MSC seems to have a lot to overcome, with more negative reviews than positive by a long shot. We did two cruises, back to back - the Eastern Caribbean then the Western. The price was spectacular, with the total being under $450 pp for the two combined cruises, plus port charges.
The ship is also very nice, and clean too. Embarkation went pretty smoothly, and our room was fine. We thought it funny that we never met our cabin steward the entire first week. He/She missed a couple days cleaning and didnt always empty the trash can, unless it was full. We had to call the reception desk for service a couple of times. We mved cabins on the second week, and got a good cabin steward and experienced good service.
Speaking of the reception desk, you have to call them for everything, including room service. They have a very limited room service menu and the reception desk doesnt know what the soup of the day is and such. If you call after 11 pm, they charge a delivery fee of $3.50.
The food the first week in the dining room was not good. I ordered all beef medium rare, usually got it medium well or well. Except for the two gala nights, the food was what I call "poor folks" food - pasta, tough flank steaks, tough sirloin steaks - anything inexpensive to prepare. It was a real chore to get a glass of ice water and getting it refilled was next to impossible. The second week, we had a good waiter and he worked hard to get the service right.
I will say they have a great caesar salad and fantastic rolls. Breakfast was Ok, and lunch buffet was so-so.You can get iced tea during lunch at the buffet and sometimes during dinner.
The entertainment was fair - mostly in-house productions featuring the same troupe every night. The lounges featured some entertainment, but nothing really good. Not bad, mind you, just not great. There was a trio that performed in the atrium every night and they were very good and drew good crowds.
Mostly the staff seemed somewhat confused and unorganized. There were some real language barriers, as English is definately a third or fourth language. Changing rooms after week one was a real disaster, as they wanted us out of our week 1 room by 9:30, but wouldn't give us the room keys to our week 2 room until after 9:30, and we had to go to a lounge 6 floors down to pick them up. We aren't even sure why they moved us as the ship was not sold out.
We spoke with many cruisers on the ship and found most were disappointed - mainly in the food and entertainment. Many also complained of the staff indifference and percieved lack of friendly attitudes.
All in all, I would have to think twice before returning to MSC. I suppose if the price gets low enough, I might consider it, but my wife would not go with me, I am sure - she hated it.