This was our second time on the Poesia and we found the ship in the same condition which is a good thing as two years has passed. It does take away from the wow factor to get back on the same ship as there isn't that 'day of discovery' as you explore around deck by deck.
Overall our experience was good and what we were expecting. I had booked a balcony for the price of an inside (in an e-mailed special I'd received from MSC almost a year in advance) which made it a fantastic price. This is one of the reasons we cruise with MSC as they are the least expensive cruise for the dates we need. Plus their beer and wine packages make the final bill more palatable than on other lines.
Embarkation involved a wait of about 20 minutes but it was very orderly and there were lots of seats so it was not a problem. We were on board by 12h15. Our cabin was almost ready and we were encouraged to stow our luggage in the closet and go have lunch.
Our cabin, 9173, was perfect for 2 but smaller than anything we've had so far. The bed was firm (the way I like it) It was very convenient to stairs and elevators but we rarely heard any noise. Also, it was tucked in a corner where the hall juts out so it was really easy to find. Much prefer this one in the middle of a long hallway.
Muster was done in English only and I have to say I preferred when it was multilingual as there were at least 300 Germans on board and 250 French Canadians and another 100 or so from France.
Food is of course subjective but overall we enjoyed it very much. Service in the main dining room was great in the evening with our second seating table for two (no problem arranging this with the Matre'D ) BUT the breakfast service was chaotic for lack of a better term. MSC has improved the layout and signage in the buffet although we eat there only a couple of times.
We did not attend any shows, participate in any cruise activities or purchase any shore excursions.
Things we appreciated:
- Continuous live entertainment in the lobby lounge area in the evenings
- $ Gelato on the the pool deck
- Quiet lounge decks on 14 and 15
- No pushy drink waiters
- Cleanliness of the ship
- Lounge chairs with adjustable shade cover
- Reasonable priced wine, beer and drink packages
- Best value in cruising
Things that need work:
- Wait staff need to speak more English
- Staff rarely smile like on other lines
- Port times were often too short, often leaving in early afternoon
- Pool was not heated and often very cold (72F-77F) Burrr!
- Full running shoes are needed in gym - this was not written anywhere so was a problem for many people.
- Hot tubs were too cold (98F)
- Prices were much higher in Sushi restaurant so we didn't go this time
- missed the outside tables aft on 13 for eating that have now been replaced with lounge chairs
We missed that at cocktail hour (5-7) there wasn't one bar that was busy. Each one seemed to have a couple of clients and a straight faced bartender.
I'm not sure if we will take an MSC again. With the larger Divina coming to N.A. it is unlikely. Since we rarely do shows or activities, these larger ships are not of interest to us.