I will start by saying that I went on this cruise with my mother, and I chose this sailing because of the itinerary and the price, both of which were very good. I had travelled with MSC a few years ago, and although there were things we did not like about it (no coffee or tea served at dinner in the main restaurant, having to pay for a glass of water, feeling like a fifth class citizen as English speakers), we were willing to go with them again as the price was great.
We took the train from our airport hotel to the central station in Amsterdam, then decided to walk to the terminal. That was a bad idea ;) too much construction, too much rain, etc...we arrived at the cruise terminal soaking wet, but were clearly directed to where we could drop our luggage and then to where we needed to go to check in(only 300 people embarking in Amsterdam...should have been a breeze). We started to go to where we were told to go, only to be stopped by an employee telling us to just find a seat and she would call us when she was ready, I asked how she would call us as we had no number or color, and she said I'll just call you. finally called to check in, then people began to cut in front with not staff maintaining order. Finally a Dutch gentleman stepped in and told them they needed to be in the back of the line as we had all waited our turn...yeah!
Checked in, went to our room, it was lovely, and clean. We met stateroom attendant immediately, very friendly, I asked for an extra pillow, it arrived before bed time. Stateroom attendants were great.
Frist night dinner, we went to dining room and were directed to a booth in the very back corner, and it was very tight. The waiters had to literally work around a big pole in order to serve everyone at the table, as they could not reach otherwise, Very dumb layout. We all felt bad for waiters, as this made a difficult job way harder. The wait staff was excellent and eager to please, we found them to be amazing. There were two other English speaking couples at the table with us, for which we were thankful. Still no coffee or tea served at the table in the dining room, but water packages are now free for North Americans for dinner.
The customer service was horrendous!!! I can not tell you stronger that you are on your own if you have any issues...they cannot/will not help you, it is your fault, period. The shore excursion staff was truly disorganised, particularly if you only spoke English. Transfers were poorly organised, lineups barely supervised, lots of pushing and cutting in line...very frustrating.
The food in the dining room on the whole, was not great, very little choice, not well seasoned, not well presented, and at times, items looked nothing like described on the menu.
We did not take advantage of the shows, so can not speak to that.
Overall, I would say that we enjoyed our vacation, but were very disappointed in the cruise, and the total lack of customer service. I will not travel with MSC again, even for a good price