I'm a frequent cruiser, as I've been on other cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival, and I have never been on a cruise ship where I was treated with such a low regard in my entire life.
Now, this is not my first time with MSC. I have sailed on the MSC Divina and the Seaside out of Miami each twice. However, on the Seaside we booked the Yacht Club, the inclusive ship-within-a-ship service on MSC (similar to Norwegian's Haven), and found the service just as equal to service found on smaller ships of other cruise lines.
This trip we decided to book the two-story duplex suite instead of the Yacht Club under the Aurea Experience, thinking that with all the money we were spending, we would get good service and quality. Boy, were we wrong.
FOOD: First of all, the main dining room waiters are unfriendly and unaccomodating. They refused to serve us any food that was not listed on the menu. And although we had a beverage package, the waiters refused to fetch us a pina colada from a nearby bar when my father ordered one. One night, my sister wanted an apple juice and the waiters in the dining room claimed there wasn't any juice available, yet when we walked to buffet a few moments later, juice was readily available. It seemed to be that the waiters didn't want to go out of the way to get us anything.
Additionally, every time we asked for something in the dining room, like ice for our drinks, it seemed to be almost a bother to them. Also, the selection of food on the menu was awful. There were only like four or five main entrees to choose from, and most of them looked pretty nasty to me. It didn't even look like a cruise ship menu. They had grilled chicken every night, but as soon as it touched my lips, I immediately spit it out as the taste was disgusting and it was incredibly chewy.
The buffet is a whole other story. The buffet is huge, with a relatively nice selection of foods, yet that didn't mean the food looked good and tasted good for that matter. I do have to say, the pizza was excellent, with different varieties everyday, and fresh-made mozzarella nearby. But other than that, the food went downhill. I literally ate pizza every single day of the cruise because everything else looked and tasted so bad. Breakfast, I have to say was decent and honestly had a nice variety, but lunch and dinner was worse than college cafeteria food.
The ship itself was incredibly overcrowded- you could barely keep yourself from tripping over someone at buffet. And since the ship left out of Copenhagen, the ship was full of Europeans who were rude and would shove right into you.
The staff on the ship had such thick accents, it was hard to understand them. So did the tour guides on the excursions. What I found quite annoying was MSC often put English speaking people on the same bus as a non-English group such as German or Italian. So we would hear it in two languages, even though it was still difficult to hear it in English.
CABIN: The cabin itself was beautiful, however, upon embarkation our stateroom wasn't cleaned thoroughly enough as there was bugs in our jacuzzi tub and the carpets didn't seem vacuumed. After we got that sorted out, the room honestly saved the trip. From my experience, MSC staterooms are not to small or crowded, and since it's a new ship, your stateroom size shouldn't be much of a problem.
ENTERTAINMENT: I do have to say out of all the cruise lines I've been on, the nightly theater shows on MSC Cruises are the best! Their singers are amazing on all the ships I've been on and the dancing is great. Be warned though: there are no comedy shows or shipped entertainment people like on other cruise lines. We also barely saw the cruise director and only realized halfway through the cruise that the lady who came into the theater and spoke in Italian for five minutes was actually the cruise director. She only muttered a few words in English, so I felt that we were being left out with information.
Overall, I don't think I will ever travel MSC again without booking Yacht Club.
It was not advertised as a walking tour, but almost the entire tour was walking. Bad for people with walking disabilities.View All 90 City Tour Reviews