We were apprehensive after reading reviews about MSC, but we found that this cruise line suits families very well. There were babies to Grandparents on board, off all nationalities, which we enjoyed.
Announcements are made in 5 languages Italian, English, French, Germany and Spanish.
An individual language representative was available to answer any questions.
The menus and daily news are printed in 5 languages eg: we were given the English one.
Food - yum - Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner you could sit down and be served or go to the buffet.
We were seated with a Australian family for the evening meal. We observed that other nationalities were seated with passengers that spoke their language.
The food we could not fault. You could have smoke salmon for breakfast every day if you wanted.
Lunch eg: hamburgers, pizza, pasta to salads, hot and cold meats, cheese, bread, deserts and fruits.
The waiters were friendly and helpful.
Entertainment - one More
night was an Italian Night - we don't speak Italian but we enjoyed the experience.
- another evening had circus type acts that needed no language and were wonderful even breathtaking.
- We played bingo one afternoon with 3 Italian grandmas who could not speak English but we got on beautifully - it was fun.
Shore excursions - we used this cruise as a break from our 4 week European holiday, so we were not inclined to do the shore excursions. I spoke to some passengers who said they enjoyed them.
This cruise went to Ancona, Corfu, Santorini, Piraeus, Argostoli, Kotor.
Ancona- we chose to stay on board - and rest by the pool.
Corfu - we payed to go on the bus to the town (otherwise a long hot walk) and went swimming.
Santorini - went to Fiya and watched the sunset, but wished we had gone to Oia (can use public bus)
Piraeus - we organised Georges Taxi - good service - booked via their website.
Argostoli - not much to see in town but the Info centre at ship has internet service
Kotor - a great old wall town - enough time for walking up to the old fort, down for ice cream and coffee.
On the ship - you could buy coffee/beer/wine/water/cocktail vouchers. We choose not too do this. The Cocktails were about Euro7, Beer about Euro3, Coffee Euro3. Bottle water at dinner Euro2. But water is free 24hrs a day on the pool deck, as is tea and coffee.
Venice -the ship cruises right pass St Marks Square - wow what a sight.
Room 9080 - very quiet and and luggage went under the beds ok.
Internet - too slow, wait until you get to port if needed.
From my 10 year old = I loved it. The mocktails were delicious. I did not go the the kids club because there were no other English speaking kids there. I loved the basket ball court, putt putt golf, table tennis, shuttle cock and arcade games. The people were lovely and kind to me. We bought lollies/candy in the shop. I am dairy intolerant and found lots of food to eat, they made a different flavored sorbet every night - I liked the apple flavored one the best. The pool is great but bring goggles as it is very salty.
The ship was lovely, many nice places to sit in quiet if needed. Nicely decorated. We could not fault it. Less
9080 - with a window.
curtains good blackout.
quiet, only heard the neighbors about 3 times in 7 nights ( for about 30min max)
The closet space was sufficient for the 3 of us.
The suitcases fitted under the bed ok.
Port of Athens is Piraeus.
We had arranged Georges Taxis to take us to all the highlights. We can highly recommend them. It turned out that Athens was having a taxi strike the day we arrived. Georges Taxi contacted us by email prior, but as the ship's email was slow we did not receive it. George's son meet us, explained the situation and offered a solution - which was most acceptable. There were 14 people in all who had organised a taxi so a luxury mini bus was provided and we were taken to the highlights as arranged. Note Georges Taxi is not a shore excursion, they simply take you to the highlights and you organise your own entrance fee, walk around etc.
The Acropolis - be careful - the path up is quiet slippery as the marble is well worn -due to centuries of use.
All ships tender you over to Fiya - the port of Santorini. You have 3 options to get up to the top
1. cable car Euro4 per person each way, 2. walk 3. a donkey ride.
Fiya - a white wash town with lots of cafes and shops. We watched the sun set from a cafe, just near the cable car entrance and while eating fresh Greek food - Yum.
Oia is a public bus away, or hire a car or do a tour. I wish I had. When speaking to others who went it sounded like Fiya but even more beautiful.