As a group of five (including one child) well traveled but first time cruisers, we were very excited about embarking on the spectacular looking MSC Musica.
The ship is new and nice. However, there are just so many people! The only personal space you'll get is in your own cabin. Everywhere else, it's pushing and shoving at the buffet, for a pool lounger, to dis/embark, etc.
The cabins are pokey and simply finished. Some of the fittings such as the carpet, desk top or bathroom fittings are worn or even falling apart. The balconies are nice and large enough for two people to enjoy a sun downer as the world passes by.
We went to two evening theater performances but the quality was 'amateur' at best. The guy is small but sufficient and in a great location just above the bridge. One of my lasting memories was enjoying a treadmill workout as we cruised between the Greek islands.
The restaurant dinners were nice and with a reasonable selection although you feel rushed as they push you through the courses to get the next sitting in. The buffets were very bland, even the "Indian" themed one! The focus is defiantly on quantity and not quantity.
I know that cruising on big boats is a mass tourism pastime and i didn't expect exceptional personal service on a ship with more than 2,000 passengers. What i didn't expect was to receive such terrible service and rude staff on such a consistent level! We chose not to pay the optional daily service charge but were berated by the guest services officer who firstly told us we couldn't remove the charge, and secondly that the Guest Services Director refused to see us. Sad- it was an opportunity for MSC to receive some genuine feedback but their approach only made us resent their attitude towards their guests more. I took the time to offer some constructive suggestions by completing their Comment Form at the end of the cruise, but the "Guest Services Officer" refused to take it at the "Customer Services Desk", telling me i had to walk to the theater at the other end of the boat to put it in the box there! Wow!
The real icing on the cake was when MSC lost one of our bags upon disembarkation. I duly reported the loss (due to MSC incompetence) and caught my flight home. After ignoring my correspondence they informed me after three months that they are also ignoring their Athens Convention obligations and refuse to pay me a bean. No explanation, just a continuation of the terrible experience I have come to expect from MSC.
We embarked with open minds but found that the reality missed our expectations on almost every count. The killer was the consistently rude service which I would go so far to say ruined our holiday. I'm glad that we did the cruise, even if to know that big boat cruising with MSC isn't for us.