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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
The food was poor, even in the restaurant. We decided to go to the sushi restaurant which was also v. poor. The chicken from the noodle soup was dry and resembled the grilled chicken served as an alternative in the restaurant which make ... Read More
The food was poor, even in the restaurant. We decided to go to the sushi restaurant which was also v. poor. The chicken from the noodle soup was dry and resembled the grilled chicken served as an alternative in the restaurant which make me think this was leftovers (paid 84 Euro's to find this out). The 2 hot tubs didn't work for the first 2 days of the cruise, then when they were repaired they had to be shared by over 2,000 cruisers...this was managed by the staff who allowed you a 5 minute turn...really! Are bags were lost on embarkation and damaged on disembarkation. The QUEUES please be very aware that it takes more than 40 minutes to get on and off the ship with only 2 entry/exit points and security that is severely understaffed. This meant significantly less time at destinations and having to cut short are plans. The entertainment, I have seen much much better amateur productions. Not even good. Will not be cruising with MSC again, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
we choose this cruise for the price the length and the itineries we had the most awful experience this cruise and would never like to go on the Lyrica again even if you were giving cruises away the food was disgusting it was always cold ... Read More
we choose this cruise for the price the length and the itineries we had the most awful experience this cruise and would never like to go on the Lyrica again even if you were giving cruises away the food was disgusting it was always cold tasteless it was so noisy you could not here yourselves think and you could not escape it either it was noisy all over the ship why do you think you have to make so much noise to enjoy yourself because you really don't some staff just went through doors and let them bang in your face so rude . no one seem to tell you anything you had to go to the reception to find things out for instance about whether there was a shuttle bus or not oh it was just awful the only thing that kept me sane was the craft sessions the instructors were a bit rubbish and didn't speak English but we got through sort of I could go on for ever but if you fancy a cruise please do not go on the lirica its awful awful awful showers not big enough if you are Italian or german you might be ok Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It went to places I have never been before. Have travelled on other cruise lines, but this was the worst ever. Seating in the restaurant was tables for 4 all in a long line, like a cheap cafe. We ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It went to places I have never been before. Have travelled on other cruise lines, but this was the worst ever. Seating in the restaurant was tables for 4 all in a long line, like a cheap cafe. We soon learned not to order beef as it was always tough. Most of the food was really unappetising, & obviously leftovers used. The classic example of this was leek & potato soup which contained mussels. There were large smoking areas which meant the whole ship smelled of cigarettes. If you went to an empty bar & ordered a drink, you always waited 10 mins for it to arrive. I had a balcony cabin & one evening the wind was whistling so loudly through the gap round the door, it would have been impossible to sleep. I mentioned this to the Cabin Steward who had obviously dealt with the problem before, he kindly stuffed towels into the gap. Games round the pool were suitable for young children, eg bouncing a ping pong ball into a cup, or flicking a playing card into a glass. The pools were always too cold to use, 70 degrees F. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this ship for the iternary but it was awful. The food was really bad, the dining room was like a cafe and none of the food was very hot. We had a balcony room which was much smaller than other cruise lines and there was a fault ... Read More
We choose this ship for the iternary but it was awful. The food was really bad, the dining room was like a cafe and none of the food was very hot. We had a balcony room which was much smaller than other cruise lines and there was a fault with all balcony doors on our side of the ship (port) they wouldn't open. The steward showed us how you had to bash the top of the door before it would release. The general areas the air con was very cold and you couldnt sit anywhere without a cardigan or jumper. Lots of people were going down with colds and chest infections. My husband got pneumonia and spent the night in the hospital on board ship and the next day the doctor said he would like us to go to the local hospital for a chest x-ray and blood tests which we did. We were met at the hospital by the port agent who said that MSC would not let my husband back onboard, the x-ray etc was just a ruse to get him off the ship. The port agent found me a hotel near the hospital which was nothing less than a DSS hotel. The landlady showed me how to put a chair under my door for safety. When I went back to the ship to collect our luggage I had to see the guest services manager. She said that I had to sign a form saying we were getting off the ship voluntarily. I said this was not the case, she said that I had to sign the form otherwise they couldn't release our passports in other words blackmail. When I got back to our room to pack the mini bar was already locked and i found on the cabin bill I had been charged for drinks, I said that this wasn't the case as we had all inclusive drinks package. The guest services manager said that we would have to pay the bill. I was also stopped at the gangplank as they had to make sure that I didn't owe money this was done in front of about 20 people. The port agent never contacted me I had to contact them, I was in a country where I didn't speak English, husband in hospital and could only speak to insurance company on a mobile for 12 days. As far as the port agents know I am still in Corfu. Don't rely on port agents being any help. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We are from the UK, in our 50's and have done over 50 cruises. We usually go with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Cunard. A few with P&O. However we had never tried MSC and so decided to do this. Biggest mistake I have made ... Read More
We are from the UK, in our 50's and have done over 50 cruises. We usually go with Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Princess, Cunard. A few with P&O. However we had never tried MSC and so decided to do this. Biggest mistake I have made in my life. To anyone who like us are thinking of doing an MSC cruise - don't !. To those who are planning to return, based on our experience I can only wonder why. I only hope that people who have only cruised once on MSC don't think that all cruises are like that. So what was the problem. Well first off we noticed a smell coming from the drains in our stateroom bathroom. Without going into too much detail, you can imagine what the smell was like. We reported it, nothing happened. A few days later we asked guest services if anything had been done. The reply was a blank stare and a comment along the lines of " I think it may have been fixed ". When we said the smell was still there, we still got the blank stare. We asked to be moved to another room. They said no, that wasn't possible. I asked if someone could come to my room and smell it for themselves. No one did. To keep a long story short, the bathroom stank for the whole cruise. No one contacted us to see if it had been fixed. I just don't believe they did anything. That episode alone put me off MSC for life. Entertainment on the ship was woeful. On the night they had shows, it was either listening to Italian classical music or the production shows which had a few so called singers screaming along to backing tapes. I would say it was like Butlins but that would be an insult to Butlins Activities were either dance lessons or Tai Chi classes. We enjoy trivia. However they only did one progressive trivia over 4 sea days with 12 questions each day. That was it. Simply not enough. I was lucky I had a number of books to read otherwise I would have been bored to death. Food in the main dining room arrived late and cold. Complaints were met with a shrug of the shoulder. Also, drinking water in the main restaurant was chargeable, something I found hard to believe. Food in the buffet was practically the same choice every night and was on some occasions, inedible. I witnessed on passenger holding a plate of food up to a chef and asking him if he would dare eat it. Guest service staff were rude and appeared totally disinterested. Any time we walked past, people were complaining about something or other. The swimming pool was too cold and so most people just didn't use it We didn't stop at two ports due to adverse weather . Whilst I understand this does happen, most other cruise lines reimburse the port fees that they no longer incurred. Not this cruise line At the ports we did stop at, MSC provided buses into town costing 9 Euros per person. They failed to mention local bus prices leaving from the exact same spot only cost a sixth of that. Drinks , specialty coffees and ice cream were way overpriced. Anywhere you walked on the ship you were being hassled by shop assistants, spa girls, casino staff to purchase stuff. Very annoying ! In summary, this was a total nightmare. Holidays are meant to be stress free but this was a totally stressful experience. After only a few days I wished I was back home. That's simply not good enough Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We decided on this cruise as we did a similar itinerary last Xmas & new year with Celebrity. Don’t know where to start with MSC Lirica. Food in the dinning room was inedible. Every item ordered was either too tough, burnt or ... Read More
We decided on this cruise as we did a similar itinerary last Xmas & new year with Celebrity. Don’t know where to start with MSC Lirica. Food in the dinning room was inedible. Every item ordered was either too tough, burnt or not what was on menu. My husband and I decided to sit at a table of eight. Guests were trying to eat meat then spitting it out as they could not chew it. Veal in breadcrumbs was burnt & tough. Beef was so tough you could cut it with your knife. Lasagne was slices of pasta with a white sauce and sprinkled with spring onions. Not being a desert fan I ordered cheese. 2 small pieces of cheese with 3 grapes & a dried apricot. When I asked for the biscuits to go with my cheese was given a bread stick. Food in buffet was awful. Dried up meat etc Waiters wiping food left on tables on to floor. Watched the waiter walking round food that was dropped by guests. Pizza station had pepperoni pizza. Full pizza cut into 12 pieces with three pieces of pepperoni between the 12 slices. We asked to see the food and beverage manager who met up with 15 of the guests from all over the world. Each person representing their family. We all gave our concerns about the quality & standard of the food on the ship. He didn’t seem interested. No apology or no change in food. He did say he had compliments on the food. Don’t know who was feeding these guests as it was defiantly not the same chefs who prepared our food. We asked him to take a walk round the dinning room that night and ask guests their opinion on the food as everyone you spoke with were complaining. He didn’t appear on any of the nights. We were all getting off the ship in port to get something to eat. Ship was not very clean. Toilets were filthy with feusus over bowl, Wet floors and no hand wash. Lamps in our stateroom were thick with dust. Only thing good about the ship was the staff. Very friendly and efficient. So if your thinking of going on MSC LIRICA DONT WASTE YOUR MONEY Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Routing of the ship seemed attractive : Departing Venice, Greece, Suez canal, Aqaba, Oman to Dubai. Travelled on Deck 12 (Rossini ) in a spacious cabin with balcony and private sundeck on deck 12. So far the good news. Trouble ... Read More
Routing of the ship seemed attractive : Departing Venice, Greece, Suez canal, Aqaba, Oman to Dubai. Travelled on Deck 12 (Rossini ) in a spacious cabin with balcony and private sundeck on deck 12. So far the good news. Trouble started when I tried to find out details on my Aurea drink package, nobody was able to give me correct details on this package, even the bar manager changed his point of view on the matter nearly every day. The breakfast buffet was a disaster and every day it was a struggle to find a vacant seat, apparently Msc managed to add many extra cabins without extra facilities. Quality of the food was poor and most items from the hot buffet were cold. Our “My choice dining” was not exactly what was promissed and every evening we had to stand in line to have a vacant table. Communication with reception was very difficult and nearly all my questions remained unanswered. The mostly indonesian staff of the Aurea spa were not friendly , sometimes even rude. Thinking of cruising on Msc Lirica, please think twice Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took the msc Lirica for 7 nights med. cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and quality Italian and international cuisine. (as the brochure stated). The food was below average to poor. At the dining rooms the ... Read More
We took the msc Lirica for 7 nights med. cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and quality Italian and international cuisine. (as the brochure stated). The food was below average to poor. At the dining rooms the food portions were very small, tasteless bland and luke warm, but often cold. I left most of the meals. We decided to eat at the buffet as was told food better than the dining area, but it was like being in a zoo being pushed and shoved around by people trying to get to the food! It was hectic, fast food, cafeteria, limited choice and poor quality luke warm/cold food. Chicken in parts were pink with some blood, steak was tough, stew grisly and bony, pasta pasta bland and overcooked. Breakfast the scrambled eggs tough and tasteless like cardboard, bacon strands of fat, yoghurt sweet and watery, even the italians moaned bout the food.I left the food, just picked at it to keep me alive! The meal time drink package was limited. The red wine cheap and acidy,I was told they only serve this cheap one with the package. food and wine made me ill all through the cruise. Entertainment poor and boring. Day time was boom boom boom like butlins camp. Staff unfriendly never smiled. Shuttle buses/boats not free, we didnt budget for this. last trip was dubrovnik 14 euros each the local bus was 1 euro!. What a rip off! Never again will we go on an MSC cruise esp. this one. The worst food/cruise ever. Value for money not good.DONT GO unless you want to starve or get ill! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I took the MSC Lirica for a 8 day 7 night Mediterranean Cruise. It’s the worst money I ever spent. I was better off booking with another company. This is my first and last time I will ever book with them. This way my 16th Cruise any my ... Read More
I took the MSC Lirica for a 8 day 7 night Mediterranean Cruise. It’s the worst money I ever spent. I was better off booking with another company. This is my first and last time I will ever book with them. This way my 16th Cruise any my second so far this year and it was a complete disappointment. Some of my issues with them were - [ ] We paid online for the drinks when we got to the boat they acted like they didn’t know what we were taking about - [ ] Someone entered my room while I was resting - [ ] The food served was sub par on the deck - [ ] We were ignored by staff when asking for basic things like a drink or refill - [ ] The food In the restaurant was sub par and salty - [ ] Excursions booked were ok but at times we were looking at nothing. When we visited Corfu we only got 15 min in an actual shopping district but we got half the day looking at boring sites. - [ ] The drink choices are minimal.There were lots of times with nothing to do on the boat. -The entertainment is lacking and when there was some or wasn’t geared towards American passengers as far as the language. -The staff seemed unfriendly and unorganized at times. -at times I fell like I was bothersome or being an inconvenience to the staff when asking for anything. Never again will I spend another dollar with MSC This was by far the absolute worst cruise experience I ever had. I compared this line to 3 other lines that I have taken and it’s sub par at its best compared to a most basic company on hospitality, friendliness, customer service, professionalism, guest interaction ,even guest activities and food and beverages. All I can do is warn my professional colleagues, friends and families to avoid MSC because apparently customer service does not drive your business or industry ans that became quite apparent after I stepped on board the Lirica. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose MSC through previous good experiences in 2008 and 2014. However, our experience this time left us feeling cheated. Ports of call were in most instances too short in time, particularly if you have limited mobility. The evening ... Read More
We chose MSC through previous good experiences in 2008 and 2014. However, our experience this time left us feeling cheated. Ports of call were in most instances too short in time, particularly if you have limited mobility. The evening dining experience left very much to be desired. We had to complain numerous times about the temperature and standard of food being served, and it was barely tepid. The quality of the food also left a great deal to be desired. Moreover, as for the amount of food served on the plates, this left one feeling, was it worth the effort in ‘dirtying the plates’! It was pitiful. One evening my wife was served a 'Shank of veal' as a main course. It filled the plated about an inch thick comprising entirely of BONE & FAT. When questioned what was wrong, my wife explained, and she was offered another meal, but quite frankly she was put off by her experience. Additionally, I personally enjoy cheese following my meal. The amount served on the plate certainly would not have appeased a reasonably sized mouse! The wine as part of our all inclusive package was undrinkable. The self-service food quality and standard was appalling and not kept at reasonable temperatures. Hygiene, cleanliness of tables, seating etc, was very questionable too with only quick wipes of tables and remnants of food brushed onto floors and chairs! As for the cleanliness of the staff, their uniforms were in a dirty state and some were viewed with splits in trousers! As for deck bars, unless everyone had left the ship to go ashore service was virtually non-existent. One had to wait to be served at the bars as Bar Service waiters were at most times not present or insufficient. In the evenings, things were no better, and one constantly waited at the bars before being served. There appears to be no provision or training given to helping people with disabilities. We are made to queue as everyone else despite having restrictions in mobility and ability to stand for any period of time. Only once in the entire week onboard was I offered assistance in the self-service restaurant, a commendable gesture. However, on another occasion whilst walking around the self-service area, using a walking stick as always, I was made to back up by one of the staff as distinctly he would not give way to me. This was witness by another passenger who looked on in total disgust! Because of my limited mobility and after discussing and receiving a high recommendation from an onboard representative at the excursion office, my wife & I agreed and looked forward to an evening out for a Greek Night in Mykonos. We were to have left the ship at 5.00 pm for a 15-minute transfer by boat. A letter was delivered to our room with the timings. For whatever reason, we were late leaving the ship and arrived at the Mykonos port after 5.30 pm. We were all ushered off the transfer boat. After some commotion by the representatives we were herded onto another boat and taken across to the other side of the harbour. We were advised that it would save time! We arrived at our venue a few minutes before 6.00 pm. We were told originally dinner would be served 5.15/5.30 pm. We were at the Greek Night venue for just on an hour before being ushered out by 7.00 pm. The entertainment comprised of 2 people doing 2 short dances. Certainly nothing like our previous experience of Greek Nights. The food was tepid and diabolical. It comprised, a bowl with salad shared between two people. A plate was served to the table with a small amount of chicken on a stick and one similar of lamb, a couple slices of spiced sausage, with yoghurt a few chips. Of the six persons at our table, virtually all food served was returned uneaten. The dessert comprised of a small square of inedible sweet which was purported to be typically Greek. But, in my personal experience of Greek cuisine, I have never ever seen or tasted such! It was also stated that we would to be taken to see the sunset at a particular place but ended up after a short walk at about 7.15 pm on the harbour side as a group whilst the representative spoke to others in different languages. We missed the setting sun. We had to return to the ship via boat by 8.15 pm latest. For this we were charged an extortionate sum of 62.99 euros each, total 125.98 euros. Our previous experience of Greek Nights was excellent, enthralling and entertaining. This was a shamble and certainly not value for what we paid. We felt cheated. Having experienced this excursion we certainly would not book another, certainly not value for money. The shows onboard compared nothing to what we had experienced on previous cruises and cruise lines. One night comprised of a couple a songs being sung with a dozen other persons dressed up to the nines purporting to be dancers but just strolling and standing around looking pretty! Then we had to contend with the introduction of the Captain and Staff. The show element was no more than about 30 minutes! Embarkation was a mess with passengers waiting around for over two hours with no information as to what was happening! The ship had apparently docked late and previous cruise passengers were late getting off. We were only told this once on board. Disembarking was a fiasco again and being given the wrong information. On the surface the ship looked good but once you scraped away the surface paint, it left a great deal to be desired! Never again, we spoke with several other passengers who felt that they had been ripped off as clearly the service, quality/standards were not what MSC state and I quote “The MSC Cruises experience embodies the elegant side of the Mediterranean to create unique and unforgettable emotions for guests, through discovery of the world’s cultures, beauties and tastes. MSC Cruises translates its passion for the sea into a commitment to excellence in hospitality, professionalism, dedication and mastery of every single detail to ensure the complete happiness and satisfaction of each and every guest”. An absolute nonsense and certainly not what we had experienced. Lastly, at times communication was a problem in being understood and some staff were very rude indeed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I am afraid our experience was bad firstly the majority of travellers on board were loud, and had little or no manners, the entertainment was very poor ie the music in Beverly Lounge was very loud and of poor sound quality and musically ... Read More
I am afraid our experience was bad firstly the majority of travellers on board were loud, and had little or no manners, the entertainment was very poor ie the music in Beverly Lounge was very loud and of poor sound quality and musically poor, the theatre show which was supposed to be the highlight show was dreadful as lip synch and poor dance routines was all that was offered many people along with us walked out, the guitar player in the Lord Nelson sounded if he was in agony, in another lounge the piano player was good playing to backing tracks however, he was unable to reach high notes when singing pushing the microphone away, these observations were also observed by many others who we met, overall the entertainment was of poor standard. The stateroom cabin was just about ok ie small and the toilet was not working on many occasions i reported it several times. The ship seemed to be full and we had difficulty getting sunbeds at times and there was no area to get away from the incessant loud chanting and noise coming from the pool area not at all relaxing. The food was just about all right except for crowds descending on the on the buffet at times particularly Italians who were brash and loud, the dreadful background music and the Cruise Directors loud announcements who decided meal times was best to make announcements which few could understand because of the noise level was very uncomfortable and annoying. The trips ashore were just about alright except for Dubrovnik which was vastly overcrowded because of the amount of cruise ships because of this and the heat we immediately left and went back to the ship. I have cruised before in the Caribbean with MSC Divina which was better not by much however, I would not recommend MSC based on our experience with them. Click &GO ie Edel was very good to arrange an alternative flight because of fog delay, the same happened last cruise in the Caribbean because of hurricane Erma. These are our views and many other Irish people on board. PS I would like to point out that i have played music for years and my observations would be fair if deserved. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Poor entertainment, food and service. worst cruising experience of my life. I thought a European (sailed from Venice without even realising we had left, absolutely no atmosphere on board) cruise would be amazing but boy was I wrong! I ... Read More
Poor entertainment, food and service. worst cruising experience of my life. I thought a European (sailed from Venice without even realising we had left, absolutely no atmosphere on board) cruise would be amazing but boy was I wrong! I have cruised many times from Sydney to various destinations but this onboard experience was the absolute worst. Which cruise liner runs out of mugs every night when they advertise a 24/7 coffee station? Pay big euro to get off at every port to travel 1 to 2 kms out to the town (i suggest you catch a taxi). They charged 160 euro to borrow a wheelchair to the medical room since no bell boys were available. Wait staff were only friendly for first two days when they constantly tried to sell me a drinks packages. After then nothing, no conversations happened again. Unlike other liners waiters who I still communicate with today. Italian front desk receptionist had so much attitude. Lady, change your career path if you're not happy to assist customers! Entertainment on board was at a minimum and very cheesy. I've seen better productions at a school assembly than their evening entertainment (30 minute performances). Shows were laughable. FOOD!!! Everyone's fear on a cruise is putting on weight. Forget it onboard MSC Lirica. The same food (minus two meats they'd change at each sitting) in the same order for lunch and dinner. Often they'd run out of the popular desserts. I will NEVER cruise with MSC ever again and I strongly suggest you google another cruise liner!!! 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
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
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
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
Sail Date: October 2013
I was a bit apprehensive about booking this cruise having read a number of poor reviews about MSC. I think this cruise line is the marmite of the industry, guests either love them or hate them. However we wanted to go to Israel and Cyprus ... Read More
I was a bit apprehensive about booking this cruise having read a number of poor reviews about MSC. I think this cruise line is the marmite of the industry, guests either love them or hate them. However we wanted to go to Israel and Cyprus so took a punt. I will try to be as objective and honest as possible in my review. We had a two-day stay in Messina before joining the ship On the first night Etna erupted for the first time in over 20 years so we did wonder if this might be an omen! We were due to check in at 1500 on the Sunday and duly arrived in plenty of time at the cruise terminal along with at least 200 other guests. We were therefore quite miffed to find the terminal was closed, the Italians waiting with us, many quite elderly, were very annoyed and showed it in their inimitable excitable way. Huge arguments were taking place understandably as we were all there waiting with our luggage in 27degrees of heat. Then when the terminal was eventually opened utter chaos ensued. Our Italian friends find the concept of queuing completely alien to them and the crush at the desks was a sight to behold. From there I regret to report that things went downhill. However the good bits first. We boarded the ship to be very pleasantly surprised by how opulent the vessel was. It is an exercise in marble and glass and was gleaming and clean. A further pleasant surprise was in store when we found our balcony cabin on Bellini deck - all the decks are named after famous Italian composers which we felt to be a nice touch. We were on deck 10 where nearly all the balcony cabins are located on this ship. The suite was the largest we have experienced and really nicely set up with a sitting area, dressing table, walk-in illuminated wardrobe and plenty of drawers and cupboard space. The bathroom was another revelation with a bathtub and shower, I did wonder how one would manage in the bath in high seas but I did not get the chance to test this. What we did not know at that time but were soon to find out that, in my opinion, this vessel has a serious problem with regard to the balcony cabins on the starboard side. These cabins are all below the swimming pool deck and while this was never a problem during the day, at night it was horrendous. Between the hours of 2am and 4am each and every night we were woken to the racket of the crew working on the deck above. The noise of sun loungers being dragged along and stacked and all the other associated noises of deck cleaning made sleep impossible and we spent much of the cruise catching up on zzzzzzzs. Our cabin steward advised us that we were not in the minority with this complaint and that it was a problem on every trip. There was no point in asking to be moved as all the balcony cabins were full. Now to the really bad parts of this cruise. MSC pay lip service to hand cleanliness. They do have dispensers at the entrance of the restaurants but my wife and I were shocked to see how few people used them. On other cruises there have been members of staff at the entrance to eateries insisting that everyone complied with this mandatory simple hygiene action. There was a small paragraph in one of the daily news sheets on one day that mentioned hand cleaning and that was all. In my opinion they are asking for a breakout of the vomiting and diarrhea bug. Then there is the smoking policy, or lack of it, aboard. The entire port side of the swimming pool deck is dedicated to smokers. We just could not get away from the stink of cigarette smoke. Guests appear to ignore any smoking regulations that do exist, I saw people smoking in a number of the lounges and it put the cap on it when we would go out to enjoy our balcony only to find that the people in the next cabiin smoking on theirs which had no smoking signs prominently displayed. Our cabin had a nice flat screen TV and we briefly had the BBC world news on there. Now I don't cruise to watch the telly but it is nice late at night to turn on and find what is happening in the world. We soon lost BBC and it was eventually replaced by Sky News. There was also Euro News and CBNC finance chanel. I counted six German, five Italian and four French chanels in addition to a couple of Spanish and Portuguese and Russian chanels. There were movie chanels in various languages but the I failed to find a single film playing on the English one. Ironically those others showed English speaking films dubbed into the foreign language. Food aboard was adequate. We were allocated the first sitting in the opulent L'Ippocampo restaurant. The menu was quite comprehensive but regrettably I found it all to be rather style over substance. The service was slow with a long wait between courses and the waiters were running about like headless chickens. Twice I had the wrong food served and the waiter was quite sullen when I pointed this out. And don't get me started about the MSC policy of not having jugs of iced water on the table so you are forced to buy a bottle at 3 euros a time. In fact this was, with a few exceptions, typical of the staff aboard. One or two of the reception staff was sullen to the point of rudeness. Our cabin steward however was a gem, unobtrusive and worked hard on keeping our cabin in a shipshape fashion. The least said about the entertainment aboard the better. We watched two shows, very amateurish. In the lounges there was some entertainment but nthing to write home about. My final whinge, this company has a policy that I have not encountered before - and I stand to be corrected. On lodging the credit card with reception I was told that 250 euros would be immediately charged to the card. I cannot understand this, surely the fact that my card is with them is enough to guarantee that I am not going to jump ship without paying my bill. So in the words of Arthur Daley, this is a nice little earner for MSC. Multiply the number of cabins by 250 and invest this in the money market and they make themselves a nice little amount at the expense of their guests. And if they do this with all their ships then that amount gets even larger. Disembarkation at Genoa was a slightly better affair than the embarkation but they still managed to misplace our baggage and we nearly missed the bus to the airport. The bages were found wiht others of the wrong colour code! I hate to be negative but this was how I saw this cruise and I am sure that many on that same cruise will disagree with much of what I have written. I was so disappointed with MSC and the service provided that for the first time ever on any cruise I request that they remove the 6 euros per person per day "service charge" from my account. I was advised that this was a compulsory charge but I asked the lady to show me where on the terms and conditions of my booking did it state this and she failed to do so. We gave the entire amount deducted to our cabin steward who had done such a good job. I doubt very much that we will return. Funny thing is I love Marmite!!   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
Where to start? Our MSC booking included flights from Cyprus to Italy with Aegean Air and we could not fault the flights. However, that is the most positive part of the trip. The transfer by coach from Milan to Genoa was OK except for an ... Read More
Where to start? Our MSC booking included flights from Cyprus to Italy with Aegean Air and we could not fault the flights. However, that is the most positive part of the trip. The transfer by coach from Milan to Genoa was OK except for an extremely miserable and stroppy coach driver! The embarkation process was reasonable and the first impression of the ship was good. Our cabin was fine and very comfortable, and the housekeeping side of things was also good. After that it went downhill. The first shock was the drinks prices, much more expensive than any other cruise we have taken before. On top of the extortionate prices came a compulsory 15% service charge. The cheapest bottle of wine was 18 euros plus 15% which took it to approximately 21 euros - and this was the basic house wine. House wine is usually fine, but it does need to be served at the correct temperature and not be 'off'! By the glass, 150ml, it was 5 euros plus 15%. Whilst there was water and ice in the self service restaurant, other than that water was charged at 2.50 euros for a litre bottle. No free water was available in any of the bars or the a la carte restaurant. We had considered purchasing a drinks package a couple of days before the cruise (the first actual information or confirmation we received from MSC was 4 days before we sailed!!)but we could not find a price without going all the way through the purchase process so we did not do it. We did however purchase a drinks package when on board because we realised it was the only way we could actually afford to have a reasonable holiday. This came at a cost of 267 euros for 5 days for 2 people!! Thank goodness we did do that. The next shock was that on top of the 15% service charge for drinks there was a compulsory 7 euro per day per person charge for 'hotel' services. We and a few other people refused to pay this, as had we known all this before booking we would not have gone ahead. We did not find this information in any of the paperwork we received, nor did we sign to agree to such a condition. From there we come on to the food. It was bland, mostly served lukewarm at best and in the main restaurant you needed binoculars to find it on your plate. The staff were OK but nothing special and if something was not available in one bar, they would not go to another to get it. Most times we had to go to the bar to get service as the staff were conspicuous by their absence. Therefore paying 15% for serving ourselves! We did not go on any of the trips but they appeared expensive for the duration. They also charged 9 euros per person for a shuttle bus at Marmaris as they quoted a 15 minute journey by road into the city centre, when in fact it was a pleasant 10 - 15 minute stroll. For those interested in spa treatments, the cost changed every day so you never knew what you would be charged and everything was 'extra'. they charged 16 euros an hour to use the sauna! It tool 36 hours for us to get an appointment with a guest relations person, they promised an investigation into the things mentioned here and also many other things just too numerous to put in this review. Suffice it to say that we would never use MSC again nor recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We just got back from a 4-night mini cruise and decided that unless MSC will remain the only cruising company, there is no way we are cruising with them again. Embarkation process was not that bad, a little too long and unorganised, I ... Read More
We just got back from a 4-night mini cruise and decided that unless MSC will remain the only cruising company, there is no way we are cruising with them again. Embarkation process was not that bad, a little too long and unorganised, I was mad because the online check in did not work, however since everyone ended up standing in the same lane (no matter if you checked in or not), it did not matter. Overall I can not say anything bad about embarkation, also, there is nothing positive I would point out. As we got on board (4.55 pm) we headed to get some food and drink since our rooms were not ready. Well, since there was only one place where they served some sandwiches at this time and it was closing (5.00 pm), we had to sit in a lounge and wait for emergency drill. The room (9216) was OK, close to stairs, nice, quite spacious. That was until the next morning we realised that the thermostat is not working and the room is hot. They never managed to make it work. Our cabin stewardess seemed to be nice, however only up to the point when we needed something (such as that all the documents and papers she gives us need to be in English not German, she did not get this right until the very last day). Also, for some strange reason she did not make our beds twice, however she decided to take my shirt from wardrobe, re-fold it and put it on the chair. The same with my shoes, which I had to look for every day. The food in dining room was less than average and the waiter was grumpy so we decided to eat in buffet. BIG MISTAKE. The food was horrible, during lunch and even worse during dinner. Cold, everywhere too much salt and spices. The upper eating space is catastrophic, the tables are round and since there was so little to do, everyone just decided to have a tea and block table for 8 people. Breakfast was poor, but edible and there was some orange and pineapple juice (only time during the whole day that beverage was provided). Please, do not comment " it is Italian ship, therefore food is Italian".. it is not. This was no style. Italian food is awesome, here even pasta tasted like mud. We ate salads (self made from vegetables and condiments), french fries and pizza as these were the only edible. The entertainment.. was there any? OK, the theatre was quite good, especially the artists, the singers were poor and the choreography's and stages amateur-like. Besides that, there was like 2-3 activities during a day, pretty much noting to do. Shame. Staff in general (few exceptions) was rude, grumpy, groaning and unhelpful. It NEVER happened to me that I finally opened the door (strong wind) and staff member almost knocked me over as he hurried out. Are you kidding me? I am the guest here!!! I do not blame MSC for not stopping in Helgoland, that was a matter of safety (as they said and ok, I believe), but WHY cant they come up with some alternative programme? Just a short note, that having 1 700 Germans on board also did not make my day, since the world "gentleman" probably has no equivalent in German. Last, but not least.. the disembarkation. We had to leave cabins at 8.30 am and we waited 5!!! hours in lounges with no music, no entertainment, NO INFORMATION about when we will be able to get of the ship. After we finally made it out, there was total chaos by the taxis which no one from staff cared about. We were not going to pay them anything anymore so why would they care? Overall, horrible experience. We cruised with MSC before and we were expecting lower standard than we are used to (RCI), but this was like a 2 star Egyptian hotel. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
We booked this cruise thinking it would be great to sail through the Suez Canal and also see Dubai in the process WHAT A MISTAKE Our troubles started on the day we were to board Lirica which was Sunday the 11th of March 2012 after a ... Read More
We booked this cruise thinking it would be great to sail through the Suez Canal and also see Dubai in the process WHAT A MISTAKE Our troubles started on the day we were to board Lirica which was Sunday the 11th of March 2012 after a great 4 days in Dubai we hired a limo to take us from our hotel to the port in Abu Dhabi where the ship was to depart that evening When we get to the port there is no ship We are advised by an MSC representative there that the ship is in Dubai and has been since Friday using some silly excuse of the winds were too strong to enter Abu Dhabi port funny there were a lot of container ships and tankers in port that must have sailed in the windy conditions The staff at the terminal then explained we are to be bussed back to Dubai and we have to wait in the terminal (WHICH WAS A BIG WHITE TENT) until one was arranged Hours later without food or drink (THE CRUISE COMPANY DIDN'T SUPPLY ANY AND ALL THE SHOPS WERE CLOSED) we are bussed back to where the ship is this 2 hour trip to the ship has turned into a marathon we are hungry tired and getting very annoyed at what seems to be a poor start to our cruise Its now almost 8:00pm in the evening when we arrive at the ship and we board with little fuss on entering the Centrum of the ship we are expecting a staff member to escort us to our cabin as per the MSC brochure all we get is some member of staff who points to the lift well and says its down that way CABIN We eventually find our cabin (number10067) and are very pleased with it a lot of space for packing case and clothes a walk in wardrobe a full bath lots of mirrors and a beautiful balcony the cabin steward introduces herself to us and every thing looks like its going to be ok HOW WRONG WE WERE We have arrived on board too late for Dinner, as we were first seating at 6:00pm so we decide to go to the buffet for something to eat the choice was very poor with chicken sausages hamburger mince or some type of noodle dish I never did figure out what it was as well as a couple of salads this food was Luke warm and the worst selection I have experienced on any ship PERHAPS WE WONT EAT!!! I know we can have pizza so I go to find the pizza bar, which is located, by the pool area I order 3 pieces and go back to the buffet (THIS IS AN ITALIAN SHIP FOR GODS SAKE YOU THINK THEY COULD MAKE A PIZZA) Not so im afraid the crust is horrible with rubbery cheese and very little pepperoni on it and completely tasteless (would have made a good sole for a pair of shoes) Oh well at least we can have a coffee I walk up to the drink station and look for cups to my dismay there are horrible blue soft plastic mugs on the rack they look like something we would have given our granddaughter to drink from when she was1 year old So I make the best of it and pour 2 coffees you have to taste these drinks to understand how bad they were all you tasted was the cheap plastic Weleft in disgust So we decide lets go have a drink and drown our sorrows along with our hunger pangs we walk around the ship and find a nice bar called the Lord Nelson at the front of the ship and there is a sign at the entrance saying smokers welcome in this bar (YIPPEE) I know a lot of people don't like smoking but to find a large bar on a ship where us outcasts can go is quite a shock We sit down and order drinks which we sigh for and get our receipt as we look at it we see there is an item on it saying 15% service fee we ask our waiter whether this is the gratuity he receives and he tells us it is a tax imposed by MSC on all drinks whether they be alcoholic or not Now hold on a minute didn't we pay all taxes when we paid for this cruise It turns out that MSC imposed a tax on all beverages on their ships which we think is double dipping as you are paying 6-10 Euro per drink already the waiting staff don't get any of this money it goes into the cruise lines coffers Don't get me wrong the Lirica is a beautiful ship classic Italian style which is tastefully decorated in both cabins and public areas it s staff on the whole seem to be very good at their jobs and try to do their best by the passengers but there seems to be a policy by the company to rip every cent possible out of all the traveling public while on board DINING ROOM The dining room was nicely set out and our head waiter did his best to keep us happy but there is where all its good points end the food on most evenings was inedible and after having one or two bites from the plate was sent back uneaten the waiter would order us something new but it always came back the same quality I must point out at this point that this is the first cruise I have ever completed and walked off weighing less than when I boarded 2kgs the steak was tough the pasta tasteless all the fish dishes were saturated with oil 2 prawn dishes on the cruise were sent back not only by us but nearly every person in the restaurant at the time as they were off still we couldn't go and eat in the buffet it was worse SHOWS The shows on the ship were pretty good except for the violin virtuosos who appeared 4 time during our cruise 1 show was perhaps the limit that they should have been on the production shows were professionally done and the singing was a very high standard we especially liked the contortionists 3 Chinese girls who were the finest I have ever seen the only down side of the shows was that all the announcements were done in 6 languages thank goodness English was usually the first one but we had been warned before booking this cruise that MSC do this on all their ship so we knew what to expect SUEZ CANAL This was going to be one of the highlights of the cruise and was the major reason we and many other passengers had chosen to do it but like everything else important on the ship the company got it all wrong again we had noticed at the ports of call before Suez that the ship was not giving out maps of or making available any information on the stops except to push their tours so you were getting off for the day with no relevant information on what to do and where Togo while in port This was also the case with Suez We had sailed with Celebrity through the Panama Canal 2 years ago and had so much information given to us including a certificate to say we had transited the canal with our names and dated having loved this we foolishly thought MSC would enlighten the passengers in the same way (WRONG) We were lucky they even told us we had entered the canal with no information about the bridges or towns along the banks the history of the waterway or even how long it would take to get from one end to the other This upset many people who had sailed just to go through the canal PORTS OF CALL Dubai, Muscat, Salala, Aquaba, Barcelona, Lisbon, Southampton, Hamburg Dubai a must see great place to visit and stay Muscat a beautiful city with an impressive mosque Salala not sure why we went here should have stayed on ship and saved the taxi fare into the city not worth visiting set price with driver get him to write it on paper and sign it before going as they try to charge you more to get back to the ship Aquaba Jordan purchased a tour to Petra one of the gems of the cruise a beautiful ruin made famous in the third Indiana Jones Movie well worth seeing and the meal at the hotel was definitely 100% better than on the ship only 1 regret 4 hours was not enough time in Petra Barcelona port facilities close to La Rambla can walk into town in 15 mins bus Touristic leaves from port gates excellent stop Lisbon Portugal another fine European port hop on hop off bus waiting when we got off ship beautiful food excellent restaurants friendly people and safe to walk around even late at night In finishing this revue I would like to say that there is something seriously wrong on this ship with staff berated in front of passengers which I had never seen before on all my cruises the staff are unhappy and many said they would not be sighing up for another contract they have a odd policy of moving staff every 10 days from bars to other parts of the ship which I find strange as you tend to get a good rapport with staff who are with you the whole cruise We never received an apology for the inconvenience of the first day until we complained to the public relations manager that we had not even been on board and had to pay the 12 Euro in gratuities which she dropped off the bill we never received an offer to repay the cost of the car to Abu Dhabi as we found out that a lot of the passengers who flew out from England had been notified of the changes to the Itinerary before leaving home on the Friday the company had our mobile and email address but we never received any messages to inform us of the changes so much for public relations IN FINAL WE WILL NEVER SAIL WITH MSC AGAIN EVEN IF IT WAS FREE Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2011
What a disappointment.We have been on many cruises over the years, none as bad as this one. The customer services staff were unbelievably rude, the staff above waiter level were completely arrogant. 15% was added on to everything including ... Read More
What a disappointment.We have been on many cruises over the years, none as bad as this one. The customer services staff were unbelievably rude, the staff above waiter level were completely arrogant. 15% was added on to everything including water bought at the bar. On top of that, 7 euros a day per person was added to the final bill for tips regardless of quality of service. The waiting staff were dissatisfied with their treatment by the company resulting in poor service. There were passengers embarking and disembarking for two consecutive nights making us feel that our cruise was over early. One couple was in bed naked when the next set of passengers entered the cabin having been given a key. The food was appalling considering it was an Italian ship one would think that at least the pasta dishes would be good, sadly not so. The food was either tepid or over cooked. The embarkation procedure was ridiculous with some staff giving one set of instruction only to be told something completely different by another member of staff resulting in people missing pre-arranged taxi transfers. The afternoon tea was set out with blue plastic cups reminiscent of a children's tea party these needed serious checking as most had either lipstick stains or stale tea or coffee. Water in the main dining room had to be purchased as none was supplied.The destinations were good Abu Dhabi, Dubai and a couple of places in Oman and the weather was superb. The trips were a big rip off and all can be booked privately from the port when you leave the ship. Would choose the cruise again but just not with MSC. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We have just travelled on MSC Lirica for the past week around the western Med and i have to say it was the worst holiday experience we have ever had.I will list all the problems below -1. STAFF.There is something seriously wrong with the ... Read More
We have just travelled on MSC Lirica for the past week around the western Med and i have to say it was the worst holiday experience we have ever had.I will list all the problems below -1. STAFF.There is something seriously wrong with the staff on this ship. They don't know how to smile our at the least nod a greeting. If you are not italian or latino on this boat you have a problem. It was 5 days before our cabin attendant said hello to me.When we embarked at Genoa there was no sense of welcome to our ship. We were shown to our cabin & that was it. We walked out of our cabin to be told by friends (not the staff !!!!!) that a safety drill was in progress & to get our lifejackets (in the cabin by the way !!!!!).2. THE CABIN.Cabin was a standard inside stateroom. Reasonable size apart from shower which you had to stepout off to turn around. No tea/coffee making facilities. Hairdryer is located in the bathroom which is great for the ladies as they cant see what they are doing with their hair after all the mirrors are misted up from the shower. Pillows are very small.If you order anything on room service you incur a charge.3. THE SHIP.The ship is actually nice. There are a few things that need repairing (lift doors dented) it is just let down by the money grabbing staff.4. FOODA disapointment. The selection is very limited and seems to repeat itself twice during the week. Food from the buffet is pretty much the same thing every day. 5. DRINKSBLOODY EXPENSIVE !!!!! If you want a drink you pay a 15% service charge every time you buy one, that makes a large beer approx 5.75 euros, cocktails & shorts are even more. Coke is approx 3.50 euros. It is possible to buy drink packages i.e 14 beers/12 cocktails deals, these come in the form of vouchers and it works out you get 1 free drink in the end, you still pay the 15% service charge when you purchase these though.Tea/coffee & cold water is only free when the buffet on deck 11 is open.The rest of the time you have to pay for it & the 15% service charge that comes with it.6. ENTERTAINMENTThis needs a major overhaul. There was 1 show per night & it seemed like it was the same show but with slightly different music & costumes each night. The only show that stood out was the Spirit of the Dance show (irish). The rest were very poor. Once again the entertainment team were very selective in who they interacted with.7. PASSENGERSBe prepared for a very rude awakening here. Most of the passengers on board were either italian/french or russian. Rude a""h*les in other words. Be prepared for queue jumping/barging through & just general lack of manners. I can put up with most things but these people just need a brain transplant. Wealso had the pleasure of 3 groups of italian school-kids joining the boat, these little bastards were placed strategicly around the ship so they could keep everyone awake all night with their insistance in knocking on each others dorrs,running up & down corridors & shouting their conversations to each other when they are less than 2 feet apart. There is no reason why anybody should put up with this sort of behaviour and there was no supervison from the ships crew.8. CHARGESI have mentioned the 15% sevice charge incurred on all drinks above. Now to the daily service charge incurred by passengers on the boat. We were charged 7 euros per day EACH for services. Now over 7 days/nights this works out at 98 euros. In the company booklet it states that tipping is a matter of your own discretion & that the 7 euro per person daily charged is added to your bill as a convenience. There is NO SERVICE on this ship that is worth 7 euros per day. We complained that we were paying twice for the same service & recieved 50% off the sevice charge back.9. GENERALThe only thing MSC are interestd in is getting as much money out off you as possible. Nobody travel with them & if you have no choice do not fall for all there money grabbing tactics, insist on getting the service you pay for, if not don't pay it !!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
The most important thing on a cruise ship should be food, drinks, service and cleanliness. Ok Ill give them the cleanliness. The room was cleaned after breakfast, mid-day and sometimes in the evening. The room and ship were very clean. ... Read More
The most important thing on a cruise ship should be food, drinks, service and cleanliness. Ok Ill give them the cleanliness. The room was cleaned after breakfast, mid-day and sometimes in the evening. The room and ship were very clean. Now for an Italian cruise line you would expect for the pizza and the pasta to be decent. But no! It probably was one of the worst things they offered. The food is worst than cafeteria food. We were served pate one night and it smelled and tasted like dog food. The meat was always overcooked, tasteless and chewy. The breakfast was the same EVERY day. The scrambled eggs was soggy. The croissant was uncooked, I felt like I was eating an elastic. The lunch menu was recycled from one day to the next. The deserts were tasteless. We had the choice of chocolate, vanilla and a fruit flavored ice cream. The juices were basically water with some color added. The coffee was horrible, green looking. Basically while I was barely eating anything cos it was so bad, my friend cruising on royal Caribbean navigator of the sees was having lobster and escargots and shrimp brochette and amazing sundaes and Ben and Jerry ice cream on her cruise. Also we were charged for water during dinner and lunch. The drinks were around 7 euros! Are we in a club here or what?! The staff apart from ones cleaning the rooms were not smiley at all and almost unfriendly. We asked for information at the reception and always got the wrong information. For example, we asked for the Tunisian conversion rate. We were told its 7 to 1 with the euro. We only found out when we were bargaining that its actually 2 to 1. And other similar things like this. The itinerary included Portofino, Italy but it was never mentioned that the boat will dock away from the port and the we would have to pay to take a smaller boat to get to shore. They force you to pay 7 euro per person of service charge per day. With the service I got I wouldn't have paid half of that. Why should I pay for a bad service. Tip should be based on the satisfactory service you got. There are only 2 pools on the boat and they are shared with the kids. I never had the chance to enjoy the pool or the area itself because it was always filled with kids. The kids were yelling and screaming and making the stay around the pool very unpleasant. How hard is it to have an adult pool and a kids pool. Also they wasnt enough chairs to lie down on around the pool. Instead they had the extras stacked up and tied up. We had to untie it and take them ourselves. The hot tub was packed with kids we never had a chance to use it. The ping pong table was right beside the pool. Imagine the noise and the screams we had to put up with since the kids were on it all day. We wanted to use the internet to check our emails. We paid 10 euro for 30 minutes. Nobody warned us that you cant use outlook, so we spent our 30 minutes trying to send out the emails. Oh but we were told that its written in the F.A.Q. This should be a warning and not in the FAQ section were you check only if you have a question DUH!!!!!!!! So when we complained about this and asked for our money back, the manager said there is nothing they can do. Wow for 10 euros, they were willing to piss off a customer. So finally they offered us to pay only half of the service charge. WOW so instead of taking the loss, they cut on the workers tip. Shame on you!!!!!! why do u wanna use the internet on a cruise The excursions were out of price. We did our own touring for 1/3 the price they were charging. The relaxation room was right beside the gym so you can hear the pounding music noise from the gym. The gym was tiny, it had only 3 treadmills. We didnt even had a chance to get one. The mini pot section was ridiculously small and pathetic. I never saw anyone playing. While other cruise lines have rock climbing, great mini pot, ice rings, we have nothing but a crappy mini pot. Oh and the decor of the ship is so 80's!!!!!!! Basically I call MSC "Mega Scam Cruise". I would never go back on any of the cruises this company has and I would never recommend it to anyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2009
I have decided to write this epistle, on a timely basis, so as to keep memories fresh and accurate. We have just disembarked from a 10 day Panama Cruise on MSC's Lirica Ship. This was our 6th cruise, but the 1st on MSC. We chose to ... Read More
I have decided to write this epistle, on a timely basis, so as to keep memories fresh and accurate. We have just disembarked from a 10 day Panama Cruise on MSC's Lirica Ship. This was our 6th cruise, but the 1st on MSC. We chose to sail with this line, as an alternative to the two other lines previously used, after a recommendation from our travel agency, that had taken a group onboard this ship last year. I am a fair critic, and not all comments are critical, as firstly I must remark that the ship was immaculate. Whoever is in charge of keeping the ship clean needs due praise, as they are doing an excellent job. I would easily state, it was the cleanest of the ships I have sailed on. As well, our cabin stewardess, and assistant were also diligent, and deserve just acknowledgement. Furthermore; I cannot thank our waiter, and assistant, enough, as we felt very fortunate to have landed in his group of tables, and believe me; this quality of service was not consistent by any means throughout the dining room. However; these are the positive comments, that are unfortunately overshadowed by the incomprehensible, disappointments and frustrations encountered on many other issues on that ship. We believe ourselves to be seasoned cruisers, and feel we have a good knowledge of expectations, that are by far, not unrealistic. Our experiences in many cases, for lack of description, were simply bizarre and most unacceptable, on any level from a service based vacation accommodation. Food: Much of the complaint was food based or lack there of. To state the food was awful, is an absolute fact. After participating in discussion after discussion amongst dozens and dozens of fellow passengers, we did not succeed in finding anyone that remarked otherwise. It was absolutely tasteless, and always overcooked to the point it wasn't edible, in many cases. If you wanted a steak medium, you had to order it rare, otherwise you got well-done which meant so tough you could not chew it. The only night whereby a shrimp cocktail was offered, we were afraid to eat them, as they were warm. After conversing with others, they indicated they encountered the same thing. One would assume they had been left out of the coolers for an extended period of time, to have reached that temperature. We attempted to eat on Deck 11 buffet, and grill, only to find in many cases, the left over's from the previous days dining room menu. We were forced to eat dinner due to a late excursion one evening, and basically could not find anything worthy of eating. This enlightened us as to why we encountered the consistently packed Deck 5 Formal Dining Room, for 3 meals a day. Most other cruise lines passengers, seldom packed the dining rooms for Breakfast, and Lunch, as passengers chose the informal atmosphere, of the buffet for early, and mid-day meals, but on the Lirica, it was common practice, to see passengers, in pool attire, eating in the dining room, to avoid the substandard food on the pool deck. To have to set an alarm, particularly on Sea Days, in order to eat was absurd. Passengers should have the ability of sleeping late, but on the Lirica, if you weren't in that dining room by 9:15 a.m., you were out of luck until 12:00 p.m. The buffet breakfast, was only available some 30 minutes longer, and was always cold, if you chose an omelets/egg choice. If you wished toast with, you had to line up at another line to obtain it. The most bizarre, issue was the beverages. You could not obtain a cup of tea/coffee in the evenings, from any of the beverage stations. They blatantly, admittedly removed the cups, and refused to give passengers any upon their request. Sometimes, (not always) they set out plastic water cups at the beverage stations on Deck 11, but they melted if you tried to use them for tea or coffee. Dozens and dozens of passengers came and went each evening, in search of a simplistic cup of coffee or tea. We sat and used a table on Deck 11 numerous nights to play cards with friends, and observed the issue each evening. We eventually learned to take the plastic mugs during the day, place them in our cabins, to bring out and use at night. I had several conversations with senior officers on that deck, and was told they would not leave them out. One tried to say, that if they were unsupervised, they would be thrown overboard. This is a puzzling statement, as there is no open railing on Deck 11, one would have to carry the cup and climb to the open railing on Deck 12, mid ship, which seemed at best far fetched, and if that was the case, why would those same culprits not throw the disposable drinking cups overboard too. During the day, the same issue was encountered, if you wished so much as a glass of ice water. You could not obtain a glass, to drink from until the grill/pizza, or restaurant opened at noon. Upon returning from the beach day in the Dominican, at approx 10:30 a.m., all we wanted was a glass of ice water, and it took us at least 20 minutes to succeed in finally obtaining a throwaway plastic 6oz cup with ice water. This was beyond totally ridiculous. The assistant maitre d walked out of the door of the Deck 11 buffet and told me I couldn't go into the restaurant until 12:00 p.m. as it was closed. I explained I only wanted a drink of water. He said, well you can't get it in there. Other ships we've sailed on we often sat in the buffet area other then at meal times to use the small round tables to play cards at. We went to both grill/pizza areas there were no cups. We went down to Deck 5, the restaurant was of course closed, however; no-one was around to persuade to give us cups. We went back to Deck 11, and I demanded cups from the bar which was open, and the bartender gave me the throwaway cups. Now; before you condemn, our cabin staff, upon our return from the island, we stopped by our cabin, but the staff was in the midst of finishing making up our room. We told them not to worry, we would simply go elsewhere for the next half hour or so, as we had indicated to them just an hour before, that we did not expect to return from the island until after lunch and had changed our plans after tendering to the beach and found it to be not to our liking. The time restrictions of the formal dining room particularly on sea days were absurd. You open them at 6 - 6:30 a.m., and close at 9:30 a.m. After several conversations with wait staff, we learned it was absolutely empty most days until near 8:00 a.m. The buffet was similar with an extension to 10:00 a.m. This meant that late sleepers on sea days, could not obtain anything to eat until 12:00 p.m. as continental breakfast had to be ordered by 3:00 a.m. This implies one would have to plan to sleep in, in advance and plan a wake up time. Your waiters and dining room staff are burnt out, arriving at 5:30 a.m., with no time off during the day, as they were in attendance again, over the lunch hour, and of course until late into the evening until completed after 2nd seating. One several occasions we encountered totally botched orders due to lack of communication skills of the English language by your waiters, during Breakfast and Lunch in the dining room. This was brought to the attention of the Maitre'd by several different passengers, on several different occasions, and simply dismissed with an apology. My travel companion and myself were served a blood running hamburger in the dining room, and sent it back to the kitchen only to be told, with his apology, that the particular waiter did not know that ground beef could not be served anything but well done, without risk of contracting ecoli, as he was Hindu and did not eat beef. He had never been told during training, to watch out for rare hamburgers. This is totally unacceptable. I patiently explained to him the specific dangers of undercooked, chicken, turkey, pork and ground beef. We cruise to secure safe accommodation and food, while seeing these wonderful places all over the world. The food was totally utterly, substandard in comparison to your piers within the industry. I swear I was waiting all week for Richard Simmons to pop out from behind one of the pillars, and surprise us American Cruisers to learn we were on a diet cruise. At least that would explain why we all disembarked a few pounds lighter. Formal Nights To have our formal nights/gala night on shore days is entirely absurd. Shore excursions often run over time, and infact in Panama we were told some 600 passengers did not get back to the ship until almost 6:00 p.m. (we were to have sailed at 4:00 p.m.). These people were forced to attend the dining room, in shorts exactly as they were without even an opportunity to freshen up after an entire day of travelling on shore. Never on any other ships we have sailed on, would a formal night be planned on a shore day. There were more then adequate sea days to accommodate 3 formal nights. This needs to be addressed. Late Night Buffets If you are going to have these with the work involved, why on earth would they be set up where inclement weather ruined them. The Neapolitan buffet the food got rained on, and on the night of the grand buffet the wind was so strong, it literally blew the roll right off my plate. The weather was frigid, and the winds were gale force on the open deck. Yet behind the doors, was the comfort of the buffet restaurant. Note: We requested a cups to make tea at the grand buffet, and were once again told, no by senior staff, they would not bring out any cups. Activities Never on any cruise line used, have we found ourselves board, until now. We were board out of our minds, on your ship, finding ourselves simply laying down in our cabin on most sea days. Your activity staff, is a far too tight group (we were told they are for the most part brothers sisters and cousins) with a very narrow mind of activity. I usually run from one activity to the next particularly on sea days. On your ship, we were lucky to find one thing to do each day. There was no basketball, volleyball, badminton, darts, scrabble tournament, card games, 2 or three trivia games per day, daily table tennis, etc etc. Most of the activities were limited to Deck 11, out in full sun, with all of the activity staff participating in any one thing, rather then offering several by dividing themselves up. Other ships use a multicultural group, whereby gaining a very diverse set of ideas from all over the world. This mirrors your passenger list, and succeeds in finding something for everyone to participate in. I got sick of observing the one activity staff member (clearly in love with himself,) groping any woman passenger who would tolerate him regardless of the activity he was participating in. The Library/Card Room The location of this room in proximity to the Cabaret Lounge is not considered. Each night after the stage show, your activity staff held a loud obnoxious activity, which disturbed the packed room of card players. I understand many enjoyed these nights in the Lounge, but there most certainly are several lounges that can be chosen to host these activities, that would not disturb the adjoining Card Room. Passengers consistently opened a door directly from the lounge into the card room, to cut through to get to a washroom outside the library. This allowed a blast of smoke, and noise to enter the room, which was already an issue while the door was closed. We often could not get a seat in the card room, as many guests opted to play cards in the evening, in lieu of these lounge activities. That is why if the weather was suitable, we would play up on Deck 11 tucked into the corner in the grill area, where it was quiet, and smoke free. Casino I understand you are limited to space in the Casino, however, there should be ½ of the room designated as non-smoking like other ships, or at least a few machines placed outside the room, for those who cannot tolerate the thick blue air to have an option to play. It was also a common daily complaint there were only 2 penny machines, with 2 couples who would hold them from approximately 3 hours prior to the casino opening,(I'm not kidding, they glued their butts to the seats, and sat 2 at a time on the stool, when they wished to change players, one slid off, as the other slid over) until the casino closed each evening, never ever allowing any other passenger to play on those machines. Cruise Director Very bright young woman, speaks several languages, but has the personality of a plant. All other ships we have cruised on have very outgoing, personable, friendly, humorous, over the top cruise directors. They set the stage, for the energy level of the passengers, and this girl was far to stuck up to even speak to the passengers each time we encountered her on the ship. We did not speak to one single passenger that implied they would ever return to this ship/line. The continuous verbal consensus of all onboard we spoke with, was never again. Would I recommend your cruise line to absolutely anyone? Absolutely not. Would we go on another MSC cruise? Never. I do not cruise, to sleep in a cabin all day for lack of activities, nor desire to have to remain on a stringent schedule in order to be able to eat. I do not wish to waste time and effort to search out a simple cup of tea or coffee, and have to continually argue with staff still not succeeding in obtaining a simple cup of coffee. I cruise to enjoy safe environment wonderfully decadent food choices, to have the choice to participate in as many activities as the day will hold, and wake up in a new place again and again. 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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