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  #31 (permalink)  
Old February 12th, 2008, 09:19 AM
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NLB, Ya know there are times when NCL doesn't impress me much either. But I have continued to give them my business because if I find the right person to talk to and tell them why I am considering taking my business elsewhere, they usually try to give me a reason to stick around and give them another try. I had a devil of a time with them in the last few months, but once I got in touch with someone who could care for my issues it was taken care of. But I certainly would not have a problem with someone else choosing to take their business elsewhere, doesn't bother me in the least. But there are people at NCL who did care enough to try and keep me as a customer. I also know enough about myself and how NCL does things to have a strategy to get what I want out of my cruise experience with NCL... avoid the buffet, eat breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms, budget extra for the speciality restaurants etc...Most of the folks I have heard from that were disappointed in NCL's food frequented the buffets for breakfast and lunch and ate dinner in the main dining rooms or really, really liked traditional cruise dining with a set time each night. I am sorry I don't recall what your issues were with NCL, but that's OK thats your opinion and I am sure you had valid complaints.

There are other lines I have cruised on where I have had very few difficulties or issues and the is Carnival and Royal Carribean and honestly right now I have four future cruises on the books for the next year 2 with NCL and 2 with Carnival, I am definitely thinking about booking a Royal Caribbean again. We had no major issues with them at all, everything was fine. Carnival again no major issues.

I assumed that the gentleman Dr. Chris Capman is simply venting and is very frustrated, I do not know his motives or anything else about him, but it is not the first time I have heard the issues he has posted about below. So yes I do believe him. His issues are not just about not having music by the pool.

I think it is wonderful that you were satisfied with your MSC cruise, and am very sorry you were not thrilled with NCL, but luckily there are enough cruiselines out there for all of to hopefully find what were looking for. We all have different thresholds of tolerance for certain things.

I can honestly say my experience with MSC basically revealed a company that I am not comfortable doing business with, I hope that you continue to have good experiences with them and that all goes well for you in your travels, but I am sorry we will have to agree to disagree on our opinions of MSC. I feel the lunatics are running the asylum over there and it too big of a gamble to let them have my vacation dollars.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 11:16 AM
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beenie,

Our problems with NCL, never saw the cabin steward, service where ever we ate was not good, best meal was in one of the speciality rest. but not an extra charge, we do not believe you should have to pay extra for good food or good service. Have never eaten at an extra charge rest. on any cruise.

One reason we have never cruises with Carnival is that we do not believe that the waiters should have to perform during a meal, if they want to at a show in the theater that is fine but not when they are working to get the passsengers their meal. Until Carnival changes that we probably won't cruise with them.

Each cruise we have taken we found a rate for the type of cabin we wanted at a very good price and have never tried to get a lower price, but then again we have never seen a lower price than what we had. And we do get the emails with the "Specials" all the time from all over. Your problem with MSC is definitely a legitmate complaint and one that I have read of happenning to others on other lines.

On our Lirica cruise we meet people who had complaints, that turned out to be caused by the TA they had used, promising them things that they could not deliver, such as definite upgraded cabin, 24 hour buffet (which if you do your homework you would know that is not the case on the Lirica at least.). Our big complaint was the Anamation (cruise directors staff) group were all people with such thick accents that when they spoke English it was very hard to understand them and that most of the food had very little seasoning. We did make note of these on our comment cards. But we knew there was really nothing that could be done during the cruise to correct these.

My point in my previous post was that Capman has a total of 4 posts and if you look at them they are identical. Yes he was ventingbut in my opion he over did by putting one post in four places.

It seems that most people who complain about MSC really thought they were supposed to get the same experience as on other lines. And MSC is still very new to Americans, it is definitely not geared toward Americans. I'm sure there would be a lot of the same complaints if Adia started to sells to Americans since they are geared towards Germans.

No matter what cruise line anyone wants to use it is up to that person to do a lot of homework. One thing I found prior to our cruise on the Lirica is that there are very few TA's that have any knowledge about MSC. In the last months I have seen more online sites that are now selling MSC cruises. So it must mean that more people are starting to take notice and want to try something different.

You and I will just disagree about MSC.
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old February 12th, 2008, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nlb1050
beenie,

I would take Capman's post with a big grain of salt. He posted the same thing on 3 other posts, that is his total 4 posts (all the exact same wording).

When we were on the Lirica I never saw a single crew member rude to anyone. In fact as much as we thought you couldn't get better staff than on Princess the staff on Lirica did top Princess.

True there is no band playing at the pool they are just past the pool area where people definitely were dancing to them.

I understand why you decided not to cruise with MSC and probably for your family MSC is not the right line, just as NCL is not the right line for my husband an me. But even though we did not like,enjoy our NCL cruise I stated at the end of my review "Overall we were not impressed with NCL and would not recommend to our friends, but that is something that each person/couple needs to decide on their own. I would not discourage someone I don't know not to try NCL. "
There is always another side.

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  #34 (permalink)  
Old February 13th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Rinker tell me about your pumps???
NLB,
I really don't know that I've ever had strong feelings about Carnival's performing waiters. In my younger days I was a singing waitress and it didn't kill me or make me feel exploited. While I don't think the Carnival waiters do as professional job, whether one finds it entertaining or not it strictly a matter of taste. I do know that my waiter on our Triumph cruise in October had an absolute ball performing for us. he even brought lots of his own props and it was hysterically funny. all of us at his tables were giving him extra tips because of his enthusiastic performance. Never have I seen anything so horrible at dinner, that it would prevent me from cruising Carnival, what exactly happened, I can't imagine a dining room performance that bad to turn you completely against a cruise line, nor can I imagine being on a cruise ship that serves food 24 hours a day like Carnival and being so impatient to eat desert that I cannot sit through their little song and dance routine. But speaking of entertainment since you brought that up, most of the reviews I've read refer to the entertainment on MSC as juvenile and immature, sometimes with a sort of a silly mentality. What was your impression of their production shows?

Generally what tips the scale on NCL is I will be enticed by a low price, which is why I don't mind spending extra on the surcharge restaurants. I was fortunate enough to get a deal on our 14 day Spirit cruise in 6 weeks, the 4 of us in a larger cabin for $2500. At $44 per day I don't mind spending $10 -$20 extra for dinner to have something we don't get to try at home like Teppanyaki or the other varied venues.
As far as a complaint or issue with a cabin steward, that can happen on any line, and I can tell you if the cabin steward didn't do what he was supposed to be doing on any cruise, it would take one phone call to the hotel director/housekeeping manager to rectify that issue. Those things happen on all lines and sorry to say if the customer doesn't bring the service issues to light, they continue on.
I am sorry but the biggest problem with MSC is the fact that they do nothing to set realistic expectations about their cruiseline. Their website, their brochures do little to tell what cruising on MSC is all about. They do not even publish pictures, floorplans or an accurate desription of their own family staterooms, which is huge when their biggest promo these days is "KIDS SAIL FREE". Like I said, I am glad that you enjoyed your cruise.
The only thing I have found to be consistent about MSC is the fact that they are consistently inconsistent. They have no marketing plan in place, aside from cutting their prices to attract customer and they do not offer the agents much aside from throwing an occasional brochure at them. Plus you will find MSC's European cruises are a completely different experience from their Carribean cruises in many ways. Its no wonder there are so many misperceptions about this company. They do nothing to try and set realistic expectations with their customers or travel professionals. One TA I spoke to was invited to come and check out one of MSC's cruises, and to be honest she felt it was a complete waste of time, because of their terrible reputation.

I do my homework, I had realistic expectations, but most folks won't dig as deeply as I did and since MSC isn't putting the word out about how they are "different" than all the other cruiselines. They will likely continue to have frustrated American and also European clients.
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Old February 13th, 2008, 11:24 AM
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beenie,

As far as the entertainment, no it was not juvenile and immature. It definitely was not the best dancing but the singers were good. They do not have a lot of variety. The singers were very good. The Tenor and the Soprano in fact were excellent, they just did not need the mics, thier voices wer so strong for the theater. The one thing that could be be called juvenile is the entertainment team being dress crasy and doing juvenile things prior to the shows, but fortunately not all of the shows.

It would be nice for them to add performers instead of using one group for the whole cruise.

As to Carnival's having he waiters entertaining during dinner, I'm sure they are not really professional . I would rather have professional singers walk around if there has to be entertainment during dinner. It is not that we are impatient to have dessert we just like to be able to talk with the others at the table and have a relaxing quiet dinner.

Here is an exaplme of a floor plan for the lirica straight from the MSC web site: http://www.msccruisesusa.com/flotta/...12&page_id=313

The MSC site has improved in the last 2 years but I do thing thy can improve it more.

On our cruise one couple at our dinner table were from England and they and anothe couple we meet from England both stated everything was definitely very Italian.

Our complaint with the cabin steward was not that they did not do what they were supposed to do just that we never meet them. I have found on a few other sites that this has been a problem on the Pearl for all sorts of cabins, even people in suites.

If I knew of a TA who would not go on a cruise to find out for themself what that particular line was like that is one TA I would never use. It they won't find out for themself then how can you trust them to know, no matter what line it is. Now if the TA went and had legitiment complaints then I would listen to them but to not go is not the sign of a good TA.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old February 13th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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That is a deck plan... I would like specific floor plans of the family cabins such 9006 or 9003, they are unique and different than any other category 10.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2008, 10:34 AM
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In response to NLB 1050's post:

The reason why there are "Cut/copy/paste options on computers is to save time typing the same thing repeatedly.

Maybe someone won't read all threads, so I opted to post on three seperate ones.

You had a much different experience on your Lirica cruise with regards to pleasant staff, we wish we could have enjoyed the same.

My post is not a vent of frustration, just a heads-up for prospective travelers that are expecting a worthy cruise. That is the reason for message boards, to provide individual experiences. Sorry if our experiences put a sour taste in your mouth.

In regards to the music next to the pool room, the "Three Paraguyos" played 4 times that we noticed in a small covered room next to a small empty bar, although they were pretty good, it's not the 30 minute long playlists but the placement of them. Why would you not play music or put a band trio where all the people are?

Also, why would the musicless dinner seatings require our party alone to start singing Christmas music aloud, only to have other tables join in..during a Christmastime sailing? We asked the personalityless Bruno (So-called Maitre'd) to play some type of music after 8 tables sang with us, to play something, anything!

What we got was even more comical. A wedding march, a funeral song and two Dean martin songs. Repeated over and over with 10 minute delays between sets. Some of the sets were playing in fast forward (like a lp45 playing on a lp33, and sounded like the chipmunks. Then the next set was ten times the volume, blaring until they had to run and turn it down. People were laughing thier butts off in disbelief.

I'm glad you had a good time. I just find it strange that the majority of the ships passengers did not. Just look at other posts, the majority of them are negative for a reason.

BeenieWeenie, thanks for the reply. Have you sailed Lirca? Do you plan to? I really hope you do, I'd love to hear about it!

Make it a great day.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2008, 12:30 PM
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Capman, I will only go on the Lirica, if you join me! I am considered by most who know me well as being pretty adventurous, but honestly I don't need to stick my finger in a light socket myself, to know its a really bad idea lol! Fortunately these message boards have saved me a small fortune I might have spent on adventures destined to go awry. It is so nice to be able to learn from other people mistakes and experiences. Thanks for sharing yours!
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Old February 20th, 2008, 03:02 PM
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capman

The reasoning behind my first post about your reply was due to the fact that at the time you only had 4 posts and they were identical and had not come back on. And in a lot of cases like that the person doing the post(s) ususaly don't come back to post anything else. I am sorry if I offended you.

I have found that as to MSC cruises no matter what message board there are really very few posters and that really the only reviews are negative for some reason the people that are happy with MSC do not post.

The cruise we took on the Lirica was a pre Christmas in 2006 and they had very tasteful decorations and in the dining room they did have music playing most of the time, a mix of Christmas and other. The loudest music was when they would play Happy Birthday, otherwise the music was kept as a low background so that you could easily talk with your table mates.

I have to agree that the band during the day should have been near the pool but we did usually see people dancing to them when they were playing and thier music was not too loud which was a nice change from other cruises. But every sea day the Anaimation Group would play cd's for dancing etc at the pool.

While we did meet people that were not happy on our cruise I would have to say that a good 90% were pleased with the cruise. And the biggest complaint that we did hear was about the food.

Again Capman I am sorry if my original post offened you.
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  #40 (permalink)  
Old February 20th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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there is a reason why all people call MSC MAFIA SHIPPING COMPANY 8)
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Old March 13th, 2008, 06:47 PM
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So............can i go ahad and book my trip on the Orchestra for next year?

If I don't like it I can always get off the ship in St.Maarten and fly home I think.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 09:58 PM
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Hey there! If you do book it let me know what you think. I made an error earlier we will be in Curacao on April 7th and not the 6th as I thought previously. We thought we would just lounge around the day at ConTiki Resort, would you like to come and join us, and have a drink?
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Old March 14th, 2008, 07:35 AM
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Yes I saw on CPA (Cur.Ports Auth)schedule that the ship will be on the 7th in Curacao. How many people are travelling with you? Yes would like to come for a drink
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Old March 14th, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Just me, HUbby and our two kids
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Old March 14th, 2008, 10:26 AM
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have you been to Curacao before?Because if not I can take you for a short ride, and drop you at kontiki.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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d/h told me we were riding over there with another family from the ship. That is very nice of you to offer though.
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Old March 14th, 2008, 04:32 PM
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Hi Beenie...

I don't know what to make of this, either. I have not been on MSC myself so I can't comment.

I have met Rick Sasso, and yes he was the President of Celebrity Cruises at the time (and many years before) they were acquired by RCL, and he stayed in the post a few additional years. He is very well respected in the industry.

When he says a cruise line would never undercut a cruise agency price at all, especially by $700 I believe he is being honest, because if you ask Kuki, Anita Potter (the omsbudman for Tripso) or anyone else in the biz they will tell you the same thing. I believe both Kuki and Anita have also met Rick Sasso.

Now, I do not know what happened, but I see the pricing has been taken down from the MSC site. Pricing is VERY changable on any cruise, it changes constantly - generally going lower especially on transatlantic voyages as they get closer. My first question would be where your TA got her price quote. My second question would be "did you check other site's prices before you asked your TA to book this?"

I totally agee with you they should have just immediately given your TA the lower price if she called and requested it. But my gut tells me they decided the cruise line should back off because you already had a contract with a TA.

It is considered VERY serious in the cruise business for a cruise line to undercut or steal a TA client. It would be scandalous.

I am not defending Sasso, just telling you I know how these cruise lines think. Maybe they thought they were doing your TA favor. Not every consumer is nearly as savvy as you are.

Out of curiousity, I see the pricing for that cruise has come down from the MSC site and most TA sites. I see just ONE site that has it priced at

inside: $1238
oceanvw: $1583
suite: $2088

How much were your quotes? from the TA and from MSC?
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Old March 14th, 2008, 05:51 PM
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Paul, even at the time I booked this cruise, I couldn't find pricing for it anywhere, so at that point I called Nancy and she was given the higher pricing from MSC. Then my sister called MSC directly to check pricing a few days later since she was considering booking and that is when we found out about the difference between the two quotes for the same exact category room, so my sister went ahead and put the room that was a lower price on a courtesy hold so Nancy and MSC could get it sorted out (there was no price variation during the time from when Nancy called for pricing and when my sister called), since my sister knew how much I had been initially quoted.

Paul, my experience revealed an extremely disorganized company. I really don't know if the emails that were supposedly from Rick Sasso, were really even from him. Some had spelling errors and there was no initiative or follow through like you find with most major corporations, when you are dealing at an executive level. It was all just very unprofessional and not in the least bit confidence inspiring. I will email the pricing to you and you can see first hand what transpired.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 12:24 PM
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Beenie when are you setting sail on the N.Spirit?
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Old March 28th, 2008, 04:26 PM
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Default Hey Beenie Weenie!

Beenie~
Dr. Capman here in snowy Michigan. I saw on prior posts that you were headed to Curacao in early April.....LUCKY!! Hope you're not going on MSC, although I'd like to hear your review if you did. But I think you told me you don't need to stick your finger in a light socket to know its painful...Ha! I hope you have a fun trip, let us know how your cruise was, and don't forget to come off the ship 10-15 lbs heavier! Bon Apetit.
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Old March 30th, 2008, 11:10 AM
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Hey gfleo, we've been in New Orleans for the past couple of days and will be heading to the port in about a half an hour. I would love to meet you for a drink at the resort if you have time. You see my picture here and the only difference is the weight I gained eating all this delicious cajun food and my hair is a lot longer now. I will be with d/h and our two kiddos.

Capman,
We're leaving today on NCL Spirit. It's a good ship, we've sailed her before and I know we'll have a ball! I am afraid I have gained more weight from two days in NOLA than I will from two weeks on the cruise. Take care Dr.C
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Old March 30th, 2008, 09:35 PM
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Which resort? and what time?
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