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GRANNYOFSIX

1/2 Charter Cruise

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Hello......I will be posting the same on Carnival, Royal, Celebrity and MSC.

 

We are booked in February and just found out that our cruise is now a HALF CHARTER......over 2000 people will be on the charter. About 1500 people will not be on the charter.

 

We wanted to eat 1st seating but have since been told that the non-charter group MUST eat 2nd seating. We have heard, but not totally confirmed that the Non-Charter group can't eat breakfast or lunch in the main dining room as well. The charter group will be having lectures from early morning until around 10:00pm. Our concern is will we still have entertainment, shows, etc., since most of the venues will be used by the charter group as they have choices of different lectures to choose from in different venues etc....

 

We have been on other theme cruises (not part of the group) and there was never any issues as there were only 100 people or so. We have never been on a 1/2 charter though.

 

If anyone has been on a 1/2 charter and wasn't part of the charter group, were the ship's activities less than normal and what was your experience.

 

Thank you

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Many years ago we found out that a RCI cruise (on which we were booked) had a large group (about half the ship) scheduled. We had booked early fixed seating (we were traveling with our young daughter)...and a few weeks before the cruise we got an e-mail from RCI telling us that are seating had been changed to late. When I called RCI they explained that a large group (we later heard they were a very religious group) had taken over the entire early sitting. We quickly insisted that we be allowed to cancel and rebook on a different cruise....which was done. A few weeks later, while on that same ship...a friend on the crew told us the cruise with the large religious group was truly awful. The group took over many of the venues...and also many of them would go around the ship trying to "convert" other passengers.

 

Bottom line for us is that we try to avoid any cruise where we are aware of a large group.

 

Hank

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Thank you Hlitner........The more responses I read, the more concerned I am getting. I will always google chartered cruises in the future. Thank you again. Glad you were able to change cruises, etc.....:)

 

 

 

Many years ago we found out that a RCI cruise (on which we were booked) had a large group (about half the ship) scheduled. We had booked early fixed seating (we were traveling with our young daughter)...and a few weeks before the cruise we got an e-mail from RCI telling us that are seating had been changed to late. When I called RCI they explained that a large group (we later heard they were a very religious group) had taken over the entire early sitting. We quickly insisted that we be allowed to cancel and rebook on a different cruise....which was done. A few weeks later, while on that same ship...a friend on the crew told us the cruise with the large religious group was truly awful. The group took over many of the venues...and also many of them would go around the ship trying to "convert" other passengers.

 

Bottom line for us is that we try to avoid any cruise where we are aware of a large group.

 

Hank

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Setsail......I am only trying to find out the experiences of other cruisers who have been on a cruise with a large amount of people (over 2000 on this cruise). I have absolutely nothing and I mean nothing against the holistic group!!!! Nothing to do with the people at all - that is not the issue. The issue is that this group has 1/2 chartered the ship and the non chartered group was not told about it so we could make a decision to book or not. I understand that the chartered guests lectures (and I know this because we have the daily schedule) start early in the morning and go until approximately 10:00pm. They are given different lectures to attend which are in many, many of the venues on the ship......a lot of venues will be closed to the non chartered group. We should have known this upfront. All the responses from everyone have helped me a lot. Has this ever happened to you??

 

 

 

It's a holistic cruise. Just people eating healthy and learning how to live a healthy life. Really, posting this on 4 different cruise boards

 

http://www.atasteofhealth.org/events/program.htm

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Hi! I booked same cruise....found out through this site that it was a holistic cruise. I called MSC and was advised that the group booked only 100 cabins...so I wasn't worried....Well, now I am worried.....I also have flights booked and hotel booked, non refundable!

 

Was it confirmed by MSC that the group is now 1000??? Wow!...that is a HUGE difference from what I was told not even a month ago!

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Posting on a few boards to get experiences from anyone who has been in a similar situation regarding 1/2 chartered groups on any ship or any cruise line. Many people are extremely helpful and I'm glad I posted in a few areas.

 

 

 

Why are you posting on all the boards? Why not just post on the board of the cruiseline you are sailing and give the date and ship so you might help inform others of the situation.

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Hi garda......wow....that's interesting that MSC told you it was 100 cabins. My MSC rep told me it was a 1/2 charter which is a little over 2000 passengers.....a page or two back I posted a link to the activities and events. My fear is many of the venues will be closed to the non chartered group. I have posted a thread on the general boards of Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, HAL and MSC. I have have gotten many responses from similar cruisers who have been in this situation. I'm just amazed that you were told 100 cabins......very interesting indeed!!! Can you confirm this? My MSC rep is off tomorrow but I will send him an email. Hopefully one of us can get a confirmation.

 

 

 

Hi! I booked same cruise....found out through this site that it was a holistic cruise. I called MSC and was advised that the group booked only 100 cabins...so I wasn't worried....Well, now I am worried.....I also have flights booked and hotel booked, non refundable!

 

Was it confirmed by MSC that the group is now 1000??? Wow!...that is a HUGE difference from what I was told not even a month ago!

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Hi garda......wow....that's interesting that MSC told you it was 100 cabins. My MSC rep told me it was a 1/2 charter which is a little over 2000 passengers.....a page or two back I posted a link to the activities and events. My fear is many of the venues will be closed to the non chartered group. I have posted a thread on the general boards of Carnival, Royal, Celebrity, HAL and MSC. I have have gotten many responses from similar cruisers who have been in this situation. I'm just amazed that you were told 100 cabins......very interesting indeed!!! Can you confirm this? My MSC rep is off tomorrow but I will send him an email. Hopefully one of us can get a confirmation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi. What ship and sailing is this? Is there a link to chartered ships and dates. Thank you.

 

 

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Hi GRANNYOFSIX!

 

It is indeed interesting! I will call MSC tomorrow as I am the TA, and I am quite disappointed! I was not informed when I booked for myself and a couple of friends . When I called about the group, she advised that the group was very small for this cruise at only 100 cabins! Now, if it is 1000, well that is a game changer and I, as an agent do not appreciate MSC giving me misinformation as I would the very unhappy customer that booked this cruise through me! This is not very good customer service, now is it!

 

I will keep you posted and hopefully I will get a truthful answer.

 

 

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Edited by garda

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MSC Divina - February 15, 2017......not really sure of a link to chartered ships and dates.....possibly theme cruise finder if you search...

 

 

 

Hi. What ship and sailing is this? Is there a link to chartered ships and dates. Thank you.

 

 

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Hi Garda....

 

Well, I hope you can get to the bottom of this being a TA..... below is a link of the schedule of events for the chartered group.....they have many speakers, etc. I don't think I would have been told it was a 1/2 charter if it truly wasn't but at this point, who knows!! This is the reason the non charter group can't eat 1st seating in the DR. The chartered group will be eating first seating with their own chefs, etc.....I can't imagine they would have speakers, chefs, etc., for only 100 cabins......let me know what you think.....

http://www.atasteofhealth.org/events/program.htm

 

 

Hi GRANNYOFSIX!

 

It is indeed interesting! I will call MSC tomorrow as I am the TA, and I am quite disappointed! I was not informed when I booked for myself and a couple of friends . When I called about the group, she advised that the group was very small for this cruise at only 100 cabins! Now, if it is 1000, well that is a game changer and I, as an agent do not appreciate MSC giving me misinformation as I would the very unhappy customer that booked this cruise through me! This is not very good customer service, now is it!

 

I will keep you posted and hopefully I will get a truthful answer.

 

 

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as an agent do not appreciate MSC giving me misinformation

 

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

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By the way Bret, it is all over the Internet, Facebook, etc, so I don't think it is a privacy issue!

 

 

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We had similar on X.

Worst cruise we ever had....

If I'll pay the full price, therefore id like to use all of the ship, ive paid for.

No private function here and there.... worst part was: private party on sun deck.

All other guests were forced to go inside

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By the way Bret, it is all over the Internet, Facebook, etc, so I don't think it is a privacy issue!

 

 

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That was (and has been in the past) my thought as well. While TA's may have privacy restrictions they have to follow, it's somewhat hollow given that groups usually make their cruise plans publicly available via the web.

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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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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.

Edited by BermudaBound2014
voice recognition gone bad :)

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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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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

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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Thank you joeyjeremiah for your response! I for one totally agree with you!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

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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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........

 

 

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.

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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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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!

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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!

 

 

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!

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