I traveled with my partner and my mother, both my mother and I have traveled with Royal Caribbean quite a few times so I have another company to base this experience with.
We flew to Barcalona from Heathrow, and joined the MSC MERIVIGLIA, my partner who is a first time cruiser was taken back by the size of the ship, as she puts it “wow” and indeed, the ship is massive, and magnificent, and that’s where the thumbs up stop.
Embarkation was actually smooth and quick, so once all paperwork was done, we entered the ship, no welcome aboard, no warm greetings, just on and that was it.
The first appearance of the ships interior is quite good, and the arched LED roof in the main deck area is also impressive, but that soon fades.
The cabin, clean, standard,
I could bang on and on about everything, so here is a pros and cons list
Great itinerary - some beautiful cities.
Embarkation quite quick.
The food and service in the Main dining hall is great.
Beds are comfy.
Only three swimming pools - all sea water. (Very salty)
All deck chairs cleared away after about 19:00 making the decks empty.
Large TV over main pool - never used for movies.
No smoking rules very lax, some even smoked in the hot tubs.
Lack of things to do of an evening, unless you like music, eating, and Italian humour.
Large gangs of moody and loud teens roaming boat being bored.
Lack of lifts for size of ship
The artwork, and colours used are bland.
The main buffet hall (the market place) Luke warm food, bland and the same food EVERY DAY.
Main buffet hall over crowded, which didn’t help with people using tables to play board games due to being bored.
Lack of drinks choice in main buffet hall, Morning you get juices, and water and coffee and tea, but after about 11:00am all you will get is water and coffee and tea, (unless you pay)
Drinks are expensive (most cruises are)
At around 21:00, the kids club decides to march the kids through the main promenade to kids music loudly.
The cabin to balcony doors slam loudly by inconsiderate neighbours.
No night lights in or around the toilet, so sometimes you have to put the lights on to see where your going.
The showers are ok, but could be more powerful.
We found out they only change the bedding once in 7 days.
Lost use of balcony twice due to “maintainace”
Serious lack of things to do of an evening.
All shows were based on music. Mainly Italian or Spanish
The magic show and hand silhouette show was very 1980’s and most humour Italian orintated
Everything costs, even certain shows that are based on the boat.
The layout of the foods in the market place buffet is a mess, so by the time you finally sit down your food is pretty cold.
The staff in the market place will only attend your table if you are buying a drink.
Staff will tend to either walk straight at you, or refuse to move if you need to get past.
If you have special dietary needs, good luck, mum was celiac,
The tv in the cabin had only two English speaking channels BBC news and National geographic.
The layout of such a large ship was a mess.
The entertainment area will bankrupt you, for example 30 mins bowling €30.00 €55.00 for an hour.
4D cinema adults €10.00 or €8.00 for kids
So to sum up, what you thought was a good priced cruise will actually cost you more than with other cruise lines,
Would I recommend or travel with MSC again, NO.
even my partner who had never Sailed before claimed that she found the evenings boring and would not sail with MSC again.
Standard and the usual, adiquate
Won’t pay MSC prices, did own thing.
Saved my money, did my own thing
Been before, so took a plod
Loved this place and with money in my pocket
Brilliant place, amazing sights, but do your own thing