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Everything posted by tofubeast

  1. I was next to a whirlpool stateroom on the Seashore. Surprisingly, I think the people in there may have only used it twice. (I'd have been in it tons of times!) I didn't hear anything, except one day I was on my balcony and I could hear the tub filling with water. So it was a no issue. That said, you never know who will book the room and if the balcony becomes party central. But if it were to be THAT loud, you could always alert your attendant.
  2. I do not believe you can use the drink package in any specialty restaurant, but I may be wrong with that. I’m sure someone else will chime in about the beverage packages. The main dining room will not be open for lunch. I don’t believe any of the specialty restaurants are open either. I believe the buffet is your dining option that very first day for lunch.
  3. I didn’t have that experience for our NyE cruise on the Seashore. Many of the staff were friendly and welcoming. We got lots of hellos etc.
  4. Just to note that people didn’t cut me off in the buffet line. I felt people were pretty respectful for a sold out holiday cruise. I really don’t experience any line cutters that whole week.
  5. Here’s a few pics. Sunset from our cabin, the infinity pool, and Seashore in Cozumel. What a gorgeous ship!
  6. We sailed 7 nights on the Seashore from 12/29 to 1/5 in a Fantastica balcony cabin (14241) on deck 14. Our cabin was right next to the ones that bend inward toward the back, so we had an awesome side view of the entire back of the ship and wake. Boarding was pretty easy (at least in comparison to Miami). We parked at the terminal. We checked in our suitcases and made our way upstairs. Security moved smoothly and we were probably on the ship within a half hour. Unlike our Divina sailing in '22, they did not give us our cruise cards when we checked in. Instead, we found them on our cabin door. (I am not sure I like it that way for obvious security reasons.) Our cabin attendant was FABULOUS all week. He worked quickly and efficiently and he was super friendly. Our stateroom was always in great shape after he tidied it up. The food was good. Not horrible, not AMAZING. Some dishes were more stellar than others. I don't recommend the lobster tails on Elegant Night. They were overcooked, so order something else. Yes, I have had better food on other lines, but even on my more recent RCCL cruise a few years ago, I noted that the food had gone down from what I had remembered. We were bummed to get the earliest 5 PM seating, and unfortunately, our waitlist did not go through to switch to the 7 pm seating. On the nights we couldn't make it to the dining room, we just enjoyed the buffet. We did enjoy Hola Tacos and the Kaito Teppanaki specialty restaurants. I wasn't as in love with the Sushi bar. We had great food servers for all these meals. Everyone was friendly and attentive. Overall, the MSC crew was very friendly and seemed to remember us. Many greeted us as we walked by. We especially adored the staff in Venchi. Get the hot chocolate with whipped cream. TRUST ME! Yum. The photographers on the ship were excellent. We were able to get some very special photos from this trip that we will cherish. We did not pay for Wifi, but for some odd reason, I-Message on our Iphones worked the entire cruise (both on the ship and texting friends back home.) The app needs a little work as it crashed a lot. Our ports were Cozumel, Belize, Costa Maya, and Ocean Cay. We booked excursions outside the ship and were glad we did. Cheaper and much smaller touring groups. I can't rave enough about Native Choice to see Chacchoben Ruins in Costa Maya and Butts Up for cave tubing in Belize. They were both INCREDIBLE. It also helped that we were gifted with gorgeous weather throughout our cruise...not too hot or humid and no rain. Perfection! Ocean Cay was even more beautiful than our last visit. Trees and greenery are filling in more. I am excited to see all the new additions and changes coming this year (especially since they are more of the simple/elegant variety that keep in line with the serenity of this particular private island). NYE activities were plentiful on the ship. Lots of people were decked out in cool outfits and it was fun just to people watch. There was a big party out by the pool deck (a little too cold out for me that evening) and entertainment in the main area with a countdown. It was funny to see everyone raid the buffet minutes after the countdown. People dressed to the nines running around to get pizza etc. But it was fun, and they also had special cakes and desserts to mark the occasion. The entertainment was just okay. I wasn't impressed with the dueling piano singers, but the acoustics in that space are pretty bad. Perhaps they would sound better in a room made for music. The illusionist show was cheesy in an 80s/90s kinda way. It was the only nighttime show we went to in the theater. Leaving the ship was pretty easy. We waited in the buffet area until we were called and we were off the ship pretty quickly. I have no complaints. Overall, we had a relaxing and fun week. No major things to complain about. People around us seemed pretty happy, too. I call that a win in my book.
  7. We used Butts Up last week when in Belize that we had booked in advance online. They met us just outside the port. There was a little hangup with the van/bus, but they put us with another family and we ended up having a very small tour group. That was awesome for us. Daton, our guide, gave us a lot of information about Belize and was an excellent guide when it came to being at the site. Heads up, it takes about an hour to get to the site. We passed larger groups when hiking to the cave, and it was nice to feel small AND not have to lug the tubes. We also lucked out with cooler weather. I think doing this tour during the height of the heat and humidity in Belize would be pretty intense. Be sure to wear crocs or water shoes that have a very solid flooring. Bring you bug screen with you. The cave was insanely amazing and is a must-see experience. We were just in awe the entire time. For my Disney Parks loving friends, it was like being on Big Thunder, meets Pirates, meets Jugle Cruise, meets Kali River Rapids. We saw parrots, too. BOOK THIS!!!
  8. Native Choice was an amazing tour experience to see Chacchoben in Costa Maya. They provided a comfortable small van, and we beat most of the big tour buses to the site. We got to spend over two hours touring, and our guide (Ivan) was outstanding. He really knew his Mayan history, and he brought the ruins and temples to life. His assistant and driver was wonderful as well. They provided chilled water during the tour, too. I highly recommend booking through them rather than booking your cruise line’s excursion to the site. You’ll spend a significant more time on the site and won’t be rushed. Our group was small enough, we could ask Ivan many questions and could take pictures of the ruins with few people around. He paced the tour perfectly.They ensured we returned to the port with plenty of time before our ship left. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  9. I have not had a chance to really use the MSC app at sea. We will be on the Seashore tomorrow. I have the app ready to go. So will the app automatically add those in my party so I can text them through the app? We are traveling with extended family (staying in a different cabin). Will we be able to text them, too? If so, how do we add them to text them? Just curious how this all works. Thanks!
  10. I was on a sold out 3-night cruise on the Divina in Oct 2022. As others have noted, the only time it ever felt really busy with the first day.Other than that, we were able to find many places that were empty or less crowded. Never had much of a wait for drinks, etc. We had no one sitting with us at our dining table. Also, on Ocean Cay, there were SO many places that you could explore and feel like you had the entire beach to yourselves. MSC felt no different than other cruises I have been on. In fact, the busiest I was ever on was the Disney Dream (and we still loved that one, too!)
  11. We brought our snorkeling gear and used it in the "lagoon" area that looks out toward the YC's section. Unfortunately, we didn't really see all that many fish. I think when we go this year, I might leave the fins at home.
  12. We are currently booked in a Fantastica mid-ship balcony cabin next door to a suite that has a hot tub. I know you never know who’s going to be next to you…. BUT, do you think it might be extra loud on the balcony next-door due to the hot tub or not? I first chose the room on Seashore because I liked that the railing curves right after ours, and we get to see the backend of the ship. However, now I’m wondering if it might be extra loud next to us due to the hot tub suite and perhaps we should change staterooms. What would you do?
  13. True. I’d say the salads are better then what they might have been like (at least on this cruise). As I was a kid, I probably fought not to have salad at dinner. 😂
  14. I remember as a kid touring some cruise ships. I remember seeing a Carnival ship around the mid 80s. If I recall, one could arrange with a travel agent to tour a ship, so long as you exited when they made the call for non-passengers. Not sure when that stopped, but it was fun for a few hours. Although I’d be jealous I didn’t get to stay on.
  15. I thought fellow foodies might enjoy seeing menus from a cruise I took with my family nearly 40 years ago on Chandris Victoria (now Celebrity Cruises). In the summer of ‘84, we took a week-long cruise out of Puerto Rico. It was my first cruise. Even as a kid, I remember the food was delicious, and we had a fabulous waiter from the Philippines, JoJo. Of course, my palette wasn’t as sophisticated as an adult, so I wish could have experienced these meals like my parents did back then. In those days, you could get copies of the dining room menus as a souvenir. It’s amazing to see what was offered versus what you see on a typical cruise today. I remember it being so much more formal. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the past.
  16. Glad you enjoyed seeing them. I was a little kid when I sailed this cruise, so I didn’t have as sophisticated of a palette as I do as an adult. Looking back and what was offered in those days in a regular dining room? Wow.
  17. Haven’t stayed in YC but we’ve had a great experience on MSC. Friendly staff, good food, nice staterooms, and the pizza is DELICIOUS! I think you’ll have an amazing time.
  18. We booked early seating, but now I’m reading that there are (or were) different times you can be assigned. I don’t want super late dining but I don’t want anything before 6 either. Can anyone explain the current dining room times and if we can make changes when we board? (We’re Fantastica) TIA
  19. Sharing menus from a cruise I took with my family nearly 40 years ago on Chandris Victoria (now Celebrity Cruises). In the summer of ‘84, we took a week-long cruise out of Puerto Rico. It was my first cruise. Even as a kid, I remember the food was delicious and we had a fabulous waiter from the Philippines, JoJo. Back then, you could get copies of the dining room menus as a souvenir. It’s amazing to see what was offered versus what you see on a typical cruise today. I remember it being so much more formal. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the past.
  20. Thanks for all the replies to my post. We had a lovely and relaxing day on Ocean Cay. Despite our sailing being sold out, there was still plenty of space on the island if you wanted to be away from crowds. Gorgeous weather this time of year as the humidity is going down. Sharing a couple pics from this past Sunday.
  21. The Oct 21st cruise was completely sold out. It was quite busy, but you could still find quiet spots onboard and plenty of quiet beach space on Ocean Cay. The ship was pretty well maintained. Nice customer service. Attentive waiters and canine steward. Food pretty good, too. We had a relaxing time.
  22. It was mentioned above to go early for seating with umbrellas. I thought you had to rent an umbrella? If that’s the case, can we do the rental onboard the ship? (We aren’t YC)
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