Agree 100% with bigmike7 review on message page. We only have 34 cruises, one on Costa (Italian Style). Read most of the reviews so went with a open mind.
Arrived at pier around noon,as the sailing was at 8:00 p.m.,didn't know when boarding would start. Well before you knew it we were on the ship 1-2-3. Didn't care for them holding passports, never had this happen before.
Had an inside cabin deck 7. No problems with size, bathroom, etc. The ship was beautiful, design, layout great, easy to find way around in short time. Most of ship carpeted, except for decks 11 & 12. Used decks 6 & 11 to get from one end to the other.
Went to LeBistro deck 11 for lunch. Everything fine. Upon entering Bistro there was a hand sanitizer on wall everyone,was playing with. (After couple days no one bothered with it.) Hung around waiting for boat drill, but was told it would next day at sea 1000 a.m.
Had early sitting in LaBussola deck 5. Found service to be very good, food very good also. And the BIG food was always HOT during whole cruise, not like on some other major lines. For some unknown reason the service seemed to get screwed up on formal nights, just minor, and the captain waiter fixed it each time. Had some very nice red wine from Chile, couple nights later found you could order house wine by carafe just as good for half the price.
Casino -- We like to gamble. The casino on ship a joke -- very small, machines old for a fairly new ship. You're only allowed $200.00 a night on sign and sail for chips or tokens. At the table games they use the same deck of cards for the whole cruise. Some decks of cards started to curl up in corners. Machines very, very, very tight. Couple table dealers need an attitude adjustment.
Smokers -- American cigarettes sold on ship made in Switzerland. Smoking on Stb'd side of ship mainly deck 11 & 6.
One of the best casino's was King's Casino on Antigua. Latest machines and loose. Atlantis in Nassau seems they tightened machine since last trip in Jan. Very few PA announcements for anything so if you booked for a tour make sure to read the "Daily Program" for times. ALSO check each day as some dining times change. LeBistro Cafeteria deck 11 Breakfast always same, which was OK for us. Lunch changed a little (Burgers/Dogs at the Grill outside). In morning Grill does omelettes. NO buffet for dinner only Burgers/Dogs at Grill 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. no 24/7 snacks. Found coffee by pizza station better then in Bistro. Also liked the square cut pizza better then others.
CREW -- Cabin steward great, others friendly, always giving daily greetings. Also same of senior officers. There were two Captain's cocktail parties plus free wine in Bistro 1st day. There was ongoing pressure water wash downs -- areas not closed so you could end up wet from the fallout. Deck chairs set out each a.m. with a rolled up towel, lots and lots of chairs. No problem with the chair hogs. Chairs very lightweight, backs sort of short.
Most days did the free ice cream deck 11 fwd portside, picked up late newsletter at service desk around 3:00 p.m., then afternoon tea (a first). Very nice way to relax with the "Duo Vlad." The Magic Martin very good. Was disappointed with the Big Band. NOT with the show itself but the way it was advertised to us . Big fans of Buddy Morrow and his "NIGHT TRAIN." After a couple nights gave up after not hearing song. The disco deck 12 had some wild and crazy parties.
TIPS -- Couple days before end of cruise they opened a desk for anyone needing cash for tips. NO service charge. $150 limit per charge account.
Disembarkation:Very Easy fastest ever. All in all enjoyed cruise very much. Would sail again with MSC, maybe even doing a back to back. Our cruise on "Costa" couldn't compare. I think things are coming along for the N. American market, they must be doing something right.