LIRICA at sea

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#1
1,727 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Hello

Just a quick note to check in...

First, I love the Lirica.
She is a beautiful ship, through and through.
All the crew and friendly and attentive. Smiles everywhere.
Interior decoration is soft, with both deep colors and light.
Nothing garrish, anywhere.

Embarkation was a miracle. No lines, immediate boarding, I was in my cabin within five minutes from stepping out of the shuttle.
One unfortunate thing: I boarded at noon, but I didn't get my luggage until 6:40. Much, much too long. I may have been an exception, as people who boarded long after I did had their luggage long before me. One woman I spoke to who boarded about 1:00 didn't get hers until 8:30.

Food, so far, is very good in the restaurant. My waiter, Ciccio, is fast, friendly, and attentive. Always a smile and a warm greeting.
The buffet is a buffet, what can you say about it. But it's perfectly good.

That's it for now. Maybe my cruisecritic friends on board will add to this.

Ciao
Kyle
#2
Sunnyvale, CA
401 Posts
Joined May 2002
Yo Kyle-

So glad to hear that you are enjoying your cruise on the "Lirica"

Isn't she a great ship with such a wonderful crew and SO clean!!!

Enjoy - Enjoy - Enjoy!!!

If they have a production that salutes America in the theater - be sure to see it - it is great (as were ALL the shows (we didn't miss one)-

Happy Cruisin'

Mike
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#3
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Hi Kyle and thanks for taking the time to post a few lines.

Happy to hear that you too find Lirica beautiful and that your experiences so far are good. May it continue and leave you all with fabulous memories.
#4
Spain
25 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Hi Kyle and Barry

Just got back home after leaving Lirica in Barcelona and staying there overnight.

Just want to add to Kyle's comments - we had exactly the same experience - we loved Lyrica, though MSC were great (on the whole) and would use them again any time.

Like the more european atmosphere and mix of passengers
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Kathy J

#5
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Kathy - thanks for getting the news here so quickly.
I am really pleased that you enjoyed Lirica and MSC.
I wait eagerly now to hear more, and more and then some more!

Was thinking Lirica made Genoa on 20th so would have to wait a little longer.

Hope that Kyle had a great time and got to wear the tux and other gear!
#6
Ontario, Canada
97 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Doing some research on this ship for the deep southern in Feb 06. From all accounts so far she sounds beautiful. Only questions raised are concerning the food. Thank you for your input.
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DROP DA PUCK !!
#7
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I believe that you would not have the slightest problem with the food.

On every MSC cruise we have undertaken food has been better than very good overall. There will always be something that disappoints even in the finest restaurants in the world.
Yes I Have dined better BUT on those occasions for the meal only I was paying MORE per HEAD than I paid MSC per day for accommodation, travel, entertainment and ALL food plus tea/coffee/ice tea throughout the day!
#9
Wiltshire , UK
176 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Originally posted by grimpil
Doing some research on this ship for the deep southern in Feb 06. From all accounts so far she sounds beautiful. Only questions raised are concerning the food. Thank you for your input.
We have just returned from the 02 May Trans Atlantic cruise on Lirica - The food was great, plenty of choice and very Italian. All the soups were wonderful, the pasta and rissotto was to die for and at the main course there was always a choice of fish (which was generally excellent) red meat, poultry or a vegetarian dish. If there was anything that you did not like the waiter would change it immediately. If by any chance there was nothing on the menu to your liking, they would happily bring you a steak or chicken. It is also worth mentioning that the service that we received from our Waiter was exceptional.
I hope this helps you.
Irene
#10
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Irene
I am so pleased to read that your dining experiences were as positive as ours.

It would seem that the "club" of happy and satisfied MSC passengers is growing daily :-)
#11
10 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
hi,

we, my wife and me, enjoyed your honeymoon trip, too. Unfortunatly there weren't much young people, but everybody was friendly and so we met a lot of new friends on board.
Service is great, buffet is good and dinner (6 meals are quite much for me :-)) too. We also enjoyed the entertainment. the animationteam was most of the time friendly- somtimes a little bit rough, but the night shows and cabarets were always funny. we got some new ideas for some parties *g*.
We participate at a lot of activities (shuffle puck{i don't know if it write written}, sport activities the days at sea, so i didn't read more than 20 sites of my 5 books i took with me (5 days at sea have to be boring i thougth...)

all in all we will travel with MSC again, maybe next year when the new ship is out at sea- or south america would be great! so know i will look at my new 1300 fotos we have taken on the trip. i hope i'll find some homepages of others, who made the same trip!

have a nice day!
michi
#12
Lebanon, PA
40 Posts
Joined May 2003
Hi everyone. My wife and I were sorry to have missed you on the cruise, but as you know, we had to postpone due to my son's unexpected award of his doctorate degree in Colorado. We then visited many National Parks.

We are now scheduled to depart on the November 23rd sailing (the reverse of your cruise) Glad to hear that everyone was pleased with the trip. We are planning to take a one way flight into London and then spend about two weeks getting to Genoa. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We figure to get a Eurail Pass for 3 to 5 countries. What are the don't miss cities we should to visit?
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Tom and Joan
#13
1,727 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Hi Tom and Joan,

Is this your first visit to Europe?

In two weeks, hmmm....howabout from London take the Eurostar to Paris, from Paris the night train to Venice, Venice to Florence, and then Florence to Genoa.
If all you have is two weeks, this is my suggestion.

You can find all the Italian train info you need at www.trenitalia.it click on the link in the top of the screen for the English language version.

For Eurostar, www.eurostar.com

In my opinion first class on the high-priced Eurostar is a waste of money, if you take a night train on the Continent then first class is worth it. Train travel in Italy is fast, cheap, and comfortable. On short trips such as Venice-Florence and Florence-Genoa, second class is perfectly fine.

You can get great European train advise, and tons of other advise at www.ricksteves.com just follow the links. For a two week holiday which involves getting from London to Genoa, I don't think that you'll need a train pass unless you plan on a lot of train travel. No train passes include Eurostar between London and Paris, which would be your biggest expense. You can fly London-Paris cheaper than Eurostar, but with a great deal of hassel. Eurostar is unbelievabley convenient. Central London to central Paris in three hours. You can't do that if you fly.

Let us know what you end up deciding on!

kj
#14
Lebanon, PA
40 Posts
Joined May 2003
Joan and I did London, Wales and Stratford on Avon a few years ago prior to our cruises Transatlantic return on the Rembrandt stopping in Cobb and Bermuda, then into NYC. We also went on a week long land trip through Rome and Pompii. We do want to see Paris, Venice and Florence on this trip. So your suggestions are in line with our ideas. A friend had suggested not to miss Germany. I am trying to talk my wife into making it three weeks in Europe. I had thought about night trains to make the most of our time and money. Thanks for the information on the sites you recommended for rail travel. We will look at them. I did hear about low fares on Ryan Air. but don't know much about them.
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Tom and Joan
#15
Ostrava, Moravia, Czech Republic
538 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Hi Tomahawk - Glad to hear that you are now going to make that MSC transatlantic. Kyle (Stowawy2k) has given you a great itinerary and a lot of good info. already.

Ryan Air do have low fares - but need to be checked carefully. They have a low baggage allowance which could be a handicap when linked with a cruise. I have heard complaints that the sirports they use are sometimes a distance from the destination. There are a number of budget airlines operating now in Europe (almost all with limited baggage allowances) but trains could be a good option and especially night to maximise time.

If you are considering Germany then might I suggest Munich - taking in Linderhof and Castle Neuschwanstein - the view from there is one of my most favourite in the world. You could also possibly fit in Salzburg in Austria before heading to Venice and Florence.

I was in Salzburg a week ago and met and spent a long time with two USA citizens from Chicago. They were using rail for all their journeys and thoroughly enjoying it. From Salzburg they headed to Venice and then Rome for the journey home.
#16
1,727 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Originally posted by czechmate
Ryan Air do have low fares - but need to be checked carefully. They have a low baggage allowance which could be a handicap when linked with a cruise. I have heard complaints that the sirports they use are sometimes a distance from the destination. There are a number of budget airlines operating now in Europe (almost all with limited baggage allowances) but trains could be a good option and especially night to maximise time.
.
Hi

This is a very important consideration. Ryan Air's luggage allowance is 15kg. (33lbs) per person. Not nearly enough for one who is to be boarding a cruise ship. The penalty is 7euro per kg over the limit, AND there is a limit for carry-on bags of 10 (22lbs), so cramming things from your main suitcase into your carry-on is not an option.
One must consider the luggage fines into the cost of flying RyanAir and any other inter-European budget airline. In addition to this, the tickets are heavily taxed and loaded with fees. Count on adding about another 20euro to the cost of the actual ticket. Another added expense that must be considered to these "low priced" tickets is the cost of getting to/from the isolated airports served by RyanAir to/from your actual destination. Add another 10euro or so for train or coach travel, and at least 50 for taxi.
For example, I resently booked RyanAir to fly out of Hamburg. RyanAir lists this as Hamburg(Lubeck). Lubeck is 90 minutes from Hamburg. That's right, 90 minutes. So this hour and a half needs to be considered in total travel time, which of course includes arriving at the airport a minimum of an hour before the flight. Why waste valuable and limited vacation time with things such as this?

The moral of my rambling on is that all of this can be avoided with train travel, which is fun, relaxing, a great opportunity to get to know some locals, and the views are wonderful.
If the train is less than a full day of travel, I wouldn't consider flying.
Of course, the decision is yours, but everything I just mentioned are vital, and unavoidable considerations.

Keep us updated!
We love living vicariously through other people's travel plans!
You will fall in love with Paris, Venice and Florence. I have not been to the places Czechmate mentioned, I'm sure you'll love those as well.
If you do go to Venice (how could you not, with this golden opportunity), once you exit the train station to board your vaparetto or taxi, you will be stopped short, breathless and paralized, with awe, at the beauty, the wonder, and the immortal enchantment that is Venice. You will wonder if it is real, and if you are actually there, seeing what you are seeing. A magical moment not to be missed, with the one you love.
(Have I convinced you?)

kj
#17
9 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Lirica was a great ship, but not as cosy as the Monterey. These are the only two ships I ever cruised on, and I must say that the Monterey had a much better animation team (Ruggero, Daniella, Joey, Kleber, Renata, Kristina; Anna). The service in the restaurant was slow, the waiter didn't know anything about wine, but overall it was a great ship.

Having said that, Monterey is ten times better.
#18
Voorhout, in the middle of the bulbflowerfields
227 Posts
Joined Aug 2004
I do not think that every ship has her own animationteam.
Ruggero, Daniella and Joey were on our transatlantic crossing on OPERA on 02-april-2005. So they are changing now and then. Two others of them I saw on MELODY in november 2003.
Henri.
#19
9 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Ruggero, Daniella and Joey always get on the same ship. Ruggero said that in an e-mail. But yeah, they always get on another ship because Kleber, who was on the Monterey last year, used to work on Rhapsody.
#20
Lebanon, PA
40 Posts
Joined May 2003
Thanks for the advice Kyle and Czechmate. I printed it out for use on our trip. Kyle your suggestions mirror our plans. We also bought a copy of Rick Steves book "Europe through the Back Door" which we think may be very helpful. We plan to do most of our travel by train. Although the Rick Steves book states that in order to use 2nd class fare you have to be 26 years of age or under.

We had only thought about flying from London to Paris because someone had suggested it was cheaper than the train. At this point we are just looking for the cheapest way to get from London to Paris.

My brother-in-law also suggested visiting Brugge in Belgium while in Europe. But I know there is so much beauty in Europe that we would never have time to see every one of the places people think are the "not to miss" cities and towns. But, I do think I have convinced my wife to add extra days to our trip.

What ports of call did you consider the best of your cruise?
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Tom and Joan