Our Novemeber 2012 tour of Italy and trans-Atlantic positioning
cruise on MSC Cruise Line was organized by Sunquest Vacations of Toronto, with the
Italy tour directed by Alba Tours of Italy.|
The six day Italy tour included accommodation in excellent hotels with breakfast and dinner each day, including ¼ litre of wine per person at dinner. For the MSC cruise, Sunquest included ten coupons for wine and ten for bottled water at dinner.
The whole experience went off well, but Marg & I (and many others) contracted a bad cold on the ship, which made much of the time on the ship uncomfortable, to the extent that we had to miss dinner in the dining room a number of times, for fear of infecting our table mates.
We made a couple of strategic planning errors. One was that we asked for a cabin with unrestricted sea view and no balcony, although the advertised offer included a balcony cabin at the price of this choice. (On the occasions where we have had balconies before, we rarely used them.) As it turns out, on the Poesia (and probably on similar cruise ships of recent vintage), the only cabins with un-restricted sea view and no balcony are the port-hole cabins on deck 5. Deck 8 has port holes, but with the life boats outside. Deck 9 and up are all balcony cabins. Our only complaint with our cabin was that it had only one chair. The cabin steward got us another one when we asked about it a week into the cruise. The cabin had the advantage that it was on the same deck as the dining room and the exits for tours. In retrospect, however, we would accept the balcony offer.
Our second misconception was that the weather would be cool to cold and wet, especially on the trans Atlantic crossing. Not so, since we went southwest from Madeira and found the temperature increasing each day, approaching 30C as we neared Barbados.
Also unexpected was the smooth sail, to the extent that each day when we awoke I thought we must be docked - we could feel no motion, not even a throb of engines.
Sunday, Nov. 4: Alitalia Toronto to Rome
Monday, Nov. 5: Alitalia Rome to Milan, bus to Sorrento
Tuesday, Nov. 6: Bus tour of the Amalfi coast
Wednesday, Nov. 7: Tour of Pompeii, bus to Rome
Thursday, Nov. 8: Free day in Rome
Friday, Nov. 9: Bus tour of Rome
Saturday, Nov. 10: Bus to Florence, tour Florence
Sunday, Nov. 11: Bus to Genoa with stop at Pisa, embark MSC Poesia
Monday, Nov. 12: Barcelona, Spain
Tuesday, Nov. 13: At sea
Wednesday, Nov. 14: Casablanca
Thursday, Nov. 15: At sea
Friday, Nov. 16: Funchal, Madeira
Saturday Nov. 17 - Wednesday, Nov. 21: At sea
Thursday, Nov. 22: Bridgetown, Barbados
Friday, Nov. 23: Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
Saturday, Nov. 24: Charlotte-Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI
Sunday, Nov. 25: At sea
Monday, Nov. 26: Freeport, Bahamas
Tuesday, Nov. 27: Dismbark at Fort Lauderdale, Westjet to Toronto.
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Sorrento and Amalfi Coast
Pisa, Genoa, MSC Poesia
Charlotte-Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI