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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the ports, timing, and cost. The ship was beautiful with wonderful appointments. Access to room was each with a touch or the room card. There was an "over 18 only" room on the 18th deck that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports, timing, and cost. The ship was beautiful with wonderful appointments. Access to room was each with a touch or the room card. There was an "over 18 only" room on the 18th deck that offered a quiet place to be, with a panoramic view! Shore excursions were terrific. Getting on and off the ship was SO easy. There were 4 pools plus hot tubs. Regrettably, most were filled with children and therefore noisy. The cabin accommodations were mostly good: quiet room, good shower, great new mattress and pillows. The only place to sit was on a stool & storage was quite limited in the bedroom, bath, and closet. There were no coffee bars or small cafes. Hygiene was deplorable. We were traveling during the flu season and were astonished to see buffet had 2 entrances w/o hand washing accommodations. Main entrance had some sinks; but soap and paper towels were sometimes lacking (as well as warm water). No staff encouraged hand sanitation, either. Food was very disappointing. Variety was limited. Few meats offered. Portions in the restaurants were small and very limited in variety. I literally could not eat the prime rib (despite my excitement at seeing it on the menu), due to its saltiness. Fruit was not fresh. Pasta was available at lunch and dinner; but again, without meat or seafood in it. Oddly no cocktails were available in the restaurants, though wine was available for purchase. The layout of the buffet was not practical. Some areas were needlessly congested. Often, the display of food was not logical, such as finding salad items under "Ethnic Food" sign. Buffet never opened up all of the possible lines (4), so seating got congested. We had assigned dinner time & table, which limited our socializing. Service was not very accommodating. No service staff offered to assist with finding seating, refiling drinks, serving coffee with dinner, etc. When passing staff in walkways, passengers were expected to give way to staff. The ship had no band or orchestra. There were no "small venues" of comedians, live music, etc. Shops had limited items, too. Another consideration is that there were few passengers with English as their first language, which severely affected out ability to mix and socialize. Something to consider if you are not fluent in other languages (Italian, Spanish, Japanese, etc.) Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
One thing you should know beforehand is that I'm not experienced in cruise ships. This was my first experience overall, but I'll still give you my two cents on it and give some advice to those who embark on a cruise ship for the ... Read More
One thing you should know beforehand is that I'm not experienced in cruise ships. This was my first experience overall, but I'll still give you my two cents on it and give some advice to those who embark on a cruise ship for the first time. I initially got scared when I booked a 7-Day trip in the MSC Meraviglia and saw the reviews in the site: A lot of them were overly negative, and I noticed that some of them were unbalanced: For just one inconvenience or negative aspect of the ship they'd put a 1 star rating on the trip. Not fair, in my opinion. So after taking this cruise I'm gonna rate the most important aspects of my trip, from worst one to best one: Worst part: The price. Your overall spendings can, and will, be more expensive than what you first planned when you booked the trip. This ship wants your money, and while they don't strictly force you to buy the things they offer, they will encourage you daily to do so. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were included in my plan: Breakfast and lunch only available in the buffet restaurant, and dinner available in both the buffet and one of the restaurants that they will assign you to once you get to the ship. They do have more restaurants: An English-like pub, a meat-focused restaurant, an italian restaurant, a chocolate factory, and an asian restaurant. As amazing as they may seem, you have to reserve and pay for them in order to eat in them, as they are not included. The beverages are also not included. You can drink coffee for free in the buffet restaurant (But the quality of it is average at best), and drink juice or water for free only during breakfast. For the rest of the beverages you have to pay, either with drink packages or with an "all inclusive" pack that lasts for the cruise but is individual, so it will cost you a lot if you go with your family. I put "all inclusive" in quotes because it actually doesn't apply in the Champagne bar, so it's not entirely inclusive. Entertainment options like the Spa, the Cirque du Soleil show, the waterslides, the F1 simulator and the arcade machines are not included as well and you will have to pay for them. They also charge for the movies if you want to see one in the cabin. Internet usage is only accessible by payment as well: They have different internet packages but all of them have limited data usage, which can be reaaally inconvenient. If you haven't ever been on a cruise, keep in mind that you will be charged with a daily fee of 10 euros per person as a way of tipping to the service tripulation. Also remember that you won't use cash while buying onboard: You will be given a cruise card that can be charged with cash or linked to a credit card to make the payments. Normal parts: The cabin. I had a balcony cabin that was always kept clean and tidy by the personnel. You will be given both towels to use in the bathroom and in the pool. If you've never been on a cruise the cabin will most probably seem narrow to you compared to a hotel room (And keep in mind that my cabin was bigger than the normal cabin). It has a flat 40 inch TV, a desk, and a minibar (Of course they'll charge you if you want to get something from it). The bathroom is okay, with a nice shower that has hot water and has both soap and shampoo available. I'd recommend bringing your own body soap to the cruise, though. Nice parts: The ship and the food. The ship itself is massive, and it has a lot of commodities and applications. Live music is always present in the reception lounge, and musical numbers or theatre plays (Besides Cirque du Soleil) are available for free in the Theater. It has both outside and inside pools, 4 or 5 lounges and bars as well as a small disco, and places where children can stay during the day. The food in the buffet is pretty nice and varied, and the dinner plates in the assigned restaurants are delicious. The ship itself would be an excellent feature of the trip, but as I've said before, some of the facilities that would be entertaining to be in aren't included unless you pay for them. The embarking processes are generally really fast: I personally didn't have any problem with them. Very Good parts: Activities and excursions. Excursions offered in the ship are not obligatory to take (You can even stay in the ship if you wanted to, of course) and are more expensive compared to the ones that they offer outside the ship in the ports or in websites, but they are really good. The guides are helpful, always caring for the passengers, they have a ton of knowledge of the sites you visit, and are also always aware of the time so that you don't get left behind the ship on the longer excursions. Most of the excursions will be available in different languages, mainly in English, Italian, Spanish, French and German. They offer different activities when you're inside the ship as well. As most of the passengers in these cruises are above 50 years old the activities will be focused towards them, but you can also find some activities for all ages alike. Best part: The personnel. Easily the best part of the cruise, and along with the excursions, they made the experience worthwhile. These people are always eager to help you, master different languages (English and Italian are the most important to know when you're onboard though) and are generally very kind. These people don't have an easy job at all (Imagine trying to keep all kinds of people in a good mood 24/7!) but they pull it off perfectly. The waiters at the Olivo D'oro restaurant are really good, the musicians are really skilled, professional and well-mannered; and the people in the entertainment parts are, to put it simply, some of the best people I met at the trip overall. Hats off to them! So, overall, would I do it again? Most definitely yes, but I'll have to save my bucks for a looong time to go on a ship this expensive again. Here are some advices for the newcomers on the cruise: - For the love of God, read the indications manual. Some days before the embarking, a large document will be sent to your email where they will give you all kinds of indications: How to get to the ship, what stuff to bring in the embarking processes, the things that are included in your package, the taxes you have to pay for, even the dressing codes. Please take your time to read it and I swear your trip won't be as stressful. A lot of complaints in the reviews here are from things that are directly adressed in the indications. - Try to have breakfast and lunch early. The later you arrive to the buffet, the less varied food options you'll have, and you'll be left with only pizza or hamburgers to choose from. Keep in mind that even if the buffet restaurant is really big there will be a lot of people (Specially during breakfast), so be patient when going through the stations to pick up food. - Always keep an eye on the things they can charge you for. For example, before embarking, a photographer will take a photo of you and your family all together: This photo isn't your obligatory security photo (The security photo is individual and will be taken when you get inside the ship) it will later be sent to your cabin and you will get charged for it unless you say you don't want to keep it. There will be photographers in the dining hours offering you some photoshoots: keep in mind that they will totally charge you for them in the last day. Same with your photo with the Captain. - On the cruise you'll have an elegant night and an all-white night: Carry an elegant dress or suit and a white one too. If something else comes to my mind, I'll add it to the review, as well as if you have some questions about the cruise overall. Hope you find this review helpful! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have been cruising for over 35 years, and never have we had a bad cruise, till now. We have cruised with Costa before on many of their ships, so we were under no illusion it would be noisy, particularly as it was a large ship, ... Read More
We have been cruising for over 35 years, and never have we had a bad cruise, till now. We have cruised with Costa before on many of their ships, so we were under no illusion it would be noisy, particularly as it was a large ship, however, it was only a 7 nighter and it was going were we wanted it to, so we thought we'd make the most of it. Our first impression of the ship was very favourable, it was a beautiful high tech ship. The cabins were very comfortable and the staff were very good and tried to please where they could. The shows too were a very good standard, and that was were the pluses ended. I'll list the negatives which sadly far outweighed the pluses: 1. There was very little seating around public areas for such a large number of people. 2. No cultural activities, not even on sea days. 3. The food in the restaurants was mediocre with very little choice in the buffet and the quality was not brilliant. 4. The wine packages were very restrictive and the selection of wines on offer on these packages were not of good quality. 5. Worst of all was the hygiene, or lack of. This was evident at the entrance to restaurants as the sanitising gel was hardly used. Even if you did use it as we did, it was rendered null and void by the waiters who handed you a tablet to sign for the drinks. After a few days, my wife and I ended up in the hospital with food poisoning, and by the looks of it, many people were affected too as the hospital was very busy. Some passengers on our table were also sick. We have a policy of never eating or drinking outside the ships precisely to avoid getting sick and spoiling our holiday, but this time, after 35 years of cruising, we got sick with food on board. Never, never again will we go on one of these cruises again, even if they were to be given to us free. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I signed up before I had read the reviews. If you want a great itinerary on for a cheap price MSC Meraviglia is a good deal. However, expect to get nickel and dimed to death. They even make you pay for water in the dining room. In your ... Read More
I signed up before I had read the reviews. If you want a great itinerary on for a cheap price MSC Meraviglia is a good deal. However, expect to get nickel and dimed to death. They even make you pay for water in the dining room. In your room the only TV channels are news or ship information and sales. Movies on the TV cost 8 euros. There is nothing to do on the ship that doesn't cost. But when you figure the same cruise on Royal Caribbean is $1000 more I suppose it all evens out. The staff was great, the food was okay and the ship was nice. The itinerary was great but don't buy excursions from the ship, at every port we found great vans (there were eight of us) that would take us for a lot less than the crowded ship busses. The entertainment was okay but it would be difficult to do better when you have so many languages you are trying to speak to.(English was a minority) They do have the Cirque Solie thing and we went to both shows it was much better than the regular show but not worth 15 euro. The cabins were Okay but the storage was small. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Disney, NCL, Princess and Holland this ship was a step below all of them in the food and entertainment but about the same in service. If you have never cruised before you will love it. If you have cruised before you will be disappointed, but remember the price, even after you pay for all of the other stuff you still come out ahead. The best part was they take you to some wonderful places. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
we wanted to try this new ship, which seemed very new and impressive. First of all the embarkation was very long at Barcelona, especially with two small kids. First evening we had a safety drill, we were told to go to the Casino with ... Read More
we wanted to try this new ship, which seemed very new and impressive. First of all the embarkation was very long at Barcelona, especially with two small kids. First evening we had a safety drill, we were told to go to the Casino with our MSC cards, where we were checked in, shown a storeroom filled with life-jackets, and shown how to put it on, in about 6 languages. In case of a real emergency, I would not like to think what would happen. Cabin was nice, with a small balcony, very little storage space, wouldn't be enough for a two week cruise. Cabin staff was extremely helpful and did his job really well. Otherwise it was very noisy especially late in the evening when we could hear people stamping about upstairs, or running around the corridors. One night I got up at 2h30 am to see what was going on, and found a group of 8-10 year old Italian kids running around shouting in the corridors. My grandson had a wonderful week at the mini-club and the staff were great there. The main lobby is enormous and it is a luxury mall, with expensive shops (I saw a wooden painted Russian box, for 10,000 euros) paying restaurants, and anything they can wangle money out of you, including a chocolate shop and ice-cream shop. The bars and lounges don't have enough space for a family of 8 who want an apèritif while waiting to go to eat. The Panorama restaurant was very good, with very nice and helpful staff. The food was good, and anyone who says the portions are small don't understand that you can ask for second or third helpings of anything you particularly liked. The Waves restaurant in the morning, was over-staffed, with waiters standing around talking in groups, while the customers waited for someone to come around with croissants, bread or coffee....I prefer Costa's buffet in the dining room where you can get what you want, and also get extras from the waiters. The Buffet upstairs, was difficult to get seating for our group, the staff were not very motivated, the food was ok, but not very warm. The pizza was great...real Italian pizza without tons of tinned stuff stuck on top of it. There was an Ethnic section which was quite good. I think a few micro-wave ovens would be a good idea. Most of the entertainment such as 'Cirque du Soleil', bowling, etc. has to be paid extra. We got plenty of information in the cabin for excursions etc. but not the necessary information about disembarking on the last evening, before we left the ship. The internet which we paid for was very slow, and we hardly ever managed to telephone each other with our mobile phones. We had to stay two days in Civitaveccia near Rome because of bad weather, and missed out on our visit to Malta and were taken to Mallorca instead. We arrived at 4p.m. It took an hour to get off the ship, and when we got out it was nearly dark.....a real waste of time. Getting back on board after an excursion was also very long. Long waits for the lifts when everyone was on board, or at meal times. The reception desk was extremely busy unless you went very early in the morning or late in the evening, and you could have a very long wait, sometimes over an hour. There were indoor pools and jacuzzis, gyms, and other indoor activities. A big melting-pot of nationalities, with people arriving and leaving every day, so it was not possible to get to know anyone else,.Lots of very loud tannoy announcements for the safety procedures for new arrivals, when the bars would close up. ...Lots of lovely staff from all over the world.... All in all an interesting experience, but I would never take such a big ship again, it was impressive, but I didn't think it was well organised.....teething troubles perhaps? I will go back to taking a more human sized ship, where you don't get the feeling you are being seen as a cash-cow. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked our December cruise (Rome, Palermo, Malta, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa) well in advance, and like many others, we were a bit freaked out by the many bad reviews of the cruise. After going on the cruise, I can say that it went ... Read More
We booked our December cruise (Rome, Palermo, Malta, Barcelona, Marseilles, Genoa) well in advance, and like many others, we were a bit freaked out by the many bad reviews of the cruise. After going on the cruise, I can say that it went well compared with the 10+ other cruises we've been on with Norwegian, Princess, and Carnival. It was not perfect, but none of the cruises we've gone on were ever perfect. Each cruise line and ship has its pluses and minuses. The Pluses: - Beautiful, well maintained ship - Never felt overly crowded even though there were thousands of people aboard - Getting on board for the first time and leaving the ship after the cruise was really easy and fast. The fact that people started the cruise at different ports made things easy and fast. - Excellent, friendly staff -- especially the main waiter at our dinners. - The large touchscreens for ship info and reservations were great. - The food in the formal dining rooms came out fairly quick, so you don't have to wait too long. - Never had problems finding seating in the buffets. - Line to get an omelette went really quickly The Averages: - The food compares OK with other cruises I've been on. The food is designed for European tastes I believe, so the taste may not be quite be what us Americans are used to. So, if Olive Garden is what you think is good Italian food, you'll be disappointed. Like other cruises, every breakfast, lunch, dunner buffet has a stable offering that does not change (e.g. omelettes, breads, waffles, pizza, pastas, etc.), but they do introduce some changes every day to mix it up a bit. There was an emphasis on Italian food more since many Italians were on board. - As other people mentioned in their reviews, the portion size of the dinner food in the formal dining rooms was smaller compared with other cruise lines. I don't think this is an advantage or disadvantage. If you want more, order more. The wait staff doesn't care how many main courses you order. In fact, smaller sizes allowed you to have the stomach space to try more types of food. - The people on the cruises were fine. There was not the line cutting that people mentioned in other reviews. - The customer service desk was fine. There was a line, but it was not excessively long. - The shows were fine and were on par with many others I've seen on Princess, Norwegian and Carnival. There were 6 shows that rotated in the main theater in addition to the 2 Cirque shows. - The cabins were fine. The Minuses: - They tack on a surprise donation to your bill in the middle of the cruise. It was 1 Euro per person that gets added to the bill. It's annoying since I don't like to make donations I'm not consulted on. You have to go to customer service to get it removed. - The ship's large so depending on the cabin, it may take you quite a bit of time to get to another part of the ship. - There were less structured activities compared with other cruises. So, if you want more trivia contests, ping-pong tournaments, or cooking demonstrations, other cruises are better. - Not enough variety in the salad bar. Overall, the cruise went well and is not the nightmare that others have mentioned. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I chose this ship as I wanted to enjoy the holidays with my family in a new ship and this one looked spectacular and I thought the ports would be fun as well. Before leaving I read the reviews that other people had posted and thought that ... Read More
I chose this ship as I wanted to enjoy the holidays with my family in a new ship and this one looked spectacular and I thought the ports would be fun as well. Before leaving I read the reviews that other people had posted and thought that perhaps the shortcomings of this she would be in dining and the pay for everything culture. Let me break it down: Food I found the buffet on the 15th floor to have plenty of options to choose from. Yes, you did have the same items every day like hot dogs, hamburgers at lunch or eggs/croissants at breakfast, but to be fair, I never repeated a meal 2x during my trip and had plenty of choices to choose from. Food was good, not excellent, but certainly not terrible either. Desserts were so so, which I was glad as I didnt need the calories :) We really enjoyed the japanese restaurant for dinner one night. It was loads of fun! Entertainment Well this is an area that I find they need to work on. At every port we would leave shortly after arrival, take tours and return around 4-5 pm. Then there was nothing to do till dinner 6:30 pm and then again nothing till 8:45 for a show. Nothing before or after that timeframe. Every night they have dancing lessons, which my family had no interest in, or played some music somewhere. But there was no organized games, trivia, daily bingo, etc. Just basically nothing to do on the ship. In terms of the shows, do yourself a favor and skip the magic show. It is just dumb. The best one was Way. We were supposed to see Cique Viaggio but ocean was too rough and they cancelled show. We did see Sonor and I would say for an abbreviated version of Cirque it wasn't bad. We had dinner with the show and I would say dinner that night was mediocre. Just have dinner at the main restaurant or at the specialty restaurant. Information Most of the crew is clueless and will give you the wrong information or simply not answer your questions. It is hard to find someone that knows answers to questions. Just very disorganized. If you have a question ask 3 people and go with consensus. ALl in all we enjoyed our trip as we really liked the ports, and made the best of the time we had as family. We didn't go o the boat expecting much, and we probably won't cruise MSC again, but this is more because of our more favorable experiences with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and even Carnival. ENJOY! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Chose cruise for ports of call over Christmas holidays so my family could come with us. Do not take this ship if you get seasick. It is too tall for waves and 1/2 the audience in the theatre was motion sick when the ship began to rock and ... Read More
Chose cruise for ports of call over Christmas holidays so my family could come with us. Do not take this ship if you get seasick. It is too tall for waves and 1/2 the audience in the theatre was motion sick when the ship began to rock and roll when leaving Valletta for Barcelona. Horrid experience watching guests vomit in the theatre and walkways. Why put a cirque show on a high wave night...I am sure it was always cancelled every cruise. Cirque sonar was disappointing...we have seen three real cirque shows and sonar is a high school performance by the cheerleading squad. No other great shows on board. We found nothing to do after dinner and shows so we would go to sky lounge for a nightcap. Service was slow and poor...I could give the staff lessons. Never travelling on MSC again. Get the basic drink pkg otherwise you will pay for still water, even at dinner and lunch. Buffet is simply horrid, passengers are pushy and very rude by Canadian standards. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise for a family Christmas holiday and prior to leaving I became very anxious after reading all the negative reviews. We had an amazing week on board a beautiful ship and not one of our group of seven had any ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a family Christmas holiday and prior to leaving I became very anxious after reading all the negative reviews. We had an amazing week on board a beautiful ship and not one of our group of seven had any complaints. Embarkation was the quickest and most efficient I have experienced. It was as quick as boarding as a Yacht Club passenger which we have done in the past. Disembarkation was as good and undoubtedly the best I have had in my over 10 cruises. Personnel were amazingly friendly and good at their tasks, from waiters to cabin staff. Even those working the administration side were helpful. We only had reason to use them twice and never waited more than 7 minutes each time. Considering there are so many passengers I find this exceptional. Food was good and varied and came to the table quickly and hot. We had breakfast in both the restaurant and the buffet. Divine eggs Benedictine. I found the portions sufficient but if you have a healthy appetite there is absolutely no problem on taking everything on the menu. It is served with a smile. I highly recommend the drinks package. We also ate at Eataly and the Teppinyaki. Both were excellent. The shows we saw were enjoyable. Cirque de Soleil was cancelled the night we had reserved for but this was due to bad weather. Understandable considering the nature of the show We were fully reimbursed. The balcony cabins we occupied were comfortable with excellent beds and the storage space is sufficient for a week. The bathroom with shower was perfect for a cruise ship. All was spotless and remained that way for the duration. The attention given to kiddies is amazing. Our 6 year grandson did not want the cruise to end. The staff are to be highly commended. We never used any of the tours offered so I am not in a position to comment. The gym has modern equipment and the spa is fabulous. So, for all those people out there who have done nothing but complain, perhaps they should start questioning themselves. Are they generally complainers and always dissatisfied? Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
First of all this is a big cruise ship: 19 floors, over 5,000 passengers, 1,200 crew. It is like a big floating hotel with a small mall in the center. It is quite new (June 2017), so it looks and feels new, shiny and flashy. It is a great ... Read More
First of all this is a big cruise ship: 19 floors, over 5,000 passengers, 1,200 crew. It is like a big floating hotel with a small mall in the center. It is quite new (June 2017), so it looks and feels new, shiny and flashy. It is a great ship, no questions about it... The crew is excellent. I have read reviews of this an other cruise ships and they always mention that the workers seem to be stressed out, don't have time for the passengers, seem to be on a labor dispute attitude, etc. Well, not this one. The crew, which is made of people from all over the world: Latino Americans, South East Asians, Africans, and mostly Italian supervisors, is very attentive, friendly and very hard workers. We were nicely surprised. Our room was modern and efficient, on the 8th floor. This was a low budget trip for us, so we selected an interior room without window or balcony, but that was never an issue, we just left the light of the bathroom on at night so that we wouldn't feel confused or lost in the dark. The food was good. The ships has several free restaurants, but passengers are assigned a specific lunch/dinning restaurant for the entire trip. All these restaurants have the same Mediterranean-style menu. They have different shifts and we selected the last shift at 9:15pm for dinner, which meant we were mostly surrounded by Spaniards, which like to dine late. The portions were "European-size", not "American-size" but we never left hungry. We could also go to "The Marketplace Buffet" a big all-you-can-eat cafeteria on the 15th floor. It was open 20 hrs a day and offered breakfast, lunch and dinner (all free). We had no complaint about the variety and quality of the food. There were also several other specialty restaurants (steakhouse, Japanese, Italian) that required you to pay. We had jet-lag since we came from California, and we were up at 6am every day. That happen to be a blessing, since at 6:30am the Marketplace cafeteria was just opening, almost empty except for some Chinese people that also had a similar jet-lag. It was peaceful and enjoyable, and you could watch the sun rise and the clarity impose itself on the Mediterranean waters, right outside of the wall-to wall glass windows of the cafeteria. If you tried to go to the same cafeteria at 9am you would feel like in a mad house, with thousands of people all trying to serve themselves with fried eggs, bacon, sausages, croissants and what-else, running around and avoiding each other at the same time. We decided to keep our jet-lag for the rest of the trip... You could buy drinks (wine, beers, cocktails, soda's or mineral water) one at-a-time, or purchase drink packages, which I would recommend since one-at-a-time is expensive, in the range of EUR 5 for a soda to EUR 8 or more for a cocktail. During our stay we bought two decent Italian white wine bottles at the restaurant and paid EUR 25 ea., but there were many more expensive selections in the wine list. Our waiter (we always had the same waiter assigned to our table) was super-sweet and kept our unfinished wine bottles on the fridge for the next dinner. Free juice was available at the cafeteria but only for breakfast. No free soda fountains, and a glass with soda and ice was EUR 5 ea., which really bothered me. There was free coffee, hot water and tea bags at the cafeteria, and also several free filtered water fountains and we used them to fill our empty plastic bottles that we brought with us when we checked-in, and we reused them over-and-over in our land-explorations. They also added to our package --at the last minute and without us asking for it-- a free mineral water bottle with meals at the restaurant, which was very nice. We did not try to bring in liquor or beers into the ship, since we had read on the internet that they would confiscate them, but the water bottles were never a problem. The ship had different activities every day, and we very much enjoyed the troupe that performed different shows of music and dance several times a day in the theater in the back of the ship. There were also two different shows of Cirque du Soleil and we bought tickets for a dinner-and-show night, but to our bad luck that was the only day that we had bad weather, the ship was moving noticeably and they canceled the show... They returned the EUR 35 ea. that we paid for our tickets. So, we cannot judge the quality of the show. But we need to dispel some misinformation about Cirque du Soleil shows: It is a smaller theater and a smaller troupe than what you get on a regular show when they travel to different cities. And the shows are much shorter in duration. There is no free Cirque du Soleil shows since you have to either buy a dinner-and-show for EUR 35 ea. or a cocktail-and-show for EUR 15 ea. Purchasing of tickets at the ship, or confirming your assistance (which is a requirement for the tickets to be valid) is at very inconvenient times (9:30am to 4:30pm) since this is the time that you are in land and not in the ship, and you cannot do it online. We couldn't use the multiple swimming pools of the ship since it was winter. One of the pools was in a covered area on the 15th floor but it was not totally insulated and it felt a little too "cool" for our taste. We did try a jacuzzi and it was very nice once "the masses" had disappeared to prepare themselves for dinner... We loved the Sky Lounge on the 18th floor, were we had a drink every night before dinner, overlooking the 15th floor swimming pool through the big glass windows of the lounge. No kids allowed, so it was a peaceful place and a piano was gently played in a corner... The main promenade has a nice LED dome that produces different light shows through the day and night. On the sides there are some stores and several bars and lounges, but as with the main Atrium and Reception Desk, they are overwhelmed by people on the evenings. I felt sorry for the grand-piano players at the Atrium, that were supposed to produce warm-welcoming jazzy music in that chaos of people. And there were always long lines at the Reception Desk. It was a puzzle why so many people had to visit the desk every day and night. Maybe part of the reason is that there is people checkin in-and out of the ship on every port, so they had to settle their accounts before departing the ship the next day... Internet access was the worst part of the experience on this ship. It is slow and super-expensive. We purchased a package of a little less than 1 gig of data for $38.50, and somehow it was mostly gone in 30 minutes of use. Don't ask me how, since I had disabled most of the apps background data connections. I was trying to use Google Maps to plan our excursions, but to no avail. We had also purchased a Vodafone sim card for our iPhone, so we had to wait for the ship to get very close to port to get some reception and be able to connect to the internet and plan our daily trips. Using the Vodafone card in port and on land to guide ourselves to were we wanted to go barely used a fraction of the data cap allowed, so I don't understand how the ship data package was exhausted so quickly. So, do all your research of the places you want to visit, how to get there, etc., before you arrive to the cruise ship, since you won't have barely any internet access once you are in. And buy a Vodafone or similar multi-country sim card that you can use with your smartphone on each destination. The other thing that really irritated me is the lack of comprehensive information about the different features and cost of activities in the ship, before you buy your tickets and during your voyage. The online information is fractured, incomplete or non-existent. MSC has a website and specific web pages about the MSC Meraviglia, and they have an app that you can use in your smartphone or iPad while in the ship, but a lot of information is simply not there. As an example, they feature prominently the Cirque du Soleil shows, as they should, but it doesn't say anywhere if it is included in the ticket. I had to call the cruise travel agent to ask the question, wait for them to call the company and then they told me it was included. False. It was NOT included. You need to buy a dinning ticket or a cocktail ticket to be able to see the show. I asked several other questions and they sent me links to web pages that more or less touched on the issues, but these pages are not linked to the main website, you have no way to see them unless they send you the specific link. And there is barely any information about the ports and docks, and how to get from the ship to the city that you are landing, if there is any bus service, how much it cost, location maps, etc. It is as if they expect you to just join one of their tours and never wander by yourself on the cities that you are visiting... The other thing that irritated us was the checkin process. Totally unnecessary long waiting lines. They give you some orange juice at the end, when they should have offered the juice while we waited that stupid line. While I waited sitting on the concrete floor, exhausted after our long trip from California, I kept thinking that the airlines have mastered since long ago the checkin process and I could not understand why it was so complicated for these cruise people. We had already paid for our trip, we had done a required online-checking process many days before. What else was needed? Just to show our boarding pass, passport and go in, isn't? Nope. Don't ask me why. As a compensation, de-boarding the last day our our trip was much easier and fast, except for a visit to the Reservation Desk to contest a charge from the Bamboo Bar that was incorrect, and it required us to wait a couple of hours for them to contact the waitress to confirm our dispute. I guess they didn't believe us stinky cheap passengers... At the end, you have to question if this cruise was worth it. This was our first mega-cruise experience and I think it was worth it. We learned a lot. But I realize we are not be the typical cruise passenger. Our idea before joining this cruise was to use it as a means of transportation and accommodation as we visit all the different cities in the itinerary. It brought us to each city and we didn't have to deal with moving our luggage to a different hotel each day. And of course, it's nice to have a new and clean ship, with facilities that you can use while you are there. But our original idea is not exactly correct. First, visiting the cities is not as easy at it sounds, the docks are not necessarily at walking distance and transportation gets complicated, time-consuming and even expensive, plus they don't really give you any clues, you have to find everything by yourself. Second, the cruise is a destination by itself. For a lot of people --the majority-- the cruise is the destination and the cities just the excuse. They enjoy being on the ship, eating and drinking, dancing and wearing their finest cloths at night shows, restaurants and lounges. It's a floating resort! So, we'll have to think twice before doing another cruise, and it will have to be a much smaller ship. This ship is beautiful, good service, good food, good facilities, but too big, too many people, and not the kind of vacation that I have ever dreamed of. But if you like big resorts, enjoy it! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am currently a passenger on the MSC Meraviglia. My wife and I are passengers on a Mediterranean cruise.I can honestly say that this past week I experienced the worst of over 35 cruises I have enjoyed. The ship is not geared for the ... Read More
I am currently a passenger on the MSC Meraviglia. My wife and I are passengers on a Mediterranean cruise.I can honestly say that this past week I experienced the worst of over 35 cruises I have enjoyed. The ship is not geared for the American audience. For example coffee or tea after dinner is an extra. The MSC line nickel and dime you whenever possible. On several days I had to wait 45 minutes to get back onto the ship. When I asked to speak to the head of security, I received the run around. I am still ,after several days and asking to speak to someone waiting to hear from any personal. The food on this ship is sub par as opposed to all the other cruises I have been on. It is so bad that my wife and I are going to pass our normal dinner seating and opt for pizza. If you are are from the US you will quickly realize the poor quality and treatment passengers receive on this ship. I notified them in advance that it was our anniversary and not so much as a balloon was placed on the door. Please note I offered to pay for the anniversary addition. It leaves a lot to be desired. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Intended to be a Luxury Christmas break with friends. Spoilt by MSC poor administration and response to written requests ie booking trips in advance of cruise etc. Subsequent complaints about balcony obstructed by life boat. Beautifully ... Read More
Intended to be a Luxury Christmas break with friends. Spoilt by MSC poor administration and response to written requests ie booking trips in advance of cruise etc. Subsequent complaints about balcony obstructed by life boat. Beautifully ship, good cuisine and some good entertainment. Cirque de Soleil awesome. Good itinerary. Wrong choice by our group - too big a vessel. Lots of under utilised space (corridors to Formula 1 vehicle for example). Buffet dining - food good but over busy area; reasonably sized too small for winter cruises hence loud and congested. Reception - constant queues. Lot of ships staff were indifferent to your comments. Cabin lovely. Balcony very very disappointing. Their structure for communications for good/bad messages very, very poor. Complaint re balcony on return home and whilst away not dealt with. MSC Responses very very slow. Still not resolved at the time of writing this review. On this basis would not cruise with MSC again having had 2 cruises with them. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
From embarking to disembarking, the cabin and meals, entertainment and staff...an absolute experience, pleasure and value for money. 19 Floors of absolute luxury makes you think you're somewhere in a 5 star hotel. Everything was ... Read More
From embarking to disembarking, the cabin and meals, entertainment and staff...an absolute experience, pleasure and value for money. 19 Floors of absolute luxury makes you think you're somewhere in a 5 star hotel. Everything was well organized and the friendly and helpful staff assisted if there were any confusion about anything. Although the breakfast and lunch menus didn't change dinner was always a treat and special experience. A busy entertainment program and so many other activities didn't allow for a single dull moment. Maybe we chose the wrong time of the year as there were some really cold days off the ship, but on board it was really pleasant and we even enjoyed a day or two at the Aqua Park and on the Himalayan bridge. I will recommend this cruise for anyone...from the elderly to families with babies. My family and I will definitely choose another MSC holiday in the near future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Embarkation was very smooth. We did have the Aurea Package which meant we basically just walked right on. We waited till noon to get to the port and we were on the ship within 30 mins of being dropped off by the taxi. Our cabin was ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth. We did have the Aurea Package which meant we basically just walked right on. We waited till noon to get to the port and we were on the ship within 30 mins of being dropped off by the taxi. Our cabin was amazing we had the duxplex suite. The layout was great. We were upstairs so my husband and I had privacy but we were never more than an earshot from our young children. Two bathrooms was wonderful and we all enjoyed the hot tub :) Again I am not sure why there are so many complaints about the dinning. We had no issues. Each night we would find something to eat in the MDR that was really good. We also ate at Butcher's Cut, Kaito Teppanyaki and Eataly-Food Market. All were excellent. A must try is Butcher's Cut it was AMAZING!! We did go to most of the shows and enjoyed some of them. This would be the only area that could be improved on but I think this is due to the amounts of different languages spoken onboard. While we did go see both Cirque shows they were good but in our opinion they were not "must sees". We found the service to be very good to excellent in most cases.....but it was European service. Which for us is not a problem since we live in europe :) and are use to the not "in your face service". Service is very different in Europe than in American and since this ship is European it was what to be expected. We had one issue with a Bartender that was immediately taken care of. The Ports were good. We loved Malta the most...what an amazing place!! We did have to skip Rome due to bad weather. We did not use any MSC excursions. All the ports on our route are very doable by yourself. The kids had a great time! They enjoyed the kids clubs but there was a little bit of a language barrier. We would suggest MSC to others with the understanding that you get what you pay for (book a higher package if you want more perks) and that it is a European ship. For the money it was an amazing vacation and we are headed back to sea this May on the MSC Divina (We booked onboard and got an amazing deal for the Yacht Club :) Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had a wonderful time on our cruise, we chose to take breakfast in bed, oh so relaxing looking at the view through our balcony doors. The ship is stunning and beautifully decorated for Christmas and for such a large ship we had no ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our cruise, we chose to take breakfast in bed, oh so relaxing looking at the view through our balcony doors. The ship is stunning and beautifully decorated for Christmas and for such a large ship we had no trouble finding seats in bars and lounges or the theatre. We ate in the Waves restaurant and our waiters were so attentive and friendly, the food was fine for us, wine very palatable,and water on the table. We had the all inclusive drinks package, such good value. The theatre entertainment was really good the team work so hard and we thoroughly enjoyed every show. Ports of call we did our own thing so can’t comment on ship trips. Embarkation and disembarkation went very well, no waiting. All the staff and Officers we met were so friendly and smiley, made some lovely memories and would cruise with MSC again. We have been on many cruises all different lines and this was our first MSC cruise, we were very satisfied. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Arrived at Barcelona embarkation point at about 11am. We offloaded our bags at the desk outside and were given a number but on stating we were Black card members the number was taken back and we were given another card with a symbol on it. ... Read More
Arrived at Barcelona embarkation point at about 11am. We offloaded our bags at the desk outside and were given a number but on stating we were Black card members the number was taken back and we were given another card with a symbol on it. We went inside and it was chaos. There were people crowding around this poor woman who was shouting “step back, step back”. She ushered us through and we went straight to the check in desk. After checking in we were told to keep our card in our hands till we boarded the ship. We had been pre-warned about the scam whereby they take your photo on embarkation and then the photos appear in your cabin and 19.99 added to your bill the day before disembarkation. A woman swiped our card but we said we didn’t want our photo taken. She tried to say it was security but we knew it was not. We boarded, our real security photos were taken and we were good to go. Even though they did not take our photos the 19.99 appeared on our bill on the penultimate day so don’t let them swipe your card as you’ll still be charged even though you’ve had no photos taken. Very shoddy. That means you have to drag yourself down to the photo desk to get the charge taken off - which is usually 5 deep with people doing the very same thing. Shocking MSC. We had pre-purchased the £20 a day drinks package which was outstanding value - this included cocktails, prosecco, 2 red, 2 white, 1 rose wine, fancy coffees, water, ice cream. The ice cream on the promenade you have to pay for but there is free ice cream at the Atmosphere bar however it is the whippy type ice cream which I don’t like. We found the Polar bar which had 5/6 flavours of the Italian ice cream including coconut (my favourite) included in the package. There were no children using the flumes during this trip but this elderly man was having a great time to himself with a rubber tube. It was chilly but not too cold. Our cabin was an inside on deck 12 and as stated previously there is not a lot of storage space. We ended up leaving stuff in our cases under the bed. The bathroom was fine although I had to step out to get dried. The bed and pillows were comfy. The TV had only news in English on Sky but there were a few recent movies to rent. We did have a problem with fumes coming into the cabin and when we complained were told it was the design of the ship. They said if the wind was blowing in a certain direction the fumes were sucked back into the air conditioning system. All I know is I had a thumping headache and felt nauseous when in the cabin so tried to spend as little time as possible in there. We had early dining at 6.30pm on a table for 8. The food was fine. There was always something we could find to eat and considering my husband doesn’t eat cheese, pasta or pizza he was quite happy with the menu choices. One night I was a bit peckish so had the mini fish & chips in the English Pub. It was okay but the batter was soggy and not crispy like it should be. We did go to Butchers Cut twice as my husband enjoys a steak. Some people tried to order a drink in Butchers Cut using their prepaid drinks vouchers but were told they were not accepted. The ladies just got up and went to another bar and brought back 2 bottled of wine. We used our drinks package okay so what’s the difference MSC? In the main restaurant the service was crisp and our glasses refilled no problem. The waiters do seem rushed but were trying their best to cope. The tables are very close together and I don’t know how some of the waiters squeezed through but they did. We only went to one show and was shown how to book it on the interactive screen then our card was scanned on entering. It didn’t seem to be working that well though as most people entered in the last 5 mins without prebooking. Maybe teething troubles. We didn’t encounter any queues getting off the ship but getting back on in Palermo was a nightmare. There were 2 queues with only one scanning machine for each. On this cruise most of the scanning was done shoreside in Genoa, Palermo & Valletta. We don’t know about Marseille as we didn’t get off. In Valletta, Malta there is a very good duty free shop with cheap tobacco etc. We had pre-paid our gratuities and on checking with Reception found they had no record of receiving any monies (even after they checked ashore). This resulted in us having to tip crew who served us directly. We have taken this up with Cruise Nation as we want to know where our £98 has gone – they have replied it could take them 28 days to respond! Not good enough Cruise Nation. There seemed to be a distinct lack of seating on the ship and what seating there was - was not comfy. The chairs in the Champagne bar were too high at the sides. Half of the Champagne bar seemed to be solely for the use of people knitting or doing crafts. I asked for a glass of prosecco but was told I had to have one of their cocktails containing prosecco not just a straight prosecco. Also in the Sky Lounge (again with the most uncomfortable seats) I asked for a Baileys Alexander but was told to go to the Horizon Bar and get one there. The Horizon Bar was a sheltered bar outside which seemed to be favoured by smokers and my elegant cocktail was served in a plastic glass. We met lots of friendly people on this cruise and we like the various nationalities onboard. We would definitely go with MSC again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We booked this cruise last year because was very cheap. You only get what you pay for. Embarkation was smooth. Our ticket said 16.15 pm, we arrived at 10.30 am. Didn't matter were given a number slot in order of boarding. On board ... Read More
We booked this cruise last year because was very cheap. You only get what you pay for. Embarkation was smooth. Our ticket said 16.15 pm, we arrived at 10.30 am. Didn't matter were given a number slot in order of boarding. On board by13.00. Ship is very big you walk a long way for venues. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10. Smallest balcony room ever, not enough storage space for clothes. The bed is close to balcony door, get out bed quick you will hit the door. Room not designed very good you can't lie in bed and watch TV, you have to sit on settee, which was disgusting dirty and not comfy (basic). For a new ship the carpets are dirty , needs a wash. Dining is basic food never hot tepid at best. Portions are small and veg free. Don't think they know what veggies are. Buffet restaraunt no better, no variety same food all week. I had breakfast as soon as it opened one morning bacon, sausages & eggs were all cold. Even the hot water for tea was tepid. Entertainment was not good Theatre shows in Italian except one. One show Magic Friends couldn't understand what they were trying to achieve. No free films on TV unless you pay for them. That's the theme on this ship you want anything better be prepared to pay. They have a sea screen but only ever showed Blue Planet Service in bars were mostly very qiuck, sometimes it was quicker to get them yourself. Ports we have done them before so did our own thing. The ships excursions are very expensive for what they are. They were charging E16's for a shuttle bus into Marseille walk for 10 mins and there is a freeshuttle bus into town. We have tried this line but will never use them again ( have cancelled next years cruise with them. Should have stayed home would have enjoyed ourselves better Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Beautiful and new Ship. Bad food in quality, quantity and specially no variety. Poor variety always the same food 7 days a week. Hous open for food is limited. 7H30 to 10h30, 12h00 to 15h and 18h30 to 22h , after hours snack until ... Read More
Beautiful and new Ship. Bad food in quality, quantity and specially no variety. Poor variety always the same food 7 days a week. Hous open for food is limited. 7H30 to 10h30, 12h00 to 15h and 18h30 to 22h , after hours snack until 23h00 is only poor quality of pizza. Even fountain juice drinks are only served during breakfast. Quality of food is like school cafeteria . Buffet are very limited choice, very boring choice. Most of time food counter are closed. Long waiting queue to pick your food. Entertainment is boring, show quality is not high standard. The director entertainment speaks many languages, but yell loud for nothing. He speaks so fast in a short time many languages so nobody understand his messages. He doesn't care if people can get his message or not, as long as he has mentionned, he is satisfy with himself. No care for his customers. The cabin does not give cream lotions. The shower does not provide hair conditionner. Mainly the staff are very kind. But most of the time you have to run for your services. Food , drinks and Cleaning room staffs are very nice and helpful. We have a feeling that we don't get our services. I think it's the administration decision, to only give the minimum services. After cruising with MSC twice. I conclude the same conclusion as previously. MSC is a MINIMUM SERVICE CRUISE. Even I bought a Balcony with All inclusive drink package with AUREA spa package, to prevent bad experiences. I don't see any better. Not only i wasted my money but even more important my precious quality time. I can't get it back. Before I cruise I read other people critics but didn't believe. But it's true. DO NOT WASTE your Precious Time on the Cruise Line MSC. Try to Get better travel experience Consider other cruise lines, would worth more for your money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
We mainly chose this cruise for the itinerary & because of the brand new ship. We have been on many cruises, only once on MSC(Divina). We were a little hesitant because of some of the reviews, but we were not disappointed. We had a ... Read More
We mainly chose this cruise for the itinerary & because of the brand new ship. We have been on many cruises, only once on MSC(Divina). We were a little hesitant because of some of the reviews, but we were not disappointed. We had a balcony cabin & opted for the Fantastical experience, which worked out well because of the drink package. I do agree with some of the reviewers that I was surprised that they charge for water at dinner. All in all, the food was good, not great. The pastries and breads, however, were exceptionally delicious. The cabin was very nice & had some very cool features, the lights being one. The balcony wasn’t large, but we are so glad we had one because every day we were in a new & gorgeous Port! If you are going to The Mediterranean, balcony is a must! In Marseille, we did the hop on, hop off bus, which was great- we got off on our return at the marina area & had lunch at a charming sidewalk cafe. Genoa- we took the excursion to Portofino Bay- we had a lovely time- it is a ferry trip, which was a little shaky on the way back, several passengers were a little “green”, but we were fine. Next was Naples, we just walked the town & had pizza in a little alley way- very fun! Messina was next- we went on excursion to Taormina by bus, so beautiful on top of a mountain, lots of shops & beautiful churches. Malta- our biggest surprise, we went by cab- stopped at glass blowing factory- could have stayed for hours, so interesting & beautiful glassware! Next we went to Medina, the former capital- lots of shopping & beautiful cathedrals. On return, we spent an extra day in Barcelona-loved it! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I usually do not review cruises but this one cannot be ignored. My husband and I flew to Barcelona with 10 friends to take the MSC Meraviglia cruise that sailed 11-24-17. The itinerary for this cruise was great. But, sadly, that was the ... Read More
I usually do not review cruises but this one cannot be ignored. My husband and I flew to Barcelona with 10 friends to take the MSC Meraviglia cruise that sailed 11-24-17. The itinerary for this cruise was great. But, sadly, that was the only thing that was great. The ship is new and quite beautiful but the acoustics are horrid. It is a very loud ship. The cabins appear roomy but that is because there is limited furniture (no chair), a very small closet with only a few thick wooden hangers that take up a lot of precious room and only two very very small drawers which are located in the small closet. I would suggest bringing hangers and limiting your clothes. Use the extra luggage space to bring water. Only water available in the dining room is what you bring in or buy at 3.25 a bottle. And forget about getting a cup of coffee after dinner. Not available in the dining room. You would not have time to drink it anyway. They start trying to get you to leave about an hour after arriving. Our first night, the Maitre 'D actually asked us to leave. Only time he talked to us the whole 8 day cruise. Our waiter was rude and unsociable. He was rolling his eyes while standing behind you taking your order. I guess he thought we would not see that. The food portions were very small and the quality was mediocre at best. This was the first cruise that I lost weight. There were several nights that we had to go to the buffet after dinner if it was open. The buffet was closed more often then it was open. They shut it down after breakfast for two hours and again from 4PM-7:30PM and again at about 10:00 PM. During those times all that is available is Pizza which was not very good. It's an Italian ship and the pizza was not very good. The poolside grill was cooking hamburgers but would not let you get one. They were wrapping and taking them to the buffet. By the time you got one, took it to the salad bar to put lettuce/tomato on it, it was cold. But, I only ate one because it was terrible meat. Disembarkations for the tours were total chaos. On our tour to Rome the bus turned around 1/2 hour into the trip to come back for 4 people they forgot. They got us back to the ship at tour end late and we missed our appointed dinner seating. They would not seat us and told us to go to the buffet. When we went up there all that was available was pizza. We paid for some fish and chips at a pub and they were tasteless. The buffet served exactly the same food day after day. There were a few desserts that were good but in general it was just mediocre food. The hot chocolate at the specialty shop was great but that is another paid for item. You have to reserve all shows. The cigarette smoke in the casino is terrible. The staff ranged from complacent to rude. I could go on. This was the worst cruise I have been on and I will never sail with MSC again. They began as a cargo hauler and apparently still think that's what they are doing because they are definitely not a cruise line. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I was concerned about the reviews about this cruise before departure. But the cruise was fine. There are niggles - the food isn't as good as we've had on other cruises, less choice, I think poorer quality. One of the worst ... Read More
I was concerned about the reviews about this cruise before departure. But the cruise was fine. There are niggles - the food isn't as good as we've had on other cruises, less choice, I think poorer quality. One of the worst things was the lack of hand gel dispensers in the buffet. There were sinks, but no-one used them! We took the all inclusive package, booked before departure which was worth while. Drinks are expensive, and you even need to buy water with dinner. Its a beautiful ship. Huge, but nice. Its quite noisy with all the nationalities, but you can always find a space. The theatre was a bug-bear, with people coming and going right through the performances. Very annoying. There was a lovely indoor pool with warm water! There was some great entertainment. We never got to see Cirque du Soleil as one of the performers was injured. I was disappointed by this. In the ports, it was expensive to get into Marseille - I think around 17 euros each, as it was a long way from the dock. They also charged around 8 euros to get to Barcelona - whereas there was a port shuttle for 4 euros return. The staff were great, especially in the bars. We worked our way through the cocktail list! The cabin was lovely and the cabin steward excellent - although there's not much drawer space and the wardrobe could be bigger with more hangers. Toiletries are basic, shower gel and shampoo only - no conditioner, or body lotion. We were disappointed to find that the nicest bar - which was child free was never open, even though you could sit in the lounge. On our cruise there seemed to be huge groups of travel agents being shown around which was disruptive. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise, despite all the bad reviews, because the price and the itinerary were good. We figured "how bad can it be". Well the reviews were right. The ship is beautiful. Everything else was not. I don't even know ... Read More
We chose this cruise, despite all the bad reviews, because the price and the itinerary were good. We figured "how bad can it be". Well the reviews were right. The ship is beautiful. Everything else was not. I don't even know where to start. From the minute we set foot on the ship everything was about up selling you. Even at dinner in the main dining room the waiters were trying to sell you dining packages to the paid restaurants. In the dining rooms the food was barely edible, almost laughable, and forget about a glass of water or a cup of coffee with your meal. All extra! That's right. if you wanted a glass of water you had to buy a bottle. If you wanted coffee or tea you had to pay for it. Wine and soda I understand but water? a cup of coffee?. So the alternative to dining is to pay extra to go to one of the restaurants or go to the buffet. Let me tell you; the buffet was even worse. 6,000 people fighting for access to the most poorly laid out buffet I've ever seen. We tried it once for breakfast and once more for lunch. The food was no better. After that We would not set foot near the buffet except in the evening when I needed a cup of hot water to mix some Theraflu for a head cold before bed. Even that was an excruciating experience. Most times there was no hot water available or the urn was empty. There was no flow control at all in the buffet so it was chaos at all times and the staff did nothing to ease the situation. We saw our room steward on the first day..that was it. when you bought anything you signed an electronic pad and never got a physical receipt. forget about trying to reconcile your bill at the end of the cruise. The ship was always noisy. There was not a quiet place anywhere on the ship that you could go to relax or read except the sky lounge up top, but every time we tried to get up there for some quiet conversation or relaxation it was "closed for private event". I could go on and on but there is just too much to say; such as if you wanted to go to a show in the theater you had to make a reservation ahead of time. What ever happened to " I think I'll go and see what the show is after dinner". At the end of the cruise our group of 12 friends could not wait to get off that ship. Up until now our worst cruise experience had been on Carnival. Not anymore! MSC is now #1 for NEVER AGAIN! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first MSC Cruise, booked over a year ago as MSC advertisement said it had the latest technology in wrist bands, circus du solei, mirror that allows one to see without putting the clothes on, ten pin bowling, good food ... Read More
This was our first MSC Cruise, booked over a year ago as MSC advertisement said it had the latest technology in wrist bands, circus du solei, mirror that allows one to see without putting the clothes on, ten pin bowling, good food restaurants.... So after boarding we found out there were no wrist bands, there were no circus shows (technical issues with both and the show was an extra fee which weren't advertised), bowling was just a 2 lane for a short time/high fee. All 3 meals were jam packed into the buffet restaurant as there were no other places to eat unless one pays - for dinner the fixed dining venues offered small serving, basic food and we met people who didn't like the food or had to fill up in the buffet afterwards. The fixed dining wait staff worked like robots, no personal service really until we tipped them - a test we did on the 4th night (seriously why would someone tip for disinterested service!). Other company cruise ships SMALLER than this ship's size have more inclusive dining venues! On this ship they used the space to sell chocolates etc. We called this the money hungry, dieters' cruise ship. In a snap shot food options and quality are the poorest in comparison to RCI, Princess, Celebrity etc.. Oh almost forgot to add dinner buffet only starts at 7pm (counters are all empty before 7pm). They also closed the doors at 6:00pm at the level 5 restaurant and won't let diners with a 5:30pm seating in. Do not book the cruise terminal to airport transfer with MSC, it was badly organised. There were no directions and when we finally found the lady holding a folder deemed 'transfer crew' the 4 of us were separated and squeezed into small taxis and so were our luggage! We asked and they said it was a bus transfer when we booked. Gym equipment was just basic to say the least for a large, new ship (advertised to be a high tech ship). Movies on demand on the tv ALL require a fee (unlike other cruise companies). So it was just repetitive news on the whole cruise. Port daily reading material had no maps or any useful info for self navigation - again this cruise company wants all to pay and use their shore excursions. A nice ship, being new. That said we would choose to cruise with others before MSC for the reasons above. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I had read a lot of bad reviews and was a bit worried if our so much wanted cruise would be as exciting as we anticipated. Yes, it was. Let me first note that we were first time cruisers. Joined Meraviglia from Naples, Italy. The ... Read More
I had read a lot of bad reviews and was a bit worried if our so much wanted cruise would be as exciting as we anticipated. Yes, it was. Let me first note that we were first time cruisers. Joined Meraviglia from Naples, Italy. The embarkation was a bit frustrating as there were no clear signs where is the drop of luggage section - it appeared to be in the other wing of the port. Then we waited a long line with no seating options. Once we gave our suitcase we were assigned a number which meant we had to spend a few more hours in the waiting area. Of course we used the time to explore out and about, but in general the embarkation was very exhausting experience. Once we got aboard we were met by the kids club staff who put a wristband to our 5yo so he could be easily tracked and signed at different activities. There was no other kind of welcome on board. We had to find our own way to the elevators and cabin. Not that we didn't manage but it was somehow annoying. I don't know how it is organized on the other ships- here we felt a bit like dropped in the deep. Cabin- Apart from that first experience the rest was fantastic. We got newsletters every night so we would know what the schedule for the next day was. the cabin- inside on Deck 13- there was enough room for all 3 of us- 2 Adults 1 child. We had 2 wardrobes, a good size bed, the kid's bunk bed was also a good size- he enjoyed going up and down the ladder. The bathroom was bigger than expected. Very good ventilation system- our swimsuits and small washing dried up very quickly. The TV in the cabin was showing screens from two of the ship's cameras so we felt like we had a window- this was the first thing in the morning- switch on the TV to see where we are. The cabin steward was a nice guy- these people work so hard from dusk to down and even more. We would get up very early in the morning- he's seen in the corridor, going back to the cabin past 10pm- he's still folding towels. One day I pushed the DND button just to give him some rest. The policy of tiding up cabin 2 times a day is a bit too much for me. Dining- We ate dinner 3 times in the restaurant and the rest in the buffet. The restaurant was nice - Olive D'Doro on deck 6. The waiters, the atmosphere, the tables layout- fantastic. The food- delicious but minor portions. Even if you eat lunch at the port, you get back to the ship at around 4:30-5pm (5:30 is all aboard time) so you need some snack to bite. Go up to the buffet- mainly hot dogs and hamburgers. OK wait for dinner, already starving eat a small portion of food and then end up in the buffet again. And actually we enjoyed the buffet food at the proper meals times. Big variety of salads, meat, pasta, bread, vegetables, desserts- everything for everybody. Entertainment- Fantastic shows, we saw 4 shows and Cirque Du Soleil. From the regular shows we enjoyed Way and Paz the most. The kids club is also a very well organized. There's entertainment for the kids all the time. The girls take them not only in the play areas but for some movies down in the theater, for games in the sports zone, there are constantly some activities for the kids. Also there is fun dinner time in the buffet, so you can dine in the restaurant or in the buffet and they will entertain and feed your child. Unfortunately among all the variety of food in the buffet they feed the kids hamburgers and fires - even my 5yo said it's not healthy food and didn't want to eat with them the following days, although he enjoyed the rest of the daily program. We couldn't attend any of the dancing classes, Master Chef or other entertainment as we were too tired from the onshore exploring, but we were very impressed by the variety of activities offered. Even if we had 7 days at sea there would be something new to everyday. The musicians were all fantastic. I can't say a bad word for the entertainment- just fantastic! We were very happy with the pools- all with warm water even the outdoor one. The jacuzzys were also very pleasant (quite packed most of the time though). I only missed a changing room at the pool area. We got a bit cold as we had to walk in wet towels back to the cabin and even though we were inside we could still feel some some air drаught. Service- all in all we were very happy with everybody. Yes, some of the staff seemed tired, but they were never rude. We are please with the interactive info screens and the mobile app. We did not have the need to visit reception. Although the lack of the human touch in communication felt a bit like a 'self-service-luxury'. Ports- we enjoyed all the ports. The only con was in Marseille where the ship docks really far from the center and if you want to use the free port shuttle you have to walk over a kilometer through the windy port, then wait 20 min for the shuttle, then travel over 15min to get to a transport hub. It's so much waste of time. Of course there is a transfer from the ship which is approx Eur12.00 per adult. Having in mind it was 3 of us- we would had to spend more than Eur30.00 just to reach to the city. Drink package- We are not big drinkers so we only bought prepaid vouchers for caffeine drinks and soft drinks. They were absolutely enough. At dinner we bought water from the restaurant (approx Eur3,00 for a 1l bottle). In the buffet there was free water and juice. We ordered a glass of wine once or twice and it was absolutely enough for us. Even if we had a full drinks package I don't know if we'd drink more. There's simply no time for it. In the morning you have free coffee and juice in the buffet, then spend the whole day onshore, get back in the late afternoon, have a refreshing shower and get ready for dinner, then dine, watch a show and eventually spend some more time on the top deck to enjoy the nice breeze and that's all- time for bed. All in all it was a great experience for us. And we would definitely go again! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
MSC Meraviglia – 13th to 20th November – Naples to Civitavecchia Background We had booked this cruise for a number of reasons, the first being that even though we have visited the majority of ports on the Western Med circuit we ... Read More
MSC Meraviglia – 13th to 20th November – Naples to Civitavecchia Background We had booked this cruise for a number of reasons, the first being that even though we have visited the majority of ports on the Western Med circuit we had never visited Naples. Knowing that we would like to see Pompeii, Herculaneum, Sorrento and some of the other main attractions, this itinerary meant we could spend a few days in Naples before the start of the cruise and tick these destinations off our lists. The other reason for booking the cruise was to experience what the latest flagship of the MSC fleet had to offer. Being launched earlier in 2017, MSC Meraviglia was billed as the most technologically advanced ship at sea. Since this cruise, MSC have launched another new ship, MSC Seaside, as part of their impressive expansion plans. Seaside and Meraviglia are completely different ships, with the design being poles apart. Meraviglia was built by STX France and Seaside by Fincantieri. Seaside focuses on getting guests ‘closer to the sea’ and is the ship that follows the sun, whereas Meraviglia is billed as the ship for all seasons. As I’m yet to sail on Seaside and can only comment on what I’ve seen on the Internet, I’ll refrain from any more comments or comparisons between these two ships. Embarkation Boarding at Naples was convenient, with the cruise terminal having decent facilities and a short and inexpensive taxi ride from our hotel helped us to relax. The signage within the terminal could have been better – luggage needed to be dropped off in one side of the terminal, with check-in / boarding being completed in the other. This could have been confusing had we not sought assistance early on. As we are Black Card members of the Voyagers club we were able to take advantage of the priority boarding – this meant that as soon as the Yacht Club passengers had been taken through security we were able to sail through the crowds. We were given our cruise cards at check in – on recent cruises the cards had been waiting in the cabin. Accommodation Once aboard we went to find our cabin, a Fantastica balcony, 14153. We had not fully appreciated on paper just how much bigger than the Fantasia class ships Meraviglia is, with extra corridors and inside cabins it would certainly take some time to get used to the layout. MSC Cabins are priced on cabin type (inside, outside, balcony, suite etc) and experience type (Bella, Fantastica, Wellness, Aurea, Yacht Club). Each experience type offers different perks. We tend to always choose Fantastica as the cabins are generally in a better location (mid-ships) preference of dining time (although not guaranteed), continental breakfast room service. The cabin itself was up to the usual MSC standard. It was spotless. It did feel perhaps a little smaller than some of the cabins we have stayed in, but still plenty big enough for two people for a week’s cruise. Storage space appears perhaps a little lacking as there are only two drawers, however suitcases fit under the bed, there is an extra rail in the wardrobe that folds down to provide extra hanging space. Lifejackets are also now stored at the muster station rather than in the cabin which again frees up some space. Our cases were soon delivered and we unpacked; alas there was still room for more clothes. To our delight the cabin also had a bath with glass shower screen; the bath was particularly nice when coming back to the ship on cooler days; great for relaxing with a glass of wine whilst getting ready for dinner! The Ship As our boarding time was 2pm, we had missed lunch, so it was off up to Deck 15 to have a look at the Market Place buffet. The buffet is simply huge! There are so many different stations including carvery, rotisserie and oriental, as well as the usual pizzas and salads. Following lunch, it was off to explore round the ship, with our first stop being The Horizon bar – an adults only area at the stern of the ship on Deck 18. This reminded me a little of NCL Epic’s Spice H2o area, only it was more spacious with a much more open feel. There were plenty of sunbeds in the staged amphitheatre area, a decent sized plunge pool and a large hot tub. We finished our glasses of champagne (Nicholas Feuillatte) which was included in our premium drinks package, which offers excellent value at £36 per day for unlimited consumption of alcoholic beverages, items in the mini bar and room service – there are very few exclusions to the package, with only some super-premium single malts, Beluga Vodka and Zacapa Rum being the main ones. Back inside and to the Edge cocktail bar on Deck 6. We were delighted to meet up with Francisco, a bar tender who remembered us from our very first cruise, and he was also very pleased to see us. From The Edge bar, it is impossible not to be wowed by the sheer size of Meraviglia; you really get a feel as to how wide the ship is, and how long she is with a spectacular view down the central promenade “Galleria Meraviglia” Meraviglia boasts the longest LED dome at sea and WOW what an impression it made! The domed ceiling is the focal point of the central promenade, with the LED screen used to show a variety of vistas, from fireworks in London, Paris, Sydney, famous ceilings of the world, ‘under the sea’, in to space, dinosaurs… Along the promenade are the speciality restaurants, the TV studio / comedy club, the chocolate shop and the Meraviglia lounge, which generally hosted the animation team’s evening games and dances. Dining One of the reasons many people decide to book cruise holidays is the reputation that cruising has for providing plentiful high quality food. On various review sites MSC seem to take a beating over the food provided in the main dining rooms, with writers suggesting the food is not good. Let me just say: Food is subjective. What I mean by this is that what suits the taste of one person may be completely against what others feel. I like to think of myself as a good cook and am somewhat a foodie. For me, the food on MSC is varied and well executed. Being a company of Italian heritage, it should come as no surprise that Italian cuisine has a heavy influence on the menu. Personally I found the food to be of a good standard and with a varied menu. The menu choices have been pared down since I first started cruising with MSC; there are now fewer options for each course and seemingly a push towards a three course dining experience. Portion sizes are adequate, and it is never an issue to have more courses – my partner and I quite often had four or five courses, as we love to try the different options available. We were assigned ‘My Choice’ dining in the Panorama restaurant and were waited on by Marcello and his team. They were knowledgeable about themenu and offered advice on wine pairings from the list of wines by the glass included in our package. Highlights of food throughout the week include the sparkling wine risotto and fillet of beef in marsala wine sauce on the first elegant night, the seafood mixed grill served on the Med night was also very well presented, consisting of a whole king prawn, swordfish and cuttlefish. Speciality Dining Traditionally, MSC have not had numerous speciality restaurants. For example, Fantasia and Splendida have just the Tex Mex / Steakhouse, Divina and Preziosa Eataly / steakhouse. Meraviglia is almost a break from this tradition with several options over and above the main dining room. These include a Teppan Yaki and sushi restaurant, a steakhouse, Italian, a British pub. With these choices, in addition to the assigned dining room and buffet options it is impossible not to find something of interest. As we are both Black Card holders in MSC’s Voyagers club, a perk is a meal for two in a speciality restaurant. We had decided to take one of these meals in the Kyoto Teppan Yaki and the other in the Butchers Cut steakhouse. The in-cabin TV and the MSC for me app now enables passengers to view the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. As such we checked out whether we would really enjoy the dinner menu ahead of making reservations in another restaurant. On the second night of the cruise we decided to take our first complimentary meal in the speciality dining and were able to secure a table for 7.30pm. Paul, our chef for the evening was great fun – making a real show out of the whole experience. The complimentary Black Card menu was the ‘Emperor’ selection, which would usually cost €28 per head. It consisted of delights such as sushi, miso soup, fried rice, salmon and steak. The whole experience resulted in a synergy that in my opinion exceeded our expectations. We enjoyed the experience so much we decided that we would take our second complimentary meal in the Teppan Yaki Paul was delighted to see us again when we joined him a couple of nights later for another meal! Entertainment For those who have heard of MSC before, it will come as no surprise that there are a number of nationalities onboard, and therefore multiple languages are spoken. English is always the first language, then Italian followed by French, German, Spanish etc. Announcements are therefore limited compared to other cruise lines which seem to constantly have the cruise director on the Tannoy advising passengers of activities going on around the ship. Just because the announcements aren’t there that doesn’t mean that these activities don’t happen. The daily programme is delivered to the cabin in the evening. The MSC for Me app and the interactive screens around the ship give information about what is happening, where and when. Everyday during the cruise there was a quiz of some description, multiple games, dance lessons, and even Master Chef at Sea! MSC have partnered up with the TV programme to bring something different to their cruises. To qualify, contestants must take part in a quiz. The top scoring individuals are then chosen to take part in the live show in the theatre. I was lucky enough to be chosen and was paired up with another contestant from Portugal. It was certainly an experience and quite nerve wracking to try and prepare something tasty and well presented in front of a crowd of 700 using the following ingredients: galia melon, honeydew melon, watermelon, strawberries, feta cheese, balsamic vingar, olive oil, salt and pepper… By a sheer miracle we won and came away with various MSC and Masterchef branded goodies! On Meraviglia, MSC have teamed up with Cirque du Soleil who perform two different shows. Unfortunately, for much of our sailing there was an issue with some of the equipment in the Carousel Lounge – the special area deck 7 aft beyond the casino dedicated to these performances. This unfortunate issue meant that there were no shows until our penultimate night. We managed to secure two seats for the final night of our cruise to see the Sonor show. The show was absolutely excellent. We’d pre-booked our show and cocktail ticket online so we were really glad we managed to get to see Cirque. It is almost impossible to describe the show other than breath-taking. The comfortable and well-designed lounge with excellent views of the stage even from near the back, the amazing acoustics, wonderful costumes and of course the excellent artists. There are also three theatre shows per night, of two different shows, which allows passengers to perhaps see something they might have missed. We attended the Opera based around La Boheme which was very good indeed, with live opera singers. Conclusion There is far more to Meraviglia than I have mentioned so far – so many bars and lounges, waterslides, simulators, night clubs, sports parks – it would take weeks to write anything further in detail on all these aspects. We were certainly wowed by the ship and can see why she is the eighth wonder of the world. During our week onboard we were made to feel like celebrities; so many of the crew recognized us from previous cruises and were genuinely pleased to see us. Nothing was ever too much trouble. My only criticism would be that there did seem to be a lack of seating on occasion. This wouldn’t normally be much of an issue for us, however my partner is recovering from a broken ankle. It was always possible to find somewhere to sit by moving to a different bar or lounge, however this could be inconvenient when wanting to listen to a certain act. I’m confident that there is something for everyone on this ship and that she is a real game changer. For the moment though MSC Fantasia will still remain my favourite and hold a very special piece of my heart having spent so long on her and her sister Splendida. Being that bit smaller than Meraviglia Fantasia has all of the facilities of a big ship but offers the familiarity of a well-loved holiday home. Would I sail on Meraviglia again? Yes, I would, but possibly only for a week or ten days – the ship has so much going on it’s impossible to ignore the multitude of activities and attractions and just ‘switch off’ and relax. 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

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