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  1. A very good choice for a solo cruise. The first cruise I took was a Transatlantic solo on the Queen Mary 2; it hooked me on cruising. Since then I have been on a wide range of cruise lines (Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Holland America, Princess, Royal Caribbean, MSC, Norwegian, Silversea) and Cunard was the best for solo cruises--they set you up well for dining with others and there is always something to do to keep busy and entertained. After a long absence I plan to book another Cunard cruise next year (although I am no longer a fan of the formal wear the line requires/encourages).
  2. My first cruise was a transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2 as a solo and I loved it. There were a lot of activities to keep one busy during the day--shows, lectures, planetarium. The ship itself was beautiful. It had more formal dress than I would prefer now (at the time I liked it). Very gay friendly. I am planning to return to cruising next year and my current favorite is another crossing (which will be my 3rd).
  3. That's disappointing as I will be on a 7-day cruise. Thanks for pointing out that the book club is for longer cruises.
  4. I did not know there was a book club. I will definitely read the book for my cruise, which is in March. I always read a book for each location I visit but I like the idea of reading one of the Princess selections because it is likely a book I would not have chosen for myself so it is a way to broaden my reading.
  5. I have an airport transfer question, which seems related to this topic. I found a voucher for an airport transfer in my cruise documents (perhaps a perk from my travel agent, as I did not purchase a transfer). Does anyone know how this works; do I need to go to the main desk to make arrangements or is this handled automatically by a special tag on my luggage for the last night. This is for the Seaside in Miami. (I have not used an airport transfer before.)
  6. I have been on all three lines (as well as most other cruise lines) and in my opinion the food is about comparable (although the gelato on MSC was the best thing I have ever had on a cruise ship). The main difference (in Caribbean cruises) between the lines are the passengers--there are more non-Americans on MSC, which makes for a nice change (if you don't mind listening to announcements in a couple of languages). On MSC the evening shows are shorter and focus on music and dance and acrobatics, rather than story to avoid problems with the different languages. The shows were just as good on MSC as on NCL and Carnival, in my opinion. I also think (if I remember correctly) that MSC may have had fewer scheduled events during the day. Other differences primarily relate to differences in the ships themselves--the larger ones, regardless of cruise line, have more dining venues and activities. I have enjoyed all three cruise lines so I recommend trying them all with an open mind.
  7. I have never sailed into or out of Venice (but was on a land vacation there decades ago), but I agree with the ban. The canals of Venice should be limited to boats smaller than cruise ships. There is nothing wrong with docking nearby (Trieste or the industrial dock) with trips into Venice. If you want to glide up and down a canal to see the sights, there will be plenty of options to do so on a smaller boat that will create less damage to the city's infrastructure.
  8. Very helpful information; thank you for posting.
  9. I am sure many people have had bad experiences on MSC but a quick check of any of the other cruise boards will show people have had bad experiences on all the cruise lines--including the luxury lines. I have been on a lot of the cruise lines (Carnival, Celebrity, Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, NCL, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Silversea) as well as MSC and have found MSC to be as good as the main stream lines--better in some areas and not as good in others. I have been on two MSC cruises so far (Divina and Poesia), neither in Yacht Club, and enjoyed both. I am scheduled for a YC cabin on Seaside and am looking forward to the great experience I read about on these boards, but I like every cruise I have been on and my cruise next year will be on Princess (regular cabin--I cannot afford a suite). If you don't want to sail on MSC, there are a lot of other choices, but I think you will find the cruise lines largely the same--the main difference are in the passengers. More kids and young people on Carnival, NCL, and Royal Caribbean; more experienced cruisers on Cunard and Crystal; more non-Americans on MSC. I like the passenger mix on MSC and the slight differences from the American cruise lines as a nice change of pace.
  10. The NCL solo cabins get very good reviews, but that line has made an effort to appeal to solo cruisers with its special lounge for the solo cabins. In terms of whether the 200% cost is fair, the cruise line actually loses money on single passengers staying in regular cabin because they make so much from the on-board spending from passengers--excursions, drinks, specialty dining, spa, shops, casino. If they can sail to capacity, they will not be offering discounts to solo passengers and with all the new and larger ships being built, it looks to me like the cruise industry is able to fill its ships to capacity regularly. I always sail solo and would love a discount but am reconciled to the fact that I will have to pay full fare, meaning 200% of single fare, if I want to cruise.
  11. Can anyone provide the hours of operation for the Yacht Club restaurant and Yacht Club Grill and Top Sail Lounge bar. In another thread someone posted Daily Programs with hours of operation for every restaurant and bar except in the Yacht Club.
  12. Do you need cash/coins for the tokens? I would like to know whether to bring change?
  13. This is a great thread; thank you for sharing your experiences. Perhaps you can clarify something for me; I am confused by the dining times for Concerto (Club Class)--it lists dinner as 5:15 for First Seating and 7:30 for Anytime. If Anytime diners can only go at 7:30 it is not really Anytime, but a Second Seating. Can you explain this; I wanted to have some flexibility in dining time.
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