Having only been on one other cruise and throughly enjoying it we were excited when we booked our MSC cruise. However after reading some really bad reviews before sailing we were abit concerned. But we decided to go with an open mind after all the price was great and we were going to places we had never been before. WELL WE WERE PLEASANTLY SURPRISED!!!!!
SHIP: Beautiful and kept clean all the time.
CABIN: We did not have a balcony on our last cruise but opted for one on this one as it was for 18 nights. Great move, don't think I will ever do a cruise without a balcony again. We were on the Port side and this was the side that came into most of our ports of call. Passing by the Statue of Liberty in New York was amazing. We found our cabin very adequate with plenty of room for all our belongings, and the bathroom was quite roomy with lots of storage space.
FOOD: This seemed to be the biggest complaint in reviews, while it was not the most amazing food I have eaten there was always something to tempt ones taste buds and we certainly never felt hungry. Also there was always water available (for free) at every meal. If we did not want to eat in the main restaurant there was an alternate buffet available each night except the Gala nights, however the pizza bar was open every night (free of charge) until 10.30pm.
ENTERTAINMENT: The nightly shows ranged from good to great, we are not much into opera, we enjoyed the acrobats etc. It must be hard to come up with ideas where speaking cannot be used. (However out of 3000 passengers on our cruise 1750 were Australians like us). Our only suggestion to them would be on the long cruises that the bands change their play list, after day 7 we could tell you what song was coming next. The Entertainment Team were very involved with the passenger and there was always something partcipate in. You could be as active as you wanted to.
EXCURSIONS: We visited Copenhagen, Southhampton, Vigo, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada, Boston and New York. We were suppose to go to Bermuda, but due to a hurricane it was changed to Boston. We did not mind, who wants to sail through a hurricane and Boston was great. We did not do any of the ship excursions, as with other cruise lines, they can be very expensive. We did all ports on our own and it was fine. The Hop On Hop Buses in most big cities are a great way to see a place.
STAFF: This was another grumble in reviews, we found all the staff we dealt with very friendly and accomodating. But we did not have any negative issues that need to be dealt with. Friends travelling with us had a very noisy cabin but when they brought this to the attention of staff were moved to another cabin.
TIPPING: We paid 6Euro per person per day, and were happy to do so. I did hear people say they removed or changed this charge and it was done without any problems.
Overall, we had a great time in great places with great friends. Would we travel MSC again? YES, if the ports appealed to us and the price was right.