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kidless

First time on MSC....help!

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DH and I are experienced cruisers although it’s been a couple of years.....life got in the way! We got an awesome deal on 7 day MSC Armonia. We figure good opportunity to check them out. We did the loyalty match and received Gold so we booked last night and sail in 25 days! So excited! We did book fantastica experience but we realize since so late may not get our choices!

 

We printed out all paperwork it says Dining requested- First seating......next to it says waitlist seating. Not sure what this means and does anyone know what time first seating is? 

 

It also says on embarkment day our check in opens at 13:00. Is this firm or if we arrive early will we be able to board? We have 11 am checkout at hotel. 

 

Are the blow dryers in room any good. I have long thick curly hair need one with little power. 

 

Can I prepay our gratuity. I did see it when on line only saw shore tours and drink packages type stuff. We did book though agent if that makes difference. 

 

Anything else we should know I’d appreciate it! 

 

 

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We are new to MSC too! I think the wait-listed bit means you are not guaranteed early dining and may wind up with late dining once onboard. I believe the two times are 6 and 9? 

 

I'm having the same issue with check in/arrival time. Actually I'd just be happy to drop off my bags and come back because I also have to check out of my AirBNB at 11. But we will be in Genoa and no one seems to know how early this would be possible. (I've successfully dropped off bags at 10am when departing from the states). 

 

I have no idea on the hair dryer but they seem nice in the pics I've seen! 😂

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Currently on Armonia and if you need a powerful hairdryer, bring your own.  I don't but these are the old fashioned ones that hang on the wall in the bathroom and this particular one is anemic.  Early seating is 6:30pm.  Last night was day 3 and there were still people at the maitre 'd station wanting changes.  This cruise has 900 Europeans on it, and second seating is full.  There are lots of seats in early, but that may be because a lot of people eat in the buffet.  Don't worry about dress code in the MDR.  Some of us and the Europeans like to dress up, even on non-Elegant nights, but there are still a lot of shorts, some really short...or elegant outfits with short shorts...   Hard to tell as the MDR is divided in half by an elevator bank.  People coming down the aft elevators can enter the rear door and pass through to the forward section, or even pass further forward.  So maybe many of those in shorts are just in transit through the MDR...  EM

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Thank you so much for info. 

 

is Hurricane Dorian affecting your trip? 

 

Hope the rest of your cruise is awesome!

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We are in limbo as to when and where our cruise ends.  We will know more tomorrow after the captain chats with corporate.  It is an adventure.  We are getting our cruise.  I feel for those who were hoping to board her on Monday.  EM

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8 hours ago, kidless said:

Can I prepay our gratuity. I did see it when on line only saw shore tours and drink packages type stuff. We did book though agent if that makes difference. 

 

Hi I prepaid my gratuity when I sailed on the Seaside in May after booking via a TA. 

 

Give your TA a call and they will be able to take the payment for you. 

 

Have a great cruise. 

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I also got a remarkable deal from my TA last week and booked for 9/16 - no solo supplement in a Fantastic OV for an amazing price!  And I had enough miles to book my return flight from Miami. 

 

The "waitlist seating" has ----- next to it.  I interpret that to mean that I am NOT waitlisted, but who knows!  Late dining on Armonia in May was 8:45 the first night (because we don't sail until 6 pm), but was 8:30 the other nights.  I little too late for me so I'm trying first seating this time.

 

When we sailed in May (we got to go to Havana!), I wasn't aware that our Gold status (via match) included 1 hour in the thermal suite.  We only had 1 sea day, but I'm pretty sure I would've gone just to find somewhere quiet to read for an hour.  Sadly, reviews I've read say that the heated loungers often aren't, but I'll still take somewhere quiet! 

 

I had wanted to sail 9/6 but now I'm glad I didn't book that day!  Actually, I would've preferred 9/23 (offer was for the 1st 4 Mondays in September only) because I like that itinerary more, but we get an 2nd sea day and we're calling at Costa Maya, so I'll visit some ruins this time and do nothing in the other ports, since I was just there.  Well, maybe go to the brewery in Grand Cayman. 😉

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1 hour ago, NCTribeFan said:

I also got a remarkable deal from my TA last week and booked for 9/16 - no solo supplement in a Fantastic OV for an amazing price!  And I had enough miles to book my return flight from Miami. We got one too! $199 pp for OV Fantastic

 

.......but was 8:30 the other nights.  I little too late for me so I'm trying first seating this time. Too late for us also. 

 

When we sailed in May (we got to go to Havana!), I wasn't aware that our Gold status (via match) included 1 hour in the thermal suite.  We only had 1 sea day, but I'm pretty sure I would've gone just to find somewhere quiet to read for an hour.  Sadly, reviews I've read say that the heated loungers often aren't, but I'll still take somewhere quiet!  I status matched Gold also my husband has not received his back yet. 

 

I had wanted to sail 9/6 but now I'm glad I didn't book that day!  Actually, I would've preferred 9/23 (offer was for the 1st 4 Mondays in September only) because I like that itinerary more, We booked 9/23 like the itinerary. 😉

We’d really like to try Seaside the prices were so good for Armonia we thought be good way to see what we think of the cruise line! Thanks for your response 

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Current seating times on Armonia  are 6:30 & 9:00.  I doubt you will have any trouble getting early.  Suggest if you want a bargain on Seaside that you consider booking a Fantastical OV gty.  I was told that you would have a good chance of upgrade to balcony, and we were upgraded.  There are only 80 OV cabins, equally split between Bella and fantastica.  And 1200 balconies.  I would have done the Bella gty  but I was concerned the upgrade might be only to fantastica gty.  

 

Edited by Essiesmom
Darn auto correct

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Really?  6:30 and 9?  I realize there are lots of Europeans on MSC sailings but 9 is just too late for me.  6:30 should be good.

 

And I meant to note that I had wanted to book the 9/2 sailing (not 9/6).  And now glad I didn't!

 

I sailed Divina in December (my first on MSC) and she was too much ship for my tastes.  Beautiful ship, but when you sail for 11 nights and are wandering around on the last day discovering places you hadn't seen, that's just more ship than I need.  Just not interested in the really huge ships.  But that's just me.  I was perfectly happy on Armonia and even managed to stay lost a lot of the time.  She has more elevator banks/stairwells than I'm used to and I'd think I needed to walk forward and discover I was not where I thought I should be.  Never did quite get it right!  Got lots of steps in, though! 😄

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Currently on the Seaview but leaving today. Dining times are 6.15pm, 8.15 and 10.15pm. I checked in on line and was allocated 6.15 (I don’t remember being given the option of 8.15pm)

I spoke to the restaurant to get it changed and was put on the list, 6.15pm was just too early for us. 

After 2 days and a bit of pressure, we were moved to 8.15

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23 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

Really?  6:30 and 9?  I realize there are lots of Europeans on MSC sailings but 9 is just too late for me.  6:30 should be good.

 

And I meant to note that I had wanted to book the 9/2 sailing (not 9/6).  And now glad I didn't!

 

I sailed Divina in December (my first on MSC) and she was too much ship for my tastes.  Beautiful ship, but when you sail for 11 nights and are wandering around on the last day discovering places you hadn't seen, that's just more ship than I need.  Just not interested in the really huge ships.  But that's just me.  I was perfectly happy on Armonia and even managed to stay lost a lot of the time.  She has more elevator banks/stairwells than I'm used to and I'd think I needed to walk forward and discover I was not where I thought I should be.  Never did quite get it right!  Got lots of steps in, though! 😄

The Seaside is bigger. Don't ever go on RCI Oasis class ships. That is what you call large. We like the big ships. 

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I know people seem to love those Behemoths of the Seas, but I'm just not interested.  My Carnival friends are all so excited about the new Mardi Gras.  Not me!  I'm a fan of Carnival's Spirit-class and HAL's Vista class - ship's in the 80,000-90,000 gross ton size.

 

I just don't need all the bells and whistles of the newer, bigger ships.  I'm fine with having dinner in the MDR instead of paying for specialty restaurants.  I don't need or want a big tv by the pool.  I can have a drink anywhere. I can play in any size casino.

 

What I like most about smaller ships is that you see the same people (well, usually that's a plus!) and the crew members.  It just feels more personal.  Sadly, the small luxury ships aren't in my budget.

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OP, I don't mean to hijack your thread but I thought of something else and it may be of interest to you since you did the status match as well.

 

Apparently, Gold members are supposed to receive a "gift" of some sort.  I did not receive anything on Divina or Armonia. Does this have to be retrieved from Customer Service?  Is the cabin steward supposed to leave it?  I'm used to Carnival and HAL where your loyalty gift is left in the cabin by the steward.

 

I meant to ask about this before I sailed Armonia last time and forgot!

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6 hours ago, mj9 said:

Currently on the Seaview but leaving today. Dining times are 6.15pm, 8.15 and 10.15pm. I checked in on line and was allocated 6.15 (I don’t remember being given the option of 8.15pm)

I spoke to the restaurant to get it changed and was put on the list, 6.15pm was just too early for us. 

After 2 days and a bit of pressure, we were moved to 8.15

Is ship coming back to Miami today? 

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They can keep the massive mega floating resorts with 6000 guests! If I want to go to an amusement park I can drive over to Orlando. We like smaller ships where service seems more personal and intimate, people seem more relaxed and friendly. Don't have to wait in long lines or pre make a zillion appointments to ride a fake wave, ride bumper cars or go to a show. I’ve seen these things stress people out, cause pushing, complaining and arguments....not for us!! We like sitting in almost every venue on a smaller ship and see the ocean and feeling like we are on a cruise! Just what we like!!! 

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Yes, many people don't like big ships. However,  apparently many do like BIG ships and they fill them with over 6,000 passengers every week. Great to have choices! 

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19 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

OP, I don't mean to hijack your thread but I thought of something else and it may be of interest to you since you did the status match as well.

 

Apparently, Gold members are supposed to receive a "gift" of some sort.  I did not receive anything on Divina or Armonia. Does this have to be retrieved from Customer Service?  Is the cabin steward supposed to leave it?  I'm used to Carnival and HAL where your loyalty gift is left in the cabin by the steward.

 

I meant to ask about this before I sailed Armonia last time and forgot!

The gift is usually left in your cabin. Although on our last sailing I had to chase the VC rep as we'd not received anything by the last evening, he arranged for them to be delivered. 

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That's interesting.  As far as I know, none of us on Divina in December received anything and I'm sure I didn't receive anything on Armonia in May, either.  Who might the VC rep be and where would that person be found?

 

What is the gift?  I'm guessing that it changes every so often.

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The future cruise consultant is also the VC rep. I just gave the desk a call on our last evening.

 

The gifts do vary, pen, mouse mat, note book, cap, tote bag. There maybe other items, those spring to mind as we've received or I read others have.

Every cruise I hope for the tote bag but invariably receive the floating ship pen 😥 (it's not that it isn't nice, for a pen but I've a few now).

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OK, thanks.  The future cruise desk was right outside the lounge where we had out pre-dinner drinks on Divina and there was always a long line.  Not sure I even noticed it on Armonia but I'll search it out after I board, now that I know my way around the ship a bit.

 

Looks like I didn't miss out on much, but I'll try to remember to request whatever it is in a couple of weeks.

 

I rarely keep the gifts from Carnival.  I have a couple of Tervis mugs and an insulated tote bag that I use for my lunch.  The others, I usually just leave in the cabin or give away to some well-behaved kid I see. 😉  But you should read some of the threads on the Carnival board complaining about the gifts.  Sheesh.  They're gifts!  They don't have to give you anything!  You get a free drink and a party.  I'll be Diamond on Carnival in October.  I assure you, I don't sail them for the loyalty perks!  MSC's 15% fare discount is a worthwhile perk (which I got for my 5/13 sailing to Cuba)!

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On Armonia the future cruise desk and Voyagers Club desk are the same, located at the computer center.  EM

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We are scheduled to be at the pilot station at 0445 and docked at 0630.  Where, we don't yet know, as there are scheduled to be nine (9) ships in port...  My flight to JAX was cancelled, they rescheduled for a later flight through Charlotte, and the flight from Charlotte was cancelled.  I had already booked a hotel in Miami for tomorrow night, so I rescheduled for Thursday (no charge).  Just hope they have a guest laundry...  Coast Guard helicopter just flew by my window.  Medivac.  Outer decks are closed due to high winds.  We go through periods of heavy swells (feeder bands of Dorian).  EM

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