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MSC Product Quality

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After reading a recent posts about the quality of the MSC product I thought I would outline some of the thoughts I had about my 26 Feb 2005 Opera cruise.


I really enjoyed my cruise & plan on sailing with MSC again.


That being said in my review I mentioned that if MSC tightened its management onboard they would have a product that not only competes but exceeds Cunard, HAL & Celebrity(and certainly already surpasses Carnivore & RCCL).


Here are my thoughts.


1. The crew certainly needs some type of English instructor onboard. Not only for safety reasons but many passengers felt they just could not get their reasonable requests taken care of.


2. The bar servers & waitstaff - tho professional - sometimes felt their personal conversations were more important than waiting on passengers. While onboard I experienced the following - a waitress in the Cotton Club lounging against a wall (apparently singing a song in her head & bopping along to it - she was the same way all week - even the bar manager mentioned it) while several passengers sat & waited for drinks. The waitstaff in the piano bar was the worst - they congregated together & chatted(on both sides of the bar) while passengers again waited for drinks the 3 times I visited there. At the outdoor restaurant one day 2 buffet servers chatted as I stood in front of them waiting to be served for a few moments(no one else was on line))- thankfully a supervisor saw this & reprimanded the 2 servers. The bartenders were hit & miss at the outdoor restaurant. They were having a good time while the passengers were getting thirstier.


3.the officers were aloof - certainly the Europeans are more reserved but they could be a bit rude. If I hadn't made the effort to speak with one officer I wouldn't of met any. They are out & about but somewhat distant. One nite in the disco one officer was obviously drunk & I saw him acting innapropriately towards a couple of female passengers. He was having a ball playing DJ & grabbing the microphine & fooling around the dance floor. Another officer told me his behavior would not be tolerated by MSC.


3. The food was good but inconsistant a times . The quality was the same as wedding fare at most large banquet halls here in the US. Remember what you pay for the week with room and all the food. One day I ordered a goat cheese salad - the trick was trying to find the goat cheese. The steaks were very undercooked. I like a true medium rare - mine came out raw(as did another persons at my table. I asked for a well done - it came out barely medium. The desserts were on the heavy side - they were good but a 2000 calorie cake after dinner was a bit much - perhaps some cookies or lite pie. I stuck to sorbet & cheeses.


The service issues were enough that I can see Americans being put off. I'll try MSC again next winter. They are a European product(which I actually like / prefer). If someone says there was nothing to eat - they are mistaken & very very picky. I stopped sailing HAL after Carnivore took over( I am sailing HAL in May to try a ship)& made such drastic cuts.


4. It did seem that they played with the port times. It did not bother me but others found it disconcerting.


All this being said - the mid size ship was wonderfully designed immacualte, the entertainment fun & varied. I ate the pizza & danced each day. Had some wonderful wine thanks to our wine steward from Croatia. The front desk did take of a problem with my cabin in a timely manner. The quality was better than the NCL,HAL, RCCL cruises I have been in the last few years. I wasn't with thousands of passengers in a mall like floating vessel.


Also - thank you MSC - I paid a single fare that was quite reasonable -


Now if MSC would put some deck chairs on the Promenade Deck .......

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Reading your mail makas me very sad.Sad that I had to cancel


Please be so kind to informate me when you find reasonable SOLO prices.

The RCL-CEL and so on are ridiculous even the harbourtax they doubled,

They told me better an empty cabin tnan half price.

Sorry ,I am going to bed

----the dutch transatl. ---(Henri and Marian) are leaving this very moment!

How sad -how bad --for me and my balconycabin.

























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Have got to say that our recent 03/31/2005 cruise on the "Lirica" was almost exactly opposite your experiences on the "Opera"


The crew (waiters - bar tenders - maintenance workers - officers - room stewards - reception and excursion desk staff - photo staff - store staff - food preparation staff) were very attentive and friendly to us and our table mates.


The food was some of the best that we have had at sea - the coffee was the best we have ever had - we were always served the correct food we had ordered - only once was the same beef dish crossed up - she got my medium and I got her rare-


As far as deck chairs on the Promonade deck - this would be a violation of Coast Guard safety rules for a lifeboat loading deck-


To repeat - in all - this was the best overall cruise we have taken since our first cruise on the old Sitmar line (ALL Italian crew) back in 1986 - we will definitely sail with MSC again-



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Mike - I wanted to post a balanced review for my experence - again overall I really liked the MSC product & plan on sailing with them again next year.


In reference to the deck chairs on Promenade Deck - Last year on a RCCL ship there were deck cahirs on teh wrap around deck by the life boats. Also on the NCL Dawn this past New Years there were deck chairs & tables around both the Port & Starboard sides.


What is the difference - is it the ship design or what?



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