we took a themed cruise (monsters of rock) to the bahamas on board the MSC Poesia in March 2013. we read the reviews on here prior to taking the cruise, but, since the theme chose this vessel, we lacked an alternative. If we had a choice, (based on the other reviews) we would have gone with something different. That we had to pay, to tell you firsthand only adds salt to the wound.
The issues we encountered were: language barrier, HUGE attitude from our Italian staff, and crappy food. Although the staff spoke english, most or all did not identify with service oriented tasks (something as simple as producing a cocktail upon payment was seen as inconvenience by one of the bartenders). I don't know if they felt this way about every themed cruise overtaking the vessel or just this one, but they (the Italian staff) seemed to ... have a condescending perspective toward everyone, which was reflected in the conversation I had with the main restaraunt coordinator guy, whom I found myself standing behind one day. He turned around and asked me what I was trying to do. I said "HELLO", and he goes "in what language"? as if to showcase how un-cultured I was. The Italian women, though gorgeous, squinted their eyes and smiled the same smile that smugly conveys tolerance, but not friendlyness or understanding. You try to joke with them, and the jokes on you cause they don't get it (or did get it and smiled that tolerant smile). Having said that, the burden of the service was happily taken up by (of all suprising sources) the Indonesian cabin stewards and spa staff who WERE NOT Italian.
I'm going to take a multi-pronged approach on the food. First, the selection sucked. This ship has like 5 restaraunts, and they had closed all but 3- the japanese sushi rest., the fine dining Italian rest., and the buffet. The Japanese Kaito rest. was booked every night so we never could even get in there, limiting us (and the rest of the hungry ship) to the crap served in the buffet, or fine dining hall Il fontaine, which suffered capacity issues itself, forcing you to wait, get the wrong food, or both. The crap served in the buffet was exactly the same crap they dished out EVERY NIGHT: burgers, hot dogs, salad, fruit salad, some sort of pasta salad, and dry flavorless bread rolls. There were usually only a selection of 3 or 4 desserts, and they looked good, but we spit our cheesecakes out immediately- they had forgotten to put sugar in what looked like a perfect cheesecake! The other "desserts" were Jello, and a fruit tart made from the prior day's un-eaten fruit salad. Yes, that really was it. LOL. The coctails were horrible in that- we either didn't get what we ordered, the bartender didn't know how to make it (and it's not like we were asking for something uknown), and we knew the latter was true when we all ordered different coctails and they all tasted like rubbing alcohol. FAIL
The structure and decor of the ship was among the nicer qualities of the MSC Poesia. They had a nice art gallery, and the inside was beautiful. Even our room was nice. The elevators didn't function properly intermittently and they all took turns not functioning intermittently, which, on the bright side forced you to excersize off all the crap you were pigeonholed into eating by taking the stairs. The other beef I have here is that the layout of the ship is confusing. It's so big, they resorted to deviding the ship by inside/outside and odd/even numbering, and navigating the laybirinth was difficult even when you were sober, not to mention if you had a couple of the crappy coctails you were served. If there was a zombie apocalypse on that ship you'd die from confusion and insanity. LOL
I read the other reviews, but ultimately, I had to see for myself. Hope this helps!