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nekzaadvakil

Anyone tried MSC Cruises?

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We've been loyal to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises all this while and we've always had some amazing holidays with them. Celebrity's S class ships are our favorite and we feel that its just right for us in terms of ship size, kind of cruisers on board and the overall upmarket but yet laid back feeling on their cruise ships. 

 

However, lately the prices on Celebrity have just been sky rocketing. We've been seeing & hearing some good things about MSC (especially their new ships - MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia). I went to check the prices and was pretty surprised to see some really good value. We usually cruise just once a year, so I don't want to risk having a bad cruise, but then you've got to take some chances right?

 

Has anyone here tried MSC lately? There were initial reports of the food not being as good as other cruise lines (which is subjective) and the entertainment being ordinary. We're a couple in our mid-late thirties from India, and our taste in food is a lot more American than European. 

 

Should we risk it or pay more and stick with Celebrity? 

 

Cheers!

 

Nick  

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35 minutes ago, nekzaadvakil said:

We've been loyal to Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruises all this while and we've always had some amazing holidays with them. Celebrity's S class ships are our favorite and we feel that its just right for us in terms of ship size, kind of cruisers on board and the overall upmarket but yet laid back feeling on their cruise ships. 

 

However, lately the prices on Celebrity have just been sky rocketing. We've been seeing & hearing some good things about MSC (especially their new ships - MSC Seaside and MSC Meraviglia). I went to check the prices and was pretty surprised to see some really good value. We usually cruise just once a year, so I don't want to risk having a bad cruise, but then you've got to take some chances right?

 

Has anyone here tried MSC lately? There were initial reports of the food not being as good as other cruise lines (which is subjective) and the entertainment being ordinary. We're a couple in our mid-late thirties from India, and our taste in food is a lot more American than European. 

 

Should we risk it or pay more and stick with Celebrity? 

 

Cheers!

 

Nick  

Nick,

We had friends that did and said the food was the worst fool they have had on any cruise.

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MSC ships out of the US have the ship within a ship concept called the Yacht Club.

I have sailed in the Yacht Club on Divina and Preziosa, both were fabulous although the food was not as good as Celebrity.  The services and pampering is something else, Celebrity have a long way to catch up in this area.  The YC is not the bargain it once was as prices have sky rocketed with demand and I recently switched back to Celebrity for this very reason.

The general part of the ship outside of the YC is very very crowded and not for me, at the end of the day if you pay for beer don't expect champagne like many people do.......

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Sailed MSC Seaside last November.  Been on Celebrity, Princess, NCL ......it was HORRIBLE!!!!! WORST SERVICE, FOOD AND SMOKING SECTIONS EVERYWHERE!!!! It was cheap and we tried it but never again.    Most of the staff didn't speak English so it was impossible to order a drink most of the time!!  Pool bar service took 20-30 minutes.....the pool deck was FILTHY with trash and litering.   So gross.  The ship is gorgeous and we had a huge aft cabin with wrap around balcony but NEVER AGAIN !  Such a waste of money.  The food everywhere was HORRIBLE.  I lost weight on this Cruise!!    Sailing on Celebrity Equinox in a month......for the second time.......now that's a cruise!😎🥂🌊

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If you are in the Yacht Club, fabulous. Anywhere else, stay away.

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Comparing a Celebrity Cruise in February with an MSC cruise earlier this month, I would say the food is (IMHO) not bad, but indeed choice, value of ingrediences and presentation were in general a bit lower on MSC than on Celebrity. Yet again, not bad, you might say good Italian in same cases home cooking, in some cases nice restaurants. 

I am not sure what defines "taste in food is a lot more American than European" - there were burgers, hot dogs and such every day in the buffet. For a daily steak you need to go the steakhouse speciality restaurant. 

 

The entertainment options were much broader on MSC. There was live music of various styles every night in several bars until far past midnight. The whole atmosphere was much more lively.

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A Canadian couple posted a review of B2B2B  and of that I believe they were MSC, Celebrity and Princess. Would be worth looking at as they posted a lot fo pics, spoke about costs and food etc. 

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There were some ridiculously cheap cruises out of Southampton on MSC showing on a US TA's website recently. Seven nights on Prezioza from £360 INCLUDING taxes and port fees. Balconies were under £600 with quite good itineraries (France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany, only one sea day). 

The pricing was a red flag for me. The ship looked good on Youtube but for me I'd have concerns about the number of pax for starters. 

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Wife and I, both in early 30's and had only ever sailed Celebrity until January this year when we sailed on MSC Seaside around Eastern Caribbean. The value for money vs Celebrity was incredible. We went Yacht Club which as previously stated is an exclusive area of this ship only for YC guests it includes; a YC pool & bar area, YC sundeck, YC reception/concierge, 24hr butler service, premium drinks package, YC Top Sail Lounge and YC only restaurant.

 

We loved it, I agree the food was not quite on par with Celebrity, and I include the selection of wines on offer in that, what they class as "premium" I wouldn't  - however perfectly good wines were available, and we did not have a bad meal at any stage. That aside, we had probably our best ever cruise, the vibe and service in YC was amazing, so relaxed, quiet with your every need catered for. We often ventured outside the YC and I do think I would struggle had I not had the haven of the YC to retreat to, as the rest of the ship can be quite crowded and "lively" - which we enjoy - but also enjoy being able to escape and unwind. The Seaside ship is gorgeous and I cannot disagree strongly enough on some of the comments made on staff, we found every one of them to be extremely pleasant and attentive, that said we are not the type of people who let one bad experience or one wrong plate of food or drink tarnish a holiday!!

 

My wife cruise once a year (max!),, if not every second year and like you were very cautious about swapping lines and taking a risk, but we are glad we did and are now booked up on MSC Seaview for June 20 around the Med in the Yacht Club.

 

If you can get a decent price and you are used to Celebrity but looking to broaden your horizons then all I can say is our only experience on MSC didn't disappoint, a great balance of tranquility, service, food, fun, entertainment and all at a far more reasonable price that Celebrity.

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We are booked for Seaside yacht club in November, all reviews have been great for yacht club that I read , half price of celebrity edge suites with similar perks, private pool , deck, restaurants etc. 

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We have YC booked on brand new Seashore for £4000 for 2.  I cannot get a cruise in an IV on Edge or Apex for that!!! Let alone a suite!

 

I have done several (4) MSC cruises. 

Ships spotless. Very bling.  Entertainment short 40mins and visual to cater for the different languages on board. 

In Europe you can board and disembark daily.

Drinks packages very good value.

Great music and they have hosts to dance with single passengers which is nice. 

Food not good on my last cruise.  Others disagreed with me on the entertainment and the food.

My last review referred to it as a Marmite cruise (you either love it or hate it!)

https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2668711-divina-review-a-marmite-cruise/

 

If you have loyalty on X they will do a status match so you may get benefits like 5% discount, welcome back party etc.

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We sailed the Seaside in 2018 in a standard balcony as a family of four. First off the price was fantastic and the ship was beautiful. We felt the service was very good. The buffet was excellent, the MDR was fine but not bad in the least. Their drinks package at the time was the best at sea which included unlimited gelato and full room mini bar access. We thought their entertainment was very good and the Michael Jackson “Timeless” show was the best we have ever seen at sea. Lots of Europeans but that never bothered me and everyone was polite and had no issues. Cabin steward was excellent and would refill the drinks and snacks in the mini bar all day. He even left me buckets of beer on top of the fridge. Spa was excellent and we only paid $59 a piece for full thermal spa access for the week. One of the best cruises we have ever taken and for the money we would do it all again. 

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Posted (edited)

Yacht Club on Seaside out of Miami is fabulous. Itinerary a bit same old, same old, but most 7-night Caribbean cruises suffer from this. Going for the next time in November when their private island should be open. Food is not as good as Celebrity, but it is not bad. 

Edited by Happy Cruiser 6143

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We are Elite on Celebrity, last sailed on Equinox a year ago.  Have done three cruises on MSC and are going on Armonia in 11 days.  Really looking forward to her.  We have been on Divina twice and Seaside in Feb. this year.  We love their ships and entertainment.  We love that there is a musical show every night, and a compressed opera last sea day afternoon.  As to food, it was a bit better on Seaside than on Divina (2016) but the entrees usually do not measure up to Celebrity (or even Carnival).  But we are appetizer/soup/salad people and even on other cruise lines might not order a main.  We have sailed Bella and Fantastica experience, do not aspire to Yacht Club, nor do we sail in suites on other lines.  We have never felt the ships to be crowded.   I would like to sail Seaside again soon, but with two Carnival and a Cunard scheduled for 2020, it is not happening.  Would like to sail Edge, too, but not until prices become more realistic.  EM

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We do our first MSC cruise in 9 weeks time after the last 20 cruises being on Celebrity S Class. We are in the YC and initially it was around £4,200 for 9 nights (I managed to grab a RS later so the cost is now around £7,000).  That compares with around £12k that Celebrity wanted for a Sky suite on a 10 day cruise for a cruise to the Canaries ex Southampton.

 

At the initial cost we thought that it was worth giving it a try. 

 

We also managed to book Azamara at a reasonable price for next year as well so if you look around there are still deals that can be had.

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Yacht Club, Yacht Club, Yacht Club!

Prices were about $2000 p/p for 7 days.  Status match gives you 5% off.

 

The prices are a little higher now, but if you're not fussy about dates, you can still find good ones.

 

I particularly liked the fully stocked mini bar which was replenished daily.

 

The YC restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day …. even port days.

 

They throw a great Cruise Critic party!

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Just now, mafig said:

Yacht Club, Yacht Club, Yacht Club!

Prices were about $2000 p/p for 7 days.  Status match gives you 5% off.

 

The prices are a little higher now, but if you're not fussy about dates, you can still find good ones.

 

I particularly liked the fully stocked mini bar which was replenished daily.

 

The YC restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day …. even port days.

 

They throw a great Cruise Critic party!

Veterans get ten percent discount 

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We were on the Fantasia in July 

 

The food not to our taste

 

The customer base not to our taste

 

Ship and Staff were good

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Also, if this matters to you the daily service charge was $12.50 p/p and included the YC.

 

 

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Cancelled a B2B RC cruise to book the Seaside YC 14 night in October.  Have read very little negative about YC, and am anxious to see.  At this point, ship is the destination - have been to the usual ports multiple times.

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Posted (edited)

We sailed previously on Poesia and Divina from Florida.

 Beautiful ships, great entertainment.

Due to the fact that it is the most international line there are announcements on 5-6 languages (which is fun too 🙂 ) and e entertainment was production shows with singing, dancing, acrobatics. One of the best entertainment we attended on cruise ships.

We had balconies both time and rooms were nice. 

Food was probably the weakest out of all 8 lines, but maybe it changed now. Not everything, but meat.

 They do nickel-and-diming a bit more than any other lines. Sales are going everywhere including pools.

Overall we enjoyed our experience and would sail again.

 Experience is closer to Royal Caribbean than to Celebrity.

Edited by Tatka

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After seeing some of the prices and newer ships, we asked our travel agent, who books all cruise lines, of her experiences of booking customers on MSC.  She had never had any customers come back satisfied with MSC so she no longer even suggests the line.  So, a little concerned to try one when we are happy with X and a couple of other lines.

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We sailed on the Seaside last December in an outside YC cabin. This cruise followed two Celebrity cruises in Sky Suite cabins. The Seaside outside YC cabin is very similar to the Sky Suite in size and general amenities. Sky Suites have bathtubs/showers where the YC cabins only have a very large and nice shower. Otherwise, cabin vs. cabin, nearly identical.

 

Where the YC really shines is service. You are treated great by everyone within the YC enclave. Even check in is different, YC passengers are met on the pier under a white tend near the place where you are dropped off by taxi/Uber/etc. You are guided by a butler through security and then on to the YC enclave. Very nice check in process. Celebrity's suite check in is different, but also very quick.

 

We enjoyed the food in the YC's restaurant and the one specialty restaurant we tried as a free benefit because we were "status matched" from Celebrity Elite to MSCs "Black Card" status, which is their highest level. Any Black Card member gets a free dinner for two. Really the YC dinners were as good as the specialty restaurant and the service in the YC was outstanding. Even though it is open seating, we had the same waiter 5 of the 7 nights. 

 

In addition to the private inside YC restaurant that is open for for all three meals every day, there is an outside YC grill that is open from breakfast through at least late lunch. Do not remember if it is open for dinner. Again, it is for YC members only.

 

One other feature that is available is free access to the Spa, which is very, very nice, far better than anything on the S-Class ships. The only spa that we have found to be better is the Enclave Spa in Princess' Royal Class ships. However, it is a toss-up. 

 

Entertainment. We usually only go to the main theater shows on whatever ship that we are on. On the Seaside, and I believe other MSC ships, all shows are production shows with the same core performers each night. Normally I cannot stand production shows and have bypassed many on other cruise lines. In this case the production shows were outstanding with standing ovations at the end of every show. Even with the same core show members the shows were very different every night. The final night's show featured a Michael Jackson impersonator who was unbelievable. He had all of Jackson's moves on to a science. My wife had seen a real MJ concert and se could not believe how good the actor was in this show. I wish this show was available for purchase; we would be the first in line.

 

Overall, we considered the MSC YC experience the best cruise that we have taken. I cannot speak of people that are not in the YC. But if you book a YC cabin (which are disappearing fast), you will have a great time. At a minimum consider it as good or better than a Shy Suite. 

 

 

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MSC has beautiful ships, and the only way to go is in the Yacht Club.  In general, the ships are like a European version of NCL with large crowds and so so food.  We sailed the Seaside in an inside YC cabin;  price was right and the perks of YC are outstanding.  We are scheduled to do the same on the Meraviglia in November.

Don't think I would cruise MSC without the YC perks?  Since we are Elite Plus with Celebrity, we got "Black Card" status with MSC (their highest level).

 

😃Enjoy!

Kel

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We are Elite Plus on Celebrity but we did try MSC last January on the Seaside in Yacht Club. The cabins are wonderful. They are the size of a small Celebrity suite and very comfortable. The staff was excellent. The food was fair. Some hits and some misses. I learned to stay away from the seafood. Strangely there was a lack of chicken dishes which I found odd about an Italian kitchen. The lounge and pool area were nice. There was never a lack of available lounges on the pool deck. The price was not much more than an Aquaclass cabin.

 

Having said that, we did not enjoy the rest of the ship and towards the end of the cruise we became a little claustrophobic about being stuck in the YC. The ambiance of Celebrity ships is much better. Part of that feeling is that the Seaside has 5500 passengers and when you venture out of the YC, you feel it.

 

Next week we are taking the Summit to Bermuda, I will get back with further comparisons.

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