This was our third cruise on MSC. Unfortunately it didn' t go as smoothly as the previous ones. The main reason: The human factor. The attitude towards the passengers is simply too laid back.
The ship is beautiful and very well maintained. The cabins (balcony) are somewhat smaller than on the older MSC ships (e.g. Lirica), but still nice and comfortable,
Embarkation and disembarkation in Venice went smoothly, especially if you are an MSC Club member and use the priority lines. Otherwise you should expect to spend som time in lines.
The food in the restaurant and cafeteria is good and tasty, especially if you choose the Italian dishes.
The real challenge on this ship is the lack of service management and management of the passenger flow. When all 4.000 passengers return to the ship (all the excursions return at the same time) and go to the cafeteria there is simply not enough room. Twice we gave up finding a table. If you do find a table, then you will have to hunt for cutlery, plates, coffee and by the time you have found most of it, half of the food is gone. We had to go to 5 different drink stations just to get hot water. This can be done much, much better !
From the second day we were delayed. No reason or information was given. If you asked, you were simply misinformed by the crew. In Katakolon we arrived more than one hour late. Nevertheless we were told to be in the meeting place for the tour at 7 am. At that time we were still saling at open sea at full speed ! If you asked, why you should get up this early, the standard answer was: We wil be there in 10-15 minutes. It took more than one hour before we could se Katakolon.... Same story in Istanbul, just in reverse order. All must be aboard 4:30 pm. We didn´t leave until 6:30 pm. No reason was given. But we could easily have spent 2 hours more in this exciting city. By the end we of course arrived late back in Venice, For the first time an expanation was given: Due to heavy fog the port was closed. Strangely enough this socalled closure didn´t affect NCL Jade or RCCL Splendour who both have arrived on time back in Venice.... Finally a word of advise: If you buy any packages , e.g. the laundry package aboard, that are not swiped, make sure to get a receipt. We were charged for all our laundry at full price, as the accounting office couldn´t find the package order slip in their apparent mess. The rude and arrogant answer to my complaints - twice ! - was to imply that I was lying and never had turned in the order slip. Customer service may need a new name to more correctly reflect the attitude of the staff.
All in all a mixed experience. This might have been our last cruise on MSC. We will return to NCL and RCCL...