7 Nighter out of Southampton at half-term with two 13 year old boys.
Initial impression - boarding was the worst we have ever experienced. Bearing in mind we have been on much bigger ships ( Allure,Epic)and boarded in 15 mins, the wait of over an hour in a line for security was unacceptable. We were in a makeshift terminal (normally the Fruit and Veg terminal) with only 2 scanners and they were being operated at snails pace. We were not informed that the ship's time does not change which led to immense confusion about the boat drill time!
MDR waiters were willing but hopelessly overworked and couldn't cope with the number of tables they had to deal with. Pushed the sale of bottled water, did not want to serve tap. Food variable, risottos lovely, some main course good but didn't always get the right orders. Side orders of veg often didn't arrive until we had finished our main, all a bit shambolic. Buffet breakfast poor choice with stale croissants on first More
morning. Ate in MDR after that, much better choice but need to allow longer than other ships for service.
Room steward great and cabin small but fine. Pillows lumpy. Entertainment pretty good for a small ship and in English which was good for us. Comedy show hysterical according tjo my husband and boys. Poor hygiene as no-one enforcing hand gel in restaurants. Unlike other lines, never saw a cleaner in the toilets which often ran out of toilet paper.
Disemarkation at ports slow and we were not allowed to use the group disembarkation areas even after all groups had left. Ports were all lovely.
In essence, if you are used to RCL, Celebrity, HAL etc you will be disappointed. We met several first timers who thought it was great so I think it's all about expectations. Would we go MSC again: no. Did we enjoy ourselves : yes and it was a cheap cruise out of Southampton at half-term Less
MSC Opera Cruises to the Baltic Sea