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Dr. Cocktail

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About Dr. Cocktail

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    MSC, NCL, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Antarctica, Bermuda

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  1. You know why I never get anything done anymore on a day off? Because things like this become my mission. I did a bit of searching and found his review but *curses* .... no pictures with the damning evidence!!!
  2. An interesting topic with many valid viewpoints from all sides! The provision of an included minibar has likely been a low expense item for MSC as while it's a great "come-on" to entice cruisers, my guess is very few people actually use it! Personally, I generally don't want a drink in my cabin unless it's a late night scotch and then I get it in the Top Sail. Be that as it may, we're all different and have different wants and needs. Where the wheels come off the bus for MSC is where EVERYONE actually starts to use it or, as many have stated, start to empty out the bar twice daily. There was a previous frequent reviewer/poster who proudly showed pictures of his stash of miniatures on the last day - there had to be at least 50 bottles. I think that a reasonable solution for the liquor "problem" would be to leave a note kindly asking you to leave your empty bottle on the tray and that it would be replaced at the first opportunity by the butler. Them's that drink it would be satisfied and it would put the kibosh on those who are a wee bit greedy. Even if you wanted some for your trip to the beach - no problem as long as you bring back the bottles! As for the snacks .... still not an expensive item but limit it to one replenishment daily. There really would be no extra work for the butlers save for collecting the empties.
  3. Like your wife, I have been *ahem* politely know to challenge people about their lack of sanitizing. The usual (serious) response of "but I washed them when I left my cabin" usually leaves me gobsmacked. When I ask if they used any handrails or opened a door or touched anything, I'm met with a blank stare! And to all the naysayers, research FULLY supports the use of hand sanitizers and is now indeed the standard of practice in most North American hospitals!
  4. Thanks for responding so quickly!! I was trying to figure out whether the glass "pergolas" actually did anything! As for the "I think I'll rub my bottom and have an eclair" ladies, unfortunately this is just what you witnessed!. The "I think I'll put my hands down my pants and have potato salad" gentlemen were behind schedule and not yet visible!!! That's why I always have a pocket hand sanitizer with me - it's important to get your hands after touching the communal tongs which are only two letters away from communal tongues!!!
  5. Thank you for your marvelous review thus far!!!! Great info about avoiding the tryptic package - it's astounding to see how "dumbed down" the Ocean Cay menu is from the last time we dined there on Seaside in February! I was wondering now that the sun has come out whether you are finding sufficient shade in The YC pool area? Thanks is advance (even though I'll thank you again!)
  6. I really think it's about the marketing of "cool, latest, greatest, gluten free, lemon flavoured, no carbs, never-seen-before" pitch to consumers whether it "works" or not. Unfortunately, even though I have become a "true believer" of MSC, they have a terrible habit of flat-out copying their competitor's "innovations", whether they really offer any value to the product. and providing third generation photocopies. Princess's Sky Walk becomes glass floors on the Promenade Deck on Seaside. RCI's 270, a multipurpose, 24/7 lounge becomes the Carousel Lounge on Meriviglia Class ships that only function to host Cirque du Soleil productions. RCI's Royal Promenade becomes MSC's Galleria but without the passenger flow thought out. As they are now the number three cruise line in the world, it's time for them to keep creating their own innovations like the Yacht Club and stop copying the competition.
  7. It looks like they've stolen from the "Book of Bad Cruise Ship Ideas" and put a fair number of "Infinite Verandas" pioneered on Celebrity Edge to generally universal pans. I do agree with previous posters who stated that the ship looks a bit like my really high tech iron!
  8. Have a superb time and a great cruise! Sailing out of NYC is always so much fun! As I put in a post on Bea's thread: Even though you're in the YC, I would suggest that after you pass the Statue of Liberty, you hightail it to the VERY back of the ship for your passage under the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge. Then, face forward and watch as the ship's funnels approach the bottom of the bridge - it 100% looks like you will take 1/2 the bridge with you. It is extremely important that you scream like a girl (OK, a bit sexist ....) when this happens. Don't worry - everyone else will be doing the same! It remains one of the great optical illusions! (and it's really not the same from the front ....) And finally, as you fly out today, try to ask the Captain to avoid flying over our house - I HATE the newish flight plans over mid-town Toronto!!!
  9. Thank you for your superb and extremely comprehensive review! Of course, I took particular enjoyment in your comments as they mirrored mine! We took our first YC cruise two years ago and are returning on our 5th later this year. You identified so many of the "MSC buttons" that people comment on so I will take the liberty and add my own comments on some of them. I think that a big mistake that people make is going in and expecting a North American cruise line that has "Italian Night" seven days a week. It's not - it's truly Italian with all of its quirks, irritations and as you stated in your car analogy - excitement! The value (while admittedly not as good as it was even two years ago ...) is superb and unmatched in the industry. You mentioned Ponant - we went on a cruise along the Croatian Coast 6 years ago and it remains one of our favourite cruises ever - despite the cruise line! Dinners were a miserable affair and the cost, even then, was about two YC sailings today. Our return to Celebrity this past year was fine. No-one died, I wasn't mugged on board and the power stayed on. It's a little head scratching for me to see how people discuss the suite experience on Celebrity on these boards in reverential tones. I left Celebrity after about 250 nights on board 6 years ago and decided to give them another chance in May. There really was very little value for the amount paid. In terms of service, we may have been lucky but I really can't remember any staff on MSC that I encountered with an attitude or problem. I have always used the Golden Rule with all staff that I encounter and realize what it's like to be away from your family serving people who may not always appreciate their efforts. As a non-light drinker (I'm trying to be polite), I like interacting with the bartenders and it's never been a problem to lean against the bar and chat with the bartender. It's true that I tip for my drinks as I go along but a please, smile and enquiry about their day certainly doesn't hurt! I really enjoy the various lounge entertainments (especially in the Top Sail Lounge) but their production shows are a bit .... insane. They remind me of travelling as a teen in Europe in the 70's and watching the various Italian variety shows on TV that appeared to be Second City spoofs. The less said the better. But again - I'm a live music guy and MSC offers far more choices than the competition. As for the food, I will walk the line between your observations and those who really didn't like what was offered. It really helps to be an omnivore and follow the server's recommendations. It's a little judgemental, but I shake my head at people who go on an Italian line and want roast/grilled chicken or a steak every night. If that's your default, perhaps you should stick with one of the other big players. Unfortunately, I frequently found the quality of the raw ingredients in the YC restaurant to be a bit disappointing. But again - no problem as the price paid for the cruise and the cost of the excellent specialties was so reasonable, that I simply started dining out more! I have stated numerous times - I welcome the naysayers as it helps keeps the cost down for us True Believers!
  10. Have a great cruise!!!! Sailing out of NYC remains one of the great and thrilling sail-aways - it never gets old! I hope that you enjoyed Phantom - I've heard that it is still a top notch production! Even though you're in the YC, I would suggest that after you pass the Statue of Liberty, you hightail it to the VERY back of the ship for your passage under the Verrazzano Narrows Bridge. Then, face forward and watch as the ship's funnels approach the bottom of the bridge - it 100% looks like you will take 1/2 the bridge with you. It is extremely important that you scream like a girl (OK, a bit sexist and you are a girl ....) when this happens. Don't worry - everyone else will be doing the same! It remains one of the great optical illusions! (and it's really not the same from the front ....)
  11. This thread is giving me the giggles .... Now, I've been in the YC 4 times over the past two years and have developed a real fondness for the product but ..... get a grip people! If you're frequent sailors and haven't yet realized that the company lettering stands for Must Seem Confusing, you really haven't had the whole MSC experience!!! My guess is many of the first cruises will show up with officers having been to Mass earlier in the day to pray that 1) there's a dock 2) there's a beach and some sand and 3) some vague infrastructure to feed a lot of people. Whether there's cabanas, included drinks, umbrellas, golf carts, jugglers or toilet paper will all be worked out on a daily basis! The rules will be different with each sailing with each different ship and will vary based on time, date, solar activity and direction in which the wind is blowing! It will eventually be great! But keep repeating .... eventually! I told my partner who really isn't into cruising like I am that our Meraviglia cruise will go to their private island. His response: "It actually exists?!"
  12. MSC actually “parades” people through the YC as part of the “Behind the Scenes” tour. It’s always a bit bizarre but I make sure to look like I’m having THE time of my life in case I show up in someone’s vaycay photos. When the second tour came through, I approached the EXTREMELY serious and bored security officer who was taking up the rear. I told him that I was perfectly fine with him tasering anyone who made a run for it in the YC. He was still laughing as he walked away....
  13. Oooops ... busy week. Just getting around to reading this thread! First off: to the OP: Thank you for an extremely detailed review that took a LOT of time. Much appreciated! I have stayed in the Haven many times alternating between Spa Suites and Forward Facing Penthouses on Breakaway, Getaway and Escape. It's a difficult question as each of the categories you asked about and the addition of the Spa Suites all have definite pro's and cons. For some people, actually staying in "the complex", be it the Haven or YC is of prime importance. Having said that, I was least impressed with the H5 that our friends stayed in. Its prime feature, again, is proximity to the Haven area. The bathroom has a tub/shower combo that I frankly hate and the suite itself felt strangely claustrophobic to me. The Forward Facing Suites are fabulous - separate small dining area, living room, bedroom with a forward facing view and a HUGE bathroom with dual sinks, dressing area, tub, toilet stall and massive shower. We took two suitcases and likely filled about 40% of the available storage. On the downside, the balcony is tiny and it's a looooooooooong walk to the elevators from where it's an additional few story walk/ride depending on your fitness level! Still, a superb cabin that's miles above a YC Deluxe. Our "go-to" has been the Spa Suites. A beautifully appointed room with a laminate/hardwood floor. No faking clean! A nice bathroom with pedestrian finished but a GREAT walk in shower with different sprays and jets. A whirlpool inside the room next to the balcony - shades of Niagara Falls honeymoon but popular with many! A balcony similar to a YC1. A bit of a walk to the Haven but on Bliss and later, a REALLY long walk as it's on the other side of the ship. It's true perk is the pass to the spa with it's different environments, heated loungers and spectacular Thalasso pool. The Seaside's spa area is truly a trainwreck in comparison. I love both the Haven and the YC and it's nice to be able to go between the two!
  14. Good morning! This pesky occasionally working has slowed down my responses .... Great comparison! I thought I might highjack this thread a bit and like many posters, make this all about me! I posted a rather long comparison in May between the YC, The Haven (I could hear you booing as I typed that ...), Viking and Celebrity, all of which I sailed in suites last year. For when you're bored ....
  15. It's just like when Celebrity was first launched 27 years ago..... Chandris Fantasy was a budget based line that sailed ancient ships (just saying that when we arrived at the pier for our sailing on the Azur, pairs of animals were disembarking ....) Chandris announced that they would be launching a luxury division and Meridian and Horizon set sail. I sailed on Horizon on week 3 and was simply blown away. In her prime, she was a beautiful ship with great lounges and still probably the best food I ever had on a ship. No-one believed me. They just couldn't make the mental jump from Fantasy to Celebrity. They practially gave away the initial sailings and as we all know, the line ultimately was acquired by RCI. Similarly, I think that people can't make the jump from MSC as a discount, high density line sailing old tonnage to the behemoth that that is launching new ships like a photocopier that won't stop.
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