I cruised on the MSC Sinfonia with a friend from 16-25th December. MSC get a lot of bad press, but you have to remember what you're paying and not compare them to other cruise lines which cost a lot more. Also, it's a European ship, with people of all different nationalities. Everything is announced in several languages, but they try to keep it to a minimum. That said, there were a decent proportion of English speakers from various counties.
I love being on any ship. I decide to have a good time on every cruise, and that's what I do. I have been on large ships, small ships, several different cruise lines, in different price ranges, and enjoyed them all.
Wanting to cruise in December, but stay in the Med, there were not a lot of choices. MSC Sinfonia had an excellent itinerary – 9 nights, 7 ports – at a reasonable price. The Sinfonia is a medium sized, older ship, with approx 2,000 passengers. It is nicely decorated and I felt at home. The advantage of this size ship is you never have to walk too far to anything.
It was a cold, but sunny day. We walked all around town, and visited the excellent Xmas market.
Took the petit train up toe the Cathedral. There were still many steps to climb, but the view was magnificent.
We walked around the Gothic Quarter and the Ramblas and visited the Barcelona History Museum, which takes you down to the Roman ruins underneath the old city. Very interesting. Had the "Best Mojito in town" (that's what the sign said outside) in a bar opposite and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have been to Barcelona many times.
Nice city. You have to take a bus, taxi or shuttle to get into town.
We took the HOHO bus and stopped off at Pueblo Espanol (a open air museum with replicas of famous Spanish buildings) and in the centre of town for shopping.
Lovely place, great atmosphere. We went to the St Elmo museum, which covers the whole history of Malta. It is really well done. In the afternoon we walked around the centre of town, for shopping and people watching.