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theEvilQueen2

Off Seaside Saturday, Just my humble opinion

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Oh well Evil Queen...back to Azamara for you.  Like the old saying goes...”When one thing goes wrong everything goes wrong”.  Time to chalk it all up to bad Khama and move on.  I am sure there were thousands of pax who had a great time on the very same cruise but you happened to get the wrong number.  The only way to get over a bad cruise experience is to start planning your next one.😊 

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1 hour ago, #1TravelMom said:

  I hope your comments don't scare people into cancelling.  If you search any cruiseline board, you will read reviews like this and much worse. 

 

Yes, every line gets poor reviews, but MSC gets poor reviews more often than the others. That's why the MSC overall cruise score (when factoring in 1,000 of reviews) is in the bottom of the pack. MSC is also the only line I am aware of with a failing Better Business Bureau rating. Most have excellent track records with the BBB.

 

I'm not suggesting that MSC doesn't provide a good vacation for many people. What I am suggesting is that statistically, MSC guests are more likely to report a poor experience when compared to the mainstream lines.

 

OP: Sorry you had a bad experience. A lot of what you experienced rang true on my sailings also. Not everything, but enough so that I would not recommend that CC members ignore this post. Especially the male bartender ignoring you. As we are all aware, women are not treated as equally in other parts of the world and MSC has a very diverse crew. Like CG said, book another cruise and put this one behind you. 

 

Disclaimer: I'm from North America 😉

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1 hour ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

... Especially the male bartender ignoring you. As we are all aware, women are not treated as equally in other parts of the world and MSC has a very diverse crew.

Your post is suggesting there was gender based discrimination by the bartender, and on the ship in general.  The OP never said the bartender served other men ahead of her, just people he knew from earlier in the week.  For all we know he served other women ahead of her.

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Até said:

Your post is suggesting there was gender based discrimination by the bartender, and on the ship in general.  The OP never said the bartender served other men ahead of her, just people he knew from earlier in the week.  For all we know he served other women ahead of her.

 

That is exactly what my post is suggesting. I've traveled on MSC twice. Once as a solo female and once with a group of girl friends. Call it personal experience. I hope the OP returns to tell us if she felt her experience with the bartender was related to gender. Regardless, my comment stands. 

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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14 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

That is exactly what my post is suggesting. I've traveled on MSC twice. Once as a solo female and once with a group of girl friends. Call it personal experience. I hope the OP returns to tell us if she felt her experience with the bartender was related to gender. Regardless, my comment stands. 

 

This is quite the intellectual leap, to ascribe motives to a person with hardly any information. He didn't serve this passenger immediately (who sounds like she was a real treat throughout the cruise)? Obviously, he's a sexist. 

 

Yes, MSC'c crew is diverse--but  no more or less diverse than the crews of the other 3 lines we've cruised on. 

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I am always amazed when I read both good and bad reviews. I keep in mind that the review is that person's opinion and based on who reads it other's will agree or disagree. I have been angry with NCL based on personal experience and also shared with CC readers. I did not say, don't sail NCL and in fact, my DD talked me into going on NCL once again and I had a wonderful time. Many have written reviews which were not favorable about NCL and the Epic. Yet, we sailed on her twice and love the ship. I am looking forward to our upcoming MSC cruise next week and I know I will have a great time. Meanwhile, I still read all the reviews and while I appreciate them I still ignore the don't sail on this ship or cruise line remarks in them. 

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I know the exact bartender she is referring to at the Deck 19 bar.  We utilized that bar frequently and I (as a woman) was never ignored nor was my husband.  In fact, he went out of his way to make special drinks for my picky 12 year old daughter.  

Not saying that what the OP stated wasn’t her true experience, just that my experience was vastly different, thankfully.

With that being said, we enjoyed our Seaside Cruise last summer.  It wasn’t perfect but none of our cruises on the different lines have been.  

We are on vacation and laid back so every cruise is a good cruise.  We try to teach our children to let little things go.

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I watched a guy stand at the Sports Bar for 15 minutes, totally ignored,  until he walked away.   We enjoyed our cruise on Seaside, and are booked in the Yacht club next year, but I can totally get what the OP is talking about.  The bar service could just be ridiculously bad. 

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7 hours ago, jeepfan2006 said:

Just my opinion, but a person who complains about this will never be satisfied.

That's not really a complaint, just an opinion. I wouldn't even have mentioned it if the cruise director and others kept repeating over and over that we were on the most beautiful cruise ship on earth.

 

As for being a delight, I really only went off on one person, the supervisor at Guest Supervisor and that was after my 6th visit to GS with totally legitimate problems. 

 

 

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3 hours ago, theEvilQueen2 said:

 I wouldn't even have mentioned it if the cruise director and others kept repeating over and over that we were on the most beautiful cruise ship on earth.

 

 

 

 

 

What did you expect them to say?

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On 5/14/2019 at 3:06 PM, Beamafar said:

 

 

I know from speaking with a lot of crew on many ships over the years that many of them don't like working on US-based ships and prefer being in the Med.

 

 

No surprise, as North Americans in general are experienced cruisers and know what to expect, and will voice their opinion if expectations are not met.  I see nothing wrong with that.  The OP is an experienced cruiser and was well prepared in what they should have received.  MSC dropped the ball in so many cases.  In Europe there are so many nationalities sailing I'm sure it's much easier for the crew to say "no" and get away with it.  Many are probably first time cruisers as well and don't know what to expect.  The hassle factor is so high in trying to get a problem resolved that most people (not Americans) will simply move on.  Also in Europe MSC will embark and disembark pax at various ports during a single cruise, creating a bit more confusion and probably making it a tad easier to get away with just the bare basics.      

 

MSC did the status match in North America to pull market share from established cruise lines.  The problem is by doing that MSC also pulled very experienced cruisers that are used to cruise lines that are very well run.  They quickly notice the short comings of MSC which mostly stem from management structure and lack of training.  So in some ways MSC shot themselves in the foot.  They may get these experienced cruisers once, but perhaps never again.  Also you should not have to book into the YC to have a decent experience.  That is not the case with other lines and it shouldn't be the case with MSC either ... at least if they want to be successful in North America.  Meanwhile more MSC ships are coming to Miami (the World Class) and a new two-ship terminal will be built at PortMIami to accommodate the growth.  The terminal looks amazing.  It might be better than the ships themselves!  

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6 minutes ago, eroller said:

No surprise, as North Americans in general are experienced cruisers and know what to expect,  

 

... and Europeans aren't and don't????   LOLOL  🙄 🙄

 

CC rules don't permit me to share here what some crew members thought of North American guests!

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Just now, Beamafar said:

 

... and Europeans aren't and don't????   LOLOL  🙄 🙄

 

CC rules don't permit me to share here what some crew members thought of North American guests!

 

 

I knew it was only a matter of time for this response.  Of course I was generalizing but like most generalizations there is truth to it.  

 

As for what some crew members think of North Americans I really don't care.  I treat people as people, regardless of their nationality and expect the same in return.  America is a huge and diverse place, made up of people from everywhere.  You can't pigeon hole it into a single generalization.  I'm also a flight attendant for a major airline so I'm very used to dealing with various nationalities.  I can assure you that North Americans are not the worst, not by a longshot ... but that is a topic for another thread.  

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56 minutes ago, eroller said:

MSC did the status match in North America to pull market share from established cruise lines.  The problem is by doing that MSC also pulled very experienced cruisers that are used to cruise lines that are very well run.  They quickly notice the short comings of MSC which mostly stem from management structure and lack of training.  

 

Disclaimer: I am from North America.

 

I think eroller has made a very interesting point.  We can all agree that the status match was intended to attract experienced cruisers. In particular, experienced cruisers from the north american market (since MSC's business structure is the big push in NA).

 

 However; MSC initial pricing structure in the US was designed to attract the IN-experienced or first time cruise because it was a very inexpensive product. MSC's status match attracted experienced cruisers and a very low cost. Recipe for criticism as many of those cruisers did not align expectations with price paid  (champagne taste on beer budget analogy again).

 

However; now MSC's prices are creeping up in the USA (with the exception of last minute deals which are currently very good). As experienced cruisers (whether from the east or west side of the pond) pay more premium prices, they rightful expect a more refined product. The OP's experience demonstrates lack of basic competency in several areas. There are enough reviews which describe similar experiences as the OP reported, so I do not believe this isn't a 'one time fluke' report. I've personally experienced some of the same issues reported here. It happens. 

 

We have very dear friends that live in Southampton. They described the difference between North American and British cruisers in that customers from North America have higher expectations of service (but are willing to pay extra in gratuity). Our friends are willing to accept less service as just 'normal', but they do not pay the same level of gratuities. It's a cultural difference between North America and Europe, neither side is 'right' or 'wrong'. We're just different.

 

Beam, I don't doubt that some crew dislike North American customers and see them as demanding, but you also can't deny that many crew LOVE North Americans (some of us are actually quite pleasant to be around) because at the end of the week it's much more likely that someone from NA will show our appreciation with an extra $100 bill or two. Not all NA tip of course, but I think it's standard knowledge across the industry that more often than not, the most generous tippers come from North America. 

 

I'm not suggesting that everyone will have the same experience as the OP, or even a similar experience. I believe that most people won't even notice some of the details she has reported. At the same time, I am suggesting that guests might be well served to align expectations to avoid disappointment. 

 

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On 5/16/2019 at 9:48 AM, jcathers1 said:

 

This is quite the intellectual leap, to ascribe motives to a person with hardly any information. He didn't serve this passenger immediately (who sounds like she was a real treat throughout the cruise)? Obviously, he's a sexist. 

 

Yes, MSC'c crew is diverse--but  no more or less diverse than the crews of the other 3 lines we've cruised on. 

 

A leap based on my personal experience. Much like you made a leap based on your personal experience when you stated above that MSC crew is no more or less diverse than crews on other lines.  I challenge the accuracy of this statement. Do you have a reference to support this leap other than your personal experience? Based on mine, I strongly suggest that the opposite is true. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, eroller said:

I'm very used to dealing with various nationalities 

It’s such a shame how the MSC board has changed over the past few years. 

 

You have summed up what sort of person you are by saying “I’m very used to dealing with various nationalities”

 

’various nationalities’ are to be embraced and cherished, learn from them its 2019 - there is no need to ‘deal’ with them. 

 

 

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There might be different expectations of service but not a different expectation to get the contract fulfilled and the product you paid for. If you think europeans (political, geographical, cultural?) would just accept that, you better cruise out of italy or france, watch and enjoy the show.

 

But if most bartenders are rude to you, we all know where the problem was. That is virtually impossible. On no cruise, american style, european style, departing from all different regions I was able to experience that. Unless of course you p* o* one of them, in the beginning as they talk about guests and the word spreads quick. Good and bad equally. 

 

And of course people they know for a while, have cruised with them before, doing a b2b and have been pleasant get a bit more attention. That is even more so an american cruise lines. If I come back there I don't have to wait forever if the bar is busy but get taken care of in between as they know my to go drink anyway. 

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1 hour ago, eroller said:

I'm also a flight attendant for a major airline so I'm very used to dealing with various nationalities. 

 

Hey DSC, we need you :).

 

In the above sentence, eroller used the word 'dealing'. However thecruiser6 used the word 'deal'.  I'm truly interested in how different people interpret the same sentence.

 

When I read eroller's post, I took 'dealing' to mean #1 in the first pic (noun) or if I changed the word to 'deal' (verb) erollers statement would align with number 3 in the second picture (especially since a flight attendant is in the service industry).

 

But thecruiser6 took it to mean something entirely different. With even a negative tone more similar to #4 in the second picture below.

 

I'm not suggesting I'm right and thecruiser6 is wrong, but I'm interested in how two people can read the same word in a sentence and draw entirely different conclusions about its meaning.

 

image.png.5228da9aaafb6de9e3a0a70fb5b2ba22.png

 

Definition of "Dealing"

image.png.c113cc5e7e9931922d7e6d947c161d54.png

 

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2 minutes ago, micm said:

There might be different expectations of service....

 

I was just talking about the level of service one associates with fulfilling the contract ;). 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, thecruisers6 said:

 

 

You have summed up what sort of person you are by saying “I’m very used to dealing with various nationalities”

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you have summed up the sort of person you are by making a quick judgement based on one line, which you did not even interpret correctly.  All I need to know about you.  

Edited by eroller

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5 hours ago, eroller said:

 

 

No surprise, as North Americans in general are experienced cruisers and know what to expect, and will voice their opinion if expectations are not met.  I see nothing wrong with that.  The OP is an experienced cruiser and was well prepared in what they should have received.  MSC dropped the ball in so many cases.  In Europe there are so many nationalities sailing I'm sure it's much easier for the crew to say "no" and get away with it.  Many are probably first time cruisers as well and don't know what to expect.  The hassle factor is so high in trying to get a problem resolved that most people (not Americans) will simply move on.  Also in Europe MSC will embark and disembark pax at various ports during a single cruise, creating a bit more confusion and probably making it a tad easier to get away with just the bare basics.      

 

MSC did the status match in North America to pull market share from established cruise lines.  The problem is by doing that MSC also pulled very experienced cruisers that are used to cruise lines that are very well run.  They quickly notice the short comings of MSC which mostly stem from management structure and lack of training.  So in some ways MSC shot themselves in the foot.  They may get these experienced cruisers once, but perhaps never again.  Also you should not have to book into the YC to have a decent experience.  That is not the case with other lines and it shouldn't be the case with MSC either ... at least if they want to be successful in North America.  Meanwhile more MSC ships are coming to Miami (the World Class) and a new two-ship terminal will be built at PortMIami to accommodate the growth.  The terminal looks amazing.  It might be better than the ships themselves!  

Very well said. 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, eroller said:

 

 

No surprise, as North Americans in general are experienced cruisers and know what to expect, and will voice their opinion if expectations are not met.  I see nothing wrong with that.  The OP is an experienced cruiser and was well prepared in what they should have received.  MSC dropped the ball in so many cases.  In Europe there are so many nationalities sailing I'm sure it's much easier for the crew to say "no" and get away with it.  Many are probably first time cruisers as well and don't know what to expect.  The hassle factor is so high in trying to get a problem resolved that most people (not Americans) will simply move on.  Also in Europe MSC will embark and disembark pax at various ports during a single cruise, creating a bit more confusion and probably making it a tad easier to get away with just the bare basics.      

 

MSC did the status match in North America to pull market share from established cruise lines.  The problem is by doing that MSC also pulled very experienced cruisers that are used to cruise lines that are very well run.  They quickly notice the short comings of MSC which mostly stem from management structure and lack of training.  So in some ways MSC shot themselves in the foot.  They may get these experienced cruisers once, but perhaps never again.  Also you should not have to book into the YC to have a decent experience.  That is not the case with other lines and it shouldn't be the case with MSC either ... at least if they want to be successful in North America.  Meanwhile more MSC ships are coming to Miami (the World Class) and a new two-ship terminal will be built at PortMIami to accommodate the growth.  The terminal looks amazing.  It might be better than the ships themselves!  

Ernie ... Many cruisers in Europe are experienced cruisers and for you to make out any different is wrong in saying that they are likely first time cruisers. 

Many of these people likely do not cruise the Caribbean and choose to stay and sail in Europe with Costa and MSC. There are however large numbers of Europeans and those from the UK who do cruise the Caribbean.

I consider the two of us to be experienced cruisers/ holiday makers having visited many countries outside of the UK on land holidays and cruises.

Many North American cruisers have never cruised outside of their own backyard and it seems have difficulty when it comes to other Nationalities.

Yes I know there are those who have cruised and holidayed within Europe and are usually the ones who do not have such issues with MSC or how they run their business and know how to deal with other Nationalities.

The status match may well have attracted customers but it is the worst thing MSC have ever done apart from removing the 20% Black card discount.

There does appear to be a sense of entitlement from some people on these boards which have sadly gone downhill over the last four or five years.

 

Edited by sidari

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, sidari said:

Ernie ... Many cruisers in Europe are experienced cruisers and for you to make out any different is wrong in saying that they are likely first time cruisers. 

Many of these people likely do not cruise the Caribbean and choose to stay and sail in Europe with Costa and MSC.

I consider the two of us to be experienced cruisers/ holiday makers having visited many countries outside of the UK on land holidays and cruises.

Many North American cruisers have never cruised outside of their own backyard and it seems have difficulty when it comes to other Nationalities.

Yes I know there are those who have cruised and holidayed within Europe and are usually the ones who do not have such issues with MSC or how they run their business and know how to deal with other Nationalities.

The status match may well have attracted customers but it is the worst thing MSC have ever done apart from removing the 20% Black card discount.

There does appear to be a sense of entitlement from some people on these boards which have sadly gone downhill over the last four or five years.

 

 

 

Well the fact is that the modern cruising market in North America has been established and built up far longer than Europe.  The market penetration is also deeper as we have been a cruising market for longer.  So yes there are more experienced cruisers here.  I'm not saying there are not experienced cruisers in Europe.  There are obviously.  I am saying that North America is a more mature cruising market.  Its been around longer.  Simple as that.  Also most of the established cruise lines are located here and in the past at least, have catered to the North American market.  That is changing as the world becomes more global.  

 

Along with that are expectations.  Some of the MSC product is not up to North American standards, no matter how much they say it is.  It might be acceptable to European standards I don't know?  I can assume maybe it is since MSC has been operating in Europe far longer than North America and that is its foundation.  Format changes have been made to make MSC more appealing to North America but they seem to fall short.  At the same time MSC doesn't want to lose its identity and become just like every other cruise line.  I know one of the things I enjoy about MSC are its differences.  I know not everyone appreciates that.  But bad service and poor service recovery should not be an excuse because "we are a European cruise line".  

 

I'm not saying one region is right and one is wrong, just different.  BUT, if MSC wants to continue to grow in North America and complete against power houses like Carnival, NCL, and Royal Caribbean they will have to better adapt.  That means better management that are empowered to resolve issues and a crew that are properly trained.  Either that or continue to offer cruises at rock bottom prices that only attract the inexperienced cruiser with no preset expectations.  One and done in many cases.  My experience is that an MSC cruise is great if everything goes as planned.  The minute you have an issue you are screwed.  Their service recovery is dismal.  

Edited by eroller

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We're a week out from debarking and with that I've had time to reflect. 

 

I have apologized to DH for booking a 'vacation' that was so stressful, he would have rather been at the office than on that ship. 

 

On a positive, I do want to point out some of the good things I've mentioned before. 

 

The food in the MDR is a step above other cruise lines. If you're on a special diet, Keto, Med, South Beach, vegan, whatever, it was easy to find tasty choices to keep on track. We had Choice dining, but had the same wait staff every night and they were wonderful. 

 

I also want to compliment the Spa staff. DH said his deep tissue massages (included with Aurea) were good. I really liked all the dry and steam saunas and could have lived all day in the salt water hot tub and salt room.  

 

I'm not really an excursion kind of person, preferring to do my own thing. But we booked 'The Best of Cozumel' and it was really great fun and better than expected. We booked through MSC, but they probably have similar excursions on every cruise line.  

 

Having said that, I still feel totally ripped off by what was 'promised' and what was delivered. As I said, one of the draws was the 'status match'. We just made Diamond on RCL (I could have been Diamond a long time ago, but that's another story), which also transfers to Celebrity and I guess I was expecting similar perks. But in preparing for our next cruise (RCL) I realize how much  I actually gave up and how this wasn't much of a 'match' at all. No Diamond Lounge or Nightly Event (Happy Hour). No breakfast with specialty coffees. Getting Robes without having to make an issue of it. Various onboard discounts, such as discounts in shops (which may have been offered, but I didn't get due to not having correct card). Choice (My Time) dining without having to pay for an upgraded cabin. Yes, you get all those perks in YC, but I get all of those perks on RCL even if I book an inside cabin, and some of them before I made Diamond. So really, is this a 'status match'? Is it? Really? 

 

I just filled out my survey from MSC and expressed to them how disappointing the cruise turned out to be. Mostly due to having to fight to get things I had already paid for, resulting in 6 visits to GS and the general lack of knowledge of the staff. I'm not looking for anything from MSC, it's water under the bridge, but hopefully they will take note and your experience will be improved. 

 

Happy Cruising. 

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4 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

A leap based on my personal experience. Much like you made a leap based on your personal experience when you stated above that MSC crew is no more or less diverse than crews on other lines.  I challenge the accuracy of this statement. Do you have a reference to support this leap other than your personal experience? Based on mine, I strongly suggest that the opposite is true. 

 

 

 

No, I didn't make any sort of intellectual leap. Let me help you out:

 

The OP claims she wasn't promptly served and was irritated by it. Fair enough. You claim you also weren't promptly served, and decided this was because the bartender was sexist. Although you might be right, you have no basis to believe that, but choose to believe it anyway. That's intellectual laziness. (Also, another poster has directly contradicted your contention by claiming she was served promptly.)

 

I said (in my experience) MSC has as diverse a crew as anyone else. Fair enough. That's based on my experience. If I had then said, the reason they have such a diverse crew is because they want crew members who speak different languages in order to confuse the passengers, that would be me sounding like an idiot by ascribing a motive to something that I have no proof for. 

 

You're welcome to report whatever experience you want--what you shouldn't do is fabricate reasons for that experience that you cannot reasonably prove. 

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