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  1. Our Eastern Mediterranean started and ended in Venice last month (October). Our ship was delayed docking because of fog. ETA was 9 AM, then adjusted to 10 AM, and finally docked at 3:45 PM!. We have booked our flight out of Marco Polo Airport (VCE) the following day so we weren't stressed-out missing our flight but we were disappointed on missing out our time exploring places in Venice we haven't been to. Depending on your last port before Venice (end of cruise), you could have disembarked at that port and take a train to (Mestre) Venice then a bus to VCE. I think that would be a less expensive option vs the one you took. I've read somewhere here in CC where the passengers disembarked on the last day (in this case Dubrovnik, Croatia) having been told of possible delayed disembarkation in Venice which will make them miss their flight back to the U.S. I don't know how busy the traffic is from Venice to VCE. We stayed in a hotel in Mestre (north). Our shuttle took a freeway and we were at VCE in less than 15 minutes. Yes, VCE is crowded and most direct flights to North America are leaving between 11 AM - 2 PM. Check-in line-ups are long. They normally have a separate line-up for North American passengers at the immigration booth. Enjoy your cruise.
  2. You don't have to eat at the MDR every night. But should you opt to eat at the MDR every night, yes, you will be at the same table, with the same dinner mates (if you are grouped with other passengers), and the same waiter crew for the duration of your cruise. You don't have to tip your waiter crew. A daily service charge is tag to each passenger in your cabin (I think €10/day/passenger). Other evening eating options; Free - Buffet Paid - Specialty restaurants
  3. Question #2 : Disembarkation In our cruise that disembarked in Venice, watch out for your ETA. We were originally scheduled for 9:00 AM arrival but got moved to 10:00 AM. But because of thick fog, we got delayed and arrived at 3:45 PM. Bottom line, there could be a possibility of delayed disembarkation. Like you, our flight out of Venice was a day later. That saved us a lot of stress. Our only disappointment was that our time in Venice was shortened. They use colored tags. There was no self-disembarkation in our cruise. Instead, we requested a tag for those who have made separate arrangement/booking after the cruise (not excursion). We were on the 6th group that were allowed to disembark. We disembarked after about 40 minutes from the 1st group. The next group were those on Deck 5 (and so on...). If you are on the higher Decks, your disembarkation will be later. I've noticed that the rush of passengers getting off the ship happens within the early group vs the later group. Question: MDR attire Your preference of khaki and button down shirt will be just fine. They have a formal night. You might want to dress up for the camera but otherwise, it is not necessary. I hope you enjoy your cruise as much as we did ours.
  4. Our cruise with MSC Musica ended in Venice on Saturday. We docked late because of the fog and used ISONZO 1 terminal. Depending on how heavy your bags are, it is a good 15-20 minute walk to the People Mover station from where we docked. Across the People Mover station in Piazzale Roma (to the far left), you can take the vaporetto to San Marco (take #2, it is faster vs #1). There are water taxis near 103 terminal.
  5. When we cruised Seaside last year, there are buses outside for MIA and FLL. No pre-booking required. We took the MIA bus. Cost was $15(?). But we waited almost 20 mins before we started. I don't know how much was the bus to FLL and how long did they have to wait. But there is a bus to FLL outside of the cruise terminal.
  6. There are several modes of transportation from Venice to (VCE) Marco Polo International Airport. Vaporetto Taxi (most expensive) Taxi/Cab (expensive) Airport Transfer from MSC (booked like an excursion) Get to Piazza le Rome and catch the AVTO bus to VCE. (least expensive) We completed our cruise with MSC on Saturday (Oct 12). We were scheduled to dock in Venice at 9 am but were told the evening before that we will be delayed by 1 hour (ETA 10 am). We arrived near the mouth of the channel to Venice around 8:30 am but because of fog, the PA announcement said we were looking at ETA of 12 noon. Passengers started to call their travel agent or airline CS line and started rebooking their outbound flights. We were fortunate that our flight our of Venice will be the following day. We hoped to disembark sooner so that we will have more time to see Venice. Long story short, we docked at 3:45 pm. Our group line started moving around 5:00 pm. We were walking outside of the cruise terminal to the People Mover at 5:30 pm. We were disappointed we only had a few hours to go around Venice before we headed to our hotel in Mestre. We were just glad we didn't have to be stressed rebooking our flight back home. To answer your question, if you disembark in Venice at 7:30 am, you will have enough time to catch your 12:30 pm flight at VCE. However, because of weather conditions, your actual disembarkation time might be later which might cause you to miss your flight.
  7. The good value MSC gave during our first cruise (with MSC Divina) in 2015 is what made us love cruising. We have cruised with MSC Preziosa and MSC Seaside over the past two years. We will be boarding MSC Musica soon. We've cruised Carnival early this year which was a good value for a short cruise (3 nights-4 days). We felt that the amount we paid with our cruise with MSC was good value and our expectations were met. The extra cost are pretty much the extras ... drink package, internet package, photo package, excursions, specialty restaurants, etc.
  8. We disembarked in Civitavecchia in 2015. There is a free shuttle from ship to port gate. If you are planning to go to Rome, there is a city bus to the train station. I don't remember how much was the fare (€2, maybe). If you don't have big bags, you can walk to the train station.
  9. For $600 difference - go Bella. We've sailed both Bella and Fantastica before. We never knew the difference except the little perks which didn't add up so much.
  10. We took Preziosa in Fall 2017. We took the train to Veddel Station. Then took a shuttle bus (purchased tickets from www.hansetix.de/cruisegate). At the time we planned our trip, we didn't know that MSC has a bus transfer from Hamburg Central Station to the cruise terminal. I don't know how much it cost. I think this bus transfer is the best option to get to the cruise terminal. After our cruise, we use this bus transfer from the cruise terminal to the train station. The line up was long but there are several buses. We were at the train station around 10am. I cannot remember if the shuttle was free. When we got to the train station, we stopped in front of the MSC 'booth' on the east side of Central Station.
  11. I think it is doable assuming all things align as commented above. During our cruise in May 2018, we arrived in Miami before 6am. We were lining up for self-disembarkation at round 7am. The line up slowly moved but were outside of the terminal by 7:30am. We went to booth outside the terminal doors to purchase our shuttle bus ticket. The bus driver said it will be leaving soon after we boarded the bus around 7:35am. The bus waited almost 30 minutes before we left for MIA. There was also another bus going to FLL. We arrived at MIA before 8:30am. The American Airlines passengers got off the bus first. Then the rest of the bus passengers got off in the next terminal stop. We got to our airport check-in counter around 9am to drop our check-in bags. Our flight was 12:30pm. So, every has to align to make it work. But then again, why subject yourself to such stress if you can get a later flight. Enjoy your trip.
  12. During our cruise in May, there were a couple of days that the movie was cancelled because of weather (rain). On the night we watched, the crew setup (2 rows of maybe 15/row) lounge chairs in front of the screen. If you need a quick bathroom/washroom break, there is a bathroom near the elevators at the aft of the ship. If you need food, the buffet at Deck 16 is less than 50 yards away. Not a lot of passengers (20 or so) were there that night although there were other passengers in Deck 16.
  13. Used the Jungle Pool a lot during our cruise last May. I was using goggles when swimming so it didn't bothered my eyes but I noticed my black underpants faded (compared to the ones I didn't use in the pool) a bit after not rinsing them thoroughly. This makes me think that there might be some kind of chemical (bleaching agent perhaps) used to produce the salt water.
  14. I don't think that (list) is published. The souvenir gift shop have items from $3 & up. On our last cruise in May, my wife bought 3 items (2 canvas bags and I forgot what the 3rd item was) for $20. Brand apparels like Lacoste tshirts were $40 & up. They would normally have a sale (of fragrances, watches, etc.) during your sailing which my wife said the prices are reasonable (compared to duty free prices). BTW, you get points and discounts, too if you are a Voyager member.
  15. Unlike the Caribbean cruises, MSC embarks and disembarks cruise passengers from most ports of call (if not all). As mentioned, secondary ports will have briefing vs full muster drill from major ports. You will hear muster drill announcements (in at least 5 languages) every afternoon. Obviously, only those who have embarked for the day will need to go to the muster drill. If you got off the ship (for excursion or DIY excursion), the muster drill will be completed by the time you came back. Don't be alarmed if you see some pax wearing their life jackets when you come back into the ship.
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