I returned from a week long Mediterranean cruise on The MSC Fantasia two days ago and have never been so pleased to disembark a cruise ship in all my times afloat, having already sailed on most of the current cruise lines in the past six years.
The ship itself is beautiful, with plenty of swimming pools, bars, dance areas and open spaces and it is kept spotlessly clean, but that is where it all ends.
The ship was extremely overcrowded with a large percentage being rowdy badly behaved Italian and French children, running riot through the ship until all hours.
OK perhaps we chose bad dates to travel as it coincided with their school holidays but never did we expect to encounter such bedlam.
There was nowhere on the ship that adults we able to escape to without paying an extra premium fee for entry.
Even after eleven o'clock at night they were still running riot in the lounges , pushchairs parked on the dance floor while the parents looked on.
In the buffet you were lucky to find a table to sit at, we often took the food to our cabin to eat, where at least we could sit down and it was quiet.
Meal times in the dining room were equally chaotic because the tables were far too close together and although very friendly and helpful the waiters were so understaffed that they could not cope with demand.
Going ashore meant long lines of pushing and shoving passengers with tempers fraying.
Swimming in the pools was impossible with children screaming and playing in every one.
On top of all this the food quality left a lot to be desired, and was usually cold in the buffet, if not to start with, it was by the time you found somewhere to eat it!
Whilst the theatre looked fantastic the entertainment certainly wasn't, unless you wanted to see acrobatics every night performed against deafening music and a squawking compere.
All the time we were pestered by photographers none too pleased by our refusal to pose for the camera.
About the only thing that MSC managed to show enthusiasm for was their constant merchandising of expensive excursions, otherwise life on board was chaotic and everything poorly organised.
So if you are considering the Fantasia for your next cruise my advice would be 'Dont'