Poesia - Not So Much Poetry in Motion - Merely Adequate
We sailed on MSC Poesia from Feb 6 - Feb 13 2010. It is evident this cruise line needs to learn more about the US market - and I don't mean ugly American etc. Announcements in 5 languages do not bother us. Vegas style reviews with grown-up costumes are fine - we aren't total puritans. The good - we got on the ship very quickly. Good efficient check in at the port. cabin steward was very good - no complaints - although he never quite got our daily routine - which was pretty routine. The rest - First picture taken at the port - not so great - 10 more seconds to help us get arranged in our group would have made a winner (and one we might have purchased) Onto the ship - easy to get around this ship. Good signage. Found our cabin in short order. We booked a balcony. It was the smallest balcony we've had in 5 total cruises. Styling very European. Probably could do without the huge mirror at the foot of the bed. It felt like a very small walkway from bed to wall. Not much storage room - ended up using one suitcase as a "drawer." Bathroom was efficient - small as expected. Bed was about the same as a sleep sofa - yeah - thats pretty inadequate. That night we discovered it was hard to control the room temperature and wished we had more blankets - pretty thin ones on the bed. We were travelling with friends so we had the steward open the door between the balconies. Had to have it reopened 2 more times....I guess they forgot. Off to dinner - table for 4 with out travelling party. Very nice waiter - friendly and mostly efficient. Never quite sure who our assistant waiter was. he was never introduced and was rarely present. Food - this night was pretty mediocre. Italian food is the main suggestion - but American fare is always available. I had lasagna. Yumm - cold lasagna..... The rest of the nights the food was merely OK. Not what I pay for on a cruise. Breakfast two times in main dining room (see cafeteria below) was pretty good - open seating and decent service. Cafeteria style - European and American lunch fare available. Pretty good serice but long lines. The buffets just plain run slow on this ship. Not sure why - just the way it is. Breakfast buffets - eggs, no omelets to order I could find - Euro and American food. Adequate - but I could get same at my house probably faster. With short port stays, they have to get this going better. Coffee cups were like diamonds - you had to search and once found - you held on for dear life! Ports - Key West - cold day - not their fault. Short time in port - small selection of tours. We took the ship trolley into town and booked our own trolley tour - good choice. Fun stop.
Super Bowl this night. Yeah - European ship. World feed on ESPN - endless cricket commercials. Photo op - lets take a picture of you catching a football - stupid idea and few sellable results. Try a Heismann pose guys. Playa de carmen (NOT) - Cozumel. We were supposed to go to Playa. Bad seas prevented tendering - so we docked at Cozumel and we watched the suckers head to the ferry for the Tulum trip. I am sure I can imagine the inside of that trip - 35 minutes across the straights - get on a bus - drive to Tulum (while stopping at my cousin's roadside store) - 5 minutes to see the ruins - back onthe bus with a box lunch - back to the ferry and back to the ship for an early departure to Grand Cayman. Yeaah - we passed on that. Walked into Coz - had some Margaritas - cab back to the ship - hung out on deck waiting for same early departure to Grand Cayman. Grand cayman - cruise ship traffic jam. Tendered in using ships liferafts - well actually the boats - but these boats are built like tubs. Fortunately not too rough. Envied the Carnival/NCL/Celebrity/Costa types riding real tenders. Grand cayman is as it is. Bought souvenirs - back to the ship to chill. Montego Bay Jamaica. There's a reason other ships don't go there. There's nothing to do. Booked their excursion to an old plantation house - pretty ok. Decent scenery. Adequate shopping center. Back to ship for another early departure. day at sea - sadly a bit cool and windy. Crowded deck so back to the balcony - which is why we have those rooms. Nassau - Bahamas - another cruise ship traffic jam. booked the snorkeling adventure. Other than having to assist my friend whose bouyancy compesator leaked and fighting really pretty marginal conditions for snorkeling we got our money's worth. Walked around town - 2 minutes in Straw Market is all I can handle these days - went a little off the beaten path to see a little more. Shows - Vegas style (thongs abound). Singer - good voice. Lack of comedian (multi language problem there) evident but understood. Cruise staff - German cruise director. I lived in Germany for 4 years so I get Germans. Yeah - she was straight out of the Bundeswehr. Probably a drill sergeant in past life - about as apporachable as my drill sergeant was... Cruise staff - adequate - if I wanted to learn to dance. Special items - Baseball stars cruise - cool - good guys all very friendly and approachable. Friday night - OK - I'm on an international ship - its the opening of the Winter Olympics - maybe an opening ceremony party. Yeah - no - instead really bad passenger talent (no-talent) show.........ready to go home. Debarkation - you've a;ready heard. Ship was tied up at about 4:30 AM due to bad weather - we didn't sleep - see above bad bed and winds etc. Out of cabin by 7. Breakfast - see fights for coffee cups. Off to the lounge. Self departure called - they got off. First color called - big crunch - ship starts moving - 3 announcements in 3 hours tell us there is a delay. why not tell us the truth - the wind caused the ship to crush the gangplank from the ship to the airbridge. They had to re-route all passengers to lower deck gangway, establish customs security and re-work debarkation. Just tell us.....
Finally free at 11:30.
Overall - we booked a grown up cruise to relax. This ship fit that bill. Glad my kids were not along for two reasons. A)See grown up cruise purpose B) Ship not designed for kids programs etc. Grades Casino - B (slots paid terrible) Ship Common areas - B - we liked the decor overall - carnival take note! Cabin - B Meals - C Ship shops - D (not enough variety...the worst ship model I've ever seen - so its not in my collection) Staff - C (except cabin - B and waiter - B) Overall - not looking to book them again real soon. Maybe in Europe....if RCCL isn't available...or Costa....or even Carnival
Not horrible - we relaxed - we enjoyed our friends - we enjoyed the sun and were taken care of adequately. And hey - a bad week cruising beats a good week at the office.