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Gillian Schneiderman

Age: 47

Occupation:Sales

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Ship: MSC Sinfonia

Sailing Date: 2012-02-27

Itinerary: Durban to Mozambique

There is so little information on the Web about this cruise. MSC operate two ships from South Africa for the summer season. We took the cruise from Durban to Maputo in Mozambique - and had one other Port planned but due to the notoriously bad weather in our area - had to redirect. This clearly happens often.

We love crusing - but all our other cruises have been international and are very different. This is 100% south african and caters for that market - without competition. Therefore, whilst the ship is terrific, the food was of a different standard in terms of both quality and presentation. That was a disappointment.

The theatre shows were excellent and thre was a lot of activity at the pool - but geared for the south african market.

I dont think we would do another 'local' cruise but this was offered on a special and we did have a great time. Having since tried to find sites to log and read reviews - I have found a lot of complaints (on a local site) and decided to try and register my review where I can - to assist prospective passengers in making informed decisions.

Also a word of wanring - embarkation was a nightmare. The queues and the facilities!! This needs to be upgraded (apparently there are plans) and I point fingers at both SA authorities and Starlight Cruises for this. We all boarded with raging tempers - which wasnt necessary.

This ship is being redirected to Cape Town and will cruise from there. Presumably the waters will still often be rough - but maybe a little more predictable. I just hope the catering standards are addressed or their passenger numbers will dwindle and that will be sad. The crew need the income - the ship is very very nice - and the potential is there.

Needs someone to take over the quality and the presentation. I was also in the formal dining room for lunch twice on a 4 night cruise - and the menu was the same. Thats unacceptable and easily addressed.

I would have loved vegetables but they were rare.

The soups were very good - but more than that - they need to up their game which I am sure can be done - perhaps by limiting the number of choices but improving the quality and presentation. Devilled cockrell with I forget what was delivered as a chicken drumstick with about 8 chips. Small portions = GREAT becuase there are so many. But keep it to a cruising standard. Especially where these itineraries frequently end up with ports being missed and more days at sea. Food will be focus. (For those who arent seasick - and there were many. Seems there always are.)

Very nice indeed - great storage and very bright. Smallest shower ever - but so be it.

Loved the theatre shows. Didnt do much else - poolside was quite afrikaans and geared to the South African market. Also VERY hot so we relocated to a lower deck with a sun lounger, in the shade - with good books. Our piece of paradise.

This is NOT Europe, For a first time visitor - go and see Maputo. We took the official shore excursion which wasnt exciting - but was interesting. Much of it is within walking distance frmo the port - and there is a little tourist train that can take you around. The market is very limited and not a must see - and there are a lot of persistent hawkers. Nonetheless it is a new country/city and you should see it at least once.

We got a terrific special so found it was value for money and whilst we were disappointed in the food - we were never hungry. We went to unwind and relax - it delivered! Would we do it again - same route? Same ship - no, UNLESS the reviews rave of the food.... and the new itineraries from CT are offered on another unbeatable special.

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