After less than 24 hours of sailing on MSC Poesia, it’s apparent that I’m not in Kansas anymore (not that I ever was, but that’s beside the point). MSC, an Italian line, is based in Italy and maintains a decidedly European vibe on its ships — something I’m experiencing for the first time.
1. You know the price of everything onboard in euros, not dollars.
Take a peek at prices for everything from beverages to spa treatments, and that pocket currency converter may just become your best friend. (Don’t worry — prices can be found in dollars, too.)
2. Food portions aren’t enough to feed a family of six.
Just like on any other cruise ship, dinner on Poesia consists of several courses. The difference, however, is that, on this ship, you’ll be able to finish all of those courses without feeling disgustingly full.
3. Your credit card is flagged for charges from France.
That’s right, France. It’s a rookie mistake. You forget to call your credit card company to tell them you’re traveling, and when you try to set up your onboard account, you card is frozen by your bank, which is conveniently closed for the next three days.
4. Smokers are allowed to … well, smoke.
Several of the public areas onboard seemed to be dominated by those who like to light up — something that’s more popular in Europe than in the U.S. Although we spotted the above sign, the rule is loosely upheld. In fact, we saw folks smoking in lots of places (mostly bars and lounges) other than the casino. Heck, there’s even a combination cigarette holder / ashtray next to the toilet in each cabin’s bathroom.
5. You’re told the passenger makeup is only 60 percent American.
For a cruise — especially a baseball theme cruise — out of an American homeport, that’s saying something.
6. General safety announcements take a half-hour.
Grab some popcorn (or some ear plugs), and settle in for what could be a while. Anything announced over the ship’s loudspeaker system will be done in five languages — English, Italian, French, German and Spanish.
Check out MSC Poesia cruise reviews here.
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