This is one of the oldest ships in MSC’s fleet, yet from experience, its far better than most other companies. There were things which tainted the cruise, as with most. You can’t please all the people…!
We enjoyed the food, Yes. Yet the food was not of the standard we have enjoyed on other MSC ships (5), 3 this last 12 months. The Buffet was a free for all, the main dining room was calm, collected and with good service and a great crew to serve you. The skipper certainly was one you could trust and if seldom seen, or heard, the ship was sailed, handled & moored with expert handling. One of the most annoying items on board was the LONG, Very l o n g! announcements made by the ships Show director. Boring to hear, a lack of feeling in his words and in many poorly dictated tongues.
Back to the cruise. The ports of call were easy to get too, good excursions, by the ship, and if in Arabian territory, you felt very safe ashore. One other drawback, the passengers were mainly Chinese on this occasion, they are so loud and hassle in getting their food at the buffet.
The Souk’s are a maze, but worth exploring, Dubai’s malls are great and enormous, but get a taxi and find other places, markets out of the city centre, prices are 1/3 of the more expensive malls, (a Silk Pashmina, approx with haggling go for £2!!). Old sea fareing antiquities got for £15-30, watches with Rolex going for $80 if you don’t question who made them!!! Look good though!
The weather at Xmas was 27*C. What more can I say? Plenty of sun beds to go around, some reserved by the ever present Germans, by towels, soon removed. The beer if you go on a package was good, the spirits were copiously flowing, the wine at dinner was really decent quality. The shows on board were above the normal boat crew spectacular presentations with some good professional acts mixed in. But one must mention we had Emirates flights which surpassed BA, like they are still in the 70’s. For the money paid it is a good cruise a great experience and worth many more visits.