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Chris

Age: 28

Occupation:Banker

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: MSC Cruises

Ship: MSC Poesia

Sailing Date: 2010-01-16

Itinerary: Caribbean

I am writing this review in the airport on the way home from this cruise. My wife and I flew from Chicago to Ft. Lauderdale to board the MSC Poesia. Getting on the ship was fantastic. It was very easy and we boarded early and it gave a chance to explore the ship a little bit. I would recommend doing that as well, also to avoid the droves of people all boarding at the last minute. The ship was absolutely beautiful and they were constantly cleaning the ship which made for a very pleasant aesthetic. Our stateroom was also very nice and the stateroom service and maintenance was excellent. Unfortunately, that was about the extent of our pleasant experience. The service was just horrible, if you were lucky enough to find someone who spoke the same language as you, they were usually unable or even worse unwilling to help you. The food was canned and disgusting. And the overall experience was terrible (read below). I will not cruise with MSC ever again.

Uggh, where do I begin? Usually, one of the main attractions to a cruise is the food. I have had better food at a nursing home than on this ship. Most of the fresh fruit was fresh out of the can. The juice was from a terrible concentrate that tasted like water. The coffee was from big dispensers with a huge vat of instant coffee powder above them and tasted like battery acid. The iced tea was from concentrate, and the milk was usually at room temperature (but maybe that is a European thing, I'm not sure). The meat was horrible and very tough. We had the filet mignon one night and I could not eat it. My wife and I had our tender tickets for the tender boat to the docks and had the running joke that we wanted to use our tender ticket on our steaks! I actually got food poisoning on the second night and was sick for two days of the cruise. It was so bad that I could not even keep water down and missed our port of Montego Bay. The following day I found out that some other people sitting at our table also had the exact same thing happen to them. On cruises I am used to there being a station of food that is open all day if not all night. Not the case. Lunch buffet shut down at 2:00 pm and if you did not eat by that time you had to wait 4 hours before you could eat again. It was annoying when my wife and I would come back from an excursion at 3:00 or 3:30 and could not get anything to eat...anywhere. Back to the port to pay $15.00 for a cheeseburger. Are you kidding? The whole dining experience was a complete disappointment. The only upside was that the food was the butt of many funny jokes throughout the week.

The stateroom was very good, there are a few exceptions, but I will start with the good. The bathrooms were probably the nicest I have ever had on a cruise. There was a good amount of room and the the service staff was excellent. Our service attendant was Herman and he did an excellent job cleaning the room and making sure that we always had ice and clean towels. MSC does not do anything cute like RC and Carnival like put chocolates on your pillows or make towel origami animals or anything like that but they do do a good job with the basics. The beds are aluminum tube framed cots, in our room we had two put together to make a queen size bed. One side was very comfortable and one side left both me and my wife sore in the morning. The temperature adjuster in our room did not work but we did not complain about it. On the 4th night of the cruise we lost hot water for about 10 hours and finally called the reception desk and they had it fixed within an hour. All in all the stateroom was very good.

We did not participate in many of the on-board activities due to the fact that every sentence was repeated in five different languages, which is necessary but does not make for a very enjoyable experience. The nightly shows in the theater were not very family friendly and you often saw bare butts throughout the entire show every night. The at-sea day was very disorganized as it was very much every man for himself on the deck. Good luck getting a sunbathing chair, and if you wanted the attendants to get out more chairs because they are all taken by beach towels with no one on them, get ready to rumble baby! Most of the on-board activities were directed by the entertainment director, Richard who was very good and just that, entertaining.

Please read this part:
The most important part of a cruise to me is the service and for this reason alone I will never sail again with MSC. There were multiple stories of disastrous service that I would not expect from a human being let a lone a cruise line that I paid to be their guest. I will share a few experiences that happened within the last 4 days of me writing this review.
One of the days that I was sick I was going to try to eat some crackers, it was about 4:15 in the afternoon and my wife went to go find me some crackers she found 2 packets and had asked the buffet attendant for a few more packets of crackers. He said NO! She asked him again twice and he said that she would have to wait to TOMORROW??? For Crackers???
We were trying to get something to drink and there were no cups by the water station. My wife asked one of the attendants if there were anymore cups. (by this time we knew that getting them to help was like pulling teeth) long story short by the end of the conversation he pointed to a cabinet that was supposed to be locked and told us that that is where the cups were and that we could get them ourselves. Thanks!
You may read about this experience by some other writers in the future as it made many of the people vocally irate. When we docked in Mexico we had to take a tender boat from the ship to the pier. Everyone was given a tender ticket to have some kind of order to the whole process otherwise there would be absolute chaos. Unfortunately when there is no communication between staff members and some people are enforcing the the tickets and the people allowing the people on the tender boats just letting anyone on, it is a recipe for disaster. All in all it took some people over two hours to get ashore and some missed their excursions. So disorganized.
There are so many other little things that I could write that would probably make your jaw drop to hear but rest assured that the service was below terrible and downright rude at times.

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