This was our 2nd MSC cruise, the first one being 5 years ago on the Divina. We are platinum on both Carnival and NCL. As a New Yorker, I was trilled when I found out MSC would be sailing out of the city.
The entertainment on this ship was excellent. I'd say the talent was Broadway quality. Each night there were new shows in the theatre. There was also music in smaller venues for listening and dancing.
For such a large ship and so many passengers I rarely felt crowded. The halls were wide, the entrance to the buffet was huge and except for one time we never had a problem finding seats in the buffet. That "one time" was for breakfast when our port arrival time was 10am...so it was understandable. And, the elevators weren't crowded.
The best part of the buffet was the pizza! I didn't find any other food above "the OK level" but I eat to live, so as long as I have my vegetables and fruits I'm good. And, they had lots of vegetables and fruits.
This ship is gorgeous. Those Swarovski Crystal staircases were like "Staircases to Heaven". And everything was immaculate.
We had a Bella Balcony. We travel light, so storage wasn't a problem for us. However, those who pack a lot might find it limited. Our steward was always around and made up our room early.
I had 3 services in the spa...massage, facial and hair color/cut. I was very satisfied with the hair (incredibly inexpensive if bought on line). The massage and facial were also pre-purchased at good prices. The massage was OK; the facial better. We had a free hour in the thermal spa; I wasn't very impressed.
I also used the gym several times. The equipment was all new and modern. The first morning it was too crowded but after that I went in the afternoon so there was always room.
Our weather was beautiful except for one "cloudy and a little drizzle day" in Sydney. We had an MSC excursion which wasn't super exciting but then again, there's no much in Sydney to get excited about. If I didn't know I was on a ship I would have thought I was on land (except for one night when there was minimal rocking) it was such a smooth sailing.
Please take all those negative reviews with a grain of salt. This is a wonderful ship. If you cruise for food it might not be your best ever experience. But, if you cruise to relax, meet lots of people from other parts of the world and just enjoy yourself you won't be disappointed.
Great cabin in an excellent location. The balcony is a bit larger than "the typical" balcony in this category.