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rattanchair

MSC and its 'Fair-weather' friends

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  I am not 'sick', but I am 'tired' of reading on this site, all the bemoaners wanting their money back and threatening all sorts of 'never agains'.

  I am 'still 'a MSC cheerleader of their Yacht Club product in spite of this pandemic. I have two fully paid YC cabins with only 100% (not 125%) being transferred to something down the road.  I have complete confidence that cruising and MSC will make a  'comeback' , as will most of the other cruise lines. What better way to show  MSC I support them. I am making practcally 0% interest with it sitting in a bank account ( now if I could double my money before a comeback...hah,hah). No, I believe in "enough is enough". Is it MSC or are the other cruise lines attracting such a class of 'fair-weather' friends?

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I still have bookings with MSC but I don't consider them my friend.  It's a business that is going to do what is in their best interest, which is not necessarily best for me.

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Posted (edited)

'Fair-weather friend' is an idiom.... "Like barking up the wrong tree" or "Devil's advocate".

Edited by rattanchair

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It's all cruise lines, a quick look around here will find many similar topics. I'm not one of those people, I'm pretty pragmatic about all of this and keen to get sailing again. But I can understand why some people would be have in such a manner.

 

And honestly, other than ranting I don't know what the point of this thread is? Live and let live, it's an Internet forum not The Rattanchair show.

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Posted (edited)

It appears that MSC has the worst consumer friendly return policy in the industry. Especially over seas where MSC is taking twice as long as any other company to return funds. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

Here is a letter RCL sent to customers today. To the best of my knowledge, MSC has not attempted any contact with consumers apologizing for delays or giving specific dates that consumers can expect a resolution. 

image.png.7359436b66f0ba21e3a12765065a8680.png

 

I have not fact checked this posting from another CC member, but I'm not sure that MSC can be the last to offer refunds, yet maintain consumer loyality.

 

image.png.ece490e42a7f194cd0a4533cead586ad.png

 

Edited by BermudaBound2014

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Having recently sailed on MSC, having come from multiple cruises on other lines, I definitely think there is a subset of the Cruise Critic Community who have decided to just try and negatively impact MSC's reputation.  Its a good line, Ocean Cay is legitimately a gem in the Caribbean that will only get more publicity and popularity down the line after everything opens back up.  Its cheaper, but you don't really feel like you're paying for an inferior product.  The food and entertainment is good.

 

The problem is that none of the above is catered toward the American customer.  That's not a bad thing, not everything has to be cookie cutter just like everything else, and its actually refreshing to be on a line that actually feels different.  But its different, not worse.  Unfortunately, for this certain segment of the CC Community being different and not specifically catering to them = bad.

 

And the thing is, almost every time you see someone trying to defend MSC on here and trying to say they are legitimately no different than the competitors, its immediately met with "oh, just you wait, they really suck its only a matter of time, you'll see" or other statements that essentially consist of 'I have nothing concrete to back up my claim, but I'm going to share it as a fact anyway.'

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Posted (edited)

It is understandable that people are wary of the possibility of losing their hard earned money should things go belly up, the time frame of just 2021 to rebook a cancelled sailing is far too restrictive and a further year should have been given seeing as the likelyhood of cruising this year is going to be very low.

There is also the fact that many people will have cruises already booked for 2021 with other cruise lines and have no option but to ask for a refund, MSC have not exactly covered themselves in glory with the way they have handled things and the number of times that they have made changes to the conditions surrounding refunds and FCC's and that is just for the USA and UK. 

The UK was offered OBC to rebook their cancelled cruises, then that changed to the 100 + 25%, the time frame for Refunds is now 120 days.

 

Edited by sidari

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Some responses "are like water off a duck's back" with me. I am "willing to give the benefit of the doubt" to MSC and "look the other way" at some of their 'missteps' because I so much enjoyed their YC product. "Sticks and stones", "sticks and stones" and "your little dog too".

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People who are very loyal to a particular cruise line are happy with their choice.

 

People who have no loyalty to a particular cruise line are happy with their choice.

 

I see no problem here.

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22 hours ago, BermudaBound2014 said:

It appears that MSC has the worst consumer friendly return policy in the industry. Especially over seas where MSC is taking twice as long as any other company to return funds. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

Here is a letter RCL sent to customers today. To the best of my knowledge, MSC has not attempted any contact with consumers apologizing for delays or giving specific dates that consumers can expect a resolution. 

image.png.7359436b66f0ba21e3a12765065a8680.png

 

I have not fact checked this posting from another CC member, but I'm not sure that MSC can be the last to offer refunds, yet maintain consumer loyality.

 

image.png.ece490e42a7f194cd0a4533cead586ad.png

 


The above from RCI is what each cruise line should be doing. Staying transparent is very important now more than ever. Cruise lines will need their most loyal customers when this pandemic is over as the media’s reporting on this industry has been and continues to be less than flattering regardless of what most seasoned cruisers think. I think some of the executives have lost sight of that. I also look at a cruise line as a business. I pay for a service and expect to receive what I paid for. I don’t owe them anything else nor do they owe me more than what we contracted for and I’m not their friend. 
 

IMHO the cruise lines are overwhelmed right now. Not making excuses but they’re dealing with changes almost daily. I doubt that MSC USA has a large accounting department. Maybe they should look at moving some of their customer service reps over temporarily to help process refunds and FCC’s. Refunds will come but I think it may take longer than we were originally told.

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3 hours ago, cruisingator2 said:

I doubt that MSC USA has a large accounting department. Maybe they should look at moving some of their customer service reps over temporarily to help process refunds and FCC’s. Refunds will come but I think it may take longer than we were originally told.


A very small one in fact with a only a handful of people. At least for MSC Cruises USA, that is. And considering the entire Group Department at MSC Cruises USA was just furloughed indefinitely yesterday (and who knows what other departments),  I can only imagine things getting worse before they get better.

But all that being said, yes, I am still a fan of their product and am willing (maybe foolishly) to put up with the frustrations of dealing with shore side. Especially during these times, I certainly am cutting people slack. In speaking with folks from MSC the past couple of days, they too are in disagreement with the refund timelines, but obviously they have to follow guidelines from Geneva since no matter where the office, they are under the MSC Cruises umbrella. I feel bad for my fellow CC members that don't even have the opportunity for a refund in places outside the US. I guess only time will tell.

Bret

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We LOVED our MSC experiences in YC and will be back

Food, service etc was outstanding

OC is a lovely island--the water was perfect, beaches lovely--and our Cabana experience in YC was top notch.

 

Would be happy to start booking...and need to look for sailings again. 

Would prefer a longer sailing in the Med... and to be able to do it in YC. When we looked last year--the east/west option meant an overland transfer and it wasn't possible to do YC on both legs as one of the ships didn't have YC

. We'd like to do b2b to make the flight across the pond worthwhile. 

For South America--we'd like a munch longer sailing--even around the horn-- and in YC.

 

Americans wanting an "American style" cruise/food/entertainment have lots to choose from...let them do that.

 

I prefer to keep MSC the best kept secret

Hands down we preferred MSC

We have a booking with Regent in 2021-- however if we can find worth MSC YC sailings... we will drop the Regent sailing.

 

The only "gaps" we had with MSC were

--the B2B process which was not nearly as seemless as our other experience (we'll admit the MSC B2B group was substantially bigger)

AND the disembarkation --Miami is a mess. Its a land/port issue..not MSC. They need facial recognition or a GE entry line at the MSC berth

 

 

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What I don't understand is if you dislike a cruise line so much, why do you even bother with their forums?  This goes for cruise critic, facebook and others.  We all may like one thing over another.  Pizza on MSC, Steakhouse on Princess, Waterslides on Carnival, but if you absolutely hated everything about Holland America, why bother yourself with the boards.  I personally like all cruise lines, all ships.  I have parts I don't like, but no enough that it would keep me from cruising that ship/line.  KEEP CALM AND CRUISE ON

 

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24 minutes ago, Fogfog said:

AND the disembarkation --Miami is a mess. Its a land/port issue..not MSC. They need facial recognition or a GE entry line at the MSC berth

 

 

Arriving at the Port and Terminal F, the driving, parking, and embarkation experience, even as a YC guest was the worst I have experienced.

 

MSC's decision to partner with the Port of Miami to build their own new terminal is not a "world class" and "guest friendly" decision in my opinion.

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3 minutes ago, rkacruiser said:

 

Arriving at the Port and Terminal F, the driving, parking, and embarkation experience, even as a YC guest was the worst I have experienced.

 

MSC's decision to partner with the Port of Miami to build their own new terminal is not a "world class" and "guest friendly" decision in my opinion.

How many other lines have built their own terminal/berths?

For certain Celebrity has done it for the Edge. Carnival has done it/doing it.

The immigration is not an MSC thing-- I put that on Miami and the gov...not MSC

We stayed as late as possible in YC. May instead choose to be off early next time.

We shall see. 

 

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On 5/1/2020 at 1:40 PM, Beardface said:

Ocean Cay is legitimately a gem in the Caribbean that will only get more publicity and popularity down the line after everything opens back up.  Its cheaper, but you don't really feel like you're paying for an inferior product.  The food and entertainment is good.

 

The problem is that none of the above is catered toward the American customer. 

 

As Ocean Cay is further developed, it will rival, if not exceed, those private islands of other cruise lines.  

 

The CD on MSC Meraviglia during our January CC Meet n' Greet meeting made it very clear that MSC is VERY interested in developing its marketshare for North America.  Will it ever become as "Americanized" as Carnival, etc for its North American sailings?  As long as it attracts many guests from other nations, as were on my Meraviglia sailing, no, it will have its own unique cruise product.  If their guest demographic does change, then, its product will also change.

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2 minutes ago, Fogfog said:

How many other lines have built their own terminal/berths?

For certain Celebrity has done it for the Edge. Carnival has done it/doing it.

The immigration is not an MSC thing-- I put that on Miami and the gov...not MSC

We stayed as late as possible in YC. May instead choose to be off early next time.

We shall see. 

 

 

Your disembarkation experience must have been somewhat different from mine.  The two slow moving lines through the terminal after leaving the ship for Immigration were irritating.  The design of Terminal F seems partly responsible for that situation from what I could see.  I  have experienced long, slow moving lines at many other Ports upon disembarking.  Miami's didn't seem too much worse than others, i.e. Port Everglades.

 

I will give the Port of Miami a  once I got to my car in the parking garage near Terminal F.  Easy out with good signage in the garage for the exit, good signage once I paid the fee as to how to get to US 1 (which I wanted and not I-95), with little traffic at that time on a Sunday morning.

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3 hours ago, cruiseguyinorl said:

I feel bad for my fellow CC members that don't even have the opportunity for a refund in places outside the US. I guess only time will tell.

Have you been informed by MSC in any way regarding the new Booking terms for USA stating YC deposits are not refundable and the new definition of a 'refund" being MSC will issue a FCC?  I can get nothing from them regarding this.

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16 hours ago, Fogfog said:

May instead choose to be off early next time.

Dear ff,  We always choose to get off first by using the services of our butler asking him (or her) to make sure we are the first to be escorted off as soon as the ship clears and further that we do not wish to assemble as a group to do this because there is always a 'slacker' in the YC group holding everyone up. I make this request as I am handing him several $100 bills for the week's service the night before. We have been taken so far the last three cruises, to a special gangway and are the first to get off the ship. Our luggage (8 suitcases) are the first (as all YC) off the ship in a separated area from the other luggage. We get the first porter to get us and our luggage out  through  customs. To this point MSC is the 'gem' of the cruising elite.

   Now the hard part, getting through customs at 7:15 am with only 1 (ONE) customs officer on duty till "God knows when" and the line forms with all the other passengers that slipped by us with ONLY carry on luggage for the week cruise, as we were collecting our luggage via the porter. Then "to add insult to jury", the officials decide to break the one line into 2, just behind us, to squeeze more passengers into the terminal. So we are now at the end of the first line and everyone behind us goes ahead and is merged into one line again for the same ONE customs official at the front of our original line. Hardly MSC's fault. What could take a few minutes takes an hour. Then there are your fellow passengers that decide to leave the ship separately from their party and find when they get to this 'one' customs officer that he has his wife's passport and she is still on the ship with his, another big hold up, instead of step aside, special protocols have to be met before the line can continue.

   In spite of all the terminal/customs 'rigamarole' we feel this has nothing to do with any cruise line and all to do with everything run by government inefficiency, inherent all over the world.

   I am not a "friend" of any cruise line, but I am a "happy camper" of MSC.

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16 hours ago, Até said:

Have you been informed by MSC in any way regarding the new Booking terms for USA stating YC deposits are not refundable and the new definition of a 'refund" being MSC will issue a FCC?  I can get nothing from them regarding this.


No, communication is not MSC's forte. The mention of non-refundable YC deposits actually came up nearly two years ago in a focus group with their VP of Global Sales. That option and one of a much higher deposit for YC were mentioned. I don't think the group came to a consensus on which was preferred but it was agreed that too many agencies/individuals were grabbing the YC cabins in "hopes" of selling/using them only to be dumped back into inventory at final payment time. So it doesn't surprise me if that part is true.

As for the refund vs the FCC, I haven't heard anything of that one. Due to the extensive furloughs Friday, I don't know how quickly I will be able to get an answer, but will certainly try. I do see both items you mention in their Terms and Conditions 2020 document though.

Bret

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On 5/1/2020 at 6:34 PM, BermudaBound2014 said:

It appears that MSC has the worst consumer friendly return policy in the industry. Especially over seas where MSC is taking twice as long as any other company to return funds. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

Here is a letter RCL sent to customers today. To the best of my knowledge, MSC has not attempted any contact with consumers apologizing for delays or giving specific dates that consumers can expect a resolution. 

image.png.7359436b66f0ba21e3a12765065a8680.png

 

I have not fact checked this posting from another CC member, but I'm not sure that MSC can be the last to offer refunds, yet maintain consumer loyality.

 

image.png.ece490e42a7f194cd0a4533cead586ad.png

 

P&O are not paying in 60 days so far hardly anyone has had a refund we are now awaiting 3 They have been abysmal throughout the whole CV crisis,   I will be sticking with MSC 

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13 minutes ago, glittergal1 said:

P&O are not paying in 60 days so far hardly anyone has had a refund we are now awaiting 3 They have been abysmal throughout the whole CV crisis,   I will be sticking with MSC 

 

Yes, I do feel bad for those of you across the pond as things seem to be slower for the consumer. Maybe MSC is the fastest for refunds in the UK, but they are lagging behind in the USA.  I am only tracking refunds here in the states for the Easter Voyage because that is the voyage I was scheduled on for Seaside. So far, some (not all) guests who were scheduled on the Easter voyage are reporting cash refunds from CCL, NCL, RCL, and Celebrity. I can not find one person reporting a cash refund from MSC yet. This isn't a slam against MSC, just stating what is being reported in terms of refunds. The OP was suggesting that MSC does not have loyal customers, and I am suggesting a possible reason behind his observations. 

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55 minutes ago, cruiseguyinorl said:


No, communication is not MSC's forte. The mention of non-refundable YC deposits actually came up nearly two years ago in a focus group with their VP of Global Sales. That option and one of a much higher deposit for YC were mentioned. I don't think the group came to a consensus on which was preferred but it was agreed that too many agencies/individuals were grabbing the YC cabins in "hopes" of selling/using them only to be dumped back into inventory at final payment time. So it doesn't surprise me if that part is true.

As for the refund vs the FCC, I haven't heard anything of that one. Due to the extensive furloughs Friday, I don't know how quickly I will be able to get an answer, but will certainly try. I do see both items you mention in their Terms and Conditions 2020 document though.

Bret


I’m actually surprised at how low the deposit is for the YC. On RCI they moved to non refundable deposits on Grand Suites and higher a few years ago. Too many people were grabbing suites on multiple ships and then once closer to final payment they canceled the sailings not wanted which created a lot of open inventory. As a consumer it did not make me happy as while we would never hold multiple suites we do have things that come up and cause us to move or cancel bookings. 

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As for the refund vs the FCC, I haven't heard anything of that one. Due to the extensive furloughs Friday, I don't know how quickly I will be able to get an answer, but will certainly try. I do see both items you mention in their Terms and Conditions 2020 document though.

Bret ... Did you get any indication that those employees would be back at work in 30 days ? I have read elsewhere that having been quoted!

 

 

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1 hour ago, sidari said:

Bret ... Did you get any indication that those employees would be back at work in 30 days ? I have read elsewhere that having been quoted!


@sidari The folks I mainly deal with on a day to day basis were told on their conference call Friday "indefinitely".

Bret

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