Review "Lirica" Cruise 03/31 to 04/11/2005

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#1
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo-

Just got off of this GREAT cruise yesterday and wanted to write this while everything was still fresh in our minds-

Embarkation-

The best - EVER - 15 minutes from line to cabin

Cabin-

Inside - good with exception of small shower and curtain that stuck to your back - good storage space with space under beds for large suitcase-

Food-

Very good to excellent - some of the best tasting prime rib I have ever had at sea. The menu was a full six courses - desserts not great - but good. Buffet was very good with different "theme" every day - breakfast was pretty much the same everyday - but that is true with most buffet breakfasts - excellent made to order egg/omlett station outside of the buffet room-

Ship-

Extremely clean - everywhere - and very tastefully decorated throughout - a muted quality theme-

Entertainment-

This was a Big Band themed cruise with the Tommy Dorsey Band and was very good-
The "Antimation" team of nine young people kept the action going on deck in the afternoons and evenings were either inside or on deck - but never a dull moment with this bunch!!!

Crew-

Very accomodating with a high level of service and politeness - genuinely friendly and nonintrusive - the reception desk and excursion desks were the best we have ever experienced-

Announcements-

Not very many - which is a good thing - however when they did announce it was in multiple languages which became a drag as the cruise went along especially at the shows - but you sorta got used to it after a while-

Itinerary-

Very good with multiple island stops-

In the main the stops were in the late morning or early afternoon which made for a more relaxing start to the day and gave you time to eat and get ready to depart-
The only part that we did not like was the ship making an arbitrary decision to get to San Juan the evening before schedule - which ment that in effect we did not get to see/tour San Juan during the day which would have been way more preferred by the vast majority of the passengers-
I fault the captain for not telling us of this change until the first day at sea-

Debarkation-

From getting your tag color called (we were next to last) to standing in line waiting for a cab - about 30 minutes - again the best we have ever experienced-

Would we take the MSC "Lirica" again-

YOU BET!!!!

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#2
1,726 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Hi Mike,

Thanks for your great review.

I'll be on Lirica next month, and I'm looking forward to it.

I have a few questions, if you don't mind.

The dinner times, late sitting and early sitting, what were the actual times of the sittings, what sitting were you and were you happy with it or did you wish you had chosen the other? What restaurant were you in, and were you happy with it or did you wish you were in the other?

The Animation Team at the pool... When I'm relaxing by the pool, that's exactly what I want...relaxation. What is the noise level? Is there consant music blaring and chatter over the loudspeakers? I love shipboard swimming, but I can't stand not being able to relax in peace and quiet. Isn't that the point of going on the cruise in the first place?

Does the pool really close at 5pm? That seem ridiculous, especially in a warm climate. No nighttime swimming or hottubbing on a balmy night in the Caribbean or Mediterranean...I can only think that this is for the convenience of the crew and not in any way beneficial to passengers. But, if that's the way it is...

Anyway, I know I'm going to love my time on the Lirica.
Thanks for taking the time to post your review, and if you have the time to answer my questions that would be cool.

kj
#3
North Georgia
644 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Mike, Thanks for the review. We are on the April 22, sailing and your review just makes me want to go even more than before.
Again, Thanks
Fiorita
#4
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo kj and Fiorita-

Thanks for your replies-

Dinner is at 6:00 and 8:00 - they do vary it depending on the time we got into port - once it was at 5:45 and the other time it was at 6:15-
But do be on time as they will close the doors about 15 minutes after starting time and will not let you in (met some folks that tested this theory - unsuccessfully)-

Excursions-

Suggest that you be there about 10 minutes before they say in the daily flyer - as they had a tendency to leave a couple of minutes before the stated time-

As far as the pool closing at 5pm - did not personally witness this and saw folks in them much later than that - albeit - not many and not for long (remember - there is no buffet on this ship at dinner time - so if you want to eat dinner - you have to dress and go to the dining room)-
As far as the noise from the activities at the pool - there are two pools - divided by the hot tubs - which means that one is much further away from the activities than the other - I really do not remember being bothered by the noise from the activities from the Antamation group as I was mostly watching them - they are great!!

One thing that I forgot to mention in my original review was the great wine bargain in the dining room - seven delicious wines - 3 whites - 3 reds and 1 rose plus 7 bottles of water for $91 - the water sells for $2.30 on the ship so that makes the average bottle of wine around $10.75 each which is about $10 each - cheaper than the wine list - and the wine is excellent - which makes it even a better bargain-

If you have any more questions - just ask away-

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#5
North Georgia
644 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Mike, what time where you allowed to go aboard ship? We are driving to the port and do not want to get there to early and wait around nor do we want to have troulbe finding a parking place if we get there to late.
Again Thanks for your great review.
Fiorita
#6
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo Fiorita-

We arrived a little after 11:00am and were in our cabin by 11:45 - enjoying the buffet just after noon (don't miss the free wine the boarding day at the noon buffet - it's the only one that they will have)-

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#7
West coast Fla Sarasota area
31 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Hi mike agree with you 100% great trip,had no problems with food,service,etc.Should have done back to back.

as they say on ship chow
#8
Toronto, Canada
6,305 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
Mike we will be on Lirica in the med. Do you know if the food and wine will be very different. Does the ship operate using euros or $ in the med?
#9
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo Emdee-

According to the MSC web site at www.msccruises.com the Med cruises are in Euros and the Caribbean ones are in dollars American

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#10
22 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Hi

I am going to be cruising on the Lirica in June in the Med. This is my first cruise. Can you tell me whether plenty of clothes hangers are supplied or should I pack some?

Thanks in advance
#11
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo blondiewales-

There were plenty of the hangers - and we accumulated more as the trip progressed due to sending out to the laundry (reasonable btw)-

Our large suite cases stored well under the beds and there was ample storage - even though the cabin is on the smallish side-

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#12
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Mike -- Good to have your view and to learn that you had such a great time.
We loved Lirica in 2004 in the Caribbean.

It is surprising some of the differences between your cruise and our April transatlantic on Opera. For instance meal times were 6.00p.m. and 8.30 p.m.
The buffet was open from 6 till 8 in the evenings until we reached Europe.
The pool was sunrise to 8.00 p.m. Jacuzzi sunrise to midnight - with one exception when they showed till 8.00 p.m.
#13
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo czechmate-

I think that the meal times may have been due to the fact that we only had 1000 passengers on our cruise (that was nice) and the big dining room only served the main (6pm) dinner-

The buffet was never open in the evening to my knowledge - and was never listed as such in the daily activities sheets-

We always had a midnight buffet of different themes - the best of which were the Kitchen Tour Midnight Buffet and the Grand Gala Midnight Buffet-

Again - the best cruise for us since our Sitmar cruise experience in 1986-

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#14
22 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thanks Mike.

One more thing please? Is there anyway onboard where I can download my digital photos or is there a service where they can burn them onto a disc?

You can obviously tell I am a complete newbie at all this!
#15
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Blondiewales - I know you asked the question of BigMike so forgive me but wanted to let you know that on Opera the photoshop would print your digital pics and also burn a C.D.

Have a great cruise
#17
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo-

Something that I forgot to mention in my original review - was the great coffee, beer and pizza that we had on board-

The coffee was the best tasting "on board ship" that we have ever had that was for general consumption (NOT the "for sale" stands that are starting to appear)-

The pizza was hot - fresh - and very good-

The draft beer was the beer bargain - with the pull being 1/2 litre - remember to demand "No head" or you will get about 25% of the volumn in "Head"-

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"
#18
FL
14,110 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by Emdee
Mike we will be on Lirica in the med. Do you know if the food and wine will be very different. Does the ship operate using euros or $ in the med?
I just asked MSC this question yesterday.

The wine and water package is 90 euro for 7 and 7.

They use the Euro. Based on the exchange, better bring a bunch!
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142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.

Our river cruising history:

Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016

Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018

#19
FL
14,110 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Originally posted by Emdee
Mike we will be on Lirica in the med. Do you know if the food and wine will be very different. Does the ship operate using euros or $ in the med?
Also, I was told the food was different, even more Italian. I was also told dinner is at 7 or 9:30pm, more in line with Italian dining times. Since we are in port some days til 7pm, we are opting for late. Also, I adapt to these times very quickly when in Italy.

This is great news for me. He told me they bring aboard their own proscuitto - how great is that!
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142 cruises since 1964, 14 on the river.

Our river cruising history:

Avalon Luminary B2B- Christmas Markets, 2009
Avalon Affinity - Christmas Markets 2010
Avalon Panorama - Danube New Years Cruise, 2011
AmaDante -Vineyards of the Rhine and Moselle 2012
AmaCerto - Budapest to Nuremburg, 2013
AmaBella - Tulip Time, 2014
AmaDagio - Provence, 2014
AmaReina - Holiday on the Rhine 2014
SS Catherine - Provence 2015
AmaSerena Christmas on the Rhine, 2015
Scenic Diamond, Bordeaux, April 2016
AmaVida, Douro, August. 2016
AmaSonata, Romantic Danube - Oct. 2016

Looking forward to:
Joie de Vivre, Paris and Normany - April 2017
Le Lyral, The Adriatic, September 2017
Amadeus Silver II - Magic of Advent, December 2017
Oceania Marina, South Pacific, March 2018
AmaKristina, Christmas Markets, December 2018

#20
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo-

We are thinking of maybe doing a Med cruise on the "Lirica" next year - or maybe the Western Caribbean (really have not made up our minds yet)-

Mike
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Sitmar 'Fairsea' 10-1986-Mexican Riviera
Admiral 'Stardancer' 05-1988-Mexican Riviera
Orient 'Crown Odyssey' 10-2000-E. Med
NCL 'Dream' 04-2001-W. Med
NCL 'Sky' 11-2001-Hawaii
Princess 'Regal' 09-2002-Alaska
NCL 'Norway' 12-2002-E. Carib
NCL 'Norway' 05-2003-E. Carib
Carnival 'Elation' 09-2003-Panama Canal
NCL 'Crown' 04-2004-Canada/East Coast
NCL 'Norway' Royal Suite 07-2004-Cancelled
Carnival 'Spirit' 12-2004 Mexican Riviera
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2005-Southern Caribbean
HAL 'Ryndam' 11-2005-Sea of Cortez
MSC 'Lirica' 03-2006-Western Caribbean
Carnival 'Liberty' 05-2007-Western Caribbean
Celebrity 'Constellation' 07-2007 Scandinavia/Russia
Carnival 'Spirit' 10-2007-Hawaii
Orient 'Marco Polo' 12-05-2007 South America
Carnival 'Spirit' 03-29-2008 back-to-back Mexican Riviera
'Kleine Prinz' 06/05/2008 Vienna to Bucharest Danube River Cruise
Princess 'Golden' 02-02-2010 Hawaii

"We have never had a BAD cruise - some were just BETTER than others"