Live From MSC Poesia: 6 Ways You’ll Know You’re on a European Ship

January 15, 2012 | By | 4 Comments

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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    4 Responses to “Live From MSC Poesia: 6 Ways You’ll Know You’re on a European Ship”

    1. Jennay
      January 16th, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

      I never thought I would say this, but I would never cruise an Italian ship, just for the fact that smoking is allowed in more areas.

      Nothing beats being in the beautiful water, breathing in a mix of over 7,000 chemicals…

      Just saying..

    2. Ted
      April 5th, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

      Having completed a 10 night cruise back in November 2011 I don’t think I’d cruise MSC again. Additionally, if this represents how ANY cruiseline conducts operations in Europe, I’ll have to think twice before booking one. I found the need to make every announcement in five languages so annoying. Even shows, before and after, I really couldn’t wait to get off the ship by the 11th day. Think about this, can’t have any shows with dialogue, ie; comedians, etc, it would take too long.
      If MSC is going to continue/survive in the North American Market, they need to cruise on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, NCL, Princess….ANYBODY!

    3. Earle Weichman
      December 13th, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

      12-13-12 This was our 50th cruise (been cruising since 1957) and I wouldn’t go on one of their future cruises free-of -charge. Beautiful ship but everything stops there; food is bad, service is bad and my wife and I ended up getting stomach flu. Many times the water comes out of the faucet in a brownish color plus we had many other problems on the ship. No comparison to Celebrity, Holland American, Princess, RCL or NCL; they will not last in the USA with their Mediterranean service style. We were celebrating out 60th wedding anniversary along with friends who were celebrating their 60th; we had noted that when signing up for the cruise but no recognition was received.

    4. Gerry
      April 4th, 2013 @ 6:23 pm

      Having sailed on the Costa Allegra in the pre-carnival era I must say I LOVE European cruise ships. They offer a much more international, richer feeling, it makes you feel you’re travelling in international waters to international destinations, not like you are in a little bubble of Americanism!

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