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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We travelled as a couple on an 11 night transatlantic from Salvador to Barcelona. We primarily travel on Royal Caribbean and this was our first time on MSC. As such this review will be comparing the two. Good Points - Great Cabin ... Read More
We travelled as a couple on an 11 night transatlantic from Salvador to Barcelona. We primarily travel on Royal Caribbean and this was our first time on MSC. As such this review will be comparing the two. Good Points - Great Cabin Explained in the cabin review - Almost Great Designed Ships The ship was designed beautiful and designed exceptionally with every detail almost thought out. The ship was kept meticulously clean - Great In-house Entertainment The in-house shows were very good although were 35 mins each. Costumes, make up, lighting were superior to RC. - Slightly Cheaper Drinks We don’t drink much so don’t purchase packages. Drinks were about 20% cheaper than RC and tended to be a similar size. Nice touches in the Sports Bar was providing nachos and dips with drinks. The drink alcohol measures also tended to be large. - Always Available Sun Loungers There was sun loungers always available even when very busy - An Affordable Ship Tour At $45 for a three hour tour of behind the scenes of the ship this felt like good value compared to RC price which on Oasis was around $80-90 (which we didn’t take up). Now to the negatives - there is a few: - Some Design Flaws Whilst the ship is beautiful they made some mistakes; The theatre has 934 seats - on a ship with a capacity of 5300. This means that the performers are forced to do 3 x 35 minute performances a night. Whilst these didn’t always sell out (as booking is required) I feel the theatre should have had more capacity to reduce this to two maybe slightly longer performances. The seating is also very tight on leg room. The pools are all 6ft deep with no shallow sections (with the exception of the kids play park) The dinning rooms are too small. This cruise wasn’t full but heard previously of issues with not having enough tables in the restaurant. This results in some very closely configured tables which almost resemble banqueting halls where your almost sharing tables with your neighbour. This didn’t happen to us but it could be pot luck whether you land one of these tables. I’m also not sure if this is down to the table situation but they tend to run 4 dinner sessions 6pm, 7pm, 8pm and 9pm - there is also a my choice dining option. If you aren’t in within 15 minutes of that time then the restaurant closes. This policy leads to everyone arriving in a 15 minute window. Servers maybe with 6 tables or more each then need to take orders, serve drinks, bread and food. Not staggering tables affects quality of service and also I’m sure has an effect on the kitchen staff as well. Very open venues. Many of the entertainment areas aren’t intimate or open and have limited seating - so often what happens is a performer is playing to people who are not there to see the act but people who are just there taking a seat. Often the venues are also corridors to other places which then has the effect of major background noise. - The food was very hit or miss The food in the buffet and main dining at breakfast was to a similar standard to RC although with possibly slightly less choice Lunch in the buffet offered less variety than RC and the one time we had lunch in main dining it was ok. Again they seemed to seat people in one waiters section meaning they had immediately 8 tables to serve in quick time. We had dinner in the main dining each night and it was very hit or miss. Some dishes were surprisingly good others were just ok. Portions tended to be smaller than RC - which I think is a good thing - as often RC portions can vary and tend to be large. We developed a system to ensure we got alright food on MSC - we found they tended to be better at seafood and fish dishes than other meat types. For desserts their ice cream and ice cream sundaes were actually very good. They were also very good at pizza and (crisp) fries at the buffet. - Water At dinner service we were entitled to complimentary bottled water - which seemed to be rationed with one bottle coming out at a time. I’m not sure why they don’t just serve water - I actually would prefer a big jug of iced water from the tap than create more plastic to be recycled. - Sanitisation Whilst cleanliness was very good on board hygenie such as hand sanitisation was more an optional occurrence. There was hand sanitiser stations and even hand washing stations in the buffet but many just didn’t bother. By the end of the cruise a large number of people seemed to have a cough. - Disembarkation at some ports was a nightmare We stopped at Tenerife and Malaga on this trip. Tenerife was actually very smooth. However Malaga was slightly dangerous. Due to three medical evacuations by air and bad weather the disembarkation time was understandably changed to 2:30pm. People queued from 2pm with no staff to manage queues these quickly got out of hand with no real queuing system, people joining the lines as they come down the stairs or out of lifts. Some of the queue were then sent to the crew exit to alleviate this. But that was somewhat a bottleneck > with again people coming down stairs and lifts and joining in a mass. - Lack of Activities On board there was somewhat limited daytime activities. On RC we enjoy attending the trivia which is up to seven times a day. It is a great way to meet people as well as break up sea days. On MSC it tended to be dance classes with only three trivia sessions across 12 days. On one day they had 3 activities scheduled at one time and none for three hours. They also had a guest lecturer on board who we attended several talks and was quite interesting. On speaking to her she stated that she only does the transatlantic cruises - what would they have had if she wasn’t on board. There was a lot of entertainment staff even more than on other lines so felt they weren’t utilised as well as they could be. - Languages It became quite monotonous to hear every thing repeated in 6 languages. MSC is European, and I was shocked how seemingly few US customers were on board which make up a large proportion of RC guests regardless where they sail from. Unsurprisingly the majority were Brazilians meaning Portuguese was the main language. Being from the UK and having a little grasp of a few languages I would have struggled without English which was certainly a minority language on board. I’m not sure there is a solution to this problem. Although perhaps they could announce in one language and display subtitles in other languages on screens in places like the theatre. - Not the best imported shows The shows which are imported tend to be languageless or language light. These were a mime act (x2), singing act (x2) and a Ventriloquist using somewhat common words from multiple languages. In fact the best part of these shows was often the audience participation bits which were only a small part. Overall these certainly were not as good as guests performers on RC. - Service was not as friendly as RC I felt the staff were not as friendly as RC. They all did a good job but didn’t really talk. On RC servers of food and drink tend to be really bubbly, restaurant managers visit our table each night and most other staff great you in the corridors of all ranks. I felt this was in a minority on MSC. The staff were still good at their job and some were really friendly. For example a waitress at the chocolate shop remembered us for the rest of the cruise and greeted us each time we walked by, the maitre’d at main dining was very chatty and always acknowledged guests, deck staff cleaning the deck at 5am even gave out a strong good morning in Portuguese. Some other points; We had 3 air medical evacuations during this cruise and these were handled really professionally - it was good to see that if you need specialist medical help even 500km off the coast that attempts will will be made to get you that help. The Spanish Search & Rescue Service Salvamento Maritimo sent a Puma helicopter and an AirbusHeli plane to evacuate a staff member who was in labour with the baby in the breech position. An unusual announcement came over the tannoy in another language first and I picked up the words gynaecologist or obstetrician as they are very similar. The next day whilst at the buffet they made an announcement of “Mike Echo” over the tannoy and the evacuation was in full progress. MSC was the first cruise line to search my bags getting off at a port. As we were on holiday for 17 days we really needed to wash some clothes. I hadn’t preordered a washing package which were reasonable in advance. But per piece priced onboard. As we had washed clothes before off ship on our last transatlantic we thought we would do the same again. Last year on RC we carried off two rather large stuffed full weekender bags no questions asked. Even Spanish police and didn’t even look as we walked through with them. However MSC security were puzzled why I might be taking a weekender bag off the ship and wanted to know what was in it, scanned it and then did a quick visual search. This vigilance I believe is a good thing although what bag size is too big - I was shocked to have not been at least stopped last year with RC. On MSC others got off with backpacks no questions asked. Beware of the shuttle sale at Malaga. This has been mentioned by others before but MSC somewhat tried to sell a $10 shuttle to the city centre from Malaga cruise terminal stating it’s a 20-25 min bus ride away. In reality it’s about 25 minutes leisurely walk by the marina. A taxi would be about €6 each way, and if you wanted to do specific things may just save you a few minutes. Overall we left feeling we enjoyed a relaxing 11 nights on board. We would sail again with MSC possibly on their smaller ships (which we tend prefer) on itinerary rich sailings negating some of the activity issues although we have another two transatlantic sailings booked with RC for early next year so possibly not anytime soon. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise for the itinerary, because several ports had an overnight giving 2 days in those ports. I saw Divina launched in Marseille in 2011 and sailed on her as a solo traveller the following year, and loved it, so was looking ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary, because several ports had an overnight giving 2 days in those ports. I saw Divina launched in Marseille in 2011 and sailed on her as a solo traveller the following year, and loved it, so was looking forward to sailing on her again. I have a friend I travel with now but we choose to have our own cabins. Paying a single supplement is huge so we always book interior cabins. I booked this cruise roughly 18 months prior to departure and choose cabins on deck 9 close together. On getting our final payment papers I discovered we had been allocated different cabins 4 decks apart, not the cabins I had chosen. I contacted MSC Sydney and they said MSC had the right to change cabins even though I was under the assumption we had in fact paid more for cabins midships on a specific deck. Eventually we were allocated cabins on the same deck but deck 13 forward - not an ideal position as far as I was concerned. My friend and I were very disappointed and in fact I didn't want to take the cruise. We are both Black Card members with MSC but that did not change the situation. Our early preference dinner seating had also been changed to late seating. Once on board in Miami we went directly to the Black Crab restaurant to ensure we could get first seating for dinner as we both require to eat early for health reasons. We were told there were no seats left and that early seating was reserved for American guests - that did not impress us. Thankfully we recognised a head waiter we had met on an MSC cruise from South Africa last year (and he remembered us) and he organised seating for us at the early sitting. Having two days in port was fabulous as it gave you the option to stay ashore in the evening. New York was our first port and we used the Hop on Hop Off bus that included a boat tour to the Statue of Liberty. Great value for money to get around NYC. Bermuda was the second port but unfortunately there was a medical emergency and we had to turn back towards the US for a helicopter transfer, which took about half a day. During that time a storm developed near Bermuda and stopped Divina from getting into Kings Wharf. We had 5 fairly rough cool days at sea before arriving in Ponta Delgado in the Azores. I'd been there before and just loved it the first time. The weather was also fabulous - they'd had several days of bad weather so we were lucky. Teneriffe in the Canary Islands was substituted for Bermuda but just for one day. Lisbon, Portugal our next port was great. We had an overnight and left early the next morning. Remaining ports for a days visit were Malaga and Valencia in Spain, Marseilles ending in Genoa. We were joining MSC Sinfonia the following day for a Mediterranean cruise so an overnight in Genoa - a really surprising city. We mainly used the Hop on Hop off bus or just walked around the port. Most port authorities have their own shuttle buses too and fro the entrance, often free so there is no need to book the MSC shuttle which was often quite expensive. The food was good and the buffet has an excellent choice of food, although I feel the restaurant menu is not as good as it was when I first started cruising with them. The entertainment was very good, however on the sea days there was not a to to do as the pool deck areas were not usable, due to rough seas and low temperatures. A lot of passengers spent their days in the covered pool but to me it was like a sauna and very noisy. If you decide to book this repo, make sure you take adequate warm clothing - a lot of passengers hadn't researched temperatures, and MSC sold a lot of jackets. Thankfully I had done the research and had a down filled puffer jacket and body warmer. New York hovered on freezing on both days and several other ports were not at all warm and the wind was quite cold, so my jacket and body warmer got a lot of use. The Social media package is a good option to keep in touch with family and friends and much cheaper than buying a full internet plan. This wasn't advertised on the website but I had used it on previous years with What's App being my prime app. It's also much faster than Messenger and more secure. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Havana and we disembarked in our home province of Alicante so we got to see Havana and the Caribbean with no jet lag! The cabin (inside fantastica) was spacious and airy due to the clever use of ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it sailed from Havana and we disembarked in our home province of Alicante so we got to see Havana and the Caribbean with no jet lag! The cabin (inside fantastica) was spacious and airy due to the clever use of mirrors. Plenty of wardrobe space and room to move around. The entertainment team were great. Not to everyone’s taste I get that but the ship was big enough to avoid them if it’s not your thing. We were just observers most of the time but they were very enthusiastic and obviously enjoyed what they were doing which was infectious. The ship is dated especially with regard to the technology available but the ship is now in dock for an upgrade. All the personnel were very friendly and helpful. My only disappointment was the limited choice and sometimes the quality of the food. Also, due to translation issues you were never quite sure what you were going to get! That said,wonderful fresh pasta and pizza were always available, unfortunately salad consisted of lettuce and not much else! The bars all had different genres of music, something to suit most people and there was never really a scramble for seats or even sun beds as long as other passengers were being sensible and considerate. We started off with my husband saying he thought this would be our last cruise and finished it looking forward to booking another one soon. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We booked Aurea Suite und as Black Member in the Voyager Club we expected high comfort and attentive service. We wanted to enjoy the five-day-transatlantik and the lovely islands of south carribean as Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts Tortuga ... Read More
We booked Aurea Suite und as Black Member in the Voyager Club we expected high comfort and attentive service. We wanted to enjoy the five-day-transatlantik and the lovely islands of south carribean as Barbados, Antigua, St. Kitts Tortuga and so on. But the five sea-days are pure horror. All sunbeds were reserved by towels at 7 a.m. so that a lot of people get no one the whole day. Out of sheer need, they bought a ticket for the private sundeck reserved for Aurea guests. And so this sun-deck likewise was crowded with reserved sundbeds, so that the Aurea-guest didn't find a free one. Same in the Spa, where are not more than ten relaxation beds for all users! It's fact, that there is to less public space on this big ships for all passangers. As Black-Member and Aurea-Guest we had priority embarkation - but we had to stand in the crowd in Genua. The cabin was really fine and clean, because of the tips for the roommate. Therefor the waiters in the buffet-rerstaurants have been very inattentive, so that we get our drinks after our lunch or diner. Neither to the welcome-back nor to the black party, the captain was seen. A huge appreciation for longtime frequent drivers. As a special gift for the Black-Members we get a Pencil! Especially strange is that the Black members are awarded the same pin as deserved crew members !? The Dining, especially the diner, ('impressed by a star-cook') was partially real poor. My wife cuoldn't eat this, so we take Diner in the Eataly. 'We are the Masters of the sea' is the advertising entitlement of the cruise lin. We don't think so! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkation: As this was a repositioning cruise, passengers embarked at multiple locations during the cruise: Marseille, Genoa, Valencia and possibly other ports. We embarked at Genoa and, in part due to not being a full ship ... Read More
Embarkation: As this was a repositioning cruise, passengers embarked at multiple locations during the cruise: Marseille, Genoa, Valencia and possibly other ports. We embarked at Genoa and, in part due to not being a full ship changeover, it was a quick process. Ship: MSC Poesia was a nice ship. Built in 2008, it does not have a Yacht Club section. Two main Dining Rooms and one Speciality Sushi Restaurant, along with the usual Deck 13 Buffet. Two swimming pools, two pairs of outside jacuzzis. The ship did not appear full and this seemed to be confirmed by the number of cabin upgrades people had received, us included. Cleaning took place frequently, staff seen with vacuum cleaners on their backs and brass work being cleaned. Unfortunately, this was offset by food and beverage staff not checking for glasses and plates of food left around the decks and the ship generally… Cabin: We had received a double upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony. We were pleasantly surprised to find our Balcony was pretty much midship on Deck 9. Compact balcony with two chairs and a footstool, comfortable main cabin area and usual, compact shower room. Soap dispenser by the sink, shampoo and shower gel dispenser in the shower. Cruise Card validation: One of the reasons for the speedy embarkation is that you are expected to register your credit card at an automated machine (there were a few around reception and shore excursions etc). There were instructions in each cabin about how to do this. One the first evening, we made three attempts to register our preferred credit card at one of these machines. These were all unsuccessful, without clear messages as to why. So I felt that I had to register a debit card, not my preference, as MSC operate this strange system of taking a fixed amount from a debit card and then you, the guest, having to collect any outstanding credit from them in the ship’s currency on the last day – more on this later… The debit card did register successfully and I also followed the process to say it was to be used for both cabins in our party. Lifeboat Drill: Disorganised summed this up. We collected our life jackets and attended our muster stations. We both had our cruise cards scanned by personnel at our muster station. So it was puzzling when my partner received a letter to our cabin next day, stating that he must attend another drill as he had not attended the initial mandatory drill. When he called Guest Services and pointed out that he had attended and his card had been scanned, this was accepted at face value. But if they are saying people who have taken part did not attend, how likely that they have identified passengers who did not attend? Food: I was very disappointed with the food on board. Portions were very small and the food quality very low. Steak did not make an appearance once during a 19 might voyage – except with food and beverage staff touting for guests to pay Euro 18 for a steak main course. I think there may also have been a similar offer for lobster. Generally, I mix and match between buffet and restaurant for breakfast and lunch, depending on how much time I wish to allocate to that particular meal. So, on day 2, I decided to try out the restaurant breakfast. What a strange thing that was. I went to the restaurant and asked for the menu - no menu. MSC Poesia do this hybrid thing of serving teas and coffees and fruit juice drink (not 100% juice, the cheap, watered down version laden with sugar) and then expect you, the guest, to visit the buffet area within the restaurant. I don’t regard this as a restaurant breakfast and the tables in the Fontane restaurant are set quite close together, making it a challenge to manoeuvre around other guests between your table and the buffet area. I decided not to waste my time with this version of buffet breakfast. So off to the zoo of deck 13 buffet. One of my guilty pleasures on a cruise is Bircher Muesli. MSC’s version was laughable. It appeared to consist of any cereal (but generally not muesli), with some diced fresh fruit (not the iconic grated apple) in a thin yoghurt. Such a disappointment. I tried the restaurant version of lunch, again MSC’s version was a rather strange combination. You go in to the restaurant to be seated. As MSC’s passengers are a wider mix of nationalities and languages than many other cruise lines, I politely asked to be seated with English speakers. The waiters blithely asserted that ‘all’ passengers can speak English. So not the case. Time and again tables of 8 guests sitting in stony silence, as they had no common languages between them. This is such a shame and MSC appear in total denial about this issue. One of the pleasures of a cruise is meeting new people and having enjoyable discussions about ports of call etc. This is such a missed opportunity on MSC. Yes, I appreciate it might require a little more thought in terms of seating people, but I am sure it could be done. So, having got to your table (and woe betide that you ask for a table of two to avoid that language issue – even in the first 5 minutes of service we only managed a table on our own twice in the whole cruise) I found the waiters seemed to hold back from providing menus. Why? Because once again, this was a mix and match seated restaurant buffet hybrid and it seemed that the waiters hoped you would just go and avail yourself of the buffet rather than them having to serve you. As at breakfast, the same issue of the tables in the Fontane restaurant being set quite close together, making it a challenge to manoeuvre around other guests between your table and the buffet area. Dinner was one of two sittings, 6.30pm or 9pm, at allocated tables in one of the two main dining rooms. The five people who had booked via the same Travel Agent were all seated together – this did resolve the language issue as we were all from the UK. A couple of days later a Canadian lady asked if she could join us, having first been sat with Spanish speakers, who quite forcibly told the waiter they would only accept Spanish speakers at their table. The wait staff then sat her on a table of Russian speakers, so she was very isolated. It seemed a common theme during the cruise was it being run for the ease of MSC and the staff, not for the benefit of the paying guests. MSC is the only cruise line I have travelled with, where chilled water is not provided in the seated Dining Rooms. I can only guess that this was done to maximise Bar revenue. As UK guests, we found that we had an inclusive drinks package of mineral water, American (filter) coffee and tea at Lunch and Dinner. This package stated it was for UK and Irish guests. Australians on the next table were most put out at having to pay for mineral water. I was also astounded to read claims in the Daily Programme about how MSC Cruises were the only line to have received a top environmental award. How can that be when they are massively overusing single use plastic bottles for mineral water – due to this refusal to provide chilled water for Restaurant Lunch and Dinners? Another issue there seemed to be problems with was language. Our waiter was from Spanish speaking Honduras. Whereas on most cruise ships he would only have needed to learn English, on MSC he needs a good understanding of six main languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. It soon became clear that his English was not as good as you would have hoped, with incorrect starters arriving etc. This, despite all of us guests trying to help by pointing out the specific item in the menu. To be honest, it would probably have helped to have all menu items numbered and order just like a Chinese or Indian takeaway… You remember I mentioned that all UK and Irish guests had an inclusive drinks package for American (filter) coffee and tea at Lunch and Dinner? So, we get to the end of the first Dinner and ask for American coffee. Instead, our Waiter tries to upsell us to the chargeable Cappuccino and Lattes… Why, because it turns out that there are NO facilities for coffee or tea in the Main Dining rooms on Decks 5 and 6. For him to provide the included coffee and tea the Waiter had to go to the Buffet on Deck 13 and get it, just as any guest would. How ludicrous. Unsurprisingly, the hot drinks were often lukewarm due to the journey involved. So now on to the zoo of the buffet on deck 13. It took a few days to discover that actually, this was a very large buffet. This was because often they closed the back half of the buffet and thus reduced the choice. So, we tended to go early in the opening hours when all sections were open and sit right at the very back of the ship, where the buffet area was noticeably quieter. Getting hot food was a challenge. It was displayed on the buffet in huge containers and just did not seem to keep warm for any length of time. It was very much a case of seeing that something was almost finished and watching for the fresh version to be bought out to ensure hot food. Then, whether you could find accompaniments that were also hot was somewhat of a gamble. Sometimes you could wait 10 minutes at an empty food station, to see if they had run out of that item or it was being replenished. Also, the food was not displayed in an appealing fashion. I have eaten in nicer works canteens. Guest Services / Reception: We needed to visit Guest Services on a number of occasions. Generally, we found they seemed to have been more trained in conflict resolution than customer service. Better customer service in the first place would have significantly reduced the need for conflict resolutions skills later. Having ended up registering a debit card initially (against both our cruise cards), due to problems with registering my credit card (I later concluded this may have been due to the debit card entry showing it was taken by MSC Marseille – my credit card company were instructed to expect transactions from Genoa onwards – not from Marseille which was a previous port) my partner then received a letter calling him to Reception. It seems the automated system had not registered that the debit card credit was against both cards – so this had to be adjusted manually. At the end of the cruise there was a credit and due to this one small initial debit card registration (a day later my credit card did accept), on the last evening we had to queue for one and a half hours to receive our credit back in Euros – the on board currency. During this time, we both saw a white uniformed officer come and view the lengthening queue on a number of occasions, and just go away with no obvious action being taken. Shore Excursions / Chargeable Port Shuttles: The presentations about Shore Excursions were not very informative. It was easier to just go to the Shore Excursions desk and collect the brochure with more detail. We did not do any of the Shore Excursions – they seemed lacklustre and expensive. We were quite happy to do our own exploring in port. It did seem that MSC used more commercial ports than some other lines. This meant you were sometimes some distance from where the ship docked to getting into the local town. This was an excuse to sell over-priced Port Shuttles. Malta was for the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus - Euro 20.00 Palma – Euro 12.99 Valencia – Euro 12.99 Casablanca - Euro 19.99 Ilheus - Euro 10.99 Despite the assertion in the Daily Programme that some of these Shuttles would involve a 20 minute drive, we always managed to walk into town in around 30 minutes. Sometimes (Valencia), the Port provided a free Shuttle bus to the edge of the port (quite a distance in itself) – this was conveniently not advertised. Entertainment: I have already mentioned the issues caused by being having multiple language guests on board. In the theatre every evening, all announcements in six languages became very tedious. Some quizzes and both the questions and the multiple choice (usually three) answers all shown on screen in the six main languages. So why did the Cruise Director feel it necessary to delay the process by reading out questions and possible answers in full in each of the six languages… It was painful and caused events to endlessly over run. It seemed the on board performers only had two main singers and the dancers were different – it seemed more strutting and striking a pose than the sort of high quality shows I have seen on other cruise lines. Many of the production shows had the most un-flattering outfits. There were also a couple of aerialists, some acrobats and a duo of contortionists (so old fashioned). It was also the peculiar way these alternative performers were somehow shoe horned into production shows in the most inappropriate ways. I also found the music for the production shows strangely discordant. For a repositioning itinerary such as this was, with 10 sea days (five single sea days and the five days to cross the Atlantic) – I thought the entertainment low key and very basic. On other lines, I may have been running from one event to another. On this ship, thank goodness for Kindles… The Library was such a disappointment. Very small, obviously needing to cater to the different languages on board. Hardly any non-fiction books, mostly extremely well worn books that look to have been left by previous guests. I did not take a single book out of the library, most unusual for me. Spa area: We were disappointed to find that we need to pay an eye watering Euro 310 (including the 15% service charge) for the two of us to access the sauna and steam room for the whole trip. We have always found at least one no charge sauna or steam room on every previous cruise, but on Poesia they were set up and carefully guarded. For that significant cost, you had access to three inside jacuzzis with five loungers (the ‘relaxation’ area), two large steam rooms (one of which never got above 30 C so was barely warm enough to sit it) versus the other steam room which was consistently at 44 C and two small saunas. By comparison, friends have recently returned from a P & O cruise told us they paid around £100 for more facilities for both of them for a two week cruise. At least having access to this grandly titled Spa Thermal Area helped us occupy our time, especially on sea days. There was an ongoing issue with the jacuzzis and one of the steam room the whole voyage. Eventually we were compensated fairly, but it required persistence and I would have much rather all facilities were working as they should have been. Conclusion: On day two or three, there was almost a mutiny in the theatre when the staff ran a promo video about MSC’s Masterchef at Sea TEN times on a loop while we were waiting for the show to start. Then, just before the show there was a glossy MSC promotional video all about MSC’s 300 years of experience (but much of that was with freight, not cruise passengers). It showed numerous officers in their white uniforms picking up towels and putting them back on passenger’s loungers etc. This was so far from reality – we saw very few officers. In fact, all that video did was make me frustrated – MSC management are in denial if they honestly think that the contents of that video reflected the experience of the average guest on board. For me, it was all the missing things. I go on a cruise to be made to feel special. MSC did NOT make me feel special at all, on the contrary, it seemed that many things were being done for the convenience of the ship’s operations, not for the best guest experience. What was missing, some very strange things: Hardly any clocks on board – we only found two in public areas. Very basic telephones in the cabin – no means to leave a voicemail when trying to contact someone in another cabin. A much lower number of rest rooms (toilets) than I have ever found on a ship – it could take many minutes to get to one. Captain’s daily announcement – nothing for the first week, then taken up by the Cruise Director for a while, then suddenly stopped. No omelette station in the buffet. No standard coffee and tea in the Dining Rooms (despite providing it within inclusive packages for Lunch and Dinner). No list of TV channels in the cabin – when I requested one and asked also about what channels were available in English – I was told it was against procedures to provide this information to guests! Displayed navigation map did not appear until a good week into the voyage. Lack of information about points of interest – nothing about passing the Cape Verde islands during our 5 day transatlantic crossing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this re-positioning cruise because of the itinerary which was incredible. The ship was typical MSC glitz which we expected. After may complications (which I will get into later), we got a starboard 11th floor balcony, which was ... Read More
We chose this re-positioning cruise because of the itinerary which was incredible. The ship was typical MSC glitz which we expected. After may complications (which I will get into later), we got a starboard 11th floor balcony, which was awesome. The cabin was spacious and well-appointed with the usual amenities of desk, hanging clothes closet (roomy enough for two 28-inch suitcases) and a closet with 6 drawers, a safe and two shelves. If you are American, and not accustomed to the European culture of customer service, you are in for a shock. Communication regarding important announcements (i.e. when and where to pick up your Passport) are non-existent. The announcements are far and few between, except when to play Bingo or shop for handbags. Even in the Daily pamphlet, the instructions for picking up your Passports (which were collected upon embarkation for Brazil authorities), was in print 1/8th the size of the Bingo and Valentino handbag advertisements. Every announcement (even in the theater) is done in 6 or 7 languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and the shortest announcement time was in English; which was expected as this cruise went through 3 continents and 5 different countries). The food was disappointingly just okay. We expected so much more from an Italian cruise line! Entertainment: the entertainers were great, the shows not-so-much. Many of them were perplexing. For instance, one show was touted as The Totem and depicted a picture of cowboys and Indians, which made us scratch our heads to begin with and didn't get any better during the performance. The Woodstock Revival show had no songs from Woodstock, only one song from the 60s, the rest were more recent. I am beginning to understand why Europeans don't understand Americans after this cruise. Speaking of which, a lot of the patrons of this cruise, were pushy, rude, loud, obnoxious and disrespectful of everyone. The Cruise itself was one giant, "Hop-On/Hop-Off" cruise with new people getting on and off at every port. Apparently, this is what MSC does everywhere but the U.S.A. Our personal experience with MSC Europe was less than stellar from the start, with customer service being ghastly. We booked through MSC directly in Dec. 2017 and was told by their agent that by booking an inside guarantee, you always get upgraded. We followed that advice and in Feb. 2018 were assigned cabin 13200. We were excited as this was a rear-facing Juliette balcony spa cabin (we would not get the spa experience as we booked a Fantastica experience, but that was okay with us). However, in October, 10 days before cruising on a Friday night, we received an email stating that we needed to reprint out tickets. When we went to do so, we found that we were reassigned a new cabin, Inside, which was located (basically) inside the crew staircase and elevators. Anger ensued! We called our MSC agent (who was nowhere to be found), and over the course of a week spoke to three agents, two supervisors and had numerous emails with Miami Customer Service. One agent told us "too bad, so sad" and offered us a balcony for $4,000. This prompted us to cancel our upcoming MSC U.S.A. cruise in January 2019. So, we went to Rome to get on the cruise and found that on the MSC website our reservation was completely gone. We frantically emailed MSC Miami, to find out what was going on, but with the time difference, we didn't hear back from them prior to sailing. (One email from MSC Miami, did offer $50 OBC for each of us as compensation.) Fortunately, our reservation for the inside cabin was still good, and we were able to get on the ship. A trip down to customer service onboard had us so horrified with the attitude of one lady, who yelled at us that we "got what we paid for", that she "was in charge", and that we couldn't speak to her manager as she was "too busy" and had other things to do. After she frantically typed into her computer and hit enter, she informed us that the Customer Service Officer wanted to see us. Giada Mangione, was gracious, understanding, and had already sent a bottle of champagne and a note to our cabin to come and see her. She explained that there were a series of errors, apologized and said that she was unable to give us back the room originally assigned, and that the ship was full for the next two days. However, upon arrival in Genoa, we will be given a balcony cabin, with sincerest apologies for the mix up. Giada Mangione was the nicest customer service person we have ever met or dealt with on MSC (not because she gave us a balcony, but because she took to time to understand our frustration, was kind, and not demeaning), and we thanked her for her gracious offer. From a business standpoint, we fully understand that MSC has the right to change a cabin at any time for any reason; and that the "spa" cabin we were given was far more expensive than the inside cabin we booked. However, we have been upgraded, similarly, on other cruise lines and never had anything like this happen. On a side note, overall the crew were very nice and did try to accommodate whenever possible. Many of them did say that MSC's standard of service has diminished through the years, as their workload had increased leaving them only enough time to tend to their duties and not give the personal service they used to provide. This saddened them greatly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I did a similar "repositioning" cruise last year on the Preziosa and enjoyed it. This time we were going to New York, which I have never been to. Embarkation was not good this time - not enough ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I did a similar "repositioning" cruise last year on the Preziosa and enjoyed it. This time we were going to New York, which I have never been to. Embarkation was not good this time - not enough people and information at the port in Lisbon which resulted in us carrying our suitcases to the cabin ourselves. I didn't think the food was as good on Divina as it was on Preziosa last year. We asked to be sat on a table with other English speakers. Initially we were sat on a table with no other people. Then we were moved to a table with two very rude Chinese/Americans who didn't attempt to talk to us and talked to each other in Chinese. Next we were moved to another table on our own and at last were put on a table with 4 other English speakers, who we stayed with for the remainder of the cruise. In general the food was good, with lots of choice. A couple of times we were served inedible, tough meat which many people sent back. We had breakfast and dinner in the MDR and went to the buffet for lunch and snacks. Always somewhere to sit in the buffet and lots of food choices. Service was a bit patchy sometimes though. We also picked up a heavy head cold again - the germs must be travelling around the air conditioning system. A lot of people on the cruise were coughing and sneezing. We missed Ponta Delgada due to the weather, which was no-ones fault. We went to Tenerife instead which I've already been to and don't really like. Bermuda was good and we took a tour, booked independently, of the island which was a pleasant way to spend a few hours. The highlight was New York - the ship was docked within walking distance of Times Square and we took an excursion downtown to see ground zero. We also took a wrap around island tour on the river, which was good. Entertainment on the ship was mostly good - only went to the evening show a few times, most of which were good. Entertainment in the bars was better - a great duo in the piano bar, a good band in the Jazz bar and fun stuff going on in the Black and White lounge, including Irish dance lessons. Disembarkation was lengthy but well organised and we only had to wait about 10 minutes for a taxi to our hotel. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This was our first cruise on MSC. My wife and I are both retired and experienced cruisers (32 and counting), mostly with NCL and Celebrity, also Holland America years ago. I will try to be brief, but could write pages on this Cruise from ... Read More
This was our first cruise on MSC. My wife and I are both retired and experienced cruisers (32 and counting), mostly with NCL and Celebrity, also Holland America years ago. I will try to be brief, but could write pages on this Cruise from Hell. One passenger I met had three legal pages, single spaced, with complaints. Check in was a nightmare. We paid for priority boarding, but the lady just let everyone Q. Most cruise lines give you cabin key cards, take photos, check passports all at the first point of contact. Not MSC, first they check your passport, no scanner, by hand took at least five minutes for both of us. Then as we board, they take our picture. We are told it will be about two hours before our cabin is ready and our key card will be on the bed in our cabin. We go to the bar for a drink, but we have no key card, therefore it's a hassle to get a drink. When we go to our cabin, the door is OPEN and the cards are on the bed. Anyone could have come in and taken our cards. Oh, and the cabin number was printed on the card, not the last two or three numbers like on NCL and Celebrity, so if lost, someone could go to the cabin and steal whatever they find. I did mention this to an officer and they thought it would be a good idea to not print the full cabin number, you think? The food was constantly cold in the dining area. I will say our servers were great and tried their best to get us hot food, but they should not have had to go to extrodinary lengths to do so. Regarding the food, it was typical cruise food. Our chef was from India, so one would think it would have some taste. I have really low expectations about dining room and buffet food on ships today, it's my opinion that the bean counters are in charge of the menu, and of course they want passengers to dine in specialty restaurants. The crew were rude and surly for the most part. There were constant long lines at the "service desk" with complaints. I found it was better to go in the middle of the night when there were no lines. I did get to know the guy on the night shift, lol. We were told that MSC has great plans to build new and bigger cruise ships. My advice to them is to stick to cargo, and sell your passenger business, since they obviously treat people like cargo. The ship is very beautiful, obviously much money was spent on its design. There are too many trip hazards for those of us getting older. There are too many steps where they are not really necessary. There were also designs in the floor that were not flush with the floor and one could easily trip on them. The grand stairs look beautiful, very sparkly, but if you look down at them it's easy to become disoriented. We were on a repositioning transatlantic cruise, and about two days out, we no longer had satellite TV. When I called the desk they said, "we are in the middle of the Atlantic, and have no satellite". I mentioned that my guess was that they did not purchase the service, and later found out this was correct. In Bermuda we saw a lot of liquor being off loaded. We found out that when we were docked in New York, only wine and beer would be available. Apparently they had to pay tax on any liquor in stock, therefore, they just didn't have any. Bean counters at it again... I didn't mean to be this verbose, but I could go on and on with the reasons not to use this cruise line. If you're already booked, I hope your experience is better, but for us, we will NEVER set foot aboard another MSC cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ... Read More
Most of our cruising has been with Holland America (over 300 nights), but we have also sailed with Celebrity, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Swan Hellenic (of blessed memory). We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience a big ship, and we liked the itinerary (Genoa, Italy to Miami, FL, via Civitavecchia, Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Azores, Bermuda, and New York City). Unusually for a trans-atlantic repositioning cruise, we had three overnight stays (Tenerife, Bermuda, and New York City. A hurricane over the Azores caused a diversion to Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spanish Canary Islands.) The Divina has a capacity of 4,345 passengers, but we were 3,335 upon arriving in Tenerife. Even with the ship only 77% full, it always felt extremely crowded in the public areas, and especially on the sun decks, the restaurants, the bars and lounges, and the theatre. One problem with bigger and bigger ships is the fact that more and more people still have to leave and enter the ship via a couple of gangways. This can lead to long waits in the ship and/or on the quay. The food was average or below average (my wife's evaluation) to good (my own evaluation). We succeeded in obtaining freshly made, consistently hot dishes at breakfast and lunch in the Black Crab restaurant by insisting (we were frequently told that he was not on duty, but this was true on only one occasion) on being seated with a particularly attentive waiter, Mr. Arturo de Leon, from the Philippines. His consistently excellent service to us, and to some other passengers who sought him out, seemed to provoke jealousy, rather than emulation, on the part of several of his colleagues. Our evening dining in Villa Rosa was also enjoyable, as we shared a table for 8 with two other Canadian couples, and were served by a trio of excellent waiters: Rusdi (Indonesia); Rohan (India); and Gabriel (Romania). My favourite meals were the fish dishes and the desserts. Our cabin steward (Ronald, from the Philippines) was also very efficient, and almost always managed to service our room while we were away at breakfast or dinner. The fuse for the thermostat burned out, and it took several days to get it repaired. The fitness centre had only two elliptical machines, was crammed full of people, and had the music cranked up to the maximum. Apart from the (mostly initial) entertainers (a living shadow artist; a mime; a ventriloquist; and four superb flamenco dancers), we found the dancing and singing acts to be excruciatingly loud, and gave them a pass, after several tries. The very, very worst "entertainment" were the Bermudan drummers and dancers: unbearably loud and incredibly repetitious. Several guests (usually, the same ones) disregarded the order to refrain from recording the shows on phones and laptops. The prohibition was never enforced by staff. There was only ONE solo recital of classical music, by the accomplished pianist on board. MSC's idea of classical singing is to have a third-rate tenor screaming "O Sole Mio" as if he was being burnt alive. Alma Duo gave two great tribute concerts to ABBA and the Beatles. The fashionista and his towering model were good. The "library" is the worst on the high seas: frequently closed (without warning) because of "staff training," it had the smallest selection of books in any of the five languages used during the cruise (English, Italian, French, Spanish, and German), and not a single reference book (atlas, travel books, almanacs, etc.). The trivia quizmaster was by far the most obnoxious staff member I have ever encountered on a cruise ship. He treated contestants as if we were half-witted kindergarteners. Many staff appeared to be poorly trained, and some were observed smoking and drinking on the non-smoking 7th deck (port side), and tossing their butt ends and empty cans overboard. I mentioned this on my feedback sheet, halfway through the 23-day cruise, but received no followup. The future cruise consultant offered limited office hours, and NO cruise brochures were freely available. I asked for a loan of a brochure in English; was promised one "in your cabin, in a few days," but was never sent one. One good aspect of MSC cruises is their willingness to match one's status on competing cruise lines or hotels. Even though this was our first (and might be be our last) cruise with MSC, our 4-star Mariner status with Holland America got us Black-card Voyagers Club status (the highest of 5 levels) on MSC. This enabled us to receive various perks throughout the cruise, which made up for some of its less pleasurable aspects. Our favourite meal on board was the sushi tasting menu on deck 15, which was most enjoyable, and one of the aforementioned Black-card perks. Lastly, it was wonderful to meet a large group of Cruise Critics on board, visit their cabins, and socialize. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. ... Read More
Sailing from Genoa on a transatlantic that arrived today into Port Miami. Crew is very hardworking and trying to work with what they have. Biggest issue with this ship is that there is a total lack of leadership and communication. Virtually no announcements when the ship is cleared, inconsistent information regarding ports, transportation and shore excursions. This bred a toxic environment among guests. Often shoving, pushing and swearing in multiple languages. A mess!!! Food was inconsistent quality and either overly salted ( Chef smokes???) or completely devoid of flavor. Steaks were tough and grisly and inedible. Servers are rushed and literally grab menus out of your hand when you’ve finished ordering. Be prepared to wait significantly betwee courses especially entrees even when you order immediately after being seated for your seating time. Best food items on the ship were Pastries and desserts in the dining room, fruit plate in the dining room at breakfast. Eat breakfast in the dining room, lunch in the buffet or off the ship and take your chances on dinner in the dining room. Daily program was often incorrect. Library was closed for training staff/ crew as they approached the US market for the season. So a 22 day voyage which had over 5 sea days often we couldn’t access he library! Lounge entertainment was good but theater located entertainment was 35 minutes max and if you like opera you should enjoy this cruise ship. Not the best quality. Dancers might be compared to your local dance classes back home. 22 day transatlantic cruise with many stops in Europe. Once we departed Tenerife satellite TV ended. Daily inquiries netted multiple excuses including we are working on it, we are transitioning to the US version and finally my personal favorite was, madam we can’t posaibly get tv in the Atlantic Ocean. Completely crazy! So NO TV for more than half the cruise including all the sea days making the crossing while Major breaking news was occurring in he US. No news whatsoever onboard and no compensation via complimentary WiFi time was offered. I appreciate that you don’t go on a cruise to watch TV but having access to news is important on a long voyage. They did offer some free in room movies but did not say they were “ free” until about day 5 without Tv so everyone thought they would be charged for the 8 or so movies offered. None of which were first run!! Disembarkation at most ports ( Marseille and Bermuda, NY and Miami) were terrible. Virtually NO announcements made. Ship never arrived in time and left NY nearly two hours later than stated but they DID NOT make an announcement re the delay for 45 minutes and then finally sailed away nearly 2 hours after. In Miami at the end of the cruise guest who were told to depart ship at 8:15 spent ONE HOUR STANDING IN THE TERMINAL WAITING FOR THEIR LUGGAGE. Their timing, organization and communication is VERY POOR. Just remember you get what you pay for and this cruise line that focuses on the European market has much to learn about customer service, communication and hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Celebration cruise my 70th and my wife's 69th birthdays. This ship was under provisioned for the entire cruise. The following were poor quality, meats, juices, salads, burgers and most of the time no bananas etc. The food on ... Read More
Celebration cruise my 70th and my wife's 69th birthdays. This ship was under provisioned for the entire cruise. The following were poor quality, meats, juices, salads, burgers and most of the time no bananas etc. The food on board was poor quality in all dining areas; meat in particular was of the lowest quality and inedible most of the time. There were no sauces or condiment to accompany meat or fish courses. No Sorbet available on the first night and only one type of ice cream although they were listed on the menu. No provision for Lactose intolerant guests, no soya, ice cream, cream, butter and a poor selection of meals and sweets available in all dining areas. I was informed the sorbet even contained milk to cater for the South African guests which was unsuitable for lactose intolerant guests. Soya milk was obtained after a protracted period with some negotiation. This was my 39th cruise and it was the worst I have experienced after 564 days at sea. Served with poor quality beef at the buffet fat inedible, the first portion was all fat, the second portion contained one folk full of meet. I discuss this issue with the restaurant management who conceded the meat served was fat and unsuitable for consumption. Room service was variable sometimes items missing either with food or utensils. Reported health and safety issues at reception the end caps on some of the hand rails on deck 8 outside our cabin were missing with the ends of the tubes exposed which caused scuffs and abrasions whilst trying to pass cleaning carts. I counted 8-10 missing. Although there were approximately 200 missing throughout the ship reported by one of the staff The menus had many items list that weren’t actually available. The poor staff serving the dishes had to report that they weren’t available, this was embarrassing for them and infuriating for the guests. Public areas: The furnishings were well passed there sell by date and uncomfortable in most public areas which were shabby.The theatre was in adequate for the number of guests on board. The booking system had its faults and I found it was difficult to obtain a seat if a show was popular. The theatre seating was poor and the layout caused problems for actually viewing the artists some of which were mediocre. People reserving seats was a problem allowing some guests to arrive minutes before the start of the performance in prime positions which blocked the view of people who had sat in their seats approx. 45 minutes before the show started? The reservation of sunbeds and chairs on open decks was a problem. Often people reserved 2 or 3 items in sunny and shaded areas sometimes on different decks also the reserved items were not used for 3-4 hour periods.I spoke to many people of various nationalities on board and they concur with my observations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I went on this trip that was special to us we were celebrating our golden wedding anniversary, This was our first Cruise with M.S.C and the calamity’s started at embarkation where we were left in a car park to take our ... Read More
My husband and I went on this trip that was special to us we were celebrating our golden wedding anniversary, This was our first Cruise with M.S.C and the calamity’s started at embarkation where we were left in a car park to take our cases and find where we had to go. Next the cabin although clean it was one of the smallest balcony cabins we have been in. The food I couldn’t give one good word for yes I know they have to cater for all tastes, even the pasta wasn’t cooked properly. The shows left a lot to be desired, as you can tell we didn’t enjoy. This is a ship that has been extended cut in the middle and a few more cabins added unfortunately they didn’t add any extra facilities to accommodate these extra cabins so you have to book to see a show, having never had to book a show on any other cruise we have been on we didn’t always remember. N Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We saw a cruise that included a return flight for an acceptable price. We wanted to visit family in Europe and celebrate an anniversary. (that was a complete misnomer!) We were cordially received by the staff on-board, but it is ... Read More
We saw a cruise that included a return flight for an acceptable price. We wanted to visit family in Europe and celebrate an anniversary. (that was a complete misnomer!) We were cordially received by the staff on-board, but it is overwhelming to be accosted with hard sell on drinks vouchers etc. The cabins were not yet ready, but our cabin steward was a real delight Luciano from Madagascar. He served us really well, clean room,clean linen, always a friendly greeting. Did not leave a tip , no euros available and the exchange rate prohibitave. It would have been so much easier if the cruise payments and prices were in euros and not dollars. An european ship with a european destination should have been. We ate at the cafe del mare a few times, but it was permanently dirty and full. The tables had stains people behaved so badly, and the coffee was not good.The staff were running around trying to cope but sadly were not able. The mealtimes down in il galleone were better. The quality of the food was actually dismal . The head chef should be relieved of his position-- there was no seasoning in the dishes.If we had been presented with the descriptions in the printed menu , we would have been in foody heaven!!! Our waiter Darmawan was struggling with the kitchen and we waited for 2hours before the meal finished. No opportunity to go to an early show. Adrienne our maitre d was really helpful. At breakfast we had a most wonderful waiter, Mark from Philippines. He was jacked up, kept his eyes everywhere, noticed when there was a lack, jumped in and rectified. Served the meals, poured the coffee and all with a smile and a song. The baristas in la baroque were so friendly. The ship's chairs were not comfortable, interior designers must sit and read in a chair before designing and purchasing. The ship ran out of wine, every thing we ordered they did not have, even to get a glass was a problem. And as far as the cocktails, they were mediocre. Onboard arts and crafts was very good with Bob and Irene. The other was disorganised and infantile. The destinations were lovely, but the long long queues to disembark and then back on board, disorganised and chaotic. Why bus numbers were not individually called, when the deck cleared, the next number- instead there was pushing and shoving, people who were ill, coughing and splattering down the stairwell, others worried they would not get off, just as though they hadn't eaten in years. There were obvious maintenance issues,which were being cared for as what seemed possible. Except the light above our dinner table. Never replaced! Believe it or not, I loved the cruise. I did not want to get off. Really not happy at not having a dinner time option. Felt like a second class citizen. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Cruise from South Africa with interesting destinations. The staff were very friendly and the entertainment team great. I liked the way that the whole entertainment was involved and everyone in the team played an important role. The food ... Read More
Cruise from South Africa with interesting destinations. The staff were very friendly and the entertainment team great. I liked the way that the whole entertainment was involved and everyone in the team played an important role. The food was good as well as the bar service. Cabin was cleaned and serviced to my liking. The cleaning cabin staff did little things extra like, lying out the pajamas and making animals from the towels which was great. The shows were good, except for the classical shows which I felt was not up to the previous standard. The on deck parties were a highlight. The waiter staff in the downstairs dining room were very attentive an tried to please where they could. The captain managed the ship well. The presence of the officers at various times was good. The buffet staff both waiter and food dishing up staff very friendly and helpful. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I wanted to go over the equator by ship and the cruise line I chose was the perfect one. Plus the dates fell on my birthday .. this was awesome. The entertainment was perfect perfect. The food.. good food and for weight watchers there.. ... Read More
I wanted to go over the equator by ship and the cruise line I chose was the perfect one. Plus the dates fell on my birthday .. this was awesome. The entertainment was perfect perfect. The food.. good food and for weight watchers there.. you do have some choice. Quite a variety for all. The rooms were very clean and well kept. As for the gym and say daily workout.. it was great. The morning yoga and stretchings were great. I loved them. For those who love running/ jogging there is plenty of space to that. Imagine the morning sea breeze flushing on your face. Awesome experience. The theater was rolling with daily activities. No boredom at all. The casino.. the restaurants, the shops with beautiful prices and discounts with the latest fashions in bags and other accessories.. great stuff. The music played in the club and other pubs was great as well. Lastly the MSC staff are well trained and have good work ethics and have made my trip a home away from home. I’ll surely be packing my bags for the next trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this, our first cruise for two reasons: 1. The rest and relaxation it would afford us and 2. the places we would get to see. We were not disappointed; every place had its own unique history and was a worthwhile visit. The pre-stop ... Read More
We chose this, our first cruise for two reasons: 1. The rest and relaxation it would afford us and 2. the places we would get to see. We were not disappointed; every place had its own unique history and was a worthwhile visit. The pre-stop talks by Alison were appreciated but not always accurate and lacked practical information for those not doing the organised Excursions. However, that said, the cruise was hugely beneficial from start to finish, with a variety of meal options and food available almost throughout the day. The coffee was disappointing in two ways - ready made was not the best tasting and although Nescafe instant sachets were alternatives, they were not always available. There was never a dull moment for those seeking activities through the day. The gym was well equipped but not monitored that well, and some fitness enthusiasts were just too enthusiastic, hogging more than the permitted 20 mins per item. Disappointingly, I had called MSC before the cruise to check whether or not the ship had a Squash Court because not of all of their ships do have. I was assured that the Sinfonia did have, only to find that this was not so. The Golf Simulator was also in disrepair. Our cabin was adequate although being one of the budget ones and well serviced. Being on the 7th deck we were situated above the Theatre so sometimes the noise of practises or late night entertainment filtered through to our cabin. We found the staff pretty helpful in general especially when we requested the opportunity of offering church services onboard. They went out of their way to provide us with a venue, sound support and media projection (although the dat projector does need upgrading).Thank-you! All-in-all it was a great cruise and our compliments to all crew who made it so enjoyable. 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
Sail Date: April 2018
Myself my husband and my seven year old daughter, recently just got back from a fantastic Caribbean cruise on msc Fantasia!, we have previously cruised on , rc , celebrity, p and o , carnival, princess( so was dubious to try msc ! But was ... Read More
Myself my husband and my seven year old daughter, recently just got back from a fantastic Caribbean cruise on msc Fantasia!, we have previously cruised on , rc , celebrity, p and o , carnival, princess( so was dubious to try msc ! But was plesently surprised . My husband and I are 40 -50 , we found the food great in breakfast and lunch in self service fab, staff couldn’t be more helpful !, love the laid back approach, as the ship is more Italian influence( met lots of different nationality’s which we like , pools elegant , one of the most elegant shops! If you don’t mind a lively ship!, great for kids as kids clubs one of the best this is the ship for you!! Evening restaurant good not quite as good as other company ( but we had no complaints ( msc great price, great for family’s , entertainment ( geared for all different nationalities we liked, but again if your looking for British not for you, for us plenty of choice Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
This sailing was a repositioning from South America to the Mediterranean. Embarkation in BA was well organised taking only one and half hours from arrival at the cruise terminal to reach our cabin. One case was already there and the other ... Read More
This sailing was a repositioning from South America to the Mediterranean. Embarkation in BA was well organised taking only one and half hours from arrival at the cruise terminal to reach our cabin. One case was already there and the other arrived a couple of hours later. Neither was damaged. Correct protocols were followed for the emergency drill and the exercise was more professional than experienced on our previous MSC cruise. The ship was stunning; impressive in the quality of fittings, use of colour, design and ongoing meticulous maintenance. This was a transatlantic crossing but sailing was a pleasure with little sea movement. We were, perhaps, fortunate not to experience severe weather conditions. Our cabin was well presented, roomy with adequate storage facilities. It was cleaned daily and towels replaced following each use. Pool towels (one per passenger) were available in the cabin. Staff throughout the ship were friendly, smiling and willing to interact and be involved. Bar staff made the effort to remember faces and even orders from day to day. Reception staff were particularly genuine in their assistance even when under heavy guest pressure. Dining rooms (2 on the Poesia) were attractively presented with many smaller rather than larger passenger groupings. Staff were all smartly dressed with name badges and dinner menus were offered in correct languages. Restaurant management did make the effort to seat the same language groups together other than for the lunch and breakfast sittings in Le Fontein; those meals were offered both plated and buffet but the room was consistently crowded and noisy. Our preference was to use the top deck cafeteria. We did not use the speciality sushi restaurant. Due to the large Argentinian passenger component, both dinner sittings were later than normal. Dinner food quality deteriorated through the duration of the cruise. Compliments abounded as we sailed in South American waters but as the transatlantic segment started, it was almost like a change in chef. Food was dry, some undercooked and generally tasteless and bland. Vegetables were consistently overcooked and the selection of desserts pathetic. Our waiter confided that preparation was aimed at the Argentinians who were recognised as not wishing upmarket dishes so the balance of passengers had to endure downgraded meals. At times, the buffet/cafeteria dishes were an improvement on the MDR but were not consistent in terms of heat and succulence. Breakfasts were disappointing offering little variation in the selection and presentation. Selection of wines from pre purchased drinks packages seemed to present a problem with differing views as to which selection was available under which package; our waiter needed to refer us to a much folded grubby piece of paper from her pocket to validate selection - not particularly professional. The availability of wines (and other premium drinks) disappeared through the cruise as MSC were clearly not restocking. Entertainment was boring and conducted mainly in Spanish. Theatre shows varied in quality and, again, dialogue tended to be Spanish. Much of the music in bars was latino themed as were dance lessons and practice. Excursion enhancement talks were provided before each port but the presenter/guide was readily distracted by her personal interest areas and could have added greater practical value, particularly for independent travellers not using ship excursions. Her ability to respond to questions was not good. The organisation of ship excursions left much to be desired with the excursion staff struggling to get the large number of noisy clamouring passengers segregated into correct groupings and off the ship. There were frequent mix ups between designated excursions and passengers generally disembarking. Although an international cruise, by far the majority of passengers were Spanish Argentinians and little effort was made by the Cruise Director (an Argentinian) and the entertainment team to address other language groups. Indeed we found the preponderance of Spanish somewhat overwhelming which would deter us from considering other repositioning cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The reason for this cruise was because the first cruise we did on the MSC Sinfonia from Venice to Durban was excellent. We thought it will be similar on a longer cruise like the Poesia and booked it already on the Sinfonia. We have not ... Read More
The reason for this cruise was because the first cruise we did on the MSC Sinfonia from Venice to Durban was excellent. We thought it will be similar on a longer cruise like the Poesia and booked it already on the Sinfonia. We have not visited the countries as per the proposed iternary, hence the reason to select this ship and route. We were very disappointed that the amount of English speaking guests were so few, we expected a English cruise but was bombarded with Spanish people Spanish presentations, Spanish excursions, Spanish shows, and we as English speaking persons really were not looked after or allowed to engage in activities due to the language barrier. The food was good as expected. The waiters during lunch was so slow everyday that it was uncomfortable and the never brought correct food as ordered. The dining in the evening was way too late for normal people , and we had first seating, resulting in being unable to attend any shows, since it started too late. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
i was a single traveler so cabin was ok,but would be a bit crampt for 2 but if u were to have a twin bed set up it would work better for u. i paid 600 pounds for 18 nights cuba to genoa excluding flights sthe service and food was ok but a ... Read More
i was a single traveler so cabin was ok,but would be a bit crampt for 2 but if u were to have a twin bed set up it would work better for u. i paid 600 pounds for 18 nights cuba to genoa excluding flights sthe service and food was ok but a bit like school dinners but again £600 no complaints. i would recomend the drinks package 288 good value ingludes cacktails all alcahol cofe exsetra.+ ice cream if there are 2 0f u just get 1package as the staff dident cair how many drinks were on each card and when i spoke to reception they said it dident matter so its up to u, but buy the package b4 u go its a bit cheeper. be prapered for loud music on deck though, a shock for me ,only used to Cunard.lol. if you pay full price u may not be so happy though ???? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We joined friends on our first cruise experience. We didn't know what to expect but were given the 'heads-up' by our friends on what other cruise lines offer and how they operate. MSC disappointed in the customer service ... Read More
We joined friends on our first cruise experience. We didn't know what to expect but were given the 'heads-up' by our friends on what other cruise lines offer and how they operate. MSC disappointed in the customer service department on this cruise. There seemed to be a lack of employee training as we encountered conflicting answers to our questions. We did not receive our drink vouchers for our Fantastica Experience until we persistently tried to get someone to deal with the issue. The drink vouchers were not given to us until the third day of our voyage! What seemed to be a simple oversight became a huge problem that the onboard staff was unable to solve. The general feeling of fellow passengers was of confusion and frustration. The ship itself is beautiful and our cabin was extremely comfortable and accommodating. The quality of food improved with time, though the buffet got a bit chaotic at times and we felt rushed in our First Seating timeslot in the dining room. Our waiter, while personable, seemed to be flustered quite often. His assistant was efficient and professional. Small portions discouraged food waste and it was easy to order extra portions. Onboard entertainment was OK, but was not a highlight. Entertainers who were not part of the troupe of regulars were excellent. We avoided the crush of passengers getting off the ship at ports-of-call by leaving later and doing self-guided tours. Disembarkation in Genoa ran smoothly (behind schedule though) but was preceded by poor communication and confusion about procedures the night before. It was extremely difficult to get through to Customer Service with so many people having the same concerns as us. The Genoa port terminal was a challenge for passengers with small children or mobility issues. We experienced line-ups and a 'mob scene' at the taxi stand. Fortunately, the train station was a short walk away. I would hesitate to try another MSC cruise, even with their very competitive pricing, until organizational improvements are evident. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because we could start our holiday in Rio de Janeiro, which is one of our two favourite destinations for overseas holidays. We knew we would get some warm winter sunshine, so precious for people in Britain. Of course ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we could start our holiday in Rio de Janeiro, which is one of our two favourite destinations for overseas holidays. We knew we would get some warm winter sunshine, so precious for people in Britain. Of course as people know Rio is a fabulous place, having a wonderful coastline,lots of places to visit and a big vibrant city. The people are very kind and helpful and go out of their way if you appear lost. Having undertaken this voyage with MSC before we knew we would get well looked after and that the fantastic Animation Team would make sure there would be plenty of good times to be enjoyed. Once again we were not disappointed. MSC Magnifica is a lovely well kept ship. Embarcation and disembarcation went like a dream, best ever anywhere. Our cabin was great (as Gold Members upgraded from inside to outside with restricted view which made a big difference). The cabin 8105, was big for the two of us and very quiet and our steward was first rate. The dining room was lovely and on request we were given a table for two which we prefer. The food was fine although the portion sizes might not suit those with a robust appetite. Sometimes some of the main courses would have benefited from a sauce or gravy. The soups were always good and served very hot. Our waiter Satish looked after us very well and made sure if we were disappointed with any of our choices we could have something else. The entertainment in the theatre was excellent with just perhaps three exceptions. Some were fantastic with lots of shows truly memorable with wonderful acrobats, dancers, singers which combined with beautiful costumes made for some lovely evenings. The last show of our cruise was fantastic finishing with all the cast, animation team, support staff on stage singing. After the performance they came down through the theatre and lined the patrons route out of theatre to shake hands. What a finish!! At every event the Animation Team were there working tirelessly and providing their priceless sense of fun. On Sea days lots of us enjoyed classes on deck for the first 10 days or so, aerobics, dance lessons and parties at night whilst in Brazilian waters. Ports of call were interesting but as we enjoy finding our own way round I am unable to comment on excursions. Only criticism - after the last three MSC cruises I have gone home with a chest cold. Surely something can be done about the air conditioning. I have taken every precaution personally, with warm wraps, jackets etc but came home with a cough and cold. Come on MSC do something for your regulars! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We had a lovely onboard experience - we thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the advantages which come with a suite. Loved the spa area! The service on Magnifica was very good and the staff really friendly, helpful and ... Read More
We had a lovely onboard experience - we thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary as well as the advantages which come with a suite. Loved the spa area! The service on Magnifica was very good and the staff really friendly, helpful and multi-lingual. What we did find annoying though (and this is the reason why we could not award "Excellent" for the Shore Excursions Category), was that the English excursions which we booked in every port (English explicitly printed on our tickets) on a number of occasions were conducted in only Spanish and/or Portuguese and German. The guides could luckily understand English and give us some information when requested, but overall the situation was very unsatisfactory and at times quite stressful. There were only a handful of English speakers on Magnifica, so we did not expect to be specifically catered for, however one would expect to be able to feel included. Whilst the wait staff were excellent, the food was rather mediocre. We did expect more tasty and more of a variety of Italian cuisine. However, as we chose this cruise for the itinerary, we did not let it affect the enjoyment of our cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
My second transatlantic cruise. I had a great experience last year on another company. This year friends invited me to go back on a transatlantic and experience MSC Divina. Could not been worse. To start with there was a lot of people ... Read More
My second transatlantic cruise. I had a great experience last year on another company. This year friends invited me to go back on a transatlantic and experience MSC Divina. Could not been worse. To start with there was a lot of people with a very bad cold. I got a cold. The doctor on the sheep was kind of okay. The nurse touch my prescription tablets with her bare hands. The food from the “food court” was so boring. There was a mix of food smells that was very unpleasant. The egg station iwas so egg smelling. I eat and like eggs. However did not eat any because the smell was so strong. The paid restaurants are all italians. Entertainment? maybe two or three nights at the theater were okay. The service on the cabins and the waiters was good. The employees at the guest service could not been more rude. I had a very derespectful person when I went to ask them to take out a case of wine out from my billing because i did not bought any wine. He was defiant and made me feel like I had no right to make a complain. I do not have space here to write about my friend’s walker that did not make to the ship from Fort Lauderdale port. They underestimate the passagens capacity and/ or intelligence. Did not enjoy at all. I do not recomend and now I do not want to go even in another cruise line because I am afraid to have the same bad experience. Read Less
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