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Anyone cruised with MSC?

(21 Posts)
Reiltin Tue 14-Nov-17 16:03:05

We’re looking at an MSC cruise but some of the online reviews aren’t great. Anyone sailed with them before? Specifically, is the food ok?

EnglishGirlApproximately Tue 14-Nov-17 16:09:02

Not sailed with them but I’m a travel agent do have heard lots of feedback! If you like P&O traditional British cruising then don’t do it! The people I know who’ve enjoyed them are people who like fairly informal Cruises, not bothered about entertainment and are happy to eat foreign food. The restaurants are geared towards Italian customers, and not the anglicised version of it. Entertainment is in Italian and announcements are made in several languages which people find irritating.
The people I know who’ve lived it have been on the newer ships and enjoyed the kids facilities, choice of bars and how modern it is. I’m looking at one for myself as I don’t think the negatives would bother me and they are great value. It’s worth upgrading the ‘experience’ though as you don’t get much included if you don’t.

Reiltin Tue 14-Nov-17 16:18:18

That’s good to know about the entertainment being in Italian! The food aspect wouldn’t bother too much, as long as it was good quality. I’ll look into the upgrades - thanks 😊

EnglishGirlApproximately Tue 14-Nov-17 17:00:06

I don’t think the food would bother me tbh., I don’t go away to eat British food anyway! I always find it odd when there’s roast beef and bread and butter pudding on Caribbean cruise confused Which ship are you looking at?

picklemepopcorn Tue 14-Nov-17 17:07:24

We love it! Been on several. The food is fab, it’s multiple courses at dinner. You need to order several, as the main doesn’t come with much veg or carb. So you order a starter, a salad, a pasta or risotto, a main then a desert.

The entertainment was all in English, but the announcements were in four languages. Didn’t bother me.

For me, I think you need to be flexible and enjoy what is offered rather than being disappointed that it isn’t what you expected. We've always had a really good time.

EnglishGirlApproximately Tue 14-Nov-17 17:27:27

That’s good to hear pickle, my customers either love them or says it’s been the worst holiday of their life grin I really fancy trying them though, we’ve done RCI, P&O and Celebrity but fancy change

picklemepopcorn Wed 15-Nov-17 07:26:08

We went on Opera, up the fjords twice, and along north west European coast. We went on the Norwegian jade (Iceland) recently, less impressed, and a carnival last year in the med. They were all good in different ways. We go for the itinerary, so happily make the best of whatever the ship offers around the edges. I’d say you have to work out what the ship offers in the first day or so, then focus on the bits you like. So MSC and Carnival we usually ate in the main restaurants, the food was fab and service efficient. Norwegian jade was so slow in the restaurant, we preferred the buffet option. We tend to look for our favourite 'hanging out' spaces in the early days as well.

Madbengalmum Fri 17-Nov-17 20:30:38

Heard nothing good at all about MSC even yacht club their upscale suite area is supposed to be sub par.

honeyrider Sun 04-Feb-18 23:09:10

I'm going on my third MSC cruise next month and I loved the two I've been on already. The food is lovely, plenty of variety, the entertainment is in English and of a high standard, superb service. The entertainment is themed on the country the ship's at, in Barcelona it was Spanish themed, Marseille - French themed etc.

The only people I've seen complaining (online) tend to be Americans who don't like a European style cruise or Little England types who don't like anything "foreign" and just want Blighty abroad.

budgiegirl Mon 05-Feb-18 07:59:21

honeyrider, could you help me by explaining what people mean by ‘a European style cruise’
I have been on NCL several times, and loved it, I’m a bit wary of changing lines, but I am tempted by MSC,
Is it mainly a different style of food? Or entertainment?

I’d be more than happy with ‘European’ food, but I am a bit antisocial on holiday, so prefer tables for two, rather than a set dining time on shared tables, how does this work on MCS?

Greenteandchives Mon 05-Feb-18 08:12:57

I have been on several cruises with different companies. Our MSC cruises have been excellent value. The ships are absolutely gorgeous, clean and sparkling. The passenger mix is multi national therefore most activities are visual, e.g no comedians. The cabin was the nicest and most comfortable we have ever had. We liked that there were lots of smaller different bars rather than big areas. The food was fine, especially the Italian dishes, and it was no trouble getting a table for two. We have booked another cruise with them as their prices are very competitive.

honeyrider Tue 06-Feb-18 01:18:31

budgiegirl I've seen so many references to American style v European style on cruisecritic and my understanding of the two styles is that the European style tends to be more cosmopolitan, English speakers would be in the minority, passengers tend to dress up more for dinner in the restaurants, main dining room/buffet is casual all the time, later dining times, dinner is more relaxed and slower, bigger variety of food and less processed food.

We've got a table for two booked on next month's cruise.

budgiegirl Wed 07-Feb-18 13:55:09

Thanks Greentea and Honeyrider, that's really helpful.

Just one more thing, honeyrider, you say you have a table for two booked in advance, it this something that is available to everyone, or do you have to be a certain level of cabin, or loyalty club member?

honeyrider Thu 08-Feb-18 23:06:05

I only booked the cruise last month and got one of the last 2 cabins on it. While I was booking it I was offered the choice of a table for two or with others.

On the two previous cruises we were seated with others, two couples on the first cruise - an Irish couple and an Australian couple, we had great craic with them. On the second cruise we were seated with an Irish couple and had great craic with them too and went drinking with them some of the nights.

Bumply Sat 17-Feb-18 18:44:11

I've been on 3 MSC cruises in the past and booked to go again this summer with my teen DS after doing different things for a couple of years.
English speakers are in the minority.
There may be smoking areas (which is such a cultural shock now we're used to no smoking anywhere public)
Announcements in multiple languages.
Restaurant meals are leisurely, multiple small courses which take time to serve and eat, and if you're in the second sitting it starts late. That's never bothered me as I can take my own sweet time getting around to making supper at home.
Depending on where you're travelling some excursions may be cancelled if there aren't enough English speakers booked up. This happened to us at Naples. We were given the option of travelling to Vesuvius with a German group, switching to another tour or cancelling and getting a refund. We did a different tour and enjoyed it.
Not sure which nationality, but some non- English do not queue patiently and can be a bit push and shoving at the buffet if it's busy, but you just learn to keep your place as best you can and not let it get to you.
Also can be differences in modesty. Naked children being changed openly by the pools rather than shrouded in towels. Bikini clad women not ashamed to show off their larger size (where I'm happier in swimsuit)
I booked it because DS needs gluten free diet and they're Coeliac society stamped as GF safe (in the MDR rather than the buffet where there's no guarantees). It's blissful being on holiday and not having to cook or do tons of research into what's available in shops/restaurants.
I'm happy to stick with them because I know it works for us and they tend to be that bit cheaper than other companies. The itineraries have been really good. I've done 3 Mediterranean and looking forward to Norwegian fjords this summer.

Teenmum60 Sun 20-May-18 13:16:00

@Bumply Are you by any chance on the 9th July sailing from Southampton...our first cruise with MSC having previously been with RCL a few times. Last minute booking for myself and my teen also 16.

Bumply Sun 20-May-18 21:18:05


There's a FB group called MSC Magnifica Cruisers Forum that's worth joining. Cruise critic seems to be so MSC Seaside centric for the US market at the moment.

Teenmum60 Sun 20-May-18 21:23:15

Thanks - I'm on the general MSC site will have a look..CC is very quiet!

Justinonmybroomstick Thu 02-Aug-18 00:26:51

I’ve done a few in MSC Davinia in the Yacht Club and can recommend it but I’ve also done a few in a balcony cabin and that was just as nice.

Haisuli Wed 08-Aug-18 17:36:41

We have been on the MSC Meraviglia. I have never been on any other cruise line so nothing to compare it with. We paid extra to upgrade to all inclusive drinks. Would recommend that. We didn't pay extra to go to the speciality restaurants and I think we maybe should have. We found the restaurant nice enough but not special. We loved the buffet, but it was often very busy. We found that the bars and entertainment spaces weren't big enough for the size of ship so if there was a nice band on you couldm'#t get anywhere near. It was also difficult getting on and off the ship with big queues, just because it was so huge. We also found that the boat seemed to dock miles out town so it was often an expedition to get anywhere. I don't think we would do it again. Not on such a big boat anyway

margotsdevil Tue 14-Aug-18 01:10:52

I found it cheap and cheerful but wouldn't rule out cruising with them again - we booked based on itinerary. Main dining room was decent - not the quality of say Celebrity or Cunard but then you're not paying the same price! Found the buffet a bit of a rammy at times; a lot of people didn't believe in queuing- but again that's a British thing so not a surprise. Didn't like the lack of public space compared to some other lines - bars in the middle of corridors and a very crowded top deck due to the huge number of decks given over to balcony cabins - again though I'd make sure to book a balcony to avoid this:

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