Saturday, January 3, 2009

MSC Orchestra Arrives in Fort Lauderdale for Inaugural Caribbean Season

With tug boats spraying a watery welcome, MSC Orchestra arrived in Port Everglades yesterday to begin her inaugural season of Caribbean sailings.

“We are very excited to introduce MSC Orchestra to North America,” says Richard E. Sasso, president and CEO of MSC Cruises (USA), Inc. “It is an elegant ship in every respect–spectacular public areas, and a wealth of choices for dining, entertainment and activities, all with a style that epitomizes MSC Cruises.”

At 92,400 gross tons and carrying 2,550 passengers, MSC Orchestra is the largest of the line’s ships to sail in North American waters. With more than 236,800 square feet of public areas and 5 restaurants (L’Ibiscus, Villa Borghese, La Piazzetta, Four Seasons, the Shanghai Chinese Restaurant–the only dedicated Chinese restaurant at sea), 10 bars (two of which are open air), 3 meeting and conference rooms, a 21-foot by 12-foot outdoor LED screen, and the 16,146 square-foot Body and Mind Spa, MSC Orchestra represents the perfect combination of grace and style. To top it off, the majority of the ship’s staterooms have private balconies.

MSC Orchestra will sail alternating 7-night roundtrip itineraries from Jan. 10-April 18, 2009:
  • Eastern Caribbean: calling at Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. John, Antigua; and Nassau, Bahamas, as well as two days at sea.
  • Western Caribbean: calling at Key West, Florida; Cozumel, Mexico; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cayo Levantado, Dominican Republic, and two days at sea.
A special 7-night roundtrip Bermuda sailing departs Fort Lauderdale April 25. This itinerary includes three days in King’s Wharf, Bermuda and a day in Nassau, Bahamas, as well as two sea days.

During her inaugural season, MSC Orchestra will host baseball greats on its Jan. 24 Western Caribbean itinerary, and its Feb. 28, March 28 and April 11 Eastern Caribbean itineraries. On each of these special sailings, unique insight into the world of Major League Baseball as seen through the eyes of some of the greats of the game.

MSC Orchestra is scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale May 2, 2009 on an 18-night voyage that will include a two-day visit to New York before heading eastbound to Copenhagen. The itinerary includes calls at Ponta Delgado, Azores; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; La Coruna, Spain; and Dover, England before arriving in Copenhagen.

On every cruise, passengers will enjoy the line’s highly acclaimed entertainment, European-style ambiance, dishes from “La Cucina Italiana,” and top-of-the-line pampering. For more information on how you can celebrate MSC Orchestra’s arrival, visit the MSC website or a local travel professional. And, watch the blog for first-hand reports when Cruise Diva sails in March aboard MSC Orchestra.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I just completed the 2-night inaugral cruise. The food was terrible and the serivce non-existent.

Anonymous said...

This ship is beautiful, but unfortunately that's the only one of 2 positive notes. If you did not book a balcony I'd advise you to pester the company to get one - apparently many passengers that paid for inside rooms got free upgrades to balconies which incensed those of us that paid full price for the balconies.

The variety show on the second night was very good, I enjoyed it very much and so did my 7 year-old. The show on the first night was very scary and left most of the children in tears.

The posts so far have been very accurate. Everything that you could think of that could be bad, happened on this ship. Things are so bad that my child is having nightmares that we had to abandon ship and no one was there to help us so people drowned. For things get into the psyche of a child you can only imagine how horrible the experience really was for all involved.

I am a very adventurous traveler. Have been in a lot of very bad places, and got some very bad service. However, nothing can compare to this experience. As it turned out, the things I bought in the "duty free" store on board cost even more than they do in the stores on land, including taxes. Perfume is typically cheaper at the duty-free locations. I paid $65 for perfume that is available at Macy's for $50.

Things were so bad on this ship that the ship did not hand out the customary "comment cards" for us to rate the cruise and service - you had to ask for it at the purser's desk. They simply did not want to know.

For those Amex. cardholders that have made deposits on future sailings, you can try to get the charges reversed. No one should have to endure those conditions, much less pay for it. If you want to validate whether passengers are exaggerating their experiences, look no further than the company's decision to offer a credit for future cruises. That's a pretty drastic step unless there were colossal failures, which unfortunately, there were on this beautiful ship.

Everything was so bad that an article about it made the late edition of the Miami Herald on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I sailed on the Orchestra for the 2-night cruise on January 2, and it was dreadful. We sttod in line for over 3 1/2 hours just to board. I've never worked so hard to get a glass of water in my life! We couldn't get water in the dining room until everyone at our table tapped on the glasses to get someone's attention! The cabin steward refused to bring us a pitcher of water, because he wanted us to buy the bottled water. I don't like mineral water. The food was swill, and the service was non-existent; our first stop on the way home was at Denny's, because we hadn't had a meal in two days. Maybe they are giving out future cruise certificates, but I never want to see another MSC ship ever! A total refund would be much more appropriate. I recommend that anyone who paid with a credit card to do a chargeback.

Anonymous said...

My friend and I just sailed on the Orchestra for the 2-night Bahamas cruise on Jan. 2, just to experience the line. We were still fairly happy when after standing in line over 3 1/2 hours to board, until we went to the buffet for our missed lunch. The food was never even warm there.
We figured we'd be ok until dinner, but the dinner was disgusting. Never mind the total lack of service. The food on the Orchestra was swill. Also, I never worked so hard for a glass of water in my life. I was refused water in our cabin, and had to go argue a bartender down to get some. In the dining room, we finally all tapped on our glasses to get someone's attention after waiting about 30 minutes for a simple glass of water.
They need to replace every single staff member on that ship, cabin crew, and restaurant staff, and start over. we stopped at Denny's on the way home, because we hadn't had a meal in two days.
Anyone who paid with a credit card should do a chargeback. I don't want a future cruise credit; I never want to see another MSC ship ever.

Anonymous said...

Your missed lunch? It said on the cruise documents check in and boarding were at 4pm. No wonder you were standing there for hours if you expected to board in time for lunch.

Everyone at the table tapping on the glasses? Now I understand why the ugly Americans were being ignored.

Anonymous said...

I just sailed on the 17day transatlantic voyage - horrible!!!! The food was horrible and the same selctions were served on the buffet day, after day, after day, after day!! Service, from the info desk to the acctg desk to the waitstaff - nonexistent! The attitude was as if no one wanted to be there and guests were an imposition. There was no genuine concern, just arrogance. The complaint desk held a continuous line of complainers and the language barrier made it even more intolerable. Availability of food was so poor, you needed to check your watch to make sure you didn't get hungry during a time when no food was available. Room service menus didn't get put in the room until 3 days into the sailing. Until then, people thought room servcie was an extra charge, since it stated so on the TV menu. I have a laundry list of complaints that are formulating my complaint letter to MSC. I've heard that they are issuing $200 credits on future cruises. That is unacceptable...future cruise indeed!!! If anyone would like to correspond directly to me, feel free at SmithPatG@hotmail.com.

Anonymous said...

We just completed a 7 day eastern Caribbean cruise along with a large group of 1300 that has cruised together for the last 16 years. This was our 3rd cruise with this group. Even though we are a group for a very few activities, we are individuals for the majority of the cruise. We did have a superbowl party in the Covent theater where there was absolutely no service except to remove drinks before customers were finished drinking them. On more than one occasion the bars ran out of Miller Lite and Bud Lite. The casino was a joke. There were not enough slot machines nor card tables for all the players. After the first few nights there wase one person serving drinks. Winners had to wait several minutes for their slot machine win to register by computer in the cashier's office and then they were paid. The girls in the cashier's office were very unfriendly and treated customers as if they were a bother. The pool decks were overcrowded and not enough seating. We arrived at every port - except for the return to Ft. Lauderdale - late. The excursion in St. Maarten almost ended in a disaster because we were left at the dock to take a water taxi only to find out there were no more water taxies for the day. The travel guide simply left us. Our cabin attendant - Franck - was the best part of the cruise. He was extremely helpful and friendly. Room service was very prompt. Each day we tried to start out positive - new day/new beginning. But try as we might, something always went wrong. We do not plan to sail the MSC cruise line again.

pat said...

Cruise planned for March 7. I will see for myself what this Italian line has to offer.

Linda Coffman, AKA Cruise Diva said...

Pat,

I will also be boarding on March 7th. I hope we are both happy with what MSC Orchestra offers.

Best, Linda

Caribbean Cruise said...

It is really huge Cruise liner. I was in my Caribbean vacation with my family thorough ECT. It was fantastic program during all the period. We are very pleased.

Anonymous said...

First of all, sorry about my English, but, I think it is good enough to ask:
- Who is this Anonymous person?
I am curious about his age, sex, if he ( or she ) is happy with his sexual life, happpy about beeing American, or unhappy maybe...
In fact, why is he so disgusting?
I am very curious, and I would like to have answers from HIM or from someone who knows HIM...
all my emails are:
sergiokaveski@uol.com.br
k@veski.com.br
sergio@kaveski.com.br
Thank you so much.

TRESSAPINK said...

WE SAILED THE MEDITERRANEAN OCT. 2009.
THE SHIP WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!!
LOVED THE PURPLE JAZZ BAR & IT'S FAB MUSICIANS! SO TALENTED!
OUR BALCONY ROOM WAS GORGEOUS!

*****THE FOOD WAS HORRIFYING AT EACH MEAL!
TASTES LIKE CANNED RATIONS!

ONLY DECENT FOOD WAS IN SUITE BREAKFAST..ROLLS,HONEY,PRESERVES & COFFEE! THAT WAS FINE.
THIS SHIP'S FOOD DOES NOT REPRESENT THE FINE FOODS ONE CAN ENJOY IN EUROPE/ITALY...IT IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO GOOD EUROPEAN CUISINE!

WE WOULD LOVE TO CRUISE WITH MSC AGAIN...****BUT WILL NOT!!!!!

UNTIL THEY DRASTICALLY UPGRADE THEIR CUISINE !!

WHAT A SHAME!!..SUCH A GORGEOUS SHIP....SUCH HEINOUS FOOD!

***RAISE YOUR PRICE A LITTLE &
PROVIDE FOODS TO MATCH YOUR SHIP'S BEAUTY!
THANK YOU
TESSA SWEET