Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
tinykygal

MSC negative reviews

Recommended Posts

We have cruised  17 times, never MSC.

We just need a winter getaway and thought MSC might be interesting.

However, there are so many negative reviews on many sites that I am beginning to doubt .

We aren't expecting anything other than good service, nice staff and descent food.

Comments, please?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Not sure which ship you are planning to sail.  We have done the Divina and just got back from 3 weeks on the Seaside.  We love MSC.  Have also sailed NCL, Carnival, Celebrity and Princess for a total of 42 cruises.  NCL and MSC are our two favorites. 

 

On the Seaside we had some problems with Guest Services but if you got rid of them the rest of the crew are awesome!  The week before Christmas there were a ton of kids which we are not use to since we usually sail longer cruises.  We are not just talking kids but parents that believed their kids could do not wrong and encouraged rude and bad behavior.  I really enjoyed the Spa and the Adult areas LOL.

 

Americans are a minority on MSC or at least they were on the Seaside so be prepared for a lot of different languages. 

 

Food to us was awesome.  We did not care for the dinner buffet, only ate there once, because there was hardly any variety at all.  Lunch at the buffet was awesome.  The MDR food was better than NCL or Princess. 

 

Go with an open mind and you will be fine.  Do not expect a Carnival or NCL experience.  It is something totally different.

 

Our next cruise is on NCL next week for 21 days and it will be totally different than 2 weeks ago on the Seaside.  We would sail MSC again in a heartbeat.

Edited by ready2cruzagain

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quite a few negative reviews center around pax who find themselves out of their comfort zones of Carnival, NCL, etc.  They were expecting those experiences and got something that was not similar.  There are also those pax who have one problem and it affects everything else about their cruise.  Rest assured those people are extremely vocal.  What you are not hearing are the thousands of others who took the same cruise and had a great time but just do not report it here on CC.  
 

Bottom line: Take the harsh comments with a grain of salt.  Go on your cruise and let us know what you think.  Chances are you will have a great time.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Quite a few negative reviews center around pax who find themselves out of their comfort zones of Carnival, NCL, etc.  They were expecting those experiences and got something that was not similar.

 

I agree 100%

 

So many "...we're used to ×××× and MSC was different...we didn't like it.." reviews give MSC a bad name. Yes, there are some (many?) areas where MSC can improve but the same is true for every cruise line. The problem is that people loyal to ×××× either ignore that line's problems or know of ways to avoid those problems.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with CTGNORMANDY, in that when things go wrong, pax are very vocal.  We were on the NCL Pride of America in Feb 2019 cruising around the Hawaiian islands.  We couldn't get to Maui for our 2 nighter due to high waves and winds.  The captain made the decision not to go in for obvious safety concerns.  There were quite a few who gathered on the top deck and decided to hold court and say the captain is wrong and we should go.  She went on to say, "I DON'T BUY IT"....  many joined in.  Did this change anything?  For me, NO.  For them, yes.  It seemingly ruined their cruise.

My point is that you make your vacation what you want it to be.  Start the cruise negative, it'll end negative.

 

I look at it as it's a week (or however long it is) and it's better than sitting at my desk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MSC Phone Customer service is appalling and definitely in need of improvement.  

 

However, we loved the cruises we took on Seaside and Meraviglia - the staff and crew on the ships are amazing - really no complaints if you can get on the ship and avoid the guest relations desk.  I agree that it is a different culture with a European feel.  We enjoyed it, and the cruises are very affordable.  We are booked on 6 more MSC cruises and just go with the punches when we have to wait on the phone for customer services.
 

Now, for a bit of entertainment 😁

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did the Divina a few years back in the Caribbean and the Seaview in the Med last summer and enjoyed both very much!  We have sailed Disney, NCL and Carnival.  We really have nothing notable to complain about..aside from their current Canadian website;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the dates of the negative reviews. Yes, they had some challenges when they first came over- just not understanding American cruisers. Don't pay attention to anything older than 1 year. More positive reviews lately. They are learning... I do hope they don't Americanize everything- I enjoy the slight European atmosphere...Though, do wish for better Trivia.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have yet to sail MSC. In all that I've read about it, it doesn't seem like a bad product in the slightest. You will find that for many people's bad experiences, it is because they are upset it is not what they expected. If you expect MSC to be like every other cruise you have been on, you may be disappointed. It has a Mediterranean flair to it. Many of its guests are from there. The food is different. The experience is different

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just replied in another thread, but it applies here too:

 

The trick to enjoying a MSC cruise is to keep expectations aligned accordingly. MSC is a value driven (aka budget) cruise line. When sailing from the states, you should be spending 25-75% (yes 75%) LESS than a competitive mainstream line. If you are spending half the cost, it is likely MSC is making up the savings somewhere in the experience you should expect. Anytime a mainstream line is priced in the same ballpark as MSC, I personally choose the other line. But when significant savings are there, I don't hesitate to book MSC.

 

If you read 1,000+ reviews of MSC you will find some common negative themes. Food quality, service levels, and general disorganization are themes that appear over and over again. That's not to say you will experience poor food, bad service, etc... (not everyone does), but enough people comment on these themes repeatedly  that I believe it is reasonable these issues give you pause. 

 

Many people LOVE MSC and rave on and on about how great they are. Others HATE MSC and will tell you time and time again how awful the experience was. Personally, I'm in the middle. I book MSC expecting a great value vacation but acknowledge that the cost savings will likely result in a glitch here or there. I do my very best to avoid guest services at all cost and use a travel agent to handle booking. Other than that, I go with expectations aligned to price paid, and use the money saved to book additional travel :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't ignore the negative reviews and don't take them with a grain of salt. Read them and ask yourself if what the person is complaining about would annoy you or not. Fore warned is fore armed and it really helps to set the right expectations.

 

Multiple languages in announcements? Gonna happen. Not gonna mean anything to me, but will annoy some.

 

Dinner takes a long time? Same as above.

 

Bad customer service at the complaint desk? Sure, but that's the same on every ship I've been on. Celebrity, which costs a bunch more was the worst for me. Just hope you don't ever need to use it.

 

Not the same as 'insert other cruise line here'. That's kinda the point.

 

Pizza and pasta based food? It's an Italian line folks.

 

Different type of entertainment? Don't go to the shows you don't like. Find something else to do.

 

Bottom line for me is that negative reviewers have something to say. Assume they are telling the truth as they see it. If the number of negative things being said outweigh the positive for you then book on another line.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, tinykygal said:

We have cruised  17 times, never MSC.

We just need a winter getaway and thought MSC might be interesting.

However, there are so many negative reviews on many sites that I am beginning to doubt .

We aren't expecting anything other than good service, nice staff and descent food.

Comments, please?

 

I would avoid the line altogether. I cruised more than 40 times with other lines, once and never ever again with MSC. The front desk and "documents officer" agreed that my complain was valid concerning an unnecessary visa for Brazil, and yet they forced me to leave in Morocco in the middle of the night to look for one in Rabat, and never accepted any responsibility for their blunder. I spent more than $ 2000 and they just did not care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

MSC is unpredictable which is why we probably won’t sail with them again. Based on our Seaside cruise in May, it was a good cruise line. Based on the Divina in the Yacht Club over Christmas, it was one of the worst cruises our of the 21 we’ve been on. So, you roll the dice. 
 

Others have said each ship is its own line of business and runs basically independently, so we had people tell us “Yacht Club on Seaside is much better than on Divina.” If I’m paying extra for extra services, I don’t want to find out later I picked the wrong ship.

 

I enjoyed Seaside. Divina is a beautiful ship but the service in YC sucked - the service outside was better.

 

Europeans are very defensive about MSC and say Americans expect handholding and constant attention not like Europeans. So, if you expect decent service and don’t like rolling the dice, avoid MSC.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

I just replied in another thread, but it applies here too:

 

The trick to enjoying a MSC cruise is to keep expectations aligned accordingly. MSC is a value driven (aka budget) cruise line. When sailing from the states, you should be spending 25-75% (yes 75%) LESS than a competitive mainstream line. If you are spending half the cost, it is likely MSC is making up the savings somewhere in the experience you should expect. Anytime a mainstream line is priced in the same ballpark as MSC, I personally choose the other line. But when significant savings are there, I don't hesitate to book MSC.

 

If you read 1,000+ reviews of MSC you will find some common negative themes. Food quality, service levels, and general disorganization are themes that appear over and over again. That's not to say you will experience poor food, bad service, etc... (not everyone does), but enough people comment on these themes repeatedly  that I believe it is reasonable these issues give you pause. 

 

Many people LOVE MSC and rave on and on about how great they are. Others HATE MSC and will tell you time and time again how awful the experience was. Personally, I'm in the middle. I book MSC expecting a great value vacation but acknowledge that the cost savings will likely result in a glitch here or there. I do my very best to avoid guest services at all cost and use a travel agent to handle booking. Other than that, I go with expectations aligned to price paid, and use the money saved to book additional travel 🙂

Agree with you absolutely!... Except that here in the European sailings MSC is not even close the cheapest option out there!... Actually they can to be even among the most expensive of all the mainstream cruise lines. Even X which is somewhat seen as such a premium line in some quarters have some very similar if not lower prices than certain new MSC ships!... Certainly MSC has done many things right to have this current status here... But as you say: Given the usual glitches that haven't been ever seriously taken care along the years; considering myself an equal (or higher!...) MSC price with another line... I would to chose another line!...

 

With 6 MSC cruises I can attest they have a nice product... For the right price!... 🙂 Their land operations are as most here say "meh". Embarkation and debarkation process is "meh" and guest services are "meeeeeeeeh"... Certainly they have many positives, but they only compensate the above mentioned negatives at the right price.

 

And finally TBHH; what irritates me the most on them is their current trend trying to imitate the likes of RCI look and feel while retaining their very same old snafus on the service level... It should have been the opposite: Retain their lovely Italian look and feel from the Musica class ships and change their service levels to a morte international level similar to the likes of an RCI or above in the market!...

 

Have a nice day!... 🙂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently on my first cruise with MSC and believe all the reviews beforehand prepared me pretty adequately, so I'd suggest listening to them. Food is ultimately not great. Languages/passengers are different. Ships themselves are nice. Room storage is an issue. Yacht Club is a premium experience. Cruises can be obtained for cheaper. Singers and dancers are good. Customer service, which a lot of people do need, is not good.

 

We are still dealing with a live customer service issue. MSC unilaterally, without notification or explanation, moved the cabin for one within our group when our cabins were originally booked together. I've really not heard otherwise that this is a thing that happens. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, SGCruiser2013 said:

 

.......MSC unilaterally, without notification or explanation, moved the cabin for one within our group when our cabins were originally booked together. I've really not heard otherwise that this is a thing that happens. 


We were aware of their T&C, it clearly says they retain the option to relocate passengers without notice.  The common reason is when you choose a cabin that can accommodate 4 and you are only 2, then a relocation is more likely

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the big differences between Yacht Club and regular MSC is that the YC Concierge replaces the Customer Service desk – so you get terrific service.  That's something that doesn't figure in the cost comparisons, but based on how upset people are about poor customer service I have to think it is 'priceless.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that you should take some reviews with a grain of salt. Especially if the written part focuses on just one or two things.  I've noticed that with Amazon. If the product arrives damaged people often focus on that fact and nothing else. Okay, I think, sorry about your luck, but if you had it replaced, does the product work the way it should? 

 

I read recently that if reviews are based on a 1-5 star system, the 3s are likely to be the most honest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

One of the big differences between Yacht Club and regular MSC is that the YC Concierge replaces the Customer Service desk – so you get terrific service.  That's something that doesn't figure in the cost comparisons, but based on how upset people are about poor customer service I have to think it is 'priceless.'

 The YC concierge is great until the day you’re trying to ask a question and she gets a phone call on her mobile, wanders off into the office, closes the door, and doesn’t come back - and there’s no backup. That was quite possibly the worst service I have had anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, xriva said:

 The YC concierge is great until the day you’re trying to ask a question and she gets a phone call on her mobile, wanders off into the office, closes the door, and doesn’t come back - and there’s no backup. That was quite possibly the worst service I have had anywhere.

I wish her the best if she had a painful experience to deal with on the phone. Otherwise, that seems totally unprofessional. Did you discuss this experience with the YC director? I'll be on Divina in two weeks, so very interested in your experience. Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Bossa Nova said:

I wish her the best if she had a painful experience to deal with on the phone. Otherwise, that seems totally unprofessional. Did you discuss this experience with the YC director? I'll be on Divina in two weeks, so very interested in your experience. Thanks!

We were getting ready to disembark and I agree that if it were an emergency, it would make sense, but the part of it I overheard sounded like a personal phone call. 
 

I didn’t speak with the YC director because we had spoken with him about another issue earlier in the week and he was useless. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will be first time on MSC (Meriviglia) and have been reading thru these posts.  I see a lot of people saying the ships have a "european feel".  I'm not quite sure what this means.  Can someone help?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/3/2020 at 5:17 PM, tinykygal said:

We have cruised  17 times, never MSC.

We just need a winter getaway and thought MSC might be interesting.

However, there are so many negative reviews on many sites that I am beginning to doubt .

We aren't expecting anything other than good service, nice staff and descent food.

Comments, please?

 

I think most are put off by the small number of Americans onboard and the ship trying to cater to everyone.my only complaint is it has twice the number of passengers I was used to but I'm over it and am booked again for the summer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Ajdar said:

Will be first time on MSC (Meriviglia) and have been reading thru these posts.  I see a lot of people saying the ships have a "european feel".  I'm not quite sure what this means.  Can someone help?

MSC is an Italian company. They have a huge presence in Europe and are just now getting serious about the US. There will be a lot of Europeans on your cruise, more than on any other line. Because the ships have a multitude of Europeans onboard, MSC sees no reason to actually cater to Americans.
 

If you don’t deal with multiple languages spoken all around you, you won’t be happy. If you don’t deal with people that have a completely different idea of personal space, you won’t be happy. 

 

I enjoyed our cruise on the Seaside in May. There was plenty to do, lots to eat. I was happy. On the Divina for Christmas, we were in the Yacht Club, and after multiple days of “meat with sauce, fish with sauce or vegetables” twice a day, we went to the buffet. At that point, I understood the food complaints. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It also boggles my mind on what "European Feel" is. If bad food. bad service. lack of CS, and being called a liar  and being lied to is what you are looking for, knock yourself out! Have done plenty of travel in Europe and have never been subjected to this! This is not my definition of a vacation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...