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Posts posted by CGTNORMANDIE

  1. 32 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:



    Is there a reason you didn't do the walk on e.g. deck 13?  No smoking and should be little traffic in either direction?

    You have to walk outside on Deck 13.  

  2. 5 hours ago, April42749 said:

    I'd take it this way.

    The steward was wrong, however, that he did this means "he really needs the money".\

    I wouldn't report him; I'd give him a couple of extra dollars.

    I'm happy I'm in the position to do this and I wouldn't judge or want to get him in trouble.

    I know...you all think I'm wrong.

    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. 4 hours ago, CruisinMaterial said:

    After reading all this, this was my thought exactly. If the OP signed up for the Meet and Mingle, MSC has the information on who the cabin steward was. While the OP might not have thought they would harm the person, if they cross-reference the available information... the cabin steward will likely be terminated anyway. 😐

    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. 4 hours ago, shipgeeks said:

    OP, I think you did the right thing by just posting here.  I do believe MSC reads these boards.  They will now be aware of the situation, and the fact that the vast majority of us agreed that it was unacceptable.

    I sympathize that this put you in such an uncomfortable spot.  Way beyond "My wife at home has cancer" and the dreaded "We need all 10's to keep our jobs".

    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. On 2/16/2020 at 10:40 PM, Host Jazzbeau said:


    This is exactly what I have been saying!  'Loyalty' works both ways...


    These programs started with airlines trying to steer business travelers [the ones who generate real profit...] to prefer them; then tourists got into it and even though their points grow more slowly they do ultimately pay off [and their smaller profits are still not nothing...]  But airlines can control the payoff by restricting the pool of seats available for free tickets and upgrades, so they have nothing to lose.


    Cruise ships, OTOH, have a lot to lose because the typical loyalty program offers discounts, perks, and recognition parties.  Discounts and perks [which are otherwise profit centers, like laundry and internet] cost the line, and the recognition parties have started to overflow the venues.  Perhaps more importantly, the cruise lines have discovered that there is 'gold in them thar' suites, and they want to reserve the most desirable real estate for current suite guests rather than long-time cheap-seats travelers.


    So I think MSC, rather than being 'prehistoric' is actually a 'creative-destruction' innovator.  Award loyalty points easily through status match to get frequent cruisers from other lines to give you a try, then weed out the 'tire kickers' by requiring a sailing every three years so you only reward your truly loyal customers.


    Note: because we tend to choose our trips based on itinerary first, we are among those likely to be weeded out.  [We have taken 21 cruises spread over 11 cruise lines, plus 2 land tours from 2 different vendors; over the next two years we have 2 cruises with one repeat and one new cruise line and 3 land tours booked with 2 different vendors.  Lots of travel, but little 'loyalty.']  But I still think this is a smart policy by MSC.

    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. 5 hours ago, Nashna said:

    I do suspect that there are folks who do take off the DSC and pocket the money.  I witnessed some people ducking out of the YC's  Le Muse rather quickly on our last evening.  Two of those people had remarked earlier in the cruise that they always remove the DSC.   It reminded me of an excursions end, and witnessing the number of people who rush to exit the rear of the bus to avoid tipping the driver and guide.  

    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. 3 hours ago, HCI said:



    We will be traveling on the Getaway from New York to Rome in April, can anyone tell what weather we will expect,  especially as we have 5 sea days


    We have never done this cruise before

    Many thanks

    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. 3 hours ago, rool said:

    We are in a similar cabin on Preziosa next December.

    It may be a stupid question 😁 but is it a walkway past the window or is it closed off?

    I don't want to scare anyone when opening the curtains in the morning.


    The only time you might see anyone on the walkway is when they wash the windows.  

  12. 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.  


  13. 14 minutes ago, jkgourmet said:

    Many years ago, I dated the First Officer for Princess.  Over that 1.5 years, 'Pillow talk, of course occurred. 


    I suspect very strongly that What he explained to me then is still accurate:  Staff members at ALL levels are ordered not to disclose the financial details of their contacts.  Consequences to staff who didn't follow that rule ranged from probation, demotion and possibly not getting another contract.


    Frankly, I think it's rude to discuss personal financial details with anyone, most especially a stranger.  With VERY rare exceptions, as close as you all think you are to a crew member at best you're an aquatance to them.  Most passengers are regarded as simply nice people.  Some passengers are regarded as a PITA (and yes, they do talk between themselves.)


    Sorry folks, we're not special.  We're one of 5000+ passengers on a ship for a week for crew to deal with.  And next week, there's another 5000.


    So true...thank you for sharing.

  14. 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.

  15. 2 hours ago, KennyFla said:

    Great information.  Thank you

    So I will keep the DSC added to my account and tip our cabin steward and waiter extra.  Is it bad etiquette to tip the waiter at the beginning of the cruise?  My wife is gluten free, that will require an extra effort on his /her part.


    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.  


  16. 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.

  17. 14 minutes ago, KennyFla said:

    I'm not trying to be a jerk, but if you have information on how the DSC is applied please share.  Some on here say it is definitely shared among the employees on board, some say it is definitely not.  I really want to know so I can decide what I will do.  I am not trying to persuade people to do one way or the other.  As they say in the commercial, "It's your money, do what you want."

    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...



  18. 3 hours ago, Muushka said:

    Thank you everyone, for your helpful answers.  MSC cruisers are very kind!


    I'll be in a dress (yup, I'm the lady) but my husband really hates suits.  He was hoping to get away with a Polo shirt, but now I don't think (according to your replies) he would and he doesn't either. 


    I just thought, this is a 10 night Canada cruise, mid Oct.  How about a really nice long sleeve sweater and slacks?  Or am I becoming one of those pesky people who over-complicates things?  Maybe we should we just go to the buffet those evenings?


    Thank you all🙂

    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.  

  19. 6 hours ago, KennyFla said:

    They are already well paid, according to you guys.  The service charge does not go to the employees, goes back to the main company.  


    5 hours ago, KennyFla said:

    MSC seems to be one of the lower paying lines

    Totally not true.

  20. 13 hours ago, MrMike45 said:

    For our 10th anniversary, I am surprising my wife with our first Yacht Club cruise on the Divina next year.  


    Are there any "better" or "bigger" Deluxe Suite cabins in the Yacht Club that I should see if are available?  The room chart and description when booking makes every room seem the same.  However on NCL (which we have mostly cruised) there are always a few hidden secrets of some rooms over others (i.e. bed placement, angled larger balcony, room design on a hump so it is a little bigger, etc.) 



    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.  


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