We were a little concerned because we had read some poor reviews on the Musica prior to sailing, but were very pleasantly surprised by our vacation. We have been on five cruises before, but this was our first MSC cruise and our first Mediterranean cruise as well.
The boarding process in Venice went very smoothly and the cruise employees were all helpful. The only downfall was that we had to walk to the end of the pier to meet the boat - and it was a LONG walk! We realized after that there was a shuttle that was picking up passengers at the entrance to the pier, but we never saw a sign for it, so didn't know it was there until after we arrived at the ship. We were prepared for a long check in process, but actually we were checked-in and escorted to our room within about 45 minutes.
We were assigned a late dinner seating, but are early birds so we went to see the maitre d' right after arriving onboard. He happily reassigned us to the early seating with no problems.
Our cabin was very nice - absolutely no complaints. And we found that because of the early port calls, we spent more time in our cabin than we had on prior cruises, so we were glad to have the balcony to enjoy the views and good weather.
We had both the buffet and "sit-down" breakfast during the cruise - about 50/50. The buffet was just as you would expect a breakfast buffet - eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes, potatoes, cereals, fruits, etc. Good enough to the start the day. On the days that we had a little more time, we enjoyed the "sit-down" breakfasts a little more. We always found a nice seat, even though at breakfast everyone is attempting to eat near the same time.
We only ate the buffet style lunch, so can't comment on the other. Pizza, pasta, hamburgers, salads, meat/chicken, desserts. There was a little variety every day, but they never ventured far off of that menu, which suited us fine. The food that was supposed to be hot, was hot and the food that was supposed to be cold, was cold.
We always had dinner at our assigned dinner location, so again can't comment on the other opportunities. We enjoyed our waiter and his assistant - both very nice and accomodating. The food was good on every night - I wouldn't rate it as 5 star, but then again, we didn't pay a 5 star price for this cruise! It was still very good and we left full every night.
We purchased a soda/juice package, water package and wine package. In hind-sight, we didn't really need the wine package - we would have been better off ordering their house red wine (which we thought was quite good) each night with dinner, rather than having to order certain wines which we didn't enjoy quite as much. Plus, the wine package includes water as well, so we had extra water tickets left over at the end of our trip. The house wine was a nice surprise - only 3 euros a glass and very nice to drink.
We thought the entertainment onboard was very good - there seemed to always be some sort of live music to enjoy and the evening shows were very entertaining.
The only downside to the entire cruise for us was the fitness center, which unfortunately was filled with children every time we went. It would be nice if the cruise line would enforce an age limit there.
More on these in the Port Reviews, but all-in-all we thought that the time spent in each port was just long enough to enjoy what we wanted to enjoy, and then return to the ship.
Very nice. Everyone we came across spoke English well enough to answer our questions or assist us. Our cabin stewardess was very friendly and did a great job with getting in and out of the room quickly while we were away. It seemed the room was always clean with fresh towels.
Our dining staff was wonderful too. The first night they seemed a little rushed as they were introducing themselves and getting acquainted with their tables. But after that, everything went very smoothly.
We would recommend this cruise ship to any of our friends and we would certainly go on another trip with them. We had a fantastic time from start to end!