1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Lirica Review
  5. MSC Lirica Cruise Reviews
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our fifth cruise and our first with MSC. We got an excellent price offering about 10 months ago, so decided to give them a try. We certainly got our money’s worth. The ship was well maintained, tastefully decorated (not garish ... Read More
This is our fifth cruise and our first with MSC. We got an excellent price offering about 10 months ago, so decided to give them a try. We certainly got our money’s worth. The ship was well maintained, tastefully decorated (not garish at all), and the crew were pleasant, professional, and polite. Entertainment was surprisingly good, but did get tired before the end of the 8 days, as they have one group of entertainers who were excellent but story lines were wearing thin by the end of the voyage. The entertainment director had a heavy Italian accent and spoke very little English, but to be fair the English were a small minority on board, and everyone from the cabin steward (who was fantastic), the dining room staff (equally so), and the customer service folks were fully fluent. The sailing was very smooth throughout. My pet beef on all cruise ships is the buffet, a crowded mass of humanity trying to shove as much food down their throats as time and stomach size permit. It was no exception here. But staff did close off venues throughout the day to restock and clean the facilities. I was particularly impressed that no one was permitted to touch the food, but had to use tongs to retrieve their particular delight from the table. As a tea drinker, it was my biggest challenge getting a cup, when the buffet room was closed the hamburger and pizza shops were open and had coffee, in one case tea, but no milk or cream to add to the beverage. My work around was to go to the bar around the corner as they always had milk, but a bit of a pain for something so simple. Also many of the hand sanitation stations spread around the ship were inoperable, so I ended up carrying my own to compensate when the machine did not function. I also like that attendants were at each entrance at the buffet and dining room. They were not at all intrusive but people did use the machines more often than I have seen before. Debarkation could get a little frustrating particularly when using tenders. The ship sub contracts out its tenders. The pilots did not speak English and the information on where the tenders actually were and how often they ran was obscure to say the least, but we managed amid some minor frustrations. I will state that at cruise end, (we departed in Bari) there was little guidance once on the dock as to go to marry up with our luggage as there were two lines one for us and another for the folks just getting off to explore Bari. Lastly our cabin. We were assigned cabin 9004, on the 9th deck and at the very front of the ship. We loved it. Tastefully laid out although smallish, our front view was unobstructed and excellent. There was an access door to the outside right beside our cabin and while the ship was not moving, one could go out and take in some fresh air and perhaps some outdoor photography without window glare. Too bad it got discovered about day 3 as at times we would look from our bed through the window only to see fellow passengers and some crew members enjoying the solitude, problem solved by drawing our curtains. All in all a very respectable ship and voyage, and yes I would certainly sail with MSC again. While not top tier, they are certainly a quality service provider. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We would probably never travel with MSC again and neither would a lot of people we spoke to on the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Dubai, Muscat, Eilat, Jordan, Suez Canal, Cyprus, Athens, Katakolon, Kotor, Split ... Read More
We would probably never travel with MSC again and neither would a lot of people we spoke to on the cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Dubai, Muscat, Eilat, Jordan, Suez Canal, Cyprus, Athens, Katakolon, Kotor, Split and Venice, which was on the whole very good. Athens was dropped because of bad weather and we ended up going to Corfu instead which was rather disappointing but not the ship's fault. A problem before we even flew out was that MSC gave us an embarkation time of 21.12 when our plane landed at 7.30. We tried to find out if we could board earlier and were told that we could at 13.00. However, when we arrived at the ship at 10.30 we were allowed on. Why couldn't they have told us that and saved us the worry of how to waste several hours at the port? The cabin was a bit cramped with nowhere to put our suitcases and a third bed stuck out from the wall so you had to watch your head as you walked by. The cabin steward was very good. The cruise itself didn’t start too well as on the first evening’s theatre show we were rudely and embarrassingly turfed out of our seats as we had unknowingly sat it seats meant for the disabled – we later discovered that there were signs on the backs of the seats but not on the front which is where we had come from. We were then told to go and find other seats, of which there weren’t any as the theatre was completely packed. From what I can deduce, the theatre seats 650 people but the ship had 1900 passengers so it would be impossible to seat everyone at the two shows and you needed to be there very early to find a seat. Several of the shows were opera which didn’t appeal to the majority of people. Some of the shows had some childish warm-up people which were an insult to people’s intelligence. The dancers, acrobats, magician and trapeze lady were very good. The cruise director Nicholas had a very strong Italian accent and was difficult to understand when speaking English. Everything was announced in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish which was very annoying. There were few announcements about where we were or what was happening, this would have been particularly useful while in the Suez Canal. On leaving some ports they played excruciatingly loud music which nearly deafened anyone sitting near a loudspeaker. The ship was mainly good but the service let them down, especially in the restaurants as they didn’t seem able to cope even on sea days when they must have known they would be busier. We ordered poached eggs for breakfast one day and after waiting for 15 minutes they came stone cold. Another day we went to the restaurant for lunch and were seated quickly. We then waited nearly 15 minutes before having to ask a supervisor for a menu and then again had to wait for a long time to have our order taken and then to order drinks. It was really awful. The service at dinner was mostly very slow, not the waiters’ fault I think but more the kitchen’s. Some meals were not as described and several meals were returned as inedible. There was very little in the way of vegetables at any meal in the restaurant. They did not cater well for vegetarians and not at all for anyone who needed a gluten free diet. Staff in the self-service buffet areas would wipe many tables with the same cloth which was never rinsed and they rarely used a disinfectant spray. They were always running out of English teabags, surprising as there were 800 odd English-speaking people on board. We failed to find one single salt cellar on the whole ship that wasn't damp. The laundry service was not very good. A fellow passenger sent some items down for washing and they came back crumpled and un-ironed – how were they supposed to iron them themselves? As I said previously, it is unlikely for us to go on a cruise with MSC in future if this is an example of their ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
* Our cabin attendant Mathew Lobo was always very happy and friendly and a great asset to the ship. * Our dining room waiters Inyoman Udiana Yasa & Andyson Anthony Manaji were always friendly & helpful with the menu and also ... Read More
* Our cabin attendant Mathew Lobo was always very happy and friendly and a great asset to the ship. * Our dining room waiters Inyoman Udiana Yasa & Andyson Anthony Manaji were always friendly & helpful with the menu and also both are a great asset to the ship * The meals in the dining room were average, a bit small in size and tasteless * The food in the buffet was a bit ordinary * We found it hard to speak to the Front Desk staff we are Australian, and they had trouble understanding us and we sure had trouble understanding them, not very helpful. * The entertainment at night time were very good. * The staff in the casino Florin & Danial were always very friendly, both are a great asset to the ship. ** We have been on MSC and found the Lirica a let down compared to our last cruise with MSC would not travel with MSC again. Been on 9 other cruise ships and Lirica would have to be the most disappointing Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The cruise itinerary was great but after that the experience goes downhill, except for our cabin steward who was outstanding. The food was pretty awful, the front desk service worse. The quality of the food was not equal to all other ... Read More
The cruise itinerary was great but after that the experience goes downhill, except for our cabin steward who was outstanding. The food was pretty awful, the front desk service worse. The quality of the food was not equal to all other cruise lines we have sailed on...Holland America, RC, Celebrity, Carnival and Norwegian. Very few choices, limited fresh greens, veggies cooked in butter and salted, limited fruit. It was very hard to believe there was no decaf coffee and no green tea. The entertainment was good the first couple of nights but then was repeated evernight there after. The singing was good and the costumes were well done. Every evening at dinner and throughout the day there were over head announcements selling services and merchandise in the stores and that was annoying. The hand sanitizer dispensers were frequently empty which was very concerning. Very little education about the ports of call since this would be difficult in 6 different languages. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise after long cancer treatment .It looked a good deal with a great itinerary. Sadly this cruise proved to be a disappointment.Although we had a lovely cabin spacious and beautifully clean the rest was a let down.After ... Read More
We chose this cruise after long cancer treatment .It looked a good deal with a great itinerary. Sadly this cruise proved to be a disappointment.Although we had a lovely cabin spacious and beautifully clean the rest was a let down.After cruising several times in the past we had high expectations .The food was boring and repetitive and not very large portions in the restaurant but the buffet restaurant was like a free for all no spare tables and the food was the same most nights.The entertainment was not good mainly the entertainment crew dancing and fooling around .The theatre had shows every night but not a lot of variation.Our itinerary sounded good but the ports of call were uninteresting and having to pay for shuttles and take taxis made it extra expense.If this had been my first cruise it would have put me off cruising but happily we have enjoyed some really good cruises this being by far the worse Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Went on the lirica. Decent ship with a really good itinerary but really poor service. Organisation is poor and while the food tastes good, there isn't much of it and it's very samey. Great cruise if you wanna lose weight. ... Read More
Went on the lirica. Decent ship with a really good itinerary but really poor service. Organisation is poor and while the food tastes good, there isn't much of it and it's very samey. Great cruise if you wanna lose weight. The service ours very poor from the restaurants and the bars. A lot waiting and asking for menus and basically to be served. Nobody really seems to care. The cruise director saying EVERYTHING in 7 languages drives you crazy after a few days. Bingo in the main theatre right before the main show! No kettle in the cabins. no free shuttles in the ports, always have tickets (for your convenience) that you get charged for. Kids club is abysmal, just play with Lego and don't follow the schedule. It's all unfriendly and you feel as thigh your are always bothering the staff. MSC is very tacky, not at all classy in any way. 3 star causing at best. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Chose the cruise because we liked the itinerary and had heard good things about MSC. On arrival at Venice we were kept waiting for ages at the terminal waiting for our transfer. We were given no information but found out later that ... Read More
Chose the cruise because we liked the itinerary and had heard good things about MSC. On arrival at Venice we were kept waiting for ages at the terminal waiting for our transfer. We were given no information but found out later that there were problems due to the fog. Check in procedure could have been better, another long wait. Cabin was excellent, very spacious, fantastica suite. The ship was lovely and the bars were nice. The shows were entertaining. The service at some of the bars was very slow. The food in the most was in my opinion very disappointing. Very small portions and on the whole tasteless and uninspiring. It did get slightly better towards the end of the cruise. The service in the mdr was very good. The drinks package is excellent value. The buffet was not very good not enough choice. They also ran out of butter. We could have done with extra time in Dubrovnik and Heraklion. Not enough time to enjoy these places. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Thought we would give MSC a try because of the itinerary from Venice with ports in Greece. Would not recommend if you only speak English. This cruiseline caters to European guests. We pre-booked 5 day excursions through MSC in which 3 were ... Read More
Thought we would give MSC a try because of the itinerary from Venice with ports in Greece. Would not recommend if you only speak English. This cruiseline caters to European guests. We pre-booked 5 day excursions through MSC in which 3 were cancelled because there were not enough English speaking guests booked. This was a big disappointment. Many tours available for Italian, Spanish, French and German speaking guests. My son tried the teens club but no one spoke English. Entertainment shows at night some in Italian or French. Other evenings in English. Same type of show each night with same entertainers 2 singers, a few dancers, juggler and acrobats. Don’t expect Broadway type entertainment. We stayed in a balcony suite 10065 which was very spacious with a great walk in closet. One of the better cabins we’ve stayed in. Buffet was crazy. Too small and not enough seating. It was like fighting a crowd at breakfast who hadn’t eaten in a week. We avoided the buffet after the first day and got room service for breakfast. The day excursions we went on were great and getting onboard and off went smoothly. Best meals were dinner in the dining room. Wait staff were great very friendly. Cabin Stewart was great the room was always spotless and clean. It was just an ok cruise. I wouldn’t recommend it and we won’t sail on MSC again. We will go back to sailing with Norwegian and Princess. Best cruise for our family was Norwegian Epic Mediterranean cruise last August. Fantastic ship, lots for the kids including water slides, buffet was awesome, lots of activities, large casino, fabulous staff and excellent customer service. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We choose this cruise for the Itinerary and wanted to try a new cruise ship other that what we have been on.To start getting on was no problem bags taken to our rooms except mine never turned up until four hours later as I had a travel ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the Itinerary and wanted to try a new cruise ship other that what we have been on.To start getting on was no problem bags taken to our rooms except mine never turned up until four hours later as I had a travel iron in my case which is not allowed. The minute you get on the ship you are hassled to buy the drinks packages we explained numerous times we already had this.my husband went to the bar to order some soft drinks to be told we did not have the right card,eventually sorted by reception it was there mistake.Dining we was first sitting and seated in a nice area waiters seemed great until you order,they are so busy trying to look after so many tables we got forgotten about on numerous occasions for drinks.The food is average very small portions but other tables were ordering more than one starter and dinner.Entertainment is geared up for Italians very poor same thing most nights,shows were ok but the stage is so small they look cramped up together I kept looking to see if they were going to fall of the stage.Most night we ate at the buffet as the food was better than the dining area but this is like being fed at the zoo with people pushing and shoving to get at the food.Hygiene is hit and miss I have never seen so many people walk past the gel stations there to stop infection,including staff.Cleaning is not great on board buffet are is strewn with empty plates with the staff trying there best to keep on top of everything which was in possible. Don,t think the windows have ever been cleaned on the deck is littered with empty glasses most days.The pub area Lord Nelson is absolutely freezing you need to wear a jacket to keep warm this was the worst place to order drinks yet the quietest. What MsC don,t tell you is about the transfers to the ports of call as the ship is big it cannot dock near so you have to use the shuttle which you get a ticket for and pay at the end of the week.Most times it is much cheaper to get a local taxi than use there own.as sometimes you only on for five minutes.Dubrovnik was the worst 14 euros each taxi outside 12 euros for four people total rip off.The staff try there best it is just too busy for them to cope.Beware if you intend to use the gym there is a 20 minute curfew on all the equipment which is crazy as a runner it takes this time to warm up it clearly is not big enough for the amount of people on board. Disembarkation on the final day was the worst we have seen nobody knew were they should be we got separated from family and went to three exits to be told we were at the wrong place it took longer to get of the boat than to get on.Value for money its not great better ships to go on it is defiantly geared up for European customers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We had an absolutely great time in this cruise! One of the entertainers Amin was extremely kind and so much fun! He always greeted us on the ship which was nice and always lit a smile on our face. He also spoke Arabic which was really ... Read More
We had an absolutely great time in this cruise! One of the entertainers Amin was extremely kind and so much fun! He always greeted us on the ship which was nice and always lit a smile on our face. He also spoke Arabic which was really exciting because we couldn’t find anyone else on the wholeshio that spoke Arabic but him! He always made us laugh and ensure we had the best stay possible! The things I didn’t like about the ship were: the restaurant buffet didn’t have many options and was sometimes hard to find a seat, the bartenders on the cruise a lot of times didn’t go in order of who got to the bar first which was kind of annoying! The fitness room had some machines but they were all outdated and the hot tub was extremely small where most of time it was full with people without a time limit which could be fixed with a set time limit. Overall the hotel was average, nothing great but it was not a bad experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I once traveled with SilverSeas, where everything was included – truly it was. Also, the food was very good and interesting. So that is what I have for comparison. The MSC was a cheaper cruise; so I took the top package offered – ... Read More
I once traveled with SilverSeas, where everything was included – truly it was. Also, the food was very good and interesting. So that is what I have for comparison. The MSC was a cheaper cruise; so I took the top package offered – largest room and “Aurea” experience. As the sales person told me, you can have anything you want to eat and drink on the ship and go anywhere. Also, you can use your minibar in your room and have free room service. Turns out that isn’t true. Perhaps I did purchase the “top package,” but later I found out some food is extra and most of the drinks are extra. So if I wanted to get the “extras” package on top, that would be another $200/day. For example, I could have one “bar” vodka and one brand of beer, but the other 8 vodkas they had were extra and the other 9 beers were also extra. That is just an example. Also, the minibar was not included and room service was only for some rolls and horrible coffee in the morning – not regular meals. I did complain and was told it is unfortunate the person selling it to me didn’t understand it. There is nothing they WOULD do for me, except upsell me more, which is what everyone was constantly trying to do. I also found that annoying. SilverSeas was so much the opposite – no upselling things. I wasn’t sure what to expect with the food. The buffet was large and looked good, but the food was just edible and not delicious. There isn’t one thing I wanted to have again. They had bacon at breakfast, but it had no taste. How does one make bacon with no taste? I had read the best food is on the pool deck at the hamburger and pizza areas – they weren’t great, but were probably better. There are 2 main restaurants, but they all have the same menu - rather boring. I chose calamari. It came with veggies as in tempura, BUT was VERY greasy and cold. I didn't eat it. They wanted to bring me something else. I told them I don’t want anything - I was afraid to try anything else. So they made me a new one fresh anyway. The shrimp and calamari were now hot, but still very greasy. The veggies were still greasy and cold, so they didn't bother making them fresh. I was happy to know there was a sushi restaurant, too. But that wasn’t included. The coffee in the morning was hardly drinkable – a shocking surprise, considering it is an Italian cruise line. Luckily there is a coffee bar, where one can purchase decent coffee (although, luckily, that was included in our package). For the Aurea package there was a separate area in the regular dining room for breakfast from a menu that had fish. They never told us about it, so we missed it most of the cruise and only stumbled upon it the last 2 days. There, for example, I could get smoked salmon. We enjoyed having the coffee in the room and sitting on the balcony to enjoy the sea air. If we used room service, we had to pay extra for it, but if we bought it back ourselves, it was okay and “included.” But so many people smoke (it is not permitted on balconies, etc., but no one stops them), that all we can smell is smoke. Obnoxious. That also ruined our plan to leave the balcony door open to feel and smell the salt air and hear the water all night. I was rather surprised the windows everywhere were dirty. Again, my other experience was of clean windows. This includes dining rooms, our own suite, the gym, etc. It seems one of the most important things for a cruise ship to have clean windows for the guests to look out at things. Then there was the noise. SilverSeas attracts an older crowd dress up. This wasn’t the same. There were a lot of children running, screaming, yelling in the hallway and on balconies. The music around bars and on the pool deck was almost so loud, we couldn’t talk to each other. I suppose some people like that. Then there is the problem of getting on and off the ship. If one pays for the top tier, it seems those people should have priority for embarking and disembarking, but that wasn’t generally the case. There was some priority the first and last day, but not otherwise. Yet, families with kids and the staff were always sent to the front of the long lines. I was dreading the constant grouchy searches and pat downs required, since I have a metal knee. In each port we had to do it twice to get back on the ship. Once was in the port area after a long line and then a second time on the ship after another long line. It seems it should just be easier and more efficient. I guess I learned this isn’t the cruise line for me. I need very small ships (hundreds instead of thousands), so things just work out better. I left out the good, since that isn’t what stands out. Our dining room staff were efficient and friendly. Our room was kept clean (except for windows). Even the reception staff were friendly and efficient for the most part. 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
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
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
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
Sail Date: December 2013
The LIRICA was ok, I don't think we will cruise with them again though because their service is so inconsistent. We booked a junior suite with a balcony. Good Bits:- - Lots of staff at the airport, made finding the coach easy. - ... Read More
The LIRICA was ok, I don't think we will cruise with them again though because their service is so inconsistent. We booked a junior suite with a balcony. Good Bits:- - Lots of staff at the airport, made finding the coach easy. - Moved quickly through the queue at the terminal for check in. - After the Airport, they took care of the suitcases and got them to the right room. - Designated disabled entrance and security helped onto the ship. - A member of staff pushed the wheel chair user to our room. - There were never any broken down lifts. - the ship was spotlessly clean and the cabin steward was really helpful. - Loads of storage space in the cabin, more than we needed. - Designated disabled sun beds by the pool. - designated disabled tables in the buffet restaurant. - A few nice members of staff who opened doors for us. - Assistance provided for getting off the ship and they took care of the suitcases off the ship and onto the port. - Lots of people from lots of different nationalities on board. - Catered for as many languages as possible. - Easy transfers to coach from ship on Excursions. - Oman Excursions well organised and enjoyable. - Restaurant staff in the sit down restaurant pushed wheel chair user to table most of the time. - Security always helped get on and off ship. - Reasonable choice of duty free shops for a small ship. Bad Bits - No information or welcome from the rep on the coach. - Lifts only big enough for one wheel chair + 3 people and were very slow. - Below decks had high bumps round doors which were difficult with the wheel chair. - Some staff were very miserable and unhelpful, I.e. Trying to order an ice cream Sunday. - If able bodied people used Disabled designated tables in the buffet, no one moved them. - Attitude from Excursion desk that disabled people should either stay on ship, or if they do go off ship, they should not get off the coach, and shouldn't have more than a 4 hour excursion. We think we were told an excursion was sold out when it wasn't because they didn't want a wheel chair user on it. - Disabled sun Beds a long way from the pool. - Lack of information throughout, we were late leaving for two excursions but no one told us why. - expectation that wheel chair user should walk when out on excursions. - Food was mediocre and the buffet bar lacked choice, only catering for Italian tastes. - No Assistance in the buffet bar which meant my husband and I continually ate separately. I pushed him round and got him seated then by the time I got my food he had finished. - Gala night the majority of passengers did not dress up but were not turned away, several wearing jeans. the dress was supposed to be dinner jacket and cocktail dress. casual dress was only meant to be in the buffet. - Only one pillow each in the cabin. - No chocolates on the pillow when the bed was turned down. It was ok, we went with Thomson last cruise we did which was superb, going on Thomson again on our next cruise.   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
We travelled on an overnight flight and arrived at Dubai just after 8am. Everything went very smoothly from the airport and embarkation at the port was very quick. We were onboard by 10.30ish. FOOD Like many other posts have mentioned ... Read More
We travelled on an overnight flight and arrived at Dubai just after 8am. Everything went very smoothly from the airport and embarkation at the port was very quick. We were onboard by 10.30ish. FOOD Like many other posts have mentioned the food isn't served hot but if you ask for it to be hot they try to oblige. Not too great a choice either but my mum being a fussy eater always still found something to eat. ENTERTAINMENT This was either a hit or a miss with the shows, a few good and not so good. The CD translates in about 5 different languages so hats off to him for that but that's where it ends. He speaks so fast we struggled to make out his English. Other than introducing the entertainment each night we never saw him once around the ship. Big thumbs down here. PORTS DUBAI Free wifi in the cruise terminal, can be difficult to get connected due to volume of people using it. Open network. Being docked starboard side we managed to pick up the wifi from the balcony. 2 little shops in the cruise terminal where we bought some cans of juice and got them boarded no problem. There is 2 free shuttle buses running to Malls. One is near the touristy area and the other is closer to the beach area. ABU DHABI Free wifi in the cruise terminal, can be difficult to get connected due to volume of people using it. Visit Abu dhabi Password... terminalad. Being docked starboard side we managed to pick up the wifi from the balcony. We took the free bus to a shopping mall. KHOR AL FAKKAN..No free wifi here but there is a duty free shop just along from where the ship docks. It sells alcohol ( I didn't see anywhere else all week) and cigarettes even cheaper than the ship. There is very little to do in this port, a small row of shops approx. 20 min slow walk. Do yourselves a favour and take a taxi to another town. Only highlight of this port was the duty free shop. MUSCAT Lots of things to see in this port. We took an hours taxi tour sightseeing and really enjoyed it. KHASAB Free shuttle bus to take you a 5 minute ride into town....This consisted of very few shops. Most people that went on the bus caught the first one back however there is an internet café, and an electrical store there that sells products at a very reasonable price. We bought 3 nine inch tablet pcs here. DISLIKES Comparing this ship to other cruise lines I really did not like the sauna room not being free of charge. I was also not happy there was no unlimited soda package for adults, just a 14 vouchers package. No one encouraging you to washy washy. Lots of people just walked straight past the dispensers. OVERALL The cruise was good enough but in comparison to other cruise lines I will not be choosing MSC in future unless there is a bargain not to be missed! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2013
Previous cruises with Princess, Celebrity, Fred, and Azamara. This was first with MSC and first visit to Gulf area. Having heard many good things about Emirates the direct flight from Manchester was a disappointment. Nothing special ... Read More
Previous cruises with Princess, Celebrity, Fred, and Azamara. This was first with MSC and first visit to Gulf area. Having heard many good things about Emirates the direct flight from Manchester was a disappointment. Nothing special about the service and the seats on the 777 were rather small and uncomfortable even for normal sized people. Also not helped by the MSC block purchase system which means individual passengers are unable to pre-select seats, so it is pot luck at check in. Return day flight on new A380 was more comfortable. The flight timings produce the unusual situation of being on board the ship by 09.30 on the first day (good) but having to vacate the cabin by 02.30 on the last night (not good but accepted on swings and roundabouts basis). The ship has not enjoyed very good reviews of late so I came to this cruise with modest expectations. There is nothing luxurious or opulent about it and there is no wow factor. However it is a comfortable well maintained mid-sized ship that does what it says on the tin. Balcony cabins are a very good size. Organisation up to disembarkation on the final morning was good and unfussy. Food was acceptable. Entertainment which I rarely rate highly on cruises was a bit better than average. Drinks package is good value but let down by a lazy approach to wine selection; same very limited and modest selection every night. I thought I would be annoyed by announcements in 5 languages but MSC have the answer to this; they make very few announcements and they don't intrude into the cabin. There are two gala nights where formal dress is suggested. On the first night most passengers made the effort to dress up but for the men there were many more in lounge suits than DJ and dickie bow. On the second night the overwhelming majority reverted to casual or smart casual. The MSC laid-backed approach to communication and ensuring safe, prompt disembarkation went well south on the last morning. Cabin vacated by 02.30 as required, waited in theatre for 03.00 departure as stated, no MSC personnel in attendance till 03.15 and she scurried away when asked why there was a delay, someone else came at 03.30 telling us to get off into the hands of their transfer agents. 4 buses quickly filled up but they faffed around for another 30 minutes without telling us what this delay was about. Apparently they had insufficient capacity for all the cases, and their solution was to locate the excess in the passenger aisle. Must be contrary to all relevant legal and safety requirements but they ignored the protestations and drove us to the airport where it was even too much trouble for them to unload the cases. A formal complaint has been sent to MSC regarding their abdication of responsibility for customers once off the ship and into the hands of ill qualified transfer agents. The itinerary is potentially interesting but it is clear that tourism is in its infancy in some ports of call. The ship mainly docks in commercial / container ports with limited outlook. Tours on offer are limited in terms of quantity and quality and as with most cruise companies seem very overpriced. In view of limited information given by MSC or to be fair available on the internet the following suggestions and pointers may be helpful to others: DUBAI. Plenty to see and do. Big red bus hop on hop off does a shuttlefrom the ship to one of their stops. Comprehensive and fairly good value compared to ships tours. Traffic is normally very heavy and it will be a struggle to fit both bus routes into 1 day unless you don't get off at any of the stops. There is also a free shuttle to the nearest mall. Taxis can be picked up at the shipand seem a reasonably priced alternative if you decide there a just a small number of places you want to visit. You can't walk out of the port. Free internet in terminal. ABU DHABI. As Dubai, except that alternative shuttle is just to the port gates. Didn't see the point of this as taxis are available at the ship. KHOR AL FAKKAN. Don't bother! 2 of the 4 trips were a shuttle to a beach at exorbitant cost. The East Coast tour was, I am told, uninspiring with little to see. There is a free shuttle to the port gate. Walk on about 100 metres to the road junction and you should see local taxis and shuttles immediately ahead. They will shuttle you to a beach and back for a fraction of the ship price. I walked 2 miles each way along the corniche to the Oceanic Hotel which has free wifi if you buy a coffee or soft drink. MUSCAT. Interesting ancient port. Free shuttle to port gate from where it is an easy walk to the sea front, corniche and old town. If you prefer to ride the big red bus will again pick up from the ship. Not such good value here at 40 euros and a much more limited itinerary. Would make more sense to hire a local taxi at the gate and get it to replicate the bus route stopping as you want. The board clearly states that a 4 person taxi will only cost 7 rial per hour, about 14 euros. KHASAB. Much more interesting small scale port. Nothing here but a small town 7 minutes away. Said to be nothing to see there so surprising that MSC charge 5 euros for a shuttle service! Khasab port is the gateway to the Oman "fjords" and for many people this will be a must see tour. It is a majestic and impressive area very much worth visiting. The ships tour on a traditional dhow costs about 75 euros which seemed a bit steep to me. I took a chance based on an internet review I read before traveling that said there were local boatmen who would do the same trip at a fraction of the cost and still be very pleased with their earnings. Six of us from the ship joined forces, found a boatman and didn't even haggle when he asked for 30 rials, about 60 euros, in total. We saw every part of the fjord network, saw dolphins at close hand and swam from the boat. They were even embarrassed about being given a tip. If you want to take a similar chance you will find the small boat docking area immediately in front of the ship. Just remember you may need to approach them as they are not in your face like in most other places, and there may not be many boats available. I took UAE Dirham and Oman rials. Former is probably sensible as much more exposure to spending opportunities. Could easily have managed without rials as all Oman transactions were first offered to me in return for euros and dollars. I enjoyed this cruise with MSC. I am not happy about disembarkation but do not feel let down in any other significant way. However neither was I wowed by anything on offer. Therefore for me it was a 3.5 star experience.   Read Less
Sail Date: July 2013
We flew to Rome to embark and the embarkation process was very efficient. We soon made our way to our suite on the top deck and found the suite and the ship in general to be very clean and well presented. She's a mid sized ship which ... Read More
We flew to Rome to embark and the embarkation process was very efficient. We soon made our way to our suite on the top deck and found the suite and the ship in general to be very clean and well presented. She's a mid sized ship which is just what we prefer. There are the usual amenities (gym, sauna etc) but we don't use them. First stop was to the buffet while we waited for our luggage. There are 2 sides to the outer buffet, each serving different food. Here's the first disappointment! There were burgers, hot dogs, fries etc which were kept warm from underneath. This meant the top of the food was cold. We stuck to the inside buffet after that. This was a little better but still not too good. On sea days this became a bit of a bun fight with other guests pushing in front of you, standing blocking the aisles etc looking for a free table. The food in the restaurants was better though still not up to my standard. The potions were small and if the menu said "slices of veal", that's what you got. No accompaniments. This means having a 5 course meal to fill you up. There was no coffee afterwards and as others have said, water was charged for. No complaints with the service from the waiters and the room service. One big problem for me was a lack of enforcing of the rules. People were smoking on balconies and adjacent to the pool despite notices saying this was not allowed. Food was also taken to the pool which presented a danger when dropped on the floor. There were lots of children on board who were well catered for with kids clubs, mini golf, wiis and so on. You could even leave your kids with the team while you went off on an excursion. Unfortunately, most of the kids preferred to run riot round the ship knocking things over, bumping into people, playing in the lifts pushing every button then running down the stairs to start again. Evening entertainment was very poor with some awful singers in some lounges and decent ones in others. The theatre and Lirica Lounge were totally underused with shows lasting an average 20 minutes. We don't go in for many excursions as we prefer to mooch about in port. However we did book one excursion. Right in the middle of our cruise was an overnight stop in Haifa, Israel. One full day on Saturday and a half day Sunday. As the Saturday was the Shabbat we knew everywhere would be closed, so we decided to book an excursion on Saturday and stay on board Sunday morning. We didn't fancy an all day excursion so the 5 hour trip to Acre and Baha'i Gardens was ideal. This included the 2 places we wanted to visit and left us the afternoon to chill around the pool. On board ship, we were advised to confirm our places on the excursion. When we did this we were informed that there was a change of plan which nobody had bothered to tell us about. The visit to the Baha'i Gardens was cancelled and the trip to Acre was now taking place on Sunday leaving at 06:30 am! We couldn't cancel if we wanted as it was too short notice. That left us with nothing to do on Saturday. The staff on the excursion desk were happy to let us book another trip but that would cost over two hundred pounds extra to go to places we weren't particularly interested in. Never mind, we could always get the free shuttle bus which would take us around Haifa and we could hop on and off throughout the day. "Yes it did run on the Sabbath" we were told - sorted. So, on Saturday morning we got off the ship, walked through passport control and were told the shuttle was due to leave at 9:00 but we had probably missed it. When we got to the stop at 5 past there was no bus there. They run every 90 minutes so we decided to walk to the Baha'i Gardens and catch the shuttle from there to do the city tour. The sweat was dripping off us by 9:30. We arrived at the gardens to find only the lower most section open as it was the Shabbat! After the obligatory photos we walked back to the bus stop to find the shuttle didn't run on the Shabbat at all. And if it had done, none of the places it stopped at would be open. There was no public transport to anywhere. A taxi to Nazareth or someplace would be expensive. Apart from a few cafes in the German Quarter, everywhere else was shut so we returned to the ship and spent the rest of the day there. At least it wasn't as busy as a normal day. On the Sunday we set off for our trip to Acre and the first stop was, you guessed it, the Baha'i Gardens! The tour guide told us we would have to hurry around the Templar Halls and Acre old town as we had to be back on the ship in plenty of time. So, why was the itinerary changed without notice? It's not as though we had booked it months in advance, but a few days before the start of the holiday. MSC must have known but hadn't changed the web site. Why did MSC book into a port on a day when they know everywhere is closed? Has anybody else had a similar experience where excursions were changed or cancelled without notice? Read Less
Sail Date: January 2012
We decided to take our grown up family (two boys 18 & 22) to the Middle East for some mid summer sun. We therefore decided on an all inclusive cruise out of Abu Dhabi for 7 nights, with two separate staterooms, on board MSC Lirica. The ... Read More
We decided to take our grown up family (two boys 18 & 22) to the Middle East for some mid summer sun. We therefore decided on an all inclusive cruise out of Abu Dhabi for 7 nights, with two separate staterooms, on board MSC Lirica. The first point is the price, with flights included (Etihad from Manchester)& with all inclusive package is a great value way to spend a week in the Middle East. We arrived on the Sunday morning obviously jet lagged, so you don't feel like doing much in Abu Dhabi before you sail. The next day is at sea & the weather & sea crossing were great, Tuesday is Muscat (Oman) & once you have the confidence to face the taxi drivers as you come out of the port gate, you can get a two hour taxi tour of the mosque (be sharp off the boat as it shuts at 1100) and the palace for 40 Euros. The next two ports are really 'stay on the ship' unless you are adventurous or have a tour booked. Ladies be careful as this is a strict Muslim area & it is easy to offend with Western standards. The next port is Dubai which is outstanding. The weather was great throughout. So what about on board? First off the boat itself is clean & well looked after. The all inclusive deal makes sense as all the 'extras you buy' are expensive (drinks, ice cream etc) & also attract 15% service charge. Therefore with the all inclusive this is removed & really just feels part of the cruise price. On deck there are plenty of beds and the entertainment is lively. One point is you can (for 2.50 Euros a day) get a western paper printed and delivered to your cabin each day and is a great way to spend a couple of hours in the sun. The staterooms are clean and well looked after, our cabin steward was excellent & looked after our boys room really well. A note about the standard of service on board, its very mixed, some staff are helpful, others are just too cold & surly for words. You have to just accept it, don't worry about it, you still get what you want. The biggest bug bear is the Head Waiters in the restaurant, what do these guys do & get paid for? On every other ship Ive been on they talk to you & take an interest, ours NOT once approached the table, pathetic at the least! The guys waiting the table were great and deserve better support. The food, outside the main restaurant is pretty much canteen standard, not much more, the best is the burger bar! In the restaurant there is one course per night that's top notch, the others are quite bland. The nightly entertainment is poor in the bars but ok at the bigger events. All in all we had a great break in the sun & I would come again for the value, but it would have to be all inclusive, I think I'd have burst a blood vessel with the standards of service and then pay high prices & 15% service charge for the privilege! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2009
As we boarded at F.L.on 23rd April 2009,we were still "virgin"cruisers!meaning to say we were ignorant of what went on on arrival aboard.Thus to our surprise of the LIRICA about a late with the tranfer from Miami we saw some ... Read More
As we boarded at F.L.on 23rd April 2009,we were still "virgin"cruisers!meaning to say we were ignorant of what went on on arrival aboard.Thus to our surprise of the LIRICA about a late with the tranfer from Miami we saw some passengers doing the boat drill at about 17.15hrs;Having been ushered to our cabin by a polite steward-then,but as time went on waiting for our baggage the steward kept pressing whether we were going to dinner-not thinking of the significance of it at the time;After the wife had put most of the contents of the baggages we eventually arrived at the restaraunt and encountered a barrage of remarks from waiters and Maitre de that were we late!After pleading with them of our ignorance of the strickness of the dining timings rules-ON OUR FIRST DAY OF THE CRUISE he relented and actually allowed us to sit down but only for this time.My point it appeared that the cruise ship crew and officers assume that one has been on a cruise before.At no point was a constructive level of information asking if one a is a "virgin" cruiser they would be able to assist in procedure etc;Our second gripe was  that we was given to believe that is was ocean voyage and only partial Caribbean therefore assumed as the ship was Italian owned that Euros would be dominant currency and only Puerto Rico would be in Dollars for excursions and the remainder ports in Euros as Martinique was French and dealt in Euros.But no ALL excursions including Madeira,Portugal,Spain and France plus Dover were in DOLLARS.We were given to believe that the time of five days at sea after Martinique would be filled when NOT TO MISS ENTERTAINMENT!-Not so,by the time then third day arrived my wife and I saw the same entertainers at the Broadway theatre in different guises and giving the similar themes of show titles.The ship was absolutely spotless every day and night we even saw a rather tired but polite worker polishing one of the many stairs at 11.30 at night!We found that the crew above the waiters and other lowly workers seem to think they were above our station and wasn't prepared to consider and compramise any our queries.Our last gripe was the day of the  disembarkation at Dover;we were herded into the Broadway Theatre-rather the corridors leading to it for over an hour so that the British customs would assess our documents-then a further 45 minutes to get off the ship.No crew were at hand to assist but only aftera near riot erupted with some disabled passenegers unable to get out of lifts.Meals were average-only that our waiters were helpful and guided through most complicated menus we ever imagined after pointing out of our "virginity"!We think that the 15% charge on at the bars for drinks paid the CAPTAIN'S COCKTAIL EVENINGS twice on TWO evenings during the voyage.Ouir last gripe was that we had to wait for 8 hours at Heathrow for our a RETURN  flight to Manchesteralthough having asked the T.A.to ask why on our behalf they were told as it was on a Transatlantic Voyage we could encounter some kind delay!Absolute rubbish-There already a excursion list given for Dover giving options on passengers tranfering to Heathrow on flights after 5.30pm for an excursion to London or Canterbury on would be dropped off at Heathrow at a cost of 93 dollars!But we were not put off cruising in the near future we like it but not with MSC ever-space does not allow us to go further in our criticism. All the ports we visited were superbly situated and suited us greatly excepting Le Havre which is not on  the port choice-it was quite a walk from the terminal to the City-and were offered free travel by the city council-it was on a Friday and it was day of "Bank" holiday and the streets were virtually deserted and very few if any shop open! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2009
We just returned from a Panama Canal cruise on the MSC Lirica. While the cruise ship was immaculate, clean, and well-equipped, it fell short in some areas. Let's cover the good things first: Cleanliness - no one became ill. There were ... Read More
We just returned from a Panama Canal cruise on the MSC Lirica. While the cruise ship was immaculate, clean, and well-equipped, it fell short in some areas. Let's cover the good things first: Cleanliness - no one became ill. There were hand sanitizers everywhere. The food was good, not great. We enjoyed the Italian pasta dishes and the risoto. Fish and meat dishes were not very good. Not many dessert choices on the menu. The entertainment in the shows was fantastic - very talented singers and dancers. There were lots of lounges and we enjoyed trying the different ones each night after the show. The entertainment staff did a lot to get people involved, and the skits were fun. The lounge singers and bands were great - great dancing music for all ages.Now for areas of improvement, but first I must point out, that we had terrible weather on the cruise and very rough seas for more than 50% of the time, so that may have made the negatives seem more than what they actually were. This is a European line, and there were lots of Europeans and Canadians on the ship. They appeared to outnumber the Americans. All announcements were made in 5 languages - English, Italian, French, German and Spanish. I felt this was unnecessary as all the passengers understood English. The Cruise Director (who was only visible before each show at night) introduced the cast in 5 languages, and spoke so fast, you could not understand her. She lacked personality, and did not contribute to the fun atmosphere people like to see on a cruise. However, her staff of young singers and dancers, were always about on the ship and were friendly and entertaining. Due to the inclement weather, we were not able to use the outdoor restaurant on the ship for several of the days. This was unfortunate, as they had delicious pizza, and an outdoor grill. One of the nicer days, we went to a "pasta party" outdoors and the food was delicious! We only attended one midnight buffet - there was ONLY one. The complimentary ice tea and water stations provided very small glasses - size of a juice glass. You had to get up and refill your ice tea 3 or 4 times! We had the first seating which was at 5:30. When we booked the cruise, we were told it was 6:30. The 5:30 time was way too early, and limited our daytime activities. In fact, on two of our excursions, we got back to the ship too late to shower and change in order to make our dinner. They did accommodate us at the later seating, however. One of these was the "gala (formal)" night, so there was not much thought put into the timing. The early dinner time also left us with about 1.5 hours between dinner and the show. We spent time in the lounges and casino, but it seemed out of synch for us. The rooms are tiny. When we checked in, our beds were separated, and we decided to leave them that way as this provided some extra room for us to move around in the room. There was no small sofa or table - just a corner desk, and a tiny bathroom with an even smaller shower. Any large person would definitely have difficulty with the shower! It did have a refrigerator where we were able to put in some bottled water and soft drinks to take with us on our excursions. We did bring some wine onboard with us and we brought a couple of bottles into the dining room one night. The waiter opened them for us with no corkage charge. We appreciated that and tipped him at the end of the cruise. Compared to the other U.S. Cruise lines - Celebrity, Princess, HA, Norwegian, I felt that MSC fell short. While the waiters and room staff were courteous and did a good job, you didn't get that "special" treatment. The waiters didn't assist you in the buffet dining room in finding a table. One morning we walked through the buffet dining room at least 5 or 6 times to find a table, to no avail. We finally put down our trays and went to the formal dining room for breakfast. There seemed to be more people than tables in that restaurant all the time. With the rooms being smaller, they can accommodate more people, and the ship always felt crowded. Many times we felt as though we were "herded" like cattle to get from one place to the other. Some of the silly little things that were missing - not a big deal - after dinner mints when you left the dining room. There was turn down service in your room, but no chocolates on your pillow, and no little animals made from the towels. Not a reason to complain, but they were missing. Overall, I would probably not cruise on MSC again. I know they are trying to establish a presence in the U.S. (Caribbean), but it has more of a European flare and falls short of some of the amenities on the U.S. cruise lines. One last thing I would like to mention if you enjoy working out in the gym - the gym is small - only 3 treadmills, and one was not working. The hours for the gym are 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. We enjoy working out first thing in the morning - around 6:00 AM, but it was closed. At 8:00 AM, it seemed like everyone on the ship was vying to get to some piece of equipment. This was quite unpleasant, and limited our time in the gym. I like to work out at night too, but it was closed. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2008
This cruise appealed to us because of its unique ports of call, which exceeded expectations. We commenced and ended our journey with a tour of Northern Italy. We spent 3 nights in historic Genoa, at Hotel Soana, centrally located near ... Read More
This cruise appealed to us because of its unique ports of call, which exceeded expectations. We commenced and ended our journey with a tour of Northern Italy. We spent 3 nights in historic Genoa, at Hotel Soana, centrally located near the Oriental Market. Prior to embarkation, we took the lift to Spianata di Castello, which is the best lookout in the city, with panoramic views of the old town, port, surrounding hills and the sea. When we walked around the lookout, we spotted the Lirica, looking majestic, waiting for us in port. Embarkation. Knowing Genoa was a home port of MSC, we thought embarkation would be a smooth process, as our previous experiences with other lines had been efficient. However, after slowly queuing at wharf level, then upstairs, with our luggage, we were escorted back down to the wharf to deposit our luggage there. After which, we started the queuing process downstairs all over again. By the time we reached the final check in stage, we were surprised to discover people pushing. We decided not to sweat the small stuff and moved to another slower queue, where we were kept amused by watching people looking in vain for the fast Priority Queue. This was not part of the dream when we gazed at the Lirica from Spianata di Castello in the morning. The cold drink, welcome and being personally escorted to our cabin by a staff member were all appreciated nice touches, as well as the early meal in the buffet. Cabin. We loved our midship outside cabin portside, with its smooth sailing in swells, and ample storage space, plus room for our empty luggage under the bed. It became our welcome haven. Who needs to search for a rare empty deckchair in the sun, whilst dodging the smokers, when the sun streams into your own private cabin! The shower recess was small, but functional. My logical husband soon worked out the way to shower without being licked by the shower curtain was to shower before me, whilst the shower curtain was dry. Our efficient room stewards, who worked long hours, made it a delight to always come back to a cleaned made-up cabin, complete with fresh fruit in a bowl. We were disappointed with the lack of TV programmes, and poor variety of movies, especially during the 5 sea days. Fortunately, we brought ample reading matter with us, as the English selection in the library was slim (and I saw it before anyone borrowed any books). Dining Room. We chose to eat most of our meals in the dining room, where food was a bit hit and miss and rarely hot, but overall we ate very well. We were fortunate to share a table with a chef and an Italian. Good food choices were Italian, soups and vegetarian (much to our surprise). Forget all ideas of a romantic atmosphere - think more noisy cafeteria, scraping of plates, etc., compounded by a low ceiling - as the dining room is badly designed with the serving area in the middle of the dining room. Be persistent if you are not happy with your table sitting. Like many people, our first appointment was with the Maitre D'Hotel to have our late sitting changed to our requested early sitting. Eating late is not an option for early to bed seniors from farming stock ancestors, who had to get up early to milk the cows. Surely, MSC could save itself a lot of work by automatically allocating all seniors, who request early sitting, early sitting! I won't go into details, but later it took us 3 days for our table of 4 squashed people to be shifted to one of 3 empty roomier tables nearby. Our request was handled poorly by the Maitre D'Hotel. Whilst I will never know whether my final whispered threat, after being ignored, for us all to sit on the floor that night helped, I know patient politeness didn't. Entertainment. We chose limited night entertainment, which was mainly visual and excellent. Daytime entertainment was a major disappointment. Many of the daytime activities are held outside in the pool area, which also happens to be a smoking area. On previous cruises, we have joined in all the daytime activities. However, on this ship, we ended up doing little. The exception was Trivia, which was held in the theatre, and was fun. Ports of Call were the highlight of our trip. We visited all ports of call independently, by walking or taking public transport. General Comment. This could be a great cruise line, but it isn't. MSC rewards bad behavior, by not enforcing their own rules, which brought out the worst in people, with people smoking where they liked in no smoking areas, saving deckchairs all day long, pushing in, etc. If you come from a background that likes order and civility and detest rude behavior, MSC might not be the cruise line for you. However, if you love a unique itinerary, like we did, choose a good comfortable cabin and take some enjoyable reading matter! On the positive side, we enjoyed the cruise and met some of the nicest people. 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

Find a MSC Lirica Cruise

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