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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
“The ship that will not be named” — that is how my wife and I have agreed to deal with this atrocious memory. Embarkation was sadistic. Pouring rain in Venice, through which you MUST walk for the final 100 m to the shuttle and ... Read More
“The ship that will not be named” — that is how my wife and I have agreed to deal with this atrocious memory. Embarkation was sadistic. Pouring rain in Venice, through which you MUST walk for the final 100 m to the shuttle and check-in location. Then MSC has you wait outside their MSC 5 million square foot terminal (with room for tens of thousands of people inside), in the wind and cold, for an hour just to review our visas. The rest of our boarding process was similarly dysfunctional. Our room was not set up as we requested, Our dining time request not permitted and not changable (though we paid extra for the Fantastica Experience to so choose). We waited at breakfast for 20 minutes for service. After 10 minutes, we started waving our arms. At 15 min, we went to the maitre’d, and at 20 minutes, finally someone showed up to take our order. So we thought. Instead, they said we should go to the buffet. That was our last meal in the “restaurant”. With so few dining options, we were left with no choice but the rugby scrum in the buffet. (We cruise often and have learned to despise cruise buffets.) There were many other problems, too annoying and plentiful to list here. When we took our complaints to the Guest Services desk, we were met with A) “What do you want?”, then B) An impressive list of reasons everything was our fault and nothing was their fault. We have no theory at all how this cruise line survives with such incredibly poor service. We did give them one star because our room was nice, and because there is no zero-star option. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We took (and reviewed) a similar repositioning cruise from Genoa to Brazil aboard the MSC Orchestra 2 years ago. At a cost of just £50 per person per day we think MSC offer exceptional value for money. The balcony cabin was just great. ... Read More
We took (and reviewed) a similar repositioning cruise from Genoa to Brazil aboard the MSC Orchestra 2 years ago. At a cost of just £50 per person per day we think MSC offer exceptional value for money. The balcony cabin was just great. We provided our own kettle to brew a cuppa whenever we felt like one. The €287.50 that we paid to access the spa was money well spent. The saunas were even better than in 2014, heated to 80°C rather than just 70°C, and the steam rooms were also hotter and not draughty. The payment also included access to 3 indoor Jacuzzis that were rarely crowded. We thoroughly enjoyed the 5 classical concerts by the 6 talented members of Musica in Maschera in the ship’s main theatre. The in-house entertainment team were good too, although their talents were repackaged again and again, as the same jugglers, acrobats, dancers and strongmen performed in Batman outfits for Gothem, in Asterix & Cleopatra outfits and finally for one last ‘Best Of’ show. High-margin items like perfumes, beauty products and handbags were always for sale from stalls set up in public areas around meal times. I was concerned by the very high suggested manufacturer’s retail prices quoted for a brand of watches, Invicta that are sold exclusively on TV shopping channels, cruise ships and over the internet. They claimed a €1499 price tag for the Invictca 2928B, and left leaflets in our cabin announcing discounts of up to 75%. MSC’s selling price of this watch is €549. I bought one over the internet after the cruise for £70. Beware of inflated sea prices as you have limited consumer protection! MSC Shore excursions were popular but we plumed for our own independent activities except in Rio. We paid $70 for a full day tour in a minivan, for a similar tour priced €140 on board (which included a light lunch delivered to your cabin beforehand). It’s worth noting that MSC provide no maps or practical information about shore stop destinations so do your homework beforehand. (Exceptionally, at Mindelo the local Cape Verde authorities had no information booth nor were there exchange facilities. Banks need to see your passport or a copy of it, but you can pay in most places using euros (preferred) or US dollars). We ate mostly at the buffet, enjoying real mozzarella cheese, fresh fruits & salads penne with tomato sauce, baked whole fish with tomato sauce and jellies amongst the culinary highlights. Dining in the restaurants is the only area I would rate as fair to poor. Breakfast and lunch are now both semi-self-service/semi-served, which is awkward if you have circular bench seats on a table for 8. Dinner is fully waiter served by friendly Indonesians, but the food was served lukewarm rather than piping hot, and most main course choices were either over- or undercooked. Soups were poor, desserts including a sugar-free version, quite good. Overall I stress that MSC offer tremendous value for money. The main reasons we go are to relax, read, sunbathe, enjoy undemanding entertainment. We ate perfectly adequately in the buffet and even managed not to gain weight. However I think next time we shall try another (more expensive!) repositioning cruise… Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We did back to back cruises and did Greece and Montenegro the week before on the same ship. Awesome itineraries, we were scheduled to stop at Malta but due to rough seas detoured to Majorca which was amazing beautiful place to visit, no ... Read More
We did back to back cruises and did Greece and Montenegro the week before on the same ship. Awesome itineraries, we were scheduled to stop at Malta but due to rough seas detoured to Majorca which was amazing beautiful place to visit, no biggy cause I already been to Malta before, some passengers were upset about not getting to Malta, but good that we had another port to visit as plan B as I believe some cruise lines don't always do this if a port is cancelled. The ship was nice cabins big enough and very quiet. We requested and paid for and upgrade from inside to balcony, but they refunded the money and said it was a free upgrade, WOW!!!... Food was OK in buffet, they do delicious curries and pizzas but don't serve enough curries in the buffet or restaurants. An indian couple on the table behind us asked if they would prepare their table a special Indian meal, request granted, not many aussies on ship (about 40) and we asked if they could organise a quiz for us,,, request granted, also excellent service with captain and ambassador frequently walking round ship asking if everyone happy and anything extra they could do, we asked for a table change and well no request seemed to be to difficult. Probs nearly 3000 passengers on this ship but staff so nice and professional they make you feel your the only one... Didn't like disembarking at Buenos Aries, small terminal busy and hot, took 2 hours to get out, but I think that's the ports problem, not MSC. Most ports easy to get on/off ship. The tours were reasonably priced, same price as private tours. I booked and paid for the thermal spa but didn't use it, only went to gym to weigh myself but then they said scales broke (I'm not that big) so upset that all I wanted to use in the thermal spa area were scales and same not available. I have booked again to go on another cruise with MSC next year. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Sailed with MSC...gold card holders...so very disappointed. Venice embarkation shambles to say the least. After flight from Dublin and long track across Venice airport coach park with luggage in the rain we had to stand 2+ hrs to ... Read More
Sailed with MSC...gold card holders...so very disappointed. Venice embarkation shambles to say the least. After flight from Dublin and long track across Venice airport coach park with luggage in the rain we had to stand 2+ hrs to hand over luggage in PRIORITY BOARDING lane at cruise terminal. Fellow passengers the noisiest, hardly any English announcements/entertainment etc clear enough to hear. We so fed up with tango demos, entertainment after THREE WEEKS we cancelled show here in Buenos Aires. LITINERARY was awful.......half days in Recefi, Sansalvedor and Rio (tour guide there useless and slept or smoked so v disappointing) destinations we went for. No TV available... almost all of cruise....all retuned after Med. They kept promising us "after Sansalvedor" or "after Rio" so unprofessional when they knew it wasn't going on again. Disembark in Buenos Aires another nightmare in tropical temps. It was not the Bucket List cruise I had envisioned or hoped for yet I love usually love and recommend MSC? If you not Spanish or Italian speaker would suggest give Grand Voyages with MSC a wide berth. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
SHIP is slightly outdated. The Italian dark red and dark green color scheme looks a little tiring to me, but it might be just personal taste. I like more RCL navy blue scheme. Pool was extremely small, full of kids with no manner jumping ... Read More
SHIP is slightly outdated. The Italian dark red and dark green color scheme looks a little tiring to me, but it might be just personal taste. I like more RCL navy blue scheme. Pool was extremely small, full of kids with no manner jumping around. I wish they could make a adult only pool out of the 2 pools on board. NO indoor pool. CABIN- Bathroom has yellow shower curtain etc... You don't feel it's a luxury cruise (it's not, anyway) but everything works fine for its function. Shower was hot and water pressure was very good. Room small but everything equipped. Electricity plug is very international friendly, there are USA shape 110V plugs, and also EU +UK 220V plugs. There is Hairdryer in the room, like 1000W kind. It's okay for my long hair. FOOD- Main dining room is very narrow in sitting. Food in Main dinning room is everyday Italian- like middle class Italian restaurant quality. There's no steak on the 7 nights, a little pity. Buffet is fine, always plenty of fruits available. Pizza is good. Variety of buffet is also good, everyday there's something different. Breakfast is standard continental- like 4 star hotel in Europe. ROUTE- east Mediterranean, there are many offers, almost every cruise line runs similar route here. Costa/MSC/RCL offers identical attractive rate. The reason we chose MSC Orchestra is not because the ship. In fact, the facility is not the newest nor the best, but it's the only one offers every day port! We arrived everyday in a new port. It was a very fulfilling trip, but meanwhile it's also a little tiring. It was our own choice so nothing to complain. But if you want a relaxing holiday, maybe 1-2 days of sea day would be also not too bad. Otherwise you would feel pity not to get on shore and stress yourself everyday. SHOW- evening show was....bad. The host tries to speak multi languages, but his strong Italian ascent makes everything sound like Italian and not understandable. The dancers and singers try hard, but I didn't feel it's as exciting/ entertaining as some other shows from resorts I have seen. Nevertheless, the 70% of the guest- Italian seem to enjoy it. So I can only speak for English/German/Asian guest as that what we are. SERVICE was great, almost all waiters were smiling and they really tried to achieve our request. You don't need to tip. But we do, not so much, like every night 5 euro. And it makes the service really good. Next table didn't tip (which is normal) and they still get excellent service. But we sometimes make extra requests on food. And we are happy to offer the extra tip. (they works 7 months without a day of holiday, seriously!) Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Chose this cruise for the ports of call. Some areas of the overall cruise exceeded my expectations but there were a lot more negatives than positives Embarkation was a total nightmare, no organisation, people pushing in, long queues and ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports of call. Some areas of the overall cruise exceeded my expectations but there were a lot more negatives than positives Embarkation was a total nightmare, no organisation, people pushing in, long queues and so may points where you had to show your details. This set alarm bells ringing for the rest of the cruise The room was a good size and clean, although the TV had only CNN for Brits. Our stateroom attendant never came and introduced himself and throughout the cruise and to this day we still don’t know who ours was The lunch was ok, nothing special, just ok and the same food came out every lunchtime, give or take a couple of items. The staff in most areas care about one thing, themselves, and they don’t really smile will cut you up without notice ( they do this when getting back on the ship too and wont queue) Dinner was ok but so slow, not getting our starters anything from 25-40 mins after we had sat down. Our waiter looked after 22 people and had no assistant to help him and also they don’t provide free water. Buffet overall was the worst I have experienced on any cruise company We did one excursion which really wasn’t worth the £62 we paid. MSC have little transfers to locations that they only seem to mention on the daily programme the night before the port, thereby meaning you can cancel an excursion. For example we paid £62 to go to Olympia with a guide, yet the night before we found there was a transfer to the site and back for around £18 There is not much going on in regards on entertainment in the day if you are on the ship unless you want to learn every dance under the sun. Some of the entertainment were so childish and boring. The whole entertainment team love themselves and most have no talent at all. If you go the theatre of an evening you will see them all sat on the stage doing the most ridiculous things. These clowns are led by Nicholas, who is one strange guy who really loves himself and is a bit creepy. If you get the chance have a close look at his shoes. The two pairs I saw him wearing were awful. One was so worn that he had gaffer tape around the heal area and another pair had no tread cracks everywhere. No excuse for still keeping these shoes. The shows had a theme each night with the same people (no guest acts). Basically these people did their same acts each night, just in different costumes. The themes to these shows were confusing and clueless The two main singers and the opera singer were very good but putting a mic on some of the cast and making out they were singing other songs. Conning the audience. Don’t put the mics on them if they aren’t really singing Disembarkation was confusing but a lot easier than getting on. Oh and 9 Euros a day each passenger for ''Service charges'' seemed very excessive, especially as we didn't have an assistant waiter and never saw any of the supervisors in the dining room We wont use MSC again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Chose this cruise, with 2 friends, to fit in with school break; but children were not a problem. Ship, cabin, theatre were very good and the general organisation was more than competent. Main gripe was lack of staff training, other than ... Read More
Chose this cruise, with 2 friends, to fit in with school break; but children were not a problem. Ship, cabin, theatre were very good and the general organisation was more than competent. Main gripe was lack of staff training, other than their constantly pushing drinks and drinks packages. We did not expect Silver Service, but did expect the waiting staff to understand the basics of delivering and clearing plate/dishes. They should not lean across one guest to deliver to another; nor attempt to clear finished plates before all on table have finished. Equally they could not be bothered to find small bottles of water, even though the Wine Card offers same, they just said we don't have. Patently untrue as small bottles available at all bars. The Maitre D. also disappointed. We spoke to him before the first dinner explaining one of our party was a Vegetarian. He said that there were always vegetarian dishes on the menu, but he would send a Manager to our table that evening to discuss how the Chef may be able to offer other dishes (the norm on most cruise ships). We are still waiting, despite asking our waitress several times. Cabin stewardess missed our cabin on the first night and told us the next morning that she was not permitted to enter cabins if the occupied light was illuminated. However the same day, she walked straight into our companions cabin while they were on their balcony. These may seem trivial items, but if MSC wants to be thought of as a quality experience, someone needs to take note and act. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
First time cruisers, unsure how it was going to be. The buffet restaurant had a massive choice of food, albeit on plastic tray-like plates. ( I get it, you heard quite a few crashes and broken crockery would have made an awful mess. That ... Read More
First time cruisers, unsure how it was going to be. The buffet restaurant had a massive choice of food, albeit on plastic tray-like plates. ( I get it, you heard quite a few crashes and broken crockery would have made an awful mess. That said, the restaurants downstairs had crockery.....) The waiters were very helpful and polite. The only issue was finding a seat, even sharing a table with some random stranger was sometimes impossible. The Ibiscus restaurant had 2 sittings, and you couldnt be more than 15 minutes late or they would shut you out. The food here was a bit of a disappointment, but on the plus side there was no need to hunt for a free table upstairs. The cabin was lovely, cleaned daily and the bed was turned down every evening, again very polite and attentive staff. The balcony was washed one day and we were warned to take everything off it. Bar staff also attentive and polite, and you got served quickly Now the downside..... Unfortunately too many rude Italians. They pushed and shoved and didnt understand the concept of queueing. Shame really, but nothing anyone can do about the guests manners. The other downside was unhelpful reception staff. They are supposed to be the backbone of the ship, they are the "face" of MSC and they failed miserably. They took the phrase "computer says no" to another level. We had a problem with the onboard spend we were given, the staff said it wasnt applied properly and we couldnt use it. Their blunt answer was that I had to pay my bill and claim it back when I got home. They said that even though I had a voucher it wasnt going to be applied and that was that. They were very eager to move us away from the desk. We didnt do any organised trips, we preferred to do them ourselves ( lucky really as the onboard credit hadn't been applied. The shows were amazing. The gym was lovely, it has everything you need . Announcements in about 6/7 languages got very tedious by the end of the week, but we understand this has to be done due to the variety of nationalities. The embarkation system seemed a bit crazy, too many people that have been given a bit of authority and were strutting around like they were something special.And the only other criticism ,albeit constructive, is to try to use 2 different rows to get the people on and off the in the ports. ( Just make 2 rows, one in, one out, so we dont all fight for space and get in eachothers way) Overall, the cruise was very good. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have been on other cruises but not this cruise line. From the beginning it was disorganised in every way, no information was given about anything and we spent most of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We have been on other cruises but not this cruise line. From the beginning it was disorganised in every way, no information was given about anything and we spent most of the holiday queuing!! After standing in about 9 queues and finally boarding the ship we were sent to the cafeteria as our cabins were not ready. There was no organisation and there were not enough seats to accommodate all of the passengers who had boarded, people were walking around with plates of food and nowhere to eat. We were asked which sitting we wanted for our evening meal when we booked the cruise and we opted for 2nd which we were told was 8.30 however they changed this to 9.00pm. The dining experience was awful, the food was cold and quite honestly would not feed a budgie!! the only good thing about it was our waitress who tried her best to cater for us. We were charged 9 euros each a day for service, some people refused to pay this as the service was so bad. The cabin was clean and the bed was comfortable but the impression we had was that they had got your money and were not interested in whether or not you got a good service. It was all about getting you to spend more. This has been an expensive mistake and we will certainly research other cruise lines much more thoroughly before booking another cruise. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia. We first cruised the West Mediterranean on MSC Fantasia (which was so spectacular) and then we had free transfers from one ship to the next (Genoa to Venice). The ... Read More
We are a family of 4 (parents with 16yo girl and 12yo boy) from Australia. We first cruised the West Mediterranean on MSC Fantasia (which was so spectacular) and then we had free transfers from one ship to the next (Genoa to Venice). The transfer was well organised and we got priority boarding on Orchestra being part of the transfer passengers. The ship was very tastefully decorated in comparison to the ships we have been on in Australia (a P&O one and a Carnival - both very gaudy), but not quite as fancy as the MSC Fantasia (larger sized ship). The shows in the evening were brilliant, the costumes were gorgeous!! The itinerary was so good, every morning waking up in a new port is so fun, you never get bored. I recommend looking up private tours for some of the stops (we did an Olympia tour and Athens tour). We did do one cruise tour which was in Santorini. This cruise didn't have as much to entertain us during the days etc but that's because you're in port most of the day so it didn't matter. Be prepared that on some days around 5pm the bars/lounges close down while they do the muster drill for the new cruisers (because not everyone embarks on the same day). We think maybe they could keep one bar open for those that have already done the emergency program. The cocktails were very good value at around 7euro and you could also buy books of vouchers that we found good value too (we bought vouchers for beer, soft drinks, mocktails/milkshakes and coffees, we bought the water package on the first cruise but didn't use it all so didn't buy it on this cruise). The kids loved the cruise also but the kids clubs (they were in the 12-14yo and 15-17yo groups) were pretty much non-existent but not because of the cruise, it's teens and them not giving it the go they should so no-one was ever there. We found they spoke English first over the speakers most of the time so we never felt in the minority group. We had lovely waitresses in the evenings as you are seated at the same table each night. This is great as you get to know them and they get to know your likes and dislikes, they remember what you like to drink, etc. They are also careful with who they seat you with and we couldn't believe they found a family for us to sit with that were exactly the same as us (Aussie family of 4 - 16yo girl and 12yo boy, same as ours!) The embarkation and disembarkation was always very good, occasionally you have to wait in line (obviously when there are over 3000 passengers) but they were very efficient at getting us all onboard as quick as they could. Going on 2 weeks of cruising I cannot believe how much we got to see, this really was the best way to travel some of Europe. We would definitely go on another MSC cruise in the future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This is unquestionably the worst cruise ship we have been on over a twenty years plus of sailing, Customer relations desk and its staff - were in the main very off hand, We had a problem with noise being so close to the engines - I ... Read More
This is unquestionably the worst cruise ship we have been on over a twenty years plus of sailing, Customer relations desk and its staff - were in the main very off hand, We had a problem with noise being so close to the engines - I had asked to speak to the manager of customer relations it took TWO days before she repondended -- EXTRAS It seemed to us that everywhere you looked - 'It was an Extra' At one of the ports Katakolon -whose town was 15 minutes away -there was a charge of 22.9 euros to shuttle you in! We had paid for a drinks package in advance, although we noticed that bottled water coffees soft drinks etc all at a extra charge RESTAURANT the Buffet restaurant offered oval plastic plates, every single one of them chipped around the edges - surely an area for harbouring germs, EMBARKATION having queued in 30 degree sun - with hundreds of other passengers we felt like cattle - no soft drinks on offer - until you were actually inside, our first thought was to get to the nearest point for some liquid drink, we headed straight to the Buffet only to find the soft drinks dispenser out of order ( which seemed to be this way the whole of the cruise) In the evening retiring to our cabin - we thought a TV movie would be a nice relaxer - only to find no movies offered even though advertised in their entry booklet DINNER The main chef apparently featured in TV food critic programmes We found the food very unimaginative - some courses having just come out of the very cold fridge - did not seem right? SWIMMING POOL AREA the towels provided were of the poorest quality you could imagine OVERALL IMPRESSION THIS WAS THE WORST CRUISE EXPERIENCE WE HAVE HAD - WE WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS CRUISE LINE TO ANYBODY - EVER! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
This was a working holiday looking after a selection of bingo customers this was my first cruise and I was not sure what to expect, I enjoyed most aspects of the cruise, the room had a balcony but I rarely had time to enjoy it, it took ... Read More
This was a working holiday looking after a selection of bingo customers this was my first cruise and I was not sure what to expect, I enjoyed most aspects of the cruise, the room had a balcony but I rarely had time to enjoy it, it took a few days to get to grips with where the different bars and dining areas were, the buffet service had a great selection of food but at certain times it was more of a nightmare as you fought your way through the elbows, the pool deck area was fantastic with a great choice of drinks, ice cream and entertainment not to mention the fantastic views as we enter and leave different destinations, the staff were great and helped where ever they could, overall this was a positive experience and would recommend this particular ship although next time I will be more of a customer so able to suit myself more. I would also recommend the all inclusive package true value for money. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Embarked from Venice and I would not recommend leaving from this city for a cruise. We stayed at a hotel some distance from the People Mover, but decided to walk. We hired a porter to take our luggage, and watched him struggle over a ... Read More
Embarked from Venice and I would not recommend leaving from this city for a cruise. We stayed at a hotel some distance from the People Mover, but decided to walk. We hired a porter to take our luggage, and watched him struggle over a bridge with steps. The streets were crowded which made it difficult to manoeuvre. The People Mover (train) is accessible and cheap, and takes you to a drop-off point next to the port. However, if your ship is berthed at a distant dock, then you can wait 45 minutes for a free shuttle bus, or you walk, which can be a kilometre. During embarkation procedures, your sea-card is not provided, nor are your credit card details recorded. The sea-card is put in your cabin later and you have to go to a machine on the ship to register your credit card. My balcony cabin was "basic" category so there were no body products, dressing gowns or slippers and I had to ask for face washers. I had asked for twin beds but arrived to find a double bed, and I had to wait until the evening for it to be changed. The TV had a scratch and other marks, one lamp was broken and the bathroom floor was not cleaned during the trip. There were no movie channels in English, nor any other entertainment programmes. On my second last day, I returned from port to find my balcony had been painted and I was not to use it. The handrail had also been removed. The explanation for this gross inconvenience was, "maintenance". Breakfast and lunch served in one of the main restaurants was a buffet and I was told where to sit. No consideration was made to seat me with other English speaking cruisers. On several occasions I had to waive to a waiter for attention for a coffee. The hours for breakfast changed daily for no apparent reason. Dinner had 2 sittings and we were told that 15 minutes after your allocated seating, the doors would be closed. The dining staff were excellent. Not so the food. The cafeteria and the restaurants only opened for dinner at 7pm. The cafeteria also closed during the day for 4 hours. At lunch in the cafeteria, I had to go to the bar to get a drink as there were so few waiters. Fruit juice at the beverage station was only available at breakfast and then closed off. When the tender boats were used, passengers had to go to a bar at an allocated time to receive their free ticket, but no-one asked me to produce it and I just walked on. During disembarkation at ports, there was often only one security person checking sea-cards, and at all times only one security x-ray machine. At disembarkation, MSC staff told me there was only exit for passengers so I missed my pick-up car. As an emergency, I had to purchase an MSC transportation ticket from the MSC ground staff who wrote me a receipt, but they had no change. Some of the ports were of little interest and could be excluded to provide more time at the more valuable ones. In Greece, we visited 2 ports in one day. A very disappointing cruise. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Very average cruise ship in all regards.. with the exception being the shows at night, and the excellent employees. The MSC Orchestra has the feeling of being back in the 80's, with no "wow!" factor at all. There's a ... Read More
Very average cruise ship in all regards.. with the exception being the shows at night, and the excellent employees. The MSC Orchestra has the feeling of being back in the 80's, with no "wow!" factor at all. There's a reason we got 3 persons for the price of 2 in high season out of Venice (Eastern Med cruise). The dancers and performers were amazing and could have easily been in Vegas. The shows were very good. My teenager loved every single one of them! The food is good enough, but not nothing special. The kids liked the pizza and smoothies a LOT. At formal dinners, the portions were ridiculously small. The prime rib was 1cm thick, for example. The pools are quite small and cold. Chairs are occupied by orange towels all day while people leave for hours. Get your chairs blocked early. Drink packages added $400 to our bill. Lots of teens onboard! The disco is at the rear and is outstanding... One major disappointment with MSC is discovering that the 15% gratuities you pay DO NOT go to the workers! That's right, MSC charges you 15% extra everywhere, yet they pocket this themselves. The hairdresser from Serbia cuts hair 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, and she receives nothing extra than her base salary. Shame on you, MSC. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Special celebration for my 65th birthday. This was not acknowledged on board. Other cruises have shared a special celebration with us. The internet is not recommended. Just wait until you dock somewhere. It is a waste of money even ... Read More
Special celebration for my 65th birthday. This was not acknowledged on board. Other cruises have shared a special celebration with us. The internet is not recommended. Just wait until you dock somewhere. It is a waste of money even for the most expensive option. We will not order again. The room cleaning service was excellent. The restaurant service was excellent. Both of our waiters and other staff were excellent but the buffet diner was always too busy and if you saw something when you entered it was not there always when you went back. Difficult to find seats most of time. Breakfast should have been available in the restaurant for a longer period of time. The evening shows were excellent even listening to the introduction in 5 languages. The all inclusive drink choice was excellent with good quality drinks. A few more on board activities could have been provided. All in all we would go with this Company again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We thought this was a very good cruise, but must admit it is my first cruise so I can’t make comparisons. We were apprehensive because of all the bad reviews, but this was not our experience. Boarding & disembarking - yes there ... Read More
We thought this was a very good cruise, but must admit it is my first cruise so I can’t make comparisons. We were apprehensive because of all the bad reviews, but this was not our experience. Boarding & disembarking - yes there were queues but plenty of staff and all went smoothly, no different to airports and I don’t mind all the security. Since they were boarding over 2000 passengers you can’t avoid waiting. On hot days they had canopies erected to give shade and offered cool drinks of water. Staff – lots of reviews say the staff were rude – in our experience definitely not, they were all helpful and courteous, especially our dinner waiter Oscar who was excellent. Food – we had a dinner package in the restaurant, the food was very good, six courses with choices and we enjoyed meeting our dinner companions who were fellow Australians. Drinks packages – I agree they pestered you to sign up for a package, but we find it easy to say NO firmly, and the advantage was that we could choose a package that suited our needs. We enjoyed the cocktail package and just purchased wine by the glass with our meals if we wanted it. The prices were about the same as a three star restaurant. Again the bar staff were very helpful and courteous. Photos – again I agree they waylay you outside the restaurant – just say no. Buffet – some reviews criticise the food – I definitely do not agree. There was plenty of choice, fresh vegetables and fruit, bakery items, extensive breakfast choices, freshly baked pizza, hamburgers and pasta dishes and lots of other speciality dishes. I tried an excellent freshly baked fish. Remember they are catering for a wide variety of tastes, and families where the kids want pizzas and hamburgers. The buffet was open for 20 out of 24 hours, the staff were constantly cleaning and the serving staff wore gloves. There were also hand sanitiser stations at the entries. Since they had to cater for 2000 customers I think they did a great job. There was only one problem with the buffet – and that was the customers, on the whole they were rude and pushy, constantly wandering around with plates of food and pushing you out their way. Excursions – we went on a couple and they were excellent with very knowledgeable guides. Other times we just got off the ship and found our own way. There was only one downside – the Italian and Spanish passengers were rude, noisy and pushy. We got shoved aside more than once. French, English and American passengers were OK. So we would go on another MSC cruise – and try to avoid one with Italian and Spanish passengers. Maybe the reviews that criticise the staff behaviour are a reaction to the passengers. Flight Centre – we booked through Flight Centre (Australia) and got scammed– so be warned Check out channel4.com/info/press/news/the-truth-about… Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Cruised on MSC Orchestra. The ship was lovely, clean and tidy. Not too big and not too small. We had cabin 11080 which was a balcony and it was a slight bigger balcony than the normal ones as it was on the corner. 2 adults and 1 ... Read More
Cruised on MSC Orchestra. The ship was lovely, clean and tidy. Not too big and not too small. We had cabin 11080 which was a balcony and it was a slight bigger balcony than the normal ones as it was on the corner. 2 adults and 1 teenager and we were very comfortable and not cramped in. The room was clean and tidy and was looked after am & pm. The staff was really great and always spoke to you and said hello if you were passing them by when they were cleaning rooms. Dining we had 1st sitting. Very busy but the staff worked very hard. The food is not the best we have ever had on a cruise ship but it certainly isn't the worst we have ever had, The buffet restaurant had a really good selection of food however pick your times as to when to go as it can get really busy especially at breakfast and morning of disembarkation. The service overall was great we had no complaints. As for the places we visited, our favorite was Kotor and we wished the ship could of stayed all day rather than the half day allowed. The old town is beautiful and the whole place sailing in and out was a wow. Our daughter who is 15 enjoyed the cruise and spent most of her time in one or the other of the 2 pools they had on deck.. This is our 2nd MSC Cruise and would we cruise with them again? Without any hesitation YES. The cheapest cruise company on the seas for any one under the age of 17. Beautiful ships and plenty to do on them. We are currently planing and looking at another cruise for next summer 2017 with MSC and waiting for winter 2018 to come out to book our Caribbean cruise. So at least another 2 cruises on the cards with MSC. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My friends and I chose this cruise for A) Itinerary B) to try a new cruise line - bad mistake. Embarkation absolute chaos - staff too busy trying to sell packages, i.e. photo's/dvd's/drinks/excursions/spa etc the list goes on. ... Read More
My friends and I chose this cruise for A) Itinerary B) to try a new cruise line - bad mistake. Embarkation absolute chaos - staff too busy trying to sell packages, i.e. photo's/dvd's/drinks/excursions/spa etc the list goes on. No one to actually help with smooth boarding. The 'Hawkers' always managed to chose the narrow point of passage way, where it was impossible to pass without being collared. If you said politely not interested for now, let me board first - they would not take no for an answer and carried on with the hard sell. Ship amazing, very clean and well furnished. Public toilets need to be attended more often, us ladies had to carry tissues as never any loo paper. Everyone used hand paper towels, not good for the systems. Balcony cabin very good, but requested twin beds arrived to find large double. Cabin steward introduced himself and we requested beds be split (two mature ladies) as did our friends next door. Oh dear not helpful at all bad start. He tried to convince us that there was no room for beds to be parted. In the end we had to insist or move us to another cabin. I suffer with Psoriasis and have to slap coal tar creams etc therefore reluctant to share a bed/sheets with anyone, just not fair. Anyway, came back after meal and beds had been reconfigured to our satisfaction. Dining room, oh dear where to start - staff warm and welcoming, actually by the end of the week we all felt extremely sorry for them, apologising every meal. Meat tough and fatty, veg raw, with strange combinations. Rib-eye served on evening so tough could not cut let alone chew, with one boiled potato the size of a grape, stick of raw carrot and what I thought was stick of courgette turned out to be cucumber?? Waiters did suggest another meal, but to be honest only one meal of the week was acceptable. We were really looking forward to good Italian food - very disappointed. Buffet fared slightly better, but as we love the aspect of relaxed dining we avoid the scramble for food and only went there if desperate. Ports of call were amazing, loved all of them. We have learned over the years you can see more if you do your own thing. The four of us hired a private taxi in Athens and had the best ever day for the cost of a one person organised trip. At the end of the week we considered removing our gratuities from our onboard account, to just give to our waiters. However, on reflection the staff worked very hard to please and they have to put up with quite a few grumpy guests through no fault of their own.. Unfortunately we will never cruise with MSC again, beautiful ship, lovely staff but that's not enough for a great holiday experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We did this cruise as a back to back cruise after MSC Fantasia. Yes MSC Fantasia was amazing and we were a bit let down by this ship, due to its size and pool area not as big as Fantasia, But however the staff were just as wonderful, and ... Read More
We did this cruise as a back to back cruise after MSC Fantasia. Yes MSC Fantasia was amazing and we were a bit let down by this ship, due to its size and pool area not as big as Fantasia, But however the staff were just as wonderful, and the other passengers just as annoying, with their yelling, hogging sun loungers and pushing and shoving at the buffet. I don't fault these cruises its just the customers so if you want to avoid these sorts of people pay for a package where you get to dine in the restaurant all the time and as for pool loungers just take one and when the hogger returns two hours later just argue with them about how rude it is to bags a lounger.... You don't bags or reserve a car park? So why a sun lounger for the day whilst you are out sight seeing. Or just give them the one finger salute. Anyway loved this ship, and the staff, and would definitely cruise with MSC again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We only choose to travel with MSC and this is the first time that we would rate it lower than "very good or excellent". The entertainment quality was nowhere near as good as usual this included the nightly show and also at the ... Read More
We only choose to travel with MSC and this is the first time that we would rate it lower than "very good or excellent". The entertainment quality was nowhere near as good as usual this included the nightly show and also at the different venues on the ship. Quality of food was also not up to the usual standard. The other issue was the noise around our cabin, which took them until day 3 to rectify as best they could. I would recommend NOT to stay in cabin 10080 as the plumbing and staff services access were directly behind the cabin. Ports of most interest were Montenegro Kotor and Santorini, Oui - just beautiful! We did not take the tours and explored ourselves. It is always best to research the ports before you travel as it is easy to create your own itinerary at each port. Remember that it is extremely hot during June/July. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Imagine heading into your local travel agent and telling them that you are half considering a cruise for your Honeymoon, and then the travel consultant recommends MSC, well if this happens to you, run for the hills!! I was half hearted ... Read More
Imagine heading into your local travel agent and telling them that you are half considering a cruise for your Honeymoon, and then the travel consultant recommends MSC, well if this happens to you, run for the hills!! I was half hearted about a cruise to be honest, I felt it would be very restrictive - I was later proved right, but the travel consultant persuaded myself and my now husband, that this would be a relaxing well earned rest after all the stress of the wedding planning. We could have all the little extras that all honeymooners deserve All inclusive - we left having settled a bill for over €250, this was including the charge for tips - €9 per person per day for all the hard work people are doing in the background or as I like to call it Just doing your job I have never known stress until I set foot on what I now refer to as the Prison Package Holiday. We arrived at the terminal to be greeted by a pleasant young man who told us where to leave our bags,- this was the end of the good customer service. As we checked in we were accosted by two over enthusiastic photographers - yes you will be hounded by these people on the ship, they are nice but relentless, their job is to get you to pose over several nights and hopefully spend an average of €50 for these memories of your time on board. I'm afraid I don't need photos to remind me, its indelibly implanted on my brain, I may need to seek out a therapist in the future We had, on the advice of the travel consultant chosen the Aurea package, which is the two lower packages plus extra benefits such as welcome massage and cocktail (IE the second premium package) , and access to the thermal suite - a child free haven with hot tub - the first time we had a quick look around the hot tub had been taken over by a gentleman and his two small children. We also had the additional benefit of the Allegrisimo drinks package - €26 per person per day, now I don't know about anyone else and I enjoy a drink as much as the next person, but you would be hard pressed to drink this amount every day, but there must be fear on board that you could, so don't worry there are several obstacles in place to ensure you don't!. Oh how delighted my new husband was when he discovered this meant he could have any beer he wanted as long as it was Heiniken, delightful, especially if this is one of the few beers you DONT drink - and it had to be draught! We were told we would have a choice of several places to eat, in reality, its three and two of them do exactly the same food, and look the same, in fact up until day two we thought it was all one restaurant. Our package also entitled us to access to an exclusive deck - for Aurea package patrons only and child free, which is what you want on your honeymoon, lets be honest. It also had a bar so that you can just walk the few steps from the rattan lounger to get your self a drink, great idea except that it was often unmanned. And being above deck 13, it could get a bit windy, not too bad but the very nature of rattan furniture ensures that it moves around the deck and when this happens no matter how early it was, the bar and deck closed Staff were on the whole unfriendly, ; the two pool-side bars were tended by men who seemed to think that when you asked for a coke, it was code for a kidney or you were asking them for several pints of blood and boy did those surly faced gentlemen treat you with great suspicion Our 'my choice' dining meant that we could rock on up to our designated restaurant without a reservation apparently but you might be forgiven for thinking that this means you can eat anytime, well you can as long as its between 7.00 and 9,30 and if you choose to dine early, the big scary maître D, who also happened to bad mouth other customers, will give you the evils (evil death stare) to get you out of your seat should you choose to spend more than the allotted time. Also when we did show up to eat, on two occasions we were asked if we minded having a drink in the bar while the maître D practiced giving more customers the evils as some of them had become immune. My next moan is about queuing, queuing to get on, queuing to get off, its a pain and from talking to other people who have cruised with other lines, not the norm except with MSC apparently. The reason is that you have to present your card which is duly scanned so that your identity can be verified, God forbid you will have passed your card to someone on one of the stops and begged them to take your place. Thanks but I don't dislike anyone that much! Getting back on board, your place your bag on a converyor belt so that it can be scanned, in case your a threat to national security? Alas no, your crime could be that you are smuggling alcohol on board which is a big no no, because unlike us, if you went for a more basic drinks package, there is immense pressure to upgrade, but beware there are obstacles to stop you drinking your allowance everywhere as I have already attested you. Most of the bars are closed when the ship is docked and those that are open, I saw one, was unmanned for 20 minutes. So when you visit MSC's website, please note that it is akin to a fairytale and should be treated as such - as in Grimms Fairytales. . That said if you are the type to eat your bodyweight in Pizza then this is the place for you, its available practically 24/7. the food is good, not overly fantastic, in fact over several days I could have cooked better myself and I am a mediocre cook at best. This may seem a little harsh but just in case you've forgotten, this was my HONEYMOON and I would never recommend MSC in a million years for a honeymoon or to anyone that I remotely like that said I know many a person who sings with gusto the praises of Thompson, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises, but I will just have to take their word for it. So was there anything nice about the cruise, hell yes. The places you get to see - however brief - remember the queuing the get off, were lovely, Corfu was my favorite followed by Montenegro. But the best thing about this cruise was docking back in Venice and getting off - the inmate was released! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose the MSC Orchestra (sailing 05 June 2016 from Venice) primarily for the itinerary - Venice, Bari, Olympia, Santorini, Athens, Corfu and Kotor. The price was a bonus as well, with a balcony stateroom and round trip air for less ... Read More
We chose the MSC Orchestra (sailing 05 June 2016 from Venice) primarily for the itinerary - Venice, Bari, Olympia, Santorini, Athens, Corfu and Kotor. The price was a bonus as well, with a balcony stateroom and round trip air for less than £2,000 for the two of us. I will try to make this review as honest as possible, and please remember that these are my own observations. It seemed other passengers had slightly different experiences. Itinerary: In a word - incredible. There was a port every day, and 4 of the 6 days, we arrived late enough to be able to have continental breakfast on our balcony, so we did not need to fight through the buffet. Tendering was done twice (Santorini and Kotor) and seemed fairly straight-forward. Embarkation: Pretty smooth overall; the one thing we did not like was the massive push to buy the top end drinks package before we were even on board. The sellers simply would not take no or we will talk about it for an answer. It felt like we were being forced into buying something that did not work for us. In the end, we didn't buy it anyway - just had to be almost rude to a point to get them to understand that. Stateroom: It served its purpose. The cabin attendant was available for any assistance and was helpful. The room was always clean when we returned, but don't expect towel animals (we actually heard other passengers complaining that they didn't get any...). Service: Overall, mediocre at best, at times almost non-existent. There never seemed to be enough poolside staff - only 2 bartenders and 2 or 3 servers during the afternoon out of Kotor when there were so many people on deck. We waited almost 20 minutes for 2 really easy drinks. Our main waiter at dinner was not friendly and service was spotty at best (we were seated at an 8 top, but there were only 4 of us the entire time). The assistant waiter was better, but it seemed like he was covering for the main waiter's shortcomings. Plates were cleared when other diners were not finished eating, dishes were served by reaching across the table, and bread was only served once. Each time, my partner had to ask for more wine and there was no coffee service at the end of the meal. We went into a lounge after dinner one night, and I ordered a zero alcohol cocktail with my drinks package (I don't drink due to health reasons). The waitress then spent several minutes pressuring as to why I didn't want the full alcohol drink - that I would have a more enjoyable night and I really should jut get it. In spite of being told several times that I did not drink, she kept pressuring (our dinner table mates made the same comment). We immediately left the lounge and I went to Guest Relations to complain, as this had happened (a bit more subtly) other time). The GR rep did state that she would speak to the Beverage Manager, but I don't know if she did. Overall, the staff almost seemed like the were not enjoying their jobs - very few said anything when you passed them somewhere on board, and just weren't friendly. Excursions: All excellent (Alberobello, Olympia and Museum, Best of Santorini, A Voyage to Ancient Greece, Paleokastriska, Kotor and Perast). The guide for Alberobello was not very good, as she talked for the entire hour to the site, and provided very little useful information. All of the other guides were exceptional. Food: Again mediocre. There were a few dishes every now and then that did well, but overall, not what should be expected from an allegedly high-end Italian line. The buffet was standard buffet fare. What more can you do when offering 20 hours daily food service??! Entertainment: In a word - horrible. All of the accompanying music in the lounges was through a laptop, and if the performer didn't like the way a number was going - just hit pause and try something else. One lounge had what I call true "lounge-lizards", where they were forgetting words, not singing clearly (or at times not at all) and just making for a painful evening. There were several times that we were laughing hysterically because it was so bad!!!! The evening shows involved lots of lip-syncing and random acts that had nothing to do with the show theme to cover for costume changes. The dance instructors and poolside activities guys looked like they were really trying, and at times, I felt sorry that they did not have more participants. Smoking: It is allowed in the casino and at various areas throughout the decks. There is a smoking lounge on one of the decks, but it could use a stronger ventilation system, as you could smell it when walking by. The cabin attendants were very quickly to stop smokers in cabins and on balconies. Fellow passengers: A huge eclectic mix. We have several very large Japanese groups (probably 350 or 400 all told), lots of Spanish-speaking, a large number of eastern Europeans and a fair number of Americans. Even though it was not school term period, there were a very large number of youngsters, but it looked like the staff kept them pretty well occupied most of the time. Overall an average cruise. Again, we picked this primarily because of the itinerary and cost. Would we do another MSC? Probably not before looking at other lines, but as I said at the top - it appeared that there were a large number of passengers that were having a great time. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one ... Read More
this was the first cruise we took , that too after so many apprehensions that we may end up managing the motion sickness issue of mine and my daughter , but to our surprise both had no issue of nausea etc . at all . we stayed for one day prior to embarkation in venice just to explore this beautiful city we heard that embarkation takes hours but it was not crowded at all i have concluded the following do's and don'ts 1. reach the embarkation city one day prior as it ease out your boarding plans like reaching in time ( in my case four hours from the departure of the ship ) hence you don't have to face crowd 2. choose aurea package ( cabin with balcony ) as it gives you - priority boarding ,unlimited drinks on board , free access to thermal area which is worth going every day , complimentary massage which is average in quality and preferred dining 3. don't take excursions from the ship as they are double the cost of the one sold at the dock and it's the same excursion ( we had the following ports - bari,santorini,katakolom,corfu, piraous and kotor 4. always keep one black and one white formal dress for two formal dinners given at the ship .if possible keep one floral dress as well 5. don't miss the entertainment shows - it is done twice 7;15 pm and 9:15 pm 6. no need to keep snacks etc in you luggage for emergency as they run one restaurant 20 hrs / day with free access to all unlimited times with lot of things on buffet 7. prefer higher decks . ours was 12th deck which i found the best 8. shopping on board - watches , wine and jewellery is worth a buy ,plan it 9. for indians there is nothing much as far as food is concerned but can have it in preferred dining , we personally were not satisfied with the food served to us in the name of veg indian dinner 10. rooms have one big double bed , one bunk bed and one sofa cum bed thus four beds in total , good enough for a family of four 11. the problem comes in disembarkation though its not so for the european guests as they dont have to submit their passports as passports collection takes hell lot of time . 12. plan one small suitcase for last day clothes as your main luggage will be taken on the previous night by the ship authority for scanning and it will be lying at the port when you disembark 13. carry umbrella /raincoat as orchestra doesn't supply the same ( other cruise lines might be doing ) 14. don't take wi fi package ( though its not expensive - 19 euro for basic surfing for the whole duration of cruising ) i will definitely cruise again on some other destination for sure thank you msc orchestra Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We cruised with MSC last year and loved it so booked again. This route was amazing - Venice - Bari - Olympia - Santorini - Athens - Corfu - Kotor. We are still pinching ourselves in disbelief that we saw so much in 7 days! We were on a ... Read More
We cruised with MSC last year and loved it so booked again. This route was amazing - Venice - Bari - Olympia - Santorini - Athens - Corfu - Kotor. We are still pinching ourselves in disbelief that we saw so much in 7 days! We were on a fly cruise from the UK and there were 5 passengers - 2 adults - 2 children (15 & 12) and 1 senior. We had 2 cabins with a central inter-connecting door. This worked really well and felt like we had a suite. We arrived at the cruise terminal in Venice and boarded the ship at 2pm. Only small grumble is our cases did not arrive unit 5.30pm which meant we did not eat in the Ibicius restaurant that night as I need to unpack for the family. The buffet food is well cooked, offered a good variety and was plenty full. The buffet can get vary busy at times and finding a table can be challenging. The 5 course dinner was good. The portions were not large which meant you could choose more courses to try without being full. The service was good and friendly - we had 2 waiters assigned to our table. The ship is spotless with lots of lounge areas. The entertainment was good and more family orientated than we had experienced on the MSC Preziosa last year. The Animation team were brilliant They provided an audience warm up which my children loved. We find that cruising offers brilliant value for money and fantastic variety. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise as it was good value for money .having read the reviews afterwards was very wary of what to expect. Embarkation was a nightmare no-one seemed to take control once that happened it went smoothly. The ship was lovely ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was good value for money .having read the reviews afterwards was very wary of what to expect. Embarkation was a nightmare no-one seemed to take control once that happened it went smoothly. The ship was lovely crew very friendly couldn't fault anything. We went for the premium drinks package highly recommended as it included everything even our minibar. The only thing I was disappointed in was the Wi-Fi I bought it on the Monday and by Saturday it was finished so didn't have the full week that was supposed to have been paid for. There were lovely little touches like free snacks in the bars and tapas/ antipasti in the wine bar. We definitely plan to use MSC again. We had a balcony cabin and that was lovely and spacious it was great to sit there and watch the ship set sail with a drink in hand. The entertainment crew were always involved in trying to make sure everyone enjoyed their holiday trying to get you to dance. Food was also very good plenty to choose from. As previously mentioned we were wary after we booked but there was no need it was an amazing holiday and ship. Read Less
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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