I read a lot of different reviews for this cruise line and this ship and started to get a little worried before my cruise. This cruise was fantastic! I will say that if you have a bad attitude or can't just go with the flow when you are on vacation then you might have a different outlook, but I loved this cruise.
Don't go on this cruise and try to compare it to your average American cruise line. This cruise line is Italian owned and Americans are the minority. You will meet many different people and hear many different languages. I found it to be great fun!
The food is fantastic! My travel companion and I ate breakfast twice at the sit-down restaurant and 8 mornings at the buffet. Depending on the time you get to the buffet it will be crazy! My friend and I would just find a table and take turns fighting the crowds. I never found it to be horrible, but if you don't like crowds then go to the restaurant. The food is equally delicious at both locations. Lunch is the same with certain peak times being crazy, but if you go a little off peak to the buffet it isn't bad. Dinner is delightful. They have a 6 course menu! The risotto is delicious. I only had a few things that I wouldn't have eaten again, but trying new things is what it's all about! My friend is Vegan and she never had a problem finding good things to eat! I did get the coffee cuddle package because I love coffee drinks and really enjoyed it! We got free bottled water in the restaurant with every meal.
The itinerary for this cruise was the main reason that I chose to cruise with MSC. We embarked in Barcelona, Spain while the majority embarked in Genoa, Italy. The embarkation and debarkation were smooth as there were very few of us. We also received our luggage in about 30 minutes from boarding the ship!
Our first stop was Marseilles, France. We took a tour to Aix en Provence that was wonderful. Next stop Genoa, Italy. We took the city tour and I wouldn't recommend it. Skip this tour and do the hop on hop off bus. The third stop was Malaga, Spain and we did a city tour with a stop at a café for Churros and Hot Chocolate...yum! The port that I was most excited for was Casablanca, Morocco. My friend and I did the full day tour of Marrakech that was delightful! The day was long, but we saw all kinds of things and had a really nice traditional lunch. The last port of call was Lisbon, Portugal where we did a walking tour and pastry tasting. Great fun!
The entertainment on this ship is wonderful ! I don't usually attend the shows, but I only missed one! They were all different and equally enjoyable. The singing was excellent, fantastic dancing, and acrobats!
There were a few mishaps, but they were taken care of immediately. The first was that our excursion tickets for Aix en Provence said Espanol. So I asked the excursion desk and they replaced them with English tickets so we were on the correct tour. No big deal. Secondly we had asked to be in the first seating for dinner and we were put in the second. The maître d put us on a waiting list, but we enjoyed our tablemates and were ok with being in the second seating. My friend had a tray of drinks spilled on her during the first Gala evening! They were very apologetic and took her clothes to be cleaned. So, they definitely seemed to always try to make things right!
The only thing that was annoying was getting back on the ship at a port. The first couple of ports they only had one security line running. The wait was quite long. They seemed to open more lines as the cruise went on, but this is something they need to work on.
They do not give out ship plans and do not have them available so print one out if you need directions. The plans are on the floors at the elevator and then all the major areas are posted on the wall with the floors and directions they are in. This made it easy to find what you were looking for.
We were on the Lira deck. Room 10079. We had an interior room that was really nice. Twin beds and a night stand for each bed. There was a make up table with lights and the outlets are both American and European outlets. This is great when you have a lot of things to charge. The bathroom was standard. We weren't too far from the stairs/elevators.
We stayed one night pre-cruise and one night post-cruise in Barcelona. We took a taxi to the port the day of our cruise with no problems. The day we disembarked we met a private tour guide without any issue. The ship was a little late coming into port, but we were off and to our tour very quickly.
So, overall I found this cruise to be wonderful. I loved the ship, the itinerary was great, and the food was fantastic.
We had a standard interior room. We were on deck ten, the Lira deck. Not too far from the stairs/elevators. The room was really nice with two twin beds and an end table for each bed. American outlets make it easy to charge your devices!
Walking tour that hits all the highlights of Aix en Provence. This was a wonderful tour. The tour guide gave us an overview of the history and walked us all around then we had free time to shop our way back to the meeting point. I bought some lovely souvenirs and took some great pictures.View All 115 Aix-en-Provence Reviews
This tour was not that good. The streets in Genoa were very loud and we really needed headsets to hear our guide. Unless you stayed right on top of her you just weren't able to get the information about all the buildings. The tour description says you get a taste of traditional bruschetta and focaccia bread. This consisted of a couple of tables set up with baskets of bread and a table with a lady pouring wine. People were milling all over and we were given about 15 minutes to use the facilities, have a drink, and grab a bite to try. Not really that impressed. They could at least make this a sit down stop and you could be served. We also weren't given any free time in the shopping area and were then given about 45 minutes in the waiting area of the port. There are no shops here. I ended up not getting any souvenirs here because it was all junk. Skip this tour.View All 36 City Tour Reviews
We took a bus to an outlook point in Malaga with wonderful city views. Then we walked around the city and churros and hot chocolate at a café. This was a really nice and informative tour. The port area has some nice things to buy if you don't find anything in the city.View All 52 Malaga City Tour Reviews
The walking tour of the city is really informative. We hit all of the highlights and then had a pastry from the Belem district's most famous pastry shop. Delicious! Very informative and enjoyable tour.View All 88 City Tour Reviews