Good itinerary and a reasonably priced package since drinks were included. Totally overcrowded. Could hardly move in the buffet dining area, making passengers rather grumpy, but the food was perfectly adequate once you could find somewhere to sit and eat it.
Deck area uninhabitable due to extremely loud “musical” noise and unintelligible shouting, predominantly in Italian, over the public address system. From nowhere on the ship can you get a forward view, unless a Yacht Club member! Staff overwhelmed, even in Reception, which was permanently very busy, but they did retain good humour, amazingly.
Dining room was good as was the food and the staff were excellent. Ship card was wrongly programmed and did not allow the promised drinks package until corrected at reception. Cabin staff member was also excellent. Organisation of excursions was poor. All the coaches were sent from the registration venue simultaneously, causing huge overcrowding to exit the ship. Standing on stairs therefore for 15-20 minutes in a steamy throng. Great start to the day. Suggested staggering the departure but ignored. Kept waiting on a coach for 25 minutes due to late arrivals and guide wanted to wait longer but passengers complained so we left. Late passengers never arrived. Then hurried along at each part of the trip due to being behind schedule. Guide gave inaccurate information, e.g. we leave in 15 minutes, then leaving in 12 minutes (in Cagliari). A large number of wheelchairs, baby carriages etc. which, whilst not being an issue in themselves, added to the overall feeling of overcrowding and must have been difficult for those needing such facilities.
Cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel last year and had loads of space; never felt hassled at all. Similarly on Norwegian’s Dawn the year before. The floor shows in the evening were generally very enjoyable, but I objected to having bright lights shone directly into my eyes. I am not epileptic, but still closed my eyes because I could not see anyway, and the light was quite unpleasant. MSC does not deserve staff who are this good. They did their best in challenging circumstances. Bar staff were always particuarly cheery. It is intrinsically difficult to have passengers embarking and disembarking at virtually every port of call, with all the attendant security drills etc.. Only a “proper” cruise for me in future. It was different, but we did enjoy it. Very few English passengers. BCC’s organisation worked very well. I found the cruise and asked BCC to package it for me which they did very efficiently, so any less than perfect features were my fault. Still learning!