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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I originally heard about MSC from a work colleague and this is now our 3rd time with them. I cannot recommend them more highly. I had read one or two negative comments before booking the Sinfonia trip but I honestly think it is ... Read More
I originally heard about MSC from a work colleague and this is now our 3rd time with them. I cannot recommend them more highly. I had read one or two negative comments before booking the Sinfonia trip but I honestly think it is wonderful. On all accounts our trip could not have been better. Everything was done to perfection. The customers were from many different parts of the world and were friendly, family people of all ages. The cabin was excellent. It was well equipped with an en suite, fridge, hairdryer and security box and the bed was really comfy. The room was attended to not once, but twice every day. It was spotlessly clean. All staff were polite and cheerful, even if they passed in the corridor. They held doors open, smiled, said hello and attended immediately to any requests. Food was in great, free flowing supply and to suit all tastes. We especially liked the t bone steaks one evening. All facilities were excellent and well planned and the evening shows were splendid. What talent! Live music in lots of bars and public spaces every evening was also really enjoyable. Every day we were given a newsletter to tell us about what was on the following day and to arrange times and places for all events. We went on a trip to Santorini which could not have been better organised or more enjoyable. We also got off the ship at all the ports and felt that the security arrangements were very good but not intrusive. MSC cruises are not the dearest or most upmarket but they are fantastic and great value for money. Well done! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship was great. Food was excellent. Don’t book fun zone because you get credit and once used up you need to purchase more. Drink packages are a joke. One buys everyone does and if you want a drink that is .50c over your drink package ... Read More
The ship was great. Food was excellent. Don’t book fun zone because you get credit and once used up you need to purchase more. Drink packages are a joke. One buys everyone does and if you want a drink that is .50c over your drink package they charge you full amonubt and don’t tell you. Crew people very nice. Pools are all 6 ft deep so you hang to the edge to stay in pool. Lots of hidden costs. The buffets almost always had same food. The elavators are a joke. You will be waiting every time you need to use it. Getting off and on the ship was ok. For some strange reason getting ice with your drink at dinner is impossible. The had some great features like the bridge of sighs. The waters slide closes at 5:30 and that I can’t understand why. The zip line was broken for most of the cruise. Would I go on MS C again, NO. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanted to go to Cuba but when that fell through we decided not to switch and continue. Embarkation was smooth and easy. No problem and it didn't take very long for us to get our luggage. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanted to go to Cuba but when that fell through we decided not to switch and continue. Embarkation was smooth and easy. No problem and it didn't take very long for us to get our luggage. We had a very nice time. Our cabin steward Walter was excellent and so very very nice. He was very good to us. We loved our cabin!! We had a balcony on deck 10 and it was so relaxing. The cabin was very spacious and always clean. I think I will always get a room with a balcony from now on> I've been spoiled. . My granddaughter, who is 8 had a good time, but decided not to really participate in the kids club after the first day. Said it was too noisy and way too many kids. She loves being around other kids but this may have been a little too much. The buffet was just so so. We ate there a couple of times but I wasn't crazy about the choice of foods. You can always get a salad though so that worked out well. Dinner in La Pierloga (sp?) restaurant was better but be ready to spend about 2 hours having dinner. Service is very good. We had room service a couple of times and it worked out ok. They got our pizza order mixed up but they took care of it and it was very good. Loved the coffee bar but I think they need to add dessert, other than cookies, to it. Dessert, other than gelato and cookies, seems to be an afterthought. The gelato was excellent and should be open for after dinner also. I loved having the dessert bar on a Carnival cruise I took, it was nice to get a little treat anytime you wanted one. MSC should think about adding something like that. The entertainment was very good. They had something planned throughout the day everyday. We always did the trivia quiz with Sarah. Enjoyed the shows. My granddaughter made it a point of having us go every night. They were entertaining and had some very good singers. Movies were played in the business center all the time. NEED POPCORN!!! My only criticism about the entertainment was their so called 4th of July celebration. You can't just wear red, white and blue have someone sing the national anthem and have that be it. With, what I was told, 1600 Americans on board. They could have done a much better job of celebrating the holiday. I think they said they were going to have fireworks but I didn't see any by 10:30 or so that night. Eric the cruise the director is a treat!!! He puts a lot of energy into his job and he's very good at it. We really enjoyed him. Did the dolphin experience in Costa Maya and the Tulum excursion in Cozumel. Both were very good. It was very nice to be able to go through customs in Key West. Went super fast so we didn't have to do anything in Miami. Disembarkation was smooth. No problems at all. Overall we had a good time. I would do another MSC cruise with a different itinerary. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We choose this line and ship for Cuba and overnight stay. We were obviously disappointed but made the best of it. Embarkation was a breeze. Muster drill is a horror though. MSC needs to figure this out. I Did mention in my end of cruise ... Read More
We choose this line and ship for Cuba and overnight stay. We were obviously disappointed but made the best of it. Embarkation was a breeze. Muster drill is a horror though. MSC needs to figure this out. I Did mention in my end of cruise survey. It's outside in the heat, crammed with people and you have to have life jackets.... The ship is older but still nice. Elevator buttons need replacing and it's been stretched so sometimes you find a dead end or elevator that only goes up so high. I got lost a bit at first, would be nice if MSC would follow other lines and do a tour of ship to help ppl out ans lesrn their way around on embark day. Food- I've seen several bad reviews. I don't know where these ppl ate. We had anytime with our suite so ate in La Pergolia. All food was well presented and tasty. Mom's a veggie and still had food. She only said buffet needed more cooked veggie choices. Sometimes it did take longer but anyone whose been to Europe knows the dinning style is more relaxed than America. It's about the experience not rushing. I didn't like their eggs, tired twice and gave up but that's me. Pizza was good. I've been to Naples, Italy and has the real stuff so can say it was good. I had nearly everyday for snack or lunch. Gelato was good as well. Surf and Turf- we did 3rd night. Crab cake was to die for, 2 small lobster tails and steak... Very good and get the cheesecake with rum sauce... not to miss!! Caution... no tap water so you get charged for a bottle... also they do 15 percent discount on certain nights... The crew doesn't always understand English so if you need an answer or help, ask for someone who does... that's the only minor issue we ran into. Cruise Critic party was first rate (been to plenty of my 20 plus cruises on other lines) snacks, chocolate covered strawberries, drinks and cake. Just a note, the picture was not delivered to our cabin, I had to go to photo gallery and ask for it but got it without any problems and it's free. Spa, was great. I precooked a 30 min Bali message, 30 min facial and thermal suite day pass package. The girl did a wonderful job, asked if wanted harder or softer and was mostly silent. I knew they didn't have a place on receipt to add tips so took extra cash to give her. She deserved it. Eric, the cruise director was energetic and fun. Everyone we meet at party or when we did the pic with Captain always spoke to us afterwards when seeing us and was very friendly, including the captain. We ran into Benjamin, the international host, in Key West when coming back to ship and even though he was off duty, he still stopped to talk to us and another family. Ports- Roatan- I did the glass bottom boat and West end village excursion. The boat actually has a bottom piece that's under water level and Windows on both sides toy go down into, so kinda misleading but was better in my opinion. I got rum when shopping in village for 10 bucks a bottle. They didn't take it or saying anything so up to cabin with me it went. Costa Maya- We bought port pass. It gives entrance to bird aviary (with suspension bridges and you get a cup of seeds to feed various birds), chocolate factory/tour and tequila factor/tour plus use of pool without buying drink or food. Not in description is the 3 drinks you get as well at this one bar. Water, soda, virgin drinks or cocktails. Your choice. For 39 bucks it was well worth the price. Cozumel- I did the Jose Curveo tequila tasting and tour at Discover Mexico excursion. Very interesting and all. You taste 3 tequila with how to properly do it... then you get a full sized passion fruit margarita with pepper rim. Art museum and full taco bar (not in description again but a welcome find after all that booze) I recommend it. It was worth it, I just think MSC should work better to make sure they include everything in excursion descriptions. There was only 4 of us and I think more would have done it... Key West- you go through us customs.... quick look at passport and that's it. No questions about liquor or anything... I shopped here and then later went back out with dad to Kermit's for Key Lime pie. There's s Hemmingway rum distillery close to it if you want to do a tasting... It was free... Also, several cool shops in big building that include s buttery one and a cat/dog one if you are like me and need to bring a peace offering back for your fur baby. All in all, a good cruise with some minor issues. I would sail MSC again if we find a good price. I like traveling and Europe so had no problem with Mediterranean flair of MSC and honestly... if you go on a cruise and don't have a good time, that's on you. I've had issues and things I didn't like on all lines, but really it's a cruise. I've always enjoyed myself, regardless. Shows- we went first night, French Follies, 2nd night, Beatles tribute night (awesome but the guys were only on for 2 weeks) and The Greatest... Broadway hits... we skipped Adams Family (not interested) , Italian touch (too tired) and last night Abyss... so can't comment on those. I do have a review on MSC board under Armonia July 1st to 8th review if you want more detail of day to day or have questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was a good price, but it seems that’s because everything was a la cart. We didn’t even get tissues in our stateroom and couldn’t find a place aboard to buy them. If you had the sautés package, you received tissues - but ... Read More
This cruise was a good price, but it seems that’s because everything was a la cart. We didn’t even get tissues in our stateroom and couldn’t find a place aboard to buy them. If you had the sautés package, you received tissues - but this was not something MSC listed when we booked. Entertainment was opera/ballet type - not our cup of tea and as it was a cruise that left out of Venice was more geared for Europeans. Some rude people on the ship - pushed to the front of the line. Not enough common area on the ship so it gets very crowded especially by pool area. Some passengers moved loungers into space that blocked the entrance of the pool and could care less about inconveniencing others. Poolside entertainers fun and nice and some of the servers very nice and helpful. But overall we did not find the cabin stewards or reception to be easily accessible or helpful. They were not knowledgeable or helpful about ports unless you were taking one of their excursions. They seemed annoyed at Reception when you asked a question. Good luck if you have dietary restrictions - no ingredients listed at buffet and no brewed decaf coffee/non dairy milk. Getting on/off ship fine. Make sure cruise cards for everyone in your cabin are linked so when you pay your bill at the end you pay for all. We didn’t realize that and had to step out of line disembarking to pay for the other cruise card’s bill. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
With all the negative reviews we were scared, but did it anyway. The ship is amazing and beautiful. We saw so many reviews of the staff being horrible, but they were amazing. We never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. ... Read More
With all the negative reviews we were scared, but did it anyway. The ship is amazing and beautiful. We saw so many reviews of the staff being horrible, but they were amazing. We never had a problem getting a drink at any of the bars. My favorite was the Venchi bar. The drinks are amazing and so tasty. Our room was a typical balcony ship room. The bathroom is tight and 6 more inches would have done wonders, but very workable. We had 3 large suitcases that after being unpacked fit perfectly under the bed. No storage issues at all. Our waiter in the MDR, Melvin, was wonderful. He made wonderful suggestions and the one time that I did not like the dish, he got me a new meal very quickly. He was very attentive. The show's are amazing with the acrobats and singers. Just amazing. I love that they are short so that it keeps the attention of my little one. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this ship for all of the activities for children. It was a family cruise with the grandchildren. Our cabin (12001) was at the very front of the ship, which made for very long walks to restaurants, etc. which were mostly in the ... Read More
We chose this ship for all of the activities for children. It was a family cruise with the grandchildren. Our cabin (12001) was at the very front of the ship, which made for very long walks to restaurants, etc. which were mostly in the front of the ship. The cabin was very spacious with 2 bedrooms. Our cabin balcony had a wall 3/4 of the way up and was open after that. We had to stand on chairs to see the water. So much for balcony view. We felt the food was mediocre. The only real great meal was the steak in the specialty restaurant. Our other specialty restaurant was the Asian one, where it shared a wall with the Japanese steak house type dinner. The chefs cooking there and the people around the tables were VERY noisy, and it did not make for a pleasant eating experience for those in the restaurant part. The buffet was ok, lots of choices, and the same food every single day. Cruise Critic threw a GREAT party while on ship. Kudos to them. Service was our other complaint. Much of the crew does not understand English. We had trouble communicating with our cabin attendant. When we would call Housekeeping, we never got an answer. Same with the front desk. The elevators were crammed with people and I experienced claustrophobia for the first time. Getting on a tender to go back to the ship in St. George had about a 2 hour wait, the line was so long. Now for the good stuff. The grandkids thoroughly enjoyed all the activities on board and the ports. Embarking and disembarking were handled very well. My husband and I are used to cruising on much smaller ships, and I doubt I will ever get on one this large again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise based on 1. Itinerary, 2. date, 3. expense. Meet all our requirements. Compare with other cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Carnival, the food choices with MSC is limited, but with the money you ... Read More
We choose this cruise based on 1. Itinerary, 2. date, 3. expense. Meet all our requirements. Compare with other cruise line such as Royal Caribbean, Princess or Carnival, the food choices with MSC is limited, but with the money you saved, you can eat whatever you are missing on the shore and even better. The cabin is spacious and clean, there is always dancing class going on, the gym is one of the largest I have seen on the cruise ship. One thing to note about Marseille port, it's a LONG walk to the free shuttle bus, and it's not very enjoyable walk, so take the taxi or cruise ship shuttle out. The embarkment process is the best I have ever been to, everything moves swiftly, we were boarded at no time. The disembarkation process has little glitch, two people from our party were stopped at the exit, apparently computer has flagged them for balance not cleared, even we paid the night before. I find this strange, even if there is a balance, they should charge us the balance using the card on record, not stopping us. This actually caused us to missed the train. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We often go on different cruise companies, and we have a large experience of service on cruise ships, but we were 1st time on the Opera MSC ship And unfortunately our vacation was very poor :( As soon as we entered the ship, we were ... Read More
We often go on different cruise companies, and we have a large experience of service on cruise ships, but we were 1st time on the Opera MSC ship And unfortunately our vacation was very poor :( As soon as we entered the ship, we were surprised about the small the size of the cabin, although we had a cabin with a balcony, there were not even napkins in the cabin. On the diversity in the restaurant and the buffet, it is better not to remember. The food was from low-quality products and there was no varied choice. Its was no season fruits , except for melons and apples, there was nothing, only apricots were given on the last day Excursions were also not on the high level Where it was possible to stay a little longer, time was abbreviated and one day they just stole from us. We planned this trip mainly because of the city of Mykonos, so this port was canceled altogether and went to another completely un interesting city Chaina The captain's squad referred to bad weather with a storm warning,  although we looked on the Internet, the weather was good everywhere. It was also very economical with parking and time in another port because Chaina was cheaper port than Mykonos The people understand that they not stupid, that on our ship there was an accident on June 2 in the city of Venice and compensation was paid to the people. But we were suffered in the capital, they were saving money on us We decided that we would never again use the services of the company. MSC P.S It was not possible to go out on the balcony and open it, because smoke stood all the time people was smoking on their balconys The administration of the ship did not announced  to prohibit smoking on the balconies, without at all caring for the fire safety of the people and the ship itself. And the night disco started at 9.30 and ended 1.30 -2.00 From loud speakers it was not possible to fall asleep   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Always wanted to sail the Mediterranean! First ever cruise and included my kids. Really enjoyed the Musica. She is beautiful and versatile all restaurants are amazing. I will definitely want to sail again. Buffet area needs more control ... Read More
Always wanted to sail the Mediterranean! First ever cruise and included my kids. Really enjoyed the Musica. She is beautiful and versatile all restaurants are amazing. I will definitely want to sail again. Buffet area needs more control as guests hold up tables as well as deck chairs. Great time and a wonderful experience. Will definately do it again. Loved the cruise life and excursions and City visits Did not get the opportunity to use the jacuzzis as again guests are not controlled and usage should be timed. Maybe a displayed timer? Anil our cleaning person was awesome and very helpful. Could not afford the cocktails to our desire as the Rand is much weaker than the euro so costs were too much. But I am really looking forward to another cruise. Maybe the Caribbean will suite us next. My wife and kids was so amazed with my gift to them. Loved it Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is pretty, the food is good, the crew is pleasant. BUT There is constant pressure to buy "Specialty Dining" packages at inflated prices, excursions at inflated prices, jewelry, perfume, art and spa treatments. Very ... Read More
The ship is pretty, the food is good, the crew is pleasant. BUT There is constant pressure to buy "Specialty Dining" packages at inflated prices, excursions at inflated prices, jewelry, perfume, art and spa treatments. Very insistent pressure. If you cruise at the "Bella" experience (cheapest "level"), there are parts of the ship you cannot access and the bar staff will be much less interested in serving you if you have a drink package. Your table in the dining room will be by the aisle and traffic flow, and they won't be happy about changing it. It will be difficult to get an elevator to ro from your deck. The free drink package we had made no sense, with some items not included that cost less than included items. There is a 15% service charge for every item you get, so it's really not free. This is in addition to the 12% pp per day service charge. The room stewards are incredibly good and efficient. Service desk helpful. Dining room waitstaff top notch. Dining room menus offered great selection and almost everything tasted good. Buffet had a wide selection of interesting items, but had the same items every day. Drink station not well organized, with cups and glasses hard to get to and no traffic flow marked. Entertainment was below average. Nightly shows, while flashy, make no sense and all the music is canned, most vocalists lip-synching. Why is there a juggler and aerialist in every theater show? Lounge entertainers were awful and used karaoke type backing tracks all the time. The only actual "band" was not well rehearsed, and had to play country one night, islands music another, 70s stuff another. Waterslides were fun but always had long lines during limited open hours. Pools closed nightly at 7 or so. No night time swims or hot tubbing. Would we go again? Not at the Bella level, and not with the Drinks on Us package. Higher levels pricing negates using this cruise line, so probably not. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
MSC offers a lot of value for a family cruise. We choose the Fantastica Experience. Our cabin was perfect, and our steward did an amazing job. MSC's main dining was not what we expected. Drinks were not served as expected; service was ... Read More
MSC offers a lot of value for a family cruise. We choose the Fantastica Experience. Our cabin was perfect, and our steward did an amazing job. MSC's main dining was not what we expected. Drinks were not served as expected; service was slow. The main waiter was quick to take our orders, but everyone's meal did not come out at the same time. We ordered coffee with desert and only received it on one of our nights. The game room had odd hours. The 5D theater did not open until 10:30 on most days. This was frustrating, and made it difficult to use our game pass. The daily activities were plentiful. We love doing trivia on our cruise, but unfortunately we could not understand the host. We did go to one "game show" , it was fun. Seating was limited. They had it backed up to another event, so if you did not go to the first event, your seating was limited to the following event. Beer Prov was funny, but they did not need repeats. Out of the evening shows, I really enjoyed the Michael Jackson show. The Michael Jackson show was fantastic. The evening shows were all similar. My one 15 year old son enjoyed the teen club. But if your child is not into video games or sports, bring something for them to do. MSC has a really nice outdoor screen. They only showed movies during dinner. It was under used. The coffee was amazing. The bar staff was pleasant, and would remember my son. We had a great time, it was a good experience. This was their first mega ship. It was beautiful, and had plenty of seating by the pools. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
MSC Seaside is a lovely new ship. In general, the deck layout is not ideal especially if you have to use a stroller. They do not have decks that get you from front to back of ship without having to go up or down a deck or two. I don’t ... Read More
MSC Seaside is a lovely new ship. In general, the deck layout is not ideal especially if you have to use a stroller. They do not have decks that get you from front to back of ship without having to go up or down a deck or two. I don’t know if it is galley or what but you hit a dead end and then have to go up a deck to continue going forward. Not a good design but this is not the only ship or cruise line where you have that issue. In most areas the elevator and surrounding area is a black shiny wall. It tends to be very dark and lighter colors would be preferable. The elevators apparently are not synchronized in any fashion. Most times you get to a bank of elevators and all four are on the top decks or on the bottom decks. One elevator is reserved for Yacht club which further limits space for others. If you have strollers or wheelchairs it is even worse. On a ship that bills itself for family you would think they would plan for strollers and wheelchairs and walkers and provide extra elevators or at least faster services. Too much wait time everyday and too many full elevators when they finally arrive. Dining room is well laid out with sufficient space for the wait staff to get thru. Not quite as fancy as the formal dining rooms on Royal Caribbean but they do a nice job with white table clothes and all the glassware and silver you need. Service was good. Menus tend to be more limited than on some lines but they offer the “Classics” every night on both the adult and children’s menus. So if you didn’t care for the entrees that nite you could go with Classic Offerings. They were also good about getting French fries for the kids or pasta without sauce so you could just butter it for smaller kids. They were very accommodating and friendly. MSC enforces the dress code for the dining room. They say no tank tops. It should say NO SLEEVELESS shirts. A tank is different from a sleeveless t-shirt. Lots of guys came to the door in a sleeveless T and were told to go change. Cabins were clean but small. For my needs I would have preferred a stack of shelves or drawers instead of a mini bar. The storage space is very limited. The closet doors are designed by the village IDIOT! There are two bypass doors. When you slide them to the right the opening is about 3”. You cannot even reach in to grab shoes from the floor or anything hanging unless it is the end garment. If you slide them to the left you get about an 18” opening and then you can reach in and slide things around and hope that the garment you can reach is the one you want. The area in front of the closet is about 12 inches wide since the bed or the sofa end at that point and what is left is the space to access the closet. Really stupid design. Should be a three-door bypass or some type of collapsing door either to the side or top to bottom. Two shelves and a safe at the right that you can access easily when the doors are to the left. The center drawer in the vanity is the only one drawer in the cabin. It has the hairdryer hard wired inside. The inside of the drawer is black! Makes it very hard to find things in there. It only slides open about half of the length making it a dark hole to try and find whatever you store there and then that needs to be untangled from the hairdryer cord. Very poor design for a new ship. In the quad cabins they have a very innovative design. The sofa pops up to form bunk beds for the kids. That means you don’t have to fold out the sofa bed every night and back in in the morning and you have the same amount of floor space as a cabin without kids. Very nice design. You also have the end of the bunk beds to hang a wet swim suit or to mount a shoe storage bag with pockets to organize other items. Excellent idea. The only suggestion I have is that when they take the sofa cushions off to make a bed – take those big cushions OUT OF THE CABIN and store them for the week. To shove them between the curtain and the end of the bed is stupid. Makes closing the curtains and issue and takes up precious space for suitcase storage. The verandas are standard size. The chairs have a lower back which makes them more comfortable. You don’t have to always sit so straight up. There is enough room to move them around a bit and still use your deck. We had great services in the cabins. If we needed something all we had to do was ask. They kept the cabins clean and supplied. MSC has reduced the crew to passenger ratio and gone to automation for some services. With the Fantastic Experience you get wine, beer and soda included with lunch and dinner. It is a self-serve style service. That allows fewer staff in the buffet area. Nice thought but it is does not work for about 50% of the passengers. We had 12 in our group. Only half of us could use the service. Both the ship card and the ship bracelet did not scan or dispense beverages at the self-serve stations. You had to go hunt down a staff member to get your beverages. Stupid. At a minimum they should have been able to correct the technical issues with each passenger card after the first time it didn’t work. But they do not do that. They just hope you go away and don’t bother them or bother some other staffer. The other automated service is the small electronic device at each bar or that each server carries around to use when ordering a drink. It requires you sign with your finger most of the time. It is the new charging mechanism to replace paper receipts. The stylist is missing or the crew member has it in their pocket and does not provide it for signature. You end up with an illegible mark on the screen that passes for a signature. Very dumb. Good idea if they just had the technology to support the idea. Photo area is small, few display racks and very disorganized. Very small desk to check out. Again, the technology of looking at photos digitally didn’t work for most cards. I do not know who they use for their IT support but they are definitely sub-par for the industry. Photo prices and packages are no where to be found on a placard or on a hand out. If you ask, they say they don’t have a list for prices or packages. I even went to customer service and they had nothing. Very poor. It should be posted. Then I was told it was a buy 5 and get 5 free. Great promotion. You pick out your photos, stand in the mob and wait your turn to check out only to find that you can only get the five free ones for YOUR cabin. You cannot include photos of your family and grandkids from other cabins even if YOU are the one who paid for them! Why would I want 10 photos of my husband and myself??!! A clear posting would help a lot. It would reduce the problems at check out and the ongoing arguments of everyone who was told you can’t have those photos since they are from a different cabin. I heard that argument at least a dozen times while I waited for the second time to purchase photos after I did it “wrong”. Most the wait time was for passengers to have issues explained or to get prices or to try to get a verbal idea of what would constitute a package price. There is no area for you to lay out 2 dozen pictures so that you can compare and chose. We had excellent photographers each formal night. She was good at arranging the groups and made sure that you didn’t have one-person half hidden or the wrong heights next to each other. Good composition and good photos to choose from. Very willing to do couples and different families. We had excellent agents at customer services desk. We should not have had to use those services but at least we did get our issues resolved. We booked well over a year ago. We chose the Fantastic Experience for 4 cabins (12 pax). The Experience was to include 12 drink coupons for each passenger/non-alcoholic for kids; and the wine/beer/soda with lunch and dinner. Last March we read on Cruise Critic that the coupons were being phased out. It would be replaced with wine/beer/soda at lunch and dinner. We already had that in the package we purchased so they were just eliminating a perk we had paid for. When we printed our boarding documents there was an asterisk next to the what is included in your cruise. That asterisk corresponded to a very small print paragraph that mentioned the drink coupons. When we did not receive our coupons at boarding, and they were not in the cabins, I took the paperwork and stood in line. The agent made copies of each boarding document then went in back and produced the coupon booklets. I should not have had to go to that effort. It was part of the deal and it should have been provided without issue. I also wanted to put onboard credit on some cabins. I went to the desk with cash in hand and had it credited to cabins and signed the receipt. Days later it was not posted to the cabin accounts so it was go stand in line and show the receipt to get it posted. The same happened with the onboard credit from my agent. After three days and it did not show on the account I went down and spent about 15 minutes with an agent who finally did find the credit in an “on shore” account that had not been transferred. It is bs in my book. They just hope you don’t make a stink and then they don’t have to pay out, I guess. MSC needs to work on providing staffing and signage for ports of call. They have two gangways and the instructions to get there are poor and the directional stands with arrows placed around the ship are inadequate. I don’t know if pranksters turned the signs to the arrow pointing in the wrong directions or if they truly were clueless as to the way to route people. The number of “arrow signs” and the frequency at “intersections” what wholly inadequate. Staff was absent. You had lines snaking around the ship and up the stairs and then when you came to an elevator bank and the doors opened then 20 people would try to merge into the line at mid-point rather than getting to the back of the line. There were no lines blocking off those points of merge and NO STAFF keeping order. It was totally amateur hour over and over. No excuse for that other than they don’t have sufficient staffing. We also found that the number of European passengers far outnumbered the US passengers and apparently the custom elsewhere is to just shove an push and bully till you get to the head of the line, to the first elevator or to the buffet entrée FIRST. No courtesy no manners. Me First. All The Time! I have no clue where the term “ugly American” comes from after this experience. We are BLACK card which entitled us to priority tender services in Grand Cayman. That worked as intended and it was a blessing as we had an outside excursion booked. They have that one down and they execute it perfectly. They have one guy at the gangway that I think needs to work for TSA. I guess you give the guy a smidge of authority and he has to go wild. I got him twice. He decided my beach bag was TOO BIG for port. He said you cannot take that thru the secured area as it is too large. He looked thru it and saw beach towels, sand toys and snorkels and masks, camera, phone and sunscreen. Nothing to see here. Just didn’t like the size. I asked why wasn’t there some information provided if a specific size was required. He said that the two wheels on the bottom made it “luggage” and not a beach bag. The second time he kept me there about 5 minutes while he tried to call immigration!! What an ass. I saw people with much larger bags in the next line so I don’t know what they guy’s issue was. Just stupid. He finally backed off when he saw I was going to make an issue of it. Neither port had any problem with my bag. Just this jackass. Returning to the ship was a treat. We were greeted with ice cold water and a cold wash clothe to wipe your face. It was heaven. Nice touch MSC. Good idea. Bought a fun pass for the grandkids and they used every point on it. It was hard to use your points when things were not open most of the time. The bowling had about 2 hours of time open per day; zip line only operated 2 days and often the attendant at the race simulator and 3D was off doing something else. Poor staffing again. Waivers were required for the waterslides and they set up a table in the walkway of the waterslides for waivers to be signed. Only 2 guys there and they were always being interrupted for questions by people wanting to know what to do since there were not instructions posted. The slide with the tubes only had about 6 tubs so the line was very long waiting for someone to slide and then turn over a tube. Very poor plan and the slide lines merged into the waiver signing lines. When boarding the ship, younger kids had to get an arm band and they should also have all the waivers signed at that time away from the slide area. Lot less confusion and chaos. Another stupid plan by MSC and they should know better. None of this crowd control and orderly execution of boarding, disembarking etc. is rocket science. We had several great bar tenders and servers. They made up for the jerks at other locations. We had good service and great conversations with them. Too bad the others did not realize that a bit of friendly attention and good service could get you a good amount of extra cash tips. I do not recommend spending the $5.00 for the wrist band. I bought one and every time it did not work they asked for my card. I recommend you buy a lanyard with a plastic pocket to keep your card. Most of the time they ask for the card anyway since the bracelette works about 15% of the time. Save the time and hassel. We still had a great time. The price was very reasonable for the number of passengers we had and the number of ports of call. We scheduled most of our excursions through non-ship providers and we were very happy with the price and services. Once we got off the ship our ports were a great experience. It was the herd mentality disembarking that was always a challenge. MSC will be loosing their American market if they don’t step it up a bit in the service and staffing departments. Perhaps they only want the European market. There is no excuse for the stupid mistakes and the congested areas and lack of workable technology. If they are going to reduce staffing then figure out how to provide the usual services. The rude, belligerent staff we did experience should be fired. They signed up for a customer service job and should be expected to be civil and polite or fired. Most of the complaints we heard from others were similar to our own. Pushing, bullying, rude, shoving etc. Lack of personnel to resolve issues and no instructions or information about a service or a product. All easily solved if they care at all to retain the market. We may sail them again – depends upon the offer. BE sure you check what you get with drink packages if you book one. The Drinks On Us is now Easy Drinks – primarily worthless. $6.00 drinks or less. Which means bottom of the line gin, vodka etc. with coke, soda or tonic. If you order a “real drink” it is $11-$15.00/each with no credit for the $6.00 already paid for in your package. On the $6.00 drink you pay the 15% gratuity each time as well. Pretty much a joke package like the beer/soda/wine with lunch and dinner. Our family enjoyed their time together. We made the most of it and not sorry we did this cruise. We have had better experiences on other lines but we have paid a lot more too. There is a saying, you get what you pay for! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. ... Read More
We were visiting from Illinois and chose this cruise because it fit our schedule and the price seemed reasonable. We did spend additional money on entertainment and drinks, but in the end it was still a good value, especially with kids. Weather was great! Pluses: Nice looking ship with a variety of live entertainment, shops, bars, and activities. Great itinerary with interesting ports. Wide stairways made it easy to skip the elevator wait. Getting on and off the boat was generally smooth. The kids loved the mini-bowling. The cabin had adequate room even with the sofabed opened up. Beds were comfy. Minuses: Quite a few maintenance issues. Among the things which did not function for most or all of our cruise were one of the bowling alleys, the racecar simulator, some of the indoor hot tubs, several treadmills, and the air hockey games. The cabin bathroom was rusting in parts and smelled faintly of sewage. The pools tended to be overcrowded. There is a lack of public toilets, mainly due to poor design (one toilet stall covers a ridiculously large amount of area, even with a full sink inside!). Mixed: - The food. Breakfast was fine but repetitive. The buffet was OK but seafood and fresh fruit tended to disappoint. Snacks and desserts were often the best items. Main dining meals were slow to arrive and not consistently high quality, although they were sometimes good. We got the Fantastica package which offers free bottled water in the main dining room. When in Europe we are used to paying for water, Americans who complain about that forget that even a 15% tip is now considered stingy stateside. - The ship design. It takes some getting used to, although there are maps everywhere. Lots of zigs and zags. Among the more confusing areas are the buffet, the virtual world, and Deck 5 (where you have to wander among cabins to find the reception). Service: We found all the staff friendly and polite, and room service was very prompt. However, the customer service procedures were often baffling. I sometimes was bounced around between places to get charges dropped, and it would usually take about 5 minutes of a staff person pecking away at their keyboard to get even simple account changes made. Communication with guests could certainly be improved. I suspect one reason the lines are reception are long is that the onboard systems are poorly integrated. Ports: We did not do any excursions, and avoided the paid shuttles. Going independent did make things a bit harder, especially when the port was in an industrial wasteland, but when the official bus costs more than a taxi it doesn't make much sense to use the bus. We encountered a number of MSC-organized tours, and given the large group sizes and lack of English we don't feel we missed much. It's definitely worth buying an internet package if you're going independent, you will need to do a lot of searching and mapping. Passengers: Mostly Italians, but a fair number of French and Germans too. It's Europe so people smoke on the balcony. Lack of a common language made it harder to strike up casual conversations, and we didn't really get to know anyone the entire time. I can imagine this could be a drawback for the kids club, though to be honest our kids tend to shy away from kids clubs anyway. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise because we were looking for a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We got a great price on a Fantansica experience balcony deck 12. With the easy drink package. We stayed overnight in Miami at the Hampton ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we were looking for a cruise to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We got a great price on a Fantansica experience balcony deck 12. With the easy drink package. We stayed overnight in Miami at the Hampton inn Blue Lagoon. Very nice and convenient hotel. We parked our car at an offsite parking lot called safe cruise Miami. Great price to park, dropped off and picked up quickly. Their shuttle is free so i can't complain about the ride. If you want to experience Miami I would stay at a downtown hotel or Port of Miami hotel it will cost more for that. Embarkation was amazing!! Fastest I've ever got on a ship. Disembarkation the same! Maybe because they have the face scanners I D going through customs! The seaside is a beautiful ship! our cabin was very nice. A little more storage space and a little bigger shower would have been perfect. The balcony was very large, so that made up for the smaller shower! Our room steward was amazing, Roxanne. She greeted us and asked us our names! Always made it a point to greet us using our names everyday. I found it interesting the room stewards were woman, I have never had a women room steward before. The dining room was ok. We have become use to anytime dining,so the first night everyone waiting for the dining room to open created a big line,and people going up and cutting in front of you. After the first night, we just arrived 10 minutes late and avoided the mad rush to your tables. Unfortunately we encountered a lot more people that would not be considerate of others. Alot of passengers from other countries is all we could figure. The food in the main dining room did not leave a lasting impression on any of us. We did enjoy the buffet. Again the food was more Mediterranean then American. The pizza was very good and the burgers were the best I had on a cruise. i ordered a pizza from room service one day, for a charge, it was well worth the price to have a fresh pizza, delicious! We were never hungry. We never had a problem finding a place to sit outside. Only by the main pool if you wanted to see an activity. We didn't find much to do for us in the daytime on a sea day. A lot of shopping events not enough entertainment events on the sea day afternoon. So I enjoyed relaxing outside with a coco loco with rum on the side. They really need to change up the drinks available, it was easier for the bartender to make a frozen drink with the alcohol then give a shot of alcohol on the side. The service on the ship was very good We didn't do any excursion with MSC we just explored on our own. The port times were not enough at some of the stops and too much time at other ports. The cruise critic meet & greet was very nice that MSC put together for the group. The captain expressed wanting to hear the American feedback since they are moving into the United States with more ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
My family traveled on the Divina 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. We cruise a lot and wanted to try a different line so we chose MSC. This time we took 20 guests for our 60th wedding anniversary, 12 of them I paid for myself. We ... Read More
My family traveled on the Divina 5 years ago and enjoyed it immensely. We cruise a lot and wanted to try a different line so we chose MSC. This time we took 20 guests for our 60th wedding anniversary, 12 of them I paid for myself. We liked the new ship, free drink package, price was good as I booked early. Embarkation was very smooth. disembarkation was a chaos because of waiting on transportation but not the ship's fault. The ship is just beautiful and so many areas to choose from. Entertainment was awesome with aerialists, particularly the Michael Jackson show. Super! Food wasn't the best we have had on ships and varieties were limited and somewhat bland but we aren't ones to complain about things like that. Cheesecake and a nice fish would have been nice each night. The children's areas are fabulous and our two little ones loved it all, particularly Kids Club. We loved everything about the Seaside except the ship did not recognize our 60th anniversary and 20 people in any way.That disappointed me since we were returning guests from 5 years ago. We liked the bars to get your own drinks and not wait on a waiter. No tissues are in the rooms now, had to ask for them. Only 2 washcloths but we had a wonderful room steward. The best part was Melvin, Head Waiter, from Hungary? He was wonderful, funny and danced with me two nights. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets ... Read More
We were in the Mac hatch club, so this experience is very different if you were not in the hatch club. It was a nice, quiet, and fun experience. We had a deluxe sweet on the 18 floor. It was good size and sleeps 5. The yatch club gets butlers, unlimited food, and drink, and gets escorted to shows, dinner, and off the ship. You have a private deck, pool, lounge, restaurant, and bars. Only around 150 other people so it is nice and not crowded. You get a priority elevator which skips all other floors. Also you get priority boarding at each port. Our butler helped so much. And I would recommend getting a cabana on the top deck for 100$. It comes with a cooler filled with any drink, food delivered the whole day, and a nice shaded and private area. The shows are great. (Michael Jackson show is a must, tickets sell fast). For shows the hatch club has private seating in the theater and don’t need to book tickets. But tickets if you are not in yatch club sell fast. Awesome cruise and only way to cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for ... Read More
The ship is brandnew and it shows - on the positive and negative. Positive: Fantastic facilities, the LED screen in the Galleria is awesome, modern style, everything shiny and new. Negative: The Crew hasn´t been working together for a long time, the processes need some time to be ironed out. Some of the crewmembers, especially in service, seem to be new. This translates into reduced service. We´ve been to the Preziosa a few years ago and it was completely different to can only relate it that the crew needs some time to get into the routine. The ship is HUGE! It takes some time to navigate it and but then works very well. I would advise to try it at least once to see if this is something you enjoy. For our tastes it was too big and in the future we´d be looking into the Fantastica Class again. Th shows that we visited were of high quality standards, we really liked them. However, we were underwhelmed by the Cirque du Soleil show. The were only 3 "real cirque" acts and the cocktail was watery and full of sugar. We had the Premium Drinks Package and total got our worth. Would do it anytime again. However, it is sad that the ice cream at the pool is not included in the Premium Package for adults, however it is included in the one for kids. Luckily we had kids with us so could use their cards. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for its itinerary. The ship is a fancy barge where you pay extra for anything you may need. We were expected to pay for a glass of tap water in the formal restaurant. They do not provided any facial tissues in the balcony stateroom. They allow open smoking in several areas inside the ship which permeayes the showroom and other bars! There are over 21 points for improvement with this cruise company. The entertainment us cheap, appears unrehearsed and karaoke like most nights. Embarkmemt required showing proof you were a real person I've 3 times and queuING each time. If you are a first timer cruiser this cruise may be good for you as you would not know how low a standard MSC is. Of course you may like to pay to have open dining but other crise companies have all the above plus more included in their offer Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC ... Read More
We were a family of four traveling for our first Mediterranean cruise with two teenagers. We have taken multiple cruises before on Princess, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival, so we thought we would give the relatively new MSC Seaview a try. The price for our family was certainly enticing. In short, here is how we would grade our experience: Price: A Room size and cleanliness: A Food quality: D Entertainment quality: C Itinerary and Time at each port: B If you are looking for a cruise vacation, this is probably not it. If you are looking for a comfortable hotel room and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise would serve you fine. Let be begin with the good. We had a balcony cabin on the 10th floor of the port side. The balcony was great given the weather. We enjoyed sitting on it and watching the sights in and out of the ports. It also gave us extra room which was out of the way while others in our family were getting dressed. The cabin had a queen size bed and a sofa that converted into bunk beds rather than a pull out bed. The bunk beds were a lifesaver with two teenagers and avoided many arguments and complaints. The room was spacious for a cruise ship as was the bathroom and shower. The bathroom had fantastic water pressure which was a great surprise. Our room steward did a great job keeping us supplied with fresh towels and working around our time in the room. The room TV had plenty of stations with maybe 6-7 in each language. However, even the American programming in other languages did not have subtitle capabilities which would have been nice. The English language selections were all 24 hour news stations which included CNN, CNBC and 3-4 European news stations. It is hard to relax and unwind to that before bed. The common area was a bit plain but nice. The elevators utilized a system that directed you to a specific elevator based upon destination. It is meant to speed things up but always resulted in long waits at the elevators. So we ended up going up and down countless flights of stairs each day. The cruise was truly international with what seemed to be a passenger population made up of those speaking Italian, French, Russian, various Asian languages, English, German and Spanish. The staff did a great job being multi lingual, making announcements and communicating fluently in each of those languages. That was impressive. The entertainment encompassed all of those languages which was great. But the shows etc. on board could best be described as “low energy.” If you are doing a Tina Turner tribute show, having dancers and singers dragging through the show with a slow tempo and little smiling just seemed like they were going through the paces. Definitely not Tina Turner like. The other periodic entertainment was excessively campy and seemed like a continual loop of the Gong Show or Sabado Gigante. On our last night, we found a duo playing piano and drums singing in a lounge, and they alternated performance sets with a solo guitarist/vocalist. Both were really good and better than the more featured acts on the ship. I wish we had discovered them earlier... We also walked through a very small casino that was on board. It seemed very sparse and small. It did not have any craps tables which was a first for me in a casino. The cruise itinerary was good and generally allowed sufficient time in each port. There were no dedicated days at sea on this itinerary for which we were grateful. However, at Palma, Mallorca and Barcelona, Spain, the cruise ports were outside of the city so you were forced to take a taxi or a ship provided shuttle at an extra cost to go into the city. If the cruise line chooses to utilize these ports outside of the destination city, then they should provide transportation into the port city without nickel and diming their passengers for the costs of transportation on the cruise line’s shuttles into the city. My biggest concern about this cruise was the food quality. It was terrible. I tried to be very open minded given the multinational nature of the cruise but nothing I had of any cuisine was good. All of the food was edible but not good. The food was often cold and bland. We tried both the sit down dining option and the marketplace buffet. Those were the only options at night unless you paid for the three premium restaurant options which we did not. The same food, the same quality and the same temperature seemed to be served at both venues. The only difference is that the sit down dining had more limited options, and we had slow service with a lot of waiting with a waiter who did not even seem to understand her own menu. For those of you that love Pepsi, you are in luck as all of the soft drinks on board are Pepsi products. For those of us that don’t, there was always beer. In the dining room we were charged for still water. In the marketplace buffet, we were not charged for still water but they only had 1 working water dispenser for all of the passengers. The plastic cups for your water were limited to 6 ounce cups. It is hard to stay hydrated at that rate. The coffee on the cruise was generally above average. Most of the time we paid for premium coffee at the bars which was worth it to us coffee drinkers. The best we found was that made by “Don” at the Venchi Chocolate and Coffee Bar. It was great and worth the extra charge. Finally, the dining themes were ridiculous. Each night was a different theme in name only. The actual theme seemed to be “Sunday night clean out the household refrigerator”. The dishes were a hodge-podge of whatever seemed to be laying around. For example, the Bavarian theme night was the everyday items plus the addition of a roast pork loin and a cold potato salad. That made it Bavarian night. Nothing else Bavarian was served. On Mexican night, the usual items were supplemented by some puréed avocado and some very julienned pieces of beef mixed with julienned strips of peppers. They called that beef fajitas. That was the sum total of what made it Mexican night. I will give the ship credit that their breads and croissants were made well and tasty. But unfortunately my scale is going to reflect that I lived on mostly bread and coffee while onboard. The part that I find most interesting is that for an Italian cruise line, based in the Mediterranean with multinational passengers, the Italian dishes were the worst offerings. The pizza was bland, soggy and doughy; the pasta was over cooked and soaked in bland tomato or a watery white sauce; and the deserts were basic, unimaginative and tasteless. We could not wait to get off the ship each day to eat at a street vendor, market or restaurant. We were never disappointed with any of the food we found on land. In summary, if you are looking for a comfortable place to sleep and transportation from point A to point B, this cruise will serve you well. If you are looking for the whole cruise experience to include great food and entertainment, look elsewhere. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I am writing this review although our cruise did not go as planned. It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure. That being said, I would like ... Read More
I am writing this review although our cruise did not go as planned. It has been widely reported in the papers about the MSC Opera accident in Venice. An extremely unfortunate event due to a mechanical failure. That being said, I would like to commend MSC and it’s Opera staff for working so hard to assist the passengers and create a positive atmosphere. Laura at reception was instrumental in getting us tickets home with a lovely demeanor despite the vitriol of countless cruisers. The housekeeper, Jane, for 10141 was friendly, helpful and went out of her way to make things pleasant. All the staff extended themselves to make everything as comfortable as possible. Kudos to MSc for covering an cost of and making arrangements if one wished to leave early, as well as reimbursing full cost of cruise for all passengers whether they decided to stay on board or not. Also, free Wi-Fi, drinks,, transport to Venice San Marco throughout the day and night. This shows that it knows how to respond d with excellent customer service. The ship, while older, is immaculate and well run. I will cruise with MSC again, despite the accident. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have ... Read More
Where to start: First, we have sailed nineteen times and experienced an array of American AND European cruise products from RCCL, Princess, Costa, P&O, NCL, Holland America etc. The experiences of these diverse products have collectively informed my opinion of our MSC experience. MSC is NOT for the American market share rather, this European line is clearly after the sustainability of the European market share. American products by and large, do not charge a consistently high price for the cruise and then, charge clients for water while on board. Yes... MSC does this. Not even Costa does this. We paid over 3k for our cruise (similar and consistent to what we have paid for with other products like RCCL, Costa, Princess etc.) but while on board the MSC product we were charged for water.... we were amazed, perplexed and terribly disappointed. Its also important to note -what MSC USA sold us was not what we experienced onboard. When we pointed out the discrepancies on board we were told to take it up with MSC USA when we got home. We did, they did nothing to satisfy or settle our issue. We purchased the Fantastica experience, were told drink packages were included - then they somehow were not included. When we argued they were - we were told we had to buy a drink package which we did for our two children (non alcoholic package) and 1 adult alcoholic package. Only to get on board and be told we shouldn't have done that in fact it was included in our package and when we asked to have the initial prepaid packages we purchased refunded they said - sorry it wasn't included... The only thing which we felt was consistent was the inconsistency between what was sold and what we expected to what we actually experienced onboard. Other things we felt were important to note. The excursions - expensive but of little to no substance; again, representing to us an imbalance between what we paid for and what we actually experienced. We purchased several excursions through MSC - and quickly spent MORE TIME transiting to the excursions than we actually did enjoying the place we were visiting. This happend to us in both Arles France and Portofino. In Arles, we spent 3 hours on a bus to experience the town for only an hour. While in Portofino, same things - we paid a fortune to go to Portofino and spent three hours transiting there only to spend an hour IN Portofino... Very little value for money. Similarly, MSC twice docked at a port which they charged a fee to go from the Port facility to the town.... We were left shaking our heads and again, having the experience of other lines, this was an anomaly we felt was important to note for others who are considering this line. The ship itself was clean, comparatively clean to other lines and with cabins which were much larger than the typical stateroom found on other lines. That was about the only two bonuses on this line. Our experience of the ship was in one word -- exhausting. Terribly overcrowded and with clearly overwhelmed staff who continually treated us with discourtesy and disregard. The staff appeared as exhausted of the overcrowded conditions as we were. This was consistent from the bar staff to the dinning staff -- totally overwhelmed and continually discourteous and seemed exhausted..... The common centers on the ship were jammed daily elbow to elbow with people and loud music - wasn't a quiet spot on the ship to be found... ever. The smoking is an experience not commonly found with American products, on European lines - smoking is everywhere and something we found terribly intrusive and distasteful. Imagine placing the ONLY soft serve ice cream station for kids on the ship in the smoking section of the ship... kids actually have to endure cigarette smoke while waiting for their ice cream (which was eventually closed down due to being broken). This careless disregard for children - alone, made us not want to return to this product... ever. We have sailed many ships (19 cruises to date) and several of those other European products. First time we were ever on a ship and product we couldn't wait to leave... first time. The cost of this product comparatively is similar to other lines - RCCL, Princess Holland America - but what you get for your money is wholly inconsistent and as a result, we could not in good conscience recommend this product, especially for families. While MSC is trying desperately to break into the American marketshare, we believe this is going to be extremely difficult as people with experiences such as ours, share our impressions with others. This was an honest and unbiased account of our experience. We hope it is taken seriously so the product may be improved for others going forward. For us, we will not use or recommend this product in the future. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
From the beginning things were terrible. Our cruise cards were not correct. We had the drink package and they put it on the card wrong. So we had to go the guest services to correct all three cabins cards. Then you have to wait in line to ... Read More
From the beginning things were terrible. Our cruise cards were not correct. We had the drink package and they put it on the card wrong. So we had to go the guest services to correct all three cabins cards. Then you have to wait in line to activate your card with a credit card. Why not do this at embarkation like other cruise lines. Cabin bed was not put together like on reservation. Another needed correction. No Kleenex in rooms under suites. They said no Kleenex on board but met a couple staying in a suite and they said suites got Kleenex. We had no wash clothes. Had to ask for them. Not that towel animals are needed. But they are cute and all other cruises we have been on we had them. Not MSC. Why not?Staff move in slow motion. Bar staff don’t even know what drinks they have. Food was average at best. Not what we are accustomed to on cruises. Very basic and not a good choice or selection for most meals. Our waiter was great. But he did not have a lot to work with. During dinner the staff are constantly walking around with fliers trying to get you to buy a 20 euro steak or lobster. Other cruise lines have lobster night and steak. Buffet was worse than cafeteria food. The staff up there don’t bus the tables quickly. Most days guests needed to bus their own tables. Excursions were so on organized. Getting off the ship was lines of people. Making you late starting your excursions. 2 excursions we returned later than we were supposed to. Luckily we booked with MSC so the ship was still there. The description of excursions is deceiving. We went on one to see the riviera waterfalls and shopping. We took an hour bus ride and saw a waterfall behind a restaurant and then another ride to a town that all the shops were closed for siesta while we were there to shop. Why did we go there? Room was not cleaned like we are used to on cruises. There was dirt on the floor for two days. Someone left a coffee cup by the elevator and it was there for 4 days. In the buffet a person dropped a piece of pizza and I counted 8 staff who either stepped on it or walked over it until someone finally picked it up. There are no little snack shops or restaurants to grab a quick snack during the day. The ports we stopped at were beautiful. But the ship staff and some excursions were sooo disappointing. Entertainment was not up to cruise standards. Every night was basically the same with a different theme. Singers were good. Dancers poor. They used the same set every night. Not broadway caliber. Get good entertainment. Anytime you have an issue they say it is a third party issue and they will email and get back to you. Never MSC again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ... Read More
Here is some info about me: I'm 48. Live in USA. have cruised 51 days with Carnival, 14 days with princes, and now 7 with MSC. Have cruised a lot of Caribbean, one Norway, one Alaska, and now one Mediterranean. We started and ended our cruise in Genoa. Before the cruise, I registered myself and my husband for the status match program. NOT user friendly, i must say. Make sure your photo that you upload with your other cruise-line info is a small data file. It took me several tries, but i finally got it done. we got silver level by providing our carnival info. Other than a bowl with 4 pieces of fruit in our cabin, not sure we noticed much difference. I was the one in our group of 16 friends/family that did the research and planned most of our trip. i went into the cruise having read MANY reviews. Having read the reviews, i would say that i agree with many of them. 1. very nice ship. clean inside. nicely decorated. clean. 2. entertainment above average. they had 3 lead singers who sang to a prerecorded soundtrack. they sang well. the dancers danced well. there were a couple of songs that they had one of the dancers (very obviously) lip-sync. I would have preferred that they did not do that. they were far better at dancing than lip-syncing. Just let the dancers dance!! 3. food....... a. dining room. Although our wait staff was very friendly, i did not feel the same level of personal involvement or level of attentiveness with them as i have felt with previous cruises. They just didn't seem to "have it all pulled together". some in our 2 tables of 8 did not get things that they ordered and it did seem to take a long time for one of our tables, who had a different waiter. as far as the food goes, well...... as many other reviewers have said, the selection is lacking compared to other cruise lines. maybe 5 options for starters (soups, salad, etc). another 5 for main dishes. then maybe 4 or 5 desert choices. they did have something like 3 items that are on the menu every night, but i can't say that i looked at them more than once. they did not seem very interesting. the food was NOT awful as some in my group claimed and some reviewers have claimed. Yes, i have had better. I think if they had more selection, the complainers in my group might have been happier. Maybe if the food had been catered to Americans, maybe they would have been happier.....i just don't know. Maybe i just had low expectations because of the reviews i read before the cruise, but MAYBE I had more realistic expectations since I have been to Europe many times and know to expect things to be a little different than in a cruise that caters to Americans. The fact is that on this cruise you can expect to be surrounded by lots of french, german, spanish, and italians. English speakers were by far in the minority. Not a problem, but something to be aware of. Of note, we went to the dining room the first 3 nights, then never went back. we found that the food on deck 14 was just as good and a lot quicker. we had 7pm dining. if we ate in the dining room, we had to go to the 945 show. a little late for me. b. informal dining......breakfast and lunch were perfectly adequate. lots to choose from. they did a good job trying to have selections that cater to different cultures. they had the bacon (actual bacon, not British bacon that is actually ham), but the link sausages were more British than American. lots of pastries, different types of eggs (scrambled, etc), pan cakes, etc. I very much enjoy experiencing what other cultures eat. some in my group are not what i would call cultured. they just thought some of the items were bad....in reality, the food items were that way, not because they were bad, but because that's the way other cultures eat them. Of note, as other reviewers have said, the pizza was very much above average for cruise pizza. it was nice to not have to wait in a long line for mediocre pizza like you do on carnival. Of note, I expected the dinner in the casual dining to be at least a small step up from what you get in there for lunch, but i did not find that to be the case. 4. Drink packages...... most in our group chose to purchase drink packages. my husband got the $10 per drink max package for $39 per day. I got the $19 non alcoholic package, and my son got the $14 per day non alcoholic kids drink package. Of note, i only got mine because i had to have a package for my son and husband to have one. I think they might have gotten their money's worth, but i'm not sure that i did. I don't like to drink a lof of sugary drinks or ones with artificial sweeteners. Large bottles of mineral water were like 2.50, so not crazy bad without the package. It was nice that I was able to go to the bar and order 2 cappuccinos and a mineral water at the same time and not have to wait or come back for the others. I think you have to wait 15 min between the alcoholic drinks. You could also get soft serve ice cream with the non alcoholic packages, but not with the alcoholic packages. Had i not gotten a package, the free drink selections would have been fine with me. Of note, no decaf coffee that i could see for free.....i found that strange. lots of different flavors of tea bags to choose from. 5. staff members.....including the dining room staff, i found the staff to be very friendly. they were very good about making eye contact and greeting you. most of them that I encountered, spoke a good amount of english. I was pleasantly surprised by that. 6. excursions...... we did not choose to book any excursions through the cruiseline, although a couple in our group did. My mom was pleased with the cave trip and another tour she and her friend took. What we did pay for was 3 transfers! No tendering with free shuttle for this cruise line. we paid $12.99 per person for 2 of them and like $16 for Marseille. I did read about the other options (hop on hop off close to port, free shuttles, and city buses), but we decided that our time and lower amounts of frustration from having to find where to go made it worth it for us to just fork out the dough. We just weren't up for the adventure of all of that. 16 people is a lot to have to wrangle up. 7. transfers. we used a company called www.airportstaxitransfers.com to get us from the genoa airport to the hotel in genoa, hotel to ship, ship to milan, then hotel in milan to airport in milan. highly recommend them. extremely punctual, we had not hitches with any of the four segments. with our number of travelers it was very cost effective. something like 50 euros total each for all 4 segments. door to door service. Of note, we spoke to an Australian couple who were on the last of 3 consecutive msc cruises. they nearly missed the ship because the transfer that was arranged through the ship didnt work out. they had been told a later time for it and so they missed it. it cost them 1000 euros to take a cab from venice and made it there with 1 hour to spare. the cruise line was going to reimburse them for the 1000 euros and the ship's employees were very apologetic to them and seemed to be very interested in making it right for them. I would have written that bad experience off as a 1-off, but we got word that the cruiseline had also messed up their transfer at the end of our cruise. they had them going to germany, instead of to the airport. Not sure how that all came out, but im sure it was frustrating for them, considering the other snafu...... Not saying dont use the cruiseline for transfers, but just make sure that you check all of the details very carefully. 8. nickel and diming..... Yes, it did seem that they charged extra for A LOT of things. We heard one passenger wondering if they were going to be charged extra for toilet paper! What I would say about that, though, is that you get what you pay for. This was, by far one of the least expensive 7 day Mediterranean cruises that i could find. If we had booked with one of the others, maybe some of those things would have been included....maybe not... Maybe the food would have been better, probably so. But if you are doing well to just get yourself in the door of this ship (financially speaking) and you need the lower price, then you may have to just understand that some things won't be included in the base price. At least they give you the option of having a less expensive trip if you are willing to not use the things that cost extra. 9. I do want to tell you about an excursion that we booked on our own in Cagliari. we booked it through www.sardiniadreamtours.com before the cruise. you can find them on youtube and instagram. highly recommend this company. This tour was the highlight of our cruise. we got in 4x4 landrovers and went off-roading to some awesome lookout points in the mountains, then spent time at two beaches (chia was one of them). it cost us about 60 euros each and it lasted the whole time we were in port. they even took us on a quick trip through the historic area just before returning us to the ship. Francesco was awesome! They all went above and beyond. 10. The fact that each of the stops can be your start/end of your cruise. .....as i mentioned, we started and ended in Genoa. we were told that about 900 passengers boarded and disembarked with us. we found it to be pretty stress free, having done the same with 3000 passengers on other cruises where you feel like cattle. we carried our luggage on and off, and it was pretty easy. prior to cruising, i wondered if it would be a pain in the butt having them do a safety drill every day. i have to say that i hardly noticed it, other than the announcement and a few people around the ship with live preservers in their hands. Of note, once you board on your embarkation day, you cannot leave the ship until the next day. If you want to spend more time in that city, do it before you get on. we chose to spend that day in Genoa and board at around 3:30 instead of earlier in the day since we wanted to have a little more time in genoa. we breezed right through the boarding process, since most everyone had already boarded for the day. Our room was ready, we walked right in. Also of note, they put your key in the room and the door will be open when you get there. *****Be sure to go register your form of payment of on-board purchases. they have kiosks by the reception desk that make it pretty easy. you do not have to wait in line at the reception desk to get that done (lines ALWAYS long at the reception desk) 10. would I do it again if I had the choice? I would say yes. some in my group might say no. again with the unrealistic expectations...... I would just tell the nay Sayers to just fork out the big bucks for the other cruise lines next time if you want better food, etc. If they can't afford more, then maybe consider a land vacation or a Caribbean cruise. Just my 2 cents worth..... Hope that this helps you in some way, Cathy Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
-It felt like the experience was cheapened by all the employees trying to get you to buy stuff even as you are just trying to board. It’s bad enough to be constantly accosted by hawkers as you get off the ship at different ports but we ... Read More
-It felt like the experience was cheapened by all the employees trying to get you to buy stuff even as you are just trying to board. It’s bad enough to be constantly accosted by hawkers as you get off the ship at different ports but we don’t need that on the ship. The captains excuse that it was being done because the website and app keep malfunctioning doesn’t cut it. Fix the problems with those instead of making all the workers run around trying to sell stuff. -The restaurant and room attendants were wonderful and worked super hard. -The food was ok (not great, but not horrible). The buffet on the 16th floor should stay open later than 3:30 and is the only one with soft serve ice cream at no extra charge. -having only 3 employees to actually sell pictures on the last night was just ridiculous. There were many more employees but only 3 dealing with orders so the line was over an hour long. -Every show DOESN’T need to be a (cirque de soléis) type show. A couple of the shows would have been much better without the contortionists and gymnasts, it felt like they had to earn the paycheck by forcing a performance where it didn’t make sense. Read Less
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