Jamie Here is someone who put it nicely in a post : main difference - mainly European passengers and not as many places to eat 🙂
"MSC is pretty unique.It operates on a different model than the mainstream lines You pick you cabin, and Experience. Each Experience has different inclusions, and different price points, versus mainstream lines where everyone gets the same basic services and option, with suites possibly paying more for more options. Experiences include Bella, Fantastica, Wellness, Aurea or Yacht Club. Many people who have been unhappy wirh MSC seen to not understand the Experience differences and are expecting the same thing found on other lines.. It's also more European in focus - service standards and so forth are much more European than USA.. Many people complain about "unfriendly" or "impersonal" service - because the staff aboard is not in your face every five minutes asking how things are, nor making like you're best friends after one meeting. Rather, they're efficient, friendly, and to business, but not fawning, buddy buddy, new best friend type..... Much more like dining or bars in Europe... It suits some, and not others - especially those who are expecting things to be like other lines. Demographic aboard are much more diverse than your mainstream lines also. That is a plus to many, and a drawback to some. Announcements are in several languages. Menus are in several languages. Customs among the passengers are different, and so forth.That's much of its appeal to many people - it's different, and stands out in a crowded field. But there's a fair amount who haven't done any research really, don't understand the more European focus, and just booked the lowest price, and then are upset about charges or dining options or demographics aboard or whatnot.