My husband and I went on this cruise ship with another couple for a "babymoon" vacation. Last hurrah before a baby. A little background on us, I am 26 years old, my husband 28 and we have been on a princess cruise and celebrity cruise both of which were an incredible experience. This was our first cruise of Europe and we were excited to experience it on a European Cruise Line. We picked this boat based on friends recommendations and the itinerary. Our friends went on the ship right after the grand opening and upgraded their package which we did not. Both of which could have contributed to the HUGE differences in our experiences.
The worst of the worst: FOOD
-On sign up online it offered us anytime dinning but when we arrived they said it shouldn't have and that is only available for the upgraded package so we were automatically put at the earliest dinning time option. After many conversations they were able to get us a later time for dinner. -which was nice but still a hassle to figure out
SIT DOWN DINNING
-BUG IN MEAL. At the sit down dinning my husband had some sort of worm in his meal (see picture) After pointing it out, the floor manager in the restaurant told us that these things happen and what can you do. He then offered another food option but at that point we had lost our appetite. My husband requested the wine we ordered with dinner be on the house and the manger said these things do not equal the same thing. Needless to say we went to the customer service desk after that.
- ONLY BOTTLED H20. When asked for tap water we were told they only serve bottled water (cruise lines have safe, clean tap water) we had to go to the 5th floor buffet and bring tap water to dinner. It was sad to see all that plastic being used needlessly. They also still used straws which the other two cruise lines we had been on had already made the switch from. The other cruise lines would give the straw or bottled water based on request.
-BUFFET. Majority of the buffet was cold, the hot dogs were a grey purple colour and the lettuce frequently had sand in it. For a 5 month pregnant lady it was next to impossible to find anything safe to eat. Only had one station to make omelets or eggs and no fresh pasta station nightly.
The metal detector you have to walk through once on the boat had a clearly labeled do NOT go through pregnant sign on it. I was harassed by security for not walking through it numerous times even after explaining the sign says no and I am pregnant. The one time I was harassed so bad the next few passengers through congratulated me for refusing to walk through and told me it was wrong how they treated me. The experience was embarrassing and made me feel so uncomfortable I left in tears. My husband went to customer service after. We did not understand how there was not a policy for security with pregnant women or those with pacemakers. I surely was not the first pregnant women on this boat so why did they not have a procedure in place instead of arguing with me and trying to make me walk through it. After talking to customer service they reported they did have a procedure and they would refresh the security officers on it. I did not experience an issue after that just waited to be patted down instead. The security off the boat at the ports were amazing and I was never harassed.
We had discovered our door not fully closed a few times allowing anyone access to the room. Our cleaner seemed very young and new so we gave him the benefit of the doubt but another cherry on top of our horrible experience.
The indoor jungle pool did not have access to the other pools unless you went inside (wet) and walked up the stairs or elevator. Which is an unusual layout for such a new ship
They had pool guards on deck monitoring people running, jumping, eating, drinking, and being in the hot tubs. Sounds good right? But this was extremely uncomfortable as they literally timed when you got in the hot tub and would rotate you out in 15 minutes. Most people would leave early because it was so uncomfortable watching them watch you and their watches. It was not relaxing at all. Yet when they did maintenance on a hot tub and put chemicals in it they did not had a stationed guard there or sign telling people not to go in. So people would keep going in it and eventually a guard would round and tell them to get out and shower off because it was being treated with chemicals (still no signs went up)
At 5pm daily the staff would come and start collecting chairs and relocate items to different chairs so they could clear their space. Even when you told them that you were using them and you were just going in the pool or hot tub.
do to the lack of bar service staff you wait 15- 30 minutes min. for a drink
I found when doing research that the excursions they offered were boring compared to the other cruise line excursions. We planned most of our stuff outside of the cruise line because of this reason. But we did book a biking excursion and that port happened to get cancelled and they took us to an alternative destination. We tried to book another bike trip at this location and we were told the guests who had a bike excursion booked would have that option first. We were like... we did have a bike excursion booked. They said they would get back to us if they could book us in and they never did. We went back to check later and the one lady told us that the bike excursion was full but we should book something else because its a boring stop and most things are closed on the weekend. However, there was nothing else that interested us. When we arrived at the port it did have lots of shops open and even a large market in the street. Later we were notified that there was a bike excursion available after all. Very unorganized.- but we were happy the bike excursion never happened at the new destination
ONLY GOOD THING
The entertainment was amazing! The shows at night were incredible but you did have to pre-book seats. The entertainment staff were also great and engaging.
If you can get past the food, avoid the buffet, be patient for drinks and not care that the pool is being guarded like a hawk, then the entertainment might make it all worth it for you. But as much as I love a good show and love to dance I will not go MSC again.
I have never written a review before but based on this experience I needed to share.
Loved Cannes, walked around, did some shopping, hung out at the beach and restaurant hopped
Did hop on hop off bus- nice relaxing way to end the trip and see things.
We planned our own things to do here. Park Guell (pre-book tickets) was very cool could have wondered around it for the whole day but spent 3 hours. went to the Boqueria Market - absolute must see!!! Saw the Magic Fountain show starts later then advertised. I believe it started at 9:45 and was packed so get there early! Highly recommend using a pintrest itinerary walk for this location.
This was our embarking and disembarking location. Besides the smog, I could have stayed here another 3 days. So much to do and experience! We stayed at the Serras Hotel and highly recommend it! beautiful location, amazing service and convenient location.
Was suppose to be Ajaccio but got cancelled and we went to Toulon France. Would not go back, little to do right in port and did not feel welcoming to tourists
We went to Portofino and planned this ourselves. Saved so much money doing it ourselves and it gave us more freedom. Highly recommend going to portofino for the morning. Have a little drink and snack then on the way back after the bus ride stay in Santa Margherita for lunch at Taverna del Marinaio, right along the water. It is a 5 minute walk from the bus stop/ train station. It is a family run italian restaurant that was the highlight of our entire trip!! THE BEST HOMEMADE PASTA And SAUCE. We ordered seconds and we were not even hungry. The people we met at this restaurant said they had been back twice now because it was soooo good and they ordered seconds as well. Smaller portion size but worth it!! Then take the train back to Genoa. (about 50 minutes). 8 minute walk from Piazza Principe train station to the boat. We did not have time to explore Genoa but it seemed very big and would like to go back.
We did the cine la terre here. the walk to the train station in La Spezia was a bit confusing but after we talked to some people we figured it out. Walk along the water path till you see the sign for the train station. I believe it is close to 30 minute walk but we were speed walking and did it faster. The train was not regulated when we went on it and was beyond packed and we were there Oct 1st can only imagine how bad it is in the peak season! We walked the Monterosso trail to vernazza in 1.5 hours and it was definitely a hike!! bring lots of water, sunscreen ect. do not do if not active. it was an incredible once in a life time experience but i do not see myself going back because of the train system being that intensely packed and i am not even claustrophobic.