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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first SS cruise and our only prior experience of an ‘all inclusive’ cruise (in terms of alcohol & gratuities included) was our initial cruise on Paul Gaugin (PG), which we thoroughly enjoyed. In a way the Shadow ... Read More
This was our first SS cruise and our only prior experience of an ‘all inclusive’ cruise (in terms of alcohol & gratuities included) was our initial cruise on Paul Gaugin (PG), which we thoroughly enjoyed. In a way the Shadow reminded us of our PG experience in terms of excellent service, friendly crew, very good food and non-contemporary decor, but still very comfortable. They’re not majorly dissimilar in max pax numbers although PG’s style, entertainment and dress code befits its laid-back tropical itineraries. Anyway, we thought the Shadow service was generally excellent. Going on excursions was made so much more relaxed with the provision of water and beach towels before the gangway and cold facecloths and drinks waiting on return (unless near departure time). Our butler, Ray, room attendant, Orly and other crew were so helpful and pro-active. Joe, the maître d' at La Terrazza was always welcoming and Marlon and Marven were our favourite wait-staff. We enjoyed Peter’s (the head barman) cocktail lessons and all the destination lecturers were excellent and provided enlightening pre-excursion background information. Our voyage was immeasurably enhanced by Kirk, the CD who was outstanding and seemed to have unlimited energy. His show “The Boat is Rockin!” was arguably the best of all the performances in the show lounge. The solo performance shows by Julie, Laura & Ines from the Voices of Silversea were also very good. Given the size of the Shadow, the entertainment options met our expectations. I had wondered whether I would be bored with so many sea days, but there was more than enough in the daily program to keep one engaged. The gym was adequate and certainly far larger than that on the PG; a dual pulley functional station and a larger fit-ball would have been nice though. Pilates and yoga classes were available, but my wife preferred to perform to her own standard. Food: Overall, very good. I wouldn’t rate it as excellent because there were a couple of dishes we felt were ‘meh’ (eg. seafood bisque in MDR and tomato bisque room service), but the majority was flavoursome, range was quite wide and we liked what some might describe as ‘modest’ portion sizes, but we felt were just right with aiding the completion of a three course dinner. For us, the various menu choices were extensive enough such that in our 15 day voyage we found that by rotating through the various dining venue options (including room service, but excluding La Dame), we still found items we would have liked to have ordered but couldn’t fit in. Lobster, if that’s your desire, seemed to be on the menu every night in the MDR. Caviar as well, but I only noticed it printed in the 1st formal night menu and after that it seemed to be on request. Other standouts included the stellar Arabian-themed lunch in the MDR and the ‘pop-up’ cooked to order lunchtime stalls in La Terrazza. We also thought the meat available at the Grill was some of the most tender beef we’ve had, but the Chateaubriand in the MDR was slightly even more so. I was bemused though as to why there wasn’t any Italian beer available given SS’s heritage and how they could also run out of Gin several days before disembarking! Excursions: we did a mix of private and SS tours. To us, some of the SS tours were reasonable value for money and some less so. However, all 3 SS tours that we did do were well organised, coaches were only half-full for comfort, were accompanied by SS staff and the guides were good to very good. During this itinerary, the only port that didn’t hold much interest was Sur. Otherwise, this itinerary was great in that we managed to visit Petra and Luxor, although 2 nights in each port and stops in Israel would be better, but you can’t have everything! One area for improvement: The disembarkation process in Safaga could be improved with better foot-traffic management. Cabins: no significant complaints. If we had the choice we would have chosen a mid-ship location rather than so far forward (a bit pitchy at times). However, it wasn’t so bad we needed to take Stugeron or the like. We loved the spacious bathroom with twin basins and separate bath & shower stall and we felt spoilt with twice daily cleaning. The bed was most conducive to sleep (Ray said the beds were replaced not so long ago). So, was it a case of the dry dock later this year couldn’t come soon enough or a case of ageing gracefully? We would lean more towards the later. One could focus on the places with some fading varnishing on the hand rails, or cracked/bubbling paintwork or worn carpet (the carpet in the public areas could certainly do with a good steam clean, but I suspect unlikely before the refurbishment later this year), however, our focus was more on enjoying what the cruise had on offer. The ship is quite functional (they managed to fix the freezing conditions in the show lounge towards the end of the voyage – in the meantime it was a case of BYO jacket). The refurbishment planned for later this year sounds wonderful and should make the Shadow a more attractive choice in the “luxury” cruise marketplace. If you haven’t cruised with SS before then for the Shadow at least, our experience was that the service was excellent, food was overall very good, the entertainment/activities appropriate for this ship size and hardware was functional. However, if you’ve previously cruised on the Muse/stretched-Whisper or other recently built luxury ships then I can understand one might be underwhelmed by the Shadow’s décor, but I think a CC Shadow board poster summed it up best in a SS thread I read early last year; “The decor on the older ships is very Italian...think of a special hotel on The Grand Canal in Venice” (but I might add without Italian beer available…….). So, would we cruise with SS again? The answer is “yes” although a 4.5/5 score would be our rating (but not an available choice). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the ... Read More
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the way. One night was spent at the Dubai Marriott, and the following morning we taxied to the port. And there the problems began! There was a "time to board" listed on your information, but most of the 3500 passengers were already in the very crowded check-in area. Those in Yacht Club were given a place to sit and wait - we commoners just stood in line for nearly two hours. Not a good impression!. Once on board, we found our adjoining balcony cabins to be nicely furnished. I requested my duvet be replaced by a light blanket, and it was quickly done. My "bath tube" as noted on the reservation was a lovely large tub with shower - and all the really hot water one could ask for. Storage space was wonderful, and would have been fine for two guests in the room. The TV was mounted at ceiling height and quite small. We were out of range for English speaking stations much of the time, so it didn't matter too much. We had requested early dining, and found ourselves seated with folks who had limited English. We asked for a change, and were assigned to another dining room where we shared a table for six with an English couple and a couple from Australia. We had a grand time comparing countries and cruises for the entire 28-day cruise. Entertainment was based on opera most evenings. A soloist or duo or quartet sang with piano and flute or violin. There were a few song and dance shows, but due to the passengers' many languages we had no comedians or acts that required a good understanding of English. Food in the dining room tended to be about average rather than great. Always sufficient for any normal appetite, and enough selection to suit almost all passengers. The beverage package that included cocktails, wine, specialty coffee, water and soda in unlimited quantity was a true bargain at $28 per day. We had prepaid for excursions in all ports, and found many were not worth the price paid. Passengers with excursion vouchers had to congregate in the theater, and the staff sent out four or five busses (speaking various languages) at the same time to the same destination. We were late arriving at many sights, and waited in lines for up to an hour to board an elevator in some buildings. There was a library that had about 500 books in German, a hundred or so in French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese, and NONE in English - although there was a shelf with a sign that said English. There was almost no TV, and no daily news sheet was every printed. We had little idea of what was happening in the world during our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Boarded promptly in Dubai. Lovely ship, good sized cabin (upgraded to balcony). Hardworking staff, clean ship, entertainment crew friendly, funny and made great efforts to amuse everyone quizes,poolside dance etc. Theatre: lot opera, ... Read More
Boarded promptly in Dubai. Lovely ship, good sized cabin (upgraded to balcony). Hardworking staff, clean ship, entertainment crew friendly, funny and made great efforts to amuse everyone quizes,poolside dance etc. Theatre: lot opera, ballet, acrobats etc pulled out stops and had wonderful final show. Good to have cinema in theatre after shows!! Cruise director (Masimo) does interesting talks on myths/history/art. Port talks really interesting but do your homework before u come. offer of laundry services last week. Can rinse smalls and hang on line in shower or wash and hang items easy to dry on seadays. Can trot around the deck on Deck 7(either side) or deck16 above Aqua deck. be prepared to climb around the loungers. Gym really busy. Spa expensive as usual. Food hit or miss:usually tepid hard/uncooked as in case of fish,boiled potatoes, meat etc.Soups, salads, fruit, sandwiches, cakes consistently edible/good. Bora Bora Toga Toga back to back bufffets on Deck 14. You will not get any thinner!! Usual cranky customers when delays with embarking. To be expected when large ship, at distant ports. Need to do your homework before u go "whats on in Port". Find out about local transport and shuttles if any. May need to pay for ships shuttle. We would definitely go with MSC again if destinations and price right. Some ports were overnight stops.............excellent. Food and communication!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The ... Read More
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The assigned seating at dinner was picture perfect. We had a table at the front of the Dining Room with excellent sunset view every evening. Massage experience was divine and the health bar was a plus. The gym is huge with all the newest equipment and you can track your workout progress with an app connected to the equipment. The ship excursion were a bit disorganized and we had some minor issues. The wifi was dependable, just make sure you get the unlimited package as you wont regret it. Our room attendant was unbelievable and the room itself was awesome. Although you will have to pay for all the extras, it was not that bad. We will return 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Let me start by saying i try to find the positive in everything. We chose this cruise (despite some negative reviews) because it had the itinerary we wanted on the dates we needed. That said, here is why I won’t be going on msc ... Read More
Let me start by saying i try to find the positive in everything. We chose this cruise (despite some negative reviews) because it had the itinerary we wanted on the dates we needed. That said, here is why I won’t be going on msc again: First Clue should have been the reservations process. Had to do over the phone because for some reason the new EU privacy laws meant I couldn’t do it online (made no sense to me either). We wanted the package that included drinks but that only came with certain cabins and we needed two adjacent cabins which were no longer available in this category (don’t ask me why they link packages to cabins). Went with two cabins that I was told were connected. They made me reserve with one adult and one teenager in each room but assured me once I got on board this could be fixed. The itinerary was very confusing - it did not include embarkation and disembarkation times. After 3 calls (some of which I had to wait on hold 20 minutes for and don’t even bother clicking that “call me” button on the website) I think I figured out I had to be off the ship by 1 am on the last day (Saturday early am) Time for embarkation - at check in I ask about switching cabins adults in one teenagers in another. Was told just switch room keys. When I asked if I could buy wine using my 14 year olds ID card was told to see the reception on board. 20 minutes in line there - no can’t be done, it is a safety issue (oh and by the way we had visited the cabins which were definitely not connecting). Asked to see a manger, after more wait was told the person on the phone was wrong and it would be investigated (and call recordings listened to) and the hotel manager would get back to me (one guess on if that ever happened). The feeling I got was clearly he could care less about my situation and only cared about if he needed to get a call center operator fired. Now onboard... Water package - don’t actually care about bottled water, am fine with tap but it was what was included in our “package” but only at the main restaurant at dinner not when you pay extra to go to specialty restaurants? Again, I am fine with tap so had them bring me that at our first specialty restaurant (“Hot Pot”) but when we went to Butchers Cut we were told that tap was not available? Seriously? Back to the Hot Pot - it was actually a kind of creepy experience. We were the only ones in the restaurant (9pm - prime eating time on the European ship) and the waiters stood over our shoulder even after we told them we needed some time to look over the menu. Then they brought some of the appetizers and the food that was supposed to be cooked for the main (at the same time) and left with no instructions. Eventually they came back - we asked about the main (and were told to wait) and again about the missing appetizer. Finally it came out that the waiter cooked our food and eventually the missing appetizer was brought. Found it strange no dessert was offered. Teen club - another fail. Except for one day when it had a few extra hours it only opened from 8-12pm and with no programming of any kind. The only thing in the teen club was video games you had to pay extra for and one foosball table you could play with when the counselor was there. No wonder even though many teens were on board it was not a gathering spot. The lack of programming was especially problematic since maybe only 5% of the people on board were native English speakers with numerous other languages on board. Without a dance party or charades game to come to why come hang out with people you can’t easily converse with? Drink packages... we had coupons for alcoholic drinks. I completely get that these are usually restricted to “house “ wines. What I don’t get is why on a European cruise ship there is no training about wine. I would specifically ask for a Chardonnay and can’t count the number of times they pulled out a white blend. Some bars had the “Woodbridge” Chardonnay that was included, most did not. Even more fun were the bars that had it but insisted it was a “premium” wine and so not included. The logic is not based on price either. 8 Euro margarita? Included. 6 Euro glass of wine - not included. Food - not terrible but not good. The only variety on the breakfast buffet was what types of bread and fruit were put out. The lunch buffet area was huge but illogically laid out. If you really wanted to see all the options you had to look at all the stations even though some stations were 90% the same as others. The ship - the spaces were overall nice. The fitness center strangely only had one elliptical machine that always had a wait. There were ~8 treadmills but usually two were out of service so that was challenging durinig busy times. Back to that disembarkation question? The day before what we thought was the last full day of the cruise we get luggage tags that indicate we are supposed to disembark at 9am on Saturday (not 1 am). Of course by this point, hotel arrangements have already been made. When we indicate we intend to disembark at 11:30pm we are told that is not possible and we have to wait until after midnight. Why does the cruise line not know their own cruises?! The pluses? We had a truly wonderful waiter in the main dining room. The parties in the aft lounge were generally entertaining. The itinerary was what we wanted. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose to go on the Dubai to Valletta cruise onboard MV Oceana because having cruised so much I wanted new ports, the ports were restrictive for powerchair and Wheelchair users but still a good time. The ship is probably the worst in ... Read More
I chose to go on the Dubai to Valletta cruise onboard MV Oceana because having cruised so much I wanted new ports, the ports were restrictive for powerchair and Wheelchair users but still a good time. The ship is probably the worst in P&O,s fleet as it has poor access to open decks and some of the disabled toilets are difficult to open and some toilet seats don’t stay up but temper this disappointment with a friendly staff and first class food. My own cabin B312 had two broken lights, one faulty one and the bedside lights were erratic at best, service in the dining room was slow though this did improve. I just wish the ships accessibility had been addressed at her last refit, the captain and crew are a gem and need a better fitted resource. The theatre has an area at the back for wheelchairs and scooters but latecomers to the theatre consistently crowd you and spoil the experience, time the entertainment staff did something about it and I also had concerns over safety due to it ( is it a fire safety breach) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first time with P&O and we certainly had a great relaxing holiday. Our inside cabin was better than we were expecting. It was reasonably spacious and very comfortable. Our cabin steward changed at the first Malta. Both ... Read More
This was our first time with P&O and we certainly had a great relaxing holiday. Our inside cabin was better than we were expecting. It was reasonably spacious and very comfortable. Our cabin steward changed at the first Malta. Both were very friendly and efficient. Service was great. Oceana might be getting on in years, but she is in excellent condition. This really is down to the dedication of the crew. We found the size of ship and number of passengers to be just right. All crew were friendly and couldn't do enough for you. Cant fault. We dined at 20:30 on a table for 8. Whilst the food was very good, it was nothing outstanding. But we were always able to have an enjoyable meal. Our table companions were friendly. The staff were brilliant. We found the entertainment to be fairly good and enjoyable. However, some of the venues i.e. the pub and outside venues had the volume turned up so much that it was impossible to think. We sat on the sofa's outside of the pub after dinner, which was about right. We took a couple of organised tours. The sights were great. On one the guide was a complete waste of space which effectively ruined the tour. The other was better but no one had anticipated spending around a total of 5 hours sat on a coach. We did our own thing afterwards. Things to improve - they must ensure that people do not "hog" the sun loungers all day. At times, especially on the sea days in particular, it was crazy. Reserved loungers everywhere but empty !!!! We also found that there are just too many announcements. It was like being at a holiday camp at times. Take a lesson from Cunard on this please. Overall ship - excellent cabin - excellent food - very good crew - amazing, a credit to all Best bits - has to be the Suez Canal transit which was beyond expectations. Along with Venice. What a place to just wander around. Breathtaking. A very enjoyable and relaxing cruise and holiday. Just what the doctor ordered. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We would probably never travel with MSC again and neither would a lot of people we spoke to on the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Dubai, Muscat, Eilat, Jordan, Suez Canal, Cyprus, Athens, Katakolon, Kotor, Split ... Read More
We would probably never travel with MSC again and neither would a lot of people we spoke to on the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Dubai, Muscat, Eilat, Jordan, Suez Canal, Cyprus, Athens, Katakolon, Kotor, Split and Venice, which was on the whole very good. Athens was dropped because of bad weather and we ended up going to Corfu instead which was rather disappointing but not the ship's fault. A problem before we even flew out was that MSC gave us an embarkation time of 21.12 when our plane landed at 7.30. We tried to find out if we could board earlier and were told that we could at 13.00. However, when we arrived at the ship at 10.30 we were allowed on. Why couldn't they have told us that and saved us the worry of how to waste several hours at the port? The cabin was a bit cramped with nowhere to put our suitcases and a third bed stuck out from the wall so you had to watch your head as you walked by. The cabin steward was very good. The cruise itself didn’t start too well as on the first evening’s theatre show we were rudely and embarrassingly turfed out of our seats as we had unknowingly sat it seats meant for the disabled – we later discovered that there were signs on the backs of the seats but not on the front which is where we had come from. We were then told to go and find other seats, of which there weren’t any as the theatre was completely packed. From what I can deduce, the theatre seats 650 people but the ship had 1900 passengers so it would be impossible to seat everyone at the two shows and you needed to be there very early to find a seat. Several of the shows were opera which didn’t appeal to the majority of people. Some of the shows had some childish warm-up people which were an insult to people’s intelligence. The dancers, acrobats, magician and trapeze lady were very good. The cruise director Nicholas had a very strong Italian accent and was difficult to understand when speaking English. Everything was announced in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish which was very annoying. There were few announcements about where we were or what was happening, this would have been particularly useful while in the Suez Canal. On leaving some ports they played excruciatingly loud music which nearly deafened anyone sitting near a loudspeaker. The ship was mainly good but the service let them down, especially in the restaurants as they didn’t seem able to cope even on sea days when they must have known they would be busier. We ordered poached eggs for breakfast one day and after waiting for 15 minutes they came stone cold. Another day we went to the restaurant for lunch and were seated quickly. We then waited nearly 15 minutes before having to ask a supervisor for a menu and then again had to wait for a long time to have our order taken and then to order drinks. It was really awful. The service at dinner was mostly very slow, not the waiters’ fault I think but more the kitchen’s. Some meals were not as described and several meals were returned as inedible. There was very little in the way of vegetables at any meal in the restaurant. They did not cater well for vegetarians and not at all for anyone who needed a gluten free diet. Staff in the self-service buffet areas would wipe many tables with the same cloth which was never rinsed and they rarely used a disinfectant spray. They were always running out of English teabags, surprising as there were 800 odd English-speaking people on board. We failed to find one single salt cellar on the whole ship that wasn't damp. The laundry service was not very good. A fellow passenger sent some items down for washing and they came back crumpled and un-ironed – how were they supposed to iron them themselves? As I said previously, it is unlikely for us to go on a cruise with MSC in future if this is an example of their ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
we choose this cruise for the price the length and the itineries we had the most awful experience this cruise and would never like to go on the Lyrica again even if you were giving cruises away the food was disgusting it was always cold ... Read More
we choose this cruise for the price the length and the itineries we had the most awful experience this cruise and would never like to go on the Lyrica again even if you were giving cruises away the food was disgusting it was always cold tasteless it was so noisy you could not here yourselves think and you could not escape it either it was noisy all over the ship why do you think you have to make so much noise to enjoy yourself because you really don't some staff just went through doors and let them bang in your face so rude . no one seem to tell you anything you had to go to the reception to find things out for instance about whether there was a shuttle bus or not oh it was just awful the only thing that kept me sane was the craft sessions the instructors were a bit rubbish and didn't speak English but we got through sort of I could go on for ever but if you fancy a cruise please do not go on the lirica its awful awful awful showers not big enough if you are Italian or german you might be ok Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
MSC Lirica March 2019 from Dubai to Venice. This was one of our best trips, both the itinerary and especially the staff made this happen. Past similar cruises have felt dull on board, still fun but something missing. The Lirica felt ... Read More
MSC Lirica March 2019 from Dubai to Venice. This was one of our best trips, both the itinerary and especially the staff made this happen. Past similar cruises have felt dull on board, still fun but something missing. The Lirica felt more welcoming, the staff definitely made this happen and made a real point to sit down and get to know us, seating areas allowed you to interact with other guests, and the smaller ship size was easy to meet up with others - we left the ship with some great new lifelong friends. I would definitely travel on this ship again. The ship is older, lots of brass and glass décor, however it was a pleasant atmosphere. Food I felt was good, much better than other larger MSC cruises we have been on. 21 days and no repetition, that's not easy to do. Dining rooms had breakfast/lunch menus and also a buffet to pick off of (separate from the main buffet). A few inconsistencies with quality of the beef in the meals, a few bad drinks, but that is always expected. Entertainment staff was awesome, the theatre shows themselves were ok and well done, but I really enjoyed the adhoc performances and the random general silliness and fun much more. We and others had some initial issues with packages and cruise cards, some cancelled excursions, a bit of rerouting and change of ports - this was all handled professionally and quickly by the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was smooth. We were allocated a time to embark( 6 pm) which we did. The suitcases didn't arrived till midnight which was a pain. Our cabin was an inner cabin on Bella. Good bed but they were fold up bunk beds close to the sides of the main bed and I had hit my head a few times on that. We did a back to back cruise, so after the 20 days , there was a 4 day cruise and we were given an other cabin just 3 door further up the corridor, that room was bigger and had no fold up beds above the sides. The ship itself I think is beautiful, a nice size, not too big. We had booked all excursions beforehand online with the MSC excursions. This way it was cheaper but also safer to be with an MSC excursion. We loved it and learned so much. The food at the buffet was always plenty and the only thing I didn't like was the masses of people trying to get in and get a table was a nightmare, but once you found a table you need to leave a coat over your chair or it would be gone again. I once was on my own, had got myself a coffee and something else, and I just went to get something else, a quick hot chocolate from the machine and when I came back all the other stuff was taken away by staff, I hadn't even started drinking it, but I had not left my coat on the chair. We always had dinner at Hippocampus restaurant downstairs. The meals were very nice and good portions, not too big and not too small. 3 course meal and you were full. We loved our staff there, Christian from Honduras, and Alex from Kiev. I am concerned , though, that the staff is being overworked and underpaid. They were often very tired. They seem to get only 4 hours of sleep at night and maybe a couple of hours during the day. That's not much rest. Our cabin steward was Argus from Indonesia, a was very friendly and loyal and did his work really well. Always smiling and always asking how we were. We travelled with an other couple, friends from our hometown. I would definitely go again but not take that back to back cruise with the 4 extra days( we did it because it had an excursion to San Marino) but the people were completely different folks. Mainly Europeans that brought their whole family, kids, babies and strollers. They would very loud and often rude, pushing their way to the front of a queue like with the buffet on deck 11, it was a nightmare to try and eat there. I because sick and tired of the throngs of people. During the 20 days sailing from Dubai to Venice, we had a nice mix, quite a few Aussies, UK people, 20 NZ-ders, and some French and Italians and a lot of Germans and a handful of Dutch. It looked more like a cruise designed for your average income type people, definitely not upper class. But to us that was ok, it was a fantastic cruise and you get what you pay for. The critics I have heard review this ship are expecting a highest standard like silverline cruises for the price of a " backpackers" type cruise to put it this way, which is unfair. I think MSC Lirica is fine as long as you know if it was cheap, don't expect too much, but for us it was enough, and fine we saw a good chunk of the world. The shows were great, we went most nights. The other musicians also very good. We didn't buy a drinks package but just went and bought drinks as we had dinner. The laundry personal service for your own laundry is quite outrages expensive. It was 30 euro for a bag with 20 items, if it wasn't 20 items you got it back dirty again, so it HAD TO BE 20 items. Then it would be washed and folded the next day. Why don't they have a laundrette service where you can put in your clothes in a washing machine? My answer is: It is a cheap cruise and they have to make money somehow. Also half of the passengers all got sick with a very bad cough, that was after we had gone through the Suez Canal and came out in the freezing wind of the Mediterranean. A doctors visit on the ship will put you back 100 euros. Luckily my own doctor had give me my own anti biotics and so I was ok. But I had to visit the ship doctor for a skin condition, that was 100 euros. But the doctor was very good. All in all, I would do this again( not the back to back 4 day cruise ) and maybe go on a different route. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was smooth. We were allocated a time to embark( 6 pm) which we did. The suitcases didn't arrived till midnight which was a pain. Our cabin was an inner cabin on Bella. Good bed but they were fold up bunk beds close to the sides of the main bed and I had hit my head a few times on that. We did a back to back cruise, so after the 20 days , there was a 4 day cruise and we were given an other cabin just 3 door further up the corridor, that room was bigger and had no fold up beds above the sides. The ship itself I think is beautiful, a nice size, not too big. We had booked all excursions beforehand online with the MSC excursions. This way it was cheaper but also safer to be with an MSC excursion. We loved it and learned so much. The food at the buffet was always plenty and the only thing I didn't like was the masses of people trying to get in and get a table was a nightmare, but once you found a table you need to leave a coat over your chair or it would be gone again. I once was on my own, had got myself a coffee and something else, and I just went to get something else, a quick hot chocolate from the machine and when I came back all the other stuff was taken away by staff, I hadn't even started drinking it, but I had not left my coat on the chair. We always had dinner at Hippocampus restaurant downstairs. The meals were very nice and good portions, not too big and not too small. 3 course meal and you were full. We loved our staff there, Christian from Honduras, and Alex from Kiev. I am concerned , though, that the staff is being overworked and underpaid. They were often very tired. They seem to get only 4 hours of sleep at night and maybe a couple of hours during the day. That's not much rest. Our cabin steward was Argus from Indonesia, a was very friendly and loyal and did his work really well. Always smiling and always asking how we were. We travelled with an other couple, friends from our hometown. I would definitely go again but not take that back to back cruise with the 4 extra days( we did it because it had an excursion to San Marino) but the people were completely different folks. Mainly Europeans that brought their whole family, kids, babies and strollers. They would very loud and often rude, pushing their way to the front of a queue like with the buffet on deck 11, it was a nightmare to try and eat there. I because sick and tired of the throngs of people. During the 20 days sailing from Dubai to Venice, we had a nice mix, quite a few Aussies, UK people, 20 NZ-ders, and some French and Italians and a lot of Germans and a handful of Dutch. It looked more like a cruise designed for your average income type people, definitely not upper class. But to us that was ok, it was a fantastic cruise and you get what you pay for. The critics I have heard review this ship are expecting a highest standard like silverline cruises for the price of a " backpackers" type cruise to put it this way, which is unfair. I think MSC Lirica is fine as long as you know it was affordable, don't expect too much, but for us it was enough, and we saw a good chunk of the world. The shows were great, we went most nights. The other musicians also very good. We didn't buy a drinks package but just went and bought drinks as we had dinner. The laundry personal service for your own laundry is quite outrages expensive. It was 30 euro for a bag with 20 items, if it wasn't 20 items you got it back dirty again, so it HAD TO BE 20 items. Then it would be washed and folded the next day. Why don't they have a laundrette service where you can put in your clothes in a washing machine? My answer is: It is a cheap cruise and they have to make money somehow. A doctors visit on the ship will put you back 100 euros. I had to visit the ship doctor for a skin condition, that was 100 euros. But the doctor was very good. All in all, I would do this again( not the back to back 4 day cruise ) and maybe go on a different route. Cabin and crew were all very friendly and helpful and eager to please. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It went to places I have never been before. Have travelled on other cruise lines, but this was the worst ever. Seating in the restaurant was tables for 4 all in a long line, like a cheap cafe. We ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It went to places I have never been before. Have travelled on other cruise lines, but this was the worst ever. Seating in the restaurant was tables for 4 all in a long line, like a cheap cafe. We soon learned not to order beef as it was always tough. Most of the food was really unappetising, & obviously leftovers used. The classic example of this was leek & potato soup which contained mussels. There were large smoking areas which meant the whole ship smelled of cigarettes. If you went to an empty bar & ordered a drink, you always waited 10 mins for it to arrive. I had a balcony cabin & one evening the wind was whistling so loudly through the gap round the door, it would have been impossible to sleep. I mentioned this to the Cabin Steward who had obviously dealt with the problem before, he kindly stuffed towels into the gap. Games round the pool were suitable for young children, eg bouncing a ping pong ball into a cup, or flicking a playing card into a glass. The pools were always too cold to use, 70 degrees F. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this ship for the iternary but it was awful. The food was really bad, the dining room was like a cafe and none of the food was very hot. We had a balcony room which was much smaller than other cruise lines and there was a fault ... Read More
We choose this ship for the iternary but it was awful. The food was really bad, the dining room was like a cafe and none of the food was very hot. We had a balcony room which was much smaller than other cruise lines and there was a fault with all balcony doors on our side of the ship (port) they wouldn't open. The steward showed us how you had to bash the top of the door before it would release. The general areas the air con was very cold and you couldnt sit anywhere without a cardigan or jumper. Lots of people were going down with colds and chest infections. My husband got pneumonia and spent the night in the hospital on board ship and the next day the doctor said he would like us to go to the local hospital for a chest x-ray and blood tests which we did. We were met at the hospital by the port agent who said that MSC would not let my husband back onboard, the x-ray etc was just a ruse to get him off the ship. The port agent found me a hotel near the hospital which was nothing less than a DSS hotel. The landlady showed me how to put a chair under my door for safety. When I went back to the ship to collect our luggage I had to see the guest services manager. She said that I had to sign a form saying we were getting off the ship voluntarily. I said this was not the case, she said that I had to sign the form otherwise they couldn't release our passports in other words blackmail. When I got back to our room to pack the mini bar was already locked and i found on the cabin bill I had been charged for drinks, I said that this wasn't the case as we had all inclusive drinks package. The guest services manager said that we would have to pay the bill. I was also stopped at the gangplank as they had to make sure that I didn't owe money this was done in front of about 20 people. The port agent never contacted me I had to contact them, I was in a country where I didn't speak English, husband in hospital and could only speak to insurance company on a mobile for 12 days. As far as the port agents know I am still in Corfu. Don't rely on port agents being any help. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chose this cruise to help us unwind from a very stressful nine months due to illness,what a mistake that was ,certainly not due to weight gain as the food on offer was diabolical I had porridge every day as couldn't eat fry up over ... Read More
Chose this cruise to help us unwind from a very stressful nine months due to illness,what a mistake that was ,certainly not due to weight gain as the food on offer was diabolical I had porridge every day as couldn't eat fry up over cooked streaky bacon broccoli or cauliflower with beans eggs and various sausage tastes'Toast brick hard and cold, Entertainment not to our taste most nights and felt sorry for the poor ventriloquist who had to speak and answer in several different languages so fell flat " The ship itself was lovely spotless and brilliant friendly staff if you took the time to talk to them.But nothing to do onboard unless you wanted to learn to dance on the pool deck. Would not recommend to friends mainly due to food choices Lhama stew and Leek and potato soup with mussels and clams ,I pt on just over 3 lbs in the three weeks and I'm sure it was the last two days when we ate onshore to make sure we were full . 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This cruise had a brilliant itinerery but was let down by both food and entertainment on the ship. The food was of not very good quality in either restaurant or in buffet. If you liked fish you would be ok as it was cooked in just about ... Read More
This cruise had a brilliant itinerery but was let down by both food and entertainment on the ship. The food was of not very good quality in either restaurant or in buffet. If you liked fish you would be ok as it was cooked in just about every way you could think of and ways you have'nt heard of. It didn't even look like fish as most of time either in oil, batter or mixed in something. Salads were couscous based and same salami cheese and lettuce every day. On a good note soups were alright up until last day when we got potato and leek soup with clams and mussels. Never heard of this before. Pizza, fries and gravy saved the day most of the time. Sweets were the best it was only hot food that no one could seem to cook properly. The crew as you would expect were brilliant and we made friends and would banter with them on daily basis. Cabins were ample for what you need storage, furnishings and bed, that was very comfy. The lady that looked after our room was great and looked after us daily. The ship is very nice, clean and very easy to get round but entertainment was not best. Pianos, opera singers ok if you like that sort of thing. Alison the lady doing port info was very good.The shows because of about 8 different languages very limited what they could do on stage. The variety shows were ok but mostly opera and classical on in theatre at night. We used msc trips twice and both were very well organised and worth money but the ship seems to be a bit disorganized. Getting off ship was a nightmare. Would we go again. NO Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We read the negative reviews prior to booking. I really don't take much notice of them. How wrong we were. We booked because of the itinerary, lots of places we wanted to visit.Not much to add to many other negative reviews. The ... Read More
We read the negative reviews prior to booking. I really don't take much notice of them. How wrong we were. We booked because of the itinerary, lots of places we wanted to visit.Not much to add to many other negative reviews. The overall on board experience was dreadful. Frustrating to miss 2 of our desired ports Sir bani yas & Piraeus (Athens). Of course MSC did not refund port charges even though they substituted a port for the 2 missed..We travelled as a group of 3 couples. Have to agree with others about food, endless announcements in 6 languages. Staff seemed disengaged except for bar staff & coffee shop. Positives..... Embarkation exceptional. MSC gives you status match which was good. Loved the music played when we left ports. Coffee (if you had the beverage package or paid for it) was great. Guest relations desk well manned 24 hrs a day. WOW that's not much. Negatives to add.... Guest relations desk apart from about 2 people who were brilliant, the rest seemed clueless. We were charged for drinks which should have been included in our beverage package. We had signed for 0 charge but they still charged us. Luckily we had the receipt. When we went to challenge this we were told it was our mistake. Eventually resolved but took a lot of discussion. Poor drainage in bathroom shower, eventually resolved. Daily program often not delivered to our cabin until 10pm or 11pm. European travellers were farewelled by the captain with a handshake while the non-Europeans exited through a different area in Venice. No water in dining rooms.....they want you to buy water!!! B2B in Venice....couldn't get off the ship for hours, no communication, huge levels of frustration from all of us. My list goes on but that's enough to add. We have an excellent Travel Manager who organised for us to meet with the local MSC state manager which we did. She seemed horrified about our experience & will give MSC our feedback. Still waiting. MSC has a good product will airfares & hotels bundled. Their itineraries are amazing. I think their bigger ships would be totally different from the small ships. MSC would need to come back to us with very good compensation for us to travel with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary, particularly the Suez transit, and the fact nearly all ports were firsts for us, as was MSC. The ship was very clean and extremely smooth, cabins adequate though shower curtain in bathroom was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary, particularly the Suez transit, and the fact nearly all ports were firsts for us, as was MSC. The ship was very clean and extremely smooth, cabins adequate though shower curtain in bathroom was extremely annoying as it sticks to you due to the tiny area! Had two days to explore Dubai before boarding then overnight on board too so crammed in lots of sights, nice to be berthed close to the old Creek, very interesting with the boats busting up and down. Embarkation was smooth and was nice to be moved straight to Black tier due to our status on Royal Caribbean, gaining us some nice benefits including a four course lunch with wine, bottle of fizz in cabin and chocolate covered strawberries to name a few! Surprised to find that fellow passengers who had cruised with them many times got no rewards however, wouldn’t inspire my loyalty! Sadly missed Sir Bani Yas due to weather but Muscat was beautiful, the Grand Mosque was one of the highlights of the trip, luckily we arrived very early when it was quiet. Exciting five days at sea with security guards patrolling due to piracy threat and then into Eilat, the only slightly disappointing port, snorkelling not as good as expected. Petra was fabulous, took the ship trip which we thought was very good value and the lunch was superb. The walk in and out was hard but rewarding and far more to see than expected, we got a good overview in the time we had and scenery was beautiful on the journey too. Suez transit did not disappoint, watched from start, at sunrise, to finish. Wonderful experience and one to tick off the bucket list. Once we were in the Med it was like a second cruise, weather cooler and off every day so a busy last week. We missed Athens due to the weather but I personally preferred the alternative of Corfu, Kotor was amazing and we completed the climb up to the monastery at midday which nearly killed us. Split was interesting, yes they have their own currency but so do we, wasn’t a problem. Concluded the trip with two days in Venice which was lovely, covered most of the city with a 48 hour bus and vaparetto pass, very impressive public transport. The two days in hotels were just right, all done as a package from Cruise 1st. The food.....uninspiring, bland and unimaginative. If, as we were told, the executive chef is Italian then he should be ashamed of himself, never saw a leaf of basil once! I would at least expect my dining room meal to be better than I could cook myself and 60% of the time it wasn’t. As for not providing jugs of water on the dining table I have never heard of such a stupid rule, we just took a bottle of water in every evening but a great way to alienate your customers. The pastries, cakes and puddings were very nice but in general service wasn’t great in the restaurant or buffet. Pizza was excellent but only four types over 20 days... Evening shows with dancers were brilliant, as were musicians round the ship though opera singers a bit screechy. Other entertainment was childish, hysterical and noisy, must be an Italian thing. Very little trivia and the constant six language announcements make you lose the will to live after a while. It was nice to have such a wide variety of nationalities on board though. Onboard speaker Alison Hypher was exceptional, just what you need on a cruise with such a varied itinerary. She struck the perfect balance between historical fact and useful information, could not recommend her highly enough. The coffee shop was nice, reasonably priced with friendly staff, and I did like the outdoor area at the back of the buffet to sit and eat. I got the impression that service in general is take it or leave it, senior staff tend to avoid eye contact rather than say hello and was surprised to see staff smoking or drinking in public areas. Did not like the smoking in the pub which permeates far beyond. For the price we paid this was a fantastic adventure but I feel MSC could improve vastly in the areas mentioned. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
If you are a regular browser of this site then you would have known what to expect with Oceana so there is no need to whinge. SHIP-It is ageing but most of the public areas are in tip top condition. CRUISE-This was a new venture for ... Read More
If you are a regular browser of this site then you would have known what to expect with Oceana so there is no need to whinge. SHIP-It is ageing but most of the public areas are in tip top condition. CRUISE-This was a new venture for us in this part of the world but you have to have your wits about you finding your way through Dubai airport as we did landing at terminal 3 with emirates.Keep your wits about you and follow the instructions form the airport staff because it was a real trek to baggage collection.Overall the cruise was interesting and the excursions were well organised.The free shuttles at ports was a real bonus and whether that continues next year is not known. FOOD-This is always a big talking point.We were in the Adriatic MDR 8.30pm sitting.On the menu are 5 starters,10 mains and 5 desserts each day plus ice cream and cheese and if you cannot find something that suits you then you must be really fussy or from a different planet.We did not use the Plaza buffet as to us the atmosphere is like a works canteen. SEADAYS-There was only one sea day and of course you had what I call benidorm cruisers.Out at 7.30am reserving their favourite sunbed even with high winds across the decks no doubt going through the same ritual as when they used to go to benidorm. ENTERTAINMENT-Gary Barlow show,excellent-the 4 tunes very good-headliners-I do not know how much of this singing is live apart from the lead.If they are singing and dancing then they are doing a good job.Steve Day,comedian dire. PORTS-The only port we did not enjoy was Khasab which really was a waste of time unless you were doing a dhow cruise.It is a small town with a few shops a few goats wandering around. SUMMARY-Enjoyed the cruise and all the lovely people we dined with.Would we do it again-no. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this for the itinerary not the ship as we have been on it 3 times before. Flights with Virgin we're acceptable and embarkation not as slick as before but we put this mainly down to UAE customs regulations. Cabin was ready ... Read More
We choose this for the itinerary not the ship as we have been on it 3 times before. Flights with Virgin we're acceptable and embarkation not as slick as before but we put this mainly down to UAE customs regulations. Cabin was ready by 12 so that was good, cabin steward was polite and friendly. The ship is unchanged really still old , tired but functional, can't say anything was ever out of action but as others state its seriously showing age related wear, in the whole thought kept clean and tidy i thought. Food is also the same, buffet is small and old school and seems to suffer curry as ever most days but on the whole the food tastes fine and is restocked quickly. Drinks service as ever is very slow in the buffet and invariably arrives after you've eaten ! MDR is a pleasant space, menus varied and again on the occasions we used it food was hot and tasty with a good choice. Entertainment is a bit hit and miss, poorer this time we thought but we still enjoyed some good shows, a/c in Starlight's is fierce ! and the tub chairs too close for comfort. We used predominately organised tours due to never having been to these countries, as expected overpriced but delivered as advertised. On the whole for the price and itinerary a good solid cruise but dont expect any frills or glamour , budget cruise for a budget price, shame about the cabin noise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Pullmantur Horizon was chosen for this Suez Cruise for the value, the lesser single supplement and the opportunity to enjoy the Spanish cuisine. The ship, although relatively elderly, is in excellent condition and certainly well-built, ... Read More
Pullmantur Horizon was chosen for this Suez Cruise for the value, the lesser single supplement and the opportunity to enjoy the Spanish cuisine. The ship, although relatively elderly, is in excellent condition and certainly well-built, giving no ominous creaking and swaying. My cabin was a 4 bed room and very comfortable. The public rooms, elevators, deck areas, buffets, dinning areas are well appointed and maintained. Service is of the highest degree, with smiling responses to questions, helpful in all cases. The ports of call were limited due to the location of the cruise. The transit of the Suez Canal itself was the high point of the cruise, and we had a full daylight transit. The port of Salalah was not an exciting visit. Visits to Khasab, Muscat, and Aqaba were adequate and interesting. One glaring problem for cruisers was the lack of information on port services; if shuttle buses were provided and general tourist information for the area. Pullmantur (as other cruise lines do) should provide adequate and correct information for passengers to exit the port area. Pullmantur did not offer any information, and, when questioned, often gave incorrect, conflicting information. The lectures and structured features for English speakers were very limited. In fact, the one lecture directed to the English passengers turned out to be a rant against Donald Trump by the speaker Fani Lopez, totally inappropriate and insulting to American and other passengers. This was the one poor occurrence on this cruise and will not be ignored. The cuisine experience was exceptional. Spanish regional foods and dishes were available at all meals. Wonderful displays of cheese, deli meat were available at all meals. The buffet was open at breakfast, lunch and dinner, with a full menu and good variety of meat and fish dishes. The dining room was open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a combination of buffet and service. Options of mix and match dishes were possible at dinner, upon request. The beverage policy included was very adequate. Specialty coffee selections, cocktails, wine, beer, cava were available. Entertainment options seemed to be more geared to the Spanish speakers. Bingo was a popular feature for all. The cruises offered by Pullmantur are certainly worth considering, especially for solo travelers. An increased enrichment lecture series for the English speakers is sorely needed and certainly can be easily remedied. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped ... Read More
We choose this cruise for its itinerary and a very competiive price. We have 21 cruises behind us and this was our third with Costa so we knew what could be expected and not. Embarkation in Dubai after 6 pm was very swift, no doubt helped by the fact that many passengers had already boarded the day before in Abu Dhabi. The ship may be a bit old but is kept tidy and is in a good condition. Our cabin ,a Balcony Premium, on the fith deck was perhaps a bit on the small side but quite okay and always kept tidy by our Philippino steward. .Announcements onboard are made in several languages and english is always one of them. In addition hostesses for english speaking passengers as well as german, french and spanish passengers were availble daily for those who needed assistance. We dined in the main restaurant on the upper deck, very noisy indeed. Slow service the first couple of nights but the service improved a bit during the cruise. Since our last Cruise with Costa in 2016 it they appear to have made cuts and waiter and assistant waiter are no more instead a single "food and beverage server". In our case he had three tables with18 guests. That our fellow passengers prefered 5 course dinners made the dinners rather lenghty. We had breakfast and lunch in the main restaurant most days and were fairly satisfied with both food and service. We tried the buffet restaurant at times it was less crowded. Food acceptable but nothing more. Entertainment in the main theater at best average, For those who like dancing a Costa cruise must be the right place with a lot of dancing opportunities in different lounges and on deck ,often at the same time Through Costa we took part in shore exursions in Muscat a sightseeing, in Salalah a visit to a beach resort, In Aqaba a visit to Petra, in Eilat a visit to a beach resort and finally in Katakolon a visit to Olympia. Pleased with all excursions and by and large pleased with our cruise although many things could for sure have been better.. Disembarkment in Savona was fast and we were off the ship in no time at all. A buss transfer purchased onboard took us to Nice for a couple off nights before returning back home. . . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say ... Read More
Chosen this cruise line because of the itinerary offered and being an Italian passport holder I did believe to be proud of the italian hospitality offered and convinced friends to join on the Costa Mediterranea. A total catastrophy to say the least!!! Never again will look or put a foot on a Costa vessel regardless on what they offer. A catalogue of mistakes, rudeness, could not care and bother attitude from all, especially from management, supervisors and officers as a whole. Informations as from the so called Head Offce never reached the vessel, comunication failure all round. Billing instructions even worst. Costa liner has become a 'bums on seat' category styled business, they attitude has totally gone astray and into deep waters. No customer skill or customer care in force. All what they want is: come on board, pay the bills and get out!!!!! Arrived in Dubai with BA flight at 08.00, presumably you could check in at 13.00, never advertise differently, the earliest they allowed you to, was 16.30, without a drink, snack or whatsoever. Had a special need individual with us, requested a wheelchair for at least 4 times, never arrived untill 17.20. By this time we were already stressed up. Taken luggages at 11.00am, yet never arrived in the cabins untill 20.45, just before dinner time. We were planning to visit Dubai, we hand up going nowhere expect on board. Lost the visit of Dubai sights!! Next day went to one of the bar for informations on non-alcoholic cocktails, prices and choices, was manned very rudly by an individual in the most abrat way. Complained to Head barman (Umberto) and had no confidence in him simply he was not responding enthusiastically and responsive to guest need. Blant as a tree trunk. Ordered via Costa website, water packages (3), never materialised even dough I had receipt from Costa on my mobile emails. Had to argue my way around. Restaurant food was very mediocre on majority of nights, very small or miniscule portions, mostly was cold or just about warm. Felt sorry for our waiter, because he was getting the hard times from the company failures. Gluten free diet was the worst ever experienced in 11 cruise taken in the past with other companies. Bread roll was like a chewing gum, soups were very watery, offered fish finger as main course, offered mini burgers or pizzas as glutel free mains. These dishes I dont even offer them to my granchildren which are 4 years and a 6 years old!! When decided to by a water package, reception decide to cancel it making my stressful time even harder. Every night in the main bar had discussion and disagreements with catering staff in respect to the totals showing on receipt, and being told the computer has made mistakes. How many naive guest have not checked and lost their drinks? Buffet food was always cold even dough they had proper utensils and not used fully! in numerous occasions had to ask chefs to change the food on offer and ensuring food was hot when it need to be hot!! A Russian originated receptionist and a night Italian male extremely rude in occasions. By the time we arrived in Muscat, I wanted to check out and return to UK, if I had the facilities of internet connection for flight search. Paid a wifi connection for the whole cruise, (48 euros) yet only used 30 minutes a day because it was not working properly, excuse was 'the satellite was not in good condition'. English breakfast tea, not available most of the days, had to beg waiters and given one bag at the time. Same goes to the decaffeinated coffee, you had to beg for getting a sachet. Public toilets closed most day at buffet time, when lunch session started. No facilities of hand washing, hence the contamination of dirty hand on board, not enough liquid jel for guest to use. A broken chair found in the casino and reported was never fixed for a least 4 days, very cleverly the chair was moved to another fruit machine. Lots of inconvenience for guest but very conveniently for the staff. Of course they are there to work but they are there to please and ensuring the guest needs are met. Worst of all, the service charge is a compulsary and very expensive item. £180.00 for the cruise each. The only saving grace was the entertainement team lead by Ariel, was very helpful, friendly, enthusiast, and above all very funny to all guest. Read Less

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