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I took this cruise with my wife and we are both around 50 years old. We have been on seven cruises before, all on NCL. Four have been in a suite and three of them with access to the Haven (twice on Epic and once on Breakaway). This was our first cruise on the Mediterranean and I understand that some things may differ from cruises in the Caribbean. Our first plan was to cruise on Norwegian Epic but when we saw their increased prices for suites we decided to try MSC Meraviglia and the Yacht Club. Meraviglia costed around $3500 less for a week long cruise. Before the cruise we really couldn’t understand the price difference and now after the cruise we still don’t understand! This will be a long review and I apologize if my English isn’t good enough for such a long text! PRECRUISE We took the train from our hometown to Arlanda, Stockholm airport, on Monday afternoon and stayed at Clarion Hotel. We had room 1132 with a great view over the terminals and one of the runways. We ate hamburgers at O’Learys, the food was good but the staff was very rude so we will not go there again! On Tuesday morning we dropped our bags and went through security. We always fly with British Airways when it’s possible and we always fly Club Europe, their short haul business class. The lounge at Arlanda is very quite but except for that not very good. We got a nice lunch on the plane with plenty of Champagne. Short haul they serve Castelnau which isn’t a very good Champagne but still okay. We landed at terminal 5 on Heathrow and took the bus to terminal 3 for our flight to Barcelona. It’s easy to transfer at Heathrow but it’s annoying that we have to go through security when we haven’t been in an “unsecured area”. We spent some time in Cathay Pacifics lounge. A rather small but nice lounge with a bar where we ordered some drinks. They served Moet & Chandon Champagne there. We got afternoon tea on our second flight with plenty of Champagne. I know that many hate that “meal” but I like it, especially when I get another meal on another flight the same day. We landed just before eight and an hour later were we at our hotel, Medinaceli. Perfect location close to the water and a few blocks from Las Ramblas. The room was very cold the first night but they had extra blankets. It was our first visit to Barcelona and we will absolutely go back again. We found a tapas bar where a bottle of Cava cost around $6, not bad and definitely much cheaper than at a bar/restaurant in Sweden! (Google La Xampaneria or Can Paixano.) EMBARKATION We checked out around 10.10 and took a cab to the port. We walked to the white tent, where the Yacht Club guests are taken care of, and was escorted through security and to the waiting area in the terminal. They gave us a glass of Prosecco and the staff took care of the check in. We were escorted onboard around 10.40. When we came onboard we had to wait for a while before they could take us up to the Topsail Lounge because they hadn’t taken our picture. We probably waited for about ten minutes before they came with the camera and we could continue to the lounge. While we waited to get information about the Yacht Club we ordered a glass of Champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte is included in the Topsail Lounge and in the other bars around the ship, except for the Champagne bar where Laurent-Perrier is included). Our butler picked up our keycards in our suite and gave them to us. The embarkation process was very impressive and much more effective than what we have experienced on NCL. I do understand that one of the reasons for that can be that people can embark/disembark in every port and the ship doesn’t have to be emptied before embarkation. It was very nice that they gave us a glass of Prosecco while we waited to board! OUR SUITE, YACHT CLUB DELUXE SUITE 15013 We had a Yacht Club Deluxe suite on deck 15. According to MSCs brochure the deluxe suites on Meraviglia are a little smaller than on Divina but I have seen pictures and videos from Divina and our suite was definitely bigger than on Divina. It was smaller than the Forward Facing Penthouse we had on Norwegian Breakaway but it was big enough for us. We had no problem to find room for all our things but the safetybox was a little too small. The bathroom was okay but nothing special. The shampoo and soap they had in the shower wasn’t very good but they also had small packages with shampoo and soap and I guess that was better, I didn’t tried it. (=it was no problem!) The blankets were too thick and warm, maybe we could have asked for thinner/colder? Except for that the bed was very comfortable. The balcony was okay but rather small. We did ordered breakfast a few mornings. (As a first, small breakfast we always ate in the restaurant too.) The selection was okay but the first time to have it delivered was 7.30, isn’t that late? On NCL it’s possible to get breakfast in the suite much earlier. If you only understand English and a “small” language, for example Swedish, don’t expect to watch any TV during the cruise. Except for two channels with news everything was in Italian or Spanish. I know, who cruise to watch TV? I don’t but it’s still nice to have it for a short time sometimes. THE YACHT CLUB On Meraviglia the Yacht Club is located on the top five floors, forward. There are suites on deck 14-18. The concierge desk and the Topsail lounge are located on deck 16. The restaurant is located on deck 18. The sundeck is located on deck 19. The sundeck was nice with many loungers and sofas but there was only one hot tub there, too little on a ship as big as the Meraviglia. The water in the hot tub was also much colder than in the hot tubs on NCL. The staff working at the concierge desk was nice and helpful but it felt a little strange with a team working there compared to the concierge + assistants on NCL. I don’t say that it was worse, or better, but it was different and I don’t know anyones name. The concierge on NCL has always introduced himself/herself to us. The design and the colors in the Yacht Club felt more luxurious to me than in the Haven on NCL. The design in the Haven on NCL is a little too much, I think. PUBLIC AREAS We are glad that we had access to the Yacht Club! The pooldeck was large and the pool was bigger than on NCL but it was very crowded there! That was definitely not a place for us! They also had the Bamboo pool which was inside with a retractible roof. That felt like a nicer, not as crowded, place than the pooldeck but it was incredible hot there when the roof was closed. They also had a third pool aft, the Horizon pool. We only passed there very fast once so I really can’t say anything about it. The large open space on deck 6 and 7 was very nice. It was like a street with shops, bars and restaurants. The roof was incredible. (I will post pictures of it in the MSC forum, I don’t know how to do it here.) Promenade deck. Sorry, no real promenade deck! There was some outdoor space on both sides on deck 7 but it was just a short one and most of the view was blocked by the lifeboats. It was also difficult to find it because it wasn’t clearly marked. We didn’t saw any signs except for lifeboat signs. One day we saw a woman go out and I asked a member of staff if it was a staff only area but it wasn’t, then you understand how badly marked it was! We didn’t spent any time in the casino but we saw it when we waited to enter the Carousel Lounge and it looked okay for me. Smoking is not allowed there. RESTAURANTS We ate almost all our meals in the restaurant in the Yacht Club. We were asked the first day when we wanted to eat and said seven. When we arrived at seven we always got a table by the window in the middle of the restaurant, an excellent table. One night we were a little late and then we got another table. The food was excellent and the menu changed every day (both for lunch and dinner), on NCL the menu is the same for the whole cruise except for some specials. The dishes were small but it’s okay to order as many dishes as you want so that is not a problem. We think that the food was much better than on NCL and we also liked that it was a new menu every day. One reason why we liked the food so much can be that it’s very Italian and we both like Italian food. They also served food up on the Yacht Club sundeck. We never ate anything there so I can’t say how it tasted but it looked very good. Butcher’s Cut. We ate one dinner there. We used the free dinner we got because I’m Black member of the Voyagers Club (I’m status matched from my Platinum level in NCLs Latitudes). The price for the meal should have been 19 Euro each and we could select from a limited part of their menu. Everything tasted very good. We had one lunch at the Brass Anchor Pub. Strange that we had to pay for fish and ships when the beer was included in our cruise fare! On NCL the food in their pubs are included in the cruise fare. The food was okay but the fish and chips is better on NCL. Marketplace Buffet. We never ate a full meal there but we tried their pizza and their burgers and that was okay for being mass produced. We walked through the restaurant a few times and it was very loud there. It looked nicer than the buffet restaurant we have seen on NCL but it was too big and too loud. Can’t really say anything about the other restaurants. BARS The Topsail Lounge. The perfect place to have a drink, especially since almost everything was included in our fare and in the Topsail Lounge we didn’t had to show our card since everyone in the Yacht Club have the drinks included. There were always other people there but it was quite and calm. I do know one bad thing. They had Nicolas Fuillatte included in our fare but it wasn’t mentioned in the menu in the Topsail Lounge. The bar in the Yacht Club sundeck. We ordered one drink there the first day but the man I ordered from was so very rude to me so we didn’t ordered anything there again! The Champagne bar. That’s our kind of bar since we really love Champagne! They had Laurent-Perrier which was included in our fare and that’s a much better Champagne than Nicolas Fuillatte so we were there every day. They had a very good selection of Champagne, both bottles and by the glass. We did ordered a bottle of Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial Rose, which isn’t possible to buy in Sweden, and that tasted excellent. Yacht Club guests get a 30% discount when they order a bottle of Champagne. The Sky Lounge. Nice view over the pooldeck and the staff working there was very nice. We ordered drinks in some other bars too but didn’t spend enough time there for me to say anything about them. Except for in the bar in the Yacht Club sundeck the service was always good and we were not disappointed of the drinks we got. THE ENTERTAINMENT We didn’t watched any shows in the Broadway Theatre so I can’t say anything about that. It was necessary to book the shows there but they were free and it seemed to be easy to do it on screens around the ship or on the TV in the cabin. We went to the Carousel lounge and saw Cirque du Soleil and that was definitely worth the money, 15 Euro. There were lots of entertainment in the bars and lounges around the ship, much more than on NCL. There were entertainment in the Topsail Lounge every night and NCL don’t have that in the Haven. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS Our ports were Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Valetta. We had only one sea day so we decided that we should stay on the ship in Marseille and in Naples. Marseille felt like the least interesting port for us and the stop in Naples was in the afternoon. In Genoa we had booked an excursion to Portofino, a little nice town outside Genoa. We waited in the Topsail Lounge until it was time to leave the ship and then a butler escorted us off the ship and pointed to where our group for the excursion was. Not at all useful and something we could have done ourselves. It was very unorganized and we walked through the terminal and to the boat which should take us to Portofino. It was total chaos when everyone tried to board. We got seats outside in the back and when we finally could leave it was a very nice trip. We cruised along the coastline for almost one and a half hour. It was a guided tour so a woman talked about the things we passed but it was very difficult to hear anything. We had about one and a half hour to walk around and that was enough since Portofino is a very small place. The boarding was smoother when we should go back to the ship and we sat inside, that was okay too. In Messina we had an excursion to Taormina, a small town on a hillside, and to a beach in Giardini Naxos. This time we were escorted off the boat and to the bus before everyone else so we could pick our seats, a very nice perk. The bus ride to Taormina was nice and Taormina was a nice little town. We had three hours on the beach and that was a little too much. I expected the water to be warmer in the southern Mediterranean in the middle of July but it was rather cold, it felt like it could have been in Sweden! They had a café where we bought beer and sandwiches for lunch. In Valetta we had an excursion to Valetta and Mdina. Again we were escorted off the boat before everyone else so that we could pick our seats on the bus. It was a very good excursion. We had an excellent guide and walked around Valletta first. We entered a cathedral which was amazing. After that we took a bus to Mdina, also called the silent city. We will definitely go back to Malta. THE STAFF Most of the staff was very nice and helpful and seemed to like their job. As I said before one man working in the bar in the Yacht Club sundeck was very rude and some of the persons working in the photoshop were rude too. Worth to mention are Nata, our butler, Cesar, our waiter for most of our meals in the Yacht Club restaurant and Luigi, the head waiter. Cesar was always there for us but not too much as they sometimes are in NCLs Haven restaurant. DISEMBARKATION Excellent!!! We left our cabin around 8.30 and waited in the Top Sail Lounge until 11.10. I went to the concierge desk and told them that we were ready to leave and a few minutes later Nata, our butler, came to the lounge to escort us off the ship. He followed us all the way until we had picked up our bags and left the terminal. That’s a big difference from NCL where the escort doesn’t leave the ship. It was a very smooth disembarkation but one reason for that can be that we had been within the European Union the whole time so no immigration. POSTCRUISE We took a cab to the airport and that took a little less than half an hour. The lounge in Barcelona airport was too small for the number of passengers using it. The quality of the food was good but the selection of drinks wasn’t impressive, but still better than on Arlanda. Our first flight departed a little late but it landed almost on time. Afternoon tea and some Champagne on the flight. The Galleries Lounge at Heathrow was very busy, I guess that a Friday evening as a busy time. We sat on row one on our second flight and were served a nice dinner and some more Champagne. We landed at Arlanda on time and after a short wait we took our train back to our home time. We came home at 2.50 after a long day! MSC COMPARED TO NCL The biggest difference is the price. I expect MSCs prices, especially for the Yacht Club, to go up a lot when people realize what a great value for money it is. The alternative is that NCL must lower their prices a lot to get any customers! We liked the food more on MSC but the reason can be that it was very Italian. The service in NCLs Haven is really great but for us it’s a little too much there, on MSC the staff was there when we needed them but they didn’t came to our table every minute and that was a good thing. We have never had a beverage package on NCL but I don’t think that they have any package where Champagne is included so MSC are better when it comes to that too. NCL are better when it comes to information. Their Freestyle Daily is much more informative than MSCs Daily Planner and it’s much easier to see what is happening around the ship on NCL. On NCL they have pictures of the captain and other senior officers and their names are posted in the Freestyle Daily but on this cruise it took five days before we knew the name of the captain! Not very good! Some things we experienced on this cruise may differ because it was a Mediterranean cruise and not because it was another cruiseline. We didn’t really liked that people could embark in every port because that took away some of the cruise feeling, it became more a transport between the different ports. NCL have more than one port for embarkation on some Mediterranean cruises too so I guess that some of the cruise feeling is lost there too. SUMMARY We came home Friday night and on Tuesday we booked a new MSC cruise, doesn’t that explain enough what we thought about the cruise!? We really love NCL but the value for money is increadible on MSC and right now we don’t see any reason to cruise with NCL when we can choose MSC and their Yacht Club. The ship was very crowded so we should not cruise on it without Yacht Club access. We had a great cruise and the only bad thing we can say about it was lack of information. (For example that it took five days before they told us the name of the captain and that the included Champagne wasn’t listed in the Yacht Club menu.) The food was great, the ports were great, the service was great and most of the staff was great. We had a great week!!!

First MSC cruise, defenitely not the last!

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by sverigecruiser

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I took this cruise with my wife and we are both around 50 years old. We have been on seven cruises before, all on NCL. Four have been in a suite and three of them with access to the Haven (twice on Epic and once on Breakaway).

This was our first cruise on the Mediterranean and I understand that some things may differ from cruises in the Caribbean.

Our first plan was to cruise on Norwegian Epic but when we saw their increased prices for suites we decided to try MSC Meraviglia and the Yacht Club. Meraviglia costed around $3500 less for a week long cruise. Before the cruise we really couldn’t understand the price difference and now after the cruise we still don’t understand!

This will be a long review and I apologize if my English isn’t good enough for such a long text!

PRECRUISE

We took the train from our hometown to Arlanda, Stockholm airport, on Monday afternoon and stayed at Clarion Hotel. We had room 1132 with a great view over the terminals and one of the runways.

We ate hamburgers at O’Learys, the food was good but the staff was very rude so we will not go there again!

On Tuesday morning we dropped our bags and went through security. We always fly with British Airways when it’s possible and we always fly Club Europe, their short haul business class. The lounge at Arlanda is very quite but except for that not very good.

We got a nice lunch on the plane with plenty of Champagne. Short haul they serve Castelnau which isn’t a very good Champagne but still okay.

We landed at terminal 5 on Heathrow and took the bus to terminal 3 for our flight to Barcelona. It’s easy to transfer at Heathrow but it’s annoying that we have to go through security when we haven’t been in an “unsecured area”.

We spent some time in Cathay Pacifics lounge. A rather small but nice lounge with a bar where we ordered some drinks. They served Moet & Chandon Champagne there.

We got afternoon tea on our second flight with plenty of Champagne. I know that many hate that “meal” but I like it, especially when I get another meal on another flight the same day.

We landed just before eight and an hour later were we at our hotel, Medinaceli. Perfect location close to the water and a few blocks from Las Ramblas. The room was very cold the first night but they had extra blankets.

It was our first visit to Barcelona and we will absolutely go back again. We found a tapas bar where a bottle of Cava cost around $6, not bad and definitely much cheaper than at a bar/restaurant in Sweden! (Google La Xampaneria or Can Paixano.)

EMBARKATION

We checked out around 10.10 and took a cab to the port. We walked to the white tent, where the Yacht Club guests are taken care of, and was escorted through security and to the waiting area in the terminal. They gave us a glass of Prosecco and the staff took care of the check in. We were escorted onboard around 10.40. When we came onboard we had to wait for a while before they could take us up to the Topsail Lounge because they hadn’t taken our picture. We probably waited for about ten minutes before they came with the camera and we could continue to the lounge. While we waited to get information about the Yacht Club we ordered a glass of Champagne (Nicolas Feuillatte is included in the Topsail Lounge and in the other bars around the ship, except for the Champagne bar where Laurent-Perrier is included). Our butler picked up our keycards in our suite and gave them to us.

The embarkation process was very impressive and much more effective than what we have experienced on NCL. I do understand that one of the reasons for that can be that people can embark/disembark in every port and the ship doesn’t have to be emptied before embarkation.

It was very nice that they gave us a glass of Prosecco while we waited to board!

OUR SUITE, YACHT CLUB DELUXE SUITE 15013

We had a Yacht Club Deluxe suite on deck 15. According to MSCs brochure the deluxe suites on Meraviglia are a little smaller than on Divina but I have seen pictures and videos from Divina and our suite was definitely bigger than on Divina. It was smaller than the Forward Facing Penthouse we had on Norwegian Breakaway but it was big enough for us.

We had no problem to find room for all our things but the safetybox was a little too small.

The bathroom was okay but nothing special.

The shampoo and soap they had in the shower wasn’t very good but they also had small packages with shampoo and soap and I guess that was better, I didn’t tried it. (=it was no problem!)

The blankets were too thick and warm, maybe we could have asked for thinner/colder? Except for that the bed was very comfortable.

The balcony was okay but rather small.

We did ordered breakfast a few mornings. (As a first, small breakfast we always ate in the restaurant too.) The selection was okay but the first time to have it delivered was 7.30, isn’t that late? On NCL it’s possible to get breakfast in the suite much earlier.

If you only understand English and a “small” language, for example Swedish, don’t expect to watch any TV during the cruise. Except for two channels with news everything was in Italian or Spanish. I know, who cruise to watch TV? I don’t but it’s still nice to have it for a short time sometimes.

THE YACHT CLUB

On Meraviglia the Yacht Club is located on the top five floors, forward. There are suites on deck 14-18. The concierge desk and the Topsail lounge are located on deck 16. The restaurant is located on deck 18. The sundeck is located on deck 19.

The sundeck was nice with many loungers and sofas but there was only one hot tub there, too little on a ship as big as the Meraviglia. The water in the hot tub was also much colder than in the hot tubs on NCL.

The staff working at the concierge desk was nice and helpful but it felt a little strange with a team working there compared to the concierge + assistants on NCL. I don’t say that it was worse, or better, but it was different and I don’t know anyones name. The concierge on NCL has always introduced himself/herself to us.

The design and the colors in the Yacht Club felt more luxurious to me than in the Haven on NCL. The design in the Haven on NCL is a little too much, I think.

PUBLIC AREAS

We are glad that we had access to the Yacht Club! The pooldeck was large and the pool was bigger than on NCL but it was very crowded there! That was definitely not a place for us!

They also had the Bamboo pool which was inside with a retractible roof. That felt like a nicer, not as crowded, place than the pooldeck but it was incredible hot there when the roof was closed.

They also had a third pool aft, the Horizon pool. We only passed there very fast once so I really can’t say anything about it.

The large open space on deck 6 and 7 was very nice. It was like a street with shops, bars and restaurants. The roof was incredible. (I will post pictures of it in the MSC forum, I don’t know how to do it here.)

Promenade deck. Sorry, no real promenade deck! There was some outdoor space on both sides on deck 7 but it was just a short one and most of the view was blocked by the lifeboats. It was also difficult to find it because it wasn’t clearly marked. We didn’t saw any signs except for lifeboat signs. One day we saw a woman go out and I asked a member of staff if it was a staff only area but it wasn’t, then you understand how badly marked it was!

We didn’t spent any time in the casino but we saw it when we waited to enter the Carousel Lounge and it looked okay for me. Smoking is not allowed there.

RESTAURANTS

We ate almost all our meals in the restaurant in the Yacht Club. We were asked the first day when we wanted to eat and said seven. When we arrived at seven we always got a table by the window in the middle of the restaurant, an excellent table. One night we were a little late and then we got another table. The food was excellent and the menu changed every day (both for lunch and dinner), on NCL the menu is the same for the whole cruise except for some specials. The dishes were small but it’s okay to order as many dishes as you want so that is not a problem.

We think that the food was much better than on NCL and we also liked that it was a new menu every day. One reason why we liked the food so much can be that it’s very Italian and we both like Italian food.

They also served food up on the Yacht Club sundeck. We never ate anything there so I can’t say how it tasted but it looked very good.

Butcher’s Cut. We ate one dinner there. We used the free dinner we got because I’m Black member of the Voyagers Club (I’m status matched from my Platinum level in NCLs Latitudes). The price for the meal should have been 19 Euro each and we could select from a limited part of their menu. Everything tasted very good.

We had one lunch at the Brass Anchor Pub. Strange that we had to pay for fish and ships when the beer was included in our cruise fare! On NCL the food in their pubs are included in the cruise fare. The food was okay but the fish and chips is better on NCL.

Marketplace Buffet. We never ate a full meal there but we tried their pizza and their burgers and that was okay for being mass produced. We walked through the restaurant a few times and it was very loud there. It looked nicer than the buffet restaurant we have seen on NCL but it was too big and too loud.

Can’t really say anything about the other restaurants.

BARS

The Topsail Lounge. The perfect place to have a drink, especially since almost everything was included in our fare and in the Topsail Lounge we didn’t had to show our card since everyone in the Yacht Club have the drinks included. There were always other people there but it was quite and calm. I do know one bad thing. They had Nicolas Fuillatte included in our fare but it wasn’t mentioned in the menu in the Topsail Lounge.

The bar in the Yacht Club sundeck. We ordered one drink there the first day but the man I ordered from was so very rude to me so we didn’t ordered anything there again!

The Champagne bar. That’s our kind of bar since we really love Champagne! They had Laurent-Perrier which was included in our fare and that’s a much better Champagne than Nicolas Fuillatte so we were there every day. They had a very good selection of Champagne, both bottles and by the glass. We did ordered a bottle of Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial Rose, which isn’t possible to buy in Sweden, and that tasted excellent. Yacht Club guests get a 30% discount when they order a bottle of Champagne.

The Sky Lounge. Nice view over the pooldeck and the staff working there was very nice.

We ordered drinks in some other bars too but didn’t spend enough time there for me to say anything about them. Except for in the bar in the Yacht Club sundeck the service was always good and we were not disappointed of the drinks we got.

THE ENTERTAINMENT

We didn’t watched any shows in the Broadway Theatre so I can’t say anything about that. It was necessary to book the shows there but they were free and it seemed to be easy to do it on screens around the ship or on the TV in the cabin.

We went to the Carousel lounge and saw Cirque du Soleil and that was definitely worth the money, 15 Euro.

There were lots of entertainment in the bars and lounges around the ship, much more than on NCL.

There were entertainment in the Topsail Lounge every night and NCL don’t have that in the Haven.

PORTS AND EXCURSIONS

Our ports were Marseille, Genoa, Naples, Messina and Valetta. We had only one sea day so we decided that we should stay on the ship in Marseille and in Naples. Marseille felt like the least interesting port for us and the stop in Naples was in the afternoon.

In Genoa we had booked an excursion to Portofino, a little nice town outside Genoa. We waited in the Topsail Lounge until it was time to leave the ship and then a butler escorted us off the ship and pointed to where our group for the excursion was. Not at all useful and something we could have done ourselves. It was very unorganized and we walked through the terminal and to the boat which should take us to Portofino. It was total chaos when everyone tried to board. We got seats outside in the back and when we finally could leave it was a very nice trip. We cruised along the coastline for almost one and a half hour. It was a guided tour so a woman talked about the things we passed but it was very difficult to hear anything. We had about one and a half hour to walk around and that was enough since Portofino is a very small place. The boarding was smoother when we should go back to the ship and we sat inside, that was okay too.

In Messina we had an excursion to Taormina, a small town on a hillside, and to a beach in Giardini Naxos. This time we were escorted off the boat and to the bus before everyone else so we could pick our seats, a very nice perk. The bus ride to Taormina was nice and Taormina was a nice little town. We had three hours on the beach and that was a little too much. I expected the water to be warmer in the southern Mediterranean in the middle of July but it was rather cold, it felt like it could have been in Sweden! They had a café where we bought beer and sandwiches for lunch.

In Valetta we had an excursion to Valetta and Mdina. Again we were escorted off the boat before everyone else so that we could pick our seats on the bus. It was a very good excursion. We had an excellent guide and walked around Valletta first. We entered a cathedral which was amazing. After that we took a bus to Mdina, also called the silent city. We will definitely go back to Malta.

THE STAFF

Most of the staff was very nice and helpful and seemed to like their job. As I said before one man working in the bar in the Yacht Club sundeck was very rude and some of the persons working in the photoshop were rude too.

Worth to mention are Nata, our butler, Cesar, our waiter for most of our meals in the Yacht Club restaurant and Luigi, the head waiter. Cesar was always there for us but not too much as they sometimes are in NCLs Haven restaurant.

DISEMBARKATION

Excellent!!! We left our cabin around 8.30 and waited in the Top Sail Lounge until 11.10. I went to the concierge desk and told them that we were ready to leave and a few minutes later Nata, our butler, came to the lounge to escort us off the ship. He followed us all the way until we had picked up our bags and left the terminal. That’s a big difference from NCL where the escort doesn’t leave the ship.

It was a very smooth disembarkation but one reason for that can be that we had been within the European Union the whole time so no immigration.

POSTCRUISE

We took a cab to the airport and that took a little less than half an hour. The lounge in Barcelona airport was too small for the number of passengers using it. The quality of the food was good but the selection of drinks wasn’t impressive, but still better than on Arlanda.

Our first flight departed a little late but it landed almost on time. Afternoon tea and some Champagne on the flight.

The Galleries Lounge at Heathrow was very busy, I guess that a Friday evening as a busy time.

We sat on row one on our second flight and were served a nice dinner and some more Champagne.

We landed at Arlanda on time and after a short wait we took our train back to our home time. We came home at 2.50 after a long day!

MSC COMPARED TO NCL

The biggest difference is the price. I expect MSCs prices, especially for the Yacht Club, to go up a lot when people realize what a great value for money it is. The alternative is that NCL must lower their prices a lot to get any customers!

We liked the food more on MSC but the reason can be that it was very Italian. The service in NCLs Haven is really great but for us it’s a little too much there, on MSC the staff was there when we needed them but they didn’t came to our table every minute and that was a good thing.

We have never had a beverage package on NCL but I don’t think that they have any package where Champagne is included so MSC are better when it comes to that too.

NCL are better when it comes to information. Their Freestyle Daily is much more informative than MSCs Daily Planner and it’s much easier to see what is happening around the ship on NCL.

On NCL they have pictures of the captain and other senior officers and their names are posted in the Freestyle Daily but on this cruise it took five days before we knew the name of the captain! Not very good!

Some things we experienced on this cruise may differ because it was a Mediterranean cruise and not because it was another cruiseline. We didn’t really liked that people could embark in every port because that took away some of the cruise feeling, it became more a transport between the different ports. NCL have more than one port for embarkation on some Mediterranean cruises too so I guess that some of the cruise feeling is lost there too.

SUMMARY

We came home Friday night and on Tuesday we booked a new MSC cruise, doesn’t that explain enough what we thought about the cruise!?

We really love NCL but the value for money is increadible on MSC and right now we don’t see any reason to cruise with NCL when we can choose MSC and their Yacht Club.

The ship was very crowded so we should not cruise on it without Yacht Club access.

We had a great cruise and the only bad thing we can say about it was lack of information. (For example that it took five days before they told us the name of the captain and that the included Champagne wasn’t listed in the Yacht Club menu.)

The food was great, the ports were great, the service was great and most of the staff was great. We had a great week!!!
sverigecruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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