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JFR 05-13-2009 07:47 AM

Hi All, we are just back from two cruises in Mediteranean. One with RCI and one with MSC Cruise.

Service and traitment with RCI was wonderful, MSC Cruise was so poor! I wrote a letter to both president to make them know our appreciation/ dispointment. Below a copy of the letter. Hope it will help others!
Object: Cruise on both Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises

Dear Sirs,

My wife and I have cruised on both your company back to back from April 24th 2009 (Splendour of the Seas) and from May 2nd 2009 ( MSC Poesia).

We were told to take the Splendour as the first cruise since it was an older and smaller vessel and then to take the MSC Poesia which was a more recent and large ship.

We are writing to both of you to give you our opinion on both cruises.

Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas, April 24th to May 2nd 2009 Leaving from Venice:

Positive aspect:

1. We had the chance of being upgraded to a room with a balcony. The room was spacious and very well maintained. (Room # 7122)
2. The room attendant (Marlon) was very nice with us and during the entire cruise, he was dedicated to make our trip a wonderful one. Also, he was trying to learn a new word in French (our first language).
3. The restaurant was wonderful with all the windows all around. The food was exceptional and the service from the waiter (Tricia), the assistant waiter (Patricia) and the responsible of the service was as good as in a fancy restaurant in Montreal. The cafeteria was well situated in the front of the vessel and the food was good. The choice of wine was generous and various
4. The non smoking politic on the Vessel was respectful of the people. Letting them smoke on their balcony make sense
5. The personal of the vessel was dedicated to the comfort of their guest during the entire cruise. We did not participate to the event organised, but we felt that it was done to make everybody feel in a large family.
6. The vessel had room for all the needs and desires of all guests: disco, Viking Crown during the day to enjoy reading in a silent place with a wonderful view of the ocean, activities near the pools, shows during the night etc.
7. The staff was from everywhere in the world ( Captain : Norwegian, Room mate: From CHILI, Waitress and assistant: Brazilian, Responsible of the service in restaurant, German, Responsible of activities: Argentine, Responsible of shopping: Canadian etc) so we never felt like outsiders or not part of the family. We really appreciated this fact.
8. The embarquement and disembarquement were very well done and smooth. We had to wait sometimes, but never long.
9. We also noted that there were older people in the vessels and the personal was always trying to make them comfortable.
10. The safety exercise was well conducted and reassuring to all the guest to insure that in case of an emergency, everybody would know were to go. (numbered on deck 4 were clear, and the exercise were precise: line up, waiting advises etc)
11. At all destination, a small map was given to everybody and for the people that did not had a tour, there were always a shuttle to go to the interesting places (Dubrovnik, Corfu)

Negative Aspect

1. The hot water and the pressure in the shower was not very good. We were freezing when we were taking our shower

In conclusion, we felt that all the company Royal Caribbean was dedicated to the comfort level of their guest and that our opinion and the experience we were leaving was very important to all the personal. We will highly recommend to our friend to take a cruise with you and we will surely do another one in a year of so.

We want to thank all the personnel of the Spendour of the Seas for the wonderful week we lived!


MSC Cruise, MSC Poesia, From May 2nd 2009 to May 9th 2009, Leaving from Venice;

Positive aspect:

1. The Vessel is beautiful and the decoration is various and colourful. The deck on Deck 7 to take a walk was large and beautiful.
2. The variety of bars all around the ship were very interesting
3. Our room was clean and beautiful, although it was half the dimension of the on the Splendour of the seas (room #11199)
4. The shows were amazing and as good as shows you can find in renowned places such as Broadway, Disney etc.
5. The shower was great with hot water in profusion and a good pressure level

Negative aspect:

1. Our room was situated two decks below the cafeteria. Since there were no carpet or protection under the chair, we suffered during all the cruise starting at 6h00 am to 6h00 pm of the sound of scratching chair on the floor. With 3000 people on the vessel, it was very noisy. We went to the reception to be told that nothing could be done. It was impossible to have a relaxing time in our room.
2. The safety exercise was a joke. We were told to go in the Pigalle Loundge with our vest one. While we were in the Pigalle loundge we had to wait and then the personal gives us a course on how to put the vest one, even though everybody had the vest already on. We never been told were to go to take the emergency boat and which one we would use. I imagine that in case of a real emergency, MSC may face a tragedy. In panic, people don’t think strait and if they don’t know were to go, I let you imagine what could happen.
3. The only place we could use to relax was a small place call the library that was situated in the middle of the ship with no windows to look outside.
4. Smoking was allowed in most bars. Also, the notice in the rooms was that smoking was prohibited on the balcony and NOT RECOMMANDED IN ROOMS. We had to suffer somebody smoking around our room and because of the situation of our room (end of the corridor) all the smoke was coming to our room.
5. Because of the situation describe in point 3, my wife had an Asthma crises, something that did not happen for 4 years! She did tough bringing her pump has it did not happen for a long time. After a few days, we called the reception around 8h30pm on the Friday night, because my wife was in a violent crises. We were being told, after a long sigh from the person who answered, that the doctor was not available and the clinic of the vessel was closed. So during all the night, we had to use the shower of our room to try to reduce the crises of my wife. Just for your knowledge, in the way back with Air France, they took it seriously and my wife was in a serious crises. Back in Montreal we went to the clinic and now she is doing test to make sure she did not suffer of pulmonary embolism. She is still coughing a lot and we are worry for her health.
6. We felt like stranger in the vessel. We were sitting with French people that were also feeling like stranger on the vessel. We in fact felt that the whole cruise was done by Italian and for Italian and that we were there just to fill wholes.
7. We were asked to give our passport to the reception, which we did, even though we found strange to do so. On our first tour, there was a mistake on the tour part, and they left without us. Lucky enough, we manage to find back the bus, but we were afraid for that to happen again since we did not have our passport in hand. Back to the vessel, we asked to have back our passport which we had to fight for. We were being told that it is because we were not from England. We found later that our French friends have not been asked to give their passport and we were than told that our were needed because we were not European and that the Port Authority were asking that. Strangely, it never happened with Royal Caribbean and we felt that the Immigration Officer did not want to work hard for the guest… at one point, we asked to speak with him and after 15 minutes of wait we were being told that he was not available and that we would have to come back later…
8. In Dubrovnik, we had to wait around 45 minutes to take the bus to the old city. The week before, we were in the same place with Royal Caribbean and we never waited so long.
In conclusion, we felt that the MSC cruise was not responding to North American standard and that the personal was not dedicated to make the guest live a good experience. We also felt that this was done mainly for Italian. We will never recommend this company to our friends and we will forward this letter to the Canadian Association of Travel Agencies and to the American Association of travel Agencies for their information.

Thank you both to have read this letter, and hoping it will make you either congratulates your people or do the said amelioration for the future.

Best regards,

penny3333 05-13-2009 11:09 AM

Hi JFR, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Thank you for sharing your letters and experiences with us. We haven't cruised on MSC, but have cruised on Costa (which is also an Italian line). We know the experience is different, but sorry to hear you didn't like the MSC cruise. Costa is definitely not geared to the north American clientelle, but we have always enjoyed our cruises with them. I am very glad to hear that Royal did a good job, and you enjoyed that cruise. We hope to see you on our board more often. Welcome home and best wishes!

jack2007 07-03-2009 04:28 PM

You might be interested to know that earlier this year a UK Cruise site conducted a poll
on what cruisers thought were the Best & Worst Cruise lines.

MSC was voted the worst cruise line
MSC Poesia was voted the worst ship

Cruiselover3 07-03-2009 07:33 PM

I have to second your thoughts of MSC. We took a cruise on the Orchestra when it came to Fort Lauderdale. It was the worst excuse of a cruise. There were about 3 happy passengers and 2997 unhappy passengers by the end of our voyage. The ship was gorgeous but everything else was awful. I can see why they were voted the worst.

Lss96 10-06-2009 02:59 PM

Can't agree more sailed Lirica in 2008 Caribbean (10 days) never,never again will I do a European ship. Sorry the smoking, disregard for rules, even the Captain arguing with his wife pool side, disgruntled ship workers on and on and on.. Could not wait to get off the ship. You get what you pay for. The shame of it all was the ship was beautiful.


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