This was our 10th cruise and the first one with the MSC line. We booked just two weeks before embarkation and picked up our tickets at port. Using MSC express service via the internet, checking in was quite quick approx 40 mins. We were escorted to our mini suite with balcony and were impressed with the size, cleanliness, and layout of the cabin and the bath tub with shower was an added bonus. The balcony also was larger than most of the ones on other ships. We never saw our cabin attendants during the 8 day cruise. The cabin was always cleaned and we had no complaints there, but we did not receive the large blue book giving all the relevant information needed about the ship until late into the 2nd day's sailing and the only time we received ice was when we requested it from room service.
Our request to change our evening dining to 2nd sitting and to have a table for 2 was done immediately. In fact every time we made a request or asked for information we were dealt with quickly courteously and efficiently.
The reason we selected this cruise was the itinery and and the ports of call were delghtful. The excursion at Bari was good but having to listen to the tour guide giving information in 5 languages was tedious. The Acropolis was well worth the journey but the second part of the tour, a stop in the side streets of Athens where there was nothing but a mini mart and an antique/souvenier shop was a waste of time.
The evening entertainment was excellent and the atmosphere in the bars, casino and spa was very good. Also a big plus was there was no hard sell to buy photos or health and beauty packages unlike many other cruise lines. We were very disappointed with the food which was the worst we have ever had on any cruise liner. In addition unlike any other cruise lines there was no alternative where you could go for somewhere to eat. All the other food outlets closed at 5pm. The last 3 days of the cruise we ordered soup/salad and spaghetti bolognese for our eveining meal. The only time coffee or tea or water was available was at breakfast, which was unusual. We will not be recommending this cruise line to others, although there were many excellent/very good aspects to the cruise the poor standard of food and the non availability to offer any alternatives was very disappointing,