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How is MSC Cruises different from NCL and Carnival

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How is MSC Cruises different than NCL and Carnival?  How is MSC Cruises similar to NCL and Carnival?

 

 

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7 hours ago, HCTiger9704 said:

How is MSC Cruises different than NCL and Carnival?  How is MSC Cruises similar to NCL and Carnival?

 

 

Biggest difference from NCL is MSC food is JMHO poor. Service not as good either. 

Ship which one r u going on? 

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Sorry, but the comparison questions/responses just won't give you anything substantial.  Every person's impression of every sailing will differ.  What you read on Cruise Critic is such a tiny sample size that it really is immaterial.

 

I thought the food on MSC was just fine.  I have >30 sailings on Carnival and only 1 on NCL (Star TA, so it was 14 nights).  IMHO, MDR food on NCL and MSC was as good or better than Carnival but before I sailed NCL, I'd read that the food in the regular MDR wasn't good and that you had to spring for the specialty restaurants.  That was not my experience.

 

Service was just as good on MSC as on other lines.  Again, YMMV.

 

What people WILL say about MSC is that it's a different experience simply because there are so many non-North Americans on the ships.  People complain about the announcements being in several languages.  People complain that those "other" people have no manners and cut in line and won't let you off the elevator before they cram in, etc.

 

I personally enjoy the differences.  I'm going on my 3rd consecutive MSC sailing next Monday.

 

All the mass market lines are more similar than they are different.  Just be aware that there ARE some slight differences and you won't be surprised.

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23 minutes ago, NCTribeFan said:

All the mass market lines are more similar than they are different.  Just be aware that there ARE some slight differences and you won't be surprised.

I would agree with this 100%... the easiest way to look at it is if an MSC ship were sailing with 100% Americans, you would be hard pressed to see many differences, other than the MSC ship will probably feel the most classy in the public areas...just my humble opinion.

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8 hours ago, HCTiger9704 said:

How is MSC Cruises different than NCL and Carnival?  How is MSC Cruises similar to NCL and Carnival?

 

 

Hi HCTiger9704,

You can get useful information only if you compare ships, not  cruise lines.

As mentioned above, general questions will get you meaningless answers, often wrong ones.

What ships do you want to compare?

Happy cruising!

Edited by ronbe65

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I absolutely agree that we need to know the two ships you are comparing. In the old days, we could compare lines, but now each line offers diverse products depending on the ship.

 

There are some tangible differences between the two lines, so if you tell us the ships we may be able to help.

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We have been on Carnival and lots of NCL cruises. We were so impressed with our Feb MSC cruise that we booked three more. The food was just the same quality but the service was excellent. I was blown away with how very pleasant the customer service folks were. 

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I've never been on NCL or Carnival because MSC has been so much more affordable than either. That's the main difference for me...the price. I have been on RCCL and our last cruise on Seaside was head and shoulders better than Adventure of the Seas for less money. 

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I think that Americans, in general, are not prepared for the many different cultures that are aboard each MSC sailing, and that is the root of their problem with MSC. Being an American, I went into my first sailing with MSC with an open mind, and found myself embracing the many different cultures that I had the privilege of sailing with... we become so use to the Americanization of each of the ports we go to in the Caribbean and think we are seeing the real thing, when in actuality we are seeing the Disney-fying of those countries... as for us , we try to get away from the ports to get a taste of each country...but even that becomes a futile effort at times....

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the difference between NCL Carnival and MSC is that MSC is not like Carnival or NCL , (thank fully) So If you really like what those cruise lines offer then stay with those cruise lines,

MSC is like a wonderful European holiday but afloat.

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Depends on which ship and where your'e sailing.  We've sailed on MSC only out of Fla.  From what others have posted, it's a different experience sailing MSC in Europe.  2020 will be our 4th cruise on MSC.  We sailed several times over the years on NCL, but only once since they introduced "Free Style" and won't again.  I forgot which ship but we thought the MDR dinners were not very good.  Service was awful bit not the servers fault...they were WAY understaffed!  We were on the Divina 3X and thought there was more night life going on, on MSC   Music and dancing  at cocktail hour and music for dancing in 3 lounges after dinner.  We've not sailed on Carnival for several years, so I don't know if the overall decor has changed, but the Divina is a less garish than the Carnival ships we've been on and over fit and finish is a LOT nicer.  And as someone above has stated...the

best pizza at sea!

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Divina is gorgeous!  But, for me, she was too big.  11 nights and I was still discovering venues that I hadn't seen until the last sea day!

 

So, yes, it definitely depends on the ships you're comparing.  I happen to enjoy smaller, more intimate ships and don't want nor need big TVs, or rope courses, or even bowling alleys, or lots of specialty dining.  But if those things are important to someone, then they're going to want a larger, newer ship.  I prefer ships in the <100,000 gross ton size.

 

I'm typically a follow-the-rules person, but have said several times already that I actually quite liked just walking up to the portion of the buffet that had what I wanted, grabbing it and moving on.  The idea that you have to get at the end of a slow line and wait for people who believe they need to get a sample of everything available, when all I want is at the end, is just silly!

 

Oh, and MSC has gelato.  That's got to count for something!! 😁

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Everyone had an opinion. We cruise MSC, NCL, Princess, RCI and Celebrity. In the past year we have been on all the above except X which we now have book, Edge.

We are going on the MSC Seaside again, RCI Symphony OTS in Nov 2019. NCL Encore and X Edge in Feb 2020.

 

Food is very subjective. We rate MSC food as the lowest. Buffets the worst and smallest selection.  Their pizza is paper thin. Nothing on it. 

MSC Service is slow. MSC is the best bang for the buck. Ships beautiful and clean. 

 

No one cruise line has it all for everyone. That is why we'r have choice. 

 

We were on the NCL Escape and thought that had the best food and service in the MDR and Specialty Restaurants.

 

Ships are another subjective item. Some like small ships,  we like big ships, RCI Oasis Class.

 

So,  we all have our choices. Cruise your choice and enjoy. Happy Cruising!

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I've sailed MSC, Holland, Princess, Royal, NCL, Carnival and can say that the food on the MSC Seaside is better than any food I've had on Carnival. Nothing is as low as the high school cafeteria Carnival calls it's buffet. 

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I have >30 Carnival cruises and can probably count on one hand the times I've even eaten at the buffet.  For breakfast, I either go to the Mexican or have a made-to-order omelette or sea-day brunch.  For lunch, I hit the deli or Guy's Burgers or the Mexican or on ships that have them, the Italian.  It all depends on what you like and what choices you make.

 

The people in the cabin next to you may have thought the food on Seaside wasn't good.  It's just too subjective to declare that one line has better food than another.  I've been on a B2B where the food was great on one leg and not great on the next and I even had some of the same items on each leg.  A ship may not get the best beef delivery one week and have great steaks the next.  And my personal experience has been that Carnival's smaller ships have consistently had better food.  YMMV.

 

Again, small sample size!

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12 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

 

What people WILL say about MSC is that it's a different experience simply because there are so many non-North Americans on the ships. 

 

 

I specifically chose MSC to avoid all the folks from the Wal-Mart brand of ships to be honest.

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Last time we were on, someone noted, "they're Americans....they're not...they are, they're not, etc etc.  I said, "how can you tell?" and she said, "They dress better".

Edited by marco

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7 minutes ago, marco said:

Last time we were on, someone noted, "they're Americans....they're not...they are, they're not, etc etc.  I said, "how can you tell?" and she said, "They dress better".

For me, it was super easy to spot the American in a crowd of tourists like they were wearing a neon sign saying "tourist". The tennis shoes (sneakers) and Baseball hats were always a dead giveaway. 

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I have been on all three lines (as well as most other cruise lines) and in my opinion the food is about comparable (although the gelato on MSC was the best thing I have ever had on a cruise ship).  The main difference (in Caribbean cruises) between the lines are the passengers--there are more non-Americans on MSC, which makes for a nice change (if you don't mind listening to announcements in a couple of languages).  On MSC the evening shows are shorter and focus on music and dance and acrobatics, rather than story to avoid problems with the different languages.  The shows were just as good on MSC as on NCL and Carnival, in my opinion.  I also think (if I remember correctly) that MSC may have had fewer scheduled events during the day.  Other differences primarily relate to differences in the ships themselves--the larger ones, regardless of cruise line, have more dining venues and activities.   I have enjoyed all three cruise lines so I recommend trying them all with an open mind.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 hours ago, flag fan said:

I have been on all three lines (as well as most other cruise lines) and in my opinion the food is about comparable (although the gelato on MSC was the best thing I have ever had on a cruise ship).  The main difference (in Caribbean cruises) between the lines are the passengers--there are more non-Americans on MSC, which makes for a nice change (if you don't mind listening to announcements in a couple of languages).  On MSC the evening shows are shorter and focus on music and dance and acrobatics, rather than story to avoid problems with the different languages.  The shows were just as good on MSC as on NCL and Carnival, in my opinion.  I also think (if I remember correctly) that MSC may have had fewer scheduled events during the day.  Other differences primarily relate to differences in the ships themselves--the larger ones, regardless of cruise line, have more dining venues and activities.   I have enjoyed all three cruise lines so I recommend trying them all with an open mind.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having sailed all three lines too I'd say a perfect summary!

Carnival despite its reputation has some really good shows (US themed of course which is fine as I'm a self proclaimed US citizen without the paperwork! lol),. Their CD's earn there money too! They are a key feature of the line and some are really talented I find, not to mention everywhere! The biggest drawback (it is keeping me away) is the 15 drink per day limit they enforce within the package.

 

I love NCL the ships, food, drinks, speciality dining and shows.

 

MSC is magical. The ships are getting better and better (Cannot wait for Grandiosa). The public areas are stunning. The drinks packages are the best at sea. The shows are smartly adapted to avoid the language issues by not having a 'plot' or narration, but the artists are up there and a shorter show leaves more time to have dinner and ...who am I kidding enjoy the drinks!

 

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On 9/9/2019 at 11:44 AM, glittergal1 said:

the difference between NCL Carnival and MSC is that MSC is not like Carnival or NCL , (thank fully) So If you really like what those cruise lines offer then stay with those cruise lines,

MSC is like a wonderful European holiday but afloat.

I absolutely agree.  I bailed out on Frank Del Rio's NCL, nickel and diming passengers like me with antics such as my last cruise aboard the Gem!  We booked two suites, including the Owner's Suite, and were given a $25.00 Onboard credit for our patronage!😠  That was the end of our NCL experience.  Booked the Seaside, and it was so different from the mass market experience aboard NCL that I have 25 days coming up in late winter split between the Yacht Club aboard the MSC Divina, followed by the YC aboard the Seaside!😎

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1 hour ago, cmdchiefthom said:

I absolutely agree.  I bailed out on Frank Del Rio's NCL, nickel and diming passengers like me with antics such as my last cruise aboard the Gem!  We booked two suites, including the Owner's Suite, and were given a $25.00 Onboard credit for our patronage!😠  That was the end of our NCL experience.  Booked the Seaside, and it was so different from the mass market experience aboard NCL that I have 25 days coming up in late winter split between the Yacht Club aboard the MSC Divina, followed by the YC aboard the Seaside!😎

Us too.  Too many penny-wise, pound foolish decisions there the last 3.5-4 years.  We are PP, sail in suites/Haven.

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