This was the worst vacation I have ever had. The real problem is that this was not due to any external or unpreventable factor. It was the direct result of terrible and negligent service encompassing nearly all contact points with MSC employees.
The primary failure of this trip occurred when I was assured twice during two separate phone conversations with MSC customer service employees that my two children (ages 4 and 6) would be able to leave the ship and port in Cozumel and Costa Maya. The most recent of these two conversations was three days before departure. I was extremely disappointed when my children were not allowed to leave the ship at either port. When trying to clarify the rule onboard, there were differing opinions among customer service staff until a call was made to another manager on the boat. Even then, the staff could not tell me if the rule was that of the local port authority or MSC and when this rule was put into effect. When calling MSC's US call center from the boat, I was placed on hold without the ability to ever speak to a human. I was on hold for more than 1.5 hours before giving up. Multiple emails also yielded no response.
There were many other failures during the week. My 4-year-old's favorite stuffed toy was lost during the first morning of housekeeping. I had to contact three MSC employees before they communicated outside of their departments. After that, I was called daily to ask if I had found the stuffed toy. The toy was clearly in the bed sheets when removed for laundering and lost in the wash.