As I stated we had gone on a two week tour of Italy in 2008 and had a fantastic time. When I learned of MSC being an Italian style cruise I couldn't sign up fast enough. The ship was impeccable. Our cabin was spacious. The crew was very nice most of the time.
One of the problems we had with the Lirica was the food. We have been on many cruises and I would have to say the Lirica had by far the worst food. EVERYONE we had talked to from our table mates to other cruisers had the same comments. We even spoke to cruisers that had been on the Lirica before who said they would not return because of the food. We do not plan our trips around the food nor are we picky eaters. We do not care about midnight buffets or fancy presentations. We are concerned with the quality of the food. All of the pastas that were served on board were either over or under cooked to the point of being crunchy. My husband ordered the lobster on the last Gala night and his and all of our table mates got maybe three bites of lobster from this large shell. It is true that you can order as many entrees as you wish so they could have ordered an extra plate but it was not worth the time.
I did go to the spa twice. Once for a facial and once for a hair appointment. The two young men in the salon were fantastic! They did a great job and treated me wonderfully. I cannot say the same for my facialist. After applying the mask rather than massage my shoulders, arms and hands as is the custom while the mask is working she actuallyleft me alone in the room for 15 minutes! When she returned not only did she smell of cigarettes but as I got up to leave she had placed a dollar bill on the counter to remind me to tip her. I could have gotten a better facial from a beauty school student. You are never to leave your client laying in a room alone nor are you to skip services because you are afraid of not getting tipped.
The only other complaint I had was with the young lady that was checking you in for shore excursions. We understood the rules and how the whole thing worked. But one day we realized one of our table mates had booked the same tour so I went to the desk to ask if we could get on the same bus. She scolded me like a third grader and told me we were supposed to have our whole group check in at the same time. I told her I did not know they were going and if it was a big hassle to just forget it. She then grabbed my bus numbers and gave me new ones to go with our friends.
We had a great time otherwise. The entertainment most nights was very good and the staff other than stated were very good. Our cabin was always impeccable and well stocked with towels etc. The itinerary for this cruise was great. It was extremely easy and fast getting on and off the ship as well as getting transfers to the airport. I would recommend MSC again just maybe not this chef.