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This was our first cruise so we have little to compare it with although we'd already seen some of the negative reviews posted. We went with an open mind and not necessarily expecting the best. The ship itself is gorgeous with wonderful facilities many of which (from looking at other ships and reading reviews) must be world class at the moment. We had a duplex cabin, with hot tub, and was as such on the Aurea experience. This meant we had an all inclusive drinks package, my choice dining and access to the spa (as well as other bits and pieces). The MDR worked well and we were able to turn up when we wanted for dinner. It appeared that the other MDRs were working well have switched from the new Flexi Dining to classic. We didn't see any evidence of long queues as reported in previous reviews. Selection of food was good and hot. Meals in general were relaxed, European style and typically took just over an hour. Bread was offered regularly (perhaps another lesson learned) and drinks were replenished frequently (wine usually just being topped up). We had a different table each night (our choice) and therefore saw different waiter/server teams in operation. Portion sizes were good from our perspective. They weren't small, but neither were they large. We were always offered the opportunity for more if we wanted it. A childrens menu was available on every night. Overall the MDR was always flexible and if you wanted some different or more of something you just had to ask. The buffet was large and had a large number of stations. The rottiserie and ethnic counters were the ones that changed every day/night but I would have liked to see a little more variety. Pasta, Pizza, Salads and Deserts were always available. Food was hot and generally freshly cooked at the station where possible. The buffet was open a lot but not the 20 hours advertised. They tended to take into account the grab and go bars which are located just outside the buffet as well in these hours. Childrens menu tended to be burgers, hot dogs, pasta, chips and usually one other dish. I would have liked to see a few more options for children other than fast food. Whilst we only ate in the buffet two night we didn't see breaded chicken, breaded fish etc. ever available. Entertainment across the ship was really good. All of the live music was excellent and on through the evening in the various bars. The Meraviglia lounge was generally the focus of entertainment pre 11pm for many people and was always crowded and busy. The only criticism on the entertainment (minor) is that it would have been nice to have some slightly different styles on the ship. The entertainment in the theatre was of a very high quality as was the Cirque du Soleil show. All were suitable for children to attend. There were regular parties on board which tended to happen post 11pm either on deck or on the promenade. The entertainment team were really excellent in getting people involved. Customer service was very good. They have clearly taken on board some of the challenges of managing such a large ship and the customer service questions that can happen. Queues did occur but were not overly long (generally non existent early or late) and they had a couple of people queue busting the easy ones. I had a couple issues on our bill which were dealt with promptly. It sometimes took a couple of tries to get through to customer services on phone but when I did they were dealt with promptly and courtiously. The boat is very large and clearly aimed at families. Some areas could get busy at times but at no time did the ship seem at capacity or over full and there were always areas of the ship that were quiet. The Aurea Sun Deck was never busy. The childrens club seemed to be organised very well and professionally with an extensive programme of activities for children. The aqua park and rope course were big favourites.

Excellent cruise with many of the previously reported issues being dealt with.

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by Rossco01

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first cruise so we have little to compare it with although we'd already seen some of the negative reviews posted. We went with an open mind and not necessarily expecting the best.

The ship itself is gorgeous with wonderful facilities many of which (from looking at other ships and reading reviews) must be world class at the moment.

We had a duplex cabin, with hot tub, and was as such on the Aurea experience. This meant we had an all inclusive drinks package, my choice dining and access to the spa (as well as other bits and pieces).

The MDR worked well and we were able to turn up when we wanted for dinner. It appeared that the other MDRs were working well have switched from the new Flexi Dining to classic. We didn't see any evidence of long queues as reported in previous reviews.

Selection of food was good and hot. Meals in general were relaxed, European style and typically took just over an hour. Bread was offered regularly (perhaps another lesson learned) and drinks were replenished frequently (wine usually just being topped up). We had a different table each night (our choice) and therefore saw different waiter/server teams in operation.

Portion sizes were good from our perspective. They weren't small, but neither were they large. We were always offered the opportunity for more if we wanted it. A childrens menu was available on every night. Overall the MDR was always flexible and if you wanted some different or more of something you just had to ask.

The buffet was large and had a large number of stations. The rottiserie and ethnic counters were the ones that changed every day/night but I would have liked to see a little more variety. Pasta, Pizza, Salads and Deserts were always available. Food was hot and generally freshly cooked at the station where possible. The buffet was open a lot but not the 20 hours advertised. They tended to take into account the grab and go bars which are located just outside the buffet as well in these hours.

Childrens menu tended to be burgers, hot dogs, pasta, chips and usually one other dish. I would have liked to see a few more options for children other than fast food. Whilst we only ate in the buffet two night we didn't see breaded chicken, breaded fish etc. ever available.

Entertainment across the ship was really good. All of the live music was excellent and on through the evening in the various bars. The Meraviglia lounge was generally the focus of entertainment pre 11pm for many people and was always crowded and busy. The only criticism on the entertainment (minor) is that it would have been nice to have some slightly different styles on the ship.

The entertainment in the theatre was of a very high quality as was the Cirque du Soleil show. All were suitable for children to attend.

There were regular parties on board which tended to happen post 11pm either on deck or on the promenade. The entertainment team were really excellent in getting people involved.

Customer service was very good. They have clearly taken on board some of the challenges of managing such a large ship and the customer service questions that can happen. Queues did occur but were not overly long (generally non existent early or late) and they had a couple of people queue busting the easy ones. I had a couple issues on our bill which were dealt with promptly. It sometimes took a couple of tries to get through to customer services on phone but when I did they were dealt with promptly and courtiously.

The boat is very large and clearly aimed at families. Some areas could get busy at times but at no time did the ship seem at capacity or over full and there were always areas of the ship that were quiet. The Aurea Sun Deck was never busy.

The childrens club seemed to be organised very well and professionally with an extensive programme of activities for children. The aqua park and rope course were big favourites.
Rossco01’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9001
Really an excellent cabin and for a first cruise I think we were spoiled. Two spacious floor and bathrooms with a hot tub on the balcony. Clearly at the start stewards didn't know how to manage the hot tub (when to fill, when to empty) but our Steward miraculously emptied, cleaned and filled ours most days without us being aware.

The Steward was always out and about (or available with a call to reception). He dealt with the numerous questions/requests we posed to him efficiently and quickly.

This particular cabin had a large bed/twin beds upstairs with bathroom and then a double bed settee and further bathroom downstairs. It also had a separate seating/dining area and walk in wardrobe dressing room upstairs. The highlight was undoubtedly the hot tub and forward views. Sitting in the hot tub and port arrival or departure was wonderful.
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