We just returned from the MSC Poesia and had a great time! We were on from the 16th-23rd of December going to the Western Carib. I had read these boards wondering how people had a bad time on a cruise and I'm still wondering!
Embarkation--honestly, it took us a while to get on the ship, but no big deal.
Ship--its beautiful. Not overly big (my wife missed a big promenade that our Royal ship had), but its very well kept. Fitness room was small for us, and a lot of their equipment didn't work. Had to wait on treadmills for a long time, but I guess it got the job done.
Cabin--our balcony seemed like the same size as an interior, but had a nice little balcony where we did alot of our reading. They did a good job cleaning it and keeping it tidy for us.
Dinner--every dinner we had in the MDR we thought was good, comparable to other ships. We had dinner every night here and lunch once. Our waiter, Francesco, was really about the best waiter we've had, really bonded with him. Had Lobster, Prime Rib, Lamb, etc. My wife is vegetarian, and she found options that kept her happy.
Entertainment--great entertainment! Different shows, more acrobatics, gymnastics, dancing, but we really liked it. Attended all but one of them and really enjoyed them. The entertainment team had a different style humor but we thought were very funny and had a good time with them.
Buffet--MSC does fall a little short here. Long lines for breakfast and lunch, though we didn't have a problem with the quality of the food, just how hectic it was. I would suggest going to the dining room for breakfast or lunch if you want it less hectic. The ship was full on this trip, so that may have contributed. Also, the fact that they have certain hours where they serve breakfast, lunch, etc was a little disappointing. Food is not available 24 hrs a day like it is on other ships we've been on. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but when you are tired coming from port at an odd time and want something to eat, it is a little annoying when they are taking food away and closing up shop. We had to schedule to their times.
Drinks--if you are a drinker you will love this ship! I suggest to get the prepaid packages. We paid for the 7 bottles of house wine package (the house red and white were pretty good, we thought--dry), and the 14 beer bottle package. It was much cheaper to have a drink on this ship than on some of their competitors due to these packages.
Overall, we had a great time. All things being equal, I think we would rather be on a Royal ship, but honestly, for the price we paid, we got a great bargain (we didn't pay Royal prices!). Thank you, MSC, for a great vacation!