After Florence and Venice, Steve and I embarked on our East Mediterranean cruise on board MSC Sinfonia. The cruise took us from Venice in Italy to Split in Croatia, Santorini and Mykonos in Greece, Dubrovnik, Ancona and back to Venice.
As you’d expect, there are plenty food and drinks options on board.
- La Terrazza buffet;
- Caffè del Mare outside bar, café, pizzeria and pasta place;
- Gelateria Italiana;
- Il Covo restaurant;
- Il Galeone restaurant
- Capri pool bar;
- Vitamin Bar for juices;
- Café Le Baroque for tea, coffee and hot chocolate;
- Buddha Bar;
- Manhattan Bar;
- Shelagh’s House Irish pub.
Our designated restaurant was Il Covo. As ‘Fantastica‘ customers we could dine there and not having to share a table with strangers. The menus during the course of the cruise were nice. As Steve puts it, the options must please everyone so expect fine dining but nothing too daring.
There were two special gala nights and then the menu was unclear what the starters and what the mains were. Very confusing. As you will read further on, communication is not Sinfonia’s forte.
We payed for ‘anytime dining’ but that turned out to be something else than the name suggests. It only gave us choice between early serving or late serving. That is not ‘anytime’.
We cut short our first meal at Il Galeone but tried breakfast once. It was mix of ordering at the table and a buffet. But you have to share your table. The offering is nice and typical, without beng sensational.
La Tarrazza was okay in the morning with a breakfast offering comparable to a four star hotel. Think English breakfast items, cheeses, meat cuts, cereals, bread, yoghurts, fruit, salad bar…
At lunch though it could be a bit of a battlefield. I realise that has more to do with customers. Buffets bring the worst out of people. The crew should be more on top cleaning up tables and find ways to have shorter queues.
The offering itself was usually quite plain.
For bars we thoroughly enjoyed Le Baroque during the day. They had great coffees and an array of hot chocolate.
At night we spent our time at Buddha Bar, which had a piano with a great piano player and a great singer. They also had great cocktails. Our second choice was was Manhattan, which was a bit more lively.
At the pool Capri gives a great outdoors summer feel. We never got to taste something from the Vitamin Bar as it was closed each time we felt like having a juice. Meh.
Il Covo served fine food in a personal atmosphere, but the other food options should raise their game. It must be possible.
The crew in the bars were friendly and helpful but knowledge of English is subpar. Steve ordered a wine and got a hot chocolate. It’s not even the same amount of syllables.
It’s not that it was bad food. Most food options were tasty, except he burger station. But nothing stood out.
I can sum it up like this. When we were on shore, we searched for a local restaurant for lunch.
One last point for improvement. More water stations please. We bought bottles to bring to the cabin.