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Bossa Nova

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About Bossa Nova

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    Reston, VA

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  1. If you use an agent that does group tours or otherwise a lot of business with MSC, then they have special MSC points of contact and leverage. Such an agent will also have inside information that will be to your advantage. I have never used a web/"big box" TA so I have no idea if any fit this description. I wish you well!
  2. I am not a CPA, but if I'm reading page 86 correctly, MSC only made 9,722KEUR (US$10,666,000) profit in 2019, and about one third of that in 2018. This was "normal" business before the pandemic. Given their ~$3.428B revenue in 2019, $10M profit is proportionally much smaller than grocery stores and other very low profit margin businesses. Someone please show me I'm misreading this; otherwise I can't imagine how MSC will survive the pandemic without huge cash infusions accompanying huge cost reductions.
  3. Here's a Cruise Critic thread about the Smithsonian Channel's Mighty Cruise Ships episode on Celebrity Solstice. In this episode, the captain has to trade off cabin air conditioning vs. ship speed because the sea temperature is too high (>89 F) for the azipods to function properly. The episode also shows a crew member inspecting the inside of an azipod during the cruise. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2107125-solstice-on-smithsonian-channel-tonight/ Unfortunately it appears that Smithsonian Channel has taken down all season 1 episodes from YouTube and their own paid service
  4. Did you try deck 7 outside, walking along the lifeboats? On sea days it can be too windy, but on port days it's usually very pleasant. You can choose the side of the ship that is in the shade, and I've never seen it crowded. After dinner on sea days I found the wind has often died down and it is quite a pleasant stroll from aft to the fore elevators.
  5. Filippo was our very expert sommelier on the Jan 17-28 Divina cruise. He attended our Le Muse table lunch and dinner upon request, but he split time with the main dining rooms.
  6. Agreed that most of the soups had a thin base although there were some standouts. Regarding pasta, I took an eight day bicycle tour of Tuscany staying at farms and resorts, and the only time I had pasta was in a cooking class where we made gnocchi. Le Muse menus are similar to what we were offered in Tuscany, except for the limited selection of fresh produce at sea.
  7. For the love of [insert deity name here] go Yacht Club experience. It's a huge bargain compared to other cruise lines.
  8. For what it's worth, I just returned from an MSC cruise in the Caribbean and was able to split the 40 piece laundry package into two parts. On a prior cruise I had three parts.
  9. Apparently we were on the same cruise, but in parallel universes. This was my fourth Divina YC cruise since 2016, and it was the best yet. Our group split across three cabins was escorted from the terminal by our at-sea butler, Jacques. He immediately made it clear that he would be our best butler ever. And boy did he deliver. The concierge staff members were also excellent as you mentioned. I had my usual flower arrangement picked up ashore by the concierge, and all my other arrangements made. Dining in Le Muse was better than ever. The menu changes every day, which I find amazing. Here is an
  10. I've previously made calls on MSC Divina via "TIM at Sea" that were reasonably priced, but on my January 2020 cruise I noticed they had changed service providers. I don't know the new rate, but while in port in the Caribbean, I was able to make and receive calls for 25 cents a minute (T-Mobile roaming). Cruise Critic has a separate forum for the in-port situation since it is not specific to a cruise line.
  11. No problems with 60-70 pound suitcases on my four MSC Divina cruises out of Miami. In case you are wondering, it's all clothes.
  12. Bossa Nova

    Shops

    Sorry I cannot report from Meraviglia, but on Divina, the duty-free shop that offers all the liquor and tobacco products also has electronics including Apple products.
  13. Please understand that I grew up with irrationally frugal parents where we combined soap scraps to create new bars and spent cross-country vacations in campgrounds, with KOA as the exception because it was "too fancy". Suze Orman could best explain what happened when I became independent of my parents. So from that perspective, the two things that are most intoxicatingly delightful for me about MSC Yacht Club are: (1) anything that is slightly "askew" or would require waiting in line is taken care of, such as the time that my luggage was confiscated because my awesomely over-engineered nail cl
  14. USA Today's longtime cruise section editor was just hired by The Points Guy, so we can expect TPG to start presenting cruise awards as well. I assume he was involved in the awards MSC won before he left USA Today. "One of the nation’s best-known cruise experts, Gene Sloan, is joining TPG full-time as a senior reporter for cruise and travel. Sloan comes to The Points Guy after more than two decades at USA Today where he is best known for leading a multi-year expansion into cruise coverage, building it into a major franchise. Sloan founded, and for many years ran, USA Today’s award-win
  15. Not disputing that this happens at hotels, but I took the "behind the scenes" tour on Divina and was very impressed with the laundry operation. For example, every sheet gets fully stretched out to go through a dryer with cameras inside looking for stains and holes. Any suspect sheets are automatically shunted to a reject pile. (Further off topic, but the machine that perfectly cleans and dries dishes in 60 seconds flat is also amazing to see.)
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