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19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I have just returned from a 20 night cruise on MSC Lirica. We are both senior citizens and this was the fourth cruise we have taken with MSC. Embarkation in Genoa was quick and efficient and we found the ship to be ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 20 night cruise on MSC Lirica. We are both senior citizens and this was the fourth cruise we have taken with MSC. Embarkation in Genoa was quick and efficient and we found the ship to be elegant, well looked after and comfortable. We found all the staff very pleasant, helpful and courteous. Our inside cabin was quite roomy and comfortable and well looked after by our steward. Our request for a table for two in the dining room was arranged without any problem and our waiter, Bayron and his female assistant were charming, efficient and friendly. Their language skills were quite impressive. The food in the dining room was generally good, although the main courses were sometimes disappointing with tough meat. The ice cream though was always delicious! Gala Nights, the Italian Night and the Baked Alaska Parade were really good. We enjoyed most of the shows in the theatre which were all well attended. One performance did cause some concern, however, the Staff Talent Show. The seating for this was quite inadequate, combining both first and second sittings from the dining room. This resulted in people sitting on the steps in the aisles. Had there been an emergency nobody would have been able to get out - an accident waiting to happen! I enjoyed the aerobics classes and also the dance classes held on deck (music a bit loud though). These were well supported and credit must be given here to the Animation Team who created an atmosphere of fun from the moment guests boarded the ship. They worked tirelessly from the moment we boarded the ship until we disembarked. They were all great and did everything they could to ensure all guests had an enjoyable cruise. The festivities for crossing the Equator were very good and all were encouraged to take part. We did not take any of the ship's excursions as we enjoy finding our own way about and they were very expensive. As we were returning guests and had attended some of the interesting talks about the ports of call, we were invited to 3 cocktail parties in all and met some interesting and friendly people. I feel the Animation Team set the tone for the whole cruise, one of friendliness and fun and everyone was welcome. To sum up we found the ship to be elegant, comfortable and well maintained. The food mainly good and the staff friendly, helpful and good at their jobs. We left the ship feeling as though we had been to a jolly good party! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
The first voyage of the stretched Lirica (251 to 275 m), Genoa to Rio. The ship wasn't full, but busy nonetheless, and dread the feeding arrangements if it was full. Overall the ship was clean and well-maintained, the food good ... Read More
The first voyage of the stretched Lirica (251 to 275 m), Genoa to Rio. The ship wasn't full, but busy nonetheless, and dread the feeding arrangements if it was full. Overall the ship was clean and well-maintained, the food good although some economies were evident (compared to previous MSC cruises). The buffet was best avoided (crowded during meal times); we used the waiter served restaurants below deck. Lunch was the best meal of the day. The usual MSC Italian food (pizzas and pasta) was good. Sadly MSC cannot do scones, although their bread was tasty. As usual the entertainment staff work their socks off (their dance classes were particularly good, notably the Brazilian folklore dancers). Our cabin was in the stretched portion of the ship so a brand new cabin which was well designed and worked well (although we did have occasional problems with hot water) - well sound proofed and no creaking. The cabin attendants worked harder than ever - I supect they have more rooms to look after than on previous cruises, but have no evidence for this view. And MSC have stopped the excellent free early morning stretch classes in the gym organised by gym staff (now run by entertainments staff next to the pool and less professional). One other serious point is that smoking was allowed adjacent to the exercise area by the pool - as one stretched/danced one inhaled great gusts of second hand cigar and cigarette smoke. What were the areas that need some improvements? Its the little things like the webcam/Lirica position not working most of the time. The absence of English language stations on the TV (outwith the Mediterranean) and English movies. The casual approach of passengers to the alcohol hand washes- staff did not enforce. There was the usual bug circulating (cough/ upper respiratory tract infection) but I figure these are unavoidable with close contact with passengers in the theatre, restaurants/bars etc. De-caffeinated coffee and tea disappeared early during the cruise ( I blame light fingered passengers hoovering up the sachets), one had to ask the attendant for a de-caffeinated portion. Evening theatre performances a mixed bag (we had seen 80% before) but with so many nationalities on board they have to be non-speaking; the classical concerts were excellent (an MSC strength). Library poor, and they do not have a book-swap arrangement (in fact I suspect previous passengers' books comprise the MSC library). It was a good trip for dancing, despite the minute dancing areas and the fact that many singers/performers seemed to avoid good dancing tunes. We will take this cruise again (Brazil quite safe if one is careful) - we enjoy the MSC product and the Rio trip in November is a welcome change from autumnal Britain. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My wife and I chose MSCs 20 day 'Grand Voyage' from Genoa to Rio de Janeiro, leaving 04/11. We prefer sea-time over port-time and this had an exotic itinerary. This was the ship's first voyage after it's 27m ... Read More
My wife and I chose MSCs 20 day 'Grand Voyage' from Genoa to Rio de Janeiro, leaving 04/11. We prefer sea-time over port-time and this had an exotic itinerary. This was the ship's first voyage after it's 27m 'stretch' and much refurbishing of public areas. We understood this was a 40 day operation which is an outstanding achievement. Our impressions were fully positive about the results of this 'renaissance' programme. A few comments would summarise the contrast between our excellent experiences and our poor experiences. The ship was extremely clean and well maintained. All our experiences of Housekeeping, Food and Beverage and Entertainments staff were completely positive. We, along with other guests, feel that it was Guest Services who were the weak link. I am sure it must require powers of resilience to remain cheerful in the face of constant guest enquiries/niggles/complaints. In my experience it was the style of their responses that was of concern. Some examples: >>The ship was delayed 2+ hrs entering Santa Cruz de Tenerife. It had to be tugged in fore and aft eventually. The PA system apologised for this 'technical problem'. With previous marine experience I enquired with some concern about this 'problem'. From 3 different Guest Service personnel I was told it was not a 'problem' but was due to 'communications', then 'weather', then 'busy port traffic'. All patently untrue. Then it was announced that our departure was delayed until midnight 'because of late flight arrival'. There were no public flight arrival delays at Tenerife North or South that afternoon or evening. Still tied up at 0100, an honest Guest Services agent confirmed the continued delay was because of the ongoing 'technical problem'. >>All TV reception was unavailable from Canaries to the Brazil coast when all TV channels became totally Brazilian emphasis. Many people enquired about the possibility of at least 1 English language news channel given the tragic events in Paris. All fervently promised deadlines passed without action. The Guest Services Manager gave me his absolute promise on consecutive days that it would be resolved. Without action or results. >>After a 20 day cruise our arrival into iconic Rio, passing Sugar Loaf mountain as we enter the harbour was eagerly anticipated to end the 'Grand Voyage'. Unfortunately the previous evening's published navigation plan appeared to have been revised during the night by bridge officers so that we were tied up inside the harbour at 0700. The implication of this was that all passengers missed the much-anticipated arrival to Rio after our 20 days cruise. I quote the above examples to indicate the indifference shown to fare-paying passengers by certain crucial aspects of the cruise organisation. At times I was being given ridiculous responses to valid enquiries much as might be given to a troublesome child ! As an adult I much prefer to receive honest replies. Certainly I will not be availing myself of such indifference again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
This was the Lirica's first cruise since being refurbished and I have to wonder if they were really ready to set sail. We have enjoyed several MSC cruises in the past but the service on this one was terrible. We paid extra for the ... Read More
This was the Lirica's first cruise since being refurbished and I have to wonder if they were really ready to set sail. We have enjoyed several MSC cruises in the past but the service on this one was terrible. We paid extra for the Aurea package. We had many problems during the cruise from finding hair in food, to dirty plates and cups, to the toilet in our room not working and having to find a public toilet in the middle of the night (luckily this happened toward the end of the cruise as there was no attempt by staff to fix the toilet!). We paid for a photo package but found out the DVD was blank when we got home. Complaints were mainly dismissed by the staff which prompted me to write a formal letter of complaint to MSC when we returned home. I received the same dismissive treatment from head office! The ports we visited where great as were the shore excursions (some English speaking excursions were cancelled at the last minute and we had to tag along with other groups). I did not enjoy the 5 consecutive days at sea as English speaking activities were very limited. They were not able to get the English TV channel working during the entire 3 weeks of the cruise. The Lirica is a smallish ship so public areas are limited. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
If you are reading this, please know that I am 66 years of age and I have been on at least 12 cruises, with seven different cruise lines throughout my life and I have never, ever had to complain. I saved for many years to take 18 of my ... Read More
If you are reading this, please know that I am 66 years of age and I have been on at least 12 cruises, with seven different cruise lines throughout my life and I have never, ever had to complain. I saved for many years to take 18 of my family members on what was supposed to be the cruise of a lifetime. It was by far, the worst experience of our lives. We boarded the MSC Lirica on August 1 for a seven night cruise, and from beginning to the very end, it was horrific. The interior of the ship was vile and an utter disgrace. I have pictures that illustrate torn, worn out comforters, mold in bathtubs, holes and damaged carpets in cabins and hallways, and balconies that had wide openings and provided no safety for infants and children. We were in suites on deck 10 and it was very difficult to sleep because the deck attendants had no consideration and were moving and slamming pool chairs around at 2:00 and 3:00 am every night. The service was horrific and we were told at 7:45 at night that the buffet had run out of quesadillas and the worker became so angry that she pulled the sign off and threw it to the side. Then on another occasion, we asked for a burger to be made plain for someone with allergies and they said that it could not be done. The fish that they served smelled of ammonia and was not fresh at all. Every night we were sending food back. Please do not listen to them when they tell you to have your luggage go to the terminal. They provide you with color coded stickers and there is absolutely no structure or control around this. My daughter's brand new portable crib was lost and nowhere to be found and they could care less. I could go on and on about this unfortunate experience aboard the MSC Lirica, but I just wanted to let fellow consumers know so that they could make a more informed decision when selecting their next cruise. If you notice the reviews, the only customers that liked their experiences aboard MSC, were the first time cruisers, who unfortunately do not know any better. We all know that cruises are very expensive and most people are never even afforded the chance to set sail, so I feel that it is my duty to urge you to select an alternative cruise line. Do not let their cruise itinerary fool you. The negatives certainly outweigh the positives and I encourage you to make the right decision and never, ever select MSC for your travel plans. You will be disappointed. To "put the nail in the coffin" as they say, they never disclosed to us that the ship is going to be dry-docked later this month and will be enduring a $200,000,000.00 overhaul. They should disclose this to clients prior to taking their money. It is obvious that they knew the ship was in terrible condition. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I tend to think of myself as a cruise veteran since I have been on 15 cruises and I was so disappointed with this ship. Below is a recap of my recent trip: Service: The cabin stewart barely cleaned our room. I had a breakfast plate and ... Read More
I tend to think of myself as a cruise veteran since I have been on 15 cruises and I was so disappointed with this ship. Below is a recap of my recent trip: Service: The cabin stewart barely cleaned our room. I had a breakfast plate and orange juice sit in my room from 10:00am- 11:00pm. We inquired about laundry service for steaming for formal night and instead of helping us he ignored the request for 2-3 days then gave us a laundry bag that day of formal night. Our waiters were horrible, did not even take the time to know our name and were even friendly. I am not sure that is a European thing since I am american but they were rude and often forgot some of our food. Dining: MSC has the worst food I have ever tasted in my life. I have never been hungry on a cruise before until I cruised on MSC. Let's talk about tap water first, do you know that you have pay for tap water on MSC? I was applauded, there was no tap water in the dining areas. You had to purchase a bottle of water if you wanted water. What a scam! The food overall was disgusting with the exception of the pizzeria. The dining room kept recycling the same risotto by adding a different sauce every night. Steak, forget about that you got a thin slice of beef that was eat, lobster on formal night none, salad was wet with little dressing and desert was just gross. The buffet was not any better, we were on a Mediterranean cruise why not feature the food from the ports we were visiting? I did most of my eating off the ship. Embarkation: Entertainment: The animation team was fun and threw some great parties so I do not have anything bad to say about them. The "theater" actors/dancers walked around with a chip on their shoulders looking down on passengers. I am sorry did you not make it to Broadway and your upset at the world please do not take it out on the passengers. The casino was okay, I wish it was a bit larger but the staff was nice. The night club was decent but filled with teenagers at 2:00am which was disappointing. Spa: The spa was the biggest joke, they were often heard arguing with passengers because they overbooked people. I made an appointment for a hot stone massage and was left in the waiting area for 20 minutes and then approached by a staff member asking why I had not checked in. When I informed them I did and my cruise card was behind the register they were scrambling to make my appointment happen. I wound up getting a 30 minute massage instead 55 minutes with a 20 minute express facial. Did I mention the stones burned my body? Too bad I noticed after we got off the ship. Shore Excursions: We went on a Santorini excursion which was great which included a trip to the black send beach, a nice lunch with real greek food and a cable car up to the top of the mountains. I was disappointed that we only stayed in Mykonos later that night for 5 hours. I would have really like to spend more time there and possibly see it during the day. Croatia was amazing, it was really a hidden gem I didn't know about and I would definitely go back Summary: I would never cruise MSC again, I am going to stick to the cruise lines I love carnival, royal, princess, Norwegian and celebrity, Those lines provide excellent customer service, real food and treat you well. I tried to explain my issues in their after cruise survey, what a surprise since I was not speaking highly of the cruise in the survey would not allow me to finish. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This was our first cruise. We were a family group of 5 comprising my husband, 2 teenage daughters and my mum who is 70. This cruise was fantastic. I cannot rate it highly enough. We chose 2 x side by side balcony suites on the Fantastica ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We were a family group of 5 comprising my husband, 2 teenage daughters and my mum who is 70. This cruise was fantastic. I cannot rate it highly enough. We chose 2 x side by side balcony suites on the Fantastica package. We were able to connect the balconies to allow us dual access between rooms which was a fantastic bonus as we spent quite a bit of time in our rooms enjoying our company and the amazing views of the Medeterranean. We had the loveliest house attendant and the staff in the restaurant were just beautiful. Always happy and so very accommodating. The Allegrissmo package was so good. The drinks on offer were extensive and presented beautifully. I especially loved walking on the decks and the casual feel of the Lord Nelson Pub. Piano lounge was pretty cool too. Yeah the food was occasionally a little on the average side but the rest of the experience totally eclipsed any small nuances we may have felt. Duty free shopping was surprisingly good. From the review I had read I was to going to go near the shops but I ended up spending around €200 and was delighted with my purchases. Really good value. My one wish is that we could've stayed in some of the ports longer. 5 hours in Santorini just wasn't enough for me. What a place! But on the flip side, we then gone to explore Mykonos in the evening. Another suggestion, have a dedicated TV station explaining the current location of the ship and the significance of the country. Would've been great for us as complete foreigners to Europe. All in all, I would recommend MSC to anyone and everyone. It was excellent value for money, the staff are just gorgeous, the ports of call fascinating, food is plentiful and varied and lounge areas relaxing and comfortable. I am madly saving it my next cruise Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
The food was HORRIBLE! There are no fresh omelets in the morning all the eggs are COLD! The pasta was RAW! It tasted like raw flour. All the meat in the meat station was so dry, it tasted sandy. Don't bother going to the restaurant ... Read More
The food was HORRIBLE! There are no fresh omelets in the morning all the eggs are COLD! The pasta was RAW! It tasted like raw flour. All the meat in the meat station was so dry, it tasted sandy. Don't bother going to the restaurant for dinner, its worse than the buffet. They serve airplane food there. Ice cream is not free, and they charge you for Nutella crepes even though the dough its not fresh, its frozen. The bathroom was moldy, it was disgusting. The room had a moldy smell too, I had to take an antihistamine every day to prevent an allergic reaction to the moldy smell. Non-smoking areas a not respected. People smoke EVERYWHERE! This ship is so dated, you feel like you are stuck in the 80's. The TVs are not flat screen. You will be so bored in this ship! There is nothing to do. The gym is really small and they run out of towels so you will have to walk around with napkins to wipe the sweat off. The excursion staff have no idea about the excursion and they are very rude. But we were happy to take the excursions, and just to be out of the ship!!!! I was counting the minutes and seconds for the vacation to be over! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
Well, we have read the reviews on this ship prior to departure and we cannot blame the Cruise line of anything. My wife and I were spoilt on our first cruise being on the MSC Splendida two years ago. We booked an inside cabin but was ... Read More
Well, we have read the reviews on this ship prior to departure and we cannot blame the Cruise line of anything. My wife and I were spoilt on our first cruise being on the MSC Splendida two years ago. We booked an inside cabin but was upgraded to a balcony cabin. So, unexpected we got more than we bargained for. I did not happen again on our latest cruise. We had an inside cabin which was okay for two people but much smaller than expected, no safe, an old TV ( nothing to watch really ). Our children shared a cabin designated for four persons. A disaster !! It should not have been marketed as a cabin which can accommodate four persons.They could not sit upright on the bunk beds. No space to stow away luggage, the same size as our cabin for two.Just too small!! The food was good on our first trip ( we did not know what to expect ) and therefor acceptable. The food at dinner was VERY poor and seldom enough. Poor food dished up and served in a beautiful restaurant does not make the food good. The food in the buffet restaurant ( Le Bistro ) was very predictable and with all respect not very tasteful. It lacked spices I think. The staff were good and friendly. Especially the cabin staff. Not the same in the restaurants. Our party was told to arrive simultaneously in the breakfast restaurant....maybe understandable but difficult to adhere to when travelling as a party. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body ... Read More
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body which was very unpleasant. With regard to drinks we purchased the Allegrisimo drinks package which does include water, which isn't stated on the web site. Also you can get water in the buffet restaurant and also at some drink stations so don't buy the separate water package as we did it was a waste of £23. This drinks package is a must as drinks can work out quite expensive and with this you don't have to worry about the bill at the end. Food in the main restaurant in the evenings was ok but nothing special, have had better on other lines. Also don't bother taking loads of evening clothes people are very casual and on one gala night my husband and one other chap were the only people in dinner suites we felt really over dressed. There were also lots of children on this cruise running around the bars well after 10.00 in the evening (mostly Italians on board - it may have been their school holidays). We also felt that some of the public areas were not up to scratch with regard to hygiene, lots of the hand gel stations were empty. I will say that our cabin steward was very good. After the cruise we had 3 nights stay in Mestre, Aaron Hotel, not very good at all not in a very safe area and rooms are very small, although they are clean. We are looking forward to our next cruise but it will not be with this line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
I am a first time cruiser so some may say I have nothing to compare with, however I do travel extensively each year and stay in many hotels with my work and a cruise ship is like a floating hotel. My wife and I both felt we were treated ... Read More
I am a first time cruiser so some may say I have nothing to compare with, however I do travel extensively each year and stay in many hotels with my work and a cruise ship is like a floating hotel. My wife and I both felt we were treated extremely well by all staff we encountered right form check-in on day one until disembarkation on day 8. The ship was kept immaculate the rooms, bars, resturaunts, public areas/ toilets, spotlessly clean and fresh. All staff were dressed in tip top attire throughout. We did our research before the start of cruise and decided to purchase a drinks package, so all food and drink on board was free for 8 days, the quality of which was first class, you could indulge for a full 20 hours per day if you wished. The theatre shows on board were as good as the West end in London. Musicians and singers in all the bars were also of an excellent standard. Can`t wait to do another trip and will definitely use MSC again (but also consider other lines) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
Wonderful experience overall. We loved our cruise from the moment of embarkation. Our room was perfect with all we needed. Our steward kept our room meticulous. Dinner was a fabulous experience where we met lovely people to share our ... Read More
Wonderful experience overall. We loved our cruise from the moment of embarkation. Our room was perfect with all we needed. Our steward kept our room meticulous. Dinner was a fabulous experience where we met lovely people to share our meal. Our waiter at dinner was first class (Budi) and he couldn't do enough for us. Evening entertainment was first class with spectacular shows and acts. Facilities were excellent on board ship. Our destinations were spectacular and extremely well organised. We can't wait to do another MSC cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
This was our 2nd cruise and in all fairness I have come to the conclusion that my husband and I are just not cruise people. We went on the Lirica after spending time on a bus tour of Turkey and 5 nights in Venice, these places were such a ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise and in all fairness I have come to the conclusion that my husband and I are just not cruise people. We went on the Lirica after spending time on a bus tour of Turkey and 5 nights in Venice, these places were such a highlight of our trip, but our dream cruise of Croatia and the Greek a Islands was so disappointing. The Lirica is lovely ship and spotlessly clean and we were kindly upgraded from an outside cabin with balcony, to a suite. We appreciated the suite and although the upgrade didn't include all the bells and whistles we were very much appreciative of the extra space. The food was good, not great but was edible. We chose to eat mainly in the Dining Room as our experience in the bistro was brutal. The few times we ate in the Bistro area it was survival of the fittest, people shoving and pushing in and no cleared vacant tables. I really think that the lines for food could have been better organised as it is very frustrating to wait in line and have people constantly pushing in and not willing to take their turn. The tea and coffee station is located near an exit to the rear of the ship where the smokers can sit and causes nothing but congestion as people are entering and exiting where the coffee station is. There is certainly a language barrier on board the ship as no staff members or crew have English as their first language, we were given a daily information sheet in English but found communication with most on board very difficult. There is also too many smoking areas, the worse being a bar inside that non smokers need to walk through as a thoroughfare, not acceptable at all. Gratuities are added to you cruise card as well as a service charge , you have no control over who receives tips on your behalf and for all we know could just be lining the pockets of the MSC owners. Service was slow and sometimes orders were completely missed. Days at sea are just boring there is no other way to explain it, if you don't gamble at the Casino or want to be involved in silly childlike activities on the deck there is nothing to do. If by chance you can organise yourself to attend the nightly entertainment, be prepared after hanging around for 3 hours it lasts 30 minutes. We had the first sitting in the Dining Room at 6.45 pm so the only show time we could attend was 9.45 pm. On shore excursions are a rip off, one in particular was advertised at lasting 3 hours but failed to tell you 2 hours of that time was allocated to your free time. The itinerary stinks the ship travels slow to arrive in places and you are always rushed. We arrived at Ancona during siesta time, nothing was open an unable to shop all experience any of the tourist venues. We were misled on all our information regarding our visit to Mykonos and only spent a few hours there in the evening, such a disappointment. As you can see my husband and I were not impresses with our cruise experience and would never choose to cruise or recommend MSC. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
MSC LIRICA out of Venice: We have always cruised on Norwegian and didn't think MSC would be much different, since the price is about the same. BOY WERE WE WRONG! The food was terrible! You have to dine at your designated dining time ... Read More
MSC LIRICA out of Venice: We have always cruised on Norwegian and didn't think MSC would be much different, since the price is about the same. BOY WERE WE WRONG! The food was terrible! You have to dine at your designated dining time in the same restaurant every night. There are only two dining rooms, but they are the same menu. The food on the menu is quite limited. There is a cafeteria, but the food is just as bad and just as limited. The bar staff is rude. We went to one of the "parties" and waited 30 minutes for a waiter to take our drink order. My husband finally went to the bar and asked for a drink and they told him they would come and we waited another 30 minutes. The bartender will not take a drink order from passenger, a waiter must take order. The cabin just felt dirty. My bedspread had a patched hole. The TV was the old tube kind and was small and missing a button. The shower was so small you couldn't shower without the moldy shower curtain touching you. The fellow passengers were rude, and the children unruly. We couldn't go into the hot tub because it was filled with children. They charge you for water at dinner unless you have tickets and they charge you for tea if you have it with dinner. There is no coffee with desert in the dining rooms after dinner. The staffing ratio to passengers was inadequate. The staff was untrained and had a language barrier that contributed to their issues. Disembarkation was a fiasco! They make you check out of your room at 7:30 and will not let you disembark until much later. Our luggage was not available until 10:00 and the Venice port authority will not let you take your luggage off yourself. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
First the good. The ship was spotlessly clean and the cabin was immaculate. The entertainment was very good. Now the bad. If this were our first cruise we would never do another one. The weather was inclement for the first few ... Read More
First the good. The ship was spotlessly clean and the cabin was immaculate. The entertainment was very good. Now the bad. If this were our first cruise we would never do another one. The weather was inclement for the first few days which should be no big deal but the eating area for breakfast and lunch did not have sufficient space in protected areas so everyone just walked around with plates of quickly cooling food looking for somewhere to sit. The food in general was poor. The buffet food was worse. The hamburgers were green looking. The only edible item was pizza, which was good but a week of pizza every day gets old. Getting people on and off the ship was always a challenge. If you bought their overpriced excursions they treated you better. It was mostly chaos as if this was the first time they did it. Their schedule was stupid. For instance, we arrived at Mikonos at 10PM and left at 2AM. Such a pretty place. Too bad it was in the middle of the night when you couldn't see it and when most of the shops were closed. The service in the main dining room was poor. The food's descriptions on the menu was great. The execution was lousy. I just ordered everything and picked among the various dishes to get enough to eat. We have done the same Venice to Greek Islands on Costa. It was so much better. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2015
This was our 3rd cruise but the first with MSC and, in terms of service, it was probably the worst one. To be fair though, it was probably also the cheapest. The ship itself was immaculate and well-maintained and all the public areas ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise but the first with MSC and, in terms of service, it was probably the worst one. To be fair though, it was probably also the cheapest. The ship itself was immaculate and well-maintained and all the public areas were kept very clean. Although most of the passengers were Europeans there were a number of English-speaking guests on board yet we didn't encounter any staff at all who spoke English as their first language. This made communication difficult at times. Embarkation: The embarkation process was a complete debacle. We were told that check-in was from 2-5pm and we were at the cruise terminal by 1:30pm. By then there was a long queue of people who were already checking in and, after we'd finally got our luggage checked through, we went upstairs to check ourselves in and were given a letter stating that check-in had been brought forward and our cabin would be ready for us by 1:30pm. It wasn't at all useful to receive this letter then - having it e-mailed to us the night before would have been much more useful. In the end we stood in a very slow-moving queue for over 2 hours before we were finally able to board the ship. This whole process could have been handled far more efficiently. Food: The food on board was hit and miss. Often items we ordered from the menu weren't as described, e.g. the Eggs Benedict served on a toasted muffin was actually served on a piece of soggy white toast, the salmon main course was certainly fish but there is no way it was salmon, etc. Breakfast in the a la carte restaurant wasn't great - service was often slow and some of the meals had obviously been sitting around for a while before eventually being delivered to us cold. Evening dinners in the a la carte restaurant were better - the food certainly wasn't top quality but there was plenty of choice and with 7 courses to choose from there was certainly no need to go hungry. The risottos were nice, although a little salty for our tastes, but, although there was a different flavour each night, some of them tasted the same. Also, the tiramisu could have been thawed a little longer before being served to the customers! There was plenty of choice in the buffet restaurant too but, again, most of it wasn't great quality. The meat from the carvery was often overcooked and tough and a lot of the desserts tasted the same. However, the food from the ethnic corner was usually quite tasty and the breads (made daily on the ship) were nice. The pizzeria served a choice of 4 pizzas daily and these were superb! Entertainment: The shows each evening featured some outstanding talent and were a highlight of each day. We didn't participate in many of the daily on-board activities as these weren't really our thing and, although the Animation Team had obviously been tasked with getting people involved, we found their enthusiasm somewhat false and nauseating. However, a lot of other passengers seemed to enjoy this aspect. Our 11-year old attended the Kids Club most days - he enjoyed some of it but found a lot of the activities were quite lame and childish. Our 13-year old daughter tried the Teens Club a couple of times but it seemed to be fairly non-existent so she gave up. That said, she was perfectly content reading her book on the Pool Deck most days. Cabin: Our cabin was serviced twice daily by a lovely Indonesian staff member who did a great job and always had a smile on his face, despite what must surely be a pretty thankless job. From what I can recall the cabin was a similar size to the cabins on our previous 2 cruises, i.e. small(!), but we didn't spend a lot of time in there. Our only real complaint about the cabin was the shower curtain, which kept clinging to us when we were in the shower. As well as being annoying this can't be hygienic. Staff: Some of the staff were very pleasant and reasonably efficient, some seemed to be completely incompetent, and some looked like they really didn't want to be there. Our Indonesian waiter in the restaurant each evening was a delight and did a great job of looking after the 8 of us at our table. However, a lot of the drinks staff were incredibly slow and we often had to wait for an unacceptable length of time for the drinks we'd ordered. Some of these staff would also create a much better impression if they smiled occasionally. I also firmly believe that there needs to be more English-speaking staff on board, particularly in the beverage areas. Ports: We chose this cruise for the itinerary and weren't disappointed. We didn't book any shore excursions and, in hindsight, this was the right decision. All of the ports we visited were easy to do on our own and I'd only bother with the shore excursions if we wanted to go further afield. However, I did so some research on each port before we left so that we knew what we wanted to see and do in each place. Split - This is a beautiful town within easy walking distance of the port. We spent some time walking around the old town and seeing the sights there and then walked up the hill to the lookout point for great views over the town and port. Santorini - This is a port where you need to be tendered ashore. We took the cable car up the hill but walked back down the path. Shopping is cheaper here than in other European cities we visited. Mykonos - We visited this port at night and were really disappointed we didn't get to see it by day. It looked like a beautiful place and all the shops were open till late. Dubrovnik - The ship provides a shuttle bus from the port to the town for 12,90 euro per adult and 9,90 euro per child. Alternatively you can get a taxi for 13 euro each way (which we did - this was a cheaper and quicker option for our family of 4), or take a public bus or walk 30 minutes or so. We walked around the historic walls and then walked through the town within the walls. Another beautiful city. Ancona - Easy walking distance to the town from the port. Some old Roman ruins here, a cathedral and a historic arch but not much else really. Overall we had a great time on this cruise but there were definitely aspects that MSC could easily improve on - mostly the service. For the reasons outlined above, we asked for some of the daily service charges to be removed from our bill at the end. We expected this would involve some arguing but were pleasantly surprised that our request was met without question. For this reason I would strongly recommend not paying the gratuities/service charges in advance. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Absolutely the worst cruise ever. We got off this ship two days ago and I felt like I had gotten out of a dirty prison and was released back to society and civilization. In my opinion and based on my experience, here are the reasons why ... Read More
Absolutely the worst cruise ever. We got off this ship two days ago and I felt like I had gotten out of a dirty prison and was released back to society and civilization. In my opinion and based on my experience, here are the reasons why and I hope this information assists others considering their cruise options. MSC LIRICA 1. Service. Dispassionate and lack lustre. The service was the least energetic of any cruise we have taken and we have been on many. Staff standing around talking and ignore you when you need something, forget it. 10 minutes to get syrup for waffles (yep, they were cold by then). Coffee refills.......I got up and got it myself after asking twice. Orders confused. Of course there were a few exceptions, but for the rank and file, team building is needed. For some, friendliness wanes by the day, as if they are tired of serving this cruise and will coast this one, until the next one. One waiter did tell us, that the Caribbean cruises were far better for good tippers. (hmmm, we pay a service fee every day on our bill). 2. Announcements. Little to no regard for English speaking guests. Over 95 percent of the announcements were in Portugese or Spanish with no English translations daily (only when it was time to get off the ship did English come). MSC....shame on you for not ensuring all guests feel welcome and have access to information. We paid good money to take this cruise the same as anyone else. We did get the daily ship overview in English on request. 4. Excursions. We enjoyed Buenos Aires and Punta del Este but there were some significant issues with the planning and execution of safe excursions. Islabella should be called islaHELLla ! The schooner to the beach excursion was a total of 2 boring hours on the boat looking at trees and rocks along the shoreline. We were to spend two more boring hours on an insect infested tiny beach in the pouring rain. We were covered in insect repellent as advised, yet they still swarmed and bit us voraciously. Several large dogs milled about off leash, smelly and they kept scratching and sat with us under the tent in the rain. There was no food or beverage service on the beach...obviously they knew it was raining and stayed home. I never did see a washroom…so people were wading in the ocean. We ended up staying on the beach 1 1/2 hours when misery finally bumped common sense into action. There was no common sense, however, in being out on the water in a lightning and thunder storm for the 1 hour rain soaked journey to the tender dock. Isn't it well known that the worst place to be unsafe is on the water. Aren’t there nautical weather predictions to guide the senior ship staff as to when and where to let excursions go in inclement weather?. Upon getting back to the tender dock in Islabella in the rain, thunder and lightning, there was a huge line of passengers waiting for tender. We were told to cut in front of them, since we came off a boat right there. I am sure those who were left stuck in the rain for a longer time were not impressed. After this most uncomfortable tour, I informed the excursion staff about all of the problems and asked for a credit but guess what? No credit. (the tour description informs there are bugs and that it goes even if raining so that warning trumped the lack of beach amenities and the dangerous weather conditions). 5. Tendering. The return lines were long as noted above...in Punta del Este we were dropped off at the correct time to take the last tender back as we were on a planned excursion. Then we were faced with an over one hour wait in a huge line in the scorching sun. Then a ride in high seas with waves over top the bow with passengers bounced around in the cabin, screaming. It was frightening for so many. They were told not to panic when many were trying to rush off the tender onto the ship and one person fell to the floor. The tender captain made a remark in Portugese about our ship captain, pointed up and shook his head. I don’t think it was complimentary. Then we learned of a medical emergency....rumours of the death of a passenger having a heart attack on the tender....the crew would only say it was a medical emergency. We left port 2 hours late that day escorted by a military vessel instead of a pilot boat. Something was up. Passengers were quiet and sedate in the early evening … like a mood had come over the ship. 6. Casino staff. If you gamble at tables here, you better pay very close attention to your money. These casino with dealers make MANY mistakes. One tried to short me $100.00 on a chip change up for $700.00. I noticed the pit boss turns a blind eye to mistakes in favour of the casino and when called on it, the response was ... “we are only human”. One pit boss said, this is not a casino; it’s just for fun. (well, at least he bought us a drink after our addressing several mistakes in a row). But really, how can a dealer not recognize a straight, or a straight flush???Really? Those chips were coming off the table…….the dealer thinking she had the nut flush….. and seriously, the winner was a straight flush !!! This could have cost the player over $800.00 as he had bet well. I was the one who said…Hey! That is a straight flush. The dealer looked at the pit boss and put his chips back and then paid him out. The electronic poker table rakes are set very high…..after an hour of two of poker play, the players stacks were disappearing. But then any good poker player knows to observe the rakes so that is their choice. 7. Food. Horrible is the best I can say. Three slices of pork fat and I am NOT exaggerating, was my first dinner and I sat there not able to catch the eye of staff (one waiter serving about 30 people at once), not asked how my meal was…..and it was inedible. Finally, I asked for a manager, and the matre’d came over and took the food to the kitchen. Acknowledging the poor quality, he sent chocolate dipped strawberries to our room later that evening. The cuts of meat are at the low end of the quality scale. Cheap cuts of meat every meal. Pork leg, pork chop. Chicken legs, or chicken pounded so thin you could use it to write on. Beef rump. Thin hamburgers. Cut pieces of unrecognizable meats in sauces. On gala nights I was hoping for better. No luck. Three small shrimp was the seafood highlight (appetizer). One entre offering was Filet...I thought "at last, I can have a nice steak". But it was 3 slices of beef, which were over cooked (I asked for medium rare) and they were covered in gravy; and tasted like roast beef. Again, the staff too busy to ask how things are. You can find lots of rice. Lots of beans. Thank God for pasta. Boring and overall tasteless buffets. Not even an omelette station like other ships. Portions……obviously in the buffet you can decide, but if you order the cheese plate in the dining room, it is laughable. The breakfast coldcut plate ever moreso (e.g. the ham is about 1/3 of a slice of ham for size). The chef roamed around a few times waving as if he were a movie star with fans. I wish he had come to our table, but then he didn't speak English either. 8. Internet...yes I know it is slow but at 50cents a minute, it took 20 minutes to read 2emails and send one. When I discussed the problem, I was told they had a new antenna and that the IT person would look into it, but I still got charged. However, on a positive note, given a complimentary phone call because I needed to know how my elderly mother was after learning that she was deteriorating. I appreciated this, but the steward sat there and listened to my call with no offer of privacy. 9. Cleanliness. We got to the room and went to have a shower and there was a wad of long black hair in the drain. Disgusting. The next day the shower would not drain and flooded over. The steward came and opened the drain and pulled out a pile of hair and the drain worked. He left the room telling us it was fixed. I went to the toilet, and there was this huge wad of hair floating in the toilet he never bothered to flush. Ugh! Then on the pool deck, I was in the washroom. A cocktail server came out of the stall and left the washroom to return to work. SHE DID NOT WASH HER HANDS ! !! and we all know what can happen on cruise ships with E Coli and worse! And the busy pool areas, night club parties, and disembarkation lounge washrooms……so many times, NO toilet paper. You would think someone would be assigned to be in those areas cleaning and refilling when the volumes are high. Over the days on board, I progressively developed a severe and painful allergic response …red, watering, painful eyes. My eyes started to settle within hours of getting off the ship. I looked up what could possibly be a cause of this from ships and learned it could be mold or dust mites. 9. Entertainment: On this point, I have compliments where due. In fact, this group of people work so hard and are very congenial. Thank you to Anna and Vittorio for being two of the few on this ship who took time to try to make us feel welcome in English. 10. Beverage packages. On this point, the prices of the beverage packages are good. We had some nice wines and some good discussions of wine with Antonio which we appreciated. The afternoon featured “wine tasting” was unusual. Cruisers who like this activity are used to having a small organized event with wine and taste pairing for the cost; with some discussion and education on the wine offered by the sommelier. On Lirica, you are given a wine menu, and simply pick 3 wines to drink from about 10-12 choices (but no descriptions). A plate of salami, cheese, and some prochuitto wrapped bread sticks is the snack…….? Call that a food pairing? lol. Thank you to those who take the time to read this. It is my first review but obviously one that needs to be shared. If more people took the time to do this, perhaps important changes can be made so that everyone who spends thousands of dollars of their hard earned money to get to and experience a cruise vacation can get what they pay for……a clean, pleasant, enjoyable and safe vacation.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
This was our first cruise with MSC and sadly will be our last.  Getting on the ship was easy, the room was good a bit small but alright for a week. The food was excellent quality but a bit samey but then they cannot just pop out to the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC and sadly will be our last.  Getting on the ship was easy, the room was good a bit small but alright for a week. The food was excellent quality but a bit samey but then they cannot just pop out to the shops. The waiter in our restaurant was brilliant. The Entertainment was the best we have ever seen on a cruise ship, the bar staff were good but some would rather had not been there. The Reception was a total waste of space, we had our daily programme delivered in French on the first night so we went to them to get an English version and request an English one form then on, quite simple? not a chance everyday it was is in French despite a daily complaint, even on the last day the disembarkation information was given in French i asked for an English one as it was quite important, the Receptionist just said they've all gone and we haven't got any. Getting off the ship at some ports we asked for some basic local information again they just said, without moving their eyes from the computer screen, "outside only" that was the help offered. The room was kept clean but we did have two dirty glasses left for 4 days, on one occasion they were actually moved to another part of the cabin. At 7 am everyday we were woken by the constant loud chatter and shouting from the room cleaners. I gave our waiter an individual tip but for the first time ever we had the gratuities removed from our bill. They were were not geared up for the English and were not worth a tip. Sadly the Reception and some staff let down the rest of the crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
I had never wanted to go on a cruise but three weeks before we were departing for 5 weeks to Europe (from Australia), I saw a great deal advertised on MSC Lirica and upgraded to the top deck, balcony suite which was amazing. We loved ... Read More
I had never wanted to go on a cruise but three weeks before we were departing for 5 weeks to Europe (from Australia), I saw a great deal advertised on MSC Lirica and upgraded to the top deck, balcony suite which was amazing. We loved everything about the cruise from the first minute. Embarkation was very quick and easy, the only gripe was waiting over an hour for luggage to the cabin. The animation team lead by Ana, were always smiling and made us laugh so much, as did fellow passengers who took part in the entertainment. The dance instructors, Simon and Giulia were so happy and patient and did a great job. Service everywhere was impeccable from the cabin steward to bar staff. We pre-purchased the alcohol package which was a great deal too. This cruise will stay with us forever, the animation and entertainment teams were so talented and we still laugh about some of the funny things that happen, like Bingo in several languages. The nightly shows in the theatre were also world class. I loved the multi-lingual staff and cannot thank them enough for making my first cruise not my last. cannot wait to travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was a fantastic cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. Our cabin (balcony suite) was really good. Food was excellent. My biggest disappointment was with the staff. Except for Rafael at reception, all the other receptionists were poorly ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. Our cabin (balcony suite) was really good. Food was excellent. My biggest disappointment was with the staff. Except for Rafael at reception, all the other receptionists were poorly trained and could not assist us with most of our queries. Casino staff were rude. Our waitor for our evenings was a Honduran named Carlos who exceeded all our excpectations and provided excellent service in a highly professional manner, a real asset to MSC. On our last day we decided to do the Marseille excursion. At the excursion desk, we asked if it would be possible to do the excursion even though we were going to disembark. We were told that there would be a problem with our luggage as it could not stay on board. I told them we would take our luggage with us on the excursion which they said would be ok. The following morning, we asked for assistance to take our luggage (4 pieces) from our cabin to the bus. The manageress of the excursions started complaining that we would have to take the luggage to the bus. She eventually sent someone to collect our luggage but when we got to the bus, she passed a very nasty comment that it was our duty to take the luggage. I have only one thing to say about this: POOR SERVICE!!! Overall, I would do this cruise again, although I am not so sure that I will be using MSC again due to poor staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2014
The cleanliness of the ship was in my view impeccable. Food was very good. With multiple choices every meal with choice of restaurants. I have seen previous reports of hot dogs and burgers being a staple. This is misleading, as whilst they ... Read More
The cleanliness of the ship was in my view impeccable. Food was very good. With multiple choices every meal with choice of restaurants. I have seen previous reports of hot dogs and burgers being a staple. This is misleading, as whilst they are available all afternoon and evening they are as well as the bistro and restaurant choice and the other available meals such as fresh cooked pasta and pizza. We chose the bistro most days with the choices of dish being very varied always including good salad and fruit to accompany. Dinner in the evening was a highlight, with great service. 4 nights on our cruise was black tie. This company has a clientele of many nations and sometimes announcements in six languages can become tiring, but I wouldn't change this varied mix of fellow passengers who enrich the experience for us. If there is a criticism it must be a minor one on the entertainment, which some of the singers seem to think their english is better than the reality. To be fair they are trying to satisfy Brits/Germans/Italians/French and others all in the same show. The whole of the crew were cheerful and even after 5 months in the gulf the entertainment team were in top form. We found the all inclusive package well worth it, not having this will hit your pocket hard if even a moderate drinker. The service charge is daily and billed at the end of the cruise. Our 18 days came to about £400. Trips are expensive for what you receive so we chose ours carefully and walked off the ship into town when we could. Comparing prices with other lines I think MSC to be good value and we would go again Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
After waiting two and a half hours in port to board ship was given a disabled cabin which we don't need it was two single beds put together at an angle where you couldn't use some of the furnishings in the cabin for the beds ... Read More
After waiting two and a half hours in port to board ship was given a disabled cabin which we don't need it was two single beds put together at an angle where you couldn't use some of the furnishings in the cabin for the beds blocking them or the mirror had to climb over bed 1 to get into bed 2, cabin was very poorly lit because cabinets had been moved to put 2 single beds together just a disaster..You couldn't even move the cabin back to its original way because the bedding was joined.....Told by reception staff not to unpack they were going to put us in a double cabin as booked by day 4 we still weren't unpacked and still no resolve about cabin then it was SORRY we have no cabin for you!!!.Luggage arrived at cabin damaged which could have happened to anybody....After dinner in the evening the only other eating place was a small area that done pizza until midnight then until breakfast it was only tea/coffee....It was set dinning times the buffet dining only opened at set times...The ship was very over powered with Italians who tend to be very rude and loud this ship did not cater well for the British food was good lot of fish....Don't think it will be MSC again for me much happier with other company's and never had the need to comment before. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
I am fortunate to have family based in Dubai so have seen many of the sights already. I booked my flights independently to give me time pre and post cruise with the family. If you arrange a fly-cruise package you need to bear in mind that ... Read More
I am fortunate to have family based in Dubai so have seen many of the sights already. I booked my flights independently to give me time pre and post cruise with the family. If you arrange a fly-cruise package you need to bear in mind that some of the return flights were very early and some people needed to leave the ship at 3 a.m. on the morning of departure. Would highly recommend organising your own flights to give you more flexibility and the chance to see Dubai pre and/or post cruise. I did a similar cruise with RCI last year but wanted to visit those places I just could not fit into the itinerary then. I have travelled several times with MSC but this was my first time on Lirica - I was not disappointed. The ship was kept spotlessly clean, the staff were friendly and efficient. It was nice too that we had plenty of time in each port of call so were not rushed to see the various sights. Embarkation went very smoothly and I was in my cabin (10061) by 9.45 a.m. and my luggage arrived very soon afterwards. The cabin was well equipped with plenty of storage and wardrobe space, a good sized bathroom, a nice balcony with two chairs and a small table. The huge bed was comfortable and there was a cosy armchair and settee for relaxing in. The safe took some finding but it was hidden behind the huge mirror! My cabin steward was first class, very friendly and efficient and he kept the cabin spotless throughout the cruise. I did ask for my daily tips to be taken off my account and the receptionist was quite happy to do this, allowing me to tip those I thought deserved recognition for the service they gave. Do ensure your final on board account is not converted from Euros to GP Sterling (or your own country's currency) as the cruise line make a charge for the conversion. Prior to sailing I had set up a Roll Call and we liaised with each other regularly and arranged private excursions at some of the ports. We met up on several occasions and had some fun evenings together, along with other newly formed friendships with people from various parts of the UK, Australia etc. DINING: I opted for first sitting at 6.30 pm (felt second sitting at 8.45 pm was too late). I was on a table for 8(three couples, a gentleman travelling alone and myself). We all got on very well and had a lot of laughs together. Our waiter Wody was excellent and looked after us admirably. The food was very good with plenty of choice and it was nicely presented. One lady on the table required a special diet (gluten free) and the waiter was fully aware of her needs and meals were prepared separately for her if she could not make a selection from the menu itself. I mostly ate in the main dining room for breakfast and there was everything you wanted - cereals, fruit, yoghurt, croissants and of course the full English breakfast. The self service buffet served the same food as in the dining room but on occasions it was so crowded but it was OK for a quick lunchtime meal. A 24hr tea and coffee station was located on Deck 11 and at selected times it was possible to get pizza and pastries there too. The formal nights were not as grand as some cruises I have been on but enjoyable all the same although I felt the Gala Night dinners were not anything very special. I had pre-booked the Allegrissimo All Inclusve Drinks Package and at £18 a day it was great value for money. It included all wines, water, soft drinks, spirits, cocktails and tea and coffee with meals and there was no 15% surcharge on any of the drinks ordered through this package. The Coffee Corner served speciality coffees and it was possible to sit there for drinks too. This was one of the places with WiFi but internet time was very expensive and the reception was not very good at times in many of the designated areas. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows in the Broadway Theatre were very good with singing, dancing and speciality acts. The choreography was precise and the dancers worked so hard. There were two performances each evening so after my evening meal I would make my way to the theatre for the 9 pm show. I did try my luck at the Casino but needless to say did not come away with a fortune!. There were several lounges to choose from, each offering different types of entertainment. My favourites were the Cabaret Lounge and the Beverley Hills Lounge. The entertainment staff worked so hard making sure everyone had a good time integrating with the passengers all the time. Our group did venture to the disco one evening but being of the older generation we found it a little too noisy on the dance floor so found a quiet corner and enjoyed watching others. POOL: There were too pools and the surrounding areas were kept very clean and there were plenty of sunbeds available. It was quieter on the Sun Deck on Deck 12. Daytime activities were centred around one end of the pool deck and people could join in or sit back and watch as they chose. Again the entertainment staff worked hard to keep everyone happy. The pool water was quite cold but quite refreshing once the initial shock had worn off. Unless you like being amongst smokers you need to choose your sun bed away from the designated smoking areas (this is one reason why I did not visit the Lord Nelson Pub as it was a smoking zone) SPA: I enjoyed a visit to the Spa and was pleasantly surprised how reasonable the charges were compared to other cruise ships I have been on but one needs to be quite firm to avoid the sales pitch they adopt In trying to get you to purchase the products after a session. EXCURSIONS; In ABU DHABI I booked direct with The Emirates Palace Hotel for Afternoon Tea - all I can say is WOW! What a wonderful experience. Booking direct was cheaper than going on an organised excursion via MSC and I was given a leisurely guided tour of the hotel beforehand and what a beautiful hotel it is. Yes, it may be a little extravagant but the tea was delicious and served in style in a lovely setting. I could not get through all the three stages and came away with a box with sandwiches and cakes which I shared with friends back on board ship. When I docked at Abu Dhabi last year I did the City Tour organised excursion which included a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque - it is breath-taking and anyone visiting Abu Dhabi without seeing this magnificent building is missing a great treat. KHOR AL FAKKAN - I had read other reviews on this port and on recommendation from those several of us took the free shuttle bus provided by the Oceanic Hotel from the port gate. We spent a relaxing day using all the facilities. Beach towels were provided by the hotel and we had use of the sunbeds around the pool and on the beach. The day pass also included an Eat As Much As You Like Buffet Lunch - I have never seen such variety and it was delicious). It was excellent value at 90 Dirhams (about £15). MUSCAT - This is another port which I have visited before - I did the organised Mystical Muscat Tour which included a visit to the mosque there the Muttrah Souk, the Bait Al Zubair Museum and the Sultan's Palace. On this occasion I met up with a friend who is now living in Oman. She took me on a panoramic tour into the mountains. We stopped for lunch at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel before going to the Marina and Diving Centre where she and her husband have a small boat - unfortunately we did not have time to take the boat out but we relaxed on board and admired the scenery. KHASAB - One of the Roll Call members kindly offered to arrange a private tour with Khourshem Tours for a half day Dhow Cruise. This was a most enjoyable trip and it was fun to see the dolphins swimming alongside the dhow as we sped through the clear waters. We weighed anchor and were able to swim and snorkel (equipment provided). We were given free drinks and snacks on board and it was a relaxing experience and good value at 130 Dirhams each. DUBAI - I have seen a lot of the sights on my previous visits. My recommendations would be: The Burj Khalifa - do book in advance in order to ensure a time slot and also to save money - in advance 100 Dirhams but on the day 400 Dirhams, if you can get in. An ideal time to go up the Burj is mid-late afternoon and then you can make your way to the Dancing Fountains show (start around 6.30pm and are every half hour). A good view of this spectacular display can be seen from the balcony of TGIFridays and the meal will be a lot cheaper there than in the pricey restaurants at ground level. I would also recommend a visit to the Mall of The Emirates to be amazed by the Ski Resort there the Dubai Mall to see the huge Aqaurium, a visit to The Atlantis Hotel on the Palm, where you can swim with the dolphins, have fun in the Water Park or just enjoy the ambience of the hotel. A Dhow Dinner Cruise is interesting and of course there are the shopping malls, the gold souk and the spice souk to wander around. There are Hop On Hop Off Buses operating in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat but you do need lots of time to complete the whole routes as traffic congestion can be a problem in getting around. Taxis are very reasonable but do agree a price first if you want to arrange any kind of tour with the driver. In Abu Dhabi a driver wanted to charge me 150 Dirhams to go to the Emirates Palace Hotel. I did not know how far it was but haggled nevertheless and got the price down to 60. I did not realise it was not an official taxi but a private tour company. When I arrived at the hotel the driver wanted to wait for me and take me to other sights (for a fee) but I stood my ground and said I did not know how long I would be at the afternoon tea and he drove away. The taxi the hotel arranged for me to return to the port cost just 22 Dirhams - lesson learned. Whilst on board I purchased a voucher costing 10 Euros which lasts for 18 months and gives discounts and special offers on a future cruise. MSC will be sailing from Dubai again for the Winter 2014/2015 season and they will be using MSC Orchestra for these cruises and this ship will then sail from Dubai to Freemantle (33 days cruise) on 21st Feb 2015. As children travel free with MSC and my family are keen to take a cruise we decided to take advantage of the voucher and my discounts as a previous MSC passenger and we have already booked for 4th Feb next year. I am looking forward to seeing more wonderful sights in the ports of call. I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on MSC Lirica and cannot wait for next year to sail on Orchestra. If you have not visited the United Arab Emirates I can highly this cruise - you will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Just returned from 7night's on board MSC Lirica at Dubai. We has a great time on board. We were all inclusive so maybe that made a big difference. The animation staff were really great. They encourages all ages to get up and join in ... Read More
Just returned from 7night's on board MSC Lirica at Dubai. We has a great time on board. We were all inclusive so maybe that made a big difference. The animation staff were really great. They encourages all ages to get up and join in the games at the poolside. There were exercise and dance classes all of which were were supported. The meals were a bit different than PO or Royal Caribbean cruises. We managed to eat in the restaurant's and were well fed although there did seem to be a lot of fresh fish on the nightly menu. we didn't starve and really enjoyed the lovely pizza's made freshly on deck everyday. The staff were all delightful especially the waiter's and waitress's in all the lounges. Beverly Hill lounge was our favourite each evening listening to Duo Mexico. we even manged a few dances in there. We really don't do cruise excursion's and mainly do our own thing. When we stopped at KKor Al Fakkan the best thing to do is take the shuttle bus out off the port and walk 20 yards and you will see all the taxis. There will be a free shuttle minibus laid on to take you to 5star Oceanic Hotel. You get the use of the large pool,showers and beach sunbeds. We went for the lunch as well and cost us around 90dirhams ( £20) we are Scots and do enjoy a bargain. What a bargain the lunch alone must have been worth at least £25/£30. Plenty of fresh salads and several choices of main meals. I opt for a stir fry and had 2 chef's preparing my stir fry and adding all the ingredients of my choice. At least 20 sweets then to chose from. Great value. Once you are ready to depart hotel and head back to ship the free shuttle will drop you off at port in plenty of time to join ship. We didn't make our last port of call Muscat due to sea being to rough to dock in port so we headed back to Dubai where we spend 2 days in port. The only down side to this was being there on Friday is their holy day and some of the shops at Kamara were closed. Kamara this is the district in Dubai where you will find all your designer handbags for a fraction of the cost. Well if the guy's take you to their secret room's. Don't be afraid to haggle with them as this is how you pay for good's. They usually start about twice the price you will get the bags for so keep going down in price and they like Dirhams best. All in all we feel we got a great bargain on our 7 night cruise as we booked up and got free all inclusive. Ship a bit on the small side but we enjoyed the friendly staff. Rosie @ Fred Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Poor pre cruise service fom MSC UK Quick & easy embarkation 11.30am, cabin was ready and buffet lunch provided. Maps of the ship/deck plans not given out. Ship, looked very clean and spacious with large mirrors everywhere but NO ... Read More
Poor pre cruise service fom MSC UK Quick & easy embarkation 11.30am, cabin was ready and buffet lunch provided. Maps of the ship/deck plans not given out. Ship, looked very clean and spacious with large mirrors everywhere but NO MONITORING OF HAND SANITIZING WHEN ENTERING EITHER THE BUFFET OR RESTAURANT Buffet meals had plenty of fresh fruit & salad as well as a good choice of main courses & excellent desserts, sadly the hot food was warm Restaurant meals were very disappointing again served warm and usually very greasy Got hassled for first 2 days to buy a drinks package £35 a day approx EACH. No information/map in the daily paper about the ports of call, apparently unless you book a MSC excursion its up to you to find out what there is to see and do If you opt out of the automatic gratuity system it is not actually stopped until your final account is printed which means if you pay Euros into your onboard account you could end up "owing money" and get hassled by the accounts staff. With the exception of the daily cabin staff who were so friendly and pleasant the big minus was the crew who were generally miserable and unfriendly, often spoke English for pleasantries but "no English" for complaints Read Less
MSC Lirica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 2.8
Service 4.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 3.0 3.8

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