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

Gluten Free total fail AVOID this ship!

MSC Meraviglia Cruise Review by ScottGamm

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Bella Inside Stateroom

Gluten-free Failure!

I cruised out of Miami on the MSC Meraviglia Feb. 2, 2020. The last cruise I experienced was on Royal Caribbean, I am a Diabetic Celiac on a Gluten-free diet. The food I experienced with Royal Caribbean was exceptional! A wide variety of Gluten-free baking; varieties of buns, bread, pasta, pizza and amazing desserts! So my expectations for the MSC Meraviglia were high. After my first hour on the ship, I knew this would not be the same dining experience. There was a vast array of pizzas and baked items on the buffet. There was no indication of allergy ingredients on any of the food on this ship.

I asked about the food available for people with dietary restrictions and I was directed to only eat in the dining room. After looking at the wide variety of food I hoped the food in the dining room would make up for the complete fail in the dining room. The menu for gluten-free in the dining room was extremely limited and unfortunately the desert items for the gluten free menu was mixed fruit or cheese. So looking at my wife’s food in comparison with my food was amazingly substandard! The trick to serving people with a restrictive diet is to allow them to feel as though they are not completely restricted to a base diet. The Maître d of the MSC Meraviglia should investigate whatever ship has the best ratings for gluten free and restricted diets and be a passenger on that ship and eat a restricted diet!

Unfortunately each time I would eat in the MSC Meraviglia dining room I would experience the effects of an allergic reaction to a large amount of Gluten! It would also take me a day to recover. I asked to speak to the Maître d and was directed to my head waiter. The Maître d could see me asking to speak to him, I suppose he had other pressing issues! I decided to try again in the dining room and had a violently brutal night after reacting the second time I noticed my blood sugars were low and would not rise I required no insulin for several days as my cilia had been stripped do to to major amounts of gluten exposure in the MSC Meraviglia dining room. From that moment on I decided to eat at the buffet only, with much advise and direction from the cooking staff. At this time I met several other celiac passengers who had reacted in the exact same way I had reacted.

At this point I had my suspicions confirmed and asked once again to speak to the Maître d, once again with no luck. I did go to customer service and asked to place a formal complaint in regard to the problems with the dining room. I would also recommend MSC look to totally change the food available to their passengers. If you are aware of Gluten-free baking your probably away frozen GF buns or bread microwaved in the bag, taste like rubber. Someone should make systemic changes to their gluten free products! MSC should have cereal options, fresh baked deserts, buns, breads, muffins and pizzas available for gluten-free needs. And the buffet should have a corner with only those options.

This would help to make up for the dietary torture MSC inflicted upon multiple passengers from my cruise experience! Hire a staff member who is celiac and get them to test your stuff out! Rather than serving poor quality food prepared to taste terrible!

I hope this will encourage a change in the attitude of the dining area management. This is not a cross contamination! This is the wrong ingredient used and served as Gluten Free.

I’d appreciate a response from MSC, however after seeing how the ship management dealt with me my expectations are limited! I will post as many posts as possible to warn passengers to avoid MSC! It’s just not worth it!

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Cabin Review

Bella Inside Stateroom


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Went on a boat to Cay Calker and toured around both halves of the island.

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I was sick from the food in the dining room.

Caye Caulker

Boat to the islands and around the island. Also had a good lunch with no illness!

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Costa Maya

Sick from food in the dining room, didn’t even leave my room to get off the boat.

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