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About CruisinMaterial

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Boston, MA USA
  • Interests
    Cruises are a big time hobby! I love clubs, music, dancing, movies, academic journals and books.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL & Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean & Mediterranean

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  1. Very nice review! Thanks for sharing!
  2. CruisinMaterial

    MSCs Missed Opportunity: Solo Cruisers

    After I made the suggestion to the Hotel Director on the Seaside, they were going to institute a solos gathering on the Seaside starting on embark day. From the sounds of this, the decision was just on the Seaside alone. Hopefully it's still that way when you board. My goal is to have something like that fleetwide established as I liked MSC's product on Seaside overall. Traveling solo can be a real bugger and it's not currently helping a friend to sail them again that I convinced to try them in the Med. I just hope MSC will see this and institute a change. It doesn't cost them anything as the crew is there already.
  3. CruisinMaterial

    MSCs Missed Opportunity: Solo Cruisers

    MSC assigns tables unless you have the Aurea experience where you can more freely dine. There is table sharing at the breakfast and lunch service which I experienced on Seaside but at dinner you're assigned. I am a former NCL loyalist so I'm accustomed to the way NCL structured their solos programs, even on their ships without studios (sold to solo travelers). They rolled out their solos program fleetwide and its immensely helpful to meet other solos and break the ice. If you're not overly extroverted, it's a good way to meet and mingle and not have to guess if a person is truly solo or not. As for the Cruise Critic roll calls being a source of finding people... yes they're great tool to meet people but not everyone has the time to come on here to do so. Some people work so hard that the only time they have for free time is when they step foot on the ship to sailaway on holiday. Plus, this new CC format is not exactly the greatest. All this to install a like button was a bit over the top.
  4. CruisinMaterial

    MSCs Missed Opportunity: Solo Cruisers

    While solo rates are not something I was specifically after with the original post, they can help and sometimes MSC does offer them on sailings. However, it seems as a last minute idea to get the rooms filled. What I'm more concerned with is how they handle solos once on the ship. Not all solos are extroverted but don't want to spend the cruise alone. The cruise staff on the Seaside were good at getting solos involved in events on the pool deck so they could mingle with their fellow cruisers. However, it was day 3 before they actually had a meet up for solo cruisers. I just would like to see this changed... feel bad for my cruise friend on the Meraviglia right now who is dining alone. She told us she misses the solos gathering in that one sense the most.
  5. CruisinMaterial

    MSCs Missed Opportunity: Solo Cruisers

    I'm hoping MSC reads this! When I was on the MSC Seaside back in early October it struck me as odd they didn't have a meet up for solo cruisers on the first day. I did speak with the Hotel Director after mentioning it to the cruise staff and it was eventually scheduled during the cruise. Fast forward to a cruise friend of mine who decided to try out MSC but in Europe and is currently on the Meraviglia. She's not seen one solo gathering meet up listed in their daily publication yet. It almost seems like MSC doesn't want solo cruisers on their ships. If this is a market MSC wants to attract, simply listing a gathering each night at a bar on the ship and having it hosted perhaps the first night would serve them better. As a frequent solo cruiser, it is more important about meeting people and perhaps sharing dinner so it's less awkward than dining alone. I know the MSC Seaside did change their meet up to the first day at least for a few subsequent cruises. I am posting in hopes MSC will institute this fleet-wide and on ships in Europe with multiple embarkation ports to have it hosted on the first night of each embark port and have the other nights be un-hosted. Since the staff are there, it's only a minor adjustment in scheduling but one that could help the cruise line as solos having a good time together could spend more money on the ship!
  6. CruisinMaterial

    Grand Celebration in Boston

    Grand Celebration's arrival into Boston wasn't originally publicized but it did eventually get into the media outlets that she was being used as housing for gas workers being brought in from all over the country to get the heat turned back on. As of this morning, Columbia Gas (a NiSource company) has 93 percent of homes turned back on and 95 percent of businesses turned back on. Grand Celebration won't be needed up here much longer as the hotels are now freed up to put gas workers in as the displaced who needed heat were seeking shelter in them forcing the need for the ship charter. I'm surprised she's still here. She was supposed to be gone by the end of last week. Perhaps the charter was extended into December to make sure all the work was completed or fairly completed before releasing her back to sailing. All I can say is the workers who stayed on it didn't seem to be raving about their accommodations! Hopefully she gets some TLC before she arrives back to FL for regular service.
  7. CruisinMaterial

    MSC Seaside - question about the pools

    I was on Seaside in early October and they didn't have any lifejackets for the kids that I saw. They usually kept all the kids in the kid's swim area which doesn't require a lifejacket. The other pools (Miami and South Beach) were really deep and used during my voyage by adults only.
  8. CruisinMaterial

    MSC vs. Traditional American Cruise Lines

    Look for my review from the September/October time frame. It's extensive and it's from the Fantastica Balcony experience, not the YC. A lot of the reviews ranting and raving are from the Yacht Club. I could afford to do it on MSC but I choose not to. NCL which was my cruise line of choice until last year has an untouchable Haven complex with pricing out of sight. MSC is right up there with NCL and with some minor tweaks in their room service area, they will beat them. I found the service very similar to NCLs and the ships layout far superior to NCL's Breakaway class ships. I was really impressed with my first MSC cruise. Where NCL continues to mis-step, MSC is stepping up and beating them - ship design comes readily to mind. The buffet on MSC seemed far superior to NCL's buffet on their Breakaway-class ships. The POOL DECK on MSC is what it should be! No need to chase for a lounger like you have to on NCL and you can actually be by the pool. Activities are far superior on MSC and not at all an upsell push like just about everything NCL has scheduled these days. I didn't feel a constant sales pressure on MSC like NCL has become. Del Rio has destroyed NCL. If I want to be in a constant marketing binge I'll stay home and turn on a TV!
  9. CruisinMaterial

    New EVO Ship Named

    I like the Seafront name! It will be interesting to see how they re-do the layout on Deck 8 to maximize on a la carte dining. I loved the location of the buffet outside dining area. On NCL they took all the seating and turned it into specialty dining only! They're also increasing the size of the YC it appears based on the rendering by another deck in the front of the ship. Just as long as the pool deck is as big as it was on Seaside, I'll be a happy camper!
  10. CruisinMaterial

    New EVO Ship Named

    I watched the MSC Fans video. Seashore is a very fitting name with the class of ships. I wonder what the second EVO name will be? They're running out of SEA****** names!
  11. CruisinMaterial

    Jewel Mechanical Issues Update

    Good to read! Thanks for sharing!
  12. CruisinMaterial


    Sounds like the ship is heading to Freeport, Bahamas then for repairs. It's not far from Miami at all. Question is, do they have last-minute room if the ship needs to be yanked out of the water for the repair?
  13. CruisinMaterial


    I can understand keeping people in one place and then disembarking guests in a somewhat orderly fashion. Was this the ship's first port of call? They probably also don't want to pay the shore staff for security and all the other expenses for letting folks come and go. Since the cruise became free by this incident, they're minimizing the outside costs (besides what they're going to have to expense on the chartered planes). Chartering planes at this time of year is a pretty penny! Speculation: Given the length of time they have to initiate a fix, hopefully future sailings will go as planned. I was scheduled to sail on the Radiance of the Seas earlier this year when a propulsion issue came up on the prior cruise. With three days notice, they cancelled the cruise and gave us a 100% future cruise credit. That was RCCL. It's nice NCL is at least extending this to current cruisers. The Radiance was repaired at wet dock but had to have divers go down and fix the pod and the propellers. Hopefully that's what it takes here and she doesn't have to limp to a dry dock. All the best to the folks on the ship... at least you were docked when the announcement came!
  14. CruisinMaterial

    Jewel 2018 drydock updates?

    Woohoo! NCL has finally come to their senses and dumped the waterslide off the Jewel. I can't say I'm crazy about any other improvements they've done to the ship. I'll miss the Fyzz Lounge. The new Bliss Lounge doesn't look as inviting or like they did much to change it but those karaoke rooms were a hoot! Given the ship's deployment to Asia and Australia, I can't imagine why they'd remove them given the cultural love for karaoke. As for the issues with the propulsion, hopefully it gets sorted soon. My cruise earlier this year to NZ on the Radiance of the Seas was cancelled after the Captain struck bottom on the prior cruise and damaged one of them. All the best to the folks on the NZ sailing.
  15. Glad she's been deemed seaworthy and will be on her way eventually. Thanks for the update. My first ever cruise that was cancelled was on the Radiance of the Seas earlier this year to NZ. She struck bottom leaving on her previous cruise and had to go into dry dock to fix the damage to the pod / propeller. Her next cruise after mine was a TP (Trans Pacific, not toilet paper.. ha!). They had to get her fixed. However, a stabilizer is not as important as a propulsion unit.