This was my third cruise so I was pretty exciting to go on a ship once again with my family for a holiday! I was a bit worried after reading these interviews but it didn't ruin my excitement! So let's begin piece by piece
Both with NCL and costa the embarkation/check in took ages but with MSC it took only 15mins!!! As we gave our tickets, passports and deposit we went out of the terminal, they took us a photo and went in the ship, the room attendants will great you as you go in and take you to your cabin, the room attendant also helped us with one of the hand luggages!! Our cabin was on the 8th floor and as we went through the middle of the corridor we saw the atrium (wow feeling)!!! As we kept on going you can see public area attendants constantly cleaning non-stop. The room was nicely presented and felt very fresh although I noticed some stuff which really wasn't a concern but since i was a housekeeping supervisor I was a bit curious! There was some dust on all of the room number plates on the ship, and even at the top of pictures and furniture, whereas they should be cleaned upon every arrival but anyways who will check up there? Ok so from now on ill hurry up a bit!
Bora bora/Pago pago cafeterias (buffets);
Food almost always cold something which I didn't experience on other ships! Some items tasted the same but looked different! Desserts: huge disappointment! Knowing the italians they are quite good with the dessert but on this ship the same cream in eclairs were served more than once and sometimes dessert didn't taste of anything! Breakfast: always pretty crowded but I always found somewhere to sit. Lunch the same. Dinner don't even bother going to the buffet stay at la reggia or villa verde as the choice during dinner is very limited!! Dinner(main dining rest. I eat at la reggia) service was great although waiters weren't trained appropriately for this kind of service' but they were always nice and know what you'd want I almost never asked for nothing and after the first day the waiter memorized our drink orders! The food is great in the main dining areas with plenty of choice and a great atmosphere! Also they need some cleaning on the floor, the floor under the tables looked pretty dirty all the time and under the windows it was always dirty, also the hangers holding the windows were full of dust!
The main pools and Jacuzzis were quite fun very crowded but if you go either early in the morning of after 5 there will be plenty of space!
Bar waiters/sommeliers need to greet more and ask if you wish to order anything and be allot more friendly although i never had any problems with them! The drink prices aboard the ship were quite expensive â‚¬2.70 for coca-cola for example and then you need to add a 15% service charge to the bill but there are some packages which those who like to drink allot (unlike us) will surely benefit from!
What a rip off! â‚¬20 per photo (except for some offers) I would've got one of them but in 4 out of 6 photos that were taken of our family (incl. the one with the captain) came bad (i.e. someone with closed eyes or half cut out etc...) the picture taken with the captain was taken very very fast the camera man didn't even bother to look at the photo and mind you it was only us and some 10 people in the que.
If i hadn't the facebook addiction and the need to check the emails for work purposes I wouldn't have had used the internet on the ship, the connection was always great and fast but it was a bit pricey wifi â‚¬10/hr and there isn't wifi in the rooms.
Public areas: simply great! I never noticed either papers on the floors or smudges with the windows/stainless steel. The rooms were cleaned twice a day (morning and turndown) together with the changing of towels which were fresh everyday! Don't expect any chocolates or towel foldings as "pampering" on this ship doesn't exist!
The receptionist always answered my questions with the right answers! On they one I requested the main bed to be done with double sheets but this was never told to housekeeping so I told the room attendant directly. Also they should smile a bit so that guests will feel comfortable talking with them!
Lounges and bars were ok not the best but ok I also enjoyed some quizzes made by the animation team about tracks from particular artists.
Theatre: there was only 2 out of 7 which were great, the other not that bad but you'll get bored after few minutes
We went down to every port on foot/by shuttle bus all were great except for Messina which was a little bit messy and there was allot of confusion in the roads so beware! Also beware of people trying to force you to sell you bracelets or any other stuff just walk away! (Something which we noticed in all of the ports/cities) for some reason the shuttle bust form the port of Barcelona to the city centre (a less than 5min trip) costed â‚¬8 per person (bought onboard) i think it was a bit expensive.
It was a wonderful holiday although from this experience i might not travel with msc again I don't discourage you to go since the price was pretty low and you get what you pay for! The ship is pretty amazing and it was a pity that it had these small (but big for some) mistakes/negligences!