MSC Cruises Reviews

Year Started: 1987
Ships in Fleet: 12
Category: Mainstream

Summary: A pan-European mainstream cruise line that competes with Costa. New, massive ships with decent food and entertainment, Look for bargains in Caribbean.

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MSC Cruise Ships

2 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. Seniors. First-time Cruisers.

10 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Group. Families. Value for Money.

3 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Families. Foodies.

28 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean

Good for: Foodies. Families. Group.

4 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. Children`s Programs. Families.

6 Reviews

Regions:Southern Caribbean, Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, South America

Good for: Foodies. Children`s Programs. Families.

21 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, Western Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, Transatlantic

Good for: Children`s Programs. Group. Families.

15 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean, South America, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. First-time Cruisers. Families.

16 Reviews

Regions:Caribbean, Mediterranean, Scandinavia/Northern Europe, Transatlantic

Good for: Value for Money. Foodies. Group.

0 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean

Good for: Foodies. Children`s Programs. Families.

6 Reviews

Regions:Africa, Mediterranean, Transatlantic

Good for: Foodies. Group. Families.

6 Reviews

Regions:Mediterranean

Good for: Foodies. Group. Families.

User Ratings

Overall Rating
3.44
from 117 reviews

Cuisine

Service Level

Value for Money

Ship Décor

Public Rooms

Staterooms

Kid's Programs

Daytime Activities

Nightlife

Shore Tours

Itinerary

Alternative Dining

User Reviews

117 User Reviews of MSC Ships
Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 4, 2007

Our Cruise on the MSC Lirica 12-04-07 to 12-14-07

I am writing this review mostly for people that have not cruised on the MSC Lirica or with MSC cruise line to supply insight from seasoned cruisers. Over the past 22 years my wife Margaret and I have sailed on Princess, NCL, RCCL, Carnival, and Commodore cruise lines.

Our cruise departed from Ft. Lauderdale on 12-04-07 and returned 12-14-07 and we will start by reviewing the check in process or lack there of. We arrived for check in fairly early at about 12 noon as the MSC office had told us that was a proper time to arrive. The previous cruisers were still in the process of leaving the ship and there was much confusion on what to do with the arriving passengers and their luggage. It took some time to find anyone that knew what to do with our luggage but we finely did find a porter. We went into the area designated for arriving passengers and were given a number 3 and then lead to the "holding" area where we sat a long time but we did meet some very

interesting people from Philadelphia. Finally after what seemed an eternity (probably more like 1-1/2 hours) were let into the check in area where there were like 14 lines and you just picked any line. As can be expected some lines move faster then others, and it appeared that a lot of the computers the check-in personal were using either did not work or the personnel were very unfamiliar with them. After some time in line we reached the check in lady and this went fairly well as we had pre-registered at http://www.msccruisesusa.com and that appeared to have helped a lot. Several people had trouble with their check-in due to lack of all required travel documents, or a credit card or lack of a passport, all of which were listed as requirements on http://www.msccruisesusa.com/guidaallacrociera/default.asp?guida_id=9&page_id=397 . The cruise line requires you to have a credit card on file or a cash deposit as they list this as cashless cruising, upon check in you are given a passenger card to use for all purchases onboard and to ID you upon leaving the ship or returning to the ship during your trip. The cruise line will also deduct gratuities at $12 per passenger per day to your listed credit card (more on this later). We were then allowed to board the ship. At the entrance to the gangway were the ever present ship's photographers (more on them later).

Upon arrival aboard the Lirica we were met by head steward that handed us off to a white gloved steward who took us via elevator to our cabin which is a Veranda suite cabin number 10071. The suite was very large and comfortable with a queen bed, fold out couch, chair, small but very adequate walk in closet, drawer space, bathroom with tub and shower, and very nice veranda. NOTE: there is NO smoking on any verandas on the MSC Lirica and also smoking is discouraged in the cabins -- there are like 8 to 10 places on the ship one can smoke and that is all.

This ship has truly an international clientele. Our table mates were from Sweden and a very nice couple and we were pleased to meet so many people from various countries. It is not a typical American cruise. All of the announcements are given in 5 languages and on cruises to the Caribbean English is given 1st.

The passengers on our cruise were surprisingly old, perhaps due to the length of the cruise (over seven days). There were only a handful of children and young couples. There were few single people onboard.

Because the Lirica uses a predetermined gratuity rate (12%), the staff does not try to win somebody's favor by pleasing him or her, especially in order to gain an advantage. We believe this makes the service way below what it use to be and we do not like it at all -- plain and simple put service suffers a LOT because of this policy. BUT it is used by almost all the cruise lines now. I have asked the staff if they ever get the tips we supply this way and have received many different responses but most staff say yes in a divided way with the management getting the majority of the money and the working staff getting very little. You can always tell accounting you'll do it yourself, if you don't agree with the rate or you want to recognize service individually.

Our cabin steward was the best staff member we met on the cruise, always there when you needed him and the room was always made up and immaculate. He kept things in tip-top shape, including a supply of ice and fresh fruit at all times.

The waiters and waitresses in the dining room were way below standard especially on the 1st night but after we talked to the maitre d' things got somewhat better. They only have one waiter and NO bus boy for about 6 tables and the staff always seems behind, our water did tell us that the kitchen was under staffed and that made the wait staff always behind.

Most passengers felt the food was below quality level, and that is very true when it comes to meats and desserts. The one night we had lobster it was beyond dry and there was no drawn butter served with it, it was very bad. The Italian dishes were good. The desserts are not very tasty or imaginative. One oddity -- there is no free ice cream. The menu was very limited.

I am a shopper but my wife is not and there are very few shops on the Lirica, maybe 4 or 5 and that included a shop dedicated to cameras, computers, and all things electrical and that shop was way way over priced. The liquor shop is GREAT and has GREAT bargains, the Emeralds International shops was also Great and had a wonderful staff and many bargains although you had to look for the bargains which are in watches and NOT jewelry. The clothes shop had very few t-shirts and very very few items with the ships logo. This shop was very limited. The perfume shop was also over priced

The personnel from the Photo Shop are very nice and very professional and take very nice photos but most passengers thought the photos were very over priced.

The tour desk was manned surprisingly little of the time, and the personnel at that desk did not appear overly concerned or helpful. They were not very familiar with the actual tours, and as a result were of little help. Find out about the tours in advance, this can be done by going to http://www.msccruisesusa.com/crociere/risultato.asp?periodo=12&page_id=48&anno=2007 clicking on your cruise, and then clicking on any port and it will list the tours available.

If you are looking to rest and relax on deck, near the pool, you will have a very, very hard time as there is continuing "entertainment" spewing from the microphone, whether athletics, quizzes, or games and there are deck chairs everywhere and none to spare.

The MSC information concerning ship's dress is somewhat misleading. Everyone brought way too many dressy clothes. There are only three nights requiring coats and ties, and the other evenings are informal, despite the literature calling for coats and ties almost every night.

In the casino, the two blackjack tables were invariably full, yet a third was not manned the also had two roulette tables, although we only saw one ever in use, and there was a craps table. The personnel are nice and very helpful. When we 1st. came on, there was one penny slot and 3 nickel slots, although one was out of order the entire cruise. After a day or two they did convert 4 quarter slots to nickels. My wife was lucky enough to leave the ship a winner and this is most unusual on any cruise line.

The entertainment was not to our liking so we did not attend any shows on board but our fellow passengers told us that the entertainment was not very good. First and second seating are at odd times, so that the usual procedure of flip-flopping the nightly shows doesn't work. The second show follows the second seating. If you retire fairly early, you'll need the first seating, if you want to see the entertainment. First seating is an early 5:45.

The itinerary listed was great but due to bad weather we were cut short on our stay in Roadtown (Tortola) and had to skip Cayo Levantado (Samanà - D.R.) And replace that with Nassau Bermuda.

Also this ship appeared to ride very rough throughout the cruise and I do believe it is because the Captain did not deploy the stabilizers probably to save money on fuel.

Tips Deck six is the wide promenade deck. Strangely, there are no deck chairs anywhere, and it's the only deck where the smokers can go. The chaise lounges are found by the pool on deck 11, on the track on deck 12, and on the fantails. The fantails are the ship's secret. They run from deck six all the way up to deck 12. Most people don't even know they are there.

Don't bring more than three dress outfits.

Cokes are $2.50 each but you can buy a Coke card that gives you a small discount. Mixed drinks have some odd bar prices. Crown Royal is $3.90 unless you have it with water and then its $4.60 because it's now a "cocktail".

Summary In conclusion, this ship definitely did not live up to our most conservative expectations. Our expectations were based upon the literature that MSC Lines distributed as well as our previous cruising experience. All in all we had a good time. However, there was nothing that made us feel we wanted to return. As our travel agent said "you get what you pay for," BUT with MSC you really do not.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: November 14, 2007

The following is an excerpt of a letter I wrote to American Express about our cruise experience on the MSC Orchestra:

Our recent trip on the MSC Orchestra was less than satisfactory and my husband and I urge you not to market MSC cruises to Americans as it is clear the cruise line caters to its European passengers. Furthermore, it simply is not up to the standards we have experienced cruising 8 times before with Holland America, Princess, Celebrity or even Norwegian Cruise Lines.

Although we had a balcony stateroom, the balcony was unusable due to cigarette smoke. We could not even open the door without being inundated with smoke. When I called Reception to inform them that our neighbors on both sides were smoking on the balcony, I was told "That cannot be." Given the health concerns connected with cigarette smoking, I am surprised that MSC does not have an entire "No Smoking" deck to avoid such incidents, never mind being able to enforce the prohibition on balcony smoking.

The interior of our cabin was lovely in terms of decoration, but incredibly noisy due to the scraping of chairs at all

hours. We were beneath the restaurant (I belive it is called the 4 Seasons). Incredibly, the reastaurant floor is covered with laminate flooring rather than carpet, and this unfortunate choice of flooring magnifies the sound.

The ship linens were also an issue. On the morning after we left Egypt, we awoke to find that the newly changed sheets on the bed contained a large amount of dried nasal discharge (presumably from a prior passenger). I cannot tell you how revolting it was to think that we'd slept on those sheets all night. I don't wish to get too graphic, but please understand that the affected area was larger than the size of a quarter (or a 1 euro piece) and should have been noticeable to whoever folded the linens. The blanket was stained with a substance that appeared to be dried blood, but I confess I did not wish to examine it closer to be sure. We called for the cabin steward and he immediately changed the linens, but for the remainder of the trip, I felt compelled to examine the sheets every night before climbing into bed. I have never before had such an experience either on a ship or in a hotel, and do not wish to ever repeat it.

The dining room linens, including the napkins, consistently contained human hair, leading us to wonder whether the table linens were being laundered with the bed linens.

Less egregious issues included the following:

There were no washcloths in the cabin or on our deck. Fellow passengers, Harold and Hope, on Deck 15, provided us with washcloths.

Although bathrobes are listed as part of the cabin ammenities, we were not provided with them until we asked for them, after learning from other passengers that bathrobes were in fact available.

The activites, especially those for English-speaking passengers, were extremely limited in comparison with other cruise lines. When we asked for a deck of cards, we were told that we'd have to purchase them!

The games involving passengers were the sort of thing we'd expect to see on Carnival cruise lines. People being made fun of by the entertainment staff or being asked to perform childish games that involved (in the case of Mr Orchestra) male passengers singing and dancing shirtless.

Unlike every other ship on which we have sailed, the steam and sauna are not gratis. The fee was 15 euros per hour, an amount even the European passengers complained about.

The cruise line failed to provide weather advisements at each port, nor did they give a list of shops recommended or guaranteed to have fair-priced goods. It would have been helpful to know the basics; e.g., the distance from the ship to the nearest town, shop or restaurant; the price of cabfare form the pier to town, or the accessibility of public transportation. Again, every other cruise line we have traveled with provides this service.

The cafeteria staff do not offer to assist elderly or infirm passengers to find a table, carry their plate to a table, obtain water, tea or coffee for them. Again, every other cruise line we have been on has provided this service. Fortunately we are able-bodied, but I would not consider booking this line for my parents.

Incredibly, the juice machines that work at breakfast were "out of order" for the remainder of the day. It soon became obvious that the ship was simply turning the machines off so as not to provide juice throughout the day.

The buffet lines in the cafeteria were chaotic as plates and silverware are placed at either end and in the middle of the buffet, leading passengers to enter from all directions. This too was an unpleasant first for us.

There were no Do Not Disturb signs available in the cabin. And in order to use the cabin lights, the passenger's cruise card must be in the slot inside the cabin. That inserted card also illuminates a light outside to let the steward know that the cabin is occupied. Unfortunately, a steward delivering ice in the afternoon knocked insistently for nearly ten minutes while I scrambled to get out of the shower and dress to open the door.

When my husband felt dizzy on one occasion after forgetting to take his blood pressure medication, I called the medical staff to ask if they could check his blood pressure. They replied that they could, but for a 5 euro fee -- again, this is a first for us as every other ship would have done a single reading as a courtesy.

Quite simply, it appears that MSC "nickels and dimes" its passengers at every opportunity. When I tried to mail postcards from the ship, I was quoted an exorbitant price that I later learned was twice the postage charged at the port. Is MSC in such dire straits that it needs to inflate postage?

MSC Orchestra was obviously catering to the majority German passenger population. As my husband and I speak fluent Spanish, we were astonished to realize on several occasions that information conveyed in other languages was simply not imparted to the English-speaking minority. I do not know if the announcements were abbreviated because of time constraints, or the language limitations of the crew, but we were certainly glad to have the benefit of speaking another language.

In summary, we would not recommend MSC as we neither felt welcome nor did we find that the ship, regardless of its lovely decor, met the service standards to which we are accustomed and enjoy from Princess, Holland and Celebrity.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: September 29, 2007

Just completed a 7-day cruise from Venice round-trip to Istanbul on MSC's newest and largest ship, the Orchestra.

Much too crowded, kids everywhere around the pool, cutting lines at the buffet, noisy.

We were looking forward to some good Italian cuisine. It didn't happen. Food was mediocre to lousy. Entertainment rather repetitive.

Noise level by the pool and buffet very distracting.

Would I do another MSC cruise again? Never!!

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Eastern Caribbean
Publication Date: April 18, 2007

we got escorted off the ship in St. Lucia after my husband got ill, which the ship dr should of been able to handle. They are rude people,only care about keeping their schedule. we were left alone with no help from the cruise line at all. No entertainment on the ship to speak of. Food so-so. will never go on this cruise line again

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: April 6, 2007

Wonderful relaxing cruise. This was our 21 cruise. I am a young 60 my wife is 53. We had second seating dining. Our cabin was an inside on deck 9

I grade my cruises as follows. “A” Is exceptional. “B” Is good. “C” Is average. I would expect my cruise to be “C” or better. “D” Is poor. “E” Is horrible.

Ship. I grade the ship a B. It was extremely clean. Laid out well. Many lounges. We never had a problem finding a seat in a lounge. Shops were very limited in size and selections. They never hardly every announce anything.

Cabin. Would be a grade of “C. They were small only 140 sq ft. Bathroom was small. Cabin was extremely clean. No towel animals or chocolates. Some of the most comfortable beds we have ever had. Normal shower soap, shampoo and etc.

Food. Would be a “B”. But I love true ITALIAN FOOD. If you like Olive Garden food you will not like Lirica food. Pasta was extremely good. Lobster wasn’t the best. Beef was good. Veal was OK. My tablemate said the fish was excellent. Ice tea was very good. Hot

Chocolate was to die for; it was made with hot milk. Breakfasts were good selection. We ate almost all of our meals in the dining room. We had table 106 in the larger dining room. Buffet was lacking. Best thing on buffet was stews and fruit. Breads were true Italian hard on the outside and soft in the middle. Pizza was very good. We found out on the last few days they will make a pizza to order for you. We order two with extra cheese. They were wonderful.

Entertainment. I grade this as a “B”. They had variety shows. The Tenor was wonderful and the magician was also a quick-change artist and he was fast and very GOOD. The dancers were OK. We never attended any of the poolside games. Here is where the lack of announcements caused problems. They were over before we remembered them. My wife won bingo one night. We didn’t go to bingo we just happened to be in the lounge where they played the game.

Service. I grade this with an “A”. The waiter and assistant waiter were extremely good. They never introduced themselves but they knew our likes in a matter of 2 days. Teas and bread was waiting and after the first night we never had to order hot chocolate again. Bar service is very good. We don’t drink anything except cokes. We always had someone near to get us a coke but didn’t have to keep saying no thank you to any offers for drinks. Our cabin steward was very good he came to introduce himself on the afternoon we board and asked if we needed anything. We saw him a few time after that and he met every need we had. By the Way there was never an added tip to my coke order. The tips are $12.00 per day. 40% goes to cabin attendants (your cabin is attended to by two people), 40% goes to wait staff and bartenders/servers and the remaining 20% goes to there managers like the headwaiter and etc.

Ports. I would grade these as “A”. We did Columbia, San Blas Island off of Panama, The Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Roatan Honduras and Jamaica. I loved all of the except Jamaica. Panama isn’t for a prude. Topless women greeted us as we got off the ship.

Would I go on MSC again? Yes I would. I had a very relaxing cruise.

I would grade the whole cruise as a “B”. Have I had better food? Yes I think Royal Caribbean is slightly better. Better cabins? Yes Carnival’s are larger. Better service? No MSC had the best service of all my cruises. For the money spent it was wonderful.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: February 27, 2007

This review will be very short.

Embarkation: Very rapid. Arrived at approximately 12:30PM. Obtained a wheelchair for wife and was checked in and onboard within 20 minutes.

Cabin: Outside with about 140SqFt of space. Adequate storage space for hanging and drawers with shelves. Beds kept as twins since by moving them together would take up too much floor space. Large Safe easy to operate. Shower nice arranged but no enough upper shelf storage. Large under sink storage. Shower was nice except it was way too small. Door lock was easy to operate with the sign and sail card. Television was small and did NOT have an AV plug in to view digital Pictures.

Sign and Sail card had imprinted the Cabin Number on it. To me this is a security violation. If anyone lost the card anyone finding it would be able to enter your Cabin.

Food: IMO the food was NOT good. Many dishes were overcooked. The menu selections were limited and it was not prepared as I thought it should be. The lobster entre was prepared with head and tail together. I did not like it.

Service: Service was excellent. The waiters

were prompt, attentive and polite. Your continous request were honored and waiting for us as we entered the dining room. We were seated at a table for 4 but no one showed up to dine with us. We requested to have company at dinner but none was provided.

Décor of ship: The arrangement of the facilities were excellent. They were adequately decorated and very nice. There were only one deck which you could not go from bow to stern and that was deck 5 where one of the dining rooms were located.

Cleanliness of Ship: All areas were in excellent condition. Cleanest ship we have cruised on.

Entertainment: The shows were very good. The started promptly on schedule. Most programs only lasted for about 45 minutes. Since we ate at 8:15 it would give us 30 minutes before dinner. The shows could have been longer.

Daily Programs: The programs were very hard to read. If you wish to find a certain activity you would have to search all over for it. IMO activities should be listed by time of day so that could be followed.

Dress: Of the 11 day cruise there were only 3 casual days. All the rest was Informal or Formal. IMO there should have been more casual. A large percentage of passengers ignored the notices.

Languages: Since this was an Italian ship most of the activities were run in European languages. Each time and announcement was made it was made in 5 languages, French, Spanish, German, Italian and English. Very annoying to me. But this is an Italian ship and we knew it.

Vacating the Cabin on debarkation. They listed in the instructions that they wished everyone to be completely out of the cabin by 7 AM. This was entirely too early. The first to leave the ship was about 9 AM. The cabin stewarts had adequate time to clean the rooms before the next passengers came onboard by allowing us passengers to remain in the cabins longer.

The most outstanding part of our cruise: Music of your Life sponsored The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra conducted by Buddy Morrow. The entire Big Band was there. They played several times each and every day of the cruise. They brought along their lead singer Ron Gutierrez. Also we heard noted singers, Lorri Hafer, Michele Anastasio and noted singer and disc Jockey Herb Oscar Anderson. This group books on many cruises during the year. "Music of Your Life A Sea". If anyone has the opportunity to cruise along with this group be sure to take it. It was outstanding. Buddy is the only person along who was with the original Tommy Dorsey Band. He is now 88 years old.

Overall rating: Would I book another MSC Cruise? Maybe. The Opera is a very nice ship but many minuses make me think awhile.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: January 21, 2007

Ship Lirica was extremely clean, food was good, entertainment was good, service excellent. Would definitely cruise this line again.

Outside Deck doors did not have functioning "anti-slam" closures and unfortunately I crushed my finger and had the top joint surgically removed in Jamaica. I continued the cruise. The cruise doctors were helpful, but didn't follow up with me after the operation. I guess they figured I survived and that was all that mattered???

BE CAREFUL when entering the ship's outside deck doors from outside under windy conditions as they are apt to slam.

I did write the cruise line and suggested they check and/or install anti-slam equipment, and it would be interesting to know if anything has transpired. If anyone has info about that, please post.

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Western Caribbean
Publication Date: December 18, 2006

This cruise was only adequete. Lirica was spotlessly clean. Food was poor, esspecially in the resteraunt, which was hit and miss. Our waiters were were very nice but spoke only Indonesian so not one night did they get out order correct, steak instead of fish etc, only 3 choices for main coarse. Our head waiter was a total idiot, he pretended he spoke no english but we heard him speaking perfect english to Americans, kept bringing a silly Plastic Chicken & a pen that gave an electric shock (if you have a pacemaker, watch out).

Food on the deck grill was often cold and the lunchtime buffet was always the same, not a potatoe in sight. Salads were good. Entertainment sometimes was only OK but Italian classical singers were first class. Cabins and staff, can't fault also reception couldn't have been more helpful inspite of very rude & ignorant passengers, they did all they could for us, as Briish Airways had failed to deliver our bags to Miami, they arrived home 7 days after cruise (avoid BA at any cost, they have refused to give us any compensation) Can't pass opinion on

Ports, we could not go ashore with unsuitable clothing, retail shop poorly stocked, OK if you are a lady below size 10 and men under 34 waist. Prices over the top.

Bars were good with plenty of choice of Beers and spirits, wines were pricey.

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Southern Caribbean
Publication Date: December 7, 2006

This was our 4th cruise all taken within 2 years. Previous cruise were all on Princess.

We booked this cruise in early July and booked an inside guarantee. We were pleasantly surprised when we were checking in and found we had been upgraded to a balcony, which they call a suite. We have been in either a balcony or suite and from what I understand no other line would have called this cabin a suite. The bathroom had a tub, which was very nice but a bit hard to get out of as it was very tall.

Our ports were: San Juan, St. Maarten, Grenada, Barbados, St. Lucia, Tortola and Cayo Levantado. We took ship excursions in San Juan, St Maarten and Grenada. They were handled very well. MSC worked at making sure that people who spoke different languages had their own tour bus and guide. We took our own tours in Barbados, St. Lucia and Tortola. We had very good drivers/guides on these.

As for Cayo Levantado there was supposed to be a $19 pp charge for the tender to the island but MSC did drop this, most likely because very few

had signed up. There was still a charge for the buffet on Cayo Levantado but I believe this was due to the ship not doing the buffet but having the hotel on the island providing it. We only saw one couple actually eating.

The passengers were a mix of Americans, Canadians, Britons, Germans, French and Italians. And while it is true that announcements are made in 5 languages the announcement are few and far between.

MSC has instituted the Art auction and the Inch of Gold but neither intruded on the impact of the cruise. They only have one deck that has the shops and the sales people are not pushing you to buy.

The one thing that really stood out for as being different on MSC was the entertainment and animation group.

While MSC is trying to bring in Americans the entertainment was very Italian, not even European (according to the British friends we made). I think they need to make some changes there. They could also do with turning down the volume on the music.

Also the animation group was all Italian and most times it was very hard to understand what they were saying in English. It would not hurt if they had a couple of these people whom English is their first language.

We heard many people complain about the food but really the only complaint we had about the food was that in a lot of items did not have much taste, very bland. It seems that the only items with a lot of flavor were the seafood salads and the soups. But we definitely did not starve.

The ship was very pretty and the Christmas decoration they put up were very nice and not over done. Most lounges and the dining rooms all had a Christmas tree and each was decorated a bit different from the next.

There were a few children on board and did not see any problems with any even though the hours of the children’s club were very short.

The dress code for the cruise was 3 formal nights and the rest casual. Most passengers followed but of course some did not. This definitely did not detour for from our enjoyment.

Over all we enjoyed the cruise and most likely would cruise with MSC again.

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Eastern Mediterranean
Publication Date: October 13, 2006

We were very disappointed. The majority of the staff were borderline-rude and there seemed to be a bias against Americans. We would never use, nor recommend, MSC to anyone.

The food was limited and the quality hit-or-miss. The only way we got any satisfaction was to bring our complaints to the managers.

It all started the first day when we entered our room. It was filled with paint fumes. The woman at the reception desk was not receptive to our concerns and told us there were no fumes, even though she did not go there to see for herself. The safe would not open so they sent someone, who did notice the fumes. When we returned to the reception desk, the same woman was still unreceptive to our concerns and had a take-it-or-leave it attitude. Very similar to the young man in the Four Eyes commercial. After we talked to her manager, the room was ventillated so that the fumes disappeared and the same woman could not be nice enough to us.

A similar situation concerned the dining room. The waiter was indifferent to our requests. Although we had notified the cruiseline that

I was a vegetarian, we had problems. The vegetarian meals that were available were ladened with creams -- something I try to avoid because of high cholesterol. When I asked for a salad with the dressing on the side, I got a soup bowl half-full of lettuce with oil-and-vinegar dressing (actually my favorite). It was an interesting evening. Even our table mates -- all four from Norway -- commented at how mediocre (at best) the food was. So it wasn't just our tastebuds.

When my husband requested that spaghetti be served with his eggplant parmisan, the waiter didn't want to do it. Eventually the waiter got his way.

We spent a lot of money and were very disappointed. Never again! We will only go Royal Caribbean in the future. I didn't want to go to Europe in the first place and plan to never to return again.

Save yourself a lot of money and disappointment by avoiding MSC cruise lines -- especially if you are an American. The only time the staff will act friendly is the day before you disembark. It made no difference -- we only tipped our cabin crew because they kept it clean -- even though they never brought any ice, was was noted in the cruise line materials.

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