Input on some specific areas:
- swimming pools are well designed/there are 2. If you don't want to fight for loungers, just go to the pools and use the "edge"...no problem.
- there is a large screen forward, by the pool...but unlike other ships, they keep the volume tolerable and it was not a distraction.
-SPA: great area. They have a juice/coffee bar in the reception area, as well as a lounge area.
There are 3 hot-tubs/indoor/with a great view outside there, and nice/ large/ all tile mens and women's steam rooms. Also a sauna. All complementary.
-Gym: small. not alot of equipment, ie, no rowing machines. Does have bicycles, elliptical and treadmills. Free weights. No organized classes in club area...if you want classes, yoga or otherwise...not offered on this ship.
-NO CHAIRS ON PROMINADE DECK. This is a big deal for me. If you want to read outside, look at the waves, be out of the sun and crowds......no can do.
- no typical "Jamaican" band poolside. They play a variety of taped music.
- since they make major announcements in 5 languages, they keep them to a minimum, ie, no major daily events "hawking" / announcing excursions/ etc. Ship is therefore quieter.
- ship has NO SUNDRY store. If you need an aspirin or any Over the counter medicine/ peptobismal, etc, you must go to medical. If you need batteries for your camera, you are out of luck.
-you are unable to leave a message when you call someone's cabin.
-the ships "team" does a nice job of offering varied programs. The crafts projects looked fun and were popular. The Dance lessons were fun and the skits and contests were well attended.
-cabin stewards did a great job. Always had ice and any request taken care of.
-bar staff does not push the drinks, a nice change.
-front desk a bit "brisk", but were professional.
-dining room wait staff did a great job. 2 seatings/ 5:30 and 8:00.
-the MSC web site is a bit different, and when you investigate excursions, they give no TIME of day for the event. In fact, even once you reserve it, you do not know when you are going until you receive the
"program" in your cabin at 2100 or so the night before you go! So if you want to try and do more than one activity in a port, plan them yourself. They have you "muster" and leave the ship together for excursions, but they run them well, in a low-key way. I found some of them to be very reasonable, unable to book privately at any better price.
-The ship did change the times to be in port for one stop/ St Maartan between when I booked and departure.
- appear slightly smaller than others. Saying this as room had only a single chair in it, vs "sofa" many others have. Most rooms have "bunk beds" on the side bulkheads, which fold down for use. As a result, the cabins lack shelving on the bulkheads and the "nook and cranny" storage other cabins have.
-they provide body wash and shampoo in shower dispensers.
-believe that only certain categories of stateroom receive a robe.
-climate control was excellent and accurate.
- food is adequate. I would say it is the
lowest rated in presentation, preparation and selection of any of my cruises. They repeat the menu if you do a B2B. Also, some entrees were excellent first week, and poor the second. They have an american/ italian/ and "offered every night of the cruise" sections.
- gelato is offered for dessert each night in the dining room.
-Pizza in the buffet is always hot, fresh and good.
-Buffet line vs "Pod" design is a major flaw. Lines/ crowds/ congestion were there, but I have been on ships with worse. Lunch menu is the same most days. Port side has "grill" offerings, starboard side has the pizza. Sandwiches and cookies, the more American idea of lunch are offered at 1600. Sandwiches the same each day: tuna, chicken, egg and shrimp salad.
-room service food is limited to above sandwiches, fruit plate, salad...don't think anything hot.
-AM room service is continental only: coffee, rolls, juice, yogurt. No cereals.
-Cappuccinos and espresso's are reasonable at the many bars...I think $2/$3.
-In the dining room, there is an option of a house red or white which is very reasonable....$3/glass and $8 a carafe....also full wine list/bottles per usual.
-They make good use of the entertainers on board...many do slightly varied acts on different nights.
-They have at least one opera night....go for a change of pace.
-"Production" element of theater performances is not as high as others. Simpler can be good also.
- the female headline singer is very good. Male acrobats are super.
-if you do a B2B, some of the shows are repeated....good time to visit other lounges!
-embarkation was well run and staffed.
-disembarkation was comfortable and calm in getting off the ship....once off, the wait for customs and taxi was a bit much.