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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We have pretty much been on all cruise lines and so we were keen to try MSC as they are now using the English ports and are keen to attract the British market. We were excited to try a new cruise line and had high hopes of a great ... Read More
We have pretty much been on all cruise lines and so we were keen to try MSC as they are now using the English ports and are keen to attract the British market. We were excited to try a new cruise line and had high hopes of a great experience. We were disappointed. The ship is very glitzy but has very little comfort. Sun beds were the worst on any ship and a lot of the chairs at the garden bar were not fit for purpose. The food was very poor and not hot in all the restaurants on board. You could not get a hot cup of tea on the ship unless you paid for it. The staff were the most unapproachable staff ever on a ship that we have had in 30 years and over 100 cruises. Cabin was ok but the balcony chairs were not very comfortable. Entertainment was not good. activities were ok but not for the English. service in the cabin was ok. service in the bars was poor. Service in the dining room was good but food was poor. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The ship its self was modern clean with an impressive stairway and delivered what was expected from this class of ship . We purchased the Aurea package which gave you some extras like free drinks, package massage, my choice dining and ... Read More
The ship its self was modern clean with an impressive stairway and delivered what was expected from this class of ship . We purchased the Aurea package which gave you some extras like free drinks, package massage, my choice dining and free access to deck 18 Dining was the first problem, a high standard was expected from the team as the previous two cruises delivered this but , quality of service and food failed to meet the previous experience resulting in a complaint. The buffet area offered at times a better standard. The buffet area also was at times I felt of a disjointed set up the items did not flow i.e meats/ chesses to accompany a salad where miles apart when common sense would of had them close. Entertainment was of a low standard very repetitive and only started to improve last three days of the cruise The Drinks package wow what a mess , previously the Aurea had a generous drinks package but this has been devalued to €6 but and this was changed in November 2018. Their systems don't know who purchased the cruise prior to November so the system was honoring drinks to the value of € 9 but the staff advised you if you asked only €6. In the next action they would still process drinks to the value of €9 at no extra charge to yourself, what was the point of telling you €6 ? I found some of the front line staff wooden especially on the help desk , like the sketch from little Brittan the computer says no !!! If you used a brain cell you could make life so much easier without the customer having to point out some of the MSC policy's just don't make sense! In a nut shell MSC is growing and polices are changing of which I would hazard a guess non of the management who are implementing the changes have actually experienced the impact of such living on board as a guest. Having cruised with MSC twice before we had a level of service expected and unfortunately this cruise fell short of these. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a ... Read More
We have traveled to Caribbean previously in 2017 on MSC Fantasia and had a wonderful time. It was a fly cruise. This time we flew out to Caribbean on Virgin Atlantic and this was a very pleasant experience. We decided to do a different cruise in as much as we flew to Barbados and then after On our arrival in Bridgetown we had a very pleasant surprise. As we got off the aircraft we found coaches waiting for us at bottom of steps. We were taken directly to the ship and never touched our luggage until it arrived in our cabin. The cabin itself was a balcony cabin and was beautiful in every way. We chose a Fantastica cabin as it came with a drinks package. Our cabin steward, Erith could not have been more helpful and kept cabin spotless. We chose !st sitting dining in Golden Lobster Restaurant. The waiters were great and were very attentive including our waiter James ( name we used for him.) he left ship in Lisbon to fly home to Bali. His assistant waiter was called Abhishek Kumar from India and he went out of his way to make sure we had a fantastic holiday. He deserves the highest praise. The food was excellent although not to my taste all the time. The restaurant was spotless and well managed. The entertainment on the ship left a lot to be desired although the the trio with the pianist and 2 violinists we excellent and a pleasure to listen to. The service overall on the ship was first class and could not be faulted in any way. WE did not take any of the excursions and made our own arrangements. We found the islands very commercialized now and have got worse over the past few years. We took a taxi in Guadaloupe and the female taxi driver was the most dangerous taxi drive I have ever used. She was swerving all over road and reading phone texts and making nd taking phone calls. In Barbados was took a trip in a glass bottom boat which was most enjoyable and well worth the money. After leaving Barbados on 9th April we traveled 5 days across the Atlantic and it was a lovely smooth crossing to Tenerife which we enjoyed immensely. WE then visited Madeira which is a lovely island and I would recommend anyone visiting if you get the chance. The 3 visits to Lisbon, Vigo and Le Havre were not as good and as it was bank holiday most of town was closed. The appeared to be a lot of coughing on board which I hasten to add. I do not blame on ship. Our disembarkation in Southampton due to passengers who boarded in Le Havre did not attend the compulsory immigration procedures. This is the one complaint I have about MSC. It is used as a ferry service more that a cruise ship. Overall the ship and staff were perfect in every way and I would not hesitate to use MSC again although I would be more selective. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our thirteenth cruise which was certainly unlucky for some The food and the entertainment were no where near the standard we have come to expect from other companies. The use of hand sanitisers was left to the individual ... Read More
This was our thirteenth cruise which was certainly unlucky for some The food and the entertainment were no where near the standard we have come to expect from other companies. The use of hand sanitisers was left to the individual passengers and needless to say very few used them. .There were no safety stickers on the balcony windows and children and people with poor eyesight could have had a nasty injury. It was our 50th wedding anniversary whilst on the cruise and apart from an anniversary cake, organised by our travel agent there was no input from MSC. We had a drinks package but the only wine we were allowed was a cheap Italian chardonnay andthe only beer was Heineken draught. The ship was a glorified ferry and we will most certainly not sailing with MSC again and especially as we have been ill since our return two weeks ago. . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise to celebrate our retirements. It was our first time cruising and it has certainly NOT given us the “bug”!! The ship was so crowded. The food was awful, particularly not the Golden Lobster ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise to celebrate our retirements. It was our first time cruising and it has certainly NOT given us the “bug”!! The ship was so crowded. The food was awful, particularly not the Golden Lobster restaurant in the evening. On two evenings we were not allowed in the restaurant until 9.30 pm which is far too late. There were passengers embarking and disembarking all the time so safety drills constantly happening causing use of the ship for current passengers to grind to a halt during these times, including lifts, bars etc. The signage on the ship was poor and clearly not enough lifts available. The entertainment poor and shows were repeated for 15 night passengers. One pool was so noisy with all the naff entertainment. The so called “garden pool” was closed for 3 days. On the plus side, the majority of the staff were very friendly, courteous and helpful. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Mainly chose this ship as the itinerary suited, no sea days and many islands to visit. its difficult to find something very good about this MSC cruise and unless they have a good rethink about the following would never go on MSC again. We ... Read More
Mainly chose this ship as the itinerary suited, no sea days and many islands to visit. its difficult to find something very good about this MSC cruise and unless they have a good rethink about the following would never go on MSC again. We have been on many cruises over the years. The cabin was very clean although the shower area needs the sealant re-doing as its going black. Food on board was poor in the Golden Lobster, often over cooked or tough meat, we had a main as starter and main meal as potions were so small and had to ask for extra potatoes, etc. The buffet food was very much the same each day, difficult to find somewhere to sit, very busy post any excursions. Entertainment on board was really bad, some of the singers around the bars seemed bored, apart from the thee female vocalist and violin players. One of the bands (Moonlight something) were so bad they could clear a bar quicker than last orders!!! The theater shows were a bit of a joke with the same acts each night to a different theme, and repeated again on the second week, so a bit thumbs down there. The excursions were really sold up as the best thing to do, but apart from the swim with stingrays were over priced and pretty boring. Its best to do you own thing by getting a taxi with some others. Sometimes the lifts were out due to embarking and disembarking passengers, so had to wait an age for a lift, complaints went over the staffs heads. MSC picks up passengers from the islands to fill cabins, this means life boat drills and no bars open. The drinks packages mean that both wife and i would have to have the same package if in the same cabin, she does not drink alcohol and I only drink beer from any package, so we just used pay and go. They do need to sort this out, and fill a beer glass right up, as i got fed up asking them to fill it... The room guy was nick named Mr Happy as he definitely wasn't and could not wait to end his contract, most staff where helpful but they looked tired and fed up. We did fell like MSC did not cater for British, all deck entertainment was in other languages, English was an add-on... Overall, we enjoyed visiting the different islands but not the ship and would not recommend to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We cruised on this ship on March 5th to 20th this year we fly to Barbados and got straight onto the ship this part was brilliant such a easy and well organised procedure by MSC, the plane was all Cruise ship passengers and we gave in our ... Read More
We cruised on this ship on March 5th to 20th this year we fly to Barbados and got straight onto the ship this part was brilliant such a easy and well organised procedure by MSC, the plane was all Cruise ship passengers and we gave in our cases at Gatwick airport check in and we did not see them again until they arrived in our cabin on the ship in Barbados (amazing) once we landed in Barbados we were taken straight from the run way onto a coach and taken straight to the port to embark the ship. My only criticism here was that me and my husband were separated on the plane although his seat was only in the row in front of me ( this was only a issue as I am not a very good flyer and was a little nervous about sitting on my own for 8 hours). Once on the ship the décor and cleanliness seemed brilliant and was much the same as the Divina which we have sailed on before. Our cabin which was a inside state room on deck 8 (8171) was a good size, clean and located just 2 doors from the lift which was good until you get a change over day and they start to load peoples case off the ship between the hours of 11 and 3 in the morning and all you can hear is the cases in cages been wheeled and smashed into each over whilst you are trying to sleep. The buffet was generally good had quite a good selection of different foods (my only complaint is that the food was not partially hot everything was just warm) unless you timed it right and manged to get a slice of pizza as it had just come out of the pizza oven. even the tea/coffee water was mostly warm and not hot so your drink was only luke warm. The main dining room the golden lobster was lovely and the staff were very friendly and accommodating. The food was also pretty good but didn't really have that much of a choice, the only annoying part of this is the constant banging of wine bottles and singing when it was someones birthday/anniversary it is ok the first few times but when you are trying to eat and talk to people on your table it can become annoying when they do this 3-4 times (maybe there was just a unusual amount of special occasions over the 2 weeks we were on the ship) the Il Cappuccino coffee bar is lovely and the staff here are also lovely Phoenician Plaza (Ice Cream Bar) - really lovely the snack and ice cream here are amazing Entertainment - this is where it all fell apart, The Theatre performances - the first one we saw we thought was quite good the acrobatics team are all very good it was just the singers which were only ok as they could not really sing with English dictation most of the song you could not understand the words unless you knew what song they were singing. It seem that all the performances where much the same every night just with a different theme and the story lines didn't really make much sense. Singers in the bars/lounges where again ok singers but just hard to understand. All the ports we visited all were lovely, we did one excursion organised through MSC which was the in Dominica and we got on a trolley train which took us around the Island we visiting a old church and we went to a lovely botanical garden. The tour guide was lovely and very informative. We also visiting the Emerald pool waterfall here and this is also worth a visit. My last thing is that I feel they needed enforce the using of the hand sanitisers to people getting on and off the ship and also when entering dining rooms ect. Most people did not use these and this is what I believe caused a lot of passengers to be poorly. The need to look at the sanitisers to also make sure that they are all working correctly as on a few occasions when getting back on the boat we believe they may of run out as they would not dispense any sanitiser. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian Lazarus, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would ... Read More
MSC Preziosa - Yacht Club - 5-19 March 2019. Caribbean from Barbados via Cruise Club UK. The cruise consultant, Ian Lazarus, delivered on every promise and commitment made. He has been superb throughout the whole process and I would strongly recommend using his services if booking a cruise package. Our second Yacht Club experience having been on board Fantasia last year. We were a party of 6 taking up 3 cabins but this assessment is largely confined to mine, my wife’s and our friend’s experiences. All in all, not as positive on this occasion compared to the near faultless holiday of last year’s transatlantic. FLIGHTS We prefer to travel Premium Economy. This time on Virgin but these were chartered flights by MSC. The experience outbound was very good but inbound less so in a 23 year old jumbo with limited staff to look after 450 passengers. However, since this provision was directly by Virgin, it would be inappropriate to criticise MSC. TRANSFERS Once again, airport to ship was very good but in reverse, the coach arrived earlier than we were advised; was an elderly conveyance with poor (almost non-existent) air conditioning. EMBARKATION & DISEMBARKATION MSC (for Yacht Club) do this better than anyone (we have travelled in Suites with P&O, Celebrity & RCI). Escorted onto and off ship. SUITE No different - perfectly adequate “de-luxe type” cabin - small balcony but the huge “exclusive” top deck area more than compensates. I say “exclusive” but this year it wasn’t. Non Yacht Club passengers accessed this space easily as the two entrance doors were not secure enough. Staff never challenge (not allowed to) and I found myself escorting 5 passengers out of this private area during our 2 week cruise with others unchallenged. Small babies of an age to still be in nappies accessing the jacuzzis with their parents; young teenagers diving in the no diving pool and cigars being smoked in a smoking area next to a sign “no cigars.” TOP SAIL LOUNGE First class facilities & service. BUTLER After the faultless experience courtesy of Putra last year, we struggled with Olivier this year, mainly because of his poor English. La PALMERAIE (Yacht Club Restaurant). One word. PEPÉ There are not enough superlatives to describe this amazing man. The Restaurant Maître Di (officially the Supervisor). He misses nothing. His staff love him. The passengers revere him - in truth, they adore him. Not only is he in complete control of all that happens, he never loses focus on his customers. He is the ultimate professional but is so personable that he is never less than entertaining. The personal service we received was beyond first class as his team aspire to his own very high standards. MSC MUST retain his services because on the strength of this experience, our next cruise would be assured. Thankfully, the Yacht Club Restaurant in the new ships is an integral part of Yacht Club rather than at the opposite end of the ship. YACHT CLUB STAFF It seems unfair to single out anyone but there MUST be special mentions for our lovely waiters, Anna, Nayara (unfortunate to fall sick - hope she is OK), Durian, Zaheem, Luis and Reina (day time concierge). However, I was much less impressed with the night Concierge. Mr. Simone Piletto very much needs some guidance on the provision and delivery of effective customer service and the avoidance of the attitude he displayed toward me on two occasions. Perhaps he was annoyed I had disturbed his Facebook access. SPECIALITY RESTAURANTS Despite a complimentary visit being included for black card guests (4 of us are) we declined offers to the Sushi and Italian eateries. They simply had no appeal since the lay-out was in no way inviting. In any event, why would we miss the chance to be looked after by Pepé and his excellent staff? However, our daughter & son-in-law did pay for a visit to the Galaxy (Sushi Restaurant) and described the food as excellent. LIFTS Strange as it may seem, this was an irritating regular occurrence, even for butlers. Yacht Club cards rarely delivered the exclusive provision to decks 15-18 and we very regularly found ourselves travelling randomly up and down or the cards simply didn’t work. TO SUM UP We do enjoy Yacht Club very much, despite these frustrating instances. However, with us usually travelling as a 4 (we took our daughter & son-in-law with us on this occasion), our deposits for trips on Seaview (Yacht Club) in November 2019 (Barcelona to South America) and on the same ship in December 2020 (Dubai) are now in some doubt. These deposits are, of course, via Mr. Lazarus at Cruise Club UK. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Our second Yacht Club Experience Having been on board Fantasia April 2018 Barbados back to Europe. Sadly for us it did not live up to our previous cruise. Yacht Club: One Pool Could not fault the pool boys or waiters but on ... Read More
Our second Yacht Club Experience Having been on board Fantasia April 2018 Barbados back to Europe. Sadly for us it did not live up to our previous cruise. Yacht Club: One Pool Could not fault the pool boys or waiters but on several occasions we believe that there where people in the yacht club that were not members due to the door not locking this was reported by several yacht club members including ourselves,we pay for this privilege also young children in nappies going into the jacuzzi we found the sun lounges very uncomfortable, maybe they should supply cushions. Lifts: Priority for yacht clubs members in one word this does not work even for the Butlers. Cabin: Clean but find the dressing room very small no comparison to the suites on Celebrity Butler: First time we have been disappointed nice polite man kept our cabin clean but his lack of understanding English made it very difficult to have any communication with him. Dining: Well I say one word PEPE what a lovely man misses nothing staff have respect for him and if it had not been for Pepe I would have struggled with the meals he was very attentive as he was with all the guest He is a great asset to MSC. Top Sail lounge: Firstly have to say how amazing the waiters Anna Nayara and Zaheem were they kept us entertained as most often we were the only people in there including our friends after 10.30 We feel that there could be a little more entertainment not just a piano player it lacked atmosphere and very underused. Embarkation: Could not have been better. Disembarkation: Taken off too early bit of a rush, then a long wait at the airport. Summary: We have two more cruises with deposits Seaview Yacht club Nov 19 and on the same ship Dubai Dec 2020 We are having doubts whether we will be going. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I chose this Caribbean cruise because according to all the adverts in the papers I thought it ticked all the boxes, how wrong can you be. Never once did it say that MSC Preziosa was a glorified tramp steamed picking up and dropping off at ... Read More
I chose this Caribbean cruise because according to all the adverts in the papers I thought it ticked all the boxes, how wrong can you be. Never once did it say that MSC Preziosa was a glorified tramp steamed picking up and dropping off at most ports of call, not a problem you might think. People have to be out of the cabins by 10am so that meant cases out almost every night and then sitting in the buffet restaurant with there hand luggage, which meant with new passengers on board and other passengers not off yet getting something to eat in the buffet was a work of art. Out of the four lifts up to our cabin deck 11 three where in regular use just for taking suitcases up or down. The food was ok but nothing special unless you like Pizza, but you had to get your timing right, Our dining time was 9pm but twice they put it back to 9-30 and had just one show on at the theater and if your on a fourteen night cruise you see the same shows on the second week. I was warned Italian ships are noisy they were right, On every cruise I have been on you get hand sanitizer squirted at you from breakfast to bedtime not with MSC you don't, which probably accounts for the fact when we got back to Gatwick out plane was quarantined four four hours. Overall probably the worst cruise I have been on and I think it highly unlikely I will ever cruise with MSC again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Returned from a 14 day cruise on March 5th. Chose this cruise because of the ports of call.Flight embarkation and disembarkation to and from Bridgetown very good. We had a two week cruise with no days at sea but visited two ports twice. ... Read More
Returned from a 14 day cruise on March 5th. Chose this cruise because of the ports of call.Flight embarkation and disembarkation to and from Bridgetown very good. We had a two week cruise with no days at sea but visited two ports twice. There was at least three ports where people embarked, this resulted in safety drills at each pick up which was annoying as everything was closed while the drills went on. Many large groups of locals got on at Martinique, we found some of these a little to noisy for us especially around the buffet and pool areas. We found the main show lounge entertainment disappointing and repetitive, although the acrobats were very good. We had an inside cabin on deck 8 which was kept clean and tidy by our friendly steward. The shore excursions which we booked before leaving were very good and well organised, although we had to go to the excursion desk on one occasion the night before a trip as we received no tickets. We did not use any restaurants as I became ill after 3 days, so we just picked our time and went in the buffets. The food in the buffets were very disappointing, the choice was poor, but worse of all many of the meals were only lukewarm or even cold. The drink urns were also awful the coffee was frequently lukewarm, and the hot water was also only lukewarm, no way could you make a cup of tea with this. I did report this to a supervisor but there was no improvement, in fact the only time you could get a hot drink was at breakfast time when hot milk was supplied to top up your coffee. Breakfast was the best meal of the day with plenty of choice. The best place to get a hot tea or coffee was in the coffee bar, or other bars, this we paid for as we had no drinks package included as we only made a late booking. To us the drinks package you could buy were excessive at 29 Euros per person per day for 14 days, there is no way we could get our monies worth at those prices. Although being ill most of the time didn't help as I had to go to the ships doctor twice I don't think we will book with MSC again, four other cruises we have been on with other companies have all been very enjoyable. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise for its itinerary different islands every day we used independent excursions which were much better value for money the msc excursions we went on were rushed with a need to arrive back in port too early the food was so ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary different islands every day we used independent excursions which were much better value for money the msc excursions we went on were rushed with a need to arrive back in port too early the food was so disappointing and mediocre drinks package was good . The public areas were crowded herds of people who don’t understand the concept of a queue would not go again on msc for this reason. The entertainment was the worst have ever experienced shows bad and boring and repeat after first week have seen better shows at Euro amp that cater for multiple languages the performers were mediocre a poor cirque du soleil just boring after 2nd show and we saw them all. The pool areas were overcrowded usual sun bed hogging hoards of kids leaping over you impossible to sit in a jacuzzi. The musical entertainment too was repetitive various choices in bars liked the girl group anime but they didn’t have two weeks material and played for 30 minutes a night. I would not go with msc again expected so much more so glad we explored and saw so many beautiful islands independently local tour operators made us feel welcome and 100 per cent better at coping with more than one European language Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
We returned from our first cruise with yourselves on the 6th March after sailing on the MSC Preziosa. We travelled as a party of 2 couples, my husband and I (cabin 10243) and our friends in 10245. Excursions Prior to departure we ... Read More
We returned from our first cruise with yourselves on the 6th March after sailing on the MSC Preziosa. We travelled as a party of 2 couples, my husband and I (cabin 10243) and our friends in 10245. Excursions Prior to departure we pre booked and paid for our excursions 5 months in advance, both couples chose the same excursions on the same dates. However on completion there was a significant price difference between the online quote and actual price charged. I then informed yourselves via several emails. This was rectified by you complimenting us with £50pp on board credit. On arrival onboard the ship, our friends received excursions tickets for 23rd February for the Madina Slaves excursion, however, we did not receive ours. The following day we attended the shore excursion desk on board and were told we were booked onto the following weeks excursion. We cancelled this and rebooked to ensure we were on the same trip as our friends and advised we would receive our tickets prior to the excursion. On 21st we once again attended the shore excursion desk to enquire when we would receive our tickets for the trip on the 23rd. At this stage I must say the staff were not very helpful, unsure whether there was a language barrier or I was not clear. But after much explaining and discussion we were advised that we would receive our tickets prior to trip. On 22nd I once again attended shore excursion desk only to be told the trip had been CANCELLED! I advise the staff member that Our friends who had received tickets for this trip had not been advised it had been cancelled. I was advised they would receive a letter advising them of the cancellation. This never arrived, hopefully they will receive a cancellation letter before Christmas! At this point we were advised our trip would be carried over to the following week when the trip would take place. On this occasion it was cancelled again and after clarification which again was not clear, we were advised a credit to our account would be applied. I would like to say that I did not find the majority of the shore excursion staff helpful, unsure if this, as stated earlier, was a possible language barrier. Our last trip was a trolley train on St Lucia. Once again we had to attend shore excursion desk to advise we had not received our tickets, yes, once again we were assured we would receive them, but if we did not, to go to the theatre at the designated time. As you might guess, we did not receive our tickets and they had to be manually handwritten on departure for the excursion. The remainder of the excursions we pre booked were excellent and we enjoyed them. The problems we encountered took a considerable time to sort out which was time out of our holiday which we had waited and saved for a long time for and should not have been necessary. Drinks On arrival on board ship we decided to take advantage of our drinks package and ordered 4 drinks from the bar. We were charged for the drinks and when challenged we were advised our card did not show the correct coding. We then had to queue at reception desk for 30 minutes to rectify this error. Apparently both parties had the wrong cards as did a number of passengers embarking at the same time. Whilst this was rectified relatively quickly, again it was time spent out of our holidays. Food We ate every evening in the main restaurant and whilst some of the meals were good, some were below par especially the cuts of meat which were not always tender and beef steaks cut very thin. Were it not for Hosoli, Juleo and his team of waiting staff I think our dining experience would not have been so enjoyable, they were perfect hosts. Disembarkation During embarkation/disembarkations in Martinique and Guadalupe, passengers on board were restricted to the bars and lifts that they could use and when the newcomers lifejacket sessions were being held couldn’t get a drink in the bars as all staff were utilised for the safety drills. Original passengers faced long queues getting on off the ship as the majority of the time there was only one gangplank for non yacht club passengers to use so if passengers were coming back onto ship, queues built up whilst waiting for passengers to disembark. Entertainment We felt the entertainment was repetitive on the 2 occasions we ventured into the theatre, there were very few in the audience, it was all just singing and yes whilst they had good voices there was no theme or entertainment value. As passengers for 2 weeks, the 2nd weeks entertainment was the same as the first and very boring. The scenery outshone the performers, and the hosts were less than glamorous in their trouser suits. Venues We felt that each bar venue was not used to its full capability, ie the Sports Bar was empty most of the time except for the Wales/England Rugby match. Our friend requested that British Football or Rugby (Six Nations) games during the weekend be shown, was advised that matches etc were controlled by customer services who, when approached, yet again, advised that the sports shown were governed by head office. The beautiful Safari Lounge had a great dance floor but was never used as the entertainment, as lovely as it was, was not the sort you could dance to. Cabin Entertainment For the whole of our cruise, we were unable to get any English speaking channels on our cabin TVs. Our friend visited customer services and was advised that someone would visit our cabins to tune our TVs. Nobody bothered. Conclusion At the end of the cruise we all congregated in the theatre prior to transfer to the airport. At this stage 3 members of our party had been unwell for the last few days of the holiday with flu like symptoms and persistent cough. It was apparent whilst sitting in the theatre how many passengers were suffering from the same condition. On transfer to our Virgin VS610 flight within 10 minutes of take off all that was heard were passengers coughing. Our plane landed at Gatwick at 5.20 a.m. we were detained on the plane for a further 3 hours whilst paramedics and port health authority assessed the situation. Two further hours in the airport saw 2 members of our party being checked out by paramedics. This was not a good end to a not perfect holiday. Since returning home all of our party had flu virus with a cough lasting 5 weeks, heat infection. Our doctor contacted public health England who co firmed it was an outbreak of the flu virus of which several passengers had contracted and were on board the Gatwick flight. MSC have denied this came from the ship even though on disembarkation all British passengers could be heard continually coughing I the theatre prior to transfer to airport. On writing to MSC on our return of issues raise they offered us £135 off our next cruise. Would I take up their offer - NO!! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We have never cruised MSC before but have experience many other cruise lines including a few of the premier lines. Our favourite cruise line has been Celebrity but due to their ever increasing prices have been drawn to MSC. We were offered ... Read More
We have never cruised MSC before but have experience many other cruise lines including a few of the premier lines. Our favourite cruise line has been Celebrity but due to their ever increasing prices have been drawn to MSC. We were offered Black Card membership due to their loyalty match although the only valuable element was the 5% discount, all other perks were meaningless for people in the Yacht Club. We choose a Preziosa Yacht Club cruise - 14 nights in the fabulous Caribbean with no sea days. The cruise included return charter flights from Gatwick operated by Virgin Atlantic which allowed for twilight check in between 5 pm and 9pm the evening prior. Flight seat selection was not available and was pre allocated by MSC and issued at Virgin check-in. Our outgoing flight was delayed by almost 2 hours and the return flight was the notorious VS610 quarantined flight mentioned in the media. Virgin Cabin staff had contracted norovirus prior to boarding the flight and we all suffered massive delays as a consequence. We had good seats in the upper deck of a 747-400 and the next time we saw our luggage was in our cruise cabin. On landing we went straight to awaiting buses direct to the ship without entering Barbados Airport terminal. Being in Yacht Club we were fast tracked aboard with no queuing which the general crowd had to endure. Everyone had the same seats on the return flight. Barbados Immigration was processed onboard at 9.30 on the final day of the cruise without any queing chaperoned by our bulter. The Yacht Club is a select area at the front of the ship with keycard entry comprising of about 70 cabins with a maximum occupancy of 160 people. It has a separate lounge and a sun deck with a small pool, two jacuzzis and a bar which also serve an extremely small buffet. The lounge also has a small area with a few snacks mostly crisps, peanuts, small pastries and fruit. This lounge provides a continental breakfast service whilst the pool deck expands on this with scrambled eggs, bacon and saugages. A full breakfast service was available in the Yacht Club restaurant which was at the opposite end of the ship which we found to be very poorly attended, maybe too far to walk for many. Lunch service was available at the same restaurant, also an extremely poor self service buffet was available at the One Pool deck bar. The accomodation was of a high standard although most YC1 suites were no bigger than a standard balcony cabin on most cruise ships. A big let-down was the shower being over the bath with an inadequate glass screen which resulted in water everywhere unless you reduced the water spray to an unacceptable level. The cabin facilities included a well-stocked free mini-bar and a small screen TV which was never used as channel choice was the worst we ever experienced. The bed and pillows were extremely comfortable as was the couch and the balcony although small was adequate for our use. Smoking is a major issue on this ship as the people smoked almost everywhere and compliance with the rules seldom enforced, including on balconies. The Yacht Club sun deck is large with plenty of hard loungers without any cushions which can be uncomfortable. There is a hand full of tables and chairs near the pool bar with most of the tables having a parasol cover but there is little or no shade for the loungers except near to the four shower cubicles on the port side which provides limited shade when the ship’s position allows but this is a no-go area as it is in a smokers paradise with shaded tables and chairs, always full of chain-smokers. During our cruise the sundeck was seldom used by most of the clientele. The Yacht Club ‘One Lounge' is a great space for relaxing, reading the paper with an excellent bar service. The design offers superb panoramic views of the ocean although sitting in the window seats can become very uncomfortable during the day and early evening hours due to the hot sun. A positive change by MSC is that the lounge is now smoke free and a great place to have a pre-dinner drink before the long track to the Yacht Club restaurant (Le Palmarie). There are two primary routes to the restaurant, one via deck 15 on the outside deck which is unappealing due to the wind and sometimes rain. The other is via deck 7 which is like engaging in a maul, fighting your way through the masses of people especially near the popular photo shop/gallery. Deck 7 design is rather poor in that you have to pass across a dance floor and along narrow link corridors between smoke ridden lounges/bars, a nightmare most evenings to get to the restaurant. You also need to get used to the ‘humming' body odour and take long breaths sometimes which we have never experienced to this level before, maybe the shower over the bath has a lot to answer for….! The Le Palmarie restaurant is said to be anytime dinning but in reality you have 2 choices either 6.30/7.00 or 8.30/9.00. We prefer the later time and on many occasions had to wait for table. The table service in the restaurant was of a poor standard due to inexperienced staff forever getting things wrong, sorry was a word often heard echoing around the room. The food in Le Palmarie was good and served at the mostly the correct temperature, sometimes excellent with a great choice of wines and off menu items were always available. The Maitre’D (PePe) is an extrovert with a great personality and always did his utmost to accomodate people’s wishes, he moves to pastures new at the end of the month so this restaurant could fall apart at the seams. Breakfast and dinner met our requirements but lunch at the One Pool was a disgrace and a major letdown. The alternative speciality restaurant onboard (Eataly) was always empty and looked like a cafeteria with uncovered white plastic tables and chairs. It was so uninviting that we never bothered with the complimentary meal offered to us, shame real. The other restaurants and buffets on the ship were so crowded that no way could it be classed as an enjoyable experience. Our 14 night Caribbean itinerary had no sea days which was very appealing, a new island everyday except Saturdays and Sundays. The cruise had three basic home ports where passengers embarked and disembarked, Barbados , Martinique and Guadeloupe. On our cruise the major passenger changes occurred at Martinique where masses of black French people embarked many local residents of Martinique which became a booze cruise, we were glad for the seclusion of the yacht club. We discovered that MSC had put out a promotion on Martinique to fill empty spaces at very discounted rates which obviously encouraged the many. Most of the Islands we had visited many times before and remain enjoyable except for Trinidad and Dominica where we stayed aboard. We really enjoyed the cruise and met great company. Finally, the question ‘Would we cruise MSC again' - Definitely not in the general part of the ship, it is too crowded with a serious clash of cultures with many shortcomings. As for the Yacht Club again probably not, the main negatives for us are MSC’s liberal approach to SMOKING and the lack of shade on the deck which is a major design flaw of this class of ship. Both could be rectified but MSC being an Italian company seams unable to adapt, so default to the status quo which will be their downfall in the British and American markets. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because the itinerary included three ports of call that we had not previously visited. This factor coupled with no 'days at sea', which we do not particularly enjoy, made this package very interesting ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the itinerary included three ports of call that we had not previously visited. This factor coupled with no 'days at sea', which we do not particularly enjoy, made this package very interesting despite some earlier reviews that were not overly positive. The embarkation process was very smooth both at the airport and the port. The last thing anyone needs, after a long flight, are delays and queues, this process was one of the fastest and easiest we have experienced. The ship itself was well maintained, both inside and outside. Staff cleaning and painting the external parts of the ship in port and others, with portable hoovers, cleaning the inside areas. The only disappointing issue was that some passengers found it acceptable to dump rubbish on the floors. We had selected a Fantastica balcony stateroom and were very please with the same. It was not cramped and was well maintained. The room was regularly serviced and cleanliness was excellent. With regard to dining, our overall impression was that the food was generally good although the portions in the restaurants were smaller than we had expected. The menus however lacked the variety of food that we had experienced on other cruises. A special note on the breakfast facility on deck fourteen. This was always overcrowded, despite being a large area, and the available staff struggled to cope although, in fairness, they did their best. Entertainment was very 'hit and miss' and we include both the theatre and the lounge entertainment in this comment. Generally we were able to find some entertainment to which we could relax and enjoy a drink in the evening. We have cruised on a number of occasions and, sadly, we would rate the overall entertainment on this ship as one of the poorest we have experienced. One final point on entertainment. If you do resort to your cabin, and you are English speaking, do not expect too much from the in cabin television service. The vast majority of channels are in a foreign language. I appreciate that all nationalities on board must be catered for, but perhaps a couple of the many French channels, could be substituted with English speaking channels. With regard to service this again varied on the ship. Our cabin steward was excellent. Staff in the bar areas responded well despite heavy demand. The reception staff were helpful if your question / request was straightforward, but struggled when they viewed the issue as difficult. As just one example; the luggage labels for the return flight. As premium economy passengers we were entitled to two suitcases each on this flight. We therefore expected four luggage labels to be delivered to our cabin, we received only two. As we wished to take a third bag, we called reception to request a third label. Thereafter a series of calls and visits to reception followed, in virtually every case we were told something different and it took the best part of two days to secure our third label. We were pleased with the itinerary, but were slightly disappointed that the two visits to Guadalupe were both on a Sunday, when the majority of the island was closed. Shore excursions were extremely expensive and we would not recommend taking the same. If you undertake some research before you go, as to what you wish to do on each of the islands, you will find numerous options for tours / taxis at the port, which will provide the tour / trip you require for half or a third of the on board cost. A small recommendation now; we had previously visited St Kitts and had decided not to undertake a tour on this occasion. When in the port area we met a lady called Beulah Mills (Welcome Tours) who offered a tour for $15 per person. The tour was excellent and is highly recommended. Should anyone wish to take this tour, you will easily locate Ms Mills as she is the lady with the flag, you won't miss her. Other points to note; At most ports, if not all, passengers embarked and disembarked the ship. This clearly resulted in the need for safety / muster briefings. With a single port exception, these were undertaken without disturbance to the other passengers already on board. However, with regard to Martinique, which was the only other island visited twice, both visits being on a Saturday, the process was different. The whole ship 'closed' for approximately an hour, around 8.45 pm while this process took place. This proved to be a major inconvenience for the majority of us who had boarded elsewhere. No food, no drinks, no entertainment and no facilities at that time. MSC you need to rethink this one, particularly as there is only one scheduled show in the theatre that evening which is completed before the briefing starts and is therefore an obvious location for the same. A small issue regarding the flights. MSC chartered Virgin Atlantic flights for the journeys we undertook between Gatwick and Barbados and the return. Therefore every passenger on these flights was an MSC customer. When asked about seating arrangements, we were told by Virgin staff there was nothing they could do as it was MSC's responsibility. When on the ship and raising the same issue, the MSC staff told us it was Virgin's responsibility. Of course, you are never in a position where you can speak to a representative of each company at the same time and, based on what the representatives said, the companies do not seem to liaise with each other in any great detail. The stock response seems to be to blame the other company. We spoke to other passengers, who had raised other issues regarding the flights, and they made the same observation to us. Whilst crowded in many areas, passenger behaviour was generally good. But a couple of observations. Firstly the importance of hygiene. It was sadly noticeable that not all passengers washed their hands when using the toilet. This factor alone made the use of hand wash facilities, when entering a food outlet, of particular importance. It was disappointing that the hand washing facilities were not always manned on the deck 14 outlet, particularly as this facility is self service. We witnessed many guest walking straight past the hand wash. In the restaurants, where the food was served, ironically the hand wash facilities were always manned. Secondly the lifts. At busy times there was a constant problem with some guests charging into already crowded lifts before passengers therein had been allowed to exit. This in the end caused more of a delay whilst those wanting to exit had to fight their way through those who had charged in. In our experience this is a problem on most ships but, sadly, it occurred fairly regularly on the MSC. You can perhaps understand this behaviour with young and excited children but not adults. If you are a person who 'charges in', whether on the MSC or elsewhere, please consider your fellow passengers in the future! Finally the return to Gatwick. We were passengers on the flight that was quarantined at Gatwick by the Health Authority. (It was a news item on the television on that day). Approximately seventy passengers reported some form of illness, largely coughing, sore throats and sickness. Five of the Virgin crew were also effected. During the five hours of quarantine that followed at Gatwick, we spoke to other passengers. Many of whom who had health issues stated they emanated on the ship, although I understand MSC denied this to be the case. It was interesting to note that at least three people mentioned they had intended to visit the Ship's doctor until they were notified of the cost, none mentioned a figure under 100 Euros. My point here is that we have always been fortunate on the health front but not everyone is that lucky. Surely it would be in MSC's interests to make medical assistance, in the case of sickness more accessible financially, to avoid cases sometimes reported, where whole ships are taken out of service to be cleaned. On the issue of the problems created by the five hour quarantine; i.e. missed flight connections, missed taxis pick ups etc., we do believe Virgin Atlantic staff responded well to these problems, despite the difficult circumstances. Would we travel with MSC again? On balance, no. We might be tempted by a superb itinerary providing subsequent feedbacks indicate an improvement upon the issues we have commented negatively on. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise was good because of the itinerary of stopping at Caribbean islands everyday and had a good mix of Europeans and some Americans on board; not just single groups of British like on P&O or loud Americans as on Carnival. The ... Read More
This cruise was good because of the itinerary of stopping at Caribbean islands everyday and had a good mix of Europeans and some Americans on board; not just single groups of British like on P&O or loud Americans as on Carnival. The ship is tastefully finished and kept super clean. The standard of food in the buffet was excellent and well laid out and overall the staff on the ship were courteous and provided very good service. In my opinion there seemed to be a lack of overall activities on the ship as compared to a P&O ship but I would think this is due to the multiple languages on board - English, French, Italian, German, etc - for example it would be difficult to have a comedy act and provide it in 5 languages; so overall understandable why less activities but there are plenty of bars with music to venture into. There was a good choice of shore excursions which I think were much the same price range as provided on other cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Our cruise started at Barbados, we flew on a Virgin charter organised by MSC from Gatwick. Prior to the cruise I was concerned about the lack of information regarding selection of seats on the plane and taking additional luggage - Both MSC ... Read More
Our cruise started at Barbados, we flew on a Virgin charter organised by MSC from Gatwick. Prior to the cruise I was concerned about the lack of information regarding selection of seats on the plane and taking additional luggage - Both MSC and Virgin were unclear, although Virgin said it was available at a cost at Gatwick. We used the twilight check in at Gatwick and slept in the adjoining hotel prior to departure. This was very convenient at MSC had many staff at the airport to assist us. The seating was allocated prior to check by MSC and we had the same upper deck seats out and return. Our luggage was delivered directly to the ship and cabin and all the passenger were transported from the plane steps to the ship by awaiting buses - Superb service - so easy and just a dream to arrive to Yacht Club service with instant boarding. Our butler was assigned and he took us later that evening to the Yacht Club restaurant for dinner. Once introduced to the head waiter we were assigned a table for 2 ( our choice) and each evening he made sure we had a table for 2 if not the same table. Food was excellent and it was possible to have more than one portion of a course you enjoyed, thus substituting the next. Wine again very good. The balcony cabin was well located within an area of the One Bar and One Lounge - very good size with a full bath and seating area. ( MSC do apply a fixed on board gratuity, we asked for this to be removed and tipped our Butler, his assistant, waiters and team members who gave great service) All of your on board spend is detailed on the in-cabin interactive TV. One board there was plenty to do......however the itinerary does involve passengers boarding and leaving at many of the ports - so this means some short stay passengers on lower priced itineraries. They, wanting to make the most of their holiday tended to be more rowdy and use the ships facilities wildly. We chose to stay in the One Bar and pool area. MSC offer some great excursions and a butler is assigned to each yacht club tour group to make sure you leave the ship first and join the tour with ease. One or two of our choices were not the best, but we made the most of our time. Departure was easy - cases out by midnight and we did not see them again until arrival at Gatwick! ( tip - dont worry about being a little over weight with packing on the way home - they dont weight them) Unfortunately our plane was held by port health at Gatwick due to some coughing passengers/crew concerns - Nearly a 5 hour wait - no fault of MSC or Virgin - just precautions. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Thankfully near the End of this cruise. If you only speak English this is not the cruise line for you. Flights sat me and my partner in different rows. On Board food has been the most bland we have had on any cruise. Most of the time cold. ... Read More
Thankfully near the End of this cruise. If you only speak English this is not the cruise line for you. Flights sat me and my partner in different rows. On Board food has been the most bland we have had on any cruise. Most of the time cold. I have being with 5 different cruise lines. Sports bar no English sports. Tv in cabin no English channel. Done a tour ticked the English box whole tour in French. Booked a deluxe drinks package they keep running out of the drinks we ask for. We have booked October cruise to Durban thinking of cancelling it after talking to a staff member as said it maybe worst then this one because it has a lot of sea days so can not get off for decent FOOD. HAVE met people on this cruise who after the first 2 days have ate all their meals off the ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Just returned from an amazing 14 day Caribbean cruise which we selected for the fantastic itinerary. It stopped in a port every day, 12 of which were different, 2 of which were repeated stops. Managed to see and do lots of excursions ... Read More
Just returned from an amazing 14 day Caribbean cruise which we selected for the fantastic itinerary. It stopped in a port every day, 12 of which were different, 2 of which were repeated stops. Managed to see and do lots of excursions some both via MSC and independently. Even though we have done Caribbean cruises before this one had several islands we had never visited including Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Vincent plus some old favourites! Did some great rain forest hikes, visited waterfalls and saw some great scenery and wildlife plus beaches, shopping and of course rum tasting. A really busy schedule but so enjoyable! That’s what cruising is all about. We have cruised with MSC a few times (and many other mid range cruise lines) so we knew to expect an amazing ship and the Preziosa is a great example. This cruise was booked as a package through an agent and included a drinks package, hotel, transfers and flight so was great value for money. I have just read a really odd review suggesting that the service was poor but to be perfectly honest I have no idea what ship this person was on but his/her main concern was clearly food and nothing else. I do believe in general that cruise food standards are not as good as they were 10 years ago but people need to remember that it’s just a package holiday at sea and not a 5* dining experience. Some of the luxury lines still maintain consistently high dining room standards but you just need to pay more to get this and some people just prefer to moan than pay This is my 20th cruise (8 different cruise lines) and I can honestly say the crew on this ship were amazing. They were ALL friendly, hardworking, chatty and efficient, we never had to wait to be served food or drinks I will list my pro’s and con’s and people can make their own minds up but I feel I have enough mid range cruise experience now to give a fair review. I have only really found one cruise line totally unacceptable and that was P&O but it was comparatively cheap. My favourite all rounder in this price bracket is probably Royal Caribbean with MSC, Holland America and Carnival close behind. They all have their good and bad points. Anyway, pro’s were Itinerary, ship itself, amazing staff, fantastic buffet food was always available and always good (salad, fruit, carvery, ethnic choice, pizza and ice cream particularly good) excursions were all of a high standard, balcony cabin was spacious and clean, fellow European guests were all friendly and chatty and flights and transfers all went smoothly we booked extra leg room and sat together. Drinks package was included and suited our needs with a wide choice of cocktails and some decent enough wine. You can upgrade if you need premium brands/ more wine choice but we just bought the odd glass of different wine if we wanted a change. We checked in our luggage at Gatwick and didn’t see it until we arrived in the cabin! 450 Brits on the flight seemed a little daunting but we soon realised it was a good selection of nationalities on board with French, German, Dutch, Russian and Caribbean’s etc which it made it more diverse, a great mix. Nothing worse than a ship full of Brits to make you feel like you are still at home. Three pool area's so could always find somewhere to swim and have a drink. Cons, these are more niggles than major complaints but safety drills at Martinique and Guadeloupe caused a little disruption for about an hour each time as guests had to listen to the announcements early evening in the bars. We headed outside on deck for a stroll around until it was over. A few hours out of two weeks wasn’t a major issue though. The dining room service was good but the food lacked originality some nights and I found the buffet preferable for choice and flexibility. You can however just ask for something else if you don’t like your first choice. Formal evenings don’t bother me and are largely phased out on more upmarket cruise lines like Celebrity but some people had an issue with there being a formal evening on the last night of the cruise which can probably be easily rectified by MSC. Most people dressed smartly but casually on formal nights although there were the usual smattering of Brits in their black tie formal attire which is totally unnecessary but whatever floats your boat. Also hated the constant hard sell of photographs which we stopped buying years ago but this is a common thing on cruise ships but it’s annoying. So to summarize a good all round value for money cruise with a great itinerary and a fantastic friendly and hardworking crew. Just wish people wouldn’t expect 5* food at 3* pricing! Remember it’s a package holiday and is priced as such. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Transfer from Gatwick was great as was embarkation we had our luggage taken and next time we saw it was in our cabin, the only downside was getting the special assist people off the plane. They put all the British people together in the ... Read More
Transfer from Gatwick was great as was embarkation we had our luggage taken and next time we saw it was in our cabin, the only downside was getting the special assist people off the plane. They put all the British people together in the dining room on specific tables and dining times were 6.30 or 9.00 which was too early or too late for us and when they picked people up 4 times from either Martinique or Guadeloupe because they had a muster we had to be there at 6.15 or 9.15. On these days when people were joining or leaving the ship it was a bit chaotic with them going everywhere trailing their luggage. The food in the dining room was very mediocre and the breakfast and lunch in the buffet was manic trying to get a seat and the food very disappointing I would say worst buffet I have ever seen. The entertainment was also disappointing geared up for the French and Italian clientele all announcements were made in other languages with English last. There was a guy singing in one of the lounges who was brilliant. The pool area was a bit disappointing as we could only use one side as there was smoking areas just behind the sun beds and there was even one lady using a vaping machine in the non smoking area and no one asked her to stop even though staff were serving her drinks. The flight back was not a good experience we had to wait one and half hours as two people and their luggage were taken off the plane. There was a medical emergency during the night and when we arrived at Gatwick we had to wait on plane until paramedics got on. There were people coughing all night. Just seen on news same flight arrived at Gatwick yesterday morning and because of sickness people had to be quarantined. Unfortunately I did not fare very well as the day we got back I had trouble breathing and ended up in hospital with clot on my lung and pneumonia still feeling the effects now. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We recently returned from a cruise on this ship, We chose the ship because of the itinerary as there were no days at sea. Although some of the reviews prior to travelling made us a bit dubious we always like to make our own mind up. ... Read More
We recently returned from a cruise on this ship, We chose the ship because of the itinerary as there were no days at sea. Although some of the reviews prior to travelling made us a bit dubious we always like to make our own mind up. Ship was beautiful & clean; although there were far too many smoking areas and a lingering smell of smoke in some places. When sat upstairs in the Eldorado bar the smoke from the casino drifted up. Lots of entertaining areas although unfortunately the entertainment throughout the ship did not live up to our expectations having cruised with several other lines this ship was way behind with its offerings and distinctly Eurovision. We found no entertainment at all which would appeal to us and did not venture into the theatre for any of the shows which were provided by "in house" entertainers. Went to the Galaxy disco on occasion and found that the DJ was unaware of what to play that would appeal to the British passengers and played out of date music and when we made requests he was unable to understand or provide what would keep us interested.. As soon as It was apparent that French or Italian passengers were in the disco music changed to suit their preferences. First night after having requested a table for 4 (total in our group) we were placed on a table for 8, this was rectified on the second evening so no big issue with this. Had an all inclusive drinks package as part of our deal , however we had to ask in each bar what was included and what was not which became tiresome! Only Heineken beer (not advised of this prior to travelling or in any documentation) included even though practically all the other beers were the same prices, this didn't make sense as a beer in one of the cocktails (which were 8 euros) was included in the package. On other lines you get a price and anything under that is included so you know where you are, staff did not seem to know what was included and what was not. Food distinctly average although we were always able to find something to eat. Portion sizes small, you are able to order additional dishes in the main dining room and for people with normal appetites we would recommend that you always order the extra dishes. MSC have employed a British chef who walks around the restaurant introducing himself stating that he has been employed to bring in menus choices that will appeal more to the British clientele! Embarkation process at the beginning of the cruise very good, however when disembarking and embarking in each port on most occasions there was only one person on the gangway causing queues and delays, Service good from all staff. Excursions that we organised with he cruse company were good apart from the catamaran trip where we were told our meeting time was 09:15am, on attending we were then told that the catamaran had broken down but would be repaired later in the day so to meet again at 12:15pm, on meeting at the later time we were advised by the company hosting the trip that the time was always 12:15pm meaning that we deliberately mislead by the ship's excursion teams. Majority of the trips we did we organised ourselves using local taxis which were cost effective and good. Although not in our cabins much there were no English speaking channels available apart from CNN and after two weeks this also became irritating. Used the gym on several occasions , although it is a big area there were not enough of the popular machines available especially taking into account that people ignored the instruction to only use individual machines for 20 minutes and the fact that staff used the gym despite having their own gym available and did not move for paying guests. Rooms were clean and tidy but wardrobes small and in the wrong area. I would say that none of these issues were big but having several small issues on one crusie has made myself and the rest of my party decide that we will not travel with MSC again as our first choice and will in fact try and avoid them completely if at all possible. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Cruise period 22/1/19 - 5/2/19......We chose this Caribbean cruise because over a 2 week period it had a port of call virtually everyday and we hadn't cruised before on MSC. Main good points..... flight very good, met at Gatwick ... Read More
Cruise period 22/1/19 - 5/2/19......We chose this Caribbean cruise because over a 2 week period it had a port of call virtually everyday and we hadn't cruised before on MSC. Main good points..... flight very good, met at Gatwick by MSC reps, bags taken at Gatwick, didn't see again until we were in the cabin. Great ship, Italian decor, art deco...very impressive. Bar/restaurant staff are excellent. We found the food very good. We had the Aurea package which gave you anytime dining, basic drinks package & access to a sun deck which was private and away from the normal deck crowds. Great water play area for kids, would keep age groups 3 - 12 occupied for ages. Very good water slide. Garden pool bar at the rear of the ship is the best, when leaving port, bit of DJ chill sounds going on, most brits liked this bar. Main bad points...... This two week cruise has 6 embarkations & disembarkations (including your own). This results in 6 days of people milling around, cabin suitcases everywhere. The cruise has people getting on and off in Barbados, Martinique & Guadeloupe .As a result there are several safety drills as new people get on which inhibits dining times etc. This ship caters for Italians, French & German before the British. All announcements are done in 4 languages and seem to take for ever, even in the theatre . Over two weeks it becomes very repetitive. All entertainment...musicians, pool & the theatre is aimed at other Europeans, most British people onboard thought the entertainment was poor. The only exception to this was the guitarist/singer in the La Locanda pizza wine bar area, Ive forgotten his name but he was excellent. By being stuck in this area with people talking etc was a complete waste of time, MSC should move him to any other area where he can be appreciated more, he is far to talented (and frustrated, you could tell) to be stuck in this area. They try to sell you the premium drinks package from day one, this works out to an extra 9 euros a day per person. For two over the course of two weeks that an extra £252 euros. You cannot buy it just for a week, you have to buy it for the length of your cruise. Besides the basic drinks package is good enough unless you want premium brands. The buffet for breakfast is extremely busy more than likely because it has to cater for many nationalities. It is large but is concentrated in one area which I think adds to the congestion bearing in mind when full there are 4,000 people on board, ships that tend to have separate buffets have less congestion. There is an option of breakfast in the restaurant but this closes at 9AM. Communication in the daily newsletter is poor mainly because this has to be printed in several languages. We were told in our newsletter that ALL guests had to attend another safety drill even though we had already done it. This drill was for new passengers only not ALL passengers, dinner was missed as a result. The cruise had a small number of people on board who I can will describe as unsocial. They were not from the UK, I think they were locals from the islands, boarded in Guadeloupe who it seems island hop for a week These people were constantly drunk, spent all their time in the buffet or at night were drunk in the club/disco. As much as I understand a certain amount of unsocial behaviour will almost be inevitable on a ship of this size, surely having individuals dropping drinks on the dance floor, breast feeding on the dance floor & having young children running around the club at 1AM is unacceptable. MSC take note, ban the kids from a nightclub, its an adult environment. I dare say thumping music for a baby of breast feeding age is not particularly good for it anyway. I can only say that my partner did not feel very secure in this environment, we did not go back. All in all the cruise was reasonably priced. If you don't mind a non British theme it will be fine, I did not take into account the amount of embarkations during the cruise or the number of locals who obviously island hop for a week...lesson learnt. If you do a MSC cruise out of the caribbean, I would say the Aurea level is a must. Would I cruise with MSC again, probably not, I will stick with more British/American cruises, at least they know how to say thanks if you hold open a door,or hold the lift, even a nod in acknowledgement....whereas the other nationalities need to go on a course in manners, .... MSC there a thought!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Beautiful ship impeccably maintained and cannot fault the service. The Captains on MSC ships always seem to be conspicuous by their absence but at least he showed his face at Gala night. There were two gala nights the second on the ... Read More
Beautiful ship impeccably maintained and cannot fault the service. The Captains on MSC ships always seem to be conspicuous by their absence but at least he showed his face at Gala night. There were two gala nights the second on the evening we were due to disembark. Hence many did not bother to dress appropriately and very few wore formal attire - it is certainly not necessary to wear even a jacket and tie. Entertainment can be a little repetitive but the production shows are well produced and the singers and dancers are excellent. The premium drinks package was superb and the food provided in the main restaurant and in the buffet was very good - much improved from last year. My one real gripe with MSC is their reluctance to allow pre booking of seats on the flights to and from Barbados. This leads to many disgruntled passengers who do not find themselves sitting with their spouses/ partners. Seats are pre allocated so it makes no difference if you book in early at the airport - you get what you have been given. My wife for example is claustrophobic so always prefers an aisle seat - you would think that this would be an easy request to provide but on our flights on a similar cruise last year and again on this cruise MSC did not help. For this reason we will probably not book a similar repeat cruise next year - potential customers beware! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
My mum booked this cruise for us to celebrate her 60th birthday she did it through cruise club I believe which included a chartered flight from gatwick. From check in to embrakation everything was done and arranged for us. We just showed ... Read More
My mum booked this cruise for us to celebrate her 60th birthday she did it through cruise club I believe which included a chartered flight from gatwick. From check in to embrakation everything was done and arranged for us. We just showed up and followed the crowd and first first time cruisers I would highly recommend this. It took the stress out of everything; all transport was ready and waiting for us when we go off the flight and our luggage was delivered to our rooms. I'm 25 and mum is 60 this year and I can say the Preziosa does caters for all ages. From a baby care centre to a toddlers water park; a teenagers gaming room and entertainment for young to old adults there is something for everyone. The ship is huge and there is plenty to do and differently environments to explore. From the calm and relaxing garden pool to the fun and interactive main pool. The massive and varied buffet to the more up scale dining experince of the golden lobster. From the relaxing spa to the modern gym. And then there is the night life there is so much to do and not enough time to do it all!!! The ships facilities are just fanatic and that was the general consensus from old and new cruisers was that th ship was beautiful and expansive. The bars and lounges are stunning and have so much entertainment included from performances, tributes and dancing!! There was also the Casiono to play at or the Galaxy disco to party at into the early hours of the night. There was also a selection of shows to watch which were amazing however mostly dancing and singing due to the fact any spoken act may be lost due to the language barrier. I loved that there were many languages and nationalities aboard however some of the other English guests didn't like it so much especially if they had been aboard other English or a arrival owner ships. I have to give a special mention of the animation team and dance instructors; they were just fantastic I felt so welcomed and included even if mother had gone to bed early and I wanted to dance the night away! There was always someone to talk to or to dance with in the Green Sax or performance and dancing to enjoy in the safari lounge. The entertainment team also provided afternoon activities and trivia by the pool from 3/4pm everyday as well as free fitness and dance classes. All of the staff aboard the Preziosa were so poliet, helpful and always had a friendly smile to offer. The dress code was pretty casual though I did dress in going out dresses every night for diner and dancing because I don't get to do that very often at home as I work in the evening. And though there were many causally dressed people I did not feel out of place or too dressed up at all. There are also a few themed nights including a tropical party and gala night where the entertainment teams are dressed accordingly and host different events around the ship including on the deck in the warm evening air and under the stairs. Other facilities that we used were the Spa where my mother and I both got candle massage; which was just wonderful. One of the best massages I've ever had and was persuaded to have another one. They were done by a Indonesian woman who had amazing skills. We also bought the digital package and so took full advantage of the photographers on board every night. It felt a bit posey and if your shy is maybe not for you but your see plenty of other people getting them done and I have some wonderful and beautiful shots that I love. As for the food and drinks I was amazed at the options and variety; in the buffet there was everything from pizza, chips and burgers to oriental. There are also always heathly options available which were very tasty. The other bit I loved was the dessert section which always had something delicious on! The food in the golden lobster was also lovely there was plenty of options every night and didn't have the same menu twice whilst on board. There was only one night that the whole table wasn't fussed with limited options but most nights we struggled to choose. A few of the nights we ended up being served the one we ordered and the one we didn't chose by the waiting staff just to try them. Fantastic service as well as great food. When talking to other guests the reviews about the food were mixed. Apparently it's not as good as else where but I live off microwave meals and packaged food (whilst I do hate and must change!!) so having so much choice that was cooked for me that was tasty was amazing!! Now onto drinks...we had the all inslusive package which included all non premium spirits, wines, draught beer and soooooo many delicious cocktails avavlible all over the ship in majority of the bars! The package ended up paying for itself and then some once we totalled it up. So it's worth getting if you like a couple of drinks a day and a drink with dinner. It's even more worth it if you want to drink all day! Whilst talking to other guests it was the itinary that encouraged them to book this cruise; and i must say it did not disappoint. We visited 12 different island in 14 days and sailed through the night so no days were wasted. We went off the ship almost everyday and booked on to excursions via the ship before we left. As it was our first cruise and first time to the Caribbean we went a bit over board with the excursions. Most of the tours started around 9/10am and we're back between 2-4pm so we still got some time on the ship on the in the afternoon. There was only one every early one and one afternoon one so we had a good variety and were able to still enjoy the ships facilities and activities. The excursions were quiet expensive starting at £38 and going up to £127 however with the excursions booked through the cruise you have the guarantee if something goes wrong the cruise has to wait and make arrangements for you where as if you do it on your own you don't have the same peice of mind. So the best excursions that I would recommend to do is: All exclusive beach day - Gaudaloupe Hot springs and falls - Dominica Dolphins - St Kitts & Nives Stingrays - Antigua & Barbuda These ones are good: Norman island snorkelling - British virgin isles Beach and turtles - Martinique Nutmeg and falls - Geneda Rum distillery - St Vicent & grenadines These excursions were okay but wouldn't recommend or do again; Maracas beach - Trinidad & Tobago - pretty beach but rather expensive for what you get St Martins tour and beach - St Martins - didn't go but mum said I didn't miss anything Beach tour - St Lucia - quiet commercialised and locals bit pushy As it was our first time to each of these places we are both glade we did what we did however if we're were to go back we would either stay on our favourite islands and explore more or if we cruised here again we could do a bit more on our own and maybe save some money. One other thing is that I left my phone on one of the excursions (Tortala - British Virgin Isles - Norman island snorkelling trip) and though it was not initially found and I thought I lost it forever it was found and though I have not been reunited with it yet they shall hopefully be picking it up tomorrow and sending it back to me. This gave me great faith in the companies that MSC had chosen to do excursions with and also MSC themselfs and how they dealt with the issue quickly and kept me informed. So Yes I would recommend this cruise liner and tour to everyone. If you have cruised before don't expect the same experince keep your expectations relative and if you never had you won't be disspointed. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The ship itself is lovely ,the passengers mostly french and italian where very noisy and had no idea of a queue, i think for some not all is ,,, just get in front. The food in the restaurants is not bad at all,shame they charge for ... Read More
The ship itself is lovely ,the passengers mostly french and italian where very noisy and had no idea of a queue, i think for some not all is ,,, just get in front. The food in the restaurants is not bad at all,shame they charge for water, the the breakfasts in the buffet is pretty dismal,cold eggs, cold beans, very monotonous, and they seem to close the buffet around 4/5 clock only pizzas thats great if you like lots of dough. We where in a balcony cabin 10 deck and that was about the same as any cruise ship we have been on, only thing was cabin steward was not very obliging, ask for more hangers,his reply ok will be right back, never saw him again, took some mugs down to cabin so we could have a cup of tea in the morning ( took our own kettle) and put them in a draw ,so steward would not take them away. Later found that mugs where missing, which only means he had gone and looked in our draw why would you do that, had no intensions of stealing them, then on last day was dismayed to find we had been charged for drinks we didnt have from the fridge, but we sorted that out at reception. Reception where very good at their jobs ,nothing seemed to bother them always smiling and happy to help. At most ports we had note shoved under door to say the cost of transport was 10 euros or 17 eros when most of the time you could pick up a free shuttle. We thought the shows where very good for international passengers and seemed to folfill the brief except for some very rude passengers who seem to think its ok to have there phones on and snapping away, one even texed all the way through the show ,,why bother coming ????? All in all, would go again on MSC but only from Southampton,, as most passengers seemed to use the ship as a ferry Read Less
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