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Sail Date: March 2019
We had high hopes for this cruise, but as soon as we embarked, we felt like we were going to have concerns. Embarkation was generally easy, we got onto the ship and registered our cruise card on the self kiosks, which was hassle free. We ... Read More
We had high hopes for this cruise, but as soon as we embarked, we felt like we were going to have concerns. Embarkation was generally easy, we got onto the ship and registered our cruise card on the self kiosks, which was hassle free. We went to our room, which an announcement was made they were ready, and after 5 minutes, we were kicked out by the cleaning staff, saying they were not done. That was a hassle. After finally getting into our room, we settled in. The cabin and ship overall was very clean, no complaints there, but the cabin design seems very inefficient, even for cruise lines. We sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribean, and Princess, and MSC was definitely the most cramped. We were not comfotable at all during the cruise in that respect. The dining experience on the ship was very bland, nothing was bad, but nothing was good. The two buffets were always crowded and difficult to find seating. They offered plenty of choices but nothing that was great. We did eat at the dining room each night and the service was okay for a cruise, not great but not bad. Not up to of our expectations. Food was very bland, but nothing bad, just average. Portions were also very small, which was fine for us but for someone expecting a large dinner, don't expect that much. The entertainment was okay, it seems like it was the exact same show every night with a different theme. Shows were 30 minutes and were generally entertaining. The theater is small, and you must reserve your seats ahead of time. We actually got kicked out of a show because we had the wrong time! Never seen anything like that before. What really made this cruise awful was the ports of call and the excursions. You are only in a few of these ports for 5 hours or less! After taking the shipboard excursions, we literally has to run back to the ship twice to make the all aboard. We did not get to see any shopping or dining in St. Maarten or Bahamas. The quality and organization of the excursions are the worst I have ever seen on a cruise. Most of the time for the excursion was travel. DO NOT TAKE THE Jeep Excursion on St. Maarten. I don't want to vent, but it ruined our trip. MSC's organization of getting people off the ship was also subpar. Everything else about our trip was subpar, the photo package was a nightmare, trying to sift through literally 10,000 photos to find yours was a joke. The internet package also eats your data very quickly, even when not using it, and everything they do on MSC is an upsell. I know they want you to upgrade, but MSC made it clear you cannot enjoy ar go into part of the ship unles you upgrade to a higher package. And finally, the service was not very good. The crew spoke very little English and did not seem to want to help. Something I also have never seen on a cruise. Overall, my interpretation would be, MSC is like a JV sports team, they are good enough to make the team, but not good enough to play on the Varsity squad. Definitely, felt like a tier 2 cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Family spring break cruise...cabin ok,3 drawers for clothes; .bathroom small, but adequate. Cabin steward left mid cruise,so got a new steward ;so accepting service. The ring a round was terrible,the people didn’t know what they ... Read More
Family spring break cruise...cabin ok,3 drawers for clothes; .bathroom small, but adequate. Cabin steward left mid cruise,so got a new steward ;so accepting service. The ring a round was terrible,the people didn’t know what they should have.TERRIBLE. Lines for everything at ship guest services. Corporate needs to train phone agents much better. They really don’t know about boat services. So Over spent on passes. Had to run down servers to get drink service.. Corporate needs to add more employees on this boat. Not enough to give adequate services. Took the grandkids 10 years ago and MSC was great, terrible now. Don’t recommend now or ever. I was not the only person not happy with the way they were handling things.. which surprised me. As I am picky. Grand son age 7 enjoyed it, 16-18 not so much. A lot of people said MSC is growing to fast, and not paying attention to quality control.. wicker chairs were in bad shape, and need replacement. Food was a little mediocre, hit and miss good one night, next not so good. Servers were good. NEED MORE KNOWLEDGEABLE STAFF, IN GUEST SERVICES. Although the young lady did try to help me for 20 minutes, but in the end I had to give up/eat $300.00. TO MANY PEOPLE.. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We were so excited to go on the ship, we have cruised with RC many time and 1 time with Carnival,,, RC is our fav by fair!!! I had reservations about this cruise from the beginning when we booked it I wanted 5 cabins and upon paying for ... Read More
We were so excited to go on the ship, we have cruised with RC many time and 1 time with Carnival,,, RC is our fav by fair!!! I had reservations about this cruise from the beginning when we booked it I wanted 5 cabins and upon paying for them my credit card locked us out after the first 2 the sales lady said no worries we will hold and pay for the rest in the morning upon morning we lost 2 cabins ended up getting back 1 which left us with 4 cabins, we weren't happy but we settled. this trip ment a lot to us as my son was asking his gf to marry him on this cruise.. we book 4 aurea rooms and had extended balconies ( do not recommend) upon arrival we booked excursions within 3 hrs was told they could not get our excursion for St Thomas and had to settle for another one (this was after we were garenteed it) then in St marten the excursion we sat on atv's waiting while the business owner was bugging out about having to many people and not enough ATVs (we booked 9 of them and only 7 showed up in our family so they had 2 extra and still didn't have enough) after sitting in the hot sun for over 30 min watching the owner run around not knowing what to do we left and found dunn buggies and rented them, more fun and no aggreivation. Back on board food was horrible only ate 1 night in the dining room 4 nights in specailty rest and 2 in buffet... food never changed and was not very good, rude workers seemed the only time they were nice was when you paid for extra stuff 1 of the front desk ladies were down right rude to us when we were trying to take out cash for the next day in bahamas,,, we had aurea and the alcohol package sucks, if you want to upgrade it has to be everone in the room, tried to explain I do not drink due to health reasons but no leway on this rule. so paid for our drinks, on this ship everything cost extra and they still treat you like crap. we ended paying a ton extra I could have gone to Atlantis in the bahamas for a week for what I paid on this cruise and still have some leftover money ( and I have gone there for a week many times) The times on port are not great PR at 5pm and leave ST Maarteen by 2... The aurea private areas after 1st day no one checked to see if you have a card to get in and was always crowded there... the boat rocks constantly even when docked so no stability.. in general not happy with this cruiseline.. but was so glad to be with my grown children and hubby and watching my son propose on the boat... oh yeah cabin stunk like cigarettes most of the trip anll 4 of my cabins and they were not cleaned when we got there, they werent vacuuemed Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise ship, because I had heard good things about MSC and this cruise fitted our dates and where we wanted to go. A Group of 6 of us from America and the UK all booked to go together as we live on opposite sides of the ... Read More
We choose this cruise ship, because I had heard good things about MSC and this cruise fitted our dates and where we wanted to go. A Group of 6 of us from America and the UK all booked to go together as we live on opposite sides of the world The ship is BIG, and there are ALOT of people on board. Although the ship is nice fitted out and still quite new, I don't feel that the public areas where big enough for the amount of people on board. Particularly the South Beach bar, which is the central area for smokers. We over 4000 people on board a smoking area an area that seats only abut 30 people given the % that is likely to smoke out of 4000 people is just not big enough. I found the ship really unhelpful with requests. Prior to sailing we had submitted information that MSC requested to ensure that all of 6 of us where on the same dining table for dinner. When we got onboard and received the information all 3 couples were on different dinner sittings, 1 couple in different restaurant and therefore of course all not together. When we tried to change this we were told we could then only have dinner at 9.30pm Why on earth would I want my dinner at 9.30pm!! The food on board was absolutely disgusting, to the point were it was almost inedible most days. This goes for the restaurant and the buffet. We ended up having to pay extra for the special restaurants just to be able to get (semi) decent food, with this racking up for 6 of us at about $600 per evening. The ports of call where nice but the times were just not practical. Feel like I might as well not bothered going to Puerto Rico as docking at 5pm and back on board at midnight is not really helpful to see somewhere the same goes for the Bahamas, docking at 12.30pm and on board for 5pm Embarkation was ok, fairly light lines compared to what I have seen before but disembarkation was another story, just chaos As someone that has been on over 50 cruises I will not be returning to MSC Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a free cruise for me so I took my grand daughter and her best friend, This is just my opinion, everyone has there own. MSC does not do designated times check in so you have the zig zag line to wait in a couple of times. ... Read More
This was a free cruise for me so I took my grand daughter and her best friend, This is just my opinion, everyone has there own. MSC does not do designated times check in so you have the zig zag line to wait in a couple of times. Took us a little over an hour to get all checked in and onboard. Did not want our picture taken before boarding but they would not allow us to just walk around it and made us do the picture. Later they sent them to our room with a folder that if you didn't want them you had to check the NO box and give back to room steward or they would charge you for them. We did check the NO box and gave back to our steward almost immediately but they still charged us. In order to put cash on your account you must visit the customer service desk, of course that line the first day and a half was much to long so I waited till later the first full day and it wasn't so bad. The room was ok, just as I expected as per other cruise lines however I think the bathroom was smaller and could have a better layout for more space. The lights only work with your card in the slot by the door, tried other kinds of cards and they would not work. No wash cloths so you will have to ask for them. No bar soap in the bathroom either just liquid soap. Using the liquid soap with washcloth doesn't really work very well so I bought a luffa at port. We ate at the MDR each night. I thought the food was very good but the presentation could have been better. Selections were good but I prefer having at least one new exotic thing to try each night which I did not see on the menu. The first night you had to find your table so the line was a little long but every night after you just walked to your table and sat down. I do not remember any sail away party, maybe I just missed it. I had to make about 7 trips to the customer service to get things straight. Linking your credit card was very easy at the kiosk. Now on to the casino. The casino was smaller that I am used to. I don't play table games but did notice that there is no craps table and not a whole lot of other table games. I am a smoker when gambling. The smoking section is back side of the slot area, there is a sign designating this. Also, you are not allowed to smoke anywhere in the casino when the ship is in port. Ashtrays are very hard to find when you can smoke. A good deal of the machines you are able to change the denomination to whatever you like. There were alot of hand pays won for the size of this casino. I won a major worth $910.00. Another passenger won $11,500.00, another $4.500.00 and a lot of hand pays that were above $1,000.00. The casino closes every night at 2:00am. The drink servers were very good and quick. Of course on sea days the casino was very crowded so it was a little slower at this time. All of the casino staff was wonderful, I can't praise them enough. 9,999 points gets you a free inside for two, upgrade to OV was like $359 but since I didn't qualify for this I don't know the other amounts for sure. I think the fee to upgrade to balcony was over $1,100.00 We went to two different shows, the most popular was Starwalker (Michael Jackson), we reserved on our first night and ended up standing the whole show because they don't check when you enter whether or not you have reserved so the seating was not sufficient. Get there early to get your seat even if you reserved. We got there just before the show started. I purchased the fun pass before hand for $100 and received $160 credit. Zip line was $10 each, 5D was $10 each, F! simulator was $10 each which seemed to be very popular most of the week. Air hockey and both racing games were $1.50 each. Any game that you could win a prize was not included in the fun pass so beware. There were 2 bowling lanes which we did not try. I was not very pleased with the customer service area, they kept messing up our accounts and I had to make to many trips there to straighten things out. Most of them were nice but there were a few that need to be taught customer service skills again. Having to go the customer service to close out your cash account on the last day was not very pleasing because the lines were very long. If there is any balance on your account at debarkation you will not be allowed to debark and have to go to customer service to take care of. We were charged for something in one of the stores that we never received. They were supposed to have credited it back but never did so we were denied debarking. If there is anything you would like to know just ask and I will try to answer. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The 1st Thing I must say is that it was a beautiful boat and the staff that was there were very hard workers. Another pro was that they were many activities all different ages. Unfortunately there were too many negatives for me to ... Read More
The 1st Thing I must say is that it was a beautiful boat and the staff that was there were very hard workers. Another pro was that they were many activities all different ages. Unfortunately there were too many negatives for me to ever go back on and MSC line. The company has to invest in 2 very important things much more staff since this since ship is very very big And the food in the main dining Room was tasteless and staff unorganized since the matre'd himself was unorganized. The food in the specialized dining was very good and that's how all the food should be. The butchers cut and asian fusion were excellent. Seafood ok. The noise from the habatchi was very annoying to many in the dining area of the Asian dining area. Also with only 2 photograpers we had NO photos taken except for the ones we posed for. I guess you get what you pay for. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
(Review started while on board) As I sit here outside on an empty Deck 19 of the MSC Seaside, watching the sun come up, soft music playing, a nice cool breeze, making our way back to Nassau and Miami….I figure no better time than the ... Read More
(Review started while on board) As I sit here outside on an empty Deck 19 of the MSC Seaside, watching the sun come up, soft music playing, a nice cool breeze, making our way back to Nassau and Miami….I figure no better time than the present to recap my week. Let me start by saying I’ve cruised Disney, RCCL, Carnival, Celebrity, NCL and some long gone cruise lines. I think each cruise line has its own thing to offer, it’s own niche. There is no PERFECT cruise line, only what works for you and your needs and wants. This is my first time sailing MSC and I’m not really sure what I expected. My family and I (Late 40/Early 50ish couple with 12 and 14 year old boys) chose to cruise with the Yacht club cabin/experience. Not only because it was recommended to me, but I got an incredible deal on it (especially for spring break). I’m not going to go into WHAT the Yacht club is….you can search that up, but I’ll detail some things with critiques. We arrived in Miami the night before and stayed at the Intercontinental Doral. Great hotel. Perfect for 1 night. Worked too bc we left our car there (no charge) and took an UberXL to the port. (about $41/half for Uber X). Easy easy! We went around 11am – ish to the port, so it was busy coming in, but I’m sure if you waited until around 1p, there’d be little traffic. With the Yacht club, exclusivity has it’s privileges. There’s a tent set up curbside that says “Yacht club” when you arrive. We walked up, they took our name and paperwork. A porter took our luggage and we were escorted past the masses of people, thru security and into a private waiting area with small sandwiches, drinks and champagne, etc until our name was called to process us in (ship cards etc). From there, had a brief wait and when they allowed boarding, escorted us directly onto the ship with an escort to the Yacht club area on Deck 16. A butler took both of our Roll bags and carried them up for us to the area. Now the Yacht Club area is the 3 floors, exclusive area in the front 1/3 of the ship. Deck 16 was some cabins, concierge, and the Top Side Lounge (think Living Room!). Very comfy, very cozy with 180 degree view out the front of the ship with a bar. You could sit inside or outside. Just above you in this area was the Yacht Club Restaurant which sits on deck 18 (there is no deck 17 on this ship). The restaurant overlooks the Top Side Lounge along with this 180-degree view. Absolutely awesome. There were some cabins on this level also. Then Deck 19 is your own private pool with a bar, small buffet with 2 hot tubs in the forward part of the ship and sun area. All with this 180-degree view. Come to find out, there are only about 85 cabins in the whole Yacht club area. OK, so back to our start….we briefly sat in the lounge and had a drink and a small snack and then our butler and junior butler (essentially took care of Stateroom) introduced themselves to us. They saw we had the boys and the bags so they called to see if our stateroom was ready, which it was, walked us there and kind of briefed us on things. Super easy on, very attentive. Loved it. Now, throughout the cruise, essentially any need you had, you could put thru your butler/junior butler. If they couldn’t address it, they would tell you where you could. Concierge could assist too, but we generally went to our butler/junior butler all of whom were usually around. Primas and Olena were our Butler/Junior Butler and they were fantastic!!! We will miss them dearly. (Just good people!!) Before moving from embarkation, let me note that there was no hounding to buy anything. There was a spa associate in the lounge to take bookings, but that was about it. There was no embarkation photo. No photographers in the lounge, etc. Very chill and low key. In fact, came to learn photographers were not allowed in the Yacht club area unless there was a special event. You had to go to the main ship/central atrium for pictures if you wanted them. Moving on to the Food. I very much consider myself a foodie/food snob, but try and take everything in perspective. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have been cruising since I was 8 years old, so I’ve seen the industry evolve. I read a lot of reviews (good and bad) prior to sailing MSC Seaside. I think the easiest way to say this is….you’re not going to starve. Having been on several other lines, I don’t think MSC is any better or worse than anyone else. There are a few differences. They are not as expansive, as say RCCL, but it is a European line. Is this bad? Well, if that’s what you expect, yes. If you go with it…you’ll be fine. Our food the first night for dinner was great, 2nd and 3rd night, not so much. You have the option to eat by the pool for lunch (Again, talking Yacht club) with some decent choices (Lamb chops on embarkation day were PHENOMINAL!!). Mind you we didn’t scour the ship for food, but when we did, we were not able to find a dinner buffet anywhere. There were “snacks” etc scattered around (even deck 19 in Yacht club), but not a full buffet with entrée choices (talking dinner). That’s not to say there may not be one, we were just not able to find one when we wanted. Deck 8 did have a nice area with Pizza, Salads, Sandwiches, fruit, desserts, but I did not see any hot entrees. We did not venture into any of the specialty venues on this ship. I thought the food we were getting was fine and saw no reason to drop $100-$200 on meal. Normally I would, but I found it a little overpriced for what they were offering. As far as food prep…some meals were good and some were not. Being a foodie (and teaching my boys to taste anything), we experimented with a lot of items on the menu at dinners. The majority of dishes were good, but they killed their Prawn dish one night (horrible taste), and another fish dish. I generally love Escargot, but didn’t care for the prep on this ship. Their clam and mussel pot was aweful (super salty). Salmon dishes were generally good. Tonite (at sea heading back) is lobster/prime rib, so….I’ll keep you posted. I don’t want to dabble too much on taste as everyone’s tastes are different and that’s really a person to person thing. Service overall…….whew…where do I start. Butlers and Junior butlers (at least ours….A++). Waiters in the Top Sail lounge, every one of them were amazing (we really enjoyed Vishnu who was super personable, attentive, and pleasant every day)!! Waiters in the restaurant… hit or miss! (MOSTLTY MISS!). We tried our initial waiter given for 2 nights. He was short and seemed liked he was trying to be nice to us. We swapped on 3 occasions to 3 different areas and all those waiters were excellent, pleasant and attentive. (Emmanuelle and Ted (from S. Africa) were 2 waiters who really stood out and provided good service and pleasant). I don’t know if our first waiter had a beef with us specifically or not, but…generally all the others we used were good. Food service overall was Slllooowww!! I don’t know if this was the waiter’s fault or the kitchen. As much as these guys were moving (and the Yacht club restaurant is not big), I would have to say the kitchen was slow. To give you an idea, the kids gave us “date night” last night and it was the two of us. We sat down a little after 7:30pm. We got served dinner at 8:45-8:50p. So….not sure what’s going on there, but…a little adjustment needs to be made. The Matre’d was pleasant and around, but generally did very little (in my opinion). My one son had asked for Crème Brulee, which is not served on any of the general menus, only in the specialty restaurant. He got it for him 1 night, but it kind of seemed a bother. As a Matre’d, for 1 kid, why not have it every night (or at least offer it). Never offered any specialty dishes or anything. So…not much to say other than kitchen was slow (so that’s kind of on the Matre’d) and didn’t do much else for us. On a side note, the hostess in the Yacht Club Restaurant (Yulia) was absolutely fabulous! She seemed to run that place (more so than the Matre’d) and really went above and beyond, not just socially but from a work standpoint. Very spunky and upbeat. In my opinion, the restaurant is a key part of the cruising experience and MSC mauled it! From Etiquette (not taking order/serving the lady first – Multiple waiters), to not explaining/recommending dishes, to failing to check the table periodically, to not making sure order is correct, to forgetting to bring things out…this was consistently poor in the Yacht Club restaurant – across several waiters. It takes a lot for me to put down a food service, but I can honestly say aside from the restaurant hostess (who not only sat people and greeted everyone but also cleaned and re-set tables and assisted waiters and assistant waiters), I’ve had better service at my local Chili’s /restaurant chain. The staff didn’t seem trained and was very inconsistent….all the way around (and we were waited on by 4 or 5 different wait staff). Now some of you may comment, why didn’t I say something to the Matre’d and my response to that is…this is not something that is going to get corrected in 1 day or even 1 cruise. An overall re-evaluation of this needs to be done. I was not able to get any assessment of how it was in the main dining of the ship, but I would assume better as they had 3 dinner services to tend to and were on a time limit. Perhaps it’s time to go back to gratuities for work done and not “well I’m getting it either way so why does it matter?” I’m all about tipping for service and will (and did) tip to anyone who went above and beyond. Enough about that!! Ports – The ports are the ports. Not going to say much there (We did Eastern Caribbean). Having cruised so much, we didn’t book any cruise excursions. Only things to note here…when it’s time to get off (in the Yacht club), you go to the lounge and are escorted off (and back on when you return). Nice little touch. You’re given waters and rain poncho (if needed). Rest of the ship… All the main ship pool areas were nice/crowded. We generally stayed in the Yacht club area. Our kids did the slides on occasion. Kind a of a pain in the neck as you have to sign a waiver and get a wrist band (kids/adults) in order to ride any of the slides. The waiver included the zip line too, though. Lines were long first 2 days. It would be nice if MSC had waivers available with the Yacht Club concierge and be able to turn them in there instead of mass chaos that is was to get it done. That or include it in your cruise documents and have it ready to go when you get on board (only 1 more piece of paper to print, why not!). Arcade….well…(sigh)….another gripe of the trip. We purchased 2 “fun passes” for our kids prior to sailing. When we did it online, it did not give us the option to put it on their ship card, so the “Fun Pass” was on my card and my wife’s card. We TRIED to get them to transfer it to the kids, but they could/would not. Hence, I had to give my card to my kids every time they wanted to use the arcade. The fun pass included a Formula 1 Simulator (not a Flight simulator as advertised), a 5D theatre which was open here and there and meh, bowling that was a pain in the neck to get a “reservation” for (again, would be nice if you could reserve from Yacht Club Concierge), an Air Hockey Game, and 2 video games. Air hockey was pretty much open and our go to game. My advice is save your money on the fun passes. Don’t pre-buy the $100 (with $180 worth of credit). NOT WORTH THE $. (MSC did refund us for the 1 pass we didn’t use, so that was a plus!!) Had I known there were 2 video games and all the trouble to use everything else, I would have never bought!! To add insult to injury here, there were 2 gentleman who ran this area and they were rude and short with us and many other passengers. My guess is because they were always overwhelmed. MSC needs to do a little re-evaluation of this area too and make some changes (IMO) Kids loved the crepes/Gelato on the back of the ship (Deck 7). This is included with Yacht Club. Spa on Deck 8 was nice. Both the wife and I had massages. Meh. Not bad, not great. We both used the Thermal Area the last day fo the cruise and the area was nice. Entertainment...we went to the show the first night (Timeless). Nothing great. We chose not to partake in any more entertainment options as we didn't find it to our liking. Deck 6 was the shopping area. Typical cruise shopping area. Do your homework and know what you want. Looked at an “older” watch for my son and they sell for the retail price with a “discount”. Checked online and could get the watch for over $100+ less than what they were offering on the ship. So…not that they are ripping you off, just…do your homework if you’re looking for jewelry. That’s all I’ll say. Chocolate bar in the middle of the ship looked great. Can’t really give a review as we didn’t eat or drink anything from there. Casino was ok. Quite small for ship this size. There is no Craps. There is no poker table. The ventilation is poor in the area and tends to be very smokey. Didn’t really venture in here much. They have newer slots with lots of buttons. (Whatever happened to put your token in and pull?!?). lol Things overall on the ship ran as scheduled. If it opened at 8a, 8a it was, not 7:55a, not 7:59a. This is not a bad thing, but in the customer service industry, sometimes you need to be a little flexible. Example, walking back onto the ship from one of the ports, they have a station for a cold face towel. I asked for one and was told they don’t start until Noon (it was 11:56-57am). Little things like that can be a put-off. The ship itself was beautiful/modern. Outside of the yacht club area, I think the ship lacked flow. (ie you couldn’t walk straight thru to things or easily get to things). It was a bit difficult to navigate at times. My wife and I saw an infinity bridge (bridge with glass on it) but couldn’t figure out how to get there. Eventually, after making our way out there, there were some other doors leading out we found, but not well marked. OK. Sun is up and beaming and family awake. Stay tuned…! Driving home from Miami now…and continuing on…. Prime Rib and Lobster dinner (Sea day) was good. Presentation was AWEFUL. Prime rib was slathered in a brown gravy (not necessarily bad, just not how I prefer) and lobster was plopped in this gravy as well (See Pic…I moved lobster to the side of the plate). Plate was not clean presentation at all!! Lobster was NOT served with drawn butter. We asked the waiter if this was how it was to be served and he said told us “yes”. Eventually, they brought drawn butter out, but it took almost 10 minutes and my lobster was cold by then. Still tasted good cold. Last night in the dining room, they had rack of lamb. Luckily, I had an ordered a truffle risotto (which was very good, but undercooked) and my sons were served the lamb while I ate the risotto. Again, the lamb was slathered in a thick brown gravy with cooked cherries. (sorry, this one was aweful). Luckily, I was able to head my waiter off at the pass and had the sauce put on the side. Lamb was herb crusted and absolutely delicious. One of the best meat dishes of the cruise. Not sure what’s up with the sauces, but….perhaps if the waiter took the time to explain the menu and make recommendations, the food review would be a little better. With MSC being a European line, I said things were different, however (IMO) if you’re going to operate in an American Market, I think they need to take note of some differences and make accommodations. My final observation of the whole Yacht club experience sort of has to do with the rest of the ship. My general feeling was….once you were out of the Yacht club, you were just another bean. Nothing exclusive or priority. My wife purchased a massage and our butler walked her down to the spa. After the butler left, the spa attendant asked my wife, “who is he?” We also had a little issue with the photo shop as we pre-bought a photo package before sailing. The product was listed as “10 prints and 10 digital photos”. It did not specify if they were the same or not. Having cruised before and inconsistences, I called MSC prior to sailing to clarify the package before purchasing. It was explained to me that it was indeed 20 different photos. My wife and I went to the photo area Thurs night to pick out our photos and get it out of the way before the masses hit Friday night. The attendant (who I learned was new) told me it was only 10 photos. I explained to her otherwise that’s not what corporate explained. After a slight back and forth, she advised she’d get with her superior and get back with me Fri morning. I never received any follow-up and went back down late Friday morning of which I was told I was correct and it was 20 different photos. Now they couldn’t find the 20 photos I had given them the night before and couldn’t reach the young lady we were dealing with. I was told to return around 4p which I did. They confirmed everything, gave me my 10 prints and now told me to come back between 10-10:30p for the disk with the other 10 prints. When I arrived back (around 10:15p) it was mass chaos in the photo area. The disk was not ready and I was told 10 minutes. I left the photo area at 10:55p. Just watching the chaos of 4-6 people just standing there doing very little (bc they were awaiting photos/disks to made) was comical. I had to take a video of it bc it just showed how disorganized this was. Disembarkation – 1 word…SUPURB!! Best disembarkation I’ve EVER had. I stood outside my stateroom door at 8:45p. My wife accidently lost her key card, so our junior Butler got us a new one, walked us down to Deck 6 where we were greeted by our butler. Both took our rollaway bags (2) and walked us past everyone to the ship exit. We said our goodbyes/took photos and walked off the ship. We weedled around the port of Miami…went thru immigrations which is a facial recognition camera, and continued on to our luggage area (weedling a little more). Yacht club bags were at the very end. Got our bags, walked out the door and grabbed an UberXL back to the hotel. Stateroom door to packed car ready to go….(with the drive) – 1 hr. BOOM. Couldn’t ask for anything better!! In summary, overall, we had a great cruise. We’ve had good and bad cruises and take things in stride. I’m a little more old school having experienced “cruising of the past”, so my expectations are probably a little higher. Sad to say, the industry has changed. You have to pay for experiences (like the Yacht club) in order to get that old school treatment (most of the time). Sadly, MSC has some work to do in several areas to improve this. This was one of the most “relaxed” cruises we’ve done and really enjoyed that aspect. The Yacht club experience without all the “cruise fluff” thrown at you is a great option. Even with the things that need correcting, MSC has a pretty good product and I think just needs to hone some in an American market. I would definitely sail MSC again and would choose no other option than the Yacht club for this line. I think it was worth what I paid for my family and I. If you have super active children who need to be stimulated all the time, not sure this would be the line for you. Our kids are older and a little more low key and they enjoyed it as well. I would definitely entertain this line for an Alaska cruise. The Yacht club experience in the Alaskan market would be plus. Sorry this is such long review, but I hope it gives you an idea of the experience onboard, at least from a Yacht club perspective. Feel free to shoot over any questions! Bon Voyage!! PS – Quick about internet. Fam of 4 periodically checking the net….6gb package was fine/more than enough for the week. Purchase before getting on board for the discount. Oh...and I kids didn't step foot in the kids club, so can't really comment. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose Seaside twice because it is a beautiful, billion dollar ship at a huge discount.. Yes, there are negatives, but way fewer than there used to be. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Just go. Better still, go Yacht Club. ... Read More
We chose Seaside twice because it is a beautiful, billion dollar ship at a huge discount.. Yes, there are negatives, but way fewer than there used to be. The positives far outweigh the negatives. Just go. Better still, go Yacht Club. We are doing that next year. The 5000 people are way too many at the first buffet, and on the sea days. Get past that. There are always deck chairs available. No idea how or why, but in two cruises, this is true. Get back early on Port days, and you have the beautiful Seaside to yourselves. Pure joy.. The Aurea level is a must. The Spa (included) is so fabulous, and the outside space at the Spa is the best lounge area on the ship. The 19 deck Aurea only space works too. The real reason to pay for Aurea is the choice dining. THAT is huge, and the one mistake MSC makes is forcing eating times on the rest of the ship. This was NOT clear to us the first time, and it angers many cruisers. They should section off the two dining rooms into four, with different designs, and different times. Give some flexibility to all. Tip: Get on board, get a wrist watch as your room key and charge pass ($5), and book ALL the shows every night. They sell out fast, especially the Michael Jackson Skywalker last night, so book early, and arrive twenty minutes ahead for seats for every show. They check your watch/sea pass card for both reservations, then let anyone without reservations in fifteen minutes ahead. Go early. The shows are excellent for all the different languages (65 countries on board ) . They are 35 minutes long, fast paced, and varied for all. The performers are absolutely excellent, and cirque gets sprinkled into musical numbers to keep all happy. They need to print out the specific beverage packages, so you can see if your favorite beverage is included. Many cruisers we met were wild that their drinks included such limited (usually none) choices. Their premium package is WAY too expensive (we got it anyway), but it is impossible to figure out what you are getting ahead of time. Gelato included? Sorbet? Chocolate? Good luck. Bad website info, and customer service reps vary wildly with incorrect info. You are left to simmer once on board. Not right, but they WILL fix it, as they have fixed everything else you read about. Well run company. The rooms are not large, but they aren't in Europe either. The balconies sure work. In fact, everywhere you go on the ship, the water is literally part of the ship. Beautiful, smart design. Brings the outside in. Even in the Specialty restaurants, and in almost every bar. Open to the sea. Outstanding. The design of the ship gets kudos for keeping kids away . There are kids on the ship, but not all over the place. The areas for kids are that good. We talked with a couple bringing their kids for their third MSC cruise. Think about that. They are totally free (when you figure the total cost per person, this is a winner). There is SO much for kids to do, you just don't see them as you do on other ships. Plus, no college kids on break who ruin the pool decks. They aren't there. How good is that? So next year, we skip the lines and crowds, and go to Yacht Club. MSC is such a bargain. 1/3 the cost of our Crystal next year. We'll see........ Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We got a great deal on this cruise so we took it. Had never used MSC although we have cruised many times. WAY too big for us. 7,000 passengers and crew on this mega-ship! Hard to find places to sit outside, especially at the pools, ... Read More
We got a great deal on this cruise so we took it. Had never used MSC although we have cruised many times. WAY too big for us. 7,000 passengers and crew on this mega-ship! Hard to find places to sit outside, especially at the pools, elbowing people thru the buffet dining areas to get to the food, extremely long lines for all group activities (with many rude, pushy people cutting in line left and right!), lots of children running around. It was bedlam, nothing relaxing about this ship. We were on one of the upper decks at the rear of the ship so there was a constant rolling and shuddering movement in our stateroom. We were underneath the large pool so we could hear EVERYTHING being said and played on the loudspeakers up there, from morning bingo to the evening dance parties. No relaxing glasses of wine on our balcony this trip; too noisy! On the positive side, the service was very good and the food was excellent. Lessons learned for us- no more cruises on mega-ships, and be sure the cabin is mid-ship on a lower deck nowhere near the pool! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and the value. We have cruised many of the major cruise lines and have NEVER had a bad experience. This ship lack personality, service and friendliness. What was good on this ship was the ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and the value. We have cruised many of the major cruise lines and have NEVER had a bad experience. This ship lack personality, service and friendliness. What was good on this ship was the shows, the coffee and the photography was outstanding. The room was clean and roomy enough for 2, the service was very good there. This is the only line that attempts to charge you for extras, the zip line, games ect. The food in the dining room was fair but not outstanding or timely by any means. The food in the buffets was not appealing, tasty or satisfying at all. Most of the time you had to clear your own table or look at food on the ground, VERY Unsatisfied with the overhaul cruise. I will not every recommend of book another one . I actually attempted to reach to to MSC direct and got not even a courtesy call back . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise for many reasons: dates, ports, ship offerings and price. There were 4 in our party (2 adults, 2 kids ages 13 & 10). We stayed in a Balcony cabin on Deck 14 mid-ship. The ship is beautiful and there are lots of ... Read More
I chose this cruise for many reasons: dates, ports, ship offerings and price. There were 4 in our party (2 adults, 2 kids ages 13 & 10). We stayed in a Balcony cabin on Deck 14 mid-ship. The ship is beautiful and there are lots of things to do on it. Nobody should have had a reason to be bored on this cruise. The website photos and video are a true representation of what we saw and experienced on our trip. We are pretty easy travelers. We like clean, comfortable sleeping quarters, good food, and drinks in our hands. We also like there to be answers to our questions should we have some. MSC did a great job with the clean, comfortable sleeping quarters and good food. Where they lacked was bar service and communication. We rarely had a drink in our hands. The bars were greatly understaffed for the number of guests on board and the size of the drink menu. Also, if you dine in the main dining rooms, prepare yourself for water and wine. There were a few evenings we placed orders for soda, beer and mixed drinks but they never arrived. Many bartenders could not understand a drink as simple as a 7 and 7, a screwdriver, etc. A couple of times we tried to explain what was in it and they brought us only what they understood. Pool towels are provided in your cabin. There is 1 towel exchange and it is on Deck 16. It closes at 5:00 each day. The last pool closes at 10:00pm. Our cabin did not have pool towels and the towel exchange attendant couldn't understand that we had no towels to exchange because we had no towels to begin with. This went on for 2 days. On Day 2 I finally got firm and used as few words as possible to express that we have no towels. He handed me 2 towels, wrote my cabin number down and told me to have them back by 5:00 or we would be charged $20/towel. On Sea days we never found an available pool chair prior to 6:00pm. There were many chairs without people in them but people were saving them in case they came back later. Jungle Pool was open until 10:00pm but the bar alongside it closed at 6:00pm. To get drinks of any kind after that, you had to go to another deck and wait. Guest Services was not easy to communicate with as English was not the first or a fluent language for many of them. We were told 4 different ways by 4 different reps how to place an external phone call to the US. We finally had them dial for us. I had 2 other questions and they responded by handing me instruction sheets to answer my questions. We enjoyed our excursions. We felt the port stops were too short with the exception of St. Thomas. That was a full day stop. There were few Americans on this cruise. It was difficult to meet and visit with people because of that, especially for the kids. We finally stopped trying to initiate conversation and only initiated conversation if we could hear them speak English. We spoke to some English-speaking Amercian and Canadian guests we met along the way. We all shared the same opinion: beautiful ship and good food but the bar service and communication barrier prevented it from being a really great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I traveled with the Centennial College Alumni Association from Toronto Canada. I have been a Director on the Alumni Board now for over 10 years. We organize trips for our Alumni every year. This year we decided to cruise with MSC on the ... Read More
I traveled with the Centennial College Alumni Association from Toronto Canada. I have been a Director on the Alumni Board now for over 10 years. We organize trips for our Alumni every year. This year we decided to cruise with MSC on the Seaside. There was a whopping 63 of us. Im sure some of the other cruisers recognized us in our bright orange alumni shirts we were all wearing. We purchased the Fantastica package. The following are my views only and do not represent the views of the other individuals that traveled with the Centennial College Alumni Association. THE ROOM - I was on the 15th floor, very clean, super tiny, the beds were good, the bathroom was a tight squeeze. THE FOOD - A lot of the same stuff everyday/every night. Designated dinner reservations were a little unorganized, but we made it work. The food for reservation dinner was not that good. The ice cream was the best part of each day. THE DRINKS - I do not drink anything carbonated so Im not sure about the soda drinks from the fountain dispenser. Alcoholic beverages were watered down and the bar service is slow everywhere. THE STAFF - Very pleasant and helpful. THE ENTERTAINMENT - A little too much opera singing, but overall was good. Comedy shows were good. THE SHIP - Overall the Seaside is beautiful. I unfortunately did not get to explore the entire ship from the 4th floor up. Its just way too big! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because friends had said it was good. It was overall a good experience. We didn't like some of the check-in procedures. With other cruises once you check in, they hook up your sail and sign card. This isn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends had said it was good. It was overall a good experience. We didn't like some of the check-in procedures. With other cruises once you check in, they hook up your sail and sign card. This isn't so with MSC. You have 48 hours to go to a kiosk on the ship and swipe your credit card and link it. It was a pain in the neck especially traveling with a baby. The lines were extremely long for customer service every single time. We also had an issue getting our military discount, which still hasn't been rectified. Truthfully, I've just given up because trying to get someone for that has been impossible. Another downfall was the layout of the ship. It was a bit difficult to navigate and not many floors went directly across. Positives: The itinerary was great! We loved every port of call. The food was pretty good at the buffets. The steak house was amazing! The one show we did attend was great! Peter Punk....very good. The coffee/chocolate shop was amazing! The coffees were to die for and the staff even took time to make a steamed bottle every single night for my baby! The service in the stores, coffee shop, and kid care was great! The baby center was bright, clean, and perfect! The girl in charge there was also great! I would recommend the baby care. I didn't find many reviews, if any at all for it, but it was good and definitely well worth the time away from my little guy. The ship was spotless. I had seen reviews saying it was dirty, NO WAY! This ship was clean and I always saw personnel cleaning. The ship is also beautifully decorated and built. The tile floors are gorgeous as well as hallways. Negatives: The cabin was a little small for us and the baby. We could have probably used a bigger once since his crib took up most of the common area and we couldn't remove the couch. The crowds at the buffet were a lot. Also, if you don't like rude foreigners, this isn't the ship for you. The percentage of Americans on the ship was very small. All announcements are in five different languages making them lengthy. Our coffee and walking tour in San Juan wasn't what we expected. It was a coffee tasting, but we only stopped at one actual coffee shop, the other was a yogurt store. It was rather expensive for just a walking tour. The staff at the port prior to check in wasn't very friendly. Some of the staff in the buffet area weren't very friendly either. Bar staff wasn't the best. They all seemed annoyed and cranky. I asked for a coke with a cup of ice for lunch a few times from the same bartender and it was met with major attitude. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
To begin, the embarkation process was the best we have experienced. I have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess and Norwegian and this process was so easy. Nice comfortable seated waiting in air conditioning. The ... Read More
To begin, the embarkation process was the best we have experienced. I have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Carnival, Princess and Norwegian and this process was so easy. Nice comfortable seated waiting in air conditioning. The ship is absolutely beautiful. Very colorful and with tons of outdoor space and views of the ocean. We had great service from our cabin steward, the bartenders, the restaurant staff and everyone aboard. The cabin are average size, however, the shower has an actual door which keeps the bathroom much drier. The dinning room food was good. Nothing spectacular but there are plenty of options to chose from. We didn't do the specialty restaurants so I can't speak to those. They are expensive unless you book them ahead. We upgraded our drink package and found that to have everything we wanted. The buffet food in the Marketplace was above and beyond the quality of most ships. There is so much to choose from, fresh salads, fruits, excellent pizza, burgers and hot dogs, carved meats, cheeses and the best bread! Did I say I loved the bread?! We only had one problem, we were charged 39.00 from the photoshop that turned up on our bill on Wednesday. When we checked at the front desk, they told us it was for embarkation photos. We didn't receive or purchase any photos. We were told that gets added to everyone's bill. They removed the charge. There was a huge line at the desk so I assume that is what everyone was there for. The staff on ship are delightful and spoke very good English. The other passengers were mostly from Europe which have a bit different culture, but we didn't mind and enjoyed the different experiences. The debarkation process was smooth as silk. We were off the ship, had our luggage and in a taxi within 10 minutes! No long lines, no waiting and the luggage was clearly marked and easy to locate. Overall, I rate this cruise Very Good and the ship being Excellent. I would not hesitate to cruise with MSC again! If you are looking for a unique ship, unique experience and smooth processes, I highly recommend it. We chose the Fantastica experience. For most travelers, I believe that would be a great fit! Thank you MSC for a wonderful cruise! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Caribbean and the price of a balcony room and the new Seaside ship was appealing. We have cruised before with RC and Princess and must admit to being nervous due to some of the negative ... Read More
We choose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Caribbean and the price of a balcony room and the new Seaside ship was appealing. We have cruised before with RC and Princess and must admit to being nervous due to some of the negative reviews we had read however we went with an open mind and had a fantastic holiday. We booked the Aurea package which included spa access and access to quieter areas of the ship to sunbathe which we liked. I had also noticed in previous reviews that deck 9 has extended balconies which was great. We loved the food both in the buffet and main Seashore restaurant ( I am vegetarian but found plenty of choice). The entertainment shows were much better than on our previous cruises and overall we had a great time, if I had one complaint it would be the short port stops with this cruise which meant we couldn't really go far but we did enjoy our kayak and snorkelling trip. Overall we had a great time and we will cruise with MSC again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I am in Nassau on the last cruise day, have sailed Celebrity Constellation, Norwegian Pride of America and Star, Carnival Pride and Ecstacy before this ship. I would compare it to somewhere between Norwegian and Celebrity for ship ... Read More
I am in Nassau on the last cruise day, have sailed Celebrity Constellation, Norwegian Pride of America and Star, Carnival Pride and Ecstacy before this ship. I would compare it to somewhere between Norwegian and Celebrity for ship cleanliness and layout. Staff is exactly the same as any other cruise ship, kind servants. Every human can have a bad day, especially those who live in small bunk quarters serving unappreciative people. I go out of my way to thank them for serving away from their families to give me an opportunity to have a vacation. An international crowd in this line, and I love it. I came across zero rude people, understand they are comfortable in a crowd, and acted accordingly. They do not think that is rude. It's how they live in crowded Europe, Asia, Central and South America. Loved the international flavor. English is still there language of choice on the ship so no worries. Dining room food is average good, better than Carnival, as good as Norwegian, not as high quality as Celebrity. Specialty restaurants are not worth the extra, except the seafood choice. Excellent. They were better than the dining room, but choices are surprisingly limited with even more upcharges at specialties. There were very few times it felt like another 5,000 visitors and 1500 crew were on the ship because the ship is laid out well. Bar service is the same as any other ship. Buffets are the best I have had. Choice, quality, variety and location(s). The shows are the BEST AT SEA. A cast of 20+, incredible vocalists (all, not just 1 or 2), aerielists, acrobats, dancers. INCREDIBLE. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. True off Broadway and at times Broadway quality. 4 standing ovations, unheard of for a cruiseline. We were Fantastica Class, would consider Aurea, but Yacht Club is too stuffy for me. I would rate Celebrity 5*, MSC 4 1/2*, Norwegian 4*, and Carnival 3 3/4*. Will sail MSC again, and Seaside again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
This was my second time on the Divina and DH first time - largest ship we have sailed on to date. We chose the Divina for our winter escape for the itinerary and price - excellent value. Embarkation- we arrived at the terminal at ... Read More
This was my second time on the Divina and DH first time - largest ship we have sailed on to date. We chose the Divina for our winter escape for the itinerary and price - excellent value. Embarkation- we arrived at the terminal at 1130 and after a short wait at security, breezed through the check in process and got to the waiting/preboarding area to the announcement that boarding would be delayed. Never got an answer to why Customs delayed it so...at 2:00 there were still small groups coming off the ship. Finally started boarding at 3 and on board at 3:30. Immediately went to see the restaurant manager to get our seating time changed and then up to our cabin. Our luggage beat us there, unpacked, then went to the safety drill. Note to MSC, thank you for having the drill in the various lounges, but don't have people bring the life vests if we aren't having to put them on. Huge tripping hazard when everyone is leaving dragging their vests behind them. Dining: we ate all of our dinners at Villa Rosa and had excellent dining companions. Our servers were excellent as well. Food is subjective but I will say food was average to good. Best cheesecake I have had for a long time and I enjoyed the duck and different pasta dishes. Food was served hot but I noticed that service was uneven. Some with different servers were getting dessert while we were getting our entree. We enjoyed talking at our table so slow service was not an issue for us but would be for some. We ate breakfast and lunch at either the buffet or the Black Crab restaurant when open. Only used the buffet during "off" times as it was normally PACKED, not appealing. Pizza is very good and we liked the salad and fruit bar. Ate once at the Sports Bar, good wings! Wish they could expand their food service hours and seating area (lose the bowling alley). Did not do any pay restaurants- would like to see the Eatery revamped with more inviting seating and the Galaxy change to a steakhouse. Ship and service: ship is beautiful, large, clean. We did not experience any service issues and found crew enjoyable. Room steward was very good. On sea days the Divina felt crowded and pool area was even more packed than the buffet, with the normal chair hogs. Evenings it was difficult to get seats at some of the bars, and some areas definitely needed more bar servers. Enjoyed the different music offerings at the bars, and only went to a few shows which were good. Would like to see the Golden bar and photo area revamped in the future as they are in the middle of a major walkway, and the Black and white lounge is under utilized. Stick a good band in there and it would be filled (band offering there for us was poor). Ports: we had a great time in all the ports and this was the number one reason why we chose this cruise. Tortola- grabbed a cab and went to the beach. Antigua and St Kitts did MSC excursions exploring both islands to see the major sites and both were well organized and informative local guides. Martinque we used a private tour, Visio tours, and the guide was excellent and saw the rainforest, rum distillery, and a beach. St Martin took the water taxi to downtown for shopping and some bar time, then back to the ship early to enjoy an empty ship. Weather was perfect!! Disembarking: did self walk off at 0800, as did the rest of the ship it seemed with a very long line. MSC if you want a smoother process set up a second exit point to move people faster! But in closing, we enjoyed our cruise and would choose MSC again. We enjoyed the multi national cruisers. We cruise to see new places and to unplug/relax. Mission accomplished! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
First of all, I got a room with a balcony that was presented in the pictures with a nice open view. The room I got half of the balcony is made a metal that doesn't have the nice open view. 95% of other rooms have the balcony made of a ... Read More
First of all, I got a room with a balcony that was presented in the pictures with a nice open view. The room I got half of the balcony is made a metal that doesn't have the nice open view. 95% of other rooms have the balcony made of a transparent glass that allows the nice open view over the ocean... sunsets etc.. Anyway... that was my first disappointment. I didn't get what I paid for!! It is very rare I go on vacation and it is exactly for these type of reasons!! you never get what you pay for!! Second, this is a cruise for seniors. I was there with my family and for my family given that we live on two different continents and we don't see each other for years ( last time I spent time with my sister was 8 years ago). My group included 19 yo, 23 yo, 40, and late 40s.We expected to be able to stay a little late than mid-night maybe meeting fun people. The ship is full with seniors, the programs are boring and everything closes at mid-night. Be prepared for long boring walks back and forth and trying to have fun. The two restaurants and three bars looked nice, the dinner was decent every night. They have options that they change every evening.Dinner is ok. In general the personal is ok. They don't speak english but eventually they would bring what you want :). The breakfast had two options buffet and a la carte. The buffet is super crowded. Food is ok-ish. It is a cantina type of serving. By the end of the trip everyone was coughing left and right in your food! :) I really don't recommend the MSC tours. There isn't much time to spend on each city/island and not much time for sight-seeing, they are very disorganized, expensive and you waist your time trying to get on busses then stuck in traffic. Try to make your own schedule, find a nice beach and go there. Most public beaches aren't too clean but at least you don't stay in a bus for hours. The bus we visited Panama broke in the middle of the highway, we waited 40 min while the driver tried to fix it (some type of belt broke), eventually they sent another one. I was very surprised, and they continue the tour in the old city. Third, at the end I experienced a very unpleasant situation with an employee that scan cards and make sure you are the person that travel. Instead of being honest and give the right information that I was selected for a security check, he told us that the system broke and I can't get out of the ship until an officer comes to see me. I had to wait long time while nothing was happening. It became very messy very fast because my family was waiting for me and we all had to say Goodbye and go on our way to the different flights. To speed up the process, because other people were waiting to get out of the ship, I requested someone to bring me to the security check and in the meantime I figure out the real reason why they stopped me. I find it very unprofessional to misinform people and very disrespectful creating confusion without any reason in an already crowded/messy situation. This type of personal shouldn't be on a "hospitality" business and he should be fired. I barely had time to say goodbye and hug my sister. The entire thing just turn my stomach upside down. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
great service. poor and boring food. buffett food was thesame everyday, long lines trouble finding a place to sit. dinner in dining room. very poor choices, theyecpect you to pay for lobster tail, filet, which have been included in ... Read More
great service. poor and boring food. buffett food was thesame everyday, long lines trouble finding a place to sit. dinner in dining room. very poor choices, theyecpect you to pay for lobster tail, filet, which have been included in my other cruises. samething with ice cream they sell cones or sundays etc. it cost $ $ $ for manythings that have been included in past cruises. even room service has a charge. over 4,000 people long lines everywhere. including public bathrooms which were small and not nerally enough of them. Evening entertainment was good but the samedancers and singers each nite, which became boring after a while. We will NEVER cruise MSC again. most other people we talked to felt the same. no clocks in public places, on robes in the cabin. the staff were very hard working and very freindly. they are underpaid. i willstick with Carnival, princess or my favorite Holland American in the future. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We decided to try MSC after more than a dozen cruises. The Italian food and ambiance was attractive and as first generation Italians we were excited to try MSC. The embarkation on 2-21 was a disaster and exercise in total customer ... Read More
We decided to try MSC after more than a dozen cruises. The Italian food and ambiance was attractive and as first generation Italians we were excited to try MSC. The embarkation on 2-21 was a disaster and exercise in total customer disregard. Over 2 hours in a zigzagging line and when we reached the desk to register the young lady walked away to never come back. She apparently went for lunch but was not replaced. We had to butt in the next line to get served, and no apology. The good: 1- Nice looking ship 2- Good embarkation buffet with select cheeses, parmesan, prosciutto, etc. 3- Some nice and pleasant bars on the ship with music. 4- The price was descent considering the booze package (basic one) The bad: 1- The nice ship was dirty in many areas: public washrooms, buffet area, greasy chairs, inadequately cleaned tables, beverage station mess. 2- Most items seen at the buffet on embarkation day disappeared. I asked for prosciutto and was told there was no more but saw crew members being delivered a big tray with it and other nice items 3- Dining room was dismal. The food was totally uninspired, lukewarm, repetitive and tiny portions. We had to ask repetitively to get a glass of tap water and/or coffee. The Italian night dinner was an insult to my ancestors and the food was not even at the level of Olive Garden. 4- The buffet became terribly repetitive after 4 days (10 day cruise). The salads were discolored with shades of yellow, brown, rust, and gray. The cold cuts were unsafe as we could clearly see mold and dry edges on the sliced meats. 5- The buffet lay-out was a mess as it created both gridlock and butting in. 6- Getting served a drink near the pools or bars was not easy. We ended up going to get our drinks ourselves but often waited 15 minutes to get served by one of the 4-5 bartenders who were more focused on counting ice cubes or joking with one another. 7- Our cabin had no wash cloths and we had to ask every day to get some. I guess Europeans don't use them ?? 8- Our TV did not work. We didn't care for watching TV but like to check the accuracy of our statement regularly. We complained several times and were promised a tech guy would come by "soon". After 10 days we never saw anyone. 9- We were sold a balcony room "unobstructed" but it was. Life boats in front of us, a 15 foot overhang above, and 20 ft wall on LHS jutting out. We had passengers and crew members just below our room walking and smoking, despite being on the non-smoking side. We filed a complaint but it probably got lost in file 13 10- Shows were repetitive -opera and musicals with terrible sound modulation. 11- We never got our prizes for wining trivia. We also never got our Gold Member fruit basket + 1 hour Spa session + Welcome back cocktail and yet we have an email confirming these. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
The cruise started on a bad note because too many of the staff seemed tired and annoyed at serving the incoming guests. As a first impression this is not great. Then there are countless hidden costs, even when you purchase packages that ... Read More
The cruise started on a bad note because too many of the staff seemed tired and annoyed at serving the incoming guests. As a first impression this is not great. Then there are countless hidden costs, even when you purchase packages that are merchandised as all inclusive. Even the gym had many additional costs which was a shame. The spa was nice but they did some hard selling even somewhat pushing services that aren’t needed. Also some costs are sneakily added, like water in the cabin even when you have a drinks package. The food is average and doesn’t reflect the tasty videos on display in their promo pieces. The deck is also very cluttered where finding a place to enjoy the sun can be challenging. As the cruise went on things improved (the final show was really impressive) but it was a shame that what was marketed and what was experienced did not match. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
Overall, we have had a good cruise. Many minor things were not quite there to make it a great cruise. Food: Restaurant - “Black Crab” food quality got better as the cruise went along, though it was somewhat inconsistent. Our ... Read More
Overall, we have had a good cruise. Many minor things were not quite there to make it a great cruise. Food: Restaurant - “Black Crab” food quality got better as the cruise went along, though it was somewhat inconsistent. Our waiter was exceptionally polite and attentive. Buffet – Food was ok, good selection, the pizza was very good. In the “rush hour”, drink service at the buffet was slow. Coffee stations are too few for the size of the buffet. Dinner and lunch buffet selections are very similar. Sports Bar – Food was ok, chicken wings are great. If you are sitting at the bar, make sure you do not sit on the rightmost chair as it is next to the bar station (the waiter keeps bumping into you). Bar service is a bit slow. Bars around the pool are the busiest and the slowest. Bar service can be from ok to rude. Bars in the core of the ship do offer much better service and are typically fast and exceptionally courteous. Bars receipts are terribly inconsistent, some bars ask to sign a receipt, some bars just give you a receipt, and some do not give you a receipt at all. Facilities: Pantheon Theater – a large theater facility great overall, comparable to most other cruise ships of the same size. It would be nice to be able to watch movies Pools – the layout is similar to any typical cruise ship, one covered pool, two open-air pools. The size of the pools is overall adequate though they were busy on days at sea. Pool decks are a good size also, though on days at sea it is hard to find an unoccupied chair after 10 am (towels are not being removed from unoccupied chairs). Atrium of the vessel is gorgeous and is exceptionally appointed. Public washrooms on the ship are scarce and men’s washrooms have no urinals creating lines ups. Entertainment was mostly a combination of musical and acrobatics act. There was no comedy show as such (it would be difficult considering the linguistic composition of the passengers). It was good, but it was not outstanding. Opera at sea (a compressed to 50 min version of Verdi’s La Traviata) was different certainly. Twice a day room service is nice, room stewards are polite and attentive, the room is vacuumed but there always seem to be some sand around (I presume vacuum cleaner without an agitator brush head have a hard time picking up the sand from the carpet). LGBT events seemed to be an afterthought, though MSC did host multiple events, unlike some other cruise lines we have taken. Embarkation was delayed by few hours (apparently due to a drug bust), which was somewhat unpleasant, and the terminal crowd was quite large (we took a trolley to Miami downtown and walked there for 2 hours). Disembarkation was typical lineup and wait for the line to move, took us roughly 30 min to get off the vessel, plus another 15-20 min to get our luggage. I hope with the construction of the MSC terminal in the port of Miami next year, things will run a bit more smoothly. We will be cruising with MSC again, though it takes a bit of time to warm up to MSC. Multicultural/Multilingual experience was overall great. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
After 10+ cruises we wanted to try MSC for the 1st time. The ship was configured differently than others we sailed on. Walking space was generally narrow, but there were nice cozy areas to sit. Cabins are like European hotel rooms - TINY ... Read More
After 10+ cruises we wanted to try MSC for the 1st time. The ship was configured differently than others we sailed on. Walking space was generally narrow, but there were nice cozy areas to sit. Cabins are like European hotel rooms - TINY ! Furthermore drawer and closet space was insufficient for our 2 average suitcases. Dining was mediocre, on every front. Uninspired bland lukewarm dishes and little variety on a 10 day cruise. We walked away from the dining and went to the buffet 5 - 6 nights to enjoy better variety, especially for salads and appetizers. Staff was courteous but appeared to be poorly trained at dinner. Buffet area staff was also courteous but would pull our plates before we even finished. The shows were repetitive - musicals and there was no variety nor comedy. Little side cafes and bars did have good music duos at times. This sounds petty but we participated in contests and we got NOTHING for winning (twice at trivia) despite the organizer promising a nice little gift. She gave us a story that the prizes were somewhere else on the ship... We don't watch TV but the 13 inch 13 year old one was miserable. The interactive connection never worked so we could not check our account nor could we book an excursion. Also, public washrooms are as elusive as the one eyed yellow striped toad. The buffet floor had a SINGLE washroom which had a line-up worthy of a night at the Roxbury. In conclusion, we understand why MSC is priced lower than RCI, Princess and Celebrity. MSC is OK if you want a cheap affordable cruise and want something different than Carnival. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Unfortunately they are not offering the same one next year or we would be on it again. 1. The ship is beautiful! The cabins are spacious and clean. The ship overall is kept in top ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. Unfortunately they are not offering the same one next year or we would be on it again. 1. The ship is beautiful! The cabins are spacious and clean. The ship overall is kept in top notch form. Both in repairs and cleanliness. 2. The food is very good. We did wish that MSC offered free dining in more locations like Norwegian cruise line does. Eating in the dining room every night got monotonous. 3. The entertainment was very good. Talented dancers and singers, but VERY repetitive. The opera could be eliminated, although they were very good singers. Other entertainment in the bars was very pleasant. 4. We had no issues with embarkment and disembarkment. The embarkment was slow, but apparently not a MSC issue, but customs issue... so I heard. Once they began though it happened quite quickly. Most of the luggage was in our rooms within the hour. The other suitcase was more like two to three hours. We didn't sit and wait, so I'm not sure exactly. We went to the sport bar right away because no one was there. That worked our great. 5. Lovely pools. Enjoyed the depth because they weren't packed full of standers. They were deeper pools, so you had to swim somewhat. 6. The dining staff rating is a bit lower because of this being a European ship. They don't gush over the customers as we Americans are used to on other cruise lines, tho they weren't rude either. The bar waiters and waitresses seemed quite pleasant. 7. Our room steward was very nice but due to the language barrier he didn't say much, but always smiled. No towel animals or towel persons as we have grown to expect from other cruise lines..no big deal. 8. There was a morning activity at the pool each day which I though was great. Stretching, exercise, dance lessons...etc. As I said earlier. I really wish they would have offered the exact same itinerary for 2020...disappointed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We had a wonderful experience on the Divina. Our servers in the dining room were so fun and courteous that we only missed one night with them. They shared stories about their on board life as well a their homeland. We were I the Villa ... Read More
We had a wonderful experience on the Divina. Our servers in the dining room were so fun and courteous that we only missed one night with them. They shared stories about their on board life as well a their homeland. We were I the Villa Rossi MDR and our servers were Cosme and Eric. The food choices some nights were difficult to make. We booked a balcony Fantastica room and were pleasantly surprised by its spaciousness. We were very surprised that theroom was cleaned two times per day and the bed turned down at night - nice touch. We did not get the drink package and were more than okay having 12 drink tickets each. We could have whatever beer we wanted and they honored the tickets for frozen drinks. I have a lot of respect for the "abuse" the bar staff took from guests. A lot of guests were so impatient and unsympathetic towards the staff that it made me very sad. I pulled a few staff aside and gave then words of encouragement. MSC does need to hire more staff. We also appreciated the attempt by staff to control the lounge chair situation and removing towels after 30 minutes of non-use. The Divina is very clean and sparkly. What surprised us was how quiet the ship was at night. Compared to how many people were aboard, there was hardly anyone in the bars. We thought it would be loud and quite the party going on. We find it very relaxing. The entertainment staff went out of their way to entertain. They were always high energy and had a smile for you but weren't pushy to participate. I loved that you could get professional pictures taken with various backgrounds. The photographers were great and made you feel comfortable. Over all, we had an excellent time and would choose MSC again Read Less
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