First time on MSC
My previous cruises had been on Princess, RCI, NCL, Celebrity, Carnival and a short Cunard. I had always discounted MSC having seen some negative reviews. However the deal for this cruise was too good to resist particularly as I was travelling solo. Embarkation and disembarkation at Genoa was very quick and efficient, helped no doubt by the fact that passengers joined at different ports. The first thing to say is that the Meraviglia is impressive and,unless you dislike glitz, it definitely has the wow factor. My inside cabin was comfortable, very clean and similar to insides on other ships. The shower was a good size. There was a shortage of storage space. I had seen negative comments about the food and service standards. I used the main restaurant for most meals and the buffet a couple of times. I found the buffet very busy, although the selection available seemed reasonable. The food in the main restaurant was good, but perhaps not quite on a par with my previous ships. I found the service to be very good apart from at breakfast when it was a bit slow. I certainly didnt have any reason to complain. The new drinks packages which were introduced fairly recently seem to be overly complicated and not necessarily understood by the servers. I upgraded mine on discovering how limited the Easy Package was e.g. the only beer was Heineken, but then others found it okay. One good thing was that it included coffees etc and bottled water. The entertainment was primarily singers, dance performances and some acrobatics. I am not a big fan of the usual shows, but found the entertainment quite watchable. I even went to a condensed opera performance one afternoon which was a novel experience! On this cruise the number of English speaking passengers was very low which made some activities less enjoyable. I love quizzes, but the range of these was limited. The two that I did participate in were a music quiz and one with pictures. I booked a walking tour in Palermo which was well organised and informative. The only other excursion that I booked was for Marseille, but we went to Toulon instead due to bad weather. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and I would cruise with MSC again if the price was right. However I would probably prefer a different itinerary on which there were more English speakers, particularly if travelling solo.
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