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About vtgumby

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    norwegian, celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    asia, south america, repositioning anywhere!

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  1. We also tip per round and used dollars and even asked two different servers and they said no problem, they can easily convert so we had no problem doing this rather than deplete our euro stash. Also, never saw anyone else tip so as a former bartender/server I'm happy with any cash left, I'll find a $$ exchange if need be! 🙂
  2. I've had trouble booking the YC BUT it is likely because we want only the TA/repositioning cruises so whenever I look they are mostly sold out except for the Dubai ones which doesn't interest me. I jumped on one 18 months ahead of time and it was the last YC cabin available and whenever I check it is still sold out, the same with the only other one I booked, 18 months plus and it never opened up, even after final payment days (we wanted to change our location so checked daily but ultimately LOVED where they put us) so perhaps Beamafar has had no issues on other itineraries, I find the 'grand voyages' to be difficult to snag.
  3. ABSOLUTELY, for restaurant Blu alone, its great...but I'm assuming you mean $100 pp for the trip and not per day, I wouldn't pay an extra $200 per day...and just read your last post saying its a bid thing so I'd definitely do it, again just for Blu. Nice experience and we do Aqua almost exclusively so hope you do it!
  4. Azamara was crazy good, by far the best food we've ever had on a ship (along with a ten lb weight gain on a two week cruise) but they also sail smaller ships so cooking for 700 is easier than 3k. We also sail Celebrity and only have done Aqua class which gives you the Blu restaurant, the only reason we do Aqua, and also enjoyed that immensely. The oddest part of MSC food was taste, completely without for the most part and it became the focal point for everyone of all nationalities BUT I've spun this as a weight loss thing, disappointed in the food but it kept me from grabbing desserts so that was a GOOD thing. 🙂
  5. We had Alessandro part time on Preziosa in April...half way through the 21 day cruise we dropped off the burned out Lorenzo who, ready for this, rode in the private three floor elevator with us with his head down, no greeting, no smile, nada...clearly not having a good life at that moment and it was funny, he was so ready to be gone (and the complete opposite of the YC rah rah) and then enters Alessandro who is everywhere, greeting everyone. SUPER happy we had him for the last week, big diff in attitude and the experience we enjoyed!
  6. EXACTLY! The uncrowded pool deck and Top Side Lounge are worth it, just adjust food expectations and you're golden.
  7. We had the same experience on Preziosa, when asking for sausage on the pizza we were told not possible and we laughed because being in the restaurant biz, EVERYTHING is possible and slapping some sausage or pepperoni on a pizza is very possible...and it was ordered thru the concierge. We also found the service to be good but not as wowing as others but again, in the service biz and we have a finer eye for what is obtrusive and what works. If you compare the service inside vs outside the YC then I can see why people are wowed, it is a different ball of wax completely and we honestly were grateful for the YC enclave after observing the chaos amidst the rest of the ship. YC is perfect for MSC cruising for the mere fact of avoiding the masses, that was the best part of it, the exclusivity of the area. Food was substandard for us and yay, weight loss during the cruise, but it did not deter our fun and as you noted, right price and we're there also, just with adjusted expectations and no longer the dread of cruise weight gain cuz it won't happen! 🙂
  8. We fully engaged YC staff and found the same, its inexperience and I speak from a food and bev background. Topsail lounge had two very good ones, Kadick and a Filipino man whom I'm forgetting his name. My personal fave was the pool decks version of a rum and coke with a half glass of rum and the separate glass of diet coke, made for a big bang when I mixed! I stuck with wine and beer, the inconsistencies made mixed drinks too much of a crapshoot, why waste the booze and in the YC pool deck there was one trained bartender (and good), the others were learning AND trying and we offered 'recipes' when possible. 🙂
  9. Hey Howard...On our Preziosa TA from the Caribbean to Europe there was nada in the Italian department which we also commented on, no fresh pasta (linguine at lunch, not 'fresh') and by far the worse tiramisu I've ever had and my Italian trip weight gains will tell you I know good pasta and tiramisu. 🙂 So readjust that expectation, we went on excitedly thinking awesome Italian food was in store for us but sadly didn't find Italian food on the ship and our experience was bland food, hoping yours is better AND the new chef brings over tasty recipes from Celebrity because food taste (lack of) was the biggest limiting factor for us with MSC but as I've said multiple times, the first time I've left a cruise losing three lbs in three weeks so yay?! 🙂
  10. Hi everyone...we are looking at the P1 veranda on Quest and looking for feedback on what former cruisers enjoyed, esp the TA folks. We love our aft TA balconies and did a suite forward cabin for a Panama canal cruise (on NCL) and thoroughly enjoyed that also, esp for the hot weather of the canal and South America, an aft wouldn't have been as lovely with the hot temps or so we told ourselves. 🙂 So this itinerary is a TA from Lisbon to Brazil in November, what do the experienced cruisers think with this ship/cabin layout. We've spoken with fellow suite folks (again, NCL) in the front cabins on TA's and they didn't seem to use their balconies due to wind/cold etc etc while we enjoyed zero wind and lots of balcony time. Not knowing the P1 cabins on AZ is what makes me ask for thoughts, I'm thinking a TA is a TA but the addition of hitting South America, not our usual TA itinerary, throws a wrench into my thinking. Thanks for your comments folks!
  11. 9002 in Dec 2018 VERY large balcony, we chose it specifically for that reason on our PC cruise and the one below us was equally large. Solid metal on the lower half of the balcony, we thought it would be an issue but it wasn't despite preferring the open airier design...two lounge chairs, a nicely sized table for between chairs and also a table to eat from (every morning we did room service, fabulous!) with two chairs and still plenty of room. Directly below bridge so they can see you if you're hanging over the rail but back up two feet and you're good.
  12. I know, right? Thanks for the laugh!
  13. Wow, we sailed in YC and don't feel like we're above anyone just because of YC, lots of OTHER things maybe but not because of YC. 🙂 I think your generalized statement applies to humanity in general but in regards to a few of your posts you sorta made the case in your first paragraphs for why people are railing on MSC followed with they should be up to snuff in 2-3 years...maybe after the 2-3 yrs it takes them to get up to snuff there will be less complaints? I can only speak for ourselves and we see crappy entitled behavior on every cruise line, period. Make that on every flight we fly also, where the worse behavior is often in the front of the plane so if your point is rich people suck then maybe, it would be a fun conversation to have with a drink in hand. 🙂 If people don't bother to write those good reviews (and I do often) and only write the bad ones then of course all you have is the negative and everyone should understand this from their own behavior. Search your own soul and see if you've written the good comments, I know that I do but I also understand the general feel on these boards and the anonymous internet all around and take them with the appropriate level of trust BUT again, if there is this much smoke there IS some fire folks. Would I let any of this ruin my vay-kay, nope. This thinking goes with EVERYTHING, I could be dead soon and why freak on the stupid stuff? Deal with it and then move along and luckily I've learned it, I can't imagine letting it all wreck me BUT some people do and that's their stroke or heart attack, not mine! Also, something all the dedicated cruisers forget...let those disgruntled folk leave your beloved cruiseline, it leaves MORE space for you! 🙂 I love when people say they won't be sailing so and so again, I always think yay, less poundage in my way! I don't want someone who is determined to be unhappy around me and we all know plenty of people who are determined to have a crappy life, period. We all make our choices on how to spend our $$ so if MSC doesn't work there are plenty of others eager to take their $$ and that goes for every other cruiseline cuz they almost all have their complainers, some more than others and I will say MSC has been the most negative but again, there must be some reason and after our cruise we could see the reasons. We had a great time on our singular MSC cruise and from our observation it seemed like chaos more than our other lines and the general feeling is folks should get their ordered drinks without total screwups or 15 min waits, we got a few of those screwups including the rum and coke with the rum on the side, thats just funny and for me it was a LARGE hit of rum to coke ratio when I mixed, just saying. Nor should there EVER be poor behavior of yelling at someone, etc and frankly, if I see that I DO say something to the offender, it takes the damn village sometimes and someone has to stand up to the poorly behaved anywhere you see it happening, hint hint village. 🙂 So this is one YC passenger who didn't look down on the rest of the ship, I felt grateful and appreciative for where I was, how I chose to spend our cruise dollar, and the fun I was having in comparison to the snarls of displeasure I heard. I appreciate wanting to cheerlead for a certain line, we feel this way about Azamara (wow) but I also feel there are many issues that need to be addressed with MSC and we hope for them to succeed.
  14. Gorgeous ship is my first impression, over the top bling which is fun as in mirrors everywhere and inlaid Svarkovski crystals in the staircases, etc. We did the 21 day TA and it was our first MSC so I can only tell you our experience. We did it in YC after reading many MSC reviews, our choice. YC prices have leapt up considerably according to folks we cruised with, we spent the new cha ching pricing and didn't regret it at all so you have to do your pricepoint comparisons. When we left the YC private enclave, quiet and peaceful, we found the rest of the ship to be chaotic and crowded...the pool areas were packed with chairs and you'd see chairs in places chairs aren't normally placed (like in a door opening, huh?) and it looked crazy. We also observed less that stellar service in a few bars BUT it didn't affect us, we only grabbed drinks at a few of them and the wine bar was stellar BUT it may have been because we also drop a few dollars on our servers (we're in the food and beverage biz) and that may have helped the speed of our drinks, we did notice others didn't get quite the same speed in delivery so take that as you will. Food was poor, hope for that to change but it was an overriding issue amongst the YC guests, the bland and tasteless offerings but I also noticed a few of them seemed to complain just for the fun of it, never was it inedible, etc but a few did go out of their way to make it all garbage and it simply wasn't. Three levels of shops, something for everyone if you like to shop. Theater was lovely, great seating arrangement so kudos to that...major negative was the smoke filled casino that you likely have to walk through when exiting the theater. I'd like to believe MSC will put in smoke eaters but doubtful and the negative was the smoke went right up to the next floor and infected the jazz bar so sadly we avoided. I have to stress, the smokiest casino I've ever been in and because of it we didn't drop any euros which in retrospect is good! 🙂 LOTS of music venues, I thought that was an upside, to walk from one area right into another place with music, it was nice. Do your research (and remember some people are just having a bad life and will find fault in everything), find a great itinerary, and then go forth informed, I think you're at an advantage not cruising other lines because the first no is to compare with other lines. 🙂 MSC does it completely different than the other five I've been on and I reminded myself often 'this isn't so and so' cuz it just isn't, its MSC and their own unique way of cruising. I know there is a lot of negative vibe on these blogs and it can be worrisome, I feel where there is this much smoke there MUST be a fire, but we went in knowing the negative issues and managed to avoid them and had a great time BUT we also were in that self contained ship within a ship environment of the Yacht Club so that does change our experience level compared to the others...btw, we booked another MSC cruise BEFORE we went on our first, expecting to have a great time and we did so clearly MSC fits into our cruise plan. Happy cruise planning!
  15. YAY is what I say, I'm sad to say our food on Preziosa YC was pretty poor and again, we didn't starve but it was completely without taste on the majority of items hence the overuse of salt and any sauce I could find to jazz it up. Celebrity has had great food in our experience albeit mostly BLU, the aqua suite restaurant bu including their buffet and this was one place MSC must improve...when they asked us and we honestly answered on quality of food the response was 'we serve an international crowd' and that was just so crazy, my reply was 'so do all the other cruise lines' and they manage it and honestly, on our 21 day cruise it was the 'international' crowd that was complaining, we were minority Americans who said nothing until asked and then after asked pretty much rejected with the answer. 🙂 YAY again, something has to change foodwise and not 'we serve an international crowd' to explain tasteless food, my best food experiences have been international including India and Asia, try some of that international spice!
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