Let's be honest. I did not pick the ship for my cruise. It was part of a package with an itinerary that we liked. In looking at the ship we saw that it was only 5 years old, was rated about average by former passengers and had some issues associated with a mixture of passenger cultural backgrounds. Well in summary, it's the first and last time I would use this cruise line.
The ship itself is very pretty and clean. the embarkation procedure was typically cumbersome but the disembarkation was smooth.
At this point I will just ramble through the items on my list worth mentioning.
Safety issue, your cabin number is printed on your stateroom key card. Anyone could find a lost card and enter your cabin or charge items to your account.
Stateroom- Ours was an inside SR with enough room for our purposes. Unfortunately it was located under the sun deck which meant, at 7 AM everyday, the decks chairs being thrown into position, was our wake up call. The blankets were worn, the carpet never looked clean, the water glasses were not replaced unless we put the in the sink, the TV didn't work properly until the last day, even after complaining on the first day.
Food/Dining- The buffets were usually very crowded. Maybe it's just me, but the people were the rudest of any cruise I have ever been on. Nobody wanted to wait their turn and they would just push their way in and push you out of the way. Seems to be a General impoliteness by the predominately European crowd. (Also happens in hallways and elevators.)
Food on the buffet was never hot. Cold soup, cold eggs, cold everything. Breakfast service in the dining room was awful. Dinner service was good. Buffets were always crowded. People pushing for food and tables. If you were a party of more than two, you could not eat with your friends. Dining room main dinner courses were unimaginative. Many nights, the good soup and pasta dishes saved the day. Service is European style. No beverages served in the dining room for dinner unless you pay for them. Not so on American based ships.
The ship caters to a European crowd. Americans are only a second thought. The announcements are made in five languages. Bingo is called in five languages. (Note for bingo players. The jackpot can only be won if you get a coverall in 40 numbers or less which you all know is impossible.) Some excursions are mixed (two languages). It just gets annoying. I'm sure each of the five major groups (nationalities) on board feel the same way.
Entertainment- Again, having to cater to a multilingual group creates drawbacks in the entertainment variety. Essentially they had the same show every night. Two singers, 12 dancers an acrobatic team, some amateur magic and some floor balance acts, etc. Different costumes each night, same acts over and over again.
The cruise director and his staff were useless. The CD called Bingo and introduced the shows. His staff, well it's not clear to me what they did. They certainly spoke very little english so they were essentially useless in terms of answering our questions.
The casino is awful. They still have old fashioned slots, that return coins if they ever return anything. There is no Craps table and a general there is a lack of excitement in the casino.
Again, I think Americans should look elsewhere. I get the feeling they are not really welcome on MSC and are treated as such. Not because anyone is anti-American, but because the line caters to the European customer. I will personally look elsewhere for future cruises.