Just so you know where we're coming from, this was our first cruise with no experience or expectation, read of some mixed reviews of MSC on the' cruise critic' website. We took the plunge on a good value October half term holiday on the Musica, touring Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Corfu, Dubrovnik, hopefully with an open mind. For week we'd stomach most things if we didn't like it.
To cut to the quick this was one the greatest experiences we've ever had had as family in 15 years, including luxury holidays to the US theme parks and the leisure palaces of Dubai. MSC created memories to last a lifetime as promised in their brochure. Thanks MSC for making dreams come true.
Have to report that the start of the holiday was abominable. Due to bad weather and the Venice marathon what should have been an hour's transfer from plane to ship to turned into an 8 hour wait as the ship was transferred to Ravenna. Spent several hours on coaches, departure lounges, a couple of hours in freezing canvas warehouse that doubled refugee centre and finally a nice wait to board in the dark outdoor quayside in the freezing cold for an hour. No information, no food, no water for 8 hours. C'est la vie.
Once on board the quality of life picked up very quickly. The ship is magnificent, clean and great. Just wandering about on the various decks with too many amenities to list here. Food and drink served in a restaurant was from an excellent menu, quick, high quality and well portioned
This is a high standard was maintained throughout the holiday. A good tip if you like a drink is the allegrissimo package. There's a good range of wines, beers spirits, cocktails and ice cream of which the ship produces an addictive range of, must the Italian DNA coming out.
Service at all meal times in the restaurants is great -- on behalf of the staff I have to say they work very hard and just a little patience is needed as many from outside the EU -- notably Indonesia and Brazil to serve a multitude of Europeans with our various languages -- Italian , English , German , Spanish, French, Russian. Often they are multi-lingual but don't assume English is always in their portfolio, however they do work hard on this and if they get something wrong, let them know and they will get help to sort it out. Found no need to get hot under the collar. Also several reports on cruise critic of English being the 5th language on the loudspeaker announcements. It was the 2nd on our cruise.
Only other comment on food is that at breakfast and lunch we used the buffet which can be something of scrum at peaks time -- such as ahead of visit, however always found a clear table after hunting around and staff are clearing up constantly. I know the business of the buffet put some people off, but found it great if you want quick food. Again the range was huge and quality very good.
This was one of the most exhausting holidays we've ever had -- if you want to slow down -- you'll need to try to slow down and not to try do everything -- which is impossible anyway. We disembarked in each port, which together with ships activities we were at it most of the time and were totally cream crakered at the end
MSC have got a lot things right, other more experienced cruisers felt let the staff weren't as happy or responsive as say Royal Caribbean, but you are then paying twice the price. Better service there doesn't mean its bad service here, we loved this cruise and will book another next year
MSC Delivered on their promise