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Embarkation and Boarding – Very well organised. Dropped luggage off at port entrance as was given a numbered ticket. Went through to the terminal and took a seat until our number was called. We only had to wait around 20 minutes. In the meantime a member of staff came and gave us information on the MSC for me app and instructions on how to connect to the ships WiFi. Wee boarded very quickly but we did arrive early, around 12 noon when documents stated 2.30pm arrival, however there was no issue with us getting there earlier. It did look very busy later on though. Cabins 14161 & 14163 – We had booked a Super Family Cabin (2 balconies with a connecting door) We could access the rooms straight away. The cabin steward was lovely and did a fantastic job. He was very helpful and accommodating. We travelled with a 4 year old and 17 month old. The settee converted into a bunk bed but the youngest is too young for a ‘proper bed’ so we had a travel cot. Obviously this took up pretty much all the remaining floor space but we took it down on a morning and the steward happily put it back up in the evening for us. It worked well, however I was expecting a bigger cabin. It didn’t feel much bigger than in inside cabin we’ve had on other ships. The balcony was very small and I was disappointed the restaurant was above the balcony so we got no sun on there and the views were obstructed by supporting poles for the restaurant above. Storage space is minimal! Prepare to strategically fold everything!!! The wardrobe doors knocked when ship vibrated slightly coming into port. Very annoying! The minibar wasn’t open as standard. We had to ask for it to be open. Ice was delivered daily on request. Restaurant - We were allocated the early sitting in the Olivio D’Oro restaurant. We weren’t particularly happy about this from the start as we had booked this cruise on the basis that there was flexi dining. We only found out this had been removed a few days before sailing when we logged in online. MSC hadn’t even bothered to let us know themselves. We submitted a complaint but had no response and the flexi dining option is still advertised online. The first meal was terrible. It did improve over the week and the ‘Elegant nights’ were very nice. The portion sizes are very small but actually I was satisfied after 3 courses (hubby wasn’t though) you can basically have what you want, so if you want to order extra courses you can. One night we ordered a main for starter followed by another main. It wasn’t a problem at all! The ‘dress code’ may as well not exist. People dining in the main restaurant in shorts and flip flops even on elegant nights just isn’t right. If there is a dress code then it needs to be enforced by staff. The staff weren’t great. Not attentive, very slow, no personality and very little interaction. Water is free from the dispenser in the buffet but you have to but bottles in the restaurant. Buffet – Happy to say we always had good food in the buffet. It was very busy and chaotic. Not all areas of the buffet were always open adding the busyness. Some of the other diners are very aggressive and unpleasant. The roast beef was amazing and my Anglo-Indian family were highly impressed with the curries. The freshly made mozzarella was incredible. The best I’ve ever tasted. One of my biggest bug bears on the whole cruise was that the buffet was closed between 4pm and 7pm meaning my kids had to eat pizza for dinner every evening! Even if we pushed lunch back till 2pm they were hungry by 6pm after swimming and playing all day. This really needs addressing. Cleanliness – Cannot fault at all. The ship is immaculate in all areas. Kids clubs and family facilities – We only used them a couple of times. My eldest did love it but from a parents perspective they seemed understaffed. The facilities were great though and they did lots of different activities. There isn’t really anywhere to go with children. Its either leave them in the clubs or have them with you in the general public areas which isn’t always ideal. Especially with younger ones. Pools – The pools are really good. Plenty of space. They are saltwater which I wasn’t expecting. It’s actually better for me being allergic to chlorine but just make sure you take a good nourishing shampoo!!! Good to see a decent number of Jacuzzis, you never had to wait too long to get one. Sun beds – There seemed to be a lot on board. And some lovely beds by the pool but they were always reserved but not always occupied. Announcements were made about staff moving possessions after 30 minutes but this was never enforced. There is very little space on deck. Bars – Always seemed to be busy. Drinks expensive and then to have 15% service charge on top really bumps up the cost. We weren’t at all happy about this extra charge, especially when half the time we went to the bar ourselves and carried our own drinks back to where we were sitting. The best value bar was the British pub where you could but various beers and larger by the litre which is served in a ‘pull your own beer dispenser’ which is a bit of fun. Staff – Generally they just didn’t seem happy at all and pretty miserable! Clearly understaffed in all areas. Other passengers - Obviously I’m aware MSC have no control over the type of people they get but some people were very aggressive, particularly when it came to sun bed saving (I even witnessed a fight) again, aggression in the buffet. There really is no need! There is more than enough food for everyone and its constantly replenished and topped up. There is minimal staff presence in public areas and a huge number of guests in comparison to staff so ultimately it is an issue that lies with MSC. Entertainment – personally we didn’t see any as we had the children who were tired by the time it was on my in laws highly rated it though. Cirque du Soleil was very good, but service charge was added to this as well which is ridiculous!! MSC for me App – good idea in principle but the kid locator wasn’t working. It was handy though, being able to book entertainment on there and use the maps etc. Overall we had a ‘nice’ time but I’d certainly have reservations about booking again and don’t think I’d recommend it all things considered. The ship itself is undeniably incredible but the staff and a lot of the food was a real let down.

MSC - Impressive Ship - Disappointing Experience

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by Momma_Mc

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Embarkation and Boarding – Very well organised. Dropped luggage off at port entrance as was given a numbered ticket. Went through to the terminal and took a seat until our number was called. We only had to wait around 20 minutes. In the meantime a member of staff came and gave us information on the MSC for me app and instructions on how to connect to the ships WiFi. Wee boarded very quickly but we did arrive early, around 12 noon when documents stated 2.30pm arrival, however there was no issue with us getting there earlier. It did look very busy later on though.

Cabins 14161 & 14163 – We had booked a Super Family Cabin (2 balconies with a connecting door) We could access the rooms straight away. The cabin steward was lovely and did a fantastic job. He was very helpful and accommodating. We travelled with a 4 year old and 17 month old. The settee converted into a bunk bed but the youngest is too young for a ‘proper bed’ so we had a travel cot. Obviously this took up pretty much all the remaining floor space but we took it down on a morning and the steward happily put it back up in the evening for us. It worked well, however I was expecting a bigger cabin. It didn’t feel much bigger than in inside cabin we’ve had on other ships. The balcony was very small and I was disappointed the restaurant was above the balcony so we got no sun on there and the views were obstructed by supporting poles for the restaurant above. Storage space is minimal! Prepare to strategically fold everything!!! The wardrobe doors knocked when ship vibrated slightly coming into port. Very annoying! The minibar wasn’t open as standard. We had to ask for it to be open. Ice was delivered daily on request.

Restaurant - We were allocated the early sitting in the Olivio D’Oro restaurant. We weren’t particularly happy about this from the start as we had booked this cruise on the basis that there was flexi dining. We only found out this had been removed a few days before sailing when we logged in online. MSC hadn’t even bothered to let us know themselves. We submitted a complaint but had no response and the flexi dining option is still advertised online. The first meal was terrible. It did improve over the week and the ‘Elegant nights’ were very nice. The portion sizes are very small but actually I was satisfied after 3 courses (hubby wasn’t though) you can basically have what you want, so if you want to order extra courses you can. One night we ordered a main for starter followed by another main. It wasn’t a problem at all! The ‘dress code’ may as well not exist. People dining in the main restaurant in shorts and flip flops even on elegant nights just isn’t right. If there is a dress code then it needs to be enforced by staff. The staff weren’t great. Not attentive, very slow, no personality and very little interaction. Water is free from the dispenser in the buffet but you have to but bottles in the restaurant.

Buffet – Happy to say we always had good food in the buffet. It was very busy and chaotic. Not all areas of the buffet were always open adding the busyness. Some of the other diners are very aggressive and unpleasant. The roast beef was amazing and my Anglo-Indian family were highly impressed with the curries. The freshly made mozzarella was incredible. The best I’ve ever tasted. One of my biggest bug bears on the whole cruise was that the buffet was closed between 4pm and 7pm meaning my kids had to eat pizza for dinner every evening! Even if we pushed lunch back till 2pm they were hungry by 6pm after swimming and playing all day. This really needs addressing.

Cleanliness – Cannot fault at all. The ship is immaculate in all areas.

Kids clubs and family facilities – We only used them a couple of times. My eldest did love it but from a parents perspective they seemed understaffed. The facilities were great though and they did lots of different activities. There isn’t really anywhere to go with children. Its either leave them in the clubs or have them with you in the general public areas which isn’t always ideal. Especially with younger ones.

Pools – The pools are really good. Plenty of space. They are saltwater which I wasn’t expecting. It’s actually better for me being allergic to chlorine but just make sure you take a good nourishing shampoo!!! Good to see a decent number of Jacuzzis, you never had to wait too long to get one.

Sun beds – There seemed to be a lot on board. And some lovely beds by the pool but they were always reserved but not always occupied. Announcements were made about staff moving possessions after 30 minutes but this was never enforced. There is very little space on deck.

Bars – Always seemed to be busy. Drinks expensive and then to have 15% service charge on top really bumps up the cost. We weren’t at all happy about this extra charge, especially when half the time we went to the bar ourselves and carried our own drinks back to where we were sitting. The best value bar was the British pub where you could but various beers and larger by the litre which is served in a ‘pull your own beer dispenser’ which is a bit of fun.

Staff – Generally they just didn’t seem happy at all and pretty miserable! Clearly understaffed in all areas.

Other passengers - Obviously I’m aware MSC have no control over the type of people they get but some people were very aggressive, particularly when it came to sun bed saving (I even witnessed a fight) again, aggression in the buffet. There really is no need! There is more than enough food for everyone and its constantly replenished and topped up. There is minimal staff presence in public areas and a huge number of guests in comparison to staff so ultimately it is an issue that lies with MSC.

Entertainment – personally we didn’t see any as we had the children who were tired by the time it was on my in laws highly rated it though. Cirque du Soleil was very good, but service charge was added to this as well which is ridiculous!!

MSC for me App – good idea in principle but the kid locator wasn’t working. It was handy though, being able to book entertainment on there and use the maps etc.

Overall we had a ‘nice’ time but I’d certainly have reservations about booking again and don’t think I’d recommend it all things considered. The ship itself is undeniably incredible but the staff and a lot of the food was a real let down.
Momma_Mc’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 14161-14163
Cabins 14161 & 14163 – We had booked a Super Family Cabin (2 balconies with a connecting door) We could access the rooms straight away. The cabin steward was lovely and did a fantastic job. He was very helpful and accommodating. We travelled with a 4 year old and 17 month old. The settee converted into a bunk bed but the youngest is too young for a ‘proper bed’ so we had a travel cot. Obviously this took up pretty much all the remaining floor space but we took it down on a morning and the steward happily put it back up in the evening for us. It worked well, however I was expecting a bigger cabin. It didn’t feel much bigger than in inside cabin we’ve had on other ships. The balcony was very small and I was disappointed the restaurant was above the balcony so we got no sun on there and the views were obstructed by supporting poles for the restaurant above. Storage space is minimal! Prepare to strategically fold everything!!! The wardrobe doors knocked when ship vibrated slightly coming into port. Very annoying! The minibar wasn’t open as standard. We had to ask for it to be open. Ice was delivered daily on request.
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