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MSC Poesia Cruise Review

A 7-night roundtrip Eastern Mediterranean cruise from Venice.

MSC POESIA in Venice

ABOVE: MSC Poesia cruises up the Giudecca Canal from the Venice Cruise Terminal on Day 1 of a week-long cruise to Istanbul. INSET BELOW: The MSC logo on Poesia's bow, and a view of Venice from the Pascoli Deck.

MSC logoMSC Crociere, or MSC Cruises, is unique among the large mainstream cruise lines that operate in Europe: It's privately owned by its founder, Gianluigi Aponte, who heads the world's second-largest container carrier, Mediterranean Shipping Company ("MSC") with more than 300 cargo vessels. MSC Cruises has a fleet of 11 ships, all built since 1990, and it caters to a multinational audience (mostly European) with five official languages on every cruise.

Venice San MarcoUnlike many of its competitors, MSC offers a European experience not just on shore, but also on board its ships--which is why we were intrigued by the chance to sample an MSC Poesia roundtrip cruise from Venice to Istanbul in October, 2009. (Venice is one of our favorite cities, and it's the focus of Venice for Visitors at Europeforvisitors.com.)

In this cruise review, we'll tell you about MSC Poesia, its 7-day Eastern Mediterranean itinerary, and what it was like to cruise with more than 3,000 passengers from nearly 20 countries.

You'll also find a 241-image MSC Poesia Eastern Mediterranean Cruise photo gallery with pictures and port information for Venice, Bari, Katakolon, Izmir, Istanbul, and Dubrovnik.

  • Note: MSC Poesia has moved to Northern Europe since our cruise, and a newer ship--MSC Divina--has taken its place on the Venice-to-Istanbul route. The new ship is somewhat larger than MSC Poesia and offers a few extra amenities, such as an "MSC Yacht Club" or concierge deck for upscale cruisers who are willing to pay for private lounges, butler service, and other perks.

Next page: MSC Poesia: the ship


MSC Poesia cruise review

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Getting to or from your ship, Venice hotels for cruisers, the Marittima and San Basilio piers, and more. From Venice for Visitors.

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Trains to and from the port, plus a 35-page Civitavecchia city and port guide. From Rome for Visitors.