We booked this as a last minute decision and before reading reviews on here, we may not have booked had we read reviews first but we found that MSC were excellent to deal with and had a wonderful time.
Embarkation- is very efficient and as they have no set start port for the Cruise there are people embarking at every port of the Cruise meaning there is far fewer at each port in the queue.
Crew/Staff- were top notch, despite the fact that there were very few English speaking passengers on board we never met a crew member that could not speak English, they were super helpful and always courteous.
Facilities- there were so many things to do onboard for both adults and kids that there was never a danger of boredom, everything from multiple pools and jacuzzis to a State of the Art gym, video games, football pitch, table tennis, and a squash court. There is also a Hair salon, Spa and other pampering available at an extra cost. There is a Casino, a Sports Bar along with plenty of Cafes, Bars, Restaurants and Ice Cream Counters.
Excursions- are available at an extra cost, these can be quite expensive especially if you are booking for four but having done both official and self-organised excursions there is not a huge cost saving in the difference but the self-organised tours allows for flexibility such as choosing the time slot for climbing the Tower of Pisa. NB* please note that tickets to go up the Leaning Tower of Pisa are NOT included in that tour and you NEED to book in advance to ensure you get to go up as it is super busy and limited in numbers allowed.
Dining- This was one worry we had but we could not have been more impressed, there was a different and varied dinner menu each night in the Red Velvet Restaurant, you could also go there for breakfast and lunch or you could go to the Zanzibar Buffet on deck 14 which opened 18-20 hours per day. The buffet however didn't have food between 17.00 & 18.30 due to the crew partaking in the daily Emergency Evacuation Exercise for new passengers which we found was a strange time to close the food part? The food was always top quality in the A La Carte Red Velvet and while there was a huge choice in the Zanzibar some of the food was tepid if it had been out for more than a couple of minutes.
Passengers- Mainly Italian, French, Spanish & German but with a good sprinkling of other nationalities.
One drawback that I must mention as it can colour the judgement / enjoyment of some people is that we found that passengers of certain nationalities appear incredibly rude in terms of an inability to queue in an orderly fashion, an unwillingness to give way while passing in tight spaces and even common courtesy of thanking you for holding a door open for them. I had to ask passengers at one of the shows to be quiet as they insisted on talking their way through the show so loudly that everyone within 30m could hear their conversation and none of the show.
The ship despite being 11 years old was in great condition and huge efforts were made to keep it looking well so overall we could not fault MSC in any way, indeed we were so impressed we have booked with MSC on their new ship the MSC Grandiosa for next year.
Cabin was as expected, small for 4 but adequate and well maintained. The cabin service was prompt, the cleaning and tidying good and the towels were changed daily or more if needed or wanted. Cabin Towels and Deck towels were provided daily per person in cabin so no need to bring your own deck towels.
The tour guide was excellent. We had plenty of time to climb to the top. We were dropped off about 300 meters from the top and it took us 45minutes to walk the rest of the way with many stops for photos and to enjoy the view. It took 15 minutes to walk down. It was very hot (35 degrees) and we needed plenty of water.View All 60 Mt. Vesuvius Reviews
Tour guide was excellent. Lunch was very nice. We spent about two - three hours walking around Pompeii with the tour guide who was very knowledgeable. The paths are uneven but still manageable for someone with reduced mobility.View All 505 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews