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Everything posted by Stockjock

  1. FWIW, in addition to that dress, I also bought her 3 more, including one just this morning. The first is Guess, the second Vera Wang and the third Betsey Johnson. It's not as if she doesn't have any decent dresses, but since we've been cooped up so long, it's NYE, and because it's her birthday (Nov) and mine (Dec), I wanted to get her some nice dresses to wear for NYE and to dinner.
  2. We were going to do Mister Sanchos, which has a good price for an all-inclusive day pass and has a really nice beach and resort. I do note that the sailing 4 days prior to this one goes to Cozumel and back to Miami, so hard to figure why they had to change the duration of this cruise and ditch both scheduled ports. Total bummer, imo. We hadn't really gotten out in the better part of 2 years due to covid and were really looking forward to this.
  3. The sailing was a 5 night New Year's Eve cruise out of Miami, sailing to Key West and Cozumel. Made arrangements for/a resort day pass in Cozumel, flight arrangements, hotel, bought the GF new dresses, bought myself a new tuxedo jacket, etc. Pretty sure there are penalties for cancelling the flights and the hotel is non-refundable. Now, with roughly 2 months to go, they're changing it to a 4 night going to Nassau, Bahamas and Bimini, Bahamas. As an accommodation, they are offering $50 per person OBC. They'll give me until Nov. 4th to cancel without penalty. If the price drops, I'll get that lower price. If not, pricing will remain the same. I like Cozumel and had not been to Key West. So even though this was a short sailing, I was looking forward to those ports of call. Truth be known, I've never been impressed with the Bahamas. Can't say I'm happy about the change, the relatively short timing, or what I consider to be a pretty stingy offer of $50 per person OBC. Do I have a right to be annoyed? Strongly leaning towards cancellation, which would be a total bummer.
  4. I don't mind being a bit generous, but I think that $70k or even $25k rises well above the level of generosity I'm looking for, lol.
  5. Just did a trial booking. Didn't see a way to add guests, but... Looks like even the nicest suites are still generally only 1 bedroom. Probably wouldn't do a 1 bedroom with guests due to the lack of privacy. Think I'll probably stick with something nice, but maybe just for 2. Thanks for the suggestions!
  6. No, not yet. Obviously I'm still a year or two from booking, but I could give that a try.
  7. I've been dating the GF for about 8 years. Took her on a Princess Cruise for her 50th birthday. She'll be 60 in about 3 years or so. At a minimum, I'd like to do something similar, but I'm also considering doing something a lot more extravagant. If I were to book a higher end suite with multiple bedrooms and add additional guests (friends or family), typically what is the cost like for the extra guests? Obviously, it would vary depending on ship and itinerary, but is there any ballpark way to figure out the cost in the event that we want to make it a bit of blowout?
  8. I believe the USA offers a much more favorable cancellation policy, with respect to getting your deposit back. To me this is a very big deal.
  9. I have to second the recommendations for Maya Chan in Costa Maya. The food is outstanding, the location is beautiful, the drinks are strong and the price is reasonable. in Cozumel, I recommend buying a day past for Mr. Sanchos.
  10. In my view, MSC offers better value, and their ships are often much nicer and certainly more elegant. I also much prefer the look and layout to the MSC cabin. If you book a guarantee cabin, while there are no guarantees, you have a far greater chance of a legitimate upgrade on MSC versus Celebrity. MSC’s loyalty program is superior to Carnival. Once you have cruised on MSC, you can get bona fide discounts of up to 20% which can be meaningful. Also, they do a status match with other cruise lines and hotel chains, which can get you status quicker. On the downside, you lose your status and points if you don’t sail with MSC within three years. While both offer food that can be hit or miss, and I wouldn’t say that either cruise line has amazing food, but I probably slightly prefer MSC’s food. I think carnival is probably better for families. MSC is preferable for adults traveling without children. Carnival customer service is superior. If you have a problem before or after the cruise, carnival is more likely to resolve it in a prompt manner. MSC is better for those who like an international/European vibe, and carnival is probably better for those that prefer to cruise with fellow Americans, speaking as an American of course. I personally like the entertainment on MSC the best, but I could see how others might not feel that way. For example, while I am not into opera, I would enjoy seeing an opera singer being accompanied by piano every now and then, and you won’t see this on carnival. I think the shows are about equal, maybe with a slight edge to carnival. I also think you are more likely to see a fight or argument on carnival, and yes I have seen this on more than one occasion. MSC’s passengers are generally better behaved, in my view. I am a former police officer and I have seen some real riffraff on carnival, but not so much on MSC. I have seen people on Carnival who I believe to be gang members or former gang members that seem like they are looking for trouble. Of course, most passengers are not like this. Both cruise lines have their pros and cons. Even though I have experienced a lot of frustrations with MSC personally, I will typically choose them over carnival without much thinking.
  11. Brilliant minds think alike. I was just going to suggest that. But OP should be prepared for problems that could potentially arise.
  12. Well, I suppose you are now blocked as well. Sorry if the truth offends you..
  13. I feel your pain, and with MSC, nothing surprises me anymore. I always have a nice time on their ships, with a few bugs here and there, but the pre-cruise experience is often crazy frustrating. I've had people say, "If you dislike MSC so much, why not book another cruise line?" I don't dislike MSC, but find these issues to be more than frustrating. I suspect they've taken a year or two off of my lifespan. That said, of my next 4 cruises booked, 3 are on Celebrity and 1 is on MSC. So there is and should be a price to be paid for poor customer service.
  14. The funny thing is that it really wouldn't take too much to improve the situation dramatically. After all, how hard is it to call, e-mail or send a letter to let a customer know that their short Barcelona cruise is now a 20-night cruise leaving out of Brazil on an entirely different date? And yes, that did happen to me with no notification ever. Just one of countless examples of poor customer service.
  15. Reputation is everything.
  16. As you may know, MSC has a new ultra-premium division called Explora, replete with ultra-premium pricing. Do you think it will work? Personally, I don't. I base this upon their high prices, MSC's generally poor reputation for customer service, and the existing, far more experienced ultra-premium lines that offer more of a known quantity. Your thoughts?
  17. MSC Pros and Cons: Pros: Ships are usually very nice. Ships are usually clean and well-maintained. Cabins well-designed and attractive, especially on newer ships. Relatively young fleet. Most cruises offer an excellent value versus the competition. Drink packages often included at reasonable cost. MSC-sponsored excursions often better priced than other cruise lines. Voyager's Club offers status match. Easier to level up in status. Cons: Customer service is atrocious. Frequent website problems. Major disconnect between Italy HQ and USA employees. Agents not empowered to solve problems. Customers often told to e-mail their questions/concerns, which are often ignored. Food is hit and miss. Rarely terrible, but rarely especially good or memorable. Cabins often changed without notice. Cruises often changed or cancelled, many times without notice. Conflicting information as to requirements, especially during Covid Times. Entertainment is hit or miss. Some good. Some mediocre. Many announcements in every language they can think of. Adds an international vibe, but gets old and announcements can be way too lengthy because of this. MSC will not allow you to bring aboard 2 bottles of wine. This is allowed by most other cruise lines. Voyager's Club points disappear if you don't sail within 3 years. Conclusion: I've had some nice times on MSC, but I've also probably lost a year or two of my lifespan due to stress and frustration. MSC Golden Rule: Once you get your reservation the way you want it, for God's sake, don't call MSC, as they will probably mess up your booking. Enjoy! 🙂
  18. I think you will find the MDR food to be acceptable. In my view, it was hit or miss, but never terrible and usually served at a very reasonable temperature.
  19. I mentioned that every time I called MSC to address pricing errors (higher than it should be), the price further increased. Got a confirmation yesterday that said my price had been adjusted. While it was lower, it still looked to be roughly $150 too high. But I wasn't going to call about it, as every time I do so, something bad happens. I figured, I'd just eat the $150. It was still wrong, but close enough. Today, I logged into my MSC account and I actually think they've finally gotten it perfectly correct. My northern European cruise, which should be about $2,000 is now at $2,031. The Golden Rule of MSC, which I haven't always followed, is once your reservation looks the way you want it to, for God's sake, don't call MSC! So unless there's a dramatic change or lowering of price, I won't be calling them again in regards to this sailing!
  20. Unfortunately the larger C1s on deck six are sold out and all the aft cabins are also sold out.
  21. I believe all of the millennium class ships have the same room and set up.
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