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What life is like for a solo traveller (me) on sea days as we head west on the MSC Poesia

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

We crossed the international date line and the equator this week ... all within a 12-hour stretch ...

And the four days at sea between Hawaii and Samoa give me a chance to talk about what life is like on days when we are not exploring a port of call.

For anyone who has cruised before, this will all seem kind of familiar, and possibly a little boring or TMI. But this is my record to remind myself of what I experienced on this boat ... so ... a sea day.

On Thursday (which was Wednesday in my real world of Bala, Ontario), I turned on the lights about 7:30 when I convinced myself to get up even though my inside cabin is pitch black 24-7. The cabin looks like this.

And there is a washroom with a shower and a small desk for my electronics and other travel junk.

I ate breakfast in the cafeteria on the 13th floor. Reviews written by experienced cruisers complain that there is no one on MSC ships making eggs to order. But there is everything I could really want for breakfast from eggs to cereal to pastries to fruit and yogurt.

I have given up eating animals that walk on four legs (though I am not religious about it) ... so I usually have fruit and a roll and some cappucino.

On this day I ran into Tilka, a retired nurse from

Florida (originally Guyana) who is here with her husband, Ed, a retired doctor. They are at our dinner table.

Tilka and I did the morning deck walk together.

Then there was a party on the deck to celebrate the crossing of the equator.

These are my friends Jan and Tracy, retired US military officers, who were dressed for the occasion.

The festivities involved King Neptune and his, um, companion, leading revellers to the pool where they kissed fish and had flour and eggs and whipped cream rubbed in their hair. And then they all jumped into the pool.




I fled to the safety of the pool bar where I ordered a pina colada - I have a drinks package which is basically an open bar. Then I met up with Josie, Virginia, John, and Tilka again and we had lunch at the cafeteria (which is four large rooms of buffets with just about anything you can imagine. Lots of fish and chicken and salads and, pizza and pasta and bread. Fortunately the desserts are usually not worth having ... lots of Jello options.) Then we played some cards.


At 3 pm, we went our separate ways to read and relax. The pool deck is covered in aging and scantily clad bodies lying on chaises. It kind of reminds my of a huddle of walruses basking in the sun. As Paul McCartney would say ... I am the walrus ... pretty much every day for an hour or two.

I went for a quick dip in the postage-stamp-sized pool - five people swimming is a very crowded space that rocks and rolls with the waves and also with the movement of plus-sized bodies. Then I found a shady spot to listen to my audiobook.

At about 5, I retired to my room to dress for the evening. Most nights the dinner attire is casual, but Thursday was formal night and some people really take that seriously with tuxedos and floor-length sequins. I put on a nice black dress and pearls, and went to the wine bar where I often have a glass before dinner and catch up on emails.

This is Emmanuel who is here every night and knows me by name as do many of the hard-working and super pleasant staff

One thing that I find really impressive about this ship is the live music. In the evenings, in addition to the main theatre, there are always bands of various sizes and musical genres playing something in five other lounges. That starts at 5 pm and goes past midnight. The gal who sings in the wine bar has a repertoire that is dear to my heart, but she sings in a heavy French accent.

At 6:30 (I have the early dinner seating) I meet with my seven table companions - Josie, Virginia, Tilka, Ed, and Americans Terry from Texas and Judy and John from Florida. And our wonderful waiter, Paul.

Every night we choose from a menu that includes five special entrees (often with a theme), five special appetizers, five special desserts and a number of standard items. I picked the carrot and coconut soup, pumpkin gnocci, and lemon sorbet.

Then Josie, Virginia and I headed to the aptly named Zebra Lounge (the chairs are all zebra striped and the place has a '70s lounge-lizard vibe) where we listened to some rock and roll and danced with the British undertakers until it was time for the theatre show.

The theatre show was, um, different. It was an Italian woman making pictures out of sand. I don't smoke pot but I think the experience would have been enhanced by a joint or two.

Tonight (Friday) it is an abridged version of La Traviata, followed by a Polynesian Party in the open air on deck 13, which I am really looking forward to.

After the show, Josie, Virginia, Irish John and the British guys and I went to another lounge at the far end of the ship where a terrific singer was playing and we danced to old standards. But, by that time, I had put down my camera.

I left the two Canadian gals and the two British lads still dancing at midnight and headed to my room.

One more day at sea and then ... Samoa.

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