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Unread 21 Sep 19, 02:01 PM  
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arielrocks
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We are back! Heres our MSC Preziosa review

Ok, been back a few nights now and have had time to reflect on the cruise so thought I would write a quick review.

Heres the background. We booked a 7 night ston cruise to Northern Europe on the Preziosa. We heard nothing but bad things about the European cruises so neither of us were looking forward to it. We travelled with our 2 year old and 8 month old so our cruise needs are far different than most. We arent bothered by the evening entertainment, cant sit drinking all day and are interested in excursions where the kids can come along as well. So please bear this in mind when reading as I wouldnt want to slate the cruise and ruin it for others. Our ports of call were Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Hamburg and Le Harve.

Highs
The ship is BEAUTIFUL and immaculate. It was by far the nicest ship Ive sailed on and weve been with Celebrity, Disney and P and o.
Lovey sized cabin
Shower screens and not curtains
Plenty of outdoor space for walking around.
The kids area/Outside playground and the inside nursery/toy area were brilliant and we used them a lot. We didnt leave the kids as feel they are too young but they are happy for you to go in and play with them.

Middles
The food. We only ate at the BUFFET as it suited our needs with the kids. The food wasnt great at all. Plenty of choice but all very average. Ironically the buffet area and seating were lovely and you never struggled to get a seat as its HUGE but for us, we didnt like it. The exception to this was the fresh pizza which was heavenly!
The excursions or lack of them. Not much choice and very expensive so we made our own way around
Cabin steward wasnt great and left dirty glasses in our room for 3 days straight.
Gratuity charges! These were included in our fare but that didnt stop them from adding them on, they also kindly added on a charity donation of 1 euro per person, which I dont mind but I decide which charity I support not someone else. Reception were quick to remove the gratuities when I asked them to which were 70 each for DH and myself and a further 40 for the babies!

Lows
We were told that kids in swim nappies were not allowed to use the pools so I left all our swimwear at home. Annoying to see several toddlers in swim nappies using said pools!
Some guests were just plain rude.
No queueing for anything. Lifts, buffet, disembarking. Its just a free for all so if you cant beat them join them!
Bar staff. Man this really got my goat. A pint of cider was 7.99 plus a 15% gratuity so didnt have many (one per night). Now the cost is horrible but getting them to actually give you a pint was a joke. Each one was about 1in from the top of the glass, an absolute liberty. When I asked them to fill it up they put the smallest drop in then gave it back. It took 3 requests to get a full pint so by the end of the week that had really worn thin!
The ports MSC dock in. The docks themselves not the destinations. Forgive me for being cynical but each port we docked at was the furthest away from the town. Handy that MSC offer a shuttle to the town for 18 return for adults and 17 for the kids. We worked out how to get into Bruges ourselves and it was so so easy and quick! Rotterdam we walked in, took maybe 20 mins but Hamburg was the place the really annoyed me. The cruise terminal in Hamburg is relatively new and the port run a shuttle when ships are docked there, its 2.50 each way. When we got off the ship MSC categorically told us that there was no such shuttle and we had to get theirs into town. We asked 6 different staff members and were told the same thing. So we were wandering about the port getting super annoyed that we had got it wrong and then I spotted a tiny sign past all of their excursion coaches for the port shuttle! So it felt like they were just money grabbing and really took the shine off of Hamburg. The itinerary also changed mid sailing which left us short on time in Hamburg so could have done without the faffing around!
Baby things... there are Highchairs in the dining rooms. Yet NONE have straps or a tray, and each one we used had a crack in it somewhere. Completely unacceptable in my opinion as they are unsafe, so baby had to eat in her buggy all week which I hated.

Thats about it. Given what we use the ship for with a very young family would I cruise with them again? YES ABSOLUTELY because their pricing reflects what you get on board. We paid 1500 for a week in a balcony cabin for the 4 of us. The exact same cruise with pando is 3000 so you pay your money and take your chance to see if you like it.

Im glad I waited to post this as if Id have done it when I was annoyed it would have been unfair.

Any questions please ask. Especially if you have babies as I feel like Ill be able to help xx

Edited at 05:56 AM.
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Unread 21 Sep 19, 02:35 PM  
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bonnies mum
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Enjoyed reading your report and to see that you enjoyed it overall. You also have pointed out some of the drawbacks/charges which is helpful for anyone considering MSC in the future.
Think many of the cruise companies are looking into as many ways as possible to maximise income from passengers in a captive situation!
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Unread 21 Sep 19, 08:46 PM  
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Omega1
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Thanks so much for taking the trouble to write a review. Many of your niggles are typical for MSC (from my reading), particularly food and port shuttles, but things like broken high chairs and under measure drinks are not acceptable. Similarly, its quite surprising to find a below par cabin steward, they are usually excellent.
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Unread 21 Sep 19, 09:04 PM  
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arielrocks
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Originally Posted by Omega1 View Post
Thanks so much for taking the trouble to write a review. Many of your niggles are typical for MSC (from my reading), particularly food and port shuttles, but things like broken high chairs and under measure drinks are not acceptable. Similarly, its quite surprising to find a below par cabin steward, they are usually excellent.
Yeah he wasnt good. He was quite rude as well. We asked for a travel cot on the second night as my son fell out of the bed (only 2) and he said we couldnt have one as we had one for the baby (which we had bought ourselves). He even came into our cabin and turned the lights on at 8 to see whether he thought it would fit.
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Unread 21 Sep 19, 09:25 PM  
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Those coach fares in Hamburg seem very excessive. We paid about 20 for a taxi from the centre to cruise terminal in June.
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Unread 21 Sep 19, 09:37 PM  
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arielrocks
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Originally Posted by SimonB View Post
Those coach fares in Hamburg seem very excessive. We paid about 20 for a taxi from the centre to cruise terminal in June.
Yep, easy money for them!
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Unread 22 Sep 19, 08:39 AM  
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Loopylooloo
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Sometimes the larger the ship the further out the need to dock. Shame about the food as the ship sounds lovely! A good highs and lows thanks for sharing.
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Unread 23 Sep 19, 10:59 AM  
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Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
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