We sailed the MSC Poesia between Xmas and New Years and I can only say that it will be a holiday that I will never forget....so I therefore will never make the mistake of sailing with MSC again. We were with a group of 19 extended family members.
Let me try to say a few positives:
Cabin Stewards were nice and helpful when around, and the rooms and common areas were very clean.
Great excursion in St Thomas - we did the kayaking Eco tour and it was well run and great for adults and kids alike. Although honestly, they could have told me that they were going to feed me to a tank full of sharks during my excursion and I would have signed on just to get off of the boat for a day.
The only other positive thing was that we got to spend time with our family which we don't see that often for extended periods of time.
These 3 are the best I can come up with, and the last one isn't even related to the actual cruise line. Sorry, I tried.
Not to reiterate all of the other negatives (which I agree mostly with all that I read)
To highlight a few:
Buffet lunch was ridiculous. The set up was a cattle call in the making, the menu variety was non-existent, the staff was not helpful at all. I am not talking not helpful like they wouldn't carry your plate for you, I am saying not helpful like at the water and beverage station (which there were way too few of) if they were out of cups and you found someone to ask, the response was "we are out" or "I don't know". That scenario was a daily occurrence. So frustrating to feel like you had to wonder all over the ship just to get a cup of water....
Seated Dinners were only slightly better. On other cruise lines where you often find a head waiter in the background providing leadership and direction to the more inexperienced servers --Not on MSC. I can honestly say, that not once did we get our coffee with dessert after asking numerous times. Once when my sister was waiting for her coffee after getting dessert 10 mins prior, instead of finally bringing coffee, the server came and tried to take her unfinished dessert! Every night was the same unfortunately. Quality of food and menu was better but overall disappointing service.
Too little time at ports of call- the only time that we got a full day in port was at St Thomas. We
only had from 8-1 in St Martin and 3-6 in the Bahamas. Such a joke. If there was ever a ship you
wanted to get off of, it was this one ...and unfortunately even that was poorly scheduled.
No activities for kids- other than the dino room which was for young toddlers and about the size of 2 cabins, there was nothing for the kids scheduled. All activities like bingo, clay making and painting were for ADULTS only.
Lots of smoking onboard-- don't forget that this a Italian owned and largely European traveled, so that means much more public smoking than Americans are currently accustomed to. In the casino, some lounges, decks etc.
In closing, I have to say that I have traveled top of the line and camped for days without running water. Overall I am not hard to please, but I could never recommend this ship or cruise line to
others. I never have taken the time to write a review of anything as a consumer, but If I can keep one person from wasting their money and vacation time than it's worth it.