Beautiful ship, and cabin kept well, but our compliments end there. Balcony cabin was cramped, but we expected that due to the bargain price. We seldom saw the cabin steward, and he missed service one day, but overall the cabin was well kept and clean.
Worst cruise food ever; 1st cruise that we did not enjoy. We've been on a few where the food was merely average but nothing as awful as Poesia's food: less than poor. Would not cruise MSC again, for multiple reasons including the very, very poor food.
Even the cocktails were bad except for the pina colada which came out of a pre-mix machine and tasted great. We're not big drinkers but when we cruise, in addition to traditional dry martini's we enjoy some specialty drinks: Rum punch; Mai Tai; Long Island Iced Tea; Appletini; Pina Colada; etc.
We tried six different cocktails, and had to leave all of them after one sip except for the Pina Colada. We tried asking for a "repair" after the Appletini was so More
bad; the request was met with "attitude" and returned as bad as the 1st one so we just left it. Drinks were well priced at $5.75, but we didn't find a decent mixologist among their bartenders... more like the blind leading the blind. Wine list had a decent selection and was reasonably priced.
1st nite's dinner provided an Osso Bucco which was very good, but not another decent tasting dinner entree until the last night which provided a mediocre rib eye steak. Risottos and pasta were available every day and all very good, as were the sauces, but that was the only consistent quality, and one tires of pasta after a few days.
Awful pastry; they must save a fortune on sugar; and their baker has no idea what the consistency of a croissant or any of the 4 breakfast pastries they served every day should be like. Yes! The identical 4 breakfast pastries for the entire 5 day cruise, and all very poor.
Menu for bkfst & lunch was IDENTICAL EVERY DAY! Eggs always arrived cold, as was the toast. Bkfst menu offers grits along w/oatmeal, etc.. My spouse ordered grits one morning but they never came... finally asked for them & the staff gathered in a huddle with one of the dining captains. The dining capt came over & asked what was wanted; he was very nice, but obviously quite puzzled. Spouse pointed to "grits" on the menu and said, "Some grits please."
The dining capt. and staff went back to the kitchen, then returned to advise us, "We don't have that. What is it, "grits?" Unbelievable. Not a big deal that they didn't have grits, but it is a big deal that something appears on the daily breakfast menu of which the staff (front & back) had no knowledge.
Out of 5 night's of lunches and dinners in the dining room, one decent dessert: a spiced pear. In our experience, desserts are important to most cruisers. Poesia's desserts were all horrible (but one). I lost weight on this cruise, which is a good thing, but not the reason we cruise... :o)
Public bathrooms were filthy from the 2nd day on. Public area toilets were clean when we boarded, but never clean again. By the 3rd day they were disgusting. Tables in public areas (not dining room) were never clean; always sticky.
Dining room was always neat & clean. While the staff was very friendly, the bkfst staff was very poorly trained: Among a variety of faux pas most of the time no one was able to pour a cup of coffee and keep it in the cup; food that should have been served hot was always delivered cold. Our dinner steward was great; not his fault that the food was so poor.
UNETHICAL PRACTICE: This cruise was a theme cruise for hard rock, acid rock, fans., called ShipRocked. We were not advised when we booked the cruise that there was a theme. This particular group spoiled the cruise for each of the other cruisers we spoke with (dozens of people).
More than 1000 hard rock fans were tattooed from head to toe, with so much face & body piercing it must take them a while to get through a/p security. Some came to the dining room literally in rags, torn t-shirts and jeans, even on the "formal" night. When confined with them in an elevator the air was usually filled with the smell of marijuana & very unpleasant body odor.
Some typical cruise events, such as movies in the theater, were not available due to the presence of this group aboard; their events took precedence over the desires of regular cruisers.
Even a highly placed staff member was angry about the presence of this group (specific title not included to honor confidentiality). A group of us were told, "I've worked on a few different lines and never seen a line allow a group like this aboard unless they take the entire ship... and if they sell a "theme" that only takes part of the ship, cruise lines usually advise all independent bookings of the theme in case they don't want to be on board with such the "theme." MSC did not do this, although they allegedly told their staff that they did.