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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I am rating this cruise Excellent, basically due to the Itinerary. You are in Venice, Split, Santorini, Mykonos, Dubrovnik, Ancona, and back to Venice. Here are the pluses of the cruise ship. It's a smaller cruise ship compared to the ... Read More
I am rating this cruise Excellent, basically due to the Itinerary. You are in Venice, Split, Santorini, Mykonos, Dubrovnik, Ancona, and back to Venice. Here are the pluses of the cruise ship. It's a smaller cruise ship compared to the "mega ships" out there today, and that's the type of ship I personally like. I do not care for the super large ships. It reminded me of old world cruising. The ship is not new, but it was very clean and well maintained for the most part. The international flavor/mix of the guests on board, we particularly enjoyed. Although language could be an issue at times, but we did find some english speaking folks on board from the UK, Ireland, Australia, etc. Quite nice. At first, once I studied the ports of call, I was concerned there was not enough time in each of them (after all, we always want "more") but to be honest, it all worked out quite fine. Even with the shorter time in Mykonos. The times we had to tender and or dock, were well organized and were very seamless. Embarkation was a little clustered, we got there shortly after 12noon, and apparently so did everyone else :) After about 30 minutes, the lines moved and it was much more organized. We were onboard about 1pm give or take. Our Cabin was just about ready at that time, and we met our Cabin Attendant...he told us to come back in about a 1/2 hour and he'd have our cruise cards for us. Sure enough he did. In the meantime, they had a buffet open up on Deck 11, so we went up there, grabbed a bite and went to the Capri Bar (which turned out to be our favorite bar on the ship). We got to know the Bartenders and Servers right away, and they became best buddies before you knew it. They would see us coming and no matter how busy they were, they would always sneak us our drinks before others.(We did tip them from time to time but we were also very nice to them. As you can imagine, not all guests are pleasant. Anyway, after we got out cruise cards, we went down to the Reception desk and activated our cards with a credit card for any "extras". We did by the Drink Package (we got the middle package, for we didn't need the top shelf) and it turned out to be a wise choice. I strongly suggest if you enjoy your adult beverages. The prices (for those who do not want to buy a package, were averaging 6.50 Euros per drink. With the drink package, all beverages were comped, ie: bottled waters, soft drinks, cappuccinos/espressos, etc. Cabin- We were on Deck 10, cabin 1096, balcony. I strongly suggest Balcony cabins if you can afford them. It adds to the space of your cabin and with such beautiful scenery to take advantage of, we utilized the balcony a lot. The bathroom was a standard cruise ship bathroom. The shower was a little challenging for a 6'2 guy, but I managed. There's plenty of storage space for luggage, drawers, nightstands, etc. The cabin has both 110 volt and 220 volt electric current. The bathrooms have a built in hair dryer. There was a TV in the room, fairly good choice of programs if you wanted to chill in the cabin. Overall, not a bad sized cabin. I would of liked to upgrade to a suite so we could have a sitting area, however, we survived. Dining-Now, we had chosen the "your choice" dining for the dining rooms. We only ended up using it for one night, on "Gala Night". We were using the Buffet up on Deck 11 95% of the time. We went for the Gala night, the dining room was quite nice and that old world style, but the meal was a bit lack-luster. The portions were quite small and the dessert, for a gala dinner lacked imagination. So, after dinner, we went back up to the Buffet! We found that the Buffet had pretty much everything you could want. Somethings better than others, but over all, compared to other cruise lines I have been on, we really liked it. They also have a cafeteria style "Pizza station" and a Hamburger/Hotdog" station. They were quite popular and they worked out great if you wanted a quick snack (god forbid the buffet should be closed, haha). The only days the buffet was really crowded were the 2 At Sea days. Get there when it opens. They also had freshly tossed/prepared pasta stations available for lunch those 2 days at the Capri Bar. They were great! Entertainment- We didn't partake in any of the entertainment ie: theater stuff. We did enjoy the bands that played on deck though. Service- WE were nice to them and they were MORE than nice to us. We did witness some really rude behavior by people to some of the wait staff, just because that's how people are, and we felt bad. Think that's why we were extra nice. Proved to work out in our favor. We ordered room service for coffee/croissants each morning and they were always punctual if not a little early. Loved it. Ports- Shore Excursions. We are very seasoned travelers and like to just do things by ourselves, but the one excursion I wish we DID take advantage of was the tour of the Caves in Ancona. It looked really cool. Ancona (your last port) is a sleeply old shipping port, so there was not much to see in the town, although we found a nice place to enjoy some wine and tapas. In Split, we took advantage of a taxi offering a city tour for 30 euros, and it was all of an hour, we liked that. The other ports, we just walked around and entertained ourselves. Now, one thing I will tell you. The early arrival in Santorini, is a GOOD THING. Reason being, you have to wait in line for the Tram to the top. We were like the first tender off the ship, and we zipped right up to the top (it's 6 Euros) and had a nice late breakfast and had a amazing view overlooking the harbor and the sites of Santorini. There's a myriad of places. Anyway, reason being early was best, all of a sudden, you saw all these cruise ships coming. By the time we came back down from the tram ( we decided to go down around 1230pmish) and the line was insane to get UP the tram. MSC also had a nice touch at the boarding spot for the tender. They offered nice cold towels/waters/juices, while you waited. Lovely. The other ships i didn't see that. Mykonos! Although we arrived at around 7pmish, it was still light out. Plenty of time to walk around, enjoy the little village. We had a bite to eat, a a drink, then found a nightclub and a couple bars on the water front by where we came in. Jackie'O's was our favorite. We say outside and watch the people. It's a gay bar by the way and we are a gay couple...but it's a lovely place and the staff was super nice. We ended up hanging there until about midnight, then tendered back in. Would of been nice to be there a little earlier, but we loved it. Ancona--- Small seaport...not much to do, we noticed folks stayed on board, or did the excursions. It's a quick walk in to the center of town. It was nice. Disembarkation was very well organized. We docked in Venice around 7am. Our cabin group was to meet up in the Sinfonia Lounge and we left around 9:10am, and in to the departure hall to collect our bags. Pretty simple. About the ship- The ship is very clean, and again, reminded me of an old world cruising style. (I sailed on the ORIGINAL LOVE BOAT, The Pacific Princess, so I have been around while:). I would say that the Sinfonia Lounge and the Manhattan Bar on Decks 5 and 6, seemed a little dated. Since the weather was so great, we loved being out at the Capri Bar on Deck 11 the best. We didn't care for the "Irish Pub" so much, but if you are a beer lover, they have a ton of different beers. Shopping- The shops had a lot to offer, but it was in a bit of a funky area. Think they are trying to offer more specialty shops with the limited space. However, we were not there to shop...we wanted the ports. They did have some duty free sales, but again, we were not in the market for anything. There were more Children than I thought there would be, but the Europeans tend to travel with the families. The pool area is QUITE nice and has a water park for kids. We didn't hang out at the pool, but we did up on deck 12 if and when we wanted. We didn't want to be around the little darlings. To sum it up, we really enjoyed it. I ignored the reviews and decided to just see what it's all about, and my partner and I had a fantastic trip. It is what you make of it. I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat! Enjoy!!! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this due to itinerary. That was wonderful. Ship and service was a disaster. We booked Fantasica and adjoining rooms. No adjoining rooms and no drink tickets. Filed a special needs 3 times prior to cruise for distilled water. ... Read More
We chose this due to itinerary. That was wonderful. Ship and service was a disaster. We booked Fantasica and adjoining rooms. No adjoining rooms and no drink tickets. Filed a special needs 3 times prior to cruise for distilled water. After numerous requests on board I got a used mineral bottle of maybe water with a post it note saying distill. Who knows what it was. Guest relations probably hit tired of us complaining about drink Tickets and from and the distilled water and gave us some drink tickets. No one enforced hand washing and people were picking up food with hands. Saw a cruiser break a huge glass jar in the buffet and they didn’t remove all the food. Glass shards all over the place. Saw cruise guests drop stack of water glasses on floor and out back for use and not one service person removed them. guest relations were Rude and inefficient. They could have cared less we were unsatisfied. One of the worst issues was adjoining rooms We had a toddler with us so when he went to bed someone had to sit in the dark with him since we couldn’t leave him alone. They said our travel agent messed up But we booked directly with MSc all 3 rooms at the same time. Anytime you complained they said they had to email the United States which of course was 8hrs behind us. Nothing ever resolved. Sometimes u could have coffee and bottled water. Sometimes no. We had to get permission to have Kleenex. My daughters remote had no batteries but they wouldn’t give her any until She gave them the old ones. The list goes on and on Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Normally I don’t write reviews but I feel the need to write this one due to all the bad comments I have read about the MSC Sinfonia. We flew from London to Venice, the first tips is take a Taxi (Car) from the airport to the ship, it ... Read More
Normally I don’t write reviews but I feel the need to write this one due to all the bad comments I have read about the MSC Sinfonia. We flew from London to Venice, the first tips is take a Taxi (Car) from the airport to the ship, it will drop you in the door of the terminal, if you take a taxi-boat you will need to walk with your bags for a long time depending where your ship is. Embarking was fine different will say since you don’t not get your cruise card until 2pm went your room is ready, at the time of boarding normally you will go directly to eat but since you have no cruise card the waitress are kind of lost if you have a beverage package or not Tip: print all the documentation from your ship and have it on hand with that they will be allow you to serve alcohol and non alcoholic drinks. Cabin: We had room 7030 located in the front of the ship on the 7 floor, it was a in side room with no view to outside, I agree with some of the comments here that the layout of room 7 is odd since the medical centre is the in the center of the ship you can not cross the entire level, but you get use to it not a big deal. Coming back to room, it is actually bigger that what it looks in the pictures and with a lot of storage, a small tv, mini bar, safe etc, the bathroom is small but we had no issue with it. Our room attendant was a Brazilian lady Vanessa she has great very friendly and help us with information went needed. Dining: Normally we have dinner in the buffet restaurant in some opportunities we have dinner a la carta and we have to admit that both were very good (not a Michelin Star Restaurant, but if that is what you are looking this is not your ship) and we didn’t have any issues waiting or delay normally we had Italian food since he was well recommended at lunchtime they were some stations for pizza kebabs pasta al punto. Shows: We attended all the shows, all are really good we liked a lot the MSC Crew Got Talent specially the New Zealand Team. All the Shows are a mix of Dancing, acrobatics and singing. very good 100% recommended. Ports and Excursions: Split - Croacia We didn’t use a tour the city is lovely you can walk it completely and from the port to the city centre is 10 min walking, do a bid of research up front and go for it. Santorini - Greece Again we didn’t use a tour, there is no port in Santorini soo the you need to take a small boat from the ship to the land (this is organised by the ship) the day before wake up early 7:30am and go to collect your ticket we took the boat number 1 to the land and give us some time extra. Once in land take the cable car to go up is only 2 min and the cost is 6€ p/p once on the top take a taxi to Oía is the best of the best and you will have great views of the Caldero (there is nothing to do there except shop, drink something, take an ice cream, and PLAN your next holidays) leave time to go back since you can find long queues on the cable car to back. Taxi cost 50€ return for 2 peoples. Mykonos - Greece The Cruise organise a boat from the new port to the old port the cost is 6,99€ p/p return (Take it) it might sound that this is a stupid stop from 8pm to 3am but actually it is great normally in Mykonos city centre in the morning people is in the beach and the city centre is close or lonely, the shops close around 12 midnight and the party continues in different places recommend to get lost in the streets of the city and find your way to the Little Venice, super romantic place a bit expensive but your are on holiday so you deserve it. Dubrovnik - Croacia The ship offers you a bus for 14€ p/p return to city centre but recommend not to take it, we took a taxi in the port (Taxi Kamidi +38 91 523 4248) he is a local and speaks very good English, we pay 50€ for 1 hour tour to the best places he explain us all the history of the city an was with us all the time, on return I gave him a call back and he picked us at the 5:30 from the old town and give us 50% discount on the standard rate. In the old town you must walk the wall it is expensive 25€ p/p but it a must them get loss in the old town street until you want to go back. Entertaining and Services: The entertainment team was great (this is normally the spirit of the ship) always on top of the situation in some case some of the bar of the ship were lonely due to lack of music groups but that was something solved after Dubrovnik since a new band was brought on board. Price: We pay 840£ for 2 person for the Inside Room (Excluding Tips) + 314£ for 2 person for all drinks until 6€ + 10€ p/p day for tips. With what amount you will not cruise with any other company anywhere in the world. Overall: I have to admit that I was very scare about all the nasty comments I read about MSC Sinfónica before our cruise but now I’m very happy of my 6 days cruise and if this is one of the small and oldest ships of MSC I can’t imagine how it will be The Bellissima that is the biggest. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first time with MSC, we've previously sailed with RCI, Princess and P & O. Having read reviews on this site we were really apprehensive. However, we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation and disembarkation were ... Read More
This was our first time with MSC, we've previously sailed with RCI, Princess and P & O. Having read reviews on this site we were really apprehensive. However, we were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth. Our cabin was spotless & had everything we needed except tea/coffee making facilities. All of the staff on board were excellent and extremely hard working. The entertainment we saw was good and unlike other ships we've sailed on we never struggled to find a sunbed or somewhere to sit in the evening. The biggest let down for us was the food. There are limited places to eat and the buffet restaurant is very small with not much choice. The a la carte restaurant had very few choices and we often struggled to choose something from the available options. The tender operation in Kotor was very slow and it took forever to get everyone ashore. We wasted most of the day waiting for our tender number to be called so our time in port was very short. Overall we really enjoyed our holiday and would consider another MSC cruise if the price and itinerary were right. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
As I read through several of these reviews, I'm scratching my head, but okay, I'm going to post MY EXPERIENCE as best I can and hope that folks understand that not only am I a person whose character can be selective (not snobby) ... Read More
As I read through several of these reviews, I'm scratching my head, but okay, I'm going to post MY EXPERIENCE as best I can and hope that folks understand that not only am I a person whose character can be selective (not snobby) and want quality for my hard neared dollar. Also, since there is not a lot on this site about this specific line and this specific ship, not trying to deny other people THEIR experience, I have to share because what I have read is far from and light years away from what we experienced. Let me start by saying that this cruise, taken in 2019, was planned since 2012 because I wanted a high-quality cruise experience for my now deceased mom's landmark 80th birthday. Since I didn't want to cruise Viking (thought it would be too stuffy for my mom's likes), MSC became the choice because their itineraries were exactly what I wanted. I lost my mom in 2015 so my BFF (a gay man..trust me, this will matter in the review) and I decided to celebrate our moms' in spirit since he lost his mom also and make this a couple of days prior to the cruise on land/excursion beginning in Barcelona and after the trip on land as we flew to London at the end of the cruise before coming home to the states. Flew into Barcelona from San Francisco (via Delta Airlines) and stayed a couple of days in Barcelona at a nearby Best Western (a friend works there and we received excellent service from them as well). The port city of Barcelona was PERFECT since disembarking from there helped make what could have been much more difficult, much easier. Barcelona is a busy, well-organized port city, that was the case, but it was a great choice on our end. That's where our trip began. Food: We were initially overwhelmed by all of the options for food and drink, which MSC Sinfonia seemed to dominate like an Italian aunt that wanted you to feel at home in her house. The option we purchased including beverages in our cruise package was smart, since this cost can be quite substantial to your cruise, and while we didn't choose the highest level liquor package, we did pick all you can drink coffee/tea/soft drinks/wine and cocktails (selected with quality liquors but not the Hennessey-level booze...didn't buy it because we don't drink all THAT much and can pay for those beverages as an aside). Great food, including a diversity of tastes and flavors, for all meals and snacks of the day, were fantastic. Not all were with an Italian taste but there was plenty of Italian-based tastings and we were very satisfied; because we are Americans, we also appreciated the pizza/pasta/sandwich bars along with the burger/hot dog and fries bar; they have fresh gelato as well as a Vitamin/Smoothie with fresh fruits bar and when you can get avocado and pineapple in a smoothie in the middle of the Mediterranean, I'm there! There was literally enough good healthy food along with the corrupt stuff you don't want your kids to eat, but being on vacation allowed everyone to be happy. While there is a breakfast buffet with enough options culturally to satisfy pretty much every country on the planet. But my travel companion found that if you get to the areas where you'll typically find pizza and burgers at lunch, you can get your omelette/pancakes. I loved to sleep in so I didn't get much of this but it was nice to know it was an option besides the over abundance of bacon and eggs or oatmeal and yogurt (greek yogurt). And that's another thing...they had delicious oatmeal. I was trying to be good with all the food goodies on board and didn't feel like my doctor would kick my bottom when I see him next visit. The coffee barristers and bartenders made our tasty drinks and pretty much to taste for us. I didn't have to ask for my tequila to be a specific one or have my drinks made in any way. Their bartenders know exactly what to do and how to make drinks. For the dinner/fine dining dinner option, we had My Choice dining as part of our package, allowing us to eat at a time of our choice and since we dine on the later side, we mostly sat without anyone else at our table (you're thoughtfully placed with others but it's not weird like putting a single couple or couple with a large family). We became to know the servers and the Dining manager was a professional maitre'd and could have worked at any of the 5 star restaurants we're used to going to in the US. Excisions: The opportunities and options were fantastic. From the choices of the well-thought out excursions, which were fairly priced and surprisingly well-organized to get folks on and off the ship efficiently, allowed us to make choices on how we wanted to live on the ship on our own. We were on a 12-day/11-night Mediterranean cruise, out of Barcelona, with stops in Malta/Corfu/Katalion/Herkalion/Pireaus/Civitavecchia/Genoa/Marseilles and back to Spain. What a GLORIOUS cruise this was. For myself and my friend to cruise for the first time, we were thoroughly overwhelmed. We experienced every opportunity on this ship that adults without children can experience, and we did visually see families enjoying themselves, so even if we can't speak as a family, as two single adults traveling together, we can both cheer for this cruise and this specific excursion. The Ship: There were lots of things to do, both on and off the ship from shows, to televisions everywhere to watch sports and have a beer or cocktail/coffee/tea or soda...public spaces, a casino (and you do get your winnings); of course traveling in early Spring as we did wasn't a guarantee of great weather but we did fortunately have sunny days and it was amazing. We were all able to sit outside and enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean sunshine. Fresh foods every day (fresh fruit for Americans that live in California is a huge deal and for me, as a New Yorker that lives in California now, as I said earlier, this was supposed to be a mom celebration...and baby, I LOVED my Momma....as did my friend. I even had a bout of bronchitis and he a bout with gout, so we visited the ship's doctor and even that experience was top-notch (needed antibiotics and received in an IV drip so I could fly and ended up continuing my trip without even having felt like I was ill). They had a photo studio where you can purchase pictures and capture everything from wedding to family portraits. In fact there was a wedding/reception/honeymoon on board the boat if I can properly recall. Their Staff/Crew: We were treated with wonderfully, energized joy by the MSC crew. It was like a Welcome Party. The preparation to have you get on-board starts with your obtaining a cruise card, which is basically your on-board, ID card, charge card and access card. Makes keeping your valuables safe painless. My plan was to relax and spa since we took advantage of the Aurea Spa package, which allowed us to obtain massages and add-on other purchased pampering. Again, since this was supposed to be a mother-daughter thing, I was looking forward to a facial and other treatments. These are on the pricier side, but considering their estheticians are the same quality of major spas in international cities, the price point wasn't out of reach or not something worth reviewing. They have a full service hair salon on board as well as treatments from acupuncture to various massage methods. MSC makes sure folks understand that it's not an unlimited financial card because your ability to have fun, responsibility both fiscally and emotionally are always gonna be front of mind. They have all types of shopping and other fun things to do, so even if you're not born rich, they treat you well and with car. We even met a couple from Perth Australia who told us that they've been cruising for years and they love Sinfonia even though MSC has newer ships. They described it as "old-stool' cruising and I understood what they meant. Being American, you can have some Disney-styled cruises (too child-attentive/better for families) or too Viking-esque (potentially too snobby and stuffy even if luxuriously appointed). We wanted to be treated like Viking, with party options that were not too immature). MSC hit the bill OUT OF THE PARK for us. To add to the other points: My friend is a gay man over 50; he was VERY happy and because he also blogs for LGBTQ entertainment, he plans on doing a piece on this experience...which I'm whole-heartedly rooting for because it was more than deserved. Also, I saw lots of disabled people: seniors with canes and wheelchairs in families and couples; a disabled athlete in a wheel chair; a family (it seemed since there were 2 visually impaired people in the group). We saw sign language used and when it came to language barriers, there were none....They have a talented, multi-linguist staff and their tours which were conducted in many cases in multi-languages, were just another impressive action because their folks speak multi-languages. I was impressed. A special shout-out to: Adrian (Dining Services); Shubert (Bar Services); Melray (Buffet Manager); Anthony (Stateroom Attendant), Irina (Spa Services) and all the servers on Sinfonia. You made us never forget you and we WILL BE BACK! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was suggested by our travel agent in the USA. We truly regret not having read the reviews of this cruise ship before our trip. The ship is the oldest of the fleet. Common areas are remodeled but the rooms (at least our inside cabin), were old. The ship is not that big so there are not that many amenities. Theatre performances are average. Variety of music is OK throughout the cruise ship but the worst feature of MSC Sinfonia is the food: they only have one medium size cafeteria on the top level so you have to wait in line to get a table for breakfast. They will sit you with other people and kids you don't know, so expect no privacy. The buffet is awful. Very low quality of food and always overcooked. No egg making station. They only offer sunny side up eggs covered in grease. Cheeses and cold cuts are bulk from the wholesale market (not from Italy, of course), and they offer the same food every day throughout the whole trip. The only option for breakfast is to go downstairs to the main dining restaurant where you can get a separate table for yourself. There you can find also the same buffet (with the same low quality of food), and a la carte menu. I decided to choose my breakfast from the menu but they could only prepare a plain omelette from it. The rest of the items from the menu (like orange juice, yogurt, bread, butter, fruit, etc), were already placed at the buffet so the waiter just kept pointing his finger for me to get up and get my food from there. So then.. I asked the waiter: what is the point of having a printed menu if the same food is offered at the buffet? He only laughed. Dinner at this same restaurant was also a joke. One night they featured "carpaccio" as an appetizer. We ordered that and they brought just a regular, cheap, cold cut with an artificial red color. Funny thing is that we saw the same fake carpaccio the next morning at the breakfast buffet. The Italian risotto was also another huge disappointment. Overcooked. It really looked like a vomit in a small portion. We have been on other cruise ships with way better food quality. Our favorite always is Celebrity Cruises. Perhaps, they should send the MSC chefs on a fam trip on board a Celebrity cruise. They might learn lots of of new dishes and see how they prepare and present the food. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times ... Read More
We booked all inclusive package for couple (3 massages p/p). When we tried to schedule our massages the spa reception lady told us that they cannot accommodate the time when we wanted to have our massage. She gave us all the rubbish times instead (our scheduled dinner time). She said they are fully booked. But how can they be fully booked when they are offering discounted massages everyday. The couple we met on this cruise who cruises regularly said to us that it's better not to book it in advance because they will give you a schedule according to your liking if you book it right there and then and they have discounts everyday anyway. Spa is basic, just 3 thermal rooms. No jacuzzi or whatsoever. Food is average. Not too bad. Not that great either. Bathrobes not available unless you pay extra hundred pounds (available for aurea guests only). Do not get the fantasia upgrade, there are travel companies who can give you free water at bella experience. Fantasia is not worth it unless u wanted a Mediterranean breakfast delivered to your room everyday (just croissants, bread, jam, cereals). Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals ... Read More
We previously cruised on Costa, Carnival and Holland America as suite guests. We purchased a suite on MSC. This time there was no champagne in the cabin, no daily fresh fruit, no coffee and no hair conditioner. And no folded towel animals :-) One of the mirrors was making a rattling noise in rough seas when the boat was rocking. Needless to say the noise was keeping us awake at night. Cabin server did not pay attention to details. I had to call Guest services to have hand soap refilled, bath towels and bathroom floor rug delivered. He was not picking up drink glasses that we were bringing from a bar. There were times when the glasses were sitting on the table for two days. Excursions were nice and most of the tour guides were very knowledgeable. We didn’t care for the tour guide in Marseille- Ola or Olga. Her English was not great and she was sometimes out of words. We were surprised she was not better prepared for the excursion. Her English vocabulary was poor. Shows were excellent and I gave MSC a score of 10 for their entertainment. You will enjoy their evening shows! Food - food presentation was 7-8 on the scale. Portions are really small. Breakfast and lunch for suite guests were the weakest areas. We had breakfast 4 times in a private restaurant but gave up after the 4th day because omelettes didn’t have the ingredients that we ordered and light Pepsi and orange juice were not delivered. So we started going to the buffets. Spa - I had 2 massages and a facial. Bali massage was great but the hot stone not so much. There was no music for the first 20 minutes because the system was down. I sent the massage therapist to the front desk twice to ask about it because all I was listening to was the sound of the blinds hitting the window frame. Hot stones were getting cold and the technician was not removing them so I was cold. When I walked in, the room was cold. The technician told me she was cold. So how was I supposed to relax when my feet turned into icicles? The temperature should have been much higher. Facial - they don’t have the arm that releases steam and warms up skin. Basic setup. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Just returned from 10 nights on the MSC Sinfonia. I've been reading reviews for the last several months and had been very concerned for our sailing. Well I can honestly say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had traveled in the ... Read More
Just returned from 10 nights on the MSC Sinfonia. I've been reading reviews for the last several months and had been very concerned for our sailing. Well I can honestly say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. We had traveled in the past on RCL, NOR., CELEBRITY, HA ,CARNIVAL so this is not our first rodeo. We spent 6 nights prior to the cruise in Marseille and stayed at the AC Marriott. Lovely hotel with good service and friendly efficient employees Loved La Panier, Chateau D If, and of course the port. Boarded around 2pm with no problems whatsoever. Our cabin was ready, luggage arrived, and Marco our cabin steward was fabulous--always there to help. Probably our only real peeve is the cabin. We were on the 9th deck balcony. SMALL! No sofa to sit on (bed only and a makeup stool) but we got used to it. The bed and pillows were great. You really don't need a balcony this time of year as it is really too cold to sit there. Save your money and get a oceanview. Now for the bathroom--so tiny, probably the smallest we have ever had. The shower is impossible--we are tall but not fat--even to turn around is almost impossible--forget washing your feet and shaving your legs is not even an option Food--we ate in the Covi and enjoyed the food. A decent variety offered every night and proportions were good. We learned to eat all our breakfasts in the main dininng room-. Easy to get a seat, a menu if you want to order off of and even a buffet you could select. A special shout out to Alberto, Waylands, and Keo and Alchilles. No lunches as we were on land every day. Entertainment: We loved the entertainment and thought it was well done, and quite a variety. Good singers and dancers. Most of the shows you need to reserve in advance (the night before) and it's really no big deal to do. We loved the Manhatten Bar, great servers and good pourers. Hors de ourves were served every night with our pre dinner drinks. We had transfers from MSC for 3 cities and had no problems whatsoever. So as you can tell, we enjoyed our cruise and was sorry to see it end. If I can help or answer any questions, let me know. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
We boarded the older unfancy SINFONIA HOP ON HOP OFF Ship in Civitivecchia/Rome for the winter Med itinerary which included Malta and Greece. We read all the luke warm reviews and decided to go ahead and try this different cruise lines, ... Read More
We boarded the older unfancy SINFONIA HOP ON HOP OFF Ship in Civitivecchia/Rome for the winter Med itinerary which included Malta and Greece. We read all the luke warm reviews and decided to go ahead and try this different cruise lines, whom were the only one to have this itinerary in the winter. I am glad this wasn’t our first cruise. There were plenty of English speaking pax aboard from all over. LOTS of families with younger kids. (actually too many kids) Embarkation was uncrowded and fast...until I was denied boarding for papers not in order. My husbands papers were correct but I had to return ashore to Check-In to have a pass the agent missed stamped. Not a great start. All the stewards were great throughout cheerfully moving through their 20 cabins. The comforter was too heavy for me so I was brought a blanket. We liked having less passengers on board. Our Oceanview Cabin 8140 had good storage. Showers are ridiculously small and shower curtain attacks you. Yet water pressure was very good. Outside OV cabin windows and many lounges were exceptionally dirty affecting photos. We missed having the travel map on TV showing the ship’s current location. Excursions were average but well run. One of our Greek ports was cancelled due to weather. I mean wild wind and waves that loosened the lines, straps and covers on the life boat below our floor at midnight. After we called reception to report major banging and clanging there was crew fixing the problem within 15 minutes. They quickly scheduled an alternate port with nice weather and offered excursions which were enjoyable. Routing and Two other ports were swapped due to this same storm hanging out. They handled it well. Most of our disappointments were with the food. No alternate dining and everything seemed to have been created and prepared as economically as possible. Boxed milk, powdered gravy, having to request butter every time,etc Menus did not reflect ports or different country specialties. Very Small portions and unimaginative. Many orders were mixed up or mistakes were made by our wait staff. Good ice cream and sherbet. They offered steak and lobster options for added $20-30 a few nights, but that missed the point of a different dining atmosphere. Many passengers moved to the Buffet permanently for more choices of items and portion and less disappointment.. I didn’t think the Buffet was too small. North American Fantastica pax receive free bottled water from their package .Frankly I don’t know how you’d survive without that unless you had a Beverage or Bar Package. We drank a LOT of water. Went to two shows and they were OK. The itinerary made this trip worth it, but there was just no “WOW” factor in this whole cruise experience. Don’t think we’ll do MSC again. We avoided the 3 “Elegant” Dress Dinners. We thought having cruised with Costa and Norwegian and both being similar in price that they we’re a better value. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
MSC Sinfonia is one of the oldest ships MSC has on service. Is a small boat when compared to the others the company has. The ocean view cabin is quite small, and even worst than that, not all the cabins, under the same category, are from ... Read More
MSC Sinfonia is one of the oldest ships MSC has on service. Is a small boat when compared to the others the company has. The ocean view cabin is quite small, and even worst than that, not all the cabins, under the same category, are from the same size! I found out this because I booked two equal rooms and one was bigger than the other, so be careful with that. I considered myself ripped off by being on the smaller cabin, even though I bought the 2 at the same time and within the same category. Moreover it was pretty frustrating to be in a 12 day cruise with a TV that only has 1 movie channel in English and with a hand full of movies that are the repeats themselves over and over again. The cabin bathroom is normal, in Cruise terms, however the biggest downside of it is that MSC chose a shower curtain instead of a door, hence when you take a bath, be prepared to flood the entire bathroom. There is almost no space to move while showering and the curtain starts to stick to your body when bathing, so you pretty much cannot do anything to avoid it. Also, expect liquid soap. Dining.... Food in general in this Cruise can only be labeled as extremely awful, with lack of imagination and taste. Definitely the worst food I've ever tried on a cruise. Breakfast doesn't change at all, there is no egg station or any station whatsoever, so you are offered the same things every day. The buffet in general has almost no options available, again, there are no stations of anything, so you have to leave with what is offered in the small buffet. The food on the sitting dinner is very similar to the one provided in the buffet, so is almost as aweful as the other one. In summary, lower your expectations on the food, the whole idea of eating delicious on the Mediterranean, will NOT happen on this boat. Also note that some other ships offer free machine juices, such as (apple, fruit punch, etc), this one doesn't. You have to manage with water only during the day if you don't purchase a drinks package. In addition, the buffet area is so small that is pretty difficult to get a table to eat. The entertainment activities available on the boat are blah... The shows included. Probably if you're under your 40's, you'll get board easily. The service overall is decent and I think is almost up to par with the other companies. The English level of some staff members isn't that good. The ports of calling were interesting, except for Crete. That was the only Port with nothing close by, so you pretty much are forced to stay on the ship or book a tour. The cruise excursions are like always expensive, and not always that good. Sometimes the excursion desk put on the same bus groups with different languages, so you have to hear everything twice in 2 different languages, which is a downside for me, because things don't go as smooth and things may get lost between translations. Finally, the ship itself is extremely bizarre. I book the cabins closed to an elevator, but for my surprise and for some odd reason, the elevator that was near didn't stop in our floor! Why? No clue! The floor didn't even had the elevators doors!! In other words, the elevator went to floors (5, 6, 8, 9)!! So in top of receiving a smaller room for the same price, I didn't get to use a closest elevator and no one told me anything (web page) while doing it! Moreover, from deck 7 is impossible to walk from the front of the ship to the end, because medical center blocks the way. In general the ship has an odd layout, doesn't have much attractions and is designed for elderly folks mainly. From the ambient to the music and entertainment. In conclusion, I don't think I will book with MSC again. This has been the worst experience in a cruise I've had so far. Not being able to eat well, fight neck to neck for a seat on the buffet, not having an elevator stop on my deck, not much of entertainment on board and in the TV, have definitely contributed to put this Cruise on the bottom of my list. Would never recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake. I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and ... Read More
We booked this cruise at the Nurnberg Germany Airport when my wife found a Bargain Price...08 to 20 Feb 2019 We normally take time and search for reviews but we did not this time, our mistake. I had recently had my 3rd back surgery and was in a walker when we booked so the travel agent asked for wheel chair assistance. When we Arrived no Wheelchairs. My wife inquired and was told we don't do that... but the lady in Genova pointed me to an elevator. At Check in we were told our cabin keys would be in our cabin. and to use our booking papers to purchase drinks until then. it was 0930, and our cabin would be open around13:30 or 14:00, not being able to walk much without pain we settled at a seat near the ships entry point where we were offered a choice of 9 drink packages. some for with meals only drinks, some for non alcoholic and some for alcohol. Prices start at 19, 29, and 39 Euro's a day per person and all in a cabin must purchase the package. the entry level package were good for draft beers and only a few special drinks up to 6.10. Euros. Bottle beer start at 6.50 and required the 29 Euro Price. Name brand alcohol required the 39 Euro package. Ice cream and coffee and water were not free and required a package. Coffee was free at Breakfast. I only met one couple from Canada who bought an Alcohol Package and One who purchased the non Alcohol Pkg, but got a refund after an argument with ship staff when they did the math. They only drink water, which was 2.90 a bottle. We like to cruise and have spent over a 150 days at sea on 4 previous cruise lines. We like to be served as I have trouble standing for long periods and walking for short distances. to My surprise in the dining room Lunch is also a buffet. only dinner is served. Breakfast is a buffet with some options like pancakes and omelets orderable. About 50% of the time the table was set with a coffee spoon or a butter knife. no standards seemed to exist or no one was checking. Tipping was set at 10 Euros a Day per person and automatically charged to your account, as were a donation to UNICEF. At our first meal we were offered Bread. no butter was on the table and it took a full 20 minutes and an argument with the waiter the head waiter his assistant and the head of the ding room to get it fixed. we were initially told it was company policy not to put butter on the table. After I made a scene we had butter the rest of the cruise on every table. The food was sub standard compared to other cruise lines. I actually lost weight. A steak was never offered on the cruise. Lobster was offered twice at a 22 Euro upcharge. my veal had a large bone and every chance they had they smothered your meal with tomato sauce or bad cheese. We had 3 formal nights but many wore T-shirts.. dress codes were not enforced. A couple at our table wanted coffee with desert, They were given drink tickets as part of their cruise and bought us several drinks. Problem was always the emphasis was always on getting the paperwork done and your account billed and signed before they would get you a drink, or coffee. only on the last day of an 11 day cruise did he get his coffee with his desert after I again made a scene as he ate 2 deserts and everyone was leaving dinner when they finally brought his coffee. The staff did Try to meet our requests but they always seemed worried they might get in trouble for doing what we asked them. Training and customer service were not a priority. The Cruise Director was invisible the entire cruise and her only appearance or function I saw was at the show to introduce the heads of each department. If she fell overboard no impact on the ship would be felt. The staff did speak multiple languages. Entertainment was a bright spot as we enjoyed the entertainment crew who would entertain the audience before each show then dance with guests after. On stage it was also great entertainment, except for 4 opera nights. these were opera singers not productions often only a piano player and a singer. Not my cup of tea. Shore excursions were good except for Rome and Crete. In Rome we had a hop on hop off bus tour. We were dropped a long distance from the nearest bus stop with lots of roads and stairs and turns to navigate, near a kilometer. We were told to find a Burger King to use the bathrooms by our tour guide after an hour and a half bus ride from port to Rome. as soon as we were issued our tickets for the Hop on Hop on Bus the guide disappeared. In Crete the bus stopped for an hour while she took some guests for a long walk in heavy rain to look at some old part of a one horse town on Sunday with nothing open. When we were given free time it was 40 minutes and it took 15 to get to the city center from the bus leaving no time to eat and little time to shop before we had to walk back 15 minutes to the bus. The shops were open in the port town and would have been better time spent than in the little town. This was true for most other tours we took too little free time. Often I had to let my wife go alone as I waited because I had difficulty walking, which is no fault of anyone, but know you will walk long distances and have little free time on excursions. They make a point of taking you to souvenir shops they are affiliated with on these excursions. Our Cabin was clean but aged with broken tiles in the shower. shampoo and body wash was in the dispensers. Bring conditioner. Never was a towel folded in the cabin into an animal shape. My wife wanted two single blankets instead of the larger singe blanket and it was provided. No complaints on the cabin or service. Casino I amassed over 5000 points, you get a free cruise for 2 at 9999. I was offered 30% off my next cruise and 250 Euros casino Play. There were no free drinks offered as on other cruise lines at 1500 points in the casino. I will not be back to use this offer. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary and time of year. My boyfriend doesn’t enjoy travelling when there’s tons of tourists, and hates the heat, so this trip seemed perfect. We’ve cruised before on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. ... Read More
I chose this cruise based on the itinerary and time of year. My boyfriend doesn’t enjoy travelling when there’s tons of tourists, and hates the heat, so this trip seemed perfect. We’ve cruised before on Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. After our Norwegian trip, we said it was the worst cruise of our life... we were wrong, it was the msc sinfonia. I’m assuming it was because it was winter, and a smaller ship, we had a lot of movement, all throughout the day and night, I was very seasick. We even had to reroute at one point due to bad weather conditions. But obviously not the cruise lines fault. The first thing to comment on, the typical “washy washy” staff on cruises didn’t exist, just hand sanitizer stations that I rarely saw people use. Sooo, I got sick, then my boyfriend got sick, and by the end of the 10 days, I’d say about 90% of the ship was sick. It was absolutely disgusting. We went on an excursion in Rome and the hour long bus ride was full of everyone coughing. You can only protect yourself from germs when other people do the same, which wasn’t the case on this cruise. Our room was good, larger than previous cruises, but the shower was terrible, I’m a small person, and I just decided to shower with the curtain open because I couldn’t even raise my arms to shampoo without the shower curtain being stuck all the way up my body and arms. Also, even with the curtain closed, it leaked all over the floor. We tried to explain this to our room steward but he barely spoke English and didn’t understand us. The food: I’ll start with saying my boyfriend and i are both chefs. We were obviously disappointed. We choose to cruise because of better food than a resort, but in this case, I’ve had better food in places like Cuba and Mexico. I was counting down the days to get home so I could cook us a real meal. Breakfast was probably the best meal and that’s not saying much. There was no egg station, but we found out later in the outside patio there’s a chef that makes omelettes... but only ham and Swiss. Lunch and dinner was pretty boring, usually two types of pasta, some vegetables and a carvery station(usually pork) And always over cooked. You had to follow staff around to ask for butter because it was never left out in the open. There was an extreme lack of fruit on the cruise, possibly because of the time of year but the only fruit that was constantly there was apples, pears and oranges. We had dinner in the main dining room At the beginning of the cruise. We kept leaving hungry, and by the time dinner was done the buffet was closed. There’s no 24 hour food options at all, not even snacks. So we started eating at the buffet before dinner, until we realized that they serve the exact same food in the buffet. So we stopped going to the main dining room entirely. End of story, if you’re a foodie, do not go on this cruise. Embarkation was seriously confusing. You get into the terminal and they look at your paperwork, say ok good to go and I was like “what were done???” and the guy said yes keep going. We then went onto the ship and security saw our paperwork. A few more steps and another person asked for paperwork, then they shove a camera in your face and take your picture right where you’re standing. Then you’re swarmed by the people selling drink packages. Have a drink here cause it’s the only time you’ll get any juice without having to pay for it. Embarkation was smooth just walk off when they call your colour and cheer that you’re finally getting off the worst cruise of your life. The cruise activities were seriously lacking. Without being able to sunbathe, there’s absolutely nothing to do. I took to watching tv, but there’s only 1 English movie channel, that plays the same stuff over and over, or the news. We played board games but that was probably the most exciting activity they offered. We will not be going back to msc, and as avid travellers, our business will be with Royal Caribbean from now on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Food in main dining in Covo restaurant was very good and our waiters were superb but that’s where the good food ends .,Buffet food boring and not very nice also the area far to small for the amount of passengers.The outside pizza and ... Read More
Food in main dining in Covo restaurant was very good and our waiters were superb but that’s where the good food ends .,Buffet food boring and not very nice also the area far to small for the amount of passengers.The outside pizza and hamburgers were terrible but good fries.Also no other restaurant on board where you could eat.Entertainment very poor especially during the day no music playing bands .And in the evening only one bar with any atmosphere the Manhattan if you were lucky to get a seat.Cabins very nice we had a balcony cabin small but clean and moder n.1074 o the tenth floor.Drinks so expensive nearly$11 Australian dollars for a small bottle of beer and a glass of wine the same.The ship itself is small but in good condition just found it to small for 2600 passengers prefer a larger ship.in the future but not with MSc will stick to Princess Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise with MSC. We have cruised 15 times in the past with Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Overall, we were pleased with this cruise. Accommodations were comfortable, the food was good, and the staff were ... Read More
This was our first cruise with MSC. We have cruised 15 times in the past with Carnival, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. Overall, we were pleased with this cruise. Accommodations were comfortable, the food was good, and the staff were very friendly and helpful. The destinations were amazing. The simple decor was nice compared to some of other lines like Carnival. Embarkation and debarkation were refreshingly easy. They have some incredibly talented performers for the shows and we enjoyed them all for the most part. However, we really didn't understand why every show had a "strip joint" element to it. We had My Choice dining so the first day we went to the dining room we were assigned to and picked the time we wanted to eat each evening. The first night we were not happy with our table location (next to loud service station), but they gladly changed it for us and the rest of our meals were great. The menu lacked options and you do have to pay more if you want lobster or steak for gala night, but the food was good and we enjoyed it. The prime rib was thinner than any we have ever had so you might want to order two entrees if you choose that. Also, beware that you have to pay for water as well as any other beverage. The staff were very nice, but we missed the shows that other cruise lines put on. The buffets were adequate, but there was not much variety. The hamburgers were high school cafeteria quality, but the fries were good. Also, there are no frozen yogurt machines and the gelato station was never open. The pizza was great, but there were only three varieties. We found the Buddha Bar and Irish Pub made the best drinks. The casino drinks didn't have much alcohol. Also, they are more generous with vodka in drinks than rum so my husband quickly learned to love Moscow Mules. The gym does not have enough treadmills so I had to wait in line for a machine every time I went. Although putt putt is located on the top deck, you have to find the mobile entertainment stand (on deck 6 in one of the bars which rotates constantly) to check out the equipment or to borrow games. We didn't try the pools because it was too cold outside. We had to pay for shuttle services to reach the port on several occasions so be prepared for that additional cost. It ranged from 12.99 to 15.99 per person for a round trip. There are lots of bars to hang out in and they have fun themed parties every night. Most of them start after 11 so we didn't make it to any of them. The staff were very interactive with passengers and we really enjoyed talking with them. Ports: To reach the port in Barcelona you will need to take the blue bus located at the Columbus monument which is a block from the Drassanes metro station. The bus is $3 euros per person. Valencia: You can pay for a shuttle to reach town, but we chose to take a taxi directly from the ship to the aquarium. We also bought our aquarium tickets online ahead of time. Taking the taxi saved us a couple of dollars. We walked around the aquarium area afterwards and then walked back to the aquarium to catch a taxi back to the ship. Palma de Mallorca: We walked off the ship and caught a bus #1 (3 euros per person) to the city center. Then we walked to the cathedral. We walked around for a couple of hours and then took a taxi back to the ship area and went on an excursion we had booked on our own. We had a great time hiking and exploring a cave. Malta: We did not get to dock here due to rough seas, but we did get to Messina that evening at 5 pm and stayed until 2 pm the following day. Messina: We had a lovely dinner in town. You were able to walk right off the ship in this port. We also enjoyed walking around a cathedral and shopping in some of the stores. The following day we went on MSC's excursion to Taormina. We highly recommend this tour. Taormina is beautiful and we loved walking through the city and walking around the ancient theatre. There is a cost for that. If you have children under 18 there is a very reduced fee (or maybe free?) but you have to have their passport to show them in order to get the discount. Citavecchia: We took MSC's excursion to Rome on your own. So much fun. The Coliseum and ruins are within walking distance. I bought a package ahead of time to go into the Coliseum and Palentine/Roman Forum. We chose 1 pm for our time to go into the Coliseum and that worked out perfectly. Livorno: We took MSC's excursion to Florence on your own. We had a wonderful time walking around. Genoa: No excursion. Just walked around the city. We didn't need a shuttle this day. Marseille: We had to utilize the ship's shuttle for 15.99 per person. From the drop off point, we were able to walk to the Basilica de Notre Dame. It was wonderful. We also had a wonderful meal in town. Barcelona: We took a high speed train to Girona to see the cathedral where some Game of Throne scenes were filmed. One of the best things we did on the whole trip. We booked the Renfe train tickets ahead of time. Once we got to Girona, we were able to walk to the cathedral and old wall. This is an amazing place even if you're not a GOT fan. We loved every minute of it. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a chance to break up a Scottish winter, which it did. The weather was great the destinations were superb. The ship was a complete let down . The embarkation some 10hrs late due to problems with the ship. A promised free meal ... Read More
This was a chance to break up a Scottish winter, which it did. The weather was great the destinations were superb. The ship was a complete let down . The embarkation some 10hrs late due to problems with the ship. A promised free meal consisted of I roll and 1 hot drink. We had to spend the next day in port while the ship was fixed causing us to miss one destination. The cabin was clean and comfortable. Dining was a nightmare people scrambling for a table and food that at best was ok. The entertainment patchy and the activities were ok if all you wanted to do was learn the samba. Service was surly or unhelpful most of the time , the exception being the cabin staff. In the main service is poor and I would inform reception that you do not want to be charged a daily service charge . The drinks come with a 15% service charge anyway . The ship offers a shuttle bus at most ports however these are expensive and they will not tell you about any allternatves The port of disembarkation had a taxi and partial bus strike which had been on the news for 3 days MSC said they were unaware of it and basically it wasn't there problem .This resulted in elderly and infirm people being dumped at the port with their baggage in the rain and expected to get on with it. If you think MSC might be for you please THINK AGAIN . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for the amazing price, itinerary and length of stay on board. We did not read any of the online reviews when we booked the cruise, so we was really disappointed in reading all the negative reviews the day before we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the amazing price, itinerary and length of stay on board. We did not read any of the online reviews when we booked the cruise, so we was really disappointed in reading all the negative reviews the day before we set sail. If we did we would not have booked. Let me say, this cruise was fantastic for the price we paid £280 for 10 days. Yes £28 per person per day. The ship is very nice, it’s an older ship but is still a good cruise ship. We did go through force 7 rough seas and the ship hardly rocked. In the past we have been on many MSC cruises including the new mega ship MSC Seaside, all have been good. Our cabin looked new and very clean cabin 7110. We did book an inside cabin but they upgraded to outside at no charge. All the bars were good. Bar staff are very friendly especially Vic and Askar from Mauritius, that really looked after us extremely well. The ship was full occupancy and there was no waiting time for drinks at all. I was so impressed I tipped the bar staff on last night. We booked the drink easy package, although a bit annoying that all the nicest cocktails wasn’t allowed so I had Heineken lager, wine and cocktails of the day. Made the most of it though as it was all you can drink. The theatre shows was fantastic and definitely not to be missed. The dancers were fabulous especially the girl dancers from England. All the shows were great but the London’s Calling was the best. They did “candle in the wind” for Princess Diana, my eyes filled up, great show guys. We met some great guests onboard from USA , Holly & Bobby and Marli & Dave that made our cruise extra special. Unfortunately due to the weather in Malta we could not go there but MSC gave us a refund 100euros compensation which we used on the photo service. In all what a great cruise and better than staying at home which costs us more. Thank you MSC for ai great cruise “PING” Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I liked the itinerary and it fit my timeline for my trip to Europe. The price was also very good. Disembarkation was a disaster due to a taxi strike and rain in Barcelona. MSC should have provided more transportation to the airport for ... Read More
I liked the itinerary and it fit my timeline for my trip to Europe. The price was also very good. Disembarkation was a disaster due to a taxi strike and rain in Barcelona. MSC should have provided more transportation to the airport for its passengers. I had a terrible time getting to the airport (Uber would not come downtown after an Uber car was set on fire on Friday and a few drivers were beat up!!) and I worry about older passengers with more mobility issues having had an even worse experience than me. Overall the service, food and ports were very good. The cabin had some water damage of the wall beside the shower and a number of passengers complained about sewer odours emanating from their bathroom facilities. There could have been more entertainment and activities for us. A number of buses used for shore excursions were older and unappealing in their interiors. Some of the tour guides could have used a speaker system e.g. the lady in Taormina. I was disappointed in the lack of communication when the Sinfonia was many hours late into Barcelona; we all communicate with our mobile devices nowadays and electronic communication from the company would have been helpful. But the disembarkation fiasco was the straw that broke the camel's back, as they say. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first cruise and we had no idea what to expect or what kinds of things were abnormal or normal for a cruise. Our travel agent, a good friend of mine, had never booked through MSC and could only give us expectations based on ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we had no idea what to expect or what kinds of things were abnormal or normal for a cruise. Our travel agent, a good friend of mine, had never booked through MSC and could only give us expectations based on other cruises he had been on. He left me with the assurance that we would be well taken care of and guided through the whole process so we could relax and not stress for 10 days. This did not prove to be true. Embarkation was a nightmare. We flew from Chicago to London, then from London to Marseille on the day of the cruise arriving at around 10, with boarding presumably going from 1400 to 1800. We called an Uber from the airport to take us to the port, thinking we would hang out there for a few hours until boarding started. When we arrived there were no ships in port and our Uber driver, who only spoke French, looked over the paperwork to make sure we had the right date and location. God bless that driver who went and talked to the French security for us and nailed down the details, then translated for us with his google translate app because nobody there, not the MSC staff or security or even any other passengers, spoke English. Turns out our ship was in Nice, 200km(120mi) away. It was too windy in Marseille for them to dock there. They put us on a bus to Nice for two hours to get to the ship. It would have been nice to get some kind of heads up that this was the case. They must have known even a few hours or a day ahead of time that they wouldn’t be docking in Marseille. We are thankful we decided to show up early because otherwise we wouldn’t have made it. Once we got to Nice, there were a bunch of cruises there with different luggage vans and security spots to get through. All of the MSC staff we could find were smoking or on their phones not paying attention or giving good direction so even if we did understand French who knows if we would have been less confused. We prayed we put our luggage in the right spot because none of the vans were marked with our boat name. We followed some people we thought looked familiar from our bus to check in. Nobody at MSC spoke English, so, again, we stayed confused. We followed the line to a small boat which took us to our cruise boat which was sitting in the middle of the ocean. Once we got through yet another security line, we had no idea where to go. Where was our room? Was there another security point? There is some kind of cruise card we need, right? How do we get food, we’re starving and jet lagged! For some reason they took all of our paperwork at check in so we had nothing to reference anymore. We were immediately bombarded with people trying to sell us things...in French. Scrambling, we again couldn’t find a single person who spoke English or Spanish(which we also speak fluently). After kind of wandering for a few minutes, we found someone who would help us at the guest services area. They asked for our room number which we had no idea because they took everything we had printed. With a sour face, the woman gave us the number but could not answer our questions further. We found our room with some semi-helpful documents on the bed and no luggage. We had a carry-on with us with extra underwear so luckily we were able to shower then locate our restaurant. On our way to dinner, we found my luggage chilling on a totally different floor in the walkway which was a huge relief because at least we knew it got on the right van. It wasn’t until after dinner that we went exploring other cabins and found my husband’s luggage also chilling in the middle of nowhere. At dinner, we found that our waiter did not speak English. We communicated by pointing to what we wanted on the menu and he wrote it down. The wait times for food were terrible, we waited at least 30-40 minutes every night for our first course. The portion sizes were very small. Theoretically we could have ordered more, however we were so tired of waiting for our first helping of food that we just left hungry most nights. The first night we arrived to water in our glasses and a 4 Euro charge we had to sign for at the end of the night. It sounds small, but after the long day we had, I just broke down that I couldn’t go without a charge for my dehydration. We planned to go through the cruise without any charges. We did end of resolving our water charges a full week later when we finally received our drink vouchers included in our booking. We took the number of vouchers needed to the restaurant to refund our money, which we found out they did not do at the end of our cruise right before we were about to disembark. They fought us for a few days saying we did not have drink vouchers and had to contact the American booking representative on land who took a while to respond. It didn’t get much better after the first night. We booked 5 excursions which were all cancelled. We rebooked different ones in their place which weren’t as good and were disappointing. The staff at the excursions desk were not helpful and again, didn’t speak English well at all. For one excursion, she booked the wrong one for us which we only found out when we showed up for the excursion. We ended up just rolling with it because they were similar. We were booked for another excursion that didn’t even exist. The girl put an excursion number in our tickets that was only offered on another cruise line so when we showed up the morning for our excursion we weren’t able to go. We tried to turn in the tickets for these excursions as soon as we could, which was around 4 or 5 most days because that is when the desk opened. By that time, it was hard to convince them to give us a refund because the excursion was over and somehow they thought we had gone on the excursion with invalid tickets. Speaking of operating times, almost everything opened after 5, sometimes not even until later. Almost all of the bars and the gelato and vitamin bar areas were never open at all. We weren’t able to get good food when we wanted because the main buffet always seemed to be closed and our seating time for dinner was at 9pm which is honestly when we usually go to bed. The pizza area was open longer, but they only served two kinds of bread with sauce and maybe cheese and usually there was a long kind of people waiting for more because what they took out of the oven was grabbed really quickly. In general, the food was below average. There wasn’t much variety in the buffets and the main buffet food was never fresh. The restaurant food was better, but the portions were too small and the food was tasteless. I personally have an allergy to cheese and almost every dish had cheese in it. I asked if it could be removed from any of the dishes and was told no. I’m not talking about from lasagna or something that was probably cut from a large dish in the back. I’m talking meals where cheese was obviously sprinkled on the top or included individually on the plate. That was too much to ask for someone to deviate a little from their preparation of the plate. This left for little choice for me. There were a few times that we ordered room service which took forever. They always quoted us twenty minutes, but it took over an hour every time. Twice they got the order wrong. I ordered a soup (#1 on the menu) at around 4pm when other food places were closed, and I got a veggie wrap instead(#12 on the menu.) I went down to guest services to get a refund(room service is not free which is ok, but in the American booking site it says it is so whatever) and was told they don’t start serving soup until 6:30pm. The second time they got it wrong, I ordered a BBQ chicken wrap which I had ordered before that didn’t have BBQ chicken. When I went down, they told me it was actually correct because they said their recipe changes every day. Finally, there wasn’t much to do outside of the shows in the evening. After talking to others, it has been confirmed that this is unusual. On days when we returned early from an excursion or on sea days, all we were left to do was sit in our room (which was a wonderful, clean safe haven!) and watch the same three movies that cycled through. We were stuck with more free time than we had hoped between our cancelled and ever changing excursions and the extra time given by the ever changing itinerary. We spent most days sitting on our bed bored. We purchased a day of WiFi to combat boredom which was not worth it because it wouldn’t go on any of the American websites that I wanted to visit like my work intranet or the county library to check out more ebooks to read. It was slow on the few that we could connect to. I’m sitting in a hotel in France writing this and their WiFi connects fine to the US websites so I know it isn’t a Europe IP address thing or something. We were supposed to dock in Barcelona first, but there was a storm which pushed our arrival into Barcelona a day late. They canceled our trip into Valencia, then rerouted at that last second so we did arrive in Valencia, then shortened our day in Palma, then cancelled our day in Malta which we were really looking forward to. Our arrivals into Italy went as planned. We looked forward to the shows as they were the only entertainment on board. It was hit or miss. The opera shows and the Flamenco dancer show were great, but the shows or bits of shows revolving around other singers or the MSC Sinfonia dancers were terrible. These were supposed to be family shows and the costumes on these girls showed almost everything. Maybe it is a European thing, I don’t know. The stereotype is that Europeans are big on nudity. There were a lot of tacky strip teases. The singers mostly sang in English and it was terrible. They should have sang in their native tongues. They did a few shows trying to showcase British and American culture that were cringey and almost disrespectful. The only good thing I have to say is that our room was wonderful, the view was amazing and the guy that cleaned our room was very kind and attentive. The excursions and places we visited we also great. We were disappointed that all that was offered were city tours and all of the fun activities(the ones we booked before) involving biking, swimming with dolphins, trying food, visiting caves and a volcano were cancelled. However, our tour guides we very well versed in the places we visited and made the tours come to life. It was worth the crappy onboard experience to see these wonderful places. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise because I had travelled on MSC Armonia to the Carribean in February 2018 and it was excellent in all areas. The cruise on MSC Sinfonia to the Mediterranean was terrible. I waited for one hour at the airport for a rep. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I had travelled on MSC Armonia to the Carribean in February 2018 and it was excellent in all areas. The cruise on MSC Sinfonia to the Mediterranean was terrible. I waited for one hour at the airport for a rep. to arrive and got more and more stressed. The emergency number did not answer and when the rep. eventually arrived he did not speak English. The wi-fi on board did not work. The staff at Guest Services were incompetent and not prepared to help. Their main objective was to get rid of passengers as quickly as possible. One was particularly rude to me. I obtained what I was entitled to only because I screamed the ship down as well as an officer. My main exercise and entertainment were queuing at guest services to try to sort out in vain all the problems!! The ship arrived back at its final destination more than 10 hours late because of the rough seas and I missed the flight I had booked through MSC. I was told to sort out another flight myself !!! Unbelievable. The transfers to the airport to fly back were so badly organised that I reached the British Airways check-in desk 2 minutes before it closed. So I nearly missed my flight. And to add insult to injury, I was so late that my suitcase was not put on the plane and I arrived home without luggage !! Having said that, my interior cabin was clean, well-equipped and comfortable. My cabin attendant was charming and very helpful as well as all the bar staff, waiters and waitresses. The entertainment team did a good job with stretching an aerobics every morning, lots of dance lessons during the course of the day. Unfortunately, nothing was organised for New Year's eve apart from dancing in couples, no disco, so for solo travellers like me, it was a very lonely time an I went back to my cabin before midnight I will not travel again with this cruise company. I sent them a 3-page long detailed report by e-mail on Sunday 14th January and today (Wednesday 16th January) I still have not had an acknowledgement. Nearly 2 weeks later, I still have not had an answer. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We are seasoned travelers who have experienced Norwegian; Royal Caribbean, Viking River and many other reputable Shipping lines. This Ship is old and the worst service we have ever experienced on any Ocean/ River Cruise Company. You ... Read More
We are seasoned travelers who have experienced Norwegian; Royal Caribbean, Viking River and many other reputable Shipping lines. This Ship is old and the worst service we have ever experienced on any Ocean/ River Cruise Company. You are forced to buy a Drinks Package (Even for Water) and the Wine selection was absolutely pathetic quality and value. AN ABSOLUTE RIP OFF!!! The Restaurant experience was one star rating - Awful food The Buffet was the worst we have ever experienced - It was like eating in a Pig Pen. The food was poorly presented; cold and lifeless. Everyone we sat with at Dinner complained about the Ship, the service and the food. Room Service was pathetic - Breakfast in your Cabin was cold Toast / Croissants and Cold Coffee or Tea. No Hot Breakfast. The staff who were 90% Philippine were poorly trained and had problems with the multitude of languages including English. If you asked for White Wine you were lucky if you got a glass of Rough Red or water. I got sick on the cruise and ended up in the Ships Hospital for treatment by the Doctor's Death from Romania. The were sticking intravenous drips injected with drugs into me for their diagnosis of Viral Pneumonia and I just kept getting worse from their treatment. In Tenerife they arranged for me to see a REAL Doctor at an emergency Hospital with the sole aim of getting me off the ship. The Doctor examined me and ran several tests; Blood Tests and X Rays and told me to stop taking the medications the Ships Doctors were forcing into me as they were the wrong medications for me. He advised me that I did not have Viral Pneumonia just a severe Head Cold and Lower lung infection and prescribed the correct antibiotics and support medications and he advised the Ships Doctors that I was fit to continue our journey. The MSC Sinfonia Doctor's Death were treating me with the incorrect medications and they made me pay in excess of $2,000 for their inexperienced and incorrect diagnosis / treatment. My wife and I were verbally abused by the Ships Doctor when we questioned why we were being off loaded in Tenerife and the associated costs without any prior consultation with us. To top it off several excursions were cancelled and we arrived into Disembarkation Port "Barcelona" 10 hours late and had to pay for another set of airfares to London and it has taken 2 x months to get a credit payment - the Customer Service Departments are rude and abrupt with customers. Travel with MSC at your own RISK - Sinfonia "The Ship From Hell" Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Our experience on MSC Sinfonia first departure Genoa Dec 27 2018 and stayed on for the next cruise total 21 days I have done over 7 cruises now on Holland America, Princess, and Celestial. Asia, Panama, Europe, Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico ... Read More
Our experience on MSC Sinfonia first departure Genoa Dec 27 2018 and stayed on for the next cruise total 21 days I have done over 7 cruises now on Holland America, Princess, and Celestial. Asia, Panama, Europe, Caribbean, Cuba, Mexico Riveria. The boarding process seemed to be a shamble, we had to stop at at-least 5 different locations We were told the cabin card would be awaiting us in our cabin after 2.00pm, we found the cabin card in the unlocked cabin, we then had to load credit on the card at a special re charge station. We were surprised at the lack of personal security as our cabin number was on the card, if we lost the card anyone finding it would know which cabin, they could access. Unfortunately, we boarded in Genoa Italy, while we expected a lot of Italians, we were not prepared for the culture shock associated with Italian people, their rudeness and loudness. We realised that there would be a lot of children and teenagers on board, but they seem to be out of control with no parental checks and no staff monitoring their behavior. Playing in elevators and running around in the late-night disco is common. We observed 1 group of teenagers at breakfast that appeared as if they had not been to bed and their behavior was that akin to addicts coming off a high. Smoking and non-smoking areas do not seem to matter, people were allowed to smoke where they wanted to. Possibly as much as 15% of the passengers were English speaking, most signage is in English only, but the majority of guests do not speak English, while we were prepared for every announcement to be in several languages, we found many non-critical announcements and social activities to be only in Italian, even the call for excursions were mostly in Italian, leaving us confused on where to go. This appeared to improve on the second cruise. The in cabin TV only had 3 or 4 English speaking channels BBC world news, Hong Kong TV news, an American news and a movie channel, showing the same 5 movies over and over with the words demonstration?? Going across the screen. The behind bar staff, restaurant staff and cabin staff were excellent, however as on many cruises the table waiting female staff (in bar areas) fall well short of expectation. The Cruise line wants to align itself with the TV series Masterchef, well they really need to look at this alignment, the buffet food fell well short of expectation of any cruise we have done, at breakfast the bacon was always overcooked, the fried eggs were always under cooked and the omelets were unrecognisable. At the lunch buffet asking for carved beef or ham made me feel like Oliver twist “please sir can I have some more” butter was never put out at lunch time we always had to ask for it. The general seated dining food in the evenings was only just acceptable with some ingredients (mainly the meats) were of low quality. Free cordial soft drinks from the buffet area were only available at breakfast, the all-day hamburgers and fries were disgusting, they clearly tried to unsuccessfully imitate a major leading burger chain. The ice cream booth service is very poor at 1.00 pm, 1 day I waited over 20 minutes for someone to arrive to serve, I asked a passing officer he said wait, about 15 minutes later someone finally arrived, in the mean time about 10 guests gave up waiting. A few of the shows were not of the standard we have experienced on other cruises but others were very good, the Cruise director? compare was very hard to understand. The ship itself leaves a lot to be desired, the ship has been extended by several meters in length. 1 corridor on deck 7 is split. To access part of the corridor one has to go up to deck 8 walk along to the next stairs or elevator then go back down to deck 7. The elevator in 1 place only goes from deck 5 to deck 9 so to get to deck 11 (pools and buffet) so to get to deck 11 you get out expecting to get the stairs to deck 11 but no--- the stairs only go to deck 10, then you have to go along a corridor to another stairwell. Once in a corridor there was no indication which was forward or aft, port or starboard. If you want to go to deck 5, (dancing reception etc.) 1 elevator that you take to deck 5 finishes up between 2 restaurants in order to go forward or aft (dancing, reception etc.) you have to walk through the restaurants, they may be full or closed with the doors closed. On at least 5 occasions the toilets would not flush, every time we rang reception, we were told they were aware of a general problem. Often there was a strong sewage smell in part of our corridor. I assume the ship was extended to accommodate more passengers, the issue here is the buffet and the theatre weren’t altered to handle the additional capacity. The trip was like a hop on hop off bus journey with passengers getting on and off an most ports of call, this became a huge issue when due to bad weather we had to divert to another port, luggage and people had to go ashore and board in tender boats. This caused people to need transport back to their assigned port and the ship to wait for passengers, to be bussed in from other ports. All this while shore excursions were trying to leave; the whole thing was a total disaster as the buses couldn’t turn because people waiting for transfers wouldn’t move out of the way of buses trying to turn around. Tempers became very high. We were given a 100 euro on board credit. I believe we were told a lie regarding weather issues, I checked internet for the actual weather for that day and it was not that bad, a day later we had to miss a port due to technical non-safety issues. I heard people that were checking out after the first cruise say to reception stating to reception in loud voices “the worst holiday ever”. The bar staff were the only saving grace for the whole cruise, I think if we didn’t enjoy a drink, we would have been very unhappy. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Earlier in 2018 a deal on the MSC Magnifica caught our eye, for 5 nights over the Christmas period, however when looking further we also found a longer cruise on the MSC Sinfonia. 10 nights, departing Barcelona on the 19th December worked ... Read More
Earlier in 2018 a deal on the MSC Magnifica caught our eye, for 5 nights over the Christmas period, however when looking further we also found a longer cruise on the MSC Sinfonia. 10 nights, departing Barcelona on the 19th December worked out not all that much more money, so we decided to go for the longer cruise particularly as we’re currently having building work done so Christmas at home was not a possibility. Our travel agent packaged the cruise with a 2 night pre-cruise hotel stay, flights and the All Inclusive Deluxe drinks package and we were good to go! As this was such a long cruise I won’t go through a day by day account, and will just pick out some of the highlights. Barcelona is a city we’ve visited many times as we’ve completed numerous Mediterranean  cruises, and on the Western Med itinerary it’s as certain as taxes and death. We enjoyed our time spent at the Barcelona House hotel – it’s location is very central, just off La Rambla and the Placa Reial with it’s bustling restaurants and grand architecture. Ship Profile MSC Sinfonia is the second oldest in the current MSC fleet (MSC Armonia is slightly older) and was originally built for Festival Cruises. At just over 58000 tonnes and a passenger capacity of 2163 she is small compared to the mega ships we see being launched in recent years. As a comparison, the current world’s biggest cruise ship, Symphony of the Seas weighs in at 228000GT and can hold 6680 passengers. All of the Lirica class cruise ships (Sinfonia, Armonia, Opera and Lirica) went through the ‘Renaissance Programme’ in 2015 which added extra cabins and altered public spaces. The previous lounge above the theatre was removed and cabins added, with a new lounge in the new mid-section and an extended dining room, plus children’s spray park. We sailed on MSC Lirica before the stretch, and MSC Armonia after the stretch, and it is somewhat difficult to tell that this has been done as the design flows well and the new public spaces are in keeping with the original design. On embarkation morning we took a steady walk down La Rambla and caught the cruise bus at €3 each which took us straight to the terminal where MSC Sinfonia was docked – we were the only ship in port which made things very easy. The usual check-in procedures commenced, and we were the first passengers to be onboard at about 12.45pm – one of the benefits of the MSC Voyagers Club black card is priority boarding. Cabin Our forward facing cabin on deck 9, cabin 9001 was spacious and a different layout to other ocean view cabins we have had. There was plenty of storage space for the duration of our cruise, and our cabin steward was friendly and efficient. The configuration of the cabin worked really well. There’s no escaping the ship is showing her age in places but is kept very well. The shower was small in comparison to Meraviglia and Seaview with a shower curtain rather than enclosure; the bathroom is looking dated however cleanliness is the most important thing in my view. I should also add that the hairdryer was one of the old fashioned on the wall with a hose type and not much use for anyone with thick, long or afro type hair! The window over the bow offered excellent views when sailing in to ports, and one of the highlights has to be the sail in to Valletta’s Grand Harbour. Our itinerary for the cruise was port-intensive, with only one sea day. That’s actually pretty perfect for a ship of this size, however one draw back is that the bow thrusters to help steer the ship in to it’s berth made the room shake. The noise woke us up every morning – not great as we’re usually late to bed. Our table mates had cabins midships and didn’t even know we were docking, so it goes to show why location can be everything! Dining Excuse the length of this paragraph, but food is a major part of the cruise holiday experience, so naturally it will be longer! On our first day, we headed to the main dining room, Il Galeone on deck 5 for lunch. On the older MSC ships we have noticed that the main dining room offers a hybrid buffet and a la carte service at breakfast and lunch. Presumably this is to take off some of the pressure from the main buffet on deck 11 which was not extended during the Renaissance project. You are shown to a table by a host, and then asked whether you would like to order from the menu or to use the buffet. Drinks service is via the waiter. The buffet options are generally the same as those on deck 11 with the exception of burgers / pizza which is not available, so for cruisers who enjoy buffets I’d recommend using this option as it avoids any hassle trying to find a table. This concept does have some drawbacks though. The a la carte menu selections seem to be much smaller with often only one option per course. This is somewhat surprising, however soups, salads etc are available from the buffet section, as well as a daily carvery selection with fresh vegetables. We found that the lunch service could be very slow and actually quite chaotic, and in our ten days only went for lunch three times, one of which was Chirstmas Day. Don’t get me wrong we didn’t go hungry (is it possible to?) but compared to the MSC ships we have sailed on we found this worse. On our third and final trip to the restaurant we were sat for ten minutes before a waiter asked if he could help us. We hadn’t even had a menu at that point! That being said, the Christmas Day lunch service, where the buffet in the MDR had been removed and it was pure table service went much better. We were seated with a couple from the UK and a lady and her friend from Hungary, who by chance we had met on our previous Christmas cruise on the MSC Fantasia! It’s a small world hey! For our evening meals we were allocated table 504 in what would have been the corner of Il Galeone restaurant prior to the stretch. Our table for 6 on the first sitting at 6:30pm consisted of ourselves, two gentlemen from the East of England and a couple from Brisbane, Australia. We’ve not shared a dining table for two years and were somewhat apprehensive that we might not all get on. All I can say is we hit it off like a house on fire and have made good friends! Thank you to our four companions for all of the laughs over the cruise. Dinner service took around two and a quarter hours each night so it was a massive relief that we all got on so well! Our waiter Maharta was very friendly and knew his job, however we wonder if he perhaps had too many tables to look after and this is what caused service to be slower than you would expect. His assistant, Jonathan was also scarce meaning that drinks service in the restaurant could be slow. Maharta was fantastic in asking each night what wine we would prefer the next evening so as to have it ready for us and try and speed things up a little. The food at dinner over the week was of a very good standard. Portions as ever could be a little on the small side but well presented. We’d highly recommend anyone with an appetite orders two appetizers, or an appetizer and salad as well as their main course, or extra vegetables. The food highlights of the cruise for me have got to be Ramon Freixa’s Duck Royale which we first discovered on our honeymoon, the pan-seared duck breast with currant and chilli sauce, the veal shank on Med night and the Indian butter chicken on Christmas night was the perfect antidote to all of the rich food! In addition to the main dining room and buffet, the Lirica class ships also serve food in the pub located on deck 5 forward. Shelagh’s House is an ‘Irish Pub’ with a range of beers including Guinness and Murphy’s. The food on offer includes club sandwiches and a roast beef platter. This makes a great lunch option if you’re too late back from an excursion or sight seeing, or if you just fancy a light bite. Service I’m not sure if ‘service’ is the right heading to use but I just wanted to touch on how we found the onboard experience. We know we have been spoilt with cruises in the Yacht Club, and we knew that the experience would be somewhat different with fewer crew to assist more passengers in bars etc. In all honesty, the service and customer experience from that perspective was absolutely fine. I’ve read numerous reports of cruisers who say they wouldn’t go with MSC unless they could go in the Yacht Club. There was absolutely nothing wrong in terms of wait times or attentiveness. During the cruise we were really lucky to meet with Juli who we had met on another cruise on MSC Fantasia, as well as Vickee, Ketut and others from MSC Magnifica and also Melissa who was on her first contract. As many of you will know, MSC announced a change to the drinks packages last year, and now these are in play with the simultaneous running of the old drinks packages it has caused confusion, and this is completely understandable. We’ve now completed twenty cruises and therefore know what we are entitled to based on our drinks package code. Unfortunately this period of confusion lead to a number of occasions where the bar man advised the waiting staff the drinks we had ordered were not on our package, when we knew full well they were. Entertainment The shows on the Sinfonia were very good, with some excellent performances. One advantage to fixed dining and a smaller ship with more limited facilities is that you find yourself going to more of the shows than on the big ships with lots to see and do. Highlights have to be ‘Paris after Dark’ a dance show based on the city of love – amazing tango and popular routines, and of course a Can-Can dance. The opera gala was also excellent, with a live pianist and violinist to accompany the singers and their renditions of favourite opera songs such as Nessundorma and O Mio Bambino. The staff show is also not to be missed as regular crew members take over the entertainment with dancing, singing and music. The main party bar, The Manhattan Bar, is the place where you would find the Animation team causing havoc with a multitude of party games in between music from a live band playing dance music and typical pop party hits. We also really enjoyed pre and post-dinner cocktails in the Buddah Bar, which is the ship's mixology bar offering a range of standard and crafted cocktails. As it could be cold during the day, the activities that would usually take place around the pool such as dance classes and stretching were also held in this bar. Overall Opinion The cruise was a solid 4 stars out of 5. The issues that we experienced did take off some of the shine, but the overall friendliness of the crew, the fun we had in the evenings made up for those shortcomings. There’s no escaping the fact the ship is smaller and therefore activities and options are limited, but you can only be in one place at one time. We have another cruise booked on the MSC Opera, which is in the same class. We’ll have then completed a cruise on each of these ships, and we both feel that after that we wouldn’t book another Lirica class unless the price and itinerary were very attractive. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Having had a big problem on the previous MSC cruise, we were not sure what to expect but went with an open mind. The ship is not as flashy as some of the newer ships, but makes up for it with a yacht type feel. There are fewer passengers ... Read More
Having had a big problem on the previous MSC cruise, we were not sure what to expect but went with an open mind. The ship is not as flashy as some of the newer ships, but makes up for it with a yacht type feel. There are fewer passengers than the larger ships, so no real problems with long lines. Every member of staff we met were fantastic and worked hard, I can't understand some of the reviews regarding staff; if you interact with them they will interact with you. We never had to wait longer that 2 minutes to get a drink, when you are pleasant with the waiters they can't wait to come and serve you and chat to you. The only rude people we met were fellow passengers, can you imagine the smiling service they got when they clapped there hands and demanded "COFFEE". The balcony cbin was a bit smaller than we have had on other MSC ships, with only a corner dressing table and a box stool. It took us some time to find the safe that was located behind the mirror on the dressing table; this could be improved with a notice on the mirror. The only minus points that have resulted in 4 and not 5 stars are, the Buffet; it is fer too small for the number of people. We only tried it once and had all our meals in the restaurant, this was a very good place to eat. you can have breakfast and lunch either off the menu or the self service buffet or both if you are hungry. The other issue was the seating in the theatre, though the shows were some of the best we have seen on MSC. There are couch type seats in tiers but there are tub chairs in front of them and the tub chairs are higher than the couches. This means there is a rush to get the tub chairs otherwise you will be trying to see between the people in front of you. Read Less
MSC Sinfonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 1.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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