I have just returned from MSC Presioza 7 night Cruise embarking Barcelona, Marsaailles, Genoa, Naples, Sicily & Tunisia.
I booked this cruise on advise of a Travel Agent who sold it to me as a family cruise with lots of entertainment for children.
On embarkation everything ran smoothly as we have cruised before so it was no different than any other time. Boarding the ship we were greeted by a line of staff whom seemed lovely but that's the last time I think they acknowledged passengers. The service staff most of them are so rude there are a few of the staff nice and pleasant but they are a few and far between. ~There was one particular lady who we ordered a drink from brought the wrong one to us as we pointed it out to her very nicely she rolled her eyes at us took the glass came back 5 minutes later slapped down the right drink and said "well I heard red wine not white and any way you are in drinks package so its free anyway" and she walked off. From reviews of MSC we expected slight ignorance but nothing like we experienced.
Our room an ocean view on deck 8 was lovely spacious as we had two children with us it was perfect but we never saw our cabin steward no introduction at all at the start of cruise. Beds were made in the morning but on some nights we had to pull fully down our own bunks for the kids, they had been half left down all week which was a safety hazard for our heads, minor I know but not professional. On the first night the bunks were brought down with out the safety rails being erected.
We went to enrol the children in the kids club on the first day and the girls seemed lovely so later on that evening our eldest child of 10 wanted to go to kids club. We dropped her off and picked her up later on, I thought it a bit unusual she came out with out a smile as with other cruise kids clubs, pressing her she said she was made feel unwelcome and had no introduction when she went in. The games they played were not translated into English when she said she did not understand one of the Leaders said "oh I speak 5 languages and English" but she never tried to translate the games for my child. She tried the kids club once more the next day and would not go again. Through out the week we discovered there was not a lot for the kids to do on the ship unless they went to kids club. The shows were not geared for children or was there any other activity to do as a family. Now don't get me wrong but there is a fantastic kids water play park and slide. There are games rooms you pay per game and there is a F1 simulator at a cost but my 6yr old was too small to enjoy it. The 4D Cinema is a joke as its a 10 or 12 seated Roller coaster simulator totally misleading description when advertised. We had been expecting a bigger cinema not that. ~In short that's it your family vacation time together starts and finishes with the Water Park.
The evening entertainment was as bad in the bars. For the size of the ship the areas are not utilized as best they could be. The Safari Lounge could be a fantastic entertainment space but again they had a band playing badly so passengers came in for a look and walked back out few stayed. On one occasion the band played an Elvis number in one of the bars and there must have been 40 people up on the dance floor they then went back to there usual songs after the one song and there was nobody on the dance floor for the rest of the night. The duet in the Green Sax singing songs in English were awful.
The Shows in the Platinum Theatre we thought for the first 2 nights were fantastic on the third night it was nearly the same only different theme, the acrobats did the same stunts every night and the shows revolved around the same two lead singers each night there was no variation. It was amazing the audience reaction on the first two nights to stunts but there was little or no reaction from the audience after that it was like everyone was thinking "oh god we have seen that before"
Dining on board was easy for us as we only used the Buffet which was as we expected busy at times but the food was lovely some reviews slated the food but we thought it was great although it was spaced out with counters between each other closed off which meant you could walk far just to check what was on offer at the end of the buffet section. We had requested late dining when we booked but were given early dining which I did not realise when checking in, 7pm was way too early for us if you have been off ship for the day then getting two children ready.
Fellow cruisers were as reviewed before, some pushy, no manners but we expected it. There were quiet a few English speaking people on board although some were from Northern Europe whom were sold this cruise as we were Great for kids and the fact MSC were trying to expand their market in the Cruise industry but those who we spoke to were disappointed like us
In all we were prepared for MSC cruising experience we went with an open mind, expecting slight rudeness, organisation to be a little shabby but what we got was worse, most of the staff were ignorant, did not do there jobs with pride, I will add some Indonesian staff were quiet pleasant when we said good morning but other nationality staff were beyond rude. If you want a cruise which you like to spend time with your children rater than shipping them into a kids club this is not the cruise for you such a pity because the ship is fantastic in it self.