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Sail Date: August 2019
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua ... Read More
This was the first time we have done a cruise and we really did not know what to expect. We traveled as a family with 2 older teenagers and chose the MSC Bellissima in the hope that it would offer enough to keep them entertained (the Aqua Park was the key deciding factor and not the itinerary). Just to start - the Bellissima is a beautiful and elegant ship, yes we were very impressed by the Swarovski crystal staircase. It is also loud, lively and family friendly. So if you don't appreciate sharing your holiday with lots of children of all ages then this probably isn't the ship for you - particularly during the school holidays. There are plenty of activities on board. The children's clubs seemed to be very good although we did not use them.The sportsplex although almost always busy again was good. We all particularly enjoyed the F1 simulator, bowling, ice hockey and interactive cinema here. The fun pass came in very handy and I would highly recommend purchasing this in advance as it offered excellent value for money compared to on board prices. The swimming pools were lovely, although crowded. As with many holidays, you still have the unfortunate experience of people hogging sun beds with their towels but never really appearing in person! There is absolutely no need for this and this was probably the most irritating thing about the whole cruise. The Aqua Park was very nice but not nearly big enough to entertain my older thrill-seeking teenagers. It is, however, excellent for slightly younger children. The Himalayan walk was fun. The Cirque du Soleil shows were excellent. We saw one as a dinner show and the other as a cocktail show. I would highly recommend the dinner show. The shopping was good but expensive, primarily due to the poor exchange rate for the pound against the Euro. However, there are promotions on everyday with significant discounts. We bought the unlimited internet package in advance. This seemed very expensive at the time but proved essential for my teenagers using social media and keeping in touch with friends. They complained it was a slow internet connection - however it is satellite wifi and so not as fast as home wifi. We did one MSC organised excursion to Gozo by powerboat followed by a jeep safari around the island and time on the beach. The excursion was well organised. It seemed expensive at 115 Euro each, but we all really enjoyed the day so it was worth the cost. The service was excellent from all the staff we met. I appreciate this is contrary to some reviews I read prior to booking but we found that all passenger facing staff spoke very good English and,as a minimum, they were all polite and professional. Our cabin attendant, Jean, was particularly friendly and helpful and went out of his way to make our stay special. The restaurant service was almost always very rapid and always courteous and polite. In the seated restaurant the staff would try to offer something else if you did not like what was offered on that evening's menu. The buffet restaurant had a huge variety of dishes to suit all tastes. We had the premium drinks package included which was very good for us and again I would definitely have this again. The whole ship was spotlessly clean and you could see staff at all times of day cleaning public areas. There was a real focus on hand hygiene at meal times with excellent facilities for hand washing outside the main buffet restaurant - a welcome sight! We did use the Zoe voice activated information system as a bit of a novelty, however the MSC for me app was much more useful. Embarkation and disembarkation were busy but well organised and there were minimal waiting times. Overall, we all thoroughly enjoyed our first cruise experience and will definitely travel with MSC again. I am confused by some of the negative reviews I have read but I would highly recommend both the company and the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We are an American family of four with two kids 18 and 16. We have cruised many times before but not on MSC and not in Europe. We had a great cruise! The food, service and overall experience exceeded our expectations. We had a duplex ... Read More
We are an American family of four with two kids 18 and 16. We have cruised many times before but not on MSC and not in Europe. We had a great cruise! The food, service and overall experience exceeded our expectations. We had a duplex suite which had plenty of room and great views. We made the most of th drink package and the bartenders and waiters were great. We really enjoyed the food at the regular dining room - great service and great views while we enjoyed the great food. We also tried the chop steakhouse and tapas bar - both great. Plenty of hot tubs and room on the ship. The excursions were also great we did the ebike tour in Genoa, Amalfi coast tour, beach in Messina and bus tour in Barcelona. In Malta we just walked off the ship which was nice we were able to walk through downtown which was beautiful. I can’t say enough good things about the ship staff they were so friendly and exceeded our expectations. We will definitely cruise MSC again and thank them for a wonderful cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
We travelled on more than 60 cruises on Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard Grill Class, HAL, Viking, RCCL, Crystal, Seabourn, Hapag Lloyd, Oceania and Regent. We wanted to try the MSC Yachtclub. Well first we arrived in Marseille cruiseterminal ... Read More
We travelled on more than 60 cruises on Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard Grill Class, HAL, Viking, RCCL, Crystal, Seabourn, Hapag Lloyd, Oceania and Regent. We wanted to try the MSC Yachtclub. Well first we arrived in Marseille cruiseterminal 10:00 AM, so way to early but the butler at checkin said "no Problem" and brought us on board to the beautiful Topsail Lounge dedicated for Yachtclub only. Our suite was already ready and at 10:20 with a glass of champagne in our hands we were standing on our beautiful balcony. The suite was cosy and spacious and the bed was so comfortable, this is the first mattress on a cruiseship with so much comfort zones so you have to sleep really well. The bathroom was well appointed and with a perfect pressure rain shower. The butler and her assistant delivered our requested drinks for the free minibar. After this we went to the special Yachtclub restaurant for lunch. The restaurantmanager came to us to tell that he ordered special muesli with fresh strawberries everyday for us in the mornings at breakfast, what we requested in advance. After a wonderful lunch we went upstairs to the Yachtclub deck, nice and quiet with good loungers with comfy pillows on it, really a haven on such a big busy ship. Yachtclub is worth every penny f the cruise fare and the luxurrylines can learn from the MSC butlers what service really is. they know how to treat you as a guest . The rest of the ship is wonderful, with a lot going on but always when you go back to the luxurious Yachtclub you feel like coming to a haven of quiet and comfort. The quality of the Cirque du Soleil shows on board was great and the best shows we have seen in the industry.The Ship was beautiful with lots to do and the shops had very good prices. Really try MSC Yachtclub and you will love it.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the ... Read More
first time cruisers and didnt know what to expect but we had a great time. Ship is immaculate, pool area is great to spend time around with waiters taking drinks orders from your lounger. Buffet is busy but food is excellent especially the pizza that is made frah infront of you. Restaurant was good tried something different every night. Shows were good we all enjoyed them and not too long which we prefered. Entertainment staff were great from the pool games, sail away parties, evening parties everybody enjoying themselves. The ports of call were good, we did our own thing at each port and got a taxi to Pompei just outside the port. We were a bit un sure after reading some negative reviews but shouldnt of worried we couldnt think of a single negative the kids didnt want to leave the ship and we are going to book msc grandiosa for next year! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had ... Read More
Chose to book our 1st family holiday abroad on a cruise after watching the cruise channels and seeing the MSC Bellissima, it was important to us that the ship we went on had activities for children as we have a 9 & 8 year old, it had an aqua park , rope climb and small arcade. The ship itself is stunning, everything is well designed and the staff keep it well cleaned at all times, we had housekeeping visit our cabin twice a day. The pool is large and a great place to spend the day. The entertainment staff had daily activities such as dance lessons, aerobics and games to keep passengers occupied, often they would have ‘sail away parties’ when leaving ports and had everyone up dancing. All staff are really nice and helpful, never had a problem and service was excellent, with waiters even taking drinks orders from your sun lounger. The food in the buffet was nice and plentiful, the pizza especially! Food in the main restaurant varied each day and was delicious. We booked a show each night after dinner and enjoyed every one, and then afterwards went to the themed parties hosted in the main gallery or the pool. Our cabin was clean and not too cramped, with our premium plus drinks package we even had access to the mini bar. We didn’t book any excursions with MSC, as when we got off at the ports there were plenty of tourist information staff to help us book a cheaper tour. Enjoyed every moment, and have even booked our next cruise in 2020 with the same itinerary on the MSC Grandiosa - we cant wait!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Our first ever cruise with the family on MSC Bellissima. All 4 of us (two teen boys) gave it 10/10. We could not fault anything. We had a balcony room and it was spotless, as was the entire ship. Food was really good and the staff are ... Read More
Our first ever cruise with the family on MSC Bellissima. All 4 of us (two teen boys) gave it 10/10. We could not fault anything. We had a balcony room and it was spotless, as was the entire ship. Food was really good and the staff are really amazing, despite working long hours, etc. Always a smile on their faces. Malta was the highlight of the cruise, we will definitely return there. Francesco & Leonalla in The Masters of the Sea bar were very attentive and deserve a special mention, they go out of their way to bring a smile to your face and entertain you, as was Gabriella and the Cuban guy in restaurant Posidena. Even though there was probably 4-5K passengers on board, it never felt over crowded and disembarking was smooth and efficient. We had a week in Sorrento afterwards but i think in future, i will stay first and cruise second, as you have far more choice of food on the ship. We ate in one of the speciality restaurants The Butchers Cut and the steaks and desserts did not disappoint, food and wine really good. The gym was a good size and boys also liked the indoor airconditioned multi sports hall. Really enjoyed the whole experience, MSC provided a superior service and will cruise again in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was a 7 night cruise and our 8th (7th with MSC, 1 with RCI). We traveled with our cousin and his wife. My husband and I stayed over in Milan the night before boarding - it's a 90 min train trip to Genoa and a 10 min walk to the ... Read More
This was a 7 night cruise and our 8th (7th with MSC, 1 with RCI). We traveled with our cousin and his wife. My husband and I stayed over in Milan the night before boarding - it's a 90 min train trip to Genoa and a 10 min walk to the harbor where we dropped off our suitcases downstairs (everything was clearly marked and staff on hand to help with directions) and boarded quickly and effortlessly. The ship is beautiful and in quiet areas we could still smell the new carpets. We had a balcony cabin (9246), and the bathroom (and especially the shower) is nicer than before - no more shower curtain but a curved door. The hair dryer was fine. I took 2 plastic clothes hangers with for wet clothes to dry with fewer wrinkles. I loved the MSC for Me app - no wifi required, you can check all activities and mark the ones you would like to attend, get reminded about the show, send messages to your friends, it worked great. Table 232 during the early seating (7.30 pm) in the formal dining room was assigned to the 4 of us, and it was perfect - a square table in the back corner with the most amazing waiter - Dede. The service was great, the view perfect, the food was amazing - could not fault anything. The variety was good and portions bigger than before. Every night's menu had healthy options available, but also at least 3 deserts! I took a black cat suit, 1 pair of dressy heels and different jewelry, which was good for 3 dinners, and a LBD for the other 3 and 1 missed dinner when we came back too late in from Barcelona. My husband took a dark suit with white shirt for the 2 formal nights, and dark blue pants with button shirts for the other nights. The pool area was spacious and we received good service from the bars and waiters. We got the drinks package that we could order basically anything up to 10 euros, which was perfect for us. There was a good variety of cocktails, wines, sparkling wines etc. The music at the pools was too loud for my taste, but that's just me. There was also the odd deckchair hog, but most people just took off the stuff and shrugged when confronted when the culprits came back a few hours later. We can learn from the Europeans! The nightly free shows in the theater was very full and quite good. The Cirque du Soleil shows (we saw both!) were amazing! We went for the option of show and cocktail - 15 euro pp and so worth it. Naples - easy walk to the old town with lots of little shops. We took a ferry to Sorrento, walked around (tough walk for good views) and loved it - especially the handmade shoes. Messina, Sicily - we walked to the train station and took a 1 hour train ride to Taormina - spectacular little hilltop town with great views and pretty alleyways. Valletta, Malta - far but easy walk to the old town, which we loved. We got a map that offered 2 walking routes with good descriptions. Felt a little like Dubrovnik. The modern part of town was also beautiful with tree lined streets, clean, with nice green spaces. Barcelona, Spain - got the public bus to La Rambla, walked up to the metro, went to La Sagrada le Familia - we booked tickets in May for 10 am entry. It was amazing. We took the elevator up the one tower and walked down. Stunning. Met up with another cousin and chatted and had tapas and beer until we had to go back to the ship. Amazing day. Marseille, France - The yellow jackets were planning a protest from 2 pm, which we were warned of by a notice placed in our cabins the night before. So we just walked to the old town and took Le Petite Train to the cathedral, which was stunning. It was informative and fun. Back through the old town and back on the ship before anything happened. We received our (correct) bill in our cabin the night before disembarking. As per other reviews, we received an envelope with pictures in our cabin a few days before, which we just returned to our cabin steward, who was amazing, by the way. Back in Genoa, we disembarked with our suitcases at 8.30 am after a breakfast in the fdr and walked 5 mins to the bus station to go to Milan to get a train to Venice. We loved everyday and can absolutely recommend it. The worst of the experience was getting information from the MSC South African staff, which was very frustrating. But the ship and international staff was incredible and restored out faith. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the ... Read More
A very beautiful and well designed ship. My fourteenth cruise, and first on MSC and would definitely do it again. The ship is gigantic, but handles the throng of people quite well. I have been on other mega ships and although the difficulty getting near the pool at the end of the afternoon is typical, I could always find a chair somewhere, even if I had to do a lot of searching. Seven hot tubs I believe, and could usually find space in one - I wish they left at least one open later for a little tubbing under the stars. All the waterworks close quite early unfortunately. My cabin was typically sized, but you could tell a lot of thought went into the design with some nice modern amenities, like a USB charge port in the bed lamp, both 110 and 220 plugs so an adapter is not needed, lots of under bed space to hide those suitcases, and a reasonable large (for a cabin) shower. NIce to include a foot bar to assist in the tiny space. Water temp needed regular adjusting depending on time of shower, but I could always get to hot water - unlike some ships during prime time. Embark and disembark easy and uncrowded. Customer service regularly reachable. Very nice that all the bars have espresso machines, instead of a single cafe as some ships. Ya you gotta pay but I like that was included in my drink package - being a caffine-o-holic. I found the service exceptional everywhere, especially the bars, sometimes the cocktail servers are a little grumpy - its a thankless job - but a smile on my part would usually warm em up. I have always liked the free soft serve machine in the buffet on other ships, so paying for ice cream on this shp - spendy I might add - is a no no as far as I'm concerned. i rarely do the buffet, but few times was adequate and never too crowded. Like most ships, getting a table a prime time takes a little work. For a European ship, I would have expected decent brewed coffee, theirs sucked badly. I stuck to espresso. I liked going to the dining room for breakfast, heavily staffed and few people do it - so you get great service. Gotta put up with that coffee, but tons of croissants and baked goods, eggs always cooked correctly, and good juices. A very nice start to the day but you got to get up. So staying up late is nice on this ship, they have the typical and well done pool parties, then a DJ on the back deck till the very wee hours - 3am+ not atypical. Mixed crowd, with younger as it gets later of course but lots of dancing. You learn on this ship not to try to order at the bar, but find a server and place your order with them - much easier and faster then trying to pin down a busy bartender. Great selection of specalty restaurants - always room because they charge a substantial premium to go. Other lines seem to charge a bit more for restaurants (well you did already pay for dinner in the dining room), but these guys charge pretty much full price. Loved the steakhouse and french restaurant, didn't do others. If you want to get away from the masses and feel special come here, or feel like the old cruise days, come here during formal night. I suggest you find out when they do the specialty restaurant tasting night - where you go to each one and taste a bite of their wares. It was not heavily attended, and was fun and tasty. I also did the wine tasting with the sommelier David Campaniello and albeit more expensive than others I have done on other ships (80E) we had 7 great wines, a great education and good pairing appetizers (blueberries, strawberries, ham, foie grois). I learned a lot about great Italian wines, and regions, food pairing and we all had a great time (3 amerians, 5 belgians). That evening I was dining in the Steakhouse, and I saw the Sommelier and I asked if he chose the by the glass wines, because for a red meat location, the wines by the glass were embarrasing. He then made the effort to go the French restaurant where we did the tasting and bring me back a leftover glass of wine from the tasting to have with my steak, now that is exceptional service! and I will tell the story 100 times (I own 3 bars :) I will definitely do MSC again, they have two big new ships starting in 2020, and I will do one if not both depending on where they go. I fell in love with Malta -also first time. I was pleasantly surprised by these guys and the service and the ship - 5 stars. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from ... Read More
Six of us were taking this cruise, two who had never cruised before and were very excited. I had read the bad reviews and was a little anxious. However! Everything was bob on and we had a great time! We took private transfers from the airport to port in Barcelona. Checking in was fairly quick and we were on the ship at 1pm. Rooms were not ready until 2.30pm to we explored and had some drinks at the bar and some lunch in the buffet, which was quite crowded. We liked the waiter call button on the tables for drinks! We had balcony cabins on the 9th deck, mid ship and near to the lifts. The cabin was fab, plenty of room, great bed and kept very clean by the steward. Zoe still does not work! We were allocated a table in the restaurant on 6th Deck and our waiter was Myra. She was happy and smiling and chatty and could not do enough for us. The food was amazing – how people can complain I don’t know. Wine glasses kept full all the time – it did help perhaps that we tipped her 10 euros each night…..We found the buffet to be bedlam all the time with especially the Italians having no concept of queueing, so chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the restaurant on deck 5. This was a much more civilised affair as you are waited on, recommended! We are early risers so had no problem finding sun loungers. We did have the big padded ones on a couple of occasions but be aware, the ones at the back of the ship get covered in soot from the funnels and it gets all over you too! The day at sea was very very crowded as you would expect, but we picked our spot early and we were fine. As we booked last year, we had the drinks package and paid £168 each. Seems a lot but we more than had our monies worth! The package included branded spirits, Smirnof and Absolute vodka and Baileys but the Easy package as it now is, doesn’t. If you like a drink it is well worth it as they add 15% to each drink. We did the cirque de soleil, the cocktail and show package at 15 euros. The show was fab but the cocktail not so. You have to add 15% to this so we paid 17.50 euros per person! We also saw a theatre show which the girls enjoyed, the boys not so much. The interactive boards throughout the ship make it easy to book any shows. It was my birthday whilst we were there, so we booked the Tapas restaurant at an extra charge. Don’t bother, the food wasn’t all that but the service was good and I got a free bottle of fizz and a birthday cake and the waiters all sung to me. We tried most of the bars. The English pub serves a selection of English draught beers too. These were included on our drinks package and better than the Heiniken the boys said. The highlight of our trip was meeting the TV personality and sports pundit Chris Kamara, he was so personable and the boys loved the banter with him. A lot of the passengers had no clue who he was! We left the ship at all the ports but did our own thing, mostly HOHO buses. Marsaiile, follow the green line to the free shuttle but into town. We couldn’t find the petit train to get on but saw it passing by. We got a taxi back at 15 euros as bus queue too long. Genoa – 12 euros city tour bus outside the terminal. We then walked around the waterfront. Saw a huge rat here calmly eating in the middle of the path, not scared of humans at all! Naples – we got the HOHO bus. Don’t bother with the red route, it is far too congested in the town and we hated it. Traffic terrible. Noisy dirty place, didn’t like it. Do the Blue coastal route instead. Messina – HOHO bus again but this is not open top, so disappointing but the route was coastal and scenic . Valetta – turn right out of the port and make for the Barakka lift – 1 euro for return trip – well worth it as it is so steep. We wandered round and enjoyed the views. Barcelona – disembarkation very slick. we chose to stay over and had a hotel just 10 minutes from La Ramblas. Again got the HOHO bus – we enjoyed this one the most – 30 euros for day pass. We had the gratuities removed from our bills and tipped as we went along. Guest services do not bat an eye lid at this. Just one thing, the steward helped herself to juice in our mini bar. we would not have known only she left the empty. we confronted her and she replaced it.....otherwise we would of had a charge - its the principal. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first cruise and we weren't sure if it was going to be something that would suit our family. We also worried a little about some of the negative reviews on this site. The outcome was that we loved the experience and will ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we weren't sure if it was going to be something that would suit our family. We also worried a little about some of the negative reviews on this site. The outcome was that we loved the experience and will certainly cruise again, probably with MSC. We have two girls aged 8 and 10 and they really had a ball. The "kids cruise for free" policy of MSC is the reason that we could afford the cruise in the first place. Yes, four in a cabin can be a crowd at times, but when you consider that the girls' cruise cost us only $59 each in government taxes it is a minor factor. Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and straightforward. The food in the buffet was plentiful and excellent quality. We used the lighthouse restaurant every evening and it was from very good to excellent. Our waiter was charming and very nice to our girls. The bed in our cabin was super comfortable and the couch had been converted into two generous sized bunk beds. Zoe is useless but the on-board app is really impressive. The kids club took great care of the girls and we purchased two tracker bracelets for €15 each which allowed us to see where they were on the ship at all times. This was very accurate and gave us the confidence to allow them a lot more independence that we would have been comfortable with otherwise. Our favourite bar was the Sky lounge which is adults only. The ambiance was very nice and they serve gorgeous free snacks with your drinks. Tip : The snacks are displayed in a fridge which is built into the bar counter. You just go up and point out what you want. The ship is beautiful and the crew are friendly and polite. We took one excursion to Pompeii with MSC and it was fine. We did a private street food tour in Genoa which was excellent. We used the free shuttle bus into Marseille which you find by following the green line on the pavement from the cruise terminal for about 800m. This walk will save you the price of the MSC transfer into town. We walked around Messina which has surprisingly good shopping if you walk all the way in to the commercial streets. We visited friends in the Three Cities in Malta after walking around Valletta for a while first. Malta was definitely the highlight of the cruise and we intend to return for a longer visit. We really enjoyed relaxing by the pool on the sea day as it had been quite hectic up to that point. The weather was perfect although breezy but we had a nice sheltered spot. Our oldest girl loved the water slides. I liked the casino and found the croupiers very friendly and helpful. I left some money behind me but that's how it goes. My wife, who had never played table games before, showed me how it was done by managing to win a little playing roulette. The cirque show was excellent but the Rock and Roll show was every bit as good. Really excellent performance when you consider there is no charge. Overall a wonderful family holiday. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I had read about MSC's Yacht Club being a less expensive rival of NCL's Haven. We had really enjoyed the Haven, but the prices are getting crazy! So, I called my TA to find a cruise in the Yacht Club. Boy, did she! We were in ... Read More
I had read about MSC's Yacht Club being a less expensive rival of NCL's Haven. We had really enjoyed the Haven, but the prices are getting crazy! So, I called my TA to find a cruise in the Yacht Club. Boy, did she! We were in the Royal Suite on the Bellissima, which wasn't even built when we booked! Also booked a Deluxe Suite for my son and his wife. Our cabin was FABULOUS! The beds were blissful. We had 2 balconies and a hot tub on our deck, which we made use of! The Yacht Club was truly relaxing and enjoyable. Everyone was friendly and wanted to ensure our experience was positive and memorable! We ate in the YC restaurant almost exclusively....we did eat in the steak house 1 night, as we had matching Black status. The bar in YC was pleasant, with hors d-oeures available and often entertainment (piano, violin, etc) playing. We didn't use the pool on top, since we had our own hot tub, but there was a cabana available for us, if we had wanted it. Appreciated the wrist band to open cabin door---I didn't have to carry anything! Food: we kept to the YC dining room. The portions are smaller on MSC, but that is actually a good thing....they are more in line with what a portion SHOULD look like, instead of the huge portions Americans are used to eating. Of course, they will bring additional or even cook up something special! (Yes, we did ask if they were going to have creme brulee, which they were not planning, but made special for us! Bend over backwards service!) AND, there was lobster on the menu one night, which has basically disappeared from other lines! The only disappointing experience we had was in the steak house--and it really wasn't a bad experience. We were full from our dinner and wanted to have our dessert sent to our room. They would not acquiesce, but they would allow us to come back later and have our dessert. I have a suspicion that if I had mentioned it to the YC folks, they would have been aghast and rectified that immediately, but it wasn't a big deal---as I said, we were full! Drinks were included and we never went to any other bar (except for the Cirq shows---we had the drink and show tickets. The drinks were horrible at the show! Just figure the cost of drink/show package as the cost of the show. Learned to take a drink from the YC bar and pass on the show drinks.) We purchased a spa package on-line and enjoyed our experiences. In fact, both of us ended up adding another massage. We did go to the thermal suite, but only once, but it was quite nice. What can I say....when you have your own hot tub on your balcony, where else do you want to be? Getting on and off the ship was a breeze when you are escorted by your butler. In fact, he escorted us to shows (allows you to walk right in and avoid the line), and although the shows only run about 30 minutes, we enjoyed the 3 we attended (and the 2 Cirq shows). The elevators even have a priority call for YC. BIG TIME SPOIL ALERT! We used to always lose weight on a cruise because we took the stairs. Nope, not this one! When the elevator comes direct and takes you direct, it is really hard to walk those stairs. I will say, that if you have someone with limited mobility issues, this is THE WAY to go. This was our first Med cruise. I loved the shore excursions (and the MSC prices if you purchase before boarding were more reasonable than other lines, I thought), but the flights are what keep me from doing overseas more often. I think I will wait a couple of years before doing that again. Or, maybe I'll do a transatlantic on either end of a cruise (guess that will have to wait until I retire!) Until then, I have already booked 2 more MSC YC cruises out of Miami. I am still looking at NCL Haven, but only because it is going somewhere I can't get MSC (or MSC is already sold out!) Thanks CC posters, for cluing me in to the Yacht Club! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Background: I’m in my 50s. I live in California and work for a major Wall Street firm. I’ve been cruising for roughly 25 years and have previously cruised MSC, Carnival, Celebrity, Croisieres de France/Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean, ... Read More
Background: I’m in my 50s. I live in California and work for a major Wall Street firm. I’ve been cruising for roughly 25 years and have previously cruised MSC, Carnival, Celebrity, Croisieres de France/Pullmantur, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian. Prior MSC Experience: We did an 11 night on Divina in late 2015 and loved it. I then booked a 4 night out of Barcelona, but MSC changed it to a 20 day out of Brazil. No phone call from MSC, no e-mail, no letter, no notification in any way. They even changed the date of the sailing. Then, they took away my Voyagers Club points because I hadn’t sailed in 3 years, after promising they wouldn’t and even though the reason for this was their fault. I’ve written a post detailing some of my frustrations that can be found by Googling MSC Comedy of Errors. There are things to like a lot about MSC, but some service-related problems that should be improved upon. Pre-Cruise: We embarked out of Barcelona. We booked a lovely and centrally located apartment near Passeig de Gracia which worked out perfectly. Barcelona is a great city, so don’t miss out on spending some time there. It’s now the 3rd most visited city in Europe, after Paris and Rome. We were surprised that MSC did not offer tours in Barcelona, so we booked 2 privately. I think they may have missed some opportunity there. Savvy Tip: If you stay in Barcelona, use taxis rather than the Metro (subway) to get around. We had dinner with a group of 11 and 2 of them were pickpocketed on the Metro. Cabs are cheap, usually quick, and less confusing. Embarkation: In Rome, our prior Embarkation on Divina was so fast and smooth. So we wondered if the experience would be the same on Bellissima out of Barcelona. And it was extremely fast and well-organized. This is an area where MSC seems to excel. The Ship: Beautiful! Obviously, it’s almost new, but there is lot of thought and technology put into this ship. The ultra-high definition screen over the promenade is stunning and MSC integrates it well into their entertainment. We did much prefer the Grand Atrium layout of Divina, however. Divina’s atrium features soaring elevators that gracefully glide up and down and a much more open and dramatic feel to that area. Bellissima has mirrored ceilings to create the illusion of height, but is not as dramatic or engaging. I’d recommend that MSC go back to more of a soaring, dramatic atrium, like Divina. But otherwise, certainly it was nice. Tip: There is a somewhat hidden glass elevator which some might not be aware of. You can access it from the port (left) side of customer service. It rides on the outside of the ship and features nice views during the day. Our Room: We stayed in balcony cabin 13021, which is technically Aurea class. But we didn’t get the extras since we only purchased the Fantastica experience. The room was an upgrade due to a technical problem on their website, which was nice. The room was on the small side, but was always very clean. The bedding, a partnership between MSC and Dorelan, was super comfortable. Our stateroom attendant was extremely friendly, introduced himself and called my girlfriend and me by name during the cruise. He commented that we were always smiling and friendly and never complained when others were grouchy and did little but complain. Well, he didn’t hear me gripe pre-cruise to MSC Customer Service, but it is a good reminder that a smile and a kind word can go a long ways. These folks work hard for little money by our standards. Always do your best to treat them with kindness and respect. We did experience a partial electrical failure that took out our TV, Zoe, some lighting, and the electrical outlets. Maintenance could not repair the issue that day, but they did fix it the following day while we were off the ship. Another Tip: If you press the Do Not Disturb button, the cabin steward’s key will be inactive. So if you forget to turn it off, he/she won’t be able to make up your room. Zoe: Unfortunately, Zoe was nearly useless. I did a YouTube video on this, but I’d say she didn’t understand the request 75%-80% of the time. Nice concept, but needs a lot of work. Food: Generally average to very good. Never great or bad. The food in the buffet during breakfast/lunch/dinner was better than expected, especially after reading some really bad reviews. Everything was very fresh, so our experience was certainly different than others. In the main dining room, meals were acceptable to very good. The best food was on the 2 Gala Nights. One Gala Night was on the last night before disembarkation, which I thought was odd, as most were packing up their clothing. Yes, I know not everyone embarks or disembarks at the same ports, but most seemed to get on and off at Barcelona. Drink Package: We purchased the now discontinued "431" drink package, which covers “house wine” (2 reds, 2 whites, a blush, prosecco dry and prosecco sweet), as well as most “non-premium” specialty drinks. The house wines were mediocre except for the proseccos, which were both pretty good. Their bartenders are uniformly lousy and don’t know how to make a drink. The quality and even character and taste of drinks would vary wildly from one bartender to another. One time, a drink would be terribly sweet, the next time not, but taste like something totally different. They really need to train their bartenders better. We left a number of drinks on the table almost untouched because they were so bad. Entertainment/Animation Crew: Fantastic! Some have complained about the entertainment, but we both thought it was the best we’ve seen on any ship. The entertainers were really good and the crew really got the audience engaged. These folks worked really hard, and it paid off. The lighting and sound system on Bellissima is excellent with one exception. For some reason, the sound system in the Bellissima Bar and Lounge sounded muted and flat. Cirque at Sea: Enjoyable and generally worth the price. However, there was a bit of false advertising involved. The show included a cocktail and the description read, “Choose from our selection of creative cocktails made with or without alcohol to your liking and enjoy it’s surprising freshness…”. However, they had only pre-made and presumably watered down (from melting ice) Gimlets. I told them that I was a type 2 diabetic and that drinking such a sugary drink was not the best option for me. I asked if they could make me something else and was told “no”. The only other option was fruit juice, which is also too sugary for me. Cirque Tip: Reserve the shows online before you board. They were all sold out and if you wait, you might not get to see a Cirque at Sea show. I do feel that they were worthwhile, although not thrilled about the aforementioned drink issue. Tours: We booked 3 MSC tours. We loved the Amfali Coast tour out of Naples and felt it was a good value. It seemed to sell out and disappeared from the onboard list of offerings, so probably a good idea to book online in advance like we did. We also enjoyed the Aix en Provence and Marseille 2 Cities tour. Well worth the money. The Portofino tour was really disappointing. It’s not that Portofino isn’t pretty, quaint and worth visiting. It’s just that you’re only there for roughly 1 hour. And the tour could easily stay there another 2 hours, so I have no idea why they rush you out so quickly. And further, you have to get on the boat to leave Portofino at noon, for no obvious reason. Guess when most restaurants and business in Portofino open? Yes, at noon. It was perplexing and this needs to be improved upon. Give the guests 3 hours in Portofino instead of 1 hour. They’ll easily make it back to the ship well before it departs. The Crew: Room for improvement, but mostly pretty good. Not as friendly as on some cruise lines, but not as grouchy as the funky Eastern European crew that we had on Divina who seemed to hate their jobs and the passengers. Most were very helpful. Not everyone spoke great English, but usually communication was not a major issue. Let me single out one man who had an attitude that I did not enjoy, and that is the restaurant manager. In short, I had booked the later dinner, but our booking got fouled up in several ways. They never did correct my prior efforts to fix my late seating request, so I figured I’d straighten it out onboard. They sent me to the restaurant manager, who looked very, very irritated. And in an irritated voice, he said, “Do you have any idea how many passengers I have to accommodate? 5,600! And you want your seating changed, right?”. I thought he was pretty uncool and unfriendly, but I just bit my tongue and thanked him for his efforts. Shops: Not bad, but can use improvement. Divina had a more interesting and eclectic selection of items that I was actually interested in. The Passengers: Mostly European. Maybe 10% American like me. Nice people. Not as fat as most Americans. Sorry if that’s crass, but it’s true. They seem to stay out late and be kind of fun, party people most of the time. I did not witness any bad behavior during our cruise. Smoking was not an issue either, which was a good thing. Medical Emergency: On the final full day, we had a medical emergency, which required that the Italian Military airlift by helicopter a 55-year old American woman. The airlift was carried out swiftly and with precision. The captain explained very clearly what was occurring and told us that there would be no delay due to this onboard emergency. It was well-executed and communications about the incident was very good. Disembarkation: NO LINE WHATSOEVER! Can you imagine? Not a whiff of a line getting off the ship. I had an early flight and customer service was very accommodating and changed my time to an earlier departure. Again, this seems to be a strong area for MSC. Final Thoughts: While things are never perfect, I think MSC gets a bad rap, often unfairly. They do need to improve their customer service, but I believe that some issues are overblown and overstated. Their new ships are beautiful and can represent a very good value. MSC just needs some tweaks to really step up their game. We have enjoyed our cruises on MSC and we have 2 more booked. If you are patient and focus on the positives and not every little nitpicking thing, I believe you will enjoy cruising on MSC in general and the beautiful new Bellissima in particular. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Yes, MSC is a cheap price and you pay for everything on board, including water at the evening meal. We filled our water bottles up at the buffet and were able to take them off the ship and back on,. Tea and coffee available all day from ... Read More
Yes, MSC is a cheap price and you pay for everything on board, including water at the evening meal. We filled our water bottles up at the buffet and were able to take them off the ship and back on,. Tea and coffee available all day from the buffet. The meals at the buffet were of a good assortment including carvery, eastern, spaghetti, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips,soup, salads,pizza,vegetarian and plenty of desserts. We ate at the restaurant for breakfast and dinner. You could also eat at the restaurant for lunch if you prefer to dodge the buffet. There was never a time that we couldn't get a seat at the buffet. Meals of average size but you could ask for seconds. There is a steak house at extra cost. We did not have the drink package preferring to buy as we needed it because we were in port every day except one, Plenty of staff constantly there to serve you. Such a sparkling ship with the staff constantly wiping, dusting and vacuuming. At least 10 very hot spas to each accommodate 8 people with warm showers afterwards, not cold. Plenty of pool activities and fantastic childrens rope course, water tubes, etc. Embarking and disembarking very smooth and well organised. The staff were very helpful and polite. I find it hard to believe that some passengers comment otherwise. Only downfall was the at least 5 different nationalities on board which didn't help if you wanted to have a conversation with someone whilst sitting around the deck. May be this was because it was a Mediterranean cruise. We did not take the shore excursions because we found at every port there were local buses or hop on off buses which were a quarter of the price of MSC. We would definately cruise on the Bellissima again, a beautiful ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Dining: There is a german and spanish chef so seafood was not as good as with an italian chef. Dinners are fast, our waiter was really nice. In the free buffet (Deck 15) there is a huge choise of food, and really good quality as ... Read More
Dining: There is a german and spanish chef so seafood was not as good as with an italian chef. Dinners are fast, our waiter was really nice. In the free buffet (Deck 15) there is a huge choise of food, and really good quality as well. Embarkation: The embarkation and disembarkation was really fluent on this ship, everything went well. I recommend Park TorreSud if you want to park in Genoa, it is cheap and fast and working with MSC. (60-70 € /week) Entertainment: There are good parties at night. Apart from the free (daily 35min) theater, wich is also really good, you can try Circue du Soleil, which is 15€ + 15% /person. There are two shows for this price with coctail included, Syma and Varélia. We went on Syma, it was 42 minutes long (measured it) but I think worth the price and iunique opportunity. There are some other options to entertain yourself, but those are not so cheap. 30€/30min at bowling, or 55€/hour, or F1 racing for 10 minutes which looks amazing but also costs 10€. There is VR maze or XD cinema as well. But there are more free programs as well: football and basketball court, AQUA PARK WHICH is AMAZING, and also a climbing circle at the aqua park, which is really scary and fun. Fitness&Recreation We have gold voyagers membership club card, so we can enjoy the spa one hour for free, but it is a huge hipe. I would give 2,5/5 for it, nothing special, and there was no tea, wellness feeling, and nor outside view. The gym seems to be to small at first sight for a ship with this size, but it was not full. It is a really techie gym, powered buy technogym, eg. the running machine has an option to compete with others, etc.. Pools and Jacuzzi were good, and there were nearly always space int them :). Onboard experience: There is a really nice shopping hall inside the ship, with ~5 restaurants, swarovski stairs, very nice led ceiling with good animatoons, and phermacy. There are really good programs and big parties, we love italians:). Public rooms: Especially the theatre, the LED dome, the reception and the covered pool area were the most amazing. Also the aquapark was really really good as well. Service: Reception There is a reception guy usually in the middle, and he is simply such an idiot. We asked him about voyagers system, and he acted like we didn’t know english, but he couldn’t say a normal word, and he really liked z-s. When he said to us “Zathz not zrue” we were close to call his manager, but at the and we did. The others are helpful. Cabin The cabin boy looked liked trying to fight his depression. Animators were really nice. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had not sailed with MSC before but 14 cruises with other company’s Excellent service and we had a coeliac in our group could not of been more helpful even packing lunch bag for shore lunch The shows were exceptional with great ... Read More
We had not sailed with MSC before but 14 cruises with other company’s Excellent service and we had a coeliac in our group could not of been more helpful even packing lunch bag for shore lunch The shows were exceptional with great variety and talented entertainers We could not of asked for more from this cruise very enjoyable ports The spa bath often had young children in them This I wonder if hygienic Loved deck 18 adults only bar Overlooking the pool area great spot for a quite moment The internet package was quite expensive didn’t purchase for this reason The ship never felt crowded only place I noticed noisy was the buffet are quite busy after shore excersion because the dining room shut at 1.30 they could possibly extend this until 2 pm to take the pressure if the buffet Over all the cruise was value for money with excellent food and entertainment we will return to MSC cruises again Thankyou Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We had been on MSC Seaview late last year, and while on board we took the opportunity to book this cruise and take the option of trying "Club Class". So we arrive at the port in Barcelona where we are immediately relieved of ... Read More
We had been on MSC Seaview late last year, and while on board we took the opportunity to book this cruise and take the option of trying "Club Class". So we arrive at the port in Barcelona where we are immediately relieved of our cases and escorted to the "Yacht Club" lounge area where our cruise ticket and passport were taken to process our booking. Meanwhile we are offered champagne and canapes which were very nice. Then we are escorted directly through check-in and security check, after which we were escorted directly to the ship and taken to deck 16 which is the entry deck of "Club Class". Then on into the Sky Lounge where we met Raj one of the concierges, he explained all the choices we had in relation to eating and excursions, he also helped us log on to the ships Wi-Fi system. He asked did we want any news papers,so we got the "Irish Independent" delivered to our room every morning. Madie our butler came and took us to our room, where our luggage had been delivered, we were given her phone number for use 24 hours a day. Restaurants we were taken to the "Yacht Club" restaurant where we had lunch served by happy cheerful staff. Unlike most ships restaurants this had many tables for two, and plenty room to move around. We booked dinner for 21:00 that evening. On arriving for dinner we were seated at a table near the window, then offered a drink,which we availed of. Presented with the menu containing quite an extensive choices, the waiter told us about the specials and gave us some suggestions. Given the level of service and extensive menu we decided we would dine in this restaurant for the cruise for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wondering through this vast ship we say the wonderful crystal staircases throughout the ship. The shopping arcade area has the most wonderful lighting system constantly changing views. Plenty shopping opportunities and as always on cruises the constant special offers sales. Numerous bars and coffee shops, large casino for those that fancied a flutter. We were so impressed with the whole "Yacht Club" experience that we went to meet Claudia the "Book Your Next Cruise" Rep and selected another cruise next September, she printed out the details. As i did not take my wallet, she said she would be in the Sky Bar that evening and I would pay the deposit. So as promised Claudia arrived and we went over to see her, she then said she had looked at our booking and had got an even better offer which reduced the cost so we happily paid our deposit and retired to have another G & T Unfortunately all good things have to come to an end, we had our breakfast and then back to the room and a last tidy up. we were then directed by Raj to the bar and we would be called for disembarkation. Madie arrives and takes us down to deck 4 and the gangway and on to baggage reclaim where she gets our cases and takes out to the taxi rank and calls us a taxi and loads in the cases and we say our goodbyes. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I have cruised before on Carnival and Costa. I wanted to take my two sons and daughters in law as well as our 4 grandchildren to Europe and a cruise was an option to visit more than one destination. This was to be a trip of ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised before on Carnival and Costa. I wanted to take my two sons and daughters in law as well as our 4 grandchildren to Europe and a cruise was an option to visit more than one destination. This was to be a trip of a lifetime. We were 10 people in 3 cabins and had the Aurea package. After booking, I started reading some of the reviews and was worried that our cruise would not be up to our expectations. Well I need not have worried. We got on in Barcelona on Easter weekend and the ship was sold out. Embarkation only took minutes and was flawless. We immediately went to the front desk to ask questions and get the locator bracelets for the little ones. We could not have had a more patient person to answer all our questions. The ship itself is stunning. There are lots of spaces to either be alone and quiet or be with people. This is a cruise line that caters a lot to families. If you don't like kids, then this is probably not for you. it was perfect for us. The MSC app was fantastic for knowing everything that is going on, for booking shows and specialty dining. We did not use Zoe so I can't comment on it. We all loved the spa and having the Aurea package allowed us to use the spa every day. it was wonderful after walking for hours. It was very relaxing and beautiful. There was some confusion over the drink package every so often because there had been changes since we booked but we were usually able to get something we wanted. I see some reviewers complaining about having to pay for water. We had to pay for water on Carnival. Our water was included in our drink package and we had no issues. The food was not extraordinary but it was not awful either. i would not say it was much different than what we had elsewhere. We were always able to get something we liked. I fully expect to pay for things like bowling and the F1 simulators. One would never get access to those activities on a ship with this many people unless you pay. Once you are on the ship, there are packages that you can buy for any of those activities that reduce the cost. The Cirque show is excellent but I would agree to not get the dinner package. Just do the show. The other entertainment on stage is varied to appeal to the mixed population on the ship. The other activities like the white night, or tropical night are fun but you don't have to go if it is not your cup of tea. Comments about the staff being rude totally boggles the mind. Being in the hospitality industry, I know these people work hard. A smile and a kind look usually gets you great service and I would have to say that we never had a rude staff person. Some even called us by name. The cabin is small but still 20 square feet larger than the same grade on some other ships. The bathroom is lovely with lots of storage space and shelves. If you tuck your suitcases under the bed, you have enough space. In any case, most people don't spend a whole lot of time in a cabin. I cannot comment on the tours as we booked private tours for our group. Our group was big enough that we did not want to get in with bigger groups and we wanted some flexibility to shorten tours if need be because of the children. All in all a great experience. I would use MSC again if it was going to destinations I wanted. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We embarked on at Genoa. The cabin was a good size, the bed and pillows are very comfortable. Everything we needed was at hand. The bathroom although small, served our purpose. Unfortunately Zoe was unresponsive. The ship is ... Read More
We embarked on at Genoa. The cabin was a good size, the bed and pillows are very comfortable. Everything we needed was at hand. The bathroom although small, served our purpose. Unfortunately Zoe was unresponsive. The ship is beautiful and lived up to the hype. The personnel were friendly and courteous at all times. I know the waitrons and entertainment personnel work exceptionally hard in ensuring the client enjoys the experience. Our dining experience was good. We had interactive personnel which we appreciated and engaged with every evening. Food was excellent as well. We unfortunately missed out on the captain’s dinner since we attended the Circ du Solei performance which was entertaining. The buffet areas were a bit noisy, but then that is expected. We only did one excursion and that was to Pompeii, which was well organized. The downside was we were not able to enter certain sections since the operators had not informed the tour operators in their new times. We will most definitely plan our next MSC cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
In the Yacht Club om this new addition to the MSC fleet... its difficult to know where to begin with our praises.. From the seamless and effortless boarding experiemce to the unrivalled attention by staff, to the excellent YC cuisine, We ... Read More
In the Yacht Club om this new addition to the MSC fleet... its difficult to know where to begin with our praises.. From the seamless and effortless boarding experiemce to the unrivalled attention by staff, to the excellent YC cuisine, We enjoyed a fantastic beef wellington on a couple of nights in the YC restaurant.. superb.. the wine list is great too.. its almost perfection and difficult to find any fault. A spacious suite provided both a comfortable nights sleep and a gtear place to sit and enjoy a prosecco or too on the large balcony and watch the sunset. The Yacht Club experiemce on MSC truly lives upto all they say amd more... If you fancy a change from Silversea, Cunard Queens grill or Oceania.. give it a go.. you will not be disappointed.. Top Sail lounge also provided a fabulous place to sit and be pampered with afternoon tea, tempting cocktails and inclusive beverages... Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Beautiful ship with a lovely balcony cabin. Staff very accommodating and friendly especially Alfredo in the English bar Also a South Korean waitress called Lee in pool area alongside Illiones in main restaurant. Food to a very ... Read More
Beautiful ship with a lovely balcony cabin. Staff very accommodating and friendly especially Alfredo in the English bar Also a South Korean waitress called Lee in pool area alongside Illiones in main restaurant. Food to a very good standard and selection alongside fantastic entertainment cirqe de soli very good also on board entertainment Great choice of off board activities and ports Cabin staff friendly and professional Water slides wow Great ship for children lots of activities Drinks to a very good standard and value for money Great choice of shops on board Speciality restaurants fantastic Beautiful staircase Great fellow travels onboard Friendly atmosphere all around. Clean ship Good decore used in ship Cool led ceeling Nice pools and spa facility's Breakfast food fantastic Good coffee and soft drinks Overall good ship with fantastic staff Would cruise with msc in future Do not hesitate to book with them will not be disappointed Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite ... Read More
I read some reviews around and it was stated a number of times that there is constant hard selling of packages and photos. We did not experience any apart from embarkation day and just once. We opted for an angle balcony Aurea Suite with jacuzzi on the balcony. Unfortunately out of the 7 days, we could not use the Jacuzzi on 3 days. 1. Cleaning balcony day. You are adviced to close balcony doors and curtains from a day before. They then open all balconies to form one long corridor. Our balcony was accessed but not cleaned at all. 2. for some odd reason we found our jacuzzi empty on the last evening (possibly for cleaning before the next guests). 3, On our second day, without being advised, the upper decks were being power washed resulting in almost 2 hours of constant water raining on our balcony. Also the water got very smelly from day 3. We informed cabin Stewart who came, saw the clean filter warning and just emptied part of it and refilled. Left same filter and we were left with the clean filter warning for the rest of the Cruise (though the smell was much less). We had a 14 year old with us and we only received a teen programme on the last full day of the Cruise (day at sea). We had no idea what was happening as the on-board daily programme only had one daily entry for teens so we thought it was weak like the rest of the daily programme. Probably the daily onboarding/Disembarkation/Security meetings have a toll on the crew who are unable to plan/organise other activities. Yes MSC on-boards and disembarks passengers daily so every day from 16:00 you start hearing very loud constant reminders in 7 languages asking passengers who just embarked to attend the compulsory security info meeting at 16:30. This lasts around 45 minutes. I had a massage booked at 16:30 and the experience was ruined with 30 mins of loud notices and security info with a speaker directly above my head in the small massage room. The masseuse offered me to change the time but the other available slots were non convenient to me. Casino is nice with some very good machines and bar service but I could not stay more than 15 minutes with all the smoking going on everywhere. There were some no smoking signs but no enforcement at all. Unlike NCL (as an example) there are no light snacks here so if you are up to a light night snack check the time as the buffet place closes at 10 and reopens for 2 hours midnight to 2am with some light snacks and pizza. WIFI was weak. None at all from our bedroom. The 'MSC for me' app is great but requires the free ship WIFI connection which only allows you access to the app unless you pay extra for actual internet data. Zoe, the cabin assistant to the likes of Google Home and Alexa is still a waste of desk space. It answers very few questions and mainly asks you to consult your daily programme, TV channels and the MSC for Me app. Plus if you are used to other voice home assistants, please be patient with this one as it is very slow to get back with an answer. However it has great potential and I can see this as a trend setter for other lines and even hotels. For food we mainly used the Market Place Buffet for the reasons below and food was average except for the day at sea were it was evidently better with more choice and the only time that the buffet had decent deserts of a decent size. We only used the Poseidon for breakfast once. Miserable portions and choice and we got 1 of 3 orders wrong. Also asked for fresh orange juice and the reply was "not included" in our "all inclusive" drink package which should include all drinks upto EUR 6. How expensive could a fresh orange juice be? We used our assigned Dinner restaurant twice (Light House). Again miserable portions. They got the food we ordered but managed to deliver all to the wrong person (just 3 of us). Mistakes were a constant. At least it was funny and we were betting on the next mistake :). Also too many waiters with different responsibilities. One for bread, one for water, one for wine, another for other drinks and one for food. So you ask the water waiter for a soft drink and says "my colleague" will be with you shortly but never comes :). Also Waiters get confused and you get asked your cabin room number over and over. Its a pity as these restaurants are very well staffed (probably too many) whilst the buffet (which gets overcrowded as many prefer it to the restaurants) is very much understaffed and to get a drink you have to wait too long. I usually preferred to go myself to the bar, but just 2 barman (at times 1) dealing with all the clients and the drinks waiters is too much to handle. Under staffing in bars is also very evident and at times it feels like this is on purpose to minimise consumption as many a times one gives up waiting. We loved the evening shows. Great life music, amazing dancers and singers. Great detail to costumes and scenography. There was a shadows performer on one night who is pretty good but so much full of himself :). His show starts with a 2 minute video of his performances around the world to show us long standing ovations, like trying to convince you before the show that he is good :). The Cirque du Soleil shows are good but too short and nothing amazing when compared to other Cirque du Soleil shows I've attended elsewhere. I was also very annoyed about the 'Free 24 hour Room Service' which we should have had with the Aurea experience. We soon discovered that the choice is a shame (One menu page of light snacks and another page for pizza) and to add insult to injury the only free aspect is the delivery but food must be paid for. Can someone explain what this means? So food is free at the restaurants and the only service which I would somehow accept to pay for is the delivery which is free for Aurea. Makes no sense. Clearly a sales gimmick in the wording used. So assume the only way to get it free would be to go to the buffet, fill your plates from the free food then ask a waiter to deliver to your room. Would that be free? ridiculous. Also reception people have no clue. The 'MSC for Me' is advertised to offer family members with a position tracking on the ship and a chat facility between people you share your ID with. The reception said that we need a special arm bend which needs to be purchased for the tracking and chat. We asked 3 people and they all had no clue. However we managed to make the chat work throughout the cruise with some trial and error. I told the reception about this at a next visit and they were surprised. Also I went to the reception 3 times to ask if we could have a late (12:00) disembarkation as we had a late flight. Why 3 times? Because it was evident that they were making up their own rules. We had an Aurea Suite so I was given the impression we had some choice in this. I got 3 Different answers from 3 different reception staff: 1. Sorry latest you can stay in room is 8am and latest on ship is 10am. Not any longer 2. You must vacate room at 8am but I will make a note to give you black tags on last day so you can disembark 11:30 (On the last night we got blue tags with disembarkation at 8:30am) 3. Do not take out your luggage on the last night so you bring them down to the "hand luggage" desk in the morning, by latest 8am. Then you can stay on the ship till latest 12:00 but we cannot help you with the luggage and you cannot reenter the room after 8am. We decided to follow the instruction of number 3 as it was the closest to our wishes. The only thing is that help with the luggage would have been appreciated but I guess its fine. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just back from a week on the Bellissima. It was amazing! 9 previous cruises with RC, first time with MSC and think we're converted. Positives: We were mainly converted thanks to the food, RC is very American, and as MSC is ... Read More
Just back from a week on the Bellissima. It was amazing! 9 previous cruises with RC, first time with MSC and think we're converted. Positives: We were mainly converted thanks to the food, RC is very American, and as MSC is Italian it's obvious via the food which was just amazing! Even the buffet was 10/10. The homemade piazzas 24hrs a day are AMAZING, compared to Sorrentos in RC. Yes the portions are smaller than RC in the main dining room but I like that, your're not too full and also means you can try more than one main if you want and not be too full. The entertainment was amazing, no comedians or magician due to so many languages, all musical but they're very good! There are entertainment staff that hang around with the passengers which are brilliant at getting people up dancing and enjoying themselves. We're a young couple and always disappointed in RC that the bars and nightclub don't really stay open past 1am, this cruise the music was going until 4am and always full of people dancing. The ports of call were all amazing, except Marseilles we weren't too impressed with. (Naples, Sicily, Malta, Genoa, Barcelona, Marseilles, day at sea, Naples, not in the correct order). Disembarking was so much better than RC, we didn't get off the ship until 2pm after lunch. Embarking was also so much faster and easier, as unlike RC where everyone gets on and off the same day, there are different people every day so its much faster. Negatives: Too crowded everywhere esp the pools and Jacuzzi, you need to queue for the Jacuzzi. The worst thing was the cirque du soleil (shows were amazing) but that you have to pay. I have never experienced on a cruise where you have to pay for a show, I though this was bad. Options are "Dinner & Show €35" or "Cocktail & Show €15". I said "neither please as I have the drinks package, so just the show please", replied "no problem you're booked in" Then to my surprise we paid for the show unknowingly. I think I should have been told ok well it's still going to be €15 just so you know. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we ... Read More
OK, The ship, absolutely beautiful and huge!!! We have cruised twice before with royal Caribbean and Carnival but this ship leaves the rest in its wake. The cabins were great, I travelled with my husband and my 6 foot teenage son and we had enough room although we did have a balcony. The beds were so comfy I dreaded leaving it behind. Also the shower room was bigger than any we have had before. Now dining, anyone that says there was not enough to eat must have been on a different ship than we were! The market place was open all of the time serving salads, chips, burgers, pasta, pizza etc etc, I just don't understand the complaints about the food. We ate in the restaurants at breakfast and for our evening meals. No the portions in the restaurants were not American size portions, its an Italian ship so Mediterranean food and portions. In saying that the food in the restaurants was beautiful and changed every evening. We had the Aurea experience and if possible I would go Aurea or Yacht Club. No queuing for embarkation or restaurants as you get anytime dining. Cirq de Soleil meal and show were definitely worth the money although once we went to the normal nightly entertainment I couldn't get my husband and son to go to another one!! Service was fantastic, I read somewhere on here that you don't have to pay the tips at the end, no you can have them removed but why? The staff were happy, attentive, helpful! Why wouldn't you tip? For the 3 of us the tips added were approx £200, I can remember exactly but no way would I have cancelled them, so just DON'T!!! Get off in Marseilles, it was our favourite. Approx £10 each for a transfer into the town, coffee shops, little side streets with wall out, really enjoyed it. Pompeii was worth the money although take plenty of water, 40 degrees when we were there, really interesting. Went to the beach when in Valetta, 19Euros each for the bus. Could have stayed a little longer, you get around 3 hours on the beach after travel. All in all we had a blast, it's what you make of it. I was really apprehensive before w went because of the reviews but I shouldn't have been worried. One thing, the market place is a bit of a cattle market and as one other person mentioned on here, watch out for the rude French. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
My family of four sailed in July out of Genoa. Embarking was easy and fast. Ship was beautiful, Immaculate , and easy to navigate. The staff were very friendly and courteous, the waiters were fantastic, our room steward was awesome , ... Read More
My family of four sailed in July out of Genoa. Embarking was easy and fast. Ship was beautiful, Immaculate , and easy to navigate. The staff were very friendly and courteous, the waiters were fantastic, our room steward was awesome , every employee on this ship was great . The food was good , there are more restaurants that you pay extra for than are included . I didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t get ice cream anywhere unless you paid extra . I think MSC nickel and dimes too much, too many fees for anything extra . There was enough food where you didn’t have to buy anything extra . The ship was crowded but we always found a table for breakfast and lunch at the buffet . We ate dinner In the dining room every night and the food was very good and had enough variety. We booked the fun pass for the kids online before we left and it was a good deal for $120 you were able to spend 180 euros on games in the game room , the card lasted for both kids for the entire cruise , they also had basketball and soccer but the basketball hoop was broken the first 5 days of our cruise so it was mostly soccer . I also booked the laundry package for $48 they washed 40 items of clothing and if you booked online you can give them a few pieces a day until you added up to the 40 items I didn’t have to have it done all together which was nice because I was able to bring less clothes . The WiFi package was good too I had no issues the speed was fine and it worked well I purchased the unlimited plan and my family toggled back and forth using it and it worked well. I also purchased the cirque show which I really think should have been Included in the cruise fare , very cheesy to charge for a show , the show wasn’t that good it was just ok , my 14 year old fell asleep during it and my 16 year old was bored . The drinks that were included in the ticket were awful you don’t get to choose your drink they had two choices of drinks that were sitting on a bar when you walked In and they were not good , they didn’t even have soda for the kids they were given virgin mojitos. The other shows on board that were included were good and you can book them on the screens around the ship with your room key , very easy and all the shows were available and we booked them the same day . We booked a family room which was two rooms that connected and our balconies connected too , this was a great choice as we had lots of room and having two bathrooms were convenient. We booked shore excursions with the ship and they were good , I was very happy with them . I’ve cruised RCL, NCL, Disney and MSC Fantasia in the past , I do like MSC they do Nickel and dime you with all the extra charges I feel they should include more with the cruise fare but overall I would recommend the Bellisima, the pools were nice crowded especially on sea day but that is expected . The staff were wonderful , they work very hard and have to serve thousands of people with a smile every day I give them a lot of credit . The ports were amazing , I chose this ship because of the ports . We flew into Milan and took the FlixBus to Genoa the bus station is 2 blocks from the port which made the return very convenient. I would definitely book MSC again . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for ... Read More
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for a long time, the processes need some time to be ironed out. Some of the crewmembers, especially in service, seem to be new. This translates into reduced service. We´ve been to the Preziosa a few years ago and it was completely different to can only relate it that the crew needs some time to get into the routine. The ship is HUGE! It takes some time to navigate it and but then works very well. I would advise to try it at least once to see if this is something you enjoy. For our tastes it was too big and in the future we´d be looking into the Fantastica Class again. Th shows that we visited were of high quality standards, we really liked them. However, we were underwhelmed by the Cirque du Soleil show. The were only 3 "real cirque" acts and the cocktail was watery and full of sugar. We had the Premium Drinks Package and total got our worth. Would do it anytime again. However, it is sad that the ice cream at the pool is not included in the Premium Package for adults, however it is included in the one for kids. Luckily we had kids with us so could use their cards. 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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