My husband and I are fairly avid cruises, generally taking 1-2 cruises each year. Cruising is our favorite type of vacation. We've been on Carnival, Celebrity and RC. Celebrity tends to be our favorite (we are single, no children, in our 40's) and RC is a very close 2nd choice. My career has been in hospitality (restaurants, bars, hotels) as a VP for many year, so I'm very aware of the little details of good service, as well as being very forgiving for mistakes that are bound to happen. The purpose of this review is to help you decide if this is the right ship/cruise for you, give a few pointers for you to have a better time, and hoping that MSC reads some of the critique to get even better.
The current situation with the vaccination status and covid testing (9/3/21):
Our cruise was fully vaccinated guests only due to a recent decision by the Bahama government. Luckily, we and our two friends, are all fully vaccinated so we did not need to cancel. However, we did have to take a covid test and bring the negative results with us. You might stress a bit about this, but it's easier than you think. My recommendation is to book (online) TWO different tests (rapid test comes back same day, aka antigen test). Book these with your local CVS and/or Walgreens, in two different locations. Book these two weeks before your cruise, for a time that is less than 72 hours before your cruise begins. Why two? Because our CVS canceled all the tests at the one location on the morning we were to get tested. This caused us to scramble to find another, which was very difficult so late. Nobody's fault of course. But, had we booked two, then the one canceling would not have presented issues. Of course, you only need to take one test, then cancel the second after you've done the first. The test at CVS was very quick and fully covered by insurance. Unfortunately, that worked well for our friends, but my husband and I had to do ours at an urgent clinic (no openings left at CVS) which cost $139. Some tests are $200 and more in other locations. So, book with CVS and Walgreens if you can, using your insurance.