Kentish cruiser.I take your point with the embarkation and disembarking. It was a complete shambles and I feel that this needs to be addressed by MSC.
We have only cruised with P&O but previously had quality 4&5* holidays in Europe, the US and the Caribbean. The Ship was immaculate and constantly being cleaned and maintained. Cabins were as you would say "compact and bijou" but again immaculate. Our cabin was outside part obstructed view. We did however only book a standard inside, so the upgrade was much appreciated.
The bar and restaurant staff were very pleasant,efficient and always ready to please.The majority of them were from the Philippines, Malaysia, some from Peru and Madagascar. We ate our breakfast in both the buffet (for outside eating) and the main restaurant. Yes again I agree it wasn't always easy to get milk for your tea but persevere and if the tea is cold ask for another.
Dinner in II Covo restaurant, 2nd sitting. The food on the whole was good with plenty of choice. If you didn't like your first option the waiter was always willing to change it for you. South African wine was lovely at $9 a bottle.
I was surprised at the bar prices. I think being in dollars made a big difference. Some of the drinks were cheaper than in our local pub!
Ports of call were cut short but remember we were delayed in Cape Town and had to make the time up.
Entertainment in the theatre was very good although in some of the lounges it was very third rate. I don't go for the Butlins type of silly games and always found an alternative venue.
I know you can't please all of the people all of the time and if you did life would be very boring but you have to ask yourself one thing.
How much did you pay and was it value for money. Our cruise was £1049 and with British Airways flights I think it was a raving bargain and I wouldn't hesitate to book with MSC again.
If you wants 5 star quality book a 5 star ship and pay the money.