we were looking forward to our cruise with MSC having seen the DIVINA in venice the year before.We have cruised with Carnival on the Dream in the carribean and with RCCL both med and carribean a number of times,so our comparisons are based on that.
Embarkation in venice was busy but you expect that.However we had not been told that we would not sail through the grande canal on the way out as it was the one week of the year that ships are not allowed due to a big boating festival.We should have been told as this happens at the same time each year,so beware if you are thinking of departing around the 20th of July.We have sailed from Venice before so we were ok but had it have been last year when we took a party of 20 on rccl from venice for my husbands 50th birthday we would have been devastated because none of those guests had sailed from Venice,which is why we chose that itinery.
Having embarked we wandered the ship which being new was very smart but seemed
quite dark in decoration and the ceilings appeared low.In fact my sister is only 4ft 10 and she could touch the ceilings in some parts of the ship.
The entertainment was excellent.The cabin was adequate [balcony cabins and 1 inside cabin] although there was not any hidden storage ie. behind mirrors etc like on other ships and wardrobe space was very limited.cabin staff were again adequate but did not bother to get to know our names and simply did their jobs.
We had the drinks package and this was excellent value including coffee and ice cream as well as cocktails and liqueurs.
Now the reasons we will not travel with Msc again.
The pools were actually dangerous with not only riotous children dive bombing but adults finding it hilarious to do the same .We have children and have never minded kids splashing around us but this was intollerable.Pool attendants blew a whistle probably twice during the week and just ignored the problem.
The bar service was virtually non existant in fact waiters overted their eyes so as not to see you.When you managed to catch a waiter he would fetch you a drink but only because he had to.Even in the bars at night despite having pre dinner drinks in the same bar every night we were never greeted with a smile or any conversation.Most of the staff spoke very poor English and could not understand to even give you basic directions.Even at the main desk it was very difficult to make ourselves understood.Whist I appreciate that this is an Italian ship for safety reasons surely certain staff should be fluent to assist english speaking guests.
The food was awful.Our waiter tried his best and apologised for his service saying that he could not serve us as we had been served on other ships as he had too many tables.He was very good and service was not the real issue. The issue was the food, too many courses of cheap quality food sometimes inedible and usually tastless. The buffet was no better too spread out so that the time you had your food on your plate and were at your table everything was cold.We ended up just having the first thing we saw and giving up on the rest.
On our last day we left the pool in utter dismay looking round at 6pm there was a dirty nappy on the floor ,various bottles and cans rolling around in the wind and a deck attendant stacking chairs (rubbish was not his job).
Generally the staff are being paid a salary unlike on other ships we have sailed on so service is irrelevant.The tips added to your seapass daily DO NOT
go to your cabin or wait staff but are divided between the whole company. our waiter told us he got approx 1% of what was paid.My reccomendation would be to take off the tips and hand over cash to those who have earned it!
We had hoped MSC would be perfect as we fancied a 2 week carribean cruise next year and the price was competitive.Unfortuanately we will not put up with bad food or bad service.We,a party of 12,have just booked 2 weeks with RCCL next year,please be aware that you get what you pay for!