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MSC does not compare with any of the above except on price. ie you get what you pay for. We did the trip the other way around, Venice to Rio. If you are sesoned cruisers you will be disappointed. The ship is beautiful, the cabins are clean, reasonably large and comfortable. That is all of the pluses.
If you are used to English language ships to have all anoucemints in at least six languages is not helpful. It is necessary to listen carefuly because the english sounds pretty much the same as all of the others spoken in ann Italian accent.
Entertainment in the evening was poor, mainly because of restrictions imposed by languages and tended to be acrobats, conjurers and classical singers.
Day time activity (important on a long voyage such as this) is fine if you would be happy in Butlins, but we as pensioners found it unrelentant and inane.
Food is Italian based with a strong leaning towards pasta and rice. Do not expect a nice piece of steak or British standard chicken - the night we had "steak" it was a slice of roast (very) beef in a rosemary gravy. Food was plentyful but most school canteens could produce and serve better.
Sorry MSC but this is how we found you.
Have you read the review section for Musica (big yellow button). I along with others have reviewed this ship so no point in me, for one, covering the same ground. Mine was Xmas 2007. MSC as a line are 3 star rated, so go below QM2, RCI, Thomson, I've never done, but constantly get good reviews as to value for money, Airtours no longer exist, so in terms of your list they must go bottom of the pile. That said, Musica is a beautiful ship. Service is good overall. Food is plentiful but factory canteen in quality & presentation. Entertainment is circus/mime/acrobat to cater for the multilingual passengers they cater for. Constant announcements in five languages are a pain, both over the tannoy & on stage. I suggest you read all the MSC reviews to draw your own conclusions. I only did a second cruise with MSC because of price, time of year & a very good itinerary & looked upon it as nothing more than board & lodgings. Sorry if I can't be more positive about this line.
MSC Musica has never been to Brazil , this 2008/09 season is the first.
I did the transatlantic cruise in MSC Opera , last april , leaving Santos-BR to Dover-UK. I was on honeymoon , and the trip last 18 days.
In fact the language can be a problem , mainly because the english spoken is american and spoked by italians , or even brazilians... The quantity of languages depends on the number of passengers who speak that language. In my trip there were about 700 german , so everything , even the signs were also in german. They were very careful about the passengers , all the entertainment crew spoke both portuguese , english , german and italian. Some of them spoke french too. There were a lot of activities divided by language , like jokes , games in the pool area , competitions... I guess no one feel excluded in the ship.
The food was very good to me , there was a lot o seafood , shrimp , pasta , risotos and if you didn't like everyday you could choose between breast chiken filet or steak with fries. The pizza is the best of all ships I've ever been!