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Reviewed: MSC Opera
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Submitted to category: Cruise Ships/MSC Italian

(Review ID: 162)
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
 
Excellent itinerary, helpful staff, Dover check-in chaotic!, August 13, 2010
Reviewer: johnejeyda
Pros: Beautiful scenery and excellent shore excursions
Cons: COLD! Midsummer was 6'c.; stomach problems; check-in disorganized
Date of cruise: June 2010
Departure port: Dover
Region visited: Scandinavia
Cabin category: Inside
Found through: Email newsletters
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: Yes
    
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   3.00/5  (3)
Entertainment   4.00/5  (4)
Fitness Center   4.00/5  (4)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   4.00/5  (4)
Spa   3.00/5  (3)
Specialty Restaurant   3.00/5  (3)
Staff and Service   4.00/5  (4)

We wanted to revisit Norway and chose MSC because their itinerary was the best on offer [except for the Hurtigruten!] The check-in at Dover was very disorganized. No MSC staff were in attendance for two hours after we arrived at the time suggested by MSC.

We chose June because of Midsummer. It was cold! The average was six degrees centigrade (43 degrees F.)! Unfortunately we both succumbed to a stomach upset [with other passengers] and our shore excursions were geared to the nearest toilet facility! Notwithstanding our gastro problems, the cruise was excellent, the crew helpful and attentive; the food, what little we ate, was good.

Hygiene was not rigorously enforced, most passengers seemed to avoid the hand sanitizers, which may have been a contributing factor to the stomach problems we experienced. The crew made every effort to ensure that hygiene standards were maintained - plastic gloves and a delegated steward to monitor the sanitizers!

The 'mix' of passengers was mostly Italian, German and other Europeans - a few British and Indian nationals and a handful of Australians, Kiwis and Americans.
 
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Reviewed: MSC Melody
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Submitted to category: Cruise Ships/MSC Italian

(Review ID: 161)
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful:
 
Good Western Med itinerary; too many children; 4/5-language announcements, August 13, 2010
Reviewer: johnejeyda
Pros: EGcellent itinerary, good food, mainly helpful crew
Cons: Poor PR from reception; rude European passengers; too many uncontrolled children
Date of cruise: June 2010
Departure port: Genoa
Region visited: Mediterranean
Cabin category: Inside
Cabin number: p028
Found through: Email newsletters
Good for children: Yes
Good for teenagers: No
    
Value For Money   4.00/5  (4)
Cabin Design   3.00/5  (3)
Entertainment   2.00/5  (2)
Fitness Center   2.00/5  (2)
Food Quality   4.00/5  (4)
Ship Maintenance   2.00/5  (2)
Spa   3.00/5  (3)
Specialty Restaurant   3.00/5  (3)
Staff and Service   4.00/5  (4)

We took this cruise after a MSC cruise through Norway's fjords. This ship is smaller than most other ships in the MSC fleet, although publicity says otherwise!

We had the misfortune to travel during European school holidays - children "travel free" - so we were inundated with uncontrolled Italian and German children whose parents were "on holiday" - and the children amused themselves - with little, or no, parental supervision.

We experienced poor service from the Reception desk on more than one occasion.

The itinerary was excellent, shore excursions well organized and good value. The food was good, naturally with an Italian bias, but good quality - and quantity!

One annoying feature was the multi-lingual announcements - sometimes five languages! One excellent feature was the passenger PR officer - he was excellent! - helpful and empathetic, he solved some of our pressing problems [but not the uncontrolled children!]

In retrospect, we would not choose to cruise during European school holidays! We will select MSC again, their cruise programs are excellent and, apart from some 'officious' staff, their crews are first class - many of the crew were from Indonesia and knew what "service" is!
 
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