We booked a Fall Foliage cruise with another couple on the MSC Poesia embarking on October 8, 2011. The embarkation was smooth and efficient and the lunch was just what we needed.
We found it refreshing to be among so many different nationalities on board as opposed to Caribbean cruises with whiny parents and their disruptive children.
Although repetitious, announcements in five different languages was neat to hear and sometimes hilarious to decipher.
We booked this cruise despite the numerous whiny review comments about the food, language difficulties, staff attitudes, etc. I don't know what planet these people are from, but we loved the crew, staff, entertainment, food, and activities.
Pro: Disabled cabin was nice. large, and accommodated a large handicap scooter. The room staff were friendly and always provided us with whatever we needed including placing my door key in the room when I would leave it in the door. Dining staff were a joy and we enjoyed their humor. The meals in the dining room were always hot and tasty with a nice European flavor. There always were steaks and salmon for the American palate. The buffet/cafeteria always had bacon, eggs, bagels, yogurt and cereal for breakfast and reasonable entrees for lunch. The salads, particularly the Cesar salads were perfectly, lightly seasoned and with very crisp Romaine lettuce.
Activities were mostly trivia type games and a whole lot of cruisers played cards. We booked our own shore excursions and were never disappointed.
We were aware that some staff did not know much English, but a friendly smile always brought out the best in them and they generally were able to understand what we needed to know.
On the humorous side the restroom identification took alittle getting used to. Many cruisers had difficulty deciding if the human symbol on the door was a man or woman since it was difficult to determine if it was a suit jacket or dress. I finally determined that if the room was green, it was a "Mens" room. The floors literally sparkle.
The evening entertainment was interesting since they had to cater to so many languages, they had a variety of silent entertainment including some wonderful surprise acts in quick change, juggling, and acrobatics. Enjoyed most of it.
Con: On two ports they wouldn't provide a "ramp" exit from the ship and the scooter had to be carried, while I walked off. Some placement of the lounge furniture impedes travel in a scooter without moving the furniture.
One evening we were served cold fish jello, which is the only way I can describe it. Should have been aspic. It was not good, Likewise, the lobster on the first leg of the cruise was cooked too long and was dry and tasteless. I had the lamb chops instead (yummy).
The TV in the cabin took some getting used to but they did have CNN and HLN.
All in all we met several French Canadian, German, Spanish and Italian cruisers and had a wonderful time. I would not hesitate to take another MSC cruise.