This was our first ever cruise. we did it as a big family treat (4x kids ages 12 to 23) to celebrate both: 1. My wife and my 25-year wedding anniversary, and 2. My daughter's 21st birthday.
The embarkation/sign-in process was one of the worst aspects of the trip & set it on a bad tone immediately. we were not informed that we could go directly to our rooms, but because we had some queries, and have S.African passports, we were told we had to hand these on that day. I spent some 2-4 hours in the queues waiting to be served - obviously along with many others. It was very poorly handled, frustrating and upsetting. This has to be resolved!
Disembarkation went well. No one had informed that I couldn't bring a little swiss pocket knife onto the board & having it confiscated & then needing to get it back, was a bit of an unnecessary stress & nuisance.
The cabin set up was good, but the room vibrated all the time making proper sleep impossible! The rooms were clean & very well maintained - compliments.
The formal dinner dining experience was great. Our waiter was Rakesh who was really charming and helpful. He added immeasurably to the overall dining experience & a formal commendation is appropriate. BUT, all the other meals, with the huge queues, lack of seating, and pretty average and unhealthy food, was a big disappointment. The other key disappointment was the upper deck (pool area). There is effectively NO pool, limited room, shortage of loungers, very noisy etc. This is NOT a ship for an older family like ours bit for one with young, noisy kids. This was our #1 complaint & would make us NOT recommend this particular ship.
In addition, the world cup soccer was on at the time, but the viewing areas were all very disappointing - the bar areas were poor places to try watch from (easily remedied but zero effort made; too few chairs etc), as was the business centre - poor TV quality etc. All other facilities were likewise disappointing, bar the gym, which was great. Overall - Disappointing!
We had mixed views of the formal shows, but overall were light & fun, if not 'world class' and we did attend many of them.
The excursions almost all surprised on the upside, which was great. Well organised & reasonably good value for money. We did, however feel that we were a bit mis-informed about the Santorini/Mykonos, both of which occurred on the same day, as opposed to separate days, as we had been lead to believe….
So as above, overall would be pretty average rating & we would struggle to recommend the Sinfonia, though less sure re MSC overall. I doubt we would go on one of their cruises again... a great pity!
As covered above. Bed was better size than expected. Bathrooms tiny. Enough cupboard space. clean
But vibrated terribly and hence unable to sleep at all well. had there been any spare rooms (we were informed there were not), then we would have requstd ('demanded') amove...