Having taken our first ever cruise last Oct (2012) onboard MSC Fantasia we had such a good time that we went again this year onboard MSC Splendida for our 40th wedding anniversary and my wifes birthday.
We had an enjoyable time and visited the ports of Barcelona, Valencia, Tunis, Rome, Genoa & Marseille.
The ship is very beautiful and even though it was full it was always possible to find a nice quiet area if you wanted it.
Staff are in general very friendly if not a bit robotic, but I suppose it is drilled into them to give good customer service. Our table waiter in the evenings Santoro did a good job by being friendly and efficient. Meals at the MDR are small portions but you could have as many as 6/7 courses if you want and it was always easy to add extra fries to any main or have 2 mains if you needed filling.
The meals were nicely presented and in general considering the numbers served, hot enough.
If the mains not to your liking they always had a choice of favourites available eg: Fillet chicken, Hamburgers etc. You do not get tea or coffee after your meal but plenty of places to go to for an after dinner coffee.
Drinks prices are not cheap, Bottle white wine 25Euros + 15%, even a 1Lt water 2.70E + 15%. Cocktails 6.50E +15%...
THey have a drinks package for 40E per day each called Allegrissimo.. This is good value and even though we are not big drinkers we saved 200E on the week.This package has a large choice available and includes fancy coffees, take away ice cream and fruit juices.
The buffet is very large and even though we used it very little due to our preference to MDR dining it had a fantastic range of food but was always busy/hectic..
Really have to say that you should try to do your own thing in port as MSC prices are expensive, Shuttles nearly 16E each when in a lot of cases a free one is available. Barcelona 3.50E Return, Valencia Free, Marseille Free..Genoa you can walk couple hundred yards and get the Hopon/off bus for 15E each and it was great. Genoa is a nice city.. We got caught out by a very poor MSC shuttle into Valencia, left us into not the area you would want and no map supplied. Marseille, walk 200 yards from ship and a free twice an hour shuttle.
We did take the Rome shuttle from MSC for 45E each as we did not want to take chances travelling so far from ship..If you book a trip online through MSC, check when you board that it is booked. We nearly lost our trip to Rome as they had no record on the morning of the trip and 2 staff members had to be taken off bus to let us on..At least they sorted it out...
Entertainment @ the 1600 seat theatre and in at least 6 other locations around the ship is good but I think MSC need to work on this aspect.. It gets a bit repetitive but still enjoyable..
We did enjoy our cruise in our Balcony cabin and MSC have great potential with their beautiful ships although at the minute most passengers are European..