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11 hours ago, firefly333 said:

Europe I'd have to fly there too, its further than nassau. The logic about 10 msc ships still escapes me. I'm not in europe nor are you? It's a nevermind I guess. 

 

Unless I'm wrong, what they were talking about is that the title of this posting suggests that cruising is starting back up again period.  After reading the article, it's just in Europe.  That's not doing anyone that only cruises from the US any good.  

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12 minutes ago, RWolver672 said:

 

Unless I'm wrong, what they were talking about is that the title of this posting suggests that cruising is starting back up again period.  After reading the article, it's just in Europe.  That's not doing anyone that only cruises from the US any good.  

I know. The rcl boards have specific dates and ship names too I vaguely follow. Singapore has been up and running since January and rcl sails from israel in may, so a few more ships going or soon to be. I've seen a few more coming but not familiar with the ports enough, maybe greece? UK of course. So ships are restarting just no firm news about usa for us.

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6 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

Yep given the price I'm paying for the extra space I'm absolutely good with it. The other cruise lines might offer you more perks but they are charging for it too. (A Royal junior suite was almost 3 times more than what I'm paying and no perk is worth that, to me.) 

I just looked at the Junior Suite perks for RCI. Bathrobe for onboard use, Lavazza coffee maker, luxury bathroom amenities and priority boarding. Certainly not worth 3 times what I'm paying on CCL (which offers the bathrobe and priority boarding, not sure about the other two things). Looking at the higher end suites, which of course cost even more, I'm not seeing anything that is worth the extra that I am paying. I do recognize that others will see this differently.

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22 hours ago, sparks1093 said:

I am loyal to my wallet and will book with the line that offers the best deal financially. We don't need a lot of bells and whistles and do not allow ourselves to be blinded by them. We've sailed on NCL, CCL and RCL and find the differences to be minor in the things that matter to us. We like what we experienced with our one Royal cruise, but didn't find the experience to be so "wow" that we feel the need to spend more money to experience it.

Agreed.  Our very first Family cruise was on Royal to Alaska which is what got me hooked on Cruising.  Having said that we have only had one other cruise outside of Carnival and even though i may do another Royal cruise now that im single the simple fact was that with the family i could get 2 cruises for the same cost as one RCl cruise anyday. 

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1 hour ago, sparks1093 said:

I just looked at the Junior Suite perks for RCI. Bathrobe for onboard use, Lavazza coffee maker, luxury bathroom amenities and priority boarding. Certainly not worth 3 times what I'm paying on CCL (which offers the bathrobe and priority boarding, not sure about the other two things). Looking at the higher end suites, which of course cost even more, I'm not seeing anything that is worth the extra that I am paying. I do recognize that others will see this differently.

I'm with you.  The only thing I really care about is the space inside the cabin.   

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Certainly don;'t be afraid to "jump ship" if you find something that works for you.  Carnival is just one company.  They do a good job, but there are plenty of others out there.

 

I shop every time we cruise, and we always come back to Carnival.  We did sail NCL once, and it was fine.  We still prefer Carnival.

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18 hours ago, Radiioman46 said:

The last time I looked the cruises out of the UK and elsewhere in Europe were for their locals only. IOW, not open for Americans.

I was going to say the same thing.  Travel restrictions for US based vacationers to Europe are still in place on both sides of the Big Pond.  Someone living in DC should know that.

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Posted (edited)
On 4/15/2021 at 10:43 AM, IntrepidFromDC said:

Now, not only have I secured the status-match at MSC, but they are expanding cruising to 10 ships!

MSC matched my Carnival Platinum status to MSC gold. I have now sailed them in the Caribbean and Mediterranean and they’ve quickly become one of my favorite cruise lines.

 

MSC’s prices are VERY competitive. In fact, many times they are considerably cheaper than Carnival. It’s because of their unbeatable pricing why we decided to, not only sail MSC in the Mediterranean, but to book a Loft Suite with a long list of perks. What a wonderful vacation! Even after upgrading, it was still cheaper than a standard balcony stateroom out of Port Canaveral on yet another Caribbean cruise that same week! 
 

I will always cherish the memories from my Carnival cruises, but if there’s something that I’ve learned during the last few years is that there are too many other cruise lines and too many other places to see. I can’t stay loyal to just one cruise line anymore. 

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Edited by Tapi
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Posted (edited)
On 4/15/2021 at 11:33 AM, asalligo said:

Love the idea of status match, but if I am spending the money to fly to Europe, I think I will take a more upscale cruise than MSC.  

Although the idea of sailing a more upscale cruise line sounds enticing, I found MSC to be ideal for a Mediterranean cruise. It’s their turf so the cruise was infused with the Mediterranean culture and way of life. It definitely enhanced the experience. 

On 4/15/2021 at 12:17 PM, firefly333 said:

Rcl and celebrity also do status match, I've transferred my own.

Are you saying that Royal will status match my Carnival Platinum? I wasn’t aware of that. I thought that MSC was the only one doing so. 

Edited by Tapi
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29 minutes ago, Tapi said:

Although the idea of sailing a more upscale cruise line sounds enticing, I found MSC to be ideal for a Mediterranean cruise. It’s their turf so the cruise was infused with the Mediterranean culture and way of life. It definitely enhanced the experience. 

Are you saying that Royal will status match my Carnival Platinum? I wasn’t aware of that. I thought that MSC was the only one doing so. 

No rcl transfers to celebrity. It's their own brand. I did it before I took celebrity to hawaii and my first time on celebrity but I got top perks, wifi free and other gifts. With celebrity becoming inclusive might not be a good deal any more...or celebrity to rcl, both directions, but I only have the one celebrity.

 

But msc will also match rcl, whichever you have the highest loyalty level. Rcl or carnival. 

 

With prices so crazy, except for friends groups, I'm sitting on my hands I tell myself. ..though I bet I wind up rebooking my sept 2021 vista cruise. I'm tired of rebooking.

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With me it is always a matter of price and value. Carnival has sufficiently supplied both for a number of years. We did Cruise one Royal Caribbean ship with a family reunion back in the late 90's. The difference in that passenger roster vs. Carnival was not even close. Many of those RCL passengers were some of he most "Condescending" and "Uppity" individuals that I have come across in my many journeys.

 

So sometimes it can go beyond Price and Value (not very often) and be based on the personalities that you are comfortable sailing with. 

 

Carnival Cruise Nut Lifetime Sailing!!!!  

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, firefly333 said:

No, rcl transfers to celebrity. It's their own brand.

 

....I'm tired of rebooking.

Thanks for the clarification. I was wondering if I’d missed something. Yes, I have matched my Royal Platinum status to Celebrity’s Select status, but still haven’t taken advantage of it yet. Hopefully soon. Celebrity is on my “to do” list, but I haven’t sailed on them yet. 
 

About rebooking, I just decided to hold off on booking any cruises that depart before my next booked cruise which is in December. Let’s see what happens! 

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15 hours ago, RWolver672 said:

 

Unless I'm wrong, what they were talking about is that the title of this posting suggests that cruising is starting back up again period.  After reading the article, it's just in Europe.  That's not doing anyone that only cruises from the US any good.  

Thanks for translating/clarifying, you are correct in that that's the gist of the topic.  I think one thing I left out is that I have an affinity for the very rich cultures in Europe and would gladly pay to fly there to cruise while also spending a couple weeks training around if the countries will allow us in.  We fell flat on our faces with handling covid at the outset, but have made fantastic adjustments in the past few months.  A look at some of the recent high-level meetings between US and European leaders at state.gov has me hoping we will be able to fly to Italy for tourism by August.  

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6 hours ago, Tapi said:

MSC’s prices are VERY competitive. In fact, many times they are considerably cheaper than Carnival. It’s because of their unbeatable pricing why we decided to, not only sail MSC in the Mediterranean, but to book a Loft Suite with a long list of perks. What a wonderful vacation! Even after upgrading, it was still cheaper than a standard balcony stateroom out of Port Canaveral on yet another Caribbean cruise that same week! 

 

I've done the price comparisons and I see the standard rates are similar to Carnival's on some cruises... but those LOFT SUITE pics are AMAZING and I just want to be sure I understand - you had that suite for about the same as a balcony cabin on Carnival?  Was it a special offer?  

 

Thanks for sharing your experience with MSC... I love European culture so I think I'll fit in fine.

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I've cruised almost all major cruise lines except Silversea and Costa. I am Platinum on Carnival and high tier on other loyalty programs. Life is too short to limit yourself to the Caribbean or one cruise line.. I cruise mostly for the ports but when I just want to relax I usually pick Carnival.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, IntrepidFromDC said:

I just want to be sure I understand - you had that suite for about the same as a balcony cabin on Carnival?  Was it a special offer?  

Hi,

 

Sorry for the long post in advance. LOL.
 

The story is that I was looking for a 7 night cruise out of Port Canaveral for Thanksgiving week (that’s one of my most convenient “drive to ports”). After looking at the results of my search and getting a bit frustrated that they were all the same old, same old itineraries to places we’d already visited (and at high, premium Thanksgiving prices), I decided to remove the port of departure filter and sort by price. And that’s how I found that itinerary on MSC. It was one of the first itineraries listed.
 

It caught my attention because it was so dirt cheap and also because it was on a brand new ship (this was 2018 aboard the Meraviglia). It may be Thanksgiving in the US, but the last week in November is low season in Europe, a bit chilly and dead. On top of the cheap fares, they were also offering a kids sail free promotion (we are a family of 4 with two kids). They paid $0 plus taxes.
 

Long story short, I started pricing out a standard oceanview stateroom and when I realized how cheap it was, I looked at how much a balcony would cost, then their most basic suite, and I finally stopped at the Loft Suite because it cost what I had budgeted for the Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral. I don’t remember if it was cheaper than Carnival specifically, but I do remember that it was definitely cheaper than Royal, NCL, and Disney for a standard balcony. 
 

As a side note, these Loft Suites have been reclassified since we sailed in 2018. At the time they were Aurea suites. They are now part of the Yacht Club so they are more expensive now. I’m glad that I got to experience them when I did, because now they cost considerably more than what I’m willing to pay. 
 

As mentioned above, November in the Med tends to be a bit on the chilly side, and we also learned that days are considerably shorter (sunset was at 4:30pm), but the cooler temperatures were a blessing in disguise to go sightseeing without having to deal with the oppressive summer heat or with the hordes of tourists. Crowds were pretty thin almost everywhere we went. 
 

Sailing in November also meant considerably cheaper “low season” prices on airfare. I used credit card points to pay for 2 tickets but paid out of pocket for 2. Only drawback is that being “off season” air service between the US and Europe is much more limited, but we still scored nonstop flights from Atlanta (where we live) to Rome. 
 

Overall, MSC gave me the opportunity to take my young family on what turned out to be one of our most memorable vacations for a fraction of what it would’ve cost if we’d taken the same vacation during the busier and more expensive summer months . Instead of spending Thanksgiving at Carlos and Charlie’s in Cozumel, we watched Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican give the crowd his blessing. And that was pretty awesome. 

Edited by Tapi
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26 minutes ago, Tapi said:

Hi,

 

Sorry for the long post in advance. LOL.
 

The story is that I was looking for a 7 night cruise out of Port Canaveral for Thanksgiving week (that’s one of my most convenient “drive to ports”). After looking at the results of my search and getting a bit frustrated that they were all the same old, same old itineraries to places we’d already visited (and at high, premium Thanksgiving prices), I decided to remove the port of departure filter and sort by price. And that’s how I found that itinerary on MSC. It was one of the first itineraries listed.
 

It caught my attention because it was so dirt cheap and also because it was on a brand new ship (this was 2018 aboard the Meraviglia). It may be Thanksgiving in the US, but the last week in November is low season in Europe, a bit chilly and dead. On top of the cheap fares, they were also offering a kids sail free promotion (we are a family of 4 with two kids). They paid $0 plus taxes.
 

Long story short, I started pricing out a standard oceanview stateroom and when I realized how cheap it was, I looked at how much a balcony would cost, then their most basic suite, and I finally stopped at the Loft Suite because it cost what I had budgeted for the Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral. I don’t remember if it was cheaper than Carnival specifically, but I do remember that it was definitely cheaper than Royal, NCL, and Disney for a standard balcony. 
 

As a side note, these Loft Suites have been reclassified since we sailed in 2018. At the time they were Aurea suites. They are now part of the Yacht Club so they are more expensive now. I’m glad that I got to experience them when I did, because now they cost considerably more than what I’m willing to pay. 
 

As mentioned above, November in the Med tends to be a bit on the chilly side, and we also learned that days are considerably shorter (sunset was at 4:30pm), but the cooler temperatures were a blessing in disguise to go sightseeing without having to deal with the oppressive summer heat or with the hordes of tourists. Crowds were pretty thin almost everywhere we went. 
 

Sailing in November also meant considerably cheaper “low season” prices on airfare. I used credit card points to pay for 2 tickets but paid out of pocket for 2. Only drawback is that being “off season” air service between the US and Europe is much more limited, but we still scored nonstop flights from Atlanta (where we live) to Rome. 
 

Overall, MSC gave me the opportunity to take my young family on what turned out to be one of our most memorable vacations for a fraction of what it would’ve cost if we’d taken the same vacation during the busier and more expensive summer months . Instead of spending Thanksgiving at Carlos and Charlie’s in Cozumel, we watched Pope Francis at St Peter’s Square in the Vatican give the crowd his blessing. And that was pretty awesome. 

Sounds like a wonderful vacation for you and your family.

 

The one question I have about MSC after reading your post and others on the cc boards is do you get treated as second class if you are not in the Yacht Club. You mention your bargain is no longer there as a bargain as it is now classified as Yacht Club, and others seem to extol the special, exclusive treatment by being in the Yacht Club.

 

The one real question I have about M

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Agree, let's get back to cruising. Shop around though I wish more than 2 choices out of Galveston. Variety is the spice of life, but in the end pocketbook matters most of the time.

 

I'll probably skip msc because I dont like italian or cooked tomatoes or pasta. It's just a personal choice. I havent tried the Italian on dream class either, not even the free lunch. Otherwise I'd be good to try msc. I almost did many years ago when msc was auctioning off cruises on a travel site and was so cheap. I've done ncl princess celebrity ncl rcl and carnival

 

Carnival prices up so much right now seems like a great time to try other lines. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ontheweb said:

The one question I have about MSC after reading your post and others on the cc boards is do you get treated as second class if you are not in the Yacht Club. You mention your bargain is no longer there as a bargain as it is now classified as Yacht Club, and others seem to extol the special, exclusive treatment by being in the Yacht Club.

In my opinion, the non-Yacht Club experience (more specifically the Bella and Fantastica experience which comprise the vast majority of the passengers on the ship) feels pretty much the same as sailing on Carnival, Royal, or any other mass market cruise line I’ve sailed on before. You’re not treated like a “second class” citizen. You’re just treated like everybody else and have access to the same things. The Yacht Club is in a world of its own, but unless you’re actively looking for it, it’s pretty much out of sight (and out of mind) for non-Yacht Club guests. 
 

There are some minor differences between  Bella and Fantastica (like you get complimentary continental breakfast room service on one but not the other), but personally I don’t consider them to be significant enough to make a huge impact. 

Once you get into the Aurea experience (which is what we had in the Med), that’s when the perks really start adding up. You’re still part of the “general population” but you get things like complimentary drink package and priority embarkation, things that are also available on other mass market cruise lines.

 

MSC does things differently with their various experiences but overall you don’t feel like you’re segregated by class. 

 

 

 

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Carnival has its distinct Havana cabins, NCL has the Haven area, and MSC has the Yacht club.  I've sailed all 3 in regular balconies and never once felt like a 2nd class cruiser.

 

It may be possible that cruisers in those distict areas may themselves feel special, but their feeling doesn't affect my enjoyment of the cruise since I'm hardly interacting with any of them.  And if someone from one of those areas would be snobbish enough to go out of their way to attempt to prove their importance to me, I'd have a few choice NY words for them.

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27 minutes ago, evandbob said:

Carnival has its distinct Havana cabins, NCL has the Haven area, and MSC has the Yacht club.  I've sailed all 3 in regular balconies and never once felt like a 2nd class cruiser.

 

More and more ships are doing this. With carnival I think it started with the spa cabins on dream class. After Havana, now the newest has loft 19 or something.

 

Is it HAL who has the aqua balconies where they eat separately and a little more healthy fare and area.

 

Even in a way rcl does this, suite or concierge lounges with coffee and drinks and snack  all the way up to star class where you have a genie booking or getting whatever you want, even planning a party in your suite for friends. Oasis class and I think quantum has the ck kitchen for full suites. Well JS can book as available the ck kitchen. 

 

Some cruiselines have other things, not a bar and pool, but a lounge and different place to eat. Cruises are moving this direction and clearly carnival is jumping on board.

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8 hours ago, Tapi said:

In my opinion, the non-Yacht Club experience (more specifically the Bella and Fantastica experience which comprise the vast majority of the passengers on the ship) feels pretty much the same as sailing on Carnival, Royal, or any other mass market cruise line I’ve sailed on before. You’re not treated like a “second class” citizen. You’re just treated like everybody else and have access to the same things. The Yacht Club is in a world of its own, but unless you’re actively looking for it, it’s pretty much out of sight (and out of mind) for non-Yacht Club guests. 
 

There are some minor differences between  Bella and Fantastica (like you get complimentary continental breakfast room service on one but not the other), but personally I don’t consider them to be significant enough to make a huge impact. 

Once you get into the Aurea experience (which is what we had in the Med), that’s when the perks really start adding up. You’re still part of the “general population” but you get things like complimentary drink package and priority embarkation, things that are also available on other mass market cruise lines.

 

MSC does things differently with their various experiences but overall you don’t feel like you’re segregated by class. 

 

 

 

I'm not quite sure I am understanding. Are those different experiences different levels of rewards for having previously traveled on MSC? Is MSC the line that matches your status from other lines, or am I confusing them with another cruise line?

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37 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

I'm not quite sure I am understanding. Are those different experiences different levels of rewards for having previously traveled on MSC? Is MSC the line that matches your status from other lines, or am I confusing them with another cruise line?

They are not based on past guest level. You pay accordingly for each experience. 
 

Bella is the most basic, followed by Fantastica, then Aurea, and then their top of the line. Yacht Club. The first 3 experiences comprise the vast majority of passengers on board and they all give you access to the same exact restaurants, public areas, activities and shows. The main difference between the 3 is the perks that each one comes with. 

 

The way that the different experiences are classified on MSC may give the initial impression that people are being segregated by class, but in reality they aren’t. They are just selling you the same product as other cruise lines but bundled differently. 
 

For example on Carnival you can select the type of stateroom you want, then pay extra for a better location, then pay extra for a drink package, and then pay extra for a spa pass. On MSC, if all you want is the stateroom with no extra perks, you select the Bella experience, But if you also want the better location, the drink package and the spa pass, then you select the Aurea experience. 
 

Yacht Club is a world apart, and that’s the only experience that does give you access to exclusive areas of the ship and the most perks. This is comparable to similar products on NCL, Royal, Celebrity, etc. 

 

Finally, MSC does match your status from other cruise lines and also from hotel chains. It’s a neat incentive. The only caveat is that you must sail again with MSC within the next 3 years if you wish to maintain the status awarded. 
 

 

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Since it looks like the CDC isn't going to allow cruising from US ports anytime soon, are you looking at sailing with other lines, such as Royal Caribbean, NCl, or Celebrity? I'm not loyal to any line, so I'm booked on the very first NCL cruise out of Jamaica. 

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Yes, I am considering it.  I will wait and see how my booked Carnival cruise for August plays out.  If it doesn't look like anything will sail from the US this year, then we will definitely consider flying out of the country.  We have been vaccinated, so we feel like the odds are in our favor should we need negative covid tests.

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