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Gate 1 Travel / MSC Musica Cruise Ships

1 Los Angeles, CA, United States Review updated:

As a travel writer, I have had the pleasure of visiting many international destinations. My last trip to Europe was a real eye-opener though. If you are traveling to Europe, I would strongly advise against using any outfit that utilizes MSC Musica cruise ships. We traveled through Gate 1 Travel, and had a very disappointing experience. In summer, this cruise line is dense with Italians, who make it very difficult for other nationalities to have a good time. There's alot of shoving, crowding and other examples of rude behavior that quite frankly surprised me, especially since we're all on vacation and trying to have a good time.

Food on this cruise through Greece was below par, with the Italian fare being mediocre at best, and very little Greek cuisine. Lines to get on and off the ship were very long, with many people not adhering to their place in line.

In retrospect, we should have known that this cruise line charged for many incidentals, including coffee, tea, juice and other beverages that are usually included on many other cruises. In comparing our dismal experience with other American travelers, we found that other cruise lines like Princess, NCL, etc. didn't charge for all these ancillary items. What a shocker when we went to the dining room for meals. Factor in the euro, and you can see how costs can rapidly escalate if you're not careful.

I thought most cruise lines were pretty much the same, but obviously, I'll do alot more homework before I take another cruise. Gate 1 did very little to keep our loyalty, and after taking 3 trips with them to Europe in the past, it's very doubtful that we'll be doing this again. How hard would it be to give us a real incentive to travel with this company in the future, especially with the economy being in such a sorry state.

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Comments

  • Ro
      19th of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    It is always advisable to use a knowledgeable, well traveled travel agent to book cruises -- a good travel agent will match the traveler to the cruise line and vice versa. Not every cruise line is right for everyone. And it does NOT cose the traveler any more money by using a travel agent over booking directly.

  • Do
      1st of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Gate 1 Travel engages in "price switching" after you have booked a trip with them. This has happened to me twice. The first time, I thought that it was simple error, and that after the trip that Gate 1 Travel would make it right. Instead, I was surprised at the responsive comments, such as: "You are mistaken", "we have made no error", "There are no records to support you claim". I finally gave up, but now it has happened a second time, and I know that it is not an error. After the second episode of price switching, I started doing online research, and find that "price switching" is a fairly common complaint. The sad part about this is that Gate 1 Travel generally provides a decent trip for the money, and barring things like a few really shabby hotels, and some really rude guides, one generally gets a reasonable trip for the relative cost. However, I have now been pushed too far, and am currently ready to take them to court if they do not refund every cent that I have paid, for a trip that they cancelled. I did not sign any documents that would make subject to any of their cancellation fees, or penalties. What is even more astounding is their willingness to try to distort the facts, and their outright untruthful statements when questioned by Consumer Advocacy Agencies. As previously stated, if you plan to travel with Gate 1 Travel you would be best advised to get everything in writing BEFORE you make a deposit. Will post outcome details.

  • Sa
      13th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    DO NOT go on an MSC cruise. There is no comparison with the US based cruises. The food and entertainment are below par. At my table alone, each night, someone had to send back a dish as unedible. Staff is ill trained and not empowered to assist. There is always the pecking order of having to 'get someone in a supervisory role' and they are still in the stage of inability to fix things. The ship allows smoking in many of the gathering areas. For an American there is a great issue with language. The ship is like a Tower of Babel and although the ship did attempt to sit English speaking people together, there was no effort to arrange little receptions of gatherings for countrymen. Instructions were repeated ad nauseum on loud speakers in different languages throughout the trip as well. The shows were not close to anything we've experienced on ANY of the US lines. Assistance in any capacity was hard to find and many service people seemed unable to even assist with any in port recommendations other than taking their tours. DO NOT waste your money...this is not a deal. MSC is a deal breaker

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