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grandbb

Review of LIRICA 3/9-3/20

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REVIEW OF MSC LIRICA 3/9/05 – 3/20/05



 



I am writing this with the experience of more than 50 cruises on many of the major lines.

 

 

The MSC Lirica is a beautiful ship with Public Rooms and Lounges that are well decorated and furnished in grand style. It is the smoothest moving ship I have ever been on. The cabins are tastefully done, though smaller than on some lines. We had a queen size bed, desk and chair, two night stands, refrigerator and three closets. Since for us, a cabin is to sleep and change clothes in, it was ample. The bathroom was adequate, but the shower would be tight for some of the more “rotund” passengers. It has two swimming pools and two hot tubs, plenty of deck chairs both in he sun and the shade all around the open decks. Deck Stewards are available but do not “push” drinks.

 

 

The food at best is FAIR. I have never been on a ship with worse food. In fact, I lost weight on this cruise! Everything came to the table COLD. On four different days the meat entrée was so TOUGH I could not eat any of it. Vegetables as well were cold and often “MUSHY”. The Caesar Salad must have been waved over the plate, because there was NO dressing on the greens or on the plate. I did have a couple of cold soups that were good. The DESSERTS were terrible! I don’t think they know what CHOCOLOTE is. My 14 years old Grandson makes a better tasting chocolate cake. There were no PIES or PUDDINGS. What happened to the fabled ITALIAN PASTRIES? It was almost impossible to get a cup of COFFEE with the meal and if you did forget about a refill.

 

 

The BUFFET was no better. POOR SELECTION, POOR COOKING and INDIFFERENT SERVICE. Who ever heard of just TWO JUCIES at Breakfast? POTATOES and BACON poorly cooked and no HAM or SAUSAGE PATTIES. The FRENCH TOAST was waved over the batter, not SOAKED in it, thereby being VERY, VERY DRY. The PANCAKES were not much better.

 

 

Don’t have to purchase toiletries or Over the Counter Medicines!! I had to pay $25.52 for a package of NYQUILL. When we complained about the price, we were told,”that is the price… If you think it is too much, don’t but it”. I had no option I was suffering from a cold!

 

 

While many of the staff was friendly, warm and helpful, many have to learn how to treat customers better. I think language was a big problem.

 

 

The passengers were truly International. You realize this when everything written or spoken is done in FIVE languages. Thank goodness only important things were announced. It is hard for jokes or even songs to be successful during the shows.

 

 

The theatre with large soft seats and NO bad seats, staged a different show each night. Some were GREAT and some a little amateurish.

 

 

The music in the various Lounges was very good. We found a piano/violin duet and a female/keyboard as our favorites. The drinks were a little expensive and there was no HOT SNACKS before dinner and not even a napkin to wipe your fingers after eating the fruit from your drink.

 

 

In conclusion, until MSC upgrades its food and general service to the standards of the other major cruise lines and learns what the American Traveler EXPECTS, I will not be sailing with them again. I never saw a Ship’s Officer walking the decks or talking to the passengers. That type of interaction is a MUST!

 

 

A final note:

 

Never have we not gotten a chocolate on our pillow at night, until the LIRICA.

 

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Sounds like you need to go back to HAL or Princess. MSC doesn't claim to be an "American" cruise line and nor should they. They are a European line that sails out of the US a few months a year and they provide a European experience. This certainly doesn't mean standards are any less than an American line, just different. If they become exactly like HAL or Princess then myself along with many others will have absolutely NO INTEREST in sailing on MSC. We all hope they stay pretty much the way they are with maybe a few minor improvements.

 

I'm sorry you didn't get your chocolate on your pillow but thankfully it wasn't the end of the world. Many of your complaints seem rather petty.

 

Ernie

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grandbb - immaculately maintained too.

 

I was staggered to read you only had a choice of 2 juices at breakfast. Maybe the new (ex Celebrity) management have a lot to answer for. On Lirica previously we were offered at breakfast a choice of Orange, Grapefruit, Pineapple, Cranberry, Plum, V8, apple, prune, tropical, apricot and tomatoe.

 

To hear that previously excellent food can now only be described as "fair" is indeed sad.

 

That said I must admit that I am a fan of healthy eating and I would have a down on any line serving up "heart attack food" including chocolate, cream, pies, puddings, sausage patties, soggy french toast, pancakes, greasy bacon, etc etc.

 

I think there is a moral here - and that is that no shipping line can possibly please all its clients as we all look fo something so different.

 

What I know is that if I booked a European Cruise Line then I would expect to have just that - a European cruise experience with European influenced food and European languages. I would even try and learn a few words of Italian to greet and thank the staff who would be doing everything they possibly could to make my cruise a wonderful experience. This is the reason I have enjoyed every MSC cruise - and I certainly hope that I will again on Opera 2nd April.

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Can somebody tell me something about the crew itself? Are they from any one part of the world in particular? Many of my recent cruises were heavily represented by workers from East Europe, Indonesia and the Philippines.

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I feel much the same. I liked having more international shipmates, I also liked the fact that one was not hounded to purchase drinks. I even got to stumble through the few words of German I know and I did learn a couple of Italian words.

 

I found most of the non-western european crew great. Mostly Asian with some South Americans and a few from the former Eastern block countries.

 

The food was sub-standard, for the life of me I couldn't find one Oriental item at the "Oriental Buffet". This made great dinner conversation as no one else could either. I diet 48 weeks a year, I want good food when I cruise.

 

I asked one of my tablemates about the "Americanization" issue and just what that meant to her (she is a Brit and a travel professional), she said that North Americans have higher expectations of a cruise line, and many Europeans have different levels of expectation.

 

I also didn't like that there wasn't a reasonable dinner alternative. It was pretty much the dinning room or a hamburger. While absolutely no thought was given to one's table assignment ( that I could detect) the Matre'D (spelling) was quite helpful in moving me.

 

While most of the pasta dishes were good, the pizza was a joke. Idea for MSC put a chief off the ship to study pizza in New York, Atlanta or Praha for that matter.

 

The ports of call were great. The ship is beautiful and spotless. One thing you get with more Eurpoeans is more smoke.

 

I am not going to flame MSC, this might be a great line for many. But not for me. I am glad I tried it but won't be returning anytime soon. Unless of course they "Americanize" it!!! *laugh*

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Thanks for the review of your cruise. Although the ship is beautiful, the food and dining room experience sounds very disappointing. I have read reviews from many experienced cruisers that were not happy with this line. Apparently, this line will need to improve if it wants to succeed in the very competitive Caribbean market. I have never read anything that makes me want to try this line.

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While some of the little stuff (which I haven't gone into) could have been addresssed with a complaint to the crew, I don't want to go on a vacation and complain. If I am going to have to "manage" the operation they should pay me.

 

I have to mention the most outstanding crew member, I don't recall his name but he is the guy cooking omlettes in the morning. He was fast, friendly and cared about what he was doing, sounds like he's ready for an Americanized line!

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I asked one of my tablemates about the "Americanization" issue and just what that meant to her (she is a Brit and a travel professional), she said that North Americans have higher expectations of a cruise line, and many Europeans have different levels of expectation.

 

No. Americans [ I will not include Canadians here] expect and want everything the American way.. as they get on US based cruise ships and food as they get at home. Europeans do not expect or want to get the same food as at home.. they want something different and experiment with the ways, tastes, wants, ways of life, cultures, languages of others from around the world. If Europeans don't like the 'new' taste, they try something else and appreciate it for what it is. If Americans don't like the 'new taste' they assume it's because it's poor/bad, not just because it's different. That is not the same as saying Americans have higher expectations.

 

Why the heck should the pizza guy study pizzas in the US? so he can provide US pizza to US citizens? No, US pizza is fine on a US based ship, not on anything else thanks.

 

.. and as for the omelettes.. I just had the worst India Rubber Ball version of one on HAL. In fact my recent HAL cruise fell far below all of my 3 MSC cruises. It's my opinion. Others will disagree. But US food and ways are fine on US based cruise lines. On European and cruiselines from other parts of the world, it is not.

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I didn't like the food because it was different. I have eaten food all over the world, I didn't like the food because it wasn't well prepared, to put it bluntly it sucked. And I can not imagine that Europoeans are saying what great food that was. That to me would be an insult to European!

 

As far as the pizza comment..well it was an attempted at a bit of humor. I am not sure but I think pizza is American. I have had better pizza in Prague which is neither Italian or American. But if you insist on what MSC had is good European fare, then I will admit I am sold on American food, .. But really, I don't think that is the case, I've eaten in Europe and liked the food..a lot! So I would beg you to not interpret my dislike of the food as me being ethnocentric. By the way Magwa, were you on board that cruise?

 

I would venture to guess that one can find the widest varity of food in the US, food from every corner of the world, just walk down resturant row in D.C. My word I think every continent is represented save Antartica. So from my point of view "Americanization" would mean diverse and sophicticated.

 

In my humble opnion, I have always thought the Italian food was the most widely liked in the world. And have heard on many occation that the best chefs were Italian. I know on a couple of Princess cruises with Italian chefs the food was outstanding.

 

So defend MSC all you want. The free market place will make the final desision.

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But if you insist on what MSC had is good European fare, then I will admit I am sold on American food, .. But really, I don't think that is the case, I've eaten in Europe and liked the food..a lot!

MSC has Italian fare, it is as different to me as it is to you. I like it. No I wasn't on your cruise, but on any cruise you will find some who love and some who hate it. On one of my MSC cruises an American endlessly moaned to me about her 'French Toast' not being the type of French Toast she got in the States.. she did not understand that the French, Italians and other nations all have differnet types of 'French Toast'. In her eye there was only one, that draped in maple syrup, any other type was disgusting food <sigh>.

 

Any major city has all sorts of overseas restaurants. But catering to the local population. An Italian in DC I bet serves different food, to an Italian in the UK, which I know is different to a meal in Italy. Places such as Olive Garden in the US, serve erm, well, Spag Bog and American Italian food. Indian here is not the same as an Indian in India. I have never had one in the US, but a good friend there, makes for the nearest Indian restaurant when he's over here, as "they have nothing like it in the US".

 

No pizza is not American. It's Italian [& Middle Eastern]... but brought to the US by Italian immigrants. It has been adapted to suit. So MSC pizza is the real thing.

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Hopefully, this cruise was the exception, as opposed to the rule. I will be sailing the Liria on 4/22, and while I'm looking forward to the "European experience", I hope not to experience cold food (that's supposed to be hot) and tough meats. If I do, it will be my first and last cruise on MSC. That would be too bad, as I'm being used as a guinea pig, to get a first hand experience on this cruiseline, before a large group books it for next February.

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You meet an ( a , one) American who didn't like the French Toast ..therefore we (Americans) are all small minded. And you are telling me how the food was on my cruise and you weren't even there?? I think you need to look up the words judgmental and ethnocentric as you exemplify both.

But enough I am not happy with MSC won't return to them, I'll go with the Americanized lines with good food. But if MSC suites your tatses great that what makes America ( and many other places) a great country freedom of choice.

 

bye-bye

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I gave you one example of an American turning her nose up at food purely because it was different, nowhere did I imply all Americans are small minded, or that others were the same.

 

One has to look from both sides of the fence. I am not going to bother to explain, as my comments seem to have not been understood and resulted in personal insults which do not have a place on any cruiseboard.

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Food is a rather pointless topic to discuss on a message board where you have no idea about your fellow posters taste and preferences. Food is too subjective and if you were to ask 50 people about how good the food is, you will get 50 different answers from excellent to poor and everything in between. For all you know the person stating the food is "poor" eats at McDonald's and TGI Fridays everyday when at home. Personally I prefer to discuss the more tangible aspects of a cruise although food is very important to cruisers!

 

My own opinion is that the food was excellent during my cruise on MSC OPERA, and I have sailed on every major cruise line multiple times. The pizza was hot out of the oven fresh and quite tasty. Much better than the cardboard I've eaten on many "American" lines.

 

Basically, just don't put too much weight on any food comments (good or bad). Chances are you will have a completely different opinion.

 

Ernie

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I have never read anything that makes me want to try this line.

 

 

Interesting, you have no interest in sailing on MSC and don't want to try the line ... yet you feel compelled to reply to this thread and read the MSC message board??? Seems rather curious.

 

Ernie

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Let me tell you a personal story.

 

I'm Italian, and I was in US with my wife few years ago.

After 10 days of any sort of different restaurants we decided to try an Italian restaurant in NYC.

 

After we ordered our meal we heard the waiter passing our order to the kitchen ending with: "do it right as they are Italians".

 

Then he explained that they are forced to americanise italian food as otherwise most of their customers would not like it.

 

Maybe this little story explains why there are so differnt opinions about Italian food on MSC ships

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Im sorry,but I would have to agree with bobrobb and grandbb. Its not a matter of American or not American its a matter of variety or lack there of. I agree the food was at times bland, but what was so bad was that every lunch buffet was the same for 11 days. Contrary to popular belief the fact that one is American does not mean that they are unappreciative of other cultures or do not enjoy trying new things. I enjoyed my cruise. The ship is beautiful and very clean. I did at times experience what i thought to be some negativity towards me because of being American. I guess even other nationalities can be as unwilling to enjoy other cultures as us Americans.

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On Thursday I will join the Lirica for 11 days.

I hope that my soup will be Hot and tasty, my vegetables Hot and crunchy and my meats Hot and tender. (Notice the emphasis on "HOT")

I'll take a few pictures of the meals and report when I come back.

I will have no problems with the food being different - I would just like it well prepared !

 

BTW - Does anyone know if they have Wi-Fi access for your own laptop or do you have to use their computers to connect ????

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If you check out Magwa and Buil and Dianes Lirica sites you will see pics of hot tender tasty Lirica food!!

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I am very puzzeled by the comments about poor food. I spent 11 nights on Lirica with my wife and 2 other couples starting on 2/15/05 and every meal we had was more than acceptable. It took a few days to get the folks in room service to understand how we wanted our coffee at 6:00am every morning but if something like that upsets someone my suggestion is - stay home.

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If you americans want everyone to be "americanized", who do you bother sailing on MSC ITALIAN CRUISES? Did you think they meant to say Americanized cruises?

 

Perhaps the problems that some people have with trying out European style cruising is that you expect things to be the way you have it in the US....Pizza in the US is not the way Pizza is in Italy...in fact, Pizza was invented in Italy and it is a million times better there.

 

As for the complaints I have seen on these message boards, I think perhaps some people should change their attitudes and the way they speak to the staff and they would have a better time....and better service. You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar.

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If you americans want everyone to be "americanized", who do you bother sailing on MSC ITALIAN CRUISES? Did you think they meant to say Americanized cruises?.

 

Who said anything about wanting everything to be "americanized"?

Isn't good food and good service provided by pleasant and helpful staff a universal concern?

If these things are strictly American, well then, I guess you're right!

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Yo-

 

We were on the "Lirica" 03/31/2005 cruise. I must have been on the wrong ship - 'cause my food was ALWAYS hot - right and served in a timely manner by a very experienced and personable waiter (table 39 - Sebestanio - first seating) and the buffets that I went to (breakfast and lunch) were very good also - with the french toast and the egg dishes being good. The bacon and sausage were a little on the greasy side - but that is the way with EVERY buffet we have ever had on any ship. The coffee was the best that we have had on ANY ship!!

 

As far as the crew attitude - maybe - just maybe - they were reacting to the way that they were being treated.

I personally found them to be very friendly and accomodating and the ships officers were VERY visible throughout the entire cruise-

 

Happy Cruisin'

 

Mike

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