A Final Word on the MSC Lirica
The absence of a towel animal on my bed each night isn’t a deal breaker for me, but I know that some people use this as a benchmark for judging the quality of the cruise. First, I must reiterate that in spite of some of the oddities of the Lirica experience, we did enjoy the cruise. In the grand scheme of things, the negatives weren’t enough to ruin our cruise or make us suffer. We just avoided what we didn’t like and survived quite nicely. In fact, we met some very nice people on the cruise, enjoyed a delightful itinerary and had a good time.
I don’t like the “it’s European” excuse for the drawbacks of this cruise. That’s really an insult to the Europeans and the passenger. MSC claims that the service is like that of a fine Italian hotel. I couldn’t agree less. To achieve that reputation, they really do need to replace those indifferent, dour-faced head waiters and maitre d’s. That would be a good start. Some spice in the food would help as well.
The ship is gorgeous and clean with an understated elegance throughout. We loved the comfortable, relaxing public areas. Our stateroom(9111) had the smallest shower that we have seen on a ship, but both of us managed to flex and contort to reach the extremes of our bodies.
I would recommend this ship with reservations. If you are looking for outstanding dining, this isn’t the ship. If you must follow a bland diet, this ship is ideal. The ship is different, but it confirms my philosophy that there is a ship for everbody. I will definitely try the other MSC ships for comparision, but if I had to choose between the Lirica and another ship on the same itinerary and the same price, I would have to think long and hard.
NB -*Do not book cabin 9111 or any cabins in that vicinity unless you are an early bird or a sound sleeper. The ice machine is across the hallway and everyday at 6:45 am, the room stewards started filling up their ice chests. Sometimes, we thought that it was a block of ice in there that required a pick as the pounding seemed rather excessive.
* Be aware that the category 6 staterooms on Deck 7 are not 140 square feet. They are very small, but they usually cost more than the 140 square foot inside stateroom. Keep this in mind if you book a guarantee in a lower category. You could be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Next time: photos from the MSC Lirica
We are considering this ship for a transatlantic crossing next spring (April ’09). After reading your review, I’m concerned that this may not be the ship we want for 16 nights! Their cabins are much smaller than the other ships we’re considering. Would you choose this for that long of a voyage?
I would choose most any ship over staying at home, but you have some other options that I would strongly consider. If you prepare and know what you are getting into from the start, you will have a good time. You have to decide if the negatives of the Lirica will affect your enjoyment of the cruise.
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happy sailing or cruising
We are very apprehensive about our scheduled Caribbean cruise on the Lirica. Most of the negative comments center around the food. We are not picky eaters and don’t expect true “gourmet”, but certainly expect reasonably good meals. Also, unless you book a balcony room, all the rooms are quite small. We understand that this is a very “middle of the road” cruise, so if we go into it not expecting much, will we still be disappointed? The ports are great.
We were also apprehensive about our cruise, but being armed with knowledge in advance helped. We still tried taking it all with a grain of salt, which was lacking on the ship. I don’t know if I mentioned anywhere that we were once given some very strange excuse for no salt being on the table.
I don’t consider myself a picky eater and there was a time in my life that I would have thought that the food was quite good. I have become jaded and now know enough to be discriminating. Having said that, I will say that the risotto and the fish(but avoid the lunch fish sandwich) were consistently good. Avoid the beef at all costs, but if you are tempted, just order it rare and it will be served medium well. I am just looking at some old menus to try to remember what I liked. I have posted some on this site. The Caesar Salad was good and that’s always available. The lamb curry, breads and salads were generally good. Don’t get the seafood risotto that has the ink in it unless you don’t mind seeing all the sea critters with their tentacles sticking out of the rice.
I am sure that you will find something from the selections. The french fries at the grill were good. They had run out of hamburgers and refused to make more so I only tried a hotdog at the grill and it was a hotdog.
The Lirica itinerary is a nice one and that is why we went. In spite of the negatives, which I really mention only to give somebody a head’s up, not to force them to avoid MSC; it’s a cruise and how bad can that be? After all, I am in the business of selling travel, but I try to be very honest about it so that people can make an informed decision.
And isn’t it nice whenever you don’t have to cook dinner or wash dishes? Maybe things have improved since March when we sailed. I don’t know which other lines you have cruised with, but I was on several Carnival ships a few weeks after being on the Lirica and I was shocked by all the friendly staff on those ships.
If you like folk music, don’t miss the Trio Paraguayos. We really enjoyed them.
The rooms are smaller than on some ships, but we found the size adequate and the storage decent. Be sure to look behind the mirror. The safe is there as are several shelves.
Don’t worry about the negatives and have a good trip.