Many MSC fans will take issue with my review, but I write it to help cruisers who have traveled with other lines - for you, I believe you will rate your experience on this MSC ship as only average. But let me say some good things first- have seen claim that food in dining room was not hot- in our case, not true. The other claim- staff not friendly, also not on our cruise. So let's discuss food - only of food on the formal dining- we felt quality of food was low so chefs forced to work with what they have -very little beef on the menus -I'm gluten intolerant, so could not eat the pasta, but my wife likes risotto, so both of us had the risotto for the pasta course, and we had it seven nights, and believe there was very little diff, even though each night a diff risotto was offered. On the gluten issue though there was a gluten sampling in one of the lounges, no gluten dishes were offered in dining room, and of course
No gluten bread: on the issue of bread, no breadbasket on the table- you get offered bread once! Felt it was tacky one night when a flyer was given out at dinner asking if we wished to order lobstet(at a price) for tomorrow - it just emphasized the fact that you should not plan to see lobster on your plate had they not tried to make the sale, no one would have thought about it. Another fiasco was the lobstet bisque - great tomato soup, not even a flake of anything that looked like any kind so shell fish. Quality of soup, both as to content and preparation. Liked wine list, enjoyed a bottle Cava every night, final night French champagne! There are 2 policies regarding service that made me rate poor service though staff not at fault: first you cannot order a cocktail in the buffet area, wine or beer yes- for cocktails you have to go to a bar. The other issue is cabin stewards - it seems they do not want any kind of interaction between cruisers and cabin stew-I didn't talk to,our steward until the evening of our 2nd night, and to do that I had to go find him -the noon of leaving port our first day, I called the desk to ask if the steward could to our room- was told he would not be available until 6pm-I called room service to ask for ice, had some guests in our cabin, they said it be sent right away, an hour later, ice had not arrived, so we had yo leave for dinner. We thought the entertainment again was no better than average- though the afternoon performance of the Opera Carmen was ambitious and well done, with two excellent singers. There was a trio, 2 violins and piano that played classical a semi class music.Fellow cruisers will blanch at how I handle tipping on this and other cruises - on the first day, I tell the pursers office not to charge gratuities to my account : I share with the waiter and cabin attendant the full suggested tip amount, but in this case, 60% to waiter, 40'to cabin att. To end on a positive note, getting on and off the ship was the best by far I
have seen in 40' years of cruising. Also, keep in mind I write this as a cruiser from North America: MSC is and has been a very successful European line and caters to that clientele. To repeat I did wanted to be of help to cruisers who need to know MSC is not Royal C,
Seemed very good size, good storage, nicely appointed bathroom.
We tried to arrange a trip to Porto fino and the Italian coast but too expensive to do it on our own. We took the hop on hop office, interesting city. After the bus trip they drop,you off at a square on the port area from which you can walk(5 min) to a wonderful square where two famous Cathedrals sit, back to back - St. Laurence is a medieval structure, the other church is the Church of the Jesu, a Jesuit church of the 17th century, very ornate, Renaissance period.
Did our own tour, stop,in Palermo was cancelled due to bad weather: it was raining all day, though we did the Hop,on Hop,off: Cathedral in the main town square is well,worth a visit- has a wonderful glockenspiel.
Didn't,t like the port, been here before.
Well, we loved Batcelona- spent 4 days here, and planned ahead. If you want to visit the most iconic structure in Spain, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia, be sure to order your tickets on line, so that you that you avoid the long lines : the Cathedral is also stunning and your admit price includes elevator to the roof: a jewel of a trip out side the city is Montserrat, suggest you take the train to allow more time at the site : you should see another of Gaudi's fantastic Park Guell: the pedestrian Las Ramblas reached long ago the point of of being grossly over touristed, guess you will have to see it, and while there the city's oldest market is well worth a visit. The tours in Barcelona are mostly done through Viator- not imaginative but reliable. Another great activity is a cable system that starts on the city heights at Montjuic, over the whole city ending at the port and beach areas.