Three years ago, more than 1000 passengers onboard MSC Magnifica were forced to end her world cruise in Australia when the dreaded coronavirus first hit global shores. Today, sister ship, MSC Poesia made her maiden call in Sydney with many of the same guests who had to wait three years to resume their 119-day world cruise from Genoa, Italy.
It was a triumphant return for MSC to return to Australian waters with the NSW Port Authority sending tugboats armed with water cannons to welcome Poesia to the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Sydney Harbour.
Poesia – which means poetry in Italian – is MSC’s smaller Musica-class ship, with an elegant touch including a Zebra Bar, Hitchcock Lounge for cigar-smokers and a champagne bar serving Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier and Veuve Clicquot. There are brass handrails on the staircases, a well-appointed specialty restaurant, Kaito Sushi Bar and the Teatro Carlo Felice named after the renowned Italian conductor, which plays host to two nightly Broadway performances.
What sets Poesia apart from other mega ships under the MSC moniker, is that she is unabashedly European in style – when you arrive at any bar onboard the ship, you do not queue to be served at the bar, instead you take a seat and a waiter comes to you to take your drinks order. The ship allows smoking, a common habit among Europeans so half of the pool deck is smoking and the other half smoke-free. You can also smoke while gambling in the casino which is installed with Las Vegas smoke filters. The mood onboard is very European with mostly French, Italians and Spanish guests and public announcements are made in English, Italian and Spanish.
There are three restaurants on board the Poesia. At Le Fontane Ristorante, you have a choice of a starter including fish chowder, main course such as Florentine-stye crepe filled with spinach and ricotta cheese and dessert such as crème caramel flan served with liquor-steeped fresh fruit.
At Villa Pompeiana Cafeteria, a buffet style eatery you will find a wide selection of pizzas, Indian cuisine such as chicken briyani, Italian salami and cheese, hot dogs and burgers.
Poesia also has a substantial Aurea Spa with a steam room, sauna and whirlpools.
She is the third MSC ship to visit Australia. She departs Sydney after an overnight stay and will make her maiden call in Brisbane on 1 March and Cairns on 3 March.
MSC Magnifica also departed Genoa for a simultaneous world cruise and will visit Hobart on 15 March. Magnifica will return to Australia in 2025 when she embarks on a 116-night World cruise visiting 50 destinations in 21 countries. Bookings for MSC World Cruise 2025 have just opened.