MSC Cruises

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The Verdict

Poesia has exceptional styling and a full range of activities and amenities, all in the line's typically international and very social setting.

Size (in tons) 89600
Number of Cabins 1275
Number of Cabins with Verandas 827
Number of Passengers 2550
Number of Crew 987
Passenger/Crew Ratio 2.6 to 1
Year Built 2007
Cabin Comfort & Amenities 4.0
Ship Cleanliness & Maintainence 4.5
Public Comfort/Space 4.0
Dining Options 4.5
Children's Facilities 4.0
Decor 4.5
Gym & Spa Facilities 4.5
Enjoyment 4.5


Typical Per Diems: $75-$120

Poesia sails the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale (winter) and New England/Canada from New York & Quebec City (fall).

Poesia and her sister ships Musica, Orchestra, and Magnifica represent an evolutionary leap for MSC Cruises, which had previously concentrated on midsize vessels that get the job done but are a little short on pizazz. These four, on the other hand, are truly modern megaships, with high-style decor, multiple dining options, elaborate spas, wine-tasting bars, a multistory theater, and many appealing lounges and other features. Poesia has been the line's Caribbean/Canada/New England ship for the past couple of years, and will be back again for 2011 and (we'd bet) 2012. So, all details in this review deal with Poesia only.


The majority of accommodations on Poesia (some 65% of them) are 166-square-foot outside cabins with balconies. Each is done up in a clean, pleasingly modern style, with lovely jewel-toned upholstery patterns (mostly subdued reds and blues) and light-wood accents, though they're sized a bit smaller than cabins on many competing megaships. Standard inside (152 sq. ft.) and outside cabins have flatscreen TVs, minifridges, private safes, vanity/writing desks, a bathroom with shower, and Wi-Fi access. Outside cabins also have a small sitting area and hair dryer. Closet and storage space are adequate, and the bathrooms are efficiently designed, with adequate amounts of shelf space, though for toiletries you get only the basics. The 18 suites (269 sq. ft, including the large balcony) add a larger sitting area, a king-size bed, a tub/shower combo, upgraded toiletries, bathrobes, and more closet space.

Seventeen cabins are wheelchair accessible -- 12 insides, two outsides with windows, and three outsides with a balcony.

Dining Options

Poesia has two main dining rooms, a buffet restaurant, an evening pizzeria, and a terrific a la carte Chinese restaurant. The main dining rooms are both single-level spaces, one decorated in traditional fashion, the other more sleekly modern. Ceilings in these restaurants are a bit too low, resulting in loud rooms during meals. Breakfast and lunch are served in the spacious buffet restaurant, with multiple lines for different specialties, and dishes labeled in both Italian and English. At night, part of the buffet restaurant is partitioned off to create L'Obelisco, serving more high-end Italian cuisine at a la carte prices.

Public Areas

Public areas on Poesia are done in an eclectic style that mixes the clean lines of Princess, the modernism of Celebrity, the flashy ornateness of Costa and Carnival, and the fun of NCL, yet manages to pull them all together into a unified whole.

In the bow, the three-deck Teatro Carlo Felice is an explosion of lights and color, looking like fireworks caught in midburst. At midships, the three-deck atrium has a curvaceous, aquiline look, with a baby grand on a glass platform and stairways sweeping between the decks. Lounges, bars, shops, an Internet center, a card room, a small library, and an art gallery all radiate out from the atrium on various levels.

Most public rooms are clustered on the two upper atrium decks, including a showroom, a large casino, a cigar lounge with comfy leather armchairs, and a bright wine bar lit by faux skylights and serving vintages from all over Italy (with complimentary cheeses and meats to match). At the top of the ship, the disco mixes touches of deco styling with a futuristic dance-floor vibe.

For kids, there's an indoor play area with PlayStations, games, arts and crafts supplies, and more. There's also an enclosed outdoor area with a play structure, tube slide, wading pool, and other amenities.

Pool, Fitness & Spa Facilities

The main Pool Deck is an expansive space with a Mediterranean vibe and two separate pool areas linked by a pair of deck bars and elevated seating areas for those who want to see or be seen. There are two pools and four Jacuzzis in all, plus a movie screen above the forward pool area. A separate small Sun Deck immediately under the screen is removed from the busier main deck below. Like those aboard all MSC ships, lounge chairs on Poesia have their own attached sun canopies -- a very neat and unusual feature. The jogging track wraps around one deck above the pool (though don't try running during pool times, as the deck chairs take over), while a miniature golf course, quoits, shuffleboard, and sports court are located on Deck 15 aft.

Indoors, the ship's stunning Balinese-themed spa, operated by Italy's OceanView, offers the usual range of massage, wellness, and beauty treatments, all in a lovely, relaxing atmosphere with hints of exotica, including two Turkish baths (one for women, one for men) with beautiful decorative tiles. The 12 massage rooms are gorgeous, each having its own theme and aroma. A pre- or post-treatment relaxation room provides views, lounge chairs, and hydromassage pools (plus a thalassotherapy pool in an adjacent room); it's open for free to all guests for an hour at a time, by reservation. The juice bar has a menu of energy drinks and fresh fruit cocktails, usually from noon to 8pm. Nearby, the ship's gym is pretty small for a vessel this size, but it has a great forward view through floor-to-ceiling windows. The treadmills, aerobics machines, and weights get a lot of use, and there aren't really enough of them.