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Can anyone tell me what this ship is like these days. Now that she is going to be sailing next summer out of Barcelona, I am considering booking on her. I like small ships and classic liners so she fits my tastes. Is she well maintained? Are there cabins or areas to avoid when choosing a room? How is the service? Is there Italian crew on board or multi national? As a english spoken on board at all?
Are there any sites that have interior photos of her public rooms, pool area and dining room?
I have not been on her but her "shipshape" exterior appearance suggests that she is very well-maintained. Her paintwork is better than most ships I've seen that are decades newer! This impression of good maintenance is backed up by friends who have been aboard her and who have reported that her interiors are in pristine condition.
Can't help with cabins.
Crew should be mostly if not all Italian.
Assuming she follows standard MSC format, English will be spoken on board along with Italian, Spanish, French, German, etc. Sailing from Barcelona it is reasonable to expect a large number of Spanish passengers.
There are some nice interior photos here and here. As you can see she is quite modern internally.
I am very excited that she will be returning to service and I do hope to be able to sample her pleasures this summer.
I am going to inquire as to pricing for the August time frame. Eroller stated there might be a group of ship lovers going. If this is the case, let me know for I would like to be in a group like that.
Its amazing that MSC is building such big ships with this new contract they have just signed and are still keeping this old liner going...I think its great.
Now to find out what a single booking will cost me......
I called MSC a couple of times but they have no information. I am seriously thinking of booking, and would like to see what the pricing will be. I wonder if they will price her out at the same category rates of their new ships????
Does anyone have any suggestions on cabin selection. Not sure as to whether to go for a newer add on cabin or one of the originals. I would think the only difference would be in the bathroom plumbing/ shower units.
Pricing is not out yet but MSC North America will be selling these cruises. They are aware of them, they have just not released pricing yet.
Earlier you mentioned a group cruise. Yes, this is an idea that Ernie and I and some others have been kicking around privately. I have no idea if it will happen, certainly it is not "official" yet, but it is a possibility. If it happens it will be in July or early August.
Re: cabin selection... I have been advised that the original cabins are better, but I can't say this from personal experience as I've never been on her. This is what I've been told, though.
well I am going to shoot for August time frame. I just bought a new book on the Andrea Doria that has me once again hot to trot for Italian liners of old. That being said, the Monterey is a must do for me.
As for these new builds , I hope the Interiors do not become similar to the Costa design under Farcus. I was on the maiden voyage of the Costa Classica and Romantica and loved the stark interior design. I sailed on the Atlantica and that was the last time for me on Costa. Now I turn my eyes towards MSC.
I prefer tasteful over glitz........thats why you will find me on the Radisson 7 seas Voyager in 2 weeks......class over guady.
We have travelled with MSC on numerous occasions on Rhapsody, Melody and Monterey. On Monterey we had an outside cabin M304 on Maile Deck and this was fine. We tend to choose smaller cruise lines - although having said this MSC is now venturing into the larger ships market. However, you will not be disappointed with Monterey. We made friends with some people when we were on her and they returned to her earlier this year and found the service just as good. The crew are mainly Italian but the other nationalities on board all spoke good English (and in some cases several other languages). The ship was spotlessly clean and the food and service excellent. Our cabin steward was always cheerful and most efficient. As there tends to be several nationalities on board it can be a little tiresome when they have to make all announcements in the various languages but we found it was nice to meet so many people from other countries and we have made some very good friends as a result.
We give MSC the thumbs up where tipping is concerned. We English folk have a different outlook on the tipping procedure and in the main prefer to tip those of our choosing and those who excel in their efforts to make the holiday. MSC do not add tips to your onboard account as is the practise with other shipping lines.
We found the excursion programmes well organised and in the main good value for money. For those wishing to explore independently ashore there were always information sheets available and maps for the various ports of call.
On the smaller ships of MSC the Captain's Gala Nights seem to be made special in that the Captain gets the opportunity to meet all the passengers and have photos taken with them at the Cocktail Party prior to dinner - he does this twice, once for each sitting and probably has a permanent grin on his face at the end of it all! On the cruises we were on he and his staff even found time to dance with the passengers at these parties.
Entertainment on board was of a very high quality and the entertainments team were hard-working and very talented. During the day there was no pressure to 'come and join in' but their magnetism was such that you wanted to be part of the fun.
Unless they change their routine the Midnight Buffets on MSC are something not to be missed - we opt for first sitting just in case we feel tempted to try something at these late night themed buffet spreads! The Grand Buffet on the second Gala Night is a spectacular sight and certainly shows the skills of the catering staff to the full.
The deck areas are very spacious on Monterey and there were always plenty of chairs available and the 2 swimming pools were great, especially the one with the sliding roof over it.
We are considering booking on one of the larger ships next year - possibly Lirica or Opera - friends have been on both and assure us that we would not notice the 50% increase in passenger numbers as there is so much space on these.
I am sure you will enjoy Monterey. What is the planned itinerary you are thinking of?
Good Luck with the plans.
Suron in Bristol, England
Having read that the Monterey is going to Starlight cruises in Durban October of 2006.......would this mean the Sept 11 cruise would be the last under the MSC flag? Would that be a good choice? As a ship lover it might be interesting to take her last cruise, but it could also be bad if MSC was cutting corners since they were letting her go.
If this would be a bad choice, then I guess it will be an August sailing for me.
MONTEREY is not being sold, she is simply being chartered to Starlight. They have worked with MSC for many years. For the past few years they have chartered charter RHAPSODY in the Northern winter, and they have used other MSC/Starlauro ships before that. The ship is operated by MSC, but the cruises are sold by Starlight who also design the itineraries and provide entertainment.
I have heard that there is a possibility that MSC will market these cruises outside of South Africa. Either way, she will still be an MSC ship, with MSC crew etc.
The 11 Sep cruise will probably be followed by a positioning cruise from Barcelona to Durban. RHAPSODY already does one of these in each direction every year, but from Genoa. These cruises are usually sold both by MSC and by Starlight. This positioning cruise will potentially be the last cruise on MONTEREY sold outside of South Africa, but that is not known for certain.
Either way, though I can't go then, if the 11 Sep cruise fits your schedule I certainly see no reason to avoid it.
I see the schedule is finally on the MSC web site. I called the office and they said pricing wuld be available on Friday...so I called my TA to look into it.
am considering the Aug 28 sailing which would include the labor day weekend.
looked into air...non stop from Philly on USAir is available. If this looks possible...will plan to fly out on Friday and take a hotel room for 2 nights to relax before boarding....now to find out what a single fare will cost$$$$$Will probably shoot for a cat 7 on boat deck (inside). SInce I spend so little time in a cabin and the windows on this ship are so small.....an inside should do nicely
Whalebone, my advice would be to change that date. 28th August is a holiday in parts of Europe and it's one ofthe busiest weeks of the year before the kids go back 1st week of Sept. June, early July are best or Mid to end of Sept is best if you can make that. July and August are really very hot in the Med too.
Thanks for the comments. The crowds dont bother me, but if the ship is over run with children ,that would be a turn off. I am taking the sailing for the ship and not the itinerary. My Travel agent thinks I am nuts to book this vessel, but as a small ship lover as well as prefering older ships I am very excited. I have been fortunate to have sailed so many different types of passenger ships, that I like the quirky, if not peculiar. Now as long as it is not as odd as the Odysseus...I should have a fabulous time.
Now to find web sites containing pictures of her public rooms.