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  1. Hello! My wife and I are going on this cruise, any other G&L joining us?
  2. My special retirement cruise was supposed to be 24 days traveling to Japan/China/HK/Vietnam/Singapore. Because of COVID, that has now become a tame 8 day Caribbean Cruise on MSC next year. But at least it will start on my last official day of work, so that makes it a little special.
  3. Well said. This is actually one of the weirder threads I have been on; not wanting to give the corps more money is one thing, but to devote so much time...interesting, I keep coming back. I never thought about it until you mentioned it, but yes it is rude to talk to people/strangers about finances, I certainly would feel uncomfortable if they asked me. Why would it be Ok to ask them? Because they are serving you? You wouldn't ask a stranger at a party so it may be that you feel they don't qualify for that privacy/respect. Not saying you actively feel that way but that does not negate the fact that seems to be what you are doing under the guise of being "helpful" to someone you feel needs your help or commiseration, ie, lesser. Yes, it sucks they make so little but face it, that's because we want to pay so little and cruise lines want to be competitive, otherwise everyone would only go on the cruises that already include DSC in the total, which more seem to be moving to because of this issue/controversy/bad publicity. Spirit is a crappy airline but they are increasing their base because people will fly it for the price in spite of that. I doubt their staff get paid as well, but people want jobs and they will always have staffing. Crews join the ships because it is the best thing for them at that time, I doubt the ships will lack for staffing.
  4. Sounds right to me. Spending too much time obsessing about the cut won't change anything, and if they all get something for giving me service to provide me with a great cruise experience, that's great, and the extra is for personal service. If anyone is leery about it and decides to cancel the DSC, how does that help the staff that cleans the toilets you use by the pool? Are you going to track them down and give them a personal tip to ensure they get one to supplement their pay? Or the staff in the laundry that provide you with fresh towels? Giving them zero is worse than IF the corporation takes a cut.
  5. Absolutely, my wife had a stroke and I ask them to cut up her food in advance so it is not an issue when it comes out at the table, I advise them at the start of the trip and tip them accordingly.
  6. Cabanas are structures, doubt they will ever set them up right at the ocean's edge so that other loungers - which are movable - wouldn't be there. Unusual weather, high tides, etc. you can move loungers and umbrellas, not cabanas. It would not be cost effective for them to do that with semi-permanent structures on a routine basis. I imagine the cabana is to give you a feeling of luxe beach time, you don't have to carry around the umbrella or be too close to other passengers and maybe have a little exclusivity. I rather carry around the umbrella (my plan) since there are 8 beaches to go to throughout the day, for eating, drinking and snorkeling, and the cabana is a single beach buy. If I spend an hour or two at the lighthouse then my cabana is just sitting there paid for but empty. I may get one one on later trips if I decide to just sit there and relax because I have already seen the island. My two cents.
  7. So glad to hear it! We get Easy Package with Aurea Suite, should be good enough, we don't drink that much. Happy to hear about the music and dancing, that's more important, good times with the family. Thanks for the input.
  8. There will be five of us, I got 2 umbrellas, should I get a third to ensure shade? How big are they?
  9. Correct. This from MSC website: "Onboard bar purchases will incur a 15% bar service charge, automatically added to your final bill." Now, if you buy a drinks package onboard, they add the service charge, if you pre-book, the "discount" is not getting charged 15% service charge. So you get a discounted price, just as with the pre-booking of internet, excursions, internet, etc. Not sure if this then means the bar staff don't get a tip, that's what it sounds like, otherwise they would just say discounted 15%, right? Sigh...
  10. Huh, thanks, did not realize bar staff not included. Usually $1/drink is standard, so I'll go with that, thanks for the info.
  11. From https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Manage-Your-Booking/General-Information.aspx "During your cruise, you will meet staff throughout the ship who provide you with excellent service... For your convenience, MSC Cruises will automatically add a daily Hotel Service Charge to your shipboard account, based on your chosen itinerary and the number of days for which the services are actually provided...The Hotel Service charge serves to ensure we maintain the highest quality standards of service to our guests. The daily amounts below have been calculated with this in mind and cannot be modified. However, should you wish to remove any of the daily Hotel Service Charge in the unlikely event that you do not receive satisfactory service, you may do so by contacting the Guest Relations Manager onboard. Tips: MSC Cruises does not recommend tipping individual members of staff." To me this means they are giving staff the tips, as they talk about staff providing excellent service, and DSC is for number of days services provided. You can remove them if you feel you didn't receive good services- but you can't modify them like on other lines. There is a longer statement at the link which confirms to me that it is a pool thing since they talk about staff that support other staff, for instance the steward changes your linens and towels that someone else washed, or the bartender pours drinks supplied by a person that stocks the bar, etc. So it all depends on whether you feel you want to only tip those you see that you feel directly provided you good service (the traditional meaning of giving tips for service, I agree) or if you feel the entire machine should be "tipped." For me I rather just leave it at the DSC because it's a pain to individually tip, I just want to enjoy my time and only carry my wristband. Additionally, many people do not tip at all so I feel this is my way to help the machine get some tips.
  12. Hello anyone. Jut thought I'd reach out again, see if there are any friends or couples who might want to meet onboard. We'll be at the M&G.
  13. Nope, did not know, from the posts it seemed like it was something extra done that you couldn't get onboard, thanks for the info.
  14. Thanks for the info, did not know they had a C&W night. That would be nice, hope they have it on our March Seaside sailing.
  15. Thanks, happy to hear about the OC Island Tea, will make a nice change after 6 days of the same drinks onboard, where I plan on two shots plus a Coco Colada. Is there an issue with getting the two shots and then the Colada? Is there a wait time between drinks?
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