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My partner, our son and I were on Meraviglia over Thanksgiving. We don't cruise a lot. Our last one was an Alaska cruise on Holland America about 12 years ago. Prior to that we have one each on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival. Here's the run-down: Positives: * Lay out and design of public areas and cabins * Ship cleanliness * The singers and musicians * The Ocean Cay specialty restaurant Neutrals: * It is a beast of a ship, If size matters to you, you won't be disappointed * There were A LOT of people on board. It was particularly noticeable on at-sea days. Again, if you like crowds and activity, you will like this ship. However, if you want a more intimate cruise experience, you may not like this ship. * We liked the technology (touch screens everywhere to look up locations and activities, Internet, child location bracelets, etc...). However, there were enough problems with it -- especially the Internet and child location bracelets -- to detract from the experience. * The sushi and steak specialty restaurants Negatives: * The food. There were highlights, but generally the quality was far lower than our other cruise experiences. * The staff. There were exceptions, but in general the staff seemed unable and/or unwilling to provide an acceptable level of service. Bartenders and servers rarely smiled or wanted to engage (the only exception being when we were with a group of fellow passengers who constantly fed them tips). Service in the dining rooms was chaotic and unpolished. The activity staff -- particularly those working the video game area and the ropes course area were simply hostile and rude. The kids club was so busy and disorganized it was a disincentive for us to use it. Our cabin steward was nice enough, but he kept complaining to us how overworked he was. Our dining room server also mentioned his long hours. Perhaps this is a key reason why the staff wasn't really engaged. This ship was packed with people. Perhaps the numbers overwhelmed the staff's ability to provide good service. Next time we cruise, we'll look into a smaller ship with a higher crew/staff ratio. * Nickle and diming. Pretty much everything that isn't explicitly specified on the cruise ticket is extra. Be particularly aware if you are looking to book one of their more expensive "experiences". We booked the "Fantastica" experience. The only thing I can honestly say was additionally included in this "experience" was a very limited selection of room service items (maximum two people, even though there were three of us) delivered without a service charge. Again, we had some good experiences with MSC cruises and on the Meraviglia, but unfortunately mostly misses. We will likely look elsewhere next time.

More negative than positive

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by pearsja

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2019
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Family Balcony (1 Balcony Stateroom, 1 Inside Stateroom)
My partner, our son and I were on Meraviglia over Thanksgiving. We don't cruise a lot. Our last one was an Alaska cruise on Holland America about 12 years ago. Prior to that we have one each on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Carnival. Here's the run-down:

Positives:

* Lay out and design of public areas and cabins

* Ship cleanliness

* The singers and musicians

* The Ocean Cay specialty restaurant

Neutrals:

* It is a beast of a ship, If size matters to you, you won't be disappointed

* There were A LOT of people on board. It was particularly noticeable on at-sea days. Again, if you like crowds and activity, you will like this ship. However, if you want a more intimate cruise experience, you may not like this ship.

* We liked the technology (touch screens everywhere to look up locations and activities, Internet, child location bracelets, etc...). However, there were enough problems with it -- especially the Internet and child location bracelets -- to detract from the experience.

* The sushi and steak specialty restaurants

Negatives:

* The food. There were highlights, but generally the quality was far lower than our other cruise experiences.

* The staff. There were exceptions, but in general the staff seemed unable and/or unwilling to provide an acceptable level of service. Bartenders and servers rarely smiled or wanted to engage (the only exception being when we were with a group of fellow passengers who constantly fed them tips). Service in the dining rooms was chaotic and unpolished. The activity staff -- particularly those working the video game area and the ropes course area were simply hostile and rude. The kids club was so busy and disorganized it was a disincentive for us to use it. Our cabin steward was nice enough, but he kept complaining to us how overworked he was. Our dining room server also mentioned his long hours. Perhaps this is a key reason why the staff wasn't really engaged. This ship was packed with people. Perhaps the numbers overwhelmed the staff's ability to provide good service. Next time we cruise, we'll look into a smaller ship with a higher crew/staff ratio.

* Nickle and diming. Pretty much everything that isn't explicitly specified on the cruise ticket is extra. Be particularly aware if you are looking to book one of their more expensive "experiences". We booked the "Fantastica" experience. The only thing I can honestly say was additionally included in this "experience" was a very limited selection of room service items (maximum two people, even though there were three of us) delivered without a service charge.

Again, we had some good experiences with MSC cruises and on the Meraviglia, but unfortunately mostly misses. We will likely look elsewhere next time.
pearsja’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Ages 10 to 12
Service
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