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-   -   Is MSC really that bad...or not? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/msc-cruises/349777-msc-really-bad-not.html)

paul1815 April 10th, 2008 01:13 PM

Is MSC really that bad...or not?
 
I have read SO many bad reviews of this cruise line that I am not sure I want to try it. However, the pricing they are giving us for our kids is CHEAP (maybe my answer right there). We are getting an inside cabin for all three of them, with taxes and fuel, for only $1400!

Not sure......really enjoyed our recent trip on the RCL Liberty!

2Littletime April 10th, 2008 03:31 PM

I struggled with that same question when it came to MSC. I've had really great experiences are Carnival and RCCL and was nervous about booking MSC after all the negative comments. In the end I looked at the price, did my research on the ship, decided I really liked the itinerary and booked it. The reality is for 17 days I will be cruising with the three most important people in my world for about $2500. The cruise is what you make it and with a positive attitude I think we'll be just fine. I've read some negatives about the food but the reality for me is that I'm sure there will be enough good food to keep me from going hungry. If you cruise after me I'll be sure to write a review and let you know how it went. Although some folks had booking problems, my booking was dead easy and the deposit was only $200 which was an added bonus since now I can pay pretty much in equal instalments of about $300 per month. Do your research and no matter what have a positive attitude, I think it's the mindset that determines success the majority of the time.

paul1815 April 10th, 2008 03:59 PM

When?
 
When are you crusing on MSC? My next booking (if I do one at all) won't be until March 2009.

2Littletime April 10th, 2008 07:05 PM

We're going on the Dec 16/08 Transatlantic Cruise on the Orchestra. We're starting to get very excited. We actually found some other reviews on a couple of other sites that are more positive than some of the other things that we have seen.

paul1815 April 11th, 2008 09:01 AM

Really?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2Littletime
We're going on the Dec 16/08 Transatlantic Cruise on the Orchestra. We're starting to get very excited. We actually found some other reviews on a couple of other sites that are more positive than some of the other things that we have seen.

Can you give me the link or somehow point me to them?

Thanks!

2Littletime April 11th, 2008 12:44 PM

Re: Really?
 
Can you give me the link or somehow point me to them?

Thanks![/quote]

I sent you an email with a few links, there is positive out there : ) It's just like anything else I suspect, the 1 in 10 people that have a crappy cruise tell 10,000 others all about it and the 9 in 10 that had a good cruise tell only close friends and relatives how great it was.

jacdenv24 April 13th, 2008 10:01 AM

MSC has a really great Caribbean itinerary in Feb. when we want to cruise. And great prices! Almost booked last week but then I started to read reviews on all kinds of web site- at least 50 different opinions. For every good review, there seems to be 5 bad ones :x . The #1 complaint appears to be the food-not that's it "too Italian" but that it's poorly prepared, presented and served. They apparently are very understaffed.
We cruise Celebrity 80% of the time and I just feel MSC would be too much of a comedown. BTW, all the reviews raved about the ships themselves-how elegant and well kept they were. And I checked the green sheet on the CDC website-the Lirica was inspected in March and got 100! Don't see that very often. :shock:

2Littletime April 13th, 2008 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jacdenv24
MSC has a really great Caribbean itinerary in Feb. when we want to cruise. And great prices! Almost booked last week but then I started to read reviews on all kinds of web site- at least 50 different opinions. For every good review, there seems to be 5 bad ones :x . The #1 complaint appears to be the food-not that's it "too Italian" but that it's poorly prepared, presented and served. They apparently are very understaffed.
We cruise Celebrity 80% of the time and I just feel MSC would be too much of a comedown. BTW, all the reviews raved about the ships themselves-how elegant and well kept they were. And I checked the green sheet on the CDC website-the Lirica was inspected in March and got 100! Don't see that very often. :shock:

The reviews about the ships themselves are great. For us we take comments about food with a grain of salt, pardon the pun. We are not fussy eaters and none of us are really excited about what the food looks like on the plate. If it is hot and we're not hungry when we're done, it's perfect. I think when I look at it we're spending about $40 per person per day to eat, sleep and travel to exotic locations, truth be told I don't think I can feed my kids three fast food meals and two snacks each day at home for that with the current prices and MSC is throwing in luxury accomodations and activities and I don't have to make beds or do laundry. Heck, I'm only one step away from throw me cereal for breakfast, soup for lunch and a salad for supper and I've still gotten good value for my money. Maybe I'll be sorry that I travelled with them but I know I won't be able to complain that I didn't get my money's worth.
Michelle

john august smith May 18th, 2008 04:42 PM

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.

nmnita July 16th, 2008 09:46 PM

I have had 2 different clients sail them and both were happy considering the price they paid. One did say the food wasn't great, but enjoyed the line more than Costa. :roll:

lss96 July 22nd, 2008 01:32 PM

My wife and I sailed the Lirica Jan/Feb 2008 10 day Caribbean. this was our second caribbean teh first was on the Sun Princess (10 days). We found the Lirica alright but definintly lacked staff and it showed in the service. Overall we try not to get involved in ship politics but it was very apperant that much of the staff seemed disgruntled. We did not have a terrible time but I am cruising Princess next year. Go with an open mind and remeber this was last year I am sure personnel change.

charliebear526 July 24th, 2008 06:27 PM

:D I have cruised on MSC's Lirica 8 time & am already booked for 17 nights in Dec. & again in April for 20 nights. I have gone on a total of 42 cruises in the past 25 years. I travel alone & get a single cabin. The Crew on MSC makes me feel like family. I've gotten to know about 200 crew members. Usually I know 50 people when I board & meet another 30 while on the ship. I've had better food on other ships, but if I ask for something special, I usually get it. The public rooms are all so lovely. I prefer a smaller ship, but alas they have all gone bankrupt. This ship still gives you an intimate feel. If you do go on the Lirica, tell them "Susie" sent you.

HelenF October 28th, 2008 07:03 AM

We've cruised with MC four times - 3 times on Opera and once on Armonia. I have to say that I'm baffled to hear criticisims of the food, which in my opinion is much better on MSC than on Celebrity! MSC food is very italian, which is excellent in my book, and is always served fresh and hot, unlike on Celebrity where it's impossible to get a bowl of soup brought to your table any better than lukewarm.

The dining room on the Opera offered excellent choices of appetiser, soup, pasta and risotto courses in the Italian style, entrees that were freshly cooked (with alternatives always available, or your special requests) and much better desserts than I've experienced on Celebrity.

The entertainment on MSC is not so good, however, largely because they're trying to cater for so many different nationalities and it becomes bland and a tad boring.

The ships are kept scrupulously clean, better than Celebrity or Princess in my experience.

Cabins are not so big as on the other lines I've mentioned, but service is impeccable and, given their pricing, MSC represent excellent value for money.

nlb1050 October 28th, 2008 08:51 AM

Have sail on the Lirica once Dec 2006 and will be on Lirica again in April 2009. The one thing we found was the passengers complained about the food because it is so different from what you get in the US and Canada. It is definitely Italian,

Sure there were items we tried but didn't like but we sure did not starve. And the waiters we had were always helpful. If they saw that you weren't eating whatever you ordered they asked if they could get you something else.

For the size of the ship it felt very intimate. And we are looking forward to our cruise next April.

paul1815 October 29th, 2008 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nlb1050
The one thing we found was the passengers complained about the food because it is so different from what you get in the US and Canada. It is definitely Italian

What type of food was it? I mean to ask...what was different about it than the food on other cruise ships....or from food in US restaurants?

:)

nlb1050 October 29th, 2008 09:00 AM

paul1815, the food is definetly Italian, not at all like you get at Olive Garden. And I think that those who didn't like it thought the food would be Olive garden food, Americanized Italian.

You probably would find this type of Italian in some large cities who have resturants owned by Italians.

Each night the food is representative of a different region of Italy.

Other lines I have found do Americanized Italian.

jbogren October 30th, 2008 06:55 PM

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

Mr & Mrs Canada October 31st, 2008 04:49 AM

This is from "the potentially don't know what you're talking about" department, since we have NOT sailed on MSC (we shall do so in June 2009). However, we do travel a lot, and we do participate in many travel websites. My two cents worth: expect bad reviews in about a 5:1 ratio (to good ones). Sadly, our observations indicate that there are a great many people who complain, at great length, over what most of us would consider to be minor details. I'm sure you all know people like this. Sigh. So, we read the reviews with a great many grains of salt, look closely at what they specifically complain about, and we focus more on the good reviews than the bad. AND, we understand that the quality and enjoyability of our vacations depends mostly UPON US, upon our attitudes, and how well we adapt and roll with the punches.

Travel is an adventure, and no matter what may befall you, it is all part of the adventure. You can relax and enjoy it, or you can tighten up and whine. The choice is yours.

jacdenv24 November 4th, 2008 10:06 AM

I have to agree with Mr.& Mrs. Canada.And not just because I'm a Canuck! I think North Americans are a little spoiled when it comes to service on board. Last April I posted that I thought MSC would be too much of a letdown after sailing mostly Celebrity. Well, it's been a rough year and we'd given up trying to find an affordable 10 day Caribbean cruise. Lat week, we checked MSC again and there it was-the offer we couldn't refuse! We have an ocean view cabin on the Lirica in Feb. for $1826 with all surcharges and insurance. We booked it on Halloween-hope that's not an omen........

Our expectations are not too high-hopefully we will be pleasantly surprised.
I'm hoping for reasonably good food and a comfortable bed! I'm not one who demands constant attention and I'm not into towel animals. Just give me some warm sunny days and no cooking,cleaning etc.We'll be visiting 5 of our favorite ports plus one new one-how can it not be good? I will post a full honest review when I return.

Cruisin Cop November 24th, 2008 08:04 PM

I agree with Mr & Mrs Canada, your travels are what you make it. My entire immediate family and I are scheduled for the MSC Orchestra on January 10, 2009. We are open minded and are looking forward to this new experience. I read the reviews to get a feel and I begin to wonder about some of the complainers. Are they really that shallow that the most minor issues become a big deal? I understand that you're paying for your vacation and you want it to go smoothly but "the food is mostly Italian" give me a break. There's always going to be something that one is going to complain about but I don't think it's fair to bash the cruise line for "little" things. I'm American and I travel all over this world and I believe Americans are simply "whiners".

jacdenv24 December 20th, 2008 04:46 PM

Yesterday, I had to cancel our Feb.12th. cruise on the Lirica and we're both so disappointed! On Tuesday, DH slipped on the stairs and broke his ankle-in 2 places. Had to have surgery to implant 2 pins and a plate. In the past couple of months since we booked, I have run into 3 couples who have sailed MSC and they all said the same thing-great value, beautiful clean ships, totally acceptable food, a different cruise experience. And they would all cruise MSC again. So for those of you who are booked, I would have no qualms. Enjoy and think of us-we got 12 inches of the white stuff yesterday :x

Joseph7820 January 5th, 2009 07:39 PM

Yep! It really si that bad. The crew is quite disorganized.

Read my post entitled "MSC Orchestra - Worst Cruise Ever."

Remember, you get what you pay for! Even though a 2 night cruise cost me over $600.00.

dnunez January 8th, 2009 06:13 PM

The only reason I am writting is because when we were looking for info on the MSC Armonia I could find very little. My husband and I took a Greek Isles cruise a few years ago and this is just my opinion. The ship was very clean and attractive, our cabin was a comparable size to all the other lines we have sailed. The room steward, store clerks, bartenders were all very nice. The only complaint we had was the dinningroom service and food and that is a matter of personal taste. I did feel our waiter was rude at times, maybe just overworked and not very helpful. The food is subjective, I wasn't really interested in eating octopus and I don't care for veal or lamb so I stuck with meals I recognized. I will admit I am a little picky so please go on MSC with an open mind and go for the ports not the entertainment (shows are a little corney). Really even if you are a picky eater you can probably find something to eat, you just won't be thinking that this is the best food you have ever had on vacation. I hope this helps.

Mr & Mrs Canada February 6th, 2009 02:47 AM

...And there you go -- there is indeed no accounting for taste. For someone not partial to seafood and lamb, they'd defineitly be disappointed. On the other hand, Mrs Canada just absolutely LOVES octopus and lamb, so she would definitely prefer a menu such as this. What do we learn? "one man's meat is another man's poison".

clcizme February 7th, 2009 08:42 PM

Orchestra
 
I have also read all the reviews and am trying to find more info about the Orchestra from someone who has been on it since it came to the Caribbean. I am traveling on the Western Itinerary (March 21) with three teenagers (all girls 18, 17, 16) for the Sweet Sixteen of one. I am wondering about the onboard activities that are available for teens and what the charges are in the spa and the "other" restaurants? Also, do they offer specials for the Actual Bday? We have only cruised on Carnival before and switched to this line so that my daughter could bring along friends. Any info would be great. Thanks in advance.

Joseph7820 February 7th, 2009 08:50 PM

I don't think that teenagers will have enough on board to keep them entertained. It was the worse cruise I have ever tank and I have taken about 10 or 12. The pizza served at the buffet on the pool deck was very good though and the ship was quite nice.

Average food in the dining room and no fancy displays at the midnight buffet.

You should have taken the kids on a Carnival Cruise.

2Littletime February 8th, 2009 02:55 PM

While I think we all understand now that Joseph7820 had a lousy cruise it doesn't help to tell someone else that they made the wrong choice and that they should have booked another line.

Clizme, we took our two daughers (9 and 17) on the Orchestra. We have been loyal Carnival cruisers and were a little nervous given all that we had heard but we went anyway, just like you should do. You are armed with knowledge and you're doing your own research, now the experience will depend largely on your attitude and those of your daughters. The great thing about taking 3 girls of your own is that they will make their own fun to a degree. The activities for young people on MSC are not as fine tuned as Carnival and there are some things missing but my kids were far from miserable and despite what you read they did have a great cruise. They had access to a lounge and on many nights my eldest danced until curfew then begged to stay out. If you make constant comparisons to Carnival it will ruin your trip, not because Carnival is better but because it is too much of a focus. This is just my opinion mind you, but if you embrace the differences between the lines I think you'll have a blast. The Italian experience for us was better than Costa and my girls loved their "classy" cruise. They met some great pen pals that they are still corresponding with and I think yours will do the same. Go and have a blast.

valtime February 9th, 2009 06:53 AM

2Littletime - love your attitude!! We plan on enjoying every minute on the Orchestra on the 21st even if it is just relaxing and reading.

HelenF February 9th, 2009 07:16 AM

I don't understand how anybody can ever complain about the food on MSC cruises - we adore Italian food and the standard on board their ships is excellent. We also found their onboard prices (especially alcohol and other beverages, such as coffees), much lower than Celebrity and Princess.
The ships are well designed, spotlessly clean and the cabins nicely appointed and well maintained. The shows are weak, but catering to an 'international' audience limits their scope.
We wouldn't hesitate to sail with MSC again.

clcizme February 9th, 2009 08:30 AM

Thanks for the hint about the pizza, Joseph, I will remember that. The kids I am bringing with me are all CRAVING GOOD PIZZA. 2Littletime, I appreciate your comments. I know that many times people on these boards are the ones that had a bad time, so I take what they say as a prep for any problems, but I don't look for or anticipate them. I will make a few adjustments to my packing (based on your comments) for the days at sea. Usually, the pools are crowded on this day anyway and we would make use of other services. Do you have any idea about the Spa? I couldn't find a price listing anywhere and I was thinking an at sea day might be good for mani's or pedi's. (If they are too much, like on Carnival, we bring the stuff and do our own with any other teen girls that we have found by then). Cruising is a HUGE treat for us, as this is our only vacation each year. My hub and I are missionaries in the Caribbean and our children generally appreciate EVERYTHING. Also, can you tell me about the sports and fitness on board? We are all Exercisers (big time for the girls) and wanted to take the classes everyday, do you know if they offer a variety? My teens and I do almost everything (run, aerobics, tae bo, pilates, belly dancing, etc.) But, we have always wanted to learn Yoga. (Only have Fit TV for that). We also play basketball and volleyball (are there really courts for this onboard? and do you know the cost to use?) OK, last question, about the formal nights, how dressed up do they get? This is probably going to be the HIGHLIGHT for the girls, since they don't get to dress up ever. Thanks for everyone's advice and encouragement. We are soooo looking forward to our upcoming cruise! If anyone else has suggestions, please let me know (especially about port activities).


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