MSC Cruises, MSC Virtuosa, Northern Europe
By GILLIAN on 25/07/2022
Embarking was a free for all not much organisation and forget covid rules.
As we walked on to the ship we were approached by people with laminate adverts selling shows, drink packages, tours, games,internet and photo packages and they were very persistant (think of time share reps)
We were directed up to the main food area for breakfast and what a shock, most of the food was dry and looked as if it had been out for hours our table wasn't clean and I ended up cleaning it myself.
Our cabin was on deck 10 with balcony first impression it was very dark but lovely and clean, everything new and the bed and pillows were comfy. Forget the mini bar the price for water was extortionate! The steward introduced himself and was pleasant enough. We went to explore, the ship is all shiny and new. Our first evening meal was an experience our table was next to the serving area,very noisy and we had a tall ice bucket,wine cooler at the side of our table which was for everyone. Each time the waiter took out a bottle my legs got wet, I made a joke about it but they wouldnt move it. The waiters spent nearly 45 minutes selling drinks and only then did they take our order for food. I had chicken breast which was very dry so only ate part of it, the waiter took my plate and several minutes later brought it back and asked in a loud voice why I hadnt eaten it, I was pretty embarassed. We only ate in the restaurant one more time when I was chastised again for not eating the octopus which was in the risotto rice. The restaurant was fairly empty we wonder why! Some staff on the ship were pleasant others very unpleasant.
On our first day at sea the steward brought us a ticket to fill in it was for transport from two of the docks to town and back. It was £20.00 each we hadn't decided what we were doing, we went to look at trips, they provide a list in your cabin but no prices. You have to go to the reservation desk and only then do they give the price! We ended up doing our own thing which was stress free we got on trams and buses with no hassle it a fraction of the cost.
To sum up this cruise line is all about selling. They have a lovely ice cream parlour where prices start around £7.00 and the chocolate shop prices are unreal both seemed to be empty most of the time. If you have a family the extra costs are unrealistic. We found service lacking in some areas it was around 30 minutes to get a drink. In the main food area several times we ordered hot drinks and had eaten our food by the time they came. When it was busy the food area was quite stuffy and hot, as you leave they randomly take your temperature my partner was told if it was two degrees more we would be confined to our cabin. Maybe wiser to take temperatures before people sit down in a hot room and step up on hand washing and hygiene. We have had lovely cruises in the past with none of this sell sell sell. It was worth the try but MSC is not for us. Despite being careful for over 2 years and having all 3 injections and a booster within a few days of our return home we have both been very ill with covid.