Posted January 22nd, 2018, 03:01 PM
Hi Jim Zim: I have been waiting impatiently for your review of the SJ3 suite which I have booked for Feb 19. The whirlpool is a surprise for my wife who has always wanted to holiday with a private hot tub(and me!). Your review is very informative and I am relieved the tub is big enough for two. However, I think there is a lot of wasted space in that suite but maybe if you have 5 folks in it, it makes sense.
We have cruised 5 times with MSC in Europe and I get what you mean. We have enjoyed all of our cruises but there are always some compromises with MSC. We have sailed with RCCL and NCL too (they're not perfect either) and it is only price/value that brings us back to MSC time after time as we get a 5% discount as members of the Voyagers Club(past cruisers).
Really looking forward to the review, warts and all! Cheers, Ken.
I have to agree with this, and the comments earlier in the thread about cost vs experience given. It all depends on your priorities. I know when I book MSC for 30% less than the same NCL cruise, I won't enjoy the food as much, and the standard drinks package is more limiting. I also know that the shipboard experience isn't always why I book a particular cruise. For example, I am cruising Orchestra at the end of February - not my first choice of cruise line or ship, but I really like the itinerary and I'm looking forward to some winter sun. I've sailed MSC before, and I know its shortcomings.
I appreciate if something has been advertised to you and really built up as being fantastic and unbeatable, and the reality doesn't match up to that, you're going to be disappointed. BUT it's sometimes a struggle to find better value for the same time/itinerary etc. than an MSC cruise. I book all my MSC cruises know with expectations firmly set, and emphasis on why I'm going (like in this case it's for the destinations). I imagine a number of people who say they won't sail MSC after their first experience may reconsider if they see it at a far superior price to their 'usual' line - I have no problem in saying I've done that on a few occasions.
Sometimes it's worth paying the extra to get what you really want, and sometimes it's not - although that is easier to say as a regular cruiser than someone going on a once-in-a-lifetime trip.