To be completely transparent about my review, we booked this cruise about a month before we set sail. We took advantage of MSC's status match, which only put us at the silver level. We paid for a very inexpensive inside guarantee room, but when we were assigned a room, we were upgraded to an aft-facing balcony. The upgrade was so unexpected, and the room was so awesome, the cruise already turned out way better than we could have hoped.
As for the actual cruise, as stated in many reviews, MSC has a very European flair. We quite enjoyed meeting so many Europeans on board, but this does make the experience slightly different than many mainline US cruises. Dinners in dining room are a little slower. The entertainment is a little more classical. We really enjoyed the Italian opera. The buffets can seem quite crowded, and since people take a little longer to eat, it can be hard to find a table, and not everybody has the same idea of what a line is.
We found the ship to be beautiful, with many different types of lounges and public areas. The pools were quite large compared to some ships we've been on, with a water slide, an adults only area, a solarium, and many hot tubs. The gym was well appointed, but always crowded. It may be because the weather was not great.
Room was awesome. Large, clean, with plenty of storage. Room steward was fantastic. Balcony was unbelievably awesome. For us, we couldn't imagine a better room.
We embarked in Miami. Very smooth, and we're on the ship quickly.
Sailed past Statue of Liberty on way into NYC. We just explored New York by foot on St Patty's Day. Lots of fun!
A really beautiful city, but unfortunately rained all day. Also only in port for only 7 hours. Beach was beautiful, but wet!
Another beautiful city, but a short stay. Took a cab into old City, by the bull ring, explored for a bit, then rushed back to ship.
Took city bus 35t into old Port. Very easy bus ride. Port was historic and lively. Once again, short port stop, so we rushed back to ship.