ship great, shame about the organisation

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Review Details

Overall Rating:
Cruise Line:
MSC Cruises
Cruise Ship:
MSC Magnifica
Northern Europe

Review Profile

Times cruised before:
October 2018

Cruise Elements:

Quality of Food:
main restaurant
all entertainment good/average. good comedian.
cabin steward.
Onboard Activities:
poor selection, overcrowded
Although this was a short cruise (four ports along Northern Europe) on MSC Magnifica it felt more like a ferry, picking up and dropping off passengers at each port and announcements in several languages taking forever. French worker strikes meant we had to skip the scheduled Le Havre stop off for Paris. We have always felt anxious about getting off and returning in time when in port for the one day so in the end during a night stopover, we chose only to disembark at Zeebrugge and took the hot and noisy tram into Ostend for lunch, returning for our evening meal on board. Overall, ship and cabins were clean and tidy, although the TV had very limited channels, with programmes often repeated several times. Restaurants were noisy and felt overcrowded, especially the buffet with very limited seating at most times. On request we were able to get a water bottle filled with lactose free milk for the cabin but no-one seemed to understand how to provide de-caffeinated coffee packets. Food and entertainment was good, but organisation was consistently poor with crew unsure of answers and some with poor English language skills. There were regularly long queues at reception and information desks. None of the crew seemed to know at which terminal we had finally docked back at Southampton, and on occasion wrong onboard directions were given. Activities during the cruise were also limited and multiple activities were held in the same space with distracting noise and competing for seating. Our cabin steward was attentive and worth a separately paid gratuity. Formal dining nights were largely ignored and unsupervised with a significant smattering of tee shirts and tattoos. The cruise price was modest but it showed. I know it is unfair to compare MSC with Cunard but I know which we will favour next time.
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