The excursions are really expensive. It is much better to do your own thing if you can - there is normally transport organized by MSC from the quayside to the city center at most ports. The only time it was best to take an excursion was at St Petersburg where doing your own thing would have been a bit risky.
The cabin stewards were lovely - ours named Edwin was Indonesian and could not do enough for us. Most of the bar staff were lovely too - always smiling and helpful. Our main criticism was the staff at the accounting desk - they were very downright rude, unhelpful and would much rather talk amongst themselves than serve passengers - who were afterall "just a nuisance". Sometimes you felt quite intimidated standing there. We asked reception for early morning calls several times as the excursions did leave early. None were ever received!!! Luckily we could set a mobile phone to do this as well, otherwise we could have missed some trips as the ship's time was always being changed from country to country.
Overall we really enjoyed our trip and will book another cruise sometime in the future, but not with MSC!!! We understood from fellow passengers that there are much better cruise lines out there and spending all that money on your holiday you do expect to be treated with a bit more care and consideration.