Bit of background. Used to cruise quite a bit pre-kids but this is our 1st in 10 years and our first taking the children.
The cruise was very well priced considering it was the half term holidays in the UK.
Hesitant after reading the reviews of the ship so maybe that lessened my expectations but everything was very good.
Embarkation - Bit confusing. On previous cruises, we got our cruise cards when we checked in. Here, we got told they are left in the cabin though our cabin was locked so had to go down to Reception and wait in the long queue before getting new cards.
Yes - there was a bit of a scrum at breakfast time but always managed to find a seat or table. Food was always being constantly being checked and stocked up. This is despite people packing their plates as high as they could and filling tupperware with items for their lunch. How much food waste there is I don't want to know! I don't know why people can't put on their plate want they can eat and then go back for more if they still need more to eat?
We ate in the Black Crab restaurant where our waiter Gerardo was helpful and good with the kids. Food was of good quality, not a great quantity on the plates but enough.
Good selection of wines available.
Theatre - As people have said, it's singing, singing, singing but when you have the quality of the singers they have then why not. Very entertaining and enjoyed each night.
Ship was clean.
Bar service was slow at times - you could be sitting down for 20 minutes before anybody came and asked if you wanted a drink. Bar service was non-existent on the pool decks. You have to go to the bar yourself.
Palermo - Didn't spend any time in Palermo really. Got a bus to Mondello Beach and spent the day there.
Cagliari - Nice place. Short walk to the centre so walked around.
Palma De Mallorca - Good shops. Very clean. Again, we just walked around.
Valencia - I thought Valencia was a really nice city considering it's one of the biggest in Spain. Plenty of parks. Good central market selling lots of local food.
Marseille - Went on Le Petit Train which took us on a trip of the city.
Disembarkation - Got no instructions left in the cabin so again had to go to Reception and wait in the long queue to find out what we had to do.
All in all - would we cruise again?
with Kids? Yes - they absolutely loved it
with MSC? Yes - not a premium line so wouldn't pay premium prices but it caters for the mass market and does very well at that.
I was dreading 4 people in an inside cabin but didn't spend much time in there. Bed wasn't cramped and operated with upper beds on either side of the cabin.
With it being Interior, room was pitch black and allowed all of us to sleep very well. There was no noise form adjoining cabins that we could hear.
Room was cleaned daily to a good standard. Although normally we would say Hello, on this cruise we never saw them. Also, do cruise ships not do Towel animals anymore since our last cruse 10 years ago??