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MSC Poesia Review

Find a MSC Poesia Cruise from £54

MSC Poesia
4.0 / 5.0
500 reviews

Pros
Cons
Bottom Line

About

Passengers
2,550

Crew
987

Passenger to Crew
2.58:1

Launched
2008

Shore Excursions
886
Sails To
Baltic Sea, Western Mediterranean, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Eastern Mediterranean
MSC Cruise Deals
Ashley Kosciolek
Cruise Critic Contributor

MSC Poesia Overview

Launched in 2008, 92,600-ton, 3,000-passenger MSC Poesia is the third of Italy-based MSC Cruises' four Musica-class vessels.

Tastefully exuberant decor -- brass handrails on the staircases, marble countertops at reception, a waterfall in the atrium, twinkling lights on the ceiling in the theater -- means the ship is elegant but not boring. Its lounges (particularly the Zebra Bar, Il Grappolo d'Oro wine bar and Hitchcock Lounge) are charming, and the well-appointed, color-splashed cabins make it feel more like an upscale hotel than a cruise ship. Of course, you'll still find the standard cruise-ship offerings like pools, nightly entertainment and kids' activities.

While the ship is lovely, what really sets it apart from other mainstream mega-ships is this: MSC is an unabashedly European line, and the approach to service, onboard vibe and passenger habits reflect that. North Americans shouldn't expect the usual, proactive service which many cruisers are accustomed to finding on Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean. While everyone, from cabin stewards to dining room waiters, is helpful and friendly, don't be surprised if you don't learn their names without asking or if you have to specifically request certain U.S. staples like in-cabin ice. You also shouldn't expect to be coddled; although all staff members we encountered aimed to please, we found that it wasn't the norm for them to anticipate our every need.

Poesia splits its time between Northern Europe and South American itineraries. You'll still find many international passengers, even when the ship sails from Fort Lauderdale, so expect all messages -- everything from muster drill instructions and daily programs to announcements from the cruise director -- to be delivered in at least five different languages: English, Italian, Spanish, French and German. (Note: During Caribbean sailings, currency onboard is the U.S. dollar. When the ship sails in Europe, the euro is used.)

Entertainment, some of which missed its mark, has to transcend various language barriers, so you won't find comedians or other similar performers. However, acrobats and jugglers achieve the balance flawlessly, and our jaws dropped more than once at their talents.

In general, the European crowd seems to take life at a much more relaxed pace. In that vein, dinners are eaten bit more leisurely, and portions are smaller than Americans might be used to, but that just means you'll leave feeling pleasantly full, rather than disgustingly stuffed. Plus, you can always ask for seconds, and the waitstaff will oblige. Another nice touch is that ship staff do their best to seat you with other English-speakers, so you won't have to fumble through meals relying on nods and gestures.

MSC offers excellent rates and deep discounts, but anyone expecting a Carnival-type atmosphere will be disappointed. It seemed the most notable takeaway from our time on Poesia was that people either love it, or they hate it, and we met a lot who fell into each camp. Some weren't happy with the service. Others disliked that the announcements took five times as long, due to the language issue. And still others complained about all menu items that weren't hot dogs and fries.

If you're looking for an affordable sailing with an international flare without having to travel too far, this might just be the ship for you. However, it's important to understand what you can expect. Overall, cruises on Poesia aren't bad; they're just different.

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Top MSC Poesia Itineraries

MSC Poesia
116 night world cruise

Marseille, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madeira (Funchal), Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Santiago (Valparaiso), Santiago (Valparaiso), Lima, Lima, Easter Island, Port Canaveral (Orlando), Tahiti (Papeete), Tahiti (Papeete), Rarotonga, Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Hobart, Sydney (Australia), Sydney (Australia), Mare, Lifou, Port Vila, Alotau, Cairns, Darwin, Lombok, Bali, Bali, Singapore, Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Colombo, Mumbai (Bombay), Mumbai (Bombay), Salalah, Rome (Civitavecchia), Genoa, Marseille

116 NIGHT World CRUISE

MSC Poesia

View All MSC Poesia Itineraries (95)

Fellow Passengers

In terms of age, expect mostly passengers in the 40-to-60 range, alongside a decent number of younger couples and an influx of families during the summer season.

During the summer months, Poesia sails Northern Europe itineraries. As with the ship's winter South America sailings, the passenger makeup changes from voyage to voyage.


MSC Poesia Dress Code

There are two formal nights a week, and suits with ties is the norm for men, while women are typically found in cocktail dresses and shimmery eveningwear. Other nights are termed either informal (jackets and trousers for men and informal dresses or pants with blouses for women) or casual (collared shirts and trousers or jeans for men and dresses, pantsuits or sporty outfits for women).

The line does note that tank tops, bathing suits, bathrobes and bare feet are never allowed in any indoor restaurants or buffet areas, and no shorts are allowed in the dining room at dinnertime.


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MSC Poesia Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins5.04.1
Dining4.03
Entertainment4.03.4
Public Rooms4.04.2
Fitness Recreation4.03.4
Family3.02.9
Enrichment3.02.9
Service4.03.5
Value For Money4.03.5

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More about MSC Poesia

Where does MSC Poesia sail from?

Where does MSC Poesia sail to?

MSC Poesia cruises to Tallinn, Rostock (Warnemunde), Klaipeda, Riga, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Marseille, Genoa, Tenerife, Casablanca, Rome (Civitavecchia), Madeira (Funchal), Barcelona, Malaga, Ibiza, Visby, Akureyri, Isafjord, Ilulissat, Reykjavik, Kirkwall, Tokyo (Yokohama), Nagasaki, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Singapore, Kelang (Kuala Lumpur), Penang, Colombo, Dubai, Khasab, Muscat, Crete (Heraklion), Gibraltar, Lisbon, Seville, Rotterdam, Gothenburg, Southampton, La Coruna, Barbados, Grenada, Curacao, Aruba, Cartagena (Colombia), Puerto Limon, Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera), Corinto, Puerto Quetzal (Antigua), Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego, San Francisco, Maui, Honolulu, Apia, Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), Suva, Auckland, Sydney (Australia), Brisbane, Cairns, Alotau, Rabaul, Boracay, Manila, Taipei (Keelung), Osaka, Naples, Corfu, Kotor, Venice, Santa Marta, Kiriwina (Papua New Guinea), Ferrol, Porto (Leixoes), Alesund, Olden, Oslo, Bergen, Flam, Cherbourg, Stavanger, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego), Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Santiago (Valparaiso), Lima, Easter Island, Port Canaveral (Orlando), Tahiti (Papeete), Rarotonga, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington, Hobart, Mare, Lifou, Port Vila, Darwin, Lombok, Bali, Mumbai (Bombay), Salalah, Malta (Valletta), Athens (Piraeus), Martinique, Guadeloupe, Tortola, St. Maarten, Dominica, St. Kitts (Port Zante), Antigua, Palma de Mallorca (Majorca), Katakolon (Olympia), Rhodes, Haifa (Tel Aviv), Brugge (Bruges), Alicante, St. Lucia, Port of Spain (Trinidad) and St. Vincent

How much does it cost to go on MSC Poesia?

Cruises on MSC Poesia start from £54 per person.

Awards and Recognition

MSC Poesia Member Reviews

mitsy1416
Sail Date: Sep 2019
We chose the MSC Poesia as the Itinerary and price influenced us. Copenhagen to Genoa in September 2019.... Read More
Mila10
Sail Date: May 2019
We (five adults) wanted to go to the Baltics and MSC Poesia was the best option for us since we were to visit 9 ports including a two day stay in St. Petersburg. First time on MSC.... Read More
PatBan
Sail Date: Oct 2019
I will definitely sail with MSC again in the future.... Read More
TammyTraveler
Sail Date: Apr 2019
I would like to give my honest review of the Baltic cruise on the MSC Poesia. We started our cruise in Warnemunde. We spent the night before the cruise in Rostock, Germany.... Read More

MSC Cruises Fleet

MSC Lirica
3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating

263 reviews

MSC Lirica is one of four medium-sized Mistral-class ships dating from 2003. In 2014, an 80-foot-long section was sandwiched into the middle of the ship.

MSC Lirica Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean MSC Lirica Cruises to the Mediterranean View All MSC Lirica Cruises
MSC Musica
3.5 / 5.0
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Musica serves an English-speaking crowd but with a largely international mix of passengers. Expect dance lessons and a decent wine bar to keep you occupied.

MSC Orchestra
4.0 / 5.0
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MSC Orchestra, which joined the fleet in 2007, is the line's eighth ship. Like MSC Musica, Orchestra represents an evolutionary new design strategy for the line.

MSC Sinfonia
4.0 / 5.0
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The 1,952-passenger MSC Sinfonia is one of four Mistral-class ships that saw a new midsection during a major 2014/2015 refurb. Sinfonia debuted in 2002.

MSC Fantasia

The 3,300-passenger MSC Fantasia debuted in 2008 as the largest and most innovative cruise ship ever built by Italy-based MSC Cruises.

MSC Splendida
4.5 / 5.0
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Spendida is European through and through, from the food and decor to the coffee and cigarettes. The ship sails the Mediterranean and most rooms have balconies.

MSC Poesia
4.0 / 5.0
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Tastefully exuberant decor -- brass handrails on the staircases, marble countertops at reception, a waterfall in the atrium -- means Poesia is elegant but not boring.

MSC Armonia
4.0 / 5.0
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MSC Armonia is the oldest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet. Built in 2001, Armonia began sailing under the MSC banner in 2004.

MSC Magnifica
4.0 / 5.0
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Part of the Musica Class of ships, 2,518-passenger MSC Magnifica has a sprawling spa, a range of dining venues and a high number of balcony cabins.

MSC Divina
4.0 / 5.0
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One of the most multinational ships sailing in North America, with a decidedly Mediterranean flare, active nightlife and the suites-only Yacht Club.

MSC Preziosa
4.5 / 5.0
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MSC Preziosa provides a fun, relaxed and affordable way to cruise the Med. With 1,751 cabins and a total capacity for 4,345 passengers, Preziosa offers a good choice of accommodation options.

MSC Seaside
4.5 / 5.0
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Designed for North America, MSC Seaside focuses on the outdoors with more alfresco space, lots of balcony cabins and open-air attractions.

MSC Meraviglia
5.0 / 5.0
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The 4,475-passenger ship (5,714 at capacity) boasts a number of industry firsts, including a Cirque du Soleil venue and promenade with an LED ceiling that projects different scenes throughout the day.

MSC Seaview
4.0 / 5.0
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MSC Seaview is MSC Cruises' second Seaside-class ship, launched in June 2018. The 5,179-passenger ship, along with its sister, will have the largest ratio of outdoor space of any cruise ship.

MSC Grandiosa

Due for delivery in October 2019 and September 2020, the first of two new Meraviglia Plus ships will carry nearly 6,300 passengers plus 1,700 crew.

MSC Virtuosa

MSC Virtuosa, the second ship in MSC Cruises' Meraviglia Plus Class, is slated to launch in September 2020 and will carry 6,297 passengers.

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