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Anyone sailed on MSC

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Looking at doing a 7 night MSC cruise in Jan to fill a gap.  Anyone sailed on them, opinions and did you use the loyalty match program, what is the equivalent to Elite. 

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We are sailing for the first time on MSC next January.  In March our Princess elite status matched to black on MSC.  That immediately applies a 5% discount.  There are higher discounts too (MSC applies the largest discount).  Of special interest to us was the fact that they offer a 10% discount to current and retired civil servants (local, state and federal).  They also offer a 10% discount to current and former military.  On top of the 10% discount, our TA knocked off another 7% of the fare.

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Hello while certainly not an expert....we cruised MSC Seaside this winter and found it a beautiful ship. The entertainment was top notch although very similar night after night. The Michael Jackson show was especially good. The food was different...gelato to die for, pizza very very good the rest was ok some better than others. It is different and sometimes seems a work in progress deciding how to best meet the new market. After the shows around 10 ish I like to have a cup of tea and a cookie nevertheless an issue on any other line on MSC there was no such option and I tried night after night...pizza burgers and fries but no sweets not even fruit. While certainly not a deal breaker it was odd, one night it was closer to 11 when we went in and there was some sort of midnight snack table with just what I wanted, wrapped in plastic and not yet available. I even tried to ask for just a couple of cookies and the answer was not until 1130, very odd.

Smoking was an issue with designated areas ignored and in the places one needed to walk through like entering a smoke tunnel. Pricing was amazing and they did match us but not to black you need to cruise at least once every three years to keep the match. I will say everyone we met who was in Yaght club thought it was amazing, perhaps next time.

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We got caught out when we had to cancel our first MSC cruise from the UK (and won't book with them again). If you don't want to pay at the final payment date then you MUST cancel  - MSC will not cancel it for you. You are liable to pay a percentage of the full cost if you don't as well as lose your deposit. It's all in the small print but unlike any of the US and UK cruise companies we have booked with before.

Edited by dides

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I sailed on MSC Opera, a while ago.  Never again for us.  The cruise line then was not for us.  Maybe now that they are in the American market a little long, it might be different.

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We sailed on MSC Opera a few years ago to Norway, have to say never again.

 

Quite a few issues for us.

-kids sailed free and there were lots of them with many completely unsupervised and behaving badly.

-food not to our liking, geared perhaps to European tastes

-entertainment was passable but not excellent

-extremely expensive excursions and no offerings for reasonable port shuttles

-smoking is prevalent and that alone makes MSC a never again

 

if you are sailing MSC in the Caribbean,  things may be different however...may be geared more to NAmerican tastes.

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Our neighbour recently sailed on MSC (can't remember which ship) and although they thought the ship itself was beautiful, the smoke was unbearable.  This is a deal breaker for us!

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1 hour ago, ehogan said:

We sailed on MSC Opera a few years ago to Norway, have to say never again.

 

Quite a few issues for us.

-kids sailed free and there were lots of them with many completely unsupervised and behaving badly.

-food not to our liking, geared perhaps to European tastes

-entertainment was passable but not excellent

-extremely expensive excursions and no offerings for reasonable port shuttles

-smoking is prevalent and that alone makes MSC a never again

 

if you are sailing MSC in the Caribbean,  things may be different however...may be geared more to NAmerican tastes.

 

I've been curious about MSC and their status match. 

 

Rampant smoking and feral children are deal breakers for us.

 

Thanks for your insights.

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1 hour ago, fishnchips said:

Trivia takes twice as long repeated in 5/6 languages and public announcements..

I did BINGO in 5 languages too.  Interesting, but not again.

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I must be in the minority. I have been on a few MSC cruises both in Europe and from the US and loved them all!

Yes it's an Italian company so it's always going to be a bit different.  For me more pluses than negatives. 

 

Lovely ships, nice cabins, good food, good entertainment. Yes important announcements are made in many languages but English is usually first and you can then stop listening!

 

Bingo though - went once - in the theatre, but never again.

 

Didn't do status match, I've worked my way up through the ranks with MSC currently Gold but will be Black after my next cruise next year on the new Grandiosa.

 

 

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I think the only way I'd even consider MSC is if I booked into the Yacht Club.  I'm thinking that that way, you're not surrounded by potentially thousands of kids and smokers, maybe just a max of a hundred or so?  Has anyone done the YC on one of the newer ships?

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We will be doing our 3rd MSC Cruise this coming January.  All were out of Miami.  100% fantastic experience.  All cabins were in the Yacht Club where everything is first class and is a segregated part of the ship!     Private Pool, Private Dinning, with all drinks included in all ship venues.   I have heard from other passengers outside of the Yacht Club that they didn't have the same experience.   It's an UP charge to get a Yacht Club Cabin, which is limited...but try it...You'll like it. 

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9 hours ago, antsp said:

Looking at doing a 7 night MSC cruise in Jan to fill a gap.  Anyone sailed on them, opinions and did you use the loyalty match program, what is the equivalent to Elite. 

We have done MSC twice, once on Divina and once on Seaside.  Both ships are beautiful but very different in style.  The Divina is gorgeous!  Great gelato, ok food in the MDR, very good food in the specialty restaurants, great coffee and fantastic shows!  
Yes, they announce everything in 5-6 languages....but that is to be expected since there are people from all countries...at least half of the passengers are European.   Bingo was annoying with all the languages because it took so darned long and many people had not played before so that made it even go slower!  We didn't experience the language issue during trivia however.
The Seaside was new when we went on it and they were still working out the bugs....a lot of stupid rules that were inconsistant throughout the ship. The shows were amazing and you make a reservation for them so there is no rush to get to the theater. The specialty restaurants varied and plentiful!  They have a steak house, sushi, Teppanyaki, Chinese, Italian, Pizza, etc. The sports bars are fun, coffee and gelato were lovely. The gelato crepes were yummy!
The Thermal Spa is to die for!!  Fabulous! 
And Capt Massa was amazing(not sure if he is still on there)!  Very present and accessible! 
MSC does a wonderful Meet & Greet!  Free drinks and hors d'oeuvres.  A big cake and all the officers and the Captain are there and mingeling with the crowd. A group photo is taken and sent to your cabin after!
There are different "experiences" in the various cabin categories, kind of like X has.  We had Fantastica which provides 12 drinks/pp (unless they are doing a free drink promotion) and free room service. 
Status Match: Elite will get you the Black card.  We are Diamond on RCCL and we got the Black card. There is a Black Card Cocktail party which is nice!

Edited by suzyed

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20 minutes ago, Coochuck said:

We will be doing our 3rd MSC Cruise this coming January.  All were out of Miami.  100% fantastic experience.  All cabins were in the Yacht Club where everything is first class and is a segregated part of the ship!     Private Pool, Private Dinning, with all drinks included in all ship venues.   I have heard from other passengers outside of the Yacht Club that they didn't have the same experience.   It's an UP charge to get a Yacht Club Cabin, which is limited...but try it...You'll like it. 

Too rich for our blood but glad you enjoyed it!  
I heard that they are coming out with a smaller ship that will be totally Yacht Club Experience!  Might like to try that!

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31 minutes ago, Coochuck said:

We will be doing our 3rd MSC Cruise this coming January.  All were out of Miami.  100% fantastic experience.  All cabins were in the Yacht Club where everything is first class and is a segregated part of the ship!     Private Pool, Private Dinning, with all drinks included in all ship venues.   I have heard from other passengers outside of the Yacht Club that they didn't have the same experience.   It's an UP charge to get a Yacht Club Cabin, which is limited...but try it...You'll like it. 

Yacht Club is the ONLY way to go on these behemoths - private restaurant/lounge/pool area - quiet areas and attentive service. Best way to avoid the crowds/drunks/screaming kids.  Check out the main parts of the ship when everyone else is ashore.

Edited by Kwaj girl

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We sailed MSC Armonia last New Years Eve. I don't think that we will sail them again unless we get a really good deal. Not many passengers spoke English which made it difficult to mingle. The food was good. The excursions were very disorganized. I would never book shore excursions with them again. We had pretty good service and the shows were good but repetitive. We thought it was a good value all in all.

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27 minutes ago, Kwaj girl said:

Yacht Club is the ONLY way to go on these behemoths - private restaurant/lounge/pool area - quiet areas and attentive service. Best way to avoid the crowds/drunks/screaming kids.  Check out the main parts of the ship when everyone else is ashore.

Screaming kids, crowds, drunks etc. were non existent when we were sailing. But we don't go in the summer and we don't go during Spring break.  Our problem with Seaside was it was only a month since they started sailing and they had to work out the bugs.

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1 hour ago, DrivesLikeMario said:

I think the only way I'd even consider MSC is if I booked into the Yacht Club.  I'm thinking that that way, you're not surrounded by potentially thousands of kids and smokers, maybe just a max of a hundred or so?  Has anyone done the YC on one of the newer ships?

Our January 2020 will be in the Yacht Club on the MSC Meraviglia.  When I asked our long time TA if she had any experience with MSC she said she had sailed in a Yacht Club cabin and greatly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to us in order to avoid the crowds.  We have no trouble with 'European food' or announcements in 5 languages since we lived in Europe for 14 years and speak or just understand most of the languages used for the announcements.  DH, the real linguist in the family, is looking forward to using his Italian, German and French with staff and fellow passengers.

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I think it’s important to note that MSC in the US and MSC in Europe can be very different experiences. I cruised MSC in Europe and I will never make that mistake again. 

 

On the other hand, I’ve cruised Divina and Seaside from Florida and I loved both cruises.  

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4 hours ago, Coochuck said:

We will be doing our 3rd MSC Cruise this coming January.  All were out of Miami.  100% fantastic experience.  All cabins were in the Yacht Club where everything is first class and is a segregated part of the ship!     Private Pool, Private Dinning, with all drinks included in all ship venues.   I have heard from other passengers outside of the Yacht Club that they didn't have the same experience.   It's an UP charge to get a Yacht Club Cabin, which is limited...but try it...You'll like it. 

Really looking forward to our msc seaside yacht club,  our roll call has lots of singles in YC since when they booked there was no extra charge for single room, love drinks are free also free mini bar. We will be on at end of November.

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We've been on the Seaside twice. Loved it both times.  We've done many cruises and rate it in our top five. We did not have Yacht Club cabins. I do not remember children or smoke being an issue and I'm very sensitive to smoke.  Not sure about Bingo, but attended lots of trivia and it was only in English.

 

We thought the food was very good. The ship is absolutely beautiful. There where lots of things for the kids to do. Shows are definitely different. More of a variety show each night. We  enjoyed them. We will definitely go back to the Seaside or Meraviglia. These two ships are different from the other MSC ships - more similar to mainstream Cruise Lines.

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