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Stella Girard

Age: 67

Occupation:Social Worker

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Ship: MSC Lirica

Sailing Date: 04-25-2009

Itinerary: Caribbean

Our overall experience was very good except for the excessive smoke in the hallways from the casino, pub and staterooms on our floor. We had looked forward to practicing our Italian and would have loved to be seated with Italian speaking people, but were with French Canadians who were very nice, but didn't speak English comfortably so spoke mostly French. Also, too much smoke in the pool area - the policy of no smoking on one side was not enforced.

We are involved with the Italian centre here so we were prepared for the difference from American cruise ships as we attend dinners at the centre. We loved the food in particular the nice light desserts.

Had a window for the first time and loved it. I am spoiled for the inside cabins now. The window makes the room seem much larger. The shower was small but it worked fine. Lots of storage. Very clean. Fruit in the room was a nice touch.

The shows were wonderful the singers and dancers the best we have seen. They were a little short, about 40 minutes. I chose to stay away from the magician show which had a python which was apparently brought out into the audience. I was thankful for the warning in the daily activities letter and required reassurance from staff that the snake would not be seen anywhere else on the ship. I fail to understand what that adds to a show. I heard complaints from other passengers about that.

The ship had several fairly large dance floors and great music for ballroom dancing and those lounges were completely smoke free so we spent time every evening dancing our kind of dancing. There is also a disco with two dance floors one large and one smaller for the younger crowd that goes late in the night. Lots of latin music also at all lounges. This was the best music and opportunity for dancing we have had on any cruise.

We are beach lovers so we checked with the staff to know where we could go to the beach on our own and one was within walking distance from the ship so we spent the day there.$20 for 2 chairs and an umbrella and four drinks (St. Maartins) For the other islands we took beach tours and of course at Cayo Levantado the tenders take you to the beach) We loved the beaches and the tours were interesting on the way to whatever beach we chose.

We loved the Lirica in almost all respects, the cleanliness, the staff were cordial, the resturant staff were excellent, the food was great , the entertainment was wonderful.
We were disappointed in the excessive smoke in the hallways and we did not get the italian classes that were promised.

I would want to know that the clean air policy is more in place before sailing on an MSC ship again ie: non smoking staterooms does not mean 'strongly discouraging' smoking. What smoker cares if it is discouraged? Certainly not the ones on our floor.

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