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

A Floating Bus

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by Rome Again

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Aurea Balcony Stateroom

We chose this cruise for the ports of call and to see Iceland - a 17 night transatlantic from Kiel, Germany to New York City. A beautiful ship- great staff - a mozzarella making station - great your choice dining at which tables for 2 were plentiful - However, an absent Captain, a wannabe Cruise Director, passengers embarking and debarking at every European port - a FLOATING BUS - Our welcome aboard party was at sea , Day 10 , heading from Iceland to Canada. There were 2 gangways for everyone to use other than the specialty Yacht Club who had their own, and the poorest managed ship we have ever been on - No such thing as nickel and dime to death here - It is many Euro & Euro to death - If you did not take the MSC cruises or shuttles, they did not tell anyone about city run free port shuttles (Southampton), the Hop on Hop Off next to the terminal in Rejkjavik, or the change of plans and routes. My wife and I do not drink wine or beer. We were told that we could only get wine or beer on board when in St John, NB, Halifax because that was the Canadian law- they did not tell us that MSC was too cheap to pay the port taxes for spirits consumed . At the service desk I was told that we would not receive a 3 day rebate on our paid beverage package and to drink what they had available MSC contracts everything out .- even the individual bars are in competition with each other. That is why there was hounding every day to purchase everything on the ship, including the full sized gymnasium & equipment and the exercise room - we do not classify the shopping in the promenade mall, spa, drinking and eating in the specialty restaurants. The giant tv at the very little used Lido pool showed a continuous loop of the Northern Lights 24/7 for 18 days. The greatly used solarium pool was dumped out for 24 hours for a 2 hour ice sculpture on a sea day - The staffing on board was well below the numbers on smaller ships we have been on - The MSC management team tried to keep selling the fact that they had all kinds of activities all day long and were extremely busy running them. We do not consider 1 activity an hour on the whole ship (4500 passengers) as being busy - heaven forbid on a sea day that there be trivia to interfere with the promenade shopping and their daily specials. The most mismanaged ship we have ever been on because if most things on board are contracted out - then the contractors are to blame not MSC. This is the first time I have ever taken the time to send in a review and this comes 3 months after we got home - If this was our first cruise - we would never be doing another - MSC does not even get to the bottom rung of our ladder - We were either mis-informed, uninformed or purposely lied to by the Sr Management on board of this Cruiseline and this particular Cruise. Never again. - MSC Meraviglia should be called - MSC Fregatura - (Stiffed or Ripped off)- North Americans must know how this company operates - This was not our first rodeo as you can see on my signature - It was our only cruise we have had something to complain about and put it in writing for a first time.


Rome Again's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Aurea Balcony Stateroom

Very Clean - Great cabin Steward -

Non-drainable walk in shower - accessible cabin - soaked inside cabin carpet on sea days


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Kiel

Stayed in Kiel 4 nights before the cruise - a pleasant surprise

Copenhagen

Nothing open on a Sunday - expensive shuttle cost

Southampton

Great City - MSC left little to be desired - did not mention that a free shuttle to and from Southampton was just outside the cruise terminal door- Kaos getting off the ship

Belfast

A pleasant surprise - Did the City HOHO - -

However , Debarkation and Embarkation was another long wait and a total zoo - 1 security scanner for 3000 people - a joke - again

Reykjavik

2 days of HoHo - the city one - not MSC's

Getting on and off the ship is a major concern - an emergency would be a major screwup

Saint John (New Brunswick)

Always enjoy walking the streets of St John - our 5th time there

But it is not Canadian Law that spirits cannot be served while ship is in port - MSC is too cheap to pay the port of call % of the tax

Halifax

Pier 21 it the Canadian version of Ellis Island for the Americans - A nice city just to walk the waterfront

Getting off and back on the ship - just a joke

New York (Manhattan)

Always like going to NYC - first time for the city HoHo - Every passenger told they must leave the ship for - 6 hours at least for a Customs Zero Count on Board. -

MSC has absolutely no clue how to do this procedure if you are a regular passenger - Yacht Club however have their own entry and escort service to and from


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Rome Again
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