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258 MSC Cruises MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews

My second cruise on Meraviglia and my second time in Yacht club. Based on my two experiences i will never sail MSC outwith Yacht Club. Embarked at Civitavecchia which was a breeze, yacht club butler organised paperwork and bags within a ... Read More
My second cruise on Meraviglia and my second time in Yacht club. Based on my two experiences i will never sail MSC outwith Yacht Club. Embarked at Civitavecchia which was a breeze, yacht club butler organised paperwork and bags within a few minutes of arriving and 15 minutes later we onboard and in cabin (bags arrived around 2 hours later). The cabin was well laid out and much more space in Yacht Club than the standard balcony cabins. Plenty of storage space. Bathroom with nice large walk in shower and of course a decent sized balcony. The first perk of Yacht Club onboard was the over the top fruit bowl and sparkling wine. I can summarise my experience in a few words - if i hadn't been in Yacht club i would have hated this cruise. being in yacht club has made me addicted to sailing that way!!! The ship is huge, the crowds are huge. YC has only about 200 people in it so it is always quiet. If you want peace stay in YC if you want to mix with others its only a short stroll to the main promenade. YC benefits are great. All drinks in the YC part of the ship are included as are almost all drinks in the other bars onboard so you can drink what you like when you like without thinking about the price. Mini bar also included and they will replenish as often as you want with as much as you need. Freestyle dining meaning you just go to the YC restaurant whenever you want - no having to be tied to dining at specific times which is great for someone like me who hates routine. Food though is quite average, but plenty of it. Access to the thermal area of the SPA is another great perk. The spa is a really nice space to relax, i went almost every day for at least an hour. I found the staff in YC a bit stuck up! I guess that's how they are trained to be. Outwith YC staff much more relaxed. Particularly good staff in Brass Anchor pub!!! Entertainment generally good. Did all shore excursions on my own which was easy enough as the ship docked pretty closed to town at all stops. Disembarkation process was excellent. All in all an excellent week cruising. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as ... Read More
I am a cruiser of significant experience. I have sailed many days on Crystal, as well as having sailed on Seabourn, Holland America Line, Azamara Club Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Princess as well as the now defunct Transocean Tours' MS Marco Polo and Voyages of Discovery's much missed MV Discovery. I have sailed multiple times in the Mediterranean and Caribbean, as well as the Northwest Passage, Antarctica, South America, Asia, Alaska, Norway and the Baltics. Whenever I do a review, I review the ship against what it A) is pertaining to be, and B) value versus the price paid. In this sense, a Crystal cruise may not receive five stars if the voyage did not meet my high expectations, whilst a 3 night Norwegian Cruise Line voyage may rate higher if my substantially lower expectations were exceeded. In my opinion, the MSC Yacht Club product is the best value in luxury cruising. My wife and I are in our mid 20s, and we appreciated the fact that we had our own enclave aboard, where the crew quickly learnt our names and favourite drinks, but could at will descend into the melee of a mega-ship filled with energy, music, song and dance. The Yacht Club was in essence a haven (pun unintended), a quite, relaxing area, approximately the size of one the older Seabourn triplets, where it was easy to meet passengers and make friends, in a fashion that is usually impossible aboard a ship carrying several thousand passengers. One could then go and enjoy the entertainment and options available on the ship with said friends. The entertainment was of high quality, especially the Cirque de Soleil show. Every night a production show was presented, of which one can get tired of quite quickly, but they were of similar quality to shows I have seen on other mass-market lines. The overall ambiance of the vessel was international, which is something we really enjoyed about MSC, and the Meravilliga's interiors where nothing short of stunning. We did not try any eateries besides the Yacht Club restaurant and the buffet, so cannot comment on the quality of food in the rest of the ship. In the Yacht Club, the pantry always had food available, the drinks where of reasonable quality and weather permitting there was a barbecue or buffet available on the open private decks. The MSC Yacht Club restaurant offered food of a reasonable to high quality, with service that was great if not perfect, missing the finesse of service found on dedicated luxury lines. The butler aboard the Yacht Club was more of a room attendant, although you could always count on the ones serving in the Yacht Club lounge, for all intents a private observation lounge at the forward-most point of the vessel's superstructure. Lines where never a problem as we had dedicated lifts which we could override to give Yacht Club passengers express service, and the butlers where always at hand to walk you out or back on to the ship, skipping the sometimes substantial ques. In a similar fashion, after a very hectic day trying to get to the ship (trains on strike, taking a bus, taxis on strike, having to take several busses, etc.) the glasses of sparkling wine and welcome of the YC crew made our embarkation perfect. I can happily recommend the Meraviglia if you are a guest seeking a large cruise-ship experience in an international environment, with a value-driven luxury product, and for this value are willing to give up the extra refinements and finesse found on 'true' luxury lines. I am sure we will be sailing aboard an MSC vessel in the Yacht Club in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
UK Booking Office, Website and Tech Support should all be closed - the "service" provided and poor systems just aren't good enough. As MSC is starting to focus on the American market, just move it all there so we can deal ... Read More
UK Booking Office, Website and Tech Support should all be closed - the "service" provided and poor systems just aren't good enough. As MSC is starting to focus on the American market, just move it all there so we can deal with people accustomed to customer service. We booked Yacht Club - the prices are getting too steep for us now, so we had an inside cabin (14005). This is by far the worst cabin we have had in 40 cruises. I will review that separately. Boarding the ship is usually an enjoyable experience for those in Yacht Club. Luggage taken at the roadside and within your cabin in under 30 minutes. A separate check-in area, complete with drinks and snacks and a private butler-led escort to the YC area. Well, the butler obviously had a day off because the pleasant young lad given the job of escorting us to YC was clueless. He couldnt use his YC card to summon the express lifts because he didnt have one. The lifts were extremely crowded so we were led from one side of the deck to the other and back again in search of a lift. When we did get one, he took us to the wrong floor, led us out and had to quickly usher us back in before the lift went - he did that twice. He remained cheery even if the rest of us were a tad fed-up. Everything (well nearly everything) about YC was perfect. Dinner was excellent every night, the private top deck was great and the small food area was great to escape the chaos in the main buffet. Service within the YC lounge was sporadic and not a patch on our previous YC cruise aboard Splendida. The ship itself, once you figured it out, was great. The Italians were Italian, doing Italian things - sometimes annoying but they are Italian after all lol The shows were actually really good - now they have the gimmicky cirque de soleil (extra charge) they have moved the "bendy wendy girls" and other circus style acts into there - leaving the theatre to present theatre style musical shows. OK they may still be short at 45 minutes but they are worth seeing (3 shows a night and need to book as soon as you get aboard). Sadly, the main buffet was a complete shambles. Splendida had an amazing salad bar area; on here it is terrible. Food kept running out, was spread weirdly around the buffet area and never seemed to change from one day to the next. Even the famous Italian pizza was poor. Trying to get a drink in the buffet (using the excellent "bar call" button system) took forever or just didnt happen. Im sure the system is fine but Im not sure any staff actually bother to look at it. Now, Ive read several reviews regarding poor staff service levels and attitude. IF you go looking for those staff, Im sure you will find them. We never did because we greeted every single one of them with a cheery hello, please and thank you and they were just brilliant. It always amazes me how they recognise you from one cruise to the next, often a year apart - give them 20 seconds and most will even remember your name. They are all stars. We are looking forward to our next MSC cruise on Seaside and then the inaugural sailing of Bellissima next March - BUT we are keeping our fingers crossed on the cabin Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Fantastic ship,our cabin was a balcony could not complain the food was outstanding the staff in the pub where the best. ALL above where the best bits below for the bad bits Hair drier didn't work first day went to reception ... Read More
Fantastic ship,our cabin was a balcony could not complain the food was outstanding the staff in the pub where the best. ALL above where the best bits below for the bad bits Hair drier didn't work first day went to reception first thing she said what did i do to it practically accusing me of breaking it. when we left port the shops duty free shops opened decided to buy a watch as it was 35%discount and it stated if you could find a lower price they would match it,so i bought one,out of curiosity next day i looked on the net found same one for 40euro less on Amazon,went back to the shop and shown the guy who sold me the watch i was told the watch on amazon was a Fake, well you can imagine,wonder what amazon would think?i requested to see the manager very rudely told go find the manager inside and he walked off,that's twice that ive been rudely spoken to by MSC staff,so i went inside the woman in the shop was no better very reluctant to get the manager,in the end she rang and the reply was,the reduction was only if you find a lower price in the shops internet doesn't count,i said where does it say internet doesn't count on the printed sign,she couldn't answer me. I have made a online complaint to MSC not that im holding my breath for a response. went back to my cabin and looked at my billing 10 euro per day per person,hmm have i had great service no so why should i hand over my hard earned cash to rude,unprofessional unhelpful staff,went back to reception to get a refund of all my service charges ans this is VOLUNTARY NOT COMPULSORY i was asked why and told them straight i will give my money to someone who deserves it. Shuttle buses not part of the Cruise 13 to 16 euro a head but if you wait 2 hours after the first shuttle bus,or they think they taken as much cash from the customers,the shuttle buses become free! The other thing which i found disgusting was opposite the reception was a signed area for disabled seating this was ignored by a group of Italians another passenger pointed out it was seating for disabled he was laughed at not one member of staff moved them on discus-ting I could go on but i havnt got the time the other customer reviews speak for them selves as we thought it couldnt be that bad,but im afraid to say it was,we where glad to be home I can supply photos should the company request Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We did a MSC 7 day cruise onboard the Meraviglia leaving from Civitacchia end october 2018 , on the sunday it was raining and the ship was delayed due to bad weather , we had been given a ticket by the MSC staff and told it was our ... Read More
We did a MSC 7 day cruise onboard the Meraviglia leaving from Civitacchia end october 2018 , on the sunday it was raining and the ship was delayed due to bad weather , we had been given a ticket by the MSC staff and told it was our boarding ticket as we arrived about 9;30 to no ship but heard it was delayed , shipped docked at 12 and mad rush to the entrance where it said board ship here , must have been about a 1000 people waiting to board after about an hour saw MSC staff start carrying stuff in , then there was a rush to another entrance , no communication from any MCS staff eventually after 2 hours standing sat down , we later found out that they call the ticket numbers when to board , nobody told us or anyone else , we eventually boarded at 4 pm . Cabin was lovely did find someones sock under the bed though , our designated restaurant was Olivo D'Doro , we ate there once food was awful salad pathetic , salmon overcooked and dry and fruit salad 3 pieces of fruit , we ate every other meal on deck 15 at the buffet , food was nice but a fight to get to it and then to find a table and queues dont work as others just push in , had to do the same or starve , ate breakfast at 6 and supper at 9 to avoid the mad crowds , lunchtime you just took your chance and fought for food , disembarking and embarking at the various ports a nightmare again just a free for all and took forever to get 4000 people off as only 1 or 2 doors open and all passengers had to have cards scanned , same for embarking took forever sometimes had to stand in the cold rain waiting to embark . On board there is no quiet place to relax in , the bars kids everywhere running , climbing on the counter swinging on chairs even late at night , description of the ship is like being at a busy shopping centre before christmass just busy busy everywhere , then its the drinks and the packages , highly overpriced , at 3 or 4 ports a shuttle bus was supplied by msc as too far from town cost between 13 - 15 euros each again overpriced and not mentioned , MSC get you on board then want to empty your wallet and bank account some examples , 1.25 l bottle of water 2.90 euros , tin of pepsi 2.90euros . We had cruised before also in the Med with a different cruise company and loved it , would i cruise MSC again ? NO , would i recommend MSC ? NO Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
A small review after my cruise with MSC Meraviglia. Background: My wife and I got 7-8 cruises with Royal (grand suites incl.) 2 with Celebrity and 1 with NCL under my belt. A few negatives; - less CHOICES in the breakfast ... Read More
A small review after my cruise with MSC Meraviglia. Background: My wife and I got 7-8 cruises with Royal (grand suites incl.) 2 with Celebrity and 1 with NCL under my belt. A few negatives; - less CHOICES in the breakfast and lunch buffet than Royal, Celebrity, and NCL. - Do NOT book a stateroom on deck 14 under the pool deck on Meraviglia. NOISY! You could hear people running, loungers placed out by the crew every morning at 6, LOUD pool parties like the white party.. When I complained about this, I got the impression that the customer service was well aware of this, and gave me a B I G discount on my upcoming cruise in February. - lack of visible crew during disembarkion/poor imformation. ( our case was maybe especially bad since disembarkion was very late due to really bad weather in Civitavecchia. Chaos. - Lack of waiters during breakfast. Ordering drinks took forever.... getting them? Even longer. Some positives; - Value for money. Dont know about cruises in the Caribbean, but the prices on MSC cruises in Europa wins BIG time over Royal, Celebrity and NCL. - Very good food in the Main Dining Room - and yes u can have several starters, mains and/or desserts. No need to go hungry. In my opinion, equally good as Royal, NCL, and Celebrity. - Drinks. Better than on Royal and Celebrity. - Butchers Cut... oh.. the best filet mignon I ever tasted on sea. - Best pizza. No discussion! - Sunny in the Main Dining Room. A waiter that know what he was doing. Good recommendations through the whole cruise. Some neutrals: - the housekeeping is not there to befriend you, but to do a job. I got real friends, and I am fine with that. Im not trying to be a friend with my accountant, bus driver or my sons kindergarden teatcher either. They are doing their job. - those noisy «foreigners». I belive this is just cultural differences. I feel a ship out of Miami is equally “noisy” as from Genoa. The difference is that many cruisers are used to cruise with others with their own language. It sounds more noisy maybe. But since I am from Norway, if find those “foreigners” equally “noisy” as English speaking cruisers. Equally «rude» as well.. People push in the buffet everywhere - me too! In my opionion MSC delivers a equally good product as Royal, NCL and Celebrity. Yes it is some differences, but all in all a good cruise product. Some differences from Royal, Celebrity and NCL, but that I am mostly happy for. We dont need 7 cruise companies delivering the exactly same product, do we? Im more than ready for my two next bookings with MSC! Royal and/or Celebrity needs to do some REAL effort to get me back.. just my two kroner.. from a normal cruiser - not paid or bribed from any cruise company............ Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Ok, truth be said, there a far more experienced cruisers out there, who undoubtedly are in a much better position to compare. I’m a novice cruiser, who only did a Western Caribbean cruise on board of Regal Princess, in early February ... Read More
Ok, truth be said, there a far more experienced cruisers out there, who undoubtedly are in a much better position to compare. I’m a novice cruiser, who only did a Western Caribbean cruise on board of Regal Princess, in early February this year, and loved it. We’ve been very hesitant on cruising, and when we finally decided to try one, we we’re recommended Princess or Celebrity, because they offer a semi high standard. I know that sounds snob, but it’s just that we like our privacy, good food, good service, a place to relax and read, away from the hustle and crowds, and yes, we love luxury too. Regal Princess ticked all the boxes, and more, so why MSC which - according to experienced cruisers, our travel agent, and internet, is a step down. The answer is simple ; Yacht Club ! On our 4th day, on sitting in the ‘top sail lounge’ with a martini & Tonic, enjoying the view of leaving Palermo, and the quit atmosphere, while writing this review. Our embarcation port was Valencia, Spain, and the journey did not begin well. The port of Valencia is a nightmare, apparently road signs showing tourists to the that part of the port where you need to board, are not a requirement, and so we drove back and forth, passing MSC Meraviglia more then 5 times, before finally taking the ‘road of last resort’ leading to the cruise terminal, which is shared with ‘local ferries’ going the the various balearic islands. What a contrast with Fort Lauderdale. But then the Yacht Club kicked in, where a butler awaited us in front of the cruise terminal, took charge of our luggage, and guided us to the yacht club check in area. No waiting lines, no cues, but a private escort right to the stateroom on board. Lovely ! We booked the last available stateroom in Yacht Club, a ‘YIN Suite’ ; Yacht Club Interior Suite.
I wouldn’t call it a ‘suite’ since it’s definitely the smallest room I ever stayed in, even including my ‘road side’ rooms in these cheap highway chain hotels, for example ‘Accor’. That being said, a bottle of cava, fruit basket, chocolates, Nespresso machine, well stuffed mini bar ( included ), housekeeping, beds being made up ( even again after a ‘siesta’ ) towels folded to different animals everyday, and the omni present smile of our state room attendant and private butler. Yes, a 24/7 on call private butler is part of the Yacht club service too. So, perhaps, it’s not a suite in size, but it definitely is in service. Then we started our tour of the ship. Since it was after 14:00 h, the yacht club restaurant was closed, and because it was pouring rain, the Sundeck pool buffet was closed, so we decided to go to ‘the marketplace’ the main buffet restaurant. Bad idea ! It immediately made us realise why MSC is considered ‘a step down’.
Crowds, pushing and shoving, cues, people trying to cut the lines, a slice of pizza on the floor, horrible. We decided to skip the longest lines, and ‘fought our way’ to a slice of pizza, freshly baked, right out of the oven, then passed to the kids corner - because there was no cue there - for some condiments, and rushed outside to the tables alongside the pool. Quit ? No, but a huge difference with ‘in the marketplace’. A waiter came by, and soon after, brought our drinks. Nice. We continued our exploration through the central gallery with it’s impressive led dome, complimentary restaurants, bars, tv studio, etc, and a nice ambiance. Strange how such a big ship has such a simple layout, and I mean this in a positive way. On regal princess it took us days to figure out which floor we needed to go to for, say the theatre, which zones to cross, etc. On Meraviglia, it’s simple. Meraviglia - Regal Princess : 1-0. Soon, we ended our exploration tour, and headed back to Yacht Club, and only returned to the rest of the ship ‘when necessary’. Dinner in the Yacht Club Restaurant, free dining, great. Menu, food, presentation, wine, service, right up there with Regal Princess. A nice touch are the daily changing wine suggestions, and it you prefer another one, they’ll get it for you. Great ! A large selection for breakfast in the restaurant, and then some, or a breakfast buffet at the poolside sundeck. Great. So is the service at the sundeck, the buffet, the bar, etc. Add to all that the 24/7 yacht club concierge, who are perfectly able to attend clients in 5 languages. Great personal attendance, but with a downside, since all shows and announcements are done in 5 languages, a bit boring sometimes, even more when during the weekend the mandatory safety drills for new arriving passengers are also announced in 5 languages, and on Sunday at 7:37 an announcement of ‘all on board at 18:30’ was done in 5 languages. I did not quiet get the need for that. We booked the optional ‘Cirque du soleil at sea’ show and were escorted to the theatre by our Yacht club butler, passing the waiting lines. So relaxing. The show was good, not spectacular, but then again who’s complaining if you only pay 15 € per person, including a cocktail for a 45 minute show. In yacht club all drinks - and yes I mean almost all drinks, even premium whisky, cognac, … - are included. Truth be said, some are not, but then we’re only talking about the truly very expensive ones. And here I stumble upon a point of criticism ; from the info prior to booking the cruise we understood that only soft drinks are included in the yacht club and our travel agent was also very uninformative about this, and since we do like our gin&tonic, wine,… we decided to book the optional premium all inclusive drinks package. A total waste of money. When on vacation, we love to relax and read, in all serenity and tranquility. On Regal Princess that made us decide to - on sea days - rent a cabin in the adult only retreat section. On MSC Yacht Club we thought that we would have that anyway. Not so. It’s totally uncomprehensive that the MSC Yacht Club is not adult only. Don’t get me wrong, I love children, but on vacation, I love to relax without running, screaming children. And apparently other guests did so too, since when on day 3 of our cruise a couple boarded with 2 young children who monopolised the yacht club pool and hot tub, while continuously shouting, a lot of guests moved away to the far side of the yacht club, away from the pool. I was informed that since recently, yacht club also has family staterooms, and the concierge was aware of these 2 children, since the clients for their neighbouring staterooms had also already complained. My advise to MSC ; make yacht club adult only, or make some cruises in yacht club adult only, so that clients can choose wether they want to take the risk, or not. So what did we miss ? Well, ‘Movies under the stars’ like on Regal Princess, the ‘love boat’ episodes on the stateroom television, and the ‘sail away’ party with the love boat tune from the ships horn. So, I think it’s time to conclude, and of course all based on my subjective, personal opinion. For future cruises, the choice between Princess and MSC will entirely depend on the itinerary and the price, comparing MSC Yacht Club with Princess. I feel that the ‘standard service’ and overall quality of Princess is very comparable with MSC Yacht Club. But to make a fair comparison, I do have to include the premium drinks package and a retreat cabin for ‘on sea’ days on Princess. Let’s wait and see which - based on these conditions - will be our next cruise, and if MSC decides to make Yacht club adult only. If not, the choice will be very simple. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Without doubt the very worst holiday (let alone cruise) we have ever been on. Please, please, please do not ignore the negative MSC reviews and part with your hard earned cash or 'Take a punt' like we did. Where to start. ... Read More
Without doubt the very worst holiday (let alone cruise) we have ever been on. Please, please, please do not ignore the negative MSC reviews and part with your hard earned cash or 'Take a punt' like we did. Where to start. 1 - Ship - Lovely modern and clean. They've put a lot of thought in to it. 2 - Customer service - non-existent. Most staff are rude at best, hostile or aggressive at worst. Several times staff members barged their way past either myself or my partner through doorways or corridors. Staff in general looked depressed or bored and seemed to resent passengers. Would desperately love to say there were 1 or 2 notable exceptions however sadly there weren't. 3 - Food - The very worst we've been served anywhere on any holiday. Hard to believe that an Italian company can ruin pasta! Food in general was bland, lukewarm, recycled from one meal to the next and made from very, very cheap ingredients.As one of our fellow English speaking passengers put it 'I wouldn't feed it to my dog'. The buffet was nothing short of an absolute farce. The pizza was popular so if you fancy a slice be prepared to fight for it. I jest not. The only tip we picked up and would recommend is that if you are stupid enough to book a cruise on the Meraviglia and find yourself in the buffet head directly to the back. Do not pass 'Go', become one of them and barge your way straight to the back. End of. 4 - Fellow passengers - The vast majority of our fellow passengers were Italian. Which sort of makes sense considering it was an Italian ship on a Med cruise. However just making a point of saying what follows isn't based on 100% of Italian people, just 100% of the Italian people on our cruise. Now that's that out the way. The behaviour and general conduct of our Italian shipmates was nothing short of utterly disgraceful by anybody's standards. Rude, obnoxious, inconsiderate and loud, boy were they loud. With absolutely no exaggeration whatsoever we were unable to hold a conversation in either of the restaurants were ate in or any of the communal or public areas we were physically co-located with Italian passengers. Physically aggressive barging and hostile to anything resembling a queue whether that be for food, waiting to pay, boarding the ship or a bus/coach or to pass through a doorway. And they make no distinction for male or female, young or old you WILL be pushed and/or elbowed out the way. Sounds like a cliche however the only way to survive is to adopt the 'When in Rome....' approach (scuse the pun). It will inevitably lead to drama however although by that stage you just think 'Bring it on'. Now I have lived and worked abroad all my life so am happy with 'Cultural differences' and can put up with a fair deal without grinding my gears. However, being trapped with no escape from several thousand people who were put on this earth to make me hate them turned my hols in to an utter nightmare. 5 - Cabin - Clean, fresh and presentable however the storage space was minimal so we found ourselves more or less living out of our suitcases. Ultimately speaking though not the end of the world. What was particular horrific however was our cabin experience, which is really our private and intimate space, being utterly ruined by fellow passengers in surrounding cabins out on their balcony's seemingly chain smoking which wafted straight in to our cabin. So we either had to sit out and put up with a face full of smoke or stay inside our cabin with the door shut. The on board briefings clearly state that smoking on cabin balcony's is strictly forbidden and there are clear notices to that effect on the inside of balcony doors but this is simply ignored. My partner made a point of politely asking our neighbours if they'd please not smoke on the balcony however the chap just smiled, shrugged his shoulders and sparked up. Had I been there he'd have been 'Sparked' alright (see what I did there). Took x3 attempts reporting them to reception before MSC did anything about it. We had to physically tell a receptionist to smell a t-shirt I'd put out a dry on the balcony however so they lost any credit for that. It absolutely pinged of stale smoke. Sadly it was just our direct neighbours who were spoken to and not those above and below us so it made very little difference and any further complaints simply fell on deaf ears. I'm more than happy if somebody wants to crack on and have a fag however our cabin absolutely stank and to sit out on the balcony meant passively sharing their woodbines with them. Maybe we were just unlucky, who knows. Take the risk if you like but you have been warned. 6 - Excursions - Having read previous reviews we'd done our homework in advance and planned our own trips ashore at a fraction of the price. It's a good job we did because passengers we spoke to said what MSC had tried to cram in to the short times ashore was ridiculous. They were either rushed to/from/between each thing with little or no time to enjoy or experience anything or excursions were cut short with no refund or recompense of any kind. Expectations may vary however so not necessarily marking MSC down for that, you'll need to make your own mind up. 7 - Entertainment - The entertainment we saw seemed dated and pretty social club in quality (i.e. a tad naff) although some classical performers we saw in open or public areas were brilliant. Some fellow Brits paid for the Cirque du Soleil dining experience which they said was naturally superb however it was marred slightly by the dining part which they said was extremely poor. 8 - Embarkation/Disembarkation - Because passengers join and leave the ship on each stop there was no sense of occasion and one felt very. very much like a passenger as opposed to a guest. It did however make life easier not having to fight an entire ship's worth of people to get on/off. Once we'd boarded and run the carefully choreographed gauntlet of hard sell people it we were just left to crack on and find our cabin before setting sale with absolutely no fanfare. In summary - Should have been significantly more pleasant than it was given the ship however it was simply ruined by the dire service and appalling conduct of our Italian shipmates. One positive I would give MSC above the likes of Royal Caribbean is that whilst you still have the hard up sell, such as drinks packages/Premium dining/Spa treatments etc, they are no where near as persistent and in your face. In every other aspect however Royal Caribbean rather embarrasses MSC without even breaking a sweat. What else would I summarise or flag up from the usual topics or points? Probably that in tune with most airlines nowadays MSC gear 100% of their customer service on the premium 'Yacht Club' (First/Business class) passengers and everybody else down the back end are just the plebs making up the numbers and not worth making the effort on. I personally expect more from a cruise. Would I choose MSC again? Not if you paid me Would I recommend MSC to anybody else? Not a chance in hell Would my MSC experience put me off cruising? Probably not however I will pay more attention to the reviews in future. May give P&O a shot next. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is ... Read More
Only take notice of negative reviews on here if you are looking for an English or US style cruise. If you are cosmopolitan, love a lively atmosphere, enjoy European food and are nice to staff then you will not find fault. The ship is magnificent, the staff were fantastic, the food was good. We took advantage of the all-Inc drinks and enjoyed a 3 dinner package ... Butchers Cut, Eataly and Cirque du Soleil. .. everything was perfect. Our balcony cabin was fantastic ... and yes the bathroom is smaller than on other MSC ships. .. but the shower was actually larger. Disembarkation for ports and day of departure extremely well organised. Much bigger ship than we have been on before and weren't sure if we would like it, we didn't ... We LOVED it. Fabulous entertainment from shows in the theatre to acts in the various bars and especially the animation team staff on the bridge in the Promenade. Only downside is we now need another holiday as we didn't get back to our cabin until the early hours every night! Thanks MSC! See you again soon. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So Before we went on this cruise I was tempted to change it due to all the negative reviews!!! Haha! I’m glad I didn’t Yes it has faults but it’s also an amazing ship with things to do all day Rude staff Yes they ... Read More
So Before we went on this cruise I was tempted to change it due to all the negative reviews!!! Haha! I’m glad I didn’t Yes it has faults but it’s also an amazing ship with things to do all day Rude staff Yes they can be a bit grumpy but just talk to them get to know them! You will be amazed how quick they soon love you On our first night a party on deck We used the bar and the main bar man Vitaly was quite abrupt. Next day he apologized and said he was tired. Looked after us the rest of the cruise! Bars were clean and staff were good Brass anchor pub had fab bands on every night and the beer was lovely!!! We changed our restaurant sitting from early till late no problem Restaurant was clean and our waiter was good Like the smaller tables that have been introduced Food was good not massive portions but you could order more if you wanted Buffet was busy yes but we never had a time when we couldn’t get a table Problem is people getting food before getting a seat??? Weird in my book? But hey ! Breakfast was busy but just wait a bit later We bought a restaurant package that was cirque de solie,estaly and butchers cut. Amazing Great food and great value The central plaza is fab Great atmosphere and parties Found the spa to be expensive so give it a miss We liked how you are not set to a routine like on other msc ships The shows ran 3 times a night and you just booked on your msc for me app on your phone! Cabin was larger than normal but hanging space in the wardrobe is less Bathroom is smaller but shower is bigger with the new design And how long do you spend in the bathroom???? Unless your my wife !!! Loads of stuff to do and even on busy days you can still find tables and areas that are quiet. The pool at the back of the ship was empty every time we went to it Getting back on ship was sometimes busy and I don’t think staff should use the same entrance Ship was clean and beautiful All in all Meriviglia is a fab ship A few problems but hey it’s got 6000 people on what do you expect Be happy be respectful and you will love it Be rude be miserable you will hate it Have a good one !!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many ... Read More
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many other positives things we encounted on our cruise. The majority of the staff were unpleasant, shuffling around, generally miserable and you felt as if you asked for anything it was really putting them out. Whether it’s a lack of training in the customer service department or they are generally overworked and tired I am not sure. For anyone on holiday a cheery atmosphere where you feel special and nothing is too much trouble is what can make the experience a pleasant one, this was not the case here. The food was average, nothing to rave about but was very reasonable. For the size of the ship however pretty much everyone would go to the buffet for lunch as it was the only real food restaurant open so it was chaotic with some very rude people. The level of information was poor, we came to port and there was nothing mentioned about getting off the ship, where to go or the procedure. As I have mentioned we have done it before so knew the score but we spoke to some first time cruisers who were very confused. When you book a cruise with various ports you expect to be taken there. MSC don’t tell you that on some occasions they need to port 20 mins drive from the city. This is fine I understand it’s necessary due to the ships size etc but to then expect the guests to pay €13 each to get on the shuttle bus they provide I believe is wrong. This seriously adds up and I have never been expected to pay that with other companies just to get to the port the cruise said it was going to take me to anyway. One morning we decided to have a lie in, only to be awoke at 8 am by an almighty screeching noise. We thought the ship was scraping along the seabed as we were coming in to port. We phoned the steward who told us it was balcony cleaning. Before we knew it someone was on our balcony whilst we were still in bed, no warning. I had to leave the room after an hour as the noise was so irritating. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to wait a little so those who don’t rise early or maybe had a late night aren’t disturbed. Having a romantic meal was not possible. You are put on a table with a group of random strangers. Luckily they were nice people but we were with 6 others which made having a nice meal together in the restaurant for our honeymoon not something we could do. And lastly I would describe them as a low cost or no frills kind of cruise. You get your bed and food and that’s it. Ice cream, room service even the circus show that was advertised you have to pay for, all things that have been included with other cruise companies. The ship is stunning it’s just got a long way to go in the customer service department and to make guests feel special. Others have described it as feeling like cattle and I think that’s pretty accurate. Will be looking for another company next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
What an experience! First ever cruise and what better way to experience cruising than with MSC Meraviglia. This is a trip I will not be forgetting! I want this to be an honest review, so below I’ve listed the positives along with the ... Read More
What an experience! First ever cruise and what better way to experience cruising than with MSC Meraviglia. This is a trip I will not be forgetting! I want this to be an honest review, so below I’ve listed the positives along with the negatives and also given (I hope) some sound advice if you are thinking of sailing on MSC Meraviglia. The positives:- - The staff! They couldn’t do enough for us. So friendly and approachable. A special thank you to Halik (Waves Restaurant) you were amazing and so attentive. He quickly mastered what our favourite drink was and ensured our glasses were always full! Also to the guys who looked after and cleaned our room and changed the beds everyday. Amazing job! Thank you so much for everything! The standard was impeccable and they work so damn hard. You are all a credit to MSC! - This ship is spotless! Absolutely emaculate. Granted the ship is just over 1 years old but taking into account the shear size of her as well as the amount of passengers on board the ship is ridiculously clean! - The food/drink - Such a vast variety of food and drink on offer. In the evening we ate at our dedicated restaurant (Waves) where we were served a 3 course meal every evening with the night’s menu offering a range of dishes to choose from. Meanwhile, The Market Buffet which serves food (I believe) until 2am always had fresh, delicious food with a big range to choose from. At peak times it gets very busy yet the food just keeps coming out fresh! - You will never get bored whilst on board there is so much to do and places to explore! Now for the negatives (or things to look out for!) - I’m not saying us Brits are perfect, but goodness me some of our European neighbours were incredibly rude! We witnessed people clicking their fingers at staff and speaking to waiters/waitresses in the most patronising of ways. Never saying please or thank you. Absolutely horrific to see! Also, it would appear that certain nationalities do not know basic manners such as knowing how to queue and not push in (so frustrating!!) people would literally push you out of the way, tread on your feet to get to where they want (this 99% of the time happened in The Market Place Buffet where food is available (almost) 24/7. We even witnessed one family take two trays of burgers/hot dogs, leaving none left for anyone else queuing. Disgusting. Learn some damn manners. Excursions: What a rip off. Save your money!! I believe at least 5/7 places we visited during our 7 day cruise had shuttle buses on from the port at the cost of €12.99. They do not tell you this in advance! Allowing passengers to pay €50+ for excursions so they can access / get to the city centre which is completely unnecessary when the shuttle bus serves the exact same purpose! This being said there were of course some excursions which were more than just a coach trip to get you from A to B. But if you are booking trips through MSC just so you can get to the city centre etc do not bother. You’ll get a shuttle bus ticket on your door the night before you arrive at your next destination. (You are welcome!) Embarkation: What a long, long drawn out process. Be prepared for a very long wait!! We flew to Genoa, Italy. I do wonder if other destinations experienced as long a wait. Definitely would recommend avoiding Genoa if and when possible! After a short 1hr 30min flight we were taken straight to the port. The process up until this point was so smooth & fast! We arrive at the port in Genoa and there we waited for HOURS. The process wasn’t explained to us upon our arrival, we literally had to figure it out for ourselves. We were given a number, we soon figured we had to wait for our number to come up on a board. After waiting 2+ hours our number was finally called!! Up the escalator we went only to be met by another queue!!! This came with another 1 hour wait to get checked in. We then had to queue again to go through security when we were finally let on board. A very long process but totally worth it once you are on board the ship. Thankfully disembarkation is a lot quicker! Word of warning: You have to leave your suitcases outside your room the night before you leave. MSC did an amazing job ensuring our luggage was looked after and got to where it needed to be, we experienced no issues. But please know, you will need another form of bag for anything you need that night / the following morning before you fly home. We thankfully had a small case we used as hand luggage which were managed to throw everything into, avoiding any dramas. Additional/hidden charges: Check your bill before you leave!! We experienced double charges (which were later removed) and also a friend was charged €30.00 for a photo he never received! The queues to settle your bill at reception get exceptionally long! So word of warning, allow yourself plenty of time and check your invoice before you leave otherwise you may be in for a shock! There is a daily charity charge of €1 which goes to UNICEF (I believe) which we didn’t mind. However we did mind the daily €10 (per person!) service charge which gets added to your account automatically. (That’s €210 in service charge for us for the week) We decided to have this charge removed and paid out tips to our waiter/room attendants the night before we left, that way we know they’ve got the money. €10 a day per person soon adds up as you can imagine and not know where or who that money goes to concerned us. Other points to mention: Do not pack a hairdryer. It’ll be confiscated / kept away for safe keeping. A hair dryer is provided in the room & works absolutely fine and did the job. No tea/coffee facilities in the room which was a shame, but we understand why. If you buy a drinks package like we did you cannot use it on your day of departure! Also we couldn’t use ours on the day we arrived as it hadn’t been uploaded onto our access cards. All in all, we really enjoyed cruising with MSC. The ship is stunning, the staff are wonderful the inside of the ship is beautifully kept and so spacious. What a beautiful way to see Europe! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this for our honeymoon. Our group includes our 80 year old mothers. I’m struck by the sheer overcrowded, impersonal, iPad and upsell-driven process we are a part of. Food areas and common areas are ridiculously overcrowded, ... Read More
We chose this for our honeymoon. Our group includes our 80 year old mothers. I’m struck by the sheer overcrowded, impersonal, iPad and upsell-driven process we are a part of. Food areas and common areas are ridiculously overcrowded, no seating available and long queues for lukewarm and very ordinary food-we cruise a lot, this is way below par on many levels. The ship itself is impressive, and I’m sure few would deny this, the experience though is far from relaxing. Cabins small, we have a balcony cabin with the Aurea package, TV impossible to see from the bed, we have no sofa, nor mirror in our cabin (bar the bathroom). I believe we have seen our cabin attendant once. We found that the staff are undertrained in general, they work too many hours and are tired and overstretched as they have traded opulence of ship and taken away any form of personal experience, just doesn’t feel special in any way and it’s a fight to get service-I requested a tray to carry food to my mother who is disabled, and was told to make several trips with plates instead, each time fighting my way back through infeasible crowds. Not a patch on other similar priced cruise experiences I’ve had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
chose because of ship, and price, but i have to say the service and attitude of staff spoiled it for us.cabin spacious and very clean. food in general ok, but nothing stood out. shows were soso. the rip off costs of shuttles into certain ... Read More
chose because of ship, and price, but i have to say the service and attitude of staff spoiled it for us.cabin spacious and very clean. food in general ok, but nothing stood out. shows were soso. the rip off costs of shuttles into certain ports is ridiculous. the price of photos onboard and having to beg for my pic even although i am a black member. having to wait in long lines at guest services, but the lovely buse turk took care of me in the end. some of the coffee drinks i had onboard were awful, often made completely wrong and unfriendly barstaff. all in all gorgeous ship but could be so much better. also not much in the way of arts and crafts, something i like on other lines. pool area was nice and comfy beds if you can get one. alot of towles on beds that never got used, very annoying. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have been on over 50 cruises and this was the worst cruise and cruise line ever. The cruise was from Hamburg Germany to Genoa Italy with stops in Spain Gibraltar UK France and Italy. The only good thing was the itinerary. It started off ... Read More
We have been on over 50 cruises and this was the worst cruise and cruise line ever. The cruise was from Hamburg Germany to Genoa Italy with stops in Spain Gibraltar UK France and Italy. The only good thing was the itinerary. It started off with the most disorganized boarding I have ever seen. It took over 2 1/2 hours. And then I found out that my credit card wasn't even registered. When you board the ship there isn't any ship personnel to tell you where your cabin is. I asked my cabin steward for an extension cord for my cpap machine and he said I had to go to the reception and pay 15 euro, I went down there and there was at least 500 people in line, which by the way was a daily occurance. I wanted to get some euros for the casino and the reception said I couldn't put it on my cruise card. So I went there late at night and I asked for 300 euros on my credit card. After some confusion she submitted the card 3 times at 100 euros a time to see if I was good for it. I was afraid the credit card company was going to cancel my card thinking there was something fishy. The people at the reception were rude and very uninformed. Every day when you walk down the main deck on deck 5 6 or seven you are constantly being pushed for massages perfume etc. I thought I was at the old Levitz furniture store. A lot of people on board were extremely pushy at the buffet. They would reach over the top of you and jump the lines. I dont think some of them ever saw banana's before. They would put banana's out and they would take 6 or 7. The food was so bland at the dining room we went to the butcher cut. They asked me for a drink and I requested a martini. They said they didn't have any. They only had a small selection. They had to bring in a special waiter to go get me a martini. There were no formal nights. No lectures on popular topics. The main shows were bad. I requested a survey they never sent me one after I gave them my email. Overall I was very happy to get off the ship. From now on no mare MSC cruises. If its like that in Florida they wont succeed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Whew!!! That sucked. We've been on 42 cruises and this is the bottom of the list. Never again. We'll start with the positives. Our cabin steward, Kadam, was excellent, he was always there with a smile and a pleasant greeting. ... Read More
Whew!!! That sucked. We've been on 42 cruises and this is the bottom of the list. Never again. We'll start with the positives. Our cabin steward, Kadam, was excellent, he was always there with a smile and a pleasant greeting. One attendant at the Marketplace buffet, Laxman Singh Kanyal from India was very pleasant and went out of his way to help us.. We had o make reservations for the shows, while different this is a good idea to assure everyone get s to see the shows. The Himalayan walk and slides were fun Thats it. The ship was too big, the crew was rude, the passengers from Europe were incredibly rude. People cut in line, the crew did nothing even though it happened right in front of them Passengers reached across your plate, cut in line and were generally unfriendly. Maybe this is the norm for some European countries. The tours were consistently screwed up. Embarkation and debarkation was a sad attempt. Many passengers shared similar comments. We were walking down an aisle, quite few crew members were hanging out talking about whatever. OK no problem but they blocked about 80% of the aisle and made no attempt to move and let us pass like any normal courteous person would do. The hot water was consistently unavailable at the buftet. The food was uninspired at best. There was not one single meal I ate that I'd go back for. I could go on and on but I have better things to do. I DO NOT RECOMMEND this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The goods: 1. The embarkation process was very fast and smooth. 2. Prices on the ship (drinks, etc) were very reasonable The bad: 1. Disembarkation process was awful. We were sitting (if lucky enough to find a char) for hours ... Read More
The goods: 1. The embarkation process was very fast and smooth. 2. Prices on the ship (drinks, etc) were very reasonable The bad: 1. Disembarkation process was awful. We were sitting (if lucky enough to find a char) for hours waiting for our turn 2. Most of the staff was rude and not friendly. For example: i. We had to call several times for someone to come and order drinks at the buffet ii. We sometimes had to clean tables ourselves on the buffet iii. Almost never smiling iv. Not giving priority to customers (at corridors, elevators, etc) 3. Food at the buffet was just a bit above average. Not quality meats, no big variaty. During the last days we were not able even to find fork and knives at the back area for ship. In addition you were closing parts of the buffet one by one during the last days 4. Food at the main dining area was AWFUL. Tastless pasta and soups, awful risotto, bad meats and so on 5. Staff at the dininng area was also not good enough. For example we had every night to ask for butter. Once i asked where to put the stoller and the staff simply ignored me!! 6. It is unacceptable to close the juice machines during lunch and dinner in the buffet 7. It is unacceptable not to offer tap water in the main dining area 8. There were not enough chairs to sit on the 6th floor (cafe) nor at the bar outside at the 18th Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It may seem odd that I do a review nine months after it ended. However I found that among all the other reviews that I read there are some aspects concerning this ship, that have not been pointed out before. It is even harder to read a ... Read More
It may seem odd that I do a review nine months after it ended. However I found that among all the other reviews that I read there are some aspects concerning this ship, that have not been pointed out before. It is even harder to read a cruise review for this particular itinerary. As a consequence I will mainly focus on aspects not mentioned by other reviewers. Embarkation was at Steinwerder Cruise terminal in Hamburg, Germany, for a fourteen day cruise that took us to the Norwegian coast, north cape and the remote island of Spitsbergen. I have to say that exactly one year earlier we had already taken a cruise to Iceland starting on this same embarkation port and once again aboard a vessel from MSC, the Preziosa and were not at all thrilled with the overall organization of that ship. Anyway MSC was the only cruise company doing this route on the time frame me and my family (my girlfriend and our nine years old daughter) had. It is difficult not to draw comparisons with the Preziosa, but fortunately I got to see that aboard the Meraviglia the experience was better, although in early evening the ship was as crowded as a shopping mall on weekends. It seems the crew is better prepared to tackle with the huge number of passengers on board. First of all embarkation and disembarkation were well organized, shore excursion desk is much better, no cues to come aboard on the different ports of call we were in, as it frequently happened on my prior cruise with MSC. If there is a place that needs to be completely reorganized, this is the buffet they call Market Place. Almost everything is wrong because it is too big and messy. It was the same aboard the Preziosa. MSC does not understand that in order to cope with a big number o passengers using this venue at the same time, the answer is not a bigger restaurant but rather a disciplined organization, even if this disciplined attitude is made at the cost of freedom of the passengers to choose a particular table to sit. At breakfast and lunch time on sea days it is impossible not to bump with other passengers who wonder around with trays of food on their hands while trying to find a place to sit. The answer would be for the management to assign the families or groups to the table, the moment they enter the buffet. With such a big place it was also easy to arrange this venue in a way that starboard partition is closed for cleaning and repositioning of stands for a 30 minute period, while port side is open also for a 30 minute period. What most chocked me was the small device they put on the tables to call the servers who take the orders for the beverages. In fact, if you want a special drink, you press that device and a server quickly comes to take your order. While the system always worked efficiently with me, I think that danger of norovirus widespread lurks around, as these devices were almost always noticeably dirty because of the huge number of fingers that touch them. My advice would be not to touch them with your bare finger tips and use instead a paper napkin to do it. And the same should be done whenever you press a button on a lift, even if around here dirt was not perceivable. Concerning the cabin we had chosen a Fantastica class balcony stateroom in the aft of the ship (9271). Prior to booking, I had studied the deck plan layout and noticed that there was a bank of lifts close by. However, once on board we realized that these particular lifts are for crew only. The consequence was that every time we wanted to go anywhere from our room, we had to endure long and fatiguing walks on a long and uninteresting corridor and again on the way back. Be aware of this fact if you book one of these staterooms. Another warning concerning staterooms on the aft of the ship but only on deck 9, is that you are directly above the Carousel Lounge. This is a sort of disco lounge with an height that spans on two decks and it is at moments very noisy, mainly at night when you want to rest. There is another advice that I cannot refrain from doing: You should avoid, at all cost to book a cabin on deck 14. Our tablemates at dinner had their cabin immediately under the Bamboo Pool and had to complain frequently at reception at two or three o’clock in the morning because of the unbearable noises coming from deck 15 while maintenance to the pool is being done. They said they had the feeling of being close to a big washing machine while on spin cycle. After having complained for three or four nights in a row they managed to be reassigned to a cabin on deck 5 and were thankful for the change. Other cabins on deck 14 are also noisy because they stand immediately below the Atmosphere Pool or the Market Place Buffet. My advice to future travelers would be for you to save some money and go to a lower deck while choosing your cabin. As said before the itinerary was for us the main reason for this cruise. We were very keen to visit Norway and above all to set foot on the northern most parts of the country, as our route included the north cape and a stop at the Svalbard archipelago. However, I have to say that these two spots were the only that turned out to be somewhat deceiving. Honningsvag is the port of call to visit the North Cape. It is just a fishing village and totally uninteresting. We had booked a shore excursion that included the transfer to the North Cape - a windy spot by the way- and a King Crab tasting. We were unlucky with the trip to the north cape because of the fog but on our way back the sky had cleared up and enjoyed very much the landscape that was definitively beautiful. Longyearbyen was our port of call at the Svalbard archipelago and just to get there it is necessary a full day at sea and another one to return to Norway mainland. It was a complete dud. The most interesting shore excursions were all sold out the moment we boarded the ship in Hamburg. I had even tried to make a booking some weeks before the cruise through MSC webpage, as this is also possible and in fact very convenient if you want to avoid the crowds around the shore excursion desk, but the most interesting excursions were already sold out at that moment too. As a consequence we just booked an uninteresting drive to a place where they breed Huskies. There is a museum in town that is moderately interesting and shops (expensive) for tourists. It is a very short walk from the ship to downtown Longyearbyen, but a dusty one on a road full of heavy trucks and with no sidewalks. By the way, this is a place with lots of coal mines which explains this pattern of dusty traffic around the existing few roads. Coal exploration is in decline as a source of energy, so the economy of the archipelago relies mainly on tourism. You cannot venture on your own outside the village because of the risk of attack from polar bears, whose population has been steadily increasing anyway. While walking around the main pedestrian road of the village I spotted inside a shop some photos of the place taken in late winter or early spring while the island was still covered with snow. Judging from what saw on those photos, it seems that’s the ideal time of the year to enjoy a wonderful scenery and with luck seeing the northern lights in the sky. If you want to visit this place, do never take a cruise in summer just to go there. Finally I would caution future travelers disembarking in Hamburg as MSC does not organize a transfer to the airport. This is a pity as many of the passengers that I saw around the airport on the afternoon of disembarkation day had also been aboard the Meraviglia. And the same happened to me one year earlier upon disembarking the Preziosa, again in Hamburg. We had our flight back home early afternoon on disembarkation day and had to take a taxi. The ride to the airport was time consuming because of the heavy traffic around the port. It took us almost one hour to get to the airport terminal and that was after we had to wait in line for 30 minutes in front of the cruise terminal on a hot sunny morning with no shades at all, just to get a taxi. Still it would have also been even worse should it be raining. Taxis were just slowly coming to the cruise terminal. Take that into account on your post-cruise arrangements. Other travelers may think differently, but personally I prefer much smaller and better organized ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I have cruise with different company's during my 7 years experience but this is the worst experiences ever. I was stupid I didn´t read all the reviews about MSC. If this will be your first cruise I will guarantee this will be your ... Read More
I have cruise with different company's during my 7 years experience but this is the worst experiences ever. I was stupid I didn´t read all the reviews about MSC. If this will be your first cruise I will guarantee this will be your last if you have some self respect. Ok first the few positive things, cabin (5050) real good and our cabin steward was one of few service minded persons on the ship and actually she saved our cruise so we didn't jump of the ship during the cruise. The food standard it´s quite good and even the desserts. The disaster starts already during embarkation, rude personnel during check in and then it starts with this "istanbul bazaar" with all kind of selling tricks. It took me 5 min argument even before entering the ship that I don't want have any cruise selfie and relay not on display on the ship ( and I don´t mean the security photo). The rules for the drinking package is so complex that even the personnel don't always now what is including or not. No of the drinks taste or look the same way in different bars ex. gin tonic in one bar is without lime in another with orange and in the third with no sparkling water. Why have drink list on drinks when you don´t can serve as they should or is this the MSC standard, for ex bloody marie without celery during the hole cruise!!! Everything cost extra, even the movies in your cabin 7€ for 5-10 years old movies, and they still have porn movies on demand 2018!!! come on!! 30 min bowling for 25€ !!!! and so on. The food in buffet dining is quite good but the dinning space is not dimension for all guest, you have to fight for a chair and if this is not enough the MSC crew is occupying lots of guest seats for their dining and drinking coffee. The main dining is another disaster you have 2h to eat 3 dishes and when your service is so slow that your main course is coming after 1h 45 min then you have skip the dessert before you will be kick out. MSC have some strange attitude to their guests ex when you are entering the ship in different ports MSC crew is letting their own personnel off the ship first so you have to wait to entering the ship just because their crew will have some more spare time. The transfer buses to the ship and from the ship is filled up with crew before guests, so guests have to wait!! I could keep on but I will stop here so choose a another company and save some frustartion Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are certainly not cruise experts. We booked the cruise based on land stops and the look of the cabins. The destinations were well picked and we enjoyed every one of them. We did not use the MSC Excursion service and took all land trips ... Read More
We are certainly not cruise experts. We booked the cruise based on land stops and the look of the cabins. The destinations were well picked and we enjoyed every one of them. We did not use the MSC Excursion service and took all land trips into our own hands. The organization while boarding and check out were chaotic, you were not informed very well about what your next step is and the lines at the info desk were horrendously long. The look of the ship is modern, the cabins are small but have everything you need and the cabins get cleaned several times during the day. For anyone over 6'2", the shower will give you neck pains because the ceiling is so low. Cabin crew was awesome and so nice as well as the staff in the restaurants. But we have noticed that they are definitely over worked and barely get any time off. Activities and events on the ship were not our cup of tea (young couple) but that certainly is a preference thing. We enjoyed the Cirque du Soleil show but other than that there were no activities getting our attention. We painfully missed a movie theater for example. You have to pay for movies in the room. They offer lots for kids and older people. The buffet restaurants were mostly over crowded but the quality of the food there was buffet worthy. The food at the complimentary restaurants was mostly tasteless and not very good. But the specialty restaurants on board were good (but expensive). Bars were plenty and good. We have used the gym but that also was mostly over crowded and too small for so many people. MSC is not an all inclusive cruise line and you certainly get charged a lot for everything. You can avoid costs on food because there are enough complimentary offers but if you do not have a drink package booked before hand it gets expensive. Spa, movies, internet, bus shuttles to downtown areas....it all costs a lot of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Reviews about the Meraviglia are not exactly very good. We can understand them and agree... if you are not in a Yacht Club cabin. Athmosphere The ship is crowded and loud most of the day. Getting on and off the ship means queing, ... Read More
Reviews about the Meraviglia are not exactly very good. We can understand them and agree... if you are not in a Yacht Club cabin. Athmosphere The ship is crowded and loud most of the day. Getting on and off the ship means queing, for minutes at least. Good luck if you try to find an unoccupied table at the buffet restaurant between 12 and 2pm. Good luck if you try to find two available chairs at any of the bars onboard just before diner time. Good luck if you try to find a lounger along one the pools that is not occupied during a sunny sea day. The Meraviglia gallery on deck 6 is usualy very busy and loud. On the sides are MSC staff members trying to sell you drink packages, restaurant deals, massages, jewellery, perfumes... and so on. It almost resembles the atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul... MSC should really try to deminish this kind of selling techniques, it is very annoying and for many passengers a reason not to travel with MSC again. Food The food at the buffet restaurant is very decent. It is not 'gourmet', but it is well prepared and tasty. There is not much variety, but there are certainly enough choices to please everyone. The waiter service is very efficient, thanks to the buzzer on every table. Just push the button and a waiter will be at your table within a minute. We cannot comment on the food in the main restaurants as we have only dined in the Yacht Club restaurant or used room service. Drinks The drinks in the many bars are also well prepared and you will receive complementary crisps, olives or salted nuts with it. The choices of cocktails, beers, spirits is immense. The waiters are usualy very friendly and seems to enjoy their jobs. Excursions We took two excursions with MSC and they were very good. No complaints. Spa and Wellness The Thermal Area will not dissappoint you. There are two big saunas, two big steam rooms and much more. I particulary liked the walk through shower with four different shower heads, both cold and warm. There are also multiple relaxation rooms. The Thermal Area is a perfect spot for a cloudy sea day. But off course it will be busy at those times, but not really crowded. The Thermal Area is complementary for Aurea and Yacht Club guests. Pools A major advantage of a big ship is the inside pool area, named the Bamboo Pool on Meraviglia. Perfect when the weather is bad, but again, then everyone wants to be there and it is impossible to find a lounger. Passengers leave their towel on them for the whole day, giving others no chance to relax on one. Sad... The outside pools are very attractive when the weather is good and are then... crowded and loud! Entertainment We attended the two shows by Cirque de Soleil: Sonor was very good, Viaggio was also good. e saw some perfomances in the Broadway Theater. A ventriloquist which was very mediocre and a magician/'shadow artist' which was dissappointing. We also attended an abridged version of Puccini's opera 'La Boheme' which was actualy very good. So it was a mix of good and bad entertainment. YACHT CLUB Atmosphere If you stay in the Yacht Club, the atmosphere is completely different. The YC areas are quiet and have a relaxing (maybe boring for some) atmosphere. There are less than 200 passengers in the Yacht Club. You will always find a lounger around the pool on deck 19, there is always a table available at the YC restaurant and more than enough available seats in the YC Lounge and bar. YC benefits A YC passenger gets many small but interesting benefits: hold your cruise card to a sensor near the elavators and you will have 'Priority Service'. This means that if you enter the elevator on deck 18 and want to go to deck 5, the elevator will bring you directly to deck 5, without stopping at the other levels. If you want to get off the ship and are in a hurry, just ask any of the butlers to escort you and you will bypass all the queing passengers. And when you come back, if you are lucky, you can see a butler outside the ship to escort you directly to the security area onboard, again bypassing all the other passengers. On disembarkation day, you do not have to wait or to queue, you can walk off the ship at any time you like (as soon as 20 minutes after the arrival in port). YC food There are four options for breakfast: room service, the restaurant, the lounge or the grill on the sun deck. We mostly used room service. The choices on the list seems to be limited, but you can always request items that are not listed. I like Egg benedicts, wrote that on the paper and it was delivered. Excellent service! The food in the restaurant is very good, again well prepared and tasty, but not realy luxury. A lot of pork and lamb and other 'affordable' ingredients. Lobster was only offered once during our two week cruise. That's being 'cheap' from MSC. The dishes are very small. You are not full after an appetizer, main course and dessert. But there is always an evening snack at the buffet, including a slice of pizza of you are still hungry. And you can always order two appetizers or two main courses instead of one. The grill on the sun deck only opens if the weather permits it. It's a good location for having lunch. You may choose your meat (e.g. lamb, pork, beef, fish...) and it will be grilled and minutes later served at your table. Conclusion I realy enjoyed my stay on the MSC Meraviglia and was fortunate to be in the Yacht Club. I will sail with MSC again (next cruise is on the Seaview), but only in a Yacht Club cabin and if the price is reasonable. With the Yacht Club, MSC tries to immitate the luxury cruise lines. However they are not comparable. On a luxury cruise line, the food in the restaurant is more upscale, with more exquisite ingredients, slightly larger portions and with more choices on the menu. The butlers on MSC are good and friendly but are more room stewards than true butlers. If the itinerary and the price of a Yacht Club cabin is comparable to an itinerary and the price of a cabin on a luxury cruise line, I will certainly choose the latter one. This explains my 4 star rating instead of a 5 star rating. Happy cruising! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Never MSC for me... They should name the next ship MSC upsell. On the Meraviglia upselling is going on from when you wake up until you gouing to sleep again. I'll booked the orient spa. 120€ for 60 min massage, i'll booked 2. ... Read More
Never MSC for me... They should name the next ship MSC upsell. On the Meraviglia upselling is going on from when you wake up until you gouing to sleep again. I'll booked the orient spa. 120€ for 60 min massage, i'll booked 2. Even while doing the massage the lady tryed to sell 4 extra massages, cremes etc. The news leaflet you find on the bed is becoming a comervial magazine trying to sell (again) Lotto tickets, bingo, restaurant packages. champagne by he bottle, pictures, camara's, parfum, beauty treatments.. etc. When you open the tv = the same. Walking under the dome .. again. In the sauna everyone is whering fabric, from short to underpants.. dont get it? The food standards whent absolutely down in the last years. We had a exclusive drink package. Again a lot of drinks, not included. What is 'exclusive' standing for then? Staff was smoking in corridor upeside the staterroom. Excursions realy overprised. You find the same for the half of the price once ashore. Interaiment is very Italian. Italian singers try yo sing English songs. 7 seadays, why not showing a movie in the theater in the afternoon, oh true you can do in your room 7€ / film. For serval years I do cruises, i'm always happy to pay the service charge. This year I asked serval staff members what they get from that. Absolutely NOTHING! So I went to the information desk and ask to take away the service fee. The lady did understand my complaints and said I better choose the smaller ships from MSC. They have the same amount off staff on the Meraviglia as par example the Divina, only 1500 guest more. So i dicide to tipp them directly. Pitty because you can only tip the employee's you see. The led screen cealing is a expensive gimmick. If you have a good lookaround on the ship you see that a lot is done with cheap materials. MSC is hunting for mass tourism and that you see. No sign of a cruise director. That been said, staff is workkng hard 15 days without one free day. €1050 / month for a bar tender. Most off the staff is exosted. The destination to Spitsbergen where Meraviglia but MSC lost his smile. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
MSC MERAVICLIA / 5 – 19 JULY 2018 / CABIN 8020 (Inside) “L’Olive D’Oree” Dining room We had an early – on time request – via our travel agent for a table of two. Instead of this, MSC gave us a table (Nr 797) which ... Read More
MSC MERAVICLIA / 5 – 19 JULY 2018 / CABIN 8020 (Inside) “L’Olive D’Oree” Dining room We had an early – on time request – via our travel agent for a table of two. Instead of this, MSC gave us a table (Nr 797) which actually was a table for 4 persons, divided in 2 parts, right next to each other. So, as a real fact, we were all the 4 persons in the same table! The food choices were so few and the menu options were extremely “strange”, with a poor quality and quantity. Generally we have serious doubts about the Chef’s “choises” and dining decisions. Nowhere hand sanitizer ! A sterilize liquid machine might be everywhere, especially at the dining areas ! “Market place” Dining Room Few staff can not serve so many people, or keep the dining tables and the floor clean, on time. We rarely could see supervisors and foremen checking around the extremely noisy dining area. Quite poor quality and quantity of meat and fish. The same not delicious foods were repeated every lunch and dinner. Limited food variety and none difference in the menu every day ! Most of the simple food choices were unacceptable tasteless (f.e. pizza, kinds of cheese etc.). Generally we have serious doubts about the Chef’s “choises” and his dining decisions. Nowhere hand sanitizer ! A sterilize liquid machine might be everywhere, especially at the dining areas ! Room amenities None – at least 1 bottle in the embarkation day – complimentary bottle of water. A small table with one small armchair could be placed into the cabin. An offer of a goodnight small chocolate on the bed, must be cost a lot to the MSC Co., on the contrary of the others cruise companies. Bath amenities Total lack of bath toiletries (hair conditioner, body/hand lotion, cotton pads, ear cotton buds, etc.). No hand towels, no wardrobs, no slippers, no shoe shiner, not a cheap cotton bag. Bad quality of the shampoo, bath gel and toilet paper. Photo Shop Annoying photographers were hunting for a shoot, any time, anywhere. They sent us in the cabin, the embarkation photo – which they forced us to take -that we didn’t want to bye, warning us that otherwise, they were going to charge our bill ! English beer pub The cuisine was any time “closed”, so the beers were coming without any chips or nuts, as everyone knows that nuts or chips need cook / baking ! Shuttle Bus in Tromso Shuttle bus service from port (Fredik Langes Gate 4) to Tromso city center, total 6 Km (actually 4 Km), 19,90 Euros per person round trip. None announcement / information on behalf of the bridge regarding the navigation, or the passage of the Arctic Circle. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We enjoy very nice days of navigation,entertaining and sociability.The embarkment and desembarkement a little slow because this ship have 5700 passengers.When we come tours the embarkment is very slow because control passengers.The ship is ... Read More
We enjoy very nice days of navigation,entertaining and sociability.The embarkment and desembarkement a little slow because this ship have 5700 passengers.When we come tours the embarkment is very slow because control passengers.The ship is new one and very confortable and all areas very beautiful.From our cabin was very fast to go Broadway theater. The cirque soleil show was very nice. The lunch and dinnertime very good and service very good.We enjoy Tv studio karaoke bar and we profit free package drinks.After dinner we walk and shopping.The shopping area very good with a lot good offers special perfumes,clothes. The cruise tours are very expansive and The some bus drivers very fast drive that was impossible make fotos. The temperature on the ship not very good sometimes cold and sometimes very hot.On the cabin sometimes was cold.The cabin with balcon was very confortable and this time Tv channels with large offer several languages. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Passion for Norway for many years and wish to visit the Nordkapp by boat this time. Saving instructions after embarking were not clear and communicated. The second call for that, we missed too, because we were at the swimmingpole at ... Read More
Passion for Norway for many years and wish to visit the Nordkapp by boat this time. Saving instructions after embarking were not clear and communicated. The second call for that, we missed too, because we were at the swimmingpole at 9.00 hour and the call was posted at 9.40 hours. Silly!!! we found it in the evening by entering our cabin. The ship was só crowded, that people didn't line up ordently in breakfast- en lunchroom, but walking through each other in an agressiv atmosphere. Our cabin was só small, that the door of the cupboard couldn't get open well, collapsed on the bed next to it. The matras didn't fitt to the bed, you couldn't see the mecanic under the matras.But we hadn't booked a bed and breakfast, but an expensive cruise to Norway. MSC???? Never again!!! Transfers (very long waitingtimes every day) were okay, tenderboats during the cruise too, food were okay too, but everyday there were many logistic problems with so many people. We had read a lot about this cruise before leaving our city and country (the Netherlands!), but were forgotten the amount of all passengers, our fault! It was a village in the water, só huge and some decks só awful and decadent (tasts are different, aren't they?) with expensive shops and wealthy people, we didn't like to be confrontated with in our vacation. Oldfashioned and misplaced, from the time of the "Titanic", Dramatic, noisy Italian people every day, Germans who expect that everyone speaks German and we saw all the cliches of nationalities passing through. Happily, Norway was beautiful. astonishing as always! MSC, go away, never again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.0

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