Having never sailed with MSC before, I had no expectations, really. Embarkation was quick and painless, it was easy to find our cabin (which was of a decent size and relatively comfortable) however the quality of the food was rather low. The first meal I had on board the MSC Lirica was a plate of steamed vegetables which were soggy and soaked in melted butter - which I found rather unappealing. The buffet did their desserts well, though. The second night my parents and I were seated in the restaurant where two major issues were noted:
1. Water is not free, you must pay by the bottle.
2. There is no tea/coffee after dinner.
The morning of our first port of call, Abu Dhabi, I was notified by reception that I had "appearantly" not attended the passenger drill, which I had. Other than this accusation, the staff onboard were lovely though loud at times. I was in a cabin on Deck 10, right beneath the pool deck where loud music and activities would blast until the early hours of the morning. If you intend on sailing for the action rather than the food, I highly recommend you do so.