What an experience!
Well done all around.
As you know this is the second full season that MSC has operated out of Ft. Lauderdale. I think they are still tweeking things such as port calls and timings. As far as I'm concerned they definitely run a tight ship.
Here are my thoughts.
Embarkation- A pleasant experience that was well run and seemless from the time we arrived at pier 4. No line up whatsoever. And the juice was a nice touch especially when confronted with a humid Florida day. Walking up the gangway, we were greeted by Akitaka who is part of the entertainment team. Smiles all around and the white glove service and escort to our cabin was great as we didn't have a clue where we were going.
Cabin- A little small but very well laid out. MSC must have an awesome naval architect who definitely knows how to maximize space in a small area. Our cabin was always neat and tidy. The turn down was a nice touch.
General Ship Impression- Clean, clean, clean. Hand sanitizer every where. I wish more folks would read the signs and take an ounce of prevention. It was very tastefully decorated and easy to get around. If you were lost you could always find help. Smiles were every where.
Food- Outstanding and lots of it. Bread was to die for. It was nice to see different regions of Italy represented. I can't say what my favorite items were, so how about everything. The service was top notch. Excellent waiters, all from Bali, Indonesia.
Booze- Great drinks and not unreasonably priced. Basically the same you would pay in any large city.
Entertainment- Great Vegas style variety shows with something for everyone. Crazy deck games as well.
Excursions- We did our own, especially in St. Maarten. Hire a local cab and its yours for the day. For about $50 you can go all over and be by yourself in a nice air conditioned vehicle.
Ports of Call- A few bugs need to be worked out. Equal time in all ports would be nice.
On a scale of 1 - 10, I would give MSC a 10. Just an awesome experience and I wouldn't hesitate to go again.
I would however like to caution those who expect an American style holiday. This ain't it folks. It's kind of cosmopolitan when messages are in 5 languages and that the entertainment staff has passable english. Thats the allure of this type of ship.
By the way Mr. and Mrs. Rotund American, did you notice the company name is MSC Crociere, not MSC Cruises. If you want Donald, Daffy, and Mickey and a lust for life, stay home. I'm pretty sure the company name indicates something a little different (but not too different).
I think MSC represents the best in what a truly international company has to offer.
I look forward to some replies and debate.