This was was my fourth cruise, the first in Europe. I have cruised with RCCL on Enchantment and Freedom of the Seas and Celebrity Century before. Here are my impressions of this cruise.
Interior decor - too many mirrors which I found confusing to deal with until I got used to them, which took me a couple of days.
The cabin - just as I expected on a cruise ship, except that the interactive services on the TV were not working.
Crowds - The ship was chaotic compared to RCCL and This gave me a claustrophbic feeling, with long waits for the elevators and crowded pool area.
Restaurants - the food on the main restaurant, the Inca diner on deck 14, was very inferior to RCCL. It was almost impossible to find a vacant table in rush hours. Although the choice was wide, it was not varied day to day. The food was very oily, even supposedly grilled food was drowned in oil. I never experienced gastro problems on a cruise before. I did on this one. Also I found that you have to pay for a capuccino and pastry in all the restaurants and bars as well as for ice cream in the pool area, unlike RCCL, where everything was included at no additional charge.
Crew - although not unfriendly, I felt they just had a job to do and that they did. The WoW factor was missing. There were no announcements from the captain at any time during my seven days in board, not even a welcome announcement.
Kids club - too many restrictions on who is eligible to use the kids' games rooms. We were actually denied to use this in several occasions for reasons I did not understand.
Pools - i was pleasantly surprised that pools were open even when the ship was docked in the ports, as opposed to RCCL Enchantment. The pool area was often very crowded compared to RCCL and it was hard to find deck chairs on sea days.
Theatre entertainment - I'd give the shows an OK but far below the RCCL standard.
Excursions - this was the first time I made use of the ship's excursions. On this cruise, the port stays were very short, by comparison, and excursions were very hurried as a consequence.
Overall - i would give a 10/10 to RCCL but a 6/10 to MSC.