1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. MSC Poesia
Overall a disappointment and nothing like what we were expecting. Embarkation at Venice was a nightmare, waiting almost 4 hours under blistering sun/heat. It was like a badly run cattle market. Cabin with balcony on deck 11 was clean and comfy, no complaints apart from a non-communicative cabin steward/cleaner (female) who grunted rather than spoke. In a week we probably exchanged 10 words with her. Other cruises we have formed a friendly rapport with all staff. She didn't make us feel at all welcome! Food in the 'cafeteria' on deck 13 was appalling. Pizza had very little topping, food was tepid. We ate there only twice (when we were forced to). Free-for-all dining culture with some rude staff. Formal dining was more pleasant but food was bland and forgettable. The fact is we shouldn't have been buying food whilst ashore - we should have been eagerly looking forward to the food on board. Entertainment during the day was focused on the pool area with no alternative events such as maybe a bar quiz or similar? Very poor. Lovely theatre had very good speciality acts but OMG the dancers were constantly out of synchronization - where was the stage director? Laughable. We chose this cruise because there were no 'days at sea'. We've never bought an excursion with any cruise because I research and save an absolute packet of money organising my own. Bari, Italy (old town) was lovely. Organised coach there and back was £36 including a little train ride. We walked there and back (30 mins stroll) for free and strolled through the medieval architecture. Wonderful. Next stop Katakolon, Greece for Olympia. Coach price was £45. We walked 10 minutes to town (full of tacky souvenirs) and took the comfortable, air conditioned train, costing £9 return. Next was Mykanos - soooo expensive to eat and drink and many hours docked here so we took a stroll through the maze of streets, had a meal by the famous windmills then took a cheap ferry across the harbour back to the pier. On to Piraeus for Athens. Now, unless you are super-fit and mobile you'll require transportation. We chose the hop on-off bus that was waiting just outside the port and at a cost of (pre-booked) £20 this was a great buy, touring the city and listening to a commentary. The stay in Sarande, Albania was a poor choice by MSC as we were there for eight hours and even feedback by fellow passengers regarding the tour they purchased was not good. The only positive aspect was that we had the chance to talk to the locals regarding their country, the economy etc in which we are always interested. And yes, there are many beggars, mainly women with children with outstretched hands...this is a poor country...our waiter was paid 8 Euros a day (yes, a DAY). Dubrovnik was splendid, just wonderful but not enough time was scheduled here. Excursion to/from town was £47 but just by the ship was a lovely tour bus with commentary for £8. Disembarkation fairly straightforward (apart from our large case being ripped by the time it reached dockside). Venice (where we had embarked) was fabulous. Stayed here two extra nights. So much to see and do. We're going back soon.... but staying well clear of MSC. Reading back on what I have written it appears harsh - but it's the truth and I have no hidden agenda.

Never again, MSC

MSC Poesia Cruise Review by Hotlatte

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Stateroom – Fantastica
Overall a disappointment and nothing like what we were expecting. Embarkation at Venice was a nightmare, waiting almost 4 hours under blistering sun/heat. It was like a badly run cattle market.

Cabin with balcony on deck 11 was clean and comfy, no complaints apart from a non-communicative cabin steward/cleaner (female) who grunted rather than spoke. In a week we probably exchanged 10 words with her. Other cruises we have formed a friendly rapport with all staff. She didn't make us feel at all welcome!

Food in the 'cafeteria' on deck 13 was appalling. Pizza had very little topping, food was tepid. We ate there only twice (when we were forced to). Free-for-all dining culture with some rude staff. Formal dining was more pleasant but food was bland and forgettable. The fact is we shouldn't have been buying food whilst ashore - we should have been eagerly looking forward to the food on board.

Entertainment during the day was focused on the pool area with no alternative events such as maybe a bar quiz or similar? Very poor. Lovely theatre had very good speciality acts but OMG the dancers were constantly out of synchronization - where was the stage director? Laughable.

We chose this cruise because there were no 'days at sea'. We've never bought an excursion with any cruise because I research and save an absolute packet of money organising my own. Bari, Italy (old town) was lovely. Organised coach there and back was £36 including a little train ride. We walked there and back (30 mins stroll) for free and strolled through the medieval architecture. Wonderful.

Next stop Katakolon, Greece for Olympia. Coach price was £45. We walked 10 minutes to town (full of tacky souvenirs) and took the comfortable, air conditioned train, costing £9 return. Next was Mykanos - soooo expensive to eat and drink and many hours docked here so we took a stroll through the maze of streets, had a meal by the famous windmills then took a cheap ferry across the harbour back to the pier. On to Piraeus for Athens. Now, unless you are super-fit and mobile you'll require transportation. We chose the hop on-off bus that was waiting just outside the port and at a cost of (pre-booked) £20 this was a great buy, touring the city and listening to a commentary.

The stay in Sarande, Albania was a poor choice by MSC as we were there for eight hours and even feedback by fellow passengers regarding the tour they purchased was not good. The only positive aspect was that we had the chance to talk to the locals regarding their country, the economy etc in which we are always interested. And yes, there are many beggars, mainly women with children with outstretched hands...this is a poor country...our waiter was paid 8 Euros a day (yes, a DAY).

Dubrovnik was splendid, just wonderful but not enough time was scheduled here. Excursion to/from town was £47 but just by the ship was a lovely tour bus with commentary for £8.

Disembarkation fairly straightforward (apart from our large case being ripped by the time it reached dockside). Venice (where we had embarked) was fabulous. Stayed here two extra nights. So much to see and do. We're going back soon.... but staying well clear of MSC. Reading back on what I have written it appears harsh - but it's the truth and I have no hidden agenda.
Hotlatte’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get MSC Poesia price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email