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Is There A Cruise Line You Are Tempted To Try Sailing Outside of RC?

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4 hours ago, LXA350 said:

 

One of their new Hanseatic expedition ships is aimed at a English speaking crowd? Europa 1 or 2 is probably only aimed at a german speaking crowd on all cruises I guess.

Europa2 is now sailing bilingual on all sailings. 

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On 5/2/2020 at 10:47 AM, mk-ultra said:

...  I did a 5 night Mexico cruise on the Grand Princess in January.  Not so much for the itinerary or the ship, but because it's a round-trip from my home port (SF) and a shorter cruise like that makes sense since there are no flights or hotels involved.  Staff & food were really good; ship layout was pretty funky and hamstrung by useless (out of service, slow) elevators.  Older ship but still in good shape other than the elevators.  Won't be repeating a cruise on that class of ship w/Princess again though....

 

 

I immediately identified with your experience. We are fellow San Franciscans and took the Grand in Feb. 2019 for the same reasons you did - proximity of port. We literally walked (little over a mile) to the port just so we could say we did it. Ours was a 10-day cruise and we had the same impression you did - staff and food was good, the layout of the ship was awful, and we will not be repeating a cruise on the same class of Princess ship. Particularly disliked the small buffet and the grossly undersized theatre. 

 Happy cruising. 

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24 minutes ago, SFCAcruiser said:

I immediately identified with your experience. We are fellow San Franciscans and took the Grand in Feb. 2019 for the same reasons you did - proximity of port. We literally walked (little over a mile) to the port just so we could say we did it. Ours was a 10-day cruise and we had the same impression you did - staff and food was good, the layout of the ship was awful, and we will not be repeating a cruise on the same class of Princess ship. Particularly disliked the small buffet and the grossly undersized theatre. 

 Happy cruising. 

 

The layout of the Grand is just weird.  If you want to go bow to stern -- up, down, up down.  I found it easier to just traverse the ship from my cabin deck and then pop up where I wanted to instead of trying to do it topside.

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I have gotten some e-mail for Princess that I liked. One was a tour of one of their ships, the Royal Princess,  and one had one of their chefs explain how to make Brookies, which are brownies with a chocolate chip cookie in the middle. They provided the recipe to make at home. I expect to get offers to book, but I enjoyed something other than that. Also, I enjoyed our cruise with them through the Panama Canal in January 2018. They also don't have a coronavirus letter for a doctor to sign on their site yet. I doubt I will cruise with anyone until there is a vaccine, but since the coronavirus letter for a doctor to sign from Royal, I am willing to look elsewhere. 

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10 minutes ago, KansasK said:

I have gotten some e-mail for Princess that I liked. One was a tour of one of their ships, the Royal Princess,  and one had one of their chefs explain how to make Brookies, which are brownies with a chocolate chip cookie in the middle. They provided the recipe to make at home. I expect to get offers to book, but I enjoyed something other than that. Also, I enjoyed our cruise with them through the Panama Canal in January 2018. They also don't have a coronavirus letter for a doctor to sign on their site yet. I doubt I will cruise with anyone until there is a vaccine, but since the coronavirus letter for a doctor to sign from Royal, I am willing to look elsewhere. 

Royal no longer requires this letter.

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We've only been on 6 cruises - all Royal.  Have a Celebrity cruise booked 2021 and we'll see what the cruising atmosphere is like at that time or whether we will postpone it; have another Royal cruise booked on Odyssey for 2022.  We, too, have looked closely at Oceania, Regent, and Viking - maybe one day soon.  We would also be interested in trying a river and/or barge cruise one day.

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We w been on 4 Vantage river cruises and recommend them.

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I would try Paul Gauguin to do Tahiti, would try AZamara potentially, will sail Celebrity when there is an itinerary that I like. I also would not try MSC again at any price it just wasn’t worth it to me.

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5 minutes ago, CanadaRob said:

 I also would not try MSC again at any price it just wasn’t worth it to me.

Could you elaborate? I am really trying to get some sort of feel for MSC. I'd like to try to make any decision I make not be a disappointing one.

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1 minute ago, Ocean Boy said:

Could you elaborate? I am really trying to get some sort of feel for MSC. I'd like to try to make any decision I make not be a disappointing one.

Service levels not great or even good.  Got a great deal on an itinerary that my wife wanted to do and the ships are Beautiful Hardware-The Fantasia Class chips (Divina, Fantasia et al) are beautiful, elegant even.

The wait staff in multiple venues( MDR staff couldn’t get the order right on any given  night, silver bar waited at the bar for 45 minutes and finally gave up on getting a drink and seriously I was standing RIGHT at the bar)

announcements in 5-7languages daily which doesn’t sound like a big deal and maybe I’m just a stereotypical North American cruiser(I am a typical polite Canadian)

If you go YC you can experience the best MSC has to offer, I am a little more budget conscious and did a Fantastica balcony.

Boosters of MSC will say it’s European and you have to get used to it.  
it’s something they are aware of and are working on it but even at 1/2 of what I paid for my RC cruise I won’t go again,

I’ll save or forgo a cruise here or there to do a PG cruise or Azamara instead.

 

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As far as we are concerned, MSC Seaside, in the Yacht Club, is the only way we would even consider cruising. In our humble opinion it blows the socks off doing the Sky Suite on Celebrity or even the Grand Suite on the Allure. The food is a little bit better on Celebrity, and the Allure’s entertainment is the best, but the Yacht Club experience blows the other twos suite experiences out of the water, not even close. The only problem is that word has gotten out and the pricing went through the roof, even too expensive for us as it’s up almost 50% from what we paid last October.

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10 hours ago, Tom47 said:

Royal no longer requires this letter.

Thanks, I am happy to know that.

Last time I looked, it was there. You are right, though, it is not there now. It says the restrictions were lifted in early April, but I know it was there much longer than that. Maybe they just didn't get it off their website in early April. I am relieved that it is gone. 🙂

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On 5/1/2020 at 3:35 PM, Hoopster95 said:

I ended up spending all day today reading this... Great review! It gave a lot of great information on the cruise line and the itinerary.  I wasn't that interested in this area before today!  With the mandatory house arrest it made the day better, so thank you for doing it and sharing it😊.

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5 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

As far as we are concerned, MSC Seaside, in the Yacht Club, is the only way we would even consider cruising. In our humble opinion it blows the socks off doing the Sky Suite on Celebrity or even the Grand Suite on the Allure. The food is a little bit better on Celebrity, and the Allure’s entertainment is the best, but the Yacht Club experience blows the other twos suite experiences out of the water, not even close. The only problem is that word has gotten out and the pricing went through the roof, even too expensive for us as it’s up almost 50% from what we paid last October.

 

Well this is promising to hear. We are YC bound on the Virtuosa (April, 2021 hopefully). Fingers crossed our experience is akin to yours. We paid a roughly half of what the going rate currently is for YC, so I doubt unless we see these similar prices again there will be a second experience of it. 😛 

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7 hours ago, grandgeezer said:

As far as we are concerned, MSC Seaside, in the Yacht Club, is the only way we would even consider cruising. In our humble opinion it blows the socks off doing the Sky Suite on Celebrity or even the Grand Suite on the Allure. The food is a little bit better on Celebrity, and the Allure’s entertainment is the best, but the Yacht Club experience blows the other twos suite experiences out of the water, not even close. The only problem is that word has gotten out and the pricing went through the roof, even too expensive for us as it’s up almost 50% from what we paid last October.

Agree. Seaside YC best cruise ever. Experienced NCL Haven (not worth the $$) Celebrity & RCL Suites & they have nothing to offer that compares to the YC. MSC YC is definitely worth the extra $$$. 

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We've always been loyal to royal, we were due to be on Serenade right now going through the Panama Canal which was inevitably cancelled.  As Royal don't do a lot of these we looked at other lines and have booked one for November with Princess, looking forward to going on a new line and seeing how they do things, not sure if we would defect permanently, the pricing is great and they do a good deal on drinks, tips and internet for £35 per day which I've never seen with Royal.   Just hoping our TA on vision goes ahead in September.

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Been meaning to try a Great Lakes / Canada cruise with Pearl Seas - small company (one ship!)  Itineraries look great. 

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On 5/2/2020 at 2:05 PM, island lady said:

Already booked.  

 

Viking 15 day Amsterdam to Budapest river cruise next year.  😉 

 

We did this in 2019.  It was absolutely wonderful.  Very different from ocean cruising as everyone was in bed by 10:30 but the stops were wonderful.  We decided it was more like traveling then vacation because we we went full steam everyday.  We’d like to do more river cruising in the future but still love the ocean and sea days.

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We have been on many cruise lines, but have limited all of our recent cruises to only Royal and Holland America. The main reason for each of those is the crews.  We have always enjoyed every cruise we have taken, but the crews on HAL and RCI stand out to us enough to remain Loyal. 

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I am so disgusted right now with RCL's "FCC" shellgame that I'd sail on a cargo ship.

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I actually have not sailed RCI, yet.  I booked a RCI Alaskian cruise for 2021 at the end of 2019 and then in early 2020, I booked a RCI bahamas cruise for what would have been May 18 that was cancelled.  My only cruise so far was an DCL.  I am not too much of a brand loyalist so I would try many of the other lines, but I might be picking at the actual ship and/or itinerary.

 

I really want to do a river cruise in Europe.  I was playing with trying one this year, but I could not work it into my schedule.  I know 2021 is out based on other vacations, but hopefully in 2022.

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I have , and will continue to try any and all cruise lines. 

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3 hours ago, cruiselvr04 said:

 

We did this in 2019.  It was absolutely wonderful.  Very different from ocean cruising as everyone was in bed by 10:30 but the stops were wonderful.  We decided it was more like traveling then vacation because we we went full steam everyday.  We’d like to do more river cruising in the future but still love the ocean and sea days.

 

Nice!  We enjoy both as well.  Did a Rhone river cruise some years ago, agree...lots of "on the go" with all the tours included, but was oh so enjoyable.  And wonderful Chefs on board, paired with good wine.  🙂 

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