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Sail Date: August 2019
Pros ... lovely modern cabin lots of space nice size and balcony , Lovely ship and nice staff,Cons .. way too crowded marketplace buffet is hell on Earth it’s like a stampede no spare tables and people pushing into you and elbowing you , ... Read More
Pros ... lovely modern cabin lots of space nice size and balcony , Lovely ship and nice staff,Cons .. way too crowded marketplace buffet is hell on Earth it’s like a stampede no spare tables and people pushing into you and elbowing you , hard to get a drink , food not nice at all not enough choice..all in all an awful experience , food poor in restaurants also, we were glad to get off the ship to have a nice meal that we actually enjoyed , anything that’s any good you have to pay for cirque do soleil 15 euro each and you get an awful drink that’s supposed to be a cocktail, although the show is good, speciality restaurants very expensive but nice food the standard the food on the rest of the ship should be , bowling arcades and cinema not free total rip off 50 euros to use all 3, theatre shows average at best , drinks package needed to be upgraded as soon as we boarded as it soon became clear we could only drink Heineken and 1 wine and spirit , pools far too crowded and people reserving their beds with towels and not turning up for hours this should not be allowed , the ship is lovely but the crowdedness and standard of food really let our overall experience down, msc trips not worth the money a nice relaxing boat trip to Portofino was 500 people being crammed onto a dingy ferry and loudspeaker blasting out about 7 different languages all the way there’s and back really not a nice experience at all , if you are have kids and are a willing to spend a lot of money for extras and eat pizza and burgers for a week then this is the ship for you ! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
PROS: 1) Everything you had to pay for, Champagne Bar, Butcher’s Cut, Sushi resto, French Bistrot, 10/10, excellent food! Excellent service! 2) Brand New ship, quite modern. 3) Excellent itinerary, Malta, Messina, Marseille, you ... Read More
PROS: 1) Everything you had to pay for, Champagne Bar, Butcher’s Cut, Sushi resto, French Bistrot, 10/10, excellent food! Excellent service! 2) Brand New ship, quite modern. 3) Excellent itinerary, Malta, Messina, Marseille, you don’t stop there quite often. 4) Crowd of all ages, very sophisticated people to be around and make acquittances. 5) Easy registration at Marseille terminal. 6) Cirque du Soleil with the dinner, excellent! Magnifique! CONS: 1) Food very average, think Carnival. 2) Not very personalized approach, never heard the captain, never saw him, no chocolate on your pillow, even your excursion tickets weren’t delivered to the room. 3) Very crowded, and full of kids, a lot more than anticipated. No reserved adult pool, or reserved exterior smoking area. Very crowded buffet. 4) Cabin Stewart, very nice, but working alone. No ice in ice bucket, mini bar not automatically refilled, unless you requested it. No bathrobe. 5) NOISY, Many kids, many door slamming, no butlers around, no discipline. 6) Overall expansive. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
MSC is not a customer centric company and this is evident already from the stage of reservation when a complaint that we filled was never addressed and it relates to one of their customer service employees having hang up on our call ... Read More
MSC is not a customer centric company and this is evident already from the stage of reservation when a complaint that we filled was never addressed and it relates to one of their customer service employees having hang up on our call impolitely with the excuse that our french accent was not good and he could not understand us but at the same time he did not speak English to serve us. On board such lack on customer satisfaction continued and we had the feeling that we were constantly being ripped off even for basic stuff, like having tissues in the cabine. What was very annoying during the whole cruise was that we were not valued as a customer and what was offered on the price you paid is just the minimum (like your right to be on the boat) and then you need to top it up significantly to get what you normally get with the cruise fare in other cruise companies. A testament to what we have experienced is the fact that we were not provided with a customer satisfaction survey during the cruise or even at the end. Service quality is not measured hence it is very low compared to other cruise companies where the client is at the center of their service. The embarkation and disembarkation was smooth for us but in every port there people getting on and off the cruise which gave the impression of a hop on hop off type of cruise than anything else, as a result there was no real chance to get any bonding with your fellow travelers or even with staff as they treated you as walk in passager rather than a passenger that will spend a week on board. At the embarkation we were not taken to our cabine and not even shown wheyre the lifts were located to go to our cabine (a ship of 20 floors with 5500 passenger can be a little intimidating when you first set foot on so a little guidance would be much appreciated). Entertainment (shows) in the night was average but the timing was not well planned as the different time shows were conflicting with dinner options and we needed to rush to be on time and get a place. There was no library to get a newspaper or a book. Excursions were expensive for what they offered and on the first day we were 10min in advance to our meeting time, checked in for the excursion and informed the guide that we are passing to the toilet. Surprisingly the guide left us all alone at the meeting point on board because his procedure said that he had to go and he did not wait for us (it was still 5min before the meeting time, they were people who missed the excursion!). His behavior and attitude was unacceptable and rude to some extent but remember as above nobody is measured for their behavior and service. Last but not least we had to ask for everything as information provided was not sufficient and that was exhausting. Activities on board were limited and only around shopping and photos, which all resulted in passengers spending more money. Please note that free water was only available through water fountains (bottle water cost 3.5 euros 500ml) and free juice only available during breakfast. Unlimited pizza and pasta and fruits almost 24/24. Drinks packages were extra and cost from 20euros per person per day (for non alcoholic, eg water, juice, coffee) and from 30euros per day per person for beers and wine. That was the definition of rip off. Kids were happy as they spent most of their day at the kids club but excursions on shore were not adapted to kids. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is the first time my husband and I cruised.so we have little to compare with but these are our thoughts.+embarking and disembraking was easy and smooth.Trips off the boat were ok.we cruised the med but in fairness when you see one ... Read More
This is the first time my husband and I cruised.so we have little to compare with but these are our thoughts.+embarking and disembraking was easy and smooth.Trips off the boat were ok.we cruised the med but in fairness when you see one place you seen them all,none were out of the ordinary and we got off at all ports (except Malta which looked gorg but hubby had vomiting and diahorrea which I took two days later and every other person we spoke to had as well !!! This just confirmed for me that people always get sick on cruise ships).anyway ,the boat itself is huge but full of accommodation and little else.restaurants with special dinning packages that if you already paid for food in the restaurant why would you pay for again! There were few people in them ,I think of you were lucky about 6 at anyone time and they constantly keep pushing the sale of them.well I think if I wanted them you would have booked them before you left.if not then you should feel free to try without pressure.But in all honesty we had the restaurant each evening and the food it it was wonderful.The entertainment was good,and shows excellent.shops if you had plenty of money to spend as they were all designer .plenty of entertainment for kids but at a cost.Everything was extra ,the aquapark,the ropes the amusement arcade and it wasn't cheap,so parents bring plenty of money with you.The buffet always busy ,breakfast choice good.went once when hubby ill for dinner ,not up to much then!a lot of wasted space with unnecessary things ,more seating would have be more appropriate.When you didn't get get off the ship at port ,everything was closed til 6pm when everyone was back on board.slightly boring!! Especially when weather poor.all in all cruising is not for us too regimented. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Family group of 12 in 5 cabins. This was our first cruise and it didn't get off to a good start. The security staff at Marseille managed to lose one of our passports which caused all sorts of issues getting on the ship and then ... Read More
Family group of 12 in 5 cabins. This was our first cruise and it didn't get off to a good start. The security staff at Marseille managed to lose one of our passports which caused all sorts of issues getting on the ship and then involved a lot of emails, form-filling and calls to the Consulate in Malta. It was finally resolved by leaving the ship at Malta, a night at a hotel there, a visit to the consulate, a flight to Barcelona, a night in a hotel in Barcelona and rejoining the ship there. Although the loss of the passport was due to the chaotic security system at Marseille, MSC did not seem to make any efforts to locate the passport. Lesson 1 - Don't let anything out of your sight at the security/x-ray area. Coming aboard was fine, the cabin suited the two of us and having a balcony was great. In the cabin there is the MSC version of Alexa/Google/Siri/etc called Zoe. We found it to be useful in telling us the weather, but nothing else. It was laughably bad, just responding with 'ask a member of crew' to the most obvious of questions. Surprisingly, for a ship just a few weeks old, the pillows smelt a bit of smoke at the beginning of the week. Not enough to make you discard them, but definitely noticeable. On the penultimate night we found that the air-conditioning was blowing smokey air into the cabin. Not nice at all. I told reception the following day but was instructed to report it when it happened. When you are half asleep in bed you don't want to be ringing reception to report issues. Lesson 2 - report issues immediately if you can. In advance of the cruise MSC try very hard to get you to spend money on one of their drinks packages. So much so that they do not show the price of drinks on their website. Any search on the website like 'what is the price of a drink?', or 'what are the bar prices?' return you to the drinks packages page. So if you want to compare having a drinks package with buying individual drinks, you can't do it. I contacted MSC to ask the price of drinks and they refused to let me have any information for quite a while with excuses like, 'Because our stocks are subject to availability, prices might change', and 'We don't have a bar list, so I can't give you the prices'. It is a shame that they were dishonest here because the real reason for not telling me was that MSC wants everyone to buy their drinks package (they make more money out of you that way). After quite a few emails dancing around the question MSC were able to tell me the 'approximate' price of some drinks, which enabled me to see that a drinks package was not good value for us. The basic package does not cover a gin & tonic, or most of the cocktails, so if you want anything like that you need to be buying the higher priced packages. We spent a lot of money on drinks, but it was still cheaper than the drinks package. Bear in mind that most days we were ashore so not buying day-time drinks from the ship. To help out others in this respect I have taken photos of the bar prices and will attach them below. Remember they add 15% to these prices to cover the cost of putting the drink into a glass (!). Lesson 3 - MSC want you to buy their drinks packages because it makes them more money Having spoken to various people before setting off I was expecting something a bit classier than what we encountered. The ship itself is very new & shiny, but we found that lots of people are happy to wander around in wet swimming trunks carrying plates of pizza from the buffet. Often we shared a lift with people wearing pyjamas taking a plateful of sausages or similar to their room. The gala night was a lot more formal and many people dressed up for that, which made it much more special, but on the whole I was surprised at the casualness of it all. There was a 'white night' where we were encouraged to wear all-white, but perhaps 10% of passengers bought into this. Given the amount of clothes space available in the suitcase and cabin; I guess a one-off white outfit was not going to be a priority. Lesson 4 - This is more of a party ship than a classy cruise, pack accordingly. I was also expecting there to be informative/educational presentations (I guess I had heard this from people who had been on other cruises). There were none on this cruise. In the evening there were basic dance classes which were good fun and the crew did a great job of encouraging and helping people along. Aside from that it's Karaoke or a band or a 35 minute theatre show. The cirque-de-soliel show was excellent and worth the price. The other (free of charge) shows were also good and worth booking in to. You can book into these things on the interactive screens around the ship or you can use the Msc-4-Me App on your phone. Both systems worked well for us. Lesson 5 - It's all showbiz, nothing cerebral. But do go to the shows. We didn't use the MSC shore excursions at all - they seemed to be crazily expensive and we are not afraid of negotiating for a taxi. For example: before arriving at Barcelona you find a shuttle-bus ticket in your cabin for 9.99 Euros. This is for the bus that saves you a 40 minute walk into the city. As soon as you get off the ship you can see the shuttle buses lined up with the 4 Euro fare shown on the front. A few prices we found: Naples to Pompeii return taxi 17 Euros per person Messina to Taorina return taxi 15 Euros per person Marseille to Airport taxi 10 Euros per person Lesson 6 - Don't use the MSC excursions unless you really can't be bothered to do anything by yourself. Food on the ship was good. Our children enjoyed the all-day availability of the buffet and the range of options there was very broad. Our evening meal was in the standard deck 6 restaurant and the food was varied, plentiful and well presented buy the attentive staff. Really enjoyed having the same servers each evening and they very quickly got to know us and our drinks choices - excellent. They were happy to hold half-used bottles of wine over from day to day. Lesson 7 - Food is plentiful and good quality Finally, just before you join the ship they get you to stand in front of a picture of the ship and hold a pretend wooden ships wheel. Part way through the cruise an envelope containing 6 of these comical pictures arrived in our cabin. The idea is that you tick a box and leave the photos for your cleaner to take away. All of our party returned the photos in this way, but nevertheless 3 of the 5 cabins had 35 Euros added to the bill for the pictures. That seems to be more than just a coincidence to me! Just 10% of people overlooking this on their bill brings nearly 16,000 Euros a week to MSC. Lesson 8 - Watch out for the hidden costs Would I go on this cruise again? No Would I go on another cruise? Possibly, if there were more grown-up activities going on. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Bellissima is truly a wonderful ship. Awe inspiring. It has every available resource that you could wish for. It truly is magnificent. The cabin (inside) was so much nicer than portrayed in photos and pre cruise videos. It ... Read More
Bellissima is truly a wonderful ship. Awe inspiring. It has every available resource that you could wish for. It truly is magnificent. The cabin (inside) was so much nicer than portrayed in photos and pre cruise videos. It was stylish spacious comfortable and a great space to enjoy. As a new ship the whole ship is immaculate as would be expected. The restaurants included in your cruise offered a great choice and quality of food. However restaurants felt busy and somewhat manic, speedy food was kind of thrown at you as a chore to be gotten through. In no way is it a reflection on the staff who are run of their feet. Rather a issue of numbers. The individual restaurants you may pay to dine in are unhurried relaxed and offer good service. Particularly impressive was the butchers cut food and staff. Circus solei at sea what a amazing not to be missed experience. Can’t recommend it enough truly great. Downside of this cruise was the sense of hard sell everything has its price. All the facilities on offer that attract you to the ship are expensive extras. You feel that you really add a significant spend to your initial outlay. People are forever in your face trying to sell you additional experiences. I bought a full drinks package, weekly spa package, full WiFi package, 3 restaurants speciality meals and circus solei show with dinner and show with cocktail all before the cruise. I spent the first day and a half of my cruise having to run about from one service to another to finalise packages meals etc. My advice is bar the spa package wait till you get on board. Any package bought pre cruise can not be recompensed when on ship. One real gripe is the WiFi it’s truly atrocious and best forgotten. Certainly not worth paying for the full internet unlimited download. The service hardly works and fully unavailable a serious amount of the time. So exhausting trying to keep resolving problems until I finally gave up and realised it’s a rubbish service and no amount of trying to make it work would. The much vaunted Zoe online assistant is rubbish no use nor ornament. The cruise felt like a cattle market 5000 people. Little space to relax in but really liked the adult only bar. All in all a fanstastic ship with every amenity but to busy to full on not relaxing enough and hard sell really off putting. Glad I did it but wouldn’t do it again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, ... Read More
Cruise critic, notes from the brand new MSC Bellisima... The newest of the MSC fleet, Bellisima is massive, wide, and very, very crowded. Ship. There are advantages to its size, but many disadvantages too! The price for its size, comes as opposite to your logic, the balcony suites!! Shoe boxes, (better) have been reduced in width to accommodate more rooms (boxes)! The design has changed the interior to putting the bed near to the window and the sofa next to the heads. On that front, there has been no shortage of hot water, at night the sound of those rooms above, having a shower or running water, can be loud. Everything is bright and new, yet only weeks old, signs of blistering rust, fester in awkward places. The crew as always, are Great! really helpful and accommodating. Some we have known from previous MSC cruises, don’t like the larger ship. It has lost its personality. For the the girls, women and wives, there are plenty of shops! If your in the market for watches, some extremely expensive(€53k)!! Down to tacky 2x €40! This ship was designed specifically for the Med. and less dangerous seas, not for open seas, ask those who travelled out from Southampton! Not good. The shopping plaza will blow your mind! It’s roof is an LED, picture scope, changing scene every few minutes, similar to that seen on the Dancing on Ice back drops. A wonderfull sight to see! Truly beautiful. From previous cruises, the traditional leaving port to Andrea Botchelli and Sarah Brightman singing ‘time to say goodbye’ has been deleted, no longer to thrill the passengers as this Cruise Director ( probably the worst we have ever witnessed), refused to play it!? Andrew Botchelli was in Southampton for the christening ceremony with Sophia Loren, he will be less than enamerored, when he finds out! He was so pleased to learn of the accolade. Shame really, out loud on the tannoy, it fits well with the MSC image, as the ship leaves the port, the recording blasting away! Other cruise lines now do the same, but MSC was first! The food is Good, really good for bulk cooking. The most picky eater would not go hungry. I have no intention of being rude, but how some of the foreigners stack up their plates,only to ditch it 10 mins later. With such a very large passenger number, queueing for food is a nightmare. This very much is the same for getting on and off the ship! Long waits! Double the passengers, but not the staff or exits and it’s a disaster waiting to happen! As above, there are quite a few other matters that can apply too! The theatre, emergency practice, let alone forbid it should ever happen for real! Hey? Perhaps the captain will get off first! Costa on the rocks sir? With ice? One of the other nigly small items is the changing of the drinks packages. One thing other lines should have followed(Cunard)! Obviously MSC found they could screw you out of more money this new way! and the new fantastica package goes far less further than it did! The once formal evening has gone. Not one evening suit to be seen. Shame! Yes shame, we forget the ladies love to dress up! On the Gala night, shorts and tee shirts were seen on many! Bad news is, the staff did little or nothing to stop it. The ship! Yes too big! Too crowded, too many queues, oh yes! There was enough deck chairs, but no staff to organise how far they could go! Main areas were jammed in 2 cases. The ship? An absolute joy to sail in. Even the most sea sick person could manage! Very little roll or pitch! Well done the designer or ship architect. NOW YOU CAN TAKE YOUR MOTHER! There is some good entertainment on board. The nightly shows are well put together as are specialty shows like ‘Circ Du Soliel’, but the ad says, specify! Gourmet food. It is not! Wet, over cooked veg, hard over-baked specialty Potatoes are part of this act! Now in the bin. I did have cause to complain that one time, as my plate went back with no other replacement in sight. But those artists Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Booked this cruise nearly 2 years ago. I have sailed with MSC a couple of times beforehand so I had an idea what to expect. We embarked at Genoa, as we had stayed overnight in a local hotel we boarded early so that part was very ... Read More
Booked this cruise nearly 2 years ago. I have sailed with MSC a couple of times beforehand so I had an idea what to expect. We embarked at Genoa, as we had stayed overnight in a local hotel we boarded early so that part was very easy. What we did not like was we were hassled to have our photo taken prior to passport control. We told the photographer the we did not want these as we would not buy them as we were in our travelling clothes (not a good memory) in order to get past them we eventually let them take our photos (more on this later in review) On boarding the ship we were impressed with the interior all nice and sparkling, we took our hand luggage to the cabin. First impressions very fairly positive. We got changed and quickly headed for a hot tub as we thought ship was going to get very busy later on. We headed for the buffet, seemed to be a good selection to choose from. Later on we looked at the daily program, this advised as that our 8.00pm dining time had been put back to 8.30pm, so we decided to watch the show. when the show had finished we made our way to the lighthouse restaurant on Deck 6, we met the lady at the front door and she said that we were late and the restaurant was closed. We told her that the program said dinner was at 830 but she did not know this. She called over the restaurant manager and explained the situation. he eventually let us in together with about 50 of us that had also read the program. Food was OK but portions small, as most days the food was warm but not hot. The menu makes food sound spectacular but it is as most places nice patterns on a plate with a bit of sauce applied with an upside down spoon, We went back to cabin to unpack, by this time the bed located in ceiling void was down, only problem was poor design that the ladder stopped the wardrobe door from opening (if wardrobe had been located 1 foot nearer to door the would not have been this problem) Bathroom is small but adequate, nice shower but not enough room to dry yourself. We could not find the bin at first but we eventually found it under sink by giving a panel quite a tug. As the cruise progressed we wanted to try out some of the things on offer on top deck, I wants to do the Himalayan ropes course so I got up there quite early. when it was my turn the chap said where is my blue wristband (I had no idea what he was talking about) he told me to go to reception on deck 5 to get this. (I was not happy) Later in the day I went to reception to get this wristband, reception did not know what I was talking about. I went back up top and saw a different person and he said I had to go to a little table the was hidden by the top of the slides to sign some for of waiver. (I did a ropes course of the Carnival Horizon and there was no such hassle, they even had little lockers to but your pocket stuff in as you were not allowed it on the course). I said can I leave some stuff here but was told this was at my own risk. It was soon noticed that there is a lot of charging for the extra activities. this annoyed me as I had been on the Splendida a couple of years ago and to do the bowling, racing car and 4d cinema was a fixed price of 35 euros for everyone in cabin for the whole cruise (7 days) no such luck on this, MSC operate a thing called fun pass which I think is the wrong choice of phrase. it is not a pass in any way. It is a scheme where you but so much credit a you are given a little extra for free, only trouble is that the racing car is 10 euros a go and only lasts 5 minutes so entertainment will not last long unless you have very deep pockets. the 4D cinema was excellent but again very expensive as was the 10 pin bowling. Only on the last day did I do any of the activities (my son 1 go on the racing car and each of us 1 go on the 4D cinema and boom 15 minutes later you are 25 euros worse off. A few days into the cruise there was a photo package on our bed, we had a very quick look and realised that these were the photos they had taken when we boarded, they looked awful. We put them in the pocket shelf under the TV. A couple of days later. I noticed there was a charge on our account of 35 euros from the photoshop, we went to reception to complain as we found there was also a little slip of paper in this folder that said I had to tick a box to say If I wanted them or not. The reception said that I should fill this in. I pointed out that this practice is unfair, I told them that if I want something I will go to the place, pick it up myself and go and pay for it in the standard tradition. I did say to them that if a were to leave a dirty sock in my cabin with a note inside asking for 10 euros with a tick box yes/no (same difference). Zoe (the in cabin assistant is a total waste of space, less said the better on this so called technology) Plenty of storage space in a relatively small cabin, 2 large wardrobes and a very small safe. Buffet food during the day times could be a bit hit and miss Breakfast was plentiful but the 2 downsides of the buffet are 1/ People wandering aimlessly about, not realizing that a queue is forming 2/ The button to press when you want a drink you might have to press it at least 6 times. We had the Cirque du Soleil including in our booking. It was Ok but nothing to write home about. The Galleria Bellisima is quite spectacular looking but that is about it, the tiny area where entertainment takes place is too small With such a large ship I think they need to have 3 decks of entertainment as the galleria is a huge void of space covering two floors where on smaller ships the are more bars and areas to watch something a little different. This does not exist on the Bellissima so that is a big no from me. The theatre is Ok, thankfully the shows are only 35 minutes long and too samey too much dancing. When shows finish the galleria gets packed very quickly, I found it easier to go up to deck 7 and walkalong With a ship of this I was surprised that we were bobbing up and down from Malta to Barcelona via a sea day. on board Activities via games and quizzes were virtual non existent We had the Easy package which you are limited to Heineken if you wanted a beer, Bar list state 40cl but when you get your drink you find the glass is only just over 3/4 full. We did order a smoothie but when we saw the banana they put in it, there is no way we were going to drink that. Be careful if you have allergies in the MDR as the waiters seem to be a little vague on what this means. 2 on our table had a nut allergy. so the head waiter had to really look after them as some of the items bought out DID contain nuts. My wife booked a hair appointment, she attended on time but was told she was an hour late. they did realize that they were wrong but did not apologize, to a woman getting your hair done is supposed to be a pleasurable thing, but my wife was not happy with this experience. Disembarkation was very easy. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my children’s first cruise experience and my husband and I had been on two much smaller cruise ships over 20 years ago, so this was a whole new experience for us. Transfer from Marseille airport was good, a driver was waiting ... Read More
This was my children’s first cruise experience and my husband and I had been on two much smaller cruise ships over 20 years ago, so this was a whole new experience for us. Transfer from Marseille airport was good, a driver was waiting in Arrivals for us and we shared a mini bus with another family on our flight, so we were on our way straightaway.  The port was only 20 minutes away.  On arrival at the cruise terminal our cases were tagged and taken from us and we went through to the check in area.  We still had an hour and a half until check in opened, but there were plenty of seats and a café if you wanted to buy a snack or drink.  An announcement was made when check in opened, Aurea experience guests were asked to come up first, but nearly the whole waiting area of people stood up.  We made our way through the crowd of people and soon got checked in and were given our cruise cards and wrist bands.  There was a table with fruit juice and then you had to stand for a family photo.  After the photo, you went through security screening and then on the ship you presented your cruise card and had your photo taken for ID purposes.  There were a lot of staff standing around with posters advertising the drinks packages, but we tried to avoid these, as we already had the premium package which was offered as a promotion when booking our holiday.  We made our way to our cabin (12005) a duplex suite at the front of the ship. The cabin was great; upstairs there was a double bed which we had asked to be twin beds, but Mellissa our friendly cabin steward came to introduce herself straightaway and told me that she would change the bed arrangement while we were at dinner.  The bathroom upstairs was bigger than I thought with a full-size bath with shower over, also upstairs was a TV, a small safe and a large walk in wardrobe with vanity unit and hairdryer.  Downstairs there was a shower room, a walk-in wardrobe, dining area, large TV and a sofa bed which quickly turned into a very comfy double bed.  There was also a vanity unit with hairdryer, coffee table, mini bar and more storage.  There is room for cases under the beds upstairs or under the staircase.  The cabin also came with two Zoes, like Amazon’s Alexa, but we only used them as a Bluetooth speakers, as we couldn’t get them to work when asking questions.  The TV’s in the cabin show your account details and give information on what is happening on board plus you get a paper daily planner every night to look through.  You can also download the MSC for Me app to use on your mobile, you don’t need the internet package for this to work on-board.  There are also screens around the ship if you want to book shows, etc.  The balcony was a good size with two sun beds, two chairs and a foot rest.  The hot tub was always warm enough to relax in and had a hot/cold tap to fill it up.  Two bathrobes and slippers were provided and 4 pool towels. We also got a free diffuser to take home. The buffet area was busy, but at all the times we visited we always found a table and there was a good selection of food which we found was good quality.  You could press a button at your table and request drinks from the bar which was a great idea.  The other areas of the ship never seemed over busy, you could usually find a table to sit at.  We also had access to the Top 19 Solarium which was reserved for Aurea and Yacht Club guests.  There were towels there to use and comfy sunbeds with thickly padded cushions and a large hot tub.  There wasn’t a bar at Top 19, but someone did come around serving drinks, although he was on his own, so it sometimes took a while to get a drink. He also came around with fruit skewers which was a nice touch.  The outdoor pool was heated so could be used even if it wasn’t a very warm day and there were plenty of beds and a snack bar, drinks bar and ice cream bar.  There was a huge screen above the outdoor pool, but as the temperature at night was very cool no films were shown on this during our cruise.  We had My Choice Dining in the Lighthouse restaurant so we could turn up and get a table straightaway.  Our waiter, Julio, was very friendly and soon got to know the drinks we liked and was very efficient, we were never kept waiting too long for our food, the menu had a good choice and it was different every night of our 7-night cruise.  The food was not al a carte but was a good standard, we enjoyed all our meals.  One night my husband got a steak that was very fatty, but Julio noticed this and brought him another one.  We had to ask for butter a on a couple of occasions, but this was soon brought. On our first night at the restaurant we were told that we were on the Easy drinks package although we knew we had the Premium, so we were told to go to Guest Services after our meal to check.  We soon got it rectified and were assured we hadn’t been charged for anything.  The dome in the Galleria was very impressive and showed a different show on it every night of our 7-night cruise, it was on three times during the evening.  We had purchased the Fun Pass at £90 beforehand which meant that we could spend 180 euros on bowling, (30 euros for 30 minutes), F1 simulator (10 euros each), VR Maze (15 euros each), Interactive Cinema (10 euros each) and games in the arcade were between 1.50 euros and 3.50 euros. We soon got through our Fun Pass, I thought the bowling and F1 simulator and arcade games were priced OK, but the Maze and Cinema seemed a bit pricey for the amount of time you spent in them.  I would recommend getting a Fun Pass before you travel to save money. During our bowling session people kept coming onto our lane to have a nosy which we thought was very dangerous when we’re throwing a heavy bowling ball.  They had a blue strip of material at the bottom of the stair up to the bowling lane, but people just moved around it and small children went underneath it.  We had to ask people to move on a couple of occasions, I think a proper screen is needed to prevent this happening before there is an accident. We didn’t bother with an Internet package as we were hugging the coastline most of the time, so had a phone signal, it was only the at sea day that we struggled. We didn’t bother with the speciality restaurants, the sushi, teppanyaki and Butchers Cut seemed popular, but the French bistro and Spanish tapas bar were empty whenever we passed.  We were happy with the quality of the restaurant and buffet food so didn’t want to spend 120+ euros for a meal for four.   We did get charged 34.99 euros for photos that we hadn’t ordered. Some photos were left in our cabin which were taken when we embarked, you had a form to complete saying whether you wanted them or not.  I signed to say that I didn’t want them and the cabin steward removed them from our room.  This may have been a genuine mistake, but keep an eye on your bill while on board.  We had a free photo with the Aurea package, but when we went to the Photo shop we were told it had to be the photo taken in the restaurant on our first night and not the one from the gala night, so we ended up spending 39.99 euros for 3 photos from the gala night.  You do get pestered quite a bit by all the photographers to have photos, but we just said no thanks and carried on walking. Our drinks package was good, we got a good selection of wines, including sparkling, bottled beers, and cocktails and other spirits up to 10 euros.  We could also have water and tea/coffee in the restaurants.  The kids could get soft drinks, water and smoothies.  Just be careful because we got charged 6.33 euros for a child’s milkshake from the bar next to the waterpark, my daughter also got a shake from the indoor pool bar and it was included in our package, so beware.  Also, you get charged for using the minibar, which seemed nonsense because everything in it we could get from the bars and it was included in our package, so we never used the mini bar. We only went to one of the free shows in the London Theatre which was a Rock show.  It was 35 minutes long which was perfect for my husband who doesn’t do shows, but he enjoyed it.  It flowed well and the costumes were great.  My daughter and I went to the Syma, Cirque du Soleil show which was 14 euros each, it was a very good show and you got one cocktail at the start.  The seats were very comfy and swivelled and you had a small table in-between. It was quite an intimate theatre, which was nice, we were on the third row, but could see perfectly and were only a couple of metres from the round stage.  My children didn’t use the clubs, there was a young club for 12-14 years and a teen club for 15-17 years. A lot of the children in their age group were Spanish/French/Italian so they stayed with us and would occasionally have a wander to the buffet on their own or wander around the shops.  We only did one excursion to Pompeii which was £209 for the four of us.  It was a 4-hour excursion, but we were disappointed that we didn’t get more time at Pompeii.  It was about 50 minutes on the coach to Pompeii and then we stood around for the first 15 minutes waiting for the guide to purchase tickets and count us all in. Pompeii was very crowded and we were soon heading for the exit.  My son wanted to see the visitors centre, but we bypassed this and headed for the exit.  On exiting we were told we had 20 minutes to get a drink or visit a Lemoncello factory near the entrance with the guide.  I would rather have spent the time at the visitor’s centre or exploring more of Pompeii.  We then headed back to the bus that wasn’t there so we stood in the car park for at least 5 minutes or maybe longer and then on the way back to the ship we stopped off at a coral factory for 10 minutes.  The majority of people stayed on the bus.  It just seemed as if we had spent £209 to stand around and be sold Lemoncello and coral gifts.  We spent less than an hour and a half inside Pompeii. When we docked in Genoa, Messina and Valetta it was an easy walk to the centre, but for Barcelona it was a 2km walk, so we hopped on the shuttle bus it was 8.99 euros each for adults return and 5.99 euros for 13 years and younger.  We got charged 8.99 euros for our 13-year-old but we didn’t bother going to Guest Services over 3 euros.  All the staff we encountered were good, we just had one member of staff who was rude, she was in the Masters of the Sea pub, which we used every night, but she was only in there on one of the nights, so maybe she had been put there and wasn’t happy about it, although that is no excuse.   We had a phone call at 1am on one of the nights to say could we turn our balcony light off as it was effecting navigation.  Our cabin was located directly under the bridge. We found this funny that a balcony light was effecting the ships navigation.  We turned it off straightaway and had a chuckle about it. You use the hot tub at your own risk, my daughter sustained a very large bruise and a cut at the top of her thigh.  She was sat sideways on the ledge to gain access to the hot tub and was just about to get out of it when the filter kicked in, which is located at the entry/exit point, and it sucked her skin into the square cut out and she panicked.  I manged to prize her away and couldn’t believe what it had done to her thigh.  We have a hot tub at home but the filter is nowhere near the entry/exit point. My daughter enjoyed the waterpark and Himalayan bridge, she used them on our last evening while docked in Barcelona and there wasn’t much of a queue.  I needed to sign a waiver for her and she was issued with a wrist band otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to use the equipment. On the package we were on you could get a free breakfast in your cabin so we tried this one morning.  The order form for breakfast wasn’t in the cabin so I had to request this from Mellissa.  We filled out our order and left it on the door handle the night before.  It arrived on time, but we had ordered 3 bowls of cereal and only had enough milk for one bowl, so ended up going to the buffet anyway. I did use the spa to go for my free massage, it also said I would get a welcome cocktail and consultation, but this was never mentioned.  It was my first massage so they recommended the 50 minute Bali Massage.  I asked for the day at sea but they said they were busy that day so I went for 6pm on the Wednesday.  I enjoyed the massage but afterwards she recommended the hot stone massage and wanted to book me in the next day which was the sea day at 130 euros minus a 20% discount.  I had been told they were busy that day so I think they must get told not to offer free massages on the sea days.  I declined the second massage as I didn’t want another one the next day after just having one, it just felt a bit hard sell.  I did have a look around the rest of the spa which looked nice with lots of different areas. We did have a bit of rough weather one night and we did find it hard to sleep, not due to the rocking, but the creaking of the cabin.  I know this is probably normal for all cruise ships but thought I would mention it.  The sofa bed in our suite was very comfortable, it was big enough for my husband and myself, although my husband’s feet did hang over the end a bit, it was a firm mattress which we like. There were no announcements from the captain or anyone else about sea conditions during the 7 days.  I know they must relay in multiple languages but it would have been nice to know.  The only time you saw the captain was on the gala night when he made two appearances to stand for photos.   We didn’t bother to queue to see him though. The cruise had a very relaxed vibe, they had a couple of formal evenings and a lot of people had made an effort but there were others who were very casual.  I don’t mind it being more relaxed but it would have been nice if people had made more of an effort. It made the cruise feel more like a ferry trip. On our last night, we received our disembarkation details, we had to disembark the ship at 9.40am even though our flight was not until 4.55pm.  I was expecting to at least have the chance to stay on the ship until lunchtime.  My husband went to guest services to see if we could stay on the ship longer and book our own taxi back to the airport, even though we had paid for a transfer when booking the holiday.  We were told that we would still have to disembark the ship at 9.40am and we would have to take it up with MSC cruises when we got home.  We had to leave our cases outside the cabin before 1am and then we got to stay in the cabin until 8.30am.  I do understand that they need you out of the cabin early but didn’t see the issue with staying on the ship for the full morning. When we got back after dinner on our last night the hot tub had already been drained although they didn’t tell us that, so if you want to use the hot tub on your last day make sure you do it before going for dinner.  At 8.30am we went for breakfast at the buffet and by the time we had finished it was time to go down to disembark.  The airport is not far from the port in Marseille so we ended up spending 6.5 hours at Marseille airport.  The family who we had shared a minibus with on arrival were not happy about spending 6.5 hours at the airport either.  Considering Marseille is a large city the airport is very minimalist and there were no shops to even look around.  The seating was hard plastic and not very comfortable, my husband ended up laying on the marble floor.  We have done package holidays before and have never been dumped at the airport like this, it ruined the end of a good holiday.  We were talking about booking another MSC cruise on our last day of the holiday but on receiving the disembarkation details and feeling as if they couldn’t wait to get rid of us off the ship it has put us off booking with them again.     Why couldn’t they let us stay on the ship until lunchtime even after we had offered to pay for a taxi ourselves? Or they could have offered to hold onto our luggage while we paid for the shuttle bus into Marseille for a few hours? After complaining to MSC about disembarkation it seems as if this is normal practise. They told me that my travel agent would of told me this, but I can assure you that this was not the case. This is something I will also bring up with my travel agent. If we had of known the procedure before the last night of our holiday we could have made better arrangements. There were customers staying on the ship until after lunch who had evening flights, we could see this from the disembarkation details they gave us. We felt as though they wanted to dump everyone at the airport as soon as possible and not have to pay for another bus/taxi. Overall we enjoyed our cruise, but it did feel a bit hard sell at times. We would like to cruise the Caribbean or Asia next and will maybe look at Royal Caribbean or Celebrity Cruises to get a comparison. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We have just returned from a 7 day cruise in the med (Barcelona Marseilles Genova Naples Messina and Valletta) and we were quite disappointed with the MSC Bellissima. It is not as beautiful as the MSC Seaside and there is no ... Read More
We have just returned from a 7 day cruise in the med (Barcelona Marseilles Genova Naples Messina and Valletta) and we were quite disappointed with the MSC Bellissima. It is not as beautiful as the MSC Seaside and there is no 'vibe' . The main attraction is supposed to be the 80-metre-long LED dome which turns out to be an overcrowded shopping mall. The Cirque du Soleil at Sea is supposed to be the other big attraction but there is an extra charge for that. The captain is barely visible or audible (we only saw him at the photo opportunity with captain event). The music is quite dull and depressing and there are very few daytime activities and most are chargeable. I have attended a Zumba session on a previous cruise which was held in one of the big theatres. It was free and great fun. Not on the Belissima! The Zumba started 15 minutes late as the teacher had to collect the fee and it was held in a tiny room that doubled up as the spinning studio in the gym area. Luckily there were only 5 (!) people attending. The gym is far too small for a ship this size and there is no area for floor work or stretching. I ended up stretching on the floor (no mats) in a little corridor outside the toilets with people stepping over me. The other thing that bugs me is that on formal nights people are allowed to attend formal dinner in t shirts. Very few people wear dinner jackets and that is sort of fine. However can people not make a tiny effort and wear a shirt with maybe a tie, instead of a scruffy red tshirt? MSC should enforce a minimum clothing standard in the formal dining rooms on formal nights. The food was fine with plenty of choice at the buffet. I would have liked longer opening hours which would have helped us avoid the 'scrum' that regularly occurs in the buffet area. Also, it would be nice if MSC stopped people from filling bottles from the water machines as this is not hygienic. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship and room overall are very nice but the interactive computer Zoe was a complete joke and never gave info. Let's start with the staff everyone we met was nice but that is expected the problem was not one person was exceptional ... Read More
The ship and room overall are very nice but the interactive computer Zoe was a complete joke and never gave info. Let's start with the staff everyone we met was nice but that is expected the problem was not one person was exceptional or memorable they were all marginal at best with their service skills. The food and menus were also marginal with a very limited menu in the main dining room it seemed like they were trying to drive you into their pay restaurants it was very disappointing. The best food of the ship was probably breakfast and that was decent as for lunch we passed because besides the pizza which was good there was nothing worth going for and what they consider a salad bar is a complete disgrace and good luck finding salad dressing. I will give them props for the pizza, mozzarella and some breads other than that eat off the boat for lunch. The entertainment was strange with the exception of the Rock n roll show which was very good other than that we walked out on everything. They had a 70s show in the promenade the first night and had entertainers dressed like the Village people, while playing YMCA the guys were simulating sexual moves with other men with families around so we left. The destinations were all good except Merseille which is and odd choice given all the great places in southern France. We had two tours through the ship which were very nice Pompii and Mount Etna/Taormina which I recommend. The Front desk and Photography staffs are not well informed so plan on extra time dealing with these people. Our room was very nice but we were not aware that our Balcony room had a partially obstructed view till we boarded which did not make us happy but the size of our deck was twice that of everyone else's so we dealt with it. Also be advised that MSC charges for everything onboard, what you take for granted on other cruise ship is charged for on MSC whcih my daughter says stands for Mucho service charges. We still had a good time on the cruise but be advised this is not RCCl which is our favorite. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We joined the cruise after 4 nights in Naples. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were fine and pretty quick. The cruise had embarkation and disembarkation at each port so it was quite easy with staggered numbers. Cabins are ... Read More
We joined the cruise after 4 nights in Naples. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures were fine and pretty quick. The cruise had embarkation and disembarkation at each port so it was quite easy with staggered numbers. Cabins are lovely and fresh and quite spacious, even for an interior. The MSC Zoe assistant is useless though. Selection of TV channels is mostly news with very no English speaking entertainment channels. Movies are on a paid basis only. The restaurant is usually a highlight of ours, but this time we were left very much wanting. Until we requested a table transfer, the service was a disaster, our waiter didn’t bother introducing himself and service was very slow. After we changed tables, Ardana gave great service and was lovely, however meals were very slow coming out of the kitchen, we had to change our theatre reservation to accomodate. The quality of the meals was very hit and miss. As a vegetarian it was extremely disappointing to frequently only be offered a single choice, or a very sub-par risotto that looked like it came out of a boxed instant meal. Portions were tiny and not made up for in quality, only 2 pieces of tofu or 3 pieces of ravioli does not a dinner make. Over salted and very average. Desserts that were frozen often came out half melted. We were also very frustrated to have to pay for water with our dinner in a restaurant when one can access water on demand dining in the buffet, this was especially egregious given how salty the meals were. Buffet food was really good surprisingly, however the clientele made it a very unpleasant experience. The amount of times I nearly ended up with my breakfast down my front because I was bumped was ridiculous. In addition to the restaurant it was very frustrating that most activities on board were at cost or non existent- while the itinerary was port heavy, even on a sea day no activities were available between 9:30am and 3pm, and even then both were additional costs. I understand that language here presents a challenge for trivia and other cruising classics, but it was missed. The itinerary was the standout, and ultimately the ship faded into simply a mode of transport for us. When in Genoa, make an effort to get into the back streets for some of the best food of your life! While the crew were great and the ship is beautiful it’s unlikely we’d come back to MSC. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We where so excited to join this ship with it being advertised as beauty at sea, looking at it certainly was !! The interiors where so beautiful, but our cruise was let down so much by the quality of the food, the buffet food was always ... Read More
We where so excited to join this ship with it being advertised as beauty at sea, looking at it certainly was !! The interiors where so beautiful, but our cruise was let down so much by the quality of the food, the buffet food was always warm and the meats where always full of fat, we complained a few times about this but nothing was ever done , I even spoke to the head Chef and asked for a food temperature prod to test the food , this was declined. MSC is like a hop on hop off taxi service so people are getting on and off at every port, with this happening the speakers are going off all the time welcoming new guests so if you ever want a afternoon / early evening rest / nap forget it. MSC have a Alexa type system In the rooms and it didn’t understand anything we asked it just telling is to ask a member of the crew, this was a big fail. MSC ME app for the phone is great it allows you to book and cancel things live from your phone. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We looked forward to the much hyped inaugural cruise on Bellisima. MSC are not that well known here in UK, and it was a great surprise that Southampton was chosen for the christening and inaugural cruise of this enormous ship, capable of ... Read More
We looked forward to the much hyped inaugural cruise on Bellisima. MSC are not that well known here in UK, and it was a great surprise that Southampton was chosen for the christening and inaugural cruise of this enormous ship, capable of carrying well over 4000 passengers. As we approached the harbour we we were astounded at the sheer size of the ship, but were delighted by how speedily we boarded. There were no words of welcome or proffered welcome drink, and guests milled about wondering which direction to take. Armed with a ship plan, we worked out the location of our deck 12 cabin, and after a few wrong turns we arrived. Our cabin was pleasant but rather dull, with dark furnishings, grey ceiling and mustard soft furnishings. The bed proved to be comfortable, the wardrobe adequate for a shorter cruise, but the cabin was dominated by a huge convertible sofa. The bathroom was a masterpiece of compact planning, with glass shower enclosure, wedge shaped sink and narrow counter. We’d luckily packed toiletries as those provided were generic MSC dispensers. The narrow balcony had 2 mesh chairs and small table to enjoy on sunny days. We tried out the innovative Zoe interactive system but found it confusing and irritating. After a 3 hour train journey, we decided that we’d find the buffet, a well laid out, but crowded , deck 15 area, with plenty of tables and a wide selection of dishes. Busy waiters rushed to serve drinks, and guests settled to enjoy all that the ship had to offer. After lunch, like everyone else, we explored this vast ship, with its long central domed LED displays above a range of shops, cafes and bars. It was a truly amazing spectacle to have this moving image display as one strolled the area. The central atrium is a delight, furnished in silver and soft greys with beautiful swarowski crystal staircases linking decks. We liked the cosy pub but were astounded by the paucity of the library, in reality 2 shelves of paperbacks, completely inadequate for a ship of this size, as many guests like to relax with a book when at sea. The top deck has a water park with water rides and a range of interactive gaming opportunities, several of which had to be booked , attracting a charge per use. The attractive pools areas are well furnished with sun loungers, sun beds and chairs, very popular when the sun shone, unlike many ships, there were life guards. Dining is well organised with 3 main dining rooms, several speciality restaurants as well as the separate yacht club area restaurant for suite guests. When booking a choice of dining times was offered. We had chosen a 6pm set time, and the dining room had plenty of tables for 2 , closely spaced. The dining room staff were well organised and efficient, and the menus varied daily. The restaurant was well run, the waiters friendly and helpful and the restarant manager Fabio a charming host. Most guests had a drinks package of some kind, but the basic wines on offer were decidedly unimpressive. We chose from the bar menus, enjoying some very good , varied , Italian wines. Like many others, towards the end of the cruise, we checked our account, discovering several errors. As it is a paper free billing system, it was a matter of queuing at the guest service desk to remedy the problems, a complicated business as the relevant department had to be consulted for each mistake. MSC needs to address this issue and simplify the system. Evening entertainment is very European in style, and with such a polyglot audience acts had to have a wide appeal, jugglers, shadow performers and ventriloquist are the norm, with the addition of a separate Cirque de Soleil showroom , performing just 2evenings on our cruise, despite the promise of it being. ACirque de soleil at sea cruise. The popular Bellisima bar was the liveliest spot, with live music, a tiny dance floor and a busy bar. We enjoyed a couple of evenings there, but seating is limited and it is a very crowded spot. Disembarkation was as well organised as at the start. A colour coded system worked well, with no crowding and a well organised system. Collecting luggage was a bit chaotic, as the area was small, but it all seemed to go quite smoothly and we were soon on our way. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I boarded okay. Firstly trying to get through the staff pushing their drinks packages. The ship looked amazing. But considering it was the inaugural voyage there was no pomp or ceremony. Not even a musical send off or complimentary ... Read More
I boarded okay. Firstly trying to get through the staff pushing their drinks packages. The ship looked amazing. But considering it was the inaugural voyage there was no pomp or ceremony. Not even a musical send off or complimentary Champagne toast. A few special people seemed to get invited to the naming ceremony but for the rest of us we had a paper certificate!! Most cruises give away freebies to keep you coming back and it advertises their company. Not even a pen or pad if you wanted to make any notes. Theres a new gadget called 'Zoe' (like Alexa etc). Anything I asked her she said ask a member of staff. I traveled alone in my cabin but if there was two of us I think it may have been a bit cramped and not enough space to put your belongings away. The safe was small. I couldn't put my laptop in it. Toiletries provided in the cabin.........Ive had better in Travelodge. There was shampoo and shower gel in a pump on the wall. No conditioner, hand cream etc. The shower cubical was small. Towels were nice though and plentiful. The wardrobe was very narrow. You couldn't hang anything neatly as it had to hang sideways. The draws were also very narrow and only opened a bit so difficult to get things in or out with our screwing them up. And I wasn't prepared to pay to have the iron rubbed over. You cant get use of an iron onboard. Tv was an okay size for the cabin but very poor channel selections. Apart for the regular BBC news there was BBC Eden. I think that was on a loop so repeated. We had a restaurant and a dining time allocated but the food was average. No steak or any speciallity dining. That was extra and there was a better selection for a price. I agree with the comment 'school dinners'. Even the mash was lumpy. Drinks served were limited even when included in your drinks package. You could only choose from what they offered and not necessarily what you like to drink!!! This was the case at all meal times. The buffet was a free for all much like a cheap package deal to costa packet. Food was leftovers in a different format. Bland or cinnamon used to lift it regardless of it actually suited the food it was put with. The pasta choices were all a little overdone. Soggy. The pizzas were sloppy and not tasty. At one point my friends undercooked pork was put on a fish griddle to finish cooking. Wonder what pescatarians, muslims and people with certain allergies think of that. Waitresses were slow, had attitude and often rude. Little or no interaction. Young and just there to earn money. There were good waitresses and waiters. They were charming, helpful and remembered your preferred choice of beverage. But they were few and far between. I had many a complaint and in the end I had the direct line to guest services. Not sure if that was a good thing. Entertainment was a regular dance class and a stretch class if you could get into the small lounge were it was held. There was a very small auditorium with barely any seating that had the same set of musical acts on a rota. Nothing around the pools except dance music from the clubs. Not suitable to relax or have fun to. That was also on a loop. The shows were okay at times other times like amateur dramatics. Everything was told in three languages so drawn out. As for shopping......rubbish. More like a duty free arcade. It was run to get as much extra money out of you as it could. Everything was extra. Cirque was supposedly sold out. Then they weren't going to be there then they were giving tickets away. Not as good as the time I see them at the Royal Albert Hall. Porters were not something I see. The excisions were over priced and we sourced our own outings. I didn't travel with children but I am a wheelchair user. The first problem with that was the muster station drill. hen the emergency drill went ahead I was unable get help to get to the muster station. It was the wrong muster station too. The signs were giving the wrong directions and no special needs addressed. When I complained to the Marshall she said 'don't worry the drill will be over soon. Go back to your cabin". I couldn't believe my ears. When we disembarked at Genoa we found a free bus that took us to the airport. The 'SP from the station. The crew didn't make any effort with their goodbyes. Right back to the embarkation.......nothing special. I wouldn't go back. Its not disabled friendly. Not enough seating for people to spend time together. Lack of entertainment. Very disappointing. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Where to start with this one! A brand new ship with all the hype and excitement about it being the most beautiful ship in the world etc. Well it’s rather far fetched to say the least! Admittedly check in was very easy, and we got ... Read More
Where to start with this one! A brand new ship with all the hype and excitement about it being the most beautiful ship in the world etc. Well it’s rather far fetched to say the least! Admittedly check in was very easy, and we got straight on to the ship with total ease! But that is as far as it goes with the MSC Bellissima experience! We get to our cabins and my goodness they are narrow! The wardrobe is beyond a joke! Literally a single wardrobe! How on earth people who are on extended cruises will manage, I have no idea! And not even a cheap plastic pen left for us to be able to fill in the breakfast order form! Nothing, and I mean NOTHING special was done to make the guests feel excited about being on an inaugural voyage on a brand new ship! All the focus seems to be on how much money they can claw back out of you on board! Don’t waste your money! To save time I’m just going to list the problems! -don’t waste money on spa day pass! It’s overpriced and tiny for the size of the ship! And it gets packed by all the yacht club members who get to use it for free! -breakfast is the worst experience ever! People grabbing food! -shows are ghastly! And I mean atrocious! -all the hype of cirque du soleil and they didn’t perform once! -staff and officers taking up spaces in passenger areas, using phones etc! -captain didn’t speak to passengers once over PA system regarding the change in itinerary due to weather! -entertainment in general is terrible. There’s literally nothing going on! The hilight seems to be the cringeworthy dance classes that they do every day in the Bellissima lounge. Added to the fact there are like 20 creepy staff to try to force you to dance! -dinner in the complimentary restaurants is very slow and reminiscent of school dinners! - playing club music incredibly loudly in the pool deck at 8am! - physically inpossible to do a complete lap around the ship or go to the very front and watch sail in. The very front is reserved for yacht members only! So disappointing when I personally come on a ship in order to walk around and take in the views ! -bars on the ship seem to be just tables and chairs placed along the sides of the ship, with the millions of shops selling the same thing! However the gym is very good and the only place where I found the staff to be very friendly! Also, the dome ceiling is very cool! It does make a great impression on that side, with the ceiling shows. On the whole I really do think that MSC need to rethink this ship and how they deliver the kind of service that it should be getting. Would not recommend this ship Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Such a shame the reality didn’t live up to the hype! Ship looked magnificent, embarkation was great, quick and painless. Found our cabin easily, bags arrived swiftly - all good so far. Our balcony cabin was modern, contemporary ... Read More
Such a shame the reality didn’t live up to the hype! Ship looked magnificent, embarkation was great, quick and painless. Found our cabin easily, bags arrived swiftly - all good so far. Our balcony cabin was modern, contemporary design with thoughtful storage and a comfy bed. Bathroom was very small but, you know what, it worked just fine. Nice big desk and a large mirror, with Zoe standing proudly to attention on the corner of the desk. However, she was less than useless, unless you think that “ask a crew member or customer services” represents a helpful answer. TV was a good size well located, however had nothing to watch, 2 English speaking channels, I know I don’t cruise to sit and watch tv, but come on MSC. OK, the ship looked great, however the service was dire and the customer service staff would say anything to fob you off. Don’t blame the individuals - distinct lack of visible leadership, to help and manage staff. Never say nor even heard a single word from the Captain, did the PA system not work Restaurant food quality was just OK, with untrained staff were doing there best, it could take more than 45 mins between courses, ok if you want to spend 3 hours at dinner I suppose. Like all other staff in positions of authority, the maitre d would nod and apologise but actually do nothing to make it better. There was little or nothing to do during the day unless you wanted to learn to dance. Thankfully the sun came out when we got to Lisbon. Lack of staff meant that several venues never opened during the cruise. Could it be that there was not enough accommodation for staff because the cabins were all occupied by, shipyard staff, engineers, technical people, project people, cirque staff and a host of others onboard to make sure things were finished or working properly - just a thought! Entertainment onboard wasn’t west end quality, but you know it really wasn’t that bad, I enjoyed most of the shows that I went along too. the theatre, mind you is far too small for a ship of this size, so everything has to be booked, via the MSC for me app which was very good and easy to use and also didn’t need a WiFi package to access and use it Wow, MSC must know take the cruise line champion crown for trying to squeeze more revenue out of the every passenger onboard. It felt like everything was extra and the cost of some items were huge. 38 euro for a steak in Butchers Cut, you could easily rack up, pardon the pun, over 100euros having dinner!!! It’s not the big lump of steel that will make customers keep coming back to MSC its the customer service and experience which without significant refinement will encourage passengers to spend there money with other cruise lines. The voyagers club (returning passengers) welcome aboard party took place almost a week into the voyage - how does that make sense? The maiden voyage should have been special but it felt more like a shake down cruise with a ship that wasn’t ready Read Less
MSC Bellissima Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.0
Dining 4.5 3.4
Entertainment 5.0 3.2
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 5.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.3
Enrichment 3.0 2.6
Service 4.5 3.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.3

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