MSC Sinfonia

MSC Cruises

Ship information

MSC Sinfonia

About MSC Sinfonia

The 1,952-passenger MSC Sinfonia is one of four medium-sized Mistral-class ships, dating from 2002.

MSC Cruises spent more than $200 million on Sinfonia and the rest of the Mistral class during a two-year refurbishment program in 2014–2015 that saw a nearly 80-foot-long section sandwiched into the middle of each ship. The "stretching" procedure added nearly 200 more cabins -- 94 of which have balconies. During the refurbishment, the line also took the chance to update the spa and childcare facilities, as well as to add an interactive water feature called the Spray Park to the top deck.

MSC Sinfonia divides its time between Venice, offering cruises to Italy, Croatia, Slovenia and Greece, and in the winter it repositions to the east coast of South Africa, offering short cruises from Mozambique to South Africa.

Cabins

MSC Sinfonia has 12 cabin types available

Inside Cabins

3 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

3 Inside types to choose from

Inside Cabins

3 Inside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Outside Cabins

5 Outside types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

2 Balcony types to choose from

Balcony Cabins

2 Balcony types to choose from

Suite Cabins

2 Suite types to choose from

Suite Cabins

2 Suite types to choose from

Deck Plans

9 deck images available

Activities and Entertainment

Forward on Brahms Deck (7), next to the library, is the Sinfonia Lounge, a lovely light room with pale beech walls, gold and maroon decor. This is a popular venue for early evening dancing and late-night cabaret singing and magic acts.

The ship's main show lounge -- the Teatro San Carlo -- mounts spectacular Cirque du Soleil-style shows in a lovely setting with a pretty starlit ceiling, comfortable red and gold seating, and good sightlines.

Shore excursions -- largely coach-based -- were not particularly active or exciting, and could do with updating if Sinfonia is competing for bookings from more go-getting British and American passengers.

Dining

Casual dining is available up on Deck 11 at the indoor-outdoor La Terrazza Buffet, which is separated by smoked glass dividers from the ship's pool area.

The cafe's interior is pleasantly decorated in shades of brown and cream, with a marbled floor and smart beech, walnut, glass and chrome dividers. Wood-topped tables are inlaid with marble, chairs are comfortably cushioned, and large windows on three sides give a light and airy feel while outside, white globe lamps and a solid wood bar create a popular alfresco dining and meeting place.

Overall, the food is good quality; salads are crisp and freshly cooked pasta, pizza and grilled food is offered at lunchtimes; but some meat dishes are a little stringy.

Surprisingly, there was little queuing, as the largely Italian clientele on my cruise quickly got the hang of using separate service islands. That said, expect a fair bit of barging in and reaching across you.

Sinfonia also has two formal restaurants, the larger of which is Il Galeone on Beethoven Deck (5). Terracotta and green decor, lacquered wood trim, large porthole windows and lush plants give this restaurant the relaxed feel of a pretty garden room. And though it has only one table for two, getting an unshared table at open-seating lunchtime was not a problem -- though being an English speaker on an Italian ship undoubtedly helped (this is one situation in which it's best not to demonstrate your skills as a polyglot).

The ship's prettiest restaurant, though, is the smaller and more intimate Il Covo, which overlooks the stern of Mozart Deck (6). This has a pretty entrance with an Italian waterfront mural, decor of warm terracotta and cream, large windows and more tables for two than Il Galeoni, and so is a better choice for couples that prefer to eat a deux.

The food is the same in both restaurants; a typical dinner menu features potato and squid salad, salami and provolone cheese or tomato and mozzarella as starters, followed by tomato or minestrone soup (no cold fruit soup nonsense here, thank goodness).

The good-quality pasta or risotto course is worth making room for as main courses are more variable, ranging from excellent swordfish steaks and pork piccatas to rather flabby vegetarian pancakes.

You can always fill up on puddings, though; as ever in Italy, the ice cream is good, and the ship has a talented pastry chef whose light-as-air vanilla millefeuille with zabaglione sauce was particularly memorable.

Both restaurants offer a substantial and affordable wine list, with reds ranging from 15 euros ($20.25) for Argentinean Malbec to 28 euros ($37.80) for a lovely Lacrima Christi and 55 euros ($74.25) for an excellent Barolo.

White wines start at 20 euros ($27) for Frascati and 22 euros ($29.70) for Pinot Grigio, and range up to 65 euros ($87.75) for Veuve Cliquot.