Having read all the reviews prior to departure we were very concerned about many aspects. Unfortunately many of them were confirmed. This is my first ever review but felt that it needed to be written.
Embarkation was chaotic. We did the on line Express check-in which was a a complete waste of time as we were then allocated a embarkation section number of 15 out of 15 so we had to wait for an hour while non express went through. Once on board the ship was very eye catching and throughout the holiday the boat was kept spotless.
However the biggest criticism was the extortionate service charging which was 6 euros per person per day and 15% on everything you purchased on board which meant out service charge bill was around £250. I am a very generous person and I am always generous to the waiters and cabin staff but no way can you give more at the end when you already have this excessive charge.
The cabin and balcony were fine but a little cramped.
This was the first time we had experienced formal dining and we are just thankful that we were on a table of 4 other very nice people who all enjoyed the same things and very amusing and attentive waiters. We met many people on the boat who would have been our worst nightmare. However the food was very poor and sometimes quite cold.The buffet was a joke. The food was of very poor quality and the same every day. The buffet area was crowded and noisy.
At end of a formal meal it would be nice to have a coffee at the table instead of going to a bar area where you paid about £3.50 plus a 15% charge. It would nice to have a coffee or tea when you want but to continually pay out 3 to 4 pounds spoils the enjoyment.
The wine list was very good but not cheap but once again a further 15% on top.
The entertainment was very average and to have the introduction in 5 languages by a complete buffoon tested the patience.
AS for the ports of call it was mainly a thumbs up especially Dubrovnik which is well worth a return visit for a weekend but the biggest let down was Haifa. As we could not stop at Alexandria we stayed 2 days in port at Haifa, one day was a Saturday. Can someone from MSC tell me why we spent a Saturday there when it is the Sabbath and everything is closed, no one around and the area is like the aftermath of a battle.
All I would say is before you go on an MSC cruise you must enjoy multi national boats unimaginative food and not worry about the extra cost.
Although this may sound a very critical review we did enjoy our cruise but we are the sought that just accept it but would we go on another MSC cruise. A definite NO.