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  #31 (permalink)  
Old February 9th, 2009, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Is MSC really that bad...or not?

As a travel agent with 57 cruises, I feel qualified to comment. While it is impossible to please all, I will give you my feelings on MSC. We sailed the Lirica in 2005 and loved it. Cabins are small, even for 2, but every other aspect was excellent. I have sold many cabins on MSC, and raved over the line. I just sailed the Orchestra, and would not recommend this line to anyone. As an agent, I have a duty to tell the truth, not just to agree that every ship and every cruise is fantastic. We had a Category 11, Luxury Balcony. The room was small for 2, let alone 4 or 5. Children love movies, especially on a cruise. Movies cost $10.70 each. So if you really want to pay that to see The 40 year old Virgin, Wall-E, and other old movies, you will love MSC. The bath comes with no washcloths, and the room stewert is invisible until the second day, no matter how many times you call for him. Room service is a joke. If you misplace a single sheet of info ion the 1st day with all the papers given,you have no idea you can get sandwiches. A club sandwich is a turkey club only,and when you order one you get a half a one. But you can BUY many items on room service. When you get on board, their is no free glass of bubbly for repeat cruisers as mentioned in the info. The balcony glass and the entire balcony is coated in salt. It will be cleaned halfway throught the cruise, though. And toward the end of the cruise you are given an info sheet telling you that if you bought any wicker items, they won't be allowed back into the states. Give that info on the 1st day, please! Dinner was a big joke. Lousy service, lukewarm food. We ate at the speciality restaurant for 5 days. It was the best thing on the ship, but at $25 a person, can add up. But it was worth it. Avoid the Chinese restaurant, I would not eat there again even if free. You pay per item, and will pay $30-40 per person easily. The 1st night we had a very large table of Italians that shouted, laughed at the top of their lungs, even had the wait staff giving them ugly looks. And, to top it off, they started smoking at the table, and nothing was said to them. There is no free ice cream anywhere, and when the kids want ice cream it is $1.50 a cone. Great ice cream, but start adding. And pizza is offered only at night for free, so during the day you can purchase it! For such a large ship, there are too few shops onboard. But the best thing, or worst, depending on your view, you can buy liquor off ship and bring it back to the room and drink it there. You love Coca Cola but not Pepsi? Only Pepsi is sold, at @2.50 a small glass. No soft drink cards. I was really looking forward to their private island, as the other lines have great ones. We finally got off ship at noon, had to be back onboard for 3. And NOTHING is free on the private island. Food, drinks all cost a very high price. And if having 1000 chairs for 3000 people is your idea of fun, you will enjoy it. If you get up to take a dip in the water, your chair will be gone when you return. People will dump your belongings and take your chair, nobody will stop them. We found all ports had a very short stay. Better planning by the cruise line is needed here. I could go on and on.... but you get the picture. Oh, I almost forgot. Of the 3 main elevators midship, 1 was out of service the whole cruise. And for free fun, you can push a button, watch the other 2 elevators pass your floor 6 times before stopping. Enjoy! I forgot to add about smoking. It is allowed in the cabins, but not on the balcony. Yet everyone who smokes does it on the balcony. Get used to the smell in all the hallways!
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Old February 13th, 2009, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by john august smith
wgo for it!e cruised on the lirica about 3 years ago and enjoyed it. it is very italian in spirit and menu. the ship itself is beautiful and the public rooms are handsome. the shows are spirited and professional. we have cruised 30 times so we have the ability to compare ships.
We are cruising on the msc orchrestra on may 2nd, can you offer any advise for us, re: drinks can we bring on drinks for our room as we are on a 20 day cruise.. can we bring on movies to watch on my laptop...
any advise you can offer would be greatly appreciated..
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Old February 13th, 2009, 02:15 AM
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Whne we cruised (4 times between July 2004 and October 2006) with MSC you were allowed to purchase alcohol in their duty free shop onboard and drink that in your cabin - not sure if that's still the case, perhaps others can advise. It was very cheap, I recall.
And of course you can take your laptop and movies to watch on board!
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Old June 19th, 2009, 10:52 AM
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Default NO, it is not bad, in fact MSC is very enjoyable

I’ve posted other comments, so no need to repeat myself, but in short I thoroughly enjoyed MSC (June 2009 in the Baltic).

Of course every ship is different, but here are my specific comments: Movies were free. Cabins were fine (it’s a ship – shipboard cabins are always small unless you spring for a suite). The bath had 2 washcloths, and the chambermaid would bring as many more as you wanted. The chambermaid and her assistant were very accessible and most helpful. If not in sight they responded quickly to a phone call. I wouldn’t bother with room service – you can go to the buffet and simply bring it back to your room. The buffet is open most of the day, to 5 pm. The MSC Opera cleaned its windows every day while at sea. Any salt spray we saw was fresh (we saw it go on, and we saw it cleaned off). Dinner was marvellous, served quickly, and not lukewarm. The restaurant service was consistently excellent. Amazing excellent, I’d say, especially considering how busy they were. Pizza is free, from noon to 5 pm; and it’s amongst the best pizza I ever had. (Note that it’s Italian pizza, not Domino’s or Pizza Hut.) All the elevators worked. We’re non-smokers and had no discomfort whatsoever. In sum: we travel a lot, and the MSC Opera was a wonderful 'hotel', especially the service -- the staff were exceptionally friendly, responsive, and helpful.

Overall advice: ENJOY your holiday.
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Old July 13th, 2009, 03:16 PM
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In regards to Joseph, it seems there's always at least 1 that's going to join a forum and bash something. . . On another note, I've looked into MSC for my family for the past 2 years and have never heard anything bad about it. The only reason I haven't booked is because I always cruise with my children who are 6 & 9 and from what I hear, there's not much for the young kids to do compared to RCCL or Carnival. As soon as we plan a cruise without the kids, it's MSC for sure because the itineraries are phenomenal and not one person I speak to has had a complaint about anything.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 02:38 PM
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I had a thorough education in MSC this week. I will say that from what I have heard MSC had its growing pains that most people who know agree that they have really gotten their act together.

The cruise I was one was a quality cruise in almost all respects and comparable to any cruise line, so the answer is "no" it is not that bad.

The whole point is that it is a European cruise line, especially in Europe. If you go there ready to embrace that experience you will have a good time.The food is mostly very good, especially the buffets. The entertainment is good and the cabins are very comfortable.

The service is very friendly, not cold or unqualified as may have said.

Considering kids sail free all year round, up to age 17, if you have a family some of these cruises are a steal.

In the Caribbean the policies change to become more American-friendly, but the ship does not change. You still get modern Europe in terms of food and service. Accept it for what it is and enjoy the difference. For experienced cruisers (who know how to cruise) there should be no problems enjoying this line.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 04:36 PM
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Paul, I'm glad to see you have now had the MSC experience. We have been on 2 cruise, both in the Caribbean, with MSC and would not hesitate to cruise with them again.

It is nice to see that someone associated with a cruise site, and not a TA, has had this experience and would recommend this line to others.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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"Paul, I'm glad to see you have now had the MSC experience. We have been on 2 cruise, both in the Caribbean, with MSC and would not hesitate to cruise with them again.

It is nice to see that someone associated with a cruise site, and not a TA, has had this experience and would recommend this line to others."

I second this comment. It was fantastic to see someone who went with MSC with a completely open mind and was able to post the good, the bad, and the ugly in a completely unbiased manner. MSC has certainly had it's growing pains but it sure is nice to see that it has overcome many of them. We won't hesitate to book with them again in future.
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:03 PM
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Having been on MSC for 3 cruises since 2005, (Opera, Opera, Lyrica) and scheduled to sail on the Poesia in November, I have never had a bad experience on any of the cruises. I will say they have not been in Europe but I loved the food, pizza, and entertainment. It is not mass market cuise line entertainment but it is well done. I have always been amazed with the ability of the cabin staff to always have the cabin clean and never be seen. They have a wonderful system using door tags.

I would probebly never take an MSC cruise in Europe because it is just to different from what I expect. I don't like paying for water at dinner or starting dinner after 9PM. But that just the European way of the world.

You have to like being a minority on the cruise but the Italians sailing with you will always cheer you up with laughter and song and if you like beer with breakfast there are always the humorless Germans. Yes, you have to accept that the Germans will just jump ahead of you in the buffet line but that is just their culture.

The only issue we have ever had was leaving from near the north parking garage in Port Everglades and returning near the south one. Had to take a shuttle. Carnival did the same thing but in reverse last year so it is just a function of port spaces and probably bad planning by the port authorities.

So give it a try but go in open minded and think that you are eating and living in Europe for 7,10, or 12 days.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 04:40 PM
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Booked a cruise on the Poesia 24/10/09 Venice to Fort Lauderdale for my wife and i,have read a lot of reviews some bad some good but i will go with an open mind and post our findings when we return.We are not picky or hard to please so i am positive we will have a geat time.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 02:43 PM
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Default Is MSC no longer doing cruises in Caribbean?

I tried researching one for March 2011 and it appears either they no longer cruise the Caribbean...or have not posted their schedule that far out. (Or the web was goofed up, although that never happens!)

Anyone have news on either?
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Old April 6th, 2010, 11:47 PM
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Default Who needs food anyway!

I set sail aboard the Ochestra last year for their Caribbean cruise and I had a great time. The entertainment was fabulous. To be honest, the food was average but who cares - it's a cruise. Do you really go there to eat a bunch of food anyway? Eat salad everyday and you'll be okay! I actually did the buffet each day. I lost a few pounds on the trip - not because the food was that bad but because I was too busy being active.

So check the cruiseline out and don't worry about the food. Mojitos made up my liquid diet!
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Old April 8th, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rkamaria View Post
I set sail aboard the Ochestra last year for their Caribbean cruise and I had a great time. The entertainment was fabulous. To be honest, the food was average but who cares - it's a cruise. Do you really go there to eat a bunch of food anyway? Eat salad everyday and you'll be okay! I actually did the buffet each day. I lost a few pounds on the trip - not because the food was that bad but because I was too busy being active.

So check the cruiseline out and don't worry about the food. Mojitos made up my liquid diet!

If you asked 10 people what their top priority was when choosing a cruise, you'd probably get 10 different answers.
The ship,the cruise line, the ports, the food, the entertainment, the itinerary etc....etc....Good food and service is very near the top of my list! We seldom eat out at home so the dining aspect of our vacations is very important.I'm not talking about gorging 24/7 - just good food prepared and served well. I can eat salad anytime.
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Old December 10th, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Hello Bobcaygeon (waving at you from Oakville)

I'm curious to heare some current reviews. I hadn't heard about this cruise line until a few days ago, but I'd already booked my HAL cruise. To the OP, HAL has a great deal on right now for families, I booked my 3rd/4th PAX for $200 each including port charges.

I can't pay RCCI prices when we cruise with our kids, so I'm really looking forward to trying out HAL.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old December 10th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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At the top of this page you will find "Cruise Reviews", both by professional travel writers and by readers. There are a few from 2010. I, personally,am not impressed. Don't see myself ever cruising this line.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 12:25 PM
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We just returned from a week in west-central Caribbean (around Cuba) on the Poesia. My 2 main complaints were not that bad. All the breakfast juice in the buffet is very watered down, so i just had more of the excellent peeled and sliced oranges ! The week of shows in the Carlo Feliz Teatro got a bit old since they have to entertain without much spoken song or humor with the mix of nationalities on board. Everything else was great. The deck chairs with shade panels for my head were a nice extra I'd not had before. I really enjoyed sampling the different "Cenas" from different regions of Italy each night in Le Fontane dinning room even though I'll eat anything without complaint.

With the great price discount offered now I'd consider doing 14 days back-to-back with an east, then a west Caribean loop, as many we met are doing this season, but then I enjoy doing other things besides cruising for my vacation.

I would not think this ship has much activity for kids though from what we saw.
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Old December 17th, 2010, 03:59 PM
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Could be the kids. I imagine they could be annoying on a cruise.

I vacation often with my grandchildren to Disney and I can say I want my space often.

Strangers often find our children annoying even though we don't.

My friend told me to start cruising. He said he LOVED cruising. He stopped and said except for one. The Disney Cruise. He said kids were all over the place screaming, dropping soda, food all over in the dining room etc. He said the food was "vile". I laughed so hard. I said that was an extremely harsh term!
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Old December 25th, 2010, 11:58 AM
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I was booked on the Dec 5 2010 Poesia Caribbean sailing which I extended on board to make it 14 days total.

MSC makes an effort on the entertainment side, but it's a FAIL in my book, especially if you stay on for longer than 7 days.

They use the same circus acts as scripted in features of their production shows, so it's essentially the same performers over and over. And they repeat most of the shows from any one week the next. They even regurgitate parts of shows on a 7 day cruise for a "Best of" show.

On Costa this year on a 5 week cruise, the standard of the circus acts was far higher and somehow things did not seem repetitive.

Usually the male dancers show up the young female dancers in terms of technique and execution. The Poesia's hoofers were just that, dancing with all left hooves. There was one girl who looked like she was still learning the routines.

The Italian female singer Mimma was woefully mis-directed in many numbers. She "butchered" "Moon River". She was painful to watch in the Broadway revue.

The class singers were the operatic ones, the soprano and the tenor who were an utter delight.

Unfortunately the classical piano trio have to play in the Atrium with attendant background noise and unceasing barrage of camera flashes.

I can't wait for a cruise line to prohibit flash photography at all times in public spaces on board.

A lot of the room stewards are ladies from Madagascar and as such they are French speaking; coupled with their French maid uniforms, they are a delight to interact with. Many, many people mentioned they had been upgraded. I was reasonably happy with my inside cabin. Belatedly on the second day of the second week I was offered an upgrade to a balcony for $280, which I declined.

The food : surprisingly good, tourist fare. The Prime Rib the first week was the best from 12 weeks' cruising this year. Often lunch had a more interesting menu than dinner. Excellent service by the predominately Indonesian waiters. There was even an Italian waiting duo.

The older Italian captains/asst. maitre d's were fabulous. The younger ones under 50 should be horsewhipped for their surliness.

After extending my initial first week, I ran into all sorts of problems with the maitre d' ... really incredible, as any kinks tend to get worked out during the first few days.

Well, the maitre d' never stop proffering totally insincere apologies whilst the guest services staff were appalled at his behavior and convinced me they were genuinely apologising on behalf of the line.

I generally found either the ship crowded or deserted, rarely anything in between. In other words, you either go with their program or you seem to be missing out. Bizarrely, there's no alternative dinners in the buffet on formal nights and if you're second sitting, it's tough and as the buffet closes at 8pm (apart from the pizza station).


I think I will be going on MSC again. I say "think", as I am going to give Rick Sasso a chance to do some damage repair ...
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Old December 22nd, 2013, 01:03 PM
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MSC is the worst company ever!

The incident happened in Civittavechia when we were late for the ship by a fault of a third party.

18:30 was all on board time, and 19:00 supposed to be the departure time. We planed to leave Rome and be in Civittavechia one hour before the all on board time, but we missed that train as it left 10 minutes before the time it was written in Roma Termini train station. We took a next one wich supposed to be in Civittavechia at 18:18. This train stopped in middle of nowhere, between two stations, and we stayed there one hour without electricity, with doors blocked. Couldnt go anywhere and helpless. As soon as train stopped, we called emergency numbers on MSC cruise cards (both numbers we called). At first nobody answered the phone. When we reached them, they told they are going to wait 5 minutes. We had 3 years old baby with us, it was 9 of us. We were in touch all the time with ship, we told them the whole situation and baby pissed it pants. We ordered taxi who picked us up at next station, and when we called for 15th time already (19:20) to let them know that we are driving in taxi, and that we are 10 minutes away they said they are not going to wait, and in few minutes they sailed out.
We drove back to rome, to take rent a car at Airport, but didn't get the car. Than we went to another train station, where we had a train to Genova. We got to Genova at 6 a.m. with no sleep, driving at old trains with illegal immigrants and drug addicts. 3 years old baby will probably have traumas for life! When the ship sailed in Genova, they didn't let us in for next 45 minutes. Furthermore, the staff of the ship dropped out the passports in Civittavechia, of Israelis and Russian people who were with us. These people were not informed that their passports stayed in Civittavechia, so when they reached Genova they couldn't go back home.
Upon our arrival in Genova, we came to reception, and requested to speak to manager. A young lady from Italy (we don't remember the name) spoke to us very unpolitely, and she said she doesn't care, she said we need to pay our bills and leave the ship because other guests will be coming on board.

It seems to me we had problems with silly company who doesn't care about their customers, and not with world renowned company as MSC. Completely unprofessional, rude and careless way of treating human beings. First of all, all 9 passengers had 4 cabins with balcony wich costs around 2000 each. Furthermore, we spent big amount on board (around 6000) in their services wich were low quality and extremely expencive! We spent around 500 on different transports after we were informed about ship leaving us. We spent big amounts on our phones, speaking in roaming, trying to get 10 minutes extra from their unprofessional staff. We were told that ship was waiting us until 19:20, but the ship was late in departure in every single port (15 to 20 minutes) so there was no waiting! In Tenerife, ship decided to leave one hour before schedule, and brought that decision when already few hundred people left the ship. So if they could change schedule for one hour, they could have give us 10 more minutes.

Day before Civittavechia, a drunk man was trowing glasses around the restaurants, walking around our table pushing chairs around and there was 10 security people walking after him, doing nothing to protect us, and asked us to leave our dinner tables and restaurant. Even MSC security staff is terrible!

We will never go to any other events organised by MSC and we suggest other customers wishing to go to cruise trips, not to chose this terrible and unprofessional company! They will rip you off and leave you like dogs! All they care about is money! You will regret it if you make mistake and chose them like we did!
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 04:27 PM
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Yes, It is that bad. And you're really not getting such a good price when you factor in the water and drinks, including coffee, tea and soft drinks, you have to buy at every meal. We just returned form a seven day Med cruise on the Orchestra. The service was horrible. We bought a package that all drivers, three shore excursions. airfare and 2 nights lodging in Barcelona. The driver picked us up from the airport in Barcelona an hour and a half late, drove us to the pier and dropped us off at 9:30 am. They took our luggage and told us to sit outside on a park bench until we could check in at 10:30. This is after a red eye flight from JFK to Barcelona. At 10:30 we were told to wait until 11:00 and at 11 told we would have to wait until 11:30. This all happened before we embarked and went downhill from there.
Finally, we argued with them enough to let us through security and at lease sit in chairs until we could get on board.
For two mornings they forgot the breakfast I ordered from room service. When I asked where it was I was told, "Perhaps they forgot."
We spent several days in Italy a few years ago and the food is not Italian! It is cold, bland and awful. Please, Please, I implore you. Do not cruise with MSC
Why didn't you come in a day early. I would never take a red eye and next day get on a cruise ship in Europe. We did fly out 8 pm form Ga to do a cruise from California-got there at almost 11 pm their time and then midnight to our hotel. That was rough enough! but at least we slept in the next morning and did not rush to the ship!

I hate to say it but starting your vacation out that way would color the rest fo the trip for you in a negative way.
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Old June 2nd, 2014, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by maddashin View Post
Could be the kids. I imagine they could be annoying on a cruise.

I vacation often with my grandchildren to Disney and I can say I want my space often.

Strangers often find our children annoying even though we don't.

My friend told me to start cruising. He said he LOVED cruising. He stopped and said except for one. The Disney Cruise. He said kids were all over the place screaming, dropping soda, food all over in the dining room etc. He said the food was "vile". I laughed so hard. I said that was an extremely harsh term!
I only crusied Disney once and I was not impressed with their food either (outside of Palos)-but I did love that their adults only areas are enforced so you can actually get away from the kids, but yet enjoy their excitement at other times-such as when the Disney "Princesses" came out
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