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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Continuous ship computer problems. Restaurant reservations repeatedly disappeared. Long wait times for bar service. We had the wine package, and at dinner, refills were tough to get. Long lines at the buffet. Items often ran out and were ... Read More
Continuous ship computer problems. Restaurant reservations repeatedly disappeared. Long wait times for bar service. We had the wine package, and at dinner, refills were tough to get. Long lines at the buffet. Items often ran out and were not replenished for many minutes. The principal training much of the staff has received is to repeat the mantra "I am so sorry. I do apologize for the problem." Staff is pleasant and friendly, but that only goes so far. Cabin has insufficient storage space. Bathroom had a heated floor, which was nice, but pitifully low water volume in the shower. Food was average, with the Chef's Table being a huge disappointment. We had back to back cruises, chosen for the itinerary. Too late, we discovered that the ship would leave port at 2pm from three stops, making it difficult to see much. We have taken over twenty cruises, on 9 lines. I realize that Viking is not aiming for the luxury market, but I cannot comprehend the rave reviews it has received from some travelers. First and last Viking cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been on 17 MSC cruises now and wouldn't consider any other cruise line. We tend to pick cruises based on dates rather than itinerary as we just go to relax. This time was a bit different for us as it was the first time ... Read More
We have been on 17 MSC cruises now and wouldn't consider any other cruise line. We tend to pick cruises based on dates rather than itinerary as we just go to relax. This time was a bit different for us as it was the first time we had been away for New Year, and the first time cruising in winter. This was also the first time being on such a large ship so we were a bit apprehensive especially with all the negative reviews, but as a seasoned MSC cruiser, I know to ignore most of the bad reviews on here as they are mostly unfounded. Our overall experience was very good and I would travel on the Meraviglia again if that ship was the only one available at my chosen dates, but if given the choice I would pick a smaller ship or try to get a much bigger cabin. We travelled with our 6 year old son, another couple with a 5 year old and a childless couple. We arrived at Genova by train and walked the short distance to the port arriving around 11.30. We all had Aurea cabins so had priority boarding and had no waiting around we got straight on, however even the other queue was not very long. I think later on in the day, queues can get to be quite long when the transfer buses arrive but if you get there early enough you won’t wait very long. Our cabins weren’t supposed to be ready until 14.00 but we went straight there to drop off our bags and they were ready. One negative point was to register the credit cards, the machines on the Meraviglia are slightly different to other ships and there was a bit of confusion as it was not clear which part was to pay in cash and which was for credit cards but we got there eventually. We all had Aurea balcony cabins, but we were very disappointed with these as they were tiny. It’s amazing how the biggest cabins we’ve had were actually on the smallest ships, I get the impression that they just try to squeeze in as many cabins as they can to make more money. The wardrobe was much too small for 3 people, although we did manage to squeeze all our clothes in there and stored our empty luggage under the bed as usual. The bathroom was small but well designed with a proper glass shower door and very powerful hot shower. Disappointing that we didn’t have a bath as we usually do with Aurea cabins. Some of the Aurea/black member perks were missing at first but as soon as housekeeping/reception were informed they appeared. So make sure you know what you should expect. The ship is very beautiful and plenty to do, so much that we didn’t get to do everything. The extras were quite expensive (bowling, 4d cinema etc) – even more expensive than on other MSC ships, but you can buy Fun Passes on board which are quite good value. Little tip, don’t expect to just turn up and do bowling, especially on the day at sea as there are only 2 lanes and you need to book in advance. We did it at 14.30 on the Marseille port day and were on our own. If you have small children ask the to put the gutter barriers up, I didn’t realise this was possible at first and it was only after a few loud tantrums from my 6 year old when he kept going in the gutter, that the staff member told us about this. It was a much more enjoyable game after that and my son ended up winning! I would also not recommend the flight simulator for young children, my son was tall enough to go on, but we didn’t realise that it actually went upside down and was very scary for him and even me as we were unable to control it, I laugh about it now as we were completely safe but wouldn’t take him on again until he was much older. The promenade was a great atmosphere for parties, but not well designed for parties due to the lack of bars. There is one bar at the far end then it is all shops, so we tended to go thirsty and dance rather than wait ages to get a drink. What is missing on this ship is little bars with music to have a drink and a dance, I think they could have created more of these rather than have so many specialty restaurants. The New Year’s party was amazing and best New Years Eve I have ever had. There was also the flower power party, white party, fluo party which were all amazing, great atmosphere and great music. This was a winter cruise so we didn’t use the outside pools at all (although some crazy people did) and only used the inside pool once. They seemed to be quite spacious but I can imagine how busy they would be on a sea day. We had a massage each included in our Aurea package, and I also had an eyebrow wax at the spa. The spa therapists are all very professional and the massages are excellent. They are quite expensive though, but I think you can get some good packages, I go on a cruise for family time though so didn’t look into this. It was quite hard to get an appointment for the wax as they only have one beautician that does this, but I suppose most people do their waxing before going on holiday. The theatre shows were quite disappointing, still high quality but not as varied as on the other ships we’ve been on. I think with them having the Cirque du Soleil, they don’t want to have any acrobatics in the ‘free’ theatre any more. It was mainly singing and dancing, which was quite boring for the children. There should have been a magic/puppet show on our first night but the magician missed the boat so this show was replaced by a classical concert. Cirque du Soleil was excellent but a little short, I would’ve been prepared to pay a little extra to see a longer show. We just got the show & cocktail tickets which I would highly recommend, when you already have dinner included in your cruise I don’t see the point in reserving a dinner with the show. The dinner started an hour before the show so you didn’t get to eat while you watched the show and the drinks only seats were much better – although the Carousel lounge is so small there are no ‘bad’ seats. Be aware that these shows can be cancelled in bad weather. Foodwise I am always amazed at how people can criticise the food on MSC as for us it is always amazing and one of the main reasons we like MSC cruises. I think there is something for everyone. I am a vegetarian and I never have to eat the same dish twice – unless I want to. The food is high quality, and if you think the portions are small in the restaurant, just order double! We rarely went to breakfast as we like to take it easy in the mornings on holiday. On the days that we did get up in time we just went to the buffet, there was plenty of choice, and we especially liked the made to order omelettes that you don’t usually get on MSC. We also went to the buffet most days for lunch as we find that there is more choice for everyone here at lunchtimes and more relaxed. The buffet can get very loud and crazy, but for the whole week we always found a table easily even when we were a group of 8. The trick is to have one person reserve a table while the others get their food, to avoid your food getting cold while you search for a table. It is also easier to find a table near the back end of the buffet. On the day at sea we preferred to go to the Panorama restaurant, although there is not as much choice here and not as well organised at lunchtimes as it is in the evenings. Dinner was in the Panorama restaurant. We had My Choice but it wasn’t as flexible as usual as we were a party of 8 so not as easy to get a table with the same waiter whenever we wanted. We ate at 19.15/19.30 every night apart from new year’s eve when we were able to get a table at 21.15. Our waiter Ashveen was excellent and we were very disappointed to hear that 2 days before the end of our cruise he had to return home due to personal problems, he was very professional and gave 120% to make sure that everything was perfect for us and we were able to have a laugh with him. One thing to note during winter cruises is the risk of bad weather. We were generally very lucky with the weather apart from the sea day. During the trip from Malta to Barcelona we encountered gale force 9 winds which made it very bumpy. A few of our party felt ill during the afternoon, and 2 had to leave the restaurant early in the evening. In all my 17 cruises I’ve never experienced seas that rough before, it was so bad during the night that it felt as though we were going to tip over. I always thought that the bigger the ship the less you felt the sea, but I’ve now realised that the bigger ships get knocked around more in high winds. A note on the photos, the MSC photographers are always excellent and the photos are always perfect but I always feel I am conned on these as they are always so expensive. On the other cruises we have managed to negotiate a price on board for all the photos usually €150-200, but this just means I have hundreds of photos hanging around at home that I never look at anymore. This time I decided to book in advance a 10 photo package (any size) for €80, still pretty expensive but limited photos. As soon as we got on the ship our friends were able to book packages for all photos – digital and small printed copies for €130. I wasn’t able to change my package but I was able to add all the digital photos for €60, so not as good a deal as my friends got but I much prefer to have the digital copies than the printed ones. I am also always surprised that people on here criticise the MSC staff, I find the staff to be highly professional and pleasant. I always get a smile and a hello out of anyone I pass in the corridors and always try to have a chat with staff I see regularly. Our group was a mix of 4 nationalities – English, Italian, French and Cuban with all of us speaking at least 2 different languages and none of us had any communication issues. All staff are required to speak English so I don’t understand how any English speaking passengers have communication issues. Passengers are a mix of all nationalities and personalities which I always find really interesting. If you want to be surrounded by English-speakers then please stay away from MSC and stick to the hundreds of English speaking cruises and leave the multinational cruises to us multinationals. We never choose our cruises for the destinations and do tend to repeat ports often. My main reasons for cruising are to relax and spend time with my family, this time especially as I was recovering from a foot operation and was not planning on doing too much walking. Civitavecchia – I had planned on going to see the nativity scenes at the nearby fort, but as the weather wasn’t great when we first got up we decided to stay on the boat instead. Palermo – we took a taxi tour with our friends €120 for 6 adults and 2 children. Saw most of the sights over 2 hours and had a wander round the food market. Malta – new years day so wanted to take it easy, took a horse and carriage ride around the city for €40 (or €50 can’t remember but was negotiated €10 cheaper than the ‘official’ price) 2 adults one child, then a wander around the shops near the port. Barcelona – a city I never tire of and so easy to get around on your own. We got the port cruise (blue) bus from right outside the terminal for €4 return each which leaves you near Plaza Colombo (as does the MSC shuttle which you have to pay €8/9). We then got the Metro from Drassanes to the Sagrada Famiglia (changing at Passeig Gracia) we got a 10 trip ticket for €10.20 as we were 8. Wandered round the outside of the Sagrada Famiglia, then got the metro back to Plaza Catalunya (changing again at Passeig Gracia), and walked back down the Ramblas stopping at the food market near the middle. Marseille – stayed on ship, had a lazy morning then took advantage of the quiet ship to do bowling and 4d cinema) Overall I’ve given the Meraviglia 5/5 as I feel that MSC needs a little boost and none of the negative points I’ve mentioned ruined my holiday in any way, I am already planning 2 cruises with MSC for 2019. I would recommend to anyone taking a cruise, no matter which company, to do your research on what to expect, to avoid disappointment. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship is beautiful Captain and senior staff should be fired! Ship was filthy I have never been on a cruise ship where they weren’t constantly spraying sanitizer on your hands. NOT ONE TIME did I see anyone spraying hands ... Read More
Ship is beautiful Captain and senior staff should be fired! Ship was filthy I have never been on a cruise ship where they weren’t constantly spraying sanitizer on your hands. NOT ONE TIME did I see anyone spraying hands with anything! People all over the buffet coughing etc. on 3rd day of this floating bacteria petry dish and already one of our group is sick with diarrhea and vomiting. Sitting here waiting on my turn.....Walls and doors filthy with smudges, etc. DISGUSTING. Put all that aside: 1. Premium ALL YOU CAN DRINK package does not include juice or drinks in Cirque show (or some other areas) 2. So many yummy places to eat on board! Problem is all cost extra! 3. Lovely chocolate bar - bring your euros because not included 4. Who doesn’t like Gelato? Better have money! Cruise over 3 times a year on average - no allegiance to any line. First time on MSC - NEVER AGAIN - Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Been on ncl Miami before so thought we would do this one as we live in Spain, so easy to drive to Barcelona, stayedovernight at Eurostar marina hotel not cheap but good as easy to walk to ramblas or stay round marina, car parked at the ... Read More
Been on ncl Miami before so thought we would do this one as we live in Spain, so easy to drive to Barcelona, stayedovernight at Eurostar marina hotel not cheap but good as easy to walk to ramblas or stay round marina, car parked at the world trade centre ,checkin was great so so seamless, once on board Staff there to point you to areas as rooms were not ready but did not expect that at 11-30 in the morning when I know the last people don’t leave untill 9am. Had a lovely lunch and a glass of very nice dry wine and a beer. The rooms were ready about 2 hrs after being on board and cases were there too!. Unpacked and then went for a wander. Big ship but once you get your bearings it’s easy to manoeuvre. Kids area back of ship. Gym and walking/running track on deck. Loads of bars and quiet areas even a board games room, all provided. The app for use on board is very good too. Small duty free, there is a jewellery shop, and duty free alcohol too...good itinerary throughout each day wether at sea or in port. Great evening shows too...don’t miss the last night!... The first port was Casablanca which we thought great Xmas day there, what a run down place. We were on a trip that was a 2 not a lot of hiking etc as hubby has poor Knees. Seem less exit from ship well organised. Once on told we were going to old quarter, got off and all we did was walk around looking at ‘doors’ no interest to me. Went to a olive market , very smelly as small, nit any good as cannot take foods etc back on ship. Saw few police with guns around about us too, which I did not find helpful. Then to a shop! For trinkets, nothing I wanted in there but if you like leather and other goods then I suppose that’s ok. We went for a coffee just over road, very nice chap and cheap too. Back on ship great, onwards then to canaries, been to canaries loads so no trips booked. Still miffed about the first trip. Next stop Madeira we booked the toboggan downhill. Great escape off ship again seamless. Great coach person with information etc. Trip upto the area for ride, first there, loads of men dressed in the local dress ready to take two at a time down hill,,,oh what fun! It was well worth a go on this if you go there there are others trips too. Bought some cork trainers reasonably priced as opposed to America too. Thought was great trip so went to excursion desk as still not happy about the Casablanca trip. Saw a female did not get name, she was from Belarus. Not attentive at all, said why had I left it that long to say! Why should the time make a difference, she was not very helpful at all, think if she could have she would have raised an eyebrow or two!. Left feeling nothing, and noted her laughing with her colleague as we went upstairs, so I knew she was referring to us as she looked!...needs More customer service, I’ve worked in it for years! On ship great seamless again, lots of hand washing which is good, day at sea round to Malaga, shame New Year’s Day as malaga closed, did not book trips as been here before ( as live not far from Malaga) but got off ship to do my steps, Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
First cruise with NCL, spoilt initially by our door keycard not working twice, which meant three trips down to customer services and long queues. This was very frustrating having been up since 4am and spent several hours travelling, to ... Read More
First cruise with NCL, spoilt initially by our door keycard not working twice, which meant three trips down to customer services and long queues. This was very frustrating having been up since 4am and spent several hours travelling, to not be able to access our cabin. A maintenance man had to be called to rectify the problem with the door lock. The cabin, booked for 3 adults, was only set up for 2. Having paid over £2k each, this was unacceptable and we had to find a room steward to get this sorted out. The tiles in the toilet needed a good scrub. The cabin was not soundproof. We could hear every word of every conversation on both sides, including arguments and threats of divorce, plus BBC news at 6am most mornings! Once the sofa bed was made up for person 3, you could not get to the dressing table or the balcony doors. Cramped was an understatement. The toilet did not flush for the first 4 consecutive mornings. One of two hooks was hanging out of the wall. I pointed this out and it was rectified, but this sort of thing should be checked in the first place. Christmas Eve show in the theatre was amateurish and embarrassing to watch. No traditional Christmas day meal option. The Christmas lights around the atrium had bulbs missing/not working and so looked shoddy, Parts of the ship are tired. Drinks are very expensive, plus tax and gratuities but the biggest issue was the inconsistency of quality. Several cocktails tasted like cordial with little or no alcohol and with less than full measures. We had to send our Mojitos back twice on one occasion. We didnt take the drinks package as at nearly £3000 for 3 of us, we wouldnt have drunk that much alcohol. We wouldnt have minded paying if we received a quality product, but we didnt and felt like we were being very ripped off. We did complain to the management. Everything on board is pricey so beware. You are forbidden to bring even a bottle of water onboard, so be prepared to pay $5 if you want one. Failing that, get it from the buffet restaurant. The gift shop was selling chocolate that had turned white. This was the case on several ranges. On complaining, the assistant just said “it comes from Miami”...and? The main buffet restaurant gets very busy and becomes a bit of a bunfight and it can be very hard to find a table. Food was OK for lunch and we only used it for breakfast once, preferring rhe main Windows dining room with waiter service. Here we found both the food and service very food. The entertainment in the theatre was pretty good most nights too and it was nice to have a quiet and comfortable space in the library and a dedicated board game room if you wanted it. The Galaxy bar at the front of the ship was a nice place for evening drinks with a good forward facing view from the front windows and live band music which were good also. The casino, which we only walked through was tacky, full of fruit machines and stunk of smoke. Dress code is very casual. We were surprised to see some wearing sloppy T-shirts, shorts and flip-flops in the dining room in the evening. We visited the Bistro French speciality dining where we found the food and service to be of excellent quality. Shogun, the asian complimentary dining, we found the food to be bland and lukewarm as did other diners. Would I use NCL again? Probably not, based on my experience on this particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - especially the Canary Islands. We tried to do our due diligence and thought it seemed fine, but we had disappointments. 1) Our balcony room was so teensy that we climbed over each other ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary - especially the Canary Islands. We tried to do our due diligence and thought it seemed fine, but we had disappointments. 1) Our balcony room was so teensy that we climbed over each other and beds trying to move about the cabin the whole time. There was nothing for us to upgrade to. 2) The bathroom was waaaaay too small. 3) The TV was so small with such limited viewing. The political content was not good. 4) There was no daily newspaper printed out on the ship like on other cruise lines. 5) The food was medium. 6) The aft of the ship contatined a pirate themed pool for kids. It was not a pleasure to look at and was very noisy. 7) A new tube of lipstick I'd just bought disappeared. On the positive side: 1) The staff was delightful. 2) RJ up in the Galaxy was a major highlight. 3) We enjoyed the shore excursions. 4) The The shore excursion people were very professional. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
The Norwegian Spirit has seen its better days, and it appears that Norwegian has downgraded services considerably. The ship, our stateroom, and service staff were not up to par on an 11-day cruise from Barcelona to the Canaries. On ... Read More
The Norwegian Spirit has seen its better days, and it appears that Norwegian has downgraded services considerably. The ship, our stateroom, and service staff were not up to par on an 11-day cruise from Barcelona to the Canaries. On arrival in our stateroom, the coffeemaker was broken as was the TV remote; the shower door did not close; there was a black ring around the toilet bowl; and the screws attaching the balcony banister were rusted, a potential safety hazard. When we reported for the obligatory evacuation drill, the attendants did not have our names on the passenger list – another safety matter, since if the ship were really in trouble, staff would not have known that we were onboard. The inter-ship phones to call room-to-room were not working for the entire trip. The staff gave our shore excursion tickets and premium platinum arrival package to another room. When we asked for re-delivery of the tickets, the shore excursion clerk curtly told us to wait until he had the time to get the tickets from the wrong room. We did not get the tickets until our three additional trips to the excursion desk. We never did get the bottled water that was supposed to be in the platinum package. We never saw the Cruise Director walking around or greeting people on the ship. The Latitudes cocktail hour was cut back; there used to be a nice party for platinum members. No more – just one cocktail hour for all Latitudes members with cheese and crackers. The food in LeBistro was wonderful, but Cagney’s was so-so. The breakfast buffet used to have lox and bagels and eggs benedict – no more. On one day, we were shooed out of the Raffles cafeteria by a maître d’ who ordered us to leave because he was going to set up the room for something else. He then blocked the door so we could not leave. Someone else’s laundry was delivered to our stateroom. Luckily for them, we figured out whose laundry it was. There were only a few movies on the entire 11-day trip – we saw Mamma Mia in four different languages. And finally, the ship staff never delivered our final bill, and we are still trying to get an itemized statement from NCL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We went on cruise to celebrate Christmas and new year . We we very disappointed with the overall experience. Christmas lunch /dinner was very disappointing nothing very special or traditional in the food provided .Turkey really lacked all ... Read More
We went on cruise to celebrate Christmas and new year . We we very disappointed with the overall experience. Christmas lunch /dinner was very disappointing nothing very special or traditional in the food provided .Turkey really lacked all the trimmings. As for the new year you have two main areas to see the new year in .We choose the atrium to see the balloons come down .What a farce the event was 15mins before you had staff trying the hang up a sheet up next to the pianist to show the clock for the countdown. Just before midnight the compare came down the steps to do the countdown . His mike did not seem to work so he disappeared leaving the group who we singing to carry on . The audience then did the countdown and through all that the group kept singing what ever song they had started. The new year came in instead of the group singing Auld Lang syne they went straight into there next song. Complete let-down The entertainment was very very poor the main acts in the theatre were nothing special . One act was promoted as being a contestant in a similar competition to the talent shows we see on British TV, in her country. The relevant fact she was a contestant and did not seem to get thought to the final places and having seen the act I can understand why but it did seem to sum up the standard of the shows We had a drinks package but you could not have just a coffee in the bar / lounge areas. You could have coffee with your meal or if you went to the 24hour dining area. Yet I could have a Irish coffee Bizarre system . Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
for Christmas and New Year get away ships staff in the main excellent 1 exception was a member on the shore excursions desk who poo pooed a client who complained about the cost of the quite rubbish shuttle bus service charged at 19 dollars ... Read More
for Christmas and New Year get away ships staff in the main excellent 1 exception was a member on the shore excursions desk who poo pooed a client who complained about the cost of the quite rubbish shuttle bus service charged at 19 dollars per head which we got back after complaining about it and the drop off pick point in Casablanca. The food and service was very good in the MDR the Shogun was dissapointing due to short menu. The ship was kept clean and tidy in the main but the continuos 'washy washy' was tiresome especially as when you now touched the handrails in the Raffles area were filthy and sticky thus negating the effect of 'washy washy' . The only comment on the food was it ALWAYS came smothered in 'sauce'. which if you like good 'Plain' food is a no-no. but we merely asked for NO SAUCE. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise as a short break over Christmas mainly as it was a 5 nighter out of Marseille that suited our dates. Having travelled mostly with celebrity, Rci and princess we were not sure what to expect WE WERE VERY ... Read More
We booked this cruise as a short break over Christmas mainly as it was a 5 nighter out of Marseille that suited our dates. Having travelled mostly with celebrity, Rci and princess we were not sure what to expect WE WERE VERY IMPRESSED Embarkation in Marseilles v swift Luggage arrived quickly. Cabins (Bella class balcony) beautifully decorated- nice balcony with wicker effect furniture. Good air con that didn’t dry your throat out.(no tea coffee but chargeable mini bar) hairdryer good, free safe deposit box in room In shower shampoo and body was dispenser. Very clean and good size bathroom Ship was beautifully decorated all over for Christmas. Even a gingerbread house the size of a garden she’d made of real gingerbread in the atrium- the smell was beautiful. Constant live music in atrium - loads of space to sit.many large lounges- the amethyst lounge was beautiful purple and silver. Theatre was beautiful with some excellent shows. Christmas Eve had a special kids afternoon show with Santa giving out presents. There was lots of atmosphere all over the ship-carol singing with the passengers, crew choir, waiters doing dancing at end of the meal. I had soft drinks package which includes non alcoholic cocktails as well as hot chocolate- lovely to be served English breakfast tea in pot in the atrium listening to opera Christmas Eve there was a surprise midnight buffet- It was incredible the work that had gone into the artistic creations- - th esugar work, ice sculpture, chocolate work , bread in shape of Christmas characters, most appetising plattters of smoked salmon, mousses, cheeses, desserts, Christmas themed cakes, fruit cultures, - massive congratulations to all the chefs . Staff helpful and friendly Smooth disembarkation Trhorougly recommend this ship Read Less

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