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Sail Date: August 2019
MSC were well priced and fitted in with the area we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to visit. The destinations were all fantastic and, without young children, this cruise would have been good... Problem is.....the kids club ... Read More
MSC were well priced and fitted in with the area we wanted to visit at the times we wanted to visit. The destinations were all fantastic and, without young children, this cruise would have been good... Problem is.....the kids club timetables aren't really co-operative with the already limited time on the destinations... IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, AND WANT TO USE THE KIDS CLUB, ENSURE YOU BOOK MSC'S OWN EXCURSIONS TO TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF KIDS CLUB they refused to let us pay extra to drop our children in early :-( we've two young children and were quite stressed when we discovered that kids club, most days won't take kids to lunch, most days start an hour or two AFTER the boat hits a destination most days finish a good time BEFORE the boat leaves a destination this hit us particularly hard at Dubrovnik and santorini where we only had 4-5 hours on-site, santorini in particular where we had to cut a private tour short Overall, the staff really were amazing, our cabin guy was superb, friendly, attentive and the children loved him. the downstairs 'my choice' restaurant was great. the buffet, not really that good we felt a little dissapointed overall, unloading of over 2000 passengers was quite a slow process there aren't any laundries on-board - though they do offer a 30 euro for 20 garments about halfway into the cruise... Lifts were 'naff' - extremely slow, or buttons missing / not working Boat is old, but well maintained top deck is very good, lots of pool space, great kids splash park but get up early to reserve a sun-lounger, and be prepared to fight to get your 'stolen' space back, they really should have a 'kids only' side to the pools as both shallow parts were jam packed with adults grumbling at kids having splashy fun! boat felt very crowded....it's a small-mid sized boat of 2,100 guests, but queue times for a table at brekky were 30min+ at peak.....the staff were fairly attentive though, just a shame to see so many people pushing in Part of the dissapointment was culture I guess, we certainly won't be using Italy as a starting point again, as there's minimal respect for personal space or queues, often resulting in a squashed child Would I use MSC Again - after hearing a few stories about their other larger boats, sure, they do sound great, would I go on a small boat like this again?, nope, too many people, too short a time at the destinations and too long to get on/off the boat Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Our cruise on MSC’s Sinfonia was our 5th cruise. We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC. Our cruise last summer on MSC’s Musica was the reason we booked with MSC again. We are not picky and we had a ... Read More
Our cruise on MSC’s Sinfonia was our 5th cruise. We have previously cruised with Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and MSC. Our cruise last summer on MSC’s Musica was the reason we booked with MSC again. We are not picky and we had a great vacation on Sinfonia but it is definitely our least favorite of the cruises we have been on. The main reason was the food. The quality of the food was very good, but the selection was limited. I need to clarify that you will not go hungry and there is plenty to eat but in comparison to other cruises there are not near as many options. The food on the Musica last summer was excellent with many choices. It was the best food we had on a cruise and we had no idea if would differ so greatly on another of their ships. Embarkation was excellent and I think MSC does the best job of this. Getting off was another story. We were not let off until an hour later than the designated time with no explanation or any staff around to answer questions. Getting off at the ports also seemed to take longer than was anticipated. The shows were very good but not too much else for entertainment. The bar service was painfully slow. We did not get the drink package and everyday there was an advertised drink special but none of the bar staff seemed to be aware of it and we had to bring the flyer with us for them to honor it. One of the things we really enjoyed doing was sitting in the lounge chairs at the back of the boat reading in the evenings. But every evening around 7:30-8 they would come and make everyone get up so they could stack the chairs up. It was way before dark and would have been nice to sit and watch the sun set. We have never experienced this on another cruise before. The amount of chairs on the pool decks is the best of all the cruise lines we’ve been on. The cabin shower was the smallest we’ve encountered and there was no way to shower without the curtain sticking to your body. The shower curtain also had mold at the bottom of it. Other than that no complaints with the room. All in all we had a great vacation. Out of our five cruises this was the most expensive and we did not see the value in it. We may cruise with MSC again if the price is right, but definitely not on the Sinfonia. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My two sisters and I (22, 28 and 32 yo) spent our last week of vacations in Europe on MSC Sinfonia. What was great? -Service in some areas (Dinner room and casino): Waiters went the extra mile to make sure we had what we needed. ... Read More
My two sisters and I (22, 28 and 32 yo) spent our last week of vacations in Europe on MSC Sinfonia. What was great? -Service in some areas (Dinner room and casino): Waiters went the extra mile to make sure we had what we needed. -Night shows: Dancers and performers are professionals and at times it felt like watching a circus show in Montreal. What was average? -Food overall: Not very tasty, not varied. Pizza was fresh, but it was barely decent. What sucked? -Embarkation/disembarkation + poor destination planning: We ended up spending less than 3 hours in Santorini due to the waiting times. This was also true (in different magnitudes) for many of the destinations in the cruise. For final disembarkation we ended up spending extra money on transportation to the airport because of these delays. -Insufficient spaces: Getting a table at the buffet (in different hours) or a spot to sunbath at any deck was very difficult. -Service in some areas (Pool and disco). Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I have cruised 6 times before but never with MSC. I was impressed with the embarkation process but it went downhill from there. The first thing I needed to do when I got to my cabin was use the bathroom. The previous passenger had used ... Read More
I have cruised 6 times before but never with MSC. I was impressed with the embarkation process but it went downhill from there. The first thing I needed to do when I got to my cabin was use the bathroom. The previous passenger had used the toilet and it had not been cleaned. I tried to flush the toilet but it didn't work. We had on going problems with the toilet for 3 days. The ship was full so they couldn't change our cabin. On day 6 our toilet problems returned. I went to reception to advise them and they said they will send someone straight away as he could see on the computer that we had previous problems. We waited for an hour and a half and phoned reception to let them know that we were still waiting. They sent housekeeping to our cabin. She asked to see our toilet, lifted the lid and made a phone call to say Yes, it was true, the toilet was blocked. I said " Don't they believe us" and she said "No, they think you are lying". I have no idea why anyone would want to lie about a toilet that wouldn't flush! This is the first cruise line that I have sailed with who charges for water in the dining room at dinner time. 2 euro 90 for a bottle of water. There was no other water on offer. Activities were limited unless you wanted to learn to dance. An extensive selection of books in the library was mentioned in the daily newsletter but there were only 4 books for English passengers. The ports of call were good but we didn't get to go to Mykonos as it was too windy for the tender boats. The bar service was really slow We were meant to arrive back in Venice at 8am but didn't dock until 10.30 and as disembarkation was via colour coding we didn't disembark until 12.45 which meant we missed our train to Genoa. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first ever cruise. we did it as a big family treat (4x kids ages 12 to 23) to celebrate both: 1. My wife and my 25-year wedding anniversary, and 2. My daughter's 21st birthday. The embarkation/sign-in process was one ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise. we did it as a big family treat (4x kids ages 12 to 23) to celebrate both: 1. My wife and my 25-year wedding anniversary, and 2. My daughter's 21st birthday. The embarkation/sign-in process was one of the worst aspects of the trip & set it on a bad tone immediately. we were not informed that we could go directly to our rooms, but because we had some queries, and have S.African passports, we were told we had to hand these on that day. I spent some 2-4 hours in the queues waiting to be served - obviously along with many others. It was very poorly handled, frustrating and upsetting. This has to be resolved! Disembarkation went well. No one had informed that I couldn't bring a little swiss pocket knife onto the board & having it confiscated & then needing to get it back, was a bit of an unnecessary stress & nuisance. The cabin set up was good, but the room vibrated all the time making proper sleep impossible! The rooms were clean & very well maintained - compliments. The formal dinner dining experience was great. Our waiter was Rakesh who was really charming and helpful. He added immeasurably to the overall dining experience & a formal commendation is appropriate. BUT, all the other meals, with the huge queues, lack of seating, and pretty average and unhealthy food, was a big disappointment. The other key disappointment was the upper deck (pool area). There is effectively NO pool, limited room, shortage of loungers, very noisy etc. This is NOT a ship for an older family like ours bit for one with young, noisy kids. This was our #1 complaint & would make us NOT recommend this particular ship. In addition, the world cup soccer was on at the time, but the viewing areas were all very disappointing - the bar areas were poor places to try watch from (easily remedied but zero effort made; too few chairs etc), as was the business centre - poor TV quality etc. All other facilities were likewise disappointing, bar the gym, which was great. Overall - Disappointing! We had mixed views of the formal shows, but overall were light & fun, if not 'world class' and we did attend many of them. The excursions almost all surprised on the upside, which was great. Well organised & reasonably good value for money. We did, however feel that we were a bit mis-informed about the Santorini/Mykonos, both of which occurred on the same day, as opposed to separate days, as we had been lead to believe…. So as above, overall would be pretty average rating & we would struggle to recommend the Sinfonia, though less sure re MSC overall. I doubt we would go on one of their cruises again... a great pity! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We picked this cruise because of the Ports of call, We had 3 days of in Durban before joining the ship.The first port was Reunion followed by Mauritius, Seychelles,Jordan, 2 days thru the Suez canal, On to Greece, Kotor, Split, Ending in ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the Ports of call, We had 3 days of in Durban before joining the ship.The first port was Reunion followed by Mauritius, Seychelles,Jordan, 2 days thru the Suez canal, On to Greece, Kotor, Split, Ending in Venice. As you can see the ports are the reason we booked the cruise. After reading lots of reviews about MSC, which WHERE NOT ALWAYS GREAT, We decided to book any way. The ship, 2.300 passengers, Not as big as we normally sail on, But big enough. Food,Very poor,In the main Dining room, Very small portions, A rack of Lamb was 2 VERY small chops, 6nights on the run we had the same soup with a different name, Red Pepper which was Yellow ? All based on potato soup. The service was very slow, This was not the fault of the staff waiting on, but the time it took the kitchen staff to serve the food. Twice we decided to eat in the Buffet in the evening, Only 2 mains where available, One was a meat stew, the meat was 75% fat, Unable to eat any of it,The other MAIN was a HOTDOG . If you dont fancy any thing on the Menu we where told there is always a CURRY available, We tried it a few nights, On the last night before Venice, My wife plus an other lady and my self Decided to have the LAMB curry, When it arrived there was no meat only 4/5/ lumps of bone, I asked the MD where is the Lamb, He tried to make a joke of it and said Its not Lamb curry, Its Bone curry, He took it back to the kitchen, I am still waiting for an answer, But we have been home 4 days. You are told that if you want water with you meal, You can buy bottled water at $3 a bottle, Which we did. Until after around 2 weeks in the the cruise, When one Lady on out table asked to see the catering manager due to the number of complaints we had made. We where then informed that you DONT have to buy water, You just ask for a glass of water and you can have as much as you like FREE. Entertainment, All a bit hit and miss, The best show was from the staff, Fantastic. Ports of call, Can not fault any off them, All of them where first class, There was one port which gave concern, Kotor. Kotor is a Fantastic place and this has nothing to do with the port, But it took us 45 mins to get of the ship due to the Angle of the gangway, It was so steep, When asking some of the ships Officers why it was used like that, They told me that they did not know about the tide when the ship docked?. Cruise ships are booked 18/24 months in advance, If they did not know about the water levels when the ship is due, Some one is in the wrong job.As some one who has worked on Cruise terminals for a number of years, THAT gang way would not have been used in THE uk. 4 Days out of Durban . I had been Drinking S.A.Cider, Which was very good, On the 5th day they ran out of it, 5days after leaving port, 3 days before we reached Venice they ran out of Tonic Water, That was the end of the G/T. Think what you like of this review, But this is how it turned out, We have an other cruise booked with MSC NEXT YEAR, But that was booked before we took this one, We have only paided £100 deposit each, Which may be worth loosing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We saw a cruise that included a return flight for an acceptable price. We wanted to visit family in Europe and celebrate an anniversary. (that was a complete misnomer!) We were cordially received by the staff on-board, but it is ... Read More
We saw a cruise that included a return flight for an acceptable price. We wanted to visit family in Europe and celebrate an anniversary. (that was a complete misnomer!) We were cordially received by the staff on-board, but it is overwhelming to be accosted with hard sell on drinks vouchers etc. The cabins were not yet ready, but our cabin steward was a real delight Luciano from Madagascar. He served us really well, clean room,clean linen, always a friendly greeting. Did not leave a tip , no euros available and the exchange rate prohibitave. It would have been so much easier if the cruise payments and prices were in euros and not dollars. An european ship with a european destination should have been. We ate at the cafe del mare a few times, but it was permanently dirty and full. The tables had stains people behaved so badly, and the coffee was not good.The staff were running around trying to cope but sadly were not able. The mealtimes down in il galleone were better. The quality of the food was actually dismal . The head chef should be relieved of his position-- there was no seasoning in the dishes.If we had been presented with the descriptions in the printed menu , we would have been in foody heaven!!! Our waiter Darmawan was struggling with the kitchen and we waited for 2hours before the meal finished. No opportunity to go to an early show. Adrienne our maitre d was really helpful. At breakfast we had a most wonderful waiter, Mark from Philippines. He was jacked up, kept his eyes everywhere, noticed when there was a lack, jumped in and rectified. Served the meals, poured the coffee and all with a smile and a song. The baristas in la baroque were so friendly. The ship's chairs were not comfortable, interior designers must sit and read in a chair before designing and purchasing. The ship ran out of wine, every thing we ordered they did not have, even to get a glass was a problem. And as far as the cocktails, they were mediocre. Onboard arts and crafts was very good with Bob and Irene. The other was disorganised and infantile. The destinations were lovely, but the long long queues to disembark and then back on board, disorganised and chaotic. Why bus numbers were not individually called, when the deck cleared, the next number- instead there was pushing and shoving, people who were ill, coughing and splattering down the stairwell, others worried they would not get off, just as though they hadn't eaten in years. There were obvious maintenance issues,which were being cared for as what seemed possible. Except the light above our dinner table. Never replaced! Believe it or not, I loved the cruise. I did not want to get off. Really not happy at not having a dinner time option. Felt like a second class citizen. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Was an awesome cruise the different stops or destinations was dissapointing. The portugese islands was amazing great day out. Mapuro not sure why the cruise even goes there nothing to do horrible place. And thwen pomene all the cruises go ... Read More
Was an awesome cruise the different stops or destinations was dissapointing. The portugese islands was amazing great day out. Mapuro not sure why the cruise even goes there nothing to do horrible place. And thwen pomene all the cruises go there but most of the time people cant get off due to the wearher so why keep on going there. Worst of all next year they only cruise to pomene not even a stop at the portugese islands this is going to be a huge mistake i would rather stop twice at the portugese islands than never getting off. Then some off the staff is not very friendly at all can hardly understand what you ask that makes it difficult to get things sorted or booked. The service at the bar on the deck where most people hang out in the day was shocking you stand for 20 minutes easily to get a drink this can be much better as this is the main bar everyone goes to. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The cruise was a surprise 60th birthday gift for my husband. He turned 60 on 15 April. When we booked, an additional amount of R750 .00 per ticket was charged for the Oppiwater concerts. We paid our full cruise ticket as well as the ... Read More
The cruise was a surprise 60th birthday gift for my husband. He turned 60 on 15 April. When we booked, an additional amount of R750 .00 per ticket was charged for the Oppiwater concerts. We paid our full cruise ticket as well as the additional amount being under the impression the concerts on board would be part of the cruise.Great was our surprise to find that we had to still book tickets for the concerts and that the ship's usual super entertainment program was cancelled in lieu of RSG managing the entertainment? The out come was that we hardly had any entertainment which we could enjoy - which is one of the greatest pleasures on the cruises. Even the open lounges were closed if we did not have tickets for the show? Some of the concerts clashed with the excursions as well? I would like an explanation of what the additional R750.00 we paid with our ticket was for as we had no added benefit - actually had less as we could not enjoy the usual MSC entertainment? We also ordered and paid for a My Cruise video / DVD package only to find it contained nothing of our cruise? There is a short insert of the landing on Portuguese island and when we were on the ship but the rest of the video / DVD shows the various shows from the MSC entertainment team - this is not the entertainment we had while on our cruise? I would like a refund on this as I was under the impression it would feature at least some photos and moments of my husband and myself? And to say it was our cruise but highlight shows from another cruise is false advertising? I will not book again when other groups such as RSG manage the entertainment. The excursion to Inhaca was a bit of a disappointment as we were first of all harassed by some of the local people wanting to take us on the tour and there was not a clear presence of MSC on Inhaca leaving the us at a bit of a loss as what to do. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Chose the cruise because it was going to destinations which were favourable. First of all, foor a month of travelling, the luggage allowance was not enough as allowed by the air line. Hotel stay in Durban was excellent. The ... Read More
Chose the cruise because it was going to destinations which were favourable. First of all, foor a month of travelling, the luggage allowance was not enough as allowed by the air line. Hotel stay in Durban was excellent. The ship' entertainment was good, although quite short. The entertaining team were friendly and tried their best to get guests involved in activities. Crew were polite. The cabin was satisfactory with enough storage space. Meals- Poor choices, breakfast was the same, the bacon was hard and dry. The choice was limited, if we wanted salmon, we had to go to the restuarant. The service was poor and the waiters sèmed tired and worn out. Lots of the meals were of poor quality. Some were recycled from the buffet lunch to dinner in the restuarants. Presentation was poor. Sometimes the meat were hard and inedible.Sometimes the waiters were embarrased to serve the meal. Water was not served on the table and there was not a choice for tap water until many concerns were raised, afterwhich water was served. Bought a wine package, most of the wines we were told were not available. Had to get the wine from the bar and dring it to the table. Soon after, these same wines became available. Hygiene was not enforced, people were entering the restuarants inappropriately dressed from the pool area. Lots of people had colds and coughs and they were alllowed to use communial areas without taking preautions to stop the spread of the virus. Going on shore excursions was very disorganised. Long queys and delays, causing us to lose valuable shore time when it was already short stops. In Venice, organisation was very poor. Immigration should have boarded the ship and clear people rather than us coming out, them reentering again to join the water taxi. Communication was poor during these times Public areas were dirty and smelt of urine. Stains were noticeable in the day time on the seats. They were cleaned during the trip. Will not cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
For this weekend it was the only cruise available. Had to fly from CT to Durban and back which made this an expensive holiday. The embarkation and disembarkation were a lot better since my previous cruise. I was disappointed in the food ... Read More
For this weekend it was the only cruise available. Had to fly from CT to Durban and back which made this an expensive holiday. The embarkation and disembarkation were a lot better since my previous cruise. I was disappointed in the food served in Galileo dining room. Not a variety to choose from menu, not one of the items of choice was for me appealing. The Italian evening I had calamari for starter and tiramisu for desert. Almost the same food were served in buffet area. In the buffet area there were not cold meats like pastrami/salami, I understand that because of this listerosis outbreak no ham were served. No leg of lamb at the buffet. Only fried fish at buffet and no calamari. There were not a variety of meat dishes, some Moroccan chicken or beef stew. Previous time there were more meat options. Too much breads scones muffins and croissants. Had pork sausage one morning but awful tasted all processed and tasted like dry flour. The deserts are all sweet, would like some salty or savoury deserts or starters like quiches, crachers with cheese and figs. At the buffet I had fresh fruit for desert, the tartlets are too much pastry with glazed fruit or cake type of deserts. No ice cream available at buffet. What about some cold puddings some flamby or chocolate mouse or custard. Less cheese options were available at buffet, were only sliced Edam or Cheddar, no blue cheese or camembert/brie like previous cruise. I'm not full of nonsense about food and eat almost anything, but compared to previous cruises the food were disappointing. Still shocked how people load their plates with food and leave most as left over. Rather go for 2nd serving. Kids wasted the pizzas and burgers. The excursion to Portuguese island was super, the food was disappointing, had a patty and salad and fruit for lunch. Everything had to be brought to land but what about more salads or pre-cooked meals. I had tomato and lettuce for salad. The trip was over all good and good service. Will definitely do another cruise, wish more cruises were available from CT to make it more affordable. It was my mother's first cruise and she enjoyed the adventure. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Information regarding where to eat and what items could be ordered was not sufficiently provided for breakfast and lunch. Food especially breakfast was of a poor standard, repetitive and tasteless. No variety at all, food ran out a lot ... Read More
Information regarding where to eat and what items could be ordered was not sufficiently provided for breakfast and lunch. Food especially breakfast was of a poor standard, repetitive and tasteless. No variety at all, food ran out a lot and took too long to replenish. Tried to order an omelette on the first day of the cruise, was told by the waiter this was not possible as the restaurant was too busy. Ordered eggs benedict in the restaurant for breakfast, after 30mins no one could assist with where the order was. Food and beverage staff need training on customer service, professionalism and friendliness. Bar service was very slow, completely under staffed. We waited more than 30mins for a drink at the main pool deck everyday. More staff required to assist especially with cocktails. Should have a separate cocktail bar to ensure more efficient service. Bar staff especially at the various bars inside rude and not attentive at all. Cabin was clean and up to standard. Housekeeping staff and maintenance staff were the only staff that greeted us on a daily basis, well done. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We had our first cruise in December and simply fell inlove with the experience. This cruise was to experience the magic again. We really enjoyed our first island stop on The Portuguese Island. The setup of the resort is fantastic and ... Read More
We had our first cruise in December and simply fell inlove with the experience. This cruise was to experience the magic again. We really enjoyed our first island stop on The Portuguese Island. The setup of the resort is fantastic and facilities are up to standard. The only negative thing we could criticise was the food. We found the BBQ chicken to be overcooked and rolls a bit stale. The island of Pomene was another beautiful stop. We found that finding shaded area was a bit of a mission. We found the pool a but too small for the amount if people that disembark on the islands. Overall the cruise was quite enjoyable. It is such a treat for us as a family to totally relax in a safe and secure environment. As parents we really value to time we could spend knowing that our kids are being taken care of by the magnificent staff at the kids club. It was a surprise when the staff recognised us in embarkation because of the kids. They were so happy that the kids would be joint them again. I always feel so spoilt on a cruise as I have no cooking and cleaning to do. The fact that MSC has such competent staff reassures us that our every need will be taken care of. All staff are always friendly and ready to greet you with a smile at any time of the day. I would definitely recommend MSC to all my family and friends. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
If you need to unwind and relax, this is it for you! If you decide to park your car, then be prepared to wait for long!!! And get some cooldrink and snacks beforehand. Surely they can better this. The cruise was lovely, the ... Read More
If you need to unwind and relax, this is it for you! If you decide to park your car, then be prepared to wait for long!!! And get some cooldrink and snacks beforehand. Surely they can better this. The cruise was lovely, the entertainment was great. They could do with more cocktail bars, as you always have to wait in queues. Our balcony room was great, except for the rattling of something in the "ceiling". That was irritating, but otherwise the room was great. Shower is very small, cupboard is big enough. The food was ok, some plates were great, others not so great. But you'll never go hungry on that boat, that's for sure! The gym was awesome, the best view ever! Right in front of the ship. I will definitely recommend this cruise to everybody, I really enjoyed it and I can not wait for my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
This was my 5th cruise with MSC in South African waters and I was disappointed. Firstly it is a total nightmare to park your vehicle in the parking at the harbour. To be waiting for more than 2 hours in a queue to park your vehicle not ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with MSC in South African waters and I was disappointed. Firstly it is a total nightmare to park your vehicle in the parking at the harbour. To be waiting for more than 2 hours in a queue to park your vehicle not acceptable, previous trips it didn't take even half an hour. We do understand that the weather does have an effect on the cruise but we were all sad when we heard that we won't be going to Pomene. In stead we visited the Portugese Island for 2 consequetive days. On the the Island the locals really made a nuisance of them selves with all the local stuff they were selling. We visit Mozambique quite often and love to buy from the locals but they were too much on the island. The ship itself was also a bit disappointing. Yes we do understand that there are a lot of passengers on board and will be difficult to keep the ship tidy and clean the whole time, but we experienced that the ship was really filthy, the cocktail bars floors were so filthy you couldn't even walked bare foot. We remember on the previous cruises the cleaning people were cleaning throughout the day and everthing was clean. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
PRE CRUISE. I flew from heathrow to DURBAN via DUBAI Not great as trains in Dubai were not running meaning going thru security Twice! Stayed 3 nts at Parade Hotel right on the Beach. Saw USHAKA MARINE which I enjoyed apart from the ... Read More
PRE CRUISE. I flew from heathrow to DURBAN via DUBAI Not great as trains in Dubai were not running meaning going thru security Twice! Stayed 3 nts at Parade Hotel right on the Beach. Saw USHAKA MARINE which I enjoyed apart from the rain. EMBARKATION. After a nice BREAKFAST in Hotel I got a taxi to the PORT and a long Queue for Check In no getting through any faster as my back card was not a classic as not cruised for a while. Another long queue for passport control. Finally after a photo I was onboard no cabin ready yet so dropped my other case and had a BUFFET LUNCH. Then my cabin was ready despite no announcement. CABIN. I had 7053 an obstructed view not a great view with the lifeboat in the way. Not a bad sixe a double bed no headboard I have had better. ok bathroom with a shower some drawer space. Safe was locked from previous tenant so had to get them to unlock it to use. Also no soap in the bathroom glad they sorted it out before the morning. I prefer proper soap not a dispenser. Then lifeboat drill which was very quick then the case was there and unpacked. I went up on deck to see the SAILAWAY. DINING. My cruise card had no info on it when I was dining or my table number. So at 1730 went to see MATRE D got a table in the other RESTAUARANT then find I was sitting ALONE! Not HAPPY! so had to wait 30 mins to get a table with others. By the time I had dinner I had missed the early show. I like a smoke so using the CIGAR ROOM was a good idea even though all are CIGERETTE smokers using it. I had deal with agent so got FREE bottled water at meals as I do not like not having tap water like most lines do. DESTINATION. My only place was MOZAMBIQUE ISLE I missed this place when I cruises on MSC 20 years ago as they had SMALLPOX so could not land. Funny enough that cruise sat with a couple from DURBAN who I met this time when I was there. EXCURSION. I booked and excursion 4x4 to TURTLE BEACH but as in said I was paying by cash it was not booked. I booked chicken bbq on the beach instead at $45 not cheap. I was having breakfast they kerpt calling tenders I had 2 tickets for different time and after breakfast went on the next one.Got off at MOZAMBIQUE ISLE and walked in the water to where my excursion went from. Got confused thought I cvould use RAND to payt for drinks but used your CRUISE CARD. Had a drink and some fruit. Waited till 1300 for the trip to INACHA ISLAND. it was a tiny like a rowing boat with outboard motor. Had to go into the water to get onboard, I had a lot of trouble getting in and out of the boat. He had trouble starting the motor.Then got there and had to paddle through the water to get to beach. walked to the BBQ and sat with another couple funny trhe lady eat almost none of the chicken and did not want to walk to the village. After the village got the boat back and bought a model boat for 120 RAND. Then got the Tender back to the ship. DEPARTURE. I thought we were staying there overnight but at Dinner I see we are moving nobody seemed to to believe we were. We cruised slowly along the coast. Had Dinner and made sure I did not want to miss the show it was a mind reading show they only picked women. Then cigar room always people to talk to. AT SEA. Had BREAKFAST BUFFET disembarkation talk which used to be shown on the cabin tv which was rubbish not even a map to see where we were. Also 2 lights went out in cabin despite me calling reception they did NOTHING! In the end I had to remove floresoent one as it flickered all the time otherwise all the lights went out. LUNCH Buffet and NAP then Last Dinner and show with goodbye and CIGAR Room was packed with CIGERETTE SMOKERS(NOT GOOD!) so sat on windy deck instead. Packed and left case outside cabin. DISEMBARKATION. After an early Breakfast an early arriving at 5am Then sat on deck waited for colour to be called then taxi to hotel. THOUGHTS. Not a bad cruise things need to be fixed though, only good thing I did like was a machine to take money out of bank account rather than charging me twice, I hope more cruise lines adopt this idea. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
It was gospel Cruise, I like gospel Music,so it was good experience,I enjoyed very much,food was good and delicious,embarkation process was professional,disembarkation process was professional,cruise staff were friendly, the experience was ... Read More
It was gospel Cruise, I like gospel Music,so it was good experience,I enjoyed very much,food was good and delicious,embarkation process was professional,disembarkation process was professional,cruise staff were friendly, the experience was very excellent, the balcony room we were in was good looking,only blankets were not smelling good,next time they must wash blankets,entertainment was excellent, bathroom was cleaned, bath tub was cleaned, information sharing was good and updating, we were supposed to go to Portuguese island, but could not go due to weather not favourable, the pool side area was fun and enjoyable, me and my friends really had great good time together, kitchen staff were friendly, cleaning staff were friendly, gospel concert was excellent, Sunday service was good, the message was very courageous, breakfast,lunch and dinner was well prepared and Delicious ,deserts were very delicious and well prepared, the cruise itself was very enjoyable, we really had great time cruising with my friends. 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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