Overall the ship is in good shape, large but easy to get around once you get the hang of it Having said that, the configuration with many dead-ends and too many reflective surfaces was bewildering. I found the ship lacking in ongoing maintenance, and understaffed. Most of the crew I came across were pleasant and eager to help. However, you can tell apart those that weren’t happy or interested in working onboard. Our wait-staff at dinner was excellent but not experienced on the dishes presented on the menu (tacky 1page printout, and only a few per table). On the negative side, the food was less than stellar. I had to return at least four meals, which I’ve never done in past 60+ cruises. The antiquated accounting system was atrocious. The long queues at reception could easily be minimized if billing info was on cabin TV or ship app. The few kiosks available for checking were out of service most of the time. Delayed method of posting charges only caused confusion not worth all the staff needed to answer inquiries. Lack of frequent maintenance of public restrooms was troubling; men’s room on promenade decks 5,6,7 were a disaster with sticky pissed floors. Once we reached Europe, the ship acts as a ferry boat, taking on/off passengers at different ports throughout the Mediterranean. The vibe changed dramatically. All of a sudden the buffet changed; for whatever reason, ice-tea/juice dispensers were not available after breakfast, only water and ice. Through out the entire voyage free ice-cream was sporadically available between 6p and 9p. Otherwise, only purchasable at specialty ice-cream shop. That said, ice-cream at the MDR at dessert was always available and very good. Overall, I found meat dishes overcooked, and food generally salty. However, desserts were not echeee sweet, adequate small portions; cookies were nice and crispy. Although they have a pizzaiolo making pizza daily, the pizza itself wasn’t very good. The pool areas were adequate with three main pools, one located in adults-only section. But as usual, some parents didn’t give a damn. We didn’t have many children during the transatlantic portion, however once we reached Madeira that changed dramatically with tons of kids boarding there as well as in Barcelona and Genoa. For me transatlantic crossing is preferable than doing a Mediterranean cruise, especially during summer time. I would definitely NOT do a Mediterranean cruise during summers; mid/late fall or late April early May is desirable. This applies to all cruise lines not just MSC. Having said that, I had a great time visiting all the ports and hanging with my travel buddies and meeting new friends for 24 days.