We've been on (22) cruises from the "booze" cruise to a twelve day European Adventure. Our first experience with MSC was last January 2012 on this same ship. The ship is very nice and well maintained, with the best cigar lounge I've ever seen. Back then the dining room staff was very experienced and professionally attentive. Now to our last experience last week on the Poesia. Same ship, same cigar lounge, completely different staff. All the seasoned and experienced dining and staff personnel were replaced by kids (in their 20's) obviously fresh out of the MSC "college". They meant well but half didn't understand English and the other half seemed to have never been in a "service" position.
Now to the food.... Under cooked, over cooked, not seasoned, over seasoned, barely edible, not edible at all. The chef should be ashamed of himself for allowing this food to be served. Salads were mostly warm and wilted and the soups were so salty or void of taste it actually got to be a contest to see how bad the next dish would be. We ate in the dining room each night and even brought up this to the Food & Beverage Manager. The next night we were "treated" to a special dinner seemingly supervised by that person and even that food was sub-standard.
We found out from a managing dining room crew member that MSC had decided to change their menus to be more "American" and to cut corners with staff and food quality. This manager actually told us that he was being fired because he had not been supporting this new direction, feeling sorry for the passengers who had complained to him, for weeks.
To add insult to injury, two of the shows were from recordings and the singers were just lip syncing. We also had to call three times to ask that our room be made up when we came back at 3PM to find it still not cleaned.
To be honest, I did feel that the upper management (those people with three bars or more on their epaulets) were genuinely caring and concerned. However, it was obvious that these conditions were not under their control and that they had no ability to change anything.
Our cabin was nicely appointed but service staff couldn't understand we needed more than two bath towels. Numerous requests were answered with the same amount of towels. TV programs had four English stations (CNN, TBS, HLN & ??) and the movie stations were so dark you couldn't watch them. Forget about getting your sheets changed without making a big fuss!!