We chose to go on this cruise for a couple of reasons. One reason was we had never been on a Transatlantic Cruise, and two it seemed like a good deal for the amount of time of this cruise.
We booked the cruise back in the Summer and at that time we paid for the Easy Beverage package (which is the low end Alcohol included up to $6.00) and we pre-paid our Gratuities.
When we got on the ship we were approached by a number of people and one was selling the Beverage packages. When we told him we had the Easy package, he proceeded to show us the beverage menu and told us that we could have any beverage up to $10.00. The person I was traveling with drank mostly Chardonnay and after looking at the beverage menu she decided that there was a California wine that she liked and didnt really know the other wines so we both decided since she wanted that one particular wine and I wanted other drinks that were $6.50 and not covered by the Easy package, I would also up grade. We paid $207.00 additional for each of us to have the Premium Beverage package. The first two days of our 21 day cruise went fine as far as all the bars we were in had the Chardonnay she paid for. On the 3rd day of the cruise and forward till the end of the cruise the ship ran out of the one wine on the Premium package that she bought the up graded package to get. As we changed from one brand to the next they continued to run our of mixers and out of the Brand we chose. Time after time we heard "We dont have that any longer we ran out" The other issue with the beverage package is that when we went to the Gym, the bar/counter in there had smoothies. When I asked about the $6.50 fruit smoothies they looked at my card and said nothing in that bar/counter was covered by the Premium Package. So although we were told when he was trying to sell us the upgrade we could have any beverage up to $10.00 that was not true. When I tried to go back to the Desk to tell them in the first 5 days of the trip that since they seldom have the beverage we thought we paid for with the upgrade, so we wanted to revert back to the first Easy package we had bought and we wanted a refund of the $207.00 each we were told we only had 24 hours to cancel. When I explained the issue to the Head Person in charge of Beverage Packages (Pedro I believe his name was) he told me the wine that we bought the up grade for and was on the beverage menu we were shown and that was in all the bars on the menus, the ship had not had that wine on board for the last 4 months. When I explained that was not true that we had the wine the first 3 days of the cruise and it was a hit and miss to get it any place else, he basically called me a lair by saying "You are wrong we have not had it on board in 4 months.". He refused the refund the upgrade difference and left our table. About 15 min later he sent a bottle of the wine we had wanted to the table and said it was the only bottle still on board. Needless to say he never came back to apologize for what he said and never showed his face again. Bottom line before up grading your beverage package be sure you like more than one or two items on the menu because most likely you wont have it after the 3rd or 4th day of your cruise and for sure dont expect that they care or will do anything about it to make it right.
In addition to the Beverage package issue, we also had cold food we had to send back and we had raw fish. Both of those things happened within the first week or so of the 21 day trip and did however, start to get better as the days went by. The food is not the best I ever had on a ship. I find Celebrity and even Carnival has better food and better choices for dinners.
To top it off when we started our 5 days across the sea towards the Islands and the US we lost all TV Channels. There was no English speaking channels on at all until someone got to the top person and found out the issues with the Satellite and that MSC does not subscribe to channels in the Islands. We were out of our TV for half the trip! There was even a day or two when the TV Channel aimed at the front of the ship was not working either. It was actually a bit scary that there seemed to be no communication to the ship that the passengers could see.
I will say on a good note the Service Staff were great. Slivio from the Black Crab Dinning area was very accommodating and did all he could to ensure we had a good experience. All the dinner and bar staff were very nice and were always polite and accommodating as much as they could be. Our Room Stewart (Babu) was great. Our room was always clean and he was always doing things to help (got ice for us, provided tissues as we needed them etc.) Thats another thing dont expect to have tissues in your room becuase MSC has cut those out and in order to get them you have to pay for them or you need to buy your own at a stop over, which is what most people did.
If the back office and head people at MSC acted like the Service Staff does, I am sure MSC could be a good company to sail on again. As it is now with all the issues we had and the fact that they did nothing to help with those issues above we will spend our cruise time on other Cruise lines and not go back to MSC. This was our second on MSC and last on MSC.
BE AWARE BEFORE YOU GO!!!
We had an issue with terrible noise coming from above our first room (on floor 13) and found out after complaining for the first 2 days that the buffet was directly above. After almost crying from no sleep for 2 days the Assistant House Keeping person (Gibby) came to our room when called at 2:30AM to hear all the noise wrote a report and the next day after arguing back and forth we finally were changed to a nice quite room on 11th floor.
The first room on 13, the Cabin Stewart never introduced himself, but for our room on the 11th floor, Babu, was our Stewart and he was great. I cant say enough good things about him and we thank him very much.