I have cruised MSC before many years ago and had a good experience. I have also cruise with Carnival 6-7 times, Princess, Holland America and Royal Caribbean. I realized very quickly this cruise line was not the experience I was looking for as an American. I booked this cruise because the dates worked for my step-daughter's spring break and because the prices were great, and free drinks and wifi package. We tried to cancel our cruise due to the sudden Coronavirus onset just a few days before leaving but we were unable to reach anyone after a long phone wait. When we arrived the port crew was extremely unfriendly and I immediately felt uncomfortable. I felt as though I had just arrive for my prison intake. Again, lots of cruise experiences and never felt this way. The gentleman who checked us in did a good job of making us feel welcome, which helped. However, as we boarded the ship I found the crew to be more like security, very unfriendly feeling and barking orders or demands. I am acclimated to all the smiling faces and helpful souls of the Carnival cruise experience and I will be returning to them as a loyal customer from here forward even if it means paying a little more money. At dinner we sat for typically an hour and a half because the wait staff was handling so many tables. Our waiter was friendly and did his best to accommodate. They would bring rolls, and I asked 3 times for butter while we sat there hungry for 30-40 minutes waiting on the butter. The food served was very small servings, and not up to par for an evening dinner entree experience. Shrimp cocktail contained 2 shrimp, the steak ordered was paper-thin. The second night we decided to upgrade for the rib-eye with bearnaise . When the steak came it had no bearnaise. We asked the waiter who shrugged us off and never returned with the sauce. Twenty minutes later we went to find some sauce from another waiter, but by this time the steak was cold. We asked for the head waiter, who never came. We asked for refund which we were also declined. We were offered a 20% discount, which we also did not receive as per our bill at check out. We asked for the manger on the way out of the dining room and informed him we will not be returning to eat in the dining room, nor will we return to this cruise line in the future. They continued to mix up our orders and bring out wrong dishes we had not ordered. It was clear they did not have the staff needed to get the job done efficiently. The cruise seemed to be half booked which leaves me wondering what would have happened if it had been full. Our room was extremely tidy, and our room staff were friendly. We also found it easy to obtain beverages in the bar areas which we loved as well as the ability to use use the drink package the day we were on the cruise ships owned island. My suggestions to MSC, is to train your staff for customer service, we are your customers not a bother! Add more staff to you dining room and more things to do throughout the day, the choices of entertainment were slim. Leaving us sitting in our staterooms for hours at a time waiting for the evening show. I hope this review helps those who are shopping for a great deal to see what gets cut when prices are so low. Spend the extra $50-$100 a person and enjoy your vacation experience!
We chose a port side balcony room on the 9th deck. Our room staff were friendly and the room was extremely clean. I can rate this as excellent. The size of the room was a bit smaller than we were acclimated to but overall good experience with the room and staff.
This island has just gotten up and running. We did not have any excursions planned here. Just a day at the beach and some relaxation. We were pleasantly surprised that MSC allowed us to use our easy drink package on the island and they also supplied a lunchtime buffet. These are two items that other cruise lines charge for. We did enjoy a swim, although it was a little cooler that expected out.
Be sure you arrive much earlier than what the MSC tickets state. We arrived at 3:30-3:40 and they were locking the front doors. The security staff were extremely unfriendly and I felt as though I were about to go to prison rather than on a cruise. When we made it upstairs the gentleman checking us in must have seen how nervous we were and he took his time checking us in and making friendly conversation. However, after we left the check-in that same feeling continued.