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Live from MSC Grandiosa, Genoa, September 6-13, 2020


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Dear Petra, thank you so much for the photos. It makes me feel so confident about my future cruise. Its like me being there with you going to places on board the ship. Photos are very nice. Did you take them on the phone? (which one?). Cant wait to get on board and make a little overview myself and post photos here on the forum 

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22 hours ago, petra75 said:

Hallo Dritan,

 

yes, for a cost of 100 euros more than the cruise price you can buy beforehanf three escursions, I believe as well they could be a bit basic, but I've asked here at the excursion office and been told that, paying the difference if any, you can change and choose the escursions you like when on board.

 

I think that is a reasonable deal. 

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Thank you Petra75 for this detailed review of the processes in place and your experience on board! I also appreciate the pictures, I watched the first sailing from Genoa with hopes and prayers for an uneventful voyage 🙂 I am so glad that the protocols have been effective so far.

Edited by cruisecouple7
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12 hours ago, Porky55 said:

 


Doesn’t look like there are hand rails.
IMG_6643.JPG

 

 

Looks just like what I saw on Meraviglia.  

 

Five comments about this situation:  

#1:  The aisle is so narrow that installing a handrail would take up more of the little space that exists.  

#2:  Since the Theater is a Muster Station, if the ship were listing and evacuation was required, would the lack of handrails impair the evacuation from the Theater?

#3:  The designer's intention may have been for guests to use the arm rests of the seats next to the steps as a "handrail".  Those are too low to be easily used and if another guest's arm is on that arm rest, they probably wouldn't appreciate being used as a "handrail".  

#4:  In my mind, such a situation is not ADA compliant.  Yet, the USCG and USPH OK's the Meraviglia (and I assume would do for Grandiosa) for sailing from North American ports.  Does Europe not have anything similar to the United States ADA?

#5:  The Theater contains too many seats and feels too crowded when each seat is occupied.  

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Thank you, Petra, for your review. I hope you are having a wonderful time on your cruise. 
Will you please further explain this statement: “Every day you must have your temperature checked at given slot times, today were during breakfast time at buffet and this evening at buffet or MDRs before dinner.”

I’m curious how they are scheduling people. Do passengers have to wake up early and show up at breakfast at a certain time, or are there multiple time slots and locations available for temperature checks throughout the day?  Same time and place each day?  

Also, are they allowing people to sit around the bars for a drink, or only at tables in the bar areas?

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On 9/8/2020 at 10:23 AM, hamrag said:

Got it in one, it is a process seamless to those not embarking or disembarking at a particular port and it does not affect the cruise experience one iota!

 

I don't agree with you. For us it did affected the cruise experience a little when we cruised on Meraviglia in the Mediterranean. No big deal but we should have prefered one embarkation/debarkation port.

 

For example they had a Welcome aboard party in Genua but we embarked in Barcelona, strange! 

 

We were the first people to embark in Barcelona but when we arrived in the Top Sail Lounge there were other passengers there, strange! 

 

We missed the first night feeling on the ship and really missed that!

 

There were also some other things.

 

We still loved the cruise! 

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58 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

No big deal but we should have prefered one embarkation/debarkation port.

 

I have not experienced a cruise where there were multiple embarkation/disembarkation ports scheduled frequently.  If I had, I think my feelings would be the same as yours if the cruise really "began" at Port A and I embarked at Port C.  

 

I have experienced on long cruises embarkations/debarkations at a few "end of or start of" segments.  My reaction has always been when I first notice on that first day when the new guests arrive:  "Who are these "strange" people invading "my" ship?"😀

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I have not experienced a cruise where there were multiple embarkation/disembarkation ports scheduled frequently.  If I had, I think my feelings would be the same as yours if the cruise really "began" at Port A and I embarked at Port C.  
 
I have experienced on long cruises embarkations/debarkations at a few "end of or start of" segments.  My reaction has always been when I first notice on that first day when the new guests arrive:  "Who are these "strange" people invading "my" ship?"[emoji3]

I did the British Isles on princess last summer and there were three embarkation points. Only 300 people got on when I did, and it was very nice that way!! Luggage beat me to the cabin.
But I do agree about “who are these people on my cruise?” But then it was an awesome feeling on the main port’s last night— no racing back to the cabin to put out luggage.


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5 hours ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

I don't agree with you. For us it did affected the cruise experience a little when we cruised on Meraviglia in the Mediterranean. No big deal but we should have prefered one embarkation/debarkation port.

 

For example they had a Welcome aboard party in Genua but we embarked in Barcelona, strange! 

 

We were the first people to embark in Barcelona but when we arrived in the Top Sail Lounge there were other passengers there, strange! 

 

We missed the first night feeling on the ship and really missed that!

 

There were also some other things.

 

We still loved the cruise! 

But in a few days YOU would be those guys hanging out in the lounge when the newbies arrived.

 

gary

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1 hour ago, gtaylor said:

But in a few days YOU would be those guys hanging out in the lounge when the newbies arrived.

 

gary

 

And that was strange too!

 

The worst thing was our last day when we sat in the lounge waiting to disembark and new passengers arrived! The reason for that was not  that people could embark anywhere but still a strange feeling compared to a cruise where the ship has to be cleared before new passengers can board.

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Hi all, everything's going well on board Grandiosa, only time goes too fast as usual when you're having fun!

 

As planned a couple of days ago, in Palermo, we took our only ship (like there were another choices...) excursion. So, here how it worked out. It was described as a three and a half walking tour of the city. On the ticket we found out that the meeting point was at the pier at 9:45 so five minutes earlier we reached the ship exit but we were stopped by an officer that told us it was not our turn yet(!?...) and left waiting in the hall were of course other people were already standing and more arriving since many had our same tour ticket. Ten minutes later we were allowed to exit and we noticed that on that deck as well, near the elevator, more people were standing waiting to be allowed to exit. We didn't think it was a smooth process, peraphs would be better to gather people for groups at theather or other ship halls as we are used than stop all people around the exit.

At the pier we met with our guide and collect headphones and receivers, we were 20 in our group. An MSC hostess went with us as well, she walked at the end of the group while the guide was at leading the group. During the tour we stopped at several sights and while the guide explained what we were looking at we could wander around, for instance the square we were at and take pictures, headpnhones worked very well, we could hear her at several meters of distance, the important was that we were always in sight. The times we are living in allow social distancing by default anyway, I'm sure those tourists' places would be crowded one year ago.

We went to the cathedral as well and it was the only monument we saw either outside than inside. Then we were offered a small cannolo and a bit of granita as a break, that we had standing outside the cathedral. Of course it was mandatory to always follow and stick to the plan and we were repeated several times we must wear properly the facemask, that is that it must cover nose and mouth, I saw at least a couple of time the MSC hostess approaching personally people of our group asking them to adjust their facemask, there is always someone that never learn, or do not want to. The other major rule you must follow during excursions is that you are not allowed to shop anywhere, the guide reminded us that a couple of time as well since there were people trying to sell us tourist stuff.

In the end the excursion lasts just over three hours, we were a bit tired since it was really hot but it was nice and we definitely would do it again, a good way to see a glimpse of a city for the first time.

Here some photos in Palermo, hope they can give you a better idea of how easy was to keep the right distances.

 

zQUihpE.jpg

 

PgDRBSU.jpg

 

AaBRP1S.jpg

 

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56 minutes ago, Fletch1 said:

 

Ditto.......maybe she is struggling to find strong wifi on shore? Let's hope so and all is good. 

 

Hi Fletch, fortunately no struggling since I can surf internet with my mobile data but only when in port, yesterday was sea day!

 

On 9/8/2020 at 11:26 AM, Fletch1 said:

 

A great choice of tours! I am surprised. I would have thought some of the more mixing in public tours (walking tours) would be very limited and the "sitting on a bus scenic tours" would be a bigger option. 

 

No, I was aware excursions involved a good range of activities you would normally find before Covid19. MSC make sure now more then ever that companies they deal with follow all their safety protocols and that we guest do not get in contact with people outside our group if not for a very short time. (As WHO states you must have a contact of at least 15 minutes and at a distances of a meter or less with a positive person to get the virus). For example while we were walking on a pedestrian street in Palermo a beggar got in the middle of the group and started to ask for money, I don't know if she was first asked to leave us alone or what, I was not aware of what was happening then since I was ate the end of the group and looking around, but I understand that, since she was not going to do that, we stopped at one side of the street in order for her to go ahead and then proceeded on our path.

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12 minutes ago, petra75 said:

Hi all, everything's going well on board Grandiosa, only time goes too fast as usual when you're having fun!

 

As planned a couple of days ago, in Palermo, we took our only ship (like there were another choices...) excursion. So, here how it worked out. It was described as a three and a half walking tour of the city. On the ticket we found out that the meeting point was at the pier at 9:45 so five minutes earlier we reached the ship exit but we were stopped by an officer that told us it was not our turn yet(!?...) and left waiting in the hall were of course other people were already standing and more arriving since many had our same tour ticket. Ten minutes later we were allowed to exit and we noticed that on that deck as well, near the elevator, more people were standing waiting to be allowed to exit. We didn't think it was a smooth process, peraphs would be better to gather people for groups at theather or other ship halls as we are used than stop all people around the exit.

At the pier we met with our guide and collect headphones and receivers, we were 20 in our group. An MSC hostess went with us as well, she walked at the end of the group while the guide was at leading the group. During the tour we stopped at several sights and while the guide explained what we were looking at we could wander around, for instance the square we were at and take pictures, headpnhones worked very well, we could hear her at several meters of distance, the important was that we were always in sight. The times we are living in allow social distancing by default anyway, I'm sure those tourists' places would be crowded one year ago.

We went to the cathedral as well and it was the only monument we saw either outside than inside. Then we were offered a small cannolo and a bit of granita as a break, that we had standing outside the cathedral. Of course it was mandatory to always follow and stick to the plan and we were repeated several times we must wear properly the facemask, that is that it must cover nose and mouth, I saw at least a couple of time the MSC hostess approaching personally people of our group asking them to adjust their facemask, there is always someone that never learn, or do not want to. The other major rule you must follow during excursions is that you are not allowed to shop anywhere, the guide reminded us that a couple of time as well since there were people trying to sell us tourist stuff.

In the end the excursion lasts just over three hours, we were a bit tired since it was really hot but it was nice and we definitely would do it again, a good way to see a glimpse of a city for the first time.

Here some photos in Palermo, hope they can give you a better idea of how easy was to keep the right distances.

 

I just love walking tours. Whenever we travel and stay a few days in a major city, we always hunt our walking tours and try and do one early in our stay. It gives you a great feel for the city and the guide usually gives you some great hints and suggestions for what to do in the city (obviously not applicable in the case of cruise shore tours). 

 

Did you previously say these walking tours were 50 euro or 3 for 100 euro? For a 3 hour tour, I find 50 euro reasonable value for a group of 20 people. 

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On 9/8/2020 at 11:21 PM, Wendy The Wanderer said:

Any understanding of what capacity (more or less) these ships are sailing at?

Hi Wendy, we've been told there are little less than 1400 passenger onboard now, I understand that the ship capacity for double occupancy is around 5000, but I believe that our government allow not more than 70 per cent of occupancy for cruise lines now, we are far from that number anyway.  

 

On 9/8/2020 at 10:48 PM, rkacruiser said:

OP, a "picky" personal question:

 

On Grandiosa, in the Theater, are there hand rails along the steps leading from the back of the Theater down to its front?

 

On Meraviglia, there were none and I saw several guests having difficulty with the steps without the handrails.  A few fell that I saw.  

 

Hi rkacruiser, no handrails near the stairs in Grandiosa theather and I think that the back of the seats are not convenient at all as an help for balance, too low. There is just the handrail you can see in the photo below that runs from side to side but it's just a separator I believe.

 

aBMVFRg.jpg

 

On 9/8/2020 at 10:29 PM, cellfree said:

Petra75, thank you for all of your updates. We were to sail on the Grandiosa in October 2020 and then COVID changed our cruise/itinerary/flights/etc. but very happy for you. We are really hoping MSC will start up by 2021 out of Miami. Is Captain Marco Massa your Captain? We met him several times on various cruises in the US and knew he was being moved to the Grandiosa. A truly wonderful Captain!

 

Hi cellfree, yes, captain is Marco Massa, actually we have never see him around the ship, but a few minutes during officer presentation at gala evening

 

B60DTJ1.jpg   

 

On 9/8/2020 at 7:55 PM, FLCruise7 said:

Petra,

Thanks for taking time during your cruise for the pictures and information.  May give us some ideas as to what cruising will look like when they start up again here in the US.  I have to admit - just a bit jealous that we can't cruise right now.  :classic_biggrin:

 

One question - if you get a chance, could you talk a little about what they're doing in the casino?

 

Thanks & enjoy your trip! 

Thank you FLCruise, we are enjoying our time on board!

Casino is business as usual, I passed by a few times and saw slot machines and several tables (roulette, texas holdem, blackjack, ...) open with people playing. There are as usual different seats you cannot use and I understand people are not allowed to stand around tables just to watch.

 

9FY9QMk.jpg

 

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On 9/8/2020 at 4:06 PM, little britain said:

As far as I know, yes at all ports apart from one (Palermo?)

 

You're right about the number of ports, just the only port Grandiosa does not embark is La Valletta, Malta, not Palermo 

 

On 9/8/2020 at 8:03 PM, KennyFla said:

Thank you for posting these.  If you get a chance can you post some pictures of how the buffet works now?

 

Hallo KennyFla, for the flow at the buffet there are some pictures at post #52, here others of the line, hope they give you an idea. Here you are been given tray and silver from a member of a crew

 

K4eB9hs.jpg

 

Then there is the usual line of different dishes, you cannot touch anything, I don't know if the pictures shows that but there is a plastic separator between you and the food till the bottom of the bar, you ask the crew members (here it was almost closing time but at pick hours there are more waiters) what you like and they pass you the plates from above.

 

ZHM53Tu.jpg

 

sTitGba.jpg

 

sIP2qAu.jpg 

 

 

On 9/8/2020 at 8:22 PM, FionaMG said:

Thanks so much for all your information Petra and for taking time out of your cruise to post here.

I was interested by the photo of the theatre. It looks like every other seat is blocked off, so how does that work for couples and families who want to sit together?

 

 

 

Hi Fiona, if you are part of a family or group you can use all the seats in order to sit close, we have done that as well, the sign behind your back is not the most confortable thing I can think of but for the time of a show nothing unbearable, I have never seen anybody so far removing that.

As someone mentioned some posts ago doing that you must rely for people coming after you to understand that, even if they see a seat next to you without the no seat sign they should not use that. At this moment the odds are few since the attendance is not that high...

 

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Petra you are truly wonderful for taking your time to answer all our questions. I had asked about your Captain and you said it was Captain Massa. I suspect due to all the new protocols that he is not able to mingle about his ship as he has done in the past. He was always very visible and friendly the several times he was our Captain in the past. Again Petra, thank you for helping all of us with your information.

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