Beginning in April 2023, MSC Cruises will dramatically increase its presence on the East Coast of the United States as it moves the 2017-built, 5,700-passenger MSC Meraviglia from its previous home in Port Canaveral, Florida to New York.
MSC Meraviglia will be homeported year-round from the Big Apple, offering cruises to Bermuda, Canada and New England, and the Caribbean.
Cruise Critic recently sailed aboard MSC Meraviglia in the Caribbean, and caught up with the ship in advance of its redeployment to New York. Here's what cruisers should know about MSC Meravllia's New York sailings.
MSC Meraviglia will offer cruises running between six and 11-night cruises from New York, sailing to the Caribbean, Canada & New England, and Bermuda.
Caribbean voyages will run between seven and eight nights in duration, with calls on Nassau and MSC's own private island in the Bahamas, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.
Bermuda itineraries will be six nights and spend three days docked at King's Wharf, Bermuda, bookended by a series of relaxing sea days to and from New York.
MSC Meraviglia's Canada & New England sailings are possibly the most diverse. These cruises will last either 10 or 11 nights in duration, and will feature calls on a number of ports, including Boston, Portland (Maine), Charlottetown, PEI; Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick -- home to the incredible tides at the Bay of Fundy. MSC Meraviglia's 11-night sailings offer an additional port stop in Newport, Rhode Island.
MSC Meraviglia offers great fun for the entire family -- and, indeed, you'll see plenty of families with little ones onboard, thanks largely due to the ship's fantastic children's facilities on Deck 18. These include the Doremi Club, the Doremi Lab, Junior and Mini Lego Clubs (complete with a full-size assortment of Lego figures situated on a bench outside the facility), a teen's club, and an adjacent sports complex. Plus, the ship's thrilling waterpark -- the Polar Aquapark -- is located just one deck above, meaning diversions for kids (and the young at heart) are never far from reach.
Adults, of course, have plenty of diversions to look forward to, from the clubby Brass Anchor Pub on Deck 7, to the sinfully delicious offerings at the Jean-Philippe Chocolate and Coffee Bar on Deck 6, which incidentally offers some of the coziest, oceanview seating on the ship.
The weather can get inclement on the Bermuda and Canada and New England runs from New York, but fortunately, MSC Meraviglia has both indoor and outdoor pool areas onboard, plus some of the best views around.
Our late-January 2023 cruise aboard MSC Meraviglia showcased a ship that is in pristine condition, from staterooms to public areas and outer deck spaces. The ship sparkles just as it did when we sailed on it back in 2017, and one has to try with great difficulty to find any hint of wear or tear on the ship, even in high-traffic areas.
However, passengers embarking MSC Meraviglia in the short term should be patient with the hardworking crew, who are doing their best despite being obviously understaffed. Bars are a particular pinch-point, and drink service can take a decent amount of time for orders to be fulfilled.
However, we sailed on a four-night cruise to the Bahamas; expect MSC Meraviglia's longer sailings to attract passengers who aren't quite so glued to the ship's bars and lounges.
MSC Meraviglia's stay in the Big Apple is just one of the many developments MSC Cruises has in store for the North American market, including the revelation that its newest forthcoming flagship, MSC World America -- sister-ship to the new, LNG-powered MSC World Europa -- will be based in the United States when it debuts in 2025.
Until then, MSC's presence in the United States is solidified with its sailings from New York, Port Canaveral (for Orlando) and PortMiami.
Updated February 28, 2023