I would not recommend MSC Cruises to fellow Americans. If you want to cruise in the Mediterranean stick with a U.S. Cruise lines. Having just completed a horrible 7 night Mediterranean cruise onboard MSC Lirica, my husband and I couldn't wait to get off the ship. MSC Lirica does not live up to its'promise, but rather is a like a 2 star floating motel. Beware - MSC cruises are more like Ferry Boats, boarding new passengers at every port of call. At every port of call there were passengers embarking and disembarking, causing confusion, delays and disorganization.
If you are hoping for gourmet Italian food, you are in for an unpleasant surprise. Food was boring, repetitious and at times tasteless. MSC Lirica does not offer any dining options at meal times. They have no alternate dining, therefore you are forced to eat at the main dining hall or starve. At all meals you are required to purchase expensive bottled water, as they refuse to offer free tap water. Room service in cabin is very limited and offered at a cost.
The ports of call were inferior to those offered by other cruise lines operating in the Mediterranean. Marseilles?? How about Nice, Villefranche sur Mer, etc. When at port there was little to no time to visit the place. Tangiers was beautiful, but docking at 4 pm during Ramadam and staying until 10 pm made no sense. In Malaga arrival was scheduled at 10 am with a departure scheduled at 1:30 pm. The few excursions offered by MSC Cruises were too expensive.