MSC Cruise – Western Mediterranean

This was a six day cruise taken in November 2016 on the MSC Poesia visiting Messina in Sicily, Valletta in Malta, Barcelona in Spain and Marseilles in France before disembarking in Genoa, Italy.

We had travelled two days earlier and stayed in Sorrento and visited Pompeii before taking the cruise.

We boarded the ship at Naples port in the late afternoon and after doing the usual safety procedures unpacked our suitcases. We got changed, had dinner and watched the show before having an early night.

Messina, Sicily

We got off the ship and crossed the main road then headed to the main square. There we saw a line of dotto trains so decided to buy a ticket and have a tour of the city after the clock tower show. We had a look around the church while we waited and were shocked to see that rather than providing candles for people to light, the church had a slot machine which activated a battery-operated candle.

Back outside we waited with the crowds for the 12 noon bell tower show.

Messina Clock Tower

The show features music, a crowing cockerel, a roaring lion and a procession of saints and lasts for around 20 minutes.

After the show we boarded our dotto train for our tour of the city. Although the view from the top of the hill was quite nice there was little else of interest so after returning to the square we made our way back to the ship.

Messina Italy


Valletta, Malta


We only had a short while in port so decided to walk along the coast to the Upper Barrakka Gardens.

Barrakka Gardens, Malta

After walking round the gardens we carried on to the fort then head back to the town centre past Saint John’s Cathedral.

Saint John's Cathedral

As you had to pay to go inside the cathedral and there was  a long queue we decided not to bother and went for a coffee instead. We then returned to the boat for lunch then had a relaxing afternoon reading.


Barcelona, Spain

We were not due to dock at Barcelona until 2pm so we had a lazy morning on the boat. As the ship docked we realised that we were some distance from the city itself so we decided to get the MSC shuttle bus into the city. We then got the hop on hop off bus which cost 24 euros but is a great way to see the city if you have limited time. We wanted to see Gaudi’s architecture so got off the bus to have a closer look at Casa Milo, Casa Batllo and Sagrada Familia.

Casa Milo

Casa Milo

Casa Batilo

Casa Batllo

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia at Night

The following day we docked in Marseilles, France but as it was pouring with rain we decided to stay on the boat and have a last relaxing day before travelling back home the next day.



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