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Compare MSC to Princess

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3 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

As Marco pointed out...the music around the pool on Princess is so loud you can’t hear anything else.  That is one of the main reasons that I will not sail on P.

 

Here is the problem of Princess vs MSC.  Princess is an established line with a long history going back 50 years.  P has had many years to build and train a labor force.  MSC, on the other hand, has just built its fleet with four recent ships ar 135,000 tons and 4 new ships at 165,000 tons.  The labor force coming on those ships are new to service and need to be trained...even the managers need to be trained.  The numbers are staggering.  Just the eight new ships require more than 18,000 active personnel with an additional 10,000 resting onshore...approximately.  All these people need to be trained.  All of them receive English lessons along with their training.  I would estimate that MSC service will catch up to Princess in two years or so.  I also predict that MSC will continue to improve its food as it expands their fleet.  

Actually, a lot of the MSC staff are expected to know not just English, but German, French, Italian, and Spanish, as well, given the mostly European profile of the passengers (yes, even including cruises leaving from Miami). We haven't cruised Princess yet (hoping to in 2021), but we can say that MSC definitely has more of a European vibe, which we very much like. And as for getting cappuccino at dinner, all I can say is that you'd never do that in Italy. Ever. I think their constitution stipulates you could be deported for even considering it. :classic_laugh: We never had a problem getting regular coffee in the MDR while on the Seaside last year. I can definitely see a problem with asking your dinner service water to leave the MDR to fetch a specialty coffee drink while he's trying to serve you and several other tables their food. If I absolutely HAD to have a cappuccino, I'd go fetch it myself, whilst hanging my head in shame. ;-)

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51 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

Actually, a lot of the MSC staff are expected to know not just English, but German, French, Italian, and Spanish, as well, given the mostly European profile of the passengers (yes, even including cruises leaving from Miami). We haven't cruised Princess yet (hoping to in 2021), but we can say that MSC definitely has more of a European vibe, which we very much like. And as for getting cappuccino at dinner, all I can say is that you'd never do that in Italy. Ever. I think their constitution stipulates you could be deported for even considering it. :classic_laugh: We never had a problem getting regular coffee in the MDR while on the Seaside last year. I can definitely see a problem with asking your dinner service water to leave the MDR to fetch a specialty coffee drink while he's trying to serve you and several other tables their food. If I absolutely HAD to have a cappuccino, I'd go fetch it myself, whilst hanging my head in shame. 😉

I did not hang my head in shame!! Specialty coffees are offered on the MDR menus on all other cruise lines we've sailed so of course I asked on this one.  End of story!!

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18 minutes ago, CarolR said:

I did not hang my head in shame!! Specialty coffees are offered on the MDR menus on all other cruise lines we've sailed so of course I asked on this one.  End of story!!

I'm guessing that your use of double exclamation marks not one, but twice, indicates you didn't catch the sarcasm/joking nature of my last sentence. Sorry!

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On ‎10‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:40 AM, CarolR said:

Agreed. Most of us are not sailing yacht club so to compare that with a regular princess cabin is not realistic. General service on princess is far and above what we've experienced on MSC so far.  Apparently asking for coffee with dessert is an issue and they outright refused to bring me a cappuccino saying it would take too long. If you're not aurea or do not have a drink package you pay for bottled water with dinner. Cruise may be cheaper but you're going to pay one way or another.  However I would try them again in north America 

I wasn't aware they made you pay for bottled water on MSC. (We were in Aurea and had the Premium drinks package, so that wasn't an issue). Was it pricey? We've always had to pay for bottled water on Costa, RCCL and Carnival unless we had a drinks package. Actually, that's one of the reasons we started getting them. Bottled water can add up fast.

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16 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

I wasn't aware they made you pay for bottled water on MSC. (We were in Aurea and had the Premium drinks package, so that wasn't an issue). Was it pricey? We've always had to pay for bottled water on Costa, RCCL and Carnival unless we had a drinks package. Actually, that's one of the reasons we started getting them. Bottled water can add up fast.

We have the aurea package as well so we are not paying for water. We have never paid for bottled water in the MDR before and always drank the water they served in pitchers. The maitre d told us they dont even have water  pitchers right now for the MDR  on the Meraviglia  but apparently they do on the US based ships. 

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49 minutes ago, CarolR said:

We have the aurea package as well so we are not paying for water. We have never paid for bottled water in the MDR before and always drank the water they served in pitchers. The maitre d told us they dont even have water  pitchers right now for the MDR  on the Meraviglia  but apparently they do on the US based ships. 

 

We were with two other couples, all having the Fantastica package, so the water was free; however, someone in our party was asked to sign a slip at the end of each meal (for accounting purposes, I guess). On the first night I asked if I could take the open bottle back to our cabin, as it would not be used for the next guests. The waiter kindly provided a few unopened bottles for us.

 

It's funny what we take for granted, but now that I think of it, more and more North American restaurants are doing away with water at the table, and some no longer provide bread unless asked. 

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4 hours ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

you know, all  of the 30-40 year old waiters and cabin attendants haven't been working for Princess for 50 years... They are all on 6-12 months contracts. Some only work for a couple of years.

Thank you for pointing that out.  My point was that P has had fifty years of experience that translates to some of the staff having over 20 years of experience and some staff are second generation with Princess.  The difference is that most MSC staff are new to the cruise business.  The bottom line is that the service on P is more polished.  

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2 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

Actually, a lot of the MSC staff are expected to know not just English, but German, French, Italian, and Spanish, as well, given the mostly European profile of the passengers (yes, even including cruises leaving from Miami). We haven't cruised Princess yet (hoping to in 2021), but we can say that MSC definitely has more of a European vibe, which we very much like. And as for getting cappuccino at dinner, all I can say is that you'd never do that in Italy. Ever. I think their constitution stipulates you could be deported for even considering it. :classic_laugh: We never had a problem getting regular coffee in the MDR while on the Seaside last year. I can definitely see a problem with asking your dinner service water to leave the MDR to fetch a specialty coffee drink while he's trying to serve you and several other tables their food. If I absolutely HAD to have a cappuccino, I'd go fetch it myself, whilst hanging my head in shame. 😉

So true that MSC staff is multi lingual.  When the Fantasia Class ships first appeared there was a company wide movement to teach English.  Many of the crew were coming in fresh and the other MSC staff who had been working on their other ships also needed lessons.

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On 10/1/2019 at 10:40 AM, CarolR said:

Agreed. Most of us are not sailing yacht club so to compare that with a regular princess cabin is not realistic. General service on princess is far and above what we've experienced on MSC so far. 

 

Agreed and true.

 

However if you are considering sailing in a Princess suite, save your money go with MSC's YC.  Free included same-day laundry in Princess suites is a nice perk, but I'd take YC's service & exclusive areas any day at 40% off compared to Princess.

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16 hours ago, Selion said:

 

Agreed and true.

 

However if you are considering sailing in a Princess suite, save your money go with MSC's YC.  Free included same-day laundry in Princess suites is a nice perk, but I'd take YC's service & exclusive areas any day at 40% off compared to Princess.

Princess really has no Suite benefits when compared to MSC YC and Aurea experience for that matter.  Even the Aurea experience includes a beverage and spa benefits as well as anytime dining.  The P mini suites are slightly larger outside balconies.  P has a few two room suites which are larger cabins with no benefits and no special service.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:

Princess really has no Suite benefits when compared to MSC YC and Aurea experience for that matter.  Even the Aurea experience includes a beverage and spa benefits as well as anytime dining.  The P mini suites are slightly larger outside balconies.  P has a few two room suites which are larger cabins with no benefits and no special service.  

 

This is not entirely true. Princess has free unlimited laundry for suites, and also the wonderful suite breakfast in Sabbatini's (which is comparable to the YC restaurant). However having all meals in the YC restaurant, the private pool deck, unlimited drinks, etc. on MSC definitely makes the YC a superior experience for a lot less money.

 

Ooh, both lines also have priority tendering for suites/YC.

Edited by helenb

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On 10/1/2019 at 12:29 AM, TwoCruisers said:

How would you compare MSC to Princess?

I have sailed on RCCL, NCL, Celebrity and Princess. I have sailed exclusively on Princess for the past several years. I am thinking about a 7 night western Caribbean cruise on the Meraviglia.

I am curious about Overall ship quality, food, entertainment and any other topics you feel relevant.

Thanks for any advice.

American Market here.   We love MSC and small correction (at least for our booking) inside cabin that includes taxes for inside cabin is $800  inside Yacht Club is under $1800  So Yacht Club is NOT triple at least for our sailing on the Meraviglia in 2021.  Balcony cabins are around 1100 and Yacht Club are $2700.   They are higher but NOT TRIPLE

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5 hours ago, helenb said:

 

This is not entirely true. Princess has free unlimited laundry for suites, and also the wonderful suite breakfast in Sabbatini's (which is comparable to the YC restaurant). However having all meals in the YC restaurant, the private pool deck, unlimited drinks, etc. on MSC definitely makes the YC a superior experience for a lot less money.

 

Ooh, both lines also have priority tendering for suites/YC.

 

Excuse me, I should have said next to nothing.😎

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1 hour ago, shearboinky said:

American Market here.   We love MSC and small correction (at least for our booking) inside cabin that includes taxes for inside cabin is $800  inside Yacht Club is under $1800  So Yacht Club is NOT triple at least for our sailing on the Meraviglia in 2021.  Balcony cabins are around 1100 and Yacht Club are $2700.   They are higher but NOT TRIPLE

 

Thank you for pointing out the comparison between a Bella inside and a YC inside.  It goes to show what a great deal the YC inside really is.  Not all the MSC ships with YC have inside cabins.  I was referring to the outside YC cabins that go for $2,400 or more...3 X $800 = $2,400...roughly speaking, of course.

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On 10/1/2019 at 7:08 AM, daisy-mae said:

 

I can vouch for the lack of kleenex in at least three cabins (we were traveling with friends); I don't remember seeing any tissues on the service carts, so I can only assume that management considers paper products as a luxury item that can be discontinued.

In hotels in Italy and France, and likely elsewhere, toilet paper comes in fan-folded sheets, just like facial tissue (aka Kleenex). As the facial tissue dispenser faces the toilet at eye level, my guess is that a lot of passengers from Italy, France and elsewhere were using the thicker, heavier facial tissue as toilet tissue and thus clogging the toilets. If that is the case, management is making a wise decision to not offer facial tissue.

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18 minutes ago, Cruiser Bruiser said:

In hotels in Italy and France, and likely elsewhere, toilet paper comes in fan-folded sheets, just like facial tissue (aka Kleenex). As the facial tissue dispenser faces the toilet at eye level, my guess is that a lot of passengers from Italy, France and elsewhere were using the thicker, heavier facial tissue as toilet tissue and thus clogging the toilets. If that is the case, management is making a wise decision to not offer facial tissue.

 

Seems logical 🙂

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September 9 Inside Cabin on Armonia, asked for tissues and was given a box. 

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I agree with most that comparing lines are tougher than comparing ship experiences.  So for my contribution I will compare Caribbean Princess to the MSC Seaside.  

 

I really like both ships layouts.  Both have great outside spaces.  I would edge to seaside because all of the windows gave great open feel on the inside .   For my opinion, the Caribbean Princess buffet was better than Seaside.    

 

I did miss the international café, but was in the YC on the Seaside and they had 20 hours of "snacks".  

 

The Caribbean Princess ship had less people and its noticed outside the YC.   Outside the YC it  Seaside felt very similar to larger carnival ships (which I am platinum so I mean no disrespect)  than Princess.   Could be the time of year we sailed but Princess was more middle age versus the young families and number of kids.  

 

I though Caribbean Princess did better for music at night, but Seaside shows were interestingly something different.    Caribbean Movies under the stars much better and more often.

 

Seaside required no signing for drinks with the drink plan. 

 

Didn't have the medallion at the time we sailed Caribbean but Seaside had its version and it was really great to open your cabin door and pay for drinks.  

 

If your looking for something new I found MSC Seaside worth the price and a good cruise.   Especially if you go YC its better.  But if you go outside the YC, the mid size Caribbean Princess (3100 pass) versus Seaside (5100 pass) is still a step above Seaside.  All fairness I like the midsize ships much better than the large ships.  Sailing YC or Haven is a great alternative in the large ships but you pay for it.   

 

I have been on 18 cruises and 17 were different ships.  So I like the new and different.  At then end of the day all of the cruises had more total things in common then they did different.    I love the cruise experience so all of it good.   I think the MSC seaside is great addition to the Caribbean cruise market.  

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On 10/1/2019 at 5:36 AM, Oxo said:

The above analysis is excellent! Right on.

We are Black Card on MSC and Elite on Princess (50+ cruisers.) 

Have done 6 MSC cruises past 2 years. 

I could not have done a better job in explaining the differences. 

My recommendation. Try MSC as you should not be disappointed.

Happy CRUISING! 

 

I agree 100% .. 35 Princess Cruises sailed The Seaside once.. really enjoyed it but a different experience! 

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Posted (edited)
On 10/1/2019 at 8:34 AM, CarolR said:

We are on the Meraviglia now crossing the Atlantic.  You comments are right on. We are not yacht club but did book Aurea which gives you access to the spa and a limited drink package.  We are enjoying the cruise overall and are not complainers. However the service is at best erratic and it seems that some employees just dont care.  Some days we get wash cloths and a bathroom floor mat and other days we dont. We have to ask for toilet paper when running low. Others had to beg for a box of Kleenex.   That being said I would try them again in north America to see if the service improves.  

CarolR - it's funny you say that.  Celebrity is getting too spendy, and that's our line of choice so I'm looking at MSC.  However, in May as we were leaving our last cruise, we were talking to another couple just off of an MSC cruise and they said the EXACT same thing you did, but nothing positive about the service.  The towel situation was terrible without any sort of assistance and the service overall was just bad.  As you said - they said they either didn't care or were made to feel as if they're a bother.  I have to say, Celebrity has always made me feel pampered and spoiled and I'm not sure I'm willing to settle for less when spending so much money on a vacation.  I'm not caring for this corroborative feedback so I'm going to officially pass on MSC.  It's too bad because the ships look fantastic.  

 

BTW, their ship was a Caribbean sailing... not sure if that makes a difference to your future plans.

Edited by jabarnard11

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On 10/1/2019 at 5:29 AM, TwoCruisers said:

How would you compare MSC to Princess?

I have sailed on RCCL, NCL, Celebrity and Princess. I have sailed exclusively on Princess for the past several years. I am thinking about a 7 night western Caribbean cruise on the Meraviglia.

I am curious about Overall ship quality, food, entertainment and any other topics you feel relevant.

Thanks for any advice.

As the thread suggests and supports, no real comparison.

Moving slightly off topic but all things princess ....I have just come across an AMAZING repo with them I'm very tempted by from Buenos Aires to Florida next year with UK flights.

I thought it was 1st April until I checked my calendar  🎉

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40 minutes ago, jabarnard11 said:

CarolR - it's funny you say that.  Celebrity is getting too spendy, and that's our line of choice so I'm looking at MSC.  However, in May as we were leaving our last cruise, we were talking to another couple just off of an MSC cruise and they said the EXACT same thing you did, but nothing positive about the service.  The towel situation was terrible without any sort of assistance and the service overall was just bad.  As you said - they said they either didn't care or were made to feel as if they're a bother.  I have to say, Celebrity has always made me feel pampered and spoiled and I'm not sure I'm willing to settle for less when spending so much money on a vacation.  I'm not caring for this corroborative feedback so I'm going to officially pass on MSC.  It's too bad because the ships look fantastic.  

 

BTW, their ship was a Caribbean sailing... not sure if that makes a difference to your future plans.

Every north American we spoke to had the same observations.  The ship is lovely but all of the many small issues add up to a lot of frustration. I think it's the indifference when you asked a question that was frustrating.  

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20 minutes ago, CarolR said:

Every north American we spoke to had the same observations.  The ship is lovely but all of the many small issues add up to a lot of frustration. I think it's the indifference when you asked a question that was frustrating.  

We're on the Meraviglia in two months' time so we will take note of the issues you raised and report back whether they're still going on. Thank you.

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1 hour ago, citizenfrank said:

As the thread suggests and supports, no real comparison.

Moving slightly off topic but all things princess ....I have just come across an AMAZING repo with them I'm very tempted by from Buenos Aires to Florida next year with UK flights.

I thought it was 1st April until I checked my calendar  🎉

 

Please elaborate ...

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32 minutes ago, Beamafar said:

 

Please elaborate ...

Here's a link to the sailing on the US Princess website. It's a really good value, perhaps because there are so many sea days. An overnight in Rio is nice, but I would have preferred another stop or two in Brazil. Buzios, Ilha Grande? MSC has repositioning cruises that return to Europe that have a lot more stops in Brazil.

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