Discreet good taste is the order of the day on this ship; even the San Remo Casino on Mozart Deck (6) is understated, with red and cream leaf patterned carpet and curtains, walnut veneered walls and a pillared entrance.
The most ornate bar on board is Le Baroque Cafe -- also on Deck 6 -- which has a pleasantly 18th-century feel with its red velvet chairs, and olive green and cream walls embellished with silhouettes and scenic paintings. But prettier, in my opinion, is the Buddha Bar, which lies between the casino and the photo gallery; decorated in soft shades of green with a stunning chandelier as centerpiece, this would be a very relaxing venue if it didn't overlook the hordes of passengers milling about the photo displays. A couple of well-placed screens would work wonders here.
Another cozy watering hole is the Manhattan Bar on Deck 6, a popular pre-dinner drinks and dancing venue with a bandstand and substantial dance floor, large porthole windows and sophisticated blue and gold decor.
Shelagh's House -- the ship's Irish pub -- is less successful: cozy enough but nondescript and not really attuned to the clientele (though British passengers will like it as any pub's better than none).
Late at night, the Italians prefer to see and be seen at the elegant Pasha Club -- a large-windowed, roomy lounge-cum-nightclub on Deck 12.
The Italians are also great shoppers, and Sinfonia offers them plenty of scope with the well-stocked Galleria Mazzini jewelry shop on Deck 6. (Cartier watches from 2,400 euros [$3,240] anyone?)
One deck down, other shops include a general store selling an affordable selection of cosmetics, perfumes and toiletries, a logo goods shop and a boutique selling linen goods, designer swimwear and polo shirts.
MSC Sinfonia also has a smart Business Centre on Deck 6. Resplendent with leather and wood veneered walls and comfy red and gold seating, this hosts shore tour talks but could be put to better use as a cinema when not in use by incentive groups.
The ship's Internet cafe (on Deck 5 near reception) keeps passengers connected for 3.33 euros ($4.50) for the first 10 minutes online, then 0.33 euros ($0.45) for each minute thereafter. While cheaper than on many cruise ships, this is still dearer than cafes ashore.
There is a very restful, plant-filled and surprisingly well-stocked library just off the keyhole-shaped Sinfonia Lounge on Brahms Deck (7). MSC's UK office keeps this stocked with English books and offers an excellent choice. Unfortunately, opening hours are very limited and vary from day to day; so bookworms need to be vigilant.