As the name basically gives it away, this is a GRAND ship. Super big. Huge. If this is something that you'd like to try then read on. If you're used to ships of a smaller class and prefer them, then this review may make you realize what you're *not* missing.
First of all, it's only been in the water for a short while so everything is clean and sparkly. It's like a mini Vegas on the water, glitz and glam, but having passengers wearing shorts and t shirts mingling with those in suits and dresses. No real dress code, so everyone is happy and comfy in their sandals or their heels.
As other reviewers mentioned there is a seriously obvious and slightly annoying push to up sell for beverages and other items that you would think would be included when you bought your ticket. You'd like wifi, of course not free. Things like water and juice? Sure you can come up to the buffet and fill your bottles. Of course juice is only available in the mornings. Sorry. Note: bring your refillable water bottles so you can at least take the water back to your cabin, as you'll be charged if you swipe it from the minibar. At least 3 euro, plus service charge. You get the picture.
Then of course remember you are traveling with 6000 other guests all vying for the same deck space, theater shows, dining times...it's really a small city that you will be sleeping in for the next week.
Dining was generally good, although portions small in the main dining rooms. Figured the calibre of food would be a little better than at the buffet but just marginally. The staff though were amazing and were there to assist and fulfill your requests at any time. Thankfully we were on a USA purchased cruise where the water was included at dinner. Not sure how else you'd drink anything if you didn't buy a beverage package.
The optional Cirque du Soleil show was OK. Don't expect a Vegas style show here, and really it should've been free. Even paying for a watered down drink was a bit too much. The other nightly shows in the main theater were pretty good and they were free. Just try to book ahead on the MSC app to avoid having to wait until all the booked passengers walk by and get the better seats. Then they open the doors to the masses and everyone floods in for the free for all. The downside here is when the show is over 975 guests are let out at the same time onto the main deck, all vying for the same elevators. Some planner even decided that would be a good time to do a crew parade so it was basically a crowd at a Boxing Day sale trying to get to the other end of the store. Still want to take a big ship? ;)
Despite all these items mostly related to just having a lot of people on a ship, the crew were all happy and it was evident that were trying to ensure that everybody was having a good time.
Still want to get a big ship cruise out of your system? Sure this one will satisfy that desire. But when you are queuing at the buffet for that piece of beef and four people run right in front of you and snatch it before your hungry eyes you may have a think about sailing on a smaller ship!
Thankfully the cabins are well appointed with plenty of storage and soft muted grey tones. Beds are rather comfortable and linens fresh and clean. A few quirky things like the Zoe Assistant which was basically, well it was useless. Tissues? No, they are only available upon request. You'd like a washcloth? Sure, by request and then you'll see them every other day if your attendant remembers. Lucky enough to have an adjoining room? Be prepared for some noise, kids love to scream on a ship playing in a new cabin.