No it's not true. I've done 2 MSC's & I always have 2nd sitting. If I remember correctly some shows are timed for Pre 2nd sitting. ie 7.45pm - 8.30pm. Everybody gets the same opportunity to see the shows. Regard.
Thank you. In your experience is it necessary to pre-book excursions with our travel agent, due to the possibilty they may 'sell out,' or will I be able to book it the day before on board the ship? We were thinking of doing organised tours in Naples (Pompei) and Tunis.
Your expertise is greatly appreciated.
Sorry but I have not booked a excursion in the last 40 years as I/We much prefer to do our own thing. I'm never really sure as to a 'sell out' as I think they simply increase or reduce the amount of coaches to suit the amount of bookings for the majority of tours. You certainly can book on board but as I've often posted on this site, every taxi driver in every cruise port in the world knows every cruise tour by heart. Negotiate, walk away & negotiate again & the price you pay is 25-30% of any cruise line tour. Personally I would always go for a taxi for Pompei as it can be very arduous in the summer sun & he will wait for you to return at your leisure. Tunis is an amazing Medina(Market), the streets are merely alleyways & the crowds of people are unreal. If thats the tour your considering, don't bother as you will never stay with the guide, as it's not possible in the crowd. It's only 15 min taxi ride from the ship, but if you do take that option, don't bother with the taxi's outside the terminal building as they only want to hassle you into tours. Walk ahead 20 metres, through the steel gates where the guards are controlling, & behind them are waiting 'dozens' of 'Local' taxi's all waiting to relieve you of your Euros. Whatever you do Enjoy it.
I don't think you will need to pre book your excursions, we went on a MSC cruise last year (Med). We found them quite expensive, as we were a party of 4 we found it much cheaper to have a taxi and do our own thing. That said we did take the excursion to Rome with them, which was expensive, but felt we would get to see more that way.
The previous reply regarding meal sittings is quite correct, you have plenty of time for the shows.
Enjoy your cruise.
Totally agree with Wilba - I've been on MSC 7 times and there have always been 2 shows. You may miss out on some of the entertainment in the lounges but then so do those at first sitting too.
Unless MSC have very recently changed their policy, you can't pre book before embarkation for shore excusrions. On the day of embarkation, they'll give you a tour programme that list all the shore excusrsions at each port and a booking form. You can book for all the ones you want right away or just one by completing the booking form. In the daily programme that gets delivered to your cabin, they tell you the latest time they are taking bookings for each port of call. Quite often in the med, tours get cancelled as there are not enough English speaking people booked to run the excursion. (English speakers can be in the minority) so I don't think it likely a tour would be booked up if you left it to later, unless it was one with very limited places.
I think a tour in Tunis is a good idea as it is not the best place to be wondering about on your own and some of the more interesting things are quite a bit away. Definitely safer to use a shore excursio.