We took advantage of a last minute special offer MSC were offering about 2 weeks prior to sailing. We received our Schengen visas the day before we set sail. I had decided beforehand not to set my expectations high, nor to sweat the small stuff, things that typically irritate when on a budget type cruise. I had read some pretty poor reviews about the ship before sailing. Our cabin was on 9th deck, ocean view, Fantastica experience (although I honestly couldn't find anything to differentiate it from the Bella experience which is just below on the scale).
The cabin was smallish but fine. The bed was comfortable but the bed linen had seen better days, sheets had holes in them, but they were clean. The shower was tiny! And the plastic curtain would cling to you while you showered away. Plenty hot water though. Dubious looking shampoo and shower gel in dispensers in the shower. We opted to use our own products. The cabins and bathrooms were cleaned daily and the cabin assistant was very pleasant and cheerful. (I did lose a pair of diamanté earings that I left on my bedside table but I have no idea who else was in our cabin, i.e.: staff, servicemen or whoever...) basically I blame myself for leaving them out of the safe.
My husband became critically ill within the first 3 days on board. We suspected food poisoning, but the MSC doctors would not entertain that diagnosis...the treatment they offered was absolutely useless....at one point I thought I was going to lose my previously perfectly healthy and fit husband! We are both in our mid 50's, healthy and active. Without wanting to bore you with all the details of his illness and misdiagnosis, I will just say that he was critically ill and confined to cabin for 7 days. The doctors had arranged for him to get off the ship at our next port of call which was Senegal, Dakar, to seek treatment there! Fortunately I managed to find a South African medical practioner on board (a passenger) who offered immediate assistance to us on day 6, and we were saved the ordeal of having to go to hospital in Dakar! We are beyond grateful to that kind Doctor and his wife!!