We arrived(2 passengers) at the embarkation point at 1pm on the day of the cruise,May 2nd 2009. We boarded the ship promptly just after 1 pm and found our way to our cabin without the help or support of the staff standing idle in the hallways.Being past passengers of MSC we were supposed to be personally escorted to our cabin by the staff. This is part of the deal of being a past passenger.Needless to say this was not done for us by the MSC staff. We did then enjoy our lunch that afternoon before the ship sailed. Notwithstanding the fact that we boarded the ship very early afternoon, our luggage did not arrive at our cabin until just before 6 pm.Bear in mind that dinner for the first sitting for which we had booked is at 6pm. We then went to dinner and was shown to a table of 8, despite the fact that we had on our booking form requested a table of not more than 2 or 4.The Maitre D and his assistant were not helpful at all, and suggested that my travel agent had not sent in a request for my table preference.I then had to point out to him, that I had made the booking direct with the Sydney, Australia office of MSC, and that I cannot understand the miscommunication on their part. Several other passengers complained of being in a similar situation, and they were simply fobbed off by the Maitre D .I found the waiters very helpful, but that help did not extend to the Supervisors in the Restaurant.The exception being Filipe Lobato, one of the supervisors in the Restaurant who went out of his way to attend to our needs. Whilst the Dinners was of average standard, we found the selection of lunches served in the Buffet of below average standard.Why not serve freshly made Sandwiches and Foccacios for lunch in additions to cooked meals.We had just come off the Emerald Princess cruise and found all their meals superior to meals on the Orchestra. The cruise entertainment staff in the lounges of the Orchestra was simply a joke. They were in fact pathetic with absolutely no personality at all.They became the laughing stock of some the passengers. On their billboard in the lounges. they classed and described themselves as "Your Excellent Cruise Staff". What a hide. Self praise is no recommendation.That assessment should be made by the passengers.
For the first 10 days of the cruise,the Captain was no where to be seen and it seems he thinks HE is the most important person on the ship. Forget that.The fare paying passengers are the ones who should receive applause, not the Captain.Eventually the Captain turned up one evening in the Theatre and the passengers was asked to give him a standing ovation.He should change his name to Captain Conceit. We had a few issues with some of the rude and arrogant European passengers, but in fairness , that is not the fault of MSC.Neither is the annoying habit of making announcements is so many languages. Some of the shows in the theatre was good, but there was some that were actually horrible, and tested the patience of the audience.One Act particularly insulted the intelligence of the audience. We were advised by the Sydney office of MSC that they had appointed Customers Relations Managers on their Cruise ships, but they made themselves difficult to find.You had to go through some many channels to find them.It seems they simply did not want to engage with the passengers. Several American couples who we had befriended made known the fact that they will never cruise with MSC again. What do I say?? MSC pull up your socks. We want to cruise with you again. Remember the Customer is King.One good thing that did happen, we made so many lasting friends on the cruise.We had sailed on previous MSC cruises, but this one, was of a standard, below expectations