Previous reviewers made me wonder if we'd made a mistake booking this cruise again (we'd enjoyed it so much 2 years ago on the Melody) but we need not have worried. Also having paid a very low price we expected that there may have been lots of cuts to the quality of the food, service and entertainment. Not so. The food in the restaurant was perfectly acceptable, at times really excellent, and even the buffet food was fine seeing that we eat only fruit for breakfast and salads for lunch.
The theatre entertainment was good and varied, and the inclusion of 6 classical concerts made it for us, as well as the excellent performers in the La Caballa Piano Bar. Roberto's piano and singing ensured that we never had an early night! Derrick and his girls and boys were delightful. While we didn't take part in the deck games or dancing much, one had to pat the entertainment team on the back for their fun and enthusiasm.
The ship is beautiful and perfectly maintained and clean - our cabin and the public rooms were spotless, and the service of the cabin attendant, waiters and bar people could not be faulted.
Complaints: 1.Halfway across the Atlantic white wine ran out in the deck bars. However, a word sent to the Bar manager fixed this quickly. 2.Poolside loungers were all taken before 7am reserved by towels. A familiar problem and not policed. Irritating but not a train smash.3.Thankfully there were very few children on board, but a couple of them were unsupervised at the pool, and were using the hot tubs against regulation. Again, no policing, but thankfully this only happened a couple of times. 4.The pools have no shallow end, so it is not possible to do aquacises - a design fault, and no one could have put that right for me.
We were a bit nervous about smoke as on other MSC and Costa cruises smoking has been a huge irritation - but we were grateful that this was not the case on this cruise and smoking was confined to one small space on the deck and to a 'smokers' pub' which we could avoid.So - so problem this time.
We must give kudos to all the officers, crew and staff we came in contact with. Without exception they were friendly and helpful and went out of their way to make the cruise pleasant for the passengers.
It was a truly relaxing, fun and memorable experience. Well done MSC.