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Eglesbrech

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Everything posted by Eglesbrech

  1. For us it has depended on the bar we are in. Service has really been great in the Champagne and Art bar. Always had to queue at the Masters of the Sea and Sky Lounge. Virtuosa lounge and infinity fairly quick. The time of day also has an impact. On balance better than on some other cruise lines.
  2. Your cruise could be completely different. I think the bad weather has affected how many people are indoors, rather than spread across the whole ship or sitting out on balcony’s.
  3. I think you are correct re expectations. Some on here are happy to tell anyone listening that they only paid £699 for a Bella inside and got upgraded to a balcony. Those who paid the much higher standard price could well have higher expectations.
  4. Day 10 Sea Day Miserable weather today so everyone has been indoors for much of the day. We watched the usual suspects on the aft camera laying out pool towels at 7am as the weather looked a bit better then. A few hours later they were out rescuing them. MSC have been lifting left towels and books etc on sunny days if they have been left unattended, which is good imo. We amused ourself indoors with some of the activities, lunch, a pint at the pub then the guest speaker. Today it was Eddie the Eagle and he was really engaging and amusing, one of the better celebrity guests we have seen on cruises. We have been lucky this week to have two interesting guests. Tonight was the second “elegant” night, some dressed for that, many did not. The show was ABBA music and very energetic and fun. The number of moaning, whinging people on here never ceases to amaze me. Is everything onboard perfect, absolutely not but much of it is fine. As I said earlier in the week a lot of the moans are about things which could be a avoided with a bit of research in advance, objective issues like dining times, noisy or obstructed cabins etc. More subjective issues are more difficult. Some people have not enjoyed the more European style food, for example one couple said on they could find nothing to eat and were having fish and chips at the pub regularly - well take the chance whilst onboard to expand your palate beyond chips! There is more than adequate choice but not if you idea of food is restricted to burger and chips / fish and chips/ pie and chips etc for every meal. Personally I do feel the ship is too full so at times there are no seats in bars and people are crowded in. The bad weather has not helped with this. As I said at the start of this thread I have never sailed on MSC other than in Yacht Club. After 10 days I probably would not book Aurea again. That’s not because there is anything at all wrong with it, we have had a good enough cruise with some pleasant food, some good entertainment and great service in the evenings in our dining room from lovely staff. The cabin is clean and has everything we need. Personally however I very much prefer the peace and quiet, more extensive food choices and the little extra touches of YC. Others might find it stuffy and prefer the buzz of the Galleria area, that’s why we are all different.
  5. Day 9 Lisbon MSC are docked at the new port right in the heart of the city. It’s just a 10-15 minute walk to the main areas, squares, shops and restaurants. There were lots of TUK TUK tours available HOHO buses etc right at the dock if you want a private tour. That said you can walk to see most things. For example if you want the Santa Justa lift it’s not far but get there early as it gets busy. We stopped off for a traditional Ginja at the tiny “A Ginjinha bar”. This is a local morello cherry alcohol with fruit included. The bar is tiny and the glasses small (it’s sweet and strong) and usually served by someone who looks good for being 100 and drinks it every day. Another city we know well so we did the things we like, good coffee, pastel de nata, sheep cheese, port and of course shopping! Lisbon has some lovely shops. Back onboard they are filming for the Good Ship Murder in the Virtuosa Lounge. Interesting to watch for a few minutes. They film in the more public areas when most folks are off exploring ports. White night no night so the majority were in varying white outfits, it’s looks good when the lights are on. Pre dinner drinks arrive almost as we do, the staff on here have incredible memories and know what you prefer. They are also so friendly (and very tolerant given the mess some people make). We have a package and find that we personally would need it on here. In a day a couple of fresh coffees. Fresh squeezed orange. Some bottled water, a few soft drinks then a pre dinner drink, wine and post dinner nightcap doesn’t take long to add up. The wines by the glass are fine but they do become a bit repetitive after 10 days (you can buy bottles from an extensive list but we stick to by the glass as we have the premier package and don’t want to pay any more). The comedian tonight had gentle, clean humour for the early show which we enjoyed. There have not been many production shows on this particular cruise, mainly guest acts.
  6. No. Nothing this time. We were on last year when they were filming and it was a little more prominent but I can’t say we have even noticed it (apart from me just being nosy). A non issue.
  7. There is an “adults only” sign at the front door of the Sky lounge. I haven’t noticed any children but then we haven’t been there often so we haven’t noticed them being knocked back either.
  8. I have only seen them being prepared in the Tropical bar on Virtuosa. They do freshly squeezed orange juice and selection of vegetable juices with additions like fresh ginger or berries and also yoghurt Lassi. They are very nice.
  9. Day 8 at sea The weather today is not quite so good so many more people are indoors and so the ship feels more crowded than it has to date. We had breakfast in the restaurant which was served quickly and very pleasant. Lots of complaints about the buffet area which was apparently chaotic and crowded as many people had a longer lie in. We joined in a few of the activities to pass the morning, the quiz, paper plane flying etc. Went to see the Q&A with Shirley Ballas which was interesting. Full house for it and with only 900 plus seats not everyone got in (but they streamed it as well). They did this talk over the lunch hour which was I suspect was quite deliberate to split up the queues for lunch. Service at the bars is a bit on the slow side today as people are concentrated indoors. Thank goodness for the peace and quiet of a balcony, on days like this I appreciate the ability to collect a drink and repair to a quiet spot and read. We decided to go along to the Diamond party this afternoon, we have never bothered to go before. Same as every cruise line: drinks, nibbles, music and speeches. What did strike me however was how few people were there. Now I know that not everyone will choose to attend but still low numbers. Not bothering with the show tonight as it’s a rehash of two acts that have been on before. We enjoyed some music in the Sky Barr and very nice G&T with lovely fresh herbs instead (just the one as they are very strong). I have posted drinks menus on a separate thread to show current pricing in Pounds in case it’s of interest to anyone.
  10. @Ryan82Yes we enjoyed Butchers Cut as well. Ill look out for the canapes, thanks
  11. Day 7 Lanzarote I like Lanzarote, we have stayed here many times. It is a pretty, clean island with friendly locals. The ship berthed in the new port which is a 20 -25 minute gentle stroll from the centre of town. There are shops and stalls selling local goods in the port area, a much shorter walk for those less able. Taxis are available but limited and someone said about 7€ each way into town. We walked into town and did a bit of shopping and people watching on the harbour. Got lots of aloe vera products at a fraction of the price they cost at home. The cooling gel they sell here is amazing. If you have not been here before then take a trip and see the amazing Timanfaya national park, the Ceassar Manrique institute etc. Enjoyed the Michael Buble tribute act in the theatre then dinner. Dinner was not a good as usual but we never starve. This itinerary is good if you like to walk as all the ports are within easy walking distance of the towns and some of the attractions. When there are thousands of people onboard the ability to just walk off and find your own way to places is advantageous.
  12. Hope you are having a lovely cruise.
  13. Day 7 Grand Canaria Again we are berthed right in town just a short walk from the HOHO buses, aquarium and main shopping area. Today it’s hot, hot, hot. We headed out quite early for a long walk along the pretty beach front (straight forward from the ship about 15 minute walk). There was a surfing contest on so lots to see. The beaches are clean and very accessibile from the port so no need to book transfers if you like a decent walk. As it’s Sunday the main shops are closed but tourist bars and shops are open. There is a boat show on in port, we have been lucky with lots of local events on this cruise. I have to say a word about lunch today: it was excellent. I would have happily paid a lot for the sole meunière they served and the wine was first class as well. Many dishes at lunch and dinner are just adequate but to be fair some are above and beyond, for a cruise ship. There have been a lot of complaints onboard about soot damaging people’s clothes at the aft of the ship. We don’t tend to sit there so have not been affected so this is just for information. Another nice little touch onboard is bar snacks. Every night we have crisps or nuts served with our pre dinner drinks (some other lines don’t do this anymore). While we don’t need the calories, this is a nice gesture. Another general tip. Bring all the medications you need eg paracetemol, sea sickness meds etc (which we did) as basics onboard are eyewateringly expensive The ship is like a brick in the water, we have experienced zero swell onboard even when there are waves outside in the Atlantic. Great for those who tend towards seasickness (like OH).
  14. Per cabin not per passenger ( too late to edit).
  15. Yes per cabin, not per cabin.
  16. Day 6 Tenerife The ship is docked near to the town, around a 15 to 20 minute walk which is flat most of the way then there is a large ramp to go up from dock level to street level (there was a lift around to the right which was not very visible). This is not my favourite port, just a bit grubby. There are however some good shops and Museums. There is a lot to do around the island but we have done it while staying in hotels here in the past. There is a large music festival on later today so we heard some of the acts practicing, very entertaining. Entertainment is lacking on this ship (for this cruise, it has been better in the past) and what they do provide is over subscribed. We went down for the Pm quiz and it was full for example, no tables left. There still seems to be a lack of musicians around the ship in the evenings and the guest acts in the theatre are repeated a couple of nights later so if you didn’t like them first time round then there is no other show that night. I never noticed this quite so much before as YC has additional entertainment in Top Sail. The ship seems to work on two levels. People like me get up and about early, visit the port and come back onboard. We have pre dinner drinks when the bars are quiet, see a show, eat dinner, hot chocolate then bed. Meantime some are rising late, going into port as we come back, partying to the early hours etc., it works for all preferences. The two groups merge in the evening about 8pm onwards and that’s when the bars etc are swamped with too many people (and when we head in to eat in Il Campo). There are definite peaks and troughs as dining sittings or theatre shows begin or end. One minute no seats and crowded, 5 minutes later take your pick. We have never had issue asking for and getting a table for two at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some of the tables however are very close together! We have chatted to some really lovely people as a result (and left those who wish to eat in silence to their privacy). The food continues to be very good. The coffee from the bars is excellent and the choice of wines included in the package perfectly acceptable (and I’m quite fussy about wine).
  17. Day 5 Madeira For those who have not been before the ship docks right in Funchal about a 15 to 20 walk from the town. It’s a lovely compact city with lots to see and do, there are regular festivals and today it was culture week so we were treated to public art “cubes” and children’s choirs on every corner. Just lovely. We did our usual round of shops and OH bought (more) stylish Madeiran shoes. We visited the amazing Fabrica St Antonio biscuit factory to stock up, these are more than just biscuits they are just amazing so look it up. Next stop Blandys for Madeira wine (this is why we drive as we can stop up on goodies). We set off early and so got back onboard about 1.15 with no problem. Having coffee after lunch looking outside the queues to get back on were horrendous. People as far as the eye could see. That’s one criticism of this ship, too many queues. I’m used to following the YC blue paddle and frankly on a day like today that’s when it is essential. There was a regatta in the harbour so we sat on the balcony and enjoyed that. The show and dinner tonight were both very good. We seem to have found a pattern to avoid the worst of the crowds onboard so it is possible. As a point of interest MSC still do an evening turndown and tidy the cabin. Our cabin is extremely well kept as a result.
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