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theEvilQueen2

Off Seaside Saturday, Just my humble opinion

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So ... the "freebies" that didn't materialise due to status-match spoiled your cruise!  As you didn't "earn" them from sailing with MSC, you weren't "out" anything!  How would you feel if someone was enjoying the "Diamond Lounge" or "Nightly Event" or "breakfast with speciality coffees" just because they were Black Card members of MSC's Voyagers' Club and had never sailed RC before????

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, theEvilQueen2 said:

  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? 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for coming back and summing up a few things.  I do think you encountered a series of blunders, and it's no secret that MSC gets a failing grade on service recovery.  Probably a one and done for you which is fine, but at least you got to experience it.  

 

One thing I don't agree with is your expectation regarding the status match perks.  You should not expect them to be the same as Celebrity, Royal, or any other cruise line.  I'm at the highest tier of many cruise lines, and the perks are all different.  Some are better than others but I don't sail on NCL and expect the same perks as Princess, even though I'm at the highest levels on both.  MSC clearly states what their benefits are, which is quite fair.  Now you should not have to fight for them once onboard.  That is a problem.  

 

Personally I think it's quite generous to offer the status match.  No other cruise line does this.  I have to agree with sidari though and say it's probably a mistake.  It sets the wrong expectation and also it's a great way to piss off your loyal client base.  I know if  Royal, Cunard, NCL, Carnival, etc. offered a status match to some other cruise line I would be pissed.  I earned my status the hard way, one cruise at a time.  For this reason I was grateful to have to Black Card benefits with MSC by status match.  In no way did I earn them, so I certainly cannot complain about them, and I certainly don't begrudge those that actually earned them to feel betrayed by the line.  I know I probably would.  

Edited by eroller

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46 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. 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.

 

 

DH and I have worked hard for our money  all our lives and, yes, when we spend our hard earned American dollars on a vacation we do feel a sense of entitlement … entitled to getting what we paid for, getting what was advertised and yes, being treated with respect and pampered by our 'hosts'.  We go to relax, not to stand in line and argue with untrained and snarky hired help.

 

I agree, status match was a bad advertising ploy, especially when it was in name only and MSC had no intention of delivering in any way on that expectation. I should not have to buy the most expensive cabin or 'experience' on the ship in order to have an enjoyable time, whether it's my first cruise or my 100th. I have booked inside cabins on the smallest ships in the fleet on other cruise lines and been treated better and had a better 'experience than on Seaside. 

 

I was looking forward to being on a ship with a 'continental' vibe. We've been to Italy, France, the UK, and have had great times there. We've even dealt with the 'Paris attitude' (which is a very real thing) and had a good laugh about it.  But never, in any of those countries, have I been treated badly by the staff of a hotel, bar, or restaurant. I've never had so may glitches on land or sea due to probably the worst IT in any market.  I have never been told 'that's an outside vendor, not our problem' when purchasing a product on a companies website. There is just no excuse and MSC has really got to get it's sh*t together or you'll be reading a lot more negative reviews from a lot more 'entitled' people. 

 

So maybe the decline in the people on these boards is not due to a sense of entitlement, but due to inferior products coming to the market. I would hope the people on these boards would be honest and not let the rest of us get sucked in by false advertising and hype. Some things are subjective, some things are just a major fail. 

 

Happy Cruising. 

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25 minutes ago, jcathers1 said:

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 think I understand what you are trying to say (fair enough), but I'm confused how you made the leap that I do not have any basis to believe the person who served me was gender biased? My travel partner speaks fluent Arabic and heard exactly what was said.  

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, theEvilQueen2 said:

I would hope the people on these boards would be honest and not let the rest of us get sucked in by false advertising and hype.

 

Nobody on these boards is responsible for "false advertising and hype".   🙄🙄

 

You need to build a bridge, love (and get over it!)

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1 minute ago, eroller said:

 

 

 

Thanks for coming back and summing up a few things.  I do think you encountered a series of blunders, and it's no secret that MSC get a failing grade on service recovery.  Probably a one and done for you which is fine, but at least you got to experience it.  

 

One thing I don't agree with is your expectation regarding the status match perks.  You should not expect them to be the same as Celebrity, Royal, or any other cruise line.  I'm at the highest tier of many cruise line, and they are all different.  Some are better than others but I don't sail on NCL and expect the same perks as Princess, even though I'm at the highest levels on both.  MSC clearly states what their benefits are, which is quite fair.  Now you should not have to fight for them.  That is a problem.  

 

Personally I think it's quite generous to offer the status match.  No other cruise line does this.  I have to agree with sidari though and say it's probably a mistake.  It sets the wrong expectation and also it's a great way to piss off your loyal client base.  I know if  Royal, Cunard, NCL, Carnival, etc. offered a status match to some other cruise line I would be pissed.  I earned my status the hard way, one cruise at a time.  For this reason I was grateful to have to Black Card benefits with MSC.  In no way did I earn it, so I certainly cannot complain about them, and I certainly don't begrudge those that actually earned them to feel betrayed by the line.  I know I probably would.  

 

I can't disagree on most of your points. I would not be happy to share the Diamond Lounge with first time RCL cruisers, especially since there are so many Diamonds these days that the venues are already over flowing. But I didn't expect a perk by perk match, just some small things, like a bathrobe or some kind of priority debark. Anyway this is another thing that MSC has down graded, swapping Diamond for Gold, not Black. I got a $149 refund on the fare, which they got right back when I upgraded the drink package, which, as previously stated, was a rip off due to the excluded products. 

 

In short, the status match is just a gimmick by MSC and in no way should be a deciding factor when choosing what cruise line to sail on. 

 

And I have never in my entire life booked a cruise, hotel, resort, whatever, and been told that what I purchased is no longer included, oh well, you should have been here 4 weeks ago, without any kind of rebate or adjustment.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, theEvilQueen2 said:

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. 

 

 

The MSC perks for each status level are well publicized. If they did not meet up with the RCL equivalents, you should have known that in advance. That’s on you. 

 

Also, the cruise “contract” that you agreed to allows any line to change terms: change or eliminate ports of call etc. that means they can change the terms of a drink program, without notice or compensation. That is a fact of life relative to cruising. Again, as an experienced cruiser, you should know that. (I get that it is disappointing but computer systems are likely often not able to distinguish and grandfather: and at some point, changes just need to be implemented and done.)

 

We we only have experienced friendly and kind crew on MSC, but we also have not experienced the very legit complaints you did have. Almost all report that Guest Services is a just say “no” experience. That is a shame. 

 

Another poster noted MSC needs to empower their crew to make decisions - how right that is!  Fixing your status match should have been one and done at GS, given your paperwork. 

 

Anyways, sorry you had a poor experience. 

Edited by TrinaLC

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14 hours ago, Beamafar said:

 

Nobody on these boards is responsible for "false advertising and hype".   🙄🙄

 

You need to build a bridge, love (and get over it!)

Is that a verb, noun or a song 🤔

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3 minutes ago, thecruisers6 said:

Is that a verb, noun or a song 🤔

 

Apparently it's up to us people on the boards to ensure that "the rest" out there don't get sucked in by false advertising, lol.  What are we - the false advertising police?  Some people want their hands held when making booking decisions.  🙄

 

Mind you, I'm still trying to figure out where the false advertising came in.  Most reports on this forum have been of positive experiences around status-match and the perks that people - who'd never sailed MSC before - got!  Seems that that's all it took to sway someone to try MSC, but, because it wasn't an enjoyable experience, it's the fault of "people on these boards" who were responsible by letting the rest get sucked in.  You couldn't make it up.

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Bea ... I blame Captain Tim and all those others who sadly no longer add their experience and wealth of knowledge of MSC to these boards for getting us hooked on MSC ... 😂

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Posted (edited)

Dem were de days, Dave.  (Skipper Tim BTW). 

Edited by Beamafar

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37 minutes ago, sidari said:

Bea ... I blame Captain Tim and all those others who sadly no longer add their experience and wealth of knowledge of MSC to these boards for getting us hooked on MSC ... 😂

Well I blame you 2 for getting me hooked 😀😀

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Well ... I'm prepared to take the blame for you enjoying your cruise (despite the fact that it was wholly and totally up to you whether you did or not - just like it'd be your own fault if you didn't enjoy it ... and not because people on here didn't prevent you from "getting sucked in").

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On 5/18/2019 at 4:44 PM, BermudaBound2014 said:

 

 

I think I understand what you are trying to say (fair enough), but I'm confused how you made the leap that I do not have any basis to believe the person who served me was gender biased? My travel partner speaks fluent Arabic and heard exactly what was said.  

 

 

 

 

If that's what you experienced, then I suppose you can report that the bartender was sexist. But that's new information in this conversation that no one previously had...

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:27 PM, theEvilQueen2 said:

Now and then I complain about some small thing on my preferred cruise line, but after a taste of this alternative, I'm going home.  If you're considering this ship due to all the hype, don't.  Just don't. I cannot in good conscience keep quiet and not tell you this.    Maybe if you book Y Club it may be a different experience, but there's still a lot of bad on the rest of the ship you'll have to deal with. If you've already booked and feel you just have to try it out, make sure you take receipts, paper receipts, for everything you do and buy pre-cruise.  This may help, no guarantee. All those great things their hyping, it's ala carte or you won't get it at all. And if you don't go YC, you will be treated like you're a peasant traveling in steerage. Caveat Emptor.    

 

Happy Cruising.  

Bummer you didn't have a good cruise. Hopefully, your next one (on whichever cruise line you choose) will be better. 

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On 5/19/2019 at 6:12 AM, Beamafar said:

Well ... I'm prepared to take the blame for you enjoying your cruise (despite the fact that it was wholly and totally up to you whether you did or not - just like it'd be your own fault if you didn't enjoy it ... and not because people on here didn't prevent you from "getting sucked in").

 

You and sidari can take the blame for me too.  It was because of your fair reviews that we chose to book (Yacht Club, can't speak to the other experiences) and we knew what we were in store for, good and bad, and how to deal with any problems that may occur.  None did, thankfully, but we were prepared.  I do think MSC has issues needing to be resolved, but my own on board experience was very good.  We are booked again this year, and I'm very much looking forward to it.  I thought I was finished with cruising altogether due to poor experiences combined with extremely high prices for the categories we like book.

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1 hour ago, Rou-Dyliq said:

 

You and sidari can take the blame for me too.  It was because of your fair reviews that we chose to book (Yacht Club, can't speak to the other experiences) and we knew what we were in store for, good and bad, and how to deal with any problems that may occur.  None did, thankfully, but we were prepared.  

 

That's really nice to know, RD.  Thank you for your kind words.  😊

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First of all, We love YC!!  Last year was the best cruise that I have ever been on.   Is MSC perfect?   I think we all know that answer.   Last year we booked while on board and was told and given in writing that the four of us were to receive $200.00 (per person) on board credit.  On our first invoice it was only $100.00 per cabin.  We booked two cabins in YC.   After three weeks of going back and forth and me providing the information that was given to us when we booked, MSC gave us the $200.00 on board credit but not for our 17 year old son even though we paid full fare for him.   They told my TA that the policy had changed.   Huh??   But our experience with MSC YC was so good last year I decided that it was not worth the fight.   Moral of the story, don’t believe everything that you are told and given.   But, what the heck.  We are going to have another great cruise in July.

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40 minutes ago, Hobby3333 said:

After three weeks of going back and forth and me providing the information that was given to us when we booked, MSC gave us the $200.00 on board credit but not for our 17 year old son even though we paid full fare for him.   They told my TA that the policy had changed.   Huh??   But our experience with MSC YC was so good last year I decided that it was not worth the fight 

 

I don't recall ever reading a posting that sums up how to enjoy a MSC cruise better than this one. Hobby3333, you absolutely have the right attitude to enjoy MSC.  

 

Not making a judgment against those that do stand up based on principle as I understand that stance also.  

 

Happy Cruising everyone!

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A lot of people are really missing the point. It wasn't one thing, it wasn't the status match, it wasn't the rude bartender(s), it wasn't even the horrible woman we kept getting at GS who had a 'NO' attitude and was full of misinformation. Any one of those things I could shrug off. It was the fact that so many things went wrong and once it started it just kept snowballing. Just one thing after another. After another, After another. 

And no, I do not think the people who post on CC are responsible for anything. All I was saying is that I would hope that the people here are honest with their reviews, good or bad, so the rest of us can make an educated choice about where to spend our vacation money. 

Seems that the consensus is if you go YC it's a good cruise, but anything else, average or sub-par. And I think we can all agree that MSC really needs to get it's act together when it comes to their IT, Guest Services and Customer Service. They also need to just stop selling one thing and saying that it's changed the program once you've purchased or are onboard. This isn't just a one time thing, it's a systemic fault. It seems quite deliberate. If anyone starts a class action suit, count me in.

 

Happy Cruising. 

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Posted (edited)

I disembarked a week later.  I was solo in a YC inside.  I had read Venchi and crepes were no longer gratis.  (i booked last June when they were included.). On board I was pleased that the Venchi drinks were in fact included.  It was fun to have these at trivia.  However, if they had not been I would have had something else.  Never saw crepes.  So, until now, had not even crossed my mind.  

 

Perfect cruise?  No.  But only a few hiccups and some of those were funny as heck. 

 

Never had to wait for a heated tile lounger in spa.  Quite a contrast to Epic a few years ago.  

 

I cannot imagine anything that would have me fuming days later, especially bar service.  Life is too short. 

Edited by DMH15

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26 minutes ago, DMH15 said:

 I was pleased that the Venchi drinks were in fact included.  It was fun to have these at trivia.  However, if they had not been I would have had something else.  Never saw crepes.  So, until now, had not even crossed my mind.  

 

 

Glad you got the Venchi drinks!  I did the same in March.  If you wanted crepes you had to go aft on deck 7.  I was happy the moved the trivia to Plaza Grande. The year before it was in the Seaview Lounge (which was good for the Cruise Critic reception).

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On 5/13/2019 at 9:27 PM, theEvilQueen2 said:

We just got off Seaside, which we tried due to falling for the hype and offers of 'status match' and such. We booked an Aurea balcony, status match to Gold for RCL Diamond. Upgrade drinks to Deluxe PLUS and family internet package (which is suppose to include up to 4 devices). 

 

Our first clue should have been when our room keys weren't printed, even though I booked months ago and had taken care of all upgrades and status match. We were given a blue card instead of Gold, which we didn't find out until much later was actually a big deal and would cost us in things we were entitled to. 

 

If you ask 5 employees of this ship a question, you will get 5 different answers. If you need to know where to go to get something or something done, you will be sent on a wild goose chase. Whatever you need, the first answer will be NO, either you didn't pay for that or you bought it from an outside vendor (even though you bought it on the MSC website) so they can't help you.  You may think you bought this, but you bought that. And this is not included. And you're an idiot, so sod off. 

 

So many things were botched, from the drink package (we bought the most Plus package, and heard 'that drink is not included' from every waiter and bartender for the first 2 days) , our status match (room steward wouldn't bring us bathrobes, etc) , internet (bought family plan, they said we could only use one device at a time) , etc. The oft repeated line 'that is handled by an outside vender and there is nothing we can do onboard'. After 6 trips and long lines at guest services we got everything (mostly) straight. We were charged for a $15 drink from the first day, but I was not going to stand in line a 7th time, so let it go.   The theme of this ship seemed to be 'the customer doesn't have a clue and the answer is always NO.' (Maybe if I'd had my Gold card they would have realized that this wasn't our first rodeo.) 

 

When I bought the Plus beverage, we were told it was all inclusive, including gelato, Venchi drinks, crepes, basically everything but Venchi retail (chocolate candy). Onboard we were told that the program changed 4 weeks ago and those things are no longer included. And no, even though we bought it months ago, it was not grandfathered in. Refund for false advertising? lol. Also, Plus includes mini bar, but only the things that are standard.  Even if the brand of beer you prefer is onboard, they will not substitute. We managed to get them to take away the gin and Chivas and got 3 bottles of vodka instead, but believe me, that was a hard fight and took 3 days to accomplish.   They substituted and gave me Diet Coke... once. 

 

The bartenders are basically clueless. Mostly. Even on the day that White Russians were the drink of the day they didn't know how to make it. They made it with Stoli (ok), milk and a splash of Kahlua. I asked for heavy Kahlua and got a glorious 2nd splash. A splash, like a splash of Vermouth in a Martini. Most times any drink I ordered from their menu, the bartender needed to look up the ingredients and even then didn't get the proportions correct. I left many a drink on the table and walked away.  We went to the Aurea bar on 19 once and never went back. This was on day 3. I ordered a drink and the bartender waited on 3 people who walked up after me because he knew them from being there from the first day (Aldo, who should be fired). There were a few good bartenders, but even the good ones never got a drink exactly correct and too many of them were just rude. Don't even get me started on the waitresses in The Haven. B-word. 

 

They kept saying it was the most beautiful ship on earth, but's it's all chrome and mirrors, where's the art?  If you're the kind of person who takes a lot of selfies and likes to stare at yourself in mirrors for hours on end, you might enjoy this. Elevators, hallways, mirrors, mirrors, mirrors. If there's ever a crash you will surely be sliced to death.    

 

I finally lost it at guest services and was  brought to the supervisors office, where I had a full and complete Italian style meltdown (which is totally out of character for me).


After my melt down, the next morning we went to Future Cruises as instructed to get the Gold Card situation straight. After the crew guy acted like he was annoyed that were we bothering him. we told him our problem and without even looking at his computer he told us that there's was nothing he could do for us onboard, maybe we could get a status upgrade ON OUR NEXT CRUISE. He said NO (typical), before his fingers even touched his keyboard. I was prepared with all my paperwork. He looked it up and there it was, plain in light of day, Gold status and member number. He didn't even have to use the member number I has brought along, it was just there. Even though Guest Services had said NO way.  He checked a box or whatever and then sent us back to our beloved Guest Services to get a new card printed. Then GS sent us back to annoyed guy to see if we could get out hat or tote bag or whatever, which we never did

The next day I received a bottle of champagne and a selection of desserts (straight from the buffet, a box of Venchi would have been nice)  in my stateroom (I gave the champagne to my MDR server). What I wanted was the gift which was promised, the hat or tote or whatever. (which is fine, because they won't get any free advertising on my head). 

 

Some positive, The Meet and Greet was nice. They had drinks, snacks, a cake and a group photo with Captain that we all got a copy of. So that was nice.  

 

Also on a positive, the food was better than most cruises we've been on and the thermal spa is to die for (dry, steam, aroma, salt, salt water hot tub.) Only real problem is there are only 3 hot tables and the international clients seem to feel that chair hogging is their god given right.   I saw one couple put towels on two tables and let them sit there while they did the entire circuit of steam rooms and hot tubs. Some guy (an American of course) finally removed them and it sounded like a fist fight was about to ensue. 

 

You ladies will understand this. You know when you go to the perfume department at Macy's and the sales clerk treats you like you probably can't even afford to be there? That's pretty much how you get treated by everyone who works on this ship. Except the dining room staff, who for some reason are a delightful exception.      

 

This really has nothing to do with anything, but what the hell is the deal with The Morning Show? This is usually where you go to get some helpful information and maybe a few jokes. But the cruise director and staff mgr spend the whole time flirting with each other to the point that they should just get a room and spare us their mating dance. Every morning, the same embarrassing ritual. Sad. I got to the point here I just couldn't look. 

 

The last night we were packing and waiting for the liquor we had purchased onshore. We went to dinner, we went to show, still no liquor. Disembark instructions said if you purchased onboard you had to go to Duty Free to pick it up. So we went to Duty Free and they said we had to go to... ta da.... Guest Services. GS said that we had to go to Security on the day of debark to pick up our 'confiscated illegal liquor'. Long story short, after another round of losing my cool, the liquor was delivered to our room, a good 2 hours after we were supposed to have our suitcases in the hallway. What Ever. 

 

Now and then I complain about some small thing on my preferred cruise line, but after a taste of this alternative, I'm going home.  If you're considering this ship due to all the hype, don't.  Just don't. I cannot in good conscience keep quiet and not tell you this.    Maybe if you book Y Club it may be a different experience, but there's still a lot of bad on the rest of the ship you'll have to deal with. If you've already booked and feel you just have to try it out, make sure you take receipts, paper receipts, for everything you do and buy pre-cruise.  This may help, no guarantee. All those great things their hyping, it's ala carte or you won't get it at all. And if you don't go YC, you will be treated like you're a peasant traveling in steerage. Caveat Emptor.    

 

Happy Cruising.  

THAT was close to a description of my first MSC cruise on the Divina.

Sad to hear that they have not made much improvement since.
Us peasants are booked on the 6/22 cruise in steerage.
Also booked on the Meraviglia in Oct.....but will cancel or keep depending on how this one goes.

Thank you for posting your experience.

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I just got off my second cruise on the Seaside this past Saturday, also having cruised with multiple other lines.  I can definitely see where the OP is coming from, as both of my Seaside cruises had issues, too.  If anything is an issue, expect multiple trips to guest services to get it corrected.  On my 1st Seaside cruise last year, they charged my account for something I hadn't bought, and it took 2 trips to guest services to get it removed (and having to argue to both people I spoke with that, no, I didn't make the purchase and yes, I'm absolutely sure I didn't make the purchase, and that NO, I DIDNT BUY ANYTHING FROM THAT SHOP AT ANY POINT ON THIS CRUISE). 

 

This time, I got talked into buying the premium drink package on board, even after telling the guy that sold it that I was mostly interested in the chocolate martinis in the chocolate shop and being assured that as long as they were under $12, they would be included, and also reading the description of the package that specified that it wound be valid for drinks under that amount at all bars on board, and seeing that it didn't state any exceptions.  Cue me going to buy a chocolate martini at Venchi and being told that it wasn't included in any package sold, even though I was staring right at an advertising placard for the drink packages on the counter at Venchi.  I was tempted to ask why they were advertising for a product that can't actually be used there, but drank my chocolate martini and went to guest services to spend half an hour in line to get it removed.  That guy said it would be done, but I still had to go and repeat the process the next day, since it still hadn't been corrected.  Didn't get the full price of the package back, but decided it wasn't worth the effort of another trip to GS. 

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We sailed on the same cruise May 11-18.  We had a great time!!  We did a Bella balcony and it had a big bed and a couch in the room.  We didn't buy the drink package (we don't drink) but there was always plenty of free coffee, lemonade, water and iced tea.  We liked the food and the buffet I thought had good stuff.  They could have switched it up a bit but still good.  I thought everyone was very friendly and always wanting to help.  

We were assigned 5:15 dinner which was way too early so it was no problem to change it to 7:30.

We loved the ports and did really fun excursions!!  We did the Rhino Riders in St Maarten and the dolphin swim in the Bahamas.  So great!!!

I bought the unlimited wifi because I was working a bit and needed to talk to the kids a lot.  It always worked.  I turned on the wifi calling on my cell phone and received phone calls with no problem at all. I face timed the kids every morning and night. 

We spent a lot of time on deck 16 swimming there and the buffet is right there so plenty of coffee :)

We bought the hot/cold tall water bottle in the gift shop and it was the best thing we ever did.  We filled it with either hot coffee or cold drinks and it stayed hot or cold all day long, even if I left it for hours in the hot sun.  

The only complaint hubby had was he smokes and on deck 7 they would take away all the chairs at 5pm in the smoking section leaving him to stand or sit on the stairs.  We were sitting on the chairs, hubby stood up for a second and poof gone!!! 

Getting on the ship was a breeze, no line and getting off the ship just as easy.  Walked right off!!  Had a 1:45 flight and we were there 3 hours early.

We are bringing the kids next year!

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