We booked this trip one year ago on the MSC Seaside. When we booked there were various “packages” available. We choose Aurea experience which included the deluxe package which became the Premium drink package. During the year MSC changed their packaging but we didn’t change our booking. I give you this background so you can fully appreciate the misadventures we have had.
The first issue was embarkation- over 3 hours to get on from curb to the ship. An hour an a half of it outside in the cold schlepping our bags the whole way . Now I am not lazy but we had our 80 year old mother with us who walks with a cane. There was no where for her to sit and we had to deal with our bags and hers - making for a lot of maneuvering.
Once finally in we went to get wheel chair assistance only to find out there were people who had been waiting over two hours already . Mom was so tired she just wanted to get on board so we proceeded to the priority embarkation (black card status privilege) to line up for another hour and a half. Again no seats or refreshments.
Then for the first time ever we waited another 1/2 hour to get up the boarding causeway . There was a number of travel agents in for the day for a cruise ship tour and so we couldn’t go on if they were coming off . We made sure each agent was aware of the issues - probably offsetting any goodwill gained in the tour. Eventually a MSC staff said there was another walkway at the back of the ship but by then we were actually almost on the gangway.
Our next issue was that the alcohol package we booked wasn’t on our card at all. We tried to discuss this with guest relations but they said nothing they could do. The bar and catering manager finally quasi fixed it but only gave us a classic package rather than the premium we had under our original booking . I am so
We are now on day three of the trip and have had the port cancelled due to a delayed sailing on account of weather .
So I don’t blame MSC for the onboarding - that sounds like a port authority and port agent issue. I don’t blame them for the weather - we all know that no one controls that.
But........when a company of this size refused to honour the contents of their contract there are bigger issues at play. I have also now found that they have charged items to my account that were not signed for - with again the horrendous guest relations comment of - well I guess they forgot to get you to sign . With absolutely no remorse they said they would put a note on the file.
At this point I am ready to remove the daily gratuity charge to offset the additional charges I am getting hit with (those known and those unknown) however I know that hurts those staff that have no ability to change this sucky situation.
So instead I feel a review to warn people about this situation is better . By the way we are seasoned travellers and my husband is a cruise agent so it is not like we don’t know what we are doing .
My advice at this point is to avoid this cruise line until they get their act together .
Cabin was clean and adequate. Only two drawers though and poorly lit. There was also a terrible smell from the sewer pipes that was unbearable at times. Attendant tried to fix by putting bleach down the drain and it would help for a while and then be back.