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About mvh

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    Cool Cruiser

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    NCL, RCI, Carnival in that order.
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  1. The first thing we did when we got on the ship was see the Matre De and have our dining changed from 5:30 to 7:15 which was perfect. We were Bella and had no problem changing it for the 4 of us. They did ask if we were ok sitting with 2 others, which we had no problem with and actually prefer. Then we went to the back Cirque theater to make those reservations. No problem at all, we just picked our day and time as well as our dinner choice. The dinner area was basically empty for our 8:30 time slot. Maybe 4 table being served. I suggest going early in the week in case the show is cancelled, you can try to make another one. We did not do any of the bowling or Formula 1 simulators.
  2. Sorry, not a chance. However, we never had a problem with ordering the non alcoholic drinks with a shot in them. Every bar tender we asked mixed them with out any issues.
  3. Let's just get the bottom line out of the way. Overall, very good to great cruise. Was it perfect? No, are any cruises to the Caribbean really perfect? Pros: The ship itself is beautiful. We went on the Seaside this time last year and I preferred it by a small margin over this ship, but it is a very small margin. My wife preferred this one. I really think the main reason is because of the nice long promenade like RCI has. It really had a nice feel and honestly never seemed crowded like I had read. The pool area. This was the biggest, most open main pool area I have seen in over 20 cruises. We never had a problem getting a chair by the main pool before 10:00am on sea days. The back and indoor pool were also very nice. Bar service was always pretty quick and never seemed too crowded. We friended a great bar tender on the first day who called us all by our first name and hooked us up with whatever we wanted. We only had the Easy pkg but it did not matter, he would make us anything. However, we really didn't abuse it. I stayed with the beer that was offered until they ran out of Miller Lite at the pool bar, then I could order anything, which was great. Elevators were some of the quickest we have ever been on. Never had to wait long. They seemed very large too. Just ok: Food at the main restaurant. I honest did not think it was bad. Not outstanding, but not bad. We had the best waiter that we have ever had on any cruise, which really helped. He was really honest with us and would recommend what was good and what to stay away from and he was spot on. Cons: This shipped rocked more than any other I have been on. Yes, it was rough, but I have been in rougher waters and never rocked lick this ship. Buffet variety was non existent. Honestly, this is fine with me since I really don't care for any buffet. The thought of standing in line and slopping cold food on a plate just doesn't appeal to me. Yes, the pizza was good, but you tend to get a little sick of that too. People not washing there hands every time they go in the Marketplace or after using the bathrooms. I saw this way too many times and it is just plain gross. That is a fact, not an opinion. Yes, I did call a few people out on this and have no problem doing so. I realize this happens on all ships, but it seemed prevalent on this one. The shows Decent talent, just sooooooooo boring and redundant. Even the Cirque show was boring. It was part of our package deal so we did not pay. I would have been bummed if I had paid for it, especially the dinner, which was not very good. Definitely not worth $48. This was nothing we have not seen on RCI for free. I was really excited that they had something different than just singing and dancing when I heard about the magic show. Boy what a let down. This was the worst magic show I have ever seen. I actually felt sorry for this guy because he was so bad. He basically received a light sympathy applause. Overall we had a really good time and the pros out weighed the cons. You really can't beat the value of MSC and we felt the staff was great. I would not hesitate to do it again or recommend it to anyone else. I will try to answer questions if I can.
  4. Can someone tell me about the Fantastica OV in the front of deck 11? What is in front of the window and are these cabins a little bigger? It looks like the room is a little bit of an L shape wrapping around a inside cabin. Is that a walkable deck in front? One website actually calls the room a balcony, which I do not believe is correct. I am particularly looking at room 11004. I couldn't find too much info on it. Thanks,
  5. mvh

    Upgrade question

    I just noticed my Visa has been charged for my bid amount, but my room has not been changed on my booking and I have not been notified. How long does this usually take? I sail on Jan 12.
  6. I know it states that I may not hear an answer until the day of departure, but what has been everyone's typical experience? I won't have my email and a printer to print my new boarding pass since I will be flying that day. I'm afraid I will give the porter my bags with the wrong room tags? Do they really typically wait that long?
  7. Has anyone received a better upgrade than what they bid on? For instance, I bid on an ocean view room which all seem to be sold out. However, there are well over 100 balcony rooms still available. What are the chances I get one of those? Has anyone had this happen to them? I leave in less than 4 weeks on the Meraviglia. I called to see if I could pay the difference to upgrade to the balcony since they came down quite a bit, but of course they said no and I would have to cancel and rebook and loose everything. Any tricks or tips?
  8. So my understanding is the Easy Drk package works on Ocean Cay, correct? My question is, is it limited like on the ship or can you get anything since there is only one package that you can purchase on the island? I would like to hear from someone who has actually done this, so I know if I should actually but the pkg or use my Easy Pkg. Thx
  9. mvh

    Mr Sancho's or Playa Mia?

    I agree with cruising for the ports in Europe, but not in the Caribbean. Is there really any difference between islands? Yes, there are some beautiful beaches, but other than that it's mostly poverty. After seeing all the islands once, there's really no need to see them again.
  10. mvh

    Mr Sancho's or Playa Mia?

    Thanks for all the suggestions and opinions, but we have realized that no matter how hard you want to like something, sometimes you just can't. There really are no nice beaches or anything else worth seeing in Cozumel. It really makes no sense to get off the ship and pay to drink and swim and eat pretty crappy food when we can have the ship to ourselves. We have been to Playa Mia and I was hoping someone would say that the others blow it away, because Play Mia is an absolute dump in my opinion. The others may be better, but I just don't think they are going to be exponentially better. This port seems like a perfect port to take advantage of our drink package on the ship. Plus, call it what you will, but Cozumel is still Mexico.
  11. Can anyone tell me how to pre book Cirque on the Mariviglia if it was included as a free perk? Do I have to wait to get on board? This was included when I made my booking and I shows up on my account, but there is no time and date. Has anyone been able to call and book it? I don't want to waste 45 minutes waiting just for them to tell me they have no idea what I'm talking about.
  12. mvh

    Upgrade, really?

    I'm sorry, I wasn't very clear. The upgrade offer was $225 per person $450 total and it is only $390 total not per person if I call and upgrade. I'm just a little shocked that the upgrade does not start lower than what it does. I know when I was offered an upgrade on NCL it was much lower and it was accepted. Not complaining, still much less than NCL. It is not quite on the same level, but close and a much better value. Again, not bashing MSC just letting people know that they may want to check what the difference is to call and upgrade vs bidding on an upgrade.
  13. mvh

    Upgrade, really?

    So, I just received MSC Upgrade email offer. I am currently in an Guaranteed Inside Bella and I was offered to upgrade to a Balcony starting with a minimum bid of $225 p/p. However, it is only $390 if I call and upgrade without bidding. They really bank on customers being that dumb. Do these bids ever come down the closer you get to the departure date, or should I just roll the dice with my guaranteed room and hope I get a free upgrade since there are several balconies still available on the Meraviglia in January.
  14. We are really undecided if everyone wants to do the same thing once we get in to Grand Cayman, so we really don't want to commit. Do they still have people in port holding signs for Stingray City tours? It's been about ten years since I've been there and the did then? Also, do any of them just take you to the stingrays and back? We really don't need to snorkel, but we will. Will any drop you off at 7 mile beach and let you catch a cab back to the ship? Has anyone done any of this?
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