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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
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
4 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
2 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
MSC Splendida Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 5.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 5.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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