Where do I begin? Our family decided to do a Christmas and New Year cruise expecting a terrific experience. We all agreed on doing a back-to-back cruise and this one fit the bill for the dates we had available. Boy were we wrong. We left Miami and encountered rough seas. Not the ships fault but was stressful. Many people were quite sick. We arrived at Puerto Rico late and stood in the stairwells for 2 hours waiting to disembark. There was no communication from staff to explain the situation nor trying to direct the angry passengers. Puerto Rico was nice but was dark by the time we got off and did not get to enjoy much the city had to offer.
The next day the toilets stopped working. It was horrible and overflowing with human waste. Luckily that was short lived and fixed later that day.
We did an ATV excursion in St Marten and we were majorly disappointed. It involved driving an ATV through the streets going to the beach. Definitely nothing like we had envisioned. The staff had been seen smoking a rather large joint before starting their shift.
The Bahamas was ok.
We went back to Miami and decided not to disembark and waited to go through customs. Overall an easy and low-key process.
We then left and went to Jamaica. My wife went on an cooking class excursion and was very disappointed.
Next was Columbia and Panama and those were a decent experience.
Costa Rica was our next stop. We have been there before and were looking forward to going to the sloth sanctuary. Once again the tour was subpar. The description stated we would see baby sloths. Nope. They said that was another excursion and was very pricey. Not even an option for us to purchase though. Also our tour guide in the sanctuary thought he needed to speak everyone's language even though this was an english speaking tour. Not impressed. The canoe experience was a great time. We saw several troops of howler monkeys and a sloth. Our guide there was great.
Costa Maya was good. We saw the Mayan ruins and our guide was decent.
Now on to MSC's private island Ocean Cay. Oh my! It will be a lovely place in about 5 years. They have done a major island overhaul and evidently need more money because 1 Corona was $8.25. The shops were ridiculously priced.
We arrived at Miami and all hell broke lose! We were supposed to disembark at 7:50 and meet in a certain location. We arrived at 7:30 and it was already mass caos. There were 2 major long lines formed and once again no staff around to help ease the process. I decided to leave the area and go to the end of the line figuring once I reached my family, they would join me. 1 1/2 hrs later and I moved 50', my wife texted me to get up to her as she found a way off. We did make our flight which was rushed.
Our grandchildren were enrolled in the kids program and hated it. No organization at all. They never wanted to go. They had been on other cruises and loved the kids program.
The evening entertainment was horrible. The singing was lip-synced at times and was very obvious as the "singer" stopped moving their mouths. The acrobatics stuff was good but ruined once again with the horrid singing. The bars had other bad singers too. No one seemed to know how to sing. No areas to sit down and enjoy each other's company due to being so loud.
Not much to do during the day. We did crafts several times but the one lady rarely gave us direction and she was usually busy doing another project for a friend. Jefferson was great. Very helpful and kind. He was organized.
We wanted to go outside and sit but all the chairs had towels on them. I ran most every day and the work-out room is ok but I ran on deck. Previous reviews and several staff members advised that deck 7 was around the ship. Nope. Walled off. So I ran on deck 15 weaving through the lounge chairs and the people smoking all over and designated track.
The announcements were in various languages. It usually took 7-8 minutes to go through them and other times it was only in English.
Staff often looked like walking dead. They would say they only received 4 hours of sleep and had to start their shifts at 6 AM. Sometimes they would have a break during day but they always seemed tired. Our waiter and assistant did a good job.
Our muster station was extremely disorganized. No leadership and people were talking above the staff members. Other cruises 'muster stations I have taken part of were so organized and quiet you could hear a pin drop.
Rude - Multiple staff members and numerous passengers were the most rude people I have encountered. I have never encountered such behaviors on other cruises.
Food - Where do I begin? The buffet was the same song and dance daily. We tried the dining room for breakfast and lunch several times and usually got horrible service. Language barriers and not getting what we ordered. The food was so plain. We ALWAYS needed to add salt and pepper. I never do back home. The desserts looked very appetizing but yet again disappointing. No flavor. The safest option was to get ice creme.
Last but not least, MSC managed to lose our garment bag when we disembarked. Our bags were all together and that garment bag was not there. We filed a lost bag report but MSC still has not located. We have been off for 48 hours now. We had packed our gifts in that bag and unfortunately will be lost.
We have been on several Royal, Norwegian, Carnival and Holland America cruises and this will be our one and done cruise with this company.
Was ok. Our steward did an average job but not stellar. She always appeared tied and worn out. We ran out of toilet paper often and had to ask for beach towels several times.