Embarkation: The lines were very long and the signage was minimal. It was difficult to figure out which line to line up in and what to do. Some people also just skipped the lines and did not line up properly. This was not managed well. Once we were inside the hall, the process was smoother and we did not wait in line too long there with check in.
Ship: Ship interior seemed old and outdated, but overall singage of where to find certain areas was good. The public bathrooms appeared to not always be clean and could use a bathroom freshener inside the stalls. The theatre is awkwardly designed as it was difficult to see if you had people sitting in the chairs ahead of you.
Dining: The food was very bland. Our servers were good but at times when you asked for something specific they were confused. For example, one night I ordered a quesedilla from the menu and asked for no cheese and the waiter said ok. Once I received the quesedilla it had cheese inside of it. I asked again for another one with no cheese, but once again received one with cheese. The food quality was very poor. The quesedilla consisted of processed cheese, shredded carrot and lettuce. It seems like the chefs do not really know what a quesedilla actually is. It was also served with marinara sauce (pasta sauce) for dipping and not salsa. We were very disappointed with the food. During the Middle Eastern night, the falafal main came with only two small pieces of falafal, althoug it was a main. The waiter apologized that it was so small, obviously not his fault. The beef we were served another time was very fatty and very salty. The food never seemed to have any flavouring but seemed very bland overall. It seemed that many corners were cut with the quality of the food to save some money. The buffet always seemed to have the same items every day. There did not seem to be much variety. The hot dog was very cold and never served warm. However, we did like the pizza selections and the gelato. The fruit and the desssert was also very good, especially the tiramisu and the pistachio parfait were our favorite. We would have like to see healthier options available. The salad bar seemed sparse and it would be nice to see some spinach and other greens. Also for the oatmeal in the morning, there were no bananas, cinnamon, berries, or crushed up walnuts as we have had on other cruises. It was just clumped up old raisins that you could put on your oatmeal. The tea selection was great and the cappucino in the La Baroque Cafe was very good. Water at the filling stations was of very good quality, although you need to make the signs on the water stations bigger to advise people not to use their own water bottles but the glasses for refilling the water bottles. The sign was very small and staff did not remind passengers of the rule even when walking right by the passenger using their water bottle. It was not very sanitary.
Towards the end of the cruise, many people had a cold and were coughing everywhere, I would recommend more hand sanitizer stations. Lysol disinfectant sheets in the gym, as the spray and paper towel that were there did not seem to be utilized. Many passengers who were using the gym did not clean their equipment right after use and the girl in the gym (supervisor) did not enforce the rule. The equipment was very sticky and there was sweat all over the machines. More signage for that please and the gym supervisor needs to take on a more active role to enforce the equipment cleaning rule and not just stay outside the gym area, socializing with the spa staff. Two times, passengers were using the treadmill wearing sandals and there was no one there to advise them to wear proper shoes. The gym did have good equipment, and I loved the mats with suggested workout routines printed on them.
Entertainment and Activities:
Entertainment was ok, nothing spectacular. I did not like that the MSC female dancers wore such skimpy clothes and the male dancers were almost always fully dressed. The dance routines were great, but the thong outfits are a bit much. I thought it was very distasteful and inappropriate. I felt at times that we were all watching a striptease show and not an actual dance show. The port talks were not detailed enough and some misinformation was given as well. The Italian language classes were fun. There did not seem to be much going on and the activities seemed rather boring and not engaging.
I would also have liked to have the captain do a morning announcement as we did not see or hear from the Captain very much.
For the most part it was ok. No one seemed to want to go above and beyond. We only saw our cabin steward a few times and were never asked if everything was ok in the cabin. We noticed that the items in our mini fridge were disappearing and asked our cabin steward were everything was going, and he said he was taking it to replace items in other cabins. I don't understand why he never explained this process to us in the first place, but just sneakily took the items away. We never heard more than a hello from him. Cleaning service was ok, again nothing spectacular or above and beyond. At times, it seemed that the carpet was not vacuum often. The staff we saw in the halls who walked by us, rarely smiled or said hello. The dining service staff was good.
We did not purchase shore excursions. We thing tht Dakar, Senagal was not a good selection for a port stop as there was not much to see and do. The port itself was very chaotic. We did enjoy Malta and Dubrovnik the most. We would have liked to have stopped in Tangier, Morocco and were disappointed that it was cancelled.
Overall, we had an average time on the cruise. We were mostly disappointed with the food. We would maybe use MSC cruises again, if that was the only option.
The cabin interior was very small, as we had two bunk beds mounted on the wall. It was difficult to move around. The carpet was dirty from prior use. The shower was very small and it was difficult to move around, especially when washing hair or shaving legs.