Reading the reviews about MSC, I had some fears about what we would we facing on MSC Fantasia (August 12-August 19, 2012). Fortunately, we all had a very good time, specially my children, aged 6 and 9.
The embarkation in Genoa was very smooth. We got to our cabin and then went back and visited the Genoa aquarium which was great.
Naples: we took a taxi to Pompeii, which was astounding.
Palermo: Took the hop on hop off bus and visited the botanical garden and other places.
Tunis: Took the ship's excursion (special offer: children free). Sidi bou Said was great and so were the Anthonin baths.
Barcelona: WOW ! Took the hop on hop off bus, visited Parc Guell, Barcelona Stadium (outside), La Sagrada Familia (outside), and strolled down Las Ramblas. Will visit the city again !!!
Marseille: Not much to see. Visited Notre Dame de La Garde.
Disembarkation took 1 hour.
Took a taxi to Porto Fino and then headed back to the airport.
We enjoyed the trip. My kids enjoyed the pool and made friends with some Chinese kids. Breakfast was great. We had a very wide choice of food for lunch- from hot dogs to the ethnic corner. Dinner, well it was OK- not great. The waiters and staff were good.
Enjoyed the jacuzzis, the 4D cinema, the Disco..Beverage prices(which people complain about) were not an issue, as my wife and I have no special craving for alcoholic drinks.
The shows: Acrobats, Opera night (wow!), Michael Jackson Tribute.. good to Excellent.
For families with kids, and kids sailing for free, better than average food, good to excellent entertainment and nice ports to visit, AND VERY AFFORDABLE PRICES, you will always find something to complain about, but also LOTS OF THINGS TO MAKE YOU HAPPY on such a cruise.
I can say this: for families with children, this is A GREAT WAY to have fun.
I've already made reservations for our next cruise (August 2012) on MSC Magnifica from Hamburg at a bargain price.
Aside from accidents, delays, bad weather, and serious problems, which I hope nobody cruises are what you make of them.
So just go ahead, have fun. And remember, it's your personal experience that matters.