We sailed on the MSC Poesia on Feb 2nd to the Western Caribbean. We have been to these ports before, except for Falmouth, so we mainly took this cruise to experience MSC. We heard their ship was beautiful, and that is exactly all we got, a beautiful ship.
Embarkation: we are glad this time we chose to have a relative drop us off. The terminal they use is complicated. You have to walk around to get in the terminal through a side entrance. Although we do not have a walking problem, we kept thinking of the older passengers that had to do all that walking just to get in the terminal. Second time we had to sit around and wait for a number to be called so we can board the ship. The first time we did this in Disney CL and now in MSC. The wait was not long, maybe about 20 mins, but it doesnt make any sense.
So finally we board the ship. The ship is not that big, but it is beautifully decorated. We were able to go straight to our cabin and drop off our carry on and head to the lunch buffet. The first lunch was not that good and we were hoping it was not a sign of things to come, unfortunately it was. In the lunch buffet they had a cake with a sign that said "Display only, do not eat" yet it had 1/4 of it missing. Ha! That's what happens on a ship where more than half the guests do not speak english!! It was funny.
When we reserved we asked for a late seating, which we got, but we were told that we could not ask for the table size until we were on board. So we waited to get on board and were told they did not have a table for two. We saw a lot of empty tables for two throughout the cruise. So we got a table for 8, but only got to meet three other guests that showed up.
The food in the MDR was not that good. My husband left his plate half full more often than not. Since I have allergies to some herbs and spices, in all the other 15 cruises we have taken, the Maitre'd takes my order the night before and they prepare my food without the herbs and spices I am allergic to, not here. I was told that I had to order the same night and nothing was good for me to eat. So, I ended up eating salmon and mashed potatoes every single night, except for one night that we went to the Japanese specialty restaurant where we had a great meal. The desserts were terrible, except for the tiramisu they had ONE night and was never on the menu, it was one of those nights that they walked around to music carrying a tiramisu. The ice cream was horrible, which was shocking because we had great gelato in Italy.
The feeling we got from the MDR staff is that they were rushing us. My husband made a comment to the waiter that usually they take the dinner order first then they bring a dessert menu, not here. You have to order your dessert and coffee at the same time you order your food. Most of the nights we had to tell them that we wanted to order drinks, then it was a sit and wait deal for someone to come take our order. My food order was taken after everyone else at the table because I had to wait for the other guy just to tell him I wanted salmon and mashed potatoes since he told me that everything else on the menu had spices and herbs. Then my food would arrive about 8 minutes after everyone else at the table. It was embarrassing because they insisted on waiting for me to also eat.
This was the first cruise that we sat in a lounge and had to get up to order drinks at the bar. Also, if there was any staff walking around, we had to wave at them to come take our order. One night we sat in a lounge and watched the guy walk around adjusting his clothes without approaching anyone until they waved at him. So I am not sure if this is their policy or their lack of interest.
We went to the buffet every morning for breakfast which was ok, how can you mess up breakfast? Ha! But, lunch was another story. My husband ended up eating pizza every day because the rest of the food was terrible, me? I asked the head guy that was walking around the buffet area if i could get a plate with mashed potates without parsley on it and he started talking in a very LOUD voice telling me in his broken english "Allergies here NO, you have to go downstairs" I can assure you that if you were there you heard him as well. So I went to the MDR for lunch and they were clueless as to what their food had in it. One time my husband had to explain to the Maitre'D how to make me a cream sauce and just put it on top of some pasta. It's an italian cruise line, you think they would know how to make a sauce with heavy cream and parmessan cheese.
Besides the terrible food, we found the ship to be beautiful. The theater was one of the most beautifully decorated theaters we have seen on a ship. Too bad we can't say the shows were good. They had the same group of people singing and dancing every night. They just changed clothes and music. The first night we were ready to see our first show and then we find out they were having muster drills for the passengers that got on later than 4:30, because the ship leaves port at 7pm. So no show the first night.
The cruise director was one lady and a guy, I think. They both stood in front of the theater every night and she said the same thing in 4 different languages. So you sit through this every night. Maybe they should ask if people that speak that language are there and that way the announcement would not be so long. She spoke very very fast so you would hear people laughing at her all the time. It was uncomfotable to sit through this every night.
It's a shame that they have such poor service, but it's their loss. We have taken 16 cruises in 8 yrs and we have one 7nt and a 14nt coming up for the rest of this year, so it's their loss. I would not choose MSC again. You need to have more than a beautiful ship to offer your guests. If you value customer service, this is not the ship to take.