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Old 02-03-2006, 03:25 PM
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Hi,

I just booked a cruise on the MSC Lirica to visit the Norvegian Fjords. It's our second cruise, we had our first cruise last year on the Costa Mediteranea (Carribean) and it was a great experience.

I read some good and bad reviews about the MSC Lirica and I'm afraid to be desapointed.

Another thing that bothers me is the cash money on board and the tips. On te Costa Mediteranea, we received a card at the start of the cruise to pay everything on board of the ship. At the end of the cruise we received the bill with a propostion of an amount for the tips. It was easy for us, as in Belgium we are not very used to give tips and therefere do not know very well how much, when etc...

How does it work on the MSC Lirica? Do I need to take a lot of cash?

Than you,
Caro

PS: Sorry for my bad English
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:41 PM
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Caro,

welcome to Cruise-Chat.com.

I wouldn't worry about your upcoming cruise. MSC's ships have received excellent reviews from European passengers during the last year or so, while for whatever reason, many North American passengers obviously have a vastly different opinion.

You won't need that much cash onboard the "MSC Lirica". The only difference to the Costa procedure will be that tipping is at your discretion, i.e. tips are not added to your account but you are free to give them directly to your dining room staff and cabin steward. As a guidance only (tips are voluntary, after all) expect approx. EUR 8-10 per person per day.
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Old 02-03-2006, 03:48 PM
MDS MDS is offline
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Hi Caro,

I hope you won't be as disappointed with this ship as I was. The ship itself is beautiful and immaculate. I didn't care for the food, but there were plenty of people on board who really loved it. I think it is better to have the early seating. We had the 8:15 seating and found the food wasn't as fresh as it was when we joined friends at the 6:00 seating.

Just as on your previous cruise, you will have a ship card for your purchases onboard, and the cruise line will apply an automatic gratuity to your account. You can, however, fill out a form to change that amount if you want to decrease it or even do away with it completely if you are not satisfied with the service. On the other hand, it you are ecstatic with the service, you can tip additional amount (across the board on the form or by giving cash to the individual). We like to give a little something extra to our cabin steward on top of the automatic amount.

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MDS:
the cruise line will apply an automatic gratuity to your account. You can, however, fill out a form to change that amount if you want to decrease it or even do away with it completely if you are not satisfied with the service.
MDS,

I'm sorry, but I have to disagree. MSC has an automatic gratuity policy in the Caribbean only. I don't know why but that's how it is. In Europe and South America, tipping is done the traditional way.
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Old 02-03-2006, 04:57 PM
MDS MDS is offline
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My bad--I must have skimmed read the post (sorry!). BTW: That is also their policy for the Panama cruise.
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Old 02-05-2006, 02:23 AM
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Hi,

Thank you very much for your answers, it is really helpful as we can now better prepare ourselves.
MDS, can you please tell why you were disappointed by the MSC Lirica?

Thank you,
best regards,
Caro
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Old 02-05-2006, 04:21 PM
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Caro,

having experience with the twins of both ships (MSC Opera and Costa Atlantica) i'd say, it is mainly a question of taste.

If you love the glittering, shining style of the C. Med., which is strongly inspired by Costa's American mother company Carnival, and reminds me of a huge floating Las- Vegas- style Casino Resort (and is to me not "Italian Style" at all), you might be disappointed by the conservative, yet very elegant art- deco inspired interior of the MSC Lirica. Those used to the giant vessels of the "new" Costa might find her boring, but to me, she is much more ship- style, which i enjoy. In case you love the Costa decor, you can cancel your reservation and change to the Costa Magica with an almost identical interior (to the Med.) and itinerary .

In nearly all other respects, i found MSC superior to Costa, especially when it comes to service, value for money and food (we had surprisingly excellent genuine italian gourmet food on the MSC Opera, whereas the food on Costa was much more "all- european" style, and the preparation was sometimes mediocre). But nowadays it is hard to make any prediction on food, as the market changes so fast.

Negative aspects of the Lirica versus the Mediterranea are the smaller size of the cabins (13 square meters vs. 16), the modest size of the self- service restaurant (i'd prefer the service restaurant instead) and the lack of an indoor pool.

Think it over, and decide. I would stick to MSC, but my personal taste is, that i love cruising with a typical italian signature. Others prefer a more all- european style- those will probably be happier on Costa.

CP
 
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