Originally I chose this cruise for my adult daughter and I to enjoy a short cruise in the Yacht Club. But as things turned out she could not go and I changed my stateroom to a standard ADA inside cabin. I am a Black Card member and was paying for a Fantastica experience. I am not sure why but I never received some of the Black Card perks. No robes, no free gift, no chocolate ship, no chocolate covered strawberries and proscecca. I am not sure why I bothered to pay for a Fantastica Experience either since the only real perk was room service, which I never used. Lesson learned.
It has been years since I booked a short cruise and now I remember why....packed with kids and young families. Too many passengers allowing their kids to run rampant without parental control, even in the Main Dining room. I do not feel the Maitre d' did a very good job of seat assignments. There should have been families with babies and small children seated in the same area. Instead they were spread all over the dining room. I was in an ADA cabin which should indicate that I had a disability. Mine is a mobility issue and need to use a scooter to get around. Logically I would think that a person with a handicap would be seated close to the entrance. I was assigned a table all the way in the back of the dining room by the kitchen entrance. To get there I had to traverse the length of the entire dining room. And to boot there was a large family at the table behind us with 6 restless kids who were jumping up and down and yelling during dinner with NO parental intervention.That did not make for a pleasant dining experience. I requested a table change. The next night we dined in the Butcher's Cut which was great except for the fact that when my cabinmate asked to change her salad because she did not care for the dressing on it the waiter told her they would have to charge for a different salad. Since when can't you send something back and have it replaced without additional charge?
I found the staff in general to be snarky, unfriendly and stressed out. I found some of the passengers (American) to be the same way. When returning from Ocean Cay I was positioning my scooter to be able to board the elevator when it arrived and some woman who had been standing there waiting also must have thought I planned to cut in front of her. She started screaming at me about how just because I was disabled it didn't give me entitlement for a prime position on the elevator. I was shocked! #1 anyone with common courtesy would insist to allow a disabled person go ahead of them. I was an RN for nearly 40 years and ALWAYS helped the less abled. Guess she was just a rude person. As it turned out there was plenty of room for me on the elevator but I had no intention of riding in it with such a rude individual and just waited for the next one. What the heck? You're on vacation lady!
When I sailed on the Divina two years ago I had a wonderful 7 night cruise. The food was really great, the entertainment spectacular and everyone tried their best to make the passengers happy. This time was such a disappointment! I traveled with someone who had never been on this line and it was kind of disappointing to encounter so many issues when I had been bragging this line up so much. There were situations after situations where excuses were constantly made for shortcomings in the dining room service. EX. ask for iced tea in the dining room at lunch and it is still not there after 30 minutes. Then the waiter gives you some lame excuse that it has to be brought from the buffet so you ask another assistant waiter and it is there in 2 minutes. Too much inconsistency. Menus were not the same. Too much cayenne in food that should not have it. But the breads, pizza and desserts remained exceptional.
Ocean Cay was advertised for over a year to be open and was constantly pushed back month after month. I sailed on the Seaside last December and the island was supposed to be open by then. This time it was open. This was only the 3rd sailing going there. As it was we were unable to spend more than 2 hours there due to an incoming storm. I have no doubt that this will be a great beach place to spend the day eventually but it is really not ready yet. The computers on the island are not communicating properly with the system on the ship making for really long lines at the bars and coffee shops.I had the opportunity to speak with one of the construction foremen there about future plans for the island. When I asked him about the opening delay he told me that construction was never started on Ocean Cay until Spring 2019 so he had no idea why MSC would have been promoting it's opening LAST year. Really MSC?
I am a cruise consultant and I have been excited to see MSC have great success in the USA market but they still have a very long way to go. In my opinion they need to employ more staff for their dining areas & do better training with their staff about attentiveness to details and customer service. That seems to be extremely lacking. I ran into a woman just down the corridor from me who incurred an injury right in front of the Guest Services area. The story she told me about her treatment was appalling and should never happen on a cruise ship. First off, this woman and her husband own a travel agency and both worked on a cruise line for 11 years. Regardless of this, she sustained an injury by getting her heel caught on the carpet and fell flat on her face. Not only did the staff not assist her one of them started arguing with her about her need for medical attention. I was under the impression that the Golden Rule in customer service is that the customer is ALWAYS right.
In summery...I will never book another short cruise on this line. I must say I have had good experiences on a 7 day sailing on the Divina and on the Seaside. My next sailing will be on the Meraviglia for 12 days. I hope that is much improved!
I was in an ADA cabin which was certainly spacious enough. We had ample space to accommodate my scooter. The stateroom could use more outlets and USB ports but I always bring enough to accommodate my needs. Our stateroom attendant was polite and did her job. I forgot to take the slot card out on the first day so we did not get towels and ice. My own fault. Beds were really hard.
Still needs lots of time and work but potentially looks like it will be a great beach day location. They have done a beautiful job on the structures that are already there with making them fit into the Bahamian style architecture and tropical colors.