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Everything posted by unrealHeather

  1. If you are a Bourbon drinker you want to at least get the middle grade drink package. See: https://www.msccruisesusa.com/on-board/dining-drinks/drink-comparison-chart
  2. I strongly recommend you print out any and all documentation in advance. Don't rely on your wifi and electronic records as MSC's IT systems are wonky. You might need receipts to prove you prepaid for extras.
  3. Try this reference https://www.msccruisesusa.com/on-board/dining-drinks/drink-comparison-chart
  4. This because worst case you are assigned a room below the disco. I have read complaints on room assignment that make me want to book a guaranteed room.
  5. It is probably easier and would save time to pack some dri fit clothes for the canoe trip, a plastic bag and a change of clothes. What if the canoe trip is 1 hour away from the port ?
  6. Yeah I need to walk 10-20,000 steps a day to stay off blood pressure medication stay alive for my kids. So I walk a lot. At first I didn't enjoy it but now I listen to podcasts while walking and learn something new everyday and it's been a lovely change. I really need a step counter on a cruise to make sure I get enough exercise and not lose my fitness.
  7. Note on the Sacagawea coins. Most staff on the cruise ships are not American and unless you're cruising in and out of USA, they will need to exchange this money to their home currency. It is difficult to exchange coins into another currency. I would stick to USD or Euro bills. It's a lovely idea but it may make not be as received as warmly as you think given the extra work it will take the recipient to undertake.
  8. To each their own but my hair would look like the Bride of Frankenstein and full of tangles if I didn't bring sufficient conditioner to tame it. I'm glad you've found a packing system that works for you but everyone has different priorities.
  9. Because you need to wakeup in time to make your paid for shore excursion and might be in your normal time zone to wakeup naturally, or stayed up late the night before.
  10. We've done adjoining cabins and also 2 cabins next door. We book with 1 adult in each cabin and then "switch" when we get on board, but people end up sleeping where they are comfortable. Kids are tweens now and our next cruise they may end up bunking together.
  11. By private tour I mean my own tour as opposed to a tour bus with 50-100 other people. I get your point that I am paying an aggregator but it's still a useful service that has helped me find tours at 25% of the cost of a cruise line and with smaller groups so we can accomplish more sight seeing during the short time available.
  12. Same same. I have generally been able to prebook my own private tour via Get My Guide, Klook or Viator, sometimes Trip Advisor. I think you should book with the ship if you can't find any alternative.
  13. Honestly it would be fine to fly home same day. They tend to kick you off in early morning so anything in the afternoon will give you plenty of time to arrive. For peace of mind you might want to arrange a car and driver to fetch you but otherwise I wouldn't stress.
  14. They are both good but for same ports of call I would pick NCL in terms of overall experience, authenticity of customer service, food and amenities. That being said I also really like Costa for value for money and ports of call. It's not an American cruise line but we like it that way.
  15. Men need long pants for dinner. Make sure you pack at least jeans or you will be confined to the buffet. Which might not be a bad thing depending on your style.
  16. Men need long pants for dinner. Make sure you pack at least jeans or you will be confined to the buffet. Which might not be a bad thing depending on your style.
  17. Go bag for embarkation day (pack swimsuit and coverup, sunscreen), can use this for daypack on shore excursions Light sweater or jacket for cold aircon Comfortable dress up shoes Pedometer or fitbit, watch for everyone (for meetups) Charging cables and extensions cords, travel adaptors Hair conditioner and deodorant of choice Refillable water bottle Lanyard for cruise card Alarm clock (for DIY wakeup calls)
  18. Also as a family we still count down using Italian "uno, due, tre" (instead of 1,2,3) with some irony and sentimentality from the past Costa cruises.
  19. IDK we have done a few Costa cruises and enjoyed the experience. The Italians stay up late and are a bit exuberant but it's nothing like a Caribbean cruise on Carnival. Just Saying.
  20. My travel agent was told by MSC that it's only available to the Aurea class cabins. Let's hope that's not the case. Just put down my deposit last night.
  21. I've cruised Costa and MSC as well as RC and Norwegian. I prefer Costa in terms of value for money. Their customer service seems more authentic and friendly. It's subtle the the crew on the MSC boat we experienced were edging on apathy and going through the bare minimum motions. MSC was the only cruise line that has screwed up our prebooked drink package and where my youngest got food poisoning. My sense is MSC has really terrible IT systems to support their staff. People complain about food on Costa but we enjoyed. I was on a shore excursion with an American woman who complained she didn't like the food on Costa because they didn't have "good salads" and yet they were making comments about finding a McDonald's while they were off the ship. So take that for what you will. As I recall MSC and Costa are a bit annoying in having food available during off meal hours. But once you get used to that it's fine.
  22. I've cruised Costa a few times and honestly, anything goes as long as you wear long pants for men. You will see people in jeans to evening gowns. It's eclectic.
  23. That's fine I just want to add on thermal suite not get the Aurea level cabin. Glad to know they will offer it.
  24. What's the likelihood MSC will offer a couple's pass to the thermal spa to non Aurea cabins? We are in Fantistica and I don't want to upgrade since the features don't appeal to us other than the spa.
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