MSC Cruises' 2,550-passenger MSC Poesia is a floating version of Italy, complete with great pasta, pizza, gelato and espresso, all the prosciutto and Parmesan you can eat, a weekly toga party, and euro as the onboard currency. With waterfalls and many plush spaces for lounging, it's a comfortable ship too. The name comes from the Italian word for poetry — and is pronounced Po-ee-zee-a.
What We Love
Wine Tastings: At the Grappolo d’Oro wine bar, tastings of carefully curated Italian wines come with snacks, including cured meats, olives, and cheeses, just like you'd get at a fine wine bar in Italy.
Dancing: People love to dance on this ship. The pool deck may be full of lounging sun worshippers, but many will get up to learn, say, the bachata at the urging of a member of the entertainment team. The afternoon tango class also attracts a crowd.
Best Known For
The Zebra Bar: MSC takes the black-and-white stripe theme over the top in this cool space, a popular venue for dancing and cocktails.
The Entertainment: Shows deserve several rounds of applause. Taking place in the ship's purple theater, Teatro Carlo Felice, they involve opera singers, top-notch acrobats, and even professional ballerinas.
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Who It's Best For
A Diverse International Crowd: Most folks are age 40 to in their 60s, and the passenger mix depends on the area you're cruising: Italians and other Europeans in the Mediterranean, South Americans in South America, a variety in the Caribbean. Families are attracted by MSC's Kids Sail Free offers. English speakers are seated together in the dining room.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
There's Attitude: While the international crew, from places including the Philippines, delivers attentive service, the Italians on staff can be downright snippy — just like in Italy.
Be Prepared for Annoying Announcements: Announcements over the public address system seem to go on forever — the same message is repeated in five languages so everyone on board understands.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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MSC Poesia at a Glance
- Line: MSC Cruises
- Class: Musica
- Number of Passengers: 2550
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2008