Our first experience cruising ever was in Spring 2009 with MSC Musica in the Mediterranean and it was a beautiful experience. Except for language barrier and "different" / "Italian lack of" customer service which I could never get used to. Food was great, nightly shows were awesome. Fast forward to our latest cruise in the Spring of 2012, and it was completely different experience with MSC Orchestra. Staff were rude, food was bland and served the same everyday. It looks like MSC has made a huge cutback in food, entertainment, and even more in customer service.
It felt like they did not even like or want to try and accommodate English speaking customers. Boarding, disembarking and pretty much everything where a "line" should naturally form is always a chaos. Pushing and shoving is a norm and none of the ship crew would fix it. The wait staff would always congregate and chit-chat amongst each other during meal time instead of serving customers. The only thing we looked forward to were getting off of the ship at each destination to get away.
Instead of the traditional tipping system, MSC has replaced it with a compulsory "Service Charge" system where you get charged 7 euros per person per day and additional 15% "service charge" all purchases, which could explain the lack of service. If you think about it, why would the staff even try to please customers when the bare minimum would get them tips.
We used to recommend MSC after our 2009 experience but would no longer do so and would never get on a MSC cruise ourselves ever again.
I hear Carnival is nice.