The trip on MSC Musica was out third cruise but our first with MSC. We booked due as it was a great deal with a great itinerary and it left from Venice. Kids go free with MSC so a great way for families to cruise.
We travelled independently flying out the day before and stayed at the Crown Plaza Venice East - good hotel but it's further away from the airport than it looks. Taxis are very expensive in Venice, transfer from airport and then to the port cost just shy of Euro 100.
We had a balcony cabin midships. Clean, nice decor, comfortable but on the small side especially when the sofa bed was made up. Best bit was the balcony as we had a port side cabin and the view of Venice is amazing.
MSC Musica is a super ship. New(ish) and well cared for with decor that is more tasteful than others we have been on. We had some rough weather but the ship was very stable. It is also very quiet while at sea, particularly in the cabin.
The buffet is too small and poorly laid out. The food was ok but you were always fighting for a table. This meant we nearly always eat in the main dining rooms, even at lunch. We liked the food and in particular the risottos which were different each day and truly special.
Drinks prices are what you might expect but we bought vouchers which worked well. A tip - if you want soft drinks by the kid DoReMe vouchers as they're cheaper (Euro 28) for 10 drinks and the choice is far wider then the adult soft drinks package and the measures are the same.
Don't expect US style service. This is not Royal Caribbean. Bar staff, particularly the waiters were next to useless. You could wait for 5-10 minutes to be served. It was quicker to get it yourself. Elsewhere service ok. If MSC could improve the service levels they'd have a winning formula.
We used MSCs excursions but not in every port. Prices were ok and the trips we did were enjoyable but often rushed. This is because MSC ships tend to only have a few hours in each port and inevitably the departure for the excursion was delayed. That said we liked the combination of a half day at sea and a port stop as it gave the best of both worlds each day.
Up to this point we were really enjoying our cruise and liked MSC. We were even planning our next MSC cruise but then the day of disembarkation arrived. Venice was hit by its worst storm for 24 years and the port was closed. We sat outside Venice (on rough seas) waiting for coastguards to open the port. Eventually MSC decided to divert the ship to Ravenna. We docked here at 4:30pm but didn't get off the ship until nearly 7pm. We were then bused back to Venice (132km away) and literally "dumped" at the port. It was now 9:30pm, raining and fighting for a taxi with hundreds of other people none of whom know how to queue!. We had missed out flights home and were literally left out in the cold.
I know the reason for the diversion wasn't MSCs fault. My criticism is their organisation and the inconsistent information. They could have done so much better. We eventually got home 24 hours late and had to fly from Milan into a different UK airport.
Right now I wouldn't rush to book another MSC cruise but perhaps after a few weeks of reflection the good things about MSC will resurface and your never now.