First time cruising with MSC. We booked this cruise through a travel deal which included return flights between Zurich and Hamburg as well as transfers between Hamburg airport and Kiel port. The transfers were very well organized. We flew with HOP! (part of Air France) and was welcomed at the baggage claim area by a MSC representative. We were guided to the tour buses outside the airport which took us to the Kiel port (approx. 1h30min). We went straight to embarkation with almost zero waiting time.
We had a cabin with balcony on the Fantastica experience (so better placed cabins). We found a wonderful surprise when entering the cabin - it was a handicapped cabin, so much more spacious than the usual balcony cabins! The extra space suited us well since we were travelling with 2 kids (a 3-year old and 4 month old baby). The room was well equipped and the sofa was made into a sofa bed every evening. Our room steward, Fabio Enrique, was wonderful.
The ship itself is in a good condition, it looks fairly new with no visible wear-and-tear. The do make efforts to keep it that way and areas are constantly repaired/cleaned/painted as needed but in such a way not to bother the passengers.