I read many reviews before boarding the MSC Orchestra for an 18 day Transatlantic cruise, many comments were negative but I boarded the ship with an open mind.
My First impression on boarding the ship she was beautiful and clean, however I felt the reception and shop area's very claustrophobic,
The ship left from Santos but our group boarded in Rio,the cocktail of the day was a Mohito...by 6pm the ship had run out of MINT, this was not replenished for the rest of the cruise so no Mohito's, I have cruised many times and never have I experienced a ship running out of supplies, not only mint but Tonic water (so no Gin and tonics),milk (went to the powdered stuff), red wine (Chianti for heavens sake, on an Italian ship) nearer the end of the cruise. I felt sorry for the bar and wait staff as they had to field the angst of passengers.
Breakfasts were always the same no variety, The dinners always cold except for the soup at the buffet.
The buffet area was always crowded and people pushed and shoved to get to the food,I had a pair of tongs litterally snatched from my hand as I reached for the bread rolls.
The ship was excessively crowded and you could not get near the pool or find a table on the pool deck as the Brazilian and Italians had scooped up everything by 7am. This line is not geared to English speaking passengers and frankly I feel they don't want us.
As for double dipping on the gratuities well it has all been said before.On the positive side the cabin and bar staff were fantastic and very friendly, I enjoyed the ports of call and the shore excursions.
I have done many cruises before and this was by far my least enjoyable.
Disembarkation was a nightmare.