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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our 8 cruise and the second with Msc. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. We are a couple in our late fifties. Embarking in Venice took several houres and here they can do a better job. Stateroom. ... Read More
This was our 8 cruise and the second with Msc. We choose this cruise because of the itinerary. We are a couple in our late fifties. Embarking in Venice took several houres and here they can do a better job. Stateroom. We had a suite om deck 10 and it was very nice with a good bed, lots of space, å nice bathroom and a good balcony. Everything was kept nice and clean by our cleaner. Food. We had breakfest at the buffet, lunsj mostly in the buffet and one day in the restaurant and dinner every night at the restaurant at deck 6. All the food we had was wonderful and the service by the waiters was excellent. Drinking package. We had the non alkoholic package with water, coffedrinks, soda, none alkoholic softdrinks etc. and they were all very enjoyable. Smoking. We dont smoke. There are no smoking at the balcony any more . Only place inside were people could smoke was in one bar. We were not there and had no problem with smoking people. I never smelled any sigarette smoke at all. Entertainment. This entertainment ensemble is one of the best I have seen. They have wonderful singers and dancers. We saw every show. They were brilliant. Every day we were out on a organized tour and they were all good. We did Sibenik and Trogir in Croatia, Kotor and Perast in Montenegro, Ljublijana in Slovenia and San Marino in Ravenna. Every tour well organized. There were a lot of different activities day and evening on the boat to choose from . As we were out most of the day the evenings went to dinner, show and dancing. Would I cruise on this ship again. Yes with no doubt. Thank you for a wonderful week MSC Lirica. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We read the negative reviews prior to booking. I really don't take much notice of them. How wrong we were. We booked because of the itinerary, lots of places we wanted to visit.Not much to add to many other negative reviews. The ... Read More
We read the negative reviews prior to booking. I really don't take much notice of them. How wrong we were. We booked because of the itinerary, lots of places we wanted to visit.Not much to add to many other negative reviews. The overall on board experience was dreadful. Frustrating to miss 2 of our desired ports Sir bani yas & Piraeus (Athens). Of course MSC did not refund port charges even though they substituted a port for the 2 missed..We travelled as a group of 3 couples. Have to agree with others about food, endless announcements in 6 languages. Staff seemed disengaged except for bar staff & coffee shop. Positives..... Embarkation exceptional. MSC gives you status match which was good. Loved the music played when we left ports. Coffee (if you had the beverage package or paid for it) was great. Guest relations desk well manned 24 hrs a day. WOW that's not much. Negatives to add.... Guest relations desk apart from about 2 people who were brilliant, the rest seemed clueless. We were charged for drinks which should have been included in our beverage package. We had signed for 0 charge but they still charged us. Luckily we had the receipt. When we went to challenge this we were told it was our mistake. Eventually resolved but took a lot of discussion. Poor drainage in bathroom shower, eventually resolved. Daily program often not delivered to our cabin until 10pm or 11pm. European travellers were farewelled by the captain with a handshake while the non-Europeans exited through a different area in Venice. No water in dining rooms.....they want you to buy water!!! B2B in Venice....couldn't get off the ship for hours, no communication, huge levels of frustration from all of us. My list goes on but that's enough to add. We have an excellent Travel Manager who organised for us to meet with the local MSC state manager which we did. She seemed horrified about our experience & will give MSC our feedback. Still waiting. MSC has a good product will airfares & hotels bundled. Their itineraries are amazing. I think their bigger ships would be totally different from the small ships. MSC would need to come back to us with very good compensation for us to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that appealed to me.I have been on at least 15 cruises and I can honestly say that this particular cruise was one of the better cruises that I have been on. The food was much better overall ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that appealed to me.I have been on at least 15 cruises and I can honestly say that this particular cruise was one of the better cruises that I have been on. The food was much better overall than any other cruise that i have been on. The facilities and variety of bars and lounges to choose from was also much better as compared to other cruises. The itinerary was particularly of interest to me because I have been to India before and it gave me the opportunity to revisit some of the places that I had been to before.It also gave me the opportunity to visit Oman and Dubai - places that I have never visited before. I would have no hesitation to recommend this cruise to friends and relatives. It is a cruise that I would gladly repeat if I have the opportunity again anytime in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
* Our cabin attendant Mathew Lobo was always very happy and friendly and a great asset to the ship. * Our dining room waiters Inyoman Udiana Yasa & Andyson Anthony Manaji were always friendly & helpful with the menu and also ... Read More
* Our cabin attendant Mathew Lobo was always very happy and friendly and a great asset to the ship. * Our dining room waiters Inyoman Udiana Yasa & Andyson Anthony Manaji were always friendly & helpful with the menu and also both are a great asset to the ship * The meals in the dining room were average, a bit small in size and tasteless * The food in the buffet was a bit ordinary * We found it hard to speak to the Front Desk staff we are Australian, and they had trouble understanding us and we sure had trouble understanding them, not very helpful. * The entertainment at night time were very good. * The staff in the casino Florin & Danial were always very friendly, both are a great asset to the ship. ** We have been on MSC and found the Lirica a let down compared to our last cruise with MSC would not travel with MSC again. Been on 9 other cruise ships and Lirica would have to be the most disappointing Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise due to the amount of new boxes we were able to tick ✅ Although we’ve spent time in Dubai before this offered overnight stays in Oman and other unusual destinations. The ship has had a fairly recent refurb ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the amount of new boxes we were able to tick ✅ Although we’ve spent time in Dubai before this offered overnight stays in Oman and other unusual destinations. The ship has had a fairly recent refurb and the cabins were very compact but very well planned and practical. This is our tenth cruise and we rated it in our top three. We had a couple of slight problems on checking in to the cruise terminal when a staff member caused queue chaos by lifting a barrier and our key card didn’t have a code for the Drinks package we had pre paid but after I had raised our concerns with the Guest Relations Manager we all felt he had addressed our complaints appropriately and it didn’t spoil our trip. Although mostly French and Italians on board there was a great atmosphere and I have to say the animation team worked very hard to achieve the fun atmosphere on board. Plenty of bars with a great variety of drink options and it was good to see branded soft drinks available in cans as opposed to watered down pump alternatives, this was a big bonus for us. There was a great choice of quality wines too and I can highly recommend the drinks package. Bar staff in the Lord Nelson worked really hard and Helda from Indonesia kept our drink orders coming smoothly and speedily, she was great. Food was good in the buffet with lots of choices and great in the restaurant for evening meals although we only went 3 times. All in all I would recommend this ship as a good all rounder but we (a party of 4) especially rated the size of the ship as it wasn’t too big (we were on the Royal Caribbean Quantum of the Seas earlier this year and it’s too big and too commercial) wasn’t too small but just right and we’ve all decided to do the same trip again the same time of year if it’s on offer which is something we’ve never done before so that in itself is high praise indeed, well done MSC! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if ... Read More
Go on this cruise for the ports, not for the cruise ship experience. This should not be anyone’s first cruise. This is a cruise for adventurous, experienced cruisers. Let me explain what I mean. This is not the cruise to take if you are looking for the ultimate cruise ship experience. One of the topics that united everyone I spoke to on the ship was that the ship was, "adequate/competent" at best and to be honest, I heard a few "utilitarian" comments, It is not an over the top ship experience by any means and if that is your expectation take another ship. What makes this trip really nice however is the ports and the travelers who are attracted to this trip. The vast majority of people on the ship were confident, experienced travelers who knew how to, "Roll with the punches". You could always find a group of people who had decided to walk around the port rather than take the scheduled tour. Many of the passengers were familiar with the area and contributed information that made the trip memorable. You could typically find a group of people who had identified a museum that they really wanted to go to. People had done their research and came prepared knowing what was here to see. This is very much a "learning" cruise. There is only 1 day at sea and with the exception of Dubai and Muscat, each day is a different port. If you tire easily, take this into consideration. I like a smaller ship so the size and "vintage" experience didn't bother me. There were 3 formal nights although often people just came as they chose. The dining room seems confused in some ways. I couldn't understand some the choices that were made. For example, the after dinner coffee was eliminated from the MDR and put as part of a drink package. Why would one do this in a European market? Additionally, the traditional "Surf and turf" was cut out and made available only for an additional charge, as was a, "Steak and a glass of Barolo". Again, I wondered why? Additionally, I was kind of disappointed at the limited offering of Italian wine on a ship with Italian heritage. I was looking forward to a wider selection. Overall, I found the food to be simple, straight-forward and satisfying. I was pretty surprised at the lackadaisical attitude towards to hand sanitizers. On other ships I can remember being forbidden to enter the buffet unless I used the sanitizers. On this ship the sanitizer machines were there, but no one enforced their usage. I saw a lot of bad behavior at the buffet during breakfast, people cutting in front of the queue, it wasn't really necessary, in my opinion. Embarkation/Disembarkation was really smooth, when I arrived there was no one there and I just walked on. One thing that really bothered me was the mis-information I received about the visas. My travel agent very clearly stated that I needed visas as an american citizen and it was my responsibility to acquire them. Additionally, she indicated that the potential to be denied boarding existed if I did not have them. When I arrived at the check in desk, they just started laughing and assured me that I needed NO visas to take the cruise. I received additional confirmation of this from the Immigration officer once I got on board. This needs to be clarified. Towards the end, I became somewhat annoyed at the daily "shuttle fee" for what was a short walk. It just seemed to be necessary nickel and dimeing of the passengers. The ship spends time in Dubai. There is a free shuttle from the cruise port to the Dubai Mall in the center of the city. It stops right in front of the ship and is usually right next to the big bus location. It is marked. It is supposed to come every hour on the hour but sometimes that does not happen. The alternative is the big bus hop on hop off, but that is not free. It is very comprehensive however and you can get a nice overview of the city in the first pass. You can then hop on and hop off on the second pass. You can purchase multiple cities, (I purchased hop on/hop off for Dubai, Muscat, and Abu Dhabi together). Multiple cities will give you a discounted fare. If you are OK with the subway, I would strongly suggest using the subway instead of the big bus. If walking is not an issue the subway is cheap, fast and will give you a truly birds eye view of the city and its residents. The Dubai subway is new, clean and fast. You can get everywhere the big bus takes you on the subway; you just have to walk more. There is flea market in El-Zabeel Park on the first Saturday of every month. If you can make it, go. Dubai residents are big shoppers and the prices can get out of hand. The flea market brings you back to reality. It costs 5 dirhams to enter; either cash or you can use your subway card. If you plan to travel to the Burg Khalifa observation Deck, know that there is a sunrise viewing that includes breakfast on the weekend for the same amount of money that just the observation deck costs. You can reserve online in advance. The ship spends an overnight in Muscat. Its a good choice, although I found prices in Oman to be higher than in any other port for the same merchandise. Do not miss the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. It is a gem and has its own library dedicated to the museum which should not be missed. The one thing that became arduous is that you navigate 3 different currencies. Make sure that you know what $20.00 equals in the currency that you are dealing with before you leave the ship. Additionally, if you plan to buy silver/gold, stop at the reception desk and find out the price of the day. Everything is weighed. I would take this cruise again. Even with the warts, it was an amazing, relaxing time at a reasonable price. We were welcomed everywhere we went. I learned a great deal about a different part of the world. I met like-minded travelers who don't get ruffled at the least little thing not going as planned. I met confident travelers who have seen a lot of the world and gave really interesting perspectives. It’s not for everyone, but it’s my type of travel and I enjoyed it. Pros • small ship • experienced travelers • easy embarkation • relaxed attitude • enthusiastic crew • interesting view of a different part of the world Cons • Unanticipated shuttle expenses towards the end of the trip • Mis-information regarding visas • Confusing choices in the Main Dining room • Lack of variety of Italian wine on ship Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the exceptionally good pricing. We arrived in Venice 2 days prior to cruise embarkation to find the city Flooded. Embarkation process on 2 November was disappointing. We were asked to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and the exceptionally good pricing. We arrived in Venice 2 days prior to cruise embarkation to find the city Flooded. Embarkation process on 2 November was disappointing. We were asked to produce our passports by 4 different MSC personnel but we are not sure what valued added each person contributed if anything. Later when we were allowed to go to our cabins we got our cruise card. We had purchased a drinks package prior to embarkation(2 Months prior) but when we first tried to get a drink we were told our card was not annotated for a drinks package and so we made our first trip to the Reception Center where our cards were eventually corrected. We were travelling as a group of 30 and to MSC credit we had 5 tables together on first sitting dinner as we had requested. Guisseppe (Head Waiter) and Indra (our waiter) provided excellent service throughout the cruise but there are not enough staff in the dining room to handle the amount of customers and therefore service tended to be slow to non existent often times. One trip to the Buffet was proof that we never wanted to see that facility aGAIN. The facility was over crowded resulting in long waits to get a table. For some reason MSC only open one side of the Buffet restaurant at a time. this results in long lineups, pushy customers, line jumpers and inevitably cold food. Bar service in the Buffet seemed to be non existent unless you horse collared a waiter. Waiters seemed to believe that their only job was to collect dirty dishes. Cabins were small but well organized and clean. Cabin attendant reasonably responsive. My complaint with housekeeping is the inordinate amount of time that the housekeeping carts clogged up the narrow passageway. Although necessary with the European consist of the passengers the announcements in six languages became an annoyance. The daily program was a joke. Program was basically the same every day of the cruise. Program provided next to no port information. The info that was provided was slanted to try andd sell MSC shore excursions rather than to provide an information service.. During our visit to Aqaba the site at Petra was subject to flash flooding which caused people to be very late in returning to the buses for the return to Aqaba. MSC handled this exigency very well and the ship left Aqaba a little over 3 hours late. Our group did not use the Ship[ Shore Excursions as they were expensive. Taxis or Shared Vans resulted in costs less than half of what the shore excursions would have cost but this is typical of most cruise lines. Most of the Port calls were very interesting. The Exceptions being Sallalah and Khasab. In particular Khasab has no redeeming qualities that would make it worthy of a future stop. In my view these two stops could have been eliminated and Safaga added to the itinerary. This would have made this trip much more attractive Sadly MSC seems to focus on procedures to make it easier for the crew rather than on procedures to enhance the customer Experience. Staff shortages throughout the Customer service areas contributed greatly to the poor impressions of this ship. It is NOT likel;y that we will use MSC again and even less likely that we will recommend MSC to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise after long cancer treatment .It looked a good deal with a great itinerary. Sadly this cruise proved to be a disappointment.Although we had a lovely cabin spacious and beautifully clean the rest was a let down.After ... Read More
We chose this cruise after long cancer treatment .It looked a good deal with a great itinerary. Sadly this cruise proved to be a disappointment.Although we had a lovely cabin spacious and beautifully clean the rest was a let down.After cruising several times in the past we had high expectations .The food was boring and repetitive and not very large portions in the restaurant but the buffet restaurant was like a free for all no spare tables and the food was the same most nights.The entertainment was not good mainly the entertainment crew dancing and fooling around .The theatre had shows every night but not a lot of variation.Our itinerary sounded good but the ports of call were uninteresting and having to pay for shuttles and take taxis made it extra expense.If this had been my first cruise it would have put me off cruising but happily we have enjoyed some really good cruises this being by far the worse Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We took the msc Lirica for 7 nights med. cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and quality Italian and international cuisine. (as the brochure stated). The food was below average to poor. At the dining rooms the ... Read More
We took the msc Lirica for 7 nights med. cruise. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and quality Italian and international cuisine. (as the brochure stated). The food was below average to poor. At the dining rooms the food portions were very small, tasteless bland and luke warm, but often cold. I left most of the meals. We decided to eat at the buffet as was told food better than the dining area, but it was like being in a zoo being pushed and shoved around by people trying to get to the food! It was hectic, fast food, cafeteria, limited choice and poor quality luke warm/cold food. Chicken in parts were pink with some blood, steak was tough, stew grisly and bony, pasta pasta bland and overcooked. Breakfast the scrambled eggs tough and tasteless like cardboard, bacon strands of fat, yoghurt sweet and watery, even the italians moaned bout the food.I left the food, just picked at it to keep me alive! The meal time drink package was limited. The red wine cheap and acidy,I was told they only serve this cheap one with the package. food and wine made me ill all through the cruise. Entertainment poor and boring. Day time was boom boom boom like butlins camp. Staff unfriendly never smiled. Shuttle buses/boats not free, we didnt budget for this. last trip was dubrovnik 14 euros each the local bus was 1 euro!. What a rip off! Never again will we go on an MSC cruise esp. this one. The worst food/cruise ever. Value for money not good.DONT GO unless you want to starve or get ill! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our first cruise not with Holland America but we were soon appreciative of the comfort and luxury offered by MSC. The accommodation was excellent and the food exceeded our expectations. The itinerary both on board and the ... Read More
This was our first cruise not with Holland America but we were soon appreciative of the comfort and luxury offered by MSC. The accommodation was excellent and the food exceeded our expectations. The itinerary both on board and the excursions suited us well as we are both nearly 70 being able to relax and enjoy the leisurly days as we wanted was important. The public spaces were a little noisy but there were quiet places and all the staff were helpful and made us welcome. Embarkation in Venice could have been easier as the ship is a little way from the water taxi stop but a quick drink in one of the many comfortable lounges soon revived us. Dinning was pleasant and of a high standard, the staff really made us welcome and spoke good English making it easy for us to chat end enjoy the time spent with them. We have no hesitation in recommending the cruise on MSC Lirica and are looking forward to a repeat cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I am afraid our experience was bad firstly the majority of travellers on board were loud, and had little or no manners, the entertainment was very poor ie the music in Beverly Lounge was very loud and of poor sound quality and musically ... Read More
I am afraid our experience was bad firstly the majority of travellers on board were loud, and had little or no manners, the entertainment was very poor ie the music in Beverly Lounge was very loud and of poor sound quality and musically poor, the theatre show which was supposed to be the highlight show was dreadful as lip synch and poor dance routines was all that was offered many people along with us walked out, the guitar player in the Lord Nelson sounded if he was in agony, in another lounge the piano player was good playing to backing tracks however, he was unable to reach high notes when singing pushing the microphone away, these observations were also observed by many others who we met, overall the entertainment was of poor standard. The stateroom cabin was just about ok ie small and the toilet was not working on many occasions i reported it several times. The ship seemed to be full and we had difficulty getting sunbeds at times and there was no area to get away from the incessant loud chanting and noise coming from the pool area not at all relaxing. The food was just about all right except for crowds descending on the on the buffet at times particularly Italians who were brash and loud, the dreadful background music and the Cruise Directors loud announcements who decided meal times was best to make announcements which few could understand because of the noise level was very uncomfortable and annoying. The trips ashore were just about alright except for Dubrovnik which was vastly overcrowded because of the amount of cruise ships because of this and the heat we immediately left and went back to the ship. I have cruised before in the Caribbean with MSC Divina which was better not by much however, I would not recommend MSC based on our experience with them. Click &GO ie Edel was very good to arrange an alternative flight because of fog delay, the same happened last cruise in the Caribbean because of hurricane Erma. These are our views and many other Irish people on board. PS I would like to point out that i have played music for years and my observations would be fair if deserved. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body ... Read More
Just got back from Venice which is an amazing city. We had 7 nights on board MSC Lirica, we had an outside cabin compared to other cruise lines we have been on it was very small, the shower was so small the curtain stuck to your body which was very unpleasant. With regard to drinks we purchased the Allegrisimo drinks package which does include water, which isn't stated on the web site. Also you can get water in the buffet restaurant and also at some drink stations so don't buy the separate water package as we did it was a waste of £23. This drinks package is a must as drinks can work out quite expensive and with this you don't have to worry about the bill at the end. Food in the main restaurant in the evenings was ok but nothing special, have had better on other lines. Also don't bother taking loads of evening clothes people are very casual and on one gala night my husband and one other chap were the only people in dinner suites we felt really over dressed. There were also lots of children on this cruise running around the bars well after 10.00 in the evening (mostly Italians on board - it may have been their school holidays). We also felt that some of the public areas were not up to scratch with regard to hygiene, lots of the hand gel stations were empty. I will say that our cabin steward was very good. After the cruise we had 3 nights stay in Mestre, Aaron Hotel, not very good at all not in a very safe area and rooms are very small, although they are clean. We are looking forward to our next cruise but it will not be with this line. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2010
This is our second [AND LAST!!!] cruise with MSC, but we have taken over 3 dozen cruises, all told. First let's start with your review of the ship: nothing is prepared at tableside-not risotto, nothing. Their only claim to fame, is ... Read More
This is our second [AND LAST!!!] cruise with MSC, but we have taken over 3 dozen cruises, all told. First let's start with your review of the ship: nothing is prepared at tableside-not risotto, nothing. Their only claim to fame, is the pasta made for lunch outside every day. But I digress: let's start with the children. We were told [by staff] that kids are free and they were everywhere. Usually not a problem, except these yelled, screamed, cried & carried on with no control from their parents [or anyone else (again told by staff they were 'Italian')], literally all day long. Smoking=know we were in Europe [we were actually there a week before the cruise], but passengers ignored smoking restrictions everywhere, they smoked whenever and wherever they wanted=again no help from MSC. Rudeness was rampant-things are different in Europe, but this seemed more than usual, cutting in on lines, in the elevators, etc. The food was mediocre, at best. Almost all the buffets were cold by the time you got to them. Service was almost nonexistent-waiters forgot food, who got what, to bring what was requested, to ask if your meal was good [and there was little supervision of help]. Service [LACK OF IT] seemed the order of the cruise. The employees attitude seemed to be 'not my job' and I can't/won't help you. Example-if you didn't take a ship's excursion, you were not supplied with any inforamtion about the port you were in, none. And if you asked, were told I don't know. Instead of trying to be helpful, the crew was actually an obstacle; shops didn't wait on you, etc. The crusie staff seemed more interested in talking among themselves, than serving the passengers. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2009
My wife and I, both retirees, have taken more than thirty cruises but this was our first cruise with MSC. We decided to take this cruise at short notice and selected the Lirica because of the itinerary and the price. Had I read the reviews ... Read More
My wife and I, both retirees, have taken more than thirty cruises but this was our first cruise with MSC. We decided to take this cruise at short notice and selected the Lirica because of the itinerary and the price. Had I read the reviews before booking the cruise I might have had second thoughts. But it was too late to cancel so we decided to hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. As it was, it turned out to be one of our most enjoyable cruises. Embarkation was swift and problem free and we were pleasantly surprised by the friendly welcome with which we were greeted. At disembarkation we were part of a large group of passengers who elected to carry off their own luggage. There was some congestion around the gangway which might easily have been avoided if the group had been divided into two or more sub-groups. However, this was no more than a minor glitch in what was otherwise a smooth process. All the reviews that I had read before boarding the ship, even the most negative ones, commented on the cleanliness of the ship. We fully agree with this assessment and found the Lirica to be amongst the cleanest ships that we have ever sailed on. The housekeeping department deserves the highest praise. Since we tend to spend so little time in our cabin we usually select an inside cabin. This time we were on deck nine about two thirds on the way toward the rear of the ship. The cabin was about standard size for an inside cabin, spotlessly clean with adequate storage space. It took us a while to find the safe which was concealed behind the mirror. As on other ships the bathroom was small but this one had the smallest shower stall that we have ever seen. My wife and I are both on the small side and felt confined by the space. It would have been a problem for someone verging on the obese side. Before moving on I must note that we experience a vibration in our cabin. This was rather surprising since we were at least nine decks above the engine room. It did not bother me but my wife found it to be annoying. As an ex-smoker cigarette smoke does not bother me but my wife is allergic to second hand smoke. Consequently, we were pleased to find that smoking was restricted to certain areas of the ship and that these restrictions were generally well observed. The one exception that we found was on the pool deck where some passengers either could not distinguish the port side of the ship (smoking allowed) from the starboard side (smoking prohibited), or chose to ignore the regulations. This was just a minor annoyance but one that might be eased if no smoking signs were prominently displayed (in six languages) for all to see. My wife and I both enjoy dancing and we were pleased to find three lounges that offered dance music as well as other lounges that provided music for listening. There was also a disco for the younger crowd. We found some of the dance music to be repetitive and uninspiring and we have danced to more lively groups on other cruises. The Los Paraguayos were among the better groups but they were scheduled to play only one session in the Cabaret Lounge. We would have liked to see more of them. There was very little in the way of verbal interaction with the audience and the musicians did not solicit requests from the dancers. This was probably due to a language barrier. But this is just a minor complaint and one that did not distract from our enjoyment. The shows in the Broadway Theater were magnificently staged and costumed and on a par, if not superior to presentations that we have seen on other ships. Because they catered to a multi-lingual audience the content of the shows relied mainly on dance, music, acrobatics, and illusions for entertainment and, in our opinion, they were eminently successful in doing so. The eight members of the recreation staff were an energetic and engaging group and amongst the best that we have seen. They seemed to truly enjoy what they were doing and their enjoyment carried over to audience participation. As an added benefit, and one that we have rarely seen on other ships, they acted as dance hosts and hostesses during evening hours in the Lirica Lounge. This was a real benefit to the unattached guests and gave them a chance to dance. So far, so good. But now for the downside. I had read the comments of other reviewers who described menu selections as being a hit or miss affair. In our experience the misses beat the hits by a fairly large margin. I will not go into an itemized description of the culinary disasters for if I did this account would run to several pages. Management clearly needs to look into this and take some corrective action. The problem is not confined to the kitchen staff alone. The wait staff overlooked some very basic principles of service that had nothing to do with language barriers. They failed to bring the appropriate condiments with the food, did not ask if you wanted a refill of your coffee or some additional bread with your meal, and seemed to rush through dinner service as though anxious the see the back of you. Now despite all that, here is the strange thing. After completing our last meal and making the usual complaints about the food, I asked our table companions whether knowing what they know now, would they take this cruise again and, without hesitation, they all said yes. So, my recommendations to the reader of this review is that if you expect good quality food then stay away from MSC cruises. But if you are willing to put up with some less than perfect food and want to have an enjoyable cruise at a decent price then go with it. We did and we would gladly do it again. Read Less
MSC Lirica Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 3.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.2
Enrichment 3.0 2.8
Service 4.0 3.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.4
Rates 3.0 3.8

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