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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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Looked forward to this cruise and ship, this was the second of the year with MSC after the fabulous Divina in February 17 & Splendida Sept 16, I knew exactly what I was going into. This ship is a fantastic modern marvel of ships ... Read More
Looked forward to this cruise and ship, this was the second of the year with MSC after the fabulous Divina in February 17 & Splendida Sept 16, I knew exactly what I was going into. This ship is a fantastic modern marvel of ships & pride of the fleet but thats where it ends, in my mind there is something missing and I couldn't put my finger on it, yes you get the usual europeans in the buffet, lifts and anywear they think they have to be first in/out without queuing/waiting but it's not that. For me it was the bars /lounges a strange set up - Edge bar (best bar) few seats & tables that soon filled up with people not drinking, reading or playing cards (their prerogative). Champagne bar with no-one in, which is bigger more seats tables than the edge bar that only sells champagne and prosecco! I don't do champs or prosecco more of a G&T man so that bar was out for us. Sky lounge - biggest lounge plenty of tables & chairs, Jazz singer and band all night one drink and your out of there but it was never full or busy. Tv lounge quite entertaining if you like European tv comedy think Eurotrash, the English pub was ok in the afternoon food was good but you had to pay for it, felt different in the evening with not many people in. The sports bar was a joke compared to the Divina/Splendida and reminded me of a sports centre reception we had one drink in there and didn't go back no TVs to watch sports!! The Galleria Meraviglia bit like the trafford centre but I get it and enjoyed it best part of the ship. Food - Main restaurant small portions, bland food plenty of sea food if you like it, I don't pay for restaurants we had a package steakhouse, Eataly & Kaito sushi & Teppanyaki which is only the sushi part (we did pay for teppanyaki) now this package is good value but be warned the menus are very short if you don't do seafood be warned, in my opinion the food in eataly was crap after eating in the Divina eataly I expected something of the same it didn't by a long stretch after a complaint to the MaitreD' he organised food I can eat in Kaito Sushi so thanks for sorting that. Steak house excellent apart from the fillet the wife got 8oz on the plate looked lost it had shrunk so much was cooked med, my 14oz sirloin looked like a 14oz sirloin on the plate cooked the same med' starter of goats cheese tart with blueberries was excellent. Buffet was the usual MSC joke they have this down to a fine art but we are use to it and except it for what it is. Room interior deck 13 very small but comfy I lived out of suitcase wife filled the small wardrobe. I could go on about all parts of the ship but I won't. To credit MSC Boarding/Disembarking is the best I've had (all 3 cruises) the staff Waiters, bar service, room services are excellent and work hard while keeping happy. Reception you only speak to them when you have a monetary/billing issue and you are on first name terms by the end of the week but they sort everything out!! Will I go on Meraviglia again......... Maybe.. ish! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I read all the reviews prior to taking this cruise. I am sorry to say most were right on target. The ship is beautiful. We were on the Aurea deck along with our son and daughter in law/ Cabins 14081 and 14083. We had a tub in our ... Read More
I read all the reviews prior to taking this cruise. I am sorry to say most were right on target. The ship is beautiful. We were on the Aurea deck along with our son and daughter in law/ Cabins 14081 and 14083. We had a tub in our cabin which was very dangerous. Very narrow and is rounded on the sides. There was absolutely no closet space in either cabins and only 2 small drawers. We both had a small balcony which was fine. We had the 3 restaurant dining package and the two shows of Cirque de Soleil. The only decent restaurant is Butchers Cut. We had a very nice meal there and we found out that they serve brunch there on certain days and we paid to eat brunch which was very nice. The ship has to many people and they just cannot accommodate everyone. There were long lines wherever we went. If we had a question we would be in line about an hour before we reached the counter. The food is horrible. The buffet is a nightmare, too many people, pushing and grabbing food. The food was uninteresting and just no taste. We did the buffet for a couple of lunches and two breakfasts. The waves restaurant was not any better, rude staff and food with no taste. We did go to Panorama Restaurant for dinner and it was just ok, staff very nice. The elegant night offered Filet of Beef, which we thought was Filet, ended up being Roast Beef. We had tickets to see both Cirque shows and they were cancelled due to "technical difficulties". You could not get a seat in the bar lounges due to people playing cards and not ordering cocktails. There just were no seats to accommodate all the people on board. My son had to tip the bartenders because if not you would stand there for about 15 minutes and no one would take your order. Once he tipped, we had no problem. I would never cruise this line again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We have just come back from a cruise on this ship. To give you context, we've cruised four times before - once on Princess, once on Celebrity and twice on P&O. This was by far our worst experience. I would not recommend it for ... Read More
We have just come back from a cruise on this ship. To give you context, we've cruised four times before - once on Princess, once on Celebrity and twice on P&O. This was by far our worst experience. I would not recommend it for people who like a traditional cruise. The evening dining was by far the worst thing about it. The food was so awful it is hard to imagine. As an example one main course was a cold lump of moussaka. No veg, salad or garnish. It was basically all like that. Truly awful. I did complain to reception and the maître d but neither was interested. The physical environment is very good. The cabins were nice. Everything was kept clean. The central atrium or boulevard looks fantastic. The shows on board are very good - however the Italians seem to think it is fine to let their children run around in the show at 22:30 at night. It is a cultural thing and this just wasn't the relaxing grown up cruising experience we were expecting. My husband used the F1 and Moto GP simulators and enjoyed those (but you have to pay). Which leads me on to my final complaint. You don't even get water at dinner unless you pay for it. You don't get coffee after dinner either. Thank goodness the food in the buffet was pretty good. We had to eat in there instead. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Cabin was great Ship was clean and beautiful Shows were good Very disappointed that Cirque de Soliel was having tech difficulties and therefore never performing Staff was ok. Some were great (bars), Dinner waiters were not ... Read More
Cabin was great Ship was clean and beautiful Shows were good Very disappointed that Cirque de Soliel was having tech difficulties and therefore never performing Staff was ok. Some were great (bars), Dinner waiters were not attentive. Service was ok, Carnival does a much better job Buffet was good Dinner was not good at all. Pastas were undercooked, everything was bland. Desserts were dull, staff of not attentive, wait staff didn't perform, sing, nothing. Dining room (restaurant was too warm, it felt stuffy). If we hadn't made such good friends at our table, we would have probably never gone to dinner after the first 2 nights) Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. They were too expensive for such small towns with not too much to do. It was easier to do on our own. The wait for elevators was long, it was easier to take the stairs. We didn't like that people embarked and disembarked at all the ports because the same people were not on the whole cruise. Made it difficult to have relationships. The evening themes were not adequately announced so it was hard to know what to wear. They should have been sent prior to trip so we could have packed accordingly. How would we know to pack a "white" outfit? The cost of doing laundry was outrageous (55 Euro for 10 items) embarkation and disembarkation was smooth We were 2 adults in our 50s Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
I wanted to try MSC but had not read many reviews. This was a new ship (sailed Nov 2017), and the itenirary was right. We booked a balcony aurea. Room was tipical of cruise ships, shower was better due to glass door. Closet space was ... Read More
I wanted to try MSC but had not read many reviews. This was a new ship (sailed Nov 2017), and the itenirary was right. We booked a balcony aurea. Room was tipical of cruise ships, shower was better due to glass door. Closet space was the smallest we have encountered. We dont stay in cabin to much so it was OK. Food was ok but not excellent, except sweets which we thought were the best part of the cruise. Breakfast was ok but the herds of italian families was a minus. I do not think they believe in orderly waiting for service, pushing and shoving was the norm at the buffet. The kids were out of control and not once did I see a parent admonish a kid (I actually think they encouraged the kids to cut in line and push their way to the front. The main promenade was awesome and we did enjoy the LED display. Having the aurea experience, we enjoyed our included massage and access to the thermal area. The thermal area was great but lacked a thalasso pool. Enbarkation and disembarkation in Marseilles was eficient. In Naples, however, returning to the ship was the stupidest experience you can imagine. Two screening gates for 3000 cruisers-if you thought the buffet was a circus, this was Ringling Bros. It took more than 2 hours to get us in because of the rudeness and animalistic behaviour of the cruisers(mainly). But if the crowd can not be controlled by a particular terminal, shouldn't MSC be concerned with the safety of their costumers? I did not come in thinking anything bad of italians, and I still do not think, or hope anyway, that this was the tipical behaviour of the whole country, BUT, It was abismal. One last point, I do not think we arrived nor departed on time more than once or twice during the week. I told myself we would not use MSC again. Unfortunately, we planned a may cruise from Miami in May with extended family with only the week of May 26th available to them, plus a tight budget...Booked Seaside. 2 days after the final payment our relative had a change of plans and cancel, SO we are stuck with the cruise or loose 500$. Some of the waiters in our cruise told us the experience was better in the caribbean, I hope they are right. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We did a review of our September cruise on MSC Preziosa where we concluded that the cruise and the on board experience was much better than we feared… that cruise was a planned dry run for Meraviglia which had been booked for a year and ... Read More
We did a review of our September cruise on MSC Preziosa where we concluded that the cruise and the on board experience was much better than we feared… that cruise was a planned dry run for Meraviglia which had been booked for a year and was to include 2 mid 70 year olds with us… We diligently followed all the reviews of Meraviglia since her launch and frankly we were pretty concerned (understatement) by the reviews we read. We were within inches of cancelling before the final balance was due because all aspects seemed to be so truly awful… thanks goodness we didn’t as it would have been a horrible mistake. Our biggest reflections before some of the specific details would be: 1. What one cruiser may intensely dislike may not feel as bad, or even might be good for another - everyone’s experiences and preferences are different and it’s important to remember and respect that. Generalising is difficult and maybe misleading – comments like ‘everyone I spoke to…’ can be misleading as there are 5,000 cruisers on board so it’s likely a tiny sample and behaviourally human beings rarely openly disagree with those they are chatting with.. particularly brits tend to avoid the conflict of open disagreement with those who have strong opinions… its easier to agree whether true or not…. 2. You have to respect in an open minded manner that reviews when published are well considered, balanced and well thought through and not overly influenced by specific personal ‘one-off’ experiences. There is a real responsibility on reviewers to be authentic in their views but objective and factual rather than scare mongering and advising others not to cruise with MSC because it is so bad is probably not helpful. 3. Things change with ships, particularly new launch ones, and the experiences in the first few months may not be the same as those once the ship and crew bed into their roles, surroundings and on board processes. So our overall experience – we had a great time…. Superb value and we would do the same ship again without hesitation…….. Not ‘perfect’, but then we always manage to find something ‘not perfect’ with just about all of the 30 cruises we’ve done on RCL, Celebrity and Azamara!!!! And we found a lot more wrong with our experience of P&O (which again is quite different to many others and we respect that). Dealing with some specifics which we noted and were concerned about when we read reviews (am sure I’ve not got them all, so please treat this as just some we could quickly remember without doing tons of research!). Also please treat my observations as our reflections of OUR experience – am sure there were some of the same cruise who had very different views (indeed we could hear some on the coach to the airport…) and their views are clearly as valid as ours. They just experienced something different and saw the world differently. General Admin Check-in at airport – brilliant at Gatwick with BA – we were able to get checked in the night before so just went straight to security and breakfast! We had some frustration in the run up to the cruise as MSC will not allow anyone to access their flight booking as they treat their guests as a group booking as a result we couldn’t buy extra legroom seats or do any form of online check-in in advance. That said being able to check in the night before at the airport was great. Flight/ seating – the flight was very full and is frankly a bit of a flying bus service, but it was fine. Transfer at airport – we were met straight away once we were through immigration and customs with a bit of a wait until all passengers from other flights were through and ticked off. The representative lady did a nice thing for everyone as it was pouring with rain and she asked the driver to bring the bus to the front of the terminal so we could load up under cover… I understand that normally you have to walk to the bus (true or not I don’t know but if it is she was kind to us all!). Check in at port – at the port bags were transported for us directly off the coach to the ship without us seeing them and the check in process was very quick and clean (again whilst Genoa is one of the bigger embarkation/ disembarkation days for the cruise, for us, it was better that there wasn’t a full 5,000 person turnaround day and its phased over the course of the 7 days). We like this aspect and don’t see it as a negative at all. Disembarking – jumping to the end of the cruise! Disembarking, getting cases and boarding the bus to the airport was excellent. We’ve never experienced it being so easy to get off and get to the airport on any previous cruise! General On Board Experience/ Admin Ship – the ship is beautiful, spotlessly clean and very modern. It reminded us a lot of Anthem of the Seas. We liked how open plan it was with plenty of walking space so rarely did it feel very crowded except when there was maybe a sale on with the fragrance or watches or a specific event over-spilling out of a bar. We found the layout easy to navigate and never had a problem re waiting for lifts etc. All in all it was very much in line with the ‘big ships’ lines we’d sailed on before. Language – it felt like English was the primary language and whilst it did take a while to get through the announcements given the number of languages to be covered it didn’t inconvenience. Technology/ booking – we’d read a lot about things not working and maybe things have now been upgraded as everything worked well for us. The ‘MSC for Me’ app worked with the free on board wifi really well and the touch screens were great for menus or booking shows initially. We were able to link on board accounts for 2 rooms to one room, sort credit cards out easily. It was good for us but we saw lots of people having difficulties although most seemed to be more a case of needing help to do basic and simple things rather than actual problems. (Some people from certain countries just couldn’t be bothered to read or do anything for themselves so went to guest services to be spoon fed some of the most basic aspects). Guest Services – they have had some real hammer in reviews but I have to say we visited them 3 times during the cruise for little bits of things and we had a good experience. We never had to wait more than 20 mins and in each case the person helping us really wanted to just do their best and solve the issue. There was no ignorance, no bad behaviour, no nasty edge – we felt they were pretty good. I’m sure they get frustrated with some of the queries and some guests wanting to ask them everything under the sun as the queues get bigger and bigger but they try hard not to show it! Charges – there is a daily ‘service charge’ of 10 euros a day per person which gets added to the cabin account each evening. These are not gratuities in the old manner they are charges for services and facilities (as the name suggests) similar to many hotels do now. If you experience poor service, don’t agree with the auto approach to service charges and want to hand over cash to those who provide you great service, or are too tight to pay them(!) they can be removed via going to guest services we understand. Midway through the cruise there is a 1 euro per person donation to UNICEF also added to the account. We had no issues at all with any random charges coming onto our bills from other cabins, or unexpected charges as it was all clear upfront re what would be auto charged to our rooms. We saw a lot of people at guest services querying accounts/ charges but overhearing most seemed to be surprise at the daily service charges or the UNICEF one – maybe they didn’t know about them or read the docs? Drinks package – As per our review of Preziosa we cannot recommend this more highly. Having the ability to order pretty much anything you want and for the bill once processed to be zero to the on board account is excellent value for money. We checked with a very helpful guy as soon as we got on the ship whether all 4 of us had the right all-inclusive code and he checked his iPad and confirmed that to be the case – all good and away we went to the bar! If in doubt re any drink that might/ might not be included just ask a waiter/ bar tender they will happily tell you if it is or not (it does clearly say on each drinks menu that if there is an asterisk next to a particular drink its not included though). But the ‘Bar and Restaurant all inclusive’ package covers pretty much everything you need (including waters, teas, coffees, juices, soft drinks etc.) . The deluxe package, for us, was unnecessary to be an upgrade. With the on board account we never had a charge made to us for any drinks we ordered or wanted to order. Included versus extra charge aspects – we’d read some pretty scary stuff that what you received included in the cruise price was very little and everything was an upsell. That was not our experience – yes we paid for the all-inclusive drinks package but we’d have had to pay that spend multiple times over if we had bought drinks at the bar by the drink… food and entertainment is included, except for cirque de soleil as a premium show and the speciality restaurants (just as all other cruise lines). It’s a choice to spend more to experience more and the basic cost plus drinks package worked really well for all of us. Photo before boarding – the only naughty bit I’d warn future guests on is the ‘compulsory’ photo taken by the ships on-board photography team ‘for security reasons’ of all members of each cabin just after you’ve checked in and received your sea pass card (before you get to the boarding area). This is NOT the sea pass security photo that identifies each guest when disembarking or returning to the ship… guests will have either already uploaded this or have it taken by the ships security people as they physically board the ship… it is a con replacing (on other cruise lines) the entirely voluntary photo that can be taken for a souvenir of boarding day (typically with the ship as the canvas backdrop). They insisted on taking the photo despite our strong protests - we refused twice and they wouldn’t give us our sea passes back until we were prepared to stand there and have a photo taken! The reason for this is that the photo will be printed and delivered to your cabin on about day 3 or so and if you do not want (to buy) it you must return it to the photography booth or they will auto charge you for keeping it – it’s not a complimentary freebie… Shows – we quite enjoyed the included shows. There was no ‘laughing at the performance’ and very few people leaving shows even though we always went to the 10.30pm performances. They tended to last about 40-45 mins which is about right for that time of night and generally its clear they do put a lot of effort into them. That said, a bit like our Preziosa experience, it seems like MSC are trying to put almost too much into the shows, the cast is much bigger than other cruise dance/ singing casts we’ve seen, with too much content and sometimes this slightly detracts from focusing in on what’s going on. The quality isn’t anywhere near Norwegian’s Burn the floor or RCLs broadway shows but they are not likely to be so. Overall it was what it was – decent included entertainment that you can go to or not… your choice. Music – on board the ship there was quite a lot of music or various styles – not all of it suited us but it was ok. Staff motivation – we’d read a lot how downhearted and unfriendly the crew and staff were in people’s view and this had worried us too. Just to say whilst we encountered the odd individual who was not friendly and who looked like being on board was the worst life choice they had ever made (as we have on every cruise) generally the service, friendliness and effort to try to provide a service was really good. We experienced nothing more negative compared to other cruises we’ve done. Cabins Stateroom – we went for 2 ‘bella’ balcony staterooms which is the lowest of the ‘experience’ levels and contrary to some reviews we found the rooms really nice. The space in the room overall is pretty good, with the sofa being the biggest we’ve seen on ‘normal’ balcony cabins. Storage is small with only 8 hangers (so we took 8 of our own too) but there is also a second pull down rail underneath the main rail in the cupboard which is a clever addition. We never struggled for storage space overall and certainly didn’t need to live out of the suitcases (which immediately went under the bed and were not seen again until the last night!) A big tip for people considering Meraviglia – we had cabin 8127… it has the biggest balcony we have ever seen outside the most expensive suites. It was permanently in shade as the superstructure overhung it but you could have fitted 9-10 people laid down on the balcony and held a party for 15-20 on it. It really was huge. TV was great – not many English channels but still at least 4 in English (remember they are catering for at least 5-6 languages on board). Attendant – he was great. We are ‘low maintenance’ guests but he was always available and provided ice and glasses when needed for us to have a celebratory glass of champagne on our (enormous) balcony with the older folks. Everything kept really clean and tidy. No complaints at all re the stateroom. Bars Bars on decks 5 and 6 – these are very open plan and so feel almost more like coffee bars than cocktail bars and this does impact both on the ‘atmosphere’ of the bar and the degree of noise as people are constantly walking past you. The service was pretty good and generally a nice place for an afternoon beer or coffee, but not really night time bars. English pub – this was a nice place to sit for a short time but seemed for reasons we couldn’t explain always to be slightly chaotic. The guys behind the bar didn’t seem to be in control of what they were doing and the range of beers, what was ‘on’ or ‘off’ at any point was inconsistent. It needs something to ‘get it going’ in our view as something was missing. Sky lounge – this was our favourite bar by far. We went there every night after dinner and spent most of the evening and night in there. Great place, very club like atmosphere, drinks were good. It was adults only and was used in the day for private events but never in the evening. The jazz trio were tedious… but just about tolerable! Pool deck bars – these were all good albeit the bar tenders seemed a bit surly at times in the afternoons (maybe they were cold having been outside all day!) Dining Food – is a critical element of our cruise. We were so concerned at this aspect going with our older folks that as mentioned earlier we nearly cancelled. However, we were very pleasantly surprised – we did not experience ANY of the horrible negatives people have written about – the food was not tasteless, when freshly delivered food was not luke warm, there was choice and we were really relieved and pleased. Maybe we were just very lucky or more tolerant I don’t know – but the fish and pasta were always very nice. Breakfast MDR – we ate at the Deck 5 Waves restaurant for breakfast on most occasions and the menu stays the same (not surprisingly) each day for breakfast. Service was pretty good if not a bit chaotic, you cannot click your fingers for waiters to come to you, they will bring juice, breads, pastries trays on a circulating round the tables basis and tea and coffee pots to fill glasses – it means you can wait a while for a fresh cup. The hot food is cooked to order and was lovely (omelettes were very nice). Breakfast buffet – we did the buffet a few times for breakfast – it was a bit chaotic and the behaviour of some of the Italian and Spanish guests was generally poor but nothing too negative re the food itself. In our experience pretty much all cruise buffets at breakfast resemble a rugby scrum! Lunch MDR – we ate at Waves only a couple of times for lunch and it was nice. It was fairly quiet, good service and the food was good with portion sizes that were enough but not huge. Lunch buffet – we tended to do this most often as we were off the ship a lot and only got back on towards the end of service. Food was good, hot and we didn’t experience the complaint that the choice didn’t change at all. Yes the breads, pastries, fruit, salad, pizza etc were the same but other items (particularly the ‘ethnic’ choices) changed each day. Dinner MDR – we were allocated the Olivio D’oro restaurant on deck 6 for first sitting 7pm table for 4. We had asked for second sitting, but we decided to stick with 7pm as it actually suited our older guests a bit more than waiting till late to eat. Our experience of dinner was a positive one – the food was good, no-one complained re their choices, nothing was cold and we had no-one struggling to find a choice that they would like. We didn’t experience the issues reported re waiters not filling water or refilling wine glasses… it is true that there are less waiters handling each section than RCL and so the main waiter for your table does have to work harder and therefore maybe we were lucky. But the service was very good. The portion sizes are not huge (just as on Preziosa) but neither are they small – they were perfectly adequate. Also we never had any problem or funny look from our excellent waiter Imam when we ordered 2 starters (seafood or salad, plus a soup) and a main as a third course. He seemed to see it as perfectly normal and fine – again maybe we were just lucky. Dinner buffet – we only did this once and found no issues with it. The chaos was less (whilst still poor behaviour from our Italian and Spanish cousins was still a feature…) and so it was more of a relaxed atmosphere than at lunch or breakfast. Food was good and hot. Grab and go – we only used this once when we were back on the ship very late from a full and busy day of touring around Barcelona. The pizza and hot dog was good. Butchers cut – we ate there on one occasion and we found the steaks to be very good. The filet mignon in particular is lovely, albeit with the dining experience we only were allowed one side dish each which seemed a bit tight as they weren’t big enough for table sharing. Overall for Euros 39 it wasn’t cheap but was very nice. Ports/ excursions – this cruise was very port intensive (only one sea day) and we found that we really enjoyed this. We didn’t do any planned MSC excursions as they looked pretty pricey for the time/ activities involved and generally the ships docked close enough to the cities to be able to largely do your own thing. Naples – we wanted to go to Capri (we’ve been before and wanted to take the old folks) but we felt on balance we didn’t have enough time so we got the hop on hop off bus which was a bit expensive at around 25 euros and not really great value. We don’t really like Naples very much and it did show some nicer parts but it still didn’t really ‘do it’ for us. Messina – we had never been to Messina before and we found it really nice. Initially we got off the ship and just had a walk around the streets and then boarded the hop on hop off and did both lines for the rest of the day. As one guy rightly said on the bus, it was the best 15 euros he’d spent in a long time. One line was in town, one along the coast. Only downside was the commentary was via microphone and all nationalities showed their worst behaviours – Italians talked loudly during every language (including their own!), Spanish largely the same, germans all ex their own, French the same… you get the picture… no-one heard much as a result! Also a tip – don’t ever get a car hire in Messina and be careful crossing the road… we had never seen so many cars with scrapes, dents, banged up bumpers – I’m not exaggerating to say it was virtually every car….double parking everywhere… one business not to be in is car insurance in Messina! Valletta – wow what a bonus. We had never been to Malta and the capital was lovely with fantastic weather even in mid-November. You dock within 20 mins walk of the town (quite uphill to get there, but all downhill back!). We got off and walked around the town, very clean, very nicely presented, nice bars and restaurants. We watched the mid-day cannon firing. It was very easy, lovely views from the cliff top. It was a real highlight and I’m surprised more ships don’t dock there. There is a real attempt to invest in the city. It was a real highlight. Barcelona – we’ve been to Barcelona a number of times and sailed out of there a lot but the city never fails to impress. It’s such a well laid out, classy city with so much going on. We chose to walk off the ship and over the bridge to the WTC to pick up the hop on hop off bus rather than take the MSC shuttle which would have been 10 euros each to go to the same place. It’s about a mile and half but up and downhill to get there. We did both bus lines during the day (swapping over at the Plaza de Cataluna – brilliant place for food/ drink) for 28 euros each (25 for pensioners). Super tour and brilliant but a long day. We walked back to the ship which felt hard going on the way back! Marseille – we’ve been a few times and so decided to stay on the ship. Easy day, a lie in, a few beers, quiet lunch….. some cocktails, then packing in the afternoon! Overall, it was a super holiday. The ship is up there with RCL, the service seems to have improved and the food we found to be pretty good. For the price paid it was super value (much cheaper than RCL or NCL). My wife’s father summarised it best when we shared that we thought we ought to cancel way back in July – he said ‘look people see things differently, whatever it turns out to be like, we’ll make the best of it..’ – he was totally right. Fortunately we didn’t have to make the best of it because it was genuinely good. Next up is my favourite ship in the world in December …….. the absolutely glorious and truly awesome Oasis of the Seas – it will be interesting to compare that to our last 2 cruises on MSC…….!!!! I hope this has been at least slightly helpful to people. All the best. BIG ROGER. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
On arrival onboard there is a huge hard sell line of touts that surround you as you walk through calling out to you to buy all their extra packages and shoving their ads in your hands. Very difficult to ignore or say no which is what they ... Read More
On arrival onboard there is a huge hard sell line of touts that surround you as you walk through calling out to you to buy all their extra packages and shoving their ads in your hands. Very difficult to ignore or say no which is what they want. Market place buffet restaurant is massively overcrowded, noisy, uncivilised and impersonal. Have to push and grab for everything. Should be split into different rooms. No free fruit juice except at breakfast time and extremely sugary! Coffee is terrible. Hard sellers going from table to table touting for their businesses in your face whilst eating your meals. Pushing you to buy extras such as freshly squeezed orange juice which should be free anyway, soft drinks and payable restaurants, etc, etc. They are rude and interrupt you constantly. The alternative free upmarket restaurant also charge you for water plus commission on top! They refuse to offer tap water. Food there is tiny. 3 raviolis for a main meal or a teaspoon size mashed potato as the only veg with a thin piece of meat. Soup size is about 4 tablespoons. No films, documentaries, dramas, tv programmes for English viewers in the cabins. Only payable ones. They only had news channels and CBeebies in English. Cinema is chargeable. Bowling is chargeable. Free show every evening but Cirque du Soleil in another theatre is payable. Buying a wifi package doesn’t even give you access to your emails. You have to upgrade even more to get that. Excursions are much more expensive with MSC. Much much cheaper if you get a taxi or Hop On Hop Off buses. There is always a Tourist Information desk right next to the ship at every port giving you a free map and directions and ways to get about much cheaper than the ship’s. The ship always gives you the impression that their methods are the only ones, such as their own ‘payable’ shuttle bus to city centre a mile away – not true. Money is taken from your account towards UNICEF without your consent during the cruise. Was told this is apparently “in the small print”. The brainteaser quiz session had 90% of questions regarding MSC i.e. “What benefits are there if you book your next cruise now with us”. I think the word ‘benefits’ should be swapped with ‘hidden charges’. And the words of their show one evening was “We work with Love” - or rather “we work with del boys”. Felt like being hauled through a washing machine with the huge push to make you unwittingly spend more and I will never go with MSC again. Sadly, this mindset of hidden charges/hard sell/fees/commission is rife with all cruise companies and is getting worse. Stay away! Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Introduction As background, we are experienced cruisers who typically sail in suites, predominantly on NCL and MSC. This is our third cruise on MSC and our third cruise in the Yacht Club. We booked this cruise about a year ago, before ... Read More
Introduction As background, we are experienced cruisers who typically sail in suites, predominantly on NCL and MSC. This is our third cruise on MSC and our third cruise in the Yacht Club. We booked this cruise about a year ago, before the ship launched. We previously booked a YC2 on the Divina and a YC1 on the Splendida. Both cruises were excellent. With a brand new ship and an expanded Yacht Club, the trip looked promising when booked. The pre-booking optimism faded quickly once on board. We were escorted to the concierge desk and given our key cards upon arrival. However, the concierge failed to ask for a credit card to activate the entry and exit cards. We realized the cards had not been activated when we were locked out of the Yacht Club. The reception desk was packed. We had to search around the ship and finally found a spot to activate the card. Unfortunately, this was a foreshadowing of concierge blunders. On the first day, I was told that I could not book the Cirque show I purchased before the cruise on the ship’s on- line booking system, but could only book through the concierge. On day 2, I go to the concierge and ask for a reservation on Tuesday the 31st. She insists that October has only 30 days and therefore I could not book the 31st. I mention I know there is a 31st because it is Halloween. She does not seem to know much about Halloween and at this point it feels like a metaphysical discussion of time and space. Finally, she looks at her calendar and voila the mystery is solved. The 31st does exist and I can have my reservation. There was more lapses at the concierge desk. As black card members we got two free dinners at specialty restaurants. I read pre-cruise that Butchers Cut is very popular, hence my reason to book early. On the first day, I do not see any vouchers in the cabin. I ask the concierge. No worries they will deliver them. Day 2 still no vouchers. I ask the butler. Same response. I ask a different concierge. Same response. Day 3 still no vouchers. I ask the head concierge. He indicates you do not need vouchers. He just has to call the restaurant. He calls. No times available for dinner, only lunch. I tell him I will discuss with my wife and get back to him. I call the restaurant myself after seeing many times available on line. No problem. They book us for dinner at 7 pm on Monday and Thursday. Why the concierge would mislead me on this issue and then intentional misrepresent dinner status is a mystery. I was cordial in all my requests. Fortunately, I pre-planned and already purchased our excursions. We presumed this was our last contact with the concierge. We were sadly wrong. We arrive back at the room, and find a note that our excursion to Arles, France is cancelled due to weather. It was supposed to be 70, calm and sunny the next day. We do not think it was weather, but lack of interest that cancelled the trip. At this point, going to the concierge for more information is futile after the Halloween and Black Card incidents. Our excursion receipts say we should get all our excursion tickets on the first day. However, we are only giving one ticket at a time the night before.Therefore, we do not know when the excursion will leave until 12 hours before some of the excursions. Hard to plan a good time to get back to the room when you do not know when you will need to get up in the morning. We have never experienced such lack of service on a cruise. After the second day, we concluded that we would ignore the butler and concierge and do everything on our own. This works well for the rest of the cruise, but should be unnecessary in the Yacht Club, or anywhere else on the ship for that matter. Entertainment We have seen a few lax safety issues on various ships, but nothing compared to what we encountered in the main theater of this ship. All shows require a reservation. The theater holds approximately 700 folks. In theory, the reservation process should prevent any possibility of over-crowding. However, in practice MSC kept letting folks into the theater even after it was full, We attended all five shows and in all shows folks were sitting on the stairs next to me blocking the stairs and exits. The last night was the worse with about 20 rows of blocked stairs. An elderly gentlemen with a cane tried to leave early. He had to navigate a maze of mostly children seated on the stairs. It is amazing he did not fall and injure himself and one or more kids. In addition to the fall hazard, if the theater ever needed evacuation it would be chaos. At no time did we see MSC staff attempt to clear the stairs or make a pre-show announcement not to block aisle. Besides the safety issue, the evening shows were mediocre at best. The singers and dancers were talented, but the shows tried to be all things to all people. Show attempts to incorporate something for every nationality into every show ended up in a choreographic hodgepodge. For example, one show’s theme was Italian Amore. However, half way through the show the cast was singing an American soul song in Italian that had nothing to do with love while dancers in pirate customs jumped around on stage. After exiting the show I said to my wife:“What the hell was that?” This was a recurring question after most shows. We also attended the Cirque show. The show was good. However, it was equivalent to some of the free acrobatic entertainment we encountered on past cruises. However, it offered a midweek reprieve from the tortured choreography in the main theater. That was welcomed. We also notice a recurring theme for events on this ship. Some shows were scheduled at 8:30 and some at 8:45, but they all start at 8:50 pm. There are two dress up nights, but neither was listed in the dailies. There are no announcements on the ship. Basically, you guess what will happen and when it will happen. At various points in the cruise it felt like we had a part in a Twilight Zone episode. Dining Dinners, even in the Yacht Club, were fair. This is the first time in either the Yacht Club or Haven that we encountered what best can be described as bland offerings. The wait staff tried hard, but the system worked against the wait staff. Often our meal orders were shared between two waiters. This resulted in missed or wrong items being served. By day four, we began to play guess what the wait staff will miss today. The best dinners were in Butcher’s Cut. It also had the best service. The servers actually appeared happy to be there. We had a discussion with one of the servers who also worked the Yacht Club. He confirmed that Butcher’s Cut had a much better Vibe for the staff than the Yacht Club. Excursions We pre-purchased four excursions through MSC, and did the hoho with an independent vendor in Genoa. After Arles was cancelled, we were down to 3 MSC excursions. The excursion process was chaos. The staff would typically show up well after many guests arrived. Then they would try to make up time by rushing through the confirmation process. Our first excursion to Pompei, illustrated what happens when you take this approach. We retrieved our excursion number, and were told to wait in the upper balcony until called. About a dozen of us sat together until we noticed many people exiting the theater. One of our group went down to check status and was told our number was called for boarding. Absolutely no one heard this call. We rushed to the bus and made it just in time. The excursion guides were very good. Fortunately, they were independent contractors not affiliated with MSC. We believe that made the difference. Room This was our first time in an interior stateroom on any ship. We found on our last European cruise we were rarely in the room. Therefore, an interior seemed fine. When we booked, the diagram showed two chairs in the room. This was well before the ship launched. Somewhere along the way, the chairs were eliminated. Our room steward, who was excellent, brought us a wicker chair. We also noticed that lighting in this room was rather sparse for a cabin with no external light. The room is small as expected. It works for two people if you are efficient in your space requirements. Not much closet space and the bathroom is very small. If you plan on spending significant time in your room, I would not recommend this room. However, if you plan on being out and about the ship, the room works. We spent considerable time at the Top Sail lounge and pool deck as the weather was nice most days. Final thoughts This is a beautiful ship. The LCD ceiling is amazing and the promenade on 6 and 7 is fashionable and well designed. That is what makes our experience on this ship so disappointing. With all the promise of the ships infrastructure, the poor service on this ship trumps the considerable money spent on the ship. The ship lacks attention to detail. The safety issue mentioned in my comments on the ships theater is inexcusable. It is an accident waiting to happen. It exemplifies the ship major weakness, lack of supervision. On most ships you see ship officers actively walking the ship and checking staff under their command. On this ship, I only saw the officers at the Black Card reception and on stage at the send off show the night before Genoa. Perhaps they manage things behind the scenes, but management by walking around is still an effective tool, especially on a new ship. It would be easy to attribute these short comings to the newness of the ship. However, the ship has been sailing four months. The service honeymoon period is over. MSC plans on bringing this ship to the U.S. in the future. They should probably hire someone from RCL or NCL that knows how to manage large ships before bringing this ship stateside. We plan on taking a hiatus from MSC after this experience. We had a great experience on the Divina and Splendida, but this ship was so off the mark, it appears MSC is trending in the wrong direction. We hope to sail MSC somewhere down the road, but for now it is back to their main rival NCL. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We wanted to go on a brand new ship but they had crammed so many people on it. Mostly Italian and Easter Europeans customer base but this was during school holidays, so there were 5700 people on it. The buffet was horrendously busy as ... Read More
We wanted to go on a brand new ship but they had crammed so many people on it. Mostly Italian and Easter Europeans customer base but this was during school holidays, so there were 5700 people on it. The buffet was horrendously busy as were most public areas. The beautiful promenade walk was always crowded. I am at a loss to understand Why MSC have given space to the chocolate cafe shop which was always quiet, Bar Merviglia next door was always too busy to get a seat, so it would make more sense to double the size of the Meraviglia Bar. As was the champagne bar, quite a large area but always empty, so why they never made this another bar selling drinks like Bar Zero, I don’t know. customer reception desk, was always busy with large queues. The cruise was like a hop-on-hop-off bus with four embarkation and disembarkation ports Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Intriqued by the Mediterranean itinerary, the Yacht Club ship-within-a-ship, the bargain pricing AND the program that matched our Princess loyalty status, we couldn't be happier with our experiment. We have already booked the new MSC ... Read More
Intriqued by the Mediterranean itinerary, the Yacht Club ship-within-a-ship, the bargain pricing AND the program that matched our Princess loyalty status, we couldn't be happier with our experiment. We have already booked the new MSC Bellissima for the same itinerary in 2019. Highlights? *absolutely gorgeous and easy to navigate ship that is downright lively with great shops, parties and activities *a BUTLER in Yacht Club that met and anticipated every need. Service exemplary throughout the ship. *all but highest end alcohol is included in Yacht Club. I kept track We had 74 drinks and two bottles of free Prosecco. *top-notch food in YC Dining Room AND specialty restaurants, eg Anchor Pub and Butcher,s Cut. Excellent Chef’s Table in EATALY, GREAT PIZZA. *TWO Cirque Shows, production shows fun as well EXCEPT see below *terrific itinerary that included Messina, Naples (we visited Sorrento),Marseille, Malta and Barcelona (don’t miss the Maritime Museum). Lowlights? *Wish they had told us about the planned transportation strike in Genoa when we disembarked. Cost us over $200 to get to Milan. *godawful on-board computer and television system—their website is poor as well. No reason it should be so poorly designed. *Poor meal at Cirque Show dinner—not up to high standards in YC. Mushy fish, overcooked vegetables at a meal we paid extra for. Would opt for cocktail show in future) seats are better at cocktail show as well. *hands down MAGIC FRIENDS is the lamest magic show in the history of the universe. *very limited storage in interior cabin, tiny closet *small casino with impossibly slow bar service Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We've just returned from the Meraviglia, taking our children and grandchildren. Over the last few weeks I have been reading these reviews and getting more and more anxious, to the pointing of considering cancelling and losing a lot ... Read More
We've just returned from the Meraviglia, taking our children and grandchildren. Over the last few weeks I have been reading these reviews and getting more and more anxious, to the pointing of considering cancelling and losing a lot of money. But we decided to go for it .. and I am so pleased that we did, as many of the reviews I read do not equate with what we experienced. I found the majority of staff to be very friendly and service was efficient. They always made a special fuss of the children. I had imagined living on pasta and pizza for a week, but there was a huge choice of food at the various cooking stations in the buffet .... it did get crazy busy sometimes but we always got our food reasonably quickly and found an empty table to sit at. Main restaurant was good in the evening and so were the waiters. We also paid extra for the Cirque du Soleil dinner show which I thought was excellent and well worth it. The only other restaurant that we tried was the Teppanyaki which we paid for too .... and it was a great evening with really good food. The other facilities were good too and I never noticed it that crowded by any of the pools even on the sea day ..... What I didn't like was that there were people boarding and disembarking at every stop, which gave it the feel of a glorified ferry, with suitcases in the corridors every day, and safety briefings ..... rather than just one day for everyone checking in together. The ship docks about 25 minutes drive to Marseille in the middle of nowhere, so you have no choice but to pay around 17 euros for their return shuttle into town or take an excursion. I think charging for the shuttle to take you where you should be anyway is just greedy and it should be a free service. It also felt quite rocky at certain times - I'm normally a good sailor but had to take sea sickness tablets one night. Finally, watch out for the photo shop con ! They put photos in your cabin during the cruise, which you think are a gift .... but when you check your bill at the end, they have charged 30 Euros for them ..... you need to take them back !! But on the whole the cruise was very good and I liked the mix of nationalities. It's very lively but I didn't see any rowdy behavior .... lots of children on board but there is a quiet adult only bar too, and I would recommend cruising in Aurea Class, which gives you a massive private deck to have use of, plus a number of other extras including a complimentary massage and drink package.. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Given, that my wife and I have now completed a number of cruises (with both Royal Caribbean and MSC), I think I am finally qualified to write a meaningful review. In 2013 we cruised with MSC Preziosa in the Western Med and the itinerary ... Read More
Given, that my wife and I have now completed a number of cruises (with both Royal Caribbean and MSC), I think I am finally qualified to write a meaningful review. In 2013 we cruised with MSC Preziosa in the Western Med and the itinerary included Barcelona, Naples, Genoa, Messina, Tunis (Tunisia) and Marseille. It was a fantastic experience, which subsequently led to us fast becoming "cruise junkies". Since then we've cruised on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and MSC Divina, on different routes in the Caribbean. Whilst on the Divina last year, we heard from the Captain at the "special" Captain's Cocktail Party (essentially a thank you for passengers who return to cruise with MSC), about MSC's plans to role out new ships over the next few years. So, when MSC invited us to partake in the live streaming of the christening/launching of the Meraviglia earlier this year, it certainly caught our interest. We subsequently browsed Meraviglia's itinerary and noticed that with the exception of Tunis, the route throughout October was the same we have previously done. Due to terror attacks in Tunis, it was replaced by Valetta in Malta. We took the decision to book, based on the ship and not so much the itinerary. And we also decided to "spoil" ourselves by choosing the Yacht Club Experience. The Yacht Club Experience (YCE) is best described as being an exclusive area within the ship, only accessible to those passengers who purchase this (expensive) option. There is a myriad of shows, bands and other forms of entertainment, including the amazing Cirque du Soleil on board, which this this review does not seek to cover. The review does however speak to our personal experience; Embarkation for us was in Marseille. YCE passengers are greeted by butlers (they are available 24hrs on call in the Yacht Club), who basically do the checking in whilst you sip on bubbly. They escort you to your cabin and make sure you feel totally pampered (I warned my wife not to get use to the lifestyle and not to expect the same when we get home!). We had cabin 18016 on deck 18. The cabin was plush, vast and did not disappoint. A chilled bottle of bubbly awaited on the coffee table, along with fresh fruit (which is replenished daily. A mini bar is also available for your use and stocked daily. The bathroom (shower only), is a nice size and packing/closet space is more than ample for the 7 night cruise. There's a Nespresso machine with coffee capsules for your use, but no froth machine. The bed was firm but comfortable and YCE passengers can request varying density of pillows. YCE passengers have access to all public areas and may also choose to dine in the general dining areas. However, the Yacht Club has it's own dining area, lounge and pool area. With 5700 people on board, it was nice to escape the hustle and bustle and retreat to exclusivity on occasion. YCE passengers also have free access to the Thermal area. This has various steam, sauna and other jet baths. We had absolutely no problem with the cleaning services, or that of the butler and dining staff. In general, I think MSC can be proud of the people who tirelessly perform these tough duties. YCE passengers also have the added benefit of being able to book excursions and shows with the YC Concierge. However, let me deal with the irritations; MSC........ when I pay for an all inclusive Yacht Club Experience and you tell me that all drinks in any of the bars and restaurants, excluding only the speciality restaurants (because this is how you advertise it), then expect me to get very irritated when I am told by the Concierge that this is not entirely the case. I then am told that in some restaurants where there are prices on the menu and in some bars where there are 2 asterisk, these are not included in the package. This scenario became the bane of my cruise. MSC...... It's either all inclusive or not. You need to be honest with me from the start! Then there is the Captain. Maybe it's not him personally, but the folk who plans his public itinerary. Passengers make a big deal about meeting the Captain... we even dress up for it. So if you plan a gala event, planned for 7pm sharp, then have the decency of being there on time! MSC.... with the Meraviglia, you have embarked on a similar operating model to Royal Caribbean, with the expansive promenade and varying themes. I accept that you need to be innovative, but you need to get it right or else it's a disaster. We have met and taken pics with the Captain of all our cruises, bar the Meraviglia...... after waiting for nearly an hour, we just gave up and went for dinner. We thought, we'll catch up with him at the special cocktail party (which on other MSC ships, is held in a lounge aft of the ship). Alas, this was also a disaster. Arriving early for the event, we were ushered to seats by the entertainment crew and when the Captain finally made his appearance, it was on a balcony in the promenade, nowhere close to where we were told to sit. I should stop whinging now. Folks, the Meraviglia is stunning and I expect the new MSC Seaside and others that will follow, to be even more spectacular. The Yacht Club Experience is very different from the "normal" exec balcony suites. I nearly forgot to mention...... we did not sample foods in the general dining areas, but in the Yacht Club, the food and wine is excellent!!! Be aware that some parts of the Western Med are already quite cold in October, with temps in the mid teens (Celsius). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
MSC CRUISE – MERAVALIGIA – SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, MALTA NOTE: I have been on several cruises with a few different cruise lines and I have been to Europe a few times. That being said, my review is based on a comparison with my past ... Read More
MSC CRUISE – MERAVALIGIA – SPAIN, FRANCE, ITALY, MALTA NOTE: I have been on several cruises with a few different cruise lines and I have been to Europe a few times. That being said, my review is based on a comparison with my past experiences. GOOD 1. New Ship 2. Nice Balcony suites 3. Nice private bathrooms in suites 4. Countries visited BAD 1. The entertainment (shows & lounges). The singing was sub-par at best. Wiggling your fingers, singing from the side of the mouth, & making faces does not camouflage the lack of range, lack of harmony, inability to hit the notes, flatness, and not knowing the words. A couple in front of us was laughing so hard at how bad one show was and finally left. We did too. 2. Lack of insisting people wash their hands or use sanitizer prior to entering restaurants, especially buffet areas. There were multiple sinks available in buffet areas but there may have been an average of less than 1 who we actually observed using these areas. If we ate in the buffet areas, I whipped out my sanitizer before we touched our utensils & food! No interest in Norovirus what-so-ever! 3. Being a new ship, 2 of 4 ice & water dispensers were not working. On 1 machine only the water worked. This was the case from day 1 of our cruise and remained that way the entire 8 day/7 nights. 4. The pools & hot tubs were drained & roped off nightly and the lounge chairs were put away Just as the sun was setting. 5. The entertainment (hype) crew members struggled to get people to participate in activities and were basically begging people to interact. We never knew who the entertainment director was and it was sad to see so-called party activities were empty @ 11 pm and most activities didn’t last past midnight. 6. The level of rudeness from the passengers was just ridiculous. No common courtesy from the young or old. The end of the line was not where they belonged so people would just push their way in front of someone then have the audacity to signal to their travel companions to come which would turn out to be multiple people. There was no regard for the crew who were trying to do their job. 7. BE AWARE OF EXTRA CHARGES ON YOUR BILL. Charges that I specifically declined were added to my bill but were removed immediately when I brought it to customer service’s attention. Examples: service charges, donations to non-profit organization. Example of #6 & #7 above…While standing in line to discuss our bill, the guy behind us started signaling for the reps to take the guy they were assisting aside & deal with his issue. He then went up behind the guy who was being assisted & rudely told him & the reps to move to the side & finish so they could help other people who were waiting (about 10 to 15 minutes) mainly so he & his wife could go party as it was their last night. The guy that was being helped got loud with the rude guy & pushed him telling him to mind his business & wait. True story. WORST 1. I’m sorry but at some point a person’s essence (body odor) is pure FUNK and no amount of cologne/perfume will remedy the stench of onions, feet, and ass like soap & water! a. PASSENGERS – seems they were involved in attempting to outdo each other in a cologne/perfume contest with absolutely no winners! b. CREW – Working on a cruise ship is not easy as many of these ladies & gentlemen have multiple jobs and are not allows treated kindly by passengers. That being said, they should have a few minutes to freshen up between gigs. Personal, cleansing wipes will help with sweatiness & muskiness especially if a server. 2. FOOD – ABSOLUTELY NO FLAVOR, unmemorable, and VERY DISAPPOINTING...simply put it was nourishment. Portions were adequate but who cares when the food is bland. This was the case for breakfast, lunch, & dinner. We ate off the ship a few times. 3. Nothing provided to drink with dinner…must pay for every drink (Water, Soda, Coffee, & Alcohol), tea and juice was not available @ dinner. Juice was only available at breakfast. 4. Expect to pay for nearly EVERYTHING! I understand MSC Cruises is a business, however the boat amenities, other than the lounges, can only be utilized for an additional charge. OBSERVATION At each port there are people just starting their cruise & others are ending their cruise. It makes it hard to connect & interact with other passengers. If you’re at a dinner table with a group who will be disembarking the next day, you tend to get moved to other tables further making it hard to build a rapport with others passengers & the servicing crew. My husband says that MSC stands for “Must Spend Currency” as everything was mainly geared towards spending a lot of it and not really on the passengers having a great experience. FINAL It you are a big drinker, a smoker, are a senior citizen who is laid back and enjoys a slower pace and has dietary restrictions…this cruise is for you. Overall, we enjoyed getting some rest and exploring the different cities/countries. We love to cruise and plan to do other Mediterranean & European cruises…we just won’t do them with MSC Cruises. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
after reading mostly bad reviews before we sailed on this ship we were a bit concerned especially regarding the food , however although food did not come up to the standard and choice of our previous cruises on NCL, there was always ... Read More
after reading mostly bad reviews before we sailed on this ship we were a bit concerned especially regarding the food , however although food did not come up to the standard and choice of our previous cruises on NCL, there was always something tasty to eat in the buffet and the main restaurant. Portions were small in main restaurant as mentioned in other reviews , but all you have to do is order as many starters mains or pudding as you like so we didn't find this a problem and the waiters in restaurant were very attentive always topping your wine up . Shows were all ok , entertainment staff were excellent , room was lovely and kept very clean only negative I have is we sometimes found it difficult to get a seat in some of the bars in the evening and there is loads of room for more tables , however the champagne bar on deck 7 always had seats ,and on the last page of their menu there are some cocktails that are included in the drinks package Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
A group of us, friends, for the past several years enjoyed cruising as a fun alternative to all-inclusive vacations at beach resorts. Our prior experience on another MSC ship, Poesia, a few years ago was very good, and the lingering ... Read More
A group of us, friends, for the past several years enjoyed cruising as a fun alternative to all-inclusive vacations at beach resorts. Our prior experience on another MSC ship, Poesia, a few years ago was very good, and the lingering memories lead us to take a cruise on MSC Meraviglia this year. Besides the behemoth form factor, fancy displays, technological innovations, gleaming stainless steel, and shimmering Swarovski crystal embedded staircases, a cavernous promenade with a long LED roof, with many shops, and restaurants, a water park with water slides and a Himalayan rope course: the ship is attractive in many ways. The top two decks are stacked with play, games, and spa areas. Buffet is nothing spectacular either, just run-of-mill, the usual fare. Buffet restaurants are crowded always due to the volume of passengers. There wasn’t adequate staff in the buffet restaurants to keep the busy place ‘ship-shaped’. Dishes were not picked up properly or the tables were cleaned promptly. Too many people, too less staff especially in buffet restaurants was very noticeable. No water or juice were served at the table, everything was self-serviced. The dinners at the free restaurants were so-so as well, nothing particular about the menu to speak about. No water served at the dinner table in the restaurants, if you want water pay, and buy! It was to a point annoying to see them trying to upsell something or other, from liquor, dinner at upscale restaurants to spa packages always. Talked to many crew members during the cruise and realized that they were all over worked for the same money they got from a smaller ship. Now we know that the first impression may not be the lasting impression. The big, bold, spanking-glittering look impressed us first, but it was different when came to creature comforts, service aspects, food and value for the money. They were sub-par in nature to our expectations.Customer service was extremely poor. No response to enquiries started even months before the actual cruise dates. Few emails to them to rectify certain mistakes/omissions were met with total silence. We asked for certain cabins on specific decks, and the agent agreed during the booking time. However, what we received were different, and tried to correct the error via emails was futile. Dinner seating time was another issue: what was originally asked for and assigned was arbitrarily changed and couldn’t get it changed. Some positives were the crew: they were courteous, and friendly. The restaurant, buffet, and dinner staff went out of their way to serve us. Kudos to all them! Perhaps, next time we may be better off on a small or medium size ship. Overall rating: average, nothing spectacular. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We booked this trip for our honeymoon, and were accompanied by another two couples. We chose this ship because it was brand new. We had cruised before with Thompson and Royal Caribbean. First off, we had to wait at the airport for our ... Read More
We booked this trip for our honeymoon, and were accompanied by another two couples. We chose this ship because it was brand new. We had cruised before with Thompson and Royal Caribbean. First off, we had to wait at the airport for our transfer to the ship for just under an hour, the rep did not seem bothered that we were frustrated at their lack of presence.We were then taken to the port and herded into the waiting area. We could not register our card of use until we got on board. We were very pleasantly surprised with the decor and the cabins were spacious and well laid out, We paid extra for a balcony which was worth the expense. The package we chose was all inclusive although it did have a lot of exclusions. The astrix played a big part in our cruise. When you looked at a drinks menu, anything that had an astrix was not included in the deal. The ice cream parlour had a charge, the buffet was NOT open 20 hours a day, If you were hungry after 10pm you had no chance. There was no shop on board where you could purchase forgotten items, You could not buy duty free cigarettes or alcohol. The perfumes were well overpriced. The buffet named the Marketplace lived up to its name, Geared to the Italian market the place was so disorganized, You could easily have been trampled to death, an in and out system could have solved all the problems, with so many suits walking round a blind man on a galloping horse could have sorted this out. The waiting staff were very nice but a lot of pressure put on them by overbearing Italians. Now to the food, what can i say, i love my grub, breakfast the usual scrambled,boiled,fried,poached eggs. Bacon streaky and swimming in oil, sausage chippolatas , hash browns, beans. Ham,cheese,salami, watery oats,semolina. Loads of bread and the usual pastries, fresh fruit and yogurt, juices only available at breakfast, they turned the machines off at lunch time.Tea and coffee only available at meal times.These machines were also turned off. There were a lot of pizza,and pasta dishes, Spuds were nearly nonexistant, loads of salad items and the odd thing was they had a hot roast of some sort at lunch time but not at dinner,one good thing though i lost some weight lol. The entertainment was ok, we had to pay for the cirque du Soleil show, ten pin bowling, air hockey table, racing cars, parents must have been out a fortune. Only we checked our bill early in the week we would have been paying a 15% service charge on transactions and donations to Unicef .Be WARNED, read all the small print. Entertainment staff and housekeeping were fabulous, Take you own hairdryer theirs is rubbish, sorry for all the negative feed back but it had to be said. Sorry I wont be back MSC. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
After 30 cruises we decided to try MSC cruise line for our first cruise with MSC and their Flag Ship. This is the first review I have made and feel I must as very disappointed with everything apart from the decor but it is a brand new ... Read More
After 30 cruises we decided to try MSC cruise line for our first cruise with MSC and their Flag Ship. This is the first review I have made and feel I must as very disappointed with everything apart from the decor but it is a brand new ship so it should be. Main points Worst food on a ship, no complimentary water, no tea and coffee after dinner Choice of 3 starters, 3 mains and 2 desserts for dinner, no ice cream unles you paid for it. Breakfast awful and basic basic basic After midday room service you pay for! Entertainment awful and worst theatre sound I have heard Cabin lacking cupboard and shelves, small tv for new ship, smallest balcony I have seen. 5700 passengers and only 1500 crew members which is why the crew were overstretched and rude. Ship so noisey with everyone talking loud resulting in you could not even think. On embarkation day out of your cabin 7am latest. This should give you an idea of our last week and it is the first cruise that hat we eat more of ship. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
The size of the ship was enormous, but very well organised. Our cabin was an indoor-cabin, but for the prize it was ok. The air was nice and fresh and there was almost no noise. The Dining was excellent, we had a fixed dinner table ... Read More
The size of the ship was enormous, but very well organised. Our cabin was an indoor-cabin, but for the prize it was ok. The air was nice and fresh and there was almost no noise. The Dining was excellent, we had a fixed dinner table in the restaurant on deck 6. The lunch buffet on deck 15 contained a lot of dishes and all kinds of food to choose among. The only disadvantage was the noise from all the passengers. The walls and room surfaces had no noise-reducing materials, they were hard and just enforced the noise. We therefore took the breakfast on the restaurant in deck 5. The entertainment was excellent. The theater group Cirque du Solei was just fantastic, The shows in the theater on the front of deck 6 was warious, some of the shows did not match exact our taste, but ok. The service was ok, the waitors were kindly and helpful. The ports were interesting, I will mention the excursion to Pompei as a definite highlight of the cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this Cruise as it was the latest ship available with MSC. This was our sixth MSC Cruise, 5 in Yacht Club. This Cruise was far and away the best we have ever had. From start to finish it was fantastic. Our balcony cabin suite ... Read More
We chose this Cruise as it was the latest ship available with MSC. This was our sixth MSC Cruise, 5 in Yacht Club. This Cruise was far and away the best we have ever had. From start to finish it was fantastic. Our balcony cabin suite was amazing and kept immaculately clean. The staff were exceptional, they could not have been more helpful. The food was amazing. The public areas of the ship are unbelievable, from diamond staircases to the shops. We loved every minute of our one week Cruise. We went to the Butchers Cut speciality dining restaurant and it was a great experience. Upgrading to Yacht Club really makes a difference with the ship within a ship concept. This means we were escorted on to the ship without having to queue then you are straight into the the Yacht Club Area. Our luggage arrived within a few hours. The shows and casino were very good. Plenty of sunloungers, great swimming pools and bars. 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 3.1

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