Sail Date: November 01, 2008 Ship: MSC Lirica Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 9 years ago
This medium-sized ship was nothing special. Use of mirrors and brass in the interior areas of the ship was nice, but lounges and most dining & seating areas tended to be crowded. We were amazed at how rude the European non-English speaking guests were - very pushy and loud (and noticed by some other guest we talked to so it wasn't just us!). If you want to see the port cities "on your own" and not the very expensive cruise-sponsored tours, do your homework ahead of time - not much information available otherwise. We were very disappointed with Tangiers - basically a dirty city that did not feel very safe. Definitely, women should not venture out alone there. I wore sandals and capris pants there and was glared at several times for my "disrespectful" dress. There was no information re this kind of thing at all.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
We had requested vegan meals for the main dining room (the only place to eat dinner by the way) and they were not prepared the first day. Afterwards we had such wonderful meals prepared for us every day that our tablemates asked to have the same meals the last two days! Beyond that, except for the fruit offered on the buffets, healthy food choices were limited. Different from my previous cruises, there actually were times of day when you could not get anything to eat unless you ordered room service from a menu that you could not make any substitutions on. The "Grand Buffet" on the last evening probably was wonderful, but we couldn't see it because of the crowds and gave up with the passengers rudely pushing by each other. Ship's staff definitely blew organizing this feast - no planning for the crowd given the caffeteria room space.
3 out of 5
Since this was a smaller ship, not many entertainment options were available to rate. Basically, there was one show after dinner and then you could find a singer and/or an instrumentalist in several of the lounges. The talent was nicely comparative to a small/medium-sized town where you say "the town supports it art community (local talent)." We did enjoy watching several couples ballroom dance in one of the lounges.
Service and Staff
1 out of 5
Excepting for Marella, our wonderful maitre d', the rest of the staff did there jobs but not to any stellar helpfulness. In particular, the staff at the reception/help desk were very abrupt, basically rude and not helpful; the wait staff in the lounges were okay if you could communicate with them.
3 out of 5
Overall, the ship layout was just fine and kept clean. However, the smoking allowed in the pub and casino not only wafted beyond the doors and was noticeable when passing by, but it also deterred our patronizing either spot.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Very efficient space. Don't know how anyone who weighed more than about 150 pounds was able to take a shower since the shower rail was placed practically in the middle of the wall and it was impossible to avoid hitting it while shampooing, etc (I'm 5'5" and 135#). No ammenities other than bar soap and all-purpose shampoo. Fruit basked awaited us upon arrival which was a nice touch, but the some of the whole fruit was challenging to consume (never did attempt the pineapple with the table knife!).
Pros: One particular staff person was very attentive to our vegan diet when we ate in the main dining room.
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