MSC Lirica Cruise Review by Bneebear
- Sail Date: March 2019
- Destination: Middle East
- Cabin Type: Fantastica Oceanview Stateroom
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - Dubai, Muscat, Eilat, Jordan, Suez Canal, Cyprus, Athens, Katakolon, Kotor, Split and Venice, which was on the whole very good. Athens was dropped because of bad weather and we ended up going to Corfu instead which was rather disappointing but not the ship's fault.
A problem before we even flew out was that MSC gave us an embarkation time of 21.12 when our plane landed at 7.30. We tried to find out if we could board earlier and were told that we could at 13.00. However, when we arrived at the ship at 10.30 we were allowed on. Why couldn't they have told us that and saved us the worry of how to waste several hours at the port?
The cabin was a bit cramped with nowhere to put our suitcases and a third bed stuck out from the wall so you had to watch your head as you walked by. The cabin steward was very good.
The cruise itself didn’t start too well as on the first evening’s theatre show we were rudely and embarrassingly turfed out of our seats as we had unknowingly sat it seats meant for the disabled – we later discovered that there were signs on the backs of the seats but not on the front which is where we had come from. We were then told to go and find other seats, of which there weren’t any as the theatre was completely packed. From what I can deduce, the theatre seats 650 people but the ship had 1900 passengers so it would be impossible to seat everyone at the two shows and you needed to be there very early to find a seat. Several of the shows were opera which didn’t appeal to the majority of people. Some of the shows had some childish warm-up people which were an insult to people’s intelligence. The dancers, acrobats, magician and trapeze lady were very good.
The cruise director Nicholas had a very strong Italian accent and was difficult to understand when speaking English. Everything was announced in English, German, Italian, French and Spanish which was very annoying. There were few announcements about where we were or what was happening, this would have been particularly useful while in the Suez Canal. On leaving some ports they played excruciatingly loud music which nearly deafened anyone sitting near a loudspeaker.
The ship was mainly good but the service let them down, especially in the restaurants as they didn’t seem able to cope even on sea days when they must have known they would be busier. We ordered poached eggs for breakfast one day and after waiting for 15 minutes they came stone cold. Another day we went to the restaurant for lunch and were seated quickly. We then waited nearly 15 minutes before having to ask a supervisor for a menu and then again had to wait for a long time to have our order taken and then to order drinks. It was really awful. The service at dinner was mostly very slow, not the waiters’ fault I think but more the kitchen’s. Some meals were not as described and several meals were returned as inedible. There was very little in the way of vegetables at any meal in the restaurant. They did not cater well for vegetarians and not at all for anyone who needed a gluten free diet.
Staff in the self-service buffet areas would wipe many tables with the same cloth which was never rinsed and they rarely used a disinfectant spray. They were always running out of English teabags, surprising as there were 800 odd English-speaking people on board. We failed to find one single salt cellar on the whole ship that wasn't damp.
The laundry service was not very good. A fellow passenger sent some items down for washing and they came back crumpled and un-ironed – how were they supposed to iron them themselves?
As I said previously, it is unlikely for us to go on a cruise with MSC in future if this is an example of their ships.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
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