I've been on Royal Caribbean (Radiance) but not on MSC ... choosing between those two, I would say go with Royal Caribbean because they get much better feedback from those who have cruised on their ships, whereas MSC reviews seem to be more negative than positive.
Reading reviews should help with your decision ... here are links to an overview of each ship, plus reviews:
Have you cruised before, and if so with which cruise line?
I have cruised on both lines you mentioned and the answer is emphatically GO WITH ROYAL CARIBBEAN. MSC IMO is very ordinary, particularly customer service, food and entertainment all the things that need to be right to have a memorable cruising experience.
I've crused on both lines also, and my answer is: it depends on what you want. I find MSC to have a more European feel - meaning fewer Americans, more "bistro" type food - no lobster night - and service that is less overt than what we are used to in the U.S.
For me, I'd rather cruise in Europe and feel like I was there with other Europeans, and I don't have an issue with how things are priced differently for room service delivery, additional water, etc. (and MSC discounts heavily for the room - so it all works out in the end)
We also don't go on a cruise ship to meet other people, but I know others enjoy the social aspect. Personally, I think it's a great way to see a lot of places without unpacking, but I do miss the local flavor when staying in town.
Am planning another MSC cruise in a few months, so we had no hesitation whatsoever about booking with them again. (and reading your original post, it's the same cruise you were considering for October).
I don't know if this is important to you, buyt MSC's charges are in Euro and RCL = US $
Royal Caribbean Cruises left me high and dry!!!
Be very careful of booking with this company. I was booked on a cruise of Mariner of the Seas and without reason my trip has been cancelled. One understands that cruises might have to and do get cancelled from time to time. It is however the manner in which RC has handled this which is so disappointing. I thought they were a reputable and professional company but they proved not to be as reputable.
Without any reasons given for cruise cancellation, one has to draw your own conclusions. Possibly there might be something wrong with this vessel and hence passenger safety might be at stake. Who knows – perhaps a repeat of the Costa incident?
This cruise company has now left my high and dry (no pun intended). They did offer alternative arrangements but nothing which suits my other confirmed and paid for reservations. It turns out that my travel insurance does not cover me either. It will cost me serious money now having to fill a gap of 14 days right in the middle of a 30 day holiday. All has been paid and booked way in advance. If you were aware that the sailing might have been cancelled, why then accept bookings and collect payment???
All other options considered at this late stage are either booked out or VERY expensive. Sure there are supposed terms and conditions, but the non-care attitude of the supposedly respectable company is what really gets me down. They did offer to reimburse me all my paid cruise expenses - very generous, thanks. What about all my other losses?
Travelling all the way from South Africa to China for your cruise shows our commitment to your brand. Our experience made us to believe that your brand is misrepresented. I thought American companies are service and customer orientated but you have seriously let me down.
POOR SHOW ROYAL CARIBBEAN!! You will not see me again and I will discourage anyone from using your services.
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