1/2 Charter Cruise

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#21
Ontario, Canada
127 Posts
Joined Oct 2016
I once ended up on a dancing with the stars themed cruise on HAL. If I would have known I would have booked a different cruise. It was the first cruise I brought my sons on then aged 10 and 18 and needless to say they weren’t interested in dancing with the stars. One night the only entertainment was come and look at the costumes from dancing with the stars so needless to say we had less enjoyment of our cruise because of it.
If it’s a smaller group that is doing some specialty events that isn’t impacting the other passengers It’s one thing but it’s different when it is impacting the entertainment and activities and everybody’s onboard experience.


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#22
Michigan
2,164 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by cruiseguyinorl
As an agent, you should know they are not allowed to provide this information in the first place due to privacy restrictions and agreements. You asking your contacts at MSC to give this information not only puts their job in jeopardy if their call is monitored but can also place MSC in a legally liable position.

That being said, as an agent myself, large groups like this always put us in a difficult situation with the "we should have been told" syndrome. One of my groups sailed only to find 1600 drag queens (RuPaul's Drag Race at Sea) and their friends onboard. Obviously my folks say they should have been told. However, as I said it's not legally allowed. What I do now is actively search the internet for my dates and contact the company that is putting the group onboard if I find one. Most have been pretty forthcoming with the number of participants.

Don't get me wrong, I wholeheartedly agree that folks should be told about large groups onboard if it may affect their experience. But I also understand the privacy issue of those groups that may not want their cruise publicly broadcast.

Bret
As always Bret, thank you for your input. I'm always interested in behind the scenes information. I am left with these questions, perhaps you can shed some light?

1) If holisticholidays really did have a privacy 'issue' and did not want the cruise publicized, why would they be actively advertising this cruise on multiple sites including meetup.com lol (others include various social media,retreatcompany, eatplantbased, etc..)?

2) If a privacy agreement is in place, it seems as though not only one, but two different reps from MSC violated the clause, albeit with conflicting information (which I think we can all agree is to be expected with MSC). Unprofessional at best, at worst?

This cruise is openly publicized on theme cruise finder which is the probably the most widely known place to check for theme cruises. I don't disagree that a privacy clause may exist, but I suggest it is primarily for the benefit of the cruise line (in this case MSC) and not the specific group partially chartering. This thread is perfect example of why MSC would want to guard the information of large charter from going public.


Goldenbunny: I'm sure you've found all the reviews from the previous years HolisticatSea charters. Seems MSC has been hosting this group for many years. After reading a few of the reviews, I can say without hesitation that I would bail if I could without large financial penalty. A shame really because that is a lovely itinerary.
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#23
South Yorkshire
1,027 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
I feel bad as I am the one who found out about the Holistic Cruise happening and posting on here about it in the first place!



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#24
england
312 Posts
Joined May 2002
I wonder if the issue of the identity of a group making a large booking is a bit of a red herring. Surely if MSC accept any bookings that are likely to compromise the expectations of passengers already booked they should tell them this and give options, like for instance of having your choice of dining time removed....and whatever else the accommodating of this large group may entail. Just telling passengers that there are changes in what they have signed up to does not require a detailed explanation, only what compromises the company will make.
#25
Virginia Beach, VA
1,064 Posts
Joined May 2010
Hi BermudaBound.......I'm pretty confused with how a group can publicly advertise yet the cruise line can't tell it's future passenger the truth??? All I know is I asked my MSC Rep if this was a group cruise as this is what I was told by someone on CC. He said he didn't know and would research it, which he did........he then confirmed. We have spoken numerous times about my disappointment and how I believe that all the reps needed to be made aware so they could tell their clients. For a "little group" where nothing would change meaning we could still choose which dining time we wanted, having all venues open, etc., it wouldn't matter at all. However, in a large group like this, where our cruise experience will most definitely change, we, in my opinion, needed to know before we actually booked. Just venting!! Reading all those responses to this thread on other boards has truly scared the heck out of me..... However, like someone else mentioned, the ship seemed empty during the day because of the charter group being in classes, etc. That's a positive thing for the non chartered passengers!!! We haven't paid final payment yet so we have a little time to figure it all out.





Originally posted by BermudaBound2014
As always Bret, thank you for your input. I'm always interested in behind the scenes information. I am left with these questions, perhaps you can shed some light?

1) If holisticholidays really did have a privacy 'issue' and did not want the cruise publicized, why would they be actively advertising this cruise on multiple sites including meetup.com lol (others include various social media,retreatcompany, eatplantbased, etc..)?

2) If a privacy agreement is in place, it seems as though not only one, but two different reps from MSC violated the clause, albeit with conflicting information (which I think we can all agree is to be expected with MSC). Unprofessional at best, at worst?

This cruise is openly publicized on theme cruise finder which is the probably the most widely known place to check for theme cruises. I don't disagree that a privacy clause may exist, but I suggest it is primarily for the benefit of the cruise line (in this case MSC) and not the specific group partially chartering. This thread is perfect example of why MSC would want to guard the information of large charter from going public.


Goldenbunny: I'm sure you've found all the reviews from the previous years HolisticatSea charters. Seems MSC has been hosting this group for many years. After reading a few of the reviews, I can say without hesitation that I would bail if I could without large financial penalty. A shame really because that is a lovely itinerary.
#26
Virginia Beach, VA
1,064 Posts
Joined May 2010
Thank you joeyjeremiah for your response! I for one totally agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!



Originally posted by joeyjeremiah
I once ended up on a dancing with the stars themed cruise on HAL. If I would have known I would have booked a different cruise. It was the first cruise I brought my sons on then aged 10 and 18 and needless to say they weren’t interested in dancing with the stars. One night the only entertainment was come and look at the costumes from dancing with the stars so needless to say we had less enjoyment of our cruise because of it.
If it’s a smaller group that is doing some specialty events that isn’t impacting the other passengers It’s one thing but it’s different when it is impacting the entertainment and activities and everybody’s onboard experience.


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#27
Virginia Beach, VA
1,064 Posts
Joined May 2010
Thank you andante.....totally agree with you!! Just my opinion, if a group wants to 1/2 charter a ship, the cruise lines needs to send them to one of their smaller ships that could accommodate everyone and call it a full charter........


Originally posted by andante
I wonder if the issue of the identity of a group making a large booking is a bit of a red herring. Surely if MSC accept any bookings that are likely to compromise the expectations of passengers already booked they should tell them this and give options, like for instance of having your choice of dining time removed....and whatever else the accommodating of this large group may entail. Just telling passengers that there are changes in what they have signed up to does not require a detailed explanation, only what compromises the company will make.
#28
Savannah GA
153 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by GRANNYOFSIX
Thank you andante.....totally agree with you!! Just my opinion, if a group wants to 1/2 charter a ship, the cruise lines needs to send them to one of their smaller ships that could accommodate everyone and call it a full charter........


On one of my Divina cruises there was a large Jazz group, didn't effect dining times but we never could go in the Black and white lounge in the evening and there were frequently signs outside venues stating privately function. I think clients should be given option to change dates when encountering a group this large...


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#29
Miami, FL
1,394 Posts
Joined Nov 2007
This past January we went on our first MSC cruises, a B2B on the Divina. The second leg had a large charter group of Andy Cooney and the Irish Stars. They did take over the Black and White Lounge most days and evenings. We had early seating in the Black Crab MDR on the first leg and they changed us to the Villa Rossa MDR for the second leg, but still early seating and with a great table for two by the window, so we had no complaints. Some evenings the Irish singers and dancers were in one of the regular lounges and twice, they played on the pool deck during the day. We made friends with a few people from the Irish group and thoroughly enjoyed the music and dancing when we got a chance to see it, so it really did not bother us. I think it depends on what the charter group is, and we got lucky!
#30
Virginia Beach, VA
1,064 Posts
Joined May 2010
Thank you relaxatsea for sharing your experience. So happy to hear that your experience with a large charter on your cruise was positive. That's excellent. We did decide to cancel our Divina cruise but we are hoping that the non charter group as well as the charter group enjoys the cruise as much as you did!! Thank you again!


Originally posted by relaxatsea
This past January we went on our first MSC cruises, a B2B on the Divina. The second leg had a large charter group of Andy Cooney and the Irish Stars. They did take over the Black and White Lounge most days and evenings. We had early seating in the Black Crab MDR on the first leg and they changed us to the Villa Rossa MDR for the second leg, but still early seating and with a great table for two by the window, so we had no complaints. Some evenings the Irish singers and dancers were in one of the regular lounges and twice, they played on the pool deck during the day. We made friends with a few people from the Irish group and thoroughly enjoyed the music and dancing when we got a chance to see it, so it really did not bother us. I think it depends on what the charter group is, and we got lucky!