We have cruised about 15 times prior to this cruise so we knew what to expect. Our embarkation went smoothly in Barcelona, but no amount of prior cruising knowledge could prepare you for this cruise.
Our room was probably the best part of our cruise. We paid for an inside room and received a balcony. The beds were clean and the bathroom was adequate. There was gum all along the cupboard and the TV cut out right before our 5 straight sea days when MSC decided to give everyone 10 free movies. After calling front desk more than once and them never sending anyone to look at the TV we told the cabin attendant as a last resort. The TV never ended up working. In the barfet (previously known as the buffet) we saw an Italian woman holding a banana up to her ear pretending to talk to MSC staff... nothing could sum up this cruise better than that image I have of her doing that. No one is there to listen, you might as well be talking into a banana.
The barfet itself was just as the name implies. We had pizza every day (which was actually pretty good for ship pizza) as everything else was cold or inedible. The desserts were so unappetizing I may have lost a few pounds on this cruise. The barfet repeated the meals pretty much daily. You could consider yourself lucky if you didn’t get pushed out of the way while waiting in line for food by the hungry Portuguese, and even luckier if you could find a seat that wasn’t all the way at the back. If you try ordering water from the back bar they give you a hard time trying to convince you that you’re only allowed to at the other bar.