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CGTNORMANDIE

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Everything posted by CGTNORMANDIE

  1. As Marco pointed out...the music around the pool on Princess is so loud you can’t hear anything else. That is one of the main reasons that I will not sail on P. Here is the problem of Princess vs MSC. Princess is an established line with a long history going back 50 years. P has had many years to build and train a labor force. MSC, on the other hand, has just built its fleet with four recent ships ar 135,000 tons and 4 new ships at 165,000 tons. The labor force coming on those ships are new to service and need to be trained...even the managers need to be trained. The numbers are staggering. Just the eight new ships require more than 18,000 active personnel with an additional 10,000 resting onshore...approximately. All these people need to be trained. All of them receive English lessons along with their training. I would estimate that MSC service will catch up to Princess in two years or so. I also predict that MSC will continue to improve its food as it expands their fleet.
  2. Comparing apples to oranges...MSC has a lower price point and delivers a good product that can be erratic. You will be sailing with a much more diverse population as the majority are flying in from Europe and elsewhere. The new ships are upscale, gorgeous and dazzling The food is more Euro and can be great or can be lackluster. The entertainment is very good but different from the American counterpart. The new ships offer Cirque Soleil. MSC offers The Yacht Club for those who are willing to spend triple the basic cost. The YC beats anything Princess has to offer...hands down. The YC features an entire section of the ship with separate pool deck, huge lounge and separate dining room and is all-inclusive. The level of service in the YC is beyond anything you will find on Princess. Princess offers a great middle of the road product. Their food is very good...on average. The Princess buffet is always a notch above the others. Princess offers good entertainment and nice facilities but none of the upgraded service and facilities that MSC offers. Princess has a very limited suite experience with no benefits as compared to MSC. The experience on MSC or Princess is different from each other. I would say Princess is steady and MSC is a bit of a walk on the wild side and can be erratic. Princess is an established line and MSC is a work in progress that continually surprises and in some cases disappoints.
  3. Hi Donald, Great to hear of your extensive experience. What would you say were the best ships or lines, in your time, for food service?
  4. Saving money is at the root of all the reasons to remove the service charge. Removing the DSC takes away from cleaners, dishwashers, food handlers and prep, laundry workers, and all the people who work behind the scene. Being disappointed by a lapse in service in the dining room or the cabin or the bar is not a valid reason for removing the DSC.
  5. BTW...the tips I have described above are on top of the Daily Service Charge which we also pay.
  6. Hi Calicakes, First, let me say how thoughtful and nice you were to come up with gift ideas for the hard working crew members who served you so well. My experience tells me that all of those people appreciated you thoughtfulness. Personal gifts are always appreciated by the crew. There was an excellent thread on MSC about tipping in the Yacht Club and many posters came clean about tipping amounts. The average butler tip was around $100. One couple was so overwhelmed with the level of service that they gave their butler a $400 tip for the week! Tipping is a personal choice and you must go with what you think is appropriate. We usually leave an envelope with cash and a personal note of thanks. Waiters/waitresses are anywhere from $20 to $100 depending on how many times they served us...assistants $20 to $75 depending. Restaurant manager gets $20 to $50 depending on service level. Hostesses and bartenders get $20 to $40 depending. Bartenders in Concierge Lounge could get $100 to $120 as a group tip if they have served us throughout the cruise. If the cruise is two weeks we will tip each Saturday about the same as above. I hope that gives you a rough idea. 🙂
  7. Has anyone here considered that just perhaps Celebrity is trying to reach the demographic that remembers that song and loved it?? All of those people are now retired and looking to cruise...we hope. I don’t think drugs came into that equation. BTW...White Rabbit was a great song and everyone in my age group loved it and it became an anthem for our generation. BTW...we were doing a lot more drinking than drug taking in that era...lol.
  8. The old TA argument has gone on for decades. The answer is simple...jumping in blindly will not get you a real cruise specialist. “I’ll do it myself” is the mantra of the “Never TA’s”...and I say Good Luck. I have been doing business with my TA for over 33 years and I would never book without him. He is worth his weight in gold.
  9. Thanks Cap, Not to worry...folks seldom come here...lol. You can call PEM and ask for Tamara. They just received 7 trunks from me last week. Talk about timing...lol. I’ll contact you and maybe we can figure out a plan of attack.
  10. Hmmmmmmm...so many cruises...so many great suites. The Penthouse on Celebrity Century, 33 days in the Royal Suite on the RCI Jewel Of The Seas. And recently in the Yacht Club on MSC Divina in cabin 12001 which was bigger than their Royal Suite...had a fantastic view overlooking the bow of the ship with floor to ceiling windows. Our favorite was the Divina Yacht Club.
  11. Hi Capt. I am an ocean liner historian. It looks like you are looking for fairly recent menus. You can try the Seaport Museum in New York City. I would help you but I just donated my entire collection to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. I had many menus from Royal Caribbean Princess and Norwegian. Is there anything specific that you are looking for? You might want want to look at the the library at Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park New York. You definitely want to check out Ebay-Ocean liner collectibles-menus. Most menus there are much older but you will find some from the 1970’s. If you leave your your email I can contact you with more information.
  12. Great and moving story Willmega82. You must have felt like things were a bit unreal as you were at sea and somewhat out of touch with the Current events of the times. We were onboard the Norwegian Sun a few days after 9/11 and we had to stay in and near Boston Harbor. There were at least 5 other ships that had come up to Boston. The feeling was surreal seeing a bunch of ships that did not belong there. It seemed that the world had been turned upside down. There were armed Coast Guard boats patrolling all around the ships The one thing that was already apparent to us at that time was that travel would never be the same.
  13. You will probably appear in the Thursday presentation of the top four reviews of the week. It does take a while for them to post.
  14. The 12001 on Divina is the best! To bad there are not more of them. Lately they have been putting on big prices for that Suite...too bad. It was a great alternative to a YC.
  15. So true...it all depends on where the ship has been. I was on a Caribbean repo from Boston and the ship (RCI Jewel Of The Seas) had just done a northern cruise up to Canada. We lucked out as the ship was loaded with lobster from Canada and it was some of the best we ever had on a ship. And yes that was a longer 12 day cruise.
  16. You are saying that neither you or your wife are into the finer spirits. You like beer. While the mini bar is nice to have it should not be a deal breaker. So stay with Premium.
  17. The YC suites are actually slightly larger balcony cabins. They are more than adequate...and comfortable. The big difference is the array of extra amenities you get in the Yacht Club and the level of service. Compare the YC price to a Sky Suite and you will see the difference. The YC is a Big Bang for the money. IMO I would consider the YC as a very good alternative to a Sky Suite.
  18. I would be very surprised if management allowed anything less than top performance for Meraviglia’s American debut. MSC is betting the house on this move into the American market.
  19. Whether you are feeding 200 or 2000 makes no difference. It still takes a team effort right down to the runner who brings supplies up to the galley. Most of these complaints sound like there were inexperienced cooks working on the line. Having managed several kitchens in my lifetime I can tell you that there can be mayhem behind the scenes. Unless you replace or rearrange the order in the kitchen/galley there will be dysfunction.
  20. Please keep in mind that a massive restaurant operation needs teamwork...from the Executive Chef through the the dining room managers, cooks and waiters. If all goes well then we have rave reviews if one or two links in the chain are not performing then all hell breaks loose. The good news is that these teams rotate and a bad sailing from six months ago might be an excellent sailing today. Usually upper management takes notice and corrects as soon as possible. MSC management is constantly reading these posts. One of the conversations that I had with an MSC Food and Beverage Manager was how well informed he was by reading Cruise Critics.
  21. You got a fantastic deal for 14 days in the YC. I predict that you will be more than pleased with MSC Yacht Club. Bon Voyage!
  22. No one here has mentioned anything about potable water. The theme of this thread is the shutdown of the vacuum toilets.
  23. Getting back to the original theme... The last thread I read that involved a water shut down was the result of some moron pax who had flushed a wash cloth down the toilet. Most of these shut downs are from stupid pax flushing the wrong things into the system.
  24. I don’t believe we have ever seen a report here on CC that denied YC benefits when pax received an upgrade. Correct me if I am wrong.
  25. Safe travels home Bea and all the best to Mr. Bea.
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