My family has just returned from 7 days on MSC MUSICA, travelling the eastern med. We were a little concerned to say the least, after reading many negative reviews!! Well, what a fabulous trip!!!!!!! Beautiful ship, immaculate, lovely staff, virtually all of them are multi lingual, so language is no barrier whatsoever. The organisation is second to none! The very first day it can appear slightly chaotic, but when you realise that they are organising nearly 3000 passengers at any time, it really is pretty impressive. It took us the first evening and morning to find our feet a bit, but after that, it was so smooth.
Every day you receive an info sheet in your cabin with everything on, from the times of any excursions, to suggested dress code for the following evening,all very easy to read with clear info. The dining rooms are lovely with amazing food(5 courses in the evening!!),we were sat with a lovely English family of similar age to us, which made the experience really nice, or you can choose the more relaxed buffet - be prepared to put weight on!!!!!!!!!! You buy your drinks, but a carafe of wine was 7 euros - not bad!! You can get free tea, coffee and water in the buffet, which is open nearly all day and evening. My only advice would be to hit the breakfast buffet early, by 8 am it's packed!!!! We were in by around 7 each morning, had a lovely leisurely breakfast, then out in the sun!! The sun loungers are also pretty much filled up by about 9 ish, so it does pay to be up and about early! Just a word of caution though if you have kids! The pool is really cold and pretty deep! It's cleaned every day, and re filled with filtered sea water, so it's also very salty, quite a shock when you first get in!!!!! But the main pools are both 5'7" at their shallowest! There is a little kids pool, but my two couldn't swim in that as it was too shallow. Again, it's just one of those things that you soon get used too!!
We took an excursion in every port except Bari, to be honest, this is such a personal thing, you have to decide what's best for you. As we have kids (7 and 10), we wanted the organisation done for us, and found the trips to be well organised, and brilliant to do. Our table mates decided to do everything themselves, and loved doing that, so each to their own! There is so much info about the excursions on the ship, and a dedicated desk, so you can ask anything you need to, and just book the evening before. The embarkation can seem chaotic, but it's not, they have to account for everyone off the ship, so you just have to be a little patient!!!!
Our cabin we found pretty small, but very functional, we booked last December and couldn't get a balcony room, and this is the only thing I would have changed if I could, but saying that, again it was immaculate, cleaned twice a day if needed (sand off the beach!!!!!) so not really a problem! It would've been nice to sit on our own balcony occasionally, as the ship is busy, and it's good to have your own space occasionally!!
All in all, we enjoyed it so much, that we got back on Sunday night (7/8/11) and we've picked up next year's brochure already!!
The two things we really needed to know before we sailed - Yes, take some smart clothes! There are 2 gala nights, men in suits, ladies in a nice dress, kids looking good too (if you don't want to do this, just go to the informal buffet instead!) and secondly, DON'T PACK BEACH TOWELS!!!!!!! You can get lovely big towels on board for sunbathing on deck, and you can get a beach towel if you go on an excursion! Saves a lot of suitcase space!!!