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MSC Bellissima Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
109 Reviews

MSC - A huge disappointed - BEWARE!

MSC Bellissima Cruise Review by awat

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2020
  • Destination: the Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

We are highly disappointed and feel cheated out of our money. I feel like MSC should’ve canceled the cruise due to coronavirus outbreak as we didn’t visit any ports outside of UAE. I refuse to believe that MSC did not know this ahead of time. We stayed at sea most of time and basically cruised from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. We disembarked early in Dubai as we simply could not take being on the ship anymore due to poor service, horrible food, nickel and diming for everything, nd lack of activities. We truly feel we should receive a discount/partial refund due to not being able to visit any of the ports. We’ve traveled on several of the main stream cruise lines internationally and this is by far the worst experience ever that makes me say I may not ever cruise again.

The staff on board was rude, told lies, and not empowered to make any concessions on the ship to help guests. When we asked what was required to disembark early, they tried to have us sign a full release and we refused. Then tried to bully us into signing or that we couldn’t get off the ship. The staff was very arrogant and ignorant and I basically told them that they aren’t legal experts to interpret a document for me when I am versed and deal with legal contracts all the time.

Excursions are overpriced on the ship. You can get them cheaper elsewhere. MSC will cancel on you for any reason but if you want to cancel the staff will say they cancelled it but did not then when you check back in, they lie and say you didn’t cancel and now you are within the 48 hour window and cannot cancel. This after we said we would disembark early and we were told all of our activities have been cancelled since we will depart the ship.

The only accolades I can give is for the condition of the cruise ship, the gym, the Butcher’s Cut steakhouse, and a few key staff like Rupawantara - waiter, Kumar – waiter, John – Karoke and entertainment, Alexander Lobo – host, who helped make things ok wh

Drink package – if You don’t buy some package you don’ have any beverage that is free except in the buffet require purchase. We bought a drink package but still was limited. It is limited to 10 Euro. The package can’t be used at many of the stores/cafes on the ship – ex chocolate store/ café, champagne bar doesn’t have anything under 18 a glass. They charged our friends for tap water which is free on other ships. The drink card can’t be used in the Cirque du Soleil theatre. You have to buy your drinks there. Speciality drinks are also not covered even if below 10 euro a drink. The drink card can’t be used in the theatre. You have to buy your drinks there. Drinks are watered down so we ordered straight liquor to get our money’s worth.

Dining –

The buffet/marketplace is absolutely horrible. Food is not available all day. The food was very bland and not at all international standards. Even the pizza, hamburgers were sub-par. Fries were the best thing on the ship if not inside the specialty restaurants.

The main dining each night was hit or miss. The surroundings were elegant and nice and the menus change every day, but the food was often less than delightful as well. We often had to try more than one dish and then just give up and go get fries from the buffet. We were literally hungry the entire cruise and everyone we met made a similar comment.

Service on the ship is bad. You get a different explanation or different information from each person. I even asked to speak with a manager several Times. One time I got a lady named Ana S. She totally lied to me and said we did not have a conversation. The crew will cut in front of the passengers as if we aren’t there. Customer service was non existent. On other cruises, on exiting for an excursion, someone would be on the jetty providing directions to where you needed to go, offering you water or just being available in case you needed to ask a question. None of that existed for MSC.


The entertainment was a joke. There was one good band with a female lead other than that nothing that catered to different tastes and interests. In one bar singers had to read from sheets on music stands. The band in the karoke bar missed more notes than children. The theatre shows were hit or miss. Cirque was really good but the dinner and drinks that went with it were laughable and misleading and again not part of the beverage package. If you got the show and drinks only, it was some pre made watered down beverages. So I pay for drinks and can’t even select the drink I want?

Everything on board costs extra money. There’s nothing all inclusive about this ship. The ship is new and stunning, but the service and food are absolutely horrible. This is the first time we took a cruise and got off (disembarked) early. I wish I had known the problems with MSC and the food and service. We are truly due some level of pro-rated refund or something. Also there was no facial tissue in the cabins and hardly enough toilet tissue.

awat's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

Its a new ship so everything is really new and clean, However, I am surprised that as a new ship the storage options were very limited. Likewise very view amenities in the stateroom We didn't even have facial tissue and when asked several times they didn't supply it. Just an extra role of harsh toilet tissue.

This ship would be great if it was owned by another cruise line that understands operational and customer excellence. The public areas are ample just needs to have an owner who can make it delight guests.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Sir Bani Yas Island

Just an island for the cruise ship and not much to do if you're not going to sit in the sun.


Didn't visit.. MSC has not provided a discount for not stopping.


Didn't visit.. MSC has not provided a discount for not stopping.

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