Cruises - Is this a good deal? (greek Isles)
Jan 31, 11, 5:29 pm
$699 per person for a 7 night oceanview on MSC Armonia in late april going to the cities listed below. I did quite a bit of research and found this on vacationstogo.com This is the first cruise I've booked so I'm not sure what to expect.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Three ways to look at a cruise: (1) itinerary; (2) ship; (3) itinerary and ship.
So it is hard to tell if you got a good deal or not, depending on what you are looking for. An itinerary can be great but not if you are sharing those ports with too many other ships or if your ship is one of the mega ships. Or, if you like a lot of action, maybe having all those people around will be great.
The costs of shore excursions become almost more important than the initial cost of the cruise itself, unless you know whether you can do each port on your own or where you ship might dock that day - close or far away. Smaller ships can often get into the older ports that are closer in while the larger ships sometimes have to dock out in the industrial ports with nothing close by.
The reputation of each cruise line differs widely as well as the accomodations at each price level. Food is also a major consideration as well as extra costs for water, coffee, sodas, drinks.
Ultimately, it is a tight market so one ends up getting what one pays for. Most ships are good enough, they vary mainly by style, size and decor. Most ports are already pretty impacted by hordes of tourists these days so if it is a standard route, all of them pretty much deliver the same port experiences too.
If you have not yet read the reviews for each ship on CruiseCritic, then that is a great place to get a little more fill-in info. I have talked to several who have been very happy with MSC ships and they look good to me too. But others swear they will never sail them again -- but mainly their complaints are they are "too European" -- no drawback for me .But this is how cruise fans start sorting out the different lines - some feel like home to them and they like them. Others like to go off the beaten path.
Since this is your first cruise, you are lucky you have no expectations or comparisons. You have a good price and a good itinerary and a cruise line that will bring a high degree of uniqueness to the standard US cruise experience. I bet you will have a wonderful time. Bon voyage.
Throw out the high and throw out the low and you will get a good feeling about what to expect:
Feb 1, 11, 5:57 pm
One of the biggest problems of the MSC ships is the amount of smoking onboard. If you're a smoker, then you'll be fine -- if you're not, it might be no fun. Also, MSC runs lots of cruises whereby children are "free". Late April is Easter. That may mean lots of kids onboard. Also -- hope you like italien cuisine. Expect to enjoy a lot of it.
The itinerary looks excellent and the weather should be good in those ports by late April.
You're on your way with your homework!!:D