We booked our cruise with cruise.com in July 2011 and persuaded 6 of our friends to join us. At no time were we informed by cruise.com or the cruise line it was a heavy metal themed cruise called 'Shiprocked'. One couple who accompanied us had never cruised, were in their late 60's and celebrating a special anniversary. We were so embarrassed standing in line with them surrounded by heavy metal fans covered in tattoos and using appalling language. One of our party 'Googled' the cruise to discover it was a heavy metal cruise.
On boarding we complained at Guest Services but they said they couldn't do anything! We went on deck for the sailaway but the 'music' (if that was what you could call it), started. It was so loud we couldn't even hear each other speak. We had to return below deck.
The rest of the cruisers (I'd guess around a quarter of the guests), were provided with normal cruise activities which consisted of one show a night in the theatre. There were two cruise directors. Anna who was German introduced every show in about 4 languages. Tyler, an American then spoke in English. It was so monotonous. Whilst small parts of the shows were enjoyable, the Italian opera singers and dancers were not what we would have expected. In one show the male dancers wore rabbits ears! Why? On the last night we expected a spectacular last show. It was so awful we walked out. It was entirely in Italian.
We had just been on the Carnival Freedom. That cruise was light years ahead. The food on the Poesia was far below the quality on other cruise lines. The lunch time buffet was average. I don't drink tea or coffee. MSC policy states that you can't take any drinks on board...not even soda. All they have is very watered down fruit juices at breakfast and water for the rest of the day. If you want a soda they charge an extortionate price plus the usual 15% service charge.
Throughout the cruise we were subjected to rockers using disgusting language, drunkenness and even simulating sex on the pool deck. We even heard people bragging they were stoned on cannabis! Two couples who accompanied us paid extra for balcony staterooms. After 5pm each day they were unable to sit out due to the excessive noise from concerts on the pool deck.
On day one our bathroom sink was blocked. It was repaired on the second day. There was an intermittent smell of sewage throughout the cruise and on the last day our friends toilet overflowed. They were told that there was a problem with the system throughout the ship.
In conclusion I will never book an MSC cruise again and feel so sorry I recommended it to my friends. It is a pity cruise.com didn't advise me at the time I booked.