So first, let me start off by saying this was my first cruise. My expectations for food, cruising experience, cabin, etc were not high bar by any means since I'm fairly easy going and honestly, wasn't sure what to expect from a cruise. That said I was cruising with a group that have assured me that my experience with MSC Poesia was poor in comparison to its competitors in many areas.
First - the pros - The ship itself is beautiful, well maintained, and although I see others stated the restrooms, etc were dirty in the common areas, I had the exact opposite experience. I felt the ship was perfectly maintained. I also was very pleased with the decor, layout, space and size of our balcony cabin. Some of the staff were quite nice, while others seemed as if we were inconveniencing them. I think this just about covers all the pros, as you can see, not too many to list.
Secondly - the cons - the food was awful...i mean honestly, my expectations weren't very high to begin with but the cafetaria food was dreadful. The seating was crowded, the flow of the buffet was terrible and always backed up into other areas, the selection rarely varied and many times the food was cold or tasteless. Also, the availability of times to grab a bite was minimal and limited. The couple times I ate in the more formal dining room, the food was slightly better...the pasta being the best of all but otherwise less than impressive. I had always heard food on cruises was one of the highlights...not the case with Poesia. Next up, the bartenders and waitstaff...they seemed to be unprepared for the maginitude of the attendees that came through the theme of our cruise Shiprocked. I understand many fellow cruisers were not aware they were sharing the ship with "those people", but the staff should have been aware and prepared. That said, I will not go into the generalizations people are making about those of us that shared the ship with us for the music theme portion of this cruise...but i will say i am not pierced, nor tatooed from head to toe...nor did I or anyone in my group wreak of smoke, sweat or any other substance and from my pictures I can confirm I was not dressed in rags at dinner...I can not account for the behavior, appearance and habits of others that attended for the theme, but to generalize us all as the same is rather close minded. ANYWAY...I digress...I was also unimpressed by the staff person who was responsible for maintaining our cabin and providing simple things like towels...a complete fail in that area.
As for the theme portion of the cruise, which is why I was on the ship from 11/14-11/19 - it was spectacular and I was impressed with the bands, the activities and I will be attending again next year. So, for those of you that do not want to share the ship with us "headbangers" the dates are 11/26-12/1 on the MSC Poesia again...how I wish Shiprocked would pick a different cruiseline, but the theme was enjoyable enough to overlook the cons of the Poesia. However, I would not willingly choose this ship...it dissappointed in too many ways, even for this newbie cruiser.