MSC Cruise Lines
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MSC Cruise Lines

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Last updated: Feb. 21, 2018

106 MSC Cruise Lines Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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RHONDA of West Haven, CT Verified Reviewer
Original review: Feb. 21, 2018

Boarding took a really long time. Upon getting on the ship it was beautiful. Once in the ship this ship was noted to have a lot of rules. We purchased two ultimate drink packages. Before each drink they took our card first knowing we had the ultimate drink packages. You could not bring a drink near the Jacuzzi or the pool. I did not like that rule. On the boat in the evening all of the chairs were tied down not allowing access to use them. You had to go the reception for everything. No. ATM that give American dollars on board. I would not recommend the MSC Divina. Too many rules. Need to lighten up more entertainment while at sea music is much needed.

2 people found this review helpful
Sandra of Llanelli, Other Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2018

We went on a cruise in September 2017 on the MSC Preziosa from Southampton to Zeebrugge/Germany/Amsterdam & France, beautiful ship but that is where it ended. My mother and I were going to travel with my brother and sister in law but unfortunately my brother suffered a heart attack before sailing and could not go. I had ordered an anniversary package for them to celebrate their wedding anniversary but had to cancel due to his illness. It took me until January to get the refund after many emails back and forth. That was only a small part of my complaint, the ship sailed late every single time, up to 4 hours on the very first day, consequently, we had much reduced times at all our destinations.

Getting off and on at each destination took much longer than on other cruises we have been on because there were new passengers at every port and passengers leaving at every port, more like a ferry service and that was not sold to us like that, we were not aware that passengers changed every couple days. Surely part of any holiday is getting to meet new people but you can't get to know anyone if the faces change every day or two. The staff were very unhelpful, especially those on the reception and travel desks, when we queued to get any information they behaved as if we were wasting their time, they would say things like "it's in the paper you get through the door."

I asked on one occasion how long was the walk to the shops from the drop off point as my mother cannot walk far and I needed to determine if I would need to get a wheelchair but the lady I asked didnt know and didnt want to try to advise me, again just saying "it's in the paper" which it wasn't as this was not a planned stop due to bad weather changing where we could sail, we didnt get to Amsterdam or France due to bad weather. The only happy helpful person was the chap that cleaned our room every day although he forgot to replenish the tea/coffee most days. The buffets were OK but not the standard we had on other cruise liners, usually the food is displayed spectacularly but not so on this ship and on a couple of days the food in the restaurant was very poor and was sent back.

On a couple of occasions there were Day Trippers, these were people allowed on the ship so they could use the facilities whilst docked for the day, obviously this meant that everything was much more crowded. We went to 4 of the shows in the theatre and only 1 was excellent and he was a visiting comedian. The other shows were not good, they were very similar. Only the clothes they wore was different from show to show but the dance routines were same. There was a Sinatra evening but the singers sang more Dean Martin and other peoples songs, only a couple of Sinatra.

When it came to us docking on our last day, once again we were very late and were stood in queues for a very long time, many people upset because they were missing their connections and again because the ship set sail late. The whole experience has been terrible and if it wasnt for the fact we have travelled with other cruise companies it would certainly put us off a cruise in the future but actually it has only put us off ever traveling again with MSC. The response we have had from the Company since has been the same we found their staff on the ship, they just dont care. NEVER AGAIN.

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7 people found this review helpful
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Norm of Southampton, Other Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Jan. 30, 2018

We recently went on a Mediterranean Xmas cruise on the MSC Orchestra. The ship was clean BUT the food was nearly always cold or Lukewarm or undercooked. The service was very unacceptable and slow sometimes waiting 40 to 50 minutes between courses. And on disembarking the ship in Barcelona we discovered our new suitcase lock had been damaged. Having complained to MSC headquarters we were offered a 10% voucher on another cruise from hell. No way. Booked with

6 people found this review helpful
Agnes of Wheeling, IL Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 30, 2017

We traveled on Divina for the first time in September of 2016. We had a fantastic time! I promoted the cruise to others and this year on 10/14/17, I was able to talk my family into making this cruise with us. Total of 10 of us. WHAT A DISASTER OF A CRUISE! Never will any of us cruise again with MSC. We are all experienced cruisers. My husband and I have been on 35+ cruises and never this disappointing. There were no walk-in stairs into the pools. The Cabin steward was never to be found. Never introduced himself. Most of the time forgot to bring us what we needed. The ship kept running out of things!

Food and booze? Like cream, butter, salad dressing, Bailey's Irish cream, and the food that we did have wasn't appetizing and of poor quality, Since when do you not have Shrimp cocktail or lobster tail to serve on a cruise ship main dining room? Unless you wanted to pay extra. Well I might as well go for the specialty dining. Maybe their waiters and busboys would smile and not be overworked. It would take two to two and a half hours for COLD food. At this point we were always running into the next group of dinners. Birthdays??? We had two. Confirmed when I made the reservations. Confirmed with our waiter, twice! The public washrooms were ALWAYS out of toilet paper and dirty. I learned to carry my own paper around. Our cabin smelled moldy and the shower smelled like urine.

Now try and find the cabin person. We received no gift for being a gold member. That fruit bowl consisted of a luncheon plate with five piece of fruit. One overripe banana, a small bunch of grapes {overripe} and three green oranges, at least I think they were oranges! And that’s all we received for the eight days. ONE PLATE! Last but not least, I purchased an Invicta watch the night before we disembarked. Needless to say, the watch was broken and I had to send it back to the factory at the charge of $28.00 for the warranty after paying $200.00 for a watch that I decided I don't care for after all. Where can I return it? Never again!

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10 people found this review helpful
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debra of Corpus Christi, TX Verified Reviewer
Original review: Dec. 3, 2017

Just got back from a 7 day Mediterranean cruise out of Barcelona Spain with 6 family members, one including a toddler that is almost 3 yrs old! Well after paying top notch prices for the cruise, we were told after we got there that we had only 1 1/2 hours a day for daycare because she was under 3 yrs of age, we even offered to pay extra. When you're on a cruise you want child care. We’ve cruised with Royal Caribbean several times and this was never an issue, the food on a cruise is usually spectacular but the food on this ship was not good any day we were there! But I️ will say we stayed in the Yacht Club and the staff was amazing. Will I cruise this ship again? NO!!

16 people found this review helpful
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Frederik of Nelspruit, Other Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 13, 2017

MSC Sinfonia 30/10/2017 - Durban based MSC reservationist treated us as criminals because we queried our account, and excursions reception treated us like brain-dead humans, communication is not easy even in English. I will make sure that I will tell everyone we know that they must rethink before using MSC for a honeymoon cruise. Hygiene and the food is not up to standard, Housekeeping, entertainment and the Suite/ balcony on 10th level is the one and only good memories we had. Please read term and conditions very carefully. Nothing is for free!!! First and last time ever on MSC!!!

19 people found this review helpful
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Andrew of Birmingham, Other Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 6, 2017

I thought it best to list each issue we had throughout the week on MSC Divina... We have cruised for years but this was the worst. Beautiful ship let down by the service and food. There are some positives at the end. NEGATIVES: Poor check in organisation as no obvious route initially for Aurea guests. Bought internet package and two dining experiences online beforehand and they didn't transfer through - so spent a long time at wifi desk. Internet packages not very well described so ended up buying most expensive when all I needed was cheaper one. Still not sure if been charged. Why offer if they don't work? Arrived on ship and went to book two restaurants Italia and Steakhouse. Booked via phone in Italia. Found out on first visit to Italia that they had no booking for us and our dining package didn't transfer over. We walked out as they wouldn't honour it, despite it being their error.

Cabin was dirty on wardrobe side mirrors and under minibar. Never was properly cleaned and eventually head housekeeper came and it was done again on penultimate day. Bathroom always had a faint smell of stale urine and they had a diffuser in it to hide smell. Main dining room service very slow and why did they insist on taking all of the orders including dessert at start? Buffet was very repetitive and always less choice in evening and overtaken by crew some evenings, who just got in passengers way. Pizza and Burgers -??? After buying another dining package in Galaxy disco restaurant they then proceeded to charge our accounts following our Second visit to the Steakhouse.

Cabin steward failed to leave pool towels every time and on two occasions I went to towel exchange to get one, it was a battle to get another. On last evening went to guest services to complain about additional Steakhouse charges and was kept waiting for 90 minutes as they said they didn't have authority to remove charges as they had to be done by Restaurant. Generally staff at higher levels were very rude. Officers and managers would stand on phones or stand chatting in the buffet or in public areas and not move. Our cabin steward was not a happy guy and his English was poor.

POSITIVES: Food and Service in Galaxy disco was excellent. Cafe Italia on Deck 6 was great service especially the happy Filipino waiter that worked evenings and his Indian colleague who knew me by name. Staff in Mercurio Pool Bar were great and gave swift service. Loved canned drinks and not fountain. Fairly relaxed drink package rules. Ship generally was beautiful. Gestures with apologies were good, albeit too late to change my mind about MSC experience.

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14 people found this review helpful
Connie of Boca Raton, FL Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 5, 2017

MSC CRUISES MUSICA & MERAVIGLIA - although both of these ships are beautiful... these were the two WORST cruise experiences of my 27 years as a travel agent and leading groups around the world. I had a group with me on these two cruises, back to back in Europe this July and August and I must say that we as AMERICANS were treated like trash.

The personnel wanted nothing to do with us, they only wanted to assist the European trade and told us the way that they were running their ships in Europe was the "EUROPEAN WAY!" This was ridiculous as I have traveled for years around the globe and never received such horrid treatment. They nickel and dimed us to death. Pay for water, tea and coffee for dinner in the dining room with dinner? ABSURD! The food was served COLD without any taste. The buffet line food was the same day after day and the buffet area was so dirty. People would drop and spill food items on the floor and the crew would never clean it up. What a pig sty. GROSS!

The stateroom attendants did as little as possible. I would leave a note day after day for my attendant to take away the used glassware and day after day it was left there with new glasses added. After 5 days and approx. 20 glasses piled up in my room, I asked the Head of Housekeeping to come to my room, which he did. I told him about this and he advised that the attendants are advised that they should not take away and glassware as people get upset if you take their glasses away. I went crazy. I told him that I have been leaving notes to take them away... I did not want dirty glasses left in my room.

The beverage tickets... another crazy system by this ridiculous system. One day one bar accepts the coupons for certain brands and in certain bars and the next day they don't. It seems that no one knows what the next one is doing. The staff do not all speak the same language of the cruise ship... they are apparently making their own rules along the way.

On Meraviglia the Cirque shows are supposedly FREE but they charge a cover charge for Cocktails (1 drop of horrid champagne and a bite or two of potato chips at your seat). So they are really charging for your seat. Don't be fooled... this is Cirque but NOT at its finest. NO WAY! I have had problems with broken luggage with one of my clients since August on arrival with our second cruise and it has yet to be addressed. I write to the person that I told handles this issue and she does not respond and it is now 3 months later and nowhere to turn. This is the most OVERRATED and OVERPRICED cruise line... They should return to SHIPPING CONTAINERS and not CRUISE PASSENGERS because it is apparent they do not know how to deal with living and breathing beings. What a disgrace!!!

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25 people found this review helpful
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Hany of Cairo, Other Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 26, 2017

I book last week MSC cruise with cruise web company for my next vacation for my family. 2 adult 2 child. They told me the child is free according to MSC And I will pay deposit 100 usd pp so I accept. Then I discovered that they deduct 400 usd from my credit card as they took deposit for 4 passenger including the free child. How come I pay deposit for free passenger. And when I ask to cancel the cruise for this they will deduct 15% despite I want to cancel for this behavior only. Really cruise web. Bad customer service. Is anyone suffer as my case from them.

26 people found this review helpful
Kathy of Wheeling, WV Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 24, 2017

I just returned from my first cruise on the MSC Divinia ship with an itinerary that was completely re-routed due to Hurricane Irma and Maria. The course of the ship was to be expected but the service and food was not impressive to say the least. I have cruised a total of 18 times on several cruise lines and this was my first and last on MSC. The ship is beautiful and the sailing was smooth but if you want to eat other things than pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers and beans then don't sail on MSC. Many things were disappointing.

We go on a cruise and prefer to relax and not dress up to dine, other cruises this was never an issue. The Buffet was always as good as sit down dining and the service for the buffet and pool etc was always above and beyond, not the case on MSC. My husband, friend and I ate in the buffet three times a day and not one time was our dish ever taken ever asked if we needed a drink or even have a nice assortment of food. Every day was the same thing, who knew that Egg Plant could be served in 7 different dishes and put on sandwiches even.

Oh if you like McDonald's then you might enjoy the food on the ship but pizza gets old. Never during the entire week was the buffet open during the hours they said, heaven sakes don't ask for anything either, I asked for potatoes three morning out of seven and I was told they were coming. Waited for 5 minutes, walked away then they took the description sign down. The entertainment was good but not exceptional, the staff was rude and not courteous to any needs. Now as far as the bar service at the pool, the only way you could get waited on was to find someone and stick with the same person all week. We had an excellent guy wait on us at the pool (Julius) from the Philippines.

If it wasn't for him the entire trip would have been horrible. On our first day there we didn't even get pool towels in our room. We had to ask for them so we would have them the next day. Every day we were asking for something in our cabin even as far as toilet paper. Our beds were made but the sheets never changed, no chocolate on the pillows or origami towels, or the bedspread even put on during the day. It never left the closet. Well to top it all off the night before we are to leave, I have always gotten my luggage tags, customs papers, directions on approx. time we are to leave the cabin and what time to put bags out.

Not on MSC. I get a pound on my cabin door at 12:00 am to put my bag in the hall now!!! I call reception and ask why I was not given any directions or newsletter and that the TV said bags were to be out by 2:00 am. I get "oh sorry. No they need to be out now and just be in the theater at 7:45 am to get off the ship." Never again will I sail on MSC. It is definitely not for me. You can decide...

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32 people found this review helpful
Susan of Chester, Other Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 5, 2017

Went on the MSC Divina 8/5-8/12/17. The food was mediocre at best as was the service. Asked our Porter for Ice in our room every night, never happened. Drinks at early dinner always showed up more than 1/2 way into dinner. Food selections eh... I have cruised 2 times before, once on Carnival and the overall experience on Carnival was much better. Ship decks not cleaned, walked deck at night to watch sunset and used glasses and dishes everywhere. Not romantic. Had pictures taken on Gala night 2 and over 142 pictures were lost from that particular camera? Also tried to cancel one of our guests due to a very unusual family emergency and was not even given any consideration or offer of a credit of any kind. Very poor customer service. Will never cruise with MSC again.

31 people found this review helpful
Martin of Kallangur, Other Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Aug. 29, 2017

We booked a 27 day Mediterranean Cruise starting on the 25th of June till the 9th of July. First Ship: MSC Meraviglia. Second Ship: MSC Musica. Both ships were clean and tidy. Waiters and Cabin attendants very good but that's where everything stops. Kitchen/Food as bad as it gets! Cold or just hand warm. Every day the same menus and taste on both ships. Pizzas slices (10 to 12 per Pizza) had topping on maybe 4 to 5! Green salad and a few bread cubes is called a "Ceaser salad." That's an insult. What does the Michelin decorated Chef say (he gives his name to be used) to such cooking, Unripe Kiwifruit were up in the fruit section too. Crispy Breakfast bacon had the rind on until you have taken it off the bacon was in pieces on the floor.

On the pool deck the music was loud at all times and the entertainers wrecked the relaxing time altogether. We were glad getting off the ships. This is SUBSTANDARD at its best. To top it off, we cannot access the MSC Review site (no problem with the MSC Booking sites). A not happy customer. Never again, Thanks.

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26 people found this review helpful
Jung of Flushing, NY Verified Reviewer
Original review: Aug. 21, 2017

As I'm writing this complaint my family is on the MSC Divine now. My family always cruise with Disney and because we wanted something different this year we booked MSC Divine Yacht Club with butler service. What a big mistake! Even though they advertised 24 hour attentive butler service and promised for at least 20 hours of personalized service it's nothing but a joke. Maybe butler is already tired from serving other guests. He is very very rude. Like if you called him he'd give you the face like "what now?". All the other staffs are same nothing but rude, rude, rude.

Last night a passenger had to carried away by helicopter and not a word from captain. They wouldn't let us open the curtain of restaurant because they don't want us to see helicopter. Foods come out late, concierge desk wouldn't honor our on board credit from Expedia. Now I never why Disney cruise is rated #1 even though it's expensive.

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28 people found this review helpful
Allison of Meridian, ID
Original review: July 30, 2017

We went on the Divina in July 2017. Absolutely the worst staff work for MSC. They're very rude and seem miserable even being there. The food is just okay. The buffet is very crazy and too packed, not enough tables and totally disorganized. But the staff are what completely ruined it for me and my family. Highly disappointed!!

29 people found this review helpful
Joab of London, ON Verified Reviewer
Original review: July 11, 2017

First time travels on MSC Cruise line, it's real bad bad bad, I been on different lines like Royal Caribbean, Celebrities and Princess. Staff are unfriendly, guest relations are bad, food is bad. All paid restaurant are expensive and bad service. Overall experience is bad and I will not ever consider MSC cruises to anyone. If you don't believe me try it and you will know.

36 people found this review helpful
Nicholas of Leigh-On-Sea, Other Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 28, 2017

I am currently sitting outside, in a campsite looking at the MSC Fantasia approximately 800 yards away. I am watching exhaust fumes coming from the funnels. The smell is terrible. I have a tickle at the back of my throat that I haven't had before whilst being here, as does my wife, and this is down to the exhaust pollution coming from your ship. Please STOP it. Then advise of what action you have taken please. Thanks.

23 people found this review helpful
John of Draper, UT Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 19, 2017

MSC Divina Cruise from Miami to St. Martin, P.R, and Bahamas: We had a group of 8 people, including six adults and two small children (ages 5 & 2). Our entire experience could not have been better. The ship was wonderful, clean, smooth, and well-equipped. The Staff was extraordinary, from the wait staff, to the housekeeping staff, reception, entertainment, support and services... All superb! This was our second MSC cruise (the first was Venice to Turkey and Greece and Slovenia) and we will recommend MSC to everyone and plan to take our next cruise with MSC as well. Great food, great service, great attitudes from the MSC staff from ship captain to room attendants and waiters (Loreto!!! She deserves a BIG PROMOTION!!! She works in the Black Crab Restaurant on the MSC DIVINA). We had a wonderful total trip... Young kids and all. See you soon MSC... We hope.

33 people found this review helpful
gabriel of Palermo, Other Verified Reviewer
Original review: June 17, 2017

We embarked on the Maiden Voyage of the ship from Genoa and the whole trip was a disaster. One of us left the ship early in Marseille because was so disgusted with the whole experience. The staff are totally incompetent, there is no lack of direction from management and angry passengers are left to their own devices; we are all treated as a nuisance rather than as guests. Guest Relations is impossible to get hold of, I managed to approach them only once at 2 am since there has been queues all week. Rudeness is the norm.

The dinner system is horrific, we nicknamed the entrance to the restaurants "Halls of Horror" because of the queues to obtain a table: between 1h and 1h 30minutes to be seated (after staying every night in a never ending queue), then 2 more hours to finish a meal. No less than 3 hours for the experience. Disembarking in Barcelona took almost 1h and 40minutes; there were scenes of angry passengers all over the place.

This was not a holiday, it was simply a battle to survive a whole week. Considering I chose MSC for my mum's 70th birthday, which has been ruined, I would not recommend this experience to my worse enemy. To top it all off, every single receipt was wrong due to "mistakes" being added in each bill for items never consumed. When we picked this up, not even an apology but it was - of course - a problem with their new system... Don't book Meraviglia unless you are prepared to spend a whole week queueing, struggling and getting totally exhausted. We paid around €10.000 for 4 passengers, it feels as if it was money thrown under the drain.

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23 people found this review helpful
M. N. of Miramar, FL Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 19, 2017

I booked this cruise with the help of an iCruise rep as it was impossible to speak with a rep from the cruise line (This should have been a red flag) but I went ahead because it was a last minute decision and this was the only cruise I could find at such short notice. So we boarded the ship on May 6th at Miami port very excited and ready for our 7 nights of fun. Needless to say this was short lived!!!! First our luggage took about 6 hours after boarding to arrive at our stateroom. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and decided we were going to have a drink. First bar on deck 14 our 2 drinks cost $13.00, second bar the same 2 drinks cost $18.00 and I was also charged for a bottle of water after being given tap water in a glass. At this point I am livid!!!

Bar associate Thomas speak little to no English, acted as if I did not know how to read, very rude and disrespectful, did not offer me an apology (Until his manager arrived) I requested to speak to his manager who was very nice and he took care of the situation immediately. Entertainment was lousy (A big screen on the pool deck that played Beyonce and other old videos), entertainment had no variety!!! Policy not enforced regarding Lounge chairs with towels reserved that were not in use all day. The grand finale was being woken up at 6:15 a.m. When we arrived back in Miami by a loud banging on our door. The voice on the other end stated U.S. Customs and border patrol. When I opened the door I was shocked to see a crew member dressed in black (No good morning or apologies for the disturbance, in fact he was having an awesome conversation in a language we did not recognize with these agents 5 in total and one had a very big dog).

We were asked to step in the hallway as our cabin was selected for a random search. We were also asked if there was a million dollars or anything in the room if it belonged to us. Then the interrogation continued what is your name? What is your address? Where do you work? Where did the ship dock etc. At this point I was really upset because I know they have all this info before the ship leaves Miami. Adding insult to injury with us in the hallway surrounded by these agents other passengers started coming out in the hallway staring at us as if we were some sort of criminal. When the agents were done with their search our belongings were all thrown around and items misplaced. On this ship racial profile is definitely an issue. And we felt this from the moment we got on. I have yet to receive an apology from MSC Divina and I am moving forward with my attorney to get my issues resolved.

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29 people found this review helpful
Kathleen of Carlow, Other Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: May 15, 2017

Dinner seating was changed by 1 hour leaving 930 too late. Embarking was left too late. Our flight was from Rome for 1115 and we were left sitting on bus until 930. By time we got to Airport we had to run and 11 o'clock I had to ask to be rushed through security to make the plane. Didn't get to look at Duty free. There were around 50 Irish and we all should have been together on 1 bus instead of been with all other transfers. Some didn't have morning flights. Very disappointed after having a lovely holiday.

11 people found this review helpful
rosaria of Boynton Beach, FL Verified Buyer
Original review: April 9, 2017

My husband and I were cruising on the MSC Divina Mar. 25-April 1 from Miami. I purchased a video package from the photo shop for $30.00 because my husband was singing an Italian song for a contest which he won. When we tried the video at home it does not work. Reading the reviews I see someone else has the same complaint. Looks like this happens often, and someone should put a stop to it and reimburse our money. The cruise itself was great.

15 people found this review helpful
Ana of London, Other
Original review: April 4, 2017

For my disappointment when arrive at the airport from the last day cruises my daughter realise the zipper from the luggage was force to be open and was broken and missing a lot of things we have bought in our trip, and our luggage was the last one to be put outside cabin and I saw the two guys who take straight way downstairs. In other trip disappear one jacket I used to love and very expensive. They know what they wanted. I don't trust MSC anymore. This accident happens twice.

24 people found this review helpful
CELAIDA of Miami, FL Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: March 22, 2017 I took a cruise in MSC Orchestra in Buenos Aires on Feb 21, 2017. I bought a video tape where I was taped. My happiness was very short because when I returned to Miami, the tape did not work. I called the MSC offices and they told me that they were going to request a copy of the video. After almost two weeks

I called again and they told me that they has not respond anything. Everything looks that I lost my memories. They told me that they do not have control overseas. It is very sad and frustrating. Very bad experience in MSC.

14 people found this review helpful
Roy of Langebaan, Other Verified Buyer
Original review: Feb. 27, 2017

This is our third cruise with MSC. The first was Europe. We felt that we were not really welcome however MSC are the only cruises around South Africa. The first was from Cape Town to waves bay. It was like a cattle market. Our last cruise was from Durban 4 days. The room was good and more room on the ship after refit however we found staff not very helpful. On one evening in formal the table next to us wore vest and no shoes, people smoked where they shouldn't and took food. This cruise line is nothing compared to P&O or Cunard and I will never sail with MSC again. Unfortunately South Africans have no other cruise lines to compare them with.

24 people found this review helpful
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Cristina of Lower Sandy Bay, Tas, Other Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 31, 2017

MSC THE WORST CRUISE WE EVER HAD!!! Italy- Argentina - November - December 2016. MY SISTER AND I AND MANY OTHERS WILL NEVER USE THE MSC CRUISE COMPANY AGAIN!!! The cruise was a special occasion for my elderly sister Norma who needs "Special Care" due to three major surgeries for lung cancer and suffering the loss of her husband of 48 years last year, she is in a very fragile state. Norma and I are Argentinean by birth but we both lived overseas for many years, she lives in Italy and I live in Australia. Norma and her late husband did the MSC Main Voyage Cruise from Italy to Argentina in 2007 and they had a great experience!

This trip was very special for us and my family and so we planned to be reunited in Buenos Aires for the festive season. Norma needs assistance and can't travel on her own, so we decided to do it together. Another important reason for this trip was that our niece Valeria, a lovely 31 year old young lady was diagnose last year with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. We wanted to be with her and the family in Argentina for this coming Christmas because Norma doesn't feel she could travel much longer due to her fragile health condition.

Our nightmare started in Venice when we experience the disorganization for the passengers to embark, it was a total disaster! After we manage to get hold of a wheelchair for my sister, we got to the first floor to embark and then I was told by an overzealous Immigration officer called Marcelo that because I had an Australian Passport and I didn't had a Visa for Brazil I couldn't embarked in Venice. I couldn't use my Argentinean passport because was out of date. I have made several cruises in my life from America to the Caribbean and from Australia and I was never told that I need it a visa with an Australian passport for any of the countries we stop and visited for a few hours.

I mentioned to the officer that I could remained on board when we get to Brazil and that I need it to be with my sister because of her health. I begged him to allow me to stay and that I will organize my visa problem with the travel agent. Norma got very agitated but the officer was very blunt and with no consideration whatsoever for the situation we were in. He was quite rude to my sister, I tried to explain to him that this was an "EXTRA-ORDINARY" situation and to please allow me to embark whilst my travel agent could find a way to fix the problem! This officer can't think laterally and didn't have any compassion for the situation, he did not allow me to get on the ship! I understand that he needs to follow the rules but I also know that sometimes rules can be change to accommodate a situation like this!

The officer followed the rules with me implacably, at the same time I know and found out later on (because he told me) that he ALLOWED OTHER PASSENGERS FROM AUSTRALIA AND THE USA with the same visa problem to embark in Venice? Why was I discriminated and others were not? Why I was not given the same opportunity and treatment?

I went back to Milan to obtain the visa, I found out that the Brazilian embassy only works from 8 am to 12 am. I was blessed to find an understanding and compassionate person in the embassy. I spoke with a Brazilian immigration officer who understood the difficult situation I was in and as an EXCEPTION they processed the paperwork and I got my visa in 4 hours! The next morning when I pick up my passport the officer told me that my visa problem could be fix on the ship and that this is not the first time has happened. I spent two nights in Milan on a Hotel across the road from the embassy to get everything ready to catch the cruise.

The following morning after many hours trying, I booked a flight and a night accommodation to meet my sister in Malta. After many times trying to get hold of my sister on board finally I could reach her to tell her I was meeting her in Malta! After our conversation, she call me back within 15 minutes warning me that the ship was not stopping in Malta and was going instead to Mallorca due to weather conditions. I was never contacted by the MSC to see if they could help in anyway during my ordeal! I tried to cancel the flight to Malta to no avail, by this time the travel agent got me a flight and one night accommodation to Mallorca, he also got in touch with someone at the MSC to let them know that I was getting to Mallorca to embark and he also mentioned what happened with me in Venice. The response from the MSC was very succinct and only mentioned the time to embark in Mallorca.

The whole exercise cost me over $ 1000 Euros and I never got any apologies from the officer or the MSC! Whilst in the ship I also witnessed and saw the immigration officer and passengers from Australia and the USA disembarking in Cadiz and Seville because they couldn't organize the visa for Brazil. Due to the stress cause by all this saga my sister has been sick most of the cruise and three weeks after we arrived to Buenos Aires. One of the passenger who share our dinner table, my sister and I got sick with a strong virus caught in the ship. We and half of the passengers were sick during the cruise and three weeks after our arrival. We caught a Viral Bronchitis with very high fever and we had to have antibiotics for two weeks. Norma and I still sick with bronchitis caught in the cruise!

The following are some of the things my sister, I and others had to endure in the MSC Cruise from HELL! Ladies Restrooms outside the theater and restaurant didn't have toilet paper in any of the cubicles or towel paper for the hands. The floors were soiled with urine and looked and smell dirty. Most of the waiters didn't speak Italian or Spanish and some had a very bad attitude. Why teach English courses on a cruise that goes to South America? Most of the German, Russian, Australian and American passengers would loved it to learn some Spanish or Portuguese on a 21 day cruise? So they told me.

The lack of proper training of the staff, most of them didn't have or show any interest to serve and deal with the passengers. Many showed very bad manners when they had to serve you, some passengers had to wait over 1/2 hour on "The Amber" and next door Bar to be serve. The only waitresses that had outstanding service manners was outside the "Villa Borghese" restaurant, a very friendly young lady called Jenny ** I think, from Peru and an Indonesian waiter in the same bar which that they really knew how to treat the passengers! We had two great waiters in our dinner table, one from Indonesia and I think Nicaragua which always showed a smile and attentiveness to us.

Now let's talk about food! We, the six passengers we shared the table, could not believe that an Executive Italian Chef was on board! Did he ever taste the food that was given to the passengers? The pasta was most times undercook, not Al Dente. The sauces salty, very acidic and lacking in flavor. There was an "Avocado salad" with no avocado for dinner? Many of the dishes were send back after having a bite of it many times by the passengers!

Most of the passengers got a virus on board and it was a symphony of coughs and sneezing around and mostly everybody on board got sick! The air conditioning was recycling the virus to all of us and sometimes was so high in some areas, like the theater that made every body sick. I have been in other cruises in my life and this one was the worst I ever had by far!

The Internet and Tim phone service was a rip-off, very slow and almost impossible to communicate with the rest of the world. Most people would love to see some "Free old movies or series" in their cabin, especially when they were sick. OMG!, who did the selection of movies to show on board! The air conditioning recycled the virus through the ship. 19 days after we parted from Italy my sister got a call from reception to see if she was ok? The call was made because our travel agent sent an email to found out about her. The arrival and disembarking in Buenos Aires was another logistic disaster like in Venice.

Our overall experience of the MCS Cruise: IT WAS THE WORST CRUISE I EVER HAD! The MSC may be a good shipping company, but we are people not cows or stuff! THIS WAS THE CRUISE FROM HELL... Not cheap but nasty! Horrible food, bad service, and over-crowded. I can't believe how many people they want to stuff in this very small cabins. Our cabin had two extra beds on top of our heads, how do you expect to get off the bed in the middle of the night if you have all the beds occupied??? (see below).

I would like to get a written apology from the MSC for the unnecessary stress my sister and I were subjected to by your immigration officer who was not a gentleman. I believe that the MSC fail in his duty of care with us, the passengers. I have kept all the receipts for my expenditure and we expect to be compensated for our ordeal. I will pursue this matter through until we get what we deserve! Fairness! RULES ARE MADE FOR EVERYBODY NOT JUST FOR A CHOSEN FEW, WE DIDN'T GET THE OPPORTUNITY THAT OTHERS DID!

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35 people found this review helpful
Angela of San Antonio, TX Verified Reviewer
Original review: Jan. 24, 2017

MSC Cruise Lines has Italian pride with obvious hostility towards Americans. They have rude and substandard staff all across. No responsible managers. Unbelievably poor planning and disorganization. The quality of the cruise was substandard on a 5-star ship. Better quality food, entertainment staff and free spa services. American cruises have low-class entertainment program mostly, low-performance musicians and dancers, low class, sometimes off-color entertainments, food quality and preparation often are very poor even on a five-star cruise. A waste of good raw food material. Fish poorly cooked, steak cooked by Indians who have no idea how to cook and prepare. No spa service comes without additional charge. Pathetic piecemeal tactics. But, they have excellent European food preparation.

The itinerary was poorly planned with boarding and meal time, people wait for the extensive period of time for food and running out of plates. Once I got off board, my own visit of the locality is not bad. Stupid, unclear time decision on board and return time made me wasted some visiting time. This company should not treat customers like rich pigs that has money for them to suck dry and dump them in low quality, ill-prepared meals and low-class entertainment program taking advantage of the customers' non-confrontational, positive nature and lack of time for proper feedback.

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27 people found this review helpful
siva of Durban, Other
Original review: Dec. 19, 2016

Today morning (16/12/2016) my family and I disembarked a 3 night cruise on the MSC Sinfonia. We planned to enjoy our last night on your ship at Pasha Club Disco. We arrived at the club around 12:45am and it took about 20 mins for us to find a waiter to serve us. At 1:10am we approached cocktail waiter to attend to us, he took our order and our last four drink vouchers and one of our cruise cards and left thinking he would come back with our drinks. We waited patiently for more than an hour, I then decided to look for him but he was nowhere to be seen. We then approached another waitress to see if she knew where our drinks were, she then directed us to the bar manager, and we explained to him that we ordered drinks from a waiter who took our cruise card and four vouchers and never arrived with the drinks.

The bar manager told us that he couldn't assist us, we then insisted that he call a manager that could assist us and manager Iketut ** was called. Iketut ** then made a few calls and two waiters arrived, we then identified one of the waiters as the waiter who took our order, cruise card and vouchers. The name on his badge was Cameron **. Cameron ** then denied ever meeting us, he said he never saw us before and was not working at that club. After the 3 of us confirming that it was Cameron that served us, and another waitress confirmed that Cameron ** was at the club he then said that he was at the club for only 5 mins. He still denied that he took our order. When we requested the security cameras to be viewed we were told that there were no cameras.

The manager Iketut ** reissued our cruise cards and gave us four new vouchers. However the manager was clearly taking Camerons **'s side against the 3 of us, which were my wife, my sister-in-law and I. We were told to come back at 7am to meet with the customer relationship manager named Wendy. When we asked for her we were told that she would arrive at 7:30am and we did not have time to meet with her as we were disembarking. We want to put a warning out there that this is what some of your waiters are up to. They think they can take advantage for paying customers. I can only imagine what they are doing to people who are drunk. Cameron ** from South Africa working on the MSC Sinfonia needs to be dealt with and MSC needs to have better management. Please tell me who I can contact/email at MSC.

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40 people found this review helpful
suvina of Durban, Other Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Dec. 16, 2016

My family of 9 and I recently boarded the MSC Sinfonia for 4 nights. We booked the cruise a year ago taking advantage of the early bird special. However unknowingly MSC some time during the year after all our payments have been made, MSC changed the theme of the cruise to be a matric cruise, a chance for under age drinking and kids to run wild, and that is exactly what they did. We had the opportunity to see blood in the lifts, underwear lying on the floor and just utter chaos. What we thought will be a fun, relaxing holiday turned out to be completely different.

We were on a ship full of wild children away from home for the first time!! The cruise obviously catered for them as 75% of the ship contained matriculants. They would run up and down the corridor knocking on our doors at 3 am. My family of 10 spent a large amount booking the cruise, had we known this is possible we would have not booked in the first place. MSC should ensure that no other family booking should be made for cruises like this. I know they would like all their cabins to be filled but not to the detriment of innocent families who spend a lot expecting a good quality family time.

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26 people found this review helpful
Roosevelt of Chicago, IL Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 30, 2016

MSC DIVINA CRUISE. SATURDAY 10/15/16 through SATURDAY 10/22/16. 1⭐. The review that I am providing here is my first after approximately 10 cruises and the only reason that it is being written is to give my honest and unbiased opinion on the most recent cruise that my wife and I took. The reason for the cruise is that we were taking a vacation to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary. Opting for something and somewhere different, I begin to search online to see what sailing options were available during this time. Through Cruises Only (who I now use exclusively for booking cruises), I noticed that MSC was having a sale for a cruise that seemed to fit right into our schedule. So, I booked the cruise and the wife and I were excited about what new adventures and experiences it would be.

After boarding and grabbing a bite to eat, we waited around until our room was scheduled to be ready. At around 2:30 we made it to our room and relaxed as we waited for our bags to arrive. The first bag came around 4:15, the second bag around 5:00, and the third around 5:30. At around 7:00 we wondered what the holdup was for our final bag and I started the multi-round calling session trying to reach reception. (No answer after at least 10 calls.) We decided to go to dinner expecting that it would show up while we were gone and that our cabin steward Nelson (who did an excellent job all week) would place it in our room.

We returned at about 9:30 after eating and touring the ship. Upon entering the room and still not finding my last bag, I got on the phone again. 5 more calls... no answer. At 10:15 I decided to go to Guest Relations. The line was, as expected, very long. At least 15 people in line but only 2 agents behind the desk. One of the agents was handling primarily passengers who spoke a language other than English, so it made for a very long wait before being serviced.

At about 10:40 I was finally called to the agent and informed her that I was missing a bag. She asked for my name and cabin number and after entering it into the system informed me that they discovered an iron in my bag (big mistake on my part), and that they had been trying to contact me all afternoon and evening. I told her that we had been in our room most of the day waiting for the bag and had not received a single call.

She state that she herself had called at least 3 times and I asked why she didn't leave a message on the phone, on the television system (which had a messaging area) or why she had not contacted my cabin steward to let him know that my bag was being held. She didn't answer and simply told me to go down the hall to claim my bag. Angry at the lack of a response but tired from traveling all day, I went to the holding area, removed the iron, and retrieved my bag. Got back to my room by about 11:20 still wondering why there wasn't a message anywhere. Not a good start to our vacation but kept an open mind that things would get better.

Looking forward to breakfast we arrived in buffet area around 8:30. Asked one of the staff if there were any turkey meats since the wife and I don't eat beef or pork. The staff member had no idea what I was asking and asked another staff member who again, didn't understand the question. After talking to a third staff member, we were finally told that there were no turkey options other than turkey cold cuts. 3 people for one answer. I know that the crew is usually international but they should all be well informed of and able to understand the area that they are supporting.

The breakfast options were plentiful but there needs to be more options for diabetics. We ate. Food was ok. People watched. Did a few things on the ship. At dinner that night we were excited about the food possibilities and the fact that it was formal night made the evening more special. Got to the Black Crab lounge at 8:30 as soon as it opened. Found our seats, greeted our fellow dinners, and after about 10 minutes our waiter took our orders. Waited another 15 minutes for our appetizers to arrive. Didn't get our entrée until 9:30. A full hour after being seated, 2 of our table diners mentioned how ridiculously slow the service was and that it was not obvious why. Other tables were already on their dessert. The 2 other diners did not speak English well but you could tell of their displeasure by their looks.

As we were talking the waiter came and took away one of the diner's soup without asking if she was done. She looked surprised and only then did he ask if she still wanted it. Obviously upset, she stated that she was done. The conversation the rest of the evening was around the lack of professionalism from the wait staff. The wife and are decided that we would not return to the dining room during the course of the cruise because of what had occurred. Over the course of the next few days we encountered several issues that added to the misery of our cruise. From rude crew members, to one member actually pushing me aside when we were returning after an island excursion, to continued communication problems.

I went to the Guest Services later in the week to inform them of the various issues and the agent told me to go and talk to the cruise consultant one floor above. Confused, I followed her directions but once I go there the consultant (Emmanuel) stated that his job was to book future cruises. But he was kind enough to write down all of the problems and promised that he would send the info to Guest Services manager. (Have yet to be contacted, so not sure what happened there.)

We decided to give the Black Crab one more chance since it was formal night and our anniversary. Bad choice, the service actually mirrored the service that we received on Sunday. This was the first time that the wife and I ever wanted to leave a cruise early. And it's sad because we had such high expectations. I wonder if I can get some kind of refund.

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48 people found this review helpful
Angela of Sebastian, FL Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: July 23, 2016

This was supposed to be not only my husband's bday but our belated honeymoon. As soon as we got back to port in Miami, and received our luggage, we noticed the ALL the expensive perfume that I had purchased as well as some of our medications were stolen from our bag not to mention the money that was in our safe and my husband's naturalization Certificate over $300 to replace for my husband to even think of going out of the country as a US citizen now. We were double billed for the Mini Bar and a restaurant we went to that was a pay restaurant. My Original Birth Certificate was also stolen. Thank God only $25 to replace. Well over $100's of US $. The food made myself and my husband ill with Diarrhea the entire trip. MSG? When we got home it appears not just us but many other have had items stolen out of safe.

This is sad and made our entire vacation so sad that others can that have no compassion for others make a trip so nasty and it boils down to not even the monetary value of items stolen, but how do we even know that our ID isn't going to be used for Terrorist activities? We wrote MSC Cruise Lines and had one phone call and ever since even after emailing again and 10 messages no reply. Can you help? We cruised from July 5 2016 til July 9 2016 from Miami to Cozumel Mexico. Thank you again. Our info is as follows: Our stateroom was on the Aurora deck room # 12213. Booking number **. Guest: Paul **.

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40 people found this review helpful

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