I was booked on the Dec 5 2010 Poesia Caribbean sailing which I extended on board to make it 14 days total.
MSC makes an effort on the entertainment side, but it's a FAIL in my book, especially if you stay on for longer than 7 days.
They use the same circus acts as scripted in features of their production shows, so it's essentially the same performers over and over. And they repeat most of the shows from any one week the next. They even regurgitate parts of shows on a 7 day cruise for a "Best of" show.
On Costa this year on a 5 week cruise, the standard of the circus acts was far higher and somehow things did not seem repetitive.
Usually the male dancers show up the young female dancers in terms of technique and execution. The Poesia's hoofers were just that, dancing with all left hooves. There was one girl who looked like she was still learning the routines.
The Italian female singer Mimma was woefully mis-directed in many numbers. She "butchered" "Moon River". She was painful to watch in the Broadway revue.
The class singers were the operatic ones, the soprano and the tenor who were an utter delight.
Unfortunately the classical piano trio have to play in the Atrium with attendant background noise and unceasing barrage of camera flashes.
I can't wait for a cruise line to prohibit flash photography at all times in public spaces on board.
A lot of the room stewards are ladies from Madagascar and as such they are French speaking; coupled with their French maid uniforms, they are a delight to interact with. Many, many people mentioned they had been upgraded. I was reasonably happy with my inside cabin. Belatedly on the second day of the second week I was offered an upgrade to a balcony for $280, which I declined.
The food : surprisingly good, tourist fare. The Prime Rib the first week was the best from 12 weeks' cruising this year. Often lunch had a more interesting menu than dinner. Excellent service by the predominately Indonesian waiters. There was even an Italian waiting duo.
The older Italian captains/asst. maitre d's were fabulous. The younger ones under 50 should be horsewhipped for their surliness.
After extending my initial first week, I ran into all sorts of problems with the maitre d' ... really incredible, as any kinks tend to get worked out during the first few days.
Well, the maitre d' never stop proffering totally insincere apologies whilst the guest services staff were appalled at his behavior and convinced me they were genuinely apologising on behalf of the line.
I generally found either the ship crowded or deserted, rarely anything in between. In other words, you either go with their program or you seem to be missing out. Bizarrely, there's no alternative dinners in the buffet on formal nights and if you're second sitting, it's tough and as the buffet closes at 8pm (apart from the pizza station).
I think I will be going on MSC again. I say "think", as I am going to give Rick Sasso a chance to do some damage repair ...