I waited a long time to try cruising and so pleased that MSC targeted the Australains last year. We became a number of 1700 Aussies or so out of more than 2200 passengers...or numbers something like that! MSC were testing the waters so to speak.
They provided welcoming service, that didnt disappear throughout the 18 nights. We were entertained by young italians, teaching us sushi making, ice carving, cards, italian lessons, book club, games, dancing and lots of laughter.
Our spacious cabin was with a huge porthole but no balcony. I like the fresh air so plan on a balcony next time. Not complaining but it was our first cruise and you learn these things. We were also in the middle of the ship and so movement and rocking was negligiable, even when we safely avoid the hurricane and detoured away from The Bahamas. Bonus, we had fun in Boston USA instead.
It is a multi cultural ships. Yes you do hear messages many times over in 5 languages... but if I didnt speak Italian on an Italian ship, I am grateful they communicate to me in my language..as would be the other nationalites on board. I am not Italian... I'm a Maltese / Australian.
I appreciated the European class, and flavours of the world. If I wanted what I had at home, I could stay at home.
Travelling on such a large ship gave me a peaceful experience... I could be as busy or as relaxed as I choose. Or as we choose... I did have my husband along. We were never bored, never felt like we were on top of everyone else (except at the buffet...and we quickly worked out that no one misses out as there is more than enough food), we never tired of each other and we were stimulated by everything around us.
On board, you have choices of the library in arm chairs or taking the book away to your cabin or deck chair (sun or shade). Bars galore, all with different ambiances. Restaurants or buffets with tasty variety... fresh, raw cooked or fried, gelati bar is a must... variety for everyone. In fact one could eat for 20 hours a day. On our holiday I lost 8 kgs, but the choices my husband made at meal times gained him 8kg... so it is what you make of it!
One thing I like about cruising is that you set your own time for anything you want to do. You can make friends with other passengers or not.. The best thing is that MSC gives you the option.
I also appreciated being cleaned up after, no cleaning, no cooking, no washing... the hardest task is reading the daily newsletter to see tomorrow's port, excursion choices, weather, activities and deciding what to wear.
I would recommend and have this company to others. We are getting deals of two for one in Australia if you book in advance. Really great value for money. I can only wish they bring their ships down under so we don't have the excessive airfare that goes with it