This was our first ever cruise and it was to celebrate my wife's 60Th and our 39th wedding anniversary.. Reviews before we went caused us to be slightly concerned.
We spent 3 lovely days in Barcelona before our cruise and enjoyed our stay onboard MSC FANTASIA. Embarkation was painless and we had boarded by 1pm.
The ship is beautiful and our balcony cabin was worth the extra paid.
The biggest complaints seem to be about food quality and staff attitudes.
With 4000 people on board ( all nationalities) and 250 chefs/cooks, not every meal was going to please everyone.I would say we enjoyed our food and the staff always eager to please. Evening meal is very busy and the staff work their socks off and dont have a lot of time for conversation. But lunchtime in the restaurant is a more laid back affair, I actually enjoyed lunch better as the staff had the time to talk and some great "Craic".... Buffet is what all buffets are like, crowds of people, piling their plates as high as they could..We made the mistake of using the buffet for 0ur first 4 days for lunch and then tried one of the restaurants..Far better eating experience in restaurant. Breakfast we availed of the free room service for breakfast except on our last morning which is not available. We enjoyed our breakfast on our balcony instead of the crowds in the buffet. On our last morning we had our breakfast in the restaurant and enjoyed the courses and service.
We spent the evenings by visiting the varied bars on the ship, most had a live artist in them and was nice and restful.
Also we watched the main show in the Theatre on the six nights it was available and they were nice to watch. The standard was good and the artists put plenty of effort into it.
With so many people on the ship, we never found it hard to find a nice peaceful spot to have a coffee or a drink and watch the world go by..
My wife and I are very moderate drinkers and we decided to take the Allegrismo package for 166euros each and we added up our receipts at the end of the week and had saved 200 euros.. So it is worth it.
A bottle of wine will cost 18E plus 15% tax,A cappucino about 3E.. Cocktails 7E, So it does not take long to build up. Even bottles of water are 2.7E
To sum up our experience, we would sail with MSC again. We had an enjoyable holiday and first cruise..