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MSC cruise review

Level Contributor
3 posts
26 reviews
19 helpful votes
MSC cruise review

MSC review

Our first experience cruising ever was in Spring 2009 with MSC Musica in the Mediterranean and it was a beautiful experience. Except for language barrier and "different" / "Italian lack of" customer service which I could never get used to. Food was great, nightly shows were awesome. Fast forward to our latest cruise in the Spring of 2012, and it was completely different experience with MSC Orchestra. Staff were rude, food was bland and served the same everyday. It looks like MSC has made a huge cutback in food, entertainment, and even more in customer service.

It felt like they did not even like or want to try and accommodate English speaking customers. Boarding, disembarking and pretty much everything where a "line" should naturally form is always a chaos. Pushing and shoving is a norm and none of the ship crew would fix it. The wait staff would always congregate and chit-chat amongst each other during meal time instead of serving customers. The only thing we looked forward to were getting off of the ship at each destination to get away. 

Instead of the traditional tipping system, MSC has replaced it with a compulsory "Service Charge" system  where you get charged 7 euros per person per day and additional 15% "service charge" all purchases, which could explain the lack of service. If you think about it, why would the staff even try to please customers when the bare minimum would get them tips.

We used to recommend MSC after our 2009 experience but would no longer do so and would never get on a MSC cruise ourselves ever again. 

I hear Carnival is nice.

331 replies to this topic
ON, Canada
Level Contributor
15,050 posts
45 reviews
135 helpful votes
1. Re: MSC cruise review

Steve ... many thanks for posting your thoughts on MSC.

Whichever cruise line/ship you choose for future cruises, I would recommend reading reviews on TA's sister site, Cruise Critic as the reviews will give you an idea as to whether the cruise line is a 'good fit' for you or not.

e.g. Here's a link to reviews of Orchestra ... many of which you can probably relate to: cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/…

For Carnival - here's an overview, plus links to reviews for all of their ships (see the index on the left side of the page): www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/cruiseline.cfm…

Edited: 3:09 pm, April 16, 2012
rochester ny
Level Contributor
14 posts
12 reviews
9 helpful votes
2. Re: MSC cruise review

The service was horrible. We were treated rudely and without satisfaction. Never again will we use MSC.

Akron, Ohio
Level Contributor
2 posts
18 reviews
7 helpful votes
3. Re: MSC cruise review

We just had the same BAD experience with MSC (Musica) 1 week ago.

We took a 8 days cruise out of Venice down to Bari, Greek islands and Croacia.

They never adviced in any of the route advertisement about a 2nd embarkation port (Bari) and due to bad weather we had to wait + than 8 hours till we could dock, what made us to loose the next day port of Katakolon in Greece (Olympia), ended up stuck inside for 3 days !

Besides that, there was a complete lack of organization to get out of the boat on every port, a really stressfull & almost dangerous situation with people pushing and shoving...a lot of rude people around.

Food was average, no creativite at all, no local typical foods, just a cheap offer of stuff that had the same taste every day. I'm sure any of us can do better at home.

Entertainement was terrible, every night it was the same singing & dancing show, with a different figurine, besides the anoying presentations of the enterteinament director that had to speak everything in 5 languages, so a big waste of time.

Even the employes were unhappy & complaining about how the company was holding food and using low quality ingredients and about the way they are treated overall.

MSC, never again !

Even if I have to pay 100% more for another company.

We made several other cruises with Princess (scores a 10), Carnival (9), Norwegian (6) and MSC would score no more than a 3 in my 0-10 scale.

Angra do Heroismo...
1 post
4. Re: MSC cruise review

I'm absolutely livid right now. We pre-paid for the water package. So far only used 3 vouchers. Couldn't find the remaining ones as I think I put them somewhere safe in the cabin and can't find them. Went to reception to ask for replacements bc they can look at my account and see how many have been redeemed thus far and replace what is left. They are more concerned with finding out if another passenger has found and is currently using the vouchers. Explained that I'm sure they are in my cabin and asked for replacements. I was told no! The reception service rep ( named Iryna Tretiatova) said that the bar manager said no! I asked to speak to him or her and iryna said he is sleeping. I asked for his name and she said she cant give that out. I askedfor the cust. Service manager and she "won't be available until 5pm".

Went up to the buffet where bar is and asked another for help he said no problem to replace as long as i have my voucher #. Gave him the # from receipt last time i rede emed a bottle of water with voucher. He called an assistant bar manager to approve. The asst bar manager named Jockey Devassy came and said no also! Really? For water? Again he was insistent on making sure the vouchers won't be used by someone else! I explainedAGAIN that I'm sure they a r e lost in my very own cabin. Still... He wouldn't help. This is crap! I have spent over $1000 .00 on extra services here and they can't replace 4 bottles of water!!? I'm really dissatisfied

Alexandra. Baird

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
15,050 posts
45 reviews
135 helpful votes
5. Re: MSC cruise review

Alexandra....

If you're sure they are in your cabin, maybe all that energy would have been better spent looking for the vouchers than trying to convince staff to replace them? Hopefully by now you've found them and can go on to enjoy your cruise.

Ireland
Level Contributor
5 posts
7 reviews
11 helpful votes
6. Re: MSC cruise review

Just off a msc cruise last week worst food and service ever never again would travel or recommend msc we got them At reception to refund our tips as a was not tipping stAff to b ignorant horrible cruise line

Ireland
Level Contributor
5 posts
7 reviews
11 helpful votes
7. Re: MSC cruise review

Just off a msc cruise last week worst food and service ever never again would travel or recommend msc we got them At reception to refund our tips as a was not tipping stAff to b ignorant horrible cruise line

Watford, United...
Level Contributor
1 post
69 reviews
19 helpful votes
8. Re: MSC cruise review

Thank goodness it wasn't just me that didn't enjoy the food or the service on the MSC Splendida (returning to Barcelona 3rd Nov) I felt like marching down to the galley myself. The crew were Italian, I was looking forward to a display of Italian cuisine, nah. Just swollen pasta and naff sauces. Nowhere to sit on deck, just loungers. Even have to pay for the water at dinner. Having been on the QE2 and carnival cruises MSC is rock bottom. Would never recommend them and NEVER go again with MSC.

suffolk
Level Contributor
793 posts
53 reviews
62 helpful votes
9. Re: MSC cruise review

Just back from the MSC Divina and have to say the food was very good and the staff were one of the most friendliest I have had on any cruise ship. I was a little worried before I went but would definitely sail with them again.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney, New South Wales, Cruises
Level Contributor
11,711 posts
167 reviews
216 helpful votes
10. Re: MSC cruise review

Alexandria

My other half lost the coffee card on Princess and they wouldn't replace it either ... and for the same reasons that MSC gave you. The difference was that they did review and talk to others higher up the chain and were very sympathetic but couldn't do anything because it didn't have a name / cabin / folio number etc that they could confirm or trace.

So ... it's tough luck and you just have to be more careful.

As for the other reviews about poor service, food etc ... nothing has changed since we went on the Musica in 2006 ... that was our first and last time on MSC.

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