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Olivers Mom

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  1. I did have someone tell me that cruises with French or Italian chefs had better food. We did not have either. Good food would have helped but way too many other operational things going on that made the cruise a bad one. Long lines of people at the service desk day after day with a myriad of complaints were the first indications that all was not well. Rooms not cleaned till after 1:00 in afternoon even though clean room tags out by 9 tells me they were short staffed and the ones they had could not even replace toilet paper or vacumn the floor when they cleaned. I could name more basic things but you get the drift. Maybe Thats okay for some cruisers but not this one. This was my 33 cruise and over 9 lines and never seen anything like it. Even Costa did. Better job than MSC.
  2. Olivers Mom


    Also I never said anything about a 3.5 day crossing. I said the longest we were suppose to have days in a row at sea was 3 days . We had scheduled stops in the Azores for 2 days, Bermuda for 3 days and New York 2 days and after New York 2 days to Miami. Never were we to have more than 3 days between dockings. Then we diverted to the Canaries instead of the Azores and they endedf up with 5.5 days to Bermuda instead of the original 3.
  3. Olivers Mom


    Homeland Security had nothing to do with it. In Miami the MSC couldn't even get their door aligned with the dock for over an hour. In New York the issues were failure to tell all on ship that you could not get back on til ship was cleared. People were stuck on shore with no coats, in wheelchairs etc . Immigration was the same as it always is at any US port. You get in line and take your turn. The problems were all with MSC lack of control of the process for passengers to follow in exiting and lack of information distributed to the passengers. I didn't talk to one single person on the ship that thought the food was good and I talked to a lot of them. Believe what you want but that was my experience and that of a lot of others. I never once had a meal that in the dining room where everyone at the table was able to eat what they ordered. Shrimp that was clearly spoiled- even the waiter agreed with that. Steak that looked like shoe leather and was impossible to eat. Everyone at the table sent that back. Also having to return food because it was cold, inedible etc. Cold salad served on hot plates, Hot meat served on cold plates. Every single day the buffett had the same items for 22 days. It was atrocious. Met a lady with many sai9lings on MSC and she agreed it was horrible.
  4. Olivers Mom


    I was invited to meet with the Cruise Director- he told me and every one there that this was their first real entry into the US market. He wanted our opinions and advice. Also I was sold this cruise by an MSC Representative on the basis that this was their first real entry into the US Market. I know the ship did go to the Caribbean but apparently that was not their "official entry into the US Market". They even changed out all the beverages when we left NY to different brands- Why " because they were officially entering the US Market starting in Miami". Only going by what they met with us and told us. i don't know and don't care anymore about what they did or will do. As an experience travelers who travels 3-4 months or more out of the year I expect honesty from those to whom I pay my money. The gelato is ok and expensive if you have to purchase it as many people had to do. We were Black card so got it free but most folks are not Black card holders. My point of that statement was not to say I had to have cream it was to say all other ships do have ice cream in the buffet routinely so that everyone can have some even those who chose the buffett rather than the dining room. I also don't watch TV during the day but would like to be able to catch up on the news before I go to sleep each night. There was a hurricane potentially affecting family and I would have like to have been able to check the status. I don't really know of anyone who watches TV other than to check up on news, stock market and other similar items. MSC had no news available from anywhere where for most of the journey. We also had days that it was rainy and cold outside and very little to do- it would have been nice to have had an option to see something. However the point was they "lied" about why it was not working. They kept saying we will have it tomorrow and tomorrow and when we finally discussed with the IT guy he confirmed they just didn't buy the coverage for the trip. They knew from the beginning they would not have it available.
  5. Olivers Mom


    I have sailed much more with Celebrity and Holland America than NCL. In fact we were on Celebrity as back to back just prior to this cruise. I have had good and bad experiences on all the lines we have sailed but none like this. After 33 cruises I can honestly say this was just a disaster. Basic common things like toilet paper, room cleaning and sanitation were all lax along with the slop food they served. All you had to do was look at the food going back uneaten every night in the dining room. Our waiters were even saying how sorry they were about the food but they could only serve what was given to them. Had one server say don't blame me I am getting off this ship tomorrow and never coming back. I thought MSC was expensive. We have sailed in all kinds of cabins on the different lines we have sailed other than things like Yacht Club or Haven on NCL . On this one4 we had an Aurea Balcony and we were given a Black Card ( Their highest class of Voyager Club) but basically we had nothing we don't get on Celebrity even at a lower class of their Captains Club. We had a concierge at our call 24 hours a day on Celebrity as well. The rooms was about the same size on all the lines for balconies for all lines. Most of the staff told us they had come from other lines as MSC was paying more money but ones we talked to said liked working on Royal Carribean and Disney much better than MSC. Bermuda- no I didn't check what time the ferry ran and I suppose I should have but one doesn't really expect a ship to arrive in a port just as the stores all close for 2 of the 3 days we are there and leave about the time they open the last day. Particularly on a Transatlantic where you have sailed 5.5 days unexpectedly. ( we bought it because it had no more than 3 sea days in a row but they changed itinerary out of Lisbon to go to Canaries instead of Azores) Then sold 2 day ferry tickets that were not usable. We asked what time ferries ran etc. They said when we dock check with Tourist Info Center. Unfortunately that was also closed as well. The problem with immigration in both NY and Miami were caused by the ship. They failed to inform people in advance that when they got off in NY they could not get back on until everyone was off the ship. There were people in 45 degree weather in shorts and t-shirts and in wheelchairs stuck on the docks. In Miami their staff could not get the doors aligned with the dock holding everything up. Other than the shi9p caused problems both immigration and disembarkations were easy. We met others on board for whom this was a second chance for MSC- they agree it was going to be the last chance. I doubt we would go again even if it was a free cruise. It was that bad. Mostly I wouldn't go as their were no notifications, no explanations and the lack of just basic service. And just plain lies they were telling to everyone. Never seen anything like it in over 50 plus years of traveling. BTW- the put up a sign the last few days on the bar saying that they were adding an additional 7% to everyone's alcohol bill once they sailed from Miami. Not sure what that was all about as we got off in Miami.
  6. They spent the entire voyage transatlantic trying to get it cleaned up for the NY inspection. Have no idea how they fared on that but they were certainly not doing the same things ( gloves, harinets, etc ) before we left Europe where standards are way lower. They never were proactive with hand sanitizer for the entire 22 days. Food handling was bad. Our last night we watched a gal on the buffet pick a turkey carcass clean with her hands after they had sliced most of the meat off. She put the pieces into a container which they took back to the kitchen for reuse we assume since they didn't take the turkey bones. We saw lots of recycled food from one day to the next. The shrimp they served the last night was mealy mushy and clearly old and the prime rib looked like the bottom of a shoe- very old and very bad meat. Our table sent it all back on many nights. One of our party was in the food business and he noted the fact that the food was not being monitored for temp. Cold foot was warm and hot food was cold. He noted that crew had personal food near the area where cruisers food was being served and many other health violations. We noticed that the day before we arrived in NY they had food thermometers out. This is only the 2nd time Divinia has been to the US.
  7. Olivers Mom


    Having complete my first cruise with MSC after 33 other cruises, I must say I wont be going MSC again. What a disorganized and poorly run ship but I believe that comes from the parent company procedures. From housekeeping to food to staffing it was such a mess. The food was repetitious, and frankly disgusting with meat like shoe leather and mushy seafood that was inedible, pizza with the soggy crust day after day and nothing served at the appropriate temperature ( cold was hot and hot was cold). Bar tenders couldn't mix simple drinks correctly. The buffet doesn't include ice cream or cookies which are a basic staple dessert on any line we have ever sailed. I thought maybe I was expecting too much but after talking to many people on board from Australia , New Zealand, South Africa, Germany as well as the US all of them who are avid cruisers and what I was thinking about the cruise was what they were thinking. They sold us their cruise saying they were wanting to break into the US Market. They even made us " Black" members of their Voyager Club which is their highest category of membership because they wanted to match our status with other lines that we sailed. What a joke that was as thye really didn't even live up to what they offer their "Black: card holders. I say buyer beware if you chose MSC. They have a very long way to go to match even the basic service on all of the lines like Disney,Celebrity etc. We actually call it Miserable Cruise Line after spending 22 days on board.
  8. This was the worse cruise I have had in 32 cruises on almost all the lines. Traveling Duo is dead on in all the comments she has made. She may not have posted in the past but many people read and don't post. I don't usually post on the boards but am an active roll call participant so I may show up as have not posted in many years- who knows. I do know cruising and I do know a disorganized mess when I see one. The fact of the matter is MSC is totally not prepared to enter into the American Market and Americans who travel on them will soon see why. The service desk staff was so unprofessional and unable to handle even the simplest request. The bar tenders could not even make simple drink. The cabin attendants did not even do the basic tasks like placing toilet paper in the room. Their crew is unprepared, their procedures are unorganized and their food was frankly pretty disgusting on this particular voyage. I don't travel for the food, I travel for the destination so I go with low expectations on the food and MSC could not even meet those expectations Their sanitary procedures are not what all of the other cruise lines practice and they admitted to us that they had failed inspections due to some of these when we had conversations with their staff officers about problems we notices. We talked with not only many other travelers on the ship from many other countries but also their crew who agreed their were many many problems even those who had traveled MSC before agreed this was a new low. Having no TV and no alcohol in some ports is something that was foreseeable but deliberately not done. They chose not to pass the taxes for alcohol in the US and they chose not to provide TV via Satellite. They chose to arrive in Bermuda on Sat after 5:50 when most everything is closed and they chose to be there on Sunday when everything was mostly closed. Thye ckose to leave on Monday midday when things were open but no time to really do anything. They chose to sell 2 day passes for the Bermuda Ferry even though it was not really usable on 2 days. Do they have the right to choose what they provide or ports timing?- Sure they do but they have the obligation to inform the passengers who cruise that they will not be providing basic services like tv and purchased services like alcohol in advance. These were not accidental or unexpected events. They knew it and chose not to tell us. I don't know about other ships in the fleet or other cruises they may do but this cruise was a 1 on a scale of 1-10.
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