Ok, I am back from my birthday cruise on the Poesia and it went very well. MSC had a ree birthday cruise special and I took advantage of it. About us I am 57 my wife is 50 with no kids just a Lab, two cats and 12 Koi. We flew down the day before and stayed at the Lago Mar. Beautiful resort/hotel on the beach just outside Port Everglades. Everything was perfect there. We saw the Oasis of the Sea leave the port that evening and it is soooo large and beautiful. The next day we saw her sister ship in port and it was also impressive.
We arrived at the Port Sunday at about 11AM and were onboard within 30 minutes. Smooth embarkation no complaints at all. Everyone was right the Poesia is a beautiful ship and squeaky clean. We went to our cabin, #10174 a category 10 balcony. Again, clean and perfect. We went to the buffet area and had lunch. Typical buffet food, carving station and usual salads and other food. Tasty but not outstanding. We then went exploring and again we were impressed by the dEcor and everything just shined. We left port a little late, we had second dining and it was after 8 that we left. Dinner was very good. I read here about the menu options and decided to always order from the Italian side of the menu and was only disappointed by the lobster on the last night. Appetizers, soups and salads were very good. Main entrees were also very good and tasty. The service was also very good. We only had to order iced tea the first night and thereafter it was always there. Same for water glass being kept full. He also remembered we wanted coffee at the end of the meal and had it ready for us. Deserts were hit and miss but the gelato was very good.
We never made it to breakfast as we had late dining and usually stopped at a bar or the show afterwards so went to bed later and woke up still somewhat full from the night before. We lunched mainly in the main restaurant and again the food was very good. Once we got used to the fact that the main menu was the same, had many choices so you did not have to repeat, and there was a daily special page added that changed every day. No matter what your tastes I am sure you could find something you like and there always was gelato and the Greek salad was delicious. The Pizza was spectacular and quite a variety. First time I have had salami pizza and it was good. I could not bring myself to try the tuna pizza. Just too different for me.
Typically only one announcement a day and it was not intrusive. Unless they were looking for someone and they kept announcing every five minutes until I assume they found the person. There are not many activities on board and that did not bother us as we were looking for relaxation. I had loaded my Kindle with three new books and finished two so I was content. My wife also caught up on her reading and relaxing.
The entertainment on board was a little different then what I am used to but it was entertaining. The main shows were relatively short but quite good. Classical music, opera, song and dance and a knife thrower. Now that was different. As far as the lounges and other areas around the ship the jazz pianist in the Martini Bar was excellent. The violinist, cello and piano player were good but they needed to expand their set list. The drinks in the bar were good, they didn't skimp on the alcohol and prices were reasonable. It was very nice not being asked every five minutes if we wanted a drink!
The islands were ok, been there done that, St Martin, St Thomas and Nassau. Very good shopping at all 3 as the stores are dying and were bargaining. The weather wasn't perfect—overcast but in the 80's. A little rain but no snow so that was a plus.
Disembarkation was a breeze. We took advantage of unassisted disembarkation which meant getting to the Zebra Lounge at 7AM and walking off the ship within an hour. So a little before 8AM we were off the ship and in a shuttle to Hertz to pick up our rental. Again, nice and quick.
No one at the Hertz counter at FLL and were in the car driving to Lester's for breakfast. A fabulous diner with delicious and cheap pancakes and other breakfast foods. Then a ride along the coast and to the Hard Rock Seminole Resort/Casino for a day before returning to the cold/snow. If you have never been there you should go got a reasonable cost suite for $130/night and did a little gambling the slots were much better there then on the ship. Dinner and more relaxing.
The next morning left for our 2:40pm direct JetBlue flight to Buffalo. Left on time and arrived to the snow and cold. But well rested and a very successful trip.
In summary this Celebrity die hard was very happy with the MSC experience. Would we do it again—YES!. Would we recommend—maybe not to a novice cruiser but if you have cruised and are tired of the over friendliness and in your face service on other lines I would again say YES!. Does Celebrity do something's better-Yes, port information, specialty restaurants. But MSC has a great product-very good service, food and beautiful accommodations.
If you have any questions just ask.