As a travel writer, I have had the pleasure of visiting many international destinations. My last trip to Europe was a real eye-opener though. If you are traveling to Europe, I would strongly advise against using any outfit that utilizes MSC Musica cruise ships. We traveled through Gate 1 Travel, and had a very disappointing experience. In summer, this cruise line is dense with Italians, who make it very difficult for other nationalities to have a good time. There's alot of shoving, crowding and other examples of rude behavior that quite frankly surprised me, especially since we're all on vacation and trying to have a good time.
Food on this cruise through Greece was below par, with the Italian fare being mediocre at best, and very little Greek cuisine. Lines to get on and off the ship were very long, with many people not adhering to their place in line.
In retrospect, we should have known that this cruise line charged for many incidentals, including coffee, tea, juice and other beverages that are usually included on many other cruises. In comparing our dismal experience with other American travelers, we found that other cruise lines like Princess, NCL, etc. didn't charge for all these ancillary items. What a shocker when we went to the dining room for meals. Factor in the euro, and you can see how costs can rapidly escalate if you're not careful.
I thought most cruise lines were pretty much the same, but obviously, I'll do alot more homework before I take another cruise. Gate 1 did very little to keep our loyalty, and after taking 3 trips with them to Europe in the past, it's very doubtful that we'll be doing this again. How hard would it be to give us a real incentive to travel with this company in the future, especially with the economy being in such a sorry state.