We have been on a number of cruises with different companies, and this was the first time on MSC. Even though Fantasia ship itself is opulent and beautiful, and the cabin is very nice with lovely facilities, this does not make up for the very poor service, lack of interest from staff or very average food, and the fact that you have to pay if you want even a drink of water!
We enquired beforehand with the company as to the type of food that would be served as I cannot eat pizza or pasta, and were told that steak and meat and other western food was readily available. The only place you could get steak was in the specialty restaurant where you had to pay 32 euros per person. The dining room was chaos with six people at a table only big enough for four and the waiters had to reach across you to pass food around the table as there was not enough room for them to get around the tables. No tea or coffee after your meal (even if you wanted to buy specialty coffee) and a bottle of drinking water had to be paid for as they did not provide even tap water at the table. We ended up eating in the buffet after the first couple of nights, (more variety of food and you could get a drink of water for free!)
Staff did not seem to be interested in you if you did not speak Italian. Children just ran riot wherever they wanted to (even at 2am in the morning). Could not swim anywhere as children dive bombing and jumping on you. Deck chairs were never available as people put towels on them and booked them all day even if they were not there.
The entertainment was poor by cruise line standards, stage so small dancers had to get on steps to get out of the way of other dancers.
Alcohol and drinks very expensive - and all had 18% added to the price.
We are non-smokers and don't care if others smoke, but you could not get away from the smell of smoke anywhere on the ship as there was a smoking room in the middle near the specialized room where you can buy pastries etc (that are free on other ships) and whenever the door opened the smoke would waft out, the decks were always thick with cigarette smoke. This affected my asthma so mostly stayed indoors.
Went to the front desk with a question about disembarkation and passport return and three different people told me three different things all of which none turned out to be right!
MSC needs to pick up their act if they want to attract other cruisers - they seem to cater only to non English speaking travellers, where other cruise lines cater for all. It doesn't seem to be the staff's fault but the policies of the company.
The only plus on this cruise as far as are concerned was the fantastic ports of call.
We will never travel with them again.
Very nice balcony cabin. Bathroom had bath.