We chose this cruise because a friend wanted to try MSC. It was also going to be a birthday cruise for me. The disaster began on day one when the boarding process took over 4 hours! I felt sorry for the seniors and disabled who had to wait in these ridiculously long lines. Many of us did the preboarding steps on the MSC app which didn't help anything go faster because the staff had to still go through everything once you got to the counter. Once on board, we tried to go to the dining area to make sure dinner arrangements were secure, and they were not. We were a party of 12 and were separated at different tables. We were told by the Maitre D they can not accommodate us and it was impossible to put together a table of 12. We've been on 20 cruises and have never been told anything like that! Dinner the first night took over 3 hours to get served and the service was very poor. One of our guests had questions about the menu and our waiter looked at her and said, "JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!" Some of us decided to eat upstairs at the buffet the entire cruise. We were never able to sit together as an entire group for dinner. On other cruise lines, the waiter would address us after dinner to make sure everything was good and inform us of events happening on the ship. On this cruise, the waiter would announce, "Ladies and gentlemen, we need to get ready for the next seating so you have to leave!" REALLY!!!
We were never greeted with "good morning" or "good afternoon" in the buffet area. Many of the staff in the buffet area came across as rude and not friendly and would walk right in front of you without looking or letting you pass if you were walking with food. Also, it seemed as though they made all the food at the beginning of the cruise and then just kept putting it out everyday. A lot of it began to taste like leftovers and some of the bread and pastries even got stale after the 4th day. Almost every morning, the buffet area ran out of coffee cups in all of the beverage stations and would often take 20-30 minutes before staff would bring out more cups, causing a mad rush for cups and coffee!
Our itinerary included a 2 say overnight stay in Quebec but we were told via announcement that we were only going to spend one day in that port. Many of us were looking forward to the 2 days and had to cancel plans and excursions. The ship left shortly after midnight and we never received an explanation as to why our trip in that port was cut short. Also, with a ship of almost 5k passengers, you would think they would open more than one gangway. It took so long to get back on the ship, and crew members would cut in front of you to get back onboard. Disembarking was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. We were in line to get off the ship and there were 3 terminals where the staff would scan your cruise card and everyone was splitting to go into one of the 3 lines. We got up to the staff member and I was handing him my card, when he just looked at me, put his scanner down and closed the line without saying anything! On top of that, he didn't leave the area but instead just stood there to chat with one of the other crew members! We all had to back out of that line to get into one of the other lines that were open, causing more chaos. On other cruises, the crew members would say thank you and bid you goodbye, but none of the crew members were saying anything to the passengers. Thankfully, we went to the guest service desk on the 4th night and canceled our gratuities and diverted them at the end of the cruise to the few on board who we thought deserved them.
The bright spot on board was our cabin steward, Aldrin. He took good care of us and was very friendly and professional.
Overall, the ship was beautiful, but too big for such an amateur and disorganized staff. They actually made Carnival look good for a quick second!
Cabins appeared nice but lacked storage.