MSC Cruise Sinfonia - What To Expect.
My sisters and I tried MSC Sinfonia and here’s what we liked and didn’t like about this trip.
We travelled on a 7-day trip from Pearus / Athens to Split in Croatia, Brindisi in Italy, Mykonos and Venice.
After spending a week onboard an MSC cruise ship, here’s how we would say that I will never travel on MSC Santorini again.
For our first time on this ship, we were super disappointed. The onboard experience did not meet our expectations.
We chose this cruise as it was our last option; the one I initially wanted was fully booked.
Eventually, my son came across an MSC cruise deal starting at $59 US per person.
Everything You Need To Know About MSC Cruise Sinfonia
Are you planning your next cruise and considering the MSC Cruise Sinfonia as your choice of ship? If so, it’s important to make sure you have all the information you need to make an informed choice.
Firstly, this is a mid-sized ship with a capacity of 2,679 passengers and was originally launched in 2002 but underwent a refurbishment in 2015. On board, you can expect a great selection of dining options, entertainment and activities including a spa, pool and gym.
The ship also operates regular routes across destinations such as Mozambique, South Africa, Mauritius and Reunion Island. In terms of accommodation, they offers an array of cabin types, from inside to balcony, guaranteeing you will find the perfect accommodation to suit your needs.
On embarkation day
The embarkation time was set for 11 a.m. and we were advised not to arrive earlier. We followed the given time and the boarding process went smoothly. After boarding, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and took some pictures of the empty ship. However, a mandatory safety briefing was announced soon after and we were instructed to proceed within 10 minutes. Unfortunately, we missed the announcement as we couldn’t hear it and no one was there to guide us. We had to attend the safety meeting the following day.
I always choose to book a cabin with a window whenever I go on a cruise. My cabin was cozy for the duration of my week-long stay on board. It was equipped with all the essential amenities like a king-sized bed, a closet, a desk, a vanity, and a private bathroom. Although the storage space was limited, and there weren’t enough hangers, I managed to make do with what was available.
Whenever I left my cabin, I would hang a “Do Not Disturb” card on the door to let the stateroom attendant know if they could enter or not. Upon returning, we always found our cabin tidy and our bed made. At night, we were provided with a booklet that contained the next day’s activities.
The cabin crew was friendly and helpful, making our stay very comfortable.
The outstanding customer service from all the crew members working there makes every passenger feel welcomed and special.
The Dining Room.
We add the opportunity to dine in the big dining room every night. The service was exceptional, but some days the menu didn’t suit our taste. Unfortunately, menus were not available in advance and only appeared a few hours before dinner on the wall beside the dining room. On a few occasions, my food was cold or I received the wrong dish, and I had to return it.
If the menu did not look appealing one evening, we went to the buffet instead. We preferred going there, we knew what to expect.
If you’re planning on hitting up the buffet, it’s a good idea to go early. Once it gets going, there’s usually a line and not enough seats to go around. But trust me, it’s worth it for the amazing food selection. They’ve got everything from fresh fruit to decadent desserts. Also, don’t forget to check out the waffle and pancake station in another location!
If you’re looking for breakfast or lunch options other than the buffet, you can find them by the pool or other areas.
When it comes to beverages, juice was only complimentary in the morning, while tea and coffee were free throughout the day. However, if you want a cappuccino or ice cream, you’ll need to pay for it.
A room to lounge on the top floor
We had a wonderful time on the top floor of the ship, taking in the serene ocean views. Our family spent most of our time sitting by a window at the end of the day, enjoying the scenery and each other’s company. This cruise line is perfect for families as they offer a range of activities for passengers of all ages.
Children can enjoy their own designated play area and programming specifically designed for them. This allowed us to have some peaceful moments away from the commotion of the younger passengers.
The Dress Code
It’s worth taking some smart outfits along otherwise you can dress pretty much as elegantly or casually (within reason) as you wish without exciting comments. This cruise did have a white night, where people did their best to have white outfit.
The theater entertainment was good but the guy who kept us entertained before the show was very funny.
The areas with music were too loud for my liking. Although the crew put in a lot of effort to provide us with entertainment, there is room for improvement. Also, you have different choices, like the casino or the bar with soft music.
Some Littles things to think about
**The cruise offers a drink package priced at 139 euros per person, but if you’re not a heavy drinker and only enjoy one or two drinks, it may not be necessary to purchase the package. You can also opt to buy drinks individually.
However, if you choose to add both the drink package and wifi to your trip, the cost can add up quickly.
**Additionally, wifi is available at approximately 19 euros per day.
Alternatively, you can access free wifi at cafes or restaurants onshore.
The Poll area
A nice and fun place with two pools and a sauna. You also have Game tables , a Bar and much more.
If you want to secure a lounge chair to get some sun, make sure to arrive early, because by 11 a.m. they tend to be all taken by then.
They were pricey. Some locations were only accessible by transportation, such as Venice and Mykonos. So if you want to visit them, it can be expensive due to transportation costs.
It can be frustrating when you don’t have enough time to explore a port of call during a cruise.
One example is Venice, where our sightseeing time was cut short due to having to return to the ship via sea bus, going through customs, waiting in line, passing through customs again, and then taking another sea bus. This process was a waste of time ( more than one hour).
Unfortunately, you have to pay for the sea bus as walking isn’t an option for Venice.
Similarly, in Mykonos, you also have to pay to go on shore.
I know of a cruise line where the sea bus is free!!
The customer service provided by MSC was poor.
It’s important to be aware of the service charges when booking your cruise. Make sure to inquire about them beforehand. They charged us 189 euros per person, but we were able to have them removed from our bill. It took three trips to Guest Services before the issue was resolved.
It appears that the senior management is not concerned about customer satisfaction and some of them can be rude. Communication was very poor, especially when we needed to arrange an excursion or correct an error, which was never fixed.
The staff at the Customer Service Desk tried their best, but they had limited knowledge and authority when it came to addressing our concerns.
Regarding the Reception/Excursions, there were numerous issues, and the staff was not communicating adequately.
It was challenging to speak to someone in authority, and the staff members often provided conflicting information, even for simple questions .
I ask “What should I do with my suitcase if I want to leave early the next morning due to our flight schedule?”
Two people behind the desk could not give me an answer!! they asked another person and in one instance, the third staff member threw the blue paper tags for our suitcases at us, which was very rude.
Cruising should be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, not a source of stress.
***Please note that if you intend to leave the ship along with everyone else, you will receive tags with your room number the night before. These tags should be added to your suitcases. Before going to bed, place your suitcases outside in the hallway. I recommend keeping a small bag with some clothes and your valuable items with you for the next day.
In case you have to leave the ship as soon as it docks because you have an early flight, please keep your suitcases with you at night and roll them out as soon as the ship docks. One staff member will guide you to an exit.
–I had a disappointing experience with MSC, except for the onboard staff who were not part of the customer service team.
-When planning a cruise, it is important to carefully review all available information and take note of the allotted time for onshore visits.
-In my eagerness to vacation, I hastily chose a cruise without doing thorough research. I will be more cautious in the future.
-My family and I aren’t opposed to cruising with MSC again, but we’ll still check other options first.
**Stay tuned to our blog posts to catch a glimpse of our journey.