Chose this cruise as it was a good price but with hindsight I would rather miss a cruise and put that money towards another cruise line. Ive been with other cruise lines before and have enjoyed all of them. The problem with MSC is passengers embark at every port which means constant security processes going on and in so many different languages, suitcases and chaos everywhere almost daily, this gets very tiresome. Whilst check in was ok they don't seem to have the administration sorted as well as other cruise lines. You have to have your photo taken separately and you have to add your credit card separately once on the ship, why? This has all been done at check in before and is much easier. The actual ship and cabin was very nice, a little more room in our cabin than we've had before so this was a bonus. The food though was not good, very poor, I hardly ate anything in the main restaurant, in fact I only ate the rolls and a little breakfast. If you go to the buffet for breakfast by the time you put everything together it's stone cold as the eggs are nowhere near the bacon and it's a big place to walk around! We couldn't get a table in the buffet one morning and had to go to the restaurant which we wanted to avoid as the service was quite poor in the morning, we often asked for milk with the tea but often never got it! Never got our cereals either so when we asked for them they were almost thrown at us! Have to say at this point our waiters in the main restaurant for dinner were very nice and helpful. Some of the staff apologised for the food and said they had to eat it too! Reception staff were also hit and miss, some were helpful and some wouldn't help at any cost! We were late back from Amsterdam and weren't allowed into the main restaurant as you only have about 10 mins from opening to closing! When we asked reception to help they said it wasnt their fault their trip was late back (referring to traffic) but it was their fault as when we booked we were supposed to dock in Amsterdam but we're moved to Rotterdam and this meant a long coach journey which took 2 hours and was not easy with an 18 month old baby let alone not being able to get into the restaurant to feed her! The Europeans on this trip were the rudest I have ever encountered, they never said thank you for letting them through the narrow hallways or when you kept a door open for them. My daughter had to use the lift as she had a pushchair and even if she was the first one there when the lifts arrived the other passengers would just barge in front of her! Most of them were young or middle aged and didnt seem to even need the lift! The trips did not appeal to us at all, very early starts and we're things like cycling tours or they just dropped you off. We have been on some really wonderful trips with the other cruise companies so missed that very much. Didn't like any of the ports on this trip, Hamburg was awful and to have paid the expensive shuttle would have been a waste of time as we were told everything was shut on a Sunday. This was told to us by a local taxi driver not the ship, they didn't tell us anything not even which gangway to get off! The ship did constantly make announcements in your cabin though in loads of different languages that really got on our nerves, this was usually about the muster stations or their team! MSC gave us a letter to say they are welcoming British guests but we did not feel welcome at all. They gave us a kettle in our cabin and a one cup little pot of milk for 2 people so we asked reception for some more and they told us, sometimes it's complimentary and sometimes it's not! What sort of answer is that! They then said they could give us some for 3 euros! We said no thanks and brought milk down from the buffet! We had no in room tv in English apart from one channel which claimed it was a news channel but you only got a couple of lines of news now and again it was mainly history documentaries or about egg donation which was constantly repeated! Thank goodness I had a book! The t.v service is so much better on Princess cruises as you have access to t.v shows, films etc and this was needed on MSC as their theatre entertainment was almost the same every night and did nothing for us! The best thing in the evening was to get an Italian ice cream! Also, please note there are smoking areas on board, like the casinos and by the pool on one side which obviously affects you if walking through these areas. I would sum up by saying I wouldn't go with MSC again.
Lovely spacious cabin.
Shuttle expensive but this was the nicest place for us, found a lovely beach with great areas for babies and young kids.
Nothing at the port not one shop! Everything closed in Hamburg as it was Sunday.