Author: Tom Dingwall
Recently returned from a cruise from Gran Canaria to Morocco and the Canaries. First impressions were that the ship was very clean and well maintained. This was our fifteenth cruise, so we are fairly 'au fait' with what we expect. Let's go through the negatives first - no tea or coffee making facilities in the cabin, no spare toilet roll, no bed turn down on the first night and no tea or coffee offered after dinner, and the cabin safe was faulty. Room was spacious enough and was kept very clean throughout the cruise. The toilet roll issue was rectified on the third day, as was the bed turn down, but the safe remained unusable. The food in the main dining room was variable. At breakfast, unless you ordered the MSC breakfast which was freshly cooked, all the menu items were available as a buffet and were not particularly warm. Lunch was very good, but the menu was repetitive and seating was not arranged by nationality which did surprise us. Dinner options were not particularly good as the choice was very limited and ( possibly fortunately) the portions were very small with very few vegetables. Other eating venues around the ship consisted of pre-cooked pizza, pasta and hamburgers which, again, were only lukewarm. Entertainment on the ship was very poor during the day unless you wanted to learn Latin dances. The evening shows which had to be pre-booked (great idea) were varied and consisted of tremendous costumes, average dancing, poor singers and tremendous individual entertainers. Off the ship the tours were the best that we have ever experienced and combined great value with great guides and wonderful destinations. Being a multi-lingual ship, we must congratulate MSC on making everyone inclusive,but we found it rather annoying that all announcements were in five languages with hardly a pause in between. A minor annoyance which may not be truly valid. Overall we enjoyed the break but would hesitate to cruise with MSC again unless the destinations were truly irresistible.