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Ann Goodwin

Age: 68

Occupation:retired

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Ship: MSC Melody

Sailing Date: 10-28-2008

Itinerary: Genoa to Durban

We were on the same cruise as Wendy who writes so scathingly about it! Were we on the same ship I wonder. OK as we booked about 10 months prior to the trip we got a superior outside cabin so can't comment on her cabin experiences but several other things really were so much better than she seems to think and we've cruised with mant lines! The overall cleanliness of the ship was excellent. We chose first sitting for dinner and while the dining room was quite full it was no more so than many others we have used. The whole idea these days is to keep the prices down and pack the customers in!!!!!!!! If you want a lot of space you really do have to pay the price. Yes, we were late into several ports, but when traversing the Suez Canal the Captain has no option but to go when he's told to go we had the same experience when we went through the Panama Canal. As for the Seychelles, well, we were very lucky to get there at all, as we were attacked by the notorious Somali Pirates in the Gulf of Aden and had to take extreme measures to avoid capture including being escorted by two warships, jet palnes and a helicopter overhead, so lets not moan too much about that shall we! This was not hearsay, but was confirmed by crew of HMS Northumberland who escorted us into harbour in the Seychelles. Food - my partner is diabetic and has several food allergies and I have a Cordon Bleu certificate of excellence and we had no problem with what was ofered. OK some things weren't as good as they should have been but that also happens on many other cruise lines charging a great deal more. Remember this was an extremely inexpensive cruise visiting some pretty amazing places. Reasonable - some meals were well above average but one or two were below what we would expect. Buffet lunches generally had superb quality meat, the suckling pig in particular. Very large comfortable and kept immaculate at all times. We also had the advantage of a large deep bath with plentiful hot water, as well as, a huge amount of wardrobe and drawer space. Nothing rattled or creaked in our stateroom in fact the only night we heard anything at all was the night of the pirate attack when engine noises woke us. They were the usual we've come to expect on long sea crossings. The evening entertainment was pretty dire some nights but we have found it just as bad on some luxury American cruise ships where the entertainment has been totally geared to the American market and incomprehensible to the other nationalities on board. We generally prefer to do our own thing and usually manage to meet up with another couples to share a taxi to sightsee as we did several times on this cruise. We chose to because our great debate was whether to cruise or go to South Africa last autumn. The Melody itinerary allowed us to do both and avoid one of the long haul flights, as well as visiting several places we wanted to see.

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