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Any RCL fans try out MSC?


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Hello all!

I've been on Carnival (too partyish, food not so great)

 

I've been on Royal Caribbean - quieter, which I like. My favorite was a Mediterranean cruise on Splendour of the Seas..way back.

 

RCL has been my favorite, but these MSC deals are KILLING ME!!  A Greek cruise for less than a thousand for both of us (my husband and I, no kids)...

 

Afraid to jump the RCL ship (bad pun), but am really curious to see if MSC will measure up given my preferences for a quieter, less partylike atmosphere, and decent food.

 

Thanks!

 

Rachel

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We’ve cruised both lines numerous times and without a doubt our preference is with Royal in our opinion wins hands down in every category I’m sure others will disagree.

 

I’m definitely no expert MSC cruiser but they do often offer better itineraries we enjoy them in a different way some of the deals on MSC are excellent and we on occasions take advantage of them.

 

If they were the same price I’d cruise with Royal every time.

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We were very loyal to Royal cruise fans, but found an unbelievable deal for 14 days on MSC Seaside 2 years ago. We were apprehensive and DH suggested we should maybe try 7 days first.  When we found out the second week cost only $800 more for 3 in a balcony, we decided to stick with the original 14-day cruise.  

 

We are VERY glad we did this.  MSC has become our new favorite cruise line.  If you are a spa fan, you will LOVE MSC - especially the new larger ships. We found the food must be more  “clean” because we never felt bloated after eating a meal on MSC.  We loved the shows and themed parties.  The drink prices are much more affordable, with a good variety of $6 drinks on US sailings. 

 

Best advice I can give is to book it on a great deal like the one you found - that way you can try it without feeling like you are wasting money.  MSC may just become your favorite line too.  🙂

 

PS: We have been on 36 cruises, including Carnival, RCL, Celebrity, NCL, Costa, and MSC - still want to try Princess, HAL, P&O, and Aida but none of those can beat the MSC prices.

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I agree with everything APDMOM said!  We've been RC cruisers for years; tried MSC and loved it.  We have two more MSC cruises booked.  (Our experience with both lines is Carib only, and Celebrity in the Med.  Some MSC elements could be different there.)

If you have a loyalty level with RC, I recommend applying for Status Match, submitting some proof of your level.  

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I also am loyal to RCCL and Celebrity. We decided to try a MSC 7 day Caribbean cruise followed by a 7 day RCCL cruise. We were on the MSC Seaside about 4 months after launch and it was terrible. The ship is beautiful but food quality was lacking and guest services was non-existant. We could not wait to get off that ship and get on RCCL. I posted some of my problems here and of course the cheerleaders for MSC couldn't believe it. As far as I'm concerned they should be flying a pirates flag. Evidently you need to stay in YC to enjoy a decent cruise. Of course this is a matter of opinion and this is mine!

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5 hours ago, diesel1973 said:

I also am loyal to RCCL and Celebrity. We decided to try a MSC 7 day Caribbean cruise followed by a 7 day RCCL cruise. We were on the MSC Seaside about 4 months after launch and it was terrible. The ship is beautiful but food quality was lacking and guest services was non-existant. We could not wait to get off that ship and get on RCCL. I posted some of my problems here and of course the cheerleaders for MSC couldn't believe it. As far as I'm concerned they should be flying a pirates flag. Evidently you need to stay in YC to enjoy a decent cruise. Of course this is a matter of opinion and this is mine!

This is a very good description of a typical MSC cruise.  Also, the OP mentioned looking for a quieter, less party atmosphere cruise. You won't find that on MSC.

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On 3/26/2021 at 4:12 AM, joeyancho said:

It's  fun to "sleep" around. 


LOL...terse and to the point...LOL.  We always loved RCI...a good fit if you like a high activity level.   RCI has the best suites at sea and we always loved the Concierge Lounge  and the benefits.  Now we are MSC Yacht Club converts.  The MSC ships are beautiful and the idea of being able to leave the YC and dive into the frenetic international scene onboard is very appealing.  The amenities in the YC far outweigh anything RCI is offering at a competitive price.  So I would say it all depends on what MSC experience you choose.  

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The mention of the different "experiences" is a good one, and something worth pursuing before making a booking.  Yacht Club is frequently mentioned as the ultimate level.  We sail Bella, which suits us, with traditional dining.  In between are Fantastica and Aurea, which include different benefits.

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Agree with most comments - have many RC nights, only 1 msc - it was ok because it was not crowded - only 1/2 full.  Liked that they did not seem to have the pee pool - yes said that. Hate pools where everyone is standing waste deep drinking all day and never move... get my drift?

The msc ship I was on that did not happen.

Not keen on food - cheap - not great selection or quality on MSC compared to RC or others.

But value for the # of ports and length of cruise.

Room was similar.

So up to you if ports selection is what you want and length of cruise or timing. 

Lets face it - even on our fav cruise line - some things are not what we prefer, but it is better than sitting at home.

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5 hours ago, CGTNORMANDIE said:


LOL...terse and to the point...LOL.  We always loved RCI...a good fit if you like a high activity level.   RCI has the best suites at sea and we always loved the Concierge Lounge  and the benefits.  Now we are MSC Yacht Club converts.  The MSC ships are beautiful and the idea of being able to leave the YC and dive into the frenetic international scene onboard is very appealing.  The amenities in the YC far outweigh anything RCI is offering at a competitive price.  So I would say it all depends on what MSC experience you choose.  

This is also our experience.  We'd done most of our cruising with RC. Started out when our now grown daughters were younger. Once we became empty nesters, we kicked it up a notch and tried suites with RC and then Celebrity, which we really liked. We were actually looking at giving NCL Haven a try, and while I was doing my research on that, found out about MSC YC. Booked Seaside instead, and had a wonderful experience. 

 

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On 3/26/2021 at 3:46 AM, APDMOM said:

We are VERY glad we did this.  MSC has become our new favorite cruise line.

 

12 hours ago, diesel1973 said:

We were on the MSC Seaside about 4 months after launch and it was terrible. The ship is beautiful but food quality was lacking and guest services was non-existant.

 

As you can see, opinions vary greatly when it comes to MSC. Things are often a "work in progress..." so problems that one person had may not apply to the next person. I also sailed Seaside (my first MSC cruise) during the first year and noted that some problems that others had were fixed/corrected but there were a few issues that I had. Later guests reported that those problems that I had (same stateroom) were fixed. Overall, I had a great cruise and even after Covid cancellations, I still have 3 MSC cruises booked for 2021/2022. 

 

After sailing Carnival, RCCL, NCL, and MSC, NCL's Haven and MSC's Yacht Club are our cruise of choice. We're a family of 4 with 2 young children but all age groups can find something to enjoy with most cruise lines. 

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We will be on our first MSC cruise this June (hopefully). With over 50 cruises under our belts, most with Royal and Celebrity but also NCL and Carnival, we also were impressed with the prices. We have secured our Status Match using our Diamond status with Royal. We're excited to try something new.

 

The one thing I've been noticing on these boards is that apparently the YC is pretty darn amazing, but the non-YC experience can be a little hit or miss. We will be in a lowly inside on this sailing. Insides don't bother us. Especially on this little 4-day to the Bahamas. We will see how it goes! We will just be happy to be on a ship at this point!

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We had been mainly Celebrity and Royal Caribbean for about six years for a total of 30 cruises. 2018 we tried the Yacht Club suite on the Seaside. We enjoyed it so much we did it again in 2019. We decided to only do the YC but then Covid happened. Along with that, the word spread about how great the YC was and the price skyrocketed. As of now no cruising fits in our perceived value so we are land lubbers until/if it every changes. If it happens, the YC is our only choice. 

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Hi, Rachel!...

 

First of it all; be welcome at the MSC's board!...

 

As you can see on all the other posts MSC can have a large specter of opinions. Even though, on one hand with my 7 cruises with them against 1 RC and a few smaller companies river cruises, I may to be counted as an MSC's cheerleader, on the other hand I'm pretty much the first one to recognize that MSC might not to be for everyone.

 

First of it all, they're an Italian line, catering mostly to Italian and other continental Europeans coupled with a more American and international twist for quite awhile now. That said if to be surrounded with so many Europeans is OK for you, go for it!... Otherwise if this is too much for you, stick with what you feel more familiar with...

 

While you might find some sort of party experiences, especially on the shorter 3-5 days cruises (normally at the season's beginning or ending), usual MSC cruisers are not from those constituencies. While surely each sailing is different, I can to make a "photo" of an average MSC cruiser, as being from a continental European mainstream average affluent class with some both land and cruise good travel experience and interest to know newer places. They might to be somewhat younger than RCI regulars actually. The ship tends to be alive for quite a while more than a regular RC one (or at least the Allure one I was on), people will gather on the bars... But that's it. I rarely found such a drunken crowd! Far from that!...

 

So, now, let me to point what the similarities and differences I found with my experiences. Bear in mind I'm making it from my own Mediterranean perspective, though!...

 

The MSC ships tend to be more of the classical style, more open to the seas and sort of more beautiful to an extent.

 

Crews are more similar than what many can think about. Most of your servers will come from the Philippines or other Asian or south American poor countries on both lines.

 

Food quality is pretty much similar on both lines as well albeit the different preparation focus (for European sailings at least the products used will be from mostly the same providers, once they're the approved ones from the main ports which are by the most part the same) RC has the edge on the buffets, while MSC has the edge on the MDR. MSC makes better desserts, RC makes better small bites buffet offerings. MSC more Mediterranean cuisine focusing, RC more international style...

 

Entertainment is far different. Here RC has the clear edge, but one has what one pays for. Top grade A production, water, invited headliner and comedian shows on RC. Entertaining but nothing to write home about mostly circus and European like singing shows for MSC.

 

Cruise line sponsored shore excursions will likely to be similar, once they come from the same providers. MSC ones tend to be somewhat on the cheaper side though.

 

Drinks and drink packages are cheaper at MSC. Drinks packages are more easily understandable on RC though.

 

Ship regular maintenance and cleanliness seems to be better at MSC.

 

Cabins might to be similar, but the ones on RC Allure felt bigger... That might to be a class of ship feature though.

 

Guest services felt better at RC, but that might run on the cultural differences that somewhat arise. Small happenings are something seen as normal day to day events here in Europe, while they must to be avoided in the US. I have never have a bad experience with MSC's guest services... Simply the Allure one felt nicer.

 

Gratuities (tips): Highly welcomed extra tips on RC. Highly discouraged on MSC though. If you happen to find a above the norm service provider on MSC, be quite discrete on how to tip him or her. Similar daily service charge and drinks gratuity charge on both companies though.

 

I can't really to rank SPA's and daily activities once I have never partake on any to say the least. RC seems to have the daily activities spread all over the ship, while MSC tends to concentrate them on the pool decks though. Lots of nice inside place to read a nice book, rest or have a nice family time on the bars. Such a very welcoming MSC's feature!...

 

RC is far more pushy on cross overselling. You will quite never to be pressured to buy something else on MSC. And if an instance occurs (only one on my 7 cruises with them), a polite "no thanks" suffix. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my Allure cruise. Actually I had to avoid a certain atrium area where those Art Auction guys and girls were at certain times of the day...

 

Check-in and check-out are a hit or miss on both lines. Relies mostly on the main ports or the ports of call actual ability to run the actual ship and/or the number of ships they have in port that day.

 

Hope to have helped a little bit! Have a nice day and nice sailings when permitted!...

 

 

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I used to sail Royal and also thought I loved their suites. Once the concierge lounge turned in to an overcrowded brag fest, I tried NCL and the Haven. Loved it. Then I tried MSC and the yacht club. Can not wait until cruising starts up again as MSC is my first choice now.

If quiet is what you're looking for-the Haven or Yacht club is the only way to go.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Nunagoras said:

Hi, Rachel!...

 

First of it all; be welcome at the MSC's board!...

 

As you can see on all the other posts MSC can have a large specter of opinions. Even though, on one hand with my 7 cruises with them against 1 RC and a few smaller companies river cruises, I may to be counted as an MSC's cheerleader, on the other hand I'm pretty much the first one to recognize that MSC might not to be for everyone.

 

First of it all, they're an Italian line, catering mostly to Italian and other continental Europeans coupled with a more American and international twist for quite awhile now. That said if to be surrounded with so many Europeans is OK for you, go for it!... Otherwise if this is too much for you, stick with what you feel more familiar with...

 

While you might find some sort of party experiences, especially on the shorter 3-5 days cruises (normally at the season's beginning or ending), usual MSC cruisers are not from those constituencies. While surely each sailing is different, I can to make a "photo" of an average MSC cruiser, as being from a continental European mainstream average affluent class with some both land and cruise good travel experience and interest to know newer places. They might to be somewhat younger than RCI regulars actually. The ship tends to be alive for quite a while more than a regular RC one (or at least the Allure one I was on), people will gather on the bars... But that's it. I rarely found such a drunken crowd! Far from that!...

 

So, now, let me to point what the similarities and differences I found with my experiences. Bear in mind I'm making it from my own Mediterranean perspective, though!...

 

The MSC ships tend to be more of the classical style, more open to the seas and sort of more beautiful to an extent.

 

Crews are more similar than what many can think about. Most of your servers will come from the Philippines or other Asian or south American poor countries on both lines.

 

Food quality is pretty much similar on both lines as well albeit the different preparation focus (for European sailings at least the products used will be from mostly the same providers, once they're the approved ones from the main ports which are by the most part the same) RC has the edge on the buffets, while MSC has the edge on the MDR. MSC makes better desserts, RC makes better small bites buffet offerings. MSC more Mediterranean cuisine focusing, RC more international style...

 

Entertainment is far different. Here RC has the clear edge, but one has what one pays for. Top grade A production, water, invited headliner and comedian shows on RC. Entertaining but nothing to write home about mostly circus and European like singing shows for MSC.

 

Cruise line sponsored shore excursions will likely to be similar, once they come from the same providers. MSC ones tend to be somewhat on the cheaper side though.

 

Drinks and drink packages are cheaper at MSC. Drinks packages are more easily understandable on RC though.

 

Ship regular maintenance and cleanliness seems to be better at MSC.

 

Cabins might to be similar, but the ones on RC Allure felt bigger... That might to be a class of ship feature though.

 

Guest services felt better at RC, but that might run on the cultural differences that somewhat arise. Small happenings are something seen as normal day to day events here in Europe, while they must to be avoided in the US. I have never have a bad experience with MSC's guest services... Simply the Allure one felt nicer.

 

Gratuities (tips): Highly welcomed extra tips on RC. Highly discouraged on MSC though. If you happen to find a above the norm service provider on MSC, be quite discrete on how to tip him or her. Similar daily service charge and drinks gratuity charge on both companies though.

 

I can't really to rank SPA's and daily activities once I have never partake on any to say the least. RC seems to have the daily activities spread all over the ship, while MSC tends to concentrate them on the pool decks though. Lots of nice inside place to read a nice book, rest or have a nice family time on the bars. Such a very welcoming MSC's feature!...

 

RC is far more pushy on cross overselling. You will quite never to be pressured to buy something else on MSC. And if an instance occurs (only one on my 7 cruises with them), a polite "no thanks" suffix. Unfortunately I can't say the same for my Allure cruise. Actually I had to avoid a certain atrium area where those Art Auction guys and girls were at certain times of the day...

 

Check-in and check-out are a hit or miss on both lines. Relies mostly on the main ports or the ports of call actual ability to run the actual ship and/or the number of ships they have in port that day.

 

Hope to have helped a little bit! Have a nice day and nice sailings when permitted!...

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I’ve sailed on MSC twice. First time in the Caribbean from Miami (Divina) and second time in the Mediterranean form Civitavecchia  (Meraviglia). The first cruise was just OK. The second cruise, was absolutely wonderful
 

I considered the Meraviglia to have a “wow” factor similar to what we’ve experienced on Royal’s Oasis class of ships. Customer service and cuisine were both similar to Royal’s. Stage entertainment is lacking, but they do offer Cirque du Soleil at Sea performances in a dedicated theatre (but for an extra fee). These shows are more in line with Royal’s offerings.

 

We also loved the diverse passenger mix. It made for a much more enjoyable cruise experience, specially sailing in the Mediterranean. I wouldn’t call it a party crowd, but it’s a lively multi-cultural crowd
 

As far as accommodations go, I have no complaints. Because pricing was so competitive, we decided to upgrade to an Aurea suite. This type of suite isn’t part of the Yacht Club (which most people rave about),  but it still came with a pretty long list of perks.  For comparison purposes, I priced out similar accommodations on Royal, and it would’ve cost FOUR times as much! So I do appreciate MSC’s competitive pricing which places within reach accommodations that I normally wouldn’t have even considered. 
 

Overall, I consider MSC to be one of my favorite cruise lines at the present time, but I do consider them to be similar to Royal in terms of quality. I enjoy MSC’s beautiful ships, onboard ambiance and offerings, diverse clientele, and competitive pricing. 
 

 

Edited by Tapi
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Posted (edited)

We have cruised both lines and to be honest we loved them both. They both have different yet a lot of the same things to offer. Go for it you will have a great time.

Edited by knight2096
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On 3/29/2021 at 4:05 PM, Tapi said:

I’ve sailed on MSC twice. First time in the Caribbean from Miami (Divina) and second time in the Mediterranean form Civitavecchia  (Meraviglia). The first cruise was just OK. The second cruise, was absolutely wonderful
 

I considered the Meraviglia to have a “wow” factor similar to what we’ve experienced on Royal’s Oasis class of ships. Customer service and cuisine were both similar to Royal’s. Stage entertainment is lacking, but they do offer Cirque du Soleil at Sea performances in a dedicated theatre (but for an extra fee). These shows are more in line with Royal’s offerings.

 

We also loved the diverse passenger mix. It made for a much more enjoyable cruise experience, specially sailing in the Mediterranean. I wouldn’t call it a party crowd, but it’s a lively multi-cultural crowd
 

As far as accommodations go, I have no complaints. Because pricing was so competitive, we decided to upgrade to an Aurea suite. This type of suite isn’t part of the Yacht Club (which most people rave about),  but it still came with a pretty long list of perks.  For comparison purposes, I priced out similar accommodations on Royal, and it would’ve cost FOUR times as much! So I do appreciate MSC’s competitive pricing which places within reach accommodations that I normally wouldn’t have even considered. 
 

Overall, I consider MSC to be one of my favorite cruise lines at the present time, but I do consider them to be similar to Royal in terms of quality. I enjoy MSC’s beautiful ships, onboard ambiance and offerings, diverse clientele, and competitive pricing. 
 

 

Many thanks! Permit me a single note: Unfortunately, Cirque du Soleil went bankrupt during the pandemic and they'll not return to the Meraviglia class anymore. Don't know how will they use those amazing next gen technology theaters from now on. Currently on the Grandiosa, according to the videos that are popping on Youtube, they are using them as another regular bar to spread out the crowds. Hopefully MSC will come across with any top grade A entertainment solution from anywhere else. Have a nice day!...

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58 minutes ago, Nunagoras said:

 Cirque du Soleil went bankrupt during the pandemic and they'll not return to the Meraviglia class anymore.

Aww, 😢 It’s a shame that they won’t be returning. The night we attended the Cirque du Soleil performance was one of our favorite onboard. 

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Royal Caribbean Group incl Royal and X for many years.

 

Tried the Divina YC for the heck of it.

 

Amazing for the price.  The best service, food, atmosphere, excitement.

 

We probably will stick with MSC YC for many years to come.

 

The Italians do it right.  They know about customer service.  The YC is quite an experience.

 

Cannot wait until USA ports reopen and things normalize so we can make up for this downtime.

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We’ve been loyal to RC for several years now but have also sailed with Carnival, Fred Olsen, Princess, HAL, Celebrity and P&O in the past.

 

Have just booked the Virtuosa for 7 nights departing 3rd July. Got a great deal which included 30% NHS discount plus another 5% as I had status matched our RC Diamond Plus membership (Gold with MSC).

 

We really enjoy the large ships having sailed on RC’s Oasis and Quantum class several times. I have read somewhere that the Virtuosa and Grandiosa are similar to Quantum class and I really hope that’s true.

 

This will be our first time sailing with MSC, hopefully not the last but we shall see 😁.

 

 

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