Where shall I start? From the moment we set foot on the ship at Abu Dhabi and found that my partner's preferred tipple - Cider - was not available and we weren't allowed to bring any alcohol on board to drink whilst we were there. The attitude of the serving staff was diabolical - no eye contact, no smiles, and they didn't even get out of your way! This attitude was also adopted by any crew who walked past - no eye contact, smile or greeting.
MSC Lirica is an Italian owned ship and approximately 90 per cent of the passengers were Italian. Unfortunately, the food leant very much towards the Italian palate but the pasta was very disappointing. Other food was often tepid and there were no Arabian dishes on the menu - strange, as that was where we were sailing!
Tea and coffee was served in blue, plastic mugs - very similar to children's, and the crockery in the Bistrot was all plastic!
No maps were readily available when we docked, and a photocopy was given grudgingly when requested.
A 15 per cent service charge is levied on every drink purchased on board (including water) and a 7 euro per day service charge is automatically added to the bill. I did complain to the Guest Relations Manager that we had not had the service to warrant such a charge, and after much discussion, this charge was taken off our bill.
On the positive side, the evening entertainment was wonderful and one or two of the staff (chambermaid particularly) were extremely friendly and deserved the personal tip which we gave them at the end of the holiday.
All in all, I would NOT recommend this ship or the MSC line to anyway and will NEVER, EVER use MSC again.