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Lichtenstein, Walnut Creek - Commented on this review
We are doing this cruise in March, Can I ask you if once you boarded were there shore excursions avaliable to book for all ports? We are finding a hard time booking for Haifa and want to make sure there will be options for us on the cruise.. thanks so much.
Blenkinsop, PLYMOUTH - Commented on a comment by Lichtenstein (21 Jan 12 21:44)
We had a hard time trying to book anything online before we sailed - we were directed to book via our agents which we did as the sole purpose of our trip was to see Jerusalem/Bethlehem, but in answer to your question - yes there were a number of trips advertised for the Haifa area as well as Jerusalem and if you are visiting Bari/Rhodes/Athens there are excursions offered in all these ports. If like our cruise you arrive in Rhodes late afternoon not sure what tours they did as they would all have been in the dark, however there may well be increased daylight hours by March. Hope the weather conditions are kinder to you, and have a good cruise if you have not been to any of these ports before I hope you enjoy them, we love Greece and have been to may of the islands as well as mainland Greece, the Greeks are very friendly people and don't be afraid to venture about on your own, apart from the general rule of being careful of pickpockets there is little to be afraid of in Rhodes/Athens. Hope this helps you.
Went on the splendida in december on med, stunning ship, buffet meals a bit boring tho, Was pleased that there were places on board were smoking was allowed made for a relaxed cruise, Staff were very good, all in all well worth the money, Cabin was superb ,drinks could have been cheaper......Would do again.....john jen.
Moore-Gautrey, Northampton - Commented on this review
We sailed on MSC Magnifica from Venice to Istanbul in glorious weather... after several P&O Cruises, we were entranced by the lovelly family atmosphere (so well behaved and so happy) and mostly Italians. The food was very much to our taste unlike P&O and the Ship was generally less regimented but more "dressy", but then they are anyway. Safety...who knows? Until it happens! Seemed like the usual Cruise procedure. The previous writer seems a bit obsessed by "pennies" ...why do a Cruise: they always fleece you over drinks...but I will say that the Cocktails were very good. We had been very let down by our appalling, overland Coach trip with Leger Holidays and were so pleased to be in the very caring hands of MSC. I am so sad about their fellow Mariner's Costa Ship, which will do nobody any good in the Cruise world I guess. I hope the Captain isn't too much of a Fall Guy.... much too early to reach any conclusions I say and he must be pretty shaken-up anyway. I suppose I might do another Cruise someday, but do feel a bit anxious now although the film (Titanic) didn't exactly inspire confidence in the first place, did it? Finally: the Theatre was, we thought, splendid and much more sophisticated than most Ships... in fact taste-wise, we thought MSC were a bit special....we never met the plastic mugs! The Buffet experience for us was much nicer than P&O, but then we like Italians: that's why we chose an Italian Ship leaving from Venice. It's a shame the Reviewer above had such awful weather as it colours ones thinking a bit doesn't it? Better luck next time and try not to worry about the water!!!
You obviously paid very little for the cruise in January. MSC are an Italian ship and the staff are very laid back. I have taken groups of up to 50 people on 8 cruises with MSC and them value for money - cabins standard so no problems with people having different size accommodation for the same price. In the mediterran the food is Europea/Italian based (to account for the tastes of most of their clients) In the States they provide american/British food in order to accommodate the requirements of the passengers. Water and coffee is now provided FREE 24 hrs a day in the buffet area on MSC Magnifica - unfortunately the early sitting is now at 5.45pm and late sitting at 8.15pm but the Buffet and pizzaria (both free of charge are open from 1 hr after first sitting commences) Passengers on board MSC are naturally enough mainly Italians and qeuiing is not in their culture - I've travelled on British ships (with cheap booze) where there were groups of beer-swilling loud-mouthed English and I found this not to my taste. I've travelled on most cruiselines and even 5* ships get complaints (some people are never satisfied) It's a pity the reviewer had such bad weather. I've found their shore excursions to be cheaper than most other cruises (i.e. £39 for a 1/2 day trip with guide to Accre and the B'hai gardens on the Haifa stop The entertainment I've always found superb and nowdays they don't have so many announcements in a multi-tuide of languages, but with internation clients you must expect this (be glad they announce in English not just Italian) I'd highly recommend MSC but remember in school holidays they are full of childre as kids go FREE (only payig port taxes) .