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Whatsmyline

I think I regret booking MSC

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Personally I believe MSC knew what they were doing when they changed the drink packages including the downgrading of the Aurea experience, by making the most requested drinks outside of the Easy package they knew that people would likely upgrade in order to get them. For some the Easy package is fine because it contains their preferred drinks, personally with the now difference in upgrade costs of a package beyond Easy on a Miami cruise we may well go back to buying the odd drink here and there. 

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I agree with the people on this posting who can understand the OP's worries. We have been on two MSC ships and thought they were great. We have two more booked B2B next month. 

 

On this board, it is SO important to know who is giving you advice. If you listen to the YC and Haven folks, you will surely feel like your experience outside of these areas will be third class. I had one experience in the Haven and can assure you I am just as happy outside the Haven because I can go on three cruises inside for the price of one Haven or YC experience. I am a low maintenance person who doesn't need to be catered to.

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16 hours ago, deliver42 said:

It's really too bad that MSC is always a step behind the other mass lines, because it will cost them in passenger referrals and also new bookings. They seem to have earplugs on and using their toes to tip toe through minefields, not really knowing how to behave. I'm referring to the U.S. market. The reason I use earplugs, is that I haven't seen where they change policy based on what they hear from passengers, as do other lines. Celebrity has changed various policies twice that I know of . Putting a charge in effect, then taking it off after a chorus of boos from CC, and I'm sure, on board.

MSC changed their dining policy on OC.  It was to be a pay experience but the response was so negative that it was changed before OC even opened and charged a single passenger.

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Whatsmyline said:

I booked a MSC cruise several months ago.  Then I started lurking on this board and reading all the information.  And now I wish I had not booked this cruise.  Because I didn't book the Yacht Club.

 

So many posts say the only way to cruise msc is in the yacht club.  That they wouldn't do any other cabin.  Questions about regular cabins get answers about the yacht club.  It's mostly yacht club in the subject lines of posts.  Its yadda yadda yadda yacht club.

 

I feel like a 2nd class guy who is going to have a 2nd class, lousy time.  Sorry if I sound bitter, but a lot of the posts here have made me feel that way.  

 

Whatsmyline,

First of all, thanks for the great post and a spot on comment.

The YC stuff has polluted the boards.

This article will help understand what class division on cruise ships means.

MSC ship-within-a-ship set up is the worst: it's in your face. The most disgusting is that the private island is divided too!

 

Secondly, your non-YC experience will depend on the ship you booked. MSC cruises do not exist. Only ships do. What ship?

If it's Meraviglia, I would suggest that you change the ship asap. 

Go with the Seaside - only.

Let's face it.

If a ship is divided in two classes, how the passengers of the second class will feel? Like Super First? Like Premium?

But please note, that "First class" on MSC is not first class at sea. It's ~ between 4* and 4.5* overall (for the best ships - Seaside/Seaview) that is equal or below "standard class" on some ships with no class division (various price groups).

What about the "second class" then?

Yes, overall it's below most "standard" mass market products (RCI or NCL best ships - to name a few).

 

BUT... Let's be practical.

By booking a cruise on MSC ships you agree to play their game.

You pay bargain price and get....what?

MSC Seaside

The non-YC product available to you will be (overall) above Carnival Vista/Horizon/Panorama, NCL Epic, NCL Sky, Princess (Royal/Regal/Sky).

Overall equal to NCL Bliss/Encore.

Not too bad, right?

You'll see the spa that is above anything comparable on Celebrity.

The entertainment program will be second best after RCI.

The open promenade will surpass anything you can find on Celebrity.

Well, the "included" food is the worst at sea (except Costa).

The cabins are smaller than standard.

The ship is crowded.

And the price is low.

And.... with the introduction of their private island, MSC is able to offer the second best resort itineraries (after HAL) in the Caribbean.

 

Is MSC Seaside worth you vacation time?

Yes.... but get the right cabin (ask me if you want), right itinerary and right time.

 

Happy cruising!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ronbe65

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The nice part about the ship within a ship concept is that its a completely secluded area that, if you don't go trying to search it out, you can easily go an entire cruise without even really realizing its there.  I am personally sailing in the YC next month, but that is only because the price was comparable to a simple balcony we were already booked on with NCL, and the decision to flip over was easy.  I plan to spend most of the cruise out and about in the rest of the ship seeing everything she has to offer, and am really looking forward to experiencing a European cruise line for the first time.

 

Don't worry about the comments on Cruise Critic.  Far, far too often they either trend toward yelling into an echo chamber (and boy is the echo chamber about how 'bad' MSC is extremely loud on CC) or looking down their noses from the high pedestal of either a super nice room or a super elite status.  I've seen people rip on the quality of the MSC dining room service because "I asked for a decent red and they dared serve us Woodford Reserve Cabernet, and I wouldn't have fed that mess to my dog".  You have to sift through a lot of crap to get to informative posts, but the good news is that there is plenty, especially regarding this cruise line which is starting to break into the US market.  If you really want a good idea on what these cruises are like, I highly recommend watching some vlogs or ship tours on YouTube from people who have been on these ships (we were personally convinced to book via Sean & Stef IRL and Josh Hocum, but I do know that La Lido Loca has their own series as well, among others).  They do a really, really good job documenting what life is like on these ships, and its not just from the 'YC is awesome, you must book YC, yeeeeaaaaaaaaah' standpoint (well, Sean and Stef were YC, Josh Hocum was not).

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The YC area on O.C is only a small part of the Bimini beach area.

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17 hours ago, deliver42 said:

It's really too bad that MSC is always a step behind the other mass lines, because it will cost them in passenger referrals and also new bookings. They seem to have earplugs on and using their toes to tip toe through minefields, not really knowing how to behave. I'm referring to the U.S. market. The reason I use earplugs, is that I haven't seen where they change policy based on what they hear from passengers, as do other lines. Celebrity has changed various policies twice that I know of . Putting a charge in effect, then taking it off after a chorus of boos from CC, and I'm sure, on board.

 

 

Where have you been?  MSC has made many changes in response to comments here, including major changes such as dropping the use of the smaller Seaside buffet as “MDR” at dinner time (adding a third seating instead), dropping charging for meals on the private island, widening the variety in the buffets, and many more!  I have never seen greater responsiveness that what MSC did relative to the launching of Seaside. And to stay on topic, this included rearranging seating in YC pool area to provide greater shade, and not charging for umbrellas in the YC section of private island ...

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Norwich Cruiser said:

I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy your cruise we’ve cruised yacht club and every other category never felt superior  ( some do ) or inferior in any of them.

I certainly don’t need a butler to hold my hand all cruise and am more than capable of getting my own drinks pizzas going to shows and getting on and off the ship.

Yes, but that's really not the point. I dare say anyone with use of their limbs and faculties can get their own pizza and find their way off the ship. The fact is, some of us like not having to do some things for ourselves, even if it's the most mundane. I like the exclusivity of YC and The Haven. I cruise to relax. I don't want to hang out with 4000 other people by the pool. I am fortunate enough to be able to cruise when kids are in school, so the quiet, private venues are even quieter. I like to be able to chat with a bartender if I want with fewer interruptions. The same bartender who is pouring my drink without my even having to ask when he/she sees me coming. Lamb chops for breakfast every day? No problem! Lobster for lunch without having to pay extra? No problem! Need a shirt pressed in an hour? No problem! Tea made with my own loose leaf blend instead of bags? No problem! It's all according to what's important to you. I like being pampered on my vacation. I have to fend for myself every other week of the year. In the YC, I don't have to.

Edited by scamper

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16 hours ago, Homosassa said:

If I want a luxury experience, then I cruise a luxury cruise line (last cruise was on Viking Ocean). I don't kid myself that I am getting a luxury experience by booking the highest fare cabin on a lower tier cruise line.

 

When I cruise MSC, I am in a Bella interior, have never felt like a second class citizen and have enjoyed everything about the cruises.

I agree. It's not a luxury cruise on the order of Regent or Seaborne. But it is comparable to Oceania, which I have cruised on twice. Oceania has a leg up on food, but for everything else they are very similar. And significantly less in price.

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25 minutes ago, scamper said:

Yes, but that's really not the point. I dare say anyone with use of their limbs and faculties can get their own pizza and find their way off the ship. The fact is, some of us like not having to do some things for ourselves, even if it's the most mundane. I like the exclusivity of YC and The Haven. I cruise to relax. I don't want to hang out with 4000 other people by the pool. I am fortunate enough to be able to cruise when kids are in school, so the quiet, private venues are even quieter. I like to be able to chat with a bartender if I want with fewer interruptions. The same bartender who is pouring my drink without my even having to ask when he/she sees me coming. Lamb chops for breakfast every day? No problem! Lobster for lunch without having to pay extra? No problem! Need a shirt pressed in an hour? No problem! Tea made with my own loose leaf blend instead of bags? No problem! It's all according to what's important to you. I like being pampered on my vacation. I have to fend for myself every other week of the year. In the YC, I don't have to.

That’s great you like to be pampered and I’m sure you enjoy being looked after feeling a little special and who can blame you you’ve paid for it and if that’s what you like you should continue doing so.

We enjoy yacht club when we cruise in there but not worried about the pampering.

 

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3 hours ago, sidari said:

Personally I believe MSC knew what they were doing when they changed the drink packages including the downgrading of the Aurea experience, by making the most requested drinks outside of the Easy package they knew that people would likely upgrade in order to get them. For some the Easy package is fine because it contains their preferred drinks, personally with the now difference in upgrade costs of a package beyond Easy on a Miami cruise we may well go back to buying the odd drink here and there. 

 

 

Speaking of drinks, I didn't purchase any drink package on my last MSC cruise.  I basically drink a Barcardi & Diet Coke.  Simple cocktail.  $6.90 on MSC including the gratuity.  CHEAP!   Almost double that on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Cunard, Princess, etc.  What a bargain!  

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59 minutes ago, scamper said:

I agree. It's not a luxury cruise on the order of Regent or Seaborne. But it is comparable to Oceania, which I have cruised on twice. Oceania has a leg up on food, but for everything else they are very similar. And significantly less in price.

 

That is pretty much our view of YC also, it is similar to Crystal too....which is also generally more expensive than YC. Nothing I have ever read on these boards has suggested YC was a luxury experience, it is not! Relative to price, in our opinion, it is the best premium value at sea right now....but the cruise market is continually evolving.

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1 hour ago, Norwich Cruiser said:

That’s great you like to be pampered and I’m sure you enjoy being looked after feeling a little special and who can blame you you’ve paid for it and if that’s what you like you should continue doing so.

We enjoy yacht club when we cruise in there but not worried about the pampering.

 

Filed under the "to each, his own" heading.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ronbe65 said:

 

Whatsmyline,

First of all, thanks for the great post and a spot on comment.

The YC stuff has polluted the boards.

This article will help understand what class division on cruise ships means.

MSC ship-within-a-ship set up is the worst: it's in your face. The most disgusting is that the private island is divided too!

 

Secondly, your non-YC experience will depend on the ship you booked. MSC cruises do not exist. Only ships do. What ship?

If it's Meraviglia, I would suggest that you change the ship asap. 

Go with the Seaside - only.

Let's face it.

If a ship is divided in two classes, how the passengers of the second class will feel? Like Super First? Like Premium?

But please note, that "First class" on MSC is not first class at sea. It's ~ between 4* and 4.5* overall (for the best ships - Seaside/Seaview) that is equal or below "standard class" on some ships with no class division (various price groups).

What about the "second class" then?

Yes, overall it's below most "standard" mass market products (RCI or NCL best ships - to name a few).

 

BUT... Let's be practical.

By booking a cruise on MSC ships you agree to play their game.

You pay bargain price and get....what?

MSC Seaside

The non-YC product available to you will be (overall) above Carnival Vista/Horizon/Panorama, NCL Epic, NCL Sky, Princess (Royal/Regal/Sky).

Overall equal to NCL Bliss/Encore.

Not too bad, right?

You'll see the spa that is above anything comparable on Celebrity.

The entertainment program will be second best after RCI.

The open promenade will surpass anything you can find on Celebrity.

Well, the "included" food is the worst at sea (except Costa).

The cabins are smaller than standard.

The ship is crowded.

And the price is low.

And.... with the introduction of their private island, MSC is able to offer the second best resort itineraries (after HAL) in the Caribbean.

 

Is MSC Seaside worth you vacation time?

Yes.... but get the right cabin (ask me if you want), right itinerary and right time.

 

Happy cruising!

 

 

Thank you to everyone who responded (except the guy who thought it was necessary to curse and the guy who called me a troll).  And I WAS feeling much better about my decision to try MSC.  Until I read the section I've underlined above.  Geez, the negativity around here isn't helpful or cool.  (And probably exists on the other boards, too.)

 

Beginning to like the suggestion of deleting my CC account and not reading this stuff.

Edited by Whatsmyline

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6 minutes ago, Whatsmyline said:

 

Thank you to everyone who responded (except the guy who thought it was necessary to curse and the guy who called me a troll).  And I WAS feeling much better about my decision to try MSC.  Until I read the section I've underlined above.  Geez, the negativity around here isn't helpful or cool.  (And probably exists on the other boards, too.)

 

Beginning to like the suggestion of deleting my CC account and not reading this stuff.

 

 

I've sailed SEASIDE and MERAVIGLIA and greatly enjoyed both.  I would not hesitate to sail again on either.  

 

Try not to take all the comments on CC to heart.  Remember these are all just anonymous strangers voicing opinions, nothing more.  You can get some great information here and the dialog can be terrific, but you still have to take it all with a grain of salt.  We all have the right to express our opinions, but they are just that ... opinions.  Yours will differ and being that you don't know these people (or their expectations, likes, dislikes, etc), it's best not to put too much weight behind any of their opinions.  

 

Go enjoy your cruise and try to go with an open mind.  You will be much happier.  

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2 hours ago, Whatsmyline said:

 

Thank you to everyone who responded (except the guy who thought it was necessary to curse and the guy who called me a troll).  And I WAS feeling much better about my decision to try MSC.  Until I read the section I've underlined above.  Geez, the negativity around here isn't helpful or cool.  (And probably exists on the other boards, too.)

 

Beginning to like the suggestion of deleting my CC account and not reading this stuff.

As you spend more time on Cruise Critic, you will learn what posters have hidden agendas in their poss. 

 

It could be the poster that is trying to become the cruise ship expert with highly opinionated statements about different cruise ships  (after all, it is only about the ship and not the cruise). If you click on any links in the post, it will only take you to another biased article written by the poster. 

 

It could be the cheerleader that actually is a travel agent that puts together group cruises and receives perks from the cruise line that he touts. 

 

Or could be the poster that just has an axe to grind with a certain cruise line and will jump in on any thread that gives him a chance to bash.

 

You will learn which posters one needs to ignore .

 

 

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I agree on this site as well as on facebook groups the YC seem to take over everything. Only YC Menu's pinned etc. I wonder if its the organizers who push towards that way as I am curious why nothing else gets pinned as there are way way more rooms for NON YC. 

Don't be concerned - you paid a fraction for your trip and drink package compared to the other cruise lines out there

MSC is way cheaper so even if you have to upgrade a few hundreds to get a better drink package. Do a fake cruise booking and you'll see

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Posted (edited)
On 1/2/2020 at 4:05 PM, Whatsmyline said:

I booked a MSC cruise several months ago.  Then I started lurking on this board and reading all the information.  And now I wish I had not booked this cruise.  Because I didn't book the Yacht Club.

 

So many posts say the only way to cruise msc is in the yacht club.  That they wouldn't do any other cabin.  Questions about regular cabins get answers about the yacht club.  It's mostly yacht club in the subject lines of posts.  Its yadda yadda yadda yacht club.

 

I feel like a 2nd class guy who is going to have a 2nd class, lousy time.  Sorry if I sound bitter, but a lot of the posts here have made me feel that way.  

All I ever see as well

I have never been yacht club and never will

I like to cruise at least twice a year if I went yacht club couldn't go once a year

Tried balconies, tried outside, always go back to insides, because we're only ever in our room to sleep, shower and get changed.

Always too busy out and about on the ship or in port.

A cruise is what you make of it

It doesn't matter what sort of cabin you have.

If you want Yacht club go for it

If you don't, don't 

Just have fun

Edited by nickam

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I've sailed in YC and have 2 weeks outside the YC booked in May. We spend most of our time onboard outside the YC and the vibe has always been upbeat with folks looking like they're having a grand vacation. MSC offers a nice product for the money and I'm certain we'll enjoy our fantastica cabin as well. I love the Divina but won't pay current YC prices so would happily book another category to sail on her again. 

 

I would love to see more non-YC posts and responses. I seek out posts that apply to whatever I'm sailing next so all you non-YC people please jump in to share your advice and experiences!

 

(We also sail NCL so note they add 20% service charge to drink package and don't offer specialty coffees or bottled water, so it's hard to make a nose-to-nose comparison when looking at drink package perks. Each line seems to have their quirks.)

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On 1/2/2020 at 3:16 PM, frank808 said:

Also sister line Royal Caribbean just charges the difference.  Have the deluxe package that covers up to $12 but want a $14 drink?  Just pay the $2 difference and the 36 cents for the 18% gratuity on the $2.

Didnt it also cost you hundreds more for the package wigh RC 

Plus major tax and gratuities. Their soda package is aa expensive as MSC drink package?

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7 hours ago, Cruisennerable said:

Didnt it also cost you hundreds more for the package wigh RC 

Plus major tax and gratuities. Their soda package is aa expensive as MSC drink package?

 

I can only comment on the prices of alcohol packages.  RC has only one package, and its virtually unlimited everything at $55usd +18% gratuities.  The equivalent would be MSC's Premium Plus at $79usd +0% gratuities IF the package is purchased prior to boarding.

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Didnt it also cost you hundreds more for the package wigh RC  Plus major tax and gratuities. Their soda package is aa expensive as MSC drink package? 

 

I will try to answer your question as best as possible.   

 

The deluxe drink package price for my cruise next week on RC is $45 a day plus 18% grats.

 

Did I compare MSC with RC? I am answering a question asked by someone.

 

BTW I do not buy the alcohol drink package. I get free drinks every evening during happy hour

 

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Personally, I refuse to purchase most of the extras on a ship. Unlimited plans, room types, and service are such wastes that most people blow way too much of their money on. There are few things I could buy that would make a 7 day cruise more enjoyable than being able to afford 2 of the same cruises for the same price. Nearly all of my cruising memories were at port or experiences on the ship. No cruise has been twice as good by spending twice as much.

 

I was pricing out a MSC cruise. A 7 day on one of their newer ships was $1102, a fantastic price. Meanwhile, the cheapest YC rate was $3142. Let's say I spend another $500 on the base fare for things that were "included" in YC, I would still be paying about twice the price.

 

It's a great option if that is the experience you are looking for. That's the beauty of cruising. Some people think you need to go either mass market or luxury, and not an in between. I think it's a great option to be able to enjoy luxuries, and then all of the amenities of a huge ship if you want that too.

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4 hours ago, jkgourmet said:

 

I can only comment on the prices of alcohol packages.  RC has only one package, and its virtually unlimited everything at $55usd +18% gratuities.  The equivalent would be MSC's Premium Plus at $79usd +0% gratuities IF the package is purchased prior to boarding.

Sorry the actual price as per RC right now quoted straight from their own site is     $63.00 - $89.00/per day for 2019-2020 plus 18% gratuities and 10% VAT

so too price is $808 USD

MSC charged me no tax or gratuities for a grand total of $200 In Canadian which is even less USD to add drinks and wifi. 
I am continually baffled at the posts I see upset about MSC drink package when cruisers could still by 10 drinks per day out of pocket and still not spend as much as other cruise lines. 

 

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