The MSC Musica is truly a beautiful ship. With that said, I go on cruises almost every month and was quite disappointed with this experience.
Embarkation was actually the best that I have ever encountered. We dropped off our bags and immediately went through security and boarded the ship. At dinner, I did not like what I initially ordered and was told that the kitchen was closed. It is important to note that there are no complimentary beverages served at dinner. No water, tea, or otherwise. You either have to buy a beverage package or bring your own water. Go on shore and buy sodas and water and bring back to your stateroom.
MSC also closes the food and buffet down early. When you come back from excursions, food may or may not be available. So take note of the times on the daily program. You will NOT be able to get ANY food at all and will have to wait until dinner. The gelato was good -â€“ you have to pay for it at the ice cream bar.
Since there were 3 of us sharing a room, we requested the beds be broken apart. The stateroom attendant said ok but then said they couldn't do it. We did it ourselves and then upon returning to the room, the attendant looked for our approval when he turned down the beds. It was then we realized he didn't understand English.
Room service is not complimentary and with very limited choices. The smoke wasn't that bad until other nearby staterooms occupants smoke on the balcony. The smoke made its way into our room. In order to stop it, we had to put a towel at the step of the door.
The employees on the ship are not initially friendly. But, once you speak to them they will engage in conversation. One thing that really got me was the guest services employee actually argued with me when I made a suggestion. I stated that in order to alleviate the cruise cards from getting demagnetized that they should offer a small envelope like the ones the sewing kits come in to protect the card. She said that it won't work and we should just keep the card away from electronics. (Which is really not feasible..Everything goes in a small purse or pocket). I told her it would because I carry several electronics with me and the envelope cushions the strip and protects it from demagnetizing. She continued to argue with me. So much for customer service.
The entertainment was ok. Actually, I really enjoyed the cirque style shows. One thing that was weird was that the TV had only news channels for English viewers. I never would have thought it would be an issue, but on vacation, I would prefer to lose the information overload!! The movies were old. And who wants to pay to see old movies.
I never take the over-priced excursions offered by the cruise lines. Here was no different.
Venice -â€“ We stayed a few days in Venice before the cruise. The train was located right behind our hotel and took us straight into Venice.
Bari -â€“ We walked just outside the port gate onto the main street. We got a mini-train tour for $10 that took us around the city with a guide.
Rhodes, Greece -â€“ A nice port. We took the hop off/on bus for 9 Euro. Then, ended in the city shopping.
Izmir, Turkey -â€“ Took a taxi tour for 50 Euro total (3 people). Everything was great until the driver took us to his friends shop and the Mosque, which added time to the tour. He tried to get more money out of us. But, we were strict and told him we hired him for a specific tour & time and that he was only getting the initial agreed upon amount. So be careful and watch your time. Izmir was a nice stop.
Athens/Pireaus -â€“ Walking outside the port gate, you can get a hop on hop off bus tour for $23. Up until that point, other taxis will approach you for tours. We actually got a tour by taxi for 3 people for $70. Which was about the same price as the hop on bus. Please note if you do the hop off bus you may not have enough time to see all the sites.
Katakalon/Olympia Greece -â€“ Nice stop. There is a bus that meets in front of the shops that will take you to the ruins for $10. The prices in the shops were cheaper than all the other ports. So if you see souvenirs that you like, buy them there. Really a nice stop.
Dubrovnik, Croatia -â€“ The best stop!! We got a taxi driver to take us on a tour. I don't remember how much it cost, but it was inexpensive and WORTH it! We went up to the old fortress in the mountains and rode around the city and then were dropped off in the old walled city. It was such a treat. We had to take another taxi back to the ship.
Overall, just know that this is an Italian ship. Although the price was good and the itinerary was nice, Americans need to be forewarned regarding the differences in the experience. Unless the price is very low, I would definitely consider other American ships.