Embarkation at Cape Town terminal took a long time. Had to stand in long queues on a hot day, it took nearly three hours before we walked on board. We had difficulty in finding our cabin on Deck 7 as the lifts nearest to the boarding area do not go to that part. It would have been good to have a crew member to explain how to get to our cabin.
The cabin we booked and paid for was an Ocean View cabin. The view was obstructed by a large lifeboat. To view a tiny bit of the ocean we had stand looking out of the extreme right hand side of the window. This obstruction made the cabin very dark and dingy. The soft furnishings looked very old, tired and faded eg. curtains, bed covers, cushions and carpet.
Lunch on Deck 11 in the Buffet Restaurant was good with a great variety of food for all tastes. The pizzas, freshly made, were very bland and lacked salt and spices but edible. In the dining room our table waiter and assistants were always welcoming and pleasant, napkins placed on our laps, menus handed to us, orders taken and prompt delivery of our meals, excellent all round. There was only one occasion that the meal was unsatisfactory but that was not the fault of the chefs, great looking mussels that when opened had tiny undeveloped mussels inside which nobody could eat.
The wifi on board was useless and extremely expensive, best to wait until one arrives in a port where one can make use of free wifi at a tearoom or restaurant.
We did not use any of the ship excursions as they were too pricey. We did our own walking or bus tours as well as a private taxi tour of Madeira with English speaking driver, which we shared with another couple, for less than half the price of the MSC excursions.
There were some really good acts and singers to entertain us in the theatre, a few we were no interested in so didn't attend those.
Disembarkation in Southampton took a long time. We had to wait until our numbers were announced before we were able to leave the ship. It would be good to be able to carry our own luggage off the ship, as was the case when we did a Med cruise on another Liner! Which allows passengers to disembark earlier.
We have booked another MSC grand voyage from Cape Town to Venice in 2016 and have no hesitation in recommending MSC to anyone who wants to cruise.
We booked and paid for an Ocean View stateroom. We were allocated a room on deck 7 which had a very large lifeboat obstructing any view of the ocean. The beds were comfortable but the soft furnishings were tired and faded, eg. Curtains, bed covers and carpet.
Vigo. We enjoyed our own walking tour around Vigo, lots of interesting sights especially the markets, outdoor restaurants, etc. we enjoyed eating oysters straight from the sea opened in front of us at one of the many seafood restaurants. Perfect!