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

First MSC Experience

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by Jessy1021

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2019
  • Destination: the Bahamas
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

We were interested in trying a new line as we had never sailed on MSC before. We were also very excited to try out the new Ocean Cay. Unfortunately the island was not ready yet, and we had an itinerary change to Cozumel. This didn't ruin it for us, but we were a bit disappointed. A lot of people seemed very angry about this, so it was a bit tense once people found out. Many were not aware ahead of time that the changes were made.

Embarkation was ok. It was our first time at the Port of Miami and we had trouble finding what lot to park in for the pier where the ship was, but we figured it out after circling twice (lol) There was a wait as we were going through security literally as I went through security. They told me I had to go back. All our belongings (purse, phones etc) were on the other side, and we were held back. Then was told it was ok to go through (twice) only to be turned back again (twice). It was a bit confusing. Finally when it was really ok to go through, we got upstairs and checked in. Then we proceeded to the waiting area for our boarding number to be called (new experience for us) It didn't take too long, but we did have our "ants in pants" 4-year-old with us so we were trying to keep him busy so he wouldn't disrupt others.

Walking onto the ship, we were immediately told to register our son for the kids club, so we went right into another line to get him signed up. Took about 20 minutes. Then we checked out our cabin quickly, and sorted out a few dining changes. We headed to the buffet which was packed, but we did get served our drinks pretty quickly. Food was ok, but the pizza was OUTSTANDING! I am still thinking of the pizza!

The first night was kind of boring. The kids club was not open (only open to family time play which we did for a bit) Not a whole lot was going on so we just explored for the most part.

The first sea day was a bit chilly out, so we explored the ship for a bit, then checked out the pools. Our son loved the splash park. We also enjoyed the slides. Did not get a chance to try the ropes course. The main pool was beautiful. Horizon pool was fun and upbeat. The Bamboo pool area was nice and a fun indoor pool. That night we tried the kids club out, but when we checked in on our son we were told he was crying and upset, so we took him out and our night got cut short.

Day in Cozumel we opted to stay on ship. Glad we did! We tried the kids club again and this time our son was fine with it. He actually wanted to go. My husband and I decided to grab lunch at the British Pub and we tried the fish and chips which were very very good! Great selection of beers and had a singer on who was very good. We spent a lot of time in the British Pub throughout the whole cruise. Being in port, the ship was quiet so it was nice to check everything out without large crowds. We even got a nice bed at the main pool! One thing that they were very strict about was drinks by the pool. You could not have a drink in or near the pool. Even on the bed, I was told I needed to go on the deck or over the wooden area to enjoy it. I sat on the wooden area by the deck chairs and was told my drink had to be on the half of the wooden area that faced the deck chairs, not the half that faced the pool. I laughed at that, but was fine. No shoes on the beds and shoes need to be placed at the head of the bed. They were very strict in the main pool area. It didn't bother me, but it is something I am not used to as every other cruise I have been on was not like that at all.

Food on board was ok. We enjoyed the fish n chips at the pub. The main dining room food was ok. I am not super picky, so to me it is not a make or break. We didn't get to try any of the specialty restaurants. I will say our waiter was amazing. He entertained our child and interacted with him a lot. Another waiter also would make cat noises when my son wasn't looking, and my son still thinks there is a missing cat on the ship!!! They were great with him. All the staff were great with my son. He can be a handful at times, but they were amazing with him.

We only saw two shows as one of our nights was cut short due to our son not wanting to be in kids club. (the rest of the nights he was fine there) We saw Way which was excellent, and the Beer improv which I thought was pretty funny. I felt it was scripted though. Still entertaining and funny though. Also, weird to me was there was no drink service or bar in the theater. They did allow you to bring a drink in even though it says drinks are not allowed.

We enjoyed the White Party (but forgot to bring all white clothing) I normally stay away from white as my child will ruin it haha. The carnivale party was fun! It was a bit cramped, but we enjoyed it. My son loved dancing around. There were a few crabby people around us, but we did not let it ruin our fun. We tried to be nice and offer them some of the light sticks and items they were throwing into the crowds, but they continued to be crabby with us so we ended up ignoring them. Not sure what set them off, or if they were just bothered by our son having a good time (he was not acting out or bumping into them so who knows) We also enjoyed the movies on the deck, but our son wouldn't sit through the whole movie.

The last night we opted for extra hours at the kids club so we could do a bit of gambling. We had a lot of fun that night. The dealers seemed pretty friendly and they weren't super Type A like some can be. I found that odd because of how strict the staff was about the pool area. We played roulette and were there for a couple of hours.

Staff on board we found to be very friendly overall. We did need to go to the customer service desk once to get a charge removed for drinks at the private island, but they had already taken care of that for us. Overall, people on board were very friendly and nice. Only experienced a couple of crabby pants the carnivale night.

The LED ceiling is awesome and they put on some cool shows!

Disembarking was easy. We did the walk off option and just got up super early. Got off the ship pretty quickly.

All in all we had a nice trip, met some nice people and enjoyed some family time together! We loved this ship and wished the trip was a few nights longer!


British Pub

Champagne Bar

Main Pool

Splash park

Horizon pool


Jessy1021's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

Cabin was pretty small, but we made room. Suitcases could fit under the bed. Bathroom was actually a nice size. Not a lot of outlets, but wasn't an issue. Cabin was cleaned impeccably every day. Steward was very friendly and didn't mind that we slept in a couple of times. The bunk beds fold down and they made a nice bed for our 4-year-old. Balcony was nice and a decent size. It was a bit difficult at first figuring out the door to the balcony but was fine once figured out. I actually appreciated it being difficult because of said 4-year-old. There was also a door lock to keep us at ease. TV was boring. Not many free channels, but we weren't in our room very much so it wasn't that big of an issue. Decent closet space. Lighting was good. Water is very hot! That was the only weird issue. I like hot showers, but it was a bit too hot for me even. It was hard to get the temperature correct or cooler so we didn't burn our behinds.

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