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11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We sailed with MSC Lirica last month on a short 4 night itinerary We have never sailed with MSC before, so decided on a short trip to try it out We boarded at Venice, and it was a relatively smooth process. On previous cruises, ... Read More
We sailed with MSC Lirica last month on a short 4 night itinerary We have never sailed with MSC before, so decided on a short trip to try it out We boarded at Venice, and it was a relatively smooth process. On previous cruises, you queue once, and get everything done at the same time. Here, we had the initial queue to have passports and boarding passes checked, then again to hand over luggage, then to get through security scanners, then as we boarded the ship, our passports and boarding passes were checked again, another queue for photos to be taken for sea pass cards, then a walk through what seemed like hundreds of staff touting drinks packages. However, all queues, except the initial one in the port, were very fast moving so we didn’t hang around long each time. Also, the staff trying to sell the drinks packages were not too pushy. We really liked this ship. I was slightly apprehensive before boarding after reading reviews on here, but we found the ship to be clean and comfortable. There was plenty space for everyone. On previous cruises - particularly Navigator ots, public spaces (bars, cafes, lounges) were always packed and it was difficult to find a seat. Not on this ship. There are numerous lounges and bars. Even in the buffet restaurant on the final morning, it wasn’t too hard to find a table. The safety drill was totally chaotic, with passengers wandering in halfway through, and talking loudly all the way through, making it impossible to hear what was being said. You also have to take the life jackets from your cabin, which we have never done before, but it was good to know how to put them on if the need arose (not that it’s difficult) Obviously there was a different clientele on MSC than our previous cruise experiences. Fewer British passengers, more Italian (obviously), German and a very large group of Chinese passengers. There was also a slightly different culture. The biggest difference was that the MDR and the buffet restaurant did not open until 7pm. There are a couple of places to eat before then, a grill serving burgers and chips etc, and a pizza station. When the buffet restaurant opened at 7, it was very quiet until around 8.30-9.pm The staff was very efficient in keeping tables cleared. They seem to be under less pressure than RCI staff, which was nice. They had a little time to chat as they were serving you. We found the food in the buffet restaurant was of decent quality. There were fewer choices available, but they were presented better, refilled promptly and mostly well cooked. The selection of fresh fruit was also much better than on our previous cruises. We didn’t eat in the MDR, or any of the specialty restaurants We had non alcoholic drinks packages, which was good value. It included soft drinks, bottled water, mocktails, specialty coffees and soft serve ice cream. The price was less than half of what Royal Caribbean charge for the same thing. We didn’t go to any of the entertainment. There was very little in the way of activities on board during the day, but I suppose it would be very difficult to do quizzes etc when you’re to ask the questions in 5 languages! English was always the first when announcements were made. We spent a fair amount of time in the coffee lounge. Staff were very friendly, and it was a lovely spot for people watching. The ship was well presented and clean. We really liked it. The only downside was that there is no deck on which you can walk round the whole ship. You can’t get to the front of the ship at all, other than on deck 13, which has big sun screens, so you can’t stand there and look at where the ship is going. This certainly wouldn’t put me off booking on this ship again, but we missed a wander round the ship in the evenings. We left from Venice and our first stop was Split, in Croatia. A lovely old town within easy walking distance of the port. Narrow little streets and an ancient old palace to explore..... along with plenty of little bars and cafes to stop and rehydrate. Next stop was Sarande, Albania. I was a bit nervous about this port after reading the reviews. We were tendered in, which was the easiest tender we have ever had, although we waited til the main rush was past. When you get off the tender, you are met by numerous taxi drivers advertising their trips to the blue eye national park etc. Walking towards the beach is quite depressing. It’s really run down. There are lots of beggars, but they don’t pester you. Many have babies or very young children. Once you get down to the beach, it’s a fairly standard beach front, with stalls selling tat, and restaurants, cafes and bars. It’s very cheap for food and drink. You can’t buy Albanian currency outside of Albania, but they accept euros too. Unless you’ve organised an excursion, there’s not much to do other than the beach. The beach is very stoney, but apparently there are sandy beaches in neighbouring villages. This would be a great beach stop for children though, there are inflatables and diving platforms which looked like great fun! Messina was our next port. Again an easy walk in from the ship. The main attraction is Taormina, but we decided to stay in Messina and explore. There’s not much to see to be honest. The cathedral is beautiful, and at 12 o’clock the bell tower comes to life.... statues move, and the sound of Ave Maria rings out across the square. Unfortunately, that’s the highlight of Messina. Otherwise it’s quite a dirty, dreary town. My advice would be to do the tour to Taormina. Final port was Naples, but we didn’t have time to explore, we just made our way to the bus stop to catch the bus to the airport for our flight home. Traffic is horrific in Naples. Very scary. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I would try to give an honest review. First of all I would like to start of saying that I read a lot of negative reviews and was a bit upset before going on this cruise, but thankfully I read them after I booked so I could not really ... Read More
I would try to give an honest review. First of all I would like to start of saying that I read a lot of negative reviews and was a bit upset before going on this cruise, but thankfully I read them after I booked so I could not really change anything. At this point I can say that the people who wrote those reviews either had high expectations or very spoiled. Now let me start my review with saying a few words about the food in the restaurants; at the dinner time the food is very good and tasteful, every night there is a different menu. The bread and all bread products are baked fresh every day. Breakfast buffet does not have a lot of variety, but you can always find something to eat, lunch buffet has a bigger variety and to different tastes. If you will be traveling with kids you can always find something to feed them with. The staff on the ship is very friendly and helpful. The entertainment is very good especially the shows. Every night there is a different show, the singers and all the entertainment staff are very talented. The cabin was clean, but small. The shower is small I think it is good enough for a child but not for adult, especially you are not skinny, and not petite. Of course there were some minutes too. For example I was surprised I had to pay for my daughter's ice cream. I didn't know it is equivalent to beverages. The only thing that I personally don't like about cruises not only this one is I think they are overcrowded. Everywhere you go you bump into people. I gave this cruise four stars because it is not perfect but overall is good and I enjoyed being on this cruise and would recommend it to others and would come back but to different itinerary but only because I like to see new places. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
MSC Lirica March 2019 from Dubai to Venice. This was one of our best trips, both the itinerary and especially the staff made this happen. Past similar cruises have felt dull on board, still fun but something missing. The Lirica felt ... Read More
MSC Lirica March 2019 from Dubai to Venice. This was one of our best trips, both the itinerary and especially the staff made this happen. Past similar cruises have felt dull on board, still fun but something missing. The Lirica felt more welcoming, the staff definitely made this happen and made a real point to sit down and get to know us, seating areas allowed you to interact with other guests, and the smaller ship size was easy to meet up with others - we left the ship with some great new lifelong friends. I would definitely travel on this ship again. The ship is older, lots of brass and glass décor, however it was a pleasant atmosphere. Food I felt was good, much better than other larger MSC cruises we have been on. 21 days and no repetition, that's not easy to do. Dining rooms had breakfast/lunch menus and also a buffet to pick off of (separate from the main buffet). A few inconsistencies with quality of the beef in the meals, a few bad drinks, but that is always expected. Entertainment staff was awesome, the theatre shows themselves were ok and well done, but I really enjoyed the adhoc performances and the random general silliness and fun much more. We and others had some initial issues with packages and cruise cards, some cancelled excursions, a bit of rerouting and change of ports - this was all handled professionally and quickly by the staff. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was smooth. We were allocated a time to embark( 6 pm) which we did. The suitcases didn't arrived till midnight which was a pain. Our cabin was an inner cabin on Bella. Good bed but they were fold up bunk beds close to the sides of the main bed and I had hit my head a few times on that. We did a back to back cruise, so after the 20 days , there was a 4 day cruise and we were given an other cabin just 3 door further up the corridor, that room was bigger and had no fold up beds above the sides. The ship itself I think is beautiful, a nice size, not too big. We had booked all excursions beforehand online with the MSC excursions. This way it was cheaper but also safer to be with an MSC excursion. We loved it and learned so much. The food at the buffet was always plenty and the only thing I didn't like was the masses of people trying to get in and get a table was a nightmare, but once you found a table you need to leave a coat over your chair or it would be gone again. I once was on my own, had got myself a coffee and something else, and I just went to get something else, a quick hot chocolate from the machine and when I came back all the other stuff was taken away by staff, I hadn't even started drinking it, but I had not left my coat on the chair. We always had dinner at Hippocampus restaurant downstairs. The meals were very nice and good portions, not too big and not too small. 3 course meal and you were full. We loved our staff there, Christian from Honduras, and Alex from Kiev. I am concerned , though, that the staff is being overworked and underpaid. They were often very tired. They seem to get only 4 hours of sleep at night and maybe a couple of hours during the day. That's not much rest. Our cabin steward was Argus from Indonesia, a was very friendly and loyal and did his work really well. Always smiling and always asking how we were. We travelled with an other couple, friends from our hometown. I would definitely go again but not take that back to back cruise with the 4 extra days( we did it because it had an excursion to San Marino) but the people were completely different folks. Mainly Europeans that brought their whole family, kids, babies and strollers. They would very loud and often rude, pushing their way to the front of a queue like with the buffet on deck 11, it was a nightmare to try and eat there. I because sick and tired of the throngs of people. During the 20 days sailing from Dubai to Venice, we had a nice mix, quite a few Aussies, UK people, 20 NZ-ders, and some French and Italians and a lot of Germans and a handful of Dutch. It looked more like a cruise designed for your average income type people, definitely not upper class. But to us that was ok, it was a fantastic cruise and you get what you pay for. The critics I have heard review this ship are expecting a highest standard like silverline cruises for the price of a " backpackers" type cruise to put it this way, which is unfair. I think MSC Lirica is fine as long as you know if it was cheap, don't expect too much, but for us it was enough, and fine we saw a good chunk of the world. The shows were great, we went most nights. The other musicians also very good. We didn't buy a drinks package but just went and bought drinks as we had dinner. The laundry personal service for your own laundry is quite outrages expensive. It was 30 euro for a bag with 20 items, if it wasn't 20 items you got it back dirty again, so it HAD TO BE 20 items. Then it would be washed and folded the next day. Why don't they have a laundrette service where you can put in your clothes in a washing machine? My answer is: It is a cheap cruise and they have to make money somehow. Also half of the passengers all got sick with a very bad cough, that was after we had gone through the Suez Canal and came out in the freezing wind of the Mediterranean. A doctors visit on the ship will put you back 100 euros. Luckily my own doctor had give me my own anti biotics and so I was ok. But I had to visit the ship doctor for a skin condition, that was 100 euros. But the doctor was very good. All in all, I would do this again( not the back to back 4 day cruise ) and maybe go on a different route. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value for money. It was a very good deal and it included our flights with Emirates to Dubai return from New Zealand. We arrived 2 days before departure to explore the city of Dubai. Embarkation was smooth. We were allocated a time to embark( 6 pm) which we did. The suitcases didn't arrived till midnight which was a pain. Our cabin was an inner cabin on Bella. Good bed but they were fold up bunk beds close to the sides of the main bed and I had hit my head a few times on that. We did a back to back cruise, so after the 20 days , there was a 4 day cruise and we were given an other cabin just 3 door further up the corridor, that room was bigger and had no fold up beds above the sides. The ship itself I think is beautiful, a nice size, not too big. We had booked all excursions beforehand online with the MSC excursions. This way it was cheaper but also safer to be with an MSC excursion. We loved it and learned so much. The food at the buffet was always plenty and the only thing I didn't like was the masses of people trying to get in and get a table was a nightmare, but once you found a table you need to leave a coat over your chair or it would be gone again. I once was on my own, had got myself a coffee and something else, and I just went to get something else, a quick hot chocolate from the machine and when I came back all the other stuff was taken away by staff, I hadn't even started drinking it, but I had not left my coat on the chair. We always had dinner at Hippocampus restaurant downstairs. The meals were very nice and good portions, not too big and not too small. 3 course meal and you were full. We loved our staff there, Christian from Honduras, and Alex from Kiev. I am concerned , though, that the staff is being overworked and underpaid. They were often very tired. They seem to get only 4 hours of sleep at night and maybe a couple of hours during the day. That's not much rest. Our cabin steward was Argus from Indonesia, a was very friendly and loyal and did his work really well. Always smiling and always asking how we were. We travelled with an other couple, friends from our hometown. I would definitely go again but not take that back to back cruise with the 4 extra days( we did it because it had an excursion to San Marino) but the people were completely different folks. Mainly Europeans that brought their whole family, kids, babies and strollers. They would very loud and often rude, pushing their way to the front of a queue like with the buffet on deck 11, it was a nightmare to try and eat there. I because sick and tired of the throngs of people. During the 20 days sailing from Dubai to Venice, we had a nice mix, quite a few Aussies, UK people, 20 NZ-ders, and some French and Italians and a lot of Germans and a handful of Dutch. It looked more like a cruise designed for your average income type people, definitely not upper class. But to us that was ok, it was a fantastic cruise and you get what you pay for. The critics I have heard review this ship are expecting a highest standard like silverline cruises for the price of a " backpackers" type cruise to put it this way, which is unfair. I think MSC Lirica is fine as long as you know it was affordable, don't expect too much, but for us it was enough, and we saw a good chunk of the world. The shows were great, we went most nights. The other musicians also very good. We didn't buy a drinks package but just went and bought drinks as we had dinner. The laundry personal service for your own laundry is quite outrages expensive. It was 30 euro for a bag with 20 items, if it wasn't 20 items you got it back dirty again, so it HAD TO BE 20 items. Then it would be washed and folded the next day. Why don't they have a laundrette service where you can put in your clothes in a washing machine? My answer is: It is a cheap cruise and they have to make money somehow. A doctors visit on the ship will put you back 100 euros. I had to visit the ship doctor for a skin condition, that was 100 euros. But the doctor was very good. All in all, I would do this again( not the back to back 4 day cruise ) and maybe go on a different route. Cabin and crew were all very friendly and helpful and eager to please. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary, particularly the Suez transit, and the fact nearly all ports were firsts for us, as was MSC. The ship was very clean and extremely smooth, cabins adequate though shower curtain in bathroom was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary, particularly the Suez transit, and the fact nearly all ports were firsts for us, as was MSC. The ship was very clean and extremely smooth, cabins adequate though shower curtain in bathroom was extremely annoying as it sticks to you due to the tiny area! Had two days to explore Dubai before boarding then overnight on board too so crammed in lots of sights, nice to be berthed close to the old Creek, very interesting with the boats busting up and down. Embarkation was smooth and was nice to be moved straight to Black tier due to our status on Royal Caribbean, gaining us some nice benefits including a four course lunch with wine, bottle of fizz in cabin and chocolate covered strawberries to name a few! Surprised to find that fellow passengers who had cruised with them many times got no rewards however, wouldn’t inspire my loyalty! Sadly missed Sir Bani Yas due to weather but Muscat was beautiful, the Grand Mosque was one of the highlights of the trip, luckily we arrived very early when it was quiet. Exciting five days at sea with security guards patrolling due to piracy threat and then into Eilat, the only slightly disappointing port, snorkelling not as good as expected. Petra was fabulous, took the ship trip which we thought was very good value and the lunch was superb. The walk in and out was hard but rewarding and far more to see than expected, we got a good overview in the time we had and scenery was beautiful on the journey too. Suez transit did not disappoint, watched from start, at sunrise, to finish. Wonderful experience and one to tick off the bucket list. Once we were in the Med it was like a second cruise, weather cooler and off every day so a busy last week. We missed Athens due to the weather but I personally preferred the alternative of Corfu, Kotor was amazing and we completed the climb up to the monastery at midday which nearly killed us. Split was interesting, yes they have their own currency but so do we, wasn’t a problem. Concluded the trip with two days in Venice which was lovely, covered most of the city with a 48 hour bus and vaparetto pass, very impressive public transport. The two days in hotels were just right, all done as a package from Cruise 1st. The food.....uninspiring, bland and unimaginative. If, as we were told, the executive chef is Italian then he should be ashamed of himself, never saw a leaf of basil once! I would at least expect my dining room meal to be better than I could cook myself and 60% of the time it wasn’t. As for not providing jugs of water on the dining table I have never heard of such a stupid rule, we just took a bottle of water in every evening but a great way to alienate your customers. The pastries, cakes and puddings were very nice but in general service wasn’t great in the restaurant or buffet. Pizza was excellent but only four types over 20 days... Evening shows with dancers were brilliant, as were musicians round the ship though opera singers a bit screechy. Other entertainment was childish, hysterical and noisy, must be an Italian thing. Very little trivia and the constant six language announcements make you lose the will to live after a while. It was nice to have such a wide variety of nationalities on board though. Onboard speaker Alison Hypher was exceptional, just what you need on a cruise with such a varied itinerary. She struck the perfect balance between historical fact and useful information, could not recommend her highly enough. The coffee shop was nice, reasonably priced with friendly staff, and I did like the outdoor area at the back of the buffet to sit and eat. I got the impression that service in general is take it or leave it, senior staff tend to avoid eye contact rather than say hello and was surprised to see staff smoking or drinking in public areas. Did not like the smoking in the pub which permeates far beyond. For the price we paid this was a fantastic adventure but I feel MSC could improve vastly in the areas mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that appealed to me.I have been on at least 15 cruises and I can honestly say that this particular cruise was one of the better cruises that I have been on. The food was much better overall ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that appealed to me.I have been on at least 15 cruises and I can honestly say that this particular cruise was one of the better cruises that I have been on. The food was much better overall than any other cruise that i have been on. The facilities and variety of bars and lounges to choose from was also much better as compared to other cruises. The itinerary was particularly of interest to me because I have been to India before and it gave me the opportunity to revisit some of the places that I had been to before.It also gave me the opportunity to visit Oman and Dubai - places that I have never visited before. I would have no hesitation to recommend this cruise to friends and relatives. It is a cruise that I would gladly repeat if I have the opportunity again anytime in the future. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise purely for the itinerary. MSC aren't our first choice for cruising, however most of the reviews were okay, so we booked the cruise. Check in went extremely smoothly with no queues and easy baggage drop off. Our ... Read More
We chose this cruise purely for the itinerary. MSC aren't our first choice for cruising, however most of the reviews were okay, so we booked the cruise. Check in went extremely smoothly with no queues and easy baggage drop off. Our suite was spacious and clean, though a little dated. Unfortunately our first bite to eat was from the burger bar on deck 11 which was on a slate bun and soggy chips. Further to that, dining was extremely hit and miss. We dined mostly at the dining room for breakfast and dinner and found some of the evening servings inedible and learnt to choose very carefully. All of the staff in the dining rooms and bars were fantastic and most helpful. Our dining review does not reflect in any way on the staff. Entertainment was fun and the shows were quite good. Overall we enjoyed the cruise a lot with our only issue was with the food. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
For my wife and me, this was our 22nd cruise and our first with MSC. Overall the cruise was quite enjoyable. Here are the details. THE SHIP Many of the ships we have been on could be described as “gaudy” in the Las Vegas sense. ... Read More
For my wife and me, this was our 22nd cruise and our first with MSC. Overall the cruise was quite enjoyable. Here are the details. THE SHIP Many of the ships we have been on could be described as “gaudy” in the Las Vegas sense. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we prefer a more understated look. This ship has a comfortable feel with pleasant décor. All parts of the ship were immaculately clean throughout the cruise. We were pretty impressed by the elevators. I think we never had to wait more than 30 seconds for an elevator to arrive, and they quickly took us to our desired floor. They are large enough to hold several passengers (maybe as many as ten). There are numerous lounges and entertainment areas, most of which had comfortable seating. The lounges were never more than half full when we were there (but we tend to go to sleep fairly early). ENTERTAINMENT I was surprised that there was a production show in the theatre every night (except for the last night, when there was no show). In general, they were pretty good. One night was classical music, another was opera, and others were shows with singing, dancing, acrobatics, magic, and more. We thought the dancers were wonderful, among the best we’ve seen on a cruise ship. The acrobats were also impressive. The theatre seats, though, were uncomfortable. We sat in a different part of the theatre each night to try the seats, but it was hard to get comfortable. The seats tend to slope downwards which I found to be uncomfortable. We are enthusiastic trivia players on cruise ships, and this was handled well on this ship. They were all “video trivia” which involved showing pictures on a screen. That’s helpful in an environment where many different languages are spoken. The trivia hostess was impressive in her ability to communicate easily with participants in seven or eight languages. There were only a few opportunities to play trivia during the cruise, though. We wish there were more activities available on the ship. FOOD In general, we chose to eat at the buffet for both breakfast and lunch. We ate in the dining room in the evening for the first part of the cruise but ended up switching to the buffet for the last several evenings. The food in the dining room was fine, and tasted good, but wasn’t very impressive. On formal nights, you could only have lobster, steak or other specialties if you ordered them in advance and paid a fee. Speaking of the formal nights, I didn’t notice anyone in formal wear. A few men were wearing coat and tie, but most were dressed fairly casually. There are multiple dining rooms, so perhaps people were dressier elsewhere. In any case, we prefer casual dining, so this style was fine with us. Our favorite meal each day, and one we looked forward to, was the lunch buffet. There were numerous choices and most things were quite satisfactory. We enjoy Indian food and there were two Indian dishes at lunch each day. This was a cruise through the Middle East, but we didn’t really notice much effort to serve the food of that area. The desserts were pretty disappointing in quality. For us, that just meant that it was easier for us to stick to a healthier diet. For breakfast at the buffet, I should mention that you should get there early if you want a seat. We usually ate between 7:30 and 8:00 so there was no problem. Any later and you might need to take your food to the pool area or to your room. It’s also possible to have breakfast in one of the dining rooms. An advantage is that they serve made-to-order omelets there. We tried it on the first day but had a bad experience with rude and inattentive waitstaff, so we ate in the buffet at breakfast for the rest of the cruise. Some of our friends ate in the dining room each morning and enjoyed it. You don’t need to worry about finding a table there. CABIN We had an interior cabin and it was SMALL. However, surprisingly, there was a huge amount of storage space. There were shelves everywhere, even behind the huge vanity mirror. There were plenty of mirrors: the vanity mirror, a mirror covering the wall behind the bed, a full-length mirror, and the mirror in the bathroom. You can see yourself no matter which direction you face! I know that cruise cabins generally have small showers, but I’ve never seen one THIS small. The shower curtain clung to my body as I was trying to wash myself. If I were any larger, I might not have been able to fit. The shower provided a strong stream, but the temperature wasn’t steady—getting a bit cooler then a bit warmer. The towels were large and fluffy. The bed was quite comfortable, and the room had a stocked minibar. Our room steward Romi did a great job keeping the room clean and comfortable. OTHER The embarkation process was fast and efficient. It didn’t take long to get onto the ship. We had to tender ashore for one port and the process for that was also handled well. The internet was fairly slow, as it is on most ships, but they charge by data flow and not by the minute. That’s much better because you aren’t charged while waiting for a response from a webpage. The cost for internet is reasonable. We choose our cruises based primary on the itinerary, and then on cost and quality factors. This was our first time to visit the Middle East and we feel that the itinerary gave us a good introduction to the area. MSC did a good job for us and we greatly enjoyed this cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise due to the amount of new boxes we were able to tick ✅ Although we’ve spent time in Dubai before this offered overnight stays in Oman and other unusual destinations. The ship has had a fairly recent refurb ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the amount of new boxes we were able to tick ✅ Although we’ve spent time in Dubai before this offered overnight stays in Oman and other unusual destinations. The ship has had a fairly recent refurb and the cabins were very compact but very well planned and practical. This is our tenth cruise and we rated it in our top three. We had a couple of slight problems on checking in to the cruise terminal when a staff member caused queue chaos by lifting a barrier and our key card didn’t have a code for the Drinks package we had pre paid but after I had raised our concerns with the Guest Relations Manager we all felt he had addressed our complaints appropriately and it didn’t spoil our trip. Although mostly French and Italians on board there was a great atmosphere and I have to say the animation team worked very hard to achieve the fun atmosphere on board. Plenty of bars with a great variety of drink options and it was good to see branded soft drinks available in cans as opposed to watered down pump alternatives, this was a big bonus for us. There was a great choice of quality wines too and I can highly recommend the drinks package. Bar staff in the Lord Nelson worked really hard and Helda from Indonesia kept our drink orders coming smoothly and speedily, she was great. Food was good in the buffet with lots of choices and great in the restaurant for evening meals although we only went 3 times. All in all I would recommend this ship as a good all rounder but we (a party of 4) especially rated the size of the ship as it wasn’t too big (we were on the Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas earlier this year and it’s too big and too commercial) wasn’t too small but just right and we’ve all decided to do the same trip again the same time of year if it’s on offer which is something we’ve never done before so that in itself is high praise indeed, well done MSC! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if ... Read More
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if you are looking for the ultimate cruise ship experience. One of the topics that united everyone I spoke to on the ship was that the ship was, "adequate/competent" at best and to be honest, I heard a few "utilitarian" comments, It is not an over the top ship experience by any means and if that is your expectation take another ship. What makes this trip really nice however is the ports and the travelers who are attracted to this trip. The vast majority of people on the ship were confident, experienced travelers who knew how to, "Roll with the punches". You could always find a group of people who had decided to walk around the port rather than take the scheduled tour. Many of the passengers were familiar with the area and contributed information that made the trip memorable. You could typically find a group of people who had identified a museum that they really wanted to go to. People had done their research and came prepared knowing what was here to see. This is very much a "learning" cruise. There is only 1 day at sea and with the exception of Dubai and Muscat, each day is a different port. If you tire easily, take this into consideration. I like a smaller ship so the size and "vintage" experience didn't bother me. There were 3 formal nights although often people just came as they chose. The dining room seems confused in some ways. I couldn't understand some the choices that were made. For example, the after dinner coffee was eliminated from the MDR and put as part of a drink package. Why would one do this in a European market? Additionally, the traditional "Surf and turf" was cut out and made available only for an additional charge, as was a, "Steak and a glass of Barolo". Again, I wondered why? Additionally, I was kind of disappointed at the limited offering of Italian wine on a ship with Italian heritage. I was looking forward to a wider selection. Overall, I found the food to be simple, straight-forward and satisfying. I was pretty surprised at the lackadaisical attitude towards to hand sanitizers. On other ships I can remember being forbidden to enter the buffet unless I used the sanitizers. On this ship the sanitizer machines were there, but no one enforced their usage. I saw a lot of bad behavior at the buffet during breakfast, people cutting in front of the queue, it wasn't really necessary, in my opinion. Embarkation/Disembarkation was really smooth, when I arrived there was no one there and I just walked on. One thing that really bothered me was the mis-information I received about the visas. My travel agent very clearly stated that I needed visas as an american citizen and it was my responsibility to acquire them. Additionally, she indicated that the potential to be denied boarding existed if I did not have them. When I arrived at the check in desk, they just started laughing and assured me that I needed NO visas to take the cruise. I received additional confirmation of this from the Immigration officer once I got on board. This needs to be clarified. Towards the end, I became somewhat annoyed at the daily "shuttle fee" for what was a short walk. It just seemed to be necessary nickel and dimeing of the passengers. The ship spends time in Dubai. There is a free shuttle from the cruise port to the Dubai Mall in the center of the city. It stops right in front of the ship and is usually right next to the big bus location. It is marked. It is supposed to come every hour on the hour but sometimes that does not happen. The alternative is the big bus hop on hop off, but that is not free. It is very comprehensive however and you can get a nice overview of the city in the first pass. You can then hop on and hop off on the second pass. You can purchase multiple cities, (I purchased hop on/hop off for Dubai, Muscat, and Abu Dhabi together). Multiple cities will give you a discounted fare. If you are OK with the subway, I would strongly suggest using the subway instead of the big bus. If walking is not an issue the subway is cheap, fast and will give you a truly birds eye view of the city and its residents. The Dubai subway is new, clean and fast. You can get everywhere the big bus takes you on the subway; you just have to walk more. There is flea market in El-Zabeel Park on the first Saturday of every month. If you can make it, go. Dubai residents are big shoppers and the prices can get out of hand. The flea market brings you back to reality. It costs 5 dirhams to enter; either cash or you can use your subway card. If you plan to travel to the Burg Khalifa observation Deck, know that there is a sunrise viewing that includes breakfast on the weekend for the same amount of money that just the observation deck costs. You can reserve online in advance. The ship spends an overnight in Muscat. Its a good choice, although I found prices in Oman to be higher than in any other port for the same merchandise. Do not miss the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. It is a gem and has its own library dedicated to the museum which should not be missed. The one thing that became arduous is that you navigate 3 different currencies. Make sure that you know what $20.00 equals in the currency that you are dealing with before you leave the ship. Additionally, if you plan to buy silver/gold, stop at the reception desk and find out the price of the day. Everything is weighed. I would take this cruise again. Even with the warts, it was an amazing, relaxing time at a reasonable price. We were welcomed everywhere we went. I learned a great deal about a different part of the world. I met like-minded travelers who don't get ruffled at the least little thing not going as planned. I met confident travelers who have seen a lot of the world and gave really interesting perspectives. It’s not for everyone, but it’s my type of travel and I enjoyed it. Pros • small ship • experienced travelers • easy embarkation • relaxed attitude • enthusiastic crew • interesting view of a different part of the world Cons • Unanticipated shuttle expenses towards the end of the trip • Mis-information regarding visas • Confusing choices in the Main Dining room • Lack of variety of Italian wine on ship Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I would have given this cruise a good rather than very good but feel that the two reviews so far have been extremely negative . Food: I actually found the food good and pretty varied in the main dining room. I do think that msc have cut ... Read More
I would have given this cruise a good rather than very good but feel that the two reviews so far have been extremely negative . Food: I actually found the food good and pretty varied in the main dining room. I do think that msc have cut back on staff making service sometimes rather slow. The waiting staff that we had were friendly. I enjoyed the buffet breakfasts although getting a seat was sometimes a problem. Entertainment : The evening entertainment was pretty varied NOT the crew fooling around; it comprised a few classical concert, also popular music and dancing and even a comedian.I would agree thoughm that there are certain members of the entertainment staff who do tend to fool around with each other and are very irritating! If you like dancing though there are LOTS of dancing lessons. Children : we travelled with children who loved the whole experience and went to the kids club. Ports and Shore excursions : Good in Europe, Olympia was very interesting and Crete and Athens speak for themselves. Petra was amazing although our excursion was unfortunate in experiencing a flash flood so our experience was cut short. I partially agree with the comments which seem to refer to Oman. I think in at least the first two destinations there MSC should have put on a shuttle bus that actually went into the town centre rather than releasing us to the mercies of taxi drivers! My main beef? WIFI PRICING!!!!! €150 for their "super package" for two and a half weeks and even that is limited to 10GB to be shared by 4 devices. Cruises seem to be the last bastion of rip off wifi. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are a couple in our early 60s and experienced cruisers. We chose this cruise based on ports of call and price. This was our 4 th cruise on Msc. We did not realize then there are some distinct differences when sailing in Europe. There ... Read More
We are a couple in our early 60s and experienced cruisers. We chose this cruise based on ports of call and price. This was our 4 th cruise on Msc. We did not realize then there are some distinct differences when sailing in Europe. There was no tap water, iced tea or coffee offered in the dining room. You can purchase wine or mineral water. The stateroom we chose included free mineral water and 24 drink coupons which lasted us the 17 days. We did purchase the coffee package but that had to be used in the lounges. We did miss coffee with dessert. The ship was disappointing. It was beautiful and clean but very crowded. The buffet was always jammed, and a lounge by the pool an impossible dream. On formal nights, it was impossible to find seats in the public areas. The cabin was small and the shower tiny with the clinging plastic curtain. The food was good and occasionally great but the beef was always tough. The vegetarian entrees were surprisingly good. Portions were small but we often ordered 3 entrees plus salad and soup and felt well fed. On the plus side, service in the dining room was excellent and our waiter readily offered alternate choices if the entree proved unsatisfactory. Robes were only provided in the premium cabins and our steward could not be bribed into finding one. Over all, the cruise was very good and an excellent value. The ports were fascinating and just mingling with the European passengers was very interesting. We would definitely chose MSC again but perhaps not that ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
Our first cruise. Cabin was comfortable, albeit shower a bit small. Will definitely book a balcony cabin in future, just to have that outside private space for a coffee in the mornings and to relax with a book watching the world sail by. ... Read More
Our first cruise. Cabin was comfortable, albeit shower a bit small. Will definitely book a balcony cabin in future, just to have that outside private space for a coffee in the mornings and to relax with a book watching the world sail by. Mainly used the buffet for meals, as this suited us more due to itinerary and having a teenage son. only ate lunch and evening meal once in the main dining rooms. The meals in both the buffet and main dining room offered plenty of choice, were freshly prepared and were all really edible. Staff were friendly and helpful, although occasionally appeared rushed, especially around the pool bar - this is the only area were we felt the customer service was a little lacking. Saw 2 shows and both were entertaining. Casino was worth the occasional flutter although sadly no wins. Two further cruises booked, one with MSC and the other with Cunard. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
The ship itself is small carrying less than 2000 people the main issues we found is that there is no functional space big enough to accommodate passengers wishing to watch the shows provided by the animation team. This resulted in even if ... Read More
The ship itself is small carrying less than 2000 people the main issues we found is that there is no functional space big enough to accommodate passengers wishing to watch the shows provided by the animation team. This resulted in even if you found a seat, passenger standing in front of you obscuring your view with a result that you too had to stand to watch the show. That said the ship is very clean. The Cabins as you would expect are of a good standard we were in the new section of the ship added in the past few years so ours was not as old some of the others. On the most part I did not hear anything bad about the cabins or the service of the attendants ours seem to speak very little English and did not truly make herself known to us to provide the one on one service that you come to expect when booking a cruise. The ship has good dining rooms and facilities. We only used the buffet restaurant once choosing to have all our meals in the main restaurants this we found to be a great option with a greater array of choice. Without the greater numbers of people the noise and the pushing, barging and lack of tables that we found on our one visit to the buffet restaurants. The restaurant staff were very good always polite happy and willing to serve. The only issue that we found was that they did not seem do you want to serve tea or coffee at the end of the meal the option was never offered. That said they were in no hurry to push you out of the restaurant. The dining overall was fair but it was noted that the same menus were offered this year as were offered last year with no variance so even though we had a choice it did seem a repetition and that you had been there before. Again as with our previous trip. It was noted that the level of competent staff seem to have dropped, this again can be attributed to the launch of the new MSC mega cruise ships. Again a few staff seem to have been moved into positions that they were struggling to provide the level of service required. When spending this kind of money you expect first class service at all times. The ship seems to mainly cater for the Italians who seem to make up the vast majority after passengers. This caused many issues with some passenger who had never sailed with MSC before who thought they were treated as second rate passengers and pushed to the back of the que where service was concerned. There was a great push for you to buy the on-board packages provided this was especially true with the drinks package, a few people who had brought the drink package mentioned and it was indeed the case that the service in the bars was very slow. People that we spoke to were of the opinion that this was so you drink less and therefore could not use the drinks package to its full potential. We did observe servers in the bars ignoring passengers who had recently arrived and were waiting to be served. I myself opted to go to the bar on more than one occasion to get served as this had happened to me. I did find the bar staff in most cases to be helpful but again I did notice passengers orders were being combined by the servers to be taken out at one time instead of being taken out when you order was completed this meant that some servers carrying as many as 10 to 15 drinks on a tray at one time. This resulted in some passengers waiting up to 30 minutes to get their drinks. Where two or three trips could have to have been made to better service the passengers and reduce just waiting time that so annoyed most passengers. I know of at least 4 groups of passengers who refused to pay the service charges mainly due the level of service they received in the bar areas of the ship. This cannot be a great thing for MSC. MSC need to realise that they are judged as a brand on all their fleet. The older and smaller cruise ships with lower standards of service affect how passengers and potential customers perceive the brand. Whilst talking to passengers a number stated that they would never use MSC again based solely on the experience of this Cruise. We have another cruise bookedwith MSC in May next year and I am hoping that there is a vast improvement in the level of service that we receive or that to maybe the last MSC cruise we undertake. The itinerary for the cruise looked wonderful with great destinations what we did find was that on closer investigation some of the stops were only 6 hours this resulted in rushed time ashore with the constant worry and an eye on the time you had to be back on the ship. That said it did not take away from the beautiful locations that were visited Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose Lirica to sail across Italy, Greece and Dubronvik. Was happy with most of the ports, halts, amenities on the cruise and excursions. We took guided excursions at every stop and were satisfied with the trips. There was an excursion ... Read More
We chose Lirica to sail across Italy, Greece and Dubronvik. Was happy with most of the ports, halts, amenities on the cruise and excursions. We took guided excursions at every stop and were satisfied with the trips. There was an excursion of Paradise island, Corfu, that got cancelled due to strong winds n rough sea condition but the cruise refunded the excursion fee in full. We faced some issues using our travelers card as it got blocked due to multiple transactions by the cruise. Its advisable to carry more than one card or have a back plan in case travelers card does not work. Most of the restaurant had set menu, depending on the theme nights, but we were lucky to get an Indian chef, from Pune, who prepared special Indian meals for us. My husband, being a vegetarian, was extremely pleased. My son enjoyed the kids club as he met a few english speaking kids. We booked a full board plan and balcony cabin but took yet another upgrade to include unlimited select beverages at all restaurants / decks, though we ended up using the deck 5 and deck 11 restaurants most of the time. Theater had a different show each night and was a great way to end each night. I wish the cruise is able to add a few diving excursions to its itinerary as we crossed almost 3 - 4 seas / ocean but could not dive anywhere. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I surprised my wife with this cruise for our 10th anniversary after we talked about visiting Greece for this anniversary since last year. I chose this cruise based on the itinerary and the price for these great ports of call. The ports of ... Read More
I surprised my wife with this cruise for our 10th anniversary after we talked about visiting Greece for this anniversary since last year. I chose this cruise based on the itinerary and the price for these great ports of call. The ports of call did not disappoint at all, whether it was Bari (go down to Polignano a Mare for a little bit while at this port), Mykonos (absolutely spectacular), Heraklion, Crete (a solid stop but didn't have enough time there to explore outside the city to see more impressive Cretan sights), Corfu (nearly as spectacular as Mykonos), Dubrovnik (incredibly beautiful as well), and of course Venice (which is amazing)! When my wife and I reviewed the MSC shore excursions after booking the cruise, we were disappointed in their offerings and asked our travel agent for her advice on what else we could do. She recommended Viator and we were very happy with their tours. We planned our own excursions in Bari/Heraklion/Venice, and used Viator for excursions in the other three ports. Viator had more interesting and MUCH less expensive excursions than the cruise ship offered. As an example, we did the Achillieon Palace excursion in Corfu through Viator and it ended up as a private tour (it was supposed to be up to 10-12 people but the tour guide chose not to cancel even though only my wife and I were booked for that day). The similar MSC excursion cost ~$15/person more and was large groups of people crammed on buses. Do a little bit of homework ahead of time and you can have phenomenal experiences for a lot less than you would pay through the cruise ship. The MSC Lirica was "stretched" a few years ago which added additional cabins but, as far as we could tell, no meaningful additional common spaces. This leads to the ship feeling cramped at times, particularly during the one full day at sea. Just temper your expectations with this ship and know that it is an older ship and not laid out to comfortably accommodate all the passengers. The service on the ship was excellent, from our room steward to the servers in the restaurants. They were very attentive and willing to help with anything. Since this ship is more of a value ship, they try to do lots of upsells from the moment you walk onto the ship. Whether it is the all inclusive drink package or a water package or a soda package, be prepared for people plugging these packages throughout the entire cruise. Our stateroom package included 12 vouchers each (total 24) for any drinks throughout the cruise (excluding premium drinks) and we didn't need any additional vouchers or packages. If you like to enjoy multiple drinks a day then you'll probably want to get one of the other packages at some point during your cruise. Up on the pool deck, you'll notice a delicious looking gelato bar, but unless you've purchased at least the all-inclusive standard drink package, you can't get any of that gelato without paying extra. Dining was a bit of a let down on this cruise from our previous experiences (Norwegian & Carnival). The main dining room (we were assigned to L'Ippocampo) was hit or miss, with most meals being misses. Out of the 5 meals we ate in the dining room, only 2 were above average. In order to get a more premium meal, the staff offers a lobster package (€22/meal w/ glass of prosecco) or a T-bone package (€18/meal w/ glass of red wine); we didn't opt to pay for any of these premium meals. The buffet areas in Le Bistrot and La Pergola had okay food most of the time, with occasional above average food. The MSC website shows two specialty restaurants (Kaito Sushi & Jia Yao) on the Lirica but only Kaito exists on the ship. Kaito also becomes a Bar/Dance Club after hours. The Entertainment/Activities on the ship were average to below average. The main ship theatre entertainment each night was well below average. The performers tried their best but the stage is small and not configured well; one night, the gala night (when you would expect the performance to be at its best), my wife and I walked out 15 minutes in because the performance wasn't engaging or interesting at all (several other individuals had been walking out since shortly after the program began). The theatre itself is on the small size for the number of people on the ship and the chairs are old and make it feel as if you're sitting on the ground. They offer some activities throughout the day and night. We didn't participate in most of them, but the dance lessons late at night in the Blue Disco Lounge were fun and the instructors very engaged and lively. Overall my wife and I loved this cruise, not for the ship itself or for MSC, but because of the amazing ports we got to experience. We met people at our dining table that are now wonderful new friends that we look forward to seeing again soon and we had fantastic adventures at each port. If you are looking for a stellar itinerary at a great price, this is the cruise for you. If you look more for the ship experience and its activities, then this may not be the ship/cruise for you. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
MSC LIRICA May 11-18 I have recently returned from a cruise on the MSC Lirica, sailing from Venice through the Adriatic. Everything I will report is my personal opinion, which I recognize could be quite different from someone ... Read More
MSC LIRICA May 11-18 I have recently returned from a cruise on the MSC Lirica, sailing from Venice through the Adriatic. Everything I will report is my personal opinion, which I recognize could be quite different from someone else’s take on the same cruise. I am a senior female from the USA and I traveled solo. This was my 30th cruise. As on most cruises, there were pros and cons, but overall, I was very satisfied with the cruise. I embarked around noon on May 11th and it went smoothly and quickly, maybe 30 minutes from arriving at the terminal to walking onto the ship. The ship is clean and in very good repair. The décor is mirrors everywhere. The staircases and elevator banks look so similar that sometimes it was hard to tell if I were in the place I meant to be. I had an inside cabin which was quite roomy for a solo, but might have limited drawer/storage space for a couple. The closet was large and had a dozen hangers. Service was good. The staff must deal with multiple languages, so there was occasionally a breakdown in communication there. Nonetheless, they all tried to fulfill my wishes. I attended 2 ship’s parties and both were very well handled. One was for the returning Voyagers Club members. They had unlimited champagne and mocktails, music and dance entertainment, and the Captain addressed us. It was held in the theater, though, so the intended purpose of meeting others who have sailed on MSC before couldn’t really happen; not when you are immobilized in rows. The other party was a meet-the-captain party, but he did not attend. There were multiple complimentary drinks offered and good entertainment. Go a little early to get a good seat as there was standing room only for the late-comers. I would like to have attended more of their shows but their reservations system took some figuring out. The shows were complimentary but required a reservation, to be made on automated screens. I was not the only one who thought they had made a reservation, only to be turned away from the show for having no reservation. Get some help from the customer service desk. What I did see was very good quality, lasting about 30 minutes. Due to the many languages served, you can expect singing/dancing type entertainment with some acrobatics. Most of the passengers were sun lovers and the pool area was always packed with full lounge chairs. Even the “promenade” deck was packed, so a walker would have to dodge the chairs. There was no observation lounge at the front of the ship as there has been on every other cruise I have taken. So finding a nice place to relax and enjoy the view took some ingenuity. Earlier reviews had mentioned nuisance smokers, but I did not find that to be a problem. There were 4 designated smoking areas and the only one that had an odor was around the Lord Nelson Pub. I never noticed it in the Casino, but I was not there at a time of peak activity. The food was average for a cruise. Some dishes were very good, but many were just okay. I had a fixed dining time and saw the maitre d’ right after boarding to ensure that I was seated at a table of English speakers. At breakfast and lunch you could sit anywhere and others could be seated to share your table. Portion size varied but tended to be small, which suited me. My table companions and I ordered two courses if we felt one would not be enough. The deserts were especially good. (On many other cruises I have felt the deserts were pretty, but not tasty. That was not an issue on the Lirica and I ate more sweets than planned.) The buffet was just like most buffets and I ate there only on embarkation day, when that was all that was available. On the negative side, the biggest complaint throughout the ship was for the ubiquitous upcharges. I had booked through MSC-USA, consequently, I received a water package for lunch and dinner. Otherwise, that is a separate charge for water. That was the limit of my benefits. Dealing with MSC-USA was very frustrating. Representatives were not knowledgeable and gave different answers to the same question and usually gave incorrect information. I was entitled to free room service during certain hours, but that was useless since there was a charge for every item on the room service menu. At meals you should take care that certain items may have an extra charge. If in doubt, ask before ordering. For example, fresh orange juice at breakfast was about E4 and when they ask if you want orange juice, you may assume it is included; processed orange juice is included. There is a nice coffee shop onboard, with charges for coffee, but accompaniments are included if you buy coffee. The ship usually did not berth near the destination towns and provided shuttles for various fees (from about 7-13 Euros each). (FYI: in Mykonos the ship’s water bus is directly next to the city water bus and goes to the same destination, but the public bus is only E2 each way and runs more frequently. Heraklion was walkable.) I had been to all the ports before and did not take any of the ship’s excursions, so cannot comment on them. Port stays were too short on several stops. There were especially a lot of complaints at Dubrovnik, that there was hardly any time to see things, considering the time to get to and from the city. I hope these observations are helpful to those of you wondering about the MSC Lirica. I ask myself if I would sail on MSC again and the answer: it depends. I would have to like the ports and be sure there would be enough time to see what I wanted, including transport time. The ship experience itself was fine. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We selected this cruise to introduce the cruise way of seeing countries to family members who never been on a ship before. This was an affordable way of seeing many places although we have seen some of the location already on a previous ... Read More
We selected this cruise to introduce the cruise way of seeing countries to family members who never been on a ship before. This was an affordable way of seeing many places although we have seen some of the location already on a previous cruise. The fact that food is included makes it worthwhile. the cost of any drinks is however too high for us being used of paying more reasonable prices in our own country for soft drinks etc. The very long stay at Mykonos was not very well planned since there is not much to do apart from the short excursion. More time could have been granted at Dubrovnik for example to enjoy this fabulous city and areas. The food was good but not as good as on Sinfonia and less available during evenings. The shows was very good and enjoyable. Just not enough emphasize on English guests, we again were in the minority and felt left out in the entertainment on board. not enough done for English speaking guests. This will therefore probably be my last MSC cruise. Not enough space in gym. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My husband and I have just returned from a 20 night cruise on MSC Lirica. We are both senior citizens and this was the fourth cruise we have taken with MSC. Embarkation in Genoa was quick and efficient and we found the ship to be ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from a 20 night cruise on MSC Lirica. We are both senior citizens and this was the fourth cruise we have taken with MSC. Embarkation in Genoa was quick and efficient and we found the ship to be elegant, well looked after and comfortable. We found all the staff very pleasant, helpful and courteous. Our inside cabin was quite roomy and comfortable and well looked after by our steward. Our request for a table for two in the dining room was arranged without any problem and our waiter, Bayron and his female assistant were charming, efficient and friendly. Their language skills were quite impressive. The food in the dining room was generally good, although the main courses were sometimes disappointing with tough meat. The ice cream though was always delicious! Gala Nights, the Italian Night and the Baked Alaska Parade were really good. We enjoyed most of the shows in the theatre which were all well attended. One performance did cause some concern, however, the Staff Talent Show. The seating for this was quite inadequate, combining both first and second sittings from the dining room. This resulted in people sitting on the steps in the aisles. Had there been an emergency nobody would have been able to get out - an accident waiting to happen! I enjoyed the aerobics classes and also the dance classes held on deck (music a bit loud though). These were well supported and credit must be given here to the Animation Team who created an atmosphere of fun from the moment guests boarded the ship. They worked tirelessly from the moment we boarded the ship until we disembarked. They were all great and did everything they could to ensure all guests had an enjoyable cruise. The festivities for crossing the Equator were very good and all were encouraged to take part. We did not take any of the ship's excursions as we enjoy finding our own way about and they were very expensive. As we were returning guests and had attended some of the interesting talks about the ports of call, we were invited to 3 cocktail parties in all and met some interesting and friendly people. I feel the Animation Team set the tone for the whole cruise, one of friendliness and fun and everyone was welcome. To sum up we found the ship to be elegant, comfortable and well maintained. The food mainly good and the staff friendly, helpful and good at their jobs. We left the ship feeling as though we had been to a jolly good party! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was a fantastic cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. Our cabin (balcony suite) was really good. Food was excellent. My biggest disappointment was with the staff. Except for Rafael at reception, all the other receptionists were poorly ... Read More
This was a fantastic cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. Our cabin (balcony suite) was really good. Food was excellent. My biggest disappointment was with the staff. Except for Rafael at reception, all the other receptionists were poorly trained and could not assist us with most of our queries. Casino staff were rude. Our waitor for our evenings was a Honduran named Carlos who exceeded all our excpectations and provided excellent service in a highly professional manner, a real asset to MSC. On our last day we decided to do the Marseille excursion. At the excursion desk, we asked if it would be possible to do the excursion even though we were going to disembark. We were told that there would be a problem with our luggage as it could not stay on board. I told them we would take our luggage with us on the excursion which they said would be ok. The following morning, we asked for assistance to take our luggage (4 pieces) from our cabin to the bus. The manageress of the excursions started complaining that we would have to take the luggage to the bus. She eventually sent someone to collect our luggage but when we got to the bus, she passed a very nasty comment that it was our duty to take the luggage. I have only one thing to say about this: POOR SERVICE!!! Overall, I would do this cruise again, although I am not so sure that I will be using MSC again due to poor staff. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2014
Just returned from 7night's on board MSC Lirica at Dubai. We has a great time on board. We were all inclusive so maybe that made a big difference. The animation staff were really great. They encourages all ages to get up and join in ... Read More
Just returned from 7night's on board MSC Lirica at Dubai. We has a great time on board. We were all inclusive so maybe that made a big difference. The animation staff were really great. They encourages all ages to get up and join in the games at the poolside. There were exercise and dance classes all of which were were supported. The meals were a bit different than PO or Royal Caribbean cruises. We managed to eat in the restaurant's and were well fed although there did seem to be a lot of fresh fish on the nightly menu. we didn't starve and really enjoyed the lovely pizza's made freshly on deck everyday. The staff were all delightful especially the waiter's and waitress's in all the lounges. Beverly Hill lounge was our favourite each evening listening to Duo Mexico. we even manged a few dances in there. We really don't do cruise excursion's and mainly do our own thing. When we stopped at KKor Al Fakkan the best thing to do is take the shuttle bus out off the port and walk 20 yards and you will see all the taxis. There will be a free shuttle minibus laid on to take you to 5star Oceanic Hotel. You get the use of the large pool,showers and beach sunbeds. We went for the lunch as well and cost us around 90dirhams ( £20) we are Scots and do enjoy a bargain. What a bargain the lunch alone must have been worth at least £25/£30. Plenty of fresh salads and several choices of main meals. I opt for a stir fry and had 2 chef's preparing my stir fry and adding all the ingredients of my choice. At least 20 sweets then to chose from. Great value. Once you are ready to depart hotel and head back to ship the free shuttle will drop you off at port in plenty of time to join ship. We didn't make our last port of call Muscat due to sea being to rough to dock in port so we headed back to Dubai where we spend 2 days in port. The only down side to this was being there on Friday is their holy day and some of the shops at Kamara were closed. Kamara this is the district in Dubai where you will find all your designer handbags for a fraction of the cost. Well if the guy's take you to their secret room's. Don't be afraid to haggle with them as this is how you pay for good's. They usually start about twice the price you will get the bags for so keep going down in price and they like Dirhams best. All in all we feel we got a great bargain on our 7 night cruise as we booked up and got free all inclusive. Ship a bit on the small side but we enjoyed the friendly staff. Rosie @ Fred Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
The MSC Lirica is a medium ship, doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the mega ships but nether less is spotless and service was great. Our teenage family tend to go for an itinary that will engage the kids and this was ticked ... Read More
The MSC Lirica is a medium ship, doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the mega ships but nether less is spotless and service was great. Our teenage family tend to go for an itinary that will engage the kids and this was ticked the boxes. First the ship, seemed identical to the Opera we sailed on in August so new our way roun. This is an Italian ship so dinner is a 7 course Mediterranean affair, no steak, burgers etc but salads, pastas and seafood. With the size you do not get any speciality restaurants. For breakfast we always ate in the MDR not the buffet and was great the rest of the time we were off ship. There is a smoking bat at the one end of the Ship. As this was Christmas there was a great Christmas theme, however, the Xmas service was in Italian. If the shows are vital to you cruise enjoyment, choose another line as it is very Western European, not great from a Brit point of view but not high on my agenda. Arrived from Birmingham at around 7:30 into Dubai, immigration is slow but we will still on board for 10:00 am. The downside to this is disembarkment was at 4:00 am the following Saturday. Dubai Please note there is free wifi in the cruise terminal. We arrived early so took a taxi tour. The taxis are plentiful even for our party of 7. The taxi drivers are all tour guides. Negotiate your price. Typically 500 dirhams for 6 hours, 300 for 3. We visited the deira gold souk, the creek,the magnificent park Hyatt hotel, the Egyptian themed Raffles hotel,the palace,dubathe Flamingos and finally dropped off at the Dubai Mall to go up the Burj Khalifa. Tip pre book online, save yourself a lot of money plus choose a time of your choice. The Dubai Mall is the largest in the world and includes an ice rink, an aquarium and dancing fountains! All on board for 5:30. Abu Dhabi Again taxi tour 300 dirhams as the party wanted to get back for 2:00. The Mosque is fantastic and clothes are provided for women to cover up, cruise card will do as I'd, saw the Sultan's palace, the marina, the F1 circuit and Ferrari world. Sea day ; rained all day!!!!!!!!! Khor fakkan Had a fantastic day at the beach at the lovely 4 star Oceanic Hotel. Take the shuttle bus out of port. Then take the free shuttle bus to the Hotel. The day pass costs 65 dirhams per adult (12 and over) and must be paid in cash. For that you get free towels, sunbed and lounges on beach or pool and a fantastic buffet lunch including non alcoholic drinks. Free wifi in hotel. Never seen so many staff in a hotel. Free shuttle return at 3,3:30 and 4. Muscat Boat docks at Muttrah, old part of Muscat. As this was Xmas day we just wandered around the Souks bartering for fancy dress for New Year and the fish market. Easy to walk to keep the sea on your left 10 minutes. Remember Omani Rial is currency but euros accepted as normal currency, 1 rial is 2 euros. If you prefer taxi tour again plentiful waiting to be negotiated!!!!! Khasab Another favourite day. We pre booked a Dhow tour with Khourshem Tours. A full day visiting telegraph and seema Islands, lunch, snorkelling,equipment and towels provided and non alcoholic drinks cost 32 euros per person. Approx 17 on board. We saw bottle neck Dolphins close up and the Coral round the islands meant some great fish. Very chilled day, the 6 hours flew by. Dubai. For us the kids wanted to go to Wild Wadi by the magnificent Burj Al Arab and part of the jumeirah beach hotel. Wow what a view. Tip buy one get one free vouchers form the Dubai Entertainer are available on ebay for a few pounds.235 dirhams to get in. All in all fantastic taste of the Middle East .   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Although i enjoyed the cruise on Lirica I would have to state MSC is a budget line and so what you would expect from Cunard is not what you get on the Lirica. The embarkation procedures leave a to to be desired with being pushed form one ... Read More
Although i enjoyed the cruise on Lirica I would have to state MSC is a budget line and so what you would expect from Cunard is not what you get on the Lirica. The embarkation procedures leave a to to be desired with being pushed form one area to another and then having people shoving packages for drinks etc in your face. Why do Aussies have their passport confiscated for the entire trip? It is demanded you hand over your passport only to discover they have no security with keeping them safe.They get shoved in a drawer. i am security conscious and to not have my passport on me is not what I would call safe. it is hammered by Australian authorities that passports should be kept safe at all times not matter where you are and from what I saw the MSC policy is not caring about safety.Then to have the passport delivered to my cabin by the cabin steward on the last day and dumped on the bed is ridiculous to say the least. I wonder how many people got the wrong passport? The meals were adequate but often not hot. The first night I had mussels and they were stone motherless cold. Yuk! I was seated at a table for two with a non English speaking person and so was not impressed at being sat behind a pole. The waiter for this table was rude and arrogant and his service manner was terrible. Eventually after gluggy risotto i complained and demanded to be shifted to a larger table for the remainder of the trip. I have to praise the head waiter Luigi for being sympathetic to my needs and realising that the service I had been given on the first day was totally inadequate. I was reseated for the remainder of the trip and he went out of his way to ensure I was getting the proper service. The meals were of European style and adequate. Many of the meals were lukewarm and the time between courses varied until at the finish were rushed through and had finished all courses within an hour. The meals lacked style and I will never order risotto again - do not like gluggy rice. The buffet was adequate but once again the hot food was lukewarm and the fried eggs at 6.45am were already cold and with runny whites. Considering the buffet opens at 6.30 this was not good enough. The head waiter here was on the ball and kept his staff on their toes. If he heard a complaint he was right on it. Salads were great and the array of sweet dishes was amazing. Fruit was there for the taking and I would grab a couple of pieces to munch on if I was going on an excursion. It was like a Coles lineup for the food but if people were disciplined in line everything was ok. My cabin was an Ocean view and was decorated nicely. It is adequate for one person but should be squashy for two. The showers were hot and good pressure but do not try to bend or move around much as the shower curtain wrapped around you and you banged elbows on the walls. the TV was an old one and it had trouble changing stations with the remote. Often we could not get the BBC, the only English Channel which gave news of happenings around the world. Then there was no reception at all and we could only get the movies which were a rehash of movies from at least 4 years ago. I initially had trouble with the daily communications being delivered in Deutsch so after the 4th time of complaining I became tetchy and this was immediately rectified. It should not have happened that many times. If you made a complaint it was not followed through especially when one of my friends was bodily tipped off a deck lounge by a German man who objected to her sitting there and then threw her handbag across the deck, and the white dressed officer did nothing when told about it and said her to complain to Reception. Really! What if she had been injured from this altercation? And as for the policy about towels. This was never followed through and I counted 30 towels left out overnight on one occasion, and not collected. This is slack and happened time and time again. Most of the staff were delightful and tried to sort out any queries.There were one or two girls on Reception who need to learn public relations skills and it seemed to be my bad luck to get one of them if I had a query. The Excursions desk personnel were lovely and helpful and Alina came on many of the excursions I was on so she could familiarise herself with tours. The complaint I would raise with excursions was that the ship need to be up to date with what is happening on shore with events. In Piraeus we did not see all of the things listed on our tour because of a marathon being run in the city. Surely there is a way of knowing what is happening beforehand so the guests are not inconvenienced. The classic answer to this was that they do not operate the tours. Not true as they use these operators exclusively so there should be liaison with them for the unexpected happening. This was my second visit to Piraeus and once agin I did not get to see what I wanted. Next time I am inclined to organise my own outings so I get value for money. Organisation on the MSC ships appears to be disjointed to say the least. I would have to say they could not organise their way out of a wet paper bag. Chaos reigned on excursion days and departments did not liaise with one another. Trying to get my club membership organised when I was already a member was horrific. Embarking and disembarking was hectic and crowded. The entertainment was ok but was often in another language so the English speaking people aboard did not know what was going on. The company on board was great but if not for the Cruise Critic members on board it could have been a boring cruise. The Aussie contingent made life interesting and i enjoyed their company talking about their past cruises and getting advice as to ports of call. Overall i would have to say the Lirica is a lovely clean ship decorated tastefully. However the owners need to aware of getting extra money from customers for hidden charges, drink packages and excursions, and I then discovered children really are not free as one parent was informing me of charges for children which are not advertised on any site. If you want a budget cruise line and are prepared for the European way of life on board then this is the cruise line for you.   Read Less
Sail Date: September 2013
The MSC Lirica is a beautiful ship, very quiet in it's running, but also without the creaks and groans of other ships we have travelled on. The itinerary was attractive, going to places we hadn't visited before, and overall, we ... Read More
The MSC Lirica is a beautiful ship, very quiet in it's running, but also without the creaks and groans of other ships we have travelled on. The itinerary was attractive, going to places we hadn't visited before, and overall, we enjoyed the ship and the cruise, but there were a few things that could have been better. We visited, Haifa, Zakynthos, Genoa, Civitavecchia, Messina and Marmaris. We agreed with many reviewers for this ship, that the food in the buffet is never warm, and if you don't want stone cold sausages/bacon/eggs/toast for breakfast, then the fresh fruit would be a good option! The staff were pleasant, polite and hard working. They were well supervised, and no slack was tolerated! Excursions were exceptionally well organised, and getting people off the ship and on coaches is to be especially commended. We can't say the same of the excursions, but the ship's staff did a good job. Similarly, tendering also was well organised, with no one waiting in long queues. If you want luxury, then take your own toiletries! There was not a lot provided in the cabin - tissues, body wash and shampoo. No ear buds, body lotion etc. however, although the cabins were small, they were very nice and quite well noise insulated. No noise from the next cabins toilet flushing! Plenty of cupboard and drawer space, with a hidden safe and fridge. If you want a quiet relaxing cruise, there were places on the ship you could go and get the peace and quiet, but generally the open deck areas, were crowded and very noisy. There were a lot of family groups on board who liked to party, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves! I would cruise with this company again, but it would depend on a great itinerary. 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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