I have only been on one other cruise, that was Carnival, so that is the only comparison I have. First, the good thing...
The entertainment was great. The people in the show do a wonderful job. Most of the staff are nice enough. The ship is clean and beautiful. There are many nice pools and hot tubs, so they were not crowded (yet they close them all down early which is irritating). The bed was comfortable and the room quiet. The food in the buffet was just okay (deserts were good), better than Carnival, but the food in the dining room was much worse than carnival. And now I move on to the bad things...
Eating in the dining room on Carnival was a great experience we looked forward to every night, but on MSC it felt like a punishment. Usually the food was not good and the waiters also made us feel uncomfortable and unwanted. They do not have "anytime dining" like other ships, you have to pick 6 PM, 8 PM or 10 PM. They kick you out after an hour or so to get ready for the next crowd. They are always rushing around in a hurry yet take forever to bring the food. We waited an hour for our first course one time, then had 15 minutes to eat the rest and get out. It is loud and there is constant banging from the dumbwaiter bringing down food. We asked to be switched to a different time and got a better waiter and location after the switch. I cannot believe they charge you for water in the dining room! Water was free on Carnival. Which is my next complaint, they are constantly after more money.
They pester you all the time to buy the drink and food packages. The drink package would have cost $700 for the two of us ($40 a day). If you're drinking $700 in alcohol in one week you have a problem. We spent $80 on drinks, that's it. The food package would have cost around $260 for 3 meals for the two of us. That's seems high for mediocre food.
The worst experience by far were the excursions! DO NOT book a tour. Have them bus you and walk around on your own. The tour company they use in Italy is a nightmare! We were not given all the things promised in Pisa and Rome. In Rome they lost an elderly man and left him there. Don't know if he ever made it back to the ship. I did not listen to the tour guides speak, they are hard to understand. Our English speaking guide hardly said anything anyway. The guides have deals with shops to take you there so you will buy things, like the "Pearl Factory" they said we needed a ticket to get into. It was a jewelry store! Nothing more, and it is free to go in. They wasted my time with this stuff. I felt very ripped off over the excursions.
The internet was poor, and we had a router right outside our room. The zip-line cost $12 a person and is boring. It should be free! The constant up-selling is just a nightmare.
We have decided not to go on MSC again because of these issues.
The cabin was quiet. We could not hear neighbors, which is much better than Carnival. The layout was good, we did not feel cramped. The bed and pillows were comfortable.
Barcelona is a good place for shopping.
You can see the house where Napoleon was born. Not much else to do here.
Portofino is the most beautiful place we have ever seen, yet the tour was short. They only gave us 50 minutes to walk around and take us back. We could have had more time there, I don't know why they rush us so much.View All 36 Portofino Walking Tour Reviews
The tour to the tower of Pisa was terrible! We were not give all we were promised and they cut the tour short. Very boring.
We went on the grand tour and it was terrible!! The guides last an elderly man and never found him. Our guide said very little and he mumbled it softly so I couldn't hear anything. They rush us everywhere and give us no time to look around on our own. Rome was an amazing place. I will go back without the tour.View All 349 City Tour Reviews
Fun and lovely place. Very clean with lots of shopping and eating. Nice beach.
They took us to a "Pearl Factory" which is just a jewelry shop to get us to spend our money. The caves were interesting and beautiful, but the concert at the end was stupid. They destroyed a big part of the cave to make a theater for the concert. It's very strange to have a concert in a cave and doesn't feel right. There are babies crying during the concert and the owners are telling them to be quiet. Very odd experience.View All 33 Caves of Drach Reviews