Everything began well. Our balcony room was the most spacious and well presented one we’ve enjoyed so far on any cruise ship and it was kept spotless and well stocked with towels throughout our stay.
However from then on things deteriorated.
The cruise was for 14 nights Barbados-Barbados. This break cut across two other 7 night cruises, one originating in Martinique, the other in Guadalupe. The impact was twofold.
Firstly, the on board entertainment was repeated on a 7 day cycle, so after the first week we’d seen the full offer.
Secondly, the restaurant food offering, linked to the recommended dress code, was also on a 7 day cycle, except for Gala night which we endured 4 times; no problem with the dress code, but the same meal on 4 nights was really just laziness by the kitchen.
One of our party has a food intolerance, this has been handled without problems on other cruise ships, but it seemed largely beyond MSC to manage and restricted her to eating in the formal dining rooms as there was absolutely no provision in the self-service areas.
Absolutely everything is charged, even water in the formal dining rooms, and in addition to the daily per person charge made to each cabin a 15% charge is added to every purchase, so don’t underestimate when working out the cruise budget.
In comparison to other ships of this class and size there were several hundred more passengers on board. This led to congestion at peak times in the public areas, so try and avoid those times.
Fortunately the BA flights were excellent both ways and the islands of the Caribbean were magical.
Next time we’ll avoid MSC.