MSC Poesia B2B Cruise December 16-30, 2011
Eastern and Western Caribbean
WOW!! Is all that I can say about it. The cruise was fabulous for both weeks. We arrived at the port in Ft. Lauderdale on the 16th at 11:00 am.
We went directly through the embarkation process, which was very fast. And yes the non MSC staff in the port is overworked and tend to be on the rude side. We were on the ship and being welcomed by all the cabin stewards and assistants, at the entrance, with their white gloves and huge smiles on. As we were being taken to our cabin told them that we were finally home and I heard a new word many times that I later found out what it meant and even said it many times to my cabin steward and to my wait staff. "Terra ma cassi" which means Thank You in Indonesian. We were then taken to our cabin 12089.
We had a superior balcony on the 12th deck. Our cabin was cleaned and ready for us when we arrived. We put our things in the cabin and then went to the buffet for lunch. Do not think we will ever want a deck 12 cabin right under the dance floor of deck 13 again as it can get quite noisy at times in the evenings.
It was so refreshing to see so many smiling faces on the people working. I had a huge salad with every imaginable item you could think of as I always do at any buffet. My husband had 4 different kinds of meat, vegetables, and of course some type of potatoes. The food was delicious. We had no problem getting iced tea in a large glass at lunch. We asked one of the wait staff if we could have a glass of iced tea in a large glass and they brought it to us with a huge smile.
We then went back to our cabin to unpack our carry-ons and our luggage was sitting outside our cabin door. We were very shocked, especially since it was only about 1:00pm. While we were putting things away our cabin steward came to introduce himself to us. Made' is by far one of the absolutely best cabin stewards we have ever had on any of our cruises. He was always smiling and always said Hello when we would see him in the halls. Made' taught us the words for your welcome (Sama Sama) in Indonesian. He also taught us Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and several others that I can't remember. We enjoyed seeing everyone's faces and smiles when we would attempt to say these words.
We left our cabin about 2:30 for our meeting with a very special person onboard. After our meeting we walked around the ship for a few minutes to reacquaint ourselves with where everything was, then back to unpacking and getting ready for the safety drill.
We ate in the restaurant on deck 6 for the early sitting. Our waiter was Kicky and his assistant was Kuwman. The only thing I can say about these two people is that they are absolutely amazing. We were greeted daily with a smile and a Hello. I highly recommend these two for a promotion and a raise!! We ate breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms most days and Kicky and Kuwman would find us just so they could say hello.
When I ordered Salmon one night I asked Kicky to bring it rare and he looked at me funny, I explained I wanted it dropped on the grill, flipped and taken off. He smiled and said "You still want it swimming?" I said "Yes", and we all laughed. My Salmon was cooked perfect!!!! I also like my steaks as Kicky would say "Mooing", and got them that way every time. The kitchen staff went above and beyond for our meals. I highly recommend if you are taking a cruise on the Poesia that you request Kicky and Kuwman as your waiters.
We didn't go to the night shows the first week on the cruise because we knew we would be on another week. We went back to our cabin to watch as we left port and to relax and retire early.
We are in Key West today. We didn't take any tours because we have been here several times and we mainly just wanted to walk around and find some good Key Lime Pie, which we did. I was also able to get some Key Lime Juice and some Key Lime Bloody Mary Mix. Back to our home for the next 2 weeks and lunch in the dining room.
We went back to our balcony after lunch since we were sailing early. We always like to watch when we leave a port.
We went to trivia almost every time that they had it, we only missed it when we were in port. I do have to say though out of all the people we encountered that work on this ship the only one that I saw being really RUDE was XX from Quebec Canada. His job title escapes me right now. It was the North American something. He hosted the trivia games and the night shows. He would sit with people on the ship and talk bad about MSC and tell these people that if they really wanted a good cruise they should go on Celebrity and he also spoke highly of Carnival. I may be old fashioned but I really don't think that if you are being paid by a company that you should be trashing them to customers. We won the trivia 3 times in our two weeks onboard and on one of the occasions he actually tried to ignore us and not give us prizes, and his favorite saying was "Plastic pieces of Crap". XX still had 3 months on his contract when we got off the ship on the 30th, but in my honest opinion he should be fired and set packing back to Canada, he was just that rude to people, unless you were young and pretty then you got plenty of individual attention, sorry to say.
We purchased our excursion for Roatan because we have been there before and this was a new port so we wanted to experience new things. It was ROA14. What a HUGE mistake!!!! The bus took us out to what the tour guide called "The Best Beach on the island!" It was one of the nastiest beaches I have ever seen. The tour guide told us when we got off that we would have 4 hours there to do whatever we wanted. We saw the tour guide in one of the shops right after we got there and then they disappeared not to be seen or found again for 4 hours. If you shopped all of the shops and ate lunch you were done in about 1-1 'Â½ hours, 4 hours was just too long. When they did return the guide told us that she had been on the beach the entire time. No one had seen her that was on the tour with us, we couldn't even find the MSC person that was with us so that we could tell them that we would like to go back to the ship early. In fact the MSC person never even introduced herself to any of us, which is probably my fault for not being sure I had her name and finding out what she was going to be doing that day.
Today was a special day to us today, it was my 60th birthday, and a very special person in our lives gave me a fabulous dinner in the IL Obisco tonight. We were wined and dined by the absolute best. Luigi was there to teach us about a wine he had picked for us for our meals. He even brought us a glass of my favorite wine for dessert. It was a glass of Moscato sparkling. I had the Beef Tournado that absolutely melted in your mouth, and Tom had the Lamb that he said was fabulous. At the end of the meal the wait staff and Luigi brought out a cake and sang me Happy Birthday. It was so special to us. Thank You so very much for having made this huge milestone in my life so special to me.
Note: during dinner at La Oblisco a guest had a "MSC wine card he tried to use". He was told that the wine card is for the "normal restaurants only and not the specialty ones as they had a different wine list. He was quite upset. It may have been much better if after explaining the policy that they had offered to get his wine from the other restaurant anyway versus disappointing a guest.
All of our other ports were fabulous. In Montego Bay, Jamaica we took the bus to the Shopping area and then back to the ship with on and off stops on the way back. We went to Cristals for some Jerk Chicken and Tom had his first taste of Curry Goat. We were able to bring back several bottles of Jerk Chicken sauce and spices. We truly enjoyed this port.
On the 23rd we returned to Port Everglades. We were able to get off the ship to go and do some shopping for items that we had run out of during the first week. Like the 500 plus candy canes we gave away on the Xmas wreath we kept stocked on our cabin door for the kids, young and old during both weeks. We learned the hard way that even though Wal-Mart is only 13 miles from the port it is a $40.00 cab fare one way. The bus goes right in front of Wal-Mart and is $1.60 per person each way. (Lesson Learned.)
Our embarkation was very smooth we were breezed thru by showing our cabin card and re-boarded with no problems. We then went back to our cabin to drop our stuff off and then to lunch in the dining room. Kicky was our waiter for lunch today which made it special to us.
We were off on the second part of our cruise now. We would have 2 days at sea and a lot of relaxation. It didn't turn out that way though, there was so much going on that we seemed to be on the go non-stop between the pool games, the trivia games, and the other activities onboard we were always busy. I did manage one day to get a 30 minute nap in on the balcony!
When we arrived in St. Thomas we had a car rented so we drove around the island, Tom's first try with driving on the left, he loved it while I was scared stiff most of the time but it was fun. In fact it felt like we were driving in circles many times. I wanted to go to Coki Beach because it is a very special place to me and after quite a few wrong turns we made it there. We had a great time and laughed with our newly made friends who were our tablemates on the cruise.
In San Juan we also had a car rented and Rob and Carol also joined us here. We drove the car to Wal-Mart and a shopping mall and then to the Bacardi Rum Factory for a tour. I highly recommend taking this tour while you are in San Juan, it is very informative. It was another fun day with a cruise.
Our next port would be Nassau Bahamas. I went into port to shop today alone since Tom had been sick all night and all of that day with what the ship Doctor said was food poisoning. He was given a shot to stop all of the effects and by that evening he was actually feeling good enough to go to dinner. The Doctor had given Tom a special diet to eat and Kicky made sure that he had the kitchen staff make the meal exactly like the Doctor had requested. I had most of the packing already done so we didn't have much to do that night. In fact our suitcases were in the hall before dinner.
On the dinner sittings quite a few people were confused including us as to why they kept changing the seating hours from 5:30/7:30 to 6:00/8:00 back and forth a few times, it did cause many missed seating's and much consternation as people showed up late or early due to the changing schedules.
Casino was ok as casinos go. Do wish they would institute a few hours of set " no smoking" times so us non smokers could also enjoy the casino. It's even "rough" walking thru to the theater with the smoke.
We went to 4 of the night shows. The shows were very good but not nearly the caliber of the shows that they had on the ship 2 years ago. I am always amazed at how the contortionists can get into some of the positions that she does and then to pick her body up off the floor by her teeth!!! Amazing!!!!! Two years ago they had a Cirque so Le type of show and this year it was a very short segment of a show. I would have enjoyed the entire show being Cirque style.
The only thing on the ship I have a concern about is that you don't see the cleaning going on like you used to, and they are coming up to you a lot more and asking you if you want a drink. I don't cruise Carnival because of this and I would absolutely hate to think that a cruise line as refined and classy as MSC would stoop to the levels of Carnival to push drinks and to let the cleanliness of the ship go downhill. Please don't let that happen to my beloved MSC.
Till we meet again,
Arrividerci and Ciao,