South Africa was fantastic. The cruise ship was not the best we have been on. On board spend was expensive, £15 four AA batteries, £3 for 8 in Isreal. First time we have had to buy water in the restaurant.
The last week of the cruise the ship was running out of butter, coffee, tea etc.
entertainment was good and the staff was very good.
My favorite part of the cruise was the ports in Africa - Cape Town and Dakar.
Our suite was good in that it was spacious with a tub and marble floors, however, the advertise that the ship is modern and updated - it is not! The South African people on the cruise and the South African staff were so friendly. The Italian staff was rude and the entertainment was juvenile. The food was low grade.
All services on board was offered at the convenience of the cruise line, not the passengers. If you do not take their excursions, getting off the boat is made more difficult. Meals were offered at limited and rigid times and not convenient for those of us who like to go ashore on our own. Will not take MSC again.
Buffet food was mediocre and the hot food was luke warm. Excursions for the most part were not that great. Many excursions wasted much time getting ready and traveling, limiting time at the site. Ibiza sunset excursion was terrible; we were dropped off in the town center without a clue whereto go to see the sunset.
Cruise crew and staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
The ship was a smaller ship, and was in good shape. We have taken 15+ cruises and this was the worst. The ship advertised 24 hr coffee tea and water and did not have it. You would return from port and not be able to find a snack, not even a cookie or sandwich. The quality of the food was not up to the standards of any of the American cruise lines. For an Italian line, Costa has much better service and amenities. We didn't want to cruise Europe with a rock climbing wall or water slide, so we payed more for this line, but we had hoped for food and pleasantries.
It was a nice clean ship to begin with. This is not a children oriented cruise, but there were many of them. The excursions are pricey and not very worth it. Everything is included in price as far as food outside of drinks, ice cream, and room service. Very nice to have all announcements in every language needed. Itinerary is given at the end of every day for the next day's adventures. No real city information given if you do not go out on the boat excursion. Not very much time in some places even though it may be a huge city.
The Sinfonia is a well appointed vessel with many new facilities and emenities. The staff, crew, entertainment, and service was excellent. From the reception staff to the food service staff, without exception everyone was genuinely kind, pleasant and accomidating. We could not have asked for better service. As I travel quite a bit for my profession, I have become accustom to five start accomidations and hospitality. I was very much at home on the Sinfonia. A truly exceptional experience.
This ship is about one year old and very well maintained. The cabins are good size with the most storage I've ever had. The bath is small but adequate. The outside rooms have a very large picture window. The public rooms are well appointed and comfortable.
we liked the ship. it was above our expectations. the bathroom is rather small, but the renovation has been done thoroughly. There are no speciality restaurants , so if you are a black level on Voyager you get a free meal in a speciality, but since there was none ....
Nice ship but king of small and with a small number of facilities, the Italian and Indian staff was very rude. I recommend this ship to families with small children because there were many activities for them and a nice water park
From the moment we stepped on board the MSC Sinfonia we felt special. We had a wonderful week but we must say that Valentines Day was extra special as we had our wedding on the ship. It was so romantic and the cake was divine. An Officer even escorted me to the wedding venue and that made me feel very special. Later that night when we returned our cabin was beautiful decorated and a sign on the door read "Do not disturb - Just Married" That definitely put a smile on our faces. We will always cherish this cruise and plan to cruise again soon.
Thank you for an awesome unforgettable romantic experience.
1) Crew attitude (apart from waiters) rude, short and couldn't care less.
2) Food, (Was promised it would be amazing) was super average.
3) Prices all in US$. It becomes evident that MSC are going to wring every last cent out of you at any opportunity!
4) Drinking water, not available for free other than on deck 11. A sign on the deck 11 water dispenser saying that you may not fill your own water bottles due to hygiene means that you are forced to pay for clean drinking water by buying it or using mini bar water.
5) Queues. Be prepared to queue for EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING.
6) Entertainment, sub standard and bland. Staff have a no-care attitude, you can see they are just going through the motions.
7) Constant PA announcements mean that you are constantly bombarded by noise. When disembarking from the MSC Sinfonia onto Portuguese island there are disembarkation announcements every 15 minutes for 3-4 hours. Should you decide to stay behind on the ship you have to endure the same message over 16-20 times in the morning. Unbelievable!
8) Be prepared to be charged $1,50 for a Unicef fund raising initiative. Unless you specifically request not to be charged by MSC, they will dock the amount from your bill. Requesting that the charge be removed involves waiting in queues to get to a service consultant at reception. Surely this should be an opt IN service and not an opt OUT service?
Overall, if you are looking for a relaxing and "different" holiday, I suggest you stay far away from MSC Cruises in South Africa. You would be well advised to spend your money elsewhere.
I have been on a number of cruises and never felt the need to write a review until now. If you are considering a cruise onboard the MSC Sinfonia here is what I would say:
Pros: the ports were beautiful (Salerno, Genoa, Ibiza, Olbia, etc.) and the ship was clean. The food was average, I've had worse on other cruise lines. The EXTERNAL entertainers were very good and fun to watch, particularly the Spanish dancers.
Cons: the embarkment process, like most of the processes on board the ship, were disorganized and slow. Different passengers embarked at different ports so it felt like a hop on/hop off bus more than a custom cruise. Staff were indifferent and generally unfriendly. They took no interest in the passengers. In fact, there was little attention to customer service anywhere on board. If there was a cruise director, I didn't see or hear from him or her...or the captain for that matter. The manager of the dining room was rude and unaccommodating. Excursions were poorly orchestrated, short, and generally not worth the value. Our second excursion left one hour late and it was absorbed by the passengers, even though sufficient time was left before boarding the ship. When I complained, I was told it wasn't their problem (my opinion: maybe they don't run the excursions but they damn well represent them). Internal entertainers (the "regulars") were untalented and the choreography was pathetic. You had to pay for water. Photographs were average and posed. Even the swimming pool experience was awful - the water was cold and changed nightly with the ocean water. Children were allowed to run rampant (and loudly) around the ship without any supervision.
MSC would be well served to see how the real cruise lines do it so they can improve. My biggest gripe was they didn't seem to care. There was no attention to the customer experience whatsoever. My advice: pick another line. There are many good ones out there: Royal Carribean and Norwegian being two of them.
While the ship and staff were excellent, none of us speak Italian, so we felt we were at a little bit of a disadvantage. We found some of the other passengers to be quite rude and pushy. But overall, we enjoyed the cruise very much.
After a disorganized departure in Livorno, Italy, we thoroughly enjoyed MSC's Sinfonia. There were few Americans aboard, but we enjoyed the mix of Italians, Spanish, Germans, and other English speakers.
The food, Italian, was great and we enjoyed many dishes that we had only read about.
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