John's Travel Update September 30, 2022
With any luck - I'll be on vacation tomorrow! It's a "milestone" wedding anniversary with my husband so we are taking the kids on a cruise! Hurricane Ian has taken a serious (and deadly) toll on Florida and the Caribbean (and is making its way up the coast) and I'm sending all my positive thoughts to those folks affected.
Cruise Time: Part 2
A year ago, I took my family on an MSC Cruise on the MSC Meraviglia. This year - we are hopping onboard the MSC Seashore.
The MSC Seashore is bigger. MUCH bigger than our previous MSC ship! Coming in around 169,900 tons, 20 decks (15 for passengers), and capacity of 5,877 guests - you're probably thinking "that sounds crowded!"
You are absolutely correct! That is a BUNCH of people!
If you Google "MSC Cruises" (or have never heard of it) you will find that it's a popular cruise line in Europe. And you're also going to run into a bunch of very mixed reviews. Booking your MSC cruise can be a bit confusing but here are the overall perks:
Kids Sail Free (mostly on US Sailings and during certain times of year)
4 Different "Levels" of Cabins (but they're all technically the same size)
Drink Packages can be a bit confusing
Specialty Dining is ALSO a tad confusing!
I'm going to skip those first three levels of cabins and service. Why? Although they present you with AMAZINGLY low rates (especially for families) - you will be in with 5,000 of your closest and newest friends in Main Dining Rooms and common areas. And that's not a bad thing! But let's talk about the most AMAZING level of service on MSC Cruises: Yacht Club
What is Yacht Club? This is a "ship within a ship" concept and it's one that MSC has done amazingly well. When you arrive at your port - you're not fighting 5,000+ passengers trying to get through security and check in. You are whisked away to a separate check-in line. Once you get that out of the way, you are escorted to a "lounge" of sorts to grab a water or soda (or juice) and a butler then escorts you onboard.
Yacht Club is a separate area on the ship of cabins and service. The highlights of Yacht Club include:
Private Dining Room
Exclusive Pool and Sundeck
Dedicated priority check-in and check-out as well as priority departure and return on excursion days
24-hour butler service and dedicated concierge
Room Service available 24 hours a day
Premium Extra Drink Package (includes all drinks up to $/€ 13 on all ships)
Premium Internet package (Browse - 2 devices Unlimited Internet Package)
Complimentary access to the Thermal Suite in the MSC Aurea Spa
Relaxation amenities in each suite (including bathrobe, and slippers)
Other personal touches: luggage packing/unpacking service, newspaper directly delivered in stateroom on request
MSC for Me wristband (where available)
1 free cruise change (restrictions apply)
It's basically an "all-inclusive" vacation but on a cruise ship. Plus - you get access to all the other areas on the ship: entertainment, casino, kids club, etc. It's kind of like having your cake and eating it too.
How Does It Compare
I've sailed on quite a few cruise lines over the years: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney, Norwegian, Princess, Celebrity and MSC.
Half (or so) were without children so that changes my needs. I mean, on Carnival, I was there to party. On Disney - it was all about the kids!
My kids LOVED the DoReMi Kids Club: they have a partnership with Lego so many hours were spent building stuff. But they also do organized activities: made t-shirts, went to the basketball court, did arts and crafts. I hate to say it: but they loved it as much as a Disney Cruise. As a parent, the downside was the hours of the kids club - they do have closures for lunch and dinner so you need to plan accordingly.
Pool-wise, MSC is superior to Disney (sorry!). There are 5 pools and the waterpark - and one pool has a retractable roof!
The only "downside" is the Specialty Restaurants. You can opt for a dining package before you cruise - but you order off a different menu. So if you're going to splurge: just pay the a la carte prices for the restaurants. And they're really not necessary especially if you're in Yacht Club. On our last cruise we opted for three specialty restaurants and didn't really enjoy them since we knew we were missing out on the amazing dining in Yacht Club!
COVID Update For
Disney Cruise Line
Following the announcement of other cruise lines - Disney Cruise Line has also announced that unvaccinated passengers are welcome onboard. They're rolling out the program in October so not all sailings will qualify.
On top of that: the Disney+ Subscriber promotion is still available. It's such a fantastic way to enjoy a Disney Cruise with a much lower price!
Let me know if you'd like pricing!
Bucket List Alert!
"Around The World" cruises are the ULTIMATE "Bucket List" for many people - including me!
Silversea has introduced its 2025 World Cruise and it's a doozy!
This cruise is amazing!
1 EXTRAORDINARY JOURNEY
Silversea is the ultimate in luxury!
YOUR DOOR TO DOOR JOURNEY INCLUDES:
Private executive transfers
Economy Class Air/Business Class upgrades at reduced rates or Air Credit
Domestic flights when required
Pre- & post-cruise hotel night/s
Guided Zodiac, land & sea tours & expert lectures
Multiple restaurants, premium beverages & 24h room service
Butler service in every suite category
Expedition gear & unlimited Wi-Fi
Onboard the practically new Silver Dawn you will be amazed at the quality of service and attention to detail. Nothing is neglected on Silversea.
This really is the best way to "see the world" and you only have to unpack once! Want more information? Call or email me at email@example.com
I will have limited internet access next week but can respond to emails (calls might be more difficult). If you haven't "liked" my Facebook page - what are you waiting for? I'll be posting updates on my MSC Cruise so CLICK HERE to follow along!
Have a wonderful weekend!