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Everything posted by CGTNORMANDIE

  1. You have to walk outside on Deck 13.
  2. So...if someone robs you at gunpoint on the streets of NY you wouldn’t report it because “he really needs the money” and you wouldn’t want to judge him?? Doesn’t it occur to you that this CS is cheating his fellow crew members as well as putting the OP in a very uncomfortable position? If the OP weren’t conflicted by this he would not have put it out here.
  3. I agree...management will take this very seriously and they will do everything they can to resolve this issue. MSC really does read this stuff. The OP means well and I can certainly sympathize with his situation but it will be out of his hands. “Let the chips fall where they may.”
  4. This is so true. I know for a fact that this will be brought to the attention of the Hotel Director onboard the Merry. I know because I always make it a point to meet the HD and talk ships. The MSC HD I last talked to told me they read these threads and posts religiously. I also know that the main office in Fll is also reading this.
  5. I always arrive at the ship around 11:00...just in case there are problems with debarkation. I found the embarkation on the Divina-YC to be a very enjoyable event. You can arrive early and with a bit of luck you should be onboard within 45 minutes of arrival. Enjoy your cruise.
  6. BRAVO Jazz, MSC loyalty program is a 2 edge sword. Cruise within 3 years of your last debarkation or lose your points. I am in the same boat (pardon the pun). I am on dialysis and am sitting here on the sidelines until I can get a new kidney. I will lose my status/points in November. I also lost my 30% discount from the casino program. No...it’s not fair from my perspective but rules are rules and MSC wants us to cruise every 3 years or more. I don’t like it but I can understand. I’d rather be cruising!
  7. So true...being cheap is not limited to any particular nationality although I can think of a few who rise above...lol. I feel sorry for these people. They think they are entitled but do not want to pay the tab. Pax skipping out of the YC after removing the DSC. Now that is really low! As Grandfather used to say...“You can’t live a Champagne lifestyle with a beer pocketbook”.
  8. Thinking that MSC is keeping all the DSC is totally idiotic. A thing like that would not stay secret for long with 1500 crew members...think about it. That would be a huge scandal for MSC that smacks of fraud and would put billions of dollars in ships and tens of thousands of jobs at risk. No...the cabin steward was trying a cunning ploy. He has probably been successful at it before. The facts are that the CS has found a method to rob his fellow crew members using the same rumors we see here when tips are discussed. He probably reads Cruise Critics. I would handle this situation as follows: The CS is clearly out of line and stealing money from the crew he works with. If the crew ever found out about this the CS would be listed as missing at sea. I would call for a private meeting with the Hotel Director. You have to ask yourself...Is this an act by an individual or are there others involved with this? I suspect your CS is not the only one who is using this ploy. In any case, for the benefit of the crew, you should deal with this. The crew is being robbed your CS is a thief and you are remaining silent? Believe me...if this ploy becomes known to the Hotel Director it will cease. Let the Hotel Director deal with this.
  9. Once upon a time ships sailed 1/2 full on repo cruises. I remember when Costa used to send their ships over to Florida and they were completely empty! Those days are gone forever. TA crossings have become very popular. I can’t tell you how many U.K. retirees I have met who were going over to Florida in October and November to spend the winter there. They sail back in the Spring. The USA allows them 6 months residency each year. The repo cruises work great for them. If you are worried about Crowded conditions then why not splurge on a suite. With Celebrity and Royal Caribbean you get nice perks that take you out of the mainstream. Holland America has special perks as does MSC and NCL. There are no crowds In these venues. You could also try Oceania or Azamara which feature smaller ships. I have two great friends from the U.K. who I introduced to Azamara and they have sailed on everything...Oceania and Viking included. They swear by Azamara for the size, the friendly crew, the food and the comfort. All these ships sail on repo cruises. Have fun finding what suits you best.
  10. You will be sailing in late April using the North Atlantic route. That can be a bit of a crap shoot...maybe nice...on the cool side...could be stormy but most likely not. Things will warm up when you hit Spain...should be 60’s - 70’s. The last part of your cruise, Spain to Italy, will likely be very enjoyable.
  11. The only time you might see anyone on the walkway is when they wash the windows.
  12. The best one I ever heard was a pax complaining that his cruise was ruined. No hot oatmeal on the breakfast buffet...LOL!! Shipgeeks, please post menus when you get onboard Armonia.
  13. I just looked up the deck plans for Splendida and found 12001-12003-12004 are marked Yacht Club. There appears to be no connecting door. So 12001 and 12004 are the suites to book.
  14. There should be 3 forward suites on deck 12. IF the 12001 or 12003 are available and IF they are Yacht Club THEN you can book. These suites are wonderful. They are bigger than the Royal Suite in the YC and they have the best bathrooms onboard the ship...big walk-in shower and double vanity. Contrary to what you read, these suites are true suites with two rooms, dressing and makeup areas, plenty of closet space and two safes. Contrary to what you hear, having a balcony is not the be-all-end-all. I would take one of these suites over any balcony in the YC. Remember...They must be Yacht Club in order to be worth the upgrade. Even though they are not in the YC proper they are great value if they are connected to the YC. You WILL receive the YC upgrade benefits if you are listed as YC. If the upgrade is Aurea then you will not receive the Aurea benefits. IMO...the forward two room suite is still a wonderful alternative. IMO...12001 is the best suite as it does not have the connecting door to the 12002 middle suite.
  15. So true...thank you for sharing.
  16. Thank you for taking the time to do a review. I was glad to hear that you and your group had such a great time. It is always nice to hear about a review with no major complaints. MSC has come a long way in a short period of time.
  17. Normally you would not tip at the outset. GF is quite common and is not a problem. There are special situations, as stated above, whereby a bit of cash upfront is a good idea. The reason for tipping should always be for the purpose of rewarding excellence. There are times when you might want to tip a bartender upfront in order to assure excellent service...no problem. I think tipping a Dollar per drink is a bit low brow unless you are constantly changing bartenders. It seems that an occasional $5 tip is more impressive than a Dollar per drink. Your bartender will be sure to remember you. I once tipped a meat carver on the buffet because she was so nice and eager to please. Again...she was rewarded for excellence.
  18. The official review section is complicated. I liked the old format...much better than the current one. They have mixed all the river boats in with the ships and that makes a very long list to scroll through. Then you have to search for more than 4 reviews...very confusing. Please post your reviews here...makes finding MSC info easier. Thank you Shipgeeks for posting your review here on the MSC board...very nice.
  19. Thank you for clarifying Kenny. There has always been a certain amount of skepticism with the DSC. I have had many conversations with Hotel Directors, etc. They are reluctant to say exactly how the DSC is divided...but always insist that it is. The crew is guaranteed a base salary when they sign a contract. The DSC is used to supplement and exceed the base salary and continuing education. If you think about it...you will see that if a company withheld the monies it would be a monumental scandal and nobody would work for the company. These dedicated crews are not showing up for work and expecting no pay. Remember...a lot of these workers are with their respective companies for years. The DSC also covers the wages for all the people in the background. The food prep, Kitchen workers, deck hands, cleaners, etc. etc. If you decide not to pay the DSC then all the background people only receive their base salary. We always pay the DSC and then reward excellence as we see fit. BTW...when a steward tells you that he/she never receives the DSC you might wonder...are they saying that because they do not understand how it is handled or perhaps they are hoping for a bigger tip?? Just wondering...
  20. Have your husband dress neatly so he is comfortable and you both look good. Then forget about it. You will be fine in the MDR.
  21. One of the best cabins on Divina, IMO, is the Y2. That would be 12001 facing forward. This is a 2 room suite that is bigger than the Royal Suite with a killer bathroom. This suite does not have a balcony but the forward facing floor to ceiling windows more than make up for it. You are down on 12 deck but accessing the rest of the ship is easy...very private and totally comfortable. I would take this suite over any YC balcony.
  22. Correct...I don’t believe you get a W2 no matter the amount.
  23. Try calling corporate HQ. They do not issue 1099’s so it might be more difficult to get a P&L.
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