that you consider another line. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife booked MSC in the blink way before the sail date, no research, the price was great and all the ports seemed good. As we get close the sail date, we started to read reviews, a lot of bad reviews, about food, restaurants, ... Read More
My wife booked MSC in the blink way before the sail date, no research, the price was great and all the ports seemed good. As we get close the sail date, we started to read reviews, a lot of bad reviews, about food, restaurants, service, rude fellow passengers, extra charges. We did not pay much, might just well do a diet cruise. Embarkation was a breeze, we got to port by train than bus before 3pm after a morning in Rome. There were only a few people on the bus, and we got on in no time, spending less than 30 second at each staff station, the moment we were done the next staff were smiling and waving at us. The moment we got the ship, a sales girl approached us and explained coffee package, beer package, and other packages. We took her advice only took coffee and beer since my wife can't drink much. Both was reasonably priced, came as ticket book, order one use one fare enough. During the cruise, we ordered wine and Scotch by the glass when we felt like it, not much extra. The girl by the door also advise us to go to the buffet and grab some food since we were on late dinner seating. We went to get some fruit and the buffet looked really good, not as the review said. We had pastry on the train and not hungry at all. The cabin was amazingly big and comfortable, bigger than our hotel room in Rome. Detail see cabin review. The ship was very smooth and stable, our cabin was mid-front, did not feel much rocking. One night we went out on our balcony, the wave were rough and water broke up by the bow of ship got to our face on deck 11, but inside the cabin it felt like smooth water sailing. We thought we might lose some weight after reading all the reviews about the the dining experience. The dinning was fine, it was very good for a cruise ship. Maybe we read all the foodie reviewers. To be reasonable, if you are a foodie, why you choose to board a 3000 guest ship in the first place.The dining room portion was not small, my wife could not finish. Every time I helped her, I was over stuffed. The first night we sat with another American couple from St. Louis that just came off another cruise and doing 2 cruises back to back. They read the same reviews we did, and were planning to lose some weight from their previous cruise. After our meal, the husband said he's a big eater and he was fine, the rest of us couldn't finish even it tasted really good. Our package all include bottled water at dinner room, maybe an American thing. All four of us wanted to swap to early sitting since we all used to eat early and sleep early. We switched to early on the 3rd night, the St. Louis couple met some other people and decided to stay with 2nd seating. My wife ate a bit too much pineapple and all kind of prosciutto at the buffet after got back from shore trip and getting an upset stomach and decided to skip dinner. I went to our first night at the early seating alone, and met a nice and quiet American couple and 2 cheerful ladies from Washington and Oregon. The nice and quiet couple caught a cold next day and still came down to tell us that they would not be eating with us since the husband could calm his cough, what a gentlemen. We sat with the 2 cheerful ladies for the remaining trip, they were a lot of fun. They even gave me advice to get some papaya for my wife to cure her stomach problem, it worked like magic. And our waiter was great and fun, and I liked his recommendations for dinner and dessert choices. We only went saw one show at the theater, it was great. The rest of nights we went to different bars for live music and watch guests dancing with the music, there were some great amazing dancers. We did not experience problem with service, did not need to go to reception. The ports and excursions were great, we choose guided trips if port time is relatively short, otherwise we used Uber/Taxi/cruise transportation, then touring around on our own. Our friend gave us an Europe tour book sometimes ago, it really helped. We were able plan the night before and hit site/museum/landmark from the book, it especially helped in the museums since it listed which room which famous piece was in, so we were able to get to them with limited time. Some pieces did move, but museum staffs were very helpful. Lesson learned, call Uber once outside port gate, since some port won't let them in. Guided tours were fun too, all the local guides we experience were very fun. We choose mostly touring on our own since we were not disciplined, wife would browse Sunday market, eat wherever we felt pleasing, But we did do our homework the night before and planned out must-sees. Honestly everything was pretty good comparing all the cruises we took. Good thing we did buy the alcohol package since it required both of us. I don't like cocktails and wife can't drink much. No IPA on board, but there were a few beer ok to drink and can't complain for the price of the beer tickets. Coffee is good, we used the coffee tickets for cappuccino and double cappuccino, 1 ticket double or regular. Don't wasted on Americano, the buffett free coffee is better. I tried Turkish coffee, not good from the coffee bar. I think it is very reasonable, you buy whatever package you need, pay for Scotch alike whenever you feel like. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Fantastic itenery. Ship was very nice, pretty, and clean. Some of the best entertainment I’ve ever see, except for the opera that is, which was about every third day. Our waiter Stephano, from Macedonia, was the best waiter ever. ... Read More
Fantastic itenery. Ship was very nice, pretty, and clean. Some of the best entertainment I’ve ever see, except for the opera that is, which was about every third day. Our waiter Stephano, from Macedonia, was the best waiter ever. However, this was our 20th Cruise, the first time with MSC, and never, ever, before have we been charged for water. That’s right, if you eat at the buffet, water is free, but if you eat in the dining room you are charges 2.75 euro, which is about $3.50 U.S. While in port we went to a grocery store. I priced bottled water. It was .33 euro. A litre. What a rip off. Here’s the worst part.....at most of the ports the ship provides shuttles from the ship to the city center but only one was free. In marseille, France they charged 15.90 euro per person. We paid this price then noticed that another msc ship was docked next to us and their passengers were provided with a free shuttle. Several of our passengers walked on their buses and didn’t have to pay. We were much smarter at the remaining ports. In Barcelona the ship charged 8.90 euro for a shuttle but a few feet beyond their bus was a city bus that we used for 4 euro. In Malta the ship offered a “hop on, hop off” bus for 20 euro. A few steps beyond were people selling tickets for the same busses at 7.50 euro. In Corfu the ship was selling shuttle tickets for 9.90 euro. We walked a block and hopped on a city bus for 1.75 euro. I thinks it’s disgusting the way msc orchestra gouges their passengers. In the Caribbean, the ships quite often have to drop anchor out away from the dock, lower boats, and shuttle passengers via tender boats. They don’t charge for this. This is PART of your cruise. I hope more people will find other means of transportation so msc will be forced to drop these rediculous charges. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Both my sister and I have mobility issues - walking frame and crutches. Port assistance had been requested, none forth-coming, struggled through a flooded approach to embark, still no assistance. Transfer to cabin without any issues. ... Read More
Both my sister and I have mobility issues - walking frame and crutches. Port assistance had been requested, none forth-coming, struggled through a flooded approach to embark, still no assistance. Transfer to cabin without any issues. First night dined in buffet, it was like a free for all cattle market, found food exceptable, but below expectation, always cold. All looked very pretty, Took us a week to find real meat, Carvery well tucked away. It appeared that the staff were uncomfortable at offering assistance out-side their designated duties. Good thing about the dining-room was the people we met. Food again well presented but cold. Guests were ordering extra courses as the 'fine dining was Find Dining' Waiter very pleasant. We are not fussy eaters but had risotto 3 nights followed by ice-cream from the children menu. Late night snacks was filled bread rolls or cold pizza. We spent 3 days eating a niceselection of breads and processed cheese. I need to stop here as I sound like a miserable moaner. We did enjoy the folks we met may of them of the same opinion. I CANCELLED THE GRATUITIES. First time in my life Entertainment was quite good staff worked hard. Stefany from the casino was the only person to give help he would not leave us after the drill until he got someone to assist us back to cabin as we were both in need of physical support by then. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Time and date right for our 3 week Italian holiday. We have been cruising for years on Princess(platinum), H.A., and Celebrity. Ship was extremely clean, food best we have ever had, service very good, balcony cabin spacious with good ... Read More
Time and date right for our 3 week Italian holiday. We have been cruising for years on Princess(platinum), H.A., and Celebrity. Ship was extremely clean, food best we have ever had, service very good, balcony cabin spacious with good service. I would rate this cruise as one of the better ones. Ports and organized tours, excellent. We visited La Spezia (Cinque Terre), Genoa (Portofino), Cannes, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Ajaccio (Corsica. Now the issues, smoking on balconies not regulated butts thrown overboard, no one seemed concerned when reported, passengers rude, could be both a culture and language issue being the ship was full of German, Dutch, Finish, Norwegian, American, Canadian, Italian, and Asian with the majority not bilingual. Being an Italian ship be prepared for a lot of misbehaving children and baby strollers, the ship has a children's program from baby to senior teen which seems to work except for under 3 yrs which go with parents by their choice to the dining room and have meltdowns. Would we go with this line again, maybe if they expanded to North America. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Ship: This ship smells of smoke, is dated, with not much to do on board. Pool Area: Was surprised to see that there were only two pools for tons of people. Pools are packed with people- didn't bother to go in. Food: ... Read More
Ship: This ship smells of smoke, is dated, with not much to do on board. Pool Area: Was surprised to see that there were only two pools for tons of people. Pools are packed with people- didn't bother to go in. Food: Food is ok- you will not go hungry as there are lots of options. We had the drink package but was disappointed to see that many drinks were not included despite asking the MSC rep if all drinks on the menu would be included. Service: Service was ok- hit and miss. Sometimes great, other times had to wait a long time for a drink. Overall: This was our first cruise experience and because the itinerary for this ship saw us cruising only at night, we enjoyed waking up in a new port every morning with no days at sea. We would definitely cruise again but not with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Choose it on locations to visit Ship was very good cabins excellent hard working staff were very good in all dept except management who had an air of superiority and indifference to any issues on board particularly non Italians ... Read More
Choose it on locations to visit Ship was very good cabins excellent hard working staff were very good in all dept except management who had an air of superiority and indifference to any issues on board particularly non Italians as the ship had over 2000 on board the large majority were Italian and all they seemed to do was eat and argue with each other no concept of queuing or manners at the buffet which we avoided from day one overloaded plates of food half eaten people jostling for food,we ate all meals in the restaurant breakfast ,lunch and dinner which in general was fine, The trips and shuttle arrangements were expensive and of poor value for example in Corsica we waited two hours on board to get bus to beach 39 euros each once on beach we good see our ship from across the bay and found a boat going back and forward all day 16 euros return,also a local bus to beach for 2 euros each way. Shuttle bus were overpriced ie in Palma 6 euros to go a few yards to dock entrance were a hop on of bus was available to do city tour no one informed of this,Barcelona 15 euros shuttle to get out off dock area again local port bus 3 euros to ship location. Guided tours not great geared for Italians better to do your own homework and not to be scared to go off piste as a lot of time is wasted on board organizing the groups in to various trips again down to late arrivals Italians no concept off time or organization. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Initially we chose this cruise to fit in with holiday availability of family members - and certainly had some trepidation given some of the reviews. We need not have worried. Simply put this was a great cruise - if you are looking for a ... Read More
Initially we chose this cruise to fit in with holiday availability of family members - and certainly had some trepidation given some of the reviews. We need not have worried. Simply put this was a great cruise - if you are looking for a Mediterranean style cruise in the Med. If you are looking for a British cruise experience in the Med, then you will no doubt be critical, but this is not P&O nor Cunard....it is MSC, and it suited us perfectly. We wanted Mediterranean food on board - and that is what we got - pasta, risotto, pizza and plenty of other choice. We had a Suite Cabin, on Deck 15, top accommodation level, with Aurea experience, providing reserved sun deck area over two decks outside and above the cabin. The Aurea experience meant we ate in the Ibiscus restaurant on anytime dining, where the staff were excellent - Maria and Pante ensuring we were warmly welcomed and looked after. The evening meals might appear to some as being somewhat small in quantity, but it was good and tasty, though not always as hot as we might normally expect (but I always reflect that in Masterchef the food is always served and tasted cold:)) Breakfast was fun.... a bit of a bun fight in terms of finding somewhere to sit in the buffet, but the food was good, varied plentiful. The main sundeck was a family oriented affair, with plenty of loungers, small pools, and Jacuzzis, with entertainment almost non-stop - with music always on... very Mediterranean, it was bustling and noisy - may not be to everyone's taste - but we had the refuge of the Aurea reserved areas so did not avail ourselves of this, seemingly madhouse. Service was always attentive, and polite, more so than I perhaps expected. Good drinks, with our package giving us free non-premium drinks, which were quite plentiful, and varied. Prices for premium was ok. If you are expecting P&O style entertainment then you will be disappointed - but what we say was good - an abridged song & dance version based on Grease. Good fun. All announcements are made in a multitude of languages - and the obligatory safety drill was well done, as was the disembarkation briefing. There were no Captain's updates that we heard, but there were almost daily crew exercises that could be quite noisy in terms of tannoy volume. TV - didn't use it other than checking the bill - but understand it has limited choice if you are expecting British entertainment - but hey we were on holiday and not wanting to watch TV. Food was available in the buffet 20 hours a day - and good it was too - particularly a late night Pizza slice... great pizza with good choice. Evening meals don't start until 7pm in the formal restaurants - reflecting the Mediterranean style of not eating until later than we are used to in the UK. For cabin review see below. Itinerary was great - we board at Rome, and enjoyed all our ports of call - where we had plenty of time. Tender was done well at Cannes. We enjoyed a complimentary Balinese massage as part of the Aurea experience, which was fine, and we also enjoyed the Sauna/Steam Rooms - though the inside Jacuzzi was a bit cool for indoors.... 37C. Note that smoking is permitted in more places than you might normally expect on P&O cruise - part of the Casino, a Cigar Room, and also part of the sun deck - one half of one side. There were plenty of bars, some quite gaudy, which we enjoyed rather than dull greys. If anything I would say that the restaurant choice was somewhat limited compared to other cruise experiences, particularly given the number of passengers - there was one speciality Asian restaurant - which we did not try. Other than that you are in your main restaurant, and the buffet. Formal nights - there were two - were remarkably informal - I think I saw one dinner suit. Certainly most people dressed smarter, but not DJs and tuxes... that suited us.. (excuse the pun...) There was very little hard selling - sure they took your photo, but no hassle. Overall the ship was a very happy ship - with a much broader mix of people - plenty of childen, younger couples, and actually fewer older people than say compared to a P&O cruise. In summary - we would definitely cruise with MSC again - we saw their new ship Megaviglia moored next to us at Genoa - wow it looked fantastic. A happy cruise line, unpretentious, and easy to like, particularly if you are want to relax and not worry about formality. We would look to the Aurea experience as a minimum, just so we could have some quiet/privacy outside of the cabin on the sun decks. We were a family of four - including our two adult children who had an identical cabin three doors away. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
It was part of a tour package with Trip A Deal. Embarkation went smoothly.Considering how many people there were and our luggage came to our room within the hour. Our first cruise in years we were looking forward to it. The cabin was ... Read More
It was part of a tour package with Trip A Deal. Embarkation went smoothly.Considering how many people there were and our luggage came to our room within the hour. Our first cruise in years we were looking forward to it. The cabin was pleasant with a small balcony. It was clean and regularly tidied with fresh towels daily. The ship itself was slightly dated . The buffet areas a bit of a cattle market and tables could have been cleared more effectively.Most time the warm food was cold by the time you ate it but there was variation although most of it was fast foods The salad bar was very good plenty of choice. We had a book of tokens for wines which made it less expensive. The evening meals were a great disappointment. They were small and very uninteresting.The menus made them sound so much more appetising. The option of a cheese plate for dessert was two very small pieces of cheese and a couple of crackers ! Entertainment was where it fell down. The first show was good but then each night they varied the theme but not the routines.It was repetative throughout the cruise. The yoga sessions in the gym you had to pay for.Water you had to pay for! The music while on deck was really loud when entertaining the children. We went ashore every day and enjoyed wandering around. I would not do another cruise with MSC but would cruise again with a different company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this ship on recommendation of travel agent.It all kicked off at Barcelona Airport where the MSC rep could not be found. We looked everywhere and eventually spied him behind a pillar. The embarkation was a pain as there was only ... Read More
We chose this ship on recommendation of travel agent.It all kicked off at Barcelona Airport where the MSC rep could not be found. We looked everywhere and eventually spied him behind a pillar. The embarkation was a pain as there was only one scanner at security check in we were in the queue to board ship for ages. The cabin was very clean and of a good size. The TV had two English channels BBC World and CNN. The cabin was serviced twice daily no problems here. The food was plentiful in the buffet area but in keeping with dining throughout the ship the temperature was tepid to cold totally unacceptable. The fine dining was just that, the portions were very very small. I ordered a cheese platter and there would just about be enough to put on a mousetrap. The waiters and staff were excellent very friendly and obliging. My other gripe were the two Gala nights suggested dress code dress suits. It was totally ignored by many of the other passengers. They came in in leans tee shirts and other rags. They were admitted to the so called Gala night. This should be policed and if not cancel the Gala nights altogether. The entertainment in the lounges was very repetitive so much so you might hear the same songs twice or three times every night. It was all karaoke backing tracks even for the four piece bands. The theater productions were not too bad the worst performance was the opera night were the male singer was totally out of time with the backing tracks and his tuning was suspect as was the female singer. The security people need to smile a bit they were the most sullen I have come across. There is a ten euro service charge per passenger per day. I asked some of the staff if they received this and the response was no. So with a capacity of 3200 passengers MSC are pocketing a further €32000 per day this is €224000 per week and €11,648,000 per year from passengers . Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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