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MSC cruise quality / experience?


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10 hours ago, mickey89 said:

MSC Cruises are cheap by comparison to most others and you get what you pay for without doubt.  Check out Cruise critic Reviews of the ship, most are 3star rated whilst Princess, HAL and Celebrity are 4+star rated.  MSC Yacht Club is double / treble the standard cabin prices and the difference is incomparable as other have said.  Is YC worth it, Not anymore.  
The important question to ask, is MSC trustworthy?  Answer - definitely NOT.

 

This will be interesting. Most of our cruises have been Princess (most), HAL, and NCL. Interested to see what MSC is like next week. From what I have seen so far it looks very similar to Princess and HAL and better than NCL...

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, pmd98052 said:

 

This will be interesting. Most of our cruises have been Princess (most), HAL, and NCL. Interested to see what MSC is like next week. From what I have seen so far it looks very similar to Princess and HAL and better than NCL...

I would place MSC closer to NCL than to Princess or HAL. The ships are tasteful like Princess, but I find the quality of the product (cuisine, entertainment, service etc) as well as demographics, to be closer to Carnival, NCL, etc. HAL is in a different league than MSC.

 

With all of that said, I absolutely love MSC. It’s become one of my favorite cruise lines, even with all of its shortcomings. There’s something about MSC that truly resonates with my personality. 

Edited by Tapi
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10 hours ago, hamrag said:

It is a looooooong time since these lines were 4+ star rated! All the mass cruise lines, and they are all in that category, began initiating cutbacks about a decade ago and certainly in the past 5 years all have declined in terms of their standard offering. 😉

Its all relative, yes agree cruising is not the same as it was many years ago but MSC are still near the bottom of all current ratings.  If you enjoy fast food, large crowds, poor entertainment and terrible customer service then MSC Cruises may suit you, but we will never cruise with them again, for sure.

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5 hours ago, mickey89 said:

Its all relative, yes agree cruising is not the same as it was many years ago but MSC are still near the bottom of all current ratings.  If you enjoy fast food, large crowds, poor entertainment and terrible customer service then MSC Cruises may suit you, but we will never cruise with them again, for sure.

This goes to show how perception works and how people approach things - our one time with MCS we ate no fast food, always found a quiet place, really enjoyed the entertainment and had great customer service - this was August in the Med so an incredibly busy time and not in Yacht Club - we also enjoyed the hustle and bustle when we wanted it but honestly never felt crowded. 
 

I was almost tempted to cancel as somebody on here described it as Butlins on sea and it was as far from Butlins it could have been for us (we have done Butlins so know). I’m glad we didn’t cancel we loved it and have booked YC this summer round the uk.

 

I’m not saying mickey98 is wrong as this was their experience but I just wanted to balance it out 😀

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8 hours ago, Tapi said:

I’ve sailed MSC in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Both were enjoyable but we found MSC to offer a better product in the Med than in the Caribbean. 
 

I would rank MSC to be one notch above Carnival, and one notch below Royal Caribbean. Solidly a mass market cruise line, but with a European flavor. Their newer ships are truly beautiful. 

We have now cruised on 21 DIFFERENT Carnival ships. Mainly because of the OBC from stock and the low prices. I do agree RCL is a step up and so is Carnival owned Princess. I think it totally depends what a person expects to do or what they expect the ship be like when taking a cruise. There are several Carnival ships which we really like. Not all. Like all Royal and Princess. Celebrity is really nice, but now out of our price range. We like taking several a year and not spend all on just one cruise. As for MSC we will see how our up and coming Sept 5th 2021 on the Divina turns out. Our only MSC cruise was so far back, I cannot even remember which ship it was. Guess we did not care for it. Never went on another MSC cruise till now. With all that I am reading here, it sounds like it will be excellent.

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Many thanks all for the contributions!...

 

Having cruised only on MSC and RCI, I can agree, RCI as being a notch above MSC, but again I went on the Oasis class, and Oasis class is a class of its own by default. Below Oasis class, I believe MSC may shine on many, to not say most details, making that notch less relevant, if any at all. Cleanliness, safety/security, some MDR food especially desserts, foreign language shore excursions management among others are things where MSC shines, and for me, they're the right fit as far as their prices remain as competitive as they have been. Well, actually from where I live the price difference has been decreasing year after year...

 

And again: Bear in mind that MSC is Italian line. This is their distinctive. As I read on other thread "Italians are usually very proud of their offering, but they're only ready when they're ready", this is perhaps what better defines MSC, at least to a good extent.

 

For me? It is a line where simplicity meets sophistication on a somewhat perfect way. As far as I can snag some good deals I'll continue with them without doubt!...

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On 5/25/2021 at 5:40 PM, mickey89 said:

MSC Cruises are cheap by comparison to most others and you get what you pay for without doubt.  Check out Cruise critic Reviews of the ship, most are 3star rated whilst Princess, HAL and Celebrity are 4+star rated.  MSC Yacht Club is double / treble the standard cabin prices and the difference is incomparable as other have said.  Is YC worth it, Not anymore.  
The important question to ask, is MSC trustworthy?  Answer - definitely NOT.

I am considering a MSC Fantasia cruise in the Med.   Why, in your assessment, is MSC not trustworthy?

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2 hours ago, luvfabricnpaper said:

I am considering a MSC Fantasia cruise in the Med.   Why, in your assessment, is MSC not trustworthy?

Our booking was changed to a different ship with a different itinerary without any consultation and to top it all, never even informed us. We found out via Facebook 3 weeks after they made the change.

Then they refused to refund the deposit.  Fortunately  I recovered my money from the credit card company.  MSC are a disgrace with no honour, don’t trust them as their Terms & Conditions are meaningless as far as the customer is concerned.

 

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2 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

Our booking was changed to a different ship with a different itinerary without any consultation and to top it all, never even informed us. We found out via Facebook 3 weeks after they made the change.

Then they refused to refund the deposit.  Fortunately  I recovered my money from the credit card company.  MSC are a disgrace with no honour, don’t trust them as their Terms & Conditions are meaningless as far as the customer is concerned.

 

Correct me if I am wrong and I am sure you will. The cruise contract states something like this. They have the right basically to change anything they want. Ports of call and ship.

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ALAYS CRUISING.....Not correct. We booked a Yacht Club cabin and they switched the reservation to a ship without a Yacht Club.   That is a substantial variation which according to their T&C the customer has the right to cancel.   Maybe you think that is acceptable.....?

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36 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

ALAYS CRUISING.....Not correct. We booked a Yacht Club cabin and they switched the reservation to a ship without a Yacht Club.   That is a substantial variation which according to their T&C the customer has the right to cancel.   Maybe you think that is acceptable.....?

Doesn’t matter. As long as they moved you to a cabin, they haven’t violated the T&C’s. There’s nothing requiring the new cabin to be exactly like the one from which you were moved. (Not that I like that or wouldn’t be mad- I absolutely would!) 

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Posted (edited)

UK Terms & Conditions (US is similar):

 

14.2 Most changes are minor but occasionally MSC Cruises or the Company must make a significant change. The following are examples of significant changes when made before you go on the Cruise: A change in the time Passengers are due to leave the UK to go on the Cruise or the time Passengers are due to come back to the UK after the Cruise of more than 12 hours. A change of UK airport from the Passengers were due to fly to or from, except where the change is between London airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, London City or Luton) or where the new airport is within 50 miles of the original airport. A change of cabin accommodation to a significantly lesser grade. A significant change to the itinerary. i.e. when the itinerary has to be changed by more than 50% and may have to exclude an iconic highlight. All changes which are not significant are treated as minor changes and therefore there is no right to cancel or to claim compensation. Please note: MSC Cruises and the Company do not classify a change of air or sea port as a significant change where coach transfers between a UK town and the relevant air/sea port are included in the holiday. A change of flight from direct to indirect is not classified as a significant change. In the event of a significant alteration to an essential term of the Contract, MSC Cruises or the Company will inform the Passenger or his/her Agent of such change in writing as soon as reasonably possible. If there is time to do so before departure, we will offer you the choice of one of the following

 

a) Accepting the alteration; or

b) Booking another Holiday Package from the Company’s brochure and/or from the Official Website of equivalent or superior quality, if available; or

c) Booking another Holiday Package from the Company’s brochure and/or from the Official Website of lower quality, if available, with a refund of the difference in price; or

d) Cancelling and receiving a full refund of all monies paid.

 

I can't remember how much mickey89's itinerary was changed but I'd say being moved from the YC experience to Aurea is a significant change.  MSC should have refunded without any delay, contesting things like that makes them look bad.

Edited by Até
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20 hours ago, Até said:

I can't remember how much mickey89's itinerary was changed but I'd say being moved from the YC experience to Aurea is a significant change. 

It may come down to what MSC constitutes a significant change. Aurea is really only one step down from YC. But again, it really depends on who's doing the defining.

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1 hour ago, DCGuy64 said:

It may come down to what MSC constitutes a significant change. Aurea is really only one step down from YC. But again, it really depends on who's doing the defining.

As Neil Armstrong once said “It’s one GIANT step “ much too big for us.  

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3 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

As Neil Armstrong once said “It’s one GIANT step “ much too big for us.  

We've had just two MSC cruises: one in Aurea and one in YC. Yacht Club is a great deal, in my opinion, but price always matters to us. If an Aurea balcony costs $1,500 and a YC inside costs $1,700, we'd do it, but not if the YC is over $2,000. There's only so much more we're willing to pay. If you're rich enough that money is no object, then YC wins every time.

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22 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

We've had just two MSC cruises: one in Aurea and one in YC. Yacht Club is a great deal, in my opinion, but price always matters to us. If an Aurea balcony costs $1,500 and a YC inside costs $1,700, we'd do it, but not if the YC is over $2,000. There's only so much more we're willing to pay. If you're rich enough that money is no object, then YC wins every time.

 

My wife and I have travelled with MSC twice, both times in an Aurea balcony, and we're booked in an Aurea suite this fall. We've considered YC but we haven't done it yet because we don't think there'd be enough time spent on the ship for us to justify the increase in price.

 

If we were on a cruise with 50% (approximately) of the days at sea we'd probably consider YC more seriously. If we're docked everyday and we're off the ship neither of us want to spend that much more (for a balcony not an inside cabin) for amenities that we're not going to get to use that much. That's just for my wife and I though; we love using the Aurea thermal spa daily, I try to hit the gym at least once daily, she likes to lay out and sunbath daily, and we really enjoy the MDR which we'd probably skip in favor of the YC dining room. On a normal 7 night or 14 night voyage with only a few days at sea we just don't think we'd get our monies worth in YC.

 

With all that said, we'd love to find the right itinerary where YC would make sense for us. 

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2 minutes ago, optimusprime82 said:

 

My wife and I have travelled with MSC twice, both times in an Aurea balcony, and we're booked in an Aurea suite this fall. We've considered YC but we haven't done it yet because we don't think there'd be enough time spent on the ship for us to justify the increase in price.

 

If we were on a cruise with 50% (approximately) of the days at sea we'd probably consider YC more seriously. If we're docked everyday and we're off the ship neither of us want to spend that much more (for a balcony not an inside cabin) for amenities that we're not going to get to use that much. That's just for my wife and I though; we love using the Aurea thermal spa daily, I try to hit the gym at least once daily, she likes to lay out and sunbath daily, and we really enjoy the MDR which we'd probably skip in favor of the YC dining room. On a normal 7 night or 14 night voyage with only a few days at sea we just don't think we'd get our monies worth in YC.

 

With all that said, we'd love to find the right itinerary where YC would make sense for us. 

I like your reasoning, it's very sound. For me and for my wife, we thought we got to spend plenty of time in the YC, even on days we were in port, that it justified the higher cost. We purchased an inside cabin in the YC and then bid on an upgrade to a Deluxe Suite, so it ended up being a pretty good deal. I'm sort of like you, I like to hit the gym every day, and I absolutely love the thermal spa! The best part about the YC restaurant was that they would make you anything you wanted, even if it wasn't on the menu. However, having said that, I didn't ask for anything "off menu" when we were in Aurea. They might have been able to accommodate it.

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21 minutes ago, DCGuy64 said:

I like your reasoning, it's very sound. For me and for my wife, we thought we got to spend plenty of time in the YC, even on days we were in port, that it justified the higher cost. We purchased an inside cabin in the YC and then bid on an upgrade to a Deluxe Suite, so it ended up being a pretty good deal. I'm sort of like you, I like to hit the gym every day, and I absolutely love the thermal spa! The best part about the YC restaurant was that they would make you anything you wanted, even if it wasn't on the menu. However, having said that, I didn't ask for anything "off menu" when we were in Aurea. They might have been able to accommodate it.

 

There's a lot of different cruisers out there with a lot of different levels of experience. We don't live near a port city so we obviously need to travel to get a cruise so our costs are higher right off the bat versus someone that lives near a port. If we lived near a port and cruised more we'd probably consider an inside cabin but since cruising is a once, maybe twice a year "luxury" for us we always go for a balcony. Kind of like what you hear with people with an expensive drink package drinking more they'd normally want to; we don't want to feel like we have to get monies worth from YC at the expense of what we normally like to do onboard.  

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4 minutes ago, optimusprime82 said:

 

There's a lot of different cruisers out there with a lot of different levels of experience. We don't live near a port city so we obviously need to travel to get a cruise so our costs are higher right off the bat versus someone that lives near a port. If we lived near a port and cruised more we'd probably consider an inside cabin but since cruising is a once, maybe twice a year "luxury" for us we always go for a balcony. Kind of like what you hear with people with an expensive drink package drinking more they'd normally want to; we don't want to feel like we have to get monies worth from YC at the expense of what we normally like to do onboard.  

I agree with you. In our case. We live just about 100 miles from two ports. Port Canaveral and Port Everglades. So we do cruise a lot. 4-6 a year sometimes even more. We only do ocean view now. We did do only balconies when we cruised once or twice a year maybe even less when I was working. I would do inside but the wife wants to at least see outside. I agree like I always do. After 56 years, that keeps it all nice. Yes dear!

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3 hours ago, DCGuy64 said:

It may come down to what MSC constitutes a significant change. Aurea is really only one step down from YC. But again, it really depends on who's doing the defining.

 

I'm not sure that I'm correct but I think that the part not writing the Terms & conditions is the part who shall define if it's a significant change. 

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1 hour ago, DCGuy64 said:

We've had just two MSC cruises: one in Aurea and one in YC. Yacht Club is a great deal, in my opinion, but price always matters to us. If an Aurea balcony costs $1,500 and a YC inside costs $1,700, we'd do it, but not if the YC is over $2,000. There's only so much more we're willing to pay. If you're rich enough that money is no object, then YC wins every time.

 

We expect to pay almost $4000 each for a week in the Yacht Club. Still much cheaper than NCLs Haven.

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3 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

We expect to pay almost $4000 each for a week in the Yacht Club. Still much cheaper than NCLs Haven.

But somewhat more than the under $500 each that we typically pay for a week in non-YC!

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5 minutes ago, sverigecruiser said:

 

We expect to pay almost $4000 each for a week in the Yacht Club. Still much cheaper than NCLs Haven.

Wow, $4,000 EACH? Dang....

Yes, that is cheaper than the Haven, but way more than we spend. I guess we're just cheapskates, LOL. Our budget is usually around $1,500 or so each for 7 days, but we might be able to stretch it to $2,000. However, we also have to pay international airfare, which can get quite expensive. I like traveling way too much to settle for once a year, so we try to keep the costs within reason. Our upcoming MSC cruise in August cost about $3,500 for the two of us in a YIN cabin. We're going on an NCL cruise in September that's around $2,600 for both of us, with airfare included. To each his own. I hope once I'm retired (which is still a decade away, alas!) we can spend more and travel more.

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