We have a ball wherever we go. The glass is always half full as they say. that being said there are a number of things that MSC MUST do right away or they could alienate the US market and possibly have to move what is a gorgeous ship back to Europe (or some other locale).
Boarding-It seems to be a very lengthy process to check people in. My suggestion to management would be to time the average check in time frame. We clocked most in the 10-15 minute range per couple, which is far too long when you have 3,400 people to board. We arrived at the Pier at 4PM and were finally on board at 5:45PM.
Ship-The ship indeed is Gorgeous. Super clean and just stunning visuals everywhere you look. The entire ship feels fresh and new and the cabins are beautiful. Warning: Bring a bar of Soap as they only dispense body wash in the showers ( We loved the Shower Capsule). We say this because three of our friends cabins didn't have washcloths, so they were not sure what you were to use the body wash with. We had washcloths so we were fine!
Food-Wow- Here's where they need to fix things and fast or they are going to be lost in the crush of competition. Try as we might, the food is just plain horrible in the dining room- No two ways about it. the service is just as bad. It's like they need to throw out the play book and start all over again. I read other reviews and I really wanted to shout- "No trust me- It's better" but alas it isn't. the buffet became our sanctuary and we lived on Pizza which is VERY very good by the way. However when you get Risotto slopped onto a salad plate ( Do you not have bowls?) Or a cup of soup where some have a garnish and some don't and some are full and some are half full or Prime Rib Entree's that resemble shoe leather - Well we couldn't get out of there fast enough. Management can't sugar coat this- They have to address it.
Entertainment- Was pretty good- they seemed very poorly lit - I'd get someone with theatrical lighting experience in there. The singers and dancers are all good and this is an area that MSC truly is showing promise. We loved the Cirque-esqe touches of the shows. Musicians throughout we all great and the entertainment staff seemed to really be working hard to make sure everyone had a great time.
Few other notes: Spa/Gym is really nice. Drinks are very generous size ( and strength) and the coupons you can buy at any bar are a very good deal- If you even plan to have 2 drinks a day get these it will save you lots of $$.
Overall we had fun as we were with a group of friend but MSC needs to take the Chef and Maitre D to task, as their areas of oversight will ruin their ratings if they can't improve the experience.