This was our first time cruising with MSC. We've previously cruised with Princess and Royal Caribbean, and had such a great time that when we found this Caribbean cruise with MSC for such a great price, we couldn't pass it up. We had decided earlier in the year that instead of gifts for Christmas, we would take our teenager daughter and son on an unforgettable Christmas cruise instead. We all had a great time. It was well worth it.
We arrived at our Ft. Lauderdale Marriott hotel the evening before departure, so we had a leisure morning, and taking a walk we discovered that we were close enough to the MSC Lirica dock that we could actually walk over to the check in station...let me state right up front that my family is the adventurous, do-it-yourself type, and we didn't consider it a big deal for us to walk a few blocks to the ship with our luggage. We had packed light and our luggage was on wheels. Others might want to get the cab or whatever, but this worked fine for us. The check in process was a breeze, which I was happy about since I had missed the Express Online check in deadline, but it turned out that it didn't matter. The regular check in line was just as fast. They took our credit card info and made each of us a cruise card and we were headed to the ship, where we were escorted by a crew member right to our cabin. That was a nice touch.
We had an inner cabin, which we chose because we figured that we would be spending a lot of time outside and not inside. Even though there were 4 of us, we found the cabin to be spacious enough for us with plenty of storage cabinets. The kids got the bunks, and we never had to mess with them...the cabin steward was very attentive to turning the beds up (back into the wall) for us when we left in the morning, and had them turned down for the kids when we came back at night. The cabin steward was excellent at keeping our room neat and organized for us.