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Review: MSC Fantasia

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Last minute cruise to the United Emirates in January

  • By SilverTraveller GKW

    3 reviews

  • January 2017
  • Your husband, wife or partner
  • Regular holiday
  • Balcony
  • Abu Dhabi

108 people found this review helpful

We travelled to Abu Dhabi in January and joined the MSC Fantasia for a 7 night cruise.

On arriving at Abu Dhabi airport we were greeted by MSC employees showing us where to go to pick up the coach for transferring to the port. This was very well organised and on arriving at the port, we were advised that our suitcases would be taken from the coach to our cabin. We checked in immediately and were on the ship within 30 minutes which we thought was brilliant as on previous cruises we had queued for a couple of hours or more to get on board.

Once on board we were advised that our cabin would be ready by 12.30 so we made ourselves comfortable up on deck until it was ready. It was ready on time and our suitcases were already there.

The ship is large, but we found our way around easily after the first day or so. Our cabin was on the 13th deck and it was comfortable but we thought having the wardrobes right by the bathroom door was inconvenient as you could not leave the bathroom if the wardrobe doors were open and vice versa!

It was unusual to us to not be able to collect a towel from the pool deck. Two orange towels were left in your room and you had to use these all day. They were changed each evening if you left the dirty ones in your bathroom. Unfortunately our cabin steward forgot to do this on a couple of occasions and it involved a trip down to customer services to get them replaced. If you lost a towel they would charge you 20 Euros which I thought was a bit steep. However, we managed to hold on to ours!
We did not go on any of the tours, but left the ship and made our own way around the ports. In Dubai we found it easy to get around on the Metro and Trams but were overcharged by a Taxi Driver from the port to the nearest Metro as although it was about a 20 minute drive, it was obviously not far enough for him. On the return journey we paid about 10 less.

The food was very good in the Restaurant, the pasta especially was fantastic. MSC make their own pasta on board. We had a brilliant waiter who kept the wine flowing and was friendly and efficient.

We only visited the buffet deck a couple of times. It was always busy and noisy so we tended to eat in the Restaurant. We were pleased that the Restaurant was open at lunch time whilst in port because on other cruises they tended to close them.

One major problem was a lack of sun beds. People tended to put their orange towels and a book or similar on the beds and they were then empty most of the day. We could not get a sun bed on one day anywhere until early afternoon.

Some of the bars were more friendly than others. We visited one regularly and the staff got to know us, but in another on one evening we waited over 20 minutes for someone to take our order (even though it was nearly empty) and even then my husband had to go to the bar to ask for service.

The evening entertainment in the Theatre was excellent. We only saw three shows, but the costumes, singing, dancing and sets were amazing. As good as a West End Show. The ones we saw were Wonderland, a Tribute to Michael Jackson and Tin Tin.
On the whole the trip was very enjoyable, we booked a last minute break, the weather was very nice and the ship was what we would have expected.

On disembarking we were surprised to find that we could check in at the port for our airline tickets and the bags were once again whisked away and we did not see them again until we arrived back in Heathrow.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 3 Comment(s)

  • applegroupie
    over 4 years ago
    We have been thinking of trying a MSC cruise, especially after Jane McDonald's recent episode on the MSC Divina. However, friends of mine who have been on a MSC cruise a few years back told me that they had to pay for their teas/coffees in the restaurant and even tap water on the dining table unless they go to the self-service buffet. I got the impression from them that what you paid for your cruise is just for the very basics hence their competitve pricing. Once you are onboard they charged for practically everything.

    Has that changed?

  • discerning-traveller
    over 4 years ago
    Oh the problem with sun beds! The perennial problem. My worst experience was in Croatia when I was relaxing on a sun bed on the last bed with a parasol. No towel on it but a very angry German came marching over and shouted at me to move as it was his bed for the week. I calmly told him that as no towel had been on the bed i Was using it and would gladly move if the management thought it appropriate. With that, he grabbed the parasol and removed it leaving me in the full glare of the sun. He had not even been in the vicinity and had been watching from his balcony. All this was much to the amusement of the other tourists. One joked that is nearly started WW3! To finish this ramble, a couple of kindly Russians moved over and let me share their shade.

    I digress from the cruise - do you know whether there were many solo travelers and whether they were encouraged to sit together?
  • ESW
    over 4 years ago
    It does annoy me when people reserve a seat or sunbed and then don't use it. What happens if you remove a towel or book and make a take over bid?