I jumped on this cruise at the last minute, great great rate...19 of my friends decided to sail with me. I was on Poesia last Nov with over 100 people and many headaches...MSC had a lot of problems honoring us a group, and the first sailing from Florida had a lot of service issues, slooow dinners, even ran out of items on menu!
I am happy to say that the 2nd time around was much much better...I had a really good time
The ship itself is just gorgeous...really high end materials, tons of marble, very Italian modern. The purple theater and the Zebra lounge are standouts. They are constantly cleaning and there is just NO wear and tear at all on this ship. Beautiful
The shows are really great...they are shorter BUT they have a different show ever night, a real show...fantastic opera/broadway singers, talented "cirque" type acts...ie trapeze, acrobats, etc. No comedy shows cause of the language/international makeup of passengers
There are lots and lots of duos/bands in the lounges, lots of dancing, classical string trio in lobby...all good. Disco is fun, the Italian staff dances with everyone and tries to get people to participate.
The "language" stuff did NOT bother me, the new cruise director Maddy was quick and they have "Tyler" from Canada who does the spiels in English.
I really enjoyed the beautiful "spa" features....no charge while ship is usa to use the steam /sauna and hot tubs overlooking the water...wonderful!
The real improvement for me was the food....it was fantastic in the dining room. I ate most of my meals there...breakfast, lunch and dinner and I would suggest you do also.
Standouts : Best Eggs Bene ever....wow...delicious
Lunch : Great Greek Salad,crab cakes, grilled salmon...available everyday
You can also get gelato for desert no charge at lunch in dining room...different flavor everyday. Rum Raisin was a treat
Dinner : on Formal night , the shrimp coctail was HUGE, fresh and yummy..I had 2
All of the pasta was wonderful....lasagna and spagehetti with meat sauce were stand outs. Steak and salmon were also good. The canolli and tiramasu for dessert were wonderful
Service was much improved, we had hot food in a timely manner. We let the servers know first night...please bring ice water and lemons and lots of water LOL>> we are Americans and we want h2O with dinner haha...and they were on top of it
One fantastic thing about MSC is the drink prices ....wow...the cheapest I have seen....no need to "smuggle" here
We had prebought wine packages, very affordable..and they bring the wine to you each night at your table.
I also bought the drink deal first day...get 12 drinks for price of 10, tip included, for about $79...it comes to $6.85 a day, good on most all drinks including a BBC, Miami Vice, Pina Colada, Margarita, Mojito..whatever
Very easy..just give coupoun at any bar...can also split this package with friends...and can even "buy" a drink for a friend...love it
We had the DonnyMarie Osmaond group on board but did not bother us..they were early eating we were late...they had their shows/deals late we had our MSC show (singers/acrobats etc) before dinner...so it was fine
Any problems I had were 1) with the clueless staff in Ft Laud and 2) regards to running a group on board...but this would NOT affect most people really
IMHO MSC is a good deal, especially if you live close by and get a great deal....and if you know what to expect. Bring a travel mug...ask your room steward for ice every day (room steward was great, not seen much but did great job)....buy the drinks deal....eat in the dining room...remember you are not on your average "American" Cruise. My number one tip is eat in the dining room...IMHO the buffet is a zoo, crowded and loud. If you eat in the dining room you will be amazed ...enjoy