We chose the cruise for the itinerary and the sailing date, although we had a bad experience with MSC before. We did not book any transport or excursions with MSC but made our own arrangements. Embarkation was the usual tedious business, disembarkation was worse because we had to vacate the cabin at 7:30 and could not leave until 9:45. There are too few restrooms in the public areas and the meeting points are nowhere near the exits so you have to drag your overnight bags there and back.
Food in the restaurant was fine, but the waiters were not very attentive, we had wrong meals brought several times, a bottle of wine left for the next day disappeared mysteriously - twice! At the buffet the choice was rather boring, the same offerings nearly every day. A wide variety of bread but it all seemed hard and stale. At least the water and coffee were drinkable unlike our last cruise with MSC when they tasted horribly chemical. Those were the only free drinks available apart from juice at breakfast. Having to pay for water in the dining room, for ice cream and for 'proper' coffee is rather annoying, as well as the steep shuttle bus prices in port.
Bar and cafe waiters were friendly enough but not very motivated. For the first few days they tried to sell the package tickets, after that they would just as soon talk among themselves as serve a customer. Entertainment was unoriginal and not very inspiring, I usually love ships' theaters but stopped going after 2 performances.