Having read the reviews prior to our cruise we were surprised to find the opposite. For example everyone complained about massive amounts of noisy children...our cruise only had a handful of kids, our son being the only English speaking one! Most of the passengers were grumpy elderly Germans or middle age Russians, so the nightclubs were deserted! check in was fabulous, we were in our rooms within minutes. The ports we went to were great! Only don't book tours with the ship because they are restrictive and very expensive. we found at most ports we found tour buses that would do it for half the price or took hop on hop off buses & even public transport.
Kids club is fantastic, the staff are amazing & very excited to be able to converse in English with someone!He had a ball despite the other children not being able to understand him. Pool areas are beautiful.
We had a balcony suite and it was lovely. meticulously clean.
Staff were friendly and professional. Great with our son.
Food is wonderful, despite what other reviews say. We found the food to be fresh and plentiful, and delicious Italian. The other passengers (Germans) were not at all pushy at the buffet. In fact orderly & polite. On several mornings we ordered room service breakfast (free) which was excellent. Lunch buffet was much better variety & bigger than dinner.
There is free water and tea / coffee at Buffet, (having to pay at all restaurants) so we purchased a Allegrissimo package that saved us almost $200 (pre purchased prior to us paying final deposit in Australia...don't wait until on board as it only saves you 10% and you also have to pay taxes.) We are not big drinkers but enjoyed the good quality Italian wines, Beers cocktails and ice creams. Drink Prices on board are very expensive!
One rule that was annoying was that you couldn't bring snacks,drinks or coffee back to your room, forcing you to pay extra for room service. With a small child I had to disregard this!
No self service laundry. You can have MSC pick up your washing at a ridiculously expensive price.
To sum it up, I would love to do another MSC cruise which has more families as passengers. I thought the staff & service, ship and food was fabulous however the fellow passengers were not at all friendly. Great price however expect to pay heaps for extras such as drinks, water etc. Highly recommend the drinks package.
There is a bike hire shop "star bikes" / coffee place on the opposite side of road from port where we hired lovely new bikes for only 5 Euros..saving us a fortune on the ship bike excursion.