First the good news; the ship was lovely, beautiful - it was literally gleaming, and kept sparkling clean throughout our holiday (they even washed the balcony twice in a week!). The food also was excellent, cooked and served to a very high standard indeed, if a little over-reliant on cheese! The ship was also so smooth to sail on that a couple of times I looked overboard to check that we were actually moving; this really is a magnificent ship!
However, having travelled on P & O and Thomsons in the past, I have to say that the service levels on MSC were most definitely not up to scratch. Sadly Johnny Foreigner doesn't like to queue, so waiting in line at the bar was a no-no, as fellow tourists would just push straight in front of you, storming forward as if they were reenacting the invasion of Poland. The bar staff, miserable and sullen at the best of times, did nothing to discourage this behaviour, and were happy to serve those with the loudest voices first, irrespective of whom had actually been waiting the longest. The entertainment was also poor, in fact it was bordering on pathetic; Thomsons entertainment teams literally blow these jokers out of the water. The main lounge on the Fantasia is on the 7th Dec, & had a dance lesson every night for most of the evening where everyone was taught difference dance steps, three steps at a time. The ship was so multinational that the compere had to say "uno, due, tre ... ein, zwei, drei... un, deux, trois...one, two, three................" Zzzzzzzzz you get the picture?!! (Ironically, on the one night they had a quiz show, it was all in Italian!!!!). I'm afraid this just would not pass as entertainment on an English cruise ship, although to be fair the continentals seemed to love it, all sitting around with either no drink or a little cup of expresso, different culture I suppose, I just think the British are more discerning!
Moving on to the nightclub; where to start???? Saw a karaoke one night, the compere's English was so bad he introduced one singer as doing "My Way, by Frank Skinner". To be fair, the buffoon sang it more like Frank Skinner than Frank Sinatra, so perhaps it wasn't a mistake! As for "DJ" - absolute joke. Every night he banged out underground hard-house, to virtually no-one, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he wasn't gigging in some underground nightclub; he was actually in the middle of the Adriatic on a cruise ship with a bunch of mostly middle-aged people. Yeah mate, you're playing very trendy music; now put some Abba on you absolute buffoon!