Myself and my partner have just returned from 8 night cruise with MSC aboard there ship called the Orchestra. We try get away every second year without the kids and we were looking forward to having a great time. We had cruised before and this was a completely different experience for us. We found the ship to be beautifully designed and very well kept and the itinary was very good (west med). However that was as far as the positives went for us. The food was adequate at best and very repetative the same food every day with little variation in the main dining room. the evening dining room had only two options of appetisers, starters, mains and desert's there was also a charge for water 2.42 a litre at dinner and throughout the ship. Alcohol and decent tea and coffee were very expensive for a cruise ship especially when you have to add 15% service charge. The service was not very good at all, no welcome on board and most staff bar the dining staff were in any way friendly. They rarely spoke to us the entire trip only to sell alcohol or some other products. The entertainment on board was very poor with little to do all day on board unless you went to the casino.....the library the books were locked away, the evening entertainment was catered to larger groups of nationalities - Italian, Spanish or German only and they even had certain bars blocked off for certain groups which we were not allowed access too.
The whole experience on board was boring and unwelcoming. The age bracket of the majority on the ship was over 45 or under 20 approx and very few between 20 -45 and we are both 30!!! There was only 8 people we meet on the trip that spoke English and all said they felt exactly as we did about the trip. One woman got off in and said it was like getting out of jail....she couldn't wait to go home. last night we were kept awake all night by the staff moving luggage around the corridors or shouting down them to each other it was disgraceful - silent disembarkation my eye!! By the end of the end of the trip we felt so happy to get off the ship - it was a relief to be going home.
Overall I would recommend cruising with NCL, Royal Caribbean, Holland American or Fred Olsen instead. I would never recommend MSC to anyone.