2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We selected a long cruise taking us through the Mediterranean, around the English Channel and through the Baltic sea to St Petersburg. The itinerary was good and because we selected an outside balcony cabin, we were quite comfortable ... Read More
We selected a long cruise taking us through the Mediterranean, around the English Channel and through the Baltic sea to St Petersburg. The itinerary was good and because we selected an outside balcony cabin, we were quite comfortable throughout the journey. The ship itself is a large liner and pretty much to the standard you'd expect. Entertainment is, well, entertaining and our cabin staff were friendly and helpful as you'd expect. However it kind of goes down hill from there! From day 1 the embarkation, on-board organisation and meal experience was disastrous. (1) Embarkation was 3 hours standing in queues despite some elderly people we noticed having a lot of difficulty. There were no crew members checking on the health and happiness of guests and a bit of care and HR in this regard (maybe some water thrown in) would have done heaps toward the initial experience. Perhaps Costa should realise that the first experience is critical. (2) Many waiters, bar staff and service centre staff are rude and should be made to walk the plank. We understand that working 11 hrs per day for 6 months on end, whilst (apparently) on minimal wages will toll heavily on most people. However, they're pretty much a surly unhelpful lot. It's hard to put this into words as no particular incidents stand out from the rest. Basically it's an attitude problem. With the exception of some, you get the feeling they just don't like you. Maybe they should go somewhere else? Maybe management should take a good look at this problem? (3) Tours and Cost-a-lot. The magic show isn't restricted to the theatre. In-fact, there's lots of "slight of hand" when it comes to this part of the cruise. Cost-a-lot arranged shuttle buses in every port to take people to and from town centres for about Euros 15 each person. In most cases town was quite close and could be walked or public transport was available for 1/10th of that price. When querying this prior to docking, Cost-a-lot excursions desk referred you to the help desk and vice versa with no-one apparently knowledgeable of where they were heading or willing to give advice. The on-board shops were a rip off to which we fell victim. We purchased 2 Invicta watches, which were said to be discounted by 75%. During the purchase i asked if the discount was genuine or not. We were assured it was. It wasn't at all! When researched we found that we could have purchased these same watches from various retailers cheaper than what we did and without any discount. We also noticed that the alleged 75% off was offered to guests coming on board throughout different parts of the trip as a "once day flash sale". This is a good trick Cost-a-lot! In Australia, we call it lying. (4) Food and Restaurants. OMG! The Bellagio Buffet (the zoo) is something to write about. The food from cruise start to finish is lacklustre and cold. Don't be late, though! If you don't covet a table and defend it with your life a good 45 minutes before it opens, you'll wait 20 minutes in line before you get something to eat. Pushing and queue jumping is normal. Piling food on plates is normal - then because it's too much to eat, discarded. One tip i have for "the zoo" is to have the salads in a different place to that of being before the hot food containers. This will alleviate people standing at the front of the line picking and choosing a bit of this and that cheese and lettuce whilst there's 200 people behind them waiting to get some hot food. The Bellagio needs a total revamp. Sit down restaurants were more civilised and the food was okay for the most part. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was stopping at ports we wanted to visit on dates when we wished to be away. The Bellissima is a stunning looking ship and has something for everyone. Our cabin was on deck 10 midship and was lovely with a balcony, reasonable space and being a new ship did not show any signs of wear and tear. Our cabin steward Genesis was attentive, friendly and always happy to see us. He maintained our cabin beautifully and recognised a particularly special date that we celebrated whilst on board ship. At this location on the ship it was difficult to know whether the ship was moving it was so quiet with no noise from adjoining cabins or fromthe engines. Our allocated restaurant was The Lighthouse on deck 6 excellent choice for us as we had a table for 2. The menu was varied and offered something different every day to suit most requirements. Meals were well presented and of good quality. Service was excellent and the staff who served us each day at table 479 were Carissa and Abdul and are worth a special mention for their professionalism and attention nothing was too much trouble and again went out of their way to celebrate our Ruby Wedding Anniversary. Breakfast and lunch served in the Marketplace was a challenge. There was plenty of choice and something for everyone but the shear numbers of diners at any one time made the experience quite stressful. The staff were as efficient and patient as they could be given the logistics of numbers and seats available at any one time. There were good shows on board and plenty of entertainment for all ages. The musicians who played in all of the areas were first class with music choices to suit all tastes we particularly liked the Jazz trio who played each evening on Deck 16. We purchased the Cirque Soleil show and dinner at 40 euros each which was very good value for money . The show was excellent, food very good and Alwyn and his team served everything beautifully so that dinner was served before the show commenced. We have scored food at 3 because of the breakfast and lunch experience. Weather whilst on board ship was not particularly good so consequently much of the outdoors facilities were not in use. They were however very clean and well presented with water facilities to suit all tastes the water park on deck 18 would be great fun for families. We enjoyed our holiday we would cruise again but not for cruising sake but to see particular places that are included in the itinerary. We did not book MSC excursions but instead booked with local providers in Naples we did a tour if Naples and went to Pompei in a small group of 6 with a very knowledgeable guide. In Messina we did the same and rode the cable car to the top of Etna and visited Tourmina. Again an excellent excursion with small numbers and a local guide. Every other port we did our own thing and really enjoyed. This cruise met our expectations and we would consider MSC in the future provided the itinerary met our requirements. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the ... Read More
4th cruise with MSC, first time divina. (before: music/fantasia/splendida). Always nice cruises, otherwise wouldn't have booked a 4th cruise :). Sailed from Genoa to Venice. Balcony state room fantastic (11094). Also booked the premium drank package at 39€/day. The cabin: Room was like we knew from previous cruises but this time no curtain at the shower but a shower door. Improvement! The cabin steward who normally is somewhere around, especially on the boarding day, wasn't there. And in the end, we never saw him during the whole cruise. All other cabin stewards we saw daily, but ours...??? although room was kept clean and towels were changed twice a day, but room was never prepared for the night like we were used to have on previous cruises with MSC. (curtains closed/beds opened/towels replaced/last checks/...). And then the last night...nothing at all. Even no fresh towels. It was like if for MSC on the last night you are no longer welcome... Was this a big problem? No, but you except the same level of service for your entire cruise. Dinner: 1st thing to do was to change dinner seating. Dinner booked online on msc page: 2nd seating but cruise card mentioned 1st seating so up to the Maitre D to change into 2nd. Changed with no comment. Then it was time to use the cruise card/drink package. Bars: Premium package entitles you all drinks on the menu up to 10€. So let's start with a Paulaner Hefeweizen. After the first one asked for a second. "Sorry, out of stock". De bar on the other side still had one (or more...) So far no problem. Then ordered a prosecco superiore. This is not the standard prosecco you get with the easy package. "Sorry out of stock". This went on for the entire cruise. Not everything on the menu seems available in the bar...even if you ask for a mixer with a premium brand vodka/gin/whisky/...you should stay close to the bartender to make sure he uses the ordered brand. Is this a big problem? No, but if MSC sells you a package with the promise you can order drinks up to 10€ they should deliver. Otherwise it is wiser to stay with the cheap drink package. The daily shows: 1st I would like fellow passengers to remind that they have 2 x the same show a night in order to offer everybody to join a show before (for the 2nd seating) or after (for the 1st seating) dinner. So please don't join after the show has started and if you come late don't want to grab a chair in the middle of a line so you want people to stand up and let you pass. Thank you :) The show on the first night was a tribute to tina turner. Music and singing was OK. Dancers were doing their thing. The show on the second night were Italian songs. Same dancers. Became already a little annoying. The show on the third night: singing an the same dancers. We left after the third song and didn't return the rest of the cruise since the program mentioned singing and dancing again. Shows on previous cruises were beter: some singing/some dancing/some acrobatics/some magic/some theatre/...but not only singing and dancers. Is this a big problem? No, but variety is more then welcome?!? The dinners: We knew what to expect but this time food was really flavorless. And the problem with the wine was that they give you the wine menu (premium package, remember :)) but it is hard to get the chosen wine... We had the impression that the food at the buffet restaurant was better this time than in the restaurant. But the most inconvenient was the dinner on the night we were at Palma the Mallorca. Since the schip only left at 23:30 they decided for an open seating dinner. Thus: not at your table and maybe even not in your restaurant. The waiters couldn't follow at all since at once all passengers seemed to have decided to dine at around 20:30 or so...what a disaster! My advice to MSC: keep the seatings like they are. If yo are not on board for the time of your seating -> you go to the buffet. Easy no? Is this a big problem? No, but rather inconvenient and stress for as well waiters as for the passengers. All this made it a rather strange cruise. Did we enjoy it? YES, we were on holiday but we had made better experiences with MSC. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was ... Read More
Our first MSC cruise and won't be our last. Chosen for the itinerary. Would have given it a 4 but for the disappointing dining experience. Ship is immaculate and although the ship was full it was kept spotless at all times. Was a real cosmopolitan mix on board dominated by Spanish and not many English on board which wasn't a problem for us. We booked a balcony cabin and were allocared a corner berth at the back of the ship on deck 11, which was fabulous with lots of space and the biggest balcony we have ever had (this was our 10th cruise). The service levels were good overall but did vary on a bar by bar basis. The only let down for us was the evening meal, which is a big part of our cruising experience. The restaurants were rammed with lots of young family groups and hence very noisy even on the late sitting, which surprised us given this was at 9.45pm. The menu was ok if a little plain as was the food. The best meal we had was in the Sushi restaurant which was fabulous. The wine choices were also a little limited even with the premium drinks package. That said we would still book another MSC cruise based on the overall experience Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide ... Read More
We are just a week back from our 7 day cruise on the MSC Divina, we started and ended in Genoa. Our family has taken several Disney, Carnival, and Royal cruises previously all in the Caribbean. My goal of this review is to provide background/facts as well as the good and bad that we experienced both before and during the cruise. -Why we booked. We booked this cruise and flights in June 2017 as the timing was right. Our flight was into Milan the day before the cruise which left from Genoa. We decided to take this cruise as we have a 3 and 7 year old, this cruise had no days at sea and we would be able to experience Italy, Spain, and France. MSC was also offering a promo of "Kids cruise free" so we got a pretty good deal. We booked an oceanview on the 5th floor with the Fantastica experience. The experience included 12 drink coupons per person, non-alcoholic for the kids. We had some fears that our 3 year old might want to climb so we decided against a balcony. (Observation, it appears oceanviews are only available on floors 5 and 6 and the upper floors are all balconies). -Pre-cruise As it has been mentioned by several people the MSC website and booking information is clunky at best. It depends on the day of the week if the information is available and working. When it does work the information is limited and for any real detailed information you have to call the customer service number which I found on several occasions has at least a 15-20 minute wait to speak with someone. As we were flying into Milan we booked transfers from Milan to Genoa through MSC for $31 per person each way. Information was provided a few days before the trip and we were told the pick up was at gate 8 of the airport terminal 1 at 8 am. This seemed early as the cruise left port at 6 pm and it was only a 2 hour drive but I figured we hopefully would avoid some crowds. I took advantage of the status match program for the Voyager Club and was given Black status, MSC's highest. The "exclusive" benefits to black card members are listed below and I will provide the on board experience later. -Complimentary specialty restaurant "Tasting Menu" dinner for two (no beverages) [One dinner per stateroom] -Complimentary spumante with chocolate-dipped fruit per stateroom, once per cruise -Priority disembarkation at end of cruise -Courtesy towelling bathrobe and slippers available during the cruise -Complimentary dance class -MSC Voyagers Club exclusive Black Card Party -MSC Voyagers Club Chocolate Ship -Late stateroom check-out at disembarkation We reviewed the shore excursions, internet packages, and food/beverage all inclusive options on the website. We discovered that there were no shore excursions that were good for the kids. We decided to buy an internet package and had questions on the beverage package. About a week before the cruise I called customer service to get details on the beverage package. Our 3 year old only likes apple juice **yes, I know but stick with me**. Knowing she had 12 drink coupons I wanted to know if apple juice was readily available on the ship or if we should buy the unlimited non-alcoholic package for her. I was told there is always apple juice in the buffet at breakfast and there were even juice boxes available that we could bring to the room. She even recommended bringing an empty water bottle that could be filled and used through the day. There was no reason to buy the package as if she wanted juice outside of breakfast she still had the 12 coupons. I was thrilled with the response and didn't buy the package. -Arrival and Embarkation We arrived on Friday about 11 am and had a room at the MXP airport as the cruise wasn’t leaving until Saturday and we had booked transfers with MSC. After arriving we checked in to the hotel and took the train into Milan to explore the city. We had a great time but for future reference Milan shut down a bit at 3 pm as it was Good Friday. We enjoyed a nice meal and headed back to the airport on the train. On Saturday morning we had the chaos of getting everyone up at 6:30 to make sure we were ready for the transfer at 8 am. We grabbed a quick on the run breakfast at the hotel and barely made it by 8 am. We arrived at Gate 8 and looked around for anyone with an MSC sign and no-one was there. I went out by the buses to see if we had arrived late and they walked out again to no avail. I tried calling the transfer company a few times with no answer. Finally, at 8:20 someone answered the phone and told us the time had been changed to 9 am and someone would be there with a sign, in the meantime “the airport has places to eat you should get a coffee.” We didn’t get a call or email about this change. At 9:05 someone showed up with a sign and told us we wouldn’t be leaving for a while as we were waiting for more passengers. He also mentioned we should get a coffee. The transfer left at 10 am, needless to say we weren’t thrilled that we rushed around to get there for 8 am and we didn’t leave for 2 hours. The airport isn’t a ton of fun for 2 kids. When we arrived in Genoa we got off the bus and followed the crowd into the embarkation hall. There was a line of about 150 people already, I approached one of the employees and told him I was a black card member. One of those “benefits” was priority embarkation. He handed me a card and sent the family up an elevator to the Yacht Club check in. We made it through the process in about 30 minutes and were getting on the ship. The process was smooth and easy. - On Board Once on board we went to our room and we were pleasantly surprised by the size of the room. The window was quite large compared to the other cruises we have been on. The cruise cards were in the room and we looked for the drink vouchers to no avail. I was somewhat surprised that my card was silver, but it said that I was a black card member. The biggest surprise was that the “bunk beds” came out of the ceiling above either side of the bed. Be careful if you jump up in the middle of night, you might have headache. We went to the welcome buffet and realized it would take some navigating as the space was huge. It was set up in a mirror pattern where both sides matched. There was also a pizza area and a hot dog/burger area. The quality of the food was good and the selection was adequate. There is a kids section in the back which they liked a lot. There was a selection of deli meats/cheese, an ethnic section, carving/pasta area, healthy section, and a few other areas. I can see how people who didn’t walk the buffet would miss several items. We explored the ship and visited the kids club for registration and met several other families before dinner. Our dining table was set for 7 but no one else came to the dining room. On previous cruises the waiter and assistant were the most outgoing people on the ship. To our surprise this wasn’t the case, our waiter didn’t engage in any conversation other than taking our order. We asked a couple of questions and were told he didn’t know the menu as it was new. - The Good – There were several items that were very good -The housekeeper was very nice and did a great job. She was great with the kids. -The kids club was amazing, the workers did a great job and my 7 year old didn’t want to leave. -The casino staff was great. I played blackjack while there and had a lot of fun. -The quality of the food was very good at the buffet and the selection was enough to keep us happy. -The pool was around 78 degrees each day and was a lot of fun for the kids. They weren’t overcrowded which was nice. -The excursion desk provided honest answers to questions. They admitted there really weren’t any kid friendly excursions which I appreciated. -The shows were hit or miss, the pirate show was good. - The Bad – nothing over the top but a bunch of little to middle type things. -As mentioned earlier my 3 year old only drinks apple juice. The first morning we searched the buffet and didn’t find apple juice we found various different types and figured it was a rotating schedule. The second morning when we didn’t find apple juice we asked and were told there is never apple juice in the machines, you can only buy it from the bar at 3 euros each. I inquired about adding the unlimited package and was told it was too late, you can only buy it on the first day. I complained to the desk and was told it was too bad and I’d need to buy it from the bars. - While there I asked about my card being silver instead of black and was told it wasn’t a big deal but if it was a problem they could change it. I asked about the benefits being a black card member and they told me the cruise consultant would be sending us messages to get the benefits. This never occurred and when we inquired about the free specialty dining it was made to be that we were hassling the staff. We never received any message, they did send the chocolate ship on the second to last night. - The biggest negative was in the dining room, as I mentioned earlier our waiter was very dry to say the least. The first and second night we were told that he didn’t know the menu. My wife ordered a wine the first night and then asked for the same one the next night along with the aforementioned apple juice and it never arrived for over an hour even though we asked 4 times. When the supervisor asked him why we were still waiting he said he didn’t know what wine it was. Our food took an extremely long time to arrive and both nights something was wrong. We asked for a new table as there wasn’t a good fit, they moved us and also moved the waiter to the section next to us which was awkward to say the least for the rest of the cruise. -On all of the other cruises the staff has been friendly and easy going. I found this staff to have very low morale and just plain rude. The best example I can give is when a crew member and a guest would get to a door at the same time, the staff member would push through the door sometimes bumping into the guest. I’ve always seen the crew open the door or step to the side when guests arrived at the same time. This was an overriding theme throughout the ship. Final Thoughts At the end of the day, there weren’t any over the top issues but there were a bunch of small issues. The best way to describe it was this was a cruise that had a very good price and we got what we paid for. I don’t know if I would take a cruise with MSC again. The only thing I can say is that there could be a difference if you are in the Yacht Club level of service for the extra fee. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The worst service I've ever seen on a cruise. Crew member Threw things from a cot in the pool and the head of the deck instead of helping or solving the problem answer with very bad manners and I generate a bigger problem. In the ... Read More
The worst service I've ever seen on a cruise. Crew member Threw things from a cot in the pool and the head of the deck instead of helping or solving the problem answer with very bad manners and I generate a bigger problem. In the bufett they remove the meal even if you are serving a dish because they close. They charge absolutely everything, even the things that in most cruises are included in the cost of the ticket. The crew is completely new and not fully trained to give the service that is expected. In conclusion MSC is the worst and expensive Cruise Line !! Princess, Royal Caribbean, Costa, have much better service and atmosphere on the boats. Disney with so many kids much better in all aspects of adult serviceI do not recommend at all for this cruise line for people who want to have a vacation according to the cost paid. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers ... Read More
I had in the past considered an Easter cruise but was always late with the booking so when I saw a good offer on Costa web site, I decided to book. I continue to sail with Costa mainly because tends to have nice offers for solo cruisers and because the nice privileges of being a Costa Club member used to be tempting. Travelled to Savona by Genoa airport this time (my traditional route is via Milano Linate and then the train), as I found a surprisingly good fare (Genua has a small airport - smaller planes, limited routes - so fares tend to be high) and noticed that the airport is not far from a train station. I tried to walk from the airport to the station but it was not so easy to find my way as I expected. On reaching the station I found out that there is a local bus which links the station to the airport (tickets can be purchased at the train station or at the tourist information desk at the airport) Reached Savona on a Good Friday so not much was open and decided to walk from the station to the airport which is not that far (and almost a straight line). In 25 minutes, walking with luggage, I was at the NH Darsena Savona where I have stayed before, located in the renovated part of the port, which is almost like a marina now, and steps away from the cruise terminal. Costa has its own terminal in Savona which is nice, comfortable, and decorated with nice pics of the time it was Linea C. It is also quite an efficient terminal and embarkation tend to be smooth, even if there were two other Costa ships in port that day. The cruise had an easy itinerary too: Savona – Barcelona – Palma (Mallorca) – Marseille – Savona The Costa Favolosa is one on a series of large ships built after the ‘Carnivalisation’ of the Italian company and therefore, externally, it is not too different to the large Carnival ships. Its interiors were created by Joe Farcus (and it is not always easy to say if they are pleasing or not until one is on board). It was launched in 2011 and built at Marghera (‘continental’ Venice) The ship has 12 passenger decks, named after existing places or palaces which would link with the ‘fable’ theme of the ship (more on the name than on display), like Hermitage, Tivoli, Escorial, etc. My cabin, on deck 7, described as an Interior Single Classic, had actually a double bed. There was not space for a table and chair as in previous single cabins I had on Costa but the wardrobe was large enough and there were a lot of storage space and options. Bathroom was the standard with shower and plastic curtain. Nice shower though and easy to control temperature. I had a problem with noise in the air ducts but it was looked at by a technician and improved although it was not solved entirely. As a gesture I was given a nice box of sweets with an apology letter, which was a nice touch. Decks 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 are almost exclusively dedicated to cabins. On deck 3 there is an Atrium, with a piazza kind of feeling, where there are also the reception and the excursions desk. It also has access to the lower level of the Teatro Hortensia (a large theatre occupying three decks) and to the MDRs Duca di Borgogna (center) and Duca di Orleans (aft), both occupying two decks. The theatre has good and modern equipment and the facility to present ice skating shows. The restaurants like most of the ship was decorated on subdued, wooddy tones as well as beige, black and red. The décor, considering it was created by Farcus, is incredibly classy and not so ‘a punch on your senses’. Deck 3 also has some open deck space which is a bit more sheltered than the one on the top decks. Deck 4 contains the top levels of the MDRs as well as the middle level of the theatre but also the photo shop, a tasteful meeting room called Fabergé, a beautiful chapel (similar to the ones on the other Costa ships but in more pastel colours) and the discotheque. One deck above one finds the top level of the theater, the shops, a nice, spacious library with beautiful sea views, a smokers room/bar called Montespan, the Grand Bar Palatino (one of the central areas for entertainment, which has an exquisite central ceiling composed of light blue glass shells and also has some colourful, vibrant sculptures in glass cases and the ships model), a cafeteria where one could get excellent hot chocolate and ice creams, the 4 D cinema, the casino, a piano bar called Camelot (where most of the colour used was red but the piano is white… one of the rare feelings of clashing colours on the ship), a ‘ballroom’ (actually not such a large room but also not much used) called Pompadour (in interesting tones of green, brown and interesting chair design) and perhaps my favourite space on board: the Molière lounge with simple, almost minimalistic, but well-designed chairs, and all in quite subdued colours, apart from the round blue ‘shields’ around the room. This was the place for the private events as well as some of the themed parties. The main swimming pool is on the center of deck 9 with a two-deck lido. Deck 9 is also where the lower level of the buffet as well as another swimming pool (aft with more open deck space) are to be found. One deck above is where the Squok Club (a separate area for small children) is located as well as the upper level of the buffet (a quieter, more pleasant area which in the evenings offer a pizza as well as a burger restaurant (extra tariff). The well-equipped gym, the spa thermal area as well as the Club Favolosa (the top extra tariff restaurant on board almost exclusively for suite passengers) are on deck 11. On deck 12 there is the formula one car experience, the top level of the spa, an Acqua Park for small children, jogging tracks and a area for basketball, etc. The other passengers were a mix of nationalities but the larger groups were French and Italian, with their not so well behaved children in tow (I now know to avoid Easter cruises in future). The passenger profile was not much different from the average mass market cruise these days, but, as a short cruise, during school holidays, it was not so impressive in behaviour and social manners, a price to pay to get a good offer on a single occupancy cabin sometimes. The food was quite ok, some interesting Italian regional menus but the portions are becoming smaller and smaller… the Samsara restaurant was worth the extra tariff for its creativity on menu and flavours as well as for the quieter environment (despite been next door to the larger Duca di Borgogna MDR). Food on the buffet was varied but it is often crowded and not a nice experience. Waiters no longer serve you drinks at the table and one must go to some points near the food stations to get drinks. More casual, probably logistically easy for the staff but not ideal when one is part of a large group, etc The weather was sunny for most of the cruise and the ship sailed smoothly for almost all the cruise (a bit more rolling when crossing the Gulf of Lions but glass smooth around Mallorca) Service was excellent in the cabin, which was kept spotless, restaurants (although more staff is needed… the poor waiter was taking care of five tables practically alone, so delays did occur), a bit slow on the bars but still ok, and the usual hit and miss at the buffet and open deck areas. Staff was mostly friendly but there was a feeling in the air that this is not a happy ship. Disembarkation was ok, on time and fairly smooth apart from the fact that Costa no longer arranges for a shuttle from the terminal to the train station (which was quite popular in the past) and there is not much information to be had once one leaves the ship. Luckily, I knew my way back to the station walking. The Costa Club ‘privileges’ are not so many now and there seems to be efforts to cut costs on them, but still better than in the competitor’s cruises. The ship was nice and well-kept but nothing particularly special. The itinerary was good and simple but again with nothing special. Costa needs to improve the product. There were no hosts talks on embarkation day, although they seem to have a fixed desk point on the ship, nothing really special on the gala night menu, that noisy, tedious white night, and the thermal area at the spa is in need of repairs and refitting. All in all, an average cruise, enjoyable if one knows where to go and when, but nothing remarkable. A pity as the ship is nice. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I wanted to experience the mediterranean without having to move from hotel to hotel so I thought a cruise would be a great alternative when travelling alone. I was apprehensive to say the least after reading what other people had written ... Read More
I wanted to experience the mediterranean without having to move from hotel to hotel so I thought a cruise would be a great alternative when travelling alone. I was apprehensive to say the least after reading what other people had written in their reviews. The flights were long but reasonable (I flew Etihad). I had 3 nights in Genoa before embarking the Magnifica staying at the Grand Savoia Hotel. It was beautiful, luxurious and well positioned close to the centre of town. Food and staff were wonderful. Worth the extra expense. Joining the ship was ok, organised, but not explained very well. Perhaps that is because being Australian it was difficult to hear the English announcements over the PA as everyone was noisy and talking. Considering the number of people to be processed, I think the wait was about an hour. The boat was clean, well maintained and the staff spoke a number of languages. 80% of the people on my cruise were 60 yrs + the rest were couples or families. I only met two other people travelling alone during my time on board. Most were german, dutch, russian, spanish or italian. I liked the european flavour even though I didn't have many people who I could chat to. There were many bars offering a variety of entertainment each night, catering to a large audience as well as theatre shows. There was a wide selection of activities for all ages and I found the food to be exceptional in choice and quality catering to all tastes. I booked and paid for all my shore excursions before I left Australia, this was definitely a much easier way to do it, as the booking office was very busy on board and saved me having to wait in line. I found all the excursions informative and fun, but a couple of the tour guides spoke more in an alternative language than english, so I didn't understand what was being said. The cabin was clean and tidy, but by no means luxurious. I had a balcony, which was worth the extra money in my opinion. The disembarkation process was a lot quicker than getting on and I liked how organised the staff were with getting so many of us off and connected to our luggage so easily. I stayed for another 3 days in Genoa at the Novotel before returning to Aust. It was ok but no nearly as nice as the Savoia (note to self, don't stay in a less expensive hotel after you have experienced a luxurious one). I will do another cruise next year and take my daughter. I am looking forward to it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
We chose this cruise as it was extremely good valve for money. We secured it through Groupon and flew from Gatwick to Nice. Transfers smooth and on arriving at the ship our bags were whisked away and placed outside our cabin, let the fun ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was extremely good valve for money. We secured it through Groupon and flew from Gatwick to Nice. Transfers smooth and on arriving at the ship our bags were whisked away and placed outside our cabin, let the fun begin! The ship is very ornate and the interior decorating a little offensive to those who like colour co-ordinated surroundings! However it was clean and the cleaning staff kept the whole ship slick and span. The waiter dining was good but could be a bit protracted in the evening's (we went for the early sitting as the 8 30 could mean queuing) As we got acclimatised we went to Deck 9 for meals as these are buffet style which was more to our liking. You get to see whats on offer and it was generally very good. One gripe of mine was the tomatoes! They weren't the lovely rich Italian ones, supermarket bland! The theatre acts were brilliant thoroughly enjoyed them. We enjoyed also the library and quiet areas. We did 1 excursion, Sorrento (which is beautiful) could have done without the Lemoncello factory experience as so much to see in Sorrento and would rather have skipped that and gone straight to Sorrento. We did hop on/off buses at Barcelona and Marseilles, great value for money and easy to book when we went ashore, so don't worry about doing them on board. We did the drinks package which we were pleased with, but be aware if you order a bottle of wine you will be charged, same with a bottle of water - by the glass you won't. This worked for us but of course of you want to sample wines from the extensive list you shave to bear t his in mind. Service charge. This is added daily so don't know if its worth enquiring paying at booking? May be discounted but not sure, one to ask travel agents. If we cruised again we would not try to see too much on going ashore as nearly missed the ship in Barcelona!!!! Just be aware that 5/6 hours, which you get in most stops, is not long. Long transfer on return. We flew out from Milan, lovely scenery on route, but had a long wait at the airport. This was not ant fault of Costa of course. In all we met some lovely people. Italian, French, German, Russian, Cuban in fact a very eclectic mix of nationalities! We really enjoyed this aspect of the cruise and although we both have only English it made for some hilarious conversations!!! Would I travel again with Costa? Most definitely. Why? Good cabins, good food and drink, good entertainment (would love to take my grandkids!) Excellent friendly "can't do enough for you staff), special mention here to Maria our cabin steward who was kindness itself! Lastly - great cruise if you can go Italian as very family orientated and relaxed. Loved it!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
I am a 46 year old from Indiana. I traveled with my family which consisted of my wife, my 2 10 year old boys, my 70 year old mother and her 68 year old sister. We have all cruised before on Princess, NCL, Celebrity, Disney, and MSC. ... Read More
I am a 46 year old from Indiana. I traveled with my family which consisted of my wife, my 2 10 year old boys, my 70 year old mother and her 68 year old sister. We have all cruised before on Princess, NCL, Celebrity, Disney, and MSC. This cruise was in March and we had just cruised on the MSC Divina las October. I have no cruise status, but the family does travel alot. Embarkation was in Genoa. We learned last fall on the Divina that you dont need connecting rooms if you get balcony rooms next to each other. When you do this you can open up the divider on the balcony between the two rooms and use that to go back and forth between the rooms. The only downside to this was that one night it was pretty stormy outside and the divider banged made noise until I found a way to secure it. Embarkation was fst and friendly. My mother has a cane and once the MSC staff saw this they sped us all through the process and we did not have to wait at all. One nice feature about the ship picking up passengers at about every stop is that our room was ready for us as soon as we got onto the shop at noon. We knew pretty much what to expect with the ship prior to arrival because it is essentially the same as the Divina. I do have to say that the Divina seemed a little nicer than the Splendida. There were a couple more upcharge restaurants on the Divina, although we didnt eat at any of them on either ship. Coming from the USA where there is a mexican restaurant on every corner and a steakhouse on every other corner it was hard for me to justify paying more to eat mexican on the ship. We always get a balcony at the rear of the ship on the floor nearest the buffet. This allows us to grab food and return to our balcony if we cant find a table in the buffet. This was a problem on the Divina, but we never had a problem finding a table at the buffet on the Splendida. This also allows you to be a quick walk to the pool or hot tub without having to walk down a long hallway. The food at the Main Dining Room was so so. I definitely would not go on MSC for the food, but I definitely would not skip the MSC because of the food. It is no Celbrity, but it wasnt much worse than DIsney. My youngest got steak every night and the rest of us tried pretty much everything. The wait staff was friendly but not speedy. You have to expect long dinners in the Main Dining Room though. We only ate in here 4 nights. The evening buffet was smaller than the lunch buffet which was a real bummer. There were not as many choices for dinner than for lunch. There were always good pizza, hamburgers, and a good pasta. They had calamari everynight. I usually like calamari, but this was the fisshiest tasting, rubbery stuff I have ever had. The big disipoinment was not free lobster on the boat. Overall though I liked the food. It was in the 60's most days and people were not at the pools. I had the drink package and found that the pool bar was the place to be. Very friendly bar staff and no crowd. The ports were nice except for Marseille. Marseiile was the dirtiest place I have been. I have been to Beijing, Central America, and Chicago and found Marseille to be a huge waste of time. Not worth the bus ride. Palermo was the best, then Malta, then Rome, then Barcelona. I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We sailed on Magnifica in February, we have sailed on her before and she lived up to our expectations and a little more fun than the previous cruise we had on Splendida. If you are looking for a recommendation then there are a few thing to ... Read More
We sailed on Magnifica in February, we have sailed on her before and she lived up to our expectations and a little more fun than the previous cruise we had on Splendida. If you are looking for a recommendation then there are a few thing to consider before you choose MSC. If you want the English or American experience then read no further, if you are looking for a cosmopolitan cruise where you will meet several cultures and nationalities then it's worth a try. The ships are high end quality when it comes to design, very modern and sparkling. but the price you pay will be reflected in the food etc. you can get ships that provide high end food but this does come at a price. The size and quality of the cabins are some of the best I have had in many years of cruising, but don't expect expensive toiletries in the room only basic requirements. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean and there were no stains on the walls and carpets that I experienced on some "English" ships. The balcony was a good size with nice table and chairs. In the restaurant we were as usual seated with English speaking guests, the food was good quality but if you want lobster etc. you will need to pay a top up fee or visit the onboard speciality venue. There is plenty of choice on the menu and always two alternative dishes. The meals are not large but there are 5 to 6 courses and if you ask for extra for example two main dishes this does not cause any problems. We also used the MDR for breakfast and lunch if we were onboard as it is a bit more sedate than the buffet, you are assigned a seat and have a choice of either menu with waiter service or serve yourself buffet. We did not use the buffet very often but that was just personal choice, a lot of reports seem to say it is a problem finding a seat; but there was always room towards the back of the ship or dare I suggest you share with a stranger and have a chat. We found plenty of entertainment in the evening, some of the main shows were variety style but it must be remembered they are trying to cater for several different languages so an English comedian would fall on deaf ears. the other musicians were varied and of a very good standard. on other cruise lines we have sailed on there have been dead areas and dead spots when the acts changed over, but on all the MSC ships we have been on the entertainment has been seamless and you hardly notice the acts changing over. We enjoy ballroom and Latin dancing and found we could dance all evening if we wished. An area of tranquillity exists in the atrium where there was a string trio and a pianist alternating until late. We spoke to several members of the crew and staff ranging from officers to bar and cabin staff and found all to be courteous pleasant and willing to chat. So I would advice that you take the time to engage with them as they all seem to have an interesting tale to tell and are full of information about the ship. The main gripes we had were firstly with the casino, this is an area where smoking is permitted; if you don't smoke it is a no go area so if you want to play the tables or machines then you have to put up with the smoke. The air does get very thick as it is also used as a warm area to smoke in the evening instead of going on deck, I do suspect I would have done the same if I still smoked. The other issue with this is that it does permeate into the nice tiger bar where there is some nice music and dancing. Another problem we found it that there is no control over people using the hand gel when entering the food areas or entering the ship from shore. I can't understand why the management don't choose to enforce it as a virus breakout causes a lot of disruption for them, and why O why do people not use it and make every effort to try and dodge past it; some even putting their hands towards the machine and then walking away rubbing their hands as if they have used it. Still on the subject of guests and their attitude, if you are on holiday it is a time to smile and enjoy yourself not try to push and grab, get in front and jump queues; there does seem to be some nationality who are very selfish. Why on formal nights do some people decide to go in the restaurant looking like a refugee, please at least try to put some clean dressy clothes on. Think of it as if you are on shore, is that how you would dress to go from a meal in a restaurant or go to a show. If you don't want this type of expectations of dress recommendations then there are cruise lines who will cater for your wishes. So would we cruise with MSC again, well the next one is booked and we sail a week after this one. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
We sailed on Splendida in January, we have sailed on her before and she lived up to our expectations. If you are looking for a recommendation then there are a few thing to consider before you choose MSC. If you want the English or American ... Read More
We sailed on Splendida in January, we have sailed on her before and she lived up to our expectations. If you are looking for a recommendation then there are a few thing to consider before you choose MSC. If you want the English or American experience then read no further, if you are looking for a cosmopolitan cruise where you will meet several cultures and nationalities then it's worth a try. The ships are high end quality when it comes to design, very modern and sparkling. but the price you pay will be reflected in the food etc. you can get ships that provide high end food but this does come at a price. The size and quality of the cabins are some of the best I have had in many years of cruising, but don't expect expensive toiletries in the room only basic requirements. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean and there were no stains on the walls and carpets that I experienced on some "English" ships. The balcony was a good size with nice table and chairs. In the restaurant we were as usual seated with English speaking guests, the food was good quality but if you want lobster etc. you will need to pay a top up fee or visit one of the onboard speciality venues. There is plenty of choice on the menu and always two alternative dishes. The meals are not large but there are 5 to 6 courses and if you ask for extra for example two main dishes this does not cause any problems. We also used the MDR for breakfast and lunch if we were onboard as it is a bit more sedate than the buffet, you are assigned a seat and have a choice of either menu with waiter service or serve yourself buffet. We did not use the buffet very often but that was just personal choice, a lot of reports seem to say it is a problem finding a seat; but there was always room towards the back of the ship or dare I suggest you share with a stranger and have a chat. We found plenty of entertainment in the evening, some of the main shows were variety style but it must be remembered they are trying to cater for several different languages so an English comedian would fall on deaf ears. the other musicians were varied and of a very good standard. on other cruise lines we have sailed on there have been dead areas and dead spots when the acts changed over, but on all the MSC ships we have been on the entertainment has been seamless and you hardly notice the acts changing over. We enjoy ballroom and Latin dancing and found we could dance all evening if we wished. An area of tranquillity exists in the atrium where there was a string trio and a pianist alternating until late. We spoke to several members of the crew and staff ranging from officers to bar and cabin staff and found all to be courteous pleasant and willing to chat. So I would advice that you take the time to engage with them as they all seem to have an interesting tale to tell and are full of information about the ship. The main gripes we had were firstly with the casino, this is an area where smoking is permitted; if you don't smoke it is a no go area so if you want to play the tables or machines then you have to put up with the smoke. The air does get very thick as it is also used as a warm area to smoke in the evening instead of going on deck, I do suspect I would have done the same if I still smoked. The other issue with this is that it does permeate into the nice bar above where there is some nice music and dancing. Another problem we found it that there is no control over people using the hand gel when entering the food areas or entering the ship from shore. I can't understand why the management don't choose to enforce it as a virus breakout causes a lot of disruption for them, and why O why do people not use it and make every effort to try and dodge past it; some even putting their hands towards the machine and then walking away rubbing their hands as if they have used it. Still on the subject of guests and their attitude, if you are on holiday it is a time to smile and enjoy yourself not try to push and grab, get in front and jump queues; there does seem to be some nationality who are very selfish. Why on formal nights do some people decide to go in the restaurant looking like a refugee, please at least try to put some clean dressy clothes on. Think of it as if you are on shore, is that how you would dress to go from a meal in a restaurant or go to a show. If you don't want this type of expectations of dress recommendations then there are cruise lines who will cater for your wishes. So would we cruise with MSC again, well the next one is booked and we sail a week after this one. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2017
This cruise had a very good itinerary, going to some places I haven't been to before. Leaving Valetta was really wonderful, second best sail away after Venice. Unfortunately we were unable to dock at Katakolon port due to bad ... Read More
This cruise had a very good itinerary, going to some places I haven't been to before. Leaving Valetta was really wonderful, second best sail away after Venice. Unfortunately we were unable to dock at Katakolon port due to bad weather. But the cruise line cannot control the weather. The staff as always on MSC are delightful always pleasant and fun too. The Animation team were exceptional , the best team we have had so far. The Grande finale of the entertainment team, and staff was totallybeyond words. The opera singers were sublime. MSC are the only cruise line that I know of that has such a love of Opera. Perhaps it's because it is Italian owned. My sister and I Loved the whole experience. If I have any grumbles they double booked my sister's cabin, this was resolved slowly and I don't like the mix of waiter and buffet service in the dining room. Bring back waiter service. But really pleased with everything else well done MSC Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose the cruise for the destination itinerary, but was recommended P&O by a family member. The destinations did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each day on land. Our biggest cruise disappointment was the lack of any ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the destination itinerary, but was recommended P&O by a family member. The destinations did not disappoint and we thoroughly enjoyed each day on land. Our biggest cruise disappointment was the lack of any form of imagination in the menu and the poor food quality. It was bland, overcooked and invariably small portions. It felt that P&O were definitely counting the pennies and giving as little variety and keeping costs down. The dining staff worked very hard and no fault could be levelled on them. The Plaza buffet did offer a good selection at breakfast, but the dining room served scrambled eggs with an ice cream scoop to ensure exact portions. The best thing was the fact we had tea making facilities in the cabin. The cabins were a little tired, plenty of rust patches on the balcony, with numerous problems with their sewage system. Beds very comfortable though and the cabin staff were excellent. The entertainment was generally good, variety of events through the night, with some activities during the day. The "British" sail away was like a "holiday camp" event and, for us, embarrassing, which we apologised to friends who came from South Africa and Australia. The entertainment staff worked very hard to drum up support. The entertainment manager criticised other cruise lines which was uncalled for. We had repeats of the same films on the TV for the two weeks, with very limited other channels. More of the problem as we had two days at sea, with rain and heavy winds. The ship rolled even in light swells, so with strong winds and seas of two metres, we had an interesting dance class ! We have been on other cruises with other companies, with similar size ships, with nothing like this ship's lack of stability. Perhaps next refit they need to look seriously at their stabilisers. The ship's information newsletter gave much information about activities, which was good, but their weather forecast was always optimistic ! There were no port tours at all, even though we had four days at sea and so you had to do your own homework about future ports. We did much before we embarked. All cruises overcharge for shore excursions, so too any alcohol, the same here. But you were allowed to bring on some drinks for your room consumption. A good point. One of our main reasons for cruising is to sample excellent culinary fare each evening, with a flare of international cuisine. This was really absent and an anti-climax each night, but, if you like "canteen style" British food, then this cruise could be for you. It was aimed for the British cruise patron and not an international market. Overall a disappointment. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, ... Read More
Our 10th cruise in c 20 years. Cruise Points- MSC Fantasia, Eastern Mediterranean Fly-Cruise. March 16. If you like P&O you probably will not like MSC. MSC is much more International/European though English is spoken everywhere, except for some of the deckhands. Many staff are from Indonesia, so have English as their first “foreign language”. Most passengers were, in order, Italian, French, German, Central European, Chinese, USA, with very few British indeed. We did this cruise for the itinerary; 11 nights from Genoa, going for 2 nights in Haifa and the rest around the Eastern Med stopping at Katakolon (for Olympia) Pireus (for Athens) Rhodes (Half day really, leaving at 2pm) Haifa (two nights), Iraklion/Heraklion, Civitavecchia, Genoa. Ship is huge at c 133,000 tons with a combined staff/guest number of c 5,600. Quite a lot of vibration at c 20kts, especially at the stern where I presume one is above the props and the shafts. On level 7 in the lounge it was very intrusive. Our cabin was nearer the bow, on deck 11, and we were glad of that. Being Italian, smoking is a little more prevalent than on P&O. With the latter IIRC there were just three open deck areas where it was allowed. On this ship there are probably four, but also a dedicated “cigar room”; moreover smoking is allowed in the casino, which means it drifts upstairs to be noticeable in a couple of the other public areas. Not a big issue for me, but some might find it annoying. Food: disappointing. OK, it's more to the Italian taste, with Pizza and Pasta available every day, but the layout of the Zanzibar Cafeteria area is a bit haphazard and at times quite unhelpful. e.g. Why not have spoons placed by the cereal area, where you need them, rather than elsewhere, and why have prunes/peaches/pears just available in one tiny un-indicated area, whereas bread is available in about six. In my experience food was rarely more than warm. Coffee from the dispensers was horrible; utterly tasteless. You can get decent coffee but you either pay for it, or get it via the drinks package. No tea/coffee facility in room. We took our own small kettle to make tea in the cabin despite MSC's risible claim that it is “dangerous”. Restaurant food was OK, but no more than that. Having said that, we would normally prefer the Cafeteria as I feel it is almost impossible to bring hot food to about 1000 people in a restaurant. Restaurant service was fine. We were lucky to be on a table with six Kiwis, so no language problem. If we had been with six French people, conversation would have been more limited. The average drinks package looks good but probably is borderline. We paid for the “allegrissimo”, but this only allows you Heineken Draft beer, two red wines, two white and one rosé, none of which were that nice. There is a good selection of cocktails, coffees, soft drinks and some spirits on the package though, and remember without it 15% is added to all drink bills. The juices available at breakfast without the package are truly insipid. You can get reasonable orange or cranberry on the drinks package, so we did this every morning along with Lattes or Cappuccinos. Essentially no daytime activities, not that there are many on P&O or RC nowadays. No deck quoits etc. (Hooray!) No long prom deck, but on deck 15 there was a reasonable area for walking. We reckoned 10 laps were just over 2 miles. Evening shows seemed good to us, though we only really saw one, but you can't get drinks in the theatre. Shows last c 45mins. No inane and intrusive announcements during the day, asking you to join the sailaway party or the bingo. No report from the bridge. Ship seemed unaware of its own TIME at one point! We woke up having left Haifa for the TV channel to say ship's time was 0700, but no announcement in the daily bulletin of a time change. So we asked reception who, presumably thinking me mad, confirmed it was 0800. No wonder ships sometimes end up on rocks if their own clocks are wrong! Just two English Language news channels on the TV. We have never tried ship internet as it is universally reported as poor. But with a new phone, using “3” one can use data in most (not all) European countries and Israel, so not worth the trouble for checking a few emails. Cabin good. For the grade a little bigger than P&O with a bigger and nicer shower with moveable head. Balcony small, but adequate. Almost all cabins have the same size balcony. Service generally good though in the “speciality” restaurant, “Tex Mex” they forgot the sauce for my steak and forgot our bottled water. (You pay a bit extra too.) Got told off by one deckhand, in barely intelligible English, for daring to put out sunbeds on an area on deck 16 where they were piled up but no one had put them out. (Actually, the only part sheltered from the gale blowing across the other decks!) Who cares? One big plus: dress code is VOLUNTARY, so if you don't want to wear black tie, and hardly anyone did, it is OK to turn up still in jeans and a t-shirt, as some did, on the formal nights, without being refused admission. If I am doing a fly-cruise I don't want to waste my baggage allowance on something that allows me to look like a penguin for three nights. Like Royal Caribbean: no guest laundry, but for 12 days, not really an issue I'd say. You can get laundry done, at some expense, via the cabin steward. We just wear most things for 2 days when on hols, and sometimes at home too now we're not working. Excursions, as always, a bit expensive. We paid for the ones in Israel, but in Katacolon, by doing some advance research, we found out about the small train which ran to Olympia from the port for Eu10 return each! With admission to the site, c Eu16 each for the trip as opposed to c £50 each via the ship! Likewise, in Athens we walked 3km to the metro station and then got to Monastiraki station (at the base of the Acropolis) for Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
just got back from this my very first cruise ,the ship was very very clean, the food was ok ,nothing great as such same sort of food just done differently ,we had the drinks package but beware everytime you get a drink they sting you for ... Read More
just got back from this my very first cruise ,the ship was very very clean, the food was ok ,nothing great as such same sort of food just done differently ,we had the drinks package but beware everytime you get a drink they sting you for 8euros service i dont drink only soft drinks my daughter had cocktails but only 2 a day we had a bill at the end of the cruise for 200 euros for service even if you are sitting at the bar they still charge you !!!!! the down side was trying to get on the boat after excurstions ,i understand you have to go through security checks but only have one person doing it and over 1.000 passengers we had to stand outside in the queue for over half an hour it was terrible they have all the staff doing otherthings why cant they get more to help with passengers coming back on the boat ,also our boat was full of school children on a weeks holiday with their schools !!!!! something i wish they had said before booking as i would have changed dates .also the last thing i find very upset about was on the coach to the airport the driver puts the bags in the coach for you under the eyes of the staff from the ship but when you get to the airport he just sat there and didnt help i have a bad back and would have liked a bit of help just getting my bag out of the boot of the coach very disappointed it felt like they have had your money now so sod off ..i wont be going again Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
First and last cruise i will ever go on. The ship is ment to be new, i found the room dirty - our bin still has previous rubbish in - rust in the bathroom. We booked with the information we had they told us we were booked all inclusive. ... Read More
First and last cruise i will ever go on. The ship is ment to be new, i found the room dirty - our bin still has previous rubbish in - rust in the bathroom. We booked with the information we had they told us we were booked all inclusive. that was not the case. We ended up with a drinks package basically, a limited to anything without an astrix drink pakeage. Each day you will be charged a 8.50euro service charge. unless you go to the reception desk, and compliance you will be changed but they don't make that information available. Food was like canteen food, mostly cold. and if you attemped to eat any of the cold bacon/eggs for breakfast be ready for a battle, there was no organisation. the only good thing was the half an hour entertainment in the evening wasted a week off my life Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
We recently went on our first and last Costa Cruise, everything was good, until the evening before disembarking, they had added 15% to a prepaid drinks package, we bought the 20 beers and 20 soft drinks packages on board as we were told we ... Read More
We recently went on our first and last Costa Cruise, everything was good, until the evening before disembarking, they had added 15% to a prepaid drinks package, we bought the 20 beers and 20 soft drinks packages on board as we were told we couldn't buy it before boarding the ship but there wouldn't be any added costs because it was a package. Then we were told we would have to get off the ship at 8a.m on Friday morning for our transfer to Nice from Savona, our transfer was arranged for 10.30 a.m through Costa and the Cruise Company we booked with. There were at least 100 passengers this happened to, most of them booking through the same company as ourselves, amongst the passengers were disabled people, myself and my husband included. it seemed to be the British passengers this was happening to, or at the very least, people flying into the UK. This earlier transfer meant that many of us would have a 12 hour wait at Nice Airport. The Captain put it a short appearance and then disappeared, the Reception staff didn't really want to know what was going on, and weren't very helpful anyway, then when some passengers started to get really angry, they offered them an extra hour before they caught their transfer but would have to wait on the quayside. We found it all totally unacceptable as this had been known to the staff onboard at least two days earlier but passengers had not been informed. I can't understand why people with an evening flight were put off the ship first and others with an earlier afternoon flight were allowed to stay onboard longer, this, to me seems ridiculous, also, one of the ports we should have stopped at, Tunis had understandably been cancelled so they took us to Sicily which was closed because of a Bank Holiday, when questioned about this we were told "You can go on one of our trips which is will cost you €50-€69." This was not ideal, I don't know why we were taken somewhere where there was very little to do, it all seemed to be about making extra money. I have told all my friends about this, many of whom cruise a couple of times a year and none of them will sail with Costa. The staff and food were lovely though, this was the only good thing. We cruise a couple of times a year, but will definitely not cruise with Costa again Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My trip was in April 2015, in the Mediterraneo. The ship was brand-new, modern and sophisticated. The cabin (balcony view) and service was excellent. The big theater and good shows worth it. We loved the casino with electronic ... Read More
My trip was in April 2015, in the Mediterraneo. The ship was brand-new, modern and sophisticated. The cabin (balcony view) and service was excellent. The big theater and good shows worth it. We loved the casino with electronic roulettes and more relaxed bar on top with long sofas and great deco. Also the hall bar with the piano and pleasant singers while watching the crystal elevators going up and down. As youngest travelers (28/29 years old), the club with 360º view located on top of the ship was absolutely marvelous, good mood and an incredible experience to have the possibility to go dancing until wee hours while observing the view outside! Good mix of people (more families and older people), even if we don't see many "younger" travelers like us but we didn't feel "excluded" or not welcome, there is space for all type of people, great ambiance and an experience to repeat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Hello my fellow American cruisers. Stay far - far away from this cruise ship. We just returned yesterday from a 7 night Mediterranean Cruise on the MSC Spendida. The cruise was over booked with over 4,000 passengers. It was so crowded ... Read More
Hello my fellow American cruisers. Stay far - far away from this cruise ship. We just returned yesterday from a 7 night Mediterranean Cruise on the MSC Spendida. The cruise was over booked with over 4,000 passengers. It was so crowded that you could hardly walk on deck 14 - much less getting something to eat without getting trampled and no place to sit. The elevators were always so crowded with passengers that most rides were passing by our 9th floor. Never in my cruising history (many cruises over the years) did I experience paying for water at dinner and no coffee served ever with dessert. The ship was fairly clean with only some carpeting throughout the ship soiled. One day I was planning to sit on our balcony, however, the ship's crew was cleaning balconies that day and I had 2 inches of water on the deck of the balcony for most of the day. So much for sitting on the balcony!!! There was also no free TV - you could pay for a movie but even the movies were not new releases and we had seen most of them. The balcony room was fairly nice - which was good as there was no place otherwise to go. Fellow cruisers - stay with Princess, Carnival, etc. Do not book with this cruise company - you will regret it. The food also at dinner was disappointing. The last day of the cruise they served Wiener Schnizel as a main course. It was pounded meat and very dry with only a few French fried potatoes thrown on the plate. (That is supposed to be gourmet food?) Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
We have been on a number of cruises with different companies, and this was the second time on MSC. We travelled as a party of 7 (3 generations) in two Aurea grade balcony cabins over Easter 2015. We flew UK to/from Nice, France by EasyJet ... Read More
We have been on a number of cruises with different companies, and this was the second time on MSC. We travelled as a party of 7 (3 generations) in two Aurea grade balcony cabins over Easter 2015. We flew UK to/from Nice, France by EasyJet and then took the included MSC transfer to the ship in Genoa about 90 minutes down the motorway. I once read a review that described MSC as a 'Marmite' line... you love them or hate them. I fall into the former camp and I will gladly tell you why but the first thing to remember is that this is an Italian line not a German, American or British one. As a rule, Italians are stylish, sociable, relaxed and family friendly folk and MSC is no different. Most German, UK or US lines cater primarily for a single nationality whereas MSC cruisers tend to be more cosmopolitan drawing from most of Europe, Australians, Brits and Russians. As a ship she has Italian elegance in spades from the Swarovski crystal staircase and other public spaces to the well designed cabins. There are formal nights and theme nights but if that is not your thing then they are happy for you to go your own way. Equally deck activities are entirely optional and go with the flow. This could upset those who like the formal style of the likes of P&O or Cunard or party, party, party style of other lines. There are shopping stalls and shopping mall offering all the usual jewellery, clothes, perfumes and branded goods and a photographer around every evening before dinner as is the norm for cruise lines. No is considered an acceptable answer! What there is not however, is the would you like to buy an overpriced glass of bubbly for the sail away party etc. Part of this is that MSC allow people to join the ship at most ports of call (we joined in Genoa whilst others did so at Rome and unusually these were the only two). This is great if you want to add a cruise to another holiday. In fact we started by looking for a MSC cruise from Barcelona to combine with a holiday in Southern Spain but could not pass up this special cruise offer. Many people take advantage of MSC's wide range of drinks packages which mean that you know how much the dreaded bar bill will be before you leave. The Aurea grade cabins include the main package which covers soft drinks, mineral water proper coffees and tea, most cocktails, ice creams and other alcoholic drinks. If you are a wine buff, you may wish to invest in some different wines (this is the only Achilles heel in this package). As a family, being able to say 'yes you can have another X,Y,Z' without needing to add up the cost makes things so more relaxing. This deal (called the Allegrissimo package) is one of MSC's real selling points as I can budget in advance (and yet I saw no-one drunk on either of our MSC trips so there is a typically European outlook to alcohol consumption). Some have criticised MSC for the staff not always having excellent English. What they forget is Brits are the minority on this line and the staff all speak 2-3 other languages as well their native tongue. All spoke enough English to get the job done and be polite. The food on MSC is good but not going to set the world alight. There are two main options included in the fare. One of the main restaurants or the buffet. The buffet is huge, open 20 hours a day and has fantastic pizza as well as a dizzying array of tasty main and snack meals. The main dining rooms run with two sittings except for the top two cabin grades which are flexi dining. Brits tend to eat earlier than many Europeans so the first sitting is less popular. We were 3 generations from 75 years to 4 years of age. The children's menu changed daily and had a theme. There were the usual X with chips meals as well as cut down versions of the adult dishes. The menu was extensive and changed daily. There were themes around Italian regions and the wider Med. The food was sometimes a little cool but a quick request to our superb waiting staff sorted that out on the first night. If you didn't like a particular dish another soon appeared in its place. Since the menu has six courses choice was not an issue. After a few days the team got to know our preferences and were able to recommend dishes we might like (without fault and two of the party were fussy eaters). The children's clubs open from first thing until the late evening and include a primary school age section and teens club. This teens section seemed both popular and well designed with a mix of 'hanging out' and organised activities. Unlike many lines, if you are on an MSC excursion the children can stay in the club whilst you go and see the sights. This brings me neatly to excursions. Shore excursions were generally about the same content and price as those on offer from independent companies with the insurance that if delayed (and we were by traffic on one) the ship will wait. We did a mixture of finding our own way (Rhodes, Valletta, Katakolon and Heraklion) and excursions aimed at the different walking abilities in our group in Athens, Ismir (to Ephesus), Messina (to Etna) and Rome. The excursions were all good (although the guide on one was not great) but in common with most organised tours you often felt that another 30 minutes would have been great. If we went again, we would have done Athens ourselves as the public transport has improved no end since the Olympics. Etna was best done by tour and was fabulous and worth the long drive and the walking tour of Rome was spot on. The Ephesus trip would have been better without the trip to the leather shop but this was a minor niggle. The cabins are stylish without being stupidly opulent and even with 3rd/4th passengers did not feel too cramped. There is a shower only in most cabins. We opted for two Aurea balcony cabins that were next door to each other. This meant that the cabin steward was able to unlock a door normally used to clean the balconies from one end of the deck to the other so in effect we had connecting cabins. The ship does have a few proper connecting cabins but they book quickly. The cabin steward was always on hand when needed and was not 'in your face'. They do turn down beds and convert sofas to beds and back but don't expect a chocolate on the pillow or useless towel origami. It is worth mentioning a bit about the MSC grading system. There are the usual inside, a few outside and a lot of balconies and a reasonable number of suites. There are however also what they call experiences from Bella to Fantastica, Aurea and Yacht Club. Bella is your basic package of cruise and food without any bells and whistles. Fantastic has a bit more but frankly is neither fish nor fowl. Aurea has the drinks package, priority boarding and flexi-dining as already mentioned but also includes free access to the spa, one spa treatment, one free photo (on Italian night) and access to the adults only sun deck at the top of the ship. Yacht Club takes this even further with its own restaurant, sun decks, butler service and butler boarding so you only need to carry your passport and so on. We originally were looking to book a Fantastica balcony with a bolt on drinks package. This was a fairly last minute booking and we could not get two together (for the balcony trick). Our travel agent worked out that the cost of the upgrade to Aurea was virtually nil. To be honest if I were to go MSC again (and I probably will) then it is Aurea for me (YC is too isolationist for my taste as I like to be more in the throng and a serious price hike). There are not many educational enrichment activities as there are so many languages on board and the shows in the spectacular theatre are a nice change from the West End/Broadway show fare of many lines. Think more Cirque du Soleil and magic tricks on a theme. The pirate based show is NOT to be missed. Many of the bars have bands, quartets and other musicians. For those wanting to do a bit of Dad Dancing there is also a disco. Embarkation for us as Aurea grade was pretty painless as you get fast track embarkation but the queues for the Bella and Fantastica grades were long (she is a huge ship) but moving quickly. The best bet if you don't like queues is to join at a non-home port (ie not Genoa, Livorno or Civitavecchia). Disembarkation is fast and well organised but the loading of the transfer coaches could have been better. We boarded one of the last just as the first of twenty which loaded over 45 minutes before was just getting ready to leave. Tips on some lines are the bane of many travellers lives as there always seems to be a hand out. MSC have a no tipping policy. There is a small flat rate daily service charge plus about 8% on all drinks unless you have a drinks package where it is on the value of the package (less than 30 Euro per day). MSC instead operate a performance related pay structure so the comments you make in the surveys really do matter! What it does mean is that the staff treat everyone in the same polite, unobtrusive and helpful and you know that your wallet is not going to be emptied into the tip pot. In short... Beautiful ship Great staff Great value (effectively an AI cruise in a balcony cabin including flights and transfers for 12 days for £1400 per person or about £1600 including excursions) Approach MSC with an open mind. As the line allow boarding and disembarkation at multiple ports there are often great deals for short trips and re-positioning. This cruise on Fantasia was a late addition to the cruises on offer I presume due to a charter falling through or a faster than expected re-fit. Our last MSC cruise was October 2014 Southampton to Hamburg one way in a balcony cabin (upgraded by MSC to a suite in the days before the experience grades) for £149 each cruise and Hamburg transfers only for 4 nights. Magnifica was going in for a re-fit. I couldn't stay DBB in a cheap motel for that money here in the UK. Give them a try and see if you love them or hate them! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Cruise viewed and paid in 1 month. We need to relax and only go out from walk from ship in Marseilles (BUS) to buy some Soaps and in Messina We had been make a similar cruise in our honey moon and we need to appreciate more from the ... Read More
Cruise viewed and paid in 1 month. We need to relax and only go out from walk from ship in Marseilles (BUS) to buy some Soaps and in Messina We had been make a similar cruise in our honey moon and we need to appreciate more from the ship. It was all 5* except the sea but in November in Med hadn't miracles :) One more time Aurea SPA was wonderful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2012
Kids Zone: MSC is not a kid friendly cruise for English speaking passengers. Last summer we took a Royal Caribbean cruise and my kids loved the kid's club so much that we could barely drag them out; however, this is not the case ... Read More
Kids Zone: MSC is not a kid friendly cruise for English speaking passengers. Last summer we took a Royal Caribbean cruise and my kids loved the kid's club so much that we could barely drag them out; however, this is not the case with the MSC cruise line. The staff keep the children in one small room playing the same movie over and over again in "Italian only". If the kids do not want to watch the movie, the only other option is to either play table soccer (only one table) or the Wii (only one Wii console). This makes for a very boring few hours. My children begged me not to go back after just one experience. Entertainment: I was surprised to find out that MSC offers very few activities throughout the day (both sea days or at port). If you like to do something other than a 30 minute dance lesson, then choose a different cruise line. Although I have to say that at least two of the 6 night shows were very captivating. Food: The breakfast and lunch buffet were fantastic. They offered a variety of foods that both my kids and I really enjoyed. Dinner on the other hand was very lacking both in choices and flavor. Voyager of the Seas -Royal Caribbean had such tasty meals EVERY night that I looked forward to dinner on MSC Splendida, only to be let down night after night. I could probably name only a handful of dishes on MSC that were actually appetizing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2011
I booked this cruise for two reasons: because it was going to Alexandria (with the opportunity to visit the Pyramids)and because there was no single supplement.The BA flight from Heathrow got us to Milan in under two hours, but the coach ... Read More
I booked this cruise for two reasons: because it was going to Alexandria (with the opportunity to visit the Pyramids)and because there was no single supplement.The BA flight from Heathrow got us to Milan in under two hours, but the coach journey from Malpensa airport to Genoa took about two and three-quarter hours. We even had to queue at the port to get off. I had checked in online, so followed the signs to the so-called Express check-in, which took longer than the ladies I had met on the plane who took the normal route. I commented on this to a member of staff who were not at all interested. I was impressed when I arrived on board to be greeted by a member of staff who escorted me to my cabin (Cunard's White Star service has something to learn from this). The cabin was well furnished and comfortable, particularly for one. My steward soon came to introduce himself and bring my suitcase.The clientelle is truly international. It must have been school holiday time in Italy, as there were lots of Italian children aboard. Other nationalities were French, German, Canadian, Norwegian, Swedish, Brazilian, etc. I did not find this a problem, and preferred it to the 'middle class middle England' crowd on our Fred Olsen Christmas/New Year cruise. However, it did mean that every announcement was in at least three languages. Consequently the quizzes were rather long winded, and the Bingo must have been a nightmare!I ate in La Reggia restaurant every night. The option was to pay extra for Mexican food or pizza in Pago Pago. The food was certainly not Cordon Bleu, more three star Italian hotel fare. Plenty to choose from as long as you like pasta and rissotto. I don't drink wine, but there were wine packages available which others on my table took advantage of and enjoyed.The choice in the self-service restaurants Pago Pagoand Bora Bora was OK - plenty of choice but somewhat lukewarm from what I hard from others. I tended to stick with salad at lunch time. The waiters are so obsessed with clearing and cleaning that it was impossible as a solo eater to get up and get seconds or dessert, as you could come back in 30 seconds and find the place cleared! I heard this from most of the single travellers I chatted to aboard. Also difficult in these restaurants to get a drink. One day I counted over 12 waiters within sight, but not one came over and asked if I would like something to drink.Oh yes drink! The talk of the ship that you have to pay for every drop of water and can only get a tea or coffee without paying for it at breakfast or afternoon tea. But let's face it this is a cheap shipand they've got to balance the books somehow. I paid £70 a day and that included a scheduled BA flight, so I was not too upset by paying a couple of pounds for a large bottle of water. The entertainment was very visual, as one would expect with an international audience. The Brits got a bit snobby what the opera performances turned in 'al together clap along' sessions. But of course the Italians treat opera very differently and it's much more a popular form of music for them. The soprano and tenor were excellent as were the dancers, but I got rather bored with the speciality acts.Some of the evening entertainment was of the Butlins style, but there were options, and the Splendida bar, the piano bar, and particularly the jazz bar offered good music throughout the evening.As on most cruise ships the photographers were a pain, but I did actually see one of them almost dragging one poor lady to pose for a picture. When they were printed (in their thousands, what a waste!) they were poorly displayed so it was almost impossible find your photo. We used to count the photographers as they packed up for the night while we sat in the jazz bar and there were more than a dozen of them.I did not take an organised excursion at every port of call, but really enjoyed the four I did at Ephesus, Athens, Mount Etna and Rome. The 'last night' was actually two nights before we got back to Genoa, as some people were disembarking at Rome. But I felt on the last day that it was all over and didn't like the feeling I was being 'thrown out' before I was ready to go. No show at all on the last evening. All in all a good value extra holiday on a beautiful ship which may have some design faults, but then so does the QM2! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2010
MSC Lirica 29th March 2010- 5th April 2010 We recently went on the MSC cruise above and were extremely disappointed and let down by MSC and the Lirica staff. Listed below were some of the problems:- • Embarkation was totally ... Read More
MSC Lirica 29th March 2010- 5th April 2010 We recently went on the MSC cruise above and were extremely disappointed and let down by MSC and the Lirica staff. Listed below were some of the problems:- • Embarkation was totally disorganised with only one scanner out of three working • During the cruise children were allowed to run around the ship unsupervised without the ship crew intervening. • Outside our room, 10066 we had children continually running up and down the corridor. • When in our cabin there was continual noise from the pool area above and the sound on the ceiling of children running backwards and forwards • We were unable to use the Jacuzzi at any time as it was always full of children and teenagers • At lunchtime, in both restaurants, it was like a rugby scrum. There were too many adults and children and not enough tables, and after waiting in line we had to eat our meal on a table with uncleared meals • When the ship departed from Genoa it was supposed to stop at Portofino, but this was cancelled • General communication on the boat was very poor • At a number of ports at which we called, passengers were embarking and disembarking and at these times we could not use some of the lounge areas. • There was very poor customer service and a general feeling that staff were not interested • A number of English shore tours were cancelled due to insufficient English speakers • On leaving the ship the coach to the airport had enough seats but not enough room for every ones case, so the two of us were left alone waiting at the port for the coach to return. We were informed after 25 minutes that the motorway was blocked and the coach might not get back to the dock. We needed to get to the airport to catch our plane. An MSC representative gave us the choice of waiting in the hope the coach would turn up or get a taxi. We were told by the representative that we would have to pay and try and claim the 25 Euros back from MSC. This was terrible customer service. The final straw was that we had a stomach bug on the last day of the cruise causing sickness and diarrhoea. When we left the ship we were not well but the ship's doctor was very helpful and gave medication. In summary, the holiday was a continuing series of bad service where children were allowed to run wild. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise