1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. MSC Cruises
  4. MSC Meraviglia Review
  5. MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Theis ship is horrible, the service is so bad there is no excuse for it. It takes ages for a waiter to come to you for drinks in the main buffet even tho you have a bell for colling them, one time the waiter came to the table canceled ... Read More
Theis ship is horrible, the service is so bad there is no excuse for it. It takes ages for a waiter to come to you for drinks in the main buffet even tho you have a bell for colling them, one time the waiter came to the table canceled the call and just walked away without takeing our order, when we asked him why he did that he came with such a dumb excuse, and thats is all the staff have for you is excuses. When you want to go to shore there are harbors with only steps as gang walks so disabled people cant disimbark, on the ports that disabled people can disimbark you will go thru hell when you imbark, first of all they will make sure that you know that they doing the disable people a big favor if they let 1 person to acompany the disable thru security, we had 1 person with an oxigen mask on her and security made her stand in line for 10 mins for security, they made me choose betwin my disabled father and my child ( who didnt speak english) so i had no choice but to wait for my child, so my father had to wait for me and my child and they put him near a trashcan so god forbid he will interfere the other guests, when we whent to complain about it, the costomer service made me feel like I was the one to blame, he didnt wrote my complain right and ofcourse the complaint was nulled with the excuse that you cant expect them to let 3 people cut the securety line (and I remind you 1 person is disabled and one is a child) and leting the other guest wait. The dishes in the buffet was dirty we got glasses with lipstick marks on them, plates with pasta still on it. On other ships at the evenibg of your first imbarkation the person in charge of cleaning your room comes and introduce him/her self to you and tells you that every thing you needs room wise to come to him/her, on this ship we saw him only on the last night of the cruise. The one bright light on the ship is the food, it was tasty and good and you had a large choice of dishes to choose from in the buffet, and every day was diffrent dishes, too bad you couldn't had plates to put those delicious dishes. We took an excurtion in kiel and asked the woman who booked us the excurtion if it takes us to see the city itself including the city center because they had 1 tour only for the harbor and the tour we took, at the end both of the excurtions was only for the harbor and we didnt saw the city at all. Pass these ship there are other ship lines that are much better with the same prices as this one. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I'm a frequent cruiser, as I've been on other cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival, and I have never been on a cruise ship where I was treated with such a low regard in my entire life. ... Read More
I'm a frequent cruiser, as I've been on other cruise lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival, and I have never been on a cruise ship where I was treated with such a low regard in my entire life. Now, this is not my first time with MSC. I have sailed on the MSC Divina and the Seaside out of Miami each twice. However, on the Seaside we booked the Yacht Club, the inclusive ship-within-a-ship service on MSC (similar to Norwegian's Haven), and found the service just as equal to service found on smaller ships of other cruise lines. This trip we decided to book the two-story duplex suite instead of the Yacht Club under the Aurea Experience, thinking that with all the money we were spending, we would get good service and quality. Boy, were we wrong. FOOD: First of all, the main dining room waiters are unfriendly and unaccomodating. They refused to serve us any food that was not listed on the menu. And although we had a beverage package, the waiters refused to fetch us a pina colada from a nearby bar when my father ordered one. One night, my sister wanted an apple juice and the waiters in the dining room claimed there wasn't any juice available, yet when we walked to buffet a few moments later, juice was readily available. It seemed to be that the waiters didn't want to go out of the way to get us anything. Additionally, every time we asked for something in the dining room, like ice for our drinks, it seemed to be almost a bother to them. Also, the selection of food on the menu was awful. There were only like four or five main entrees to choose from, and most of them looked pretty nasty to me. It didn't even look like a cruise ship menu. They had grilled chicken every night, but as soon as it touched my lips, I immediately spit it out as the taste was disgusting and it was incredibly chewy. The buffet is a whole other story. The buffet is huge, with a relatively nice selection of foods, yet that didn't mean the food looked good and tasted good for that matter. I do have to say, the pizza was excellent, with different varieties everyday, and fresh-made mozzarella nearby. But other than that, the food went downhill. I literally ate pizza every single day of the cruise because everything else looked and tasted so bad. Breakfast, I have to say was decent and honestly had a nice variety, but lunch and dinner was worse than college cafeteria food. The ship itself was incredibly overcrowded- you could barely keep yourself from tripping over someone at buffet. And since the ship left out of Copenhagen, the ship was full of Europeans who were rude and would shove right into you. The staff on the ship had such thick accents, it was hard to understand them. So did the tour guides on the excursions. What I found quite annoying was MSC often put English speaking people on the same bus as a non-English group such as German or Italian. So we would hear it in two languages, even though it was still difficult to hear it in English. CABIN: The cabin itself was beautiful, however, upon embarkation our stateroom wasn't cleaned thoroughly enough as there was bugs in our jacuzzi tub and the carpets didn't seem vacuumed. After we got that sorted out, the room honestly saved the trip. From my experience, MSC staterooms are not to small or crowded, and since it's a new ship, your stateroom size shouldn't be much of a problem. ENTERTAINMENT: I do have to say out of all the cruise lines I've been on, the nightly theater shows on MSC Cruises are the best! Their singers are amazing on all the ships I've been on and the dancing is great. Be warned though: there are no comedy shows or shipped entertainment people like on other cruise lines. We also barely saw the cruise director and only realized halfway through the cruise that the lady who came into the theater and spoke in Italian for five minutes was actually the cruise director. She only muttered a few words in English, so I felt that we were being left out with information. Overall, I don't think I will ever travel MSC again without booking Yacht Club. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Everything was excellent. The crew was very kind and helpful. The ship was very clean. The prices were normal. The only bad was that there was not free Wi-Fi. It was very expensive, if you were interested in it. There were gorgeous ... Read More
Everything was excellent. The crew was very kind and helpful. The ship was very clean. The prices were normal. The only bad was that there was not free Wi-Fi. It was very expensive, if you were interested in it. There were gorgeous performances every night. The animation team was fantastic. There were five swimming pools, restaurants, bars, events every time each day, markets, shops, coffee shops. It is like a village. Everybody is friendly. Although there are a lot of people you feel comfortable. The food is delicious and there is plenty of it all the day. Gyms, TV, activities for the kids, bowling, basketball court, soccer, cinema,spa etc. The cabins are lovely. If you are a disabled person you can have all you need in order to feel OK. It was a nice experience and definitely I will travel again with them. Don't hesitate to choose this company to have an unforgettable cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship is terrible - despite its enormous size, has very few things to do, no entertainment program on the main pool deck, only a few games to share among 5000 passengers, very low quality theater shows. Food is quite bad quality. Shore ... Read More
The ship is terrible - despite its enormous size, has very few things to do, no entertainment program on the main pool deck, only a few games to share among 5000 passengers, very low quality theater shows. Food is quite bad quality. Shore excursions are over priced, with mediocre guides with thick accents you cannot understand. Premium drinks are low quality (particularly wine). Kids programs are super boring - this is the first time my kids refused to go to the kids center and kept repeating how boring everything is. There are only 2 pools on the main deck!! - one indoor and one outdoor, and both are tiny so they are incredibly crowded at all times. Service across the ship is below mediocre. Casino manager is the least professional and disregarding you will ever encounter - don’t bother spending big money, you will get zero attention. Overall, a cheap look and feel and not worth any price you pay. STAY AWAY. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We boarded in Copenhagen for a 7-night Baltic itinerary that visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Kiel. All four cities were wonderful. The ship was great. It was always clean, didn’t seem overly crowded. I did find ... Read More
We boarded in Copenhagen for a 7-night Baltic itinerary that visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Kiel. All four cities were wonderful. The ship was great. It was always clean, didn’t seem overly crowded. I did find that Europeans were pushy and rude and also had little to no manners at the buffet area and at the elevators. Our room steward Putra was excellent, He always kept the room clean, ice bucket filled, etc. The food was mediocre at best. Dining room food was hit or miss and the Buffett selections were plentiful. Some selections I didn’t care for, and some were bland. Entertainment - The cruise director was non-existent. We saw her one time in he very last night of the cruise at the closing show. The shows were boring, but the Cirque du Soliel show with the French art theme was really good. The Sonor show wasn’t that good. As far as entertainment goes, if people resort to playing board games and cards, it shows that the programming is non-existent. On the sea days, there was no programming, no live music, no fun games on the main deck. The large screen on the deck also had no programming, just looped video of tropical scenes and underwater scenes. Overall, I’d give this cruise a 2.5. This was our 2nd cruise on MSC and I can’t say I would recommend MSC to others. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have cruised carnival, royal, princess and others mostly larger boats like meraviglia. Cost was higher than most but we expected a matching experience. We booked this boat specifically because of the ports of call in the Baltic (vs ... Read More
Have cruised carnival, royal, princess and others mostly larger boats like meraviglia. Cost was higher than most but we expected a matching experience. We booked this boat specifically because of the ports of call in the Baltic (vs typical Caribbean destinations we have done 7 times). Bad service from the beginning. Employees look and act mostly clueless. You have to get irate to get a manager. Cabin is ridiculously small. We had 2 cabins for 3 people, the room was basically big enough for 2 with a wardrobe for 1 (on royal everybody gets their own wardrobe). There was NO space for luggage so it had to be left in the middle of the floor and you had to crawl over. I happen to look into a 4 person cabin and it was identical to the 3 but the couch has a bunk attached to it (royals and carnivals cabins are actually built for the number of passengers). No outlets near bed, you, cabin service was sporadic and steward was not friendly (our kids have literally taken pics with stewards on some boats they were so friendly). Also, dont expect wash cloths. Buffet, to put it mildly was a non stop chaotic mess. Food quality was poor and food choices were abysmal. I could go on for paragraphs, but buffet was indescribably bad. Dinner was okay, our table staff was the best experience we had. We got lucky there, many reviews talk about how bad it was. It was a shock that no dinner night offered a steak or lobster option (it was an upgrade), every other cruise we've been on always had one night with steak and lobster. Drink packages were ridiculously complicated and hard to use ( yes, they were also costly so we made sure to use them :-) so cost per drink wasnt bad). But, be aware, if you want a drink package, you are requires to buy a comparable package for everybody in your cabin. Wait, what if one is a child and one doesn't drink. Well, deal with it cause you're buying package for all. But dont worry about it, if your kids want ice cream, the only way to get it is a drink package (or you pay per scoop)- again royal and carnival have unlimited ice cream for kids. Btw, we found out after day 3 we weren't supposed to be able to use the drink package in the british pub, its considered a specialty restaurant and thus doesn't accept the drink package. Luckily the wait staff in the pub was enjoyable and never registered the drinks. Amenities: on the oasis of the seas (royal), which is comparable in size, you never felt crowded. On msc, you felt absolutely crowded everywhere you went. Elevators were claustrophobic, tiny pools and pool decks, sports area is cramped, gym incredibly small for this many people. Also, soooooo much of the amenities are add ons. Dont expect to bowl, f1 race, vr expeirence, there are 3 board games that are actually composites of like 6 different versions of each game across multiple languages...good luck. Also, dont expect towel service on the pool deck, only blankets. You have to bring pool towels from your cabin. There are at least 20 other situations like this involving stupid or uncommuncated policies, long lines, poor service personnel and bad food. I did send a detailed letter to MSC and have received no feedback. Funny thing, we spoke to several other families (who we didn't know) and they had similar experiences. But I will say the ports of call were amazing. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we ... Read More
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we were not very pleased with a few things, the ship is very new so this itself was fabulous however as the saying goes "you get what you pay for".. We spoke with many others on board from various parts of the world and we all felt that once on board the ship it seemed to be like "we have your money so entertain yourself".. from past experience on RCC and Thompson (TUI) ships there was always music or entertainment by the poolside and especially on the days at sea, on this very large ship there was no music to be heard and no cruise director to be found to participate in games etc. the only time we saw this lady was at the beginning and end of each show in the evening times. The marketplace in particular is a dangerous zone and needs a "huge restructure" as there is no queueing system in place and easily knocked off your feet in a heartbeat. some nationalities in particular have no manners in this area or at the lifts around this area and we saw elderly people almost run-down.... :-( this includes some workers in the marketplace as well as customers. we spoke with some waiters in the Panorama dining area and they agreed about the Buffet area and said that many people had mentioned it but nothing was done.. very sad to see this ongoing problem is not being rectified considering this is an expensive holiday for each family and MSC don't seem to be happy to take on board people's comments. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We did a Baltic Capitals Cruise on the MSC Meraviglia with our 24 months old. The experience was amazing for the three of us. The ship is decorated with taste - in fact it was the most beautiful ship we’ve been on. The buffet food is ... Read More
We did a Baltic Capitals Cruise on the MSC Meraviglia with our 24 months old. The experience was amazing for the three of us. The ship is decorated with taste - in fact it was the most beautiful ship we’ve been on. The buffet food is amazing: lots of tasty options all day long and the best pizza at sea! The evening seated dinner is also great - although there is a limited option to choose from. Nice staff, clean spaces, enough things to do on board. There’s a baby care program for under 3s but we didn’t use it, although we made use of the baby room which had plenty of toys and was really clean. The only thing we didn’t like was that they had the TV on all the time - and even when we were in the baby room alone they couldn’t turn it off - we went to the baby room to play, if I wanted my son to watch TV I would stay in our room. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This cruise was part of a package we’d signed up for. 7 nights departing from Copenhagen to see the fjords and return to Copenhagen via Germany. We should still be on board with three nights remaining but we disembarked early. Some ... Read More
This cruise was part of a package we’d signed up for. 7 nights departing from Copenhagen to see the fjords and return to Copenhagen via Germany. We should still be on board with three nights remaining but we disembarked early. Some people obviously love cruises. We didn’t. We found the number of people onboard very overwhelming especially when eating in the Buffett section of the ship. The noise and the feeling of claustrophobia was at times distressing. It was difficult to find quiet spots on the ship to read or reflect. Considering it’s such a huge vessel, this was disappointing. The range, preparation and delivery of food was magnificent in Waves Restaurant, the Buffett and we ate our evening meal in the Panorama Restaurant. Roman our waiter was very charming and super attentive. We could not fault the staff or the food. We purchased a drinks package prior to boarding which we thought to be great value for money. We also bought an internet package for two devices which ran out the night before we disembarked. I think the ‘selling’ side of cruising becomes quite frustrating. On embarkation in Copenhagen we were approached by several staff trying to sell us meal upgrades, excursions or drink packages. We didn’t appreciate this and found it happened throughout the four days on board. Cruising, it’s just not for us. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, ... Read More
We sailed the Nordic fjords from Kiel with our adult children. The cabins are quite OK, not a lot of space for storage, bit dark colors. Still cleaning twice a day, not really necessary for us. Very large ship, very crowded, specially because we had bad weather and everybody was searching inside convenient seating. There are many lifts, maneuvering through the ship is easy and quick. Going ashore quick every time, how ever long waiting times at the security check getting back on board. Food overall pretty good. The easy drinking package gives you cheap drinks of low quality for 30 euros/ day, overpriced!! Staff not more than average, some very rude (you have whole day, one European in a bar told us). Very disappointing, our cabin was again (!!) changed by MSC without informing us. We booked 3 cabins together, they ended up scattered over the ship. We won't book MSC again, they just change your cabin as they like to do.... Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the ports and to try a new line. MSC has the status match program which also helped. This cruise was from Genoa, Italy to Kiel, Germany with stops at Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, and Southampton. ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports and to try a new line. MSC has the status match program which also helped. This cruise was from Genoa, Italy to Kiel, Germany with stops at Marseille, Barcelona, Cadiz, Lisbon, Vigo, and Southampton. Embarkation: This was a disaster. I am not sure if Genoa was not equipped to handle this many passengers, or if they were just not prepared to turn over the whole ship as MSC frequently interports in Europe. Whatever the reason, we arrived at the port at noon and eventually made it onboard around 4pm. Ship: The Meraviglia is a beautiful ship. Every area has something unique and stylish about it. That being said, many areas seemed choppy and without a good flow to them which created bottlenecks at certain areas. Cabin: We had a Fantastica Ocean View (O2) and while the cabin was spacious enough and well appointed, the storage space was nearly non-existent. Especially for a twelve day cruise. We were on Deck 5, just down from guest services and the Atrium bar and I thought the location was good. easy to get everywhere. Dining: This started out poorly, but eventually ended up fine. We had no dining time assigned, we just kept being told that we would get our time once on board...that never really worked out, mainly because we boarded so late, the dining table had closed. Finally we were assigned a table/time and that is where we sat the rest of the cruise. Food in the MDR was fair to good; In the buffet was mostly fair with some good, and at our one specialty dining experience, The Chef's Table, was spectacular. Entertainment: MSC really shines in this area. Shows were good to great and Cirque at Sea was amazing. Service: Across the board service was friendly and professional. Never had an issue there. Ports & Shore Excursions: All were booked through MSC and all were either good or great. Arles and Vigo were the standouts. We did not do an excursion in Barcelona. Disembarkation: Another disaster. I had priority debarkation and while I was off the ship in a reasonable amount of time, I then stood around for over an hour waiting for my luggage to make it off. Overall, the ship was beautiful, but I don't think I would use MSC in Europe again. I haven't written them off completely so I may sail them again in the US, but I will choose other lines when sailing in Europe. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
First , I tried to contact MSC customer support prior to the cruise. Two emails and two phone call back requests and NO response! Ship was beautiful but food was mediocre at best. Staff was sad looking, not friendly and not helpful. They ... Read More
First , I tried to contact MSC customer support prior to the cruise. Two emails and two phone call back requests and NO response! Ship was beautiful but food was mediocre at best. Staff was sad looking, not friendly and not helpful. They just stood around looking like sad sacks. When I had an issue and went to the front desk I was met with:someone will respond. No one ever did. Funny, after I got home I receive an email asking if the problems had been handled. I responded No! Again no response from anyone. At dinner the waiter made a mess of our order, brought it cold and said the kitchen was having problems? It was obvious to the three of us that the staff urgently needed extra training, with about half of the buffet group being send to a remedial course. There was consistently confusion when approaching key staff. One officer replied, I have absolutely no idea and walked away without offering assistance. It may have been a cheaper cruise but not worth the money. This was my 38th cruise and my worst. I use to say there are no bad cruises, just some better than others. I no longer will say that. Cabin attendants were good but also confused when asked about simple issues like why did I not get a daily program or why can I not get ice. Entertainment was on the cheap. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Sailed with husband,daughter and 2 friends. This was our 55th cruise. 6th cruise line, returned from 04/04/2019 sailing on MSC .meraveglia The ship is lovely, staff was wonderful, especially Jonathan, my room steward. ( Balcony ... Read More
Sailed with husband,daughter and 2 friends. This was our 55th cruise. 6th cruise line, returned from 04/04/2019 sailing on MSC .meraveglia The ship is lovely, staff was wonderful, especially Jonathan, my room steward. ( Balcony Stateroom #13150, Aurea experience), was kept perfect at all times. Jonathan was kind, courteous and one of the best I’ve ever had. The room needs more storage. Small closet with too few shelves with only 2 drawers is not sufficient. The spa was amazing and “Cherry’ gave me the best message ever. She was excellent Spa was the best I’ve experienced at sea. Very very busy on sea day. Dining room sat 5 of us at table of 4. Woman who does seating in Panorama dining room was downright rude when we requested a different table. My daughter was placed in the aisle with metal bar in front of her making it difficult to actually sit at the table. No napkin or flat wear unless requested. My daughter, a professional woman, was mortified. As I was for her. Food in dining room, Panorama, was ok..not good. Variety was small...do not even think to order Mahi mahi . The staff is hard working. Courteous. The real problem, which absolutely ruined our cruise was the tour “Rome on your own”. We waited a lifetime to see Rome, and did not. 4 of us are 65+ With health, mobility and vision problems. Don’t let the term “easy’ Fool anyone, disgraceful. There was a marathon the day of our arrival to Rome. The entire city was affected and virtually closed down. The tour company was totally unprepared,causing the ride to last twice as long just to try to find parking. When the bus finally parked, we were at first, led in the wrong direction. Walking up hills and many steps. The tour guides finally realized an error in direction ,so we retraced our steps. We never got to see Rome s sights as we could not walk further than the Spanish steps. The reason for our trip was primarily visiting Rome. I cannot tell you the disappointment. We should have been told we could not get buses or taxis into the center of Rome because of the marathon. We should have been given a choice of cancelling. The guides SHOULD HAVE PREPARED. Till we walked back to bus stop, we had hobbled nearly 5 miles. Causing problems for the remaining trip. I will not go back on the MERAVEGLIA again Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This was my 6th cruise, very first with MSC. I have cruised with Carnival and Celebrity. This ship was so disorganized. Every person you asked had a different answer. The rooms were not cleaned well. The food was TERRIBLE. Not fresh. ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise, very first with MSC. I have cruised with Carnival and Celebrity. This ship was so disorganized. Every person you asked had a different answer. The rooms were not cleaned well. The food was TERRIBLE. Not fresh. They sent up wrong breakfasts and one day, no breakfast at all. 3/4 of the staff were rude. The dining room was awful. The first night our table of 4, we each ordered something different, and all 4 dinners were terrible. Never again on this cruise line. I required a wheelchair accessible room. The accessibility was awful. There were no automatic doors. I could not enter or leave our cabin without help. In the cabin, the phone was located across the room, not next to the bed. There was very little help to get me up and down the ramps to get on and off the ship for excursions. There were no onboard activities. Very poor. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I should point out that this was my first cruise although my wife has been on several, including another MSC cruise. We scheduled this cruise about a year in advance and purchased the cheapest cabin available. We figured we would be on ... Read More
I should point out that this was my first cruise although my wife has been on several, including another MSC cruise. We scheduled this cruise about a year in advance and purchased the cheapest cabin available. We figured we would be on excursions everyday and didn't plan to spend much time in the cabin so no need to get a fancy one. We flew from the US to Barcelona two days before the cruise and did some touring.The morning of the cruise we went on a Freemasons and Knights Templar tour in Barcelona through Barcelona Occulta Tours which was excellent - lots of hidden history in that city. Embarkation took a while and nobody really explained what was going on. It seemed a bit chaotic but eventually we got on board. Luckily the staff is multi-lingual and answered our questions. We ate at the buffet for every meal on the ship and we thought it was pretty good. Some of the buffet sections stay mostly the same every day like pizza, bread, and cold cuts. Others like the rotisserie, ethnic and dessert sections had different items every day. My wife is a vegetarian and was able to find plenty of food. We ordered the breakfast package which was delivered to our room every morning. The first day they brought enough food for 10 people and I had to ask them to only bring one plate of each item. The breakfast was quite delicious. There were nightly shows in the theater which were free. We thought they were pretty good. The ship was generally kept pretty clean. Our cabin ran out of hand soap the day before we got off the ship though, and I ended up getting sick the following evening. It was difficult to locate our steward when we needed him. We went on excursions every day they were available and could usually only locate him in the evening. Room service staff, cleaning staff, and servers in the buffet were nice. I dined at the three specialty restaurants. I thought the Butcher's Block was by far the best, followed by Eataly, and the Japanese restaurant in last place. I was tempted to eat at the Butcher's Block a second time but didn't get around to it. As mentioned in other reviews there was a bit of pushing and shoving at the buffet. Not everyone is raised to be polite and they won't hesitate to cut in front of you or push you out of the way. After getting over my initial shock, I was becoming a master of body positioning, wedging my way into lines and pushing people aside just like those brutes. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. The ship seemed a bit crowded, especially in the evenings and on the formal nights. I wore my suit jacket twice and had some pants/shirts ironed for a nominal fee. We had a private Montserrat/Barcelona tour with Barcelona Day Tours scheduled for 8:30am the morning we got off the ship, so we did the self disembarkation along with probably a hundred or so others. I was worried about getting off in time, but it was no problem. Excursions: Marseille and Avignon - We liked it and our guide Cecil was good. We paid to go onto the bridge which was nice. We saw Chateau D'If from the church. Magnificent Milano - The city is cool, but annoying people trying to sell you stuff are a big problem. Our guide wasn't that great. She had a very halting speaking style where she would pause for a long time. Rome - There was a marathon which caused our excursion to be canceled, so we did the Papal Angelus one and it was great. We saw St Peter's Basilica and the Pope. Then we saw the Pantheon, Colosseum, Circus Maximus, and Forum on foot. Some roads were closed for the marathon but our guide was excellent and circumvented them. Segesta and Eurice - We took the bus into the mountains and it was very cold there so take warm clothes. We toured a church but it was foggy and couldn't really see much. Then we went to Segesta and saw some ruins that were pretty cool. We received a pretty good packed lunch on this tour. I was quite happy with it. Valletta and Mdina - This was a pretty good tour but only 4 hours long. I wish they had a longer tour on Malta. We went to Mdina first and toured a church. The guide explained Maltese culture as we walked the streets. Then we went to Valletta and saw another church where the knights are buried and where there is a Caravaggio painting. I thought it was pretty cool. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use ... Read More
We chose this cruise ship because of the ports mostly. We were most interested in sightseeing, but got more than we expected. We used cruise shuttles and Hop-off/Hop-on busses arranged by the cruise, for reasonable price. We did not use any excursions, explored on our own and found it to be very efficient. On the ship, the entertainment was outstanding. We planned to book a Cirque du Soleil but the free Broadway shows were so nice that we attended those instead (different one each night). The dancers and singers are talented to say the least. There kids camp was good, our girls (5 and 7) got to love it by the third time we dropped them off, it took some time for them to get used to kids speaking different languages. The pool area was beautiful, outdoor pool was heated but the weather was too cold for us. We used indoor pool and Jacuzzis (well kept and orderly, never overcrowded). The casino was quite small, always too close to the smoking area in my opinion, but overall we were happy we didn't get to gamble and loose money. There were some photographers, we took pictures and booked a digital package, which was a deal in my opinion. We booked 2 rooms: a balcony and an inside room. Both rooms were not very roomy, but everything well organized. The service to the balcony room was noticeable better (never missed a thing, courteous, pleasant) than to the inside cabin (pool towels were removed and not replaced on several occasions) for some reason. There were no towel animals, but the beds were made several times per day, always clean and tidy. The program was delivered every evening. We checked our account every evening and were never charged for anything we didn't authorize. The ship was beautiful, as expected, also very clean and well-organized. I was happy with the service provided by all the staff in dining rooms and bars. We ate at our assigned restaurant once, found it to be quite slow and continued to use the buffet instead. The buffet had a wide variety of dishes, tasty and appealing. We were given coupons for drinks, but overall the prices were reasonable as well. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze! Overall, we would cruise with MSC again, especially on Meraviglia. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This ship was amazing and beautiful. Tastefully decorated, extremely clean and very nice cabins. But, the food was the downside. This was my first cruise with MSC. We've cruised many times on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, ... Read More
This ship was amazing and beautiful. Tastefully decorated, extremely clean and very nice cabins. But, the food was the downside. This was my first cruise with MSC. We've cruised many times on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess. The food on MSC was no comparison to these other lines. It was a disppointment in the main dining room and buffet. As spactacular as this ship is, we will not cruise on this ship again because of the food. On a more positive note, the activities are awesome and there is a lot to do. We loved the Aurea package! We are not big drinkers but it was worth the money since so much more is included. This ship was an excellent value and we were very pleased with our cabin, service, quality of drinks and atmosphere. It is only the food that would keep me from cruising on this ship or MSC again. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We booked this cruise a year in advance with an inside guarantee quad cabin. We were given a free upgrade to an outside cabin with a porthole #5078. Room was well laid out, enough room for us and 2 teenagers. The couch lifted to form a ... Read More
We booked this cruise a year in advance with an inside guarantee quad cabin. We were given a free upgrade to an outside cabin with a porthole #5078. Room was well laid out, enough room for us and 2 teenagers. The couch lifted to form a bunk bed. Shower was larger then other cruises. We had mid dining 730 and ate every night in the dining room. Because we are from the states, msc included free bottled water while in dining room during lunch and dinner. We did late shows every night and loved all the singers and dancers. The pools and water slides were nice. Had fun doing the bridges. The shops on board offer designer labels and prices! They really push drink packages. We opted to save money and just go with what is included. Odd- no coffee in dining room with desert during dinner time. Buffet was good selection. They automatically add a donation to UNICEF on your account everyday that will be removed if you call down and ask for it to be. We pre purchased internet package 4gb for 4 devices that worked for our family for the week. Signal was good enough for chatting with clients and checking emails - not enough to stream. Food in dining was good - no lobster (available as an upcharge.) No menu posted for dining room as with other ships but we asked each night to see the next night menu so we could decide buffet or dining room. We ended up eating every night in the dining room. For such a large ship, tons of elevators and never had to wait long. People embark and disembark at each port of call. Smooth process both times. FYI- need to be out of room the day you leave by 8am. We planned a later flight thinking it would take longer. We were off the ship with luggage in hand by 930am. All and all I would do it again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I traveled with my partner and my mother, both my mother and I have traveled with Royal Caribbean quite a few times so I have another company to base this experience with. We flew to Barcalona from Heathrow, and joined the MSC ... Read More
I traveled with my partner and my mother, both my mother and I have traveled with Royal Caribbean quite a few times so I have another company to base this experience with. We flew to Barcalona from Heathrow, and joined the MSC MERIVIGLIA, my partner who is a first time cruiser was taken back by the size of the ship, as she puts it “wow” and indeed, the ship is massive, and magnificent, and that’s where the thumbs up stop. Embarkation was actually smooth and quick, so once all paperwork was done, we entered the ship, no welcome aboard, no warm greetings, just on and that was it. The first appearance of the ships interior is quite good, and the arched LED roof in the main deck area is also impressive, but that soon fades. The cabin, clean, standard, I could bang on and on about everything, so here is a pros and cons list Pros Great itinerary - some beautiful cities. Embarkation quite quick. The food and service in the Main dining hall is great. Beds are comfy. Cons Only three swimming pools - all sea water. (Very salty) All deck chairs cleared away after about 19:00 making the decks empty. Large TV over main pool - never used for movies. No smoking rules very lax, some even smoked in the hot tubs. Lack of things to do of an evening, unless you like music, eating, and Italian humour. Large gangs of moody and loud teens roaming boat being bored. Lack of lifts for size of ship The artwork, and colours used are bland. Super cons The main buffet hall (the market place) Luke warm food, bland and the same food EVERY DAY. Main buffet hall over crowded, which didn’t help with people using tables to play board games due to being bored. Lack of drinks choice in main buffet hall, Morning you get juices, and water and coffee and tea, but after about 11:00am all you will get is water and coffee and tea, (unless you pay) Drinks are expensive (most cruises are) At around 21:00, the kids club decides to march the kids through the main promenade to kids music loudly. The cabin to balcony doors slam loudly by inconsiderate neighbours. No night lights in or around the toilet, so sometimes you have to put the lights on to see where your going. The showers are ok, but could be more powerful. We found out they only change the bedding once in 7 days. Lost use of balcony twice due to “maintainace” Serious lack of things to do of an evening. All shows were based on music. Mainly Italian or Spanish The magic show and hand silhouette show was very 1980’s and most humour Italian orintated Everything costs, even certain shows that are based on the boat. The layout of the foods in the market place buffet is a mess, so by the time you finally sit down your food is pretty cold. The staff in the market place will only attend your table if you are buying a drink. Staff will tend to either walk straight at you, or refuse to move if you need to get past. If you have special dietary needs, good luck, mum was celiac, The tv in the cabin had only two English speaking channels BBC news and National geographic. The layout of such a large ship was a mess. The entertainment area will bankrupt you, for example 30 mins bowling €30.00 €55.00 for an hour. 4D cinema adults €10.00 or €8.00 for kids So to sum up, what you thought was a good priced cruise will actually cost you more than with other cruise lines, Would I recommend or travel with MSC again, NO. even my partner who had never Sailed before claimed that she found the evenings boring and would not sail with MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my second cruise but my partners first. We arrived at Barcelona airport late due to a flight delay at Gatwick so our transfer to the ship had long gone. We were told to get a taxi at a cost of 39.00 euro's which was credited ... Read More
This was my second cruise but my partners first. We arrived at Barcelona airport late due to a flight delay at Gatwick so our transfer to the ship had long gone. We were told to get a taxi at a cost of 39.00 euro's which was credited to our account by the ship. Embarkation was smooth as we were ushered into a huge marque where our documents were checked and we were given our personal cards (like a credit card) which showed our room number, name, deck etc as well as your photo which is used for security when you disembark and embark during your cruise. The first sight of the vessel was amazing, it is enormous and very impressive. Our baggage was outside the door when we eventually found our cabin. we had booked a window cabin but were a little disappointed as it was very small and, in our view, badly laid out. Our window view was of the lifeboats!! However we told ourselves that we had come on a holiday and not to spend lots of time in the cabin. The TV shows lots of European shows etc but not English ones, we got World News and some National Geographic, not even a music channel. I found it difficult to do my hair as there was no mirror where the plug points were for the hairdryer (included) and my straighteners/curlers. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean and the bed turned down each evening and the following days inventory left. Our first exploration of this beast of a ship was amazing and awe inspiring, it is huge. The main area is deck 6 which is the promenade and gets you from one end to the other so if your lost, which we were a few times, get yourself back to deck 6 to get your bearings. Decks 5,6 and 7 have all of your shops, bars, restaurants, entertainment. The promenade is covered by a beautiful glass dome which is able to change and throughout the voyage there is a dome show. We were given a sitting for our evening meal in the Panorama Restaurant on the early sitting of 18.00. The only thing I can say is that the food here was ok, nothing special. Be aware that the other eating area advertised, Sushi, Italian, Butchers Cut are NOT included in the all incl and re expensive. In fact that is the one accurate thing about this liner is that everything is very EXPENSIVE. We are not huge drinkers by comparison and so declined the drinks package but when we received our statement wished we hadn't (a small G&T and draught lager 15.00 euros+tax) You are not allowed to bring your own drinks aboard. Our first breakfast was in the Waves restaurant which was civil and relaxed but closes at 9.00, the food was good but the coffee was disgusting. Two days later we came across the Market Buffet which is a self service area, now it was packed and humming but there is an amazing selection of food and is open until 10.30m for breakfast. There is entertainment and activities going on throughout the day and evening and the inventory left in your cabin each evening tells you what is going on, the time, and where on the ship which is a great help. I had read many reviews before we left that said staff were rude etc, we found that the service was very good and staff were very hard working and amenable. We only did 3 shore visits, Genoa was lovely and for 12 euros we did the open top bus trip. Beware Palermo and its Horse and Carriage tour, we got ripped off good and proper. We asked how much and were told 80 euros and shown where he would take us on a map and we could stop and check places out (we checked out the fish market, 1 stall lol) suddenly after about 30/45 mins our driver stopped and told us our tour was finished and that the port was only a 10 min walk away, surprised we gave him the 80 euros to be told it was 80 euros each!!!! There was nothing to be done but pay up, he had us good and proper so pay up front if you decide a horse and carriage is for you. Having been to Malta before I knew you could by a ticket for the local bus and hop on and off as you wish, as we left breakfast there was a man by the doorway offering just that so we paid 20 euros each for a ticket. The map showed two routes, a yellow and a red. The guy suggested we take the yellow first and then the red. The yellow visited a craft village and the old capital Medina which we wanted to visit. The bus dropped us at this so called craft village which took us a while to find as it is still in construction and more like a building site. it will be lovely when finished whenever that will be!! By the time we had got another bus and quickly visited Medina we realised that we did not have enough time to do the red tour (180mins) and get back to the ship before departure!!!. Our last day on board was at sea but unfortunately the weather was very brisk and chilly so our thoughts of a lazy day on a sunbed was hampered, so we chilled inside. We requested a statement so we could pay up and lol this was when we found out how expensive this cruise really is. Suitcases have to be put outside your cabin by 1.00am of the day of departure and out of your cabin by 8.00. You are allocated a time and area to be for disembarkation and suddenly that it your off and on your own, talk about getting your money and getting rid of you lol. All in all this was a lovely ship/holiday but there are a lot of things we would do differently next time Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Last summer we were planning spring break 2019 and found a great deal on AA Rewards tickets to Barcelona. We'd been to Spain, but not Barcelona. During our research, we came upon MSC and their 7 night Med cruises. We've sailed ... Read More
Last summer we were planning spring break 2019 and found a great deal on AA Rewards tickets to Barcelona. We'd been to Spain, but not Barcelona. During our research, we came upon MSC and their 7 night Med cruises. We've sailed with RCCL, HAL, Celebrity and our beloved DCL many times, but had barely even heard of MSC. The price, timing and itinerary were right, but boy oh boy, the reviews were shaky at best. Still, after checking out the forums and youtube videos, and discovering we could status match to Black with MSC based on our DCL Platinum status, we decided to give them a try. We booked our Aurea Duplex Suite and set our countdown clocks for March, 2019. Our sailing party: Myself and my husband, 50-somethings, married 30 years with two kids. Our daughter is an adult and didn't travel with us this trip. Our son, who sailed with us, is 16. We've done over 25 cruises. This was our sixth European cruise (third Med) and, as noted above, first on MSC. We're American. Embarkation: Took a taxi from our hotel (RoomMate Carla) to the Port and arrived just before noon. First impression of the ship as we drove up "wow...looks more like an apartment building than a ship." Immediately saw the line for "Black Card" luggage drop. Had our bags tagged and our paperwork in hand, so we were processed quickly. Noticed many fellow passengers without tags, but staff was prepared and helpful. We were directed inside to the Aurea line (there separate lines...Yacht Club, Aurea and everyone else. All lines appeared to be moving...the Port was well staffed. We soon had our cards, were directed to the embarkation photo and then headed on board. From taxi drop to stepping on board took about 15 minutes. Painless. First hours onboard: Entering the Meraviglia is a bit like walking the gauntlet. In Barcelona, you enter into the Gallery where you are greeted by many smiling crew members selling drink packages, dining packages, spa packages, etc. If you've done your research, you'll be prepared and can politely decline or make someone's day by actually purchasing their wares! For convenience, we upgraded our Easy Drinks Package to Premium Plus. We're not heavy drinkers, but we like what we like and we didn't want to hassle all week with limiting ourselves to the $6 and under menu. And, yes, we should have upgraded before leaving home, but we were MSC rookies and have learned our lesson. Carefully consider you drinks package before leaving home! Anyway, after walking the gauntlet, we headed up to Deck 15 to the Market Place for lunch. It's a large area with several food and beverage stations. The stations repeat and we found that, in general, if you head to the back of the space, there are fewer crowds. The food was fine and plentiful and the drinks service (push a button at your table) was efficient and friendly. We explored the ship a bit using the MSC and Me app for a map (there are also paper ship maps located at Guest Services...we found both helpful) checking out the work out facility, basketball gym, walking track, etc. The ship is clean and bright and mostly well-laid out. It's obviously very large, but didn't feel too large and rarely felt crowded. We encountered many smiling faces from crew and guests and found the same throughout the week. We headed to our room around 1:30pm. Aurea Duplex Suite 12001: When we first looked at sailing MSC, we were shocked at the relatively low prices for staterooms, even those labeled suites and yacht club. We considered yacht club, but were intrigued by the Duplex Suite. Two stories! Two closets! Two bathrooms! And a HOT TUB ON OUR VERANDAH! For what price???? Less than an inside cabin on DCL? We decided that "we had to go for it" and pushed the book button. We also decided to surprise our son, so when he opened the door, it was the first time he had any idea what category stateroom he was spending the week in. Priceless! I had read every review and watched every video posted on the suite. The pictures and descriptions are all accurate. The room is truly special. All seasoned cruisers know that space on cruise ship is at a premium, and any parent of a teen knows that an extra bathroom on vacation is a miracle. This stateroom gave us both, as well as two walk in closets, two tvs, a dining table (which we used to plan our days and play games, as well as for breakfast most mornings,) and the fabulous verandah with private hot tub. We used it almost every evening for enjoy sailaway and sunset and it was a true luxury. The stateroom also had a minibar (which our premium plus drinks package allowed us to use, including the snacks) and a nespresso maker, which we used every morning. We found our excursion tickets, navigator, invitations to onboard events and black card gifts in the room everyday, including the first day. And shortly after entering the cabin, our room host knocked to introduce himself and see whether we needed anything. He was super friendly and nonintrusive and we appreciated him all week long. He delivered our luggage before 3 and we unpacked ready to truly begin vacation! Safety Drill: Because people embark everyday, the mandatory safety drill is different everyday. Ours was in the Deck 6 Theater and last about thirty minutes. This was our first introduction to just how many nationalities were sailing...the presentation was in English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese. We were impressed by how many crew members spoke three or more languages and enjoyed listening to them throughout the week. Dining: Because we were Aurea, we had "My Choice" dining. Our dining room was the Panorama and the process was very easy. Simply decide what we want to do and show up at the dining room when we want to eat. We never waited for a table and had great waiters 5 of our 6 meals in Panorama. And the one miss wasn't anything terrible, just an okay server who maybe was having a bad night. The dinner menus change nightly and we never had a problem finding meals that appealed to us. The food was mostly very good with a few excellent items and a few less tasty items. Generally, we enjoyed the appetizers and entrees more than dessert. And with the premium plus package, although it's wine by the glass, not bottle, if my husband and I ordered the same wine, they automatically brought the whole bottle. Lounges: I'm a champagne drinker and enjoyed the champagne bar for a predinner drink most evenings. They offer a selection of cocktails and champagne and sparkling water...my favorite was the Veuve Clicquot Rich. They bring snacks like chips and nuts to the table (which our son enjoyed) and have a menu for charge available, too. The service was very friendly and professional. We used a few other bars for cocktails during the week with varying levels of service and atmosphere. There's a fabulous looking top deck 18+ lounge that we didn't use because we were sailing with our son, but definitely would have used if we were alone. Gym, game room and basketball court, etc.: So cool that they offer an indoor basketball court. Our son used it almost every evening for an hour. He met several other kids, enjoyed the view and got some exercise. My son and hubby also used the gym and found it adequate. We checked out games for free a few times from the activities desk, as well. We didn't bowl or do the ropes course. Next time! Entertainment: We enjoyed a few show onboard...the Opera, the Broadway medley and the flamenco dance performance. We booked our seats using our app. The theater was full, but not overcrowded and the performances were good. We enjoyed all three. The cruise director, who introduces the shows, is fabulous...great energy and personality. We also played bingo a few times (and yes, the numbers are announced in at least 7 languages!) It's only coverall, so one prize of at least !000 euro each game. We also went to one Cirque du Soleil show. That's not really our cup of tea, but we enjoyed the show and were glad that we gave it a try. Specialty Restaurants: Only tried one, Butcher's Cut, using our free Black Card dinner. All three of us matched Black, so there was no charge. The service was very good, as was the meal. The dessert here was excellent...a "cut" above the dining room, for sure! The atmosphere was okay, but I actually preferred the Panorama dining room in that regard. Spa: Although Aurea provided us with a week long pass to the thermal area, we never made it! We did, however, enjoy our complimentary 50 minute massages and I got a blow out three times during the trip. Again, friendly staff. Nice atmosphere. No complaints. Itinerary and Shore Excursions: This is really what the trip was all about....traveling comfortably through one of our favorite parts of the world. As noted, we embarked in Barcelona and sailed to Marseille, Genoa, Rome, Palermo and Malta, with one day at sea. We did a mix of MSC prebooked excursions and independent excursions. Our day in Rome on our own was probably my favorite, but we also really enjoyed our walking street food tour in Palermo (by Streaty) and our day in Marseille when we went to Ax en Provence with a ship’s excursion we spent two nights in Barcelona pre and post cruise. I highly recommend Sagrada Família and also very much enjoyed a day trip to Andorra. Final impressions: We were on a much needed break sailing the Mediterranean on a relatively new ship staffed with friendly people and in a fantastic stateroom. The weather was picture postcard perfect...upper 60’s and sunshine and the sea was calm. The champagne flowed and the onshore experiences were varied and plentiful. We enjoyed sail away from our private hot tub and were entertained by earnest performers in the evenings. The food was varied and tasty and the price was right. We’re not giving up n DCL, but we’re booked on another MSC itinerary. So glad we tried them and already looking forward to going back! Happy Sailing! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This is a long review. It has a lot of info that I wish I knew before we went. We are a family of 4 from Ohio. This is our 5th cruise, first time on MSC. My wife and I (43 & 45) and our two girls (11 & 9) have sailed on ... Read More
This is a long review. It has a lot of info that I wish I knew before we went. We are a family of 4 from Ohio. This is our 5th cruise, first time on MSC. My wife and I (43 & 45) and our two girls (11 & 9) have sailed on Princess, Celebrity and NCL. This was probably the best cruise we have ever been on. We sailed on the MSC Meraviglia from Barcelona, Spain on 3/21/2019. We opted to stay one night in Spain before and after the voyage. We had the Fantastica package. We also traveled with our parents. Both pairs stayed in an inside cabin with the Bella package, one on deck 8, the other 5. Their experiences were similar to ours. Embarkation: We arrived to the cruise port at around 11:00 AM. We dropped our bags off at the entrance to the port. They had a stapler there in case you didn’t already attach your luggage tags as we did. Check in was easy. They gave us a numbered card and we had a seat until we were called, which took about 10 minutes. A couple of minutes in line and we were at the desk. We got our cruise cards and packet and were told that our room should be ready around 1:30. This left us plenty of time to eat lunch at the buffet and explore the ship. As we embarked, they took our picture for their computer ID system and gave our kids wrist bands which are required to be worn at all times. Room: Our room was 13163, Deck 13 Aft Port. We were right by the aft stairs in a Balcony cabin. We loved the location. It was a decent size room. The couch converted in to a bunk bed for the girls. We had a queen-sized bed. The bunk bed was not converted daily, but for us was a permanent bed and never a couch. All beds were comfortable. The room, although comfortable for the four of us, is still pretty small. Don’t plan on living out of your suitcase. It is much better to unpack and store the bags under the bed. Otherwise there will be no room to move. We use these convenient organizer bags where each person has their own color. That way we only have to half-unpack. We just stacked the bags in the closet and pulled out what we needed. There is a TV and a phone. There is not much to watch, and only 2-4 English speaking channels. Our room was pretty quiet, even for being only 2 decks down from the buffet and right next to the stairs. None of use were ever awoken by noise; even my wife who is a light sleeper. The bathroom was big enough for one person to fit comfortably, 2 to squeeze in. The shower is plenty big and gets super-hot. Be careful! Our room was attended to at least twice a day by the cabin steward who we only saw if we sought him out. He was very friendly and thorough. My wife was extremely sick one day (we suspect norovirus). I let the cabin steward know that our bathroom needed some additional attention. He seemed more concerned for my wife’s health than the extra work. He definitely earned an extra tip beyond our daily fee. The balcony was lovely with a couple of chairs and a small table. The railing was plenty high so were not at all concerned about our or our children’s safety. The door locked up tight to keep the noise out. My in-law’s room (8102) had a smell of some sort coming out of their bathroom drain. The crew came out and bleached it. That didn’t really help. My in-laws just lived with it. Dining: The buffets were awesome. Crowded, but awesome. Their pizza was excellent (as it should be from an Italian line). Everything was fresh and there was absolutely no shortage of food, except for bananas. There are 3 stations, one port, one starboard, and one aft. We usually didn’t have a problem sitting on the port side, which was the busiest side. But the aft portion we the most available and least crowded. On the port side, forward of the general buffet, is a kids’ buffet with hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, pizza, pasta, and various other daily items. My kids never used it and always ate from the regular buffet. There are water/ice dispensers there and also juice, tea & coffee. Bottled water, soft drinks & alcohol are available for purchase. As a general rule, the water/ice dispensers are too small to fill up your own water bottle and it is usually so busy that you will be holding up the line if you do it. I only filled ours when it was slow there or I would go all the way aft where it was much quieter. I used a cup to fill our bottles daily. We never had dinner at the buffet, only breakfast, lunch & snacks. There are hand washing stations at the entrance to the buffet. We had breakfast every day at the buffet. Some days as early as 7am, others as late as 10am. Every morning there was fresh and canned fruit, meats and cheeses, fried and scrambled eggs, omelet stations, bacon, sausage, cereal and milk, yogurts, bread, jams, and a ton of other stuff. Milk, coffee, tea, juices and water were available. If you want a banana, get there early. They go fast. The main lunch buffet had various cruise standard foods. Everything from pizza to pasta to fresh cut meats and deserts. They usually had an Asian, Indian or other ethnic food area. Their hamburgers were excellent. Water, coffee and tea were available. There is no free ice cream in the buffet or anywhere else on the ship except for the main dining room. The buffet staff was not particularly friendly, but not rude either. They had a job to do and they were going to do it. It didn’t affect our experience in any way. The buffet is mostly a free-for-all, but there is some flow. It was not nearly as bad as I had read on other sites. We never went hungry. Main Dining Room All 8 of us sat together. There are hand sanitizers on the way in to the dining room. Our waiter and his assistant were excellent. They also earned extra tips from all of us. Because we booked in North America, we had free bottled water in the dining room. There were 4 bottles on our table every night, and more if we needed it. He didn’t bother asking, he would just bring it. We shared a few bottles of wine over the course of the week. They were very reasonably priced and had a nice selection. Dinners were very good to excellent. We would usually order one or two appetizers and one entrée. There were always various selections of delicious desserts to choose from including ice cream every night. Only once did I have a second entrée because the first one was just not enough. The waiter knew it and suggested it right off the bat. He was very attentive and kind, especially seeing how busy he was every night. One night I stayed in the room with my daughter who was sick (again, probably norovirus). I went to the buffet for myself but there was nothing there she could eat. The dining room sent up some plain chicken for her. She didn’t eat it, but it was a nice gesture none the less. The food was very good and sometimes excellent. It always amazes me the quality they can produce when serving so many people. My youngest is not an adventurous eater, but always found something she wound up liking. If she only ate a few bites, the waiter was eager to bring her something more to her liking. We dressed for dinner every night like almost everyone else. I wore slacks and a button down; my wife would wear a nice dress or skirt. Two nights were “formal” nights. We did see one or two tuxedos, but most people did not change from whatever they wore the night before. I opted for a jacket and tie, which, in hindsight, was unnecessary. I could have stuck with the slacks and shirt or just added a tie and I would have been dressed completely appropriately. I would suggest no jeans, shorts or other casual clothes for any main dining room dinner. Activities & Entertainment We purchased a “fun pass” before embarkation. This gave us a $180eu credit for $120eu cost in their entertainment area. It wasn’t worth the money. We didn’t use it all. Things you must pay for: Flight simulator, F1 simulator, video games, bowling. The girls did the flight simulator and loved it. I did it once and it made me nauseous. I can’t take that movement anymore – spinning, rolling, flipping. It was all too much for me. I tried the F1 simulator. It was OK, but difficult to control. We bowled on our day at sea. That was fun. The high ropes course and water slides are free, but you have to sign a waver and get a wrist band before you can do them. The kids didn’t even do the water slides just because it was pretty chilly. We all did the ropes which was fun. You can go as much as you want. They close at 4:00pm though, so usually we were back to late to do them. The outdoor pools were nice, but again it was too cold to swim for us. A few people were swimming. We preferred to hang out in the hot tub or in the indoor pool. The indoor pool was crowded but warm. We only saw one show. It was a magic/shadow puppet show. I figured the magic would be cool, but the shadow puppets would be cheesy. It was the exact opposite. The shadow puppets were amazing and the magic was boring. We also sat and listened to music on deck 5 aft or 6 forward. It was very enjoyable. Frankly, we were too tire to go to any other shows. My parents went to a few others and really enjoyed them. Our package came with cirque du soleil, but we never made it. My kids had no desire to go to the kid’s club. They thought it looked too juvenile for them. They were probably right, but I can’t say for sure. They did make use of the soccer/basketball court. It is multi-use and there could be many people playing different games all at once. It was fine just to kick around a ball, though. My girls were never bored there (their words, not mine). Customer service We had only one problem which required customer service. They had charged our account twice for the same day’s daily fee for our children. It was an extra $10eu. It took two visits to correct. I also had the remove the $1eu they automatically charge you for Unicef. I don’t mind giving to charity, but I don’t like being forced in to it and I prefer to donate to a charity of my choosing. I also went to Customer service to exchange money. It is the best place for this. You get a MUCH better rate than at an exchange at a port or even at a bank. I highly suggest it. They don’t have much in small bills, though. They automatically charge $10eu per adult per day and $5eu per child per day for tip to be shared amongst the crew. You can opt out of this and tip personally in cash if you choose. We chose to let them charge our account and supplement where we saw fit. My mother was a bit upset when there was a man cleaning the ladies’ bathroom with guest using it. Elevators are always an issue. People will barge in front of you to get on. I had to stop people from forcing themselves in to a completely full elevator. We usually used the stairs during busy times. Ports Barcelona, Marsaille, Genoa, Rome, Palermo, Malta. Most ports we walked around at our own pace. Obviously, we spent a lot of time in Barcelona. Definitely don’t miss La Segrada Familia. It is truly a wonder. And if you want genuine FCB gear, go to the team shop. It’s not cheap, but it is authentic. We scheduled a private tour in Rome. They picked us up at 8:00am and brought to Gianicolo Hill, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps, and Vatican. It was $300eu plus $30eu tip for the day for all eight of us in a private van. I talked to several others who paid that much for just 2 people. They saw more, but they were rushed from place to place. We were able to go at our own pace. I wish our driver Mario spoke better English. Fortunately, my father speaks Italian. It was totally worth the money. If you are interested, contact Albertina at tourromeitaly@gmail.com. In our opinion, Barcelona was the best. Marsaille for me was the worst, Palermo for my wife was the worst. Get out of the city of Palermo if you can. Go to Santa Rosalia or Monreale. In France, Notre Dame De La Guarde is beautiful. Malta was absolutely gorgeous, friendly and clean. Just beware of the taxis. They are expensive. If you have a chance, be on deck as you pull in the port of Valetta. It is a sight to see. There is not much in Genoa to see. We took a quick bus tour and then walked around the port by the aquarium. Be aware of pickpockets EVERYWHERE. We were not targeted, or at least we weren’t pickpocketed. But there are signs everywhere. Just stay aware. Don’t flash your wallet. Keep your purse close. Disembarkation Simple and easy. They took our bags the night before. We ate breakfast and headed to the meeting area. We sat for 20 minutes and then they took us off the ship. Our bags were waiting for us along with a line of taxis. Suggestions Wide mouth refillable water bottles are much easier to fill. Bring lots of hand sanitizer & sanitizing wipes. If you don’t generally have pockets like my wife and kids, I suggest some lanyards with card holders. They are convenient and secure. Wear comfortable shoes, especially in Rome. These ports are very old. Most of the time you are walking on uneven cobblestone or concrete. Shoes make the difference. Get a private tour from a reputable company instead of booking through the cruise line. There are plenty of suggestions and reviews on trip advisor. They understand that you need to be back at a specific time and will probably get you back with and hour to spare. Bring some plastic bags to make some sandwiches for a snack on shore, but don’t miss out on the local foods – tapas and jamon in Spain, Arancine in Sicily, and gelato everywhere… Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I have been cruising with other companies before so this is not my first cruise experience. But this is my first and last cruise experience with MSC. Pros and cons: Pros: (1) Beautiful interior - swarovski crystal stairs make it ... Read More
I have been cruising with other companies before so this is not my first cruise experience. But this is my first and last cruise experience with MSC. Pros and cons: Pros: (1) Beautiful interior - swarovski crystal stairs make it perfect for photos. The giant LED gallery on the 6th floor ceiling also stunning. (2) Cabin - my interior cabin has pretty good space and got tidy up very well daily which I appreciated. Bed is also very comfortable to sleep. (3) Spa - this one is exceed my expectation. I thought it is a small facility but end up, they have so many different rooms (ice, light steam, heavy steam, thermal, jet, sauna, salt, ....) I was so happy that I purchased the pass to use during my entire stay. Totally worth it! Cons: (1) Online account - after I booked the cruise from the travel agent, then I created an online account with MSCusa site (I am in USA). I wasn't able to login the site so I fill out the online form request to call back. No call or contact ever received. After several weeks, then I called the customer service and the rep said they don't know why and kept trying to transfer my call to different departments and eventually call disconnected. Still not resolved. Anyway, I'm done with this cruise company so no need to follow up. (2) Quality of food in buffet AND complimentary restaurants - It may seem there are plenty of complimentary restaurants to choose from, but they serve the same food (same menu actually). The quality of food served in dinner time by far is the worst I have ever had in my cruising experience. Meat are hard and dried; Fish/seafood not taste fresh ... the only dish I can recall that I was happy with is the risotto. After the 3rd night, I didn't have other choice but opt to the specialty restaurant which finally have decent quality of food and service. The quality of food is the main negative impact to my choice of cruising with them again. (3) Staff - You have to yield your way to them or they come straight at you, sounds odd, isn't it? I don't mind to yield my way if I am just causally walking around, but when I have food and drinks on my hand and people are behind and beside me, how can I yield? Also, I can sense how tired they are because I barely see the staff with energy nor smile. I hope the company treats them well and not overworked them because they should be the frontline passing the good/bad impression to the customer. (4) You better order drinks at dinner time because they don't have a cup of free normal water able to serve you. But you can get one for yourself in the buffet area. Arh, ok?! I didn't have much comment on entertainment and activities because of only one day at sea (thank God!) and I spent most of my evenings in the spa. But based on the comments from other cruisers I met, I didn't miss a lot. Last comment, would I choose this company again, I don't think so. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
At embarkation the ship looked really impressive but as soon as we got on board & before we had a minute to take in the spectacle we are descended upon and literally grabbed by over eager sales persons berating us for our stupidity for ... Read More
At embarkation the ship looked really impressive but as soon as we got on board & before we had a minute to take in the spectacle we are descended upon and literally grabbed by over eager sales persons berating us for our stupidity for not having purchased a drinks package. Having eventually managed to extricate ourselves from this unpleasant situation we headed for our cabin and were more than a little put of by the strong smell of sewage in the corridor. That smell dissipated after a the first day. The cabin was a pleasant size pretty well equipped, the balcony was a reasonable size. The thing about this ship is it's size and that really is not a good thing because there are far too many people on board for it to be able to cope. Expect to spend a significant portion of your cruise waiting for one of the too few lifts. The worst part of the cruise was the buffet, a truly awful, dreadful experience. There are just far too many people so its difficult to find a space to eat, the noise is over-powering and when you finally fight through the crowds and buffet foot is appalling, really, really bad. More about he drinks package, eventually we gave in and bough a drinks package only to find that it is a real con, the only beer included was a really nasty version of Heineken, only a couple of spirits and the cheapest of the wines. It doesn't take long after arrival on this magnificent piece of engineering until you realise that it exists solely to cram as many human beings as possible on board and then find as many ways as possible to separate them from their cash. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Was the largest cruise boat we have booked on, but nevertheless ran like clockwork with few long waits compared to Princess when it comes to getting on and off. Purchased cruises were excellent and as advertised. MSC for Me, the app ... Read More
Was the largest cruise boat we have booked on, but nevertheless ran like clockwork with few long waits compared to Princess when it comes to getting on and off. Purchased cruises were excellent and as advertised. MSC for Me, the app wasn’t much good, as you cannot message your fellow traveller, many things priced as extra such as F1 and flight simulator, teppanakki restaurant difficult?impossible to get the price, several days when the daily activity list and menus was zero/blank; paper based backup worked though. Bookings system worked though. Cirque at Sea was good, especially the food but our seating (dinner) was terrible and room very hot. For approx 1/3 of the audience the view is from side or behind some of the explanatory visual. We attended opera, dance and rock presentations. The rock was not well received , sung and phrased by non English speakers. We should have thought it through. Some very talented singers too!! The opera and flamenco dance was fabulous. Dining in Panorama and Waves didn’t give us a view, but the view from the Market Buffet and Sky Bar is terrific. In March we were lucky and had no rain, but you need to have several layers when you go ashore as there is plenty of shade even if forecast is 16-18. Take note: Feb/Mar usually wet. Hand hygiene is not overly policed onboard, most of us caught varying degrees of ‘colds’. There are plenty of hand sanitizers and hand wash stations - please use them. Overall, food quality is patchy. Breads and pastries excellent, salads and ‘healthy options’ quite good, cold meat and cheese great, hot offerings and deserts OK to good. The more special it is supposed to be the more disappointing it can be. This is in the general and buffet dining rooms, not necessarily the specialty restaurants. Other than Cirque, we went to the Sushi - food fabulous, but staff not knowledgeable, just salesmen. We knew what we wanted and they weren’t pleased. The lonely little expert guy (chef) in the corner doesn’t get a look in. Don’t ask for sake ‘warm’ - it causes a frenzy and I received a thimble of molten microwaved sake!! You might leave hungry from this restaurant as they never leave you alone for even 5 minutes. Drinks available in different areas varies in range. For instance I could only order Chardonnay (there are lots of beer and beer related options) at the British Pub. Package drinks purchase not economical if you will be ashore most of the days-see exclusions and fine print. Service is 50-50. Waiters tended to be a tad difficult, room and customer service terrific. Some waiters were fine but.. not all. Problem being the service daily charge added automat to your bill ( you can have it removed) doesn’t give some of them any incentive. I emphasise there were some terrific waiters!!! Room was very comfortable (balcony) and with Fantastico package we were able to order early morning cuppa from room service. Room had small fridge, small wardrobe, no robes, great big bed, 2-3 seater couch, lovely big shower/loo. You can request no mini-bar otherwise it is stocked. 1lt water €2.90. So many new people leave and board every day!! With about 4000+ passengers most of the time there are patches of noisy or rude people. Lift and queue etiquette very interesting. Kids are well catered for onboard and attend shows and dinner at all hours. During our week they were no problem! Noisy teens another matter Read Less
MSC Meraviglia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 2.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 5.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.0

Find a MSC Meraviglia Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise