I have been at the MSC Poesia before so I knew what to expect in terms of condition of the ship. The Poesia is a very elegant and beautiful ship. I had booked the fantasia category and I had a very nice balcony cabin on the 9th floor. Cabin attendant from Brasil was efficient and friendly and kept my cabin always in pristine condition.
From my point of view the following areas were excellent and deserve five stars:
1) Food in all restaurants. The chef Salvatore did an excellent job with his team. He was always around at the buffet restaurant monitoring that every thing was good taken care of. This is very good, because we had the feeling that somebody cares and it is doing his job properly.
2) Friendliness of the crew and people working in different areas. Specially the shore excursion ladies made a very good impression to me and were very helpful.
3) The music group Musica in Maschera, which performed beautifully although too short. If I recall properly their performances were each about 30 minutes.
4) The library had a good selection of books in several languages. It appears that hundreds of books have been donated to the MSC Poesia. Who ever did this, THANK YOU.
5) Presentations in Spanisch about the different ports. This presentations were done by an Italian who moderates in Italian TV. Those presentations gave us a good idea of what to expect at the ports of call and were more focused on single aspects without trying to cover every thing.
There were also presentations on other languages. However I have found that other presentors could improve their offerings focusing more on the particular port and not covering the whole country. Many of those presentations became too superficial due to this, because, in the limited time, it is impossible really to provide a good inside on a whole country.
6) Hair dresser and spa offers were imho quite good and had reasonable offers.
7) The itinerary was very good.
There are other areas however, which need improvement. The main issues for me were:
1) No availability of TV reception in any language during the first days of the cruise. This only improved once we have approached the European continent. Having been on many transatlantic crossings before, I have never experienced this on previous voyages.
2) Available on inside system were movies, which could be seen on the cabins but they were not free of charge. I believe, and many other passengers have pointed this out, this was a mistake from the hotel director. He should have inmediately made available those movies free of charge. After several days of the cruise, finally one movie per day was made available at no charge but even those movies kept repeating after some days. This is an important aspect, because we were on a transatlantic with many sea days and not every body found the activities of the animateur's team an alternative to spend the day.
3) Other music entertainners on board were rather limited with their repertoire. There was a duo of tango players, which played every evening the same songs. As much as I like tango, after 20 days of hearing always the same, I was glad, I did not have to hear them again.
In general the musicians with exception of Musica in Maschera, made a very amateur impression. Many passengers, who once in a while took part on the karaoke activities provided a better performance.
A flamenco dancers on one evening provided a substandard flamenco show.
4) Maybe the most important negative comment from my side is that there is absolutely no way to provide feedback to the hotel director about any issue. He was never around. This in general a problem observed at MSC Cruises. I wonder why their managers do not actively are around to talk with passengers. Not always feedback is negative. Many of us would like to be asked, how is every thing? Maybe in some cases when something can be improved, this will be done on spot. In other cases, maybe improvements are not possible, but we as passengers would like to hear the explanations.
5) A final negative comment hast to do with our final port Warnemünde. This charming small town does not seem to be prepared to handle thousands of passengers arriving at the same time. On the day we arrived, it was almost impossible to get a taxi (few taxis and many drivers not working on sunday!) and buses were blocking the access for taxis. Also even though the train station is next to the port, it is not easily accesed with luggage or from people with mobility problems. I am not sure which are the possibilities of a cruise line to influence changes in these areas, because it depends of the city administration. But maybe cruise lines are asked about their opinions like we cruisers are asked about ours. In that case, it would be good if MSC explains our concerns to who ever is responsible of those issues.
My advice to fellow cruisers would be to preorder a taxi if you arrive to Warnemünde and if you need one.
In summary, this was a very good crossing. I have enjoyed it a lot and I am thankful to those people who have contributed to the nice experience. I am rating this time with four stars. I would love to give MSC cruises one day 5 stars. Maybe on my next cruise? I have already booked to more cruises with them.