Land Ho! Passengers Disembark to Sightsee, Shop in Cartagena


We docked in Cartagena a little after 8 AM. By nine most of the passengers had disembarked.

After three sea days in a row they were eager to tour this exciting colonial city, an UNESCO World Heritage site. Coral Princess docked next door and the two vessels loaded dozens of sharp looking motor coaches to tour the city, nearby Rosario Island or the mangrove swamps.

I had called here on a cruise within the last five years, and had a bit of work to. I remained aboard. I had a delightful facial, spent an hour or so on the pool deck and returned to my cabin to work.  I have CNN International on; they are covering – at length – the debt crises in Italy and Greece. Headline news is as frantic about the Conrad Murray trial. I think I’ll switch to my iPod.

Seriously, it is a bit odd to be on an Italian ship filled with Europeans in the midst of a world crisis and the fact that I don’t speak enough foreign language to converse with people and get their reactions is frustrating. Our  own little table group, the Aussie, two Americans, the Polish dad and his teenage son and I have talked about it, but Poland is still finding itself, and Australia and the US have similar problems.  I’d love to get an European’s view.


Along with many cruise lines, MSC has been offering before dinner shows at 6:30 for second seating diners and a repeat at 8:30 for those who eat earlier. Last night’s show featured a pianist, cellist and violinist in addition to a tenor and soprano who featured the work of such artists as Puccini, Verdi, Brahms, Lehar and George Gershwin. It was delightful.

This is a crowd who loves music and loves to dance. There are dance lessons and dancing offered throughout the ship while music in the lovely three-story Atrium is another constant. Don’t expect heavy-duty lectures on finance, politics or the like, but passengers can learn Italian, take part in quizzes and enjoy the well-outfitted gym.

MSC Poesia is three years old. She looks good and is really quite comfortable.

Tomorrow it’s Cristobal, Panama. A lot of guests are eager for a look at the Canal, every bit as historic as anything else.

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