She was christened on April 5, 2008, in the port of Dover, and Sophia Loren was chosen as its Godmother. The liner has a five-star rating, which corresponds to the status of a five-star hotel.
The ship's draft is 89,600 tons, with 1275 cabins for a total capacity of 2550 people. The crew and staff consisted of 987 people. Maximum speed is 23 knots (one knot is 1,852 km/h).
MSC Poesia is the ship of the Italian cruise company called
This was the Cigar Room, but it wasn't just for smoking cigars. It was isolated from the outside world, like a decompression chamber.
Laguna Bar is the only inside bar where you are allowed to smoke. You can also smoke in the room I mentioned above, as well as in special marked places on the 6th promenade deck and the 13th deck. Smoking is strictly forbidden anywhere else, including cabins and balconies.
Here's the inside of one of the coffee shops, where, in addition to Mexican Coffee (with tequila) and Irish Coffee (with whiskey), you can taste Russian Coffee. Of course, vodka is the main ingredient.
This was the Art Gallery-Auction. You can see the initial price on the plate, with the option to bid higher. If, in the end, this price is higher than the other bids, you can buy the item. Bids varied from 300 to 2,000 Euros apiece.
This Photo Studio presented pictures of guests taken during the voyage. Of course, they were for sale. Each layover, evening event or dinner photographed by the staff were printed and exhibited.
The most interesting aspect was that the photographer captured all the tourists, whether the guests wanted to be photographed or not. Therefore, most of the photos on the stands were of people covering their faces, or turning away abruptly so as to cause a blurred image. They cost upwards of 10 Euros apiece.
However, there was an alternative photo shoot. This is art with post-processing. It cost 20 Euros for a photo, 36 for two, and so on. A set usually consisted of 5-7 shots and there were several optional backgrounds.
Let's return to the decks. Here are decks 13-15. There were two swimming pools, a Jacuzzi and an area for sunbathing. It looks deserted in the picture because I shot it at the end of the cruise. Almost any places by the pools were always busy during the trip.
You can take a towel for sunbathing, but you have to sign, show your card and give the towel back at the end. I understood the purpose of such rules at the beach in Dubrovnik: all the towels that tourists could rent there were stolen from the ship; they had the company logo sewn into them.
In the photo above, you can see the moment where people who chose to take a shuttle to the beach during the stop, were given beach towels. These short trips were in addition to the standard tours.
We could easily walk on our own. By the way, the visa regime for sea tourists in some countries was simplified. For example, we got our Italy Schengen pass to visit Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey, and we were never asked to show our documents when leaving the ship, except for the onboard card. The only exception being we were given pieces of paper with stamped-visas in the ports of Turkey, but we were never asked to show them when we returned to the ship.
So the cruise began with the fact that passengers arriving in the port were met by representatives of the company. They checked our tickets, selected oversized baggage, stuck tags on the bags and we were allowed to board the ship. In theory, all the suitcases and bags were delivered directly to our cabin. In practice, there were a few inconveniences. Luggage was not always delivered immediately, there may have been a delay of a few hours, so some passengers received their bags by dinner time instead of by lunch.
Sometimes, the tags were lost on their way to the ship, meaning guests would have to search on their own at the front office.
After leaving our luggage, we went to check-in. You can see one of the cruise terminals in Venice in the picture. Since landing lasted almost six hours, there were no lines, so guests rested comfortably, moving at their own pace.
Everything here was the same as with other cruises: you get to the reception, show your tickets and documents, a staff member takes a picture of you and gives you the onboard card (which is also a key, pass-ticket and means of payment), and you are allowed onboard after relinquishing any sharp objects and alcohol. The card is scanned when leaving the ship and returning; this is how your presence or absence onboard is marked.
You are not allowed to bring alcohol on the ship; you have to give it to the staff and it will be returned at the end of the cruise. This time, our guard was very loyal and did not look in our bags to find the bottles we brought. Experienced travelers pack alcohol in their luggage and easily, albeit illegally, get it into their cabin.
We had a standard double cabin with a balcony, located on the 9th deck.
Here's the bathroom.
This was the balcony.
We had an interactive TV and mini bar. There's no need to talk about the bar, I suppose. Let's talk about the TV. This didn't only have a set of satellite channels, but it also acted as a means of communication between passengers and the ship's administration. Besides translations from cameras located in different public areas of the liner, it helped guests track the weather, the ship's location and the time (an important factor when taking jet lag into account). There were about five channels dedicated to advertising, with non-stop translations about life onboard and various services offered, and two channels devoted to safety.
There is an information channel about how to act in emergency situations. You can also create a film library and read different news and offers about the cruise life.
Each passenger pays 6 Euros per day for their cabins to be cleaned. Cabins are cleaned twice a day, and in our experience, everything was always perfect. In the photo below, you can see our elusive steward (he is peeping from behind the door) and the view of the hallway on the 9th deck.
Each day, a newspaper was brought to our cabin that included stop times and a description of various events onboard for the next day. The paper also had answers to any questions regarding upcoming events or problems that could be resolved at the reception desk.
This was the main chef. He was Italian, of course.
All the liner's command duties were occupied by Italians.
Representatives of Africa and Asia held all the minor posts.
You will meet Europeans (mainly from the Balkans) and people from Latin America in the service sector; bars and shops.
There were 2,500 passengers onboard and 80% of them were Italian. The other guests included people from Germany, France, America, Turkey and Japan. Italian, French, German and English were all official languages onboard.
Let's continue our tour of the MSC Poesia (Photo Essay About the Sea Cruise: Life And Rest On MSC Poesia. P.2)!
Author: River Pilgrim
Translated by: Olesya Zhukova