Our initial impression was that reaching the ship and embarkation was easy and boded well for a good holiday - little did we know !
We were met at our cabin by a member of staff who was very dismissive and not particularly helpful. The cabin was well appointed and had a surprising amount of storage space. The cabin was clean.
Our meals were taken in Le Verde restaurant and to say the least the food to start with was very mediocre although this improved towards the end of the week. The food did not reach the gourmet standard promised, was obviously mass produced and lacked flavour. The portion sizes were very small and no one explained that you could order some or all of the courses. So the first night was not too bad.
Then the fun began when we met our fellow cruisers on mass. This is not a cruise for the English. To a large extend we were ignored both by the staff and fellow passengers. The rudeness shown to us by our fellow Europeans was unbelievable - for example no one would let you in or out the lift, the Bora Bora restaurant was a free for all with people pushing us out of the way to get to the food first - common courtesy did not feature on this trip with the exception of our fellow British and American travellers.
The swimming areas were overrun with families who hogged the sun loungers - I watched one European family take seven beds but use four of them - and when the beds are at a premium it was rather annoying. The rule that staff remove towels on unoccupied beds after half an hour was a myth. The hot tubs were inaccessible most of the time as they were occupied by last groups of children who just did not move - so much for everyone having a turn.
We soon learnt as an English family that we were second or even third class citizens on this ship. The staff were also rude or indifferent, with the exception of the the staff that looked after us in the evening. The women on the reception desk were particularly disinterested and lack any sort of knowledge in relation to their ship and how to resolve any issues or problems.
The trips ashore on the whole were the highlight of the cruise but of course only after we had been shoved out of the way by our fellow passengers who needed to be at the front of the coach or the party.
We will not be going back to MSC but given their attitude to us I don't suppose that they will care anyway.