We booked this trip because of its interesting itinerary, 3 nights in Genoa, followed by the cruise and ending with 3 nights in Cape Town. Previous reports of the ship were not very encouraging. Embarkation was a terrible start as it took 2 hours as previous reviewers have said. Surely it could have been handled better. However, once on board we were delighted to find the ship gleaming, elegant and comfortable. The staff were very friendly, everyone had a smile and all trying to make your voyage as enjoyable as possible. The food in the buffet was very good. Lots of fruit and salads. Plenty of choices at lunchtime for both hot and cold meals aiming to please different nationalities. All the different types of bread and rolls were very good indeed. Tea, coffee and iced water 24 hours a day somewhere on ship. Afternoon tea was a treat! The special events in the dining rooms e.g. the Italian Night were splendid with the staff giving their all. The service at second sitting in the dining rooms was very good and relaxed and you could have any table seating arrangement you wanted. On occasions the main course was a bit disappointing but on the whole the food was good and plentiful. Delicious ice-cream!
Special mention has to go to the Animation Team, they were all splendid and really made the holiday. If you wanted to join in anything, and lots of people did, you were made welcome and really part of things. Aerobics and dance lessons in the sun on deck were great. If you wanted quiet sophistication there were plenty of lovely venues for you too. Crossing the Equator has to have a mention as this was a great event finishing with everyone who wanted dancing on deck in the sunshine. If you wanted fun you got it!
The ports of call after Casablanca were very disappointing if you did not want to use the organised tours.
I realise the Customs requirements are no fault of MSC but the arrangements at Walvis Bay were really bad and along with others, we gave up and did not go ashore which was disappointing after 6 days at sea. The views from the ship arriving into Cape Town on a sunny day with Table Mountain as a backdrop were truly memorable, you could not help but be thrilled. Disembarkation again, possibly not the fault of MSC, was very long and drawn out. Customs officials were very friendly but slow and there were approximately 2,000 people getting off the ship. Fortunately, we had booked transfers from ship to hotel and were met promptly but the queues for taxis were very long and outside the port was chaotic. Again, not the fault of MSC.
Overall opinion, getting on and off the ship drawn out and tiresome. The ship itself, clean, elegant and well maintained. Food good, entertainment: shows good, Animation Team excellent. Overall memory, I feel as though I have been to a rattling good party and would travel with MSC again. It was good value for money.