Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 403 out of 500
Accommodation: 155 out of 200
Food: 242 out of 400
Service: 298 out of 400
Entertainment: 62 out of 100
Cruise: 292 out of 400
Overall Score: 1452 out of 2000
MSC Poesia Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: MSC Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9303073
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: $360 million
Entered Service: Oct 2008
Length (ft/m): 963.9/293.8
Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 26.2/8.0
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel (58,000kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 13
Total Crew: 987
Passengers (lower beds): 2,550
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 36.2
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.6
Cabins (total): 1,275
Size Range (sq ft/m): 150.6-301.3/14.0-28.0
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 827
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 17
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 4
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: Euros
A large Euro-style informal and family-friendly ship
Overview. MSC Poesia will suit young adult couples, singles, families with tots, children, and teens who enjoy big-ship surroundings and a noisy, big-city lifestyle, with many different nationalities and languages, mostly European. The ship is designed to accommodate families with children, who have their own playcenters, video games room, youth counselors, and plenty of activity programs.
The Ship. MSC Poesia is a sister ship to MSC Musica and MSC Orchestra. The ship’s deep blue funnel is sleek, and has a swept-back design that carries the MSC logo in large lettering. The hull has large circular porthole-style windows instead of square or rectangular windows. From a technical viewpoint, the ship is powered by diesel motors driving electric generators to provide power to two conventional propellers.
The interior layout and passenger flow is good - with the exception of a couple of points of congestion, typically when the first seating exits the two main dining rooms and passengers on the second seating are waiting to enter.
The interior focal point is a main three-deck-high lobby, which has a grand water-feature backdrop and a crystal (glass) piano on a small stage that appears to float on a pond. Other facilities include a large main showlounge, a nightclub, discotheque, numerous lounges and bars - including a wine bar - library, card room, Internet center, virtual reality center, children’s club, and cigar lounge with specialized smoke extraction and a selection of Cuban, Dominican, and Italian (Toscana) smokes.
The musically themed decor has many Italian influences, including clean lines, minimalism in furniture design, and a collection of colors, soft furnishings, and fabrics that work well together, although it’s a little more garish than one would expect.
Real wood and marble have been used extensively in the interiors and the high quality reflects the commitment that MSC Cruises has in the vessel’s future.
A shopping gallery, which includes an electronics store, has an integrated bar and entertainment area that flows through the main lobby so that shopping becomes a city-like environment where you can shop, drink, and be entertained all in one convenient area. The expansive Casino Royale has blackjack, poker, and roulette tables, and an array of slot machines.
Drinking places include several comfortable lounges - all with live music. A 15 percent gratuity is added to all drinks/beverage orders. A mini-golf course is on the port side of the funnel, while a walking/jogging track encircles an upper level above the two swimming pools.
Some of the artwork is whimsical. Do check out the ‘restroom with a view’ - the men’s/ladies’ toilets adjacent to the Blue Marlin pool deck bar have a great ocean view and you can even watch the passing scenery while sitting on the toilet if you leave the door open.
Although access throughout most of the interior of the ship is good, wheelchair-bound passengers should note that the passenger hallways are a little narrow on some decks for you to pass when housekeeping carts are in place. There is no walk-around open promenade deck.
Accommodation. There are several price levels, depending on grade and location. Included are 18 ‘suites’ with private balcony, mini-suites, outside-view cabins, and interior cabins. Contrary to nautical convention, the cabin numbering system has even-numbered cabins on the starboard side, and odd-numbered cabins on the port side.
All cabins have a minibar and personal safe, satellite flat-screen TV with audio channels, and 24-hour room service. Continental breakfast is complimentary from 7.30 to 10am; room service snacks cost extra at any other time.
Accommodation designated as ‘suites’ - they are not true suites, as there is no separate bedroom and lounge - also has more room, although they are small compared to suites on some on other cruise lines. They have a larger lounge area, walk-in closet, vanity desk with drawer-mounted hairdryer, and a bathroom with combination tub and shower. There is a semi-private balcony with light but the partitions between each balcony are of the partial, not full, type. The suite bathrooms are plain, with white plastic washbasins and white walls, and mirrors that steam up.
Many cabins on Forte Deck have views obstructed by lifeboats. Cabins on the uppermost accommodation deck (Cantata Deck) may be subject to the noise of sunloungers being dragged across the deck above when it is set up or cleaned early in the morning. Some of the most popular cabins are those at the aft end of the ship, with views over the ship’s stern from the balcony cabins on four of the aft decks. The 17 cabins for the disabled are spacious and well equipped.
Dining. There are two principal dining rooms, both of them located aft (on different decks), with large ocean-view picture windows. There are two seatings for meals, as aboard other ships in the MSC Cruises fleet, and tables are for two to eight; seating is both banquette-style and in individual armless chairs.
Other dining options. Kaito is a delightful, extra-cost Japanese restaurant, with a sushi bar and an extensive à-la-carte menu. Reservations are needed, but the cuisine is worth the extra cost.
A Tex-Mex Restaurant is an extra-cost à-la-carte dining spot, and reservations are necessary.
The Wine Bar (Enoteca) provides a selection of famous regional cheeses, hams, and a variety of wines in a bistro-style setting that is relaxing and entertaining.
The Villa Pompeina Cafeteria is for casual, self-serve buffets for breakfast and lunch and for sit-down, served, but casual, dinners (it’s actually open for 20 hours a day - so there’s always something available to eat - even in the middle of the night). Outside, there’s a fast-food eatery on the pool deck for burgers and other grilled fast-food items. Extra-cost Segafredo coffees, together with a variety of teas and pastry items are also available in several bars adjacent to the atrium midships lobby.
Silver trays full of late-night snacks are taken throughout the ship by waiters, and on some days, special late-night desserts, such as flambé items, are showcased in various lounges.
Entertainment. The Teatro Carlo Felice is the ship’s principal showlounge; it is in the forward section of the ship, with tiered seating on two levels, and the sight lines are good from most of the plush, comfortable seats. The room can also be a venue for large group meetings or social functions. There is no showband, so all shows are performed to pre-recorded music tracks.
High-quality entertainment has not, to date, been a priority for MSC Cruises. Production shows and the variety acts could be better. However, due to the multi-national passenger mix, almost all entertainment needs to be visual rather than vocal.
Another large lounge (Zebra Bar), aft of the showlounge, is the place for social dancing and functions such as cooking demonstrations, with live music provided by a band.
Big-screen movies are shown on a large screen above the forward pool, just behind the ship’s mast. Live music is provided in the various bars and lounges throughout the ship.
Spa/Fitness. The Poesia Health Center is run by OceanView, an Italian spa specialist. The complex features a beauty salon, several treatment rooms offering massage and other body-pampering treatments, and a gymnasium with forward ocean views and an array of high-tech, muscle-toning and strengthening equipment. There’s also a Middle East-themed thermal suite, containing steam rooms and saunas with aromatherapy infusions, and a relaxation/hot tub room; it costs extra to use these facilities.
The spa is run as a concession by Steiner Leisure, with European hairstylists and massage/body treatment staff. Gratuities to spa staff are at your discretion.
Sports facilities include table tennis, a tennis court, mini-golf course, golf practice net, two shuffleboard courts, and a jogging track.