We arrived in Venice the day before the cruise. Unfortunately the airline lost our luggage as well as numerous other passengers due to a tight connection in Paris. Please be aware that if you connect from Delta to Air France in Paris there is a strong possibility of this happening. The airlines know it is a tight connection and will have a representative there to escort everyone to the other gate. Fortunately everything showed up just prior to leaving port. There is plenty to do in Venice so I will not go into that. If you do arrive in Venice early you might want to make sure you can get an early check in at your hotel.
MSC did a great job of seating all the nationalities together. Our table had all Americans so it made for easy conversation. I would strongly recommend the second seating at 9:00. All the after dinner shows were great. However, there is a lot of information that is not told to passengers (Or maybe just non Italian speaking passengers).
-The only food included is in the cafeteria and at dinner, everything you have to buy. Breakfast and lunches are good and only include water to drink. The food at dinner is ok. Most appetizers are good and I would fill up on those, but every main course was just ok. Talking to our other seat mates it was very bad compared to other cruises. Also note that no drinks at all are provided with dinner. You have to buy at least two bottles of water to go with dinner. Also, if you have the second dinner note that the cafeteria closes at three and if you want any food for the next six hours you have to buy it. For the gamblers, we don't gamble, but we heard other passengers complaining about the blackjack. I saw that the dealer only shows one card until everyone has played. I don't know much about the game, but it seemed that the dealer got 20 or 21 almost every time.
In most of the ports we found that you did not need excursions. You could take a taxi to the same sights for less money. You don't always get all the information, but you don't always have much time to yourself on the excursions. Meeting the morning of the excursions is extremely chaotic. There is not any organization and you just have to push your way to the front to get in a group. I would recommend getting there a few minutes early and listening close to anything that is said. Something else that was not mentioned to us is that you have to ride a bus that is provided by MSC to get into town in Mykonos, Corfu, and Dubrovnic. The buses are nice and well organized, but if you want to get off the boat you have to take it and it costs 6,7, and 8 euro a person.
Bari-There is not a need to take an excursion here. It is a small town and you can walk or take a cab for 10 - 15 euro across town. There's an old fort, cathedral, and a couple of other historic sights close by. It is very easy to see everything and still have plenty of time to sit be the pool.
Katakolon - I've heard to excursion was good. We took a cab to Olympia, about 30 minutes away, to see the ruins. For 80 euro the driver took us and waited an hour and a half to bring us back. In Katakolon there's several shops you can walk to.
Santorini - PLEASE NOTE - Santorini is the only place you have to tender in. We chose not to take an excursion and it is very is to see on your own. However, we did not find out until the night before that if you take an excursion you will be dropped off first on one side of the island and picked up last. So if you do not take an excurision plan on having your day cut from 9:30 -1:30, not 7:00 - 3:00 as advertised. There is still plenty of time to see Oia and all its shops and churches, but not time to see Fira or anywhere else.
Mykonos - There is not an excursion offered here. The buses will meet the ship and take you into town. You can't go wrong at any of the restaurants.
Athens - We took an excursion to see the Acropolis and to shop. I would recommend it for the convenience of getting around. The Acropolis was closed for a holiday so it would be wise to check that when you get on board. You will still see it, although just at a distance.
Corfu - The bus drops you off in the middle of town and you are close to an old fort and plenty of restaurants and shopping. I don't think many people chose to do an excursion.
Dubrovnic - Make sure you take your passport with you. This is a beautiful city. We took the cruise bus to an old fort with numerous shops and restaurants. The fort offers a chance for some great photos. Be prepared for a wait back on the bus to the ship.
Overall we had a great time and I don't think there is any other way to see Greece until you know what islands you like. Even though we had a great time, we probably will not recommed this cruise line to any of our friends. If anyone has any questions about what to do I will be more than happy to help.