We were on the Poesia for the Christmas cruise and we had a blast.
Let me start by saying that this was an absolutely fantastic cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
Our embarkation was bad only because the man we went thru to get checked in was about 80 years old and had no idea how to work a computer. I don't fault MSC for that I fault the port for that, they should put their people thru training before sending them to the trenches.
We renewed our vows on Dec.21st. and it couldn't have been better. The staff was absolutely wonderful. We were told by our travel agent that we would be having an open bar with dry snacks.(ie:potato chips and pretzels). Were we ever surprised to see the "dry snacks". They were small petit fours with everything from cheese to salmon to caviar on them. They were fabulous. The bar staff and waiters were very attentive to our every need and whim. Our party planner Marianna was there for most of it and also the head of the Group Entertainment department was there also thru most of it. We were all treated like royalty all afternoon. They let us come in and the grand-kids got to decorate the room before hand for the party and the staff were very gracious and helped them out. I really couldn't have asked for anything more I don't think. Our cake was the Italian wedding cake and it was so good. I highly recommend it. What we didn't eat at the ceremony they brought to our tables for dinner and everyone got another piece. To give you an idea of how far above and beyond that they went for us, we had forgotten our cake knife and server on the cake plate. When we told Marianna the next day she hunted it down had it cleaned and delivered it to our cabin that night. I was very impressed with that as I figured they were lost for good.
The food was absolutely fabulous and the service couldn't have been better in the dining room. We got good service for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining room. We eat at the buffet a few times and absolutely loved the food. And the Midnight Magnifique Chocolate Buffet was absolutely fantastic. The sculptures were magnificent and the food was great. Yes there were many people with big huge plates of food that they left on the tables. In fact we saw 1 couple take 2 huge plates and try one thing and complain about it and left the food there. Such a waste.
The only other problem we had was with a few and I do mean a few very nasty and obnoxious American(yes American) passengers who felt that they were being cheated because they had to get up from their chairs and go get another drink. Most of them were so plastered they couldn't walk. Most of the time all anyone had to do in our party was wave and a bar staff was right there to take their order.
These same people were very noticeable around the ship. One of the men even tried to come to dinner in the dining room with his swim trunks on for the first formal night and got very nasty with the Maitre'd for not letting him in the dining room.
As far as the ports went we knew in advance of the times that we would be in port and were happy with that. The nice surprise was that the Captain got us into port early on almost every port so we got to have extra time in each one. Again, in my opinion, above and beyond the call of duty.
As far as activities went, they had them all day long it just wasn't announced every 5 minutes what was happening. The crew treated you like grownups and if you wanted to do something it was up to you to read your daily program and figure out where it was and at what time.
As far as the staff being rude--I never saw that at all. One of the couples in our group was in the karaoke bar and the Captain walked thru and Tammy was in awe that he actually stopped and talked to her and her husband and had a picture taken with them. Many of the staff on board were on the Lirica 3 years ago and on the Orchestra in Jan. when we were. It was great to see Laverne again and to think she recognized us immediately when she say us. She was kind enough to sit and talk with us for quite a long time while she was on duty. That was so special to me to think that she would do that.
The ship was super clean, the crew was always cleaning it. The ship was very easy to get around in and was absolutely beautifully decorated. Real marble and Real wood everywhere on the ship not the fake stuff on some ships. And the brass---OMG it was always so shiny and beautiful.
We had a superior balcony cabin and it was plenty big enough for the 5 of us. We always had an extra grand-baby in our room at night.
Yes the pools closed down about 7 pm. and yes the pool guys put towels on the chairs very early in the morning,they also let us know that if the towels were folded and the chair tops were laying on the towels that it meant you could use those chairs. They were not being saved for anyone they were just putting the towels there for your use. I thought that was a very nice touch since we usually had 6 grand-babies with us each time we went to the pool and it saved me time getting each of them a towel and then finding a chair for them to share.
The night shows were absolutely fantastic. We went to all of them except the Las Vegas review one. I had seen that on the Orchestra and didn't feel it was appropriate for little kids. I personally didn't see the magic show but the kids went with my husband and they just loved it. My daughter said it was a little weird and dark but that it was ok and she is even worse about censoring things for the kids then I am. They also had a Tribute to Michael Jackson show that was fabulous. It brought the house down.
I would highly recommend this cruise line to other people. I would however let them know that they aren't going to be pestered every 2 minutes to buy a drink and that they won't always be hearing announcements about the hairy chest competition, the belly flop competition and bingo and etc. on the intercom all day long. If this is what they cruise for then they won't like MSC but if they are cruising for a more refined, classy, and a much cleaner ship then MSC is perfect for them.