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501 MSC Cruises MSC Poesia Cruise Reviews

Regrettable or treat that an MSC is giving its passengers. The ship was absolutely full. Believe that they have enlarged or cabins in a renovation, but not widening the common area. The buffet restaurants, a shopping area and a pool ... Read More
Regrettable or treat that an MSC is giving its passengers. The ship was absolutely full. Believe that they have enlarged or cabins in a renovation, but not widening the common area. The buffet restaurants, a shopping area and a pool area did not accommodate the number of passengers. It is not possible to move through the theater to a restaurant without being used by people. We had to hold like children by the hand for fear of them getting lost and not finding us quickly. The size of the pools is ridiculous and the amount of tables did not support 10% of the passengers. As well as the pool bar attendants, besides being grumpy, they couldn't handle the service. It was all chaos, without communication and without respect. Little variety of food in the buffet restaurants. In 07 days there was variation of 3 dishes. At dinner the tables were almost glued to each other and not enough food, and the taste was not worthy of a caveat. Several staying after dinner or buffet restaurant to eat something else. The only highlight is the shows, which are really very good as artists. It's unfortunate, but a cruise with the MSC is never repeated. I had already done another one in 2010 and it was fantastic, so repeated, but they are second to none. The first a dream and this now a nightmare. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
If you want to be treated like a criminal, discriminated against and be at risk of burning to death on the open seas, MSC is the cruise line for you! My issues started even before the cruise. As a solo traveller, and a gay man, I ... Read More
If you want to be treated like a criminal, discriminated against and be at risk of burning to death on the open seas, MSC is the cruise line for you! My issues started even before the cruise. As a solo traveller, and a gay man, I emailed MSC asking if they would hold an LGBT drinks event on the cruise, as nearly every other cruise line does. The email response did not address my question, so I rang MSC here in Australia and spoke with someone who promised to inquire and to email me back before leaving for my trip to Europe. She never did reply, and once on the cruise I realised she was likely ordered not to or simply too embarrassed by what the response would be. But this was not the only issue I had. There are so many that I'll separate them: 1) Luggage misplaced. After several hours, neither of my two bags had been delivered to my cabin. I went to the buffet and just happened to come down by the aft staircase and saw one of my bags outside of someone else's cabin (other end of my floor). 2) Being treated like a criminal. The second bag, containing my best clothes/suits/shoes and such had still not appeared so I stood in line at guest services to be told it can take some time and I should call back at 4:30 if still not received. I was obviously anxious about it given that my other bag had been left elsewhere and worried about the fact it contained very expensive clothes, not to mention I'd left my housekeys in there. At about 6 p.m. still no bag so I stood in line again. Good news! My bag had been located. But they marched me down to security, where I was interrogated by two large security guards who accused me of having smuggled a knife on board in my bag and demanded I open it. I told them that was ridiculous. That very morning I'd actually thrown out some scissors I use to trim my beard when I travel when I read in the boarding documents that even scissors aren't allowed to be brought on board. I opened my bag and took out all of my clothes. They had mistaken my housekeys for a knife, but duly searched the bag and of course there was no knife. I didn't receive an apology and they tried to blame the French port authority staff who had (supposedly) placed a sticker on the bag indicating the presence of a knife. I think this was likely a lie since there was no such sticker on the bag. I complained to guest services about my treatment and had a meeting with the manager (more on that below). Another passenger (an American) I met on board had also had a similar experience. 3) At the meeting with the guest services manager, she was very nice and apologetic. She asked me what they could do to resolve the situation. I told her I did not want anything, apart from a letter signed by a senior officer of the ship apologising for this incident so I would know that it had been taken seriously and I suggested that rather than dragging innocent passengers down to security in such a case they simply look in suspect bags to make sure that what is supposedly inside is indeed inside. She claimed she'd send that feedback on to head office. I asked if it was a legal issue they couldn't simply examine the bags themselves and she confirmed that it was instead simply MSC's policy, but she'd see if that could be changed given my experience. I then mentioned that they had also not replied to my inquiries about organising LGBT drinks and asked if they could do that and she said she'd speak to the Cruise Director and let me know. I explained that nearly every cruise line offers such a service and that as a solo traveller it's a nice way to have a chance to make friends on the ship. They did send me a bottle of Italian sparkling wine and a plate of six unappetising-looking pastries along with a generic printed card thanking me for my feedback; however, I had specifically told her I didn't want any free stuff and that I wanted an apology, so I sent them back. 4) No surprise, they refused to hold any LGBT drinks. The guest services manager I had dealt with previously even claimed it would be discriminatory against non-LGBT people to have 'special' drinks for LGBT people (despite the fact there were other private events onboard including some religious group) and, bizarrely, she also claimed that it could not be discrimination because MSC (supposedly) hosts LGBT drinks on sailings from the US. Which is it then? Their concession was to host a 'single cruise' drink event open to everyone, LGBT or not, but not identified as LGBT so other LGBT people would think to go to them. I of course did not attend as I was not looking to meet single travellers; I was looking to meet other LGBT people simply to socialise. You can't just walk up to people and ask if they're gay, even if you suspect they might be, and ask if they want to hang out. Talk about clueless! 5) The morning after leaving Morocco,, I went to the cafeteria on Deck 13 for breakfast. No sooner had I sat down than I smelled a very strong odour of burning toast. But I was not having a stroke! No, instead I noticed smoke billowing out of a toaster mere feet away. There was a table with an old couple between me and the aisle in front of the counter with the toaster. The attendant looked unconcerned and walked away. I sat there is shock and disbelief. Over the next two minutes at least four, possibly five, other ship's staff walked past this toaster (which was full on smoking by now), including a guy in engineer's overalls. After a very short time, a French-speaking lady nearby got up and ran to the counter to try to get someone's attention. The attendant had come back and then, being told the toaster was nearly on fire, she sauntered away again. The old couple got up and left and I pulled out my phone to take a video of the smoking toaster. That's when a dining room manager finally ran over to the toaster and the attendant returned with someone else. This could easily have been a fire. The next day, there was an announcement in the daily program asking passengers to pull the fire alarm or make staff aware if there was a fire (which, of course, the French lady did before I even could). Apparently, their staff can't be bothered to do so themselves; it's up to the passengers. I noted, while sitting in shock at the table, that the smoke was only a few feet from the nearest smoke detector, which did not go off -- leading me to wonder if it actually even worked. 6) The food was generally of poor quality relative to other ships. It was like cafeteria food, even in the dining room (with a couple of exceptions). The portions are also tiny, which at least makes it less likely you'll gain weight on the cruise. But you have to wonder how an Italian cruise line can't even make decent pizza or pasta. And all of the food from the buffet is cold, even the food that's supposed to be hot. 7) I chose this cruise primarily for the itinerary and one of the things I was most looking forward to was taking an excursion to Granada from Malaga as I've always wanted to go to the Alhambra Palace and it seemed a convenient way to go there. But, despite MSC's website taking my booking for Granada, I found out the day before arriving in Malaga that we were not in port for long enough to complete that excursion and therefore my trip was cancelled. Of course, no one proactively told me this. I had to inquire at the excursion desk about why I hadn't received a voucher for the excursion to be told this. 8) The casino allows smoking so if, like me, you are bothered by smoke then it is a no-go zone. 9) Although they apparently think that LGBT events are somehow inappropriate, it seems that sexist entertainment is perfectly fine. The second-last show included a 'Can Can' dance at the end of which the women's near-bare bottoms are smacked by the male performers. This might be troubling enough, but what was really shocking was that the entire front row of the theatre was occupied by the children's group who were brought along to the show. The kids, ranging from I'd say 3 to about 11, were often seen about the ship together with a couple of kids' counsellors. Apparently for MSC, showing adult-themed, sexualised performances to kids is okay as long as it's heterosexual, but printing the phrase LGBT Drinks in their daily program is inappropriate/offensive (or if the guest services manager is to be believed, it's offensive in Europe, but not in the U.S.). 10) Bring your own hand sanitiser as the dispensers are routinely empty. I'd say that I managed to sanitise my hands about 25 percent of the time on entering the restaurants/buffet. The rest of the time, the dispensers were empty. I'm sure I'm still missing something, but that's probably enough to give you the idea. If I can say one nice thing about the cruise, apart from the destinations themselves, it would be that there are a few nice staff on board and especially the staff at the Il Grappolo d'Oro wine bar, which also offers appetisers from 6 p.m. on that are, frankly, the best food you'll find on the ship. If you are unlucky enough to travel on the Poesia, then make sure to go there each day as there's not much else worth eating on board and the staff there were lovely. Also, the shore excursions were excellent (even if the staff at the shore excursion desk on the ship were not), but as MSC is at pains to point out the shore excursions are not affiliated with MSC Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This ship seemed to have a primarily European clientele. However, being American was not a detriment. Every staff person that we approached for whatever reason, spoke English. All messages were announced in English (as well as many other ... Read More
This ship seemed to have a primarily European clientele. However, being American was not a detriment. Every staff person that we approached for whatever reason, spoke English. All messages were announced in English (as well as many other languages). The staff on board were exceptionally courteous. The ship was impeccably clean and any minor issues that we needed assistance with were handled instantly. The food was great for the most part. Breakfast eggs were a bit bland and some people complained about the lack of deep fried foods offered, but overall, the food was of great quality and good variety. Only one specialty restaurant which was primarily sushi. The shows at night were amateurish for the most part with a few good points. Not much in the way of on board activities. November was chilly so not much deck time. Excursions were well organized, but not available to book on the smart tv. You needed to book before sailing or wait on the excursion desk line. Ports were great. Genoa a bit boring. People embarking at different ports so not everyone gets on all at once, which was nice. Tenerife and Funchal were my favorites. Long wavy ride from Malaga back to Rome. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
having done 23 other cruises this was the worst one,and one of the most expensive, tha cabin was very good,clean and comfortable,the public rooms were nice and good service,but thats were it stops,the 2 bars with entertainment was very ... Read More
having done 23 other cruises this was the worst one,and one of the most expensive, tha cabin was very good,clean and comfortable,the public rooms were nice and good service,but thats were it stops,the 2 bars with entertainment was very poor,very armaturish,the shows well thery were terrible not worth watching,i felt embarased to watch them.moveing on to the food its was like hospital food,poorly cooked very salty,bad menu planning and poor quality of meat.for 6 meals in a row they seved pork neck,diferent ways but they hadent been trained hoew to cook it,it was as tough as old boots.one night i complaned to the chef the meat selection was,pork neck chicken leg,meat loaf,and a sausage stew(which was also on at lunchtime) finding a table was like a allin wrestling compertition,and having bought the drinks package it was so difficult to get served so one had to go to the bar yourself(when you rang the bell on the table nobody came) aslo it is very anoying the amount of selling they do tables set up eveywhere,even in the afternoon over the tanoy of bargains to be had in the shops which were always on the move into lounges etc overall a very poor experience and i woud recomend you to avoid this ship Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. We began in Genoa. Cruise was western Mediterranean. My first cruise ever. Super clean ship, nice staff. Food was never hot, and as a buffet goes had the buffet fixings. Nothing dazzling ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports of call. We began in Genoa. Cruise was western Mediterranean. My first cruise ever. Super clean ship, nice staff. Food was never hot, and as a buffet goes had the buffet fixings. Nothing dazzling about the food. All tasted good, but was average. Ran out of English breakfast tea 3 days before cruise ended. That surprised me, as I really only drink tea in the morning and after dinner. Tons of pressure to purchase drink package, we did not purchase but paid as we went, and did not spend nearly what the package would have cost. Room was large ( we had 3 people), and clean. Shower flooded the bathroom and part of the cabin. Fans put in the room to dry it up. Also received prosecco and caviar for the inconvenience. We did tours on our own. Used MSC for the Rome on your own tour...worked out fine but know it is 2 hours to Rome from the port. I would definately choose MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise because we were told that the cruise was the same as all of the carnival cruises we have taken. They were not even close! My husband and I actually lost weight on this cruise because as it turns out the dairy products ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were told that the cruise was the same as all of the carnival cruises we have taken. They were not even close! My husband and I actually lost weight on this cruise because as it turns out the dairy products on the cruise are UHT (dairy) not pasteurized and as it turns out we had to have salads for most of our meals as it was the only thing I was not allergic to. Anything besides American brewed coffee has to be paid for which is outrageous. The little entertainment onboard is horrible, it was limited to opera and boring-ass attempts at a Cirque Du Soleil type show! The few activities onboard are things like origami art which is limited to 50 people. The majority of the staff sucks! The passengers were very rude and had no manners! No proper info on excursions, no shuttle buses available to take you to the entrance to ports! The company has a million announcements daily trying to sell you packages. I would not take another MSC Cruise even if the company paid me to do so. the ship was a floating hotel picking up passengers and dropping passengers off at almost every port. All and all we have been on many, many cruises and this by far is the worst experience we have ever encountered. I can honestly say that MSC a We saved for 2 years for this vacation and we are truly disappointed. I will be filing a claim with the better business bureau. Basically, this has been the worst vacation of our lives! We actually could not wait for the cruise to be over! MY WIFE GOT FOOD POISONING AS THE MILK IS NOT U.S.A PASTEURIZED THEY USE BOX MILK AND ALMOST DIED. THIER F Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Firstly, I was amazed that €120 each person was a compulsory gratuity payment and €240 was taken from my account for my husband and I. We were told that nothing could be done about this and that we would not be able to leave the ship ... Read More
Firstly, I was amazed that €120 each person was a compulsory gratuity payment and €240 was taken from my account for my husband and I. We were told that nothing could be done about this and that we would not be able to leave the ship unless this was paid and the form signed to say it was ok. This totally ruined our cruise. We always opt out of tips and reward staff for their excellent service ourselves. The food was not very good. Some dinner menus had nothing that we liked at all. Our waitress Aleiksandra was amazing. Full marks for her. Also our cabin steward was excellent. Most staff were professional and pleasant. However, after a couple of days with the mini bar not being cold, I decided to phone reception to tell them it was not working and I was told “Madam it is a mini bar it is not meant to be cold”. The mini bar was later replaced and the drinks cold. I also booked this cruise with my sister and her husband and our cabins could not have been further away from each other if they had tried. Also my sister’s telephone was not working so we couldn’t contact each other. We also found that there was a lack of information regarding ports to be visited and disembarkment unless you were booked on a tour. The shows were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we wanted a European experience on our ship. We flew into Paris and spent 4 nights there, then flew to Rome and took the train to Civitavecchia where we spent the night before the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and because we wanted a European experience on our ship. We flew into Paris and spent 4 nights there, then flew to Rome and took the train to Civitavecchia where we spent the night before the cruise. I definitely was a bit nervous of choosing MSC because some of the reviews are well ... less than glowing. I don't know what those folks experienced or expected because we had fantastic service and an absolutely wonderful time. I have only cruised with Royal Caribbean before and MSC was every bit as enjoyable in my book. We had a balcony stateroom and our steward was wonderful and responsive to our every need and desire. It was clean and bright and we love the balcony. Personally, we enjoyed the dining very much particularly in the main restaurant. Our waiter and his assistant were fantastic and eager to please. If something was not to my taste, they quickly brought me something else. I am sure that part of the enjoyment was our dinner companions who were personable and interesting conversationalists. We had the second seating and I loved the relaxed pace of the meal each night. The manager checked with us regularly to make sure we were enjoying our meal and emphasized that anything could be cooked differently or changed out if we were not completely satisfied. I was less than thrilled with the cafeteria/buffet but that was more due to the noise and hectic environment than to the food. I tried the burger one day and it was disappointing but, then again, I didn't go to Europe to eat burgers so I simply got something else. I preferred lunch in the main dining room with the option to choose from the buffet or to order from the menu and have table service. The service in all the bars was excellent and the staff was friendly. We preferred the Rendez-Vous because our waiter, Momin, was absolutely outstanding and made a real effort to know names and remember preferences. It became our before dinner meeting spot. The entertainment was also outstanding though I admit that I almost gave up on it after the first show - A Space Odyssey - which was mostly disappointing. I am a retired theater teacher so I admit to being somewhat picky when it comes to theatrical presentations. The costumes for all the shows were absolutely stunning and the rest of the performances were outstanding. I particularly enjoyed the Flamenco show and the mini Opera. We did not really plan on any excursions as we were pretty much intending to make our own way. We ended up purchasing one in Malta which was very disappointing. I had chosen it because I specifically wanted to visit the handicraft Village of Ta Qali and our guide didn't even know what it was. The description had specifically state that was included. In fairness though, our dinner companions went on multiple excursions and really enjoyed all of them. I will definitely sail with MSC again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Whilst the ship was very clean and nice cabins, other aspects destroyed our experience. The restaurant was appalling on all visits over the 11 days. As eating is a big part of cruising, it ruined our cruise. The restaurant management were ... Read More
Whilst the ship was very clean and nice cabins, other aspects destroyed our experience. The restaurant was appalling on all visits over the 11 days. As eating is a big part of cruising, it ruined our cruise. The restaurant management were unhelpful and we walked out 3 times as totally disappointed. Never again will I board a MSC cruise ship. The music noise on the open decks were too much so could not relax. The bars were always busy so difficult to find any seating at some times. The public interior areas were kept very clean.Toilets sometimes blocked. The "selling" was OTT with shop discount notifications over the PA, bingo ticket sellers going around the many decks. The disembarkation procedure a bit chaotic. As regular cruisers on many other lines, this was our worst experience. We did not go to any shows so cannot comment but other cruisers spoke positively of the shows. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
A friend of mine said that MSC offers good trips through Europa. So we booked a expensive cruise with almoust all the packages needed. We were surprised, that a lot of drinks are not included in our package. We consumed a nice bottle of ... Read More
A friend of mine said that MSC offers good trips through Europa. So we booked a expensive cruise with almoust all the packages needed. We were surprised, that a lot of drinks are not included in our package. We consumed a nice bottle of wine every night for dinner - of course not included in the price. Every day the made a advertisment about percentages for shoping, best offers for massage, excursions etc. - you can not sleep… you can not take a nap - than an advertising over the speaker in about 6 languages which is very disturbing. Poor educated and not motivated employees serves you during your stay on board. The cabin is nice, the room service is good. But all the employees have to make business by selling cigarettes, jewellery, clothes, purses, cosmetic articles etc. all over. And of course the allways offer you 30 to 40 % discount.... for example: a massage for the regular price for over 120 Euro is too expensive for the quality. The therapists are working without motivation, are tyred because of too much work and stop a 50 minutes massage after 40 minutes.... But in the end they try to sell you a cosmetic product or a next massage with a 30 % offer.... Make business - go to MSC - you can learn a lot...... not a very nice feeling, when you should spend more and more money. For sure we will not recomend a cruise with this company!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at ... Read More
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019. Aurea Balcony Suite, inclusive Drinks Package,(the old one as we booked before the new drinks package took over) We arrived at Copenhagen Terminal at 10.30am, they said we could board at 11.30am and a large Group of tourists decided to rush first, not lining up correctly, it was very chaotic, this was sorted out swiftly by the Crew. We boarded and even though our rooms weren't ready till 1.30pm, that didn't stop us exploring the lovely and elegant MSC Poesia and grabbing a bite to eat and drink. The ship is over 11 years old, but you would not know this, as it is kept in pristine condition. (and I have cruised with ships only 5-6 years old and they have had a beating!) Our room was always clean and spotless, cleaned twice daily. Lovely balcony, one floor down to access the Spa and pool deck. The ship is ultra clean, crew spending their days polishing everything and hosing all the pool area down daily. I found all the crew friendly and chatty. With regards to the language barrier and despite other reviews, I understand that as an Australian, English would be the last language spoken, as MSC being an Italian cruise liner, and there were many nationalities on board, Italian, Russian, French, German and Chinese. Not once did I find the language barrier a problem, in fact I praise the crew, most of them could speak three or four languages! We had My time Dining, never an issue granting four of us a table each night, waiting time probably no longer than 5 minutes. I found the food to be exceptional, I have cruised 10 times , RCI, Celebrity, P&O, Princess, NCL and Carnival and the food served was on a par with all cruise ships. All the waiters were extremely friendly and polite, never anything a bother, even when we ordered two or three entrees, mains or desert. The buffet was huge, we ate there for breakfast and lunch. It wrapped around the whole back of the ship and the food was plentiful, enough for anyone to find something to eat every day, vegans, Gluten free etc., Late night snacks, bread, meats, cheeses, cakes and pizza from 11.00pm to 12.00pm, despite another review on here, I found the Pizza to be very edible, dont forget its an Italian ship, so not many toppings! There are 7 Lounge bars and you could always find a nice quiet spot to have a drink. The only downside was the entertainment, night time shows (2) and they were okay, we went to most of them. No day time shows or entertainment. The singers in the lounge were a bit of a let down as well. They need to address this. As the weather wasn't perfect, no outdoor entertainment or activities. Only one Flower 60's70's night and that was the 2nd last night on board. No Italian night, or white night as expected. We did 4 shore excursions with MSC Rotterdam - we chose to do the night time canal tour in Amsterdam, This was such a great experience, going down the canal by boat and seeing all the famous houses etc., free wine and soft drinks and a small antipasto platter to eat. We then had 2 hours to explore by ourselves. Vigo, Spain - was a bit of a let down, the UNESCO Church was under re construction, they should have explained this to us, we could not see much, 1.50 hours travel in a bus, 1/2 hour in the Church, 30 minutes to explore and then back on the bus to the ship, for the price we paid, I was disappointed, it was expensive . Lisbon, Portugal, - what a great excursion with our tour guide Maria, Tram ride through the town, over an hour, custard tarts and port wine for brekky, and then 2 hours for site seeing, including stops to see Palaces, Castles, etc., all the best parts of Lisbon. This was inexpensive and a great way to see Lisbon! Cadiz - Spain, we chose to go to Seville to see the UNESCO Palace, 2 hours in a bus, should have explained that to us, (brochure said, short drive), but it was worth the drive, the Palace was lovely, the exhibition place was as well, then a lovely lunch included at a near by restaurant, with unlimited wine! All other ports, we explored ourselves, Warnemunde, Rotterdam, during the day, just cross the bridge, lots to see, Cartagena, wow, what a fantastic little port, duty and tax free haven, checked out the castles, roman ruins the amphitheatre first, then went on a shopping trip. Overall, despite the weather as it was not favorable for 6 days, it was a fantastic cruise and I would travel with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our cruise began in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the pre boarding process my wife and I were asked where we were from by one of the MSC cruise line staff holding a clip board. We responded, "we are from Texas, USA", the MSC ... Read More
Our cruise began in Copenhagen, Denmark. During the pre boarding process my wife and I were asked where we were from by one of the MSC cruise line staff holding a clip board. We responded, "we are from Texas, USA", the MSC employee then rolled her eyes, and replied "oh no, we already have too many Americans". It was an awkward moment, as we thought she was only kidding, and we were waiting for her to laugh and say "just kidding". Well, that never happened. We had booked our cruise 7 months in advance when well over half of the ships cabins were still available. We chose early dining seating for 18:30. When we got on the ship, we were reassigned to 20:30 dining, and given a table for two in a hallway next to the kitchen entrance for servers. No outside view. We went to the service desk to express our displeasure with our seating arrangement; considering the fact, that we had booked early enough that our choice should have been honored. The MSC employee patronized us with what came off as feigned sincerity to correct the seating situation. The following morning we were advised that our seating arrangement had been adjusted, our hopes were dashed as we found out the tables location. It was a mirror image position except on the other side of the ship. On our 30 year wedding anniversary cruise, we were relegated to second class seating. If that wasn't bad enough, the food onboard was bland, or cold. Even the pizza was terrible. The first port of call Rostock, Germany had a excursion bus ride to Berlin. Here's a heads up, bring along some .50 cent Euro coins for restrooms. No vendors want to offer change either. Bus driver first unexpectedly pulled over, and was replaced by a different driver. No explanation given. The driver took at least 2 wrong turns, and got us back to the ship late. The entertainment, that was bad as well. No variety, same group of gymnasts, and dancers for 7 nights - just changing costumes. Boring.. Ships WIFI was weak. After speaking with 3 other couples on our cruise 2 from the states, and one from Australia, we agreed they didn't treat us fairly. We will not cruise on MSC again, huge mistake. Will stick with Norwegian or Celebrity from now on. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Have done one previous Cruise on Carnival in the Caribbean. My review is thus going to be comparison to that one. Things I liked more about this cruise. They do less announcements as Carnival would be woken up with announcements ... Read More
Have done one previous Cruise on Carnival in the Caribbean. My review is thus going to be comparison to that one. Things I liked more about this cruise. They do less announcements as Carnival would be woken up with announcements about going to shore and things going on that day. This one kept announcements to minimum though did take awhile due to being in 5 languages. This could be plus or minus but there are limited English speakers and fewer Americans. They do sit you with same language speaker I dinner. We had sets since cruise we were in embarked at both Copenhagen and Warnemünde. Found music entertainers better as guitarist at wine bar I found had wider rep than piano bar singer on other cruise. Classical musicians and opera singers at pre dinner area were good. Found steward service top notch as they would get into room quickly to clean during 30 minutes we were at breakfast or lunch. Did excursions through this one as did not through previous cruise as found them more interesting though that might be due to location as company. Things that were worst. Found food subpar. Food was not bad but just did not excel. Only have one specialty restaurant a sushi bar that seemed mostly empty. I live in big city where can get sushi easily. If I was them switch it to a tepanayjki or Brazilian style steakhouse place as those are popular. The entertainment was dancers not comedians which is understandable due to language issues. Went twice and seemed the same except change of costume and music as dance moves very similar. Things that were similar Rooms was nice as standard balcony style room. Had aft on previous cruise so balcony was big enough to stretch out on and this was regular balcony so just chairs. Both were pre 2010 ships so did not have all the specialty dining and freestyle eating that more modern ships do. They also were not the new 4000 plus person mega ships so no water slides etc. Had some issues with internet and room. The room I booked and confirmed on travel sure was not one I got with both sides blaming other party. Will see if get those resolved after cruise so will hold out judgement until then on those issues. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our 3-generation family group of 6 enjoyed our weeklong Baltic cruise. We chose this sailing primarily for the combination of itinerary and cost and were not disappointed. We usually travel independently and found embarkation in ... Read More
Our 3-generation family group of 6 enjoyed our weeklong Baltic cruise. We chose this sailing primarily for the combination of itinerary and cost and were not disappointed. We usually travel independently and found embarkation in Warnemunde easy with the local train station a short walk from the modern Port facility. With the exception of St. Petersburg, where a visa is required, we found the ports (Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen) easy to navigate on our own. In St. Petersburg, we booked a small group day tour with TJ Travel and were very pleased by how much we were able to see in a single day. We had no difficulty getting through Passport control with the provided tickets or finding the tour guide once in the port facility. Since only 2 of our group had cruise once 20 years ago, there were not many expectations and no one was disappointed. The balcony cabins were as large as the European hotel room we stayed in before the cruise, was always clean, and the kids found the double trundle sofa comfortable. After spending the day in some of the highest cost cities in Europe we loved coming back to the all you could eat buffet. We saved precious sightseeing time and dollars by only stopping for quick bites while in port. We really enjoyed our main dining room waitstaff (Juan Pablo and John) and looked forward to an enjoyable dinner each evening. We do not have recent comparison with other cruise lines, but everyone including the kids found something they enjoyed every night. After dinner, we attended at least the beginning of the nightly show, and some were better received by our family than others. The special acts (acrobats, contortionists) were big hits but the general dance numbers not as much of an interest. The lack of dialogue was not a concern for us, and we did not mind the variety of languages or being in a minority of Americans. MSC hosted a complimentary Independence Day reception for all American passengers on the evening of July 4th, and it was a nice gesture with free cocktails and entertainment. Our son who is 7 enjoyed the kids club, while our daughter who is 11 fell at the top of the same age group range and usually enjoyed staying with us instead. In general, staff members we encountered spoke English sufficiently to at least communicate basics and many were fluent. Some of the staff were amazing with their ability to switch between 6 languages seamlessly. We were able to feel like we were fully in Europe for the week but had no difficulty communicating. We would not hesitate to cruise with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We (five adults) wanted to go to the Baltics and MSC Poesia was the best option for us since we were to visit 9 ports including a two day stay in St. Petersburg. First time on MSC. We left from Warnemunde, Germany which is not an easy ... Read More
We (five adults) wanted to go to the Baltics and MSC Poesia was the best option for us since we were to visit 9 ports including a two day stay in St. Petersburg. First time on MSC. We left from Warnemunde, Germany which is not an easy port to get to nor leave from Berlin. We could have embarked and disembarked in Copenhagen which after our experience in Warnemunde I would recommend. In Warnemunde the bus leaves you quite away from the ship and traveling with medium size bags to the ship is not easy. On our return we had decided to take the train but that was cancelled without any notification and we ended up taking a train, a crammed bus and then another train lugging our bags up and down various flights of steep stairs. Other than that, the cruise in itself was a great experience. The ship was comfortable and very clean. Cabin service was excellent. The entertainment was among the best I had experienced. The Cruise staff in charge of Adult activities consisted of young people from varios countries ( Spain, Brazil, Panama, Mauritania to name just a few) who entertained us daily with their charm, wit, friendliness and antics throughout the cruise. The nightly shows I considered excellent, very different and entertaining. Our main dining room service ( we had the late seating) was remarkable making up for the not so great food. The food preparation was average. Overall we had fun experience and visited some great places. As a last note May can be quite chilly in the Baltic so pack accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other ... Read More
Embarked in Warnemunde, embarkation was fine. Went to the rooms, was room 10241,aft balcony. Large balcony however the engines shook so much, I couldn’t sleep half of the 10 nights. Then, the food. Half of it was inedible, the other half was disgusting. I ate salad and salad the whole cruise. There was lack of diversity in food. No prepared sandwich, no omelet station, the burgers were stale, all the food was so gross, I was popping tums and zantac the whole time. The staff, came out with a roast beef that they couldn’t even cut into with a chef knife. Everyone on the ship was complaining on how hard it was, and then i found the same meat cut up in the dining room. NO one speaks English, no one helps, the shows are laughable and the rooms are tiny. We booked a excursion for handicap and they showed up 1 hour late. One of the ports they didn't put a ramp for wheelchair and it was impossible for handicaps. I would never go on this cruise line again. I cruised on here 8 years ago on a Caribbean itinerary and it was great. I don’t know what happened but it took a turn to the worse. Heed the warnings in this review, this cruise is for EURO traveler, unless you are VERY adventurous traveler and don’t care about customer focus. I have been on over 50 cruises this one ranks number #50 on worse. No sympathy or compassion towards their customer Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We enjoyed the places of Port the cruise took, our cabin had a balcony and it was a very nice room, the food was poor and so was the service very unfriendly staff, made the ship experience very unpleasant. Having been on other cruise lines ... Read More
We enjoyed the places of Port the cruise took, our cabin had a balcony and it was a very nice room, the food was poor and so was the service very unfriendly staff, made the ship experience very unpleasant. Having been on other cruise lines this was the worst experience as it is the service that plays a huge part of the cruising experience. Other than the places of Port i wouldn't taken this line. The only staff members that was pleasant were the cruise director Petra, she is wonderfully talented and the guest entertainer with the magic show was good. Service needs serious improvement especially guest relations they were quick to answer without hearing our questions. On board entertainment was very poor. My partner and i requested a board game and most of the pieces were missing. There is not much to do on a sea day onboard. We had someone do a lecture on upcoming ports it was honestly pathetic!! She showed us pictures and knew nothing about any port, most guests walked out while she spoke, the master chef quiz after her was very nice. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I would like to give my honest review of the Baltic cruise on the MSC Poesia. We started our cruise in Warnemunde. We spent the night before the cruise in Rostock, Germany. It was a nice town with a strip of shops and colorful houses. ... Read More
I would like to give my honest review of the Baltic cruise on the MSC Poesia. We started our cruise in Warnemunde. We spent the night before the cruise in Rostock, Germany. It was a nice town with a strip of shops and colorful houses. In the morning we made the short drive to Warnemunde. I had purchased parking at Easy Parken for 96 euros for the cruise. It was a breeze. The workers were friendly and delivered us to the ship. The embarkment process was easy. We received our cards and went to our room. It looks like most of the rooms have balconies. I would highly recommend having a balcony. We sat out at some of the ports and enjoyed watching the water. Our cabin steward did a great job keeping our room looking good. The ports were all good. I recommend taking Uber to get from Glyndia to Gdansk which is a beautiful city. Klaipeda is a bit small and doesn't offer much. It does have a good market with local crafts and lots of amber for what I believe was a good price. I wish I had bought more. It is within walking distance of the port. Riga was nicer and bigger. We walked from the ship and tours are offered for 12 euros outside of the House of the Black Heads. Tallin was within walking distance of the port and was a lovely medieval city. We enjoyed walking around the town. There are many restaurants to enjoy lunch and many shops and a market. The prices were good for woolen goods and linen things. St. Petersburg was great! Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen needed transportation to the city, but Hop on Hop Buses were waiting at the terminal. The service in the dining rooms was good but we felt the food could be better. The drink prices were reasonable. Overall, we had a great time! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We have been on several MSC cruises in the past and have enjoyed them very much. But our recent Baltic cruise on the Poesia was disappointing. The food in the Lido was poorly prepared---too salty or dried out in particular--and heavy in ... Read More
We have been on several MSC cruises in the past and have enjoyed them very much. But our recent Baltic cruise on the Poesia was disappointing. The food in the Lido was poorly prepared---too salty or dried out in particular--and heavy in refined carbohydrates; the main dining room was extremely noisy and cramped, so much so that we simply avoided it most nights; and the entertainment was very amateurish. Another annoyance was having to pay for water (bottled only) in the dining room as well as a cup of coffee! On the positive side, the ship was very clean and the room steward was excellent. As well, the ports of call were excellent, although we typically had only 6 hours at each stop, probably to minimize port charges. This made our visits to most of the stops rather superficial and rushed when they didn't need to be, given the proximity of each port of call..And because the Poesia docked at some distance from the center of almost every city or town, we had to pay for an expensive shuttle bus service most days. Although we enjoyed the Poesia's itinerary very much, we will not take another MSC cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Terrible Food, Entertainment, Activities, Staff. The food was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise. Poor selections, seemed like the same food was being recycled every night. Lots of bread and pastas. No steak, Lobster ... Read More
Terrible Food, Entertainment, Activities, Staff. The food was the worst we have ever experienced on a cruise. Poor selections, seemed like the same food was being recycled every night. Lots of bread and pastas. No steak, Lobster or regional dishes. After dinner in the dining room we would go up to the buffet because we were still hungry. Usually took food back to room because the buffet was always packed and seating difficult to find due to crowding. Entertainment was boring, student level. No movies or art shows. TV in room didn't work, internet super slow. Shore excursions are expensive and many poorly planned. At one site the guide made us stand in the cold hale (not rain, frozen rain aka hale) for 35 minutes because his schedule said we had to visit that point of interest until 12 noon. He wouldn't let us return to the bus where it was warm. He was very young and wouldn't make changes or allowances for the weather. Photographers were desperate to take and sell photos.They were everywhere, everyday and night. Even in the dining room when you were trying to eat Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary- 9 ports in 11 days including Saint Petersburg. A good sampling of the Baltic’s. The ship is beautiful, the cabin (11006) adequate, the staff mostly good. MSC in general offers poor customer ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary- 9 ports in 11 days including Saint Petersburg. A good sampling of the Baltic’s. The ship is beautiful, the cabin (11006) adequate, the staff mostly good. MSC in general offers poor customer service-no fault of the onboard staff. It started before the cruise with offered then taken away 12 drink vouchers (or use for gelato). It took 3 months and too many calls and emails to receive a first offered $50 on board credit for the cabin for the loss of the vouchers then, finally, $80 credit each for the vouchers ( that had a $120 value each). We decided on their easy drink package which, at one time, offered drinks up to $8 ea. Liquor list included Smirnoff, beefeater, dewars, and such. Also wine under $8 of which there was one each (white, red, rose). When we got onboard the liquor selection changed and brands I’ve never heard of were the only offered. We had to upgrade if we were going to drink and not have huge hangovers in the morning from rot-gut liquor or wine. There was only 1specialty restaurant onboard-sushi- which never had more than 4 tables occupied. The buffet always offered cold food that should have been hot-the last for me was cold sauerkraut with lukewarm sausage, never mind the cold eggs in the morning...the dining room food was better but very limited hours. Morning room service was continental only and not available till 7am. There was NO food available at the buffet on the only sea day from 1500-1600- not even cold pizza. Out of 7-8 bars you could get a Bloody Mary at only one at 1000 on a sea day-even if the bar was open a Bloody Mary wasn’t “an easy” drink so they didn’t serve it! Wine was hit or miss-most bars didn’t carry the better wines and if they did they were out of it. After day 3 a Chablis was not available in the main dining room. Excursions were cancelled and no attempt was made for other accommodations. Shows were ok but opera on a cruise ship for 3-4 nights? The best located venues were either closed for private parties or did not open till 2300. MSC is a totally European line- announcements were in 5 languages. My expectations were based on that. They didn’t meet my minimum standards on food or drink. Not staffs fault! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation: As this was a repositioning cruise, passengers embarked at multiple locations during the cruise: Marseille, Genoa, Valencia and possibly other ports. We embarked at Genoa and, in part due to not being a full ship ... Read More
Embarkation: As this was a repositioning cruise, passengers embarked at multiple locations during the cruise: Marseille, Genoa, Valencia and possibly other ports. We embarked at Genoa and, in part due to not being a full ship changeover, it was a quick process. Ship: MSC Poesia was a nice ship. Built in 2008, it does not have a Yacht Club section. Two main Dining Rooms and one Speciality Sushi Restaurant, along with the usual Deck 13 Buffet. Two swimming pools, two pairs of outside jacuzzis. The ship did not appear full and this seemed to be confirmed by the number of cabin upgrades people had received, us included. Cleaning took place frequently, staff seen with vacuum cleaners on their backs and brass work being cleaned. Unfortunately, this was offset by food and beverage staff not checking for glasses and plates of food left around the decks and the ship generally… Cabin: We had received a double upgrade from an Inside to a Balcony. We were pleasantly surprised to find our Balcony was pretty much midship on Deck 9. Compact balcony with two chairs and a footstool, comfortable main cabin area and usual, compact shower room. Soap dispenser by the sink, shampoo and shower gel dispenser in the shower. Cruise Card validation: One of the reasons for the speedy embarkation is that you are expected to register your credit card at an automated machine (there were a few around reception and shore excursions etc). There were instructions in each cabin about how to do this. One the first evening, we made three attempts to register our preferred credit card at one of these machines. These were all unsuccessful, without clear messages as to why. So I felt that I had to register a debit card, not my preference, as MSC operate this strange system of taking a fixed amount from a debit card and then you, the guest, having to collect any outstanding credit from them in the ship’s currency on the last day – more on this later… The debit card did register successfully and I also followed the process to say it was to be used for both cabins in our party. Lifeboat Drill: Disorganised summed this up. We collected our life jackets and attended our muster stations. We both had our cruise cards scanned by personnel at our muster station. So it was puzzling when my partner received a letter to our cabin next day, stating that he must attend another drill as he had not attended the initial mandatory drill. When he called Guest Services and pointed out that he had attended and his card had been scanned, this was accepted at face value. But if they are saying people who have taken part did not attend, how likely that they have identified passengers who did not attend? Food: I was very disappointed with the food on board. Portions were very small and the food quality very low. Steak did not make an appearance once during a 19 might voyage – except with food and beverage staff touting for guests to pay Euro 18 for a steak main course. I think there may also have been a similar offer for lobster. Generally, I mix and match between buffet and restaurant for breakfast and lunch, depending on how much time I wish to allocate to that particular meal. So, on day 2, I decided to try out the restaurant breakfast. What a strange thing that was. I went to the restaurant and asked for the menu - no menu. MSC Poesia do this hybrid thing of serving teas and coffees and fruit juice drink (not 100% juice, the cheap, watered down version laden with sugar) and then expect you, the guest, to visit the buffet area within the restaurant. I don’t regard this as a restaurant breakfast and the tables in the Fontane restaurant are set quite close together, making it a challenge to manoeuvre around other guests between your table and the buffet area. I decided not to waste my time with this version of buffet breakfast. So off to the zoo of deck 13 buffet. One of my guilty pleasures on a cruise is Bircher Muesli. MSC’s version was laughable. It appeared to consist of any cereal (but generally not muesli), with some diced fresh fruit (not the iconic grated apple) in a thin yoghurt. Such a disappointment. I tried the restaurant version of lunch, again MSC’s version was a rather strange combination. You go in to the restaurant to be seated. As MSC’s passengers are a wider mix of nationalities and languages than many other cruise lines, I politely asked to be seated with English speakers. The waiters blithely asserted that ‘all’ passengers can speak English. So not the case. Time and again tables of 8 guests sitting in stony silence, as they had no common languages between them. This is such a shame and MSC appear in total denial about this issue. One of the pleasures of a cruise is meeting new people and having enjoyable discussions about ports of call etc. This is such a missed opportunity on MSC. Yes, I appreciate it might require a little more thought in terms of seating people, but I am sure it could be done. So, having got to your table (and woe betide that you ask for a table of two to avoid that language issue – even in the first 5 minutes of service we only managed a table on our own twice in the whole cruise) I found the waiters seemed to hold back from providing menus. Why? Because once again, this was a mix and match seated restaurant buffet hybrid and it seemed that the waiters hoped you would just go and avail yourself of the buffet rather than them having to serve you. As at breakfast, the same issue of the tables in the Fontane restaurant being set quite close together, making it a challenge to manoeuvre around other guests between your table and the buffet area. Dinner was one of two sittings, 6.30pm or 9pm, at allocated tables in one of the two main dining rooms. The five people who had booked via the same Travel Agent were all seated together – this did resolve the language issue as we were all from the UK. A couple of days later a Canadian lady asked if she could join us, having first been sat with Spanish speakers, who quite forcibly told the waiter they would only accept Spanish speakers at their table. The wait staff then sat her on a table of Russian speakers, so she was very isolated. It seemed a common theme during the cruise was it being run for the ease of MSC and the staff, not for the benefit of the paying guests. MSC is the only cruise line I have travelled with, where chilled water is not provided in the seated Dining Rooms. I can only guess that this was done to maximise Bar revenue. As UK guests, we found that we had an inclusive drinks package of mineral water, American (filter) coffee and tea at Lunch and Dinner. This package stated it was for UK and Irish guests. Australians on the next table were most put out at having to pay for mineral water. I was also astounded to read claims in the Daily Programme about how MSC Cruises were the only line to have received a top environmental award. How can that be when they are massively overusing single use plastic bottles for mineral water – due to this refusal to provide chilled water for Restaurant Lunch and Dinners? Another issue there seemed to be problems with was language. Our waiter was from Spanish speaking Honduras. Whereas on most cruise ships he would only have needed to learn English, on MSC he needs a good understanding of six main languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. It soon became clear that his English was not as good as you would have hoped, with incorrect starters arriving etc. This, despite all of us guests trying to help by pointing out the specific item in the menu. To be honest, it would probably have helped to have all menu items numbered and order just like a Chinese or Indian takeaway… You remember I mentioned that all UK and Irish guests had an inclusive drinks package for American (filter) coffee and tea at Lunch and Dinner? So, we get to the end of the first Dinner and ask for American coffee. Instead, our Waiter tries to upsell us to the chargeable Cappuccino and Lattes… Why, because it turns out that there are NO facilities for coffee or tea in the Main Dining rooms on Decks 5 and 6. For him to provide the included coffee and tea the Waiter had to go to the Buffet on Deck 13 and get it, just as any guest would. How ludicrous. Unsurprisingly, the hot drinks were often lukewarm due to the journey involved. So now on to the zoo of the buffet on deck 13. It took a few days to discover that actually, this was a very large buffet. This was because often they closed the back half of the buffet and thus reduced the choice. So, we tended to go early in the opening hours when all sections were open and sit right at the very back of the ship, where the buffet area was noticeably quieter. Getting hot food was a challenge. It was displayed on the buffet in huge containers and just did not seem to keep warm for any length of time. It was very much a case of seeing that something was almost finished and watching for the fresh version to be bought out to ensure hot food. Then, whether you could find accompaniments that were also hot was somewhat of a gamble. Sometimes you could wait 10 minutes at an empty food station, to see if they had run out of that item or it was being replenished. Also, the food was not displayed in an appealing fashion. I have eaten in nicer works canteens. Guest Services / Reception: We needed to visit Guest Services on a number of occasions. Generally, we found they seemed to have been more trained in conflict resolution than customer service. Better customer service in the first place would have significantly reduced the need for conflict resolutions skills later. Having ended up registering a debit card initially (against both our cruise cards), due to problems with registering my credit card (I later concluded this may have been due to the debit card entry showing it was taken by MSC Marseille – my credit card company were instructed to expect transactions from Genoa onwards – not from Marseille which was a previous port) my partner then received a letter calling him to Reception. It seems the automated system had not registered that the debit card credit was against both cards – so this had to be adjusted manually. At the end of the cruise there was a credit and due to this one small initial debit card registration (a day later my credit card did accept), on the last evening we had to queue for one and a half hours to receive our credit back in Euros – the on board currency. During this time, we both saw a white uniformed officer come and view the lengthening queue on a number of occasions, and just go away with no obvious action being taken. Shore Excursions / Chargeable Port Shuttles: The presentations about Shore Excursions were not very informative. It was easier to just go to the Shore Excursions desk and collect the brochure with more detail. We did not do any of the Shore Excursions – they seemed lacklustre and expensive. We were quite happy to do our own exploring in port. It did seem that MSC used more commercial ports than some other lines. This meant you were sometimes some distance from where the ship docked to getting into the local town. This was an excuse to sell over-priced Port Shuttles. Malta was for the Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus - Euro 20.00 Palma – Euro 12.99 Valencia – Euro 12.99 Casablanca - Euro 19.99 Ilheus - Euro 10.99 Despite the assertion in the Daily Programme that some of these Shuttles would involve a 20 minute drive, we always managed to walk into town in around 30 minutes. Sometimes (Valencia), the Port provided a free Shuttle bus to the edge of the port (quite a distance in itself) – this was conveniently not advertised. Entertainment: I have already mentioned the issues caused by being having multiple language guests on board. In the theatre every evening, all announcements in six languages became very tedious. Some quizzes and both the questions and the multiple choice (usually three) answers all shown on screen in the six main languages. So why did the Cruise Director feel it necessary to delay the process by reading out questions and possible answers in full in each of the six languages… It was painful and caused events to endlessly over run. It seemed the on board performers only had two main singers and the dancers were different – it seemed more strutting and striking a pose than the sort of high quality shows I have seen on other cruise lines. Many of the production shows had the most un-flattering outfits. There were also a couple of aerialists, some acrobats and a duo of contortionists (so old fashioned). It was also the peculiar way these alternative performers were somehow shoe horned into production shows in the most inappropriate ways. I also found the music for the production shows strangely discordant. For a repositioning itinerary such as this was, with 10 sea days (five single sea days and the five days to cross the Atlantic) – I thought the entertainment low key and very basic. On other lines, I may have been running from one event to another. On this ship, thank goodness for Kindles… The Library was such a disappointment. Very small, obviously needing to cater to the different languages on board. Hardly any non-fiction books, mostly extremely well worn books that look to have been left by previous guests. I did not take a single book out of the library, most unusual for me. Spa area: We were disappointed to find that we need to pay an eye watering Euro 310 (including the 15% service charge) for the two of us to access the sauna and steam room for the whole trip. We have always found at least one no charge sauna or steam room on every previous cruise, but on Poesia they were set up and carefully guarded. For that significant cost, you had access to three inside jacuzzis with five loungers (the ‘relaxation’ area), two large steam rooms (one of which never got above 30 C so was barely warm enough to sit it) versus the other steam room which was consistently at 44 C and two small saunas. By comparison, friends have recently returned from a P & O cruise told us they paid around £100 for more facilities for both of them for a two week cruise. At least having access to this grandly titled Spa Thermal Area helped us occupy our time, especially on sea days. There was an ongoing issue with the jacuzzis and one of the steam room the whole voyage. Eventually we were compensated fairly, but it required persistence and I would have much rather all facilities were working as they should have been. Conclusion: On day two or three, there was almost a mutiny in the theatre when the staff ran a promo video about MSC’s Masterchef at Sea TEN times on a loop while we were waiting for the show to start. Then, just before the show there was a glossy MSC promotional video all about MSC’s 300 years of experience (but much of that was with freight, not cruise passengers). It showed numerous officers in their white uniforms picking up towels and putting them back on passenger’s loungers etc. This was so far from reality – we saw very few officers. In fact, all that video did was make me frustrated – MSC management are in denial if they honestly think that the contents of that video reflected the experience of the average guest on board. For me, it was all the missing things. I go on a cruise to be made to feel special. MSC did NOT make me feel special at all, on the contrary, it seemed that many things were being done for the convenience of the ship’s operations, not for the best guest experience. What was missing, some very strange things: Hardly any clocks on board – we only found two in public areas. Very basic telephones in the cabin – no means to leave a voicemail when trying to contact someone in another cabin. A much lower number of rest rooms (toilets) than I have ever found on a ship – it could take many minutes to get to one. Captain’s daily announcement – nothing for the first week, then taken up by the Cruise Director for a while, then suddenly stopped. No omelette station in the buffet. No standard coffee and tea in the Dining Rooms (despite providing it within inclusive packages for Lunch and Dinner). No list of TV channels in the cabin – when I requested one and asked also about what channels were available in English – I was told it was against procedures to provide this information to guests! Displayed navigation map did not appear until a good week into the voyage. Lack of information about points of interest – nothing about passing the Cape Verde islands during our 5 day transatlantic crossing. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Booked thru Transat Holidays..big mistake. This ship was pretty much the same as any other ship..no WOW factor. Our inside cabin was quite pleasant. Locate at the front of the ship and down a small side hall, it was nice and quiet. Our ... Read More
Booked thru Transat Holidays..big mistake. This ship was pretty much the same as any other ship..no WOW factor. Our inside cabin was quite pleasant. Locate at the front of the ship and down a small side hall, it was nice and quiet. Our room steward kept it nice and tidy and even laid out our jammies when he turned down the bed. Was disappointed we didn't actually meet him/her. The food was terrible. The buffet served the same dishes as the dining room. Our dining room waiter was great, tried to accommodate as much as possible but when the food is awful he could only do so much. Can not recommend this cruise line. Have been on over 15 cruises and this way by far the worst. Good points, embarkation and disembarking were very good. Not mass confusion and easily handled. We took a couple of excursions, which were quite good. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this particular cruise because of the ports of call, and no ‘at sea’ days. Booked well over a year in advance, I started reading reviews on many different sites and was becoming a little concerned but thankfully fretted over ... Read More
I chose this particular cruise because of the ports of call, and no ‘at sea’ days. Booked well over a year in advance, I started reading reviews on many different sites and was becoming a little concerned but thankfully fretted over nothing (surely couldn’t have been worse than my P&’n’O experience earlier this year. Onboard announcements were in a number of languages, English being first, and all were clear and informative. There were many Italians, French, Spanish, German, American, Australian and few British passengers onboard, I actually liked having a great mix of cultures. The ship was well laid out, from the sun terraces to the lounges. Very easy to navigate. There was always something going on in each of the venues therefore no overcrowding, always able to find a seat. The same with the sun decks, never an issue finding a lounger, and, as it suits my requirements, out of the way with nobody stuck like glue next to me. If I was to have one gripe it would be that I did book this a year in advance and requested late sitting for dinning and a table for 2, but was given early dining with a table for 10!!! I personally do not like seating for dinner with strangers (personal preference. Therefore, I ate in the buffet restaurant each night, and can say that the food in the evenings and throughout the day was plentiful and really tasty. I’m not really one for the theatrical shows so can’t comment, but I did go to a number of the venues onboard and the performers in each were a bit ‘iffy’ hence my grading for entertainment. But I was quite happy sitting at the bar in the piano lounge, or up on deck at the pool bar. I did one excursion in Dubrovnik, Game of Thrones Tour, and found it extremely informative, not only with regards to the show, but included a lot of history about the city itself. I found the staff on the ship really friendly and helpful, the bar staff were impressive (I do like it when they remember my drink and save me asking for it Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
This was our fifth cruise, but our first with MSC. It was also our first cruise to the Mediterranean. Our time on the MSC Poesia (sailing out of Venice, Italy) was a different experience than we've had with U.S. based cruises. Much of ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise, but our first with MSC. It was also our first cruise to the Mediterranean. Our time on the MSC Poesia (sailing out of Venice, Italy) was a different experience than we've had with U.S. based cruises. Much of the difference was due to this ship having six official languages. Most activities and entertainment were limited to those that required little verbal interaction between guests. This ship had a much smaller selection of on-board events and activities than we've seen with other cruise lines. The primary daily activities were dance lessons and karaoke. There were no scheduled special-interest gatherings that are common on other lines (friends of Bill W., LGBT). The signs on board promote this as an Eco-ship, but in reality this seems to be greenwashing. Guests are instructed to put towels in the sink if they need to be washed, but all towels were replaced daily regardless. Service was adequate and generally unobtrusive. We never had to ask for something extra to be done. We booked this cruise specifically for the itinerary, so we were pleased with all of the ports we visited. The shore excursions sold through MSC were a mixed bag. These are the excursions we purchased and our experiences: Splendors and Flavors of Old Bari The description of this tour was very misleading. It says “you'll board a very comfortable little train to explore the city in all its glory”. In reality, only a few minutes were spent on the tram. The bulk of the 3 hours was a 1.7 mile walking tour of the old town. The “tasting of delicious local products accompanied by a glass of wine” consisted of a few thumbnail-sized pieces of crackers/breads and a single sip of wine from a small disposable cup. The street full of pasta-makers was interesting, as were the historic buildings and basilica. Take bottled water or have a few euros in your pocket. The few small shops don't take cards or dollars. Olympia and Museum A 30-minute bus ride delivers you to this 2.4 mile walking tour of the Olympia ruins. This is a scenic and photogenic guided tour, but it would be nice to have more time for personal exploration and to read the informational signage around the site. The museum contains most of the statuary found around the Olympic village. Mykonos Island Tour This tour is overpriced at $61. It was a bus ride with only 3 stops. The first stop was at a panoramic overlook, which was fine for taking some nice photos, but nothing else to see or do. The second stop, at a small beach, was a complete waste of time. It was just a small strip of sand along the water, and the views were nothing out of the ordinary. The final stop was at a monastery and church followed by a small Greek meal with a sample of ouzo at a restaurant next door. This stop was the only one with any real value. It was a ½ mile walk from the pier to the bus at the beginning of the tour, and the same distance back at the end. It would be helpful if the excursion description included this information so people aren't expecting to ride during the entire tour. Albanian Riviera And Its Villages This 6-hour tour is a pleasant scenic drive through the Albanian countryside and along the coast. There is a short stop at the natural spring and waterfall at Borsh. Food and drink are available at the local shops. The next stop is at Porto Palermo Castle. It has an interesting history and spectacular views. To get to the castle is a ¾ mile round-trip walk over rugged stones and loose gravel, up and down the hill. The final stop at Himare was simply an opportunity to buy a meal at a local restaurant. There are a few small shops to browse, but not much else to do here. Dubrovnik Go up to the top deck early in the morning for spectacular views of the ship entering the port and making a near 180° turn just before the scenic bridge. At this port, there's really no need to do a guided excursion, unless you want to travel beyond the old town. MSC offers a shuttle to the old town (2.5 miles away) for a small fee. It's easy to walk the town on your own and see all the major sights within a couple of hours. Plan to walk about 1 ½ to 2 miles exploring the streets and walls. There is a large concentration of majestic, old cathedrals here. The financial investment in these churches could feed the entire city for years! The narrow side streets have many small shops selling everything from unique Croatian handicrafts to Chinese tchotchkes. Most only take the local currency and you will see many signs reading “no euros”. There are ATMs on nearly every corner, making it easy to withdraw a little pocket money for the day. Dining Dining was the most chaotic on this ship that we have ever experienced. We usually prefer the buffet so we can eat whenever and whatever we want, but here it was more of an ordeal. The layout of the buffet causes excessive jostling of plates and people. Instead of one long line that everyone progresses through, there are little themed islands (salads, fruits, pasta, grill, deserts). This would probably still work, but the walking area surrounding the food is very narrow. There is not room for foot traffic in both directions AND a row of people darting in and out collecting food on their plates. The Kids Corner is a walled-off section of the buffet that further impedes the flow. It is supposed to allow entry to only children from 3 to 11 years of age, but if people see something there they like, of course they step over the wall and help themselves. This area should be eliminated or at least take down the wall. Once you are seated, you will be harassed by staff trying to sell you the beverage package. On the first day we had six people try to sell us the drink package during one meal. Keeping an empty beer bottle on the table seems to keep them at bay since they apparently believe you already have the package. By the second day they switch to selling the specialty dining options. By the third day it was Sangria on a cart. At breakfast, they push fresh-squeezed orange juice for a fee. There was always a nice assortment of flavorful food in the buffet. Often there were different items on each side of the cafeteria, so you need to walk around the entire dining area to see all the selections. The menu changes daily, so there is always something new to try. The food itself was good, but it was seldom hot. Usually it was just warm to the touch. Even trays that just came out of the kitchen had this problem, so it seems they hold the trays in the back at room temperature until ready to be brought out to the serving line. Entertainment The nightly entertainment in the theater mostly consisted of dance and music routines. It was pleasant, but of average quality. The segments that featured contortionists, jugglers and gymnasts were better than the main show. Likewise, the pre-show comedic diversions were usually more enjoyable than the ensemble acts. The set designs, costumes and special effects were excellent. Disembarkation We typically do the self-assist at the end of the cruise, where we carry off our own luggage whenever we are ready. We had an early flight to catch so we were counting on doing this to save some time getting to the airport. On this ship that wasn't allowed. All luggage was gathered up by the crew during the night, and piled at the terminal where we picked it up after getting off. Fortunately, it was fairly organized and didn't delay us for too long. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary offered on this cruise, but feel the ship itself has room for improvement. If your main focus is the ports of call, you will likely enjoy this cruise. If you are cruising to be entertained and pampered, you would probably do better to book on another ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
MSC Poesia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 5.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.4
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.0 N/A
Service 4.0 3.5
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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