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49 MSC Cruises MSC Meraviglia Cruise Reviews

This was my first and probably last MSC cruise. It's a pity because the ship itself has some good points and the ports of call were fantastic. We picked the ship up in Southampton along with what it turns out a lot of new crew ... Read More
This was my first and probably last MSC cruise. It's a pity because the ship itself has some good points and the ports of call were fantastic. We picked the ship up in Southampton along with what it turns out a lot of new crew who took a couple of days to come to terms with things. Staff were very polite and willing to assist if possible. We had a balcony cabin which was kept spotless by our cabin steward. However there is a lot of wasted space where extra drawers etc could be added. The wardrobe was worse than useless and the siting of the safe was ridiculous. Entertainment was very hit and miss and seems to be about 10 years behind other cruise lines. I will however say that having the Cirque du Soleil onboard is a masterstroke. Food - the biggest negative for me was abysmal some of my salads were hotter than most of the hot food they served up at both lunch and dinner. The meat was just about as tough as you could get. Choice of food was very very poor but they did make great pizzas. This was the first cruise that I have been on that I have actually lost weight on. I can see a new joke coming on to replace the old cargo joke. Embarkation was ok but we dropped lucky, other people had a nightmare. Disembarkation both at ports of call and final day was totally disorganised. We waited for over three hours to get through the US border control - others waited much longer. There seemed to be no control measures in place. At one of the ports of call we waited a while to allow the usual I want to get off first queuers off but still ended up in a queue. Excursions were very overpriced. How this ship has not had multiple cases of Norovirus is incredible. The ship has sinks to wash hands and sanitizer stations, however there is no policing of this and people just walk past them. So it's a big NO from me. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
For clarity, I was traveling in the Yacht Club area on the MSC Meraviglia, so the review concerns rather this part of the ship. Ship: The ship is beautiful and impressive. It has a modern but elegant interior. Unfortunately the ship ... Read More
For clarity, I was traveling in the Yacht Club area on the MSC Meraviglia, so the review concerns rather this part of the ship. Ship: The ship is beautiful and impressive. It has a modern but elegant interior. Unfortunately the ship is too big and more importantly extremely overcrowded. In the evening it is difficult to find a free table in a bar. There is noise and bustle in public areas. There is also a huge queue to get out and back on the ship in every port. Itinerary: The itinerary to Norway is very interesting and offers amazing views. In my opinion, a cruise is the best way to see the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation: The terminal in Kiel, which MSC has been using since this year, is tragic. The port crew knows nothing and chaos. Fortunately, thanks to the escort and help of YC butlers, the embarkation went quite smoothly. However, if someone has a choice, it's better to avoid the port of Kiel and embark somewhere else, for example, in Copenhagen. Yacht Club: For many years there has been one reason why we keep coming back on MSC: Msc Yacht Club. Once you have been in the Yacht Club, you don't want to cruise differently anymore. The YC area on Meraviglia is very nice, and the new concept of panoramic restaurant at the front of the ship was a great idea. Unfortunately you can see a significant difference to Fantasia-class. The number of cabins in the YC is much bigger and it is no longer the same family atmosphere. The crew was very kind and wonderful, but their work was not well organized, especially in the Top Sail Lounge. Despite this, the quality of services is still not comparable to the rest of the ship. As a fan of the MSC Yacht Club, I really hope that at least in this sector the cruise line will maintain a high level, but I'm worried about the idea of the huge ​​YC on the MSC Seashore with over 130 cabins. Restaurants: YC Restaurant offers a really high level of service and dishes. I can also recommend the speciality restaurant Butcher’s Cut. Conclusion: Generally, I have quite mixed feelings. I would never go on this ship outside the Yacht Club and this is not due to snobbery If someone was on the Meraviglia-class in an ordinary cabin understands why. After all, I am happy with the cruise, but as a loyal customer of Msc Cruises I am sad that the line follows the general trend in the industry for building huge ships and service on quantity and not on quality. If someone does not like noise and crowd I would recommend choosing another ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We boarded in Copenhagen for a 7-night Baltic itinerary that visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Kiel. All four cities were wonderful. The ship was great. It was always clean, didn’t seem overly crowded. I did find ... Read More
We boarded in Copenhagen for a 7-night Baltic itinerary that visited Helsinki, St. Petersburg, Tallinn, and Kiel. All four cities were wonderful. The ship was great. It was always clean, didn’t seem overly crowded. I did find that Europeans were pushy and rude and also had little to no manners at the buffet area and at the elevators. Our room steward Putra was excellent, He always kept the room clean, ice bucket filled, etc. The food was mediocre at best. Dining room food was hit or miss and the Buffett selections were plentiful. Some selections I didn’t care for, and some were bland. Entertainment - The cruise director was non-existent. We saw her one time in he very last night of the cruise at the closing show. The shows were boring, but the Cirque du Soliel show with the French art theme was really good. The Sonor show wasn’t that good. As far as entertainment goes, if people resort to playing board games and cards, it shows that the programming is non-existent. On the sea days, there was no programming, no live music, no fun games on the main deck. The large screen on the deck also had no programming, just looped video of tropical scenes and underwater scenes. Overall, I’d give this cruise a 2.5. This was our 2nd cruise on MSC and I can’t say I would recommend MSC to others. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we ... Read More
With 4 cruises behind us and having visited many countries we decided we would like to visit Northern Europe. MSC was the cheapest option as Royal Caribbean and Norweigan were a lot more expensive so we decided to try this option, we were not very pleased with a few things, the ship is very new so this itself was fabulous however as the saying goes "you get what you pay for".. We spoke with many others on board from various parts of the world and we all felt that once on board the ship it seemed to be like "we have your money so entertain yourself".. from past experience on RCC and Thompson (TUI) ships there was always music or entertainment by the poolside and especially on the days at sea, on this very large ship there was no music to be heard and no cruise director to be found to participate in games etc. the only time we saw this lady was at the beginning and end of each show in the evening times. The marketplace in particular is a dangerous zone and needs a "huge restructure" as there is no queueing system in place and easily knocked off your feet in a heartbeat. some nationalities in particular have no manners in this area or at the lifts around this area and we saw elderly people almost run-down.... :-( this includes some workers in the marketplace as well as customers. we spoke with some waiters in the Panorama dining area and they agreed about the Buffet area and said that many people had mentioned it but nothing was done.. very sad to see this ongoing problem is not being rectified considering this is an expensive holiday for each family and MSC don't seem to be happy to take on board people's comments. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This cruise was part of a package we’d signed up for. 7 nights departing from Copenhagen to see the fjords and return to Copenhagen via Germany. We should still be on board with three nights remaining but we disembarked early. Some ... Read More
This cruise was part of a package we’d signed up for. 7 nights departing from Copenhagen to see the fjords and return to Copenhagen via Germany. We should still be on board with three nights remaining but we disembarked early. Some people obviously love cruises. We didn’t. We found the number of people onboard very overwhelming especially when eating in the Buffett section of the ship. The noise and the feeling of claustrophobia was at times distressing. It was difficult to find quiet spots on the ship to read or reflect. Considering it’s such a huge vessel, this was disappointing. The range, preparation and delivery of food was magnificent in Waves Restaurant, the Buffett and we ate our evening meal in the Panorama Restaurant. Roman our waiter was very charming and super attentive. We could not fault the staff or the food. We purchased a drinks package prior to boarding which we thought to be great value for money. We also bought an internet package for two devices which ran out the night before we disembarked. I think the ‘selling’ side of cruising becomes quite frustrating. On embarkation in Copenhagen we were approached by several staff trying to sell us meal upgrades, excursions or drink packages. We didn’t appreciate this and found it happened throughout the four days on board. Cruising, it’s just not for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This ship was amazing and beautiful. Tastefully decorated, extremely clean and very nice cabins. But, the food was the downside. This was my first cruise with MSC. We've cruised many times on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, ... Read More
This ship was amazing and beautiful. Tastefully decorated, extremely clean and very nice cabins. But, the food was the downside. This was my first cruise with MSC. We've cruised many times on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess. The food on MSC was no comparison to these other lines. It was a disppointment in the main dining room and buffet. As spactacular as this ship is, we will not cruise on this ship again because of the food. On a more positive note, the activities are awesome and there is a lot to do. We loved the Aurea package! We are not big drinkers but it was worth the money since so much more is included. This ship was an excellent value and we were very pleased with our cabin, service, quality of drinks and atmosphere. It is only the food that would keep me from cruising on this ship or MSC again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
At embarkation the ship looked really impressive but as soon as we got on board & before we had a minute to take in the spectacle we are descended upon and literally grabbed by over eager sales persons berating us for our stupidity for ... Read More
At embarkation the ship looked really impressive but as soon as we got on board & before we had a minute to take in the spectacle we are descended upon and literally grabbed by over eager sales persons berating us for our stupidity for not having purchased a drinks package. Having eventually managed to extricate ourselves from this unpleasant situation we headed for our cabin and were more than a little put of by the strong smell of sewage in the corridor. That smell dissipated after a the first day. The cabin was a pleasant size pretty well equipped, the balcony was a reasonable size. The thing about this ship is it's size and that really is not a good thing because there are far too many people on board for it to be able to cope. Expect to spend a significant portion of your cruise waiting for one of the too few lifts. The worst part of the cruise was the buffet, a truly awful, dreadful experience. There are just far too many people so its difficult to find a space to eat, the noise is over-powering and when you finally fight through the crowds and buffet foot is appalling, really, really bad. More about he drinks package, eventually we gave in and bough a drinks package only to find that it is a real con, the only beer included was a really nasty version of Heineken, only a couple of spirits and the cheapest of the wines. It doesn't take long after arrival on this magnificent piece of engineering until you realise that it exists solely to cram as many human beings as possible on board and then find as many ways as possible to separate them from their cash. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Summary: Good vs. Bad These are just things to be aware of - some of them aren‘t easily changeable, some are management issues. Good Food quality in the buffet restaurant. Really quite new and showing it. Cirque du Soleil ... Read More
Summary: Good vs. Bad These are just things to be aware of - some of them aren‘t easily changeable, some are management issues. Good Food quality in the buffet restaurant. Really quite new and showing it. Cirque du Soleil on board. Bad Ship design and construction: There are many issues with the way the ship was designed and built that I found to be quite negative as compared to other ships I‘ve been on. Customer-facing personnel: Unfortunately, the few black sheep amongst the crew really pull the average down, though the people we dealt with generally seemed subdued. Ship interior is quite drab. My Take: There are other ships and other companies out there... The Ship The Meraviglia is huge - at the time of our cruise, I believe it was the second biggest cruise ship in the world, taking on up to 5.714 passengers at fully booked (which likely rarely happens, as this means 4 to a cabin for many cabins on the ship). We had a good size comparison to an older MSC ship in La Valletta (the „Sinfonia“) and the difference is just stupendous. With its Christening in June, 2017, it had just over a year and a half of service under its belt when we were on it. The condition of the ship is in line with its age. Our cruise was in the 3rd week of February in the Mediterranean, so likely the ship was not near booked solid. We didn’t get stats like „passengers on board“, unfortunately, and interestingly, people got on and off at nearly every port we stopped at. There are several aspects to this ship that make me subjectively think they have to do with the French manufacturer. I‘m not a great fan of French technology products and this ship makes this feeling all the more assertive. The creaking in the cabin (remember, it‘s a pretty new ship) and the odd, intermittent shuddering or continuous vibration despite absolutely reasonable wave levels gives me the impression that the engineering that went into the ship isn‘t on par with other builders. In fact, it brought back a memory from high school Physics class, where we watched a video of the Tacoma Narrows bridge getting driven into its resonance frequency by a storm and then basically „exploding“. Not a nice thought and certainly not a noise to make you sleep well without ear plugs. While then central Promenade with a projection ceiling is a nice touch, reminding me of some casinos or even the downtown area in Las Vegas. The possibilities of such a projection screen are not utilized fully, in my opinion. Think of the Venetian, where a complete day/night cycle is gone through every half hour or so, it would have been simple and a real added value to make more of this feature here on board. The rest of the ship is rather drab. The staircases (which we used frequently - who needs a stairmaster?) have identical pictures all the way from the bottom to the top and the carpeting is held in the same rust color. I‘m not a fan of overly colorful interiors, but this is boring even for me. You have the occasional piece of art (mostly around the reception area) and one or two other highlights, but really, the ship is poorly decorated. The same goes for many of the bars. A real downer is the „Studio Bar“ - seldom have I seen a place so lacking in luster. On the other side of the promenade, the "pub" tries to add some flair and comes fairly close to looking like a British pub, though it looks like one that was just built and never used before. This is a shame - a touch of relicing would really have gone a long way here. Another negative aspect to the ship‘s construction is the way the movement of groups is restricted. As an example: all the ships we were on before (Celebrity, Norwegian and Costa) have had multiple entrances into resp. out of the main theater. This ship only has a single way out. If you‘re not sitting at the top, don‘t bother getting up until the masses have pushed their way through the catheract of an exit. It really isn‘t a pleasant experience. Lets hope there is never a mass panic in this theater or there will likely be people trampled to death. The same goes for the Carousel Lounge, where they have Cirque du Soleil performances 6 nights a week. The only entrance to the theater is through the casino. This is annyoing for two reasons: for one, the casino is a smoking zone, and while the air is obviously vigurously exchanged you still smell it quite clearly. It is also annoying if you‘re with kids, because you will be told quite rudely that you can‘t be standing near any of the gambling machines even if you‘re behind the cordon that at least optically separates the entrance to the theater from the casino floor. The impression that employees of MSC are less happy about their jobs comes across too often. From people that deal with customers being rude or just unfriendly to being told that „this is the first time working for MSC and hopefully the last“, one gets the impression that MSC is not a company with the best people management, nor one that educates customer-facing employees on the proper way to deal with those that, at the end of the day, pay their wages. The Cabin The cabin (we were in 10212) is modern and - at first glance - spacious for this category. However, that spaciousness comes at a cost: there is very little room to put stuff, especially when the couch is converted to bunk beds. Essentially, you have a double sliding door closet with hangers and a few shelves. The only drawer is in the desk, and a good quarter of it is taken up by the hair dryer. Other ships we‘ve been on provided a whole series of drawers next to the desk and cubbyholes around the TV. The bunk beds that are made out of the two-seater couch are fullsize single beds, the best I‘ve seen in a standard cabin. These come at a price, however - the unneeded upholstery from the couch goes under the bed, which leaves less space for your luggage. In fact, we weren‘t even able to fit two medium-size, upright suitcases under the bed without one of them sticking out about 10cm. Luckily, our kids had cabin-size suitcases with them, otherwise we would have been stumped at a place to put them. The bathroom is the most modern I‘ve seen (then again, the ship is quite new) and quite spacious. The shower is great, with a glass door and large enough to not feel cramped. Two drawbacks: the air is - as is the case in every cruise ship I‘ve been on - sucked out of the cabin here (which makes sense), but apparently the opening is so small that the sucking noise is very loud. It is so loud that inside you can‘t hear that people are conversing in the cabin, much less what they are saying. The other drawback is that there is no built-in nightlight, something we‘ve had in older ships. I can‘t think of any reason not to put a nightlight into a modern bathroom, but it fits with my general opinion of the ship‘s planning and construction. Because we‘ve had ships before without a nightlight in the bathroom (mind you: older ones), I had brought one with me. Unfortunately, the same „reasoning“ used throughout the ship’s design has been applied to the receptacle in the bathroom as to many other aspects of the ship: when you turn the lights off in the bathroom, the power is turned off here, too. How annoying is that? So: no nightlight. Nor can you charge your shaver overnight. Oddly enough, the TV works even without a keycard in the central power switch... There are two European (Schuko) outlets, a USB charging outlet and two US-style outlets at the desk - and the shaver outlet (110/220V) in the bathroom that turns off with the light switch. That‘s it. The cabin door provided absolutely zero sound proofing towards the hallway, which is unfortunate when you have neighbors that find it adequate to have a conversation right in front of your door at nearly midnight. Actually, you get a lot of audio from everywhere around you - subjectively a lot more than on other (older!) ships. Put that on the „bad design“ list. What also surprised me in a negative way is the poor air circulation. When you have a small cabin with four people sleeping in it, continuously getting fresh air into the cabin is absolutely imperative. In spite of the very loud suction noise in the bathroom, either the air fed into the cabin wasn‘t fresh or there simply wasn‘t enough of it, as the air quality in the morning was attrocious. This is an issue I‘ve had on no other cruise ship, not even ones as old as the Norwegian Jade! Poor ship design, once again. Food - Marketplace Buffet As our kids are not old enough to enjoy a sit-down dinner, we mostly ate at the buffet restaurant. While the food quality is really very good (better,subjectively, than on the Costa ships we were on), it is very limited in variability, all stations basically seem to have 90% identical food every day - for both, lunch and dinner - with variance only in things like the rotissary meat or salads. It is perhaps an unfair comparison to make, but if you consider the unbelievable choice in food we found on the Celebrity Constellation, this ship’s buffet restaurant comes across like a food court at a shopping mall. Unfortunately, it is way too busy for making for a pleasant meal: as with many other cruise ship buffet restaurants, the „Marketplace Buffet“ on the Meraviglia is often packed to the hilt. Sometimes, we weren’t even able to find seating anywhere. Especially beverage stations can be annoying, not only because there are obviously too few of them, but also because especially coffee seems to run out frequently. When the coffee isn‘t out, the coffee cups are. One morning, the cups were out at every station I squeezed my way to! Picking up used plates and silverware - or wiping down a table - is also something that can be improved on. It sometimes seems that there are more people walking idly around to provide (paid) bar service than people to do basic restaurant service. Unfortunately, this was also the case when the buffet wasn‘t as busy, which is disappointing. Food - L‘Olivio d‘Oro Restaurant We only visited the assigned restaurant once, without our kids. As we later found it, it was a specialty evening and the food was quite good, albeit not extraordinary. The table we were at was oddly US football-shaped and the two of us found sitting in this configuration to be a strange experience. Unfortunately, the noise level in the restaurant is so high, that aside from the friendly personnel serving your dinner at our table, we didn‘t see much of an advantage over the buffet restaurant, especially since there apparently isn‘t a kids menu (this we heard from other people). The Shows We visited both Cirque du Soleil shows: Viaggio and Sonor in the „Cocktail & Show“ variant. Without knowing the menu, we were glad not to have booked the dinner & show version, as you simply sit at tables around the circular stage and listen to guitar music while eating. Unfortunately, here too we found employees dealing with customers that would better be placed in the kitchen or in the engine room. You are led to your table by a waiter. The table number is on the paper tickets you get the night before in your cabin, and you pass by a table that holds various drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, which are the cocktails for the evening. An older gentleman in group before us was yelled at by the waiter „one drink per person, one drink per person!“ when he picked up the drink for his wife with his other hand (she was right next to him, not carrying a glass). Not a good impression. Both shows were a flurry of impressions and really quite good, though both were completely different. For small children, Viaggio is your better choice - at least our kids liked it better than Sonor (and I did, too), but both are impressive. Beside Cirque du Soleil, we also took in a very good live music and dance show and a magician. Pools + Other Entertainment There are various pools on the 15th and 16th decks, as well as several hot tubs. One pool and one hot tub are in an enclosed area (with a roof that can slide to the side). Due to the air temperature, we really only used the indoor pool, though this only made sense at offpeak times. With just one pool indoors, you can imagine how crowded it got at other times. The ship also has what they call the „Himalayan Bridge“ (a rope walking parcours) and a cool-looking waterslide that takes you over the side of the ship for part of the „ride“. The rope walking parcours is pretty cool - I did it with both kids, though you really have to hang on to your camera up there when the wind blows (and anything else that isn't attached to you)! Unfortunately, it was only available while docked. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Location and time frame is great! The service is friendly most of the time. However, compared to the food I had on the US base cruise ships, MSC is not on the same level. The specialty restaurants are OK, I spent the last three nights ... Read More
Location and time frame is great! The service is friendly most of the time. However, compared to the food I had on the US base cruise ships, MSC is not on the same level. The specialty restaurants are OK, I spent the last three nights eating at the dinner buffet instead of the main dining room because the food sucks. Not steak, extra cost 29.99 for Lobster Tail... I got food poisoned by eating the smoked salmon. Throwing up the whole night long, went to the Medical room on the 4th floor, the nurse was very helpful but the Doc, what Doc, he is taking his 4 hours lunch break. After all, I feel better by taking medicine that I bought from their Mini Mart and Medical room but I completely missed my Barcelona City Tour ... By the way, if you are using the Voucher for Drinks, make sure you could get most of the drinks on the menu, lots of server doesn't know that and think the Vouchers works like Package. The bathroom is good but you could hear everything that happens next door, I felt bad for the carbine next to mine, the night I got food poison, I spent the whole in the bathroom Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Just got back from cruise in Rome beautiful ship cabins good size restaurant waiters cabin staff excellent I don’t know how they put up with so many rude customers. Food in Buffett lukewarm was told to ask for freshly made if I wanted it ... Read More
Just got back from cruise in Rome beautiful ship cabins good size restaurant waiters cabin staff excellent I don’t know how they put up with so many rude customers. Food in Buffett lukewarm was told to ask for freshly made if I wanted it hot . Ridiculous this is how health issues start also no regard for health standard where was the hand sanitizer that all other cruise ships insist you use when attending Buffett. I saw many customers not using tongs supplied filing water bottles when clearly states not to no one stopped so I wouldn’t drink free water purchased bottled . This cruise company would be my last pick of all other cruise lines I have used. Shuttles not supplied like many other companies do profit put first used taxi instead same price. Security staff some rude butted in on conversation need more scanners for this amount of customers. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My partner and I, along with our 14 yo daughter (New Zealanders) recently spent a month (Dec 2018) in Europe including two cruises, one on the Costa Luminosa (out of Venice) and the other on the MSC Meraviglia (out of Rome). The following ... Read More
My partner and I, along with our 14 yo daughter (New Zealanders) recently spent a month (Dec 2018) in Europe including two cruises, one on the Costa Luminosa (out of Venice) and the other on the MSC Meraviglia (out of Rome). The following are my thoughts on comparing the two: Foremost I would like to say that we had a fantastic time on both cruises and staging a cruise for 2-5 thousand people is obviously a mammoth undertaking requiring staggering resources and organization. People come to cruises with very high expectations and it is always possible to set your expectations in the realm of fantasy, such that they will never be met. On the Luminosa we booked a suite, which included a comprehensive drinks package, and on the Meraviglia we booked a balcony cabin and bought the comprehensive (but not premium brands) drinks package. The total cost of both cruises (excluding excursions) came to within a few hundred dollars of each other (US$2,830+/-). OVERALL On balance we enjoyed both cruises. I preferred the Costa cruise because I really did not like the crowds on the Meraviglia. There were just too many people making too much noise with too many children for my liking on holiday. To be fair though, I'm an introvert, I have seven children, and a holiday to me means getting away from people and children, at least a bit. On that score the suite package on the Luminosa allowed us to eat in a proper restaurant with peace and space for every meal. The other thing I liked was that the suite cabin was twice (I do mean twice) the size of the balcony cabin on the Meraviglia. Dining on Meraviglia was by contrast the noisy chaos that is buffet dining (better than the buffet on the Luminosa but fundamentally the same experience) or dining in the dedicated dinner and breakfast restaurants, which are also noisy busy affairs with the tables of other diners being mere inches away from yours. While the food in the Meraviglia buffet was better, the restaurant food was just as hit or miss as the Club Luminosa. I had delicious food on both cruises and some terrible dishes. I thought Costa unfairly got a bad rap on this score in hindsight, although it is fair to say the Club Restaurant food is not the same level as a surcharge specialty restaurant on another line, it more than made up for this by being included in the price, a comfortable setting, and available on demand when we needed for any of the three meals a day (i.e. not set dining times). One of my frustrations with Costa is that the wording around booking a suite is ambiguous about including dining in the Club Restaurant for all meals. I thought this was the case and I found it to be the case once on the cruise, but I could not get a Costa agent, or Costa, to confirm that was the deal prior to the cruise. In fact I was erroneously told on a number of occasions by the Asia agent that Club Luminosa dining was NOT included. While I'm on gripes, priority embarkation with Costa was not a pleasant experience and did not feel "priority". I put this down to a majority non-English speaking crowd and therefore insufficient signs in English and the fact that much of the embarkation is managed by port security staff, who have no interest or training in prioritizing passengers who may have been promised the privilege. Other than that the Costa cruise was managed as expected and I have no gripes. The staff on both cruises were friendly and helpful, and fantastic for the most part. Gripes on Meraviglia were more numerous. Embarkation was smoother, which I put down to a bigger and better equipped port. I soon found out through additional charges on my account that MSC had changed the method of charging for drinks packages since I had paid for mine in advance, so I was now on an "old" package, which the bar staff may or may not be trained on and for which all identification of included and excluded drinks had been removed from all the drinks menus. Fun! Also the MSC website stopped recognizing our booking a month before the cruise, which was annoying; and the three specialty restaurant and show bookings all had to be redone (no big deal). MSC has an annoying habit of giving you things to do to avoid charges like delivering photos back to the room steward, who was seldom seen. Our room was not made up on two days and was only turned down for the night on one night. Costa only charged a half the gratuity rate for the third child passenger, whereas MSC charged the full perdeim rate. CABINS As I said the Luminosa suite cabin was literally twice the size of the balcony cabin on the Meragivilia, so there is no competition there. Having the personal butler was also superior, to having a room steward who did not turn up on two days because he was assigned to 1) cleaning the balconies; and 2) crew safety drills. On the plus side we booked cabin 8205 which sits just above the lifecraft and has a balcony 2.5 times the size of the other balcony cabins. We enjoyed the extra space there. DINING I have covered above. The specialty restaurants on the Meravilia were all a bit hit and miss. Butcher's Cut was very good, but sitting in the Galleria walkway is not good if you don't want people standing next to your table and yelling to their friends on the deck below. The Sushi was very high quality but light in quantity and the desert was not available. The Eataly was better than the reviews suggest, with SOME of the dishes being very good, but that was again let down by the deserts being very ordinary. On average the food was better on the Meraviglia, but the dining experience was better on the Luminosa because of the full time use of the Club Luminosa. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES Activities on the Meraviglia surpassed those on the Luminosa although we enjoyed our included spa day on the Luminosa very much. The Meraviglia is a bigger ship and just has slightly more on offer, more bars, galleria, and water slides. We found the shows to be quite even on balance. The Luminosa shows were very good. The entertainers around the ship were somewhat limited. We enjoyed playing a game where we would work out what lyrics the singers were actually singing when they sang English songs. What they actually sang guessing at the English and pronunciation was actually quite hilarious. Trivial Pursuit had a dimension added to it when presented by someone who clearly did not know how to translate questions into English. "What color does a bride in China wear?" became "What color is the bridge in cheena?" We did not do well. On the Meraviglia three of the four shows we went to appeared to be lip-synced. Now I stand to be corrected, but it appeared to us that in all but the show including the band the singers lip-synced their way through the entire show. The dancers on the Luminosa were less ballet trained but worked as a troupe much better. The Circ-de-sole show was excellent on the Meraviglia so the shows came out even for me. SERVICE Staff and service was excellent on both cruises. Staff were always friendly, pleasant and eager to help when help was asked. We did not run into attitude or passing the buck on either ship. The staff were great. PORTS and SHORE EXCURSIONS We only did one excursion in the two cruises and might well have avoided that with what we know in hindsight. Most excursions can be duplicated with a significant cost savings with a little self planning. Ports really depend on the individual and where you want to go. You should want to go to Venice though. :-) Only one comment on excursions: none of the excursions offered on Meraviglia would take you inside La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. This is a crime. You should not go to Barcelona and not go inside this unique and stunningly beautiful building. The outside is impressive, but the inside is a moving experience. FELLOW PASSENGERS Both cruise were far and away dominated by Italians, which didn't bother me at all. Introvert. I was surprised at the lack of Americans or Brits on the Meraviglia. I would put the population of Americans at about 1% and Brits slightly higher. If you want to meet people and make friends, this could be a negative. Good on the Italians for holidaying with their children. They don't have sitters on the ship, so the kids get an early education on how Mommy and Daddy go out and have fun at night (including in the Casino). LOL [shakes head] CONCLUSION Costa Luminosa won me over as the best value for money. The big Meraviglia was just too crowed and noisy for me. The public spaces were always filled with the din of loud conversation and no matter what time of night it always seemed from the cabin someone was slamming a door somewhere or children were running up and down the halls. My advice is, give Costa another look, but book the suite or better. I didn't book the MSC Yacht Club experience, but I have read that children rule the roost there as well, so that might not be your best solution and is pricey. Good luck everyone and I hope you have a great next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We did a MSC 7 day cruise onboard the Meraviglia leaving from Civitacchia end october 2018 , on the sunday it was raining and the ship was delayed due to bad weather , we had been given a ticket by the MSC staff and told it was our ... Read More
We did a MSC 7 day cruise onboard the Meraviglia leaving from Civitacchia end october 2018 , on the sunday it was raining and the ship was delayed due to bad weather , we had been given a ticket by the MSC staff and told it was our boarding ticket as we arrived about 9;30 to no ship but heard it was delayed , shipped docked at 12 and mad rush to the entrance where it said board ship here , must have been about a 1000 people waiting to board after about an hour saw MSC staff start carrying stuff in , then there was a rush to another entrance , no communication from any MCS staff eventually after 2 hours standing sat down , we later found out that they call the ticket numbers when to board , nobody told us or anyone else , we eventually boarded at 4 pm . Cabin was lovely did find someones sock under the bed though , our designated restaurant was Olivo D'Doro , we ate there once food was awful salad pathetic , salmon overcooked and dry and fruit salad 3 pieces of fruit , we ate every other meal on deck 15 at the buffet , food was nice but a fight to get to it and then to find a table and queues dont work as others just push in , had to do the same or starve , ate breakfast at 6 and supper at 9 to avoid the mad crowds , lunchtime you just took your chance and fought for food , disembarking and embarking at the various ports a nightmare again just a free for all and took forever to get 4000 people off as only 1 or 2 doors open and all passengers had to have cards scanned , same for embarking took forever sometimes had to stand in the cold rain waiting to embark . On board there is no quiet place to relax in , the bars kids everywhere running , climbing on the counter swinging on chairs even late at night , description of the ship is like being at a busy shopping centre before christmass just busy busy everywhere , then its the drinks and the packages , highly overpriced , at 3 or 4 ports a shuttle bus was supplied by msc as too far from town cost between 13 - 15 euros each again overpriced and not mentioned , MSC get you on board then want to empty your wallet and bank account some examples , 1.25 l bottle of water 2.90 euros , tin of pepsi 2.90euros . We had cruised before also in the Med with a different cruise company and loved it , would i cruise MSC again ? NO , would i recommend MSC ? NO Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many ... Read More
So this was my third cruise, our first with MSC which we embarked in Genoa for our honeymoon around the Mediterranean. Firstly the ship is amazing and our room was lovely, we had everything we needed but unfortunately there were not many other positives things we encounted on our cruise. The majority of the staff were unpleasant, shuffling around, generally miserable and you felt as if you asked for anything it was really putting them out. Whether it’s a lack of training in the customer service department or they are generally overworked and tired I am not sure. For anyone on holiday a cheery atmosphere where you feel special and nothing is too much trouble is what can make the experience a pleasant one, this was not the case here. The food was average, nothing to rave about but was very reasonable. For the size of the ship however pretty much everyone would go to the buffet for lunch as it was the only real food restaurant open so it was chaotic with some very rude people. The level of information was poor, we came to port and there was nothing mentioned about getting off the ship, where to go or the procedure. As I have mentioned we have done it before so knew the score but we spoke to some first time cruisers who were very confused. When you book a cruise with various ports you expect to be taken there. MSC don’t tell you that on some occasions they need to port 20 mins drive from the city. This is fine I understand it’s necessary due to the ships size etc but to then expect the guests to pay €13 each to get on the shuttle bus they provide I believe is wrong. This seriously adds up and I have never been expected to pay that with other companies just to get to the port the cruise said it was going to take me to anyway. One morning we decided to have a lie in, only to be awoke at 8 am by an almighty screeching noise. We thought the ship was scraping along the seabed as we were coming in to port. We phoned the steward who told us it was balcony cleaning. Before we knew it someone was on our balcony whilst we were still in bed, no warning. I had to leave the room after an hour as the noise was so irritating. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for them to wait a little so those who don’t rise early or maybe had a late night aren’t disturbed. Having a romantic meal was not possible. You are put on a table with a group of random strangers. Luckily they were nice people but we were with 6 others which made having a nice meal together in the restaurant for our honeymoon not something we could do. And lastly I would describe them as a low cost or no frills kind of cruise. You get your bed and food and that’s it. Ice cream, room service even the circus show that was advertised you have to pay for, all things that have been included with other cruise companies. The ship is stunning it’s just got a long way to go in the customer service department and to make guests feel special. Others have described it as feeling like cattle and I think that’s pretty accurate. Will be looking for another company next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
chose because of ship, and price, but i have to say the service and attitude of staff spoiled it for us.cabin spacious and very clean. food in general ok, but nothing stood out. shows were soso. the rip off costs of shuttles into certain ... Read More
chose because of ship, and price, but i have to say the service and attitude of staff spoiled it for us.cabin spacious and very clean. food in general ok, but nothing stood out. shows were soso. the rip off costs of shuttles into certain ports is ridiculous. the price of photos onboard and having to beg for my pic even although i am a black member. having to wait in long lines at guest services, but the lovely buse turk took care of me in the end. some of the coffee drinks i had onboard were awful, often made completely wrong and unfriendly barstaff. all in all gorgeous ship but could be so much better. also not much in the way of arts and crafts, something i like on other lines. pool area was nice and comfy beds if you can get one. alot of towles on beds that never got used, very annoying. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
It may seem odd that I do a review nine months after it ended. However I found that among all the other reviews that I read there are some aspects concerning this ship, that have not been pointed out before. It is even harder to read a ... Read More
It may seem odd that I do a review nine months after it ended. However I found that among all the other reviews that I read there are some aspects concerning this ship, that have not been pointed out before. It is even harder to read a cruise review for this particular itinerary. As a consequence I will mainly focus on aspects not mentioned by other reviewers. Embarkation was at Steinwerder Cruise terminal in Hamburg, Germany, for a fourteen day cruise that took us to the Norwegian coast, north cape and the remote island of Spitsbergen. I have to say that exactly one year earlier we had already taken a cruise to Iceland starting on this same embarkation port and once again aboard a vessel from MSC, the Preziosa and were not at all thrilled with the overall organization of that ship. Anyway MSC was the only cruise company doing this route on the time frame me and my family (my girlfriend and our nine years old daughter) had. It is difficult not to draw comparisons with the Preziosa, but fortunately I got to see that aboard the Meraviglia the experience was better, although in early evening the ship was as crowded as a shopping mall on weekends. It seems the crew is better prepared to tackle with the huge number of passengers on board. First of all embarkation and disembarkation were well organized, shore excursion desk is much better, no cues to come aboard on the different ports of call we were in, as it frequently happened on my prior cruise with MSC. If there is a place that needs to be completely reorganized, this is the buffet they call Market Place. Almost everything is wrong because it is too big and messy. It was the same aboard the Preziosa. MSC does not understand that in order to cope with a big number o passengers using this venue at the same time, the answer is not a bigger restaurant but rather a disciplined organization, even if this disciplined attitude is made at the cost of freedom of the passengers to choose a particular table to sit. At breakfast and lunch time on sea days it is impossible not to bump with other passengers who wonder around with trays of food on their hands while trying to find a place to sit. The answer would be for the management to assign the families or groups to the table, the moment they enter the buffet. With such a big place it was also easy to arrange this venue in a way that starboard partition is closed for cleaning and repositioning of stands for a 30 minute period, while port side is open also for a 30 minute period. What most chocked me was the small device they put on the tables to call the servers who take the orders for the beverages. In fact, if you want a special drink, you press that device and a server quickly comes to take your order. While the system always worked efficiently with me, I think that danger of norovirus widespread lurks around, as these devices were almost always noticeably dirty because of the huge number of fingers that touch them. My advice would be not to touch them with your bare finger tips and use instead a paper napkin to do it. And the same should be done whenever you press a button on a lift, even if around here dirt was not perceivable. Concerning the cabin we had chosen a Fantastica class balcony stateroom in the aft of the ship (9271). Prior to booking, I had studied the deck plan layout and noticed that there was a bank of lifts close by. However, once on board we realized that these particular lifts are for crew only. The consequence was that every time we wanted to go anywhere from our room, we had to endure long and fatiguing walks on a long and uninteresting corridor and again on the way back. Be aware of this fact if you book one of these staterooms. Another warning concerning staterooms on the aft of the ship but only on deck 9, is that you are directly above the Carousel Lounge. This is a sort of disco lounge with an height that spans on two decks and it is at moments very noisy, mainly at night when you want to rest. There is another advice that I cannot refrain from doing: You should avoid, at all cost to book a cabin on deck 14. Our tablemates at dinner had their cabin immediately under the Bamboo Pool and had to complain frequently at reception at two or three o’clock in the morning because of the unbearable noises coming from deck 15 while maintenance to the pool is being done. They said they had the feeling of being close to a big washing machine while on spin cycle. After having complained for three or four nights in a row they managed to be reassigned to a cabin on deck 5 and were thankful for the change. Other cabins on deck 14 are also noisy because they stand immediately below the Atmosphere Pool or the Market Place Buffet. My advice to future travelers would be for you to save some money and go to a lower deck while choosing your cabin. As said before the itinerary was for us the main reason for this cruise. We were very keen to visit Norway and above all to set foot on the northern most parts of the country, as our route included the north cape and a stop at the Svalbard archipelago. However, I have to say that these two spots were the only that turned out to be somewhat deceiving. Honningsvag is the port of call to visit the North Cape. It is just a fishing village and totally uninteresting. We had booked a shore excursion that included the transfer to the North Cape - a windy spot by the way- and a King Crab tasting. We were unlucky with the trip to the north cape because of the fog but on our way back the sky had cleared up and enjoyed very much the landscape that was definitively beautiful. Longyearbyen was our port of call at the Svalbard archipelago and just to get there it is necessary a full day at sea and another one to return to Norway mainland. It was a complete dud. The most interesting shore excursions were all sold out the moment we boarded the ship in Hamburg. I had even tried to make a booking some weeks before the cruise through MSC webpage, as this is also possible and in fact very convenient if you want to avoid the crowds around the shore excursion desk, but the most interesting excursions were already sold out at that moment too. As a consequence we just booked an uninteresting drive to a place where they breed Huskies. There is a museum in town that is moderately interesting and shops (expensive) for tourists. It is a very short walk from the ship to downtown Longyearbyen, but a dusty one on a road full of heavy trucks and with no sidewalks. By the way, this is a place with lots of coal mines which explains this pattern of dusty traffic around the existing few roads. Coal exploration is in decline as a source of energy, so the economy of the archipelago relies mainly on tourism. You cannot venture on your own outside the village because of the risk of attack from polar bears, whose population has been steadily increasing anyway. While walking around the main pedestrian road of the village I spotted inside a shop some photos of the place taken in late winter or early spring while the island was still covered with snow. Judging from what saw on those photos, it seems that’s the ideal time of the year to enjoy a wonderful scenery and with luck seeing the northern lights in the sky. If you want to visit this place, do never take a cruise in summer just to go there. Finally I would caution future travelers disembarking in Hamburg as MSC does not organize a transfer to the airport. This is a pity as many of the passengers that I saw around the airport on the afternoon of disembarkation day had also been aboard the Meraviglia. And the same happened to me one year earlier upon disembarking the Preziosa, again in Hamburg. We had our flight back home early afternoon on disembarkation day and had to take a taxi. The ride to the airport was time consuming because of the heavy traffic around the port. It took us almost one hour to get to the airport terminal and that was after we had to wait in line for 30 minutes in front of the cruise terminal on a hot sunny morning with no shades at all, just to get a taxi. Still it would have also been even worse should it be raining. Taxis were just slowly coming to the cruise terminal. Take that into account on your post-cruise arrangements. Other travelers may think differently, but personally I prefer much smaller and better organized ships. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We are certainly not cruise experts. We booked the cruise based on land stops and the look of the cabins. The destinations were well picked and we enjoyed every one of them. We did not use the MSC Excursion service and took all land trips ... Read More
We are certainly not cruise experts. We booked the cruise based on land stops and the look of the cabins. The destinations were well picked and we enjoyed every one of them. We did not use the MSC Excursion service and took all land trips into our own hands. The organization while boarding and check out were chaotic, you were not informed very well about what your next step is and the lines at the info desk were horrendously long. The look of the ship is modern, the cabins are small but have everything you need and the cabins get cleaned several times during the day. For anyone over 6'2", the shower will give you neck pains because the ceiling is so low. Cabin crew was awesome and so nice as well as the staff in the restaurants. But we have noticed that they are definitely over worked and barely get any time off. Activities and events on the ship were not our cup of tea (young couple) but that certainly is a preference thing. We enjoyed the Cirque du Soleil show but other than that there were no activities getting our attention. We painfully missed a movie theater for example. You have to pay for movies in the room. They offer lots for kids and older people. The buffet restaurants were mostly over crowded but the quality of the food there was buffet worthy. The food at the complimentary restaurants was mostly tasteless and not very good. But the specialty restaurants on board were good (but expensive). Bars were plenty and good. We have used the gym but that also was mostly over crowded and too small for so many people. MSC is not an all inclusive cruise line and you certainly get charged a lot for everything. You can avoid costs on food because there are enough complimentary offers but if you do not have a drink package booked before hand it gets expensive. Spa, movies, internet, bus shuttles to downtown areas....it all costs a lot of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Never MSC for me... They should name the next ship MSC upsell. On the Meraviglia upselling is going on from when you wake up until you gouing to sleep again. I'll booked the orient spa. 120€ for 60 min massage, i'll booked 2. ... Read More
Never MSC for me... They should name the next ship MSC upsell. On the Meraviglia upselling is going on from when you wake up until you gouing to sleep again. I'll booked the orient spa. 120€ for 60 min massage, i'll booked 2. Even while doing the massage the lady tryed to sell 4 extra massages, cremes etc. The news leaflet you find on the bed is becoming a comervial magazine trying to sell (again) Lotto tickets, bingo, restaurant packages. champagne by he bottle, pictures, camara's, parfum, beauty treatments.. etc. When you open the tv = the same. Walking under the dome .. again. In the sauna everyone is whering fabric, from short to underpants.. dont get it? The food standards whent absolutely down in the last years. We had a exclusive drink package. Again a lot of drinks, not included. What is 'exclusive' standing for then? Staff was smoking in corridor upeside the staterroom. Excursions realy overprised. You find the same for the half of the price once ashore. Interaiment is very Italian. Italian singers try yo sing English songs. 7 seadays, why not showing a movie in the theater in the afternoon, oh true you can do in your room 7€ / film. For serval years I do cruises, i'm always happy to pay the service charge. This year I asked serval staff members what they get from that. Absolutely NOTHING! So I went to the information desk and ask to take away the service fee. The lady did understand my complaints and said I better choose the smaller ships from MSC. They have the same amount off staff on the Meraviglia as par example the Divina, only 1500 guest more. So i dicide to tipp them directly. Pitty because you can only tip the employee's you see. The led screen cealing is a expensive gimmick. If you have a good lookaround on the ship you see that a lot is done with cheap materials. MSC is hunting for mass tourism and that you see. No sign of a cruise director. That been said, staff is workkng hard 15 days without one free day. €1050 / month for a bar tender. Most off the staff is exosted. The destination to Spitsbergen where Meraviglia but MSC lost his smile. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
MSC MERAVICLIA / 5 – 19 JULY 2018 / CABIN 8020 (Inside) “L’Olive D’Oree” Dining room We had an early – on time request – via our travel agent for a table of two. Instead of this, MSC gave us a table (Nr 797) which ... Read More
MSC MERAVICLIA / 5 – 19 JULY 2018 / CABIN 8020 (Inside) “L’Olive D’Oree” Dining room We had an early – on time request – via our travel agent for a table of two. Instead of this, MSC gave us a table (Nr 797) which actually was a table for 4 persons, divided in 2 parts, right next to each other. So, as a real fact, we were all the 4 persons in the same table! The food choices were so few and the menu options were extremely “strange”, with a poor quality and quantity. Generally we have serious doubts about the Chef’s “choises” and dining decisions. Nowhere hand sanitizer ! A sterilize liquid machine might be everywhere, especially at the dining areas ! “Market place” Dining Room Few staff can not serve so many people, or keep the dining tables and the floor clean, on time. We rarely could see supervisors and foremen checking around the extremely noisy dining area. Quite poor quality and quantity of meat and fish. The same not delicious foods were repeated every lunch and dinner. Limited food variety and none difference in the menu every day ! Most of the simple food choices were unacceptable tasteless (f.e. pizza, kinds of cheese etc.). Generally we have serious doubts about the Chef’s “choises” and his dining decisions. Nowhere hand sanitizer ! A sterilize liquid machine might be everywhere, especially at the dining areas ! Room amenities None – at least 1 bottle in the embarkation day – complimentary bottle of water. A small table with one small armchair could be placed into the cabin. An offer of a goodnight small chocolate on the bed, must be cost a lot to the MSC Co., on the contrary of the others cruise companies. Bath amenities Total lack of bath toiletries (hair conditioner, body/hand lotion, cotton pads, ear cotton buds, etc.). No hand towels, no wardrobs, no slippers, no shoe shiner, not a cheap cotton bag. Bad quality of the shampoo, bath gel and toilet paper. Photo Shop Annoying photographers were hunting for a shoot, any time, anywhere. They sent us in the cabin, the embarkation photo – which they forced us to take -that we didn’t want to bye, warning us that otherwise, they were going to charge our bill ! English beer pub The cuisine was any time “closed”, so the beers were coming without any chips or nuts, as everyone knows that nuts or chips need cook / baking ! Shuttle Bus in Tromso Shuttle bus service from port (Fredik Langes Gate 4) to Tromso city center, total 6 Km (actually 4 Km), 19,90 Euros per person round trip. None announcement / information on behalf of the bridge regarding the navigation, or the passage of the Arctic Circle. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I will start by saying the Meraviglia is just a stunning ship. So modern and beautiful, and she has so many spaces I adore such as the indoor pool and the galleria. I have a very unlikely hope that MSC will sell her to another line so we ... Read More
I will start by saying the Meraviglia is just a stunning ship. So modern and beautiful, and she has so many spaces I adore such as the indoor pool and the galleria. I have a very unlikely hope that MSC will sell her to another line so we can cruise her again! As sadly, this was our first and will be our last MSC cruise. First I will address the positives. As mentioned, the ship is 5 star amazing. Our cabin, a standard inside, was much bigger than insides on other cruise lines. The floor space was huge! Unfortunately the storage space was terrible. I'm sure they could have made more of that floor space- a sofa with drawers would have been perfect. We loved the pools both indoors and out. There are lots of hot tubs, although sadly some were always broken. We loved the galleria and the chocolate shop! Boarding in Palermo was a breeze, although I suspect that was because so few people board there. We saw both Cirque shows (eventually, after one was cancelled twice) and enjoyed both. Although we did not think they were the same quality as Cirque dreams on NCL (despite that not being official cirque!). The other shows were.... weird. Like watching a particularly random Eurovision entry. The entertainment highlight of the cruise was the 60s party in the Galleria which was brilliant. So, to get onto the negatives. Unfortunately everything I'd heard about the food was true. We went to the MDR twice on our 5 night cruise and then just stopped and went to the buffet instead. The MDR food was barely edible, and this is from really non-fussy people. Both nights we went to the buffet straight after the MDR as we were still hungry, having left most of the food. The buffet was fine- the choice at dinner was a little limited, especially for desserts. The ship made mozzarella was very good. While the buffet was 'good enough' it is nothing like the range and quality found on lines such as NCL. It was such a shame that the food was such a let down- aren't Italians supposed to care about their food! We were also unhappy with our dining time allocation of 6pm- when we booked a Fantastica fare, this came with promised 'Flexible dining', however MSC removed this without informing us. When I rang to query this they couldn't have cared less. The other huge negative was service. I really don't want to say this but it felt like unless you are Italian you are a second class citizen. While we found the occasionally friendly staff member- such as the British guy working at Cirque, and some of the photographers- the others were brusque bordering on rude. Nobody seemed to know anything of how things work. We had massive problems with the photo package we had pre purchased ahead of time and wished we had not bought it. Not only was the variety of photos poor (no dinner or port photos like on NCL), but it was such a hassle to actually get them. None of their 'scanners' worked so you had to pick out your photos from the wall each night and queue up so they can put them in a box. On the last night they were supposed to scan these boxed photos on a card for us. We had to return to the desk no less than 4 times between early afternoon and midnight attempting to get our photos, as they kept telling us different things and sending us away. They just wanted to get rid of us and had no interest in helping us. One guy would start helping us, then drop us completely because an Italian had come up to the desk- incredibly frustrating. Come midnight when they tried to send us away again as they were closing, promising 'we are open in the morning, come and get your photo card then' we point blank refused to leave until we got our photos. Guess what- the next morning the photo gallery was shut. I'm not that fussy on service but I don't expect to be totally lied to by the staff. Disembarkation was also a nightmare. They do not give you a choice of time. They gave us 11.20am which was way too late- I had to queue for ages at guest services and the earliest they would swap it for was 9.35. On the morning it was an absolute shambles with people pushing and shoving and staff totally clueless. In the end we had to beg to be let through by claiming we were missing our flight (thank god we actually weren't). They then corralled everyone into a tiny corridor with no room to move and no reason for being held there. It was actually a potentially dangerous situation- if a panic had set off people could have been crushed. When we've done other cruises we've waltzed off the ship in 5 minutes with no issues- I have no idea how MSC could make disembarkation this bad. It took over 2hrs to disembark. Overall, as you can see the negatives sadly outweigh the positives. While this cruise was cheap, it was not good value because of too many poor elements. We are not hard to please- we love other mainstream cruise lines, we're not expecting luxury. But this was just not good enough. I hear they are much better in America, but there's so much choice of cruise line out there that we'll never give them another chance. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I was looking forward for this experience with MSC having travelled with other companies in the past. first the sweet: The ship is new and looks very well kept, the cabin was really nice, the staff is trying to help whenever you ... Read More
I was looking forward for this experience with MSC having travelled with other companies in the past. first the sweet: The ship is new and looks very well kept, the cabin was really nice, the staff is trying to help whenever you need any help, the entertainment shows were excellent. Bitter: when you board, the staff is telling you that drinks are not included on board (not true there are dispensers) and if you want to drink you need to buy a package. the packages are not cheap but worse than that we bought an "all inclusive" pack (dont do it!) only to find out that all inclusive means a selection of drinks (not all) was very disappointed. you need to check your daily charges on the app, every evening, new charges appeared even if we didnt order anything, service charge (10 euro per person per day for "tips"), unicef donations, charges for pictures we never bought and so forth. you need to be very careful with this issue. every promotion we had on board had terms and conditions that would negate it... the photo package included photos taken at specific places, the free gifts were out of stock and so forth. the food is a bit above average at best. during the cruise it felt we had to be on the lookout for additional charges rather than just sit back and enjoy... I dont think I will use MSC again and its sad because the ship is really nice. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I’ve been following the reviews here of MSC Meraviglia since summer 2017, and have been quite worried about our cruise at the end of February. That was not nescessary. In general there is very little to complain about, but also not so ... Read More
I’ve been following the reviews here of MSC Meraviglia since summer 2017, and have been quite worried about our cruise at the end of February. That was not nescessary. In general there is very little to complain about, but also not so much that really impressed me. My overall rating is a 4- (or 3,5 stars of 5). I’ve cruised once before, on NCL Breakaway in January 2014, which as I remember it I’ll rate at 4,5 stars. Now back to our cruise on MSC Meraviglia: We were a group/family of 13. (Five adult couples and three kids age 4, 5 and 8.) PROS and TIPS The buffet is less crowded and quieter in the back of the ship and the buffet repeats it self three times (both sides + the back), so make your way through the crowd on the sides and relax and eat at the back :-) The gelato sundaes are very good and great value for money! CONS I wish the food was more tasty. On the plane home (Norwegian Air Shuttle) I ordered a hot meal. It was mashed potatoes and meat balls. As a surprise it was really good, had a delicious sauce and tasted much better than any food I tried on Meraviglia.) The buffet and food on Meraviglia looks nice, is fresh and varied, but in general lacks taste. CABIN The two families with kids and the grandparents shared an aft facing Super Family Plus cabin on deck 11. A cluster of three connecting cabins. Two balcony cabins and one interior cabin in the middle. Total capacity of ten people. (The two other couples had outside cabins on deck 5 and 8). I was in the middle interior cabin with my five year old son. The cabin has a sofa that turns into a double bed. Not much floor space when the bed is set up, but cabin staff turns it back into a sofa after breakfast (and it’s easy to do yourself). I unpacked the suitcase and put it under the bed in one of the other cabins. The interior has a closet with two drawers and 7 hangers. Just enough space for my needs. Due to the middle interior cabin the two balconies were both quite wide and spacious. Two chairs and a small table on each. The balconies were separated with a plastic wall that somehow were built to be collapsed and made into one very big balcony, but we did not find a way to unscrew the bolts. The separating walls on the other sides were made of solid steel and not made to be removed. I thought this Super Family Plus cluster were treated as one cabin, but in practice it’s three separate connection cabins with separate cabin numbers. Even though it has one price it’s treated as three separate cabins due to keycards and billing accounts on board. We were three separate families sharing this cabin cluster but the families were mixed up in different cabins, keycards and accounts. I don’t know if it’s the fault of our agent or MSC. (I had specified beforehand who should share cabins). FOOD The buffet is varied and fresh. Nothing tasted bad, but little were very tasty or impressively good either. I guess it’s up to the guests to spice things up themselves. I had prepaid a water package of 15 bottles of water. That was not needed as there were always water, ice and lemon slices available for free in the buffet. The middle of the buffet is generally crowded but in the back and frontmost corners there’s almost always quiet and space available. The buffet goes all around on three sides. We had dinner in the included restaurant the first two days. I think the waiters serve tables in a given order and our table were the last in his routine, so with three kids we had to wait a while for food and drink. There seems to be a different three-course menu each day, with various selections to choose from. Some dishes were quite good, others did not taste much. For less waiting and more variation we ate dinner in the buffet the rest of the cruise. We did not try the speciality restaurants. Valetta on Malta were the best itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Our first criteria was the itinerary, in particular, Palermo and Malta. We had previously visited Marseille, Genoa and Civitavecchia ( Rome). Pricing was attractive. I consultated with a travel agent we had used in the past. Her comment ... Read More
Our first criteria was the itinerary, in particular, Palermo and Malta. We had previously visited Marseille, Genoa and Civitavecchia ( Rome). Pricing was attractive. I consultated with a travel agent we had used in the past. Her comment was " Well, MSC does things a little differently", which doesn't necessarily mean better or worse. The cabin classification is more than inside, ocean view etc. They have "experiences" Ours, " Fantasia" meant we were inside, upper deck (11) and came with a voucher for 12 cocktails each. This was a reasonable up charge all things considered. However, we met a family who were told that there was NO water served in the main dining room unless they purchased a bottled water upgrade. I know this is not the case. The ship itself is spectacular, 19 decks, 5700 capacity, only a few months old, well designed. It doesn't disappoint in that regard. Food was an overall disappointment. Not at all to what we have enjoyed on the 3 other lines we have used. The buffet offering were poor, no other way to put it. The"Grill" offered prepackaged hot dogs and burgers "BAD" Entrees and salads were substandard, layout of buffet did not allow free flow of diners. Food was not replenished in a timely manner. Tried breakfast buffet first morning only. Went to main dining room thereafter. Based on the crowds I'd say many others felt the same. Embarkation was fast and smooth. Their app helps out with this. Also they board and exit passengers at all ports when in the Med. This means fewer boarding at at port than a full load at once, BUT, you now have a lot of people learning around every day. Make for a lot of confusion at the buffet. Enrichment such as we have enjoyed elsewhere, e.g. lecture on upcoming ports/ culture are non existent. With the exception of Cirq de Sol, the entertainment was below par. No live music at the main stage show. Canned music only, even for the dance review shows. Actully found live music to be lacking thru out all venues and times, with the excepetion of the main atrium at cocktail time. Our biggest concern was the lack of public hand sanitation procedures at dining areas. There are no "washey washey" people. Yes, I've laughed at hem but they do serve the purpose of encouraging hand sanitation. The buffet had hand washing sinks at the main entrance but not the side entrances. The water usually ran cold, a sign no one used it recently , some times there were no paper towels. No hand sanitizing dispensers at entrances. We resorted to using a napkin to grasp the food tongs when serving ourselves. The main dining room did have liquid stations but were very seldom used. I mentioned this to the Maitre, d. He gave a shrug! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I signed up before I had read the reviews. If you want a great itinerary on for a cheap price MSC Meraviglia is a good deal. However, expect to get nickel and dimed to death. They even make you pay for water in the dining room. In your ... Read More
I signed up before I had read the reviews. If you want a great itinerary on for a cheap price MSC Meraviglia is a good deal. However, expect to get nickel and dimed to death. They even make you pay for water in the dining room. In your room the only TV channels are news or ship information and sales. Movies on the TV cost 8 euros. There is nothing to do on the ship that doesn't cost. But when you figure the same cruise on Royal Caribbean is $1000 more I suppose it all evens out. The staff was great, the food was okay and the ship was nice. The itinerary was great but don't buy excursions from the ship, at every port we found great vans (there were eight of us) that would take us for a lot less than the crowded ship busses. The entertainment was okay but it would be difficult to do better when you have so many languages you are trying to speak to.(English was a minority) They do have the Cirque Solie thing and we went to both shows it was much better than the regular show but not worth 15 euro. The cabins were Okay but the storage was small. I have been on Royal Caribbean, Disney, NCL, Princess and Holland this ship was a step below all of them in the food and entertainment but about the same in service. If you have never cruised before you will love it. If you have cruised before you will be disappointed, but remember the price, even after you pay for all of the other stuff you still come out ahead. The best part was they take you to some wonderful places. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
we wanted to try this new ship, which seemed very new and impressive. First of all the embarkation was very long at Barcelona, especially with two small kids. First evening we had a safety drill, we were told to go to the Casino with ... Read More
we wanted to try this new ship, which seemed very new and impressive. First of all the embarkation was very long at Barcelona, especially with two small kids. First evening we had a safety drill, we were told to go to the Casino with our MSC cards, where we were checked in, shown a storeroom filled with life-jackets, and shown how to put it on, in about 6 languages. In case of a real emergency, I would not like to think what would happen. Cabin was nice, with a small balcony, very little storage space, wouldn't be enough for a two week cruise. Cabin staff was extremely helpful and did his job really well. Otherwise it was very noisy especially late in the evening when we could hear people stamping about upstairs, or running around the corridors. One night I got up at 2h30 am to see what was going on, and found a group of 8-10 year old Italian kids running around shouting in the corridors. My grandson had a wonderful week at the mini-club and the staff were great there. The main lobby is enormous and it is a luxury mall, with expensive shops (I saw a wooden painted Russian box, for 10,000 euros) paying restaurants, and anything they can wangle money out of you, including a chocolate shop and ice-cream shop. The bars and lounges don't have enough space for a family of 8 who want an apèritif while waiting to go to eat. The Panorama restaurant was very good, with very nice and helpful staff. The food was good, and anyone who says the portions are small don't understand that you can ask for second or third helpings of anything you particularly liked. The Waves restaurant in the morning, was over-staffed, with waiters standing around talking in groups, while the customers waited for someone to come around with croissants, bread or coffee....I prefer Costa's buffet in the dining room where you can get what you want, and also get extras from the waiters. The Buffet upstairs, was difficult to get seating for our group, the staff were not very motivated, the food was ok, but not very warm. The pizza was great...real Italian pizza without tons of tinned stuff stuck on top of it. There was an Ethnic section which was quite good. I think a few micro-wave ovens would be a good idea. Most of the entertainment such as 'Cirque du Soleil', bowling, etc. has to be paid extra. We got plenty of information in the cabin for excursions etc. but not the necessary information about disembarking on the last evening, before we left the ship. The internet which we paid for was very slow, and we hardly ever managed to telephone each other with our mobile phones. We had to stay two days in Civitaveccia near Rome because of bad weather, and missed out on our visit to Malta and were taken to Mallorca instead. We arrived at 4p.m. It took an hour to get off the ship, and when we got out it was nearly dark.....a real waste of time. Getting back on board after an excursion was also very long. Long waits for the lifts when everyone was on board, or at meal times. The reception desk was extremely busy unless you went very early in the morning or late in the evening, and you could have a very long wait, sometimes over an hour. There were indoor pools and jacuzzis, gyms, and other indoor activities. A big melting-pot of nationalities, with people arriving and leaving every day, so it was not possible to get to know anyone else,.Lots of very loud tannoy announcements for the safety procedures for new arrivals, when the bars would close up. ...Lots of lovely staff from all over the world.... All in all an interesting experience, but I would never take such a big ship again, it was impressive, but I didn't think it was well organised.....teething troubles perhaps? I will go back to taking a more human sized ship, where you don't get the feeling you are being seen as a cash-cow. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I chose this ship as I wanted to enjoy the holidays with my family in a new ship and this one looked spectacular and I thought the ports would be fun as well. Before leaving I read the reviews that other people had posted and thought that ... Read More
I chose this ship as I wanted to enjoy the holidays with my family in a new ship and this one looked spectacular and I thought the ports would be fun as well. Before leaving I read the reviews that other people had posted and thought that perhaps the shortcomings of this she would be in dining and the pay for everything culture. Let me break it down: Food I found the buffet on the 15th floor to have plenty of options to choose from. Yes, you did have the same items every day like hot dogs, hamburgers at lunch or eggs/croissants at breakfast, but to be fair, I never repeated a meal 2x during my trip and had plenty of choices to choose from. Food was good, not excellent, but certainly not terrible either. Desserts were so so, which I was glad as I didnt need the calories :) We really enjoyed the japanese restaurant for dinner one night. It was loads of fun! Entertainment Well this is an area that I find they need to work on. At every port we would leave shortly after arrival, take tours and return around 4-5 pm. Then there was nothing to do till dinner 6:30 pm and then again nothing till 8:45 for a show. Nothing before or after that timeframe. Every night they have dancing lessons, which my family had no interest in, or played some music somewhere. But there was no organized games, trivia, daily bingo, etc. Just basically nothing to do on the ship. In terms of the shows, do yourself a favor and skip the magic show. It is just dumb. The best one was Way. We were supposed to see Cique Viaggio but ocean was too rough and they cancelled show. We did see Sonor and I would say for an abbreviated version of Cirque it wasn't bad. We had dinner with the show and I would say dinner that night was mediocre. Just have dinner at the main restaurant or at the specialty restaurant. Information Most of the crew is clueless and will give you the wrong information or simply not answer your questions. It is hard to find someone that knows answers to questions. Just very disorganized. If you have a question ask 3 people and go with consensus. ALl in all we enjoyed our trip as we really liked the ports, and made the best of the time we had as family. We didn't go o the boat expecting much, and we probably won't cruise MSC again, but this is more because of our more favorable experiences with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and even Carnival. ENJOY! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
MSC Meraviglia Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 3.9
Dining 4.0 2.9
Entertainment 5.0 3.3
Public Rooms 5.0 3.6
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.6
Family 5.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.1
Enrichment 2.0 2.9
Service 4.0 3.2
Value For Money 5.0 3.0

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