Our first ever cruise was with MSC four years ago, and we haven't sailed with them since. We were therefore aware of the language problem etc. We'd already cruised twice this year, but when a great deal came up with them for October, we thought we'd give them another try.
We have to say at the outset that we had a fab time - we were both stressed from work and really needed some down time - and we got that. Embarkation at Villefranche (not Nice as stated above) was very simple and easy. We stayed overnight in the Welcome Hotel in Villefranche and simply walked the 50 yards to the cruise 'terminal' (those who've embarked at Villefranch will know that it can hardly be called a terminal). We were tendered onto the ship and were aboard by 10.00 a.m.
Our cabin was ready for us, and although it was a bit on the small side compared with Cunard and Princess, it was perfectly adequate, and very nicely decorated.