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Beware of the MSC Upgrade bid program

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I originally booked a Fantastica Balcony room on the Seaside in August. I then got an email later about a MSC Upgrade program. So I bid on a Yacht Club inside room assuming it came with the Yacht Club experience.  Well, I got an email saying the offer was accepted. I called to verify that it came with the Yacht Club experience and was told it didn't come with anything. So for others looking at this program beware, we "upgraded" from a balcony room to an inside cabin for more money. They did say I could go back to my original cabin but would lose the upgrade money.

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They would have to allow you to be fed in the YC dining room at a minimum.

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Posted (edited)

What drinks package did you have?  Can you post a screenshot of the emails you received?  Also can you tell us basic pricing for what you paid for the balcony and what the accepted bid for the YC inside was?

Edited by Até

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Até said:

What drinks package did you have?  Can you post a screenshot of the emails you received?  Also can you tell us basic pricing for what you paid for the balcony and what the accepted bid for the YC inside was?

We didn't have a drink package.

Choose to have more comfort and Upgrade your stateroom. Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in web browser

 

 

MSC Cruises Logo

 

 

MSC Cruises

 

 

Dear xxxxxxx

You are invited to participate in the MSC Upgrade program! With this program you will have the opportunity to submit offers to upgrade from your existing stateroom. Hurry up, this exclusive offer is only available on a limited number of staterooms on your cruise.

MSC Upgrade is only valid for booking number  (Booking ID_Stateroom Number).

xxxxx  to get started.

If you booked your voyage through a travel agent, please be assured that your agent can guide you through the upgrade process.

Your Cruise Information

 

Ship  MSC Seaside

 

Sail Date  xxxxxx

 

Stateroom  Balcony

 

Booking ID_Stateroom Number  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

upgrade IMAGE

 

 

Grand Suites

 

 

From $1,230 USD pp

 

 

upgrade IMAGE

 

 

MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suite

 

 

From $1,060 USD pp

 

 

upgrade IMAGE

 

 

Suite with Whirlpool Bath

 

 

From $810 USD pp

 

 

upgrade IMAGE

 

 

Suite

 

 

From $390 USD pp

 

 

upgrade IMAGE

 

 

MSC Yacht Club Interior Suite

 

 

From $115 USD pp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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© 2019 MSC Cruises S.A. All Rights Reserved.

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ROY_spacer.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

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plusgrade.com

 

Edited by Host Carolyn
remove links w/ personal info

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So, if you have YC access and they don't ask you for your card/wristband in the TS lounge - how will they know you don't get the bennies?

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4 minutes ago, Beachin2 said:

So, if you have YC access and they don't ask you for your card/wristband in the TS lounge - how will they know you don't get the bennies?

Q. What happens with the promotions I already have if I am upgraded through MSC UpGrade?
A. You get to keep the promotions you already have based on the stateroom category originally booked. However, no additional promotions will be added to your reservation.

 

That will definitely be interesting.  FAQ clearly states you don't get any additional "promotions".  I assume that also means perks of the cabin.  Otherwise that would be one heck of a deal at $115pp to get the YC cabin plus the YC drinks package.

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No one ever asked for our card in yacht club...im not sure how any butler's (besides your cabin butler) would know that info. Now, when you leave YC that may be a different story as they need to scan for drinks. Outside yc you may have no drinks included....

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Yet others who have had a free upgrade to YC got the whole package!

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I cannot imagine how this practically speaking would work when you bid up to a YC room.  I could see if you bid up to Aurea, but they don't give you the Aurea perks of a free massage for example.  But in YC everyone needs the wristband, or at a minimum, the card, to open the door.  After that, are they really going to tell you that you have to go the MDRs, and please get out of the top sail lounge?  That would be crazy!  I would venture to guess you'll still get the YC perks.  

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Modes ... Those in YC cannot eat in the MDR due to the numbers of the other cabins that are divided between them.

 

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Posted (edited)

I wonder if the concierge and butler will refuse their services?  What about priority embarkation, tendering and disembarkation?  Will her card work for priority elevator service?  If not, considering the loss of space and a balcony it seems barely worth even that small sum just for the possible YC dining room and maybe Access to the One pool deck.  It sure leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

 

YC interiors commonly sell for $2500 to $3000 per week with all the benefits.  If you take away it's main perks like drink package $868 (used Premium) and thermal spa access $200? for two I'd say the upgrade cabin is worth like $1500 to $2000.  With the $115pp minimum bid and already being in an "Escape" rate Fantastica balcony of currently about $1730 that seems way overpriced vs. just booking the cabin outright to get the perks.

 

The YC Deluxe at $2120 + $1730 = $3950 (minimum) without the valuable benefits is equally bad.

Edited by Até

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8 minutes ago, sidari said:

Those in YC cannot eat in the MDR due to the numbers of the other cabins that are divided between them.

Personal experience, it can be done.  We're also not talking about a lot of people here so even though I don't think MSC would do that, it wouldn't surprise me if MSC did.

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18 minutes ago, Até said:

I wonder if the concierge and butler will refuse their services?  What about priority embarkation, tendering and disembarkation?  Will her card work for priority elevator service?  If not, considering the loss of space and a balcony it seems barely worth even that small sum just for the possible YC dining room and maybe Access to the One pool deck.  It sure leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

 

YC interiors commonly sell for $2500 to $3000 per week with all the benefits.  If you take away it's main perks like drink package $868 (used Premium) and thermal spa access $200? for two I'd say the upgrade cabin is worth like $1500 to $2000.  With the $115pp minimum bid and already being in an "Escape" rate Fantastica balcony of currently about $1730 that seems way overpriced vs. just booking the cabin outright to get the perks.

 

The YC Deluxe at $2120 + $1730 = $3950 (minimum) without the valuable benefits is equally bad.

They also told me no butler and no priority embarkation. We are black card. The room is on the same deck as topsail, right down the hall.

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I am hopeful that this is a situation of MSC shoreside having no practical idea of what happens once you are on board, or even checking in. (not unheard of.)  I could be wrong, for sure.  But there would be zero reason to consider it an upgrade to go from a fantastica balcony to an inside room with no amenities.  The only reason that inside room is an upgrade is b/c it's in YC.  I suppose it's a few decks higher, but it's an inside room.  I would probably feign total ignorance, show up at the YC tent, get my YC luggage tags on, and enjoy the ride from there.  If someone said to me "Oh i'm sorry you don't get the perks" I would simply remind them that I paid to upgrade, not to downgrade my cruise.

 

Best of luck!! 

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16 minutes ago, Valkyrie said:

They also told me no butler and no priority embarkation. We are black card. The room is on the same deck as topsail, right down the hall.

Thanks again for providing valuable information about this new program.  I was wondering if you did the minimum bid or more, I'm kind of surprised they would let go one of the coveted YC insides a month and a half before sailing.  Please keep us informed as to how this all works out and I hope they at least give you some of the YC perks.

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37 minutes ago, Até said:

Thanks again for providing valuable information about this new program.  I was wondering if you did the minimum bid or more, I'm kind of surprised they would let go one of the coveted YC insides a month and a half before sailing.  Please keep us informed as to how this all works out and I hope they at least give you some of the YC perks.

We bid $250 per person.

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50 minutes ago, kodesthemoose said:

I am hopeful that this is a situation of MSC shoreside having no practical idea of what happens once you are on board, or even checking in. (not unheard of.)  I could be wrong, for sure.  But there would be zero reason to consider it an upgrade to go from a fantastica balcony to an inside room with no amenities.  The only reason that inside room is an upgrade is b/c it's in YC.  I suppose it's a few decks higher, but it's an inside room.  I would probably feign total ignorance, show up at the YC tent, get my YC luggage tags on, and enjoy the ride from there.  If someone said to me "Oh i'm sorry you don't get the perks" I would simply remind them that I paid to upgrade, not to downgrade my cruise.

 

Best of luck!! 

Thanks, I hope shoreside didn't know either. But the agent ask her supervisor 2 times and said no. We will just have to make the best of it and have a good time.

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3 hours ago, Valkyrie said:

I originally booked a Fantastica Balcony room on the Seaside in August. I then got an email later about a MSC Upgrade program. So I bid on a Yacht Club inside room assuming it came with the Yacht Club experience.  Well, I got an email saying the offer was accepted. I called to verify that it came with the Yacht Club experience and was told it didn't come with anything. So for others looking at this program beware, we "upgraded" from a balcony room to an inside cabin for more money. They did say I could go back to my original cabin but would lose the upgrade money.

Evidently you got some bad information.  If you were to receive an inside Yacht Club cabin then you would be in the YC and you would receive all the benefits...period.

Don't believe everything you are told by an MSC rep.  You received bad information.

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20 minutes ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Evidently you got some bad information.  If you were to receive an inside Yacht Club cabin then you would be in the YC and you would receive all the benefits...period.

Don't believe everything you are told by an MSC rep.  You received bad information.

Thank you, I hope you are right. We have been in the Yacht Club before and really enjoyed it. 

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Something else I found interesting is if they bid on the "Suite" for minimum of $390 per person I wonder what they would get.  It could be at best an aft facing condo suite, highly unlikely as they sell out fast, or at worst a Fantastica suite which is basically the same as what they started with.  Even if they got an Aurea suite it would probably be a deck nine and basically would just get a larger balcony.  No Aurea or suite perks, well maybe My Choice dining.

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Once you are in Yacht Club with a Yacht Club card or wristband, you will get all the perks that come with being in the YC.  No way they can differentiate.  No one ever gets asked for their card once in the YC.  The fact that you're in, means you are entitled to the benefits thereof.  Shoreside hasn't a clue how it works.  Congrats on your upgrade!  Please come back and tell us how it was.

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I do believe that you will get all YC benefits and that "shoreside" doesn't know what they are talking about but I'm not necessary correct.

 

I have heared about people being upgraded who didn't got the benefits, for example access to the Top Sail Lounge. (I think that was a free upgrade and that's not the same thing but it can be done.)

 

If they have upgraded passengers without access to the Top Sail Lounge they can ask for the cards the first day and they can probably also see the photo taken at embarkation if some people can get Into the YC but don't have all the benefits.

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Don’t forget I got all the benefits on Divina last month.

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1 hour ago, nikkiw60 said:

Don’t forget I got all the benefits on Divina last month.

 

You are one of the reasons why the OP can hope that "shoreside" doesn't know what they are talking about.

 

I really hope that they will get everything but I'm not very happy that it can be so cheap to upgrade to the YC. 

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