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

Beautiful ship, terrible experience

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by Kzel

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

We have been on multiple cruises with other cruise lines and have had excellent experiences previously. We were originally booked on a cruise with a different cruise line, but following first a cancellation then a change of itinerary to the subsequent cruise we booked, we decided to cancel and re-booked on MSC as it was hitting most of the ports we had been interested in and was slightly less expensive than the cruise we had previously booked.

However, from the moment we arrived at the Miami port, things did not go well. It took close to 4 hours for embarkation. The muster was delayed and undertaken while people were still boarding, and as we had been given the earliest dinner seating, we had to rush straight from the muster to dinner.

None of the staff introduced themselves in the dining room or elsewhere and with the exception of two across the ship throughout the whole week, none of them looked like they wanted to be onboard and actively worked not to interact with guests. Service in the dining room and spa all week could only be described as average at best, with it bordering on rude on some occasions. On previous cruises we have been on, nothing has ever been too much trouble. On this cruise, bacon couldn’t be removed from a BLT and you could not order a burger to specification as ‘they’re already prepared’.

If you wanted a drink other than wine or beer with your meal, it was a production and you were lucky if it arrived by the time you received dessert. Food in the dining room was disappointing, given that we have had exceptional food on other cruises. All the food generally arrived lukewarm and on some occasions, extremely over cooked. Breakfast in the dining room most days was a debacle, with staff slow to take orders, and consistently getting orders incorrect.

The thermal spa was also a disappointment, with sections out of order and at one point, the spa ran out of towels and was unable to provide any clarity around when they would have fresh towels available.

Additionally, despite having purchased a drink package, we were charged multiple times for drinks that should have been included and had to continually return to guest services to have the charges removed.

The ship itself was stunning, and our room attendant was one of the few staff who chatted with us and did an excellent job in our room. While I prefer to have the couch set up closest to the balcony rather than the bed, this is a personal preference and the room itself was lovely. The Viaggio show was excellent and we enjoyed the daily dome show.

Based on our overall experience, we will not cruise with MSC in the future as both the service and food were extremely disappointing and not at all in line with our other cruise experiences.

Kzel's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Fantastica Balcony Stateroom

The cabin was neat and clean. As mentioned previously, I prefer to have the lounge closer to the balcony, rather than the bed, but other than this, I found the cabin to be similar to other cruise experiences.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Our guide, Gus, was outstanding and extremely knowledgeable. The excursion combined food tasting with a tour of different areas of Belize and was very enjoyable.

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Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve

Unfortunately the day we were in this port was overcast and cool, so not ideal for taking advantage of the island. As a result, we spent most of the day aboard the ship, rather than on the island.

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