We went with the attitude to "not sweat the small stuff".
As I liked the size of MSC Lirica, which my husband and I had sailing on previously, I was unsure how I would like the larger Poesia. I needn't have worried, as it wasn't an issue, as we never felt crowded on this beautiful ship.
Prior to the cruise, we spent 2 nights in Hamburg and 3 nights in Lubeck, Germany. We enjoyed both and could have easily spent longer at each place. We caught the train from Lubeck to Kiel on the day of departure. We walked, with our luggage, to the wharf. We later discovered that there was a bus from the train station to the wharf.
We received our luggage labels to complete at the wharf.
As the hall was very crowded, we waited, in the sun, in the pretty park over the road. After awhile, we walked down the mall to find icecreams. When we returned to the hall, we embarked with group no. 19.
My daughter and I found our inside cabin on 11th deck met our requirements. We liked the storage space under the beds for luggage, wardrobe space was adequate, bathroom, with shower, was better than on the Lirica. We used our own shampoo and conditioner, as well as soap. However, there was liquid soap and shampoo in wall containers.
Management and Staff
As on the Lirica, the Indonesian staff, both in the dining room and cabins, were excellent.
We found the management much improved on the Poesia. Management was friendlier and more helpful, than on the Lirica. I didn't see one Italian shrug of the shoulders on this cruise.
We ate well on this cruise. We ate mainly in the dining room for all meals. When in doubt, we chose Italian meals, which were always good. However, much to my surprise, the meat meals were also good.
Icecream for desert is always a treat on Italian ships.
I liked the Vegemite on the tables, and complementary iced water, coffee and hot black tea, with lemon, after all meals.
The pizza was excellent. However, I'd have liked more variety.
We enjoyed the visual acts and opera in the beautiful theatre and the classical music in the foyers and lounges. However, I would have liked to have seen a little less opera and more musicals, which appeal to a broader audience.
Later in Toronto, we went to Cirque Du Soleil's Banana Shpeel. Poesia's acrobatic acts were in a similiar class of unique entertainment.
Our favourite daytime entertainment was The Champions Quiz, which had an english speaking co-announcer. Trivia was difficult, as it was hard to understand the english pronounciations of questions, especially on the open deck.
Daytime entertainment is not MSC's forte. I would like to see more informative presentations, such as on ports of call (history, culture, etc.), rather than just selling their tours.
Poesia's library needs more English books. An extra book of reference world maps and books on ports of call should be held in the library, not to be removed, for all to access.
Ports of Call
Cruise was chosen for its ports of call. - Copenhagen, Southampton, Le Havre, Vigo, Lisbon, Ponta Delgade, Azores Islands, Bermuda (overnight), New York (overnight). Due to a cyclone, we cruised to Boston (overnight) in lieu of Bermuda. We were disappointed to miss Bermuda, but understood the valid reason. Ponta Delgade, Azores was our favourite new port of call. Loved both overnights in Boston and New York.
Disembarkation was a breeze, as we just sat on the top deck enjoying the atmosphere of being on a ship in the heart of Manhattan. We strolled off, when numbers decreased, walked along the waterfront to the ferry terminal and caught a ferry to New Jersey, then a lightrail to our accommodation in Jersey City.
Things, which could be improved on MSC -
longer times needed in ports of call.
Le Havre -
Demarkation was too shakey and embarkation was too steep here. I felt unsafe.
9 - 3.30 in Le Havre is just not enough time for independent travel.
Saw two buses "MS Poesia" returning from Le Havre to the ship. Looked like crew on board, but passengers weren't advised of availability of these buses.
Broadway Show Quiz (excellent) was held in smoking allowed lounge - Pigalle Lounge, Deck 7. Our one and only visit.
MSC needs to change its attitude on smoking, to meet many countries' modern thinking on the dangers of smoking.
Things I love about MSC -
unique itineraries and ports of call
spotless beautiful ships
two for the price of one special offers
Australia in 2012
I do hope MSC cruises to Australia/NZ in 2012 and continues with all of the above.
Would I recommend MSC to fellow cruisers? Yes, but I would explain their points of difference.