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MSC Sinfonia Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
705 Reviews

If you ever thought about embarking on a cruise from Capetown, just forget it

MSC Sinfonia Cruise Review by MarcMuc

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2018
  • Destination: Africa
  • Cabin Type: Suite

We had a nice vacation planned, fly from Germany to Capetown, spend a few days there and then go on a short cruise to Durban to meet our guide there for a Safaritour. Well, the first and third part worked out well, but the cruise,,,

The itinerary said embarkation starts at 12:30, so we decided to get there at around two pm in the hope of avoiding the biggest rush. When we got to the cruiseterminal, there were still people coming off the ship, so naturally embarkation hadn´t even started. There were already long lines out in the rather hot sun because the terminal is much too small to handle a "regular size" cruiseship. Some of those waiting in line didn´t make it on board before six pm. We were lucky, because we had priority embarkation through our having gained "black" status via the statustransfer-program MSC is running currently (we are Elite Plus at Celebrity Cruises). Even so we had to wait one and a half hours, before we got on board. I think Capetown Harbor and MSC are about equally to blame for this. Like I said, the Terminal is very small and there were only three or four counters( of a possible ten or twelve) open when embarkation finally began. Then ther was the rather stupid setup by MSC having the commercial photos (those you can later buy) taken right after the security check and the onboard photos taken one by one after entering the ship single file on two gangways. It would make more sense taking the necessary photos right after the security check and position the voluntary photos somewhere later.

Well, when we finally had made it on board, the fun really started. At MSC the cabins are supposed to be open and you find your roomcard inside. Naturally our cabin was locked and it took another half hour until somebody came to open it for us The cabin itself was very nice,only the sofa is looking very old, but overall the cabin is nice and roomy. It even has a walkable closet. After some exploring in the cabin, we discovered that the safe was locked, so another trip to the reception and more time waiting in the cabin instead of exploring the ship.

The ship was supposed to get on its way to Durban at six pm, but by then there were still people embarking and the first announcements were made that " due to the strong winds" our departure would be delayed by several hours. We spent a nice evening on board after a rather ho-hum dinner with several beer buckets (remember we´re Germans) and went to bed. Next morning we´re still in Capetown and the first lttle panic sets in with our companions if we can make it to Durban in timeto meet our guide. All morning announcements are made that we are still a little delayed due to the strong winds, although on the ship´s tv the winds are shown at 21 knots, which doesn´t seem too extraordinary- If a cruiseship can´t handle 20 knot winds, they might as well beach it somewhere or make it a hotelship in some port...

By noon the reception had just reassured us, that we would still reach Durban on monday, when the announcement came that MSC couldn´t guarantee the hour or even the date of the arrival in Durban and everybody who wished to disembark could now do so. The process involved another long wait in line and in the early afternoon our shortest cruise ever thankfully ended...

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Cabin S2 1063

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