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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary which included all the countries and ports I would like to visit. The night stop in the major ports enabled you to visit everything you needed in the time available. Better than expected For a ship with nearly 4000 passengers, there were few times int he 4 weeks when the public rooms were crowded, and with a slight adjustment in your plans you could easily avoid the crowds. It was easy to get around, with 4 sets of lifts and numerous staircases. The variety of food served, once you realized you could ordered what you wanted - if you liked 4 entrees and only one main course- just order it! The embarkation and disembark was quick and efficient. Within 20 minutes of arriving at embarkation I was in my cabin and bags arrived within 15 minutes. Faster than most business class flights! Good points The service was excellent, and any request was quickly dealt with. Our cruise included extra lectures on art and history which for the age profile of the passengers was well received. Things which needed to change to get 5 stars Strangely for an Italian ship the pasta dishes were poor, sauces were watered down. To counter that the pizzas were excellent and freshly baked. There is a gap between travel agent and MSC with regard to visas to enter the countries visited. It did not affect me (as I searched the internet before boarding) but others were stopped visiting India as a result. Not sure why ice cream was not available in buffet - did not affect my scoring, but this was important to other passengers Suggestions to people thinking about booking Consider which excursion you would like before boarding. This lets you plan your trip more efficiency If you book well in advance you may received the drinks package complimentary - one of my better decisions (says my wife) Pre-book the laundry - at only £1 per item, it is well priced and efficient (and I did not use my full quota up!!) Overall very enjoyable experience which was enhanced by the MSC staff - would definitely re-book Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the ... Read More
My friend and I booked this cruise last year while on MSC Seaside. I had been to most of the Far East ports, but my travel friend, Judy, had not seen them. We flew from Tampa to Toronto and on to Dubai enjoying business class all the way. One night was spent at the Dubai Marriott, and the following morning we taxied to the port. And there the problems began! There was a "time to board" listed on your information, but most of the 3500 passengers were already in the very crowded check-in area. Those in Yacht Club were given a place to sit and wait - we commoners just stood in line for nearly two hours. Not a good impression!. Once on board, we found our adjoining balcony cabins to be nicely furnished. I requested my duvet be replaced by a light blanket, and it was quickly done. My "bath tube" as noted on the reservation was a lovely large tub with shower - and all the really hot water one could ask for. Storage space was wonderful, and would have been fine for two guests in the room. The TV was mounted at ceiling height and quite small. We were out of range for English speaking stations much of the time, so it didn't matter too much. We had requested early dining, and found ourselves seated with folks who had limited English. We asked for a change, and were assigned to another dining room where we shared a table for six with an English couple and a couple from Australia. We had a grand time comparing countries and cruises for the entire 28-day cruise. Entertainment was based on opera most evenings. A soloist or duo or quartet sang with piano and flute or violin. There were a few song and dance shows, but due to the passengers' many languages we had no comedians or acts that required a good understanding of English. Food in the dining room tended to be about average rather than great. Always sufficient for any normal appetite, and enough selection to suit almost all passengers. The beverage package that included cocktails, wine, specialty coffee, water and soda in unlimited quantity was a true bargain at $28 per day. We had prepaid for excursions in all ports, and found many were not worth the price paid. Passengers with excursion vouchers had to congregate in the theater, and the staff sent out four or five busses (speaking various languages) at the same time to the same destination. We were late arriving at many sights, and waited in lines for up to an hour to board an elevator in some buildings. There was a library that had about 500 books in German, a hundred or so in French, Spanish, Italian and Chinese, and NONE in English - although there was a shelf with a sign that said English. There was almost no TV, and no daily news sheet was every printed. We had little idea of what was happening in the world during our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Boarded promptly in Dubai. Lovely ship, good sized cabin (upgraded to balcony). Hardworking staff, clean ship, entertainment crew friendly, funny and made great efforts to amuse everyone quizes,poolside dance etc. Theatre: lot opera, ... Read More
Boarded promptly in Dubai. Lovely ship, good sized cabin (upgraded to balcony). Hardworking staff, clean ship, entertainment crew friendly, funny and made great efforts to amuse everyone quizes,poolside dance etc. Theatre: lot opera, ballet, acrobats etc pulled out stops and had wonderful final show. Good to have cinema in theatre after shows!! Cruise director (Masimo) does interesting talks on myths/history/art. Port talks really interesting but do your homework before u come. offer of laundry services last week. Can rinse smalls and hang on line in shower or wash and hang items easy to dry on seadays. Can trot around the deck on Deck 7(either side) or deck16 above Aqua deck. be prepared to climb around the loungers. Gym really busy. Spa expensive as usual. Food hit or miss:usually tepid hard/uncooked as in case of fish,boiled potatoes, meat etc.Soups, salads, fruit, sandwiches, cakes consistently edible/good. Bora Bora Toga Toga back to back bufffets on Deck 14. You will not get any thinner!! Usual cranky customers when delays with embarking. To be expected when large ship, at distant ports. Need to do your homework before u go "whats on in Port". Find out about local transport and shuttles if any. May need to pay for ships shuttle. We would definitely go with MSC again if destinations and price right. Some ports were overnight stops.............excellent. Food and communication!!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The ... Read More
The ship is well maintained for its age. We were on every deck, as we love walking and noticed staff everywhere trying to maintain high standards. Excellent Staff, Delicious dining options, Fresh Fruits available in the Buffet. The assigned seating at dinner was picture perfect. We had a table at the front of the Dining Room with excellent sunset view every evening. Massage experience was divine and the health bar was a plus. The gym is huge with all the newest equipment and you can track your workout progress with an app connected to the equipment. The ship excursion were a bit disorganized and we had some minor issues. The wifi was dependable, just make sure you get the unlimited package as you wont regret it. Our room attendant was unbelievable and the room itself was awesome. Although you will have to pay for all the extras, it was not that bad. We will return Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the ... Read More
I chose this ship because of the price to go to Dubai. I was very disappointed the ship is huge but not as elegant as I thought for it size. The room was spacious but the toilet overran, shampoo container leaked into the shower, the mini refrigerator was not working they replaced it with a new one. The lighting in the room was inconsistent one very dim and one very bright. The food was always cold, nothing to drink after breakfast unless you bought the drink package. Staff stole water charging it to my drink package. My photos look better on my cell phone than the non lighting pictures I paid for with my photo package. Deck entertainment was very dead and dry. The only 5 star review belongs to our cabin steward (Chitla) and the amazing MSC theatre performances. I wish I could cancel my upcoming cruise with MSC. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Let me start by saying i try to find the positive in everything. We chose this cruise (despite some negative reviews) because it had the itinerary we wanted on the dates we needed. That said, here is why I won’t be going on msc ... Read More
Let me start by saying i try to find the positive in everything. We chose this cruise (despite some negative reviews) because it had the itinerary we wanted on the dates we needed. That said, here is why I won’t be going on msc again: First Clue should have been the reservations process. Had to do over the phone because for some reason the new EU privacy laws meant I couldn’t do it online (made no sense to me either). We wanted the package that included drinks but that only came with certain cabins and we needed two adjacent cabins which were no longer available in this category (don’t ask me why they link packages to cabins). Went with two cabins that I was told were connected. They made me reserve with one adult and one teenager in each room but assured me once I got on board this could be fixed. The itinerary was very confusing - it did not include embarkation and disembarkation times. After 3 calls (some of which I had to wait on hold 20 minutes for and don’t even bother clicking that “call me” button on the website) I think I figured out I had to be off the ship by 1 am on the last day (Saturday early am) Time for embarkation - at check in I ask about switching cabins adults in one teenagers in another. Was told just switch room keys. When I asked if I could buy wine using my 14 year olds ID card was told to see the reception on board. 20 minutes in line there - no can’t be done, it is a safety issue (oh and by the way we had visited the cabins which were definitely not connecting). Asked to see a manger, after more wait was told the person on the phone was wrong and it would be investigated (and call recordings listened to) and the hotel manager would get back to me (one guess on if that ever happened). The feeling I got was clearly he could care less about my situation and only cared about if he needed to get a call center operator fired. Now onboard... Water package - don’t actually care about bottled water, am fine with tap but it was what was included in our “package” but only at the main restaurant at dinner not when you pay extra to go to specialty restaurants? Again, I am fine with tap so had them bring me that at our first specialty restaurant (“Hot Pot”) but when we went to Butchers Cut we were told that tap was not available? Seriously? Back to the Hot Pot - it was actually a kind of creepy experience. We were the only ones in the restaurant (9pm - prime eating time on the European ship) and the waiters stood over our shoulder even after we told them we needed some time to look over the menu. Then they brought some of the appetizers and the food that was supposed to be cooked for the main (at the same time) and left with no instructions. Eventually they came back - we asked about the main (and were told to wait) and again about the missing appetizer. Finally it came out that the waiter cooked our food and eventually the missing appetizer was brought. Found it strange no dessert was offered. Teen club - another fail. Except for one day when it had a few extra hours it only opened from 8-12pm and with no programming of any kind. The only thing in the teen club was video games you had to pay extra for and one foosball table you could play with when the counselor was there. No wonder even though many teens were on board it was not a gathering spot. The lack of programming was especially problematic since maybe only 5% of the people on board were native English speakers with numerous other languages on board. Without a dance party or charades game to come to why come hang out with people you can’t easily converse with? Drink packages... we had coupons for alcoholic drinks. I completely get that these are usually restricted to “house “ wines. What I don’t get is why on a European cruise ship there is no training about wine. I would specifically ask for a Chardonnay and can’t count the number of times they pulled out a white blend. Some bars had the “Woodbridge” Chardonnay that was included, most did not. Even more fun were the bars that had it but insisted it was a “premium” wine and so not included. The logic is not based on price either. 8 Euro margarita? Included. 6 Euro glass of wine - not included. Food - not terrible but not good. The only variety on the breakfast buffet was what types of bread and fruit were put out. The lunch buffet area was huge but illogically laid out. If you really wanted to see all the options you had to look at all the stations even though some stations were 90% the same as others. The ship - the spaces were overall nice. The fitness center strangely only had one elliptical machine that always had a wait. There were ~8 treadmills but usually two were out of service so that was challenging durinig busy times. Back to that disembarkation question? The day before what we thought was the last full day of the cruise we get luggage tags that indicate we are supposed to disembark at 9am on Saturday (not 1 am). Of course by this point, hotel arrangements have already been made. When we indicate we intend to disembark at 11:30pm we are told that is not possible and we have to wait until after midnight. Why does the cruise line not know their own cruises?! The pluses? We had a truly wonderful waiter in the main dining room. The parties in the aft lounge were generally entertaining. The itinerary was what we wanted. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I read lots of reviews when deciding on booking this and lots worried me so I was very nervous of how much we would enjoy it...so my review below I hope will help answer the initial questions I had, without duplicating all the other ... Read More
I read lots of reviews when deciding on booking this and lots worried me so I was very nervous of how much we would enjoy it...so my review below I hope will help answer the initial questions I had, without duplicating all the other reviews you will read .....im not a complete novice as have done Cunard Queen Victoria cruises before. Embarkation was excellent...slick, friendly welcoming and efficient....I read lots of reviews about peoples packages not being correct...I didn't hear any guests complain and when we arrived our cruise card was ready at checkin desk, with all trips credited, wifi package code , dining and drinks package all tabled...all worked fine immediately so no arguments on entitlement . The food was excellent....in the self service restaurant there was always plenty of choice and it was hot. It varied a lot in the choices . We had "my choice dining" in main restaurant which was lovely as we were not bound by a set table time..I would recommend this, as you get complete flexibility depending on your days activities.But if not 6.30 or 9pm sitting seemed to be well organised. Food and service were good...if you wanted more they happily offered another course or an extra sweet etc.Breakfast service was good with excellent choices and fruit you could take with you for snacks...there are also areas like an Italian patio area that did wonderfull cake selections in the afternoon..all included. Drinks packages are confusing to understand but staff on first day were helpful in explaining (although they will try and upgrade you..more about this on why I only gave 4 stars further down)...we had the basic package and we had plenty of draft beer, choice of red, white, rose and prossecco, unlimited speciality tea and coffees and even some of the basic milk shakes etc were included ,so for us who had a few pre dinner drinks, wine with dinner most evenings and also had several coffees as well as a beer or two by the pool etc during the day it was well worth it...it also included bottled water...this is a must if you go when its hot or on trips etc as water isn't cheap outside of packages or locally and given if you book before you go you get upto 20% off and don't pay any service charge....we felt it was good value....and you had peace of mind no big bill to challenge at the end. Guest services always had huge queues....ive seen it on all cruises so I especially liked MSC has installed some mini account registration stations...like an iPad where you can register you cruise card, set a limit for any charges on your credit card, link people in your party etc etc...this saved loads of time not queuing after checkin and also made check out easy too. Dress code varies....so simply its seems what you like goes...there are gala dinners so dress up and party away...but if you want to wear smart Casual to dinner that too was acceptable...most ladies wore a cocktail dress and men smart casual and a suit on gala night...this pleased my hubby as he didn't want to wear a shirt and tie every night like on Cunard. Staff I found spoke multiple languages and were always very happy to help ..guests varied from German, American, Italian ,French and English so I found a real cultural mix which I loved...yes announcements on the Tannoy can seem a little long as they do them in several languages but I didn't find it annoying at all....as it only happens once or twice a day. Theatre evening shows are mainly dance routines so that the language barrier doesn't impact enjoyment...its only 30-40 mins and after dinner, with a nice cocktail its a lovley way to unwind...all included. If you prefer to party there are lots of things every night in Jazz Bar, AFT bar etc to suit all tastes from Abba and 70s nights, Jazz to classical singing. Excursions are a personnel choice but we loved the variety..from coach tours sight seeing to mountain bike excursions.....booking via MSC does have advantages as if there are delays due to weather..or in our case a medical emergency meant the ship had to turn around overnight for someone, so that meant we were a few hours late for the next destination...excursions are reorganised and times amended ..if you have booked yourself independently then you will need to reorganise or possibly loose some time...but id say some are over priced so make sure you read the fine detail of what the trips includes...for example we thought we were having afternoon tea in the Ethiad tower.....it turned out to be a 30 min viewing platform with a small slice of cake and small china cup of tea....so expensive for what it was! All the destinations on our trip had "hop on hop of buses" right at the port entrance/docking point easily booked direct and seemed good value, so if your on a budget or want to have more freedom then this is a great way to explore the cities. So overall we loved it and are planning next years trip on the same ship as there was so much to do ,it was very clean as well as noise levels good in the rooms etc...so why 4 stars and not 5......I thought having spent quite a lot on a balcony package, with drinks, spa and excursions etc MSC should not be hard selling...when you arrive to check in you almost have to fend off the mass of sales teams , pitching from the excursion desk, spa treatment, drinks packages etc ....when you are tired after a 10 -12 hour journey then this I felt was unnecessary...then on board for the first 2 days sitting in a bar for instance you were constantly asked if you wanted to upgrade your drinks package or try and sell you a meal deal for the more expensive Butchers cut restaurant...but the final straw for me was the SPA girls....constantly asking if I wanted a massage at "very good price" , and asking why didn't I want to buy products all at discounted prices etc..I had a spa package included for unlimited sauna etc so everyday I had to pass this line of ladies trying to sell me stuff.....after day 3 I did speak to the manager to ask them to stop which they did but to me you should not encounter such hard sales....this I have not experienced on Cunard...hence my 4 star not 5. 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Sail Date: March 2019
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning ... Read More
Great theater shows not advertised on daily planner!?. Reasonable food. Over 40 nationalities but all pleasant if not a bit excitable! Watch your account! Service charges 10 Euros a day but cancelled immediately after questioning customer services by phone. Ship docks at Port Rashid. Dubai Mall must sees : aquarium near main entrance, waterfall, water fountains to music at opposite end of main entrance. Burj Khalifa next to water fountains, best seen lit up in the evening. Excursion for lunch at Burj Al Arab is good as it includes Burj Khalifa 124th floor, souq and museum. Going it alone, a bill for taxi from Dubai Mall back to ship cost us 31 AED (£6.50) after street guy tried to get us in a private taxi for 120 AED (£24). At the Dubai Mall, taxi meter is set at 5 AED then pay by time taken for journey. Waiting time 10 mins when we did it at 9:15pm. Don't worry about a queue, they wait for about 10 taxis then let the queue out to get in the taxis all at once. Ground floor near main entrance. About 20 min journey back to Port Rashid. QE2 now a hotel at port Rashid. Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates and voted for the second time as the safest city on Earth. Sheik Zayed responsible for the city's growth and formation of the 7 Emirates into The United Arab Emirates. The Grand Mosque (Sheik Zayed mosque where he's buried) now very commercial with high airport type security. Strict route now to follow as carpets were being spoilt from children spilling food and drink etc. Le Louvre, amazing museum but looks better online. Ferrari World worth a visit for those inclined. Sir Bani Yas Island good beach with MSC drinks and food on shore. Excursions to see the animals on the island that Sheik Zayed introduced and cared for. About 6 tenders continuously deliver and return passengers to and fro. Long queue on the beach is about 10 to 15 min wait to get back to the ship. No charge for the beach visit. Cabin clean and good with well kept balcony. UK TV in cabin limited to BBC World News. Welcome on board by the captain arranged half way through the cruise at 6pm. By 6:35 he hadn't showed up so we left for dinner. Notification of meeting time for excursion to Qatar given at 9:05pm the evening before the excursion meaning setting our alarm at 6am the next morning if we wanted breakfast. Far too early. Food in the buffet restaurant fairly good but very crowded. After letting the crowds die down and going in about 30 mins later the food wasn't kept hot. Luke warm at best. Staff very friendly and helpful. Although we had a drinks package the drinks in the mini bar were extra, even water. Beware! Trip to the desert a little disappointing because of the amount of rubbish left behind by tourists. In summary, the ship itself is quite good, but the passengers from over 40 nationalities made the experience poor. Total lack of feeling great. Ladies dressed up well on a few evenings but most men didn't bother. Bit like a 'Butlins' cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We last cruised with MSC in the Med 3 years ago and to be honest I was less than impressed so I was a bit apprehensive about booking this itinerary from Dubai for my wife’s birthday. What a difference - the quality of food in both the ... Read More
We last cruised with MSC in the Med 3 years ago and to be honest I was less than impressed so I was a bit apprehensive about booking this itinerary from Dubai for my wife’s birthday. What a difference - the quality of food in both the main dining room and speciality restaurants were right up there with the very best we’ve had on other cruise lines. I can particularly recommend Butcher’s Cut steak house where you can enjoy a 3 course dinner for an additional €39 - worth every penny! Although we didn’t go to any of the shows in the theatre the entertainment around the ship was also much improved with a number of very good singers performing in different locations. One comment would be that the seats in some of the public rooms, Aft Lounge and Purple Room in particular, were a bit too much about form over function. We also spent a bit extra to book a mini-suite (#11009). The room itself was lovely with sitting area completely separate to the bedroom. Two slightly disappointing items were the bathroom (very small) and the balcony (not glass so restricted view and overhung by bridge). If this is the quality of food and service that MSC are now doing across their fleet we’ll definitely be using them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more ... Read More
This was my second time on an msc ship. Did not have the best experience last time, so I had low expectations this time. This was a whole other experience however. Embarcation was smooth and easy. I found the staff to be much more friendly this time. Everyone we met were very helpful and positive. Food in the main dinig room was good, but again my travel partner felt the portions were too smal, so we used the buffet most nights. This time the food was actually warm in the buffet so that was good. The shows were ok, the acobatics were very good! Entertainment was good, even fun at times. The ship was a little worn down I felt. Needs to be freshened up a little. Could be cleener at times too. Our cabin was not very cleen, did not look like the night stands had been dusted for weeks. I wanted to complain, but my mother did not want to be a "Bother" so she cleened herself. The cabin which was an interior had a good size and a good layout. The itinerary was great! We did one excursion arranged through msc, this was ok, but not Great. Other than that we explored on our own. It was overall a more calm feeling on the ship this time. Might have something to do with the guests this time, other nationalities on this route I felt. But there is a problem with acustics in the public areas. It gets so loud. My mum use a hearing aid, but was unable to use it because of all the noise made it uncomfortable for her. Which again made me into one of those who contributed to the loudness to make her hear me. Not good. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
So this is only the 2nd time sailing with MSC (First time was on the Magnifica) and we've sailed previously with NCL, RCI, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa and P&O. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! The ports visited were all ... Read More
So this is only the 2nd time sailing with MSC (First time was on the Magnifica) and we've sailed previously with NCL, RCI, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Costa and P&O. Overall it was a fantastic cruise! The ports visited were all really interesting (See reviews later on..), the food was great and the ship fantastic. Pro's: - Cabin was one of the best we've had. It was an aft facing on deck 12. Quiet and always clean. Our room steward was amazing. It was one of the bigger cabins we've had, and the balcony was huge too. Definitely recommend this cabin - Buffet was huge, varied and we always found a seat! It was comparable to NCL and RCI, not quiet as good as Princess or Celebrity - Embarkation - We were told to arrive at 5.50pm. We flew early so wanted to leave our bags at 10am and come back later. But were told we could check in! By 10.30am we were onboard, luggage in the cabin and having breakfast! I've never had this experience before, fantastic!! - Pools (3) and hot tubs (9!!) were amazing. Rather cold due to it not being so hot, but would be great for a Caribbean cruise - Gym was perfect size, never too busy - The ship seemed to have endless lounges and bars which was fantastic. Always able to find something nice and quiet Con's: - Evening meals were a bit hit and miss. Some were good, others not so good. - That's it. Nothing else that could be classed as a "Con" Overall, for the price and itinerary I would 100% recommend MSC and this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Ship 10/10 Embarkation 10/10 Main Buffet 8/10 Bars and staff 10/10 Entertainment 7/10 Yacht Club Suite 15022 (not really a suite) 7/10 YC Concierge 2/10 Butler 2/10 Top Sail lounge 9/10 L'Olivo Restaurant ... Read More
Ship 10/10 Embarkation 10/10 Main Buffet 8/10 Bars and staff 10/10 Entertainment 7/10 Yacht Club Suite 15022 (not really a suite) 7/10 YC Concierge 2/10 Butler 2/10 Top Sail lounge 9/10 L'Olivo Restaurant Food 9/10 Service 2/10 The above is an at a glance review of our trip from Abu Dhabi If you care or have time i will give now a detailed review for my above ratings. We have done many cruises on most of the major lines including suites with butler service and also two previous cruises with MSC in a suite with the Aurea package so in real terms i am comparing the excellent value received on MSC previously with the extra£1000 cost to go up to the YC package. Having had such good value previously we were expecting more of the same from the YC package.This was not the case in my opinion. The embarkation was brilliant we arrived very early at the port around 9.30 but were took straight on board by a butler to the YC concierge who gave us a briefing of what we should expect and where things were.Our luggage didnt arrive until the afternoon. We were introduced to out butler Davindra who we saw very little of afterwards.He did change my wifes robe that had a hole and a tare in for another one.We came back to the room to find the new robe rolled in a ball with the belt tied around it on a shelf by the cabin door. Attention to detail dont put a tatty broken robe in any cabin let alone the most expensive one on the ship then dont leave the new one like a ball .Hang it up where it should be.The only other thing we asked him to do was book a table at a different restaurant for one night.We arrived at the restaurant only to find that he had not booked it. Butler service this is not. Our biggest disappointment was the service in the L'Olivo Restaurant where the food was some of the best we have had at sea but the service was diabolical .Dinner took over two hours every night.The second night i spoke to the Maitre D and asked if he could speed things up as we wanted to see the show and he said sure no problem.That was our quickest meal of the week two hours and ten minutes.Our waiter Marc worked really hard with no help although the Maitre d and his assistant who passed by empty plates and dishes as if he was above helping to clear tables plus a sommelier who managed to do next to nothing every night.The waiter could only serve the food once it came up so not his fault that it took so long.There is something seriously wrong with this operation that needs addressing.Several people left the restaurant after just their first course on more than one evening.The management would have to be blind not to see this problem!! This is a real shame as the food when it arrived was very good. It looks to me that the senior management on board are all very cosy with each other and are all enjoying an easy life.Maybe MSC should put a secret shopper on board to see for themselves? My wife took my daughter,sister and granddaughter for a girly day to the spa and were so disappointed as having experienced many good spa treatments this was not one of them.The music was loud and the reason for this became apparent it was to cover over lots of outside noise from people walking up and down the corridor and staff members calling out to each other.does not afford a relaxing experience.When each treatment was finished they were all ushered straight out without any down time. Gratuities at this cabin grade are 10 euros per person per day added automatically .When i requested to remove these from my bill in front of both the Head Butler and food and beverage manager neither of them asked why?.Many other passengers we met also did the same and not one of them was asked why.Maybe management knew why and preferred not to hear it. Whilst dealing with gratuities we are led to believe that by adding them automatically that all members of staff including back room get a share.This was a total shock to the bar staff and others that i spoke to.They were unaware about this and said they did not get any of the money. I am not a mean minded person and i was quite happy to tip good service to my two cabin stewards and Marc the waiter. Over all i would still cruise with MSC again but not in the YC. I would much prefer to travel in a suite with the aurea package that i feel represents real value for money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We went on this cruise as a family of six and had a throughly good time, embarkation went very smoothly in Dubai and once on the ship we were very impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the ship. We had three rooms all with ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a family of six and had a throughly good time, embarkation went very smoothly in Dubai and once on the ship we were very impressed with the condition and cleanliness of the ship. We had three rooms all with balconies which were a good size and kept very clean, the dining experience in the main dining room was excellent with great food and drink expertly served by Erry Prastiana & Neel Pratap. The breakfast and lunch in the Bora Bora also had plenty of choices to suit all taste with daily specials on offer and great staff. The bars around the ship were numerous and all the staff were very helpful and pleasant and couldn't do enough for you especially i Made Muliana. The checking out on the last evening was a bit of a nightmare with a lot of incorrect billing and an automated credit card system which is difficult to understand. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you ... Read More
We had only just come home from a Christmas cruise on Sinfonia and had a great time, by chance I was browsing the MSC site and found this cruise from Dubai flying out from the UK on Emirates at a price for a balcony cabin for what you would expect to pay for the flights. The flight was very good and we were transferred to the ship by about 8:30 in the morning, we expected to have to wait until after lunch to board but were shown through to check in and were on board by 9am and offered breakfast in the dining room. Our luggage arrived quite soon and we were able to get changed and freshen up before lunch. It was nice to see some familiar faces from other ships among the staff, and they went out of there way to make us welcome. We have sailed on Splendida previously so knew what to expect, but there were some changes that had been made presumably to suit Arabic tastes, One change in particular was a bar only playing Arabic type music, the bar seemed quite empty most nights; and this bar had always been full and buzzing on previous cruises. We did find the dinner service to be very slow, we were on first sitting (6:30) and we only just completed our meal by 8:30 when the second sitting were waiting to come in. On one evening we were served our starter and the dirty plates were still on the table half an hour after we had finished. I cleared the table myself and gave the plates to the waiter, as you can imagine that caused quite a fuss and service improved the following night but then slipped again. There was another issue with a sharp foreign body in my wife's soup, we are still waiting for a good explanation why it was there. We used the restaurant for most of our meals though when we did use the buffet it was fine. The cabin was very good and a good size though fittings are looking a bit shabby and a bit more attention need to be taken regarding cleaning in the corners, but with too many cabins to service it must be hard for the staff. Mentioning the staff, everyone we met was always willing to serve you with a smile and a chat, we never had to wait long in the bars, if you just sit there and expect them to find you then you may have a wait. If you see the waiter/waitress then just stand up and wave your cruise card and they will acknowledge you, it always worked for me. Disembarking was a breeze though it was early in the morning (3:30) we were transferred to the airport at Dubai, it's very large and flashy but there was enough going on to keep you amused until the flight. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Travelled as a party of 7 to celebrate a birthday. The Yacht Club is promoted as being special, but the concierge desk really let it down. No assistance at any time, always told to go away and come back later (as excursion desk was not ... Read More
Travelled as a party of 7 to celebrate a birthday. The Yacht Club is promoted as being special, but the concierge desk really let it down. No assistance at any time, always told to go away and come back later (as excursion desk was not open, bar that had made a mistake on on bill wasn't open, surely their purpose is to sort things out and get back to you if there is any issue, not to make you spend your time going backwards and forwards to the desk at a time convenient to them. L'Olivo Restaurant - took well over 2 hours every night to have a 3 course dinner - far too slow, saw other people walk out after only having a starter. Not the fault of our waiter who worked really hard, but the Maitre D seemed to give no support to his team whatsoever. Food, once it arrived was very good. Top sail lounge - possibly due to limited English spoken, one of the waiters often brought completely the wrong drinks, not a major issue, but happened so often that it went beyond the joke. Used one drink only from the mini bar about half way through the week - this was never replaced. We have been cruising for over 30 years and have been with most of the major cruise lines. This was our first MSC Cruise and very probably the last. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Last year I had two cruises with HAL and one with Celebrity. MSC reviews are very controversial and I did not immediately decide on booking. But as a result I liked this ship. What I liked: Thanks to the status match program, I ... Read More
Last year I had two cruises with HAL and one with Celebrity. MSC reviews are very controversial and I did not immediately decide on booking. But as a result I liked this ship. What I liked: Thanks to the status match program, I received status Black based on my status from Celebrity. Food in a paid restaurant. One trip there for free with the status of Black. Cooked delicious, decorated nicely. Entertainment. Good staging of the show in the theater, beautiful costumes. Pleasant live music in the atrium and in bars. Entertainment is understandable to passengers speaking different languages. Daily there were various games by the pool. For participation in the games gave prizes. It was interesting for both children and adults. The company is interested in public from different countries. Information besides Italian dubbed in English, German, French and some others. The staff, having learned from which country the passenger, tried to say a few words in his language. Even in Chinese. Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent, including the tender. Reception Never seen a big queue. Maximum two or three people. Buffet. Maybe it came successfully, but there were no queues for distributions. Design. Nice colors, beautiful decoration of public areas. Cabin. I had a fantasy category. The cabin is internal, but spacious enough. I liked the layout and color scheme. What I did not like: Pool area. Sun beds were very tight. Zone size is not sufficient. No soft lounges, like the companies Celebrity and HAL. The area near the indoor pool. Next to him there were no sun beds, only tables with chairs. Sunbed could be found on the second floor, above the pool. But this is less convenient. The range of food in the main restaurant and in the buffet is not very diverse, compared to HAL and Celebrity. But the cooking quality is good. Value for money I think good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise ... Read More
After reading many bad reviews we were a little worried. However, we had a thoroughly enjoyable trip with no real complaints although with every ship one can have little niggles. For the price we were very happy. This was our 16th cruise & 1st with MSC & we will be happy to choose MSC again. We chose this one for some winter sun, relaxation and interesting ports & that's what we got at very good value. Check in was smooth and speedy, bags were delivered quickly. The ship is spotlessly clean and we found the staff to be very friendly. Our balcony cabin 100075 was a good size and the sofa bed for my daughter was a double . All was clean and comfortable with enough storage space, although we were glad we brought a lot of our own hangers as not enough provided. Our towels were changed on an alarmingly regular basis!! Food was generally good in the main dining room, sensible sized portions, served hot which didn't leave you feeling bloated. The buffet was quite good too although nothing compares to Celebrity Cruises for food We took a drinks package which worked well for us. The Butchers Cut speciality restaurant was very good but a little expensive meaning it was very quiet.Never got to try the Asian themed one & imagine it would be quiet too as it's hidden away & not easy to get to. There were plenty of bars to choose from, all usually with some form of entertainment. Some were very quiet and lacked atmosphere. The theatre shows were very mediocre although the acrobats were good. We enjoyed all the ports of call, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sir Bani Yas cruise beach, Muscat and Khasab. Glad we did the 4 wheel drive adventure in Khasab as there is no real city to visit. Our day at sea did prove deck space is limited if you don't get out early & find a bed that hasn't annoyingly been covered with a towel by someone who then goes off and doesn"t return for hours. And I mean hours, if at all. In the end I removed 2 towels blocking beds & no one ever came for them. This doesn't just happen on MSC though, it's just selfish people. All in all this was a lovely holiday. Yes, there were littlethings we thought may have made things slightly better, but I don't think any cruise line of reasonable price is 100% perfect & sorry; we don't want to be up there on grand ships even if we can afford it. There are always folk who seem to delight in complaining about each and every thing. Unless things are really bad how about just relaxing and being thankful you are able to get away in the first place? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise, the good lady's 4th and children's 3rd - though the first with MSC. We booked at Fantastica package which included 24 adult beverages and 24 non alcoholic ones for the family. I think if you approach MSC with an open mind, that it won't be the same as RCCL etc, there will be more of 'Mediterranean' feel to certain things, rather than a US polish / efficiency - I think you'll have a great time. The embarkation in Dubai involved no queue at 4.30pm and our cabin was already available to use. Disembarkation, we walked off with our own bags with ease and straight into a taxi to the airport. Food: We used the dining room for breakfast as one of party is gluten free and there was always a gf menu available. Choice of menu items cooked to order or hot and cold buffet options. Lunch we always used the buffet, where we never had an issue finding a table and enjoyed the freshly made pizza along with wide range of hot and cold food plus deserts. Buffet is open almost all day. Dinner we ate 5 times in the main restaurant (1st sitting at 7pm) and twice in the Butchers Cut, speciality restaurant. We liked the variety in the main restaurant, though portions are not large. Given how much we'd already consumed throughout the day, this was not an issue! Butchers Cut was ok, but not a stand out meal for the additional price paid. Unlimited bottles of mineral water were available at lunch and dinner, which was a nice touch. (Not sure if due to Voyager Club / where we booked cruise or included with Fantastica package). Wine included with drinks package included a nice Puilly Fume in the main restaurant. Ports (we did not book an MSC excursion as I didn't feel they were good value): Abu Dhabi - took a taxi and visited Yas Waterworld. Really enjoyable and I suspect less people and queues than Atlantis in Dubai. Sir Bani Yas - beautiful island, particularly the views to the far side. Kids played on the aquapark, I rented a paddle board for an hour. Buffet served on the island. Tender service worked well. Bahrain - port is 40 mins+ from Manama so chose to stay onboard Doha - Nice, compact city. Walked to Souq Waqif. Well worth a visit, particularly to the Falcon section Dubai - docks for 24 hours before disembarkation. Took a taxi to the Dubai Mall to see the aquarium (impressive) and Burj Khalifi (also impressive). Entertainment: Given the multiple nationalities on board it was mainly dance, acrobatics and signing. We went to a couple of shows, they were fine. Huge theatre with plenty of seating. Outside public areas: There was sports court that the children, and several others had a great time on playing football. We never had an issue finding space to grab a couple of hours in the sun (we always looked away from the main pool area). Even on the day at sea there were sunbeds free at 11am. Staff: Our cabin steward was quite quiet, but the room was cleaned well twice per day. The restaurant staff were all uniformly excellent & friendly. Summary: Given the price paid, versus the price we paid for a similar cruise with RCCL, MSC wins hands down. We all enjoyed the cruise to the extent we booked another one for December. Yes, there is a definite difference between MSC and the major US lines, though I don't see this as a bad thing. You could argue it has its plusses. I'd happily recommend as we all had a really enjoyable week onboard. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Unfortunately we booked this back in June for new years. We also had a cruise booked with MSC seaview in Sept. (New ship) That was awful the staff were rude there was no atmosphere we couldn't wait to get off the food was the ... Read More
Unfortunately we booked this back in June for new years. We also had a cruise booked with MSC seaview in Sept. (New ship) That was awful the staff were rude there was no atmosphere we couldn't wait to get off the food was the same every night. When we got back we tried to cancel our dec new Years cruise on the splendida but we couldn't so we are here. We decided not to let it get to us I must say it's better then the last cruise back in sept some of the staff are lovely. Our waiter Naveen and his friends were fantastic thank you so much to them they were lovely and nothing was too much trouble Food still the same as what we had in September mostly cold. The boat is old now and needs a revamp. The entertainment is boring not like royal. I can't recommend royal Caribbean enough to people if you want fun atmosphere formal nights and too feel like your enjoying yourself. Never ever will I come on a MSC I felt like we were the minority British. With pushy rude passengers. The muster is a joke because people get on and off every stop the musters at night 11pm. Most nights Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We usually go to florida and caribbean during this time of the year, but in 2018 /19 we decided to visit uae and some other gulf countries for change . Msc was the only acceptable for us cruise line in the region so we booked with them ... Read More
We usually go to florida and caribbean during this time of the year, but in 2018 /19 we decided to visit uae and some other gulf countries for change . Msc was the only acceptable for us cruise line in the region so we booked with them (yacht club) on a 7-day cruise started 29 dec 2019. Four years ago we spend three weeks in yacht club of divina (caribbean sea), last year we boarded msc seaside (miami) and the experience we had from those times was not quite good. To be honest, on board the splendida situation was much better, may be because our preliminary expectations were too low due to divina and seaside experience - we were prepared to face unadequate services and a number of unpleasant situations as it often happens on board the msc ships. Surprisingly everything on board was relatively good - well cleaned cabin and bathroom, good (i wouldn't say delicious) food in restaurants, nice coffee(!), well organised shorexcursions etc. Pool area was clean but the water in the pool was like 20-22c and a bit muddy so noone got in. But that's ok - there was not too much time for pool activities. I will probably soon forget about some small confusing situations and disorder that staff on board some times got in - this is italian cruise line aftreall. What really spoiled my good impression of this cruise was final bill. It was an outspoken attempt for froud. We have booked our shore excursions in advance and they were payable on board. All the prices for shore excursions in the bill however were higher than those we had at the time of booking. Luckily we had all the docks available to prove we were right. Our friends of switzerland gave us a warning about this policy of msc cruises - i couldn't believe it was true, but now... The worse thing is that this is not somone's mistake - this is a company’s policy. just imagine how many people travel on the msc ships and what a huge amount of money msc takes on top each week, month and year! And obviously staff on board knows about this policy – they are strictly instructed not to give explanation when passangers ask and to postpone solving the issue as much as possible. I insisted on immedate explanation and it took me nearly half an hour “fighting” with mr.he mingdon – guest service agent at yacht club and mrs. Marina greg, supposed to be a manager of shorex desk , to receive one. The explanation i got was really rediculous (not to say stupid) and i’m not going to describe it. Another small thing that iritated my feelings was a so called uniceff donation. Nobody asked me if i want to donate or not. They simply put it in my bill and charged me without asking me at all! Msc makes a big noise saying "we (msc!!!) help poor people in brasil or africa or elsewhere". They never say "msc passengers help"...! Slight difference, but important, i think. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
7 night ME cruise from Dubai with my wife over Xmas. The ship itself was fine, but the food in the buffet and main dining room was pretty poor. Low quality and variety. The fresh pizzas were good, as were the breads, pastries and barista ... Read More
7 night ME cruise from Dubai with my wife over Xmas. The ship itself was fine, but the food in the buffet and main dining room was pretty poor. Low quality and variety. The fresh pizzas were good, as were the breads, pastries and barista made coffee. Plenty of bars, with the best range of wines being in Dim Sum. Ship was packed, but the bar and seating area at the back of deck 15 was good. Very good team up there. Gym was okay. Entertainment was okay, but not a patch on the US owned ships. We had the lowest grade balcony cabin and this was pretty good. Decent, over bath shower and comfy bed. Ports of call okay, with Muscat being the stand out one. Highly recommend a 2 hour private taxi tour for 50 euro. Getting on and off easy enough, despite the ship being full for the week Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation seemed smooth but they didn’t put our drinks package on our cruise card so had to queue again onboard ship to rectify - no apologies. Headed up to pool deck and first thing we encounter is a pile of vomit with cones round ... Read More
Embarkation seemed smooth but they didn’t put our drinks package on our cruise card so had to queue again onboard ship to rectify - no apologies. Headed up to pool deck and first thing we encounter is a pile of vomit with cones round it and most of ship cordoned off and being painted. Food in Bora Bora lacking in variety and often cold. Lot of ship off limits for Yacht Club. Then had the cheek to close centre of ship got a private wedging on Christmas Day. ( acsea dsy with everyone on board! Crazy. Not impressed. When we first got in our cabin it stunk of sweaty people . Pubic hairs in shower tray and in the bed. Floor wasn’t vacumed and furniture stained and shabby. The excursions were expensive and the mini trip around Sir bani Yas was a complete waste of time and money. Sorry but MSC were definitely the worst cruise line I’ve been on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
I went on with an open mind after reading the reviews, after a few hours the style wears off and the reality is clear. Only a handful of staff are happy, you get told wrong information on a constant basis! You are clearly putting ... Read More
I went on with an open mind after reading the reviews, after a few hours the style wears off and the reality is clear. Only a handful of staff are happy, you get told wrong information on a constant basis! You are clearly putting some out asking for service! Food is very ordinary in the buffet and the selection is the same day in day out. Lunch food is just left out until dinner tome. The pizza is good and the burgers are all lined up like a fast food restaurant. We only ate in the restaurant on Christmas Day as we were put on a table with another family despite our travel agent confirming we had a table for two. When I tried to ask to be switched I was told I was only in Bella so not high enough catergory for a table for two, and also I was on a table for two. The Christmas lunch was very disappointing. Entertainment is non existent and the bands are terrible, soul one is okay but they had the same song list rolled out every night. Worst thing was seeing what I think was sawage pumped into the pool, they didn’t close it or test the water and then a few days later cleaned it. Absolutely disgusting. I was told it was not sewage but from the engine pump below (because that’s okay??) I would never use MSC again not a patch on Royal Carribean or Celelbrity If you haven’t booked yet run the hills!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
I choose MSC because of price, itinerary, and service. We always choose the Yacht Club experience and are never disappointed. Though we rarely go to the buffet I noticed the bar service there has greatly improved. As always the ship was ... Read More
I choose MSC because of price, itinerary, and service. We always choose the Yacht Club experience and are never disappointed. Though we rarely go to the buffet I noticed the bar service there has greatly improved. As always the ship was immaculate. We had no problems in any manner on board. The dining experience has changed a bit in the YC but not in a positive or negative way. In comparison, the menus' format has changed and the food selection, if memory serves right, is reduced. Not by much, however. In any case, the quality of food in the YC is as good or better than ever. The embarkation and disembarkation were quick, easy and effortless. I can't say enough how MSC coddles their YC guests. We had an excellent Butler, Nata. He was the kind of Butler I like. Rarely seen but when needed he was right there and helpful. We did travel with my 14-year-old son but he chose not to utilize any youth programs. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I have never ever experienced something so bad. MSC has so much to learn. You pay all this money and get nothing but bad, rude staff. Asked to pay extra for ALL activities. Hardly nothing to do - especially for teenagers. Everything is ... Read More
I have never ever experienced something so bad. MSC has so much to learn. You pay all this money and get nothing but bad, rude staff. Asked to pay extra for ALL activities. Hardly nothing to do - especially for teenagers. Everything is closed all the time. If you ask staff to do anything or help you they hardly understand their job and do absolutely nothing about it. The atmosphere is dead. Truly the worst experience of my life. The cabins are small with only one plug in them. Paid extra for the Fantasia - don’t know why because there was nothing better about it. Staff was all rude and useless Food very moderate with very little selection So many Of the activities not even working Advertise all these things to do yet they don’t have the activities in working order - like no balls or racquets . Hated every minute Read Less
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 3.3
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 5.0 3.8
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.7

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