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MSC Orchestra Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
381 Reviews

Unexpectedly the last cruise of the season

MSC Orchestra Cruise Review by tonyfes

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2020
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Suite

We chose this cruise because it was close to my wife's birthday. On the Sunday prior to the cruise our President announced the strict measures for gatherings and movement of people - we thought our cruise was cancelled and tried to contact MSC for confirmation not possible. MSC eventually notified us that the cruise was going ahead.

On arrival at the terminal at 10.30 a.m we found that disembarkation was still taking place and with the confusion could not find the allocated wheelchair assist station. I left my wife in the queue with the luggage and went to find a wheelchair. I went back to my wife and an MSC employee kindly took our luggage and indicated where we should go bearing in mind we had a wheel chair he led us to a queue where we ended up with a flight of stairs to navigate - very interesting - all told we were on board by 11.20 a.m.

The cruise we thoroughly enjoyed apart from all shops being poorly supplied but one had to appreciate Covid 19 which we were advised were causing the problem. However we tried on no less than 5 separate occasions to purchase some gold chain and each time we were either too early - too late - I am closed (but the doors were open) we just gave up in the end we were also hard pushed to purchase gifts from the MSC logo shop.

We were on second sitting but had no problem changing this to first and what a wonderful dining experience we had a great waiter Sanekia who really looked after us. We unfortunately had purchased the oriental restaurant package without realising, through lack of explanation, that this was a set menu consisting mainly of sushi which we both do not like so were very disappointed but made the best of a bad situation.

The cabin was fabulous no complaints atall the room service at breakfast was very efficient and housekeeping excellent. But MSC need to update their brochures on room service and prices as it clearly states that only pizzas carried a charge but this is not so there is a charge for room service other than breakfast but you have to look at the television to see this - ours was not working for two days until I realised there was a plug not connected at the back to the tv.

Then the disembarkation what a farce that became and seriously MSC you need to read up on Wheelchair Assist and what it entails when we arrived at the designated area there was one person allocated to all people needing wheelchair assistance to disembark but he disappeared before assisting anyone and after the first hour never to be seen again. I managed to secure a wheelchair for my wife and proceeded to disembark only to arrive at the checkout with stairs and did a magical mystery trip of the Orchestra with a great MSC employee who managed to get us through the crowds to the goods entrance where there was a ramp all in all very exciting!!

On a brighter note congratulations are in order to MSC staff and crew to getting clearance for us to disembark on the 20 March 2020 under extremely difficult times.

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