We boarded the ship in Rio de Janiero after we were told our cabin was occupied by a travel agent for a 1 night cruise from Santos to Rio. We paid the same price as all the other passengers who boarded in Santos.
Our balcony cabin was very nice with plenty of storage space and in a good location on the ship. The ship itself was quite modern and clean but the 'food nightmare' started the 1st night of the cruise. The food in the main dining room was always room temperature or cold - never hot. It was either undercooked or dried up to a crisp.The food served was a lot of casserole & black bean type meals = slopped up rubbish. There were quite a few Australians, New Zealanders and Americans on board who were not happy with the food.There was never a happy medium. The cruise was a 'dance' cruise with a multitude of Brazillians and Argentinians on board.
The dancing in the lounges at night went on forever with loud music, singing and dancing and masses of cigarette smoke which drifted through all the corridors.
There was not an alternative restaurant where you could buy a better meal. We celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary on this cruise and although I told the travel agent and made note of it on the booking form - this wasn't recognised. We were told if we wanted a cake or balloons etc. we had to buy them.
A very disappointing experience after having cruised for 28 days (2 cruises back to back in 2010 on MSC Poesia - which was excellent)
Whether it was because it was a repositioning cruise or whether it was catering to South American passengers, this was a real let down particularly when MSC is slowly tapping into the Australian cruise market.
If they ever bring ships to Australia they won't last more than one or possibly 2 seasons unless they improve their food.