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MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
469 Reviews

Never again! SAVE YOUR MONEY AND SANITY...go elsewhere

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by CHIPITN

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: Canada & New England
  • Cabin Type: Aurea Balcony Stateroom

This cruise was a disaster from start to finish! I can't believe we paid so much and got so little in return. - Embarcation was a HUGE fail. There were no signs or people providing information regarding luggage at drop off. There were 2 stations to hand off luggage. We waited in one of the lines only to be told we were at the wrong place (EVEN) we needed to go to the other one (ODD). How were we supposed to know? The guys handling the luggage were extremely rude, but probably employed by the port not MSC. - Inside was chaos. I wish I had taken a picture. Thousands of passengers trying to make their way with no signs and very few staff directing traffic. Where is the priority line? Good question. My guess is there wasn't one. It took us 2 hours to onboard, but we were "lucky" because it took some passengers over 4 hours. There was only one gangway open! REALLY? I have been on smaller ships, and we regularly had 2 gangways. We heard a lot of possible explanations/excuses, but I have no idea if any were true. Once on the gangway we were shocked to see only one MSC crew member scanning cards. There were two stations, but they were only utilizing one. Ridiculous!

- Safety on board was not a priority. The Muster Drill, which is mandatory and emphasized on other ships, was a Cluster.

- Despite making our dining reservations immediately upon boarding, we were dismayed to find out that they had all been cancelled the next day. We had issues re-booking and getting the dates/times we had originally selected.

- The food was sub-par with the exception of Butcher's Cut. Unfortunately, we didn't have that until our last night. We had the Tryptic dining package, and were surprised by the limited options afforded to us. On our other non-MSC cruises we have had our choice of anything on the menu, with only a few items upcharged (i.e. lobster). Not so on MSC...I was charged $3.84 for a side of mashed potatoes in Ocean Key despite the fact I did not want any of the options offered. So my dinner was going to be mashed potatoes, and they arrived cold. I couldn't believe they still charged me.

- The SPA had a number of issues. Poor design in the ladies locker room had the door opening to the lobby, which could cause some unwanted exposure. The lockers are stacked 3 high, and if you are assigned the top one you would need to be 6' tall or stand on the bench (another safety issue). There was water on the floor, but no mats to help prevent slip and falls. There were only 3 thermal chairs, and only 2 were working. Other facilities were not operational as well, yet crew were still trying to sell Spa Packages throughout the cruise. There is apparently no limit to how many they sell, despite the obvious overcrowding.

-The captain skipped one port and shortened the stay at Quebec City. This was to be the highlight of the trip, and we looked forward to seeing the fall foliage along the St. Lawrence. Instead, we left at 1am, and missed it. We were told it was because the impending bad weather, but I can't help but think they were trying to avoid refunding another day's port fees. We had been running behind since we left New York. The embarcation issues delayed our departure by hours. It's hard to believe that a ship this large could not make up time. I know weather issues later in the trip are not under MSC's control, but I don't think we were getting the full story.

-The phones would not allow anyone to leave messages. Such BASIC functionality, like so many other things on the ship...FAIL!

-The TV didn't work the majority of the cruise. Their Highly Sophisticated Satellite System was another bust. We spent over $400 on internet...which was not great...but our only option.

- The lines at the Customer Service desk were always long...filled with disgruntled passengers. Sadly, we spent a lot of time there.

-The cabin design was odd.I suppose it was intended to be "sleek". However, the safe was located on one shelf in the closet. This limited the drawers to two. The depth of the closet was too shallow, meaning the clothes had to be turned at an angle in order to close the door. There were no other shelves or cubbies around the desk which would have been most helpful for storage. We ended up leaving our suitcases open on the sofa.

- There were 2 positives for me on this cruise...our cabin steward was great and they had Dr. Pepper on board. I love DP! Only one bar (in the buffet) would keep them in the fridge, so I didn't get a cold can like I prefer...but still loved having it.

-There were 100 people in our group, and our travel agent was with us. He worked non-stop to try and resolve the issues...meeting with ship department heads everyday. I can't imagine how much worse it would have been without him.

SUMMARY - this was our worst cruise ever! If I could rate it lower, I would. We are Diamond Plus on RCL, Platinum on NCL, and have cruised on other lines as well...including one other MSC. I can't imagine EVER taking a chance on MSC again.


CHIPITN's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Aurea Balcony Stateroom
Cabin B3 13101

Our steward was great, but cabin design was odd.I suppose it was intended to be "sleek". However, the safe was located on one shelf in the closet. This limited the drawers to two. The depth of the closet was too shallow, meaning the clothes had to be turned at an angle in order to close the door. There were no other shelves or cubbies around the desk which would have been most helpful for storage. We ended up leaving our suitcases open on the sofa.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Quebec City

We did tour, but it was arranged by our travel agent. I can't speak to the ship's offerings.

Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

We did tour, but it was arranged by our travel agent. I can't speak to the ship's offerings.

Corner Brook

We did tour, but it was arranged by our travel agent. I can't speak to the ship's offerings.


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CHIPITN
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