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MSC Splendida Suite 16027 Yacht Club Barcelona Embarkation

TEL: +1 608-238-6001 Email: greg@cruisingreview.com

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Pre Cruise Booking

For booking this cruise I first started at Expedia. I found the same problems as last year. They list a cruise as available, then when you try to select a cabin, it's no longer available.

So I then went to MSC website direct, and also through the booking engine. Both were disasters, but I figured I should go through MSC to prevent any hassles, like experienced last year since Expedia is your travel agent, and requires an extra layer of rediculousness to go through when you try to correct the mistakes by Expedia or MSC.

Just FYI - almost every time I book a MSC cruise, it's a huge waste of time. The Web Embarkation form doesn't work well if you're booking two cruises, and especially if one is not from the USA. The MSC website is horrible, and you'll spend hours with MSC support if you need anything changed or corrected.

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Pre Cruise

Since Expedia listed cruises, which no longer had cabins available, I booked direct through MSC USA. The only cabins left were in Yacht Club, so I had to pay the huge increase in price. But since I've never stayed in the Yacht Club portion of the ship on any of the four previous cruises, I thought I'd try that experience.

At booking, full payment was required and I did take the travel insurance, which I never take via Expedia or the cruise line. I do have annual travel insurance and highly recommend some type of travel insurance for medial evac in case it's ever needed.

Making any changes was a real pain. Web Checkin was also a hassle, but within a few hours, was able to get everything arrange. MSC has one of the worst online check-in experiences, and they should really find new web form and user experience staff. I spend hours on the phone with the South Africa support, with only limited success. They could reduce 90 percent of all their support staff with a website, booking, and check-in that actually worked.

Thankfully, the MSC app worked and I was able to get everything for pre-cruise check-in completed to reduce time at the port and embarkation. For Yacht Club, you can get Fast Track which saves time. Last year we waited hours to get on the ship since the embarkation procedure was awful. Again, 90 percent of staff time can be reduced by having a working online checkin.

With Yacht Club, drinks, WiFi, and the other little annoyance packages were included.

The best system I've seen is Princess Cruises. Their experience is amazing from start to finish.

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MSC App

The MSC App works well (unlike the website).

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