The MSC Poesia (Feb. 13-20) was my 7th cruise with it being the 6th in a 6 yr time frame. The ratings are: 1. Princess (2005); 2. Costa (2007); 3. NCL(2009); 4. Disney (2006); Celebrity (2008); and lastly MSC (2010)and Carnival (1993). My rating them was based on price, customer service, children's programs, ship cleanliness, and safety.
The MSC Poesia is fabulously beautiful and clean. You will be in awe by the pure beauty of this ship. We had a category 11 balcony room which was big, in fact, the beds and rooms were the largest of any my previous cruises. The balcony was small to average in size. Children sailed free! The food was good but not fantastic as what is norm for a cruise ship. Room service is free but... order extra because the portions would not fill you. The room stewards and the waiters were all fantastic -- kudos to them!
* Food does not leave dining room! * Portions for room service. A JOKE! * Gala night is dining room only or pizza -- NO BUFFET * Children's areas are poorly supervised and possess NO organization * Ports of call - flip a coin for port and location -- NO JOKE * Docking time was always late except on disembarkation day! * Most of the staff was unfriendly * Most did not speak very good English. * Only two desserts every night with one being jello. * The smell of raw sewage every morning at 6:00am on the jogging track.
The VERY UNACCEPTABLE:
* Adults can come and go in the children and teens areas. HUGE No - No! * Staff arguing with guests. * Children could drink water or coffee at any time during the day. * Cords running down the middle of jogging track.
The bad explained:
Every other cruise ship has allowed us to bring a dinner up to the room when someone in our party could not make it for dinner. Not MSC!! The first night my father could not make it to dinner so we asked if WE could take his meal to him. We were informed that no food is taken out of the dining room. The Maitre d' informed me that my dad could order room service and it is free. Yeah right! It is free but it turned out to be a tuna sandwich! MMMMMM So much for the free room service. There is also not food available all hours of the day except room service. Just hope you are not hungry because three small pieces of cheese (cheddar, pepper jack, and Swiss - this is the assorted cheeses) and two packs of crackers with a quarter size of marmalade or three pieces of fruit is it. The only thing to drink during the day is coffee or water unless you want to purchase milk, juice, soda, ice tea, or alcohol. Who ever heard of a cruise ship with two desserts maybe a third? One was always jello. Jello is great if it is sugar free and your a diabetic or you have no teeth left to chew the "real" desserts. MSC get with the program!
Children's areas are pathetic at best in the 7-12 and 13-17 areas. I peaked at the younger kids area but I have no comments because of lack of viewing of that area. The 7-12 yr olds are crammed into a small room with a ping pong table and foosball/soccer table for 20 to 30 kids. There is no gate keeping children in and adults out. In fact, my mother and a friend walked right into the children's room trying to convince my kids to join in. Adults walking into the kids area does not happen on any other ship that I have been on. The rooms are usually gated and you have prove who you are before your kid is brought to you! I also observed a little girl about 7 - 9 hitting the behind of the male counselor in the room. This is inappropriate behavior for both child and the staff. He never said a word to her! I saw no organization at all during any of my observations of this center. My 15 1/2 year old said they never ran the activites scheduled for her age group. She also said the teens were allowed in the Disco/teen center at 10:00pm approx. but it was suggested that they leave by 11:00pm for adult dancing. However, adults could roam freely in this room at any time and interact with the teens. NO NO NO! I was told my another adult that a "drunk" adult came up to her teen. What is wrong with MSC? Shame on MSC and the drunk adults hanging out with teens. This is unsafe and extremely unacceptable. I work in a high/middle school and work the after-school program for the elementary, this would NOT be and should NOT be tolerated!
The ship never docked on time nor did you know which port you will be going. It seems MSC likes to dock in "no mans land" and lets you pay extra to get into the town. I have been to Grand Cayman three times before and this was the only time we ported/tendered in a residential area where you needed to pay $5 per person each way to go into Georgetown shopping. The cost would have been $40 each way or $80 to go shopping. We found out how to use the public transportation for $2.50 per person each way.
The majority of the staff did not speak very good English but you can eventually find someone to communicate with to help. Hello, MSC CEO, a smile is a UNIVERSAL HELLO -- teach your staff to smile. You very rarely (3 times on the 7 night cruise with the exception of the room stewards and waiters) get a smile, good morning, good afternoon, etc. I finally could not take this one guy at the buffet line that just looked mean (convict looking mean) and scary so I told him he had a great smile and needed to smile, however I really did not know if he had a nice smile. After that he always smiled at me and said hello, he really was scary before. The jogging track is great to use on a cruise ship. Just to walk briskly with the wind in your hair, sound of the ocean all around you, the smell of salt water, and the wonderful sunrise. The Poesia had a jogging/walking track. I had the wind in my hair, sound of the ocean, and wonderful sunrises but the smell of salt water was masked with the smell of raw sewage every morning about 6:00 am. One word -- Nauseating! I have used the jogging track on every boat (except Disney - did not have one) and the staff is always cleaning it between 5 - 6:30 am but every other ship the cords for the vacuums are run along the sides the track not down the middle. Of course, it makes it more exciting when all of a sudden the cord gets pulled taunt and you trip. Yes, this is the MSC Poesia.
Send the MSC back to the Mediterranean