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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have Been on about 6 cruises, worldwide and Mediterranean using RCL, NCL, Princess, and Celebrity. We opted for this 3 night MSC cruise really to test the water and if we liked it go further on a longer voyage another time. ... Read More
We have Been on about 6 cruises, worldwide and Mediterranean using RCL, NCL, Princess, and Celebrity. We opted for this 3 night MSC cruise really to test the water and if we liked it go further on a longer voyage another time. Embarkation was a breeze just walked on , we think this was because not all passengers embark the same day as this cruise has passengers get on at most ports it stops at . Cabin was best we have had very fresh and a good size for an inside . We were offered an all inclusive drink package when we boarded and at 26E each per day we decided to partake ! We were given early dinner sitting which was 7 pm , the meals were nicely presented but not large portions but adequate for our needs. To wrap up best points on ship Clean fresh Ship Fab Entertainment / Deck dancing Easy to find your way around Service fine although not outstanding Value for money Enjoyed Cruising with all Europeans nice crowd Minus points Only that dinner was probably not quite as good as other ships but for the price we paid very good All in all we will definitely try the MSC Cruise line again and are pleased we gave them a try as some reviews are awful on here Give them a go Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise for its Baltic itinerary and decided to indulge in the Aurea experience. MSC ships (as seen on AWE Dream Cruises) are beautifully decorated and quite well maintained. Cabins were clean and well attended to. Most of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its Baltic itinerary and decided to indulge in the Aurea experience. MSC ships (as seen on AWE Dream Cruises) are beautifully decorated and quite well maintained. Cabins were clean and well attended to. Most of the nightly shows were entertaining but there are few other interesting activities offered and the handful of movies available in your cabin cost 7e each. If you don't buy a drinking package, your only option is tap water after breakfast. We have been on MANY cruises with Holland America, Princess and NCL and we enjoyed the food offered at the buffets or restaurants until this MSC cruise. The chef should be shot or, better yet, forced to eat the low quality concoctions he prepared 3 meals a day for 11 days. How many folks eat pork necks, ox tails or venison stew? Pasta and pizza on this Italian line were disgraceful. Also, the ship had a very annoying mechanical vibration that traveled all the up to our cabin on deck 15 that we've never before experienced. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We have just returned from an 11 night port intensive Baltic cruise on Orchestra and I have to admit we went with limited expectations after reading previous reviews. A little background and context first which I think is important when ... Read More
We have just returned from an 11 night port intensive Baltic cruise on Orchestra and I have to admit we went with limited expectations after reading previous reviews. A little background and context first which I think is important when reading these reviews: We are in our early 50’s and have mainly sailed with Royal Caribbean, Princess and Oceania. Our Diamond status on R.C. allowed us to get matching Black status prior to booking. We flew from Edinburgh to Berlin and caught the train to Warnemunde in Northern Germany where we spent an overnight before boarding. Warnemunde is a pleasant seaside resort with upmarket shops and restaurants and a fine sandy beach next to a wide promenade area. The weather was so good we got to paddle in the sea! The hotel we booked was a convenient 10 minute walk to the ship, although they need to do something about the underpass at the train station which has no lift facility for heavy cases. We went to the terminal around 1pm where the embarkation process consisted of leaving your cases with MSC staff at one end of the terminal and proceeding inside for registration and security. The whole process took 15 minutes until we were on the ship. Probably the quickest anywhere so far. We got into our cabin about 1.30pm and our luggage arrived about 3pm. Your cruise card is within your unlocked cabin on arrival which was unusual for us and you then register a credit card at a terminal for all onboard spend. We booked one of the Aurea Suites onboard and were happy with the space provided. They are similar in size to a Junior suite on R.C. or mini suite on Princess with a bath/shower combination and a decent sized balcony on deck 15. There is a large walk in cupboard and a separate unit with shelves. A large safe is provided behind the mirror and a decent sized fridge is located in further cupboard space below the T.V. The décor was bright and colourful and well maintained. The main benefit was that it came with a decent drinks package included and access to the thermal area on deck 13 for the full duration of the cruise which included 2 x steam rooms, 2 x sauna’s and 3 jacuzzi hot tubs. We also each got a 50 minute massage of our choice during the cruise although finding available booking space proved difficult as many had got on the day before in Copenhagen and got there first! Everything was clean and in working order and when we had a problem with a sewage smell in the toilet one day it was fixed by the time we came back onboard and a bottle of wine and chocolate strawberries were waiting with an apology. They also did a follow up visit to ensure all was well. The ship, now 11 years old, looked in great condition. No signs of rust anywhere including the front of the ship near the anchor. The lounges, bars and restaurants were also well maintained. We had anytime dining which allowed us to move the time around depending on the port days and was of benefit. The food, in my opinion, was of a similar standard to R.C. but my wife thought it better as it had a more European flair with lots of fish dishes, and a couple of theme nights. The Lasagne and the Moussaka get special mention! The buffet restaurant was always crowded and again the food was on a par with other mainstream cruise lines. We had a free dinner at the only speciality restaurant onboard, which had a Chinese/Japanese style of food. It was interesting trying new foods but we both agreed we would rather have had a Steakhouse on board! With having so many nationalities onboard the entertainment was mainly variety style shows {songs from the musicals, some cabaret and a Brit night} with a mixture of Opera singing and acrobatics also. The cruise director made announcements in 5 languages each time but kept things brief. On that subject whilst there were a few issues with queue jumping from certain nationalities everyone seemed to get along and have a good time and this was the most varied cruise we have been on for age as there were a good number of children, young families, couples, family groups and seniors all mixed in. The itinerary meant lots of early rises and a few late returns as well as the overnight in St. Petersburg. Our first stop was the town of Visby on the Island of Gotland in the Baltic sea, owned by Sweden. We walked about 20 minutes into town and explored the medieval streets for a few hours. We also found a great coffee shop with excellent cake! The weather threatened rain most of the time and then delivered as we were walking back but nice to have seen the place for a few hours. On to Gdynia in Poland for a full day. We booked in advance with a local guide who picked us up at the port {which was actually a coal terminal!} and drove us to the main sights in Gdynia, Sopot and Gdansk. We enjoyed this trip very much and were surprised by how much effort had gone into rebuilding Gdansk and transforming it into the medieval town once again. Lithuania was next and proved to be a disappointment. The town of Klaipeda held little interest and we wish we had booked an excursion and done something else. Thankfully it was only a half day and the weather was good so we made use of the top 16 sun deck in the afternoon and sampled some of the drinks and cocktails on the drinks package! Next day was one of the highlights- Tallinn in Estonia. Great weather and walked the 15 minutes to the city walls and spent a day exploring the streets within. Amazing architecture and colours along with nice street café’s and quaint little shops in people’s houses. Would go back anytime and recommend doing this on your own if no walking issues as no need for an excursion or guide. Save your money for the next two days! Two days in St. Petersburg. The cherry on the cake for most Baltic cruises. We booked with a private tour, as did many of our fellow cruisers, for 2 full days of covering the main sights. Picked up 830am first day and didn’t get back onto the ship until 8pm. Dinner and bed before 745am start next day and tour finished about 6pm. Highlights for me were Peterhof Palace and Church on spilled blood. My wife loves art so this had been a dream for her to see all the insides of the churches, palaces etc. The city was not as picturesque as I thought it would be but we certainly saw plenty. A half day in Helsinki was a good way of unwinding after some busy days. It was a beautiful day so we walked along the coast through the parks into the main city and spent a few hours exploring before retracing our steps to the ship. Stockholm was next, and we took the shuttle bus into the city and again explored on our own for most of the day. Had been here before many years ago and loved the old part and the parks to enjoy the good weather. Finally a day at sea to rest. Weather not great so no sunbathing but caught up on some spa time! Last stop Copenhagen. Lots of people disembarking but we took the shuttle bus into the city and went to Tivoli Gardens as we had been to Copenhagen a few years ago on a city break in early spring and it had been closed. Nice place but not really impressed at the high cost of entry just to see some gardens. Walked around the main sights after that and returned on the shuttle bus. One of our few complaints about M.S.C. is that they seem to dock the ship in out of the way ports, some distance from the centre of places when there are other alternatives available. They then try and charge you for a shuttle into the centre that should not have been required or should be free. We tried to avoid this but at Stockholm and Copenhagen the walk in was too far with no other alternative. Returned to a wet Warnemunde and disembarked around 9am. We were allowed to stay in the cabin until 2 hours after docking as per black card benefit so could have been there until 10am if required. Taxi to Rostock station and train to Berlin for a couple of days before flying home. M.S.C. proved to be a well run main stream cruise line. The ship was beautiful to look at both inside and outside with the Savannah lounge being a particular highlight. Food was decent to good and when we felt the portions were a bit on the small side we just asked and got more. Aurea package well worth the money and all crew we dealt with were polite and helpful. With so many new ships on order and M.S.C. looking to expand their destinations I will be adding them to the list to look out for in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
MSC Orchestra – Baltic Cruise Review August 2018 11 Nights – Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark We arrived at the terminal in Copenhagen at approximately 12:45pm, we were the ... Read More
MSC Orchestra – Baltic Cruise Review August 2018 11 Nights – Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Lithuania, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark We arrived at the terminal in Copenhagen at approximately 12:45pm, we were the only people in the priority embarkation queue and were on board within a couple of minutes. I had completed the on-line check in, complete with pictures but we still had new ones taken. We were advised that our cabin was ready, Aurea Suite 15013, we headed straight to our cabin. Very impressed with the cabin, very spacious and a lot of storage space. We did experience some early morning noise from the Top 16 above, normally we would sleep through but were always up early for excursions. If you are a light sleeper this may impact on you. After dropping off our cabin bags we set off to explore the ship. We had not previously sailed on this class of ship and liked the more intimate feel of some of the areas. All of the ship was very well presented and immaculately clean, as we have found MSC ships to be. We headed to explore the buffet for lunch, a great selection of food, a good variety and delicious pizza as always. It was quite quiet, and we had no issues with seating, later in the cruise we did experience the usual crowds and difficulty obtaining a table a couple of times during the peak lunchtime rush. The weather was warm and pleasant, so we headed to the Top 16 solarium. A very nice space which felt larger than others we’ve used. Although there are no whirlpools on this one. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to use the area as much as we’d hoped due to experiencing some quite windy conditions. Prior to our cruise I’d read a few reviews which were not very positive about the food on board so we headed off to dinner with a degree of trepidation. We had MyChoice dining in L’Ibiscus. I’m pleased to say we were delighted with the food for the duration of the cruise. All of our dishes were well cooked, well presented and most importantly hot. One of the main complaints previously experienced. Food isn’t ever, just out of the oven piping hot but it wasn’t luke warm, and I do personally have an issue with food not being hot enough. The staff were wonderful, very attentive and the service we received was excellent. It did feel the busiest MyChoice dining area we’ve experienced as on 2 evenings we did have to wait outside in the bar (not a great hardship) but there was at least a 15 minute wait, which we’ve never experienced previously. We had the classic drinks package and only had the 2 red wines offered, a Merlot and a Cabernet Sauvignon. Palatable but not exceptional. We went to the MDR for lunch on only one occasion, we found it odd sharing a table with another group and all ordering at different times. My least favourite meal and the slowest service of the cruise. We always had breakfast in the cabin, the earliest time for delivery is 7.30am but as we had many early starts on this cruise we added a note to ask for an earlier delivery and were very happy to find that our requested was met. I’ll caveat my views on the On- Board entertainment, we aren’t people who need to be entertained and anything interactive and we run for the hills. We know from experience the Aft lounge, the Shaker Lounge on Orchestra, is a livelier more interactive experience and we therefore didn’t venture in. The other lounges had a combination of singers and an instrumental group in the lobby. All of which were pretty good, we decided we liked Pepe in the La Cantinella wine bar best and usually headed there post dinner. The bar staff in there were delightful and added to our experience greatly. We didn’t make it to any of the shows on this trip, we either weren’t ready for the early show or were still at dinner for the late show. From speaking to fellow passengers they sounded pretty standard MSC shows. We had booked our included massages for our last but one day, we were in Stockholm, we’ve visited on land based holiday and decided not to visit on this trip but have a relaxation day. It was a port intensive cruise and thought we’d need time to relax. We had a couples Bali massage, which was nice but not as enjoyable as others I’ve had. Immediately after it was complete the masseuse did try to sell us another massage. Now, I expect this but they do usually wait until after you leave the treatment room and this did detract slightly from the experience. We spent the next few hours in the spa using the steam room, whirlpools and relaxation area. It’s probably the most we’ve used the Spa area, we were the only people in there and it was a very nice environment. We had the misfortune of needing to use the Medical Centre, DH was bitten by something on our first day in St Petersburg, on the second day his hands and arms started to swell badly, turn a very funny colour and were unbearably itchy. It was very unpleasant and quite scary. You could see the poison spreading I’ll spare you the photo’s but it was very bad. In Russia you can’t go anywhere alone so we waited until after our excursion ended and visited the ship Dr. Obviously you’d rather avoid needing the Medical Centre but they were excellent. Sadly, the time came we had to disembark, we were assigned the first disembarkation time of 8.30am, we were a few minutes late arriving and everyone had already left. We just proceeded to the exit, our luggage was waiting and unfortunately our cruise had ended. The itinerary was fantastic, we packed a lot in with excursions and trips so it was a very intensive experience but one we enjoyed. The ship and all of the staff were fabulous, we are looking forward to sailing on her again next year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Before I start my review, I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 21, so I am well familiar with European customs etc. My husband and I enjoy cruising. We have sailed ... Read More
Before I start my review, I’d like to share a little background about myself. I was born in Germany and lived there until I was 21, so I am well familiar with European customs etc. My husband and I enjoy cruising. We have sailed on Royal, Disney, Carnival, Celebrity and Norwegian. We chose the 7-Day Northern European Cruise on MSC Opera because of itinerary and price. Embarkation and Disembarkation Easy, fast and comfortable. We enjoyed having beverages available when getting on the ship. The MSC tents and flags were a cute touch. Cabin Compact and very clean. Our interior cabin was located on the 14th floor. Very convenient to the pool and bar area. Cabin service was done in the mornings and evenings. Our steward did a wonderful job. Storage space was just enough. Luggage could be stored under the bed. The shower is very compact and might not be comfortable for larger guests. Shower gel and Shampoo are available in the shower. In-Room-Dining We opted for the Fantastica Experience, which includes complimentary In-Room-Dining. We ordered coffee, croissants and juice every morning. All was delivered on time and fresh & delicious. Breakfast We truly enjoyed breakfast in the Main Dining Room every day. In addition to a menu, which features the same items daily (eggs benedict, pancakes, waffles etc.) there is also a buffet. The buffet features the best bread selection we have encountered at sea, European breakfast meats and cheeses, fresh fruit etc. On the hot side there is a omelet station, a daily selection of potatoes, sausages and scrambled eggs. Coffee is being served at the table. At times coffee service can be a little slow. In addition to the Main Dining Room, breakfast is also offered at the buffet, plus there is a gluten free option in one of the coffee bars. Nice touch. Lunch For lunch we stuck with the buffet. There was always a wide selection of dishes available catering to the multicultural guests on this sailing. A variety of burgers and pizzas were offered as well. The salad bar was just wonderful and we also enjoyed the pre-made delicious little sandwiches. We found the food to be tasty and fresh. Beverage service was once again a little slow. Dinner We loved our daily dinner experience, which was truly European. Our service team was very friendly and efficient. By dinner night #2 they already had our drinks waiting for us. Water service is included if you booked your cruise through the US. Otherwise you will have to purchase drinks, including water, coffee or tea. The food selection changed daily and was always interesting and delicious. Definitely not what you would find on American lines. Dishes included lamb, veal and of course pasta and risotto. Bread was once again outstanding, so were the desserts. Dinner is a very relaxed affair, so expect to dine for 2+ hours. Families and friends gathered over food, wine and cocktails and truly seemed to enjoy themselves. So did we. Note that beer and wine are available in the dining room. If you prefer a cocktail, make sure to bring it with you. Bar Service Here things get a little interesting. Bar orders need to be placed with the cocktail waiters, not the bartenders. We wish we would have known this from the beginning. The moment we figured this out it was easy. Cocktails were well presented, tasty and appropriately strong. All coffees were wonderful. The wine and beer selection was nice and of great quality and value. We loved the little nibbles, like chips, nuts or olives, which were served alongside our beverages. Very nice, high end touch. Entertainment We were thrilled not to be bombarded with the Electric Slide, Hip Hop etc. on a daily basis. Pool music was more chill. There were daily games in the morning hours. For the rest of the day guests were able to entertain themselves. No hairy chest contests etc. What a relief! Daily shows were Vegas style and consisted of dancers, acrobats and singers. They were very enjoyable and always had one or two breathtaking moments. Think upscale variety show. Live music was offered in all lounges. Genres definitely catered to music popular in the 80s in Europe. It would have been nice if one of the lounges would have offered a little fresher take on music. The disco is a beautiful space, but was visited very little. Spa Only disappointment of the trip. Appointments cannot be made pre-cruise, so we made one the moment we got on the ship. The spa doctor seemed a little flighty and actual made our appointment for the wrong date. When we showed for the appointment we thought we had, we were told it was not available. The staff tried to help and was able to get us in for an hour later. When we showed back up our couples massage room was given away by accident. Again, the staff tried to help and was able to create a make shift space for us. The massages were good and the staff was nice, but after the initial experience it was hard to relax. We will not use MSC Spa services again. Overall We would go back on a MSC Cruise in a heartbeat. (we are actually already booked for one to go to Cuba this December.) If you enjoy a true European experience, with people from all over the world, this might be the right fit for you. If you are expecting to find the same as on Carnival, Royal etc. you will probably be disappointed and frustrated, as food, beverages, entertainment and service are different and you will not be surrounded by English speakers at all times. We found the MSC Orchestra to be in top shape. It was very clean and well maintained. The pool deck, including pools, was deep cleaned almost every night. Hopefully this review is helpful to some. We are looking forward to our next adventure on MSC. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Overall... we were quite happy with the cruise. Our expectations were low based on the bad reviews. But although u can't compare food wise to other cruises like Carnival (no lobster night!)... it wasn't that bad. Some nights it was even ... Read More
Overall... we were quite happy with the cruise. Our expectations were low based on the bad reviews. But although u can't compare food wise to other cruises like Carnival (no lobster night!)... it wasn't that bad. Some nights it was even excellent. Cabin and steward quality is about the same. Waiter was good as well... allowed us to order what we wanted... short of lobsters of course. Didn't like that the "always available" back up menu was grill fish of the day (which we had doubts of the freshness) and chicken breast. Boring. Medium steaks came out almost raw on the 2nd night. Other than that... it was fine in the main dining room. Don't get why people feedback that MDR food was bland. It was ok. The whipped potatoes had little taste...but was easily enhanced when we added a small cube of butter. Other than that... salt and pepper is always available. Overall, 9 out of our 11 nights... the food is good to excellent. Buffet was a let down... especially for dinner. I don't mind breakfast serving same items every day... we ate what we liked anyway. Lunch had good indian food selection which added decent variety but dinner was outright pathetic with less than half of what is available for lunch... truly unexpected. Guess they expected everyone to go to MDR for dinner. Pizza and burgers available were not remotely comparable to Carnival's... and nearly inedible for me. There was also much limited variety and quantity of activities available on board... which we did not mind cause it was a port intensive cruise. The main shows in the evenings... when there were the standard singers, all stars dancers and acrobats were very good. However... we hated that 4 of the shows were opera singing based. Gosh... perhaps its just not for us. The older European folks seems to enjoy them though. The ship in general wasn't as well maintained.... in my view. Lifts had flickering lights for days, which was unacceptable, and they had problems with maintaining the temperature in the showers and the Jacuzzi. But overall... if the itinerary and price is right... we won't mind cruising with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for the wonderful itinerary and the fact that MSC doesn't charge for infants like other cruise lines do. The itinerary was the Baltic/Northern Europe. The embarkation was amazing - walked right on board and we had ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the wonderful itinerary and the fact that MSC doesn't charge for infants like other cruise lines do. The itinerary was the Baltic/Northern Europe. The embarkation was amazing - walked right on board and we had showed up early for the embarkation. We did not take any of the ships excursions - booked a Shore Trip excursion for Russia and either did the shuttle or walk offs for the rest of the ports. The ship was lovely however the food was just ok. Much prefer Princess and Royal Carribean - especially the desserts. The announcements were very long as they were done in 6 languages each time - went to only 2 shows at night and the same issue there with announcements etc. I understand that they cater to a large range of nationalities so it is understanding. Missed having comedy shows etc. because of the language issue. The staff were generally very helpful - would do an MSC again if travelling with children only. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise based strictly on itinerary and price. It was our first (and last) cruise with MSC. With many cruises under our belts, this was one of the worst, ranking it slightly below NCL. A few positives: This is a very port ... Read More
We chose this cruise based strictly on itinerary and price. It was our first (and last) cruise with MSC. With many cruises under our belts, this was one of the worst, ranking it slightly below NCL. A few positives: This is a very port intensive cruise, with only 1 sea day and 8 ports (2 days in St. Petersburg) on an 11 day itinerary. Best ports were St. Petersburg, Tallin, and Stockholm, in our opinion, so we were not disappointed with the itinerary. The other thing you could view as positive is that there was horrible noise in the walls from the a/c system that occurred every 60-90 seconds that made it difficult to sleep in the inside cabin we booked (#9088) and when we brought it to the attention of reception, they did relocate us to a balcony cabin. Passengers from North America accustomed to U.S. cruise lines may find the overall experience is much different on MSC, as most of the passengers are European (70% on our cruise were German) so don't expect announcements or lectures in English. Lots of smokers on board, one side of pool deck dedicated to smoking area. People were smoking in their cabins, although this is forbidden. It may have been worth it to them to pay the 70 euro cleaning fee. Most passengers were retirees, typical of European cruises. The negatives: Food: Buffet food - same breakfast every day, very limited desserts offered at lunch and dinner, poor quality meat (stews had meat with bones). The layout of the buffet is inefficient, with narrow spaces and large, useless columns to navigate around. Extra charge for fresh orange juice. Only drinks offered free were water, coffee and tea. At Breakfast, there was juice from the drink machine. The buffet area seemed to be kept pretty clean. Dining Room: Service extremely slow, food mediocre, noisiest dining room on a ship we ever experienced, so much so that it was difficult to carry on a conversation with your table mates. Servers were constantly dropping silverware, and sometimes plates. We went to the dining room once for breakfast, and sat there 10 minutes before we had to go find a waiter to take our order. Port docking: though we have seen it occasionally before, at EVER PORT we went to, you had to pay MSC for a shuttle bus into town at a cost of 9-15 euros pp. We saw other ships in port that had much better docking locations, so perhaps MSC doesn't want to pay for a closer dock and make money on shuttles. The buses provided had no a/c (it was unseasonably warm the entire trip) with temps inside reaching 90 degrees. Guess MSC didn't want to pay for a nicer bus with a/c. Entertainment: Typical production shows at night. Nothing to do during the day onboard except dance lessons. With only 1 sea day, this wasn't much of an issue. Tiny TV's in cabins with no in room movies, which most US cruise lines offer. Embarkation: We got on and off in Warnemunde, pretty painless procedure, however there were long lines getting back on the ship at each port, many times they only had 1 gangway. When we first embarked the ship, our cabin steward was nowhere to be found (usually they are around to great you when you get on) and didn't show up until around 8pm. Reception desk did not answer the phone for the most part. Excursions: we did not book any excursions through MSC, people we spoke to that did had mixed reviews. The glass around the pool deck was FILTHY and not cleaned the entire time. Tiny elevators compared to other ships. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
The cruise was excellent. I must admit I was a little uneasy about the cruise line given some other reviews I had seen, but decided to go ahead as the price was very affordable. We certainly had a great experience. The ship was ... Read More
The cruise was excellent. I must admit I was a little uneasy about the cruise line given some other reviews I had seen, but decided to go ahead as the price was very affordable. We certainly had a great experience. The ship was beautiful; our cabin (ocean view) was spacious compared to some cruise lines and taken care of very well. The shows/ entertainment were also very good; this was unexpected given our prior experience on a different cruise line. Drinks/ bars also very nice. Food good-some meals better than others, but no significant difference in quality from other cruise lines. The main issue prior reviewers raised was regarding drink prices/packages. I was concerned as we were given 1drink coupon a day per person and had read that water and juice needed a coupon ( or else pay for). The fine print however was that for non Caribbean cruises booked via US included bottled water at no charge. Juice at breakfast also was included/free. Given this, we actually had drink coupons left over! Overall everyone was very pleased with the cruise and I would certainly use this line again Can’t comment on shore excursions as we went out on our own, but did use shuttle service which worked out well Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I read horrible reviews prior to my trip, but I still signed on because the ports were enticing and the price was right. To begin, getting any sort of help online prior to travel was impossible. No one responded to emails or chat ... Read More
I read horrible reviews prior to my trip, but I still signed on because the ports were enticing and the price was right. To begin, getting any sort of help online prior to travel was impossible. No one responded to emails or chat requests. Luckily some members of our group were able to take the time to call the MSC help desk. I prefer to do everything online and MSC is not set up to handle that type of business. The transfer from Milan was excellent. Great staff, no issues there! Embarkation was a bit messier. There were multiple stations to hit, but there was no welcome feeling and we didn't really know what was happening from desk to desk. As someone else mentioned, the lifeboat drill was not on time and not organized. I honestly wish I had just signed in and walked away, but my conscience wouldn’t allow me to do that. It was a waste of a good hour of ship time. The first night of dinner, in the myChoiceDining area, our server was so horrible, half our group didn't come back to dinner. When our friends inquired about their drink order, he said, "give me a minute!" He handed us our plates instead of setting them down. He told us to "Make Room" for additional plates on the table. He gave us grief for wanting to order additional entrees to share with the table and then delivered them all at once when we clearly didn’t have the space for them. And finally, he wanted us to order our dessert with our entrees, which was very unusual. The second night we requested a new server and told the hostess that our previous waiter was terrible and she just said ok. Our new server was wonderful and we went back to him every night! As someone else mentioned, breakfast in the dining room was buffet or a la carte. Our server didn’t seem to want to take our order or serve anything. As it turns out, we shouldn’t have ordered. The waffles looked to be frozen waffles and the fruit was definitely thawed out. We never went back to breakfast in the dining room. The buffet breakfast wasn’t very enticing either, so we stuck to yogurts, fruit and breads. Others in our party complained about the lines and chaos in the buffet, but I’ve seen that on other large ships as well. Our dinner server would actually help us find our family or find a table if the others hadn’t arrived yet. To me, that’s good service! The ports were all amazing, but I will say, there should be more organization as there was a tremendous line in Barcelona to re-board the ship. With such short port times, it should be assumed everyone will come back at once and staffing should be there to cover the busy times. On Saturday, upon arrival in Cherbourg, there was a line of people waiting to get off the ship, an hour after we were entitled to disembark... when suddenly the staff started moving props to another deck. Had I not asked, I would not have been told that there was a problem with the gangway and we needed to go to another deck. The lack of communication for that was disappointing, along with the loss of an hour in port, with no apology that I’m aware of. On approximately deck 10 rear, we ran into worker smoking in a very small area that isn't a smoking area. Completely inappropriate. Speaking of smoking, half of the pool deck as well as another half of the walking track are smoking areas. I had to do laps on only one side of deck 7 (the walking track). The casino is also a smoking area and completely infected the entrance to the theater. We were told there were 50 nationalities onboard, so yes, the announcements were made in 6 languages, which can be long, but who’s to decide which ones to cut? Not me. In the reception line, one poor employee was unable to help so many guests, so it’s clear not all guests speak English and multiple announcements are needed. I do feel investing in translators for staff would be helpful, at least at the reception desk. In general the service was inconsistent. Some days, you got the nicest bartenders. Other days, they were downright nasty. The cruise staff was awesome! Great group of people in that crew! Read Less
MSC Orchestra Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 3.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.8
Service 3.0 3.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.3
Rates 4.0 3.9

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