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54 Venice to Mediterranean MSC Cruises MSC Musica Cruise Reviews

The destinations in the cruise were great, beautiful towns all. The staff very friendly. Overall experience mediocre food not great,MSC nickels and dimes their customers . No one seems to be in charge and know one ever knows what’s ... Read More
The destinations in the cruise were great, beautiful towns all. The staff very friendly. Overall experience mediocre food not great,MSC nickels and dimes their customers . No one seems to be in charge and know one ever knows what’s going on. They do not enforce non smoking in cabins and balconies, I was inhaling second hand smoke entire trip, I ended up getting sick from smoke inhalation. I reported twice . It took 4 hours to board ship completely disorganized At our stop in Zadar, they did not have enough transportation coaches to take guests into town we spent 1/3 of our time in port waiting for transportation. I will never cruise MSC again Also took our passports for stamping in Venice, and they were very disorganized in retiring to guests, extremely stressful! The buffet was Mediocre Other cruises I have gone on really went out of their way to wow guests with food presentation , not the case on this cruise. The buffets were like cafeteria type food Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We sail RCI and NCL every few months. Embarkation and disembarkation was shocking - didnt get onboard until 2.30pm as a black status holder. Its 10am now and no one has disembarked yet... we are standing in huge lines. The premium (suite ... Read More
We sail RCI and NCL every few months. Embarkation and disembarkation was shocking - didnt get onboard until 2.30pm as a black status holder. Its 10am now and no one has disembarked yet... we are standing in huge lines. The premium (suite and high value) guests were left standing in the rain for 45 after being taken through security too early with no shelter and the ship wasn't cleared for boarding. The shambolic nature of the cruise didn't stop there. By UK and US standards the food and service in the MDR was horrendous. The decor of the ship looks like a 90s Seniors home. By far the worst part of this cruise was the attitude of the staff towards the English speaking guests. One crew member even told us the American guests are hated because they see UK/US guests as too demanding and having too high expectations. We were nothing but polite to the crew and were replied to with prejudice and rudeness on many occasions. If you have any sort of problem you have to fight your corner... no one will take ownership and actually will become combative and obstructive back. My black status hadn't fed through to the ship and I was given a classic card. No big deal however when I approached guest services to ask for the correct card I was basically accused of lying even though I had three black status welcome emails. Their nature is to pass you from pillar to post. The rudeness is part of the culture of this line. If you're used to American lines please do not waste your money and vacation time suffering this disgraceful service. Our stateroom was tired with very noticable dirty on the carpets and dust on every surface. The dining was the worst we have ever experienced in any hospitality business. Entertainment shows were high quality. Never again MSC we will vote with our money. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We just come back of MSC Musica, food in buffet, was always cold and in Restaurant,! Food is not at all good quality like other shops,! Can you believe they even shut couple bars early so the crew can have there parties, although ther ... Read More
We just come back of MSC Musica, food in buffet, was always cold and in Restaurant,! Food is not at all good quality like other shops,! Can you believe they even shut couple bars early so the crew can have there parties, although ther itineraries was good, on where we went, there theme parties was good, some staff was friendly, some just tried to avoid serving you, and appear to have long faces,! The ship was full of Germans,, about 80%, I never had a problem, but they appeared to have problem with the English, as there were fights on ship ,! mSC did not even care,,,,! Although MSC is cheap cruise, it’s a shame there food was always cold and seam to only cater for europeons, & not international like other ships,,,,,,,we spent a month on board the ship, and will never travel with MSC again,, it’s shame but to think about it more, although MSC is Italian ship, they did seam to cater more for the German crowd, & not for the English speaking people, there also seamed to be a lot people in there 80s on ship,,,also,, but still the food should not be cold or Luke warm,, soaps tasted like gravy, I cold go on for ever,!the ship was just rubbish, Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, embarking in Venice and sailing through the Suez Canal, disembarking in Durban Sth Africa. There was a long 7 days at sea and unlike other cruises we have been on, there were very few ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, embarking in Venice and sailing through the Suez Canal, disembarking in Durban Sth Africa. There was a long 7 days at sea and unlike other cruises we have been on, there were very few interesting activities to keep the passengers occupied. They seemed to think everyone would just want to lay by the swimming pool, which many of the European passengers seemed to want to do. Coming from Australia, we get plenty of sun/pool time every year so we like do do other things apart from sunbathing and sitting by a tiny pool. Many people claimed their sun lounge each morning with a towel and book and then disappeared for hours so no-one else could use the sun lounge. The entertainment was 2nd rate rubbish, apart from one or two production numbers with some decent dancers and the food in the dining room was almost inedible. Something was very wrong in that kitchen and the executive chef not capable of feeding so many passengers with top quality food. The library was a joke with very few English language books and no reference or non-fiction books or even an atlas. There were very few outdoor dining areas to enjoy a meal without fighting for a table. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our fourth cruise with MSC, and met lots of people from different countries. I would love to make the following comments however:- Your TV programs need an upgrade. Take an example from Emirates airlines. A varity of ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with MSC, and met lots of people from different countries. I would love to make the following comments however:- Your TV programs need an upgrade. Take an example from Emirates airlines. A varity of programs for all ages. You collect money in Euros and pay staff in U.S Dollars. Why? Haloween is promoted but not Christianity. Captain conducts christian marriages and majority of people on cruises are christians. I held two christian services on board which was well attended. I complained about cold milk instead of Hot milk for coffee in buffet lounges. Excursions should be included in tarrif. Services charges cost me approximately R15,000.00 in four trips. This should not be charged. Whilst gymnasium was available, why not sauna? Passengers had flu and was transmitted via air con to most cabins. Why should I pay for water? This should be included in the tariff. You promote gambling and alcohol but not word of God. The cost of photographs are astronomical. I am SouthAfrican and as you are aware the Rand is at its weakest. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Background Information We (wife and I in 50-60 age group) sailed on MSC Poesia a couple of years ago around the western med. (our 1st cruise), so this year we wanted a similar experience but eastern med. Booked through IGLU, and the ... Read More
Background Information We (wife and I in 50-60 age group) sailed on MSC Poesia a couple of years ago around the western med. (our 1st cruise), so this year we wanted a similar experience but eastern med. Booked through IGLU, and the package included 3 nights at Lake Garda, 2 nights in Venice and the eastern med cruise to follow. IGLU service great by the way. This seems a popular package style as many people we met were on similar schedules with MSC, Princess etc. I would highly recommend this schedule as you get to see many lovely sights but it is physically demanding. Maybe not for those that want a relaxing holiday, but you could just sit around if you wanted to! Booking in March got us Fantastica experince and drinks package included, plus flights transfers, and hotels. Travel Outwards All flights included from Gatwick (Easy Jet) and transfers. Only transfers not included were those from the Garda hotel to the train station (approx. 10 euro) and the Venice train station to the hotel (approx. 15 euro). Drove to Best Western Skylane Hotel the day before the flight. Very easy trip (2 hours) and easy to find. Used this hotel before, so knew what we were getting. One night accommodation plus parking for the duration for £134. Clean and just what is required. Transfer to the airport is 10mins using hotel shuttle. Very efficient and timely and only £3pp each way. Car brought to front on return. Would definitely use again as very good service. Didn’t use breakfast or dining facilities. Small supermarket over the road, so plenty of choice for snacks/drinks etc. Gatwick is a breeze. Easyjet auto bag drop simple. Security very quick and departure procedure easy. Booked priority with Easyjet for an extra £10 (gets more legroom too!) to guarantee overhead lockers. 23kg hold bag limit (46kg can be shared between couple) and no weight restriction on overhead locker bag plus small under seat bag allowed too. Good service all around from Gatwick and Easyjet. Included transfer from airport to Hotel Europa, Desenzano very good. Shared bus waiting and dropped others off in Sirmione on way. Took about 45mins all in. Very good. Lake Garda Stay Hotel Europa on shores of Lake Garda is in a very good location. 10mins walk from town centre (and ferries). 5mins from bus stop to station (€1). Nice family run hotel. Simple, clean and well served. Free Wi-Fi. Excellent breakfast with lovely lady running the show. Speaks every language like a native! Hotel just 10 mins (€10) in taxi from station. TIP: MAKE SURE YOU BOOK A LAKE VIEW ROOM. We went on the lake ferry to Sirmione which was excellent (€7 each return), and also to Padova for the day. Would love to go back and explore more of Lake Garda. Good restaurant 5 mins walk from hotel (left out of hotel). Ristorante Pizzeria Desenzanino has a good menu with excellent listings for ingredients and allergy info. Great for Veggies (me!!) and vegans. Padova Day trip to Padova from Desenzano, so booked the train tickets on www.lefrecce.it Super Padova Business Class return was €70 total for 2 adults on the Frecciarossa high speed service. Beautiful service. Fast, clean, efficient and on time. Allocated seating and free refreshments. TIP: BOOK BUSINESS CLASS WINDOW SEATS FOR THAT EXTRA BIT OF LUXURY. WORTH EVERY PENNY! NOTE: the high number carriages are closest to the engine (in Venice direction), so stand at the relevant place on the platform. In the Milan direction, the lowest number carriages are closest to the engine. Tram from outside Padova station (stops outside KFC) takes you straight to the churches. Get off at ‘Santo’. Time limited ticket is about €1.80 each. TIP: DON’T QUEUE FOR THE WINDOW TO GET TRAM TICKETS. AUTOMATED MACHINE HIDDEN AROUND THE SIDE. Ticket office/machine is in porta cabin style building on right as you exit the station. Padova is lovely. Check out the Church of St. Anthony, St. Luke/Matthew and the Scrovegni Chapel (book in advance). Great shopping too in the city centre. Walk back to the station through town. Venice/Mestre Transfer Used included train tickets for transfer to Mestre. Similar to Padova trip but ticket class was basic but OK. In hindsight I would pay for the upgrade to Business. Bit of a scrum for case space. Best to keep an eye on your cases as they are stored at the end of the carriage, so could easily be pinched or taken by mistake. See the note above about carriage numbering. You need to be at the right end of the platform if you are travelling with3-4 cases! Mestre Stay Easy taxi ride to Hilton Garden Inn, Mestre from station. Hotel is typical Hilton. Clean, well equipped, efficient and soulless. It’s just a room in a convenient location. Excellent breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi. Bus stop right outside hotel. Get any 5 or 19 bus into Venice bus station to catch water buses (vaporetto). For a short trip to visit the sights of Venice then it is ideal. Lidl just up the road if you need supplies. TIP: CO-OP located opposite vaporetto terminal C is the best choice for drinks, snacks, toiletries etc. and good prices. Lovely pool at Hilton if needed and very expensive restaurant and bar. Hotel can provide the ACTV (public transport) tickets for Venice. €30 for 48 hours included all buses and water buses. Must have. Venice I won’t review Venice, but needless to say it suffers badly from the amount of tourists. Lovely place and quite unique but very claustrophobic. Avoid the normal hotspots and you can see some wonderful sights. We went to the Church of St John and St Paul on a Saturday, and we were the only people there for 30 mins! The Basilica Santa Maria della Salute is great too. Walk to the left and look out across the Guidecca and Grand canals. Found a great veggie restaurant in Venice. La Tecia Vegana is worth checking out. Also went to Ital India in Mestre (ACTV tickets cover these buses). Good veggie selection. TIP: Don’t forget to validate bus and vaporetto tickets on EVERY journey. Ticket police are hot!! Venice/Mestre Transfer to Ship Hilton checkout straight forward and plenty of others in reception awaiting transfers to various cruise ships. Hilton has a stapler so when you forget to attach you cruise baggage labels they can assist. Used included transfer. Reminder letter posted in room the day before and taxi was about 30 mins early. 11am checkout for 12noon transfer. Again, very easy and well organised. Cruise terminal was very busy but reasonably well organised. You get a boarding group card on arrival. Check in your bags and wait until you are called. Security screening OK and straight onto boat after the obligatory boarding photos (more about photos later!!). Rooms ready about 2pm and you can use you all-inclusive from the moment you get on (just show your paper cruise ticket until you get your cruise card). Bars open and cafeteria too. Sail away from Venice is incredible! Down the Guidecca canal, past St Mark's. Has to be experienced to be believed. Big cruise ship demo on when we left. Stateroom Standard MSC Fantastica cabin. Deck 11 in middle of ship. Near lifts which was useful. Very clean. Well maintained by our excellent cabin steward. New towels every day and a cool towel elephant! Clean, efficient bathroom and shower. Clean, comfortable bed and good control of cabin temperature via simple switch. A few annoying cabin trim rattles, but nothing too much. Annoying neighbours with screaming kids on one side. Pot luck I guess. Don’t suppose you get this with Holland-America or Fred Olsen though!! Thin walls offer no protection, but I guess this is the same for most ships. Balcony good. 2 chairs and footrest. TV poor. Mainly German/Italian channels but didn't watch it as BBC World News is so depressing. If you are watching TV on a cruise then maybe you’ve picked the wrong holiday! Interactive TV system very clunky, but gives easy account info. Functional but old fashioned. Should be on an app. by now! Mini-bar OK to store own drinks. Safe OK and wardrobes/storage very good. Euro double socket on dressing table but not bedside. Annoying. Hairdryer in room and sofa and table too. Cases fit under bed which is useful. Overall a more than adequate cabin for 2. Ship Info Having been on the MSC Poesia we knew what to expect. The Musica is the same layout, so easy to navigate. Plenty of bars, large dining rooms and easy to escape the crowds. Very busy cafeteria but this is to be expected. Shops ok if that’s your thing. Casino is a selective smoking area, so lots of people will avoid. Silly decision by MSC. It’s about time all ships became non-smoking inside. Even walking past the cigar room is to be avoided if you don’t like the smell. Cleanliness was pretty good. The loos and communal areas were generally well kept, and the restaurant was always clean when we used it. Deck area 13 is OK. Lots of loungers and pools were good. Sail away party is a pain if you don’t want to listen to stupidly loud music. It basically puts the outside deck out of bounds once the sail away start. Shame for those that just want to relax. Deck 7 (the promenade deck) would be good but there are no loungers. This could provide a quiet area for those that just want to read/relax, but there is nowhere to sit. You can't walk around the entire deck either which is a shame. Dining We opted for the 9pm dining session. It’s a bit too late for our liking but OK. Would prefer 8pm so we will go for anytime dining on our next cruise. The MDR was very good. We are both veggies and always had a decent meal. Not always a choice, but the veggie meals were creative. No vegetable filo parcels!! Big issue is the MDR dress code. You have theme nights; Elegant, Gala, White Night, 60s/70s/80s Night and Mediterranean with the rest casual. So 25% of the MDR are dressed up, 25% have made a bit of an effort (shirt and jeans) and 50% don't give a monkeys. Shorts and t-shirts let in without any issue. If you have a dress policy then enforce it. Dress for MDR, wear what you like in the cafeteria. Simple. Cafeteria was OK. Always found something to eat but veggie labelling was hit and miss. Ham is not vegetarian even I know that! Given the recent tragedies with Pret food labelling, I think we will see much better food labelling in the future, and this is required. Not just MSC but for all food suppliers. We went for the all-inclusive drinks package (this was included FOC when we booked). Very good even for a non-drinker like me. Pepsi and water freely available as well as most coffees. Good choice of alcohol but some premium drinks you need to pay for. You’d have to be a picky drinker to not find something to drink from the included list. €26 per day to purchase on board so good if you can get it thrown in. Activities Didn’t use any of these, but they are a bit cheesy for me. I guess you can use or not use dependent on your taste. Photos – Bloody annoying. No means no!! Back off!! Enough said. Excursions Will feedback seperately. Service Good subject for MSC. On our 2 MSC cruises we have always received excellent service. I would say that the service on Musica was even better than Poesia. THE MDR staff were fantastic. They knew what drinks we liked and even knew that I always reverse my cutlery layout, so did it for me in advance. Cabin staff discreet and efficient. Bar staff 95% great. A couple of less cheerful ones, but we all have bad days. Given that politeness is a quality that a lot of cruisers forget, I couldn’t do it as a job. I think the waiting staff are excellent, it’s the cruisers who need to sharpen up. Please and thank-you exist in every language! Excursions Alberobello - Worth the 1hr journey. Beautiful little trulli houses. Lots of tat to buy too! Did the MSC excursion. Katakolo - Did our own thing. Took the little tourist train to Agois Andreas beach for the afternoon. Lovely beach and loungers at hotel for the price of a drink. Sea nice for swimming too. Lots of local tour buses to Olympia for €4. Town nice and beautiful seafront. Good stuff to buy. Santorini - Did our own thing. Santorini is a cross between paradise, a building site and a rubbish tip filled with tourists. I really liked it however!! Took the boat to Oia (€15). TIP: Get on back of boat so you can get on bus first as limited space. Beautiful Oia with spectacular views. Ticket includes bus back to Fira. TIP: Get to bus early as limited space. Bus times approximate. Fira OK. Some nice views from cafes. Full of tat shops. Queue for cable car a shambles. No idea of where queue ends. TIP: Get to the cable car early to avoid 1-2 hour queue. Walk down path treacherous so avoid unless a goat! Athens - Took the MSC trip. Tour around Athens. Ticket to Parthenon included. Walk up is ridiculosly crowded and walk down is worse! Only about 10mins at the top. Not a well planned tour, but mainly due to the stupid number of people allowed on the Acropolis. Numbers shuld be limited but they are not going to turn down the cash! Needs separate up and and down routes. Not difficult. Corfu - Organised our own taxi tour of the island. Really good. Saw all the major sites and got a good insight to the island. Well worth the money and cheaper than the MSC trip. Visit Palaiokastritsa, Achilleion Palace, St. Spyridon Church, Mouse Island etc. Kotor - Wanted to see Our Lady of the Rocks church but didn't have time. Walked around old city. Really liked Kotor. Like a mini Venice and nice shops, cafes etc. Not too pricey either. Nice 1/2 day visit. Entertainment Hit and miss as you would expect dependent upon taste. Il Tucano lounge was themed for Germans. Dreadful cheesy euro dance (formal – waltz, cha cha etc.) music. Not for me. Piano bar OK and South African band in the Crystal lounge very good. Pianist and guitarists in stairwell (not sure this is the formal name!!) were very talented. Didn’t try the disco or the theatre. Disembarkation Bags outside of room required by 12.30am previous night. Labels delivered by steward. Breakfast at 7am. Out of cabin by 8am and wait in lounge/theatre until called. Well organised. Usual group disembarkation by label colour (9.45am for us). Just wait until you are called then off you get. Bags waiting and transfer taxi (included) turned up about 10mins late (10.40am). Flight Homeward 15mins to Marco Polo airport for Easyjet flight to Gatwick at 4.15pm. Right. Marco Polo airport. What a complete shambles!! As easy as Gatwick was, Marco Polo was the complete opposite. Easyjet check in didn’t open until 1:45pm for a 4:15pm flight. As we were at the airport by 11.30am it was quite a wait to deposit luggage. Why can’t we just check them in at 11.30am? I don’t know but that’s how it works. We started to queue in the speedy boarding lane at about 1.40pm, only for the hopeless queueing system to get everyone in the wrong queues as its not clearly marshalled. 1 speedy boarding check-in (human), and about 6 normal boarding check-in desks (human and automated). Unsurprisingly the speedy boarding was slower. When asked the EasyJet lady said we could use the normal lanes if we wanted. I pointed out that we have been charged for the speedy boarding facility but it is anything but. A shoulder shrug followed! Marco Polo security. One uncontrolled line snakes around the terminal to the security gates operated by boarding card. This line should be controlled with barriers as per UK airports, but no, a mass shambles works better! Once through the security gates it’s a free for all around a post that is one person wide, leading to the numerous scanners. A mass scum and shoving match ensues. A few simple barriers would sort this out too. Awful system that works well at Stansted/Gatwick etc. when controlled. When boarding at the gate, again 2 queues. Speedy boarding and normal. As soon as the gate opens both queues are let onto the transfer bus, so again you get nothing for the extra money you pay for speedy boarding. Once off the transfer bus you all fight to get your bags into the overhead lockers. The idea of speedy boarding is to guarantee overhead locker space (they take money for this facility) which you can’t get. Another low cost con. Anyway, simple flight back and easy pick up of bags and security at efficient Gatwick. Simple collection by hotel transfer minibus outside airport and back to the hotel. Collect car keys and back home. 2 hours from hotel to Ipswich. Very easy as no Dartford tunnel holdup. Summary All in all, I think MSC have got most things right. Those who don’t like MSC have probably booked with the wrong line. It is a more family/fun atmosphere compared to Holland-America etc. I would guess (I can only speculate on this as I’ve not used the other lines). If you want peace and quiet and a more sedate experience, then maybe try elsewhere. I think maybe MSC are trying to appeal to everyone, and time will tell whether this is the right strategy or not. The excursions we tried were not great, but not really MSC’s fault. Weight of numbers due to increased tourism (cruise ships, low cost airlines etc.) exacerbate the issue. The dress code could and should be improved. I have commented to MSC about this. Dress for the MDR, and wear what you like in the cafeteria. Simple. Food is good in my opinion. Our friends have used P&O, Princess and Norwegian and preferred the MSC dining. Also they though the drinks package great value compare to Princess. They have already booked for MSC Meraviglia as the cost was very competitive. We have booked for Yacht Club for next year on MSC Seaside. We did this on-board and got Gold voyagers club membership, on-board credit and a really good price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We were two couples travelling to Italy and chose this cruise for the itinerary and affordable price. In the past we have sailed with MSC on the Poesia in the Caribbean so we knew what to expect from an MSC cruise. Since it was ... Read More
We were two couples travelling to Italy and chose this cruise for the itinerary and affordable price. In the past we have sailed with MSC on the Poesia in the Caribbean so we knew what to expect from an MSC cruise. Since it was mid-September there was an older crowd and very few kids around. The ship is showing signs of wear but still in decent condition. We booked the Aurea experience and were very happy with our 12th floor balcony cabin. There was sufficient storage, the bed was very comfortable and our friendly cabin steward kept it clean and tidy. Since we had "My Time Dining" we opted to eat in the main dining room nightly around 7:30. Our waiter Abdul was awesome! After the first couple of nights he new what we wanted to drink and was pouring us wine as we were seated. The food in general was very good and the temperature of the food was hot. Portions were small but it only meant you could order a variety of appetizers and mains which we really enjoyed doing. We found the food in the buffet to be ok as well especially the pizza and fries. As part of the Aurea experience, it was nice to have coffee and pastries by room service in the morning. A couple of evenings we attended the shows in the theatre which were excellent. The entertainment in the lounges around the ship was good too. Our favourite place to enjoy a before and/or after dinner drink was the wine bar. Alexandra was a very welcoming, excellent server in this lounge. We appreciated the great service she gave us. Since there was a port stop everyday we were off the ship everyday. We did get time to enjoy the pools on a couple of occasions. You could always get a place to sit and get service at the bar. Wait staff were around and we found service to be good in general. We did one MSC excursion and that was on disembarkation day, the walking tour of Venice with gondola ride. It met our expectations and we were transferred by bus to the airport by MSC after the tour. Overall we really enjoyed our experience on this ship and would definitely sail with MSC again. Brindisi - we walked around the town, shopped and had lunch. Katakolon/Olympia - We walked around the downtown area, shopped and had lunch. It was a warm beautiful day for this. Santorini - Took the ship tender to the island then paid to take the ferry/boat to Oia where we got on a motorcoach to take us into the town of Oia. This is the place of pictures of Greece! Such a beautiful place but lots of tourists. We returned to the boat via motorcoach, and waiting in a 1 hour line for the cable car then the tender. Athens - We had a half day private tour booked with AthensToursGreece and thoroughly enjoyed it. Corfu - Took the MSC's bus into downtown to walk around, sightsee and shop. Montenegro - This was a favourite of mine. We hired a cab/tour driver for a 2-3 hr tour of the area. Went to Mogren beach and a few other stops for some amazing sights and pics. He was very friendly and knowledgeable. Cost was $20 EU/person. The sail in and out of the bay of Kotor is awesome and worth watching. Great morning! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Overall, it was a good cruise. Main reason we chose it was because of the port destinations. All destinations were good and worth calling to. Good choice of excursions also, if quite expensive to do some of the cruiseline-excursions. ... Read More
Overall, it was a good cruise. Main reason we chose it was because of the port destinations. All destinations were good and worth calling to. Good choice of excursions also, if quite expensive to do some of the cruiseline-excursions. With regards to the ship, it was quite nice, with good outdoor pool area. All areas were very well kept, and very clean. Staff were friendly and always smiling. The only exception is the Guest Services-Reception staff who are quite bad and fail to resolve some very simple issues. Always a large queue to speak to them which doesn't help your frustration. If I was to go on another cruise, the one thing that would stop me booking with MSC again is the quality of the food. It was unacceptable in my opinion and I'm not a fussy eater, quite the opposite. Most nights the food was barely edible, while every night I couldn't help think I could do a better job. A school canteen would have nicer food. The choice of food was good though, just a pity about the taste. Apart from the food, the cruise was quite good and I enjoyed it. We had a balcony cabin on the 10th deck. It was reasonably sized so can't complain. Loved waking up and being able to open the door and walk outside into the heat and admire the view. Would almost recommend a balcony cabin if you can justify the price, it's always worth it. Entertainment was quite good. Always something going on somewhere and the main theater performers were very good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise for both Value and Itinerary, and neither disappointed. The ship was clean, and consistently being kept that way bu the attentive crew. The Cabin was clean and a good size, no issues with storage at all. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for both Value and Itinerary, and neither disappointed. The ship was clean, and consistently being kept that way bu the attentive crew. The Cabin was clean and a good size, no issues with storage at all. We had fun with the excursions, we booked them prior to the trip, and this worked out well, as we had the tickets waiting in the cabin when we boarded. It was was those touches that made the trip easy. A couple of the excursions were interrupted by stops at specialist shops with the tour guide... Not what we wanted but we just didn't go in to the stores. The Itinerary was 1st class, lots of places off my bucket list, and each one different. The food was as expected and we ate in the restaurant each evening. The buffet on Deck 13 was always very busy and this caused a lot of people to get frustrated when trying to find a table. But this was expected and would be the same in any hotel with the same setup. The on board crew were fantastic, they were always happy to help, and wee very good at remembering you during the cruise, which is an art in itself. I will be cruising with MSC again next year, Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Just returned from a 7 night cruise on this ship and was really impressed with the ship. I had read a number of reviews with a mix of good and bad but struggle to find real negatives. The ship has the option for dining buffet or sit down ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night cruise on this ship and was really impressed with the ship. I had read a number of reviews with a mix of good and bad but struggle to find real negatives. The ship has the option for dining buffet or sit down dinner and would always go for sit down. The buffet lunch was repetitive but tell who doesn't like pizza or pasta. The shows on board again can only say fantastic. Good veriaty each night with great crowd reaction. The cabins had ample space and will certainly always opt for a sea view, and some great views. This was my first cruise with MSC and really impressed with the condition of the ship and the cleanliness of not just the cabin but all public areas. We also had our seventeen year old daughter on her first cruise and can't wait for her next one. Well done MSC for a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Boarding in Venice was fine. Long walk with baggage from the cruise terminal drop off. we had a balcony cabin towards the back of the ship, and the vibration was extreme. we called the customer service desk and we told that it would stop ... Read More
Boarding in Venice was fine. Long walk with baggage from the cruise terminal drop off. we had a balcony cabin towards the back of the ship, and the vibration was extreme. we called the customer service desk and we told that it would stop after a while. No other balcony rooms were available, but lost of excuses from the staff, but the vibration made me regret the whole trip. They did give us one night in an inside cabin room in the front of the ship which had very little vibrations. Thankful for that, but no real good sleep during the cruise. This being said from a person who has never had a sleeping problem. most of the crew members couldn't answer simple questions, or they gave incorrect answered quite often. Did prior excursion bookings and our first excursion was a waste of money. One of the archeological site on the tour was closed. Lots of over exaggerated importance was spoken by the tour guide to make the tour seem important. The Food was Mediocre at best. The bakery had some good desserts. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I do not want to give 3 stars, but 2 stars wouldn’t be fair, because there are some hard-working crew members onboard who did their best to make guests feel special. Let me begin with this disclaimer: I am an American and this was my ... Read More
I do not want to give 3 stars, but 2 stars wouldn’t be fair, because there are some hard-working crew members onboard who did their best to make guests feel special. Let me begin with this disclaimer: I am an American and this was my first experience with a European cruise line. My expectations of a cruise clearly do not align with the European way, so this cruise might have been fantastic for someone else with different expectations. What I liked about this cruise: 1. My mid-ship balcony was a good size with lots of storage space, and my stateroom attendant was fabulous. Even the bathroom was roomy for a cruise ship cabin. 2. The ship itself has a beautiful interior. 3. Once I was assigned to the correct dining time and location, my waiter and his assistant were perfect. 4. The drink coupons which came with the Fantastica experience were just right for me. 5. I enjoyed excursions in Santorini, Corfu, Athens, Venice, and Montenegro. Absolutely gorgeous! Why I will likely not cruise with MSC again: 1. Service most times was mediocre to poor (except from my waiter and stateroom attendant). 2. For an entire week, the windows in the buffet area were filthy, the bannisters in the stairwells were disgusting, and I don’t think I ever saw anyone cleaning them. I’m a diamond on Royal Caribbean, and one of the things I love about them is people are always cleaning the public areas. Not so on MSC, and they ran out of hand sanitizer in the buffet area more than a couple of times. 3. They ran out of napkins in the buffet area two days in a row. 4. The language barrier is too much work. Individuals in Guest Services might speak multiple languages, but only a couple spoke and understood English well enough. It was annoying to explain things multiple times for someone to understand my request. 5. Main dining room food was blah. Other than pasta dishes, which were always excellent (as they should be on an Italian ship)the food was boring with not a lot of options. This is a small thing, but the menus were paper and falling apart, too. Just tacky. 6. The pool area is too small, so the crowds were uncomfortable. 7. I’m one of those crazy passengers who looks forward to shopping for cute little finds onboard, but these shops were limited and carried a lot of nothing I would want, at high prices. 8. The logistics were poor onboard, like when the photographer was set up right outside the only ladies’ room near the dining room. To access the ladies’ room, you had to wait for him to snap his pics, then walk across his set. There were other examples, but I think this one makes the point. 9. This really should have been my number 1, but the muster drill was an absolute mess! We couldn’t hear announcements over all the miscellaneous noise from other guests and crew members, and we left there with not a clue about what to do in an emergency. 10. I’m going to say it: many of the other passengers were rude and unpleasant to be around. They pushed, jumped in front of you in lines, squeezed themselves into already packed elevators, and showed no respect for personal space. I don’t think I could have taken one more day of someone hovering over me at a buffet station, not leaving enough room for me to move without touching them. I mean no harm, but I think Europeans have very different understandings of what Americans consider common courtesies. I hope this review provides enough detail; I could write more, but this is a general overview of my experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
1st and last time with MSC on the Music a, nice ship but and it's a big but purchased the drinks package and only beer available was Heinaken in every bar but 1 was only Heinaken. I've now been on 15 cruises and this is the ... Read More
1st and last time with MSC on the Music a, nice ship but and it's a big but purchased the drinks package and only beer available was Heinaken in every bar but 1 was only Heinaken. I've now been on 15 cruises and this is the worst drink package going it was a further €200 to uprgadethe drinks and only creation was a dozen other 300ml bottles no Englis beer in sidenote 1 ale or Bitter drank Jim Bean and coke all week. Food was badlysey out around the self service sick of pizza pasta and burgers no real variety with food very repetitive. Main restuaraut menu we checked daily no set meals like steak or chicken normally 4 statrwrs 4 mains including snail pasties squid calamari sorry I'm a steak and chicken man definately back to RCI or TUI these two companies cater for all nationalality drink and food MSC Seem anti British with food and drink Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
In this review we will give information, then list the good points, then the bad points INFORMATION The Transfer from airport to ship was ok once we had located the MSC rep and negotiated the 10 minute walk from the terminal to the ... Read More
In this review we will give information, then list the good points, then the bad points INFORMATION The Transfer from airport to ship was ok once we had located the MSC rep and negotiated the 10 minute walk from the terminal to the coach park! The embarkation process seemed to go ok As they operate on a card system, we had to pick these up from our cabin Upon reading the cards we noticed that we were on the last dinner seating which is 9.30. this we thought was far too late and we were able to change it to the 7 o'clock seating. As we had done lots of research beforehand regarding the ports of call we planned to do most things ourselves (see below) GOOD POINTS On the whole the staff were very friendly especially if you read their name badges and tried to pronounce their names (special mention to Orjola Dedndreaj bar services albania) The entertainment shows we thought were very good considering as they are done by their own in house people, (saying that they were sometimes a bit on the quirky side ) They also seemed to concentrate on costumes and talent but not many props. The warm up/night party team also very good We went to one late night pool party which was full of energy and very good. If you like cocktails, Heineken beer, ice cream and water, the all inclusive package is well worth it as a typical cocktail was 7 euros plus 15% service charge. There did not seem to be one drinks menu, it depended upon which bar you were in and to clarify regarding the all inclusive package if there was nothing in the top right hand corner of the description of the drink it was fine, but if there was a star you had to pay. The arrival time/departure time may seem to be early but it works as we were the first or only ship in port and we had a different port of call each day. The ice cream selection is by far the best we have every had with some very unusual flavours. The sunbeds while being unusual were actually very well designed. The hot chocolate was also very good and in certain bars you got a little piece of chocolate as well, also crisps or nuts again in certain bars at night, small sandwiches, cakes, cookies at various bars throughout the day. The stability of the ship also seemed to be very good as one night we had a severe thunderstorm but thankfully it did not seem to affect the ship much. BAD POINTS Very oddy the wine that was included with the all inclusive at best was just ok. There should have been a choice of two... we only were ever offered one! Also if you are not on a package you have to pay for water!!! As well as a further 15% service charge on top. The ship we believe is about 12 years old and is just starting to show signs of slight wear. The ships also vibrates, rattles, and has some issues with engine noise depending on where your cabin is located (even varied from deck to deck). They seemed to have issues in the morning with toast! One morning there was a machine next morning it had gone, then they had a place where it was already done then the next morning that had gone as well!! The biggest let down for us were the meals in the waiter service restaurant The menus looked really impressive but what you got was less so, also the portions were a bit on the small size and the service could be quite slow. Also there was no crackers if you had the cheese plate and no tea or coffee after the meal. If you are British I would strongly recommend you bring your own tea bags as their interpretation of English breakfast tea is awful. Only one speciality restaurant (sushi)?? So to sum up, if you want big shows, outstanding restaurants, and loads of other things to do then this is not the cruise for you. But if you want lots of ports of call, good cocktails and a relatively friendly ship considering all the different nationalities on board, then I would consider MSC - we will. Also Venice airport is very modern except the actually boarding gate area oddly is far too small!!! Ports of call Brindisi Depending on where the ship docks (we docked in the working docks a free bus took us to the town) a pleasant walk is past Bettys Cafe (pick up a free map this does help) along the quay ,we then went into the town via some steps that went to a monument and wandered around the town, (we did notice that lots of the stores were shut) but if you find the main street, quay at one end fountain at the other, there were quite a few shops open along there. Katakolon The ship docked right in the port so it's about a 10 min walk into the town (the ship does organized trips to Olympia if you are not confident of exploring) (or there were loads of coaches offering trips to Olympia or various other tours. Having done research beforehand we knew there was a trolley train that took you to a winery then a beach. To locate this go right to the end of the main street, turn right, and they are located there (the winery is not bad, did not get off at the beach as it was about to rain). Nice touristy shopping in the town. Santorini You are transported via dedicated tender boats to the port, you then have the option of a walk up 588 steps!! Riding a donkey part way, or cable car (we chose the cable car 6 euros each very quick and very efficient). If you feel up to it there is an option of a very nice walk to the next village (Imerovigli) via the coastal paths we were able to see some of the true beauty of Santorini this way. Or take a lovely boat ride to Oia and a bus ride around the island and back to the top of the hill overlooking the port for about 15 Euros, and just walk/donkey/or cable car down. We had a map but as the town is so compact and very busy it was not necessary (very touristy and it seemed quite expensive. Piraeus (Port of Athens) Depending on what you wish to do (we opted for the hop on hop off bus the blue one) these are located to the left once you exit the main terminal building about a 5 minute walk. There are 3 different companies Greyline (yellow bus the one MSC uses)(red hop on hop off)we opted for the blue one as we had picked up a leaflet in a previous port of call. There was a 40 minute trip around Piraeus (where you could hop on and hop off if you wished) then the main tour started just below the Acropolis, and went around Athens, which took about an hour and 40 minutes As Athens was so busy we decided just to stay on the bus. The tour was very informative and well worth the money paid. When we returned to Piraeus we had a look around the local town which is quite pleasant. Corfu We had visited here before and done research so we opted for the local bus no 16 cost 1.70 euros into town (good 10 -15 minute walk from ship to where the bus was located. Very nice place to walk around good maps on display Kotor The ship docks right in the town again. We had done research and printed up a map This again was unnecessary, just walk to the left were you will locate the ancient town as its very compact. Nice to walk round, lots of history (most shops seemed to be open even though we docked so early.) An open air market with lots of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, flowers etc. was just outside the city walls. There is a shopping mall about 200 meters to the left good for designer items but not much else. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Departure from Venice Italy. Food is awful the breakfast is terrible. Egg cold hard and forget the benedictine egg. The diner is not good also. The fish terrible and the steak very bad. I did 8 cruise before and I talked to many people on ... Read More
Departure from Venice Italy. Food is awful the breakfast is terrible. Egg cold hard and forget the benedictine egg. The diner is not good also. The fish terrible and the steak very bad. I did 8 cruise before and I talked to many people on the ship and they was all agree with me the food is very bad. The service at the restaurant is awful. The server bring the food to me and the two people at the table after he serve the the other tables and after he was back to ours table to serve the food to my wife and my daughter what a stupid server. Also you need to paid for water at the restaurant but not at the cafeteria. Very very small portion at the restaurant. And often the server bring the something we didn't order. The personnel are harassment us all the time if we want a drink package. The buffet restaurant is very tide and full all the time very very difficult to find a table most of the time we when to the second pool outside to be able to find a table. If you are with a wheel chair good luck. Gymnasium not big with only one set for each weight. the show are good. The singer on the cruise are medium. Many people was not happy with the timing for the restaurant. The ship in general is nice. the personnel at the cafeteria was not nice and they don't move when you walk with a plate.The juice is not good and only in the morning. the good point is the embarkation was excellent. I was the second in the line to get a ticket for the tender. A tender can have around 250 peoples but they give around 50 ticket for each tender at the beginning. Probably the other one are for the excursion and the suite ect..First time with MSC and last time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for the ports. We didn’t know much about MSC and the reviews I read were mixed but the ports were where we wanted to go so off we went. Embarkation in Venice was very smooth and quite quick. We boarded the ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports. We didn’t know much about MSC and the reviews I read were mixed but the ports were where we wanted to go so off we went. Embarkation in Venice was very smooth and quite quick. We boarded the ship earlier than our allotted time and only had to wait about 40 minutes to get into our cabin. We were able to get drinks and use our drinks package straight away. We ate in the restaurant every night the variety was great and although portions were quite small we regularly had second helpings!! The entertainment was good, all bars were spotless and had live music. The staff could not do enough for us, our cabin steward was great, the waiter who looked after us in the restaurant was first class and the staff in the Blue Velvet lounge were brilliant. As British guests on a predominantly Italian, German, French and Chinese populated ship our only complaints were with other guests who continually pushed to the front of queues, reserved sun beds and loved to complain. We learned to laugh about this!! We went off the ship every day either on our own or part of an excursion. The arrangements at every port were seamless and MSC had a good, obvious presence that gave you confidence to go off and have a good day and know where to come back to get transfer to ship. We were sad to leave the ship at the end of the week we had such an amazing trip. Disembarkation was a bit slower but luggage was acquired really easily once off the ship. All in all we would 100% cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I had read a lot on line about cruises so wasn't sure what we'd let ourselves in for. But we had an amazing time form start to finish. We did go for the Ausea package which gave us priority boarding, all inclusive drinks ... Read More
I had read a lot on line about cruises so wasn't sure what we'd let ourselves in for. But we had an amazing time form start to finish. We did go for the Ausea package which gave us priority boarding, all inclusive drinks package, upper deck sun lounge, and more. The only thing we did find was that the MSC excussions were very exspenvise for what you got. There were plenty of good companies at each of the ports offering bus tours or hop 0n - hop off buses. We used these and found them really helpful and enjoyable. The evening entertainment was great family enjoyment none of this smut you see so much of these todays. Well done MSC. Everything was spotlessly clean, staff were very polity but there wasn't enough staff on the bars around the pool area and you did have to wait a while to get served. Would we do it again - yes we would. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Booked this cruise for a family of 8 age range 44 to 67 went to the med Italy Greece and Montenegro cruise in May 2018 The overall ship is excellent,very clean staff very friendly. Balcony cabin, very clean spacious looked after ... Read More
Booked this cruise for a family of 8 age range 44 to 67 went to the med Italy Greece and Montenegro cruise in May 2018 The overall ship is excellent,very clean staff very friendly. Balcony cabin, very clean spacious looked after well by Abdul Buffet good not as much choice as on other ships Bars all good on this ship service not as quick as could have been Restaurant had a table for 8 don't expect as much on other ships and you only get 3 course not like on other ships don't get coffee after your meal if you ask you have to pay for it Entertainment been on po princess but this was the best by far Ports went to Venice brindisi katakolon santorini piraeus Corfu kotor Venice If going to Piraeus go on a trip not much around bus hop on off not very good On first day went down with life jackets still don't know what was said as English not main language and didn't have a clue what was going on Embarking not the best in fact the worst Disembarking very good Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We found the cruise at a very reasonable price to places we have never visited before. Montenegro is breathtaking, shame we were only there for four hours. The staff were pleasant enough but some don't smile often enough. On ... Read More
We found the cruise at a very reasonable price to places we have never visited before. Montenegro is breathtaking, shame we were only there for four hours. The staff were pleasant enough but some don't smile often enough. On previous cruises the staff would always greet you with a smile. I always make a point of saying Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening to all staff I see along the way. My daughter works on a cruise ship so I know how hard they work! The entertainment crew have so much energy and put on some good entertainment on the Lido. The shows were brilliant, only 45 minutes long but so much packed in to them. Amazing! I was very impressed with the Captain, Master Vincenzo Bono who on several occasions walked around the ship to meet the guests and have a chat. I thought that was a nice touch. Food was a bit hit and miss at time. Will definitely book with MSC again as long as the prices remain reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I am currently on a cruise on the msc musica out of Venice. Ship is very clean crew smart and friendly, entertainment almost the same each night but good quality. My main complaint is the buffet breakfast. The food is plentiful, ... Read More
I am currently on a cruise on the msc musica out of Venice. Ship is very clean crew smart and friendly, entertainment almost the same each night but good quality. My main complaint is the buffet breakfast. The food is plentiful, looks appetising but is COLD. Trays of fresh food,fried eggs, sausages, bacon, mushrooms etc are brought from the kitchen COLD. They are placed on hot plates to warm. When they are just about warmed up they are removed and a fresh tray is brought out. Same thing. How a buffet can be so disastrous I cannot imagine. The coffe from urn is tasteless, the hot water used for tea is only Luke warm and will not infuse the tea bag. We have resorted to having breakfast inside in the dining room where food is both hot and tasty. It can be done so why not in the buffet? We have enjoyed our cruise but we enjoy having a relaxing breakfast outdoors weather permitting and the cold food in the buffet has stopped us doing that. The food in the main dining room is tasty but not exceptional. Ports of call ok, most of them close to dock so that was good. Entertainment shows good but VERY samey, by the end of the cruise you longed for someone else to be in show. Staff (except buffet ) very good and helpful. Ship clean, pool area has plenty of sunbeds. Getting on and off ship took a long time but was efficient. Overall a nice cruise, with a few niggles, our first with MSC Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We just completed a 7 night cruise on the MSC Musica to the Med. I was a bit underwhelmed with the reviews but went ahead and booked it anyway as the dates, price and itinerary were perfect so thought I’d take a chance. The cruise was ... Read More
We just completed a 7 night cruise on the MSC Musica to the Med. I was a bit underwhelmed with the reviews but went ahead and booked it anyway as the dates, price and itinerary were perfect so thought I’d take a chance. The cruise was amazing and my husband and I had the greatest experience. As an American who has cruised on many American cruise lines such as Celebrity, Princess, Carnival, etc. I can understand how an American might not appreciate the MSC line as it is very European. But I have been living in Europe for 30 years, so do have more appreciation for the European sensibility and style than most Americans might. Food: Many previous reviews stated that the food portions were too small. Yes, they are small. And if you’re an American expecting huge portions this is not for you. But my husband (who is Irish) and I appreciated the smaller portions as many times we wanted to try more than one appetizer, or entrée or dessert and they were small enough that we could try two and not waste food. The Italian family at the table next to us ordered three different dinners per person each night! We had no problem with the crowds at the buffet. We used the buffet not for main meals but for snacks, fresh fruit, drinks during the day and evening and we never had a problem with service or table availability. And there was always plenty to eat! Every so often my husband wanted a burger so the buffet grille had that, with French fries, in the afternoon through dinner time. We did learn one thing. Don’t ask for a large table for the scheduled dinner time unless you are with a group of friends to sit altogether! We had asked for a larger table as we thought it would be fun to meet people that way as we are a couple on our own. That was a mistake as the larger tables are where they put the large families so we wound up with the two leftover seats in the middle of all these tables with children! We asked the maitre d’ if we could switch and we were immediately given a table for two away from the children’s area! As it happened, the table we were given was right next to the most wonderful Italian mother and father with their one very well behaved young son and we made great friends with them! With our cabin level (Fantastica) we received a free room service breakfast each morning. This was the only part of the cruise that was a bit dicey. The room service staff never got the order correct in all the time we were there. They didn’t bring it at the time requested, or brought coffee when it was not ordered, or gave us a selection of sugars when we had not ordered any drinks. We made a joke out of it to see what exactly what we would be served every morning – but the fresh pastries and yogurt more than made up for it! One night we ordered sandwiches, but they never arrived!! We just needed a bit of food early in the morning so it worked for us and it was funny! And it was nice eating on our balcony – no matter what they brought us! Afterwards when we were finally ready for the day, we would stroll up to the buffet and have some eggs or toast or juice. Then we would go to our favourite place, The Laguna Bar and order smoothies and lattes and juice – and sit outside and watch the sea or admire the view. We had dinner one night at the Japanese specialty restaurant and we were the only ones there. The food and service were excellent. We had wanted to try the speciality Italian restaurant but even though it is listed on the MSC website as being open, it no longer exists. What they did was open up the seating and include the area in the buffet, making the buffet much larger. Perhaps that is why we never had problems with crowds. We loved the afternoon tea goodies served at the buffet at around 4 PM and enjoyed taking the plates outside to enjoy the food and fresh air. We never had any trouble finding seating. If you can request a dinner seating, try to get the Belle Epoque restaurant on the 6th level rather than the Leandro on the 5th. It is only open for dinner but the seats are all padded and much more comfortable and there are far fewer children. This restaurant is where we were reassigned for dinner. Another thing to be aware of. If you go to the sit down restaurant – the Leandro - for breakfast and lunch, which we did when on the ship, you will be given a set menu. However, if you walk to the back of that restaurant, they have an elegant buffet set up as well. It’s kind of a special secret! There are more options to choose from and you can take as much as you want to add to your menu choice or instead of the menu choice. To sum up our food experience, we thought it was wonderful and there were so many choices throughout the ship. Lounges and Bars: Included in our Fantastica experience was the all inclusive drinks package. We are not drinkers so we did not opt for the premium level and my husband had the occasional beer but we still felt this was great value. All we had to do was show the card and the drinks were included. There was always a special section on all the bar menus for “All Included” so that is what we ordered from and did not have to pay extra for a tip as that was also included. We had decided we would try to visit all of them and decide on our favourite. We couldn’t decide as they all had their own personality and specialties. After meals we went to the coffee bar outside of the dining room and I had a latte and was able to get a decaf latte every night in a relaxing atmosphere. We also LOVED the Laguna Bar on 13 as they served the most wonderful smoothies, gelato, cold drinks, juices in the fun pool atmosphere. What is so convenient about having this drinks package is that nothing was charged to our cruise account so we did not have go through it at the end of the cruise to make sure things were not charged correctly. And I do think we got our money’s worth in smoothies, bottles of water, gelato and sodas (minerals). All of the different lounges had a separate personality and we enjoyed each one. There was music in many of them with different styles to suit different tastes so you could dance and see shows throughout the ship. Service: On reading past reviews this seems to have been one of things cruisers were not happy with. Short of kissing our feet, I cannot think what else the MSC employees could do to make our cruise experience better. Everyone was so polite and welcoming. The wait staff, from bars, lounges to restaurants were helpful and (with the exception of the room service staff!) got everything right. When you think that these people are waiting on 2500 people all day, every day for months and months, I think that is amazing. The lady who took care of our stateroom was very accommodating and helpful if I needed extra pillows or anything else. One thing I appreciated was, the day before the end of the cruise, all the mini-bars are locked at 1 PM so inventory could be taken. I used the mini-bar as a fridge to keep my medications cold so I could not have it locked. No problem! It was kept open until we left the ship. One of the waiters at the Laguna bar even remembered me so quickly that whenever he saw me, he would come over and ask – what smoothie would I like for the day! I mean, they are dealing with 2500 new people a week – I thought that was amazing. There was no problem getting information from the main reception desk – there were two of them and usually no line or queue at either. Excursions: We did not take any excursions through the ship although now that we have experience I would recommend booking some and some trips you can do on your own and save money. For Brindisi there is a free shuttle bus from the ship to the town. From there you can take an inexpensive bus tour which is cheaper than the ship’s excursion. The independent tour buses are waiting at the MSC stop so they are easy to find. For Pireaus/Athens I would recommend taking a ship excursion. The reason being it is so crowded with tourists and tourist buses the traffic is horrendous. We had a bit of a panic on our own trying to get back to the ship on time as the traffic was so bad and so slow. We just made it but I did not need the stress. With the ship excursion they will hold the ship until the group gets back so you can enjoy the day without the stress. Just know that you need to be a real walker to get up to the Acropolis – it is quite a hike. You can take the hop on/hop off buses (yellow and blue only go from Pireaus port). However, as I said, the traffic is so bad and there is no guarantee that you could get back to the ship on time, and they will not wait! Kotor looked wonderful and scenic from the ship. It docks right by the town so you can just walk off and go right into the town. The problem for us is that when on a cruise we are very late sleepers! The ship docks at 7 AM and leaves port at around noon so you have to be up early. Since we did not get off the ship (we slept too late!) I cannot comment on whether you should take an excursion or do this on your own. But since the ship leaves so early and you don’t have much time in port, I think I would go with a ship excursion so you know the ship will wait for your group to return! Corfu was a wonderful little town. The ship offers a low cost shuttle into the city centre. From there you can stroll around and have a wonderful Greek meal so we did not need the ship excursion. I think if you want to go further afield it would pay to take the planned excursion but we were happy just pottering around. Santorini was a bit of a disappointment – we tried to do it on our own but really should have taken the ship excursion or taken a boat ride around the island and bypassed Oia. We took the tender to the small port of Fira. From there we took another boat (only 10 euro I think) that took us to the small village of Oia. We walked for a bit but there was not much to see on the small road – great views however from the tourist boat! From there we got a shuttle to Fira which was gorgeous! For the next time, if we don’t take an excursion, we would just take the funicular from Fira port up to Fira and walk around for the day. The early morning is crazy because of the crowds getting on the tenders – those with the ship excursion get on first. We waited until 11 AM and we were able to just walk onto the tender – no crowds – no waiting. As I said, knowing what I know now, we should have taken a small boat ride around the island and then just gone up the mountain to Fira. Next time!!! I have no information on the port of Katakolon. We had decided to stay on the ship for one whole day to experience the activities so passed on that port. We didn’t regret it! Entertainment/Activities: This was one of the items that many Americans who reviewed this cruise were not impressed with. We found it to be the strongest plus for us. The fact that for most of the activities, things had to be introduced in several languages – to me that was the most fun. I felt so international and tried to figure out what they were saying! My husband and I were always amazed that the entertainment staff could involve people from so many countries with so many languages. By the time we got off the ship we could say please, thank you, excuse me, good morning, this is my floor, etc. in French, Italian, Spanish, German and Portuguese. I even learned a few Greek words as well! (I find it really helps to at least know “please, thank you, excuse me” in the language of the port you are in – people really appreciate your effort even though they all speak English as well as all the other languages – I was so jealous!). Also, because this wasn’t an English speaking ship (although the entire crew spoke perfect English) the entertainment had to be more accessible to an international crowd. The big evening shows were more music and danced based so everyone from any country could recognise and relate to the show. We truly enjoyed that difference and got a kick out of hearing the songs from the Broadway show Grease sung in very heavy Italian accented English! The show talent was amazing! The singers and dancers and speciality acts they had were incredibly talented and had so much energy. We saw the second show of each evening as we had the earlier dinner seating. When I pointed out to my husband that what we were seeing each night was their second performance he was – where do they get their energy! I could see that to an American used to American style cruises, this entertainment style might not be to their taste but we thought all the shows were fun and enjoyable. We are not a fan of magic so one of the evenings was not a favourite but that is our taste - not to be blamed on the entertainment staff. What really made the cruise for us was the “Animation” staff. This was group of people who went throughout the ship entertaining during the day and evening. They ran music quizzes (by the end I was able to understand the Italian explanation!) and other parties in different lounges almost 24/7. There were 3 – 4 dance and also exercise lessons per day and I loved hearing the instructions in all the languages – I learned how to say “right, left, forward, back” – almost multilingual! You have to keep in mind these young people are at it all day, in up to 6 different languages (some even knew Chinese and Japanese as well!) and were happy, chirpy and friendly throughout. My absolute favourite entertainer was the young man who reminded me so much of the actor Roberto Begnini. He was the true clown of the bunch and did the most clever miming, dancing, etc. Whenever I saw him gather a crowd I was there as I knew it would be so funny and entertaining. He put on a little show for the audience which was waiting for the big evening show to begin and he had the huge crowd, in the large theatre, in the palm of his hand with his hilarious antics. Every night he did something different and you could see he appealed to people from every country. Truly a talent. If I knew he was still entertaining on the ship, I’d go back in a second. In the evening every lounge had a different entertainer with a different style of music. If you were German, you’d enjoy the German style music in one lounge, and for Spanish, French, Italian, etc. there was all kinds of music and dancing as well as quiet lounges to have a drink or coffee. We meant to try all of them but there wasn’t enough time! I cannot comment on the children’s activities but they must have been good as I never noticed children running around and in my way and there were loads on the ship. Cabin: Again, this is something many of the American reviewers complained about. Yes, ours was a bit smaller and if we had been the larger American sized type of people, might have found it a bit uncomfortable. We had balcony cabin 10174. The balcony held two comfy chairs and a footstool. There was a small table in the room which we placed on the balcony to have our breakfasts and smoothies during the days and evenings. We purposely asked for the starboard side so in most ports we overlooked the water rather than the busy ports so that was perfect. Also, our travel agent in Ireland told us not to take a cabin on level 11 as that had all the connecting rooms which the families take so it might have been noisier with all the kids running around. Our cabin steward Claudia was wonderful and very helpful as explained before. We had ordered a fresh fruit basket for our first night and it lasted us throughout the cruise so it was nice to have that even though we were able to take fruit regularly from the buffet as well. But it took us a day or so to get our bearings so it was nice to have that little amenity immediately. And nothing beats eating an apple on your balcony as you cruise out of Venice on a sunny day! The bed was a king size but a bit hard for me. Next time we book I will ask for a padded topper which I am sure they can provide. Embarkation and Disembarkation: Embarkation was a breeze as all we had were two carry on suitcases so we did not have to queue to check our bags. We simply went upstairs and went through security and got on the ship! We went directly to the buffet where we had yummy snacks and exactly at 2:30 PM our cabin was door was opened. We then walked around the ship trying to familiarise ourselves with where we wanted to go. Our cruise card was in the cabin so we were able to use that immediately for the “drinks included” option that we had and went straight back up to 13 and the Laguna Bar, our favourite hang out from day 1! I miss that place! Disembarkation was bit disorganised however. We purchased shuttle bus tickets from the ship to Marco Polo airport for the 1 PM shuttle as our flight did not leave until 5 PM. This was very convenient for us. In the daily briefing for the last day, it said that our group should meet at the Tucano Lounge at 11 AM and wait for the bus to come. We figured we had books so could kill the two hours easily and run up to the buffet if needs be. We had a breakfast at the Leandro restaurant – totally not crowded and we were able to sit outside on deck 13 for a bit as well to kill time (room service breakfast delivery was not available on the last day). We then headed to the Tucano Lounge for 11 AM but were told we had to leave the ship at that time. We were a bit concerned as I knew there were no seats outside in the terminal for long waits until the shuttle arrived at 1 PM. So even though we explained that to one of the stewards they still shooed us off the ship. We then saw that there was an earlier shuttle to the airport so we took that and had a longer wait at the airport. So perhaps this portion of the journey could have been better organised. Spa: We did not take advantage of the spa or any spa offers so cannot review the services. Shopping on board: The ship had the usual services for sale as well as shops but there was nothing that we needed, except an MSC Musica magnet as souvenir! But if you are into handbags, watches, jewelry, etc. they did have a gorgeous selection. In summary: We so enjoyed our time on the MSC Musica and it totally exceed our expectations. I only wish it had been longer. Also, I know for next time to select some ship excursions depending on the time we are in port. And I am very glad I brought stretchy pants with me! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This cruise was chosen because of it's ports of call. Venice was lovely - arrange your own tours and it is easy to get around. There is luggage storage if you need it - near the people mover. Dinner staff - one disappeared ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because of it's ports of call. Venice was lovely - arrange your own tours and it is easy to get around. There is luggage storage if you need it - near the people mover. Dinner staff - one disappeared during service constantly. No one to serve drinks, didn't seem to care when mentioned. I ended up with an ice bucket and pouring my own wine. Entertainment was average and quite repetitive. We had a tour guide in Santorini who was hard to understand and even when we raised with her, we could not hear her, she continued to turn her head away from the group. Shopping - they sell fake Valentino handbags (but even when asked, staff will tell you they are the real deal). Food was nice but the seating was a problem. Twice we had to sit on pool lounges to get a seat. I am unsure if this was due to table staff or other guests. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Definitely chose this cruise because of the itinerary, we'd travelled from California to Italy over four weeks, but Greece was on our bucket list! This cruise was our final 7 days of vacation, 7 stops, we were delighted with every ... Read More
Definitely chose this cruise because of the itinerary, we'd travelled from California to Italy over four weeks, but Greece was on our bucket list! This cruise was our final 7 days of vacation, 7 stops, we were delighted with every day! The Musica is a beautiful ship, stylish, clean, comfortable and pretty easy to navigate. We had a standard inside cabin, knowing we'd be out every day. It was fine, enough storage, always clean and efficient. Our red velvet dining room was very pretty, but over-crowded with too many tables and chairs. Our waiter and busboy were a bit rushed, but friendly. The menus were interesting every night, sometimes downright weird, the food was good, often a surprise when the menu was inscrutable. But we tried everything, and were never hungry. The buffet was fine, bustling, like every ship. The restaurant breakfast and lunch offered menu service or a nice bistro buffet, which was a nice change. The bars and lounges were beautifully decorated and featured danceable music from pre-dinner on, very elegant. All the service staff was efficient and pleasant. We remembered why we all love/hate MSC -- the service is great, efficient but not fawning. They're not in your face selling stuff. The ships/lounges/entertainment areas are simply gorgeous, and sparkling clean. But their crowd control is dreadful -- boarding and disembarking could be brutal some days. With so many languages spoken on the ship (every announcement in SIX languages) sometimes courtesy among passengers was strained. The ports were quite spectacular, Olympia, Athens, Santorini, Kotor especially. And we'd certainly sail with MSC again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Four of us booked this cruise for the dates and itinerary, well mainly the date. We needed school hols one of the 4 is a teacher! So, we knew there would be kids on board though I don’t think any of us realised quite how many! We wanted ... Read More
Four of us booked this cruise for the dates and itinerary, well mainly the date. We needed school hols one of the 4 is a teacher! So, we knew there would be kids on board though I don’t think any of us realised quite how many! We wanted a short flight and Venice is under 2 hours for us in the UK, so it was ideal. The itinerary was port heavy and very busy. More later! The embarkation process was long and drawn out - very different to other cruise experiences (Princess, Cunard, NCL and Marella) and somewhat chaotic but we embarked and were welcomed warmly! we went straight to the buffet and were given our first experience of this 'hell hole’. the food was super, but the atmosphere was awful. I don’t like buffets anyway- on any of our previous cruises we have avoided using them where possible- but this was something else! Tables were cluttered, left uncleared (we later found out there were staffing shortages when the cruise crossed from Brazil) we were jostled by other passengers who don’t quite get the queue concept- overall not a great experience. We went on another occasion when we didn’t get off the ship one day and it was like the ‘Marie celeste’ and the buffet was a joy! The last morning however when everyone had to be out of their cabins by 8 meant the whole ship descended on the buffet as one- it was horrific! We had a Bella cabin on deck 8 portside which was lovely. A good size, lovely big comfortable bed, soft fluffy towels and the cabin steward was excellent. it was kept spotless. We were able to go to our room from 2pm on the day of embarkation and were delighted to see our trip tickets and cruise cards were there waiting for us. Our all-inclusive drinks package and our dining options had been annotated on the card too. (BTW the all inc package well worth it!) The muster drill was a shambles. Too many people in the assembly location, couldn’t hear the instructions, we were none the wiser at the end of it and felt it quite risky. They really need to sort that out! The shows were fabulous- the singers and dancers worked hard. The costumes and production were first class. The acrobats and specialist performers were amazing too. We enjoyed them all. The theatre is amazing – hard to believe you’re on a ship! The dinning room for dinner was lovely. We had a fab table in Belle Époque and our wait staff were marvellous all week. They kept the drinks flowing all evening (a sure-fire winner with us). The food was good. We were never uncomfortably full- nor were we left hungry but we ate 3 courses every evening and we don’t usually eat a pud but always found room! There is an alternative to the buffet for breakfast as there is on other ships we have been on- however I wasn’t too thrilled with this. There is free seating but again tables were left uncleared and then as everyone is so busy you wait some time for service. There is a buffet available in there too which again was good quality but the whole experience is somewhat frenetic- a theme for the cruise I believe. The ports Brindisi- ½ day, ships trip to Alberobello- to see Trulli houses, a lovely few hours Katakolon- ½ day, did a private tour to Olympia and the monastery of the Virgin Mary-excellent Santorini- full day, ships trip to Oia and a wine tasting then to Thira and made our own way back- fabulous day Athens-full day we were ‘tripped out’ so stayed on board in the peace and tranquillity as just about everyone else got off! Corfu- ½ day had a mooch around by ourselves perfect for shopping and lunch- we know it well Kotor- ½ day, had a lovely walk round -it’s a gorgeous place and the sail away is amazing! The ship is beautiful- the lounges and bars are superb. The common areas are well maintained and there’s some maintenance ongoing the whole time ensuring the ship is always well presented. All staff work hard but there needs to be more of them in the dining rooms. We had a fabulous week and our friends, first time cruisers, enjoyed the whole experience. Some niggles but didn’t detract! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our 2nd time on MSC and the first was bad. So why did we go again? The destinations.... Embarkation - This was too many people in too small an area being "assisted" by too few staff. I am disabled, and both myself ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on MSC and the first was bad. So why did we go again? The destinations.... Embarkation - This was too many people in too small an area being "assisted" by too few staff. I am disabled, and both myself and my wife (who also has a stick to help walking) were left in a long queue for nearly half an hour before we even got into the cruise terminal. This soured even the start of the cruise, as to then be bombarded by people selling packages was just adding insult to injury. Cabin - was good with a small balcony that directly overlooked the lifeboats, this would have been called an obstructed view on all other lines. Still it was comfortable, apart from the very nasty rust stain under the shower. Dining - The food did occasionally come warm, but only hot after we complained (quite seriously) and then our waiter ensured ours were bought first on the very last day. The choices for my wife being a vegetarian were only single items for most of the meals and for one man course all she had was 2 small pieces of pitta bread and two dollops of sauces with a few bits of salad, this was really a starter! I had a lamb and chicken stew where the lamb was inedible (I had to remove 2 pieces from my mouth as I couldn't eat it) - so I left the rest and when we said something to the waiter (not our usual one) he just laughed and walked off. The wine and water package we had bought was really good and ideal for is (7 water and 4 wine). The wine was excellent. Breakfast and lunch were a scrum and what they pass for bacon has more fat on it than a tub of lard and as for the eggs....! Don't try the cornflakes (they are not) and the rice crispies are reasonable on room service. The best things are the pastries and the fruit (not the fruit juices unless you have a really sweet tooth). Not being terribly mobile meant people pushed passed us to get to everything, tables, food, exits, lifts... Service - apart from our main waiter and one or two others the service was dour at best, with some being just plain rude. On deck 4 they have a smile campaign where each letter spells out how they should be for customer service - well it doesn't work. You get 10 euros added to your bill per person every day as a service charge we had it removed and said we'd state an amount on the last evening. Entertainment and Activities - there were some reasonable singers and musicians dotted in the many bars and some were pretty good, however having walked through the same area with one singer on a couple of occasions, he was singing exactly the same song, so maybe his repertoire was limited. Other entertainment for us (not wanting to baste under the sun) was non-existent, no quizzes, no lectures. just stay by the pools and roast. Port/Shore Excursions - Brindisi/Lecce was no as we'd hoped and the guide was not good. Olympia and the Magna Grecia food was absolutely superb, Santorini was a mixed bag, with the Akrotiri excavations being wonderful and we had a brilliant guide (as he was an archaeologist who had worked there for years), the blue domed houses at the other end of the isle were OK, but to get there was a nightmare as two coaches couldn't pass at certain points thus chaos rained.Also went to the wine co-op where the views were spectacular however we were just a number in a coach. The shuttle bus into Corfu old town took 15 minutes to drop us a mile away from the centre at a cost of 9.90 euro's each (which we were a mile and a half away from at the port). By the time we had walked through the main parts of the old town we were equidistant from the meeting point and the port, so we made our way slowly back. The number 16 bus goes to/from the port and costs a lot less and drops you right by the centre of town. Cleanliness - there were poorly washed knives forks etc. the tablecloths were dirty, on occasion. Disembarkation - we had a flight at 17:15 and were told twice that we could get off the ship, explore Venice and come back for 15:00 to be transferred to the airport. When we tried to get off, there was chaos and there was no way we could, so we retreated back up to deck 13. Tried to get food and drink (supposed to be open until 11:30) but all virtually gone by 10:00 (including toilet roll in the ladies). Went down to see what was happening at 11:00 and were told to get off the ship immediately.So we queued with all the others and arrived at the airport nearly 6 hours before our flight was due. If we had managed to get off and find the place to hold our luggage (which wasn't apparent when getting off) all the coaches would have been long gone by lunchtime. They had just dumped us and really just wanted us out of the way for the next herd. We talked to a representative of MSC - who did listen and our 9.90 euros was taken off (so we did put 70 euros back on as a reasonable service charge). Also we had a bottle of fizz and strawberries in chocolate in our room on the last night - which was very nice. But they told the wrong waiter off, the one we liked (despite us stating he was one of the few good ones) and the only way we god hot/warm food was by being served first - which missed the entire point. Everyone's food should be hot, like on Celebrity or Cunard. The Musica was even worse than the Armonia and was just not suitable for us. Their promotional video say they are the envy of other cruise lines, from our two experiences they are the worst of the 5 lines we have been with, by quite some way. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
MSC Musica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 4.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 1.0 3.6
Service 3.0 3.7
Value For Money 3.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.3

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