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MSC Cruises: MSC Splendida

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MSC Splendida Review

The second in MSC Cruises Fantasia-class of ships, MSC Splendida was christened in 2009. She is equipped with the most up-to-date technological advances—such as the water-processing systems—to guarantee protection of the environment as well as energy savings.

MSC Cruises’ newest ships are also their largest and include the MSC Yachts Club—luxury suites with their own private library, lounge, swimming pool, restaurant, and sundeck. The spa’s well-being center has a thermal cave and therapy pool for relaxation. The children’s play area includes a swimming pool with waterslide. To test your driving skills, there are Formula 1 simulators. Unusual for a cruise ship, there is also a squash court. The extensive use of various colored marbles adds a luxurious quality to the traditionally styled public lounges and a hint of Italian style as well as art deco and art nouveau touches.

MSC Cruises has always been sensitive to environmental issues, and Fantasia-class ships are on the cutting edge ecologically. They are equipped with the most innovative technological systems to guarantee savings in energy and protection of the environment, such as the water-processing systems. MSC Divina has more cabins and a higher double-occupancy rate and a stunning infinity pool at the back of the ship.

More widely known as one of the world's largest cargo shipping companies, MSC has operated cruises with an eclectic fleet since the late 1980s. When the line introduced two graceful, medium-size ships in 2003 and 2004, it ushered in an era of new shipbuilding that has seen the fleet grow faster than any other European cruise line. This line is growing into a major player in both Europe and the Caribbean.

MSC blankets the Mediterranean nearly year-round with a dizzying selection of cruise itineraries that allow a lot of time in ports of call and include few if any sea days. In summer months, several ships sail off to northern Europe to ply the Baltic. Itineraries planned for repositioning sailings visit some intriguing, off-the-beaten-track ports of call that other cruise lines bypass.

No glitz, no clutter—just elegant simplicity—is the standard of MSC's seaworthy interior decor. Extensive use of marble, brass, and wood reflects the best of Italian styling and design; clean lines and bold colors set their modern sophisticated tone.

MSC adopts some activities that appeal to American passengers without abandoning those preferred by Europeans; however, regardless of the itinerary, be prepared for an Italian-influenced experience. Also expect to hear announcements in several languages.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • The buffet is huge, with several serving areas and plenty of seating
  • Extra-charge ice-cream parlors serve excellent gelato
  • The ship’s atrium is designed as a gorgeous Italian piazza

Cons

  • The Yacht Club sundeck can sometimes be uncomfortably windy
  • Although there is an outdoor big-screen cinema, it’s most often used for cruise line–related messages
  • Currency on board is the euro
Ship Stats
  • Crew Members 1,332
  • Entered Service 2008
  • Gross Tons 137,936
  • Length 1,093 feet
  • Number of Cabins 1,637
  • Passenger Capacity 3,274
  • Width 124 feet
  • New

Aug 2, 2015

Mediterranean

Having taken a number of previous cruises, MSC cruise is BY FAR the worst we have taken. We booked our reservation online, and the reservation included an amenities package - prepaid drinks, massages, etc. Several months before sailing, we made final payment and printed out all the relevant documents which included payment for the amenities package. Approximately two months before sailing and after our final payment, MSC cruise line unilaterally

changed the amenities package to a package of lesser value for the same cost. I only discovered this by checking our online reservation. Otherwise, they would have never informed us. We attempted to resolve this multiple times through their customer service via telephone and email. They would acknowledge the documentation that we had paid for the better amenities package. MSC claimed that it was an error that they posted the amenities package we purchased at the price we paid. It was a deciding factor in our final payment. After that we could not get out the cruise. We will NEVER sail with MSC cruises again. The customer service is HORRIBLE. MSC Cruise lines does have very well prepared gluten-free diet plan with carefull attention to this dietary restriction. The stateroom was clean and moderm Onboard activities were minimal We were fortunate to visit Tunisia before the current unrest. The ports of call were wonderful. The cruise line was horrible.

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  • New

Jan 19, 2014

Western Med and North Africa

This was the first time my girls went on a cruise. The ship is totally amazing and we never had a dull moment. It is a port intensive cruise and this made it even better value for money. Barcelona, Rome and Marseilles are absolutely stunning. The employees on the ship are extremely friendly and helpful. We had one bad experience in the Sante Fe Tex Mex dining area, but it was resolved by the assistant director on the ship. The children loved the shows.

The food was great and the Bora Bora buffet was wonderful for breakfast, but not the waistline. The entire trip was an awesome experience. It is wise to book an additional day or two in Barcelona as there is so much to do and see. Dining was very good. Bora Bora was wonderful for breakfast. Drinks were expensive and Sante Fe Tex Mex was a disappointment, with poor staff. The Cigar Lounge have some of the best employees with exceptional service. The room was on deck 10 - balcony and we could not complain. It would be great if the showers had glass instead of curtains. More than enough to do especially as you are at a different port everyday. Take an excursion in Tunis. The other ports are so easy to get around that no excursions are needed. Rome is awesome - book transfers from the port to Rome as it is almost a hour drive. Experience of a life time. MSC is outstanding and I would recommend this cruise to anyone.

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  • New

Mar 31, 2013

Western Med and North Africa

I don't understand why so many negative reviews for MSC. We booked into the Yacht Club which I know makes a difference as it's all inclusive except excursions. We had great service in all areas of the ship. The ship was spotless, the service was fantastic. Buffet food was good but the dining room food was excellent. Very nice Yacht club balcony regular room. It was big and comfortable as well as spotless. Couldn't have been much better.

Activities could have been improved some and could have included a few more things but this was a port intensive cruise so not a lot of time for such activities anyway. The shows and shopped on board was much better than Carnival for example. Don't book excursions for Genova, Rome, Palermo, Marseille, or Barcelona but Tunis you might want to book an excursion. The excursion prices on MSC seemed much cheaper than Carnival cruises we've been on. We had a great time but with busy port calls nearly everyday it was tiring. We tended to book an early morning excursion or do the cities on our own then head back to the ship early in the afternoon and enjoy the quiet. We did have a lot of Chinese tourist onboard with lots of kids so there was some cultural differences like waiting in lines, etc. but it didn't seem that bad.

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  • New

Apr 9, 2012

BCN-Tunis-Malta-Messina-Roma-Genova-BCN

Don´t fall sick @ MSC Splendida!!!!! Second night @ MSC Splendida I had a terrible stomachache. At 3am I went to the front desk asking for a doctor and they told me that it was better to wait until next morning, afterhours service would be very expensive, so I did. Next morning I showed up at on board hospital, expalin what was happening to me and again they told me that to get medication from them I had to pay first a doctor visit that would

be 40 euros (felt like they did not want to see me) I said I wanted to see the doctor anyway. Once with the doctor that did not speak english he said that it looked like apendicitis but like Tunis had "arabic" hospitals it was a better idea to wait until we arrive to Malta. They gave me some parecetamol pills and stomach protector (I found out later that it was not the right decision). I went with all my family for a walk at Tunis medina. When I got back I was feeling like dying, at that time the hospital was closed for lunch time so I went to my cabin. My sister told me that it was strange keeping apendicitis wainting and I´d better ask for a thermometer and check out my temp. My wife went to the hospital when they reopen and ask for the thermometer, they said that it was not working, she had to make big complains to get one, when she came back to the cabin I had 39.3, bad shape. The story is very long so I´ll continue tomorrow..... Stay away from the doctor. Kids had a great time.

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  • New

Jul 11, 2011

Med

Enjoyed the ports of the Med with the history and artifacts. The ship was magnificant in size and presentation. It was easy to get lost. Food was at a low standard, the buffet had little to offer and the dining was not a good experience. Food was usually cold, not cooked and small portions. Disappointed when they recommend not to drink the water from the taps and then have the hide to charge for drinking water. For those who don't drink alcohol

it can still be an expensive shout. The wine list was good but paying up to 10 times the value is a bit much. Our accommodation was good, the balcony was pretty well protected and the amenities fine. The activities were mainly for the younger passengers so we did not get involved. The lifeboat drill was a shambles, no one knew where to go and there was no check off to see if everyone was in attendance. In most ports we found our own way around using local transport rather than pay through the nose for some of the organised ventures. In some locations it is hard to avoid the set excursions due to the location of the port and the distance from civilization. The trip was good and the places we saw were also good, especially Malta. It is a good way to get a snap shot of the various places to then decide if you want to travel there another time. The cruise was smooth and the weather was fine. The ship was huge, ultra modern and magnificant. The rate MSC charge for gratuities, water, alcohol and excursions I expect there'll be a new ship on the horizon.

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