This is a long review. It has a lot of info that I wish I knew before we went.
We are a family of 4 from Ohio. This is our 5th cruise, first time on MSC. My wife and I (43 & 45) and our two girls (11 & 9) have sailed on Princess, Celebrity and NCL. This was probably the best cruise we have ever been on. We sailed on the MSC Meraviglia from Barcelona, Spain on 3/21/2019. We opted to stay one night in Spain before and after the voyage. We had the Fantastica package. We also traveled with our parents. Both pairs stayed in an inside cabin with the Bella package, one on deck 8, the other 5. Their experiences were similar to ours.
Barcelona was out favorite port. Don't miss La Segrada Familia & La Rambla. If you have time go to Boqueria Market. It is awesome.
Tied for our least favorite with Palermo. Dirty and uncomfortable if you go down the wrong street. Notre Dame De La Garde is beautiful and a must-see.
A nice port. We got on a city tour bus. It was informative and drops you off right by the aquarium. We took a little walk and found a nice non-touristy restaurant for some pesto.
Palermo was tied for worst with Marsaille. Get out of the city of Palermo to get a feel of the real Sicily. The people are not friendly and it is just a big city. It is not representative of Sicily. I am 100% Sicilian American and have been to Sicily twice before. Palermo is always the least favorite of my visits. Go to Santa Rosalia or Monreale if you can. Those places are definitely worth the drive.
The port of Valetta is simply beautiful. We had a port side balcony so I was able to watch as we made our arrival. The walls and forts are astounding. I suggest doing everything you can to have the same experience. You can easily walk to the elevator which takes you to the city. It cost $1eu and is an even in itself. The people are friendly and the city is extremely clean. I don't like the taxis. My daughter was not feeling well so I tried to get a cab no more than 5 minute drive from the ship and he wanted $20eu! that is highway robbery. We settled on $15eu which is still way to much for the duration of the trip.