We joined friends on our first cruise experience. We didn't know what to expect but were given the 'heads-up' by our friends on what other cruise lines offer and how they operate. MSC disappointed in the customer service department on this cruise. There seemed to be a lack of employee training as we encountered conflicting answers to our questions. We did not receive our drink vouchers for our Fantastica Experience until we persistently tried to get someone to deal with the issue. The drink vouchers were not given to us until the third day of our voyage! What seemed to be a simple oversight became a huge problem that the onboard staff was unable to solve. The general feeling of fellow passengers was of confusion and frustration.
The ship itself is beautiful and our cabin was extremely comfortable and accommodating. The quality of food improved with time, though the buffet got a bit chaotic at times and we felt rushed in our First Seating timeslot in the dining room. Our waiter, while personable, seemed to be flustered quite often. His assistant was efficient and professional. Small portions discouraged food waste and it was easy to order extra portions.
Onboard entertainment was OK, but was not a highlight. Entertainers who were not part of the troupe of regulars were excellent.
Very comfortable bed, ample storage space, well-appointed, black-out curtains, immaculate bathroom with deep sink and clothesline in shower. Nice view through the large window. Mid-ship. Did not hear noises from the elevator directly outside our door.
Took tram out to Belem. It's a long ride and was a bit unpleasant during rush hour for return trip. Missed out on the Fado Museum.
Historical part of city was within walking distance from cruise terminal.
Taxis were abundant for trip into the city centre. Churches were in preparation for Holy Week. Paid admission to see "Holy Grail".
Metro was easy to navigate. Walked around the older parts of the city.
We first stored our luggage at the rail station. Taxis were next to impossible to get and so we walked from the cruise terminal. There were a lot of stairs going to the station and a fair bit within the station to get to the train platforms. The elevator is a bit difficult to find.
The Strada Nuova Museums were the highlights of our walking tour.