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Please tell me everything about MSC Cruises. We have only cruised Royal, Carnival and NCL. Would venture MSC, but haven't researched yet - wondering what you all have to say! TIA

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2 hours ago, pamelab said:

Please tell me everything about MSC Cruises. We have only cruised Royal, Carnival and NCL. Would venture MSC, but haven't researched yet - wondering what you all have to say! TIA

How long is a piece of string? What do you really want to know about?

All I can say is you'll love MSC.

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3 hours ago, pamelab said:

Please tell me everything about MSC Cruises. We have only cruised Royal, Carnival and NCL. Would venture MSC, but haven't researched yet - wondering what you all have to say! TIA

Hi Pam,

You have come to the right place.  You will need to read the threads here in order to give you a comprehensive answer to your question.  If you love to cruise and do not expect a repeat of RCI, Carnival or NCL then you will probably enjoy MSC.

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6 hours ago, pamelab said:

We have only cruised Royal, Carnival and NCL. Would venture MSC, but haven't researched yet - wondering what you all have to say! TIA

Expect an out-of-US feel on MSC.  Expect lots of Europeans.  Probably the closest you'll feel of being in Europe without actually flying to Europe.  On my cruise only 50% guests were Americans, compared to over 90% on Princess, NCL or RCL (all roundtrip from south FL).  That said, expect announcements in multiple languages.  Some find that annoying.  Given MSC's clientele, it's easy to understand why though.

 

A very touchy subject is MSC's food.  Food is subjective.  I liked the food on Seaside last November.  There are currently at least 2 threads on this boarding discussing food and dining services on Seaside lately.

 

This board is a treasure trove of information.  You'll just need to invest pieces of time to read through the information you need.

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Here's a really great trip review to get you started!  You definitely will enjoy spending time reading on this board...it's part of my daily morning coffee routine.

 

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After 36 NCL cruises we tried MSC and love them. Cruised 4x on MSC. Cruising MSC is more like old world cruising. We love the beautiful elegant ships, fantastic food, and  their phenomenal shows. We found the staff to be attentive and professional . Sailed RC 2x with 3rd booked for August,  and enjoy them too. MSC more like RC than NCL

Safe sailing 

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8 hours ago, pamelab said:

Please tell me everything about MSC Cruises. We have only cruised Royal, Carnival and NCL. Would venture MSC, but haven't researched yet - wondering what you all have to say! TIA

 Okay I have done all of them. It is about the same. Food is better than NCL main dining room food. The buffet was not as nice as NCL's, not as many choices but the food was good there too. The shows  were well done. I would say the food is as good as Carnival's. or at lest the last  cruise I did on Carnival(2003) had great food better than RCI's(last cruise 2011) but RCI food is better than NCL.(last cruise 2017)

 

My biggest gripe was  we had to go outside for the  lifeboat drill whereas the other lines send you to lounges. Miami at 5 pm in July crammed up with 50 people is not good. I would not had minded if it had been  December but being 65 years old, that is just not good and that is mandatory. If they have an older  passenger end up with heat stroke they  would have a law suit coming so MSC needs to rethink  that and do what the other lines do and put people in lounges. 

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Just now, momofmeg said:

 Okay I have done all of them. It is about the same. Food is better than NCL main dining room food. The buffet was not as nice as NCL's, not as many choices but the food was good there too. The shows  were well done. I would say the food is as good as Carnival's. or at lest the last  cruise I did on Carnival(2003) had great food better than RCI's(last cruise 2011) but RCI food is better than NCL.(last cruise 2017)

 

My biggest gripe was  we had to go outside for the  lifeboat drill whereas the other lines send you to lounges. Miami at 5 pm in July crammed up with 50 people is not good. I would not had minded if it had been  December but being 65 years old, that is just not good and that is mandatory. If they have an older  passenger end up with heat stroke they  would have a law suit coming so MSC needs to rethink  that and do what the other lines do and put people in lounges. 

 One thing they did have that young families would love is a splash pool for babies/toddlers not potty trained. that would be a plus for young families.

 

They also have decent sized staterooms. larger than NCL or RCI, comparable to Carnival

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34 minutes ago, Spidybabe1 said:

After 36 NCL cruises we tried MSC and love them. Cruised 4x on MSC. Cruising MSC is more like old world cruising. We love the beautiful elegant ships, fantastic food, and  their phenomenal shows. We found the staff to be attentive and professional . Sailed RC 2x with 3rd booked for August,  and enjoy them too. MSC more like RC than NCL

Safe sailing 

 I noticed too the officers were present around ship everywhere. Plenty of children  were on the ship last week but I never saw any bad behavior. I think their obvious  presence around ship  helps prevent that.

 

We did a July cruise in 2011 on NCL Sky and there was a group of tweenies throwing food from the buffet down the staircase outside the buffet. They also ran down the halls late at night (midnight 1 am) screaming. None of that went on on our MSC cruise and I do think the ship's officer presence prevented that.

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44 minutes ago, Spidybabe1 said:

After 36 NCL cruises we tried MSC and love them. Cruised 4x on MSC. Cruising MSC is more like old world cruising. We love the beautiful elegant ships, fantastic food, and  their phenomenal shows. We found the staff to be attentive and professional . Sailed RC 2x with 3rd booked for August,  and enjoy them too. MSC more like RC than NCL

Safe sailing 

 

Have you sailed the yacht club? I'm curious how it compares to the Haven. 

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Thank you all for the replies. For a little background, we are a family of 5 - planning to travel in October to the Caribbean. A little picky eaters. This will be our 8th cruise celebrating my 50th bday. I love looking at menus and food pics so I'll catch up on that. Thanks again everyone!

 

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3 hours ago, psmarkle said:

Here's a really great trip review to get you started!  You definitely will enjoy spending time reading on this board...it's part of my daily morning coffee routine.

 

Thanks - Seaside is one we are looking at now.

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We sailed the Seaside in the Yacht Club last summer and loved it sooo much we're sailing her again in the Yacht Club in a few weeks!  Out of my 32 cruises so far, my favorite one!  On the food, we usually order multiple entrees and share.  That way, if we get something we don't like, there's always another dish we do enjoy.  I personally would recommend getting at least the Aurea experience so you can access the Aurea deck lounge to get away from the crowds and also get access to the amazing thermal spa!  If you can squeeze a few more nickels, go for the YC experience...over-the-top service we had last year!!  The ship itself is beautiful and lots of fun!

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7 hours ago, momofmeg said:

 Okay I have done all of them. It is about the same. Food is better than NCL main dining room food. The buffet was not as nice as NCL's, not as many choices but the food was good there too. The shows  were well done. I would say the food is as good as Carnival's. or at lest the last  cruise I did on Carnival(2003) had great food better than RCI's(last cruise 2011) but RCI food is better than NCL.(last cruise 2017)

 

My biggest gripe was  we had to go outside for the  lifeboat drill whereas the other lines send you to lounges. Miami at 5 pm in July crammed up with 50 people is not good. I would not had minded if it had been  December but being 65 years old, that is just not good and that is mandatory. If they have an older  passenger end up with heat stroke they  would have a law suit coming so MSC needs to rethink  that and do what the other lines do and put people in lounges. 

They have several locations for the muster drills.  We have been in the casino on Seaside and the Luna Lounge on Divina.  They really spread people out.  I don't like being outside either.

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14 hours ago, sailco said:

How long is a piece of string? 

exactly twice the distance from one end to the middle

 

:classic_laugh: :classic_laugh:

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20 hours ago, Cruisergal1208 said:

They have several locations for the muster drills.  We have been in the casino on Seaside and the Luna Lounge on Divina.  They really spread people out.  I don't like being outside either.

 Actually I am sure they have  more than several locations-2000 plus  people can't fit in one tiny area,  but they had around  50 or more  of us crammed in a tiny area on deck 6 in front of the Rum bar. I was like why didn't we meet in the Rum bar? No one was in there.  We also had to take our life jackets for the drill. Other lines say only in a real emergency.  The other lines  stopped making us take life jackets  because of the danger on the stairs. For the drill no elevators allowed.

 

BTW we were in one of the better balcony rooms so if  it went by cost of stateroom we should have had one.

Edited by momofmeg

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3 minutes ago, momofmeg said:

 Actually I am sure they have  more than several locations-2000 plus  people can't fit in one tiny area,  but they had around  50 or more  of us crammed in a tiny area on deck 6 in front of the Rum bar. I was like why didn't we meet in the Rum bar? No one was in there.  We also had to take our life jackets for the drill. Other lines say only in a real emergency.  The other lines  stopped making us take life jackets  because of the danger on the stairs. For the drill no elevators allowed.

 

BTW we were in one of the better balcony rooms so if  it went by cost of stateroom we should have had one.

 and this ship had enough bars and restaurants that no one should have had to do the drill in the heat. and even if they didn't they should have made  an alternative for anyone over 55 or serious health issues. Tiny babies too. those are the ones in danger of heat stroke.

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16 hours ago, momofmeg said:

 and this ship had enough bars and restaurants that no one should have had to do the drill in the heat. and even if they didn't they should have made  an alternative for anyone over 55 or serious health issues. Tiny babies too. those are the ones in danger of heat stroke.

 BTW the we were on MSC Armonia,   maybe it is because that ship is older they do it differently? 

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On 7/10/2019 at 11:52 AM, pamelab said:

Thank you all for the replies. For a little background, we are a family of 5 - planning to travel in October to the Caribbean. A little picky eaters. This will be our 8th cruise celebrating my 50th bday. I love looking at menus and food pics so I'll catch up on that. Thanks again everyone!

 

 

Two comments above give me pause:

 

1) "Picky eaters". This may be problematic. Of course, food is subjective. If you look at the 1,000's of review on Cruise critic, food complaints are consistent. If you are looking for pizza for the kids, you're in luck. Mind you, I never went hungry, but I'd rank the overall food experience on MSC below that offered on NCL, RCL, and Celebrity. 

 

2) "50th Bday celebration". I would be hesitant to recommend MSC for a special celebration cruise. It's a great value based cruise line, but I might suggest you go with a product with a cruise line that has a more consistently proven track record for a monumental celebration.

 

Of course, if you are on a tighter budget, and willing to overlook some of the things MSC gets 'dinged' on consistently (customer service, food quality, organization, etc..) then MSC is a great value. One thing for certain, I'd much rather cruise MCS than not cruise at all. 

 

My perspective: I have sailed once inside the YC and once outside. I enjoyed both and would gladly sail either again at the right price point. However; that price point would have to be significantly lower than the nearest competition.  In the last few years we have sailed with NCL, RCL, and Celebrity. I priced MSC each time, and while it was the cheapest option in every case, it wasn't 'cheap enough' for us to select it over the competition. 

 

There is a very recent thread on the RCL forum that addresses your original question. You may find this relevant: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

 "Picky eaters". This may be problematic. Of course, food is subjective. If you look at the 1,000's of review on Cruise critic, food complaints are consistent.

 

I am a really picky eater and have never had a problem on MSC.  The waiters have often tried their best to accommodate me if there was little on the menu that appealed - especially for starters, despite the fact that I was happy to go without one.  I don't eat 2 3-course meals a day at home, let alone a heavy breakfast, and I can't even snack when onboard due to the amount I eat at meals.

 

Pamelab ... I have included menus and pics of the food we had on Armonia last January in the following thread:

 

2631573-notes-from-armonia-miami-havana-jan-2019

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22 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

I am a really picky eater and have never had a problem on MSC.  

 

No argument from me. There are plenty of people who do just fine with MSC food. Some even like it ;-). We all know how subjective food is.

 

My point was more related to stats. If you look at 1,000's of reviews of MSC here on cruise critic, more often than not, food is mentioned as an area in need of improvement.  Next to customer service, I do believe it's the number one criticism reported. Based on reviews, it appears statistically more likely the OP will have challenges with a picky eater on MSC when compared to other lines she has sailed. 

 

 

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I would add as a non yacht person...the people we met who were in yacht club all LOVED  MSC, those we met outside much less enthusiastic. We had opted for the Fantastical experience for a bit of extra amenities and drink coupons provided at the time. Customer service did finally agree and provided those extra amenities but it took two trips to customer service and without CC I might have never known to push for them!

We enjoyed our trip and will consider again but read, research and go in with eyes wide open!

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On 7/10/2019 at 6:14 AM, pamelab said:

Please tell me everything about MSC Cruises. We have only cruised Royal, Carnival and NCL. Would venture MSC, but haven't researched yet - wondering what you all have to say! TIA

You may find some comparisons here.

 

 

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Just taken our first MSC cruise after about 400 nights at sea over a few cruise lines....initially we sailed Princess and made elite but haven't sailed with them since?????? Celebrity who we love, a few RCCL and after a couple of aborted Azamara due to their constant itinerary changes we tried MSC. We booked a  Fantastica experience and bought our own easy drink package. Wow! We loved it, food, drinks package, cabin, shore ex, entertainment and all. Forget the others MSC is our new cruise line favourite.

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