I've always avoided cruises because they seemed too boring, too dressy, too confining, etc. This year, however, due to the dismal dollar, we are looking at a cruise out of Italy. So what are your thoughts? Is it a good value assuming that it includes food and lodging? What about drink prices? Do they make up the costs with absorbent prices? I'm a simple guy and don't require many amenities, but would cruising on an MSC ship be disappointing for my first time? Thank you!
I don't know this cruise line so I wanted to know more. Different cruise lines handle gratuities differently MSC Cruise website says:
CRUISE PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE: Government fees and taxes, transportation to/from ship, shore excursions, sightseeing or meals ashore, meals in specialty and Ă* la carte restaurants, laundry, wine, beer, liquors, cocktails, soda, mineral water, medical expenses, spa, beauty salon, casino gaming, onboard shopping, onboard gratuities to the shipâ€™s personnel, or any other items of a personal nature.
All cruise prices include selected category accommodations, ocean transportation, all meals aboard ship (except specialty and Ă* la carte restaurants) and entertainment offered by the cruise vessel.
IMO a cruise is a very good value, and especially a Med cruise, considering the shrinking value of the dollar. Your food, and lodging are already taken care of and that in itself would cost a small fortune now in Europe. MSC is a very good line, however the cuisine is much more Continental than some of the other lines. That may be good, or bad depending on your taste. I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised at the activities aboard a cruise, and I'd bet you'll throughly enjoy your MSC cruise.
Have a GREAT one.
I would have to qualify my answer, saying I have not sailed that line, but Ken pointed out a fine point, being a bit Continental. Do you have other ship possibilities?
Your cruise is a great value, to extend the dollar, just know what is NOT included...tips, pictures, excursions liquor.....Dining, & dress codes are so much more relaxed now, then years back, that is relly not an issue on many ships any longer. Check that point out on MSC, which could be a deciding factor in your ship selection.
Trip, with her book & tea!
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I note a bit of negativity in your original post -- you have avoided cruising because it seemed too 'boring too dressy and too confining.' I hope you are not one of those guys who has difficulty overcoming wrong-headed preconceived notions. A little dressy? Yes, sometimes, on formal nights at dinner. Boring and confining? NEVER If you can be bored on a cruise ship anywhere, especially in the Med, you are pretty much beyond hope.
Landlocked in Denver, but cruisin every chance we get.
Polynesia, Carib. '86
Cr. Odyssey, Scandinavia, '91, 30 Day S Pac. 2002
Crystal Harm, Aust., N.Z., '94
Royal Odyssey, AK,'96
Old Cr. Pr. Canal, '97
RCCL, Carib, 1998
Volendam, Car, 2000
Ryndam, 35 day S. Am., Antarctica, '03
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Statendam, 34 day China, Japan, AK '06
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You will likely enjoy MSC, but they do not tailor to Americans going to Europe, expect shorter port times, bilingual guides on tour buses, somewhat "foreign" food (and not in a good way).
I would have recommended Carnival - their cruises are VERY affordable in Europe this year, and the ships are very well-run, with unexpectedly good food and service for the price. Plus, they cater to American tastes and needs.
Sorry to put a damper on your choice, but if all you have put down is a deposit, I would call the agency and ask them if it isn't too late to investigate Carnival.