This was our 4th MSC cruise, which I think is pretty rare for North Americans. We were early risk takers with MSC Fantasia when it first came out, then Poesia, Splendida and this last time with Preziosa. Although we are Americans, both my wife and I lived in Europe in the past and enjoy the experience of seeing Europe with fellow Europeans rather than exclusively with other Americans. This cruise was no different, although we do think that we ran into a few other American families on the ship which was a pleasant surprise to see how other Americans have discovered this cruise line.
Look, it's no Royal Caribbean, nor NCL (although I find it most like NCL), and definitely not Carnival. MSC ships are stunningly beautiful, modern and clean, but the style of cruising is different. Not a ton of activities, but we always pick MSC for the ports and the ability to spend quality extended family time while seeing sights. On this cruise, we were a party of 11, from 7 to 71. We had 4 people in our group who had never traveled with MSC.
The good... Again, beautiful ship, great stateroom- we had family connecting rooms, so plenty of space and an oversized balcony. The package with the room also gave us coupon books for included alcoholic beverages as well as bottled water. We weren't expecting the included alcoholic drinks, as we had never seen that in the past. Room was always well maintained (no towel animals until the kids requested them), and something that pleasantly surprised us was how well the wi-fi worked and how reasonable it was for a package lasting the entire cruise.
Two rooms connecting- modern, clean- no problems.
Go to Tivoli- great for kids and families. Sit outside and enjoy a Tuborg!
You can walk to the streetcar line and get a ride right downtown. Helsinki is compact and a bit funky.
You can walk from the ship to the old city- lots to see and do there. Looks like the inspiration for Harry Potter's world.
Olga with Den Rus was a great guide!
Kind of a dull city with not much to do. Went to Beer Garden while the women shopped.