We just returned from the MSC Splendida western mediterranean itinerary hitting Genoa, Marseilles, Barcelona< Tunisia, Malta, and Messina after having boarded in Civitavecchia. The biggest complaint was after the airline and transfer service got us to the port very efficiently by 10:30 we were left waiting to be boarded until almost 3pm. We were suggested to go into Civitavecchia but after an overnight flight from Canada who has the energy or desire to run around sightseeing. MSC blamed the Italian immigration, but in all reasonableness they were boarding the VIP type passenger no problem so that was a load of you know what. They just did not or were not prepared to let us on mainly it appears to allow them to market you drink pacakes, tour packages, etc.
Once on board and settled all was quite good. We did book a special package of tours they offered of 3 cities for $109 euro a savings of roughly $40, a reasonably good deal. Our cabin location was quite good just off an elevator stairway access, other than the odd child playing in the hall not noisy at all.
Food was good not great great which is quite all right. Dinners, I generally chose the regional dinner menu and they were all very good. My wife who for dietery reasons generally went with the chicken or a fish dinner with vegtables.
Lunches we went to the buffet and had no problem finding something satisfactory from a spagehtti to a bowl of soup or make up a sandwich. They also had pizza, burgers, hot dogs, fries for those who can't live without more north american fare.
Breakfasts we did the buffet and I generally had scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage a side fruit etc. again lots of choices like cereals, yogurts, toast, the european rolls and meat,cheese etc. No complaints.
The tours were all good, informative and delivered what they advertised. Tunis was the only exception because of bad weather we were delayed arriving and the tour was rushed and we did not get into the museum, no apologies from the tour company or MSC. Just thats the way it was.
Overall the cruise was good value for the money.