Great Cruise shame about the Flight Arrangements
This was our second Caribbean cruise on MSC in the past year this one being on Preziosa, the first being on Fantasia. Unfortunately it will probably be our last due to the complete disregard to simple requests for an aisle seat for my wife who suffers from claustrophobia and to sit together. Many couples were certainly not happy with the checking in process where seats on Virgin are pre allocated and no matter how early you check in they cannot be changed. MSC acknowledged this was not ideal last year but have done nothing to resolve an unacceptable situation. Anyone considering booking a Caribbean cruise on MSC Preziosa should be aware of this unacceptable arrangement. The other arrangements with the flights/ transfers have now been improved with luggage now transferred direct to and from airport and ship with customs formalities at Barbados now completed at the port instead of the airport. The cruise was island intensive with no sea days with pick ups each week in Martinique and Guadeloupe and in Barbados for UK passengers fortnightly. Preziosa is a lovely ship with very attractive public areas and is meticulously maintained. I understand that she is due a refit later this year but she certainly doesn't look as though she needs one. Our balcony cabin 12129 was perfectly adequate with a king size bed and a large setee that would convert to another double. It was kept spotless by our steward who could not have looked after us better. The balcony cabins on decks 12 and 13 are usually shaded from the sun by a large overhang from deck 14 and therefore sun lovers would be better to book a cabin on deck 11 or below. Dining - we had asked for a table of 6 at first sitting and although the request was met 2 people allocated to the table never turned up. It didn't particularly matter because we shared with another couple and fortunately got on extremely well. The food was excellent with good choices and all our requests were met without exception. The portions were somewhat smaller than usual but that certainly didn't matter because when wanted we were able to order additional courses. An example was when filet steak was on the menu with king prawns we were able to order both. Staff - we had no problems with any staff in fact we always found them very helpful, for example when I needed to set up internet on two devices the reception staff were very patient. The bar staff again were very obliging and they soon realised that we ordered drinks for 4 of us and didn't insist on using 2 cards. We all had the drinks package and this more than met our needs with most premium brands available. Entertainment on board caters for the international passengers with production shows in the theatre every night and various bands/ singers in the many lounges/ venues around the ship. There are plenty of areas on board to relax both inside and on deck our particular favourite outside being the Garden Pool Area at the stern with an infinity pool. On most Islands it is easy to organise a tour or go to a beach - taxis and large people carriers are always being touted and the cost is much less than booking on board. We did pre book in Trinidad to go to a mangrove swamp to see the Scarlet Ibis and we were not disappointed. Overall we were very satisfied with the cruise and thought Preziosa was a beautiful ship. One can always find fault with little things but overall we were more than happy with the overall experience with the exception of the allocation of seating on the flights.
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