Beware of the constant upsells and of the food
MSC Splendida Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Let me first single out our Cabin Steward (Derma) and the Asst Maitre'd (Antonio). They both went above and beyond what was expected and MSC is fortunate to have them in their employ.
The best part of the cruise was visiting Malta, the Flamenco Dance show and the finale Italian Music show. Other than that it was ordinary and boring. The constant pressure to sell you a "drink package" (everything from hard liquor to what they a "coffee cuddle") at every single port was annoying and intrusive. In other words, if you did not want to drink filtered water in the buffet, make your own tea or try to stomach their horrible self serve coffee, it was going to cost you money.
In addition to the pressure to sell you a drink package, there was constant pressure throughout every public area of the ship to sell you a photo package (at lest 5-times what each picture is worth but they will give you a discount "buy 1 and get 1 free" - so you will only pay 2-1/2 times its value).
The buffet was the same almost every day (except for the "feature meat of the day at dinner"). The formal restaurant had a better selection but with extremely small potions. And we are a part of 8 adults and 1 baby, all but 2 of us got sick from the food (bad enough to have to stay in the cabin almost a full day - lucky for me it was the day completely at sea so I did not miss anything, not so lucky for my step-daughter and her husband missing the bicycle tour of Genova).
I have traveled on other cruise lines and never was there this much pressure to upsell, or just being cheap (not even ice tea or lemonade in the buffet without a charge per serving or refill).
One more point I need to bring up, I have a disability (spinal problems). As such I cannot stand for very long in a line. Getting back on the ship in Barcelona, I showed my government issued photo disability ID card to the first "security guard" just before he directed you to the lines for the metal detector and xray scanners. I told him I had a disability and asked to use the handicap entrance. His response "no way - impossible." After standing in the very long line, clearing the scans and having to rest 2 hours in my cabin, I went to Guest Services to file a complaint. As of this writing 1-week later, I have still not had a response from MSC regarding the incident.
Highly doubtful I will ever cruise with MSC again anywhere in the world.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Unless you like high pressure sale and so-so food, do not sail with MSC