Inclusive of our booking to sail on the MSC Fantasia, we had a free transfer from Milan Malpensa airport to Genoa Port, roughly about 2hours journey. When we booked the cruise initially, we were told the coach would be a luxury one and that should anything happen such as a breakdown, the ship would wait as they had a duty of care to get us there. Unfortunately about 3/4 hour away, we did break down, and were stranded on the motorway in the middle of no where for almost 3 hours. We only just made it to the ship, and 10minutes later we set sail. We felt that the breakdown was handled clumsily, and that a replacement could have been found much quicker. It is also worth noting that the cause of the breakdown was running out of Diesel, and the coach itself was very run down. More about this in a moment.
The ship itself was spotlessly clean, the cabins very spacious with lots of storage for 3 people in a cabin. The attendant was very helpful and would make beds up at night and in the morning. Everywhere you looked you could see crew cleaning parts of the ship. The food was fantastic, lots of choice and very hot when served. Zanzibar is very nice during the day, as you have free tea and coffee and water. We did go down to the restaurant every night, but could have easily have gone Zanzibar for the buffet which we did a couple of lunchtimes and afternoons.
The entertainment at night was brilliant. We paid (you didnt have to) 10euros for a bingo card and stayed in the theatre for the show. For us, the 10euros for bingo entertainment and the show was well worth the money.
Whilst on the cruise, i purchased an hour of wi fi time for 10euros,which i planned to keep for the whole cruise, however, on the first day, I didn't log off properly and all my money ran down. I explained this to the reception, and excepted it was my fault, and the lady said she would pass it on to her manager who would contact. I expected nothing to be done as it was my fault, but the next day a card came to the cabin which had given me my hour back. I felt this was extremely generous, and i made sure i logged off correctly from then on. The drinks on the ship are slightly more expensive than you would get at a local bar back home, but you are on holiday so had no problems with the extra cost.
All the staff on the ship were friendly and never once did i get the impression they did not want to be there.
When we returned home, i wrote a letter to MSC explaining about the situation with the coach journey which i mentioned earlier. Again, as this was not necessarily MSC's fault, but the coach company, I only expected a letter of recognition back, however, we received each an MSC club gold card, which gives us 10% off any future cruises, along with other benefits. This was send through very quickly.
All in all, the holiday was fantastic apart from that slight hiccup at the start involving the coach. We spoke to a few Americans on the ship (we are English) and many of those said that they were not enjoying themselves as they didn't feel the service was up to scratch, but to be honest, I personally would feel uncomfortable getting any better service than what we experienced with MSC. It was enough for me for them to put your chair under for you when you sat down, and putting the napkin over your lap. In fact, the whole attitude of the Americans (who have sailed with other cruise lines in the past, including royal caribbean) has made me question whether I would want to sail on a Royal Caribbean ship as I wouldn't want any better service which i received.
I would definitely recommend this cruise ship to people, and we enjoyed it so much we have in fact booked on another cruise around the Greek Islands Next year.