We enjoyed everything about our MSC Poesia carribean cruise, but do see why it might not be for everyone. Things are a little different since there are so many different nationalities, languages, and cultures that they market to. It is important to remember that what might constitute poor service in the US (i.e. "slow" service at dinner) is an expectation in Europe. So - the reviews weren't necessarily wrong, they just had different expectations. I will cover the basics next with my perspective on each one:
1. Food- This is an important part of the cruising experience for most people and we are no exception. We found the food to be excellent. The quality was the same or better than our other cruise experiences (Norwegian and Royal Carribean) We ate at the cafeteria restaurant for breakfast and lunch and found that they had lots of choices to eat light or heavy and the food tasted great. I would note that the room service breakfast menu was very light- more of a european (continental) breakfast. But we had tea and coffee delivered with hot milk (a nice touch) and then went up to get some eggs and fruit.
2. The Cabin- The bathroom was the most spacious cruise bathroom I have encountered. There was plenty of cupboard space in the bathroom and in the room. The bed was huge -king I think- which didn't leave space for a couch that I have had in other balcony rooms but there was a vanity and chair. The balcony had 2 comfortable chairs and a table and we enjoyed it very much.
3. Cabin Service- We had excellent service. Our steward asked us right away if we needed any additional pillows and when I asked for more hangers he produced some right away. He kept our ice bucket filled and made lovey designs with the sheets when folding back our bed. He did NOT make towel animals. A small disappointment but I got over it quickly. He did make interesting designs with my Sister in-laws nightgown every night.
4. Entertainment and Activities- The nightly show was excellent quality we enjoyed it a lot. The opera night was a stretch for us but we still enjoyed it! Loved the acrobatics! The activities team was wonderful. We really enjoyed the dance lessons. they took a full hour and really made sure you learned the dances. Also they offered a 30 minute stretching and 30 minute aerobics classes that were actually a good work-out - for free.
5. Spa - I spent plenty of time there- services were similar to what I have experienced on other cruises, but they didn't offer the "classes" that others have, but i didn't really miss them. I was able to pamper myself just fine. Tip- wait until the end of the cruise as the spa services are discounted by 50%, I had bought a package that wasn't that great of a deal, so she threw in an extra service for me when I asked about it.
6. Service- In general the service was fine. Some staff are more friendly than others but I found them all to be helpful when asked. Dinners were very leisurely (some might say slow)in the European tradition. I did hear some horror stories on board but didn't experience them directly - AND - I have heard service horror stories about many different cruise lines.
7. Language- All announcements are made in 5 or 6 languages - which can make the announcements long. We used the time to see if we could figure out waht they were saying. We were very humbled that so maany of the staff and most of the non-english speaking guests could speak so many languages. We are planning to buy Rosetta Stone for Spanish and learn a 2nd language,