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Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to South Africa and the thought of going through the Suez Canal appealed to us enormously. We enjoyed the classical music concerts and the documentaries especially. We were pleased to discover ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to go to South Africa and the thought of going through the Suez Canal appealed to us enormously. We enjoyed the classical music concerts and the documentaries especially. We were pleased to discover the quietness of the Pasha Lounge during the day where we could read, do crossword puzzles, etc. We enjoyed the excursions in Crete, Eilat, Mauritius and Reunion especially. Our cabin was very comfortable and was kept immaculate by our most excellent cabin attendant, Patrick. We enjoyed our breakfasts in the upstairs buffet, and our dinner in the Il Galleone dining room. Our waiter in the Il Galleone was delightfully friendly and efficient. We enjoyed our pre-dinner cocktails in the Buddha Bar, where thought the guitarist very good, and our after-dinner coffee in the Coffee Bar with its excellent pianist. All in all, it was a most relaxing holiday, and we received excellent service from all MSC staff. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We are black card club members so we know what to expect from MSC. Our cabin was an Aurea Suite. Fabulous suite, walk in wardrobe, bath/shower, robes and slippers. As we were black card we got a welcome treat of Wine, fruit and ... Read More
We are black card club members so we know what to expect from MSC. Our cabin was an Aurea Suite. Fabulous suite, walk in wardrobe, bath/shower, robes and slippers. As we were black card we got a welcome treat of Wine, fruit and chocolate dipped strawberries. Our cabin steward was extremely efficient and made sure we had anything we needed. The buffet restaurant was typical of other ships but the food was fine and a very good variety. Anyone having afternoon tea would have been delighted with the variety of cakes and puddings. Aurea Suite passengers were invited to use the free dining in the Il Covo restaurant. We were very fortunate to share our table with another couple with whom we got along really well. The food was varied and the soups served were excellent. We even pointed this out to the head waiter, apparently the management had noticed the talents of the soup chef. On one trip we actually met the soup chef and he was delighted at the praise we gave. The menu was themed each night, Mexican, Italian etc.as well as the old favourites, of chicken, chips etc. There was always something on the menu to satisfy even the most picky eaters.Our waiters, Muhsin and Wayan Edt were brilliant, nothing was too much trouble and they shared our sense of humour. The Il Covo is certainly quieter than the larger restaurants. In addition we had use of the Aurea Spa and the Aurea deck with more comfortable furnishing. There was a small bar and at certain times guests were served with fresh fruit kebabs - lovely. I understand that the theatre entertainment was of a very high standard. There was daytime entertainment for every age group. Fitness sessions, card/board games, quizzes and a multi-faith church service on Sundays. Embarkation was not good, there were 4 or 5 other ships in that day and we must have drawn the worst berth. There was a lack of ships crew to assist. We have not experienced this before with MSC. I found the public rooms to be far nicer than the cruise we took with a different line last year. The only problem we had, was NOT with MSC but with the booking agent. Like many other passengers we had so many problems. When we booked we were returning to the UK from Cape Town, the invoice was marked TBA, never in a million years did we expect to be told that our flight would be from Cape Town to Dubai, wait at Dubai, Dubai to Heathrow. Since we had got to Cape town via a flight from Durban this meant we were virtually going back the way we came. I had recently had a minor health problem and just couldn't face that palaver so we paid £574 extra to fly direct to Heathrow. There were problems with transfers which were included not materialising which cost us extra. Praise, however, goes to Illios Travel in South Africa, they were great. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Destinations looked interesting However it was quicker flying from Gatwick to Venice than getting on this cruise with five different queues. Lets try Dinner - Over 1.5 hours to serve and that will be nearly 3 Euros for a bottle of water ... Read More
Destinations looked interesting However it was quicker flying from Gatwick to Venice than getting on this cruise with five different queues. Lets try Dinner - Over 1.5 hours to serve and that will be nearly 3 Euros for a bottle of water with your dinner and help yourself to ice. Lets try breakfast - cereals the packaging would taste better even with milk White toast because they will not turn up the toaster. On complaining I am told by the Maitre D lots of people like white toast. NO you cannot have poached egg in the buffet either because if they gave you poached egg some 150-200 other customers might want it!! After going through the toaster three times you could probably have sanded the deck with it. My wife ran a B and B for 22 years and NO one asked for white toast. Lets try Afternoon tea with Bulk jam and synthetic cream or carrot cake mix. Lets try The PARADISE Hamburger bar. Really catering knowledge here. Cook all the burgers in the morning and then microwave them for 30 seconds throughout the day. Cook the chips and then put them out in trays in the cold. Guess what cold chips. I did offer to assist the (Food and Beverage???) manager to change this as I have set up and owned a Burger Bar but this was ignored. You may think that people that have gone to PARADISE, even though it is a burger bar, would be happy, NO they are not. Ice cream, -Extra cost. Lets go to the theatre, - Some bright spark has come up with an idea to increase the seating, BUT because they are on the same level, the people behind can no longer see. Lets go to the library,- Sorry only eight English books available. Lets go on, no cannot be bothered That is why I called it the MARMITE Shipping Co (MSC) because you either loved it or hated it. WE hated it and will never go on MSC again.. The ironic thing is they send you a questionnaire to fill in and by doing so you may win a cruise. If we win watch E-bay Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Got on the ship, bit slow boarding. They have stretched the ship and fitted another 200 cabins. We had a new cabin (9105). Very tidy, but a bit small. Adequate, but not as good as the last time on this ship. Had requested fixed early ... Read More
Got on the ship, bit slow boarding. They have stretched the ship and fitted another 200 cabins. We had a new cabin (9105). Very tidy, but a bit small. Adequate, but not as good as the last time on this ship. Had requested fixed early dining on a large table to meet other people. Because we had a balcony cabin, we were allocated to the “best ??” dining room on any time dining. Try as I could, I wasn’t able to change it. We ended up on a table for 4, sat by ourselves most of the time, not what we had wanted, WE WANTED TO MEET OTHER PEOPLE The layout of the second dining room is terrible. People walking through whilst others are dining. Who planned the ships extension, a bet it wasn’t a marine architect or someone who went cruising. The food was reasonable, but could have been far better. As with all the cruises, they are cutting corners, but on this cruise they had cut them a bit too much. Most of the food was good, but they managed to make a mess of some of it. One example was scrambled egg, mixed tinned tomatoes with it? Surely, it would have been better to present them separately. They ran out of Instant coffee, tea bags and bananas after 16 days and butter on the last two days. This ship has been doing this cruise for a few years now. Provisions manager wants a squib up his rear end if he can’t get it right. One day my fish at the buffet was raw in the middle. I drew the attention of the buffet manager, who fobbed me off by saying, - that’s the colour inside sir – I didn’t want compensation, just to have him point out to the kitchen that something was not right. Why put coconut on everything. Had they loaded too much? Never saw the Captain about the ship or heard him on the PA. No announcements at noon as to position, weather etc. In fact the big problem overall on the ship was lack of communication. We didn’t mind the multi language announcements, that all adds to the flavour, but for example, no info about where the ship was docking at each stop in relation to a town. Shuttles etc. Sometimes there was something on the daily news sheet, but generally you had to call reception to find out. I don’t want it like Carnival cruises, blaring out at all times of day like a holiday camp, but a little information would be great. Excellent talks from a retired commander of the Royal Protection Squad and a South African Doctor. The Cruise Director was Superb, best we have ever experienced. Who organised the ship to berth in Seychelles on a Sunday. The place was closed, I mean closed. Not even a cafe to get a cup of coffee. People were back on the ship before lunch. A little better planning, a slower passage to Seychelles (Save fuel!!). Berth Monday. 2000 people spend money on the island. One day at Mauritius was long enough. Mauritius is nice, but one day was sufficient. Disembarkation in Durban was atrocious. I know that MSC cannot control Immigration, but surely they can lean on SA to get their act together. Not like that at Cape Town. Got a quote for the cruise from SA to Italy May 2018 whilst on board. Four times the costs of this years cruise. Questioned it. Reduced by 15%. Got home, almost £1000 cheaper per person on line. Come on MSC, we like you, but all in all, you are not encouraging us to cruise with you again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The second night the ship ran out of many of the popular wines, then Tea bags then butter ..... Then coffee. People ended up stealing boxes of tea because everything was running out which made the matter worse. The seated restaurant ... Read More
The second night the ship ran out of many of the popular wines, then Tea bags then butter ..... Then coffee. People ended up stealing boxes of tea because everything was running out which made the matter worse. The seated restaurant refuse to give you tap water unless you bought it ( apart from the buffet restaurant ) and they don't serve coffee unless you pay for it. Bit cheeky really! Very clean ship , staff , as usual , excellent -rooms perfect very clean. Shows good too But...... Ports were all industry port so getting off was awkward They failed to tell us then on going down the Suez Canal all lights were switched ooff on top deck so no walking around. armed security on deck for the whole six days with no entertainment on that top deck - you had to stay inside with all curtains drWn. If I had known we were at risk of an attack I wouldn't on gone. Disappointing MSC Read Less

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