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msc Poesia


chivas1

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Have put on reviews but not showing, this is our experience, but remember no one sailing is the same;)

We departed from London Gatwick with BA a direct flight to Genoa , on arrival the weather was

warm and sunny. We used a private transfer to the City costing 50euros for six they were very

good. The hotel Best Western City Centre was well located for our one night stay. The rooms

which had been recently refurbished were spacious and clean.

Embarkation in Genoa with MSC was a fiasco, no snake queue, so everyone was pushing and shoving, mother nursing her baby and husband pushing a toddler were given no consideration, this needs sorting out MSC staff seemed to have no authority over the passengers. Disembarkation skills also a fiasco in Barcelona, 50mins of pushing and shoving, only one exit open used for foot passengers and excursions. MSC get your act together please!

 

Only 56 Brits and a handful of Americans on this cruise. Found that the Italians keep themselves to themselves so found making conversation very difficult.

 

Ship itself is immaculate, I mean immaculate, the continuous cleaning I have not seen to this extent on any other cruise line I have sailed on. The majority of the staff were excellent, especially Denny and Alex in the main restaurant. Not the same choice and quantity as on other liners but what was on offer was good. Speciality restaurants were always empty, 18 Euros for set Italian menu, Sushi restaurant various prices, minimum of 12 Euros in cheese and wine bar. Grill and Pizza prices were not on show, neither is the main restraint menu, so difficult to decide where to eat! Asked why not on show and said to difficult to show in so many languages, but the main restraint menu is printed in several!!

 

Bar prices expensive, especially to us Brits. Beware if ordering a mixed drink; I was charged 6.90 Euros for a JD and then an extra 2.80euros for a can of sprite. When asked if I could of had a splash told no as only could sell a full glass from the tap. Soon became an expert smuggler. No hassle getting bottles aboard at ports.

Superior Wine package added in the UK is £82 at embarkation and onboard same package 119euros? Large beer package for 14 is 59euros; soda package for 14 is 28euros. Cocktails and Liquor coffees are 5.90 Euros.

No free tea, coffee, water or juice served at lunch or dinner. Free tea and coffee at afternoon tea at 4pm.

Tip, order free room service available at breakfast only, order juice and milk for later in the day, we took a travel kettle with us. Also you can use the water vouchers from your wine package in the cafeteria, but they won’t advertise this.

 

Shows were different to the UK market but entertaining a lot of circus acts, band music in bars were poor, entertainment starts late in the evening so need to be night owls. Sea days are boring as not much entertainment, bingo 10euros for three tickets for one game ouch!!!

 

No dress order in the restaurant, do not think they know what Formal and Informal means, tux, suits, cocktail dress, jeans, shorts and t shirts were the norm, no one was ever turned away. Need not have packed my glad rags.

 

Cabin, suite on deck 15 was like a deluxe balcony on other ships but with a bath. No special services for these higher grade staterooms, i.e. priority embarkation or disembarkation etc. Fitments and decoration were immaculate though. Cabin stewards excellent.

 

Excursions expensive, 45euros for a do it yourself trip by rail to Rome, we paid only 9euros for a return ticket which includes the underground in Rome from the shop inside the railway station. A free shuttle from the ship is available but not advertised by MSC. The station is 500mts from the port entrance where the shuttle drops you off. Trains every half hour, journey takes an hour and

Is easy peasy.

It was unfortunate that the weather was not at its best for this trip, a few sunny days but the majority of the time overcast.

Disembarkation was more organised, although as an independent traveller I did have problems

getting my departure time changed to an earlier one. It was pouring with rain in Genoa and I

was pleased to see that our arranged private transfer was ready and waiting.

 

Would I travel MSC again? It would not be my first choice, having sailed with Costa I feel that MSC have not yet catered for the UK and US market in Europe as they have done in the USA. I missed the opportunity of eating in the cafeteria as an alternative without having to pay extra, the drinks voucher system, no water, tea or coffee at meals seems to be penny pinching. The disorganisation needs addressing. MSC would certainly not be my first choice, would depend on cost and itinerary but prefer US ships.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for review, being from Belgium, we fit in more with the English speaking than the Italian, so i wonder how it will be for us?

We are experienced cruisers, prefer Celebrity and Princess a lot over Costa, so hope not to be disappointed...

Could you buy the wine package before sailing, i believe we cannot?

How was it with the kids, a lot off them on board, any trouble with that?

On Costa (summer cruise) we could not use the pools as the where so full with kids.

No free coffee, tea or even water at lunch, anywhere? Oh dear....

And than the hot issue, did you like the food?

thanks,

Chivas1

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Sorry, one more question, normally we dress up for formal, informal etc., this time we fly, so can my husband go with a dark suit for both formal and informal and we don't need to drag along the tuxedo and special shoes and all that stuff?

Was there informal, or only formal and casual? How were most people dressed, pretty smart or not?

Thanks again,

Chivas1

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chivas, I've been hesitating as I'm not so sure how recent you meant, and of course some things may have changed. For example, we were able to get free drinks (tea, coffee etc) at the bar in the buffet at lunch times, but Dinkey says this is no longer the case. Strange they should have changed it 'for the worse' when they are looking to improve the line & Rick Sasso said many changes would be fleet wide. Oh well!

 

There are some reviews here.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/memberreviews/getreviews.cfm?action=ship&ShipID=384

 

and a couple of other threads you may find useful here:

 

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=909308

 

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=904671

 

http://cruiseforums.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=837387&highlight=

 

Drinks prices are more expensive in Europe than the Caribbean, but I think they are comparable to other cruise lines like NCL, Costa etc in these waters. We are having a problem with the state of our £ but you may find it easier as your currency is the euro. I haven't sailed on Costa yet, but my impressons from reading these boards, & I must stress they are only impressions at the moment, is that I will probably prefer MSC for the ship's, the entertainment, the cabin's (& the free fruit bowls which Costa charge extra for on a daily basis) & I think too the drink's prices from the bar. (Costa do have the X1 for mealtimes, but I would generally drink only water. In addition they have now changed the rules so that all members of a cabin must purchase it, including the children, so that is now working out pretty expensive too.) On the other hand I will probably prefer Costa for the more extended buffet hours and the availability of drinks, so we shall see which one wins out in the end.

 

Not sure if you can buy the wine package in advance. We have never tried to as on MSC we just order a carafe of table wine for 9 euros for my husband. I've heard it can be done so perhaps you should give MSC and/or your travel agent a call.

 

We are only able to travel during school holidays and have not found the MSC ships to be over run with children..we may just have been lucky though, one can never tell. :)

 

Dress was pretty mixed. There are formal, informal and casual nights. Tux's & evening gowns are about on formal nights, but low on the % side I would say. Your husband will be fine in a suit on formal nights. Most were smartly dressed but there were exceptions. :)

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Sorry, one more question, normally we dress up for formal, informal etc., this time we fly, so can my husband go with a dark suit for both formal and informal and we don't need to drag along the tuxedo and special shoes and all that stuff?

Was there informal, or only formal and casual? How were most people dressed, pretty smart or not?

Thanks again,

Chivas1

 

 

Hi,

 

Dark suite and cocktail dress, trousers would be ok. Found only on the last formal night the majority of the people got dressed up. Other formal and informal nights we dressed to the occassion but then wondered if we had got it right, as others had slacks, jeans and a group of Spanish students even had their shorts and t shirts on. I guess as the dining room is the only evening meal available without paying extra they cannot be very strict on the dress code!!

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Thanks for review, being from Belgium, we fit in more with the English speaking than the Italian, so i wonder how it will be for us?

We are experienced cruisers, prefer Celebrity and Princess a lot over Costa, so hope not to be disappointed...

Could you buy the wine package before sailing, i believe we cannot?

How was it with the kids, a lot off them on board, any trouble with that?

On Costa (summer cruise) we could not use the pools as the where so full with kids.

No free coffee, tea or even water at lunch, anywhere? Oh dear....

And than the hot issue, did you like the food?

thanks,

Chivas1

 

Not many children on our cruise, but did notice that the Italians like to eat and keep their children up late, several toddlers and babies on the second sitting, who were very tired and irritable in the dining room. Table next to ours two toddlers and a young baby.

 

No probs with the pool as the weather was not very good.

 

I found the food was good, not as much choice as on other liners and missed the buffet as an alternative on an evening. Some food was luke warm but that is Continental style. Soups, Rissotos and Pasta were to die for. A lot of chicken dishes. Beef was terrible and tough. Lamb was always a good choice and if you order fish make sure you ask them not to overcook it.

 

Try and book your wine package before sailing, as in the UK we saved a lot as a Superior wine package was £82 as on the ship 119 Euros nearly £119, don't know how this will work out for you in Belgium?

 

Remember each cruise experience is different, from the passangers on the ship, staff, chef and captain. Hope you have a great time, as I say this cruise line is a different experience!:rolleyes:

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I will try to book the wine package via my TA as everything goes trough her.

Do you remember if there was interactive tv in the cabin ( checking bills, ordering room service etc.)?

I do hope the food is hot when it arrives, don't think it is a continental thing to serve luke warm, more a big kitchen problem?????

Thanks for all the info, i am very curious about our first MSC experience.

Greetings,

Tania

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I will try to book the wine package via my TA as everything goes trough her.

Do you remember if there was interactive tv in the cabin ( checking bills, ordering room service etc.)?

I do hope the food is hot when it arrives, don't think it is a continental thing to serve luke warm, more a big kitchen problem?????

Thanks for all the info, i am very curious about our first MSC experience.

Greetings,

Tania

 

 

I believe room service was available on the TV, but not your bills.

Also, the only available channels on TV which we could watch were CNN and SKY news. Other channels were in Italian and German only. This I found irritating as I sometimes like to chill out and watch old soaps and films. I can remember on Costa they had an English channel which showed films all day.

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I will try to book the wine package via my TA as everything goes trough her.

Do you remember if there was interactive tv in the cabin ( checking bills, ordering room service etc.)?

I do hope the food is hot when it arrives, don't think it is a continental thing to serve luke warm, more a big kitchen problem?????

Thanks for all the info, i am very curious about our first MSC experience.

Greetings,

Tania

 

 

I believe room service was available on the TV, but not your bills.

Also, the only available channels on TV which we could watch were CNN and SKY news. Other channels were in Italian and German only. This I found irritating as I sometimes like to chill out and watch old soaps and films. I can remember on Costa they had an English channel which showed films all day. Just another little thing MSC could offer. To rent a film it cost 12euros.

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Another thing where they seem to gave gone backwards then.

 

We only sailed in August, but room service & shore excursions were bookable from your TV. We were also able to view our bill here. The limited free films (changed daily) we were able to view on Lirica had been replaced on the Poesia by a choice of films (in your language, the same for the week) which were chargeable at a ridiculous rate of 11-12 euros.

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On our recent Poesia cruise the bill was not viewable on the TV but you could go to the cyber cafe and see it there no problem or when the accounting office was open (not often) you could get a print off pretty easily. Only 4 English channels and the movies were 12 euros which was a crazy price so we did miss that a bit. Not sure of excurison as we booked them prior to going.

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Anybody been on her recently, any reviews?

Hi, We recently were on Poesia and enjoyed the ship - she is beautiful, kept very clean by an army of cleaners constantly on the go and staffed by great crew. Food was as described by others, served just hot enough and no more. Breakfast & lunch buffet was busy although the cafeteria area was huge so you could eventually find a table. We tried the Pizza Bar one evening and were very pleased with the food although the service was slow. Wine and other drinks were expensive but that could be more to do with the £ v €.

Our dining companions managed to get free coffee served at the dinner table after the meal but we had to remind the waiter every evening. We purchased a wine and water package which saved a lot over individual purchases. We also bought a cocktail drinks package which gave 12 drinks for price of 10. Ridiculous that water is not freely available!

Cabin (balcony, 14th deck) as expected although smaller than Celebrity and P&O. TV poor and films expensive. Interactive TV room service OK but selection poor. Managed to get account on TV but only after 4 days. Ice available but again steward had to be constantly reminded.

There were many lovely people, especially an Italian family and a couple of Swedish ladies. There were only 56 English speaking people on board so we were rather outnumbered. Our dining companions were lovely and we very much enjoyed their company.

The main down side was the boorish, ill-mannered people on board (least said...). The five language announcements and intros to all entertainment was a pain (the shows were enjoyable but short) and some of the embarkation/disembarkation routines were awful. Hand cleansing was available at each dining room and cafeteria entrance but there was no encouragement to use it and very few passenger used it even when invited to do so! The excursions were expensive although there were discount packages for bulk purchase of 4 or more excursions.

Would we cruise with MSC again? Definitely not! We'll stick with P&O, Celebrity, Princess or RCI in future.

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I sailed on the Poesia on 9 Jan 09 and disagree with many of Dinkeys points. I didnt have to wait at all for embarkation - the secret is to arrive as late as possible.

MSC basically geared to the Italian and German market. Italians do not generally serve food hot.

Water, tea and coffee is available free at both lunch and dinner. At lunchtime in the cafeteria it is served free at the bar. However in the restaurant you must buy bottled water but you can get tea or coffee free after dinner if you ask.

Dinkey insinuates that Italians do not know the difference between informal, formal, casual, etc. But if you read the book in the cabin they describe very clearly the differences.

My only complaint was the cabin stewards took hours to get to my cabin until I complained and then it was the done while I was out. All in all the Poesia was so-so and I prefer their smaller ships, i.e Opera, Lirica, Sinfonia.

My main complaint is the addition of tips to the final bill. It is just blatant wage subsidy as the idea of tips is to reward excellent service. The fact that everyone gets a share gives no incentive for employees to impress. I know that most cruise lines do this nowadays but I dont agree with it.

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