Cruise in NEITHER a 1 nor a 5...realistically closer to a 2.
Best NOT to view this as a cruise ... better to invision as a hotel with meals and transportation to locations.
Ship has 5700 passengers and a crew of another 1500.....word to the wise!
Ship passangers are 80 percent Italian. Large groups of Chinese. Also Germans, French, Japanese, Russians and other nationalities. Very few British and virtually no American. Everything is translated into all languages.
Ship is loaded with screaming, yelling, pushing and rude passengers. Noise level is so intense that it is pervasive in all areas of the ship. Its so bad that all you wish to do is go back to your cabin to avoid the noise.
Loads of young children (who should be in school during the middle of January) and tons of kids in strollers all over the ship. Difficult to move and navigate across the ship at ALL times.
Hoards of people/groups who take over everything.
1. Embarkation (and Disembarkation) in Barcelona was excellent.
2. Ship is new and clean … inside front of ship cabin was clean and enough room for 2 people. Common ares nice and spacious but limited seating for people.
3. Shore excursions were good and reasonable priced. Many options to chose from.
4. Cirque de Soleil shows (2) were superior. Dont miss them.
5. Cities/Countries visited were perfect; Barcelona (SP), Marseilles (FR), Genoa (IT), Citivechhia (IT), Palermo (Sicily IT) and Valetta (Malta)
6. Our Main DIning Room Waiter was very good.
7. All Entertinment Shows in Broadway Theater were TOPS! Best ever seen on a cruise ship.
8. Bar singers and musicians were very good.
THATS WHERE THE GOOD ENDS.
1. Cruise staff is Rude and unprofessional. I had a Guest Service Rep even walk away in the middle of our conversation due to the end of her shift. Staff could generally care less about helping or servicing your needs. Total retraining required .. if they ever had any to begin with!
2. Lowball price to get you onboard and then everthing else is pay-pay-pay. All charges in Euors so 15% higher than in USD $..
3. Drink packages are daily charge per person per day but they dont make that clear. Also packages are VERY EXPENSIVE...buyer beware!!!
4. Buffet food is low quality and more like hospital or prison food. With that being said, the fresh pastries at breakfast and freshly made mozerella are the best menu items. Even the Pizza was marginal. Everything else, including other Italian food on an Italian ship, is largely VILE! Did I say the food was LOW QUALITY!!!!!
5. Feeding frenzy at Buffet ... all time and every time. Groups of people pushing and shoving, People RUNNING everywhere and grabbing food like there is either no food left in their own country OR they believe that the ship will run out of food! Expect to be jostled and shoved and hit into your person at any given moment.
6. Main Dining Room food is slightly better quality than buffet but also lower class. Portions are very small so you must order atleast 2 appetizers OR a few main courses! Noise level in MDR is oppressive do to loud, screaming Italians. Totally ruins the meal experience. Dining rooms located in rear (AFT) os ship so you have to travel across the entire lengthy ship to eat at every time if your cabin is in the front of the ship.
7. Two Cirque de Soleil shows - We booked Dinner/Show packages but they also offer Cocktail/Show Packages. Dinner package tables are in worse location for viewing than Cocktail package locations. At one show which we booked 1 week prior, we were seated at a worse table location than someone who just walked up and bought their dinner show package 10 minutes before the show itself! NOT SMART AND NOT FAIR!
8. The ship is a massive ATM. There is a constant attempt to sell passangers something every waking minute on the ship. Also, everything you purchase is subject to a +15% (Euro) Surcharge!
9. People are smoking all over the ship .. EVEN THOUGH THE SHIP IS NON SMOKING IN 95% OF ALL AREAS. Not one crew member did anything to discourage people from walking around and smoking everywhere in public areas or even elevators. STUPID STUPID STUPID!
To summarize, MSC Meraviglia has many positive aspects but it is a European ship for the Eurpean market and NOT for the American market. To that end, you have to be prepared for a miserable experience with passengers. The cruise ship does a 7-day round trip to each city and people are constantly getting on and off the ship at every port. We embarked and disembarked in Barcelona, which was excellent, other points of on & off were problematic. Ticket prices are low to entice you onboard and then the upsell for everything begins and is nonstop for the entire cruise. Ship entertainment was superior. Ship food was LOW CLASS and mostly TERRIBLE. The one giant dessert buffet day was nice but did not make up for the other 6 days of miserable food. (By the way MSC bills their trip as having Gourmet Food- I guess if you are in a prison this IS Gourmet Food!.
NEVER SETTING FOOT ON AN MSC SHIP AGAIN EVEN IF THEY PAID ME!!
Inside front cabin was fine for 2 people. We felt the Sea motion on two evenings where there was rough sea .... a fuction of weather but a more central cabin location would helP