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7 MSC Cruises Santos (Sao Paulo) Cruise Reviews

Food is terrible, this is the weakness point for sure. The food had no taste, no presentation, no talent. Service is a nightmare, it is clear for me that people had no training and its not prepare for the functions, there was no ... Read More
Food is terrible, this is the weakness point for sure. The food had no taste, no presentation, no talent. Service is a nightmare, it is clear for me that people had no training and its not prepare for the functions, there was no leadership, the managers were extremely arrogants and they spent their time talking each other instead of looking their team, I have never seen such attitude before in my previous crusies. The ship looks nice however it doesn’t work, the theater and the other areas are too small for the capacity of the chip 4300 passangers. We had to make a reservation for the theater but it never worked, we are oblied to seat on the floor, the theater has 03 presentations per night but the capacity is not enough to attend all passengers. It is a very ashamed situation for everyone. The restaurantes work in three shifts, so the last dinner is at 22hs45, my cruise was overbooked so I had bo other choice, that means my dinner started around 23hs15 everyday, crazy. I have already traveled with Costa and Royal Caribbean and had a nice experience! MSC never more!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I feel like MSC improved recently, but I didn't enjoy this cruise on 2016, even though it was on a Yacht Club cabin. Pros: - Yacht club area was very nice: amazing pool and hot baths! - Nice excursions, specially the one to ... Read More
I feel like MSC improved recently, but I didn't enjoy this cruise on 2016, even though it was on a Yacht Club cabin. Pros: - Yacht club area was very nice: amazing pool and hot baths! - Nice excursions, specially the one to Ilhabela! - Decent saunas, and an exclusive elevator from the YC area to the aurea SPA! - Butler service, organizing your room and bringing breakfast to bed with domed plates! Cons: - Mediocre dinners. No lobster. Worst Hollandaise sauce I've ever had in my life. - Although the cocktails were tasty, the quality of wines was terrible. Prosecco was often still, and we had a minuscule selection of drinks, even on YC areas. There was no craft beer, no Aperol Spritz, etc. - We couldn't get free drinks on other areas of the ship with the YC pass. MSC fixed this issue recently, to be fair. - No app Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The cruise itself was very nice. Cabin was clean, the menu and service were very good. The entertainment was varied including jugglers, acrobats, magicians, singers and an attempt at stage production. The staff was polite and attentive. ... Read More
The cruise itself was very nice. Cabin was clean, the menu and service were very good. The entertainment was varied including jugglers, acrobats, magicians, singers and an attempt at stage production. The staff was polite and attentive. The public areas were very clean The truly disappointing aspects of the cruise came at the beginning and end; the exact times you would think MSC would like to make a good first impression and lasting final impression. The embarkation at Santos port was disorganized and confusing with poor signage and little cruise ship guidance. It was like being at a busy bus/metro station during rush hour on a Friday evening while carrying a weeks worth of luggage. The luggage drop off was extremely disorganized with multiple lines converging on unclearly marked drop areas. Amazingly the luggage did make it aboard the ship. With many passengers being in the 60 to 80 year range, the scene was very stressful.There was very little guidance provided by terminal staff or MSC staff in the staging of embarkation. The cruise was 2 hours late in departure from Santos. The 'Loading of Passengers' was not well staged and lines of several hundred metres were common. The disembarkation at the termination of the cruise in Santos was a disaster. It was not safe and took over 2 hours to conduct. The ship arrived 4 hours late; yet passengers were called to sit in a crowded lounge (Zebra Lounge) staging area to await instructions regarding disembarkation. This waiting lasted 2 hours in a lounge designed to seat a fraction of the passengers in the area. Elderly passengers sat on the floor or on the stairs awaiting information without water or comfort. When a manager was called for assistance, the response was that all staff were busy at reception and that all passengers were to remain in the lounge area. It must be noted that staff in the staging area was accommodating and helpful to the elderly. What was obvious was a management absence in the area. There was no one to give direction to staff. Management was not available. Clearly the management responsible for the organization of disembarkation had no contingency plan for a 'ship running behind schedule' or for addressing the related complications of passenger crowding in the disembarkation staging areas. For the comfort and more importantly safety of passengers MSC management must review these polices, procedures and practices. The disembarkation procedure was unsafe for all and a health hazard for the elderly.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
A trip on the MSC PREZIOSA is a great example of this basic capitalist tenant. Me and my family took a 7 day trip on this ship along the Brazilian coast on New Years 2015. There were so many things wrong with it that I don’t even know ... Read More
A trip on the MSC PREZIOSA is a great example of this basic capitalist tenant. Me and my family took a 7 day trip on this ship along the Brazilian coast on New Years 2015. There were so many things wrong with it that I don’t even know where to start. Most of the crew were rude and not at all helpful, with very few exceptions. The majority seemed not to speak English or the local language, or at least pretended not to. My impression is that there were so few of them and so much work to do that everyone ended up miserable and the job was poorly done. Cleanliness of cabins was a major issue. One the most revolting things I have ever experienced dried up faeces and gave out the most foul smell ever. After a lot of complaining, they sent someone to clean it. Not exchange it and throw it away at a nuclear disposal site, mind you. They cleaned something like that, which still remained brown, as you can imagine. That´s not all. The linen was never changed in all seven days and it smelled like cigarettes. Furthermore, one of my family members found a package of condoms under their couch. The food was also terrible. The lunch buffet served pretty much the same pizzas and hot dogs everyday, with some daily specials that changed. But the worst were the dinners. Both the Golden Lobster and the Arabesque restaurants served some of the worst food I have ever tasted. Chewey pasta, bad meat, old salad and so on and so on. So in order to have a proper meal you have to go to either Italia or Eataly restaurants, which are not included. So you add up some US$ 50 to 80 per meal per person to your bill and the reason why the main dining restaurants are so awful starts to become clear. Also, they put on a lot more guests then they should. Pool areas are extremely crowded, there aren´t nearly enough seats, chairs or pools for everyone, so you either get there early or spend your day spending more money in the smoke-filled casino. Still, the ship was full, so MSC seems to have struck gold: bad service for high prices.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Firstly the good points - ship décor still on good condition; clean cabins; restaurant staff excellent; dealt with lactose-intolerant problem extremely well.Now for the problems- 1. Buffet food is always cold and repetitive and no-one ... Read More
Firstly the good points - ship décor still on good condition; clean cabins; restaurant staff excellent; dealt with lactose-intolerant problem extremely well.Now for the problems- 1. Buffet food is always cold and repetitive and no-one including the Maître d'hôtel interested. 2. Even the main restaurant has a tendency to serve cold food unless you complain. 3. At the commencement of the cruise, the lunch time restaurant was quite quiet. However as a result of the poor food in the buffet, then the restaurant soon became very busy, and lunch became an almost 2 hour marathon as the staff and kitchen were overrun by the demand. 4. Embarkation was a total and utter disaster. A numbered sequence used, but called too many numbers at once resulting in passengers having to queue for well over 1 hour to reach the embarkation desk. 5. UK booking process totally lacking and a total shambles with e-mails continually ignored. 6. Organisation of disembarkation at ports of call virtually non-existent. 7. Entertainment quite basic, but energetic performances by the dancers. 8. Mainly Brazilian & Italian passengers who tend to be very noisy and regularly queue jump.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
THE SHIP: Getting on board the MSC Musica is a marvelous experience. The ship lives up to the promise of the travel brochures. It is B E A U T I F U L! It is a monument of thoughtful design and ergonomics, and by some standards even good ... Read More
THE SHIP: Getting on board the MSC Musica is a marvelous experience. The ship lives up to the promise of the travel brochures. It is B E A U T I F U L! It is a monument of thoughtful design and ergonomics, and by some standards even good (though some may find it garish) taste. The state rooms are spacious, well appointed and comfortable. Passengers may wander freely, from the fifth floor reception to the 16th floor tennis court - and there are plenty of elevators to get people to their destinations reasonably fast. Though filled to capacity, despite the ravages of ocean air, the ship appears to be clean, and maintains its fresh air of newness - kudos to the army of minions who surely toil around the clock scrubbing and painting to accomplish this in such a vast and luxurious space. The only disappointment in the ship's design was the gym. It is minuscule, open for short hours (from 8 AM to 8 PM). Six treadmills for 3000+ passengers just doesn't ad-up. There are a few other machines (e.g. two elliptical and two bicycles) of dubious quality and resistance. The gym manager is not particularly knowledgeable, nor helpful - but you could count on him to be late for work in the morning. THE FOOD: After a surprisingly bland and unimaginative buffet service, we were later introduced to the ship's cuisine at dinner time. This was the first indication that there is a chasm between the ship's maintenance crew, and its tour operators. The latter showed themselves not only to be sophomorically incompetent, but puny and cheap. Meats, poultry and sea food though sometimes reasonably seasoned, are usually overcooked - possibly an attempt to fight an epidemic of diarrhea on board due to expired validity dates. The pasta and the pizza are competent, thus the cruise is safe for anyone on a high carbohydrate diet. A tasty spaghetti al vongole one evening featured four beautiful clamshells, alas only one clam had actually found its way to my serving. I wondered all night if some lucky passenger received four shells and seven clams ... The examples of abuse are too many to enumerate. Some however are so outrageous as illustrations of the pettiness of the profit driven experts running this operation, that they deserve special recognition: • Though the quality of the fresh fruit is passable - the salads come from the bottom of the barrel - the leftovers from wholesale produce markets - normally destined to the soup kitchens for the homeless. Except for the tasteless, styrofoam-like tomatoes, the greens often exuded a perfume of chemicals, either of the toxic pesticides used in their production, or of the preservatives used to disguise their expired validity as betrayed by their lackluster appearance. • Prior to the cruise we were offered a package of seven bottles of wine "chosen by our sommelier" and an equal number of mineral water bottles for the reasonable price of US$99. The mineral water was indeed of good quality - the wines unfortunately weren't even suitable to be used as vinegar in salad dressings. After the third night we gave up and didn't even bother ordering wines from the sommelier's choice any more. This is surprising considering the excellent wines we drank in Argentine restaurants during our stopover in Buenos Aires, at prices similar to our sommelier's choices. • The coffee and milk served freely at breakfast tasted neither like coffee nor milk - adding insult to injury, for an additional charge a decent espresso or cappuccino is served throughout the ship at its many coffee shops and bars. • The little honey containers of European origin ran out after the first day. They were truly remarkable illustrations of European prowess in industrial design - these little plastic receptacles with an aluminum foil top which easily pealed back to allow customers access to the honey inside. The batch of the Brazilian brand served thereafter clearly had not passed quality control - the aluminum foil top was firmly attached to the plastic receptacle, and would not let go. Careful surgery with a dull knife was required to access the honey inside - invariably resulting in a gooey mess worthy of inner city emergency rooms and trauma units. • The menus, with few exceptions were unimaginative, often using fancy words to describe pathetic options. On New Year's eve I was driven to take pictures. One from the fancy desert advertised as a Saint Silvester cup - a panachE of fruit on lemon gelatin - which alas cannot be posted here. The other illustration of is of the "olive bread" Three types of bread are served at dinner time - one of each. As service is often excruciatingly slow, you may ask for more bread. Your waiter will gladly oblige ... eventually. Extra bread must be ordered from the central kitchen in the ship's bowels - it usually arrived little before desert was served. • If you like ice cream you may purchase the mediocre stuff sold by the pool, for an extra fee - of course. The melting goo in the restaurant menu is neither ice, nor cream. ENTERTAINMENT: Like the rest of the ship, the installations are impressive, world class, state of the art, and comfortable. Alas, some of the good artists, though clearly past their prime, deserved a kinder setting before being put out to pasture permanently. Many of the costumes worn by dancers and acrobats revealed undergarments unfit for the stage. The awkward choreography was often well, embarrassing to put it mildly. The cruise director, an aspiring young polyglot with a failing hair transplant sounded much like a circus ringleader from an old Disney animation (Pinocchio - I think it was). The Crystal Room was supposed to have more romantic music for old folks like me. Alas the nasal lead singer had a painfully strident voice which one might even have gotten used to were it not for random missed notes, just enough to jar your nerves. Moving on to the Tucano Lounge we theoretically had Brazilian music. It was largely rock'n roll - but Brazilian. WiFi: As befits a state of the art cruise ship, such as the MSC Musica, the latest technology is offered in the internet cafe where for US$30 an hour you can surf the Web at roughly half a dial-up connection speed. There is a minimum US$10 fee - but that's OK because it took me almost 15 minutes just to log into my gmail account. Lip service: I have already mentioned the impressive tidiness through most of the trip. As was to be expected the latest in prophylactic technology was also spread haphazardly throughout the passenger area in the form of alcohol dispensers to slow the spread of contagion. There are plenty of signs admonishing passengers and crew to be mindful of healthy hygiene. Alas most of the time the dispensers were either broken or empty. Philanthropy: The sharp business executives at MSC found a novel way of exercising the social responsibility required by modern management dogmas. A letter was left in our stateroom one evening informing us that unless we filled in a form and delivered it to the reception area, a charitable donation to a UNICEF organization would be tacked on to our invoice. I'm as much of a philanthropist as the next guy, but I like to choose on my own how to practice it - having MSC do it on my behalf without my express permission, seemed somewhat underhanded. Shore leave: When returning to the ship from our sojourn in Punta del Este we needed to wait for the ship's life boats to ferry us back. It's a pretty smooth operation. Unless it rains. Which it just happen to do when were there. This was, after all, the season of the Summer rains. MSC set up a large tent where you can wait for your raft - a good distance from the loading dock. From the tent to the dock there was no cover, there were no umbrellas, and there was a lot of waiting in line. Saddest of all was an elderly couple, huddling, him leaning heavily on a cane, struggling down a steep ramp (the poor guy apparently couldn't handle steps) on their own, unassisted by an oblivious and overwhelmed hapless crew. Green: The New Year was celebrated with the distribution of a helium filled balloon to each passenger. We were told to write our wish on a piece of paper and tie it to the string of the balloon to be released into the atmosphere at the stroke of midnight. Future passengers on an Antarctic cruise may be scratching their heads as to where all these balloons littering our oceans came from. An unforgettable farewell: On the day of arrival, we were asked to be out of our staterooms by 7 AM, to have breakfast, and then not return - but to wait in our assigned areas for the call to disembark. Nearly 3000 passengers huddled in cramped quarters awaiting their turn. Our group was one of the middle ones in the queue to get off the ship. We were called at 11 AM. The one thousand + stateroom toilets usually available to this bunch of not-so-happy travelers were no longer available. The result was predictably unforgettable. CHECKING IN: The inadequacy of the cruise passenger facilities at the port in Santos deserves a review of its own. Anyone who loves cruising should avoid it at all costs either by flying to a previous or subsequent port of call for embarking on a cruise. For anyone my age or younger, who did not actually live through the real horrors of World War II, arriving at the passenger terminal at the port in Santos is reminiscent of movie scenes depicting getting off a freight train at Auschwitz. The enormous, snail paced line we were assigned to was not even to check-in. It was merely a to get a senha (number) which entitled its lucky bearer to eventually get in another line where the actual check-in formalities were to be processed in a system not unlike that of a Brazilian pharmacy - where no one has any authority - a series of smiling clueless people, with no idea of the purpose of their minute role in this saga, and who must refer E V E R Y T H I N G to some invisible all-powerful entity for confirmation and approval. Not wanting to break away from our group I had turned down several hints of taking the shorter snail paced line for senior citizens. After a couple of hours I decided to investigate. It turned out that my wife and I, being seniors, would also be entitled to a preferential senha, meaning we could get to the second snail paced line sooner - but still all members of our party would be entitled to get off the Dantesque queue we had been wallowing in for so long. We took advantage of this heaven-sent opportunity which surely cut our overall wait by at least another couple of hours. The "real" check-in was "interesting". The staff takes it for granted that they have the authority to take away your documents (passport, identity cards, etc.) - with a cheerful promise that they will be "returned later". To the exasperation of the various smiling clueless faces mishandling this circus, I adamantly refused to part company with our passports several times - as my 'misbehavior' wound its way up MSC's hierarchy. At one point a smartly pressed young man in a company (not an official) shirt and a heavy Porteño accent reassured me he was an 'Immigration Officer' and I could rest assured my passport would be properly handled. I politely congratulated him on his high rank and suggested then that either he properly handle our passports in my presence - or that I would have file a complaint with the Federal Police that MSC had absconded with my passport without my permission. As it turned out, our passports were promptly returned without an explanation - the Gods of MSC must have been otherwise appeased. All in all, from leaving our home in São Paulo, to entering our stateroom on board (including a 90 minute bus ride to the Santos passenger terminal) took approximately seven hours - thanks to our privileged senior citizen status, which allowed us cut the line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
INTRODUCTION I choose this cruise because from a lot of years ago I had the dream to see the fire works of reveillon in Rio. I leave a part of the year in Lisbon and generally in European winter I am in Brazil where I have residence too. ... Read More
INTRODUCTION I choose this cruise because from a lot of years ago I had the dream to see the fire works of reveillon in Rio. I leave a part of the year in Lisbon and generally in European winter I am in Brazil where I have residence too. We were two couples , we with a total of 120 years old the other rather young , him in the early thirties and her with 25. THE EMBARKATION We flight on 24 th. December from Fortaleza to Sao Paulo and on 26 th. we went on a private transfer to Santos. When we arrive to the Port of Santos after 2 hours I had the first surprise. The road in front of the piers was completely crowded of cars, bus, tucks, etc with a big confusion and a really horrible environment. After leave the car we went to a queue so slow as an " escargot" and after 2 hours!!! we received a paper with a figure and the orientation to go to a room completely crowded to await that our figure was called!!! I was just a pre check-in. The check in was made only about 17.15 , we enter abroad about 17.30 qand for the first time I saw a ship leave the port with more than 1 hour of delay. And for us were almost 6 hours without any kind of comfort, without food, etc THE SHIP MUSICA is a beautiful ship and cabins are nice and comfortable but balconies are smaller that in other ships . Another negative point is the number of elevators. Too small overall in a cruise where the boat was completely full.The capacity of elevators is too reduced and one elevator was out of service since the first minute. Result: people were obliged to exercise and to go up or down using the stairs. THE SERVICE and FOOD Most of employees of the ship seemed to be the first time on a boat. In restaurants to see the service was like a funny joke if the price paid wasn't so high. I was normal to have in all meals the arm of the "garçon" passing near my nose for serving my wife when was possible walk 2 meters and serve her as is common even in any 3rd. class restaurant. Once I asked for a second bottle of wine. when the waiter bring it , open the new bottle and put the wine over the rest of wine I had in the glass from the first bottle and asked me to try!!!! The food in Oleandro was generally very poor and in Buffet was horrible , hamburgers, pizza and other things without a minimum class. To see the quality of the service we need to say that on 31 December all keys didn't open the cabin doors!!! All of us were obliged to go to the reception to resolve the problem, The last day I received a notification to return the net cable!!! I hadn't asked for any net cable. THE PORTS I knew already Salvador but is always good to see the old part of the town. Ilheus and Buzios are typical Brazilian beach villages , interesting and with their beauty. Ilha Bela was a surprise . Is terrific. We rent a taxi and we go to the Curral beach that is excellent. THE SHOWS About shows MUSICA can compare withe other competitors , they are good and some excellent artists. But a cruise only for 2 or 3 good small shows is not enough.Poor MUSICA , the beauty of the ship deserved much more, overall in service quality, food and personnel training Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
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