Like other passengers on this ship, we too have been on a number of cruises, so know how things work. We arrived early only to be herded In to a marquee where we waited for around 3 hours before boarding. The refreshments were chargeable, in view of the time waiting, these should have been complimentary. Finally we boarded and decided to purchase the two day drinks package. We were then told we had to queue at reception to get them activated. This took around 20 minutes. We then noticed that, although we and our friends had booked at the same time and asked to be seated together at first dining sitting, we were given second (not a problem) but were seated on totally different tables!! More queuing to get this rectified. Fine we thought, let,s get some lunch and chill with a drink from the bar. Firstly, before we could get any lunch, we had to clean our table, followed by some luke warm food from the buffet. Now to the bar to relax before the safety drill at 3.30. It took around 30 minutes to get a drink and several male passengers complained at reception without success.
Evening meal was awful. This was to be at 8.30 the doors didn't,t open until 8.40 and we did not get a menu until almost 9 pm. There were no rolls or jug of water on the table. We were handed bread, eventually. Four times we asked for water and wine, but we're ignored. The five course meal was terrible. The mozzarella was tasteless, the soup watery, the salad was an iceberg lettuce floating in water and my turkey was rubbery. Our friend asked for the cheese and biscuits, but only received cheese. When he pointed this out, the waiter took the cheese away and then gave him a plate of crackers minus the cheese. What a shambles.
It appeared to us that there were not enough staff, and those that were available were sullen and unhelpful. It seemed that the staff were left to muddle through without any leadership.
The final straw was being told to vacate the cabin at 6.30 am.All the other cruises we have been on are around 8 am.
Many of the passengers we spoke to said it was their first experience at cruising and would be their last. We told them that this was the worst cruise we had been on and would not cruise with MSC again., so not to be put off cruising by this weekend experience. There are much better cruise liners around.
We feel that MSC missed a golden opportunity to showcase themselves, instead the blew it.