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MSC Meraviglia Review

5.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
546 reviews

An amazing 60th Birthday present

Review for MSC Meraviglia to the Mediterranean
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First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Mar 2019

This was my second cruise but my partners first. We arrived at Barcelona airport late due to a flight delay at Gatwick so our transfer to the ship had long gone. We were told to get a taxi at a cost of 39.00 euro's which was credited to our account by the ship. Embarkation was smooth as we were ushered into a huge marque where our documents were checked and we were given our personal cards (like a credit card) which showed our room number, name, deck etc as well as your photo which is used for security when you disembark and embark during your cruise. The first sight of the vessel was amazing, it is enormous and very impressive. Our baggage was outside the door when we eventually found our cabin. we had booked a window cabin but were a little disappointed as it was very small and, in our view, badly laid out. Our window view was of the lifeboats!! However we told ourselves that we had come on a holiday and not to spend lots of time in the cabin. The TV shows lots of European shows etc but not English ones, we got World News and some National Geographic, not even a music channel. I found it difficult to do my hair as there was no mirror where the plug points were for the hairdryer (included) and my straighteners/curlers. The cabin was kept spotlessly clean and the bed turned down each evening and the following days inventory left. Our first exploration of this beast of a ship was amazing and awe inspiring, it is huge. The main area is deck 6 which is the promenade and gets you from one end to the other so if your lost, which we were a few times, get yourself back to deck 6 to get your bearings. Decks 5,6 and 7 have all of your shops, bars, restaurants, entertainment. The promenade is covered by a beautiful glass dome which is able to change and throughout the voyage there is a dome show. We were given a sitting for our evening meal in the Panorama Restaurant on the early sitting of 18.00. The only thing I can say is that the food here was ok, nothing special. Be aware that the other eating area advertised, Sushi, Italian, Butchers Cut are NOT included in the all incl and re expensive. In fact that is the one accurate thing about this liner is that everything is very EXPENSIVE. We are not huge drinkers by comparison and so declined the drinks package but when we received our statement wished we hadn't (a small G&T and draught lager 15.00 euros+tax) You are not allowed to bring your own drinks aboard. Our first breakfast was in the Waves restaurant which was civil and relaxed but closes at 9.00, the food was good but the coffee was disgusting. Two days later we came across the Market Buffet which is a self service area, now it was packed and humming but there is an amazing selection of food and is open until 10.30m for breakfast. There is entertainment and activities going on throughout the day and evening and the inventory left in your cabin each evening tells you what is going on, the time, and where on the ship which is a great help. I had read many reviews before we left that said staff were rude etc, we found that the service was very good and staff were very hard working and amenable. We only did 3 shore visits, Genoa was lovely and for 12 euros we did the open top bus trip. Beware Palermo and its Horse and Carriage tour, we got ripped off good and proper. We asked how much and were told 80 euros and shown where he would take us on a map and we could stop and check places out (we checked out the fish market, 1 stall lol) suddenly after about 30/45 mins our driver stopped and told us our tour was finished and that the port was only a 10 min walk away, surprised we gave him the 80 euros to be told it was 80 euros each!!!! There was nothing to be done but pay up, he had us good and proper so pay up front if you decide a horse and carriage is for you. Having been to Malta before I knew you could by a ticket for the local bus and hop on and off as you wish, as we left breakfast there was a man by the doorway offering just that so we paid 20 euros each for a ticket. The map showed two routes, a yellow and a red. The guy suggested we take the yellow first and then the red. The yellow visited a craft village and the old capital Medina which we wanted to visit. The bus dropped us at this so called craft village which took us a while to find as it is still in construction and more like a building site. it will be lovely when finished whenever that will be!! By the time we had got another bus and quickly visited Medina we realised that we did not have enough time to do the red tour (180mins) and get back to the ship before departure!!!. Our last day on board was at sea but unfortunately the weather was very brisk and chilly so our thoughts of a lazy day on a sunbed was hampered, so we chilled inside. We requested a statement so we could pay up and lol this was when we found out how expensive this cruise really is. Suitcases have to be put outside your cabin by 1.00am of the day of departure and out of your cabin by 8.00. You are allocated a time and area to be for disembarkation and suddenly that it your off and on your own, talk about getting your money and getting rid of you lol. All in all this was a lovely ship/holiday but there are a lot of things we would do differently next time

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