STAY OFF OF MSC CRUISE LINES ESPECIALLY THE POESIA This cruise lines is the Wal-Mart of cruise lines. Let me start off with the standard disclaimers, we have cruised over 37 times on most all lines. We really like Princess, Carnival, and NCL. We just took this cruise to see the fall foliage and New York City as we are southerners and this sounded like a great itinerary. The cruise left New York on October 11th 2011 and traveled to Halifax & St John Canada along with Bar Harbor, Maine - Boston, Newport RI, then back to New York than onward to Florida and then the Southern Caribbean.
Let me take it by steps.
Embarkation -â€“ Our cabin was changed from Deck 11 to Deck 12, Why? Well deck 12 really sucks, the noise from the pool/buffet deck is never ending. There is absolutely no insulation on this ship, you can hear every noise from above clearly in your cabin. The rooms, if you have a connecting door, you can hear every word in the next cabin. The line was a little long but it moved along quite nicely. Went aboard had a buffet, which was only OK. Our room as I have said was really the PITS.
Food -â€“ I have had better Italian food at Pizza Hut, all the pasta dishes were absolutely the worst you can ever imagine. The choices were about the same each night at dinner and there was nothing very special on the menu. When we finally had lobster, it was badly done and most of the dishes were returned half eaten. Breakfast and lunch at the buffet were gross and not worth the trip unless you wanted a salad. Captain's cocktail party was champagne and potato chips, real class.
Off the ship at stops -â€“ The Captain of this ship does not know anything about cruise ships. We were following the Caribbean Princess to each port, they are a 4500 passenger ship, when we started to tender they were completely off loaded and we had only launched 2 boats to shores. Either he is too cheap to use more launces or just to dumb. At Newport we anchored late (again) and only had 6 launches by 2:30PM we were to be back on at 4:30PM, what a screwed up mess, no one on this ships staff know SH**. No wonder Italy lost the war with Navy people like these idiots.
On Board -â€“ The Casino is small and the slots are very old and either pay out in tickets, which the next machine won't accept and you must cash in, or tokens. The slots are really set for no big winners, in 2 week we saw only 2 people get any money, than a cashier had to argue with them about paying off, thinking they fixed the slot. Smoking -â€“ The first week was great, mostly English speaking people (75%) and most people did NOT smoke. It was rare to ever smell smoke anywhere on the ship. WOW, was that great. On our return to NYC on the 29th the complexion really changed. Mostly German, French and Italians and you could not breathe clear air ANYWHERE. People walked around with ashtray in the hands, really -â€“ we saw it several times. I guess since a carton of smokes was about $15, they felt they need to smoke up. Everything and everybody smelled of smoke. Be warned.
Staff -â€“ Room stewards were great, very attentive, always kept the room clean and extra towels and pillows on hand. Dining room Wait staff, ours were competent and delivered the food on time and were concerned whether we liked or disliked the meals. Customer Service staff, with the exception of Drew, who was Canadian, the rest were surly almost to the point of being rude and could not have cared one wit about the service they provided to the guests. They truly lack any skills at customer service, which goes along with the ships officer's attitudes and skill levels.
In summary, STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM MSC CRUISE LINES spend your vacation money at any other cruise line or book a land tour before you ever book this cruise line. I really should have taken to heart the bad reviews I read before this trip, don't make my mistake and take this cruise.