My first European cruise was very disappointing. This ship, the MSC Fantasia was absolutely beautiful. Our cabin was perfect. That's where the good news ends. The food was atrocious! The ship had only two special full service restaurants. French, mediocre at best, and a Mexican (why Mexican on an Italian cruise ship when they did not even have an Italian Restaurant??). The Mexican restaurant served a Caesar salad - iceberg lettuce with Italian dressing and some parmesan cheese. Their Fajita was decent and the steak was very good. We ate there 3 times. Breakfast buffet - scrambled, fried, and hard boiled egg. Cold white hard toast and some other breads and rolls. Raw bacon, a few meats and cheese and limited fruit, mostly canned. The same exact buffet every single day.
Day one - Genoa - the excursions were cancelled because of weather. Very little information. As a matter of fact, the staff gave us very little information on anything. The port of Gibraltar was also passed by and no information given. We were told we could not pull in and we would go straight to Malagar and arrive at 5 PM. We pulled into Malagar at 2 PM - no further announcement.
The food for lunch was boring, lots of stews, goulash, rice, pathetic pasta, more like a hospital cafeteria. Some sliced meats and cheeses, and extremely limited choice of desserts. The pizza was of the quality of supermarket frozen pizza (on an Italian cruise line) no salad bar unless you call iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and onions a salad bar. The fruit consisted of apples, bananas sliced melons and canned fruits. We spent an extra $800 going to the French and Mexican restaurants for something edible.
The "crowning glory" was departing in Civitavecchia. We needed to get to the train station from the ship. The day before leaving we asked at Reception. We were told that the taxis would be available. Upon disembarking (in the rain) the taxi driver refused to take us because the trip was too short and told us to walk to the far end of the parking lot (with our luggage) and get on a bus provided by MSC which would take us to the train. Me and my 76 year old husband dragged our luggage to the bus only to be dropped off at the only destination which was far enough from the train to take us a good ten to fifteen minutes walk in the pouring rain again dragging our luggage. We had to stay in these wet clothes for several more hours as we took the train to Rome then changed to the train to Florence. I spent the next few days nursing my sciatic nerve which was killing me since I had to drag my luggage from the bus to the train station.
The highlight of this trip was the trip to Mijas (Spain) and Marrakesh (Morocco). The excursions were well run and the guides were terrific.
It's too bad the rest of the trip was so disorganized and the food was cheap and mushy. There were very few activities and over-all extremely disappointing!!