My partner & I booked our first cruise with MSC departing Genoa and have been extremely disappointed & let down by the whole experiance & the following complaints will expalin why.
1. The ship itself is fine, well laid out with comparable size balcony rooms to other cruise lines and the cleanliness was good. With a few exeptions (namely Simone Pelser bar staff) the staff appeared a bit distant & reserved with the reception staff being quite haughty and rude. communicating via room phone was frustrating as we struggled to understand each other & we had problems with the room safe for the duration of the cruise ending the last sea day in our room for 2 hours whilst 2 men tried to fix the safe & I gave up waiting for someone to fix the COLD shower on the last night of the cruise.
2. The reason we chose this cruise was to visit the ports of Casablanca, Madeira & Malaga as we have been to the other ports many times more on Royal Carribean, P&O and Celebrity but the Casablanca & Madeira visits were cancelled due to rough weather and the itinerary was shifted about and we end up in Lanzerote & Gibralter. I can accept that bad weather can cause problems but we have heard that other ships had docked there and MSC had not. Leading me to believe that the Fantasia could not visit these ports because of the changed itinerary and other ships had reserved these port days in advance ?
3. The main Dining Room was overcrowded and the tables & chairs were far too close together making it extremely difficult for guests and the waiters, the food was bland unappetising and mostly cold and the "always available" choices were laughable like chiken breast which looked like a thin piece of shoe leather with similar taste & texture with cold chips? Other cruise lines "show" a selection of Deserts at the table not MSC, probably because there is no room for a Desert Trolley so we had no idea what as available (not much) and zero Coffe or Tea. The waiters made no effort to socialise with our table of eight and never asked if we were happy with our meals and ignored our complaints.
Does MSC have a Maitre D in the restaurant because we never saw him on the entire cruise, I even tried to find him to complain but he must have been embarrassed and hiding.
4. the Buffet was a "Bunfight" and were too few tables & chairs to accomodate so many passengers and people were wandering about with plates of cold food looking for somewhere to sit down. On the subject of cold food this was a serious health hazard as cooked food needs to be maintained at a high temperature to prevent bacteria forming but the so called hot food was rarely hot. My partner Beverley did not eat much & I just had Salad & cold meats.
5. SMOKING ???? what is MSC doing allowing smoking of Cigarettes, Cigars, Pipes (and I'm sure I smelt Cannibis) inside public bar areas and the Casino a favourite if money losing experiance for Bev & I. We could only stay for short visits as the Casino became eye watering, foggy & smelly which resulted in our cloths being stinking. Smoking inside public rooms on ALL other cruise lines we have been on is strictly forbidden and for good safety reasons. THIS HAS TO STOP ON MSC.
6. lack of information of destinations, no maps or guides, no information on which deck or side to get off at each port, charging extortionate amounts for shuttle buses (Taxi was cheaper)
Finally why was this cruise dominated by 2400 German passengers who are arrogant rude and hog all the sunbeds plus we felt the cruise was built around the German contingent like the the entertainment which lacked style and humour.
Bev & I along with the four Australains who like us have done over a dozen cruises with other Companies will not travel with MSC again & the Welsh couple were on thier first cruise and its put them off cruises for life.