WARNING!!! This was the voyage of the damned! For a line trying to break into the US market, they did everything wrong! From being herded like cattle at embarkation (including a welcome buffet I wouldn't serve at a prison) to a staff that could barely speak English with a 70% American passenger complement.
Our Mini-suite was a highlight, with an actual walk-in closet and lots of room(although our friends closet door fell off and hit them).The food would have been better if Denny's or Appleby's had catered the ship. The restaurant service was so poor we had to switch dining rooms and waiters (our 2nd waiter, Vincenzo was a dream).
The entertainment wouldn't have made it in a 3rd rate Atlantic City casino lounge. Most of what they had in the bars and lounges were about 20-30 years out of date, as were most of the shows. Drink service on the pool deck was next to nonexistent, with maybe 3 servers at each end of the pool. If you were on any higher decks during the day, More
Then there were the excursions. This line was so cheap they didn't pay for docking fees. We were tendered off at almost every port. In Jamaica, this resulted in a 2-3 hour delay, with some passengers getting as little as 2 hours ashore. There it seemed a Carnival ship had taken what was supposed to be our slip. The final straw was at Key West, where again they chose not to pay the docking fees, and we were unable to land due to sea conditions. The excursions at San Blas, Cristobal, and Jamaica were poor, hardly what was advertised. It seems they spent the money on hyping the cruise prior to its crossing, and didn't have the money to provide the amenities they should have.
We have been on both Princess and Celebrity ships and enjoyed those experiences with our friends. This cruise was so bad, that one couple we travel with may never cruise again! While the European passengers didn't seem to mind, I would say that if you are an American and have gone on other lines, you would be sorely disappointed. From the food (including the midnight buffets that ended at 12:15 with No other food service except room service available after that), the non-functioning ice cream machine, the outdoor buffet with burnt hamburgers and undercooked hot dogs, to the poorest shore excursions possible, this line failed to deliver what it had promised. We booked the cruise for its itinerary, and the mistaken assumption,that a new line and new ship would go all out for its passengers. There was not even the consideration I had come to know from traveling in Italy several times among the staff and crew. They also seemed to be constantly running behind schedule,and ran without the stabilizers engaged much of the time. It was certainly a rough ride! And finally, out of our party of 6, 5 of us had gastrointestinal problems at least for a night!
MSC Lirica, thanks, but no thanks. Go back to ferrying goats from Venice to Athens, you certainly do not know how to cruise passengers. Less