We chose our trip based on 2 back-to back 7 day cruises; travelling from Australia is not cheap and is arduous. The web sites gave MSC a pretty good rating and the extra charges were obvious in all the blurb. Everything was in English and the itinerary was our dream, the price was good so 5 months ahead we planned and paid for our trip. The good things;
#The ship was well equipped but not perfect.
# The ship sailed safely and comfortably and met times prescribed.
Then the pain of 1+ days hit us when trying to embark. We are 63+ and looking for comfort and smooth sailing. The economic, english speaking, caring service , non-smoking , fine dining cruise turned into; penny-pinching, multi-lingual, non-caring, smoke as you like and reasonable-food-but-served-cold.
ECONOMICS; No complaint over the cabin price, but when everything is hit with a 15% "service cahrge" and then the daily "service charge". Double dipping? Cruises were sold Copenhagen - baltic/Norway - retuen but were multiple pick-up cruises - much like a hop=hop=off.
ENGLISH: This was the minority language use don board and the announcements(which did not get to cabins) began in english bit bu the time our door was opened they had switched to Italian/German etc.. In 14 days we met only 20 'english speaking cruisers" - fortunately the cabin attendants and wait-staff had a reasonable grasp of english. Manners were definitely sub-european.
CARING: I cared about safety - no response. I cared about comfort on in-port dining - no response, not billed as an ITALIAN cruise but an Italian night on both legs? See attach.
SMOKE & FOOD> Both were opposite to expectation from internet advertising.
The poll forms are far too limiting and give MSC very limited feedback + client is cheated.