After reading some of the reviews, we were nervous about this vacation. We were a couple in our mid to late 50's with two adult children with spouses traveling with us. We have taken 3 cruises before. Our only problem was trying to find out how to get from the airport to the port. Our internet travel agency said they couldn't get the information from MSC as to the location or transfers. We were finally offered transfers for about $125 each. After little success with the internet travel agency, I called MSC cruise office in Fla. and they were very nice and gave me the port location. It cost 26 Euro to go from the airport to the port via taxi. From the moment we arrived at the ship I was very impressed with the staff. MSC does things a bit different than any of the US cruise line we were on. At every port, passengers embark and disembark on the cruise. This makes the entire boarding process very quick. We were in the front of the ship near the top and never felt the ship move. The "kids" were in the back and were one floor down. They could felt the slightest of vibrations from the engine. The rooms, almost everyone has a balcony, were beautiful and very well designed. We had plenty of space and were about to place our luggage under the bed. The bathroom had plenty of room and we could actually both be in the bathroom at the same time. The balcony just made the room perfect. Our cabin stewart checked on us frequently and was extremely attentive. This cruise is mostly european, which we really enjoyed. We were amazed at how many languages the staff were fluent at. We had no problems at all with language. We didn't find it overly crowded during this time frame. I heard it gets crazy in the summer when the europeans travel with their kids. I felt the food wasn't terrific. It was equal to what one would find in a chain restaurant here such as Olive Garden. This was really a good thing as we didn't gain weight. Definitely try to do the wine deal at dinner if you drink wine. It is a great value. We ate breakfast and sometimes lunch on deck. The buffets were good and there are two sides. Each side has different offerings so check both sides out. I did think the design of the traffic on the buffet lines could be better. The buffet starts at both ends, so people collide during peak breakfast and lunch times. We did shore excursions on the trip. The only one we didn't enjoy was the Dragon caves in Palma De Mallorca. It is a much better city to walk around and discover on your own, or after the city tour. We enjoyed the Portofino tour. Although I was voted for the Pompei tour, the group decided on hiking Mt. Vesuvius, which we really enjoyed. The rim of the crater is impressive. We could see Pompei in the distance. Our favorite spot was Tunis. Half of us went shopping, while the other half went to Carthage. Both groups thought they had the better tour. If you need an rug, plan on taking the shopping tour. The rugs are beautiful! They will ship them home to you and they are a terrific deal! If my other half was with me, I would have had a rug coming from Tunis. There wasn't a great deal of activities to do on the ship. There was dancing and games in the morning and at night. If you didn't do these things, you may get bored. We weren't bored! Things to think about - there are no direct flight to Barcelona from JFK. We went thru Paris. Give your self plenty of time. The plane was 3 hours late taking off from JFK. We missed our connecting flight. We made the next flight and had plenty of time. If you want to see Barcelona, get to the ship early. They will check your luggage and then you can see Barcelona. There are shuttle buses going into town and back from the ship, or just take a cab for a few Euros. Coming back, there was no place to check luggage so we couldn't see Barcelona. Our flight was at 5 PM via Air France. Since Barcelona is a small airport, they wouldn't take our luggage either until two hours before the flight, so we have to see Barcelona some other day. This plane was also late in departure due to bad weather in France. We missed our connecting flight home from Paris. Air France took very good care of us. They gave us a hotel room in Paris, and food vouchers. We really enjoyed the ship!! 4 thumbs up!