After our smooth flight to New York, my wife and I began our MSC 7 night cruise with a rather painless check in. While walking to the ship I was impressed by the new appearance of the ship. Everything was clean and freshly painted (ship looked new).
Upon entering the ship I was greeted by many ships crew welcoming me (barely speaking English) wanting to escourt me to my room. My wife an I stopped by the Excursion representative and discussed excursions (again with a person the barely spoke or understood English). We managed to make it to our room by ourselves and again i was impressed by the cleanliness of the ship. Upon arriving at our room it was very small in comparison to our other cruises aboard Princess and Carnival, but it was nice. I guess that is where things began to go down hill.
To be brief. The Excursions we booked to Halifax, St john, and Boston were outstanding. Our guides were great! Bar Harbour we took the tender to shore and did some shopping, exploring, and dining. Newport, Rhode Island was hell. The time in port was only 5 hours. It took 3 hours to be tendered to shore which left only 2 hours for shore. Crew told us the weather was to bad, high winds. I checked my Accuweather App and the winds were 6 mph, sunny, temp high 40's. I do no know what bad weather is. While waiting on the tender all paid excursion guests were escorted to the rear tender door and rapidly tendered to the dock. I guess those who pay get off boat and all others wait. Food, let's face it is a real enjoyment of cruising. Food was horrible. It reminded of cheep cafeteria food. The formal evenings was no better. A REAL LET DOWN. Lastly I only met two friendly crew members. A young lady at the excursion desk spoke good English, made eye contact, smiled every time i saw her on the ship. Our room Steward was also very friendly.
Our cabin was small, but clean and decorated nice. The bathroom had a urine smell that remained all week. Our cabin was the second cabin from the bow. A night crossing through a Nor'Easter was rough and when the anchor was lowered in port the morning after the rough night a sea, I thought we were going down from hitting something. The bed was the hardest thing i ever slept on.
We went on the 7 hour tour which was very interesting. Our guide was great. Would love to spend some time in Halifax.
7 hour bus tour. a bit long but interesting. the drive out to the covered bridges was a long drive i am sure there was something else more interesting closer to St John. The guide was good.
Shopping and dining was great. Wish i would taken a guided excursion.
Took the 7 hour bus tour. 7 hours doesn't do justice to Boston. Our guide was awesome and knew the city and history. It poured down rain but did not slow him down. GREAT excursion!
Sucked! The MSC cruise stole this day from hundreds of it's guests. MSC ran 2 tenders shutteling passengers to Newport. I took us 3 hours to get to port, leaving us less than 2 hours to explore. We found a great place to get something to eat (Shop food was lousy)and went to a few shops and waited in a line that stretched down a city block to get back to the ship. Princess which was docked beside us had 6+ tenders in operation that seated many more passengers than the MSC tenders. Newport is a beautiful place, but my wife and I didnt get to see anything. Oh, not to mention a harbor master officer commented how unorganized and reckless the drivers of the tenders were eaven having to ticket MSC tender drivers for violations in the past.