Cruisingiscool member says it all really in their review. I was on other side of ship in 1216... It was my first cruise and I hadn't really known what to expect.
Why MSC? The price, they had discounted the balcony cabin to £250 per person, so at £500 + £280 for all inclusive drinks package, this was much cheaper than other cruises available.I think the reviews possibly should be split into two, for those who have cruised before and those that have not. My feeling is that first timers would rate it highly than those who have cruised before.
Discussing the cruise with others on board who had been on other ships they thought it wasn't as good. I stared in disbelief at them thinking what else could be bettered, my prior background of holidaying in all inclusive hotel resorts was the only thing I could grade it against.
I'd embarked at las Palmas after getting the bus from airport. Its only a five minute walk from bus station to ship. Arrived for earliest 1pm embarkation time, however others had same idea, so wondered if arriving at 2pm may have avoided some queues to get on board. Once on board and in room, I couldn't believe how large it was. Full size bath, walk in wardrobe, king size bed, couch, and balcony. Room was kept clean by room attendant, but his second early evening visit had me spitting feathers as my misses expected me to tidy up the room before his arrival...sort of defeated the point. He also had a habit of taking misses nighty from under pillow and making it into a fan shape. To get my own back I put my XXL large undies (clean) under pillow, expecting him to fan those out as well, but he didnt!! shame i needed the laugh. he did have a habit though of moving my clothes from A to B as if to prove the point he was doing something.
The all inclusive option is great, you must go for it.. Think it is £140 each and I got a pre bill approximately half way through cruise which showed we had had about 600 euros worth of alcohol/drink. I know what your thinking, I was blinding legless every night, but not so.. Bottle of wine and water was 20 euros during dinner, and a drinks round for 2 would cost between 11 and 12 euros, so it soon adds up if you have a couple of drinks before evening meal and 3 drinks each after.
We did see the shows and they were either ok or very good. worth watching, but i take on board others comments as the multi language of passengers meant the shows were mostly dance based with acrobatics thrown in.
We also had continental breakfast in the room on a few occasions, but only when I found out it was free.
Service charge... I was determined not to pay this before I went. 98 Euros for two of us.. I was intent on getting it removed, however I just couldn't fault the service, sure I had to wait a couple of minutes just too long in ordering drinks, but this was just on the odd occasion. Based on drinks bill reaching 7-800 euros, and great service I've paid the service charge...
I did have an issue with getting a table for two in the main restaurant during lunchtimes, but you can take plates outside to eat in the brasserie area on deck 11. I attended the set dinner meals and I thought the food and service was very good.
I would go cruising again based on this experience, but don't think I could find a better priced deal than the one MSC offered. Id definitely cruise with these guys again.