My wife and I cruised MSC Orchestra on 1/24/2009 bound for the western caribbean. We have been on over 15 cruises. We went on this cruise at the request of a friend who has been on over 100 cruises. Our friend indicated that MSC was new to north america and was making an effort to appeal to the American market. He also indicated the line president was the previous president of Celebrity cruises. Celebrity is one of our favorite cruiselines.
I had read the reviews on CruiseCritic.com about MSC Orchestra. Turns out they were "right on" for the most part.
Embarkation- Previous reviews indicated a BIG problem with embarkation. Apparently, MSC has "fixed" the embarkation "issues." We arrived after spending a few days in Fort Lauderdale at approx. 1pm. Baggage staff took our bags, and directed us to check-in. I had previously registered online to save time. Bottom line, embarkation went smoothly. The only complaint was we were not directed to our cabin. The staff did not speak English, so we were pretty much on our own.