I have just returned from my first and likely to be last cruise with MSC.
The itinerary was great Adjaccio, Civitavecchia, La Spezia, Genoa, Cannes, Palma returning to Barcelona. Each of the ports we did our own trip round the ports apart from the Cinque Terra which we did using public transport visiting 3 of the 5 villages. From the port you get the bus from the square (tickets bought at cruise port) to the station then purchased the train ticket Trains are fairly regular and you can easily visit 3 villages and spend about an hour at each. I was back in La Spezia mid afternoon. Walked back to port in 25minutes.
Other ports nice walk off ship and wander the streets for a good few hours.
Now the ship......
We had an initial problem with smell of cigarette smoke in bathroom. This was dealt with quickly and after 2 cleans was satisfactory.
Dining room experience was not good. Very close fitting tables and waiting staff seemed harassedand no time for chat. The food was cold and poor quality. I felt claustrophobic and only ate in main dining room once Preferred buffet. Food in buffet was also below temperature and never saw anyone ever checking with a food probe! Selection was ok but a bit repetitive. Plenty of pizzas on offer all the time - which were good! Don't use MSC if food is your main thing!
Entertainment was ok - shows in the theatre were short but good enough. Music and entertainers in other places were just too loud. Not able to hold a conversation so didn't visit for any time. Spoke to Cruise DirectorRichard who agreed that music was too loud!! Wine bar was best place to sit for a drink and chat.
Wine package well worth it although wines weren't the best but drinkable! Great selection of cocktails which were lovely.
Spa was huge disappointment. Purchased thermal package which consisted of 4 saunas which allegedly had different aromas which I couldn't detect. 2 steam rooms one out if order and the other too cool for me and sat in pools of water most of the time. The relax room consists of 15/20 loungers looking out to sea but the room is the walkway to the saunas and steam rooms so it wasn't very relaxing and was quite cool. Also kept being interrupted by staff showing passengers round. At one point there was a safety drill carried out with no warning from staff!!! There is no Jacuzzi or thermal pool unless you pay for it! Even using that one side of the jets kept cutting out and no one seemed to care when we mentioned it.
Information and activities on ship were poor. Not much to do onboard and no announcements from the bridge or a plotting of route on the tv.
All in all came home a bit under whelmed. Passengers all seem to say the same Cruising not what it use to be. Level of service and attention to detail not the same standard. Come on MSC...this could be easily fixed. Sort your dining room, get the food hot and turn your volume down!!!