I just got back from my 8 night Mediterranean cruise aboard the MSC Orchestra and I just thought I would share my experiences with anyone planning a trip on this cruise.
What I experienced on MSC Orchestra by Italian passengers (90%):
They push in front of you at the buffet, or any queues when waiting for something.
They cut queues everywhere and anywhere.
They won't move over so that you can fit into the elevator.
If the elevator starts closing before you're in, they won't try to hold it for you.
If you arrive at your floor on the elevator, you can't get out, because the Italian people who want to get in, won't let you out first.
They talk at the top of their voices down the corridors at all hours of the morning.
If you are standing somewhere where they want to stand, they will push you out the way so that they can stand there.
If you have ever been on a five star cruise before the MSC Orchestra will be a disappointment for these reasons:
Room service is not free, and very heavily priced.
THEY CHARGE FOR A GLASS OF WATER!!! Even when the same water runs freely in your cabin to brush your teeth and shower! That's right 0.50 Euros for a glass of shower water served in a glass (no ice).
There is no free ice tea or fruit punch like they have on other ships.
Breakfast is only between 08:00 and 10:00, if you arrive later, there's nothing for you to eat and you'll have to wait for the lunch buffet.
The breakfast is very simple. You cannot design-your-own-omelette, you cannot even ask for a fried egg. In terms of eggs, it's either scrambled eggs or plain omelettes.
It is impossible to find a teaspoon by the breakfast buffet! I cannot eat yogurt with a large spoon, but teaspoons are not available. Everyday I had to ask for a teaspoon and was asked what the teaspoon was for. When I told them it was to eat my yogurt they reluctantly handed over a single teaspoon. Teaspoons are not even available at the coffee/tea station. To stir your coffee/tea, you must use a wooden ice-cream stick.
The lunch buffet is pretty much always the same, only one or two things might be different each day.
The lunch buffet and breakfast buffet are always over-crowded.
For an Italian ship, the pizza is not that good and is not available all day like other ships. They are simple large rectangle pizzas cut into squares.
There is no late-afternoon buffet either.
The dinner in the dining room had a different menu every night, but the food was not amazing. The soups were great but the starters and mains were often a disappointment.
The “Always Available” menu had “Grilled Fillet of Salmon”, so the one evening I ordered it, and was served a piece of white fish that was not salmon.
The Orchestra is a very large ship, that somehow seems small when you're on it. What I mean by this is that all areas always seem so crowded. Perhaps this may be because they might have more rooms than other ships, but there always seemed to be too many passengers on board.
The bingo was terrible, with only 1 game of bingo per bingo session.
The photographers were not very professional and pestered you for a picture every night at dinner.
FT. LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- This was the worst cruise I have ever been on. This ship offers for kids to sail free, yet there are very few programs for children and when my children did go, they cried and refused to go back. The staff was rude and yelled at all of the children a lot - probably because the staff doesn't speak English. This ships sails out of America and has mostly American passengers, yet the staff barely speak or understand English, making any requests extremely difficult. And, you had to request what you wanted because it certainly wasn't going to be offered to you - the customer service was the worst I have ever experienced. The entertainment was awful and very limited. The food was also terrible. There was very little variety and it wasn't tasty. The only compliment I can give is to the wait staff. My friends who I was cruising with had a wonderful room steward, but mine was never present.
My room went 2 days without having the bed made and I never saw him/her. There was absolutely nothing for my 12 y/o to do. If he didn't go w/ the adults he had to sit in the room. If it weren't for the ports the trip would have been horrible. I cannot reiterate enough how rude and nasty the staff was.