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MSC Poesia Cruise Review

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MSC Poesia in Giudecca Canal

ABOVE: MSC Poesia cruises up the Giudecca Canal after a 5 p.m. departure from Venice's Stazione Marittima.

MSC Poesia: the ship

MSC Poesia life preserverIn many ways, MSC Poesia is typical of newer mainstream cruise ships: It's big, with a nominal capacity of 3,013 passengers in 1,275 staterooms and a tonnage of 93,399 GRT.

You'll get a sense of how large Poesia is when you walk down the cabin hallways from bow to aft, or when you get disoriented about port or starboard and need to retrace your steps for much of the ship's 294m (966-ft) length. But don't take our word for it: According to MSC Poesia's daily program, the ship has "about 8 kilometers of corridors and a few hectares of public space."

MSC Poesia in BariDespite its size, MSC Poesia has an aesthetic appeal that's rare among recent generations of megaships. Its lines are clean and simple, with none of the flying saucers, shopping-cart handles, hull murals, or other design gimmicks used by many of its rivals. Poesia and its sister Musica-class vessels are some of the most attractive cruise ships being built these days, and even the obligatory rows of stacked balconies detract little from Poesia's streamlined elegance.

The basic layout is similar to that of many other ships: Restaurants are on the lower decks, with the reception atrium, shops, theatre, and various bars and lounges also within the hull. A few inexpensive cabins are on Deck 5, forward of the lowermost restaurant, but most staterooms and suites are on Decks 8 through 12.

MSC Poesia hot tubSwimming pools, the Villa Pompeiana cafeteria, the L'Obelisco reservations-only restaurant, and the Aurea Spa are on Deck 13; the decks above that are given over to a handful of cabins and suites, along with a jogging track, sports activities, a disco, and facilities for children and teens.

Deck 7 - MSC PoesiaOne of our own favorite areas is the open boat deck on Deck 7. Although it isn't a full "walkaround" promenade deck and is surfaced in a synthetic material instead of the traditional teak planks, it does wrap around the front of MSC Poesia's superstructure through a shielded outdoor corridor that protects walkers from the wind. Best of all, hardly anyone uses it, so it's a quiet refuge from the sunbathing masses on the higher decks and has plenty of open rail space during sailaways and port arrivals (when the railings higher up on the ship are often jammed with spectators).

Maintenance and sanitation:

Recycling on MSC PoesiaMSC Poesia is a thoroughly modern vessel, with many "green" attributes such as an onboard recycling center, energy-saving lighting and climate controls in staterooms, and state-of-the-art sewage treatment.

MSC Poesia sanitationMSC Poesia is also extremely clean: During our cruise, we noticed crew members disinfecting staircase railings almost constantly, and MSC's ships typically score high in sanitation inspections by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. On cruise message boards, even passengers who don't like MSC for various reasons nearly always comment on how well-maintained and clean the line's ships are.

A note about nomenclature:

MSC Poesia cutaway drawingWhen you look at a Poesia deck plan, you may notice that all but one of the ship's 13 passenger decks have names of Italian writers, such  as "Boccacio" (Deck 4), "Dante" (Deck 6), and "D'Annunzio" (Deck 11). Don't be intimidated if you aren't well-versed in Italian literature: Aboard the ship, decks are identified by number, not by author.

  • Note: To see a larger version of the cutaway drawing above (a 265Kb download, and big enough to fill the width of your screen), click here. The drawing will open in a new browser window.

Next page: Staterooms, suites

MSC Poesia cruise review
MSC Poesia: the ship
Staterooms, suites
Dining, bars
Other amenities
Shore excursions
Crew, service
Is MSC right for you?
Web links

Also see:
MSC Poesia Eastern Mediterranean cruise photos