Monday, December 19, 2011

Poesia Roatan

My impressions of the MSC Poesia
I've read many passenger reviews of Poesia on Cruise Critic and various message boards, and there were many negative comments so I was very interested in experiencing first-hand what an MSC cruise was like and finally here I am cruising the MSC Poesia. I have enjoyed the ship and the crew onboard. The dining has been excellent, the crew work very hard and I wasn't sure about the spa, but I am now hooked. I spoke with a couple today at lunch who owned a popular cruise franchise - I knew which one because it was advertised on their shirts - and they had some negative things to say about the level of service. I asked them for specifics and I was given the same lame reasoning that I've read from other people offering their "glass half empty" response. The true is, many Americans just don't understand the international "European" way of service. When traveling in Europe, you can expect prompt, efficient service, yet in may appear to Americans to be abrupt and sometimes even rude. If these "glass half empty" Americans would be exposed to the world as it is, and not just the American "bubble" of expectations, they would appreciate some of the intricacies of world travel and perhaps the International, "European" culture. I'm trying not to say "small-minded", but oops there it is, I said it, many America travelers don't get it. Having traveled the world, I can appreciate the culture here aboard the MSC Poesia, which has deep roots in Italy and all over Europe. The MSC brand is like the Carnival Cruise Line of Europe, which is very recognizable, but not very well known here in the American market. Back to this couple I spoke with, I asked them about their complaints and found them to be very small-minded comments from people who really need to travel the world more, and the more I talked with them, the more they agreed their negative comments were not valid. MSC truly offers a fascinating product, yes it's mass-market, but I think they deliver a quality product that more Americans should experience.

On this cruise I have been impressed with the dining, the quality and taste of the food. Admittedly, I have not experienced the entertainment yet, because I get so tired in the evenings, but tonight I'm going to make an effort to see the show....at least part of the show. I've also been impressed with the ship's decor, the brass handrails, the artwork, and the use of glass and marble. The layout of the deck plan takes a little getting use to, but I think the passenger flow is very good. Our stateroom was a little smaller than I expected, but it is comfortable and quiet. I often hear about how slow the ship's internet is, but I have found it to be acceptable. The ship seems to ride the seas very smooth, and without question the crew keeps the ship spotless and well maintained.

Today in Roatan, my son and I met with a friend I have had since 1999 Dr. Glen Solomon. Glen is the founder of the Majken Broby Children's Home, an orphanage in here in Roatan since about 1981. In 1999, I lead a group of 225 passengers on a ship called the SeaBreeze which stopped in Roatan. We produced a big event here in Roatan where we offered a concert with musicians, singers and a speaker. A big tent was erected at the location of the orphanage, and the governor of the island let all the kids out of school that day to have a marching band and parade thru town. It was a big event here in Roatan and Glen Solomon was an instrumental part of making that event a success. What a pleasure it was to see Dr. Solomon again and to visit the sight of the orphanage. I gave Dr. Solomon a case of Kids Against Hunger food to distribute to some of the more needy families here in Roatan, and he said it will go to good use. The Administrator of the orphanage said that the KAH food will be very useful when they have their Christmas gathering of the very poor at the church. Many families will greatly appreciate the gift of KAH food. I was particularly interested in exposing my son Jacob to this orphanage where he can see first-had how there are kids who don't have a Mom and a Dad. Additionally, my son Jacob, saw what "real" poverty is like, and that he is blessed with a mom and a dad who love him and his life is pretty good, relatively speaking.

I didn't eat much for dinner tonight because there has been so much great food the last couple of days. My son Jacob has been plugging-in to the kids program onboard the MSC Poesia, and he has enjoyed the activities so far. I'm going to make a video of Jacob with his review of the kid's program onboard.

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