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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
1 Helpful Vote
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
Sail Date: December 2018
I cruised on the MSC Sinfonia with a friend from 16-25th December. MSC get a lot of bad press, but you have to remember what you're paying and not compare them to other cruise lines which cost a lot more. Also, it's a European ... Read More
I cruised on the MSC Sinfonia with a friend from 16-25th December. MSC get a lot of bad press, but you have to remember what you're paying and not compare them to other cruise lines which cost a lot more. Also, it's a European ship, with people of all different nationalities. Everything is announced in several languages, but they try to keep it to a minimum. That said, there were a decent proportion of English speakers from various counties. I love being on any ship. I decide to have a good time on every cruise, and that's what I do. I have been on large ships, small ships, several different cruise lines, in different price ranges, and enjoyed them all. Wanting to cruise in December, but stay in the Med, there were not a lot of choices. MSC Sinfonia had an excellent itinerary – 9 nights, 7 ports – at a reasonable price. The Sinfonia is a medium sized, older ship, with approx 2,000 passengers. It is nicely decorated and I felt at home. The advantage of this size ship is you never have to walk too far to anything. We took an outside room, as balconies were much more expensive and I don't like insides. The room was small, but nicely decorated. There was only room for the beds, a dressing table, mini-fridge unit and a couple of stalls. There was no armchair or sofa. The safe was hidden behind the mirror and it took us a while to find it. A sticker on the mirror would help here. The bathroom was small and clean and did the job. There was a shower curtain rather than door. The ship was nicely decorated for Christmas and there was a lovely atmosphere. We had a great table of 9 for dinner, all English speakers, and really enjoyed our evening meal get-togethers. The food was average, nothing to write home about, but we didn't go hungry. Portion sizes were all over the place, sometimes enormous and sometimes tiny, but you could have a second portion. The buffet is a little small, with a large covered and heated area outside. This is not ideal in the winter. That said, at peak times, they had a system similar to the main dining room, where you wait (never more than a few minutes) and are then seated. You never had to hunt around for a table with food getting cold in your hands. It worked very well. We were lucky to have warm sunny weather for the whole cruise, and several people were sunbathing and in the pools (outdoors). The shows every evening were very good, better than I have seen on previous MSC cruises. They also had a pair of resident opera singers, who gave a couple of performances, making a change from the usual song and dance shows. The entertainment staff put on lots of activities (indoors), such as bingo, quizzes, Master Chef at Sea and other games. People really joined in, making for a great atmosphere. The highlight was Christmas Eve dinner, with a special dinner accompanied by free sparkling wine. Later there was a Carol concert by staff and guests and they broadcasted the Pope's Christmas Eve Mass live in the theatre. All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable cruise, on a non-luxury, but very pleasant ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll ... Read More
Recently returned from ten days on board this ship for Christmas around the Med. This was by far the worse ship and the worse cruise we have ever been on. This was our second MSC cruise and what a total letdown. Firstly I’ll start by saying the ship was at least clean.After that the positives end unfortunately. It’s a very basic ship with extremely limited options in regards to food,drink and entertainment.So if you one of these people that enjoy poor food poor entertainment and very poor service you will love this ship. The buffet is way too small for the size of the ship and most days there are que outside at peak times.They have tried to increase the size of the seating area by offering seats on the deck in a patio heater style seating area.This is ok in summer but not in winter and eating food off plastic plates under patio heaters isn’t my idea of fun.The choice of food at The buffet was “same old” most days and again very basic. The restaurant was a slightly better environment but being forced to sit with people even after asking to be moved three times again isn’t my idea of fun.Food was again poor. Moving onto entertainment (or lack of). There are 5 bars in total with only the Irish pub offering anything in the way of entertainment before 11pm.This consists of an Italian guitar player playing a very limited song book in very limited English.He also has to stop playing every half hour or so because they could “hear him in the theatre “ even though we could never hear the theatre. It all got very frustrating leaving people sat there with no music and zero entertainment. As for the other bars,well the Budda bar was shut most times when we walked through although we did get a drink there one night and they had a guy playing piano for a while. The main bar (Manhattan) is a strange concept. Yoga and stretch classes are the main entertainment every night before dinner. Yes you did read that right!!! The musical duo who were supposed to start at 6pm usually rolled up bout 6.15 and played a couple of iffy Spanish/Italian/French songs.The “main” entertainment then began around 11pm in this bar. Ranging from a few game show things to some music. Our main highlights consisted of seeing how long it took to get served every night in each bar. This ranged from a few mins to 39 mins which was the longest it took.We ended up changing their tile from waiters to sales prevention staff because they would do everything they could NOT to serve you. This leads me onto their “all inclusive” drinks packages. If you buy one before getting on board you are offered to “upgrade” which sounded great because we only had draught beer and wine package we took up their offer.103 euros per person for the ten days.Me being a Strongbow drinker I was happy with that. Unfortunately after day 3 they ran out of Strongbow and by day 5 still had none ( even though we had stops every day bar one) So when I decided to complain feeling I had been short changed the bar manager informed me the ship was at full capacity with Strongbow (all very confusing) still the sales prevention staff kept telling me they had none.Then to my delight I was informed they had draught Strongbow in one bar.What a blatant lie,it was some sort of cider in a box but most certainly NOT Strongbow!!!! I could go on about various other faults and cost cutting areas but I think you get the picture. My advice is avoid this ship even if the price seems quite good ( we made that mistake) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
A total of 11 family members west on an MSC Sinfonia cruise from Rome and back. Upon boarding the cruise our group all met for lunch in the Buffet, tried to order wine and was told we don't have a drink package on our card,so that ... Read More
A total of 11 family members west on an MSC Sinfonia cruise from Rome and back. Upon boarding the cruise our group all met for lunch in the Buffet, tried to order wine and was told we don't have a drink package on our card,so that was a huge dealing with right at the start. My biggest issue is that we purchased our drink package a few months before our trip (about $400 a person) premium package, which was at that time the best premium package, as my in-laws like premium scotch. They were able to enjoy their scotch for the first 2 days with no issues and than we were told that the package changed and our package is no longer the premium package, they now have a premium plus package. I went to customer service and was told there was nothing we can do except pay the difference and was told that would be an additional $500e each. I don't know about anyone else, but for me, if I believe I am buying the best of anything than to have this change during my cruise seems very deceitful. The servers in the Manhattan Bar were always very slow and always seemed confused about everything. We would place an order for drinks, and the order was almost always wrong! The food lacks in every way. Too salty, over cooked, under cooked & simply lack in flavor. I am not a fussy eater in anyway, but must let you future cruisers know this, especially if you are going for a longer cruise like we did (9 days). The servers in the IL Covo on the most part were quite professional, although a few seemed dazed and confused. I might be wrong about this next statement, but I thought I had read as much as possible about this cruise because I was the one booking for all of us and wanted to be able to answer questions if necessary. I believe I read that we could tip bar servers, cabin stewards, etc only if we wanted too-but when we checked out of our cabin and received our final billing which I was expecting very little, we were all surprised to find 2 X $10e a day for tipping. Would have been nice to know this ahead of giving generous tips during our cruise, not a big deal but would have been nice to know. For these reasons I would not choose MSC cruises again. Beautiful sites to see for sure! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our first trip with MSC; we are Platinium with NCL, and frequently cruise with Princess, RCL Croissiere de France, Viking. I had basic expectations of MSC because they were cheaper than our usual cruise lines. I was not disappointed by the ... Read More
Our first trip with MSC; we are Platinium with NCL, and frequently cruise with Princess, RCL Croissiere de France, Viking. I had basic expectations of MSC because they were cheaper than our usual cruise lines. I was not disappointed by the good cabin service, good food, good clean ship, and decent passengers. We cruised to 6 ports in 5 countries in the Mediterranean. MSC has a novel way of embarking and disembarking passengers at each port of call instead of one massive influx at the starting port. Imagine every port can be a starting port for passengers and you can choose to disembark at any port. Pros: Fast processing of fewer new passengers. Cons: constant changing fellow passengers. Overall it worked well as the passengers shifted from Italian, to French, to Spanish, to Maltese to Italian with a sprinkling of German and English passengers. It gave me a good opportunity to develop my Italian, French and German. The weather was luckily fine and the shore excursions informative. Overall, this cruise exceeded my expectations and I will cruise MSC again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Before cruise started we stayed in Venice for 2 nights. Was our 2nd stay in Venice.. So this time we walked basicly all the alleys. In cruise we booked some of msc excursions. We really enjoyed. Especially the dead sea. Will definitely ... Read More
Before cruise started we stayed in Venice for 2 nights. Was our 2nd stay in Venice.. So this time we walked basicly all the alleys. In cruise we booked some of msc excursions. We really enjoyed. Especially the dead sea. Will definitely visit there again. If the 3 islands we visited I enjoyed Réunion the most. Very clean and organized setup. We had a great time. Will definetly recommend to my friends. This is really a relaxing cruise. See old cruising friends again. Experience new cities. Cost effecient. Lots of activities. Never a dull moment. The only problem was, because of the length of the cruise many people became sick(sneasing&couthing). Further on cruise was excellent. There was lots of South African entertainment & artists that we really enjoyed. What was annoying was all the different languages that was use, some was not necessary. Food was great. Overall a great experience. Cannot wait for our next cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I generally enjoyed our time on the MSC sinfonia for our honeymoon. The food and service were very good, and I liked the list of locations that we were going to. However, there was so little time to spend in many of the ports of call, and ... Read More
I generally enjoyed our time on the MSC sinfonia for our honeymoon. The food and service were very good, and I liked the list of locations that we were going to. However, there was so little time to spend in many of the ports of call, and I would recommend letting guests know if stairs or other options are available in lieu of cable cars, as we waited an hour and a half for one, and we got in line right after our excursion ended. The food in the restaurants was great, but the lunch buffet could have used a better selection. Our waiters and room attendants, Eka, Wiguna, and Luciano, were very nice and professional, and did a great job. As part of the aurea experience, I enjoyed the free massage, unlimited drinks, and priority embarkation and disembarkation. The excursions were interesting and relatively well organized. I would cruise with msc again, they are a great value for the price paid. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I chose this cruise because it would have been my third with MSC. I was very impressed with the two previous cruises therefore I invited family with me on this Cruise. I was very very disappointed. It was by far the least impressive and ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it would have been my third with MSC. I was very impressed with the two previous cruises therefore I invited family with me on this Cruise. I was very very disappointed. It was by far the least impressive and the itenary was misleading. It stated ONE day at sea but when we boarded we realised it was two. The days at sea the Coffee bar only opened at 18h00 and only one coffee bar was not enough for all those people. The service at the Coffee bar was also very slow as there was only one guy behind the counter doing all the coffees. The service was very friendly though. The time for excursions at Mykonos was far too short and two excursions at two different places were just too much!The family who accompanied me on the trip don’t want to do another cruise ever again. My previous experiences still gives me the benefit of the doubt therefore maybe in future I will try it again? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Sinfonia is an older ship and it shows. Décor is dated and some areas are not large enough for the capacity (theatre, buffet). As Australian cruisers, we found the atmosphere to be lacking compared with our experiences cruising closer ... Read More
Sinfonia is an older ship and it shows. Décor is dated and some areas are not large enough for the capacity (theatre, buffet). As Australian cruisers, we found the atmosphere to be lacking compared with our experiences cruising closer to home which probably reflects more on the high proportion of European passengers than the ship itself. Room was pretty standard. Well designed, plenty of storage. Shower was very small, with a curtain which sticks to you. Our cabin (8147) seemed to have water under the bathroom floor (maybe a water proofing issue?), which meant that you could hear water when you walked on it. Entertainment we found to be lacking. Really nothing in the way of program through the day other than pool deck games. No destination briefings. At night there was music in a most of the bars. We enjoyed the piano/guitar duo in the Buddha Bar which was a bit more upbeat. Food was 6.5/10. Buffet was incredibly busy for every meal. We ate most breakfasts and lunches there, but gave up on eating inside and took a plate out to the pool deck. Food was OK. We ate dinners in the dining room with our table of English-speakers. Service was good, and food was too. Shows – we attended only 2 out of 7 nights and found them to be quite average compared to other (less expensive) cruise lines. Theatre was very poorly designed with rows doubled up which obscured half of the seats. First show was 8:15pm which was almost impossible to get to from a 7:00pm dinner sitting, so we preferred to enjoy our dinner and skip the show. Embarkation was super easy, no problems, we were on quickly (before our allocated time). Bags also made it to the room ahead of schedule. Disembarkation was also very smooth. We requested to disembark earlier than our designated timeslot to make a train and this was arranged without hesitation. We used the gym a couple of times. It was pretty basic, and cardio equipment was busy the mornings we were there. Pool was pretty much always busy! There were lots of lunges, but as usual, people place towels at dawn and were never seen again. Smoke wafted across half of the pool. Only 1 pool and multiple spas. We had a couple of swims. Deck was very slippery in flip-flops. Service was over-worked as seems to be the case on most cruises these days. We bought the drink package which seemed to work out as good value when you considered alcoholic drinks, water, coffee, and ice cream were included. If we could find waiter service, this was fairly straight forward, but the process to get service at the bar was not clear and was not explained. Sometimes you could order from a barman, but more often you had to order from a waiter to the side of the bar who would then put a docket on the bar (or give you a copy), and you would wait until the barman saw your docket (while he/she might be also taking orders from the bar). Occasionally you would end up with 2 drinks as more than 1 bar man had picked up our docket and made our drinks. Shout out to Jekson and Juli from Indonesia who were excellent in the Manhattan Bar. As Aussies, we found the MSC-way of cruising to be quite different to what we had experienced previously. It's very European (all announcements in 5 languages), and overall, from entertainment to shopping, Europeans cruise differently to Australians. We were lucky to find some English-speakers on board, but we were definitely the minority. We were aware of this before we booked, but I think we underestimated the reality. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Value for money! very well organised and very good information about the cruise and activities. friendly helpful staff, excellent choice of food at the buffets and very good service at the sit down dinners. We would like to make special ... Read More
Value for money! very well organised and very good information about the cruise and activities. friendly helpful staff, excellent choice of food at the buffets and very good service at the sit down dinners. We would like to make special mention of Rachelle our very friendly and helpful waitress! Very good choice of activities and entertainment. Excellent shows with very good talent. Lovely bars and dancing opportunities even the dance classes were good fun with professional teaching.we particularly enjoyed the piano playing of Roelof in the Le Barougue coffee shop. Although we could only afford an inside cabin it was very nice and comfortable and always clean. We are South Africans and our money dont do well in Europe against the Euro. Very good communication about the next days activities by way of the newsletter. Very good security at embarkation and disembarkation, very well organised and done in a very speedy way. Very friendly staff and we would like to make special mention of Jean Pierre and Frik. We did some of the shore excursions but mostly preferred to do our own thing which was most enjoyable. We chose this cruise for its affordability and itinerary! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We flew from Washington DC into Marco Polo airport at 1100 am and went straight to the ship the day of the cruise. Tip, take the bus for 8 euro a person from Marco Polo to Venice and 1.50 euro a person for the ppl mover from the Venice ... Read More
We flew from Washington DC into Marco Polo airport at 1100 am and went straight to the ship the day of the cruise. Tip, take the bus for 8 euro a person from Marco Polo to Venice and 1.50 euro a person for the ppl mover from the Venice bus stop to the cruise port ....save your money as the cabs and water taxi prices are high (unless you have 4 ppl for a taxi or if you packed many bags) and the bus and ppl mover are convenient and easy! Embarkation was easy....have your cruise docs printed and your passports ready. Once checked in you have to go to a machine to activate your room key. This ship is a smaller ship, we had 4 people to an ocean view room. This was our 16th cruise and we met with family, for a total of 9 ppl in the group. We typically get two connected balcony rooms to separate us and the kids but there were no balcony rooms available and we received an incredible deal on the one room with a military discount. The ports were the most important to us so we went with it. Dining is geared toward the European palate but they did have burgers, hot dogs, fries, and pizza for the kids. Note that cruisers that book from the US and Canada receive the Fantastica package which gives you 12 drinks for each person in the cabin....we found this to be plenty as we ported for many days and enjoyed drinks in town. Entertainment was mostly in Italian but the crew did try to include all and the service personnel also did a decent job (I have had more attentive service on other cruise lines). Ports, we choose this cruise for the ports. We did not book anything through the ship and decided to explore on our own. Split was the first stop and we had ample time to walk the city and take pics. Croatia is clean and cheap! Santorini was a disappointment....if you book through the ship you get off the ship first....everyone else has to obtain a disembarkation number from the excursion desk for free the day before the stop. Upon arrival in Santorini everyone queues up and waits to get off the ship based on the number you obtained, we were number 11 and our time was 9:15-9:30 am. The number calling did not start until about 9:30 with number 1! Needless to say we did not get off the ship until about 10:30 and that is because we just left and walked down to disembark. We took the water ferry to Oia (15 euro per person and half for kids) and had 1 hour to RUN through Santorini before we had to get back to the last bus back to Oia at 1200 (last bus through the ferry company). Mykonos was a late night stop and we did ferry over (the cruise ship charges to ferry over, 9 euro per person), had dinner, took pics, ate street food, and shopped. Dubrovnik was a bus ride into town (the ship charged 14 euro per person into town and back) and we took a leisurely walk through the old town, again cheap and clean. Warning.....most places in Croatia do but there are places that do not accept euro! Last stop was Ancona and we walked 30 mins through town to the local beach. Very quiet area and the rocky beach area was packed with local families. Overall we found Europe to be very clean and we were able to get a taste of each city....we definitely want to go back to Mykonos and Dubrovnik for a longer period of time! Read Less
MSC Sinfonia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.7
Service 4.0 4.0
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 3.6

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