I just returned from an 11 day cruise to the West Indies on board the Lirica. I know many who have scheduled cruises with this cruise line are anxious to hear cruise results. I had a wonderful experience aboard this ship. The ship is beautiful, the staff are friendly and gracious, and I don't know when I have laughed so much as on this cruise. If you are expecting the same run-of -the -mill cruise as on the other lines, then you will probably have a miserable time. If you want a new experience and are open-minded to new cultures and meeting people from different countries and hearing different languages spoken, then you are in for the time of your life. It was one of the best cruises I have ever been on and believe me I have been on many, too numerous to count. I certainly would not hesitate sailing with this company again. The food was very good, different than what you find at fast food places, but if you are willing to try and enjoy new cuisine, you'll find that on this ship. The shows and costumes were spectacular. The staff went out of their way to please, and many of the cruise staff and entertainment staff were very visible on the ship, mingled with the passengers, danced with the men and women guests in the evening, and became a friend that one would like to see again. I still think travelling and having a good time is all about attitude. I really enjoyed sailing on this ship and am already thinking of booking a cruise with this line for next year, since I am already booked on three more cruises for this year. Do not listen to anyone, form your own opinion, and you'll have a great time. Bon Voyage.
My wife and I were on the same cruise (Feb. 28) and we couldn't agree with you more!!!!!!! What a great time and it wasn't just us. The standing ovations at the shows was an indication of how people enjoyed the entertainment. I loved the "animation team"!!! What a group of energetic, fun loving, creative, "kids"!!!! I have never seen a cruise director work as hard and do as many things as Francesco!! If it would't have been for our pets at home, we said we have loved to stay on for the next 11 days and take the cruise to the Western Caribbean. We have taken many crusies and this one ranks among the best. Thank's MSC for showing us a great time!!!!!
Many thanks for your "new" reviews. As you probably know there have been a few unfavorable reviews when the Lirica first sailed. We will be on the Lirica May 4th to the West Indies and have been anxious to read about recent sailings. I even requested (on another message board) that someone would provide info as to the last few cruises. We were hoping that MSC would offer new cuisine and entertainment with Italian atmosphere and service. Thanks for reporting all the positives. They are what MSC needs to gain a foothold in the American market.
Have you seen the lastest news that MSC is building another two larger ships to add to their fleet? Also changing their logo somewhat.
I think you will have a great time on your cruise to the West Indies. I posted some information on the ship sponsored shore excursions that we took on the Feb. 28th cruise to the West Indies. If you click on "Lirica and other cruise ships" you will find the posting. I just thought you might find it helpful, just in case you didn't find it on your own.If you need any other information, let me know.
We are sailing on the May 4th cruise. We are taking our two children which are 6 and 9.
Has anyone experienced the kid's program on board? Thanks for the positive information. We were a little nervous about this cruise after hearing some of the negative experiences. We have been on several cruises and wanted to try something different. Do you have any advice concerning the shore excursions?.
I will be sailing on July 17th from Venice with 13 other women ages 18 to 60.
We always make our own fun but were nervous after reading some of the reviews.
We are looking for information about shore excursions in Dubrovnik and Rhodes.
We went on the March 21st sailing to the West Indies on the Lirica and had a wonderful time. The ship is beautiful and the staff were so eager to please. The food was goodalthough the dessert selection is limited to ice cream (homemade and delicious)and cake. The food in the buffet was also good and they had a pasta dish near the pool bar area that was always great. In addition they also had hambergers and hot dogs. Look around as me missed the omelette bar until the 4th day.
Our cabin was well laid out and there was plenty of storage space for the 2 of us. We had cabin 8003 which was in the bow with a large window. It was rated as an obstructed view because we overlooked a deck. Few people ever went out there and it was only 5 steps from our door so we had our own private "porch". Cabin service was a spotty because our cabin steward was on the lazy side, so we adjusted out tip accordingly. Others in our party had great service.
Go and have a great time but remember, things are not as they are at home, but this is the reason to travel isn't it? We would go again on the Lirica. She is a good ship and a great value.
Just got back from the Lirica May 15th. Second cruise this year on the Lirica, excellent trip, they are trying and have improved from my January cruise. The problem with the European cruises, most are European passengers--kids go free and the ship is loaded with them.
However, we are considering taking a trip on MSC this summer too.
We just got back from a 22 day Transatlantic & Med. Cruise on the MSC Lirica.
What a beautiful ship, the large cabins were wonderful, we had more drawers then we could fill up & we loved our balcony.
The first 15 days was the best cruise vacation we have ever been on. Then the 16th day arrived & things started to go wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They closed the bank the 16th day of the 17 day cruise, that was the day most passengers needed to tip the staff & a lot of the passengers could not tip, because they could not get change or cash travelers checks or get cash on their ATM cards. We planned ahead so we were able to tip our cabin stewards & waiters. The 17th day when all the Americans got off MSC then embarked 1,500 Austrians. They smoke everywhere & never let you get off the elevators before they get on. If you don't go fast enough they will push & cut in line in front of you. They talk through the shows & stand in the middle of the passage ways drinking & smoking so you can not get through the public areas. We even saw a bar waitress get knocked down trying to get through a crowd to deliver drinks. Also every elevator has in front an ashtray, so you have about 10 to 20 Austrians standing around smoking & blocking the entrance. If you do not smoke you almost choke to death waiting for the elevators. They also tried to save deck chairs by going out at 7 AM & placing towels on the chairs before they went to breakfast. When we went out about 8:30 AM there were no chairs. The pool staff explained that they could not save deck chairs, so then they would leave one family member to guard the chairs while the rest of the family went to breakfast. The wait staff in the dining rooms & lounges would wait on us & almost ignored the Austrians. We asked them why the change in attitude from the first 17 days & they said the Austrians do not tip & that they are very rude. We also found out that the bar waiters in the lounges & dining rooms that were scheduled to leave on the 17th day were told they had to stay for another 5 days because the Austrians drink a lot & they needed the extra bar waiters to handle the volume. If the bar waiters did not stay the extra 5 days & got off the ship they had to pay for their own transportation back home.
We thought that it could not get any worse, boy were we wrong!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The 18th day we embarked 400 Italians which included 200 screaming kids. The Italians would let their kids run wild, we saw waiters trying get around kids that were in the areas that were for the wait staff only. They ignored the dining times & when they were told there was no place to seat them because they were 1 to 2 hours late they would scream & fling their arms & hands all around until they were seated. This all went on while the other passengers were trying to dine & enjoy their meals. Then there was breakfast & lunch which was even more of a problem because it was open seating & they could not understand why certain areas were closed, so they would start screaming again. We started to eat as many lunches as we could in the ports to avoid all the confusion. We went on shore excursions which included some Italians & they would change buses in the middle of the tour because they found friends on another bus. We would then sit & wait for them to return to the bus, because they never bothered to tell the guide or bus driver they were going on another bus. Our waiter informed us that he does not work July & Aug. because of his fellow Italians. He says they will have between 1,800 to 2,200 per cruise, mostly Italian passengers with up to 800 kids during those months. He said that children under 12 cruise for free. I know on our cruise there were 5 or 6 people in some staterooms.
I will cruise on MSC again, but never in the Med. We were very happy the first 17 days but the last 5 days was a circus. Over all we enjoyed the entire 22 day cruise & we loved all the ports of calls, the entertainment, & the food. This still was our best cruise to date!!!!! We could not ask for a better waiter, asst. waiter, & cruise director, they were the best we ever had on all our cruises.
If you go in July or Aug. just try to ignore the 3 ring circus & enjoy the wonderful shows, the food & the ports of call.
We, too were on the May 15th transatlantic cruise. We debarked in Genoa and went on to Milan. Here are my impressions of the cruise.
This is a brief review of our cruise from Port Everglades to Genoa. We also stayed over in Milan. Our overall feeling: we got far more than we expected.
We are happy we did the cruise. The ship was beautiful. The crew was 90% attentive and helpful. Our stateroom, 9020, was adequate.We had a queen-size bed and all our luggage fit nicely under the bed. There was just the right amount of storage space with lots of hangers. We took too much. The bathroom was a little tight, but had plenty of storage space. All cabins have both 110 and 220 volt electrical outlets. We had the usual TV and frig with minibar. Lighting in the cabin was good. Fresh fruit was provided, an ice bucket and pitcher were in the cabin, however, one had to ask for water and ice if it was desired. No chocolate mints on the pillow, no problem for me, I don't like chocolate mints. We had an excellent cabin steward, Joshué. After the initial embarkation speech there were no general announcements until time for debarkation. All news, events, etc. was communicated via the daily programs. Whenever there was an activity, i.e., the shows, bingo, trivia, everything was repeated in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. On this cruise there were 17 Argentineans, 24 Australians, 359 Austrians, 2 Belgians, 30 Canadians, 1 Croatian, 25 Frenchmen, 387 Germans, 1 Hungarian, 22 Italians - not counting crew, 4 Koreans, 3 Mexicans, 5 Netherlanders, 9 New Zealanders, 1 Pilipino, 1 Russian, 1 Slovenian, 1 Spaniard, 32 Swiss, 1 from Trinidad & Tobago, 19 from United Kingdom and 486 from US.
Embarkation was a breeze. The lines are setup by deck number and moved along nicely. We checked out our cabin and then went to meet other members of our "internet group,the Liricans".Our luggage was a little slow to arrive, so we decided to do a little walk about the ship.The departure was held up 2 hours for a group whose plane was late arriving in Fort Lauderdale.
The ship has a very casual ambiance. There are many places to sit, relax, read, have a drink. There is almost always some activity in progress. There were arts and crafts demos, pasta making demos, dancing and Italian language skills classes, opera via video, movies, bingo, trivia, horse racing(no betting), card games, there are 9 bars. Smoking is allowed in the Lord Nelson Pub, The Las Vegas Casino, one side of the Coffee Cup, and both pool bars. The Cruise Director, Francesco, was not only multilingual, but multi-talented. The were several different entertainment venues including a violinist, a pianist and singer, a magician, a very nice dance band, flamenco dancers and the Animation Team. The Animation Team performed in the shows and assisted with all the activities aboard ship. The mini-golf course was nice. The pool assistants were very good at not letting people "reserve" deck chairs. The duty free shops really didn't offer much. I guess the liquor prices were good, as we saw many people buying bottles which they were allowed to take to their cabins.
The Bussola Restaurant, deck 5 and the L'Ippocampo Restaurant, deck 6 had open seating for breakfast and lunch, with slight variations in time. Le Bistrot Cafeteria, deck 11 was also open for breakfast and lunch, but not for the evening meal. La Pergola Open Restaurant(not really a restaurant), deck 11, was open for early bird coffee and late night snack buffet. One could also get eggs to order and omelets at La Pergola. We preferred eating in our assigned restaurant. The breakfast menus were pretty stable, but with a specialty of the day. The breads and pastries were incredible at all meals. There was plenty of fresh fruit, cheeses, yogurt , etc. We had a good waiter, Emilio, who always told us what time the meals would begin as we changed time zones 6 times in 7 days. We did not have any problems with running out of butter, coffee or tea. We did notice though, that they only brought enough hot water for one cup of tea at a time, just had to ask for more. I brought some menus home and will share with you if you would like to see them. We felt the menu choices were good and the food was tasty and presented well. We had late sitting, so by time we were finished it was nearly 22:00. The ice cream was above excellent. I rarely missed a chance to have something from the Ice Cream Bar. Oh, by the way, there are no alternative restaurants.
Even though the atmosphere is very casual aboard ship, there were actually 3 formal nights and another designated as a "gala, not formal" night, whatever that means. We saw a gambit of attire from tuxedo to dress shirt and tux jacket with shorts. Some ladies were dressed to the 9's every night and some never got out of there jeans. All the other nights were casual except one designated as "elegant".
We essentially had very good weather, a few rain shows and occasional winds to 12 - 15 knots, but mostly calm seas. Although our cabin was quite away forward, we hardly felt any movement except when the thrusters were being manipulated.
True to their word, there were no art auctions, no coercion to take photos or buy them. The photographers accepted a no graciously and moved on.
The itinerary was super, the ship was lovely and the service far better than I was expecting. We will cruise on this ship again.
If you have a specific question, please e-mail me.
Thanks for all your personal observations on this cruise ship. I was at first a little reluctant to hop on board but now I can rest reassured. I am signed up on the transatlantic repositioning cruise sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Genoa on May 2, 2005
(next Spring) and I am still looking for a cabin mate to share this cruise. Hit me back if you know of anyone who would be interested (inside cabin, super good price).