We were a group of 8, some seasoned cruisers some for the first time. We are long time cruisers with Celebrity Concierge Class. We booked a year before the ship went in the water. Unlike other cruise lines, we had no pre cruise communication via email from MSC. The MSC app only worked half the time.
We all booked a balcony stateroom Aurea Class with Premium Plus drink package. MSC changed the drink package in October, however since we paid the upgrade prior to this date we were to be grandfathered into the maximum drink package available. Which we were not. MSC miscommunicated this info to our travel agent 6 times. We found this out during our first dining experience. Not a great start. Our room was 13119, and although the closet space is very limited, the balcony was huge. Zoe never worked for any of us. There was a smell from the shower drain that at times was unbearable. Our stateroom attendant was amazing however the smell remained. Unacceptable for a new ship. There is no account access on the TV, so if you need to confirm on board charges you must stand in line with everyone else at Guest Services, waste of time. The mini bar was convenient and well stocked daily. The walls seemed very thin, I could hear guest next to us often as well as the room above us. Unfortunately I had to complain, it was 3 am.
We were never advised that the ship only holds 250EU on your account for on board expenses. This may be due to the card being in Canadian funds, but no explanation was ever given. This amount was spent quickly at the spa, so when it came time to buy a 7.00 gelato we were refused. Off to Guest Services once again to swipe our card.
Food in the dining room was a 2 at best. We witnessed no dress code being enforced even on Gala Nights. We saw passengers with jean shorts, t shirts and ball caps allowed in the Lighthouse dining room. Our table attendants were fantastic, very attentive however the food came out at different times. Not the dining experience you would expect when you read the marketing statements on the MSC web page. We had one specialty dinner at the steakhouse and all but one entrée was perfect. Really enjoyed the food and service. We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining room, and service was hit or miss. Food was average. The Market Place Buffett, sub par with a small healthy food selection for such a large space.
The Spa is beautiful and worth every penny. The staff were incredible and treatments are priced comparable to most spas at sea.
The main pool...well if you like your deck chair to be packed in like sardines, a drink at the only pool bar next to the smoking section, enjoy very loud music and pool games, screaming kids in the pool as well as kids running on deck with no adult supervision, and not being allowed to sit on the pool deck with a drink in your hand and feet in the water then this is the cruise for you. Again reading the description of the pool deck for the Bellissima this is not what we expected. The second pool was the same and the aft pool was so small that again the kids took over, while the parents reserved empty pool chairs. Deck 19 reserved for Aurea Class does not have a pool, only a hot tub , no bar, but deck chair bar service. Great views but anyone can buy a day pass. The main pool is located two decks below.
The gym is very small for the amount of passengers on board.
We enjoyed the Champagne bar at night, and the staff were excellent. However they only serve Champagne so if you want a mixed cocktail you need to go to an other bar.
We all enjoyed the F1 race car experience, 10.00eu p/p per ride well worth it.
We did two excursions booked direct with MSC. Portofino and Capri. Both excellent once you get there. However we were sent back to Naples on a local ferry from Capri which was standing room only. Locals and tourists had suitcases that took up seats. I believe when you book a tour with the ship then the transfer back to port should be on a boat for that tour only.
Yes the ship is beautiful but for the 5000.00usd price tag for 7 days, it did not meet our expectations based on the information provided on the MSC web. MSC does a great job marketing this ship with no execution.
Cabin 13119 mid ship, port side, huge corner balcony, forward facing view, no staterooms across the hall. Great side of the ship to be on for our ports of call. The panoramic elevator/lift was around the corner, convenient but note it only goes to deck 15. The noise from the stateroom above was ridiculously loud. This seemed to be common issue in all staterooms. Very few hangers provided in a small closet (compared to other cruise lines), two drawers, three shelves, and safe. You will need adaptors.
The boat was overcrowded, but the views for the hour + cruise were amazing, and once in Portofino we had time on our own to explore. Will definitely return.View All 36 Portofino Walking Tour Reviews
The ride up the mountain was an experience not for the faint of heart, stunning views.View All 8 Anacapri Walking Tour Reviews
Capri and the bus ride up to Anacapri was well worth every penny. Beautiful. Time to explore on our own. Great lunch at the Caesar Augustus Hotel overlooking Mt. Vesuvius and Capri below. Fantastic shopping. Was not a fan of the local ferry back to Naples.View All 57 Capri Walking Tour Reviews