EN ROUTE TO CARTAGENA
Yesterday I mentioned the “taste” of Europe one gets aboard MSC ships. I referred to the mix of travelers coming together on one ship, speaking dozens of languages and joining crew members primarily from Indonesia and officers from Italy in a wonderful “it’s a small world” mixture.
But taste also refers to food, and when I first sailed MSC I recall pasta and pizza as the main focal points of dining. I don’t recall the food being bad, just, for the most part, limited to Italian offerings.
Well their chefs have come full circle and while there’s always a pasta on the menu, consider sea bass and salmon done well enough to grace the menu in any find seafood restaurant, chicken Francese, and a half dozen other menu items that are new.
Also new are coffee and iced tea available 24-hours a day, 24-hour room service (complimentary) and mini sandwiches available each evening for hungry late owls.
When I asked for iced tea on my first MSC cruise, I received a small juice glass filled with tepid tea. Ice? A rarity. (I must say there are still some things lost in translation. I asked for ice twice and day and I get it. Five ice cubes at a time.)
THE AMERICAN WAY
While MSC Poesia will only be sailing from Port Everglades until February when it heads back across the pond, I sense a definite outreach to North American passengers. In fact, last night’s show was called, “Sam” and was all about our favorite uncle in capable song and dance format.
MSC ships are spacious and cabins well designed. Amenities are limited to a shower cap, liquid soap and wall-mounted soap and shampoo in the shower.
Those itineraries for the winter are varied and range from five- to 10-days throughout the Caribbean and South Amerce. Somewhat similar to the cruise I am on. We call at Cartagena, Colombia tomorrow; Cristobal, Panama, Puerto Limon, Costa Rica and Cozumel, Mexico round out the ports of call.
It’s quite different from the alternating Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries the line had chosen in past winters and will be interesting to see how it works out.
We have been at sea since Tuesday. The pools are mobbed; someone told me there were a dozen people swimming at 7:30AM. The sun has come back out – 20 times – it’s still primarily a gray day, but with temperatures in the 80s, no rain in sight, the Lido Deck is the most popular place on the ship.