MSC Musica was an absolute nightmare. We were all suspect of it prior to boarding even, because MSC requires that its passengers not be in any casual attire in public areas after 6:00 PM. This caught me off guard, as the purpose of a cruise is to relax and whatnot, and there is still plenty of sunlight and activities to do at 6:00 PM. I can understand being more formal for dinners, etc. but it seems absurd to me that I cannot enjoy any additional activities after a certain hour.
On that note, MSC Musica also shuts down all activities on the deck (hot tub, swimming, tanning, etc.) after 8:00 PM, which restricts you to do either one of three things: go to their nightly show, drink, or eat. On my previous Carnival Cruise, which was an excellent experience, I was allowed to enjoy the cruise amenities well into the late hours of the night. why MSC decides to shut down its pools and hot tubs so early on is beyond me.
While on MSC, I also found an immense lack of More
entertainment. They offered only one show a night, and if you did not particularly enjoy it that night, then you would be left without anything to do. They offered a disco, but that was normally flooded by young teens that enjoyed staring at each other while they crowded the dancefloor.
I was also outraged by the mandatory service charge for each purchase on the cruise ship, such as at the bar. I normally am under the impression that a tip is expected only if you do a decent job at the minimum. However, many of the bartenders and servers on the ship realized they would receive a set amount of gratuity regardless of their performance, so they would opt to give less than acceptable performance. For instance, I purchased two frozen cocktails one night, and I guess the bartender did not enjoy making them or something, so he went on and mumbled very audibly in another language and proceeded to thrash about and throw things while he made our drinks. Despite his abhorrent service, he received a 15% tip from me thanks to MSC Cruises. However, it appeared to me that the staff that were lower hierarchically seemed to provide exceptional service, and always greeted you with a smile.
Unless MSC Cruises drastically alters their customer service, amenities, and policies, I will never embark on another. No one should ever be bored on a cruise after paying nearly $1000. Less