We last cruised with MSC in the Med 3 years ago and to be honest I was less than impressed so I was a bit apprehensive about booking this itinerary from Dubai for my wife’s birthday. What a difference - the quality of food in both the main dining room and speciality restaurants were right up there with the very best we’ve had on other cruise lines. I can particularly recommend Butcher’s Cut steak house where you can enjoy a 3 course dinner for an additional €39 - worth every penny!
Although we didn’t go to any of the shows in the theatre the entertainment around the ship was also much improved with a number of very good singers performing in different locations. One comment would be that the seats in some of the public rooms, Aft Lounge and Purple Room in particular, were a bit too much about form over function.
We also spent a bit extra to book a mini-suite (#11009). The room itself was lovely with sitting area completely separate to the bedroom. Two slightly disappointing items were the bathroom (very small) and the balcony (not glass so restricted view and overhung by bridge).
Took the safari drive and got to see Sudan cheetahs resting in the shade of an acacia tree. Good experience - groups of 6 in Toyota Land Cruisers. Nice explanation of significance of the island in the formation of UAE as well.
Took a Dhow cruise to fjords - saw loads of dolphins. Best bit - there was lots of space on board; I’ve been on catamaran cruises where you’re packed in like sardines