I was excited to try this line. I went with an open mind despite the dismal reviews I had read about this ship. I expected some Italian flair - food, service, ambiance. It was non-existent. Food in dining room was poor - always over or undercooked. Wait staff tried to be professional, but were marginal at best. Asked why there were no soup spoons for dinner - and actually got an argument from the Maitre d' when I told him that a a soup spoon is required for soup- not a huge serving spoon! Lunch was somewhat better, but don't expect anything special. Lunch always looked like previous night's dinner leftovers.
Excursions are the standard fare but be careful when taking an excursion - there is no food available after 2:30PM when you come back. You can order room service I guess. People were not happy about the dining schedule relative to activity schedules. Nothing to eat when you are returning makes for some angry guests!
Also be careful about ordering mixed drinks. When ordering a martini off the menu I observed that no alcohol was used. When I questioned this I was told that the drink was considered a "fusion" mix and alcohol was already in the mix Hmmm. I told them to take it back as it tasted like water and fruit juice - again an argument. Finally they actually put some vodka in the martini when I said I would not pay for it. I ordered wine or beer at dinner from second night. Kids (and babies in DIAPERS) in the hot tubs with their parents despite officers/ship personnel walking around the deck. Extremely crowded on deck/pool area- chairs are crammed together and difficult to get inot because of this. Suggest going to the back of the boat for privacy and quiet. Everywhere on this ship - people are smoking, balconies, public areas, cabins, pool area, lounges. Smokers will love it ! I hated it.
Cabins are nice, entertainment very good each night. If you find a staff or service person who actually smiles and seems like they are interested in pleasing you - count yourself as lucky! There are not many.
I pay my gratuities the old fashioned way - I hand them to those people who provided me with service during my cruise. And although POESIA states that tipping is a personal matter and you may make adjustments - good luck trying to make that happen. While at Reception I asked to have automatic deductions removed from my account - condescending reception personnel actually argued with me and said that I just do not know how many people are behind the scenes and who rely on my gratuities. After getting my mini lecture of this pyramid scheme, I insisted on tipping my own way. Told that this can only be done on a particular day during particular hours. I returned on Thursday between the two morning hours I was "allowed" to request this change and began the shell game of where to go and who to talk to. Finally, hiding at the back of the dining room, I found ship personnel who also gave me my mini-lecture about tipping and told me adjustments "are not possible." Well, it is possible and my gratuities were paid to the kind and hard working people (and their assistants) who managed my cabin, and kindly served my mediocre meals.
Strongly suggest you consider another ship for your money - you will be disappointed at any price on the POESIA.