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I read many of the reviews posted here and elsewhere before my cruise, so was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. I have sailed on several cruise lines before, this was my first with MSC. I am sorry for those who either had a truly bad experience on this cruise, or who have such ridiculously high expectations that they can't possibly be met. My experience was quite different, and while it wasn't perfect, I don't expect any vacation to be. The previous reviewers complained about the embarkation, the expenses, the food, the staff and service, the smoking, the language. My embarkation was unbelievably smooth and easy, and we were on the ship in our cabin by noon. Yes, you get charged for drinks, even at meals. I found that a bit odd, but not that bad, and prepared in advance by buying a water package and a soft drink package. I didn't even finish using the soft drink one. Drinks are included at breakfast, and in my experience, every cruise charges for soft drinks, alcohol, and extras. Someone complained about the expensive shore excursions--I found them to be among the least expensive I've ever seen, although there wasn't much variety or choice available. The food was neither "slop" nor scarce. We ate most meals in the dining room, and never went hungry. You can order from any or all of the courses available--appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, main course, and desserts. I never ordered all of them, and had plenty to eat. Is it 4 star cuisine at every meal? No, but it was certainly acceptable, and some was downright delicious. I found the ship in all areas to be clean, well-maintained, and the staff in every area was helpful and friendly. ALL spoke English, much better than my Italian, or German, or Spanish. As soon as they heard me using English they immediately switched. Our daily newsletter was delivered in English, and menus, shore excursion info, etc. was all available in English. I found the smoking to be no worse than on any other cruise, and detected no sign of smoke in our cabin, sheets or towels (unlike some other cruises). I am happy to say that my children and I were treated very well by all the staff. My biggest complaint was that I reserved space at the kid's area to watch my children while I went on a shore excursion myself, and no one showed up to take them. I had to miss the excursion which was a disappointment, but was able without much difficulty to get a refund. There is a lot of chaos and noise on the ship, but that can hardly be blamed on the staff or cruise line. I think that comes from a mostly European clientele, and is typical behavior. I saw it on the European airline we used as well. They could work on their organization. I say, if you are traveling in Europe, do as the Europeans do. Stop expecting too much and just enjoy your time on the ship. If you can't handle it, stay home.

Don't let the bad reviews stop you

MSC Musica Cruise Review by bcgrifasi

Trip Details
I read many of the reviews posted here and elsewhere before my cruise, so was prepared for the worst and hoping for the best. I have sailed on several cruise lines before, this was my first with MSC.
I am sorry for those who either had a truly bad experience on this cruise, or who have such ridiculously high expectations that they can't possibly be met. My experience was quite different, and while it wasn't perfect, I don't expect any vacation to be.
The previous reviewers complained about the embarkation, the expenses, the food, the staff and service, the smoking, the language. My embarkation was unbelievably smooth and easy, and we were on the ship in our cabin by noon. Yes, you get charged for drinks, even at meals. I found that a bit odd, but not that bad, and prepared in advance by buying a water package and a soft drink package. I didn't even finish using the soft drink one. Drinks are included at breakfast, and in my experience, every cruise charges for soft drinks, alcohol, and extras. Someone complained about the expensive shore excursions--I found them to be among the least expensive I've ever seen, although there wasn't much variety or choice available. The food was neither "slop" nor scarce. We ate most meals in the dining room, and never went hungry. You can order from any or all of the courses available--appetizers, soups, salads, pasta, main course, and desserts. I never ordered all of them, and had plenty to eat. Is it 4 star cuisine at every meal? No, but it was certainly acceptable, and some was downright delicious. I found the ship in all areas to be clean, well-maintained, and the staff in every area was helpful and friendly. ALL spoke English, much better than my Italian, or German, or Spanish. As soon as they heard me using English they immediately switched. Our daily newsletter was delivered in English, and menus, shore excursion info, etc. was all available in English. I found the smoking to be no worse than on any other cruise, and detected no sign of smoke in our cabin, sheets or towels (unlike some other cruises).
I am happy to say that my children and I were treated very well by all the staff. My biggest complaint was that I reserved space at the kid's area to watch my children while I went on a shore excursion myself, and no one showed up to take them. I had to miss the excursion which was a disappointment, but was able without much difficulty to get a refund. There is a lot of chaos and noise on the ship, but that can hardly be blamed on the staff or cruise line. I think that comes from a mostly European clientele, and is typical behavior. I saw it on the European airline we used as well. They could work on their organization.
I say, if you are traveling in Europe, do as the Europeans do. Stop expecting too much and just enjoy your time on the ship. If you can't handle it, stay home.
bcgrifasi’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 10 to 12
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Cabin Review

Cabin 15011
We were lucky enough to get a suite--it was beautiful, clean, and spacious. We enjoyed the complimentary fruit each day, and several times trays of desserts would appear in the evening. The balcony was heaven!
  MSC Musica Deck Plans