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Never been on MSC ... Convince me to take a MSC cruise


FLgal0214
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We did a good bit of research and reading on CC prior to going, so def went with an open mind.  If you only want American food, you will be pleased.  The pizza is honestly incredible.  Hamburgers were much better than other lines.  I actually like sampling all of the other foods available.  Wish we would have seen the discrete service that others have commented on.  It was entirely non existent on our cruise.  Servers just seemed to stand around talking to one another with no interest in assisting guests for the most part.  On a good note, our kids loved it. Kid so club staff was amazing and really loves what they do.  It showed.  Our party of ten had the same feelings.  Oddly enough ran into another couple (avid cruisers) who said they were one and done.  Unhappy with the lack of service and cleanliness. 

 

we REALLY wanted to like MSC.  We Tried to overlook so much.  When I read the complaints prior to going I just assumed these were hard to please Americans just wanting to complain.  However, we experienced a lot of the same issues.  We don't sweat the small stuff, but maybe we just got unlucky and got them on a bad week.

 

Edited by punkrocknow
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On 11/30/2019 at 4:10 PM, GRANNYOFSIX said:

We are seasoned cruisers.  We decided to try MSC in 2017 when Divina first came to Miami.  The rates were enticing and the itinerary was fantastic.  We have since been on the Divina twice (fantastica experience both times) Seaside once (YC) and recently on the repo Meraviglia (fantastica)October 28th.  Lots of pros and cons...... but we enjoyed each cruise.  Divina being our favorite of the MSC ships......we have another Divina cruise booked for 2021. 

 

 

We sailed on the Divina in 2012 or 2013, its maiden season in the Caribbean.  Enjoyed it very much.

 

If it matters, we are very price driven, often taking an inside GTY (not YC).  We prefer to sail with as few kids as possible.  We have never sailed on a mega ship, but have sailed 25+ times experiencing all mass market lines except costa.  Our last 5-6 cruises have been on Celebrity,  almost entirely because the included perks made the pricing nearly unbeatable on a low end cabin.

 

We are looking at another MSC cruise for February in the Caribbean.   The ships that are in our required dates are the Divina, Seaside, Meraviglia and Armonia.  I've pretty much ruled out Armonia.  I assumed the Mera would have 'advantages' over the other somewhat older ships.  May I inquire why you (or anybody else) preferred the Divina over the others?  

Edited by jkgourmet
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I would read Apdmom very detailed review on this page for a great review of msc she also cruises rccl . 

    We did msc seaside last week in yacht club, yacht club is amazing, can not beat this for the price . Premium drink package is included in the price. Two dinning rooms elegant one inside and one pool side , really no crowds in yacht club . We really enjoyed the entertainment also, ship has the best pizza . We are also diamond plus on rccl and if you can get a matching status that may give you a 5 percent discount, Veterans get ten percent discount. I would give it a try , we liked it so much we booked it for next year. 

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On 11/29/2019 at 6:52 AM, LMaxwell said:

 

MSC call center in US and HQ is downtown Fort Lauderdale with typical uncaring, lazy, inattentive Broward County resident employees.  They have 0 Italian in them and have never seen a ship in real life. 

 

I had to call yesterday -- it was a simple matter, was only on-hold about 20 seconds, but the call seemed to go off well!

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11 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

 

We sailed on the Divina in 2012 or 2013, its maiden season in the Caribbean.  Enjoyed it very much.

 

If it matters, we are very price driven, often taking an inside GTY (not YC).  We prefer to sail with as few kids as possible.  We have never sailed on a mega ship, but have sailed 25+ times experiencing all mass market lines except costa.  Our last 5-6 cruises have been on Celebrity,  almost entirely because the included perks made the pricing nearly unbeatable on a low end cabin.

 

We are looking at another MSC cruise for February in the Caribbean.   The ships that are in our required dates are the Divina, Seaside, Meraviglia and Armonia.  I've pretty much ruled out Armonia.  I assumed the Mera would have 'advantages' over the other somewhat older ships.  May I inquire why you (or anybody else) preferred the Divina over the others?  

 

Hi......we have been cruising since 1993.  We have cruised Carnival, Royal, Celebrity and MSC.  We have been cruising on MSC and Celebrity exclusively since January 2017.  We continue to check rates on other lines but MSC and Celebrity in our opinion have had the best rates with the best perks (I love perks)......

 

My husband and I enjoy dancing (Cha Cha, Shag, East Coast Swing etc) so dancing venues are very important to us.  We did not care for the dancing venues on Mera very much, but that is just my opinion.  We did not care for the dancing venues on Seaside at all (just our opinion) We liked the dancing venues the best on Divina because the venues were used for dancing and not so much games (like Mera) UNLESS it has changed since our last time on Divina in January 2019.   So Divina wins for us in that respect.

 

Also, walking outdoors (not on the walking track - to many people in the way and to much sun for us) is important to us.  On Divina we could walk on the lifeboat deck out of the sun and not so many people which we liked.  On Seaside there was no walking on the lifeboat deck because the lifeboats were tucked in.  This was a huge disappointment as we thought there may be some other place to walk outdoors, but there wasn't or we just didn't find it.  We could on the Mera on the lifeboat deck - it was a short walk but it was doable. So Divina wins for us in that respect.

 

We loved the Edge bar on the Mera.  Spent a lot of time there and got to know the bartenders and they truly made or repo cruise memorable!!!  The Promenade was spectacular as well.  The LED dome was awesome also. 

 

As for Celebrity, we have only cruised on the Equinox (6 times) and we love that ship.  Lots of walking available on the lifeboat deck and great dancing in the Sky Lounge.  So the Equinox does have what we enjoy also.

 

All the MSC ships that I have been on are gorgeous.  Crew has been amazing on all of them.  We enjoy the food in the buffet and the main dining room.  For me, the only ship I wouldn't go on again is the Seaside and that is ONLY because of the walking issue and the dancing issue.  We had a great time on all our MSC cruises and we are looking forward to our next Divina cruise which is booked for 2021.

 

Good luck with your decision!!!  Happy cruising! 🙂

 

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Cruised Meraviglia Dec 8-15 and absolutely loved it. Flawless embarkation in Miami, spoiled from the very minute we walked on. Staff absolutely marvelous without exception, we made new friends and saw staff we'd remembered from the Seaside last year. Yacht Club really is the way to go, our butler was amazing, we loved the Top Sail lounge and the restaurant. To give one example, I mentioned to Sharock Pereira, one of the waiters (who is from India) that I loved Indian food, so they made me something every night without me having to mention another word. Also made me a delicious Italian pasta dish that I wanted (not on the menu). They will do absolutely anything for you and smile while doing so. MSC has made a believer out of me (and my wife). Oh and don't miss the delicious food they have for you at the YC pool!

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Cruised on the Bellissima in the Med two months ago.  First time on MSC.  Loved it enough we have already booked a cruise on the Fantasia in June. 

 

The Bellissima itself was immaculate and amazing, but it was also only six months old and so their newest gem.  Had no real issues with service, but then I usually set my expectations low for all cruise lines.  Food was so-so, but again met my expectations.  The pizza however was AMAZING!  Being Italian and making their own mozzarella on board, they definitely know how to make some awesome pizzas.  The shows were fairly low-end and bland, but they tried to play to and speak to 4-5 languages at once, as in the Med they have a very multicultural crowd.  But then, I don't expect much from most cruise line shows either.  They have two Cirque shows, we only booked one, and it ended up being cancelled as it was on a rough sea day.

 

Having sailed the NCL Breakaway just a year before, I would say that they experiences were very similar, though NCL service a little worse.  NCL definitely tried to nickel-and-dime you a lot more than MSC.  The MSC excursions were far less overpriced ripoffs than what we saw with NCL, so we actually took a couple of them, and we usually go DIY or third party excursions.

 

Everyone's experience can be different, even on the same cruise.  But based on our experience, we booked a larger group on MSC coming in June.  Unless they do something to change it, I will continue to prefer them to Norwegian.

 

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Normally sail on NCL, but are looking at other lines, I am pretty much price driven and when I saw this offer I thought I'd look into it. It's the Divina sailing out of Miami on a 7 day trip on 1/31/20. Cost for a balcony was $314. Hard to believe but it's sold out. I guess i'll have to start look earlier to book. I know that cruises are subjective, but some of these comments made me a little worried. Comments concerning service, rude, etc.

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2 hours ago, Daytonasailor said:

Normally sail on NCL, but are looking at other lines, I am pretty much price driven and when I saw this offer I thought I'd look into it. It's the Divina sailing out of Miami on a 7 day trip on 1/31/20. Cost for a balcony was $314. Hard to believe but it's sold out. I guess i'll have to start look earlier to book. I know that cruises are subjective, but some of these comments made me a little worried. Comments concerning service, rude, etc.

We've been reading MSC reviews/posts here for about a year now.  Some of the negative comments appear to be positives for us.  

For example, re service.  As some have noted, servers, unlike on many mainstream lines, are not expected to tell jokes, do magic tricks, and try to be buddies.  Service is more discreet, more European.

Mealtimes are meant to be leisurely.  Those who criticize that might be expecting fast-food style.

Not surprising at all that the cruise you looked at is sold out.  So is our January Seaside cruise.

I say keep reading the posts, look for the reasons behind criticisms, and keep an open mind about whether the differences would be pluses or minuses for you.  For example, you will probably find that MSC is a bit more formal than NCL.  To us, that's a good thing; maybe not for you.

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Just took my 1st MSC cruise last week.  A 3 night in Divina to test MSC out.  We had the easy drinks package and loved it.  We liked that when they gave you a beer or Diet Coke they didn’t open it for you and could get multiple drinks on one order.  
Divina was beautiful and seemed to have much more in the ways of stairs and elevators compared to other large ships.  I thought the food was very good in the restaurant and on the buffet.  The only thing lacking was the desserts.  I would definitely book MSC again in a heartbeat!

 

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