We have been on around 10 cruises in the past incuding NCL, RCI, Carnival and Princess. This was our first MSC Cruise and we were impressed with the ship - very swish. However, this is the general review from us and our fellow guests at our dining table.
The food in the restaurant was the worst by far that we have experienced. Not cooked well and small portions.
The buffet restaurant was fine and we invariably ended up there at midnight.
The shows were very good, but the entertainment in the other bars did not change all week and was woeful.
The 'entertainers' were - well we are trying to establish what they actually did! they certainly didn't entertain.
The cabin was very nice and the cabin service good.
The crew in the guest services were very poor and sometimes quite rude. However, it was absolute chaos at disembarkation. When you consider that there are over 3,000 people trying to check out with just five on service, you can imagine the irritation - especially with the queue jumpers.
Most of the waitresses were very nice and helpful especially Karla from Brazil.
The entertainments director seem to take great pride in being multlingual and insisted in going through every language with every announcement. He was the poorest we have come across and had zero personality.
The smoking areas were quite limited and we did not have a problem with that.
Everyone is charged 7 euros per day service charge, but you can have this removed if you go to the guest services, allowing you to make more personal tips.
The BIG plus was the allegrissimo package which effectively makes the cruise all-inclusive. If you like a few glasses of wine and a drink in the evening (including cocktails) its a must.
The safety drill was not strictly enforced with some smart asses taking pride in the fact that they did not out their jackets on. I would not like to be on this ship in an emergency - poor coordination and many of the staff apparently unclear on exits.
The ports were very good, although Bari is a little limited.
In summary - would we go on an MSC Cruise again? Probably not. I do not think that MSC are trying hard enough compared to other cruises we have been on. I really think it's the staff that let them down, but maybe its a cultural thing. We enjoyed it because we had good company and enjoyed the ports.