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940 MSC Cruises Romantic Cruise Reviews

We booked this cruise on black friday.Very good price.This ship is beautiful and very clean.The cabins are also quite large and comfortable. THATS THE GOOD.Now the food is very bad.All food was cold.Cold food was warm we were scared we ... Read More
We booked this cruise on black friday.Very good price.This ship is beautiful and very clean.The cabins are also quite large and comfortable. THATS THE GOOD.Now the food is very bad.All food was cold.Cold food was warm we were scared we would become ill.We ate pizza for three days.The service desk is a no go.Most staff have very limited English. We were charged for drinks on Ocean cay even though we had a drink package.We stood in line one hour to get this taken care of.Many people with the same problem. STAY AWAY dont fall for the great price and beautiful pictures.The entertainment was also lacking.We never saw or heard cruise director.Alot of the music is in Spanish we were very board most days.This is not a fun cruise this is a laid back most people sleeping after 10 kind of cruise.Like I said save your money dont go on this cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this 3 day sailing as an introduction to the Yacht Club. We were markedly impressed with the service. The room was great and the food in the Le Muse restaurant was great. The servers remembered our drink preferences which was ... Read More
We chose this 3 day sailing as an introduction to the Yacht Club. We were markedly impressed with the service. The room was great and the food in the Le Muse restaurant was great. The servers remembered our drink preferences which was awesome. Our Butler and Assistant Butler were awesome. We will definitely be back to the Yacht Club. Areas that MSC could improve on would be some of the entertainment selections. I know that on newer ships the Yacht Club Restaurant and Top Sail Lounge are in the same place but on MSC Divina we found it to be a bit awkward to have to traverse the entire length of the ship to get to the restaurant. We attended the Cruise Critic Meet and Mingle and will do it on every sailing we ever go on. The upselling was slightly annoying as well but they weren't pushy. The Yacht Club area on Ocean Cay was serene and the food delicious. I understand that they are still working on the island so I won't fault them for the port-a-potty trailer as I know they are working on actual restrooms. All-in-all it was a great experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
MSC Divina was more than perfect! After reading reviews, I was hesitant, expecting a bad time and rude employees, as most of the reviews say. Embarking- NO long lines and NO trouble! We expecting to be waiting all day in lines and what ... Read More
MSC Divina was more than perfect! After reading reviews, I was hesitant, expecting a bad time and rude employees, as most of the reviews say. Embarking- NO long lines and NO trouble! We expecting to be waiting all day in lines and what not, but we arrived at our terminal at 11am for check in and was on the boat eating lunch by 11:30! We weren’t expecting to board until 2 or 3pm, I think that’s where most people go wrong. Get there early! Avoid lines! For starters, the buffet was AMAZING! This was actually my favorite part of the cruise overall, as my boyfriend and I are foodies. They have almost anything you can think of. Whether it’s soup, salad, chicken, pasta, beef, eggs, Italian, American, they had it all. There were people at every food station with hand sanitizers. The room was clean. We overall loved the cruise and would love to come back. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The gelato was great! We got it many times. Ocean Cay was stunning and getting on/off the ship was easy and quick. 3 nights wasn’t long enough! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
• We got the impression that the ship was over capacity, as it was almost impossible to get to the food stations or even get a table at the buffets at mealtimes, due to the sheer quantity of guests. • The embarkation and ... Read More
• We got the impression that the ship was over capacity, as it was almost impossible to get to the food stations or even get a table at the buffets at mealtimes, due to the sheer quantity of guests. • The embarkation and disembarkation processes were tedious and frustrating due to the number of people that had to be checked in and the added admin overhead of filling in health questionnaires because of the Corona virus. • Once onboard the ship after embarkation, there was a distinct lack of direction or guidance in terms of where to go while waiting for rooms to be readied and when the announcement came that the rooms where ready, it was difficult to find exactly where these rooms where. • The lock to our cabin was problematic and we reported it multiple times, but it wasn’t fixed. • We had to ask for toilet paper for our cabin numerous times, at the time that we arrived we had one roll which had been almost used up. It was only late that night that we were given additional toilet paper. • Our visit to Pomene unfortunately had to be cancelled due to low tide conditions and it was deemed unsafe by the Captain to ferry guests between the ship and the island. While we appreciate that this was outside the control of MSC, there was an announcement which claimed that alternative entertainment would be provided to guests. This never happened. It might have been a nice gesture, if MSC had provided guests with a couple of free drinks, perhaps free room service, or delivered on the promise of alternative entertainment, to make up for that cancellation. At least we did get refunded for our land excursions. • Noisy neighbours were a problem quite often – on the first day, shortly after arriving at our cabin, I had to ask a neighbour to turn down his loud music. We also had to deal with rowdy guests at ungodly hours in the morning, as they returned to their cabins – perhaps a more visible security presence would have discouraged people from contravening these rules. • At disembarkation, although our bags were labelled and tagged as instructed and placed in the corridor the previous night, one of our bags were temporarily lost as it was left outside building for some unknown reason. We missed the first shuttle to the airport because of this. Though there are many negative points, there are some positives too : • I thoroughly enjoyed the lounges, the bars, and the restaurants. The staff in these areas were a delight and the service in these sections of the ship was great. • The theatre shows were a highlight and very enjoyable. • The ship itself is quite beautiful and classy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We were on the last cruise prior to the coronavirus hiatus. Ports - San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, Nassau, Ocean Cay Pro - got a balcony for the price of an ocean view on another cruise line. Loved San Juan, although we only had an hour ... Read More
We were on the last cruise prior to the coronavirus hiatus. Ports - San Juan, Charlotte Amalie, Nassau, Ocean Cay Pro - got a balcony for the price of an ocean view on another cruise line. Loved San Juan, although we only had an hour of daylight there. The water slides were fun. Cabin steward was extremely interested in ensuring we had a positive experience. The Michael Jackson show was really impressive. The lead performer was just outstanding as was the Cuban dancing couple. The cruise director was understated, but demonstrated incredible talent communicating with passengers in many different languages. Drinks are reasonably priced for a cruise, I guess. Ocean Cay and the lighthouse show were awesome. The gym is nice. Cons - the food is below average in the buffet and main dining rooms. I found the main dining room to be VERY slow and I can't stand the forced dining situation with 6 other people we don't know and, to be blunt, don't want to force conversation with for the next six nights. There are two buffets, but one is closed more than it's open. My cabin was as loud as I've ever experienced. The first five nights were shockingly loud with cracking and creaking. As some others have noted, the service is not what you'd expect from other lines. It's true there are significant cultural norms on the ship and not in the good kinda way. There wasn't that sense of community/bonding with the passengers the way I'm used to. Aside from the Michael Jackson show, I thought the stage show entertainment was "economical." They weren't bad, but lacked dynamism and were unmemorable. I would have liked to see better comedians and live music. Would I take MSC again? Not likely. It wasn't the worst vacation ever, but probably the second least enjoyable of those I've taken with Costa being the worst (MSC, Carnival, RC x2, Disney, Princess, Costa). Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
Being a long time cruiser, and a gold msc Voyager club member, I know the exceptional service. But on this last cruise it was the most disappointing experience iv ever had. From the staff to the management, service just deteriorated ... Read More
Being a long time cruiser, and a gold msc Voyager club member, I know the exceptional service. But on this last cruise it was the most disappointing experience iv ever had. From the staff to the management, service just deteriorated terribly. It was as we got the ticket for free and it was a burden to them to provide any customcare. And as for the msc voyage club membership, almost all benefits has to be asked for and even then I didn't get most of them. Theres always some excuse that comes up. Cabin was ok but the cleanliness was sadly not a priority the the staff. We had to do most of the cleaning ourselves. To add the cherry on top, the disembarkation was a nightmare to say the least. Everything was chaos. And yes our luggage was damaged again. The miss handling on the bags are a huge problem, as Iv had a 3 bags damaged beyond use , only to not find no staff who could help. The staff in the front said the only do embarkation. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
The cruise was great and exciting ... great activities. I loved the restaurants. I have been on 3 cruises with MSC I think they should improve the menus of the restaurants.... same food for all 3. And they must change deck 13 menu and add ... Read More
The cruise was great and exciting ... great activities. I loved the restaurants. I have been on 3 cruises with MSC I think they should improve the menus of the restaurants.... same food for all 3. And they must change deck 13 menu and add more meat food ie ribs and other meats etc. The crew members are great and helpful. They r so bad working. Please open the gym from 5, 6am is too late. When I went on my first cruise MSC musica there offered us a bottle of water. Overall great experience. The disembarkation process was not great. Long lines to get to emigration. I loved the entertainment team and Eric the cruise director. The price of the photos are expensive. The cabin was also clean and neat. They need to add more seating areas at the pool area to ensure that it’s enough for everyone at the cruise Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We are highly disappointed and feel cheated out of our money. I feel like MSC should’ve canceled the cruise due to coronavirus outbreak as we didn’t visit any ports outside of UAE. I refuse to believe that MSC did not know this ahead ... Read More
We are highly disappointed and feel cheated out of our money. I feel like MSC should’ve canceled the cruise due to coronavirus outbreak as we didn’t visit any ports outside of UAE. I refuse to believe that MSC did not know this ahead of time. We stayed at sea most of time and basically cruised from Abu Dhabi to Dubai. We disembarked early in Dubai as we simply could not take being on the ship anymore due to poor service, horrible food, nickel and diming for everything, nd lack of activities. We truly feel we should receive a discount/partial refund due to not being able to visit any of the ports. We’ve traveled on several of the main stream cruise lines internationally and this is by far the worst experience ever that makes me say I may not ever cruise again. The staff on board was rude, told lies, and not empowered to make any concessions on the ship to help guests. When we asked what was required to disembark early, they tried to have us sign a full release and we refused. Then tried to bully us into signing or that we couldn’t get off the ship. The staff was very arrogant and ignorant and I basically told them that they aren’t legal experts to interpret a document for me when I am versed and deal with legal contracts all the time. Excursions are overpriced on the ship. You can get them cheaper elsewhere. MSC will cancel on you for any reason but if you want to cancel the staff will say they cancelled it but did not then when you check back in, they lie and say you didn’t cancel and now you are within the 48 hour window and cannot cancel. This after we said we would disembark early and we were told all of our activities have been cancelled since we will depart the ship. The only accolades I can give is for the condition of the cruise ship, the gym, the Butcher’s Cut steakhouse, and a few key staff like Rupawantara - waiter, Kumar – waiter, John – Karoke and entertainment, Alexander Lobo – host, who helped make things ok wh Drink package – if You don’t buy some package you don’ have any beverage that is free except in the buffet require purchase. We bought a drink package but still was limited. It is limited to 10 Euro. The package can’t be used at many of the stores/cafes on the ship – ex chocolate store/ café, champagne bar doesn’t have anything under 18 a glass. They charged our friends for tap water which is free on other ships. The drink card can’t be used in the Cirque du Soleil theatre. You have to buy your drinks there. Speciality drinks are also not covered even if below 10 euro a drink. The drink card can’t be used in the theatre. You have to buy your drinks there. Drinks are watered down so we ordered straight liquor to get our money’s worth. Dining – The buffet/marketplace is absolutely horrible. Food is not available all day. The food was very bland and not at all international standards. Even the pizza, hamburgers were sub-par. Fries were the best thing on the ship if not inside the specialty restaurants. The main dining each night was hit or miss. The surroundings were elegant and nice and the menus change every day, but the food was often less than delightful as well. We often had to try more than one dish and then just give up and go get fries from the buffet. We were literally hungry the entire cruise and everyone we met made a similar comment. Service on the ship is bad. You get a different explanation or different information from each person. I even asked to speak with a manager several Times. One time I got a lady named Ana S. She totally lied to me and said we did not have a conversation. The crew will cut in front of the passengers as if we aren’t there. Customer service was non existent. On other cruises, on exiting for an excursion, someone would be on the jetty providing directions to where you needed to go, offering you water or just being available in case you needed to ask a question. None of that existed for MSC. Entertainment: The entertainment was a joke. There was one good band with a female lead other than that nothing that catered to different tastes and interests. In one bar singers had to read from sheets on music stands. The band in the karoke bar missed more notes than children. The theatre shows were hit or miss. Cirque was really good but the dinner and drinks that went with it were laughable and misleading and again not part of the beverage package. If you got the show and drinks only, it was some pre made watered down beverages. So I pay for drinks and can’t even select the drink I want? Everything on board costs extra money. There’s nothing all inclusive about this ship. The ship is new and stunning, but the service and food are absolutely horrible. This is the first time we took a cruise and got off (disembarked) early. I wish I had known the problems with MSC and the food and service. We are truly due some level of pro-rated refund or something. Also there was no facial tissue in the cabins and hardly enough toilet tissue. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after ... Read More
My wife and I cruised on the MSC Seaside from Feb. 29th to Mar. 7th. This was my second cruise (went on Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas about 14 years ago) and my wife’s first. We usually go to Cuba in April for a week but after seeing the deal offered by Sunwing Vacations we decided we could not pass up this cruise. We lucked out on direct flight from Toronto to Miami, inside cabin and Easy Drink Package for $895 Canadian Dollars per person including all taxes and transfers to and from the cruise ship. Yes $895!!! Assume this was the Covid-19 special. Boarding – The process was quite smooth. I think we were on board in under 30 minutes. Ship – The Seaside is a very large ship although is smaller than the biggest Royal Caribbean has to offer. We saw the Symphony of the Seas in Cozumel and it was absolutely huge. The Seaside in my opinion was very beautiful inside and out. The atrium was very impressive and always had a great vibe in the evening. The bars, lounges, shopping areas and main restaurants were all very nice. The pool areas were great. The decks could get crowded but that is the norm on most cruise ships. Everything was spotless. Cabin – We had an interior cabin on the 14th deck which was a great location just two decks below the main pool and buffet. The cabin was small as expected but worked fine for the two of us. There could have been more storage but what they had worked for us. The bathroom was compact (like most other cruise lines) but functional. Everything was spotless. Food – Food overall was good. There was a good variety at the buffet and we always found something we liked. I loved the French toast and cinnamon rolls for breakfast. The burgers and pizza at lunch were very good. The main restaurant was also good for the most part. I have read may other reviews and some have used the term “awful” to describe the food. That is just not the case. The food on the Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas was better in both quality and variety. One thing that I felt was missing was a place to be able to go to anytime of the day to grab a quick bite to eat. The only option was the buffet. Other cruise lines have pubs/cafes where you can go anytime to grab a snack. Drinks – The Easy Package was included in our fare. It was pretty basic but it served our needs quite fine. We were able to get Miller Lite which was fine (although as a beer drinker it would have been nice to have a few more options), sparkling wine and Chardonnay which were both good. We are not red wine drinkers so did not try it. The package also had standard mixed drinks like rum and coke, rye and ginger ale, etc. We could not get any of the specialty drinks although we did get virgin Pina Coladas and Daiquiris and had them add a shot or rum. That could be done as part of our package. For us it was not worth spending an extra $250-$300 each to upgrade to the Premium package. Also the drinks are unlimited and you can order two at a time. Entertainment – The entertainment team were great. They worked tirelessly to keep everyone entertained during the day and in the evenings. The shows in the theatre were excellent. After seeing several Michael Jackson tributes over the years the Seaside one was hands down the best. The dancer who played MJ was amazing. Both the costumes and scenery in the shows were very well done. There was a good variety of singing, dancing and acrobatics in the shows. The pool activities were fun and I actually placed 2nd in the belly flop competition. If you were on the cruise I was the guy who belly flopped with the pants, dress shirt and tie. I would have won if not for the rather large gentlemen who was in the competition. Service – We had good service the entire cruise. Some people get frustrated about waiting five minutes for a drink. I am in vacation so five minutes is not a big deal to me. We never waited longer than five minutes for a drink anywhere. We would not hesitate to go on a MSC Cruise again. Hopefully we can get a deal like we got again but I doubt that will happen. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
SIMPLY THE BEST! Of 250 + past cruises on six different major cruise lines, The Yatch Club was the BEST of LUXURY experiences of ALL past cruises! We have been blessed to be in wonderful suites on other ships and even SEASIDE, but ... Read More
SIMPLY THE BEST! Of 250 + past cruises on six different major cruise lines, The Yatch Club was the BEST of LUXURY experiences of ALL past cruises! We have been blessed to be in wonderful suites on other ships and even SEASIDE, but nothing compares to the EXCELLENCE in SERVICE from every single person on staff in the YATCH CLUB! The ATTITUDE of every MSC emplyee to us and to ALL Yatch Club guests was the BEST of 250+ cruises!!! Beyond belief was one of the Butler's personally escorting me off the ship all the way to the Ferry for my Cozemel Shore Excursion!!! By far the nicest Shore Excursion Experiences ever since cruising since 1983! Our Butler even got my husband a wheel chair to use during our cruise due to his past heart surgery and related ongoing issues that came up upon boarding! All helped wheel him around everywhere at their insistance, including to the SHOWS! In addition, the LOCATION of SEASIDE's Yatch Club Private Lounge and Private Dinning room was PERFECTION at the TOP front of the ship providing 180° PANORAMIC VIEWS at all times! Dinning was such a wonderful experience that we only wanted to be in Yatch Club! We only dined in one Speciality Restaurant the entire cruise. The lovely live evening entertainment in the Yatch Club Lounge was also enjoyed from our table as we dined! I could go on and on, but to put it simply, an MSC YATCH CLUB shall be my number one priority in booking future cruises along side of itenary! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband and I herd wonderful things about the MSC cruises. We decided to go on one for our honeymoon. We have cruised several times before on royal Caribbean and carnival. When we first walked in you didn’t get that “wow” ... Read More
My husband and I herd wonderful things about the MSC cruises. We decided to go on one for our honeymoon. We have cruised several times before on royal Caribbean and carnival. When we first walked in you didn’t get that “wow” feeling...it was either u turned left or right like you were coming back onto the ship from a cruise port. There was no one directing us where to go or how to tell where our room was... we finally got to our room after 20 mins of searching...the ship is so big it is actually ridiculous how far we had to walk from the elevator to our room. We payed for a balcony and it was nothing impressive... the balcony was dirty and sandy and the bathroom had makeup all over the wall and sink... we then ventured to the buffet and it was ok... had dinner at the formal dining restaurant that night and didn’t go back... cheap pieces of steak and meat...very disappointed... we sat in the middle of two other couples and were very uncomfortable.. mind u we had our own table but it was just that close together... our first stop was Jamaica.. unfortunately we couldn’t get off the ship because one of the crew members had Flu A... ok fine that happens.. we were bummed but moved on.. next port.. can’t get off again.. now we are over it... the activities on this cruise are awful... you have to make reservations to see any kind of show and if u don’t have a reservation you can’t go unless they have room at the very end... the circ de soile performance was absolutely terrible.. I’ve never been so disappointed... and this we had to pay for extra... most of the activities like bowling, 4D cinama and stimulation rides you have to pay for as well.. $20 and up.. that’s crazy! I’ve never been on a cruise where u pay for most of the activities they offer... they had a handful of specialty restaurants we thought we would try since we didn’t like the original one... nope they are full and we need a reservation... we had to call 3 times for them to come and get us a queen bed... we originally had twins... also went down to customer service a few times for them to refill our mini bar... we also payed tips before we embarked and they charge u an additional tip for everything! My husband got a chocolate bar from the store and they charged him a $2 service fee. What!!! For a chocolate bar! They offered to give us invites credit for the time we didn’t get off the ship but that doesn’t hit until the next day! We are very disappointed with this cruise and will not be back.. we will stick to carnival or royal Caribbean.. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our first time sailing MSC, and while I want to give a detailed and honest review of our cruise; keep in mind our cruise was the one that made the news when both Jamaica and Grand Caymans would not let us disembark for fear of ... Read More
This was our first time sailing MSC, and while I want to give a detailed and honest review of our cruise; keep in mind our cruise was the one that made the news when both Jamaica and Grand Caymans would not let us disembark for fear of flu as such I will not be able to provide any information on how shore excursion or disembarkation worked (except to say Many Thanks to Cozumel for letting us off (the testing took over 12 hours, but getting clearance to disembark and be able to get off in Miami was worth it) We decided on MSC after a just ok cruise on Norwegian. We looked at other lines and were enticed by what MSC was offering; this ship and the chance to have our own large room with private balcony/hot tub for a great price was too good to pass up (also they do offer military discount, which we were able to take advantage of), we booked this 2 years ago and decided to not do so during spring Break in the hopes of missing out on a lot of teens/young adults (nothing against this age group, I work for a college and sometimes your vacation needs to be away from the people you deal with) MSC does 'experiences' so given our room choice we got the Aurea this came with the following: Drinks Package, 2 complimentary massages, full access to the thermal spa, access to Deck 19 private solarium, My Choice Dining in the Panorama Restaurant, Priority Embarkation Aurea Experience: Priority Embarkation – This by far rocked our world, literally 15 minutes from dropping off luggage to getting on the ship! Once on board we were directed a certain way, so we followed those prompts to the nearest bar and had a drink. We located our room, not ready but our Steward allowed us to leave the carry on in the room. Thermal Spa – We enjoyed access to this area- both the dry spa and the dark sensory (eucalyptus infused) were our favorites. We also enjoyed both hot tubs. Access was easy- show up give them your card they give you a key on a bracelet lock your stuff in a locker and relax. The massages are not transferable (although given the fact that our cruise almost went no where but sea, I was able to talk with guest services and get them to transfer my husband’s massage to me) I did the Bali Massage and the Himalayan Sea Salt, both were good but hands down the Himalayan Sea Salt was one of the best massages I have had. (during the massage they take heated blocks of the salt and massage over the areas) Upgrades When we initially booked we had a better drink package, but at some point MSC changed this to the ‘Easy Drinks’ which is everything $6 and under. My husband prefers cocktails (I will also drink these) and I prefer Sauvignon Blanc or Champagne and there was very little information on what wines were included in the ‘easy drinks’ so we decided to do the upgrade to the ‘Premium Plus’ this did not actual get billed as an upgrade and we ended up paying for it out right, but I will say we got our monies worth, while not huge drinkers we made our drinks count! Also this allowed me to have a glass or 2 of Matua every night in the dining room with dinner. Add Ons: Fun Pass – this was strictly for my husband, he had $100. worth of fun Vinotherapy Facial, Body Scrub and Massage – worth it! 2 hours of bliss my first day at sea, my skin looked and felt better. Cirque Du Soliel Drink+ Show: Sonar (early show) Viaggo (late show) both of these were spectacular, we booked one early time slot and one late time slot. The drinks were ok, they make then en masse and you take in, nothing to write home about but the shows were amazing! The early show with drink gives you a much better view and seating. (The early showing does the dinner option, so those with just drinks got the first 5 rows- the late show we were much further back at a table facing forward so not as great as row 4) Regardless both were amazing performances and when we sail again on MSC we will check out the other ships shows. Because of the setbacks (no stops at Jamaica or Grand Cayman) we added a couple of onboard extras: Hola! Tapas restaurant for lunch and a haircut at the Spa for myself to make our days more fun. Hola! Tapas – We tried this for lunch one day Amazing food and service – upon hearing that I had the Premium Plus Package and discussing my wine tastes, the server suggested a glass of Torres Milamanda ($24/glass) We did a few tapas and then ordered the Langostinos Al Ajillo and the Basque Burger. Haircut/Style at the Spa – I was a little skeptical about getting my hair cut on a ship; I read reviews before hand and there were no horror stories, plus I was overdue for a trim so at $37, I figured why not. Denilson came out to greet me, asked what I wanted (about 3” off the back, no layers and trim up the bangs) wonderful shampoo/conditioner and then during the blow dry discussed that my hair was pretty dry and did an up sale that equated to buying an Aveda hair mask for $49 and get the cut free. I agreed to this, because not only was it a great deal I was very aware at this time that we were being refunded 100% and also it’s a vacation and that is my time to splurge. Original Excursions Jamaica – Green Grotto Caves (until things simmer down and we can do this cruise again, we’ll never know) Grand Caymans – Best of Grand Cayman I am probably most bummed out by this one because I really was looking forward to getting my passport stamped with Hell and to visit the Rum Cake Factory and by a rum or 3. Cozumel – Mixology Session Chocolate and Tequila (to date we have never had a successful excursion in Cozumel, which is why we decided to book something that was not beach/snorkeling related, but alas it is just not meant to be) Ocean Cay – we originally booked a deluxe cabana – the first night of the cruise we got a notice on our door that these were not available and that other cabanas were, but it was limited. So we headed down to the Excursion desk to find out what are options were. These cabanas will eventually get food service – we were not interested in that as much as a place to store our things, the beach mats and snorkel gear that came with this choice. The attendant, Détári Dora – explained this and then listened to our concerns, asked questions, made a call and then refunded our original reservation, booked us for a regular cabana and added scuba gear – so while we did not get to go to the Cay we were very happy with how the Excursion Desk initially dealt with this issue. Major props to Ms. Dóra for not simply dismissing us but actually listening to why we wanted the cabana and then making it happen. Panorama Dining Room – The food was good, they have several ‘classic’ options that are the same each night, add ons (steak/lobster, lobster) and then a rotating choice. Some of the portions were small (pastas, kabobs) but you could always order an additional one no issue. We really enjoyed the Salmon, Steak Tournedos as entrees. Our waiter was Sudarta – he was simply the best! After the second night he knew what we wanted to drink (Matua and Bubble Water) and laughed at the fact that I ordered the shrimp cocktail appetizer every night (sometimes 2) Market Place Buffet – we did some breakfasts and lunches here- the roasts (beef and pork) were most excellent, great selection of breads, cheeses, fruit was always abundant, Pizza was delicious, the salad bar could of used more toppings (as an American I have a salad bar notion in my head) Pastries were good and my husband really enjoyed the desserts. Private Solarium Deck 19 This area overlooked the main pool and deck and came with a large hot tub/pool that overlooked the area. There was an attendant who got the door, offered towels and basically you got to keep your seat even if you left. (This was nice because if you wanted to grab a bite or head back to your room, you were not taking chances) the also had a small mini bar set up and you could get drinks and they did send someone to take drink orders from time to time so we were able to get better frozen drinks. Other Pools/Areas The main pool area was always busy/crowded, the Horizon Pool deck area was crowded and had smokers but the pool was less crowded and nice. The bar here was always busy but I managed to get waters as needed. We did not try the bamboo pool- which is covered this was a very family friendly area. Skylight Lounge – A few times this was closed for private events, which was sort of disappointing because we enjoyed the space. Great drinks, nibbles and good places to sit and have a conversation. This was our nightcap spot. Music – we listened exclusively to 2 bands during our cruise: the trio from Brazil and a quartet (not sure where they were from) – both were amazing, entertaining, played exceptionally. Can’t say enough about how great they were! My only complaint is I wish the quartet had cds for sale because we would of bought one. Casino - Small casino, but ok. I played a few slots and came out about $20 on top. Champagne Bar/Lounge – they ran out of Veuve Cliquot which was sad but up until that point I had a glass or two a night and felt like I got my monies worth. This was a good lounge for hearing the music below and people watching. Gelato Bar – they did not have gelato until the second to last night! This was an actual gripe, because you can’t boast a gelato bar then not have it! But when we did get our gelato fix on it was delicious! Shopping – gift shop for MSC, Duty Free liquor, make up/perfume/watches and general supplies. Good selections – bought a few souvenirs for folks. Chocolate shop – excellent chocolates bought a variety of items to hand out. Swarkovski Crystal store with some beautiful items jewelry and trinkets. Higher end shopping – Guess, Armani Exchange, Izod, Calvin Klein. Water Park/Ropes Course – both of these were enjoyable! The water park has 2 slides one uses tubes and you must queue up at the bottom to get a tube, the you go feet first and end up in a basin, we enjoyed riding these, the surrounding water park area is mostly kids/families and everyone looked like they were having a great time. The Ropes Course requires closed toe/ankle shoes, shorts and shirt (only go pros allowed) and was exceptional – great view of the aft and you could look down on everyone in the water park having fun. It was challenging but not super difficult. Seating – the seating in the various bars was ok, but not great and this is one place where I think MSG could improve. A lot of them just were not comfortable or like with the stools were sized tall person only. Communications On our first excursion day, we ate breakfast then headed down to the theater to get our numbers and wait to disembark. After about 30 minutes Gene (activities director) announced that we were still waiting to clear customs, this happened again with the suggestion to not sit around exits or line the hallways. Not the best news, but I grabbed my book and headed to deck 19, after the second hour the Captain came on to explain what was going on. (Announcements like these were repeated in several other languages, with Gene always finishing in English for those of us that are less cosmopolitan) We would not be stopping in Jamaica because Jamaica has refused to let us disembark because one crew member had the flu (the regular flu) and that we would be reimbursed for our cancelled excursion and be given a $100 per stateroom shipboard credit. Our next notification came to say that Grand Caymans was also refusing us- again the Captain stepped up and made this difficult announcement. Excursions were to be refunded, we now had a $200 per stateroom credit, 30% off our current cruise and 20% off a future cruise. (also made in writing and at our door) We were told that Cozumel would let us dock and we were heading there to allow us excursions, however rough seas that night meant we could not dock and the next morning it turned out that Mexico wanted to test the now 2 sick people- so no Cozumel excursion and some very what the heck moments. It was at this point we were told our cruise would be 100% fully refunded and that internet would be made available to everyone that day. It was not until 12:34 am that we were told we could disembark in Cozumel. This of course sadly meant no Ocean Cay. It says a great deal about the integrity and professionalism of the Captain to get on the speaker and make these sorts of announcements; none of what he had to say was easy or good news but he did it and that counts for a whole lot! Proper communication is the golden key (yes we were unhappy with the unforeseen events, but we got over it and made the best of a beautiful ship and wonderful crew) Overall thoughts – I am not sure if we will do the Meraviglia again; the ship itself was beautiful but the layout seemed a little off and neither of us enjoyed the acoustics in the galleria when there was a band playing or dance lessons. Theme nights were a little to late for our tastes, but we did enjoy formal night not only dressing up but people watching. The spa was great, I will say book early! And when you do know your excursions because the front desk has a list of times and can tell you when you should expect to be back at ship, which I found quite useful. This was also our first thermal spa pass ever and something we will do again. There were plenty of ship activities for folks (bingo, crafts, scavenger hunt, poolside games and it seemed like extras when it turned out it was just us and the sea.) Since this was 2 years in the planning I did a lot of research prior to our cruise and I think MSC is trying very hard to listen to the US Market- our room came equipped with tissues and wash cloths, which were two items that were points of contention for several cruisers. People – as Americans we were in the minority on this cruise, nothing to complain about just an observation. Some cultures are more loud than we are used to, but when you are on an international cruise line; you learn when to find a quiet table or when to tell someone to button it. I will also say that because of this, there were a lot less smoking violations than on other cruises. There was a designated area and those that smoked, stuck to it, and I can not stress how much this was a major plus! We met some lovely folks during our trip (Danes, Canadians, Norwegians, French and Lithuanians.) Consensus was everyone loved the Cirque shows and for those that attended the Broadway shows were really good. Above all the crew and musical entertainment are why we will sail MSC again. It is not easy dealing with what we experienced, but no one was unprofessional, in fact they all went above and beyond to make the best of the situation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have taken 6 cruises with 3 different cruise lines, This was our least favourite for multiple reasons MSC and our travel agent failed to inform us that there would be 2000 vegan cruisers on this cruise and they would be taking 100% ... Read More
We have taken 6 cruises with 3 different cruise lines, This was our least favourite for multiple reasons MSC and our travel agent failed to inform us that there would be 2000 vegan cruisers on this cruise and they would be taking 100% of the early dining. All other passengers were restricted to 8:30 p.m. dining. ( really who eats a meal at 8:30 p.m.? !!!! ) All of our documentation indicated that we would have 6 p.m. dining but fine print gives them the right to change it. The vegan cruisers booked one year in advance, MSC mislead us knowing that 6 p.m. dining was already booked up. The buffet served the same lame food every day, burger, fries, hot dogs and a few pasta salads. There was a pizza shop on board but it looked and tasted like cardboard. There was a great selection for breakfast but they had only one toaster for 4200 people. There was limited seating in the buffet area. Our cabin flooded from a pipe leak on the first and second night, there was not much effort put into the clean up and we were left with wet sour carpet for most of the trip. We got kicked out of our cabin on a sea day to try and address the problem with chemicals and a huge fan, why they didn't do this on a port day confuses me. Our suit case and some of our clothing got wet and had to be washed, our foot wear got wet and sour. They refused to move use to another cabin. Documents and web site indicated that room 12184 is approx 148sqf and balcony is 34sqf. We actually measure it to be 128sqf and 28sqft The announcements were annoying has they were announced in 6 different languages. English is not the main language. MSC is trying to cater to multiple cultures making it difficult for all cultures. Positives, This was the most beautiful ship we have ever sailed. The bar tending, drinks and drink packages was great. Swimming pools and the 8? hot tubs were always clean and never seamed to be over crowed. There was lots of seating on the decks and pool areas. The overall ship didn't seam crowded apart from the limited seating in the buffet area. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Review of the annual Holistic Cruise from Feb. 21 - 28th. No, I'm not Holistic, see last paragraph. My 1st MSC Cruise was the 11 night over New Years. We had so much fun (see that review) that we had to go again before the ship left ... Read More
Review of the annual Holistic Cruise from Feb. 21 - 28th. No, I'm not Holistic, see last paragraph. My 1st MSC Cruise was the 11 night over New Years. We had so much fun (see that review) that we had to go again before the ship left the U.S. this March for a year. I have to be honest, I picked the Divina again because I've never in our previous 10 cruises seen any ship have the quality of entertainment in not only the theater, but with the entertainment staff that is all over the ship making me feel like a teenager again not to mention how they are so talented. Have to mention the Soul Solutions Band, never had I experienced a better band on any ship. They truly belong in Vegas. On both our cruises we were lucky enough to have some unbelievable staff available to us and I am going to name them because I know they go way out for Cruise Critic (you should be sure to go to the Meet and Mingle they put on for us) and hope they read this. Met the directors at the Meet & Mingle. They remember your name the rest of the cruise. Anna Werner, Cruise Director from Germany. How she does it I will never know. tireless is all I can say but the entertainment is 2nd to none. If people are saying they didn't like it, they don't know what talent is. Ziggy Lisowski, Hotel Director from Poland. Such attention to detail and asks people what is good and bad. Really makes you feel like MSC cares deeply about their guests. Great guy. Ramona Florea, Bar Director from Romania. Of course I met her because of the cigar lounge but her attention to detail on everything really impressed us. And such a nice sweet person. Visen David Seerputtee, Bartender in the Cigar Lounge & Buffet from Mauritius. This guy is the best person ever that could be in his position. His knowledge of everything is amazing. I can't say enough about him, but him being on the ship was a huge factor in our returning. Young guy and speaks at least five languages fluently. Giacomo Riviello, singer in the Pantheon Theater. How he's not on Broadway? I have no idea and neither do the folks I see posting on these boards. He has also been very nice when seen outside of the theater. The Redhead dancer in the Pantheon. Sorry, don't know her name or where she's from, but my goodness is she great and always with the most wonderful smile. Seen her off ship on both trips and was so nice. Like Giacomo, I seriously can't believe she's not on Broadway, although that could be said for all the talent on the shows. The, for lack of knowing what to call them, the roving entertainment staff is Just amazing at all hours of the day and night. MSC and them do it right. I'd like to point out Michelle Rosales and Natasha Van Heerden. I'm so happy they were still on this cruise as they are part of the package that, to us, that has made MSC the best cruise line we've ever been on. These bar attendants were always so kind and made and their friendliness was always a breath of fresh air. Keisha Richard from Saint Lucia and Crystalie ando Zamora from Philippines. One thing I really think MSC could've done to make this cruise better for most on the ship, was let people know before they booked, that if they weren't vegan or Holistic they weren't going to get the early seating and that there would be some minor inconveniences. I fortunately saw on the Cruise Critic Roll Call that it was a Holistic cruise and found out if there would be the regular food, but I requested early seating and a table for two. I got neither of those and when I went to guest services when we got on we were told, sorry, nothing is going to change. I heard more complaints about that. Why hide it? Most people not in that group did not even know it was a Holistic Cruise. I actually, other than the late seating, which worked out good, didn't find any inconvenience from having that organization cruise with us and MSC did an excellent job of not making us feel divided or missing out on anything other than the dining room early seating. Not a big deal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Overall, I loved the MSC Divina and I would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to take a cruise on it. However, it has its pros and cons in each category. Cabin: This category has no cons, my cabin was incredible. I had a ... Read More
Overall, I loved the MSC Divina and I would highly recommend it to anyone who would like to take a cruise on it. However, it has its pros and cons in each category. Cabin: This category has no cons, my cabin was incredible. I had a balcony room and it was a great size for a cruise ship, even bigger than some hotel rooms I have stayed in. The bathroom was also great and the shower had a great design where you could push the doors in if you want more room when you are not showering. Overall, the cabin was one of the best things about my cruise. Dining: The food on the ship blew away my expectations. I keep hearing so many bad reviews on this topic meanwhile it was incredible. The buffet was insane, the other restaurants look excellent, and even the Black Crab, the main dining hall, had some amazing dishes. Now, there were some dishes I ordered that were weird and that I didn’t like. However, the dishes that were good totally overridden the bad ones. The New York Serlion Steak was one of these amazing dishes that I would highly recommend. In addition to the restaurants, there were also many other food spots in the ship. I loved the one in the Plaza del Doge. There was a bakery there that gave complimentary desserts. The pistachio cream cake there was the single best item I had on the cruise and cake that I had in a long time. As a result, the food itself was a huge factor in my good experience on this cruise. Embarkation: Ok, this was horrible. We were standing in a 3 hour line to get into the boat and they didn’t even offer the guests anything to compensate for this. The people that have ridden MSC said that this has never happened before so I don’t know what happened. In addition, the muster drill was crazy since there was direction and nobody could hear the announcements. Lastly, there was a ferry accident in the Miami port, which delayed our ship until 3am to depart. This was not their fault but they did not do a good job communicating the matter to us. They really need to improve on this. Activities and Entertainment: The cruise line did a great job in both categories, as they had so many activities and entertainment all over the ship at all times. I would highly recommend this cruise because of this. Recreation: This cruise shop has great facilities, including amazing pools, hot tubs, workout machines, and even a sports arena. I loved these facilities and I hope that other ships have facilities as good as this ship did. The one thing I would improve on is the water slide because I got stuck in it due to it being too flat. Public rooms: This ship had many great bars and beautiful public areas with many different varieties of entertainment in each of them. I especially loved the black and white lounge and the atrium. Service: Like the food, there are many bad reviews on the service. However, the staff treated us very well. They were very helpful and attentive. Overall, they made my cruise experience much better. Private Island: This place was beautiful. The beaches were incredible and the food on the island was great. In addition, they had amazing activities and excursions on the island, including jet ski tours, parties, and even a lighthouse light show. It was probably one of the best things about the cruise. Value for money: If the cruise was this good for the low price I got for it, it was obviously worth it big time. As a result, I recommend this cruise for anybody who thinks of taking it. Remember to not reflect what the cruise could be like based on only bad reviews and take all of the reviews into consideration. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was cruise #4 for my wife (27) and I (29). First two were Royal Caribbean. We were on the MSC Seaside in November 2019 and had a great experience. The ship was beautiful, food was great, etc. However, we were supposed to be some of ... Read More
This was cruise #4 for my wife (27) and I (29). First two were Royal Caribbean. We were on the MSC Seaside in November 2019 and had a great experience. The ship was beautiful, food was great, etc. However, we were supposed to be some of the first people to go to MSC Ocean Cay on that November cruise on MSC Seaside, but the island was deemed not ready. We were given future cruise credit to compensate. We used that future cruise credit to book this 3-night cruise on MSC Divina that allowed us to visit MSC Ocean Cay. Embarkation day (Feb 18, 2020): We arrived at the Port of Miami around 12:30. The line was longer than I remembered. We got on board and to our room around 2:45pm. I heard from other passengers that they arrived around 1:30-2pm and only waited about 1 hour to board. So, maybe it's not good to arrive too early as we did. My wife had to use the restroom as soon as we got to the cabin. There was no toilet paper or tissue for her to use. I called for service twice, and after 30 minutes I went off to find toilet paper on my own, while my wife waited in our cabin restroom. Needless to say, we weren't impressed to start. There was also only one pool towel (supposed to have 2). When you consider that MSC charges you $20 per towel for not returning them, you want to make sure you at least start out with the proper number. We called and received another towel without any trouble. We then proceeded to the welcome buffet. We absolutely loved the buffet on MSC Seaside, and we thought MSC Divina's buffet was actually even better. It seemed like they had even more options, and of course the area was clean and the presentation of everything was immaculate. The safety drill was scheduled to start at 4:45pm. We arrived on time to our location after asking around exactly where "I" was. Of course, the rest of the crowd didn't show up until probably 5:15pm. The whole thing seemed disorganized. We were glad to get it over with. Dinner at the Black Crab at 6pm was great. We were seated with another couple, which was an unexpected but pleasant surprise. We tried to eat quickly so we would be outside for the 7pm sail away. However, at 7pm, the ship was still tied to the dock, access ramps were still connected, and it seemed like the ship was not going anywhere at any time soon. There may have been some announcement, but it was quick and difficult to hear if there was one. We continued to hang out on the ship and grab drinks until the theater show at 9pm. With the ship still in port at Miami, the cruise director greeted the crowd at the 9pm theater show and explained. A car had fallen off of a ferry with two people inside, and search efforts were obstructing the exit of our ship. She assured us we would be underway around 11:30pm. We did not hear any further announcements. Around 1am, my wife and I went to sleep, hoping to wake up in the Bahamas, but wondering if we might wake up to still find ourselves in Miami. Around 3:00am, we were awaken by the rumbling of the ship's engines and propellers maneuvering us away from the dock. Alas, we were on our way. As we hit the open seas, a constant repeating loud banging was keeping me awake. After realizing it was coming from the balcony, I went outside and realized that the door that separated our balcony from our neighbor's balcony was not locked. It was swinging wildly in the wind, banging loudly on the wall and chairs. I propped a chair up next to it to hold it still until the morning. Not major, but this, along with the lack of toilet paper/tissues, and the missing beach towel painted a picture of inattentiveness in my eyes. I should note that our first cruise with MSC we had an Aurea balcony, and on this cruise we were Bella. I think I saw the difference. Freeport, Bahamas (Feb 19, 2020): Due to the ship's late departure from Miami, all excursions in Freeport were canceled. Luckily, we did not plan on getting off the ship here. The weather was beautiful, and we found great tanning spots on the ship after a nice workout at the gym. We were starting to feel the way we felt on our first MSC cruise - beautiful ship, beautiful people, unlimited drinks, and great food. Shows that night included an extreme acrobatics show and Beerprov comedy. Beerprov was funny on Seaside so we tried it on Divina. It's essentially just a group of stand-up comics doing improv comedy. It's funny the first 1-2 times, but the routine was basically the exact same on Divina as it was on Seaside. Still pretty funny since they are improvising. The Extreme Acrobatics show was awesome. It wasn't just acrobatics. There was a young man singing who was truly inspiring. He really had the crowd engaged. Very fun show to watch. MSC Ocean Cay (Feb 20, 2020) This was the main event! The reason we booked this 3-night cruise in particular. We were supposed to get to see this island back in November, and now here we finally were. At first glance, the island looked clean - white sand, freshly painted colorful buildings, and clear water. We were worried about finding spots on the beach on this small island with potentially 4,000 ship passengers roaming around. However, this island is designed in such a way that it has the beach area of an island 10 times the size. There were open beach chairs everywhere. There were bars conveniently located around the island. Snack shacks were scattered around, with one main dining area more centrally located. Alcohol packages and food are included on the island. It was very easy to go back and forth from the island to the ship, since the ship was docked. We hung out at the beach all day, went back to the ship for dinner and to change clothes. Then we went back to the island at night for the lighthouse show and dance party. We had a great time. This stop made the entire cruise. It was great to be able to hang out on the island at night and not be rushed back to the ship by 4-5pm. We were told to be back on board no later than 10:30pm. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
we love msc! never disappoints, great staff, great food, plentiful and a great variety. excellent staff! its our 3rd msc cruise, hopefully many more to come! beautiful pools, great entertainment, clean cabins! the meriviglia is ... Read More
we love msc! never disappoints, great staff, great food, plentiful and a great variety. excellent staff! its our 3rd msc cruise, hopefully many more to come! beautiful pools, great entertainment, clean cabins! the meriviglia is a beautiful, stunning cruise ship!! hand sanitizer everywhere, touch less bathroom faucets, and soap dispensers! spotless staircases, buffet and mdr. wonderful entertainment! great choice of excursions available, lots of activities for children and teens! beautiful cafes, restaurants, casino, shops, , , . . embarkment went by smoothly, screening was thorough, staff very kind and friendly. refreshments available while waiting to board! the ports of roatan, french keys, belize, costa maya were just beautiful!! we were unable to go to ocean cay due to the strong winds. hopefully we will be able to go on our next msc cruise! The pools were great! the pizza options were amazing! disambarkment went smoothly, we walked off on our own! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I decided to do our first ever cruise as we were celebrating a special birthday. We got a great deal through a tour operator for this seven night MSC cruise from Miami to Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Ocean Cay ... Read More
My wife and I decided to do our first ever cruise as we were celebrating a special birthday. We got a great deal through a tour operator for this seven night MSC cruise from Miami to Costa Maya, Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios and Ocean Cay following a four night stay in Las Vegas. Because we booked the Fantastica Balcony package we were given the Premium Drinks package with it. Considering the prohibitive cost of buying this package, getting it as part of the deal was a great bonus for us - well done TourAmerica.ie!!! Because this was our first cruise and my obsession with planning we did a lot of research in the 11 months between booking and embarking. MSC seems to get a mixed response from reviewers but I found this was the case with every major cruise line so don't let that put you off. There are some great cruisers on these boards and on the TripAdvisor forums who were very helpful and generous with information for us. Stating with the ship layout and look - it is very impressive. The central atrium with it's bar and sparkly steps is a fine centrepiece. Plenty of guests had their photos taken on those steps (especially on the formal and dress up nights). There is a lot of the ship and so worth an exploratory walk or two on the first day to get your bearings. Theatre is an impressive size, casino is a decent size for a ship and there are dozens of bars and lounges. Decks 5-8 and 16-19 are where you will spend most of your no-cabin time as this is where the buffets, restaurants, bars, reception, theatre, shops etc. are. In between are the cabin decks. There are plenty of pools, and loungers, outside chairs for those who like to swim/sunbathe. This sin't for me but my wife wanted a morning in the sun and we didn't take long to find a free lounger for her (and this was on a sea day so everyone was on board). If you are bringing kids (and I think you are crazy to do so) there is plenty for them to do. Embarkation: Our biggest issue. We were not waiting for too long after the burly Miami porter who took our cases straight from our Uber and advised us to tip him. When we got to check we had an issue. The guy seemed annoyed we had not filled in the 'have you visited China' form properly and then forgot to actually take it. He also informed us we had a different cabin - this was after we had been sent our bag tags and attached them to our cases which were already gone. He seemed incredulous that we would even question this - i was concerned that the cases would go to the wrong room but he didn't seem bothered and told us to advise guest services when we boarded. We queued with the others are reception (very busy for the first two days - try and leave it longer before you visit if you can) and were told by the guest services woman that of course our bags would get to the right room - to be fair she was lovely and also sorted out our credit card for us at the same time so we didn't have to later use one of the machines to do so. However she was very wrong about the bags. Everyone was told bags should be at your cabin around 2pm - no sign of ours. We went and got something to eat and a drink and had an explore - still no bags. I rang down to reception - eventually got an answer and was told there were delays and we would get them soon. Still no bags. As we knew our previous cabin number we decided to go and see for ourselves if they were delivered to the wrong cabin - one case was outside this room so I spoke to a nearby worker and he told me the other one was probably sent back to reception as the guests in that cabin said it wasn't theirs. While we wondered why they didn't say that about both of our cases, we at least had one and took it down two decks to our own room. This journey was made more difficult by the fact that our lovely and expensive American Tourister hard shell case had obviously been dropped from a big height because we had an open crack in one side of it damaging the wheel and a large dent in the other. I rang reception again now informing them that we found one bag and did they have the other - also told them about the damage. U was told to come down to reception to see if they had the bag or else it would be delivered to the room. I headed down the 8 decks to reception -the queue had about 50 people so I went back up hoping it would be delivered after all .No sign of it by 730pm so rang again - this time (and for the first time) I was informed there is another place on deck 5 where lost and confiscated luggage is kept so i headed down again and lo and behold here was our other case - this one wasn't damaged but the tags were gone so it had ended up down here. I am guessing the tags went in the same way our other case was damaged through absolute carelessness either thanks to our burly Miami porter or when loading on to the ship (glad I gave that tip now). Eventually got to make our complaint about the damaged case on the third day when reception had died down a bit - the woman who dealt with us was lovely and advised it is quite common. They offered us €100 ship credit in compensation which I thought was great (less than the cost of the case but I had only expected some sort of form we would have to give to our insurance to claim back later. She also advised to check out cases on our stops as we may get a cheap one to tide us over. We found some but were not happy with the quality so struggled home with our broken one. The Cabin. We had a 'Fantastica' balcony room. I was impressed by the size judging by the reviews I read complaining about the size. I found the shower fine (many complain about the size but I am over 6 ft and not skinny and did not have an issue). Bed is really comfy and very large and you have a sofa too. We stored one case under the bed and another between sofa and wardrobe so they were no in the day. We brought far too many clothes but still managed to find hangers and drawer space for all of them. TV should not be required much but you have some news channels, food network, ESPN Caribbean and TCM (I find it nice to fall asleep watching a classic movie after a busy day). one excellent part of the cruise was our cabin steward (not sure if that is the correct term), Rose. She was really friendly, introduced herself on the first night and was exceptionally good at her job. She even left a lovely little towel elephant on or bed on my wife's birthday. While discussing the staff, I have seen a lot of reviews saying the staff are aloof and unfriendly - certainly NOT the case. For the most part (very few exceptions), the staff were extremely warm and friendly. Another common complaint from the reviews is that bar service can be slow. Sometimes this can be the case when it is busy - they are not great at knowing who should be served next (I made the mistake on my first day of advising them the English bloke beside me was ahead of me and did not even get a thanks or a look from him (so every man for himself after that). The drinks available on the premium package are excellent and although there was a mixed skill level when it came to making the cocktails, it was generally high quality and very friendly. They also have table service in a lot of the bars so this can help avoid the wait. Anyway you have a lot of bars to choose from so if one is busy (or has a really loud, drunk and obnoxious American woman holding court) you can always move to another one close by. If we did not have the Premium Drinks package I may not have enjoyed it as much - we both like a drink and as mentioned before I think buying this package is very expensive and the package below is very restrictive. Favourite bars were the piano bar (nice bit of music every evening/night) and the Sports Bar (nice booths for watching sport - unfortunately it only ever seemed to be basketball or golf that was on). Best service was in the casino bar - we got to know one of the girls there and she was great - knew our number so we didn't even need our card when she was on. The main atrium bar has music every night and sometimes a high cheese factor and also the Haven bar seems to be very interactive with a lot of dancing, gameshows and karaoke. If you don't like all of this the Sports Bar, Piano bar are the bars for you and the otehr music does not overlap. The smokers have their own bar outside if that is your thing. I mentioned the high cheese entertainment - some of it was quite bizarre. One night they had various characters in movie get up dancing and singing and mingling with the crowd. This is fine if you like that type of thing but one of them was done up as Hannibal Lechter strapped to a gurney (not really sure what was going on with that or how he was supposed to dance - we did not hang around to find out. We attended two shows in the theatre - the adult improv (decent enough) and what was called 'The Dream' which was billed as songs from musicals but was more like a song and dance pop cheesefest. The acrobats and dances were excellent but it is not my thing.They have plenty of shows and plenty of room - they also have bingo every day (you pay for), quizzes and shop sales. Plenty of reviewers (especially Americans) seem to have had nightmares with the buffets (there are two on the seaside - we mostly used the larger one on Deck 8). To be fair if you are expecting orderly queues and politeness you are better off out of there - it can be quite a cattle market. My best advice - our American friends need to be a little less polite and our continental European friends need to respect other people's space a bit more. The food I thought was OK - the everyday stuff was as bland as you would expect - burgers hot dogs etc. but I did think the changing ethnic menu was really good. Had a really nice Thai Green Curry one night, Indian butter chicken another and a lovely Jamaican stew on another - these were easily the best parts of the buffet. I read a lot of people saying the food didn't change - well it did every evening. The breakfast was hit and miss but fine. There are plenty of healthy options for breakfast and dinner. Had the pizza on the first day expecting an Italian company to have lovely Italian style pizza but it was awful - had the taste and texture of a frozen pizza so stayed away from it until our last night when i said I would try it again and this time it was as expected - delicious thin crust pizza. If you don't like the buffet you have the complimentary restaurants for breakfast and dinner or the specialty restaurants (pay extra). We tried the complementary restaurant for dinner once (our sitting was 930 and we had generally already eaten by then). It was fine. Good quick service, three courses were good - New York strip was good but not great. I would not put it way ahead of the buffet to be honest but if you hate the buffet it is fine. Fr breakfast, it was very similar fare to what was available in the buffet. We used the specialty restaurant 'the Butcher's Cut' one night - this was a steakhouse and was I think $47 per person for three courses. This really was worth the money - the steak i had here was way above the quality in the free restaurant and because the room is smaller and less busy it is just a nicer place to eat. Excursions and off-ship. Costa Maya in mexico was first stop. We had an external excursion planned with Tucan tours. Because it was external you had to walk quite a bit to find it but the tour itself (to the Mayan ruins at Chaccoben) was very good and worth the money. They take you back to the port and then on to beach for an hour if you wish. We did go down to the beach and had a couple of beers but you get hassled relentlessly by people trying to part you with your money all along the little strip at the beach. Second stop was Georgetown in the Cayman Islands - for this day we chose an MSC excursion as you have to get a boat to the Caymans rather than just walking off the ship as at other ports and I had read if you have an MSC excursion it is less hassle (this seemed true). The excursion itself (georgetown and the whitehouse) was a big waste of money. Driver was good but the trip itself is a trip to what is basically a resort type shopping area with a trip up to the highest point on the island - basically a few flights of stairs up to a viewing area where you get a view of rooftops .Then you are taken to the Tortuga rum factory - this is a total toursit trap but the rum cake and different rums are lovely and well worth picking up. You are then taken to the White House resort - an exclusive type resort on the beach where you have a couple of hours and a lounger on the beach. You do not even get a drink or a snack here - you have to pay (and it is far from cheap for a pretty rubbish cocktail). It is a lovely and very small private beach but for $80 plus per person i would expect a lot more from an excursion. Third stop was Ocho Rios in Jamaica - we did not do an excursion here, but instead took a stroll around the town. Again you are constantly hassled by people trying to sell you things, begging or offering taxis but it is still worth going to the town. Found a nice place to eat and a good bar. Fourth stop was Ocean Cay - the MSC private island in the Bahamas. Unfortunately because the weather was going to be bad the day was cut short from on board at 1125pm to on board at 230pm but it is a lovely spot and you can use your card for drinks and food here. Beaches and sea are lovely and plenty of loungers etc. We did not do any of the paid activities but had a few drinks at the Hemingway bar over at the fake ligthouse which is a really nice spot for a drink or two. Having already been in Vegas it is probably no surprise we spent a fair bit of time in the casino. It may be a surprise that we won and actually won well - I cam back from this 2 week holiday with more cash than I left with thanks to a couple of nice wins. Disembarkation - we chose to take our own cases so we could leave early and not be waiting around for them to lose or damage our reaming good case. This was a fairly painless procedure. All in all a really good time was had. Great ship, great staff, good food but the MSC excursion and the bag issue were the only downers. Would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
As from our membership numbers, and even prior to us being members, you will see that we are frequent cruises (MSC Only) MSC cruises have in the past being our "thing"to celebrate our yearly anniversary. We celebrated our ... Read More
As from our membership numbers, and even prior to us being members, you will see that we are frequent cruises (MSC Only) MSC cruises have in the past being our "thing"to celebrate our yearly anniversary. We celebrated our 26th year this year. I absolutely love going on cruises, I find MSC super value for money and your facilities are normally outstanding. Our latest cruise however and I need to mention a view concerns: 1. The security control over certain passengers was not strong enough, there were alot of people excessively noisely on the top deck. I am all for passengers enjoying themselves, however, certain guest go "overboard" and in chatting to other passengers who felt the same, it is sad to drop your cruise prices in order to fill cabins, but get lower caliber of passengers who cannot behave themselves. The cabin next to ours on the last cruise, the passengers in their brought along their own music box, and we had constant loud dance music playing in their cabin till early morning hours. We had to eventually request security to ask them to turn it down. 2. This particular boat, needs some attention, as with the the previous ships we have being on, the Orchestra needs a little TLS. The jacuzzi needs upgrade, the seating chairs and tables weaving is coming apart and constantly hooked either my towels or my clothing. 3. We ate breakfast in the restaurant which, as always the MSC excel in their food and beverage facilities. However on this morning, my husband ordered kippers from the plated breakfast menu. We were horrified when he chewed on a fish hook! We did inform the waiter who in turn informed his manager. Both were most apologetic and a tray of fruit was sent to our room. I do feel that given the consequence of what may have happened had my husband swallowed this wire fish hook........ a don't think a tray of fruit was the best apology. 4. The Pomene exclusive loungers, we as you will see with all our previous cruises, book the loungers for the purposes of more privacy. WE did book the loungers at Pomene, but the area is not closed off, we have other passengers continuously walking through the lounger area, the actual A frames need some TLC as well as the actual aluminium loungers themselves. Notwithstanding all of the above, we still love cruising with MSC and we are planning to visit my son in the USA in June 2020, we are planning on booking a cruise with MSC from Miami and hope to do many more cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My husband found this cruise on Travelocity at a very good price. We have been on 13 cruises but never with MSC. At such a great price, we thought we would give it a try. Boarding the ship in Miami was a breeze. Embarkation was swift ... Read More
My husband found this cruise on Travelocity at a very good price. We have been on 13 cruises but never with MSC. At such a great price, we thought we would give it a try. Boarding the ship in Miami was a breeze. Embarkation was swift and orderly even though the staff wasn't exactly the friendliest. This should have been our first sign of things to come. Once on board, we noted how dated and in need of repair the ship was. My 8 year old son pointed out loose tiles in the shower and that the air in our cabin wasn't working very well... my 8 year old who never notices anything. I don't mean to be petty, but I am going to be petty here... Every other cruise line we have been on, we would get a towel animal and a little chocolate left on our pillow at night. Not on this ship. Our room steward was attentive and kept our cabin clean, but we missed the little "above and beyond" measures that we had come to expect as the normal standard through other cruise lines. The dining hall our first evening was a complete disappointment. It felt as if it was their very first time doing anything! Toward the end of our meal, the head waiter for our area made to over to introduce himself and it was a complete game changer. From that moment on, he made a point to seek us out for each meal. He guided our wait staff in making certain our drinks were kept filled and our food made it to us hot and delicious. The entertainment crew on the MSC Armonia was the absolute best we have ever seen on any cruise we have been on. I am not sure how many hours they put in on their performances but you can tell they work hard to perfect their routines. Each night before they would go on, the ship's cruise director and his team would warm up the crowd with giveaways and hilarious antics. I do not know what these staff members get paid but it is not nearly enough! Everything else just seemed way too crowded to enjoy. Our first port of call was Jamaica. We had to tender to shore. You had to stand in line to get a ticket to take the tender to shore. They passed out tickets through number 25 or 26. My family and I were able to make it to shore on the number 9 tender. I have heard conflicting stories about what number they stopped calling tenders at, but what can be said is that not every passenger was able to get off of the boat that day and experience Jamaica. It was not a good day. I think if they had run out of rum on board, there might have been a mutiny. Grand Cayman was, well, Grand Cayman. overpriced, hot, and busy. Costa Maya was very nice once we left the port and hired a taxi outside of the port gates to take us to Chacchoben for the day. Very nice and relaxing... and about half the price the cruise line wanted for the same tour. The day spent at Ocean Cay is a nice day if you enjoy swimming and the beach. I do not. My husband and children LOVED it. They love sun, sand, and water. Me, not so much. Would I ever sail on this ship again? No. Would I ever sail MSC again? I am not sure. I will be doing much more research and reading reviews before booking my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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 ... Read More
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! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
MSC Seaside was the worst cruise ship we have ever taken. This is our 9th cruise and first (and only) with MSC. The food was fair at best. We stopped going to the formal dining room after the third night because the food was so poor. The ... Read More
MSC Seaside was the worst cruise ship we have ever taken. This is our 9th cruise and first (and only) with MSC. The food was fair at best. We stopped going to the formal dining room after the third night because the food was so poor. The buffet was a better option. The room often had strong sewer smells especially when we were at port. Some crew members were unhappy and short with cruisers. They pushed eating in the special dining rooms $$ (we were approached at least ten times a day times 7 days). They advertise bowling, ziplines, water slides, and 5D cinema. Those all came at a high high cost. You basically get a room, fair food, and dinner show (if you reserve it). The ship cancelled our excursion because not enough people signed up for it and refused to give us a full refund. Best to go with a different cruise line!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 2nd time on the Seaside and our 4th cruise with MSC, but our 46th cruise since 2002. The ship is absolutely beautiful and clean. The hard working staff and crew were friendly as well as helpful and contributed to our ... Read More
This was our 2nd time on the Seaside and our 4th cruise with MSC, but our 46th cruise since 2002. The ship is absolutely beautiful and clean. The hard working staff and crew were friendly as well as helpful and contributed to our enjoyment of this cruise while we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. We did not get off the ship for the ports since we have done so many times before. Instead we enjoyed the pools and whirlpools on a virtually empty boat. The main flaw with the Jungle Pool on deck 18 is there is no towel exchange and you have to take your 1 wet towel to the back of the boat, go down an elevator to deck 6 and outside to the back of the South Beach Pool to the towel exchange counter and then haul back up to the Jungle Pool on deck 18. They have plenty of room to add a towel exchange on deck 18 and I have mentioned this in every review I did after each MSC cruise. This flaw makes it impossible for people with mobility issues, walkers or wheelchairs to replace wet beach towels (which you are only allowed one). I think more people have to bring this to their attention. We got off at their private island, Ocean Cay Marine reserve but did not stay too long there. This island should look very nice once it is completed and hopefully they will be able to run the trams more often as it was not possible to get on or off them because they were always full and did not operate them at regular schedules. The Yacht Club however had their own trams which ran quite regularly. It was a hard walk to reach any of the beaches, especially if you have mobility issues. Also, MSC makes you walk over to get beach umbrellas and carry it back to your lounge and charges $15. Since there is absolutely no shade from trees, they should provide these complimentary as other cruise lines do on their private islands. The food in the main dining room at dinner was very good and had a nice variety. However, the food in the Buffet was the same every day and night and was just ok, with the exception of their pizza, which was always good. The desserts looked great but really had no taste. I think they have to improve in this area. The entertainment was high energy and great in the theatre as well as the lounges with game shows that had everyone participating and having a good time. Wow! Such talented artists! Now you must remember that there are good and bad things on all cruise ships. Keep an open mind when reading reviews and I find if you check out ships on You Tube, you can make informed choices. I gave this cruise "Average" rating because the next choice was "Very Good" and I felt the cruise should have a rating of "Good" but it was not available. One great thing with MSC is the do a "Loyalty Match", which I wish other cruise lines did. Whatever your highest level on another cruise line, MSC will move you up to that level and along with the top "Diamond" category, you will receive many perks! We are going to take a break from MSC for now but we will return sometime in the future. Happy cruising and stay safe! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We read all the reviews. We have a balcony cabin it is great, yes the shower is small but really it is good. The staff have been fantastic The food is good, really good. The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds ... Read More
We read all the reviews. We have a balcony cabin it is great, yes the shower is small but really it is good. The staff have been fantastic The food is good, really good. The buffers have everything thing you could need The beds are comfortable and bangs fit under the beds This is our second msc cruise and it is just plain good Value When we read the reviews we were suspicious, but on board we have been pleasantly surprised We are not looking for a party cruise we are looking for relaxation and good food. We had the fantastica package, this gave us a basic range of drinks, but the wines are good Overall we are very happy. The breads are great as are the snacks, pizza etc The restaurant meals were well presented and there was a range of seating so you could have an intimate meal with your spouse or sit with a group of people The buffets were busy and the normal push and shove by the Italians and the poms but this is normal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The ship is beautiful, really big, not overcrowded, clean and perfectly organized all the time. The top restaurant serve really good food, I liked it for the great view. The theatre and the casino a musto go. I've travelled ... Read More
The ship is beautiful, really big, not overcrowded, clean and perfectly organized all the time. The top restaurant serve really good food, I liked it for the great view. The theatre and the casino a musto go. I've travelled around the world many times and with different cruise lines and I have to say that this cruise is one of the best! Arturo the mexican guy working as a waiter at the top restaurant is for sure one of the nicest guys i've ever met! The cabin is nice, clean and it has enought space to enjoy your stay! The service in the other restaurants is really good, of course the guys do always the best to give you a nice holiday, just once we had a litthe issue with our food but was a misunderstanding between my wife and the waitres! Cozumel nice port but to busy, Roatan didn't like it, a great surprise was at Costa Maya - Mahahual port. At Costa Maya We spent a wonderful day at Malecón21 Beach Club & Restaurant. What a great day, delicious food and tasty cocktails. The beach club is the best looking one all along the beach walk. clean and great service with Carlos! You see and feel the young and nice mood that gives you the opportunity to fully enjoy your day at the Caribbean! Do you a favor, don't pay for expensive excursions that the cruise offers you, don't miss the opportunity to enjoy a nice day right on the Caribbean, You will love Malecon21 Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
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