MSC Poesia Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale November 2012
As we flew out over the sea to make our turn and descent to Barcelona we could see ahead of us the Poesia fresh from a dry dock visit and her Bigger sister the Fantasia which were both due in port together, Fantasia heading out later on her Transatlantic to Brazil. As we headed out of the airport to find our bus we met Peter and Marian who it turned out live just 8 miles away from us.
As we came down towards the port we could see Fantasia turning around in the basin prior to mooring up, Poesia was stationary in the channel waiting for her turn also before mooring up, Fantasia had moved alongside as the bus drove down to the port terminal building and Poesia was close behind.
Due to the fact that the ships had only just arrived there was a wait of over an hour while the crew set up the boarding desks and the free tea, coffee and cold drink stations, we were given a boarding number and had a further wait of around 30 minutes. Soon it was our turn to head to the check in desks and we were on our way onto the ship after about ten minutes.
As we stepped onto the promenade deck of the Poesia we were met by one of the crew who showed us to our cabin and it turned out he was out cabin steward as well, the first cruise we have been on where that has happened a nice touch MSC. During the whole voyage the crew appeared to be happy and smiling and apart from the ships officers were the first to say hello or good morning or evening etc.
We took our carry on cases to our Starboard side Balcony cabin 10108 on Deck 10 which was very roomy including a two seat sofa and it also had lots of storage space and a decent size safe, we then headed off to find the buffet and a bar to book the Allegrissimo packages for the trip, we booked them at the bar that is just inside the entrance to the buffet and ordered our first drink of the day.
Because the Poesia had left Genoa the previous day there had been a Lifeboat drill carried out there, now being someone who never reads the daily paper on the first day of a cruise until the evening we missed some vital information!
There was an issue that arose over the Lifeboat drill for those embarking in Barcelona in so far as that no announcements were made and many people missed the drill including ourselves, MSC had decided that printing the time in the daily paper would be adequate and it read as “somewhere around 5-45pm” I kid you not.
We headed back to our cabin having gone to the theatre for the drill but being too late for the demonstration we were turned away, we headed back to our cabin in order to finish sorting out our cases by which time the Fantasia was preparing to leave Barcelona, it made quite a sight as she slowly slid by Poesia with Horn blowing which was reciprocated by our ship.
We had received a letter about the Lifeboat drill for the next day that we were to attend but with no time given, having contacted customer services about the next days Lifeboat drill one person thought it was 4-30pm, another did not know and eventually a third person managed to find out the time. We headed to the theatre Lifejackets in hand thinking we would possibly be on our own! How wrong could we be there were over 100 people there, after the demonstration and everyone putting their Lifejackets on we were taken outside to our assigned Lifeboat.
I hope MSC have changed their system of thinking that people embarking on a different day will read the paper and make sure announcements are made but at least for any future cruises with them we know to check, lesson learned.
Soon we were off on our own journey heading to Casablanca where we went to see the Hassan 2 Mosque, Sam’s bar from the movie Casablanca and the old market. Madeira for the second time was the next stop where we took the Hop on Hop off bus before heading to the Cable Car.
The next Five days were at sea, the first three out of Madeira with the sea quite choppy and the ship moving around somewhat side-to-side and the weather mostly overcast. Once we reached the Caribbean the sea state became more stable and the weather vastly improved.
The Poesia is a very clean and well-presented ship with no in your face colour schemes the public areas were immaculate as was our cabin, our favorite drinking place on the ship was the Zebra Bar with its ship wide views and great colour scheme.
The Il Palladio Restaurant Dining room waiters were very hard working and nothing was a problem for them always smiling and making sure the four of us had our drinks topped up. The food for Dinner was very good apart from one meal as was the food at lunchtime.
The food in the Villa Pompeiana buffet was also very good with a lot of choice of various foods from different countries, if you timed it right you could miss the queues.
There is one pay extra restaurant on the Poesia which is the Kaito Sushi Bar.
For the sun worshippers the back of the Disco on Deck 14 is a great place although you have to carry your own sun bed up there each day but it is certainly worth it for the great views as well as the sun.
The shops on Poesia are very well stocked and there are plenty of them.
The theatre shows consisted of a mixture of dance routines with acrobats included and singing and also on a few nights’ opera singers. Entertainment throughout the rest of the ship was very good.
The Animation team as MSC call the people who run the daily Quiz and other shows were exceptional especially the madcap Claudio and were always hard working and doing their best to keep people entertained.
One disappointment was the Mini Golf, which was lived up to its name Mini! With just 3 holes, in order to play you had to go to find one of the animation team usually in the Zebra bar on deck 6 to obtain clubs and balls, which was somewhat baffling as other cruise lines have them next to where you play.
The pool areas seemed to be well attended each day once we had got to the sun but we tend to leave those for people with families and look for a quieter area of the ship.
The other places visited included Bridgetown Barbados where we spent the day at the Boatyard the French owned island of Guadeloupe where we toured the town and markets, St Thomas for a second time where we visited Blackbeard`s castle and grounds and Freeport Bahamas.
The Poesia is an elegant classy ship that is spotlessly clean throughout with a great crew and great food, there are many bars to choose from for a drink and one of the best things we purchased was the Allegrissimo drink package.
We are looking forward to our next trip with MSC on the Opera to Norway in June and on the Divina in November on our second Grand voyage/ Transatlantic cruise.