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15 Valencia to Europe - Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we like the itinerary, the dates were perfect and the price was good. In the past we have cruised with P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean & Princess and have always had a good experience -They all seem to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like the itinerary, the dates were perfect and the price was good. In the past we have cruised with P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean & Princess and have always had a good experience -They all seem to offer something different and we are looking for an enjoyable holiday and good value for money. The ship is well maintained and very clean, the public areas are well designed and the decor is lovely, with lots of indoor and outdoor sitting areas. We had an outside cabin and it was clean fairly spacious and pleasant, Bathroom was basic but more than adequate. It would be hard to criticize the ship if it had no passengers or crew onboard !! Perhaps you are wondering why my score is so low? Before we went onboard I read some reviews saying how ignorant so of the passengers were, how they didn't know how to queue and would actually push you whilst in the self service Buffet. So we thought we were prepared.. WE WERE NOT!! I have 2 dogs with more manners... I think the large quantity of rude, brusque, miserable looking guests has had a huge impact on the majority of staff who rarely make eye contact and really seem almost frightened of the guests. We witnessed a couple of temper tantrums and some shouting all in the buffet area ...but the main problem during breakfast especially is you can easily be knocked off your feet by these rude people, they seem to come at you and push there way through, women and men alike... We were a group of 2 families ( 4 adults, 2 teens and 1 child) I made a huge effort to smile and make eye contact with the staff and they would do a double take you could see they were so used to being treated like a servant by the guests. The menu choice in the black crab was fairly limited , the quality of food and amounts weren't great. (I must say we did have 2 lovely waiters Jacksy and Prubu from Indonesia ) We had 3 nice meals out of 5... the other 2 nights the choices were not to our taste so we chose to eat in the Buffet which was much calmer in the evening. I also chatted to a waitress called Tasha from Grenada, she was so lovely and really helpful. We went to the entertainment 3 nights and only the one show was really worth watching the other 2 we were just wishing it would end so we could escape. The staff on top deck that served ice cream seemed to be the most grumpy- especially the shorter man who seemed to do his best to ignore us when we were waiting and was very abrupt when he served us. The children didn't want to swim in the outdoor pools because they were too cold and the indoor pool was too cold in the morning and when it warmed up in the afternoon it was too full to swim in.As with the jacuzzi's they were constantly full and you had to queue for a place - to squeeze in with 10 or 12 others. If the pools had been warmer I am sure there would have been less people in the jacuzzi's. The water chute was empty most of the time as it was too cold to use. Pre-cruise both my husband and I we had e-mails to say that based on all the other cruises we had done with other cruise lines we had been upgraded from a welcome member to Gold Member and they look forward to rewarding us with our privileges.. ( we got quite excited and looked up on line what we would be getting - We were led to believe we would be getting a welcome cocktail with the captain, a basket of fruit in our room and 50 euros each onboard spend.) We arrived to a small dish of fruit - a letter to the welcome party and had a glass of sour prosecco or super sweet mixed fruit juice- but the final straw was when I popped to reception to ask about our onboard spend I was told that was only on Voyages Selection departures and this cruise wasn't one of them .... Well please Captain Veniero don't sent us emails telling us we are very special gold members and suggesting we are going to get something that we aren't going to get!!) We were lucky that the weather was sunny and warm it did mean we could sit up on top deck and sunbathe when we returned to the ship in the afternoon. Ports of call were lovely - shuttle buses were a total rip off! Charging for a shuttle bus when just 400 yards away there is a a free shuttle into the city centre in Marseille isn't quite how you would expect to be treated when you've been welcomed into the MSC Family! The cruise might have been reasonably priced to start with but they pile the charges on to the extra's at every opportunity. In the email the captain talks welcoming you to the MSC family , well I have unsubscribed and want a divorce please... Even in the lifts and public areas , hardly anyone smiled or tried to speak. Most other ships we have been on people chat in the lift and talk about their day or at least acknowledge each other with a nod or try and hold the lift for you to get on - but no there was a lot of tight lipped poker faces. For the first time ever we have come home feeling almost pleased that our holiday is over. We are looking forward to a short break on the Cunard Queen Victoria in January at least we know it will be a friendly and civilised experience with laughter, good food and pleasant company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is our first MSC cruise. I so wanted tonlove it but I just cannot. The ship its self is really lovely andthe cabin with balcony is spacious and comfortable. The food is adequate. Nothing special but not bad either. It does not ... Read More
This is our first MSC cruise. I so wanted tonlove it but I just cannot. The ship its self is really lovely andthe cabin with balcony is spacious and comfortable. The food is adequate. Nothing special but not bad either. It does not compare to the likes of NCL or RCCL. The cabin steward is friendly andcthecwaiters we had in the main diningvroom were nice. However re the bar staff I generally feel that they are doing you a favour and prefer each others vompsny. Mot much happy service from them. Thd spa is one of the worst we have been in at sea. Small rooms and not even kept tidy. I acyually asked for a refund . After some back and forth with the guest relations supervisor we did get it back as I had no intention of using the space agsin. The worst is the entertainment. Not much hsppening in thd day and thevnighttime shows were poor quality . I felf like We had gone back to the 1980's. The cruise director was not very visible and a bit over the hill hence the old fashioned vibe of shows possibly. Overall the ship is nice but just has not much atmoshere ehich is a shame . It is a bit hit and miss on everything. I guess you get whag you pay for. Even on formal night most guests were not even dressed up which added to the lacklustre ferling. Will prob not go agsin with MSC. Just not for us ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I made the mistake of checking the reviews a few days before we departed. They were not good, and as this was our 1st cruise i did wonder what we had let ourselves in for. I want to write this review to put a different view on all the ... Read More
I made the mistake of checking the reviews a few days before we departed. They were not good, and as this was our 1st cruise i did wonder what we had let ourselves in for. I want to write this review to put a different view on all the negative comments. Plus points 1. Extremely efficient embarking and disembarcation process. Very smooth. Be aware that you may have to wait a few hours before your case is delivered to your cabin 2. We were upgraded, no charge, to a cabin with a balcony. 3. Restaurant- we had the 1st sitting at 7pm. Dinner lasted until 8.45pm. Although at first i thought it would be too early, it was fine. It meant we could finish dinner then have a drink before visiting the show. 4. The 3 course meals were of good quality, plenty of choice, but a little on the small side, and limited veg. 5. We were on an all inclusive package. Wine was served by the glass, no limit. 6. The staff were very friendly and work hard, with a smile. Nothing too much trouble. I have nothing but praise for all of them. Our waiters were amazing. 7. Entertainment in the theatre was excellent especially the singers. 8. Plenty of other musical entertainment in the many bars. Again, very enjoyable. And you have lots of choice. 9. There is an adults only infinity pool and garden bar on deck 16. 10. All drinks were included in the all inclusive package including cocktails. Negatives Not really any, other than the buffet was a bit of a bun fight. Very busy especially at breakfast time. Difficult to find a table, very noisy and busy unless you go about 10am. But plenty of choice and good quality. We didn't eat lunch here as we were off ship. Some reviews i read complain about the rude and noisy Italians, French and Spanish. Well, you also get rude Brits! For me, the multi nationality add to the atmosphere. Its lively and fun. The Mediterranean people are different to the moany, stuffy Brits but that isn't a negative! Overall we had a great first experience of cruising, and would use MSC again. Do your research, you don't have to use expensive MSC shuttle bus, just walk out of port and catch the local bus for a fraction of the cost. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were looking forward to our first cruise but disappointed by our experience. When we embarked no one was interested in telling us the process. There appeared to a drive to sell the drinks package and when we said we didn't want ... Read More
We were looking forward to our first cruise but disappointed by our experience. When we embarked no one was interested in telling us the process. There appeared to a drive to sell the drinks package and when we said we didn't want one they were not interested in helping us. Customer service was inconsistent throughout. Some staff were very good but mostly staff presented as 'can't be bothered'. We paid gratuities upfront but were charged 15% on top of every purchase/service on top of that. When we brought it to the attention of admin they said it was a tax and not a service charge as it was described on their literature. The cabin itself was nice and bigger than we expected. Also very clean. There are plenty of bars with entertainment etc. However, the ship was very busy and over run by children and pushchairs and it wasn't possible to have a child free evening even in what appeared to be night club atmosphere. The only 'child free' area was a smoking zone but as we don't smoke this was not an option for us. We have since been told that MSC offer free child places and that explains why there were so many. We have nothing against children and families but if we had known we would not have chosen this cruise. It was a bit of a bun fight trying to get food and secure a table in the informal dining. Even the formal dining was noisy and service was very slow. We took advantage of a cut price pedicure. Reduced to a bargain price of 45 euro (plus the 15%). To say it was average is an understatement . Throughout the cruise there was a 'hard sell' of excursions, drinks packages and services that was not pleasant. The pool areas were chaos and there were no quiet areas. A bit like Butlins at Sea! This cruise might be good for families . But if you want to have a quiet drink, enjoy the entertainment, relax by the pool or enjoy fine dining this cruise is not for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chosen as first family cruise experience, departure dates and location fit with school holidays. Embarked & disembarked Valencia, Itinerary (Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Valencia.) Aurea Spa ... Read More
Chosen as first family cruise experience, departure dates and location fit with school holidays. Embarked & disembarked Valencia, Itinerary (Valencia, Marseille, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Palermo, Cagliari, Palma, Valencia.) Aurea Spa experience package with Premium Drinks package upgrade. Deck 10 Forward Suite with Panoramic window. PRE-BOARDING As others have noted MSC Website coded by a ten-year-old, post booking was impossible to complete web check-in as site rejects valid date and address formats. NB Even once given over phone to customer support, you will randomly change sex or your passport details will again disappear! Different customer support telephone operators will give you different excuses and explanations. One stated each passenger had to have different emergency contact details! (not true) In total, Travel booker and MSC regenerated booking confirmation over a dozen times. Four days before embarkation still no e-tickets; took travel booker an hour on the phone to ensure these were indeed generated and dispatched. EMBARKATION We flew into Valencia day before, stayed on land overnight and took sometime time to see Valencia. Taxi to Ferry Terminal for embarkation at scheduled timeslot. (Driver was unsure where MSC cruise embarked, but this was correct, MSC tent and flags outside) No queue at priority check-in, quick check of e-tickets, luggage handed over, upstairs for Orange juice and water, check of travel documents, through security, on to transfer bus to ship, board ship, photos for security, wristband for youngest child, staff upsell of drinks package not required, upwards to cabin, cruise cards ready on table. Went for quick familiarisation stroll of the ship, after second drinks purchase, it became apparent that card code didn't have the upgrade and extras in room were also missing. Visit to reception recoded the card and room extras appeared the next morning. Whilst at reception pre-authorised credit card on the terminal and opted out of the daily service charge option. (Our preference was to tip steward and waiter directly). DINING Had 'My Choice' dining in Black Crab rather than first or second sitting; chose to reserve for 8pm each night which gave enough time to finish and stroll to 9:45 show. NB Without reserving you may well have to queue or be told to come back later. (On In port night, was one show and anytime dining for all) Menus choices were excellent; even youngest preferred it to set kids’ menu options. Portions were sensible European size. Typically, two vegetarian starters and mains, soup, meat, fish, fruit, cheese and desserts; emphasis on Mediterranean cuisine and sea food; bread, side veg and simple grilled chicken or fish if nothing else takes your fancy. (Main buffet is self-serve for food with simpler fare) Wines by the glass in restaurants; didn't get to see the bottle, so never quite certain whether it was what was requested. Sometime waiters presumed we were on easy house wine package which is best avoided, (‘premium’ wines were acceptable and grapes recognisable, but not outstanding.) Wine and beer selection in La Cantina differs from restaurants and other bars and was noticeable better. Formal night, white night, floral night, dress how you like, didn't notice anyone unsuitably attired for restaurant vs. buffet. HINT: Black Crab has breakfast and lunch menus in addition to buffet and is quieter than the rear buffet. Piazza has early continental breakfast and all-day cakes & sandwiches, although they were quite dry. Tasty fancy coffees in Piazza, Cafeteria coffee in bars and buffet. Sports bar serves food from 2pm till late for anyone who skipped lunch or dinner. Boys liked Hot dogs, burgers, onion rings and fries;( freshly made and noticeable better than buffet premade ones. Although fries pre-salted.) ‘Eataly’ chargeable restaurant was closed couple of days into cruise, as being refitted as Butchers Cut. We weren't advised in advance, but weren't bothered as stuck to our prepaid package options. ENTERTAINMENT We took in the show every night; enjoyable mix of song, dance and acrobatics. Particularly enjoyed Queen and Tina Turner tributes. Principal dancers were excellent, Lead singers good, some of the backing dancers less skilled. Invited dance schools also put on performances. On Sunny days, we took advantage of 'Top 18' deck once found! Much calmer than the main pool area, although no waitress service and nearest toilet at Aft bar and pool. Rattan beds are extra charge. NB 'Top 18' is not adults only, although 'Garden Pool' is. All pools are seawater and take a while to warm up during the day, even the indoor one. Jacuzzis are hot and popular on chillier days, decks get hot in sun so bring along some footwear; avoid the Smokers corner on deck 14 and near Casino on deck 6. Check out Black and White lounge for evening pre-show dance lessons and post show fun if you have the time and energy. Other bars have mix of jazz, Latin, piano and guitar live performers, with particular emphasis each evening. i.e. Beatles / Abba/ 60s. Gym open from early to late, only busy in afternoon pre-dinner. Extensive range of fixed weight machines plus free weights, half a dozen treadmills and fixed bikes, stretching area. All in working order. Towels and water available. TIP: Running on lifeboat decks better option than deck 15 which has too many sunbeds and other obstacles. Our package included Spa access and a massage; eldest son could use gym and spa, but not under 12. For us and other European couples having separate saunas and steams for sexes was unexpected, particularly since swimwear is mandatory, so we mostly ignored it and mingled. Massage treatments were competently delivered and at the pressure requested, although if not included in your package, overpriced; look for daily promotion discounts. NEG: Drinks in Spa bar not covered by Premium drinks package. SERVICE Room was cleaned every day and beds made up every evening whilst at dinner. Choice of pillows available. We were all comfortable on the mattresses and pillows provided. Aircon kept a consistent temperature without disturbing sleep. Especially impressed with lack of noise from adjacent cabins, bathrooms or corridor. Far superior to many hotels. Entry and exit for onboard and embarking / disembarking passengers was well managed. Only queued onetime when arrived at same time as excursion returned. DOWNERS Safety drill announcements hard to avoid and daily; need ear plugs, plus bar service reduced during drills as staff involved. Couldn't control temperature / humidity in Sauna or turn off music. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I decided to take a Mediterranean cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. We searched several cruise lines as we have cruised with three other American Cruise lines. We opted to take MSC As the other options were limited ... Read More
My husband and I decided to take a Mediterranean cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. We searched several cruise lines as we have cruised with three other American Cruise lines. We opted to take MSC As the other options were limited during the month of November. Never cruising with this cruise line before, we were a little bit hesitant but we’re excited about the port of calls. Leading up to the date of the cruise I became a little bit weary when reading other reviews. This caused our expectation to be lower than usual. As the other options were limited during the month of November. Never cruising with this cruise line before, we were a little bit hesitant but were excited about the port of calls. Leading up to the date of the cruise I became a little bit weary when reading the reviews. This caused our expectation to be lower than usual. We were pleasantly surprised at how gorgeous the ship was and how accommodating the crewmembers were. Everyone was super friendly and to our surprise the food was wonderful. We ate in various restaurants including one of the Cirque Du Soleil show with dinner. If there is one advice I can give to people that have not cruise with this cruise line before, is that there is a lot of information on the ship but you need to look for the information. Another words, if you opt for one of their experiences that includes unlimited drinks, be sure to ask from the beginning where the unlimited drinks are valid. This information was not readily available, therefore We did not take it vantage of it until the second to last night. The ship was extremely clean, the food was always hot, Unlike some of the prior reviews that we had read. I would recommend this gorgeous ship to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Ok, truth be said, there a far more experienced cruisers out there, who undoubtedly are in a much better position to compare. I’m a novice cruiser, who only did a Western Caribbean cruise on board of Regal Princess, in early February ... Read More
Ok, truth be said, there a far more experienced cruisers out there, who undoubtedly are in a much better position to compare. I’m a novice cruiser, who only did a Western Caribbean cruise on board of Regal Princess, in early February this year, and loved it. We’ve been very hesitant on cruising, and when we finally decided to try one, we we’re recommended Princess or Celebrity, because they offer a semi high standard. I know that sounds snob, but it’s just that we like our privacy, good food, good service, a place to relax and read, away from the hustle and crowds, and yes, we love luxury too. Regal Princess ticked all the boxes, and more, so why MSC which - according to experienced cruisers, our travel agent, and internet, is a step down. The answer is simple ; Yacht Club ! On our 4th day, on sitting in the ‘top sail lounge’ with a martini & Tonic, enjoying the view of leaving Palermo, and the quit atmosphere, while writing this review. Our embarcation port was Valencia, Spain, and the journey did not begin well. The port of Valencia is a nightmare, apparently road signs showing tourists to the that part of the port where you need to board, are not a requirement, and so we drove back and forth, passing MSC Meraviglia more then 5 times, before finally taking the ‘road of last resort’ leading to the cruise terminal, which is shared with ‘local ferries’ going the the various balearic islands. What a contrast with Fort Lauderdale. But then the Yacht Club kicked in, where a butler awaited us in front of the cruise terminal, took charge of our luggage, and guided us to the yacht club check in area. No waiting lines, no cues, but a private escort right to the stateroom on board. Lovely ! We booked the last available stateroom in Yacht Club, a ‘YIN Suite’ ; Yacht Club Interior Suite.
I wouldn’t call it a ‘suite’ since it’s definitely the smallest room I ever stayed in, even including my ‘road side’ rooms in these cheap highway chain hotels, for example ‘Accor’. That being said, a bottle of cava, fruit basket, chocolates, Nespresso machine, well stuffed mini bar ( included ), housekeeping, beds being made up ( even again after a ‘siesta’ ) towels folded to different animals everyday, and the omni present smile of our state room attendant and private butler. Yes, a 24/7 on call private butler is part of the Yacht club service too. So, perhaps, it’s not a suite in size, but it definitely is in service. Then we started our tour of the ship. Since it was after 14:00 h, the yacht club restaurant was closed, and because it was pouring rain, the Sundeck pool buffet was closed, so we decided to go to ‘the marketplace’ the main buffet restaurant. Bad idea ! It immediately made us realise why MSC is considered ‘a step down’.
Crowds, pushing and shoving, cues, people trying to cut the lines, a slice of pizza on the floor, horrible. We decided to skip the longest lines, and ‘fought our way’ to a slice of pizza, freshly baked, right out of the oven, then passed to the kids corner - because there was no cue there - for some condiments, and rushed outside to the tables alongside the pool. Quit ? No, but a huge difference with ‘in the marketplace’. A waiter came by, and soon after, brought our drinks. Nice. We continued our exploration through the central gallery with it’s impressive led dome, complimentary restaurants, bars, tv studio, etc, and a nice ambiance. Strange how such a big ship has such a simple layout, and I mean this in a positive way. On regal princess it took us days to figure out which floor we needed to go to for, say the theatre, which zones to cross, etc. On Meraviglia, it’s simple. Meraviglia - Regal Princess : 1-0. Soon, we ended our exploration tour, and headed back to Yacht Club, and only returned to the rest of the ship ‘when necessary’. Dinner in the Yacht Club Restaurant, free dining, great. Menu, food, presentation, wine, service, right up there with Regal Princess. A nice touch are the daily changing wine suggestions, and it you prefer another one, they’ll get it for you. Great ! A large selection for breakfast in the restaurant, and then some, or a breakfast buffet at the poolside sundeck. Great. So is the service at the sundeck, the buffet, the bar, etc. Add to all that the 24/7 yacht club concierge, who are perfectly able to attend clients in 5 languages. Great personal attendance, but with a downside, since all shows and announcements are done in 5 languages, a bit boring sometimes, even more when during the weekend the mandatory safety drills for new arriving passengers are also announced in 5 languages, and on Sunday at 7:37 an announcement of ‘all on board at 18:30’ was done in 5 languages. I did not quiet get the need for that. We booked the optional ‘Cirque du soleil at sea’ show and were escorted to the theatre by our Yacht club butler, passing the waiting lines. So relaxing. The show was good, not spectacular, but then again who’s complaining if you only pay 15 € per person, including a cocktail for a 45 minute show. In yacht club all drinks - and yes I mean almost all drinks, even premium whisky, cognac, … - are included. Truth be said, some are not, but then we’re only talking about the truly very expensive ones. And here I stumble upon a point of criticism ; from the info prior to booking the cruise we understood that only soft drinks are included in the yacht club and our travel agent was also very uninformative about this, and since we do like our gin&tonic, wine,… we decided to book the optional premium all inclusive drinks package. A total waste of money. When on vacation, we love to relax and read, in all serenity and tranquility. On Regal Princess that made us decide to - on sea days - rent a cabin in the adult only retreat section. On MSC Yacht Club we thought that we would have that anyway. Not so. It’s totally uncomprehensive that the MSC Yacht Club is not adult only. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but on vacation, I love to relax without running, screaming children. And apparently other guests did so too, since when on day 3 of our cruise a couple boarded with 2 young children who monopolised the yacht club pool and hot tub, while continuously shouting, a lot of guests moved away to the far side of the yacht club, away from the pool. I was informed that since recently, yacht club also has family staterooms, and the concierge was aware of these 2 children, since the clients for their neighbouring staterooms had also already complained. My advise to MSC ; make yacht club adult only, or make some cruises in yacht club adult only, so that clients can choose wether they want to take the risk, or not. So what did we miss ? Well, ‘Movies under the stars’ like on Regal Princess, the ‘love boat’ episodes on the stateroom television, and the ‘sail away’ party with the love boat tune from the ships horn. So, I think it’s time to conclude, and of course all based on my subjective, personal opinion. For future cruises, the choice between Princess and MSC will entirely depend on the itinerary and the price, comparing MSC Yacht Club with Princess. I feel that the ‘standard service’ and overall quality of Princess is very comparable with MSC Yacht Club. But to make a fair comparison, I do have to include the premium drinks package and a retreat cabin for ‘on sea’ days on Princess. Let’s wait and see which - based on these conditions - will be our next cruise, and if MSC decides to make Yacht club adult only. If not, the choice will be very simple. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So Before we went on this cruise I was tempted to change it due to all the negative reviews!!! Haha! I’m glad I didn’t Yes it has faults but it’s also an amazing ship with things to do all day Rude staff Yes they ... Read More
So Before we went on this cruise I was tempted to change it due to all the negative reviews!!! Haha! I’m glad I didn’t Yes it has faults but it’s also an amazing ship with things to do all day Rude staff Yes they can be a bit grumpy but just talk to them get to know them! You will be amazed how quick they soon love you On our first night a party on deck We used the bar and the main bar man Vitaly was quite abrupt. Next day he apologized and said he was tired. Looked after us the rest of the cruise! Bars were clean and staff were good Brass anchor pub had fab bands on every night and the beer was lovely!!! We changed our restaurant sitting from early till late no problem Restaurant was clean and our waiter was good Like the smaller tables that have been introduced Food was good not massive portions but you could order more if you wanted Buffet was busy yes but we never had a time when we couldn’t get a table Problem is people getting food before getting a seat??? Weird in my book? But hey ! Breakfast was busy but just wait a bit later We bought a restaurant package that was cirque de solie,estaly and butchers cut. Amazing Great food and great value The central plaza is fab Great atmosphere and parties Found the spa to be expensive so give it a miss We liked how you are not set to a routine like on other msc ships The shows ran 3 times a night and you just booked on your msc for me app on your phone! Cabin was larger than normal but hanging space in the wardrobe is less Bathroom is smaller but shower is bigger with the new design And how long do you spend in the bathroom???? Unless your my wife !!! Loads of stuff to do and even on busy days you can still find tables and areas that are quiet. The pool at the back of the ship was empty every time we went to it Getting back on ship was sometimes busy and I don’t think staff should use the same entrance Ship was clean and beautiful All in all Meriviglia is a fab ship A few problems but hey it’s got 6000 people on what do you expect Be happy be respectful and you will love it Be rude be miserable you will hate it Have a good one !!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Found this mini cruise one day trawling the internet. Previous thoughts on MSC had been poor quality, loud italians, mediocre food. ALL WRONG. Sailed from Valencia to Genoa stopping off at Marseilles. Boarding was so so easy, all done and ... Read More
Found this mini cruise one day trawling the internet. Previous thoughts on MSC had been poor quality, loud italians, mediocre food. ALL WRONG. Sailed from Valencia to Genoa stopping off at Marseilles. Boarding was so so easy, all done and dusted in 30 minutes. On the ship straight to the buffet for lunch. Excellent choices and good quality. One minor point if you dont have all inclusive on the first couple of hours unable to order any drinks as no cruise card to charge to until cabins released around 1400. At 1330 announced cabins were ready. We had an aft balcony cabin 10258. Huge balcony plenty of room for table and 2 chairs plus the two loungers. Due to overhang could be a bit dark in cabin sometimes though. Very quiet and great view from the rear of ship. Ship ID cards all ready incabin and was quickly activated at one of the on board machines. Huge bed and very comfortable. Staff round the ship eager to please and very chatty. Especially recommend the Eataly restaurant ( pay extra) and its associated pizza restaurant and bar where it is included. Wines on board very good and great choice of spirits. Excellent night where looked in on the Cirque du Soleil style show and also the casino where on both nights of cruise won on roulette. Breakfast in buffet was excellent ( apart from the free instant coffee). Take my tip order proper coffee and pay a little more. Marseilles we had taxi into town (20 euros) and had a good wander. Entrance into Genoa next morning very interesting as we were towed in by tug. Huge port. Well worth if have the time take the boat trip around this huge harbour. 8 Euros for about an hour and a quarter booked on the quayside. Go all the way past the airport. We came away with a totally different view of MSC which is a 4 star cruise line at 3 star cruise line prices. Excellent and a nice surprise. Definitely will book again. Choose your own cabin after some research is my tip Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It was a family trip. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine and everything was very well organized. Ship. Everything was in very good condition. At this point I have a small complaint that the temperature was too low inside, ... Read More
It was a family trip. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine and everything was very well organized. Ship. Everything was in very good condition. At this point I have a small complaint that the temperature was too low inside, considering that we were wearing bathsuits and sometimes wet. I got a cold during the trip because of this. Cabin. The cabin was fine, everything very new and comfortable Dining. The quality and service was very good. The service on diners was superb. I have to say it was a bit chaotic for lunches, with crowded buffet on the top deck and it was difficult to find a table. Also in the buffet there were less waiters than needed and sometimes it took us a long time to get our drinks. Entertaintment. The look of everything was great but my feeling is that there were too many people for the top deck pools. Most of my family liked entertaintment in the theater, even if it was not my cup of tea. The party in the top deck on the night of Mallorca was superb and we enjoyed it very much. *** I have a BIG COMPLAINT about arcade games, where my 14 year old son spent a big amount of money just using his card withought knowing. I think children shouldn't be allowed to spend money without their parents permission and more explicit warning. Service. It was very good ingeneral. Specially waiters during the dinner. Ports. I liked most of them except Palermo. Excursions were very good. Children had an exceptional time. From the four members of my family kids would like to do it again but for adults I think we wouldn't do it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Far from the maddening crowds we selected Yacht Club for this cruise and wasn't disappointed. We were spoilt rotten by the attention and the care we received from the crew and members of the staff. We found the experience gratifying ... Read More
Far from the maddening crowds we selected Yacht Club for this cruise and wasn't disappointed. We were spoilt rotten by the attention and the care we received from the crew and members of the staff. We found the experience gratifying in every sense having sailed on this beautiful ship a couple of times before and have enjoyed every cruise we have been on. If there was a criticism they should vary the itinerary of the ship a little I have been to all the ports of call and done most of the excursions. As for the ship it was clean and well maintained we never felt crowded and always found a space to eat and when were were on deck there was plenty of sun loungers available with fresh towels. The bars held a broad selection for drinks and there was food always available. We were so impressed we have booked another cruise with MSC on the Meraviglia in the Yacht Club just to see if the experience can be beaten. Loved every moment of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We boarded the Preziosa for a one week cruise starting in Valencia with stops at Marseilles, Genoa, Citivecchia, Palermo and Valletta. The embarkation procedure was much better than most. People are getting on and off the ship at every ... Read More
We boarded the Preziosa for a one week cruise starting in Valencia with stops at Marseilles, Genoa, Citivecchia, Palermo and Valletta. The embarkation procedure was much better than most. People are getting on and off the ship at every port so there is fewer people and we didn't have to wait at all. The first impression of the ship is that it is beautiful, glitzy, new and clean. It is very large with many bars and sitting areas indoors and out that didn't seem to be filled up at any time. We had a balcony cabin and it was smaller than others we've had on MSC Magnifica and other cruise lines. Nowhere to sit except the bed and the balcony. In November evenings sitting outside is a bit chilly! Not enough storage space for clothes etc. The whole dining experience is abysmal. Our first experience was the Golden Lobster for lunch. The tables and chairs are packed in so tight it is ridiculous. They have a small buffet in there but you can barely pass by all the tables to get to it. The waiter was rude, condescending and aggressive. Not a good start. We were assigned a table in L'Arabesque for our evening meals. The decor is much better than the Golden Lobster but still very crowded and still very poor service. Then lunch at the Inca & Maya - OMG. It is a madhouse. Some food good - some not so good - some food cooked - some, not so much - some too much. They have a drinks package for mealtime drinks which makes everyone stay in the buffet restaurant as long as possible, thereby adding to the pandemonium. Every meal felt like it was fighting a crowd - and I think crowds make people rude and obnoxious. There are no alternatives unless you want to pay. The quality of the food in the restaurants is not good so I don't know what would make me believe they could do better if I paid extra. The food is quite bland and the meat is low quality and usually quite grisly. Most of the paid restaurants were always empty. I sent a note to the dining manager with my thoughts on the poor service but I guess he/she wasn't interested because I never got a response. Other thoughts on the ship - the air conditioning isn't good in all parts. Our room air con never came on - thankfully we had a door to open. Not enough attention paid to hand cleaning - the stations are out of the way and often empty. Kids! Everywhere there are Kids! Prams and kids!! If you don't want to be around a lot of kids find another cruise. And for some reason the kids run around freely, are loud and boisterous and often there is no sign of a parent in sight. The nightly entertainment was good. They have a very talented team of singers, dancers, gymnasts and acrobats. Each evening is a different theme - all good except the opera one! Even my opera loving husband had to leave after the first number! The sound engineers need to improve. The ports of call were all good. Valencia is beautiful and you can get a bus into the town just around the corner from the terminal. There is a big sign pointing you in the direction and telling you the bus numbers. It is 1.50 one way and you pay the driver. The main part of the old city is easy to walk around for the day. Marseille - we took the ship transfer to the town centre for 15.90 each. Wandered around the harbour for awhile and took the little land train up to Notre Dame de Grace which is really something not to be missed! Genoa and Palermo are nice Italian cities if you can look past thier inability to keep their cities clean and respectable. I always feel sad when I see beautiful old buildings with graffitti everywhere and dirt all over the place. But that is Italy... For Rome I recommend grabbing a tour just outside the terminal when the shuttle drops you off. They are good, can choose your language and they get you back to the port in plenty of time. Much less expensive than the ship will charge. Valletta was really beautiful. You can walk along the street in front of the terminal and you will come to a lift that will take you up the cliff to the old town. Lovely to walk around there and enjoy the views, nice restaurants and lots of shops. People are friendly and you can get free wifi in the main square. All in all the places we saw were great and we had a good time - but I would most certainly not be going back on that ship again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try something different, having previously cruised (very happily) with RCL .Also ,being able to embark in Valencia was very attractive to us as we live a hour from the port. We booked the Yacht ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to try something different, having previously cruised (very happily) with RCL .Also ,being able to embark in Valencia was very attractive to us as we live a hour from the port. We booked the Yacht Club for this one as it was a cruise to celebrate a"special " birthday and the price seemed very reasonable and the reviews exceptionally good. We were not disappointed ! In fact we were very impressed with many features of this trip, as well as the Yacht Club. Parking at the cruise terminal at Valencia is very simple, just drive into the car park behind the building, walk across the Tarmac and the luggage desk is just inside. There was no queue at all and once we handed our cases over a butler was summoned and we were escorted upstairs to do our check in. After a short bus transfer to the ship we were quickly on board and taken up to the YC area. We thought the ship was stunning. Everything is beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean.The whole YC experience was amazing - the service was superb, the cabin was very comfortable and the evening meals in La Palmerie were some of the best food we have experienced on a cruise ship. We went to the buffet a few times which was ok. We always found a seat if we walked through towards the back . The food was average buffet food and we always found something we could eat. The staff there were friendly and we were offered drinks etc.like any other ship. We enjoyed the three shows we saw, particularly the Queen tribute. Because we were in the Yacht Club, we didn't drink in any of the bars but when we walked through the ship had a lively, friendly feel to it , and many people were joining in all of the activities. The only negative for us was the fact there we met very few English speaking passengers , because we usually like to chat to Americans, Canadians, Aussies, and other Brits but did not meet up with many on his trip. Having said that, our fellow passengers were friendly and courteous and we did not experience the queue jumping or pushy behaviour that some previous reviewers have described. In summary we enjoyed our alternative experience and will definitely be cruising with MSC again. In fact we have already booked Fantasia in March 2017. and we would recommend them to anyone that fancies trying something different. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Staying in Spain with our son and daughter we decided to have a Mediterranean adventure. The boarding at Valencia was chaotic and should have warned us as to what was ahead. The ship itself was as could be expected but as my wife was ... Read More
Staying in Spain with our son and daughter we decided to have a Mediterranean adventure. The boarding at Valencia was chaotic and should have warned us as to what was ahead. The ship itself was as could be expected but as my wife was using a wheelchair there were not enough lifts or disabled toilet facilities for the 4500 passengers on board. It took us twenty minutes one evening to get from our cabin to the restaurant. The biggest disappointment was the attitude of the majority of the crew. It seems that they are trained not to smile or to acknowledge our prescence. When we had the meet the senior officers evening not one of them smiled or even looked the remotest bit happy or interested in the passengers. The only exception was our cabin steward who was always happy and friendly. He was the only person we tipped as we removed our compulsory tipping charge from our account due to the miserable attitude of the crew. The buffet was scary especially with the wheelchair. It was like throwing a carcus into a pirhanna pool. Never again. Could go on more but we all agreed that we will never take another MSC cruise even if they paid us We have had many other cruises with other cruise lines and this definitely was the worst ever. In fact this is the only time we have ever made a complaintl Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Recently returned from our first ever cruise on MSC Preziosa and very happy to report a pretty good experience made even better by good weather and a flat calm sea. The ship itself is impressive but with a feeling of always being lost. ... Read More
Recently returned from our first ever cruise on MSC Preziosa and very happy to report a pretty good experience made even better by good weather and a flat calm sea. The ship itself is impressive but with a feeling of always being lost. The customer facing crew are to be commended, yes some will have an off day and be grumpy but we found them to be extremely pleasant, friendly and if appropriate chatty. We formed a great relationship with our Cabin Steward and our dinner Waiters. We opted for a balcony cabin - recommended and for the "Allegrissimo" "all inclusive" package, it did not take long before we found what was not included. To have a full "all inclusive" package you need to opt for the "Allegrissimo Premium" package which is a lot more expensive. What did we not get, well apparently only some cocktails and cabin service so not really worth the extra expense. Breakfast on Deck 14 in the Buffet was manic as was lunch. (there of course were other dining options available through the ship) Some have complained that the island was not a mirror image on each side but with so much choice on offer just enjoy the walk round and deciding what you want. Dinner in the "Golden Lobster" was very high class, six courses if thats what you wanted, good quality wine - free with Allegrissimo amounted for us both to generally 50€ per meal. The waiting staff were extremely attentive, very friendly and extremely chatty adding to our dining experience. There is a service charge of 9€ per person per day that you will only find out about when your final bill arrives. I think this is bit excessive but it is spread out to the entire ships crew. You can opt out of this charge by approaching the "Customer Service" desk on board. If they were to charge say 5€ per day I think this would be more acceptable. We got the top internet package available intending to use SKYPE to keep in touch with family. If you can do without internet for one week then DO NOT get any internet package. The connection speed is absolutely atrocious and SKYPE proved to be impossible, even attending to normal e-mail was difficult so go for an internet detox. The organised tours that we took were fine and of course expensive, we did our own thing with mixed success in three ports. The on-board evening entertainment was fantastic, a short sharp treat and not to be missed. The cruise is very "Italian" orientated which was not really a problem as English speaking you will be very much in the minority. All announcements are multi lingual starting with highly accented English but with a seamless cross to another language leaving you uncertain to what you have heard. Would I do it again - well maybe. Can I recommend this ship and trip - yes.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016

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