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Everything posted by BermudaBound2014

  1. I've read some odd resolutions from MSC over the years but this takes the cake.
  2. I would agree that as a whole, most customers appear satisfied with MSC. However; when compared to her peers, MSC continues to rank among the very bottom when it comes to customer satisfaction. This isn't to say MSC is in shambles, but customers report better experiences overall on other other 3 mainstream lines (NCL, RCL, and CCL). Here is a very brief review of literature to make my point. Remember, I am a fan of MSC and will very likely sail them again. But I make that decision informed that they do score lower than their competition on customer satisfaction. I trust very little stats I find online, but I do look for trends. I acknowledge that all stats can be manipulated, but over the course of the last 10 years, there have been enough of these trends in data for me to conclude that MSC is falling short when compared to the big 3. 1) MSC has scored a F (failure) from the BBB since the first time I started tracking a decade ago (Long before the pandemic). Interestingly, NCL is falling fast (D-). In comparison, Carnival has earned an "A" and Royal Caribbean has earned an A+. The BBB has it's faults for sure, but to continue to earn failing marks signifies an inability (or lack of motivation) to address customer complaints. https://www.bbb.org/us/fl/fort-lauderdale/profile/cruises/msc-cruises-inc-0633-14001025 2) This survey from Conde Nast Traveler ranked MSC second to last. The methodology of the study seems legit and includes various points of input. It can be found at the link below. https://travel.usnews.com/CRUISES/best-cruise-lines-for-families/ 3) This one is interesting. Again, methodology at the link if interested. I did think MSC should score higher in value. But here is a summary" As a Family cruise line, MSC ranks 5 out of 6 (only costa scored lower) As a Caribbean Cruise line, MSC ranks dead last 11 out of 11 As a Mediterranean Cruise line, MSC ranks 9 out of 14 As an Affordable cruise line, MSC ranks 7 out of 8 (only costa scored lower) https://travel.usnews.com/CRUISES/best-cruise-lines-for-the-money/ I want to be clear. NONE of this implies that MSC is in shambles or that the Majority of MSC cruisers report a bad experience. Most guest appear to enjoy cruising with MSC. But it does suggest that when compared to her competition, MSC continues to rank lower, a trend that has existed over time. I will note that I have seen significant improvement in MSC scores over the last decade. The first reports from the Orchestra in Miami were beyond dismal. I have witnessed MSC make a well calculated move to capture the USA market share by building gorgeous new ships while continuing to offer exceptional pricing. I should note that MSC's large ships have some of the absolute worst space ratios in the industry which further supports my belief that MSC is a budget driven cruise line and is a good fit for those looking for a value. Anyway, I'm just trying to point out a more complete picture. For guests looking to improve their odds of reporting a positive cruise experience, it appears there are much better choices than MSC. Me, I'll be sailing MSC in the future, willing to accept her short comings in exchange for prices that I believe provide an excellent value.
  3. And even with these very strict protocols in place Covid has found it's way onboard the Crystal Symphony (which has only 180 passengers onboard). All passengers were put in quarantine for further testing. Five passengers tested positive onboard. An additional 13 were identified as close contacts. All have been off loaded and put in quarantine in Bermuda. I believe all are asymptomatic. By most standards I'm pretty laxed when it comes to Covid caution, but given this new information there absolutely no way I'd get on a cruise to Bermuda at this time knowing what might happen. This thread is a must read for anyone considering Bermuda.....
  4. WOW!! I just read the entire thread. Anyone planning Bermuda should absolutely read the thread linked by @milolii. The entire ship was sent to quarantine to await additional testing. Approximately 10% of passengers were off loaded in Bermuda to quarantine. Five because they tested positive, and the remaining because they were in close contact. Of course, 10% of a ship holding less than 200 people is a small number overall. It appears all are asymptomatic. Crystal passengers had the same very strict testing protocols as Breakaway yet the virus found it's way onboard. More proof that there is no such thing as a Covid free cruise ship (or grocery store, or movie theatre). I am not living in fear of the virus. I've gone on with normal life w/ increased hand washing. Based on how cautious some on this site are, I believe many would categorize me as reckless. But even I would not board a ship to Bermuda at this time given Bermuda's rules for what happens if Covid is detected (not to mention the pre-travel protocols). Hard Nope from this girl.
  5. Last Call~ these are rates without free at sea, but a C-note gets you all four perks. Looks like there are plenty of prime locations still available for balcony cabins. If we weren't committed to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons for the month of October we'd snag this.
  6. She's looking pretty all dressed up in her fancy lights... Sailing out of NYC in the dark will be spectacular!! I always set my alarm at an Ungodly early time just to be awake for sail into NYC to see her all lite up. Still in port @ 7:45
  7. She is still at the dock but it looks like the engines have fired up. Here is a link to the webcam to watch sail away if interested. I sure do wish everyone on this sailing the BEST vacation possible. It's been a nail-biter getting to this point... https://www.portnywebcam.com/
  8. For clarity, Ncl accepts the single vax card from J&J.
  9. I would sail that RCL itinerary without hesitation. Sitka is one of my more favorite ports in Alaska as it hasn't yet built up the diamond international stretch like the typical 3 (Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway). Plus, I prefer Skagway to IPS. I've had some of my best calving at Dawes but that is just luck of the draw. Don't get me wrong. GNP is exceptional, but RCL offers a good trade off. If you think the Observation lounge is nice for viewing, Two70 lounge is perhaps the best venue at sea for that sort of thing. The Ovation was built for cool weather sailing with many features inside like bumper cars, trapeze, etc if that is your thing. Northstar would be amazing in port on a clear day and RipCord is in my top 3 favorite things to do on a cruise ship. I like the Aways' for the waterfront feature but I'm not sure how much that would be used on an Alaska sailing. Of course, Ovation is missing district Brew House and O'Sheehans for DH lol. Personal preference of course, but I think both the RCL itinerary and ship is superior for an Alaskan Cruise, but in reality you really can't go wrong with either and I'm grateful for the choice.
  10. Ovation Balcony is even cheaper if interested in trying RCL.
  11. I've been monitoring pricing for October Encore. We ended up committing to a 3 week hiking trip thru Grand Teton/Yellowstone (crossing fingers for some snow to clear the air), but maybe someone else can benefit from the lowered prices. These are just published fares. You can expect another 10% off plus some additional SBC if you use a brokerage agency. I do expect prices to drop another 10-15% as time draws nearer.
  12. Wow, instead of "Girl on a Train" you had "Girl on an Awning". I'm a firm believer that we often find ourselves exactly where we are supposed to be. Saving a life is no small feat, it means you are in harmony with the karma gods. Thank you for the entire review. You have a great outlook on travel and hit a home run in the gratitude department. Best.
  13. That's the best bait and switch I've ever read about! Where do I sign up 🙂
  14. No need to pay $3. Just google "CDC vaccination card blank" and click images. There are thousands. Actually, some universities in Michigan have given up checking and if they are it's cursory. They need the tuition money.
  15. The way I remember it is that the ship was green very briefly, like only one day (perhaps that was the day you boarded?). It went green (before any sailings), yellow, green (briefly), orange (briefly), and has remained yellow. I still believe it's been covid since the first sailing, it's just taken a bit of time for the covid to spread. None of this would prevent me from boarding the Encore today 🙂
  16. Perhaps you can find this family on Social Media and ask them directly? It's a long shot, but until we get first hand reports of what NCL covers (or doesn't') we are all just guessing. The language I don't like is "assist"....... wth does assist mean? Anyway, this family was denied boarding the Encore and did have to quarantine in Seattle. They have first hand experience if you can get in touch with them somehow.
  17. I don't believe that is accurate. I believe the Encore identified Covid on its very first sailing August 7th. That is when the ship moved from Green to Yellow on the CDC chart. It could have come onboard with the non-revenue generating special sailing that occurred the week prior, or the crew could have brought it as they traveled from Aruba to Alaska, but the ship went yellow on it's very first cruise. I get that there are other possibilities for a ship to go to yellow on the CDC chart, but given the circumstances I'd bet my farm it was actually covid and not a CLI or missed report. However; I do agree it was the 8/21 sailing that had the first eyewitness report of a guest being off loaded with the hazmat suits (or whatever the suits are called).
  18. Yesterday the Breakaway was listed as heading to Gibralter tomorrow, but today it's listed as "Destination not available". Maybe this is a normal glitch? You do such a good job with tracking ship location, have you ever seen this before?
  19. Yesterday the Breakaway was listed as arriving in Gibraltar tomorrow (Sept 8th). Today it's destination "not available", although thankfully she is still sailing west.
  20. C'mon... Jamie didn't suggest anything of the sort. We can tell by your signature that you are a NCL loyalist (which is, or course, absolutely fine), but to be blind to their shortcomings in this situation is a bit naïve. The entry into Bermuda is onerous, more so than any other port I am aware of. A heads up from NCL is appropriate, if even to apologize that they missed communication at the 21 day mark as promised but they are working on updating the protocols. AFter all, they are the ones who stated 21 days. Personally, the longer NCL waits to inform guests the more I'm inclined to think this ship isn't headed to Bermuda at all. Something strange is going on. Yesterday the ship was listed as arrival in Gibraltar tomorrow. Today the destination is "not available" (although it is still sailing west which is a good sign). I get that things remain extremely fluid and all the cruise lines are struggling with constant changes, but NCL stated they would inform guests of protocols 21 days out. That has come and gone without an update or apology. NCL can do better.
  21. Next stop Gibraltar on September 8th 🙂
  22. If by graph you mean the flow chart in post #57, that flow chart was published by the CDC, and I agree, it is odd the way the bottom row places the colors. At first glance it appears they are sequential from least to most restrictive; but if you follow the (poorly written) flow chart through, you will see that the colors listed on the bottom are not placed in order of severity. If you are referencing an actual graph and not the flow chart in #57 please share the post number. Here is a more detailed description directly from the CDC. The flow chart was attempting to make sense of this....... https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/management/technical-instructions-for-cruise-ships.html#greenship
  23. Yellow is positively worse than orange. Like I said, seems counter intuitive to me, but what do I know? Here's the description from the CDC https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/cruise/cruise-ship-color-status.html
  24. Perhaps you are thinking of “lift and shift” policies? Very popular on rcl and celebrity forums. Lift and shift would allow this change but Ncl does not offer that policy. Best to you in whatever happens!!
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