MSC Orchesta 12 hour terminal wait.

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Jan 19, 2018
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#1
Hello,
It is 4 Am Rome time. I would love to say I was up late having fun, but that is not true.
Please at no point do I want to hear anyone blame the weather for poor customer service.
Please keep in mind I have paid in full in advance for the cruise and all excurtions.

Today I spent 12 hours in a cruise terminal with a few hundred other people. I was served cold pizza and hot soda when it was available. Not enough food was ordered each time so it ran out.
My problem is how I was treated. No one made any announcements to us during our 12 hour wait telling us what was going on. There were only rumers. I repeat no one officially told us what was going on. I reached out to my travel agent for help.
The only information I received was outdated from Antonia.
I got online and started an online chat. That represenative told me that the boat would dock at 3:30 pm the next day. When I asked if I was supposed to sleep on the floor, they disonnected the chat.
There were no official updates of any type provided to us. I felt like I was being held hostage. You had my luggage and I could not leave. I could of been told to go have fun in Civitavecchia, come back in four hours. But no I spent close to 12 hours in the terminal. My wife got very cold because she packed her coat.
Now on the ship I went down at 3 am to find my wife's lost bag. It contained her medical cpap machine. Some how the tag was lost. But the agent was glad to inform me it was not their fault. I was also told that there should of been a note in my room informing me that Florence has been canceled due to weather. There was no note. But they would be glad to sell me a Rome excursion. I asked if I will get a refund for Florence excursion. She said I should but I can stand in line at the excursion desk tomorrow to find out. I asked for some customer service and if she could let me know. We shall see. No info from her ever.
So MSC will be glad to charge me for a new excursion but it is my job to get a refund from MSC for the canceled one.
PS I have a week in Rome at the end of the trip in Rome.
Before you dismiss me. This is my first trip to Europe and I am in my 50s. This is a very important and special trip.I spent dozens of hours planing this trip and some hard earned money. I planned it all out. The odds are I will not visit here again.
I have the impression that MSC has no interest in treating its paying cusomers like guest.
Now it is up to you to decide if that is MSC.
I hope to here from someone on this matter.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,002
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#2
You can present your case the MSC using our Company Contacts link at the top of this page. Start at the lowest level possible and wait 1 week before moving on.

If/when you do, use email for a written record. What we have found works best is a brief, bulleted list that presents just the facts. Accusations, threats, and other demeaning language is always a turn off at a critical moment when you want to win them over to your side.

And be sure you say what compensation you are looking for ...
 
Dec 27, 2014
26
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Stafford, VA
#3
I'm sorry to hear about your experience so far. Please let me know if I am understanding you correctly... You are either currently on a cruise or about to start one. Instead of boarding at 3:30PM, you have been delayed in the terminal due to weather conditions. There has been little communication from the cruise line regarding the delays or changes in port.

We have MSC contacts on our Company Contacts page, found here: http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/msc-cruises/

I'd recommend starting with the customer service department before escalating your concerns through the executives. Give them a chance to respond before moving to the next contact.

Good luck with the remainder of your cruise and I hope you enjoy Rome. I plan on visiting it myself in the future.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Feb 9, 2016
2,449
2,797
113
#4
Ugh, MSC really disavows all issues regarding the ship being on time

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Conditions-Of-Carriage.aspx

That said, I assume your cruise just started. Try not to let the beginning keep you from having a good time. Get some sleep and start the day fresh and enjoy the rest of your vacation. My guess is that there will also be some perks because of the delay. Shipboard credits, room gifts, free booze, possibly a discount onf a future cruise, etc. My hope is that you can relax enough to enjoy. Take some time to covertly figure out what happened. Start casual conversations with the crew members, room stewards, etc. Put all these quills in your cap. You can use them in your email to corporate when you get back.

I would not go stand in line to get a refund of your excursion immediately. TONS of people will be doing the same, and they will do it asap. All you'll do there is waste your vacation time - and you'll probably get more frustrated. If you want to accept the Rome excursion in place of your missed one, simply go the day before to sort that all out.

when you do email corporate, make sure you ask for what you want. I will suggest that a cash refund will be turned down, but 50% off a future cruise (that you book within a year) might be a good place to start. 30% off will probably be accepted.

yes, I do realize - who would want to sail MSC again, even with a discount?! However, what you encountered at the start of this cruise resonates as an anomaly to me. The chances of this happening again are most likely very low.

Hopefully you can make some lemonade out of the lemons!
 
Last edited:

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#5
I’m sorry that you are dealing with this- especially for your first cruise to Europe. MSC is an Italian cruise line and they do things differently than say, Royal Caribbean or NCL but it isn’t acceptable to be sitting for 12 hours in a terminal with no word on what is going on. Is the ship delayed into getting back into port due to weather? Even if it is that’s no excuse to keep people sitting for 12 hours with no information, but it recently happened her in NY with a NCL cruise that got stuck in a storm,

One way to get a faster answer is to post on MSC’s Facebook page or Twitter account. Cruise lines and airlines are often quick to respond to public posts:

https://m.facebook.com/MSC.Cruises.USA
Twitter- @MSCcruisesUSA

We also have emails for MSC Executives you can appeal to but they might not see your email in a timely fashion;

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/msc-cruises/

For the missed port, you should automatically receive a credit for the excursion- you should not have to wait online to request it.

Just an FYI- the people working in the terminal don’t work for the cruise line so they don’t have any idea of the cruise lines policies for things like excursions.
 
Likes: VoR61

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
11,665
12,004
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Just an FYI - this stuff does happen but not to have information is not good. My friend was on Anthem of the Seas this week and someone on the ship ended up on life support. The Captain tried to haul butt and get the ship into port yesterday morning so the ship could head out to international water and reopen the casino for the last night on the ship but due to winds couldn’t get the ship into port until last night and Royal decided to just remain in port overnight and let the passengers disembark at regular time this morning.

A couple of weeks ago an NCL ship got caught in a storm and can back late as well.

Stuff happens but it’s very frustrating to not only sit for 12 hours but to have no words about what’s going on.

I hope MSC gives everyone some kind of compensation for the delay.
 
Dec 7, 2017
125
170
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SoCal - EAST
#9
Technically, if you read the cruise contract, they don't even have to take you anywhere - they could sit in port for a week if they thought they needed to. . . .

Which is why many of us have sworn off cruises -

I'm sorry the OP has a problem with a medical device - and this is yet another cautionary tale that you should never ever let medical devices or medications out of your personal possession - this could have easly been in a carry on rollaboard . . .

No matter where you go you should ALWAYS carry 1 change of clothes, something to sleep in, a paperback book and all medications and medical devices with you in your possession. Along with all id, credit cards, passports, electronics, cameras and cash.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,279
6,340
113
San Francisco
#11
Ugh, MSC really disavows all issues regarding the ship being on time

https://www.msccruisesusa.com/en-us/Conditions-Of-Carriage.aspx

That said, I assume your cruise just started. Try not to let the beginning keep you from having a good time. Get some sleep and start the day fresh and enjoy the rest of your vacation. My guess is that there will also be some perks because of the delay. Shipboard credits, room gifts, free booze, possibly a discount onf a future cruise, etc. My hope is that you can relax enough to enjoy. Take some time to covertly figure out what happened. Start casual conversations with the crew members, room stewards, etc. Put all these quills in your cap. You can use them in your email to corporate when you get back.

I would not go stand in line to get a refund of your excursion immediately. TONS of people will be doing the same, and they will do it asap. All you'll do there is waste your vacation time - and you'll probably get more frustrated. If you want to accept the Rome excursion in place of your missed one, simply go the day before to sort that all out.

when you do email corporate, make sure you ask for what you want. I will suggest that a cash refund will be turned down, but 50% off a future cruise (that you book within a year) might be a good place to start. 30% off will probably be accepted.

yes, I do realize - who would want to sail MSC again, even with a discount?! However, what you encountered at the start of this cruise resonates as an anomaly to me. The chances of this happening again are most likely very low.

Hopefully you can make some lemonade out of the lemons!
Gregory, this post from SAS is probably the best advice I've ever encountered about a travel disaster. She is SO RIGHT ... it was a horrible, depressing, aggravating start to a much-anticipated trip. I cannot imagine what you went through.

But YOU are the one who will make the rest of the trip memorable in a positive way. If you and your wife can sit down together and 'meditate', putting all the anger and disgust in a box and stuffing it in the back of your mind, you will be able to make delicious lemonade. You will come home proud of yourselves for outwitting MSC as they tried to ruin your cruise.

I agree with my colleagues, there are always 'reasons' for this kind of stupid behaviour but you don't want to think about them until you get home. I predict that by that time the cruise line management will have regained consciousness and be offering y'all some nice perks for what you went through. And we have outlined what to do if they do not make you a satisfactory offer Good luck, bon voyage, and have a WONDERFUL time. Please let us hear from you with an update.