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About richnorto

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Birmingham, Al
  • Interests
    Tennis ski
  1. We are on the Divina now (Feb 28 - 11 day out of Miami) No signs of sickness and regular cleaning/sanitizing is taking place. Based on what I have seen, I would not worry about getting on board this ship for the next cruise.
  2. This being a European line, no FNC. We will be getting that on the internet and skipping tv. Hopefully they play some good movies to help us fall asleep.😀
  3. Our upcoming Divina, booked as a Bella interior (and upgraded to Fantastica balcony - yea!) with internet, easy drinks upgraded to premium, OBC (most from TA) and the additional we need to pay for grats after using the OBC will be $3000 for 11 days for 2. MSC is a good bargain. This was a last minute " I've got to go somewhere" cruise. We are super excited to try a new line, although I will miss having crew on board that I already know. I will have to wait for the hugs and "we missed you" until another few cruises down the line if this works out well. Here's to learning to love a new line and crew as well!
  4. I am considering booking the specialty restaurant package in advance for our upcoming cruise on the Divina. Since we don't eat Sushi and my husband is low carb anyway, can we just eat twice at the Steak House restaurant or are you stuck with 1 meal in each? Thanks in advance for your insight!
  5. I loved your Blog! This will be our 2nd MSC sailing, but the 1st was about 10 years ago on the Peosia and not relevant now. This is good information. Thank You!
  6. Coozie if you drink beer slowly, extension cord, ear plugs if you are sound sensitive or have tinitus, tissues (no longer in rooms), blow up noodles if you like to float in the ocean, finger nail polish remover pads. Just a few suggestions.
  7. We received our cabin assignment 11 days out. Scored a great upgrade as well from Bella interior to Fantastica balcony for the Feb 28 Divina sailing.
  8. I think the main question is if this line pays gratuities differently from the American lines. We are all aware how RCL and CCl (and probably NCLH) owned lines pay (all tips split and extras kept by SP if gratuities are kept in place) and are fine with that. We keep them in place and tip extra accordingly. This is a European line and therefore may have a different set-up. If they are keeping part of that to pay for return airfare promised at hire or "training" the cruise line should pay for, I would prefer to make sure tips I pay go to those deserving them - just my opinion. This will be our first cruise outside of American lines, so I DO want to know. Our cruise was NOT cheaper than Celebrity all said and done. If only $200 of $300 paid in gratuities goes to Service Providers, I would rather take my $300 and the additional $100 we would add and tip personally. We cruised many years ago (American lines) when you were expected to tip in person, and many never showed up the last night at dinner to do so. Very poor form, so I do understand why the automatic gratuity was put in place. I just want to know if the full amount goes to employees like everyone else here. No need to get ugly about it.
  9. We did this on our upcoming 11 night Caribbean. We did it ahead of time through our TA so possibly got a pre-book discount? 11 nights pkg upgrade was $297pp, so I assume $27pp per night.
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