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Wilba - Answered a Question by cullen (27 Dec 08 10:11)

I think Fantasia is a little too new as there are no reviews on this site. I suggest you read the reviews for MSC Musica/Orchestra as these are their previous new builds. There will be 2 or 3 Formals on a 11 night cruise & MSC have a strict 'No Alcohol' policy when reboarding at ports of call. They do however allow water to be purchased ashore & this is worth thinking about, as MSC charge for water at the dining table...Wilba.

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Freeborn - Answered a Question by cullen (28 Dec 08 09:29)

Having cruised with MSC four times and really enjoyed it, I would add that the cost of alcohol on board their ships is considerably lower than that on the American lines such as Celebrity and Princess.

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Wilba - Answered a Question by cullen (29 Dec 08 15:59)

There is a review of Fantasia's Maiden & it doesn't make very pleasant reading, but at least forewarned is forearmed......Good Luck...... Wilba.

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Brown - Answered a Question by cullen (01 Jan 09 20:07)

We have just returned from the maiden voyage on MSC Fantasia. There is a dress code but do people stick to it is another matter. On our 8 night cruise we had 3 formal nights and the rest were smart casual. There is a lot of confusion over the dress code as this is what we wanted to know before we left but we kept getting different answers from different people. On formal nights, men wear a dinner jacket or a suit and tie. Most ladies wear short black dresses but some will wear long dresses. On the other nights men will wear smart trousers, shirt and jacket/cardigan. Ladies will wear either a skirt or smart trousers with a smart top. If you purchase alcohol at a port or bring it with you it will be confiscated when you board the ship. If you purchase from the duty free shop on board you will not receive your alcohol until the night before departure - this is to make sure that you keep buying from their bars. Hope this helps. If you need anymore help I will be happy to help. The reviews on the Fantasia may also be good as reviews have now been posted by people who have come back from the maiden voyage.

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wexgal1 - replied to Brown (02 Jan 09 17:11)

Thank u for ur help.we are most anxious about going on this cruise to the med 16jan as the reviews are really bad, are things that bad on the fantasia,what was the food like, what were the staff like, we are booked into an outside balcony on deck 13 what did u think of the cabins, do u have any more tips as this is our first cruise and according to the reviews it seems it is best to avoid it but we are fully paid up and ready to go, thank u.

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Brown - replied to wexgal1 (02 Jan 09 17:52)

The maiden voyage was bad as you can see from the reviews that have been made on this website but hopefully it cannot get any worse. You just have to go and make the most of what you have like we did. The ship was lovely. We have been on two previous cruises and the actual ship was the best one we had been on. The cabins are well appointed and spacious. We spent a lot of time on our balcony and as we had two cabins the cabin staff opened the balcony divide in order to make it in to one big balcony (just a comment in case you are having more than 1 cabin). The staff which keep your cabin tidy are really good. The food was not what we had expected. Due to travelling on an Italian ship we expected to be able to have proper Italian food and try out all the different Italian flavoured ice cream. However we did not receive anything like this. If you ordered Ice cream you would get the same one everytime. This was to make sure you bought from their ice cream place on deck 6 at 2E50 a go. For breakfast, lunch and dinner you have the choice of eating in the restaurant (which ever one you are assigned on your cruise card) or the Zanzibar cafe on deck 14. You had your table in the restaurant for dinner at night but for breakfast or lunch you would have to be their early to get a seat as you don't get your assigned table. One morning we went down for breakfast at 8 and it was already full. At Zanzibar on deck 14 it is a buffet type where you can go round and put what you want on your plate. You will find things to eat but not the selection we had hoped for. We had expected more from the midnight buffets as we had expected an assortment however they dedicated each night to a particular food ie fruit/cake. The same cakes kept appearing throughout the cruise but we had expected a wider selection. The problem we had was that one night we did not fancy anything on the menu in the restaurant so we decided to go and eat in the cafe however it was the exact same menu. That night they were also charging for pizza when any other time it is there for free. Staff were adequate but nothing exceptional. I hope it goes better for you but at least you know what to expect unlike us who turned up to a stampede. Hopefully they have sorted this out better now. Tip... When you go on excursions you can get a bottle of water per person for 1 Euro by showing your excursion ticket. This is much cheaper than onboard. If you do not want any it may be an idea to still get it for your time on the ship as it will be cheaper. Also make the most of it and go with an open mind.

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Modica - Answered a Question by cullen (03 Jan 09 17:54)

Good luck!!! You will need it. There is a restriction on bringing drink on board and they try to make you pay for water unless you are very forceful and insistant. Hope that you have a better experience than all of us on the maiden voyage at Xmas. Modica's Ashford kent.

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wexgal1 - replied to Modica (04 Jan 09 12:58)

HI there, do they search your luggage on embarkment? What was good about your trip, if any, what was so bad about the trip, did u enjoy the cabins? what about the sundeck area, were u able to sit out there, is there anything that we can make the most of on the trip, did u try the spa etc.

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Brown - replied to wexgal1 (04 Jan 09 14:59)

During embarkation, your main luggage will be taken away before you check-in. It will be taken to be screened on one of those security conveyor belts things you have at airports and then it will be loaded on the ship and arrive outside your cabin later that night (hopefully earlier than it did for many of us). During the check-in process you will also go through security just before you reach the ship. This is just like the airport where you put your hand luggage on the conveyor belt and you walk through the detector. As I have previously commented the cabins are well appointed and spacious. We loved our cabins as they are done in an Italian style. You have everything you need (we would have liked a kettle to make tea and coffee as we found this hard to get a lot of the time). Also we spent a lot of time on our balcony and as we had two cabins the cabin staff opened the balcony divide in order to make it in to one big balcony (just a comment in case you are having more than 1 cabin). The sundeck area was also very good. If you decide to spend your time out on deck there are many sun loungers so we never had a problem getting one. If they ran out the crew would go and untie some more and put them up for us. These sun loungers also have sun visors for sunny days which we had not seen before. You can also get orange beach towels if you decide to spend time on deck. All you have to do is go to a table on the outside deck and give your cabin number in, take how many towels you need and then return them afterwards. I would also like to highlight something else we had not seen on cruise ships before and thought was a good idea. These are the wicker egg shaped baskets which I believe were situated on the highest deck. If you decide to spend some time here a crew member will get a mattress out and put it in to the basket so you can enjoy outside in comfort. We found these good fun and they are good to protect and shelter you from either the sun or the wind. Which ever way you are a winner. However there are only about 12 available so get their quick and check them out. You might want a small jumper on deck but there were people in the outside pools and hot tubs. Also the inside pool might be worth a try. We didn’t like how they kept trying to extract money from us. I mean 7.80 to have 2 laps on the f1 simulator (basically 2 laps on a playstation) or 6.00 for a 2 minute motion ride. We did miss not having a cinema on the ship like previous cruises as we would have spent a lot of time in there as we found the entertainment poor. A lot of people at night were watching movies in their cabin (10.90) as they found this a cheaper option as this was the price for just 2 drinks. We didn’t like how we could not just sit somewhere on the ship and enjoy the entertainment (what there was of it). There was always bar staff walking about and every minute they would be over trying to get you to keep buying drinks. Also if you had a bottle they would come over and if they could fit more in to your glass they would pick the bottle up and pour more in. We didn’t like this as it was their way of getting you to finish your drink quicker and re-order again. Tip… don’t fool for this. To find out what was so bad about the cruise I suggest you read the reviews for MSC Fantasia. We ourselves have taken our time to write a review and therefore there is no point me writing these all out again. We just kept it to the main bad points though. Hope this helps. If I can help anymore I will be happy to. Go with an open mind and make the most of what you’ve got like we did. Hopefully it will be better by the time you go.

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Modica - replied to wexgal1 (05 Jan 09 09:02)

The ship itself is beautiful and so are the cabins. We did not have the weather for sunbathing but there is limited seating if too many decided to use the areas. You can secrete booze in your main luggage but not from the ports as it is X-rayed. The spa prices are exhorbitant as are most things on board. I usually have massages etc on other vessels but could not afford the luxury. There are too many untrained staff who, frankly, could not care less and the daily programme is really poor. We have a signed petition from over 100 passengers relating to so many problems and mismanagement that we shall be taking legal action if we do not get satisfactory compensation for a Xmas that never happened!!! Sorry but that is the honest truth from regular cruisers. The Modica's.

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