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791 Canada & New England Family Cruise Reviews

Recommended by travel agent having been cruising 22 years with Holandamerica Asamara Majestic Princess and Celebrity we thought by reputation this could be good .This Ship is tired ,in need of refit .All staff ,food, and shows first class ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent having been cruising 22 years with Holandamerica Asamara Majestic Princess and Celebrity we thought by reputation this could be good .This Ship is tired ,in need of refit .All staff ,food, and shows first class . Time of year for this cruise area should cease September 30th much to cold, ports missed, ports of call retailers closed for end of season Now you know research better than I. This has been the most disappointing Cruise EVER. Embarcation dreadfull .Ship late arrival due to prop fouling ship lines , force 9/11 gale, Ports missed ,other Ports we should have stayed longer like Boston 6 hours not near enough, a day and a half would have been much better.only had time for city hop on hop off bus and quick shop. We were looking forward to this Cruise and knew it was the fall and dressed accordinglay ,this was our first time on a small ship with 290 guests metting new friends and world travelers exchanging travel stories etc Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
New York Boarding was a breeze .the shows were excellent . The meet and mingle was a highlight to meet and greet cruise critics fans. Outstanding! Staff in all areas were very friendly and helpers with our internet.ship was different ... Read More
New York Boarding was a breeze .the shows were excellent . The meet and mingle was a highlight to meet and greet cruise critics fans. Outstanding! Staff in all areas were very friendly and helpers with our internet.ship was different than our usual cruises. Enjoyed our new cabin after we had to change due to problems in our original cabin. Cruiser were friendly except that we had trouble communicate with different languages. The islands we visited were good, took a few tours with local vendors. Some of the island’s celebrate an holiday so many stores and museum s were not open and we had a lot of rain. Enjoyed the food , ice cream and the hot tubs. The ship was very clean and the bed and pillows were excellent. There always a problem getting off any cruise which is normal. We enjoyed the cruise which was the first on MSC Different but still enjoyable Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
After 36 cruises (on different cruise lines), we found a team at the Edge Bar that went above and beyond to be helpful and friendly. They were always courteous, hardworking and very professional. They were Neptin Alie, Gregory Jean, ... Read More
After 36 cruises (on different cruise lines), we found a team at the Edge Bar that went above and beyond to be helpful and friendly. They were always courteous, hardworking and very professional. They were Neptin Alie, Gregory Jean, Mariel Magallano, Angela May Lamog, Max Magotsi and Yange Ndayi. They took care of us for 23 days. The atmosphere with them around was always pleasant and made our cruise unforgettable. Service like this is very hard to find. We tried to recommend them on the cruise, but they do not have a system in place to do it as on other cruise lines. We have to compliment Meraviglia on their shows, as they were excellent and very entertaining. We battled with the packing space in the stateroom, as it was very limited comparing to other cruise lines. The buffet area is very busy and sometimes chaotic and the variety is limited. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First off there was nothing to do unless you are a trivia person and you need another useless bag or wine stopper that gives free advertising for the princess line. The Caribbean Princes was dirty my room had used bandages stuck to the ... Read More
First off there was nothing to do unless you are a trivia person and you need another useless bag or wine stopper that gives free advertising for the princess line. The Caribbean Princes was dirty my room had used bandages stuck to the balcony door handle. The computer system allowed my computer to get three viruses and even if you want to use your own server then leave your computer at home they block you so you cannot contact your family. Second if you are older or handicapped don't believe them that they will accommodate your needs both on the ship and on anyone of the excursions. They refused to loan or rent any of the 30 or 40 wheel chairs they have on board for an excursions but they will tell you that a rental will be available at the excursion sites. Don't believe them they are lying. This was the worst ship we have been on. The so-called entertainment staff had a Romanian woman who started yelling at everyone at a trivia game because she was missing one golf pencil and said we were not to take the pencils and papers until she gave them to us. This same woman refused to allow anyone to use the restroom when we were waiting to dis embark in the designated dining room. Also if you are diabetic don't go on any excursions because even though they tell you you will be able to get something to eat don't believe them and bring something. We went to Williamsburg and every thing was closed for the season. they even make you cross through an open field in the dark. I tripped over tree trunks and rocks because there was no light to see by and the tour guide was in such a hurry he would not slow down for those of us who were slower. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and i sailed on the anthem for the second time on a cruise to new england and canada. We were both disappointed this time with most everything on the ship especially the food. The food quality in both the specialty restaurants and ... Read More
My wife and i sailed on the anthem for the second time on a cruise to new england and canada. We were both disappointed this time with most everything on the ship especially the food. The food quality in both the specialty restaurants and the dining room were less than average. We ate in chops 3 times and once in jamies and were for the most part disappointed. We had a balcony room in what i thought should have been a very quiet location room 10572, slightly forward of mid ships, however it was quite noisy, possibly just noisy neighbors but quite annoying. I must comment on embarkation and disembarkation which was outstanding, and parking right next to the pier was also a pleasure. Overall will not be sailing on the anthem anytime soon. As for the excursions we did kennebunkport and scenic cruise in a rainstorm, the scenic cruise was cancelled and we were refunded that portion of the excursion, however we were left in town for approximately 2+ hours and not allowed back on the bus which proved to be a mess with the heavy rain. The other excursions acadia national park, st andrews by the sea and peggy's cove were all good, our tour guide for st andrews lynn adams was hysterical, very entertaining. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We were in a large group. Perfect fir us to hang out and also do things separate from group. Our room was great, service was not amazing and the communication of where entertainment was held was missed by most of us. Probably our fault. ... Read More
We were in a large group. Perfect fir us to hang out and also do things separate from group. Our room was great, service was not amazing and the communication of where entertainment was held was missed by most of us. Probably our fault. We all had many drinks, ate with the sane servers each night and no attempt to make trip special was seen. I just found that the service was not personal or personalized in any area. Some of the bar staff were rude and the wait times were long. Overall a good trip, just surprised by the lack of smiles, greetings and interaction from service personnel. Comedy show was great, the pool area was nice and the fitness center all though crowders at times, it was nice equipment and you were able to get a good workout in daily. Highly recommend the drink packages! Making reservations for dinner was easy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because it offered opportunities to visit California and enjoy a cruise. However, many seniors and handicapped people were on this cruise. I felt they were not as accommodating for them. The elevators could not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it offered opportunities to visit California and enjoy a cruise. However, many seniors and handicapped people were on this cruise. I felt they were not as accommodating for them. The elevators could not accommodate walkers, wheelchairs, scooters and able-bodied cruisers. They were so small that they could hardly accommodate 12-13 people when the capacity was 18. They need to figure out a way to help the handicapped if they want them to be assessible to all areas. They did have 3 pool areas; one for families, one for adults with no children, and one for those who wanted more privacy. Be selective about the excursions. Some of them are not worth the money. For example, our San Diego excursion cost $60 each to take a 4-hour city tour where you really did not get to spend time walking and checking out the local sights. The marina had an area just down from the ship that was great with shopping, tours, and restaurants that was within walking distance. The wine tours, Carmel and Monterrey were very nice. Espanada Mexico was a very poor tour to the shopping area; I would not recommend that tour. We heard that the Steinbeck excursion was very good as well. Do some research before your choose your excursion. Sometimes, it is just nice to enjoy a day on the ship and walk to nearby areas. The staff was very friendly, helpful, and make the trip great. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly. I would definitely take this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our class chose this destination on a majority vote for our 45th college reunion. We wanted a cruise that would take us to the East Coast and Canada for the Fall Foliage. Our travel agent suggested a Princess cruise based on previous ... Read More
Our class chose this destination on a majority vote for our 45th college reunion. We wanted a cruise that would take us to the East Coast and Canada for the Fall Foliage. Our travel agent suggested a Princess cruise based on previous clients' recommendations. The embarkation was smooth and all the staff were very helpful and showed us the way to our stateroom and the dining room for lunch. Our stateroom was in a quiet location, clean, had a balcony, and the space was just right for my husband and me. The bed was very comfortable and the comforter was light and warm. The Medallion made it so easy to get in and out of our room, go through lines when exiting or returning to the ship. It also made it easy to shop, pay for drinks or other items on the ship; we did not need to bring our wallets and money on board. The food, entertainment, service and staff on the Regal Princess were all first rate!! I will return to this ship for another cruise with family and friends! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Just a note: I can't seem to select just the 10-day portion, we couldn't do the 23 day due to job/time restrictions. MSC Meraviglia Review: 18 Oct 2019 – 28 Oct 2019 Passengers: me (CH), my husband (BH), and our adult ... Read More
Just a note: I can't seem to select just the 10-day portion, we couldn't do the 23 day due to job/time restrictions. MSC Meraviglia Review: 18 Oct 2019 – 28 Oct 2019 Passengers: me (CH), my husband (BH), and our adult daughter (SH). Package: Fantastica: inside cabin, the Easy Drinks, Spa, Arcade/Amusement Park Fun Pass, and Internet (which we upgraded onboard). We reserved both Cirque Shows for the first two full nights (early cocktail show, as the meal didn't appeal). We also reserved two excursions: Tall Ship Sailing Cruise (Halifax) and Lighthouses of Maine (Portland) Cabin# 13300 Steward: William Panorama MDR; 1st seating: Main Server: Rakesh Assistant: Russel Both were excellent, and quickly learned and provided for our preferences. OK, right off the bat, would I sail on the Meraviglia again? Yes. Like all ships, she has good points, bad points and meh points. She's a beautiful ship, with most of the amenities we look for in a cruise ship. Such as: Pools Ropes & trees course Spa Waterslides Specific specialty restaurants: steakhouse teppanyaki Entertainment shows 4-d theater bowling f-1 simulater flight/roller coaster simulator Good points: The Aurea Spa: For me the Spa on any ship is an important yes/no, make-or-break deal. This one was great. With a whirlpool, a bubble bench, 2 steam rooms (dark and light), four saunas (though one seemed down the entire time), an ice/cold room, multiple rain-showers with add-ons, the walk-through alternate hot/cold shower, a salt room, two nice relaxation rooms, some warm lounge chairs in the bubble tub room, and free robes during the cruise (part of our package) It was the best one I've been in on a cruise. All it lacks is a large thlasso pool such as NCL has. Food: The meals in the Buffet and Panorama MDR were very good. I even occasionally wandered off the standards to experiment with new-to-me items. Specialty Restaurants: The Butcher's Cut: excellent, I'd definitely eat there again. We used the Dining Experience option and it was quite filling. Unfortunately, I don't remember our server's name, but he was excellent. (I recall it being Marco -BH) Kaito Teppanyaki: also excellent, and very good at dealing with dietary issues, they were quite willing to swap out for the shellfish, and verified that it was dietary not allergy multiple times. William was our cook and he was one of the best we've had on a cruise. Cirque du Soleil: [note: it's almost impossible for a Cirque show to be bad.] Viaggio: excellent SONOR: the seeming lack of a coherent story makes Viaggio the better of the two. (Corrected to SONOR -BH) Meh Points: General: The white tea/coffee cups in the Buffet are too small. The blue ones were the right size, but were not at every station every day. The tea selection was OK, but needed more plain black tea. MSC, there's a reason the Vanilla/Raspberry tea was almost all that was left when we got back to NYC. The cabin seemed smaller than most other ships. They ran out of San Pelagrino! On an Italian ship! Granted, there were other brands of sparkling water available, but still! No menus posted by the MDRs for the daily meals. Boarding: Not bad, not great: we were told boarding was to start at 1 PM, so we made plans for meeting with a friend for lunch. We got to the Port at 10:30 AM, only to learn boarding had already started. Even then we were in group 13. Boarding went smoothly otherwise. Aurea Spa: No easy in-and-out for the whirlpool and bubble tub tubs in the Spa. I'm short, 5' 1/2” and the entry/exit was doable but awkward. No Color bar! I loved that on the Divina, and it was included in their drinks package. I'm a real fan of teas and those were fantastic. The Drinks Package: We had the Easy Drinks Package,which is nice, but the $6 limit cuts out my favorite drink (Strawberry Daiquiri). It also doesn't include some of the special items (such as gelato and the snack items in the Piazza del Doge) the coupon package on the Divina did. Towel Animals: No towel animals or a program on how to make them. I miss my towel animals. Sea Day Brunches: The breakfasts at the MDR were OK, but when you wind up eating most breakfasts in the Buffet, it's an issue. In fact, one sea day [Thursday the 24th, I believe] they were out of one specialty of the day. Maybe it's just me, but the best sea-day breakfasts/brunches I've had were on Carnival. Steak and eggs! When you're being beat out on food by Carnival, you're doing something wrong. The Buffet: Could we get more beef in the carving stations? None of us like ham, and BH cannot eat any pork. Excursions: Well, the one(s) we went on were good, but the one I was most looking forward too (the Tall Ships) was cancelled due to 'insufficient registration', though when we got to Halifax, they said that particular ship usually stops on the 18th. SH added the Salem Witch Excursion on board and enjoyed it very much. Bad Points: The Specialty Dining Packages: Not quite what we've seen elsewhere. Even MSC Divina had better options. Meraviglia's Dining Packages are, in our opinion, unnecessarily limited. Your specialty restaurants are pre-chosen and the meals provided are fixed. Not that the one in Butcher's Cut is bad, in fact, it seems to be the most relaxed, allowing choices from a limited menu, with options to swap out at an additional cost of half the listed cost of the item swapped. Ocean's Cay? We're not seafood lovers and BH has shellfish issues [dietary restrictions], so only the tuna dinner was even an option. Kaito Teppanyaki is NOT included, just the Sushi bar. Again, seafood issues. Same with the Tapas bar. Even the best plan, the Two + One included Ocean's Cay in the package, though the other was Butcher's Cut and the plus was a Cirque dinner show. We'd have taken that one or the Tryptic if we could have swapped out Ocean's Cay. General: MSC's seeming lack of (or just poor) communication. For example; Italian/Mediterranean Night was just listed as an Elegant Night, so if we hadn't seen the waiters and the tables dressed for it before we got to the Panorama, we'd not have known. Another example was on our last day, a sea day. Around 12:30 PM, while we were already in Panorama and had ordered, they announced that the specialty restaurants were half-off for lunch. I'd have seriously considered Butcher's Cut again if we'd known earlier and BH would have re-done Kaito Teppanyaki. Another communications point is our repeated attempts to get confirmation that MSC knew I used a CPAP. In fact, the only line we've used that acknowledged my CPAP was Carnival. Things I'd like to see in the future: A list of Elegant/Specialty Nights posted/provided on the first day. A listing of the dates for the various shows available on the first day. Menus for the MDRs posted daily (as on every other ship we've been on) I'd also love to see MSC have a ship based out of New York, as it's much easier for us to sail from. Maybe one that does that Grand Cruise Meraviglia is making in Oct 2020 as a routine sailing, allowing for both north and south trips regularly. Both routes seem very nice, missing only St. Kitts, our favorite island. Add a Brazilian style steakhouse as well. And, yes, Towel Animals, please! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Living in South Florida, we were ready to get away from the heat and travel to a cooler climate for a few days. Had cruised on MSC Divina and MSC Seaside, so decided to give the Meraviglia a try. We were not disappointed! The ship is ... Read More
Living in South Florida, we were ready to get away from the heat and travel to a cooler climate for a few days. Had cruised on MSC Divina and MSC Seaside, so decided to give the Meraviglia a try. We were not disappointed! The ship is just beautiful, and lovingly maintained. Officers and staff were very friendly and often visible. We had a balcony cabin and initially thought closet and storage space was tight, but we actually were able to unpack everything and store our luggage. Hanging hooks on the wall added great space for winter coats and outerwear. We spent 2 wonderful nights in NYC before a memorable sailaway. Embarkation was a breeze.Having heard things were backed up on the previous cruise, we waited till about 2:30 to head to the port. We literally walked on board immediately. Since our departure was delayed from 7 pm to 10pm we sailed past the Statue of Liberty under the stars....it was just breathtaking! The Canadian itinerary was perfect for the time of year. We took excursions in all ports. The trip to Peggy's Cove was our favorite. Portland,Maine and Boston were on our own, as we have lived there and know those cities well. Our onboard was terrific. We have cruised many times before, and our cabin steward Chris, and his colleague Jeremy, both from the Phillipines were the best we have ever had. They anticipated any needs we had, and their service was always timely. Cannot say enough about these two!! We enjoyed the food onboard, loved the pizza and had a great meal in Ola, the tapas restaurant. Overall this cruise was a great way to enjoy some autumn weather, and we look forward to traveling on MSC again soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our fifth cruise on MSC. We have been on Divina twice and Seaside twice. I had expected that MSC had learned their lessons with the Divina and the Seaside, but was terribly disappointed. We cruised on the Meraviglia because ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise on MSC. We have been on Divina twice and Seaside twice. I had expected that MSC had learned their lessons with the Divina and the Seaside, but was terribly disappointed. We cruised on the Meraviglia because Portland and Boston stops were desirable, as was Peggy's Cove in Halifax. The ports were fine; it was the experience on the ship that was disappointing. MSC failed to transition from European cruises to what is expected on this side of the ocean. There was also a large number of people who must have been sick when they boarded because coughing and sneezing quickly became the norm on the ship. I think many people board with illnesses because they're too cheap to purchase travel insurance. At boarding, we were never asked if we were sick. Most other cruise lines always ask that question and hope that people will be honest. The ship is absolutely beautiful, as are the other MSC ships cruising in the US. Dining: The Main Dining Room menu was broken down in two parts; there were items that changed each day and a standard menu that was basically the same during the entire cruise. The food that changed each day was not typical American fare and appeared unappetizing at best. The standard menu had NY strip steak, chicken, and salmon, so we usually ordered from that side of the menu. Shrimp cocktail the first few days was cool, not cold,and very small in size; I think they were left over from the previous weeks cruise. Also, presentation was terrible; a few shrimp dropped in a bowl on top of some lettuce and a little cocktail sauce. Definitely looked like mass production. The quality and temperature of the shrimp improved on about day 3 or 4 to where they were very good; presentation never changed. Our waiters were fantastic and did their best to make us feel welcome; absolutely no complaints there. The Buffet was horrible. The food was bland and selections were very limited and not tasty. We had a large contingent of Europeans and Japanese on board and it seemed that MSC catered to their tastes rather than to the Americans on board. Passengers actually touched the food on the Buffet with their hands rather than using serving utensils. Maybe it's a cultural thing. Also, people cutting lines was the norm rather than the exception. The specially restaurant menus were uninspiring so we didn't even try them. Hopefully, someone in Miami with Divina or Seaside will help them get their menu selections and presentation up to par. Embarkation: This went fine and we boarded the ship without much difficulty. I just wish someone would have been screening for passengers who were obviously sick as they passed through embarkation in New York. Entertainment: Divina and Seaside have the best entertainment at sea; no other ships come close, and unfortunately Meraviglia falls into the later group. The did not use the same production company as Divina and Meraviglia. Some of their shows were very poorly planned. The theater held about 1000 passengers at a time. One show was a ventriloquist, another was a magician doing card and ball tricks. I doubt anyone beyond the first ten rows in the center of the theater could even see the cards or the dummy's mouth move; really poor planning. Their singers had very good voices; there were three opera type singers and two other singers who had nice voices but limited range. Their dance troop appeared in just about every show so music was almost always up tempo and geared toward a younger audience. The had one show called "Virtual" that was strictly pop and geared toward an audience of 25 to 40 year olds; unfortunately, most of the audience appeared to be 60+. Divina and Seaside have a Frank Sinatra review and close with a Michael Jackson show on the final night; these shows are probably the most popular shows they have; Meraviglia had neither. But, hopefully they will adjust to the American market. They did have some good entertainment in various lounges on the ship. We intended to book a future cruise on Meraviglia when we boarded the ship, but decided against it as we experienced too many disappointing features as outlined in this review. Onboard Shops: These were typical of most cruise ships; nothing spectacular. Service: I thought the crew was very polite and attentive. The Meet and Greet was very nice. The ship's officers were very nice. Shore Excursions: We visited Peggy's Cove in Halifax; definitely a must see. We also took the Lighthouse Tour in Portland; that was very nice. And in Bar Harbor, we did the Acadia National Park and Lobster Feast; the park was scenic, the Lobster Feast was fun, but the lobster was a bit over-cooked and a little tough, but it was a good time. Disembarkation: We had no problem leaving the ship. Everything went smooth because we used Uber and met our ride around the corner from the cruise port. There was mass confusion where people were trying to catch regular metered taxis; the line was extremely long and there was no one assisting people in hailing cabs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Food lacked seasoning but there was salt on every table. It was basically the same for the entire week. Desserts were especially boring. Cabin lacked maintenance but was clean. And why the hangers with the ball on the top - who steals ... Read More
Food lacked seasoning but there was salt on every table. It was basically the same for the entire week. Desserts were especially boring. Cabin lacked maintenance but was clean. And why the hangers with the ball on the top - who steals hangers? Especially difficult to use when ship was rocking. A couple of the shows were very good - dancing and singing by the crew members. The magician did, I think, 4 tricks in an hour - not interesting. The comic did the same show stretched out over an hour that he did in 10 minutes on the first night. We could not dock in Portland so spend a rough day at sea with nothing extra to do. One would think that they would have a plan in place. Perhaps even special food or free drinks when one port is cancelled. We really looked forward to being on shore and being able to have a meal in a restaurant that was tasty. The band (trombone, trumpet, sax, etc.) were excellent. Beds were extremely hard. Not enough seating in public areas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Getting on the ship in Bayonne was a breeze, this was my 7th cruise and by far the easiest and quickest check in. Average age on this cruise had to be in the 70's but that was expected considering the destination and the time of ... Read More
Getting on the ship in Bayonne was a breeze, this was my 7th cruise and by far the easiest and quickest check in. Average age on this cruise had to be in the 70's but that was expected considering the destination and the time of year. The shows and other entertainment was excellent, We Will Rock You was the best, if you like Queen you will really enjoy it. Spectres Cabaret was OK it had its highs and lows. The Gift is not worth the time, still trying to figure out what was going on. The service on Anthem was excellent, our cabin steward Anak on deck 8 was great, anything we needed we received in a timely manner. He always had a smile and asked if we were having a good time and if there was anything he could do for us. Our waiter Vijay in the MDR was also very good. The food in the Windjammer buffet was very good especially dinner and there was also a nice variety. Now for the tweeks, the menu in the MDR did not have much variety. Maybe it's my own likes and dislikes but other RCCL menus I've experienced had a better variety, still the food we ordered was prepared nicely and was very tasty. I was under the impression from past cruises that the drink of the day was the same at all bars and lounges for that day, not on Anthem, it seemed every bar and lounge had a different drink of the day on the same day. Maybe if the drink of the day was posted on the cruise compass it would help because the bartenders were looking at it searching for whatever the drink of the day was. It would also be nice if the drinks made had the same consistency, I ordered the same drink at 3 different places and I received it in 3 different colors. We had a balcony cabin which was your basic cabin enough room for a couple. Getting off the ship was also quick and painless, we were off the ship and in our car in about 15 minutes. Overall a good time was had by all and I would sail on Anthem again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The ship was great. It is a beautiful ship but starting to show wear and tear. All the public area sitting areas are in need of upgrades. This turned out to be one of my favorite ships. To start, we had to wait 12 hours before leaving ... Read More
The ship was great. It is a beautiful ship but starting to show wear and tear. All the public area sitting areas are in need of upgrades. This turned out to be one of my favorite ships. To start, we had to wait 12 hours before leaving Bayonne, due to the weather. The next day when we did leave, we were pretty much in a Nor'easter. One family member had a 3rd deck window cabin and the waves were over the window. But the Cabin held the ship steady and was constantly in contact with the passengers with announcements. Dining was very good. we had the Chops Grille for lunch when we boarded. I advise for $22.00 it was a fantastic lunch and did not have to fight the crowd. The food in the main dinning Silk was good, but the service was ok. I would say the buffet was one of the best. The managers, Murat, Hilton and Imokang were the best of the best. Always making sure we had everything or whatever we needed. Sorrentos for pizza is the best, and Café Promenade was perfect for med day or late night snack and coffee. One of the best surprise was Two70. Breakfast or lunch was a nice hideaway. Shows- We Will Rock You was the best of the three shows. Staff - was very good and friendly. Casino - was on the smaller side. I did not do well in the casino, but someone won $20,000 on this cruise. Bingo - we are bingo players and we loved Lars. He is very personable. Did not see much of the Cruise Director Mitch and I couldn't tell you who the AD was. I do have to say that this ship had the slowest elevators of the 15 cruises I have taken. But we got use to that or took the stairs. Ports - Boston - we took an Uber into Boston and walked around. It was fun. Portland - We walked the area. They had craft tents along the main road. It was ok, we just walked around. Bar Harbor - We did an excursion thru the ship to Arcadia National Park, it was beautiful. We walked the town and then had a lobster roll sandwich. It was ok, but the blueberry pie was better. Halifax - We booked this thru the ship. We went to Peggy's Cove, it was beautiful and the bus ride out there was gorgeous because of the fall foliage. However, we also went to the Titanic cemetery. It was never told to us that because of construction we had to park further The hills up and down were tough. It said it would be dusk when we got there, lol. It was dark! Car headlights on etc. The guide actually borrowed my phone for the flashlight to show some of the headstones. I did complain about this when we got back, but they would not do a thing. St. Johns - did not get off, 40 mph winds and rain. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I just want to add a more positive note over any bad or poor reviews that have been posted about the Holland America Zuiderdam. Unfortunately many CC writers believe that when people want to know what they think, they only write the ... Read More
I just want to add a more positive note over any bad or poor reviews that have been posted about the Holland America Zuiderdam. Unfortunately many CC writers believe that when people want to know what they think, they only write the negative. We had a lovely Canada & New England cruise ending in Ft. Lauderdale after 2 sea days. The slim shipboard theater entertainment was more than compensated for by the friendly and professional crew….everywhere from the Guest Services desk assisting with a possible shore conflict (thanks Kevin), to the great bar staff, to our great cabin stewards (thanks Tau and Matt), to the plentiful and wonderful and easy-going servers in the dining rooms, where we were thrilled with all of the amazingly delicious and well-presented food.. All the embarkations/disembarkations were efficient and smooth. The ship was going into dry dock in the near future to spruce things up a bit, but she stil looked to be in great shape. We have many, many cruises under our belts but this one will always stand out as enjoyable. Well done, Captain and crew of the Zuiderdam !!!. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Typically cruise on Princess but wanted to try this due to itinerary. Hard not to compare Princess against Holland America. On the positive side we like the larger bathroom. Also the staff is great. On the not so positive side: The ship ... Read More
Typically cruise on Princess but wanted to try this due to itinerary. Hard not to compare Princess against Holland America. On the positive side we like the larger bathroom. Also the staff is great. On the not so positive side: The ship itself is old and is not well maintained compared to Princess ships except for cabins. Too much up selling in all areas. For example, Consistently being asked if we want to purchase a $75 steak or pay $25 for a lobster. When you say NO the demeanor of the staff seems to change. Not as attentive. Booked a walking tour at one of the ports. Due to fairly heavy and consistent rain and cold we thought it would be canceled but it wasn’t. Can’t imagine who would want to walk in the cold and rain for two hours. Probably will not be cruising with Holland America again anytime soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise was a disaster from start to finish! I can't believe we paid so much and got so little in return. - Embarcation was a HUGE fail. There were no signs or people providing information regarding luggage at drop off. There were ... Read More
This cruise was a disaster from start to finish! I can't believe we paid so much and got so little in return. - Embarcation was a HUGE fail. There were no signs or people providing information regarding luggage at drop off. There were 2 stations to hand off luggage. We waited in one of the lines only to be told we were at the wrong place (EVEN) we needed to go to the other one (ODD). How were we supposed to know? The guys handling the luggage were extremely rude, but probably employed by the port not MSC. - Inside was chaos. I wish I had taken a picture. Thousands of passengers trying to make their way with no signs and very few staff directing traffic. Where is the priority line? Good question. My guess is there wasn't one. It took us 2 hours to onboard, but we were "lucky" because it took some passengers over 4 hours. There was only one gangway open! REALLY? I have been on smaller ships, and we regularly had 2 gangways. We heard a lot of possible explanations/excuses, but I have no idea if any were true. Once on the gangway we were shocked to see only one MSC crew member scanning cards. There were two stations, but they were only utilizing one. Ridiculous! - Safety on board was not a priority. The Muster Drill, which is mandatory and emphasized on other ships, was a Cluster. - Despite making our dining reservations immediately upon boarding, we were dismayed to find out that they had all been cancelled the next day. We had issues re-booking and getting the dates/times we had originally selected. - The food was sub-par with the exception of Butcher's Cut. Unfortunately, we didn't have that until our last night. We had the Tryptic dining package, and were surprised by the limited options afforded to us. On our other non-MSC cruises we have had our choice of anything on the menu, with only a few items upcharged (i.e. lobster). Not so on MSC...I was charged $3.84 for a side of mashed potatoes in Ocean Key despite the fact I did not want any of the options offered. So my dinner was going to be mashed potatoes, and they arrived cold. I couldn't believe they still charged me. - The SPA had a number of issues. Poor design in the ladies locker room had the door opening to the lobby, which could cause some unwanted exposure. The lockers are stacked 3 high, and if you are assigned the top one you would need to be 6' tall or stand on the bench (another safety issue). There was water on the floor, but no mats to help prevent slip and falls. There were only 3 thermal chairs, and only 2 were working. Other facilities were not operational as well, yet crew were still trying to sell Spa Packages throughout the cruise. There is apparently no limit to how many they sell, despite the obvious overcrowding. -The captain skipped one port and shortened the stay at Quebec City. This was to be the highlight of the trip, and we looked forward to seeing the fall foliage along the St. Lawrence. Instead, we left at 1am, and missed it. We were told it was because the impending bad weather, but I can't help but think they were trying to avoid refunding another day's port fees. We had been running behind since we left New York. The embarcation issues delayed our departure by hours. It's hard to believe that a ship this large could not make up time. I know weather issues later in the trip are not under MSC's control, but I don't think we were getting the full story. -The phones would not allow anyone to leave messages. Such BASIC functionality, like so many other things on the ship...FAIL! -The TV didn't work the majority of the cruise. Their Highly Sophisticated Satellite System was another bust. We spent over $400 on internet...which was not great...but our only option. - The lines at the Customer Service desk were always long...filled with disgruntled passengers. Sadly, we spent a lot of time there. -The cabin design was odd.I suppose it was intended to be "sleek". However, the safe was located on one shelf in the closet. This limited the drawers to two. The depth of the closet was too shallow, meaning the clothes had to be turned at an angle in order to close the door. There were no other shelves or cubbies around the desk which would have been most helpful for storage. We ended up leaving our suitcases open on the sofa. - There were 2 positives for me on this cruise...our cabin steward was great and they had Dr. Pepper on board. I love DP! Only one bar (in the buffet) would keep them in the fridge, so I didn't get a cold can like I prefer...but still loved having it. -There were 100 people in our group, and our travel agent was with us. He worked non-stop to try and resolve the issues...meeting with ship department heads everyday. I can't imagine how much worse it would have been without him. SUMMARY - this was our worst cruise ever! If I could rate it lower, I would. We are Diamond Plus on RCL, Platinum on NCL, and have cruised on other lines as well...including one other MSC. I can't imagine EVER taking a chance on MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Introduction: MSC Cruise Line is a new entrant to an American market. MSC is a registered company in Switzerland but operates from Geneva, Italy. The company was originally founded in Naples, Italy as Mediterranean Shipping Company ... Read More
Introduction: MSC Cruise Line is a new entrant to an American market. MSC is a registered company in Switzerland but operates from Geneva, Italy. The company was originally founded in Naples, Italy as Mediterranean Shipping Company (that gives them their current name). MSC appears to be diversifying in the cruise market from its original business of shipping. The company is privately held. However, they are expanding their presence in the cruise market by adding newer and bigger ships aimed at penetrating the American market. Altogether, we have taken nearly 50 cruises worldwide for the past 30 years with various cruise lines. This was our fourth cruise experience with the MSC Cruise Line. The breakdowns of our cruises with MSC cruise line by the ships are (2) with MSC Divina, (1) with MSC seaside and (4th- this) one with the largest ship Meraviglia. We rank Divina as number # 1 of our choice, Seaside as Number # 2 of our choice and Meraviglia as our poor selection. The name Meraviglia in an Italian-English dictionary means something remarkable, amazing, marvelous, astonishing or wonderful. Unfortunately, our experience taught us that this ship did not live up to the meaning of this word. It was inaugurated approximately one year ago, started cruising in the European market and just recently crossed Atlantic and entered into the American market for the winter season. The company has been in the cruise market for the last ten years or more. According to their web site, they have 18 cruise ships deployed covering the world cruise market and new one MSC Virtuoso will be soon operational, making their cruise liner with a fleet of 19 ships. MSC virtuoso will be even more high tech and slightly larger. The comparison of the cruise ships that we have traveled with MSC is given below. MSC Divina MSC Seaside MSC Meraviglia Comments 3502 5179 5655 Passengers 1308 1413 1536 Crew size 2.52 3.66 3.68 Ratios-passengers to crew 1093 ft 1060 ft 1034 ft Length Passenger to Crew Ratio: As a rule of thumb, when the passenger to crew ratio increases, the quality of the service to the passengers will decline. We felt excellent service with MSC Divina, little less with Seaside but considerably less with Meraviglia. As per our observations, the reasons were more than passenger to crew ratio that was unacceptably high with this ship, when compared with their own ships and ships of the other cruise liners. We observed the following factors influenced their quality of services. 1. The inexperienced and overworked crews. 2. Insufficient crew size to maintain quality of service needed for the large ship while serving over 5,000 passengers. 3. Unorganized services for embarkation, disembarkation at the port of calls, the breakfast, the lunches, and the dinners. 4. Poor leadership of the officers. Why we went with MSC- Meraviglia: We decided to take a 10-day cruise to Northern Canada, just to check off our bucket list based on our past favorable experience as a Black card member with MSC cruise line. We assumed that New York port, where a large number of ships arrive and depart; with two hours plane trip one way from home offers more conveniences and advantages. However, our cruise experience became very unpleasant with this cruise ship, so we decided to share our review and experience with other future cruisers, who can derive their own conclusions. Undoubtedly, we were impressed with some of their high tech features, which were incorporated in such newer and larger ships such as navigation devices, dockings and stability controls and other facilities that give you the feelings of resort-like lifestyle. The electronic display (that worked as a large computer tablet); placed at strategic places, for booking the onboard shows or dinner reservations, ships maps etc are a helpful and desirable feature. However, we were shocked by the total chaos and disorganization that became evident that we experienced in several service areas. This can be clearly attributed to the insufficient and inexperienced crews for servicing over 5500 customers on a timely basis. Obviously, the crew ratio to the passengers on board was one critical element but we also discovered that crew size was not present to its rated capacity as advertised. However, we felt that the ship was nearly full, if not completely full, carrying cross Atlantic passengers from Europe as well as new American passengers that were picked up from New York. We will review step by step our experience with various facilities onboard the ship, ports of calls and ancillary services. Embarkation in New York We took an early morning flight to fly to New York that required us to get up very early in the morning. The flight was smooth and we landed on time. We collected our luggage and took Super Shuttle to the port. As expected with usual busy traffic in New York downtown, it took over an hour to get to the port around 11.00 AM. At the cruise terminal, the line was already formed in the cold weather; the people wanted to have their luggage dropped off and get out of the cold to wait in the cruise terminal for the processing to start. Most of the ports and cruise lines have a quick procedure and facility for checking and dropping off the luggage to the ground crews. The ground crews collect the luggage beginning at 10.00 A.M. that will be delivered to your assigned room after embarkation. There were no luggage crews present and the luggage checking did not start until noon. The passengers waiting to embark on the ship found this delay unacceptable. Just like other cruise lines, why there were no luggage crews scheduled at 10.00 AM to receive the luggage? We were able to check our luggage around 1.00 PM due to long lines ahead. After checking in our luggage, we have to stand in long lines due to the long lines of people waiting to be processed. Nearly, the 30 to 40 percent cruise check-in people were absent judging from the empty terminals. This caused additional delays. The lines were getting very long and the people were jumping ahead of their turns. Although we had a Black card membership that allowed us the priority check-in, we were refused entry and not allowed to go into the priority area. The unmanned empty computer terminals gave us the indication that the long day is ahead of us. Some elderly people who had to stand in line for more than 3 hours and need to use the restroom facility were asked to go through luggage screening again. This again caused additional discomfort and anger among the passengers. The normal procedure used by other cruise lines is to collect boarding passes after luggage check-in, have processors take and verify your passport and credit card, take pictures if needed and assign the call tag for boarding and room key. Then you can wait for your embarkation call assigned to you and proceed to embark while going through carry-on luggage screening by the machines. You are in and at your option stand in for picture taking and skip and head towards embarkation. For reason unknown to us this process was not followed by this cruise ship during the embarkation, the process was changed as well as understaffing did not help. The terminal assigned was a small place, thereby creating overcrowding, long wait, and confusion. It took almost 5 hours of wait before most of the people were able to embark. Some Yacht club members were able to check in on a priority basis but not all Black card members. This was the most frustrating experience with most of the passengers. I tried to locate cruise officers but none was visible or available in the terminal. The contract union workers were not cooperative and were rude. One officer that I talked to after boarding the ship blamed it on the union. Market Place: The Market Place on the 15th deck area was always crowded unless you got into the service area at the time of the opening (General Buffet restaurant in the upper deck). We did notice that the seaside ship included two restaurants, another one mostly used by Yacht club members but non-Yacht passengers can also utilize it. This helped distribute the passengers and reduced overcrowding. These alleviate the overcrowding problem that we experienced almost every day at the Market place. The menus of both open restaurants at the seaside were identical. The Meraviglia only had one market place that acts as a general cafeteria, excluding regular dining rooms (no cost) and specialty restaurants (with cost). We did not find another designated place for eating as they had at the seaside. With the weather getting colder and windy, we cannot use the pool area. Some menu items vary in “hot serving” station every day, but in other areas like Pizza, ethnic and salad stations, they were unchanged. If you did not make it in time during the opening hours, good luck to find a table and a chair. Due to a shortage of crews, some of the serving stations were closed and the place was very crowded all the time. However, once you find the table, the self-service for food was reasonably quick. However, at beverage stations the chaos always prevailed due to lack of equipment to serve the passengers. The juice dispensers were often mislabeled. The most troubling aspect was that the hygienic requirement for food handling was not monitored. To avoid the Norvac Virus attack, some cruise liners are not allowing the passengers to touch the food but it is served to them in the self-service area. They also don’t allow the passengers to touch the serving spoons. Although we did notice the installation of hand wash booths (a great improvement and healthier method) at the entrance, there was no enforcement on passengers by the crews. The floor below the beverage stations required more attention for keeping them orderly and cleaned to avoid the passengers slipping or sliding. Ports in the Itinerary: Upon embarkation, we learned that our two-night stay at Quebec City will be cut to one day from two days and we will be issued $ 25.00 per passenger onboard credit. The reason cited was the whale migration of the season. Many passengers wondered that such events are repetitious annually and predictable, why was this not pre-configured in pricing and itinerary construction. The onboard credit must be spent on the ship or you lose it. Any saving on port charges must be refunded in cash that was not refunded for Quebec City; perhaps it was not refundable due to embarkation. The second issue popped up when just hours before the arrival at our first port stop at Sydney, the captain announced that due to bad weather at sea, we will be skipping the port. For that, we received an onboard credit of $ 300.00 per cabin as a refund to the cruise price along with port charges of $ 25.00. Both refunds were in cash. Next port of call was crane brook that was a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada. Sydney was close by and there were enough time and weather turned favorable. If Captain wanted to reconsider his stop that he omitted and if the dock was available, he would have an opportunity to restore the schedule. Not having that information, I cannot make a definite conclusion on the availability of docking the ship, but time and weather-wise; it was possible to make a stop after crane brook on our way to Quebec City. Dining Rooms: Although crowded, the evening service at the main dining room was slower but not bad. The menus varied but were not comparable to other cruise liners but most regarded the evening dinner as not the problem. We had to waste our time at customer service by standing in line, to correct billing errors. The wine steward forgot to take the card of the user and placed the charges on our room without any signature. We had one such incident and some of the others had similar problems. It appeared that 30 to 40 percent of crews were first-timers. Prior to crossing Atlantic, they must have relieved the old crews in Europe and took over a new consignment of crews. We talked to various people and they seem to be overworked, covering more tables and they were thinly spread out. Our lunch experience in the dining room was very poor. We had to sit there for two hours to complete our lunch menus. Generally, the dining rooms are closed after 20 to 30 minutes once they are opened, so the inside customers who are seated are promptly served and second seating if required can be opened up. Keeping the dining room open all the time allowed new people to arrive and waiters had to get them started with the menu, bread, and drinks. The same waiters would have to delay serving the second or third portion of the lunch for those who are already seated. This created a delay for all and took two hours to finish lunch. I think their lunch procedures must be reviewed and compared with other successful cruise liners of their size to ensure that they are properly staffed and have the right procedures to get the customers in and with no more than an hour. We ordered our dessert but it never arrived, after waiting for 30 minutes, we left and went to self serve market place. Customer service: There was a computer breakdown either on the ship or downloading the passenger data from the main office or perhaps both. This created huge problems in billings and there were many wrong charges applied to the room but they belonged to other rooms. Onboard credits that were included with our cruise bookings, never showed up and we had to take our booking papers and stand in line for an hour to prove that we were due that credit. All these problems had to be resolved by the customer service manned by four to five people and they were very busy all the time with long lines and they did what they can to correct billing errors, review the benefits and charges applied. With the breakdown of computer or data loss, they had to enter the data manually and they were two days behind but finally got caught up prior to the end of the cruise. This big computer glitch may have also created unnecessary delay at the time of embarkation and they had to manually reenter the data for many passengers. This may explain the reigning chaos and confusion seen on the face of the crew. I spoke to an officer who was aware of the problem but blamed the embarkation delay that delayed the departure by three hours and may have contributed to the skipping of the port due to the union rules observed by the New York Port Authority. Some passengers from the city of New York hotly disputed that statement. I requested the meeting with the captain but the captain choose to remain invisible and I never met him except at a welcome party from the distance. Future cruise consultants: We see no reason to travel again with this cruise line. Our reason to see the cruise consultant and to make her aware of the contracted package, we bought did not produce the requested result and her attitudes were disappointing and so was her remark that “it is no big deal”. There were others who had the same problems. It appeared to us that they were focused on booking future cruises until we reminded them that unless they fixed this cruise first, there will be no future cruises. During the last three days of the cruise, we started receiving our package in pieces, unlike other cruises we took with them, where the package was sitting in the cabin on the first day of embarkation. Internet: We were looking to get some internet access to check-in our flight back home when we were still sailing on the sea. They had a day package for $ 39.00 and were labeled as “24th”. When you try to sign on, they showed a 24-hour clock with start and stop time clock. The stop button did not work. We had to go back to customer service, who did not know how to fix it, so they brought their IT guy down. We talked to the IT man with the following suggestion. Rename the package as a “one-day” package, since it is unlimited and get rid of the clock. He implemented that suggestion and we were pleased about that. Shows: The shows were better organized for booking and checking. This operation was well organized. Their Cirque du Soleil at Sea - MSC Cruises was great and worth buying at the time of booking at discount. All other free shows were comparable to other cruise liners. Two performances allow all to take advantage of these entertainments. Club Member activities and Events Consistent with other cruise liners, there were welcome, Black member and Yacht club events but they were not organized in the places like sky lounge that are private and quiet, but were thrown open at Plaza Meraviglia (Promenade-Main deck) 6, where shopping gallery and franchised restaurants are located (not owned by ship). The captain was generally absent from some of the public events and service was not properly organized. Some of the passengers were not happy when one Gelato private operator ran out of cups and cones. The passenger managed to get a glass from a nearby bar to complete his purchase. Cabin: We had an outside cabin with a balcony that is always a nice and enjoyable feature. Unfortunately, the weather was colder than normal, so we could not take advantage of that. This ship has many cabins with the outside balconies and it is very useful in the warm weather. In general, the cabin accommodation was perfect. However, TV service was not useful. There were not enough channels in English for the American market and the satellite service was poor. The major free news channels like CNN, BBC and others were not available that you generally find with most of the other cruise lines operating in the American market. The TV featured the review of your onboard activities, reservation and billing details were excellent provisions and that is not generally not found with other cruise liners. Onboard movies will require payment, while other cruise liners have free service and sometimes a small movie theater featuring new releases. We have furnished enough details for the cruise line to make some amends for American markets or passengers to consider when booking future cruises. Disembarkation: Disembarkation at the end of the cruise was smooth and we encountered no problems, like we experienced with ports of calls in Canada that we stopped. Generally, at the port of call, there are two doors opened, one for disembarkation and another one for pre-embarkation upon the conclusion of the tour or the visit to the town. We found that either due to lack of security machines or lack of personnel, they did not open two doors, resulting into long lines and delays. This was unnecessary for this size of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because a friend wanted to try MSC. It was also going to be a birthday cruise for me. The disaster began on day one when the boarding process took over 4 hours! I felt sorry for the seniors and disabled who had to ... Read More
We chose this cruise because a friend wanted to try MSC. It was also going to be a birthday cruise for me. The disaster began on day one when the boarding process took over 4 hours! I felt sorry for the seniors and disabled who had to wait in these ridiculously long lines. Many of us did the preboarding steps on the MSC app which didn't help anything go faster because the staff had to still go through everything once you got to the counter. Once on board, we tried to go to the dining area to make sure dinner arrangements were secure, and they were not. We were a party of 12 and were separated at different tables. We were told by the Maitre D they can not accommodate us and it was impossible to put together a table of 12. We've been on 20 cruises and have never been told anything like that! Dinner the first night took over 3 hours to get served and the service was very poor. One of our guests had questions about the menu and our waiter looked at her and said, "JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT!" Some of us decided to eat upstairs at the buffet the entire cruise. We were never able to sit together as an entire group for dinner. On other cruise lines, the waiter would address us after dinner to make sure everything was good and inform us of events happening on the ship. On this cruise, the waiter would announce, "Ladies and gentlemen, we need to get ready for the next seating so you have to leave!" REALLY!!! We were never greeted with "good morning" or "good afternoon" in the buffet area. Many of the staff in the buffet area came across as rude and not friendly and would walk right in front of you without looking or letting you pass if you were walking with food. Also, it seemed as though they made all the food at the beginning of the cruise and then just kept putting it out everyday. A lot of it began to taste like leftovers and some of the bread and pastries even got stale after the 4th day. Almost every morning, the buffet area ran out of coffee cups in all of the beverage stations and would often take 20-30 minutes before staff would bring out more cups, causing a mad rush for cups and coffee! Our itinerary included a 2 say overnight stay in Quebec but we were told via announcement that we were only going to spend one day in that port. Many of us were looking forward to the 2 days and had to cancel plans and excursions. The ship left shortly after midnight and we never received an explanation as to why our trip in that port was cut short. Also, with a ship of almost 5k passengers, you would think they would open more than one gangway. It took so long to get back on the ship, and crew members would cut in front of you to get back onboard. Disembarking was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. We were in line to get off the ship and there were 3 terminals where the staff would scan your cruise card and everyone was splitting to go into one of the 3 lines. We got up to the staff member and I was handing him my card, when he just looked at me, put his scanner down and closed the line without saying anything! On top of that, he didn't leave the area but instead just stood there to chat with one of the other crew members! We all had to back out of that line to get into one of the other lines that were open, causing more chaos. On other cruises, the crew members would say thank you and bid you goodbye, but none of the crew members were saying anything to the passengers. Thankfully, we went to the guest service desk on the 4th night and canceled our gratuities and diverted them at the end of the cruise to the few on board who we thought deserved them. The bright spot on board was our cabin steward, Aldrin. He took good care of us and was very friendly and professional. Overall, the ship was beautiful, but too big for such an amateur and disorganized staff. They actually made Carnival look good for a quick second! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
MSC MERAVIGLIA My wife and I have been on approximately thirty cruises but this one was the worst. It took more than three hours in the terminal before we could get on the ship and we were standing the entire time. There were very few ... Read More
MSC MERAVIGLIA My wife and I have been on approximately thirty cruises but this one was the worst. It took more than three hours in the terminal before we could get on the ship and we were standing the entire time. There were very few cruise ship employees to guide you - it was a complete mess with no direction. We were told that the computers had been down in the morning and this had caused the back up. Later we found out that they were only down for 30 minutes (a convenient excuse). When we finally got cleared to go on the ship we spent one hour on the gangway - all they had to do was scan the cards that we had just been issued for us to board! There were only two gangways open for 5000+ passengers. We left New York City more than two hours late. The following night, as a way of apology, we were offered one glass of champagne - after dinner, in fact many had already left the dining room. Not much of an apology. We found most of the crew to be indifferent and we never saw any senior officers walking around to check on things and spread good will as you always see on other cruise lines. We assumed they did not want to have to speak with unhappy passengers - and there were many of them. Due to cancelled ports (Sydney and Quebec half day), poor weather and not enough public rooms to hang out in, we spent more time in our cabin than usual. Unfortunately the television had poor reception and only one or two stations. A crew member told us that the satellite was down for most of the trip. We usually don’t count on TV during a cruise but most cruises always have a lot of passenger activities. The balcony was a joke. It was very small, approximately three feet by six feet. Our room steward was very nice and did an excellent job. However, there were no tissues in the bathroom even though a holder was attached to the vanity. When we asked for tissues he said he would have to get that approved by his supervisor. Food on cruises is always epic - not so on Meraviglia. The menus were strange - “Caribbean Night” on the way to Canada? Poor choices, small portions and poor quality. One night I took a chance and had the pheasant - it was so tough I couldn’t eat it with a knife and fork. We looked forward to having wonderful Italian meals on this Italian line but the pasta was routinely awful. The lobster ravioli served one night had a filling that was paste-like with no hint of lobster - on a cruise! If you had done a blind taste test you would not guess it was lobster. The crab cake looked and tasted like potato with no crab that we could see. The wait staff was overworked with too many tables and the food was never really delivered hot. The tables were never set properly with a variety of silverware and different each night. Two nights (out of ten) there were small bowls at each place for dipping oil but none was ever offered and they disappeared as quickly as they came. The food choices were so bad and tasted terrible that the last four nights I had salmon every night from the “Classic” menu. The drink package seemed like it would be good but for some reason the information was not available to the dining room staff. We took a picture of what was available with our package and one night we were charged for a second glass of wine. When we spoke with the waiter he said we were “only allowed one glass of wine”. Luckily we were able to show him the choices which clearly stated “Unlimited wine” in the dining room. Getting the charge removed from our bill was ridiculously hard and was finally taken care of by the Head Waiter. Since this type of thing happened over and over, he was a huge help to us! I’m sure other passengers were charged in error and those charges were probably not removed. Although the performers did a very good job, the entertainment was marginal. They did not spend a lot of money for entertainment. We were scheduled to stay overnight in Quebec City and that half day was cancelled. The explanation was that we had to return to NYC early. We arrived in New York around 12:30am, approximately eight hours early so there was actually time. We travelled at night and did not get to see the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the fall foliage. All of this was part of the reason we took this particular cruise and it was terribly disappointing. We had car service scheduled to pick us up at 10:30 but when we were told the ship had changed our arrival time and was docking early, we had to rearrange everything, not easy when you’re at sea. Due to a medical emergency with one of our party we had to be escorted off the ship early. The room steward supervisor did a very nice job of helping us but our luggage remained on the ship and we could not find it for 90 minutes! And this is how they treated an emergency. It really was one thing after another on this ship. Read the reviews - don’t make the mistake we made and assume that you can’t please everybody. We made that mistake and took this MSC cruise but - never again. You could not pay me to go on an MSC cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I’ve waited 20 years to take this cruise but it was my worst experience. The debarkation process was chaotic. We had FTTF, checked in, breezed through security, and then were called to board immediately. Everything was looking good until ... Read More
I’ve waited 20 years to take this cruise but it was my worst experience. The debarkation process was chaotic. We had FTTF, checked in, breezed through security, and then were called to board immediately. Everything was looking good until we tried to board and they said a couple of us weren’t checked in. I did everything online before and it appeared to be complete. Few minutes later and we were on the ship. We had two rooms with a balcony and an inside room across the hall for the kids. Our steward, Christopher, seemed to be annoyed when we mentioned the beds were not configured as requested and the trundle was not set up. We never saw him again until the final morning of the cruise. He didn’t ask if we had any requests and the service of our room was mediocre when it was done. It certainly wasn’t daily. Odd and very different from my previous experiences. Halifax and Saint John were beautiful but there wasn’t a lot to do around town. Our stops in Portland and Boston were cancelled due to tropical storm Melissa so we spent a second day in Halifax and an additional sea day (of hell) was added. Huge swells had the entire ship rocking and passengers sick everywhere. No comedians for the second half of the cruise and no additional activities were added to fill the time. It was beyond boring watching the ship map showing us crawling along. Ship areas are cramped and just boring. Same breakfast every day and you’re lucky to fine anywhere to sit. The dining room didn’t include the great shows with the staff. If they did perform, you were lucky to see anything because the design of the dining room includes walls that obstructs many tables. The service was rushed and impersonal but they made sure the last night to make a pitch for extra tips. I had a thermal suite pass but it was a waste. The locker room includes showers but no hair dryers. Who wants to shower and then go out with wet hair? The other facilities in the thermal suite were ok but I prefer those that include therapy pools and hot tubs. I had a few treatments in the spa that were fantastic. Highly recommend the massage therapists. If this is how refurbished looks, I can’t imagine how bad it was before. This was my third Carnival cruise in 18 months but I think I’m done with them. It’s too much planning and money for a mediocre experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sunrise is beautiful, recently been refurbished. But... with all the concerns about germs, why did they put hand push buttons to open auto doors on Lido deck? Dirty hands repeatedly touching these then sitting down to eat. Makes no ... Read More
Sunrise is beautiful, recently been refurbished. But... with all the concerns about germs, why did they put hand push buttons to open auto doors on Lido deck? Dirty hands repeatedly touching these then sitting down to eat. Makes no sense!!!. Food on buffet just ok, nothing bad but nothing great. Guys Burgers always great! Food in dining room always good, there again only few selections were great. Staff from waiters to room stewards worked very hard as usual. Maitre'd at one restaurant was not very accommodating or at least appeared like he couldn't care less, so we got on Carnival Hub and reserved our table to be ready when we got to restaurant. Worked really well the 3rd night on. Cruise Director was awesome. Just seems like Carnival has taken quality down a notch and replaced it with quantity of passengers. Example: no linen table cloths in dining rooms except formal night and dirty silverware found at our table every night for 7 nights. Will we go Carnival again-yes of course. Port is driving distance and cost can usually be found discounted. But dont expect Quality and Excellence on this ship Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My wife and I are fairly frequent cruisers, but we recently took our first cruise on the Carnival Sunrise, from New York up the eastern coast of New England and Canada with scheduled stops in Halifax, St. John, NB, Portland ME and Boston, ... Read More
My wife and I are fairly frequent cruisers, but we recently took our first cruise on the Carnival Sunrise, from New York up the eastern coast of New England and Canada with scheduled stops in Halifax, St. John, NB, Portland ME and Boston, then back to New York. Unfortunately, because of bad weather we had to skip both Portland and Boston, which was a disappointment but of course with "safety first" in mind it was nobody's fault but Mother Nature. The stops we did make were good, although most every other cruise line includes Bar Harbor on their similar itineraries for this time of year and surprisingly Carnival didn't, so that was a disappointment. We had never been to this part of the world before and the shore excursions were decent with good guides, albeit a bit on the expensive side. Prior to the cruise we didn't have a very favorable opinion of Carnival from reviews we had read and people we had talked to, and that impression was only marginally improved during the cruise and afterwards. We generally prefer smaller ships, willing to trade off shipboard activities for more personalized service, better food and usually quieter ship time. This ship itself was actually nicer than we thought it would be, as it had been refurbished fairly recently. That was the good news. The bad news was that (according to some of the crew) during the refurbishment they added more cabins and reduced the size of the main dining area. (They also took out the library which was a disappointment to my wife but I won't speculate as to whether removing the library is indicative of Carnival's perception of its clientele.) So, any meal requiring a trip to the Lido dining area for the buffet was a complete zoo at any and all times of the day. Total passenger count was just about 3,000, and it seemed as though every single person chose to jam the buffet lines at the same time and remain there every minute of the restaurant's serving hours. Total chaos ensued with very limited seating when the rush was on at the buffet lines. On the plus side, there was a pretty good supply of other, smaller eating ares with other specialty food types around the ship, but most of them were either fully outdoors or partly open to the elements, and with the bad weather along the way they weren't great options for comfortable eating. For dinner, we had assigned seating each night with our group of ten, so no problem getting a table at our appointed time, although the tables were pretty much on top of each other and the restaurant got noisy. The servers delighted in singing ""Happy Birthday" and "Happy Anniversary" or "Happy Anything" pretty much every night at various tables as circumstances warranted. So much for quiet dining. As for the food quality, the Lido buffet was ordinary to decent, nothing special. Typical cruise ship fare; nothing to kill you but nothing to make you think you were in a really good restaurant. Service was again pretty ordinary, mostly because of the crush of humanity during buffet hours. In the sit-down restaurant at night, the entrees were generally decent to pretty good. I remarked almost every night how good the salads and soups were, among the best of any cruise line I've been on. Not all of the entrees deserved the same high marks. We were in a group of ten people and comments varied from bad to exceptional for the quality of each person's meals throughout the seven-day trip. I have to admit that I didn't have any meal that was not edible, but neither did I have any that I would rank as exceptional (other than the salads and soups which as I mentioned were really outstanding). Ironically, lobster tail was offered one night as one of the included menu choices. Everybody but me got it and loved it. Another night I paid $20 extra to get a lobster tail and could hardly eat it. The meats (pork loin, roast beef and a small steak on various nights) were okay, pretty much done to order but generally not very hot by the time it got placed in front of me. I'm also a dessert guy and they were pretty good, both for variety and quality. Our cabin was actually pretty nice, not cramped but not overly large, with good storage and with a comfortable "king" bed if you managed to avoid the subterranean crack running down the middle from joining two twin beds to make it into a king. Our room attendant was excellent and we tipped him accordingly, along with the gratuities added onto the bill at the end of the cruise. Other than the crack running down the center, the bed(s) was (were) comfortable with nice pillows and covers. The bathroom was small-ish, but since neither my wife nor I are overly large, no problem fitting into the shower. The shower in fact had great water pressure and lots of hot water. We could barely get water out of the sink, either hot or cold. Go figure. My only real complaint about the bathroom was that the shower curtain (what, you think Carnival would have a glass shower door?, LOL!) seemed to have a really musty smell. The ship's entertainment ran the gamut from just plain lousy and insulting to our intelligence, to some of it being actually pretty good. One comedian comes to mind as being both clean and very funny but he was only there for one night. The three electric violin players who performed as a group in the lobby every night were wonderful, albeit a bit on the loud side. I won't make any more comments on the entertainment because everybody's tastes are different. The only other problem we had was that the ship is VERY NOISY. Carnival seems to think that splitting their customers' eardrums with loud music and announcements adds to the overall cruising experience. Our cabin seemed pretty well insulated (walls and ceiling) but music from the entertainment areas of the ship still got through the door. I thought embarkation could have gone a bit more smoothly as it was a bit of a mob scene. Debarkation, given the number of people, was very well organized both on the ship and in the port area and when our turn came we were out of our cabin, off the ship and in a cab in under twenty minutes. In closing, I titled this review "You get what you pay for" and with Carnival you pay towards the bottom of the cruising spectrum, and for that you get an experience that's worth just about every penny. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
While the ship and sailing company were chosen for us, as this originally started as big group/family trip, I wouldn't have chosen any other for our first cruise experience. The ship was fun, full of entertainment, food was delicious ... Read More
While the ship and sailing company were chosen for us, as this originally started as big group/family trip, I wouldn't have chosen any other for our first cruise experience. The ship was fun, full of entertainment, food was delicious and abundant, but most of all we are extremely pleased with how incredibly clean the entire ship was maintained! We had the pleasure of being able to enjoy the mini golf course and above ropes courses multiple times. The various water slides were definitely fun and a huge hit with the kids! The food was delicious, the variety was plenty and the service was excellent. We had the opportunity to participate in multiple game and competition shows and it was a great way to have fun and even win some great prizes! Highly recommend watching the shows Burn the floor and Rock of ages as both were incredible and full of amazing talent! While we never left the boat at any of the ports, we still had fun while relaxing and an amazing time surrounded by stunning views! It was an incredible first cruising experience and now this family is hooked! Can't wait for our next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Restaurants: special dinning was not worth the price. the food was not great quality and served warm. The servers were very good and tried their best to assist. The meat in Cagney's was extremely poor quality and stringy. The ... Read More
Restaurants: special dinning was not worth the price. the food was not great quality and served warm. The servers were very good and tried their best to assist. The meat in Cagney's was extremely poor quality and stringy. The main dinning room turned out to be better than the special restaurants (disappointing) Entertainment: the acts in the theater were excellent as was the entertainers throughout the ship. The Irish comedian and the female comedian were great. the dancers and the band were very good. Captain: Many thanks for keeping us safe during the storm and seeking safe shelter. He made the right choice, even though I missed my night in New York and lost my money for theater tickets. Better safe than sorry! Ports: Boston was a surprise but an excellent stop. You should consider spending two days because of all the attractions. Quebec City was enjoyable as was the excursion at Portland. Overall, the cruise was relaxing and mostly enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019

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