Sail Date: March 2019
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated ... Read More
The cruise line P&O Cruises is a British cruise line, a constituent of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. P&O Cruises claim to be the oldest cruise line in the world. Its predecessor company operated pleasure trips since 1844, and the world's first dedicated cruise ship in 1881. It is the sister company of, and retains strong links with, P&O Cruises Australia. P&O Cruises was de-merged from the P&O group in 2000, becoming a subsidiary of P&O Princess Cruises plc, which subsequently merged with Carnival Corporation in 2003, to form Carnival Corporation & plc. P&O Cruises currently operate seven cruise ships and tailor their cruises to the British market. Why we chose P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of occasions as they sail from Southampton. They offer much more of a British feel and use pound Stirling for currency. Having 3 pin plugs in all cabins is always good as it saves carrying all those extra travel adapters for those essential electronics. We chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary as it stopped in Israel, and the fact that Arcadia is an adult only ship. We boarded the ship in Dubai and sailed home via the Suez Canal to Southampton on the ship as part of her 2019 world cruise. The ship Arcadia was ordered by Holland America Line in 2000 as their fifth Vista class vessel. In 2003 she was allocated to the Cunard Line to become their Queen Victoria. Shortly before her launch the decision was made to transfer the ship to the P&O Cruises fleet. As a result, Arcadia has a Cunard style mast similar to those found on the RMS Queen Mary 2. She also sports a modified QE2 style funnel, with cowling removed instead of the traditional P&O style funnel found on the other purpose built ships. Arcadia has a gross tonnage of 84,000tones with a passenger capacity of just over 2000 and is an adult only ship. Arcadia’s biggest disappointment is her lack of a usable atrium in the centre of the ship, although P&O have tried to lighten the space with coloured lighting etc in her last refit in 2017. Arcadia has been plagued with problems with her cabin waste system with blockages and leaks again something P&O have been working to resolve all of her working life. Arcadia’s signature features are her midship glass lifts and the retracting roof over the main swimming pool both of which are features from her being built for Holland America Line. She also boasts over 3000 pieces of art through the ship creating a sophisticated feel on board. Dining Options on Board Dining on Arcadia is as you would expect very well taken care of, from buffet dinning to several specialty restaurants. The main dining room is on 2 levels at the rear of the ship, on the lower level it is set dining times 18:30 and 21:00. The upper level is freedom dining where you can turn up for a table any time fro 18:00 to 21:30. This option has to be pre booked when booking the cruise as there are only a certain amount of spaces. Even then at peak times you will have to wait for a table for 2 or get to the restaurant when it opens. We had freedom dining on our cruise and would certainly have this style of dining again. The buffet restaurant ( The Lido) is open from 06:00 to 01:00 serving breakfast, lunch, afternoon Tea, dinner and evening light meals. The food is of good quality, complementary fruit juices are only available at breakfast in the buffet area. The 2 specialty restaurants, Sindhu and Ocean Grill both have an additional cover charge. They are both very good and they change menus several times during the voyages. While we were on Arcadia P&O were trailing a glass house style menu in intermezzo outside of ocean grill, this worked well and we hope that it becomes a permanent feature on board Arcadia. Eric lanyards afternoon tea is another specialty offer, it is served in ocean grill on selected sea days and is worth trying. During the day by the midship pool (Neptune’s) there is a grill serving burgers, fish and chips ,jacket potatoes etc there is also a small sandwich bar just to the side of this grill. This area can get busy during the day, especially when the sliding roof is open in warm climates. The Cabins Arcadia’s cabins come is 5 basic categories with a number of sub categories. The categories are inside, ocean view, balcony, mini suite and suite. There are also a number of single occupancy cabins both inside and ocean view. Most of the mini suites are midships. All cabins are well appointed as you would expect with all the normal cabin features. All cabins have UK 3 pin plugs as standard, also tea/coffee making facilities replenished throughout your stay. The cabins have a mini bar(chargeable to your on board account ) and fridge. Most of the mini suites and suites have a bath and shower. A few of the Balcony and Ocean View cabins have combined showers and baths. All grades of cabins have complementary shower gel, shampoo and body lotion. There is plenty of wardrobe space in all cabins. This is a feature on all Vista Class ships that make them great for longer cruises or round the world trips. All of the cabins following the refit in 2017 now have flat screen TVs with pay for view films but as yet, like other ships in the P&O fleet, you can not view your cabin bill or order room service / interactive services via the tv. Things to do on Board As with any UK main stream cruise company the daily entertainment is varied from guest speakers to deck quoits. There is always something going, and the good thing about the ship is that you can always find a quiet spot to read the book you have taken from the library onboard. On this cruise because it was the last leg of the world cruise there was daily art classes in one of the meeting rooms. There is a small onboard cinema seating around 30 in leather recliner chairs, they show current films that are on at the cinema at home, due to space restrictions it’s always best to book a seat. The gym also has a full daily program of both free and chargeable fitness classes all of which are good quality and the instructors know what they’re doing Swimming pools, sun decks and Spa There are 3 pools on board, the main one being in the centre of the ship. It is known as Neptune’s pool, this is where the sliding roof covers the pool in less favourable conditions. There are sun loungers around the pool. The pool has a bar area and a take way food place serving burgers and chips etc The second pool is on the aft deck behind the lido buffet, again there is a lot of space for loungers and has a large bar, this area is fully open to the elements all the time The 3rd pool in located in the spa area and is a pay for use pool, it is always heated to around 34’ and has whirlpool jets that can be turned on and off. You can pay a one off fee for the entire cruise or choose to pay daily providing there is space available, they only have 30 spaces per cruise for this area The sun decks through the ship are spacious even at peak times so you are always able to get a bed with space round it. The large well appointed gym and spa are right at the top and front of the ship above the navigation bridge. It has it’s own sauna in each changing room . If you want to use the steam room hot bed or sensual sauna then again they are chargeable with the use of the thermal suite. The gym offer daily fitness classes and talks. The spa has a full list of wellbeing and wellness courses / treatments again all as additional costs. Would we Recommend P&O We have sailed with P&O on a number of their ships, this is what lead us to book this cruise. If you are looking for a cruise that looks after the UK cruiser then P&O is definitely for you. Would we book another leg of a world cruise, definitely yes but there are a number of things to consider with this type of cruise. • Large amounts of sea days back to back, we had a 6 and 5 day run of sea days • Average age of the customers is generally higher than on normal cruises • Entertainment tailored to type of cruise and age of customers • Customer familiarity with the crew most noticeable in the buffet and main restaurants as they have been together for the last 3 months or so, it can make you feel left out. • Numerous special event for world cruisers only, so parts of the ship often restricted (bars and restaurants etc) This aside we did enjoy the trip home from Dubai especially sailing through the Suez canal and the trips in Israel ( the reason for booking the trip) We like the smaller ships ( around 2000 passengers) as they are usually more friendly. Our biggest dislike is P&Os Great British Sail Away, complete with Union Jack waving, but majority of the ship joins in so we go with the flow with it. So if you live in the UK and want a great British cruise with a main stream cruise line then P&O certainly deliver no matter what ship you travel on. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the ... Read More
Looked inviting good price and places we had not been before To start with the best parts throughly enjoyed the cruise ship,and decor outstanding,crew,staff excellent food very good and overall 6/10 1/ But as we arrived on the morning at 9 am and had a taxi to the ship for 9.30 and then discovered we couldn’t board until 8pm what nonsense then they gave us lottery tickets to board in order which would have taken for ever eventually it was a free for all and boarded 4 pm however didn’t do the safety drill that night and a day later they informed us of the drill time and was away on a trip so never did it contrary to Sea going Legislation 2/ At dinner time was then informed of the need to buy water at the dinner table which is a No No when you could bathe in it up in the Buffett. 3/ the cleanness in the upstairs dining area is compromised by hundreds of people filling up unclean water bottles and flasks because of the no water policy in the dining room it’s a disaster waiting to happen. 4/ I have the need to use the disabled toilet but 70% of them did not work or the doors were turned off 5/ on the night of the Buffett only one ordinary toilet was working with all those hundreds of people on that deck 3 times I waited outside the locked sit down toilet only to find they had been locked due to blockages 6/ we were charged €20 a day service charge which we were told could not be removed but none of the crew gets any of this amount it goes directly as profits and decided this wasn’t fair so gave payments to persons accordingly 7/ we had our passports confiscated on day one and didn’t have them until the morning we left the ship in Kula Lampur,we should have been given them the night before and signed a release form so we wouldn’t have to worry about missing our flight 8/ None of the discounts available on board were accounted for in the inroom TV screens and when I was told about the 25% discount on a bottle of Prosecco which wasn’t on my bill you said it did not apply to this particular cruise what a con and you still owe me €3.25 for this discount 9/ At the theatre shows which were fabulous to get a good seat you had to be there 20 minutes early and were then subjected to continuous advertising which after a while became intolerable 10/ No English on any of the TV channels but plenty of other languages available 11/ Chaos when we docked on deck One/Two because of amateur persons performing the landing exercise 12/ would have like a Italian Pizza on deck 13 but every time we went there it was just dry Foccacia bread with no sauce or taste. 13/ And sadly always felt like a second class citizen over the Chinese persons on board 14/ And most of all it was a disaster for Costa Cruises in public relations as hundreds of people I spoke to would never book with Costa Cruises again Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the mini refrigerator was not working they replaced it with a new one. The lighting in the room was inconsistent one very dim and one very bright. The food was always cold, nothing to drink after breakfast unless you bought the drink package. Staff stole water charging it to my drink package. My photos look better on my cell phone than the non lighting pictures I paid for with my photo package. Deck entertainment was very dead and dry. The only 5 star review belongs to our cabin steward (Chitla) and the amazing MSC theatre performances. I wish I could cancel my upcoming cruise with MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are from the UK, in our 50's and have done over 50 cruises. We usually go with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Cunard. A few with P&O. However we had never tried MSC and so decided to do this. Biggest mistake I have made ... Read More
We are from the UK, in our 50's and have done over 50 cruises. We usually go with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Cunard. A few with P&O. However we had never tried MSC and so decided to do this. Biggest mistake I have made in my life. To anyone who like us are thinking of doing an MSC cruise - don't !. To those who are planning to return, based on our experience I can only wonder why. I only hope that people who have only cruised once on MSC don't think that all cruises are like that. So what was the problem. Well first off we noticed a smell coming from the drains in our stateroom bathroom. Without going into too much detail, you can imagine what the smell was like. We reported it, nothing happened. A few days later we asked guest services if anything had been done. The reply was a blank stare and a comment along the lines of " I think it may have been fixed ". When we said the smell was still there, we still got the blank stare. We asked to be moved to another room. They said no, that wasn't possible. I asked if someone could come to my room and smell it for themselves. No one did. To keep a long story short, the bathroom stank for the whole cruise. No one contacted us to see if it had been fixed. I just don't believe they did anything. That episode alone put me off MSC for life. Entertainment on the ship was woeful. On the night they had shows, it was either listening to Italian classical music or the production shows which had a few so called singers screaming along to backing tapes. I would say it was like Butlins but that would be an insult to Butlins Activities were either dance lessons or Tai Chi classes. We enjoy trivia. However they only did one progressive trivia over 4 sea days with 12 questions each day. That was it. Simply not enough. I was lucky I had a number of books to read otherwise I would have been bored to death. Food in the main dining room arrived late and cold. Complaints were met with a shrug of the shoulder. Also, drinking water in the main restaurant was chargeable, something I found hard to believe. Food in the buffet was practically the same choice every night and was on some occasions, inedible. I witnessed on passenger holding a plate of food up to a chef and asking him if he would dare eat it. Guest service staff were rude and appeared totally disinterested. Any time we walked past, people were complaining about something or other. The swimming pool was too cold and so most people just didn't use it We didn't stop at two ports due to adverse weather . Whilst I understand this does happen, most other cruise lines reimburse the port fees that they no longer incurred. Not this cruise line At the ports we did stop at, MSC provided buses into town costing 9 Euros per person. They failed to mention local bus prices leaving from the exact same spot only cost a sixth of that. Drinks , specialty coffees and ice cream were way overpriced. Anywhere you walked on the ship you were being hassled by shop assistants, spa girls, casino staff to purchase stuff. Very annoying ! In summary, this was a total nightmare. Holidays are meant to be stress free but this was a totally stressful experience. After only a few days I wished I was back home. That's simply not good enough Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an ... Read More
We were looking for a week of winter sun in February and chose Costa because of the itinerary, and location. We made our own travel arrangements and flew to Dubai on Emirates, and with a short transfer, we were at the port within an hour of landing. Embarkation was quick and efficient and our luggage was delivered to our cabin quickly. The ship was clean, all the crew we met were polite, and service was excellent. The other travellers were a diverse group from many different countries. Dining : We ate in the main dining room every night, the food was very good ( despite some criticisms I'd read before we travelled ) fresh pasta, wonderful mozzarella - made fresh on the ship - and well cooked and prepared meat dishes. Our server Emmanuel was polite and courteous. We had the Piu Gusto drinks package which included house wine with our meals and this was constantly topped up without us needing to ask, as was water. Entertainment : We did a morning back stage tour of the ship that was very interesting and well worth doing. The shows were of a high standard, and very enjoyable. There was music in every bar - and there were plenty of bars...and dancing, if thats your thing. Excursions : We didnt do any of the official tours so I cant comment, though we had no problem finding our own way round Muscat, and Abu Dhabi, visiting the Grand Mosque and the heritage village using local cabs. We also spent a day at a hotel pool in Abu Dhabi Saadiyat beach which ws good value and lovely. We would definitely travel with Costa again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free ... Read More
Had the pleasure of travelling in the Arabian Gulf on MV Horizon, it was outstanding even though the ship is 30 years old it is still a good ship and the service is exceptional, food very good , service great and the advantage of free drinks was a nice touch. The shows were great, everything is done in Spanish and English, majority of crew are Pilipino so no problem, compared to the opposition MSC who I have travelled with out of Durban several times, always a disaster and terrible food, there is no comparison, Pullmantur really goes the extra mile. I thought the food quality was only because of the ship going out of Durban but after hearing the horrendous stories from passengers from two MSC ships in the Arabian Gulf they all complained about the bad food on their MSC ships and this stunned me. Seeing a certain South African travel agency loves to run Pullmantur down and I have now had first class experience to it not being true. I now throw out a challenge to the CEO of MSC if the comments made by several of your passengers is not being true show me that this is not the case. You want a great cruise try Pullmantur you won’t be sorry we met several UK passengers who were on their 3 trip on Pullmantur so that’s good enough to hear the positives, Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The cruise itinerary was great but after that the experience goes downhill, except for our cabin steward who was outstanding. The food was pretty awful, the front desk service worse. The quality of the food was not equal to all other ... Read More
The cruise itinerary was great but after that the experience goes downhill, except for our cabin steward who was outstanding. The food was pretty awful, the front desk service worse. The quality of the food was not equal to all other cruise lines we have sailed on...Holland America, RC, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian. Very few choices, limited fresh greens, veggies cooked in butter and salted, limited fruit. It was very hard to believe there was no decaf coffee and no green tea. The entertainment was good the first couple of nights but then was repeated evernight there after. The singing was good and the costumes were well done. Every evening at dinner and throughout the day there were over head announcements selling services and merchandise in the stores and that was annoying. The hand sanitizer dispensers were frequently empty which was very concerning. Very little education about the ports of call since this would be difficult in 6 different languages. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh ... Read More
Cruised from Dubai to Southampton from the 19th.April-10th. May ----had a sheltered stateroom -4021-which our steward , Dayle , kept immaculate , there wasn't anything that was too much trouble for him even supplying us with fresh milk daily rather than using sachets of milk. The Stateroom was very good with plenty on storage and where we were situated was very quite , no noise from anywhere and the sheltered balcony at first being a concern was in the end great, I would recommend . We had late seating in the Britannia restaurant . The food was excellent every evening and plentiful [ I cant understand when I see reviews saying the food is not good ,I'm sure people don't eat better at home !! ] also we had lunch some days in the Britannia and it was equally as good . The Kings Court was also very good with plenty of choice and variety . There was one very bad thing that I picked up on , the so called baked ham offered as a carvery was a vacuum packed ham that had been baked of not a baked gammon as one would expect from Cunard , I'm speaking as one that worked in the meat and food industry all my working life. All other areas for food such as the Carinthia Lounge and the Chefs Galley also very good . The Boardwalk Café a complete waste of space as was the whole area of the deck around the café with no shelter and at times the temp. was in the 40's where we were. Evening entertainment was very good on the whole ,as where most insight lectures and afternoon concerts . One thing that did concern was on the last two evenings on board we where told that the ships resident dance and vocal entertainers couldn't perform because the stage lift didn't work and couldn't be fixed---well the rumour was this wasn't the case and the dancers were under rehearsed and the second rumour was employment issues with the staff ???------I personally believe that there wasn't a problem with the stage ?? . Service I found throughout the ship was excellent although some staff could smile a little more especially security staff.----My main concern with the QM2 is the layout of the ship , one does compare and the layout seems odd when comparing with both the Queen Victoria and the Queen Elizabeth , the pool areas have no shade not many tables around and don't seem as part of the main ship--I hope that makes sense , I'm not a ship builder so maybe it's because the QM2 is a liner and not a cruise ship.---Still had a fantastic time , enjoyed every day. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Recent cruise april 2018 from dubai to yokohama saw the reception desk overrun each day with complaints. Poor food adolescent daytime activities.poor nightime shows.bad tv.pool accident resulting in death took medical staff far too long to ... Read More
Recent cruise april 2018 from dubai to yokohama saw the reception desk overrun each day with complaints. Poor food adolescent daytime activities.poor nightime shows.bad tv.pool accident resulting in death took medical staff far too long to attend. Untrained staff. Food in nightime dining hours old. Same 3 films rerun on deck. Bad experience. Never again...stay away from australia..not reccomended..give msc a wide berth. This is an honest review and is backed up by the majority of people onboard. Arrogant staff with an air of superiority made any complaints pointless. This was a cruise of all bling and nosubstance.head of food needs to be replaced as does entertainer director. Entertainment would'nt win talent quest in outer outback towns in oz. Occupational health and safety on board shocking..this boat should not be allowed to sail in australian waters. Poor food bad entertainment.bad tv. Information arrives late.pay for water you must be kidding...never ever again...msc messy!!!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Cruise on the MSC Splendida From March 3rd to March 11th 2018 Middle East This is our 18th cruise, our 2nd with MSC. We had already done a Dubai cruise and we wanted to come back and the price/itinerary of MSC was great, hence, we ... Read More
Cruise on the MSC Splendida From March 3rd to March 11th 2018 Middle East This is our 18th cruise, our 2nd with MSC. We had already done a Dubai cruise and we wanted to come back and the price/itinerary of MSC was great, hence, we chose to cruise with them again. It is very easy to embark the ship. We were there early in the morning and they took our luggage, made our cards and we were off to visit the city. There are plenty of taxis at the port and if you don't have EAD, ask for meter with credit card. They don't all have it so better to ask before leaving. The Splendida has recently been refurbished in the general areas and it is gorgeous! The Bora Bora buffet is simply beautiful and VERY spacious. The rooms have not been done. Our biggest problem with this cruise was that the walls are paper thin! Seriously!! You can hear people caughing, follow a conversation…So imagine being next to a crying baby! This made our nights a living hell!! Once, our neighbor decided to watch CNN at 4am… Well, we had to knock on the wall for them to shut the TV off… Needless to say we came out of this cruise more tired than we were at the beginning. The itinerary is amazing. Visas are required for this cruise and although I called MSC many MANY times, I never had the same answer regarding visas. Some said I had to get them from a website they gave me, and once, I spoke to a passport/visa specialist who said the ship would charge me on board. Well, thank god I decided to wait there and see since the ship takes care of ALL the details and fees… They simply give you a card when you exit the ship in every port of call. No hassle, no charge. (FYI, we are Canadians). The food was sometimes quite ordinary and sometimes delicious… The morning choices were just ok for us. That was really not our favorite meal. Everything on the ship is in Euros. This, for Canadians, makes everyting crazy expensive. Especially their shore excursions. My advice, take a taxi on your own. When they sell tickets for shuttles ( Eg Bahrain and Doha city center), don’t take it. There is nothing to do in Bahrain city center and a free port shuttle will take you to LULU mall where you will find taxis. Watch out, they want to charge you for the day so insist on meter!!! He wanted to charge us 200Euros for 5 people to do the International Circuit, the Camel farm, see the fort and the mosque. We said no, we wanted meter.. It cost us 100Euros… The people working onboard at the reception are very helpful and nice. Our waiter was average. We had to ask him every night for ice. Our room lady made our room three times… We had first seating dining, it is not really hard to keep track of this fact. We would come back in our room at 8h30/9h00 and our room had not been done, no towels for the morning. We did not go to the shows. We prefered staying on our balcony and listening to the waves.:) Will we cruise with MSC again? For sure. They have great itineraries and great prices. Did we love our cruise, AMAZING!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I wanted to start and finish my cruise in Dubai as my daughter lives there. It was a bit daunting as I has never cruised before, but everything was made so easy. The organisation of this ship from boarding through to the disembarkation ... Read More
I wanted to start and finish my cruise in Dubai as my daughter lives there. It was a bit daunting as I has never cruised before, but everything was made so easy. The organisation of this ship from boarding through to the disembarkation was done very efficiently. I particularly enjoyed the daily dance lessons of Vivi and Mejia, whose infectious encouragement made each lesson such a pleasure. The staff in the Villa Verde restaurant were very attentive, especially our waiter Pande, who kept our glasses charged at all times. We found the buffet in Pago Pago & Bora Bora rather overwhelming, so decided to breakfast and lunch in La Reggio Restaurant, which was more tranquil, and it was nice to be served at the table, having said that, the buffet in La Reggio was also excellent, and the fresh pasta cooked before your very eyes was just amazing. We took two of the ship excursions, one to Muscat in Oman, which was beautiful, and one to see dolphins whilst on a dhow, in Khasab, Oman. Both of these trips were so well organised and we thought good value. The pool areas on the ship were very clean and well looked after by the staff, all the bar staff were very accommodating and efficient. There was so much choice of entertainment at night that we found it hard to choose where to go. White Night in the Aft Bar was just amazing! I would not hesitate in booking this ship again as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions ... Read More
I took a last minute cruise to Dubai, sailing on 13th January 2018. Having completed the online paperwork, we had to fill in more forms at Port Rachid. We boarded and were informed our room would be available at 11 am. First impressions were good. Our cabin 1002 was clean, although there was little In the way of toiletries and no sunbed towels in our cabin. From then on things went downhill, firstly Costa will Not allow you to cancel the daily tips, that Cruise Critic States customers can do. The reception staff are rude, patronizing and unhelpful. They charge for every thing. Hot drinks like tea and coffee is only free at breakfast. If you want a Coffee after 9.30 pm on the main pool area, then you will find it unavailable. The food was dreadful, cold and poor quality and choice. They add a 15% surcharge on any drink, on top of the daily gratuity! Food in general is not available after 9.30 pm ( if you want to eat late at night) unless you pay extra for either pizza or burgers. There is no freedom dining in the evenings, we luckily were allocated a 6.30 pm time slot, other passengers sadly could not eat until 9.30 pm and therefore did not leave the restaurant until after 11 pm. The entertainment was very good, and the ship although quite old has some wonderful quirky features. It felt like the British passengers were treated as second class citizens in favour of the Italians on board. Having been on a P and O cruise ship recently I would never again travel with Costa nor recommend it to British passengers. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the ... Read More
We booked an excursion to Paphos in Cyprus. The description of the tour which appealed to us was 1. Taken to Paphos and have three hours free time to explore independently or 2. Visit the Villa and see the mosaics and the tombs of the kings and lastly 3. Take a stroll along the harbour. However, we were given no choices at all! We were dropped off at the harbour and left there. There was only a few restaurant and tacky gift shops. I was in a wheelchair and on 24/7 oxygen. We tried to find some shops but it was a long trek and we only found a very small mall and went back to the harbour and waited there for a coach to return. We put in an official complaint at this persons desk when we returned and received 10% refund which was an absolute joke we had wasted our money and our day in Cyprus. The literature is completely misleading and if we had known what was in store we still could of taken the free shuttle bus or gone to Limassol where apparently the guests had a fantastic time which made us even more fed up ..... I keep trying to get in touch with the excursions specialist team as we was advised to do once we got back to UK but I have had no luck getting through so needed to vent my feelings somewhere. As for the cleanliness of the newly refurbished Kings Court, we found it dirty, especially the walls next to the tables, the skirting, the windows. Infact, a lot of the communal areas needed TLC. They were cleaned but the staff were very lethargic and did everything at a snail's pace and didn't seem to take any pride in the fact that they were on a Cunard ship, although they cleaned they didn't clean the edges or the corners. This is where germs lie ......... Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize ... Read More
I have always liked the Whisper but will never take a segment of a world cruise again. In this segment, the majority of the passengers had been on this cruise since January and had established little groups to dine, drink and socialize thus the new passengers had to find other new passengers in order to have a good time. This segment from Dubai to Athens had fewer new passengers due to the possible danger passing Yemen and other countries in the news but the tours to Luxor, Petra and Gisa were very worthwhile and Silversea takes precautions and has never had a threatening incident. The familiar crew on the Whisper helped make the trip more enjoyable. On the next segment from Athens to Monte Carlo, it was reported that 160 new passengers would board so I'm sure they outnumbered the tired world cruisers but we have cruised the Mediterranean many times and had seen many portsand we departed the Whisper in Athens. The food was wonderful in all dining venues and tasted better than I had remembered. The evening entertainment was professional and entertaining, Day lectures were educational and worthwhile and included a travel professional who highlighted the upcoming tours with a visual presentation describing history and cultural advice and additional sights. On days at sea, two speakers entertained passengers, one on British spies during World War 1 and two The other speaker told us his fascinating experience in Africa with camels. He actually rode by camel across the Gobi desert. Also on the British experience in Africa. The swimming pool was active with sun worshippers throughout the day as well as the hot tubs. Underwater exercises took place at 2 pm followed by water volleyball at 3. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2017
We picked this cruise for its amazing itinerary and indeed, it was very interesting. We loved the combination of ports and sea days to relax. Here are all the other positives: great entertainment, convenient ship layout, the condition of ... Read More
We picked this cruise for its amazing itinerary and indeed, it was very interesting. We loved the combination of ports and sea days to relax. Here are all the other positives: great entertainment, convenient ship layout, the condition of the ship and of course, the fact that we had JS helped. At the same time the layout of the storage space was somewhat inconvenient compared to regular balcony on Princess. Our waitress and assistant in MDR was wonderful providing great service. Here are some negatives: our cabin was very dirty when we got in, there was terrible smell, our cabin attendant was nowhere to be found. The air condition was not functioning properly. After a while, the supervisor came by and the issues were taken care of within a day. The food selection and quality was not there, even in the specialty steak house. The Italian and Izumi was very good, both service and food. Also, it appears that all activities were happening in the centrum while a huge lounge remained empty. There were never enough seats in. The centrum and it was difficult to participate in the activities or even watch them. People had to push and shove to get near. Overall it was a good cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as 13 days is a nice long cruise and we enjoy sea days. We stayed 3 nights in Dubai which we thoroughly enjoyed, we also stayed in Barcelona before our short fllght back to Malaga. We arrived before the amended time ... Read More
We chose this cruise as 13 days is a nice long cruise and we enjoy sea days. We stayed 3 nights in Dubai which we thoroughly enjoyed, we also stayed in Barcelona before our short fllght back to Malaga. We arrived before the amended time but we were able to embark very quickly. We had a junior suite which was very nice,and our attendant looked after us. We enjoyed the food in the windjammer, and usually had breakfast in the dining room at a more sedate pace, I tend to eat too much in the windjammer. Cannot complain about the food. In the evening we were on deck 5 and our waiters were brilliant, very attentive and always there to ask us if we wanted more drinks. Th entertainment in the theatre was good. My only complaint was that the 70s night in the Centrum was when we were having dinner so missed it. Alex the entertainment manager was great but the 2 girls he had were pretty useless and we watched one who was supposed to be teaching a dance and getting client participation just looked at herself in the mirror the whole time. The two of them showed no great interest, in my opinion. The colouring in and paper aeroplane making and throwing bean bags and other garden games were not what I expected, therefore did not participate. There should have been a sexy man competition on deck but apparently the staff never bothered to stir up enthusiasm so it did not take place. This is the first cruise we have been on where there were no sail away parties, let alone the very last departure from Malta. Usually there is keep fit or dancing on deck but I did not see that. On deck, one activities staff member tried asking questions and we had to put our hands up to give him an answer, an impossibe job as people were shouting out the answers. He had no personality or interest. The bar staff we met were all very pleasant and helpful. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. ... Read More
Myself along with my wife, son and family had a holiday by MSC Fantasia Cruise ship from 11 to 18 March 2017 from Dubai and back to Dubai. This was something tremendous I can imagine. we were booked in Deck 10 Sogno and Deck 5 Fantasia. Once I had a ship sailing from Penang, Malaysia to Madras India in the year 1971 or so by S S Rejula a passenger ship between Madras and Penang. I was lucky enough to sail by this ship's last passenger journey I had been giving some briefing to my wife and children regarding ship sailing etc. But this was something too beyond my thought. Of course I had seen these kind of cruise ship in Dubai, Cochin, Seattle, USA. from outside and far away. What should I say a five star hotel floating on the ocean with all facility a top star hotel can provide without any mistake any way. My profession was in the hospitality Industry and I know well how and what it means to organize and run a star hotel while working as General Manager both in mainland and in beach resorts. Frankly like to say I was looking for some mistakes or to know will it go wrong somewhere. But to my surprise from embarkation till disembarkation so smooth like sailing. Our bags taken care from the beginning as soon as we arrived at the port and the same reached our cabin without any mistake. same thing happened while the end of the cruise. We thought of running away the first day itself by seeing the choice of food on the buffet counter and as well as at the fine dining restaurant. Deck 14 everywhere food, food, food, and food with soup, salad, fruit cut, desert, tea, coffee apart from the main dishes. and the dish served on the restaurant the quantity was too high for we don't take that much. Just because we are Indians love to have spicy food an Indian style but that was lacking. but we can understand Swimming pools everywhere you find unfortunately we don't swim. but enjoyed because others are enjoying a lot in the pool hence we too enjoyed. Spirit Bar here bar, there bar, everywhere bar. Here too we don't drink at all. but still we enjoyed when others are enjoying it a lot. Casino we went through that cabin some were playing may be they were lucky to have some fortune or some may have lost their earning. still this is also a part of the game. Theatre had some marvelous acts and action sound and lighting smart enough and on timing. Well treated for our mind and eye a colorful evenings we enjoyed sitting at the end of the ship where it leaves a spectacles mark on the deep sea where ever MSC Fantasia sails. We also enjoyed sitting and standing at the top of the deck while sailing in the deep sea as well as when it anchors at different harbors. No space is left out without having a touch of their own trade mark of their own style of decorating everywhere with some kind of artistic design and decor on every deck wall roof floor and the same inside the cabin too. Nobody can miss anything all well informed the previous night itself with printed news letter ready for the next day MSC Fantasia you are Fantastic Keep going Thanks Rev. Dr. Antony Walto Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2017
Customer Service: Very Bad Customer Service, if you book Cruise ticket third party, MSC doesn't responding correctly/. Customer service people don't have knowledge regarding third party sellers (ex: Seascanner). They ... Read More
Customer Service: Very Bad Customer Service, if you book Cruise ticket third party, MSC doesn't responding correctly/. Customer service people don't have knowledge regarding third party sellers (ex: Seascanner). They don't accept Third party sellers mail proofs, they say only MSC emails, and don't know third party sellers. but they received the ticket money! Dining: Buffet is very good, the 6-floor setting is not good, very few menu items. Ship: extremely very good, Service: Room Service is Excellent, Room cleaning and change of towels are very timely. Food service: food service is too good, Buffet is many items and service people is very polite, I never feel bad, they provided very good food and hot. Fruits and sweets are excellent. Complimentary food is very good. Entertainment: I never bored, always something special, shows and entertainment programs Port and Shore excursions: parking places at the port are very handy, easily can go to the city. excursions are very expensive, I never used them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
chose for the itinerary. We wanted to see Dubai, and thought this would be a great way to do it. We were not happy that it was on R.C. but did it anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised. We did not find the ship worn out as some other ... Read More
chose for the itinerary. We wanted to see Dubai, and thought this would be a great way to do it. We were not happy that it was on R.C. but did it anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised. We did not find the ship worn out as some other reviews have stated. The public rooms, showroom and lounges were in very good shape. the crew could not have been more friendly and helpful. We had a suite that was very nice with a wonderful balcony. My wife and i are not major cruise takers, but we have been on Princess, Disney, and Crystal. Disney and certainly Crystal are in a very different class than Royal Carib. Princess about a step above. The main negative we had was the food. Breakfast and most lunch items were fine. The pizza was the worst i ever tasted. When it came to dinner is where it got really bad. The selections were not the problem, just the finished product. The kitchen would have been better off opening a jar of Ragu for their pasta dishes than what they served. I am not going to go further with the food review, since it wasn't that important in our overall experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We wanted to go to the Middle East. Having travelled with MSC before, which was luxurious, this ship felt like we were on a ferry - very tired and not very impressive. The brochure states that there are dancing lessons.....there were ... Read More
We wanted to go to the Middle East. Having travelled with MSC before, which was luxurious, this ship felt like we were on a ferry - very tired and not very impressive. The brochure states that there are dancing lessons.....there were none. There were not enough sun loungers and one day the guests looked like sardines as they were packed together, some having to sit on chairs. The food was so basic that it was shocking. It seemed that some was recycled. The desserts were disappointing - just a few sponges with various flavoured toppings and jelly. The main courses included toad in the hole, which is a nice basic homely food but not what you would expect on a cruise. It seemed that Thomson were really penny pinching trying to charge for everything they could. They were even collecting pens up from quizzes as soon as the quiz was over and sending someone out afterwards to make sure they didn't miss any!! The excursion team were absolutely useless and seemed to enjoy telling untruths even when caught out! The entertainment team were great and two of the groups were good. The cabin crew were great and really worked hard. This appeared to be a very low class cruise and most of the guests looked thoroughly miserable!! It has put us off of cruising. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We have just returned from cruise and this was the worst we have ever experienced. We do appreciate the price we paid but there was so many disappointing aspects to this cruise. We booked an outside cabin on to find that our cabin had ... Read More
We have just returned from cruise and this was the worst we have ever experienced. We do appreciate the price we paid but there was so many disappointing aspects to this cruise. We booked an outside cabin on to find that our cabin had 2extremely small port holes. We had to have the lights on whenever we were in cabin. Our first shock was when we left port the whole cabin shook and the vibration was horrendous. This happened every time we entered and left port and it lasted for ages. We complained and was told that they were aware of the problem and that the vibration on decks 2 and 3 but quote "it's old ship and is being sold. They could not offer an alternative cabin as ship is full. The food was poor and this is obviously down to the price of the cruise. They are cutting corners in quality and the cuts of meat were cheap. On one meal is stated that it was a chicken breast but when it turned up it was a small slice of chicken and bore resemblance to the menu. To make matters worse they had a separate menu on the table for lobster fillet steak and chateau breone at a charge of 40 to 45 usd. On the one sea Day you had to be up before 7.00am to stand any chance of getting a sun bed. There was not one spare inch of deck that you could walk on. I know this is a negative review but we to be honest. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
This was my 3rd MSC cruise after previously sailing on the Armonia and the Divina. We opted for a 2nd sitting for our evening meal as had found previously that the early sitting sometimes gave you lack of time if you had returned to the ... Read More
This was my 3rd MSC cruise after previously sailing on the Armonia and the Divina. We opted for a 2nd sitting for our evening meal as had found previously that the early sitting sometimes gave you lack of time if you had returned to the ship early afternoon hungry following a trip, then you were eating again too soon afterwards. So the brochure said 8.30 for the 2nd sitting.....in fact this turned out to be 9.15 each evening to fit in with the evening show which started at 8pm. By the time we had finished our meal it was 11pm, much too late for everyone on our table, if your not up for staying up beyond midnight, I'm afraid you are going to bed on a full stomach. The evening shows are quite short, very similar in content but with different outfits, and clearly some songs were very much mimed to. There are only so many times you can watch a pole dancer, jugglers, balance acts, dancers etc before you get a bit bored. Investment in these shows would be a massive pull to the audience. I found that there was definitely a change in the quality and variety of food on offer, the buffet was very repetitive, we dined in the Formal dining room, which was very nicely decorated but the food lacked the special touches that we are used to with MSC, in fact you wouldn't think a chef had created some of the dishes. Our waiters were excellent but were really stretched to the limit, it seemed that they had too many tables to deal with. Not their fault but a couple of more bodies would have made a big difference ensuring that drinks were replenished more frequently. The ship itself is beautiful and was spotlessly clean, our cabin maid was fantastic and always there with a friendly smile to help. We visited Dubai, Kor Al Facken, Muscat, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Bahrain and Sir Bani Yas Island over 14 days, they were all lovely and yet again MSC is very organised with trips etc. Embarkation was extremely efficient as always and we loved that each time we left a destination they played 'time to say goodbye' over the tannoy it gave you a real lump in your throat. I would say that the drinks packages are well worth the money, however I did find the internet packages extremely expensive this cruise, and in a world where we are so used to keeping in touch with family members and the news of the day, we felt it could be priced more affordingly. I would have appreciated a little more policing of smoking on balconies, which our neighbour did daily and I understand that babies in diapers should not be in hot tubs, the pool attendant clearly pretended that he didn't see the baby in arms being carried straight past him into the hot tub, he never said a word! Yes a few little niggles, but overall we had a fab time, loved our balcony room and will hope to return to MSC in the future.....just need to decide on a destination. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
There are a lot of negative comments about Vision so we were interested to experience it for ourselves. We have cruised with RC before on a similar sized vessel (Splendour) so we were familiar with the modus operandi. Last time we were a ... Read More
There are a lot of negative comments about Vision so we were interested to experience it for ourselves. We have cruised with RC before on a similar sized vessel (Splendour) so we were familiar with the modus operandi. Last time we were a little disappointed with the service levels and lack of attention to detail but had no real issues this time. We thought the availability of food in the restaurants was good, the cleanliness was good and service generally good apart from one or two occasions. We were slightly disappointed with one or two occasions in the main dining room at night particularly on one occasion where we were seated but waited for service for quite some time and then received patchy attention throughout our meal. The meal was lukewarm and when I asked for blue cheese for dessert we were advised there wasn't any despite the fact we had seen an extremely large portion delivered to another table on request the previous night. I assume the waiter couldn't be bothered. Drinks service good (deluxe package) and we ate in the speciality restaurants 3 times at a reasonable upgrade and good food/service. We were allocated our room (inside) when we booked but no complaints. Very comfortable and a lot of storage. We did make the mistake of drinking the water in our room at an extra mini bar charge despite having the package but although we had seen another couple refunded for this we were denied and the policy seemed unclear. We didn't get involved with the entertainment out of choice but heard that it was average apart from a very popular Beatles show. Although the ship is one of the older ones to say it is tired would be unfair. We thought it was fine. Overall we enjoyed our cruise and are happy to rate as very good Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Our daughter chose this cruise as a treat for her 40th Birthday. We spent 2 days in Dubai prior to joining the cruise. We stayed in a beautiful hotel & had an amazing 2 days. Highlight of the holiday. Took a taxi to the Port, ... Read More
Our daughter chose this cruise as a treat for her 40th Birthday. We spent 2 days in Dubai prior to joining the cruise. We stayed in a beautiful hotel & had an amazing 2 days. Highlight of the holiday. Took a taxi to the Port, embarkation process was easy although staff could have been a bit more welcoming. Cases were delivered to our cabin quickly. No problem so far. Went to the buffet restaurant for a snack. Wow - the noise & rude people pushing. You would really think food was in short supply. This happened at every meal which did not make an enjoyable experience. We always tried to go further through to escape the rabble. Food was a huge disappointment- lukewarm at all times. I was shocked at the lack of hygiene. We religiously used the sanitiser but definitely in the minority. On other cruise hips we have been on hand hygiene was paramount. Take note MSC!! Theatre shows were mediocre. Beautiful theatre which was always half full. The 6 languages before commencing the show was a bit monotonous. Some nice bars & lounges round the ship. Fortunately we had the drinks package which was good value. Got a bit bombarded by staff the first 2 days wanting us to upgrade our package. Destination Services staff were not very helpful. Alright if you were going on their trips but not interested or helpful if you wanted to do anything independently. We went to purchase shuttle bus tickets for Kesab & female told us not to bother going as nothing apart from few souvenir shops. We were gobsmacked! Took the tender anyway & fortunately someone was selling bus tickets at quayside. When we berthed in Dubai we took a taxi from the taxi rank which transpired to be a bad experience. We were going to Karama & he turned meter off insisted we go to the wholesale He phoned on ahead & several males were waiting for us. We refused to exit the taxi. Scary. We reported this to taxi rank controller at Port who was not happy at how we were treated. MSC definitely does not geared for British tourists. Read Less

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