I Chose to mix up my planned European vacation with a one week Mediterranean cruise along with a one week land vacation to maximize being able to visit many different locations with minimum travel in between. I was attracted to the MSC Fantasia cruise I booked since it was such a tremendous value. I booked an aft balcony cabin for only $1,000.00 per person, which included a $250.00 per person ship board credit as well as a drink package. The cruise offered the opportunity to visit a port each day leaving from Genoa and visiting Cannes, Palma Mallorca, Barcelona, Ajaccio, Naples, Le Spezia, Seemed like it would be an amazing value and experience but unfortunately I found it to be only OK and very mediocre in comparison to other cruses I have taken. This was my 18th cruise and usually I cruise on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, or Princess. Here are some of my thoughts on the cruise, the ports, and the MSC experience in general.
Ship was beautiful and well maintained. This was the largest ship I have sailed on and will never cruise on another this big. I felt that all of the public spaces of the ship were really crowded, especially the outdoor spaces. I tended to stay in my cabin most of the time anyway since there was a port each day with no sea days, so not much time to spend on the ship, but every time I ventured up on the the top decks I couldn't wait to leave. So many people and and extreme amount of children even though this was mid-May and the kids are still in school. Beware of the security scan conveyer belt machines when boarding the ship. They ask you to put your stuff directly on the belts vs in a box and it spits your cell phone out the other end. Mine ended up on the floor and luckily was not broken. Did not attend any other shows, but heard they were just OK. Lots of smoking. The area around the Casino and the cigar lounge always smelt of smoke and there were some smoking areas on deck (as well as in areas not designated permissiable as I mentioned above).