This was our first time sailing MSC, and while I want to give a detailed and honest review of our cruise; keep in mind our cruise was the one that made the news when both Jamaica and Grand Caymans would not let us disembark for fear of flu as such I will not be able to provide any information on how shore excursion or disembarkation worked (except to say Many Thanks to Cozumel for letting us off (the testing took over 12 hours, but getting clearance to disembark and be able to get off in Miami was worth it)
We decided on MSC after a just ok cruise on Norwegian. We looked at other lines and were enticed by what MSC was offering; this ship and the chance to have our own large room with private balcony/hot tub for a great price was too good to pass up (also they do offer military discount, which we were able to take advantage of), we booked this 2 years ago and decided to not do so during spring Break in the hopes of missing out on a lot of teens/young adults (nothing against this age group, I work for a college and sometimes your vacation needs to be away from the people you deal with)
MSC does 'experiences' so given our room choice we got the Aurea this came with the following: Drinks Package, 2 complimentary massages, full access to the thermal spa, access to Deck 19 private solarium, My Choice Dining in the Panorama Restaurant, Priority Embarkation
our steward was Summatra he was good; he stocked our mini bar with water/vodka, cleaned left fresh towels and pretty much left us alone which is what we wanted. I can not stress enough we are low maintenance and easy to please (make the bed, vacuum if necessary and fresh towels) and Summatra did just this.
We chose the suite with the hot tub at front of the ship- both rooms were spacious and definitely a lot of closet space (one walk in one small wall) the couch left a little to be desired (I think it got used a lot as a sofa bed) the deck was long – steel up midway and glass around the hot tub area. Small bathroom with shower- very nice and perfect for our needs. The tv had limited but a variety of stations (US/European selections) so we made due. While we enjoyed this room the hot tub sometimes was not hot, add the extreme amount of wind and it was not as great as it could have been. We talked at length about this and will book an aft with balcony next time -with the Aurea package we get the thermal spa so the additional hot tub on our balcony while nice was not really needed
To date we have never had a successful excursion in Cozumel, so this time we booked the Tequilla and Chocolate tour- only to have this cancelled due to the Coronavirus scare, but we decided to venture out in Cozumel proper for a little land time. to the left of the Duty Free Mall/shop we walked down the street made it to another retail area/sort of like a town square with shops ate/drank at Woody's (for the giant rita's and free wifi) and bought a few souvenirs. we then walked around the main mall area and headed right - Funky Bazaar was a cool shop in the grocery store that sold some great non souvenir clothing/accessories.