Our first cruise experience

MSC Lirica Cruise Review to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 12

Overall rating:

3.5 out of 5
MSC Lirica

7 Night Eastern Mediterranean (Venice Roundtrip)

Sail date: October 04, 2019

Ship: MSC Lirica

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 10134

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This was our first cruise and although we were impressed with the cabin, staff, food and destinations, we were very disappointed with the shortened time changes in some of the ports. This meant we didn’t fully experience everything we had hoped to in Crete and Kefalonia. We would otherwise recommend MSC but have decided that cruising isn’t really our type of holiday. We may however try one again in the future.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Very quick and efficient experience

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
We ate in L’Ippocampo each evening as we had my choice dining. The food was excellent and the waiting staff were fabulous. We only experienced the buffet once and that was enough. The food was good but the other cruisers were rude and kept pushing their way through while we were trying to get our food. We then struggled to find anywhere to sit. This put us off going in there so we avoided it after this. We did however use the pizza bar and burger and chips/salad bar/fruit bar which was great. The pizza was amazing.

Lord Nelson Pub

1 out of 5

We never sat in here as the times we walked through it smelled very strongly of tobacco

L'Ippocampo Restaurant

5 out of 5

We ate here each night as we had My Choice dining. The staff were fabulous and our waiters Hasan and Abhishek were amazing. We had fantastic service and they were very personable at all times. The food was lovely.

L'Atmosphere Bar

5 out of 5

Loved this bar and spent most evenings here listening to the pianist and the singer and guitarist. It was very relaxing and the girls serving drinks were great

La Pergola Restaurant

2 out of 5

We only visited the buffet once and couldn’t face it anymore. The food was good but the people were rude pushing into the queue and leaning over when trying to get food. It was also a struggle to find anywhere to sit

Coffee Corner Bar

5 out of 5

Great drinks in a relaxed atmosphere

Beverly Hills Bar

3 out of 5

Very busy with a lot of organised activities I.e. MSCFactor, Romeo and Juliet, quizzes. We went a couple of times but we prefer a more chilled atmosphere so didn’t really enjoy it

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We used the gym which was very good and the spa which was excellent. We had access to the thermal area which was very relaxing. We didn’t use the pool as it was quite small and very busy.

Spa

5 out of 5

We both had massages which were lovely. My only gripe was when we arrived on board we went straight to the spa to book our treatments for the sea day and was told they were fully booked. I was surprised as I had been told by MSC that you couldn’t prebook. We therefore booked for the following morning. After our massages we were asked if we would like to book more treatments for the following day ..... the sea day!! Amazing as they said they were fully booked before

Relax Area

5 out of 5

We had prebooked access to this area and really enjoyed relaxing in there. It was very peaceful

Gym

5 out of 5

Great equipment with a fabulous view.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
The shows were very good with fabulous costumes. We particularly liked the piano bar as it was very chilled and we went there every evening before dinner. We only went to the Beverley Hills bar once and there was organised activities I.e. Romeo and Juliet, a kind of Mr and Mrs with silly games. This was very popular but not really our thing so we avoided it.

Broadway Theatre

4 out of 5

Good shows with fabulous costumes for the size of ship.

Children's Programs

No children

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
This was the best thing about MSC. The staff were incredible. They couldn’t be more helpful and friendly and couldn’t do enough for you. Our steward Edi was great and our waiters Hasan Mohammed and Ab. were amazing. They were both extremely knowledgeable about the food and drink menus and always had a smile on their faces. We loved them both and requested a table in their area each evening.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was very clean and well maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

1 out of 5
Our cabin was fabulous. We had booked a balcony cabin and was upgraded to a suite. We had a large walk in wardrobe and lots of storage. Lots of mirrors made the cabin seem larger. Good bathroom with bath/shower. Only negative was the bed was extremely firm.

Ports of call

Venice, Italy

5 out of 5
We stayed in Venice for 3 nights prior to the cruise and had a wonderful few days. We walked miles down the back streets coming across some lovely areas. We had a gondola ride at 6pm and it was great as the sun was starting to set and we got some fabulous photos. We had a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace and Basilica which included the secret itinerary. It was very informative and our guide Marie-Thereze was very knowledgeable but kept it light hearted. We took the ferry to Burano and Murano. Both islands were stunning. We stayed at Hilton Garden Inn in Mestre. Great hotel with easy access by bus to Venice itself.

Bari, Italy

1 out of 5
We chose to go on a ship’s excursion to Alberobello. It was a really magical place. The tour was excellent.

Santorini, Greece

4 out of 5
We got a speedboat from Fira to Oia after getting off the tender boat. We spent a few hours walking around Oia which was beautiful but it was so crowded which made it difficult to walk around which is a shame. It would be an amazing place without so many tourists. We then took a bus back to Fira where we walked around and stopped for a light lunch with a fabulous view over the caldera. We then walked down the steps to the port rather than queuing for the cable car. We had a lovely day on Santorini.

Chania, Crete

1 out of 5
We had planned to explore Chania Harbour before spending the rest of the day at a hotel as we had booked a day pass which included lunch. However the time in port changed dramatically. We arrived at 8 am and were meant to leave at 5 pm but it was changed to 2.30 pm which didn’t give us enough time to enjoy the hotel day pass which was really disappointing. We did like Chania though.

Argostoli, Kefalonia, Greece

5 out of 5
Again this was cut short. We arrived at 8 am and should have left at 3 pm but left at 1 pm. We went on a ship’s excursion to the north of the island. The trip should have been 4.5 hrs long but due to the shorter time in port we had to leave the ship at 7.45 am and it only lasted 3.5 hrs. It was a fabulous trip with a brilliant guide but felt very rushed which spoilt it for us.

Split, Croatia

4 out of 5

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Very organised disembarkation although we were told the time we would arrive in Venice would change from 9 am to 10.30 am and therefore our disembarkation times were based on this. Apparently some people missed there flights home because of this. However we actually arrived in Venice much earlier but wasn’t able to disembark any earlier so had quite a long wait after vacating our cabin at 8.30 am.
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