We chose this cruise last minute because 1) it was a New Years cruise and 2) It had a bucket list itinerary at an affordable price for a 12 day cruise. We sailed to Ocho Rios Jamaica, Cartagena Colombia, Colon, Panama, Puerto Limon Costa Rica, Costa Maya Mexico, and the new Ocean Cay Marine Reserve( MSC's private island). If you do your research for booking your excursions with the ship, you should do fine. All our excursions booked through the ship were absolutely wonderful.
The ship is beautiful and well maintained. Our cabin was part of the Fantastica Balcony and was very nice and our Cabin steward Carlos was gracious and a hard worker. There are plenty of the usual cruise activities like dance classes, pool games, bingo, shopping, and the nightly shows were FANTASTIC. We loved the European flair added to all the performances, it felt like a "vacation within a vacation".
For the most part, all our servers were friendly and our waiter in our nightly dining restaurant Carlos was very courteous. The food was very good and the Specialty Restaurant - The Butchers Cut had excellent steaks and seafood. In all fairness, the Buffet had many many options but it would be nice if the ship was designed so that it had more dining hot spots, not just the buffet.
My biggest concern with our trip was the disembarkation once we got back to Miami. Although we were assigned colors according to cabin floors and destination places to be within the ship for disembarkation nothing was ever controlled by the cruise line for the disembarkation process, it was not well organized and many passengers were upset. They should have made announcements regarding stateroom colors for passengers to follow some sort of protocol. Everyone was getting in the line whenever they wanted. There was no personnel taking charge.
Would I do this again, YES in a heartbeat. All cruise lines have their pro's and con's. MSC did their best to please. They were great, we took a leap of faith in booking our cruise after reading some of the negative reviews and our vacation turned out wonderful
Cant always trust reviews because reviews are mostly based on those who usually had a "great" experience or those who had "bad" one.
FYI:Last but not least, WE LOVED IT when the ship leaves each individual port of call they play Andrea Bocelli music thoughout the ship....NICE TOUCH!!
We had a balcony stateroom and it was very comfortable for 3 people. It was us and our 22 year old son. The bathroom and closet space is small for 3 people to share, but I think most cruise ships dont offer much more. We have been on many other cruise lines and they are about the same.
We had been to Ocho Rios before on other cruises and we every time we visit Dunns River Falls. It is a beautiful place to visit and explore the falls and now they have a zipline which was fun for our 22 year old son.We took one of the many bus tours offered there at the port.
It was very good and informative tour. They took us to the key sites in the city. Not the downtown area. We would have loved for the tour to have been a bit longer so we could have had lunch and shopping in the old city.View All 367 City Tour Reviews
EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT. THE THING TO DO IN COLON. If you havent gone through the Panama Canal Locks than you havent been to the Panama Canal!! The Ferry is very smooth and the experience is FANTASTIC, ONCE IN A LIFETIME!!View All 108 Panama Canal Tour Reviews
VERAGUA RAINFOREST AND AERIAL TRAM RIDE, Excellent Choice. Experiencing the rainforest in Costa Rica is a must, so lush and beautiful. The number one thing to do in Puerto Limon. The road going to Veragua does get bumpy at the end, it is not a paved road, but the drivers do a great job!View All 34 Rainforest Aerial Tram Tour Reviews
We did not book any excursions in Costa Maya thru the ship because we had been here before. We booked a beach escape bus trip to the nearest beach there. The waters were pretty warm and clear for January and the facilities are clean and well maintained and decorated.
OUTSTANDING!! MSC outdid themselves in developing this island and all the facilities. The lunch buffet they gave us was awesome. The only drawback we had was not being able to get in the water and enjoy to facilities in the evening because we had a cold front come through and they even had to cancel the evening parade and party. We were sad to not have been able to enjoy it more. For those who go in the summer, it will be fantastic, the beaches are SPECTACULAR.