Jump to content

Nunagoras

Members
  • Posts

    533
  • Joined

Everything posted by Nunagoras

  1. This, exactly!... Covid related chain distribution and food preparation nightmare issues might to be valid points though. Hope all this mess to be away ASAP once the promised medicines are approved.
  2. That will depends really on where they'll to sell their tickets. So apparently MSC will to admit kids on Explora... That's pretty much a no go on other mid to full luxury cruise lines... Viking sells only to the following markets: US, UK, Australia. Happaq-Lloyd sells primarily to the German market. The likes of Seaburn, Silversea, Oceania, Regent sell globally but seem to encourage the English speaking world. Ponant is primarily a French product. That said: Unless the continental European mid to full luxury is content enough with kids aboard, and lots of triplets/fourthlets aboard... OK. Explora ships are built from the very same Viking's Finicantieri prototype. Viking is double occupancy only, no kids, 930 passengers per ship. Explora is mostly a 4 pax per stateroom, so in theory some 1500 pax per sailing... At more than Viking prices!... Good luck MSC. For now I'm out!... Who know that can be?... Again: Depends on where they sell the tickets. It might to work with the new affluent clientele on the Eastern European countries... Maybe!...
  3. As many have said; if you need some additional money during the cruises, guest services will hand you such a limited amount of it for a fee charged to your cabin account. Considering that MSC hardly discourages tips for employees, to tip the MDR servers or that "special one" on the bars is out of question. If a steward is above the norm, I'd to find a very discrete way forward to tip him/her with some 25-50 EUR bucks, but that is a rare exception to be done the right way. Once I'm usually with a charter group with pretty much all the shore excursions included on the package, and pretty much every other store accepts credit cards these days, I don't need too much hand money to be honest. Bring basically the local money needed for some one or 2 taxi rides, just in case once pretty much everywhere taxis rarely accept cards and UBER and such is not available elsewhere.
  4. TBHH: Despite the nostalgia from some like me who have started their cruise "career" back on the "good ole days", the fact is that these little changes being rolled out are to be applauded!... From wherever one can see them, they're in the way forward for a more sustainable world for the enjoyment of us all. It is time for the cruise industry as a whole to make what is now the norm on the mainstream 4* and even 5* hotel industry that is to make the cabin mini fridge to a guest requested extra fee add on. If the cruise line wants to give some complimentary courtesy items, so be it. It's nice and quite memorable. Otherwise, I for me prefer to go to the bar and have whatever I want. The unique time I needed the MSC's minibar (on "steerage"), I run on a product out of recommended consumption date... Well: Ultimately I ended up on the nearby bar to replace the item!...
  5. Many thanks to the wonderful review!... :) Have a great cruise!... The entertainment part seems a mix of the usual "low key" entertainment schedules and the new COVID era protection arrangements... Seems that the Venchi Gelato place menu has been modified from one I've seen a few months ago when they started the new European sailings! At least I don't remember that curious Ice ream pralines page on the offer!... Those seem a bit expensive for what they are... But who knows for a special moment... Meanwhile can you post the menu for the Venchi coffee and chocolate place, please? And out of curiosity: I know you're in the YC, but if you have a chance, or anybody else could shine in, is the Brooklyn Cafe (Deck 8 according to the deck plan) part of Venchi or is it separate? If separate, does it have a separate menu or is it just the regular MSC bar menu? Can you post if it is a separate menu? Have a nice day!... Many thanks in advance!...
  6. So the human body remains the subject for MSC's strange MDR food presentations!... At least, this time they've just presented you such a heart of some sort!... Congrats and have a wonderful cruise!... :) :) :)
  7. Sadly that's very well the truth... Hope the 2022 season to be far better than this one... But the boat is shaking hard from one side to the other... The dream cannot stop!... Never again!... Have a nice day!...
  8. Actually the buffets have ever been the weakest part of MSC's dining offering, Bea... Out of my 7 cruises with them, apart the one back in 2017 on Fantasia in the UAE, I have never had a great buffet experience on MSC, and that one was certainly an exception done because of the complex time frame of that itinerary... Usually I tend to eat from the MDR, unless there shore excursion ends late. To say the least, I'd gladly to pay some EUR 100-150 bucks more out of my basic fare just to have a better included dining and especially buffet experience onboard... MSC needs to consider building a middle the road cruise line for premium lite experience. Something priced little bit above the comparable Aurea experience, with the better amenities and food... It would to be such an Italian Princess or X of some sort... So now, MSC has almost all the Musica class docked elsewhere. Why wouldn't them to make those ships to be the ones to build that new product? It would to be such a risk free experiment with some ships more than paid out from the shipyard... Oh, wait... They won't!... They're in the way forward to build Explora Journeys first!... Have a nice day!... Oh, and congrats the OP for the wonderful review!... And yeah, apart "that" dessert all that MDR food seems quite good for the price tag in question!... Keep the nice stuff coming so that we can at least to dream on our next sailing... For me it will to be only next year, if the usual Lisbon to Lisbon southern Med loops comes to fruition... We had the Splendida deployed for those... Now the Splendida was redeployed for the Funchal loops and no ship for Lisbon. Rumors are among the travel agents that we will to get the Seaview... Hope so!...
  9. By reserved professionalism, I don't mean they need to be distant from guests, just that we expect their interaction to be on the "low key" side of the pound. Due to health reasons I'm not a drinker myself, but back before the pandemic I used to go some twice a month to a lovely 4* hotel rooftop bar on my office's building neighborhood to enjoy the conversation with my colleagues and some live music after work with such a freshly squeezed juice or a smoothie of some sort in hand, and that was the land experience I was comparing with MSC or RCI bar experiences. Surely, if one goes on those smaller "corner" venues mostly for the locals to enjoy, or on such a small hotel on the countryside, the experience will to be too much more personal at some point. But on the larger venues what we expect is for our orders to be delivered with no fuss at all!... In other words: We want a nice service, with a discrete interaction!... Have a nice day!...
  10. Well: It is just a cultural barrier just arriving at this discussion, again... Not the first time, not the last surely... Let me try to explain it the best I can from my continental European perspective and from someone that has done both ways, MSC and RCI: So; while on the US or US oriented venues (like RCI ships) a bar is a place where you go primarily to "engage" the bartender and drink. Socializing with your friends or relatives is secondary. Let the music go on with your drinks ordered "the right way" from the bartender... Here in Europe is quite the opposite: A bar is a place where you go in first place to socialize with your friends and relatives (in MSC most bars are even open to minors and they have a quite nice page of non alcoholic cocktails on offer for them! That page used to be nicer back in the day, but it is still nice today!...). Your drinks are just an additional part of the experience. Most bars here where I live do have an "entry fee" that you can redeem for a certain number of drinks, usually one for a reason... That is the proper bar experience. The bartender is then supposed to be quite discrete... Most time he/she works sort of behind the scenes, making the client interaction to be with the regular servers servicing the place, whose service is expected to be quite reserved as well (reserved professionalism is something very appreciated everywhere here where I live). I've rarely interacted with a proper bartender everywhere here, apart during an exhibition or bartender competition of some sort. In Hotels or MSC cruises it is mainly with the servers. I had have longer conversations only once with a true bartender with MSC, and it was with the coffee bar specialist manager on the UAE cruise, and that was just a happy coincidence being me sort of a "coffee buff" myself wondering for something special at a certain morning!... Hope to have helped a little bit!... Have a nice day!...
  11. I believe @Huntingdon1701was talking about those chocolates pax can purchase from Venchi/Jean Philippe or whatever the vendor maybe at the ship. Do note that low rank crew usually do not have access to those stores or they just have it at pax prices at some very specific set times which is too expensive, or too inconvenient for them to splurge. Once monetary extra tips are highly discouraged from MSC management, maybe they're mostly OK with those "little nothing" that may be acceptable at the eyes of the company. After all, those "little nothing" were purchased aboard... Have a nice day!...
  12. Daily charges vary by the region and number of nights. On whether they are built in the base fare or whether they're built against your ship account, that depends on your cruise market and, or your actual terms and conditions if you're inside such a charter group of some sort. From the post pandemic onward for Portugal where I live, the daily charge has been built in the base fare. Permit me just a note about extra tips: Culturally on Italy and most of the continental European countries, tips are not expected other than as a way of rounding to facilitate the account close of a small cash account, like receive a 19.95 EUR bill, pay with a 20 bucks note. Nothing more than that. MSC highly discourages guests to give extra tips to their employees... so; if you want to do so, please do it in a very discrete manner so that you won't to put those employees contracts at risk... Have a nice day and nice sailings!...
  13. Congrats to what's a wonderful review!... Yeah, MG is definitely a game changer on Carnival's strategy!... time will tell!... At least solidly on the mainstream modern cruising experience with no excuses!... Come this pandemic to its end and prices will to be on the high for years to come... Like the RCI Oasis class exactly!... Have a nice day!...
  14. This exactly!... Let me to just underline that it is not only CCL; ti's all the cruise industry struggling for cruisers to fill their ships!... MSC has an agreement with the Italian government to have a 60% capacity limitation that will grow eventually to 70% and more while vaccination proceeds. According to all my sources, MSC cruises from Italian ports have been at a consistently 45-55% capacity... And as the high season transitions to the fall-winter season those numbers will highly to decline as ever!... Surely, with all those measures cruise lines are imposing, I believe cruising as the safest way to travel these days... But the Crown Princess event from the pandemic beginning is so fresh on the public opinion's head that it will go a long time till all this mess is over. Industry wise, the 2021 cruising season is done for all that matters. Let us to see if 2022 can at least to be a little bit better than these 2 years have already been from the pandemic onward. And it is surely extremely difficult to find worse years on the cruising industry's history as a whole!... Have a nice day!...
  15. Well: Don't exactly know about Ocean Cay, but been there done that on the UAE "private island" they run there (Sir Bani Yas). As @Homosassasaid, it is basically a closed ship that day once most of the ship's crew will to be helping to manage the island's activities. They'll have the permanent 24 hours a day section of the atrium bar open, the buffet at meal times, possibly the MDR for dinner if there is a late departure from port, the gym (with no supervisor. Security scanning your card for the gym approval at entrance), guest relations and very few more things. If weather doesn't fully cooperate they'll slowly to open more venues. Have a nice day!...
  16. Those areas use to be crew member areas where they use to store luggage on turnaround days. They also use it to store cleanliness and other housekeeping materials. The little cubicle between the Aurea suites and the Bella insides is likely the deck daily official office. Either way, other than during housekeeping service times, you won't notice any movement out of those areas. Have a nice day!...
  17. Yeah! And you've got one more Youtube subscriber right now!... Have a nice return home!...
  18. Many thanks to the wonderful review!... For someone that like me has never done a Carnival cruise that perfectly showed what it is about. From all the photos and videos I've seen it seems that Mardi Grass seems to be a game changer for Carnival on their cruise level strategy. Higher prices might to show it ASAP.... Once for health reasons I'm a non drinker myself, if I ever do a Carnival cruise I won't experience all those wonderful mixes from Maria and her nice colleagues... But I'll certainly to splurge on those JavaBlue coffee concoctions and the odd non alcoholic cocktails I may find from at least some of the main bars aboard!... By the way, it was a pleasure to see all those drinks flowing away!... The MG seems a great ship!... That atrium theater seems to be my favorite venue!... Come our world closer to the normal again... And who knows, come MG here for Europe at least one time for us to experience her!... Have a nice day and a nice return home!... Congrats!...
  19. No. They were discarded back, I believe in late 2018, or early 2019. Have a nice day and nice sailings!...
  20. Even though I'm not certain, I've heard on the Portuguese media quite a while from now that the EU wants all the cruises to be "domestic" for the times being. Some travel bans were instated on some African countries as well on the last few days. This is sadly the new normal. Regarding the 2022 usual southern med 9-12 nights loops, it has been pretty much common for MSC to deploy such a Musica/Fantasia ship class for those sailings and then replace it with a larger Meraviglia/Seaside class more or less an year from the loop's first sailing date, no surprise this will to be the same for next year... Seems we will have the Seaview?... Great, if true!... Usually the website will need such a month to fully catch up with whatever else decisions they have eventually made...
  21. Many thanks to the wonderful and very well documented review!... Congrats!... Permit me just a few observations: if there is something this review very well shows, that is the huge success the current MSC's cruising return strategy is being to date!... They might to be seen as the most demanding cruise line on what Covid regulations gives respect, but on one thing I've no doubts: If there would to be another cruise lock down, MSC won't to be the culprit of it. Surely they've the odd positive here or there... But they'll avoid such an outbreak as far as they can!... Bravo MSC!... Because of the aforementioned Covid regulations, it is to be expected to have those reduced menus. I wouldn't like to be the executive Chef aboard those ships right now! Let's see what their challenges are these days: To pleasantly feed a reduced crew and passenger mix while avoiding both a huge food waste and possible cross contamination across both the food preparation and service lines and the ones being served movements as well!... That would to be very challenging to say the least!... Given this current situation I wouldn't mind to pay for that extra fee steak aboard if nothing else fancied me that day!... And at least that steak on the photo seemed to have been of specialty restaurant "Filet Mignon" quality, just the menu wording might not have been the best!... Ocean Cay is in a great position to become one of the best, if not even the best, private island industry wise. Let them to have some more 10 years to have all that vegetation to grow up!... Maybe, one day it will be my turn to experiment that lovely place!... Have a nice day!...
  22. May I come in? For the ones that don't know well me; I'm more prevalent on the MSC boards where I belong as MSC is my favorite cruise line to date. Never done a Carnival cruise, Carnival is not very present here in Europe, apart with Costa that may be considered such an European Carnival to an extent. As all say; many thanks to the lovely review and photos!... Surely your photography are far away from what most of us can go!... As I said on the MSC thread, from your lens you captured the essence of what a great cruise should be, despite each company defined identity! It doesn't really matters on whether one likes or dislikes. It just transports us from the lovely cruise one can make of each and every cruise ship!... Don't know if it is because of the agreement between cruise lines and the European countries that build cruise ships stating that above 200k GT ships must have a short summer season in Europe at their 5 years term mandatory dry dock year, or if it is just global thinking marketing strategy, but as someone has said above in this thread, this doesn't seem like the same Carnival that has done all the older vessels!... Mardi Grass seems very well positioned on the 4 star to 4 star plus cruising experience!... While retaining some of the "party ship" environment, this ship seems very well equipped to attract such a broader international crowd or very well traveled cruisers of all ages with families on the first spot!... Even being myself a Portuguese, I would with no doubt to sail that ship!... Let us to see what they'll have for us in 5 years!... Many thanks @twangsterfor the lovely review!... See you on your next adventures elsewhere!... Have a nice day and nice sailings!...
  23. First of it all, be very welcome to the MSC boards!... And many thanks to what seems for me to be perhaps the best MSC review ever!... As someone has already said, by the lens of your camera, you captured the very essence of what an MSC cruise is about. Surely they're different to the more American experience you'll have with the likes of RCL, but that doesn't necessarily means to be a worse one. As you say, in both ways for MSC or the other lines: Their ship, their rules... Some for the better, some for the worse. Going with an open mind is the first step to have a great time. Yeah, I have some 7 cruises with MSC, just one with RCL on the Allure here in Europe!... Again: Congrats to the very informative and honest review. Let me just to add a few notes as an experienced MSC cruiser: MSC's dinner buffets were ever in the lower side and far below the RCI's one. Being dinner such a social family and friends experience for most the continental European individuals, the MDR is the preferred place. I know they are now trying to sort this out for the American market. The only time I had a better dinner buffet with them was on the Dubai cruise. Obviously all this was before the pandemic. Now things are going in different directions... Time will tell... As you stated the basic drinks package will only give you the Heineken draft beer. Have a nice day!...
  24. That's it exactly, many thanks. On these times of growing luggage weight restrictions in planes, the trend is to be less formal, even on those formal night events, but people tend to be nicely dressed anyway!... On my last 2 cruises I didn't even wear a tie for formal night and I wasn't by far the most casual of the entire crowd!...
  25. Nice review, congrats!... Sadly mainstream cruising is sort of having its own growing pains, and one of that is those abusive crowds that sometimes plague those ships. And, no, that's not just unfortunately such an UK exclusive sort of thing. Little 3-4 nights cruises no matter if a weekend escape, short staycation or just a segment branch of a generally longer cruise (sometimes MSC crams those on beginning or end of season) are very prone to that sort of environment. I had it once on the Baltic sea with a very rude and abusive Russian crowd. Sadly there are people whom don't know how to find a way forward to live their lives for the better. Sadly I have to congratulate both MSC and the local UK police to have those abusers out of the ship. I hope the very old tradition of having the ship's Captain to be strict on not permitting such an abusive crowd to have reign of his ship to be heavily reinstated for the best of us all both crew and loyal good faith costumers!... An odd abusive guest that causes a little nuisance is one thing possible to deal the right way with no notice at all. An entirely and deliberately abusive crowd is another thing. If the said Baltic sea cruise I went had been my first MSC one, probably I'd to decide not to travel again with them. Fortunately it was my 4th or 5th with them. I immediately observed it as a less well succeeded one off. Sadly those "one offs" are being more common than what they should have been... Have a nice day and nice sailings!...
×
×
  • Create New...