We have just returned from our second cruise with MSC. This time we travelled on the Splendida. The ship is truly splendid with the public areas gleaming and sparkling and absolutely immaculate.
MSC is an italian based cruise company so I am slightly puzzled with previous reviews criticising that most people on board are Italian and that the entertainment and food are italian. Well, yes, obviously!
I quite enjoyed this fact as it made me feel as if i was abroad both on and off the ship.
All staff spoke english and all announcements were also repeated in English. The menu in the restaurants was available in several languages.
I also liked the fact that there was a wide range of ages on board with lots of families and younger couples which is different from some other cruises i have been on where most people have grey hair. However if you don't want a lively atmosphere this probably isn't the cruise liner for you!
The food. Ok, it's not michelin style and a bit repetitive, but it's not bad and there is plenty of it. If you don't like the feeding frenzy in the buffet style restaurant at breakfast and dinner than you can opt to have this in your cabin (breakfast) or in one of the restaurants ( breakfast and lunch) which is quieter.
The salads and fruit are particulary good and there is something for everyone to enjoy. Food is available all day and there are rarely any queues.
Our balcony cabin was spacious with a lovely balcony and a very comfortable bed. Plenty of cupboard space and keep very clean and tidy for us by the excellent cabin staff. The room is very quiet with no noise from neighbours or the ship.
We paid extra for the Alligrisimo premier package which meant all drinks including cocktails, premium spirits, champagne, specialist coffees and minibar drinks, ice creams etc were included. Also water, which i know a lot of people complain about having to pay for at dinner time.
It is quite expensive but we made the most of it and found it well worth the money. The service in the bars is excellent most of the time, but we found that some of the staff appeared tired and fed up at the start of our cruise. Some of the Italian management staff were particularly rude and unpleasant and we made sure they were named and shamed on our end of cruise feedback form.
The nightly show was good fun and I enjoyed them.
Excursions. Expensive. But it very easy to find your own way round and much cheaper. Most ports have taxis or free shuttle buses.
All in all I thought the cruise was excellent value for money!