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About Markanddonna

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Westerville, OH USA
  • Interests
    Genealogy and writing

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  1. I can empathize. I was having some difficulties with MSC and fortunately, it came to a peak right before the final payment was due. I called customer service and asked to speak to the supervisor. Things magically were fixed when I told them I would either pay my final payment or just cancel the cruise. Things have worked 100% ok since then, our cruise on the Divina was wonderful and we have three more MSC cruises booked.
  2. I was in the Penthouse with a large balcony on the Jewel. A few things: - this would be worthwhile on a Panama Canal or Alaskan cruise. Ours was "Mexican Riviera." - Lovely cabin, but it was very windy. Also, the fog horn was very loud- must be very nearby. The anchor sounded like a freight train coming through our room at 5-6 AM. Hardly anyone mentions that.
  3. We've been on about eighteen cruises with experiences from penthouse suites to guarantee insides with five lines over eighteen years. I am past the "being in awe of cruising" stage and generally am content because I set my expectations low. With that attitude, most cruises are very positive experiences. My favorite cruises tend to be the Transatlantic and Transpacific cruises. Therefore, my cruise is more of a very pleasant experience to get to my target destination. I've written lots of reviews, not to complain but to be helpful and inform. I find that really negative reviews have a bitter spirit behind them, and they help no one, including the reviewer. "Totally inedible food, all the staff were rude, my cabin was never cleaned, etc." tells more about the person than the actual cruise and therefore are dismissed. I also don't highly value 100% positive, first-time cruisers reviews. I read reviews for guidance. Also, readers need to consider the subtle messages in a review. If you are in majority and booked an inside, oceanview or regular balcony cabin, a review from someone who has secluded themselves in the Haven or Yacht club isn' of much help. That's a different world. And, as others have mentioned, people who judge mainline cruise companies against the higher priced luxury lines, do the readers a disservice. Many of us think "Yeah, I could go on four of my less expensive cruises for what you just paid for yours." We each need to judge what is important to us and what fits our budget. Can you imagine not needing to consider what you can afford?
  4. Our group would have enjoyed a separate room but NCL told us that they only provided rooms for the first get together. It was obvious that each ship has their own rules. The NCL Jade was the worst ever in that regards to the point of ridiculous.. That is why we just took our games to the buffet. We were gone before eating times.
  5. Agree. My one cruise with them was okay, but not spectacular. They are way down on my list of desirable cruise lines.
  6. I have heard people say to go with HAL or Princess because "they have the most experience and know how to do Alaska the best." I've been on both NCL and HAL in Alaska and the experience was not discernible. We use private excursions like Harv and Marv for whale watching and would never take a ship excursion in Alaska. All major cruise lines are smart enough to offer a good product because they hire or contract from the same tour operators. Personally, I would avoid any cruise owned by Carnival because of all their illegal dumping.
  7. We organized a game group on our last transatlantic through the cruise critic roll call. We met at 2:30 at the back of the buffet. It was well attended and a big hit.
  8. I propose that it was a combination of a longer cruise, which tends to attract an older crowd and the NCL Jade. My last cruise was on the Jade and soured me from cruising at all. We then went on the MSC Divina and were reinvigorated. We are Platinum NCL cruisers, so have lots of days in with them, but so many things were "off" on the Jade. BTW- we were on a 10 day MSC Divina cruise in Feb and our fellow passengers tended to be quite young. A wide variety of ages, though.
  9. Not necessarily. I lost my Kindle on the Jewel and filed a report. Lots of conflicting information about if it was found or not, when I might receive it, etc. It showed up as a UPS package "unannounced" about three months later. A ring would be a lot more tempting because it could have been found by crew or another passenger. I knew that I left my Kindle "hidden" under the bedcovers, so it had to be seen when the staff changed linens.
  10. The National Park Service's decision will reflect poor decision making or corruption (or both) if they don't remove Carnival's permits (that includes Holland, Princess, and Cunard.) Basing the distribution of permits for Glacier Bay on "seniority" in Alaska always seemed to smack of some level of corruption. Pulling Carnival's permits will send a strong message to all the cruiselines.
  11. Our Cuban taxi driver made this comment in January about Americans cruising to Cuba: Most of the money you spend does nothing to help the Cuban people. Things in Cuba are getting progressively worse. The only time tourists help is if they can possibly work with a private tour or vendor, which is extremely difficult or possibly even illegal. Personally, I find it unappealing to visit countries where my money is supporting despicable governments. Although I would love to see St. Petersburg, I won't go on a cruise that visits Russia. Just my opinion.
  12. I've been with NCL for quite a while, but started to sour with our 2018 Jade cruise. We tried MSC and found it to be a pleasant and good value experience. We had a major disappointment with higher level decisions at NCL and our room steward was our worst ever. Still, we are booked on another NCL because of the unique itinerary. Lately, my expectations are set a lot lower for NCL.
  13. This is interesting since Carnival thru Holland and Princess Cruise Lines possesses the most permits to go into Glacier Bay based on some silly and archaic law that rewards their "seniority status" in Alaska. This should help level the playing field in Alaska unless the reason the Glacier Bay policy has been in force is based on corruption and payoffs. Wouldn't that be a shock? I've heard people recommend these two cruises in Alaska because "they know how to do Alaska best." Such flawed thinking.
  14. The change to the MSC status program happened around October 2018. If you are telling of your experience prior to that time, you are likely giving out incorrect info. Unfortunately, MSC doesn't have a chart on their website to show the match. They used to (before Oct 2018.)
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