This was a large group cruise but had wanted to take this itinery for some time.
High tides & bad weather meant last minute changes to itinery (no Split & departed/arrived in Trieste not Venice).
Some magical ports of call and the ship, although the smallest of the MSC classes, was a perfect fit for this cruise. Great interaction between the crew & passengers too.
All in all a fantastic week!
2 out of 5
As Venice was flooded we were told the day before that we would embark in Trieste. MSC laid on shuttle buses from Venice (2.5 hr drive away) but we still waited over an hour to get on a bus with little or no info on how things were progressing. Once in Trieste embarkation was a breeze though.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
As usual the food was great with plenty of choice. Can't remember seeing any speciality dining places onboard lol. The buffet is small and can be crowded at peak times but there is extra buffet stations nearer the pool area. Maybe more choices in the buffet would help. Pizza & burger stations were popular for late afternoon or night time snacking.
3 out of 5
This was a port intensive cruise so a lot of time of the ship and the sea day was at the start with time spent exploring the ship. Being an older ship there's not much to do except the pools (all outdoor) & bars but the animation team did a good job trying to keep people busy each day.
Karaoke was a blast and could easily have been twice as long and twice as often.
4 out of 5
The evening shows in the theatre were excellent. A good mix of shows too. Smaller dance group than i've seen on other ships but they did well. The latin pair of dancers were awesome. The 'cirque' acts too were some of the best i've seen. There were usually 3 shows a night so plenty of opportunity to catch a show. The musicians in the bars were good & varied. From pianist to south american vibe and man with guitar they all played with great enjoyment. Disco was a bit 'Eurocentric' but catered to its audience.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Probably the best room stewardess i have ever had on a cruise. Karen was full of energy, bubbly & fun. Nothing was a problem & cabin was spotless every time.
The bar staff were great and quickly got to know you & what you wanted to drink before you asked.
Service in the MDR was good too and the head waiters were good at interacting with their guests - even suggesting a cameo role as Maitre D for me one night 😅 much to amusement of all the restaurant staff and our group.
Everyone from the ship's officers to waiters were up for making your experience memorable onboard - perhaps the most interaction i've seen between crew & passengers which was great to see.
4 out of 5
MSC Sinfonia is a smaller & older ship in the fleet, there's no hiding it. Having said that it doesn't feel dated & was easy to get to know your way around. In some ways it was a better choice of ship for this port intensive cruise & with fewer passengers less hassle getting on and off in port. Yes, there are no water slides, zip wires etc but that didn't detract from the cruise but it was a more adult orientated ship.
The ship seemed well looked after and maintenance crews were to be seen working away during port stops.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Our cabin was a good size for an inside and was well laid out. Bathroom was standard fair although shower could have been slightly bigger.
This cabin is located in the new section of the ship that was added in 2013 and was immediately below the Doremi pool on the pool deck but didn't hear any noise from above.
Work out which elevator goes to which deck as not all of them go to all decks on the upper levels.
Safe is behind the corner mirror in the cabin and not in the wardrobe as normal.
Buffet can be busy but the pizza & burger stations are e tra buffet stations at breakfast time.
What can't you say about the splendour of Venice!
It had been flooded when we arrived so change of port ro Trieste.
Water had receded when we returned and centre was easily walkable around.
Everyone should visit this marvelous city at least once in their life.
Simply stunning. Even though didn't visit Oria but stayed in Santorini village it was beautiful.
Long queues for the cable car & be strong not to let people skip the line!
Picture postcard views abound & shop owners were very friendly, being happy to chat - although in high season this place must be heaving with folk.
We hired a taxi between 4 of us for a 3 hour tour taking in some breathtakingly unspoilt views and beaches as well as the Blue Eye spring.
The city isnt quite up to speed yet with tourism but the locals are welcoming & appreciative of those that venture there.
Always worth a visit & one where you can use public transport to get to from the port but ship organised shuttles are very convenient.
My 2nd time here & saw more of the city than before, as well as being better weather this time.
The city walls are expensive to walk round but worth it for some of the views of the city.
3 out of 5
Same problem as embarkation as moved to Trieste due to Venice floods, so 2.5 hr bus journey back to Venice. This time though seemed better organised and they even offered a direct service to airport for early flight passengers.
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