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


MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by wknied

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


My wife and I have been on approximately thirty cruises but this one was the worst. It took more than three hours in the terminal before we could get on the ship and we were standing the entire time. There were very few cruise ship employees to guide you - it was a complete mess with no direction. We were told that the computers had been down in the morning and this had caused the back up. Later we found out that they were only down for 30 minutes (a convenient excuse). When we finally got cleared to go on the ship we spent one hour on the gangway - all they had to do was scan the cards that we had just been issued for us to board! There were only two gangways open for 5000+ passengers. We left New York City more than two hours late. The following night, as a way of apology, we were offered one glass of champagne - after dinner, in fact many had already left the dining room. Not much of an apology.

We found most of the crew to be indifferent and we never saw any senior officers walking around to check on things and spread good will as you always see on other cruise lines. We assumed they did not want to have to speak with unhappy passengers - and there were many of them.

Due to cancelled ports (Sydney and Quebec half day), poor weather and not enough public rooms to hang out in, we spent more time in our cabin than usual. Unfortunately the television had poor reception and only one or two stations. A crew member told us that the satellite was down for most of the trip. We usually don’t count on TV during a cruise but most cruises always have a lot of passenger activities.

The balcony was a joke. It was very small, approximately three feet by six feet. Our room steward was very nice and did an excellent job. However, there were no tissues in the bathroom even though a holder was attached to the vanity. When we asked for tissues he said he would have to get that approved by his supervisor.

Food on cruises is always epic - not so on Meraviglia. The menus were strange - “Caribbean Night” on the way to Canada? Poor choices, small portions and poor quality. One night I took a chance and had the pheasant - it was so tough I couldn’t eat it with a knife and fork. We looked forward to having wonderful Italian meals on this Italian line but the pasta was routinely awful. The lobster ravioli served one night had a filling that was paste-like with no hint of lobster - on a cruise! If you had done a blind taste test you would not guess it was lobster. The crab cake looked and tasted like potato with no crab that we could see. The wait staff was overworked with too many tables and the food was never really delivered hot.

The tables were never set properly with a variety of silverware and different each night. Two nights (out of ten) there were small bowls at each place for dipping oil but none was ever offered and they disappeared as quickly as they came. The food choices were so bad and tasted terrible that the last four nights I had salmon every night from the “Classic” menu.

The drink package seemed like it would be good but for some reason the information was not available to the dining room staff. We took a picture of what was available with our package and one night we were charged for a second glass of wine. When we spoke with the waiter he said we were “only allowed one glass of wine”. Luckily we were able to show him the choices which clearly stated “Unlimited wine” in the dining room. Getting the charge removed from our bill was ridiculously hard and was finally taken care of by the Head Waiter. Since this type of thing happened over and over, he was a huge help to us! I’m sure other passengers were charged in error and those charges were probably not removed.

Although the performers did a very good job, the entertainment was marginal. They did not spend a lot of money for entertainment.

We were scheduled to stay overnight in Quebec City and that half day was cancelled. The explanation was that we had to return to NYC early. We arrived in New York around 12:30am, approximately eight hours early so there was actually time. We travelled at night and did not get to see the Saint Lawrence Seaway and the fall foliage. All of this was part of the reason we took this particular cruise and it was terribly disappointing.

We had car service scheduled to pick us up at 10:30 but when we were told the ship had changed our arrival time and was docking early, we had to rearrange everything, not easy when you’re at sea. Due to a medical emergency with one of our party we had to be escorted off the ship early. The room steward supervisor did a very nice job of helping us but our luggage remained on the ship and we could not find it for 90 minutes! And this is how they treated an emergency. It really was one thing after another on this ship.

Read the reviews - don’t make the mistake we made and assume that you can’t please everybody. We made that mistake and took this MSC cruise but - never again. You could not pay me to go on an MSC cruise!

wknied's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

The cabin was small, as expected. The closet was ridiculous - very difficult to reach around the sofa and very small. The cabin steward was excellent. The balcony was tiny.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)

It was pouring and windy and we did not travel in to town.

Quebec City

Quebec City is a lovely city and the excursion was nice.

Unfortunately the cruiseline cancelled our second day (half) at this port.

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