Having sailed MSC, with up and downs the last few years, I gave them another try, even after a lesser experience with the MSC Opera Western European cruise earlier this year, which was a service wise a disaster, poor food and even worse service.
The MSC Lirica is identical to the MSC Opera, but with much less balconies.
The itinerary was great, only one sea-day, and all ports probably with the exception of Fujairah, were the best you could wish for.
Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Khasab and Dubai are all top!
I always use www.whatsinport.com as a guide, and again they were right on.
As you will spend the most time on deck 11 during the cruise and not in your cabin, I must congratulate the entertainment crew! What an energy, what fun, what originality....BRAVO!! These guys and gals made the cruise into an unforgettable experience.
Food and service where much improved as compared to my last experience, OK..it's not RCL or NCL class, but none the less nothing to complain about.
The only complaint I have is their unclear smoking policy.
The official rule is: We strongly discourage smoking in the cabins.
But when on board this rule becomes: It's forbidden to smoke in the cabins.
You will even get harassed with written notices and even telephone calls to stop smoking in your cabin.
OK, I like to smoke, but keep it at a minimum while in the cabin and keep the A/C on full, so the smoke disappears quickly.
MSC has to make a choice here: Cabins are non smoking or not.
Overall a great cruise!