We chose this cruise because we like the itinerary, the dates were perfect and the price was good.
In the past we have cruised with P&O, Cunard, Royal Caribbean & Princess and have always had a good experience -They all seem to offer something different and we are looking for an enjoyable holiday and good value for money.
The ship is well maintained and very clean, the public areas are well designed and the decor is lovely, with lots of indoor and outdoor sitting areas. We had an outside cabin and it was clean fairly spacious and pleasant, Bathroom was basic but more than adequate.
It would be hard to criticize the ship if it had no passengers or crew onboard !! Perhaps you are wondering why my score is so low?
Before we went onboard I read some reviews saying how ignorant so of the passengers were, how they didn't know how to queue and would actually push you whilst in the self service Buffet. So we thought we were prepared.. WE WERE NOT!! I have 2 dogs with more manners...
I think the large quantity of rude, brusque, miserable looking guests has had a huge impact on the majority of staff who rarely make eye contact and really seem almost frightened of the guests. We witnessed a couple of temper tantrums and some shouting all in the buffet area ...but the main problem during breakfast especially is you can easily be knocked off your feet by these rude people, they seem to come at you and push there way through, women and men alike... We were a group of 2 families ( 4 adults, 2 teens and 1 child) I made a huge effort to smile and make eye contact with the staff and they would do a double take you could see they were so used to being treated like a servant by the guests.
The menu choice in the black crab was fairly limited , the quality of food and amounts weren't great. (I must say we did have 2 lovely waiters Jacksy and Prubu from Indonesia ) We had 3 nice meals out of 5... the other 2 nights the choices were not to our taste so we chose to eat in the Buffet which was much calmer in the evening. I also chatted to a waitress called Tasha from Grenada, she was so lovely and really helpful.
We went to the entertainment 3 nights and only the one show was really worth watching the other 2 we were just wishing it would end so we could escape.
The staff on top deck that served ice cream seemed to be the most grumpy- especially the shorter man who seemed to do his best to ignore us when we were waiting and was very abrupt when he served us.
The children didn't want to swim in the outdoor pools because they were too cold and the indoor pool was too cold in the morning and when it warmed up in the afternoon it was too full to swim in.As with the jacuzzi's they were constantly full and you had to queue for a place - to squeeze in with 10 or 12 others. If the pools had been warmer I am sure there would have been less people in the jacuzzi's. The water chute was empty most of the time as it was too cold to use.
Pre-cruise both my husband and I we had e-mails to say that based on all the other cruises we had done with other cruise lines we had been upgraded from a welcome member to Gold Member and they look forward to rewarding us with our privileges.. ( we got quite excited and looked up on line what we would be getting - We were led to believe we would be getting a welcome cocktail with the captain, a basket of fruit in our room and 50 euros each onboard spend.) We arrived to a small dish of fruit - a letter to the welcome party and had a glass of sour prosecco or super sweet mixed fruit juice- but the final straw was when I popped to reception to ask about our onboard spend I was told that was only on Voyages Selection departures and this cruise wasn't one of them .... Well please Captain Veniero don't sent us emails telling us we are very special gold members and suggesting we are going to get something that we aren't going to get!!)
We were lucky that the weather was sunny and warm it did mean we could sit up on top deck and sunbathe when we returned to the ship in the afternoon.
Ports of call were lovely - shuttle buses were a total rip off! Charging for a shuttle bus when just 400 yards away there is a a free shuttle into the city centre in Marseille isn't quite how you would expect to be treated when you've been welcomed into the MSC Family! The cruise might have been reasonably priced to start with but they pile the charges on to the extra's at every opportunity.
In the email the captain talks welcoming you to the MSC family , well I have unsubscribed and want a divorce please... Even in the lifts and public areas , hardly anyone smiled or tried to speak. Most other ships we have been on people chat in the lift and talk about their day or at least acknowledge each other with a nod or try and hold the lift for you to get on - but no there was a lot of tight lipped poker faces. For the first time ever we have come home feeling almost pleased that our holiday is over.
We are looking forward to a short break on the Cunard Queen Victoria in January at least we know it will be a friendly and civilised experience with laughter, good food and pleasant company.
Nothing wrong with the cabin on a par with any we have stayed in before. possibly even slightly larger than some - clean and perfectly acceptable.
Very Pleasant port of call - efficient embarkation
Pleasant port of call - remember there is a free bus provided by the city
Streets were quite dirty and areas we visited seemed scruffy
Immediately overwhelmed by people trying to get you to go on their form of transport, Strange little open top taxis, horse and cart several of which didn't seem very well kept, hop on& Off Bus etc.
Very dirty street especially if you wandered from the main areas. This was everyone's least favourite port - We wouldn't want to go back here.
Lovely place super friendly locals , great beach. Easy to use Metro right next to the cruise port. Clean and a really great place to stop. We all want to go back here for longer than a day.
Really great place to visit , we loved it got taxi into town super friendly and really geared up for tourists. Lovely well kept horse and carriages going up and down the streets. Great place to visit. Beautiful places to see , beautifully clean streets and nice shops, helpful locals. We would all like to go back here for longer than a day .