We are an American couple in our mid fifties and experienced travelers. As a couple we have taken 5 cruises together and my wife has been on 3 additional, while this was not the worst cruise it was a disappointment.
First let me say the ship itself is Magnificent! It is a beautiful ship with all the amenities we wanted.
The service was very good after the first night where it took two hours to get through dinner. That may be usual for a lot of Europeans but it was too much for us. We asked for and were given a table for two and dinner was much more pleasureable after that. The service throughout the ship was very good but our cabin steward was excellent.
After several cruises and reading many times not to take the ship excursions I became lazy and we did sign up for two tours on the ship. Never again! The first was to Acre, a fantastic city but a very lousy tour. We were assigned to a tour that was mostly Germans and with just 7 English speakers. The tour guide did 90% of the tour in German and people had to shout for English. In addition his cell phone was ringing regularly and he would stop to answer it during his monologue. We were so disappointed in the tour that I was not willing to even try the 10 hour tour to Jerusalem that we had already paid for.
Our trip to Venice was good and our hotel, Hotel Delfino, was more than adequate. The worst part about arrival and departure was the cost of transportation. 40 Euro from the airport to the hotel, 30 more to the port and the reverse on the way home. I would highly recomment trying to arrive in time to go right to the port and back to the airport, unless you are visiting Venice as well.
Our stateroom was very nice and actually larger than on other ships. TV is minimal and very little to watch in English.
The dining room is nice but very crowded. The food is just average, but the service was very good. One of my complaints on this ship was having to pay to have water with my meal. For water it was necessary to buy a bottle each night to have with dinner. We are not used to that and we found it annoying. My wife was also unable to get coffee with dinner because it is "not served on Mediterranean cruises". Things that we take for granted on Carnival, RCI, or NCL are extra on MSC ships. The prices for drinks were also much higher than we have paid on other ships. It is also not possible to order a whiskey and 7, you will have to order a whiskey w/ice, a seperate Sprite and mix it yourself. I have seen that in Europe but I did not expect it on a cruise.
The entertainment was just that entertaining and occupied some time but again not up to the level we have seen on other cruise lines.
Embarkation and debarkation were the best we have experienced and by far the most positive part of the cruise. We arrived quite early (10:00am) and were in our cabins in less that 2 hours.
We got a very good price for this cruise but it was not enough to compensate for the loss of what we have received on other cruises and expected on this one. It is unlikely that we will take another MSC cruise.