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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this cruise on 2 aspects, ports of call and being a new ship. We purchased the Aurea package with the focus on my time dining and drink package. We boarded in Naples, what chaos! As they began boarding the Select room ... Read More
We booked this cruise on 2 aspects, ports of call and being a new ship. We purchased the Aurea package with the focus on my time dining and drink package. We boarded in Naples, what chaos! As they began boarding the Select room packages, the crowd erupted, people fighting and yelling. MSC, did not handle this with any professionalism or organization. Generally ship is a cross in design of RCL/Celebrity ships. However, space to passenger ratio makes common areas and buffet area very busy and congested. Pools always congested and many passengers hogged beds. No clear policy on timelines of unoccupied beds. NOTE, is you have mobilty issues, no doors have automated openers. In common areas especially on open decks, you will need help. In regards to food, it was lacking of options in buffet and MDR menu options could have been better. The food that was offered was good and tasty. Drink options were satisfactory for beverage package. Lots of cocktails included. However dining and bar areas we lacking staff. Dinner sometimes took 2 to 3 hours. Room service was at a surcharge and breakfast was continental options only. Shows where not what I expected. Subpar. We did do Cirque show, that was great. Port debarkation and embarkation was good. Shore Excursion desk was helpful. Be aware some excurtions have long transfer times. In summary, MSC needs to reevaluate staffing and food options to be comparable to RCL or Celebrity etc. Until then, my recommendation is to look at other cruise options unless you are choosing this cruise on the basis of cost, then you must evaluate it on that basis and ignore some of the misses. Read Less
46 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I would avoid this ship. It is not large or well-staffed enough to handle its own crowd of customers. The Mediterranean port cities are excellent, on the other hand! I was on the Meraviglia during its second week of cruising, embarked ... Read More
I would avoid this ship. It is not large or well-staffed enough to handle its own crowd of customers. The Mediterranean port cities are excellent, on the other hand! I was on the Meraviglia during its second week of cruising, embarked from Naples for a seven day cruise with extended family. My family of four (two kids, 5 and 2) were in our veranda room with us, in the Aurea class on deck 14. Overall, I was disappointed with the ship. I knew it would be crowded (ship was close to, if not fully, sold out), but it was surprisingly ungracious. Sections of the ship were frequently closed off, forcing the considerable masses into uncomfortable places. Decks would be chained off completely or exclusive for certain cabin classes, dining rooms or whole sections of the buffet would be closed for unexplained reasons despite dense and unworkable crowds, odd rules would apply to different drink stations/bars about whether water (or coffee, or soda) could be served at different times of day. For my young kids, food quality is a non-issue; we just want them reasonably well-fed until we can visit each port. That said, the food was bland. More important for us, the dining room did not open until 6:45 and the buffet did not open until 7pm. There was absolutely no food (except at up charge restaurants) between 4:30-6:45pm, which overlaps with the kids' dinner time. We adjusted by keeping a stock of pirated rolls and fruits in the room from breakfast, to be available once we returned to the ship. This felt unnecessary and absurd. With the Aurea class, we had access to the lovely space on deck 19. This was the savior for our family when we were on the ship. There is a pleasant, lukewarm hot tub that overlooks the massive and insanely crowded pool deck. Great mix of shade and sun, never crowded and its own drinks service. Excursions: we only did one excursion through MSC to Mt Etna and Taormina, which was a big hit with the kids. BUT. I booked it before we left on MSC's website and they had no record of it. I had to rebook on the ship. I would blame myself - maybe I never hit the final submit button? - except that the same thing happened to another family in our group, all of us pretty darn internet savvy. Lots of things didn't work. I downloaded the MSC app to get mobile boarding passes, and spent some time inputting all of our info the week before we left... it did not work at embarkation. I had to add my credit card twice to the cruise account during the cruise, because for some reason we kept getting notices that we did not have a credit card attached to the cabin. (Internet access: we bought the premium internet package for 70euro, and paid an additional 30euro to add. ALL we did was check email once a day, with all background apps set to NOT REFRESH at all, and the plan was insufficient. You are better off using an international cellular option and waiting for the ports.) Our cabin (and the cabins of our extended family) was average, which is surprising for a new ship. Poor storage and dark (and I am adjusting for the fact that we had four people in the cabin). Beds, bunk beds were excellent, and the bathroom was clean and spacious. On deck 14 we were just under the overhanging roof from the pool deck on deck 15. We could hear everything, including the 23:30 DJ dance party and the 05:00 Sunrise DJ party. It always sounded like a herd of elephants was pounding on the roof. Avoid. Staff/crew seemed excellent and they worked very hard. Leaving the cruise for the ports was generally very smooth and easy. Minor annoyance - no laundry facilities on the ship, unless we used the very expensive service. We traveled light, banking on laundry, and ended up doing a lot of sink washes. We loved the ports, we loved the mix of cities, and for our multi-generational family, the cruise just made sense. This ship, however, was an unfortunate choice, and I would avoid booking Meraviglia or MSC again. That said, if you are getting a good value (we did not), and you don't really care about the ship, GO GO GO. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Just returned from a Mediterranean cruise with MSC. The embarkation process in Naples was an absolute shambles with no one really knowing or caring what goes on. The staff when approached just shrugged their shoulders and hoped you go ... Read More
Just returned from a Mediterranean cruise with MSC. The embarkation process in Naples was an absolute shambles with no one really knowing or caring what goes on. The staff when approached just shrugged their shoulders and hoped you go away. Their idea of a waiting lounge before boarding is a farce. You arrive in a sterile area with hard upright (café style) chairs which is not conducive to a relaxing start to the cruise. On board, the ship (and presumably the company) cater predominantly for families and their children. The ship was overrun with undisciplined children, pushchairs and parents who seem to think everything was for their benefit. If like us you want to go as a twosome then my advice is don't. You will not enjoy the constant noise and the daily fight to reach the buffet bars. The one with the biggest elbows gets to the front. Pushchairs became a daily trip hazard. Complaints to the on board staff were met with the usual shrug of the shoulders and since returning home I have experienced the same negative attitude with MSC Customer services. In a nutshell avoid at all costs if you looking for a relaxing and enjoyable cruise. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We had previously cruised with Royal Caribbean for a 10-day trip of the Greek islands and mainland 5 years ago. While the MSC Poesia ship itself was comparable in design, size and amenities, the major disappointment was the quality and ... Read More
We had previously cruised with Royal Caribbean for a 10-day trip of the Greek islands and mainland 5 years ago. While the MSC Poesia ship itself was comparable in design, size and amenities, the major disappointment was the quality and quantity of food and restaurants. The portion sizes were too small (and I am a trained chef) and the overall quality and composition of each dish was far from the standard set by Royal Caribbean. We were also very turned off by the way every meal (unless dining in the buffet) we were forced to purchase a bottle of water. While I understand that this is more of a normal practice in Europe, it made every dining experience feel like we were being charged at every turn. Why can't you provide standard "tap" water with your sit down meals? We also were disappointed in the wine package we purchased, the "classic". I felt very constricted in what I could order because there was only one ticket for each type of wine. What if the menu paired better with a Chianti but we had used that ticket already? Our waiter did allow us to substitute one bottle but that was all. We were also confused (though I did read the fine print in advance of purchasing the package) as to why we were only allowed to order the wine at dinner and only in our sit down restaurant and were not allowed to take it to/order it in our room or other dining outlets on board. We paid for it so why the very tight restrictions? Again this was not very "customer first". Finally, many of the items served on the buffet and sit down restaurants were cheap filler items when compared to the selections on the competition. Regarding the staff and services on board, I will say that overall our crew was nice and did make an effort to be happy though a few members clearly were not happy employees and a few even commented openly about working too long (past their contract date) or that they just wanted off the ship. We had one of our pre-booked and prepaid side excursions canceled the night before stating that there was not enough interest to continue the trip. We ended up exploring on our own that day while in port but again this was frustrating as we had expectations and then were disappointed. Don't offer excursions (or too many) that would need to be canceled last minute if you don't get the interest because those who were interested or had pre-booked then feel very "left out". We also felt robbed when we got off the boat and found the MSC tent in front of the boat offering a bus ride to take us to the "City Center" when in actuality only took us off the pier and dropped us off in front of the main office for the pier. It was less than a mile and cost us 18 Euro total for the tow of us to get a ride to nowhere. I will tell you that other customers that we encountered on the cruise, weather at the dinner table or bars were equally disappointed and some even used foul language to describe the feeling of the experience. These customers were from Europe, Australia, Dubai and New Zealand so I felt that while MSC is a European based cruise line, it failed to even meet European standards of quality. The times in port were too short and felt very rushed. I understand there are logistics of when boats compete for dock space when in port however this needed more thought. We made a stop (if you can call it that) in Palma and were in port from 10pm until 4am the next morning. What kind of a stop is that? The only option during those hours are the bars and clubs (or getting mugged in the streets late at night). No shopping or sightseeing which we would have enjoyed when in a new port. Some stops didn't get into port until late in the afternoon and then disembarked in the evening. This also meant we needed to miss our dinner on board to try and explore the city. Not an ideal choice to have to choose between seeing the city you came for and spending more money to buy dinner abroad or miss the port and stay for the dinner you already paid for. Finally, there was the confusion of embarkation and the safety briefing. As another customer we encountered called it "the floating bus", it was very disorienting to have people getting on and off at every port as the ship makes a continuous loop of the Mediterranean Sea. This meant that the safety drill and announcements happen every day, and was confusing to us as on our previous cruises every passenger embarked on the same day and we all did the safety drill together. It also was frustrating to see everyone around the pool when we got on and we didn't have our luggage yet (though we were the first to check our baggage on embarkation day) and thought to ourselves, how did all these people get their bags already if we were the first in the line this morning to check in. I am sorry to say but overall not a good cruising experience when compared to the competition. Read Less
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